News Archives for 2022-07

Farmers wishing for rain

Depending on where they are harvesting their wheat, do not be shocked if you see a farmer praying for rain. Farmers statewide are about 26 percent complete with this year’s wheat harvest, with  85 percent of the crop rated as good to excellent. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says the lack of timely rains caused wheat fields in shallower soils to suffer more than others. Despite the lack of help from Mother Nature, Barta added that the wheat brought to their facilities has overall looked good and says corn is following suit.

Farmers will likely get what they want over the next seven days with rain in the forecast on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. One thing Barta is watching for again this year is the appearance of tar spots on the corn, which is a sign of disease for the plant. It has been discovered in the southern part of the state again this year, and tar spots affected several fields in Kewaunee County last year. Barta says they are still learning about the disease and the best ways to limit its impact. 

Local blood drives look to keep supply up

You have two opportunities in August to help keep the local blood banks in ample supply.  The American Red Cross reported that it is noticing a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer.  In the past few weeks, the Red Cross has seen a nearly 20 percent shortage in its supply.   This week, the Community Blood Center will be at the Door County YMCA in Fish Creek on Friday from noon until 3 pm.  On August 22, the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club will host a blood drive at the Door County Government Center from 9 am until 2:30 pm.  You can schedule your life-saving donation by clicking on the links below or by calling (800) 280-4102.  

 

Fish Creek:

https://donate.communityblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/35088

 

Sturgeon Bay: 

https://donate.communityblood.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/34450


YMCA adding dance classes for older kids

You can have your pre-teen introduced to the art of dance starting next month. With the increased interest expressed by older kids for the dance program, the Door County YMCA is adding new classes for children 10 to 13 years old for the Fall I session. Dance Instructor Amber Novotny says children as young as two-years-old can participate and gain the benefits of dancing. She notes that it provides a confidence booster for many kids.

 

 

The dance program incorporates areas of ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and poms. Registration for Fall I Sessions begins on August 22 for members and August 24 for community members, with classes starting on September 6.

Community Spotlight: Washington Island's Miranda Dahlke

Washington Island middle and high school science teacher Miranda Dahlke is proving she will go just about anywhere if she thinks it can benefit your kids. Dahlke has been an instrumental part of Washington Island, earning thousands of dollars in grants from Samsung as a part of their Solve for Tomorrow initiative. In 2019, Washington Island won the state competition as Dahlke’s students tackled the town’s wastewater concerns. The school’s involvement in the program allowed Dahlke to participate in a special teacher cohort with Samsung, which has allowed her to connect with others across the country.

Her most recent journey was to Huntsville, Ala., to participate in space camp, a program she was selected to participate in 2020 and delayed until now. Dahlke says she took a lot away from the experience.

Dahlke adds that she puts the time, the effort, the money, and the miles in for these opportunities because she believes her students deserve to see and experience what was previously only possible at more prominent schools.

Through the SeaPerch program funded in part by the Door County Maritime Museum, Dahlke and a group of students took their robot Dory to the international competition held in Maryland. Team Dory took 14th in the world during the competition.

 

Picture courtesy of Miranda Dahlke


Mariner Awards, Coast Guard Person of the Year to be awarded August 9th

The top awards you can be awarded as a member of the maritime community in Sturgeon Bay will be given out on August 9th. The Door County Maritime Museum, the Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Committee and the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club will honor three individuals at their annual dinner as the city celebrates Maritime Week. The Mariner Award is given to one living recipient and one posthumous recipient as individuals who have had a significant, positive, and lasting impact on the local maritime community. Last year’s Mariner Award winners were Don Sarter, “Curly” Selvick, and Captain Joel and Mary Blahnik. The U.S. Coast Guard Person of the Year Award goes to the Guardsman or Guardswoman who best exemplifies the branch’s core values. Last year, the award went to SN Joshua Allard, nominated by the USCG Coast Guard Mobile Bay. You have until August 5th to reserve your tickets to the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. You can click this link for more information. The awards dinner is part of the annual Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week festivities, including a fireworks display, a Bloody Mary Social presented by Destination Sturgeon Bay, and the Classic and Wooden Boat Show at the Door County Maritime Museum.

Grass fire burns in Kewaunee County

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department asked motorists to stay away from an intersection south of Kodan Saturday afternoon.

 

The department issued the warning just before 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon for motorists to stay away from the intersection of County Road D and Washington Road as the Algoma Fire Department and other local units tend to a grass fire. 

 

The scene was cleared a few hours later. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman said more information would be released on Monday.

 

The Algoma Fire Department received mutual aid from Southern Door Fire (who left their annual picnic fundraiser for the fire), Kewaunee Fire, Casco Fire, and Luxemburg Fire. Kewaunee Rescue, Luxemburg Rescue and the Casco-Lincoln Area First Responder group provided assistance as well with firefighter rehab due to the warm weather. 

 

The Algoma Fire Department also gave a huge thank you to Butch Steiner for the help.

 

Excitement building for future Sister Bay, west side DCMC clinics

Your drive to get care from Door County Medical Center clinicians will be getting shorter in the future. Steel frames are adding to the Sister Bay skyline as work continues on a new clinic and rehab services facility after hospital officials and their construction partners broke ground on the project in November. The new space, which will replace its current facility in Fish Creek when it is completed, will offer room for five on-site clinicians, a rotating crew of specialists downstairs, and a revamped space for rehabilitation patients upstairs. President and CEO Brian Stephens is looking forward to bringing some much-needed services closer to residents and visitors in northern Door County.

Stephens is also excited that something’s coming to Sturgeon Bay’s west side as DCMC continues to plan for a new express clinic. The new facility will be one of three other tenants taking the place of the now-shuttered Woldt’s Corner building. Stephens thinks some of the innovations being planned for the project dubbed internally as “West Side Story” are really cool.

While the Sister Bay clinic is on target to be completed in spring 2023, Stephens says the west side clinic will be a little further out.

 

Click here to listen to our full interview with Stephens

Ballot taking shape ahead of primary

Your ballot for the August primary will have more names than you will actually need, thanks to a recent string of campaign announcements. On Friday, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski became the latest Democratic candidate to bow out of the race for the U.S Senate. Milwaukee Bucks owner Alex Lasry and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson did the same thing earlier this week, with all three throwing their support behind Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. He will likely oppose current U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in the fall general election.

 

In other primaries that may appear on your ballot, the Republican nomination for Wisconsin governor remains a three-horse race after Kevin Nicholson suspended his campaign in early July. Rebecca Kleefisch, Tim Michels, and Timothy Ramthun are still in the race, with Michels picking up an endorsement from former President Donald Trump and Kleefisch earning the nod from former Vice President Michael Pence.

 

Closer to home, State Rep. Joel Kitchens and Milt Swagel are running for the Republican nomination for the First District Assembly seat. The winner will face Roberta Thelen in the general election. Kitchens, Swagel, and Thelen all participated in a candidate forum held at Southern Door High School earlier this month. The League of Women Voters of Door County hosted and recorded the event. The August partisan primary is on August 9th, with the winners advancing to the general election on November 8th.

Jazz ambassadors in tune with the community

Do not be surprised if you have been tapping your foot at different spots across Door County this summer. The Birch Creek Jazz Ambassadors have been circling the county the last two weeks, bringing their tunes directly to residents and visitors, playing pop-up concerts in Fish Creek, Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor, Jacksonport, and Sister Bay. The group comprises some of the program’s best students who auditioned for their spots. Executive Director Mona Christensen says the jazz Ambassadors give the students and Birch Creek Music Performance extra exposure in the community.

The first jazz and big band session runs through this weekend, but do not worry. The second session begins quickly, with its first concert on August 3rd. You can listen to our full interview by clicking this link.

Door County begins surveying residents about broadband connections

A few clicks of your mouse or a phone call could be the difference in millions of dollars coming to Door County to improve the area’s internet. The county launched its outreach campaign on Friday, asking homeowners and business owners to fill out a 10-minute survey and submit a speed test result to better show the community's needs. It is projected that the county would need approximately $140 million to bring Fiber to the Premise internet to the area to provide the proper service. The price tag and the associated federal and state grants that could be available in the future is why Door County broadband coordinator Jessica Hatch says it is crucial to fill out the survey.

People without internet access or those who only have cellular access should call the State of Wisconsin Consumers Affairs office at 608-267-3695 to do the survey. Those with access should click on this link to complete the survey and submit a speed test. Hatch recommends people keep submitting their internet speeds so the federal and state governments can get a better feel for how the internet connections are impacted during different parts of the year.

COVID-19 community levels downgraded in Door and Kewaunee counties

You should still exercise caution, but the Centers for Disease Control offered you good news this week on the COVID-19 front. Door and Kewaunee counties saw their COVID-19 community level drop one spot from the previous week. Door County is now one of 38 counties at the medium level, and Kewaunee County is one of 16 counties at the low level. There are no counties in northeastern Wisconsin above a medium COVID-19 community level. It means Door County residents should take extra precautions if they are considered at-risk, and everyone is recommended to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations and get tested if they show symptoms. We reported that Kewaunee County saw 43 additional cases of COVID-19 over the previous week, according to their Friday update, the majority of which were between 31-49. The county’s public health department also reported one hospitalization. In Door County, there were no new hospitalizations, but 66 of the 110 reported tests returned positive for COVID-19.

Sturgeon Bay finishing up major street projects

The heavy construction work in Sturgeon Bay around the area where the new Kwik Trip will be located between Egg Harbor Road and Alabama Street is targeted to be done by the time the Door County Fair starts on August 10th. City Engineer Chad Shefchick says the water main replacement on Alabama Street should be completed this week, with grading and paving done on August 8th and 9th.

 

 

Elsewhere in Sturgeon Bay, North Geneva Avenue and West Ironwood Street on the west side should be ready for spot curb replacement sometime next week after WPS completes installing new gas lines on Monday or Tuesday. Major work on Michigan Street and 18th Avenue was finished earlier this month. Shefchick expects all roadway projects to be completed by the end of September. 

Local cheesemakers capture awards

Whether you live in Door or Kewaunee counties, you are not far away from award-winning cheese. At last week's American Cheese Society Awards in Portland, Ore., Renard's Cheese based in Algoma and Sturgeon captured a First Place Award for its Farmer's Cheese with Pesto in the Reduced Fat Cheese with Flavor Added category. Their New World Cheddar captured Second Place in the Sweet Cheddar category. Ron's Wisconsin Cheese also brought home some hardware, taking third for their cheese curds  and mozzarella whips and first place for its string cheese.

Vandertie looks to grow with 4-H

If you thought 4-H was just for farm kids, Mariah Vandertie would have thought the same thing as you did until recently. 

 

The new Kewaunee County 4-H Educator is originally from Door County, where she admits she was not involved in the youth organization as a child because of a lack of knowledge about the program beyond what she saw the farm kids do. After graduating from UW-Green Bay, Vandertie taught at Luxemburg-Casco before settling into her new role at Extension Kewaunee County right before the Kewaunee County Fair. Vandertie says she has been learning a lot about 4-H and hopes more youth in the area get exposed to all of the positive aspects it provides in the community.

Kewaunee County 4-H is preparing for its big recruitment effort this fall, including its open house event at the end of National 4-H Week on October 8th. Vandertie says more details on that event will be released soon.

Community comes together to paint by number

You could have helped commemorate Sturgeon Bay’s agricultural and maritime history on Thursday's side of the Bayside Bargains building with a few flicks of a paintbrush.

You could have helped commemorate Sturgeon Bay’s agricultural and maritime history on Thursday with a few flicks of a paintbrush. Yonder, Bayside Bargains, and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society teamed up to make the mural happen. Yonder artists Erin LaBonte and Don Krumpos talked about the work that went into turning a vision into a big color-by-number for the community to paint.

Two of those community members were Ethan and Dean Pursley of Sturgeon Bay, who jumped at the opportunity to help out.

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Kelly Catarozoli said they worked with the city’s arts board to make the project a reality, adding that the original plan was to paint a similar mural near the Door County Granary. LaBonte and Krumpos were hopeful they would be able to finish painting the mural by the end of the day Thursday.

