News Archives for 2022-06

Main thoroughfare in Sturgeon Bay celebrating its birthday

This holiday weekend, you can join the celebration of Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay’s birthday with a celebratory walk. On July 4th, this street will turn 91 years old after completion in 1931. In honor of this day, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is throwing its annual bridge walk event to celebrate. The walk will begin at 11:45 on the east side of the bridge near Stone Harbor and make its way onto the bridge. At noon, the structure will open, and attendees will pause before making their way to the other side. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come out, enjoy the sun and celebrate another year of the street and bridge.

Door County Granary grows up as progress builds

Your eyes were not playing tricks on you if you traveled past the Door County Granary site on Wednesday, as yes, it did get taller. DeVooght Building Movers hoisted it up to its original height in anticipation of reconstructing the former grain elevator’s first floor. The building section had to be removed before it made its first journey across the bay several years ago. In the meantime, the granary’s original timbers were restored and will be placed in their original locations before the floor reconstruction can begin. The timing could not have been more perfect for Door County Granary Executive Director Beth Renstrom, who was hosting the project’s architect James Dallman, representatives from Greenfire Construction, and community members looking on as a part of Wednesday’s open house.

Renstrom adds that you should see more history heading towards the Door County Granary in the coming weeks. In addition to the restored pieces of the Door County Granary’s first floor, the project will now feature siding from a former Globe grain elevator that was being torn down in Superior, Wis.

 

Picture from Door County Granary


STH 42/57 southern intersection reopens

You can travel to Forestville and Maplewood unfettered by detours again after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Thursday it had completed work at the southern intersection of State Highways 42 and 57. Crews shut down the intersection on Monday to repair some concrete pavement on STH 42. The project was supposed to last up to two weeks, but it was completed before they even had to worry about cleaning the area up for holiday traffic. The work was part of the more extensive State Highway 42/57 project, improving just over seven miles of road from the southern junction to the Bayview Bridge.

Pack your patience as holiday travel ramps up

Make sure you pack more than just clothes and snacks if you are traveling this weekend for the Independence Day holiday. The American Automobile Association (AAA) expects that most of the 48 million people traveling at least 50 miles this weekend will start those journeys on either Thursday or Friday. It is a 4 percent increase compared to last year despite gas prices being over $1.60 a gallon) more expensive than in 2021 ($4.661 in 2022 vs. $2.975 in 2021). The average gas price is even higher in Door County, where it sits at $4.719. Approximately 3.6 million people will hop on an airplane to reach their destination, which continues to get closer to its pre-pandemic levels. According to Director Marty Piette, most flights departing and arriving at Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay are at or near capacity. While there have not been issues with flight cancellations at Austin Straubel Airport, Piette says you should ensure you take plenty of time and pack your patience.

Travelers will be taking to the water as well. As reported yesterday, the cruise ship Ocean Navigator is expected to stop in Sturgeon Bay on Friday as a part of a journey through the Great Lakes after docking in Green Bay on Thursday. AAA predicts that this could be the busiest travel weekend since 2000.


Door County Fair entries piling in

You still have time to ensure your entries get featured at this year’s Door County Fair. Away from the live music stage and the midway activities, hundreds of projects will be housed in the livestock barns and exhibit halls waiting to be judged. With the fair taking place a few weeks later than in the past, it gives exhibitors more time for their vegetables and flowers to grow, animals to train, and exhibits to receive those final touches. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn VandeVoort hopes the extra time and the growth of their clubs over the last year means more entries for fairgoers to enjoy.

While the fair is scheduled for August 10th-14th, the last day you can register your projects online is July 15th. In addition to today’s (6/30) session from 6 to 8 p.m., you can also get help entering your fair project at the Door County Fair office from 9 to 11 a.m. on July 9th. You can click this link to learn about how you can be a junior fair or an open class exhibitor at the fair and this link to learn about the other activities planned for this year’s event.

Sturgeon Bay Police issues warnings about fireworks

You could pay for a citation or worse if you are caught shooting certain fireworks without a permit. The Sturgeon Bay Police Department issued its annual warning on Wednesday after receiving complaints about fireworks over the last few weeks, including three in the last seven days. Fireworks that leave the ground such as firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets, and mortars are illegal to use without the proper paperwork. Sparklers, stationary cones, and fountains, smoke bombs, caps and others that spin or move on the ground are allowed, but you should still be careful. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says there were 1500 injuries involving firecrackers and 1100 injuries with sparklers in 2021. Over the last 15 years, there has been a 25 percent increase in fireworks-related injuries. To add insult to injury, citations could cost you hundreds of dollars and possibly thousands more if the fireworks you fire off damage someone else’s property.

Battling the growth of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder is not just associated with the veterans in your life anymore. Approximately 11 to 20 percent of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom veterans suffer PTSD in a given year, according to the U.S. Army, compared to 18 percent of Gulf war veterans and 30 percent of Vietnam veterans. The prevalence of school shootings, significant accidents, and other similar events is part of why more people are starting to suffer from PTSD. According to the National PTSD Organization, those suffering from the disorder are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs than the general population. Even worse, 34 percent of people with PTSD are classified as at-risk for suicide.

 

Just as important as people getting the help they need to address their PTSD is for those around them to recognize when something is going wrong. A military member himself, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says we can all help each other get through traumatic moments in our lives by listening to each other and deciding which version of ourselves we want to be: an egg or a tennis ball.

Even though fireworks on the Fourth of July usually set off conversations about PTSD in area communities, June is PTSD Awareness Month, recognizing the six percent of the U.S. population that suffer from it every day. You can read the rest of Joski’s thoughts on the subject below.

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

In addition to June being recognized as Dairy Appreciation month, it is also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness month. Although farming in and of itself is a stressful calling, the subject of PTSD brings with it far greater implications and considerations. First let’s look at what PTSD actually is and what it isn’t. PTSD is the result of exposure to high stress and traumatic events. These could be one singular event which has a significant impact on our stress response system, or an exposure to continued trauma that is more cumulative and results in behavior change and/ or mood changes when similar events or memories of events occur.

     

It is important to note that many of us have been exposed to stressful situations and once that situation or event is removed, we typically return to our prior state of mind knowing that we are in a safer environment. The presence of PTSD is when those feelings of anxiety or fear remain long after we are removed from that specific traumatic event or environment. It could be an image, a smell or a sound that brings us back to that place, and without warning, we feel as though we are right back in that moment.

     

It is also important to clarify that what may cause PTSD for one person may not cause it for the next. Each person’s threshold for both stress and trauma vary greatly, but the response and outcomes may be very similar.

     

What PTSD is not, is simply a bad recollection of negative situation or a stressful event. We all have memories of negative experiences or bad days, but remembering those unfortunate events does not bring with it a physiological transformation, leaving us temporarily paralyzed in our own bodies.

       

The recognition of what PTSD is and what we can do to both assist those struggling with it as well as providing tools to prevent it are important. As loved ones, we need to be supportive in both recognizing and supporting those struggling with PTSD by getting them to the resources that can begin the journey of overcoming this challenge. In these cases, it is not trying to forget the events or suppressing the memories, but rather to make peace with them and incorporate them into our individual healing process.

      

For others, it is gaining the skills to minimize the affects of trauma before they happen. This has been the emphasis for those of us in the Resiliency training community, as this is truly a skill to be learned. Once you have the ability to effectively process stress and trauma, you are more likely to effectively function in its aftermath. As simple of a comparison that it is, we are one of two versions of ourselves; the egg or the tennis ball. When faced with adversity and trauma, we can either shatter or bounce back. Mental Resiliency provides the skills to bounce back.

      

It is through both professional and personal relationships that make this transition possible. We need to normalize our interactions with mental health specialists just as we do with medical health specialists. We need to be comfortable as family and friends to discuss such topics as PSTD. We need to make sure that no one is struggling in their journey after a traumatic event, or even worse to minimize what they have experienced. We need to be there for each other so that we all have the resources and support to transition from PTSD to PTSG. It is in those resources and support systems that we transition from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to Post Traumatic Stress Growth. For more information on this subject, feel free to visit: www.ptsd.va.gov

 

YMCA beginning membership engagement campaign

The Door County YMCA is reinstating a program for the month of July called “frequent Yers” to promote the use of the facility and thank members for their patronage.  Member Experience Director Brett Cleveland says the idea is to give swag and prizes away to members while having some fun in the process.

 

 

Cleveland adds that a “staff scavenger hunt” in August will give members and staff an opportunity to learn more about each other.

 

 

The Door County YMCA currently has over 8,800 members who can utilize the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers.  

Great Lake cruise ship to dock in Sturgeon Bay

About 130 Ocean Navigator cruise ship passengers will have the opportunity to visit Sturgeon Bay this Friday.  Destination Sturgeon Bay is organizing welcome bags and will greet the visitors at Graham Park as they browse the waterfront before leaving at 6 pm.  Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says the business community will be getting involved and benefit from the brief stopover by the cruise ship.

 

 

The 290-foot vessel had previously docked in Green Bay and came through the Sturgeon Bay canal earlier this month on a return voyage but did not dock in the city.  It will stay in Green Bay again on Thursday night before returning to the Great Lakes Friday evening.

 

(picture courtesy of Destination Sturgeon Bay)

 

Video below of Ocean Navigator cruise ship passing through Sturgeon Bay on June 17.

 

DNR investigating fish die-off

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking for your help monitoring a large-scale die-off of fish in the Fox River that has reached southern Door County. The origin of the die-off is unknown and was first reported on June 20. Many dead fish have been found downstream of the De Pere Dam and in the Bay of Green Bay. The DNR says that it appears most of the species impacted are catfish, carp, and sheepshead. Testing of the waters and fish continues with authorities asking the public to immediately contact the DNR if they find either dead or freshly dead fish. The DNR recommends that you do not handle dead or diseased fish and to contact Green Bay Area Fisheries Biologist Jason Breeggemann at Jason.breeggemann@wisconsin.gov or call (920) 662-5480.   

 

State attorney general sues to block abortion ban

Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul announced a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the criminal abortion ban in the state. The legal action comes after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade last week after 50 years as a constitutional right to an abortion.


The lawsuit to block the state's abortion ban was filed in Dane County Circuit Court and named Republican leaders Chris Kapenga, Devin LeMahieu, and Robin Vos as defendants.  Vos has already stated that he would back exceptions for rape and incest if the 1849 law was triggered.  The plaintiffs include Kaul, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, and the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board and its chair, Sheldon A. Wasserman, M.D.

 

According to the Associated Press, the lawsuit argues that statutes passed over thirty years ago supersede the ban from 1849, which is so old that no one can say it passed with the consent of modern generations.  

 

Gov. Evers has already publicly announced that he would grant clemency to any Wisconsin physician convicted of performing an abortion under the state's 1849 law banning the procedure in almost all cases.

 

You can read the abortion ban complaint filed Tuesday by Attorney General Kaul here. 

Sunday's fire marks debut of incident support team

Without grabbing a fire hose, you could have provided critical help during Sunday’s blaze in Carlsville. The incident marked the first deployment of the MABAS 154 Incident Support Team. Modeled off the Racine Bells in southern Wisconsin, the volunteers respond to the scene when requested with water, food, and other support items for the firefighters and the fire’s victims. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht credits volunteer Jody Whiteman with partnering with the Door County Fire Chiefs’ Association to provide the service. He thought it was executed well as Sunday’s events moved forward.

Hecht stressed that the incident support team is a stopgap, not a replacement, for larger organizations like the American Red Cross that offer their services when fires or other disasters occur and stretch over a more extended time. You can see how you can help the MABAS 154 Incident Support Team by contacting your local fire chief. 

Cherryland Dairy welcomes back visitors, Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast

For the first time in 10 years, Mike Henschel and his family is inviting you to have some pancakes, eggs, and some other locally produced food at his farm.

 

The Sevastopol FFA will host its first dairy breakfast since before the pandemic when it hosts its popular event at Cherryland Dairy in Sturgeon Bay. It is the organization’s biggest fundraiser as the Sevastopol FFA has donated over $151,000 to local causes since 2011, including approximately $72,000 in scholarships.

 

The Henschel family milks 50 cows and cares for dozens of pigs at their farm while growing crops on over 500 acres of land. Cherryland Dairy last hosted the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast in 2002 and 2012, which Henschel says works well with his crop rotation so they have plenty of room for parking. He is looking forward to visiting with folks coming to his farm to learn more about agriculture.

In addition to the cows and the pigs, Cherryland Dairy is also home to a sawmill and beehives. The Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast takes place on July 3rd from 6:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 

Click here for your chance to win tickets to the 41st annual Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast

Door and Kewaunee counties celebrate Independence Day

No matter where you are on the peninsula, you will not have to drive far to celebrate Independence Day this weekend. While many visitors may make a long weekend out of it, the festivities do not get started in earnest until July 3rd. That is when Maplewood, Egg Harbor, and Kewaunee will have their fireworks celebrations. The festivities will be well underway in Maplewood by then, which will begin the day with its Door County Baseball League game and keeps everything open until the show starts at dusk.

 

Egg Harbor will feature the Modern Day Drifters in the early evening before a sunset performance by Kids from Wisconsin before the fireworks. For the second year in a row, Kids from Wisconsin will feature Southern Door alum Brady Tooley.

 

In Kewaunee, the Muskrat Sportsman’s Club will begin cooking at noon and will keep the grills and fryers on through the city’s fireworks celebration. There will be family activities and live music leading up to the fireworks show and a second light show near Lakehaven Hall.

 

The other area fireworks displays will take place on July 4th, with Baileys Harbor, Gill Rock, Sturgeon Bay, and Washington Island hosting the entertainment.

 

Baileys Harbor will be hosting the second day of its Arts and Crafts Fair during the day beginning before its 10 a.m. parade. The Baileys Harbor Fire Department gets credit for being the earliest risers with their pancake breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. Live music and other activities are also sprinkled throughout the day.

 

After holding its fireworks the night before, Egg Harbor will host its parade at 1:30 p.m. featuring the University of Wisconsin Marching Band.

 

Sturgeon Bay’s celebrations begin at 5 p.m. at Sunset Park before their fireworks display. Unity the Band will be providing the music with various other vendors sprinkled throughout the park.

 

Gills Rock has its fireworks show preceded by music, a fish fry fundraiser for the Death’s Door Maritime Museum, and a boat parade.

 

Across Death’s Door, Washington Island is celebrating the Fourth of July with a drive-through brat fry hosted by the Washington Island Fire Department and a children’s bike parade ahead of its fireworks.

 

Although there are no fireworks, there will be plenty of runners in Fish Creek on the Fourth as the Hairpin 5K returns to a 100 percent in-person event at 8 a.m.

Sign thefts on the rise in Door County

What you might think is a souvenir for your garage walls on a post could actually be a hefty fine and some jail time. The Door County Highway Department is reporting a significant increase in street signage being stolen across the area, including stop signs, road work ahead signs, and other traffic-related reminders. Replacing the signs comes at a high price as each one costs over $300. Missing signs could cost people even more, especially stop signs at controlled intersections and construction signs that remind motorists to slow down because of workers. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash reminds residents and visitors that taking a sign is stealing government property. Theft, criminal damage to property, and receiving stolen property are all class A misdemeanors and carry a fine of up to $10,000 and possibly a nine-month jail sentence. If you know of a missing stop sign, you are asked to call the non-emergency number for the Door County Sheriff’s Department (920-746-2416) so it can be replaced.

Midsummer's mixes and matches with upcoming concerts

You will experience something old and something new at Midsummer’s Music’s upcoming concerts. The music of Mozart will be paired with the new stylings of 2021 Composer-in-Residence Will Healy beginning on July 1st for a series of four concerts. Bjorlklunden in Baileys Harbor will host the first concert and feature musicians are clarinetist Alicia Lee, violinists David Perry and Ann Palen, violist Allyson Fleck, cellist James Waldo, and pianists Jeannie Yu and Will Healy. The performance will be reprised on July 2nd at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, July 3rd at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay, and July 5th at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay. You can click this link to purchase your tickets and read about the Mozart and Healy pieces that will be featured  below.

