News Archives for 2021-11

Meet the New Destination Door County CEO this Thursday

You can visit with the new CEO of Destination Door County, Julie Gilbert, this Thursday at a special event.  The conversation over coffee will be held at Skip Stone Coffee in Sister Bay from 8:30 until 10 am. Taking over the leadership role at Destination Door County on November 15, Gilbert brings 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry, including most recently as Niagara Falls USA’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing for seven-years.  Before that, Gilbert worked for the West Virginia Division of Tourism and Parks, the American Society of Travel Agents, and National Park Reservations.  

Police asking for help from witnesses of reckless driver

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department issued a public bulletin Tuesday asking for help from people who called 911 to report a reckless driver from last Friday.  The reckless driver drove from Kewaunee County and continued through Sturgeon Bay on Highway 42/57.  He forced other drivers to take evasive action to avoid colliding with his vehicle.  The Sturgeon Bay Police bulletin reports that the driver was spotted east of the Bayview Bridge at about 5:37 pm last Friday.  One caller to 911 stated the suspect drove a blue Dodge Ram pickup truck and forced one driver to go into the ditch to avoid a crash.  If you are one of the people who called in or you witnessed the reckless driver last Friday, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department is asking you to call them.  

 

 

Giving Back to Humanity offers new musical release

Door County musicians are teaming up to help families that are experiencing hardships due to serious illnesses.  Hans Christian of Studio 330 and singer/songwriter Holly Olm organized a fundraising campaign Giving Back to Humanity last year and are collaborating with guest artists George Sawyn and Claire Morkin on the release of “I Will Follow” to benefit the Go Bo Foundation.  Christian says the new song was written by Olm and has a message of reassurance to those feeling alone or overwhelmed by life’s challenges.

 

 

The song “I Will Follow” became available Monday online through streaming services with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the GoBo Foundation.  Named after Bo Johnson of Sister Bay, the foundation was organized in 2012 after Bo passed away from a rare form of Leukemia at the age of 12.   You can find the link to the song "I Will Follow..." here.       

 

 


Health officials brace for Omicron variant

Getting vaccinated and continuing other mitigation strategies may be your best shot in protecting yourself from the coronavirus’ newest variant.

 

The Omicron variant is popping up in countries around the world including five confirmed cases in Canada as of Tuesday morning. With many of the cases linked to trips to African nations, more than 70 countries including the United States have issued temporary travel restrictions to parts of the continent like South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. President Joe Biden said on Monday that the Omicron variant was a cause for concern, but not for panic due to the lack of information scientists have on it. Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers says this is just what viruses do.

Powers is encouraged by the response to their vaccine clinics over the last few weeks, especially for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. She also warns that hospitals in the region are getting overwhelmed not just because of treating patients for COVID-19, but for other reasons as well.

Ephraim, Baileys Harbor, and Fish Creek set to welcome the holidays

You will have another opportunity to explore northern Door County while celebrating the holidays this weekend. Baileys Harbor, Fish Creek, and Ephraim will all host special events to welcome the Christmas season on Saturday.

 

Harbor Holiday in Baileys Harbor begins at 10 a.m. with a winter farm market at the town hall before a holiday parade steps off at 6 p.m. You’ll be able to greet Santa, his elves, and reindeer while drinking hot cocoa and singing a carol or two ahead of the tree lighting at Kendall Park.

 

Santa will be in Ephraim ahead of that visit during the “Christmas in the Village” celebration beginning at 10 a.m. Ephraim Tourism Administrator Lane Methner says there are plenty of activities for families to participate in during the event, including a visit by Santa to the village’s Olson and Harborside parks in the late afternoon.

The Gibraltar Historical Society will light its Christmas tree in front of the Alexander Noble House in Fish Creek at 5 p.m.   

Gibraltar moves forward with 4K plans

You can potentially enroll your children into 4K at Gibraltar Area Schools as soon as next school year. The Gibraltar Area School Board gave preliminary approval to move forward with a 4K pilot program for the 2022-2023 school year. The decision allows Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer to continue planning the pilot while the financial impact and curriculum details of the program are determined. Van Meer said earlier this month that they have been working with other area early education providers to find a solution that works for everyone.

Research shows that children participating in programs like 4K are more likely to complete school, avoid remedial classes, and experience high levels of achievement in high school. Final approval for the 4K pilot program at Gibraltar could be granted as soon as the board’s December 13th meeting.


Michigan Street Bridge to close next week

Drivers in Sturgeon Bay will have to find another route to cross the channel other than the Michigan Street Bridge starting next Monday for two weeks.  The bridge will be closed next Monday through Friday and again December 13 to December 17 as maintenance crews repair damaged structures leading to the bridge.  The Michigan Street Bridge was damaged in early October when a semi-truck struck its support structure.  The bridge will be open to traffic on weekends while repairs are being made over the two-week period.  Drivers should use the Oregon/Maple Bridge or the Bayview Bridge during the closure.     

 

 

Wis-DOT press release is below.

 

(Sturgeon Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces the Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay, Door County, will be closed to vehicle traffic from Monday morning, Dec. 6 to Friday evening, Dec. 10, and again from Monday, Dec. 13 to Friday, Dec. 17. Crews are repairing damaged overhead structures leading to the bridge.

 

Traffic impacts – Michigan Street Bridge

Week of December 6 and week of December 13, 2021:

Bridge maintenance crews will repair damaged structures leading to bridge.

Bridge CLOSED to vehicle and pedestrian traffic Monday, Dec. 6 through Friday, Dec. 10. This is a continuous closure. Bridge will open for the weekend from Friday evening through Sunday night.

Bridge will remain open to marine traffic.

Bridge CLOSED to vehicle and pedestrian traffic Monday, Dec. 13 to Friday, Dec. 17. This is a continuous closure.

Bridge will remain open to marine traffic.

Crews may finish repairs earlier than scheduled depending on weather and conditions.

Traffic to use Oregon/Maple Bridge or Bayview Bridge during closure.

 

Two weeks in February 2022 (TBD):

Bridge crews will replace/repair damaged overhead members on the lift span of the bridge. The lift span beam members are no longer available due to age of structure. Replacement parts must be designed and fabricated. The actual dates will depend on completion of fabricated replacement members.

The bridge will be CLOSED to marine traffic.

The bridge will be CLOSED to vehicle traffic

Traffic to use Oregon/Maple Bridge or Bayview Bridge during closure.

A vehicle strike damaged overhead structures leading to the bridge and on the lift span of the bridge in October this of this year. Repairs are needed to preserve the long-term life of the bridge. The structure is safe for travel. Bridge investigation shows no immediate safety concern for the traveling public or marine vessels.

 

For more state highway maintenance information, please see the Northeast Region maintenance website at  https://projects.511wi.gov/maintain-ne/schedule/

 

 

Town of Sevastopol holding public hearing on ATVs on town roads

Residents of the Town of Sevastopol will have the chance to voice their opinion on proposed ATV/UTV use on town roads.  A public hearing will be held at 5:30 pm next Tuesday, December 7 at the Sevastopol Town Hall to provide information and allow public comments, concerns, and questions to operate ATVs and UTVs on Sevastopol roads.  If you cannot attend the meeting, you can submit your comments and concerns to Town Clerk Amy Flok at office@twonofsevastopol.com.  Currently, Door County has about 60 miles of ATV/UTV routes with the majority of those trail routes in the Southern Door communities of Brussels, Union, Gardner, and Nasewaupee.    

Slippery conditions predicted for Monday afternoon commute

You will be able to celebrate Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day while on the move on Monday as another snow system is expected to develop. The National Weather Service issued the special weather statement just before 10 a.m. on Monday for a large portion of the state including Door and Kewaunee counties. Light to moderate snow is expected to develop throughout the day with up to three inches of snow likely in some parts of northeast Wisconsin. Hazardous travel conditions are anticipated because of the snow-covered roads and reduced visibilities. Door County Dispatch received six calls for cars in ditches on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., which coincided with the area’s first significant snowfall.


BUG Fire receives $198K grant

A grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will give the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department a breath of fresh air as they replace aging equipment. The department was awarded a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant in the amount of $198,895.24 to replace its self-contained breathing apparatus. It means new air bottles and custom-fit face masks that will get them compliant with current safety standards.  BUG Fire Department Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the combination of grants like this and its fundraising efforts allow them to stretch the taxpayer dollar.

Vandertie thanks the community for their ongoing support as all the money earned goes right back into the department’s operations.

Hospital proactive against preventable diseases amid COVID

Door County Medical Center’s forward-thinking may have protected your children against diseases not commonly seen due to vaccines.

 

One of those diseases is measles, which the World Health Organization and the United States Centers for Disease Control report that even though cases went down in 2020, the number of those unvaccinated against it went up. The CDC suggests that is because it was underreported after the world saw the number of measles cases rise between 2017 and 2019. More than 22 million infants missed their first dose of the measles vaccine last year, which was the largest increase seen by researchers in nearly two decades.

 

While some hospitals across the country fear they cannot catch up on routine immunizations for kids quick enough due to a backlog of appointments and a focus on getting kids vaccinated against COVID-19, that is not the case locally. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise credits pediatrician Dr. Amy Fogarty with a plan to keep kids in check at a time when they were trying to limit who was coming into the hospital.

He also credits the team for making getting the COVID-19 vaccine for kids a little more enjoyable by playing Disney movies and distributing cookies and slime in the waiting area. 

 

Sevastopol Elementary masks up; COVID hospitalizations rise

As the number of cases of COVID-19 in Door County took off over the weekend, the masks went back on at Sevastopol Elementary School.

 

As of Sunday, there were 12 active positive cases among the students and staff at the district with another two on quarantine due to cases. It marks the second time the district has instituted a masking requirement for its elementary school children this school year. It instituted a masking requirement for 4K-6th grade students in the middle of September before making them optional again in late October. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke said the decision was made because of the uptick in cases at the elementary school and an added precaution coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday. He said they will re-evaluate the decision at the end of the week.

 

The rest of Door County has seen a decrease in active cases according to the most recent situation update from the public health department. Out of 158 tests performed, 45 came back positive for COVID-19. The number of active cases did go down by 25 to 314. Nine more people were hospitalized and no new deaths were reported, though those numbers could lag based on the information they receive from the state.

 

Door County Public Health has a number of vaccine clinics scheduled in the coming weeks as they begin distributing the second doses for kids on December 1st and 3rd in Sturgeon Bay and first doses on Washington Island on December 2nd and in Sister Bay on December 8th. The department will also host a clinic for COVID-19 and flu vaccines in Sturgeon Bay on December 9th.


Crossroads "Night of Wonder" returns for a second year

This year you have a chance to participate in the Crossroads at Big Creek "Night of Wonder," where you can walk their trails while they are lit by candlelight. Crossroads program director, Coggin Herringa, described the creation of this tradition during a challenging time.

 

 

Out on the candlelit trails, you might not be able to see much, but you will be able to hear the sounds of nature surrounding you. Last year, people on the trail heard animals rustling in the forest and birds and owls in the trees. The luminaries will lead you along one of Crossroads trails for a half-mile loop walk. You can join Crossroads at Big Creek December 5th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm for their second "Night of Wonder." All ages are welcome, and it is entirely free of charge, with no pre-registration required. If the weather is not permitting on the 5th, Crossroads has added a weather date of December 12th.

Kewaunee County "Giving For Sara" Drive back for another year

The food & hygiene drive program that started in Kewaunee County nine years ago has returned for the 2021 holiday season. The program was created after the Aging Services Unit Director for Kewaunee County, Sara Malay, passed away after a car crash while at work. Since then, every December, the Kewaunee Public Health Department has put on the “Giving for Sara” food and hygiene drive in her honor. Cindy Kinnard, the Public Health Director, details what you can do to get involved and the impact she has seen from the community in the last nine years.

 

 

If you would like to donate non-perishable foods, the Public Health Department suggests canned chicken or tuna (packed in water), canned fruit (packed in water or fruit juice), healthy cereal, granola bars. As for hygiene products, they suggest shampoo, conditioner, diapers, deodorant, or baby wipes. The health department urges those donating to check the “Best by:” label on any item, as expired items can not be accepted.

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Community Spotlight: Baileys Harbor's Kari Baumann

Baileys Harbor’s Kari Baumann started her march towards Madison because of her son Grady, but she has pulled along many other kids and their families along the way. The journey started well before she sat in front of the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education earlier this fall.  After struggling to get the help her son needed so he could read better as he fought dyslexia, she spent thousands of dollars and 18 weeks in Illinois to get him a little bit closer to where he needed to be.  She could have stopped there, but she did not. Her work with Decoding Dyslexia-Wisconsin and other reading advocacy groups led to progress across the state. Governor Tony Evers approved a measure developing a dyslexia guidebook to provide guidance for students, teachers, and parents trying to get a handle on the challenge. School districts have changed their approach to teaching reading as a result. This month, Gov. Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 446 and Senate Bill 454 which would have provided more tools to help identify students dealing with poor reading abilities and a road map on how to get them back on track. Baumann is frustrated it did not pass, but she is happy with the change she has been able to foster through her work.

Baumann hopes her journey with Grady helps more parents have the courage to ask questions and become more involved in their children’s education. You can listen to our full interview with Baumann at this link.

Kewaunee High School FBLA volunteering in the community

Kewaunee High School FBLA volunteering in the community

 

The Kewaunee High school Future Business Leaders’s mission is to help prepare students for their future by providing them with opportunities to learn skills like leadership, communication, networking and service. A big part of the National Future Business Leaders of America is teaching students to help their community through community service projects. Kewaunee’s chapter is participating in two of these projects through the holiday season. With the first project, the students in the FBLA group received letters that second graders from the district wrote to Santa about what they want for Christmas. The FBLA members then took that letter and wrote the student back as an elf, answering their letter and questions about the North Pole. The second community service opportunity for the FBLA students is to participate in the Shop with a Cop program in Kewaunee County. The students will go with the police officer and the child in need to help them pick out presents for their family and wrap them. The FBLA group at Kewaunee has participated in these two events for many years, and they will continue to do so in the future.

 

Churches hope attendance continues to increase

If it has been a while since you last went to church, your pastor would like to see you again soon. Church attendance was trickling downward even ahead of the pandemic, but the Wall Street Journal reports that in-person worship is still 30 to 50 percent lower than it was before COVID-19 shut down sanctuaries for weeks. Many parishes like St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg and Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Casco connected with its members by playing mass over Facebook. As it weaned away from those offerings weeks ago, attendance has returned to about 85 percent of where it was pre-pandemic. Pastor Dan Schuster says they continue to worship together as safely as they can and work even harder to keep its parishes’ young families engaged with the church.

Schuster hopes that something as simple as their upcoming photo directory will help bring people back to church to see what they have been missing out on over the last several months.

Door County Imagination Library reaches 1,100 children

Door County Imagination Library reaches 1,100 children


Since the Door County Imagination Library program first sent out books to their subscribers in 2019, the number of kids reached has grown exponentially. The program provides a free book every month to children from birth through age five who are registered with the program. The books received by the child are age-appropriate and something the child will enjoy. The Imagination Library is a program within the Door County Partnership for Children and Families, from United Way of Door County. Chad Welch, the Imagination Library coordinator, says the response seen from the community since the beginning of the program has been highly positive.

 

 

Although the program is reaching many children within Door County, there is still room for more. If you are interested in registering your child for this program, you can find a paper registration form at the United Way office or, you can sign your child up through the Door County Parents website. You then have the option to take a short pre-registration survey before being led to the registration page. After you fill out the registration form, you will begin to receive books by the second month after completion. If you are interested in more information or making a donation you can reach Chad Welch at chad@unitedwaydc.com.

Red poinsettia plant popularity continues to grow

As you prepare to decorate around the home for the holidays after the Thanksgiving Day holiday, be aware the exotic plant that has become synonymous with Christmas over the years is still in heavy demand.  Larry Maas from Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says the red poinsettia is still the color of choice, despite the growing interest in blue and multi-dyed plants.

 

 

Maas recommends that Poinsettia plants thrive with natural light for up to six hours a day, regular watering, and to keep them away from direct heat that will cause drying out.  He says appropriately cared for poinsettias can live well beyond the holidays and well into the New Year.  Maas notes that other plants to decorate around the home include the Jerusalem cherry and Christmas cactus that don’t bloom very long but are incredibly showy.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Door County Libraries hosting holiday fun

The libraries in Door County have many things planned for you to participate in during the holiday season. With the eight different library branches that reach throughout Door County, five of them hold their own festive activities, while others are still taking part in activities available in all locations. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant for the Door County Libraries, describes the holiday book sale that they have been planning all year that is taking place at the Sturgeon Bay library.

 

 

Along with the three-day book sale, you can also enjoy many crafts all month long, like Reverse Painted Snowman Plate at the Egg Harbor Library and the Christmas Stocking Grab-n-Go Craft Pickup at the Forestville Library. The libraries also have many activities that aren’t holiday-themed throughout December. All events hosted at this time are in-person events, but if you are uncomfortable with attending in person, some of the activities are streamed online. A complete list of December events can be found on the Door County Library website here.

Help United Way create a quilt of services

Why should I give to United Way?  I already give to my favorite nonprofit.  

 

Think of your favorite nonprofit as a quilt square.  United Way grants dollars to nearly 30 nonprofit organizations whose mission is to help people with their basic needs, education, healthy lifestyles and financial stability.  Each of these organizations is a quilt square.

 

If someone goes to one of those quilt squares for help, chances are that they also need help from one or more of the other quilt squares. A gift to United Way makes sure that all of those quilt squares are sewn together and connected to make a nice warm quilt that we can wrap around the person who is seeking help for themselves or their family.

 

The nonprofits that make up these quilt squares take the time to talk to guests to make sure that all of their needs are being met, not just the one that they came in about.  They will make the referrals and help their guests access the resources that represent that quilt. Typically, it is not just a ride, or the cost of childcare, or mental health resources that a guest needs.  They need at least two or more squares to help them during a challenging time. 

 

This year, we hope that you will make your charitable contribution to help over one third of our Door County who might need that quilt of services during 2022.  Thank you.

 

COVID vaccines are not the only vaccine to stay up to date on

Although COVID-19 has been the virus on everyone’s mind these past two years,  it is important to remember that the Influenza virus is still circulating throughout the area. The fall and winter seasons are typically flu season, with flu activity peaking from December to February; however, active flu cases can still occur throughout the rest of the year. Lori Notz, an Infection Prevention RN with Bellin Health systems, explains why an influenza vaccination benefits you and those around you.

 

 

The Influenza vaccine is available to everyone that is six months or older. You can receive the vaccine anywhere that has Bellin primary care and at their community sites that include fast care locations and their community clinic in Ashwaubenon. The flu vaccine is free of charge to all within the Bellin Health systems. Other places to receive the flu shot in Door and Kewaunee counties include Door County Medical Center, Prevea Health, Door and Kewaunee Public Health and some CVS and Walgreens locations. Notz urges you to practice safe responses when you are not feeling well, whether you have the vaccine or not. That includes staying home when you are sick, washing your hands regularly, and practicing social distancing and masking if you are not feeling well.

 

YMCA Dance sessions planning recital

A session of dance offered for children through the Door County YMCA since September will be offering a special recital for all the participants on December 15.  The recital will be held at the Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay and include five and six-year-old ballet and tap performers.  Traditional and hip-hop dancers of all levels will also perform.  Door County YMCA dance instructor Amber Novotny says the performances will include costumes with some fun added in.

 

 

The dance program will start up again in January for the spring recital.  You can find out more information about the dance programs offered by the Door County YMCA here.

Local winter advisory with more snow possible along the lakeshore

This morning the National Weather Service out of Green Bay issued a winter weather advisory for Door County. The advisory is in effect from 7am Saturday to 9pm Saturday and includes towns of Fish Creek, Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay. Snow is expected with 3 to 4 inches forecasted, however more snow may accumulate as the day continues. Plan for snow covered roads that may become slippery. If you are travelling, slow down and take caution while driving, also allow extra time before needing to be at your destination. Although Kewaunee County is not currently under a winter weather advisory, it is included in the hazardous weather outlook that is issued for most of north central, and northeastern Wisconsin. The National Weather Service still urges those in Kewaunee County to be cautious on the roads that may become dangerous. More updates will follow as needed. 

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

 

Two-vehicle accident closes STH 42 near Fish Creek

The Door County Sheriff's Department is reminding you that 'tis the season for slippery roads after a two-vehicle accident this morning.

 

The accident took place on the section of State Highway 42 known as "Fish Creek Hill." No injuries were reported. The Door County Sheriff's Department estimates the road will be reopened at approximately 8:30-8:45 a.m. The Door County Highway Department is heading to the area to apply sand and salt to the roadway, especially the main hills and curves.

 

Snow is expected in Door County throughout the day on Saturday with one to three inches is expected. 

