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News Archives for 2021-08

Bidding wars begin on Sturgeon Bay cherries

Door County is famous for cherries, and soon you may be able to own a large cherry that’s good year-round. Until September 18, Destination Sturgeon Bay allows you to bid on the cherries placed around the city this summer. The cherries represent 21 years of Sturgeon Bay public art. This is the second year that the auction is online and the second year in a row that cherries are the art piece of choice. Marketing and Events Director Carly Sarkis says that people from all over the state and even in other states make it a point to participate in the auction each year.


Sarkis says the online auction process is very user-friendly and more accommodating for people around the county. The cherries start at $400 and bids are done in $100 increments. Sarkis says the highest bid on a cherry last year was $4200. Sarkis notes that the proceeds go to the artists and the beautification project fund. 



The title sponsor for the event is Nicolet National Bank and more information on the auction can be found here

What addiction help is available to you in Door County?

If you or someone you love is suffering from a drug addiction you may not realize that there is help in Door County. August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day and September 1st starts National Recovery Month. In Wisconsin, drug overdose deaths were up 25% in 2020, totaling over 1500. Behavioral Health Manager for Door County Health and Human Services Donna Altepeter says if you decide to seek treatment, you can contact their office’s Behavioral Health Unit to schedule an appointment to be assessed. 


Altepeter said that after the first call and screening, a therapist is assigned to make an assessment and recommendation on a course of action. Altepeter adds that there’s also people to address co-occurring disorders, which can be the mix of substance abuse and mental health struggles.




Altepeter assured that information shared to the therapist from the client remains confidential. Health and Human Services also provides solo or group therapy upon the recommendation of a therapist.

Vaccinations increasing in state report

In Wisconsin’s COVID    -19 report from Tuesday, the seven-day average for total confirmed cases went down by 25. The current even-day average for confirmed cases is 1667 and the seven-day average for deaths is at 8. All counties in the state are considered to be in areas of very high disease activity level or high disease activity level. Kewaunee County is one of 34 counties in very high activity level and Door County is one of 38 in high activity level. 


In Wisconsin, 54.7% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 51.4% of residents are fully vaccinated. The emergence of booster shots and reactions to rising case numbers have prompted more people to get vaccinated in the state. Last week, 68,000 people received a vaccine dose. 

Family of Jacque, others urge vaccination

As State Senator Andre Jacque, who’s been hospitalized with COVID-19 for two weeks, battles COVID-19 induced pneumonia, his loved ones have spoken out in hopes of influencing you to get the vaccine. On Monday evening, Jacque’s wife Renee released a statement to Action 2 News in Green Bay, stating, “while vaccination is a personal choice, I ask that those individuals who are eligible and are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine please consider placing their trust in the medical professionals who recommend it.” Renee Jacque went on to share her gratitude for the health professionals currently caring for Sen. Jacque. 


There has been no word on Sen. Jacque’s vaccination status, but his brother Pierre Jacque has also cited the hospitalization to drive people to vaccination. Two of Senator Jacque’s colleagues have asked their constituents to pray for him in the last two weeks. State Representative Joel Kitchens said on Tuesday that his office has been receiving a number of contacts regarding the health of Sen. Jacque. Kitchens added that Sen. Jacque is in his thoughts and prayers. 

Habitat keeps building on success

You will find Door County Habitat for Humanity’s volunteers in more places than just its two home build sites in Sturgeon Bay. The organization is currently involved in more than 20 home repair projects through its Brush with Kindness program. A dedicated team of 10 volunteers visits homeowners in need to install ramps, fix siding, and repair roofs among other projects. It is the busiest summer Door County Habitat for Humanity has experienced when it comes to the program, which is something Executive Director Lori Allen is very proud of as a sign of its outreach efforts.

Homeowners in need of some repairs that do not have the funds to do so can apply for assistance from Door County Habitat for Humanity. In order to help fund the Brush with Kindness and home build projects, Door County Habitat for Humanity is hosting its second Hole-in-One golf outing at Idlewild Golf Course on September 8th.


Picture courtesy of Door County Habitat for Humanity

Zittlow completes Eagle Scout project

The next time you take a seat at the White Cedar Nature Center, you will have Scouts BSA Troop 1140 member Matthew Zittlow to thank. Zittlow and his crew of volunteers made six benches for the Friends of Peninsula State Park in addition to donating his project’s unused funds. The Southern Door High School junior Zittlow did everything from soliciting ideas from non-profits and gathering donations from local businesses to organizing the volunteers and building the benches. He is looking forward to becoming a part of the eight percent of Scouts BSA members that become Eagle Scouts.

Zittlow has done the hard work already, including earning the requisite number of merit badges. He hopes to complete the process with his Scoutmaster’s Conference and Board of Review with other area adult leaders later this year. The two meetings not only discuss the merit of the project, but reviews Zittlow’s scouting career. Eagle Scout is the highest rank you can earn in the Scouts USA program.  


Picture courtesy of Matthew Zittlow

Woolly finds a new home

Bayview Park is where you will find Sturgeon Bay’s newest prehistoric resident after Woolly the Mammoth made the approximately 20-mile journey Tuesday morning. Driven by Edgewood Orchard Gallery owner J.R. Jarosh, Woolly traveled from Egg Harbor on Highway 42 before taking Bay Shore Drive to Sturgeon Bay. A jaunt down 3rd Avenue and across the Michigan Street Bridge later, city crews and Jarosh helped place Woolly on a concrete landing where he will soon greet visitors with a plaque and flowers around him. Jarosh says as much as he will be missed at the gallery, there may be no more perfect of a place for Woolly than his new spot on the bay.

Sturgeon Bay resident Chris Kellems helped spearhead the $26,000 fundraising effort in June 2020 that brought Woolly to the city, which was earlier this year recognized as an Ice Age Trail Community. After Woolly was placed, Kellems says she was happy that Woolly would continue to be enjoyed by local visitors and guests for years to come.

Fundraising continues for beautification efforts that will surround the life-size structure created by artist Carl Vanderheyden. Sturgeon Bay is the home of the Eastern Terminus of the Ice Age Trail. 



School startups face civility challenges outside classroom

With so much uncertainty, fear, and frustration being felt over the ongoing pandemic, a Sturgeon Bay psychologist recommends that you show support for your local educational leaders with the new school year beginning.  Dr. Dennis White says what should primarily be a health issue in schools has become controversial for many reasons.  He says students, parents, and teachers have a lot at stake. Unfortunately, school administrators and board members have been embattled in contentious meetings, lawsuits, and threatening behavior around the nation.



Dr. White adds that safety should be of prime importance when the decisions surrounding health protocols for schools are being made.  You can listen to the entire Mental Health Minute with Dr. Dennis White below. 


Fertilizer still necessary for plant care

The gardening season may be winding down, but the task of protecting and maintaining your plants and shrubs remains high. Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says homeowners that wish to keep their plants looking great throughout the fall should remember to include a regular dose of fertilizer.



Trimming annuals back halfway and removing all spent blossoms are two tips to improve your plant's health, according to Maas. He adds that most perennials are done blossoming already, so you can cut down the spent stalks to have them ready for the first frost and winter ahead. You can find more tips on fall plant care here.

Giving support to Hurricane Ida victims

Although the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida on Sunday will not be felt in Door and Kewaunee counties directly, the local American Red Cross volunteers will affect the relief efforts being made going forward.  Laura McGuire, regional communications manager for the American Red Cross, says the recent stressful times of dealing with wildfires, flooding, and hurricanes require preparing shelters for people in advance of the disasters when possible.  She notes that some of the active volunteers deployed to Louisiana this week were from Wisconsin.



McGuire says the Red Cross provides immediate needs like blankets, water, and shelter for displaced families.  She says the increase in home fires recently has made the demand for volunteers even greater.  Volunteers offer emotional support and begin the process of helping victims pick up the pieces and start recovery.  You can find contact information for volunteering here.  

School year begins with a return to normal

The sight of school buses on your commute will start this week as classes begin over the next week in Door and Kewaunee counties. Algoma School District and St. Paul’s Lutheran School started their first day of classes on Monday. Pastor John Moll says they saw a small increase in their enrollment numbers over last year. As kids were dropped off at school for their first day of class, he was happy that the conversations were more typical of years past and not necessarily centered around COVID-19 like last year.

Southern Door, Kewaunee, Washington Island, Luxemburg-Casco, and Sturgeon Bay school districts are among the schools starting their classes on Wednesday. Kewaunee Principal Michael Bennett says there have been no changes to their policies since their school board met earlier this summer and will keep some pandemic-related features like streaming of live events in place. He says just as it has been since the pandemic started, they will be ready if they do have to change.

Gibraltar and Sevastopol will wait until after Labor Day to start their school years. 

Door County adds 14 active cases

Door County saw its COVID-19 numbers continue to climb as it urges the immunocompromised to get their third vaccine dose. The public health department reported on Monday it had 22 positive tests come back out of the 127 given since last Thursday’s update. That caused the number of active cases to go up 14 to 163. On a positive note, there were no additional hospitalizations or deaths in that time period. The Door County Public Health Department is asking the immunocompromised, and those who have not been vaccinated at all, to call and schedule their appointments. They have vaccine clinics scheduled for September 2nd at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, September 7th at Sevastopol School, and every Wednesday at Door County Public Health. Just over 69 percent of Door County residents have received one dose of the vaccine.


Door County 

Tests Performed: 19,435 (+127)
Positive: 2,788 (+22)
Probable: 240 (+2)
Negative: 16,407 (+103)
Active: 163 (+14)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 120 
Death: 30

Apples off to early start in Door County

You will not have to wait until Labor Day to get your first taste of fall from Door County apple orchards this year. Paula Reds, Zestars, and Rave apples are among the first to be picked this year with other varieties ripening in the coming weeks. It is about five days earlier than last year according to Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood thanks to the recent string of humid and warm days. The cooler weather that is expected to come into the area this week will bring more than just relief for the trees and the fruit according to Wood.

In a normal year, the bulk of Door County’s apple crop is ripe from mid-September to mid-October. Wood expects farm markets and pick-your-own fields to be filled with eager apple lovers in the next week or two.

Building-saving efforts growing in Sister Bay

A group in Door County is making an extra effort to stop a demolition of a historic barn. The Little Sister Resort Barn is currently set to be demolished so that a condominium development can be constructed. The barn is currently over 100 years old, and a member of the Sister Bay Historical Society Board, John Fletcher, says if the barn is saved it would make for a great history center. 



Fletcher says the building represents the end of an era in Sister Bay’s history. He also says there’s a group that’s formed already, focused on efforts to save the structure. The particular style of barn construction is one of just three still standing in Wisconsin.


Special Plum Island deer hunt

You may have a chance to bag a deer on Plum Island if you apply for a special use permit. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the Wisconsin DNR to continue its implementation of the Nuisance Deer Control Program on the island. This is the third year that the deprivation hunt is planned and it's to help meet the deer population goals of Plum Island.


Each year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and area biologists determine a proper harvest goal. Horicon National Wildlife Refuge Assistant Manager David Bolin says its set at 30 again, which has been accomplished once. 



Bolin says there’s a real close coordination with those hunting on the small island with special permits, so that they don’t accidentally over-harvest. You must be at least 18 years old to apply and the application period ends on Wednesday, September 8th. You can learn more about the application process here

Kitchens receives award for conservation efforts

Your outdoors enjoyment is a top priority for State Representative Joel Kitchens, who the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation named the Conservation Legislator of the year. It’s the first time that Kitchens was given the award, and he says it’s nice to feel that the work he’s done is validated. Kitchens also recognizes the importance of outdoor recreation in northeast Wisconsin and says he finds the outdoors to be a unifier of people.



One of the recent accomplishments for Kitchens was helping in getting the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship reauthorized. He says Door County benefits as much if not more than anywhere else in the state from the Stewardship. 

Kewaunee County among state's best when it comes to unemployment

You may be seeing a lot of hiring signs and a lot of people taking their time getting back into the workforce, but Kewaunee County currently is listed as the second-lowest unemployment rate in Wisconsin. According to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics that the Job Center of Wisconsin released, Kewaunee County had a 2.8% unemployment rate. Door County sits in the middle of the pack when it comes to unemployment rates around the entire state. Door County currently has a 4.6% rate. The lowest rate in the state is 2.6%, which is in Lafayette County. You can view the entire LAUS report here

Change of seasons getting bees more active

You may notice a bee buzz in the air as the leaves change color and we progress to fall. A lot of the native and honeybees are in the process of bringing nectar and pollen back to the larvae that they are taking care of. As a result, you may see more bees than usual that are getting ready for the winter. 


While you may not love seeing bees near you, Director of charitable Giving at the Door County Land Trust Cinnamon Rossman says bees are absolutely needed in Door County.



One thing that you may be surprised to know is that while honeybees are very popular, they are not native to the peninsula. They came with European settlers in the 1700s and while it’s rarely an issue in Wisconsin, you want to be careful about letting them get overpopulated. Rossman points to the aggression of honey bees and what it can do to the native bee population as a reason why. In areas where there’s an abundant honeybee population, they can deplete native bees' food sources. 

(Photo from BBC)

Badgers broadcasters promoting Door County Alzheimer's Walk

With the Walk to End Alzheimer’s less than two weeks away, one Wisconsin sports figure is urging you to get to Door County to support and learn about the disease. Paul Braun, who was a longtime broadcaster for the University of Wisconsin Badgers hockey team for many years along with other sports, is an honorary co-chair of all 27 walks in Wisconsin along with fellow Badgers broadcaster Matt Lepay. 


Braun says since losing his wife to the disease in 2015, being involved with trying to end Alzheimer’s disease is his way of fighting back. 



He also says that the more awareness there is of the impact of the disease, the stronger the fight will be. He says there’s no shame if you don’t know much about the disease, as he didn’t until his wife was diagnosed. Braun suggests you get involved with the fight against Alzheimer’s even if you’re not personally affected, and a good place to start is researching the Alzheimer’s Association. The walk is on September 11th at Graham Park in Sturgeon Bay. 

Solutions being discussed in Monday climate change forum

Recent environmental matters have led climatologist Roger Kuhn to call you and others to discuss and act on climate change. Kuhn will hold a workshop at the Clearing on Monday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM to go over the new international panel on climate change report and what actions you can take on an individual, county, state, and even national basis. 


It’s open to the public and Kuhn calls the workshop a hands-on and interactive discussion and says it won't just be bad news. Kuhn says they’ll touch on electric vehicles, talk a bit about organic foods and how you can cut down on use of plastics and fossil fuels. Kuhn says there are some remarkable observations in the report.



Kuhn says he and others don’t want to consider fossil fuels to be an evil thing, but rather want to make a transition to more renewable resources. You can learn more about the forum at

Using apps to improve your hunt

With one of the country’s best outdoors scenes in your backyard, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is encouraging you to download the Hunt Wild Wisconsin app to find your spot. The app is free and geared to those who plan to hunt on public land this year. On top of finding public hunting spots in Door and Kewaunee counties, you can also use Hunt Wild Wisconsin to stay on top of hunting regulations this season. 


The app also provides you with updated shooting hours, so you know when you’re able to start and wrap up your hunt. Also included is information on cover types, and chronic wasting disease testing locations. The DNR also encourages you to know about other online mapping tools, like their FFLIGHT tool, which helps locate game bird hunting areas. 

Pair of gifts help Crossroads expand resources

Your walks through the Crossroads of Big Creek are going to be filled with plenty more native grasses and shrubs in the future thanks in part to a $600 donation from the Sturgeon bay Rotary Interact Club. The $600 was raised throughout the year as an effort to help Crossroads with ecological restoration. Accepting the grant was the Crossroads’ Land and Facilities Manager Nick Lutzke. 


Crossroads also announced a grant from the Door County Community Foundation.  The grant will go to a project called “The Land and the People,” and will allow them to expand archaeological activities in the fall. 

Child tax credit linked to cutting food insufficiency

The child tax credit that you may have received this year is starting to show early results. Last week the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey showed a drop in the number of households with children that reported insufficient food or trouble paying bills. The census surveyed families before and after the first payments arrived, and found a three percent decline in food insufficiency and a 2.5 percent decline in difficulty paying bills. 


Program Director with Opportunity Wisconsin Meghan Roh says the expanded child tax credit that was part of the American Rescue Plan has been crucial. Roh notes that the biggest beneficiaries have been children. 



Timothy Smeeding, an Economist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has also predicted that the strong early numbers will improve with time. 

New restaurant opening in downtown Sturgeon Bay

A new restaurant with a familiar name will start serving in Sturgeon Bay next Thursday.  Owners of the Morning Glory Restaurant just south of Sturgeon Bay are opening a second location on South Third Avenue.  German and Nery Ramirez, who have been operating Morning Glory for the past six years, have remodeled the old Lola May Restaurant & Bakery after working out a lease arrangement earlier this summer.  Nery Ramirez says the new “Morning Glory By the Bay” will feature a similar breakfast and lunch menu that is found at the other location. 


Ramirez says the restaurant has complete sets of new tables and chairs with freshly painted walls and new flooring.  Fully staffed with six employees who are currently being trained at the original Morning Glory, both Nery and German will handle the cooking at Morning Glory By The Bay.   The new restaurant will be open from 6 am until 2 pm Monday through Saturday starting September 2.    



Gibraltar opens up nut discussion

Gibraltar Area Schools may be taking nuts out of its school so you do not have to after taking up the discussion at its board meeting earlier this week. Currently, students with a nut allergy have to sit at a designated table where nuts are not allowed. During the discussion, Superintendent Tina Van Meer suggested the district take nut products out of what it offers through its school lunch line and concession stands. Eating on the bus could also go away as a part of the discussion. Van Meer says the district wants to control what it can control and not necessarily ban nut products altogether. She says it could also promote a more inclusive situation for those allergic to nuts in the lunchroom.

Van Meer says no action was taken at the meeting and the topic will be discussed at future meetings. Food Allergy Research and Education estimates 10 million people suffer from peanut and tree nut allergies and the prevalence of the allergy tripled among U.S. kids between 1998 and 2006.

Afghanistan tensions push up suicide awareness efforts

“You’re not alone” has become a common refrain in communities trying to prevent suicides in recent years, but the events in Afghanistan may cause you to hear it more. Brown University published a study earlier this year that shows an estimated 30,177 active-duty personnel and veterans of the post-9/11 wars have died, which is four times more than the 7,057 that have died in battle during those efforts. As the country has pulled its operations out of Afghanistan, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs has seen an increase of people looking to use their mental health services. Kewaunee County Sheriff and Wisconsin National Guard member Matt Joski sympathizes with those that made the sacrifice and hopes people use the "Question, Persuade, and Refer" protocols for suicide prevention to reach out to people no matter their background who may be suffering.

Door County Veterans Service Officer Beth Wartella says there are resources available to veterans who are experiencing difficulties processing the events currently taking place in Afghanistan. We have that information along with Joski’s thoughts on suicide prevention efforts below.



Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 4:30pm.

Main Phone: (920)746-2226


Door County Mental Health Crisis Hotline: (920)746-2588 is available 24/7


Mental Health care is accessible at the Milo C. Huempfner VA Clinic:

2851 University Avenue

Green Bay, WI 54311



Green Bay Vet Center:

1600 S Ashland Avenue

Green Bay, WI 54304




It’s hard to believe that September is right around the corner, and with it all of the activities both in school as well as within our communities. One of the initiatives which we recognize in the month of September is Suicide Awareness Month. Recent statistics report that there 45,000 deaths annually attributed to suicide and that for every 1 documented death there are actually 25 attempts.


While there may be various reasons why people contemplate suicide as an option, some of the key circumstances in the State of Wisconsin are Diagnosed Mental Health Problem, Physical Health Problem, Recent Crisis, Financial Problem, Job Problem or Intimate Partner Problem. It is also important to note that suicide does not discriminate between genders, age or ethnic background. The one positive note is that suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death in our culture. This should give us great hope, but we as a culture need to be comfortable engaging with those who are feeling hopeless. Rather than responding to their cries by isolating them even further due to our discomfort with having an open discussion with them, we need to reach out and let them know they are not alone and they are in fact valued members of our families, and communities.


One reason that we are reluctant to reach out is the feeling that we are not mental health experts and that we may do more harm than good. This is not the case and there are now tools which can empower us to have these conversations not in an effort to diagnose, but to validate the feelings that our loved ones may be having and offering a message of hope.


The protocol that we have embraced here in Kewaunee County is titled. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) The first step in this process is just what is says, to actually confront the individual who may be exhibiting signs of suicide and asking the difficult question “Are you thinking about suicide?” Although many would think that this would do more harm than good just the opposite is found to be true. Typically those who are considering suicide are just waiting and hoping someone does actually intervene. This brings us back the statistic that for every 1 death by suicide there are 25 attempts, which are many times calls for help and not actions just looking for attention.


The second step is to persuade. This is where we need to take the time to stop whatever we or they are doing and have a meaningful conversation about all that is good in their lives and the many reasons they have to live rather than single reason they feel is bringing them to this decision. Again, we are not trying to diagnose them, but rather help them to find hope where all they see is hopelessness. One important key in this process is not to judge. Although we may view their crisis as minimal, to them it is crushing and trying to minimize it to them is not the answer.


The third step is to “Refer”. This where we get the professionals involved. What is key in this portion is the follow through. It does no good to show concern and then walk away once the referral is made. One of the biggest struggles for those in this state of mind is isolation. We must commit to standing by their side not just during the initial intervention but through the weeks and months that follow as they receive the professional help they need.


If you would like any additional information on this subject, or have an interest in a QPR presentation, please feel free to reach out to me. (920)255-1100

Registration for 4-H approaching fast

Mark your calendars for September if you want to sign up your kids for 4-H this year. Youth organizations across the country like 4-H have seen dips in their enrollment due to the pandemic and other factors. As clubs have been able to return to more in-person activities, so too has the numbers and the enthusiasm. Kewaunee County 4-H boasts 13 clubs while Door County has seven clubs as it serves hundreds of youth across the region. Jill Jorgensen from Kewaunee County 4-H says the pandemic taught her how great their volunteers are and how flexible they can be with their education efforts.

Jorgensen recommends reaching out to different clubs to see which one is right for your family.

Registration for 4-H begins in September. For those looking for a more hands-on introduction to 4-H, Kewaunee County 4-H is planning to have their Open House event on October 9th from 1-3 p.m.

Parent starts petition for requiring masks in Sturgeon Bay schools

A parent of two Sturgeon Bay students has started a petition requesting the school board to reverse their August 16 decision to not require universal masking for all students and staff.  Tracy Andropolis says the petition received nearly 200 signatures overnight and continues to garner support after she and other parents expressed concerns over sending their children to school if masks are not required.



Andropolis and other parents requested a special meeting to revisit the masking issue, but Board President Mike Stephani told them that the matter could be brought up at the next scheduled meeting on September 15.  The Sturgeon Bay School Board had voted 6-3 earlier this month to keep masks optional.  Stephani could not be reached for comment on Friday.  Gibraltar and Washington Island are currently the only two school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties that are requiring face coverings for all students and staff.  Most area schools begin classes next Wednesday, September 1.   