Knowledge saves cows, barn in Nasewaupee fire

Having farmers on local fire departments may have saved a barn from being destroyed and dozens of cows from perishing Wednesday night in Nasewaupee. Crews responded to the fire at Meier Farms at approximately 5:30 p.m. when hot, smoldering hay was discovered. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the hay was likely not completely dry after being cut, harvested, and stored in recent days before the conditions allowed for spontaneous combustion. Firefighters worked quickly to remove the smoldering hay from the barn before more damage was done, while others helped escort more than 50 cows out to safety. With about a dozen farmers on the fire department roster and many more responding, Olson says the success of fighting the fire went beyond their regular training.

As a result, the barn, equipment, and animals were all saved, and there were no injuries. Fire departments from Brussels-Union-Gardner, Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor, and Algoma all responded to the blaze with personnel rotations taking place so firefighters could stay adequately hydrated during the incident.   

New bulk carrier goes home

A familiar sight on your travels through Sturgeon Bay has gone on its maiden voyage. The M/V Mark W. Barker, the first Great Lakes freighter built in nearly 40 years, left Bay Shipbuilding Wednesday morning after calling Sturgeon Bay home for the last three years. It was seen cruising the Bay of Sturgeon Bay approximately two weeks ago, doing its sea trials before making its journey to Port Inland, Mich. After picking up stones at the port, the vessel will head to Muskegon, Mich., where the cargo will be turned into ready-mix concrete. Interlake Steamship Company Vice President of Marketing and Marine Traffic Brendan O’Connor called the M/V Mark W. Barker “a vessel for the future” because of its square-shaped cargo holds and larger hatch openings. The company’s president and the vessel’s namesake, Mark W. Barker, thanked the workers of Bay Shipbuilding in a release, saying they are thrilled to add the “newest US-crewed, US-built, and US-owned vessel to the Great Lakes fleet.” Bay Shipbuilding went to work on the M/V Mark W Barker in August 2019.    

 

VIDEO AND PICTURE FROM SEA TRIALS RUN TWO WEEKS AGO

 

FULL RELEASE FROM INTERLAKE STEAMSHIP COMPANY

STURGEON BAY, WISCONSIN, July 27, 2022: Nearly three years after the first cut of steel for the first Great Lakes freighter in nearly 40 years, the 639-foot M/V Mark W. Barker embarked on her maiden voyage today from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.

  

“This is a monumental day for our company, and the US flag fleet as our much-anticipated freighter departs on her first voyage in what will be a long life of service on the Great Lakes,” says Mark W. Barker, President of The Interlake Steamship Company and namesake of the vessel – the company’s first new build since 1981. “The construction of this vessel, which was made from steel manufactured in Indiana, from iron ore delivered by vessel from Minnesota, reinforces our long-term commitment to shipping and delivering essential cargoes for our customers throughout the region.”

 

The M/V Mark W. Barker departed the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin shipyard at 10:36 central time for her 110-mile journey to Port Inland, Michigan, where her crew of 21 professional mariners will load stone to deliver to Muskegon, Michigan. Once delivered, that stone cargo will go into ready-mix concrete production. 

 

“This new vessel not only brings with it additional cargo carrying capacity and capabilities, it is the most versatile in our fleet and strategically sized to navigate into nearly any port on the Great Lakes,” says Brendan P. O’Connor, Vice President of Marketing and Marine Traffic. “The M/V Mark W. Barker will give us unmatched ability for cargo operations and to carry unique project cargoes because of both her square-shaped cargo hold and larger hatch openings. She truly was designed to be a vessel for the future.”

 

Under construction since August 2019, the M/V Mark W. Barker was built by hundreds of dedicated workers at the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, shipyard.

 

“We couldn’t be prouder to add this skillfully constructed vessel to our growing Interlake fleet,” says Barker, who was at the shipyard this week to personally wish the best to the ship’s crew fitting out the new vessel. “It has been genuinely inspiring to see the dedication and workmanship from all of those involved in this multi-year project, from the design, construction, final outfitting and successful sea trials. We are thrilled to add our newest US-crewed, US-built and US-owned vessel to the Great Lakes fleet.”

 

ABOUT THE M/V MARK W. BARKER

 

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

 

The Interlake Steamship Company, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS), and Bay Engineering jointly designed the bulk carrier, complete with advanced vessel and unloading systems automation.

 

The carrier was built by FBS’s nearly 700 skilled trade workers and generated business for partnering contractors, vendors and suppliers. Major partners for the project included: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS); Cleveland-Cliffs, Bay Engineering (BEI); EMD Engines; Caterpillar; EMS-Tech, Inc.; Lufkin (a GE Company), Kongsberg and MacGregor.

Wisconsin Humane Society receives 62 beagles from Virginia facility

You could soon be able to adopt one of the beagles recently rescued from a Virginia medical company. The Wisconsin Humane Society announced late in the day Tuesday that it has brought 62 of the approximately 4,000 beagles housed at the Envigo facility for future adoption. The number of beagles includes nine mothers and 53 puppies. The Humane Society of the United States coordinated the mission after a judge ruled that Envigo, which bred the beagles for laboratories to use for experiments, violated several animal welfare laws. The 62 beagles are staying with foster families before they are old enough to be available at Wisconsin Humane Society locations, including its Door County campus in Sturgeon Bay. The Wisconsin Humane Society is asking for donations to help care for the beagles and for potential families to keep their eyes on its adoption page if they would like one of the animals. 

 

Picture courtesy of the Wisconsin Humane Society

Door County realizes economic boost from Packer training camp

With Wednesday marking the official start of training camp for the Green Bay Packers, the Door Peninsula is looking to capitalize on the additional influx of visitors to the area. Destination Door County Director of Communications and Public Relations Jon Jarosh says the relatively short drive from Green Bay makes Door County a perfect option before or after watching a Packer practice.

 

 

A dozen of Packer training camp practices are open to the public until August 17. Jarosh adds that Sunday night games during the NFL season at Lambeau Field also boost Door County's tourism in the fall.  

Girl run over by truck in Kewaunee County campground

On Tuesday night, an 11-year-old girl was injured when she was run over by a truck in the Town of Carlton. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the incident occurred shortly before 8:30 pm at Maple View campground.  The girl was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries after being trapped under the truck.

 

 

The driver of the truck, 39-year-old Bradley Zeman of Manitowoc, was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for the third time and causing injury while driving impaired.  Joski says the incident remains under investigation.  

 

(photo of driver provided by Kewaunee County Sheriffs Department)

Names of victims of fiery Egg Harbor truck crash released

The Door County Sheriff’s Department released the occupants' names from the one-vehicle crash last Tuesday.  Timothy Corn, a 37-year-old man from Neopit died in the accident, while 25-year-old Emelio R. Rodriguez of Shawano survived the crash.  The incident occurred on Heritage Lake Road north of County E in the town of Egg Harbor and is still under investigation.  Speed and alcohol are suspected as contributing factors to the crash.  The initial investigation indicated that the Dodge truck was northbound on Heritage Lake Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go into the ditch, where it struck a large tree and a utility pole and later caught on fire.  

Moped safety stressed during busy summer season

Local law enforcement and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation want to remind you that mopeds and smaller motor vehicles are subject to all traffic laws like cars and trucks. Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman says mopeds require specific equipment to operate on streets and roads.

 

 

Brinkman notes that you can drive your moped side-by-side with another moped on the street if the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less, but you must go single file if it's more. Mopeds are banned on freeways, and drivers should be aware of other vehicles and not impede roadway traffic. Weather conditions should be considered before venturing out on your moped as well, according to Brinkman.

 

 

Brinkman adds that it is recommended that all moped drivers and passengers wear helmets, even though it is only required for those under the age of 18.   

Midsummer's Music features Ukrainian composer

You can listen to music with Eastern European origins at Midsummer’s Music concluding July concerts this weekend.  The program, Homeland Sentiments, features Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, Polish composer Scharwenka, and Czech composer Antonin Dvorak.  Associate Director Noah Scaffrick says visitors to the shows this weekend will be greeted with fabulous musicians.

 

 

The Homeland Sentiments concerts will be held on Friday at 7 pm at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, Saturday night at 7 pm at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay, and Sunday at 3 pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay. You can find more information on tickets and the upcoming Midsummer’s Music second season that begins on August 21 here.  

Water rescues on the rise in the state

Being prepared will help you return to shore safely and give your loved ones peace of mind when you go boating. Door County emergency personnel answered five water rescue calls over the weekend, covering Baileys Harbor, Jacksonport, Sturgeon Bay, and two on Washington Island. Safety concerns are growing across the state, especially after one lake in the Town of Oconomowoc experienced two deaths in four days. Justin MacDonald, the fire chief of Egg Harbor and Ephraim, is happy when they encounter boaters in distress that they are often wearing a lifejacket, which was the case during last weekend’s water rescue in Baileys Harbor. He advises boaters to take other precautions in mind when they head out onto the water that can keep everyone’s minds at ease.

MacDonald advises boaters to look at the weather report before heading out onto the water. According to the DNR, there have been a dozen boating deaths this year after hitting a high-water mark of 25 last year. There were just nine such deaths in 2019.

Washington Island keeping pace with visitors

You will find plenty of people piling onto the ferries to visit Washington Island this summer. According to Door County Tourism Zone data, it continues a positive trend for the island, which saw an improvement in its occupancy rate over last year in four of the first five months of this year. Ferry boat captain and Townliner Motel owner Joel Gunnlaugssson says the weather has cooperated with people hoping to explore the island outside of a few days. He admits that he might be seeing fewer visitors compared to last year but adds that there are a lot of factors at play as well.

The rest of the county is seeing lower occupancy rates than last year, but it is still far ahead of what was seen in 2018, 2019, and 2020. For example, the occupancy rate for lodging units in Door County in May 2022 was 39.43 percent, compared to 42 percent in 2021, 14.40 percent in 2020, 29.89 percent in 2019, and 31.48 percent in 2018. 

Warm weather gets apples, pumpkins off to good start

You can thank the stretch of warm weather the area has experienced over the last several weeks for what hopes to be a great crop of apples and pumpkins this fall. Last year, the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association blamed untimely rains for keeping the bees away after the blossoms bloomed, leading to a poor crop. While the cool spring may have slowed down some of the progress, Bill Roethle of Hillside Apples in Casco says they had lovely blooms this spring, and the weather has cooperated to pave the way for what expects to be a good crop this year.

As for his pumpkins, they might be growing almost too well, thanks to the recent warm weather, depending on when you planted your seeds. Roethle says whether they are his giant pumpkins or his smaller ones, there are many things to keep track of to have a good crop.

Other crops in the state have taken advantage of the warm weather. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, corn silking is six days behind last year’s pace at 33 percent, and 65 percent of soybeans are blooming, which is about a week off of the previous year’s rate. Both crops were hovering around two weeks behind when it came to planting and emerging compared to last year. 

 

The picture is from last year's giant pumpkin patch Roethle started last year. The reigning Rookie of the Year for the Wisconsin Giant Pumpkin Growers Association, Roethle says he has three that are shaping up to be good pumpkins, including one he hopes can break 1,000 pounds this fall.

Bay Shipbuilding to receive $1.2 million grant

Thanks to a recently received federal grant, you will see more improvements coming to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Fincantieri Marine Group was awarded a $1.2 million grant to improve the graving dock pumps at the Sturgeon Bay shipyard. Graving docks are used to bring vessels into the dry dock by floating them in and then pumping the water out afterward. U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the grants late last week, heralding the importance of small shipyards and their role in supporting small businesses. Through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grant Program, just shy of $20 million was awarded to 24 shipyards in 19 states. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding was the only shipyard in Wisconsin to receive the federal aid package. 

STRIDE providing greater need for mental health resources in schools

Children in Door County are getting additional school resources to help improve their overall mental well-being. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, one in five young people reports that the pandemic has had a significant negative impact on their mental health. STRIDE, a United Way program that began in 2019, brings medical professionals and counseling services into the five Door County public schools.  STRIDE stands for Strengthening Trust, Resilience, Instilling Independence, Discovering Empowerment.  Community Impact Coordinator of Health Cami Peggar says the program has grown, nearly doubling the number of children served in the past four years.

