News Archives for 2022-05

Friends of Crescent Beach planting party is Saturday

You can join a crew from Friends of Crescent Beach Saturday as they look to add over 800 plants to the shoreline attraction in Algoma.  Volunteers will be planting native flowering plants on the beach Saturday starting from the Algoma Visitor Center at 9:30 am.  Friends of Crescent Beach member Cathy Pabich shares the plan to beautify the area this year.

 

 

Pabich asks that you bring your gloves and gardening trowel if you would like to help out.  She adds that a Crescent Crew Beach Restoration Team will have a kickoff meet-and-greet from 4:30 until 6 pm at the visitor center next Tuesday to find out more about volunteering with that organization.

Strousland to be recommended for top Gibraltar post

Dr. Brett Strousland is expected to be named Gibraltar Area Schools new superintendent next week.

 

Superintendent Tina Van Meer shared with the Door County Daily News that the district’s search will recommend Strousland to be its new leader when the school board meets on May 23rd. Strousland is currently the superintendent of Germantown School District and previously served the same role at Barneveld School District. 

 

Sheboygan Falls Elementary School Principal Lynn Bub was also being considered for the job when the two participated in the final interviews at the end of April.

 

Van Meer announced she would be retiring at the end of the school year last December. 


Farmers taking advantage of nicer weather

Ahead of this weekend’s predicted rain, farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties have made good progress on preparing and planting their fields. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, spring tillage was reported as 57 percent complete, which is up from 29 percent last week. Corn planting is 34 percent complete, and soybean is at 26 percent complete, up from seven and six percent last week. Oat planting also saw a big week-over-week jump from 30 percent complete to 54 percent.  Tony Brey from Brey Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay credits the dry, warm weather for helping farmers make up for lost time quickly.

The good luck streak away from wet weather will end for farmers as they will have to dodge raindrops over the next few days as there is at least a 20 percent chance of rain through Sunday. 

Door County's COVID-19 community level raised

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends people in Door County at risk for severe illness talk to their healthcare providers about masking and other precautions after the area’s community level was raised this week.

 

Door County is now one of 38 counties with a medium community level for COVID-19, compared to seven in the high category and 27 in the low category. COVID-19 community levels are determined by a combination of new hospitalizations, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new COVID-19 cases.

 

In Monday’s weekly situation update, Door County Public Health reported 61 new cases of COVID-19 out of 149 tested. Two additional hospitalizations were reported, but no recent deaths were added.

 

Kewaunee County, which is at the low community level, will report its new COVID-19 statistics Friday afternoon.

 


Tips on dealing with infant formula shortage

With the stress of families dealing with the national shortage of infant formula, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released information on Wednesday to help you keep your babies healthy.  Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said “In many cases, babies on standard formulas can switch to any formula that’s available, including store brands.  If your baby takes a specialized formula, it’s best to talk to your family’s pediatrician about the best substitute for your child.”

The DHS advises families not to water down or dilute formula in order to stretch it out, because of the weakening of nutrients that are needed.  It is also unsafe to make homemade formulas that will not meet the baby’s nutritional needs.

Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or plant-based milk are not recommended for babies under the age of one. 

Smaller stores and drug stores may have more baby formula in stock than big stores.  You can check with food pantries or contact WIC (Women, Infants, and Children’s program) clinics who can assist you in finding baby formula in your area.

You can find the full news release from the DHS below.

 

 

 DHS Provides Tips for Families During National Infant Formula Shortage

In response to the ongoing national infant formula shortage, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has tips for families dealing with the shortage and struggling to find substitute formulas. 

“This is a very stressful time for a lot of Wisconsin families, and we want to make sure they have the information they need so they can keep their babies healthy and well-fed with suitable substitutes if they can’t find their usual brand of formula,” said Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “In many cases, babies on standard formulas can switch to any formula that’s available, including store brands. If your baby takes a specialized formula, it’s best to talk to your family’s pediatrician about the best substitute for your child.” 

The formula shortage is the result of national supply chain issues and a recall(link is external) of powdered formulas, which made it difficult for companies that make and distribute baby formula to keep up with demand. Due to the ongoing shortage, some stores are limiting the number of canned formula people can buy, and prices have also increased. 

DHS recommends families dealing with the shortage: 

  • Do not water down or dilute formula to stretch it out. This prevents babies from getting nutrients that they need. 
  • Do not make homemade formulas. This is unsafe and will not meet a baby’s nutritional needs.  
  • Avoid giving babies cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or plant-based milk until they are at least one year-old, as these milks lack minerals and proteins and can give babies digestive issues. In rare emergency situations, whole cow’s milk can be given(link is external) to infants over 6 months-old, but parents and caregivers should consult with their child’s health care provider first.  
  • Check smaller stores and drug stores. They may have more stock than big stores. 
  • Search store websites before going in person. And make sure to shop at reputable retailers or pharmacies. 
  • Check food pantries, charitable organizations, and others that may be able to help. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children’s program) clinics can help connect people to local food pantries. 
  • Buy only the formula needed in the immediate future and avoid stockpiling. This helps ensure other families have access to critical formula for their infants and allows manufacturers and retailers adequate time to restock shelves.  
  • Work with health care providers to use Abbott’s Urgent Product Requests(link is external) process to find specialty formulas.
  • Families with questions or concerns should contact their pediatrician or their WIC clinic.

Families should make sure they do not have, do not buy, and do not use any recalled formula.  

  • They can check the lot code, a multidigit number on the bottom of containers of Similac, Alimentum, and EleCare powdered infant formula, and should not use if:   
    • the first two digits of the code are 22 through 37; and? 
    • the code on the container contains K8, SH or Z2; and? 
    • the expiration date is 4-1-2022 (APR 2022) or later. 
  • In addition, Abbott Nutrition recalled Similac PM 60/40 with the following lot codes: 
    • Cans: 27032K80 
    • Cases: 27032K800 
  • Families can also check their lot numbers on the Abbott website(link is external)

Those breastfeeding or looking to delay weaning can find additional resources on the DHS Breastfeeding webpage. People looking for breastmilk donations can visit the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes(link is external) website. And anyone considering using breastmilk that is not from a certified milk bank should make sure the donor is a trusted family member or friend, and tested to make sure they are free of any transmissible diseases. More guidance is available on the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine(link is external) website. 

Wisconsin WIC has continued to offer as many formula substitutions as possible during this challenging time, and has worked with formula company representatives to get updates on supply, help locate formula at stores, and send samples of formula when available. Further, Wisconsin WIC and Medicaid have created a system for WIC participants to obtain Elecare and Elecare Jr., Nutramigen with Enflora LGG, and PediaSure 1.5 Cal. substitutions during the formula shortage with a streamlined prior authorization (PA) approval. This has provided another avenue for participants to receive formula.  

For more information about the recall and other suggested actions, visit the Wisconsin WIC webpage. 

Midsummer's, Birch Creek seasons fast approaching

Whether it be chamber, steel drum, jazz, or symphony music you are waiting for, Door County’s local music organizations are excited to welcome you again in 2022. Last year marked the return of both Midsummer’s Music and Birch Creek Music Performance Center after a pandemic-riddled 2020. Both Allyson Fleck of Midsummer’s Music and Mona Christensen of Birch Creek Music Performance Center hope last year’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies will be optional for those attending the performances this year. Speaking ahead of their joint performance on May 28th at Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall, Christensen and Fleck know how fast the season goes once the first note is played.

Midsummer’s Music will host their opening night gala on June 9th while the percussion and steel drum ensembles will kick off Birch Creek’s 2022 season on June 23rd.

Cherry and apple blossoms begin their bloom

The time is now to schedule your trip to Door County to see the first signs of summer take shape. The first cherry blossoms of the season became visible earlier this week, with apple blossoms potentially showing their colors beginning this weekend. You can thank the warmer temperatures as of late for cherry and apple trees to turn the corner and start the process of bearing fruit. Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood says the big showy blooms you are seeing right now are a good sign for the crop this year.

Wood added that while the trees do their thing, they make sure the bees on their property have what they need to be productive pollinators at the orchard. They are also working to maintain the fields themselves and bring on the team that will help them harvest their cherries and apples.

 

Algoma mother gets three years for baby drowning

An Algoma mother will potentially spend the next three years behind bars after neglecting her seven-month-old daughter in a bathtub.

 

Cheyanne Wierichs pleaded no contest to child neglect charges in late February. According to the criminal complaint filed a year ago, Wierichs admitted to investigators that she left the bathroom with the baby in the bathtub to connect her phone to a Bluetooth speaker, returning after listening to a song when she heard splashing sounds.  It was estimated that several minutes would have passed from when Wierichs left and returned to the bathroom. After authorities completed a search warrant, evidence of methamphetamine was gathered from the residence. As a part of her no-contest plea, her previous drug-related drugs were dropped.

 

In addition to her three-year sentence, Judge Dennis Mleziva placed the 24-year-old Wierichs on extended supervision.

 

WLUK-TV reported that Wierichs apologized to the court for her actions and addictions that led to her daughter’s drowning before her sentencing.

Board briefed on $25.5 million Kewaunee County Jail

Members of the Kewaunee County Board have two months to decide whether they should issue the debt for a new $25.5 million jail building or let voters decide its fate. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski and Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt spoke at length during Tuesday’s board meeting about the recently approved plans for the jail. The initially proposed safety building was also supposed to include offices for the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department and an evidence storage building. The department and the Jail Planning Committee have since stripped it down to a 41,000 square foot jail-only facility, one that could house 55 inmates and expand up to over 80. Those efforts saved approximately $10 million, only to see building costs rise and eat into the savings. The building will also be staffed with five people, down from the eight originally requested. Feldt believes the county has been fiscally frugal enough to forgo a referendum if the board doesn’t want to, with the average owner of a $200,000 home seeing their taxes go up $40.63 a year.

Citing the transparency and the hours spent on the process, Board chairperson Dan Olson told the board that the project itself could not be ground down any further.

Feldt said several county projects, including the construction of the administration and fairgrounds buildings, did not go to referendum. Supervisors followed with a variety of questions centered mostly on staffing concerns. The June meeting will include a presentation from the architect on June 14th at 6 p.m. You can watch the whole presentation from Feldt and Joski below.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day service returns to Sister Bay cemetery

For the first time in two years, you will be able to catch northern Door County’s commemoration of Memorial Day in person in Sister Bay. Organized by the Billy Weiss American Legion Post 527 and VFW Post 8337, the ceremony had been held for over 70 years consecutively before the pandemic canceled it in 2020 and took place as a socially distant event inside the Skyway Drive-in Theater in Fish Creek in 2021.  The event had previously drawn between 300 and 500 people before the pandemic, a number Navy veteran Bill Becker would love to see again.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place at Little Sister Cemetery and will include performances by the Gibraltar High School band and soloist Regina McIntosh, the playing of taps by Dale Seaquist, and a speech by veteran Michael McCarty. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

 

Sturgeon Bay and Washington Island will once again host their Memorial Day ceremonies on May 30th, while the George W. Goetz American Legion Post 372 will make its annual pilgrimage to all of southern Door’s cemeteries on May 29th.