Queen for a Day golf outing a huge success again

Over 160 women golfers took to the links in Door County under sunny skies Monday afternoon to benefit two organizations that serve those impacted by cancer. The 15th annual Queen for a Day golf outing to benefit Door CANcer Inc. and the David Spude Cancer Center Fund was held at Idlewild Golf Course and featured a nine-hole scramble followed by a dinner and award ceremony. Barth Guilette, one of the event's coordinators and volunteers, says the weather and the number of participants could not have turned out better. He shares the royal treatment the golfers received on and off the golf course.

 

 

Guilette estimates that this year's Queen for a Day golf outing will raise over $40,000. Door CANcer serves Door County residents in cancer treatment with financial needs. The David Spude Cancer Center Fund was created through the Door County Medical Foundation to ensure cancer treatments are available to all at the Door County Cancer Center. 

 

 

 

Parade set for comeback in Baileys Harbor

You will be able to line State Highway 57 for the Baileys Harbor Fourth of July Parade this year for the first time since 2019. The 2020 edition was canceled because of the pandemic. The town held many of its usual Independence Day activities last year, like the arts and crafts fair, fire department pancake breakfast, and fireworks, but its parade was still nowhere to be seen. So after a three-year wait, Baileys Harbor Community Association Destination Director Cindy Ploor says they are ready to be back.

The Baileys Harbor 4th of July Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. with activities beginning as early as 7:30 a.m. for the pancake breakfast and going through dusk when the fireworks take place. Those looking to double up on the parades still have enough time to catch the University of Wisconsin Marching Band and the rest of the floats at the Egg Harbor at 1:30 p.m.

Anderson staged for encore at Top of the Hill Shops

The Nashville country music star you may have caught in Fish Creek last year is back to support the same local cause. The Top of the Hill Shops is hosting their second annual Parking Lot Party to benefit DoorCANcer. Last year's inaugural event raised approximately $13,500 for Door County families impacted by cancer. The event's roots actually started in Belize when Pure Joy owner Tory Riebe and her son met Skyelor Anderson. The three hit it off with the Riebes asking Anderson to consider playing in Door County. Riebe then approached Kelly Khemchandani of Trilliant Diamonds & Jewelry to put on the special event for DoorCancer.  Khemchandani says Anderson, whose catalog includes songs such as "Thank You For Your Service" and "Goner," enjoyed his time so much that he is hopping off his current tour just so he could perform again in Door County for the cause.

The 2nd Annual Parking Lot Party on July 1, 2022, from 5-10 p.m. The event is free to attend with all proceeds from food and beverage sales, sponsorships, and auctions going to benefit DoorCANcer.

Pride remains despite stolen flags

You will still find a Pride flag unfurled in front of Pinky Promise Coffee Roasters in Sturgeon Bay despite owner Sean Grorich seeing his sixth in three years get stolen.

 

The most recent event happened last week in the days leading up to Saturday's Open Door Pride Festival where a number of businesses and Martin Park experienced the same thing. It is nothing new for Grorich, who has had Pride flags stolen from his business since he first started to fly them for June Pride Month in 2020. This year, he hoisted the flag on an 11-foot pole to deter similar events from happening again. Instead, he filed a police report to put local authorities on alert just in case hateful activities were being planned for Saturday's Open Door Pride Festival. Grorich says while he knows people's acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has improved, last week's string of Pride flag thefts shows there is still a way to go.

He hopes more businesses put even a small sticker on their window to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community. As for Grorich's flag, he had a new one up within an hour of calling the police.

Door County experiences worst week of COVID in months

Door County Public Health saw more hospitalizations and deaths tied to COVID-19 last week than it has in months according to its most recent situation update.

 

Of the 217 tests recorded, 49 came back positive for COVID-19. The county also saw one new death and four additional hospitalizations within the last week. The last death reported in Door County's weekly situation update was March 21st and the last time there were more than three hospitalizations was in February. Door County is still in the low COVID-19 Community Level, but that was last updated on June 23rd. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - June 27, 2022
Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 30,271 (+217)
Positive: 7,038 (+49)
Probable: 401 (-2)
Negative: 22,832 (+51)
Hospitalizations: 250 (+4)
Deaths: 62 (+1)


*Data regarding deaths may be delayed due to processing of medical reports at the state level. To see the timeline of when deaths occurred in Door County, follow the link below and use the filter to select Door.
https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/county.htm

Carlsville home lost in fire

A stray ember from a burn barrel is to blame for a two-story summer home in Carlsville burning down on Sunday. Egg Harbor Fire Department was paged just before 10 a.m. for a grass fire near Windsong Bluff Drive. The call escalated minutes later when it was learned that the house was on fire. With flames visible from a responding firefighter, Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald said he had to activate the 3rd Box Alarm of Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), which means every Door County department and fire departments from Brown and Kewaunee counties were called to assist. Flames were shooting out of the top floor of the home shortly after the first crews arrived at approximately 10:10 a.m. Firefighters would later have to establish water fill sites at the Carlsville Fire Station and Tractor Supply in Sturgeon Bay so there would be enough water to fight the blaze. After 100,000 gallons of water and 100 gallons of foam, the fire was under control after 12 p.m., and the scene was cleared just before 3:30 p.m. 

 

MacDonald said the cause of the fire was a burn barrel similar to what many homeowners in Door County have. Fire escaped from the barrel, igniting some nearby grass before setting the house's siding ablaze. The homeowners were uninjured in the fire and have returned to their permanent residence in Illinois. No firefighters were injured. 

 

Resources on scene included: Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Ephraim, Gibraltar, Baileys Harbor, Jacksonport, Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, BUG Fire from Door County, Door County EMS, Door County Sheriff’s Office, Door County Highway Department, and Door County MABAS Incident Response Team.  Resources from outside Door County: Algoma & Kewaunee Fire Departments and the New Franken & Denmark Fire Departments.

Door County broadband hopes continue to buffer

The state is going to make you wait for help to get faster internet speeds depending on where you live in Door County.

 

The Town of Baileys Harbor was the only municipality in Door County to have its broadband grant request approved, even after the state added an additional $25 million to the pool. The project will utilize fiber for 73 businesses and 1,445 homes in the town according to the Wisconsin Broadband Office. The grant was for $1.89 million in matching funds as Baileys Harbor works with NSight to make the project a reality.

 

A different Northern Door County project proposed by Frontier Communications asked for $4.7 million and Spectrum requested $6.8 million in grant funding but both applications were denied.

 

Kewaunee County was much luckier as both of their projects were approved. Bug Tussel Wireless requested $1.3 million in grant funds for the next phase of its project with Kewaunee County, while the Village of Casco asked for $265,000 for its partnership with NSight.

Feed My People pantry demand goes down, but help needed

One of the largest food pantries in the area is flush with donations but could use more volunteers. Feed and Clothe My People of Door County has seen a slight decline in demand this spring and summer, but Executive Director Stella Huff says additional donations are gladly accepted.  Canned foods, ground beef, and non-perishable items are still helpful.  Huff notes that Feed My People in Door County has been providing donated items to individuals more so than families of late. The organization has a strong volunteer base but could use additional part-time help to work a few hours during the week. You can find more information and hours of operation for Feed and Clothe My People of Door County here. 

Birch Creek poised to start Fourth with a bang

Shortly after you see the first symphony students come to Egg Harbor next week, you will be able to celebrate our nation’s freedom with them. Birch Creek Music Performance Center has a week of percussion and steel drum performances before the symphony students move in on July 3rd. That does not leave a lot of time for the students to get acclimated to their new surroundings and prepare for one of the center’s most popular concert offerings. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson is confident the students will be ready for the matinee performance thanks to their talents and familiarity with the music.

The Fourth of July Concert featuring patriotic tunes and the songs of West Side Story will begin with pre-concert entertainment at 2:30 p.m. followed by the performance at 3 p.m.

Sunday Spotlight in the Community: Road Construction Workers

While the sight of orange cones may make you squeal like your brakes, the work being done just on the other side of those markers is crucial to the safety of motorists. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced on Friday that its work on State Highway 29 in Kewaunee County wrapped up not just ahead of schedule but on budget. Work in Door County continues as construction crews add turn lanes and smoother pavement in the name of your safety. They do this whether the sun is shining high at 95 degrees like it did this past week or in the middle of the night like what will occur when State Highway 42 closes on Monday. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the best way you can salute construction workers is to travel through work zones safely.

Kantola also highlighted the work of Todd Every and the Kewaunee County Highway Department and Thad Ash and the Door County Highway Department for their work maintaining local highways and jumping into action when catastrophes like buckling pavement occur. You can listen to our full interview here.

 

Signed, sealed, and delivered: Adopt-A-Soldier turns complete focus to local veterans

The last care packages to military members from Door and Kewaunee counties may have been sent earlier this month, but you can still make sure local veterans receive the support they need from Adopt a Soldier. The organization made the hard decision earlier this month to stop sending the seasonally-themed packages due to a lack of interest. While some of the leftover items will be distributed locally to local veterans, the calling card for Adopt-A-Soldier will cease to exist after 16 years. Founder Nancy Hutchinson says she is proud of the other ways they have been able to have a positive impact on the lives of local soldiers as well as the care package program.

Adopt-A-Soldier is still accepting monetary donations to help fund the projects they are still implementing in the community. They will also be one of the beneficiaries of a golf outing taking place on July 11th at Horseshoe Bay Golf Course in Egg Harbor.

Picking the Right Kayak Paddle: Series III

One thing I’ve notice is that most kayakers spend more time picking their kayak than picking their paddle.  And the wrong paddle can impact your kayak adventure in Door County more than you think. 

 

For years in my kayak talks and articles I suggest people buy the lightest most expensive paddle they can afford.  Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less tired at the end of your day.  More expensive paddles use better components and will last longer.  I would suggest trying to find a paddle no heavier than 31 or 32 ounces.  Personally, I prefer to be under 30 ounces.  Ideally, when you are on the water kayaking you should be enjoying all the beauty Door County hast to offer, not thinking about your tired shoulders and arms from a heavy paddle!

 

For your lighter recreational and touring sit-in kayaks a standard sized blade is what you will be looking for.  For the heavier sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks most will choose a paddle with oversized blades.  These have a bigger bite to help push the heavier SOT kayaks. 

 

Picking the proper length paddle is also very important and there are tables you can find on-line to help with this.  The correct paddle length is a combination of your height and the width of your kayak.  Most recreational and touring kayaks are narrower and require a shorter paddle.  Most SOT kayaks, along with being heavier, are also wider and would usually take a longer paddle.

 

Times are challenging and for many the price of products is a big consideration.  Your kayak and paddle are going to last many years, so any investment you make will be a good one.  If you have any questions related to kayaking, I’d be very happy to answer them.  Just email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

Picnic celebrates recovering individuals

Recognizing the importance of your sobriety and the impact it has on your loved ones will be celebrated this Sunday in Sturgeon Bay. The 115 Club and the Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition are joining forces at the Sunset Park Pavilion for their second annual summer picnic for the recovery community and their supporters. Door County AODA Coordinator Shauna Blackledge says it is important for those trying to kick alcohol and drug habits that there is support for them whenever they need it.

The picnic runs from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday and it features live music and food. Freewill donations will be accepted. We will talk to Laurie Chapman from The 115 Club to learn more about the organization in the coming days.

 

Biden signs gun control legislation

Your wait for a gun in some cases may be a little longer than usual after President Joe Biden signed the bipartisan bill into law Saturday morning. Under the new law, states would receive $750 million to implement “red flag laws” that would allow them to remove guns from people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves and others. Additional funding would go towards mental health services and school safety projects. Background checks for gun purchasers under the age of 21 could take about 10 days longer so juvenile and mental health records could be examined closely. It would also be unlawful for people who fail a background check and for those convicted of domestic abuse to buy a gun. The signature comes days after the U.S. Supreme Court voted to expand gun rights after they struck down a concealed hand gun ban in New York. 

 

STATEMENTS AFTER THE BILL WAS PASSED

 

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) released the following statement after voting against the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.

 

“The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act is a classic example of Washington dysfunction. Negotiated by a ‘gang’ with no committee process and no ability to offer amendments, billions in spending with a phantom pay for, and provisions that ignore constitutional rights. As a result, I could not support it, although I do want to congratulate Max Schachter, Tom and Gena Hoyer, Tony Montalto, and all the Stand With Parkland parents for their strong advocacy, which resulted in the Luke and Alex School Safety Act being included in the bill.” 

 

 

 U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, legislation that will enact the most significant new reforms to take on gun violence since the 1990s. The legislation passed the Senate by a 65-33 vote.

 

“For the past three decades, Congress has failed to take action on gun violence and far too many lives have been lost. Today, we move from doing nothing to saving lives.” said Senator Baldwin. “This bipartisan legislation will help protect people from gun violence, help reduce mass shootings, and help keep kids safe at school. We are taking a positive step forward to expand background checks, protect survivors of domestic violence, and help Wisconsin join 19 other states that have put in place red flag laws that allow law enforcement or family members to petition courts to temporarily remove deadly firearms from someone who is a threat to themselves or someone else. We are making investments that expand access to mental health services, improve school safety, and fund anti-violence programs that will help build safer communities. I have said for years that we have a moral responsibility to act on gun violence and now we are taking action to save lives.”

 

COMMONSENSE GUN SAFETY AND ANTI-VIOLENCE REFORMS

 

Support for State Crisis Intervention Orders. Provides $750 million for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program for states like Wisconsin to create “red flag” laws and administer extreme risk protection order programs that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections. State crisis intervention court proceedings and related programs include: Mental health courts; Drug courts; Veterans courts; Extreme risk protection order programs, which must include "pre-deprivation and post-deprivation due process rights that prevent any violation or infringement" of the Constitution and the right to be represented by counsel.

 

Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence. Closes the “boyfriend loophole” by adding convicted domestic violence abusers in dating relationships to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Creates a process for removal from NICS five years after the completion of the sentence, only if there are no intervening prohibited crimes or other similar offenses.

 

Clarified Definition of ‘Federally Licensed Firearms Dealer’. Cracks down on criminals who illegally evade licensing requirements and clarifies which sellers need to register, conduct background checks, and keep appropriate records.

 

Penalties for ‘Straw Purchasing’. Creates federal straw purchasing and trafficking criminal offenses, allowing prosecutors to target dangerous illegal gunrunners and illegal weapons trafficking.

 

Enhanced Reviews Process for Gun Buyers Under 21. Requires an investigative period to review juvenile and mental health records, including checks with state databases and local law enforcement, for buyers under 21 years of age. NICS will have up to three business days to conduct the initial enhanced search. If that search reveals a possible disqualifying record, NICS will have an extended window of no more than ten business days total to complete the investigation. It is not an established waiting period since each individual's review could be vastly different from just a matter of hours to up to 10 days. Provides additional funding to the FBI to administer new process checks in NICS and grants to help states upgrade criminal and mental health records therein.

 

Violence Interruption Funding. Provides $250 million in funding for community-based violence prevention initiatives.

 

INVESTMENT IN CHILDREN AND FAMILY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline/9-8-8: Appropriates $150 million to support implementation of the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline that provides 24/7, free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. In 2019, Senator Baldwin introduced the bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, which passed Congress and became law in 2020.

 

Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic: Expands the existing Medicaid CCBHC demonstration program to all states to increase access to community based behavioral health services.

 

School-based mental health: Helps states to implement, enhance, and expand school-based health programs under Medicaid through updated guidance, technical assistance, and state planning grants.

 

Gold standard in mental health coverage for children: Improves oversight of states’ implementation of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit, the country’s gold standard in children’s health coverage, to strengthen children’s access to comprehensive mental health care services.

 

Telemental health services for children: Requires CMS to provide guidance to states on how they can increase access to behavioral health services through telehealth under Medicaid and CHIP.

 

Teleconsults for pediatricians and mental health specialists: Provides $80 million in grants to support pediatric primary care providers to rapidly access mental health specialists’ expertise in guiding the treatment of their patients.

 

Training for pediatric providers: Appropriates $60 million over five years for training in mental health for primary care clinicians who treat children and youth.

 

Community and first responder mental health training: Appropriates $120 million over four years to prepare and train community members and first responders on how to appropriately and safely respond to individuals with mental disorders.

 

Support for states to expand mental health services: Provides $250 million for states, DC, and territories to enhance comprehensive community mental health services.

