News Archives for 2021-10

Rotary Interact cooks up Thanksgiving fundraiser

Sturgeon Bay High School Rotary Interact Club needs your help making sure people have food for their Thanksgiving dinners. The organization partners with Feed my People Door County to raise money for gift cards to be distributed to families in need of a little help to pay for the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing for their holiday meal. Seniors Maggie Stephens and Andrew Konop and Junior Elijah Pinkert say the program was a big success last year.

Additional details on the Thanksgiving Meals Program will be released on November 1st.  Rotary Interact has been busy in recent weeks as volunteers for HELP of Door County’s Halloween event and outdoor cleanup efforts with Sunshine Resources.

Exponential growth seen from Youth Apprenticeship Program

Since 2018, the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship program has grown to support close to 300 students in their career readiness. The program aims to place students in a local business that fits within their preferred career cluster to help them learn about the career path while also receiving mentorship from an experienced member of that field. In addition to that experience, they also receive school credit and eligibility to earn state-issued skills certificates. Jennifer Johnson, the program director, says the program has served many students and helped them learn more about themselves and their futures.

 

 

When the program began in 2018, it only had five student participants, and in only three short years, they were able to raise that number to 284 students in 7 schools spread through both Door and Kewaunee county. Those students are employed by 183 local companies, ranging from auto/diesel services to healthcare services. From being employed in those businesses, the total student earnings have been more than $1.24 million. Johnson expressed that if other schools were willing to start the program, she would expand even more to help more students from Wisconsin.

 


DNR stocks Forestville Flowage with fish

After the Forestville flowage water levels were drawn down and then restored this fall, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources just completed a restocking of fish.  In mid-October 2,351 largemouth bass and 47,949 fingerling bluegills were stocked into the Forestville Flowage.  DNR Fisheries Biologist Nick Legler says the collaboration with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department and Door County Facilities and Parks will go a long way in improving the ecosystem and create future opportunities for anglers.

 

 

The bluegill will reach six inches in four years and the bass up to 14 inches within four to five years.   The stocked fish were provided by the DNR’s Northfield Lake Fish Rearing Station in Jackson County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service National Fish Hatchery in Genoa. 

Gaining better balance to prevent serious falls

You can possibly avoid a serious injury caused by falling due to loss of balance with an upcoming program at the Door County YMCA.    Moving for Better Balance is a 12-week class that is based on Tai Chi principles.  Megan Schneider, member services director at the Northern Door YMCA, shares the benefits of obtaining better balance and flexibility with the Moving for Better program.

 

 

Schneider adds that participation in the program may also result in better mental health, reduced stress, improved memory and higher self-esteem.   You can find more information on the Door County YMCA’s Moving for Better Balance here.


New band director adjusting in the Kewaunee Schools

You may have notied a new face this school year if you follow the Kewaunee School District music program. With the departure of the previous director, the district hired a new director, Ryan Fitz, for bands 5-12. Fitz studied at UW-Whitewater and earned a degree in instrumental music and general music. After graduating, Fitz spent time as a student-teacher at Sun Prairie Highschool. He says he has found teaching students as young as 6th grade has been somewhat of a shift from his student teaching. He also described the changes caused by COVID-19 within the program.

 

 

Fitz has found challenges in finding the right classroom atmosphere for everyone to learn and enjoy band class. However, he has also found success in encouraging students to join bands. Fitz stated his finding of students returning to the band after not being involved for a while and members of the band branching out and wanting to try new instruments and new techniques. In the short period he has been a part of the district, Fitz has reintroduced small group lessons in the high school band. He states that time in a smaller group helps students work on music individually to increase their playing.

Family fun reigns on Halloween Eve in Door County

You could have had Halloween candy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you planned your day right in Door County. Sturgeon Bay kicked off the ghoulish celebrations with its Thrills and Chills Celebration at 10 a.m. Dozens of costumed children and their parents marched down 3rd Avenue following a fire truck before scattering throughout the city for trick or treating.

 

 

In Fish Creek, kids got to take a break from trick or treating at area businesses by heading down to Clark Park where they could participate in a number of games. In lieu of having their own open house this year, the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Department parked their vehicles nearby for families to see up close.

 

Egg Harbor businesses also got into the Halloween spirit on Saturday afternoon. Costumed children collected candy from trick-or-treating participants with businesses gladly welcoming them in even after the Egg Harbor Safe Walk ended at 4 p.m.

 

The United States Coast Guard got back into the Halloween game after a year away due to COVID-19. Although they could not host the community for its annual Ghost Ship tour, Coast Guardsmen still dressed up and passed out candy outside the gates to the Cutter Mobile Bay. For Operations Officer Austin Childs, it was all about giving back to the community any way they could.

 

Most communities will end their Halloween weekend festivities with trick-or-treating hours on Sunday. You can visit our Halloween page for those hours

Senator Jacque excited to be back

With one more scheduled week on the floor, State Senator Andre Jacque is hopeful he will be able to get a number of his bills through to the desk of Governor Tony Evers. The De Pere Republican has been able to participate more and more as he recovers from his bout with COVID-19. This past week, Jacque saw his bills aimed at protecting the state’s more vulnerable residents move forward, including one requiring guardians of incapacitated residents to have the proper training. Jacque says he has plenty of bills that have passed through the Senate and are just waiting for the Assembly to approve and send to the Governor’s office.

The Wisconsin Legislature is scheduled to be on the floor from November 2nd through November 11th before taking a break until January 18th. Jacque added he would not be shocked if they were called back a couple of more times before the end of the year.

Farmers' market season comes to a close

You still have one last opportunity to experience a farmers’ market in Door and Kewaunee counties before summer, and early fall officially gives way to winter. Fish Creek, Egg Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, and Jacksonport wrapped up their seasons within the last two weeks. That leaves the Algoma Sunday Farmers’ Market as the last one standing. Market organizer and Folkvangr Farms owner Casey Buhr believes it has been a good year for vendors as residents and visitors could get out of the house more this year than in 2020.

The last Algoma Sunday Farmers' Market will take place on Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon with a chili cook-off competition beginning at 10:30 a.m. In 2021, Algoma and six different Door County communities hosted farmers’ markets, with some starting as early as the middle of May.

Decorating connecting a community

This October, you might have seen more extensive and extravagant house decorations in Kewaunee County due to the Kewaunee county chamber of commerce and their first year of a Halloween house decorating contest. Their contest encouraged families and people from the county to decorate their houses with Halloween spirit. Those who decorated their home were invited to send in an entry to be included as an option for the community to vote on at the end of the month. Renae Schlies, the administrative assistant for the chamber, describes how the contest originated and how it has impacted the community.

 

 

With this being their first year hosting this challenge, Schlies did state that this may become an annual occurrence if the public finds it to be something they would like to see again. Although the date for entries has passed, you are invited to visit the Kewaunee County chamber of commerce’s social media platforms to send in your votes. The results will be announced through the chamber’s social media either late Sunday or on Monday morning. 

 

For information on where to go for Halloween fun in Kewaunee County go to the Door County Daily News Halloween page.

 

Scout gives back while selling $26K in popcorn

Star Scout Ethan Moll is helping make sure you get your popcorn fix whether you can afford it or not. A member of Troop 1041 in New Franken and Troop 1140 in Brussels, Moll has gone door-to-door and sat in front of businesses to sell popcorn to the tune of over $26,000 since August. The money he raises will help fund future scouting trips to Boundary Waters, Florida Sea Base, and the 2023 National Scout Jamboree. Some people have not bought popcorn from him, rather instead donating to his efforts. Moll says that is when he got the idea to give back with popcorn as well.

At just 12 years old, Moll still has several years left to beat his current mark, which would be one of the top amounts sold in Bay-Lakes Area Council. At 99 merit badges already, Moll hopes to attend more Scouting activities in the future, complete all 135-plus merit badges and earn his Eagle Scout rank.

Moderna booster clinics coming to Door County Medical Center

If you have been waiting to get an extra dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, Door County Medical Center will have you covered beginning next month. The hospital will offer the booster doses to those who received their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine six months ago or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine two months ago to specific groups of people. Those groups include those 65 years of age older, 18 years of age or older and live in a long-term care facility or live with an underlying medical condition, and people with an occupational exposure risk. Door County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Heise explained the benefits of the booster shots earlier this month with the Door County Daily News.

The Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccination clinics are planned from November 5th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., November 8th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and November 9th from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find more information about the clinics below. Some other vaccination partners in the area are already administering the booster shots for all three brands.

Number of wards reduces in Sturgeon Bay redistricting

The city of Sturgeon Bay’s redistricting after the 2020 census has reduced the number of wards from 30 to 21.  City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt says although Sturgeon Bay’s population grew 502 since the last census, the consolidation of wards was a cleanup process from the past ten years when more annexations occurred.  She says one difference for residents will be that their representation from the county’s supervisory districts will not match the city’s aldermanic districts.  Since there is no fall election locally, Reinhardt says information will be sent out to registered voters after the first of the year to let them know if their voting location and aldermanic representative has changed.  

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay wards: 

Active cases drop, one death in Kewaunee County

The number of active cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Kewanee County continued to drop this week as one death was reported.  In the Kewaunee County Public Health’s weekly report of the 144 tests performed, 60 were positive for the coronavirus. Active cases dropped seven to 51, and hospitalizations were down to six after a high of 11 last week. The total number of deaths stands at 39 in Kewaunee County since the start of the pandemic.

 

On the vaccination front,  less than half of Kewaunee County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as 47.8 of the population over 12 have been vaccinated.    

 

One death, two hospitalized in latest Door County COVID update

The number of active cases continues to trickle down, but the Door County Public Health Department still offered somber news in its COVID-19 Situation Report Friday.

 

The department noted one additional death and two more hospitalizations since it released its numbers from over the weekend on Monday. That raises the number of deaths from COVID-19 to 33 since the beginning of the pandemic. The death and hospitalization numbers often lag from the state compared to what is actually being seen locally. Out of 158 tests taken, 49 came back positive. Despite this, the number of active cases went down five to 389.

 

The Door County Public Health Department also announced on Monday more opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine along with the flu shot.  The Sister Bay Fire Station will host a drive-through clinic on November 4th from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station in Brussels will do the same from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 9th. The Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be available along with the flu shot.

Sturgeon Bay, southern Door County prepare to get spooky

The Southern Door Haunted Mansion may be no longer, but there are still plenty of opportunities for you to celebrate Halloween this weekend in the southern half of Door County. The Door County Library is hosting Trick or Treat events at its branches ahead of Halloween while Destination Sturgeon Bay will host its Thrills and Chills event on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says its community partners will help make it a special event.

Forestville, Jacksonport, and Sturgeon Bay all have trick-or-treating hours set for Sunday. You can find more information on Halloween events, trick-or-treat hours, and safety tips by clicking the banner below.

 

Sheriff encourages action on new jail

With a little urgency, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski hopes a new public safety building does not cost you any more money than it has to in the future. After deciding against moving on to Phase 3 of the study earlier this year, the Kewaunee County Board will discuss going forward and possibly placing a referenda question on either the spring or fall ballot next year regarding the financing of the construction and the staffing of the new facility. A county committee was able to find $3 million in savings from the original scope, but that was quickly eaten up due to rising costs of building materials and inflation. Joski hopes the cautionary tale of waiting spurs action at the Kewaunee County Board meeting next month.

Discussion of a new jail under Joski started in 2016 with a Justice and Jail Analysis by the National Institute of Corrections. A planning workshop was held in 2017 and a consultant was brought on in 2018 before the county established the Public Safety Facility Study Committee in 2019. The current facility is the smallest and oldest in the entire state.  

Revisiting historic haunted establishments

The mysteries surrounding suspected haunted buildings span the entire Door Peninsula.  Two reportedly haunted places with friendly spirits of previous owners of businesses are the Karsten Hotel in Kewaunee and Nelsen's Hall on Washington Island.

 

Three spirits are said to haunt the Karsten Hotel, which was initially the Karsten Inn.   The owner William Karsten, Sr. who died in 1940, his grandson Billy who died at the age of five only three weeks after his grandfather, and Agatha, the housekeeper, apparently do not want to leave the hotel.

 

Current Karsten Hotel owner Alex Yanik shares an unexplained phenomenon he experienced while at his establishment.

 

 

Other eerie occurrences reported at the Karsten Hotel included orbs, odd things that appear in photos, apparitions, cold and hot spots, strange aromas, and many sounds, including whispering, flute-playing, moving furniture, and a child's running footsteps. 

 

On Washington Island, Nelsen's Hall Bitters Pub is reportedly haunted by the original owner Tom Nelsen, who periodically breezes through the historic bar. Tom Nelsen passed away in one of the upstairs rooms of the hall in 1960 and established the famous "bitters club" that is still in place.   

Bay Ship launches Barker steamship

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and Interlake Steamship Company celebrated the launching of the Mark W. Barker steamship on Thursday afternoon. The 639-foot vessel was the first built for service on the Great Lakes in 35 years. Vice-President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the project dates back to over five years, with the contract signing to build the steamship occurring in March 2019. He notes that the Barker family has celebrated many moments along the way.

 

 

Thayse added that the Mark W. Barker steamship, a self-unloading bulk carrier, will be christened in Cleveland, Ohio, next June. 

 

You can watch the launch ceremony from Interlake Steamship Company here.

 

 

 

News Release:

Launch of the First U.S.-flagged Great Lakes Bulk Carrier in Nearly 40 years

 

STURGEON BAY, WISCONSIN, Oct. 28, 2021: Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and The Interlake Steamship Company hosted a launch ceremony Thursday, marking the latest milestone for the new 639-foot M/V Mark W. Barker.

 

The first U.S.-flagged Great Lakes freighter to be built on the Great Lakes in nearly 40 years, the M/V Mark W. Barker – while still under construction – was “launched” or otherwise floated in the water in the large drydock at the Sturgeon Bay shipyard.

 

A formal maritime tradition, a launching ceremony honors the first time a boat is transferred from land to water. The public event is a way of celebrating and blessing the new ship and its crew to bring it good fortune on its future voyages.

 

“Today is truly gratifying for our company to commemorate the first time the completed hull of our new ship has touched water,” said Mark W. Barker, President of The Interlake Steamship Company and namesake of the new vessel, which is the first new ship constructed for the maritime company since 1981.

 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse invited all the shipyard crews to attend the short ceremony.

 

“It is a proud day for the men and women of our shipyard to celebrate the progress made on the M/V Mark W. Barker,” Thayse said. “Sharing this launch ceremony with the Interlake Steamship team along with Helen and Ian Sharp makes this day even more special.”

 

Interlake’s office staff was in Sturgeon Bay to be a part of the launch celebration. For many, it was their first time in a shipyard.

 

“We are dedicating this historic launch of our new ship to the men and women who have been building these Great Lakes vessels on our freshwater shores for more than 100 years,” said James R. Barker, Chairman of The Interlake Steamship Company. “We honor all of the skilled professionals who have worked countless hours, day in and day out, year after year, behind the scenes constructing these tremendous bulk carriers. Their workmanship and talent are welded into every seam of these vessels that go to sail long productive lives on the Lakes, safely carrying mariners and the raw materials that are the building blocks of America.”

 

 

In particular, James R. Barker pointed to the contribution of Ian Sharp, Interlake’s Director of Fleet Projects, who spearheaded the design of the new build in-house from its conceptual phase to today. Sharp, a native of Scotland, has contributed his talents in ship design and shipbuilding to create a legacy that includes dozens of vessels throughout his more than five-decade career.

 

His wife and chief supporter of 56 years, Helen Sharp, was selected as the honorary launch sponsor.

 

“Motor Vessel Mark W. Barker, your family name is strong, you are built strong by hard-working men and women and you will work strong. May God bless you and all who sail with you,” said Helen Sharp as she broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne against the bow of the ship just above the vessel’s nameplate.

 

Tugs in the shipyard blew congratulatory salutes, and then shipyard workers opened the valves in the dry dock to let water flow in. The process of floating the boat took about six hours.

 

President and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group Dario Deste offered his congratulations to the teams at Bay Shipbuilding and Interlake. “Well done,” said Deste. “May this vessel demonstrate not only the importance of commerce on the Great Lakes but also the power of partnerships between two tremendous companies.”

 

The ship is expected to be complete and underway in Spring 2022. In the meantime, interior work on the vessel’s accommodations and mechanical and engineering systems continues.

 

ABOUT THE M/V MARK W. BARKER

 

The new River-class, self-unloading bulk carrier is believed to be the first ship for U.S. Great Lakes service built on the Great Lakes since 1983. Measuring 639 feet in length (78 feet W, 45 feet H, 28,000 DWT), the ship will transport raw materials such as salt, iron ore, and stone to support manufacturing throughout the Great Lakes region.

 

The Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Bay Engineering jointly designed the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation. The carrier is being built by FBS’s nearly 700 skilled trade workers and will generate business for partnering contractors, vendors, and suppliers. Major partners for the project include American Bureau of Shipping (ABS);ArcelorMittal, Bay Engineering (BEI); EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMS-Tech, Inc., Lufkin (a G.E. Company), Kongsberg and MacGregor.

 

 

 

K9 Leo trained and ready for patrol

After six weeks and 300 hours of training in Albuquerque, New Mexico, K9 Leo, and his handler Door County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Matthew Tassoul are back and ready for certification.  The course instruction included drug detection, tracking, building searches, and apprehension training.  Deputy Tassoul says the initial training went very well with Leo out west.

 

 

Tassoul adds that the new K9 duo will now go through testing of real-life scenarios in a controlled setting starting next week. After four days of being judged, K9 Leo and Tassoul will be fully certified and ready for assignments with the Door County Sheriff’s Department after November 4.  Leo is replacing K9 Odinn, who passed away four months ago.  The K9 program in Door County began in 2017 and is designed to respond to high-risk calls, traffic stops, and missing person searches.

Door County Public Health plans ahead for children's vaccine clinics

With the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration making their final call on the COVID-19 vaccine for kids, Door County Public Health is making sure you can schedule an appointment if you choose to vaccinate your children. The department has tentatively scheduled four such clinics in the months of November and December. The children-only clinics will be held separate from others since the dosage given to young kids is different from what is offered to those above the age of 12. Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers says there is a lot of preparation being done ahead of the vaccine’s official approval.

Powers does wonder what the demand will be like when the vaccines for younger kids are approved. The vaccination rate for kids between the ages of 12 and 17 is approximately 54 percent, which is about 15 percentage points below the next lowest group of 25-34 (69 percent).  Although scheduling kids for the clinics will be similar to what is being done for patients in other age groups, it will not be available until the vaccine gets approved for distribution. 

Working through the supply chain: Gas stations and convenience stores

They are faring better than they did during portions of this summer, but Baileys 57 manager Kari Baumann hopes you remain patient with gas stations and convenience stores as they work through supply chain disruptions. Working with several different vendors just to keep the shelves and coolers full has been commonplace for managers like Baumann, who had to deal not just with shortages of different products but also drivers to deliver those items. While some product lines have come back, others like medical supplies, sports drinks, and alcoholic beverages are still a guessing game some weeks. Baumann says they have had to scramble to fill their needs, even going to other local businesses when they are in a pinch for certain items.

A lack of qualified drivers could also start hitting you at the gas pump.  The gasoline price and availability tracking website Gas Buddy reports refineries are producing plenty of gasoline. National Tank Truck Carriers says they are short 50,000 drivers to deliver that gasoline. The advocacy group is calling on the government to offer better training opportunities and more efficient CDL testing and issuance processes to get more trucks out on the road.

Teens, young adults leaving the church

Social issues are a driving force behind why you might see fewer young people in your pew on Sunday. A Springtide Research Institute survey highlighted in the Wall Street Journal showed about half of the people between the ages of 13 to 25 do not believe their religious institutions care as much as they do about issues such as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual (LGBT) rights, racial justice, and gender equity. It has led to less than half of Americans saying that they belong to a house of worship, which is a drop of more than 20 percentage points since 1999. Less than a quarter of young Americans attend religious services on a weekly basis, compared to just over 30 percent for all adults. Families are having fewer kids than they used to, which explains part of the decline. St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church Pastor Joel McKenney says some congregations also wade into areas that Jesus Christ never intended for His church.

McKenney adds that much of the encouragement and prayers are directed at parents in hopes that they can be good role models for their children when it comes to practicing their Christian faith. 

Senate bills protecting vulnerable adults move forward

Your loved ones living with disabilities will be better protected in the future thanks to a pair of bills sponsored by State Senator Andre Jacque. Senate Bill 92 and Assembly Bill 100 require guardians of incapacitated adults to undergo specific training to care for their loved ones. The training would have to be completed by the individual before permanent guardianship could be granted. Senate Bill 395 makes investigations of all  at-risk adults reports be mandatory regardless of age. Before, only investigations of elder abuse reports were considered mandatory. While SB92/AB100 will head to the Governor’s desk, SB 395 heads to the Assembly in search of its blessing. Jacque, who returned to his legislative duties earlier this month after his bout with COVID-19, could not be reached for comment.