Outdoor off-site classes coming to Door County YMCA

You can get your day off to a healthy while enjoying the great outdoors this summer with Door County YMCA courses offered at two picturesque locations.  The Northern Door YMCA will have off-site yoga classes at Anderson Dock in Ephraim and on the beach in Sister Bay. The summer sessions also will have a “cardio and more” class at the Sister Bay Pavilion.  Executive Director for the Northern Door YMCA Megan Schneider says instructors look forward to the outside opportunities as much as the participants. 

 

 

 Schneider notes that registration for the summer sessions will be open on June 7, with classes beginning on June 14.  You can listen to the entire interview with Megan Schneider talking about the classes and the immediate need for lifeguards on the Y Wednesday Podcast page here.  

ADRC of the Lakeshore addressing malnutrition

If you are experiencing muscle loss and dizziness, you may be suffering from malnutrition, increasing your chances of falling. The ADRC of the Lakeshore is holding a free class next month to help you learn more about how nutrition affects falls and why having enough protein and fluids in your diet can improve your health. Outreach Coordinator Olivia Delikowski says the 90-minute course will provide important information on malnutrition's impact on your life.

 

 

"Stepping Up Your Nutrition" will be held from 9:30 until 11:30 am on June 8 at the Kewaunee County Public Health and Human Services Building on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee. Registration is available until June 1, but class size is limited. You can sign up for the class by calling (877) 416-7083. 

Dax recognized with L-C Distinguished Alumni Award

David Dax, a longtime Luxemburg business leader, has been selected as this year’s Luxemburg-Casco School District Distinguished Alumni Award winner.  A 1973 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School, Dax started D & S Machine Service with his wife Jean and has spent over 30 years as an active community member.  He served as the president of the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce in 1998 and was the “Man of the Year” in 2006.

Luxemburg-Casco Principal Troy Haws says “Dave is a great Illustration of what we strive for with our students at Luxemburg-Casco High School.  He learned tangible skills while at L-C before taking them into the workplace, where he grew and expanded his knowledge.  “He built a successful manufacturing business in Luxemburg while also serving the community in meaningful ways.  In recent years, the company he started has given back to our students through immersive experiences and equipment donations”.     

 Dax will be honored at the 2022 graduation ceremony for L-C seniors next Wednesday.  The award recognizes past graduates’ achievements in high school and beyond.

You can read the complete news release from the Luxemburg-Casco School District below.

 

 

 

Dax chosen as recipient of 2022 L-C Distinguished Alumni Award

Long-time community leader and businessman continues to impact district’s students

 

LUXEMBURG, Wis. – David Dax, a 1973 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School, is the recipient of the 2022 Luxemburg-Casco School District Distinguished Alumni Award. Dax has spent more than three decades as an active community volunteer, along with starting D&S Machine Service, a pillar in the local manufacturing community, with his wife, Jean.

 

The Luxemburg-Casco School District annually recognizes a past graduate at its graduation ceremony. Among the criteria in selection of the Distinguished Alumni Award are achievement in high school or beyond, community service and the ability to serve as an inspiration to L-C students. The 2022 commencement will be held May 25.

 

“Dave is a great illustration of what we strive for with our students at Luxemburg-Casco High School,” says Principal Troy Haws. “He learned tangible skills while at L-C before taking them into the workplace, where he grew and expanded his knowledge. He went on to build a successful manufacturing business in Luxemburg, while also serving the community in meaningful ways. In recent years, the company he started has given back to our students through immersive experiences and equipment donations.”

 

Dax grew up on a dairy farm in rural Luxemburg. At L-C, his school activities included Agriculture, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and showing Hereford beef cattle.

 

He credits his high school Metals teacher, Roger Lee, with teaching him about the many variables of working with metals, skills he subsequently would utilize in a rewarding professional career.

 

Following graduation from L-C, Dax first worked as a machinist at Kewaunee Engineering, training under an expert machinist, Elwood Holmes. He then gained experience in the mechanical field through time as a service technician at the local Caterpillar construction-equipment dealer, furthering his skills through Caterpillar Service courses in cooling systems and hydrostatic transmission rebuilding.

 

In 1978, Dax began work as a machinist for Lindquist Machine in Green Bay. He earned a series of promotions at Lindquist, to programmer, supervisor and, ultimately, manufacturer engineer.

 

Meanwhile, Dax continued his education through coursework in business planning, inspection procedures, quality management, manufacturing technologies estimation, supervisory skills and independent business finance through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

D&S Machine was started by Dave and Jean in 1985 in a small garage on their home farm in Luxemburg. Initially, he continued to work full-time at Lindquist, performing D&S production at night and on weekends, while his wife spent her days on D&S business and taking care of the couple’s three sons, frequently delivering parts to customers and picking up steel with the kids in tow.

 

The company outgrew its initial building twice before purchasing a 40-by-50-foot facility – tripling its workspace – in the Luxemburg Industrial Park in 1989. D&S Machine Service continued to flourish, offering machining, fabrication and engineering to a wide variety of industries, including mining, construction equipment, paper and packaging, marine, oil and gas, and pipeline/pipeline repair.

 

After 17 years of ownership, Dave and Jean sold the company in December 2002 to its current owner, Russ Nowak. Dave continued to work as its general manager until he retired in June 2021, though he admits to still working several hours per week.

 

D&S Machine Service has worked closely with the Luxemburg-Casco School District on its technical education curriculum since 2018. Its involvement has entailed company employees going into the classroom to work directly with L-C students, in addition to a six-figure donation of machinery in 2019.

 

The community involvement of Dax includes 30 years of service to the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce, including recognition as its president in 1998 and selection as its “Man of the Year” in 2006. He also volunteered at the Luxemburg Sportsman Club for 35 years, serving as the club’s president from 2006-11.

 

In retirement, Dax and Jean love to spend time with their sons (Alex, Andy and Adam), 10 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He also enjoys a good barbecue and cheering on the Green Bay Packers, while continuing his hobbies of trap and clay shooting, hunting and fishing.

 

Deb Marcelle, also a 1973 Luxemburg-Casco graduate, was the 2021 winner of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Sturgeon Bay takes action on financing and development 

On Tuesday evening, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council unanimously voted for two resolutions and a potential state grant.

The business meeting started with no comments being made during public hearings on two Levy Special Assessments.  You could see new sidewalks and curds after the council voted to start the process of curb and gutter and sidewalks on stretches on North and South 14th Avenue and another one for the alley near Oak Street on the west side.

The City then passed a resolution awarding the sale of $2,445,000 in General Obligation Promissory Notes after Brad Viegut from RW Baird Investments reviewed the savings that can be realized now, by avoiding possible higher interest rates later this year.  The notes would be paid back within nine years.


Another resolution approved unanimously was the boundaries on a Project Plan for TID #7 on the west side, including a multi-family apartment complex off Green Bay Road.  The Joint Review Board will now consider it next Tuesday, May 24, before it comes back to the council for final approval.
 
Consideration for a proposed agreement between Cedar Corp and the City to pursue the Wisconsin Department of Transportation STP-Urban grant for the South Duluth Avenue project that would include sidewalks and storm sewer was also approved.

The final piece of business in open sessioon Tuesday by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council was approving a recommendation from the Finance Committee to accept the WIPFLi CPA’s and Consultants 2021 financial audit report and place it on file.

Session tackles long-term issues concerning Door County's popularity

As the area prepares for what hopes to be another successful tourism season, the Door County Environmental Council wants to ask you how some of the growing concerns surrounding overtourism can be addressed. As Door County has grown into a popular tourist destination, unintended consequences have popped up, according to some residents.  The increase in short-term rentals and lack of affordable housing and seasonal employees are all aspects that are getting closer attention. Wednesday’s program entitled “Past, Present, and Future of Door County” will feature several native and long-term local citizens speaking about (how) residents and visitors can learn from the past and present and apply it to the future. DCEC President Steve Eatough encourages you to attend to learn how you can help preserve the Door County you love.

The session will take place in person on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor and over Zoom. 

FDA authorizes COVID vaccine booster for kids 5-11

Your children between the ages of 5 and 11 may soon be able to get a booster shot to protect themselves from possible death or serious illness due to COVID-19. The Food and Drug Administration authorized the first COVID-19 booster for children ages 5-11 on Tuesday. All children in that age group would be eligible to receive a third dose of the Pfizer shot as long as it has been at least five months since the previous shot was administered. FDA Commissioner Robert Califf admitted in his statement that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults but added that they have seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized. You can click on this link to read more from the FDA.

 

The Centers for Disease Control will weigh in with their thoughts on COVID-19 vaccine boosters for children when their scientific advisors meet on Thursday.

 

Approximately 31 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Door County and 15 percent in Kewaunee County have received at least one dose of the vaccine. 

 

 

Godlewski brings mental health plans to Sturgeon Bay

Making sure you have the mental health help you need, whether you are a farmer, a veteran, a mom, or anything else, was part of the plan touted by State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Sarah Godlewski on Monday in Sturgeon Bay. She met with local providers and community leaders as she did earlier in the day in Green Bay to listen to the mental health challenges the state is facing. Stopping by the NEW Radio studios on the way to the meeting, the Democrat said her plan to streamline licensing procedures for mental health professionals and increase federal funding to hire counselors for public schools came from listening to people as she has traveled the state.

Godlewski wants to win the Democratic nomination in a crowded field to try and replace incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson.

 

You can click on the link to listen to our full interview with Godlewski. 

Algoma fire burns down house Sunday, rekindles Monday

A home along State Highway 42 in Algoma was destroyed and two house pets perished in a fire that took place Sunday and restarted again on Monday.

 

The initial fire started after 2 p.m. on Sunday at N8602 STH 42, sending the Algoma Fire Department to work before calling for assistance from the Kewaunee and Southern Door Fire Departments. When crews arrived, smoke and flames were already showing.  Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman says they went to work right away, but it was too late to try and save the building.

The same three departments had to go back on Monday after 8 a.m. when the fire rekindled and started the house on fire again. Ackerman says the original fire likely started because of faulty wiring inside the home. He added that Monday’s fire is a good example of what can happen when homes get additions and other work is done.

Other than the pets that died in the fire, there were no other injuries to the homeowners or the responding firefighters.

COVID-19 community levels remain low for Door, Kewaunee counties

More of your neighbors may be testing positive for COVID-19, but it is not impacting Door and Kewaunee counties like other places in the state. As of last Friday, Door and Kewaunee counties were two of 27 counties listed in the low COVID-19 community level, which is measured by new hospitalizations for COVID-19, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients or hospital capacity, and new COVID-19 cases. Seven counties are in the high category, prompting the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to recommend residents there put on a face mask when exploring indoor spaces. Data released by the Kewaunee County Public Health Department showed 36 new cases of COVID-19 last week, 10 of which were still considered active. There were no recent hospitalizations or deaths recorded. In Door County’s Monday situation update, 61 of the almost 150 tests came back positive for COVID-19. Two more hospitalizations but no deaths were added to the ongoing tally. The death toll hit one million this weekend, over 740,000 of whom were over the age of 65. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - May 16, 2022

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 29,511 (+149)
Positive: 6,743 (+61)
Probable: 374 (+4)
Negative: 22,394 (+84)
Hospitalizations: 243 (+2)
Deaths: 61 
*Data regarding deaths may be delayed due to processing of medical reports at the state level.