 

Building awareness of and access to services for mental health: Appropriates $240 million over four years for programs that increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth, provide training for school personnel and other adults who interact with school-aged youth to detect and respond to mental health issues, and connect school-aged youth who may have behavioral health issues and their families to needed services.

 

School-based trauma support: Includes a set aside of $28 million for grants to support trauma care in school settings.

 

Support after traumatic events: Appropriates $40 million over four years to improve treatment and services for children, adolescents, and families who have experienced traumatic events.

 

INCREASED FUNDING FOR SCHOOLS

 

School Based Mental Health Services and Staff: Provides $500 million through the School Based Mental Health Services Grant Program to increase the number of qualified mental health service providers that provide school based mental health services to students in school districts with demonstrated need.

 

Training and Pipeline Development for School Based Mental Health Staff: Provides $500 million in funding to the School Based Mental Health Service Professionals Demonstration Grant. This money will help train and diversify the pipeline of school counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists.

 

Improving Conditions for Student Learning: Provides $1 billion in funding through Title IV-A to support a variety of activities to improve conditions for student learning, including developing positive school climates through evidence based practices.

 

Out of School Programs: Provides $50 million in funding to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which funds extracurricular, after school and summer programs, with a focus of new funding to target programs for older youth.

 

School Safety: Provides $300 million in funding through the STOP School Violence Act to institute safety measures in and around schools, support school violence prevention efforts and provide training to school personnel and students. Codifies the SchoolSafety.gov clearinghouse, which provides evidence-based resources to improve school safety. Prohibits use of funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to train or equip any person with dangerous weapons in schools.

Krohn captures blue ribbons in final state fair contest

Roger Krohn from Agropur in Luxemburg is going out on top after the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Promotions Board held its 2022 Dairy Products Contest on Thursday.

 

Krohn, the Master Cheesemaker who is retiring at the end of the month, won for his smoked provolone and provolone cheese entries. His nephew, Pat Doell, came home with his own stack of awards. Doell’s entry for mozzarella cheese won first place in the category, while his provolone came in second place and his smoked provolone finished in third behind Krohn.

 

Ben Shibler of Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese and Pagel’s Ponderosa was recognized for his snack cheese. His garlic and dill cheese curds took third place in the flavored cheese curd category. His mozzarella cheese whips took third behind Doell in the mozzarella category and his string cheese also took third place in the category of the same name. His highest placed offering was his jalapeno mozzarella cheese whips, which took second in the pepper cheese category.

 

Award winners will be recognized for their entries during the Wisconsin State Fair in August. You can click this link to see a list of all of the award winners.

Supreme Court overrules Roe vs. Wade

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 on Friday that you no longer have a federal right to an abortion. The decision fell largely along ideological lines with Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney-Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh voting in favor of ending the protection. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan voted against it. The issue of abortion will now be left to the states, which in Wisconsin’s case could revert to a law dating back to 1849. The law only makes exceptions for abortions necessary to save the mother’s life. Governor Tony Evers called for a special session on the issue on Wednesday, but it was gaveled in and out of without discussion or debate. Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul has said that he would not enforce the law. Planned Parenthood clinics stopped taking appointments for abortions past this weekend in anticipation of the ruling that leaked earlier this year.

 

STATEMENTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin issued the following statement today in response to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
 

“An activist majority of the Supreme Court has overturned Roe and nearly 50 years of precedent, taking away the constitutional rights of American women to make their own personal choices about their body, their health, and their family. Republicans have taken Wisconsin women back to 1849 and it is Republicans who want to keep us there with support for having politicians interfere in the freedoms of women who will now have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers have had for decades. I ask people to join this fight with their voices and their votes because we will not be taken back, we will move forward.”

 

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:

 

“Today is a victory for life and for those who have fought for decades to protect the unborn. For almost fifty years the decision of nine unelected Justices have prevented a democratically derived consensus on the profound moral issue of abortion to be formed.  This decision will now allow that democratic process to unfold in each state to determine at what point does society have the responsibility to protect life.  Hopefully, the debate will be conducted with sincerity, compassion, and respect for the broad range of views that people hold.”

 

 

Beach access from all points in Whitefish Dunes State Park open

You can now head onto the beach from all access points in Whitefish Dunes State Park. The high water levels and erosion from the lake forced closures of the first beach access point indefinitely and the third access point temporarily. This had a negative impact on the visitation of the beach because of the first being the only ADA-accessible entrance. Sarah Stepanik, the park manager, explains that higher levels from the lake are natural and happen infrequently.

 

 

Since the closure of the first access point, getting to the lake has been significantly more challenging. Now, Stepanik says the opening of the access points has made it easier for visitors to enjoy the beach without having to walk around.

YMCA expanding Wellness Center, adding Youth Activity Center

You and your family will have the opportunity to enjoy many more youth activities and events at the Door County YMCA as early as the fall of 2023.  Thanks to its Heart of the Community Capital Campaign fund the Door County YMCA will be putting on a large expansion to the current Sturgeon Bay campus.  Heidi Erickson, CEO of the Door County YMCA, says the final phase of the Capital Campaign stands at $8.9 million raised for a $9.9 million goal.  An anonymous donor has pledged $500,000 as a matching gift to help achieve the goal.  Mission Advancement Director Tonya Felhofer shares the details of a big expansion by the YMCA for the wellness center and new youth activity center.

 

 

The new addition and renovation will take place on the north side of the existing YMCA building and cover about 16,000 square feet.  The Groundbreaking is planned for September and if all goes according to plan, a ribbon-cutting would take place in September of 2023.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Heidi Erickson and Tonya Felhofer about the future expansion plans for the YMCA on the podcast page here. 

 

 

 

News Release: 

Door County YMCA launches the final phase of the Heart of the Community Capital Campaign

The Door County YMCA is excited to announce the final phase of its Heart of the Community Capital Campaign. This campaign, which started in the fall of 2019 was paused by spring of 2020, due to the pandemic. The campaign has been in a quiet phase since its re-launch in June 2021. Thanks to the generosity of early donors, the campaign has raised $8.9 million dollars.

“As we head into the final fundraising phase of this project, we are excited to share that we have received a $500,000 matching gift,” said Heidi Erickson, Door County YMCA CEO, “meaning we need to raise another $500,000 in our community to complete this $9.9 million dollar project.”

Since opening its doors in 1986, the Door County YMCA has listened to the community, offering the programs, and services individuals and families in the area need. The current Sturgeon Bay Program Center was established in 1997, followed by the addition of the Carla and Ellsworth Peterson Aquatics Center in 2001. Since that time there haven’t been any significant capital improvements outside of general maintenance.

Today, we are nearing historically high membership numbers. Current participation levels are stretching program spaces, limiting the organization’s ability to provide the innovative programs our community needs.

A renovation and expansion of the Sturgeon Bay facility will allow the YMCA to provide a welcoming, supportive environment where all community members can come together; increase accessibility for older adults and those with mobility challenges; create more gathering spaces for education, meetings, and community connections; deepen partnerships with other organizations; and ensure that the organization is meeting the community’s needs now and for future generations.

“The addition of a Youth Activity Center will be a highlight of this renovation and expansion”, said Tonya Felhofer, Mission Advancement Executive. “We will be able to bring some of our most important youth programs like camp and after-school care, back onto our campus, where these children will have access to our pool, our gyms, the park, and our new outdoor learning classroom.”

“This is an exciting time for the Door County Y,” said Tom Beerntsen, Capital Campaign Co-Chair, “but there’s still work to be done and we need the help of our community.”

The Sturgeon Bay Program center serves as the community hub, bringing neighbors together from all walks of life for more than 30 years. It is at the Y where friendships flourish, children are nurtured, and people grow stronger in spirit, mind, and body.

The Door County YMCA has contracted with The Boldt Company and will break ground in September 2022. To learn more about the Heart of the Community Capital Campaign and support it, contact Heidi Erickson, CEO or Tonya Felhofer, Mission Advancement Executive at 920.743.4949

 

 

 

WalMart evacuated and closes due to incident

The Sturgeon Bay WalMart closed Thursday afternoon for a few hours due to a reported strange smell and haze in the building.  At about 2 pm, store employees and customers were evacuated into the parking lot.  The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department and Police Department were dispatched and were on the scene initially for about an hour.  Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says crews went in and noticed quickly that the situation remedied itself.  No injuries were reported and the cause is still being investigated.   No other details are available at this time and WalMart reopened at about 4:30 pm Thursday.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more information becomes available.  

Village of Ephraim names its Fyr Ball Chieftain

After a two-year break, the Fyr Ball and the naming of its Chieftain returned. The Fyr Ball commences at the beginning of summer in Ephraim, and the Chieftain is the Viking leader of the event. This year Jim Reeve was named the 56th Fyr Ball Chieftain as a recognition of his dedication to the village through being involved in multiple groups. Reeve says he is honored to have been given this distinction.

 

 

He was able to board a pontoon manned by Vikings to make his entrance and then was honored by lighting the traditional Fyr Ball bonfire. Reeve says the event was a success and was an excellent return for the festival. 

 

Closures south of Sturgeon Bay planned for next week

If you have to take Wis HWY 42/57 on your daily commute, expect a detour south of Sturgeon Bay starting on June 27th. This project has been in the works since March of 2022 and is looking to potentially be finished in September of 2022. The south side of the project takes place at the junction of Wis HWY 42 and Wis HWY 57. The detour will utilize County H and County S to avoid the work site. The closure is expected to last between one and two work weeks, but will be removed on the weekends.

 

A map of the detour and closure can be found below. 

 

Door County Connect ready to drive you five days a week

If you live in Sturgeon Bay and are unable to drive yourself to a location, Door County Connect is ready and able to assist you. For the last six months DCC has been operating under limited hours because of understaffing. Now, they are fully staffed and are offering their services five days a week. Pam Busch the Transportation manager for the Door County Transportation Department explains the impact that the shortage had on the community and the hopes for the lengthened service hours going forward.

 

 

The cost for a ride is fairly minimal at $2 for Sturgeon Bay and $5 per trip in the extended service area, which includes up to 10 miles from the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Progress on Granary picking up this summer

You may see some substantial changes in the historic Teweles & Brandeis Grain Elevator structure in the next several weeks.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation President Laurel Hauser updated the Sturgeon Bay Common Council this week on the progress of the Sturgeon Bay Granary Project. In April, the granary foundation was poured over 51 new pilings. The 31 white pine and hemlock columns, which are 12 feet high, are currently being refurbished in Tennessee and expected to be returned next week. Hauser says Immel Construction will be reinstalling the columns back in their place.  Shear walls will be built to allow the two layers, the grain bin, and the head house, to be reattached to the Granary to restore it to its original 75-foot height. That work will be completed in one to two months, and Hauser notes that the Granary received some national recognition last month.

 

 

Hauser added that the amended development agreement approved by the city last month should be signed later this week. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation and Granary Project also participated in this week’s first-ever Door County Heritage Days.

Silver Alert issued for Sturgeon Bay woman--UPDATE Found safe

A Sturgeon Bay woman is missing and authorities have issued a Silver Alert. Maynette Jutila, 71, was last seen about 4:30 pm Thursday on Lake Street in Two Rivers while driving to the Fox River Valley area. The Sturgeon Bay Police reported that Jutila was driving a 2008 silver Chevrolet HHR license plate APW1128. She is 5 feet two inches tall and weighs 128 pounds with blue eyes and gray or partially gray hair and was wearing sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. If you have information on Maynette Jutila’s whereabouts, you are asked to call the Sturgeon Bay Police Department at (920) 746-2450.

Schlender says goodbye to Luxemburg-Casco

You will still see Glenn Schlender around town in the Luxemburg-Casco community, but he plans on watching some of the initiatives he helped start from a distance. Schlender will wrap up his eight-year stint as Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent this week after announcing his intentions to retire this winter. It has been bittersweet for Schlender, who credits a leadership course he brought in for his staff members for not just making him a better superintendent, but also a better husband and father. He says there is a lot to be proud of during his stint as superintendent, whether you can see them from the road or not.

Jo-Ellen Fairbanks will take over for Schlender as superintendent next month. He is not the only local superintendent leaving their post at the end of this month. Gibraltar Superintendent Tina Van Meer announced her decision to retire last December after ten years on the job. The Gibraltar School Board picked Brett Strousland from the Germantown School District as their next superintendent in May. Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart resigned from his position to make way for Jesse Brinkmann, formerly of Green Bay Area School District.

Door County prepares for dairy days of summer

Even as June Dairy Month winds down, you’ll see thousands celebrate all things milk, cheese, and cows in Door County over the next two weeks. On Thursday, Door County takes its turn hosting the Wisconsin Holstein Association District 7 Holstein Show at the fairgrounds, where 200 registered cattle and their owners will be battling for bragging rights ahead of the state fair and county fairs. In recent years, rising costs, lower to non-existent profits, aging populations, and consolidation are all causes that have caused dairy farms across the state to disappear. Jacob Brey of Brey Cycle Farms in Sturgeon Bay hopes events like this weekend’s show inspire today’s youth to continue the state’s dairy tradition.

The Wisconsin Holstein Association District 7 Holstein Show will take place at the Door County Fairgrounds beginning at 10 a.m. One of the competitors will be Southern Door graduate Chloe LaCrosse. LaCrosse will be attending UW-Madison this fall for Dairy Science on a full academic scholarship. She also received the $1,500 Oscar G. & Mary W. Woelfel Memorial Scholarship from the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. June Dairy Month cannot be contained to just  June as the Sevastopol FFA hosts their annual dairy breakfast on July 3rd.

New "Swim-A-Thon" coming to YMCA

Your child can participate in an endurance-challenging, swim-run event later this summer at the Door County YMCA. The first-ever Swim-A-Thon will be held on Saturday, August 6, and will be open to any child eight to eighteen years old. Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says Door County Y Swim Coach Mike McHugh and the swim team are organizing the competition that starts with laps in the pool and then moves outside to Peterson Park for the run portion.

 

 

The age categories are broken into two-year increments. More information will be made available soon, with registration starting in early July. You can listen to the entire conversation with Nicole Shepard about the Swim-A-Thon and the opportunities to become a lifeguard at the Door County YMCA on the podcast page here.

Ephraim continues to form short-term rental ordinance

You will learn next month if the Village of Ephraim will be the next Door County community to pass stricter regulations on the owners of short-term rental properties. The Ephraim Village Board saw the latest ordinance version of the ordinance at its meeting last week. Getting to this point has been a long time since Ephraim’s planning committee took up the issue during the winter. It comes to a couple of years after the state changed how it regulates property owners that rent their buildings through sites like Airbnb and Vrbo and about a year after Liberty Grove and Sevastopol made changes to their regulations. Village Administrator Brent Bristol believes they have been transparent during the process, dedicating 15 hours of discussion to the topic itself while making adjustments to the ordinance along the way.

Colin Welford lives and works in Ephraim, and as a side-venture, operates short-term rental properties. He is currently renovating the former Door County Sled Dogs building into a residence that can also be used as a vacation home. He feels that the STR owners in Ephraim have been painted with a broad brush, based on the assumption that Ephraim Short-Term Rentals are a “problem” or a negative component in the village. Welford argues that Short-Term Rentals play different roles in different communities, and so each needs to be evaluated independently. He and a number of other STR owners have attended village meetings to communicate the message that they care about the village more than just making a few bucks.

 

Welford challenges the notion that the STR ordinance will “level the playing field” between them and more traditional lodging options in the village. Beyond the standards of the already-required license from the state, the new proposed village ordinance requires detailed site plans, floor plans, neighbor notifications, new penalties for disturbances such as unruly guests, a 24-hour-a-day contact number, and other restrictions. Some of these pieces from the ordinance are stricter for STRs than for other lodging counterparts, Welford says. He added that “STRs seem to be singled out, held to a higher standard, and have to pay for the privilege.” 

 

Board President Mike McCutcheon postponed the decision until the July meeting to allow members to digest the discussion and for some of the ordinance language to be tweaked. 

Two-Vehicle Crash closes HWY 57 late Tuesday night

If you were traveling on HWY 57 by County H near Brussels on Tuesday night, you might have seen the remnants of a bad accident. The dispatch report from the Door County Sheriff’s office shows it was called in at 9:49 pm. Two vehicles were involved in the accident, leaving one on its side while the other had severe front-end damage. There were injuries sustained from both parties, and they were transported to the hospital by EMS and Eagle 3. The report has not been completed, so details on the cause of the accident have yet to be disclosed. Door County Daily News will provide updates when they are available. 