 

In the Assembly chamber, Rep. Joel Kitchens saw his birth control bill passed through the Assembly and will now head to the Senate.  The bill allows pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptive patches and common birth control pills in an effort to control unplanned pregnancies. It comes a day after his bill aiming to improve childhood literacy passed in the Assembly and in the Senate before it made its way to the Governor’s desk. 

 

The Wisconsin Legislature will be back in session on October 28th before taking the weekend off. The Assembly and the Senate will return to Madison for its final scheduled floor period of the year from November 2nd to November 11th. 

Counties deal with lag in reporting numbers

As you have probably learned over the last 18 months, COVID-19 can change a lot of things in an instant. That is especially true when it comes to reporting the county-by-county numbers, which rely on the rest of the state to provide accurate counts. Door County presents its numbers twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays usually while Kewaunee County does the same on Fridays. Without one clearinghouse for data in the state until the very end, Door County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise says there could be a lag in the numbers you see.

On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported the seven-day average of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 is 1,825. That is about where it has been for three of the last four days and down by approximately 100 from just over the week ago. The seven-day average for deaths has climbed in that same time period however from 11 to 17.

 

 

Working through the supply chain: Farmer Dave Jauquet

He has no problem finding his cows but locating some of the other equipment needed is plaguing farmers like Luxemburg’s Dave Jauquet. Much like auto mechanic shops, parts to fix tractors and other farm equipment have been hard to come by since manufacturers cut down production due to pandemic protocols. Some suppliers are rationing certain products, forcing farmers to stock up on items when they can even if they are not needed for the time being. Jauquet says the hardest items to keep up with have been the personal protective equipment for hygiene reasons when handling and milking the cows.

The next bill that may be hard to swallow for farmers could be fertilizer, which has more than doubled in some cases over the last year.

 

Picture courtesy of Isabella Haen and the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion

Door County YMCA offering new adult Phy Ed classes

For those of you that would like to revisit the days of gym classes in high school, you can experience a new class offering from the Door County YMCA.  The adult gym class will feature favorites like dodgeball, volleyball, spike ball, and more.  Megan Schneider, Healthy Living Coordinator at the YMCA, says the program is a great way to be active, meet new people and play some fun games.

 

 

Schneider says the adult Physical Education class will be on Wednesday evenings from 5:00 until 6:00 pm.  The Fall 2 registration started Monday at the Door County YMCA, and the session runs from November 1 through December 23.  You can find more information on registering for classes here.

 

(photo courtesy of YMCA)

Sturgeon Bay housing development moves forward on westside   

A new apartment complex is on track to be built just off Highway 42/57 on Sturgeon Bay’s westside.  On Monday, the Aesthetic Design and Site Plan Review Board approved the Lexington Homes 14-unit multiple Family development that would be located on Grant Avenue.  City planning/zoning administrator Chris Sullivan-Robinson says the apartment dwelling would mirror the current 14-unit complex that is just north of the property at 416 South Grant Avenue.

 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission did approve a conditional use permit for Harbor Ridge, LLC last week.  Robinson says essentially, the developer will only need to pull permits for final zoning and get stormwater management approval to begin building the apartments. 

 

(photo courtesy of Harbor Ridge) 

Door County's warden honored as "First Responder of the Year"

A conservation warden who serves Door County was recognized on the Assembly floor Tuesday in Madison.  Mike Neal was honored as the “First Responder of the Year” for District One by Rep. Joel Kitchens.  Neal has been a Department of Natural Resources game warden for nearly 30 years and serves the northeast region.  Neal says he is humbled by the award and considers it a representation of the teamwork provided by all first responders. 

 

 

Neal has helped save numerous lives in the waters of Door County, including the 43 people that were stranded on unstable ice off of Larson’s Reef last year.  He also saved four people who experienced incidents with their paddleboards and kayaks earlier this year.  Each of the state’s 99 Assembly districts established a program to recognize a First Responder of the Year in 2019.   

Assembly approves Rep. Kitchens' Reading Bill

A bill proposed by Rep. Joel Kitchens that is designed to ensure that schools have the needed tools to help students learn to read proficiently was passed on Tuesday.
Assembly Bill 446 will allow teachers to intervene earlier in situations where a student has difficulties in reading by expanding necessary reading screening components, increasing literacy assessment frequency, and mandating that schools provide additional screenings for students scoring under the 25th percentile.  Kitchens says the legislation is a big step forward in preventing children from falling behind in literacy.

 

 

Kari Baumann of Baileys Harbor testified to the Assembly Committee on Education in favor of the bill earlier this month, relaying her son’s battle with dyslexia and the improvements he has made since getting the needed help.  The Wisconsin Senate approved the bill last week, so the bill will now go to Governor Evers’ desk for final approval.

 

Media Release:

 

Rep. Kitchens’ reading bill passed by Assembly

 

MADISON, Wis. – Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) is pleased that the state Assembly has passed his bill that ensures schools have the needed framework and tools to help students learn to read proficiently.

“We know that far and away the largest determinant of a child receiving a good education and succeeding later in life is learning to read well in their early years,” Rep. Kitchens said. “I still strongly believe the United States is the land of opportunity and that we provide more possibilities than any other country in the world. But, if we don’t teach our kids how to read well and get an acceptable education, that American dream is locked off to them.”

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, close to 65 percent of fourth graders in Wisconsin are not proficient readers, with 34 percent failing to meet basic standards.

Of the 42 states that report separate reading scores for African American students, Wisconsin ranks dead last in reading achievement, falling 31 places since 1992. During that same time frame, reading achievement for white students has dropped from 6th to 27th and Hispanic students from 1st to 28th.

“We are facing a crisis right now in Wisconsin, and what that means for the future of our state should scare everyone,” Rep. Kitchens said.

Research has shown that children who cannot read at grade level in fourth grade will struggle to graduate from high school and are far less likely to lead productive lives. About 85 percent of juvenile offenders are functionally illiterate, as are 70 percent of prison inmates. More than 75 percent of those on welfare have difficulties in reading the simplest texts.

AB 446 will allow teachers to intervene earlier in situations where a student has difficulties in reading by expanding necessary reading screening components, increasing literacy assessment frequency, and mandating that schools provide additional screenings for students scoring below the 25th percentile.

 

 

(photo courtesy of WISEYE.org)

 

 

"Drug Take Back Day" successful last weekend

Nearly four hundred pounds of unused and outdated prescription drugs were collected by the Door County Sheriff’s Department last Saturday. The Door County Sheriff’s Department sponsored the “Drug Take-Back Day” at three locations for four hours. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the overall collection of drugs on Saturday was substantial.

 

 

McCarty says the safe disposal method allows the state to dispose of the medicines and assure they do not harm the environment or fall into the wrong hands. You can drop off unused drugs anytime during the day Monday through Friday at the main lobby at the Door County Sheriff’s Office on Duluth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Overnight street parking ends on Sunday in Algoma

If you plan on parking a vehicle on the streets of Algoma overnight, you better do it before Sunday.  Starting Monday, November 1, Algoma law enforcement will be enforcing ordinances that ban the overnight parking of vehicles on the streets.  The ordinances are in place to give street departments the ability to clear snowfall off the roadways safely and quickly.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says his crews can get the job done when everyone complies with the 2 am- 5 am no parking ordinance.

 

 

The overnight parking ordinance in Algoma will be in effect through March 31.  Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee have ordinances that prohibit parking overnight on the streets starting on December 1. 

Election audit could yield future changes

The November 2020 election was deemed safe and secure, but you still could see changes on how they are conducted in the future. The non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau released their review last week of the election, which included 30 recommendations to address urgent and significant concerns. An additional 18 items were flagged for legislative consideration. The audit surveyed all 1,835 municipal clerks and 72 county clerks earlier this year and reviewed electronic voting equipment. State Senator Robert Cowles and State Representative Samantha Kerkman said in a statement that the audit showed the Wisconsin Elections Commission is not complying with state statute when it comes to clerk training and voter verification.  The recommendations include ways to better maintain voter registration records with help from other agencies, making sure clerks and other election officials are better trained, and having policies in place for ballot processing and post-election audits. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says he will have a careful eye on what happens in the coming months after the elections were deemed safe and secure from the LAB’s point of view.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission must report on their progress implementing these recommendations by March 31st. The Wisconsin Senate announced on Monday it would be launching its own investigation following in the footsteps of the Assembly which has been at work for the last several weeks.  

Making child care work for you goal of survey

Working non-traditional hours in Door County may mean you struggle to find adequate care for your children. Addressing the area’s shortcomings when it comes to child care has been an ongoing goal for the United Way of Door County and other partners for well over a year.  While finding enough licensed instructors and facilities is a struggle, parents with careers outside of the usual “8-5” find it hard to find the ones that are available open. The United Way of Door County and Door County Child Care Development Center are surveying the community to learn possible ways to address this need. Community Impact Coordinator Christina Studebaker says it will likely take a number of strategies to tackle the problem.

You can click this link to take the survey yourself. A UW-Extension Study released earlier this year showed the burden of finding and affording child care is driving women in particular out of the workforce. 

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Kewaunee County organizations partner on November food drives

You can play a role in addressing food insecurity issues in Kewaunee County. Algoma United Methodist Church, the Kewaunee County Democratic Party, the Kewaunee Optimist Club, the Kewaunee Rotary Club, and the county’s local school districts are joining together to host a trio of food drives on Saturdays in November. Feeding America-partnered food banks are still seeing item distribution at 55 percent above pre-pandemic levels as the number of people facing food insecurity issues rises to 42 million. Jodi Parins from the Kewaunee County Democratic Party says food security is not a partisan issue.

The organizations will hold their food drives on November 6th at the Luxemburg Pharmacy, November 13th at Nicolet National Bank’s location in Kewaunee, and November 20th at Algoma Elementary School. Proceeds will support the Kewaunee Storm Snack Pack, Algoma School District’s Weekend Backpack and Wolf Den programs, and Algoma UMC’s Grace in Action. You can bring non-perishable food items, individual snacks, local grocery store gift cards, or cash donations.

Johnson to be honored with "Career Pathmaker" award

A Luxemburg-Casco High School educator will be honored Tuesday evening at the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance’s 10th annual Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnership Awards dinner.  Jen Johnson, an Administrative Aide for Athletics and Counseling and the Ahnappee Regional Youth Apprenticeship Director, is one of six recipients of the Educator Awards.  She will receive the 2021 Career Pathmaker Award and be recognized for her work in forming strong partnerships between manufacturers and education.  In total, six manufacturing awards and six educator awards will be presented on Tuesday, along with the Community Partnership Award to ProSolutions, Inc.  The event will be held at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay with the dinner and program starting at 6:15 pm. 

 

 

Media Release:

 

NEW Manufacturing Alliance Announces

               2021 Excellence In Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards

Green Bay, WI: The Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Manufacturing Alliance’s 10th annual “Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards” will be held on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The event will spotlight best practices of manufacturing and education collaborations throughout northeast Wisconsin as well as showcasing top talent from local manufacturing companies. 

 

Jeff Anderson is president of Precision Paper Converters and Board Chair of the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. He stated, “The awards dinner is a celebration of the strong partnerships that have formed between manufacturers and education.” Anderson added, “The evening will showcase best practices and provide other schools and manufacturers a roadmap they can replicate.”

 

The Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards will recognize the following winners:

 

Manufacturing Awards:

2021 Brighter Image – Amcor Flexibles

2021 Educational Partnership – Fox Valley Tool & Die

2021 Leadership – Pieper Electric, Inc.

2021 Manufacturing Innovation - Miller Electric Mfg. Co.

2021 Visionary – Mike VanderZanden, Amerequip

2021 Youth Apprenticeship – Fox Valley Tool & Die

 

Educator Awards:

2021 Brighter Image – Fond du Lac High School - ACE Academy

2021 Career Pathmaker – Administrator - Thomas Mueller, Seymour High School

2021 Career Pathmaker – Educator - Jen Johnson - Luxemburg-Casco School District

2021 Career Pathmaker – Tech Ed Teacher - Robin Ryba, De Pere High School

2021 Education Innovation – Clintonville Public School District

2021 Higher Education Award – Allyson Baue, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

 

Community Partnership Award – ProSolutions, Inc.

 

The Alliance will also be announcing 2021 All-Star and Mentor Award winners. This award recognizes top talent at Alliance member companies. Companies with a winner include:  Fiberglass Solutions, Heartland Label Printers, Jacobs Engineering, Laminations – Great Northern Corp., Pioneer Metal Finishing, TIDI Products, Valley Packaging Industries and Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry. Other attendees include winners who received $1,000 or $2,500 college scholarships. The Alliance awarded $50,000 worth of college scholarships for the 2021-2022 college term. Over the last twelve years, the Alliance has sponsored over $375,000 in college scholarships.

 

The cocktail reception begins at 4:30 p.m., including a silent auction to raise money for college. The dinner and awards program will start at 6:15 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. 

 

 

 

 

Door County adds 45 positive tests, active cases drop

The number of positive tests for COVID-19 in Door County has increased by 45 cases since last Thursday.  On Monday, Door County Public Health reported that 167 more tests were conducted and that active cases went down 54 to 494.  No new deaths were reported, and the total number of hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 144, after a state adjustment.

 

Door and Kewaunee counties are both listed as "very high" for case activity for COVID-19 as of Monday.

 

On the vaccination front, Door County reports that 72.7 percent of its residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Door County Public Health has scheduled vaccine clinics by appointment only this week on Tuesday at the Government Center building in Sturgeon Bay from 1:00 until 4:30 pm and on Washington Island on Wednesday for a Drive-Thru Flu and COVID clinic from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm.

 

Northern Sky Theater announces 2022 season slate

As Northern Sky Theater wraps up this year’s performances, the shows for the 2022 season have just been released.  Director of Development and Public Relations Holly Feldman says the early announcement for next year's shows is done in conjunction with the end-of-year campaign.  She shares details of the two world premiere musicals, “Love Stings” and “Sunflowered”.

 

 

Feldman notes that two past hits will also be resurrected in 2022, “Fishing for the Moon” and “Dad’s Season Tickets”.  Northern Sky will offer concurrent indoor (Gould Theater) and outdoor (Peninsula State Park) throughout the summer as well as an indoor fall season.  This year's current show "Naked Radio" plays through November 6 at the Gould Theater, with "Home for the Holidays" playing between Christmas and the New Year.  

 

(photo of "Dad's Season Tickets performance in 2019,  courtesy of Northern Sky Theater)

Northern Door introduces new activities with old Halloween favorites

Many of the Halloween activities you have enjoyed for years in northern Door County’s communities will return along with some new twists.  Many of the activities take place on October 30th allowing residents and visitors to still trick or treat in their own communities on the actual Halloween date. The Egg Harbor Business Association will host its annual Halloween Safe Walk from 2 to 4 p.m. where more than 30 businesses will be passing out candy.  Fish Creek will be hosting its Jack O’Lantern Days October 29th through the 31st with its usual costume contest and parade, town hall games, and trick-or-treating. Visit Fish Creek’s Karlie Schultz says a partnership with the Gibraltar Boosters will bring a haunted trail to the event’s slate of activities for the first time.

Door County North will host its own Trail of Terror on Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon on Halloween. You can find more information about these events, trick-or-treat hours, and safety tips for pets and people online at the Door County Daily News’ Halloween page.

Camper total loss after fire

A Thursday afternoon fire in the Town Gardner shows the importance of double-checking the electrical connections on your camper before you squeeze in one last trip this fall. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to the fire after 1:40 p.m. last Thursday after a camper trailer near County Highway K became fully engulfed. The camper’s owner was on the other side of his building cutting wood when friends and neighbors notified him of what was happening. B.U.G. Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says it appears the issue was due to a power shortage in the camper’s electrical system.

Crews were on the scene for approximately an hour putting out the camper, which Wautier calls a total loss. There were no injuries and no other property damaged during the incident.

 

Picture courtesy of BUG Fire Department

Farmers growing soil

You do not have to be confused when you see some farmers leaving corn stalks on their fields despite it being in the middle of the harvest season. While some farmers keep corn stalks up for insurance purposes, others are letting the leftover debris sit to foster the growth of future soil. After the corn is harvested for grain, farmers leave the residue behind while they grow cover crops underneath in an attempt to create organic matter over time. Peninsula Pride Farms member Nathan Nysse says it is something that is not commonly done, but they are hoping it can be something that is practiced across the entire area.

If found to be successful, the practice could allow cash croppers to start implementing cover crops into their own rotation. Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network will show off the technique at its Conservation Conversation on Tuesday at Kinnard Farms beginning at 5 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy of Peninsula Pride Farms

Eight visual artists recognized in Miller Art Museum's 46th Juried

The Miller Art Museum unveiled its 46th Juried Annual last month with eight visual artists recognized from the field of 70 artworks.  The eight artists’ contemporary works were judged by a three-panel jury.   This year’s award recipients were Blanche Brown of Milwaukee, Randall Dettman of Algoma, Brad Krause of Milwaukee, Stephanie Lord of Sturgeon Bay, Tim Nyberg of Egg Harbor, Dane Schumacher of Green Bay, Tracy Wiklund of McFarland, and Sara Willadsen of Sheboygan.  This marks the first year that artists from across Wisconsin were eligible to submit their artwork.  On display now at the Miller Art Museum,   the 46th Juried Annual is scheduled to run through Monday, November 8.  Pictures of the winning works are displayed below.  

 

 

Blanche Brown

 

 

Randall Dettman

 

 

Brad Krause

 

 

Stephanie Lord

 

 

Tim Nyberg

 

 

Dane Schumacher

 

 

Tracy Wiklund

 

 

Sara Willadsen

Help of Door County reports significant numbers of domestic violence

Completing its numbers for the Department of Children and Families, Help of Door County is reflecting on the impact domestic violence has made in the area in the last year.  In one year, Help of Door County served 316 unduplicated clients.  Executive Director Milly Gonzales says many of the first time victims will need assistance throughout the year.  She says Help of Door County has provided safe-home nights 55 times in the last year.  Intervention and education can prevent domestic violence from happening.

 

 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can find out more about Help of Door County here.

Leaf collection begins Monday in Sturgeon Bay

You can start raking your leaves to the curb for pickup in Sturgeon Bay.  Starting Monday, the Sturgeon Bay Public Works department commences leaf collection throughout the city.  All leaves should be raked to the curb and not into the street.  No bagged leaves will be collected as well as any garden waste or brush.   You can drop off any brush or garden waste at the compost site on Division Road at any time.  City crews will make about three rounds throughout the streets in the few weeks, pending the weather.   If you have any questions regarding the city’s fall leaf collection, contact the Sturgeon Bay Public Works Department at 920-746-2912.   

Discussion of Door County Treatment Court coming to Egg Harbor

On Saturday, October 30th, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Door County Treatment court and its functions. The Treatment court first began over five years ago when the League of Women Voters interviewed community and local government leaders to gather data to better understand the community's needs regarding mental health and substance abuse. Susan Kohout describes the event's goal as to both educate the community on what the treatment court has to offer and hear from people about what the community still needs.

 

 

Saturday's event will begin with a panel that includes a Door County judge, Door County District Attorney, and Door County Department of Health & Human Services Director. This panel will focus on the purpose of the treatment court, why it was established, and the current status and struggles it is facing. After the panel discussion, Serah Muinde, a Winnebago County Treatment Court graduate, will speak about her experiences and how the court has impacted her life. This event will be held at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor from 9 am to noon.

Caring for your plants in the fall

The busy and extended gardening season is winding down, but the task of protecting and maintaining your outdoor plants is as important as ever. Before the first frost, Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay recommends that combo planters on your deck be brought inside the house. Some plants can be saved for inside by repotting. He offers tips on what should be done after the first frost of the season.

 

 

Maas adds that if you have tall plants, like Hibiscus, prune them down to fit the indoor area and spray for insects. He notes that he does not cut back some perennials like coneflowers. Those plants, left intact, can provide nurturing seeds to birds and the brown ends used for fall decorations. 

Moderna, J&J boosters get CDC ok, but wait remains

You cannot schedule your appointment quite yet if you are waiting to get a booster dose of the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines from Door County Medical Center. Friday marked the first day millions of Americans could get an extra dose of all three vaccines after the Centers for Disease Control gave it the ok earlier this week. The Pfizer vaccine was given approval for booster doses last month.

 

The CDC also gave people approval to mix and match their vaccines to give patients, clinicians, and pharmacies a little extra leeway, especially if they are among the most vulnerable. The Washington Post reports that the CDC will release more information on the positives and negatives of each booster or if they recommend people stick with what they were administered before. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise says they are just searching for the best outcomes for their patients.

Door County Medical Center is waiting on distributing the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines until they get the final approval from federal and state entities. They expect to be able to begin accepting new appointments for the booster in the middle of November. 

 

 A previous version of this story portrayed the booster vaccine's availability as not being accessible currently, while that is only the case at Door County Medical Center. DCDN regrets the confusion.

10-digit dialing takes effect on Sunday

Starting on Sunday, Wisconsin residents will have to dial ten digits to make local calls. Right now, you can place a call to a number in the same area code without dialing the area code. No matter what area code you dial in the state, you will have to include the entire area code to connect on all calls. The change will be for landlines and cellphones in all six of Wisconsin's area codes. The ten-digit dialing is being implemented so that the national suicide hotline can be set up.  Wisconsin joins 36 other states that are required to switch to ten-digit dialing.

