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News Archives for 2021-06

Proposed housing complexes take steps forward

You may see greener pastures in the Sturgeon Bay rental housing market in the near future. In a meeting that spanned over two hours, the City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission largely discussed a Planned Unit Development petition for Northpointe Development Co. for a 53-unit, multiple-family dwelling on the north side of East Maple Street. Also discussed at the meeting was a 10-unit multi family complex on Erie Street. 


Along with plenty of public comment there were also questions from the commission followed by a presentation from Jonathan Brinkley of Northpointe Development detailing the concept of the proposed 53-unit complex. City of Sturgeon Bay Alderperson Kirstin Reeths asked about the possibility of income based housing at the complex. Andy Dumke of Northpointe replied that they would be market-based prices. He did add however that the goal is to create multiple affordable housing projects in Sturgeon Bay. There were also several pleas from different people for developers of the two proposed units to not allow for short-term rentals in them. 


A motion was made at the meeting for the Plan Commission to address the 53-unit dwelling there rather than to table it. That motion was approved, then the commission unanimously approved a motion that made a recommendation of passing the Planned Unit Development. Also passed was a motion adding a stipulation that prohibits short term rental agreements at the 53-unit property provided the city attorney has determined whether or not the city is allowed to do that. The structure is also said to come with 44 parking stalls. The PUD will now go to the city of Sturgeon Bay Common Council for approval.


A conditional use permit by Maritime Heights, LLC was approved for a 10-unit multi-family dwelling on the 700 block of Erie Street, green-lighting the construction of that complex. Developers and several in attendance considered this unit to fall in the “workforce” housing category. A list of schools and businesses that gave a resolution in favor of constructing the new dwellings were also read at the meeting. 


Summer Foods heads to Forestville

If you’re in southern Door County and paying attention to the YMCA’s Summer Foods program, you’ll want to take note of their most recent change. The YMCA is opening a new food distribution site at the Forestville Fire Department. The site is open to both kids and seniors. With the change, the YMCA will no longer hold a site at the Southern Door School District. 


The Summer Foods program in which the YMCA partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Door County to give free meals to youth in the area is in its fourth week this summer. The program operates at twelve sites. Nine of the sites are in Door County and three are in Algoma. More information on sites as well as a list of which locations serve seniors can be found on the YMCA website. The summer program is one of plenty that Annual Campaign Director Alyssa Dantoin says has kept the YMCA all over the area this season, adding that it’s been great to see energy and movement back at the YMCA. No meals will be served on Monday, July 5th, in observance of Independence Day weekend. 


Vaccinations heading for 2021 low point in state

COVID19 cases in Wisconsin have slowed down but so has the amount of people getting vaccinated for the virus as local health departments are trying to get the youngest eligible groups their shots. In Wednesday’s COVID19 report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 69 confirmed cases of COVID19 were detected and one death was reported. At the week’s halfway point, the state of Wisconsin has vaccinated 13,500 individuals over the week, and is on pace to have the lowest amount of shots administered since mid-December. The state has 50.2% of its residents with one vaccine shot or fully vaccinated.


In Door County, 65.7% of residents have a dose of the vaccine and 62.9% have completed the series. In Kewaunee County, 40.8% of residents have a vaccine dose and 39.3% are fully vaccinated. 


Thunderstorm advisory for Door County

Weather advisory for Door County


The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather warning for Door County at 3:43 pm today.  A strong thunderstorm line is expected to hit Sturgeon Bay, Menominee, Jacksonport, Ephraim, Whitefish Bay, Baileys Harbor, and Sister Bay with penny-size hail and possibly high winds reaching 40 miles per hour.  If outside, seek shelter in a building immediately.   The warning is until 4:45 pm.  


Event:Special Weather Statement


...SIGNIFICANT WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SOUTHERN MARINETTE AND CENTRAL DOOR COUNTIES UNTIL 445 PM CDT... At 343 PM CDT, Doppler radar was tracking strong thunderstorms along a line extending from near Ephraim to 7 miles northeast of Menominee. Movement was southeast at 25 mph. Penny size hail and winds in excess of 40 mph will be possible with these storms. Locations impacted include... Marinette, Sturgeon Bay, Menominee, Jacksonport, Ephraim, Egg Harbor, Whitefish Bay, Peshtigo, Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay.

Instructions:If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building.

Target Area:

Southern Marinette County

Ensuring your firework safety for the fourth

Along with firework displays in peninsula communities will be individuals setting off some of their own. It is important however that if you do engage in the common July 4th activity, that you keep safety at the front of your mind. The Ideal surface for lighting fireworks is blacktop or cement or a platform that is hard and flat. You should stay away from lighting fireworks on lawns and should be in a spot that is easy to get away from once the firework fuse is lit. 


Casco Fire Chief Bruce DePeau says the most important thing to use is common sense. He says it’s especially important to be careful if a firework doesn’t go off and to stay clear of it. Once you’re clear to get rid of the “dud” firework, DePeau suggests placing it where it won’t do damage if it does go off in the next day or two. 



DePeau says he would give extra consideration to lighting off fireworks if it is a windy day. 



If you want to light fireworks off but do not have a permit, you will have to contact your municipal office to find out what the restrictions are for permitting. The Wisconsin state statute dealing with fireworks can be found here


Ticks causing uptick in illness in Door County

A tick-borne illness is starting to creep up in numbers in Door County. Tick season is heating up in Wisconsin, and as a result, six cases of anaplasmosis have appeared so far in Door County this year. In the previous five years, there’s been an average of less than one case per year in Door County according to a Door County Public Health press release. Anaplasmosis and Lyme disease are the most common tick-borne diseases in the area, and you can get both from a deer tick bite. 


There is no clear cause in the rise in cases, but Door County Public Health is working with a state epidemiologist who specializes in tick-borne illnesses to try and identify one. The six cases detected to this point are all in adults. Populations for deer ticks often peak in June in Wisconsin, but the diseases they spread can continue into fall months. Anaplasmosis symptoms include fever, chills, severe headache, muscle aches, nausea, and vomiting. It is typically treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can develop into respiratory failure, bleeding problems, organ failure, or death. 


You’re encouraged to be aware of ticks and prevent illnesses spread by ticks by:


  • Quickly removing any ticks. It is suggested you use tweezers and pull upward. The tick must be attached for 12-24 hours before transmitting bacteria. 
  • Using effective insect repellent.
  • Wearing long sleeves, long pants, and long socks to keep ticks on the outside of clothes
  • And if you go into a wooded area, stay in the center of a cleared trail and avoid contact with overgrown grass and brush.

Symptoms may begin up to 30 days after exposure, and if you experience symptoms you’re encouraged to see a doctor. 


(Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services) 

Coast Guard looks to minimize weekend incidents

The US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary are preparing to help you enjoy your holiday weekend on the water without issues. The US Coast Guard will be doing extra patrolling on the water. With the extra crowding expected, they will be trying to ensure safety and rules compliance. A key thing they’ll look out for is impaired driving. There aren’t open container laws for passengers on the boat, but the drivers are under the same blood alcohol concentration regulations that they are in an automobile. 


USCG Auxiliary Flotilla Commander in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma Jeff Feuerstein says they want you to enjoy the water this weekend but also to be safe. He notes the risks you have to be mindful of for independence day and other holiday weekends. 



The Coast Guard Auxiliary will be helping boaters know their vessels are safe. If you’re on a boat, Feuerstein advises you and other passengers to look out for each other, especially if drinking alcoholic beverages while riding. He adds that some of the factors that come with drinking on a boat and in the sun can magnify the effects of being intoxicated. 


Though there is limited time before the holiday activities ensue, Feuerstein suggests getting a vessel safety check if you haven’t yet this season. You can do that by calling him at 920-450-6069 or emailing him at


United Way supporting families at Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market

You can now use your EBT card at the Sturgeon Bay farmers market thanks to United Way of Door County. When arriving at the farmers market you can find the United Way table on the library side of the market and exchange money from your card into tokens that are usable for produce. The use of the tokens is limited to fruit and vegetables, dairy products, grains, fish, poultry and meats and a few other products. Amy Kohnle, the executive director of United Way, describes the response they have seen so far.



 The United Way table will be at all future markets in the 2021 season, and they are open for all questions that you may have about the program.


Early fishing surveys net positive returns

Your odds of having a successful fishing venture on Lake Michigan this summer may be better than you think. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported that they are anticipating a strong season for Lake Michigan anglers based on early surveys. A big takeaway from the DNR was the numbers of steelhead, as well as chinook and coho salmon caught in 2020 and how 2021 is predicted to build off of that. DNR Great Lake District Fisheries Supervisor Brad Eggold says July and August are typical months for salmon and trout fishing to heat up. 


Eggold says it’s a bit early to tell which fish will be the dominant species in harvest numbers, but does mention that chinook salmon fishing has proven quite popular.



The DNR staff’s 2020-2022 Lake Michigan stocking plan is to enhance fisheries management in the lake. Midway through that plan, here are the stocking totals as of Tuesday.


  • 1,202,183 chinook salmon
  • 514,657 coho salmon
  • 430,313 steelhead
  • 411,229 brown trout
  • 50,077 brook trout 


The DNR has plans to release fingerling fish into Lake Michigan this fall, as they typically release yearlings in the spring. 


County health departments trying new vaccination plans

With over half of Wisconsin’s residents vaccinated for COVID19, your local health agencies are altering their strategies for getting shots to county residents who have yet to do so. You can get the shot at the Kewaunee County Public Health main building at 810 Lincoln Street on Wednesdays and Thursdays and they’re offering you a few alternative choices. You can get vaccinated at the Kewaunee County Fair next week and they’ll offer the vaccine to individuals in their back-to-school program. 


Kewaunee County is below the state’s fifty percent mark, as only forty percent of their residents have received a vaccine shot. Kewaunee County Public Health Officer Cindy Kinnard hopes people who haven’t been vaccinated give it more consideration. She adds that hopefully, the vaccination rate increases so that risks of other COVID19 variants are mitigated



For Door County Public Health, they will provide their last vaccination clinic at the ADRC building in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. Starting July 7th, you can get vaccinated in Door County at their building at 421 Nebraska Street. Public Health Manager Susan Powers encourages individuals to book appointments in advance.


Door County Public Health will also be at the Sister Bay Fire Station on July 1st. Powers says when there, they’ll see whether or not they need to continue their clinics in Sister Bay. You can also get the shot at the Jacksonport Farm Market on July 6th and based on the number of vaccines administered, public health will determine if there’s a need to go back for second doses. Powers says that a big part of what they’re doing now is trying to get younger individuals vaccinated. 



On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Public Health released their COVID19 report showing one new death and 73 new confirmed cases in the state. Door County is at 65.6% of residents with a vaccine dose and 62.8% completed the series. In Kewaunee County, 40.8% of residents have a vaccine dose and 39.2% completed the series. 


Update: Wanted theft suspect taken into custody

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department ended their search on Tuesday for a man who was wanted since Monday morning. Joseph A. Brown, who is accused of vehicle theft and other violent offenses against an 80-year-old man, was found and arrested. According to Captain Dan Brinkman, the vehicle allegedly stolen by Brown was found in a grocery store parking lot on University Avenue in Green Bay. Brown was also apprehended in Green Bay and is currently held in the Brown County Jail. The vehicle has since been towed back to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department garage. 


(Photo courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department) 

Door County Sheriff's Office says farewell to K-9

The Door County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of their K-9 deputy Odinn. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, they stated that Odinn was treated for cancer early in the year and then returned to work. After coming back to serve, the cancer returned in an aggressive manner. Door County’s K-9 program had not been used for thirty years, until Odinn came on board in 2017. The officer assigned with handling Odinn was Deputy Matt Tassoul. Together the pair responded to numerous high-risk calls, traffic stops, and missing person searches. 


(Photo courtesy of the Door County Sheriff's Office)


Marinas handling increased boat traffic

It may be just as hard finding a parking spot in the water as it is finding one on land in some Door County communities. Seasonal slips at some marinas have been gone since they were first made available while others have either limited or completely stopped offering transient slips for boaters. That has kept the pressure on marinas like Sister Bay to have space available. Sister Bay Marina manager Dave Lienau says their forty transient slips are almost completely booked everyday through the middle of August. It gets even tougher on the weekend where he said they are in similar straits through the end of the season at the beginning of fall. It has been that way since much earlier in the year, something Lienau believes is due to the pandemic.



Lienau says if you want to try your luck, you may be able to find transient slips available at your marinas of choice by logging onto their individual websites. The demand for slips mirrors the increase in boat sales, which CNBC reported last week reached a 13-year high in 2020.

Youth organizations gaining new life

Your kids may find opportunities to make friends and explore this summer as the pandemic loosens its grip on area youth organizations. Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, and 4-H could not stem the membership declines that have occurred over the last several years. Bay-Lakes Council Fall Recruitment Chairperson Jay Van Zeeland points to the lack of in-person activities in 2020 for some of the attrition as meetings were often held virtually after a full day of remote learning. As restrictions have loosened up, he says the engagement of its youth member has gone up with it. Van Zeeland says its summer program at Bear Paw Scout Camp has more people at it this week than all of last year. He adds that kids want to learn by playing and interacting with each other, something scouting emphasizes.

Though the emphasis for recruitment for youth organizations usually centers around the beginning of the school year, Van Zeeland says the conversations about the great work of organizations like Boy Scouts happen year-round.


Photo Submitted

Awards age well for Krohn

Despite winning awards at almost every turn, being recognized by his peers is still humbling for Agropur Cheese Technical Manager Roger Krohn. His latest award came last week when his smoked provolone won first place for best smoked cheese at the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products Competition. A Master Cheesemaker in mozzarella and provolone, Krohn has been involved in the industry since working in the family business as a teenager. In that time, Krohn says he has learned what it takes to earn those few fractions of a point it takes to win the top prize when he is competing against other great cheesemakers.

Krohn admits he does not have every plaque made anymore and not every medal and ribbon sees the light of day after a while. After a decades-long career in the cheesemaking industry, his biggest thrill now comes from people enjoying the products he works hard to craft.

Krohn credits the staff and the high-quality milk they process at their Luxemburg plant for their award-winning cheese, which also includes a second-place finish in the mozzarella category. Krohn was not the only local cheesemaker to gain recognition at the Wisconsin State Fair. Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese in Luxemburg garnered the top prize in the unflavored cheese curd category. Cheese operations manager Ben Shibler said they were excited and humbled by their ranking and like Krohn credited their production team and the high-quality milk from Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy for their success.


Listen to our podcast with Roger Krohn


Read our feature with Ben Shibler

Crops bouncing back after rains

With many areas around the Door Peninsula reporting substantial rainfall this past weekend, local farmers are encouraged with the status of corn and hay in the fields.  Jim Wautier of Church Site Farms in Brussels says the recent precipitation was long overdue and with another hot spell, a good harvest can be expected later this summer.  He notes that those crops have rebounded well after a slow start.



Wautier estimates that his farm received over four inches of rain late last week.  According to, southern Door County has received 3.54 inches of rain so far this month, compared to 4.57 inches for the same period last year.  Sister Bay has reported 2.95 inches and Kewaunee 3.11 inches for June precipitation through Monday.

Door County drowning victim identified

The 24-year-old man who drowned Saturday evening at Clark Lake has been identified.  According to the Door County Sheriff’s Office news release, Yeltsin C. Jean-Pierre of Madison was the victim of the drowning in the town of Sevastopol late Saturday. 


The results of the autopsy are not known at this time and the Medical Examiner’s final report is not expected for at least six weeks.  The Door County Sheriff’s Department notes that foul play is not suspected and that it appears to be an accidental drowning.


The Sheriff’s office was notified around 8 pm on Saturday that Jean-Pierre was in distress in the waters of Clark Lake near 5257 Grady Road.   After being recovered from the water shortly before 8:40 pm, an unresponsive Jean-Pierre was taken to Door County Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased. 


Press Release from Door County Sheriff's Department


"Queen for A Day" successfully tees off again

On Monday at 11 am, over 150 women gathered at Idlewild Golf Course for the 14th annual Queen for a Day event. Because of the pandemic, Idlewild could not host Queen for a Day last year, but generosity from the community allowed them to raise $29,000 for Door CANcer and the David Spude Cancer Center. Barth Guilette, one of the event coordinators and volunteers, describes how he feels about hosting this event after last year’s cancellation.



This year the course was at its maximum capacity with 160 golfers of 40 teams. It was a day of activities including breakfast at 11, a mystery wine event, raffle tickets, prizes, and a nine-hole golfing event.  All of Monday’s proceeds went to Door CANcer and the David Spude Cancer Center.

County projects receive coastal management grants

You may soon see nearly $95,000 of Wisconsin Coastal Management Grants go to work in Door and Kewaunee counties.


It was part of $1.4 million in grants announced by Governor Tony Evers on Monday morning.  Over $23,000 will assist the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department continue its efforts through the Door County Invasive Species Team with prevention, communication, and monitoring plans. The Town of Gardner received $6,250 for help updating its comprehensive plan and the Village of Ephraim received over $26,000 to reconstruct 360 feet of boardwalk in its wetland preserve to make it more accessible for visitors. The Door County Facilities and Parks Department earned $12,000 in grant dollars to acquire approximately four acres of wooded land near Meridan County Park in Baileys Harbor.


Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department Director Davina Bonness told DoorCounty last week that its $27,000 in grant funding will go toward testing wells to see the progress the community has made in addressing its groundwater concerns over the last five years.

Just under $50,000 has been earmarked for the UW System for the site nomination and selection process for its future Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Designation.  Sturgeon Bay is among the three finalists for a NERR facility. You can find a complete list of the grant recipients by clicking this link.


Picture of Meridian County Park, which is receiving some of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Grant Funding, is courtesy of the County of Door.

Hunt on for theft suspect

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department is asking for your help locating a man wanted in an early Monday morning incident.


According to a release from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Joseph Brown is wanted in connection with an incident involving an 80-year-old Sturgeon Bay man. Brown is accused of substantial battery, robbery, strangulation, suffocation, and vehicle theft. The police believe Brown may be in Brown County after fleeing Door County this morning while driving a black 2011 Toyota Avalon four-door with the Wisconsin plate of WITTIG.


If you see him, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department advises you not to approach him and to call local law enforcement.



Door County Dairy Promotion reaches out

Whenever there is a chance to get products into your hands, the Door County Dairy Promotion Committee is working hard to be there. A major close-up for Door County’s dairy industry was pushed to the wayside for a second straight year when the Sevastopol FFA was forced to cancel its annual breakfast. The Door County Dairy Promotion has been able to find other ways to reach out to potential customers. In recent weeks, they provided cheese samples for those attending the Door County Beer Fest and chocolate milk for those looking for a boost of protein following the Peninsula Century Ride. Door County Dairy Promotion President Dan Vandertie says they work hard to find different ways to partner with other local organizations.

The Door County Dairy Promotion even got the county’s youngest residents in on June Dairy Month, rewarding the families of the firstborn boy and girl at Door County Medical Center with a gift basket full of product. Vandertie says they are looking forward to helping provide dairy products to events like the Belgian Days Run and the Door County Fair in July.

Ruckers continue Kewaunee County tour

The road to Milwaukee’s Veterans Park runs through Kewaunee County for four local ROTC students. Samuel Skiff and Andrew Lopez of St. Norbert College in De Pere and Nickolas Hanke and Alex Kaufman of UW-Green Bay arrived at the Luxemburg Fire Station Sunday afternoon after leaving from the Resch Expo in Green Bay earlier in the day. It is part of a week-long march along eastern Wisconsin to bring awareness to 4th HOOAH Wisconsin, which provides assistance to veterans dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mental health issues. With 45 pounds on their back, the goal is to raise $20,000 as they march approximately 20 miles a day. This is Skiff’s second For Them-140 mile Ruck March. Even though they struggled with blisters and tired legs during the last five miles of their first segment, Skiff says the pain the veterans they are raising the funds for have it a lot worse.

The crew will settle in Kewaunee Monday night before doing 27 miles on Tuesday. You can follow their journey and find out how you can donate to their cause by visiting their Facebook page online.


Pictures courtesy of For Them- 140 Mile Ruck



DCEDC pleas for public to give housing input

The housing crunch in Sturgeon Bay will be addressed on Wednesday when the City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission conducts a public hearing. The highlighted topics are Planned Unit Development applications for housing units at two different spots in the city. One application submitted is from Northpointe Development Corporation to construct a 53-unit multiple-family dwelling. This would be placed on East maple Street on the West Waterfront. The other is the former Westside School, in which Phillips Development, LLC has put in a PUD application to renovate it into a 10-unit, multi-family dwelling. 


According to Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Steve Jenkins, there’s a couple of additional housing projects in the works as well, which will be announced in the next six weeks. Jenkins says there are exciting developments that are happening up and down the peninsula. He talks about the long-term decisions people are faced with because of the housing crunch.



Jenkins mentioned that a 2019 housing study showed the county was short 500 units. He says they’re considering updating that study because he believes there’s an even greater shortage now. Jenkins says among the projects currently waiting for approval and others in earlier planning stages, he estimates about half of them will fall under the affordable housing category. The agenda for Wednesday's meeting can be found here


YMCA emphasizing personal training

With the pandemic, a common concern people have is the weight they put on during it or falling out of shape because of it. The YMCA is now trying to find ways to help those people comfortably get back into a fitness routine. They are encouraging personal training for the one-on-one experience that can be tailored to people’s individual needs. With more people staying home since 2020 one thing that has become more prevalent is fitness in a stationary environment. Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin understands their appeal, but also questions how safe some are. 



Gavin highlighted helping people safely work out as a YMCA priority. 


Algoma residents and businesses get recognized

Algoma has had a lot to celebrate lately, including those who make the town go. This week, the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce gave their Beacon Awards to organizations and people in the community that make the city a better place to live. The selection process includes a nomination phase where anybody in Algoma can be nominated. A committee made up of chamber members chooses the award recipients.


The awards will be presented on August 5th at 6:30 PM shortly before music is played for their Concerts in the Park series. The awards and concert series aren’t all for Algoma this summer. Algoma Area Chamber Executive Director Ken Weinaug says there’ll be lots to do in town on the Fourth of July. 



Award recipients were as follows: 


2021 Lantern Education Award: 

  • Mike Kruis 
  • Meda Kruis
  • Eric Nelson

2021 Lighthouse Award:

  • Cathy Pabich

2021 Tower Business Award:

  • Lee Haasch

2021 Rising Star Award

  • Trove

2021 Rose Improvement Recognition

  • Smashed on the Rocks Saloon

2021 turkey harvest can't catch up to last year

The numbers are in on the 2021 spring turkey hunting season and though they didn’t match 2020’s statistics, aided by more time to spend outside, they did show that the peninsula is one of the state’s best areas to harvest a gobbler. Zone 2, which holds Door County and Kewaunee County, had the second most birds registered with 9,302. Zone 3 in the central part of the state was the highest total with 9,847 turkeys harvested. 