 

Sturgeon Bay delays Little Lake project, moves on big housing projects

Sturgeon Bay’s Shoreline Restoration Project for Bradley Lake will have to wait another year. After a lengthy discussion Tuesday night, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council agreed with the recommendation from City Engineer Chad Shefchik and Municipal Director Mike Barker recommendation to reject the scaled-down project.  The body of water at Sunset Park, which is locally known as Little Lake, has been a major concern for several years.  The council then voted to form a committee on Bradley Lake to work on future project plans rather than investing in more recommendations from consultants. 

 

The Common Council also moved on recommendations from the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee regarding two separate development agreements.  One action approved the agreement with Duquaine Development for a 68-unit apartment complex located on Sturgeon Bay’s west side north of Target.  The other development agreement unanimously approved was with Premier SB Duluth Avenue, LLC for a 96-unit housing project that will be located east of Target. 

 

In his Mayor’s report, David Ward noted that the recent approval of housing developments by the City of Sturgeon Bay will mean nearly 300 additional units that should start in July.  

Door County preparing to vaccinate children under five in July

You will be able to choose to have your children under five years old vaccinated against COVID-19 in Door County by the second week of July. The Centers for Disease Control authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for the country’s youngest individuals over the weekend after getting its approval from the Food and Drug Administration last week. Door County COVID-19 Response Coordinator Bill Hartmann says they have not received many calls from parents about the vaccine as they wait for the final guidance from the state.

Hartmann says families should talk to their doctors to help make the right decision on whether or not their kids get vaccinated. Of the 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 in the state since the beginning of the pandemic, 8.5 percent have involved children under the age of nine. The age group also accounts for one percent of those hospitalized and less than one percent of those who have died. Wisconsin Public Radio reports that public health officials believe the vaccination rate for those under five to be even lower than what is seen for those under the age of 11, which is just shy of 32 percent in Door County.

Poultry shows back in flight in Wisconsin

You will be able to see chickens, ducks, turkeys, and other poultry at this year’s county fairs. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection recently lifted the state order prohibiting live events featuring poultry. DATCP placed the order back in April after domestic flocks across the state started to become infected with the highly pathogenic avian flu. Since March, close to two dozen domestic flocks in 14 Wisconsin had animals infected with the bird-flu. The order forced the Door County 4-H Small Animal Swap in April go without birds and left some youth wondering if they would be able to show poultry at their respective fairs. Kewaunee County Poultry Project Advisor Deb Ahrens told the kids on Monday that they would be able to participate in the fair with their animals, marking a third straight year of uncertainty for the families involved. That does not mean the kids were taking it easy with the preparations, even if they did not use real birds for their small group workshops.


Ahrens says she is looking to the state for guidance on how to make next month’s Kewaunee County Fair safe for the animals, exhibitors, and visitors. DATCP recommends poultry farmers make sure they continue practicing strong biosecurity measures like cleaning and disinfecting, restricting access by visitors and wild birds, and wearing separate shoes and clothes while around flocks.

Southern Door survey to determine district's future

You can have a say in what Southern Door School District will look like in the future with a few swipes of your pen or a couple of clicks of your mouse. Southern Door School District recently sent out a survey to its residents asking them about a pair of referenda questions on the horizon. One will look at the district’s operations to maintain programs, services, and class sizes. The second will deal with facilities planning and potential improvement plans. Southern Door School District Superintendent Chris Peterson hopes the survey gives them a guide on moving forward so they can design a plan that works for everybody at little to no additional tax impact.

You can return your paper survey to the district office or via the mail. You can also click on this link to fill it out online. You can contact the district office to receive an access number if you live in the district and did not receive a survey or need additional copies. The surveys are due before July 4th.

Power outage impacts Casco area Monday afternoon

A power outage on Monday afternoon in Kewaunee County left over 1,100 Wisconsin Public Service customers without power for about one hour.  According to the WPS Outage Map, the electrical outage occurred at about 3:20 pm, causing some businesses to close early, including the Village Kitchen in Casco.  Three outages in the Casco area left 877 customers without power for about one hour, while Luxemburg, the Towns of Lincoln, Pierce, and Red River also were affected.  WPS Spokesperson Amy Jahns told Door County Daily News that the power outage was caused by a fire on one of their poles in the Casco area and that power was restored shortly before 4 pm.   

Stay safe when lightning strikes

June 21st is lightning safety awareness day in Wisconsin, there are a few tips that can help keep you safe. Warmer weather encourages more people to spend time outdoors, but with fun nature activities, there still can be a chance of danger. If you are within hearing distance of thunder, you are probably also within striking distance with lightning. When you hear a storm rolling in, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and seek shelter if necessary. Ready Wisconsin also has some tips in case a severe thunderstorm is rolling in that you can find here.

First Annual Door County History Days kicks off

On Monday, you may have seen institutions from around the county collect at the Door County Maritime Museum to kick off the first-ever Door County History Days. At the kickoff event, representatives from the different historical organizations met, and Heritage Alliance of Door County Chair Cody Schreck, Destination Door County CEO Julie Gilbert, and Wisconsin Historical Society Director Christian Overland spoke to the public. The Meet and Greet also included the debut of the Door County Heritage Map for the week. We talked to Schreck about the importance of preserving the area’s history.

 

 

This celebration of history will serve as a time for people to get to know the places in Door County that showcase history. Each day is full of special programs throughout the peninsula. You can find the list of events here

 

 

Kewaunee and Door Counties still low with COVID-19

Not much has changed since last Friday’s COVID-19 update with both counties still at a low community level. This means that there is little negative impact from the virus on our healthcare systems at this time. This doesn’t mean that we are in the clear, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is still urging you to stay up to date on your vaccinations and get tested if you don’t feel well. The situation update for Door County showed 1 new hospitalization and 41 positive cases since last Monday. The state-wide new cases average is down about 100 from last Friday, leaving it to sit at 1,398.

2022 Kewaunee Breakfast on the Farm a success

You may have noticed a lot of people flooding to Kinnard Highland Farms on Father’s Day where they hosted the 40th annual Breakfast on the Farm. This event has been a long standing tradition in Wisconsin as a celebration of June Dairy Month. The Kinnard Highland Dairy hosted this year's celebration on their over 600 acre farm. Owner Kyler Kinnard describes how the day went and how the community responded to seeing the farm.

 

 

The day included a dairy breakfast, activities for kids, live music and wagon tours of the farm. 2022 was the second year that the Kinnard family has hosted this event with the first time being in 1989. Next year, the Salentine Homestead Dairy is set to host the event.

 

Photo from Chris Knight Aerial Photography

 

2nd Annual Northern Door Pride Event coming up

A Northern Door Pride event you may have attended in Sister Bay last year is back for an encore this month. Northern Door Pride is a relatively young organization that first made its debut last year. Owen Alabado, the president of NDP, explains how the pride event and organization came to be.

 

 

This event will include activities that LGBTQ+ members and allies can enjoy. It will begin with a pride walk that will lead to the Sister Bay Village Hall to kick off the day. Then there will be a raffle, music social hour, a drag show, and music from DJ Brawny. This event is free and open to all who want to celebrate Pride Month. You can find more details about this celebration here

 

Crossroads at Big Creek wins Conservation Award

Thanks to its continuing efforts to educate the community and preserve the local environment. Crossroads at Big Creek is this year’s recipient of the Lake Michigan Area Land & Water Conservation Association’s 2022 Conservation Award. Notably, Crossroads started the Our Land Restoration School, which provides “teaching by example” and “experience-based learning” on the campus. Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve, which began as a school forest in 1992, is located off Michigan Street and Highway 42/57 in Sturgeon Bay. The 501c3 organization offers education, conducts research, and provides outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship opportunities.

Sunday Spotlight: Girl Scout Troop 4349

A service project to improve a small portion of Brussels Town Park became about so much more earlier this week, thanks to a few painted rocks. Girl Scout Troop 4349 adopted one of the landscaped planters from a different Girl Scout troop earlier this year. The girls worked together to weed and mulch the area before planting some flowers to add extra color. The group then saw the opportunity to honor their classmate Isaac Sorenson. The 12-year-old passed away last month from health complications, and even though he could not speak, he managed to touch the lives of many. One of his favorite activities was painting rocks, which allowed him to go outside and interact with his nurses and others. When honoring Sorenson, Girl Scout member Elise Jackson says making a painted rock garden in their planter was a great way to do that.

Sorenson’s mom Toni says the gesture touched her and her family.

As the sign by the rock garden suggests, you are invited to take a rock for inspiration, share one for motivation, or leave one to help their garden grow. The girls even left you a rock or two to paint on your own if you do not have one.

 

 

 

 

 

Door County Medical Center, Prevea expand partnership

You may not have to drive to Green Bay as much, thanks to a recently expanded partnership. COVID-19 put a damper on the fanfare between Door County Medical Center and Prevea increasing their collaboration efforts. Door County Medical Center completed work on a new area at the hospital located near the main entrance where specialists from Prevea will be able to set up shop when they are working in Sturgeon Bay. The two healthcare entities share a common thread with Hospital Sisters Health System, which Door County Medical Center formed its partnership with in 2016. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens hopes the newest step with Prevea benefits the two organizations and patients.

Stephens invites patients to talk with their primary care doctor or go online to see if meeting a Prevea specialist would be suitable for them, depending on their medical situation. You can listen to our full interview by clicking this link for the DCMC Community Connections podcast page.

Tanum Forest celebrating 150 years

The oldest Lutheran church in Door County is commemorating its 150th year with a series of events this summer.  Tanum Forest Evangelical Lutheran in Vignes was founded by Norwegian immigrants in 1872.  Pastor Peter Mannoja says the history of the parishioners dates back to two separate congregations.

 

 

He says the roots of many of the faithful followers come from the farming community and go back many generations.  Tanum Forest Church has been celebrating its 150th anniversary every month in 2022.  A special Tractor Show is planned on the church grounds on Highway OO coming up on Saturday, June 25, from 11 am until 3 pm.  You can listen to the entire interview with Pastor Mannoja on the podcast page here.

Life lessons from the farm

As I write this article, I am participating in my National Guard Unit’s annual training out at Fort McCoy. It continues to be an honor to serve alongside these men and women, and I consider myself very lucky to once again be in uniform in the service of my Country and State. The training during these two weeks is both challenging and rewarding allowing for learning and improvements to play out in a controlled setting. I had a personal experience that I wanted to share while here that allowed for some reflection and hopefully a perspective that will resonate with others.

   

Just as in any learning experience, we make mistakes and hopefully learn from those mistakes, but many times we internalize our failures too deeply which prevents us from moving forward. In my recent failure, I thought back to my childhood on the farm. As a young boy I many times was tasked with milking the herd on my own. I took great pride in this responsibility, but of course made many mistakes. One in particular was the dreaded mistake of milking a treated cow. For those of you not familiar with farming, when a cow gets any sort of sickness, just like humans they must be medically treated. While the cow is being treated, their milk must be withheld from the bulk tank so as not to contaminate the milk already in the bulk tank. Needless to say, that when I did forget and that milk made its way into the bulk tank, it was not a good day. This mistake would result in the dumping of the entire quantity of milk since the previous milk pick up, (Usually, every other day for our farm) which directly lead to a smaller milk check. Over 40 years later, I can still recall my sense of shame at letting my parents down. They were amazing at putting it in perspective and giving me encouragement to move on by saying “Every now and then, we all milk a treated cow.”

    

So many years later as an adult I now draw from those experiences and during this month which recognizes our dairy industry, I want to give special attention to our farm kids. Those young people who are placed in roles and duties of high responsibility at vey young ages. Whether it be trusted with the milking or feeding of the herd, or operating large equipment, the life skills you are gaining will serve you well regardless of where your journey takes you. You are among an elite population which grows more elite with every generation. Just like me, you will most likely not appreciate your current surroundings, but trust me, one day you will. You will also face adversity and every now and then, you will indeed fail. It is not the failure that is important but rather how you recover, learn and grow from that failure. When this happens, and it will happen, just remember, every now and then, we all milk a treated cow. I hope that this also provides some empathy when those around you milk a treated cow, so that you can encourage them to pick up and carry on.

     

As Winston Churchhill once said “Failure is not Fatal and Success is not Final.”

Vic Ferrari's farewell tour says hello to Sturgeon Bay

You only have two more opportunities to catch the musical stylings of Vic Ferrari in Sturgeon Bay. After 35 years and 2,500-plus shows, the popular band from Calumet County announced in February that 2022 would be their final year on the road. The band started as the last-minute entertainment choice for a wedding and grew into a touring outfit that played in 12 states and six countries. Frontman Michael Bailey appreciates the role he has played making people happy with his music.

The band is also proud of the support they have been able to provide for charitable organizations across the Midwest. They will have another opportunity to do that Saturday night at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay at 2:45 p.m. when they play a show sponsored by Door County Medical Center and Prevea to benefit Unity Hospice in memory of Steve Bertz. You can click this link to learn more about that show. You will also be able to catch them at the Door County Fair.

State Highway 42 to close June 27th

You have just over a week to figure out your route to Sturgeon Bay, Maplewood, and Forestville if you take State Highway 42. The roadway will be closed south of its intersection with State Highway 57 for one to two weeks beginning June 27th. The closure is part of ongoing roadwork in the area that has most impacted traffic on State Highway 42/57 from the junction to the Bayview Bridge. A detour will be put in place from State Highway 42 to County H to County S before heading back onto State Highway 42/57. It will be in effect Monday through Friday before it reopens for the weekend. You can read the rest of the traffic update for Door County and Sturgeon Bay from City Engineer Chad Shefchik below.

 

WIS 42 Resurfacing

 Location / Limits: South junction of WIS 57 (in the town of Nasewaupee) to the Bayview Bridge (in the City of Sturgeon Bay).

 

June 13 to June 17:  The contractor continued concrete repairs south of S Ashland Avenue in both the northbound and southbound lanes.  Crews also completed asphalt paving and base aggregate placement north of S Ashland Avenue.  Pavement marking continued north of S Ashland Avenue as well.  Beam guard was replaced near the Green Bay Road ramps. 

 

June 20 to June 24:  The contractor will complete concrete repairs on the mainline portions of WIS 42/57.  Crews will complete pavement markings north of S Ashland Avenue.  Restoration will be completed north of S Ashland Avenue as well. 

 

Traffic impacts:  WIS 42 will remain open during construction with the following traffic impacts:

  • Weekly single lane closures will be in place from the WIS 57 south junction to the Bayview Bridge in both the northbound and southbound lanes.
  • WIS 42, south of the intersection with WIS 57, will be closed for 1-2 weeks beginning June 27th.  A detour will be put in place from WIS 42 to County H, to County S, and back to WIS 42/57.

 

Sturgeon Bay Roadway Projects

N 14th Ave (west side of the roadway between Egg Harbor Road & Bluebird Street) – new sidewalk project:  All of the concrete work and lawn restorations have now been completed.  Asphalt patches are needed at few driveways and curbing areas to completely open the sidewalk to pedestrian traffic, and if the weather cooperates, that work should be completed by the end of next week. 

 

Michigan Street (from 12th Ave to 9th Ave):  The contractor is hoping to finish the gas line replacement work early next week.  Shortly after that work completes they will need to replace a few curbing sections and do some misc. asphalt patching in the work area.  he removed sidewalk areas on Michigan Street will not get replaced until later this summer when Martell Construction returns for the concrete work on N Geneva Ave.

 

N 18th Ave (from Florida Street to Iowa Street):  Yesterday the contractor finished the 1st layer of asphalt paving, and the second layer should be completed sometime later today to complete this project!

 

Michigan Street (from 18th Ave to 12th Ave):  Today the contractor is hoping to finish the final grading and manhole adjustments.  Also, later today the contractor will start placing the 1st layer of asphalt paving on whatever sections are ready.  If things go well I am hoping to see asphalt placed today from 18th Ave to 14th Ave.  They will be back in town next Tuesday and Wednesday to finish all of the asphalt paving if the weather cooperates.