Rocks returning to Schoolhouse Beach

If you have ever thought about putting rocks in the mail, the Washington Island Police Department would tell you that you’re not alone. Earlier this week, the department received a small box in the mail filled with rocks taken from Schoolhouse Beach. Included with the rocks was a simple message: please return to Schoolhouse Beach. Taking rocks from the beach can carry a $250 fine if you’re caught according to the town’s ordinances and bad luck if you believe in local legend. That has been enough for visitors who have gotten away with the deed to bring back the rocks upon their return and as was the case this week, popped into the mail. Washington Island Chief Tyler McGrane advises to just leave the rocks be where they lie.

Schoolhouse Beach is one of five beaches in the whole world without sand.

 

Photo courtesy of Washington Island Police Department

 

Well testing grant provides ammunition for water quality fight

Former Kewaunee County supervisor Chuck Wagner believes you should get your well tested and many have been able to thanks to a recently awarded state grant. During his visit to Kewaunee County on Thursday, Governor Tony Evers stopped by Wagner’s home to present a $27,000 check to Kewaunee County officials for its community well testing program. The grant helped provide funds for 300 homes to get their wells tested and do the same for another 300 homes later this fall. The testing comes five years after the United States Department of Agriculture did a comprehensive study on the region, pointing its finger at improper manure handling practices and faulty septic tanks for the area’s poor water quality. It was 20 years ago when Wagner first learned his well was contaminated shortly after the birth of his first grandchild. That started a crusade of public service to address water quality concerns, including his current role on the Wisconsin Coastal Management Council. He says getting your well tested is important to do.

He added that the early returns from the first round of testing have shown some improvement in water quality in the county thanks to new county and state laws limiting where and when you can spread manure and improved agricultural practices. Evers also stopped in Algoma on Thursday for a photo opportunity and to highlight another grant addressing Lake Michigan water levels. 

 

Picture Courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Administration

 

 

School boards navigating the pandemic

While some school districts in Wisconsin have turned into war zones for debates about COVID-19 in Wisconsin, others like Sevastopol School District have been able to maintain civility.

 

An incident at an Oshkosh Area School District School Board meeting was cited when the National School Board Association sent a letter to the White House asking for the U.S. Department of Justice to step in as more members were a party to threats and harassment because of discussion about COVID-19. Some school boards have put restrictions on open comment periods at meetings as a result of the lack of decorum at the meetings only to be jeered away from the microphone. The eight school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties have not had to go that far yet with all of them keeping their public comment periods.

 

Sevastopol School Board President Lisa Bieri has served on the board since 2017. She says there is a wide array of opinions when it comes to masking, quarantine protocols, and vaccination mandates. During Thursday’s meeting, the board opted to make masking optional for everyone after requiring staff members and elementary school students for the last several weeks. They also voted to change the quarantine protocols and to not make the vaccine mandatory for staff members. She says proper communication has been key.

The Citizen’s Delegation to be Heard in Algoma and the Door County Parents Association have reached out to school boards to get answers to their questions. The Door County Parents Association asked school districts and their boards to answer several questions. They said they are making good progress in their requests, but declined an interview they are “not sure if it fits (their) goals as fundamentally they are only organized as a group requesting info as opposed to providing info to the general public.” The Citizen’s Delegation to be Heard prompted a two-hour special board meeting last month.

 

Picture courtesy of Sevastopol School District

Passing vehicles add concern for drivers

You have to pick your moments when you choose to pass other vehicles on the road. The concern of passing has grown even more important in recent weeks due to more agricultural vehicles on the road, which are often traveling slower and offer more obstructions to motorists.  State statute used to allow motorists a little more wiggle room in those situations if they were in a no-passing zone, but that is no longer the case. Many motorists use passing other vehicles as an opportunity to speed up and go well above the limit. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says that is not the case either.

According to Driving-Tests.org, speed-related crashes cost Americans $40.4 billion every year, and over 50 percent of the five million yearly car crashes are caused by aggressive driving with the speed as the main culprit. You can read more about Joski’s thoughts about passing other vehicles on the road below.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

Recently I enjoyed another great weekend with the Wisconsin National Guard, where we convoyed out to Fort McCoy for our training. Operating large vehicles in a convoy is a unique experience which I truly enjoy, and it has provided me with a different perspective in regards to the respect we show for large vehicles operating on our roadways. While I was traveling down the road, the topic for this week’s article became very clear to me as I witnessed the numerous passing maneuvers by motor vehicle drivers with either a high sense of urgency or a low sense of patience. The topic is the statute related to passing.

    

Wisconsin State Statute 346.07 “Overtaking and passing on the Left” states the following: The Operator of a vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. 346.07 goes on to state that the driver of a motor vehicle may not drive on the left side of the center of a roadway in any portion which is marked as a no passing zone.

     

Some of the questions have been “Is it allowable to pass a vehicle as long as I start the passing maneuver in a passing zone even though I may be in a no passing zone before I return to the right lane?” The answer is no. You must be able to initiate and complete you passing maneuver in a passing zone. It is also worth mentioning that even if you are in a passing zone, but your view of oncoming traffic is obstructed you are not allowed to pass.

    

Another Question was “Is it allowable to speed in the execution of a passing maneuver?” The answer again is no. The speed of the vehicle you are overtaking must be slow enough that you are able to execute the passing maneuver without exceeding the posted speed limit.

    

A question I do get here in the county from time to time is whether or not you are allowed to pass farm equipment in a no passing zone. A few years ago, legislation did change and you are no longer allowed to pass such a unit in a no passing zone even though it may be going less than half of the posted speed limit. In any other instance, if you are following a motor vehicle which is doing less than half of the posted speed limit you may in fact pass that vehicle even in a no passing zone.

    

An interesting addition to State Statute 346.07 is that if you are the vehicle being overtaken, you are not allowed to increase your speed while being overtaken.

   

Putting yourself and your vehicle in the opposite lane of traffic is a risky maneuver at best and a fatal maneuver at worst.  Please consider this before you place yourself, as well as others on the roadway in peril due to your need to save that little bit of time. Plan ahead, Leave early, and Enjoy the ride! In regard to our Car-Deer Accident Statistics, as of Tuesday morning, we are at 217. Last year at this time we were at 257. Stay Safe out there!

Kewaunee County active cases drop, hospitalizations up

Despite 75 new positive tests of COVID-19 this week, the number of active cases in Kewaunee County dropped significantly in the last week.  Since last Friday, the active cases are down to 58, a decrease of 23 cases.  Hospitalizations jumped from three to 11 this week, according to Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard.  No new deaths were reported and 47.5 percent of Kewaunee County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Kewaunee County Public Health Department accepts appointments for weekly clinic dates every Tuesday and Friday.

 

Drug Take-Back on Saturday

You can clean out your medicine cabinets and help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs.  Door and Kewaunee County law enforcement agencies will participate again in the Drug Take-Back Day across Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice is promoting the opportunity for you to dispose of unwanted and unused medications at Drug Take-Back and drug disposal locations.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office will be collecting unused prescriptions for disposal.  You can drop off any old medications from 10 am until 2 pm Saturday at the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, the Sister Bay Fire Station, and at the Door County Sheriff’s Office in Sturgeon Bay.    Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty explained that this disposal method beats others like throwing drugs in the trash or flushing them.

 

 

Both Door and Kewaunee County have drop boxes available for proper disposal year-round.

Education committees pass reading readiness bills

Improving your child’s literacy levels took another positive step this week after both the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education passed a bill addressing it. Assembly Bill 446 and Senate Bill 454 both address the number of times students are screened for reading difficulties with hopes of catching challenges like dyslexia faster. With Rep. Joel Kitchens as one of its sponsors, the bill passed the Assembly committee by a 10-4 vote. He said after the vote that “we have to do something differently and if we don’t identify the problem, we can’t solve the problem.”  Senator Andre Jacque sponsored the Senate version that passed on a 4-3 vote. One of the biggest advocates for the bill was Baileys Harbor’s Kari Baumann. She traveled to Madison twice to testify in favor of AB 446 and SB 454 as she shared her son’s own struggle with reading because of dyslexia. She told DoorCountyDailyNews.com last month what the bills mean to her.

The two bills can now be scheduled for votes in their respective chambers. The bill passage comes as the USA Today Network- Wisconsin reported earlier this week about latest standardized tests taken by students in the state. Fewer students participated than they did prior to the pandemic and the ones that did fared worse. On the Forward exam given to students in third through eighth grades, the percentage of students who were rated as proficient or better scored anywhere from three (social studies) to 12 percent (math) worse than they did in the year prior to the pandemic.

More bridge work planned for after busy weekend

Even with the county’s biggest fall events in the rearview mirror, you are being reminded to keep your eyes on the road this weekend. The Fall 50 brings thousands of runners and spectators to the peninsula with the course spanning almost the entire peninsula from Gills Rock to Sturgeon Bay. The course is primarily on backcountry roads, but some portions do cross Highway 42. Garrett Bay Road, Horseshoe Bay Drive, and County Highway B are among the affected roads due to the race. Peninsula State Park and Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay will also see increased traffic due to the event. The roadways will not be closed to motorists, but caution is advised.  There could be additional traffic as Door County hits its peak for fall colors this weekend according to Travel Wisconsin.

 

On Monday, Wisconsin Department of Transportation crews will return to the Bayview Bridge to finish up some extra work. Flagging operations were used on Thursday to allow maintenance crews to make some routine repairs on the bridge stringer, which is the load-transferring structure below the grid deck. DOT Northeast Region Bridge Engineer Jason Lahm says the work is routine.

Crews are expected to be on-site Monday through Thursday and flagging operations will allow the work to be done safely while not having to close the road entirely.

 

Picture courtesy of Tom Jordan

Door County businesses manage the waiting game

Choosing when to send your items this holiday season could be as difficult as finding the perfect gift itself. UPS, FedEx, and USPS started to urge their customers to shop and send their gifts early this year due to labor shortages and supply chain disruptions. In some cases, sending out your packages as soon as December 9th may still not guarantee your package gets there on time depending on the service you use. It has been a learning curve for everybody including Renard’s Cheese, which relies on second-day air shipping for many of the packages it sends across the country. Owner Ann Renard says they have developed a shipping system years ago that had delivered good results for them and their customers, but a little patience will still be needed.

Shipping consultant ShipMatrix told CNBC Wednesday that service levels are already taking a hit, but are still seeing an on-time performance of between 85 and 95 percent. Renard added they have been battling the same supply chain issues that many businesses are facing, especially when it comes to the packaging needed for their products.  

Tips for staying safe on Halloween

As you and your families venture out for trick or treating or spooky activities, there are a few things that you can do to make sure you are safe while you are having fun. If you are a parent, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections advises you to have a conversation with your family and child about what to do if you get separated and go over these tips before you trick or treat. 

 

  • A parent or trusted adult should always accompany children
  • Stay on well-lit streets and stick to neighborhoods you know
  • Only stop at homes where the porch light is on
  • Never enter a home or car for a treat
  • Trick-or-treaters should carry a cell phone to allow for quick communication
  • If the child carries a cell phone, activate location services prior to trick-or-treating
  • Call 911 if you see any suspicious or illegal activity
  • Children should yell “No!” and run from any stranger who tries to take them somewhere
  • Have a responsible adult check treats at the end of the night

In a similar fashion, the Wisconsin Department of Health also suggests some tips for families with trick or treaters and families who are giving out candy. 

 

Costume Tips

  • Choose costumes that are light-colored and more visible to motorists.
  • Use reflective tape to decorate costumes and candy bags to increase visibility of children to drivers. Reflective tape may be purchased at hardware, bicycle, or sporting goods stores.
  • Use make-up rather than a mask; if your child’s costume does include a mask, make sure it fits snugly and that the eyeholes are large enough to allow full vision.
  • Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
  • Costumes should be short enough that a child will not trip and fall.
  • Choose costume accessories such as swords or knives that are made of soft and flexible material.
  • Do not use novelty contacts such as “cat eyes” or “snake eyes.” 

Pedestrian Safety

  • Engage in Halloween activities during the daylight hours, if possible.
  • Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.
  • Remind children to walk, not run, and to only cross streets at crosswalks.
  • Be sure your children are accompanied by a responsible adult who has a flashlight. Flashlights or chemical light sticks should be used so that children can see and be seen by motorists.

Halloween Home Safety

  • Remove obstacles from your lawn, porch, or steps if you are expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Make sure your front porch is well-lit.
  • Avoid using candle-lit jack-o-lanterns if possible. If you do use candles, don’t place them near curtains, furnishings, or decorations. Move them off porches where children’s costumes may ignite.
  • Keep your pets in another room when you are expecting trick-or-treaters.
  • Small children should not carve pumpkins; instead, allow them to draw the designs on the pumpkin and adults may carve.
  • Turn on an outside light if welcoming trick-or-treaters. 

Pre-screening can save lives – National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

A mammogram is one way to detect breast cancer early and potentially lengthen or save your life.  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   According to the American Cancer Society, anyone over 40 years old should start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms.  Barb Herdina of Door CANcer says the area is fortunate to have the facilities to provide you with the necessary and effective screenings.

 

 

Women 55 years or older should switch to mammograms every two years or continue yearly screening.  Door CANcer is a locally run and operated charity that has helped hundreds of individuals battling cancer for over 20 years.  DoorCANcer can help families facing financial challenges during a medical crisis by paying for some of their everyday expenses. 

 

Click here on performing a self-breast exam.

 

Governor Evers makes stop in Kewaunee County

On Thursday, Governor Tony Evers arrived in Algoma to meet with Mayor Wayne Schmidt and community leaders to discuss the shoreline conditions along Crescent Beach. Area leaders joined the governor for a walk along the boardwalk led by Sara Robertson, Algoma Parks and Recreation director, who spent time pointing out the projects Algoma has been working on, and the current condition of their beach. Schmidt, described the significance of Governor Evers’ visit.

 

 

The trip to Algoma was made in accordance with the "Imagine a Day Without Water" observance. This event also follows the announcement made earlier this year by Governor Evers, declaring September as Coastal Awareness Month in Wisconsin. However, Evers did state that the protection of our waters should not be reserved for September but instead be a year-round effort. After the walk on the boardwalk, Evers made his way to Luxemburg to have a conversation with a community member who was impacted by groundwater contamination. While he was in Kewaunee county, Governor Evers also presented a check to the Kewaunee County officials to help fund community well testing as a part of a grant from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.

 

To view the official post made by the Wisconsin Department of Administration click here.

Kewaunee County nudges forward with new jail

You may soon be able to let your voice be heard regarding a new jail in Kewaunee County.

 

The topic dominated the majority of Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting. Chairperson Dan Olson outlined the discussions that have been held since the board did not have the votes to move forward with Phase 3 of the jail project earlier this year. Born out of that vote was the Public Safety Facility Needs Assessment Committee, which searched for cost reductions and alternatives for an over $20 million facility. Approximately $500,000 is needed to make the immediate repairs to the facility. The state jail inspector has let the county know that the current facility is not good enough as it does not address a number of capacity, safety, and liability issues as Wisconsin’s smallest and oldest jail. The committee looked at contracting services from other facilities in neighboring counties, but over the long term, those costs would exceed the investment in a new facility. Approximately $3.1 million in savings were found, but those were gobbled up due to inflation. American Rescue Plan Act dollars and funding from the county could help make the final bill more palatable for voters, with Olson saying he would like to keep the impact for property to $100-$150 per year for a $200,000 home.

 

Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt highlighted what would happen if the board did the bare minimum.

Olson said that as much as he disagrees with the requirements for jails set forth by the state, the county does not have a choice but to comply.

Because the jail topic was merely a discussion item on the agenda, no vote was taken. Further discussion will take place next month on whether the county should move forward with Phase 3, which will allow them to have more information about what a new facility could include and potential costs. The county board will then discuss whether it should be put up for a vote or not with two referendum questions: one addressing the building itself and another concerning the additional staff that would be needed. It will then be voted on if the referendum vote should take place in April 2022 or November 2022. You can watch the meeting below.

 

Alert issued for Ashwaubenon disturbance -- UPDATE, all-clear given

Two people are dead after a standoff in Ashwaubenon earlier Thursday.  Reportedly a man and woman were involved in a shooting.  Ashwaubenon Public Safety gave the all-clear shortly after 2 pm after it was determined that there was no threat to the public.  The suspect has a violent criminal history and the shooter has not been identified. 

 

 

(Original Post)The Emergency Alert System is encouraging people near Cormier Road in the Village of Ashwaubenon to take shelter after shots were fired near a residential complex. According to WBAY, police officers swarmed the scene near the 2300 block of Cedar Ridge while also blocking a part of Cormier Road to traffic. NEW Radio listeners were notified of the incident via the over-the-air EAS. We will have more information about the incident as more becomes available.

 

One death, 11 hospitalizations in latest Door County COVID report

The number of positive tests and active cases continues to trend downward, but you will still find hospitals busy treating people with COVID-19.

 

Of the 90 tests submitted since Monday, 26 tests came back positive for COVID-19. The number of active cases in the county also dropped by four to 448. Door County’s Thursday situation report noted 11 new hospitalizations and one additional death. That raised the death toll to 32 since the beginning of the pandemic. Reported deaths and hospitalizations tend to lag by several days compared to what is happening in real-time.

 

Door County is inching towards 73 percent of residents receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to their usual Wednesday clinics, the COVID-19 vaccine will be available at their flu vaccine clinics at the Washington Island Airport on October 28th, the Sister Bay Fire Station on November 4th, and the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station on November 9th.

Kwik-Trip clears first hurdle in Sturgeon Bay

A Kwik-Trip in Sturgeon Bay came closer to reality on Wednesday evening at the Plan Commission meeting.  The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission approved a conditional use application for a commercial establishment with a drive-thru car wash facility for a future Kwik-Trip located between Egg Harbor Road and Alabama Street.


The seven commissioners, including Chair and Mayor David Ward, expressed concerns about traffic flow onto Alabama Street.  Two nearby residents of the proposed property who spoke during the public hearing said they were worried about safety and privacy issues with no sidewalks and lights on for a 24/7 business. 

 

The Plan Commission unanimously approved the motion with an amendment to direct the Aesthetic and Design Review Committee to recommend more tree fences and screening along with a traffic lane to loop vehicles back onto Egg Harbor Road.

 

Troy Mleziva, a real estate developer for Kwik-Trip, says they pride themselves on being good neighbors.

 

 

Mleziva says plans are to have the Kwik-Trip open for business in Sturgeon Bay at some point in 2022.   

 

Fight starts early to get off drunkest counties list

You can find Door, Kewaunee, and 39 other Wisconsin counties on a dubious list this month due to their ability to tilt back a few drinks. More than half of Wisconsin’s 72 counties made the “Top 50 Drunkest Counties in the U.S.” list compiled by the website 24/7wallst.com. The site made their determination by considering a county’s adult binge drinking rate, driving deaths involving alcohol, median household income, and people reporting poor or fair health. While Outagamie County captured the top honors, Kewaunee County finished in ninth and Door County finished in 27th. The Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Coalition is focused on preventing underage drinking and other behaviors before they become a part of the statistic. Door County AODA Coordinator Shauna Blackledge says it is important to have a conversation with your kids while they are young so they can make good decisions in the future.

Blackledge added the lack of public transportation is a big reason why DUI arrests and other alcohol-related arrests are at the level that they are in Door County. 

 

Data from 247WallSt.com article

27. Door County, Wisconsin
> Adults binge or heavy drinking: 27.5%
> Driving deaths involving alcohol: 22.7% — 1,127th lowest of 3,081 counties (tied)
> Median household income: $61,560 — 651st highest of 3,106 counties
> Adults reporting poor or fair health: 13.4% — 218th lowest of 3,106 counties

 

9. Kewaunee County, Wisconsin
> Adults binge or heavy drinking: 28.5%
> Driving deaths involving alcohol: 50.0% — 140th highest of 3,081 counties (tied)
> Median household income: $66,192 — 423rd highest of 3,106 counties
> Adults reporting poor or fair health: 14.6% — 431st lowest of 3,106 counties

Cops and custard make a difference for Christmas

Members of Door County law enforcement and Culver’s True Blue Crew made sure your holiday season got off on the right foot on Wednesday. The two entities kicked off their annual Police Lights of Christmas outreach program when Culver’s doors opened at 10 a.m. with Sheriff’s deputies and Sturgeon Bay Police officers were among those delivering butterburgers and concrete mixers to customers. It has been four years since Culver’s of Sturgeon Bay owner Austin Hildebrand first joined the effort that has grown to more than two dozen locations across Wisconsin. Just like their share nights and Concretes for a Cause events, Hildebrand says Wednesday’s Cops at Culver’s Day is just another extension of what they love to do in the community.

Door County Sheriff’s Department Mental Health and Community Engagement Deputy Chris Ott says the annual rite is a great way to give back and form connections in the community.

Money raised during the Lights of Christmas campaign is distributed right back into the community as gift cards for families in need during the holiday season.

 

 

DNR no-show for Potawatomi State Park tower hearing

Members of the state Assembly and the general public discussed the rehabilitation of Potawatomi State Park’s observation tower on Wednesday, but you would not have found the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources there. 