Vaccination proof now needed for Write On, Door County

If you plan to attend a function put on by Write On, Door County you’ll now need to show that you are immunized from COVID-19 or have tested negative in the last 48 hours. Write On, Door County became one of the first to adopt the approach that is becoming more widely used around the country. Artistic Director Jerod Santek says they had been considering the new policy for some time and then one of the presenters at the upcoming Washington Island Literary Festival helped nudge them in that direction. The presenter had just been part of a different festival that required proof and wanted to know if Write On, Door County would do the same. Santek says that the decision was not made lightly, but it’s what they felt was best.



Santek understands that the decision may bring varied reactions.



An image of a vaccine card or an image of negative test results are passable for their events.

Hospitalizations up in Kewaunee County weekly report

In Kewaunee County’s weekly COVID-19 report, the number of people hospitalized increased from two last week to four as of Friday. There were 31 positive tests administered and 89 negative ones over the week. There were no new deaths and the number of active cases decreased by six, down to 32. In Kewaunee County, 44.5% of residents have one vaccine dose and 42.2% of residents are fully vaccinated. 


Wisconsin’s COVID19 struggles continue as Friday’s report put the seven-day average for confirmed cases at 1584 and the seven-day average for deaths at eight. In the state, 54.3% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 51.1% of residents are fully vaccinated. 

Wisconsin, US lawmakers react to Kabul events

After an attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday morning that killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 US service members, lawmakers from around the state and the President Joe Biden administration released their reactions. Governor Tony Evers and US Senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson each shared sentiments for the soldiers and Afghan citizens who lost their lives. Evers said he and his wife Kathy will be praying for the loved ones of the American soldiers, citizens, and allies who were killed. Johnson called the attack horrific and heartbreaking, and Baldwin called it a tragedy, and went on to say we must focus on securing the area and focusing on a swift evacuation. 


US Representative Mike Gallagher also issued a statement, linking the tragedy to the American withdrawal effort from Afghanistan. In the statement Gallagher stated that at least four United States Marines are dead who did not need to die. Gallagher went on to call congress to reconvene in order to take control of the situation. He added that a good first step in doing so would be passing the bill he introduced which would prevent removing troops until all Americans who want to leave Afghanistan have made it out. President Joe Biden said in a press conference that we will respond with precision at our time, at the place we choose, and at the moment of our choosing. Biden also vowed that ISIS terrorists will not win. 

Construction completed on Casco bridge

The Kewaunee County Highway Department is giving you permission to drive on a bridge on Elm Road in Town of Casco. County officials announced the reconstruction project for the bridge was completed on Friday morning. The stretch of Elm Road from State Highway 54 to Park Lane had been closed since July 7th to replace the bridge over Rio Creek.

Northern Sky spreading its reach

Checking out the Door County theater scene could be as easy as turning on your computer in some cases. Theater companies across the county have been able to perform in front of live audiences this summer, albeit with some restrictions attached to it such as masking indoors at the Gould Theater on the Northern Sky Theater’s artistic campus in Fish Creek. Northern Sky Theater and Door Shakespeare introduced streaming performances for its shows to offer people a chance to see a production while keeping an eye on its own safety. Filming a production can be costly, but Northern Sky Theater Artistic Director Jeff Herbst says the various unions they work with relaxed some of its restrictions to make it more affordable to do. Hundreds of people purchased tickets for their streaming performances of “The Fisherman’s Daughters” in July. Herbst says it has been a nice option to have as people still navigate their concerns around COVID-19.

The streaming productions are available from Northern Sky Theater after the in-person performances are complete. The theater group is currently featuring “Naked Radio” at the Gould Theater and “Whatever Happened to Karl Janko?” at the amphitheater inside Peninsula State Park. 


Picture courtesy of Northern Sky Theater

A tale of two towers as Potawatomi project stalls

A timber expert believes you should be able to gaze upon Potawatomi State Park and Washington Island for many years to come. Dr. Daniel Tingley from the Wood Science and Research has been a frequent visitor to Door County as of late as local groups look to save the Potawatomi State Park Tower and the Mountain Park Lookout Tower from being destroyed. Both have been closed to the public in recent years due to concerns about their structural integrity. In both cases, Tingley believes there is still plenty of good in the timber used for the towers as long as a little maintenance is performed. For the Potawatomi State Park Tower, Tingley is frustrated that more has not been done to protect it from further damage, especially since it has been added to the state and federal historic registers.

As for the Mountain Park Lookout Tower on Washington Island, Tingley says folks there are moving forward with plans to restore it to its former glory so it can reopen.

There has not been much movement on restoring the Potawatomi State Park Tower since nearly $5 million was earmarked for saving the structure as a part of a special session legislation package that was not acted on by the Wisconsin Assembly or Senate. You can voice your concern about the Potawatomi State Park Tower by clicking this link.


A previous version had Tingley being a part of Wood Science and Technology Institute. We have made the correction. 

Top docs growing COVID fatigued

Doctors in the region’s top hospitals are just as tired as you are when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. Doctors and other officials from several healthcare agencies including Door County Medical Center and Bellin Health expressed their frustrations with the growing positive case counts in the state during an online forum held in conjunction with the Brown County Public Health Department. The rapid spread of the Delta variant has also caused the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths to sharply increase. It has since led the state to introduce incentive programs to get more people vaccinated and public and private employers considering vaccine verification information.  Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said he does not know what else to say or what other data to present to get more people vaccinated.

Heise considers the incentives being offered to get more people vaccinated not as a bribe, but as another tool being used to promote how safe and effective they are to receive. Dr. Michael Landrum from Bellin Health admitted that the virus that causes COVID-19 will likely stick around for the long term, but said its impact could be limited the more people are vaccinated. On Thursday, Door County Public Health announced 26 new positive cases and one hospitalization since its last report on Monday.

How you can be safe in peak mosquito season

You may notice more mosquitos when you’re outside at this time of year, as vector-borne disease epidemiologist Rebecca Osborne says that August and September are when they start to see higher numbers of mosquito-related diseases in humans, like west nile. Osborne also notes that the relatively dry summer kept mosquito activity lower than usual. The best breeding grounds for mosquitoes can be mucky water, and Osborne says you should remove standing water from your property. 


One mosquito-borne disease that can be very harmful in horses has made its way to Wisconsin and is called equine encephalitis, or EEE. Four cases in the state have been detected. The disease is spread through the bite of a mosquito, and while it can’t be spread from human to human or horse to human, its spread through a mosquito bite, and humans can also come down with it, albeit rare. Symptoms for EEE are similar to west nile, such as fever, chills, and body aches. 


When you buy repellent, Osborne says you should make sure the repellent you buy is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. 



Osborne adds that there are also repellents to use if you want to avoid spraying a product on your skin. 

Another Door County school issues mask requirement

Your mask will have to be on when you enter the Washington Island school building. After a unanimous school board vote this week, students, teachers, and staff are required to wear a face-covering regardless of vaccination status. The board adopted the COVID-19 policy from last school year, but without daily temperature checks or a hybrid virtual learning option. The masking requirement is subject to change based on public health recommendations. Washington Island is the second school in Door County to institute a mask mandate after Gibraltar announced their requirement earlier this week. 

Your voting rights cherished for Women's Equality Day

Your right to vote is worth celebrating, and the Door County League of Women Voters made sure to make that known with their second Women’s Equality Day Car Parade on Thursday. Cars lined up along the corner of third and Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay and paraded through the city until making their way to Martin Park. Even though it’s been over 100 years since the 19th amendment was enacted in 1920, Door County League of Women Voters chair Pat Scieszinski notes that the right to vote still can’t be taken for granted 



Scieszinski isn’t one hundred percent sure if there will be a car parade in 2022, but says there's a lot of enthusiasm about it. 

One hospitalization in Door County weekly report; booster shot guidance given

As COVID-19 cases rise in Wisconsin, Door County Public Health wants you to pay attention to whether or not you are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and get yours if eligible. Door County Public Health stated in Thursday’s report that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are recommended to get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine no sooner than 28 days after their initial two-dose mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. They also said that fully vaccinated people who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised do not need an additional vaccine dose of COVID-19 vaccine at this time.


In Door County’s weekly COVID-19 report, there were 26 positive cases out of 133 tests administered. There was one hospitalization and no new deaths. The disease activity level is currently categorized as high. 


In Wisconsin, the seven-day average for new confirmed cases is 1481 and the seven-day average for deaths is nine. Wisconsin currently has 54.2% of its residents with at least one vaccine dose and 51% are fully vaccinated. In Door County 69.2% of residents have one dose and 66.3% have completed the series. 

Local hopes to smoke out competition

No trips to Texas or Missouri are necessary with your favorite kinds of barbeque just a ferry ride away. Barbecue masters from across the country spent Thursday setting up their outdoor kitchens as they prepare for the two-day Death’s Door BBQ competition on Washington Island.  The Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned event will feature approximately 25 teams who will try their best to win top honors for chicken, pork ribs, pork, beef brisket, and dessert. Door County residents will have a local to cheer for as Sturgeon Bay’s T-Mac’s Smokin BBQ Team continues its streak competing in the contest. In 2019, owner Tom McIntosh captured top honors on the second day for his pork entry after finishing in the top five overall the day before. He says the contest has garnered the attention of barbeque fans and cooks from across the country.

The ninth-annual Death’s Door BBQ Competition will be open to the public on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Washington Island Airport. The admission is free, but you can buy samples from the country’s best barbeque cooks while taking in the other activities.

Luxemburg shooting suspect arrested

A Green Bay man is behind bars Thursday after an overnight incident in the Village of Luxemburg. Just before 1 a.m. Thursday morning, the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department responded to a disturbance in front of a home. While deputies were there, the suspect fired his gun and fled the scene. He was later arrested in the City of Green Bay by their police department, which will also assist in the ongoing investigation. No injuries were reported during the incident and there is no threat posed to the community. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski told that he expects additional details to be released within the next day. 

Community helps Feel the Love

You can help a deserving person or family stay warm this winter with a little help from a Luxemburg business. For the last 10 years, Lennox dealers across the country have helped install free heating or cooling equipment for homeowners suffering from physical, mental, or social disabilities. People who have served in the military or have dedicated their lives to community service without looking for payment or recognition have also benefitted from the program over the years. It is part of the reason why the second weekend of October has become a celebration Ultimate Air office assistant Paula Shefchik looks forward to every year. The business has installed a free furnace for a worthy homeowner the last six years through the program, often getting their family members and local businesses involved to make it a day, not just a few hours of work. Shefchik says the people they have helped do not just become clients, they become family.

Ultimate Air and other Lennox dealers are accepting nominations for this year’s Feel the Love weekend through August 31st, though you can submit them year-round. You can click this link to learn more details.

Council in-waiting on counsel

You will still have to wait a few weeks before special outside counsel is hired on for the Kewaunee Common Council. The city’s Committee of the Whole voted 6-2 to hire Michael P. May of Boardman & Clark of Madison, Wis. as its own outside special counsel in addition to the city’s attorney Randy Nesbitt. According to the resolution and accompanying emails in Monday’s agenda packet, some members of the council have grown frustrated with not being able to ask Nesbitt questions without prior permission from Kewaunee Mayor Jason Jelinek and City Administrator Fred Schnook. Jelinek says the process was put in place to rein in spending on the use of the attorney. Kewaunee Common Council President John Blaha sympathizes with Jelinek after being in his shoes as mayor previously. They also put certain restrictions on council members asking questions of the city attorney, instead of pushing people towards department heads and other city employees. He says, however, they never completely limited access to the city attorney, which is where the special counsel comes into play.

Blaha says they are not adding additional dollars to the budget for a new attorney, but rather using funds that are already there. What happens next is in Jelinek’s hands according to Blaha, who adds he has not had a chance to talk to him about the resolution since it was first introduced last week.


Pictures courtesy of City of Kewaunee

Gibraltar masks up

Do not forget your masks if you plan on heading to Gibraltar Area Schools this fall. Superintendent Tina Van Meer announced on Tuesday the district’s plans to institute universal masking beginning on August 30th for all students and staff. Originally, just students not eligible to get vaccinated along with visitors and volunteers were required to wear a mask while indoors. Van Meer says the decision was made due to the district’s commitment to in-person learning in a low-risk environment and the current upswing in cases due to the Delta variant in Door County. 

Van Meer’s announcement reiterates that vaccinated students and adults will not be required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19. Universal masking will also allow students to remain in person if exposed to COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status. Students participating in outdoor activities and athletics will currently not have to mask up. As conditions change, the policies could change right along with it. Gibraltar is the only district in Door and Kewaunee counties currently requiring masking. 

COVID average quadruples in a month

You will find more masking and vaccination mandates popping around the state as the positive case load continues to increase. The seven-day average for new positive cases grew to 1,417, which is 4-and-a-half times higher than it was just a month ago. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 1,710 new positive tests on Wednesday. Nine more deaths and 127 additional hospitalizations were also reported. Kewaunee County continues to have very high activity levels for COVID spread along with 33 other counties. Door County and the other 37 counties are experiencing high activity levels. Just under 51 percent of Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated against the virus, a number that has ticked up along with the increasing worries about the Delta variant. Governor Tony Evers announced a plan to give $100 to anyone 12 years and older that gets their first shot before Labor Day, hoping to copy the success held in neighboring states and take advantage of the FDA’s recent full approval of the Pfizer vaccine. Door County will officially update its numbers on Thursday and Kewaunee County will follow suit on Friday.

Ron's tops world for curds

You can add another prestigious title to the cheese curds from Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese in Luxemburg. Just over a month after capturing the top prize at the Wisconsin State Fair, Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese’s curds took the top two spots at the World Dairy Expo’s Championship Dairy Product Contest in Madison last week in the open class cheese category. The cheese curds scored 99.4 and 99.18 points out of 100 respectively, narrowly edging out a Caramel Chocolate Chip Dessert Cheese Ball coated in pecans from Sun Prairie-based Scott’s of Wisconsin. Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese Operations Manager Ben Shibler is thrilled they were able to capture titles in consecutive events.

Shibler and the Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese team also garnered second and third place awards in the string cheese category. Door Artisan Cheese in Egg Harbor was also honored for its cheese. Its Chipotle Gouda won the Pepper Flavored Natural Cheese category and its Over Three Year Cheddar took third in the Aged Cheddar category. Other varieties of cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, fluid milk, whipping cream, sour cream, and whey were also honored. The winners will be formally recognized at the World Dairy Expo, which is held annually in Madison from September 28th to October 2nd. 


This story originally said Ron's Wisconsin Cheese was the local cheesemaker to win an award at this particular contest. The story now reflects the achievements of Door Artisan Cheese, which placed in two separate categories as well. NEW Radio congratulates Door Artisan Cheese and apologizes for the omission.


Picture from the Wisconsin State Fair courtesy of Ron's Wisconsin Cheese

Never too late for you to learn to swim

If you feel like you may have missed the boat in learning how to swim earlier in life, you may be delighted to know that it’s not too late. Swim lessons at the Door County YMCA opened for members on Monday and on Wednesday for non-members. There are a variety of levels for swim lessons, one of which is for adults. 


Aquatics Associate Nicole Shepherd says a lot of people aren’t aware of adult swim lessons. Shepherd understands that some adults are nervous in admitting that they don’t know how to swim, but says in her experience teaching adult courses they are glad they finally did. 



Shepherd also notes that the confidence built-in swimming pairs well with being in Door County, where we’re surrounded by water. 

Shoes sent around the world to fulfill multiple needs

You may not think of your shoes as anything more than something to wear on your feet, but for one local organization, it’s a chance to help those less fortunate. The Rogue Community Theater wrapped up their shoe drive last weekend which spanned four months. Manager of the Rogue Theater Lola DeVillers engineered the shoe drive after finding out about a company that helps nonprofit organizations with fundraising initiatives. The Rogue Theater was able to collect a small share of money for the shoes while helping people in third world countries not only get shoes on their feet but also use the shoes as an opportunity to educate themselves on business and entrepreneurship through distribution. 



The shoe drive goal was to get 2500 pairs of shoes to send, and the Rogue Theater ended up with about 2700. In the last week, DeVillers says the donations started to really pile up. 



DeVillers says the success of the shoe drive shows Door County’s giving and caring nature. As the shoe drive wraps up, the Rogue Theater is looking ahead to their next show on Friday.

Senator Jacque breathing through ventilator

One of Wisconsin’s legislators has hit another obstacle in his fight against COVID19. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Tuesday evening that State Senator Andre Jacque, who has been hospitalized for at least a week, is now breathing through a ventilator. According to two people with knowledge of Jacque’s situation, he was intubated on Monday. Jacque, who is 40, contracted COVID19 earlier in the month and is now battling a serious case of COVID19-induced pneumonia. On August 13th Jacque had told reporters that he was largely asymptomatic and just fatigued, and did not say whether or not he had been vaccinated against the virus. Since being hospitalized, two of Jacque’s colleagues have publicly asked for prayers.

Senate hopeful makes Sturgeon Bay stop

As your list of options grows for the 2022 U.S. Senate race for the seat currently held by Senator Ron Johnson, the newest candidate in the race, showed up at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday to talk with potential voters. Steven Olikara, a Democratic candidate, and Brookfield, Wis. native spoke about his vision for the future of U.S. politics.


Olikara made clear how important he finds the 2022 Senate election to be, saying that our democracy is at its biggest inflection point in our lifetime. Olikara also believes that the political landscape is at a tipping point of either growing further divided or being more inclusive. Having founded the Millennial Action Project in 2013, a nonprofit geared towards fostering bipartisan discourse and solutions, Olikara says he won’t let party lines get in the way of being an independent thinker. 



Olikara also spoke about the current state of COVID19 and the vaccination process. He says that the current political system has allowed it to be a polarizing issue, and that everyone who can, should get vaccinated. Olikara says it’s unhelpful to have misinformation sowing distrust in the vaccine and wants to act as a convener between those with opposing views. 



Other key talking points for Olikara on Tuesday included tackling climate change, human rights, protecting family farms and replacing money in politics with integrity. He added that if elected, his first piece of legislation introduced would be on bipartisan campaign financing reform. 


The event was put on by 43rd Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Barbara Lawton, who has endorsed Olikara. Olikara joins other Democratic nominees, Lt.Gov. Mandela Barnes, state Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry, Wausau physician Gillian Battino, former state Senate candidate Adam Murphy, Milwaukee alderperson Chantia Lewis, and state emergency management director Darrell Williams in the 2022 primary race. 

New award for champions of healthcare going to Stephens

After spending the last year and a half and counting helping navigate Door County through the pandemic, Door County Medical Center CEO Brian Stephens will be recognized this year at the annual Angel Ball as the Angel Award recipient. The chair of the event, Lynda Szczepanik, thought Stephens was the perfect fit for the inaugural award.



The event put on by the DCMC Auxiliary has been going on for sixty years, but this year will be the first that there is an Angel Award honoree. Szczepanik says that she hopes the award becomes an annual one and that she feels like giving out an award will add an exciting element to the event. Stephens said he would humbly accept the award as a way of recognizing caregivers, support staff, and all of the wonderful people at the Door County Medical Center. 


Money raised at the event helps to provide scholarships for high school graduates in Door County and Algoma who are pursuing healthcare careers. Szczepanik says a lot of recipients have come back to continue helping the program. This year’s Angel Ball is being held on October 8th at Stone Harbor in Sturgeon Bay, and Szczepanik says it’s currently expected to go on as scheduled, given the space allowed for people to properly distance themselves from each other. 

How you can help the drying convalescent plasma supply

With COVID19 infection rates increasing in the area and around the county, you are urged to donate COVID19 convalescent plasma if you’ve recovered from the virus in the last six months. Chief Operating Officer at the Community Blood Center Kristine Belanger says convalescent plasma treatments are in use in Door County and other northeast Wisconsin locations, which is why they’re looking for local donors. Belanger adds that when cases went down so did convalescent plasma orders, but now there’s a four-fold increase in requests for the convalescent plasma among midwest hospitals the CBC serves. Belanger understands that you may have a fear of getting poked, stopping you from donating, but says people generally find it to be a much better experience than they prepared for. She adds that the discomfort is nothing compared to needing convalescent plasma treatments. 



Belanger said convalescent plasma treatments show their greatest promise when done within 48 hours of hospitalization. Convalescent plasma treatments have been credited with helping save 100,000 lives and decreasing COVID19 mortality rate by approximately 50 percent. The available supply is anticipated to only last the next few weeks. To see if you qualify, read the criteria below. 


  • Have had COVID19 within the last six months.
    • Donors must have a documented positive diagnostic test confirming their previous infection.
  • Donors must have either received the COVID19 vaccine after recovering from infection or be unvaccinated.
  • Donor must be symptom-free for at least 14 days prior to donation.

(Photo from

Daily totals reach winter levels in Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin announced daily COVID19 totals that hadn't been matched since winter on Tuesday. The Wisconsin Department of Public Health announced 21 confirmed virus deaths, which was the most since February. The 2,000 new cases was the highest since January. 


The current seven-day average for cases in Wisconsin is 1369 and deaths is at eight. In Wisconsin, twelve counties are at very high disease activity level and sixty counties are in high activity level. Door County is in the high category and Kewaunee County is in the very high category. 


In Wisconsin, 54% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 50.8% of residents are fully vaccinated. In Door County, 68.9% of residents have at least one dose and 66.1% have completed the series. In Kewaunee County, 44% of residents have one or both vaccine doses and 41.6% have been fully vaccinated. Many Wisconsin residents have responded to rising COVID19 numbers by getting their vaccinations, as 56,020 Wisconsin residents received a shot last week. That was the highest total since mid-June.

Redistricting lawsuits stacking up

The process to redraw voting district maps in the state is in its infancy, but you can already see the number of lawsuits piling up. Shortly after the U.S. Census Bureau released its data earlier this month, liberal and conservative groups have gone to the courts to help fight the current redistricting process. The conservative-leaning Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a suit on Monday asking the Wisconsin Supreme Court to draw the maps. A group of voting-rights groups that have worked with Democrats in the past also filed a suit on Monday calling for the federal courts to draw the maps. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says it is unlikely the Democrats and the Republicans will come to an agreement without the use of litigation.

The battle comes as Wisconsin’s neighbors to the south battle their own gerrymandering issues. After prematurely drawing their district maps earlier this year, Democrats in the Illinois Legislature are reopening the process as they look to secure their chambers for the next 10 years. Heck says there is an easy way for gerrymandering to end and Democrats and Republicans can get a fair shake in the redistricting process.

The new maps, whether they are drawn by the legislators or the courts, have to be completed before next year’s elections.

Kewaunee Common Council approves special counsel

The Kewaunee Common Council will have its own lawyer to review city business after passing a resolution during Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. The committee, which is made up of eight alderpersons and the mayor, voted 6-2 to hire Michael P. May of Boardman & Clark of Madison, Wis. as its own outside special counsel in addition to the city’s attorney Randy Nesbitt. According to the resolution and accompanying emails in Monday’s agenda packet, some members of the council have grown frustrated with not being able to ask Nesbitt questions without prior permission from Kewaunee Mayor Jason Jelinek and City Administrator Fred Schnook. Jelinek told in advance of Monday’s meeting that hiring a second attorney in addition to the one already on retainer is a waste of taxpayer money.

The rate for May’s services cannot exceed $300 an hour or $10,000 total. Alderpersons John Blaha and Wendy Shelton are the named officers in the resolution that will be in contact with May to obtain any legal opinions needed by the council. We will have Blaha’s point of view on Wednesday.