 

S 16th Place (from Michigan Street to approx. 490’ to the south):  Wednesday’s storms saturated this section of roadway and it has yet to dry enough to be ready for pavement.  We’ll see what is looks like on Monday, but unfortunately this section may remain gravel until later in the summer when we do N Geneva Ave.

 

W Walnut Drive (from S Duluth Ave to S Hudson Ave):  Final grading and manhole adjustments will begin later today or on Monday, with paving to follow later next week.

 

Warm weather welcomed by farmers

“Knee-high by the Fourth of July” may be a challenging mark to reach this year, but you should see area crops begin to shoot up thanks to the recent heat wave.

 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, approximately 86 percent of the oats, 85 percent of the corn, and 76 percent of the soybeans planted have emerged, which is one to two weeks behind last year’s pace. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says the cool temperatures this spring have been mainly to blame because the crops need warmer weather to thrive. With temperatures getting close to 90 degrees in some areas, Barta says you will see plants shoot up with some timely rains.

Barta adds the plants that have emerged look good at this stage, even fields that dialed back on fertilizer at the beginning due to the high prices. He says some farmers are holding on to hope that they will be able to add more later in the summer at a lower price.

Door and Kewaunee counties return to low community level

After a week at an elevated community level, both Door and Kewaunee counties are back at the low community level.

 

Two hospitalizations and 47 new cases last week led Door County to be placed at the high community level. Kewaunee County had 22 new cases last week, which led them to a medium community level.  In Door County’s case, Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said their two hospitalized individuals showed no clinical disease associated with COVID-19 when they were admitted. Door County saw fewer new cases of COVID-19 than they did the previous week when they were listed in the low level. 

 

Community levels are determined by a combination of new hospitalizations, current hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and new COVID-19 cases. The recommendation for the low level is for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and to get tested if they show symptoms.

 

Statewide, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases sits at 1,483, which is approximately 200 less than a week ago.

Cement truck cause of Tuesday highway closure

A cement truck trying to avoid a multi-car accident north of Baileys Harbor still caused State Highway 57 to be closed for a number of hours Tuesday afternoon.  The driver of the vehicle was traveling north on the highway shortly before 11:40 a.m. when he encountered a long stream of cars yielding for the tractor parade parking at AC Tap. The tractors were a part of the annual Freddy K. B.S. Tractor Ride, which celebrates the life of the late Freddie Kodanko. The long line forced the driver to brake heavily and eventually take evasive action to avoid hitting the vehicles. The maneuver took him into the ditch alongside the highway where it eventually tipped over due to the nature of its contents. The driver was not injured as a result and was not cited. Crews had the scene cleared by 3:30 p.m.

Celebrate the federal holiday of Juneteenth

You can celebrate the Juneteenth holiday by supporting the African American community. Juneteenth is a combination of the words “June” and “Nineteenth.” As of last year, Juneteenth is a federal holiday celebrated throughout the country. This holiday has historically been recognized as the day that the last enslaved people were made aware of their freedom back in 1865. We spoke with Lachrisa Grandberry, a cofounder and representative of Door County Amplify, a community that celebrates artists of color in the area. She describes that Juneteenth isn’t just a celebration of a single day but honoring the history and journey of the people who came before.

 

 

Grandberry urges people who would like to partake in this celebration to educate themselves and others about African American history while also showing support and solidarity for the community.

First ever History Days coming to Door County

This upcoming week you will have a chance to participate in the first Door County History Days which celebrate the history of the peninsula. This is a week-long event that includes many of the historical organizations that will be hosting special programs throughout the duration of the event. The goal of the History Days is to showcase the history of the peninsula and what it brings to the area. Cody Schreck, the chair of the Heritage Alliance of Door County explains the inspiration behind bringing this event to Door County.

 

 

The Door County History Days will begin on Monday, June 20th and run through Sunday, June 26th. A list of all of the programs and activities can be found here.

The popular Fyr Bal returns Saturday in Ephraim

The village of Ephraim will be celebrating its Scandinavian heritage this weekend as the 56th annual Fyr Bal returns.  The events include a Fur Bal pet parade starting at 9 am Saturday along with the Artisan and Food Vendor Market at 10 am. 

 

The festival concludes with fireworks and the 56th Chieftain ceremony, where one of the Ephraim residents or business owners gets the honor of lighting the bonfire on the beach to signify the “burning of the winter witch” on the shoreline of Eagle Harbor.  You can find more details on the Fyr Bal festival here.

 

(photo courtesy of Tad Dukehart)

Gas inflation affecting summer boating

With the inflation of gas, you may see less boats out in the bay. Many people who enjoy spending time on the water may choose to head out on a friend's boat or stay on land with the rising gas prices. Mark Felhofer from Bay Marine explains how the rising costs of gas could potentially change the habits of regular boaters.

 

 

Felhofer also explains that when prices level, it would make sense to see more people out and about on regular vacations. Until then, it is uncertain what impact inflation truly will have on the boating industry.

 

(Picture from Bay Marine)

Robots highlight Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm

For the first time ever, at the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm, you will be able to see a cow get milked without any farmers providing assistance. While previous editions of the Father’s Day tradition have featured rotary parlors where dozens of cows get milked at the same time, Kinnard Highland Dairy Farm in Casco will be the first to showcase robotic milking systems developed by Lely. Dave and Randy Kinnard installed two systems in 2015 where they milked just over 100 cows. The herd has since grown to 290 cows after they installed a couple of more robots and added a robotic feed pusher to the mix in their free-stall barn. It is a far cry from when they last hosted the Breakfast on the Farm in 1989. David Kinnard is excited to show off how technology has helped them.

The Kinnard Family also upgraded its accommodations for its youngest cows, completing construction on a new calf barn earlier this year. The Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm begins at 7 a.m. with a church service at 7 a.m., followed by a meal service at 8 a.m.  

 

VIDEO FROM 2016 INTERVIEW

 

Storms cause damage and outages in Door County -- UPDATED

The severe thunderstorms that rolled through Northeastern Wisconsin downed several trees and power lines, causing over 50,000 reported outages by WPS late Wednesday.   As of 6:30 am Thursday, Door County had over 1000 customers still without power.  The town of Gardner still has 540 homes affected, and the Town of Union has 478, according to the WPS outage map.  There is no estimated time of restoration as WPS reassesses the situation.  Door County dispatch reported several electrical wires being down in Sturgeon Bay after the storm, and high winds ripped through the area shortly after 7 pm.       

Kewaunee County Board gets last full jail briefing before July vote

The Kewaunee County Board will have a month before they have to make a decision on whether or not you will see a referendum on the fall ballot regarding the jail project. Most of the nearly 90-minute Kewaunee County Board meeting Tuesday night at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds was dedicated to the $25.6 million facility project.  Venture Architects and Samuels Group representatives presented the proposed floor plans and cost estimates. County administrative staff also gave information regarding the project's budgetary, debt, and tax implications. With help from existing county funds and American Rescue Plan Act dollars, the debt proceeds would be about $21 million. As a result, Kewaunee County residents would see their property tax bill rise by roughly $40 on a $200,000 home in exchange for replacing the state’s oldest and smallest county jail. Concerns about the fluctuating interest rates, surging construction costs, and other potential projects like the county highway shop were raised during the meeting by members of the public and board supervisors. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt and representatives from Venture Architects and Samuels Group offered reassurance about the work that has gone into the project concerning the numbers.

Supervisor Brian Patrycia brought up his constituents’ questions about why the new facility had to be built now, if at all. State Jail Inspector Nancy Thelen first complimented the jail staff before pointing out the building’s shortcomings.

Whether the board approves the project itself or sends it to the voters in the referendum, the measure must be approved by at least 15 Kewaunee County Board Supervisors. That meeting is scheduled for July 19th. In other business during the board meeting, David DePeau was appointed as Kewaunee County Corporation Counsel after Jeffrey Wisnicky was elected circuit court judge in April.

Tips on improving gas efficiency on the road

With gas prices hovering around the $5 per gallon mark, you might want to look for ways to drive your vehicle more economically this summer.  Jesse Yahnke, sales manager at Jorns Chevrolet of Kewaunee, says you can help your car's fuel efficiency in a number of ways.  He suggests making sure the air and gas filters are up-to-date and that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated.

 

 

Setting your cruise control on the highway is the best way to get the most miles per gallon.  You should also avoid making hard accelerations or braking when driving, according to Yahnke.  You can find more tips on how to maximize your fuel economy here.    

 

Spring turkey harvest sees increase

The turkey population in the area continues to thrive, as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released totals showing that Wisconsin turkey hunters bagged 39,007 birds during the spring turkey hunt.  Those numbers reflect a five percent increase over the 2021 season.  Due to the late spring this year, the registered turkeys from the youth hunt were down nearly 25 percent, with 2,482 birds taken.  Door County DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says the satisfaction rate is high for turkey hunters even if the success rate might be lower.

 

 

The DNR closely monitors the harvest of turkeys during the spring hunt and saw participation spike in 2020 when many people had time to pursue turkey while other events were canceled. 

Future ninjas and powerlifters being taught at YMCA

Your children can experience some unique classes this summer at the Door County YMCA.  Besides the traditional sessions, the YMCA will be holding new opportunities including a one-hour power lifting course and a “Little Ninjas” program.  Northern Door YMCA Executive Director Megan Schneider shares what the kids can expect to learn in the new classes.

 

 

The Little Ninjas class is for kids 6-10 years old and will start at 4:30 pm next Wednesday, June 22.  The participants will practice obstacle course challenges and functional strength training.  The Youth Power Lifting course is for 12 to 16-year-olds and will be held Saturdays at 9 am.  Registration begins this week with classes starting Monday, June 20 for Summer Sessions.  

Vandenhouten named principal at Southern Door Elementary

A familiar face will be leading the way at the Southern Door Elementary School.  Marc Vandenhouten, a former teacher and alumnus, was officially approved as the new principal by the Board of Education Special Meeting last week.  Chosen from a pool of 34 candidates this spring, Vandenhouten will be taking over as the elementary principal on July 1 for Cory Vandertie, who resigned for family reasons after five years in the position.  Vandenhouten says he is excited about the opportunity to return to Southern Door and bring his family to a place he is proud to call home.

 

 

Vandenhouten returns to Southern Door with five years of experience after working as an elementary 3K-4 principal at Little Chute Elementary and 3K-6 grade principal for St. Mary’s in Luxemburg and Holy Trinity in Casco.  He and his wife Sara, with their three children, are in the process of moving to the Southern Door area.

Tornado watch issued for Door and Kewaunee counties

Be prepared for severe weather in your community tonight after the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch for much of the state including Door and Kewaunee counties for Wednesday night. Damaging winds, large hail, torrential rain, and isolated tornadoes are the main threats with the system entering the area this afternoon. The tornado watch is expected to last until 11 p.m. The National Weather Service recommends you having a plan if tornadoes do develop and to make alternative plans if you have outdoor events.

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Northeastern Wisconsin

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for much of Northeastern Wisconsin for Wednesday evening. This warning is currently set to last from 6:15 pm until 7:00 pm and includes both Door and Kewaunee Counties. The notification showed that the storm system is moving northeast at 75 mph and will bring 70 mph wind gusts. The NWS urges people to be aware that considerable damage may occur. In the event of a flash flood due to torrential rain stay in a building and do not drive your vehicle through flooded roads. The storm is also bringing hail that could reach .75 inches in size.

Casco teen on the verge of earning Eagle rank

Casco’s Cole Anderson always wanted to make sure you received a good impression of his hometown when you drove through it. A member of Scouts USA Troop 1042 out of Luxemburg, Anderson always wanted to do something with the village’s welcome signs that greet you on the east and west side of Casco as you travel on State Highway 54. His original plan was to refinish the signs before the village recently completed that task. He reformulated his idea and dug out a flowerbed around the signs, planted flowers, and spread mulch to give the area an upgraded look. Anderson says his pride in his hometown and the support he received helped him accomplish his goal.

With all his merit badges finished, Anderson hopes to officially become an Eagle Scout, the highest honor of the Boy Scouts of America, later this month when he finishes his paperwork and goes through his board of review. He is not stopping at scouting’s highest rank as he hopes to complete his Brotherhood, a level within the BSA’s Order of the Arrow, later this year.

 

Pictures courtesy of Tracey Anderson

 

 

 

Crash closes STH 57 Tuesday afternoon

A crash between Sister Bay and Baileys Harbor closed down State Highway 57 for a few hours Tuesday afternoon. WFRV first reported the road closure between Meadow and Grove Roads on State Highway 57, forcing motorists to take smaller side roads to get around the incident. Crews were still on the scene until shortly after 3 pm. after the crash reportedly took place near the noon hour. A vehicle with a crane could be seen at the site of the incident. Door County Daily News will update this story as soon as more details are available.

 

Door County to participate in NARCAN program

You will have more access to the materials needed to possibly save you or a loved one’s life during an episode of substance abuse. Door County Public Health announced on Monday it would be participating in the Wisconsin NARCAN Direct Program. As a part of the program, the department will be able to distribute free NARCAN kits that will include naloxone, the drug known as NARCAN that is used to reverse the effect of an overdose from opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and heroin. The kits will include two doses of the inter-nasal NARCAN, Fentanyl test strips, a CPR mask, and educational materials. In 2020, over 1,200 people died from opioid-related overdoses. In the same year, Door County had 15 suspected opioid-induced overdoses. You can contact the Door County Public Health Department to pick up your free NARCAN kit.

Birch Creek prepares for season-opening

Your summer full of music is under a week away as Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor prepares to welcome its first students of the year. They will move in on Sunday as they prepare for two weeks of percussion and steel band. Instructors are already on campus as they prepare to welcome students throughout the summer. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christensen says transcribing musical selection across many genres for the percussion students makes for some unique and entertaining concerts.

The Percussion and Steel Band session covers two weeks and seven concerts, with the opening night performance scheduled for June 23rd. Pre-concert music begins at 6:30 p.m., with the show itself starting at 7 p.m. You can listen to our entire interview with Christensen by clicking this link.

J-1 Student Visa program expects a strong return

Visiting local businesses throughout Door County, you will notice the area slowly turning into a mini-United Nations as J-1 Visa students from around the globe come to the area for the summer. 

 

Approximately 500 students will participate in the program in Door County, with about half of those coming over the next few weeks. The J-1 Visa program allows international students to become immersed in American culture while working at area businesses during their summer off from school. The total number of students is not far off from pre-pandemic levels, with the threat of the coronavirus causing the program to pretty much disappear in 2020 before seeing small gains in 2021. Destination Door County Director of Advocacy Phil Berndt is happy the program is rebounding this year since the J-1 students play an essential role in the area during the summer.

Berndt expressed his gratitude to the Social Security office in Green Bay for helping over 100 students get the documentation they needed to work earlier this month by setting up a satellite office in Ephraim for the day. The J-1 visa students come in three waves throughout the summer based on when their schools go on summer break. That allows businesses to get the staffing they need to cover their needs for the entire tourism season.

Fire damages barn in Brussels

A mid-afternoon barn fire in the town of Brussels kept local firefighters busy containing the blaze within the structure.  The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, along with the Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay fire departments, were dispatched to the fire at the corner of Cemetery Road and Plainview Road just west of County Trunk C north of Brussels at about 3 pm.  BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie told Door County Daily News that the fire was reported by the property owner soon after it started and was able to be contained before it could spread to a nearby house.

 

 

  He says the likely cause of the fire is the wood burner in the barn that had been in use for about six hours.  Firefighters were on the scene for just under two hours.    

 

 

 

Door County up 33 percent, Kewaunee County 16 percent in total tourism impact

Only one county saw a bigger percentage gain in tourism spending than Door County in 2021.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism recently released its 2021 tourism numbers, showing a total economic impact of $20.9 billion. That is an increase of 21 percent over 2020 when the pandemic brought things to a standstill for several months. The number of visitor trips went up 13 percent to 102.3 million.

 

Door County saw a 33.7 percent increase in total business sales according to department data, from $397 million in 2020 to $531 million in 2021. Only Sauk County, which includes Wisconsin Dells, saw a bigger year-over-year jump in total business sales at a 44 percent increase. Direct visitor spending in Door County went up at an even steeper clip of 39 percent to $423 million. Only Sauk (54.6 percent) and Buffalo (44.4 percent) counties saw bigger jumps in that category.