 

The Assembly Committee on Tourism listened to testimony on a pair of bills in Madison, including one that would dedicate up to $750,000 of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to repairing the historic structure. Sturgeon Bay residents Christie Weber, Paul Anschutz, and Kelly Catarozoli testified in favor of the bill, even suggesting that the bill could be amended to use money from the general maintenance fund if the ARPA dollars could not be used. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources declined to speak at the hearing despite telling Rep. Joel Kitchens, State Senator Andre Jacque, and other state officials back in May that they were committed to saving the structures.

 

Rep. Kitchens says the DNR has cited concerns in recent weeks that they did not have five months ago, leaving him frustrated about them not coming to the hearing to respond.

The Potawatomi State Park observation tower, which is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places, is required by statute to have a plan for its long-term preservation and for it to be repaired if possible. After it was closed permanently in 2018, Dr. Dan Tingley of Wood Research and Development announced that the tower’s main support can be saved and the majority of it components can be saved.  

Door County YMCA Health Living Fair held virtually

For the second year in a row, the Door County YMCA will be holding its Community Healthy Living Fair virtually.  The fair will be available on the YMCA’s website from October 25 through October 29 and will feature 20 vendors from the community sharing information on improving your health.  Senior Program Director Mary Claire McHugh shares the details of this year’s Community Healthy Living Fair.

 

 

You can find out more information on the YMCA Community Healthy Living Fair, sponsored by Door County Medical Center at www.doorcountyymca.org.

Turkey farmers facing shortage of workers, local stores feel confident on supply

The holidays are only a few weeks away, but national concern over a labor shortage affecting the turkey supply does not seem to be an issue locally.  Turkey supplier Butterball has expressed concerns over a shortage of supply that could impact the selection of turkeys in stores this fall.  Alex Stodola from Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg says he ordered turkeys for the store months ago and that all indications are that he will have enough to meet the demand during the holidays.  John Calhoun, store manager at Tadych’s Econofoods in Sturgeon Bay confirmed Wednesday that turkey orders are in and that suppliers have not mentioned any word of a supply issue.  Calhoun recommends that shoppers purchase their turkeys early and freeze them to make sure they can get the size they want.

Tadych's Econofoods to sell to Coborn's

A St. Cloud, Minnesota grocer is purchasing Tadych’s Econofoods Supermarkets in eastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula region, including the Sturgeon Bay store.   According to Supermarket News, the Upper Midwest grocer Coburn’s plans to close the transaction in early December, pending the customary closing conditions.  Tadych’s Econofoods has six locations doing business as T&C Markets and is based in Brillion.  Coburn’s is currently celebrating its 100th year and operates 59 supermarkets in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.  In a news release, CEO Chris Coburn stated that plans are for Tadych’s Econofoods stores to retain the Tadych’s name and all of the 800 employees to be hired by Coburn’s.      

 

 

News Release:

 

Coborn’s, Inc. to acquire Tadych’s grocery stores in Wisconsin and Michigan 

ST. CLOUD, MN – Coborn’s, Inc. has announced it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire three Tadych’s  Econofoods grocery stores in eastern Wisconsin and three locations in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the  company’s first expansion into that state. The stores are operated by the Tadych family and operate under  the Tadych’s Econofoods banner. 

The Tadych’s locations included in the acquisition are: 

• 1250 North 14th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 

• 278 South Main Street, Clintonville, WI 

• 109 North Main Street, Brillion, WI 

• 1401 O’dovero Drive, Marquette, MI 

• 1600 South Stephenson Avenue, Iron Mountain, MI 

• 1000 West Sharon Avenue, Houghton, MI 

“The Tadych family has run their family of stores with great care and is a highly-respected retailer,” said  Chris Coborn, Chairman, President and CEO of Coborn’s, Inc. “We look forward to extending the same  operating philosophies in these locations that have made us successful for 100 years – investing and training  for our people, supporting our communities and investing in our stores to improve the experience for our  guests. We look forward to having the entire Tadych team join our team to learn more about their  operations and communities.” 

“This is our first entry into the state of Michigan, so we have some things to learn, some added distance to  figure out and to onboard their team into our organization,” Chris Coborn added. Approximately 800 people work in the six locations and will all be hired by Coborn’s, Inc. The stores will continue to operate  under the Tadych’s name. 

James Tadych, owner, and founder of T&C Markets began his grocery career as a young man working in his  father’s family store. He then went on to purchase his own first store in Brillion, WI in 1968 upon returning  from serving in the U.S. Army. From there, he continued to add additional locations to serve the region.  Customer satisfaction has always been a core value of the company and he has always operated with that as  a high priority that is instilled in all the stores today.  

“This sale makes perfect sense for our family and for our employees, said Mike Tadych, Jim’s son and  current owner. “Coborn’s has long been a highly-respected company and we felt perfectly aligned with their 

PRESS RELEASE - PAGE 2 

values, operational standards, support of the communities they operate in and most importantly the  company culture and commitment to their employees,” he added. “We are grateful to all of our customers  and employees who have helped us build our business over the past five decades. I know our communities  and employees are in good hands as we make this transition.” 

The transaction is currently expected to close in early December, subject to customary closing conditions.  With this acquisition and the opening of a brand new Coborn’s Marketplace store in Buffalo, MN in  November, Coborn’s, Inc.’s portfolio of grocery stores will expand to 66 locations in Minnesota, Wisconsin,  South Dakota, North Dakota and Michigan.

 

Sturgeon Bay approves work on water and land

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council met on Tuesday evening and quickly moved forward on a handful of agenda items.  Within the 25-minute meeting, recommendations from the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee were approved unanimously, including a sharing of a listing for about two acres of land on Shiloh Road.   If Door County Economic Development or Destination Sturgeon Bay does not commit a cash offer within two weeks, the property would be listed at fair market value with a realtor.  In other business, the council approved a bid from Bissen Asphalt to provide shoreline protection on Juniper Street for $31,378.  Also, an additional $10,390 was approved for work by Death’s Door Marine to remove dock pilings near the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club that was above the original estimate. Councilmember Gary Nault noted that 20 additional pilings just above and below the water surface needed to be removed because of the hazard they presented.  The Sturgeon Bay Common Council moved forward on the development agreement of the Sunset School property by S.C. Swiderski, which is planning to put up a 26-unit apartment complex.

Clipper pride displayed on Sturgeon Bay Police squad car

A Sturgeon Bay Police squad car got a unique design added to the vehicle's exterior this year, thanks to three Sturgeon Bay High School students and School Resource Officer Derek Jennerjohn. The school resource vehicle has the Sturgeon Bay Clipper logo and artwork displayed on the hood and sides of the car.  Officer Jennerjohn asked for three designs to be made for the squad car last spring, and the final decal was placed on the squad car's hood after homecoming this fall.

 

 

Officer Jennerjohn, Sturgeon Bay class of 2005, says the new artwork on his squad car is a great way to connect with students and his alma mater.  He says he got the idea from the Southern Door schools' resource officer vehicle from the Door County Sheriff's Department.  Designs were submitted by AP art students Drew Starr, Makayla Ash, and Hailey Brickham were chosen.  Brickham graduated last June, and Starr and Ash are seniors this year at Sturgeon Bay High School.

 

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Sturgeon Bay Schools)

Kewaunee County conducting "Health Needs" survey

With health decisions being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic the past 18 months, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department and the U.W. – Madison Extension are launching a health needs survey to help move forward essential services to its residents.  Kewaunee County Health Officer Cindy Kinnard says the community health assessment must be done every five years by every county in the state but was delayed one year because of the pandemic. She explains the importance of gathering the information through the survey.

 

 

The survey results will be presented to the community with a full presentation on December 16. The most pressing problems listed from the last survey included drug and alcohol use, obesity, and nutrition impact overall wellness. You can take the survey by clicking here. 

Potawatomi State Park observation tower gets a hearing

You can show your support for the Potawatomi State Park observation tower at a public hearing in Madison on Wednesday.

 

The Assembly Committee on Tourism is scheduled to meet to discuss a pair of bills including one that would allocate up to $750,000 in funds from the American Rescue Plan to make the necessary repairs to the aging structure that was closed to the public in 2017. Dr. Dan Tingley of Wood Research and Development recently did an engineering study, discovering that the tower’s main supports and the majority of its components could be saved. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole told Rep. Joel Kitchens and Senator Andre Jacque in May that the agency was no longer looking at demolishing the structure but looking to save it. Rep. Kitchens explained why the structure was worth saving when he sent out a memo looking for sponsors for Assembly Bill 567 back in September.

Representatives Cindi Duchow, Dave Murphy, Todd Novak, William Penterman, and David Steffen, and Senators Robert Cowles have joined Kitchens and Jacque in sponsoring the bill. The public hearing is scheduled to take place on Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Wisconsin State Capitol building in Room 415 Northwest. 

Pumpkin growers good as gourd at contests

Stumbling into the right pumpkin patches this year could have led you to some of the biggest pumpkins in the state. Algoma’s Matthew Fay and Chase Romdenne, Kewaunee’s Nathan Petersilka, Casco’s Bill Roethle, and Brussels’ Cory and Connor Cornette traveled as far as Kenosha to submit their pumpkins to see how they stack with the heaviest across the state. Petersilka’s 1,133.50 pumpkin was the heaviest from the area, though it was still over 850 pounds lighter than this year’s state champion grown by Caleb Jacobus of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. It was the first year of competing for Casco’s Bill Roethle, who displayed his smaller 850 pound pumpkin in front of his orchard’s shop for people to see. His 940.50-pound pumpkin was a good start, but he is already looking forward to doing it all again next year.

Roethle’s pumpkin was the eighth biggest weighed at the Mishicot Pumpkinfest last weekend. Stefano Cutrupi of Tuscany, Italy has bragging rights over the entire planet after growing a 2,702.90 pound pumpkin this year.

 

TOP LOCAL PUMPKINS

Nathan Petersilka, Kewaunee 1133.5 (photo submitted by Nathan Petersilka)

Bill Roethle, Casco 940.50 (picture with his 850+ pound pumpkin)

Matthew Fay, Algoma 911 pounds

Chase Romdenne, Algoma 904 pounds

Matthew Fay, Algoma 878 pounds

Cory and Connor Cornette, Brussels 716

Door County scene for upcoming movie

You could be part of an upcoming movie being filmed in parts of Door and Brown counties. The producers behind “God Loves The Green Bay Packers” are looking for extras to participate in a trio of scenes being filmed locally beginning next week. Baileys Harbor will provide the backdrop for a scene involving a fish fry and a bar while a church in Brussels gets its Hollywood closeup. Producers will also shoot a tailgating scene in Green Bay. Door County is no stranger to the big screen with movies like The Emissary and Feed the Fish two of the more recent showcases of the area. Destination Door County Interim CEO Jon Jarosh says having movies filmed in Door County provides a major opportunity for people to check out the beauty of the area during all of the seasons.

According to the Internet Movie Database, God Loves the Green Bay Packers is about a young struggling musician living with her grandparents on a dying family farm. Filming will take place in Baileys Harbor on October 26th and Brussels on October 29th. The movie is looking for extras and you can click the link to learn more about the casting opportunities.

Bayview Bridge closed to traffic Tuesday and Wednesday

You will have to drive an alternative route on Highway 42/57 to get across the waters of Sturgeon Bay Tuesday and Wednesday with the closure of the Bayview Bridge.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be conducting the annual drain and pier cleaning followed by routine maintenance of the bridge during the day from 7 am until 3:30 on both days.  Marine traffic will be able to cross under the bridge, but all cars and trucks will have to use either the Michigan Street or Maple-to-Oregon bridges.  You may experience brief delays on Thursday and next week, as flagging operations will be done at various times during the daytime hours to repair bridge beams. 

Active cases and positive tests decline

On Monday, Door County Public Health reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 since last Friday.  Of the 145 tests performed, 117 were negative.  The active cases decreased by 16 and now stand at 452.  There was one new hospitalization and no deaths were reported.  Over 72 percent of Door County residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and Door County Public Health hopes to increase that number with newly expanded drive-thru hours.  The Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are available at the next drive-up clinic at Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station in Brussels Tuesday from 12:30 pm to 5:00 pm, as well as the influenza vaccine.

 

Door County 

Tests Performed: 21,641 (+145)
Positive: 3,324 (+28)
Probable: 262
Negative: 17,955 (+117)

Active: 452 (-16)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 139 (+1)
Death: 31 

Information meeting for Gibraltar land purchase Tuesday

The first of two public information meetings for the accepted land purchase of the Holiday Harbor Waterfront Cottages by the Town of Gibraltar will be held Tuesday.  Town Administrator Travis Thyssen says the owner of the property, Barb McKesson, accepted the $3.5 million offer for the nearly five-acre parcel that could greatly impact the dock services the town currently provides.  He says the property fits into the waterfront master plan that the Town of Gibraltar conducted in 2016.

 

 

Thyssen says members of the Harbor Commission informed him to look for opportunities to expand the town’s waterfront when attractive properties became available.  The area has five docks and can accommodate 28 boat slips.  The first public information meeting will begin at 5 pm Tuesday, with a second one held at 10 am on November 6.  On November 15, the special electors of the Town of Gibraltar will vote on the land purchase at 6 pm.   

Proposed Sturgeon Bay Kwik Trip gets first hearing

You will get some of the first details of a proposed Kwik Trip in Sturgeon Bay at Wednesday’s Plan Commission meeting. Kwik Trip is seeking a conditional use permit for the station that will include a pair of gas filling and a car wash that will be attached to the convenience store. One of the canopies will be built for larger vehicles to have access to the diesel fuel pumps. The proposed station will span seven properties totaling 4.5 acres located near Egg Harbor Road and Alabama Street. City Planner and Zoning Administrator Christopher Sullivan-Robinson says the Kwik Trip fits what they were looking for within its comprehensive plan with plenty of meetings still to come.

A 14-unit townhome near South Grant Avenue and the rezoning of a Planned Unit Development to Single Family Residential by 8th Avenue between Belmar and Bonnie View Drive will also have public hearings on Wednesday before the Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission considers the projects. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. inside the city council chambers.

 

See the full agenda here

Forestville to hit the road with the Smithsonian

You will find a little bit of Door County in a traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibit in the coming years. The future exhibit, Spark! Places of Innovation will feature Forestville as a community in rural America that has contributed a lot. Cherries will take center stage for the community as the exhibit explores growing cherry trees into limestone, the economic impact of the crop, and the unique ways the fruit has been used. Door County Economic Development Corporation Director of Business Development Julie Schmelzer hopes that a little recognition will spur future innovation in the area.

You will have to wait a little longer to see Forestville become a part of the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. The exhibition is scheduled to hit the road beginning in 2023 through 2029.

Hechts celebrated as Sister Bay's volunteer of the year

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht wishes many of you could have sat with him during Saturday’s Fall Fest parade. Hecht and his wife Liz were honored by the Sister Bay Advancement Association as this year’s volunteers of the year. The Hechts were instrumental in the county’s response to the pandemic last year. Through the Door County Fire Chiefs Association and the Door County Emergency Support Coalition, over 700 people contributed more than 11,000 hours of community service doing everything from passing out food and distributing vaccines to dropping off groceries and doing well-being checks. Serving others has grown organically for the Hechts during their 30-plus years of living in Sister Bay. Hecht says he is humbled to receive the award, but knows his recognition is due to the work of so many others.

As the SBAA Volunteers of the Year, the Hechts served as the parade marshals for this year’s 75th annual Fall Fest parade. Hecht called this year’s crowd among the biggest he has ever seen.

Kewaunee County to host budget hearing Tuesday

You will have your opportunity to weigh in on the Kewaunee County budget for 2022 on Tuesday. The county’s various committees have had their chance to weigh in at their meetings since Administrator Scott Feldt teased portions of it during the last full board meeting. The tax levy sits at $12.8 million while the total expenditures stands at $24.8 million. Taxpayers will see a rate of 6.88 percent, which is the first time it has been below seven percent in a decade and a decrease of 6.9 percent. The budget hearing will take place ahead of the normal board meeting which includes a discussion about approving the new collective bargaining agreement with the union representing members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department.  The proposed agreement would remove language regarding someone’s full-time and permanent part-time status. The county proposed a raise of 3 to 5% each year for members of the department depending on their rank. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee.  

 

Click here to see the agenda packet

History of "Booyah" comes to life

The word “booyah” is more than a catchphrase to a local organization that is researching the history behind the thick, stew-like, soup.  Bill and Cheryl Chaudoir from the Belgian Heritage Center are putting together two videos that will bring to life the history of booyah.  Cheryl describes the makeup of the hearty and popular ethnic food.

 

 

Bill says early research suggests that booyah was first made in the United States for Belgian Kermises that celebrate the yearly fall harvest.

 

 

The videos are expected to be released sometime in the spring with a presentation at the Belgian Heritage Center in Namur.  Chaudoir notes that after the presentation the videos will be made available online for people to enjoy.  

Sturgeon Bay finalizing redevelopment agreement for Sunset School property

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will be looking to approve a development agreement with a housing developer for the old Sunset School property on Tuesday.  The city, school district, and S.C Swiderski have been jointly working on a project to redevelop Sunrise School property into new workforce housing units for the past year.  The agreement calls for the City to pay for the demolishing of the school building and provide a financial incentive of $7,700 per dwelling unit, or a total of $202,200 for the 26-unit apartment complex.  Sturgeon Bay has created a Tax Incremental District (TID) on the site.  S.C. Swiderski will establish property value that will amount to $2.5 million or more.  Other meeting agenda items include three recommendations from the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting will begin at 6 pm at City Hall on Tuesday. 

Productive dialogue requires listening skills -- Mental Health Minute

Carefully listening to someone you really disagree with can be very difficult, but accurate listening can help you develop better interpersonal skills, says Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White.  He says a more polarized than ever society is making it more difficult to civilly disagree.  You may seem trapped between the two choices of either arguing back with the risk of becoming angry or keeping your mouth shut to “keep the peace”.  Neither are very satisfying, says Dr. White.   Listening allows you to engage in dialogue when you don’t agree with the other person.  With practice, one can learn to listen better and respond in more appropriate ways.  You can listen to Dr. White’s entire Mental Health Minute below.

 

 

Drivers warned about higher deer activity

 

With deer/vehicle crashes typically peaking during the months of October and November, you are being advised to be extra aware on the roads when you are behind the wheel.  According to the Department of Transportation, over 16,000 crashes between deer and motor vehicles occurred in the state last year.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says many deer accidents are caused by following other vehicles too closely. 

 

 

Deer activity usually spikes during the hours around dawn and dusk.   The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related accidents is when vehicles try swerving to avoid hitting a deer.  The safer recommended option is for you to slow down as much as possible and let your vehicle hit the deer, rather than swerving and possibly moving into oncoming traffic or hit other objects that can cause a rollover.  

Weak supply chains impacting Sturgeon Bay schools

The Sturgeon Bay School District’s food service has felt the effects of supply chain issues as they try to provide lunches within the district. Jennifer Spude, the director of food services for the Sturgeon Bay schools, says that she was surprised to find problems with receiving commodities from the government and other food vendors.

 

 

With these problems with attaining the necessary food supply, Spude has begun ordering the food that she does not receive from her vendors or the government from local businesses. Unfortunately, it is not just the food that is hard to attain, Spude says they are also having trouble finding items like portion cups. Because of this, the food service department has had to become flexible and more aware of needs when it comes to distributing certain items. Although it has become more difficult to procure food and items, Spude urges families and students to participate in the free lunch program that the Sturgeon Bay School District provides for everyone.

 

Kruegers feeling at home as partner family

It is not her home yet, but you will find Melissa Krueger putting in plenty of work on her new home thanks to Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership. Krueger and her four children were chosen as the partner family for one of the two homes currently under construction in Sturgeon Bay. She had to meet the necessary financial requirements before coming eligible to buy the home from the organizations. Krueger is looking forward to not having to pay rent anymore after her home is ready later this fall. She was cutting wood for bracing and trim for her garage on Thursday and she looks forward to working on the home when she can.

Partner families have to put in at least 200 sweat equity hours, which include participating in the home builds, volunteering at the ReStore, and helping out other events as a part of their agreement with Door County Habitat for Humanity. You can volunteer with the home build and donate snacks, meals, and drinks to the work crew by contacting the Door County Habitat for Humanity office.

 

Picture of Melissa Krueger and three of her four kids courtesy of Megan Dietz

Active cases drop big in Kewaunee County

Despite almost 100 new positive tests for COVID-19 in the last week, Kewaunee County still saw the number of active cases drop. The number of active cases dropped to 81, a decrease of 33 from the week before. That is despite 97 new positive tests being recorded since last Friday, increasing their total from the beginning of the pandemic to 3,465 according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. Just over 47 percent have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department accepts appointments for their weekly clinic dates every Tuesday and Friday.

Recent weather does not dampen local harvest efforts

Mother Nature has been making herself known to farmers in the past few days, but you can bet on them pushing on through with their harvest efforts. Farmers had a little less time in the state to get out into the fields over the last week. After averaging over 6 days the last few weeks, the USDA says Wisconsin had just 4.7 days of suitable fieldwork. Despite this, the corn harvest for grain is six days ahead of last year at 24 percent complete and the soybean harvest is two days ahead of last year at 47 percent complete. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says those numbers are even better locally even as some of their crops battle some late-season diseases.