The 2021 stats showed a 17 percent decrease from the nearly 45,000 birds taken in the spring of 2020. This spring, turkey hunters logged 37,179 birds. There were 16,215 fewer over-the-counter tags sold in the state in spring 2021. 


In a press release, DNR Assistant Upland Wildlife Ecologist Alaina Gerrits credited last year’s Safer at Home order from Governor Tony Evers for people having more time to enjoy the outdoors. She says levels are now what was experienced before the pandemic started. 


Contrary to overall statistics, youth tags filled were up 15 percent from last year. The weather was not considered a deterrent to this spring’s season totals. 


What's the Right Kayak for You?

If you are new to kayaking, picking the right kayak for your needs will be a question for you.  There are two primary types of kayaks.  Sit-in and sit-on-top.  Most recreational and touring kayaks will be sit-in, with most fishing kayaks the sit-on-top style.  However, fishing can be done from a sit-in and fun kayaking can be done with a sit-on-top.


The reason most anglers prefer sit-on-top kayaks is that the open layout provides much more room for your gear, you will be sitting higher for optimal casting and most are stable enough to stand while fishing.  They usually come with track systems for you to add rod holders, camera mounts, anchors, and more.  As the sit-on-top kayaks have become more popular, I have seen more seniors and those with knee or hip challenges using them for recreational paddling as they are so easy to get in and out of compared to the sit-in kayaks.


Sit-in kayaks, the more traditional style boat is usually the choice for non-anglers.  They are more challenging to get in and out of, but lighter, making them easier to transport on a vehicle and easier getting them from your vehicle to the water.


As with many outdoor products during the pandemic, most kayak manufacturers are not keeping up with the demand.  So, you may have a challenge finding the exact kayak you want.  I suggest you check with outdoor stores and on the internet.  In Wisconsin, I see used fishing kayaks for sale on the site Wisconsin Kayak Fishing Club.  For recreational sit-in kayaks look at sites like Wisconsin Kayaking and Kayaking in Wisconsin.  Also, garage sale sites on the internet may have kayaks and local kayak tour companies always are selling kayaks at the end of the season.


If you have any questions, you can email me at 




Getting around Sister Bay made easier

People in Sister Bay can relax their traffic concerns as the Sister Bay shuttle bus is now in action. This year it runs from 5:00 PM until 2:00 AM, as Marketing Director for the Sister Bay Advancement Association Miluzka McCarthy said they found that utilizing their one bus during the busy evenings would work best. She adds the shuttle has brought excitement.



The shuttle started in 2019 but could not run in 2020. Now there’s a new tracking app for the bus. The bus goes as far north as Birchwood Drive and as far south as the new Dovetail Acres Campground. On Highway 42, the shuttle runs down to Nordic Drive. The shuttle season runs until September 5th. 


Body recovered in Clark Lake

Multiple agencies responded on Saturday evening to a call about a person in distress in Clark Lake near 5257 Grady Road in Sevastopol. According to a press release from the Door County Sheriff’s Department, officials were called to the scene at 7:59 PM. Just over a half-hour later, an unresponsive male was recovered and transported by ambulance to the Door County Medical Center. While there, the victim was pronounced deceased. 


The victim was identified as a 24-year-old Madison man. No further details were released on Saturday night, as the incident is under investigation. The name will not be released until after notification of the next-of-kin. Responding agencies include the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Jacksonport Fire Department, Door County Emergency Services Department, Door County Sheriff’s Office, Door County Dive Team, Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin State Patrol. 


New venture makes local author an award finalist

When 2020 came, a Door County photographer and author produced a book that is now up for a prestigious award. Last year is when Thomas Jordan wrote Wandering and Wondering in Black and White. 


The book is now a finalist for Best Photography at the 2021 International Book Awards. Jordan’s motivation was the time on his hands he gained when the pandemic hit. The book took about a year to complete. He was noticing more and more quality landscape photography in the area and wanted to try something different he felt would stand out. Jordan authored a book dedicated to black and white photography as well as the secrets behind it. Jordan talked about how black and white photography is more challenging than you’d expect.



Jordan had help from a fellow black and white photographer, Suzanne Rose, who would lend critiques. 


(Photo by Thomas Jordan)

Kewaunee County annual Back-to-School Program reopens

Kewaunee County Public Health has reopened its registration for the annual Back-To-School program that supports families in need by providing school supplies for students for the 2021-2022 school year. The families that are eligible for this program are those that qualify for WIC, Food Share, Badger Care, or free and reduced meals through the school systems. Families who register will receive a backpack, all of the supplies they will need for the school year, a pair of free shoes, outer winter gear, and hygiene products. This year they will also be offering free dental varnishes and COVID-19 vaccines. Cindy Kinnard, the public health officer of the health department, describes what community members can do to get involved.



Those who wish to donate, monetary or supply related, can do so before Monday, August 2nd. For families who qualify for the program registration forms can be found at the Kewaunee County Health Department and both of the Algoma and Kewaunee libraries; they can also be found on the Kewaunee County Website. The deadline for registration forms to be completed and turned in is August 2nd; the forms can be turned in via mail or in person at the Kewaunee Public Health Department. The supplies will be distributed on Wednesday, August 11th at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm; those who did not register but still qualify for this program can attend the distribution day from 4:30 pm to 5:00 pm.

Open Door Pride holds online celebration

A rainy Saturday didn’t stop the city of Sturgeon Bay from getting prideful. Open Door Pride held its annual festival online. The group was presented with a proclamation from elected officials on the Sturgeon Bay Common Council. Representing the council were Dan Williams, Spencer Gustafson, Seth Wiederanders, and Helen Bacon. Representative Joel Kitchens also spoke at the event, commending Open Door Pride for their focus on acceptance. 



Other speakers and performers also took the stage. Along with the virtual ceremony, there was a ribbon project display at Martin Park where people could stop by during the day. There they could write what they are proud of on ribbons. Chair of Open Door Pride Cathy Grier discussed the definition of pride.



Grier and others applauded the progress that’s been made with acceptance towards the LGBTQIA+ Community in recent years. Grier also acknowledged the strides she plans to make in the future. 



The festival can be found on the Open Door Pride Facebook page.  


Door County parks full this summer

Last year’s surge of people coming out to the parks in Door County has continued into 2021. During last year’s quarantine, many people ventured out into the parks because regular summer activities were not taking place. Although this year more places are open, people are still coming to the parks. Parks manager Burke Pinney describes why this might be happening.



This year the most popular parks have been Cave Point County Park in Sturgeon Bay and Frank E. Murphy County park in Egg Harbor. With the heat this year, both parks have been utilized for their beaches. Another park gaining traction this year is Ellison Bluff due to the improvements made on the road leading up to the park. Many people who ride their bikes have been utilizing the fresh pavement that was recently laid. Pinney urges people visiting parks in Door County to be mindful of their surroundings, and pick up after themselves before they leave and make sure their trash goes into the trash receptacles. 


"The Vault" opens in Ellison Bay

A new business in Ellison Bay hopes to capitalize on what the previous tenant left behind. Although the Nicolet Bank branch location no longer exists in downtown Ellison Bay, the bank’s safe remains.  The Vault, a new gourmet popcorn shop that also features gelato and baked goods, is owned by Curt Bawden, who purchased the building in March after a previous sale of the property fell through. Bawden, along with his wife Amy, had the facility remodeled but kept the integrity of the teller stations and layout.



The original name of the store was to be “Bank on Goodness”, but due to Wisconsin law preventing a non-financial business from having “bank” in the name, Bawden settled on “The Vault” since the original safe remained with the property. “Bank on Goodness” is now the slogan for the shop.  Inspired by his late father, Bawden dedicated the backyard area as Lenten’s Land of Gnomes at the June 19th opening. It features a huge painted wooden gnome that his father carved. Other gnome carvings are showcased around the store, along with signs referencing the banking industry. The Vault is open every day except Mondays from 11 am until 8 pm.






State looks to public for redistricting input

Wisconsin residents can help make sure their voice is heard when the voting district lines are drawn this fall.


The Wisconsin People’s Maps Commission recently announced it would be launching a new portal for residents to submit their thoughts for redistricting. Whether they are written comments or their own maps, the information gathered will be used to draw new district lines in the state based on U.S. Census Data. The non-partisan commission set up by Governor Tony Evers was created to prevent gerrymandering from occurring. Wisconsin Democrats have gone to court to fight against the maps drawn by Republicans in 2010, arguing they were drawn in a way to keep them in power. Republicans have countered those sentiments, stating a non-partisan group drawing the district lines would be unconstitutional.


Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says Republican-held Iowa and Democratic-controlled Colorado give voters a good idea of what can occur and that redistricting reform is not a single-party issue.

Heck believes no matter what happens, the district lines will ultimately be drawn by the courts later this year. Over 50 counties including Door County have passed resolutions supporting nonpartisan redistricting, which encompasses over 80 percent of the state’s population. You can find a link to the new portal here.

Birch Creek prepares for symphony season

When the final drum bangs this weekend at Birch Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor, it will be time for the strings to take center stage. It will be a fast turnaround for Birch Creek staff with the Percussion and Steel Drum session ending on Saturday and the first symphony students moving in on Sunday and Monday. The students will have to work quickly too as they adjust to not just a new location but in some cases the first time they have had in-person instruction in close to a year. That is on top of learning 17 new pieces of music over the next two weeks while working with visiting artists as well.


Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson says that what makes performance-based education so special.

The first symphony show is scheduled for July 1st when they feature their concerto competition winners while tackling the work of Beethoven. The symphony session will also host their Independence Day Celebration with a 3 p.m. concert on July 3rd. You can listen to our entire conversation with Christensen on our podcasts page.

Delta variant on local radar

In the past two weeks, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention classified the new strain commonly known as the “Delta” variant as a variant of concern, and it’s being watched for on the local level. The state performs whole genome sequencing on positive tests that show up in vaccinated individuals and reinfected ones. Door County Public Health Manager Susan Powers says they are also paying attention to the variant, which has caused case upticks in India and the United Kingdom.



With the 38 cases in the state, the variant is believed to be easier spread than other variants and also believed to not respond to convalescent plasma treatments that are used to treat ill patients. Powers says that to date, it’s believed the COVID19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, and encouraged people to get their shots. 


Sunshine Resources excited for increased opportunities

Sunshine Resources of Door County is excited to get in on Door County businesses reopening this year in several ways. Director of Business and Donor Development Jeremy Paszczyk feels like it is a good time for businesses to utilize Sunshine Resources for helping fill gaps caused by employee shortages.



This summer Sunshine Resources is enjoying getting back to their routine, as they weren’t exempt from 2020’s challenges. 



The organization recently partnered  with C&S Manufacturing in their most recent venture, having clients learn trade skills a few hours a week. Paszczyk says it’s just in the beginning stages. 


One hospitalized in Kewaunee County; state almost half-vaccinated

In the weekly COVID19 report from Kewaunee County, one person was hospitalized and just three people tested positive. Active cases in the county went from five last week to just two as of Friday, and there were no deaths this week. 


As of Friday afternoon, Wisconsin is just .1% away from reaching a fifty percent vaccination rate. Door County has 65.4% of residents with one vaccine dose and 62.1% have completed the series. In Kewaunee County, 40.7% of residents have a vaccine dose, including 50.1% of adults with 39% of Kewaunee County residents have completed the vaccine series. 


There will be vaccination clinics the next two Tuesdays at the Jacksonport Farmers Market from 9:00 AM until noon, and the ADRC building will still host community vaccination clinics on Wednesday through the beginning of July. 


Ad Hoc Committee forming research reserve bid strategy

On Friday an Ad Hoc committee met in Sturgeon Bay to strategize their attempt at getting a UW-Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve brought to the area. The committee is in the early stages of forming a bid, as much of their proposal will be based on the criteria listed by UWGB, which the Co-Chair of the NERR Advisory board Mark Holey estimated will be sent out in a few weeks. The city will eventually bid against Green Bay and Marinette.


There is no location planned yet, but Holey did name a few that come to mind. 



Co-Chair of the Advisory board Caitlin Oleson emphasized that it’s early in the process of selecting a location for the proposed reserve, but they do have a few locations in mind that may work depending on UWGB’s location criteria. Concerns were noted about Green Bay having an advantage due to proximity to the university. Laurel Hauser, a member of the advisory board, brought up the idea of pushing for a merger such as making Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay sister cities for a research reserve. She noted that it could be seen as an attractive option to utilize the Fox River and Lake Michigan. The idea did have positive feedback, but as of now the plan is still for Sturgeon Bay to bid to be the primary site, but that stands as an idea that could be tossed around in the future depending on which direction the site selection committee goes. 


It was said that the pursuit of the reserve has led to residents submitting letters of support and a couple of organizations have offered resolutions stating their support. Mayor David Ward estimated that the initial funding for the reserve would have to be $400,000, which he believes will be from primarily private donors. Afterward, UWGB would have an annual budget for the reserve. The committee discussed outreach strategies to gain awareness from county residents and started to talk about different funding possibilities like grant-writing and fundraising. In a previous Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting, Ward has made this fall a projection for a host-site decision. 


County fairs fast approaching

After a year away, both the Kewaunee County Fair and the Door County Fair are just weeks away.


The Kewaunee County Fairgrounds held their first judged event on Thursday with the 4-H Dog Show.


The junior fair judging will take place on July 5th, just a few days before the Kewaunee County Fair opens to the public on July 8th.


Exhibitors for the Door County Fair have until July 1st to pre-register their projects for the junior fair and open class competitions. The deadline serves as a precursor for the 150th Door County Fair that begins on July 28th.


After two years of planning for the anniversary event, Tim Ash from the Door County Fair says the final 30-plus days will fly by.

Anxious fairgoers can already get pre-purchase wristbands and booster buttons for the Kewaunee County Fair and the Door County Fair. That includes a special Door County Fair booster button sale at the Door County Co-Op on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with proceeds benefiting the area’s 4-H clubs.



Gibraltar names two new administrators

Gibraltar Area Schools went inside and outside the district to name its two administrators this month. Earlier in June, the district named Lisa Wing as its interim elementary school principal and director of learning. She is currently a special education teacher within the district but has licenses needed to be a principal and a director of learning. The school board held a special board meeting on Monday to approve Jim DeBroux as its secondary school principal and athletic director. DeBroux comes to Gibraltar after a 20-year career at Random Lake School District where he most recently served as its dean of students. Both Wing and DeBroux will serve dual roles after the departures of Gereon Methner, Brian Annen, and Tim Mulrain earlier this spring. Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer says it is also part of their “right-sizing” its administration as the district deals with declining enrollment.

The Gibraltar Area School Board will meet again on Monday to discuss among other things its reopening procedures for the upcoming academic year and offering in-person options for its meetings when they convene at 7 p.m.


Picture courtesy of Random Lake School District

Local cheesemakers earn blue ribbons

The Wisconsin State Fair is more than a month away, but that hasn’t stopped local cheesemakers from winning blue ribbons this week.


Agropur cheesemaker Roger Krohn and Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese’s Gary Cherney won their respective categories in the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products Competition judged on Thursday. Krohn’s smoked provolone earned the top spot in the smoked cheese category with a score of 99.375 out of 100. Cherney’s yellow cheese curds won the unflavored cheese curd category with a score of 99.400. Krohn also captured second place in the mozzarella category with his whole milk, low-moisture mozzarella.


Both Krohn and Cherney will receive their awards during the Wisconsin State Fair on August 12th where their award-winning entries will be a part of the Blue Ribbon Dairy Products Auction.


Click here to listen to our podcast with Agropur Cheese Technical Manager and Master Cheesemaker Roger Krohn

Routine observations to affect parenting program

The Raising a Thinking Child series is reemerging in Door County this summer both in-person and virtually, which also coincides with kids getting back to more normal patterns. With caregivers and children going through numerous changes in the past year, Chad Welch, a Community Impact Coordinator for the United Way of Door County, notes that there are adjustments on the teaching end of the course as well.


Welch says programs like this will look different this year, based on common questions from parents on how to keep kids engaged in school and in a routine. 



Welch says social adjustments appear to be one of the most evident challenges for kids he sees. He says a lot of kids adapted well to how little they got to interact with peers in the past, but that was not seen across the board. Raising a Thinking Child is a long-running event that is an evidence-based parenting program that helps the kids with decision making skills. More details on the program can be found here.

Cosplay Event coming to Kewaunee County

This weekend, June 26th and 27th, an event called Times of Future Past will happen at Winter Park in Kewaunee. This event is a mix of history and fantasy where people can meet Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Rosevelt while also seeing an array of superheroes. Within the two-day event, there will be activities like a game of Quidditch from the book series Harry Potter, an ax-throwing contest, an escape room, and a costume contest. The event’s director and creator Lynne Melssen explains why people should come to this event.



Tickets will be available online until the event and on Saturday and Sunday at the door. More information on activities, entertainment, and tickets can be found on the Times of Future Past website. 


Dust settles on quarry issue

The prospect of a quarry in the Gardner town limits has brought contentious discussions at times, but now a solution is in place. The town of Gardner and Scott and Robin Franda have reached a settlement agreement that will allow Scott Franda to run a limestone quarry on Stevenson Pier Road. The town issued a nonmetallic mining permit to Franda. The ordinance was recently constructed as a result of this issue that dates back to last year. 


To make it work, both the town and quarry had to make their fair share of compromises. One area that was key to the compromise was the agreement to blast no closer than 500 feet from the nearest neighbor. Other stipulations include no blasting or crushing on weekends and holidays as well as working only within permitted hours of operation. Franda is also required to place crushed asphalt on the roads to mitigate dust and hold a liability insurance policy. The Gardner Town Chair Carl Waterstreet points out that there may be misconceptions about the operation size, saying that it’s really a small operation. 



Waterstreet says that Franda could pass the mine to his children, but if he wanted to sell it to an outsider he would have to come before the town board. The prospective buyer or beneficiary would also have to go through the town’s permitting process. Waterstreet is relieved a compromise was found through mediation rather than litigation. 


A walk-thru open to the public was completed after the settlement was agreed upon. Franda explained before visitors the operation and where he’ll be blasting. Communications between the township and the quarry are not done, as Waterstreet hopes to maintain open communication and to diffuse potential issues before they start. At the least, Franda will check in with the board yearly. Waterstreet mentioned that they are looking at ways in the future to address town zoning issues. A copy of the non-metallic mining ordinance can be found here


Evers announces aid to tourism and entertainment

In an effort to get Wisconsin tourism and entertainment rolling into the future rather than reeling from 2020, Governor Evers announced grant investments. On Thursday it was announced that more than $140 million in grants to businesses and organizations involved with Wisconsin’s tourism and entertainment industries will be allocated. According to a press release from Governor Tony Evers office, the grant programs will be invested in industries hit hard by the pandemic. Industries listed in the release include live event venues, movie theaters, summer camps, minor league sports, and the lodging industry. It was also stated that Wisconsin historical sites and tourism industry marketing will receive special investments. 


Communities and visitors are in mind with the investment, as Evers declared intentions to help local venues and businesses welcome visitors from Wisconsin and beyond. Investments announced in the press release by Governor Evers include:


  • $75 million for lodging grants
  • $11.25 million for movie theatres
  • $12 million for live event small businesses 
  • $2.8 million for minor league sports teams
  • $10 million for live venues
  • $15 million for destination marketing organizations
  • $8 million for summer camps
  • $1 million for the Wisconsin HIstorical Society to assist in reopening historical sites
  • $7.5 million to increase marketing support for Wisconsin’s tourism industry. 

Kwik Trip targets Sturgeon Bay

Sturgeon Bay residents may know by September where they will be able to pick up their Glazers locally. Mayor David Ward confirmed on Thursday that Kwik Trip is looking at two sites in the city that would be located on the east and west sides of Sturgeon Bay. The city and Kwik Trip have been in talks for nearly two years as company officials have looked at possible different sites during that time period. Kwik Trip has started to branch out north from Green Bay in recent months with the company announcing expansion plans in Luxemburg and northern Michigan. Ward says the city has been told that if they build one, they likely will build two.

Ward also mentioned that the guest speaker at this fall’s Door County Economic Development Corporation’s fall banquet will be Kwik Trip’s human resources director. The two locations will likely be announced in September when the company unveils its 2022 capital plan.

Door County's active cases dip into single digits

Door County’s weekly COVID-19 update had plenty of good news on Thursday as the number of active cases dipped into the single digits for the first time in months. Forty-three tests were administered with zero positive results reported over the last seven days. Three people were taken off the rolls to give Door County just nine active cases. Door County remains one of 54 counties in the state at a moderate COVID-19 activity level.  Over 65 percent of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is above the nearly 50 percent average for the entire state. Kewaunee County will release its COVID-19 report on Friday.


Door County 

Tests Performed: 18,279 (+43)
Positive: 2,631 
Probable: 220
Negative: 15,428 (+43)
Active: 9 (-3)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 97 
Death: 24 

State patrol fills in gap for department

With only two deputies on duty most of the time, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is happy they are able to lean on the Wisconsin State Patrol for assistance. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is much like other local law enforcement and emergency agencies that need to rely on others for mutual aid requests. State Trooper Logan Christel has been assigned to Kewaunee County since 2018, focusing primarily on traffic-related issues. Joski says Christel’s role is important in a time where the concern for municipal budgets and the demand for their services are increasing.

In addition to his role as a state trooper, Joski credits Christel with becoming a true member of the community with initiatives like their Highway 42 clean-up efforts. You can read more about Joski’s thoughts on Christel and the role of the Wisconsin State Patrol in the community below.



Back in 2018, I wrote an article regarding our newly assigned State Patrol Trooper. Since that
time, Trooper Logan Christel has become an essential partner in not only keeping our public
roads safe, but also as a great law enforcement ambassador to our community. For those who
make the trip between Kewaunee and Algoma on state Highway 42, you will see an “Adopt a
Highway” section sponsored by Local Law Enforcement. This was Logan’s initiative which
demonstrates his commitment to being a true asset and contributing member of this community.
Logan has also been there to support each and every one of our local agencies in response to
critical incidents where the presence of an additional officer has been needed.

I am sharing this information once again, as I have had recent encounters with individuals who
were concerned with the enforcement activities of our State Patrol Partners.

In keeping our communities safe, the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department relies on a close
relationship with many other local State and Federel agencies. On a daily basis we interact and
support our local law enforcement agencies within our county through mutual aid requests,
sharing of resources and combined training events. In a time of concern over budget limitations
and an ever increasing demand on the services we provide there is no room for territorial pride or
agency exclusion.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is one of the organizations that we work very closely with and rely
upon for the unique skillset and resources they are able to bring to the table.

While the Deputies and Officers of Kewaunee Law Enforcement do write traffic tickets and
repair notices for defective equipment, we also respond to the many calls for service and are
involved in investigative work as follow up to those calls, which limits our ability to provide the
attention to traffic law that is paramount in maintaining safety on our roadways.