 

Every county experienced double-digit growth in total business sales from 2020 to 2021. Kewaunee County saw a 16.3 percent increase in total business sales from $37 million to $43 million. It saw its direct visitor spending go up over 25 percent from $22 million to $27.7 million. You can see the data shared by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism by clicking this link.

 

Destination Door County and the Door County Tourism Zone will present its annual report on June 16th over Zoom at 9 a.m. 

Cruise ship arrival carries new opportunity

The sight of cruise ships on Lake Michigan and its passengers in your communities could become more common in the future. The passenger cruise ship Ocean Navigator is scheduled to dock in downtown Green Bay for two days each on June 16th and 30th as a part of excursions organized by American Queen Voyages. Approximately 300 passengers and crew members are on board as they circulate the Great Lakes. While domestic cruises are on the upswing, Jon Jarosh from Destination Door County says it is too early to predict the impact the cruise ships will have on area tourism.

Jarosh adds that the infrastructure may be why cruise ships themselves cannot dock in Door County itself because of cruise ship regulations. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the two cruise ship arrivals this month are the first of six planned for Green Bay over the next three years. 

Peninsula offering relief from heat wave

If you can’t stand the heat, head to the peninsula as northeast Wisconsin experiences some of its hottest weather of the year.

 

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for much of the state on Tuesday from 1-8 p.m., with areas like Green Bay and the Fox Valley expected to see daytime highs hit 90 degrees and the heat index reaching triple digits. Lakeshore areas like Door, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc counties are being spared as the heat indices will remain in the high 60s (67 degrees in Sister Bay) to mid-70s (76 degrees in Sturgeon Bay, 72 degrees in Kewaunee, and 74 degrees in Manitowoc).

 

For those unable to escape the heat, you are advised to drink plenty of water, wear light and loose-fitting clothing, and not leave your children and pets in your car unattended for long periods. 

No reason to panic as hospitalizations elevate COVID community level for Door County

Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise does not want you to overreact after Door County’s COVID-19 community level was elevated from low to high in a week.

 

Last Thursday, Door County joined nearby Brown County as some of the 11 counties in the high community level for 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. Door County saw 47 new cases and two additional hospitalizations pop up over the last week. The number of new cases was actually the lowest it has been since the beginning of May and Heise says the two hospitalized individuals showed no clinical disease associated with COVID-19.

 

He advises people to do what they can to protect themselves the best way they can.

Friday’s daily COVID-19 update showed the seven-day average for new cases sitting at 1,639, the lowest it has been since June 1st

Youth sports trying to get more to play ball

Sturgeon Bay Youth Baseball President Mike Propsom hopes your kids decide to get outdoors more often this summer. The Los Angeles Times reported last December that youth participation in organized sports regularly dropped from 45 percent in 2008 to 38 percent in 2018. According to the Aspen Institute, the pandemic caused those numbers to tumble even further, leading to 30 percent of kids who previously played a team sport saying they are no longer interested in doing so. High costs, time commitments, and hyper-competitiveness are all reasons why some sports have seen double-digit participation rate losses in recent years, including baseball at 10 percent. Propsom fondly remembers playing baseball with his friends non-stop on fields in Sturgeon Bay. Now, he says it is something else that has their attention.

He hopes events like next weekend’s youth baseball tournament at Sunset Park and West Side Field inspire more kids to grab a mitt and play ball and for parents and other adults to lend a helping hand to volunteer. 

Spotlight in the Community: Kewaunee's Duane Ducat

Dairy farmer Duane Ducat of Kewaunee is not just stopping at his land when it comes to practicing sustainable practices in Kewaunee County. Along with his partners Derek Ducat and Dale Bogart, Deer Run Dairy was recognized by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for its dedication to sustainability. A member of Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network, Deer Run Dairy achieved its goal of planting cover crops on 100 percent of the land they use. Cover crops are used to help protect the soil while also limiting water run-off and adding organic matter. Ducat has taken his work even further, helping mentor farmers who are hesitant or have not tried to use sustainable practices in their own operations. He says it is a rewarding experience to help other farmers achieve a common goal.

Ducat says it was an honor to be recognized for their sustainability efforts by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, including no-till planting and interseeding. You can listen to our entire interview with Ducat by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Peninsula Pride Farms

Stay safe while driving on the peninsula this summer

Whether you are a Door County local or visiting on vacation, staying safe while driving through the peninsula is essential. Numbers from past years prove that there could be up to 250,000 people in the county on any given weekend. With this increased population, you need to pay extra attention to your surroundings while driving on any of the local roads or highways. Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty shares his tips for summer driving in the area.

 

 

Police presence is higher during the summer to help ensure the safety of locals and tourists. This includes patrolling and traffic management in the regions that might have less traffic during the “off-season.”

Ephraim poised to be next community with short-term rental ordinance

Village of Ephraim officials want you to weigh in on the proposed short-term rental (STR) ordinance for the community.

 

The ordinance is being amended to create new regulations for STRs, following the lead of other communities in the county. Owners of STRs would have to secure an annual license from the village allowing for rentals to take place for periods less than 30 consecutive days. They would also have to follow ten requirements such as obtaining a Door County Room Tax Permit, allowing building and fire inspections, providing a current floor plan, and proving they have insurance. Homes that use a septic system would have to post a sanitary permit showing the house's design capacity. Owners of the STR must also provide their information so they can be reached 24 hours a day and must reside within or have their residence located in Door County. The village keeps the right to suspend or revoke a license if the STR owner fails to comply with village and county ordinances, have three or more excessive noise or police calls, or has had their state license revoked. The ordinance will be enforced by Village Administrator Brent Bristol or someone he designates. Other communities like Liberty Grove and Sister Bay have contracted monitoring and enforcement services, eliminating the task from government officials. The village could issue fines from $250 to $5000 depending on the number of offenses.

 

If approved, it would be implemented in 2023. The Ephraim Board of Trustees invites residents, STR owners, property owners, and other stakeholders to speak at the meeting slated for June 14th at 7 p.m. You can click this link to participate if you cannot attend in person. 

 

Correction: The previous version of this story listed a minimum number of days. While that may true with other STR ordinances in Door County, there is currently no minimum listed in Ephraim's proposed ordinance. The story now reflects that.

Kayaking Series: Picking The Right Kayak

When I do my talk, “Kayak Fishing:  Let’s Get Started”, I ask the question, “can you have fun in any kayak?”  The answer is, yes! But, will you have more fun in a kayak most appropriate for how and where you will be kayaking and again, the answer is yes.

 

My suggestion is to talk with staff at stores that sell kayaks, check on-line forums, ask you friends who kayak and check the web sites of manufacturers. The primary types of kayaks are Sit-On-Top (SOT) and Sit-In. For fishing and if you have a challenge getting in and out of a kayak, I recommend a SOT. For fishing you have more deck space for all your gear and for those wanting easy entry, there is nothing easier than simply sitting down on the seat in a foot or so of water.  The challenge with the SOT is that they are heavier making transport a little more challenging.

 

For those who are simply out to enjoy nature and able to get in and out of a kayak easily possibly, a Sit-In is for you. These would be more your recreational or touring kayaks. The recreational Sit-Ins will have a large cockpit and easier to get in and out than the touring kayak with the smaller cockpit. These are lighter, making transport easier.

 

I have noticed a trend in recent years with people buying shorter kayaks in the 9’ to 11” range in both SOT and Sit-In.  Personally, I prefer a longer kayak for better tracking and more speed. So, my preference would be 11’ to 14’.  For bigger water like we have in Door County, a longer kayak is going to be a better choice. But, as noted earlier, you can have fun in any kayak.

 

Another more recent trend are the self-propelled kayaks, especially for fishing. I have one and for fishing really like it. But, being somewhat of a purist, for much of my fishing I am still paddling and for my recreational kayaking, I would prefer to paddle. As nice as the self-propelled kayaks are, they are even heavier than the SOT kayaks presenting even more of a challenge in transporting.

 

This was just a quick overview of what you should consider when looking for the best kayak for you. As always, if you have any questions, I am happy to answer them. Just email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

 

 

Learn how to protect your elders with the ADRC

You can learn from a Sturgeon Bay police officer how to identify and protect against elder abuse at the Aging and Disability Resource Center. The presentation will be held at the Sturgeon Bay facility on June 13th at 11:30 am. This event falls in preparation for the international World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th. Kim Kramer, an Adult Protective Services Social Worker with the Department of Health and Human Services, explains what elder abuse includes.

 

 

At the presentation, Officer Chad Mielke will educate attendees about fraud awareness. Everyone is welcome to attend, and registration is not required. If you are interested in attending this event, please wear purple to support the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Sheriff urges you to keep an eye on your pets

Just as we as humans are eager to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, so too are our pets. I have seen recently an increase in the complaints regarding stray animals, and felt it appropriate to share some information on the topic. Kewaunee County as well as most Townships and Cities have ordinances which cover Animals at Large. The common understanding of this ordinance is that it pertains to dogs or other animals that roam freely throughout the countryside.

 

While this is correct, it also pertains to animals which may actually be in close proximity to your home or property. We receive many complaints of pedestrians or bicyclists who are riding down the road, and someone’s dog comes running off of the property onto the road, and in some cases causes injury. State Statute 174.042 “Dogs Running at Large” covers this issue, as well as the proper licensing of dogs. Most Towns and Cities have adopted this statute for local enforcement and should be your point of contact if you have questions regarding the licensing of your pet or concerns about those dogs you see running that are not yours.

 

While we all enjoy the companionship of our pets, it is important to understand our responsibilities as pet owners. This may require physically restricting a pet to an enclosed area, or if possible taking advantage of technology such as underground fencing.

 

 If you are fortunate to have one of those pets who are well trained and remain on your property, congratulations. If not, please take every precaution to prevent your pet from straying and potentially causing damage to either property or persons. This applies to animals as small as a cat or as big as a horse.

 

Another overlooked issue by some pet owners is the proper policing of pet by-products. If you are walking your pet, please be responsible for both the animal and any material that may come from it. Although not a pleasant duty of walking the dog, it is less pleasant when you are the property owner who comes across it either on foot or with the lawn mower.

 

If you have been on the receiving end of a stray animal incident, please contact the Sheriff’s Department, and hopefully we can correct the situation through a warning to the animal owner, or if need be a citation.

 

The main thing to remember is that as a pet owner you are not only responsible to that animal but any issues that may result from them.

 

 

Men afraid of what they will hear from doctors

Ignoring it or just rubbing some dirt on it is not going to cut it when it comes to your health. A 2019 Cleveland Clinic study showed that only 50 percent of men consider annual check-ups part of taking care of themselves and 20 percent admitted to not telling their doctor everything. Embarrassment (46 percent), not wanting to change their lifestyle (36 percent), and not being ready to confirm the worse (37 percent) were among the reason why men tend to avoid the doctor if they can. Dr. Andrzej Kurek from Door County Medical Center says that can cause small, treatable issues to become big problems down the road.

Kurek says Door County Medical Center is working on a series of tools that people can use to help break some of their bad habits that could lead to health issues down the road. June is recognized as National Men’s Health Awareness Month. 

 

Screenshot courtesy of Door County Medical Center

Murphy named new Algoma administrator

The City of Algoma has filled the administrator position with a familiar face while having personnel take on more duties. Public Works Director Matt Murphy will now also hold the City Administrator title, replacing Jared Heyn, who left two months ago to become the assistant administrator in Waunakee. Murphy will receive assistance in the Public Works department from Casey Groessl, who would also oversee the Parks and Recreation Department, replacing Sara Robertson, who left that position last fall. According to Murphy, the restructuring and promotion of the city's personnel allow for additional future funding.

 

 

Murphy adds that the City of Algoma is looking to fill at least one full-time position to help support the administration and public works departments.

Birth control bill waiting as abortion debate rages

Do not expect the Wisconsin Legislature to do much when they convene in Madison for a special session in the coming weeks.

 

Governor Tony Evers called for the special session earlier this week to discuss the state’s abortion law that could go into effect if the Roe vs. Wade decision is reversed. The controversial Supreme Court decision that will limit a woman’s ability to get an abortion was leaked to the press last month. If it is reversed, a law passed in 1849 would go into effect, banning most abortions, including those in cases of rape and incest. Governor Evers said he would “keep fighting every day to defend reproductive rights and access to abortion” as long as he is governor. One of his potential opponents this fall, former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, has called for Republicans to reject the special session, adding that Evers wants abortion without restriction.

 

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu has already signaled that the special session will likely last just minutes like previous special sessions addressing gun control, Medicaid expansion, and policing. He called it “a blatantly political special session,” adding that “Wisconsin law has not changed, and our pro-life position has not changed.”  Rep. Joel Kitchens also believes nothing will happen when the Wisconsin Legislature meets, echoing LeMahieu’s thoughts that the special session call is purely political. He does hope the discussion shines a light on his birth control bill, which would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive patches and pills. It passed in the Assembly last fall but did not have the votes to make it through the Senate. Kitchens believes this would help prevent unplanned pregnancies and, in turn, limit abortions as well.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos voiced his support for potentially changing the law to make exceptions for rape and incest. Attorney General Josh Kaul, who is running for re-election this fall, said he would not enforce the ban even if local governments decide they will. The special session is scheduled for June 22nd.

Door County enters high community level for COVID-19

It is recommended to wear your mask indoors and take additional precautions as needed if you are at risk for severe illness after Door County entered the high community level for COVID-19 on Friday.

 

The area returned to the low community level for COVID-19 last week after previously being at the medium level. Door County joined nearby Brown County as some of the 11 counties in the high community level for COVID-19. Twenty counties, including Kewaunee County, are in the medium level, with the remaining 41 counties in the low level. 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.

 

Earlier this week, Door County Public Health reported 55 new cases of COVID-19 with no recent deaths or hospitalizations. 

 

No kid! Roofing of the Goats returns Saturday

The goats you find on the roof of Al Johnson’s Restaurant in Sister Bay will be officially welcomed back to their rightful place on Saturday. For the first time in two years, the Sister Bay Advancement Association will host its Roofing of the Goats Parade. You can even march your goats right down State Highway 42 when the parade kicks off at 11 a.m. at Mill Road, but only the restaurant’s goats will be led up to its green roof. The parade is the centerpiece of the activities going on in Sister Bay, which also includes a fundraiser for Koinonia Cupboard for lucky people who get their “Goat Drop Stickers” soiled by one of the guests of honor.

 

Picture provided by Door Guide Publishing

Butch's Bar will be back at new location

The legacy of Butch’s Bar will live on in Sturgeon Bay at a location three blocks from the original site. Destroyed by a fire in February, Butch’s Bar will now take up business at the Nautical Inn building on Kentucky Street. The new establishment will be called Butch’s Bar II and again be operated by Clarence Cumber, Jr. and his son David. Great Lakes Business Group broker Tom Alberts told Door County Daily News that the original schedule was to close the sale this week, but due to title issues, the closing will be delayed until the middle of next week.

 
The vacant site of the old Butch’s Bar on the corner of South Third Avenue and Nebraska Street is currently listed real estate. According to Alberts, the City of Sturgeon Bay and the library have expressed interest in the location.


The liquor license transfer to Butch’s Bar II was approved by the City of Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday, pending the correction of violations found during an inspection at the Nautical Inn by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department recently. 

   
The early morning fire at Butch’s Bar on February 22 displaced nine tenants and caused two deaths. Anthony Gonzales is facing eight charges, including second-degree reckless homicide, for starting the fire at Butch's Bar that killed the two people. His next court appearance will be July 14 for a status conference. 

 

 

New Sturgeon Bay sculpture to be officially celebrated

You might have noticed that Woolly the Mammoth was placed in Bayview park of Sturgeon Bay last August. The sculpture and is set to be celebrated this Saturday. Woolly was initially placed as a reminder of Sturgeon Bay being named an official Ice Age Trail community. This monument was brought to the city through a fundraising effort supported by the community. On Saturday, June 11th, at 9 am, the City of Sturgeon Bay’s Local Arts Board will host a dedication ceremony for the sculpture. All are welcome at this event and are encouraged to come to see the city officially recognize the 8-foot tall and 14-foot long mammoth.

