News Archives for 2022-03

Supervisor election features unique battle of two incumbents

The race for District 4 supervisor in Door County will have two incumbents battling it out next Tuesday. Due to the redrawing of the political district boundaries last year after the census, incumbent Kara Counard and Nancy Robillard (District 5 supervisor) live in the same district now and are running against each other. District 4 covers the towns of Gardner and Nasewaupee, along with a small portion of Little Sturgeon. Counard shares what she has learned from serving as a Door County Supervisor.

 

 

Robillard is the Town of Gardner treasurer and has served as the Door County County Clerk of Circuit Court in the past. You can listen to the complete interview with Kara Counard on the podcast page here. Nancy Robillard declined the opportunity for an interview. There will be seven contested races for the 21 supervisor positions in Door County on Tuesday’s election.  

 

Counties taking broadband access seriously

Door and Kewaunee counties are working hard to make sure you have the internet connection you need to live, work, and play in the area.

 

Of the 194 grant applications announced by the Wisconsin Broadband Office earlier in March, three originated in Door County and two came from Kewaunee County. In Door County, the Town of Baileys Harbor and NSight Communications requested approximately $1.89 million while a different Northern Door County project proposed by Frontier Communications asked for $4.7 million. Spectrum also requested $6.8 million in broadband expansion grant dollars. Bug Tussel Wireless requested $1.3 million in grant funds for the next phase of its project with Kewaunee County while the Village of Casco asked for $265,000 for its partnership with NSight. The five projects are competing for $100 million in grant dollars from the state, though approximately $495 million has been requested.

 

Some communities are further along than others with Bug Tussel Wireless cutting the ribbon on a new tower in Kewaunee County and Cellcom starting to connect homes and businesses with fiber internet in Luxemburg. Sturgeon Bay’s Quantum Technologies is working with the Washington Island Electric Cooperative to bring fiber internet to the town’s residents and businesses. While she stresses that some on the island are still a couple of years away from having a strong internet connection available to them, Quantum Technologies’ Erin Helgeson says it has been a great

In an interview with WisconsinEye, Public Service Commission Chairperson Rebecca Valcq estimated that 650,000 Wisconsinites do not have access to broadband internet and a similar number cannot afford it. Helgeson says some options like Starlink have provided some gap coverage for those waiting to get a faster fiber connection. Grant applicants will not find out if they receive the state funding until this summer.

 

Listen to our full interview with Erin Helgeson on the "Ask Mr. (and Mrs.) Quantum" podcast


Scouting for Food begins this Saturday

Do not be shocked if you find Cub Scouts and Scouts USA members running from door to door in your neighborhood this weekend. They will be dropping off hangers reminding you to put out some non-perishable items for the Bay-Lakes Council’s annual Scouting for Food Drive on April 9th. Thousands of pounds of food are collected every year as a part of the event, which gets distributed to local pantries in each community. Dennis LeGrave is one of the leaders of the Cub Scout Pack and Scouts USA Troop based out of the Luxemburg Sportsman Club and says how vital Scouting for Food is for the Marv Bins Food Pantry located at Holy Trinity Church in Casco.

Different units measure their collections in different ways. Last year, Troop 1042 and Pack 4042 in Luxemburg collected over 3,100 items, while Pack 4112 and Troop 1019 from Algoma collected 1120 pounds of food during its Scouting of Food Drive. Voyageur District, which covers Door and Kewaunee Counties as a part of Bay-Lakes Council, collected 85,000 pounds of food at Lambeau Field. LeGrave says for his units the goal is 5,000 items. 

 

Picture courtesy of April LeGrave

Humane society braces for busy season

You are bound to find more puppies and kittens available for adoption at places like the Door County campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society. Spring often brings more puppies and kittens to animal shelters nationwide as dogs and cats not spayed or neutered begin to mate. The Best Friends Animal Society reports that there are 100,000 more animals available for adoption this year compared to last year when some families that bought or adopted furry companions during the early stages of the pandemic began bringing them back. Wisconsin Humane Society Vice President of Communications Angela Speed encourages people to set up an appointment with their team first if they are able to take care of a pet.

If you cannot commit to adopting, Speed adds that the Wisconsin Humane Society is always looking for foster homes for their animals, so there is at least somewhere they can go while the pets wait for their forever home.


Winter weather advisory reboots for Thursday commute

Keep an eye on the roads Thursday morning as another round of winter weather hits the area. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for northeastern Wisconsin including Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties. Beginning at 3 a.m., rain is expected to change to freezing rain and sleet, and then snow. The snow could be moderate or heavy at times Thursday morning. Total snow accumulations are expected to be about two to four inches with some ice included in the mix as well. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph could also complicate the commute for motorists. The advisory is scheduled to end at noon Thursday.

Lambeau exhibition presents opportunity for local tourism and soccer community

Even if you cannot get a ticket to see two of the world’s top soccer teams take the pitch at Lambeau Field this summer, you are still likely to see the match’s impact locally. In the wake of reports of a significant event coming to Lambeau Field announced by the organization, Packers Twitter mainstay Kyle Cousineau shared the news that Manchester City of the English Premier League and Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga would play an exhibition match at the stadium. The event would follow the Packers’ tradition of having at least one non-NFL event every year, including college football games and concerts. The team has yet to confirm the match officially, but the rumored date is July 23rd. Destination Door County’s Jon Jarosh wishes the match would have been in June when the area is not in the thick of tourism season. He is excited about what the match could mean for the area since it could draw visitors from across the country and around the world.

Sturgeon Bay High School Soccer coach Todd Maas knows how much the sport has grown in recent years, especially since his Clippers teams have brought home a pair of state championships. Even though he is a Manchester United fan, he says it is a dream come true to see some of the world’s best teams up close.

Discover Green Bay estimates that Packers home games bring in approximately $15 million of economic activity to the region. The impact of this game on the area could rival what was seen for the LSU/Wisconsin game in 2016 when Lambeau Field was filled with primarily out-of-town fans.

 

Second COVID-19 booster for 50 or older approved by FDA

On Tuesday, the United States Food and Drug Administration authorized the second Covid-19 booster for all people over the age of 50-years-old.  The new round of Moderna or Pizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines will now be available to those who want them and had their first booster shot at least four months ago.  According to CBS News, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention echoed the FDA’s authorization of eligible people “who wish to increase their individual protection.”  The CDC also cleared a second booster dose for adults who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the first booster at least four months ago.  According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans over the age of 50 were boosted four months ago. 

 

 

 

 

DHS Supports Second COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose for Adults 50 Years and Older and Certain Immunocompromised Individuals

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) supports the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) issuing of expanded eligibility that adults ages 50 years and older may receive a second booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. DHS also supports the option of a second booster dose for certain immunocompromised people ages 12 years and older.

“The option of a second booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for adults 50 years and older provides an excellent opportunity for eligible Wisconsinites to get additional protection against COVID-19,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “Expanded eligibility requirements allow more immunocompromised Wisconsin residents the opportunity to get vaccinated and stay protected against COVID-19. We support the option of everyone ages 50 and older, and immunocompromised individuals getting a second booster dose at least four months after their first booster dose to help prevent the worst outcomes from the virus.”

The CDC also expanded eligibility for another booster dose to people ages 18–49 years who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised and who received Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose. These individuals may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

People ages 12 years and older who have undergone solid organ transplantation, or who are living with conditions that are considered to have an equivalent level of immunocompromise, may receive a second booster of the Pfizer vaccine. People ages 18 and older with the same condition may also receive the Moderna vaccine.

DHS strongly recommends all eligible people get at least one booster dose as soon as possible for the best protection against COVID-19 and circulating variants. The data show that an initial booster dose can strengthen and extend protection against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.

During the recent Omicron surge, those who were boosted were 21 times less likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who were unvaccinated, and 7 times less likely to be hospitalized.

“A second booster dose at least four months after an initial booster dose for adults 50 years and older and for immunocompromised individuals could increase protection against severe illness, said Stephanie Schauer, Ph.D., Division of Public Health Immunization Program Manager. “The latest research suggests that the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine against severe outcomes is reduced over time in adults ages 50 and older, as well as immunocompromised individuals. So, this second booster dose could help increase protection for these higher-risk individuals.”

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider in your community, visit Vaccines.gov(link is external), or call 211 or 877-947-2211. For additional information about booster doses, additional doses, and help accessing your COVID-19 vaccine record to determine when you may be recommended for a booster, visit the DHS Additional Doses and Booster Doses webpage.

DHS remains committed to sharing the best available information regarding COVID-19 in order for individuals and families to make the best decisions to stay safe. For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook(link is external)Twitter(link is external), or dhs.wi on Instagram(link is external) for more information on COVID-19.

Camp counselors in big demand this summer

With the return of more summer camps this summer, many organizations nationally are navigating a smaller labor pool to fill positions.  Locally, the Door County YMCA is currently trying to find counselors for its three programs in the area.  School Age Director Trisha Salenius says she is looking to fill four to five positions for Camp Compass alone.  She shares the details on filling the counselor positions that would allow more children to participate this summer after school is out.

 

 

Salenius notes that a history of working with children is helpful, and anyone interested in becoming a teacher can gain valuable experience by being a camp counselor.  You can find more information on being a counselor at Otumba Camp, the Trekker program at the Fish Creek location, and Camp Compass at the Lansing Center in Sturgeon Bay at the Door County YMCA website.  The complete interview with Trisha Salenius is available on the “Y Wednesday” podcast at DoorCountyDailyNews.com here.     

Sheriff's Office identifies Egg Harbor vandalism culprits

Two teens will be referred to juvenile court after a vandalism case in the Village of Egg Harbor.  The Door County Sheriff’s Department identified the suspects that were involved in a vandalism incident early Tuesday morning.  Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says three separate reports were filed regarding vandalism with spray painting of graffiti at several businesses.

 

 

The damages included village property and dumpsters at a variety of locations.  The damages are estimated at $3,000.  McCarty credits the public’s help and some recorded video in Egg Harbor that was posted on social media that led to identifying the suspects.   

  

RaveAlert to be utilized in Kewaunee County for Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week

In preparing for the worst Mother Nature can dish out, Kewaunee County Emergency Management will be implementing its mass emergency notification system for drills next Thursday.  Statewide tornado drills are planned twice on April 7th during Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.  RaveAlert is a system that sends out text messages to cell phones.  Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says it is important that residents take time to go over their severe weather plans and practice them during drills.

 

 

The statewide tornado drills will take place at 1:45 pm and 6:45 pm next Thursday, April 7th.  No outdoor warning sirens or other devices like broadcast stations and weather radios will send out alerts this year to avoid any confusion for the public.  To register your phone for text alerts, visit the Kewaunee County website and click on the red “Stay Informed” button at the bottom of the home page.  

Highway 42/57 construction project looks for second start Wednesday

After a week’s delay, you will have to watch out for orange cones and construction crews on a more than seven-mile stretch of State Highway 42/57 beginning on Wednesday. The work will take place from the southern junction of the highway north to the Bayview Bridge in Sturgeon Bay. In addition to resurfacing the roadway, DOT crews will also make intersection improvements at Ashland Avenue, Neenah Avenue, County U/Circle Ridge Road, and the Green Bay Road northbound ramp. There will be some lane closures at off-peak times during the course of the project at Ashland Avenue, Circle Ridge Road, and the Green Bay Road ramps, but the highway will otherwise be open to traffic. The project is expected to wrap up in September. The project was supposed to start last week but it was postponed due to inclement weather. As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the project was still expected to start on Wednesday according to DOT spokesperson Mark Kantola despite the forecast for rain and snow later this week. You can click this link to find more information on the project.

Vietnam veterans continue to see more respect

The breakfast bought for him at a Florida restaurant during his vacation on Tuesday is closer to the treatment you would expect a military veteran would receive compared to what Kewaunee County resident Chuck Wagner experienced more than 50 years ago.

 

After serving in the Vietnam War for one year, Wagner remembers a person hustling him for money in the airport before his flight and being called a “baby killer” on the plane itself as he tried to sit down. The local VFW at the time would not allow “his kind,” and it was not until he joined Vietnam Veterans’ organizations ahead of the Gulf War that he felt his service to his country was truly appreciated. Wagner knows there are Vietnam War veterans that are still embarrassed about their service because of how they were treated when they returned. He hopes their experiences will help future veterans get the respect they deserve.

March 29th is recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to commemorate the day the final American combat forces left the country after nearly 20 years of fighting. More than six million Americans who served during the Vietnam era are still alive today. 

Sturgeon Bay Schools to go to voters for educational referendum

The Sturgeon Bay School District needs your support to keep up with its programming as a part of an educational referendum on the ballot next week. The referendum is needed to help continue the educational programming and the staffing the community has come to expect from the district. The question will break from the past three-year cycle that was passed by voters in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. It will instead focus on a five-year process that will stretch to the 2026-2027 school year. District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says a lot went into the decision to make that change.

The override amount will start at $2.6 million, a $1 million decrease from the previous year. It will increase between $200,000 and $400,000 over the following four years until it maxes out at $3.8 million. The projected mill rate will increase to $11.46 by the 2026-27 school year, and the yearly impact of the referendum on a $100,000 house will range from $4 (2022-2023) to $28 (2024-2025). The set amounts outlined by the referendum are merely an estimate as the school board does not take all the money approved unless it is needed. The district says the referendum is needed to prevent cuts at the school. The $2.6 million being asked for the 2022-2023 school year is the equivalent of 43 staff members, something the administration and Sturgeon Bay School District Board have deemed unacceptable. The question will appear on the ballot when voters go to the polls on April 5th from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can click on the links to get more information on the referendum and our complete interview with Tjernagel.

Door County under a winter weather advisory thru Thursday morning

Hazardous travel conditions for your commute are likely on Wednesday morning.  The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory that started at 8 pm Tuesday until 9 am Wednesday.  A mixture of snow, sleet, and freezing rain that changes to mainly freezing rain overnight will make travel very dangerous.  Total snow and sleet accumulations are forecast to be up to one inch, and ice accumulations around one-tenth of an inch.  The precipitation is expected to be mostly rain throughout the day Wednesday and turn back to snow Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning.  Stay tuned to DoorCountyDailyNews.com for more updates as they become available and if there are any delays or cancelations.  

Friends of Peninsula Park closing in on inclusive playground goal

If all goes well, Nicolet Bay Beach at Peninsula State Park will have a newly constructed playground for this summer.  Friends of Peninsula State Park set out the project initiative last November and is closing in on the goal of an all-inclusive playground that will feature swings and other equipment to accommodate all people. Secretary Judy Ortiz describes what the inclusive playground will entail.