State offers payday for vaccine

The State of Wisconsin will put $100 in your pocket for a poke in your arm. Governor Tony Evers announced on Monday it would be giving $100 prepaid gift cards to any Wisconsinite 12 years and older who get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 6th. The reward is the latest effort by the state to get people vaccinated as COVID-19 numbers slowly rise across the nation. During the Wisconsin State Fair, over 600 people received their first shot while also getting a chance to enjoy a free cream puff. The state has administered six million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines since last December with approximately half of the state completing the series. You can find more information about vaccine clinics in Door and Kewaunee counties by clicking the links.

Vaccine clinic to be available in Sevastopol

The town of Sevastopol is hosting a free clinic if you would like to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. The clinic will be available on Tuesday, September 7th, at the Sevastopol town hall from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. It is entirely free of charge, with no insurance or identification necessary to receive a vaccine. Appointments are available, and walk-ins are acceptable as long as supplies last. They will be offering the Johnson and Johnson for everyone 18 and older; the Pfizer will also be available for ages 12 and up; a parent or a guardian must be present for minors under 18. A third Pfizer vaccine will also be available for those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. For more information or to make an appointment, call 920-746-7180.

No kids allowed to visit in new DCMC restrictions

For the first time in six months, Door County Medical Center is limiting how many visitors you can have at the hospital. Door County Medical Center released the new guidelines on Monday as the area has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases, including 15 new positive tests in the public health department’s last report. Under the new rules, no kids under the age of 12 are allowed to visit the hospital. Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are not allowed visitors unless they are a pediatric patient. Adult patients are allowed one visitor and pediatric patients are allowed to have two parents or guardians if they agree to stay in the room at all times. The skilled nursing facility is allowed to have visitors, but you have to contact them for current guidelines. You can read the full list of new guidelines effective August 24th below.


Skilled Nursing Facility- Visitors allowed with restrictions.  Contact SNF for current guidelines.



- Adult patients may have ONE (1) visitor at a time who is required to be in the patient room at all times; extenuating circumstances will be evaluated by that care team.

- Pediatric patients under the age of 18 may have TWO (2) parents or guardians present who are required to be in the patient room at all times.

- Patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 may not have visitors; the only exception to this is a pediatric patient. Special arrangements may be made case-by-case by the care team.

- Visitors under age 12 are not permitted.


Visitor Expectations:

- Must wear a facemask that covers the nose and mouth at all times

- Use hand sanitizer to clean hands upon entering DCMC, entering a patient room and - prior to exiting a patient room.

- Remain in patient room or in space designated by staff.

 -We will not allow congregation of visitors/support persons in our waiting rooms.


Visitors are NOT Allowed

- Who have COVID-19,

- Who have symptoms of COVID-19

- Who have been exposed to COVID-19


Note: Stating that one has received COVID-19 vaccination or has a history of COVID-19 recovery does not exempt a support person from following the guidelines.

Three hospitalizations reported in Door County as numbers continue to rise

In the report released by the Door County Public Health department on Monday, positive cases are still rising. With about 100 tests given, 15 tested positive with a total of 124 active cases at this time. Three hospitalizations are also shown with no new deaths within the county. As of the 23rd of August Door County remains listed as a high activity level for infections. In Door County 65.8% of residents have had one dose of the vaccine. 


In the report the Door County Public Health stated that if you are moderately or severely immunocompromised you should receive a third Pfizer or Moderna dose no sooner than 28 days after your initial two doses. The third dose of the vaccine can help to increase an immunocompromised person’s protection against contracting COVID-19. At this time, people who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised do not need a third dose of a vaccine. 


Governor Tony Evers with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced Wisconsin residents who receive their first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine from a Wisconsin provider between August 20 and September 6 can collect a $100 Visa gift card. All residents ages 12 and older are eligible to receive this prize. All that is required is filling out a form at this link. The form is only to ensure that people signing up did indeed receive the vaccine from a Wisconsin provider. The Visa cards will then be mailed to the residence with the state of Wisconsin within six weeks. 


Conflict cannibalizing Kewaunee Council

A resolution for Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting granting the Kewaunee City Council to obtain outside legal counsel is part of a simmering feud occurring at city hall.


Last Thursday, District 3 Alderperson Robin Nelson submitted the resolution charging that the current city attorney, Randy Nesbitt, is only serving the interests of Mayor Jason Jelinek and City Administrator Fred Schnook and not Kewaunee’s council or residents. The resolution reads the members of the council have been discouraged to seek legal advice unless it has been approved by the city administrator. Through the resolution, the council would like to hire Madison, Wis.-based attorney Michael May at a rate of $300 an hour, but not to exceed a limit of $10,000. May would act as special counsel for the council, working with Council President and District 1 alderperson John Blaha and District 2 alderperson Wendy Shelton. The agenda packet for Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting includes correspondence between council members, Jelinek, and Nesbitt dating back to May. Jelinek writes several times that city councilor should not be contacting the city attorney without approval.


Tempers boiled over at the council’s last meeting on August 9th when the council questioned the hiring procedures for a new city Public Works Director. Several members expressed that they felt left out of the process. Schnook refuted that, saying the final decision has always been left up to the person who will be the new hire’s supervisors, which include himself and Jelinek. District 4 alderperson Richard Taylor challenged Jelinek and Schnook on their authority before they took a recess.  

Jelinek said on Monday that he feels there have been attempts to strip away his executive power and micromanage city employees over the last three months since the council was seated following the April election. He believes he has reached out to the council on ways to move forward, only to be met with silence. He encourages residents to get involved.

Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee Municipal Building. The meeting will also cover discussion around lead lateral replacement and an upgrade of the city’s wastewater SCADA system. 


Screenshot from August 9th meeting via Zoom

Algoma street construction deemed complete

Since the first week in June, you might have seen road-closed signs along 6th street between Fremont and Jefferson Street. Although much of the project was finished for Shanty Days on August 13th-15, they continued to work on the road after the crowds from Shanty Days disappeared. Matt Murphy, director of public works for Algoma, explains on Monday’s walkthrough, they were able to announce the project’s substantial completion.



When walking or driving along the street, you will probably notice cover along much of the grass areas. That cover is in place to protect the seeding that they finished late last week. With the completion of this project, there isn’t any other construction to start within the city limits for the foreseeable future.

Infrastructure plan sets up cycling boom

You could find more cyclists on area roadways if the federal government passes its ambitious infrastructure plan. Well over $500 billion is being directed to transportation, much of which the League of American Bicyclists says could towards roadway safety and promoting alternative ways of getting around such as biking, running, and walking. Peter Flucke and his WE BIKE, etc. works with communities on how to safely intergrate cycling by taking a deep look at their planning, engineer, education, and safety efforts. He cites Sturgeon Bay’s involvement in the Bicycle Friendly Community Program through the League as a great starting point for where the city can maintain or even improve its standing in the cycling community. He calls the infrastructure plan a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take large steps forward in their progress.

Flucke says Sturgeon Bay is a great community for biking, but there are some perils. A review of crash data says locals were more likely to hit other residents than tourist. While crashes are never good, Flucke adds it could make the education process a lot easier.

He believes traffic enforcement also needs to improve for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Flucke says it starts with education because you cannot enforce or follow laws you do not know or understand.


Picture courtesy of LinkedIn

United Way of Door County to host an event to support local parents

United Way of Door County is offering a chance for you to get together with parents from the community to talk about concerns with the upcoming school year. The two events held this week will be an opportunity for you to share and receive strategies for helping your child succeed in school as the pandemic continues. Chad Welch, the community impact coordinator for education at United Way, expressed the goal of the meeting is to give parents a safe space to share their feelings and speak to others about worries with the school year just around the corner.



Their event titled “Parent Cafe”, will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, August 24th, from 11:30 to 12:30, and on Thursday, August 26th, from 8:15 pm to 9:15 pm. All parents looking to find support and connect with other parents are welcome to join the conversation.


Safety prep begins ahead school year

Keeping your kids safe during the school year is an endeavor on and away from campus. Earlier this summer, Kewaunee County emergency responders rehearsed safety protocols at all three of its local school districts to be prepared for the unexpected. That training was put in good use last spring when a threatening phone call put Kewaunee School District on a hard lockdown with Algoma and Luxemburg-Casco making their own preparations. Nothing came of the threat, but Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says what was important was the quick reactions of all of the agencies involved.

As for getting to school, Joski reminds motorists that roads will be busier in the coming months with more school buses and parents driving kids to and from classes. He says bus drivers could call you in if you choose to ignore their stop signs.

Luxemburg-Casco and Kewaunee will begin their school year on September 1st while Algoma will begin one day earlier on August 31st. You can read his thoughts on school safety below.



With the new school year starting in a few weeks, I wanted to get the jump on some information which I hope will be helpful. As in the past we will begin to see an increase in the amount of pedestrian traffic as those students living within proximity to the schools will begin their morning and afternoon pilgrimages to and from the centers of learning. For those of us operating motor vehicles during those peak times, we need to be aware of this activity and do all that we can to create a safe walking environment for them. For those of you students on foot eagerly making your way to the halls of learning, please do your part to abide by the rules which govern pedestrians. This means crossing at cross walks and looking both ways before crossing the street. Even though you may have right of way, it mean little in the event of an accident.

       For those out in the rural areas, please be mindful of the school buses and the precious cargo they are carrying. Just as a refresher, State Statute 346.48 “Vehicles to stop for school buses displaying flashing lights” states that any vehicle approaching from either the front or the back of a school bus with its flashing lights activated must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator of the bus has extinguished its flashing lights. I am sure that any of us who have traveled with our own children in the vehicle can appreciate the demands upon those who have chosen to transport our children to and from school every day. Let’s not add our driving behavior to the list of behaviors they already need to contend with.

      On somewhat of a similar note, once the students get to school this year, they will be met with some of the same protocols which were in place last year. Please be patient and adhere to these changes as they are not meant to frustrate or challenge you, but rather to facilitate the safe movement during those busy times of the day, as well as to keep our children safe throughout the entire school day. I appreciate the effort and thought that our School officials have put into their decisions to find a balance, and maintain both a focus on physical wellness as well as mental wellness as our communities continue to move forward with both compassion and courage.  We should all be grateful for the never ending vigilance which the school community maintains for the sake of our students.

      From our role here in law enforcement, we continue to train and prepare for any and all emergencies which could occur in our schools. Over the summer our local emergency responders have been engaged in trainings at each of our local districts, and I think we all came away with an appreciation for how well our Law, Fire, and EMS agencies in Kewaunee County train together and respect each other’s role in any and all critical events. Just like our counterparts within the school, we continue to refine and improve our trainings and procedures.

      Good Luck to all of our students this year. I hope each of you appreciate the support and resources this community provides, and know that we are all behind you in your efforts. I know you will make us proud!


Sevastopol celebrates new school addition

Sevastopol school is now one of the state’s most modern-looking schools with new resources to match. A program dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held on Sunday to honor the new addition that was a part of a $125.1 million referendum passed in 2018. The celebration involved speeches from a trio of current Sevastopol students and addresses from Lisa Bieri, Linda Wait, Mike Madden, former longtime superintendent Carl Scholz, and current superintendent Kyle Luedtke. 


Madden revealed plans to name a room in the school building the Carl Scholz Pioneer Room. When Luedtke addressed the crowd, he said he was proud of the Carl Scholz Pioneer Room and other additions that show the school has something for all different students. 



You can view the ceremony by clicking the video below and you can view pictures of the inside of the building. 


Fish Creek Beach celebrates years of hard work

Now that you can see all the additions and renovations that have been done to the Fish Creek Beach over the last 14 years, a block party to celebrate on Sunday was in order. The party involved a ribbon-cutting ceremony where Gibraltar Town Chair Steve Sohns recalled the project’s process in an address to the crowd in attendance. Sohns listed off the many projects and additions at the beach he was proud of, especially the wheelchair-accessible platform pier. He thanked the many people who made it happen, saying they help preserve what’s special about the area. 



Sohns also said that his family has donated a large granite rock to be placed on the beach area with a bronze plaque mounted to it that lists contributors to the project. 


Yoga in the Park a summer success

You may not associate yoga with parks, but the Door County YMCA has integrated both successfully. This summer the Door County YMCA got people outside for Yoga in the Park which took place every other Wednesday. Even through navigating forecasts, Marketing Director Amy Gamble says the summer series has gone great. 



While the Yoga in the Park season is drawing to a close, there’s still one more chance for you to get out to Peterson Park and consider it for your routine next summer. The last Yoga in the Park is scheduled for August 25th, and Gamble says the only requirement is for you to bring a mat and a water bottle.

(Photo from the Door County YMCA)

Adopt-a-Soldier celebrates AED partners

Adopt-a-Soldier Door County is wanting you to feel safer at public events and other Door County partners have helped make that happen. As part of a fundraiser to equip the Door County Sheriff’s Reserves with items for an emergency kiosk at public events, Adopt-a-Soldier has purchased three AEDs. When not with the Reserves, the AED’s are in the Sheriff’s Department squad cars. Adopt-a-Soldier took the time to thank some of their contributors earlier this month. 


Adopt-a-Soldier founder Nancy Hutchinson says over $11,000 was raised in total for the AEDs and first aid kits and Nicolet Bank pitched in $2800 of that total. Hutchinson says the AEDs cost about $2200, and one of them was purchased by Lars Johnson. Hutchinson adds that some of the funding will go to other material associated with the AED’s. 



Hutchinson says they are waiting on the first aid kits. She looks forward to the kiosks being available at Fall Fest in Sister Bay and the Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch, but hopes they don’t have to be used. 

Annual kite festival fills Crescent Beach

The Wisconsin Kiters club beat out the rain on Saturday to bring you the 7th annual Soar on the Shore event. The five-hour event on Crescent Beach in Algoma was full of activities for families, such as beach mosaics, rock painting, and a candy drop for kids. The return of the event brought many people down to the beach to enjoy the vendors and kites. The Wisconsin Kiters brought their “dancing” stunt kites and many giant display kites for the crowd to enjoy, including a giant dragon and a gecko. One of the highlights of the festival was the kite tribute to Kurt Coburn. Son of the longtime DJ Baxter Colburn says that the memorial meant a lot because of Kurt’s love for the event and kites.

At two o’clock, the kiter’s raised multiple white kites into the air, and Baxter and his sons flew a single red heart-shaped kite in memory of Kurt. After the tribute concluded, festivities continued, with food, activities, and music available. 

Housing project lies in the hands of Common Council

Though it can be a waiting game, it won’t be long before you have a final answer on a Sturgeon Bay housing project. The proposal of a 53-unit dwelling in the city of Sturgeon Bay now lies in the hands of the common council. Earlier in the week the final Planned Unit Development proposed by Northpointe Development passed the Plan Commission and will now head to the common council for the first reading of a new city ordinance on September 7th. 


If passed the second reading will be on September 22nd before being put into the city code. Mayor David Ward says the proposal has been in front of the Plan Commission a handful of times, as the city previously approved the Preliminary PUD. While a 53-unit development won’t solve the whole housing crunch, Ward believes it will be beneficial.



The complex would be placed along the north side of East Maple Street between Madison Avenue and Neenah Avenue. 


First in-person pet walk in Door County coming next month

You can grab your pooch and help out many other pets in need on September 11th. At Sturgeon Bay’s Sunset Park, there will be the second annual Pet Walk Door County. It’ll be the first time the event is held in person, as it was held virtually in 2020. Event Coordinator for the Door County Humane Society Lori Nachtwey says they’re very excited to see people this year. Nachtwey adds that in addition to the 1-mile walk, there will be activities and vendors for both you and your pet to enjoy. 



Nachtwey adds that they encourage you to bring a dog out to the free event but it is not a requirement to have one. More information on registration can be found here. Activities go from 8:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. with the actual walk beginning at 9:30 AM. All proceeds from the event will go to the WHS Door County campus.


Full FDA approval for Pfizer shot expected

If you’ve been waiting for full FDA approval of the COVID19 vaccine to get your shot, you’ll want to stay tuned to the approval process this coming week. A New York Times report states that full approval for the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine could come as early as Monday for those age 16 and over. The report also states that regulators were aiming for approval on Friday but still needed to finish the paperwork. There is a chance the approval date could be pushed back a few days if more time is deemed necessary. The vaccine is administered to people as young as 12, and Pfizer reportedly plans to submit the necessary data needed for full approval for those between the ages of 12 and 15. Full approval for the Moderna vaccina is expected in a few months.

Farmers benefiting from hot, drier weather

After dealing with some flooded fields earlier this month, area farmers have seen hay and corn crops round into shape with the sunny and hot weather the past week.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farm in Brussels says they are finishing up their third hay crop at the end of August.  The field corn for silage is about two or three weeks away from harvest.  Wautier notes that most parts of Door and Kewaunee counties were spared from hail damage during significant storms earlier this month.



Wautier adds that area dairy farmers are seeing stable milk prices this summer that are comparable to last year.  He notes that dairy farmers did not have to dump any milk this year, unlike last year when the supply chain issues caused disruption.  Dairy publication Hoard's Dairyman announced this past Wednesday that the September 2021 Base Class I price for fluid milk was $16.59, down 31 cents from last month.  

Lower interest rates keeping local lenders busy

With long-term home loan interest rates staying close to the record low 2.65 percent set back in January, you can save some money with attractive 30-year fixed rates and refinancing opportunities.  Nicolet Bank Vice-President Door County Relationship Manager Bridgett Starr says the current long-term rates are still below three percent. She adds that many people are consolidating debt by refinancing this summer and save on paying higher credit cards rates.



Starr adds that a home equity loan starts at around four percent and is a way for current homeowners to afford home improvements.  She notes some people are using the equity they have built up in their primary residence to take out a line of credit in order to purchase new property.  According to Starr, refinancing makes sense if you can save at least one-half to one percent off your current interest rate. 

Keep it Simple When Rigging Your Fishing Kayak

Just the other day a friend who had just purchased two sit-on-top fishing kayaks mentioned it wasn’t as easy as he and his sons thought it would be.  I told him I totally understood and then gave him a few tips that I hope will help.


I’m a believer in the KISS method.  Keep It Simple Schultz.  That’s how I’ve approached my kayak fishing for 12 years now.  Yes, there are many bells and whistles that can be added to a fishing kayak, but many times they are not needed, or you should wait until you’ve been out fishing several times before simply adding something because you saw it, or someone said they liked on their kayak.


Back to my friend.  He and his sons were doing their kayak fishing on the Wisconsin River with the current making fishing a little challenging.  Well, up here in Door County we don’t have the current, but with wind often a part of our equation and wind-produced waves, we have our own challenges.


To start with, even keeping it simple, I feel a couple of flush mount rod holders and maybe one or two external rod holders are helpful.  This way you can take few rods and a small net.  Also, some kayaks have a built-in console where I can put most of what I need in the way of lures, water, phone in a plastic bag, and more.  But, if your kayak doesn’t have this, then get yourself a storage crate that fits in the tank well behind the seat.  These hold all the gear you will be taking and likely will have a few rod holders attached.


I don’t have a fish finder on any of my kayaks, but they can be very helpful, and you can easily get by with a basic model.  Also, if you enjoy pictures and don’t just want selfies, then a small camera mount that fits in your kayak’s tracks works great.  Many, especially those who fish lakes and want to fish without being blown off a spot by the wind might appreciate a simple kayak anchor.  I’ve used them and they can be helpful.


Rigging your kayak is very personal but doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.  I love the simplicity of kayak fishing, so for me it’s the KISS method.  As always, I’m happy to answer any questions kayak/kayak fishing, just email me at


More Highway 42 construction scheduled to begin Monday

It will be the middle of October until construction cones disappear from Highway 42 in Kewaunee County.


Work on a 14-mile stretch of Highway 42 between Duvall Street in the city of Kewaunee to the Kewaunee/Door County line will begin on Monday. The road will remain open to traffic throughout the project, but you may find flagging operations as necessary in the work zone. The $3.7 million project includes resurfacing the highway, widening the paved shoulders, and adding rumble strips near the center and edge lines.  No work is being done on the highway in the city of Algoma between Feld Street and West Greenfield Avenue. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says this was actually a project that got moved up.

 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has been involved with work on Highway 42 since the beginning of June when it began resurfacing and replacing two large box culverts south of the Kewaunee city limits to the Kewaunee/Manitowoc County line. That project is expected to conclude by the end of September. 

United Way sets sight on elevated campaign goal

Your generosity may be the reason for the United Way of Door County continuing to up their fundraising goals. After a wildly successful 2020 campaign, the United Way of Door County is shooting for an even higher goal in 2021.  


After raising $752,000 when they had a $650,000 campaign goal in 2020, the Door County United Way set their 2021 campaign goal at $775,000. United Way Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the goal increase is in relation to the growing needs in Door County. 



Kohnle also says that contributions to the campaign may help some of your favorite non-profits in Door County, as they have a funding or collaborating relationship with many of them. 


Deaths and cases up in Wisconsin daily report; Two hospitalized in Kewaunee County

As COVID19 cases have climbed in Wisconsin lately, Friday's COVID19 report from the state also shows a jump in deaths. The seven-day average for new cases in the state is 1241. The seven-day average for deaths is at seven. 


In Kewaunee County’s weekly COVID19 report, there were 33 positive tests out of 112 administered. There were also two hospitalizations and no new deaths. In Kewaunee County, 43.9% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 41.5% are fully vaccinated. In Wisconsin, 53.7% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 50.5% are fully vaccinated.


Cat dies in Forestville fire

One cat died but another was saved from a Friday afternoon fire in Forestville. The Southern Door Fire Department was dispatched to the home on Main Street in Forestville where they found the garage fully engulfed and spreading through the house. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson said they had to work fast to control the blaze.

Brussels-Union-Gardner, Algoma, Kewaunee, New Franken, Ahnapee and Casco Fire Departments were among those who provided assistance to Southern Door to put the fire out. Emergency personnel was able to Main Street to reopen approximately two hours after the first crews from Southern Door arrived. No exact cause for the fire has been determined and there were no other injuries. 

DCMC to begin immunocompromised COVID booster shots next week

You can begin scheduling your COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at Door County Medical Center if you are immunocompromised.


The hospital announced it would be providing the Moderna boosters for eligible immunocompromised people on Tuesday, August 24th in Fish Creek and Wednesday, August 25th in Sturgeon Bay. Those eligible for the booster include those undergoing cancer treatments, receiving new stem cells, organs, or high dose corticosteroids, or suffering from cancer, HIV, or moderate-to-severe primary immunodeficiency. With the Centers for Disease Control recommending everyone to eventually receive their 3rd dose eight months after their second shot, Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens says they are preparing for a massive undertaking later this fall.

Stephens added that some have tried to jump the line for the booster, but says those people will have to wait as they follow state and CDC guidelines. You can schedule your Moderna booster shot with Door County Medical Center through its patient portal. If you received the Pfizer vaccine, it is recommended you schedule your booster shot through Door County Public Health or the provider you received your first two doses. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not eligible for a booster shot at this time as more data is needed before it can be administered safely.  


Recently released state data shows that people not fully vaccinated were three times more likely to test positive, nearly four times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die because of COVID-19.  Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers said on Monday there had been 17 breakthrough infections for those vaccinated against COVID-19 out of the 59 total positive cases. The county added an additional 23 new positive cases in its Thursday report.