Sevastopol Elementary students honor veterans

The Sevastopol elementary school's program "Community of Caring" benefited local veterans during the school year's first quarter. Through the program, each grade level is responsible for a different section of the community to support. In the first quarter of the year, students in the elementary grades participated in a Penny War to raise funds for the local VFW post 3088. During a penny war, different homerooms compete by bringing in pennies for positive points and silver coins to count against opposing homerooms' scores. In the school, two teams worked on getting points and taking points away from the other team to create a little friendly competition. After the competition was over and all of the coins were counted, the school raised $1111.11 for the post. The amount of money raised was intentional to recognize Veterans day on 11/11. Students from Sevastopol elementary presented Bill Graf, a quartermaster for the VFW post 3088, a check for the money raised. The funds raised from their collected coins will go towards projects that support local veterans suffering from the effects of war, like PTSD.

Manufacturers feeling employment, inflation woes

You will find plenty of work to do simply by walking into one of the local manufacturers in Door and Kewaunee counties. Manufacturers nationwide added over 60,000 jobs last month as more facilities go back to full capacity. The problem for many in the business is just finding the people to fill those roles. NEW Industries owner Chris Moore says they are over 40 people short of what is needed to keep up with their base business. It has meant turning down additional business in order to keep their quality high and investing millions of dollars into new equipment to make up for the loss of production. Coupled with high inflation that is making raw materials harder and more expensive to get, Moore says he has never seen anything like this.

It is a great time to get a job in manufacturing. Many businesses are offering the highest wages they have ever offered along with increasing other benefits along the way. Moore credits relationships with local schools as one way they hope tto get kids interested in a career in manufacturing.

COVID-19 still highly active in Kewaunee County

With the weekly COVID-19 report from Kewaunee County it showed the new cases outweighed the recoveries. Out of the 196 tests completed, 106 came back positive for the coronavirus. Along with the high number of positive tests, the number of active cases increased by 31 from 77 to 108. The numbers show that out of last week’s 77 active cases, 75 of those people are considered to be completely recovered, leaving two that are still active cases. No deaths or hospitalizations were reported for this past week.

Deer hides continue make big impact on state's youth

The hide from your harvested deer can go further than you think thanks to the efforts of local Lions Clubs in Door and Kewaunee counties. Otherwise discarded, Wisconsin Lions Clubs collect the deer hides before sending them overseas to be tanned in preparation for their next life as gloves and other leather items. Even the tails are used as some manufacturers use them as a part of fishing lures. The deer hides turn into approximately $80,000, which is then used to help run the Wisconsin Lions Club Camp in Rosholt. The Kewaunee Lions Club collects approximately 800 to 900 hides each year to donate to the program. Lions Club Treasurer John Mastalir says it makes him happy to see the high number of hides come in knowing the opportunities it is providing kids.

You can drop off your hides at locations in Sturgeon Bay, Forestville, Brussels, Kewaunee, and Washington Island until the beginning of January.

KCEDC launches buy local incentive program

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation wants you to remember your area code before you head to do your Christmas shopping this year.

 

The organization is calling on residents to commit to the “920 Pledge.” That means spending at least $20 at nine different Kewaunee County businesses during the holiday season. According to SustainableConnections.org, up to 90 percent of net new jobs in the United States are created by locally owned businesses. For every $100 you spend, $68 stays in the community when you shop local compared to $43 when going with a national chain. KCEDC Board Member Ryan Hoffmann says there are even more reasons to shop local this year.

You can also get paid to shop locally in Kewaunee County. The KCEDC is offering $180 to one lucky shopper for keeping their 920 Pledge.

Jacksonport celebrates Thanksgiving with 25th annual parade

If you were in Jacksonport on Thanksgiving Day, you might have seen floats making their way down Highway 57. This year marked the 25th Thanksgiving Day parade after last year’s COVID cancellation. This year the lineup had multiple floats and entries. Community members assembled outside of Island Fever, where the parade entries were announced as they went by, to enjoy the entirety of the parade. The town continued its tradition of helping a resident in need and a non-profit, with donations benefiting the Door of Life Food Pantry in Sister Bay. Proceeds also went to the family of Kim Burns, a Baileys Harbor emergency responder who suffered a stroke in March of this year. Throughout the parade, community volunteers walked along the way with buckets for donations. With the nature of the route being a loop, people stayed and toughed out the cold, snowy weather to see the parade twice.

 

United Way sharing gratitude to community

United Way of Door County is extremely thankful for the Door County community.  During 2020, you stepped up and demonstrated the spirit of Door County with gifts of time, talent, and voice. Your generosity amazed us and allowed us to invest more than ever into the non-profits that focus on helping people who are on occasion struggling.  With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, we want to thank everyone who has continued to support us during 2021.  We are currently in the middle of our 2021 annual campaign, with a goal of $775,000.  We are currently at 48% of that goal.  Thank you to our donors and volunteers who have made this possible. We are hopeful that those of you who can give, will before the end of the year to help us help one-third of Door County residents who need the help of our partner agencies, who we are also grateful for.

Charitable giving a way to impact your community and earn tax deductions

Greetings!  The S&P 500 has hit a new all-time high more than 50 times this year. The good news is that there is a way for you to avoid some capital-gains taxes, earn a substantial tax deduction and do a tremendous amount of good for the community you love: Consider using some of your highly appreciated stock to “bunch” several years’ worth of charitable gifts through a Donor Advised Fund at your local community foundation.

 

Let’s look at these pieces individually before seeing how they can work well together for your tax benefit.

 

First, when you donate publicly traded stock to a 501(c)(3) public charity, you generally avoid the capital-gains taxes that you would have owed Uncle Sam, and the charity doesn’t pay them either. Almost like magic, those taxes disappear, thereby allowing the entire value of your donated stock to support the charities you love.  

 

Further, as the donor, you can normally claim a charitable tax deduction of the fair market value of the stock. That’s why donating highly appreciated stock is one of the most tax-efficient ways to give. You get the double benefit of avoiding capital-gains taxes and earning a tax deduction.

 

Second, “bunching” is a tax-planning tool in which you take the standard deduction during most years and bunch all of your deductions into a single year during which you claim a substantial itemized deduction. 

 

Learn more by reading the rest of the column "Maximizing Your Charitable Deduction..."

Staying safe this holiday season

All of the plugs you put into outlets over the next several weeks could put you in line for a visit from your local fire department. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that more than half of all Christmas tree fires between 2015 and 2019 were started because of electrical distribution or lighting equipment. One in five fires involving home decorations during the course of the year takes place during the month of December. That does not even include the nearly 25,000 fires caused every year by space heaters placed inside of homes during the cold, winter months. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says there are some things you can do to keep your home safe this holiday season.

The Ephraim Fire Department keeps track of its fire calls during the holiday season with a wreath. The goal is to keep the wreath green the entire season, with red lights representing local structure fires and green lights representing no incidents. Ephraim’s wreath has remained green each of the last six years. 

Community Spotlight: Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht did not realize it would take 30 years before he would undertake one of the biggest volunteer efforts Door County has ever seen. It was shortly after the pandemic began taking its toll on the community, shutting down businesses and schools while forcing the area’s most vulnerable to stay indoors at risk of catching COVID-19, that the Door County Fire Chiefs Association and the Door County Emergency Support Coalition were born. Men and women seen fighting fires and saving lives were doing simple tasks like picking up groceries, checking on family members, and even just talking on the phone. The jobs would later shift to helping at testing and vaccination sites and passing out food boxes to families in need. After he and his wife Liz received the Sister Bay Advancement Association Volunteers of the Year Award last month, he was quick to point out that he did not do it alone.

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. Hecht’s next undertaking will be helping the community never forget its first responders. After helping lead efforts to install commemorative brick pavers at the grounds of the Liberty Grove Historical Society, he is assisting efforts to launch an oral history project for the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department.

 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly labeled the site of the brick pavers for first responders at the Sister Bay Historical Society when it is actually at the Liberty Grove Historical Society grounds in Ellison Bay. Door County Daily News regrets this error.

Keeping gratitude in mind

As we recognize Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to take stock in all that we should be grateful for. It could be the amazing and supportive people we are surrounded by every day or the positive events we experience whether as a result of our own efforts or maybe for no explainable reason at all. Even if you find yourself in challenging circumstances or surrounded by people who are less than supportive, there is still cause for gratitude. You may just have to dig a little deeper or search a bit harder, but it is there.

            

If you are challenged by a work environment that you feel takes you for granted, take the time to share with those around you how grateful you are to have them in your life, even if for no other reason than they motivate you to pursue other exciting career opportunities. If you have had a rough financial year, be grateful that you have weathered the storm this far and use that challenge to look at things differently and possibly re-align some priorities. Maybe you have even lost a loved one recently and question what there is to be grateful for. Be grateful that they were in your life and cherish the memories you made together. Also, take this experience of loss to be even more grateful for those still here and never take a moment for granted.

            

To fully realize the potential that gratitude has in improving our mental well being there are two components which are essential. The first is the ability to see the good through the negative, or for that matter to see the good in the good. We have to literally train ourselves to be mindful of the miracles that surround us each and every day. The second is to share that sense of gratitude with those around us. If you are grateful for that amazing spouse, friend or family member, make sure to tell them. They may be struggling with a sense of being taken for granted and a simple gesture of appreciation could change their whole perspective. Maybe you are surrounded by people who are always looking for the bad in any given event. Break away from that mindset and be the person who can always find the good in the moment. Just as negativity can be contagious, so too can gratitude catch on and over time change your immediate surroundings.

           

As amazing as Gratitude is on its own, it’s only the beginning. A natural product of Gratitude is Optimism, and Optimism is in fact a mental wellbeing powerhouse! A person’s ability to create, sustain and channel Optimism is scientifically proven to benefit everything from our immune system to our quality of sleep. It gives us the ability to endure the challenges in our life, and come away from traumatic events with our spirit intact. When shared it can change societies, and conquer oppression. It is the common characteristic of most great leaders throughout history, and has changed the course of human events on more than one occasion.

              

So this Thanksgiving, during all of your gatherings and visits, make sure to take the time to share what and who you are grateful for in your life, and hold onto that gratitude for the other 364 days of year. Along the way, you may find yourself appreciating the little things that so many miss!

More Reasons than you think to Give Thanks

It was two years ago on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving that the paperwork was signed to complete the sale and start a new career path for me and since then a lot has transpired: rebranding of stations, launching of new brands, building of new friendships and of course, a global pandemic. During that time I have come to appreciate the staff of NEW Radio more than I thought possible.  I’m thankful for the way things unfolded because it brought out resilience in this team that I believe is unmatched in the industry. I’ve also seen this in our community which I’m proud to call home.


I want to thank the staff over the past two years for their dedication to our new process and their ability to adapt to the changing environment around them. It wasn’t always easy and we aren’t “done” yet. It’s time that you get to know a little more about everyone who makes NEW Radio and the Door County Daily News possible. 


I want to thank Tim Kowols for his outstanding work ethic, willingness to step in and do what it takes to make the company successful, plus he has a very entertaining sense of humor. 


Thank you to Paul Schmitt for working tirelessly to improve every day while always being one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Paul is a staple of the Door County Daily News and L-C Sports.


Thank you to Shelly Lau who always has the best interest of this company in mind. She will always go the extra mile to make people happy and has become a key person on one of our newest stations.


Reece Robillard came to us through an apprenticeship program from Southern Door High School and now plays a major part of our everyday operations.  I want to thank him for his willingness to learn and grow with the responsibilities that he has with us. 


Michael Cater is the newest addition to the sales team and I’m thankful for his knowledge of the area coupled with his passion to help clients, I see him being extremely successful with sales and with NEW Radio. 


I’m extremely thankful for Sara Miller, who came to us from the Apprenticeship Program and WIPPS. She is a senior at Kewaunee High School and has been an important part of the News team along with numerous other roles she handles around the office. Sara will accomplish great things with her career.


Lee Peek is someone who is responsible for the majority of the music you hear on our stations and I am thankful for his experience and passion for this industry. We sound great because of him. 


Thank you to Larry Stevens for being a steady and reliable voice for everyone, including me. With his years of service, he brings a sense of familiarity, we are lucky to have him as a part of the team. 


Don Clark is someone who I am grateful for as he provides not only guidance on everyone’s favorite station in this area, he has helped improve the quality of this company. 


There are many others that I need  to thank including all that have been involved with Sports Broadcasting like Matt Piesler (L-C),  Peter Kerwin (SB Soccer), Matt Frea (SD), Jacob Nate (Gibraltar), Jeremy Paszczak (SB Soccer/SD), Tyler Thrune L-C Volleyball and others that step in with NEW Radio Sports Network. Thank you for bringing these broadcasts to life. 


I need to thank the community for being welcoming and understanding. I have been all around this country and I’m proud to now call Door County my home. 


Finally, I have to say thank you to my family who have shown their support but I want to take a moment to thank someone who has supported me the entire time I have owned NEW Radio. She has put up with long hours that start before the sun comes up, after it sets and a lot of weekends. She has been a calming voice more often than she knows and she even helps out with roles inside the company. Thank you to my fiancée, Tami.

 
As you can see, there’s a lot that I have to be grateful for and I’m asking that we all take some time over the next few days and reflect over what we have to be thankful for. Say “Thank you” to those around you, I know that I don’t do it enough and as someone who is supported by more good people than I ever thought possible, I will start doing that more. 
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

Thanksgiving in the little things in 2021

2021 has been a year rediscovering so much of what we lost in 2020.

 

Things we took for granted before March 2020 I have met with new enthusiasm over the last seven months since people my age were first eligible for the vaccine.

 

I’m blessed to have an amazing wife, two special girls, and countless friends and family members, something that became even more obvious when I tested positive for COVID-19 and had to spend last Christmas tucked away in my bedroom. I’m thankful for the businesses, news sources, and other individuals I have come to know over my seven-plus years on the job here for their trust and for their friendship as we navigate the challenges the pandemic continues to throw at us.

 

However, it is the things I never thought I would have to worry about missing that I am exceptionally thankful for this year. I never thought I’d get emotional walking into Lambeau Field, Ryan Field, or Wrigley Field this fall after going there dozens of times before, only to be locked out for over 18 months. June marked my first in-person marathon since October 2019, something I do multiple times a year otherwise. I loved seeing kids show animals and projects at the county fairs in Luxemburg and Sturgeon Bay for the first time since July 2019, even if I do not completely understand what I’m looking at.

 

I, like many, probably thought that as sure as God made green apples that we would be able to do those types of activities for as long as we were still alive, willing, and able. It was not until the last 18 months or so that we realized how wrong we were and how much we’d miss those things until they were taken from us, no matter if it was right or wrong or how temporary it may have been. There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to rediscover many of those things again.

Thanksgiving every day of the year

Thursday may be the official day we celebrate Thanksgiving, but I, for one, find myself feeling blessed and thankful every day I have on earth.

The past year is one I have reflected on more so than ever.

Having turned 60 years old, this past Tuesday reminds me that our presence on this planet comes with an expiration date that only God knows.

There is so much we need to be thankful for, and I could not be more grateful to my family, friends, co-workers, and community members who are part of my daily life.

Family becomes more and more important to your life as time goes by.   I am so lucky to have a great wife, three terrific children, and one adorable grandchild, Henry, with another on the way next March.
 
Over my 29-year career in media broadcasting in Door and Kewaunee counties, I can thank all of you for keeping me connected to the great place we call home in Sturgeon Bay.

I look forward to the future and the opportunities that await all of us.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family this Thursday.....and every day hereafter!

Venison processors keeping busy

Your success in the woods is keeping those tasked with turning your deer into something delicious busy. Hunters in Door and Kewaunee counties harvested over 1,700 deer before the gun season even started. That helped lead some processors like Konop Meats in Stangelville to stop taking new wild game orders until after January 1st. The owners of Door County Custom Meats in Sturgeon Bay told WGBA-TV in Green Bay they were experiencing a record gun hunting weekend with the number of deer brought to their Sturgeon Bay facility. Zach Marchant from Marchant’s Meats and Sausage in Sturgeon Bay says they have seen more deer already this year, especially three-and-half-year-old bucks destined to be mounted on the walls of hunters.  Salmon’s Meats retail manager Pam Grovogel says they received boneless venison from over 30 hunters within hours of them opening their doors on Monday.

Summer sausage, hot sticks, jerky, and bacon are some of the popular items being produced from harvested deer. The deer you harvest can also do even more good than just filling up your freezer. Later this week, you will learn more about the deer donation program in Wisconsin that has sent more than 3.8 million pounds of venison to local food pantries. You will also learn how even the hide of your deer can help send kids to the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt.

Expressing "Gratitude" can help with your happiness

There is a direct link between happiness and showing gratitude. Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says gratitude is a thankful appreciation of what you have and what you receive. He says even people who have experienced a loss of a loved one, a job, or a relationship can still find joy in focusing on what they have and genuinely appreciating it.

 

 

Dr. White adds that studies of the psychology of happiness consistently show that the ability to be aware of and express our gratitude is a major component. Thanksgiving is an opportune time to express your gratitude to your loved ones.  

Door County 4-H brings back Children's Christmas Store

After a year away, your kids will once again have a chance to shop for Christmas presents with a little help from the elves of Door County 4-H clubs. The pandemic forced Door County 4-H to cancel the local tradition, offering instead to do take-home kits so kids could make their own Christmas gifts at home. This will be a return to normal where 4-H members escort kids to shop from items donated by local businesses and organizations. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn VandeVoort says even though the event raises money for the organization, the impact it has on both the 4-H members and the kids that visit goes beyond that.

The Door County 4-H Children’s Christmas Store will take place Saturday at the Junior Fair building inside the Door County Fairgrounds in Sturgeon Bay from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Food Pantries benefit from deer hunters and "Hunt for the Hungry"

Local meat processors are busy preparing deer taken during the nine-day gun season including venison donated through the Hunt for the Hungry program. Hunters have the opportunity to give the deer they’ve bagged to stock local food pantries.  Lakeshore Community Action Program (CAP) and Feed and Clothe My People in Sturgeon Bay will distribute hundreds of pounds of venison to families in need.  You can donate your deer for the Hunt for the Hungry program at meat processors in Door and Kewaunee counties.  DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha shares the locations you can drop off your deer for processing that will ultimately help families that utilize food pantries in the area.  

 

Turkey dinner foods still in good supply locally

If you are still looking to pick up a traditional turkey for Thanksgiving dinner this week, you should be able to find what you need locally.  Overcoming supply chain challenges this year, local grocers have been able to keep up with the demand for Thanksgiving dinner for the most part.  According to Market Research Firm IRI, nationally, 60 percent of turkeys were out of stock at the end of October.  Mike Mauer, meat manager at Stodola's IGA in Luxemburg says his department has been able to keep up with the demand for turkeys of all sizes.

 

 

Tadych’s Econo Foods Store Manager Jon Calhoun in Sturgeon Bay says the store still has a good supply of small to medium turkeys as of Tuesday afternoon.  According to USDA data, wholesale frozen turkeys weighing 16 pounds or less cost on average $1.41 a pound currently, up 23 percent from last year. 

 

Deer Harvest down, two firearm-involved hunting accidents in Door County

The deer kill numbers for the 2021 Deer Hunt are lower so far and Door County had two of the reported three gun-related accidents in the state.  The overall harvest of deer was down 14 percent statewide as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released the numbers from the opening weekend of gun deer hunting.

 

In Door County, a total of 1106 were harvested with 607 of those being antlered and 499 antlerless.  Kewaunee County had 806 deer registered with 376 bucks and 430 antlerless.   As of midnight Sunday, sales of gun deer licenses were at 551,809.  The year-to-date sales for deer licenses are down 1.5 % from last year at this time. 

 

On opening morning at 6:45 Saturday, a 40-year-old man in the town of Brussels suffered a self-inflicted wound to the left pinky on his hand.  The man placed his hand over the muzzle of the gun after pulling the hammer back on his firearm.  After being struck by the bullet, the man sought medical attention and was later released. 

 

The other accident occurred on Sunday morning at about 7 am when a 45-year-old man was hunting from his residence when he shot a deer.  He attempted to unload his firearm and accidentally discharged it inside the house and struck a 10-year-old boy in the leg who was in another room.  The boy was transported to the hospital for treatment. 

 

The regular gun deer season continues through Sunday.  You can read the complete opening weekend report by the DNR below. 

 

 

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources today announced the preliminary deer harvest and license sale totals for the opening weekend of the state’s 170th gun deer season.

The regular gun deer season continues through Nov. 28, followed by the statewide muzzleloader season (Nov. 29 – Dec. 8), the statewide antlerless-only four-day season (Dec. 9-12) and antlerless holiday hunts in 36 counties. 

Wisconsin continues to be a destination location for hunting white-tailed deer. People of all ages, genders and races search out the great public and private land hunting opportunities across the state to pursue deer, make memories and to put a sustainable protein source on their table.

Be sure to follow the DNR on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share your experiences and for more updates, photos and stories throughout the gun deer season.

Preliminary License Sales Data

Preliminary figures indicate that the number of deer hunters in Wisconsin decreased compared to 2020.