 

 

Peggar adds that STRIDE works to eliminate the barriers presented by Door County’s unique infrastructure that can limit access to mental health care. If you'd like to support additional school hours for STRIDE, you can make a tax-deductible financial donation by going to the United Way website 

Strousland excited to continue educational journey at Gibraltar

It would help if you had a passport to track down the stops Dr. Brett Strousland has made before arriving at Gibraltar Area Schools this month. A Wisconsin native, his teaching career actually began on a Native American reservation in New Mexico. He took on several roles at a Wisconsin school district, including elementary school principal, before he and his family moved to Croatia and Cyprus where he was a K-12 principal. Strousland and his family eventually returned to Wisconsin, where he was the superintendent for school districts in Barneveld and Germantown before landing the top spot at Gibraltar. He is excited to grow into his position at Gibraltar and bring his global experiences with him to the office.

Strousland was hired this spring to replace the retiring Tina Van Meer. He is looking forward to having the kids back in school when they begin the academic year on September 6th.

BUG Fire responds to blazes on consecutive nights

You likely saw flashing lights across Door County this weekend as it was a busy weekend for emergency personnel. From Friday to Monday, there were 229 calls to the Door County Dispatch Center. The number includes five water rescue calls covering Baileys Harbor, Jacksonport, Sturgeon Bay, and two on Washington Island. There were also three fire calls during the weekend, including two in the Town of Gardner. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to the fire on Stevenson Pier Road just before 11:30 p.m. on Friday night.  A cigarette placed in a canister near the home is being blamed for starting the blaze. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the quick action of a nearby neighbor and his dog limited the damage to just the outside of the home.

The second fire was due to a powerline being knocked down during Saturday’s storms. Vandertie says a tree took the brunt of the fire damage, and the flames were out when crews arrived. The powerline eventually went across the roadway, which had to be addressed by Wisconsin Public Service. He added that it was a very busy weekend for emergency personnel across the county, taking a moment to specifically thank the area’s medical teams for the time they have been putting in as of late. 

Sheriff thankful to move forward with jail planning

If former night jailer Matt Joski gave you a tour of the Kewaunee County Jail over 20 years ago, he is glad he will not have to give any more as sheriff. Last week, the Kewaunee County Board voted 19-1 to not only move forward with the jail project but to issue over $20 million in debt issuance to get the ball rolling without a referendum. Replacing the state’s smallest and oldest jail has been a conversation topic for a long time, but something Joski has worked diligently on for the last seven years in his current role as sheriff. Even as the project moved forward, Joski had a hard time not reflecting on everything that had to happen to get to this point.

Getting past one finish line only gets the county to the starting point of another journey. Joski says it is their job to ensure they can build the best possible jail at the most cost-efficient price to make good on their promise to the county’s residents.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

At the recent meeting of the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors, the Board approved moving forward with the continued planning and construction of a new Jail Facility. Although the vote on this matter was an overwhelming 19-1 this was by no means a decision that was arrived at without great thought and extensive effort. It is important that the community is aware of the study, thought and effort the men and women of the board put into their decision.

    

The road to this vote began almost seven years ago and involved numerous evaluations of everything from inmate census and building integrity to facility design options and operational protocols. As I look at the stack of materials in my office which has grown with each and every study, meeting and jail tour I have a deep appreciation for the time and effort which lead to that evening’s vote. We should all be grateful for the time and effort of our board members both present and past that have been part of this process. A special thanks also goes out to both our County Administrator Scott Feldt as well as our Finance Director Paul Kunesh, for all of their efforts in providing accurate and timely financial options as well as accurate fiscal impact information. Finally, I would like to thank the staff here at the Sheriff’s Department for all of their years of input as well as continuing to operate within the limitations of our current facility while providing effective custody and safety for those in our care.

       

After the vote that evening, I returned to my office and realized what had been accomplished. It was more than just a vote about building a jail, it was a collaborative statement that we as a community are no longer content with languishing in past decisions or indecisions, but rather that we are now focused forward to the future. I have had so many words of encouragement and congratulations, but we are far from the finish line. Our work to build an efficient and effective facility at the absolute minimal impact to our community is just beginning. The number of meetings that it took to get us to this point, will be shadowed by the efforts and activities that lay before us.

        

It is also important to note that the ability and necessity for community input also continues. I know that there remains those who are not that excited about this project, and their voices are just as important. Just as we have tried to share updates and information so far in this process, we will continue to do so all the way up through our transition from our existing facility to the new facility. As I have offered in the past, I am always available for questions or comments.

       

As I have stated so many times in my visits around the county when confronted with the argument of what could have been done in years past, the best time to plant a tree is always twenty years ago, but the next best time is today. I have no doubt that future generations will thank us for our actions of today.

 

Kewaunee County sees new hospitalization in latest update

Over 100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Door and Kewaunee counties over the last week as you continue to see the numbers climb statewide.

 

Kewaunee County saw 43 additional cases of COVID-19 over the previous week, according to their Friday update, the majority of which were between the ages of 31-49. The county’s public health department also reported one hospitalization. In Door County, there were no new hospitalizations, but 66 of the 110 reported tests returned positive for COVID-19. New case counts do not include positive or negative results from at-home tests.

 

As a result, Kewaunee County is one of 38 counties currently in the medium COVID-19 community level, while Door County is one of 16 in the high level. The seven-day average for new cases has gone up during that time frame from 1,556 on July 15th to 1,689 on July 22nd.

Duathlon for kids coming to YMCA

Your child can participate in the first-ever Duathlon at the Door County YMCA in August.  Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says the new event will include a feature swim in the Carla and Ellsworth Peterson Aquatics Center and laps around the trail in Peterson Park just north of the YMCA.  She shares the details of how some members of the YMCA swim team use the competition to stay sharp in the offseason.

 

 

The Door County Duathlon has five age groups that range from five to 18 years old and is open to the public with an entry fee of $20, which includes a free t-shirt.  The length of the swim and run is based on the age categories.  You can find more details on the August 6th Duathlon and registration information here.

 

 

Inspiration tops negativity in Kewaunee women's march planning

You can expect to see men and women lining Milwaukee Street in Kewaunee on July 31st in the name of women’s rights. Renee Paplham traveled to Sturgeon Bay with her family on July 4th to march for women’s rights. That rally happened just over a week after the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Roe vs. Wade decision, turning the issue of abortion over to the states. The ruling reverted Wisconsin back to its law dating back to 1849 forbidding the practice unless the mother’s life is in danger. Paplham says she and her family experienced a lot of emotions that day participating in the event. Most of all, she left inspired to do something more, even if that meant capturing some backlash along the way.

The March for Women’s Rights will begin at Harbor Park in Kewaunee at 1 p.m. with a rally before the march begins at 1:30 p.m.

 

Picture courtesy of Christian McWhinney and Emma Cox from a similar event in Sister Bay

 

Community Spotlight: MacMillin and K-D Salmon Tourney wrapping up 40th year

Jerry MacMillin of Sturgeon Bay has been involved in the Kewaunee-Door Salmon Tournament from its inception 40 years ago.  Dating back to his Mac’s Sport Shop days in the early 1970s when a small circle of organizers hoped for 600 entries, the tourney has grown to over 3,000 anglers and helped boost the local economy.  One of the largest fishing tournaments in the whole Midwest concludes Sunday with the first-ever 10-day event.  MacMillin shares the humble beginnings of the tournament.

 

 

The popular tournament is paying out a record $15,000 for first place this year and has several 30-pound salmon on the leader board going into the final weekend.   MacMillin does not know how many more years he will be involved with the tournament but does know that co-organizer Kevin Naze will carry the torch in the future after he is done. 

Sidewalk sales return to Sturgeon Bay

You will not have to walk into a store next week to save a few bucks at Sturgeon Bay retailers. The Sail Through The Avenues Sidewalk Sales will be held on July 28th, with deals happening all day. Third Avenue will be closed down from Jefferson Street to Michigan Street so shoppers can check out various items on sale. Rachel Malcore and Andrea Buboltz from Destination Sturgeon Bay say the event covers more than just downtown Sturgeon Bay.

The Sail Through The Avenues Sidewalk Sales is a precursor to the city’s Maritime Week festivities, including Destination Sturgeon Bay’s fireworks display on August 6th and its Bloody Mary Social on August 7th.

 

Picture courtesy of Paul Haan

Outfitting new trucks goal of upcoming Southern Door Firefighter's Picnic

The new truck is ordered, but the Southern Door Fire Department needs your help to ensure it has all the necessary equipment to fight fires and rescue people.

 

The department will have its annual Southern Door Firefighters’ Parade, Picnic, and Car Show on July 30th in Forestville. The parade will kick things off at 11 a.m. before the food is served, the drinks start to flow, and the day’s bands, Modern Day Drifters and Stone Sober, take the stage. The day will also feature an extrication demonstration using equipment the event helped raise money for in the past. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says this year’s goal is to outfit the trucks with equipment to go on their calls since much of it needs to be replaced fairly regularly.

Olson is thankful to the community for all of its support, whether it's monetary donations or local businesses donating food for the event itself. Those wishing to participate in the parade can begin lining up on Mill Road in Forestville at 10:30 a.m.

Shopping on a budget at farmers markets

Farmers markets are a great place to enjoy the outdoors while shopping for good deals on local fruit, vegetables, and other specialty items like fresh bread, local meats and cheese, baked goods, and jam. It's also a great way to spend active leisure time with family and friends, as there is often entertainment and sometimes kid-friendly activities. 

 

It's not a secret that many people think farmers markets are expensive or more expensive than their favorite grocery store. Sometimes, that is true. However, local food and food products found at farmers' markets are made and produced by your neighbors. The government or large-scale companies don't subsidize the cost of their food production. Plus, these local farmers and vendors often do not have a large customer base. Therefore, the cost of their food and food products will, at times, be higher than the commercial products you can find in a store. 

 

However, you might be surprised that when certain foods are in season, the products - especially the fresh fruits and vegetables - at the markets are equal to or less than the prices at the grocery stores. This is because there is more food available, and the cost of transporting the food is lower because it is local. During this time, try shopping at your local farmers' market and seeing what deals you can find - you might just discover something new! 

 

In addition, for those who receive SNAP benefits or WIC/Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program vouchers, they can use those benefits at the farmers' markets if the markets accept them.  

 

Here are some money-saving tips to use the next time you're at the market: 

Buy fresh produce when it is in season: Fruits and vegetables grow better at different times of the year. When they are at their peak growth, there will be more available, and their prices will be lower.  

 

Walk around the entire market and compare prices: Prices may differ at each booth, and multiple vendors may sell the same items. For example, there may be five booths selling green beans. Taking a walk around the whole market before you buy will let you see which vendor’s greens are the cheapest and look the best. 

 

Look for marked down or "on-sale" produce: Often, vendors will reduce the price of produce because it isn't the prettiest (discoloration, soft spots, etc.) or because it is very ripe. There is nothing wrong with those items, so take advantage of their lower price! 

 

Be flexible: You might find the lowest prices on things you've never eaten before or that you don't know how to cook. Feel free to ask the farmer or seller what the food tastes like and how to cook it. They will be happy to talk to you about their food, and you will be glad you saved some money. 

Rigging Your Fishing Kayak -- Series V

As we approach August, it amazes me each year how fast summer goes, and I think the older I get the faster it goes!  This season I have already talked about picking the right kayak and paddle and the best places to launch your kayak in Door County. Today, for you anglers, I would like to touch on rigging your kayak for fishing success. 

 

For me, two things are key, rod holders, and some type of storage crate with rod holders behind my seat in the tank well. All my sit-on-top fishing kayaks have flush mount rod holders, which I prefer, but I also like the external rod holders that extend up from the kayak deck and can attach to the track system most fishing kayaks come with or with screws. Having a storage crate will give you extra storage, and most have two or three extra rod holders. I prefer one with a cover just in case it rains. You can also go as simple as a milk crate with PVC tubes for extra rods.

 

After many years of serious kayak fishing, I still have not installed a locator.  Most of my kayak fishing is in Door County, so, with the clear water and fishing shallow, I have not had the need. However, with the funk the smallmouth bass have been in, I have been fishing deeper, and knowing depth, structure, and water temperature would be helpful. I would suggest a locator if you are serious about your kayak fishing.

 

I have seen fishing kayaks that, except for no outboard engine, look like mini bass boats with power poles to hold you in place while fishing, trolling motors, and more. The track system I mentioned is perfect for adding accessories to hold a camera, your paddle, and an anchor trolley to raise and lower an anchor. Other standard items can include a scale and tape to weigh and measure your catch, a landing net, pliers to safely remove lures from the fish and something to cut line. Rigging your fishing kayak is a personal thing and I would suggest getting your kayak and then add things as you find a need. For those of you with a sit-in recreational kayak, many come with track systems. So, if you would like you can attach a couple external rod holders and do some fishing out of your sit-in kayak.