Due to the fact that we many times cannot provide a consistent and sustained focus on traffic
law, the continued presence of a resource which can focus their attention on speed, failure to
yield right of way, failure to stop at stop sign and the many other traffic laws is a welcomed
addition to our law enforcement team. In addition to traffic law, Trooper Christel also brings
with him a wealth of knowledge on Motor Vehicle code which will bring additional attention to
issues such as tinted windows, defective exhaust and the many other vehicle equipment code
statutes which we must all abide by.


We are very fortunate and grateful to have Trooper Christel as part of our law enforcement
family and he has our full support in all that he does to keep our roads safe.

Study questions manure regulations

A federal study published by a group of researchers on Wednesday challenges farmers with not following the proper precautions when it comes to spreading manure in Kewaunee County.


The report and an accompanying story from Wisconsin Watch is based on research done by the United States Department of Agriculture approximately five years ago by microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt on dozens of private wells in Kewaunee County. It found a high percentage of the wells tested positive for nitrates and coliform caused by cow manure. The study blames improper manure spreading and leaking storage lagoons for much of the contamination, even stating that newer and deeper wells may not even solve the issue for some homeowners. The study predicts that cow manure causes approximately 230 of the 301 cases of acute gastrointestinal illnesses in the county per year.


The numbers are not a surprise for Clean Water Action Council Executive Director Dean Hoegger. He believes farmers are putting too much liquid manure on the fields, which makes it easier for pathogens to seep through the fractured bedrock and into the groundwater. He also feels the current regulations placed on farms including the new NR-151 rules are not strong enough.

Though he does refute portions of the report, Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says he respects the research done by the scientists. It makes him eager to see the follow-up study on area wells being performed by the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department in July and November. He hopes the implementation of the new NR-151 rules, the increased use of digesters, and the creation of different run-off mitigation strategies like cover crops have made a difference

The federal study suggests reducing the impact of cattle manure and introducing multiple policy options to help reduce the risk of getting sick due to cow manure spreading. You can find links to the Wisconsin Watch story written by Coburn Dukehart and the federal study published by Environmental Health Perspectives below.  


Wisconsin Watch: Cow manure predicted to cause most sickness from contaminated wells in Kewaunee County This piece was produced for the NEW News Lab, a local news collaboration in Northeast Wisconsin. The nonprofit Wisconsin Watch ( collaborates with WPR, Wisconsin PBS, other news media and the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by Wisconsin Watch do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.


Federal Study: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment for Contaminated Private Wells in the Fractured Dolomite Aquifer of Kewaunee County, Wisconsin


Photo: Manure is spread on a farm field during the Door-Kewaunee Watershed Demonstration Farms Networks Spring Field Day at Heims Hillcrest Dairy, in Casco, Wis., on May 1, 2018. A new study predicts that cow manure causes 230 cases of acute gastrointestinal illnesses in Kewaunee County per year. Credit: Tad Dukehart for Wisconsin Watch

Major storm system approaches peninsula

The National Weather Service is warning northeastern Wisconsin residents about a major line of thunderstorms approaching the area Thursday morning.


Large hail is possible with the storms, the National Weather Service is predicting the storms will remain below severe levels with gusty winds, small hail, and brief heavy downpours anticipated. Motorists are being warned that there could be dramatic drops in visibility driving.


The National Weather Service is also predicting additional thunderstorms later Thursday afternoon and also Friday. 

Being more than a museum

The Door County Maritime Museum is becoming the latest example of how similar institutions are evolving to engage with their visitors.


As they evolved, so did their collections to become more attractive to more visitors who may otherwise never come. Museums started out primarily as private collections of artifacts from wealthy individuals. As they evolved, so did their collections to become more attractive and personalized to more visitors.


The Sturgeon Bay museum’s addition of the maritime tower also included renovated spaces for an expanded gift shop and meeting areas to host additional private and public events. One of the newest series events the Door County Maritime Museum is hosting is their “Tug Pub.”  Paid admission visitors can enjoy a drink outside on the Harder Family Deck or inside its new Captain’s Quarters event space while visiting the museum and checking out Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront. Deputy Executive Director Sam Perlman says they want to help encourage museum-going habits.

The Tug Pub will pop up once a month through September beginning on June 24th.  Perlman added that they have seen a spike in attendance at the Sturgeon Bay museum since the opening of the maritime tower, which provides one of the few observation decks in the entire county.


Other Tug Pub dates:

Friday, July 9

Thursday, July 22

Saturday, July 31

Thursday, August 26

Thursday, September 23


Picture provided by Door County Maritime Museum

Peterson Park gets musical

Live music in Door County has produced a jolt of liveliness so much that the Door County YMCA has even decided to join in. Starting Thursday they will launch their newest series called Music in the Park. The free community event will be held at Peterson Park next to the YMCA beginning at noon and go on until 1:00 PM. Healthy Living Coordinator at the Door County YMCA Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin encourages people to come, but to also grab someone on the way.



The inaugural performance will be by local musician, Katie Dahl.


State sees small uptick in COVID cases

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 positivity rate remains low despite a small uptick in cases reported by the state.


The Department of Health Services reported on Wednesday that 102 tests came back positive, causing the seven-day average to creep up to 77 from 72.  The positivity rate remained at 0.7 percent. The seven-day average for hospitalization also crept up from 36 to 41.


The vaccination rate continues to crawl upward with 70 vaccines distributed in Door County this week and 37 in Kewaunee County. Over 65 percent of Door County residents and 40 percent of Kewaunee County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. The White House admitted earlier this week it would fall short of its goal of having at least 70 percent of all Americans 18 years and older vaccinated. It did add it has already reached that mark with Americans 30 years and older.


Door County will release its weekly COVID-19 update on Thursday and Kewaunee County will follow suit on Friday.

Algoma celebrates anniversary of the Crescent Beach Boardwalk

On Tuesday, June 22nd, the Friends of Crescent Beach and many community members gathered at Legion Park in Algoma to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the boardwalk. The event included a performance by the Algoma Community Band and an ice cream treat provided by the Community Improvement of Algoma and the Friends of Crescent Beach. Sara Krouse, the event coordinator of FOCB, described the impact that the boardwalk has had on the community. She also expressed appreciation for those who took part in creating the boardwalk.



Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidt and Algoma Chamber of Commerce Director, Ken Weinaug spoke at the celebration, expressing their pride for the beach and the boardwalk. Another speaker was Paula Levy, one of the community members who proposed a boardwalk in Algoma 25 years ago. Information on the full history and timeline of the boardwalk can be found on the Friends of Crescent Beach website. Included on their website are community members’ stories of what the boardwalk means to them and how it has impacted their lives.

Room tax legislation heads to Evers' desk

A bill helping ensure local municipalities are receiving the correct amount of room tax revenue from short-term rental companies now awaits Governor Tony Evers approval. Authored by State  Rep. Joel Kitchens, the bill creates a level playing field for lodging marketplace businesses, and traditional hotels. In a press release from Kitchens, he credited legislation signed into law in the last few years with making it easier to obtain taxes from short-term rentals, but also added it has led to unintended problems. 


The release also says the bill makes it as easy as possible for lodging marketplaces to comply with the law and meet their room tax revenue obligations. The bill is supposed to provide a mechanism for municipalities to audit a lodging marketplace business if they suspect that the amount of money remitted is incorrect. Under this legislation, the Department of Revenue would have to create a form that asks for the following information:


  • Total sales for properties located in a municipality with a room tax
  • The total number of nights such properties were rented
  • The room tax rate and the total tax due


Also included on the department’s website would be the name of each municipality that imposes a room tax and the room tax rate. The legislation has passed the senate and is awaiting Governor Evers signature. 


Capsized passengers safely arrive on shore

Officials were called out for a boat that had overturned near the Sawyer Park boat launch on Tuesday evening but the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department never had to deploy their rescue boat. By the time they had arrived on scene, two passengers that were in the boat that capsized had been taken to shore by a passerby. The fire department’s report also states that the US Coast Guard was contacted, but the boat was on a trailer by their arrival. There were no reported injuries in the accident. 


Strawberry season comes early to Door County

Those who traditionally pick strawberries over the July fourth weekend might miss out on the picking season this year. Toni Sorenson of Sorenson Strawberries in southern Door County says they have had the earliest season for growing strawberries in the past 15 years. She says frost in late May caused issues with early blossoming, and the heatwave in early June pushed fruit crops up quicker this year. Strawberry picking for orders began last Thursday, and pick-your-own started over the past weekend. Sorenson sees the strawberry picking season ending by sometime next week.



Sorenson adds that the demand for strawberries has been so great that the fields have been completely picked over every day since opening. With also operating Soren’s Vahalla Orchards, Sorenson projects that sweet cherries will be ready shortly after the Fourth of July for harvesting.


(photo courtesy of Soren's Vahalla Orchards)

Update: Sturgeon Bay Police apprehends wanted man

On Wednesday, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department reported that they located a man they were searching for since Tuesday. The department reported through their Facebook page that they took 31-year-old Jon A. Behnke into custody shortly before 6:00 AM on Wednesday. Officers on the east side of the city arrested Behnke, who is currently housed at the Door County Jail. 



Previous story


The Sturgeon Bay Police Department made it known just after noon on Tuesday that they are searching for a man who is wanted on multiple warrants and may be armed with a handgun. Authorities are searching for 31-year-old Jon A. Behnke. He has made threats towards the Wisconsin Probation and Parole and law enforcement officers according to a department Facebook post. They ask that if you do see Behnke, to not approach him and to call law enforcement at (920) 746-2416. 


(Photo courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department)


RPI holding recruitment event to feed growth

A plastic manufacturer is looking to build on a great 2020 and strong 2021 start,  so they’re holding an event to garner interest in being a part of their growing company. Recycled Plastics Industries in Green Bay is holding an open job interview event at their site on Wednesday afternoon. Though they’ve had better fortunes in the past year than many other businesses, they still can still relate to the nationwide trend of shortened staffs these past couple of months. In order to curb the shortage while also looking to expand, HR Consultant Jennifer Warfield says they’re looking for 10-15 operators of any experience to meet growing demands. 



The event takes place from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM.


National Lightning Safety Awareness Day well timed

Thunderstorms were on the Door and Kewaunee County forecast just in time for Lightning Safety Awareness Day on Tuesday. A spokesman with ReadyWisconsin Andrew Beckett says a lot comes down to being aware of what weather conditions are around you and what may lay ahead in the day. He suggests having an NOAA Weather Radio or a reliable way of getting alerts about approaching severe storms. If you are outdoors while a storm seems to be approaching, Beckett urges you to rely on your senses. 



Beckett also stressed the high dangers of being out on the water in a storm. 



He adds that dry conditions can also make danger increase. While wildfires started by lightning strikes aren’t something you can prevent, Beckett says to remain vigilant if you see an out-of-control fire and call your local fire department. The day is a campaign that ReadyWisconsin and the National Weather Service participate in, drawing attention to the dangers that lightning can pose.

Wisconsin nearing half-vaccinated mark; school testing program announced

On Tuesday, Wisconsin confirmed five fewer positive cases of COVID19 than it did on Monday. Tuesday’s results totaled  69 confirmed cases detected and 19 probable cases. In the state, 49.7% of residents have received a dose of the vaccine and 45.4% have completed the series. In Door County, 65.2% of residents have received a vaccine dose and 61.8% have completed the vaccine series. Kewaunee County reached the forty percent threshold as 40.5% have a vaccine dose and 38.7% have completed the series. 


On Tuesday the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that they are offering school-based testing for teachers, staff, students, and their families for the coming school year. COVID19 testing supplies, diagnostics, and specimen collection services will be available to K-12 public, private, and independent charter schools. 


Marine Sanctuary advancing to congress

An effort to preserve shoreline history took a step further on Tuesday. According to a press release, Governor Tony Evers announced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries will publish a final rule for the designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. It is expected to take effect after a review by the governor and Congress over a 45-day period. 


The sanctuary proposal extends from part of Kewaunee County onto Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Ozaukee counties. It would span 962 square miles and designate 36 historically significant shipwrecks as protected. According to Evers the sanctuary would be just the second of its kind in the country and will build upon Wisconsin’s legacy of maritime trade and navigation, highlighting unique and vibrant coastal communities. 


While the Kewaunee County Board has not supported the sanctuary, the city of Algoma has. City Administrator Jared Heyn says the discussion was in motion before he started his tenure in February of 2020. Heyn doesn’t foresee any business impact, but from what he can recall much of their support has to do with ship preservation. 



The sanctuary, if approved, will be co-managed by the state of Wisconsin. 


Sturgeon Bay Police searching for threatening man

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department made it known just after noon on Tuesday that they are searching for a man who is wanted on multiple warrants and may be armed with a handgun. Authorities are searching for 31-year-old Jon A. Behnke. He has made threats towards the Wisconsin Probation and Parole and law enforcement officers according to a department Facebook post. They ask that if you do see Behnke, to not approach him and to call law enforcement at (920) 746-2416. 


(Photo courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department)

Free well testing aids study

The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department is doing a five-year checkup on the area following a water quality study performed by United States Department of Agriculture microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt. Thanks to a Wisconsin Coastal Management Grant and a donation from Peninsula Pride Farms, the county is testing 300 homes for free in July to test the quality of their well water for bacteria and other sources of contamination. The hope is the test results will also give county officials a chance to see if new NR-151 rules impacting manure spreading and other risk mitigation strategies have been working. The NR-151 rules were recently changed to include areas like Kewaunee and Door counties that have thin soils above fractured bedrock due to the Niagara Escarpment.  County conservationist and department director Davina Bonness says a lot has changed in the area since Borchardt first presented his data to the public back in 2017.

Borchardt’s research found a high percentage of homes in Kewaunee County at the time had unsafe wells due to contamination due to improper manure spreading and failing septic systems.  The free well testing kits can be reserved through the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department before the July 6th and 7th pick-up dates. Boness stressed that the results will be confidential and the data will be publically shared in a way that does not identify the individual homes or businesses.



Faith goes to school

Father Thomas Reagan is becoming more comfortable as a teacher over the last year at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion. A member of the Fathers of Mercy, Reagan has hosted a number of Wednesday night classes at the shrine over the last year, helping people explore their faith in a different way. Following a Wednesday night mass, recent sessions have explored the life of Jesus, the bible, and the principles of morality. In addition to being able to address some of the common misconceptions about Catholicism, Reagan says he has enjoyed working with students that come to the classes from across the Diocese of Green Bay.

Reagan’s next class at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help will begin on July 14th and will focus on the life of Mary. The 6:45 p.m. class is free to attend and is preceded by mass at 5:45 p.m.


Picture provided by National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion

Peninsula State Park looks to build new playground

The Friends of Peninsula State Park have set their eyes on Nicolet Beach for one of their next big endeavors. A playground located near the beach area was recently removed due to its deterioration over time. The Friends group is hoping to raise $80,000 to build a new playground on the site with more modern conveniences. That includes a rubberized play surface and equipment usable for people of all physical abilities. Even with all the other amenities the park has to offer, Friends of Peninsula State Park Business Manager Steve Strucely says visiting families still want a playground for their kids.

Strucely says things have not slowed down for their park improvement efforts as they work to install interpretative signs at the newly reopened Eagle Tower and build an amphitheater near the nature center. He hopes that the nature center will be allowed to be open in the coming weeks so they could host different programming events later in the year.


Playground example provided by Friends of Peninsula State Park (Photo credit: Landscape Structures, Inc.)

COVID-19 averages continue to fall statewide

The COVID-19 update news remains encouraging in Wisconsin as cases and deaths for the seven-day average continue to decrease.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported  74 new confirmed cases and 19 probable cases for the coronavirus on Monday.  The percent of positive by test was under one percent at 0.8 percent.  On the vaccination front, vaccines administered are closing in on half of all residents with 49.3 percent having received one dose while 45.3 percent have completed the series of shots.  As of Monday, Door County shows that over 65 percent of residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while Kewaunee County has over 40 percent with one dose.

Door County Public Health now reports once a week on Thursdays.

ATVs to be allowed on Luxemburg streets

All-Terrain Vehicles will be able to legally drive on streets within Luxemburg by this Friday.  The Village Board of Luxemburg has approved the use of ATV and UTV use on certain streets in the municipality.  Trustee and acting President Jack Seidl says the law will be activated no later than Friday, once all signage is stationed throughout the village.  He says it is being done on a trial basis with hopes that the new ordinance will be successful for all concerned.



ATV-route signs will be placed about every two blocks through Luxemburg and no ATV/UTV travel will be allowed on Main Street, Highway 54/Center Drive, or County A Church Road. You can find a map of the ATV routes and the new traffic code below.


MAP of ATV/UTV routes 


Municipal traffic code






JFC proposes $3.4 billion tax cut

The average family in Wisconsin could see $1,200 in income and property tax relief thanks to the Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee’s recently approved biennial budget. The $3.4 billion tax cut was made possible due to a projected budget surplus of $5.7 billion. Much of that surplus comes from federal programs that put more money into people’s hands, leading to the highest sales increase in 35 years.  Signaling his support for the budget on Monday, State Rep. Joel Kitchens says that is money that deserves to go back to the state’s taxpayers.

Education funding was one item in the budget that stole headlines in recent weeks because of the possibility the state would lose out on $1.5 billion in federal stimulus dollars if the Wisconsin Legislature did not put aside more money. Kitchens says he never would have supported the budget if that was the case.

The Assembly is expected to vote on the JFC’s version of the biennial budget next week.

Door County students begin state honors music project

Three Door County high school students will carry a tune this summer as the Wisconsin School Music Association’s 2021 High School State Music Project got underway this week.


Gibraltar’s Angel Jauregui and Southern Door’s Amanda Austin and Dalena Pakalske are among the 426 high school students participating in the project. The experience started over the weekend for Austin and Jauregui as members of the High School State Honors Band with three days of virtual rehearsals followed by a single day of in-person practice at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids. Pakalske will have a similar experience when she joins the treble choir on June 23rd. All of the Honors students will perform together in late October to play at the annual Wisconsin State Music Conference in Madison.


In order to be chosen to participate, Jauregui, Austin, and Pakalske were among the over 1,100 students freshman, sophomores, and juniors to audition for a spot in the Honors Music Project ensembles.


In a statement, Southern Door School District Superintendent Patti Vickman called Pakalske and Austin “great ambassadors” for the district’s music program.

Door County shows its pride

On the heels of the City of Sturgeon Bay declaring June Open Door Pride Month, two events highlighting inclusion for all are taking place this week.


In Sister Bay, the first-ever Northern Door Pride event will take place on Tuesday from 6-10 p.m.  The organization teamed up with the Sister Bay Advancement Association to put on the evening of music and food. Northern Door Pride Head of Philanthropy Justina Zukauskaite says the event aims to promote what pride means to so many.

Proceeds from the event will go to support Courage MKE, a Milwaukee-based movement to provide resources for displaced LGBTQ youth in Milwaukee, and Open Door Pride, a Sturgeon Bay-based organization promoting inclusion for all.


Open Door Pride will host its own festival on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  While much of the festival is virtual, there will still be some activities at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay as well as presentations by Sturgeon Bay Common Council member Spencer Gustafson and State Assembly Representative Joel Kitchens.

Southern Door, Kewaunee to host dairy distribution events

A regionally-based insurance provider is teaming up with dairy producers and other local organizations again this year to put more dairy in the hands of consumers.


Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Company, which works with six agents in Door and Kewaunee counties, is reprising its popular neighborhood drive-thru dairy distribution events at 24 different locations across northeast Wisconsin. With help from local dairy farmers and producers, FFA and 4-H clubs, and other neighborhood volunteers, dozens of cooler bags pre-filled with different cheese varieties and other items will be distributed at Southern Door and Kewaunee high schools.


Rich Olson is happy the company is partnering with local organizations like the Southern Door FFA not just because he is a member, but also because he is a dairy farmer as well.

Both distribution events begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday while supplies last. Olson estimates over 250 bags of dairy products were given out at last year’s event in Maplewood.

YMCA expanding foods program

The Door County YMCA kicked off their Summer Foods program this month, and this year it will even get to multiple age groups in Door County and beyond. There are locations in northern and southern Door County and even Algoma for kids aged 18 and under to take free grab-and-go meals. This year there is also a limited foods program that reaches seniors. The YMCA will serve grab-and-go meals to adults aged 65 and older in Door and Kewaunee County. These can be grabbed at the Door County and Northern Door YMCA, Algoma Parks and Rec, and the Southern Door School District. The program runs until mid-August, and the full list of locations and times for the kids program can be found here. The meals will be given at Otumba Park once renovations are complete. 

Missing pet numbers stay steady through pandemic

With higher numbers of pets being adopted since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, comes responsibility for taking care of the pets afterward. There have been reports of dogs and cats missing in 2021, but statistics indicate that for the most part pet owners have done their job of keeping an eye on their furry friends. Marketing Coordinator for the Door County and Green Bay Humane Society Campus Shaina Allen says that their animal intake numbers at this time are very similar to years past with the exception of 2020. That was when their pet population decreased because of the high adoption numbers. 


She adds that there are a number of common reasons for pets to go missing, like an unexpected slip out of the front door, wandering in an unfamiliar location, or springing loose from a leash. She says a couple of the best ways you can prevent this is to get pets’ microchips up to date and have your contact information on their ID tags. If you find a pet you consider missing, Allen says the best option is to arrange a time to drop it off at the Humane Society or a local shelter or to contact your local law enforcement. 


Ridges spending week highlighting pollinators

Governor Tony Evers has declared that Pollinator Week in Wisconsin will be from June 21st to June 27th, and more people are coming to understand how essential pollinators are. They carry pollen from plant to plant, creating pollen transfer and allowing reproduction of native plant species. Environmental Interpreter at the Ridges Sanctuary Anna Foster says a lot of people don’t realize that pollinators are also critical to agriculture.



Foster adds that it takes just a few square feet or a planting pot to build a pollinator garden. She says another key action is to spread awareness and to learn about pollinators in your area. Other practices for nurturing pollinators that have become popular in recent years include conducting proper use of pesticides or eliminating pesticide use in gardens. Ridges Sanctuary plans on observing Pollinator Week by highlighting the pollinator gardens they have in front of their building. They will also have a table inside their building with pollinator education resources. 


Breakfast on the Farm 2021 returns in full swing

Last year’s Breakfast on the farm was canceled due to COVID-19, but this year, the Augustian family brought the event back to Kewaunee County.  Like the previous years, the family event included a church service at 7 am and the traditional dairy breakfast from 8 am to noon. Todd and Ginane Augustian explain what an honor it was to host this year.



The highlights of the day included horse and tractor-drawn wagon rides, farm tours, an antique tractor show, live music, a petting zoo, and games for families to enjoy. This event was made possible by the Augustian family, sponsors, and volunteers that came to support June Dairy Month. Next year Kinnard Hillside Farms will carry on the tradition of family owned farms hosting this annual event.