 

 

 

Two Sturgeon Bay public hearings for Levying Special Assessments

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will be holding two public hearings at Tuesday’s meeting on Levy Special Assessments. One hearing will be on for new curbing and improvements in the alley on the west side between the Culligan business and Kitty O’Reilly’s, which plans to extend an existing building in the back. The other hearing is about the sidewalks on 14th Avenue and Rhode Island Street. Sturgeon Bay Administrator Josh VanLieshout shares details on other agenda items for Tuesday night.

 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also go into a closed session to deliberate about a right-of-way acquisition for the extension connecting Grant Avenue and Sawyer Drive on the west side. The council meeting will begin at 6 pm at City Hall on Tuesday. 

Sarkis leaving Destination Sturgeon Bay

You may still see a familiar face walking around the city, but not in her familiar role with Destination Sturgeon Bay. The organization announced earlier this month that Carly Sarkis would be moving on from her role as Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Marketing and Events Coordinator. Sarkis has been in the role for the last three years, two of which has included dealing with the impact of the pandemic. Sarkis says she is going to miss talking to businesses about telling their stories and working with visitors to make their trips special, but she is proud of what she has helped accomplish during her tenure.

Sarkis says she will take the summer off to formulate the details of a project she is working with her mom on and to get married. Destination Sturgeon Bay also announced earlier this month that Rachel Malcore would take over the marketing coordinator position and Andrea Buboltz would handle the events director duties. The moves come ahead of Destination Sturgeon Bay’s first weekend as the operators of the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market.

Fire danger levels elevated in Door and Kewaunee counties

The combination of gusty winds, low humidity, and dry conditions are causing local fire departments to be on high alert. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued the elevated warning on Monday that put much of the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties, in the very high fire danger category. Although it is still a step below the extreme fire danger level, both Door and Kewaunee counties were at the high level entering the weekend. Permits are required if you plan on burning in a DNR-protected area. A property owner in the Town of Nasewaupee found out this weekend when the Southern Door Fire Department responded to a call of a brush fire on County MM on Saturday. The department was forced to put out the fire because the property owner did not have a permit.

Grants help local cheesemakers thrive

Thanks to a pair of grants, you will see more cheese churned out by a local cheesemaker. Renard’s Cheese, located in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma, was one of 19 Wisconsin dairy processors to receive a Dairy Processor Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection earlier this month. The $24,000 grant will be used to develop a new Factory Equipment Grant to ease the physical demands of artisan cheese making and increase production capabilities. Renard’s Cheese produced over three million pounds of cheese last year but had to turn away orders for almost as much because of production limits. As they plan their expansion efforts in the future, owners Chris and Ann Renard say the grant dollars will go a long way.

Renard’s Cheese also received a separate grant that will be used to offset the investment in new packaging equipment. While the business invests in better equipment, they are doing the same for their employees. Renard’s Cheese recently honored Elijah Pinkert for bringing his interest in cheesemaking from his family’s stovetop to their operations, thanks to a partnership with the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship Program. 

 

Door Artisan Cheese in Egg Harbor also received a DATCP grant to help market its products to a wider audience.

Informative classes on life saving procedures taking place in Door County

If you wish to learn about CPR and AED practices you can join the Door County Fire Chief Association for their free classes. These procedures can be used to save a life if you were to find yourself in a situation where someone collapses and their heart stops beating. Chris Hecht, the fire chief for the Sister Bay - Liberty Grove Fire Department summarizes what people can expect to learn from these classes.

 

 

You can attend this educational opportunity on Saturday, May 21st at 9 or 11 am. Both sessions are open to the public for anyone who is 13 years or older. Each class is expected to last between 60 and 75 minutes. Pre-registration is required and details can be found here.

Youth Sports and Dance programs expanding 

From parades to baseball, the Door County YMCA will be offering more opportunities for kids to stay active and enjoy the outdoors this summer. YMCA Dance Instructor Amber Novotny says the youth workshops being conducted right now are themed with ballet, hip hop, and a “strength and conditioning” routine that is less formal. She says a first-ever dance summer parade workshop for kids 5-13 years old will start up in early June.

 


Youth and Sports Director Paul Briney will be heading up a host of activities this summer for kids, including coach-pitch baseball, sand volleyball program, tennis, and pickleball.

 

 

You can find out more about summer programs at www.doorcountyymca.org and listen to the Y Wednesday podcast at DoorCountyDailyNews.com here.  

State parks prepare for another busy summer

Door County’s state parks are preparing to welcome you for what expects to be another busy season. The pandemic has set off record years for attendance at Wisconsin state parks, thanks to people wanting to get outside and explore. The reopening of Rock Island State Park, the new Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park, and Newport State Park’s International Dark Sky designation have only fueled the popularity of three of Door County’s selections. Park Superintendent Eric Hyde says final preparations are underway.

There are two things Hyde wants visitors to keep in mind this year. Road construction is expected to occur at Peninsula State Park in the late summer. There will be closures and detours throughout the park Monday-Thursday to get the work done but not interfere with the increased weekend traffic. The avian flu that has decimated domestic poultry flocks has also wreaked havoc on wild birds like seagulls, eagles, and ducks. Hyde reminds visitors to not feed the wildlife, especially in areas where birds congregate.

 

United Way expands FoodShare token program to Jacksonport

There will be a second Farmer’s Market in Door County where you can use your FoodShare dollars this summer.

 

The United Way of Door County announced this week that it would be offering its token program at the Jacksonport Farmer’s Market this year in addition to the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market. Foodshare/Snap beneficiaries can exchange their funds for one-dollar tokens that can be redeemed for eligible items at participating vendors. By increasing access to locally grown produce, Community Impact Coordinator Shauna Blackledge says the token program is a win-win for everybody.

Blackledge says to look for the United Way of Door County tent at the Jacksonport Farmers Market on Tuesdays beginning May 17th and the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market on Saturdays starting on June 4th. 

Pests challenge landscapers

You may find lots of unique creatures lurking in your yard this year. The late spring has already offered its own challenges to those looking to keep their yard nice and neat this year. It is even more pronounced in Door County, where the weather can be drastically different whether you are north or south and inland or along the shore. Kris Meissner from Meissner Landscape in Sturgeon Bay says they have also seen an uptick in the presence and the damage caused by pests this year.

For the do-it-yourself landscapers, Meissner encourages you to walk around your property to see what your yard is doing and to take a rake to some of it to stimulate the roots system and remove dead material from it. 

Scottie Rally celebrates "WOOFSCOT" and parade

You may see Scottish Terriers wearing love beads, bellbottoms, and tie-dye bandanas next weekend in Door County.  The Annual Door County Scottie Rally is returning to Baileys Harbor after a two-year hiatus.  The two-day event will include WOOFSCOT on Friday and the famous “Parade of Scots” on Saturday, May 21.  Organizer Michelle Geiger-Bronsky shares the activities and the fellowship that will be found among the Scottie owners.

 

 

The parade will start at about 11:30 am on May 21 with the rear brought up by a large group of Otterhounds.  The English hounds were bred for scent and are gathering in Door County for special training. The annual Scottie Rally raises funds for Scottish Terriers’ health research and rescue.  

 

 

 

(Photo courtesy of Scottie Rally)

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation celebrates 1923 Fund donation

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation used the Door County Granary as the backdrop for a special donation presentation on a sunny and windy Friday afternoon.  The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation presented a $100,000 check from the 1923 Fund to help rehabilitate the historic Tewels & Grandeis Grain Elevator.  Executive Director Beth Renstrom shares some of the work currently being done on the granary.

 

 

Mayor David Ward, a 1923 Fund member, presented the check to SBHSF treasurer Jim Janning before dozens of supporters and community members.    The 1923 Fund has supported the Door County Maritime Museum, the Weidner Center and Cofrin Memorial Arboretum on the UW-Green Bay campus, and Crossroads at Big Creek, among other efforts.

 

 

Farmers making it through supply chain issues

While it may be frustrating on many fronts for farmers, at least you were able to see them get into their fields this week.

 

According to the weekly crop progress and condition report from the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin farmers had 3.7 days suitable for fieldwork, a whole day more on average than last week. As a result, fields saw more significant week over week increases in spring tillage (29 percent now to 15 percent last week) and the planting of corn (seven percent to one percent), soybeans (six percent to three percent), and oats (30 percent to 15 percent). Farmers are still one-and-a-half to three weeks behind last year’s pace despite the gains. Supply chain issues have caused less product to be available and, in some cases, for it to be more expensive. Fertilizer prices, for example, are about double what they were a year ago.

 

Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta said last week that they have still been able to service their customers.

President Joe Biden outlined ways his administration planned to help farmers this week. They include increasing the number of counties eligible for double cropping insurance, double funding for domestic fertilizer production, and cutting costs by increasing technical assistance for technology-driven precision agriculture. 

Pedestrian struck on Egg Harbor Road sidewalk

A 45-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman was taken to the hospital on Wednesday after being struck by a vehicle while riding her electric wheelchair scooter. Emergency personnel was called to the scene on Egg Harbor Road near 8th Avenue at approximately 1:45 p.m. when they found Erin Hilsabeck lying in the middle of the median. She was riding her electric wheelchair scooter on the sidewalk when she was struck by a sports utility vehicle exiting a parking lot of a local business. According to the police report, 55-year-old Randall Fike of Sturgeon Bay said he looked both ways before entering the roadway to make a left-hand turn onto Egg Harbor Road. After realizing he hit Hilsabeck and her scooter, Fike stopped across the street at another nearby business. Hilsabeck was transported to a nearby medical facility with a suspected serious injury. Fike was cited with failing to stop or yield coming out of an alley, causing great bodily harm.

Formula shortage hitting families

A staple of your family's diet may be getting harder to find.

 

Supply chain disruptions, Food and Drug Administration regulations, and product recalls are to blame for nearly 40 percent of the country's baby formula supply being out of stock. The conversation has made its way to Capitol Hill, where Republicans on Thursday demanded the Biden Administration do more to address the shortage. In response, White House officials said they are working with the FDA to cut some of the red tape limiting foreign products from being imported and working with domestic manufacturers to produce more. Door County Medical Center lactation consultant Jessica Skinner advises families who rely almost exclusively on formula to look into alternate brands not affected by product recalls and use social networks to track down excess supply.

For families who use formula as a supplement to breast milk or for expectant mothers on the fence about breastfeeding and formula, Skinner says there are more options.

Door County Medical Center opened its Baby Milk Depot over two years where close to 10 donors have donated over 3,000 ounces of milk to be distributed to local families and to members of the Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. 

Construction projects progressing in Sturgeon Bay

The heavier traffic season is here, and roadway construction in Sturgeon Bay is making progress on all fronts.  The City’s 2022 street projects began this week in earnest with a six-block stretch on Michigan Street from 18th Avenue to 12th Avenue looking to finish up gas line replacement within the next couple of weeks.  

Another workaround for Sturgeon Bay includes adding new sidewalks on parts of Rhode Island Street and North 14th Avenue that should be finished by next week, if not earlier, weather permitting.  


Sidewalks and curbing on North 18th Avenue and West Walnut Drive are scheduled to be removed next week.  The complete Sturgeon Bay construction update from City Engineer Chad Shefchick can be found below. 

 

 

 

The City’s 2022 roadway projects started this week!  See below for updates on the various projects.

 

The following projects will be adding new sidewalks along:

  • Rhode Island Street (north side of the roadway between S 14th Ave & S 12th Ave)
  • N 14th Ave (west side of the roadway between Egg Harbor Road & Bluebird Street)

Currently the contractor has finished removing the topsoil and placing the gravel base for the new sidewalks on Rhode Island Street and should complete the same on N 14th Ave tomorrow or early next week.  If the weather cooperates the concrete should start to be poured next week.