As of midnight Sunday, Nov. 21, sales for gun, bow, crossbow, sports and patron licenses reached 795,039. Of that total, 551,809 were for gun privileges only, including gun, patron and sports licenses. The year-to-date sales for all deer licenses are down 1.5% from the same time last year.

The number of non-resident licenses increased this year.

Of the total licenses sold, 60% were sold online, and 40% were sold by DNR license agents, which includes private businesses across the state.

Final license sales figures will be available in January, at which time DNR staff will perform a thorough analysis and interpretation.

 

Preliminary Registration Totals And Future Outlook

In total, 85,860 deer were harvested by gun and registered statewide during the opening weekend of the 2021 nine-day gun deer hunt, compared to the 99,832 registered for the same period in 2020. A total of 47,529 bucks were registered on opening weekend, compared to 51,241 in 2020.

A detailed summary of preliminary registration totals is available here.

While hunter reports of deer activity varied around the state, most regions experienced excellent hunting weather conditions with cool temperatures and low wind on opening day. Visibility was lower due to a lack of snow cover.

By late Sunday morning, wind speeds increased, and the north saw an accumulation of sleet and snow. Hunting effort likely decreased on Sunday as a result. However, light snow cover in the north will make for excellent hunting conditions going into the rest of the nine-day season.

 

Registration Of Deer Required With GameReg

As a reminder, hunters are required to register their deer by 5 p.m. the day after harvest through GameReg, the game registration system. All deer harvests must be reported online (fastest and easiest method) or by phone at 1-844-426-3734.

 

Opening Weekend Hunting Incidents

At the publication time of this news release, the DNR reports three firearm-involved hunting incidents during the opening weekend of the 2021 nine-day gun deer season, Nov. 20-21.

Door County, Brussel Township: On Nov. 20, 2021, at approximately 6:45 a.m., a 40-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the hand. The victim had placed his hand on the muzzle after pulling the hammer back on his firearm. The victim believed he pulled the trigger, and the bullet struck his left pinky. He sought medical attention, was treated and released. 

Door County, Sturgeon Bay: On Nov. 21, 2021, at approximately 7:00 a.m., a 10-year-old male was the victim of a gunshot wound. A 45-year-old male shooter was hunting from his residence when he shot at a deer. The shooter attempted to unload his firearm, at which time it discharged inside of the house and struck the victim. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated.

Waukesha County, Ottawa Township: On Nov. 21, 2021, at approximately 6:21 a.m., a 30-year-old male suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. The victim was in a tree stand when he tried to hang the gun on a hanger. The gun discharged, striking him in the right leg. The victim was transported to a hospital and treated. 

Wisconsin's 10-year average is approximately six hunting incidents for the nine-day gun deer hunt. The decline in incidents is the direct result of hunter safety education given by Wisconsin's volunteer instructors and conservation wardens.

Wardens remind all hunters to use the four firearm safety rules as a cornerstone for safe and successful outings:

T - Treat every Firearm as if it is loaded

A - Always Point the muzzle in a safe direction

B - Be certain of your target, what’s before it, and what’s beyond it

K - Keep your finger outside your trigger guard until you are safe to shoot.

To learn more about safe hunting in Wisconsin, visit the DNR website here.

 

DNR VIOLATION HOTLINE: Anyone with information regarding natural resource violations may confidentially report by calling or texting: VIOLATION HOTLINE: 1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trained staff relay the information to conservation wardens. File an online report here.

 

Door County Medical Center to begin administering Moderna boosters

You can begin receiving a booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Door County Medical Center.

 

Booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines were approved for all adults last Friday by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control. People who are at least six months removed from their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines are eligible. Those who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least two months ago are also eligible. The booster doses are all interchangeable, meaning you do not necessarily have to stick with the brand you got for your first two shots. The Centers for Disease Control still recommends staying with the same brand as the original doses if possible.  

 

You can contact Door County Medical Center to schedule your appointment.

Gibraltar opens door to optional masking

You may see students, staff, and parents at Gibraltar maskless for the first since before the pandemic in the near future.

 

The Gibraltar School Board decided on Monday to allow optional masking to take place at its winter sports events at the secondary level. Spectators will have the choice to wear a face-covering while student-athletes and officials will have optional masking while they are warming up or actively competing. Mandatory masking will remain in place for athletes not competing, all district employees, and students until the district transitions to optional masking for all K-12 students. In a letter to parents, Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer says mandatory masking will remain in place during the school day and for all other extracurricular activities and practices until further notice.

 

The administration and the school board have restarted their conversations to transition to optional masking after high case numbers foiled their plans to implement it in the secondary school were foiled this fall. She points out that Door County Public Health will host four children-only vaccination clinics in November and December after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control approved the vaccine’s use for those ages 5 to 11. That makes January 3rd the earliest date to institute optional masking protocols, though the school board has also discussed holding off on the switch until the end of the semester on January 26th. The administration has discussed allowing optional masking for secondary school students, which have had access to the COVID-19 vaccines for a longer time, to start after they come back from winter break.

 

You can read the full letter from Van Meer by clicking this link.

Santa set for Egg Harbor, Sister Bay visits

You will find Jolly Old Saint Nick and his helpers in two Door County communities this weekend. Egg Harbor and Sister Bay will be the ones keeping him busy with their Holly Days and Capture the Spirit events beginning on Friday.

 

At Holly Days, you can have Breakfast with Santa on Friday and Saturday morning before traveling around Egg Harbor participating in a wide array of activities including an elf hunt and horse-drawn carriage rides. Santa will come to town on an Egg Harbor Fire Truck at 4:30 p.m. before helping the village turn on its Christmas lights and sing carols.

 

Capture the Spirit will have Santa and some of his reindeer friends joining him beginning at 3 p.m. near Waterfront Park before they flip the switch on their holiday displays. Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator Louise Howson says there will be fun for the whole family during the day on Friday and on Saturday as well.

Capture the Spirit will be flanked by the first Door County Christkindlmarkt taking place at the Sister Bay Historical Society. Ephraim, Fish Creek, and Baileys Harbor will host their own holiday celebrations on December 4th.

 

Picture courtesy of Sister Bay Advancement Association

Gun safety stressed after accidental shooting incident

An accidental shooting this past weekend with a hunting rifle that caused injury to a nine-year-old boy in Nasewaupee has local law enforcement officials reminding hunters to use extreme care when handling a firearm.  Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says a gun’s muzzle should always be pointed in a safe direction.  He shares the four primary rules of firearm safety.

 

 

According to the Door County Sheriff’s Office, a 45-year-old man was trying to clear his rifle in the home at about 7 am on Sunday when the firearm discharged, striking the boy in another room in the leg.  The boy was taken to a Green Bay hospital, and no updated information is available on his condition.  

Old Hardees building to be razed

An old vacant Hardees building on the corner of North Eighth Avenue and Georgia Street in Sturgeon Bay will be torn down before the end of the year.  Ted Lavine, who purchased the property early last spring, says he has no immediate plans of yet to build anything on the parcel that is adjacent to property owned by his family to the north.  The Hardee’s Restaurant closed in 2010 and the building was placed for sale with an original listing of $700,000.  Lavine looked into buying the business for the last few years before finalizing the sale of the property after title issues last March in a deal that had to done within 40 hours after a stay of demolition.  The building deteriorated substantially after the heat was turned off last year, according to Lavine.  The building will be removed by the end of the year and the property will be used as a parking lot for the foreseeable future. 

Safer Thanksgiving Holiday gatherings with COVID around

With the rising concerns over COVID-19 and hospitalizations in the area, eleven health care providers are collaboratively asking you to stop, think and plan ahead for upcoming holiday get-togethers.  The uptick of COVID-19 cases in Northeastern Wisconsin has shown the positivity rate is increasing and levels are as high as what was seen since last January.  Health officials recommend that you don’t attend or host a gathering if you don’t feel well.  Since cold and flu symptoms are very similar to COVID-19, it’s important that you get tested for COVID and stay at home if you are not well.  Hold get-togethers outside if possible, and if inside, everyone should wear a mask when not eating or drinking if any unvaccinated people are attending.   You can read the entire statement issued by Door County Medical Center and ten other health care providers in Northeastern Wisconsin below.

 

The following is a collaboratively issued statement from: Brown County Public Health, Oneida Nation Health Department, City of De Pere Health Department, Manitowoc County Health Department, Advocate Aurora Health/Aurora BayCare, Bellin Health,   Prevea Health, HSHS St. Vincent/St. Mary’s Hospitals, Door County Medical Center,   Holy Family Memorial and N.E.W. Community Clinic. 

Thanksgiving Holiday Week + Rising COVID-19 Numbers & Hospitalizations   = A Reason to be Concerned 

 

Area residents urged to stop, think and plan ahead for holiday gatherings 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             November 22, 2021 Area public health departments and health systems are expressing concern about the uptick of COVID-19 in Northeast Wisconsin: 

- The positivity rate is increasing and is currently at levels not seen since January 2021 ? The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased 

- Hospitalized patients are trending younger (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s); they are sicker and hospitalized for longer periods of time than in the past 

- The vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated 

Area residents are being urged to stop, think and plan ahead if they’re hosting or attending holiday gatherings this year. That includes limiting the size of gatherings, social distancing, masking and getting vaccinated. “We know and understand that people are tired of hearing about taking precautions,” stated Brown County Public Health Officer, Anna Destree. “But precautions are necessary if we’re going to keep people safe; and right now, we’re headed in the wrong direction.” 

Recommendations for keeping your gatherings safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19 include: 

- Don’t attend or host a gathering if you don’t feel well.    

- Cold and flu symptoms can be very similar to COVID-19, so it’s important to be tested for COVID. Staying home is the best option if you’re not well. 

(more)

Thanksgiving & COVID collaborative statement – page 2 

- If you’ve been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, get tested and stay home.   

- Hold gatherings outdoors if possible. 

- If indoors, and there are unvaccinated attendees, everyone should wear a mask when not eating or drinking. 

- Socially distance whenever you can.   

- Space out chairs at the dinner table 

- Spread out other seating areas as well 

- Don’t put food in a single area where people will congregate 

 

“The pandemic is still a cause for concern,” added Destree. “Unfortunately, deaths from COVID-19 are still occurring weekly in our area and will continue to increase as rates go up. This is especially tragic since the vaccine, which saves lives, is widely available.” 

Getting fully vaccinated is the single most important thing people can do to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you are not vaccinated, starting the process now means you’ll be fully vaccinated before other upcoming holidays. You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after you’ve received either the single-dose vaccine, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), or the second dose of the two-dose vaccines, Pfizer or Moderna.   

If you are already fully vaccinated, get a booster shot as soon as you are eligible. Boosters are now available for all fully vaccinated adults; six months following your second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months following the single dose of J&J. 

To find a COVID?19 vaccine provider, contact your local health system or call 2-1-1 or   1-877-947-2211.    

Active cases go down in Door County ahead of holiday week

One more Door County resident has been hospitalized for COVID-19, but Monday’s situation report offered good news ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Of the 139 tests performed, 46 came back positive for COVID-19. The number of active cases still went down by 21 to 339. The new numbers reflect what has happened since the county’s last situation report on Thursday, though the notifications of new deaths and hospitalizations usually come from the state which can sometimes lag when compared to positive and negative tests. Just under 74 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Door County Public Health’s next vaccine clinic is scheduled for December 2nd on Washington Island for kids aged 5-11 by appointment only.

Manure hauler helps save hunter's life

Spreading manure on a Kewaunee County farm turned into a life-saving moment on Saturday. Julie Siegmund from Kewaunee says her manure hauler spotted a man wearing blaze orange face down in the woods while he was driving around waiting for the next field to get set up properly for spreading. The hunter was wearing a diabetic bracelet and his blood sugar was in the 30s when members from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, Kewaunee Fire and Rescue, and others were able to pull him from the woods. Siegmund is happy the man had his guardian angels with him.

Siegmund says she has learned the hunter is doing better after getting treatment for his low blood sugar and hypothermia. She estimates he was in a diabetic coma for nearly eight hours before the manure hauler spotted him.

 

Picture courtesy of Wisconsin Watch

Two candidates emerge for Kewaunee County Circuit Court Judge

Their nomination papers cannot be circulated yet, but two people want your vote for Kewaunee County Circuit Judge next spring.

 

Jeffrey Wisnicky and Kim Hardtke look to replace Judge Keith Mehn on the bench, who is stepping aside after completing one six-year term. Wisnicky came in second behind Mehn in both the spring primary and spring general election in 2016. He has served as Kewaunee County’s corporation counsel since 2007 and was named its human services director earlier this year. Hardtke served as a law clerk for Brown County Circuit Court for two years for joining Brown County’s District Attorney’s office as a special prosecutor in 2016 and assistant district attorney in 2017.

 

Candidates for public office can begin circulating their nomination papers next month and have until January 4th to return them.

Crossroads hosts "Green Friday"

On November 26th, you’ll have the chance to learn about evergreens during the event at the Crossroads at Big Creek named “Green Friday.” Although the day after Thanksgiving is known as the first of the holiday shopping season, Crossroads has planned this event for those who would rather spend the day outdoors. Coggin Herringa the program director and naturalist at Crossroads at Big Creek described the programs that families can look forward to.

 

 

Their “Green Friday” will be filled with family-oriented programs that will teach you about various evergreen trees and their history with Christmas across the years. Families are welcome to join in the programs for the day or choose just one or two to attend. There will be four different programs available, each with its own activities. The first will begin at 930 am, the second at 10:30 am, the third at 1:00 pm, and the fourth at 3:00 pm. The day of programs is completely free for anyone to come and learn about evergreen trees and enjoy the outdoors.

Door County Chop and Shop with a Cop returns to its roots

You will find members of Door County’s law enforcement community out with area kids on December 4th as the annual Chop and Shop with a Cop resumes after a pandemic-induced hiatus. The annual event pairs law enforcement officers with a child for an entire day beginning with a trip at an area tree farm where the kids pick out their family’s tree. The day continues with shopping and a visit with Santa Claus before ending the fun with wrapping the gifts they picked out for family members and a pizza party. Last year was different due to the pandemic with Santa and law enforcement making house calls with the tree and presents already in tow. It was a hard year away from the families for Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard, who has nurtured the program for the better part of two decades.

Approximately 30 children will participate in this year’s Chop and Shop with a Cop in Door County. Sternard is very appreciative of the community support they have received over the years for the event. If you would like to help out this year, you can make monetary donations or donate items like stocking stuffers, gift wrap, and more to the Door County Sheriff's Department. 

 

Picture courtesy of Sheriff Tammy Sternard

Nine-year old boy injured in accidental shooting

An accidental shooting at a residence in the town of Nasewaupee on Sunday morning sent a nine-year old boy to the hospital with an injury to his leg.  According to the Door County Sheriff’s Office, a 45-year-old man was trying to clear his rifle at about 7 am when the firearm discharged, striking the boy in the leg.  The boy, who was on a couch in the next room when he was struck by the bullet, was airlifted to a Green Bay hospital for his injuries.  Emergency responders from Door County Emergency Services, Southern Door First Responders, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources responded to the call after being notified by the Door County Sheriff’s Office.  No other information is available at this time and the incident remains under investigation by the Door County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Free thanksgiving meal sees growth

You would not be alone if you took Algoma’s St. Paul Lutheran Church on their offer for a free turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. The congregation has almost matched the number of the meals it served in pre-orders this year after nearly doubling what it did in the event’s first year in 2019. What was originally designed as a sit-down meal at the church has turned volunteers into a delivery service, serving dozens of meals to those who may not otherwise be able to afford a meal or do not want to go through the hassle of cooking for themselves. St. Paul’s Pastor Joel McKenney says it is rewarding to see its church community work together to serve each other.

Everyone is invited for the free meal, though advanced registration is appreciated by either calling the church or signing up online. The meal will be served between 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Higher gas prices not deterring travelers

Despite a significant increase in gas prices and COVID-19 concerns continuing this fall, road travel in and around the area looks to be on back to pre-pandemic levels as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches.  Dale Simonar, owner of Simonar  Shell in Luxemburg, says he has not noticed any decrease in demand at the gas pumps.

 

 

According to AAA, the National average for gas in the United States Is $3.41 per gallon, while the Wisconsin average is $3.13 as of Friday.  The average price of gas one year ago in the Green Bay area was $1.85 per gallon.  The DoorCountyDailyNews.com poll this week shows that over 80 percent of respondents (209 /254) plan on staying close to home and not traveling outside the area this Thanksgiving. 

Controlling your Christmas spending

The price tag associated with holiday shopping can impact your family’s finances well past the end of the year.  According to Deloitte’s annual survey, the average consumer is projected to spend $1463 on the holidays, which is a five percent increase over last year.  Nicolet National Bank Training Project Specialist Chastity Hartl says doing early Christmas shopping is fine as long as you establish and stick to your budget.  She offers advice on how you can stay on track with your gift spending this year.

 

 

Hartl says people can find many gifts for family members that do not cost any or very little money.  She notes activities like ice skating, snowshoeing and tubing as ways for families to bond and spend quality time together which is a gift in itself.   

Wind advisory issued for Door and Kewaunee counties

You can expect some strong winds throughout the day in Door and Kewaunee counties, especially after 1 p.m. Sunday.

 

The National Weather Service reports that winds will start to increase late this morning, with strong gusts of up to 45 miles per hour by the afternoon. There is a possibility that there could be damage to some tree branches and it could even pose a hazard to those driving.

 

The wind advisory is in effect for Green Bay, and lakeshore areas from 1 p.m. through 9 p.m.  Door County's wind advisory is even longer, lasting from 1 p.m. through midnight.

 

The strong winds will also make things chillier this evening, bringing air temperatures into the teens and wind chills into the single digits.

Spotlight in the Community: Door County YMCA's Heidi Erickson

Returning to Door County and the YMCA as their new executive director earlier this year is one move Heidi Erickson is happy she made.  After serving as the Northern Door YMCA executive from 2016-19, Erickson left for a branch executive position at the east-side YMCA in Green Bay.  She returned in January after being appointed by the Door County YMCA Board of Directors to replace the retiring Tom Beerntsen.  Erickson shares her excitement about leading the Door County YMCA for the foreseeable future and her goals. 

 

 

Erickson notes the past year's challenges the Door County YMCA faced due to the pandemic.  She says it's been a learning experience while working with health officials to phase in more in-person classes while still offering virtual opportunities like the new upcoming on-demand Y-360 program.  You can listen to the rest of our Spotlight in the Community interview with Heidi Erickson on our podcasts page.

President of Friends of Peninsula State Park given HERO award

This fall, the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks recognized Chris Holicek for her work as Friends of Peninsula State Park president. HERO awards are given to Friends groups or individuals who have spent considerable time and energy taking care of a state park, trail, or forest. This year, Holicek was one of two people from Wisconsin that were given this award. Holicek has been the president of the Friends board since 2009. Since then, she has had a hand in many projects that have taken place within the state park. When speaking with her, she expressed her love for the park, the inspiration behind her work, and how it feels to receive this award.

 

 

You can enjoy the work that has been done in the park, like the refurbished Eagle Tower, the nature center amphitheater, and the picnic benches that have been added to the park. The Friends of Peninsula State Park will continue to enhance the experience of everyone who comes to enjoy the park, which includes a new fundraising campaign starting in December to add a fully accessible playground at Nicolet Beach to replace the equipment that was removed.

 

Horseshoe Bay Farms captures history in first year

Horseshoe Bay Farms provided you the chance to play both tourist and teacher this past year. For the first time, many of the historic buildings on the Egg Harbor parcel were open for guided tours and other activities. Over 300 people took advantage of the offer along with an additional 300 people attending other functions at the site. Horseshoe Bay Farms played an important role in Door County agriculture when it was operational, especially when it hosted its cherry-picking camp for kids to supply fruit for the Sturgeon Bay Fruit Cooperative. Executive Director Drew Richmond says he often walked away from the tours he guided more educated about the property than he did when he first greeted his guests.

Richmond is excited for a second season at Horseshoe Bay Farms after neighbors donated the money necessary to purchase the property and refurbish many of its buildings.

Lawnmowers go silent as snowblowers prepare to fire up

You will have the next several months off from mowing your yard, but you will be firing up your snowblower soon as winter rears its head. Not taking care of your lawnmower now and making sure it is put away properly could mean problems starting it up in the spring. It coincides as many people dust off their snowblowers for the first time since the end of winter. Like many industries, supply chain issues could mean waiting a long time for parts if there is something wrong with yours or if you are not able to buy a new one if needed. Lemens Hardware owner Jim Lemens advises people to give their lawnmowers and snowblowers a look ahead of the winter season.

Lemens says the biggest trend in snowblowers is larger engines. He attributes the growth in that market to people who want to clean their driveway and sidewalks quickly rather than making multiple trips with a smaller machine or a shovel. 