DNR stresses invasive species prevention

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources urges the public to pay close attention to the environment for Invasive Species Action Month. Invasive species are plants, animals, or diseases that are not native to Wisconsin; these species can potentially cause a lot of harm to the environment. When these species become a big problem, the DNR does take steps to try and eradicate them. However, the DNR asks that residents and people visiting do their best to prevent these invasive species from entering our environment. Tara Bergeson, the DNR Invasive Species Team Coordinator, explains how vital prevention is when dealing with these invasive species.



The DNR suggests some prevention tips:

-Hikers and campers should clean mud and dirt off their shoes and remove seeds and burs from their clothing before visiting other places. 

-Boaters should inspect gear for dirt, mud, seeds, and other debris and remove as much as possible.

-Gardeners are encouraged to plant and promote beautiful native plants that can benefit pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.


Gardeners should also look for plants that are not native to this state and dispose of them by putting them in a plastic bag and labeling them as invasive. Identifying these invasive species can sometimes be tricky; however, the DNR has resources to help with knowing which plants are native and not. For information on whether a species is invasive or not, go to the DNR's invasive species webpages or send an email to 


Men called on to be proactive for health month

June is Men’s Health Month, and one way to retain good health is to have yours evaluated. The primary purpose of Men’s Health is to encourage men to seek regular advice and treatment. This can help prevent the onset of injuries and some diseases. Nurse Practitioner at the Door County Medical Center clinic in Algoma Mark Fergus says the number one thing one can do to stay on top of their health is to find a form of cardiovascular exercise. He adds this often has a nice trickle-down effect. Fergus says that anecdotally it is known that men are less frequent visitors to health clinics, which is a reason for Men’s Health Month. Fergus says that if someone is on the fence of whether or not to visit a clinic, then the necessary concern is already there and they should be prompted to have a conversation with a healthcare provider. 


A rule of thumb is that each decade typically starting in your forties there is an increase in recommended screening. Fergus says that suggested cholesterol and blood sugar checks get more frequent with age. Other advised checks include colonoscopies which are suggested for some as early as forty years old depending on their risk of colon cancer. Prostate cancer screenings start at roughly fifty years old in most cases. Fergus adds that the best way to find out what screenings are best for you is to speak with your provider. 


DCMC does offer checkups for men’s health and Fergus explains that they like to help meet each individual’s needs rather than use a cookie-cutter approach.




Along with staying on top of physical health, Fergus notes it’s a good time for men to think about anxiety and depression.


Northern zone open for smallmouth harvest

Smallmouth bass season began this weekend in Wisconsin’s northern zone which will apply to local anglers. With the season open, you can now harvest smallmouth bass rather than only being allowed to catch and release. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources northern zone designation includes tributaries to Lake Michigan north of Highway 29 in Kewaunee and Door County. Also in the zone are Wisconsin-Michigan boundary waters. Smallmouth bass are considered strong fighters and good fishing for all anglers. Tips from the DNR include:


  • Getting out in June during and just after the spawning season, as well as early fall.
  • Using artificial baits on the surface
  • Fishing quietly and casting toward rocks and/or logs.
  • Keeping line tight and rod tip up. 


The map from the DNR that shows the state’s entire northern zone can be found below. 



Summer solstice to condense daylight

After Sunday, time for day activities on the peninsula will shrink while the time for nightlife activities expands. The summer solstice will occur at approximately 10:31 CST on Sunday, June 20th. It’s expected to be the longest day of the year, and come Monday days will be shorter until reaching late December when the shortest day of the year comes. The annual occurrence is made possible because of the northern hemisphere of the earth being at maximum tilt towards the sun. Though Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Dave Lenius says there’s no celestial event to observe Sunday night, he does note that a gradual change can be seen.



Upcoming celestial celebrations to keep an eye on can be found on the DPAS website.


Bird sanctuary starts 2021 season

The Open Door Bird Sanctuary’s season of being open for the public officially took flight on Saturday. Open Door Bird Sanctuary is now open to the public on Saturdays until Labor Day weekend. In 2020 they found people liked the idea of private tours in which they didn’t have to be in large crowds. That has carried into 2021, as Executive Director Rob Hults says they’ve already done more private tours this year than all of last year. 



Hults predicts the trend will continue into the future as people enjoy the more personal and interactive visit of a private tour. On Saturdays, the sanctuary also made the switch to feature their Raptor Programs throughout the entirety of their public viewing days this year. 


Sturgeon Bay promenade nearly completed

The new promenade on Sturgeon Bay’s west side waterfront is expected to open before Independence Day after some slight delays.  Contracted construction crews mounted benches along the promenade’s concrete sidewalks this week and will be placing topsoil and completing other final details in the next week.   City of Sturgeon Bay Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the nearly 1.4 million dollar project is slightly behind the originally scheduled opening of June 15.  He says high water conditions contributed to delays due to the abandonment and relocating of storm sewers.  The Sturgeon Bay Submarine Cable Replacement Project by American Transmission Company also lingered long into the spring.  The waterfront promenade project will keep the tug boats belonging to Sarter Marine Towing, although they will be positioned slightly closer to the Oregon Street Bridge.  

Unemployment numbers remain low

Job numbers this week showed unemployment in the state at under four percent.  The Department of Workforce Development released the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary employment estimates for the month of May.  Wisconsin added 3,600 non-farm and 3,400 private-sector jobs last month.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate held at 3.9 percent for the second consecutive month. Bay Area Workforce Development Director Matt Valiquette says the numbers show an encouraging trend overall.



Valiquette adds that you need to look beyond the numbers to get a complete meaning.  He says the unemployment number does not take into account those currently out of the workforce who have voluntarily withdrawn.  This largely consists of caregivers who stayed home to care for their children during the school year.  Valiquette says employers are watching this dynamic closely.



Valiquette says there has never been a better time to rejoin the workforce. He encourages individuals seeking employment to contact job centers within the Bay Area Workforce Development Board.   

Smerchek finds his calling

After wearing His name on his chest during his Luxemburg-Casco wrestling career, Newton Smerchek hopes to help UW-Madison athletes find Jesus in their own way. Smerchek joined the Badger Regional Training Center two years ago after competing for the Spartans and at Central Michigan University. His faith has always been a strong presence in his life, having worn a shirt given to him by his family with the name of Jesus on it ever since he was in elementary school.

A member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in college, Smerchek recently got involved with Athletes in Action and its parent organization Campus Crusade for Christ. When the opportunity came to work with other student-athletes at the University of Wisconsin to help grow their faith, Smerchek jumped at it.

Smerchek will continue to coach Wisconsin wrestlers in Madison as he begins to drum up support for his mission. He is getting a head start on his duties that begin on August 1st by hosting bible study classes with the wrestling team beginning next week.


You can listen to the full interview at

Liking New Food Takes Time

Trying new foods can feel unfamiliar and create food aversions later in life. While these uncertain emotions may arise, it’s important to remember that patience can make all the difference for children to try new foods.

Some tips to make trying a new food more successful and enjoyable include:

  1. Eat the same food with your children as this will make it more likely to try it. Remember they learn from watching you!
  2. Avoid making separate food when children are first learning about trying new foods. Give a small portion of what you made for dinner.
  3. Give small amounts of a new food to encourage trying a taste of it.
  4. Make introducing new foods fun by making silly names for the new food, a song about the food, or make up a dance to do after eating the new food.
  5. If a new food is not liked on the first try, wait to try it again and pair it with a favorite food the next time.

Other points to keep in mind:

  1. The first 1-3 times children may just smell, touch, or play with it.
  2. The next 4-6 times they may spit it out or nibble on it.
  3. The next 7-9 times they may actually eat and swallow it.

Evers commemorates Juneteenth

As a June 19th holiday that celebrates the end of slavery was made a federal one, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers honored the day in an address to his constituents. Evers said in a speech about Juneteenth, the now federal holiday, “we recognize the trials Black Americans have overcome and celebrate the resilience, vibrancy, and countless contributions of Black Wisconsinites.” He went on to say that work toward equity and justice in this state is far from finished. 



The address came on the same day that President Joe Biden signed legislation that declared Juneteenth a federal holiday. The day pays tribute to June 19th, 1865, which is the day Union soldiers shared the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas 

Kewaunee County under five weekly cases

In Kewaunee County’s weekly COVID19 report, just four residents tested positive for the virus. There were no new hospitalizations or deaths, and the number of active cases also is down. Last week’s COVID19 report showed six active cases, and as of this Friday, there are just five. 


In Kewaunee County, 40.3% of people have one dose of the vaccine while 38.6% are fully vaccinated. In Door County, 65% of residents have a vaccine dose and 61.5% have completed the series. In Wisconsin, 49.5% of residents have a vaccine dose and this week 49,580 residents received the vaccine.

Outdoor burning discouraged with dry spell

With the extremely dry weather conditions throughout the area, local firefighters are hoping residents will take extra care when experiencing the great outdoors.  Brussels-Union-Gardner Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says his department has not issued a burning ban yet but warns people that grass fires can start very quickly.



Northern Door County experienced several fires earlier this spring. Wautier says southern Door County has been a little more fortunate.  He recommends that residents hold off on requesting burning permits until the area gets more substantial rainfall.  As far as the use of campfires, Wautier advises people to take the extra time to make sure the embers and coals are completely extinguished and to never leave a fire unattended.  Door and Kewaunee counties were listed under a “moderate” danger warning this week, according to the DNR updated Fire Danger Map.

New Look for Non-Profit Relay

This weekend, Relay for Life Door County returns to the area at Waterfront Mary’s. On Sunday, June 20th, from 12 pm to 5 pm, the non-profit event will be commencing, supporting those who had or have cancer. The manager of this year’s event, Susie Paul, describes the difference in this year’s relay compared to others.



Although this year won’t include the traditional walk, there will be other activities that everyone can participate in. There will be music, games, and a silent auction. Instead of the traditional Luminaria ceremony, they will have a “Balloonaria” ceremony where they will release balloons into the sky in place of lighting the candles. All proceeds from this event go to the American Cancer Society to support the survivors and the people struggling with cancer. There is still time to register for the event; there is information for registration at .

Door County League of Women Voters issue voting reminder

The Door County League of Women Voters is alerting residents who wanna get back to the polls for future elections of how to make that process smoother. The Wisconsin Elections Commission is sending postcards to voters who haven’t voted since 2016. The LWV is encouraging those receiving the cards to fill out the requested info and send it back within the required thirty days. The postcard asks recipients whether they want to remain a registered voter at that address or if you want to update it. 


There are approximately 187,000 people who will be sent these cards, and those who don’t send the cards back will be removed from the voting list, and will be required to re-register. The Door County LWV Voter Service Coordinator Dan Powers notes that making sure your voter registration is up to date now will save time on election day.



Powers also reminds residents who’ve moved, even a very short distance since the last time they registered, to update their information. More on updating voter registration can be found on the WEC site.


Town puts home on the selling block

A major step for the future of Mariners Park in the Town of Liberty Grove has its real estate listing. The town is currently accepting bids for the home on the Gills Rock property it purchased back in 2018 for $1.45 million. The home’s former owner Betty Weborg was allowed to live at the site until this point. The winning bid will have to move the home by the end of the year. Town chairperson John Lowry says the sale will be another step towards a park being developed.

Lowry says the site does have some benches for people to enjoy, but it will be three to five years before the park’s full potential is realized. Sealed bids with a $1,000 payment must be submitted by July 6th at 4 p.m. The bids will be discussed at the town board meeting scheduled for July 7th at 7 p.m.


The picture features a plan that was previously suggested to the town board prior to the formation of the Mariners Park ad hoc committee. 

Anticipation growing for dairy breakfasts

Dairy farms in Door and Kewaunee counties will be the host of some of the biggest events the area has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Both the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm and the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast were canceled last year due to the pandemic after hosting thousands at Kinnard Farms in Casco and the Valmy Thresheree grounds the year before. Hosting the first big event on the downside of the pandemic was on the radar of Aaron Augustian when his farm in Kewaunee agreed to host the event three years ago. As volunteers descend on Augustian Farms to start preparing for 5,000 hungry people on Sunday, Augustian says the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee and the farm worked with the Kewaunee County Public Health Department to help make sure they could provide a safe event for people to attend.

Augustian is excited for Sunday’s opportunity to show off the barns and their conservation practices and hopes other operations get their chance to follow Kinnard Highland Farms in 2022 and Salentine Homestead Dairy in 2023. The Sevastopol FFA will host their dairy breakfast on June 27th at Sturgeon Bay’s DeFere Family Farm.


Update: According to and the Sevastopol FFA Alumni Facebook page, their 2021 Dairy Breakfast scheduled for June 27th has been canceled as of earlier this month. 

Sturgeon Bay blood drive to combat national shortage

There is a national blood shortage, and on Friday June 17th that will be addressed locally. From noon until 5:30 PM the Sturgeon Bay Community Church is hosting a blood drive put on by the Community Blood Center, which is the Door County Medical Center blood product provider. All healthy and eligible donors are encouraged to come out. Community Blood Center Public Relations Specialist Julianna Jarchow says the entire process which includes screening and the donation is simple and takes roughly an hour. 


Jarchow also highlights the importance of donating blood, noting that blood transfusions are possible only because of volunteer donors. 



Currently, there are particular urgent needs for types O positive, O negative, and A positive blood. You can schedule a donation online or by calling (800) 280-4102. 


Door County Public Health goes weekly with report

As Door County Public Health announced this week that they will be moving to a weekly COVID19 report on Thursdays for the time being, they had good news to report this week. In the weekly report, there were no positive cases of COVID19 for the week out of seventeen tests performed. In the county, there are twelve active cases. There’s also no new hospitalizations or deaths this week. 


Door County is up to 65% of residents with one vaccine dose and 61.4% who’ve completed the series. Kewaunee County has 40.3% of their residents with one vaccine dose and 38.5% of residents have completed the series. 


House and Garden Walk on for 60th anniversary

One of the nation’s oldest house and garden walks will be on in late July. The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary is hosting their annual House and Garden Walk on July 27th, displaying unique Door County homes, gardens, and art. The event will follow the tradition of being held on the final Tuesday in July. Co-Chair of the event Wendy Walker stated in a press release that this year is special because it’s the 60th year of holding the event and went on to note that it may even be the oldest event of its type in the nation. 


You may even get to leave the event with a new art piece, as a commemorative poster designed by local artist Ryan Miller will be available for purchase and proceeds will go to the Door County Medical Center. More information on the House and Garden Walk and on ticket sales can be found on its Facebook page. 


Scenic Byway designation gets celebration

A crowd gathered at Lakeside Park in Jacksonport on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the finalizing of the Door County Coastal Byway being recognized on a national scale. The 66-mile stretch was honored with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a variety of speakers. Speakers at the event included:

  • Jon Jarosh, Destination Door County Interim CEO and Director of Communications
  • Ann Miller, Door County Coastal Byway Chair
  • David Spiegelburg, Travel Wisconsin Regional Tourism Specialist 
  • Colleen Harris, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Northeast Regional Director
  • David Lienau, Chairman of the Door County Board of Supervisors

The ribbon was cut by the Jacksonport scenic byway kiosk. The kiosks are placed in different communities along the byway and share history about the community. David Spiegelburg shared what pillars of Door County are included along the route. 



The entire ceremony can be watched below, as well as an interview with Ann Miller, who details the process of earning the national designation. 




Stopping the "summer slide"

The learning does not have to stop even if your kids are not enrolled in summer camp or school. According to WWS Parent University, only 48 percent of parents have heard of the “summer slide,” which occurs when kids lose some of their academic skills when they are not in school. That percentage drops to 38 percent when it comes to the lowest income family. Many parents rely on summer reading programs or educational trips as a way to prevent the summer slide from occurring among their kids. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer from Sister Bay’s Northern Door Children’s Center suggests parents keep some structure to the day similar to if they were in school.

Corekin-DeLaMer says if summer school or camps are not an option, she recommends parents still find a way for their kids to interact with others to keep their social connections active during the upcoming months.

Kewaunee County broadband expansion buffering

Some Kewaunee County residents will have to wait a little longer than originally expected for better internet. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says both the county and Bug Tussel Wireless were hoping to have things ready by late spring and early summer. Delays in getting the necessary equipment like computer microchips and securing the necessary locations have forced the timeline back to late July and early August. In some cases, it could be in the fall when things are up and running. Feldt says the towers and the equipment that have already been installed have built up enthusiasm in the community.

The plan calls for installing equipment on six existing towers and building another half dozen to provide better internet coverage for almost 90 percent of the county. Feldt says the county is planning on applying for another round of broadband expansion grants later this year. The Wisconsin Legislature approved this week $125 million to expand broadband access throughout the state. A Forward Analytics Report showed that nearly 25 percent of the rural Wisconsin population lacked high-speed internet.

Wisconsin lags behind in workouts

More Wisconsinites would rather split a six-pack with friends rather than work out according to a trail running and ultrarunning website. polled 3,000 Americans and found that the average workout session is approximately 18 minutes, three minutes more than what Wisconsinites usually do. It also lags behind the over 21 minutes a day recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske advises people looking to build up their exercise routine or start a new one to pick something they like and build up slowly.

About 68 percent of respondents say they would get more pleasure drinking with friends rather than working out. In addition to the physical benefits of getting active, Woleske says working out can help improve mood and combat depression. You can listen to the rest of our discussion of staying physically active on our Podcasts page.


Chris Woleske picture courtesy of Bellin Health

Infographic courtesy of

Quarry group maintains position

A member of the Quarry Neighborhood Action Group says the fight against a proposed condominium development is the same as it was when an RV village was in the picture. Earlier this month, the Door County Resource Planning Committee heard more details to subdivide 57 acres controlled by the Margaret Druetzer Trust into 43 condominiums located across from George Pinney County Park along Bay Shore Drive. The proposed parcels met the ordinance size and width requirements for the Recreational Commercial zoning district and the conceptual plat met land division ordinance requirements. Pete Hurth from Baudhuin Engineering answered questions about the roads, private wells, and septic systems that will be needed for the site. Opponents to the subdivision sent several emails to the county’s Land Use Services Director Mariah Goode, citing the site’s environmental risks among their concerns. Brenda Lange, who owns a home near the site, reiterated the points she made a month ago and in emails to the county recently.

No motion or vote is required for the conceptual plat review, but members of the Resource Planning Committee said the applicants could work on preparing and submitting a preliminary plat to be decided on at a future meeting.


Picture from June 3rd RPC Meeting Packet

Double play for Egg Harbor Firefighters

The Egg Harbor Fire Department was kept busy with a pair of blazes still under investigation on Wednesday.


A little after 11 a.m., firefighters headed to a trailer fire on West Carlsville Road where they found it fully engulfed. Egg Harbor Fire Chief Andy Staats said it appears it started in a back bedroom but no cause has been determined. The home’s residents were not at home at the time of the fire. Two of their cats died while the residents’ dogs were able to escape.



As they were wrapping up the scene there, firefighters had to travel to a field near Fairview Road where a bailer caught on fire and subsequently started parts of the field on fire as well. Faulty equipment could be to blame, but Staats said no exact cause was determined.



Over 12,000 gallons of water were used between the two fires and Staats is happy for their mutual aid partners.

Fire Departments in Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Ephraim, Gibraltar, Jacksonport, Baileys Harbor, and Sturgeon Bay all assisted in Egg Harbor’s efforts over the course of several hours.

County Board looks to fill Wotachek's position

Supervisor Laura Vlies Wotachek has resigned from her position on the Door County Board.  Wotachek represents District 9 in Sturgeon Bay.  According to the news release by County Board President Dave Lienau,  any persons wishing to be considered for the vacant position can send a letter of interest to the County Administrator.  Letters must be received no later than noon on Wednesday, July 14.  Wotachek could not be reached on Wednesday afternoon for comment and her term was set to expire on April 18, 2022.  No reason was given for her resignation and you can read the news release here.



YMCA getting artistic

The Door County YMCA is getting diverse with children’s art offerings this summer. The YMCA is starting their Youth Art Camp series which is held on Fridays. The camp attempts to reach multiple age cohorts, as it’s available to children ages four and up. Marketing Director for the Door County YMCA Amy Gamble said that there are activities to reach people with all sorts of artistic interests. 



The Friday sessions last a half day. Gamble pointed out that the YMCA website will show guardians more information on Art Camp. According to the series, sessions are held until August 27th. 


Northern Door County road construction completed

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that finishing touches were put on a $2.68 million project to make northern Door County transportation smoother. According to a press release from the DOT, all major construction on Wisconsin State Highway 42 from Scandia Road to Wisconsin Bay Road in the town of Liberty Grove and the village of Sister Bay has been completed. The project also reached goals, finishing on time and within its budget. The 9.6-mile project included milling and resurfacing, and added gravel to shoulders and pavement markings.

Bald Eagle numbers soar

One of the most prevalent symbols for the United States has made a strong comeback in the last forty years across the country and in northeast Wisconsin. Bald Eagles, which remain protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, have seen their population grow in the state since 1974. The last time the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources got to fully survey the numbers was in 2019 and there were 1684 occupied nests in the state and 21 in Door County. DNR Biologist Jacob Koebernick states that the public plays an important role in nest watching and reporting efforts. Koebernick says they’ll have a couple new nests in Door County to check out next year. 



Koebernick credits public awareness and waterway clean-up efforts for going a long way in improving the eagles’ ecology as well as eliminating use of certain pesticides like DDT. He adds that it’s not just symbolism that makes Bald Eagles important to Wisconsin’s ecosystem



Other ways the public can help are by being an Adopt an Eagle Nest Program donor or by being an Endangered Resources License Plate holder, in which some proceeds go to eagle habitat conservation.


Communities and government continue to support families in need

Throughout the past year, Door and Kewaunee county communities have shown their generosity through continued donations to their pantries. Ken Marquardt, the director of the Kewaunee County Food Pantry describes the difference donations have made.



Similarly, Estella Huff, the director of Feed and Clothe my People Door County says the impact of donations on their pantry has been a positive one.



In addition to the widespread donations of both counties, both federal and state governments have given support to families through increased food stamps as well as increased amounts on Quest cards. With this support from the government and local food pantries, it has become easier for families to get the food they need.

City of Sturgeon Bay quickly takes care of business

Tuesday’s City of Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting began with a different face calling the meeting to order, as Council President Dan Williams sat in for Mayor David Ward who was not in attendance. The meeting’s first item was taken care of when the consent agenda was approved.


The council passed the first reading of an ordinance repealing and recreating Section 5.01 of the Municipal Code -- Composition. This ordinance would put in code the Sturgeon Bay Police Department restructure, adding an Assistant Chief of Police position and erasing the Lieutenant position. 


The Council approved the first reading of an ordinance repealing and recreating Section 10.02 of the Municipal Code -- Carrying a concealed weapon prohibited. This is to help the city clean up their current ordinance to be more in line with the state statute. If this ordinance is signed it would officially read “No person, except a peace officer or concealed carry permit holder, shall carry on his/her person any dangerous or electronic weapon.” 