 

Michigan Street (from 18th Ave to 12th Ave) along with S 16th Place (from Michigan Street to approx. 490’ to the south):  The contractor is continuing to work on the gas line replacements and is hoping to finish that work mid to late May.  After they finish, they will then move to N Geneva Ave (from W Juniper Street to the termination north of W Hickory Street) for gas line replacements on that roadway as well.

 

The following roadways are marked out and ready for removal of any curbing and/or sidewalk scheduled for replacement:

  • N 18th Ave (from Florida Street to Iowa Street)
  • W Walnut Drive (from S Duluth Ave to S Hudson Ave)

This work will begin next week and continue on to Michigan Street & S 16th Place after the gas lines are completed.

 

As a reminder, please use alternative routes when possible.  Reduced traffic within the project areas will result in a safer, more productive, and efficient project that will also allow for the earliest possible completion.

 

 

 

   

Ward tapped as new Gibraltar Elementary Principal

 

A face you might know will be the next principal of Gibraltar Elementary School. The Gibraltar Area School Board announced Lauren Ward as its new principal.

 

Ward previously served on the staff at Gibraltar before taking on the role as Managing Director for Write On, Door County. Ward said goodbye to supporters of the Juddville-based organization in its electronic newsletter sent on Thursday. In it, Ward said Gibraltar was her first home when she came to the area and expressed her excitement to go back to lead the elementary school’s teachers and staff and guide the area’s youngest learners. Along with artistic director Jerod Santek, she helped the organization’s construction of its Juddville campus which opened during the pandemic. 

 

Ward takes over for the current principal and Director of Pupil Services Lisa Wing. Serving a dual role for the past year, Wing will stay with the district as the Director of Pupil Services.

 

You can read Ward’s goodbye to Write On, Door County below.

 

When I came to Write On in July of 2019, I was drawn almost entirely by two things: the mission of the organization and its good people. 

The mission of Write On is inspiring and engaging writers and readers of all ages, at all stages. It struck a chord within me, and I recognized, as did our Founding and Artistic Director Jerod and our Founding Board of Directors, that Door County was the perfect place to create a home for writers. It has been a wonderful, beautiful three years, but it's time for me to move on. 

In a few short weeks, I'll be beginning the next chapter of my own life, as the Elementary Principal of Gibraltar Schools. Gibraltar was my first real home in this community, and I am proud to be going back to lead the incredible teachers and staff and to guide Northern Door's youngest learners. 

There's so much to be thankful for as the sun sets on my time here - almost definitely, I feel a deep gratitude for the relationships I've made, whether that was with our members, our visitors, our donors, or our friends, my time here was blessed by kindness. 

Write On's future is very, very bright. It is filled with good and gentle people who want nothing more than to share the beauty of words and language with all. I know that what first drew me here is still true: a worthy, solid mission being carried out by some of the most amazing people in Door County. I am grateful for my time here and for all of you. 

Warmly,

 

Lauren Ward

SS Badger sets sail towards brighter future

Before thousands begin to sail between Ludington, Mich. and Manitowoc, Wis. this summer, you may have already seen one of their big changes for the upcoming season.

 

The SS Badger opened its 2022 season on Thursday with a new paint job. The Lake Michigan car ferry spent several weeks at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay for its quinquennial visit for maintenance when it also received a new paint job. The crew also received an upgrade on its quarters as well as new lighting installed on the ship. The visit came after its inaugural season under its new ownership, Interlake Holding Company. The season will begin with one roundtrip daily between the two cities before eventually expanding to two.

 

The new paint job was not the only big news shared on Thursday. According to the Ludington Daily News, Interlake officials are looking into converting the 70-year-old vessel from being powered by coal to one by natural gas.

 

The season runs through October 16th.

Griffon String Quartet performing inaugural Gala 

Midsummer Music's "Griffon String Quartet" is concluding its season with a special, one-of-kind inaugural Gala on May 29.  The unique performance will include a favorite piece from Beethoven's String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat Major.  The seven students who participated in the program will also play solo pieces along with a special collective selection performance.  Midsummer's Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck says the lesson program for the past two years has been able to keep the students actively engaged in multiple ways.

 

 

The Griffon String Quartet's Gala will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, May 29 at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.  You can find out more about ticket information and Midsummer Music's scheduled concerts this season here.  

No new candidates join fall election races

 

You will not find any new faces running for state and federal office to represent Door and Kewaunee counties according to documents from the Wisconsin Elections Commission.

 

Nobody from an opposing party has registered yet to run against First District Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens of Sturgeon Bay, but fellow Republican Milt Swagel of Kewaunee is signed up. Nobody so far is challenging First District State Senator Andre Jacque, a Republican from De Pere. Appleton’s Robin Kettleson (Democratic Party), Sturgeon Bay’s Jacob J. VandenPlas (Libertarian Party), and Luxemburg’s Robbie Hoffman (Environmental Party) are registered to run for the U.S. House of Representatives seat currently held by Rep. Mike Gallagher. Like what is being seen in the United State Senate race where Senator Ron Johnson (Republican) and some of the top Democrats have stated their intentions to run but have not submitted the initial forms yet, Gallagher has secured endorsements but he has not filed a campaign registration statement or declaration of candidacy yet.

 

None of the candidates listed above have filed their nomination papers, which are due back to the Wisconsin Elections Commission by June 1st.

Equipment fire causes damage at C & S Manufacturing

On Wednesday evening, a plastic coating machine was the origin of a fire at C & S Manufacturing in the Industrial Park in Sturgeon Bay.  The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was dispatched shortly after 6 pm to the business when smoke and flames were reported.  Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says no one was in the building at the time of the fire and that crews could contain the fire quickly.

 

 


The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was on the scene for over two hours to ventilate and secure the building.  Door County Daily News will update this story when more information is released on Thursday.

 

 

Major three-vehicle accident on Highway 42-57 by Gordon Road

At least two people were transported to the hospital after a three-vehicle accident at an intersection in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday afternoon.  A tanker truck and two cars were involved in the accident on Highway 42-57 at the Gordon Road intersection that has been the scene of numerous incidents in the past few years.  Northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 42-57 were closed for nearly one hour as emergency personnel dealt with the victims of the accident and cleared the debris from the vehicles.   The highway was reopened for traffic at about 3:15 pm.   Door County Daily News will update this story when more details are released on Thursday by the Door County Sheriff’s Department.  

 

 

 

 

Leave No Trace Tuesdays return to Door County

You can once again help clean up Door County with the Destination Door County’s yearly campaign to leave no trace in local green spaces. This campaign is a monthly mixer where volunteers go to various spots in Door County to take care of landscaping and general cleaning up. Morgan Rusnak the organizer of the program explains how this event came to be and how it helped the community last year.

 

 

May’s Leave No Trace Tuesday will be held on the 17th at the Birch Creek Music Center in Egg Harbor from 5 pm to 7 pm. This event is open to all community members who would like to spend some time taking care of their community while socializing with others. Each event will take place on the third Tuesday of each month.

Tax increase likely, but minimal due to jail project

You could see your property tax bill rise by approximately $40 on a $200,000 home in exchange for replacing the state’s oldest and smallest county jail. Members of the  Jail Planning Committee in Kewaunee County have spent the last two years paring down the project to differentiate the wants and the needs of the project. The third phase of the project has focused on the floor plans and the specifics of the building, making sure it was at its absolute lowest costs while not forfeiting operational effectiveness. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is proud of their work in the seven years they have spent looking at improving its public safety facility. He says it is important to have the backing of the community whether they take the project to a referendum or not.

Joski highlighted the May 17th and June 21st meetings as important ones for community members to attend to learn more about the future public safety building and make their voices heard. You can read a full update from Joski below.

 

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Over the past seven years of planning for our Jail project, I have provided numerous updates and overviews through these articles as well as at local meetings and events. The fact that I have not provided such an update in quite a while is by no means an indicator that we have not been actively submersed in this planning process. There has in fact been a great deal of work that has been going on and I would like to provide an update of where we currently are in this planning process.

         

Our last major benchmark was embarking upon phase three of this project which provided us the opportunity to focus on floor plans and operational implications of the various options. The main focus of our work has been refinement. This means that we have looked at this project from every perceivable angle, and when possible reduced the size and scope so as to arrive at the absolute minimum costs, while maintaining operational effectiveness. I want to thank our County Administrator Scott Feldt and our Finance Director Paul Kunesh for their tireless work in maintaining accurate and relevant financial data throughout this process. I would like to thank our County Board members who have dedicated so much of their personal time in reflecting the needs and concerns of those that they represent. And finally to the Command Staff here at the Sheriff’s Department, for continually thinking outside the box in how we can maintain operations given the financial limitations in this current time.

          

Approximately two years ago we came forward with the original plan for this project which included facilities for the Jail, Dispatch, Sheriff’s Offices, and Evidence/ Equipment storage. These are typically the functions that get included into a project of this type, however when the cost estimations came back, we quickly realized we would need to approach this project much differently than other communities have in the past. Much like everything we do in local government, we had to differentiate between what we wanted to have and what we needed to have. In the end, the pressing issue has been and continues to be the Jail and the associated Dispatch Center, so with that we removed everything that was not directly related to those two pieces of operations and came back with a cost reduction of over 10 million dollars.

         

It was at this time that we were able to work with our Architects and Consultants to arrive at a final floor plan which we could then base an accurate project cost from. After many meetings and extensive refinements, the Jail Planning Committee approved the proposed floor plan just this past week. We were also provided with the impact that this refined project would now have on our property taxes. As it currently stands the impact to the tax bill of a $200,000 property would approximately $40.00 per year. While none of us ever wants to see any increase in our taxes, this is a minimal impact for a project that has plagued our community for over 20 years, and will provide us with a facility that will serve not just our generation, but our children’s and grandchildren’s generations. It is a project that provides the foundation for future phased growth based on the needs of those future generations.

          

The next step in this process may be the most critical, as we must now focus on providing updated information to the overall County Board as well as to our community. We will be updating our Board members at the next County Board meeting which will be held May 17th at 6:00 pm. At this meeting they will be given an update on the overall process as well as the accepted floor plan and associated costs. We will then have another meeting on June 21st where the Architects and Cost Estimators will be there to provide information and answer questions. It will be out of these two meetings that the Board will need to make the decision of whether to move forward or place this item on a referendum in the fall. This is also the opportunity for all of us as community members to become more familiar with this project. I would invite anyone who has any questions, to please feel free to reach out to me and I will answer any and all questions that I can. We are now in the final stretch of a project that has been 20 years in the making, and I am encouraged by all of the great input we have gotten over the past seven years of planning from so many throughout our community. I truly believe this is a project that we will be proud of upon its completion and will serve to not only house our inmate population, but more importantly provide the facility and resources to change lives for the better. It is my hope that in the future those who find themselves as residents of our jail can say it was the turning point in their lives that provided the roadmap to make them better members of our community. I can be reached at (920)255-1100. Thank you!