Farmers are also taking advantage of the extra time to get their winter wheat and other cover crops planted. Planting winter wheat is two days behind last year at 74 percent complete. It is still over a week ahead of the five-year average for planting.

 

Picture courtesy of Rio Creek Feed Mill

United Way of Door County hosting a free movie night

You will be able to view the true-life story of a former Saturday Night Live cast member during the showing of the movie Cracked up: The Darrell Hammond Story on October 19th. This movie depicts the life of Hammond and his struggle with childhood trauma and substance abuse, and how he persevered through it all to become a successful face on TV. The Community Impact Coordinator for United Way, Shauna Blackledge, states that this movie’s message is directly connected to United Way of Door County’s mission.

 

This free movie night is a chance for you to learn more about Darrell Hammond and what he has been through. The movie is rated TV-MA and was created for adult viewing; some topics or scenes may be unsuitable for those under 17 years old. The movie will be held at the Peterson Park Amphitheater behind the Sturgeon Bay YMCA and is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm with a run time of about 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Strength train to prevent bone breakage

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that about 36 million older adults fall each year – resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. In some cases, falls are inevitable, but there are things that can be done to prevent falls. The National Institute on Aging (NIA) has compiled information on fall prevention for older adults here: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/topics/falls-and-falls-prevention. One tip from the NIA is to stay physically active. Another great resource is DHS https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/injury-prevention/falls/index.htm.

 

Strengthen your muscles and bones through the Kewauneee County Extension’s StrongBodies 12-week program. This program teaches techniques to get up off the floor, reinforcing balance, and how to eat for healthy bones.

 

Sign up here: http://tiny.cc/KewauneeSB OR contact Erin Dahle at 920-388-7141.

For more information on the program follow this link: http://tiny.cc/StrongBodies contact Krystina Yang at: 920-683-4171.

 

If you’d like to see a demonstration of the StrongBodies class you can watch a Wisconsin Public Television YouTube video from a few years ago called “StrongWomen, StrongBones.” You will find that link here: WPT University Place: Strong Women, Strong Bones 

 

Over half test positive for COVID-19 in latest Door County numbers

Despite over half of the people tested for COVID-19 in Door County since Monday were positive, the number of active cases held relatively steady.

 

Of the 107 tests performed since the last Door County Situation Update, 57 came back positive. The number of active cases only went up three to 468. There were no new hospitalizations or deaths reported, though those numbers can sometimes lag from what is actually happening locally.

 

Over 72 percent of residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the Door County Health Department announced earlier this week plans to get that number even higher. The department expanded the drive-thru hours at some locations for the Seasonal Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccine.  The Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines are available at drive-up clinics. The next drive-up clinic is scheduled for the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station in Brussels on Tuesday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Door County Public Health will also have their usual Wednesday clinic as well. 

 

Door County 

Tests Performed: 21,496 (+107)
Positive: 3,396 (+57)
Probable: 262 (-2)
Negative: 17,838 (+52)
Active: 468 (+3)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 138
Death: 31 

Pheasant exhibit looks for a builder

The Bruemmer Park Zoo is looking for a builder for its new ornamental pheasant exhibit in hopes of opening it sometime next year. The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department and the Zoological Society of Kewaunee County broke ground on the exhibit during its annual Zoobilee event last month. The $300,000 exhibit received a big boost when the family of the park’s namesake donated $100,000 in addition to the funds for animal sculptures. Promotions and Recreation Direction Dave Myers said last month the first new animal exhibit in nearly four decades is important to keeping visitors coming to the park.

The department is taking bids for the construction of the exhibit through October 21st after setting an original deadline of October 13th. You can find the request for bids here.

Pedestrian struck by vehicle -- UPDATED

No citations were issued Thursday night after a car struck a pedestrian crossing Egg Harbor Road.  Law enforcement was called to the scene on Egg Harbor Road near 14th Avenue just after 7 p.m.  An 89-year-old man was crossing the street away from a crosswalk towards the McDonalds when the car hit the individual.  He was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, according to Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman.
 

According to the police report, the pedestrian caused minor damage to the vehicle after the collision brought him on top of the windshield before rolling off. The reports note that the man suffers from hearing and vision difficulties and has a history of confusion. The driver and the passenger were not injured in the incident and were not found to be impaired. Portions of Egg Harbor Road were closed for around 20 minutes and the scene was cleared just after 8:30 p.m.

 

 

Associated Bank in Algoma to close

You will have one less choice when it comes to banking in Algoma soon.  Associated Bank announced recently that Algoma and four other statewide locations will be closing on October 29 because of low customer traffic.  According to Jennifer Kaminski, public relations senior manager with Associated Bank, the closing was based on looking at “transaction trends” and “strategic fit”.  Customers of Associated Bank in Algoma will be referred to the Sturgeon Bay location on Third Avenue, while employees of the bank will be offered jobs within the company “where positions are available.  Other closing Associated Bank branches in the state are in Winneconne, Racine, Hudson, and Superior.  

Jeff & Katie show returning to the Northern Sky Theater live

If you were following the Northern Sky theater last year during their virtual shows, you would have seen the Jeff & Katie show make its way into their programming, and now it’s returning live. Holly Feldman, the Director of Development and Public Relations with the Northern Sky Theater, explains how the show came to exist within their programming.

 

 

On Saturday, you have a chance to see their performance live at the Gould Indoor theater. The live show will be similar to the virtual ones, with James Kaplan and Molly Rhode as their special guests to add banter and a bit of music. They will also be including David Alley for a bake-off where the baked goods will be shared with the audience. If you are unable to attend in person, the show will still be live-streamed. Tickets are available at the Northern Sky Theater website, and you can also call their box office to reserve your seat.

Bayview Bridge to close on Tuesday

You will have to find another way across the water on Tuesday and Wednesday next week when the Wisconsin Department of Transportation closes the Bayview Bridge for maintenance. The expansive bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on those days so crews can clean the bridge drains and the bascule piers. The area will still be open to marine traffic but cars and trucks will have to use Sturgeon Bay’s downtown bridges to go across. You will still encounter crews on Thursday as they work to repair bridge stringer. The bridge will remain open during the day but flagging operations directing traffic may cause delays.

Door County expands Flu and COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru hours

In order to get more shots in arms, Door County Public Health has expanded the drive-thru hours at some locations for the Seasonal Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccine.  The Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines are available at drive-up clinics.  Both the flu and COVID-19 shots can be administered at the same time with the booster shots available to those adults who had the second Pfizer vaccine dose at least six months ago.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that anyone six months or older get an annual flu vaccine.  You can find the specific clinic schedule to receive your flu or COVID-19 vaccines here with the news release by Door County Public Health.

  You can find the specific clinic schedule to receive your flu or COVID-19 vaccine here with the news release by Door County Public Health.

Shipwrecked expansion voted down

Shipwrecked Brew Pub was denied a Conditional Use Permit Wednesday evening by the Egg Harbor Plan Commission.  The plan called for additional seating and a beer garden to be located behind its building in downtown Egg Harbor.  Plan Commission Chair Cambria Mueller says the CUP was denied because the project did not meet parking requirements and that it did not fit in with the vision set down by the villages’ long-term comprehensive plan.  After three hours of public discussion, deliberation, and consideration the Conditional Use Permit was voted down 4-2, with one abstention by commissioner Chris Roedl.  Kathy Navis and Lou Nyberg voted in favor of the project, but the other four members of the Plan Commission voted against it.  Hence, no additional vote was needed on the Special Development District Relief Application for the Shipwrecked Brew Pub project.  Mueller says according to statutes since this is the second time a CUP by Shipwrecked Brew Pub has failed to pass the Egg Harbor Plan Commission this year, Shipwrecked Brew Pub must wait until next year to reapply for another Conditional Use Permit.

Portions of Highway 42 reopen this weekend

You will have full access of State Highway 42 through Kewaunee County by this weekend.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that the two projects on the highway have been completed.

 

The first portion of the Highway 42 project started June 1st to reconstruct the nearly 10 miles south of the City of Kewaunee to the Kewaunee County/Manitowoc County Line. The project has had flagging operations in place since they were able to reopen the roadway to traffic on September 28th after being completely closed for nearly three months. Another project that began in late August covered the stretch of Highway 42 from Duvall Street in Kewaunee to the Door County/Kewaunee County line except for the portion in the City of Algoma. Flagging operations were put in place to resurface the highway, add rumble strips, and improve the roadway’s shoulders.

 

The state spent approximately $8.8 million on the two projects. 

 

 

Press Release below:

(Kewaunee) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces completion of all major construction on two WIS 42 improvement projects in Kewaunee County. One project took place on WIS 42 north of the city of Kewaunee and the another project took place south of the city of Kewaunee.

 

Construction on a $5.1 million contract to improve 9.9 miles of WIS 42 from the south Kewaunee/Manitowoc County line to Baumeister Drive in the city of Kewaunee began June 1, 2021 and finishes on time. Work included resurfacing of the existing pavement, replacing two deteriorating box culvert (one near Lakeview Drive and another near County J) under the roadway, replacement/repair of various culvert pipes, widening of paved shoulders, rumble strip installation, and upgrades to guard rail, pavement parking and storm sewer.

 

Construction on a $3.7 million contract to improve 14 miles of WIS 42 from Duvall Street in the city of Kewaunee to the North Kewaunee/Door County Line began August 23, 2021 and finishes on time and on budget. Work included resurfacing of the existing lanes and shoulders, widening of paved shoulders, rumble strip installation, upgrades to guard rail and pavement marking.

 

Both projects provide a smoother driving surface for motorists and extend the life of the existing pavement. Upgrades to guard rail and the addition of centerline and edge line rumble strips enhance safety. Culvert repair/replacement provide longer lasting structures to provide adequate drainage.

 

Northeast Asphalt, Inc. from Greenville, Wis. was the Prime Contractor for both projects.

For more information on the WIS 42 projects, please see the 511 Wisconsin construction project website at https://projects.511wi.gov/42southkew/.

For construction progress on all active Northeast Wisconsin highway improvements, please see the Northeast Region Weekly Highway Construction Update at https://projects.511wi.gov/weeklyupdates-ne/

Motorists adjusting to night driving

Local law enforcement is reminding you to watch your lights while driving now that the days are growing shorter. The bigger focus is properly using your high beams, which according to state statute should not be used if you are within 500 feet of other motorists on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found in 2001 approximately 30 percent of people experiencing nighttime glare categorized the practice as disturbing. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski understands why people use them at this time of the year, especially as days turn into nights quicker and deer become more active. He hopes motorists are aware when they need to turn them down so everyone can stay safe.

Vehicles traveling with trailers should also keep their lights in mind so people can see the extra load you are towing. You can read more about the topic below. 

Door County Granary preparing for final placement

You will see shovels in the ground in the coming weeks for the final resting place of the Door County Granary.

 

Rumors swirled on Facebook earlier this week that the former Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator was moving further than the 30 feet toward the water where the pilings and the foundation will be placed. Door County Granary Executive Director Beth Renstrom put that to rest Thursday morning, reiterating what was discussed at a recent city council meeting, that the structure would be placed in its original spot alongside Sturgeon Bay west waterfront. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society signed a long-term sublease of the property last October. Moving it back to its original location is crucial, according to Renstrom, so the structure can keep its state and federal historic status intact. Renstrom says support for the historic preservation of the site has been great so far as they have attracted donors not just from the county but from across the state.

The west waterfront will see a lot of construction in the coming months as an apartment complex and restaurant/plaza project have also been approved. Renstrom says the additional development only adds to the excitement of the Door County Granary project and what the area could be like in the future. The renovated granary will host an interpretative museum and different when it is finished. Residents can get other updates on the project from the Door County Granary’s website and at upcoming Sturgeon Bay Common Council meetings.

Parents group presses school boards, Door County officials for COVID-19 information

A group of parents of Door County is looking for answers on why your kids may have to wear masks or be quarantined due to COVID-19. The Door County Parents Association sent an email to local school boards and potentially county board members last Friday requesting all of the information they have received from Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers. 

 

Among the 10 items it listed in the email, the Door County Parents Association is asking about possible laws that the Door County Public Health Department is potentially telling school officials to use to enforce masking policies and quarantine protocols. The group also questions the financial incentives a district receives for following the recommendations, asking if “it is appropriate to sell our children’s health and well-being.” School officials were given 14 days to comply with the request. 

 

Sturgeon Bay School District provided the dollar amounts they received in Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds. The district could receive approximately $2 million over three rounds of funding from the federal government. To date, the district has spent just over $106,000 from round one, which was used for reusable face coverings and clear plastic desk dividers for last school year. The funds are available to the district until 2024.

 

You can read more about the letter sent by the Door County Parents Association and the financial information provided to the Sturgeon Bay School Board below. Contact has been made with the Door County Parents Association and a follow-up story will be done in the near future.

 

LETTER TO LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS

Dear Board President and members,

We are a large group of concerned taxpayers from all areas of Door County and are reaching out to request all information the board has received from Door County Public Health Director, Sue Powers and her staff. 

 

It is requested that the board provides all information provided by public health, including but not limited to the following:

 

1. What state and federal laws does the County Health Department operate under (cite laws and provide links)?

 

2. Who is holding our county health department accountable?

 

3. Who is the direct supervisor to Sue Powers?

 

4. What information has Public Health provided regarding what the end game to this may be? At what point is COVID no longer going to put a burden on our schools? What is an acceptable "case" count to stop the recommendation of masking and quarantining healthy people?

 

5. What law is public health telling schools to use to enforce masking children? Cite the law and provide a link.

 

6. What law allows public health and schools to obtain medical records for a shot that is not on the CDC schedule at all? Cite the law and provide a link.

 

7. What law allows discrimination by the health department regarding quarantine of healthy individuals based on not receiving an experimental use shot that is NOT on the CDC childhood schedule?

 

8. What law allows schools in other counties to not mask, not do any contact tracing and not do any quarantining of healthy people?

 

9. What peer- reviewed scientific double-blind studies has Public Health and/or Door County Memorial Hospital experts shared with you that clearly shows it is healthy and effective for children to wear a mask for 6-8 hours every day? Provide actual peer-reviewed studies with the link. 

 

10. For school board members, how much in funds is each school district receiving in federal and state stimulus funding, and what are the exact eligibility criteria and conditions set in order for the district to receive these funds? When is the date for enrollment used to determine funding? What have the funds been used for or what is planned in the future? See article 

            https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/wisconsin-school-districts-set-to-receive-at-least-2-2-billion-in-federal-stimulus-aid/article_8f026f9f-0797-53f4-af64-6a7a230b5008.html .

 

Do you feel it is appropriate to sell our children’s health and well-being?

 

A response with all information provided to you by Public Health and all other information requested above is needed within 14 days. If you have not received information that directly answers the above questions, please request the information from Public Health and provide to us at the email below.

 

Submit all information to DoorCountyParentsAssociation@gmail.com

 

Sincerely,

Door County Parents Association

 

To: School District of Sturgeon Bay School Board
From: Jake Holtz, SBSD Business Manager
RE: Questions circulating on social media
Date: 10/6/2021

 

The following are answers to some questions that have been circulating on social media, among some groups, and it appears could be working their way to our emails. My responses are based on the reference in the questions to the Wisconsin State Journal’s April 7, 2021 article titled ‘Wisconsin school districts set to receive at least $2.2 billion in federal stimulus aid’ 

 

1. How much in federal in funds is each school district receiving?
The School District of Sturgeon Bay has been allocated the following from the three rounds of ESSER funding (total of $2,061,675.84):
Round 1: $149,449 (of which, $24,429.16 was to be set aside for private schools)
Round 2: $596,655
Round 3: $1,340,001
Please note that these amounts have each changed a couple of times already. However, for SBSD, they have not changed dramatically. So, we can be confident in saying, at the very least, that we will receive over $2 million in federal relief funding.


2. How much state funding is each school district receiving?
The state has provided no COVID relief funding. Per the programs, however, the state was tasked with distributing the funds to each district. Wisconsin chose to work loosely off the Title IA funding formula, which targets students from low?income households. For the second and third rounds of funding, the state legislature did add some funding for districts. The amount of these funds was/is dependent on the number of days those districts held in?person instruction during the 2020?21 school year. Eligibility for these extra funds is limited to those districts who received less than $395 and $781 (ESSER II & III, respectively) from the base funding amounts. Because Sturgeon Bay received more than the $395 and $781 per pupil, we were not eligible for the funds based on days of in?person instruction. Apart from the federal funds, the state, for fiscal year 2021?22, is allocating an estimated $4,999,570 in equalization aid (which offsets the tax levy portion of the revenue limit), and $796,166 in per pupil categorical aid (which goes above and beyond the revenue limit). These are annual allocations and are exclusive of any federal funding. 

 

3. What are the conditions set to receive those funds?
The School District of Sturgeon Bay had no conditions to meet, other than to share the
$24,429.16 from the first round of funding with St John Bosco and St Peters Lutheran. As stated above, the in?person instruction was not a condition SBSD had to meet to receive any funding.


4. What is the date for enrollment used to determine funding?
There are two major count dates that determine school funding – the third Friday in September and the second Friday in January each year. 
The 3rd Friday count date, which was used to determine the revenue limit for 2021?22 was September 17, 2021 this year.  The 2nd Friday count date will be January 14, 2022 this year. This January count date is used in conjunction with the 3rd Friday date in the equation for equalization aid. The count date that determines Title IA eligibility (counting students from low?income households), which was used for these grants, was December 15th, 2020. 

 

5. What have the funds been used for or what is planned in the future?
To date, the district has spent $106,357.15 of the ESSER fund from round one. That money was spent on reusable facial coverings and clear plastic desk dividers for the 2020?21 school year. Looking ahead at how we plan to spend these monies, which are available until 2024, we are working with a consultant that specializes in literacy instruction, with the goal of helping students who may have lost ground during the pandemic. We expect that total cost to be in the $250,000 to $300,000 over the course of the next two to three fiscal years. Beyond that, our hands are a bit tied. In the state’s most recent biennial budget, rather than increase the revenues of school districts, to help offset inflationary expense increases, we were told we had to use the ESSER funding to cover these continuing costs. This means that we will need to work within the guidelines of the allowable costs (guide found here) to cover or offset inflationary raises for our staff and increases in other costs like transportation, utilities, supplies, etc.

Accident causes detour on Highway 42 north of Sturgeon Bay-- UPDATED

UPDATE:  Highway 42 is reopened to traffic as of 4:00 pm,  according to Door County Dispatch. 

 

Shortly before 3 pm on Thursday, a vehicle accident on Highway 42 just north of Sturgeon Bay caused traffic to be detoured off the highway.  According to Door County Sheriff's Department dispatch, no injuries were reported but a vehicle was blocking traffic.  Sturgeon Bay Fire Department personnel is detouring northbound traffic east onto Whitefish Bay Road to County HH and then to Townline Road back to Highway 42.  Door County Daily News will update this story with more details and when the highway is reopened to traffic when information is made available.   

 

 

Statewide COVID-19 numbers trend lower Wednesday

The state saw a little bit of good news on the COVID-19 front on Wednesday as the seven-day average dipped to 2,318. That is about 85 people less than on Tuesday, a number the state admits gets inflated as they play catch up from the weekend. The percentage of positive tests also dropped half a percentage point to 8.3 percent. Wisconsin Department of Health Services noted an uptick in the number of deaths to 18, up from 16 on Tuesday.

 

Both Door and Kewaunee counties are offering opportunities to get vaccinated this week as those numbers slowly climb up statewide and locally. The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered at the Door County Public Health Department’s drive-through flu clinic at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station on Thursday from noon until 5 p.m. You can contact the Kewaunee County Public Health Department to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated on Tuesdays and Fridays.

 

Door County will release its second COVID-19 situation report on Thursday.

Lawn equipment going electric

The days of filling up your lawnmower or leaf blower with gasoline may soon be a thing of the past. The state of California recently passed a law banning the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment by January 1st, 2024. The hope is by converting the state’s 16.7 million small engines to electric, it could help reduce the amount of pollution emitted into the air. California is providing $30 million to help people make the switch. Lemens Hardware owner Jim Lemens does not see that happening in Wisconsin anytime soon, especially for rural landowners and landscapers who rely on larger mowers and other pieces of lawn equipment to maintain bigger parcels of land. Battery technology has improved in recent years for residential models of lawnmowers as well as trimmers and leaf blowers. Lemens suggests it may make more sense to go electric than people think.

The shift from gas to electric is already happening in some parts of the country. The Freedonia Group estimates that the electric landscaping sector is growing three times faster than gas and Stanley Black and Decker told the Associated Press earlier this year that they shipped out more than 16 million electric units in 2020, which is 75 percent more than they did in 2015.