 

 

Ortiz estimates that about 90 percent of the goal has been reached and over half of the monies raised were from first-time donors. Click here for more information on the new inclusive playground and to donate.  

Sarter Marine Towing docks for good

Your favorite green tugs along Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront will get a new paint job in the future to go along with their new owner. 

 

Great Lakes Towing Company based in Cleveland, Ohio finalized its purchase of Sarter Marine Towing Company last week after agreeing to terms just after St. Patrick’s Day. The sale includes the purchase of the tugboat Donald J. Sarter and William C. Selvick, along with all of its supporting machinery and equipment. Under a long-term bareboat charter arrangement, the other five vessels will be chartered to the Great Lakes Towing Company. It adds to the Great Lakes Towing Company’s presence in Sturgeon Bay after they stationed two tugs in the area last fall. President Joe Starck called it a win-win outcome for everyone involved as they assist in operations at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and help with icebreaking missions.

 

It is also the end of an era for Julie Sarter, the President of Sarter Marine Towing. She and her husband Don purchased the business from the Selvick family in 2019, following Don’s four-decade career as a tugboat captain. A few months later, Don passed away in a boating accident in Lake Superior. Sarter says it was time to sell and was excited to partner with Great Lakes Towing Company. She was thrilled that her crews would be able to keep their jobs. 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee will discuss the lease assignment along the west waterfront from Sarter Marine Towing to Great Lakes Towing Company when they meet Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Door County hits somber milestone as COVID-19 numbers hold steady

The impact of COVID-19 in Door and Kewaunee counties remained about the same as it did the previous week according to the most recent updates from their public health departments.

 

In Door County, six of the 97 tests administered came back positive for COVID-19. There were no new hospitalizations, but another two deaths were reported raising the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 61. It was the second straight week there were two COVID-19-related deaths reported in Door County, though the data does tend to lag due to processing medical reports from the state.

 

In Kewaunee County, only one person tested positive for COVID-19 according to their public health department in their Friday report. There were no active cases as of Friday in addition to any new deaths or hospitalizations.

 

Both counties are offering appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.

Kewaunee County Circuit Court Judge candidates enter final week of campaign

The race for the circuit court judge position highlights your ballot in next week’s Kewaunee County election. Kimberly Hardtke and Jeffrey Wisnicky look to fill the shoes of the late Keith Mehn, who passed away at the end of 2021. Retired judges have filled in while the race between Hardtke and Wisnicky takes place. Hardtke currently serves as the assistant district attorney for Brown County and believes that experience makes her an excellent fit for the job.

Wisnicky is the current corporation counsel for Kewaunee County and hopes more people realize that being a circuit court judge is more than just sending people to jail.

Kewaunee Circuit Court Judge is just one of the several races on the ballot next Tuesday when the polls open at 7 a.m. Algoma School District residents will decide between incumbents Barb Rodgers and Joann Wiesner and newcomers Christopher Schley and Shannon Larson. Luxemburg-Casco School District voters will choose between newcomer Brandi Kollross and incumbents Robert Berceau and Linda Jonet to fill two seats. Kewaunee County residents living in District 4, which covers portions of the Towns of Luxemburg and Red River, will choose between Nellie DeBaker and Dennis Langteau for that open seat. 

 

Listen to our full interviews with Hardtke and Wisnicky here

Ephraim shore protection efforts begin Friday

You will have to be extra careful driving through Ephraim beginning on Friday as crews work to protect the village’s shoreline. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced last week it would begin work to improve 400 feet of shoreline along State Highway 42 immediately west of the Ephraim Creek crossing near Brookside Lane. In order to do that, crews will install a buried concrete block wall and reinforce the riprap already in place near Ephraim Creek. The hope is the work will reinforce the shoreline near Highway 42 so it can be properly protected during high water events. The highway will remain open to traffic during the nearly two-week project, but motorists should still be on the lookout for flagging operations and the closures of the affected lanes and shoulders. 

 

Community Spotlight: United Way of Door County's Amy Kohnle

You might not believe United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle, but their strategic plan for 2019-2022 did not include navigating a worldwide pandemic or a community disaster. With the blessing of its board of directors and your generosity, the United Way was able to do just that. Over the last two years, the United Way’s partnership with the Door County Community Foundation helped reactivate the Door County Emergency Response Fund, which as of March 9th, had garnered over $1.28 million in donations. Kohnle and her team also helped coordinate food box distribution sites. Their efforts helped spur record amounts of giving for their annual campaigns the last two years, including over $781,000 in 2021. Those funds get distributed to several non-profit organizations and initiatives countywide. The United Way sprang into action again earlier this year when a fire destroyed Butch’s Bar and the apartments above. They have since raised thousands of dollars since, several hundred of which came from auctioning off a guitar signed by the artists that performed at a benefit concert. Kohnle feels blessed that the community has entrusted the United Way with doing this kind of work.

The United Way of Door County is collecting personal care and cleaning supply items for local families who may be living on FoodShare and cannot afford products on their own. You can find more details on the drive and find a link to listen to our entire interview with Kohnle below. 

 

 

United Way of Door County is coordinating the collection of personal care items and cleaning supplies. 

 

These are necessities that many in our community cannot easily access and cannot be purchased using Food Share benefits. Community members can drop items at more than 15 locations throughout Door County.  United Way will distribute the items to the food pantries and other human service agencies throughout Door County.

 

Items can be donated through the end of March.

 

For more information please contact United Way of Door County at 920-746-9645 or info@unitedwaydc.com. 

Kewaunee High School wants to give you a hint about their new production

You can come to Kewaunee High School from April 1st through the 3rd to view their production of Clue. This fast-paced play is full of dry wit and leads to an over-the-top finale. The students began rehearsals in early February and have worked after school to be able to put this production on the stage. Director Joel Liberski details his perception of how the students have done and how prepared they are for the first show.

 

 

To reserve a general admission ticket, call the Kewaunee High School main office and let them know how many tickets you would like to reserve. Payment will be collected at the show's doors for the reserved tickets. There will also be tickets available prior to each performance as long as supplies last. Tickets are priced at $7 for students and $9 for adults.

 

Neighbor to Neighbor saves community $500,000 in medical expenses

Over 1600 people benefited from the services of the Neighbor to Neighbor program last year.  Executive Director Ann Bennett says nearly two hundred more people utilized the services provided by Neighbor to Neighbor in 2021 than in 2020.  She says the savings realized by those who were served through the medical equipment loan program, peer companion/respite care programs, and the Lemonade Club was in excess of $500,000.

 

 

The Lemonade Club is a monthly support group for cancer survivors and patients.  Bennett credits the volunteers who share their time and talent to positively impact the community.  Neighbor to Neighbor’s main equipment location is Sturgeon Bay, with satellite sites in Northern Door near Fish Creek, and on Washington Island. 

Mentor Door County to host a virtual panel

Mentor Door Country invites you to join them over Zoom with other community members to discuss experiences in male-dominated workspaces. This event aims to bring people together by forming a sense of solidarity from shared experiences. The time spent will also touch on strategies one might use when feeling discriminated against in different settings. Nora Scheer, the host and Co-Chair of Mentor Door County, details her own experience with this topic and why she feels it is important for discussion.

 

 

This event will be hosted via Zoom on Monday, March 28th, at 3:45 pm. It will begin by hearing from the panelists and end with a 30 minute Q&A. Although Mentor Door County works with empowering women, Scheer emphasizes that anyone is welcome, no matter their gender identity. You can find more information about this discussion by going to this link.

Algoma Library exchanging pantry donations for overdue fines

If you frequent the Algoma Public Library and have found yourself with overdue fees, the library has again begun accepting pantry donations in exchange for fine forgiveness. This offer is in partnership with the Kewaunee County Food Pantry, where the food will be donated. The Adult Services Librarian with the library, Katie Haasch, describes how this idea first started and the impact seen in past years.

 

 

You are invited to bring non-perishable items to the Algoma Public Library from Monday, April 4th through Saturday, April 9th, where you will receive $1.00 off of fines for each item. You can receive up to $25.00 of forgiveness from the donations. This offer does not include library items that have been lost, damaged, or billed. If you are unsure if you have any fines or overdue items, you can call the Algoma Public Library at (920)-487-2295.

DNR closes door on Kinnard Farms expansion

You will not see any additional cows come to Kinnard Farms in Casco in the near future. On Friday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that it had modified a wastewater discharge permit for Kinnard Farms to limit the dairy operation to 11,369 animal units, which is the equivalent of approximately 8,000 cows. That is about how many cows the farm cares for currently and is 1,500 less than what it proposed through the permitting process in November 2017. The draft version, which was subject to criticism earlier this year, was based on the farm’s manure pit storage capacity and the amount of land it operates. According to permit documents, Kinnard Farms planned on generating two million fewer gallons of manure than it did in 2017 while also operating on approximately 5,000 additional acres. The modified permit also strengthens groundwater monitoring requirements for spreading manure on fields near the facility. According to the Midwest Environmental Advocates, the new requirements are due to groundwater contamination already detected by monitoring wells installed around the production facility. Plans for the groundwater monitoring systems are due back to the DNR by May 25th. Kewaunee County residents like Nancy Utesch and Jodi Parins cheered the decision, crediting others for speaking up and voicing their concerns to the DNR. Lee Kinnard could not be reached to talk about the most recent DNR decision but had previously said there were no plans to expand their herd.

Stranded ice fisherman refuses rescue assistance

A stranded ice angler on Green Bay near the town of Nasewaupee stayed fishing rather than take assistance to get off the ice on Friday afternoon.  Around 1 pm, the Southern Door Fire Department, Wisconsin DNR personnel, and the United States Coast Guard responded to a call by a concerned person onshore who noticed a fisherman beyond where the ice along the shore had opened up.  Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the stranded man refused help from emergency personnel who traveled by airboats to rescue him.

 

 

 

Olson reminds anyone who ventures on the ice at this time of year they are taking a considerable risk and should be well aware of ice conditions and wind speeds.  

Candle sales rack up $275,000 in Ukraine relief

Over 40,000 candles with the blue and yellow of Ukraine have been sent to all 50 states in the country, but Door County Candle Company owner Christiana Gorchynsky-Trapani announced the most important number on Friday. The Carlsville business donated another $150,000 to Razom of Ukraine, making the total amount raised in a month to $275,000. The funds have been used for drones dropping off medical supplies to Ukrainians in need as the conflict with Russia rages on. Gorchynsky-Trapani is thankful for all of the support the efforts have received, from people buying the candles to volunteers helping to make and ship the final product. You can learn more about the efforts by watching the video below and purchasing a candle yourself.

 

 

Tugs preparing for winter fleet departure

While some look for robins for guidance when it comes to the start of spring, you can count on the tugboats in Sturgeon Bay to tell you about the dawn of a new season. With some assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard, the tugboats of Sarter Marine Towing Company in Sturgeon Bay were in action Thursday as they helped shuffle freighters around so the John G Munson could depart for Two Harbors, Minnesota. The opening of the Soo Locks on Lake Superior marks the start of the goodbyes to the vessels that were docked at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding the last few months as a part of the winter fleet. Tugboat captain Steve Ross says it is an exciting time for his crews.

Ross adds that departures of the ships can be a spur-of-the-moment ordeal for the tugs, but they are ready for when the moment arrives. MarineTraffic.com and BoatNerd.com showed the Wilfred Sykes, the Herbert C. Jackson, the Mesabi Miner, and John J. Boland still docked near Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding as of Friday morning. You can follow those sites to keep track of where the ships are, where they are heading next, and approximately when you might be waiting at one of Sturgeon Bay’s three bridges for them to pass.

 

Photos courtesy of Paul Haan

 

Door County murder trial to begin April 19th

The conclusion to a Door County cold case decades in the making could come as soon as May. The pre-trial conference and jury selection for the Richard G. Pierce murder proceedings wrapped up on Thursday. Jury selection took two days to complete while the pre-trial conference covered the projected length of the trial, COVID-19 procedures, and a request to have all sidebars with presiding Judge David Weber put on the record. A status conference will take place on April 4th before the jury trial begins on April 19th. It is scheduled to run until May 13th. Pierce is charged with the murder of his wife, Carol Jean, who disappeared in early September 1975, and her body has been missing ever since. The case against Pierce began in late 2018, and he entered a not guilty plea in April 2019.

City of Kewaunee receives state harbor grant

You will find construction crews near Kewaunee’s Harbor Park soon thanks to a state grant. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced $9.4 million in Harbor Assistance Program (HAP) grants earlier this week. The bulk of the money went to five other projects in Milwaukee, Green Bay, LaCrosse, and Superior. The City of Kewaunee received $249,000 to replace pile cluster moorings along its dock wall near Harbor Park. Mayor Jason Jelinek says the grant dollars were critical for the city to receive.

The HAP grant was not the only one received by the city. Kewaunee also recently received a grant to allow city officials to plan what future improvements can be made to its marina. Jelinek says the city has to spend money every year to repair some of the docks that get damaged during the year.

 

Picture courtesy of the City of Kewaunee

AARP presents Sen. Baldwin with petition to lower prescription costs

On Thursday, March 24th, Senator Tammy Baldwin joined AARP for a virtual presentation of a petition, signed by over 126,000 Wisconsin residents, to urge Congress to act against unfair prescription prices. Advocacy Director Lisa Lamkins opened the event by speaking on the importance of lowering prescription costs. Three Wisconsinites were present and told their own stories of how rising prices have impacted them. Senator Baldwin then shared their distress by explaining how she has been affected by the issue.

 

 

Baldwin then continued to speak about how she has been working alongside other Congress members to pass legislation that will hold pharmaceutical companies accountable while also making costs easier on Americans. You can listen to the whole conversation by visiting the DoorCountyDailyNews podcast page.

Terminus marker moving to familiar location

The future marker for the Eastern Terminus of the Ice Age Trail may be new to you but old to others when it makes its move next month. The current marker of the Eastern Terminus of the 1,200-mile Ice Age Trail is at the foot of the Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower. The tower has not been used in years, and its future is unknown, making a nearby bathroom the only other draw to the area. The terminus marker will be moved to the former ski hill. Potawatomi State Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender says it will be a familiar spot for long-time visitors to the park.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is in charge of moving the terminus marker to its new location. Sturgeon Bay was named an Ice Age Trail Community in 2021.