 

BUG Fire battles third grass fire in three days -- UPDATED

An acre of land was torched by a grass fire in the town of Brussels on Tuesday.  Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says his department was dispatched shortly before 1 pm to County Road D in Brussels for a ditch fire.  The blaze spread quickly due to the high grass and took about 1,200 gallons of water to put out.  Vandertie says he suspects the fire was caused by a discarded item outside of a vehicle window since the blaze started near the roadside.

 

 

This marks the third consecutive day his crews have dealt with grass fires in the area. 

 

UPDATE:  The grass fire in a nearby wooded area reignited on Wednesday afternoon ut was quickly extinguished around 3 p.m., according to Vandertie.

No panic despite elevating COVID cases

Protecting yourself from COVID-19 in the best way you deem fit is the message from the Door County COVID-19 Response Coordinator. The latest situation report from the Door County Public Health Department showed 44 of the 131 tests administered came back positive for COVID-19. Door County  COVID-19 Response Coordinator Bill Hartman says the overwhelming majority of these cases have been the Omicron BA.2 variant of the coronavirus. That is good news for most people because even though it is very contagious, it does not carry the same severe symptoms other variants have had in the past. Door County did not see a hospitalization for the sixth time in seven weeks and has not recorded a death during that time. Hartman encourages people to stay up-to-date on vaccinations, especially if you plan on going to crowded places with a wide array of people attending.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the new seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 1,925, up nearly 600 from the previous week. The seven-day average for deaths in the state has also climbed to seven, up from three during the same time frame.

Village-wide rummaging happening in Luxemburg

The streets around the village of Luxemburg will be busier than usual this weekend. The 33rd annual Luxemburg Rummage Sale will be held with 69 locations participating in the two-day event. The Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce sponsors the organized village-wide sale. Chamber President Alex Stodola says the community always looks forward to interacting with their neighbors, especially this time of year. He says a map of the 69 locations in the Luxemburg Rummage Sale is available through the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

The village-wide rummage sale begins Friday, and you can find a link to a digital map here.

Door County students to receive free tickets local attractions

If your child is enrolled in a Door County school, they will be receiving coupons that will be good for a free ticket to a night of entertainment from the Northern Sky Theater and a tour within the Door County Maritime Museum. Nearly 4,000 ticket coupons will be distributed among all of the Door County schools, where they will then be sent home with the children. Ann Birnschein, the Marketing Director for Northern Sky Theater, details what students can expect to receive with their coupons.

 

 

After receiving the tickets, parents must go to the Northern Sky Theater website to reserve a seat for their child and use the code on the coupon. The two shows at the theater open at the Northern Sky Theater in mid-June. Fishing for the Moon opens June 15 and plays Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm. Love Stings opens June 16 and plays Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30 pm. Parents must also present the voucher to the Maritime Museum on behalf of their child to be granted entry. The Maritime Museum is open all week from 10 am to 5 pm.

Granary awarded $100,000 donation

The Door County Granary got a big boost and a step closer to becoming a public cultural center and agricultural museum on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront this week.  The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation announced Tuesday that they would receive a $100,000 donation from the 1923 Fund that will be used towards the rehabilitation of the Tewels & Brandeis Grain Elevator.  The donation will be presented at 2 pm this Friday at the granary site by David Ward, who is the Sturgeon Bay mayor and a 1923 Fund trustee.  The 1923 Fund has supported the Weidner Center and Cofrin Memorial Arboretum on the UW-Green Bay campus, the Door County Maritime Museum, and Crossroads at Big Creek, among other efforts. Last week, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a Third Amendment to the Development Agreement that changes the original substantial completion date for the granary site from June 1 of this year to April 30, 2023.  

 

 

 

 

 

Door County trying to address Gordon Road intersection

The Highway 42-57 and Gordon Road intersection just north of Sturgeon Bay that has raised public concerns for safety in the past few years has Door County making efforts to make changes. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash says he is putting in an application to make for a “right-turn-only” lane on Gordon Road to enter the highway. Ash notes that it is very preliminary, and there is no guarantee that anything will move forward. The application will be submitted to the state by June 3, with the estimated timeline ranging from 2024 to 2028 while permitting and design work are done. The majority of the funding would be through the federal government, but the State of Wisconsin would oversee it and run it as a state contract. Door County would also be responsible for 20 percent of the project. Ash hopes to hear confirmation from the state on the application shortly after submitting it.    

Fast action controls ditch fire

A fast-spreading roadside ditch fire on County Y in the town of Union Tuesday evening was contained quickly by firefighters. Extremely windy conditions caused the fire to spread quickly. Still, Brussels-Union-Gardner Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says crews were fortunately nearby doing training and were able to respond in minutes. He says the cause of the fire located about one-half mile south of County D  is unknown. About 100 by 150 feet of surface area was burned, including woods.

 

This was the second blaze that the BUG Fire Department has responded to in the past three days. In Gardner, a grass fire near Goetz Court burned about a half-acre on Sunday afternoon.

 

On Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a warning for most of the state, including Door County, as a high fire danger.

Door County continues vaccine push to reduce adverse outcomes

Door County Public Health is continuing its efforts on the vaccination front to enhance further or restore protection that might have waned over time.  Vaccine clinics are held on Tuesday afternoons in Sturgeon Bay, along with monthly clinics in Sister Bay and Washington Island.  In Monday’s COVID-19 Update Door County reported 44 additional cases from the 131 tests conducted over the weekend.  The good news is that there were no new hospitalizations or deaths. 

 

You can view a complete list of vaccine clinic offerings or the latest COVID-19 Community Level and guidance for Door County here.  

Executive directors to play concert for food pantries

Supporting the end of hunger in Door County is your admission fee for an otherwise free concert in Egg Harbor on May 14th. Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck and Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christensen will play together at the show that will highlight pieces featuring viola and flute. While Midsummer’s Music has performed shows benefiting the organization Music for Food in the past, this is the first time the two arts organizations have collaborated for a concert. Fleck and Christensen said the idea was born during the beginning of the pandemic when nobody was performing anywhere.

The show will take place at Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall in Egg Harbor at 2 p.m. The concert is free, but you are encouraged to bring a food item or make a monetary donation to benefit the Door County Food Pantry Coalition.

 

Listen to the full interview here

Motorists seeing orange on their Door County commute

Expect to hit several construction zones on your travels to and from Door County this summer.

 

Expect to hit several construction zones on your travels to and from Door County this summer. In addition to Door County’s own work on Highway 42/57 from the southern junction to the Bayview Bridge, two other roadway projects along the way could slow you down. In Brown County, traffic is down to one lane on Highway 57 at County K to make that intersection safer. There are also multiple sections of I-43 that are expected to close lanes and ramps until at least September in some cases and even as late as November. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the number of construction projects is about the same as before, and moving forward with their six-year plan. He admits the impact of those projects may be higher than others.

Motorists looking to avoid construction and enjoy the view while driving do have at least one option, as State Highway 42 is not scheduled to have a project for at least one more year. Kantola encourages motorists to drive carefully through construction zones so everyone can get home safely.

 

Tornado Watch issued for most of Northeastern Wisconsin

This afternoon the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for many of the counties in Northeastern Wisconsin, including Door and Kewaunee Counties, until 9:00 pm Tuesday. The main dangers with this warning include large hail, damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph and some tornados possible. It is possible that the watch could turn into a warning for your area so make sure to have multiple ways of being alerted. Stay tuned to Door County Daily News for further updates if they arise.

Discarded ashes start Gardner grass fire

The next time you use your charcoal grill or have a campfire, making sure the ashes are completely out could prevent incidents like what occurred in Gardner Sunday afternoon. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to a grass fire near Goetz Court just before 2:30 p.m., thanks to a resident calling it into dispatch. Approximately 500 gallons of water were used to put out the fire that burned about half an acre. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says this is turning into a rite of spring as vegetation dries out and the winds pick up.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a very high fire danger warning for much of the state on Saturday due to dry conditions, the elevated winds, and the low humidity levels.

Fire damages Luxemburg home

A probable electrical fire caused extensive damage to a Luxemburg house on Saturday. The Luxemburg Community Fire Department responded shortly after 10 am to a report of smoke coming from the eaves of a home at N70034 County Road AB.  The call was upgraded to a multiple alarm fire by Luxemburg Fire and upon entry of the house it was determined that no one was home at the time.  Firefighters were on the scene for five hours and the home sustained extensive fire, smoke and water damage.  Assisting fire departments included Casco, New Franken, Kewaunee, Algoma, and Carlton.  There were no injuries reported. 

(photo courtesy of Luxemburg Community Fire Department)

 

 

      

 Gardening can start for your perennials 

The planting in flower beds and gardens of annuals may be a few weeks away, but homeowners can start getting their perennial plants looking better right now. Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay shares tips on tending to perennials to help them thrive and grow this spring.

 

 

Maas adds that watering plants is essential for perennials in early spring, regardless of the wet conditions the area has experienced lately. He notes that fertilizing is best done when plants show a little growth on them. You can find more tips on spring plant care below.

 

 

Drivers and Cyclists be aware of May's law of the month: Share the Road

Now that the weather is warming up make sure that you are watching for cyclists on the road. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that motorcyclists and bicyclists are more likely to be injured on the road than drivers. This is partially because motorcycles and bicycles are harder to see, but it is also because many drivers are not attentive enough. With better weather, be prepared to see these types of transportation on the road. Chief Deputy for the Door County Sheriff’s office, Pat McCarty, shares his tips for both drivers and cyclists.

 

 

The DOT also has some reminders for safe travel. 

 

- Share the road. Look twice for other vehicles and use turn signals to help everyone anticipate your movements.

- Watch your speed.

- Never drive or ride impaired.

- Know the rules of the road. Follow all traffic signals and laws.

- Buckle up, phone down. Avoid distractions.

- Wear protective gear.

- Scan for potential hazards in the road.

Michigan Street Bridge to close May 10th

Tuesday’s rain will cost you a day without the Michigan Street Bridge this week. Contractors were on site this past week to finish painting the new steel on the bridge installed this winter because of a damage claim. Mother Nature had other plans and washed out the potential work day. Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik says because of that, crews will need to shut down the bridge on May 10th from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. to complete the work.

Wind Advisory for 50 mile per hour gusts

Portions of Northeastern Wisconsin, including Door and Kewaunee counties are under a wind advisory until late Monday.  The National Weather Service reports that south to southeast winds of 15-25 miles per hour are expected with gusts up to 50 miles per hour.  Gusty winds can cause objects that are not secured to fly around and may impact the driving of high-profile vehicles with crosswinds.  Drivers are advised to use extra caution when venturing on the open roads.  The wind advisory is until 11 pm Monday and power outages may occur with downed trees over power lines.     

Community Spotlight: Mothers Day Salutes to all moms

The history of saluting mothers on the second Sunday of May dates back over 100 years ago when Anna Jarvis created it in 1908.  Mother’s Day became a U.S. holiday in 1914.  Our news staff would like to share our thoughts about our moms.   

 

My mother, Helen Propsom Schmitt passed away in 2014 at 90 years old and the compassion and love she shared throughout her life will always stay with me.  A native of Sturgeon Bay, she was the personal secretary for the owner of Leathem Smith Shipyard before marrying my father, Charlie, and raising seven children.  We always considered her a “saint” for putting up with us and my dad!  I never ever remember my mom ever yelling at us or telling me a lie.  The only promise she ever made that never came through over the years was the cowboy boots she promised me when I was five years old.  I did get over it, but the memory always brings a smile to my face that reminds me of her.  Happy heavenly Mother’s Day mom, you are always close to my heart.