 

If you have any questions related to rigging your kayak or any other kayak fishing questions, I am happy to hear from you.  You can email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com.  

 

  

 

Midsummer's Music closes month with nod to local efforts for Ukraine

You will be able to catch the sounds of Ukraine filling performance spaces in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, and Egg Harbor next week as Midsummer's Music wraps up its July slate of concerts. Entitled the "Homeland Sentiments" program, the performances will feature Ukrainian pianist and composer Mykola Lysenko and two others from Eastern Europe. Lysenko is credited with establishing a national style of music for the country and helping create the Kyiv National Conservatory of Music. The concerts will also pay tribute to the efforts of Christiana Trapani and her team at Door County Candle. Since Ukraine's war with Russia began, Door County Candle has shipped out over 30,000 orders of its blue-and-yellow candle, raising over $700,000 for Razom for Ukraine. 

 

The concerts will also feature the works of Polish composer Philipp Scharwenka and Czech composer Antonín Dvo?ák. The Homeland Sentiments program will be performed three times: July 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor; July 30 at 7:00 p.m. at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay; and July 31 at 3:00 p.m. at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Sister Bay.

 

Bomb threat likely from outside of the country as investigation continues

Sturgeon Bay Police Department thanks you for staying away from the area surrounding the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus on Thursday while investigating a bomb threat. The police, along with the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Door County Emergency Medical Services, responded to NWTC just before 2 p.m. after receiving a call about a suspicious package that could include a bomb. Emergency personnel closed down the streets surrounding the campus and restricted movement within the area until they could clear the scene at approximately 6 p.m. Police Chief Clint Henry says a Brown County K-9 unit specializing in sniffing out bombs and other explosives was used to help search the building. He adds that the incident is still under investigation and will likely involve departments across the state since other community and technical colleges received similar threats.

According to WKOW in Madison, Wisconsin Technical College in Madison and Chippewa Valley Technical College's campuses in Eau Claire and Menomonie also had to evacuate their campuses. It is unknown if the threats are connected. Colleges in Florida, Virginia, Ohio, Utah, Texas, Maryland, Montana, and Wisconsin were a part of a string of bomb threats made approximately two weeks ago. 

COVID-19 Community Level elevated to high in Door County

The Centers for Disease Control recommends wearing a mask indoors and on public transportation, staying up to date with your vaccinations, getting tested when you have symptoms, and taking additional precautions if you are at risk after Door County’s COVID-19 community level was raised to high.

 

Door and nearby Brown counties are two of the 14 counties currently at the high community level for COVID-19. Kewaunee County is one of 30 to be considered at the medium level. Manitowoc County and 27 others are at the low level. Community levels are determined by case rate per 100,000 population, new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population, and percentage of staffed inpatient beds used by those with confirmed COVID-19.

 

Door County reported that 56 of its 116 total tests returned positive for COVID-19 and two new hospitalizations this week. COVID-19 community levels in the state are reported on Thursdays.

 

 

Lutsey named new Climate Change Coalition Executive Director

A potentially familiar face to you has been selected as the new leader of the Climate Change Coalition of Door County.

 

The organization announced on Friday that Jeff Lutsey will be its new executive director. He is no stranger to environmentalism in Door County as a part of the Waseda Farms family in Baileys Harbor. The organic farm is known for its sustainable practices, which included installing solar panels in 2017. Lutsey serves on the Ridges Sanctuary Board of Directors and has assisted on several sustainability-driven programs with organizations like Destination Door County, the Town of Baileys Harbor, and the Village of Ephraim.

 

He is currently the owner of a boreal preserve in Baileys Harbor, where he is creating workforce housing with an environmental focus. Lutsey says while he is alarmed by the impact climate change is having on the native tree and insect populations, he is inspired by what the Climate Change Coalition and its partners are doing to “educate and respond and take specific, science-based, and meaningful actions.”

 

The organization’s founders, Roy Thilly and Mary Smythe, are excited to welcome Lutsey as its executive director, commending him for his leadership, friendly spirit, and fresh ideas that can help the Climate Change Coalition move forward with its mission.

NWTC evacuated due to bomb threat

UPDATE: With an assist from the Door County Sheriff's K-9 Unit, the scene was cleared at 6 p.m. by emergency personnel.

 

ORIGINAL STORY

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department has closed down the streets around the city’s Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus due to the bomb threat. The police along with the Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Door County Emergency Medical Services responded to NWTC just before 2 p.m. Crews evacuated NWTC and set a safety perimeter that was still in effect as of 3:30 p.m. Police Chief Clint Henry has asked residents to stay out of the area until they can confirm it is safe for people to enter.

Evers, Kaul sue for PFAS clean-up

A lawsuit filed on Wednesday hopes you do not have to pay the price for another company’s problem regarding “forever chemicals” showing up in your water. Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul shared the news at events held in LaCrosse and Green Bay on Wednesday that the state would be suing three Wisconsin manufacturers and 15 other defendants for their role in PFAS contamination of local waterways, lands, and natural resources. Two of those businesses are Tyco Fire Products and Johnson Controls, which produces firefighting foam in the Marinette/Peshtigo area. In 2017, high concentrations of PFAS were found in the water in those communities, which has since sparked several lawsuits. The chemical compounds that makeup PFAS have been linked to types of kidney and testicular cancers, lower birth rates, and other medical concerns. Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Executive Director Dean Hoegger says a good next step would be to address the allowable levels of PFAS in the water supply, which he believes are too high.

Hoegger added that PFAS contamination is the most immediate threat to human health. Groups like the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to reduce the Department of Natural Resources’ authority over the issue will only worsen it. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a judge ruled earlier this year that the DNR lacked the power to set limits on PFAS pollution.

Dusk Market shines light on local entrepreneurs

The Cherry Hut in Fish Creek is making sure you can get your farmer's market fix, even if you do not have time during the day. Friday marks the second time the business is hosting what they call the "Dusk Market," which features the vendors and live music you have come to expect from a farmer's market but at a later time. When a group approached Cherry Hut managing partner Trent Snyder about hosting a night market there after a similar venture ended in Sister Bay, he jumped at the opportunity. He says the first Dusk Market was a success and hopes it becomes even more popular over time.

Outside of the permit fee available through Fish Creek, Snyder adds that he does not charge vendors any additional money to participate. The Dusk Market at The Cherry Hut runs from 4 to 8 p.m. this Friday, August 12th and 26th, and September 9th, 23rd, and 30th. Sturgeon Bay (Saturday), Sister Bay (Saturday), Egg Harbor (Friday), Washington Island (Saturday), Jacksonport (Tuesdays), Fish Creek (Wednesday), and Baileys Harbor (Sundays) will all continue their morning markets through September and in some cases into October.

Door County hopes to cash in on region's big weekend

A soccer supporter, an aviation enthusiast, and a gamer walking into a bar is not the start of a punchline but a real possibility if you travel around Door County this weekend. In addition to Saturday’s exhibition match at Lambeau Field between Manchester City and Bayern Munich, EAA is kicking off its AirVenture festival, and Kitsune Kon, a gaming and anime convention, is taking place in Green Bay. That has led to hotel rooms being well over $200 in Green Bay and Appleton and as much as $670 in Oshkosh, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Those counties could see approximately 10 percent of the tourism impact over the next ten days. Door County has offered itself to be a nice side trip for people visiting Green Bay for sporting events and other attractions, a trend Jen Rogers from Destination Door County hopes continues.

Door County is experiencing its own influx of visitors, with cherry picking season entering its second week. As a result, Rogers says there is very limited room availability this weekend.

Political sign season comes with threat of vandalism

As you see more election campaign signs pop up in your neighborhood ahead of the midterm elections, law enforcement is reminding you about the rules surrounding them. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, political signs are allowed on private property with the landowner's permission as long as it does not exceed 32 square feet and have no flashing lights or moving parts. Like garage sale and real estate signs, political signs also cannot be placed within a highway right of way where they can be distracting to motorists or a safety hazard for road maintenance personnel.  In recent years, political signs have been a flashpoint for vandalism in Door and Kewaunee counties. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski asks the community to show respect for each other’s views during this time of year.

Joski says people violating sign placement rules will be warned before additional action is taken. The DOT says fines for improperly placed signs range from $10 to $500. The fines are even stiffer for those stealing or damaging a legally placed election campaign sign. Those guilty could be fined between $100 and $10,000 and up to nine months in prison. You can read more about this topic from Sheriff Joski below.

 

Picture of signs from 2020

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

I have been asked to cover some issues related to election signs and what better time to cover it than during our current election season. We are so lucky to live in a free and democratic society where we get to choose our elected officials every two years, four years or some cases six years. We should be grateful for those who take the time and make commitment to put their name on ballot and serve our communities at all levels. Having said that, we need to respect the process by which these men and women promote themselves and their views in seeking these important offices.

    

One of the most visible signs that we are in fact in an election cycle is the presence of election signs either on private property or on rented bill boards. The tampering or outright theft of these pieces of property is just that; theft and it is just as much a violation as if any other personal property was stolen. In such cases, those individuals will be charged with both theft of property as well as criminal trespassing.

      

Wisconsin state Statute Chapter 12 governs those who are seeking public office and sets forth the restrictions and allowances in regards to campaign material. At a local level a few things to consider is making sure these signs are in fact on private property and not either on publicly owned property, or posted in the public right of ways along the side of roads.

      

Even when posting on private property it is common courtesy to ask permission before posting these signs. I actually had one land on my yard without my knowledge, so I promptly placed it in my garage and when the candidate asked where his sign was, I introduced him to this little courtesy.

       

While we may not hold similar views to all candidates or agree on some issues, we owe these candidates the respect that is due to them for putting themselves out and sacrificing their time and resources to make our communities stronger and engage in our democratic process. We also need to be respectful of those who post signage reflecting their position and beliefs on social issues. Just because you do not agree with them, does not diminish their personal or property rights. And of course, in sharing all of our beliefs, we should always remain dignified and respectful in how we communicate and engage in healthy debate.

       

There is no place for vulgarity or hatred, and we could definitely benefit from an increase in empathy and tolerance. This dignified and respectful exchange of ideas is what our nation was built upon and we must make every effort to uphold and strengthen the foundations that have allowed for free and open exchange of ideas throughout our nation’s history. Thank you to all who serve in elected office and good luck to those currently seeking office.

        

Door County Medical Center, Integrated Telehealth Partners partner on behavioral healthcare

You will not have to travel far to address your behavioral healthcare needs. Door County Medical Center and Integrated Telehealth Partners announced on Tuesday that they would be teaming up to provide telehealth services in behavioral healthcare. The partnership includes outpatient services for referrals made by DCMC staff and consultancy services for the hospital’s emergency department. Board-certified nurse practitioner Rosalyn Geier will provide the outpatient services as she helps patients navigate mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders, and trauma histories for adults, and general mental health concerns for children. Sandy Vandertie from Door County Medical Center says having telehealth options available for patients, especially in rural areas, has been very helpful.

Vandertie emphasized that even though the pandemic made it more familiar, Door County Medical Center has been using telehealth services for many years, highlighting their programs that help identify strokes and pediatric issues.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Medical Center

YMCA offering class to address lifeguard shortage

The shortage of lifeguards impacting nationwide public pools is also being felt locally.  The Door County YMCA is offering a lifeguard certification class to fill much-needed shifts at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek facilities.  According to NPR, the shortage of lifeguards affects about a third of all public pools around the country.  Door County YMCA Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says becoming a lifeguard helps develop strong leadership skills.

 

 

The class will be from July 28-31.  If you are at least 15 years old, you can register or find out more information about the lifeguard certification course on the YMCA’s website or by calling 920-743-4949. 