Seed library growing gardeners countywide

From Washington Island to Forestville, you will find a new hobby waiting for you next to the bookcases at the Door County Library branches. The Door County Seed Library opened earlier this week with packets of future fruits, vegetables, and flowers waiting to be planted at your home. The Door County Library partners with the Door County Master Gardeners Association, UW-Extension, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula, and The Community’s Garden. With over 700 members, it is 100 percent supported by donations, grants, and volunteers. While the Door County Seed Library is in its fourth year, it is the first time it has been located at all eight library branches. Head of Circulation Morgan Mann says the seed library could open the door for other learning opportunities, including people checking out gardening books and cooking workshops.

The seeds are free to take, but Mann asks patrons to grab only what they need and fill out the necessary paperwork. Beans and bell peppers have already been among the more popular seeds to grab in the Door County Seed Library’s first week. Since it launched in 2019, the Door County Seed Library has distributed over 25,000 packets of seeds.  

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of the Door County Library

Spring brings reminders for motorists

The onset of spring in Door and Kewaunee counties serves as a reminder to make sure your vehicle’s lights are on and the sound is down. The dreary weather this week has brought on periods of fog under cloudy skies. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is important to remember to turn on your lights if your visibility is 500 feet or less, especially if you rely on your vehicle’s automatic light feature to kick in.

The nicer weather also brings muscle cars and motorcycles out of their winter hibernation. If your vehicle has been modified, Joski wants to make sure you keep the noise down to a minimum.

You may not have to worry about the loud vehicles quite yet with temperatures struggling to get over 40 degrees over the next two weeks. 

Butch's Bar fire victims to benefit from special auction on Big Deals Friday

A classic guitar that dates back to the 1960s will be auctioned off on Friday to benefit Butch’s Bar fire victims. Chris Paschke donated the guitar on the night of the benefit concert held earlier this month and has autographs of over 30 musicians that performed that night. The benefit helped raise over $5700, and organizer/musician Chris Bishop is hopeful that the specially-signed guitar auction will help the overall efforts top $6,000. Bishop shares the story behind the guitar that includes signatures of pat mAcdonald and Cathy Grier.

 

 

The auction for the guitar will be on the Big Deals site at DoorCountyDailyNews.com starting at 7 am and going until 5 pm. You can find the link to the auction site here. 

 

 

 

The guitar autographs include:

Mike Orlock- Poet Laureate

Ben Larsen

Huntre Gatherer

Mike Bleck

Zach Vogel

Jamey Clark

Cathy Grier

Genevieve Heyward

Nick Orlock

Chris Bishop

Morgan Rae

Aaron Fischer

Eric Hagen

Micki Lay

Adam Haste

pat mAcdonald

Jared Butts

Teflon

Bron Robinson

Erich Herbst

Frank Maloney

Tony Menzer

Josh Gregory

Paul Taylor

Dan Smrz

Jedediah Lee

Chris Pollock

Austin Raddatz

Dennis Keith Johnson

Johnny Delorit

James Majestic

Terry Murphy

Also signed by Clarence Cumber (owner of Butch's Bar)

Catholic schools ready to step up as St. Mary's Algoma prepares to close

Area private schools are ready to help your family have a faith-based education after Algoma’s St. Mary School announced it would close its doors at the end of the academic year.

 

Algoma St. Mary’s Catholic Parish Pastor Father Alvan Amadi wrote in their bulletin earlier this month that the school has seen continued enrollment decline and staffing challenges over the last five years. The decision to close the school came after much prayer, a long process of discernment, surveys with parishioners, and conversations with Bishop David Ricken and the Diocesan Education Office. The parish is working with the area’s four Catholic schools (Holy Rosary in Kewaunee, Holy Trinity in Casco, St. Mary’s in Luxemburg, and St. John Bosco in Sturgeon Bay) to help place the remaining students for the upcoming academic year. Father Dan Schuster, the pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg, knows it was hard for the Algoma school to close. Still, he is happy other local faith communities are able to offer a Catholic education.

Families looking to enroll their children in private or religious school tuition-free this fall have until April 21st through the Wisconsin Parental Choice Program.

 

Pictures courtesy of Holy Trinity Church in Casco.

Sap harvest running after slow start

Make sure you have your flue and finishing pans ready to go if you are making maple syrup this year. Mother Nature is finally cooperating with those extracting sap from their trees to make syrup after temperatures this month rarely got above freezing until recently. At the beginning of the month, Bill Roethle from Hillside Apples in Casco said it was the longest he had waited to get sap from his trees in his seven years perfecting the craft. Ed Staats from Country View Farms in Sturgeon Bay says his sap harvest was a couple of days behind his usual schedule. He says the temperatures can still play a role in how much syrup he can produce, ranging from 750 to over 1,000 gallons a year.

Staats added that bugs could take away some of the sugar content from the sap needed to make syrup if it warms up too much before the run finishes. That means it takes more sap to make the same amount of syrup, making it appear darker and taste different. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin maple syrup producers made over 300,000 gallons in 2021, which was up 35,000 from 2020.

Door County YMCA hosting "Coffee, Conversations and Connections"

With more social events returning to the calendar in 2022, the Door County YMCA is looking for your input to facilitate more community interaction at the facility. Member Experience Executive Brett Cleveland says the YMCA is much more than a fitness center or a place to drop your kids off for swimming lessons. He notes the Sturgeon Bay YMCA will be holding a “Coffee, Conversation, and Connections” session next Tuesday.

 

 

Cleveland adds that social activities that are making a comeback include card games, mahjong clubs, a tile-based game first developed in China, E-sports, and video gaming for teens. The “Coffee, Conversations, and Connections” will be from 9 am until 11 am next Tuesday in the Sturgeon Bay program center’s social lounge and is open to anyone from the community. You can listen to the entire conversation with Brett Cleveland on the “Y Wednesdays” podcast page at DoorCountyDailyNews.com.    

Stodola's IGA receives "Five Star" honor

A Luxemburg supermarket has been awarded the highest level of recognition possible under an assessment program.  The Independent Grocers Alliance recently announced that Stodola’s IGA was awarded the Five Star honor for achievement in performance.  The program includes "secret shoppers" and evaluates stores on operations, merchandising innovation, and customer service.  Store Manager Alex Stodola credits his staff for winning the award and adapting to the current challenges in the industry this past year. 

 

 

IGA CEO John Ross said in a press release that “In 2021, our retailers continued to face challenges brought about by the pandemic while experiencing new ones, like labor shortages and inflation.  That’s why Stodola’s Five Star status in 2021 is even more impressive.  The significant accomplishment demonstrates perseverance and true dedication to their community."  

Road work on Highway 42 delayed one week

The road construction season will begin one week later than planned in Door County. The Highway 42 project in Door County scheduled to start on Wednesday will be delayed one week, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT).    The road construction improvements over a 7.2 mile stretch from the south junction of Highway 42/57 north to the Bayview Bridge will now start on March 30. Wisconsin DOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola says contractors decided to postpone starting the project based on the amount of rain in the forecast for the next few days.  The work will include concrete pavement repairs asphalt overlay of existing concrete.  Scheduled to be completed in September, the overall project aims to address the deteriorating roadway pavement and improve safety. You can see a project overview and traffic impact on the Highway 42/57 construction here.

 

Work begins March 30 on WIS 42 improvements in Door County

?Resurfacing and intersection improvements

 

(Sturgeon Bay) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region is updating the construction start date for this project. Work will now begin on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. The construction contractor revised the start date due to forecasted inclement weather. Starting March 30, construction will take place on 7.2 miles of WIS 42 beginning at the south junction of WIS 57 to the Bayview Bridge in the city of Sturgeon Bay, Door County. Construction is expected to be complete in September of this year.

 

Up-to-date construction scope, schedule and traffic impact details can be found on the WIS 42 Project construction website at https://projects.511wi.gov/wis42sturgeon/.

 

Project improvements

This is a resurfacing-leveling improvement that includes the following construction elements:

·         Concrete pavement repairs

·         Mill and overlay of the existing asphalt pavement sections

·         Asphalt pavement overlay of existing concrete pavement from Duluth Avenue to the Bayview Bridge

·         Miscellaneous pipe and drainage improvements

·         New pavement markings

·         Replacement of beam guard

Intersection improvements

Locally funded intersection improvements will take place as part of the State Highway Project. The intersection improvements are being conducted in cooperation with the city of Sturgeon Bay and Door County.

·         Ashland Avenue – Widening the intersection radius for the southbound WIS 42/57 right turn movement.

·         Neenah Avenue – Widening the north leg of the intersection to create a right turn lane and combined through/left turn lane.

·         County U/Circle Ridge Road

o    Construction of WIS 42/57 right turn lanes to County U and Circle Ridge Road.

o    Widening County U to include a right turn lane and combined through/left turn lane.

o    Reconfiguration of the southbound WIS 42/57 traffic lanes to maintain a single lane through the intersection and offset left turn lanes to improve driver perception/vision.

·         Green Bay Road northbound ramp

o    Removal of concrete barrier and guardrail below the WIS 42/57 overpass.

o    Reconstruction of multi-use path with new concrete sidewalk.

 

Traffic impacts

WIS 42 will remain open to traffic throughout construction with lane closures during off-peak times. Intersection turning restrictions will occur during intersection improvement construction.

  • The WIS 42 southbound right turning movement to Ashland Avenue closed for up to 60 days.
  • The WIS 42 southbound right turning movements to Circle Ridge Road and to Neenah Avenue will be closed for short periods.
  • The Green Bay Road ramps will be closed for up to 30 days.
  • Multi-use path access will be modified during certain stages of construction. The path will remain open during construction.
  • See project website for specific dates and times of closures.

 

Project benefits

This project will reduce surface roughness and provide a smoother and safer ride for motorists. Improvements will also extend the life of the pavement structure and reduce future maintenance costs. Intersection improvements improve operations and enhance safety during turning/crossing movements. Guardrail improvements and shoulder rumble strips will help mitigate possible serious crashes and alert drivers who inadvertently leave the lane of travel.

Work Zone Safety

Each year in Wisconsin, both highway workers and motorists are killed and injured in crashes that happen in highway construction zones. Motorists should slow down, be patient and pay attention to their surroundings in this and all work zones. For information regarding work zone rules for motorists please see WisDOT’s work zone safety website at https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/safety/education/workzone/.

 

 

MacDonald named Egg Harbor Fire Chief

Whether in Ephraim or Egg Harbor, you can refer to Justin MacDonald as “fire chief.” The Egg Harbor Fire Commission named MacDonald the department’s next fire chief after being selected from four candidates. MacDonald is no stranger to the Egg Harbor Fire Department, having served as a firefighter since 1996 and promoted to Lieutenant in 2009. MacDonald is also familiar with being a fire chief, serving as the leader of the Ephraim Fire Department since 2015. MacDonald says it is important to him that somebody local leads the department and that he has the community’s support behind him.

Since the departments have their meetings on different nights, MacDonald will be able to serve as the fire chief for both. He also serves as President of MABAS Division 154 (Door County) and the Secretary/Treasurer for the Door County Fire Chief’s Association. MacDonald replaces Jason Staats, who filled in on an interim basis after former fire chief Andy Staats resigned last November.

 

Photo by Tad Dukehart. MacDonald has also served a role on the Door County Sheriff's Department's staff.

Early voting available now

You can bring your photo identification to your local municipal office to cast your ballot beginning Tuesday. The early voting period runs until April 1st, just a few days before the April 5th spring election. The spring election will feature races for boards representing the county, school districts, villages, towns, cities, and more. Sister Bay Village Clerk Heidi Teich says the number of requests for absentee ballots is down from previous years, adding she is looking forward to seeing some voters she has not seen in a while.

You can still go online to request an absentee ballot if you cannot make it to a polling place on or before Election Day. However, in February, a Wisconsin Supreme Court decision did ban the use of unmanned drop boxes for the April 5th election. Teich joined Sturgeon Bay City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt, Sevastopol Town Clerk Amy Flok, Door County Clerk Jill Lau, and First District Rep. Joel Kitchens for a public awareness event about the security and integrity of elections in the area. 

Events' return fills big void for non-profits

Non-profits are looking forward to welcoming you back to events in 2022 after some have been canceled for two years straight. The pandemic raised health concerns for attendees and volunteers, forcing many non-profits to cancel the events that make up a large portion of their fundraising efforts. While some organizations like the Brussels Lions Club and the Southern Door Fire Department were able to transition to drive-through events, the Kewaunee and Dyckesville Lions Club could not do the same for its Roar Off the Shore Brewfest. The brewfest was one of the first local events shut down by the pandemic in 2020. The pandemic was also to blame for the 2021 event being canceled. Kewaunee Lions Club member John Mastalir says that nearly 90 percent of its funding for the year was wiped out for two years in a row. That meant less money for state and national projects through the Lions Club, but it never wavered from its local support.

This Saturday marks the return of the Roar Off The Shore Brewfest at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall, where dozens of breweries and wineries will be pouring samples for ticketed guests. All proceeds will go to benefit projects led by the Kewaunee and Dyckesville Lions Clubs. You can find more details about the event by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee Lions Club

Area Ukrainians continue to give back

From buying local products to donating specific items, there are plenty of ways you can give to people fighting for their homeland in Ukraine.

 

In Carlsville, a 90-second story on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir turned into thousands of new orders of Ukraine candles from Door County Candle Company despite having their website crash on them during the process. Door County Candle Company owner Christiana Gorchynsky – Trapani has already given $125,000 to Razom for Ukraine because of the candle sales. 

 

On a more statewide scale, the group Wisconsin Ukrainians has been organizing trucks to carry some of the most needed items to the people fleeing their home country. Olga Halaburda says the response has been great.

You can click this link to donate directly to the Wisconsin Ukrainians cause. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spent the last week appealing directly to governments like the United States and Germany for more support to fend off Russia’s advances.

Powers to retire as Door County remains green for COVID-19 community level

Less than a case a day kept harsher COVID-19 community levels away for Door County according to the most recent situation update.

 

Door County stayed in the low community level for COVID-19 after the report showed only five of the 112 tests administered for the coronavirus came back positive for the virus. There were two additional deaths reported but no new hospitalizations. Data regarding deaths tends to lag from what is being seen due to reporting from the state. 

 

The news comes a week after Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers announced at last week’s Health and Human Services Board Meeting that she would be retiring in June. She has served the role for close to four years, two of which she spent helping the community navigate the pandemic. 

 

The Door County Public Health Department will continue to host vaccine clinics on Tuesdays from 12-4 p.m. at the Door County Government Center.