Paul Schmitt  

 

My mom, Clare Miller, has always been so supportive of me and my dreams. She has encourged me to chase my future by working here at Door County Daily News. She is my biggest cheerleader and I couldn't have wished for a better mother. She is so strong in the way that she is able to balance her job as a full time teacher and a single mom to me and my sister. I never had to worry when I was growing up, knowing that you were by my side. Thank you for being the best mom to me and my sister. Happy Mother's day.

Sara Miller

 

My mom Peggy Kowols has always been in my corner, even when I moved 180-plus miles away from the northwest suburbs of Chicago to the Greater Green Bay area 10 years ago this August. She arranged her work hours so she made sure we got on the bus in the morning and home before we were to make sure my brother and I didn't kill each other. That was especially important when I became a Packers fan to make my brother angry. She rarely missed a soccer game, football game, cross country race, track meets, wrestling match, scout meeting, etc. in all my years of elementary, middle, and high school. She has traveled across the country to watch me run marathons and now, listens to our radio stations and reads the stories on DoorCountyDailyNews.com and NEWRadioSportsNetwork almost as much as she tunes into the news in Chicago. She is the gold standard when it comes to parents supporting their children, a standard I hope to track down in the near future. 

Tim Kowols

Voight, Fevior join United Way Board

Two new faces will now help the United Way of Door County serve the community. Spencer Feivor, a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, and Darren Voigt, Chief Lending Officer with Bank of Luxemburg officially joined the board at their annual meeting last month.  Missy Allen and Pastor Jim Honig were re-elected to the board to serve additional terms. Later in the month, the board elected Jason Palmer as President, Denise Stillman as Vice President, Allen as Treasurer, Susan Johnson as Secretary, and Heidi Neubauer as Past President. Andy Anderson, Paula Cummings, Peter Kerwin, Rosemary Steubi, and Patti Vickman will remain on the board.  Executive Director Amy Kohnle stated in a release that she is excited to be working for this dedicated group of people as they begin work on their annual campaign and their strategic plan.

Establishing balance important for good mental health

While the focus has been more on physical health in the past few years, your mental health might be the more significant concern. According to the Bellin Psychiatric Center newsletter published earlier this month, over 36 percent of Wisconsinites have anxiety or depression, and approximately 18 percent could not get the help they need. Through his work in the schools and in the department, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says finding balance is a great way to help promote strong mental health in your life.

Mental health issues are often considered a risk factor for suicide. Joski will present his Question, Persuade, and Respond (QPR) training course for suicide prevention on May 10th at 7 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. You can find Sheriff Joski’s thoughts on mental health awareness month and details on the QPR course below. 

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Each year in the month of May, I write an article or even a series of articles related to mental health awareness month. This year’s awareness campaign is probably more important than any of the past, as we are seeing our communities struggle as never before in recent years.

         

We are all aware that our overall wellness has multiple components, each just as important as the other. The primary wellness components are Physical, Mental, Spiritual. Many times we also consider the aspects of financial and social wellness to have great impact as well. These are all truly interdependent on each other, as a struggle in one component puts added pressure to the others, but also strength and stability in one can also serve to support the others.

         

For the past few years, there is no doubt we have placed a large emphasis on the Physical Health component. With good intentions, we embarked upon practices and measures not seen before in our nation’s history. When I say physical health, I need to be more specific in that we focused our concerns on preventing the spread of a virus, and not necessarily physical fitness, or nutrition. Again, all of this was done with good intentions, but we are now seeing the implications to the other components of wellness, specifically mental wellness.

         

This month and its designation as mental health awareness month is a great time to establish balance in our lives, and search for opportunities to once again connect with others and share stories and experiences that have and continue to impact us. It is in the sharing of experiences that we strengthen those bonds and in essence become each other’s personal therapists.  As human beings, we are hard wired for human connection; we thrive when we feel part of something bigger than ourselves. Our mental wellbeing is tied directly to our sense of personal purpose, and part of that purpose is being there for each other. I am by no means downplaying the value of professional help when needed, but the fact is, there are not nearly enough of those valuable resources available on any given day, so it is up to each of us to support and sustain each other.

          

Although we always need to consider the many risks that we face in all aspects of life, each of us needs to determine that level of risk we are willing accept, as well as how our actions impact the lives of others. In a society where fear is and anxiety seems to be the dominant force, we need to counter those fears and anxieties with Hope and Optimism. Life was not meant to be tipped toed through, but rather to be embarked upon with courage and hope. As I have written in previous articles, as adults our greatest gift to the next generation is Optimism and Hope. Our greatest legacy in our personal lives are the relationships we leave behind. These relationships take effort and come with risks, but their impact to our collective mental wellbeing is immeasurable.

         

As we enter into another amazing spring and summer season here in Kewaunee County, let’s take the opportunities to strengthen not only our bodies but our minds and souls in re-connecting with those who have been in our lives, as well as those new to us and get beyond superficial conversations regarding politics, or headlines and instead share thoughts and feelings. We need to be comfortable in being vulnerable to each other and realizing that in one way or another we all have our struggles and that in sharing those struggles we help sustain each other’s wellbeing’s. 

 

 

Sen. Baldwin pays visit to Algoma's waterfront

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin visited Algoma Friday afternoon for the first time since the city was informed that it would receive over $19 million to repair the Harbor’s south breakwater back in February.  Approved last November as part of a federal infrastructure law, Baldwin said the action being taken is a once-in-a-generation measure that looks at many different types of infrastructure.

 

 

Baldwin notes that the millions of dollars for construction will be allocated over the next five to ten years.  The U.S. Corps of Engineers is spearheading the project.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy added that the U.S. Corps of Engineers has the money earmarked for 2023 and would probably see the project through 30 percent of the design before turning it completely outside the agency.  About twenty Algoma dignitaries and city personnel attended Baldwin's visit which included a walk out on the South Pier.  

 

 

 

 

New COVID cases double in Kewaunee County

Kewaunee County remains in the low COVID-19 community level, but the local numbers did take a big jump week over week. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department noted 34 new cases of COVID-19 over the last week, 27 of which were still considered active. Last week, 17 new cases were reported, and seven of those were active at the time. No additional deaths were reported, but one person was hospitalized with COVID-19. The report comes as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced on Friday that the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases reached 1573, up over 670 from where it was a week ago at this time. The average number of new COVID-related deaths also ticked up from two to five. The number of counties in the medium COVID-19 community level is 15, with Shawano and Winnebago counties the closest to Kewaunee County. Fifty-five counties, including Kewaunee County, are in the low category.

 

 

 

Teacher Appreciation Week comes to a close

If you know a teacher, this week would have been a great chance to thank them for what they do with Teacher Appreciation Week. Throughout schools in Door and Kewaunee counties, families and students have shown their appreciation for their educators. TJ Walker Middle School principal, Mark Smullen, shares his gratitude for his teachers and the special things done for them this week.

 

 

Many teachers have had to put in extra work with the pandemic adding uncertainty to the education system. So if you have yet to thank an educator, make sure to send them your gratitude. And from us here at Door County Daily News, we want to thank teachers in Door and Kewaunee counties for all they do for our community. 

Fire departments urge caution during spring burnings

A grass fire in the Town of Liberty Grove Thursday afternoon served as a reminder for you that things are drier than they seem.

 

The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to the grass fire off of County Road NP just before 5 p.m. Crews were able to extinguish the fire in about 30 minutes, but not before about an acre was damaged after the burning of leaves and other debris got away from the homeowner.  Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the property owner did the right thing when he called 911 once the fire got out of his control. He added that even though the ground may be wet, the debris sitting on top of it may be dry, especially as the area finally gets to experience enjoyable spring weather for a change.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has much of the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties, in a high danger level for fires. Hecht says no burn bans have been issued this year, but they could be instituted later if the conditions call for it.

Staff, school support critical for first-year principals

First-year principals like Sturgeon Bay High School’s Keith Nerby thanks his staff and you for ensuring a smooth transition. Nerby, Gibraltar’s Jim DeBroux and Lisa Wing, and Kewaunee’s Brian Annen were among the new principals leading schools in Door and Kewaunee counties for the 2021/2022 school year.  Navigating the pandemic is one thing, but doing it with another school can be even more challenging. Nerby credits the staff for helping him get adjusted as well as all the great work they have done for the school’s students.

The 2022/2023 school year will also feature some new faces leading their schools. Last month, Washington Island School announced Tim Verboomen was hired for its open principal/curriculum director position. Gibraltar is expected to announce their new elementary school principal on May 9th while retaining Wing as its Director of Pupil Services. Southern Door School District is also in the process of hiring a new elementary school principal after Cory Vandertie announced his resignation last month.

Construction season in full bloom in Sturgeon Bay

Just as quickly as you see flowers popping up in Sturgeon Bay, you will see construction cones appearing even faster.

 

This week, the city started more projects on top of the ongoing construction on STH 42/57 and Michigan Street. The city will add new sidewalks on Rhode Island Street, North 14th Avenue, North 18th Avenue, and West Walnut Drive. The work on some of the projects will have to wait until after crews install the new gas lines on Michigan Street.

 

For the highway project, the next big date is May 12th, which is when single lane closures will be in place from the STH 57 south junction to Emerald Drive in both the northbound and southbound lanes. Closures will be in place until the Memorial Day holiday weekend. After June 1st, the lane closures will only be in place Monday through noon on Fridays.

 

You can read the complete construction updates from City Engineer Chad Shefchik below.

 

Construction Update - ST HWY 42/57

 

Here is another project update from the WI-DOT for the work on ST HWY 42/57. 

 

May 2 to May 6:  The contractor continued excavation and base aggregate placement for turn lanes at the Ashland Avenue and Neenah Avenue intersections.  Curb and gutter were placed at these intersections as well.  Traffic signal improvements were completed and the new signals were put into operation at Ashland Avenue and Neenah Avenue.  Concrete patches continued in both the northbound and southbound lanes.

 

May 9 to May 13:  The contractor will continue grading and base aggregate placement at the County U intersection.  Asphalt pavement will be placed at the Ashland Avenue intersection.  Concrete pavement will be placed at the Neenah Avenue intersection.  Concrete patches will continue in both the northbound and southbound lanes.  Crews will begin sawing for concrete patches south of Emerald Drive. 

 

Traffic impacts: WIS 42 will have single lane closures in permanently in place through May 26 from Columbia Avenue to the Bayview Bridge.  Starting May 12th, single lane closures will be in place from WIS 57 south junction to Emerald Drive in both the northbound and southbound lanes.  All closures will be removed, and the roadway will be open to all lanes for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.  Starting June 1st, single lane closures will be in place from 6am Monday through noon on Friday at the locations stated above.  In addition to lane closures, the following intersections are also impacted:

 

Local roadways will be closed and/or detoured for short durations during various times throughout construction. There will be no right turns from WIS 42 southbound to Ashland Avenue until the end of May. There will be no right turns from WIS 42 southbound to Neenah Avenue until the end of May. The Green Bay Road off-ramp from WIS 42 will be closed until the middle of May. The median at County U is closed, restricting left turning movements to and from the roadway. 

 

The City’s 2022 roadway projects started this week!  See below for updates on the various projects.