Truck crash leaves one dead and one injured

A one-vehicle crash in the town of Egg Harbor late Tuesday evening killed one person and hospitalized another.  The Door County Sheriff’s Department was notified shortly before 9 p.m. of a vehicle crash on Heritage Lake Road, just north of the County E intersection.  When a Door County Sheriff’s Department deputy arrived at the scene shortly after 9 p.m., a 2002 Dodge pickup truck was found fully engulfed in flames.  The deputy assisted one person from the vehicle, lying outside the truck when a series of explosions occurred.  The Egg Harbor Fire Department arrived shortly after extinguishing the fire and found the second person deceased in the vehicle.  The crash survivor was transported and later flown to a Green Bay Hospital with undisclosed injuries.  The initial investigation indicated that the Dodge truck was northbound on Heritage Lake Road when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to go into the ditch, where it struck a large tree and a utility pole.  The Brown County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the death. The Door County Sheriff’s Department is working with the Wisconsin State Patrol-Crash Reconstruction Unit to investigate the crash where it appears that speed and alcohol contributed to causing the crash.  No other information has been released at this time.

 

 

Cloud Cult concert postponed in Fish Creek

Due to health concerns, the performance of the independent rock band Cloud Cult has been canceled for this Friday night at the Door County Auditorium. The famous Minnesota band announced that the concert was regrettably postponed and would likely be rescheduled for 2023. The Door County Auditorium release stated that the show was postponed due to “multiple members facing unforeseen health issues.” Cloud Cult was formed in 1995, and the band consists of eight members, including lead singer-songwriter Craig Minowa. The live performances also include painting on stage by Connie Minowa and Scott West. 

 

(photo courtesy of DCA)

Kewaunee County approves building of new jail

The Kewaunee County Board approved a $25.6 construction of a new jail Tuesday night.  The vote was 19-1 to approve, with District 12 representative Milt Swagel casting the lone dissenting vote.  The County Board also approved a general obligation bond of $21 million to pay for the jail’s construction by the same vote margin of 19-1.  The first vote required a simple majority, while the financing vote needed 15 of the 20 supervisors to say yes. The new jail will house 52 beds, while the current jail, which is one of the oldest in the state, can hold a maximum of 22 inmates.  

 

Sturgeon Bay amends housing redevelopment agreement   

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council took relatively quick action on just one main agenda item that amended an apartment development agreement Tuesday night.  After a ten-minute presentation of the Granary Update, the city council unanimously approved a consideration to amend the development agreement with S.C Swiderski for the old Sunset School redevelopment.  The plan calls for building 26 townhouse units, and the amendment changes the subject parcel to a Limited Liability Company (LLC).  It also increased the limit for lien or debt for the property from 2.5 million to $4.5 million due to much higher construction costs and a projected higher assessed value.  According to Sturgeon Bay Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak, construction is expected to begin imminently. 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society gave an update on the granary, saying that Phase 1 of the project for the ground level of the renovated historic building should be completed and open to the public by April 2023.  On Tuesday night's final piece of business, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council went into a closed session regarding the acquisition of real estate connecting Grant Avenue and Sawyer Drive.  The 66-foot-wide right-of-way is being pursued by the City of Sturgeon Bay through eminent domain proceedings in the past year.  No action was taken as the council adjourned in the closed session.   

Keeping cool while area experiences warmest stretch of the year

You will have to try a little harder to stay cool this week as northeast Wisconsin experiences its hottest stretch of the summer. According to the National Weather Service, areas like Luxemburg and Green Bay will see temperatures reach the high 80s and low 90s this week, while Door County and shoreline Kewaunee County communities will see their temperatures reach the low 80s. Dew point temperatures in the low 70s will make it feel even more humid. Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke recommends doing all the little things like changing filters and keeping your shades drawn to help keep your home’s temperature down and your humidity out.

The hot, muggy temperatures are expected to stay with us through the week before a bit of relief on Sunday and Monday. 

 

 

Liberty Grove pushing ahead for broadband

With the cost of implementing broadband in communities only going up, Liberty Grove Town Chairperson John Lowry wants you to have it sooner rather than later. The Town of Liberty Grove Board will meet in closed session early on in their Wednesday night meeting to discuss the Northport PILOT project. Using the backfeed that is currently helping Washington Island get connected with fiber, the project could potentially bring a strong fiber connection to approximately 60 homes in Northport. Lowry says they are also considering proposals from contractors to work with Insight on a different broadband-related project.

The hope is they could start doing the heavy lifting on most if not all of their broadband projects by early next year. The Town of Liberty Grove meets on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. inside the town hall.  

 

Picture from Pixabay

Storybook trail to lead visitors around Bruemmer Park and Zoo

Thanks to the Door County Board of Realtors, you can enjoy a book while walking around Bruemmer Park in Kewaunee without holding one up. The organization donated $5,000 to help make a storybook trail that winds around the zoo and the park, possible. There will be 18 stops where visitors can discover the story of Sidney the Bear written by Janet Tlachac-Toonen. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director David Meyers says the storybook trail is an excellent addition to the park and fits in with the park’s direction. The zoo recently installed a steel sculpture of an elephant, joining some of the other models of African animals on-site. The trail will be dedicated on July 28th at 11 a.m., when visitors will get their first glimpse of the book and enjoy some cookies and lemonade with the author.

Milwaukee recommendation latest win for Wisconsin Republicans

You will only see more of Wisconsin on the national stage regarding the Republican Party. A GOP site selection panel recommended that Milwaukee host its 2024 national convention four years after it was supposed to host the Democratic national convention. Wisconsin has become a popular campaign spot over the last decade due to its reputation as a swing state. Former President Donald Trump hosted several rallies across the state as he ran for re-election in 2020. The momentum is building towards the August 9th primary, featuring former Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, state Rep. Timothy Ramthun, and business people Tim Michels and Adam Fischer in their run to replace Governor Tony Evers. Door County Republican Chairperson Stephanie Soucek is excited about the energy being pumped into the political party as many issues affecting all Americans have popped up over the last year and a half.

Soucek says it is hard to gauge the turnout for the primary unless people have really strong feelings for one primary candidate over the other. Other Republican primaries local voters will see include the races for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, U.S. Senator, U.S Representative, and First Assembly District. We will feature the Democratic Party in the coming days.

Girl injured in Cave Point incident

 A girl was injured in a diving incident Monday afternoon at Cave Point County Park. Emergency personnel were paged to the popular attraction just before 12:30 p.m. Sturgeon Bay Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says the girl could not climb the high drop-off after jumping in, injuring herself, and being unable to climb out of the water at Cave Point.   Jacksonport Fire and Rescue were able to use their boat to safely bring the girl to shore, and she was treated by Emergency Medical Technicians for a possible broken ankle.  Montevideo adds that the girl was never in any danger of drowning.  The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Jacksonport Fire Department, Door County Emergency Medical Services, and Sevastopol Fire Responders all responded to the incident. The scene was cleared before 1:15 p.m.

 

(correction:  the Jacksonport Fire and Rescue was identified as Egg Harbor Fire and Rescue in the initial post.  We regret this error)

Planning ahead key to upcoming election season

Making sure you have everything you need ahead of time, whether you are heading to your polling place, clerk’s office, or mailbox, is key before the August 9th partisan primary. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled earlier this month that drop boxes for ballots were illegal and only the voter themselves can hand deliver their ballot to the clerk’s office. The ballot drop boxes have been a flash point of controversy in the state since the 2020 general election. The court’s decision did not have that big of an impact on Door County’s election operations. County Clerk Jill Lau says she advised municipal clerks to adopt the practices for handling absentee ballots in April when it became clear the direction the Wisconsin Supreme Court was going. Outside of giving back a few ballots because it was not the voter turning them in, there have not been many questions since they instituted the policy. Lau says ensuring you have the proper identification ready and you mail your absentee ballot right away will eliminate some of your election day stress.

Lau says the August partisan primary usually does not call for many absentee ballot requests, but that could be good news for the August 9th election date or when in-person absentee voting begins next Monday. 

 

FROM WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Ahead of the Wisconsin Fall Primary on August 9,  Wisconsin Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminds voters how to obtain identification, free of charge, that is valid for voting.

 

Valid identification for voting purposes includes a driver license, identification card, military or student ID card, etc. There is no separate “voter ID.” A federally compliant REAL ID card is not required for voting purposes. Anyone unsure if their identification meets the requirements should visit the Wisconsin Elections Commission website to check.

 

To obtain identification to show at the polls for voting, begin online. A list of the required documents to bring to a DMV Customer Service Center is available at wisconsindmv.gov. If the required documents needed for an ID are not readily available, DMV has a process, called the Voter ID Petition Process, to obtain the necessary information. This process, available free of charge, may be used to quickly obtain a receipt valid to take to the polls for voting while the remaining documents or verifications are obtained.

 

Anyone with questions related to obtaining an ID to vote should call DMV’s toll-free Voter ID hotline at (844) 588-1069. Questions regarding voter eligibility, poll locations, voter registration information or other election information can be directed to the Wisconsin Elections Commission at elections.wi.gov

 

Start your application now at wisconsindmv.gov or at a local DMV Customer Service Center. To find a DMV, check hours, services and wait times, visit wisconsindmv.govcenters.

Kewaunee County Public Health, Altrusa help kids prepare for back to school

There is over a month before you start seeing school buses bringing kids to school again, but there are ways you can help them for their first day right now. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department and the Altrusa Club of Door County are just two of the groups making sure kids are outfitted for the first day of classes. In Kewaunee County, the public health department has hosted their Back to School event for the last 15 years. The event itself will be on August 10th at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee, where over 300 kids are expected not just to get school supplies but other essentials like socks, underwear, shoes, and more. Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says there is much to do before the doors open to families that day.

The Altrusa Club of Door County has been holding its own Back to School Fair for the last 24 years, with this year’s edition taking place at Sturgeon Bay Schools on August 6th. Co-chairs Maureen Fear and Pat Ploor say that over 630 students have registered for this year’s event, and it keeps growing yearly. In support of their efforts, the Altrusa Club received a $4,000 sustainability grant from the Door County Community Foundation and a $2,500 grant from the Women’s Fund of Door County earlier this year.

 

You can learn more about how you can support each of the events or how to sign up below.

KEWAUNEE COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH
Click this link to register your child for the event

Donations are being collected at the Kewaunee County Administration Center, area churches, and local businesses

 

ALTRUSA CLUB OF DOOR COUNTY
Charitable donations can be sent to Altrusa of Door County, P.O. Box 523, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County

Door and Kewaunee counties report new COVID hospitalizations

You are recommended to take the proper precautions to protect yourself against COVID-19 as numbers start to tick upward across the state. Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services saw big jumps in counties entering high and medium COVID-19 community levels. The number of counties in the high level jumped from one to 14 over the previous week, while the number in the medium level doubled from 15 to 30. Door County remained in the medium level after approximately half of the 116 tests administered returned positive for COVID-19. No new deaths were registered, but two additional hospitalizations were added. That is the same number of hospitalizations Kewaunee County reported during their Friday update. They also had 23 tests come back positive for COVID-19. Despite that, Kewaunee County remained just one of 28 counties at the low COVID-19 community level. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - July 18, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 30,610 (+116)
Positive: 7,203 (+56)
Probable: 405 (+4)
Negative: 23,002 (+56)
Hospitalizations: 252 (+2)
Deaths: 62 
*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

 

Wisconsin Humane Society expects to see rescued Envigo beagles

You may have the opportunity to lend a helping paw to the Wisconsin Humane Society later this month.

 

The organization has reached out to the Humane Society of the United States to help take in some of the approximately 4,000 beagles being released from a medical facility in Virginia. The United States Department of Justice is working with the Humane Society of the United States after Envigo, which bred the beagles for medical research, violated several federal regulations, according to multiple news outlets. Last week, a federal judge ordered the beagles to be released, but animal rescue agencies only have approximately 60 days to find the dogs new homes. The Humane Society of the United States is already calling this a “historic operation” as one of their most extensive rescue missions ever.

 

Angela Speed from the Wisconsin Humane Society, which has a Door County campus, says they hope to have their newest arrivals by the end of the month. She adds that participating in large-scale rescues like this requires the support of foster parents willing to take in animals at short notice. It is even more important since some of the dogs making their way to Wisconsin are still nursing their litter of puppies. If you are interested in signing up to become a foster parent to help out these beagles and other animals, Speed suggests you contact the Wisconsin Humane Society or visit this link.