Active cases go down in Kewaunee County

Recoveries outpaced new cases of COVID-19 in Kewaunee County in the past week despite nearly half of those tested coming back positive.  Of the 167 tests conducted, 82 came back positive for the coronavirus. Despite the high number, the number of active cases went down 11 to 77. Less than half of Kewaunee County’s residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. It has been over a month since more than 100 residents in a week received a dose when 120 people were vaccinated the week of October 3rd.

Interact reaches Thanksgiving project goal with Cordon Family Foundation help

Over 80 local families will have a happier Thanksgiving thanks to a generous donation and a successful Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact program.  The project, which was spearheaded by Club President Maggie Stephens and NEW Radio for the second year in a row, raised $4400 with the help of a large donation by The Cordon Family Foundation.  The presentation 

 

 

 

The Thanksgiving Dinners program included special certificates that were made available at Tadych’s Econofoods and distribution by Feed My People of Door County to local families in need.  

 

Ashley Madsen (Feed My People), Paul Briney (Door County YMCA), MaKayla Ash, Andrew Konop, Maggie Stephens , Estella Huff (Feed My People), Elijiah Pinkert

Remember safety at the onset of hunting season

Saturday marks the first day of gun deer hunting season in the state of Wisconsin and state and local officials are reminding you to be safe. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reminds ATV and UTV drivers to practice safe driving habits when traveling in search of their trophy buck. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski reminds hunters to make sure they have permission to hunt on the land they are allowed to do so on, practice good gun safety habits, and wear their blaze orange. You can read more safety tips below.

 

FROM THE DNR

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds hunters to ride safely when using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) during their hunt this year.  

 

Since January 2021, 41 people have died in ATV and UTV-related crashes. Most of the incidents involved people not wearing a helmet or seat belt. There were 38 fatal crashes in 2020.

 

Hunters using ATVs or UTVs to retrieve harvests or travel off-road to hunting locations should take life-saving precautions such as wearing a helmet and buckling up. Most hunting incidents involving ATVs or UTVs often occur on private lands and are linked by common factors.

 

“ATVs and UTVs are powerful and potentially dangerous vehicles. Oftentimes, accidents happen by simply going too fast for conditions, not judging the curve correctly or not knowing the terrain,” said Lt. Martin Stone, DNR Conservation Warden and Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “Safety is part of the fun. Please ride responsibly.”

 

ATV riders at least 12 years old and born after Jan. 1, 1988 must complete a course before operating an ATV on public trails and areas in Wisconsin. UTV operators must be at least age 16. 

 

ATV/UTV Tips For A Safe Ride:

Don’t drink and ride.

Slow down.

Some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Traverse hills with caution.

Display registration ID number on a rear plate for all ATVs and UTVs registered for public use.

Always wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet. Hunters are more likely to come across low hanging branches or uneven terrain. Serious injuries and death can occur even at low speeds.

Just as with other vehicles, long guns and bows/crossbows must be fully unloaded before transporting them in or on an ATV or UTV.

Do not operate in or around waterways or wetlands. ATVs and UTVs are only allowed to cross waterways at bridges, roads or legal fords. Machine use in these areas is illegal and causes serious habitat damage that is very costly to repair.

Hunters using ATV and UTVs can also help protect natural areas by removing mud, dirt and any vegetation from vehicles prior to traveling as they can easily transport invasive plant species or seeds that are harmful to local habitats.

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

This Saturday marks the beginning of the week long deer hunting season. While this event has many traditions, and memories which make it special to so many in our community, it also brings with it some re-occurring issues which deserve to be mentioned. The first of these issues is safety. By this I mean the safety of those participating in the hunting season, and those who choose to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as they would any other time of year. It goes without saying that for those who are hunting that there are two basic rules; know your target, and know what is beyond your target. Especially in the era of rifle hunting, the second of the two rules is very important. Although not intended, there always seem to be those few calls involving stray rounds.

          

If you are one of those individuals who just want to enjoy being outside over the next two weeks, be aware of the increased activity in the adjacent properties, and public lands. Although you are not required to wear it, and it isn’t the most stylish color, blaze orange is always a good choice. Also, whether you are hunting, or just going for a walk, always let someone know where you are going, and what route you are taking to get there.

          

The other issue which seems to become more frequent is that of trespassing. This is pretty self explanatory; if you don’t have permission to be there, don’t be there. Many property owners allow for others to be on their land for the purpose of hunting. This is not mandatory on their part, if they choose to say no, respect them for that decision and move on. Another issue that has come up over the years involves the tracking of a deer. If you do in fact shoot a deer on your property or property that you have permission to be on and the wounded deer then travels off of that property, you still must get permission from the owner of any and all property that you are pursuing that wounded deer onto. This may cause delay in your locating of the animal, but failure to do so is trespassing regardless of the excitement of the moment. As my Father would say; Just do the right thing.

         

Also don’t assume that just because you’ve hunted on a piece of property for many years you don’t have to ask permission. Circumstances change and it is a good idea to re-establish these relationships each year. Probably wouldn’t hurt to bring some venison from last year as a sweetener. I wish everyone a safe and productive hunt. In regards to our Car/ Deer accident numbers, as of Monday morning, we were at 

Granary breaks ground

A large gathering of people participated in the groundbreaking ceremony for the renovated Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator at the west side site Friday afternoon.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation Director Beth Renstrom welcomed the crowd and credited SBHS President Christie Weber with making the dream of the renovated granary a reality.

 



Originally built in 1901, the building formerly known as the Teweles and Brandeis will be placed on pilings at its original location closer to the Maple-to-Oregon Street Bridge.  After the structure's short move,  the transformation from an old grain elevator to a new cultural center and event venue will occur. Since the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation's efforts started, the granary has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.  

Ground breaks for new Sister Bay clinic

By next November, you could be walking into Door County Medical Center’s newest medical facility after breaking ground on the Sister Bay project Friday afternoon.

 

Representatives from Door County Medical Center, Boldt Construction, Caldwell Associates Architects, and local government leaders were all on hand for the ceremony that kicked off the 30,000-square foot, $14.5 million project. The future clinic will house what is currently located at the Fish Creek clinic and Sister Bay rehab services facilities. Dr. Rory Johnson from the Door County Medical Center told the crowd gathered along Canterbury Lane about the positive impact the extra space would have on the services they provide. Door County Medical Center Board Chairperson William Mundy said the new facility is another step forward in taking care of the community and its health and well-being.

 

Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens said afterward how excited he is to see this project get off the ground.

Crews will work to prepare the ground as much as they can for construction before winter comes. Stephens says the new clinic location should be open in the middle of next November.

Midsummer's Music benefit concert for local food pantry

This Saturday, you will be able to see the Griffon String Quartet perform in a benefit concert for the Door County Food Pantry Coalition. Midsummer’s Music has partnered with Music for Food for this event. Music for Food is musician-led, where musicians around the country perform and choose a pantry to be the benefactor. Noah Schaffrick, the Associate Director & Education Program Coordinator at Midsummer’s Music, details how they got involved with Music for Food and what songs you can look forward to hearing from the Griffon String Quartet.

 

 

Although the concert is entirely free of charge, and those in attendance are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or make a monetary donation. The benefit concert will occur at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor on November 20, at 5:30 pm. You can reserve your free ticket to the concert at this link, and you can also visit this link to learn more about Music for Food, and their other locations and events.

Rittenhouse acquitted on all charges

Kyle Rittenhouse has been acquitted of homicide and all other charges in Kenosha after a three-week trial.  After about 27 hours of deliberating, the jury came back with the not guilty verdict Friday morning.    The 18-year-old Rittenhouse collapsed on the table after hearing the verdict.  Facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, the defense attorneys for Rittenhouse claimed that he acted in self-defense on the night of the shootings.   

 

Agencies from around the state are hoping to avoid a repeat of last summer’s unrest in Kenosha now that the verdicts have come down.  While no unrest is expected in Door and Kewaunee counties, plans are underway elsewhere in the state in case of civil unrest.  Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has mobilized 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to be on standby just in case Kenosha experiences that occurred last summer.

Washington Island looks to fix roads

The Town of Washington is looking to make sure you have smoother roads to drive on in the future. The town board approved $200,000 as a part of its overall borrowing package to address its roads which have not been worked on in seven years. Part of the reason is that it is cost-prohibitive for the town to get the equipment necessary to do the work. Town chairperson Hans Lux says they have to go by the county’s schedule to get it done.

Grant dollars could help lower the out-of-pocket expense for the town when the time comes that they are able to get their roads redone. 

Six school districts exceed expectations despite pandemic challenges

Your school district’s report cards are in from the state for the first time since before the pandemic changed how kids are educated.

 

The state did not issue the Department of Public Instruction report cards last year due to the pandemic because of how it impacted not just the standardized testing students took but also how many of them were even in the classroom. Approximately 95 percent of school districts met or exceeded expectations according to the DPI accountability. All eight school districts were within that range, though only Sevastopol, Washington Island, and Sturgeon Bay saw an improvement in their accountability score compared to the 2018-2019 data. The accountability score is determined by looking at a district’s achievement, growth, target group outcomes, and on-track to graduation rate. Sevastopol had the highest score in the area with 81.2, a tenth of a point better than they were before the pandemic. Sturgeon Bay (80.6), Washington Island (78.8), Luxemburg-Casco (75.5), Gibraltar (74.6), and Southern Door (71.5) were all listed at exceeding expectations. Kewaunee (65.8) and Algoma (59.5) were rated at meeting expectations. The average drop in the accountability score from the 2018-2019 data was approximately 3.6 points.  

 

Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent Glenn Schlender expressed his appreciation earlier this week for the job done by their teachers and staff over the last year and a half to sustain a high level of student learning. He also admitted there are areas of deficiency due to virtual learning and quarantining of students. The Luxemburg-Casco Board of Education committed some of the district’s federal COVID-19 funds to hiring six instructional staff members to help get students that fell behind during the pandemic caught up.

 

You can look at how your school district did, how it compares to others in the state and how it stacks up to the 2018-2019 data by clicking the links below.

 

2020-2021 Wisconsin DPI Report Card

2018-2019 Wisconsin DPI Report Card

Heim selected Luxemburg's Person of the Year

Mark Heim will be recognized for his community impact for over three decades by the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce when he receives the Person of the Year award next month.  Past recipient and Bank of Luxemburg President Tim Treml says Heim is well-deserving and a pillar of the community.  He shares the accomplishments and involvement that Heim has had in his 28 years of being a chamber member.

 

 

Heim, 58, is the CEO and co-owner of McMahons of Luxemburg and is a lifetime resident of Luxemburg.  He will be honored and presented with his “Person of the Year” award on December 4 at the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Party.  DoorCountyDailyNews.com will also feature the community service and LC Spartan Spirit Award winners in upcoming articles. 

Antlerless tags still available as deer hunt opens Saturday

The 2021 deer hunt officially begins on Saturday, and an estimated 600,000 hunters are expected to head to the woods during the nine-day event.  Local DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha reminds those heading to deer camp that additional free antlerless farmland tags are available. Door County allows for four additional tags, while Kewaunee County allots three for antlerless deer. He says hunters who purchased licenses earlier this year before the antlerless quotas were set should log into their account and claim the additional tags. The registration of deer is required by 5 pm the day after you shoot it.

 

 

The state is also asking hunters who use firewood to buy local or certified firewood to prevent the spread of harmful forest pests and diseases caused by emerald ash borer, spotted lanternfly, and the Asian longhorned beetle.  The deer hunting season officially opens in Door and Kewaunee counties 30 minutes before sunrise at 6:22 on Saturday morning. 

 

More information on the 2021 Deer Hunt here by the Wisconsin DNR

Positive tests and active cases jump up

Nearly half of the reported tests for the coronavirus since Monday in Door County came back positive, according to the Door County Public Health COVID-19 report on Thursday morning.

Of the 133 tests performed, 65 were positive.  The active cases in Door County increased by 54 to 360 as a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report on Thursday shows that fully vaccinated people are at least three times less likely to be infected by COVID-19.  The report also states that fully vaccinated people were half as likely to need emergency care or hospitalization and seven times less likely to die from COVID-19.

There was just one additional hospitalization in Door County, and no new deaths were reported.

On the vaccination front, almost three-fourths (74.3%) of all Door County residents have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Merry-Time Festival of Trees off to a strong start

Even a sudden search and rescue call when the U.S. Coast Guard was supposed to drop off Santa Claus at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay could not stop you from getting the Christmas spirit. Last Saturday kicked off the 10th annual Merry Time Festival of Trees where dozens of trees and other holiday décor items do the museum’s galleries. The museum welcomed not just Santa but Coast Guard families on Saturday while also hosting a number of kids' activities as well. Deputy Director Sam Perlman says at approximately 45 trees, wreaths, and other items that it is the biggest Merry Time Festival of Trees ever. During what is an otherwise quiet time in the county, Perlman adds that it is a great way to reach out to local families and businesses.

While the trees are technically for Santa, Lady Luck can help you bring one of the featured trees home after the Merry Time Festival of Trees concludes in January.  The annual event reaches its high point on December 14th for the Jingle Mixer Gala when the trees and other items are raffled off with all proceeds going to support the mission of the Door County Maritime Museum. 

 

A LOOK AT JUST SOME OF THE TREES UP FOR VIEWING

County broadband access still buffering according to report

Your struggles connecting to the internet in Door County are now documented with local officials wondering what to do next.

 

The Door County Economic Development Corporation released the findings of its six-month broadband study on Wednesday based on over 1,000 survey responses and its work with broadband infrastructure engineering consultants. The 215-page report showed the overall quality of broadband service currently available in the county does not meet the Federal Communications Commission definition of broadband. The FCC requires speeds of 25 Mbps upload and 3 Mbps download to fit the definition of “broadband.” This became more obvious during the pandemic according to the study where virtual learning and telecommuting taxed the connections, making tasks like video calls and working with cloud software hard to accomplish. Many of the networks also struggled to keep up during the tourist season when thousands were visiting the county on a daily basis.  The survey performed by the DCEDC showed 81 percent of respondents would support building a fiber network with another 18 percent just needing a little more information before they would. The report makes 10 different recommendations including seeking grants, reviewing local policies, lobbying for more state funding, and beginning conversations with internet service providers. DCEDC Executive Director Steve Jenkins says work is already underway.

Door County, eight towns, two school districts, the Washington Island Electric Cooperative, DCEDC, Door County Medical Center, Renards Cheese, and the Raibrook Foundation all sponsored the Broadband Infrastructure Engineering Assessment, which can be found here.

 

Sturgeon Bay Schools puts deadlines on mask mandates

Students in grades 7 through 12 at Sturgeon Bay Schools will no longer have to wear masks beginning on Monday.

 

It is a part of a tiered approach the district is taking after its school board met on Wednesday. Under the plan, students in preschool through sixth grade will have to wait until January 3rd before masking is optional for them in the classroom.

 

The school board also approved new guidance that could allow more students to attend school in different situations. Close contacts will only have to quarantine if they are having symptoms and choose not to get tested. Otherwise, they would need to have a negative PCR test, go 24 hours symptom-free, and wear a mask for 14 days. Students with no symptoms will be able to attend classes with a mask for 14 days while monitoring their symptoms.  The full grid is available by clicking this link.

 

Superintendent Dan Tjernagel added in his correspondence with families and staff members that the updated guidance is subject to change in the weeks and months ahead.

 

The school board also approved the 2022-2023 school year calendar, which will begin on Thursday, September 1st, and tentatively end on June 6th.

 

FULL CORRESPONDENCE FROM STURGEON BAY SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT DAN TJERNAGEL

Good morning, School District of Sturgeon Bay Families and Staff Members.

 

It has now been 20 months since the school building closure in the spring of 2020.  I have two important COVID-related updates to share after last night’s regular Board of Education meeting, as well as three quick items.  First, in last night’s Board meeting updated COVID-19 Procedural Guidance was approved.  The new procedures grid is in the process of being posted on the district website on the COVID-19 Information page, and I included a link to the document below.  

 

In a nutshell, the updated COVID-19 procedures focus on students who don’t have symptoms being able to attend school in more situations—even if needing to monitor symptoms closely, obtain a negative PCR test, and/or wear a mask for a certain number of days.  Thank you in advance for working with the staff at your student’s school so this can be successful.  

 

Second, in last night’s Board meeting a tiered approach to facial coverings was approved.  

 

Grades 7-12: Effective Monday, November 22, 2021, optional masking returns for students and staff in grades 7-12.

 

Grades preK-6: Effective Monday, January 3, 2022, optional masking returns for students and staff in grades preK-6.

 

I know we’ve all heard this too many times, but COVID-related situations and procedures are subject to change in the weeks and months ahead.  

 

Third, the 2022-2023 school year calendar was approved.  The calendar will be added to the school district website.  There will be 180 days of school starting Thursday, September 1, 2022, with the last day of school scheduled for Tuesday, June 6, 2023 (pending snow days, etc.).  I included a link to the calendar for next year below.

 

Fourth, don’t forget about the Community Open House event on Tuesday, November 30 from 4:00 – 6:00 P.M.  If you want to see any of the updates in our school facilities this is a time you are welcome to check things out.

 

Finally, thank you to everyone who has already responded to the Community Survey sent out by School Perceptions on behalf of the district and our Board.  We know people are busy, so we appreciate everyone who is taking the time to be informed and give their input.  The survey closes on Wednesday, November 24.

 

Thank you for your time and attention.  Have a great Thanksgiving, and good luck to all the deer hunters out there.

 

Sincerely,

Dan Tjernagel, Superintendent

 

Updated COVID-19 Procedures - Approved 11-17-2021 

2022-2023 School Calendar - Approved 11-17-2021 

Washington Island votes to save observation tower

Another observation tower will be saved in Door County and it will not have to wait for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to do it. Town of Washington electors strongly supported the board’s decision on Tuesday to buy the land near the Mountain Park Outlook Tower on Washington Island and borrow nearly $100,000 to make the necessary repairs.  It was the second time this year the town’s electors approved a land purchase related to the Mountain Park Outlook Tower since the land surrounding the structure had three different owners. Tuesday’s vote included a small parcel, but one that included nearly three-quarters of the approximately 180 stairs leading up to the tower. Like similar towers at Peninsula State Park and Potawatomi State Park, the tower was closed in 2020 due to concerns around its structure. Town chairperson Hans Lux says he is happy saving the tower has such strong support.

The town is still waiting on one last report and for all of its financing to come through, but Lux hopes work on the Mountain Park Outlook Tower can be completed by Memorial Day 2022. There has been no progress on the status of the Potawatomi State Park Tower since three Sturgeon Bay residents testified in favor of saving the structure in late October. 

 

Picture of Hans Lux courtesy of LinkedIn

Picture of view from Mountain Park Outlook Tower courtesy of Tom Jordan

Dillon gives keys to youth football players

Before he was given a key to Door County, you could have found Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon giving a few pointers to area flag football players. The second-year player stopped by the Door County YMCA to participate in a mini-camp for its flag football participants. Players got to run some drills, toss the ball around, and get their questions answered by Dillon. It was a part of an exciting day for not just the youth, but for Dillon as well. Destination Door County awarded Dillon with a “Key to the County” for showcasing his love for the area on social media and interviews.  

 

Picture courtesy of the Door County YMCA

Sturgeon Bay unwraps for the holidays

You will be able to experience a pandemic-born event again this year as Sturgeon Bay sees its Christmas by the Bay event return in 2021. Last year, much of the city’s welcoming of the holiday season was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. In its place was the “Unwrapping Sturgeon Bay” car parade, which featured businesses unveiling their Christmas windows as vehicles drove by one by one. Outgoing Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Pam Seiler says it was one of the great new traditions that came out of last year’s unique holiday season.

You can tune into Door County’s Christmas Playlist 96.7 WBDK as you participate in the Unwrapping Sturgeon Bay car parade, which will leave from Sawyer Park at 6 p.m. Christmas by the Bay will continue on Saturday with the holiday parade down 3rd Avenue at 10 a.m. followed by a visit by Santa Claus at the Door County Historical Museum until 1 p.m.

Food Box distribution Thursday in Maplewood

A farmer’s market-style food box program will be offered in Door County on Thursday morning.  Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin will be at Holy Name Church parking lot in Maplewood to offer a free drive-thru mobile food pantry for those in need right now.  You can stay in your vehicle the entire time and just have space cleared in your trunk or backseat of your vehicle for the food.  The drive-thru event will be from 10 am on Thursday until noon at the Holy Name of Mary Food Pantry.  The quantities are limited and will be given away on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

 

(photo courtesy of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin)

Stephens completes Senate Scholar Program

A senior at Sturgeon Bay High School was one of only 33 students in the state to recently participate in the 2021 Wisconsin Senate Scholar Program.  Maggie Stephens was accepted into the program last March and learned about the state legislature through two weeks of virtual meetings.  She shares the experience she had in Madison last week when she visited the state capitol and observed a Wisconsin Senate session in person.

 

 

The Senate Scholar Program is an intensive and highly competitive educational program that offers students the opportunity to gain knowledge of the legislature’s role in passing laws, policy development, and constituent relations. 