The following projects will be adding new sidewalks along:

Rhode Island Street (north side of the roadway between S 14th Ave & S 12th Ave)

N 14th Ave (west side of the roadway between Egg Harbor Road & Bluebird Street)

Currently the contractor has finished removing the topsoil and placing the gravel base for the new sidewalks on Rhode Island Street and should complete the same on N 14th Ave tomorrow or early next week.  If the weather cooperates the concrete should start to be poured next week.

 

Michigan Street (from 18th Ave to 12th Ave) along with S 16th Place (from Michigan Street to approx. 490’ to the south):  The contractor is continuing to work on the gas line replacements and is hoping to finish that work mid to late May.  After they finish, they will then move to N Geneva Ave (from W Juniper Street to the termination north of W Hickory Street) for gas line replacements on that roadway as well.

 

The following roadways are marked out and ready for removal of any curbing and/or sidewalk scheduled for replacement:

N 18th Ave (from Florida Street to Iowa Street)

W Walnut Drive (from S Duluth Ave to S Hudson Ave)

This work will begin next week and continue on to Michigan Street & S 16th Place after the gas lines are completed.

 

As a reminder, please use alternative routes when possible.  Reduced traffic within the project areas will result in a safer, more productive, and efficient project that will also allow for the earliest possible completion.

Algoma brewery captures World Beer Cup prize

Weeks after closing its namesake tap room in Algoma for a bigger space nearby, Ahnapee Brewery has garnered a major award. The brewery’s Two Stall Stout was awarded the Bronze Award in the Sweet Stout/Cream Stout category. Finishing behind Minnesota’s Pantown Brewing and China’s Trueman Brewing, Two Stall placed third out of 57 entries. The brew also won a Gold Medal at Beer Wars in 2020 and a Silver at the U.S. Open Beer Championships. Ahnapee was one of just five Wisconsin-based breweries to win an award at the international contest.

 

Picture courtesy of Ahnapee Brewery

Don't forget to catch these tips before heading out to fish

If you are someone who enjoys summer fishing, the wait is over. On May 7th, the general fishing season of 2022-2023 will be officially open. This year is no different from any other year because all anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a license to fish in Wisconsin waters. Some of the rules have changed from last year, so check the DNR’s website to see the regulations for your area. The department also asks that you be aware of spreading invasive species as you are coming in and out of the water. They urge you to clean out your boat before and after entering any water body.  Make sure to stay safe when you are anywhere near the water. Wear life jackets when on a boat and practice safe boating procedures. The DNR has reported that the opening weekend should be successful despite having a slower spring thaw.

United Way of Door County looks to address ALICE population struggles

Nearly a third of all Door County families were already struggling before you ever heard the term “pandemic” uttered for the first time, and the United Way of Door County hopes to find a way to help out. The organization recently updated the public on how the pandemic made things worse for the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed) population. In the early days of the pandemic, the shutdown of schools and businesses made some families make tough decisions on employment and child care. Even as the pandemic winds down, the impact of higher prices at the grocery store and the gas pump is harming ALICE families even with higher wages. Christina Studebaker from the United Way of Door County says inflation, in some ways, has made things worse.

Studebaker provided an update on ALICE in Door County late last month. You can watch that presentation below. She added that the United Way is developing a plan to address these issues and will release it in the coming weeks.

 

 

New entity agreement excites Destination Door County

While the past looks great, Destination Door County will tell you the future looks even brighter. Tuesday’s annual breakfast featured the Door County Tourism Zone Commission and Destination Door County signing a new entity agreement. The Door County Tourism Zone Commission collects a room tax on lodging in the area, a portion of which goes to Destination Door County for their marketing efforts. The efforts have played a major role in Door County becoming an even bigger tourist destination with record room tax revenues for 2021 totaling over $7.2 million, a 41 percent increase over 2019 and over three times more than what was collected in the room tax’s first year in 2007. Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert and Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh say the new agreement will further enhance their partnership and promote collaboration between the communities and the organization.

Another initiative that has generated excitement is Destination Door County’s Leave No Trace Campaign. Over 5,000 people have signed the Door County Pledge, designed to educate visitors and residents on how to be better stewards of their environment while in the area. You can listen to our full interview with Gilbert and Jarosh celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week by clicking this link.

Conditions improving for farmers to get to work

You may finally see farmers head out to their fields in the coming days to get some much-needed work done. The United States Department of Agriculture reported that farmers had a little more time to catch up this week with 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork, but for the most part, the cool temperatures kept soil conditions much too wet and cold to do much. The National Weather Service gives some hope to farmers with high temperatures closing in on 60 degrees for the next week and only a chance of rain predicted for Tuesday night. That could send more equipment into the fields for manure hauling and planting. Adam Barta from Rio Creek Feed Mill says it is essential for implement drivers to watch out for motorists and vice versa.

On average, farmers are over three weeks behind on spring tillage and two weeks behind in planting corn and oats. They are even further behind compared to last year, according to the USDA’s Crop Progress Report. 

 

Door County has first COVID-19 hospitalization in over a month

The COVID-19 community level is likely low where you are, but COVID-19 numbers continue to tick up in Door County and across the state.

 

In the latest situation update posted earlier this week by the Door County Public Health Department, there were 28 new cases of COVID-19 out of the 108 tests administered. The county reported its first new hospitalization in over a month, but the streak of updates with no additional deaths continued for a fifth straight week.

 

Door County, along with the rest of northeast Wisconsin, is in the low COVID-19 community level, but five counties are now listed at the medium level, and two are considered high. Statewide, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases stands at 1,389, which is about 200 more than a week ago. The average for deaths has also inched up from one to three. 

 

The Door County Public Health Department offers its vaccine clinic in Sturgeon Bay every Tuesday at the government center from 1-4 p.m. and at the Sister Bay Fire Station on May 12th from 1-4 p.m.

Local broadband internet efforts buffering

You can hope the hard work getting you faster internet in your Door County community will pay off over the coming months.

 

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.

 

Door County recently announced the hiring of Jessica Hatch for its broadband coordinator position. She will be in charge of working with municipalities to write grants and achieve the county’s goal of increasing broadband internet availability. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich is happy with the progress they have made over the last two months.


Pabich says while there is still plenty of work to be done, knowing the status of their broadband expansion grants will help progress even further. The state will not be releasing the recipient of those dollars for another two months.

YMCA prepares for "Dining by the Bay"

An event that will help support over 1,200 YMCA members with fee assistance is being planned for later this month.  The Door County YMCA is sponsoring the Dining by the Bay, last held in 2019 before the pandemic.  Formerly called "Dining By the Door", the evening will feature a five-course meal prepared by five different Door County chefs.  Annual Campaign Director Alyssa Dantoin explains all the special plans for the upcoming event.

 

 

Dining by the Bay will be held on Thursday, May 19, from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm.  You can reserve a table of eight or an individual seat by contacting the Door County YMCA.  Listen to the interview with Alyssa Dantoin and fund director Caitlin Tinnon on the Y Wednesday Podcast Page at DoorCountyDailyNews.  

Lawrie excited to lead DCEDC

When Michelle Lawrie learned that she was taking over the executive director position at the Door County Economic Corporation, she immediately was impressed with the enthusiasm and drive of the team she would be leading. Having a 20-year career working in economic development for both the private and public sectors, Lawrie has lived in Washington, D.C, Arizona, and DeForest, Wisconsin. She says her family is no stranger to Door County.

 

 

Lawrie wants to be visible and meet as many people as possible to collaborate with the community and policymakers. She plans to make Door County her forever home after she officially starts her new role as the DCEDC executive director next Monday.  

Algoma to begin street repair work

Be ready to drive through a road construction zone on Third Street in Algoma.   If all goes as planned, the City of Algoma plans on beginning its street repair projects on May 16. Public Works Director Matt Murphy says crews will be replacing water, sewer, and storm sewer lines on Third Street from Clark Street to Navarino Street. The $780,000 project will also involve work on State Street to First Street and Steele Street to Clark Street. Murphy adds that the street repairs will be completed by the first week in August to allow regular traffic for the Shanty Days weekend scheduled for August 12 through the 14th.

Sturgeon Bay extends Granary's development agreement

A looming compliance deadline for the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society regarding the Teweles & Brandeis Granary was extended on Tuesday evening at the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting after a long discussion. The Third Amendment to the Development Agreement changes the original substantial completion date for the granary site from June 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023. The council voted 6-1 in favor of the amendment extension with alderperson Kirsten Reeths voting against it, wanting more conditions imposed. Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation Executive Director Beth Renstrom says unforeseen delays have slowed the progress. Still, the hope is that needed materials will arrive soon as funding continues to come in.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society will give monthly status updates on the project's progress at a monthly meeting.

 

The council also approved a resolution authorizing the execution of the DNR Principle Forgiven Financial Assistance that will allow galvanized water laterals to be replaced in older areas of the city through a state grant of $750,000.

 

Approval of protective netting for the west side field on city property near the new Sawyer Lofts apartments' parking area was unanimously approved. 

 

A fourth agenda item approved on Tuesday was a Therma-Tron-X agreement to purchase 4.4 acres of land on South Neenah Avenue for expansion that was originally approved by the council as a lease in 2018.  

Seeking help with mental illness

With the recent passing of country music star Naomi Judd and May being National Mental Health Month, more attention is being given to mental illness and suicide prevention.  Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says many resources are available online to help people seek the help needed to battle mental illness.  He says people need to look at mental health the same way as dealing with our physical health issues.

 

 

Dr. White adds that looking for changes in normal behavior can be a sign of mental illness.  Some people may become very quiet and withdrawn.  Others may be very excited and agitated while having difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.  You can find more information on suicide prevention and maintaining good mental health here.     

Room tax revenues hit record as industry celebrates National Travel and Tourism Week

The excitement of the upcoming tourism season would have traveled through you if you were inside the ballroom at Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay Tuesday morning. Destination Door County invited the business community to its annual National Travel and Tourism Week Breakfast, where it traditionally celebrates the year that was and looks ahead to the future. Last year proved to be a banner year as room tax revenues for 2021 totaled over $7.2 million, a 41 percent increase over 2019 and over three times more than what was collected in the room tax’s first year in 2007. The revenues collected by the Door County Tourism Zone are one of the indicators of the number of visitors coming to the county.  Joining in on the morning's festivities were Wisconsin Secretary Designee Ann Sayers and Governor Tony Evers. Sayers says that Wisconsin's tourism industry is coming back more vital based on most metrics, including the number of old fashioneds sold.

Evers credits the state’s investment in the tourism industry using American Rescue Plan Act dollars for leading the charge that has made Wisconsin recover faster than many other states in the country.

Prior to Sayers and Evers speaking, Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert and Door County Tourism Zone Chairperson Josh Van Lieshout were among those that signed a new entity agreement between the two parties that will ensure further cooperation in the future. Thirty percent of the room tax revenues go back to the local municipalities, while much of the money goes towards collaborative marketing efforts.

 

 

Press release by Destination Door County:

 

Governor Evers, Tourism Secretary-designee Sayers and New Entity Agreement Ceremony Highlight Annual Door County Tourism Breakfast

May 3, 2022. Sturgeon Bay, WI - Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Tourism Secretary-designee Anne Sayers were welcomed by nearly 200 guests at Destination Door County’s annual National Travel & Tourism Week breakfast celebration at Stone Harbor Resort on Tuesday, May 3.