Triple P parenting courses coming to Door County

Helping prevent problems with your kids before they start is the goal of a new program being presented by the Door County Partnership for Children and Families. The Positive Parenting Program, also known as Triple P, is an evidence-based system of strategies to help you raise happy kids, manage misbehavior by encouraging the behavior you want, and take care of yourself as a parent. The program had gotten extra attention from the pandemic when families experienced disruptions to their daily life. Door County Partnership for Children and Families Community Impact Coordinator Chad Welch is a Certified Triple P Coach. He says the programs he will be presenting over the next three months are all about giving you the tools to be a better parent.

The first of three topics, “The Power of Positive Parenting,” will be presented on Monday in person at the United Way of Door County beginning at 9 a.m. Welch will reprise the session virtually on July 21st at 6 p.m. You can find more information about the sessions here.

Door County Parks on schedule with summer projects

The Door County Parks Department is on schedule with all projects this summer. One project was the Ahnapee State Trail that runs from Kewaunee to Sturgeon Bay received a much-needed resurfacing on a 5.2-mile stretch between Forestville and Sturgeon Bay. The Door County Highway Department laid down one-to-three inches of quarry wash to stabilize the trail while re-establishing the ten-foot width in areas where it had shrunk. Parks Director Burke Pinney says the Ahnapee Trail will have more work done later this summer.

 

 

According to Pinney, the job of brushing the trail might be limited due to the 50 percent increase cost of the rental equipment.

 

 

Other completed projects include paving the road into Ellison Bluff County Park to accommodate bike riders. The Forestville Dam had a new launch dock installed last week and a new parking lot earlier this month.   The new docks for George K. Pinney Park, which were paid for with grants and user fees, are expected to be installed in the next three to five weeks.

Community Spotlight: Olson Family Farms celebrates 150 years

You will not catch them milking cows like they used to, but when you’ve been around for 150 years, farms like Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay are bound to change. The Olson Family is celebrating the milestone this weekend, about a month before officially being recognized as a sesquicentennial farm at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 9th. Few farms have reached the mark, with just 982 on the list since the recognition program started in 1998. By comparison, there were 375 Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies from 2010 to 2019. Rich Olson and his brother Eric are the fifth generation to run the farm, and he does not anticipate slowing down anytime soon.   

 

 

Olson Family Farms consists of 1,150 acres and 60 cows they now milk robotically. Olson hopes to hear stories from his family members about how the farm has evolved over the years and the fond and not-so-fond memories they have had there.

 

Life advice: You get what you put into it

“You get out of it what you put into it.” We have all heard our parents or teachers make this statement as it related to our studies, our hobbies, or our athletic aspirations. Whether in grade school, high school or occupational education, we understood that the greater the effort the greater the reward, but as we get older, we tend to forget this simple formula. The relationship of our efforts to our outcomes applies to so many aspects of our adult lives, and too often we get frustrated with what we view as minimal satisfaction, fulfillment or appreciation.

       

Just as it is difficult to watch a child struggle in their education, it is just as difficult to watch adults struggle in their chosen profession or their relationships. But in both scenarios, this same simple formula applies, you get out of it what you put into it.

        

I should clarify that I am not talking about financial outcomes, or elevated position titles but rather a far greater outcome of personal fulfillment. As I have explained to my own children many times; you search for your calling and when you find it, the financial gains become a secondary benefit to the personal fulfillment you derive from doing your best at what you love.

It is unfortunate that we connect success to what is immediately observable on the surface, rather than the less tangible rewards such as contentment, fulfillment or happiness.

       

The same can be said for our relationships. How often do we look to our friends’ co-workers or even loved ones and question why we don’t feel connected? Possibly a moment of inflection on our efforts in those relationships would provide some real answers. The concept of getting out of it what you put into it applies directly to relationships. It requires deliberate effort to sustain meaningful relationships as well as a commitment of time. In this age of social media where we gauge our relationships by likes, shares, or comments, we run the risk of starving those personal relationships rather than nurturing them.

       

I am guilty of these superficial interactions as much as the next person, and it was this past weekend’s fair that once again provided opportunities to re-connect with so many wonderful people that made me aware of it. To be able to share stories and experiences in person is what we were meant to do. We are by nature a communal species. We are built to interact and share in both our most joyous and tragic moments. We sustain each other many times without ever knowing it.

       

Life is a full contact event. It requires great effort, discomfort and yes even pain sometimes to fully derive the intended level of fulfillment, gratitude and joy. Life is not a spectator event. You can not sit on the sidelines and expect to get anywhere near the level of joy or fulfillment as those engaged in the event. You will in fact get out of it, what you put into it.

      

Whether it be in our relationships, studies or employment, let’s all try to avoid becoming merely spectators. Rather, let’s begin each day, each shift or each class with every ounce of purpose and energy that we can muster, even in the hard days. Let’s take the time to have real conversations rather than just passing comments. Let’s all remember that from the moment we wake up to the moment we lay our head back down, we will in fact get from life, what we put into it.

Big Band Jazz returns to Birch Creek Music Performance Center

The sounds of big band jazz will fill the air in Egg Harbor across the county beginning on Wednesday. After the symphony season concludes on Saturday, big band jazz students will begin reporting to Birch Creek Music Performance Center on Sunday before playing their first concert on Wednesday. In addition to the performances inside the barn on Birch Creek’s campus, the center’s Jazz Ambassadors will circulate through the county, playing venues from Sturgeon Bay to Sister Bay and everywhere in between. Executive Director Mona Christenson says the building has a different energy when the big band jazz students and faculty show up.

Playing the likes of Ellington, Miller, and Basie along the way, Birch Creek will host performances Wednesday through Saturday for the next four weeks to close out its summer concert season. You can catch our full interview with Christenson by clicking this link.

State park travel lagging behind 2021 numbers

You might still be traveling this year; it just may be to places other than Wisconsin State Parks. Travel insurance company Allianz Partners says more American are packing their bags and flying overseas rather than piling into the family vehicle for a road trip. Travel to Europe this year is expected to go up 600 percent compared to last year after many COVID-19-related restrictions have been lifted. It has caused domestic travel to return to Earth after tourists sprung to nearby outdoor spaces. Eric Hyde, the superintendent for Peninsula, Newport, and Rock Island state parks, says it has been slower since they reached record highs in 2021. While Rock Island State Park traffic has stayed steady after its forced closure in 2020, Peninsula State Park’s traffic was down about 25 percent in June compared to last year at the same time. Hyde believes it is due to several different factors.

Hyde says campsites have stayed full on the weekends with maybe a few more open campsites during the weekdays than last year. Now may be the best time to visit Peninsula State Park with the state working on the final details to repave portions of Shore Road in the park this fall. 

Door-Tran receives $15K grant to assist northern county residents

A recent grant from the R. Bruce & Alyce S. Kopseker Trust Fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation could make it easier for you or your loved ones in Northern Door County to get around. The fund awarded Door-Tran a $15,631 grant this week to help meet the increased transportation demands in the Northern Door area. Though they are still not at pre-pandemic levels yet, Door-Tran is seeing increased transportation demands for volunteer drivers and half-price travel vouchers for those residents who need a ride. Executive Director Nikki Voight says the dollars received are appreciated and will be used to ensure riders and drivers have everything they need to address Door County’s transportation shortfalls. 

Door-Tran holds office hours in Sister Bay on the third Wednesday of every month from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Voight is thankful for every grant they receive to keep costs down for county residents. The grants received usually require a 50 percent match, which means donations and volunteer drivers are equally important to the success of Door-Tran.

Suicide and crisis lifeline transitions to 988 Saturday

Getting the help you need when dealing with a crisis or suicidal thoughts just got easier. On Friday, Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that the state is ready to transition to the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline beginning July 16th. The hope is the unique number will be easier to remember than the current 1-800-273-8255 used for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Those in crisis can text or dial 988 to be connected to someone 24/7 to get the help they need.  In May, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski praised the critical resource when it was first introduced after years of setbacks.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline received 29,000 calls from Wisconsinites last year. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline has 200 support centers established around the country, including Wisconsin’s, which is funded by DHS and operated by Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin.

Wiltse property conversations taking shape

What you may see on a 56-acre parcel in Sister Bay will be the topic of serious discussion on Tuesday.

 

The Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission will be joined by the Sister Bay Village Board and its plan commission, ad hoc land acquisition committee, and staff members to discuss what is commonly known as the Wiltse property. It is located near the village's wastewater treatment plant and sports complex in between Scandia Road and County Highway ZZ. Last year, Sister Bay Village President Rob Zoscke called the land a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity for the village. One of the ideas was to relocate some of the offices currently housed at some of the village's outdated buildings and sell those properties.

 

Nicole Barbiaux and Brandon Robinson from the Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission will be on hand to help the village develop a conceptual plan for the site. According to the meeting’s agenda, the joint committee will establish the next steps and a time allotment for the completion of the potential development. The meeting will take place on Monday, July 18th, at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station on Mill Road, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

 

If you cannot attend in person, the village offers a virtual option that you can access on the day of the meeting using this link.

Door County Land Trust announces new leader

Emily Wood has been appointed the new executive director of the Door County Land Trust by their board of directors.

 

Wood has been the executive director of the Indiana Wildlife Federation for the past five years.  She has been involved in conservation efforts in the Midwest, including the Great Lakes invasive-carp strategy and Indiana’s monarch butterfly conservation plan.

 

Having served as a wildlife and natural resource conservation advocate working at all various levels, Wood helped pass the Great American Outdoors Act.  She also was instrumental in passing the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

 

Wood starts her new position on August 1st and will be  replacing Tom Clay, who announced his departure as the executive director last January and left in March.   The Door County Land Trust protects about 8,800 acres of land throughout the peninsula.

 

(Photo  courtesy of Indiana Wildlife Foundation)

 

Habitat breaks ground on Wittenmyer's dream

Hiding behind enormous piles of rocks in Baileys Harbor, you will find a dream years in the making. Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Wittenmyer family officially broke ground on the organization's 47th home Thursday afternoon. The Wittenmyers wanted to build on their land years ago, but a terminal breast cancer diagnosis for Chrystal Chartier-Wittenmyer changed those plans. Thanks to the work of Door County Habitat for Humanity and other charitable endeavors, the home will become a reality later this fall. Chrystal is thrilled that it is all finally happening, even if she may not be around to see it.

New Door County Habitat for Humanity President Carrie Becker says working with families like Wittenmyers has been one of her favorite aspects during her short tenure so far.

Door County Habitat for Humanity is building this home while working on a second home in Sturgeon Bay. The organization invites you to swing a hammer on their build days on Tuesdays and Thursdays or contribute to their volunteers' meals and snacks.

 

 

 

Guilette excited for fair ambassador role

Door County Fair Ambassador Emily Guilette is excited to welcome you to the Door County Fair this August. The ambassador position is a part of the rebranding of the Door County Fairest of the Fair program that ran for the last four years, with Michaela Guilette holding the title for the virtual year in 2020 and last year’s 150th anniversary. Claire Olson and Katie Guilette also reigned over the Door County Fair for one term each. Guilette recently graduated from UW-Stevens Point and will attend Concordia University this fall en route to her goal of becoming a licensed professional counselor. She grew up bringing rabbits and chickens to the fair as a 4-H member, and she is looking forward to promoting the five-day event this summer.

If you miss seeing Guilette formally receive the title of ambassador on August 10th or circling the midway and exhibits on subsequent days, there is one other opportunity to see her. Guilette will compete in the powderpuff division of the demolition derby in the afternoon on August 14th. Attendees of this year’s fair can already buy their general admission buttons from select spots throughout the county. Those hoping to show animals or other projects have until this Friday (07/15/22) to submit their application online. You can listen to our entire interview with Guilette by clicking this link.  

Jail future up for grabs at Kewaunee County Board meeting Tuesday

The Kewaunee County Board will decide whether or not you will get a final say on the future of its jail. The board listened to a presentation last month concerning the $25.6 million project from Venture Architects and Samuels Group representatives. The presentation included the proposed floor plans and cost estimates. The county administrative staff also gave information on 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. During this meeting, the Kewaunee County Board will first decide on whether or not the project should proceed at all. They will vote for the issuance of $21 million in general obligation bonds or promissory notes to help pay for the project. While the first vote needs a simple majority, the second vote requires 15 of the 20 supervisors to say yes. According to Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt, anything less than that would trigger a referendum vote this fall.

The Kewaunee County Board meets on July 19th at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall. 