Gibraltar approves $3.5 million land purchase

The Town of Gibraltar approved the purchase of two property parcels with a price tag of $3.5 million that will benefit the municipal dock operations on the waterfront.  Town Administrator Travis Thyssen says the meeting on Monday was well attended with nearly 200 people in attendance.  The vote was approved by a 114-47 margin, for the land purchase of the Holiday Harbor Waterfront Cottages on Main Street and the docks adjacent to the town parking lot.  Thyssen says that the township does not have any immediate plans for developing the new property.

 

 

The second agenda item was for the splitting of the clerk/treasurer position, which was passed by a 128-17 vote.  

A.J. Dillon presented "key" to Door County

Green Bay Packer running back A.J. Dillon had his dream of receiving a “key” to Door County fulfilled on Tuesday evening.  Destination Door County presented Dillon with the key at their annual meeting.   Executive Director Julie Gilbert made the presentation and Dillon says he was honored and a little taken back by the symbolic gesture.

 

 

Dillon was introduced to Door County by his fiancé and her family last year.  He joked on Twitter last week that if he could not be mayor of Door County he would like a key.  Dillon scored two touchdowns last Sunday in Green Bay’s 17-0 win over Seattle at Lambeau Field.  

 

(photo courtesy of A.J. Dilllon's Twitter account)

 

 

Press release:

 

New CEO Presents Key to Door County to AJ Dillon during Tourism Organization's 96th Annual Meeting

November 16, 2021.  Destination Door County (DDC), Door County’s destination marketing and management organization, celebrated a year like no other during their 96th annual meeting on Tuesday night at Fernwood Gardens Ballroom at Mr. G’s near Jacksonport.

Around 130 business leaders and community members gathered for the first time in over 2 years to meet DDC’s new President and CEO, Julie Gilbert. Gilbert was named the organization’s new leader last month, and officially began her duties on November 15. Gilbert has more than 30 years of experience in the destination marketing industry and was most recently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls, New York.

The evening began with a social hour, which included a photo booth opportunity for attendees. The evening’s program included remarks from DDC Board Chairman Todd Trimberger, new President/CEO Gilbert, and the official business of the evening took place when new and existing DDC board members were voted in by those members present. Carol Ash (Kick Ash Products), Jennifer Gentry (One Barrel Brewing) and Bryan Nelson (Blacksmith Inn on The Shore) were all voted in for their first 3-year term on the DDC board and Meredith Coulson-Kanter (White Gull Inn), Hoyt Purinton (Washington Island Ferry) and Vicki Wilson (Door County Coffee and Tea) were all approved for their second 3-year term. The new terms all begin in January 2022.

The evening’s big surprise came when DDC presented special guest AJ Dillon with a key to Door County. Dillon, a running back for the Green Bay Packers, has been a self-appointed cheerleader for all things Door County since the summer of 2021. Through his social media channels and during interviews and media appearances, he’s regularly shared his enthusiasm and love for the destination, publicly stating his desire to someday have the key to Door County. DDC’s Gilbert happily surprised Dillon by presenting him with a special key during the event after a short highlight video shared a few examples of AJ talking up Door County.

“I love everything about Door County,” said AJ Dillon after being presented the key from DDC President & CEO Julie Gilbert. “Thank you guys very much, super honored, and a little taken a back right now, thank you so much," Dillon concluded.

View a video of the presentation to AJ Dillon and his reaction to getting the key to Door County on DDC's YouTube channel.

The evening wrapped up with more socializing, additional photo booth fun with special guest AJ Dillon, and a positive outlook on the upcoming winter season and continued success in 2022.

City turns down music on Third Avenue

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved five out of six proposed new ordinances at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday evening.

 

An ordinance on the construction of new fences which would limit the height to eight feet and setbacks from sidewalks being two feet was sent back to the Community Protection & Services Committee for revisions and clarifications.

 

The Common Council did approve the first reading of a noise ordinance to address complaints related to loud music venues on Third Avenue downtown. 

 

A second reading for a communication tower ordinance to have the city's municipal code fall more aligned with the state's statutes was approved.

 

The Common Council also voted in favor of second readings, including an amendment to the Sturgeon Bay Comprehensive Plan and a land rezoning at 1361 North 14th Avenue from Agricultural to General Commercial for 15 planned storage units to be built by Estes Investment, LLP.

 

Before the business portion of the council meeting, Beth Renstrom of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society gave an update on the Teweles Brandeis Granary, which will be holding a groundbreaking on Friday afternoon.  Jim Janning, who donated $250,000 towards the renovation project, also spoke about the granary's value as an attraction for the city in the future. 

 

The City of Sturgeon Bay Board of Public Works met on Tuesday before the Common Council meeting and approved the Capital Roadway Improvements for next year.

 

City Engineer Chad Shefchik shared the plan for the street repairs for the next five years, including the total of 1.69 miles of asphalt roadways scheduled to be repaved in 2022.  

Bearcats not reopening

An Algoma business will remain closed after experiencing a fire back in July.  Bearcat’s Fish House posted on social media Tuesday afternoon that they made the difficult decision to not rebuild or reopen the Bearcats Algoma store.  Citing that the “high cost of rebuilding, labor shortages, and the long lead times on equipment did not support rebuilding in Algoma”.   Bill and Nicole Smith purchased Bearcats on Fourth Street in 2012 and operated the business that sold fresh and smoked fish, seafood, and other products out of that location until the fire.  The Smiths have a Bearcat’s Fish House location at 2223 Velp Avenue in Howard.  

Luxemburg Chamber announces award winners

Three community leaders will be honored for their contributions to the Luxemburg area in December.  The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the annual award winners for 2021.  Mark Heim was chosen as the “person of the year”.  Heim is co-owner of McMahons of Luxemburg and is the main organizer of the Kewaunee County Fair parade.  Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent Glenn Schlender will be given the “community service award” and head custodian Don Fameree will receive the L-C Spartan Spirit Award.   The honors will be formally presented at the Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party on December 4 at Northbrook Golf & Grill.  DoorCountyDailyNews.com will feature the award winners in upcoming articles. 

 

(photos courtesy of Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce)

 

 

Front row:  Don Fameree and Glenn Schlender

Back row:  Ted Stodola, Jean Dax, Alex Stodola (Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce)

People taking to the skies for the holidays

It feels a little bit closer to normal at airports like Green Bay’s Austin Straubel  Airport this holiday season. The annual Thanksgiving Travel Forecast from AAA estimates that 53.4 million Americans will travel next week for Thanksgiving compared to 47.1 million last year. It is the biggest single-year jump in holiday traffic since 2005 and only trails 2019 by approximately five percent.  While the majority of people plan on getting behind the wheel, over four million people are expected to fly. That is approximately 80 percent higher than last year but still less than the 4.5 million people that flew in 2019. Austin Straubel Airport Director Marty Piette has noticed the traffic uptick as vaccination rates have gone up, airfares have stayed steady, and restrictions on things like international travel have gone down. He says to be ready when you head to the airport.

Those driving will feel a little more pain at the pump with a gallon of gas over a dollar more expensive than it was a year ago when consumer traffic was still low due to the pandemic and production was high. Just over a million people will use other modes of transportation to get around for Thanksgiving including trains and buses. 

Demand strong for vaccine for kids

You may have to wait until the middle of December to get your kids vaccinated against COVID-19 in Door County.  The demand for the Pfizer vaccine for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 forced Door County Medical Center to go from allowing walk-ups to appointments only. Door County Public Health also had a strong response to its vaccine clinics for kids while some other vaccine providers in the area have not been able to secure little or no doses for their patients. Both Door County Medical Center and Door County Public Health are working to set up more vaccine clinics in the future. Door County Medical Center Pediatrician Dr. Amy Fogarty recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for anybody eligible, but understands the concerns many parents have about it.

Fogarty explained during Monday’s Facebook Live session with Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise that the diseases chosen to vaccinate kids for are based on the risk of serious side effects, even if they are rare. You can watch the full conversation below.

 

 

State awaits Rittenhouse verdict

Agencies from around the state are hoping to avoid a repeat of last summer’s unrest in Kenosha as the trial of Illinois teen Kyle Rittenhouse comes close to its conclusion.

 

The prosecution and the defense presented their closing arguments on Monday and the jury entered its deliberations on Tuesday morning. The jury is discussing five criminal counts: (one count) first-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, (two counts) first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, (one count) first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, and (one count) attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. The jury has been given the option to consider second-degree charges with some of the counts. The judge has dismissed charges against Rittenhouse for possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 and failure to comply with an emergency order from state or local government.

 

While no unrest is expected in Door and Kewaunee counties, plans are underway elsewhere in the state.  WMTV-Madison reports that the city’s police department is prepared to protect the constitutional rights of its residents if demonstrations occur and they are collaborating with other agencies to determine the best way to respond once a verdict comes. The death of George Floyd spurred protests in Madison, leading to the destruction of statues outside the Capitol building, graffiti on area buildings, and the assault of a Democratic state senator.  Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has mobilized 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to be on standby just in case Kenosha experiences the same unrest that featured the events Rittenhouse is being charged for and millions of dollars in damage. 

Active cases down, one hospitalization

The news on the coronavirus front in Door County improved from last week.  Active COVID-19 cases in Door County dropped by 32 since last Thursday, as local public health officials continue to strongly recommend the vaccine shot to slow the spread of the virus.  On Monday, Door County Public Health reported 31 more positive cases out of 105 tests performed.  The active cases in the county stand at 306, with one additional hospitalization and no new deaths.

 

Door County Public Health will be holding Drive-Thru COVID Clinics at the Emergency Management Services building from noon until 5:30 on Wednesday and from 11 am until 4 pm on Thursday.  No appointment is necessary for you to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Nearly 74 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  

 

Two-vehicle accident slows traffic on Highway 57 Monday afternoon

A two-vehicle accident on the northbound lane of Highway 57 Monday afternoon caused traffic to be funneled down to one lane near the intersection of Stone Road in the Town of Union for about an hour.

 

Occupants of the vehicles were reportedly being evaluated by EMTs and appeared to not be seriously injured or in need of transport to the hospital. The accident occurred at about 3 pm and caused a slight backup of traffic on Highway 57 north near the Southern Door schools until the highway was completely reopened at about 4 pm. 

 

DoorCountyDailyNews.com will have an update on this story as more information becomes available. 

Sturgeon Bay to address noise ordinance and fences

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet on Tuesday evening to take care of a few routine items and vote on three recommendations from the Community Protection and Services Committee.  The Council will consider the first reading of ordinances to establish more precise guidelines in erecting fences within the city limits and one to make following the noise ordinance easier to follow.  City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the council will also be considering the approval of placing bus lanes and no parking signs by Sawyer Elementary School to address safety and traffic congestion concerns.

 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet immediately after the Board of Public Works presentation at 5:30 pm, Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall.  The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission has moved its monthly meeting to Monday, November 29 from the normal third Monday of the month to accommodate members of the commission. 

Band Buddies hope to reinvigorate Gibraltar ensembles

Your old high school band days may be of use to the musical groups at Gibraltar Area Schools.

 

Like many music programs across the country, the pandemic took its toll as rehearsals and concerts went from being in-person to virtual, something that even the best technology could not master. Band programs like Gibraltar’s took a big hit in participation with a once 70-plus member ensemble now standing at just 29. New protocols and bad habits have crept into rehearsals as students adjust to playing together in some cases for the first time in close to two years.

 

The Band Buddies program being created by director Charlie Eckhardt would link community members to musicians in the ensemble to mentor the students. Eckhardt hopes it injects some new life into his bands.

Volunteers will have to pass a background check and follow the necessary COVID-19 protocols. You can click on this link to learn more about the program. 

 

Picture courtesy of Gibraltar Area Schools from Fall Fest 2019

Ward hopes to continue as Sturgeon Bay Mayor

You could find Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward back on the ballot next spring after he announced his intentions to run for re-election on Monday.  Ward defeated Shawn Fairchild in the 2019 spring election after serving two-and-a-half years on the Sturgeon Bay Common Council representing the city’s third district. He noted that the city has had many positive accomplishments in the last three years, which have been dominated by the pandemic. Ward hopes to continue working with residents and the Common Council to achieve more in the future.

The announcement comes two weeks before candidates for the spring election can begin circulating nomination papers on December 1st. Candidates must file those nomination papers by January 4th. 

Door County Granary to break ground Friday

You could witness a twice-in-its-existence event on Friday when the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation breaks ground for the Door County Granary.

 

Originally built in 1901, the building formerly known as the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator sat on Sturgeon Bay’s west side for over a century before it made two separate trips across the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge within the last five years. The organization is digging a new foundation for the structure before it gets placed back in its original location. From there the transformation from an old grain elevator to a new cultural center and event venue will take place. Since the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation’s efforts started the granary has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places and the architects for the revamp, LA DALLMAN, was awarded a Progressive Architectural Award in 2021. Fundraising continues for the project, which Executive Director Beth Renstrom says they have the confidence to move forward with the next phase of the project while acknowledging they still have work to do to reach their goal.

 

Friday’s groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. at the future construction site next to the Door County Maritime Museum and will feature local dignitaries and other project stakeholders. The public is invited to attend.

Coping with holiday stress

With Thanksgiving less than two weeks away, a Sturgeon Bay psychologist has tips for you to manage your holiday stress. Dr. Dennis White says the expectations surrounding the time and money spent over the holidays can cause a buildup of tensions and worries.  He suggests lowering your expectations and accepting the limitations when it comes to some family members who decide not to attend for a variety of reasons.

 

 

Dr. White adds that by managing your expectations and keeping the focus on the true meaning of this time of year, the holidays can be even more enjoyable.  He also says stop worrying about making the holiday get-togethers a “perfect” event.

Kewaunee High School to present Grease the Musical

Next weekend, you will have the chance to see the Kewaunee High School’s production of Grease. After last year’s virtual performance, the music department is offering five live performances for you to attend. This year’s director is Heather Roberts, who is both the high school and middle school choir director. Roberts was involved last year with the musical as a vocal coach. With this year being her first year as director, she describes the experience, struggles, and successes she has found so far.

 

 

Roberts says that the students are solid in their lines and music, and they are looking forward to performing live. Roberts acknowledges the support from the parents and the community and commends the students involved for their hard work in putting the production together. You will be able to see Kewaunee High School’s production of Grease on Friday, November 19th at 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, November 20th and 21st at 2 pm and 7 pm at the theater located in the high school. Tickets to see the show are available at this link.

Don't let winter weather catch you off guard at home

At this time of year, it is essential to think about being prepared for snow and other sorts of winter weather. The Door County Emergency Management Department urges all people to have a plan, an emergency kit and stay informed when poor weather conditions are forecasted. The department emphasizes always being prepared for bad weather and encourages you to know where your loved ones are and how to contact them. Emergency management and communications director Dan Kane, lists what you can do to be safe when poor winter weather conditions occur.

 

 

Kane describes that this is also the time of year to make sure that things are working around your house. With this, he urges you to check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working correctly. Kane also recommends that you get your furnace inspected to make sure that it can keep you warm during the winter months. In addition, he suggests that you should make sure you are practicing safe procedures with your generator, whether that be making sure it is far enough away from your house or making sure it is functioning correctly. One of the ways that you can stay safe in Door County is by utilizing the Code Red app that will alert you when there is any trouble in the area, including weather conditions, missing person reports, or high water levels. More information on how to be prepared for poor weather conditions can be found on the Door County Emergency Management website

 

Gun safety rules for deer hunting

Before going into the woods this deer hunting season, a critical safety reminder is how you are handling your gun, according to Door County Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha.  He says gunshot injuries caused by hunting accidents often happen between members of the same hunting party or family.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is reemphasizing the four basic rules of firearm safety leading up to the deer hunt. Kratcha says the number one rule is to treat every gun as if it is loaded.

 

 

Kratcha adds that sighting in your rifle or shotgun can be done any time before the deer hunting season, even on Friday before the hunt, which was a rule change made a few years ago. He recommends not waiting until the last minute to get your license or sighting in your gun and preparing in advance of deer camp.  

What makes a Christmas song special?

Radio stations across the country including Door County’s Christmas Playlist 96.7 WBDK are making sure you are getting into a festive spirit. Holiday music has been creeping into the airspace earlier and earlier in recent years, with some Last.FM data showing that listeners are giving Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” heavy airplay beginning in late October. Billboard estimates holiday music is $177 billion industry as old standards get covered and become new hits for another generation of musicians. Steve March-Torme knows a little bit about the Christmas music business as the son of Mel Torme, who wrote “A Christmas Song.” Written in 1944, there were over 13,000 different versions of the holiday staple featuring chestnuts roasting on an open fire as of 2015. Torme says there is something about Christmas music that keeps it popular and in-demand year after year.

Torme will release his own holiday tune “I Remember Christmas Time” later this month in advance of his performance with Vic Ferrari’s Michael Bailey and Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Mark Wood at Stone Harbor Resort on December 4th. 96.7 WBDK will be Door County’s Christmas Playlist through the end of the holiday season

 

Picture courtesy of https://www.stevemarchtorme.com/

Spotlight in the Community: Destination Sturgeon Bay's Pam Seiler

The memories you have made in Sturgeon Bay over the years are what bring the biggest smile to the face of Pam Seiler. After more than seven years on the job as the Executive Director of Destination Sturgeon Bay, Seiler plans on retiring from the role next month. The landscape of tourism changed a lot over the last 18 months, let alone since 2014 when she left her role as the Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Door County. The government shutdown to control the spread of COVID-19 hurt many businesses, especially those who depend on tourists to visit their shops rather than abiding by stay-at-home orders. Like many of those businesses, Seiler says Destination Sturgeon Bay had to pivot to ensure that storefronts would be ready to welcome customers whenever it was safe to do so again.

One of Seiler’s final projects was the Graham Park improvements project where a single donation turned into additional donor support to add a game area, a small amphitheater, and a water feature. Seiler does not plan on going very far but added they do plan on taking a couple of months off to visit family and to travel.  You can listen to the rest of our Spotlight in the Community interview with Pam Seiler on our podcasts page.

Advancing technology changing elementary computer classes

If you are a parent of an elementary school student in the Kewaunee School district, you may have noticed your child having different computer class curriculums than you might have as a student. Rebecca Krueger, a computer teacher within the district for 27 years, reflects on the changes she has seen as technology has changed during her career.

 

 

The Kewaunee district's move to 1-to-1 technology for all students at the beginning of the pandemic is still taking place now. Students first grade and up have Chromebooks for individual use, and students in grades kindergarten and below have iPads at their disposal in the same fashion. Krueger has been flexible within her classroom and has adjusted to the students' having their own devices. She described using devices already in the computer labs and the students' devices to continue to teach them how to use systems like Google and Windows simultaneously.

Sonny's providing Thanksgiving dinners for families in need

To give back to the community, a food establishment in Sturgeon Bay will be giving away free Thanksgiving Day dinners to those families who are in need over the holiday season. Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria in Sturgeon Bay will be giving away 20 dinners to families that they receive in nominations. Sonny’s General Manager Nolan Paschke says the program is a way to thank the community.  Paschke also hopes that people realize that everyone needs each other while we are going through the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Sonny’s donated over 20 meals last Thanksgiving when the program started as an extension of the meals programs for students and families when schools were closed in the spring of 2020.  You can nominate a family for a Thanksgiving dinner by contacting Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria or sending a private message to them on Facebook.  

 

 

Scouts USA troop takes Cana duties seriously

For more than 40 years, your visits to Cana Island Lighthouse could not begin without a little help from scouts from Menomonee Falls, Wis.  St. Mary’s Troop 80 helps docents at Cana Island Lighthouse get the site ready for visitors in April and prepare it for winter in early November. Troop members take on tasks like clearing brush and repairing trails during the course of the weekend while also having the opportunity to camp on the island. The relationship between the Cana Island Lighthouse and Troop 80 dates back to the 1980s, though Committee Chairperson Matthew Larson admits they do not know how it started.  He does know it is a duty Troop 80 full embraces, even adopting the moniker “Keepers of the Light” on their trailer.

A plaque on the island’s grounds commemorates the scouts that have participated in the weekend of service over the years. Scouts must participate in it at least three years to be included. Troop 80 will return to Cana Island next April.

Pictures courtesy of Cana Island Lighthouse's Facebook page

 

Kewaunee County prepares to ring bells for Salvation Army

You will soon hear the familiar sounds of bells near red kettles in Kewaunee County. Volunteer recruitment is currently underway now in Kewaunee County as they look to find people for one site in Algoma, two in Luxemburg, and three in Kewaunee.  For the Algoma site, it will feature a new person leading the charge after Jerry Guth stepped aside earlier this year. Salvation Army voucher writer Matt Joski says John Ortlieb is a great addition to what they hope will be a successful campaign.