Additional Information from Door County Medical Center

For eligible immunocompromised people, the CDC recommends the same vaccine as previous doses.

DCMC will be providing Moderna 3rd doses for adults who meet the immunocompromised criteria below.

Individuals who have received Pfizer should contact Public Health to schedule their 3rd dose at 920-746-2234

Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are not eligible for an additional dose at this time. 

Your additional dose must be administered at least 28 days after your vaccination series has been completed.

Children age 12-18 should contact the DCMC pediatric department.


Eligible immunocompromised criteria:

The CDC recommends a 3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccine for moderately to severely immunocompromised people. This includes people who have completed a vaccination series with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna and are/have:

  • Receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

Worry looms over vaccine mandates

Your days of having a choice on whether or not you get vaccinated may be coming to an end in some industries.


Airlines were among the first to require employees to be fully vaccinated or be subject to regular testing. High school athletes in New York City will be required to be vaccinated before participating in sports this fall following a statement made by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday.


The Biden Administration announced on Wednesday that nursing home staff be vaccinated against COVID-19 if the facilities they work for would like to keep receiving federal dollars from the Medicare and Medicaid. It does not apply yet to Autumn Fields of Luxemburg administrator Lori Hucek, but she worries if it gets expanded to assisted living facilities that she could possible lose approximately 10 employees because of it. It takes her entire staff of over 20 people to take care of all of her residents. She supports her staff having the choice to get vaccinated and says they are taking the necessary steps to protect their residents.

Hucek says they do test their employees for COVID-19 on regular basis and require them to stay home if they are showing any symptoms. Autumn Fields guests are required to stay masked up are subject to a temperature check upon arrival. 

Door, Kewaunee counties grow in diversity

You may not necessarily see more people, but you will see a much more diverse population in Door and Kewaunee counties. The U.S. Census Bureau released its population data this month which is used for a variety of reasons including redistricting and federal funding.


The population in Door County grew by over eight percent since 2010 to 30,066. Although it remains overwhelmingly white, Door County saw its Hispanic population increase by 467 residents. 703 more residents identified themselves as two or more races compared to the 2010 census. The county’s white population dropped almost four percentage points to 91.5 percent.


Kewaunee County saw its population take a microscopic dip in the 2020 census, losing just 11 people in the last 10 years to settle at 20,563. The county saw its Hispanic population nearly double in that span, growing from 463 to 834. The groups of American Indian, Asian, and those identifying as two or more races also saw growth. The county’s white population dropped four percentage points to 93.1 percent.


Overall, the state grew in population by 3.6 percent to 5.8 million people thanks to gains in all non-white races and ethnicities. You can see a complete breakdown of the U.S. Census figures for Door County and Kewaunee County by clicking this link.

Fight against Alzheimer's coming to Door County

You can support those affected by Alzheimer’s and join the fight for a cure when the Walk to End Alzheimer’s comes to Door County on September 11th. After registering you’re able to walk at Graham Park, which is a new location for the event. As well as individuals, teams are participating in the walk and raising money. On walk day, participants will honor those affected with a Promise Garden ceremony.The Promise Garden is filled with flowers that are different colors which represent different connections you may have to Alzheimer’s. 


Spencer Feivor, who is a member of the Edward Jones team, will speak at the event. He says that as a presenting sponsor Edward Jones has made clear their commitment to the fight against Alzheimer’s and that he is personally excited to speak at the event. He adds that hopefully one day the walk will be filled with white flowers, which represents the hope for the first Alzheimer’s survivor.



Other Alzehimer’s flower colors include purple which represents a loved one lost to the disease, orange which represents support for the mission, blue which represents those living with Alzheimer's, and yellow which represents those caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The walk also has a virtual or distant participation option. More details can be found here

You can now view area water condition reports

You can now see how healthy the waters you occupy are as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released its draft of the 2022 water condition list. Every two years the DNR releases a list of water bodies and their health assessment results. The latest is called the 2022 draft as it will be turned into the EPA this coming spring. 


The conditions of local waters are on par with the state overall, says DNR Surface Water Quality Assessments Coordinator Ashley Beranek. She adds that healthy waters in Door and Kewaunee Counties outweigh those that are polluted. She does say though that some of the assessments on local waters identified issues with phosphorus, but there are plans developed to combat that. 



Beranek says over the last couple of assessment cycles, there’s a consistent eight or nine local water bodies added to the DNR’s state registry. Some of these added bodies can be attributed to the restoration efforts specific to the northeast Wisconsin lakeshore. In Wisconsin, 80% of lakes and rivers are assessed as healthy. Beranek says the assessment has shown a consistent 80-82% healthy rate since 2014. Your feedback on the assessment is welcomed until October 1st. The conditions list can be found here


Bank to coffee shop conversion gets approved

Your list of Sturgeon Bay coffee options grew a bit longer after the City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission granted a conditional use permit to Karla Thomas on Wednesday. The permit is for a commercial establishment with drive-through facilities located at a former Nicolet Bank at 217 North 4th Avenue. The vacant bank will now be a drive-through coffee shop called Brewed Awakenings. Mayor David Ward said that no one spoke during the public hearing. He added that the building use was already permitted and the approval was for use of the drive-up window. The unanimous approval came after a presentation to the Plan Commission outlining how the business plans to utilize the window. Ward says the board is excited that the building will no longer be vacant. 



Mayor Ward projects operations at the business to begin in September. 

Completed bridgework opens road in Kewaunee County

You can now travel on County Highway C north of County Highway FF in Kewaunee County without obstruction. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department reported on Thursday that the bridge work on the stretch west of Kewaunee is now completed and ready for travelers. The Sheriff’s Department thanked the Kewaunee County Highway Department for their work project and the community for their patience. 

One hospitalization in Door County weekly report

Door County released its weekly COVID19 report on Thursday in the midst of rising case numbers around the state. In Door County, there was one hospitalization and no new deaths since last week’s report. Nearly 200 COVID19 tests were conducted in Door County over the week and 23 came back positive. Door County is currently listed as high virus activity level and has 110 active cases as of noon on Thursday. 


In Wisconsin, 53.5% of residents have one or two doses of the COVID19 vaccine. In Door County, 68.5% of residents have at least one dose and 65.7% of residents are fully vaccinated. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services released COVID19 case data based on vaccination status. More information on the new data can be found here.

Midsummer's set for summer finale

You have just over a dozen more opportunities to catch Midsummer’s Music before the summer concludes. The performing arts group launches its Sultry Summer Concert Series on Friday at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay where it will feature the work of Beethoven. Executive Director Allyson Fleck says in addition to his work, Midsummer’s Music tries to find contemporaries of their featured artist to showcase. She mentions how unique it is to make the music come alive, especially if it has never been recorded before.

Next week, Midsummer’s Music will host world premiere of Door County Concerto, written by 2021 composer fellow Quinn Mason. He is the third fellow to work with the group this year, which Fleck says offers some unique opportunities for the musicians.

Midsummer’s Music will play 13 shows between August 20th and September 6th in Sister Bay, Egg Harbor, and Sturgeon Bay. You can find the full schedule below.


The Beethoven Sphere

Duet, “With Two Eyeglasses Obligato,” in E-flat, WoO 32 • Ludwig van Beethoven

Quartet No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 13 • Ferdinand Ries

Piano Concerto #4 in G Major, Op. 58 (Chamber Version) • Ludwig van Beethoven

August 20, 2021, 7:00pm – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Sister Bay, WI

August 21, 2021, 7:00pm – TBA

August 22, 2021, 4:00pm – Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI


Make No Small Plans

Sextet in E-flat Major, Op.81b • Ludwig van Beethoven

Quintet in B Minor, Op. 115 • Johannes Brahms

Door County Concerto (World Premiere) • Quinn Mason, 2021 Composer Fellow

August 26, 2021, 7:00pm – St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Sister Bay, WI

August 27, 2021, 7:00pm – Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI

August 28, 2021, 7:00pm – Hope United Church of Christ, Sturgeon Bay, WI

August 29, 2021, 4:00pm – Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI


Sex! (as in Six)

Symphony No. 6 (Fischer arrangement) • Ludwig van Beethoven

Sextet from the Opera, Capriccio • Richard Strauss

Verklärt Nacht • Arnold Schoenberg

September 1, 2021, 7:00pm – Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI

September 2, 2021, 7:00pm – Salon Concert, private residence, Sister Bay, WI

September 5, 2021, 4:00pm – Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI


Celebrating Our First 30 Years!

Four Encores for Stan • John Harbison with special guest narrator John Nasukaluk Clare

Four on the Floor (1983) • Libby Larsen

Quartet in G Major, Op. 202, No. 1 • Joachim Raff

September 3, 2021, 7:00pm – Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI

September 4, 2021, 7:00pm – SWY231, Sturgeon Bay, WI

September 6, 2021, 3:00pm – Björklunden, Baileys Harbor, WI


Coffee Talks

August 28, 2021, 10:00am – Quinn Mason, 2021 Composer Fellow: Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI

September 4, 2021, 10:00am — John Nasukaluk Clare, St. Louis 107.3 and SiriusXM, Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI


Midsummer’s Music presents the Pro Arte Quartet

September 19, 2021, 3:00pm – Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor, WI

Fight to increase vaccination rate rages on

Health care officials hope you reconsider if you have decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.  Close to 53 percent of Wisconsinites have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is ahead of the national average but up just three percentage points since July 6th. A America poll shows 18 percent of Americans will not get vaccinated and another 11 percent are not sure if they will. Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske understands that some people want to wait until the Food and Drug Administration lifts the emergency use authorization label off of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. It is the misinformation circulating that bothers her.

Some viewers of Monday’s Facebook Live session with Door County Public Health and Door County Medical Center charged the medical community with wanting to make more money down the road by pushing the vaccine now. The stories of some individuals who suffered major medical setbacks due to possible reactions to the vaccine were shared at a press conference hosted by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in July. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise called such insinuations a slap in the face.

As of now, neither Bellin nor Door County Medical Center is mandating their employees get vaccinated, but they are strongly encouraging it. The Biden Administration announced Wednesday it would be directing the Department of Health and Human Services to require nursing home staff to get vaccinated or risk lose federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars.


Click here to watch the latest COVID-19 update from Door County Medical Center and Door County Public Health


Click here to listen to the latest #MyCommunityMyBellin Podcast

Area districts in search of bus drivers

Your love for driving could help you get a nice paycheck from school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties.


The issue is prevalent across the country with the National School Transportation Association predicting staffing will be at critical levels for the upcoming months. At the risk of consolidating routes too much, many districts or busing companies have offered sign-on bonuses to entice people to work a few hours during the school week.


 Luxemburg-Casco School District operates its own service and Superintendent Glenn Schlender says they have exhausted their substitute pool to help fill in gaps on the routes. It leaves them short if someone gets sick or if clubs and teams have to go somewhere after school. In some cases, they have to work with other companies to make sure kids get to where they need to go. The district had to create a new route near the Brown/Kewaunee border in New Franken to pick up the influx of open enrollment students from the Green Bay Area School District. He says the labor pool for the role just is not what it was in the past.

Schlender says routes are always changing as the area where kids are located evolves over time. Some districts have had to take on more extreme measures to handle the driver shortage, ranging from pushing school back two weeks in Pittsburgh to paying parents $700 to not take the bus in Wilmington, Delaware.


Even though masking is optional for the majority of students in Door and Kewaunee counties, the school bus is the one place they will have mask up due to federal guidance.

Senator: Afghanistan "an unmitigated disaster"

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson did not mince words about the growing humanitarian crisis developing in Afghanistan this week. It took just over a week for the Taliban to retake the country and its capital city of Kabul after U.S. forces pulled out of the region. A peace treaty signed by the Taliban and the Trump Administration in February 2020 called for counter-terrorism assurances, intra-Afghan negotiations, a pull out of troops from Afghanistan within 14 months if certain criteria were met. The Biden Administration pushed back the pull-out until now, which Johnson says showed a stunning level of incompetence.

Johnson adds that it was a 20-year war the United States should have never been in and government forces should have done a better job training their Afghan counterparts to be independent. Before the Taliban takeover, more than half of the respondents in a Yahoo! News/You Gov poll said they supported a complete withdrawal from Afghanistan. Johnson says the government should have been more honest about what a withdrawal would mean.

He is confident the troops stationed at Fort McCoy in Wisconsin will do a great job taking care of the hundreds of Afghan refugees that are expected to arrive in the coming weeks, calling it the country’s responsibility to take care of those that helped out in their military efforts.

Illegal immigration a national issue; not locally controlled

Unless federal enforcement officers come knocking, you will not see a major crackdown on illegal immigration locally. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson posed the question to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski during Tuesday’s meeting. Olson cited the crisis at the southern border as a possible catalyst for more illegal immigration into the area. Joski said it is more of federal issue when it comes to enforcement, adding that unless it is a major crime, they treat everyone the same like they have for decades.

If ICE requested their assistance on a case, Joski said they would assist the agency. Board members asked about penalties for employers knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, but Joski admitted there are tiers in employment law that can get complicated and allow some people to stay legally thanks to different work visas.


Also during the meeting, the Kewaunee County Board tabled its discussion on virtual voting and accepted the appointments of six members to different committees. Steve Agamaite was also appointed to the District 3 Supervisory position to replace Chuck Wagner, who stepped down from the post last month.



Kewaunee County hits very high COVID activity level

You may have to schedule a third COVID-19 shot beginning on September 20th as the number of positive cases continues a steady climb.


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that 12 counties, including Kewaunee County, are experiencing very high COVID-19 activity levels. The level is based on a case burden, which in Kewaunee County sits at 392.4 per 100,000 people. The rest of the state, including Door County, is at a high activity level. The seven-day average of new cases climbed to 1,224 and reported deaths jumped to six.


The news comes as health officials from the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the Surgeon General’s office, and other agencies recommended the booster shot during a joint statement on Wednesday. The recommendation covers those who received the Pfizer, Moderna, and possibly the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and is intended to stay ahead of the coronavirus and its variants. The rollout of the booster will be similar to what it was during the initial vaccination stage with an emphasis on health care workers, nursing home residents, and other seniors.  


Door County will release its second report of COVID-19 numbers on Thursday and Kewaunee County will follow suit on Friday.

Change of season bringing registration opportunities to YMCA

The Door County YMCA is prepping for the start of fall and the upcoming school year and is excited to be offering you new and returning outlets. Next week starts the fall registration for classes with sessions starting in September. Marketing Director Amy Gamble says fall courses are a good thing to add to your family’s schedule as you get back into the school year groove. She adds that the fall sessions come with a wide variety. 



The registration window is two weeks long and more information on fall sessions can be found here


Sturgeon Bay Police and Fire Chief acknowledged as heroes

While helping Prep Maritime week for you to enjoy, Door County emergency personnel suddenly had to go on double duty. At Tuesday’s city of Sturgeon Bay common council meeting, Mayor David Ward recognized Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Clint Henry and Fire Chief Tim Dietman for heroic efforts last week. They were moving a dock from near the Bayview Bridge for Maritime Week when they got a distress call regarding a sailboat that had tipped over on Lake Michigan. Emergency crews pulled the boat operator out of the water, and Mayor Ward got to see their urgency up close. 



The two received a round of applause from those at the meeting. 

Booster shot approval coming for fully vaccinated Americans

If you received the Pfizer or Moderna COVID19 vaccines, odds are you’ll be eligible for a booster shot this fall. On Wednesday, the Biden administration released plans to start offering booster shots to Americans who received either of the two vaccines, eight months after they were fully vaccinated. Eligible Americans are supposed to be able to receive a third shot starting on September 20th, which is contingent on authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The authorization is expected to come within a few weeks, according to USA Today. 


There will be a similar rollout plan to the COVID19 vaccines. If you were among the first to be eligible for the COVID19 vaccine, you’ll likely be among the first eligible for a booster shot. Those with prioritized eligibility include health care providers, nursing home residents, and other seniors. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that the delta variant accounts for more than 98.8% of cases in the country. Officials say that the vaccines continue to be effective in reducing risk of hospitalization and death. The USA Today report also notes that more data is needed before authorizing a Johnson and Johnson COVID19 vaccine booster.


Adopt-a-Soldier Door County requesting your help

Recent events in Afghanistan have spurred an urgent request for your help. Adopt-a-Soldier Door County recently sent out an alert that a troop originally from Door County is looking for care package items as they will be in Afghanistan. Items include toiletries like deodorant, snacks, and K cups, which Adopt-a-Soldier Door County founder Nancy Hutchinson says will come in handy during the long days. 



Drop-off sites include Nicolet Bank in Sturgeon Bay on 4th Avenue, Door County Habitat for Humanity Restore, Marchants Foods in Brussels, and Door Bible Baptist Church in Brussels. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department will also have a collection bin at their Saturday pancake breakfast. A complete list of requested items can be found below. 


  • Tin Foil ( keep in mind the packing boxes are 12x12x5)
  • K cups
  • Mio or some kind of flavored water additive
  • Snacks (cookies, chips etc.)
  • Peanuts
  • Sunscreen
  • Dried fruit
  • Deodorant
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Antacids
  • Tylenol

Local nonprofit organizations celebrated with national day

With hundreds of non-profit organizations offering services for you in Door County, Tuesday served as a good time to recognize their impact during National Nonprofit Day. There are nearly 200 registered nonprofits in the Sturgeon Bay zip code alone and Door County Economic Development Corporation director of business development Julie Schmelzer says she thinks we’d be lost without the nonprofits of Door County. 



Schmelzer adds that the nonprofits also help shape some of the cultural pieces of Door County like the art community, museums, and historical societies. On average, for every $1 million in output from a nonprofit, another $386,822 is generated in its community. Schmelzer also touches on the generosity of those in nonprofits, stating that the average wage in the nonprofit industry for full-time workers is about $22,500 while data shows their productivity is valued at approximately $51,000. Schmelzer hopes in the future more people become aware of National Nonprofit Day. 


Emergency responders training for "active shooters"

You will be able to have a sense of security in knowing that your kids are safe in the Door County school system. On Tuesday, Door County law enforcement, EMS, and Fire Rescue departments gathered at the old Sunset Elementary School for a three-day active shooter training program. This program prepares emergency officials through various scenarios they might find during an active shooter emergency. Sturgeon Bay Police Sergeant Jason Albertson says that the emergency personnel will be going through multiple scenarios and drills to train on active preparedness over the three days.



Albertson adds that the training is really for “active killers” because it could include other threats than firearms.  Training begins with a simulation portraying a trainer as an active shooter; they then ran through their drill as an active situation. After the simulation, the drill trainers then go through an extensive briefing on the procedure and what improvements can be made. Albertson says this training is a necessity to prepare for worst-case scenarios that involve active shooters in any setting.  The six different four-hour training sessions allow a rotation of emergency personnel that works throughout Door County.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Sgt. Jason Albertson here. 





Half of Wisconsin fully vaccinated

While you’re still urged to do your part in curbing rising COVID19 spread, the state of Wisconsin is starting the week after reaching a COVID19 vaccination milestone. In Wisconsin, 50.2% of residents are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday afternoon. Also, 53.4% of Wisconsinites have at least one vaccine dose. 


The seven day average in Wisconsin for confirmed cases is 1218. The seven day average for deaths is four. In local vaccination data, Door County has 68.5% of residents with at least one vaccine dose and 65.7% of residents are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 43.5% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 41.2% of residents are fully vaccinated. 


Two week warning for Millpond drawdown

After two years of controversy, you will not see the Forestville Millpond drained anymore. The Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced on Tuesday it would begin refilling the Forestville Millpond on September 1st. Weather pending, the department hopes the millpond will be filled by October 1st. Over the next several years, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will stock the millpond with largemouth bass and bluegill. The drawdown began in November 2019 as a strategy to improve the millpond’s water quality, but it has been met with controversy. The Friends of the Forestville Dam along with others filed a complaint earlier this year to try and stop the drawdown, alleging that draining the millpond was transferring toxic sediment downstream and causing additional environmental hazards. 

Booster doses coming to Door County

You could get in line for a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as Wednesday according to the Door County Public Health Department. Public Health Officer Sue Powers made the announcement during a Monday night Facebook Live session with Door County Medical Center after the Food and Drug Administration authorized the practice for the immunocompromised last week. It would be primarily for people receiving treatment for diseases like cancer or recovering from an organ transplant. Powers says there is an important reason for it.

The Delta variant has driven more people to get vaccinated in Door County with more doses administered in the last seven days than they had in the previous two weeks. If you qualify, you can contact the Door County Public Health Department to get your third shot. The Centers for Disease Control reported earlier this summer that the immunocompromised represent approximately 44 percent of the breakthrough cases in the United States. CNBC reports that Pfizer has submitted the early-stage clinical trial data needed to apply for a third booster shot for the general public. You can watch the full discussion below.



Local refugees hope Afghans find support in America

Refugees in northeast Wisconsin are showing sympathy to the situation that could bring thousands of Afghanis to the state in the coming weeks. The Department of Defense announced this week that they hope to relocate up to 30,000 Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants into the United States. A portion of those people could be coming to Wisconsin, where they will be housed at Fort McCoy. It will be the first time the military installation near Tomah will host refugees since 14,000 Cubans fled there to escape from Fidel Castro’s regime in 1980.  Community Services Agency (COMSA) President and Executive Director Said Hassan can relate after escaping violence in his native Somalia with his parents when he was just 10 years old. He lived in refugee camps in Kenya and South Africa before eventually immigrating to the United States. Even though the Afghan refugees will likely experience a culture shock and other hurdles upon their arrival, he appreciates the United States’ willingness to welcome them.

Hassan helped create COMSA in 2016 to help serve the Green Bay area’s refugee and immigrant populations, which are primarily Somali, Hmong, or Congolese. His organization offers citizenship classes, youth leadership mentoring, women’s English classes, and after-school programs.


Picture courtesy of COMSA

Jacque tests positive for COVID-19

A local politician is on the mend after bouts with COVID-19 and pneumonia. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on Tuesday morning that State Senator Andre Jacque, who represents District 1 which includes Door and Kewaunee counties, tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Madison late last week. Jacque was in Madison for a number of hearings last week, including discussions around anti-racism and anti-sexism education. He was later hospitalized with pneumonia. Jacque also noted in his conversation with the Journal-Sentinel that he did not know where he contracted the virus and that other family members also tested positive. Correspondence from to Jacque has not been returned as of 9:30 a.m.

Kewaunee County Board discussing virtual voting

A rule that supervisors must be present at meetings to have their vote counted will be discussed at Tuesday's Kewaunee County Board meeting.  Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says many municipalities have adjusted their rules to allow for voting virtually since the onset of the pandemic. Since many meetings have been held remotely in the past year, a clarification of what "present" means needs to be decided.



Feldt believes that physical attendance is preferred, but modern technology allows for the exchange of ideas and ultimately voting.  According to Feldt, an advisory vote may occur on defining “present”, but the board will take no formal action during Tuesday's meeting.   The Kewaunee County Board will also be nominating Steven Agamaite to fill the District 3 seat vacated by Chuck Wagner earlier this summer.  The meeting will begin at 6 pm at the Kewaunee County Administrative Center. 

 "Shanty Days" plays on fishing history

The success of the annual Shanty Days in Algoma this past weekend had inquiring minds wanting to know the origins of the event.  The celebration on the lakeshore, which attracts multitudes of people began in 1987 after the then Coho festival was discontinued, according to the longtime organizer and business owner Jim Rabas.