Road work begins Wednesday on Highway 42

Travelers will have road construction to deal with near the Bayview Bridge and streets around Sturgeon Bay’s west side starting this Wednesday. The Highway 42 project scheduled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will entail improvements over a 7.2 mile stretch from the south junction of Highway 42/57 north to the Bayview Bridge. The work will include concrete pavement repairs and asphalt overlay of existing concrete. Work that is being coordinated with the City of Sturgeon Bay and Door County will consist of Ashland Avenue, Neenah Avenue, County Road U, and Green Bay Road. County Road U will be widened to have a right turn lane and a combined left/through lane. That work will require closure from Tacoma Beach Road to the highway for one to two months. During the construction, alternate routes for traffic will be East Walnut Street. Neenah Avenue, and Quarterdeck Lane. Scheduled to be completed in September, the overall project aims to address the deteriorating roadway pavement and improve safety. You can see a project overview and traffic impact on the Highway 42/57 construction here.

Winter Park sets attendance record

Your thirst for winter fun helped set a new record in Kewaunee County this past season.

 

Kewaunee Winter Park welcomed 16,498 visitors during the 2021-2022 season as they participated in snow tubing, skiing, and snowboarding over 11 weeks. Despite being open one less week, this season's total was more than 2,800 people over the record-setting 2018-2019 season. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreations Director Dave Myers credits the weather and the private groups that used Winter Park during the less busy weeknight times for their activities.

 

The season also marked the second year the Dana Farm Ice Skating Rink was also used for winter fun, with dozens using the free attraction weekly.

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County

Program to be launched to help essential businesses and child care needs

It is no secret that unemployment rates are up, and businesses are struggling to find workers, as well as funds to offer a fair wage. The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has opened applications for essential businesses to help remedy this with a grant program called “PartnerUp!”. This program incentivises businesses to partner with child care programs through a statewide grant of $10 million. The goals of this program are to provide steady childcare for families in the community, while also helping businesses find the funds to keep their staffing by being able to offer more benefits. The Supporting Families Together Association has partnered with the nine Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies within Wisconsin. From there the CCR&Rs will reach out to interested businesses and child care providers in their regions.

Prom dresses get second dance

That prom dress sitting in your closet could make someone's night even more special and help families struggling with cancer. The prom dress drive was the brain child of Teagan Ellefson, a Sevastopol student who noticed her own prom dresses taking up space. The idea turned into a project for the school's Project 180 and SADD Chapter. Advisor Chris Horvat says it is a great idea that serves multiple causes.

You can bring your prom dresses to Sevastopol School on April 2nd. Area girls can also stop by to buy one of the donated dresses for $5 with all proceeds going to benefit DoorCancer. You can find more details about the event below.

 

Free upcoming CIP training

The Door County League of Women Voters helped bring a program called Crisis Intervention Partner training to Door County. This program will help members of the community better understand how to interact and understand people who are experiencing mental health crises. Some people in attendance will be police officers from Door and Kewaunee Counties, dispatchers and community members. Helen Bacon, the Alder for District one of Sturgeon Bay and a League of Women’s Voters member describes what impact she is hoping this training will bring to the community.

 

 

This program follows a three year study done by the League of Women Voters on mental health and substance abuse in the county. The hope is that this training will help provide professionals and family members with the tools needed to understand the complicated or difficult parts of mental health. This will be a two-day program taking place on April 12th and 13th. If you are interested in attending this training you can email Helen Bacon hlbacon55@hotmail.com.

Community Spotlight: Algoma's Crescent Beach with Cathy Pabich

A spirit of volunteerism and community support has put the City of Algoma's Lake Michigan waterfront in a strong position. Cathy Pabich, who serves on several city committees that protect the natural resources and nature around the city, says that the all-volunteer-built boardwalk on Crescent Beach is one example of community pride. Being the Friends of Crescent Beach steering committee coordinator, Pabich also serves on the board of directors for the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) and the Bird City Algoma committee.  She shares the impressive improvements that have been accomplished on Crescent Beach since 2015.

 

 

The Algoma Crescent Beach Boardwalk celebrated its 25th Anniversary last June. The idea of a boardwalk was inspired by members of the Community Improvement of Algoma (CI of A), who presented the boardwalk idea to the Algoma City Council in April of 1993.  Three years later, on June 22, the Algoma Crescent Beach Boardwalk was dedicated.

 

You can listen to the entire conversation with Cathy Pabich on the "Spotlight in the Community" podcast page at DoorCountyDailyNews.com.   

Another road closure scheduled for Sturgeon Bay

If you need to use Kentucky Street. in Sturgeon Bay to get to work, you may want to leave extra time in your commute as the road is scheduled to be closed. It was announced this past week that on March 21st at 7 am, the street will be closed from North 1st Avenue to North 2nd Avenue. This closure will give time for the crews to work on frontage work being done on one of the Fincantieri Bay Ship buildings. Drivers should be aware that the road is predicted to be closed for a few weeks in order for the work to be completed.

Kewaunee County COVID-19 numbers continue to decline

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to dwindle in Kewaunee County. After reporting only five positive tests last week, Kewaunee County Public Health noted only four additional cases since March 10.  Only two cases are considered active, and no hospitalizations or deaths were reported.  New confirmed cases in the state continue to drop as Wisconsin's seven-day average fell to 344. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Kewaunee County's transmission level  also decreased from "High Level" to "Moderate."   

 

Financial hardship assistance for homeowners

If you are facing hardships that are making it difficult for you to pay your mortgage, property taxes, and utility bills, a state program has funds to help you out.  The Wisconsin Help for Homeowners Program has more than $92 million available to provide financial assistance through the American Rescue Plan Act.  Door County Treasurer Ryan Schley says he has not seen the influx of calls from people needing financial assistance in paying their property taxes like other areas in the state has experienced.

 

 

Schley notes that an online application is available on the Wisconsin Help for Homeowners website.  You can find more information about the program and application process here.   You can also call with questions about the application options at 855-2-HOME-WI.  

Fire destroys Casco home

A log-cabin style, two-story farmhouse in the town of Casco is a complete loss after a fire Thursday afternoon. Fire departments from several communities in Kewaunee and Door counties responded to a fire call at E5905 County Road E shortly after 1 pm by the homeowner who escaped the building unharmed. Luxemburg Fire Department Chief Lew DuChateau says a MABAS call to other fire departments was made en route as the fire had already engulfed the first-floor windows and doors. He explains the challenges as units arrived on the scene.

 

 

As far as the cause of the fire, the homeowner informed DuChateau that he had heard a heat lamp pop in the front area of the house that sparked the fire that quickly spread throughout the lower level. DuChateau adds that firefighters stayed at the scene for over five hours to extinguish the blaze completely.  

 

 

 

 

Luxemburg Community Fire Department

Press Release 20220318-1


 

At 13:01 on Thursday 3/17/22, the Luxemburg Community Fire Department was dispatched for a fire in a cellar of a home at E5905 County Road E in the Town of Casco.

While firefighters were in route, it was communicated from dispatch that fire was coming out the front door and windows.   The fire was upgraded to a multiple alarm fire.

When firefighters arrived, they found a 2-story farmhouse with flames coming from the front door and windows, with smoke coming from the eaves of the 1st and 2nd floors.   Firefighters quickly extinguished fire in the front part of the home, while additional crews worked at extinguishing fire that extended to the 2nd floor and attic areas. 

The homeowner was home at the time of the fire, and managed to escape the structure.

Firefighters were on scene for about 6 hours.

There were no injuries.

The home sustained heavy fire, smoke, and water damage.  Red Cross was contacted to assist the home owner.

Responding fire departments assisting the Luxemburg Fire Department were Algoma, BUG, Casco, Kewaunee, New Franken, and Southern Door.  Denmark Fire stood by in Luxemburg incase of a 2nd alarm.  Luxemburg Rescue assisted on scene.

Cause of the fire is from a heat lamp being used in the front area of the home.



 

Chief Lew DuChateau

Luxemburg Community Fire Department

 

 

 

Benefit tops $5700 for Butch's Bar victims

A benefit concert was held this past Wednesday for all fire victims of the February 22 fire at Butch’s Bar in Sturgeon Bay. Musician and organizer Chris Bishop says about 500 people attended to benefit that featured almost twenty musical acts and raised over $5700. He says the United Way helped collect donations throughout the evening, capping a hugely successful benefit. Nervous that people might not show up for the benefit concert, Bishop was amazed at the incredible turnout and generosity.

 

 

A guitar with all the performing musicians' autographs and Butch's Bar owner Clarence Cumber's signature will now be auctioned off, with those proceeds also going towards the fire victims. Bishop is optimistic that the music community will have a new venue available to them at the old Butch's Bar location in the future. You can listen to the full interview with Chris Bishop on the Podcast Page at DoorCountyDailyNews.com.  

Bomb threat at Algoma School District

On Wednesday morning at about 11:45 a bomb threat was made at Algoma School district which caused all students to be evacutated from the building. The Police and Fire department both arrived at the scene and began a sweep to make sure that the building was secure and no bomb was actually there. Neighboring schools began to take safety precautions once the threat had been received, yet no other surrounding schools have reported getting a similar threat today. Two Rivers did have a threat of the same nature a while ago, but at this point the threats seem random. The scene at Algoma was cleared at about 1:00 pm after police and fire officials swept the building and did not find anything. You can view the on scene interview with Algoma Fire Captain Steve Luedke here.

 

 

UW-Oshkosh conducts well water study

You can send your Door County water samples to UW-Oshkosh to make (sure) your water is safe. The university’s environmental research and innovation center has been offering the discounted well-testing program in Door County since 2019. By testing for water impurities like bacteria and nitrates, the program has been able to educate property owners about the importance of getting their well tested every year. Carmen Thiel from UW-Oshkosh says they have been able to take a lot away from the uniqueness of Door County’s water quality through the three years of testing.

A fee is required in order to participate in the testing program. You can learn more about it and register by clicking this link.

League of Women Voters Door County shares candidate forums

The League of Women Voters of Door County hopes you learn what you can about your local candidates leading up to the spring election on April 5th. The organization hosted three different candidate forums this winter featuring candidates from Districts 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 14, and 20. There will be plenty of new names on the ballot due to redistricting and retirements. Dan Powers from the League of Women Voters of Door County is encouraged by the interest in this election since candidate forums are only held if they are requested.

The three different candidate forum videos are posted on the League of Women Voters of Door County website. You can click this link to learn who is appearing on your ballot this upcoming election. Earlier this week, we did a story reminding you to make sure you have the right photo identification handy before you head to the polls.

Possible jail referendum question to be finalized this spring

The Kewaunee County Board will have until July to decide on whether or not referendum questions concerning the jail will appear on your ballot. The proposed jail was discussed during Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting during the committee reports portion. Supervisor John Mastalir asked what happens to certain incarcerated individuals if they happen to be unruly, pregnant, or in other situations where the current jail may not be suitable. That spurred Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski to speak on how the new facility would have more cell-like accommodations for inmates to allow for more classifications, something they currently cannot do.

The discussion stayed on the jail but focused more on staffing the facility. It had been determined that the new facility would only require six new staff members down from the original eight that were forecasted. This change could make it so the county would not have to go to a referendum for the facility’s operation.

Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt said if they do go to a referendum that he would like to get the possible question or questions to the board for their input by May. That would give the county time to sort out the details before the 90 days that are required ahead of an election to get an item placed on the ballot.

Law enforcement release information on two sex offenders

The Door County Sheriff’s Department is making you aware of two sex offenders living in Sturgeon Bay.

 

The announcement comes a week after the Sturgeon Bay Police Department notified the public that James A. Good and Roger W. Haskell are convicted sex offenders living within the city limits. The community notification is allowed under Wisconsin State Statute by Act 440, and the offenders are registered with the Wisconsin Department of Correction Sex Offender Registry Program. Both the Door County Sheriff’s Department and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department maintain files concerning registered sex offenders and are available for the public to review.

 

In their releases, the departments also emphasized that using the information to threaten, intimidate, or harass the individuals will not be tolerated. You can find both notifications below.

 

 

Ukraine conflict sends input and output prices higher for farmers

You will find farmers beginning to get into their fields in the coming weeks as they face higher prices for the products they produce and what it takes to make them.

 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that the Russian invasion of Ukraine could cause grain prices to rise as much as 20 percent in the short term. They estimate 20 to 30 percent of Ukraine’s winter wheat, corn, and sunflowers may not be planted or go unharvested this year. On the flipside, fertilizer prices could go up another 13 percent, and diesel prices are also hitting record highs. Adam Barta from Rio Creek Feed Mill says he encourages farmers to lock in at least some of their prices now if possible.

As a result, you will likely see livestock prices also tick up as it becomes more expensive to feed them. Food prices went up over seven percent from January 2021 to January 2022. 

Door County YMCA registration for summer camps open

You can start planning your children’s activities this summer with the day camps offered at the Door County YMCA.  Registration for the camps started this week and  Program and Innovation Executive Tyler Powell says the biggest option is Camp Compass at the Lansing Center on Sturgeon Bay’s west side.  He notes that the all-day camp is open for children from the ages of 4-12.

 

 

The Door County YMCA also offers day camps at Sturgeon Bay’s newly renovated Otumba Park in the mornings and the Trekker Camp located at the Northern Door Program Center from 7 am until 5 pm Monday through Thursday.  You can find more information on the Door County YMCA summer camps here.  The entire conversation with Tyler Powell can be found on the “Y Wednesdays”

 

Remember your photo ID when you vote in April

If you are planning on voting in the local spring elections, there is one important thing that you need to do before voting day. All Wisconsin voting offices require a photo ID in order to receive a ballot. These IDs can include but are not limited to, a driver's license, identification card, military or student ID card. For the local elections, it is not required to have a separate “voter ID” or federally compliant REAL ID. If you do not have a photo ID the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is providing free identification cards that you can use while voting. If you are unsure if your type of identification is eligible for voting or you would like to see information on the upcoming elections click on this link.     

No more springing forward and falling back

You won’t have to worry about changing the clocks twice a year anymore with the bill approved by the U.S. Senate on March 15th. The bill, called the Sunshine Protection Act, was unanimously approved by the Senate, but will need to be approved by the House of Representatives before it makes its way across President Biden’s desk. Many states have declined to change the clocks twice a year, but this bill would make it a nationwide change. The passing of this legislation will also hopefully reduce the amount of seasonal depression within the population.