Most of the county’s six sites will begin having bell ringers on November 29th where they will stay until Christmas Eve. Funds collected by the Salvation Army go towards helping some of the needy families in the Kewaunee County make ends meet when it comes to rent and utility payments. You can find more information about how you can help below.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

I know that I wrote on the upcoming Kewaunee County Salvation Army Kettle Campaign a few weeks ago, but there is some significant information that I would like to get out to our community so that we can prepare for a successful season. While all of the various charities that are initiated during the Holiday season are vital to showing our support to those less fortunate and providing resources during this season of giving, the Kettle Campaign is unique in that the charity we provide during the Kettle Campaign sustains us throughout the year.

       

As the Salvation Army Voucher writer for our county (Yes I would love to have a partner for this role!), I can attest to the value of these funds as we help people with everything from rent payments to utilities in an effort to get them through a tough time in their lives.

       

The success of the Kettle Campaign is dependent on the presence of volunteers at the various sites as it is an undeniable fact that giving is more likely when a volunteer is there cheerfully ringing the bells versus a lonely kettle standing in the entrance. For this reason we would like to make sure everyone is aware of how to register for the amazing opportunity to ring bells as well as some changes in locations.

       

First, you can register to ring bells by going to the online sign up at www.registertoring.com for all of the sites throughout the county. The Kewaunee sites are located at the Piggly Wiggly, Center Court and our new site at Tractor Supply Company. Yhe two sites in Luxemburg are located at Stodola’s IGA and Simonar’s Shell. In Algoma, you can ring bells at Denny’s Super Valu which will be the only Algoma site with Bell Ringers for this year.

       

If you are not able to sign up online, please feel free to call me at (920)255-1100 and I can get you signed up. All of these sites will begin on November 29th and run through December 24th, except for the Tractor Supply Store which will begin on December 4th.

       

I want to again thank Jerry Guth for all of his years of service in coordinating the Algoma Kettle Campaign. We are honored that Mr. John Ortlieb has graciously offered to take on this role from Jerry moving forward. Thank you John for stepping up to help our community!

       

We will also be increasing the use of “Counter Top Kettles” at numerous locations, so please look for those and drop your spare change to help your neighbors in need!

       

On a side note, I have delivered the Toys for Tots boxes last week to the many businesses who are serving as drop off sites. You have until December 17th to drop off a new unwrapped toy as we will be distributing the toys on December 18th at Holy Rosary Church in Fr. Mike Hall. To register for this program, please contact Deanne at Kewaunee County Public Health. She can be reached at (920)388-7160.

Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade a "go"

The eclectic Thanksgiving floats you missed from last year will be back on the streets of Jacksonport this year. The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade took the past year off due to the ongoing pandemic, but it will return to its usual holiday morning slot for its 25th anniversary. Traditionally a joint effort between Gibraltar and Sevastopol students, the event also acts as a fundraiser for a different cause every year. This year, all proceeds will go to benefit the Door of Life Food Pantry in Sister Bay and the family of Baileys Harbor emergency responder Kim Burns. Parade committee member Jill Lautenbach says it is an event for everybody.

While there will be no raffles this year, the parade will still kickoff at 10:30 a.m. where you possibly see it go past three different times depending on where you stand. The event has raised thousands of dollars in the past for Door County families and causes like Feed My People’s Christmas Profile program, Door County Secret Santa, and DoorCancer.

 

Picture courtesy of Jacksonport Thankgsgiving Parade and Benefit

 

 

Courts halt vaccine mandate for large businesses

You may not be forced to get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you work at a large company after a court ruling on Friday.

 

The Biden Administration had previously mandated that employees at businesses with more than 100 employees either had to be vaccinated or be subjected to weekly mandatory testing. The New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit blocked the mandate's implementation on Friday after Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina brought the case to court. The three-judge panel said the mandate would cause businesses a financial risk in terms of enforcement and testing. The federal government argued that they could issue a mandate based on an OSHA regulation from the 1970s.

 

The USA Today predicts the case will make its way to the Supreme Court, though the high court has allowed vaccine mandates to move forward at Indiana University and New York City Public Schools in previous decisions.  

Former Kenosha resident awaits Rittenhouse verdict

As Governor Tony Evers mobilizes 500 Wisconsin National Guard troops to Kenosha to be on standby for the final days of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, a former resident will keep tabs from his home in Jacksonport. Closing arguments could come as soon as Monday in the trial of Rittenhouse who is facing five felony charges including first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment. He is accused of killing two men and injuring another during the riots stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake in the summer of 2020. Rittenhouse’s defense says the Illinois teenager was acting in self-defense when he encountered the men. The riots were especially troubling for Mike Serpe and his wife, who both grew up in Kenosha and still have a home on the city’s south side. He feels bad for the businesses that were impacted and hopes for peace after the verdict is given no matter which direction it goes.

The riots last summer caused over $50 million in damage to the city of Kenosha. Serpe is happy that large portions of the city have been able to rebuild in the time since.

Two deaths in Kewaunee County, no new hospitalizations

Although the hospitalizations from the coronavirus in Kewaunee stayed the same this week, the COVID-19 number jumped considerably and two more deaths were reported.   Three people remain hospitalized in Kewaunee County with 67 more people shown to have recovered from the virus.  There were 96 new positive tests and active cases increased by 26 to 88. 

 

As of Friday, 48.4 percent of Kewaunee County residents have now 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.  The Health Department will be administering the Pfizer vaccine to five to 11 year olds at clinics next Wednesday and Friday by appointment only as limited doses are available.

 

Sturgeon Bay Schools to host open house events

You will be able to see all of the work the 2020 facilities referendum help pay for at Sturgeon Bay School District. The $16.84 million price tag made much-needed improvements to the district’s two grade schools, TJ Walker Middle School, and the high school. The improvements included refurbished career and technical education classrooms at the high school and new investments in the buildings’ infrastructure like new security doors, windows, and HVAC systems. The referendum also led to the closure of Sunset School, which will soon be redeveloped into housing. District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says all the buildings will be open to the public on November 30th so they can see what their vote did for the community.

All the schools will be open for guided or self-guided tours on November 30th from 4 to 6 p.m.

Water tests could spur additional action

The path to better and safer water begins with testing your water. Earlier this week, over 200 residents picked up bottles from the Kewaunee County Land and Water Department for a second round of well testing paid for by a Wisconsin Coastal Management grant and donation by Peninsula Pride Farms. Although the first round of testing completed in July painted a brighter picture than what a 2016 study provided, Land and Water Conservation Department Director Davina Bonness said a number of new property owners learned that their well water was unsafe due to the high levels of a number of contaminants. Once you learn that your well water is unsafe, Lemens WaterCare owner Jim Simonar says it is a good time to have a conversation on how to fix it.

If you missed out on the opportunity from the county, water testing can be done year-round if you believe something is wrong with your well for a nominal fee.

High winds knock down trees, cause power line fire

Thursday’s storm that went through Door County caused plenty of issues for homeowners and even started a fire. Accompanying the rain were winds of 15 to 30 miles per hour with gusts reaching as high as 40 miles per hour.  Door County Dispatch received one call for a wire down and five calls for downed trees. The high winds were also to blame for a fire call on Bay Shore Drive at approximately 6:45 p.m. Egg Harbor Interim Fire Chief Jason Staats said a tree hit a power line, causing a small fire. In the event of such fires, crews stay on location until Wisconsin Public Service arrives. 

Domestic Violence typically spikes before holidays

The days leading up to the holidays can be an even more difficult time than usual for those at risk of domestic abuse. Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales says that violence tends to swing upward before a holiday. She says national and local history shows that the pattern follows many holidays.  Victims of domestic abuse will experience a cycle of tension-building after a calm period where things seem to be getting better, which is called the “honeymoon” phase before violence happens.   She says COVID-19 stresses have impacted the reported numbers of domestic violence. 

 

 

Gonzales states that holiday stress is not the reason for domestic violence but can be a contributing factor.  Data from the National Domestic Violence hotline in recent years indicates that reported calls dropped by about 50 percent on Thanksgiving Day compared to the week prior to the holiday. 

Get your car ready for winter

With colder and wintery-like weather conditions expected this weekend, local law enforcement is advising you to get your vehicle prepared for the upcoming season of snow on the roads.  Professional Standards Captain Carl Waterstreet from the Door County Sheriff’s Office says it is especially important to check the tread depth and quality of your vehicle’s tires this time of year.

 

 

Waterstreet notes that roads have not been treated for snow or ice yet this season and may still have oil residue on them that can make for some slippery spots.  He recommends carrying a spare phone charger and an emergency kit in your car’s trunk with road flares, gloves, jumper cables, a flashlight, and blankets.  You can find additional tips on what you should store in your car for winter driving here. 

Fire department t-shirt scam reported

If you are receiving a text on your phone asking you to support local fire departments by purchasing t-shirts, beware that it is a scam.    Potential victims say the solicitation comes by text message and will mention a specific local fire department by name showing a photo of the shirt.  Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, BUG, Casco, and Egg Harbor are just some of the departments that have been mentioned in the text messages.  Casco Fire Chief Bruce DePeau says he was alerted a week ago about the scam and says people should immediately delete the text without clicking the link.

 

 

DePeau advises you to make sure that online purchases of any fundraiser are from a legitimate source before buying anything.  Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Dan Brinkman warns that just like any other unsolicited text scam, you should make sure the local organization is truly selling items.  You can find the picture of the customized t-shirt and link that is being sent as part of the scam below.  

Active cases tick up with one new hospitalization

The positive direction of Door County’s fight against COVID-19 took a minor detour on Thursday as the public health department ramps up its vaccination efforts.

 

Out of 126 tests administered, 36 came back positive for COVID-19. The number of active cases went up 15 to 338. That is only the 3rd time since the middle of October that Door County saw an increase in active cases in one of its two weekly reports.

 

Just under 74 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The public health department announced earlier this week it would be having two drive-through clinics for the COVID-19 vaccine at the Door County EMS building before taking the week off for Thanksgiving.  Children ages 5-11 on Washington Island will have one of their first chances to get vaccinated on December 2nd from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. by appointment only.  

Fire destroys garage, damages home in Montpelier

A homeowner in the Town of Montpelier has lost their garage after an early morning fire Wednesday.

 

The Luxemburg Fire Department was dispatched to the home on Cherneyville Road just after 12:30 a.m. where a garage was fully engulfed. The property owner was alerted to the fire when he heard a popping noise coming from outside. By the time firefighters arrived, an adjacent home's exterior siding and eaves were also on fire.

 

Firefighters stormed into the home to protect the interior while others extinguished the flames on the outside. The fire was under control within 30 minutes, though firefighters had to tear down the ceiling to access the blaze when it extended into the upper parts of the home. The garage and what was stored inside (its contents) were completely destroyed while the home suffered fire, smoke, and water damage. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is still unknown at this time. Luxemburg Fire Department also received help from agencies in Denmark, New Franken Kewaunee, and Casco. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department was called in to cover the station just in case there was a second alarm.

Former Luxemburg Village President, businessman leaves legacy

The life of Luxemburg’s Harold Lemens will be celebrated next week after he passed away earlier this month at the age of 90. Lemens was a fixture in the community, graduating from Luxemburg High School before serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He went to work for his dad George at the Gamble Store when he returned from the war and later would start Lemens Hardware with his brother Leonard. Lemens would later serve as president of both the Village of Luxemburg and its local chamber of commerce. Much like his dad did, Jim Lemens joined his father in the family business before buying the business nearly 30 years after his parents became sole owners of Lemens Hardware. Lemens says he learned a lot under the tutelage of his father and still tries to emulate him as much as possible.

LEMENS1

Lemens leaves behind six kids, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. You can read more about the life of Lemens and find visitation and funeral information by clicking here.

 

Picture of former store location courtesy of Lemens Hardware

Daoust takes on new role at Senior Life Solutions

Lauren Daoust will continue to make sure the seniors in your life get the help they need after being elevated to program director for Door County Medical Center’s Senior Life Solutions program. Daoust joined Senior Life Solutions last year as a therapist, helping seniors struggling with age-related depression, difficult life transitions, or the loss of a loved one. She will continue in that role as well as directing and coordinating the everyday activities of the program. It is a role Daoust enjoys as she hopes to take the program into the future.

She is most proud of how the program has been able to institute technology like video calling into their work, which proved to be very important as the country continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Medical Center

Kewaunee County jail study moves to third phase

You will have more information on a new jail facility in Kewaunee County before you potentially vote on it next year. The Kewaunee County Board voted 17-1 on Tuesday in favor of moving forward with Phase 3 of its jail study, which will nail down the final design elements of the facility. Much of the debate was not centered around the building itself but rather how to staff it properly while also being fiscally sound. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski recently outlined the operational costs of the new facility in the Door County Daily News, saying a $1 million referendum may be needed due to current levy limits so they can hire at least four new people. Board chairperson Dan Olson suggested other solutions such as moving the sheriff’s offices to the jail to reduce the amount of jail staff needed during the first shift on weekdays. Joski said during the meeting that their staffing needs have been outlined for over a year.

Whether it be done with less than eight people or not, Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says no one really knows until Phase 3 is completed.

No other discussion, including possible referendum dates, took place following the vote. The Kewaunee County Board also passed the budget with one minor amendment that required no additional money to be spent. The budget features the lowest tax rate property owners have seen in a decade. 

 

MEETING VIDEO STARTS AT JAIL DISCUSSION

 

Gibraltar collects 4K thoughts

A new early childhood option could soon be available in northern Door County. Gibraltar Area Schools is seeing if there is interest in the district creating a pilot four-year-old kindergarten program for the 2022-2023 school year. Research shows that children participating in programs like 4K are more likely to complete school, avoid remedial classes, and experience high levels of achievement in high school. Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer says it is important for them to collaborate with other early education providers to find a solution that works for everyone.

With the survey closing to respondents within the next two weeks, Van Meer’s goal is to develop a proposal for a pilot 4K program to be discussed at the next Gibraltar School Board meeting. 

Algoma Chamber receiving $10,000 state grant for local tourism

Algoma is one of 120 communities in the state to benefit from Governor Tony Evers' announcement Wednesday awarding $15 million in tourism grants to Destination Marketing Organizations.  The Algoma Chamber of Commerce will receive $10,000 to attract visitors from outside the area.  Executive Director Ken Weinaug says the state money will go a long way to promoting Algoma throughout the state.

 

 

Weinaug adds that the tourism numbers in Algoma were great this past year, significantly benefiting from good weather for the Shanty Days and Soar on the Shore events this summer.  He anticipates bigger and better tourism opportunities in 2022 with the additional grant money.  

 

Distribution of grant money by the state here. 

 

 

Door County Drive-Thru COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic announced

The Door County Public Health Department is offering booster COVID-19 shots at drive-thru clinics on Wednesday and Thursday next week in Sturgeon Bay.  The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for ages 12 and older, first or second dose, or booster is available, as well as the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for adults, first shot, or booster.  Next Wednesday, November 17, the drive-thru clinics will be held from noon until 5:30 pm and Thursday, November 18, from 10 am until 4 pm at the Emergency Services Building on 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  Appointments are required by calling 920-746-7180 or visiting bookdcph.timetap.com.

Those eligible for the booster may now choose from the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccines.  The CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.


For those who received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, you can get your booster shot after six months from your second dose, including the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.  You must be 65 or older, or adults who live in long-term care settings, have underlying medical conditions, or work/live in high-risk environments.

Door County Veterans Day Ceremony

The Door County community will come together to recognize the sacrifice of military veterans at the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday.

 

November 11 is Veterans Day, and the Door County Veterans Service Office will hold a ceremony at the ADRC at 11:30 am.

 

 Door County Veterans Officer Beth Wartella will give a commemorative speech, and the color guard will perform a rifle salute with the playing of “Taps.”

 

Veterans are invited to enjoy a complimentary meal and receive an honorary gift as a patriotic musical tribute will take place during the meal.  Attendance is limited to 60 people, and advanced registration is required.   The luncheon is available for take-out as well by calling 920-746-2372 to register. 

 

The Veterans Day Ceremony at the ADRC will also be streamed on Facebook Live at facebook.com/ ADRCDoorCounty.

Budgeting for Christmas spending

Managing your money before the holidays might present the biggest challenge of the year. Leslie Boden, executive director of Money Management Counselors, says there are many things we forget about when it comes to addressing spending plans. She shares some details that many people do not account for when trying to budget their spending.

 

 

Boden adds that extra purchases that are commercially incentivized can have you spend more than initially planned. Having lists and sticking to them can help curb overspending as well. Setting boundaries and putting your spending in cash inside an envelope to keep track is an excellent way to account for your holiday budget. 

Schmitz recognized for 40 years of leadership and development

Phillip J. Schmitz of Schmitz Insurance in Sturgeon Bay was recently recognized for professional leadership and advanced knowledge by the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors.  Awarded a certificate of achievement recognizing forty consecutive years of successfully maintaining the Certified Insurance Counselor designation, Schmitz shares the importance of why meeting the requirements for continuing education in the insurance field is very important.

 

 

Schmitz adds that it is very rewarding to be able to help people protect their financial future while continuing his professional growth.

Veterans Day Concert in Sturgeon Bay Thursday

You can hear the sounds of patriotic music resound this Thursday evening at the annual Veterans Day Concert in Sturgeon Bay. The Peninsula Symphonic Band and the Swingin’ Door Big Band will perform at Prince of Peace Church.  Peninsula Symphonic Band Director Jason Palmer says the one-hour concert will feature more than the usual patriotic music.

 

 

There will be a special tribute to the late John Mann by the Bone Boys, a trombone ensemble of which Mann was a member.  The free concert will begin at 7 pm at the Prince of Peace Church on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay. A free-will offering to benefit the Veterans Services of Door County will be made available.

Peterson proud of progress made despite COVID challenges

You can give Southern Door School District Superintendent Chris Peterson a passing grade for navigating through a pandemic in his first year at a new school. Like many school districts, Southern Door has had to adjust as the numbers fluctuated in the community. Earlier in the school year, there was a time where it had to make masking mandatory for grades through K-6 and staff members as it ultimately tried to keep as many kids learning in person as possible. Southern Door has since gone back to making masking optional for students as the numbers improved. In addition to making testing possible for students, the district instituted temperature checks at the door, which Peterson credits for helping keep a close eye on COVID-19 and also giving kids a positive start to their day.

Peterson is happy to see many of the activities at Southern Door get a chance to flourish in the new school year. That includes in-person performances of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Southern Door Auditorium and continuing to enhance and grow their STEAM offerings throughout the district. You can listen to our full conversation with Peterson by clicking this link. 

Furniture finds good homes through resale

You do not have to travel far to find quality furniture for your home or to see go off to another family.

 

Last week, Goodwill stores in southeastern Wisconsin and the Chicago metro areas said they would stop accepting furniture and other larger items at their resale shops. The organization said that part of the reason why for the change was the quality of the pieces that were being donated. If they were in poor shape, it often costs more to prepare them for sale than what they were worth.

 

For the Door County Habitat for Humanity ReStore, furniture remains a top item both to donate and to buy. ReStore Manager Megan Dietz says there are some things to keep in mind when you come in to buy or drop off a piece of furniture.

As a result of their ReStore sales, not only have they been able to support affordable housing projects in Door County, the organization has been able to keep thousands of pounds of refuse out of area landfills.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Families reconnect after travel ban lifted

Your loved ones from overseas will be able to more easily reconnect with you after the United States lifted its travel ban for non-U.S. citizen travelers on Monday.

 

It has been almost 20 months since the pandemic forced the United States to close its international crossings with Canada and Mexico and turn international terminals at airports into ghost towns. The United States did not budge on its stance even as European countries opened their borders to international tourists earlier this year. Under the new guidance, international visitors will have to show proof of vaccination and a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.

 

It is a relief for Imelda Delchambre, who works with local families as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Resource Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties.

Delchambre hopes that with the extra incentive for families that more Hispanics will get vaccinated. Hispanic have the second-lowest full vaccination rate in the state at 445 persons per 1,000 people.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Deer hunter safety tips for tree stands

As deer hunters eagerly await the 2022 gun deer hunt later this month, the Wisconsin Department of Resources (DNR) cautions hunters to avoid putting up tree stands in or near ash trees this year.  Most ash trees in Door County and other parts of the state are dead or dying from emerald ash borer infestation.  Door County Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says tree stand accidents are the leading cause of serious injury to deer hunters.  He advises hunters to get their stands ready now and not wait until the last minute.

 

 

Kratcha recommends that you bring a partner along with you when you go into the woods to set up your deer stand.  You can find the basic rules of tree stand safety below.

 

 

Basic Rules Of Treestand Safety

No matter the type of treestand, follow these basic safety rules:

  • Always wear a full-body harness also known as a fall-arrest system. Connect to your tether line and keep your tether line short. The tether is designed to keep you in the seat, not to catch you after you fall.
  • Always have three points of contact while climbing into and out of the treestand: This means two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand at all times.
  • Always use a haul line to raise and lower your unloaded firearm or bow into and out of the stand. You can also use the haul for other things like a heavy backpack.
  • Use a lifeline when climbing up and down, this keeps you connected from the time you leave the ground to the time you get back down.