He shares the significance of tying in the fishing community with the name of the festival. 



Rabas adds that the overall parade this past Saturday was a little smaller than normal but the car show had a huge turnout. The Algoma Shanty Days activities concluded with a fireworks display at dusk on Sunday evening. 

Speaker to issue Great Lakes call to action

The secrets to keeping the Great Lakes even better than what the name implies will be given at a presentation this Wednesday. This presentation from the Door County Environmental Council titled “Our Lakes, Our Bay, Our Responsibility - Dead Zones, Harmful Algal Blooms, and an Uncertain Future: Meeting the Challenge of Restoring Our Great Lakes” will highlight the conflict between human activity and the sustainability of the environment of the Great Lakes. Dr. Val Klump, the Dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, is an appropriate option for a guest speaker at the event because of his personal and professional understanding of the importance of preserving the environment created by both the Great Lakes and the bay of Green Bay. Dr. Klump says he will spend time during this program highlighting the ecosystem that resides in the bay.



All interested in learning about are welcome to join the Door County Environmental Council at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor for this program at 7 pm on the 18th. If you are not comfortable joining in person, the program will also be held over zoom, and the link can be found here.

Regenerative farming heads up field day discussion

You will learn why it has been greener on the other side of some farm fields in Door and Kewaunee counties on Tuesday. Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms will host a field day to discuss the benefits of regenerative farming. Restoring soil biodiversity and rebuilding organic matter is the goal of regenerative agriculture, which locally has been done by farmers planting into other active crops. The concept of “planting green” is something Duane Ducat says they have done at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee for the last few years. He says it has had a positive impact in the short time they have done it.

Indiana farmer Rick Clark will cover the topic when the field day begins at Deer Run Dairy at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Jamie Patton from UW-Extension and Barry Bubolz from the United States Department of Agriculture will also present at the event.

Race education oversimplified in CRT debate

Your kids do not have to learn Critical Race Theory quite yet, but the NAACP Dane County Branch President believes education about race in America could be done better. The topic of anti-racism and anti-sexism education in the classroom took center stage in Madison last week in a hearing that lasted nearly seven hours. A bill introduced by State Senator Andre Jacque among others would ban the practice from state classrooms and employee trainings. He told last week that he supports teaching history better, but does not believe racism or sexism is essential to teach it. The debate came as a Manitowoc School Board meeting was overrun by people speaking on both sides of the Critical Race Theory issue. Critical Race Theory takes an analytical look at how race may have played a role in public policy decisions like housing, desegregation, and voting. Greg Jones from the NAACP Dane County Branch believes CRT is being oversimplified and is a graduate studies course, not something for the K-12 classroom. He added though that it is hard to teach some historical topics without mentioning racism or sexism.

Jones says as a former social studies teacher he would focus on some of the changes made through policies that made housing, voting, and education fairer for everyone. He would then turn his attention to the positive contributions African-Americans have made to the country.

Jones believes there has been tremendous progress made in the last 50 years for African-Americans and other races to give them hope for the future.

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue climb in Door County

Two more people were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms over the weekend as Door County looks to better inform you about the current status of the pandemic.


The Door County Public Health Department announced on Monday it would be providing updates twice a week after providing new data on Thursdays for the last couple of months. Monday’s report showed seven new cases of COVID-19 out of 99 tests. The number of active cases ticked up to 79. Just over 65 percent of Door County residents have completed the vaccine series as the number of people receiving doses has gone up in recent weeks.


Door County Medical Center and Door County Public Health will host a joint Facebook Live session on Monday beginning at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the latest COVID-19 trends.

Booze and boats battle it out

You can now look forward to the next decade of the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival after the 30th annual festival wrapped up on Sunday. The celebration showing off vintage boats, exhibits, and food vendors was capped off by the annual Sikaflex Build-A-Boat Challenge. Four of the seven boats made it through the entire course as people lined the dock at the Door County Maritime Museum and on the Michigan Street bridge to cheer. Also at the festival, “Splash” won the People’s Choice ribbon. 


Across the street was the inaugural Bloody Mary Social at Sonny’s Pizzeria and Bridge Up Brewing. The Bloody Mary Social champion for 2021 was Stone Harbor.

Replay of the Sikaflex Build-A-Boat Challenge


Need for lifeguards ramps up with swimming lessons looming

As some swimming pools around the country have to close their doors far too often because of staffing shortages, it may be a good time for you or your child to test the lifeguarding waters. Some pools have been more fortunate like the Door County YMCA, but even they’re stepping up their lifeguard recruitment. This is mainly due to lifeguards returning to their fall commitments such as school and extracurricular activities.  


With swim lessons starting again this fall for a variety of levels, fall will also bring lifeguard certification opportunities. Aquatics Director at the Door County YMCA Kurt Krauss says part-time lifeguarding can be a great opportunity and help in several other facets of emergency care. 



More on being a lifeguard can be found with this link


Plan Commission to take up housing discussion

You’ll know on Wednesday how much closer the City of Sturgeon Bay is to making a final decision on a 53-unit dwelling to be erected on the west waterfront. At the 6:00 PM Plan Commission meeting, they will consider the final Planned Unit Development after the preliminary PUD was passed. If the final PUD is eventually approved by the common council, it would be drafted as an ordinance that would require a first and second reading before adopting. If all those steps occur, the housing project would go on as planned. The dwelling would sit along the north side of East Maple Street between Madison Avenue and Neenah Avenue. 


Also on the Plan Commission agenda is a Conditional Use petition from Karla Thomas for a commercial establishment with drive-through facilities located at 217 North 4th Avenue. The agenda calls for a presentation, public hearing, and consideration of the agenda item. 


Kite event soars again in Algoma

After last year’s cancellation, you can again enjoy the Soar on the Shore: Beach and Kite Festival on Crescent Beach in Algoma on Saturday, August 21st. This year’s festival will consist of a variety of activities for families to partake in. Friends of Crescent Beach Event Coordinator Sara Krouse says that although last year’s festival was canceled, there has been a positive response to the festival returning.



The highlight again this year is the Wisconsin Kiters club showcasing their stunt kites and their giant display kites. The club will also have a candy blasting/dropping for kids and hard to answer kite trivia to give onlookers tips and information about kiting. If you have your kite, there will also be a place for you to fly it alongside the kites from the Kiters club. Fun activities from previous years will return, such as balloon twisting, Kayak demos, and rock painting. Joining the festival this year will be kite sun catcher kits for kids to make. This year the Friends of Crescent Beach will be adding a tribute to Kurt Colburn, a longtime DJ for the event who recently passed. Krouse adds that Colburn was a big part of the festival and will be missed this year.



The Wisconsin Kiters Club will also perform a ghost kite flight in his honor. More information on activities, food vendors, and event details can be found at the Friends of Crescent Beach website. All are welcome to join Algoma for a day of fun.

Your guide to enrolling in hunter safety education

The past couple of years have seen great fishing and hunting increases, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources believes you should also invest your free time in Wisconsin’s great outdoors scene. A vital step in getting started with your hunting endeavors is to sign up for a hunter safety course, which the DNR says is never too early to do. Over 20,000 people take a hunter education course yearly in Wisconsin. Anyone born on or after January 1st of 1973 is required to have a hunter education certification to purchase a hunting license. One exemption to this rule is if you’re hunting under Mentored Hunting Law. The DNR also says it’s a good idea for you to retake a course as a refresher. 


There are various ways of taking a course, whether hands-on, virtually, or online. Course types are listed below. 


Internet field day:

Allows you to complete some of your training online and then attend a day of training with a certified instructor. This class is considered a good fit if you’ve handled firearms or are going to be hunting with someone that has more experience. 

Traditional class

Offers you a more hands-on approach, working with a certified instructor over a few days. This option gives students opportunities to handle hunting equipment and to learn safe hunting practices. In-person feedback from instructors can also enhance student learning. 

Hunter education online program

Allows you to complete hunter education all online. This option is available to people of any age until September 1st. This option is considered a fit for students that have a connection or mentorship with the shooting sports to establish and strengthen the skills they learn virtually. 


More information on hunter safety education programs can be found here

KD Salmon Tourney expanding next year

Next year you’ll have an extra day to take in the Kewaunee Door Salmon Fishing Tournament. The 2022 tournament, which is also the 40th tournament, was scheduled at the conclusion of this year’s, and will take place from July 15th to July 24th. It’ll also be a ten-day tournament rather than a nine-day event, which tournament coordinator Kevin Naze says it’s a twist among several other ideas that the tournament committee has been working on and will announce in the winter. 



Naze considered the 2021 tournament a success and estimates that the top 103 place winners represent ten or eleven states. 



The first-place winners for this year's tournament were Jeff Jones of Hayward and Cory Boellaard of Nekoosa. 


Excitement on display at Fine Arts Festival

A great shoreline view met the Door County art scene on Saturday for the return of the Festival of Fine Arts in Sister Bay next to the village hall. Mary Blichmann, who owns Blue Heron Glass Etching with Betts Williams, felt greater excitement for this year’s festival because of last year’s being canceled. 



Blichmann, who’s become a regular exhibitor at the event, says she makes time to go around and meet with new people at the event and talk with others she sees at the festival each year. She adds that she’s proud to be a part of the art community in Door County and the festival shows that the community is for everyone. 



At this year’s festival, there was a legacy art exhibit, enabling you to see works from artists who helped shape the county’s art scene years ago. 

Shanty Days festival has an eventful second day

If you were in Algoma on Saturday, you would have seen many activities to participate in. The day began with an 8:00 am 5K walk/run along with a 9:00 am children superhero fun run where kids could enjoy the nice weather alongside their favorite heroes. Then if you made your way down to Crescent beach, you would have noticed the traditional Battle on the Beach volley competition was underway. Also beginning at 10 o’clock was the long-awaited return of the Arts N’ Crafts fair. With over 150 vendors, the area was full of awaiting customers. Second-time vendor Rachel from Grandpa Ron’s Workshop describes how it feels to finally be back at Shanty Days after last year’s cancellation.



After the Arts N’ Crafts fair drew many people into the streets, they started making their way to the parade route to watch the show. This year’s parade showcased both the Algoma Middle and High School bands, as well as an appearance from Thomas the Train. Shortly following the parade, most of the crowd made their way down to the official Shanty Days grounds for the free admittance from 11:00  am to 3:00 pm. There they found food stands from many of the local organizations and live music from the band Rocker. 


Algoma library supply drive backs local teachers

You can make a difference for local teachers by donating school supplies to the Algoma Public Library throughout August. Many teachers spend their own money to gather supplies for students who might not come to school with the things they need. Because of this, the Algoma Public library and Optimist club of Algoma host a Supply Drive and a Teacher Meet and Greet to help area teachers get ready for the year. Library Director Cathy Kolbeck says that they have received positive input and feedback from the teachers who participated in the program in the past.



The library asks that you help by donating school supplies such as scissors, loose-leaf paper, pencils, glue sticks, folders, and pink erasers. You have the opportunity to donate any supplies you might have through August 21st. The yearly Teacher Meet and Greet is used as an opportunity for teachers to come to the library and pick up supplies collected in the drive, talk to library staff about materials they need for their classrooms, and set up their classroom library cards. If all of the supplies are not collected by teachers, the library will directly donate them to parochial and public schools in the area.

Coordinating environmental efforts key for Door County 

You're benefiting from a cleaner Door County with the environmental efforts through the emerging Green Tier Legacy communities and more, says Wayne Kudick, a Fish Creek resident and Celebrate Earth Day organizer. Kudick believes collaboration between organizations and communities to sustain the natural beauty of Door County is a great way to improve the natural resources further. He says the progress is set on a timeline to enable the business community to survive and thrive with a specific program. Kudick notes that Door County, the towns of Gibraltar and Egg Harbor, and the Village of Ephraim have all reached Green Tier Legacy status.



About 30 legacy communities throughout the state have initiated resolutions through their common council or county board to participate in the Green Tier Legacy program. As far as one of the biggest environmental challenges faced in Door County, Kudick adds that the increased level of visitors to Door County makes it challenging to keep parks and trail pathways environmentally pristine. You can listen to the entire conversation with Wayne Kudick here on the podcast page here.

Technology questions complicate back to school shopping

Classes start for many in the coming weeks, but it is your college student that may have more questions when it comes to back-to-school shopping. Unlike many school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties, college students may have to provide their own devices beyond a phone, tablet or Chromebook.  It is part of the reason why the National Retail Federation predicts a record $71 billion for back-to-college shopping, driven in part by $18.1 billion for purchases of electronics. Even K-12 back to school spending is expected to hit a record $37.1 billion, once again driven by $12.9 billion in electronics sales. Different courses require different needs from their technology, something Quantum PC’s Erin Helgeson says should spark some conversation.

Helgeson also recommends making sure your devices are up-to-date with the latest anti-virus software to protect your files and to make sure everything is running smoothly. You can listen to our latest Ask Mr. Quantum Podcast by clicking this link.


Picture courtesy of Quantum PC

New principal looks forward to forming Sturgeon Bay connections

New Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Keith Nerby is excited to get to know you ahead of the upcoming school year.


Nerby officially took over the role from the retiring Bob Nickel last month after spending six years in the Sun Prairie School District, which is becoming one of the fastest-growing communities in the entire state.  As he saw the district get bigger, Nerby admits he felt the connections he had with teachers, students, and community members get smaller. When the Sturgeon Bay High School Principal position opened up, Nerby says he sprung at the opportunity.

Nerby will leave many of his ideas from Sun Prairie at home in his first year at Sturgeon Bay High School, opting to listen and learn from his new community. He will get to chance to meet many of his new students on August 23rd for the freshman and new student orientation and an open house for all students on August 25th.

Area Sheriff's department's alert residents of scams

The Door County Sheriff’s Office announced that they’ve received multiple calls about a person posing as a Lieutenant Webb with their department. The person is said to be telling people they need to purchase $500 gift cards. The caller goes on to state that you will be arrested if you don’t. The Door County Sheriff’s Office made clear that this is a scam. 


Similar troubles occurred in Kewaunee County this week, as the Sheriff’s Office alerted residents that a scammer was utilizing the Kewaunee County Jail phone number. Chief Deputy Jason Veeser said it’s rare for you to ever receive an unexpected call from the jail or the Sheriff’s Department.


Destination Door County narrows CEO search

It won’t be much longer before you find out the new face of Destination Door County. The organization announced on Friday that they recently narrowed their search for a president and CEO to seven candidates out of an original 70. The next step for DDC is to conduct Zoom interviews with the candidates later in August and then select finalists will come to Door County for an in-person interview. DDC is looking for the right candidate to lead the organization into the future as a reimagined destination marketing and management organization, which DDC Board Chair Todd Trimberger notes revolves around sustainability.



The search committee and board of directors is hoping to fill the position by mid-September.

Shanty Days coordinators honored at Mayor's Luncheon

You may recognize them if you’re familiar with Shanty Days, and now Katie Brandt and Tina Lawrence will always be known for their role with the event. The two were selected as the 34th Shanty Days Mayor’s Luncheon honorees for 2021 at Homestead Kitchen and Tap in Algoma after being an integral part of coordinating the art and craft fair for the event for over a decade. Brandt said she was surprised when she first found out from Jim Rabas that she was being honored. 



Shanty Days was canceled in 2020, and Tina Lawrence says that a lot of people helped in making this year’s event that much more special. 



Lawrence also says they’re proud to be joining the list of honorees from prior years. Brandt added that the rain and humidity got out of the way in time for Shanty Days this year.

FDA authorizes extra vaccine dose; Kewaunee County cases make jump

If you’re immunocompromised you’ll want to be aware of when you can get a booster COVID19 vaccine shot. On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that they amended the emergency use authorizations for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which allows for the use of an additional dose for those who are immunocompromised such as organ transplant recipients,  those with certain cancers, or other conditions that have a similar level of immunocompromise. 


Friday’s COVID19 report from Kewaunee County showed a 45-case climb over the week, with one hospitalization. There are currently 52 active cases in Kewaunee County. There were no deaths over the week and there were 84 negative tests administered and there were 16 recoveries. Kewaunee County has 43.1% of its residents with one or both vaccine doses and 41% completed the series.

Washington Island Lions host annual fair

Washington Island’s Lions Club is inviting you to the fair on Saturday. The annual Island Fair and Parade is one of the club’s largest fundraisers of the year, following in the footsteps of last month’s Fly-In Fish Boil. Fair exhibits have been replaced this year with a flea market and the event will feature a parade at noon along with live music, food, and other activities. Washington Island Lions Club member Joel Gunnlaugsson says the funds raised by the organizations have gone to fund many local projects recently.

The Washington Island Fair and Parade runs from noon to 4 p.m. on the Washington Island School campus. 



Municipalities falling in line with room tax hike

Unless you’re staying with a friend, it may soon cost you more to visit Door County. Baileys Harbor and Liberty Grove became two of the latest municipalities to approve a resolution authorizing and approving the intergovernmental room tax agreement. While some minor changes have been made along the way, visitors of hotels, motels, and other lodging establishments could see the room tax raised from 5.5 percent to eight percent if two-thirds of the county’s municipalities approve. Approximately 30 percent of what is collected goes back to local municipalities with the rest going towards marketing efforts and administrative costs. That means big dollars for municipalities like Liberty Grove, which Town Chairperson John Lowry says could be used to address some funding challenges.

The towns of Gibraltar and Sturgeon Bay have also authorized the agreement with several others committed to signing on in the near future. The room tax increase would be effective January 1st, 2022. Destination Door County shows that over $4.7 million in room taxes were collected in 2020, down from approximately $5.1 million in 2019. 

Resistant weeds found ahead of upcoming harvest season

Your combine may be the reason why more herbicide-resistant weeds are being found in Door and Kewaunee counties. Water hemp has been the most noticeable culprit in the area which if not kept under control could have a drastic impact on crops like soybeans. The easiest way to stop the spread of these types of weeds starts with making sure you are traveling with a clean combine so you do not carry the seeds from one field to another during the upcoming harvest season.  Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstom says a clean combine could stop the spread before it starts.

Bjurstrom will be joined by Extension Cropping Systems Weed Specialist Dr. Rodrigo Werle and UW-Madison Outreach Specialist Nick Arneson for the hands-on clinic at Rio Creek Feed Mill’s Luxemburg location on August 18th from 1-4 p.m. Water hemp management was also a topic of discussion at a recent field plot tours held last week at the Peninsular Ag Research Station in Sturgeon Bay. 

Your feedback is needed on new commercial whitefish quota

You’ll have the chance to learn about regulation changes and to let your voice be heard when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosts a virtual public meeting on new regulations to Wisconsin’s whitefish commercial industry on August 31st. That is when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hosting a virtual public meeting hoping to hear from anyone interested in the area’s whitefish industry and reflect on regulation changes. 


One adjustment that came in an emergency ruling earlier this year is the increased quota for commercial fishing zone 1, or lower Green Bay. The allocated quota for zone 1 commercial fishing increased by 200,000 lbs. The quota now goes from about 360,000lbs to approximately 560,000 lbs. A leader behind the change is Henriksen Fisheries owner and the Lake Michigan Commercial Fishing Board, Charlie Henriksen. With whitefish numbers in lower Green Bay having increased mightily in the last decade, he and others believe that the increased harvest won’t negatively impact the population. Henriksen says this will also enhance an ongoing study on whitefish harvesting and positively impact other industries. 



Henriksen adds that the study that has helped make this ruling possible is far from over. You can find more information on commercial whitefish regulations as well as more information on the August 31st virtual meeting at this link

Ephraim seeking your long-term project input

One of Door County’s favorite getaway locations is asking for your input whether you’re a business owner, resident, or even a guest. The Ephraim Village Board is asking you to complete a survey that will help them understand what projects people think needs to be done in Ephraim within the next decade. The input offered will help the board present at two public forums that are held on September 8th. 


This request comes after various committees in Ephraim came up with projects that they would like to see done in the next 5-10 years. Village Board Chair Mike McCutcheon says he then asked board members to come up with five characteristics that make Ephraim special and to list five of the potential projects they’d like to see prioritized. It was after they finished that task that McCutcheon felt it was best to ask other Ephraim residents the same thing. 



The request for resident input is aimed to replicate the success of their streetscape and shoreline restoration projects that were completed in the last two years. While you’re free to list whatever project you think may be best to focus on, the village did list project concepts that have been brought up. The concepts deal with things like north end lighting, a fire station addition, and parking. The conceptual project ideas are listed below. You can take part in the survey by following this link

Fake Kewaunee County Jail calls being reported

If you’re getting a call from someone claiming to be with the Kewaunee County Jail, there’s a good chance someone’s trying to scam you. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department alerted residents that there have been multiple reports lately of suspicious phone calls coming from a scammer utilizing the Kewaunee County Jail phone number. Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Jason Veeser says if you’re suspicious about a call from someone claiming to be at the jail, you can call the actual jail to verify. Veeser says that calls from the jail out of the blue are rare. 



Veeser says you should call dispatch to report the suspicious phone call if you receive one.

Two Door County hospitalizations over the week; misinformation being combatted

You’ll want to find reliable information when it comes to COVID19 vaccines, and Wisconsin Department of Public Health Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says social media isn’t always the best spot. 



Willems Van Dijk said this during a Thursday press briefing on the COVID19 situation while addressing circulating rumors such as COVID19 vaccines causing fertility issues in women. Also addressed in the briefing was the possibility of approving booster shots in the near future, primarily for those who are immunocompromised. 


In Door County’s weekly COVID19 report, there were no new deaths and there were two hospitalizations. Over the week, there were 205 county residents tested and 38 tested positive. The county is currently at 71 active cases. In Wisconsin, the 7-day average for new confirmed cases is at 1104 and the 7-day average for new reported deaths is two.


In vaccine totals, Wisconsin has 53% of its residents with at least one dose and 49.9% of residents are fully vaccinated. Door County has 68.2% of residents with at least one dose and 65.5% of residents have completed the series. 


Masks recommended for school year as delta variant impacts more kids

The top officials at the Department of Public Instruction and healthcare institutions are recommending your kids wear masks to school this fall. State Superintendent Jill Underly made the plea on Monday, calling masking the number one way to keep schools open and ensure face-to-face learning can occur. The DPI cites difficulties to monitor mask policies, low vaccination rates in the school’s community, and the Delta variant as why they are making the recommendation. The Centers for Disease Control recommended all people inside school buildings wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Of Door and Kewaunee counties’ eight school districts, only Gibraltar is currently requiring a portion of its student population to mask up when school starts next month.  Bellin Health President and CEO Chris Woleske made a similar recommendation during the latest #MyCommunityMyBellin Podcast. She understands the controversy around the stance and how hard it is for younger students to keep it on for the school day. Woleske says at the end of the day, it is about protection.

She also recommends you and your kids get vaccinated if you are eligible, saying it is our best chance to control the virus.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said earlier this week that approximately 15 percent of all new positive COVID-19 cases were kids. On the positive side, the same report shows less than two percent of those kids have been hospitalized and less than 0.05 percent have died. You can listen to our entire podcast with Woleske by clicking this link.