In the City Administrator Report, Josh VanLieshout said that garbage collection times have been altered because the city’s garbage truck has experienced mechanical issues. This has caused the city to rent a truck from Green Bay. VanLieshout asked city residents to bear with the city as they await their new truck that is expected to come in the fall. He also mentioned that the Otumba Park project is moving along as hoped and is expecting it to be finished at the end of the month. He added that he hopes to have a ribbon cutting ceremony after the project is finished. VanLieshout also gave an update on the potential lodging tax increase that the city approved. He said that he visited with other Door County communities to speak about the tax, and feels there’s a good chance the increase from a 5.5% rate to 8% will move forward. 


There was no Mayor’s report. 


Area marinas vow cleanliness

Marinas in Door and Kewaunee County have been recognized by the Wisconsin Clean Marina program in the last two weeks. SkipperBud’s Harbor Club Marina in Sturgeon Bay was recertified this week as a Wisconsin Clean Marina, showing that it has maintained clean-boating techniques since its initial certification in 2010. Harbor Club Assistant Manager Taylor Eggener said in a press release, “The biggest improvement we have made is trying to educate our fellow boaters and water enthusiasts on what they can do to help protect our waterways.”  The Wisconsin Clean Marina Program is a voluntary program, committing to adopting the best management practices in order to reduce pollution and improve water quality.


The program’s first step is to sign the pledge to become a Wisconsin Clean Marina program and then employ best practices. The City of Kewaunee Marina took the pledge last week. 


For staff to be fully certified as a Wisconsin Clean Marina, ports must get checked and meet a certain amount of qualifications on a checklist. Other Door County marinas have taken the pledge. This is the program’s first expansion into Kewaunee County. Wisconsin Clean Marina Program Director Theresa Qualls hopes they continue both on the shoreline and inward.



Some practices that gained popularity in recent years are constructing pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and reducing plastic wastes. The list of pledged and certified marinas in Kewaunee and Door County can be found through this link


New look and more runners needed for the Crossroads Annual Trail Run

This year’s Crossroads Trail run will look a bit differently from previous races. The run will be taking place this weekend on June 19th beginning at 9:00. Gretchen Schmelzer, the director of the race, describes why this year’s race will be different from past years.



In addition to those changes there will also be a staggered start time for the people who chose to run on location. This difference will make it easier for those who want to social distance during the race. All people who complete the race between 8:00am and 12:00pm on June 19th will receive a native  tree sapling at the Collins Learning Center. Schmelzer said that in normal years this event brings 400 people in, however this year they are only expecting 300. There is still time to register for people interested. Registration is open online, people will also be able to register in person on the 19th before the event begins. More information is available at the crossroads trail run website.

Door and Kewaunee County pose fire dangers

You will have to be extra careful before burning in Door and Kewaunee County for the time being. Both counties are considered to be in moderate fire danger. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has responded to 765 wildfires just this year, which has burned over 1900 acres. Precautions include checking recent debris burns for smoldering embers and to be mindful of breezy conditions that can cause flames to rekindle. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges stresses the need for burners to prepare their burn site.



He adds that if the county hits high or extreme danger they’ll limit open burning. Fire conditions change daily and are typically posted to the DNR website at 11:00 AM daily. The majority of Wisconsin counties are considered to be high fire dangers as of Tuesday. Other precautions as listed by the DNR are listed below.


  • Operate equipment (chainsaws, off-road vehicles, lawn mowers, etc.) early in the morning or late in the day to avoid sparks at peak burn hours.
  • Secure dragging trailer chains.
  • Delay having campfires until the evening hours as fire conditions tend to improve; keep them small and contained.
  • Report fires early, dial 911.


(Photos from Wisconsin DNR)

Algoma green lights ATVs and UTVs

Just as summer is getting into full swing, the city of Algoma has officially updated their legal transportation methods. ATVs and UTVs can now be driven in city streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or lower. Drivers must be at least 16 years old and have a valid drivers licence, have liability insurance and drivers born after January 1st of 1988 must finish an ATV safety course. Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker urges drivers to display awareness. 



Exceptions to the new rule apply as ATV/UTV vehicles aren’t allowed at city parks, Crescent Beach, and the marina. Details of the city’s ATV/UTV ordinance passed by the city council can be found in the Algoma Municipal Code section 44-61. 


Birch Creek prepares for first concert

For the first time since August 2019, music will fill the air for a concert at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor. After the pandemic canceled their in-person programming in 2020, students and staff attending Birch Creek’s percussion and steel band session began coming in on Sunday for two weeks of instruction and concerts. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christensen says they are taking precautions to make sure their campers stay safe in accordance with current guidelines.

This week has already been a reunion for staff members and students, but Christensen says she has already heard from visitors excited for live music once again.

Birch Creek’s opening night performance on Thursday for the percussion and steel band session is sold out, but space is still available for its five other concerts as well as their symphony and big band jazz shows. You can hear our full discussion with Christensen online on our podcasts page.

Liberty Grove to consider short-term rental ordinance

The Town of Liberty Grove will make its decision on how it handles short-term rental properties when its board meets on Wednesday. The ordinance is one of many that has circulated through different county municipalities as the number of property owners listing their homes on tourist rooming house platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo increases. The ordinance would require anyone renting their homes for more than 10 days a year to acquire a license from the Door County Tourism Zone and meet all related state statutes. Town chairperson John Lowry says the biggest difference between their ordinance and one currently under discussion in Sevastopol is their approach to a home’s septic holding tank.

If approved, Lowry would likely hire Granicus to help oversee the town’s short-term housing properties to make sure they are complying. The Town of Liberty Grove will also be looking to update its masking policies when it meets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at its town hall.  The Town of Sevastopol will discuss its STR ordinance at a meeting to be held on June 21st.

Bridge closure begins Wednesday

Motorists using County Highway C over the Kewaunee River will have to find a different route beginning on Wednesday. The Kewaunee County Highway Department is closing County Highway C between County Highway FF and County Highway L to perform bridge rehabilitation work for the span that crosses the Kewaunee River. Motorists can use County Highways B and F as detour routes during the construction work, which is expected to last about two months.

Missing boater found dead

A Green Bay man that went missing after a Sunday night storm caused his boat to capsize has been found dead. According to Green Bay media reports, the body of 28-year-old Jorge Bautista was discovered by two kayakers at approximately 4 p.m. Monday after he went missing late Sunday night. Strong winds and heavy rain caused Bautista's boat to capsize near Vincent Point in the Bay of Green Bay at approximately 9:30 p.m. Sunday night, causing him and six others to go overboard. The other six individuals were rescued late Sunday night before the search for Bautista was called off at 1 a.m.

Protecting yourself from Swimmers Itch

As the area beaches become even more of an attraction this summer, public health officials remind people to take added precautions to remain healthy after swimming in lakes and other bodies of water. An itchy rash, known as swimmers itch, can be caused by an allergic reaction after leaving the water. Door County Sanitarian and Health Educator Chelsea Smies notes the easy way to prevent the condition.



Swimmers itch is also known as cercarial dermatitis and is most common in freshwater lakes and ponds. Smies notes that the medical condition may be uncomfortable but usually clears up in a few days. Swimmers itch shows up as itchy, red welts, and the level of irritation can vary on the number of flatworms that get into your skin.

Kewaunee County looks to approve park repair funds

The replacement of the damaged roadway and parking areas at a county park near Dyckesville will be one of the main agenda items at Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting.  Acting on a committee recommendation, the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors will be discussing the transfer of funds to address the Red River County Park repairs.  Board Chair Dan Olson credits Park Director Dave Myers with bringing forward the plan to resolve the damage caused by Green Bay's record high water levels.



The Promotion and Recreation Department is seeking $31,700 from the contingency fund to make the repairs to the roadway and parking area.  Other resolutions covered Tuesday include increased County Child Support Funding and Approval of the sale of Tax Deed Parcels to the City of Kewaunee.  Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 pm at the Kewaunee County Administration Center.         

Door County highways avoid "heat buckling" damage

The extremely high temperatures experienced last week in the area did not cause any road damages caused by heat buckling, according to Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported last week that 68 roadways around the state had experienced partial or full road closures due to crumbling pavement brought on by the heat.  Ash believes that area roads have been spared any buckling because of the relatively dry weather conditions.



Ash adds the first sign of a road buckling is when the “tenting” effect causes pavement to heave up due to moisture from under the concrete and subsequent high temperatures.  The DOT reported 163 cases of pavement buckling in 2020. 

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, historical society renew lease

A long-standing relationship between the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and the Door County Historical Society will continue until 2036 after a new 15-year lease was announced on Monday.


The Door County Historical Society has partnered with the United States Coast Guard, Bureau of Land Management, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in preserving the over 150-year-old structure ever since it was saved from an uncertain fate in 1960. The lighthouse has since been an attraction inside Peninsula State Park thanks to restoration efforts and guided tours. With grand plans for the lighthouse on the horizon, Door County Historical Society Executive Director Bailey Koepsel says she is happy the relationship will continue.

The site operates as a museum between May and October and still serves as a functional navigational aid for those crossing the Strawberry Channel.


Picture of Executive Director Bailey Koepsel at Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, courtesy Cody LaCrosse

Chester comes home

After over a week of searching, a lost dog and his Sturgeon Bay owner have finally found each other again. Chester was found early Monday morning on the Bay View Bridge by Abby Heimbecher’s mother on her way to teach classes at the Door County YMCA. Heimbecher’s mom opened the door to her car and Chester jumped in willingly. It was a happy ending to a stressful time for Heimbecher, who had posted signs up around town and went to social media in hopes of help. She says with help from Finding Toby Inc., a Suamico-based missing dog organization, they were able to fine-tune their search efforts.

Heimbecher says there were times when she and her family almost gave up, but she stressed the importance of sticking with it.

As for Chester, he was back home sleeping as of Monday morning after a big welcome home meal. Chester is also preparing for a visit with the vet to make sure he is ok after his week traveling across the city. Heimbecher added that Chester has always been a bit of a runner and says a GPS tracking chip is in his future.




Storms knock out power, cause fire calls

A storm that rolled across Door County Sunday evening made for a busy night for local fire departments and Wisconsin Public Service. According to the Door County Dispatch report released Monday morning, there were approximately a dozen reports of trees and wires down due to the storm that packed with it high winds and heavy rain. The Egg Harbor Fire Department attended to three different fire calls between 6:15 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. all related to the storm. Fire Chief Andy Staats says their work was primarily to secure the scene until WPS could arrive.

Staats reminds residents that if they do see a downed power line to avoid the area and to call the authorities since the wire could be live. The storm is also to blame for a boat that capsized south of Bay Shore Park in Brown County. One person was still missing as of early Monday morning.



Boater still missing in bay

Emergency personnel will likely head back to the Bay of Green Bay on Monday in search of one last boater after rescuing several others Sunday night.


According to several Green Bay news media outlets, a boat capsized near Vincent Point located south of Bay Shore County Park at approximately 9:30 p.m. Crews from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, Green Bay Police Department, Green Bay Fire Department, New Franken Fire Department, and the United States Coast Guard responded to the incident. Six of the seven people on board have already been rescued including five adults and one child. The boat has also been recovered. Search and rescue crews stopped their search at approximately 1 a.m.


The National Weather Service advised boaters at around 7:30 p.m. to head to safe harbors as 50 mile per hour winds accompanied a line of thunderstorms. 


Picture from Pixabay

Storm to bear down on Door County

The  National Weather Service is asking boaters on the bay and Lake Michigan to head to safe harbors due to a line of thunderstorms hitting the area Sunday evening. Isolated storms are heading southeast along the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan border at 50 miles per hour. Strong, gusty winds and hail could be a part of the storms. The National Weather Service states the severe weather pattern could also affect other parts of Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties until midnight on Sunday.



Door County Humane Society continues pet health initiative

The Humane Society is holding an event at the Humane Society campus in Sturgeon Bay for just the second time this year to help people get their pets up to date on shots. On June 24th, there will be a low-cost pet vaccination clinic at the Door County campus where they’ll offer a variety of routine shots and even a microchip for pets. The Marketing Coordinator for the Door County Humane Society campus Shaina Allen said they decided to set up the clinic in Sturgeon Bay after the first one went well earlier this year. Allen hopes the effort continues to be well received so that they can continue these types of events. She says it also serves as a reminder for others to update their pets vaccinations. 



The Humane Society is asking appointments to be made in advance. More details can be found following this link.


YMCA peaking north

A kids program that has evolved into a popular class over the years for the Door County YMCA is heading north this summer. Three days a week the Northern Door YMCA will have the Peak Performance strength and conditioning clinic for the season. Member Service Director Megan Schneider says the addition to the summer regimen will benefit kids who haven’t found their preferred fitness method. She adds that it can be an educational tool for those who are new to finding a workout routine.


The Northern Door YMCA will also be exploring with off-site courses. They’ll conduct beach yoga in Ephraim and Sister Bay in the summer.


Public asked for directional input by DDC

Board members with Destination Door County are doing their due diligence in finding a replacement for departing CEO Jack Moneypenny, but on Friday went outside the board and Executive Committee for help. The organization is asking residents to share their thoughts on the directions they could go. The public's input is especially valued as DDC tweaks their identity. The press release states they are changing from a Destination Marketing organization to a Destination Management and Marketing organization. The input from the public will contribute to internal discussions, which the head of the search committee, Todd Trimberger, notes are very active.



There is no set deadline for a hire to be made. Door County residents can fill out the form here.


Dry weather causing worry

Farmers are looking to the sky for a little extra help as northeastern Wisconsin continues to go through its dry spell. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, farmers were able to work in the fields on average six of the seven days last week thanks to dry weather, which allowed some farmers to cut hay and replant some crops damaged by cooler weather late last month. Now farmers in some parts of Wisconsin worry things may be too dry. UW-Madison climate researcher Christopher Kucharik told PBS Wisconsin recently that the state is running a three to a seven-inch deficit of precipitation going back to the spring. Parts of southern Wisconsin are currently in some stages of either moderate or severe drought according to the U.S. drought monitor website. Door and Kewaunee counties are currently listed as being abnormally dry. As a result, some operators like Aissen Tree Farm outside of Luxemburg are irrigating their crops for the first time in years.



Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says his trees are still in good shape, but they could use a little help.

Roethle suggests that even though some varieties may be shorter in supply this year that the warm weather will help the crop progress nicely. Farmers may get a little help with at least a 20 percent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday according to the National Weather Service.



Mentor Door County launches new program

Mentor Door county has partnered with We are HOPE Inc. to launch a program for young women between 18 and 30. This program will support these young women in educational opportunities, career support, online programs, and one-on-one mentoring. The hope for this program is to help young women in Door County find their strengths and give them support from mentoring relationships. Dina Boettcher, a member of the advisory team, explains that this program is designed for women seeking guidance for their future and need resources to go into the next steps of their lives.



For more information about this program or to register for events as a mentor or mentee, visit Mentor Door County’s Facebook or Instagram page. People interested in this program can reach out through social media or directly email Mentor Door county at

Traffic to be altered for new asphalt

Another leg of road work will impact your commute in Sturgeon Bay beginning on Wednesday, June 16th. City Engineer Chad Shefchik said that they are in the home stretch of the city’s road work for the season. Wednesday marks the start of asphalt pavement replacements to select roads. Crews will be removing existing roadway asphalt, final grading of the existing roadway base, adjusting heights of manholes and water valves, and installing new asphalt pavement at the locations listed below. 


Shefchik made a tentative order of the roads that will be worked on in a letter to residents.



Shefchik also stated that starting Wednesday access to the roadway from certain points will be limited from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. He also asked that people needing to get out of their driveway during those times plan to park on other streets in the area. Traffic and parking restrictions will be in place until new asphalt pavement is installed. The project times are subject to change based on weather conditions. 


Algoma celebrating boardwalk birthday

Twenty-five years ago Algoma received a boost of beauty with the Crescent Beach Boardwalk, and things are getting more normal just in time to give the boardwalk a proper celebration. On June 22nd, Friends of Crescent Beach and the public will celebrate its 25th anniversary. It will be a celebration with speakers and an ice cream social. It will also be the first chance since the pandemic began that people can listen to the Algoma Community Band, which made FOCB feel even more honored. 


The original project cost six digits to complete, and FOCB Event Committee Coordinator Sarah Krouse appreciated the efforts by those who began the venture.



Krouse found it amazing that little maintenance has needed to be done in its 25 years of existence, and they also have continued to raise funds so the city can keep the boardwalk in good condition. If the anniversary party needs to be rescheduled, the built-in date is the 23rd. 


Help of Door County shares concerns surrounding elder abuse

With Door County having the fastest growing elder population in the state, Help of Door County is reaching out as Elder Abuse Awareness Day approaches next Tuesday. Executive Director Milly Gonzales says that with one-third of Door County residents aged 65 or older, the area is more susceptible to elder abuse issues. She shares examples of ways the elderly can be abused.



Gonzales adds that she has seen situations where pets or money were taken away from the elderly. In addition, elder abuse can be done by someone else in the home outside of the family, like a caretaker. She notes that red flags can include signs of depression, including less social involvement and personal upkeep. Suppose you suspect someone is a victim of elder abuse. In that case, Gonzales recommends you to reach out to Help of Door County or Adult Protective Services at the Aging & Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Downtown Sturgeon Bay stays busy with movies in the Park

The city of Sturgeon Bay held the first Movie in the Park for 2021 showing an audience full of families the film Yogi Bear. The weather cooperated for the event bringing sun and a full crowd as Friday’s film event kicked off a biweekly series. The next park movie will be shown on June 25th.


Recently Martin Park was the host venue for the first Fine Art Fair in two years and the host venue for the in-person Harmony by the Bay series. 


Shibler chases cheese success

Even with a few accolades already to his credit, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy Cheese Manager Ben Shibler says there is still plenty for him to accomplish. Shibler was helping package cheese at a plant in Denmark before he decided to give cheesemaking a try. In 2016, Shibler joined Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy shortly after constructing its on-site cheese plant. What stood out to Shibler was the ability to be on the ground floor of something new and working with milk being produced approximately 60 feet of pipe away.

Since coming aboard, Shibler has been a part of nine award-winning cheese entries, its most recent win at the 2019 U.S. Cheese Championship for its Farmstead Fiesta String Cheese. Shibler is now actively working on his Master Cheesemaker designation in mozzarella. The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker course is one of the few such programs in the world and takes approximately three years to complete. Joining the ranks of other local cheesemakers like Roger Krohn, Pat Doell, and Chris Renard means a lot to Shibler.

In addition to finishing his Master Cheesemaker designation next spring, Shibler hopes to one day craft a cheese recipe unique enough to be considered an original to not just the United States but also to Wisconsin. Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy will have a number of cheese varieties get judged at the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products competition, which will be judged later this month.


Pictures courtesy of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy

Best Places to Kayak in Door County:  Everywhere!

Last week on the Kayaking in Wisconsin Facebook page, someone asked where the best places to kayak in Door County.  I answered, “everywhere”, and then gave some of my favorites.  Yes, I’m kayak fishing for smallmouth bass much of the time, but Becky and I get out for recreational kayaking on a regular basis.


On the lakeside Moonlight Bay is great and so much fun to head out around the Cana Island Lighthouse.  You can launch on County Q at Rieboldt Creek.  Heading north there’s a kayak launch by the Rowleys Bay Resort and paddling the Mink River is not to be missed.  There are three inland lakes in Door County and our favorite to paddle is Europe Lake at the north end of Northport State Park, with a very nice launch.


Heading across the to Green Bay side, to the north is Garret Bay with a great launch and shipwreck nearby.  Kayaking under the bluffs is one of our favorite things to do.   I’d suggest Ellison Bluff in Ellison Bay and Eagle Bluff in Peninsula State Park.  We also love kayaking in Sturgeon Bay itself launching at Sunset or Otumba Parkes and paddling by the huge ships, under the bridges, and getting up close with the tugboats. 


Do a little research with Google Maps or find out where the shipwrecks are.  Many are close to shore like the City of Glasgow, a short paddle from County Roads TT or T.  It’s only about 4 feet under the surface in fairly shallow water and about 75 yards from shore.  There are many roads in Door County that dead-end at the water.  These are nice places to launch, just as long as you park off the road.


These are just a few of the truly amazing places to kayak in Door County and as I responded to that question about the best places to kayak in Door County, it really is everywhere!  If you have any questions, please email me at





Supply chain issues hit collision repair industry

Fawning season and supply chain concerns are already hitting the collision repair industry hard this summer.


This is usually the time of the year when does are looking for safe places to have their fawns and younger deer are venturing out for the first time as adults. That has led to one of the busiest springs in recent memory for Sahs Auto owner Randy Sahs in terms of repairing damaged vehicles from collisions with deer. Complicating the repair process is the lack of available parts. Many manufacturers are still trying to catch up from COVID-19 related shutdowns to make sure new parts are made, especially if they are used for new technologies. Once they are ready to go to stores and auto shops, the nationwide driver shortage is causing those parts to be shipped slower and more inefficient. Sahs says auto body technicians and customers will have to be patient for a while.

Making matters worse for consumers is if they need a rental car. According to the Washington Post, rental car companies had to sell some of their fleet just to make ends meet during the pandemic. The subsequent rental car shortage has caused rates to go up until new vehicles can be added. Sahs recommends people drive a little bit slower during dusk and dawn when deer are the most active.

Midsummers decides on violinist

After being a trio since 2020, the Griffon String Quartet became whole again on Friday. Midsummer’s Music and the Griffon String Quartet made their selection on who would fill the fourth part of the quartet. Violinist Ji-Yeon Lee, who is an award-winning musician and educator is the selection, and can first be heard in concert on June 25th. Midsummers Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck shared excitement for their new musician. 



Lee has held positions with prestigious orchestras like the Rochester Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Columbus Symphony. Ji-Yeon holds a bachelors and masters degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Professional Studies Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music. 


One hospitalized in Door County; cases down in Kewaunee County

Door County had more activity on the COVID front on Friday than it typically had the past few weeks. In Friday’s COVID19 report from Door County, one was hospitalized and there were three positive tests out of 42 tests performed. There were no new deaths in Door County. Kewaunee County’s weekly COVID19 report came out on Friday and showed no new hospitalizations or deaths this week, and just six new cases. Since Friday, June 4th, active cases went down by three in Kewaunee County and down by eight in Door County. 


Door County remains one of the state leaders with vaccinations as 60 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. 64.5% have one dose of the vaccine in Door County. In Kewaunee County, an even 40 percent have one dose of the vaccine and 38 percent are fully vaccinated. In Wisconsin, 64,000 people were vaccinated this week.



Children's theatre returns to Kewaunee for a one-week production

Since 1997, Missoula Children's Theatre has been coming to Kewaunee every year to put on their traveling musical productions, with last year as the only exception. This year, they are back and in full swing and they are producing a musical rendition of Emperor's New Clothes. Forty-seven students auditioned on Monday, and they immediately began rehearsals. Rebecca Krueger, a Kewaunee Young Peoples Theatre member and the coordinator of Missoula's production in Kewaunee, is proud of the student's efforts this year to put on the best show they can.