Additional treestand safety information is available here.

How To Identify Ash Trees

Hunters should know how to identify an ash tree to avoid deer stand placement and to keep a lookout for unreported infestations while afield.

Ash trees can be identified through two key features: opposite branching patterns where two branches come off the main stem directly across from each other and compound leaves with 5-11 leaflets.

More information on ash trees and how to identify them is available on the UW-Madison’s Department of Entomology Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin webpage.

How To Limit Tree Infestation And Disease Afield

When traveling for hunting season, people are encouraged to obtain firewood close to where it will be burned to reduce the chance of spreading tree-killing insects and diseases such as emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and oak wilt.

Dry firewood with loose bark has the lowest risk of spreading harmful insects or diseases. Purchasing certified firewood is another option, as it is widely available and is seasoned or treated to eliminate pests and diseases. Bundles of certified firewood have a printed label showing certification.

For a list of certified firewood retailers, visit the Firewood Scout website.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to build "sister" barge

A second 5,500 cubic meter bunker barge will be built in Sturgeon Bay.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding will be making a sister vessel to the Clean Canaveral, which will be delivered in mid-November.  The agreement is with Polaris New Energy (PNE Marine Holdings), which anticipates that new vessels utilizing Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) are expected to be in service over the next several years.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the benefit of doing a sister vessel allows for a faster build that can save up to five months.

 

 

Being a large consumer of steel, Thayse notes that Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding can order steel right now and avoid any supply chain issues at this point. 

 

Demand drives pediatric COVID-19 vaccination schedule

You will have to wait a little longer if you want your child vaccinated against COVID-19  through Door County Medical Center. The hospital announced Monday afternoon that the clinic for the Pfizer vaccination clinic scheduled for Tuesday will not be open for walk-ins as all the appointments have been taken. Door County Medical Center is in the process of planning future pediatric COVID-19 vaccine clinics with dates being announced at a later date. Appointments will be accepted on Friday afternoons over the phone at 920-743-3666. The Door County Public Health Department also has vaccination dates available on Tuesday and Thursday this week by appointment only.

 

 

Miss Door County Scholarship Organization looking for 2022 candidates

The Miss Door County 2022 event will need a few more participants to make the 25th anniversary of the competition come true.  Executive Director of the Miss Door County Scholarship Organization Kimberly Sawyer, says only three women have signed up for the competition so far. At least five contestants are needed for the event scheduled for February 5 at the Southern Door Auditorium. As the new Executive Director, Sawyer notes the program’s impact on her life since she was Miss Door County in 2008.

 

 

Women between the ages of 18 and 26 can compete for the title of Miss Door County 2022, and ages 13 through 17 can compete for the title of Miss Door County’s Outstanding Teen 2022. Interested candidates must also live, work, or go to school full-time in Door County. Anyone interested in competing should email Kim at: missdoorcounty@gmail.com for more information. 

 

2021 Miss Outstanding Teen Kaylee Griep, and Miss Door County Gracen Spritka

(photos contributed)

 

Maps point of contention ahead of debate

You will likely see district maps head to the courts even with the Wisconsin Legislature debating the topic this week in Madison. Both the Wisconsin Legislature and the People’s Maps Commission have submitted their proposals for review with each side they will not even consider the others. The Legislature’s map looks largely the same as it did when they were drawn 10 years ago with some minor changes due to population fluctuations. The People’s Maps Commission is Governor Tony Evers’ attempt of having a non-partisan panel draw the maps. Under the revised maps, the First Assembly District represented by Sturgeon Bay Republican Joel Kitchens would lose a small portion of Brown County but gain a larger chunk of Manitowoc County. Kitchens believes the Republican-drawn map is the better one because of how it keeps communities together.

Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck believes the People’s Maps Commission is a better representation of how such maps should be drawn, citing the revised versions that were created because of the public’s opinions being heard.

The Wisconsin Legislature does not have to consider the People’s Maps Commission’s proposal when they discuss their own idea this week. Governor Evers has already promised he will veto any Republican-drawn map, calling it “gerrymandering 2.0.” With a likely date in court coming, the district maps have to be submitted to the Wisconsin Elections Commission in March. 

Dry weather, first frost contribute to grass fires

They were all small in nature, but three grass fires over the weekend served as a reminder that you have to start taking extra precautions this fall. A discarded cigarette may have been to blame for a small grass fire off of Orchard Road in the Village of Ephraim Friday afternoon that was quickly put out by firefighters. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to two such fires over the weekend. A burning barrel allegedly caused one grass fire to start near County DK in the Town of Brussels Friday evening. On Saturday morning, a hot exhaust pipe may be the reason why a recently harvested cornfield was caught ablaze while hunters prepared for the upcoming gun season, burning approximately 2,500 square feet.  B.U.G. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the first frost usually sets things in motion for these fires to become commonplace.

Vandertie credits both landowners for acting quickly and calling 911 as soon as they were in danger. 

Public health confirms new COVID hospitalization, kid vaccine clinics

You will be able to get your kids signed up for the COVID-19 as vaccine clinics are scheduled for later this week.

 

The Door County Public Health Department released the details as a part of its Monday situation update after the vaccine got its final ok late last week.  While it is rare for kids to get severely ill with COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control say they can still get sick, suffer complications later in life, and spread it to others. The Pfizer vaccine will be offered by Door County Public Health to kids ages 5-11 by appointment only on Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. and Thursday from 4-6 p.m. The second set of days are set up for December 1st and 3rd. The county announced there were only 25 new positive cases of COVID-19 over the weekend out of 141 tests distributed. The number of active cases tumbled down 58 to 323. One new hospitalization was also reported and there were no additional deaths.

 

FROM DOOR COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER

Due to popular demand, the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccination clinic for children scheduled for Tuesday, November 9 will not be open to walk-ins; appointments are full. Door County Medical Center is in the process of identifying dates for additional mass Pediatric vaccine clinics. Future dates will be released as soon as possible. Appointments are accepted in the Pediatric department for ages 5-11 to receive their COVID-19 vaccine on Friday afternoons. Call (920) 746-3666 for an appointment. Please follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates.

In-Person band concerts return to the area

You have the opportunity to see local school bands perform in person after a year of virtual performances. The Algoma Middle school band had their first performance in front of an audience on October 26th with a Halloween-themed concert. Algoma band director Jennifer Massey expressed that performing live for an audience has an entirely different feel for her as a director and for the students.

 

 

The Algoma school district has a conjoined concert coming up for Veterans Day with both the High school band and the Algoma community band on November 10th, with Algoma’s Mayor Schmidt announcing each song as the bands play. You also will be able to see the Kewaunee High school band perform for the Harvest Concert on November 13th. Southern Door will be hosting their Winter Choral Concert that includes grades 7-12 on December 14th.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry preparing for thanksgiving

This year the Kewaunee County food pantry will continue providing Thanksgiving meals to families in need. Families from the area are invited to stop by the pantry and pick up a Thanksgiving meal later this month. President of the food pantry Ken Marquardt, says the preparations for the Thanksgiving meals start a month in advance.

 

 

Although the number of people coming to the food pantry remains 30% down from what it was two years ago, the staff continues to provide food for those in need. Marquardt does predict that after the first of the year, more families will return to the food pantry after certain government programs are done. Donations from the community are always appreciated and can be brought to the food pantry in Algoma during their business hours. The pantry is also looking for more volunteers; applications can be found at the pantry if you are interested.

New Door County Plat Books available

 

You can get the most updated land ownership maps of Door County right now.  Every three years the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department updates their plat book that also references road names, creeks and lakes locations, and names along with other County information.  Conservationist Brian Forest says the designs of the plat books are also a useful tool for you to recognize invasive species and protect endangered species.

 

 

The Door County Plat Book can be purchased at the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department office at the Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The cost is $30 and it can also be mailed out for an additional $4.00.  You can get more information by calling (920) 746-2214.   

Dealing with "Seasonal Affective Disorder"  

With Daylight Savings Time in effect now, the seemingly shorter days of sunlight may harm your mental health.  Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says the bio-chemical condition is known as "seasonal affective disorder," or SAD.  It is estimated that as many as two million Americans suffer from this disorder related to shorter days and a lack of sunlight.  Some people can stop producing enough of the chemicals necessary to maintain a normal level of good feeling.    Dr. White shares some solutions to SAD.

 

 

Dr. White adds that even if you are not suffering from SAD but may be feeling depressed, you can change your behavior to be more active, get more exercise and eat a healthier diet.  You can listen to Dr. White's entire Mental Health Minute on seasonal affective behavior below.  

 

Worldwide Operation Christmas Child starting in Door County

Local volunteers of Operation Christmas Child (OCC) are preparing for the drop-off and collections of Christmas packages that begin on November 15 in Sturgeon Bay.  A curbside drop-off of shoebox gifts at First Baptist Church of Sturgeon Bay will eventually be distributed throughout 11 countries in the world.  Organizer Pamela Parks says the meaningful and joy-filled project is an easy one for you to participate in.

 

 

You can drop off the plastic or cardboard shoeboxes with school supplies, toys, clothing, stuffed animals, and personal hygiene items.  Parks adds that a $9 suggested donation to help cover the shipping cost is appreciated.  In the past, boxes have been shipped as far as Ecuador, Kenya, and India.  Operation Christmas Child Drop Off Location at First Baptist Church of Sturgeon Bay is the week of November 15 through November 21. Designated drop-off hours are 4 to 7 p.m. on Nov. 15, 5 to 7 p.m. November 16 through November 18, 4 to 6 p.m. on November 19, and noon to 2 p.m. on November 20 and 21.

Kewaunee County ATV Park closing for winter soon

If you enjoy spending time at the Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee County, your time is almost up for this year. On November 15th, the park will be officially closed for the winter season. This summer season was much like last year, with all of the parks being busier than the previous year and the ATV park being especially busy on weekends. Dave Myers, the promotions and recreations director with the Kewaunee County Parks, explains how the parks department prepares for winter and the following season. He describes his hopes for when the park reopens next year.

 

 

With only a little time left before the end of the season, there is still time for you to enjoy the 20+ miles of trails at the Kewaunee County ATV park. 

 

Staffing a concern in new jail discussion

Building a multi-million dollar facility is just half the discussion when you talk about the prospect of a new jail in Kewaunee County. While the building will be paid off eventually, the cost of operating a larger, newer facility will continue to stick around. In the current facility, the jailers double as dispatchers, a concept that is unique when you look across the state and compare how other counties staff their jail facilities. It is something the county will not be able to do moving forward, which means the county will likely have to supersede its current tax levy limits in order to reach minimal staffing levels at a new facility. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski admits it is not an easy decision for anybody, but it is something that needs to be done.

The Kewaunee County Board will discuss how to proceed with the new jail facility, including its capital and operational costs, when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the administration center in Kewaunee for its scheduled meeting.

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Last week I shared an update regarding the Jail Facility project and the options that are available to the County Board. I want to express my appreciation for all of those who have been involved with the planning process thus far and will support whatever decision the board makes regarding the next steps. In this article I would like to discuss another critical component of this project, which are the operational costs. For anyone who has been part of a facility improvement initiative, you know that the building itself represents only one facet of the overall long term cost. In fact I would say that the building while representing a significant upfront cost is not as significant as the operational costs as those are ongoing throughout the life span of that given facility.

     

In the case of a new Kewaunee County Jail, one of the most significant operational costs will be the staffing. You might ask why Kewaunee County is any different than other counties in this respect. The reason is that in Kewaunee County we have staffed our current facility in a very unique way having our Jailers serve as our Dispatchers and our Dispatchers serve as our Jailers. What this means in practical terms is that instead of having four posts (Two Jailers/ Two Dispatchers) we have had two posts (Two Jailer/Dispatchers). In moving forward we are not able to continue in this practice so the transition from current minimal staffing to future minimal staffing is a bigger transition than a county who had already been operating with a normal staffing model.

       

So you may ask; what does this matter to me as a resident of Kewaunee County? It matters because it will be very difficult to add the necessary staffing to get to the minimal staffing levels without superseding our current tax levy limits. We have been operating under levy limits now for over a decade and each year over the past decade; the Sheriff’s Department along with other County Departments have cut budgets along with staff to remain under that limit. In simple terms; there is no meat left on the bones of our current budgets to absorb this cost increase.

      

So as I stated in last week’s article, if the County Board would choose to move forward without a referendum on the building it would save the taxpayers’ money, however, we are still faced with the real possibility of having a referendum in the fall election to ask you the tax payers for permission to raise our levy limit so as to properly staff and operate the new facility.

       

This is not an action or a choice which we will arrive at easily. Just as in the building planning process, the planning and discussion of operational costs have also been extensive and the gravity of the outcome is in the forefront of our minds. While no one likes to see an increase to their property taxes (Myself included), we cannot take on the liability and risk of occupying this new facility with inappropriate staffing levels.

       

I write this article to share our current state of discussions and by no means have any decisions been made regarding this very important decision. I can guarantee you though that I, along with my staff, the County Administrator and the members of our county board will do what we can to find a balance between cost savings and facility functionality. I look forward to any input our community has regarding this matter. You can always reach me on cell phone at (920)255-1100

Rotary Interact offers opportunities for youth

The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact Club wants to see your kid at meetings in the future. Rotary Interact is comprised of mainly high school students and work directly with their local Rotary Club. Rotary members provide support and guidance, but otherwise it is the kids that run the club’s operations. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact Club has been kept busy this year with a number of fundraisers and service projects. President Maggie Stephens, Vice President Andrew Konop, and Treasurer Elijah Pinkert enjoy the opportunities the club gives them to help their neighbors.

The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact Club is currently raising funds for its Thanksgiving Meals program. Last year’s efforts raised enough money to cover the costs of a Thanksgiving meal for 49 families. You can click the link to donate.

Saving old tech before the holidays

You do not have to rush out to the store to get the newest technology if you do not want to this holiday season. The National Retail Federation is expecting Americans to spend between nine to 11 percent more than last year’s holiday season to the tune of approximately $850 billion. The Untold Insights Survey showed that 26 percent of holiday shoppers plan on buying more electronics this year, tied with fashion apparel and home goods and trailing only gift cards. Some devices may not need a complete replacement, especially if they are only a couple of years old. Erin Helgeson from Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay says comparing what you want your device to do to what it can do is important.

In addition to new models of certain devices, the biggest change shoppers may see is with their laptops and desktops. PCs will now likely be preloaded with Windows 11, which was released last month. 

Lack of child care teachers creating two crises

Almost every industry is experiencing issues with hiring, but not all of them have a trickle-down effect like you could find with child care in northern Door County.

 

Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay is one of the few child-care facilities in the entire county. Retirements and other reasons have led the center to be about five teachers short of where they would like to be in terms of staffing. Like other businesses across the country, they have struggled to get applicants even after raising wages and increasing benefits. Karen Corekin-DelaMer from the Northern Door Children’s Center credits their staff for allowing them to maintain their services to as many families as they possibly can. Without the proper staffing, she says the waiting list for new families will grow and current families may have to become more flexible.

Not having enough teachers could create more issues for those looking for child care in Door County. The United Way of Door County has been working hard at addressing those issues. Along with the Door County Child Development Center, they are surveying the community to learn about ways they could offer care for families with adults working non-traditional shifts. 

Combat loneliness with StrongBodies

Studies have shown physical activity to increase good mental health. Social isolation and loneliness can perpetuate poor mental health. StrongBodies is an exercise program where you can participate at your own pace and where you are comfortable. This casual setting allows for time to converse and socialize as you are comfortable. Beyond the physical health benefits, participants also find this program to be helpful for their mental health. The National Institute on Aging encourages people to bring a friend with them to exercise to help keep up the motivation towards a healthier life. Not only does it help with accountability, it also helps with social well-being!

 

To join the Kewaunee StrongBodies class sign up here: http://tiny.cc/KewauneeSB OR contact Erin Dahle at 920-388-7141.

 

Classes in Kewaunee are currently held in the Algoma Wellness center on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:15AM-10:15AM

 

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

Gov. Evers vetoes reading bill

Governor Tony Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 446 that would have replaced the current way school districts address literacy.  The bill would have implemented a three-tiered approach for students in 4K through second grade.  Kari Baumann of Baileys Harbor, who testified in favor of the bill, says 1st District Representative Joel Kitchens informed her that Governor Evers had vetoed the bill on Friday afternoon.  Having a son who battles with dyslexia, Baumann says she is disappointed in Friday’s decision.

 

 

Baumann is hopeful that a new bill can be reissued and passed by Governor Evers in the future.  The defeated bill had its opponents, including the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, and the Wisconsin Association of School Administrators. They said the bill is unfunded to be able to pay for the extra staffing and resources necessary.

Kewaunee County adds 76 more cases, two deaths 

The COVID-19 numbers in Kewaunee County took a significant jump the past week.  The Kewaunee County Health Department reported 76 new cases and two more deaths since last Friday.  The active cases increased by 11 to 62, while hospitalizations went down from six to three.

 

On the vaccination front, 48.1 percent of Kewaunee County residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.  In the past week, 47 doses have been administered with 44 of those being given to adults.  Kewaunee County Public Health is offering the COVID-19 vaccine shots on Tuesdays and Fridays by appointment only. 

 

Jail, budget highlight upcoming Kewaunee County Board meeting

You will hear a lot of dollar signs being discussed at Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting.

 

The board is expected to continue its discussion on the proposed public safety building to replace its aging jail. An informal poll of board members at the meeting showed a nearly unanimous agreement that something needs to be done sooner rather than later. The board could choose to move forward with the third phase of the jail study, which would help the board identify the needs of a future building and put a final price tag on it. Adopting the 2022 budget will also be discussed at the meeting, which features the lowest tax rate property owners have seen in a decade. For both the jail project and the budget, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson talked about trying to control spending as much as possible.

The Kewaunee County Board meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the administration center in Kewaunee.

Sturgeon Bay Schools to address masking this month

Your kids may soon not have to wear a mask at Sturgeon Bay School District buildings. The topic will be revisited approximately two months after the district began requiring masks on September 20th.  The decision came as case counts began to rise in the community and the number of students quarantined due to close contacts was high. Door County Medical Center officials implored school officials to have kids wear masks for a time at the very least as a way to control the issues. Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says they actually saw a small increase in cases immediately following the mandate, but attributed that mostly to the district’s homecoming celebration. The district did see the number of quarantined students go down dramatically as a result of the requirement. Whatever the direction the school board takes when it meets on November 17th, Tjernagel knows there will be strong opinions.

Sevastopol mandated masks for its youngest learners earlier this year as well, but has since returned to making the practice optional. Universal masking remains in effect for Gibraltar Area Schools and Washington Island School. The practice is optional at Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, Algoma, and Southern Door School Districts. Some school districts in the state like Howard-Suamico, Antigo, and Oshkosh have already extended their masking requirements for at least a portion of their students until December.

Thayse retires from Bay Shipbuilding

After close to 40 years of working on Sturgeon Bay’s waterfront, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse is calling it a career. Thayse has worked at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for 37 years, including 10 years in his current role. The news comes at a busy time for the local shipyard that welcomed the S.S. Badger on Thursday, launched the first U.S. flagged Great Lakes Bulk Carrier in Nearly 40 years on October 28th, and announced it was contracted to build another 5,500 cubic meter LNG bunker barge on Wednesday. Bay Shipbuilding also held a ribbon-cutting earlier this week for its new state-of-the-art fabrication buildings as it prepares to help Marinette Marine build a first-in-class frigate for the U.S. Navy. Thayse will remain at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding through mid-January to help his replacement, Craig Perciaville, transition into his role. Perciavalle comes to Sturgeon Bay from Austal USA in Mobile, Ala where he became familiar with the shipbuilding and repair industry. 

Egg Harbor looking for new fire chief

The Town of Egg Harbor is looking for a new fire chief after Andy Staats resigned last week.  Staats served for over a year in the position and stepped down along with Ashley Staats, who resigned from her EMS crew chief position.  Assistant Fire Chief Jason Staats has taken over the interim fire chief spot until the Egg Harbor Fire Commission finds a permanent replacement.  He says the department is moving forward and he feels the current morale is the highest it has been in a long time.

 

 

Both Andy and Ashley Staats will remain with the department and help in the transition period.  Ashley is helping Dale Wiegand take over as the chief of the emergency responders.  The new fire chief will be responsible for filling the department’s leadership roles, including the crew chief of the EMS.   

Sturgeon Bay Police Department not feeling hiring crunch

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department has been able to stay fully staffed as other law enforcement agencies around the country are having difficulty filling positions on their forces.  The Green Bay Police Department reportedly requires at least ten more officers to fill positions.  Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Clint Henry says his department is not currently recruiting officers but is taking applications year around.  He shares the hiring process when prospects are interviewed.

 

 

Henry notes that the Community Service Officer program has been an excellent starting point for those interested in law enforcement, with a few on the current staff that began as a CSO years ago.  Another successful program, the Police Cadet program, which is for 14-20-year-olds, was put on hold during the pandemic but should be returning soon, according to Henry.