Variety keeps Shanty Days fresh

You are not looking hard enough if you cannot find something to do at this weekend’s Shanty Days in Algoma. A fishing contest officially got the event underway on Wednesday with a 5K run/walk and tournaments for cornhole and volleyball also scheduled for the weekend. The non-competitive types will not be out left out thanks to the Saturday parade and car show, fireworks, and the weekend-long arts and crafts fair. Algoma Chamber of Commerce President Ken Weinaug believes it is the variety of activities in addition to the live music and food that helps keep Shanty Days popular.

The festival grounds will open to the public at 3 p.m. on Friday with Shanty Days running through Sunday. You can click this link to see the full schedule, wristband information, and event registration.


Scenes from the 2019 Shanty Days in Algoma


Door County Fair makes a move

Get out your 2022 calendars and erasers because the Door County Fair is changing weekends. The Door County Fair Board announced this week that its annual event will be moved to the second weekend of August beginning next year due to its contract with the carnival operating on the midway. With a limited number of carnival operators in the state, county fairs and other civic celebrations often have to change dates to keep them coming. Door County Fair Board President Tom Ash says the date change is a reflection on when the fair used to be held years ago and could potentially be a big help for exhibitors in the future.

Work securing music and other entertainment are already underway for the 2022 Door County Fair, which will be held August 10th-14th. Ash estimates that over 20,000 people attended this year’s 150th Door County Fair. He was not sure if it was a record, but adds that even with the rain it rivaled crowds not seen since the 1970s and 1980s. He encourages this year’s fairgoers to contact them with feedback so they know what went right and what can be improved. 

Area cleans up after storms

You are not alone if you have spent much of the last two days cleaning up after a pair of storms hit Door and Kewaunee counties this week. Approximately 190 customers were without power throughout the peninsula at one point Wednesday evening, but as of 5 a.m. Thursday those homes have had their service restored. The storms caused several downed trees and other debris to cover area roadways. The National Weather Service in Green Bay reported that Kewaunee County residents were greeted with a second band of storms shortly before 4:15 p.m. with the possibility of 70-mile per hour winds. The surge resulted in several down trees and blocked roadways. It prompted the City of Algoma to host brush-pick-up days today (Thursday 8/12) and August 18th so residents can clean up after the storm. We will have more on the aftermath of Tuesday and Wednesday’s storms as information becomes available.



Assumption Sunday a family day

The restoration of the Sunday mass obligation for the Diocese of Green Bay is not the only reason why you will see area Catholics head back to church this weekend. Last month, Bishop David Ricken announced a month ago he was lifting the dispensation so Catholics could fulfill the moral obligation of the third commandment, which is to keep the Sabbath holy. Sunday is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the day marking her ascent into heaven. The day has always been special for the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion where the occasion is marked with a nine-day novena leading up to it in addition to a special mass and other events. The Shrine’s rector, Father John Broussard, says the day has always brought families to their grounds.

The Champion Shrine will also mark the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with speaker Patrick Madrid after Saturday’s morning mass and a Eucharistic Rosary procession after the Feast Day mass on Sunday.

Kewaunee County Dairy Project top herdsman at State Fair

The Wisconsin State Fair confirmed what you may have already known: happier dairy cows live in Kewaunee County.  The dairy project, which is made up of 4-H members from Kewaunee and Door counties, earned first place for large county herdsmanship at the fair. In addition to having great-looking dairy cattle, judges for the herdsmanship prize look cleanliness of the animals and the place they call home at the Wisconsin State Fair during the event’s opening weekend. This means constantly sweeping up the paths near the cows, picking out the bits of hay from their water, and even turning buckets into portable bathrooms. Helping earn the top herdsmanship honors meant a lot to Busy Badgers 4-H member Hailey Gaedtke. She is participating in her final state fair and along with her Reserve Supreme Champion Bred and Owned cow, she is happy with what everyone was able to accomplish.

The area’s youth were not the only ones being honored at the Wisconsin State Fair this year. Connie and Kurt Kadletz of Luxemburg, Linda Mach of Kewaunee, and Mark J. Wessely of Luxemburg were all honored for their farms reaching their 150th year of operation. You can click this link to find updated judging results at the Wisconsin State Fair which runs through August 15th.  


Picture courtesy of Rob Moede



Storm knocks out power, soaks region

You can blame the storms for knocking out the power across Door and Kewaunee counties after the area experienced its second straight day of severe weather.


Approximately 190 customers were without power between the two counties as of 5 p.m., including 95 in the Town of Gardner. Wisconsin Public Service estimates customers could get their power back between 5:30 and 6:15 p.m. after losing it between 2:45 and 3:30 p.m. There have been several reports of trees down in the area, in some cases blocking roadways. The severe thunderstorm warning expired at 4:30 p.m. but Door and Kewaunee counties remain in a tornado watch until 8 p.m. Door County is in a flood advisory until 6 p.m. Wednesday.


We will continue to update this story as more information arises.

COVID numbers continue their climb

You would have to go back to February to find COVID-19/ICU patient levels as high as they are now according to the latest report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.  On Wednesday, the seven-day average of new confirmed cases climbed 20 to 1,121 with two additional deaths reported. Hospital data shows that COVID-19 patient numbers have increased 600 percent over the past month and most regions are at critical capacity. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said they have seen their hospitalizations rise recently when he spoke to last week.

Door County will release its COVID-19 situation report on Thursday, followed by Kewaunee County on Friday. Both counties are listed in the high activity and substantial transmission levels. 

YMCA shuffles swimming staff; Krauss named Aquatics Director

Next time you take a dip at the Door County YMCA swimming pool you’ll see familiar faces in new roles. The Door County YMCA recently named Kurt Krauss the new Aquatics Director. That wasn’t the only change that took place as Krauss mentioned other changes, putting fellow YMCA staff members Brady Nieman and Nicole Shepherd in roles where they can best serve. 



Krauss also confirmed that Door County YMCA swim coach Mike McHugh will continue leading the prolific swim team. 



Krauss adds that you can expect great things from the swim team this coming season.


Tornado Watch issued for area

After yesterday’s severe thunderstorms, it is possible that you will face another stretch of severe weather in the area today. The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch that is in effect until 8 pm Wednesday evening with much of Northeastern Wisconsin within the affected areas. Large hail, strong winds, and isolated tornadoes will be possible later this afternoon.  Heavy rain and localized flooding are possible with frequent lightning. These severe conditions are favorable for the forming of tornadoes. Stay tuned to as weather warnings will be updated as they warrant.

Lightning strike blamed for Kewaunee County fire

The storm that rolled through our area on Tuesday evening and into Wednesday morning was the likely cause of a house fire in the township of Montpelier. At 12:55 AM on Wednesday the Luxemburg Fire Department was paged to E1171 State Highway 29 to a report of smoke in a house. On the way to the scene, Fire Chief Lew DuChateau says they made the decision to call for mutual aid after being alerted by dispatch that there was fire visible. Chief DuChateau added that the conditions of the fire and the house structure made interior operations difficult and lengthy. 



Chief DuChateau says he considers the house a total loss and that it’s probable the cause was a lightning strike. There were no injuries reported in the fire. The Luxemburg Fire Department was assisted by the Casco Fire Department, New Franken Fire Department, Kewaunee Fire Department, and the Denmark Fire Department. Responders were able to leave the scene around 7:00 AM.

United Way kicking off 60-year campaign

You can catch the celebration of last year while taking in the start of a special campaign for the Door County United Way next Wednesday in Baileys Harbor. Door County United Way executive director Amy Kohnle is looking forward to reflecting on the 2020 campaign, considering it smashed their $650,000 goal by over $100,000.



At the Campaign Kickoff, the United Way will reveal its campaign goal for the fall. Kohnle says that the United Way celebrating their 60th birthday this year shows the vision for Door County to identify and address community needs. Kohnle says it’s preferred for you to RSVP by Thursday, but it is free. 


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Sevastopol Town Hall requiring masking, possible vaccination proof

You may need to prove you’re COVID19 vaccinated in the near future to enter the Sevastopol town hall. The Town of Sevastopol issued a COVID19 update on Wednesday saying that in response to the recent elevated COVID19 activity in Door County, all unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a mask in the town hall effective immediately. The notice also states that proof of vaccination may be required. If proof of vaccination requirement is implemented, it would follow certain private enterprises like Summerfest in Milwaukee, which requires vaccination proof and/or a negative test to enter. The notice from the Town of Sevastopol website can be found here


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NWTC's Rogalski selected for prestigious fellowship

One of the nation’s rising community college leaders is closer than you know. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College announced that the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Dr. Kathryn Rogalski, NWTC’s vice president of learning, as one of forty leaders to be a part of this year’s Aspen Rising Presidents Fellowship. Current and former community college presidents will mentor those selected for the 10-month fellowship that starts in November. They’ll be taught strategies to improve student outcomes post-college, lead internal change, and create strong external partnerships. The program is geared toward aspiring community college leaders. 


The fellowship has seen 67 alumni become community college presidents. Rogalski said that it’s an honor to be among the cohort of exceptional leaders across the nation and also thanked NWTC for their support.


Door County Granary gifted grant

A famous Door County building that is looking to host your future events was given a generous gift. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation announced that the Door County Granary, formerly known as the Teweles and Brandeis Granary, received a National Trust for Historic Preservation Johanna Favrot Fund grant. The Johanna Favrot Fund has dispersed $128,000 among 19 various projects around the country that foster appreciation for the nation’s diverse cultural heritage. Criteria for the award include historic significance, the potential for the project to be a catalyst benefitting other historic properties, and a demonstration of community support. Executive Director for the granary project Beth Renstrom said in a previous city of Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting that the community support had picked up along with project awareness. 



The grant application was submitted by Kevin Quinn. According to a press release, the Johanna Favrot Fund grant will specifically help to reinstall the 30 original, first-floor support columns on a new, reinforced foundation. 

New STR ordinance in Sevastopol to take effect

You’ll be allowed to lease your town of Sevastopol Short-Term-Rental to just one group in a six-day period according to the town of Sevastopol’s new STR ordinance. This provision goes into effect on July 1st of 2022 in an effort to give STR owners and marketing platforms time to adjust to it. The Sevastopol Town Board briefly discussed the proposal for a new short-term ordinance that had been mulled over for the past couple of years on Monday and unanimously approved it. Aside from the 6-day provision itself, the ordinance will now be effective on November 1st of this year. 


An essential change that the Plan Commission made to the originally drafted ordinance is decreasing the registration fee for STR owners from $500 to $300, with a $250 renewal fee. Town Board Supervisor Linda Wait says it is a relief to have this issue over with for now. 



Wait is hopeful that the ordinance will bring stability for neighborhoods where STR’s are located. She also says that the town of Sevastopol website will soon have information for you to better understand all of the STR stipulations including forms. There’s about 80 STR’s in Sevastopol.


Case numbers continue upward trajectory; deaths remain low

In the Wisconsin COVID19 report for Tuesday, the seven day average for new confirmed cases went above 1100. That is a jump from the seven-day average of 1087 on Monday. The seven day average for new reported deaths is at two. Both Door County and Kewaunee County are listed under high virus activity levels. 


Rising case numbers have prompted more Wisconsinites to get the vaccine as of late as 54.5 thousand residents got their shot last week, which is an increase of almost ten thousand from the week before. In Wisconsin 49.8% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 52.8% of residents are fully vaccinated. In Door County, 68.8% of residents have received at least one shot and 65.3% completed the series. Vaccine numbers are lower in Kewaunee County, where 42.9% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 40.9% are completely vaccinated.


Boys and Girls Club hopes to lure new CEO

It could be the end of the year before you find a new CEO for the Boys and Girls Club of Door County. The organization has been looking for a new person for the position since John McMahon stepped down in late July. The Boys and Girls Club of Door County has been still showing its commitment to the area in the time since the change, focusing on its summer camp programming and the return of after-school activities this fall. Board President Steve Kane says they are looking for a great local candidate to take over the reins of the program.

Kane added that they can afford to wait a long time to name a new permanent CEO because Jennifer Gentry, who is serving in the interim, is a great fit for the mission they are serving.

The Boys and Girls Club of Door County recently opened registration for its after school program for the upcoming year. You can apply for the open CEO position by clicking on this link.

Evers vetoes voting measures

You will not see new changes to absentee voting and how clerks communicate with voters who filled out their ballot after a number of vetoes issued by Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday.  The Democratic governor vetoed six different Republican-backed Senate bills and one passed by the Assembly that would have changed the use of indefinitely confined status, how voting is done at nursing homes, and other voting procedures. In a ceremony held on Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Capitol, Evers said in his prepared statement that the bill would have added unnecessary hurdles for those wishing to vote.

Republicans responded after Evers signed the vetos, with state Senator Chris Kapenga saying the governor is ignoring the bills that “would have gone a long way to prove to the people of Wisconsin that protecting the integrity of our elections matters more than appeasing progressive Madison and Milwaukee special interests groups.“



State Senator Chris Kapenga

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

State Senator Van Wanggaard

Rep. Lisa Subeck

Rep. Mark Spreitzer



Classic boats, Sikaflex challenge return to Sturgeon Bay

You will find lavish costumes and unique vessels hit the water this weekend as the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival returns to Sturgeon Bay.


One of the marquee events of the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival is the Sikaflex Challenge. The decade-plus old event features participants coming together on Saturday to build boats using nothing but wood and the marine construction sealant known as Sikaflex before taking them out on the water on Sunday. It was one of the most missed rites of summer of last year when the pandemic put many events on hold. As the Door County Maritime Museum announced the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival would return this year, Community Engagement Director Paige Funkhouser says the calls about the Sikaflex Challenge closely followed.

Funkhouser hopes people who own classic and wooden boats, especially those won through the museum’s annual raffle, also find their way to the Sturgeon Bay campus.

The Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival caps off the city’s Maritime Week celebration, which will also include a Saturday boat cruise and parade and a Sunday Bloody Mary social. You can find the full schedule by clicking the link.

Confronting sexual harassment in workplace

If you believe that you have experienced sexual harassment in your workplace, the Sexual Assault Center of Northeastern Wisconsin is asking you to say something.  The 11 women accusing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct have again brought the subject to national attention.  On Tuesday, Cuomo resigned as the governor effective in two weeks.  His Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will be his replacement.  Program Manager Holly Fisher of the Sexual Assault Center for Family Services of Northeastern Wisconsin says it is better not to confront the person harassing you but rather report the incident right away to a supervisor or the human resource manager.



Fisher says people are more sensitive to the issues around harassment and how sexual jokes in the workplace can escalate it.


Fisher adds that there are two forms of sexual harassment.  One is quid pro quo harassment which occurs when an employee's supervisor, manager, or authority figure offers or suggests that the employee will get a promotion or raise if they provide sexual favors.  The second type of sexual harassment is unwelcome physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature so severe or pervasive that it contributes to a hostile work environment.  More insidious and harder to prove, Fisher notes that this form of sexual harassment can be more challenging to detect because the request may not be direct but having sexual undertones. 

Lawnmower source of Algoma house fires

The huge residential fires in Algoma last Tuesday are a good reminder when it comes to storing your lawnmower after use.  A still-hot riding lawnmower inside the garage was the cause of last week's devastating fires that destroyed two Algoma homes near the corner of Arlington and Kirkland Avenue. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman says you should always check for and remove any grass clippings from the mower deck after each use. He says a fire risk can result from any model of lawnmower.



Fire Chief Ackerman credits his firefighters in combatting the fires successfully in extremely hot weather conditions.  Emergency Medical Service assistance helped get his crew's vital signs back to normal in dealing with heat exhaustion.  According to Ackerman, the biggest challenge in fighting the two structure fires side-by-side was having enough personnel on-site. During last Tuesday's fires, the Algoma Fire and Rescue received assistance from neighboring fire departments from Kewaunee, Southern Door, Casco, and Luxemburg.  

Door County requiring masks in government buildings

You will have to mask up again when you visit government buildings in Door County.  With Door County in the “Substantial” transmission classification for COVID-19, Door County Administrator Ken Pabich announced that all Door County government facilities will be requiring masks.  Pabich says the decision was made based on the guidance set down by the Centers for Disease Control (DCD)



Pabich says Door County will monitor the situation and if the numbers fall back into the “Moderate” level or if the CDC issues further guidelines, the mask requirement could change.  Pabich added that the option for board members to attend meetings online will remain in effect, after returning to the in-person attendance-only had recently been discussed.


Generosity opens possibilities for Southern Door Fire Department

Your purchases of food, drinks, and raffle tickets will go a long way to better protect the Southern Door community. The Southern Door Fire Department announced on Monday it raised over $35,000 during its annual parade and picnic. The event drew dozens of people to the area a year after having to host it as a drive-thru due to COVID-19. Thanks to the community’s generosity, Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says it gives the department more options on how to best use the funds.

One idea scratched off that list is a new washer and dryer for the department’s turnout gear. Olson was thankful to the town in their jurisdiction for pooling their resources received from federal relief funds to purchase the equipment.

Senator supports anti-critical race theory measures

Senator Andre Jacque is helping lead the charge to make sure anti-racism and anti-sexism education does not occur in your child’s classroom.


Jacque is one of three senators who signed onto bills eliminating student instruction and training for employees of school districts, independent charter schools, and government entities to teach anti-racism and anti-sexism. It comes as critical race theory, a movement arguing that racism is the cause for cultural and societal disparities throughout history, becomes a flashpoint at school board meetings across the country.


Last year, then-President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling critical race theory offensive and banned such topics from training if they did business with the federal government.  Jacque says he supports instructors teaching history better, pointing to his support of a bill signed into law making sure the Holocaust is a part of the K-12 curriculum. He believes, however, that it is not essential to teach racism to students.

Jacque also supports a bill making sure parents have access to instruction materials and educational materials used for school that will also receive a public hearing on Wednesday in Madison.

Casco Lions hit community service out of the park

You can take yourself out to the ball game this weekend in Casco like you have been able to do for the last 44 years. Casco Lions Days returns to Village Park for a weekend of softball, corn hole, and food. The Casco Lions Club was one of the few organizations able to safely hold an event last year, allowing them the funds to still offer grants and scholarships as they have always done in the past. In June, the Casco Lions Club awarded scholarships to six graduating high school seniors. Casco Lions Club Secretary Mark Jandrin says it feels good to be able to do nice acts like that thanks to the support they receive.

The first games of Casco Lions Days softball tournament begin at 6:45 p.m. on Friday.  With more softball, food, and cornhole on Saturday, the weekend will be capped off by a parade that starts at the Village Kitchen at 11 a.m.

Egg Harbor looks to bury power lines

Your days of seeing power lines in some part of the village of Egg Harbor may be numbered. 


The Village of Egg Harbor Board of Trustees is set to discuss the topic at their Monday night board meeting when they discuss what they would like done with the area’s utilities as a part of the upcoming State Highway 42 road reconstruction project. Discussion about burying the power lines was during the village’s public information meetings about the project on August 2nd and 3rd.


During the village’s Parks and Public Works Committee meeting, the project was approved in its entirety, including the burial of the power lines. By burying the powerlines, the Village of Egg Harbor would spend approximately $2.3 million, which is over a million dollars more than installing fiberglass utility similar to what was done in Fish Creek. That plan would cost the village approximately $1.2 million. The difference is approximately $55 a year for Egg Harbor taxpayers according to documents from the village.  Ahead of the board of trustees meeting, the village received nine emails detailing their support for burying the powerlines.  


The Village of Egg Harbor Board of Trustees meets Monday night at 6 p.m. You can click this link to read the agenda packet.


Picture used in the agenda packet from the Village of Ephraim

Thunderstorms cause power outages

Nearly 700 power outages were reported in Kewaunee County on Sunday evening after severe thunderstorms rolled through the area.  According to the Wisconsin Public Service website, 432 customers in Lincoln and another 247 in Luxemburg lost power shortly before 7 pm.  WPS estimates that the power should be restored by 9:15 pm.  Northeastern Wisconsin experienced winds of up to 60 miles per hour during the storm. will update power outages and damages caused by the storms in the area when information becomes available. 

Room for handicapped deer hunt to grow in Door County

With eligible hunters having until September 1st to contact a hunt sponsor to sign up for the 2021 gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities, state deer program specialist Jeff Pritzl hopes there’s eventually a Door County sponsor. While the cutoff for sponsors to offer some of their acreage for the October 2nd to October 10th special season has passed, Pritzl says there’s plenty of room for the program to grow on the peninsula. Pritzl adds that it can help some landowners manage deer numbers while also helping someone have a great outdoor experience.



Hunters are allowed to sign up for one property a year, and there are ninety sponsors in Wisconsin. One local sponsor is the Luxemburg Sportsmans Club. If you want to be a sponsor in a future season or if you’re eligible and want to learn more about participating in the October hunt, follow this link


Northwest wildfires hitting close to home

A long-time firefighter originally from Casco is assisting crews battling the wildfires in the western United States that are impacting the air quality in Northeastern Wisconsin.  Mark Thiry was commander at Ashwaubenon Public Safety before moving out west to become fire chief at Bigfork Fire Department in Montana five years ago. Recently called up as a logistics section officer for the Department of Natural Resources, Thiry works with the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team fighting wildfires throughout the west, where conditions remain dry and hazardous.



Thiry just returned from work in Idaho, where wildfires consumed over 7,000 acres of land.  He says the clouds of smoke traveling thousands of miles east are hard to believe. 



Air quality could be unhealthy for children, older adults, and those suffering from respiratory conditions. The National Interagency Fire Center reported last week that as many as 90 wildfires are burning across 12 states, with 1.8 million acres having been burned since the fires started.  

Baileys Harbor Range Lights receiving help with grant

The next time you come across the Baileys Harbor Range Lights you’ll know that a non-profit organization in the state of Washington is contributing to its upkeep. Ridges Sanctuary was awarded a $1,000 Emergency Relief Grant by the United States Lighthouse Society, a historical and educational organization based out of Hansville, WA. Ridges has plans to put the grant toward maintenance and utility costs that come with operating the range lights. 


Ridges Sanctuary Executive Director Andy Gill stated in a press release that the lights have played a critical role in the history of Baileys Harbor. There were 35 of these USLHS grants given out to organizations around the country. 


Festival of Fine Arts trying new exhibit in 2021

This year you’ll get to enjoy the Door County Festival of Fine Arts in Sister Bay while also paying homage to those who left their mark on the art scene years ago. On August 14th the festival will welcome back twenty artists, all of which actively practice in Door County, and the festival will feature works from Door County art legends in a “Legacy Artist Exhibit.” The exhibit will feature works by Jack Anderson, Donna Brown, Frannie Dickinson, David Frykman, Emmett Johns, Carol and Charlie Lyons, Charles Peterson, and Ellen and Kaarsten Topelmann. It’s the first year the Legacy Artist Exhibit will be showcased. 


Sister Bay Advancement Association Community Coordinator Louise Howson says there will be a wide variety of art at the festival. 



It is the 18th Festival of Fine Arts in Sister Bay and the first since 2019. The event begins at 10:00 AM at Waterfront Park.


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Memory Café returning in Kewaunee County

If you or someone close to you is affected by dementia and you’re looking to fill a social void this past year, the ADRC of the Lakeshore is bringing back its Memory Cafes in Kewaunee County. The Algoma Memory Cafe takes place on the second Wednesday of each month and the Kewaunee Memory Cafe is held on the third Wednesday of each month. 