 

The video of Woolly traveling down 3rd Avenue that was posted to the Door County Daily News instagram last August can be found below. 

 

 

Kewaunee County Jail project meets the board and public on Tuesday

You will be able to join the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday to hear more about the proposed Kewaunee County Jail project that has been years in the making. At last month’s board meeting, Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt and Sheriff Matt Joski gave the board a sneak peek at what will be proposed. The project's current phase 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. The hope is they will be able to construct the facility for approximately $25 million. If built, Kewaunee County residents would see their property tax bill rise by roughly $40 on a $200,000 home in exchange for replacing the state’s oldest and smallest county jail. Feldt says it is important for supervisors and residents to see the work the county is doing to ensure the project is operationally and financially sound with taxpayers in mind.

Representatives from Venture Architects and Samuels Group will be in attendance to present floor plans and cost estimates. County administrative staff will also give information regarding budgetary, debt, and tax implications of the project. You are invited to participate in Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting at 6 p.m. by attending in person at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exposition Hall or by clicking this link. 

 

Crossroads Trail Run races towards thirteenth year

You still have a week to lace up your shoes for the 13th edition of Door County’s only trail run in Sturgeon Bay.

 

The Crossroads Trail Run is back to a 100 percent in-person event after being a virtual race in 2020 and a hybrid event in 2021 in the name of safety.  The morning acts as not just a fundraiser for Crossroads’ programming like its Ski-For-Free, but as a fun way to get families outside together. With three different chip-timed distances to choose from, Morgan Rusnak says the Crossroads Trail Run’s goal has always been to promote cross-generational outdoor recreation and promote “green” living in the community.

The 10K and 5K runs kick off at 8 a.m. on June 18th while the 2K starts at 8:05 a.m. You can click this link to register for the event through race day and learn more about the Crossroads Trail Run by listening to our interview with Rusnak below.

 

 

Paralyzed Door County visitor takes chair company to court

The Adirondack-style chair that could be sitting in your yard is the reason why a Green Bay man is taking a manufacturer to court after he got injured at a Door County resort last year.

 

In a story published by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Wednesday, Ronald Scanlan of Green Bay is suing Adams Manufacturing after a tumble he took in one of their Adirondack-style chairs last fall left him paralyzed. The lawsuit claims that after he “placed, some, but not all of his weight” on one of the chairs, the chair collapsed and caused his injuries. Adams Manufacturing lists the chair as its number one seller among its residential products. A spokesperson for the company told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that they meet or exceed the American Society of Testing and Materials standards.   The incident occurred at Homestead Suites in Fish Creek, though the report states that the resort is not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. 

 

Picture of chairs by Sherry McKinley and Pixabay

Rain, rain makes Bayview Bridge closure stay

You will have to navigate through Sturgeon Bay using its two downtown bridges Thursday night into Friday morning thanks to Mother Nature. Wednesday’s weather conditions halted plans to finish repaving a portion of State Highway 42/57 from County U to the bridge. As a result, the Bayview Bridge will close at 6 p.m. and stay that way through Friday at 6 a.m. to finish the work. The road construction project is part of a larger effort to fix portions of State Highway 42/57 from the southern junction to the bridge.

Michigan Street to partially close Thursday

You better find a different way around Sturgeon Bay on Thursday as an ongoing street project on the city’s east side continues. City engineering technician Brian Spetz alerted community members on Wednesday that Michigan Street between 10th and 12th street will close for the majority of the day on Thursday, reopening by the end of the workday. The roadway will be closed so a gas line can be installed. Michigan Street has been under construction since April for gas line and roadway replacement projects.  

Minar gets six years for enticing teen for sex

A former Indiana college president will be behind bars for six years and be under extended supervision for another six years after trying to have sex with who he believed was a 15-year-old boy two years ago.

 

Judge David Weber handed down the sentence earlier this week after 58-year-old Thomas Minar pleaded no contest to one count of child enticement and three counts of possession of child pornography in March. Single counts of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and exposing a child to harmful material, along with nine other charges of possession of child pornography, were dismissed as a part of the plea deal.

 

In 2020, Minar was the president of Franklin College when he was caught trying to meet with a boy in Sturgeon Bay for a sexual encounter, only to learn that he had been conversing with a Sturgeon Bay Police officer.  

Registration for YMCA Summer programs opens Monday

You can start planning your family's summer activities at the Door County YMCA as registration for the Summer Session begins next week.  Northern Door YMCA Executive Director Megan Schneider says the staff at the "Y" can assist you in deciding which classes are best for you to participate in.

 

 

The registration for Y members will start Monday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 15, for non-members.   The first day of the Summer Session begins on Monday, June 20, and runs through August 28.  You can register online or call either Door County YMCA program center in Sturgeon Bay or Fish Creek.  

Highway construction focuses on Sturgeon Bay's southwest entrance

You will have to drive a little slower with construction crews laying asphalt this week on the southwest entrance of Sturgeon Bay as the Highway 42/57 project continues. Contractors are doing concrete repairs between Emerald Drive and South Columbia Avenue. The complete Highway 42 resurfacing update from City Engineer Chad Shefchik is below.

 

Construction Update - ST HWY 42/57

 

Below is this week’s project update from the WI-DOT for the work on ST HWY 42/57:

 

WIS 42 Resurfacing

 

Location / Limits: South junction of WIS 57 (in the town of Nasewaupee) to the Bayview Bridge (in the City of Sturgeon Bay).

 

June 6 to June 10:  The contractor continued mainline asphalt pavement north of S Columbia Avenue.  Concrete repairs continued between Emerald Drive and S Columbia Avenue.  Spot culvert pipe improvements were also completed south of S Columbia Avenue.  Signs were installed north of S Columbia Avenue.

 

June 13 to June 17:  The contractor will continue concrete repairs.  Crews will be working between Emerald Drive and S Columbia Avenue.  Spot culvert improvements will continue between Emerald Drive and S Columbia Avenue.

 

Traffic impacts:  ST HWY 42/57 will remain open during construction with the following traffic impacts:

  • Weekly single lane closures will be in place from the WIS 57 south junction to the Bayview Bridge in both the northbound and southbound lanes.

 

Detour:  

 

Project website:  https://projects.511wi.gov/wis42sturgeon/ 

Security measures to make summer events safer 

Local law enforcement continues to strive to make the community safer with more events and festivals planned this summer. Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman says procedures and security measures are the same as before the COVID pandemic. However, the hardening of routes for festivals and parades is continually being looked at to prevent an attack like the Waukesha Christmas Parade last year. He notes that it is vital for people to be the “eyes and ears” for the police in reporting anything that appears suspicious or out of the ordinary.

 

 

Brinkman says the public can help by being good witnesses to any potential criminal activity. He recommends not confronting anyone and letting the police handle a potentially dangerous situation. 

 

Sturgeon Bay looking to tackle channel weed problem

A weedy issue in the Sturgeon Bay channel was a major concern shared by residents during public comments at the Sturgeon Bay Common Council Tuesday evening. Three people who live on Memorial Drive asked the city and Municipal Services Director Mike Barker to find a better system to remove the weeds this summer which have been getting progressively worse in recent years. Councilmember and Harbor Commission Chair Gary Nault says a weed-control program that includes a new floater harvesting machine through grant money would help maintain the nine miles of shoreline. A shortage of workers to operate the harvesting machines was also expressed last year when only two workers handled the weed control. Three hundred seventy-one loads of weeds were harvested in 2021, compared to 97 loads in 2020. With fear that the weed growth could be worse this summer, Mayor David Ward assured the waterfront residents in attendance that the weed issue would be readdressed in mid-July.

 

During the business portion of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council, delayed taking action on the Shoreline Restoration Project for Bradley Lake.  The lowest bid for the work was for $97,174.30 with confirmation from the contractor still pending, according to Barker.  The matter will be deterred until  the next council meeting on June 21.  

Door County photographer recognized at International Book Awards

Sturgeon Bay’s Thomas Jordan recently placed runner-up in the “Best Photography” category of the 2022 International Book Awards.  His black-and-white photography in “Black, White, and Shades of Gray”, was only bested by QT Luong, a world-renowned photographer, book “Our National Monuments: America’s Hidden Gems”.  Over 2,000 entries in over 100 categories highlighted the International Book Awards that honor excellence in independent and mainstream publishing.  Jordan says he is humbled by the recognition and takes pride in his black-and-white photography that gives a different look to his artwork.

 

 

ordan says his new book features about 140 photos from Door County and beyond.  He adds that Door County is home to many great photographers and encourages anyone in retirement to take up the hobby to gain a sense of fulfillment and love for the form of art.

 

(photo contributed)

Bayview Bridge to be closed nightly

If you plan on taking the Bayview Bridge in Sturgeon Bay during the night from June 7th-9th, you need to re-plan your route. The closure will extend from the County U junction through the bridge. There will be a detour available during this time. The night work was approved to help ensure the safety of the crews paving the road south of the bridge. However, there will not be any work done on the bridge structure. This closure will effect travel from 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 7th to 6 a.m., Wednesday, June 8th, and 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 8th to 6 a.m., Thursday, June 9th.

 

(Correction:  The month of July was stated in the last sentence and was corrected to June, we regret this error)

Paye brings her love of dairy to internship

Casco native Taylor Paye is looking forward to sharing her passion for dairy and agriculture this summer as the area’s James W. Crowley Foundation intern through the UW-Madison Extension. The UW-River Falls graduate will be continuing her education this fall at UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, which made her eligible for the internship. Paye is no stranger to agriculture after being raised on a dairy farm north of Casco and was a top showperson at the Kewaunee County Fair and other shows with her animals. Paye’s duties will include working on a variety of dairy forage and animal health projects in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties and helping with 4-H youth projects. She is looking forward to both aspects of her internship.

Paye will be with Extension UW-Madison as an intern until her fall semester begins.

Spring Lighthouse Festival prepares for 29th edition

For nearly 30 years, spring has meant the opportunity for you to see Door County's lighthouses like you have never seen them before. The 29th annual Door County Lighthouse Festival gets underway on Friday with the opportunity to see Door County's lighthouses by airplane, by boat, by bus, and even by kayak. As is the case with the Chambers Island and Plum Island Lighthouses in Door County and the Kewaunee Pierhead in Kewaunee County, this is your only opportunity to see these structures up close as they are usually closed to the public. Tickets for select tours remain on sale with all sales supporting the Door County Maritime Museum and Lighthouse Preservation Society. If you cannot attend this weekend, the museum added the Fall Lighthouse Festival a few years ago and offer a similar selection of tours. Tickets are on sale for that festival too which takes place from September 30th to October 2nd. 

 

Picture courtesy of the Door County Maritime Museum

Times of Future Past returning to Kewaunee

You can experience the upcoming Times of Future Past Festival for the second consecutive year at Winter Park in Kewaunee on June 11th and 12th. This two-day event is a chance for history buffs and fantasy fans to dress up as their favorite character. The inaugural year was not as the founders had hoped, with a downpour taking over the majority of the festival, but they are hoping for a better event this year. Lynne Melssen, the founder and co-producer, explains the new aspects that you can see with the second year.

 

 

The festival will be held from 10 am to 5 pm on both dates. Like the previous year, part of the proceeds will go to an organization of choice. This year’s benefactor is the Desert Veterans of Wisconsin, which supports veterans through the state's northeastern portion. More information about the event and how to get tickets for the festival can be found here.

Gas at the pump hitting record highs

Prices at the pump have continued the upward trend and exceeded $5 per gallon at some gas stations in the area. 

 

AAA reported on Monday that the national average of regular unleaded gasoline jumped to $4.87 a gallon.  The average price in Wisconsin was $4.79, an increase of 41 cents over last week and nearly 80 cents from one month ago.  According to GasBuddy.com, prices in Sturgeon Bay ranged from $4.79 to $5.09 per gallon as of 5 pm on Monday.

 

 There are now only ten states with gas prices averaging over $5 a gallon, but that could change quickly as some oil analysts predict that the national average could hit $5.05 a gallon within the next ten days.

Team Dory takes 14th place at International SeaPerch competition

Washington Island students took on the world on Saturday at the International SeaPerch Challenge on the campus of the University of Maryland.

 

Out of 56 in-person teams, Team Dory took 14th overall in the middle school stock class and was first among those competing from Wisconsin. Teams from Florida dominated the competition, claiming six of the top ten spots. Colin Verboomen, Allison Bennett, Magnus Purinton, Julia Pratt, and their robot named after the Finding Nemo character took second place at their regional competition earlier this year, clinching them a spot.  

 

At the international competition. Team Dory finished 31st in engineering design, 12th in the team video, tied for eighth in the pool mission course, and 34th in the pool obstacle course. 

 

It was the first time a Door County school competed in the international competition after the pandemic wiped out Sevastopol’s opportunity in 2020. You can read more about the competition by clicking this link.

 

 

Community levels remain low for Door and Kewaunee counties

The lack of deaths and hospitalizations are helping keep Door and Kewaunee counties out of higher COVID-19 community levels.

 

Door County returned to the green level on Friday, and Kewaunee County has never gone above it. Door County last reported hospitalizations on May 16th, while it has been since May 6th when Kewaunee County last had a person go to the hospital with COVID-19-related concerns. Deaths have been even less sparingly seen, with March 21st the last recorded COVID-19-related death in Door County, and March 4th for Kewaunee County.

 

In terms of new cases, Door County saw 55 of the 141 tests it administered come back positive for COVID-19. In their report from May 27th, Kewaunee County had 21 new cases pop up.

 

Statewide, COVID-19 numbers have been trending downward. Friday’s report showed a seven-day average of 1,755 for new COVID-19 cases, down from 1,868 a week ago. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - June 6, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 29,935 (+141)
Positive: 6,901 (+55)
Probable: 398 (+6)
Negative: 22,636 (+80)
Hospitalizations: 243
Deaths: 61 

 

 

 

County officers running unopposed this fall

Unlike the races for federal and state offices, you will see familiar names on the ballot for the county offices up for election this fall. Incumbents were the only ones to submit the necessary paperwork to get on the ballot for the November general election. In Door County, Sheriff Tammy Sternard and Clerk of Courts Connie DeFere will be running unopposed. The same is true for Kewaunee County, where Sheriff Matt Joski, Coroner Rory Groessl, and Clerk of Courts Rebecca Deterville will face no registered challengers in their re-election bid. People still interested in taking one of those positions would have to mount a write-in voting campaign to be considered.

Money pool increases ahead of broadband grant awards

Thanks to a recent decision to make more money available for broadband grants, you may be even closer to faster internet in your community.

 

Thanks to a record amount of requests from local municipalities, the Public Service Commission announced last week that it would be increasing the number of grant dollars available to $125 million, up from the original $100 million. Approximately $495 million in broadband grant funds had been requested through 194 applications. Of the 194 grant applications announced by the Wisconsin Broadband Office earlier in March, three originated in Door County, and two came from Kewaunee County. In Door County, the Town of Baileys Harbor and NSight Communications requested approximately $1.89 million, while a different Northern Door County project proposed by Frontier Communications asked for $4.7 million. Spectrum also requested $6.8 million in broadband expansion grant dollars. Bug Tussel Wireless requested $1.3 million in grant funds for the next phase of its project with Kewaunee County, while the Village of Casco asked for $265,000 for its partnership with NSight. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the news of the increase was exciting as they try to get their efforts off the ground.

Kewaunee County in the past has been successful in getting its grant applications accepted, earning $40,000 in 2018, $960,000 in 2020, and $1.4 million in 2021. The grants for 2022 will be announced later this month.

Peninsular Ag Research Station to host youth field days

The UW-Madison College of Ag & Life Sciences staff and the Peninsular Ag Research Station in Sturgeon Bay invite you to learn more about agriculture during its Youth Field Day series that begins this Saturday. The series will begin with an introduction to Peninsular Ag Research Station, which hosts the NRSP-6 US Potato Genebank and coordinates outreach efforts for the state’s fruit industries. 4-H Youth Development Coordinator Dawn VandeVoort says the youth field days are a great way for kids to get a hands-on look at agriculture and the research station itself.

The first youth field day will take place on June 11th from 9 to 11 a.m. The other two field days are scheduled for July 30th and September 17th. 