Liberty Grove looks to move other buildings from Mariner's Park

The house is spoken for, but there are some other buildings at Mariner’s Park in Gills Rock that could have your name on it. The Town of Liberty Grove Board will discuss those buildings at their Wednesday board meeting. The house has already been sold and has a deadline to be moved later this spring. Two other buildings need to be either purchased and moved or demolished to make way for Mariner’s Park. Town chairperson John Lowry says the parks committee would like to make some more headway on the site before the end of the year.

The town board will also discuss the Fire Board’s recommendation to buy new apparatus for the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department when it meets at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Habitat ramps up community support

Door County Habitat for Humanity is making it easier for you to get out of your house. The organization kicked off its RAMP UP Door County project earlier this year to address the accessibility needs of many Door County residents. The aluminum ramps are leased out to homeowners that may have a temporary accessibility issue at their homes. Funds raised by leasing the ramp go back to the organization. Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Lori Allen says the program will assist homeowners in getting the help they need sooner than if they were to have a ramp built and installed by volunteers.

RAMP UP Door County was started thanks in part to a grant made possible by 100+ Women Who Care and the Door County chapter of the Philanthropic Education Organization. Door County Habitat for Humanity is fundraising to purchase a second ramp, which typically costs between $8,000 and $9,000. 

Birch Creek performances return to barn in 2022

You will be able to watch musicians perform music in the barn again at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor.

 

The 2022 season was held primarily outdoors last year due to COVID-19 concerns and two years after the pandemic wiped out the entire season. Concerts were only held in the barn last year when bad weather occurred, limiting its audience to just those that bought premium tickets. Birch Creek Music Performance Center announced its season earlier this month while also kicking off ticket sales.

 

The season will kick off once again with the Percussion and Steel Band with the first concert of the year taking place on June 23rd. Six more Percussion & Steel Band concerts will follow on June 24-25 and June 30-July 2. Symphony will begin with its traditional July 4th concert followed by performances on July 7th through the 9th and July 14th through the 16th. The summer of performances will conclude with two sessions of Big Band Jazz with performances scheduled for July 20th through the 23rd, July 27th through the 30th, August 3rd through the 6th, and August 10th through the 13th. 

 

You can find more information on the concerts and ticket information by clicking this link.

 

 

Gibraltar cancels school Friday

No note is necessary if you are a Gibraltar community member who wants to witness history Friday. The Gibraltar Area School Board has granted permission to cancel classes on Friday so students and staff could make their way to Madison for the school’s first-ever appearance in the WIAA Boys State Basketball Tournament. Gibraltar Secondary School Principal and Athletic Director Jim DeBroux calls Friday’s game a great opportunity to come together as a community in a unique way.


He thanked the community on behalf of the team, coaches, and staff for their support during the season. Gibraltar has requested 1,000 tickets for the game on Friday and will be on sale Wednesday afternoon at the school’s concession stand near the gym. On Thursday, the team will be escorted out of Fish Creek by Gibraltar Fire and Rescue trucks on their way to Madison, with the vehicles leaving the school at approximately 8:15 a.m. The school has also organized fan buses to head down to Madison for the game, which has a 9:05 a.m. tip at the Kohl Center. For those who can’t make the game, the game will be broadcast on 105.1 The GOAT beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the pregame show followed by the opening tip at 9:05 a.m.

 

Good Morning Gibraltar,

This is an exciting time to be a Viking! Our boys basketball team qualified to participate in the State Tournament for the first time in school history! The Vikings will face the Randolph Rockets in a state semi-final at the Kohl Center at 9:05am on Friday morning. Due to the timing and travel required to attend this unique event, the administration requested and was granted permission by the school board to cancel school K-12 on Friday, March 18th in order to allow students, staff, and community to attend this historic event. To reiterate, there will be no school for any students K-12 this Friday.

 

We know that this will enable members of the school and broader community to consider plans to attend this event. The school has requested 1000 tickets from the WIAA for our own Gibraltar Viking fan section for the game and we hope to sell it out and pack the Kohl Center with Gibraltar blue and gold! Tickets for the game are $11 each and will be available for purchase after school on Wednesday. March 16th. Peggy Tanck is heading up the sale and will be distributing tickets through our concession stand near the high school gym on Wednesday afternoon.

 

There is also still space available on the two coach fan buses that will depart Friday morning from school at 4:30am. You can contact Peggy to reserve space on the buses. Fan bus riders must purchase their tickets in advance to ease entry into the Kohl Center. Secondary School students need to complete permission slips to ride the bus. Elementary parents and students may sign up for the fan bus as well. K-5 students may not ride fan buses without a parental chaperone.

 

This is a great opportunity to come together as a community in a special way. I want to express thanks on behalf of the team, coaches and staff for the incredible support we have experienced and welcome everyone to enjoy Friday’s game as a celebration of what can happen when a group focuses on a goal with focused dedication, togetherness and hard work.

 

GO VIKINGS!

Mr. DeBroux

City to offer incentives for pair of housing projects

The City of Sturgeon Bay is looking to help you find additional housing options on the city’s southern end. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will discuss two proposals to offer financial incentives for Duquaine Development and Premier Real Estate Management (Pre-3) Development to build apartment units near Target.

 

The Pre-3 Development would include 96 high-end apartments with attached garages to be built between Duluth Avenue and Target on the former 13.1-acre Wallace parcel. A $1.5 million developer-financed TIF loan from the city is on the table to jumpstart the project.

 

The Duquaine Development would be located between Sawyer Drive (Oak Street) and Target and include 64 units. The city offered a financial incentive package of $750,000, of which $275,000 would come from the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds. The other $475,000 is intended to come from the affordable housing fund being developed by extending Tax Increment District (TID) #1 by one year. TID #1 encompasses the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park, which consists of businesses that would benefit from the increase in housing.

 

You can read more about the projects ahead of Tuesday’s 6 p.m. meeting by clicking this link. Documents related to the projects begin on page 49.

Anderson Dock to get facelift

The Village of Ephraim hopes you rein in a Door County tradition when you visit Anderson Dock. The famous painted walls of the Hardy Gallery have been a popular spot for geocaching and social media enthusiasts for years. Over the past two years, visitors have begun painting in other spots on the dock like the jersey barriers installed during the recent seasons of high water. Part of its discussions with the Hardy Gallery to renew their lease would be to paint one of the walls of the building while the village would clean up the rest of the graffiti on the dock. The correct color for the building would have to be coordinated with the village. Ephraim Village Administrator Brent Bristol says the hope is that the blank canvas would still inspire people to leave their mark in a specific spot.

The conversation was a part of last week’s Ephraim Village Board meeting as a part of future planning with the operators of the Hardy Gallery, who have a lease for the building until next year. Bristol says there are no-cost estimates on how much the village will have to pay to clean up its portion of the graffiti. Most of the cost would be removing the jersey barriers, which would take a lot of the graffiti with it. The Village Board is expected to discuss taking Anderson Dock off of geocaching databases as the activity is to blame for much of the graffiti. It is currently listed as the number one geocache site in Door County.

 

Pheasant exhibit bid, broadband expansion grant Kewaunee County Board meeting

Improving the pheasant exhibit at the Bruemmer Park Zoo and the internet in your home are the goals of two of the items on the Kewaunee County Board agenda on Tuesday.

 

The Kewaunee County Board will discuss partnering with Hilbert Communications once again applying for another broadband expansion grant. Hilbert Communications, which considers Bug Tussel Wireless as its subsidiary, has partnered in the past with the county to bring grant dollars to help support their broadband expansion efforts. Bug Tussel Wireless cut the ribbon on a new tower back in September after $1.4 million was awarded for the project a year ago.

 

Following that discussion, the Kewaunee County Board will award the contract for the new pheasant exhibit. The new base design for the pheasant exhibit is eight enclosures within two connected modules that include a maintenance area and an open-air space for public viewing. There is also an alternative design for twelve enclosures within three connected modules that again consists of a maintenance area and an open-air space for public viewing. 

 

The board will also vote on raises for the Kewaunee County Sheriff and the Clerk of Courts when they meet Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Gas drive-offs becoming more of a concern amid price surge

You may not mean to do it, but gas stations in northeast Wisconsin are beginning to protect themselves just in case you drive off without paying. Gas prices have increased 22 percent across the country in the last two weeks, which amounts to almost 80 cents a gallon according to Chicago Tribune. It has led to thieves stealing gas directly from cars by either siphoning it or drilling a hole in the tank in places like Atlanta and British Columbia. CTV in Toronto reported that one local gas station has seen its drive-offs double in recent weeks, costing them as much as $200 in some instances. Drive-offs are a habitual offense in Door County, according to Door County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty. He says the offenders are often hard to track down and often did not mean to do it in the first place.

Some gas stations like Baileys 57 in Baileys Harbor are following the lead of Kwik Trip and others in the area by requiring motorists to pre-pay for their fuel purchases. Baileys 57 manager Kari Baumann knows many of the drive-offs are accidental, but current gas prices forced them to make a tough decision.

McCarty recommends printing off a receipt to ensure that your transaction went through.

Airlines welcoming back leisure travel

You will find it a little easier to travel about the country as the effects of the pandemic begin to wane. Travel + Leisure Magazine found that over 670 million flew on U.S. carriers in 2021, which still trails pre-pandemic levels but was 83 percent more than 2020. While a large amount of that uptick is due to the return of more business travel, trips for leisure are also picking up steam as millions of people have stuck closer to home since the beginning of the pandemic two years ago. Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay added direct flights to Las Vegas through Sun Country Airlines just in time for the start of the NCAA Tournament, which will have one of its regional sites in Milwaukee. That was on top of last fall’s announcement of Frontier Airlines adding direct flights to Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to their departures from Green Bay. Airport Director Marty Piette said last week that there is a lot of interest in traveling right now.

Fuel prices and the ongoing mask mandate are two items travelers might be wary of before booking their flights. Piette added that the increase in jet fuel prices likely would not be felt by travelers for a while. As for the mask mandate, it was extended last week to April 18th. 

Six new deaths reported in latest Door County COVID-19 update

Six people passed away due to COVID-19 within the last week, according to the latest update from the Door County Public Health Department. It marred an otherwise good report for the area with just six positive tests among 100 negatives and three probables. Door County remains in the green (low) community level for COVID-19, joining the rest of northeast Wisconsin. The designation means there is a limited impact on the healthcare system and low amounts of severe disease in the community. The Door County Public Health Department will continue to host vaccine clinics on Tuesdays from 12-4 p.m. at the Door County Government Center.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - March 14, 2022

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  Data regarding deaths may be delayed due to processing of medical reports at the state level. 
Total Tests: 28,478
Positive: 6,556 (+6)
Probable: 368 (+3)
Negative: 21,557 (+100)
Hospitalizations: 239 (+1)
Deaths: 57 (+6) 

 

 

Two to five inches of snow possible for Door County

You may have to dig your shovels out again as Door County enters the week under a winter weather advisory. The area joins several other northern Wisconsin counties for the winter weather advisory, which runs until 7 p.m. The National Weather Service suggests two to five inches of snow could fall throughout the day thanks to a narrow but heavy band of snow. The accumulating snowfall could make for slippery roads throughout the area. Brown and Kewaunee counties may get only a trace of snow due to the storm. The snow will not stick around for too long, with forecasted highs in the 40s throughout the week.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry "rummaging" to help community members

It may be a little earlier on the calendar this year, but The Kewaunee County Food Pantry's Spring rummage sale will continue its mission for area residents in need. Scheduled for this Thursday through Saturday, the rummage sale acts as a fundraiser for the food pantry, and area residents have already donated hundreds of items for sale. The food pantry members volunteer this Thursday through Saturday, and the rummage sale profits will go to purchasing food and other expenses.   Kewaunee County Food Pantry President Ken Marquardt details how the funds raised will be utilized in the future.

 

 

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is open Monday and Wednesday from 11 am until 1 pm. You can find more information on the rummage sale held at 1528 Sunset Avenue in Algoma here.  

Lots of activities coming up at Crossroads at Big Creek

Celebrate the coming of spring with the Crossroads at Big Creek at one of their nature-themed events. Among the various outdoor activities, Crossroads is hosting their final Fish Tales Lecture on March 17th. Coggin Heeringa, the Interpretive Naturalist with Crossroads, describes what is in store for attendees.

 

 

Also coming up this following week is an Ides of March Hike on March 15th, which provides a chance to get outside and learn about what it means to girdle a tree and how it can help a tree’s growth. There will also be a Junior Nature Club on March 16th for preschool-aged children and their guardians to attend, where the children will learn about the “Green in Nature.” Crossroads will also continue to host Saturday Science for families to learn about the science of nature. All of the events at the Crossroads are free to attend, and all are welcome.

State parks kept busy over winter

This season's perfect amount of winter weather brought many of you to Wisconsin State Parks. At Peninsula State Park, Park Superintendent Eric Hyde told Door County Daily News last month that winter camping was slightly slower than it was the previous year. However, there was still plenty of traffic participating in a wide array of activities.

Potawatomi State Park saw record attendance in January before starting to wane in February and March when substantial snowfall began to miss the area. Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender said it was great to see people out and about in the park.

The thawing weather has parks starting to prepare for spring. One project will be relocating the Eastern Terminus of the Ice Age Trail within Potawatomi State Park. The Ice Age Trail Alliance and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will officially announce the move next week.

Community Spotlight: Organization "adopts" Gesserts again

A program that has sent over 10,000 care packages over the past 15 years to local military personnel serving worldwide continues to assist veterans in Door and Kewaunee counties. Adopt-a-Soldier-Door County began providing a helping hand to veterans with financial, medical, and home repair needs five years ago.   Founder Nancy Hutchinson says three big projects are going on right now, including a partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

 

 

This past week, 90-year-old David Gessert of Sturgeon Bay, a post-Korean War Army veteran, was able to have eight original windows replaced in his 1942 Shipyard House on North 7th Avenue. Gessert and his wife Joan, now disabled, are retired teachers from Wausau who purchased the home in 2010. He says he cannot thank the Adopt-a-Soldier veterans program or Nancy Hutchinson enough for coordinating the window replacements, plus the new roofing and storm and sewer work completed last summer.

 

 

The work completed was like an early silver anniversary gift for the Gesserts, as they will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on June 11. Military veterans in Door or Kewaunee counties should contact the Veterans Service Office or the ADRC for applications to qualify for the Adopt-a-Soldier veterans assistance.  