Schaefer prepares to lead Sevastopol

The new person you will find in the Sevastopol Middle and High School principal’s office is excited for his next challenge in the education field. Troy Schaefer began his tenure as Sevastopol MS/HS Principal earlier this month, replacing Adam Baier in the role. Schaefer has 25 years of classroom experience in his background at the Oshkosh Area School District. Along the way, he became a motivational speaker and a corporate consultant, preaching the importance of creating a positive culture. It is something he hopes to bring to his new role as principal.

Schaefer is already meeting with teachers ahead of the new school year and cannot wait to welcome students when they arrive for their registration and orientation dates on August 1st and 2nd and start the school year on September 1st.

Sturgeon Bay reschedules fireworks to kick off Maritime Week

The start of your Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay just got a little brighter. Destination Sturgeon Bay announced on Wednesday that the fireworks that were originally scheduled to take place on July 4th will now occur on August 6th. 

 

The activities will be similar to what was planned for the Fourth of July, with food and beverages being offered at Sunset Park before the fireworks start at dusk. With the support of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and the Raibrook Foundation, Destination Sturgeon Bay Marketing Coordinator Rachel Malcore is excited to have the fireworks as a part of the city’s celebration of its maritime tradition.

The fireworks are just part of a busy weekend in Sturgeon Bay for Maritime Week. The Door County Maritime Museum will host its annual Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Show on August 5th-7th. Destination Sturgeon Bay is also bringing back its Bloody Mary Social for a second year on August 7th.  

Continuous improvement key to Ducat's success

You will always see Duane Ducat, his son Derek, and business partner Dale Bogart trying something new at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee.

 

The try-it mentality at Deer Run Dairy helped them garner the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy last month. Showing off the operation to media members on Wednesday, Ducat showed how their cover cropping strategies have evolved from just planting one species in the fall to interseeding within their active corn fields.

 

The farm has also been involved in improving its manure digester, transitioning it from producing electricity to a renewable natural gas that can be transported. The digester also removes almost all of the pathogens while making animal bedding and a nutrient-rich fertilizer.

 

Ducat adds that on top of it all, they have taken the necessary steps to improve the health of their herd so they can limit the use of additional antibiotics as much as possible,

A sustainability award is not stopping Deer Run Dairy from looking at new ways to improve even more. They are trying new cover cropping techniques through their work with Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network. They have also initiated the engineering work that could allow their digester to expand so other local farms could use it. Ducat says it is all about the culture they have established at Deer Run Dairy, where they are always learning and trying to improve their practices.

We Are HOPE holding Open House to better employment success

You could find your next job or career through the outreach efforts of an organization that has been around for more than 40 years. Having undergone a name change from being the Door County Job Center a few years ago, We Are HOPE, Inc./The  EMployAbility HUB is hosting an Open House to connect employers and the workforce in Door County. Executive Director Kim Carley says the open house will allow the public to utilize the tools to help find employment with the multiple program centers that will be on hand.

 

 

Carley notes that a new Workforce Advancement program will be introduced during the open house. A renewed addition that will be present is Great Lakes Training and Development, which focuses on helping the youth find employment. The open house will be held from 3:30 pm until 6:30 pm on Tuesday, July 19, at We are Hope’s office in the Cherry Point Mall on Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay.

YMCA helping to ready Door County Triathlon

Like many organizations looking for help this summer, the Door County YMCA is seeking volunteers for the annual Door County Triathlon this weekend.  YMCA Community Impact Director Josh Oberndorfer says the event that has up to 1,000 participants each day requires a lot of supporters to pull off the major race.  He says the biggest need is during Sunday afternoon.

 

 

Oberndorfer notes that the YMCA is a big charity partner for the Door County Triathlon with volunteers helping along the running and bike routes.  The triathlon will be held on Saturday with the Half Iron Distance Triathlon on Sunday.  You can volunteer for the event by contacting the Door County YMCA at (920) 743-4949.       

Door County Sheriff's Department's new procedure offers useful data

The Door County Sheriff's Department has implemented a new procedure to better track and cross-reference traffic stops and other encounters. The law enforcement officers are tagging their real-time body camera video with the case number.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the new system was initiated last week and is a more straightforward way to track patrol officers' cameras.

 

 

McCarty says the procedural change will also help address traffic enforcement complaints and speeders. Besides the valuable data created, the system will also help track all the video that has to be kept and archived for future use. 

40th K-D Salmon Tournament starts Friday

You will see some local businesses receive an economic boost with the start of the 40th Annual Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament this Friday. The largest summer fishing tournament on the Great Lakes has attracted over 3,300 anglers in recent years, according to founder and co-organizer Jerry MacMillin. He says generations of families continue to participate in the event which goes back four decades.

 

 

The first-ever ten-day tournament runs from this Friday through July 24.   Tournament Coordinator Kevin Naze says the fishing contest offers a huge boon to the area with about half of the anglers from outside the area.

 

 

Well over $50,000 in prize money is awarded every year, including a first-place $15,000 cash prize with a free mounting of the winning salmon and a customized salmon ring. You can find more information about the 40th Annual K-D Salmon Tournament here.

 

 

Gas prices continue to tumble despite demand increase

You are still paying a lot more than you did a year ago, but you should see a little relief at the gas pump. With an average price of $4.43, Wisconsin is among the states that have seen the most significant drop in prices over the last month, according to AAA, at 47 cents. Only Florida and Indiana have seen more significant declines. That falls in line with what has been seen in the Green Bay metro area, which currently has an average price of $4.34 a gallon. That is down 15 cents from a week ago ($4.49) and 47 cents from a month ago ($4.81). Kewaunee County ($4.36) and Door County ($4.49) are slightly above the regional average. According to AAA, the drop in prices comes despite a slight rise in demand. Despite the price drop, it is still $1.40 more than consumers spent a year ago.

Washington Island Lions Fly-In Fish Boil set for lift-off

Whether you fly, float, drive, bike, or walk in, the Washington Island Lions Club has your lunch plans covered on Saturday. The Washington Island Lions Club will host its Fly-In Fish Boil on Saturday when dozens of pilots land their planes at the airport to grab a plate of food and a little camaraderie before taking off again for the next step in their journey. It is part of a busy month for aviation enthusiasts. The Rio Creek Aviation Foundation hosted its annual fly-in to kick off the month on July 2nd. At the end of July, thousands take to the air to fly into Oshkosh for the annual EAA AirVenture. For the Washington Island Lions, member Joel Gunnlaugsson says it is great to see familiar faces and raise vital funds for local causes.

The Washington Island Fly-In Fish Boil is open to non-pilots and even people who do not like fish (they will have hot dogs, too!) when it runs at the Washington Island Airport from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Final Maplewood mobile food pantry set for Wednesday

The senior citizens in your life have one more opportunity to get some much-needed food in Maplewood on Wednesday. With support from the United Way of Door County and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, food boxes have been made available for residents for the last two months at Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle said earlier this year how important this program was for local seniors on fixed incomes.

Make room in your trunk or back seat so volunteers can place the food box in your car during the first-come, first-serve event that runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

Otumba Park Playground Project gets boost from Kress Foundation

As the Otumba Park project received good news this week, your child is closer to enjoying a new playground in Sturgeon Bay. The George Kress Foundation has pledged a $25,000 matching gift contribution to the all-inclusive playground for the park. Lead fundraiser for the project, Ashely Schanock says the matching donation total would bring the total donations to $275,000 of the $400,000 overall goal. She shares the significance of the equipment that would be installed for children of all ages and abilities. 

 

 

The updated playground equipment will feature three distinct areas of play and equipment for ages: 6 months-24 months, 2-5 years old, and 6-12 years old. Schanock says the plan is to open the new playground by next spring. You can donate to the project by going to the Destination Sturgeon Bay website or by mailing or dropping off a check at its office on South Third Avenue.

Door County lends a hand for Combined Locks fire

Despite being nearly two hours away from a fire in Combined Locks, Wis. over the weekend, you would have still seen Door County firefighters on the scene. For the first time in Door County history, MABAS Division 154, made up of fire departments from Southern Door, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, Egg Harbor, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, and Gibraltar, sent crews to the large warehouse fire that took 24 hours to control. Led by Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht and Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges, the firefighters supported the effort by doing fill site work and fire ground pumping, among other tasks. Hecht says it was a unique experience but an important one for their firefighters to get.

According to the Combined Locks Public Safety Department, the multi-day event was sparked by some paper pulp bales catching fire. More than 60 departments from several counties, including Door, Wood, and Sheboygan, were called in for assistance.

 

Picture courtesy of Southern Door FIre Department

 

 

 

Five years later: Looking back at Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days

You might not remember that for three days when Kewaunee County shined its brightest for the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, it actually rained. The 2017 FTD Executive Committee and its 1,900 volunteers are celebrating this week the fifth anniversary of hosting the event that became the first in Farm Technology Days history to draw more people to its three days of exhibitions than the county’s population. It could have been even more if it had not downpoured heading into the event’s second day. Still, the executive committee’s response to the rain was to throw more wood chips down so attendees could visit all the different areas set up at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. Those three days in 2017 were actually more than three years of hard work and dedication, something the event’s executive chairperson Amber Hewett looks back fondly on.

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County funneled more than $300,000 back into the local community through grants and scholarships. The Dana Farm project, which includes rehabilitating the original home of Ransom Moore and adding an ice rink and adjoining shelter, acts as a beacon for the event’s efforts. They also continue to give scholarships to worthy area students going into agriculture over the next five years due to the money raised during the event. 

 

 

 

Door County awaits name change for island

You may soon need to call a Door County landmark by a different name. The United States Department of Interior has already identified 28 places in Wisconsin with an offensive term toward Native Americans, including Sq--w Island, located near Little Sturgeon in Door County. According to the USA Today Network-Wisconsin, Keyes Creek, Little Sturgeon Bay, Henderson Point, Lake Michigan, and Rileys Point are some suggested names for the island. The process started in February when the department announced the series of name changes for more than 660 geographic features across the country. The last replacement names for the features will be submitted on July 25th, with a final decision coming on September 24th. This is not a new process for the United States Department of Interior. The same article referenced similar efforts for places with derogatory terms for African-Americans in 1963 and Japanese-Americans in 1974. 

Door County COVID-19 Community Level raised to medium

The Centers for Disease Control recommend you take extra precautions after Door County saw its COVID-19 Community Level get raised from low to medium. It was raised to that level prior to Monday’s situation update from the Door County Public Health Department, which indicated that 43 of the 87 tests administered over the last week came back positive. No new hospitalizations or deaths were reported. The CDC recommends people living in counties at the medium level to get tested if they have symptoms, stay up to date on their vaccinations, and talk to their healthcare provider for additional tips if they are considered to be an at-risk individual.

 

In Kewaunee County, they reported their first hospitalization in several weeks on Friday. The area also experienced 21 new cases, 16 of which are considered active.

 

Statewide, the seven-day average for new cases of COVID-19 is 1,262, which is 115 lower than it was at the same time on Friday. One troubling trend the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported last week was the increase in hospitalizations for COVID-19 in the state, which is at its highest level since March.    

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - July 11, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 30,494 (+87)
Positive: 7,147 (+43)
Probable: 401
Negative: 22,946 (+44)
Hospitalizations: 250
Deaths: 62 
*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

 

 

 

Cherry season arrives in Door County

It is time to grab your buckets and head to your local cherry orchard in Door County. After last year’s cherry season got off to an early start thanks to a warmer spring, this year’s crop will be ready for its more traditional mid-July start. Toni Sorenson from Soren’s Valhalla Orchards says this year’s cherries have benefited from a recent streak of good weather. That includes some timely rains that will allow the fruit to gain size before picking it.

Sorenson says they often get calls for certain varieties of cherries like Bing and Rainier, but they are more generalized terms for sweet cherries. More important for consumers is to make sure they get cherries grown in the United States if they are not going straight to the orchard, so the dollars spent stay right with local growers. She expects the first sweet cherry pickers to hit her orchards on July 11th, with those looking to grab some tart cherries later in the week.

 

Community Spotlight:  Brussels Lions Club

You may know the Brussels Lions Club as the host of the annual Belgian Days event that was held this past weekend, but the organization has been actively impacting the area in many other ways over the past year.  Club Secretary Penny Wautier says through the generosity of the community, $40,000 worth of new playground equipment has been installed in the Brussels Town Park.  She shares the details of some of the 88 service activities the Brussels Lions Club was involved with in the past year.