Early summer boating safety tips

The United States Coast Guard is reminding you to take the proper precautions before heading out on the water with your boat, especially with the cold water temperatures this time of year.  Chief Petty Officer Michael Padden from the U.S Coast Guard Station in Sturgeon Bay says it is important to devise a float plan before leaving the dock or launching your boat.

 

 

According to the most recent U.S. Coast Guard statistics, boating activity during the pandemic increased considerably.   There were 767 boating fatalities in 2020, a 25.1 percent increase from the previous year.  The United States Coast Guard offers useful apps online to make your boating experience safer for all aboard the vessel.  You can find information on boating safety and download the apps here.

Summer reading programs available in Door and Kewaunee counties

There are plenty of opportunities for you to get into reading this summer within the libraries in the area. The libraries are hosting their reading programs under the overarching theme the American Library Association has set for this year. The summer program theme is Oceans of Possibilities, which will also include themed activities. The programs provided by the different libraries will have options available for all ages. Algoma Public Library’s Adult Services Librarian, Katie Haasch, describes the hopes of what their program will bring to the community.

 

 

The Algoma Public Library will be hosting their kickoff on Monday, June 6th, at 3 pm. Each area library is hosting its own activities to encourage reading. Links for each summer calendar can be found below.

 

Door County Libraries

Kewaunee Public Library

Algoma Public Library

Graduation Spotlight: Gibraltar's Harrison Krauss and Nico Salm

This school year is as normal as it could possibly be at Gibraltar Secondary School, and that is quite alright for two of the Class of 2022 co-valedictorians Harrison Krauss and Nico Salm. 

They started their sophomore year in mobile trailers in the school’s parking lot while the district wrapped up its referendum projects. The pandemic's start would come two months later, keeping them out of the building for the most part until January 2021, about halfway through their junior year. Many of the district’s mitigation strategies were in place until the early winter. Salm and Krauss say they went through a lot but opted to look at the positives of the experience before they are a part of the first class to graduate inside the Door Community Auditorium since 2019.

They leave Gibraltar with some advice for the future graduating classes of their school.

Krauss will attend Moravian University to pursue a degree in mathematics, while Salm plans on studying computer science at UW-Madison. The class’ two other co-valedictorians, Emmaly Bertges and Angel Jauregui, were unavailable to interview on the day of our recording. You can listen to our entire interview with Krauss and Salm by clicking this link.

Farmers trying to play nice with Mother Nature

You are not the only ones who would like to see the temperature get a little warmer as farmers work in the fields.

 

Farmers across the state had 4.2 days suitable for fieldwork last week, according to the most recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture. Spring tillage and the planting of corn, oats, and potatoes are all over 80 percent complete but are still two to five days behind the five-year average. Some farmers have even gotten into their fields to cut the first alfalfa crop, which is 13 percent complete statewide. That is a few days off last year and the five-year average.

 

Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says the cool temperatures have impacted his alfalfa crop and caused his recently planted corn to get off to a sluggish start.

Olson and other farmers may still have to wait a little longer for help with the temperature. The National Weather Service does not have Sturgeon Bay eclipsing the 70-degree mark over the next week and overnight lows barely topping 50 degrees. 

 

Graduation Spotlight: Sevastopol's Nicole Zawojski, Jack deYoung, Lezly Ruiz, and Brooklyn Brauner

Despite many of them going their separate ways this fall, Sevastopol’s co-valedictorians Nicole Zawojski, Jack deYoung, Lezly Ruiz, and Brooklyn Brauner know that Saturday’s graduation ceremony is not a goodbye forever. Zawojski, Ruiz, and Brauner have gone to school together since four-year-old kindergarten. DeYoung was able to fit in after his family moved to the area in fifth grade. All four of them are thankful for the experiences they were able to have together.

Zawojski, Ruiz, deYoung, and Brauner were united regarding their advice for future graduation classes about not wasting opportunities.

Zawojski plans on studying aerospace engineering at Notre Dame. DeYoung and Ruiz are also considering engineering programs when they attend UW-Madison this fall. Brauner will head to Yale to double major in political science and English with a certificate in Spanish before she enters a pre-law program. 

 

You can listen to the entire interview with the four co-valedictorians by clicking this link.

Algoma street project ahead of schedule on phase one

You could be traveling down one of Algoma’s busier main streets sooner this summer than expected.  Public Works Director Matt Murphy says a one-week head start on the project and cooperative weather have led to the Third Street construction in Algoma to be well ahead of schedule.  He says Phase one of the street construction, from Clark Street to Steele Street, should be done this week.

 

 

Phase two of the $780,000 project will start Monday and go north to Navarino Street.  Murphy asks that drivers avoid the construction area until the work is completed in early August.   

 

Door County back down to low COVID-19 community level

After two weeks at the medium community level for COVID-19, Door County has been lowered back into the low community level.

 

The Door County Public Health Department confirmed the news on Friday after it had been at the medium level since May 20th. 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. Being in the low level means there is a limited impact on the healthcare system and there are low amounts of severe disease in the area. You are still encouraged to stay up to date on your vaccines and get tested if you have symptoms.

 

According to the county’s situation update on Monday, 58 of the 157 tests administered last week came back positive for COVID-19.

 

Statewide, 11 counties are in the high community level, 20 are at the medium community level, and the rest of the 72 counties are at the low community level. 

Electronics Recycling event coming to Door County

Your old electronics can help support the Southern Door Elementary STEAM program and the Town of Gardner. On Saturday, June 4th, there will be an electronics recycling event where you can bring all kinds of electronics. One of the town board supervisors for Gardner, Mark Lentz, explains what the community can expect when dropping off their electronics.

 

 

Lentz explains that the event helps support the youth from Southern Door and their learning opportunities. The event will be held in the high school parking lot at the Southern Door School District from 9 am until 1 pm. The link to the Town of Gardner’s post about this event can be found here.

City celebrates Graham Park dedication

With Cathy Grier and the Troublemakers playing and plastic glasses of cherry mimosa clinking in the background, the official opening of Graham Park was marked Friday morning with a ribbon-cutting and the fountain turning on for the first time. The park in its present form has been years in the making, with the vision changing from just a place with some yard games and greenspace to one with a fountain and an amphitheater that could fit a few dozen people. Sterling Landscape, the Raibrook Foundation, and donors to the project were all recognized for making the city park possible without the use of public tax dollars. During his remarks, Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward gave credit to retired Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Pam Seiler for her efforts from the very beginning. Seiler was all smiles after the ribbon cutting took place as people milled around the park playing bag toss, checking out the fountain, and listening to music.

It has been a busy few weeks for Sturgeon Bay’s waterfront after last month’s ceremonies celebrating the new maritime tower and west promenade. The wooly mammoth statue will be dedicated next Saturday at Bay View Park.

 

 

FoodShare to be accepted at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market

Just like last year, if you receive FoodShare dollars from the government, you will be able to exchange those points for tokens at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market. The United Way of Door County will be supporting this effort again this year. Amy Kohnle, executive director for United Way, explains how the tokens will work.

 

 

FoodShare tokens will only work on some products for sale at the market like last year. If you are unsure if something will work with your tokens, please reach out to the people at the United Way booth. This option for purchasing products will be available at all of the Sturgeon Bay farmers markets throughout the summer.

Graduation spotlight: Washington Island's Hayden Lux

The next classroom Washington Island’s Hayden Lux steps into could likely have more kids in it than her entire school, let alone her graduating class. Lux is the valedictorian for her graduating class of four, including Ryan Jorgensen, Zachary Lux, and Andrea Valentincic. Lux says she has a very close relationship with her classmates to the point that Jorgensen and Valentincic might as well be her siblings, like her brother Zachary. That makes the next step more meaningful for her than if she graduated with a bigger class.

She has been involved in the student council for the last four years, including this past school year as president. She also participated in the school’s basketball, golf, and softball teams. Her advice to the Washington Island students waiting to be in her shoes one day? Work hard now so you can have fun later. Lux will attend UW-Milwaukee this fall to pursue a degree in biomedical sciences so she can become a future stenographer.  You can listen to our entire interview with Lux and her principal, Michelle Kanipes, by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Washington Island School District

Road construction season arrives in Jacksonport

Watch out for road construction crews as you drive through Jacksonport over the next several weeks.

 

The Door County Highway Department announced on Thursday it would begin work on 11 different roads in Jacksonport over the coming weeks. The lengthiest stretch of construction is on Elm Drive from N. Junction Road to Honold Road. Crews will be pulverizing the existing pavement with new asphalt being installed within the next few weeks. You can see a map of where the road construction projects will be taking place below.

 

The Door County Highway Department urges you to avoid the construction areas unless you live or work in the immediate area.

 

FROM DOOR COUNTY HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT

The Highway Department will begin work on the following roads in Jacksonport this week. Crews will be pulverizing the existing pavement with new asphalt being installed within the next few weeks. Below is a map with the project areas highlighted. As always, for your safety and the safety of our crews, please avoid traveling in construction areas unless you live or work in the immediate area.

Townline Road - From CTH T to Leist Road

Clark Lake Court - From Clark Lake Drive to the Water

Jorns Road - From STH 57 to Bagnall Road

Bagnall Road - From STH 57 to Jorns Road

Memorial Drive - From CTH V to N Junction Road

Flok Road - From N Junction Road to Maple Place

Maple Place - From Flok Road to Elm Drive

Elm Drive - From N Junction Road to Honold Road

Honold Road - From Elm Drive to the Baileys Harbor town line

Onan Drive - Entire length

Lake Park Drive - From STH 57 to the water plus the parking area

 

Student to face consequences for bringing weapon to school

A disagreement between two students at Kewaunee High School has led to one of them facing serious consequences from the Kewaunee School District and City of Kewaunee Police Department. Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz and Police Chief James Kleiman issued a release Thursday morning about the incident that occurred on Wednesday. The school received information from a third party regarding a possible safety concern involving a high school. Upon immediate investigation by law enforcement and the district, a hunting weapon was found in a locked vehicle on the school’s premises. Based on the information that was found, there were and continues to be no credible threats to any other students or staff members at Kewaunee High School or the community. No other details were shared in the release, which is posted below, due to student confidentiality.

 

FROM KEWAUNEE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND CITY OF KEWAUNEE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Greetings,

                                                                                                           

The following Press Release is a Joint Release from the Kewaunee Police Department and Kewaunee School District:

 

On Wednesday June 1, 2022, the school received information from a third party regarding a possible safety concern involving a high school student. The concern was investigated immediately by the school district and law enforcement and is considered an ongoing investigation. At this time, based on the investigation of a disagreement between two students, a student will be facing significant school consequences and law enforcement consequences after finding inappropriate storage of a hunting weapon in a locked vehicle on school premises.  However, based on the information to date, there was no credible threat to any other student or staff.  Based upon our investigation at this time, there is no ongoing safety threat to the school or community.

 

We continue to evaluate all threats to students, staff and the school community safety.  We encourage everyone to report any and all safety concerns. We cannot comment further due to student confidentiality.

 

James J. Kleiman Jr.

Chief of Police

Kewaunee Police Department

 

Scott Fritz

Superintendent

Kewaunee School District

Gaedtke honored as Kewaunee County kicks off dairy month

The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee hopes you celebrate June Dairy Month with a glass of milk or two over the next few weeks. Several dozen people attended the organization’s Kickoff Breakfast in Luxemburg Thursday morning, a precursor to a busy month of dairy-related activities. The program started by honoring the family behind Kinnard Highland Dairy, which will be hosting thousands of people this Father’s Day for the 39th Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm.

 

 For its Honorary Volunteer Award, the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee honored the life of Jerome Gaedtke, who passed away last November. In addition to operating Gaedtke Rolling Hills Dairy in Luxemburg, he was recognized for his role in supporting the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee, the Kewaunee County Co-Op board, and other ag-related organizations. The family expressed their appreciation for the committee’s recognition of the family’s patriarch after receiving a plaque from Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee President John Blazei.

 

The morning concluded with a presentation from Rick Rudd from Lely, the company that will have its milking technology on display at Kinnard Highland Farm at the Breakfast on the Farm.

Local organizations to host Hikes for Health

Healthy Door County and the Door County Land Trust want to help you get active while also enjoying the area’s natural beauty this summer.

 

Beginning this Saturday, the two organizations are teaming up to offer weekly hikes at 12 different Door County Land Trust properties. The 1-1.5 mile hikes will take hikers through properties in Sturgeon Bay, Ephraim, Baileys Harbor, Washington Island, Fish Creek, Sister Bay, and Egg Harbor.

 

Shauna Blackledge from Healthy Door County says there are several good reasons you should participate if you are able.

With an exception to the Independence Day weekend, the Hikes for Health will occur at 10 a.m. June 4th to August 27th. You can find the schedule for the hikes listed below.

 

Maritime museum architect passes away

The man behind Sturgeon Bay’s Door County Maritime Museum and Jim Kress Maritime Tower has passed away.

 

Ben Schenkelberg of Suamico was the architect for the two buildings that line Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront. In addition to those projects, Schenkelberg designed buildings for nine Wisconsin school districts and exhibits at the NEW Zoo in Suamico.  He also had buildings featured in Massachusetts. You can find the obituary for his funeral which will take place in the Green Bay area at a later date by clicking this link.

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Farm Market prepares for Saturday opening

You will notice some changes when you attend the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market this year when it kicks off on Saturday.

 

Destination Sturgeon Bay made the changes after taking over the market’s management from the city earlier this year. The biggest change will be its location, where in addition to taking place in a portion of Market Square, it will also line Nebraska Street and part of Third Avenue.

 

Events Director Andrea Buboltz and Marketing Coordinator Rachel Malcore say shoppers will notice some other changes, including how vendors can participate.

The Sturgeon Bay Farm Market will run from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through October 15th.

Democratic candidates join race against Kitchens, Jacque

You will have additional candidates to consider for the general election as nomination papers are turned in this week.

 

State Senator Andre Jacque was looking to run unopposed for his re-election bid while the possibility also loomed for State Rep. Joel Kitchens if he is able to get through his primary challenge against Kewaunee County Board member Milt Swagel.

 

According to the noon update from the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Wednesday, Roberta Thelen will once again run to represent the First Assembly District while Andrea L Gage-Michaels will try to represent the First Senate District. Thelen ran for the seat in 2018 as an Independent, losing to Kitchens in the election. She is currently serving as a Town Supervisor for Baileys Harbor.  Gage-Michaels is a Green Bay-area lawyer who has run her own law firm since 2020 after three years as an attorney for Legal Action of Wisconsin.

 

Thelen and Gage-Michaels’ nomination papers were turned in, but were still pending review as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

 

The fall partisan primary is scheduled for August 9th while the election will take place on November 8th

Supporting national pride month in Door County

June is officially national and international pride month, and you can help show your support and pride in Door County. Pride month is a chance for allies to show solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community, and for LGBTQ+ people to show their pride in being part of the community. Chair and founder of Open Door Pride, Cathy Grier, explains what their organization hopes to accomplish with this year’s pride month.

 

 

This month you will be able to find pride flags being flown from houses and businesses around Door County. Grier expresses the fact that this month especially, people should show their support and open mindedness about the LGBTQ+ community.

Door County YMCA brings back Father-Daughter Dance

A popular event at the Door County YMCA that has had fathers and daughters connecting for a special evening is returning. The “Ties and Tiaras” Father Daughter Ball, which was last held in 2019 before the pandemic, is scheduled for later this month. Fund Development Director Caitlin Tinnon says that young ladies could also bring their favorite male role model or father figure to the dance. 

 

 

You can register for the “Father Daughter Dance” on the Door County YMCA website and call either program center with your questions.   The Father-Daughter Dance will be from 6 pm until 8 pm on Saturday, June 18. 

United Way ready to ring in the summer season

Now that summer is here, the United Way of Door County is prepared to bring you their summer kickoff event. One of the missions of the organization is to bring the community closer together and encourage strong relationships between neighbors. This event is a great way to meet the people in your community and enjoy the warmer weather. Executive director Amy Kohnle details what is in store for attendees at their event.

 

 

This event is scheduled to last from 6:00 pm until 10:30 pm on June 2nd. There are only ten tickets available at this time for the event. If you are interested in attending, you can call the United Way of Door County office at (920) 746-9645 to make a reservation.

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