DNR hosts hunter education sign-up day

The first-time hunter in your life can start preparing for the season later this month. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a hunter and firearm safety course during the week of April 25th, 2022. The $10 class is available to the first 30 people 12 years and older that sign up. The course gives the basics of firearms and helps prevent hunting accidents. Last year’s nine-day gun deer season saw two hunting-related accidents in Door County. Anyone born on or after January 1st, 1973, must complete a hunter education course and show their certificate of completion before purchasing any hunting license. The only exception to that rule is if they can participate in a mentorship program. In-person enrollment for the course will take place on March 26th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Howie’s Tackle In Sturgeon Bay. 

COVID-19 positives stay low in Kewaunee County

The number of new cases of COVID-19 remained low in Kewaunee County as the state sees numbers it has not seen since last July. Just five new cases of COVID-19 were reported since March 3rd. Of those five new cases, only one of them is considered active. No hospitalizations or deaths were reported a week after Kewaunee County lost its 50th resident to COVID-19. The county’s vaccination rate ticked up to 52.5 percent. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases dropped to 392, the first time it has been below 400 since July 21st, 2021. Kewaunee  County is one of 68 counties in the high level for COVID-19 disease activity with three counties in the medium range and one rated as very high.

 

 

 

Public safety building project gets stripped down

You are getting closer to learning the final price tag of the long-discussed Kewaunee County Public Safety building project that has been seven years in the making.

 

County officials are currently in Phase 3 of the project, where some of the final drawings of the layout and floor plan of the building are completed. During the discussions, it was decided that the new building would be strictly a jail and a dispatch center. The decision keeps the offices for Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski and other department members at the Kewaunee County courthouse. The county will also keep deputies working as a jailer and dispatch worker in their current dual role.

 

By making decisions like this, Joski says it helps them start nailing down the final numbers for the project before presenting them to the community.

Once the plans are finished, the county could either move forward with the project or put it up for referendum. Joski says the referendum answers are essentially “yes” and “not now,” with the latter potentially costing taxpayers $1 million every year the project gets delayed because of changing costs.

Inflation's impact on charitable giving yet to be seen

We still may be months away from seeing the impact record-high inflation could have on your favorite charities. Annual inflation hit 7.9 percent on Thursday, which is a 40-year high. A new record could be set next month as the war in Ukraine and high energy prices settle in even more.

 

It is uncharted territory for charitable leaders like Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy, many of which who were not in their current roles in 1981, which was the last time inflation was this high. Bicoy believes that similar to how people treat the stock market, many will not change their charitable giving habits until they know that the current rate of inflation is here to stay.

Bicoy says the more troublesome figure is the number of donors who are donating. While the amount of money being raised has been holding steady and even increasing in some cases, the number of people donating has been dropping for the last two decades.

 

During the 2008 Great Recession, charitable giving dipped 7.2 percent and another eight percent in 2009 according to The San Diego Foundation (which is similar to the Door County Community Foundation) and Indiana University philanthropy statistician Jon Bergdoll.

Village of Egg Harbor hosting program on regenerative organic practices

If you are interested in agriculture and its impact on farms' durability and human health, you have a chance to attend a program called Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People. The program will allow you to hear about the Green Tier Taskforce from the village and their efforts to make Egg Harbor toxic chemical free. Mary Riley, a member of the taskforce describes how this event will be structured and what topics they will touch on.

 

 

With this program you will not only be able to learn about how organic practices can help the orchards, but also how you can help your own garden through similar practices. This program will be at the Kress Pavilion on March 19th at 1 pm and it is free to all. The event will be followed by a reception and meet and greet. To join the program virtually, you will need to register by following this link.

Red Cross testing blood donations for COVID-19

The American Red Cross has resumed testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. By doing this, patients that have a weakened immune system can receive these transplants to help them overcome the virus. The Red Cross were first testing donations at the beginning of the pandemic, but paused when infection numbers decreased. With the new variants they decided to resume this practice. Below is a list of upcoming opportunities for blood donation in Door and Kewaunee Counties.

 

Door

Fish Creek

3/18/2022: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., YMCA Door County, 3866 Gibraltar Road

Sturgeon Bay

3/14/2022: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Bay View Lutheran Church, 340 W Maple St.

3/31/2022: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sevastopol High School, 4550 Hwy 57

 

Kewaunee

Algoma

3/30/2022: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., Algoma Community Wellness Center, 1715 Division St.

Kewaunee

3/17/2022: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Kewaunee High School, 911 Third St.

Luxemburg

3/25/2022: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., St. Louis School Hall, N8710 County Line Road

3/28/2022: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Luxemburg Casco High School, 512 Center Dr.

4/4/2022: 11:45 a.m. - 6 p.m., Pilsen Church, E860 Hwy 29

 

Rotary Shipyard Tour advance sales begin

The opportunity to see behind the scenes the shipbuilding industry in Sturgeon Bay will be offered again this May.  The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay announced this week that advanced ticket sales for the 29th Annual Shipyard Tour on May 7 may be purchased online.  Once a year, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding opens its doors for you to take a tour of how the shipbuilding industry works.  Event co-chair Keith Mutchler explains what the tours entail and the unique opportunity it presents.

 

 

A total of 1,000 tickets will be sold for tours starting at 9 am and running until 1:00 pm.  You can purchase tickets in advance online.   All proceeds from the Shipyard Tours go towards the Rotary Youth Interact charitable projects.   

Algoma Fire Department looks to grow out of its shell

You are not alone if you have wondered how the Algoma Fire Department fits all its equipment and people into one space. The Algoma Fire Department is looking to join the police department in a new facility on Sunset Avenue in the city’s industrial park. The building has been two years in the making after the city conducted a space needs analysis and found the fire and police department needed a little more room. They still need the city’s voters to approve the facility’s construction which carries a price tag of approximately $5.7 million. Approving the referendum would cost property owners $162 on a $100,000 home. The fire department has outgrown its 70-year old building in the city’s downtown district. Fire trucks and ambulances have just inches of clearance when leaving the building and are parked just a few feet from each other. Medical supplies are stored in a former bathroom, while other items are placed wherever they can find space. A full response to a fire often requires a city street near the station to be closed down. 

Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman says the new area also keeps in mind the health and safety of its volunteer department.

Ackerman hopes the new facility will also improve its recruitment and retention efforts. He invites members of the public to come to tour their current headquarters and to attend their upcoming informational meeting on March 16th at the Algoma Elementary School Auditorium at 6 p.m. 

 

 

Gibraltar School Board member resigns

The Gibraltar School Board will soon have a new member.

 

Lauren Ward filed her resignation papers recently, with the board accepting it on Tuesday. Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer said Ward resigned because she is pursuing administrative roles within the district. Ward is the third board member to resign this school year, following Angela Sherman and Amie Carriere. Ward was elected to the school board in 2020 and served on the Student Learning and Instruction and Door Community Auditorium Liaison committees. Her term was scheduled to run until April 2023.

 

It comes at a busy time for the board as they are actively searching for a new superintendent after Van Meer resigned in December and a new elementary school principal. They approved posting the elementary school principal position at its meeting on February 28th.   After Carriere and Sherman left their post, Jeremy Schwab and Luca Fagundes were appointed to the board to fill the vacancies. The Gibraltar School Board will meet again on Monday, where administering the oath to a newly appointed board member is on the agenda.  

Door County Land Trust to officially begin executive director search

With Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay leaving his role on Friday, the organization is already looking for his replacement. National search firm Kittleman & Associates is assisting the Door County Land Trust with the efforts. Door County Land Trust Board of Directors President Donna Hake saluted Clay when he announced his resignation in January.

Hake said then that they would be patient to find the right person for the job. Clay came to the Door County Land Trust in 2016 after ten years as the executive director of the Illinois Audubon Society. His conservation achievements cover over 1,100 acres of land ranging from Washington Island to the Door County Land Trust’s first-ever acquisition at Stony Creek in Southern Door. Clay and his wife will return to Illinois after he departs, where he hopes to continue his career in conservation, but just a little closer to his children. You can find more information on the position by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Land Trust

St. Patrick's Day Parade returns to Sturgeon Bay

For the first time since before the pandemic, you will be able to line the streets for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Sturgeon Bay. The 2020 edition was one of the first events to get canceled due to COVID-19 concerns when Governor Tony Evers ordered all events with more than 250 attendees not to take place. The virus was also to blame for the 2021 parade being canceled. Carly Sarkis from Destination Sturgeon Bay says preparing for this Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade meant a lot.

Safety was also a big concern after last December’s tragedy at the Waukesha Christmas Parade. As a result, the parade route will be a throwback to years ago. Departing from Sawyer Park, the parade route will now go over the Michigan Street Bridge before turning left onto the 3rd Avenue. The parade kicks off at 11 a.m.  

 

Click this link to register for participating in the parade

 

 

Images courtesy of Destination Sturgeon Bay

 

Michigan Street Bridge reopens

You have your choice of all three bridges now when driving through Sturgeon Bay.

 

Door County and Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials announced earlier on Wednesday that the Michigan Street Bridge would reopen to all traffic at 3 p.m. that day. The bridge had been closed for the last week-and-a-half as DOT crews repaired damaged overhead structures on the bridge lift span resulting from a vehicle strike last October. The bridge's age required the replacement pieces to be specifically fabricated for the repairs before the work could be completed.

 

The bridge was initially supposed to reopen on March 11th.

Door County YMCA offering "Try It" better balance class opportunity

You can try out a class next Monday that can benefit your overall health as well as your balance at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay. The Moving for Better Balance is a twelve-week evidence-based program based on the principles of Tai Chi, an art that doctors commonly recommend as adults get older. The program teaches the first eight movements of Tai Chi that have been modified for fall prevention. Instructor Christine Webb-Miller says the benefits go beyond just obtaining better balance and preventing you from taking an expected spill.

 

 

The free 30-minute “Try-It Class” will be held Monday, March 14th at 10:15. The regular program will begin on Monday, March 21st. You can contact the YMCA for more information and listen to the conversation with Webb-Miller on the Y Wednesday podcast page

Senate approves TIF exemption for Gibraltar

The Wisconsin Senate voted through a measure Tuesday that would allow the Town of Gibraltar to pursue a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) to address the shortage of affordable housing.  The legislation would make Gibraltar eligible for a TIF through an exemption since the township falls about 2,000 residents short of the 3,000 population minimum required under current law.  The Town of Gibraltar is seeking to establish a Tax Incremental District (TID) to cover the cost of installing sewer lines and an interceptor that will service 102 workforce housing units. 

 

The City of Sturgeon Bay and the Village of Sister Bay have already established TIDs for projects involving public infrastructure.

 
Assembly Bill 914 was approved earlier this year by the Wisconsin Assembly and is now on the desk of Governor Tony Evers for approval.

 

First District Representative Joel Kitchens was one of six lawmakers to introduce the bill in the Assembly and Senator Andre Jacque co-sponsored the bill.

 

 

 

(The previous headline referred to this legislation as an affordable housing bill and was corrected)

 

 

Fuel costs to have minimal impact on spring break plans

It is too soon to tell the impact the higher gas prices could have on your spring break travel plans Among the blowback caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been companies like BP and Shell pulling its oil interests out of the country. That has sent crude oil prices to over $130 a barrel and gas prices to over four dollars a gallon. According to Reuters, domestic flight schedules in the United States were on track to be on par with pre-pandemic levels. Austin Straubel Airport Director Marty Piette expects people who booked their trips pre-Ukraine conflict will still be traveling and it will still be a little bit before you see the impact on the higher jet fuel prices.

The rapid price increase on gas also makes it a little premature to guess on what travel habits may be in store for Door County this spring. Gas prices locally have not been this high since the George W. Bush Administration, which was the last time the average price of gas national was over the four-dollar mark. Jon Jarosh from Destination Door County says people may stick closer to home, but they just want to travel.

The Los Angeles Times reports that nearly 40 percent of Americans are planning to travel for spring break, up from 29 percent last year. The increase is paired with the Centers for Disease Control no longer recommending masking where the majority of Americans live.

Sap collectors play the waiting game

Your efforts to make maple syrup this spring may have to wait a little bit longer.

 

The sap is usually running by this time of the year as collectors look to gather as much as possible to make the most maple syrup. This year is the latest Bill Roethle from Hillside Apples in Casco has gone without tapping his trees for sap, thanks in part to snow cover, cold temperatures, and a deep frost. Temperatures will be in the mid-40s to low 50s next week, though Roethle says Mother Nature is not completely cooperating with the process this year even when it does warm up.

He is still hopeful for a good harvest despite the games the temperatures are playing with him and other sap collectors this spring. 

Churches come together to pray for Ukraine crisis

You will be able to join others in the faith community to pray for those impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Friends Community Church in Sturgeon Bay is organizing the effort for Wednesday’s Praying for Dear Life event. It is the latest pouring of support from Door County for the Ukrainian people who have been fleeing the country for the last two weeks in large numbers. Through March 6th, Door County Candle Company has donated over $100,000 to Razom for Ukraine through their Ukraine candle sales. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo says praying for the people impacted, both Ukrainian refugees and those standing up for their beliefs in Russia, is the least they can do.

It is the fourth time Friends Community Church has held a Praying for Dear Life event. Prayers will start at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Wautlet remembered for his community support and impact

Longtime Algoma grocer Dennis “Denny” Wautlet is being remembered for his passion for life and leadership in the business community. Wautlet passed away last Thursday at the age of 79. He opened Denny’s Red Owl in 1968 and operated the supermarket until 2008 when his daughter Jodi purchased it. Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidt says he will never forget Denny’s smile and engaging personality that people loved. Schmidt adds that Wautlet would step up for the Algoma community at any given time.

 

 

A celebration of Wautlet’s life will be held at Schinderle Funeral Home on Wednesday from 4 pm to 7 pm and continue at 9:00 am on Thursday until the time of the mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Algoma. You can find the complete obituary for Dennis “Denny” Wautlet at the obituary page at DoorCountyDailyNews.  

Buildings on the move in Sister Bay

For the second time in a week, buildings in the middle of the road could hamper your morning commute through Sister Bay.  Several buildings located near the former Bay Ridge Golf Course will be on the move as the Door County Sheriff’s Department closed down State Highway 42 Tuesday morning to allow them to move onto Country Lane to State Highway 57. As of 7:45 a.m., State Highway 57 is estimated to be closed down at approximately 11 a.m between Country Lane and North Woods Drive. At noon, more buildings will move from Flintridge to Woodcrest to a location on County ZZ.  One of the buildings on the move is the Little Sister Barn, which will head from its current site to the Sister Bay Historical Society. The Village of Sister Bay approved up to $25,000 to assist with the move with the organization looking for private donations and grants to help fund the rest.