Heating costs going up this winter

You could be spending as much as $40 more this winter to keep your home warm. Wisconsin Public Service is warning its customers that heating costs will likely be on the rise as natural gas prices have more than doubled this year, which would put it at the highest level it has seen in almost 10 years. WPS spokesperson Matt Cullen added the worldwide demand for natural gas is up and that company stocked up as the supply started to tighten. For those looking to save a few bucks this winter on their heating bill, Cullen suggests making sure your furnace is maintained and go from there.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin urged residents on Wednesday to start working with their utility companies like WPS now to make payment arrangements or apply for financial assistance now to help with their heating bills this winter. The state prohibits utility companies from disconnecting essential services between November 1st and April 15th as long as the customer has reached an agreement with their utility. We have information on how you can apply for assistance below.

 

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP)

Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA)

Sister Bay celebrating Fall Fest again

After waiting an additional year to celebrate, Sister Bay will be commemorating the 75th year of the Sister Bay Fall Festival this weekend.  Always considered the end of the tourism season for Door County, the event will be back with the Arts and Crafts Fair featuring over 100 artisans.  Sister Bay Advancement Community Coordinator Louise Howson shares the excitement of bringing back the self-proclaimed "granddaddy" of all festivals in the area.

 

 

Howson adds that Sister Bay will be offering a shuttle bus service for additional parking just outside the village. The Sister Bay Fall Festival has the parade through downtown at 11 am Saturday and the popular Ping Pong Ball Drop on Sunday at 2 pm.  Click here for the full list of events starting on Friday.  

 

(photo courtesy of Sister Bay Advancement Association)

Fall colors still peaking on the peninsula

With the fall colors peaking a little later than normal this year, you still have time to see the bright reds, oranges, and yellow leaves turning in the Door Peninsula.  According to Travel Wisconsin, as of Tuesday,  Door County is at 50 percent color with the peak projected for next week sometime.  Kewaunee County shows trees to be at 80 percent of fall color.  Jon Jarosh from Destination Door County says he believes the later leaf-peeping this year will lead to stronger tourism for late October and even early November.

 

 

Jarosh says leaf-peeping adds to the tourism activity in Door County.   He notes that all indications are showing a huge overall tourism season this year.  There is an added benefit with visitors traveling to Door County to relax and get rejuvenated by viewing while photographing the fall foliage as leaves change color in autumn. 

Gilbert named new Destination Door County president

After a nationwide search, Destination Door County has announced the selection of a new President/CEO to lead the organization.  Julie Gilbert who has been at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York for over the past seven years, will take over the position from Jon Jarosh who was the interim president after Jack Moneypenny left Destination Door County in July.

 

Gilbert has over 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry.  She most recently served as Niagara Falls USA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing.   She will step into her new position with Destination Door County on November 15 and will be at the DDC’s 2021 annual dinner meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16.  

 

(photo courtesy of Destination Niagara USA)

 

Full news release below:

 

October 13, 2021 – Door County, WI.  After a nationwide search, Destination Door County (DDC) has selected a new President/CEO to lead the organization. Julie Gilbert will bring more than 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry when she steps into the position on November 15.

 

Gilbert has spent the last seven and a half years at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York.

 

“I am incredibly excited to hit the ground running in Door County,” Gilbert said. “When I heard about this opportunity and began researching the area I was immediately intrigued. Then when I visited, I just felt so comfortable right away. The destination, the people, the businesses – everything in Door County is beautiful.”

 

Gilbert most recently served as Niagara Falls USA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, and previously served as Vice President of Marketing and Brand Management and Director of Marketing and Communications. She has also worked for the West Virginia Division of Tourism and Parks, American Society of Travel Agents, and National Park Reservations.

 

Gilbert said she plans to start building relationships on day one, drawing on her experience working with a wide variety of trade and municipal organizations for Niagara USA.

 

“My first priority is to learn everything I can about the community,” Gilbert said. “I want to meet and listen to as many business owners and residents throughout the community as I can and get to know the team at Destination Door County and learn more about the great work they do for Door County.”

 

Destination Door County underwent a painstaking process to select the right individual to lead the organization as it transitions into destination management in addition to continuing its successful marketing and promotional efforts. Working with Searchwide Global, an international executive search firm specializing in the tourism industry, DDC interviewed dozens of stakeholders, conducted an internal evaluation of operations, and convened a nine-person search committee consisting of board members and community members.

 

“Finding the right fit wasn’t an easy endeavor,” said DDC board chair Todd Trimberger, “but it was a process we had to go through to make sure we made the right choice for this organization and this community and the future of our county. And in Julie, we have the right choice. We can’t wait to introduce her to the rest of Door County and embark on our bright exciting future together.”

 

Gilbert has served as chair or as a board member of several regional and national industry organizations, including the National Travel and Tourism Association Research Board; US Travel Association IPW Advisory Group; the Foundation Research Advisory Task Force for Destinations International; Wine, Water & Wonders Corporation of New York state; and Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation.

 

The community will have an opportunity to meet Gilbert at DDC’s 2021 annual dinner meeting, scheduled for Tuesday November 16th from 5:30 – 8 PM at Fernwood Gardens Ballroom at Mr. G’s near Jacksonport. Registration for DDC’s annual meeting is available online through Nov. 5.

 

 

Kahr named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist

Luxemburg-Casco senior Samantha Kahr is one of less than one percent of high school seniors in the country that has been named a semi-finalist in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Program.  The honor recognizes individual students who have shown exceptional academic ability and success in rigorous college studies.  Kahr says she wants to study biomedical engineering with a specialization in biomechanics at either University Of Wisconsin-Madison or Marquette University.  She shares how she found out about being selected as a semi-finalist.

 

 

Kahr will have the opportunity to advance to the finalist level which will be designated in February 2022. Nearly $30 million worth of National Merit Scholarships will be offered next spring to some 7,500 scholars nationwide.  Kahr is the daughter of Kyle and Karla Kahr of Luxemburg.   

Door County Land Trust protecting high-quality forest in Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp

The Door County Land Trust is advancing the protection of an ecologically rich forest and wetland habitat within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area.  Executive Director Tom Clay informed DoorCountyDailyNews.com of the new addition last Friday and how the protection efforts had begun 17 years ago.  He says the Land Trust’s work here adds to the protection of high-quality forest and wetland habitat.

 

 

The Door County Land Trust now protects over 400 acres in the swamp.  The Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-Environmental Protection Agency grant helped fund the purchase of the property.  The long-term care of the property will be funded through a John C Bock Foundation grant that funds a portion of the Stewardship Endowment.  The Door County Land Trust will seek raising additional endowment funds to cover future care of the property.  

 

(photo of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp from above taken via drone at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp by Dan Eggert)

 

News Release below:

 

Ephraim, WI – Door County Land Trust is happy to announce the protection of ecologically rich forest and wetland habitat within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area. The addition of this protected property is an exciting step toward preserving the coastal wetlands and natural filtration abilities of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area, which significantly influences water quality in Ephraim’s Eagle Harbor.

 

Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp is one of Door County’s largest coastal wetlands. From the shores of Eagle Harbor, this wetland corridor extends across the peninsula towards Baileys Harbor. This large corridor of forest and wetlands provides migratory and breeding habitat for many species, including rare or threatened birds. Even Door County’s federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly has been found foraging for insects here.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recognizes these coastal wetlands among the most important wildlife habitat and natural landscapes in Door County. Protection of coastal wetlands like those found at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area rank as top priorities of conservation partners within the Great Lakes region. The Land Trust’s work here adds to the protection of high-quality forest and wetland habitat within this globally significant Northern Lake Michigan coastal landscape.

 

Door County Land Trust began protection efforts in Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp with a conservation easement agreement seventeen years ago. With this addition, Door County Land Trust now protects more than 400 acres in the swamp. The newly protected property lies in the central portion of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp, forming a protected corridor of high-quality forest and wildlife habitat within the swamp.

 

Door County Land Trust’s land protection director Julie Schartner said, “Large-scale conservation efforts like this one at Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp benefit everything we hold dear: the plants and animals, the beauty of the landscape, the health of our waters, and so much more. Protecting places like these is so important to the environmental health of our region overall, and is significant to our local community.”

 

Door County Land Trust thanks members and supporters for their contributions towards these conservation efforts. The purchase of this property was funded by Wisconsin’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative- Environmental Protection Agency grant. A grant from the John C. Bock foundation funds a portion of the Stewardship Endowment Fund contribution required for the long-term care of the property. Door County Land Trust seeks to raise additional endowment funds to ensure future care of the properties.

 

Contributions to Door County Land Trust will help to fund the care of these properties and future land protection opportunities. To donate and support the conservation work of the Door County Land Trust or watch stunning videos of Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural Area from the air, please visit www.DoorCountyLandTrust.org/Vision.

 

 

Local businesses coping with outage from cut fiber-optic line -- UPDATED

Area businesses that are dependent on Lumen Technologies, formerly known as CenturyLink, for internet service and phone lines, experienced an outage from early Monday morning until late Tuesday afternoon.  A cut fiber optic line in Chicago from construction work caused the outage at about 9 am Monday.  Stodola’s IGA store manager Alex Stodola says they have been able to adapt by using a terminal that works through cellular internet.  He is frustrated by the outage that is happening hundreds of miles to the south of Northeastern Wisconsin.

 

 

Bank of Luxemburg President Tim Treml says previous outages this summer have prepared the bank to implement backup plans to deal with technical problems that are outside their control.

 

 

Stodola notes that similar outages have occurred a handful of times in the past four months, but none to this extent.  Phone and internet services were finally restored in the area, at about 4:15 pm Tuesday, according to Stodola. 

Law enforcement, first responders prepare for Lights of Christmas

You’ll find the Christmas spirit with a side of cheese curds and a scoop of frozen custard next Wednesday. Door County law enforcement and first responder agencies will be teaming up for the now annual Police Lights of Christmas Campaign taking place at Culver’s locations across northeast Wisconsin, including Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay Police Officers and Door County Sheriff’s Deputies will assist Culver’s Crew Members running food to cars outside and to tables inside. Customers can then donate to the Police Lights of Christmas campaign, which provides funds for local departments to buy gift cards and other items for families in need this holiday season. Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Brandon Shew has headed up the local effort in recent years and says it is one of his favorite days of the year.

Last year, you helped Door County law enforcement raise over $2,300 for the Police Lights of Christmas campaign. You can try to beat that mark on October 20th at the Sturgeon Bay Culver’s during their regular business hours.

 

 

Christmas season earlier due to mail carrier deadlines

You will have a few days less to play Santa this year after FedEx, the United States Postal Service, and United Parcel Service released their recommendations for mailing packages in time for Christmas.

 

USPS and FedEx are telling their customers to put their packages in the mail no later than December 15th if they intend to use standard ground shipping. FedEx freight economy packages have even less time as those need to be on the truck by December 9th. UPS has not released those kinds of specifics, only telling customers they can go online to calculate the cost and the time for domestic ground shipping.

 

Bea’s Ho-Made Products Manager Jeni Tveten says December 15th is likely the date they will tell customers to make sure they have their orders in if they want to send their jams and jellies anywhere in the lower 48 states. She expects there to be no major issues but warns customers that the mail carriers have increased their shipping rates and there could still be delays if those companies do not get the help they need to stock the trucks and deliver packages.

 

Mail carriers struggled to keep up with the volume of packages sent last holiday season because the pandemic forced many families to not celebrate in person. In the year since, FedEx and USPS have planned a number of infrastructure improvements to help them meet the demand which also could be affected by other disruptions in the supply chain.

Tar spot disease lowering corn crop expectations

As the harvest for corn for grain pushes on, agronomists are urging you to check the health of your crop before bringing it in. The United States Department of Agriculture recently lowered old crop production expectations by 71 million bushels according to Farm Journal. The change was due to the prevalence of corn tar disease in Midwestern states like Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. Tar spots and rootworm were among the issues some farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties faced in their fields earlier this year with some other diseases coming as the crop quickly progressed last month. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta urges farmers to check their fields before going out to harvest.

Area farmers are just getting into their fields now to harvest high-moisture and dry corn this fall with recent weather making it a little more difficult than it was last month during the silage harvest. Barta says corn yields locally have looked so far. 

 

Picture courtesy of the Crop Protection Network

Area food pantry keeping shelves full

 

Thanks to the continued generosity of donors, Feed and Clothe My People of Door County is well stocked to help those of us in need this fall.  Executive Director Estella Huff says the donations of clothing and food have been exceptional this year.  She says the pantry is well supplied with food and that clothing is plentiful for all ages to get what they need.

 

 

Huff notes that additional volunteers are needed for an hour or two a week to help sort, organize, and stock goods and clothing.   Feed and Clothe My People of Door County is now closed on Wednesdays, with pick-up and the donation area open from 1:00 – 5:00 PM on Monday and Thursdays, Tuesdays from 10 am until 2 pm, and Fridays from noon until 2 pm.  You can still make a food pantry appointment to pick up food anytime by calling 920-743-9053.

Youth hunt teaches life-long lessons

Two young hunters had the opportunity to participate in the Wisconsin Youth Deer Hunt in Kewaunee County this past weekend and they did not disappoint.  Thirteen-year-old Trent Rueckl and 12-year-old Ethan Engum hunted with their grandfather, Dave Rueckl on family land in Stangleville and each successfully bagged a deer.  Rueckl says that the youth hunt is a great way for him to connect with his grandchildren in the outdoors while teaching them valuable lessons about hunting and when to take a shot at a deer.

 

 

Rueckl says the rewarding experience began goes back to the hunter safety courses that were taken and the sighting in of their rifles on the shooting range prior to hunting.  The youth hunt is open to boys and girls 15 years old or younger, who must be accompanied by a mentor 18 years of age or older.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website, as of October 5, 157 deer have been harvest in Door County this year, and 97 from Kewaunee County.  Statewide, 10,987 deer have been harvested with 4,678 taken by archers.

 

(photos submitted)   

 

 

Local dairy farms showcase extra value during tours

You have always been able to find dairy farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties squeeze a little more out of their operations aside from milking cows. Ebert Enterprises in Algoma, Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, Kinnard Farms in Casco, and Brey Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay are among the stops on the Professional Dairy Producers Value Added Dairy Tours on Wednesday and Thursday which will show other operators how to better diversify the products they are able to produce. Ebert Enterprises and Brey Cycle Farm have added beef production to their repertoire over the last few years while Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy continues to make their own farmstead cheese. Renewable energy production has also provided a revenue stream for operators like Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy and Kinnard Farms as well as another useful way to handle cow manure. Brey Cycle Farm owner Tony Brey says dairy farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties have always found ways to diversify their offerings as a way to weather the uncertain nature of commodity pricing.

Milk prices have fluctuated over the last few years, bringing more importance to value-added products that farmers can provide to offset months where they cannot produce a profit. Rising production costs have offset the increase in milk prices in some cases.

 

Picture courtesy of Brey Family Beef

Uncle Tom's Candy Store up for sale

You could be your own Willy Wonka north of Ellison Bay after the owners of Uncle Tom’s Candy Store announced last week they would be putting it up for sale. Heather and Jim Laughlin have owned the store for 25 years, making thousands of pounds of fudge, barks, and brittles along the way. The candy-making business has taken its toll on Heather Laughlin, who makes much of the candy she sells by hand. The hope now is that whoever buys their home that is attached to the store carries on the Uncle Tom’s tradition that started before Heather used to ride her bike there as a little girl before she eventually bought it. She says there is a lot she will miss about the store, but it is time to move on.

It is not quite goodbye yet for the Laughlins and Uncle Tom’s Candy Store. She still expects to be running the store through the holidays at the very least and could open up again next year if the house and the adjoining business do not sell.

Active cases fall off in Door County

Door County saw more cases of COVID-19 crop up over the weekend, but that was offset by the number of recoveries.

 

Fifty-two of the 164 tests given out since last Thursday came back positive. Despite that, the number of active cases went down by 12 to 465. It is the first time in weeks where the active case count actually decreased rather than increase with the number of new positive tests. The number of total ever hospitalized and deaths also held steady at 138 and 31 respectively.

 

Monday marked the first of three days this week for Door County Public Health’s drive-through flu vaccine clinics where the COVID-19 vaccine will be available. More information on those clinics can be found here. Currently, 71.6 percent of Door County residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Jacque returns to work Thursday

Albeit remote, you will still see State Senator Andre Jacque leading a committee hearing later this week.

 

It will mark the first time Senator Jacque has been heard from since his two-month battle with COVID-19. The Associated Press reports that the De Pere Republican is using a walker to get around and that his breathing is still on the mend. He will appear remotely to lead the public hearing of the Senate Committee on Human Services, Children, and Families on October 14th at 12 p.m. He is one of the authors for three of the bills listed on the agenda for Thursday’s hearing relating to access to an original impounded birth record, creating a foster parents’ bill of rights, and responses to reports relating to at-risk adults.

 

Jacque did not answer a call made by the Door County Daily News at approximately 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Algoma woman feels the love from local businesses

You will see Algoma resident Verna Clark smiling a lot more this winter after a big burden was lifted off of her shoulders on Saturday. Clark was chosen as one of this year's Lennox Feel the Love winners where deserving individuals receive a free furnace installed in their homes. Clark's old furnace was on its last legs and the cost of a new one would have challenged her finances.

Ulitmate Air Technician Dan Andres nominated Verna Clark for the free furnace through Lennox's Feel the Love Program

 

Clark was filled with joy when Ultimate Air in Luxemburg notified her that she was this year's recipient.

Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke has participated in the Feel the Love and Heat UP Wisconsin programs for the last several years. Not only do all of his employees participate, they often bring their family members to take in the festivities and have breakfast and lunch with the deserving family. Local businesses like Simonar Shell and Don's Bakery donate food and other items to the event to make it a community affair. Blemke says it is a great feeling to give back through the program every year.

Ultimate Air employees and their families help install a new furnace at the Clark home

 

Lennox accepts Feel the Love nominations year-round for the program that installs free furnaces and air conditioners across the country during the first weeks of October. If you know someone deserving, you can click on this link.

 

Pictures by Paula Shefchik

Door CANcer making a difference

An organization in Door County is making every effort to help people and families impacted by cancer every day.  With October being National Breast Awareness Month, Door CANcer President Barb Herdina says they have received nineteen applications for assistance in the past month with four having been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She emphasizes the importance of screening and early detection for breast cancer while knowing that Door County has the facilities to help.

 

 

Herdina adds that 100 percent of the donations made to Door CANcer go to help local cancer victims pay for any expenses they are incurring.  Applications should be turned in by the first of the month and are available online at Doorcancer.com.  

Salvation Army looks for Algoma recruits

You can play an important role in helping people in Algoma get through tough situations. The Salvation Army of Kewaunee County. Two of its volunteers, Jerry Guth and Brenda Stoller, are transitioning out of the role they have served for years. Guth helped organized the Kettle Campaign efforts in Algoma that collectively outpaced Luxemburg and Kewaunee combined. Taking the money that Guth helped earn, Stoller served the organization by being one of the city’s primary voucher writers. The vouchers written by Stoller and other volunteers could provide the necessary funds to keep the heat running and the lights on for a family during the holidays. Joski says Stoller and Guth are great examples for the community.

You can reach out to the Salvation Army of Kewaunee County if you would like to lend a hand or ring a bell to support local efforts.

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Typically, I would not start talking about our annual Salvation Army Kettle Campaign this early, however  we find ourselves in a bit of a predicament this year. For many years, Mr. Jerry Guth has lead the Kettle Campaign effort in the Algoma area with amazing success. His ability to solicit and coordinate bell ringers is without equal. It has not been unusual for the proceeds of Algoma’s campaign to match the combined effort of both Kewaunee and Luxemburg. This is due in large amount to Jerry’s leadership and commitment. The predicament is that Jerry would like to step back from this duty, and we now find ourselves with the challenge of finding someone willing to fill that role.

        

The good news for anyone interested in this role is that Jerry is willing to assist in the transition. The second part of the good news is that these duties are limited to the weeks leading up to the Kettle Campaign. Please consider joining this worthwhile endeavor. You will also be assisted by myself and the other members of our local Salvation Army Extension Unit.

        

Speaking of our local Salvation Army extension Unit, we have also been notified that one of our long time unit members, Brenda Stoller is also looking to transition out. Brenda has been part of our team for many years and has been the primary voucher writer in the Algoma area. This role is very rewarding and does not require a great deal of time commitment. You would be a point of contact for those who are in need of assistance, and would be providing vouchers for those needs. I have been a voucher writer for some time now, and can honestly say that my interactions with those in need have been both a humbling experience as well as a great honor in that you are the conduit through which our community’s generosity is provided to those who need it the most at a critical time in their lives.

        

Please consider joining our local Salvation Army Team. We are very proud of our ability to be there for our neighbors in their time of need, and unlike other efforts where you may not know the impact of your time, you will have the opportunity to see firsthand what a difference our community can make in a person’s life.

        

Thank you to both Brenda and Jerry for their years of service to this worthy cause. It has been a privilege and an honor to work alongside both of them in serving the needs of our community. I look forward to working with those who step forward and continue to serve the needs of our neighbors during critical times in their lives.

       

If you are interested or have any additional questions, please feel free to call me at (920)255-1100. 