Governor Evers and Secretary Designee Sayers both spoke at the event and shared a message about the importance of tourism in the state, the economic impact it has and how impactful Door County has been with all 19 communities working together. Sayers also celebrated some of Door County’s recent achievements such as the Door County Maritime Museum’s new Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower, the Door County National Scenic Byway designation, and the new Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park, which Sayers noted is the only fully accessible wood observation tower of its kind in the country.

Another event highlight included the ceremonial signing of a new entity agreement between Destination Door County (DDC) and the Door County Tourism Zone Commission. The agreement has been in the works for several months and the signing ceremony, witnessed by Governor Evers and Tourism Secretary designee Sayers, was the culmination of the process. The new entity agreement provides for continued collaboration, which the two organizations have had since 2007, and ushers in a new era of working together for the benefit of the tourism industry, municipalities, residents and the entire county.

Julie Gilbert, DDC’s President/CEO who started in November 2021, was very happy with her first National Travel and Tourism Week event in Door County. “It was great to see a strong showing at our event and have the wonderful support of the tourism industry,” stated Gilbert. “We are all Door County and by working together we will see the future of tourism continue to grow in a positive direction for all,” she said.

The beginning of the program featured six area students who were awarded scholarships as part of the DDC's Spirit of Door County program. The scholarships are named after a longtime Destination Door County employee, the late Carole Counard. Carole Counard Scholarship winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to use towards furthering their education. These scholarships are open to all Door County residents of any age pursuing further education at a four-year college, a two-year college or a technical college.

This year's scholarship winners were MaKayla Ash, Sturgeon Bay High School; Brooklyn Brauner and Ellie Krohn, Sevastopol High School; Anna Olson, Southern Door High School; Dex Tishler, Gibraltar High School; and Jackson Hitzeman, former Gibraltar High School student now attending UW-Madison.

DDC celebrates National Travel and Tourism week through May 7, 2022. In addition to hosting a special tourism breakfast, an 8-page newspaper insert was distributed in the Peninsula Pulse on April 29. View the digital version of that publication here.

 

 

Town of Gibraltar looks to form TID Wednesday

You could find Door County’s new Tax Increment District in the Town of Gibraltar following its meeting on Wednesday.

 

In early April, Governor Tony Evers signed the bill championed by State Senator Andre Jacque and State Rep. Joel Kitchens to help establish the TID in the town. The town had been previously was ineligible to set up a TID because of its size. TIDs are designed to fund public infrastructure projects by borrowing against future property tax revenue. Funds from the TID will be used to extend a sewer line to a proposed housing development that both Jacque and Kitchens hope will address a top issue for the area’s workforce. The Town of Gibraltar Board is set to approve the formation of the TID and approve hiring Cedar Corporation for technical services. The town credits Cedar Corporation for helping it secure the legislation and has prior experience with municipalities with their TIDs.

 

There will be an informational meeting for the community at 6 p.m. before the board meeting at 7 p.m.

 

Bridge closures continue this week

You will have to find alternate ways to get through Sturgeon Bay this week as the city’s two downtown bridges take their turns for annual maintenance. 

 

The DOT will close the Michigan Street Bridge on May 2nd and 3rd from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and do the same to the Maple/Oregon Bridge on May 4th and May 5th. The Maple/Oregon Bridge will not be open to marine traffic on its days of work.

 

Signed detours will be set up to help motorists unfamiliar with the area make their way around Sturgeon Bay during the closures.

Home invasion nets 10 charges for Sturgeon Bay man

A 30-year-old Sturgeon Bay man looking for car keys is behind bars on multiple charges after being arrested during a skirmish in front of a home last week.

 

Police officers arrived at a Sturgeon Bay home just before 2:30 p.m. on April 25th to the report of two men fighting in the front yard on Georgia Street. At about the same time, officers also received a report of a woman claiming she was attacked by a man with a hedge trimmer. The man allegedly struck the woman with the hedge trimmer on her head, causing significant injuries.

 

The man then directed his furor towards the woman's two five-year-old children, one of which was struck by the man's hand. The children were able to escape and barricade themselves in their bedroom, keeping the man at bay until police were able to show up.

 

The woman's grandfather ran into the house from the backyard when he heard the commotion. He ended up fighting the man himself until police officers arrived. The grandfather sustained injuries during the attack. Police officers located the man in the home's backyard and brought him into custody. The home ended up being the man's second attempt trying to locate car keys so he could leave town.

 

In a release from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Captain Dan Brinkman said the man was charged on 10 different counts, including Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide, Armed Robbery with Use of Force, Armed Burglary, Aggravated Battery, False Imprisonment, Felony Intimidation of a Victim,  Physical Abuse of a Child - Intentionally Cause Bodily Harm by Conduct which Creates a High Probability of Great Bodily Harm, Criminal Damage to Property, Burglary of a Building or Dwelling, and Felony Bail Jumping.

 

The woman, the grandfather, and the child were all treated for their injuries at an area hospital and were released.

100+ Women Who Care of Door County award over $25,000 in grants

Improving end-of-life care, assisting the next generation of pilots, and supporting public art are some of the worthy causes the 100+ Women Who Care of Door County are backing in their latest round of grants.

 

The organization recently announced $25,500 in grants that were awarded last month. Unity Hospice received the main gift for the month of April, totaling $12,500. That will allow the organization to apply for a matching grant of $5,000 from the Richard M Schluze Family Foundation.

The Friends of Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport received a grant of over $6,250 that will go to support local students aspiring to be pilots or airport mechanics.

The Public Arts Initiative of Egg Harbor received the other grant of approximately $6,250 which will go to support their mission.

Open Door Pride, Door County Partnership for Children and Families, and the Sister Bay Historical Society will be considered for the next quarterly awards which will be given out later this year.

 

 

Early childhood teachers fight against pandemic aftermath

It took a strong group of early childhood educators to make sure the pandemic did not have as big of an impact on your children. According to a USA Today Network-Wisconsin story, the Safer at Home order changed how infants could experience the world. The period of isolation affected how children interact with each other and how they learn a language, among other skills. It challenged the staff of early childhood centers like the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay, which saw its enrollment drop drastically at the beginning of the pandemic and radically changed its health and safety procedures. Education and Community Relations Coordinator Karen Corekin-DeLaMer is thankful that many of their students are hitting the mark because of the dedication of their 14 full-time teachers and roster of long-term substitutes.

Corekin calls a career in early childhood education rewarding partly because of the young people they can send off to the next phase of their lives. Like many institutions, Corekin says recruiting and retaining teachers continues to be a challenge but added that their board of directors is working diligently to change that.

Luxemburg man missing and endangered-- UPDATE


Timothy Wichmann has returned home.  
 

 

 

The Luxemburg Police are asking for your help in finding a missing person.  Timothy K Wichmann, who is 34-years-old, was last seen Monday morning at 8:30 AM. He never arrived to work in De Pere after leaving his Luxemburg home driving a white 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche, with a truck plate of “TC8952”.  According to the Luxemburg Police, Wichmann left without his cellphone and suffers from depression, and needs his medication. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, black UnderArmor shoes, a white with baby blue designs UnderArmor zip-up hooded sweatshirt.  If you have seen the truck or Wichmann, please contact the Luxemburg Police.  

 

 

Vollenweider looks to lead as new mayor of Kewaunee

Though he is new to his current role, you might already be familiar with new Kewaunee Mayor Jeff Vollenweider. The local business owner ran unopposed in his election campaign to capture the seat once held by Jason Jelinek. Like Jelinek, Vollenweider changed seats in the Kewaunee Common Council chambers where he previously served as an alderperson for the city’s First District. Vollenweider says he felt like it was the right time to run and he is excited to get going once they get the right people into place. 

Vollenweider pulls double duty at the county level as well, representing the 18th District on the Kewaunee County Board. 

Community Spotlight: Schmelzer part of Old Glory Honor Flight Mission 57

Vietnam veteran Tom Schmelzer was surprised to learn that he was chosen for the upcoming Old Glory Honor Flight Mission 57 by a phone call last month. Flying out of Appleton on May 18th with other military veterans, Schmelzer will experience the war memorials and more in Washington, D.C.  Drafted in the U.S. Army in 1964, Schmelzer will be returning to Washington for the first time since 1965. He shares what he is looking forward to most with his daughter, Dawn, who nominated him and will serve as his chaperone along with another veteran

 

 

Old Glory Honor Flight was founded in 2009 by a volunteer group in Appleton.   The original mission was to fly local World War ll veterans to Washington DC on a one-day trip to see the memorials built in their honor, including the World War ll Memorial. The mission recently transitioned to include veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Tom Schmelzer on the Community Spotlight Podcast page here. 

Community stepping up for Playground project

The Otumba Park Playground Project is getting closer to a reality thanks to the generosity of the community and local businesses.  The all-inclusive recreational equipment has a price tag of $380,000 and the donations to date are about halfway, according to fundraising leader Ashley Schanock.  She says an anonymous donor agreed to match all donations through April 30th.

 

 

This past Wednesday, the local Jimmy John’s raised $425 by donating $1 for every sandwich purchased all day.  Next week, Culver’s will be holding a CurdSide Share all week and a Share Night that will be held on May 3rd.  

Chess Club to soon be available in Sturgeon Bay

If you enjoy a game of chess there is a new opportunity to play against other community members with the new Sturgeon Bay Chess Club. This club will meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the ADRC Building in Sturgeon Bay from 10 am to noon. The club coordinator John Koski describes the inspiration behind bringing the club to Sturgeon Bay. .

 

 

Koski also states that if the interest in the game is high enough, he is hoping to bring a Door County Chess Championship to the area. The sessions will begin Tuesday May 3rd. All people are welcome to join regardless of skill level. There will be lessons available for beginner players and all boards and chess pieces will be provided.

Gardeners anxious for spring's arrival

Even if Mother Nature is not helping you out, there are some tasks you can start working on now to prepare for your eventual return to gardening. Thanks to the wettest March on record and the lack of warm temperatures, it has been a slow start for the hobby this year. The National Weather Service shows that the weather will not cooperate fully for a while yet, with more rain predicted for Tuesday and high temperatures struggling to hit 50 degrees. Paul Kell from Bonnie Brooke Gardens in Sturgeon Bay says there are still some things you can do to prepare your garden now before you start planting.

Greenhouses and garden centers are ready for gardeners to dip their green thumb into the season. Gardening has only increased in interest since the pandemic, with 36 percent more people growing vegetables in 2020 compared to 2019. 

Miller Art Museum awards high school salon winners

You still have time to catch the winners of this year’s Annual Salon of Door County High School Art after the Miller Art Museum announced the winners last month. Certificates of Participation Makayla Ash (Sturgeon Bay), Isaac Rincones (Sevastopol), Christina Padilla-Volkman (Gibraltar), Anna Olson (Southern Door) and Joseph Lux (Washington Island) all received the $100 prizes for their works of art as winners of the Award Winners for Excellence. Jace Johnson (Sturgeon Bay), Inho Lee (Sevastopol), Wyatt Beaudot (Gibraltar), Kalissa Ambrosius (Southern Door), and Andrea Valentincic (Washington Island) received $50 prizes as honorable mention winners. All the winners also received additional money to be used for art supplies. Executive Director Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead says the art presented by students this year was spectacular.
 

The Museum’s 48th Annual Salon of Door County High School Art is on display at the Miller Art Museum through May 23rd.

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