 

Courtesy of the Door County Sheriff's Department

 

 

Seized yacht in Italy was built in Sturgeon Bay

A superyacht built by Palmer Johnson in Sturgeon Bay was seized in Italy last week by Italian authorities.  With countries around the world taking actions to sanction Russian oligarchs, the “Lady M” yacht owned by Alexey Mordasov was being held in Imperia, Italy.  Mordasov is reportedly Russia’s richest man and has a net worth of nearly $30 billion, according to CNBC.  He was recently sanctioned by the European Union.

 

The 213-foot “Lady M” yacht was built in 2013 for $27 million and is valued at over $55 million.  It was the largest vessel ever built by Palmer Johnson and was the largest aluminum yacht ever built in the U.S., according to moranyachts.com.  

 

(2013 photo of Lady M courtesy of Yachtharbor.com) 

 

 

Winter fun coming to a close

You are running out of time to enjoy some of your favorite winter activities in Door and Kewaunee counties.

 

A weekend of warmth and rain closed down the north zone of the Door County Snowmobile Trail System, the last one that was remaining on the peninsula. The Village of Sister Bay tried reviving its Teresa K. Hilander Ice Rink before the weekend rains hit, but it is also closed until further notice along with the City of Sturgeon Bay’s ice rink. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources started to tell ice anglers to remove their permanent ice shanties from the ice beginning on March 1st for those on inland waters south of Highway 64, which includes anywhere south of towns like Medford, Merrill, and Antigo. Those with permanent ice shanties on Lake Michigan and Green Bay have until Saturday to do the same. Mother Nature will not help extend the season for those who want to ice fish on a whim with forecasted high temperatures above the freezing mark for 11 of the next 15 days according to The Weather Channel.

 

The weekend weather closed down the activities at Kewaunee Winter Park, but they are hoping for at least one more weekend of tubing this week. Some of Kewaunee County’s snowmobile trails have been closed since January 14th while some never opened this winter.

Door County downgrades COVID-19 level

Just a few days after the county introduced a new system for reporting its COVID-19 levels, you will already see it with a different color.

 

The Door County Public Health Department downgraded its COVID-19 level from yellow (medium) to green (low) on Friday. That means there is limited impact on the healthcare system and low amounts of severe disease in the community. Wearing a mask, according to the department is a personal preference. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says there have been just 13 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days as of March 4th. The numbers do not include positive at-home tests. You can find the rest of Door County’s COVID numbers below.

 

The Door County Public Health Department will offer a vaccine clinic every Tuesday at the Door County Government Center from 12-4 p.m. and this Thursday at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station from 2 to 5 p.m. You can schedule an appointment but walk-ins are also welcome.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - March 7, 2022

Updated weekly on Monday when data is available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at-home testing results.
Total Tests: 28,372
Positive: 6,550
Probable: 365
Negative: 21,457
Hospitalizations: 238
Deaths: 51

Former Kewaunee band teacher arrested

Former Kewaunee band teacher Kelton Jennings is behind bars Monday morning after being arrested on sexual assault charges on Friday. 

 

Green Bay TV stations are reporting that the arrest stems from allegations of inappropriate student contact within the Green Bay Area Public School District where he taught instrumental music at five elementary schools. He has been on administrative leave from the district since January 28th when the allegations first surfaced and underwent investigation. No bond court appearance has been set according to Brown County Jail and Wisconsin Circuit Court records as of Monday morning.

 

Jennings taught instrumental music for Kewaunee Middle and High School before officially resigning from the post at the June 14th, 2021 school board meeting.

 

Picture from the Brown County Jail

Highway 57 bus accident UPDATE

In the wake of the accident that occurred on Thursday, March 3 involving a school bus being hit from the rear, more information has come to light. It has been reported that a student that was present on the bus at the time was transported to the Door County Medical Center by ambulance. The student then underwent examination and was diagnosed with a mild concussion, whiplash, a pinched nerve in the neck and severe bruising. The student was released on Thursday evening after being deemed fit enough to go home. We have also been informed that another student on the bus was mildly injured by the impact, although they did not need to receive medical treatment.

 

The Door County Sheriff's Department told the Door County Daily News that the driver of the car had two citations: one for unreasonable and imprudent speed and the other for failure to stop for a school bus.
 

DoorCountyDailyNews.com will continue to update this as more information becomes available.

 

View the original post here.

Sturgeon Bay continues work to establish NERR in area 

The City of Sturgeon Bay is continuing to work behind the scenes to become a headquarters for a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).  The world’s largest freshwater estuary is Green Bay, and Door County is competing with Brown and Marinette counties to be the site that would house the NERR visitor center.  Caitlin Oleson, who is the co-chair of an Ad Hoc Committee formed by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council in April of 2021, says NERR is a federal program from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  She says the long-term research being done throughout Door County is offering many opportunities.

 

 

Oleson notes that the City of Sturgeon Bay has approved two possible sites for the NERR facility if they are fortunate to be chosen by NOAA.  One possible location would be at Sunset Park with the other option being near the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club.  The final decision of where the new NERR headquarters of the Green Bay estuary will come in 2023, according to Oleson. 

Close to 30 defibrillators donated to emergency personnel

Your generosity is making sure Door County is a safer place to live, work, and play. Twenty-nine defibrillators were donated to Door County Sheriff’s Deputies, DNR officials, Sturgeon Bay Police officers, and others as a part of the DefibsforDoorCounty Initiative. An anonymous donor contributed $75,000 to purchase 80 defibrillators for distribution throughout the community with individual donors matching the rest. Door County Fire Chiefs Association President Chris Hecht says he appreciates the support the effort has already received in the first month since the campaign was announced.

Door County government agencies can apply for the units by clicking this link. Schools, places of worship, and businesses or venues that attract large crowds can apply for their own defibrillators beginning next month.

 

Picture courtesy of the Door County Fire Chiefs Association

Miller Art Museum opens applications for fall artist residency

The Miller Art Museum has opened its applications for the Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist Residency that will provide artists with an opportunity to experience Door County during their 8-week stay. This residency will take place in the Dome House, where one half of the building is for housing and the other half is studio space. With this residency, the museum is looking for an artist from the Midwest who specializes in fine art mediums. Miller Art Museum Executive Director, Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, describes the opportunities waiting for both the resident artist and the community.

 

 

The Miller Art Museum selects its resident artist based on the type of medium and location criteria. Meissner-Gigstead also explains that they are looking for an artist that will excite the selection committee and the community. Applications for the residency are open through the 30th of April; you can find information about the application process here.

Community Spotlight:  Sturgeon Bay rallies around victims of Butch's Bar fire

The aftermath of the fire at Butch’s Bar in Sturgeon Bay has brought out a community-wide outpouring and efforts to assist the victims. Rick and Abby Hess from Samuelson’s Creek Pub and the White Birch Inn were one of many to step up for employee Gary McCoy, Jr., who was one of the displaced residents from Butch’s with an incredibly successful clothing drive to help out initially. The overflow of donations went to the United Way to benefit all fire victims. The Hess couple is now planning a benefit in April to help pay for medical bills for Gary McCoy, Sr., who is still recovering from severe burns from the fire. Rick and Abby are amazed and thankful at how the Sturgeon Bay and Door County community consistently comes together to help those in their time of need.

 

 

Rick Hess adds that the planned benefit will be on Saturday, April 2, from 4 pm until 7 pm with a silent auction with a spaghetti and meatball buffet.   

     
A Butch’s Benefit Concert is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16 at 6:45 pm at the Door County Fire Company, where the United Way will be collecting donations while local musicians perform.  

 
You can also make donations at Nicolet Bank in Sturgeon Bay through the United Way of Door County-Butch’s Bar Fire Victims Fund.


The entire conversation with Rick and Abby Hess can be found on the Community Spotlight podcast page. 

 

Sheriff salutes administative assistants, jail cooks

In this week’s article I would like to continue highlighting various aspects of the Sheriff’s Department as my “2021 Annual Report” to the community.

 

In this article I am going to introduce our community to a little known yet essential portion of our Jail operations that is quite unique from other facilities. As part of our obligations to those whom we house here at the Kewaunee County Jail, we must make sure that the basic needs of the inmates are being met. These obligations include health care, and nourishment 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While each jail throughout the state has these requirements; it is how we meet these requirements with the limited resources we have available.

        

I will start with our food services program. By state statute, we must provide proper meals to those in our facility which is articulated in Wisconsin State Corrections Code 350.11 which includes three meals per day, two of which must be warm meals. To accomplish this task, many county jails contract out their food service operations, Kewaunee County on the other hand, is very fortunate to have some great part-time staff who plan, order and prepare these meals for our inmates.

      

Our Lead Cook is Jan Goetsch who has the primary responsibility for making sure our facility has sufficient inventory and stock to support the needs of those in our care. In addition to the ordering and coordination of materials, Jan is also essential in the meal planning, which is no small task as we strive to balance our financial resources with our statutory obligations. It is safe to safe that while we are proud of the quality and care we provide in our meals, it is by no means a luxurious culinary experience. It is important to note that all of these meals are being provided at the amazing low cost at approx. $2.00 per meal.

         

Assisting Jan in these efforts is Angela Hoeffner who is our second Jail Cook. Both Jan and Angela are part-time employees, and do a great job of making sure the needs of our facility are being met with the limited amount of hours they have in a given week. Their ability to be flexible and creative in responding to not just our statutory requirements but the vast number of dietary restrictions they must accommodate, is ever present and greatly appreciated. Of all of those who have been in our facility, they all provide common feedback. While they may not have enjoyed their stay in jail, they were very grateful for the quality of food they were provided. Thank you Jan and Angela for your dedication and service!

 

In every organization there is a system of processes which allows for the smooth and reliable transfer of information from one component of the organization to another. It is the center of all activity and its success relies on constant communication and the ability to adjust to changes on a moment’s notice. For the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department these processes involve the handling of all documentation from traffic citations to accident reports, civil process to criminal charge requests, juvenile referrals to open records requests. They involve providing information to agencies throughout Kewaunee County, the State of Wisconsin and in some cases the Federal Government.

       

All of this activity falls under the duties of “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant” and in Kewaunee County we have two of the best; Mary Berkovitz and Angie Mueller. To provide a glimpse into the daily life of these two will be difficult in the space I have available for this article, but I will try to provide a broad overview.

       

From the moment a report is generated to the time when it goes to court our Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants are a vital link between the responding officers to the Supervisory staff where reports are filed reviewed proofed, and ultimately submitted to either the District Attorney’s Office, Human Services or the many other agencies with whom we work with on a daily basis. Here at the Sheriff’s Department all reports are dictated by the responding Officers which then require them to be transcribed by the Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants. This accounts for a great deal of the volume of work which is done by these two employees. Beyond just transcribing they also must make sure all of the incidents are coded correctly so that the monthly reports to the Department of Justice are accurate and reflect the actual offenses occurring in Kewaunee County.

         

Beyond the world of law enforcement reports they are also involved in the civil process work that is done at the Sheriff’s Department. This involves the service of court orders ranging from sheriff sales to writ of executions, evictions to restraining orders. Even after the reports have left the Sheriff’s Department and the cases have moved forward in the legal process, many times we receive requests for various reports which these two employees facilitate.

 

In the world of law enforcement where documentation is everything, the need for accurate and timely reports is vital and we are very fortunate to have two dedicated individuals who make sure the “I’s” have been dotted and the “T’s” crossed. Thank you Mary and Angie!

         

For those of you who may find this type of demanding work interesting, there will be an opportunity to join our administrative team, as Mary will be embarking upon her retirement later this year.

          

I want to thank Mary for all that she has done for our department and this community over the many years of her service. She will be leaving a lasting legacy and some really big shoes to fill!(Metaphorically speaking) 

 

Next week, I will share some information on our medical care services here at the Jail.

 

Algoma students serve a crowd

You can thank a student for the pizza you had from the Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria buffet line in Sturgeon Bay during the lunch hour on Friday.

 

Over a dozen students from the Algoma Venture Academy received hands-on training from the staff at Sonny’s for everything from preparing and baking the pizzas to keeping the buffet stocked and cleaning tables. No word on how much money was raised during their time on the clock, but the students were raising the funds for a pair of causes.

 

The Algoma Venture Academy is a public charter school that takes students out of the classroom and into personalized community and entrepreneurial opportunities.

 

You can listen to our interview with three of the students previewing the event below.

One death, zero active cases of COVID-19 in Kewaunee County

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Kewaunee County has dwindled down to nothing.

 

The Kewaunee County Public Health Department released their newest update on Thursday, noting no active cases and only three new cases received in the past week. The three people that tested positive for COVID-19 were between the ages of 19-30, 31-49, and over the age of 65. That brings their total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 5,769. There were no hospitalizations, but the county did announce the 50th death from COVID-19. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department is accepting appointments for residents who need to get vaccinated.

 

On Thursday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that the seven-day average for new cases of COVID-19 is 560. That is the first time the seven-day average has been below 600 since July 28th, 2021. 

 

Shrine to host inaugural Marian Conference

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion is offering you another opportunity this spring for you to learn more about the Virgin Mary.

 

Planning is underway for the Shrine’s first Marian Conference to take place May 20th and 21st on its grounds. Local pastor Edward Looney will join Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta Cardinal Raymond Burke, Diocese of Green Bay Bishop David Ricken, and Father Chris Alar of the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. as speakers during the two-day event. Champion Shrine Director of Communications Chelsey Hare says the conference will help pilgrims have a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and his mother Mary.

Registration is now open for the event, which complements other activities at the Champion Shrine during the Marian month of May. They are holding the Walk to Mary pilgrimage from DePere to the Shrine on May 7th before their traditional May Crowning mass on May 8th.

The Clearing Folk School hosting student exhibit

You have the chance to see projects from the students involved in the winter programming at The Clearing Folk School in Ellison Bay. The Folk School is different from perceptions you may have about education, with the school focusing less on grades and scores and instead on discussion, conversation, nature study, and hands-on work. The program lasted through January and February, with over 50 different classes that students could participate in. Tammy Musiel the program director for The Clearing explains the response from the students who participated, the types of classes that were offered and what you can expect at the exhibit.

 

 

Musiel describes each class as “neighbors teaching neighbors” because each instructor is there to teach a class as a volunteer. The event will be at the Jens Jenson visitor center at the Folk School on Saturday and Sunday, March 5th and 6th. It is free and open to all community members interested in viewing and celebrating the students’ work.