ADRC of the Lakeshore’s dementia care specialist, Ariel Yang, says once dementia is involved in one’s life, it can isolate them from their loved ones and things they enjoy. Yang explains that the memory cafe serves as a way to regain some of the aspects of their lives they lost. 



The cafe is open to caregivers and families who want to tag along. Yang says professional caregivers will occasionally make an appearance, bringing others with mild cognitive impairment. Yang says while they’ll be careful at their gatherings in order to prevent COVID19 transmission, getting the cafes going again has been a longtime coming considering they haven’t held one since last February. 


To keep things fresh, exciting, and new, the ADRC likes to do a monthly theme. The August theme is a “Wiki Wiki Luau” Hawaiian one. Guests like speakers or businesses also stop by sometimes to provide entertainment or activities such as speaker presentations or show choirs, making crafts, and enjoying ice cream shops. 


Severe thunderstorm warning for area

Strong thunderstorms will impact portions of eastern Brown, Kewaunee, Southern Door, and northeastern Manitowoc Counties through 7:15 PM.   At 6:31 PM CDT, Doppler radar was tracking strong thunderstorms along a line extending from near Bellevue Town to near Denmark to near Manitowoc. The movement was north at 30 mph.   Winds in excess of 60 mph with possible hail.  Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects. Locations impacted include... Green Bay, Manitowoc, Kewaunee, Bay Shore Park, Oconto, Algoma, Luxemburg, Denmark, Two Creeks, and Bellevue Town.  

KCEDC encouraging new local business grant

A new grant program for your new or moving business has emerged and the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation wants you to take advantage of it. The Main Street Bounceback program is providing $10,000 to new or existing business and non-profit organizations that are moving into vacant properties in Wisconsin downtowns. Eligible businesses are those that opened or moved into a new location or expanded into a vacant commercial space on or after January 1st of this year. There’s a variety of ways to use the funds, such as paying leases, operating expenses, and other costs. KCEDC Executive Director Ben Nelson thinks there’s a fair amount of Kewaunee County businesses that are eligible. 



Ineligible businesses include those that are part of a national or regional chain. 


Algoma Public library is bringing you the annual story walk

The annual story walk on the boardwalk has been a summer favorite for many years, and on August 9th, it will be available for you to enjoy. Algoma Library director Cathy Kolbeck says that with the pandemic last year, people enjoyed the story walk even more, and this year she expects the response to be similar.



This year’s walk will show the book A Day at the Beach by Tom Booth. Kolbeck says that they chose this particular book because of its depiction of two siblings playing at the beach and that it will hopefully encourage families with children to spend some time on the beach, reading the book. The story walk will be available along the boardwalk from August 9th through August 23rd, giving people a chance to view it during Shanty Days and the annual Soar on the Shore kite event.

Join the Belgian Heritage Center for their annual Kermiss Celebration

On August 15th, you can visit the Belgian Heritage Center and participate in a traditional harvest celebration. In Belgian culture, a Kermiss celebration is something that villages across Belgium share; each community participates one weekend from August to late fall. It originally consisted of a Catholic mass, followed by gatherings in homes, taverns, and dancehalls. A board member of the center, Ann Jinkins, says although they did have drive-in events last year the center is excited to host a live event again.



You can get a feel for a traditional Kermiss at the center with their authentic Belgian foods like booyah, trippe (a Belgian sausage similar to a bratwurst), hamburgers, jutt, Belgian pies, tortes, and old fashioned ice-cream made on site by using the power drive on a tractor. The event will also include various activities such as a raffle, a silent auction, an antique tractor demonstration, and a live performance from the band Mad Cats. Throughout the celebration, there will also be guided tours through the newly restored schoolhouse. The event will be held at the Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, and all are welcome.

Money Management Counselors headed north

If you’ve been looking for financial counseling in northern Door County, then you’re in luck. Money Management Counselors of Door and Kewaunee Counties is now holding remote hours once a month at Nicolet Bank in Sister Bay, starting on August 19th. It’s part of a remote office expansion that started in 2019 but was halted by the pandemic. Money Management Counselors director Leslie Boden said the expansion was generated to accommodate people who have difficulties getting reliable transportation to Sturgeon Bay. 



Boden is appreciative of Nicolet Bank offering up space for MMC to visit with clients in their conference room. She notes that banks are a good place to hold remote office hours because they can alleviate concerns you may have about confidentiality. MMC is also hoping to find a collaborative space in Kewaunee County as well to accommodate clients in the Algoma, Luxemburg/Casco, and Southern Door County areas. 

Tips on Kayak Fishing in Door County

As I’m out fishing in my boat or one of my kayaks, I see many recreational kayakers and some kayak anglers.  I’m always a little surprised that I don’t see more kayak anglers.  But, with the big waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan surrounding Door County, it can be a little intimidated.


I know how they feel, but with all the protected bays and places to launch, even with the windy conditions, there’s usually a safe place to put in and fish.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s important to stay somewhat close to shore, pay attention to changing conditions, wear your PFD, have your phone in a waterproof bag and let someone know where you are and how long you plan to stay on the water.  


Since being ranked near or at the top for bass fishing by Bassmasters Magazine in 2014 and 2015 much has changed.  Since that point, with a tremendous amount of added fishing pressure the smallmouth bass fishery seems to have declined.  In fact, this year Sturgeon Bay did not get ranked in the top 25 for just the central part of the country.  This being noted, it still can be a great day on the water chasing smallmouth bass, just don’t expect the numbers you might have experienced prior to that top ranking.  And, you still have a decent shot at your personal best smallie.  With the extra pressure we’ve seen and numbers down, it more important than every to practice catch and release, and if you fish in the spring, please do not fish for male bass guarding nests!


Here is my tip for two great presentations to give you a good shot at catching and releasing some smallies.   One is swimming a Keitech FAT Swing 2.8 or 3.3 swimbait on a light 3/32-to-1/8-ounce mushroom head jig and the other is using the Ned Rig fishing on the bottom.  For the Ned Rig I mostly use a 1/15-to-1/10-ounce mushroom head jig with one of the buoyant Z-Man soft plastic lures like the Finesse TRD or TRD TubeZ.  With the buoyancy they stand up off the bottom and are hard for the smallie to resist.


Good luck if you give our Door County smallie fishing a shot and as always, if you have any questions email me at


Gibraltar principal prepared to welcome students

You will find a different but eager face at Gibraltar Secondary School as James DeBroux prepares for his first year as its principal and athletic director. DeBroux and his family came to Gibraltar from Random Lake High School where he not only taught but also served as its athletic and activities director. His first interaction with students was during the final weeks of summer school, though he says he has already gotten a great feel for the type of community support Gibraltar receives.

DeBroux says his main goal for the 2021-2022 school year is to help students and staff embrace the return to a much more normal school schedule compared to the previous year-plus that has been impacted by the pandemic. As an athletic director, he added that he is looking for opportunities to support and encourage participation in its sports programs. Gibraltar’s first day of class is September 7th.

Crime prevention begins with the community

Crime prevention in your community begins with you according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. He says they have noticed a constant in crime as people suffering from addiction issues look for ways to continue to pay for their habits. Some of the crimes being perpetrated are because criminals are finding easy targets in the community. This includes leaving doors unlocked and keeping valuables out in the open. Joski says law enforcement and citizens working together make for a better community.

He also encourages people to report suspicious-looking people and activities. Last week, police in Waukesha and Madison were investigating crimes where suspects entered through open garage doors and unlocked doors. You can find more crime prevention tips  from Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski below:


We are so fortunate to live in a community where both property crimes as well as crimes against persons are few and far between. There are numerous reasons that we are able to enjoy such relative tranquility, but two of the main reasons are; One, the amazing men and women we have dedicating themselves to the safety of the communities they serve, and Two, the amazing community itself which maintains a strong sense of unity and vigilance.


We all have a stake in the preservation of the quality of life we experience in our daily lives. Many times we begin to take on a false sense of security believing that crimes could not occur in our communities.

We do however have crimes which are committed and most times, law enforcement is able to develop leads and ultimately solve these cases. Although isolated and infrequent, crime does exist here in Kewaunee County and I wanted to revisit the issue of crime prevention.


Many times we may see something that looks out of ordinary, or is in fact downright suspicious. Unfortunately many times we do not go any further due to our busy lives, or our desire not to involve ourselves in someone else’s business.  For there to be effective crime prevention, we all need to realize our obligation to our neighbors and our communities, and this may mean that sometimes we get involved by calling in suspicious persons or activity. Once law enforcement responds there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the person or activity has a legitimate purpose and we can wish them well and move on. The second is that the person or activity is in fact suspicious and our contact with them could lead to the solving of a past crime or better yet the prevention of a future crime. The bottom line is we all need to be a part of the solution.


The second part to Crime Prevention is eliminating easy targets. While I would love to say we can live in a community where we do not lock our doors, I would be openly encouraging an environment of easy targets. There is an old saying that locks keep out the honest people, and there is some truth to that. While there will always be those people in our midst who may be inclined to steal, the more barriers we can put before them the more we limit their access to our valuables. If nothing else the barriers will force them to expend more effort in the commission of their crime increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed.


These barriers are very simple. They include preventions such as: Locking doors of buildings and vehicles. Securing valuables, whether that is a piece of equipment in the yard or valuables in your home or vehicle. Making a record of your valuables so that if taken they can be more accurately reported and effectively recovered. The most important barrier is to be part of your community by noticing and if need be reporting those things that seem out of the ordinary. We should be very proud of the high quality of law enforcement we have in our communities, but we would be negligent by saying we can do it all. A community where law enforcement and citizens work together always has been and always will be a better community.


Sacotte excited to help at home

If you have questions regarding a Door County business, you may be taking them up with Courtney Sacotte, the new Door County Economic Development Corporation Operational Administrator. Sacotte felt ready to take her experience and education a step further when she accepted the position. Sacotte said she enjoyed working in retail but wanted to find new opportunities to help businesses out, which made the DCEDC a great match. 



Even Sacotte, who attended both Southern Door High School and NWTC, was surprised by the plethora of businesses in Door County. She’s well into the process of trying to learn all the businesses she can and what they do, saying that you never know when you or others will need them. 


Sacotte says that the staff at the DCEDC has been very welcoming and already made her feel like part of the team. Sacotte has a Business Management Degree from Wisconsin’s Concordia University. 


Kewaunee County sees case uptick; one hospitalization

For the second straight week, Kewaunee County has seen a hospitalization due to COVID19. In Friday’s weekly COVID19 report from Kewaunee County, it showed that there were 23 new cases detected since last Friday, which is the same number of current active cases. This is a jump from five active cases in last week’s report. There were no new deaths over the week in Kewaunee County.


In Wisconsin, the seven-day average for positive COVID19 cases climbed above a thousand as the average is now 1,021 cases. The seven-day average for new reported deaths went from two on Thursday to one on Friday. 


In Wisconsin, 52.5% of residents have received at least one COVID19 vaccine dose. In Door County, 67.7% of residents have at least one dose and 65.2% are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 42.6% of residents have received one or both doses and 40.9% have completed the series. 


Matching your Door County Humane Society donation

Your gift to the Door County Humane Society campus will go much further than you know this August. This month all dollars donated to the Wisconsin Humane Society will be matched up to $250,000 and donations to the Door County and Green Bay campuses up to $100,000 will be matched by the George Kress Family Foundation, the Madsen Pups, and Al & Judy Wittenkeller. This is part of a matching grant that has been going on for a few years, and the marketing director for the Door County campus, Shaina Allen, says that the grant has grown with more matching donors wanting to contribute large gifts to help inspire donations.


The matching donors are no stranger to the Humane Society, as Allen states that they’ve been supporters for many years. You can learn more about making a contribution that will be matched by following this link


Horse drill team takes second at Wisconsin State Fair

The Door County Rockers horse drill team that you may have caught at the Door County Fair last weekend took it up a notch Thursday at the Wisconsin State Fair. The team consisting of Libby Ash, Abby Banks, Georgia Englebert, Claire Gerdmann, Faith Gerdmann, Karoline Jordan, Eileen Laughlin, Callie Miller, Natalie Patza, and Lexi Tassoul took second place in the Champions Challenge, finishing just one point behind champion La Crosse County. The competition features the 10 girls and their horses complete timed-speed events involving a number of obstacles and patterns. Door County Rockers coach Faye Bley is happy that after 20 years of coaching that the program is finally getting the notoriety it deserves.

Bley says the girls improved so much from the Stock Horse of Wisconsin Drill Team show they hosted at the Door County Fair where they took third place. Other exhibitors from Door and Kewaunee counties will be cycling in and out of Wisconsin State Fairgrounds over the next week during the fair which runs through August 15th in West Allis.


Pictures provided by Faye Bley



Door County makes masking plea

The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has Door County Public Health being proactive in asking you to mask up in an announcement made on Friday. Door County is currently in the moderate community transmission threshold outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, which is recommending people of all vaccination status indoors if they are in counties with substantial or high transmission rates. Transmission rates judge how fast the virus is spreading in a given community. Door County Public Health is basing its recommendation on the more current metrics from the state’s Department of Health Services, which bases the activity level on the positivity rate and current active cases. Currently, all 72 Wisconsin counties are either at high or very high. The Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene has identified the Delta variant in 80 percent of the positive cases within the current week. The recommendation is not a mandate, but Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers told earlier this week that people should consider masking, especially in more risky situations.

Door County Public Health also recommends people to get vaccinated as it is the top defense against COVID-19 including the Delta Variant. On Wednesday, Door County reported 11 new cases and three hospitalizations in its weekly situation report.



Door County is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. We are currently considered at ‘moderate’ community transmission by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This means we currently do not meet the mask threshold set by the CDC which would be recommended at ‘substantial’ or ‘high’ levels of community transmission. However, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services data, which is more current, has put us at a high disease activity level: Across the state, all counties except one are at high COVID activity level; one county is at very high level.

The Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene tests a sampling of all positive cases for variant identification. 80% of those tested for the current week were positive for the Delta virus. The Delta virus is highly transmissible, causing the current surge in cases. The Delta virus can spread from vaccinated as well as unvaccinated people when infected.

To be proactive, we are now recommending that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in indoor public spaces per the recent CDC guidance: Masks are recommended for people aged two and older. This new guidance has been put in place to protect everyone, especially those who are unvaccinated and those who are immunocompromised.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness that can lead to hospitalizations or death. Vaccination remains the top defense against COVID-19 including the Delta variant.

The CDC guidance recommends additional strategies that will provide protection against the spread of this contagious virus. Scientific evidence shows that masks play an important role in reducing the spread of COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community is by getting fully vaccinated, and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. We also recommend staying 6 feet apart from those not in your household while in public, staying home when sick, cleaning and sanitizing high touch areas and washing your hands often.

This is a critical time for Door County with a marked increase in COVID-19 activity over the past two weeks. The increasing numbers of confirmed cases, as well as the multitude of visitors coming to our area, make it important that we all wear a face covering in indoor public places. Together, we all can help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Door County.

Homestead Kitchen and Tap cuts ribbon

You have been able to go there for weeks, but Homestead Kitchen and Tap in Algoma made their summer opening official on Thursday. Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidy and the Algoma Chamber of Commerce joined the Ebert family and their valued employees to mark the occasion after the restaurant opened in late June with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The restaurant features beef raised on their farm located just a few miles away from its front door. During the ceremony, Algoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ken Weinaug thanked the Ebert family for their involvement in the community.

Homestead Kitchen and Tap general manager Scott Prokash says he is happy with how the restaurant has been received in the community since they opened.

It is the latest venture for the Ebert family, which after years of operating their dairy farm has added the restaurant and Salmon’s Meats in Luxemburg to their portfolio.



Surprises delay Sevastopol school project's full completion

Your ancestors may have played a role in why Sevastopol students and staff’s first day of class may be at a school that is still a work in progress. Sevastopol School District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the majority of the work is done for the new addition that was approved as a part of the $25.1 million referendum in 2018. Part of that price tag included removing the original 1924 section of the building, which played the role of a time capsule earlier this summer. Crews discovered a large pile of fieldstones where the foundation of the building once stood. Luedtke says discovering the dumping ground for farmers close to 100 years ago was a surprise.

As a result, removing the fieldstones from the site will cause the front parking lot to not be finished by the beginning of the school year. Staff will be asked to park at a nearby church until work can be completed. The project also included a renovation of parts of the 1965 addition, which will still have to wait a few weeks for all of its flooring to arrive and be installed.  Sevastopol School District will host a ribbon-cutting and open house for the new addition on Sunday, August 22nd from 2 to 4 p.m. The first day of school is still scheduled for September 7th.



Stillman appointed to state's Tourism Council

You may know her as a Door County business owner, but now you’ll have Denise Stillman representing you and other Wisconsinites on the Wisconsin Council of Tourism. This month Stillman was appointed by Governor Tony Evers to a council position. She says she was still surprised even though she knew there was a chance she’d be selected. 


Stillman had heard rumblings at the beginning of 2021 that the Tourism Council was moving to term limits and getting new people on it. The Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association, which Stillman spent years serving on including as the chair, recommended her for a position on the council. By February Stillman was filling out paperwork and did a phone interview with the Tourism Council’s acting secretary, Anne Sayers.  


A main reason Stillman feels she’s a good fit for the board was that she'll be the only lodging operator, adding variety to the current council and the other reason is her Door County background.



Stillman acknowledges the importance of understanding issues other tourist areas around the state face. 



The first council meeting that Stillman will be a part of is on October 14th. Stillman is a Co-Owner of Parkwood Lodge and Foremost Management.


All counties enter high disease activity level

In Thursday’s COVID19 report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Health, it was reported that as of Thursday afternoon, 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, including Door and Kewaunee counties, are at “high” disease activity level. Milwaukee County is at the “very high” level. The state’s current seven-day average for new daily cases sits at 1000. The seven-day average for daily deaths as of Thursday afternoon is two. 


If you haven’t done so yet, Governor Tony Evers is making a plea for you to get your COVID19 vaccine as soon as possible. Evers says the Delta variant poses a serious threat to the progress made in trying to put the pandemic behind us, and if you’ve got the vaccine you should encourage those close to you to get theirs. 



Wisconsin currently has 52.4% of its residents with at least one vaccine dose. In Door County, 67.6% of residents have at least one dose and 65.1% of residents are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 42.2% of residents have one or both vaccine doses and 40.9% completed the vaccine series. 


Interest high for first Bloody Mary event

In just a couple of weeks, you can enjoy the first event of its kind in Sturgeon Bay while taking in beautiful waterfront views. Destination Sturgeon Bay, in partnership with other area businesses, is hosting the first annual Bloody Mary Social on Sunday, August 15th at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria and Bridge Up Brewing. Different bars and restaurants will also have a presence at the event, competing for the “Best Bloody Mary” and “Best Bloody Mary Garnish” titles. The Marketing and Events Director for Destination Sturgeon Bay Carley Sarkis expects the atmosphere of the event to be relaxing, calling it a “Sunday brunch atmosphere.” If you go you’ll also hear local jazz band Kevin Van Ness & the Talk of the Town. 


Though there are tickets available they are going quickly, and it’s suggested you buy them in advance rather than try to purchase one of the limited tickets available at the ticket gate. You have to be 21 or older to purchase tickets, and more information on buying one can be found at this link


Updated: Child has been found after AMBER alert lasts several hours

A scary situation that unfolded on Thursday ended with a missing child being located. On Thursday morning an AMBER alert was issued across Wisconsin for a 2-month-old boy, Dorian Giesen. The child was allegedly taken by his mother, Haley N. Pelot, and was a passenger during a car chase with law enforcement. The AMBER alert was canceled at approximately 4:30 PM on Thursday. 


Original story:

A statewide AMBER alert was issued on Thursday morning for a 2-month-old boy that was reportedly taken by his mother. The child may need immediate medical attention. According to the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department, they were checking the wellbeing of they 2-month-old, Dorian Giesen while investigating a possible child neglect or abuse case when the mother, Haley N. Pelot sped off and began a car chase. The chase was stopped as Pelot allegedly threatened to harm the baby physically. 

Haley Pelot is approximately 5’1” tall and 120 lbs with brown hair and hazel eyes. Other features include a number of tattoos, including one that says “Hales” on her neck. It is believed that she’s driving a silver 2002 Toyota Camry with a Wisconsin license plate AHY 5345. If you see her you’re asked to call the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department at 715-421-8701.


Kewaunee School District makes masks optional

You will not see many students forced to wear masks in Door and Kewaunee counties this fall. Kewaunee announced its back-to-school policies at a special board meeting held on Tuesday, making it optional for all of its students to wear a mask. The decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control issued its recommendation for all students and staff to mask when classes begin. The district will also opt to have the Rural Virtual Academy take over the remote learning for the district so that Kewaunee’s teaching and support staff can focus on the students attending school in person. Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz says the plan they presented was based on others in the area and stresses that it can change depending on what happens this fall.

Fritz added they will normalize other parts of the school day, but says three-foot social distancing will be encouraged. Gibraltar Elementary students are the only ones in Door and Kewaunee counties that will be required to mask up in class this fall until a vaccine is available. Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer told that until all families have a choice for their kids to receive a vaccine, it is the district’s responsibility to “advocate for and protect the vulnerable population with masking and social distancing until the choice of vaccination is available.” Current CDC order mandate masks on buses. States like Illinois and Oregon have made the decision for their school districts, mandating K-12 students have to mask up in the classroom this fall.

Eviction moratorium excludes Door and Kewaunee counties

Your landlord might be able to evict you if you are behind on rent despite the Centers for Disease Control extending the moratorium earlier this week.


Under the order signed by CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, landlords cannot evict people behind on their rent or other housing payments in U.S. counties experiencing substantial and high levels of community transmission of COVID-19.


As of Thursday morning, Door and Kewaunee counties were still listed in the moderate category. That means the eviction moratorium does not apply to those counties as of right now. Nearby Brown, Marinette, and Manitowoc counties are listed in the substantial transmission level while Sheboygan, Calumet, and Oconto counties are featuring high transmission rates.


The state does have an emergency rental assistance program in place for people who have been negatively affected by COVID-19, whether that means contracting the virus or increased costs of keeping your kids at home. It can cover up to 12 months in back rent and three to four months into the future. Kate Markwardt from Lakeshore CAP says they have seen an uptick in applications this week as uncertainty rises.

Markwardt says it is unclear what will happen or who will be notified if Door and Kewaunee counties slip into the higher levels of community transmission. She encourages people to apply if they are unsure by stopping by their offices or logging onto their website.

Restaurants battle trucking woes

The shortage of truck drivers is impacting your dining experience in Door and Kewaunee counties. It is just among the many battles restaurant owners are facing in addition to rising food costs and their own hiring woes. Some businesses in Door and Kewaunee counties have had to go out and do their own grocery shopping because some of their vendors have cut their deliveries in half or in some cases have stopped coming altogether.

Village Kitchen owner Chris Jacobs works with three different vendors to make sure she has enough to get through the week, and even then there are a number of items she can not consistently receive. To fill in the gaps, she has shopped locally to make sure her dishes are complete. She knows she is not alone, but admits it does make planning harder when she is not sure what she will be putting in refrigerator and freezer on a nightly basis.

Sonny’s Italian Kitchen manager Nolan Paschke used to have four truck deliveries a day to make sure it can get through its busiest part of the season. Now they have to double on what they order because they are lucky to get two deliveries a week. He says they have been planning their menu accordingly to make sure their guests get what they want at the quality they expect.