The performances will be on Saturday, June 12th at 2 pm and 5 pm. Costs for admittance are $2 for adults and $1 for students, and children under 5 are free. The fees involved in this production are paid for by Kewaunee's Hooray for Hollywood charity organization. 


School closures no longer up to health department

On Friday, Wisconsin’s Supreme Court made a decision that could impact future health emergencies. The Associated Press reports that the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in a 4 to 3 vote that decisions to close schools due to emergencies similar to the coronavirus pandemic will no longer come from local health departments. The vote also pairs with the ruling that a shutdown of private schools in Madison and Dane County by their local departments overstepped religious rights. This is another order that was challenged in the courts and was rescinded or deemed unconstitutional, joining indoor capacity limits and mask mandates. 


The four votes in favor of stripping local departments' ability to close schools came from Chief Justice Annette Ziegler, Justice Patience Roggensack, and Justice Brian Hagedorn. The dissenting votes came from Jill Karofsky, Ann Walsh Bradley, and Rebecca Dallet. More information on Friday’s Supreme Court opinions can be found here.

Committee approval includes Door County projects

Improvements are coming to two Door County state parks after the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved earlier this week $1.5 billion for state construction projects. Under the approved plan, a new shower house at Peninsula State Park and a welcome center at Potawatomi State Park would be completed. Close to $630 million of the budget is going towards improvements at UW schools like Green Bay’s planned multi-use technology and education center. It is good news for Friends of Potawatomi State Park President Scott Bader, who says a new structure was needed.

Bader added it also allows the Friends group to focus on other projects like the pavilion they are building near the recently opened all-accessible fishing pier. The organization is approximately $25,000 shy of making the pavilion a reality. It was also another dose of good news for Potawatomi State Park, which last month learned that $5 million was being committed towards the restoration of its observation tower.


Picture courtesy of Friends of Potawatomi State Park

Crime down, calls up in Kewaunee County

The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is busier than usual this year, and it is not because of a crime spree.


Sheriff Matt Joski says the area has seen a reduction in most areas of crime, but dispatch staff is still fielding plenty of 911 calls. The majority of calls now are more for “keeping the peace” when deputies are requested to standby while people exchange property or children. The deputies are there to make sure the two parties are peacefully interacting with each other and not turning what should be a civil matter into a criminal one.


Joski says they are happy to assist, but it does stretch their staff thin for something that often puts their deputies in an awkward place.

Joski compliments his deputies for sometimes serving the role of a counselor to help keep a situation from escalating. You can read more about how Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Deputies “keep the peace" below:


As I look at the calls from the previous days, there appears to be a steady flow of calls relating to a specific nature; Keep the Peace. These calls are typically a request to have a Deputy stand by while individuals are transferring property, or in some cases children which the two parties have had in common, but are now unable to peacefully interact so as to make these transactions. These calls are not involving criminal behavior but rather for the most part, civil law.


The topic of civil laws versus criminal laws and the extent to which we are able to assist in a matter which is civil in nature continues to cause some confusion, and places law enforcement officers in unnecessary circumstances in which they feel obligated to assist, but cannot.


I have been asked many times about how busy we are in law enforcement recently. I am assuming that people are curious as to how many major crimes take place, or what the trend is in comparison to past years. In recent years we have seen a reduction in most areas of crime; however, our calls for service continue to increase. Some of the most frequent calls for service relate to civil matters. These calls involve things such as child custody, property disputes, eviction orders, and restraining orders. I would like to focus on these civil calls, as they not only seem to be increasing, but they bring with them some misunderstanding of law enforcement's role in regards to them.


Generally, there are two classifications of legal process; criminal, and civil. Those of us in law enforcement focus on criminal, as that is our primary purpose. We do however assist in civil calls in support of court orders. Primarily this is in the capacity of keeping the peace. We may keep the peace as one party removes their property in response to an eviction, or recent separation. We may keep the peace as property is being recovered as part of repossession. We may also keep the peace as children are being transferred from one parent to another.


You may notice a theme running through these and that is our obligation to keep the peace. Many times officers are asked for advice, opinions, or recommendations. These unfortunately put the officers in a tough situation, as they may in fact have opinions, or good advice to give. It is best we stick to the purpose for which we are there for, and that again is to keep the peace.  


If you find yourself in a situation where law enforcement is summoned to respond in support of a court order, or just to keep the peace, please understand and respect the capacity, in which that officer is serving.


Steel Bridge Songfest plays on

Music lovers from across the country can once again tune into a Door County tradition Saturday when Steel Bridge Songfest kicks off again virtually. Dozens of artists have been collaborating for weeks writing new original songs over Zoom while engineers work diligently to make sure all of the tracks line up correctly. Many of the performances were recorded ahead of time, but live hosts from across the country and Sturgeon Bay’s Holiday Music Motel and Tambourine Collaboratory will guide the evening along. Event organizer melaniejane is amazed by how much musicians have had to adapt during the last year without being able to perform their music in front of live audiences.

She adds that one thing is for certain: not even a pandemic was going to stop the Steel Bridge Songfest.

melaniejane says Steel Bridge Creative Foundation, which organizes the Steel Bridge Songfest, is hopeful it will be able to hold next year’s event and this fall’s Dark Songs in person. You can click on the links below for more information on how you can enjoy this year’s Steel Bridge Songfest.


Podcast with melaniejane

Ways to Watch on June 12th at 7 p.m.: Facebook YouTube

Sturgeon Bay earns another round of alcohol in public

A lot of things in Sturgeon Bay will look how they did prior to 2020 this summer, except for seeing the use of alcohol in public. Adults aged 21 and over will have more chances to utilize an entertainment area where they can choose to responsibly consume alcohol from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The resolution allowing drinking from unbreakable containers in the space went into effect last summer. The move is to help match the growing list of experiences in Sturgeon Bay, and 2020 was a successful trial run. City Administrator Josh VanLieshout says the city found that it worked well without major issues. They consequently choose to further suspend an ordinance prohibiting public consumption in Sturgeon Bay this year. 


VanLieshout credited law enforcement, residents, and business owners with having a clear understanding of the rules and following them, helping ensure longevity. 



VanLieshout adds that he thinks it will benefit the community and businesses. He notes that the resolution will be ideal for people who want to stroll the waterfront while enjoying an alcoholic beverage. Pictured below is the designated area where alcohol consumption is allowed. 



Area Counties Preparing for 2021 Lighthouse Festival

The annual Lighthouse Festival is taking place this weekend, from Friday to Sunday people are able to take in the sights of the shoreline’s treasured lighthouses. Chances to view the eleven Door County lighthouses will be offered as usual, and the festival is even expanding. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director explains that two lighthouses in Kewaunee County and one lighthouse in Brown County will be included.



The Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse is one of the sites where tours are offered for the first time. Robin Nelson, a chairperson of the Lighthouse Committee, says the tours will allow people to see the new updates that have been recently added to the lighthouse. 



Algoma will also get in on the action, as people can head to their visitor center to take part in that portion of the festival. People can’t physically get up and close to the lighthouse, but Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ken Weinaug points out the stop into the visitor center is worth it.



Although many tours are sold out, you still can find some spots open for other excursions online

You can also find a full schedule of the weekend tours on the Door County Maritime website or at this link

Public Health thanks residents; two positives in Door County

Door County Public Health continued the fight against COVID19 on Thursday, but also took time for reflection. Door County Public Health released a video thanking Door County residents and emergency personnel for how they responded to all the adversity in the last year. 


In Thursday’s COVID report, there were two positive tests out of seventeen tests performed in Door County. There were no new hospitalizations or deaths. Door County continued their high vaccination marks, with 60.2% of residents having received a dose and 64.4% completing the series. In Kewaunee County, 39.9% of residents have one vaccine dose and 37.9% completed the series. 


The entire video from Door County Public Health is below. 


Returning concert series takes center stage

The first in-person Harmony by the Bay concert in two years rocked a crowd at Martin Park on Wednesday night. Glas Hamr kicked off the summer series where food and beverages were served at the outdoor venue. Destination Sturgeon Bay and the city of Sturgeon Bay teamed up to put on the event that won’t miss a Wednesday until mid-october as long as weather permits. Taking the stage just before the band was Sturgeon Bay Common Council member Dan Williams, who shared excitement for the series return and what’s to come for the city.



The series that has fostered community engagement for years drew a large crowd on Wednesday, and Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Pam Seiler took notice. 



One of the continued COVID19 mitigation precautions this summer is that there is no indoor venue for concerts that get rained out. You can keep up with the season of concerts on the Harmony by the Bay Concert Series Facebook page. 


Air travel taking flight

Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport is showing signs of the rebounding air travel industry. CNBC reports that the Transportation Security Administration screened an average of 1.78 million people a day over Memorial Day weekend, which was the highest it has been since before the pandemic. As vaccinations have rolled out, Austin Straubel Airport has seen its numbers grow at a steady clip. Austin Straubel Airport Director Marty Piette says they are seeing between 500 and 1000 passengers a day during the course of the week. It is still down 25-30 percent from what was being experienced in 2019. Piette says while business and international travel are still lagging, leisure trips are soaring again.

Helping in that has been Austin Straubel Airport’s ability to get new carriers to its terminals to offer non-stop flights to places like Orlando and Denver. In the coming days, Piette says they will announce additional direct flights to NFL cities so local fans can watch the Green Bay Packers play. He adds that they have kept many of their COVID protocols such as masking inside planes and buildings and disinfecting high-touch areas.


Picture courtesy of LinkedIn

Wisconsin Legislature votes to end federal unemployment benefits

The decision to end the $300 federal unemployment benefit is now in the hands of Governor Tony Evers after both branches of the Wisconsin Legislature approved the measure on Wednesday. Both the Assembly and the Senate voted along party lines to end the untaxed benefit that was in addition to what was already being received by the state. Recent polling data showed that over 70 percent of Wisconsinites approve of ending the federal program, siding with Republicans and chambers of commerce that say it is incentivizing people to stay at home rather than going to work. State Rep. Joel Kitchens voted in favor of ending the benefit, adding many business owners in his district have told him how hard it is to find employees.

Opponents to ending the benefit say there are other factors to why people are not going back to work with the state’s unemployment rate below four percent. Kitchens does not refute that point, but believes something needs to be done.

Evers has already indicated he will likely veto the measure. Wisconsin could have been the 25th state to turn down the extra federal unemployment benefit.

Vehicles catch fire in Ephraim, Liberty Grove

A pair of vehicles one hour and a few miles apart caught fire on Wednesday evening in northern Door County.


In Ephraim, it was a mini-van that caught fire just after 6 p.m. and caused a gaper’s delay on State Highway 42 for a short time. The minivan’s owner was traveling with a second vehicle that was parked close behind and it suffered minor cosmetic damage from the heat. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says the cause of why the mini-van burst into flames is still unknown.


MacDonald says the scene was cleared and the vehicle was on a tow truck by 7:30 p.m. A couple of hours later, the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to a truck fire near North Bay Road and County Highway ZZ. The owner of the truck was gone just a few moments when he returned to his vehicle smoking. Fire Chief Chris Hecht says it moves quickly from there.

MacDonald expressed his appreciation for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin State Patrol that were also in the area with many emergency personnel attending the funeral of Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Fuerst.



Photos of Ephraim fire by Tad Dukehart


YMCA Hits campaign goal to help fund annual services

The services you can enjoy at the Door and Northern Door YMCA are going strong thanks to meeting an over half-million dollar goal. Their annual campaign for the 2020-2021 fiscal year reached its $525,000 benchmark. The campaign helps to run their summer foods program. With that they can give free lunch to children 18 and under at their facility and also provide food for camps. The funds even help advance communication by strengthening the ELL classes, and widen the YMCA’s accessibility. The campaign provides financial assistance to over 1100 individuals who otherwise could not afford a membership. To the Northern Door YMCA Member Services Director Megan Schneider, meeting the campaign goal is reflective of the Door County community.



The staff at both facilities are already working on the campaign for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. 

Law enforcement honors late officer

Dozens of law enforcement and emergency personnel in Door County came out in force Wednesday to honor one of their own who died last weekend. Door County Sheriff Deputy Timothy Fuerst, 55, passed away unexpectedly at home in Sister Bay from a sudden illness. A nearly 30-year veteran of the Door County Sheriff’s Department, Fuerst was scheduled to retire on July 1st. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says Fuerst had an incredible impact throughout the department and Door County community.



According to his obituary, Fuerst was a long-time member of the Door County SWAT team and managed the reserve deputies for many years. A graduate of Sevastopol High School, Fuerst began his career in law enforcement in Dunn County after pursuing a Police Science degree at Chippewa Valley Tech. Funeral Services were held at 6 pm Wednesday at Huehns Funeral Home. You can read Tim Fuerst’s obituary here.




Public Health creatively finding unvaccinated

Door County Public Health is leaving no stone unturned in getting COVID19 vaccine shots into people’s arms. On Friday people can get vaccines at the Egg Harbor Farmers Market. Just a few days later on Thursday, June 15th, vaccines will be provided at the farmers market in Jacksonport. Door County Public Health Manager Susan Powers says that the department feels there are people who have the vaccine in the back of their minds but are still iffy on it. Powers hopes to put clinics in places like farm markets where a lot of people will see it will drive up interest. 



Powers says they’ll gauge the interest and possibly plan for future similar clinics. She has put in requests to the state mobile vaccination team, inviting them to come for the Fourth of July and to the Door County Fair. As more of the Door County population is vaccinated the clinics will be less frequent. There is also a strong supply of doses and vaccine providers in the community have been active. Powers says it is great and they are encouraging younger age groups to get vaccinated as that’s where the most work needs to be done.



Powers understands hesitancy in getting the vaccine to people ages 12-18. To remedy that she suggests that hesitant parents and eligible people talk with healthcare professionals on the benefits. Public Health also holds clinics each Wednesday at the ADRC Building in Sturgeon Bay and every third Thursday at the Sister Bay Fire Station. 


In Door County’s COVID19 report on Wednesday, there were no positive tests out of 17 tests performed. There were no new deaths or hospitalizations. 64.3% of county residents have a vaccine dose and 59.6% completed the series. In Kewaunee County, 39.9% have a dose and 37.6% have completed the series. 


Grant allows local library to enhance African literature

The Kewaunee Public Library is one of 34 Wisconsin libraries receiving funds from the 2021 Read Africa Grant Program. To receive this grant, local libraries submitted a proposal to the program at University of Wisconsin-Madison. The $20,000 grant will be distributed between these 34 libraries to help fund the expansion of titles that are about Africa or written by African authors. Carol Petrina, director of the Kewaunee Public library, describes what their proposal entailed.



The story walk that they will be organizing will be at the Kewaunee Public library, and it will include the book Ostrich and Lark by Marilyn Nelson. They will be adding titles for all ages. There will be titles for young children, such as Baby Goes to Market and young adult novels like When Rain Clouds Gather, Transcendent Kingdom. These books and others will soon be at the Kewaunee Public Library for those who want to learn more about Africa. 


Survey being used to evaluate broadband approach

A critical step in the opening stages of enhancing broadband services is underway, but needs help from Door County residents. The Door County Economic Development Corporation is asking for business owners and residents to offer their perspectives on their broadband capabilities and needs through a survey. The results will be assessed by Finley Engineering, who is tasked with observing the county’s broadband access. The consultants will take input from the surveys and use it to assist them in identifying challenges and developing a long-term strategy for delivering county-wide broadband. DCEDC Executive Director Jenkins also notes that there will be high standards for connection.



There is a separate survey for residents and business owners. The DCEDC hopes people fill out the survey for either category they fall into, even if they are under both. Jenkins hopes to see a geographically dispersed response by the end of June. 


Here are the survey links for business owners and for residents. 


Destination Door County putting pledge into action

Volunteers and community members spread out near the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor on Tuesday to put Destination Door County’s mission into motion. A group helped pick up trash and cut down on invasive species along Highway 57 and Ridges Road as part of Destination Door County’s Leave No Trace Tuesday monthly series. The initiative is new to DDC and pairs with the member mixers that the organization is excited to be having again. Destination Door County Membership Manager Morgan Rusnak talked about easing back into community events like this since May, utilizing the outdoor space to bring people together while being spread out. Because they’ll be going to a new location for Leave No Trace Tuesday once a month, Rusnak is hoping for people’s input on where to go. 



People are also able to get briefed on the Door County Pledge as well as sign it, which is an oath to best protect Door County’s natural resources.


Lake levels dramatically drop

After a record-setting May 2020 for high water levels on Lake Michigan, people may be surprised at just how much lower the mark is a year later. The pattern of increasing water levels switched as a result of a very dry winter and spring. Data collection for the month of May 2021 shows the month's level is 17 inches below the May 2020 measurement. Chief of the Watershed Hydrology Branch with the Detroit Corps of Engineers Keith Kompoltowicz says the current levels are still not low. 



Though May’s lake levels were a foot and a half above average still, the coastal flooding and erosion impacts along the shoreline may not be as pronounced this year, says Kompoltowicz. He adds that the lake levels weren’t a surprise to him as they’ve remained consistent with weather patterns in winter and spring. He says that the forecast for the near future indicates the lake level could even get lower next year. Complete data on great lakes levels can be found here. 


Annual Tractor Ride celebrated in Baileys Harbor

A traditional tractor ride honoring one of Door County’s most famous tractor drivers, Freddy Kodanko, was held in Baileys Harbor on Tuesday.  Kodanko was remembered as the Door County Polka King who drove his tractor in local parades while playing polka music.  Nineteen tractor drivers participated in the 19th annual Freddy Kodanko Tractor Rally.  Organizer Greg “Fuzzy” Sunstrom shares his story behind Freddy K’s Massey Ferguson vintage tractor and the yearly rally.



Sunstrom purchased Kodanko’s orange tractor after Freddy passed away in 2003 and began the annual tradition.  Tuesday’s tractor rally covered five different stops beginning at 11 AM, with the final stop in downtown Baileys Harbor behind the Blue Ox.



Door County tests all negative

Door County continues to be one of the state’s examples in the fight against COVID19. Door County’s Tuesday COVID19 report showed that no positive tests were conducted out of the fourteen performed. There were no new deaths or hospitalizations. Door County has 64.1% of its residents with a vaccine dose and 59.4% that are fully vaccinated. The only county in Wisconsin with a higher vaccination rate is Dane County with 67.2%.  Kewaunee County has 39.8% of its residents with a vaccine dose and 37.5% who’ve completed the vaccine series. 


Door County issued a press release encouraging all to get the vaccine if they haven’t yet, especially ages 12-18. They are currently offering the vaccine for free to people ages 12 and up. The press release also states that appointments are encouraged but not required.




Workforce Development taking advantage of virtual discoveries

As some area businesses struggle with employee shortages, the Department of Workforce Development is broadening their accessibility to get employers adequately staffed. On June 1st, the DWD opened for walk-in customers across the state. This will help with the DWD’s newer, adapted way of doing business, which is blending virtual and in-person options.


Brian Pelon from the DWD spoke of the adjustments saying, “the pandemic taught us many lessons last year. As we begin to open up our Job Centers and welcome customers into our facilities, we will continue to offer some of our services in a virtual format to accommodate those not able to come to our facilities.” Some of the services that will still be encouraged online include career counseling appointments and re-employment sessions.


Pelon noted that the trends they are seeing with area residents are that they are often doing the prep work to reenter the workforce such as updating resumes and researching local hiring conditions. Pelon also urged Door County residents to be aware of the DWD resources. Door County’s DWD Job Center is open from Monday through Thursday. 


Below is a complete list of expanded and continued services:


  • Supporting customers in-person with online job search, Job Center of Wisconsin registration, resume writing, and other career development activities
  • Conducting re-employment sessions remotely via phone
  • Co-locating at strategic partner locations (e.g., libraries and community-based organizations)
  • Continuing virtual workshops with topics such as resume writing, interviewing skills, LinkedIn, job searching for mature workers, and more
  • Offering virtual job fairs to connect job seekers with immediately available career opportunities
  • Providing in-person and virtual career counseling by appointment
  • Meeting with Trade Adjustment Assistance clients in-person and virtually
  • Expanding work with open job centers in correctional facilities (virtual and in-person)
  • Scheduling mobile career lab promotion of health careers in select locations
  • Referrals to workforce partner employment and training resources/programs

Luxemburg Police investigating illegal entries

The Luxemburg Police Department is investigating a break-in that happened late Saturday night and into Sunday morning. It is unclear if it’s a singular suspect or more, but they were able to illegally enter a part of the Northbrook Golf and Grill building in Luxemburg. Two vehicles that were located on Mueller Court were also entered. There is no sign of entry at any residences. Officials are asking local residents with any suspicious doorbell video to call the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. They also remind residents to lock their vehicles and not leave any valuables in sight. 


Byway designation to be celebrated next week

Federal, state, and local representatives will converge on Jacksonport next week to celebrate a national designation for the Door County Coastal Byway. The Federal Highway Administration designated the 66 miles of Highway 42/57 as a National Scenic Byway in February. Next Thursday’s ribbon cutting will be the formal dedication of the Door County Coastal Byway as a National Scenic Byway. It was also the culmination of years of waiting and work by the Door County Coastal Byway Council. The program stopped in 2008, was reintroduced in 2017, and the paperwork was filed early last year. Door County Coastal Byway Chairperson Ann Miller says it has been worth it.

The ribbon-cutting for the Door County Coastal Byway’s designation as a National Scenic Byway will take place on June 17th at 1:30 p.m. at Jacksonport’s Lakeside Park. The designation makes the Door County Coastal Byway one of two in the state, joining the 70-mile Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway.

Sevastopol says good-bye to 1924 building

Thursday marks the beginning of the end for the oldest section of Sevastopol School. June 10th is when the demolition of the school’s original 1924 three-story building will begin after crew completed the asbestos abatement process in recent days. Since the district hosted its last in-service days prior to Memorial Day, the building’s 1946 addition and a connector hallway have already been completely demolished. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the demolition of the 1924 building will take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete not just because it is a bigger building, but some of the other extra steps that need to be taken.

People are allowed to watch portions of the demolition take place, but are asked to stay behind the fence set up by the construction crews and to be considerate of other drivers and property owners near the school. Luedtke added the entire construction project remains on target so the first day of school can take place on September 7th. The district will sell the demolished building’s old bricks for a dollar apiece at a later date.

Heat tightens grip on area

Unseasonably warm temperatures are forcing people to find any way they can to stay cool in northeast Wisconsin.


Last week, temperatures touched 90 degrees for the first time this year with an over 80-year-old record high of 95 degrees reported in Green Bay on Saturday. The average high temperature in June is 72 degrees in Sturgeon Bay, 71 degrees in Kewaunee, and 76 degrees in Green Bay.