 

Sevastopol, Washington Island students take robots for swim

You could have shared the pool with robots at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday.

 

Five middle school teams from Washington Island School and one from Sevastopol participated in the Door County SeaPerch competition ahead of next month’s regionals at Ashwaubenon High School. Sponsored by the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance and supported in part by the Door County Maritime Museum, SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program to complement a school’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programming. The students designed and built their robots before placing them into the water to run them through an obstacle course.

 

Sevastopol’s Daniel Castillo, Austin Pagels, and Luke Filar said afterward that the experience is a great introduction to possible careers down the road.

Sevastopol took second place at the regional SeaPerch competition in 2020. They were planning to compete at the International SeaPerch Challenge at the University of Maryland before the event was canceled due to the pandemic.

 

 

Building makes way through Sister Bay

Unless you want to get stuck behind a building Friday morning, you should find an alternate route through Sister Bay. The Door County Sheriff’s Department alerted motorists at 6:30 this morning that State Highway 42 would be closed near Wild Tomato so one of the former cedar shop buildings could make its way south to near Highway Q south of the village limits. The building move will travel south up the Sister Bay Hill before crossing over to Highway 57. The Sheriff’s Department expects the move will be completed by 9 a.m.

 

Courtesy of the Door County Sheriff's Department

 

 

One injured in school bus accident on Highway 42-57

One person was transported to the hospital after a two-vehicle accident involving a school bus on Highway 42-57 just south of Sturgeon Bay Tuesday afternoon.  Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says a car rear-ended the school bus in the northbound lane just north of County Road O in the town of Nasewaupee around 3:30 pm.  The driver of the vehicle was taken to Door County Medical Center with unspecified injuries.  The driver and children on the bus were uninjured and the accident remains under investigation.  Traffic on Highway 42-57 was detoured for about 30 minutes before the scene was cleared at approximately 4:15 pm.   Door County Daily News will update this story as more information becomes available. 

 

 

Door County unveils new COVID-19 situation update levels

What you used to judge largely by a bunch of numbers will now be assigned a single word and a color in Door County when it comes to COVID-19.

 

The number of cases in Door County has been measured in single digits for the last several of the biweekly situation updates. That has mirrored what has been seen in the state, which as of Wednesday had a seven-day average of 600 and a positivity rate of 4.1 percent. That is down from 4,679 new cases and a 17.3 percent positivity rate on February 3rd and 18,836 new cases and a 27 percent positivity rate at the surge’s height on January 20th.  Last week, the Centers for Disease Control shifted its focus when it comes to monitoring COVID-19 from total infections to hospitalizations and deaths.

 

A community’s COVID-19 level will now be determined the number of new hospitalizations for COVID-19, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients or hospital capacity, and additional cases. Using that data, it will be determined if a community’s COVID-19 level is low (green), medium (yellow), or high (red). Door County Public Health Sue Powers says the new reporting system is a sign that things are getting better.

Door County’s current level is medium, which means more people are experiencing severe disease in the community and they are having an impact on the healthcare system. Wearing a mask is a personal preference, but you are encouraged to talk to your doctor about whether you need to and take other precautions if you are at high risk for severe illness. Powers says the now weekly report will still include the raw numbers of how many new positive tests, deaths, and hospitalizations have been reported. You can find more information about the new COVID-19 situation update levels by clicking this link.

Report points out alleged issues with 2020 election

Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Mike Gableman filed his first report concerning the 2020 election on Tuesday, but the jury is still out on what can be accomplished from it.

 

The 136-page report highlights several items that caused Gableman’s team concern with the 2020 election, ranging from absentee box disputes and miscommunication with municipal clerks to misuse of special voting deputies in nursing homes and private grant dollars from the Mark Zuckerberg-run Center for Tech and Civic Life. It led Gableman to suggest that the Wisconsin Assembly could lawfully decertify the election. Democrats and Republicans have dismissed that notion, with attorneys saying it would be impossible. Serving on the Gableman team for two and half months was Ron Heuer, the chairperson of the Kewaunee County Republican Party and the President of the Wisconsin Voter Alliance. While he agrees the election can not be overturned, he points to issues with Wisconsin’s largest cities receiving election grants and a higher number of nursing home residents submitting ballots as some things to keep an eye on moving forward.

Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck echoed the sentiments of Democratic Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul, saying the investigation conducted by Gableman has been a waste of time and taxpayer dollars to this point. He notes that federal judges have ruled the grants legal and decertifying the 2020 election impossible. Heck says there can always be improvements when communicating with municipal clerks but reiterated that Wisconsin’s election was deemed safe and secure.

Heuer added that the Wisconsin Voters Alliance would bring lawsuits against the five municipalities that accepted over $8.8 million in grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life on charges of election bribery. Heck believes more should be done to promote legal voting and not restrict it.

 

Other legislators weighing in on the Gableman report (Click on the links to read)

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson

Rep. Barb Dittrich

 

Fundraiser provides learning experience for students

You will find new cooks behind the creations at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria in Sturgeon Bay during Friday’s pizza buffet. The staff at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen will be instilling their decades of experience onto students from the Algoma Venture Academy. Starting last school year, the charter school takes students out of the classroom and into personalized community and entrepreneurial opportunities (I'm struggling with this sentence). This year alone students have built wayfinding signs and a wooden bike bridge at Snowkraft Nordic, grown lettuce for the Algoma Nourishing Our Wolves (N.O.W.) Garden Program, and developed a recipe board for a local grocery store. Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria General Manager Nolan Pashcke says Friday’s event will give the students a great look at the restaurant industry.

You will be able to enjoy their pizza while supporting the Algoma Venture Academy during the lunch buffet at Sonny’s from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

Hear from students Maggie, Abigail, and Angelo with their teacher Abigail Robinson about the Algoma Venture Academy and their event at Sonny's Italian Kitchen on Friday.

 

Local cheesemakers win best of class awards at World Champion Cheese Contest

Some of the best cheese in the world is once again made right in your backyard.

 

Pat Doell of Agropur in Luxemburg and Chris Renard and the Renard’s Rosewood Dairy Team from Renard’s Rosewood Dairy, Inc. in Algoma won Best of Class Awards at the World Championship Cheese Contest being hosted this week in Madison, Wis. Doell won the Best of Class Award for his whole milk mozzarella and his provolone cheese. Doell also had another provolone entry that took third. Renard’s team’s Traditional Red Wax Cheddar won Best of Class in the Traditional Waxed Cheddar, Mild to Medium Category.

 

Roger Krohn of Agropur in Luxemburg narrowly missed the top spot with his provolone. Door Artisan Cheese in Egg Harbor had two entries also come close to winning their categories with Crema Pressato in the Fresh Asiago category and its Master’s Select Aged Top Hat Cheddar in the Natural Rinded Cheddar.

 

Those varieties could win the top prize of World Champion Cheese when the award is announced at 2 p.m. online. You can click this link to see how your favorite dairy products scored at the 2022 World Championship Cheese Contest. 

Candles for her heritage

The aroma coming from the Ukraine candle from Door County Candle Company is not just the scent of serenity but also of charity.

 

Over 10,000 candles have already been ordered, with supply chain issues the only thing slowing down the team. That includes the scent of vanilla, which they ran out of due to an increase in demand. The effort is special for Door County Candle Company owner Christiana Gorchynsky– Trapani. The second-generation Ukrainian-American has been in constant contact with her family living in the western part of Ukraine. She is thrilled with the response she has already received to support the Ukrainian non-profit Razom and proud to help those suffering in Ukraine.

Gorchynsky – Trapani is also thankful to the community for their help, whether buying the candles or volunteering to help make them. You can hear the rest of her interview with NEW Radio’s Lee at this link.

 

 

Door County YMCA doubles goal for "Day of Giving"

Raising over $20,000 in one single day has the Door County YMCA able to make a huge difference with its “membership for all” program.  Tuesday was the annual “Day of Giving” for YMCAs around the United States, and locally the Door County YMCA more than doubled its goal of $10,000.  Marketing Director Amy Gamble says she is amazed at the generosity of the community that continues to step up for the YMCA and so many other causes in the area.

 

 

Gamble notes that the money raised will be focused on helping provide swim lessons to more individuals in Door County that may not be able to afford it.  You can listen to the entire conversations with Amy Gamble on the “Y Wednesday” podcast page.

Sturgeon Bay moves on housing projects

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council passed several considerations on Tuesday night, including two recommendations for housing developments within the city. Approving a preliminary Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Sunset Estates apartments by S.C. Swiderski, LLC that would be 26-units, the council also voted in favor of the recommendation to accept the offer from Lexington Homes to purchase 6.84 acres of land at South Grant Avenue for $273,600 to build a 14-unit complex. City Administrator Josh VanLieshout says the total expansion of housing units would be about 134 for this year if everything goes according to plan.

 

 

Other business accomplished on Tuesday night included approval of the St. Patrick's Day parade route set down by Destination Sturgeon Bay that is returning after a two-year hiatus on Saturday, March 12. The council also approved moving the Farm and Craft Market management to Destination Sturgeon Bay. Another action taken by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council was the approval of three locations along the waterfront for the proposed National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) site being sought by Sturgeon Bay. The council convened into a closed session to discuss Wal-Mart's litigation to challenge its tax assessment and adjourned without taking any action afterward.  

Algoma City Council approves sale of Long Term Care Unit 

The potential sale of the Algoma Long Term Care Unit to a private party was approved by the Algoma City Council Tuesday night. Two offers to purchase the city-owned property and building were considered in closed session. City Administrator Jared Heyn said after deliberating the offers by Cadenza and another by a non-profit that came forward later in the process, the council chose the Cadenza offer by a 6-1 vote with one abstention.

 

 

Heyn noted that the process would take about 50 days to close the sale between the City of Algoma and Cadenza. The owner of Cadenza is forming a new entity to operate the Algoma facility and inject more available capital into the Algoma Long Term Care Unit in the future. The City of Algoma decided last fall to look into selling the facility that was projected to operate at a loss that could potentially force the facility's closing. A report by the Algoma Finance and Personnel Committee last August expressed concerns over the city's viability to operate the facility over the long haul.

Talking to kids about Russia-Ukraine War

 

The world events surrounding the Russia-Ukraine War may have you asking how to address the subject with your children.  Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says the current situation has just about everyone in the world upset, and no one knows what the outcome will be.  He says when talking with children and even initiating the conversation, ask them first what they know about the war at this point.  Then give them the straight information they may not have been given and ask them their emotions.

 

 

Dr. White says adults should be careful when talking to other adults about the war when children may be listening.  He also recommends limiting watching social media and television news about the war because it’s unhealthy to watch it repeatedly.  You can listen to the entire Mental Health Minute conversation with Dr. Dennis White below.  

 

 

Hospitals update visitor policies

As long as you mask up, area hospitals like Door County Medical Center are welcoming back more of its visitors.

 

It was January 7th when Door County Medical Center last changed its visitor policies at the height of the Omicron-fueled surge of COVID-19 cases. At the time, no visitors were allowed for hospitalized patients and those coming for outpatient procedures were allowed one designated support person. Those restrictions have been lifted, but you will still be required to wear a mask whether you are a patient, visitor, or employee. It falls in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control about masking, especially in situations where you could be around people who are immunocompromised or very sick.

 

Bellin Health issued similar rules for its patients and visitors on Tuesday, allowing for two visitors instead of just one.

 

On Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported a seven-day average of 679 new COVID-19 positive cases, the lowest it has been in seven months.

 

RELEASE FROM DOOR COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER

Masking still required for patients and visitors

February 28, 2022 - Effective February 25, 2022, Door County Medical Center (DCMC) lifted Covid-related visitor restrictions.  Hospitals and health systems have a solemn duty to prioritize the health and well-being of their patients, many of whom are immunocompromised and/or severely sick and weakened and are at a high risk of severe reaction should they contract Covid-19.  Therefore, the CDC still requires masking in hospital and healthcare settings.  All patients and visitors will still be required to wear a mask while inside DCMC's main campus, satellite clinics and Rehab facilities.  DCMC will continue to take the steps necessary to protect our patients, especially the most vulnerable.

For more information on the CDC's masking guidelines, please visit their Masking Guidelines Page

 

FROM BELLIN HEALTH

 

Maritime Tower reaches capital campaign goal

Thanks to your generosity, the Door County Maritime Museum reached a major fundraising milestone this week with the Jim Kress Maritime Tower.

 

The museum raised over $9.2 million for the capital campaign for the tower, which includes an observation deck and nine floors of interactive exhibits highlighting the area’s maritime history. After a christening of the tower last May, the museum has seen a significant increase in attendance and welcomed visitors to its second-floor shipwrecks exhibit and its seventh-floor navigation exhibit last month. The capital campaign for the tower officially began six years ago, but the genesis of the tower began close to a decade ago. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director Sam Perlman says it is a tremendous accomplishment made possible by the community.

Two state grants and donations from the George F. Kress Foundation, John Baumgartner, and David G. Hatch helped the museum reach its goal. A grand opening celebration is planned for May. Perlman added that the next big task is to get the museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Lent begins Wednesday

Ashes on foreheads will be a common sight on your drive through Door and Kewaunee counties on Wednesday as area Christians begin their Lenten celebrations.

  

For people of many Christian denominations, Ash Wednesday is the official start for Lent as people are marked on their foreheads as a sign of repentance. Pastor Joel McKenney of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Algoma says lent is a time to reflect on our lives and why Jesus died for them.

Area churches will have a variety of Lenten activities leading up to the end of Lent which is Easter Sunday on April 17th. McKenney says this year marks the return of their Lenten suppers on Wednesdays ahead of their worship.

Judge sets preliminary hearing date for Butch's Bar fire case

A Sturgeon Bay man is due back in court on March 31st after a pair of appearances within the last seven days.  Anthony Gonzalez of Sturgeon Bay, appeared in court on Monday after being arrested and jailed last week for his role in the fire that destroyed Butch’s Bar and 20 residential units in the city’s downtown district. The fire killed two people and sent one person to Milwaukee to be treated for burns. Gonzalez’s bond was set for $250,000 after it was learned he allegedly set the building on fire while refilling his lighter on his bed and tried lighting a cigarette in his apartment. His attorney, Aileen Henry, requested the cash bond be reduced to a reasonable amount coupled with a $50,000 signature bond. The state, represented by Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin, argued against the request and Judge D. Todd Ehlers denied, keeping Gonzalez’s bond at $250,000. The preliminary hearing will take place on March 31st at 1:15 p.m.

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