Kewaunee County giving bus rides to Packer fans

The Kewaunee County chamber of commerce has an opportunity for you to ride a bus to all of the home Packer games. The bus provided by the chamber will stop at the Harbor Inn Motel in Algoma approximately 4 hours before kickoff and the  Coho Motel and Harbor Lights Lodge in Kewaunee at about 3 hours and 45 minutes before kickoff. These locations will also be the drop-off points after the bus promptly leaves one hour after the game at the Appliance Service Center, a few blocks south of Lambeau Field. Renae Schlies, the Chamber Administrative Assistant, says the goal is to allow community members to enjoy themselves during the games. Schlies also states that the program has been positively received from the community.

 

 

The bus transportation costs $25 for a round trip per person with reservations available at kewaunee.org. The Kewaunee County chamber is also looking for volunteers to be "chaperones" for the home games. Anyone who does volunteer will be gifted two free tickets for a round trip. 

 

Peninsula Symphonic Band commissions new work for 30th season

After waiting over a year to celebrate its 30th Anniversary, the Peninsula Symphonic Band is commissioning a new work for its concert band from a renowned composer.  Randall Standridge was commissioned by the Sturgeon Bay High School Band years ago to compose “Vanishing Point”.   Music Director Jason Palmer says the Peninsula Symphonic Band is planning for several performances this fall and winter before starting up again in April.  A Veterans Day performance is planned along with two holiday concerts.  Palmer says the band has been preparing in-person weekly since Labor Day.

 

 

The 55-member Peninsula Symphonic Band practices every Monday at Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay and all performances are free to the public.   You can find more information on the Peninsula Symphonic Band here. 

Midsummer's Music to host free mid-October concerts

You will be able to hear the Griffin String Quartet during October as Midsummer's Music hosts outreach concerts throughout North Eastern Wisconsin. During the shows, the quartet will showcase pieces created by Mozart and Beethoven. They will also be performing a piece by Caroline Shaw as part of Griffin's goal to include female composers within their programs. Executive director of Midsummer's Music, Allyson Fleck, says that the mid-October concerts are a part of the Griffin String Quartet's outreach initiative to include people from the community.

 

 

The programs will begin in Sturgeon Bay on October 15th, Green Bay on October 16th, and Sister Bay on October 17th. Although the concerts are a free / pay what you can event, Midsummer's Music asks that you reserve a ticket before the shows. You can reserve your free ticket at the Midsummer's Music website, or you can call to make a reservation at 920-854-7088 during regular business hours.  Along with the three main shows, the Griffin String Quartet will be doing a fourth show in October during the evening of the 16th at the igNight Market under the Mason Street bridge in Green Bay.

 

Run Wild draws big crowd

Under overcast skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, the Run Wild 2021 drew over 350 participants at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay.  The hybrid event included a 5K Run/Walk, one-fourth Marathon Run and a third-mile Smokey Bear Fun Run for little kids.  The event began at 9:30 am on Saturday and was sponsored by the Friends of Potawatomi State Park.  The race, sponsored by Nicolet Bank, included eight age categories with the run/walk route looping through Potawatomi State Park. Pat Walsh of Brookfield, Wis. won the 5K in a time of 17:44. John Hollister of Neenah won the quarter-marathon (approximately 6.5 miles) in a time of 36:18. Complete results can be found here.  

 

Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch returns with huge attendance

The traffic leading into Egg Harbor early Saturday was a good indication that the annual Pumpkin Patch Festival was back stronger than ever, after being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.  Crowds filtered their way through the downtown streets as traffic was detoured around the village for the two-day festival.  Egg Harbor Business Association Marketing and Events Coordinator Alyssa Rasmusson, who was manning the popular apparel sales tent, was pleased with the turnout and the comfortable weather conditions that greeted the attendees.  The Pumpkin Patch Festival features live music, carnival rides and other children activities, numerous vendors for food, arts & crafts.  Hundreds of people gathered overlooking the Egg Harbor Marina socializing and enjoying the festivities that will conclude around 5 pm Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Schools' referendum projects shape futures

The new features you will find at Sturgeon Bay School District buildings are expected to have a larger impact outside of its walls. The district is still finishing up some of the work approved from a $16.84 million facilities referendum in April 2020. As a result, Sunset School was closed and will soon be the site of a new housing development. Sawyer School had additions built to maximize its use. The safety, and security, and other maintenance aspects of the district's buildings were also addressed. The referendum also took aim at the career and technical education done at the middle and high school levels. Classrooms that housed the district’s woods, metals, and even consumer sciences courses were modernized and outfitted not just with a high school credit in mind, but rather the ability to get a job in the community. Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says enhancing its career and technical education programs was something the community wanted and that the area’s employees needed.

Sturgeon Bay School District is still waiting for some of its items to arrive to be installed to finish the work that also updated the building’s infrastructure and renovated some classrooms while moving others. The district hopes to be able to hold an open house where these new features can be put in the spotlight later this fall.

 

Brewery projects headline upcoming Egg Harbor Plan Commission meetings

Two different projects involving Egg Harbor breweries will be open for you to discuss at plan commission meetings in the coming days.

 

On October 12th, the plan commission will first weigh in on a Special Development District Relief Application for One Barrel Brewing Company’s taproom on Market Street.  Peter Gentry and Double Barrel Co. LLC are looking to add parking for more of its patrons on top of what was previously proposed.  A public hearing is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion’s Great Hall in person and on Zoom.

 

The next day on October 13th, the plan commission will meet once again about plans by the owners of Shipwrecked Brew Pub and Restaurant to add roughly 92 seats with an outdoor beer garden. The issue was taken up at a previous meeting that lasted nearly four hours before eventually being tabled. Businesses near the popular spot say the expansion could crunch Egg Harbor parking woes further, even with the Village Board raising its Fee in Lieu of Parking to $250 and capping the number of street spaces a business could claim at 30. The public hearing for that project is also scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion’s Great Hall in person and on Zoom. 

 

More details including pictures of the development proposals can be found here

Benefits of Strength Training

Many people think that losing muscle mass or breaking a hip are a natural part of aging. Not true!  As they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Research from back in 2004 shows that strength training helps sustain bone structure and can even reverse bone loss in older adults.  Strength training means using weights to build up your muscles.  This is easy to do with hand weights, ankle weights, or even milk jugs full of water! 

 

Joining a strength-training exercise class is a great way to make sure you DO the exercises you know you should.  Joining a class can help you be accountable and more likely to meet your goals. Lucky for you, Strong Bodies strength training classes are available for free in Kewaunee County.

 

Strong Bodies is a FREE exercise class that can help you maintain your muscles and avoid injury. Kewaunee County Extension will offer Strong Bodies classes with our local partners. Our next program will be 12 weeks long with two one-hour classes each week.  Right now, we are collecting names of interested Kewaunee residents.  If you would like to join a Strong Bodies class, please sign up at http://tiny.cc/KewauneeSB OR call Kewaunee County program assistant Erin Dahle at 920-388-7141. 

 

Listen to Yang speak about the Strong Bodies program

 

Door County Land Trust adds to Gibraltar/Ephraim swamp

A new nature preserve in Door County has expanded.  The Door County Land Trust announced this week that the Gibraltar/Ephraim swamp has added another parcel of land to the preserve.  Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says although the 400 acres are considered a swamp, it provides a very important environmental watershed. 

 

 

Clay adds that the Door County Land Trust says there are other projects down the pipeline.

Kewaunee County remains critically high activity level for COVID-19

Kewaunee County is one of seventeen counties in the state to be at a critically high level for COVID-19.  The 55 other counties, including Door County, remain at very high levels.  On Friday Kewaunee County Public Health reported 122 new cases in the past week with active cases at now at 114.  There were no new hospitalizations or deaths.  Kewaunee County Public Health Officer Cindy Kinnard says there was an increase in people getting the Pfizer COVID-19 booster this week.  She noted 175 booster shots being given with the total vaccines given out at 8,025.  Kewaunee County stands at about 47 percent of its residents being completely vaccinated for COVID-19.      

Agriscience center promotes opportunities

While checking out the vendors inside the Luxemburg-Casco gym on Sunday, the Luxemburg-Casco FFA hopes you visit where much of your support is going. Sitting next to the high school is its agriscience center, which was fully operational for the second semester of last school year.  The building offers box stalls for large animals, a greenhouse for planting vegetables, and a chicken coop. Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni President Matt Haen says the center’s aquaponics area will showcase a growing sector of agriculture.

The Luxemburg-Casco FFA and its alumni raise funds to support the agriscience center and other club activities through a number of different events, like this Sunday’s Toy, Craft, and Vendor Show. The club will host tours during the event which runs from  9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Racine County standoff prompts Door County emergency notification

They know the intent, but the Door County Emergency Management and Communications Department still does not know how many residents received an emergency notification on their cell phone earlier this week. Many Door County residents received the notification on their phone on Wednesday warning them about a critical incident in their neighborhood while advising them to shelter in place. The county’s 911 center received several calls on the issue, prompting Door County Emergency Management and Communication to tell residents to disregard the message as it was not sent by them. The notification, which was sent through the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), was meant for Racine County residents. At the same time the notification was sent, a similar message was sent there warning their residents about a standoff between federal agents and a Racine man who later shot himself after releasing several adults and children.  Emergency Management and Communications Director Dan Kane says it is still a mystery how Door County residents received the message.

Kane encourages people to keep the IPAWS Alerts active and to sign up for Door County’s emergency alerts so you can stay up-to-date as issues arise in the area. If not, you can manage your emergency alerts by toggling through your phone’s settings.

Three new COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in Door County

Door County officials are planning for next week’s slate of drive-through flu and COVID-19 vaccine clinics as numbers continue to rise in the area.

 

Thursday’s situation report showed another 62 tests come back positive which helped increase the number of active cases in the county to 477. Although the number of hospitalizations reported to the state tends to lag, Door County reported three new hospitalizations since Monday’s report. No new deaths were reported.

 

Over 71 percent of people in Door County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine with opportunities coming next week. People attending one of three drive-through flu vaccine clinics next week can also get inoculated for COVID-19 at the same time. The Door County Fairgrounds will be one of the sites next week with vaccinations being offered from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Door County Public Health will also host a similar clinic at the Sister Bay Fire Station on October 14th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The flu vaccine is $39.00 and is available to those ages 4 and up.

 

You can find more information about the drive through clinics by clicking this link.

 

Door County 

Tests Performed: 21,225 (+154)
Positive: 3,287 (+62)
Probable: 262 (+2)
Negative: 17,676 (+94)
Active: 477 (+65)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 138 (+3)
Death: 31 

 

 

Stargazing season hits the skies

The 2021 Orionid meteor showers are lighting up the night skies around the world, and you can see the phenomenon locally.  The meteors fly each year from about October 2 to November 7 and are visible as Earth passes through the stream of debris left by Comet Halley.  Door County Astronomical Society President Dave Lenius says the peak of the meteors should be this Friday.

 

 

Lenius says by using a pair of good binoculars or a small telescope, two planets are visible right now.  He notes that  Jupiter can be visible with two to four of its moons in the southern skies, along with Saturn and its rings.  The Door County Astronomical Society is planning an “International Observe the Moon Night” at the Astronomy Center on Utah Street at dusk on Saturday, October 16.  You can find details of that event here.    

Women arrested in Luxemburg child abuse case

A second arrest has been made in connection to a child abuse case in Luxemburg.  Dawn M. Jimenez, 35 of Luxemburg and the stepmother of the victim, was arrested Thursday on charges of physical abuse of a child, repeated acts intentionally causing great bodily harm, chronic neglect of a child, and causing mental harm to a child.  Jimenez is being held at the Kewaunee County Jail awaiting her bail hearing. 

 

Allen T. Finch, the father of the victim,  appeared before Judge Keith Mehn in Kewaunee County Circuit Court Thursday and is being held on a $250,000 cash bond.  Finch faces charges of physical abuse of a child, repeated acts intentionally causing great bodily harm,  chronic neglect of a child, and causing mental harm to a child.  

 

The Kewaunee  County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a Green Bay medical facility on Tuesday regarding a seven-year-old girl who had been brought in for treatment for injuries consistent with physical abuse.  The girl was in critical condition and transported to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee.  

 

Her current condition has not been updated and the investigation is continuing with help from Kewaunee County Human Services and members of the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.  

Hansons awarded Anne Kok Social Justice Award

Help of Door County brought the community together Wednesday at Martin Park to honor a Sturgeon Bay couple while holding a Domestic Violence Awareness Month walk around the city.  Executive Director Milly Gonzales presented Jon and Patti Hanson with the Anne Kok Social Justice Award prior to the walk.   She emotionally stated that the Hansons have saved lives with their generosity over the years of providing safe homes at their motels to accommodate victims of domestic abuse.

 

 

The Anne Kok Social Justice Award is presented every year by Help of Door County to people who embody Kok’s ideas of social justice, change and are champions for domestic violence advocacy. 

 

 

Shrine celebrates Peshtigo Fire, Apparition anniversaries

You can help the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion celebrate two important anniversaries this weekend. On Friday, the Champion Shrine will continue its traditional remembrance of the Peshtigo Fire. It has been 150 years since the firestorm that started in Peshtigo made its way east to burn portions of the Door Peninsula including the area near where the Champion Shrine sits today. It is believed that Adele Brise, who the Virgin Mary appeared before 12 years to the day earlier, refused to leave the Champion Shrine’s grounds. She instead gathered area people and prayed to Mary for protection. While the rest of the area around it burned, the chapel and its grounds were left unaffected. The Shrine’s Rector, Father John Broussard, says the Peshtigo Fire is just one of the many examples of miracles that have occurred there.

The Champion Shrine commemorates the Peshtigo Fire with Miracle of the Fire service at 7 p.m., which reads from a first-hand account of the event. It is proceeded by a rosary procession and all-night adoration and rosary until 7 a.m. Saturday.  Bishop David Ricken will preside over an apparition anniversary mass at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

 

Picture courtesy of National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Pfizer seeks COVID-19 vaccine approval for kids

Your kids could be eligible to get their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine if the Food and Drug Administration approves Pfizer’s request later this month.

 

The drugmaker asked the U.S. government on Thursday to allow for kids ages 5-11 to get the vaccine under emergency authorization. The Associated Press reports the dose is one-third of the amount those above the age of 12 receive but could help kids develop the same immunity as those after their second dose. CDC data shows that kids ages 5-11 have the lowest hospitalization rates among all kids at 24 per 100,000 and fatality rates are extremely low, but the American Academy of Pediatrics says the case numbers are skyrocketing because of the highly contagious Delta variant.

 

The FDA will likely not make a decision until an independent expert panel debates the evidence on October 26th. 

Kitchens hopes education bills generate discussion

Cursive and civics homework could be in your child’s backpack in the near future if a pair of bills are signed into law. The Wisconsin Assembly passed the bills requiring public and private schools to teach cursive and incorporate a civics curriculum passed largely along partisan lines. Another bill banning anti-racism and anti-sexism studies and training was also passed, but Rep. Joel Kitchens says he knows that one will likely be vetoed by Governor Tony Evers. With all three bills, he hopes a conversation can at least be held with students, parents, and teachers.

One bill that was not included in last week’s legislative action was Assembly Bill 446, which would replace the current assessment strategy with a three-tiered approach for students in 4K through second grade. The hope is by assessing literacy more often, they could prevent more kids from falling behind in their reading skills. Kitchens believes that the bill will come up in the next session where he hopes to have more bipartisan support. Baileys Harbor resident Kari Baumann testified in favor of the bill in front of the Senate Committee on Education earlier this week.

Open House caps off 4-H Week in Kewaunee County

You can get a taste of what 4-H is all about this Saturday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg.  In addition to making crafts, learning about animals, and participating in science experiments, families can learn about Kewaunee County’s 13 clubs and their project groups.  4-H and other youth organizations are seeing a little bit of a rebound after the pandemic forced them to host virtual meetings instead of doing more traditional hands-on activities. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says Saturday’s open house is a celebration of what makes 4-H great.

Saturday’s open house, which coincides with the final day of National 4-H Week, runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and it is free to attend. The organization will honor its members, teen leaders, adult volunteers, and community partners at its annual banquet on October 23rd. 

Salmon begin their trip to Besadny

You will be able to catch the full life cycle of a salmon unfold before your eyes at the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility in Kewaunee. After beginning the spawning run a few weeks ago, the first Chinook salmon are arriving at the facility as they make the six-mile journey from the Great Lakes.  After making their way into one of the six collection ponds, the fish are moved to the processing center where they are spawned and harvested. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Fishery Technician Austin Gabrielse says Mother Nature is playing a role in the spawning run taking a little bit longer than usual.

Staff members expect to see the Coho salmon early next month and the brown trout to arrive in December before the water ices over. Although there will be no open house this year, the C.D. “Buzz” Besadny Anadromous Fisheries Facility does invite visitors to check out the fish spawning on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the months of October, November, and December.

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Police search for hit and run suspect

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department needs your help finding a motorist who seriously injured a female pedestrian Wednesday morning.  Officers responded to the incident during the early morning hours on South Lansing Avenue near West Spruce Street where the woman was struck. The accident did not cause much damage to the vehicle itself as very few parts were found by officers investigating the scene. The woman was seriously injured and was transported to a Green Bay hospital. The Sturgeon Bay Police Department is hoping a home security system was able to catch the incident unfold. If you have any information regarding the incident, you can call the Sturgeon Bay Police Department at 920-746-2450.

UPDATE: Sturgeon Bay bridge reopened after semi-truck accident

The city of Sturgeon Bay was down to two operating bridges as the Michigan Street Bridge for almost four hours after a semi-truck accident.

 

Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash said just before 3:45 p.m. that the DOT had completed its inspection and that the bridge was safe to travel on. The bridge may have to be closed in the future for repairs.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash stated in a news release that shortly before noon on Wednesday, a semi-truck struck some of the overhead support structure near the angle braces of the bridge. There was also some oil leakage on the west side of the bridge after the semi-truck exited onto Madison Avenue. 

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be inspecting the damage and will make a recommendation on the Michigan Street Bridge status. 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department posted that they are hopeful that the closure will only last for several hours.  The bridge sidewalk remains open for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. 

 

FROM THE DOT

Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay to reopen by 4:30 p.m. today

Bridge safe for travel following vehicle strike to overhead member structures

 

(Sturgeon Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces the Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay, Door County will REOPEN to traffic by 4:30 p.m., today, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. WisDOT closed the bridge following a vehicle strike this afternoon from a southbound vehicle that hit multiple members of the overhead structure.

 

Northeast Region bridge engineers conducted an initial inspection of bridge component parts and damage and deemed the bridge safe for all vehicle and pedestrian travel.

 

WisDOT Bureau of Structures and bridge engineers are in the process of developing plans to repair the overhead members damaged by the vehicle. The repair scope, schedule and costs have not been determined at this point. WisDOT will release repair information following further investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

YMCA brings back after-school program

After being put on hold earlier this year, the after-school kids club program at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay is returning.  Amy Gamble, marketing director, says the children are able to be bussed directly from the Sturgeon Bay schools to the YMCA Lansing Avenue Center.  She notes that the program designed for children five to 12 years old, packs in many activities over a brief time.

 

 

Gamble adds that the Door County YMCA is looking for kids club teachers to help with the program.  You can find out more information on the after-school kids club program here. 

 

(photo courtesy of Door County YMCA)  

Luxemburg man arrested for child abuse, 7-year-old girl hospitalized

A seven-year-old girl from Luxemburg is unconscious and in critical condition in a Milwaukee hospital and her father has been arrested.   The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department received a call on Tuesday afternoon from a Green Bay medical facility about the girl being treated with injuries that were consistent with physical abuse.  The child was subsequently transported to Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee for treatment.  The 33-year-old father, Alan T. Finch, was charged with Reckless Physical Abuse of a Child and may face additional charges.    

 

The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, and Kewaunee County Human Services along with the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation are continuing the investigation.

Manure causes vehicle fire in Naseweupee

A vehicle fire caused by dried manure on the underbody of the car was extinguished quickly Tuesday night in Nasewaupee.  The Southern Door Fire Department responded shortly before 7 pm to County Road MM just north of Highway 57.  Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the vehicle’s driver was notified by other people who pulled up next to him to inform him of the smoke billowing from under his car.

 

 

Olson says no injuries were reported and the midsize Sports Utility Vehicle was towed away from the scene with the extent of the damages unknown.  He adds that it is a good reminder to make sure your vehicle’s undercarriage is free of any debris before driving anywhere.         

Mayor teases Kwik Trip progress in short meeting

One of the shortest meeting agendas for the Sturgeon Bay Common Council in some time made way for Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman to take center stage on a presentation for National Fire Prevention Week.  Highlighting the importance of knowing fire safety precautions and what to do in case of a fire, Dietman and his department’s mascot, “Sparky the fire dog”,  gave out fire hats and fire safety news literature to Mayor David Ward and councilmembers.  In the only business outside of consent agenda items, the council passed a first reading ordinance of the repeal ad recreation of the Local Arts Board.  City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout gave a status update of the housing projects currently underway in the city.

 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting concluded after 17 minutes with Mayor David Ward stating that more news about the two Kwik Trip stores coming to Sturgeon Bay will be available at the next Plan Commission meeting on October 20. 