S.S. Badger returns to Door County

Your morning commute could have featured a  410-foot car ferry ending its journey from Ludington, Michigan on Thursday. Two tugboats from Sarter Marine Towing of Sturgeon Bay escorted the ship along Lake Michigan to make its stop in Sturgeon Bay. Steve Ross, the tug captain and director of operations, described the 12 hour trip as uneventful and successful.

 

 

The two tugboats had a combined horsepower of 4800, and they used 100 gallons of fuel an hour to make the trek across the lake. The crew involved in the journey included 12 people to help with the ship’s departure, docking, and navigation. The S.S. Badger left Ludington at about 8 p.m. on Wednesday and arrived at Bay Ship a little before 10 a.m. Thursday morning. After the work on the ship is completed, the Sarter Marine Towing company will escort the S.S. Badger back to Ludington to prepare for next year’s ferry season.

Detector checks begin as daylight savings ends

Local emergency personnel want to make sure you do a lot more than turn your clocks back one hour this weekend. Sunday marks the end of the Daylight Savings Time for much of the country including Wisconsin, which requires clocks and watches to be reset. It provides a nice reminder to those with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they operate as they should. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says checking your batteries and your unit’s expiration date is very important.

In fires in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate, over 40 percent of them had missing or disconnected batteries. The National Fire Protection Association also reports that the death rate per 1,000 reported home fires is more than twice as high in homes that did not have a functional smoke alarm compared to the ones where they worked.

 

Two new hospitalizations, one death in latest Door County COVID update

For the first time since the middle of October, the number of active cases of COVID-19 went up in Door County.

 

The latest situation update from Door County showed 47 of the 123 tests administered since Monday came back positive. The number of active cases went up 13 to 381. October 15th was the last time Door County reported an increase in active cases in their twice-a-week situation updates. Door County Public Health also reported two new hospitalizations and one death since Monday, though those numbers tend to lag from the state’s database.

 

Just under 74 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while weekly vaccination numbers have dropped in recent weeks. The county has only crossed the 200 dose threshold once in the last five weeks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services gave their ok to vaccinate kids between the ages of 5 and 11 earlier this week. While some providers may already be distributing the vaccine, others like Prevea and Door County Public Health do not have clinics set up until next week. 

Holiday anxiousness bigger concern for Christmas tree producers

You can still count on trimming up the tree this holiday season in northeast Wisconsin despite concerns of a possible shortage nationally. For those looking to go artificial this year, supply chain issues are delaying the shipment of those types of trees. The ones in stock may see a small increase in price due to higher shipping costs. For those looking for a live Christmas tree, producers in the Pacific Northwest saw much of their crop get severely impacted due to weather conditions stunting the growth of older trees and killing off its newer seedlings.  That is not necessarily the case in Wisconsin, where even with last year’s increased demand everyone who wanted a live Christmas tree was able to get one. Greg Hann from the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association says millennials with their young families have fueled the demand by wanting to start their own tradition. His bigger concern is how early some families want to head out to the field or the lot to grab their Christmas tree.

Great growing conditions have allowed some Christmas tree producers to be able to shift some of their crop to other states that have struggled to keep up with their local demand. Many local tree farms expect to open their fields to the general public, though Hann stresses patience to those heading out to kick off their holidays.

Deer collisions becoming more likely in Wisconsin

Your chances of hitting deer are only going up in Wisconsin according to recently released data. Insurance provider State Farm says Wisconsinites have a 1 in 56 chance of hitting an animal while driving. That’s the second-highest incidence rate in the Midwest and trails only Montana (1 in 39), South Dakota (1 in 48), and Michigan (1 in 54) in that department.  The AAA estimates that the annual deer collision claim is over $4,500 with insurance holders only paying a small portion of that out of pocket. Julia and Paul Stoneman from Stoneman Schopf Agency in Sturgeon Bay say it is best to take care of those claims right away.

October and November are often the peak season for car/deer collisions in Wisconsin due to mating and hunting seasons. In 2019 there were 361 car/deer collisions in Door County and 188 in Kewaunee County according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation data.

S.S. Badger set to arrive in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday

You will be able to see a National Historic Landmark floating past Sturgeon Bay’s three bridges on Thursday. The S.S. Badger is scheduled to depart Ludington at 7 p.m. on Wednesday for its quinquennial, or once every five years,  journey to Sturgeon Bay. In an interview with 102.7 WMOM-FM in Ludington, Interlake Steamship Company President Mark Barker said tugboats from Sarter Marine Towing in Sturgeon Bay will hook up to the S.S. Badger and tow it across the lake to where it will dry dock, a process that is expected to take approximately 12 hours. Once it arrives in Sturgeon Bay, it will receive an inspection, have some minor repairs and get a new paint job. Barker believes it will be the first time the S.S. Badger has been blasted and painted since it was a railroad car ferry.  The S.S. Badger could return to Ludington in as soon as a month, well ahead of when its season is expected to start on May 12th. The S.S. Badger transports thousands of passengers between Ludington, Mich. and Manitowoc, Wis. every year. As the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the country, it landed on the National Historic Register in 2016. 

Schools fund programming with holiday gifts

The gifts you put under the tree this holiday season could help fund some of the programming at Sturgeon Bay School District. For the second year in a row, the school’s special education life skills classes will be constructing a number of coffee, hot cocoa, soup, and dip mixes along with other items to support their classroom activities. Last year, over $2,000 was raised to help fund the snack cart program they run for staff members and various field trips. Special education teacher Shannon Wautier says even more important than the money raised were the skills learned.

We have information on how you can support the classes’ efforts below. The Algoma Wolf Tech program is also in the holiday spirit. The course that teaches students woodworking, CNC machining, and other manufacturing-related skills released designs for the 2021 Christmas ornament highlighting what made 2021 unique last month. The money they earn from the projects they churn out on a consistent basis also helps fund their program. 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Shannon Wautier

Door County YMCA Kids Club starting up

Parents looking for activities and fun for their young children after school will have another alternative soon.  The Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay is restarting up the Kids Club at the Door County YMCA and looking to start the program by November 15 as the enrollment period continues.  Kids Club Director Trisha Salenius shares what experiences children will enjoy Monday through Friday from 2:30 until 5:30 pm.

 

 

Salenius adds that for the first time, the Door County YMCA will host the program at their Lansing Avenue Center just off Highway 42-57 in Sturgeon Bay.  You can find more information here. 

Town of Gibraltar holding second information meeting on proposed land purchase

The second of two public information meetings for the accepted land purchase of the Holiday Harbor Waterfront Cottages by the Town of Gibraltar will be on Saturday at 10 am.  The $3.5 million offer is for a nearly five-acre parcel that could greatly impact the dock services the town currently provides.  Town Administrator Travis Thyssen shares some of the questions and concerns brought up at the first informational meeting for the general public and another one that featured invited business owners.

 

 

The area has five docks and can accommodate up to 28 boat slips.  On November 15, a special election by Town of Gibraltar voters will decide the fate of the land purchase at 6 pm. 

Smallmouth bass tests positive for virus in Door County waters

You might want to check over the next Smallmouth bass you reel in on the waters surrounding the peninsula.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a largemouth bass virus was found on 14 smallmouth bass from the bay of Green Bay near Door County in September.  Examined by DNR fisheries staff, the infected fish had red, ulcerated wounds that varied in size and location.

According to the Wisconsin DNR, outbreaks of similar skin lesions on smallmouth bass have appeared since 2008, but results were inconclusive.  The largemouth bass virus has caused weakness, swim-blander over-inflation, reddening, and death in largemouth bass populations in the Eastern United States and Wisconsin's Mississippi River Basin.

The DNR staff will continue to monitor the smallmouth bass population in the area.  The largemouth bass virus is not known to infect humans, but the DNR urges anglers to harvest fish to thoroughly cook their catch and never consume dead or dying fish.

 

Dr. Nicole Nietlisbach, DNR Aquatic Veterinarian, explains what is known about the virus at this point.

 

Sturgeon Bay gives first reading approval of rezoning on 14th Avenue property

A rezoning of blighted property on North 14th Avenue for future storage buildings caused a lengthy discussion by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council on Tuesday evening.   Before voting to approve a first reading that will rezone the property from Agricultural to General Commercial, councilmember Dennis Statz added an amendment stipulating that nothing can be stored outside the storage units to keep the property clutter-free.  City Attorney James Kalny would also need to approve it before the second reading later this month.  Estes Investment, LLP intends to redevelop the back half of the property at 1361 North 14th Avenue for 15 commercial storage buildings.


In other business, the council unanimously approved recreating the Municipal Code for Communication Towers to align with state statutes and the rezoning of property on the 1100 block of North 8th Avenue from Planned Unit Development Single-Family Residential.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council also extended the initial sale period for DCEDC and Destination Sturgeon Bay for the Zak Property Sale from two weeks to January 2, 2022. 

Program to help prevent suicides at BUG Fire Station

Taking one hour of your time could mean the difference in knowing how to deal with a serious public health problem.   A special program designed to help prevent suicides will be conducted in Brussels on Wednesday evening.   Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski will be leading a Suicide Prevention course featuring the QPR method of "question," "persuade," and "refer."

He says people must be aware of what they can do to help prevent a possible suicide. 

 

 

Joski notes providing hope and opening up dialogue helps eliminate furthering the isolation someone may be going through.  The Suicide Prevention Program will be held at the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station on County C in Brussels from 6:30 -7:30 pm on Wednesday and is open to the public, with no reservations necessary.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding celebrates expansion completion

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay celebrated the completion of remodeling and expanding buildings at the south end of the shipyard on Tuesday with a dedication and ribbon cutting.  The impetus behind the improvements by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding was in conjunction with the $795 million contract that Fincantieri Marinette Marine received from the U.S. Navy to build a first-in-class frigate in April of 2020.

 

Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the state-of-the-art fabrication buildings will help keep Bay Shipbuilding strong in the maritime industry for many years.

 

 

Other speakers at the event were Kurt Wolfgram, Project Executive from Miron Construction, Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward, and Mike Galecki, the Program Manager’s Representative – Bath U.S. Navy.  

 

After the ceremonial ribbon-cutting, guests were allowed to take guided tours of the 84,000-square-foot building at the south end of North 3rd Avenue. Campus, and the 68,000-square-foot addition to an existing building off of North 1st Avenue.  

You can watch the video from the dedication below.

 

 

 

Free well testing being offered for a second round

Kewaunee County is footing the bill so you can get your well water tested this month. The county’s Land and Water Conservation Department is offering a second round of well testing after providing it to 300 landowners back in July. The free well testing is being made possible thanks to a Wisconsin Coastal Management grant and a donation from Peninsula Pride Farms. The hope is the test results will also give county officials a chance to see if new NR-151 rules impacting manure spreading and other risk mitigation strategies have been working since United States Department of Agriculture microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt gave his scathing report about the area’s water quality five years ago. County conservationist Davina Bonness says the second round of testing will give her department more data to work off of and to see if the practices that have been instituted since are working.

The free well testing kits can be reserved through the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department through November 10th, which is also the first day you can pick up your bottle for testing. Only approximately 100 spots remain for the free test.

 

 

Clerk enjoying quiet election day

While the nation’s eyes are on races for governor in Virginia and New Jersey this Election Day, you will not find poll locations in Wisconsin open. The next elections scheduled in the state are the spring primary on February 15th and the general election on April 5th. In addition to county, municipal, and school board races, voters in Kewaunee County will also get to weigh in on its next circuit court judge. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says it has been quiet as a result, which is welcomed after navigating a pair of pandemic-impacted elections in 2020. Outside of a few interviews, Door County has had minimal involvement in the audit of the 2020 November election. The initial report of that audit should that the election was safe and secure, but there were over two dozen recommendations made to address some of the shortcomings that were identified. Lau is hopeful that 2022 will be a little less hectic.

If you plan on running for office in the spring, December 1st is the first day you can take out nomination papers. The minimum number of signatures depends on the office you are running for, but they are due back to your municipal clerk no later than January 4th, 2022. 

100+ Women Who Care donates $22K to local non-profits

Your loved ones could benefit from a wheelchair ramp, a quality preschool education, and important services on Washington Island thanks to members of the 100+ Women Who Care of Door County. Last month,  the organization donated over $22,000 to three different non-profits. Door County Habitat for Humanity received over $11,000 for establishing its Rent-A-Ramp program that it will be orchestrating with the help of the Door County Aging Coalition to assist local residents to have more accessibility going in and coming out of their homes. Peninsula Preschool and the Washington Island Community Health Program received smaller grants to help fund their programming needs. Paula Latta from 100+ Women Who Care says she is proud of the impact has made in such a short time with over $240,000 donated since 2018.  

The grants awarded by 100+ Women Who Care are given out on a quarterly basis to non-profit organizations nominated by their members. 115 Club LTD, Write On Door County, and the Sue Baldwin Fund are the non-profits to be considered for their next round of grants at their upcoming meeting on January 24th. You can read more about the recipients below.

 

Picture and descriptions provided by Paula Latta

 

Door County Habitat for Humanity will receive the Main Award of $11,250 for a new 'Rent A Ramp' program to keep people in need with mobility issues in their homes. Lori Allen, Executive Director, DC Habitat for Humanity affirmed: “Door County Habitat will purchase two portable accessibility ramps that can be used to assist individuals to Age in Place, allowing them to remain in their own homes.  We will partner with the Door County Aging Coalition to promote the Ramp Up Door County Initiative.”  DeAnn Umland, 100+WWC member and DC Habitat Board President, added “Being a part of 100+ Women allows me to connect with many like-minded people in the Door County non profit community.  This diverse group is focused on education while making a difference that we can all feel."

 

Peninsula Preschool and Washington Island Community Health Program (WICHP) will each receive a Runners-Up Award of approximately $5,125 from the 100+WWC giving circle. Sarah Bonovich, 100+WWC member and Peninsula PreSchool Volunteer shared - “I joined 100+ WWC because I feel this is a small way for me to make a big impact on our county. I know it’s difficult for many non-profits and these funds help hugely. For such a small county, we have an abundance of non-profit organizations and so many people willing to contribute in ways large and small. Around here I like to say, `It takes a County.’ ”  Jill Harkaway, Peninsula PreSchool, agreed - “PPS is run by a volunteer, parent nonprofit board. It has been a privilege to work with the young families who are the backbone of the community. Their contributions are so important to the vibrancy and economy of the county. We are pleased to provide an educational foundation that prepares the children to be future outstanding citizens of Door County.  The gift from 100+ Women who care will help us significantly by supporting our scholarship fund. We are very thankful and appreciative.”

 

Liz Hecht, 100+WWC member and WICHP volunteer, was enthusiastic about their award.  “I love meeting 100+WWC members and giving back to the community with such a great organization. Christine M. Andersen, R.N. and Executive Director for WICHP added, “My passion about WICHP began when I worked with them to help my own parents remain in their home for 2 years more than they could have had they not had the support of WICHP services and so many Door County nonprofits: (Meals on Wheels (via ADRC), LifeAssist (via Door County Medical Center), In home supportive care (via Curative Connections), Medical equipment (via Neighbor to Neighbor) and Advocacy (director assisted with visiting long term care facilities). Working with WICHP is very rewarding as I see the benefits daily of the services community partners provide to grateful Island residents.

Movie filming closes down 3rd Avenue

You will not be able to park on Sturgeon Bay’s 3rd Avenue while it gets the Hollywood treatment on Tuesday. A film crew is using the downtown street for the production of a film highlighting Sturgeon Bay and Door County as a whole. Parking was banned on the street between Jefferson and Michigan beginning on Monday night and it will be closed from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday to all vehicular traffic. In addition to 3rd Avenue, you will also not be able to park on portions of Kentucky Street and Louisiana Street. Businesses will still be open and pedestrian traffic is allowed as long as it does not interfere with the film site. Crew members and Destination Sturgeon Bay staff will be there to help direct pedestrian traffic throughout the day. Door County has been getting the Tinseltown treatment since last month when the movie God Loves the Green Bay Packers began shooting. Scenes in Baileys Harbor and Brussels were among the Door County locales where extra were required for scenes.

 

 

Bell ringers sought for holiday season

An organization synonymous with the spirit of the holidays and collecting donations for families needing emergency assistance is looking for bell-ringing volunteers. The Salvation Army Service Extension of Door County seeks people to become an integral part of the annual Red Kettle Campaign. Needing to fill over 500 shifts from November 19 through December 24, Ringer Coordinator Nancy Kexel-Calabresa says volunteers can sign up for as many hours or shifts at any of the five locations throughout Door County.

 

 

The monies raised during the Red Kettle Campaign helps with the Emergency Services for Door County’s “Neighbors in Need” program. That program helps assist families with food, rent, utilities, gym shoes and coats for children, and other emergency needs. If you would like to learn more about becoming a bell ringer this holiday season, contact Nancy Kexel-Calabresa by phone or text - at 920-883-7886 - or email nakc1@icloud.com. Any families seeking assistance through the Salvation Army may call the emergency hotline at 920-885-1260.  

 

Sturgeon Bay looks to clean up zoning and code issues

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will look to rezone some properties and update codes during their meeting on Tuesday evening.   One piece of business will be to clean up a mapping error from years ago to rezone four parcels on North 8th Avenue from Planned Unit Development to Single-Family Residential (R-2).  Also, a proposed development for storage units with a possible housing development at 1361 North 14th Avenue needs to be rezoned from Agricultural to General Commercial.

 

City of Sturgeon Bay Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says another agenda item scheduled to be discussed at the meeting will be getting the municipal code on communication towers updated and in line with state statutes.

 

 

VanLieshout added that the city formally approved the fiscal budget for 2022 on Monday afternoon.  Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting will begin at 6 pm at City Hall.  You can read the complete agenda and packet here.  

Survey hopes to close employment skills gap in area

In an effort to better position the area’s youth to enter the job market with the needed skills that employers are looking for, the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) just started gathering information with an online survey.  Director of Communications and Workforce Development Kelsey Fox says the hopes are to use the information to better pinpoint the skills and abilities that will help connect a new workforce with those looking to recruit and hire more people.  She says the survey information can help in many ways.

 

 

You can take the anonymous survey by the DCEDC with the link found here.

Door County's active cases tumble again

Door County saw the number of new positive COVID-19 tests nearly reach two dozen over the weekend, but there is still plenty of good news.

 

In the county’s Monday situation update, it noted that despite the new positive tests that the number of active cases dropped by 21 to 368. There were also no new hospitalizations or deaths reported, though those numbers can lag from what the state reports.

 

Door County reached the 73 percent threshold when it comes to residents having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That number could tick up even more after the Food and Drug Administration gave the Pfizer vaccine emergency use authorization for kids between the ages of 5-11. Door County Public Health has scheduled multiple vaccine clinics over the next two months for kid doses, but they need to pass the proper protocols before they can begin offering it. The department has two COVID-19 vaccine clinics set up this week for Sturgeon Bay (Wednesday) and Sister Bay (Thursday). Clinics for kids would start no sooner than November 10th if their training is completed.

Woman arrested after apartment shooting

A woman has been arrested on a number of charges after she fired a weapon inside a Sturgeon Bay apartment Saturday evening. Personnel from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported to the apartment just before 5:30 p.m.  An apartment renter notified the authorities that a gun was fired outside her door. Upon arrival, the woman in question was standing on the balcony admitting her guilt while also being intoxicated. Law enforcement was able to find a loaded pistol, an empty casing, a hole in the wall caused by firing the bullet. Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman says the woman was there to meet a man she met on the internet.

She was arrested on three counts of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. Her behavior at the hospital brought on additional charges. No injuries were reported and Brinkman says the incident is still under investigation.

 

Photo submitted

Toys for Tots program opens in Kewaunee County

You can start shopping for families in need this holiday season in Kewaunee County. Organized by the United States Marine Corps, boxes are dropped off at area businesses so residents can donate new, unwrapped toys beginning as soon as this Thursday. Applications for families in need are available beginning November 2nd and are required to receive toys from the program during the pick-up date scheduled for December 18th at Kewaunee’s Holy Rosary Church. U.S. Marine veteran and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the program will operate in a similar fashion to last year.

Nationwide the Toys for Tots program has donated over 604 million toys since 1947, having a positive impact on approximately 272 million children.  Last year in Kewaunee County, 267 kids from over 100 families had toys, a game, a stuffed animal, and a stocking stuffer under their tree thanks to the generosity of the community. You can find more information on this year’s campaign below.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Kewaunee County 4-H

Search Our Site

Current Weather

STURGEON BAY WEATHER

CANCELLATIONS

Poll

How concerned are you about the new omicron COVID variant that has now been confirmed in the U.S.?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Sports Poll

How will the Packers close out the remaining five games after the bye?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Obituaries

Click Here for more Obituaries

Obituary posting fee is $25

Newsletter

Sign up for our Daily Electronic Newspaper!

Plus, Get the latest updates for Local Sports, Big Deals and more delivered to your inbox!