Both Jacobs and Paschke thanked their employees and their customers for being patient and understanding during these unique times. Last month, members of the federal transportation and labor departments and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration discussed ways it can address the truck driver shortage including lowering the minimum age for interstate drivers, bypassing some steps of the immigration certification process, and devising strategies to improve employee retention.


Pictures from Village Kitchen and Sonny's Italian Kitchen's respective Facebook pages

Rotary Youth Exchange looks for restart

After a two-year pandemic-related pause, your kids could go back to school overseas next year. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club and the Northern Door Rotary Club are already looking for kids to participate in the Rotary Youth Exchange program. Students 15 years and up and choose to participate in the program where they would spend the year overseas and learn about a different country’s culture. COVID-19 put a damper on the program the last two years, but Tom Wilson from the Northern Door Rotary Club hopes that will change with a little extra knowledge.

The Rotary Youth Exchange will have an informational meeting for any family interested in the program on September 15th at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor beginning at 6:30 p.m. Wilson says they are also looking for people to host international students for the upcoming years of the Rotary Youth Exchange,  but adds that the organization’s district staff handles incoming students.

Weekly case count grows as readers debate new mask guidelines

The weekly number of positive tests in Door County reached double-digits for the first time since June, but you may not see more people mask up because of it. The weekly situation report from Door County came a day early and reported 11 new positive cases out of 114 tests. That was the highest number of positive tests since Door County announced it would only do weekly reports on June 14th. The number of active cases grew to 30 and another three were hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control have Door County listed as having moderate transmission levels, which is just shy of its recommendation for people to mask up indoors regardless of vaccination status. 


In a recent poll, 62 percent of the 444 respondents say they will follow the CDC guidelines for masking up indoors. An anonymous reader says he will follow the guidelines, but hopes Door County’s high vaccination rate and a little luck will keep it from being an area of substantial or high transmission. Over 67 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Just under 34 percent of people said they would not follow the guideline. Reader JKF said he would only mask up if required, saying that “the data is always spun in some fashion which has led to false conclusions. Of the 53 respondents that said they were not vaccinated, 44 said they would not mask up.

Ribbon cut at Otumba Beach

There are no longer barriers for you to enjoy Otumba Beach in the city of Sturgeon Bay, which now features an ADA-accessible beach mat. On Wednesday, people gathered at Otumba Park to take in the beach’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, highlighting its new improvements. The city of Sturgeon Bay Common Council President Dan Williams kicked off the speaking and called the beach more consumer-friendly now that it has been enlarged and has a wall separating the beach and its neighboring sidewalk. 


Alderperson Gary Nault spoke at the ceremony and shared pride that the redone beach is in his district. He also reflected on how much Otumba Beach means to him and others who grew up in Sturgeon Bay.



Mayor David Ward and City Administrator Josh VanLieshout also spoke at the ceremony. 

YMCA trying to combat blood shortage

The Door County YMCA has gone the extra mile this last year in hopes that you’ll donate blood if eligible. Marketing Director Amy Gamble gave credit to their partnership with the Community Blood Center over the past year to hold community blood drives. The YMCA’s next blood drive is on Friday, August 13th at the Door County YMCA from 10:00 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. There is currently a national blood shortage, and donations of all types of blood are welcomed. Type O blood is currently in the highest demand. You can sign up for your blood donation at the Community Blood Center’s website. 


City workers heading out after summer

You may notice a difference in how often certain city properties in Sturgeon Bay are tended to in August. In Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, the City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout touched on worker availability as summer vacation wraps up. He said some of the city’s summer help will soon tend to other obligations, such as sports, returning to college, or trying new ventures in life. VanLieshout says the staff changes may affect the speed of their operations. 



VanLieshout did thank residents of Neenah Avenue for their patience as city work was done near their property. 


Chicagoan dies in Gibraltar crash

An 81-year-old Chicago woman died Tuesday afternoon after a two-vehicle crash in the Town of Gibraltar. The Door County Sheriff’s Department was notified of the crash just before 2:40 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of County Highway A and EE. It is believed that Florence McMillian was driving her small SUV and failed to yield for an oncoming dump truck when it was struck. The truck was driven by 51-year-old Curtis Rice of Sister Bay. The intersection as well as the immediate area around the crash was closed for several hours as law enforcement conducted their investigation. Roadways in the area were opened approximately six hours after the crash at 9 p.m. An autopsy will be performed by the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office while the crash remains under investigation with help from the Wisconsin State Patrol crash reconstruction team and motor carrier inspectors. Personnel from Door County Emergency Services, Gibraltar Fire Department, Gibraltar First Responders, Baileys Harbor Constable, Door County Highway Department, and Door County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the accident. 


News release of traffic fatality

Updated: Highway 42 stretch reopened

Hours after a single-car crash that caused a closure of Highway 42 from Hillside Road to County Highway T on Wednesday morning, officials have announced that the stretch is open for travel again. WPS was on the scene of the accident to repair the downed utility lines that were laying across the road. A telephone pole also had to be replaced. The passage was cleared before 1:00 PM. 

(Photo from the Door County Sheriff's Office)


Original story: A vehicle accident on Wednesday morning is currently affecting travel on Highway 42 in northern Door County. A traffic alert from 511 Wisconsin has stated that a crash in Door County has shut down Highway 42 between Highway T and Hillside Road near Egg Harbor. As of 10:00 A.M., crews were on the stretch replacing a telephone pole and taking care of a utility line that had fallen and was laying across the road. The stretch is expected to be opened back up at approximately 1:00 P.M. 



Common council approves easement replacements

On Tuesday evening, the city of Sturgeon Bay Common Council gathered for a short meeting. A resolution to vacate Ackerman Street was approved but Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak said an easement should be in place to make sure there is a turnaround spot still on Cove Road. The real estate underlying the right of way will revert to the adjacent property owners. A public hearing for that is tentatively scheduled for September 21st.   


Also in the meeting, various easements that are no longer needed for the West Waterfront Redevelopment were eliminated and new easements for the future west waterfront plaza and Breakwater Residences replaced them. These easements are aimed to help people with priorities such as drainage and parking. The certified survey map for the west waterfront was also approved. The entire meeting packet can be found here.


Canadian wildfires making Wisconsin impact

You may see smoke in the air when you look up at times this week. The National Weather Service in Green Bay had areas of smoke in its peninsula forecast and reported on Tuesday that while the thickest smoke remains over Minnesota and Canada, you can look for hazy skies in the area at times through the rest of the week. On Tuesday, Door County and Kewaunee County were both listed in a minor air quality advisory. As of Tuesday afternoon, the air quality in both counties is labeled as “good,” but Public Information Specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Craig Czarnecki, says that if air quality dips to moderate, it’ll still be acceptable to most people. You may be at risk if you have heart or lung ailments, or asthma. 


With wildfires occurring in Canada, Czarnecki says the air quality advisories for the northern half of the state are due to elevated levels of fine particulate matter they produced. Czarnecki adds that as long as the fires continue to burn, they could continue impacting Wisconsin. The current air quality advisory is in effect until noon on Wednesday. The hazy smoke is typically most noticeable at sunrise and sunset. If you suspect you may have been exposed to elevated levels of fine particulate matter, watch for irritation of the eyes, nose and throat as well as coughing or shortness of breath.


Northern Door County crash under investigation

The Door County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a crash that occurred on County Highway A and County Highway EE which led to highway closings. Portions of County Highways A, EE, and Little Marsh Road were closed on Tuesday afternoon by Ephraim, Gibraltar, and Baileys Harbor emergency personnel. The sheriff’s office is asking you to stay away from the area as they gather more information. More details will be released on Wednesday morning, according to the Sheriff’s Office. 

UPDATED: Fire destroys two Algoma homes

Two houses next to each other were devastated by fire on Tuesday afternoon in Algoma.  The Algoma Fire Department was called for a garage fire at about 1 pm at the corner of Arlington and Kirkland Avenue.   Assistant Fire Chief Tom Vandenack says the fire spread to the adjacent home and to the neighboring house on Kirkland Avenue.  He notes that the two families will be displaced and the American Red Cross is helping to relocate them.



The Algoma Fire Department, who received assistance from Southern Door, Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Casco Fire Departments remained at the active fire scene for over four hours.  Vandenack adds that the cause of the fire has not been determined yet and no injuries were reported, other than a few firefighters suffering briefly from heat exhaustion.  



Original posted story: 

Shortly before 2:00 PM on Tuesday, two houses next to each other went up in flames in Algoma and crews from multiple Kewaunee County agencies arrived on scene to combat the flames. The houses that caught fire are on the corner of Kirkland Avenue and Arlington Avenue. According to a nearby resident, no one was in the houses when the fire began. Crews from Algoma, Kewaunee, Luxemburg, Southern Door, and Casco arrived on the scene. More details will be released as they are made available. 



Local counties stay in medium activity level; state case numbers rise

Wisconsin is seeing rising numbers of COVID19 cases again in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Tuesday report, but the seven-day average for deaths is at one. The seven-day average for new confirmed cases is 854. Both Door County and Kewaunee County are one of fifteen counties in Wisconsin that are in “medium” virus activity level. In 57 other state counties there’s a high virus activity level. 


In Wisconsin, 52.1% of residents have one or two doses of the COVID19 vaccine. In Door County, 67.2% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 64.9% are fully vaccinated. In Kewaunee County, 42% of residents have one or both vaccine doses and 40.8% have completed the vaccine series. 


The number of people getting vaccinated in Wisconsin has gone up the past three weeks. Last week, 45,000 people received their shots. 


State names new Parks Director

Next time you visit one of the state parks in Wisconsin it’ll be under a new direction. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources announced that Steven Schmelzer is the new Parks Director. Schmelzer spent 29 years with the DNR dating back to 1992 when he began as a Park Ranger at Devil’s Lake State Park. Since 2020, Schmelzer has been serving as the District Park Supervisor, leading the southwest district which covers eight counties. 


The DNR’s Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Deputy Division Administrator Diane Brusoe approved of the hire, saying that staff has remained resilient and adaptable and that they are excited to have Schmelzer carry the momentum. Schmelzer also shared excitement, stating “our parks offer countless recreational opportunities for visitors. We must continue to innovate and look at new technologies to better serve our customers now and in the future.” The DNR has reported more than 9.6 million visits to its state parks so far this year, which is an 18% increase over 2020 and a 36% increase since 2019. Wisconsin has 49 state parks. 


No mask mandate coming despite climbing transmission rates

It will be recommended, but you will not be required to wear a mask if COVID-19 transmission rates continue to climb in Door and Kewaunee counties. On Monday, the health department of neighboring Brown County along with De Pere and Oneida Nation’s departments issued their masking recommendations after the area slipped into the “substantial level” of community transmission. Under Centers for Disease Control guidelines, people are advised to mask up in indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status. This category is reached when a county has between 50 to 100 new cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people in a seven-day period. The last mask mandate was struck down in March by the Wisconsin Supreme Court after it ruled 4-3 that Governor Tony Evers violated state law by issuing multiple emergency orders without legislative approval. She understands people are tired of masks, but Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers hopes people get vaccinated and take the right precautions.

As of Tuesday morning, Door and Kewaunee counties are listed as moderate transmission risk. By comparison, 10 counties are listed as high risk and another 34 are considered a substantial risk. Businesses like Target, Wal-Mart, and McDonald’s all recently announced it will require their employees to wear a mask in areas with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission rates while strongly recommending customers do the same.


Map courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control. Red is considered high, orange is substantial, yellow is moderate, and blue is low.

Kewaunee turns attention elsewhere after failed marina bid

The City of Kewaunee will focus on other ways to improve its waterfront after missing out on purchasing Salmon Harbor Marina. The city had been working on acquiring an Economic Development Administration grant to help purchase the nine-acre property, but those efforts fell short. That opened the doors for Yacht Works to purchase the marina, which also includes boat storage and campsites. Kewaunee Mayor Jason Jelinek admits he is disappointed the grant fell through, but he is happy that Salmon Harbor Marina is in good hands.

Jelinek added that Yacht Works, which has locations in Sister Bay and Florida, has been working with the Kewaunee Plan Commission on possible expansions. The city now shifts its attention back to Fisherman’s Point, a piece of property located near the center of Kewaunee’s harbor. The city received $1.75 million in grants in March to eliminate the blight on the land as they hope to make it viable for future property development. If it is viable, Jelinek says they could apply for another EDA grant.

City prepares for Coast Guard celebration

Wisconsin’s Coast Guard City is inviting you to celebrate its local maritime history and military personnel. Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week coincides with the United States Coast Guard’s 231st Birthday on Wednesday. The following nine days include several events including Salute to the Coast Guard Picnic for active, reserve, retired, and veteran branch personnel on August 7th and the Coast Guard Person of the Year and Mariner Award Dinner on August 10th. The week-plus long celebration is capped off by the 30th Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival, Bloody Mary Social, and tours of the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay on August 15th. Door County Maritime Museum Community Engagement Coordinator Paige Funkhouser says Maritime Week offers the community a chance to say thank you to the men and women of the United States Coast Guard that call Sturgeon Bay home.

Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week runs from August 5th-15th. The city was designated one of 20 U.S. Coast Guard cities in 2014 and is the only one located in Wisconsin. You can find the full Maritime Week schedule below.


Picture courtesy of Door County Maritime Museum from the 2019 Classic and Wooden Boat Festival


Bay Marine acquires Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor

Your boating experience will get an upgrade in 2022 after Bay Marine announced late last week it was acquiring the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor. Bay Marine, which bases its business out of Sturgeon Bay, Waukegan, Ill., and Fort Myers, Fla., closed on the business on Friday. The purchase gives Bay Marine another 96 slip in-water marina near the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club in addition to another outlet for boat sales and service. Bay Marine co-owner Mark Felhofer plans an expansive remodel of the facility, which includes new docks, clubhouse, pool, and outdoor pavilion. Felhofer said in a release over the weekend that “the improvements we have planned for The Yacht Harbor are sure to elevate the nearly 80-year-old marina back to its former glory.” The hope is the improvements will be ready for the 2022 boating season.


Picture courtesy of Bay Marine


A previous version of this story had the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club in the headline, not Sturgeon Bay Yacht Harbor. We regret this error. 

Critical documents to include in your will

If you die without a will or an estate plan in place, your family may experience delays in settling your estate.   August is National Make-A-Will Month and According to, over half of American adults do not have a will, and the percentage of people who say they don’t know how to get a will has increased by 90 percent in the last four years.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says if you lack either a will or an estate plan, there are three critical things you need to do right away.



Not having enough time or assets are the two excuses often given for not having a will or an estate plan in place.  Ross advises you to take the time now to get your end-of-life documents and plans in order.   

Variant causing bump in numbers

New cases of COVID-19 and vaccinations are both steadily increasing statewide.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 486 new positive tests on Sunday.  That number pushed the 7-day average to 797 new confirmed cases with 109 new probable cases and one new reported death.   The positive percentage of tests was 6.9 percent.   Vaccinations in the state are approaching the 50 percent mark with 49.4 percent of residents having received the complete series.  Door County is at 64.9 percent of its residents fully vaccinated, while 40.8 percent of Kewaunee County residents have completed the series. 


You can find the DHS vaccination page here. 




City Council to discuss easements for west side developments

The groundwork for the future west waterfront developments will be prioritized when the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meets on Tuesday evening.  Considerations for eliminating and creating various easements for the West Waterfront Development will be discussed, as well as a review for approval of a certified survey map.

The City is currently working with developers on the west waterfront redevelopment area and needs to eliminate some old easements in place for the hotel development that was never built.  The City of Sturgeon Bay has developers planning a 52-unit apartment complex and a two-story deli/restaurant plaza to be constructed.  City Administrator Josh VanLieshout says the three easements that are proposed to be eliminated include two access easements and a storm and sanitary sewer easement that will be replaced.


Another agenda item includes the introduction of vacating Ackerman Street that is off Cove Road and adjacent to the Town of Sturgeon Bay.
The real estate underlying the right of way would revert to the adjacent property owners.  A public hearing for that would be scheduled for September 21.  

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet at 6 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. 

Attainable housing within grasp in Sister Bay

Your long wait for an attainable housing option in Sister Bay may soon be over. The Village of Sister Bay recently signed a memorandum of understanding with developer Mosaic Ventures to create 45 attainable housing rental units in Sister Bay near Northern Door Children’s Center. Earlier this year, developer Marissa Downs credited the county’s relationship with the Wisconsin Housing Development Authority and the money they were able to provide to help the project progress with over $700,000 in annual tax credits. The Village of Sister Bay will also be contributing over $400,000 in Premier Resort Area Tax funding to help improve infrastructure near the site. Sister Bay Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft says it is a step forward to addressing a major need in the area.

Bernhoft says it is now up to the developer to do their homework as they develop final drawings to present to the plan commission. A 2019 Door County housing study showed that Northern Door will need an additional 65 workforce rental apartments with rents between $500 and $1000 a month through 2023

Law Enforcement, Special Olympics team up for memorable day

Even though parts of their annual rite of summer were canceled again, you can bet Kewaunee County law enforcement personnel were not going to forget about the area’s Special Olympians. For years, law enforcement has ridden bicycles as a part of the Torch Run from Green Bay to Stevens Point to raise money for Special Olympics Wisconsin and to kick off the annual statewide games. For the second year in a row, those plans had to be canceled. Rather than wait another year, members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department and the police departments of Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Algoma teamed up on Saturday for a special day celebrating the achievements of their local Special Olympians. The group biked from Blahnik Park in Algoma to Bruemmer Park in Kewaunee where they were greeted with lunch and a few games of cornhole. The Special Olympians were also rewarded their ribbons from their track meet held earlier this year. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is important for local law enforcement to continue to show their support for the athletes.

While he hopes things get back to normal for next year’s state track meet for Special Olympics, Joski says the goal is to continue this local event for years to come.


Picture courtesy of Matt Joski



Delta variant poses concern for doctors

The new Delta variant of COVID-19 could spread just as easily as chickenpox if you are not careful according to Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise. After going almost a month with low case counts and hospitalizations, Door County Medical Center is seeing those numbers grow with four people being admitted for treatment last week. He cannot guarantee the COVID-19 strain going around now is the Delta variant, but Heise says it appears to be more infectious.

Heise encourages people who have not been vaccinated or only received one of the two doses to reconsider so the impact of the virus could be limited.

The Centers for Disease Control and Disease Control issued new mask guidance last week because of breakthrough infections among the vaccinated.  Breakthrough infections occur when people vaccinated for COVID-19 still get sick from the virus, although to a lesser degree. The new guidance recommends people wear masks indoors in certain situations where the Delta variant is causing a surge in infections. Recent studies show that the vaccinated can carry as much of the viral load as the unvaccinated when they contract COVID-19, although their symptoms may not be as severe.

Selections made for new Dome House residency

On Friday, the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay finally got to pick two new residents for a residency that has been in the works for years. For the Dome House Al & Mickey Quinlan Residency, the museum picked Amy Usdin and Ariana Vaeth, who are both midwest-based artists. Amy Usdin is a twin-cities-based fiber artist and Ariana Vaeth is a Milwaukee-based artist who focuses on contemporary realism. Executive Director of the Miller Art Museum Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead said it was difficult to pick the two out of a large talent pool. 



Meissner-Gigstead says they’re both excited to come and will immerse themselves into the Door County community. Both are expected to make their way to the Dome House by Labor Day. The dome house is located in Whitefish Bay.


New car buyers ordering off lists

If you are looking for a new car, patience and lists are the operative words this summer.  The current lower supply of new vehicles along with high demand means a challenge for consumers.  According to Cox Automotive, the national new vehicle inventory was at a record low 25 days' supply to start the month of July.  Jesse Yahnke, sales manager at Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, says consumers are better educated today and are willing to wait to get what they want. He notes that many potential buyers are coming into the showroom asking to see the list of new vehicles on order for delivery to the dealership. 



Yahnke notes that vehicle prices with rebate offers are locked in when ordering and not at the time of the delivery date.  The average transaction price for new vehicles in June nearly equaled the manufacturer's suggested retail price nationally.   

League of Women Voters tackling substance abuse and mental health issues

You can mark October 30th as a day to learn more about different Door County programs that help support people and families dealing with mental health and substance abuse issues. The League of Women Voters Door County is having a substance abuse and mental health panel that will elaborate on a study they concluded last year on issues pertaining to mental health and substance abuse, and resources for those suffering. League of Women Voters Door County Chair Pat Scieszinski says one point of emphasis will be on the impact of treatment courts.



This will be one of the first in-person events for the organization since the pandemic began, which is something Scieszinski says they’re excited about. 

Accident on 57 and County Rd H causing heavy delays: UPDATED

South bound traffic will be backed up while crews from B.U.G and Southern Door Fire Department along with surrounding areas handle a multi-car accident that occurred around noon today. Minor injuries were reported and traffic on the south bound side is down to one lane. Expect a slow go as traffic backups were reported. Stay tuned to the for more details as they become available. 


Update: As of 1:38pm, all traffic is moving both directions and the accident has been cleared. A member of confirmed. 

MS Walk from a participant perspective

There’s a walk for Multiple Sclerosis in Door County that has picked up the pace with participant turnout in recent years, but one annual participant says she’d like it to grow faster. The MS challenge walk is a three-day walk in Door County from September 24-26 that starts in Ellison Bay.


Door County resident Pat Heller has been involved in the Challenge Walk MS for 13 years with her husband, Tom. If you participate your competitive itch will be scratched in a variety of ways, one of which is fundraising. Heller talks about her fundraising team, “Multiple Screwballs,” and the high goals they set. 



Heller enjoys the event's high retention rate, saying it’s built a camaraderie that newcomers quickly find themselves a part of. A byproduct of the family atmosphere is the decorative wardrobe participants and volunteers wear. Some will wear orange, which is the official MS color. The event hits home for Heller and other participants, many of whom either have MS or are close with someone who does. More information on the event can be found at this link


Your help requested for state deer management

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants you to start counting your deer sightings starting August 1st. According to a press release from the DNR, this will provide crucial data for deer management. The program is called Operation Deer Watch and doesn’t require registration. Between August 1st and September 30th, the DNR wants you to report deer sightings, including bucks, does, and fawns in an easy-to-use online form. This will help gain insight into the reproductive status for Wisconsin’s deer herds. A common way for you to participate is carrying a printable tally sheet with you. DNR Wildlife Population and Harvest Assessment Specialist Brian Dhuey called it a fun and useful opportunity for everyone to enjoy Wisconsin’s plentiful wildlife. You can learn more about Operation Deer Watch by following this link


Neighbor to Neighbor names award recipients

Some of the people who offer up their free time have been recognized by Neighbor to Neighbor in Door County. The next time you see the organization’s medical equipment maintenance team you’ll be able to recognize them as Volunteer Star Award winners. The team consists of Gary Bellin, Mike Barry, Joe McMahon, Lawrence Tanck, and Karen Bellin. While they were the award winners at Tuesday’s meeting, Neighbor to Neighbor Executive Director Ann Bennett was pleased with all of the volunteers' efforts since the beginning of the pandemic. 



Functions of the medical equipment maintenance team include assembling donated and purchased equipment, cleaning hospital beds, mattresses, lift chairs, and lifts when returned to the equipment facility. 


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