That has kept businesses like Ultimate Air in Luxemburg busy with calls of air conditioners not working properly. Owner Jeff Blemke says many of the outdoor units they have serviced in recent days had some component failures, but others were just dirty or infested with bugs and rodents. Once your air conditioner is serviced, he recommends you keep it at a consistent temperature so you do not put extra stress on the unit.

He also recommends making sure your filters are cleaned or replaced as another way to save your air conditioner from some extra work. The Weather Channels reports that Door County will see some relief when forecasted highs do not touch the 80-degree mark. Parts of Kewaunee County will have to wait a little longer with temperatures close to 90 this weekend and only two days below forecasted below 80 degrees over the next 12 days.

Retail theft reported in Luxemburg

The Luxemburg Police Department is asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect in a theft at a retail store on Monday. At approximately 3:45 p.m. The department posted pictures of a woman walking out of the village’s Family Dollar store with merchandise she did not pay for during her visit. They also captured images of a white truck she drove to the store. People with information about the incident can call the Luxemburg Police Department.



Major street work underway in Algoma

The Algoma Public Works Department started a three-month project on Sixth Street last week. Public Works Director Matt Murphy says the job calls for replacing all water, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer mains covering a four-block area. The construction will be from Fremont Street to Jefferson Street. He shares what the complete rebuild will entail.



Murphy notes that local traffic will be allowed to get in and out of their driveways. The city will notify homeowners in advance of the sidewalk construction to park their vehicles on the street. The Sixth Street project is projected to be completed by the end of August or early September.

Open intoxicants in vehicles, legal or not?

With major events and gatherings happening this summer, local law enforcement reminds people to follow the open intoxicant laws when traveling.  Door County Deputy Sheriff Pat McCarty emphasizes that no alcohol is allowed in the driver’s compartment of any vehicle.  He says there are exceptions to having open containers in larger motorhomes or chartered buses.



According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, open container laws apply to all motor vehicles except motor buses which are vehicles designed to transport people and have a passenger capacity of 16 or more person and chauffeur-driven limousines.  RVs, Limos, and buses must have a hired or designated chauffeur responsible for driving   Fines for open intoxicants can amount to $212 for the driver and $150.50 for a passenger.  For smaller groups traveling, McCarty encourages people to have a designated driver or utilize driving services to get home safely if they have been drinking. 

Single case in Door County

The number of tests and cases of COVID-19 continues to dwindle in Door County. On Monday, Door County Public Health reported just one confirmed case out of the eight tests performed over the weekend. Active cases of the coronavirus in Door County went down to 25, with no hospitalizations or deaths reported.


Door County is at 64.1 percent of their residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine on the vaccination front, while 59.3 percent have completed the series of shots. Kewaunee County residents are at 39.8 percent had received one dose, and 37.4 having been completely vaccinated.



New Fish Creek Beach opens soon

The finishing touches of the Fish Creek Beach improvements are being completed this week. Town of Gibraltar Chair Steve Sohns says the three-year project included new bathrooms completed two years ago and positioned closer to the water than first planned. He says the beach’s landscape is much more user-friendly.



A platform pier is wheelchair accessible with a crescent beach area.  Sohns says it is not visible from the highway but offers a pleasant surprise when you walk down to the sandy beach. The fresh sod needs to take hold, and concrete sidewalks were being poured on Monday, so the Fish Creek Beach is expected to fully open to the public in the next week or two.  


(Photo courtesy of

In search of Door County's Fairest

The Door County Fair is searching for its newest Fairest before its 150th annual event this summer. The Fairest program dates back to 2018 when Claire Olson was selected as the first Fairest. Sisters Katie and Michaela Guilette are the most recent Fairests, although Michaela’s reign was primarily virtual due to the pandemic. In a normal year, the Fairest of the Fair crisscrosses the county promoting the Door County Fair at a number of different events. While the $1,000 in scholarship dollars is nice, Olson says she gained useful skills that have helped her advance in her post-Fairest life.

The Door County Fairest of the Fair has to be 18 years of age before January 1st, 2023, and be a local resident. Fairest judges make their selection in July before the winner is crowned on the first night of the Door County Fair, which runs July 28th-August 1st. You can click on this link to apply.

Gibraltar's "resizing" causes change

Gibraltar Area Schools’ declining enrollment may be part of the reason why three administrators have left in recent weeks.


The Gibraltar Area School Board held a special meeting last week to discuss a path moving forward after Gibraltar Elementary School Principal Brian Annen announced he was resigning from his post. That followed the resignations of Gibraltar Secondary School Principal Gereon Methner and Director of Learning Tim Mulrain. The district entered the school year down an administrator after Shaun Young resigned at the end of the 2019/2020 school year.


Gibraltar Area Schools Superintendent Tina Van Meer says when Young resigned, the board opted not to hire a replacement. A similar idea was brought forward when Methner announced his resignation. She believes that possibility led to Annen and Mulrain not feeling comfortable with what the workload could be moving forward before they ultimately found other opportunities. Van Meer says her challenge now is to determine what the administration structure will look like so it has the best impact on its staff, students, and parents.

The Gibraltar School Board will discuss what the resized administrative team will look like and the strategy moving forward to fill the open positions on June 14th. Van Meer believes it will be an evolving process to make sure that any strategy they adopt can be tweaked to best fit the district’s needs.

Local solutions for international cybersecurity woes

The cyber-attacks that have taken down a gas pipeline, a major meat processor, and some municipalities could have some local businesses wondering what they can do to protect themselves. The White House warned small businesses last Thursday to take the proper security precautions against ransomware and other cybercrimes. Purplesec, a Washington D.C.-based cybersecurity firm, estimates the cost of ransomware attacks in 2020 was approximately $20 billion. Many computers have some kind of virus protection built-in, but it is worth the investment to overprotect.

Drager added that in many cases, cyber-attacks could be mitigated with a good set of back-ups.

He recommends having your back-ups saved in a couple of different places just in case one gets lost or encrypted as well. You can listen to our full conversation about cybersecurity with the team at Quantum PC on our podcast page.

The musical sign of summer in Door County

When cherishing signs of normalcy returning in Door County, it’ll be hard to find a more telling sign than music being performed in town squares again. Door County is gearing up for free concerts in the parks that will be back up and down the peninsula this summer. Concerts will take place five days a week starting on Wednesday, June 9th in Sturgeon Bay. Destination Door County Interim CEO and Director of Communications Jon Jarosh says the concerts have always been a really popular activity, because of the togetherness and for the businesses helped by the atmosphere. He does think the county retained much of its’ spirited atmosphere in 2020, but music being back along with other favorites returning will escalate its morale. 



Jarosh also credited the communities for making an effort to keep a consistent schedule and limit overlapping of days they hold performances. He also shared positive thoughts on Memorial Day, saying it seemed like people were excited to be out and he predicted that it set the trend for the summer. The current schedule for free concerts in the park can be found here. 

Senate hopefuls to address Kewaunee County

Many eyes will be on the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Wisconsin, and though it’s not for a while, voters can get their first look next Sunday, June 13th, at candidates aiming to unseat Senator Ron Johnson. The Kewaunee County Democratic Party will be hosting a few of the aspiring Senators at Algoma’s Heritage Park from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. So far, three have confirmed they will make the trip. Those will include the state treasurer, Sarah Godlewski, Outagamie County’s executive Tom Nelson, and Gillian Batttino, a radiologist from Wausau. Candidates will speak to the crowd on hand and then get a chance to mingle with voters and answer their questions. 


With the primary and election over a year away, candidates won’t be asked to address anything specific but rather introduce themselves, their campaign and touch on the issues they choose. It’s the first in-person event the Kewaunee County Democratic Party has held in a long time, and Kewaunee County Democratic Party Chair Mary-Ellen Dobbins wants people outside the county also to feel welcome.



Dobbins is looking forward to hearing all the candidates speak, as she says she thinks all three confirmed speakers would be better for the state than Senator Johnson. 


(Photo courtesy of the Democratic Party of Kewaunee County)


Youth finance course makes "cents"

Being frugal with money can be a skill that takes practice, and Leslie Boden of Money Management Counselors aims to mitigate the trial and error part. One way to do that is to equip elementary and junior high-aged students with critical knowledge before getting to a point of financial independence. This year, Boden and the team at MMC gives kids the chance to enhance their financial literacy with a nine-week program that’s centered around understanding different forms of currency, making money choices, and long-term strategizing. Boden finds it to be a way to keep kids in the learning pool without the school year stress level. 



The program is geared toward fifth through eighth-graders 


Artists able to make their mark on hunting season

The Door County art scene has a chance to merge with the Wisconsin hunting landscape. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is accepting entries to the 2022 wild turkey, pheasant, and waterfowl stamp design contest. Local artists can submit their paintings of each species, and the winning designs will be used on stamps that authorize one’s right to hunt it. While many buy their stamps online now, the painting would be displayed on physical stamps, the DNR website, and publications like press releases and regulation pamphlets. Assistant Upland Biologist for the DNR Alaina Gerrits discusses how the stamp sales help keep Wisconsin outdoors thriving. 



The competition is for Wisconsin residents and open to non-hunters as well. Submissions are due on July 15th, 2021. More information on entry can be found here. 


(Photo featured is last year's duck stamp winner. Artwork by Caleb Metrich of Lake Tomahawk) 

More animals find forever homes in last year

People experienced a lot of downsides to the year 2020, but for some pets in Door County, it was the year they became part of a family. Marketing Coordinator for the Humane Society Door County campus Shaina Allen says the demand for pet adoptions in 2020 was strong and carried into the early part of this year. Allen says the percentage of animals adopted was the most it's ever been and added that volunteer numbers even reached new heights. Allen exclaimed that their successes were a silver lining to a 2020 that was tough on most everybody. 


With summer coming their animal intake is starting to go up a bit, especially for cats and kittens. This is largely attributed to stray cats being more active in the summer. There’s a lot of reasons a person may need to part with a pet, and Allen discusses the need for people to know the commitment they are making before becoming a pet owner.



Allen encourages being open to all different types of pets, as it can help find the best lifestyle fit. 


YMCA introducing programs for body and soul

With more people freely enjoying the Door County YMCA, much of the attention has been focused on programs being brought back. A lot of excitement is about the things people can finally do indoors at the facility again, but Campaign Director Alyssa Dantoin also shares excitement outside the building. 


The YMCA has also used the lifted restrictions to show off new programming as well. Programs that pay attention to body output are introduced like Raise the Bar, a total body fitness course and an outdoor yoga program Peterson Park. As the YMCA has partnered with a licensed nutritionist for nutrition coaching, body input is also highlighted. The courses they are introducing can help people stay physically active, but can also help nurture their mind, as the book club will also restart.

Evers seeking reelection

Wisconsin’s governor took to a virtual convention put on by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin on Saturday to confirm his plans for 2022. Governor Tony Evers stated, “Wisconsin, I’m in. I’m running for re-election.” He went on to list key topics in his bounceback plan, mentioning job creation, fixing infrastructure, supporting small businesses, and widening access to quality healthcare. 


A press release from the governor’s office stated, “Governor Evers acknowledged that there is more work to do as we ensure Wisconsin bounces back stronger than before. His current budget continues to improve state investment in infrastructure, public education, and broadband expansion. He is also committed to passing an expansion of BadgerCare, which would expand coverage to tens of thousands of Wisconsinites while saving state taxpayers $1.6 billion.” Evers is currently in his first term as Governor. 


Below is a video from the governor’s office recapping Evers remarks on Saturday. 



Main construction to shut down Sturgeon Bay stretch

Improvements will make a temporary travel obstacle for some Sturgeon Bay drivers. Monday, June 7th marks the beginning of gas main construction at East Walnut Street. As early as 7:00 AM, East Walnut Street will be closed and open to local traffic, but only with access from South Lansing Avenue. South Neenah Avenue, however, will be open to thru traffic while work takes place. Construction is expected to be done by Tuesday evening, and drivers are asked to help ensure that by avoiding the area whenever possible. Staying away from barricades and closed roads has been a point of emphasis from the city, and doing so can help prevent a hard road closure. 


No time wasted getting ready for market

Vans, trailers, and tents accompanied by the aroma of food being prepared filled the parking lot at 421 Michigan Street for the first time this year. Also joining in from the start of the market season were artisans and crafters showing off what they spent the off-season creating. Sturgeon Bay Public Works Director Mike Barker said it’s nice to be back and to be as close to normal operations as they can be this year. Last year, the market started out as produce only and this year Barker was excited that there was produce and more from the beginning. He also mentioned that the produce only gets better throughout the season. 



Business even started happening before the official start time. Barker explained that it wasn’t unordinary, as sellers typically flock into the market quarters around 5:30 AM to set up. Once they are set up, they can part with their merchandise before the actual opening time. Also excited for the first market of the year is one of the craft vendors, Martha Bennett. She talked about last year’s season and the varied times throughout the summer that certain communities allowed art and craft vendors back in. At the markets she was able to sell at, masks were the big-ticket item. 





This year the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market won’t skip a Saturday up to mid-October unless there is inclement weather. 





Heat advisory for pets

With temperatures and humidity soaring to record highs this weekend, area veterinarians warn pet owners to take every precaution to keep their furry friends cool and safe. Extreme exposure to sun and heat can lead to your dog experiencing dangerous health effects. Dr. Jordan Kobilca from the Door County Veterinary Hospital shares some signs your pet may be suffering from heatstroke.



Dr. Kobilca says you should take your pet to a veterinarian if they experience any symptoms of heatstroke. Animals should never be left alone in vehicles, and pet owners should keep any outdoor activity to a minimum during high daytime temperature and humidity. Early morning or later evening hours are best for taking your pet for walks or exercise. You can find more tips to keep your pets safe in extreme heat here. 

Cheese consumption continues to rise

Cheesemakers in Door and Kewaunee counties are seeing more people buying their products, and not just because it is June Dairy Month. According to the International Dairy Foods Association, per capita cheese consumption has gone up 19 percent over the last decade, running opposite of where beverage milk has gone. A recent study by Tetra Pack, which packages food items, also showed that 36 percent of global consumers admitted eating a lot more cheese during the pandemic. Krohn Cheese Store manager Sally Vandermoss says people spending more time at home experimenting with different recipes has led to a wider variety of cheese being bought.

Supermarket Perimeter says total cheese sales totaled $3.4 billion in 2020, seeing overall category sales grow by more than 18 percent.



Soderberg to head up Baileys Harbor tourism efforts

A familiar face from around Baileys Harbor will be taking over the community association’s coordinator position. Ellie Soderberg is transitioning into the role as she looks to follow in the footsteps of Brynn Swanson. Previously working in commercial real estate in Minneapolis, Soderberg has more recently served as a catering manager and a bartender for a pair of Baileys Harbor businesses. After a pandemic-riddled year, Soderberg is happy there are events to help plan for the community in 2021.

The Baileys Harbor Community Association will still shut down Highway 57 for its Fourth of July celebration this year, but not for a parade. It has opted for an afternoon-long block party complete with vintage cars, food trucks, and selfie stations before fireworks take over the night sky at dusk. Soderberg says other events like its farmers' market and concerts in the park are going on as planned.   

Dollar General fate to be decided Wednesday

The third time could be the charm for Dollar General to get its Door County location. The Brussels Town Board will meet on Wednesday to go over the final paperwork for the store to be located on County DK.


Town Clerk JoAnn Neinas is expected to notify the board then that the paperwork is in order and work could soon begin. The town operates under county zoning rules, so if everything checks out it legally cannot do anything to stop it, unlike similar attempts to build Dollar General stores in Sister Bay and Egg Harbor.


While the store could be direct competition for at least one local business, Town Chairperson Joe Wautier notes there are also some positives to the project.

The town board will also discuss Door County’s lodging tax increase and upcoming road projects when it meets on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. inside the Brussels Community Center.

Senior farm market program ramps up

With the popular return of farm markets in Door County, qualifying seniors can begin applying for assistance in getting their fruits and vegetables. The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County is coordinating the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, offering vouchers for low-income older adults to buy produce at Door County farm markets. 


Each county gets alloted a certain number of $25 vouchers in June every year. Vendors will typically have signage to tell whether or not they take the vouchers. ADRC Assistant Director Jenny Fitzgerald notes that the only changes people may notice are annual income guidelines that can fluctuate. She adds that options to apply for the program in person or over the phone exist like they did last year, and the purpose of the program is still the same. 



The program goes through October. 


Kewaunee sees hospitalization; one Door County positive

In Kewaunee County’s weekly COVID19 report, there was one person who was admitted to a hospital and six positive cases throughout the week. There were no new deaths in the county. As of Friday, Kewaunee County has nine active cases. In Door County’s COVID19 report on Friday, there was one positive test out of 28 administered for the day. There were no new hospitalizations or deaths. 


Door County is at 63.9% of residents with a vaccine dose and 58.9% that are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 39.7% have one dose and 37.1% have completed the entire series. This week, Wisconsin vaccinated over 47,000 people, which is the lowest of any week in 2021. Wisconsin has 48.2% of its population with at least one vaccine dose.


Sheriff's focus on mental health creates staff change

The Door County Sheriff’s Department has taken steps to be more aware of people’s mental well-being, and now they get to show those steps in the form of a title. The department formed a Mental Health and Community Engagement Deputy role and filled it with Deputy Chris Ott. The position is nothing Ott thought he would seriously consider until within this last year. It wasn’t until a week-long training on crisis intervention that the possibility of taking a role like this piqued his interest. 


Ott began the role on June 1st, and thinks it will be interesting to experience the new differences in his work. He will take on the role while maintaining patrol duties. The position is not one that is universally utilized, and Ott says he realized how essential the position can be after talking to people who’ve held similar posts. Ott adds that it’s important to realize not everyone is affected the same by each circumstance. 



As the leader of the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, Ott looks forward to building rapport with people in the community and learning their backgrounds. He notes that this could help him in certain high-stress situations involving these people. Much of the Door County Sheriff’s Department has experienced crisis intervention training, and Ott hopes one day the initiative expands. 


(Photo courtesy of the Door County Sheriff’s Department)


Coast Guard holding event to ensure boating compliance

Boaters can find peace of mind on Saturday with a free service being offered by the US Coast Guard. Three vessel examiners from the Coast Guard Auxiliary will be checking people’s boats at the Harbor Club Marina by Sonny’s Pizzeria in Sturgeon Bay. One of the examiners, Jeff Feuerstein, says that this check is especially useful for boats traveling on Lake Michigan and Green Bay.



Feuerstein adds that those who pass will get a decal for their boat and if they don’t they will get a list of things needed to pass the check next time. Not only does Feuerstein admire the educational aspect of the checks, but it’s a chance for boaters to stay ahead of the game with compliance. He adds that transient boats can also schedule to be examined at the transient dock. They can also call an examiner to schedule a time that works for both parties outside of Saturday. 


Another plus is that boaters won’t have to worry about being cited, and Feuerstein encourages people with smaller, unregistered boats to put it on a trailer and have it checked out. Some of the boats will also be inspected for the first time in two years, as the Coast Guard could not do checks last year. Depending on the size of the boat, checks are estimated to take 15 to 30 minutes. Feuerstein will serve as the contact point for those who want to sign up for a time slot and can be contacted at 920-450-6069. The event goes from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. 


Ag traffic keeps steady as harvest begins

Do not expect traffic to change too much in Door and Kewaunee counties despite farmers taking care of planting last week.


According to the United States Department of Agriculture, corn, soybeans, and oats are all over 90 percent planted as of the end of May. All are within a few days ahead of last year’s pace and over a week ahead of the five-year average. The attention has now turned to the first cutting of hay, which is about 27 percent complete and four days ahead of last year.


Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says that means motorists will have to remain vigilant when sharing the road with agricultural vehicles as they enter and exit the roadway and into fields.

According to the Wisconsin State Farmer, 29 percent of the 34 agricultural-related deaths in 2018 were because of collisions between passenger vehicles and farm-related equipment. Joski credits recent law changes regarding passing agricultural vehicles and better markings for farm implements for the safe planting and harvest season so far this year. You can read more about how you can stay safe on area roadways alongside agricultural vehicles below.




This past weekend, I was traveling down one of our state highways when I found myself along with other vehicles behind a piece of agricultural equipment. As we approached a passing zone, the vehicle in front of me began a passing maneuver, which I thought was risky as there were a series of driveways in the immediate area. Sure enough, as the driver pulled into the left lane, the tractor turned left into one of those driveways. Fortunately the driver observed this as well and was able to pull back into the right lane until the tractor had completed its left turn. I was glad that our newly minted 15 year old driver trainee was in the vehicle with us so that we could use this as a teachable moment. The lesson here is that even if you are in a passing zone following any vehicle, be aware of intersections or driveway access points as the unit in front of you may or may not be able to signal their intentions before making that left turn.


With June being Dairy month, I thought a quick breakdown of Agricultural equipment would be a good topic.


As the summer Planting and growing season kicks into full gear, we continue to see various types of equipment on the roads in support of the many agricultural operations which go on each and every day. Each specific operation brings with it a unique piece of equipment which may be operating on our roads and subsequently different guidelines and laws which govern that piece of equipment while it is on the roads.


There are three basic categories of equipment which you may see from time to time. The first is an IoH (Implement of Husbandry). This category includes those pieces of equipment we typically associate with agriculture such as tractors, combines, and choppers as well as the equipment they may be connected to such as plows, cultivators, and planters. There are specific laws pertaining to lighting, width, height, and weight which govern these units. One important law related to these pieces of equipment is that unlike other units on the road which you may pass in a no passing zone if they are going less than half the posted speed limit, if you find yourself behind Implements of Husbandry, you are not to pass them when in a no passing zone. Also, these units are exempt from registration so although you may see a slow moving vehicle sign on them, you will not find a license plate.


The next category of equipment is titled AgCMV (Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicle) which may appear to be a typical commercial vehicle such as a straight truck or tractor trailer combination, but due to the modifications for agricultural use and the purpose in which they are used they too have special exemptions. While they must adhere to the various lighting and width/height limitations, they are exempt from standard registration which you would see in the next category of CMV.


The last category of equipment is that of a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle). These units, although being used in pursuit of agricultural business, are treated the same as any other commercial motor vehicle. They must be registered and equipped no different than their counterparts, and those operating them must have proper licensing.


In regards to who can operate various agricultural units on a public roadway, there are some varying factors. For implements of husbandry, they can be operated by any person age 16 or greater, as well as any person 14 years of age or greater that has completed an approved tractor operation safety course. For AgCMV’s the operator must again be 16 years of age and possess a valid Class D Drivers License. For Commercial motor vehicles, the operator must possess a CDL (Commercial Drivers License)


In regards to both registration and licensing of both AgCMV and CMVs, there are further differences which can change the requirements. If a unit is owned by the farm and operated by an employee of that farm in pursuit of that farm’s agricultural operations, then the operator would not need a CDL but rather just a class D license. If that same piece of equipment was hired out to another farm, then those drivers would then need a CDL. This is also the circumstances surrounding registration of AgCMVs.