Fall Archaeological Dig harvests unique artifacts

The story of the Native Americans and the early European settlers who lived in Sturgeon Bay centuries ago is being further discovered this week.  The Fall Archaeological Dig is being conducted at Crossroads at Big Creek and The Cove Preserve through Friday.  Dr. Bob Jeske, professor emeritus at U.W. -Milwaukee, and Emily Rux, Archaeologist-in-residence at Crossroads, have been sifting through the grounds at the nature preserve finding artifacts that date back as far as 1,000 years ago  Rux explains how the dig started a few years ago after some surface finds were discovered. 

 

 

 

Dr. Jeske believes the current dig area was a multi-seasonal camp that was settled.  Items found will go to a lab for carbon dating which will help determine the exact age of the artifacts.  The dig on Monday netted pieces of a ceramic pottery jar, tools, deer bone and fish vertebrates.  In May, Dr. Jeske and Rux discovered a bone harpoon point along with larger diamond-shaped ceramic pieces during a dig. 

Vandenhouten experiences successful Gun Deer Hunt for Disabled

A Luxemburg resident and college student had the opportunity to harvest a trophy buck this past weekend during Wisconsin’s DNR Gun deer hunt for hunters with disabilities.  Madison Vandenhouten, a 2018 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco and a freshman at UW Stevens Point, participated and bagged an eight-point buck on Saturday at the sponsoring Luxemburg Sportsman Club.  Vandenhouten says the organization did a great job in helping her pursue her passion for hunting.

 

 

Vandenhouten, 21, hunted Saturday with her uncle, who introduced her to the sport when she was 12 years old.  She has been unable to hunt for the past five years due to medical issues that affect her balance.  Madison shot the deer about 70 yards across the river and received help from Luxemburg Sportsman Club members to field dress the buck that fell about 30 yards from her stand.  The Luxemburg Sportsman Club is one of 90 sponsors in Wisconsin for the gun hunt for hunters with disabilities program

(photos contributed)

Pickleball players, city serve up ace with new courts

There is plenty of space for you to give the sport of pickleball a try at Sturgeon Bay’s Sunset Park. Players took a quick 15-minute intermission from their morning games while the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Door County Pickleball Club dedicated the new court complex on Tuesday morning. The complex includes seven courts for games, a practice wall, lights, and even loaner equipment for pickleball players to hone their skills. It has been a labor of love for Door County Pickleball Ambassador Jay Renstrom who has been working on getting outdoor courts in the city since 2017. Seeing the finished product last week and sneaking in a game or two before today’s ceremony, Renstrom says was almost enough to bring tears to his eyes.

Both Renstrom and Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward thanked city officials and the community for helping complete the project.  The Door County Pickleball Club hopes to host a tournament and offer lessons at the site in the future.

 

 

At-home test useful in COVID fight

The fight against COVID-19 in your community could start in your medicine cabinet. Earlier this month, the Biden Administration announced it would be spending $2 billion on rapid testing to be distributed to food banks, prisons, shelters, and community health centers so more people can get tested and get their results quickly. They also announced they would be asking large retailers to sell the at-home tests at costs for the next three months as Delta variant continues to spread throughout the area. Since that announcement and the mandate that employees at businesses with more than 100 people either get vaccinated or be subject to more testing, the at-home tests have been harder the find. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise says the rapid tests, which detect the proteins from the virus that causes COVID-19, work well if you have symptoms but it should not be treated as the gold standard.

Door County Medical Center recently added more equipment to process the PCR tests, which are considered to be more accurate than the rapid tests, faster. Unlike earlier in the pandemic when it would take days to get results, now most people who get tested can find out if they are positive or negative with a PCR test within 24 hours.

Facebook outage impacts businesses, law enforcement efforts

Whether you were searching for a new product or a missing person, Monday’s outage of Facebook services had an impact on almost everybody. A day after whistleblower Frances Haugen came clean on some of Facebook’s business practices, the social media giant and two of its subsidiaries, WhatsApp and Instagram, experienced a service outage that lasted six to eight hours on Monday. Facebook officials have since apologized with its Vice President of Infrastructure Santosh Janardhan blaming the outage on configuration changes on its backbone routers that caused a chain reaction to affect its data centers. For close to 200 million small businesses around the world, that meant not being able to communicate with customers. For law enforcement agencies like the Door County Sheriff’s Department, it means having to go through another layer to get important information like yesterday’s missing person report out to people. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says social media is an effective way for them to share information with the public but says it can be a double-edged sword.

As of 8:30 a.m., Sofiya J. Ackerman was still missing from her Baileys Harbor home. She was last seen at her residence on Sunday. It is believed that she left on her own and it is not known where she was planning to go. Any information about Ackerman and her whereabouts should be shared with the Door County Sheriff’s Department at 920-746-2416.

Sturgeon Bay's new "Thrills and Chills" coming October 30

An annual Halloween event in downtown Sturgeon Bay will have a new look for the end of the month.  Destination Sturgeon Bay has expanded the old “Thrills on Third” celebration to include wider participation in the city with more activities, rebranding it “Thrills and Chills”.  Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says the family-friendly event will expand well beyond Third Avenue this year.

 

 

“Thrills and Chills” will start with a costume parade at 10 am on Saturday, October 30 on Third Avenue.  Destination Sturgeon Bay is also sponsoring a scavenger hunt that kicked off last Friday where their mascot “Simon” is hiding out in costume at 25 different businesses throughout Sturgeon Bay. You can pick up the scavenger hunt map and other information at the offices of Destination Sturgeon Bay on South Third Avenue. 

 

(Photo courtesy of Destination Sturgeon Bay)

Baileys Harbor teen missing -- UPDATED girl found safe

The Door County Sheriff's Office reports that Ackerman has been located and is safe.  

 

 

(original story from Monday)

 

The Door County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance in finding a 16-year old girl from Baileys Harbor.  Sofiya J. Ackerman was last seen at her home in Baileys Harbor on Sunday evening.   Door County Sheriff Deputy Pat McCarty says signs are that Ackerman left her on her own accord since she tried concealing her leaving from her parents.

 

 

Anyone will any information regarding Sofiya J. Ackerman should contact the Door County Communication Center at 920-746-2416.  

Kewaunee County author to speak about her book on the Peshtigo fire

With the 150th anniversary of the Peshtigo Fire in 1871 approaching, you will be able to hear a Kewaunee County historian speak at an Author Talk to raise awareness about her book that details the impact of the fire in Kewaunee County. Virginia Johnson has felt the effects of the fire upon her life from her grandmother’s loss of her sister shortly after the fire. After hearing about the fire her whole life, she decided to write her newest book titled, “When the Night Rained Fire: October 8, 1871, Kewaunee County and the Great Fire” which details the aftermath of the fire in Kewaunee County. While speaking with Johnson, she described the positives from the fire that are also included in the book.

 

 

Her book is available for purchase at the Yardstick bookstore in Algoma, the Algoma Public Library, and the Belgian Historical Center. Part of the proceeds from the book will go to the Belgian Historical Center and the Algoma Library’s local history and genealogy endowment. You can hear Virginia speak about her book on October 8th at 1 pm in the City Hall Council Chambers. 

 

(photos courtesy of Algoma Public Library and Peshtigo Fire Museum)

Supply chain woes aid repair shops

Keeping your car well maintained will keep you on the road and out of the repair shop where long waits could be lurking. The shortages of labor and automotive parts are causing new cars to sit on the assembly line and older ones to sit on repair decks.  Sahs Auto and Collision Center owner Randy Sahs says some automakers like General Motors and Toyota are in better shape than others when it comes to parts shortages. The shortage of microchips needed to run important components of new vehicles has forced the dealerships’ inventory to dry up and used car prices to jump. As a result, more people are bringing in their cars for repairs to keep them going for longer than they otherwise would have. Sahs says they are also seeing insurance companies offer more money for repairs on older vehicles because of the new and used car markets.

With no firm timeline on when the supply chain might get back to normal, Sahs advises car owners to do what they can to keep their vehicles operating safely for as long as possible.

No new COVID hospitalizations or deaths in Door County

Door County saw another influx of new COVID-19 positive tests over the weekend, but it also saw a fair number of recoveries. Of the 195 COVID-19 tests administered since last Thursday’s situation report, 62 of them came back positive. Despite the influx of positive tests, the number of active cases only increased by two to 412. There were no new deaths or hospitalizations reported since the last report was released.

 

The Door County Public Health Department will have its usual Wednesday afternoon vaccine clinic from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The COVID-19 vaccine will also be available at the department’s five drive-through and three in-building flu clinics throughout the county, including this Thursday at the Washington Island Airport from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Door County 

Tests Performed: 21,071 (+195)
Positive: 3,229 (+62)
Probable: 260
Negative: 17,582 (+133)
Active: 412 (+2)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 135
Death: 31 

 

NOTE: Some of the numbers may lag compared to what is currently happening locally

Baileys Harbor in search of new supervisor

You can throw your name in to become a town supervisor in Baileys Harbor. The town put out the call for a new supervisor after Jake Erickson resigned from the post at the town’s special meeting on September 28th. People interested in filling the seat would do so only for the next few months since Erickson’s term expires this April. Anyone wanting to continue past that point would have to run for reelection. You can email your interest in the role to the town administrator until October 8th. The town board will then nominate someone to the board at its meeting on October 11th. 

Florists battle supply and pricing challenges

The short supply of specialty flowers is a factor in the increasing cost of floral arrangements you may be ordering in the future.  Todd Maas, owner of Maas Floral and Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay, says that the supply issue with flowers began earlier this summer.  He says nationally a lot of roses are grown from Holland and Ecuador, as more United States growers have decided not to wholesale roses.

 

 

Maas notes that his staff has to be more selective in putting together floral arrangements and that he has already sold out of all fall mums for the season already.  

Sturgeon Bay looking to add Local Arts Board

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will be meeting Tuesday, after the Committee of the Whole deliberates on the budget for 2022 Monday.  The relatively light agenda has only piece of new business with the city council voting on the first reading of an ordinance to repeal and recreate the Local Arts Board.  The proposed ordinance would have the board appointed by the mayor and evaluate any works of art placed on City property.  The new Local Arts Board would also make recommendations to the Parks and Recs Committee as well as serve in a design review capacity.  Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting will start at 6 pm at City Hall in the Council Chambers.

You can read the agenda here

 

The Committee of the Whole meeting is at 4 pm Monday in the Community Room.

You can read that agenda here

 

 

Food pantry needs growing

Food pantries in Door and Kewaunee counties need your help to keep their shelves stocked.  A CNBC report from last year showed 40 percent of Americans experienced food insecurity at the height of the pandemic. Federal programs like the Farmers to Families food boxes helped fill the need for a while, but traffic at pantries has picked up as those programs have expired. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says that is especially true at Door County’s 24-hour food pantries.

You can help out local food pantries by donating money to the Door County Food Pantry Coalition or by dropping off items at sites across the county. Thrivent will be hosting a food drive on October 13th to support the Door County Food Pantry Coalition at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Egg Harbor readies for the return of Pumpkin Patch Festival

The Pumpkin Patch Festival is back this year after a one-year hiatus, and it will feature some of the favorite past activities next weekend.  Village of Egg Harbor Administrator Megan Sawyer says the community is excited to have the fun-filled weekend return for locals and tourists alike.

 

 

The Pumpkin Patch Festival includes live music, carnival rides, arts & crafts vendors, face painting, pumpkin and scarecrow displays, kids games, food, and more.  The dog-friendly event will be held in Egg Harbor from 10 am until 5 pm on October 9th and 10th.  You can feature your pet at Pumpkin Patch Festival by uploading a photo online at bringfido.com.

Layaway still popular with some retailers

Although a major national retail chain has chosen to discontinue its layaway policy, some local stores still see the service's advantages.  Walmart has ended its layaway service by going with the buy-now, pay later trend.  Jeff Rueckl, co-owner of McMahons of Luxemburg, says his customers are still utilizing the shop now and get it delivered later, especially with planning for the upcoming holidays.

 

 

Rueckl notes that supply chain issues with furniture have been challenging the past year for special orders, but carrying a deep inventory of reclining chairs has softened the blow.  Contrary to some backorders for products, mattresses from factories can be delivered in-store within one week, Rueckl says.

Investing in a volatile stock market

When it comes to investing in the stock market, a Sturgeon Bay investment associate recommends that you implement a steady, long-term approach no matter the volatility of the market.  On September 2nd, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high of 35,443.82.  Since then the market has dropped to under 34,000 as of this past Thursday.  Casey St. Henry of Thrivent Financial in Sturgeon Bay says if you invest in the stock market, you should follow the fundamentals and think about the long-term.

 

 

St. Henry says people should not have knee-jerk reactions to the stock market at any given time and always seek professional advice to stay on track with their financial priorities.

Local libraries providing information on "banned books"

The last week in September has been deemed Banned Books Week by the American Library Association; because of this, you may see libraries displaying books in their collection that have been challenged or banned in other locations. Local libraries have been showing which books have been banned throughout the week of September 26th. Community Relations Library Assistant of the Door County Library, Morgan Mann, says that with the support of the American Library Association they were able to spread the word about books that patrons may not know are “banned” or challenged

Similarly, Algoma’s library has had its challenged books on display for library-goers. Cathy Kolbeck, director of the Algoma library, says their showing of banned books raises some questions from library patrons.

 

Door County Sheriff's Department introduces Citizen's Academy

If you have ever wondered what it is like to be a Door County Sheriff’s Deputy, your time is coming. The Door County Sheriff’s Department announced on Friday it would be hosting its first citizen’s academy beginning on October 21st. The 10-week program uses deputies and other members of the department as instructors to give Door County residents an up-close look at how it operates. It will be hands-on as it explores topics like jail operations, narcotics enforcement, use of force decision-making, and 911/dispatch procedures.

 

Police Standards Captain Carl Waterstreet hopes residents learn a lot from the experience.

The academy will meet every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. except for Thanksgiving and it is free to sign-up for the first 10 people. Residents must be at least 18 years and be able to pass a background check. The program is similar to those already be used in the cities of Merrill, Madison, Wausau, and Watertown.

County Health Departments pushing booster shots

If you are eligible, the health departments in Door and Kewaunee counties hope you consider getting a booster shot to better protect yourself against COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration gave the ok last week for a wider number of people who have already received the Pfizer vaccine to get the booster shot after initially approving only the immunocompromised to get it. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services supported that recommendation earlier this week. People above the age of 65 and those facing certain occupational hazards are encouraged to get their third shot six months after receiving their second dose. The reason behind the booster was spelled out on Thursday when state health officials shared evidence showing that immunity from the virus is weakening over time. Door County Public Health Officer Sue Power says the response has been strong since it began offering the extra dose to more people.

There has been no word yet on when similar approvals will be made for those who received the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You can call Door County Public Health to schedule your booster dose for their usual Wednesday offering or during their upcoming flu vaccine clinics that begin on October 7th on Washington Island before coming to the Door County Fairgrounds on October 11th and October 12th. You can also call Kewaunee County Public Health to schedule your appointment.

Olson excited to show off progress with conservation efforts

Olson Family Farm in Sturgeon Bay is showing you can be in business a long time and still try something different. The nearly 150-year-old dairy farm has slowly been adding cover crops to its annual routine over the past few years. Broadcast spreading cover crops in the past, this marked the first year they added interseeding to the mix, planting turnips and radishes mixed with oats into its winter wheat field. A mix of clover and ryegrass, two common cover crops, were also planted in between the farm’s rows of corn. Co-owner Rich Olson recently joined Peninsula Pride Farms to learn more about how farmers can help improve water quality and soil conservation within their own operations. He says it has been a learning experience.

Olson Family Farm will be the location of the next Peninsula Pride Farms Conservation Conversation on October 6th beginning at 5 p.m.

 

Picture courtesy of Olson Family Farm

 

Listen to the full conversation here

Opportunities abound in the manufacturing industry

Your future in manufacturing does not necessarily mean working inside a factory. Dozens took part in the county-wide manufacturing day public tours on Friday that were organized by the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Therm-Tron-X, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, and Wire Tech were just some of the businesses that welcomed dozens of visitors to give them a taste of what happens behind their walls. It was part of the larger Door County Manufacturing Expo, which featured tours of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay campuses and a stop by the Department of Workforce Development’s Mobile Career Lab on Friday. Director of Business Development Julie Schmelzer says there are plenty of opportunities that are available in manufacturing that have nothing to do with machinery.

The DCEDC will be celebrating manufacturing all month long with trading cards sharing facts about different businesses and career paths and discounted beer for local laborers. Manufacturing is the biggest job sector in the state, representing approximately 20 percent of the state’s economy.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Economic Development Corporation

 

 

Woman rescued from Lake Michigan near Algoma

A 50-year-old woman is in stable condition at Door County Medical Center after being rescued from the waters of Lake Michigan near Algoma Friday morning. Area fishermen spotted the woman approximately a quarter-mile from the shoreline. When the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department was notified at 10:10 a.m., the woman was reportedly suffering from hypothermia. She was brought to shore at Algoma Harbor where she was later transported to the hospital. It is not believed there are other victims, but the incident is under investigation by the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department and the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation. The United States Coast Guard, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Algoma Police Department, and the Algoma Public Works Department assisted with the call. We will have more information on this incident as it becomes available. 

Getting out of an abusive relationship – National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Help of Door County is reaching out to victims of domestic abuse that may feel there is no place to turn. Milly Gonzales, executive director of Help of Door County, says deciding to remove oneself from an abusive relationship can be challenging for those victimized, especially when children are involved. Gonzales advises victims not to hesitate to get out of an abusive situation immediately.

 

 

Gonzales says victims will need to consult an attorney, but that Help of Door County advocates are available 24/7 to help with safety plans and moving forward. She says family court will ultimately determine custody afterward. Still, it is vital to contact Help of Door County, who can assist in getting family restraining orders to deal with threats. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. 

Algoma erects new Christmas tree sculpture on lakefront

You will be able to see a new addition to the Algoma waterfront harbor this fall.  A Christmas tree sculpture was erected this week at the Christmas Tree Ship Point.  Algoma Parks and Recreation  Director Sara Robertson says the steel structure was made by Shawn Olson and donated by Bruce and Chris Steinhagen and it is a perfect addition to the rich maritime history of Algoma.  She shares the story of the Christmas tree schooners that delivered trees to Milwaukee and Chicago more than one hundred years ago.

 

 

Robertson adds the harsh environment prevented any real trees from growing in the area of Christmas Tree Ship Point.  Plans are being made for a special ceremony after benches and a sign is placed near the new Christmas tree sculpture. 

 

photos couresy of Algoma Youth Club/Parks & Recs Department

Dueling election maps plans hit Madison

Despite what happened in Madison this week, Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says you are still likely to see redistricting in the state done by the courts. Earlier this week, Republican lawmakers from both chambers approved Senate Joint Resolution 63 which is calling for minimal changes to be made to the district maps that were last redrawn in 2011. The People’s Maps Commission created by Governor Tony Evers released their proposals on Friday to redraw the Assembly, Senate, and Congressional district lines. A Wisconsin State Journal analysis shows that even the new lines would not necessarily flip the majorities in favor of the Democrats. Heck maintains that it is unlikely the Democratic Governor and the Republican-held legislature will find a compromise before the issue comes before the courts.

The People’s Maps Commission is taking online feedback on their proposals until October 7th. Speaker Robin Vos is also taking input on district maps online until October 15th.

Locals take in World Dairy Expo

In addition to cows, you will find plenty of connections to Door and Kewaunee counties at this year’s World Dairy Expo in Madison. The annual showcase of all things dairy returned to the Alliant Energy Center after a year away. Several local exhibitors have taken part in the dairy shows with Casco’s Khloe Kinnard, the Brey family of Sturgeon Bay, the Dolphin family of Luxemburg, Nolan Lambrecht of Kewaunee, and the Boeder family all having animals finish in the top 10 of their class. It has been a great experience for Moriah Brey from Brey Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay, who calls the World Dairy Expo the best week of the year. She and other family members are working behind the scenes at the event she has been attending ever since she was a young girl.

World Dairy Expo continues through Saturday with workshops, lectures, and other events happening throughout the complex. You can see how local exhibitors do at the World Dairy Expo by clicking this link.

 

Pictures from Luxemburg-Casco FFA

 

Door County Medical Center to build new Sister Bay facility

A retail pharmacy, an enlarged gym, and possibly a golf rehab space will be some of the things you will find at a new medical facility being planned in Sister Bay. Door County Medical Center received preliminary approval for the new clinic and rehab services facility from the Sister Bay Plan Commission that will be located near Highway 57 and Canterbury Lane. When completed, the building will offer enough space for five full-time clinicians and other rotating specialists to serve the needs of the Northern Door community. Door County Medical Center currently operates facilities in Fish Creek and near the Scandia Village complex in Sister Bay. President and CEO Brian Stephens says Northern Door is the fastest-growing market for clinic and rehab services in Door County Medical Center’s service area. It took two years to get to this point and Stephens is happy the investment is being made.

The plan commission’s blessing allows Door County Medical Center to prepare the site for when they can begin construction in earnest next year pending Sister Bay Village Board approval. Staff from the Fish Creek and Sister Bay locations will be relocated to the new space when construction is completed in November 2022.

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