In all matters pertaining to the rules of the road, all of these units must adhere to all of them. This includes abiding by speed limits and stopping and yielding right of way at controlled intersections. The only exemption is for IoH which may occupy more than their lane of traffic. These units due to their width may cross the centerline, however must still yield that lane for oncoming traffic.


It is easy to see how this can become confusing even for those of us who work in the law enforcement profession, and we are very fortunate to have our partners in the State Patrol Motor Carrier Division who assist us in enforcement here in Kewaunee County. If you have questions regarding the various rules and restrictions related to the operation of such equipment below is a great link to learn more.

Cause unknown in barn, RV fire

The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department is still searching for answers regarding an early morning fire in the town of Gardner.


Crews were dispatched just after 6 a.m. when the homeowner on Claflin Park Road called 911 to report that his barn and recreational vehicle were on fire. Both the barn and the RV were fully engulfed by the time firefighters from B.U.G., Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Casco, and Luxemburg could start putting out the fire. B.U.G. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says there are a lot of possibilities as to what started the fire.

Door County EMS, the Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin Public Service also responded to the fire. Vandertie says two different insurance companies were helping sort out the details while a cause is trying to be found. In addition to the RV, two boats, tools, and other items inside the barn were completely destroyed by the fire. The blaze also caused heat damage to an ATV and another nearby structure.  No injuries were reported and crews were able to depart from the scene just before 7:40 a.m.


Picture courtesy of Curt Vandertie

Gibraltar seniors embrace change

The transition from high school to the real world may be easier in some respects compared to what Gibraltar’s Class of 2021 has already experienced. The first part of their junior year was spent in portable classrooms out the school’s gym as Gibraltar started work on its $4.5 million referendum projects that included a refurbished library and media center. Just as they were getting used to the new space, they went home due to the pandemic for virtual learning before they returned on a limited basis in January. Gibraltar’s outgoing principal Gereon Methner hopes this weekend’s outdoor ceremony is the ending the senior class deserves.

This year’s seniors will be the first to be recognized by the Laude System of Honors. Students graduating Summa Cum Laude, which is the highest level in the system, include Lexie Henkel, Jackson Hitzeman, Eliza Maltby, Molly McCormack, and Marcus Reinhardt. The graduation ceremony will take place at the football field on June 6th beginning at 2 p.m.

Garage-hopping a weekend priority for Sturgeon Bay

The city of Sturgeon Bay will truly embody the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” on Friday and Saturday. The City Wide Garage Sale event with forty-nine property owners participating will be sure to inform shoppers how to get around to different sales. In May, after all the vendors signed up, the city made a map of all the participating households with the days, times, and even the types of items they will be selling. After the event was a scratch a year ago, Municipal Services Secretary Patricia Quinn feels like there is a lot of excitement, even beyond Sturgeon Bay. 



People are free to sell and shop as they choose, but Municipal Services is counting on people to be respectful of others' rules and boundaries. The garage sale map can be found on the city’s website. 


Dairy Promo recognizes Eberts

Algoma farmer Randy Ebert says he likes to work behind the scenes, but he and his wife Renee were front and center for their role in the dairy industry on Thursday morning.


The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee recognized the Eberts as their Volunteers of the Year at the organization’s annual June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast held at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg. Their farm, Ebert Enterprises, was the site of the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm in 2003 and Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. The Eberts routinely invite school groups to their farm for field trips and donate dairy products to local causes and events.


Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom also pointed out that many school-aged children know Renee from her time donning a cow suit while visiting local schools.  A sixth-generation farmer, a humbled Randy Ebert took the time to thank his employees for affording him and Renee the time to give back to the industry.

The annual kickoff event for June Dairy Month also included the formal introduction of Augustian Farms as this year’s host for the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm Father’s Day weekend.





Meat supply at stores could be impacted from cyberattack

The aftermath of a cyberattack against all JBS USA beef plants earlier this week, including the one in Green Bay, may not be felt immediately in local supermarkets. John Calhoun, Tadych’s Econo Foods store manager, says the temporary shutdown by the plant will only lead to a slight delay in deliveries for a seven-to-fourteen-day period. Calhoun compares the current situation to what supermarkets experienced in supply chain shortages last year. He says prices may increase due to simple supply and demand.  

The cyberattack targeted servers supporting JBS facilities in North America, as well as Australia.  Production resumed on Thursday at all JBS USA beef processing plants Thursday. Calhoun notes that the supply chain for produce is being impacted this spring due to a depleted labor market.   The ripple effect hinders crops from being picked and shipped on time with the labor market. As a result, the full recovery of the sound food chain is taking longer than expected. 

Weather alert issued for Kewaunee, Southern Door counties

Residents in Kewaunee County and parts of southern Door County are expected to see some strong thunderstorms this evening. The National Weather Service has issued a significant weather advisory for the area until 5:45 p.m. due to a line of thunderstorms it has tracked from 11 miles west of Sturgeon Bay all the way down to Appleton. Winds in excess of 40 mph are possible with these storms and the National Weather Service warns that the torrential rainfall with this storm system could cause localized flooding.

Door County adds one new positive test

Door County’s single positive COVID-19 test result on Thursday follows the improving trend in the state’s fight against the pandemic.


Only eight tests were performed and no new deaths or hospitalizations were reported. The state reported only 83 new positive tests on Thursday and no additional deaths.


On the vaccine front, close to 63 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose with 143 shots administered so far this week. Just shy of 40 percent of Kewaunee County residents have received at least one dose with 62 shots administered during the same time frame.


The public health departments in both counties are offering the vaccine for walk-ins and by appointment. Door County hosts its vaccine clinics on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Door County Senior Center and on the third Thursday of each month at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station.

Washington Island School honors two classes

The theme song to the television show “Friends” will take on new meaning Friday when Washington Island School hosts its outdoor commencement exercises on Friday.


The school will not just honor the six members of the class of 2021 but also its two alums from the class of 2020. While space underneath the tent will be reserved for the graduates and their families, the community is still welcomed to celebrate the achievements of the two graduation classes. In addition to their diplomas, the graduates will also be presented with quilts handmade by community members tailored especially to them.


Washington Island School Principal Michelle Kanipes says the class of 2021 is a special and hardworking class with all six students heading to college in the fall, four of which with several credits already banked. With the class’ theme song as The Rembrandts’ “I’ll Be There For You,” Kanipes is happy the community will be able to show that they are there for them.

With valedictorian Tara DeJardin and salutatorian Julia Valentincic leading the way, Washington Island School will host its graduation ceremony on Friday at 6 p.m.

Residents able to comment on conservation approach

Door County residents have a chance to influence how the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approaches caring for the 300 miles of  Door peninsula shoreline. The DNR is hoping residents leave thoughts on their strategic analysis for existing and alternative coastal conservation practices. The DNR reported in a press release that changing water levels and the intensity of storm events have posed a significant challenge to managing Lake Michigan and Green Bay. 


The DNR also reported that the coastal erosion and flooding have led to an increase in applications for DNR waterway permits for placing stone revetment, jetties, and other types of structures along the shore. The rise in shoreland protection projects could potentially have negative environmental impacts such as the loss of fish habitat and disruption of natural resources. This analysis is an effort to educate decision-makers about current conditions and different ways to go about coastal management. People can comment on a draft outline touching on the topics discussed in the analysis and are asked to fill out an online questionnaire. 


Destination Door County names Interim CEO

A nationwide search is on for Destination Door County to find its next leader, but on Wednesday they announced former CEO Jack Moneypenny’s temporary replacement. Current Director of Communications and Public Relations Jon Jarosh, who has been with the organization since 1997, was named the Interim CEO. The head of the search committee tasked with finding a permanent replacement Todd Trimberger praised what Moneypenny accomplished in his fourteen years as the CEO but is confident Jarosh can carry the torch during the search. 



DDC and their search committee for this hire are teaming up with executive search firm SearchWide Global to carry out the hire. No set deadline for permanently filling the vacancy has been announced, but Trimberger estimates it’ll take about three months. The process will include SearchWide Global conducting a needs assessment with Door County stakeholders that will help build a desired profile. The search committee for Moneypenny’s successor also includes Tim Guckenberg, Greg Stillman, Bob Papke, Jeff Lutsey, Nedd Neddersen, Pam Seiler, and Myles Danhausen Jr. Moneypenny’s official exit is scheduled for July 14th.

Crafts return as Sturgeon Bay market opens

This weekend Michigan Street shoppers will have vendor options they didn’t have in 2020. The Sturgeon Bay Farm Market will start back up on Saturday and will have a much more normal feel than last year’s limited market. City Administrator Josh VanLieshout called it an indicator of the summer season in his Administrator’s report this week. VanLieshout did point out that while the lifting of restrictions is exciting, the market will still look different than it did in 2019. 



There will still be sanitation practices like hand washing stations, but limits on the number of vendors won’t apply anymore. This year craft and prepared food vendors are also back after last year’s market was limited to produce vendors. The first summer market will be held from 8:30 AM to noon. 


(Photo courtesy of Travel Wisconsin)

Door County negative streak ends

For the first time in over a week, Door County Public Health reported a positive COVID19 test. In Wednesday’s COVID19 report, seventeen tests were performed and one turned out to be positive. There were no new hospitalizations or deaths in the county. 


Door County has 63.5% of its residents with at least one vaccine dose and 58.5% that are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 39.5% of residents have received a vaccine dose and 36.8% are fully vaccinated. 


According to a press release from the US Department of Justice, vaccine providers must not sell or seek reimbursement for the COVID19 vaccine or any related supplies and must administer the vaccine regardless of the recipient’s ability to pay. If you feel that you have been improperly charged, you’re asked to contact the federal government. More information can be found in this Department of Health Services news release. 


Casco Marine memorialized with 11th annual softball tournament

As Memorial Day ceremonies were celebrated throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties Monday morning, a 1997 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School will be memorialized this coming weekend.  The 11th annual Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Softball Tournament will be held at the Casco Village Park from Thursday through Sunday.  Opicka served in the Marines and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was one of three L-C graduates who died in the Iraq War.  Annie Zelewske says Dean was always about helping children and the community. 



The softball tournament begins at 6:15 Thursday evening with the motorcycle ride on Sunday beginning with registration at 8:30 at the park in the morning.  All proceeds from the events benefit the Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Memorial Fund which has raised nearly $125,000 for local academic scholarships and local hardship gifts over the past ten years. 

YMCA honoring and welcoming CEOs

The Door County YMCA will be celebrating while evaluating on Thursday, June 10th. At their annual board meeting open to the public, they will honor former CEO Tom Beernsten and recognize his tenure. Though she’s been at the YMCA for about six months, current CEO Heidi Erickson will get a formal welcome publicly. Incoming and outgoing board members will also be acknowledged. 


The meeting can also help the YMCA moving forward, as they are encouraging both members and non-members to attend the meeting. The YMCA will celebrate all the accomplishments this past year despite the obstacles, but will also want to hear from the people in attendance. Annual Campaign Director Alyssa Dantoin discussed the appreciation for hearing what members and non-members have to say.



There are in-person and virtual options to attend the meeting, and people can call the Door County YMCA to pre-register. 


Rotary Club awards over $20,000 in scholarships

The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay announced this week that over $20,000 in scholarships were awarded to area students.  Fourteen Door County high school graduates were recognized across three different scholarships for their academic and personal achievements, along with volunteering.  John Swanson, chair of the Technical Education Scholarship Fund, says the scholarships have made a big impact on students realizing their career dreams.




Griffin Slezewski of Southern Door High School was the 2021 recipient of the Rotary Rising to the Challenge Award.  The award is given to an outstanding student who has overcome adversity in their personal or family lives. 


The Rotary Service above Self Award was given to Isabella Dippel, Elena LeRoy, and Lauren Alger of Sturgeon Bay and to Gabrielle Renard and Hailey Shimon of Southern Door.  The award was presented to students who wrote essays that detailed how their service to the community impacted both them and the ones they helped. 


Eight Door County students were presented the Robert Muckian Technical Education Award that is presented to outstanding students pursuing a degree or certificate from a technical college.  The 2021 recipients were Rylee Krishka, Paul Lautenbach, and Danielle Schleicher of Sevastopol, and William Koelpien, Dylan Buhr, Brooklyn Olson, Daniel Meier and Aiden Vandertie from Southern Door.


The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay is an organization of nearly 100 members that celebrated its 100th-anniversary last year.  

Youth organizations see return of normal

Members of youth organizations across Door and Kewaunee counties are seeing signs of normalcy after the pandemic forced many of their activities to be held virtually.


Members of Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Scouts USA are slowly returning to in-person meetings and outdoor activities. Both the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes and Bay-Lakes Council BSA are looking forward to hosting camps for their members this summer with some COVID-19 considerations still in place.


4-H clubs in Kewaunee County are also returning to more in-person activities with some hybrid options also in place for those who do not feel comfortable yet. It comes at a time when kids are working hard on fair exhibits and other projects with people they may have not been able to interact with at 4-H functions in some time. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says their clubs did a great job adjusting to the situation along the way but adds that you can see extra enthusiasm among its members.

Jorgensen is hopeful for the fall when youth organizations like 4-H typically ramp up their recruitment efforts. Kewaunee County 4-H’s annual Time and Talent event will also look a little closer to normal compared to last year when it takes place on Sunday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds beginning at 10 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay recognizes Pride Month

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council made a notion of acceptance at their meeting on Tuesday. Mayor David Ward and the council made a proclamation declaring June Open Door Pride Month in Sturgeon Bay. Ward read key points in the proclamation outlining goals to take pride in the city’s diversity and to be a safe, supportive, and welcoming place. The public comment portion of the meeting was filled with gratitude from Open Door Pride. Cathy Grier with the organization spoke first. She shared her gratitude for the welcoming feeling that comes with the city government’s support. She also shared what the annual proclamation has meant to area residents. 



Grier accepted a plaque from Mayor Ward on behalf of the organization. Other members also shared sentiments about how thankful and proud they were of Sturgeon bay. Open Door Pride is in their fifth year of existence and is holding a virtual Pride Festival on June 26th. 


Lodging feeling the boom

Memorial Day weekend was just a continuation of what has been a busy 2021 for Door County’s lodging industry.


According to the Door County Tourism Zone’s records, comparative occupancy rates through March this year are not just outpacing 2020, but also each of the last five years. March’s 26.77 percent comparative occupancy rate was more than double last year and close to six percent higher than any other year dating back to 2016.

Foremost Management Services owner Denise Stillman operates lodging establishments in Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and Sister Bay. She says people are still not booking as far as out as they may have done in the past, but the interest in getting out of town and coming to Door County remains

She predicts traffic to the county will only increase throughout the summer thanks part in to travelers still wanting to stay close to home for their vacations and the few opportunities currently available for international travel. With the development of newer venues for drinking and dining for young people plus all of the arts and outdoor activities available, Stillman believes Door County has become a place where there is something for everyone.


Photo courtesy of Foremost Resorts

Gas leak triggers fire call

Members of the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue squad were still on the scene early Wednesday morning after a gas leak started a fire in the home’s mechanical room. The call to dispatch came in at around 9:50 p.m. to report to the home located on White Cliff Road in the Town of Gibraltar. The homeowner closed the door to the mechanical room, which seems to have suffocated the fire before crews arrived. The responding fire departments of Gibraltar, Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, and Egg Harbor never had to spray a drop of water. The home’s gas was eventually turned off, but as of Wednesday morning, Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says either propane or methane were still being detected even after venting the home.

Bertges says the homeowner is fine and credited his quick action to containing the fire and the smoke to just one room. Other responding departments were allowed to leave the scene at around midnight.



Sturgeon Bay approves construction bids

Positive sentiments were the theme of Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting. The meeting started off with a proclamation making June Open Door Pride Month. In other business, City Administrator Josh VanLieshout read a recommendation which was approved, awarding a contract for a project renovating the Municipal Services building reception area. The contract was awarded to RJM Construction, LLC. They made the lowest bid coming in at $76,300. The Sturgeon Bay Engineering Department reported the total costs for the project will come in well under the remaining money in the 2021 Capital Budget for City Hall improvements. 


A staff restructure with the Sturgeon Bay Police Department was unanimously approved, creating an Assistant Chief position. Councilman Dan Williams made a motion to adjust the command structure, which was an idea made by Police Chief Clint Henry. No positions will be added or subtracted, but rather the Lieutenant position, which is unfilled, will dissolve. Henry clarified the idea, saying that a 2019 wage and compensation study found that the Lieutenant position being renamed to Assistant Chief will be a more accurate reflection of job tasks. He added that it’ll help reorganize job duties in the department, especially for the Chief and Captain. The change is expected to paint a clearer picture in wage negotiations. 


The council took care of their last discussion item, and approved a recommendation from the City Plan Commission, recommending that the council work with WWP Development, LLC, regarding their development proposal for the west waterfront. WWP Development is proposing to develop the Sturgeon Bay Plaza, an approximately 5400 square foot building consisting of two stories and a rooftop patio. The funds to build the plaza come out to $2.4 million. Their proposal states that they desire to have tenants up and running in the plaza in May of 2022. 


VanLieshout said in the City Administrator’s report he’s pleased with the process of the Otumba Beach project and also stressed for people to pay attention to road construction barricades. Mayor David Ward finished the meeting touching on Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony. He called it a nice event and was impressed with the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department preparing the event which held about 200 people. 


Residents warned of communication red flags

With times drastically changing in the last year, the opportunities for scammers to prey on those vulnerable has rapidly increased. The COVID19 vaccine rollout that is widely perceived as positive news has also created ways for scammers to get creative. Money Management Counselors Director Leslie Boden acknowledges the uptick in robo-calls and emails in the area imitating places like Walmart or Amazon. The scammer offers things like gift cards or gives false ultimatums.


Emails are a particular thing to keep an eye on as they may try to emulate a brand name in the email address but typically tweak the name a bit such as changing a letter. Boden stresses vigilance when surveying emails and phone calls. 



One group that gets preyed on more often are older adults. Boden says it's amazing the lengths scammers will go, especially when calling those who aren’t fluent with the internet or cell phones. A common example includes impersonating a grandchild or someone in jail that needs money. Boden suggests that parents with children have a “junk computer” that is only used for games or other internet play and not connected to an email or financial institution. She encourages people to have a device specifically for banking as well. 



Boden says there are places to report the fraud like the FTC,, or to call MMC to be walked through how to handle potential fraud. 


Pair hospitalized in Door County

Door County kept up their streak of days without a COVID19 case, but did not have the same luck with hospitalizations. In Monday’s report from the Door County Health Department, no new positive cases were found, but two people were hospitalized due to the virus. There were no new deaths in the county. 


Door County is nearing sixty percent of residents fully vaccinated, as 63.5% have at least one dose. 58.5% of residents in Door County completed the vaccine series. In Kewaunee County, 39.5% of residents have a vaccine dose, and 36.7% are finished with the series.


Conservation program receives heavy support

Passing the state budget is a tricky process, and some outdoor conservation organizations across the state will have their eye on a particular item when the 2021-2023 budget is worked out. The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program, which provides funds to private and public organizations, including various ones in Door County, creates wider accessibility for land protection practices. It also includes funding for certain amenities such as boat launches. Governor Tony Evers has proposed that the budget call for a ten-year reauthorization of the program, as well as $70 million in annual funding. At their May 25th meeting, the Door County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution showing support for continuation of the program. 


Door County Land Trust, which has long been a beneficiary of the program, is one of the organizations with a sharp eye on the budget. Executive Director Tom Clay hopes the supervisors’ support echoes through to lawmakers around the area and state. Clay says not renewing the program would be a gamechanger.



Clay adds that it’s important that the program is renewed for ten years rather than just two like last time. This way the land trust would have more time to perfect the initiatives and land deals that they want to complete. 


Redistricting fight heats up

Rep. Joel Kitchens is one of three Republicans hoping to cool down a brewing battle over redistricting months before states even receive data from the U.S. Census Bureau.


Both parties have sought redistricting reform for decades, but it has been a Democratic cause since the Republican-led state Legislature redrew the maps in 2011. Democrats charge that the maps have made election races uncompetitive in several districts with Republicans reaping the benefits. Several bills have been presented in recent sessions and the People’s Maps Commission was established by Governor Tony Evers in 2020 to address the issue. Supporters of redistricting reform say by switching to a different model like what is done in Iowa takes the maps out of the hands of politicians and into the hands of a non-partisan review board. Opponents say the process is unconstitutional and it should remain a duty of the state Legislature.


For the second time, Kitchens has joined Rep. Todd Novak and Rep. Todd Tranel as the only Republicans to support a bill calling for non-partisan redistricting to take place. Kitchens does not believe it will have a huge impact on the final result, but adds that many people just do not believe in the process anymore.

Without the review board in place, Kitchens is already predicting the new district maps will be up for the courts to decide. Unlike redistricting efforts in 2001 or 2011, the state government is divided between a Republican legislature and a Democratic administration. Democrats have gone to court over the 2011 maps but have been turned away by the courts along the way. Wisconsin Republicans were told in April they could not have private attorneys to help handle redistricting issues according to the Racine Journal Times.

Ahnapee Diesel a first-of-its-kind opportunity

A pit stop in the future of Wisconsin’s trucking industry is progressing in Casco. Construction at the former Luxemburg-Casco Middle School has been going on for just over a month as it retrofits a portion of the building to a diesel truck and a fabrication lab.


When completed, Ahnapee Diesel will be a joint venture of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Luxemburg-Casco, Kewaunee, and Denmark School Districts. The first-of-its-kind partnership comes at a time when there is not just a shortage of truck drivers but also of the people who help keep them on the road.


Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent Glenn Schlender says many local businesses jumped at the chance to help make the future program a success.

Schlender added that interest has already been high with over 20 students registered to take part when the facility officially opens this fall.   

Completing the course at Ahnapee Diesel will not just help students earn credits for high school, but also get on the fast track to earning a Diesel Maintenance Technician diploma from NWTC.



Schmidt family continues dairy tradition

For a glimpse at how much the dairy industry has changed in the last century, you just have to ask the Schmidt family.


The early beginnings of S&S Jerseyland Dairy in Sturgeon Bay date back to 1902 when William and Josephine Schmidt purchased the initial 120 acres and a milking herd of 20 cows. In the years since, there have been expansions, tragedy, and even a transition out and then back into milking cows. Now the operation milks over 3,300 cows daily in addition to hosting 1,200 calves and 1,600 heifers on site.


Tanner Schmidt is now a fifth-generation farmer along with his two brothers and his parents Randy and Dena. Working as the farm’s dairy manager, Schmidt has seen the technology change drastically over the years, which includes GPS technology when it comes to planting crops in the field to the monitoring collars each cow wears in their barns. He says there is a lot of information he looks over on a daily basis.

It is the technology that excites Schmidt the most as it has allowed the farm to be more productive while also limiting its carbon footprint. He added coming back to the family farm was always in the plans, calling it a privilege to work alongside his grandparents, parents, and two brothers.

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