 

 

The Brussels Lions Club was also able to donate an additional $500 this year over the usual $1000 donated to the State organization and Lions International.  The membership in the Brussels Lions Club stands currently at an all-time record high of 55 members.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Penny Wautier on the “Spotlight on the Community” podcast page here.  

Community rallies around each other at animal auction

Paying over $500 for a duck or $1,000 for a turkey might seem crazy to you, but it is part of how businesses and youth exhibitors support each other at events like the Kewaunee County Fair Animal Auction.

 

The work began months ago for the youth as they picked out their animals and raised them to be award -winning animals. In the weeks leading up to Saturday's animal auction, youth begin writing letters to local businesses letting them know that they would be participating and that they would appreciate their support.

 

It is a process familiar to Jordan Ebert, who participated in the event as a youth himself. Now he is on the other side as one of the buyers of Ebert Enterprises and their other businesses Homestead Kitchen and Tap and Salmon's Meats. Ebert always appreciated the community that supported him when he was in the shoes of the dozens of youth exhibitors that participated in Saturday's auction. He believes in the two way street that exists in Kewaunee County where the families support the businesses and the businesses support the youth by buying the animals they worked so hard on for the past few months.

Kewaunee County businesses spent thousands of dollars buying ducks, chickens, pigs, sheep, steers, and other animals during this year's auction. Door County businesses can return the favor to their youth during the Door County Quality Market Animal Sale on August 13th. 

Remote working not going anywhere at Door County

More people are working from home than ever before, and you can bet Door County has noticed. According to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey, approximately 58 percent of Americans have the option to work at least one day a week remotely. The same survey showed that 87 percent of respondents embraced the flexibility to work remotely or in the office, something that may not have been thought of before the pandemic forced offices in both the public and private sectors to close. It is becoming an essential factor for people looking to switch jobs, with a flexible work arrangement being considered more important than access to health insurance, predictable hours, more paid leave, and a shorter commute. County employees were granted the opportunity to continue to work from home if they qualify after the County Board approved the measure last week. If their application is approved, some county employees will be able to work up to three days a week from home as a result of the county board action. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says he looks at it as a tool for recruiting and retaining employees.

 

 

Pabich says county employees were able to apply for the program this week, so it is too soon to tell how many will take advantage of it. He added that they join approximately 50 counties statewide that implemented some kind of work-from-home program.

Ephraim Short-Term Ordinance decision coming Tuesday

You could see Ephraim become the next Door County community to tighten the regulations on its local short-term rental industry.

 

The village has been slowly tweaking its short-term rental ordinance over the last few months as they have followed the lead of Liberty Grove and Sevastopol, which have both passed updated regulations in the last year. The board tabled its vote on the ordinance last meeting in order for its members to digest the discussions that took place and make further adjustments if needed.

 

After that meeting, Village Administrator Brent Bristol applauded the board’s transparency and willingness to make changes if warranted. STR owner Colin Welford believes he and other operators of properties often found on sites like Airbnb have been painted with a broad brush in a negative light compared to other forms of lodging. The latest tweaks to the ordinance change the wording of what “designated agent” is and what he can and cannot do, authorize the board to set an administrative fee for a license by resolution, and state its maximum occupancy. You compare the difference between what was included in the June agenda packet and the July agenda packet by clicking on the links. If approved by the Ephraim Board of Trustees, it would go into effect on January 1st, 2023.

Launching Your Kayak in Door County: Series IV

With over 300 miles of shoreline there are plenty of places to launch your kayak in Door County, whether chasing smallmouth bass or just out for a fun time paddling on our beautiful Green Bay or Lake Michigan.  

 

I will not have space to list all the launches, but this should get you started. I suggest you do some exploring and take advantage of Google Maps. One of the best places, and there are dozens of these up and down the peninsula, are roads that dead-end at the water.  The key to any of these launch points is making sure your vehicle is off the road when you park. 

 

Throughout the county there are many public and private boat launches that if you are using a kayak trailer you can launch by just paying the fee. I have used the launches in Ellison Bay along with both  North Bay and Moonlight Bay on the lake side. For Sturgeon Bay, I have used the launch at Sunset Park and on a couple occasions if I have the kayak on my vehicle, I have launched at the beach.  Launching at beaches can be good spots but would be best on weekdays or before the crowds show up on weekends. Other good beaches to launch are Otumba Park in Sturgeon Bay, Murphy Park south of Egg Harbor on County B and public beaches in most communities. As you would  expect both Potawatomi and Peninsula State Parks have kayak specific launches. 

 

For the more secluded Rowley’s Bay and Mink River on the lake side, there is a kayak launch next to the fishing pier near the Rowley’s Bay Resort. To kayak out from Cave Point, an amazing location, there is a launch just north at Schauer Park. With all your Door County kayaking do pay attention to the wind and especially at Cave Point, which can have some of the biggest waves in the county when the wind is coming off the lake. I also should note that there are nice kayak launches at the three inland lakes, Europe, Kangaroo and Clark.

 

There’s beautiful scenery and plenty of water birds to view when paddling from any launch point in Door County.  You might even get lucky and spot an eagle soaring over the water or above the trees.   For smallmouth bass anglers, many of the launches I mentioned will put you onto some good spots to catch and ideally release smallies.  

 

It is the perfect time of the year to get out in your kayak and enjoy Door County! As always, if you have any kayak or kayak fishing questions email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

 

Holda puts Ahnapee Creamery and Café on the trail

You will not have to venture too far off the Ahnapee Trail in Luxemburg to grab a drink, meal, or scoop. The Ahnapee Creamery and Café opened its doors last week, offering breakfast and lunch during the day and scooping out ice cream and pouring drinks in the afternoons. The idea was Ashley Holda’s, who noticed a void in downtown Luxemburg: no coffee shops or ice cream parlors for residents and visitors to enjoy. With previous restaurant experience in her background, Holda transformed the former Boarding Haus Pub into her new space after the building sat vacant for eight years and on the market for three years. She hopes to source her products as locally as possible, with her meat and cheese coming from places just minutes from her front door and the restaurant’s bakery items from a business in Denmark.

The Ahnapee Creamery and Café, located at the corner of Cedar and Main Streets in Luxemburg, is open Tuesday-Saturday 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch and 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday during the summer months for ice cream and drinks.  Holda says she will add more menu items and other features like a Sunday brunch as her operation gets up to speed.

Foster homes needed in Door County

Door County needs your help providing children with a temporary home. Approximately 8,000 kids are in foster homes statewide, including just over a dozen in Door County. While many kids have been able to stay local while their biological parents work through their situations, Vivian Grair from the Door County Department of Social Services says some are sent to different counties because there is no room for them here. The goal for kids in foster care is to eventually be reunited with their birth parents or at least find some solution within 18 months of the children entering the system. Grair says there are misconceptions about the kids that enter foster care that might impact potential parents from joining the program.

Grair says the foster parent community in Door County is a tight-knit group that is always willing to help each other. Door County hosts foster parent orientation over Zoom once a month, with its next one coming on August 4th. The training goes over everything you will need to do before welcoming a foster child into your home.

 

Cycling knows no age with Door County organization

A relatively new Door County organization wants you to feel the wind hit your face like you are cycling, even if you cannot ride a bicycle anymore. Cycling Without Age Door County started late last year after its founder John Ludwigsen encountered a specialized bike called a trishaw on a trail in Prairie du Sac, Wis. It inspired him to learn more about Ole Kassow, who started the movement in 2012 in Copenhagen, Denmark. With trishaws, older adults of all abilities can sit on a bench seat while being chauffeured by a volunteer pilot. Cycling Without Age Door County is one of 2,700 chapters in 52 countries. Ludwigsen’s wife Diane says the organization has formed partnerships with Scandia Village in Sister Bay, Sunflower Cottage in Sturgeon Bay, and the Door County Medical Center Skilled Nursing Center in Sturgeon Bay to offer rides to their residents. She is happy with the connections they have made and the response the program has received in such a short time.

You can click this link to schedule your ride, which offers opportunities for riders at the Door County Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility, Peninsula State Park, Scandia Village, and both Door County YMCA locations. 

 

Photo courtesy of Cycling Without Age Door County

Ballot drop boxes illegal in Wisconsin

You and you alone are responsible for getting your absentee ballot to your municipal clerk for upcoming elections. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-3 Friday morning that drop boxes, popularized during the first year of the pandemic and demonized in the months since, are illegal. Furthermore, the high court ruled that absentee ballots must be delivered by only the voter and not by a friend or relative unless they are mailed in ahead of time. According to Supreme Court documents, there are currently no restrictions on who can place the ballot in the mailbox. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck believes the decision will make it harder for many Wisconsinites to cast their ballot. 

Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote the majority opinion on the issue on behalf of her fellow conservative high court members, saying that drop boxes can potentially be targeted for voter fraud since all the ballots would be in one spot. She also recognizes the Wisconsin Elections Commission's attempt to keep voting safe for everyone but that their actions must still comply with state law. In her dissent, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley challenged the majority opinion's view that drop boxes hurt Wisconsin voters' trust in elections, saying voter suppression laws and unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud are more dangerous. The new rules will be in place for the fall primary on August 9th and the general election on November 8th.

Patience needed while driving during busy tourist season

I hope that everyone is enjoying their summer season, and all of the activities and events which are occurring almost every weekend in Kewaunee County. It is always enjoyable for me to see the influx of people into our communities, and the pleasure they get from experiencing our quality of life that we sometimes take for granted. 

    

While all of this activity and added traffic is great for our local economy, anytime you put more people or vehicles into a given area the anxiety level usually increases as well. One of the common violations we tend to see during the busy season is related to vehicle right of ways.

    

In short “Right of Way” refers to the vehicle that is operating on the roadway without controls such as stop sign, yield sign. It is also the vehicle operating on the main roadway in contrast to a vehicle pulling out of a driveway or away from a stop sign controlled intersection.

   

What usually happens is that a vehicle is waiting at a stop sign for traffic to clear, but due to the increased number of cars, becomes impatient and pulls out into traffic with little or no warning for the other vehicles. Another scenario is multiple vehicles traveling in the same direction and the first vehicle attempts to make a right or left turn, when the vehicles behind it become impatient and pull into oncoming traffic to get around it, or take the shoulder. If this plays out in a passing zone and there is no oncoming traffic it does not pose a problem, but if this happens in a no passing zone, or there happens to be oncoming traffic the potential for a tragic accident now exists.

    

Whether the vehicle in front of you is traveling less than the speed limit or is in fact stopped in traffic you still have the obligation to pass this vehicle in a safe manner. There are actually two separate traffic laws which apply to these situations. The first is 346.07 “Overtaking and Passing on Left” which generally states that when you pass a vehicle you should do it in a safe manner, when in a passing zone and clear of any oncoming traffic. The second is 346.08 “When passing or overtaking on the Right Permitted”. This generally states that unless there is a paved area equivalent to the width of a traffic lane along the right shoulder of the roadway, passing is not permissible.

      

The bottom line is patience. No destination or itinerary is worth risking your life or the lives of others on the road. In many instances the time you saved by that reckless act of passing or speeding is mere seconds, but the results of those decisions will last a lifetime. Remember the trip is just as important as the destination. Enjoy the ride!

Governor awards $210K-plus in coastal management grants

Ten Wisconsin Coastal Management grants totaling $210,290 awarded to Door and Kewaunee counties this week could have an impact on your life from the water you drink to the place you recreate.

 

Governor Tony Evers highlighted four of the grants that will positively impact Kewaunee County during a press conference held at Algoma City Hall on Thursday.

 

The City of Algoma was awarded $30,000 to make green infrastructure improvements to Olson Park where its public works department currently dumps its snow during the winter months. City Administrator Matt Murphy says the grant will allow them to dump the snow somewhere else instead of the park where sediment could flow into Lake Michigan via the Ahnapee River.

 

Kewaunee County received $30,000 to continue its well testing program to allow an additional 600 wells to get tested for contaminants. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says by continuing the program, they will get the data necessary to make future decisions concerning water conservation efforts.

 

The Wisconsin Historical Society received over $16,000 to continue its documentation efforts of maritime resources near historic lumber piers in Kewaunee County. Maritime archaeologist Tamara Thomsen says their work could be a "game-changer" if a potential Lake Michigan Marine Sanctuary expands further north into Kewaunee County.

 

The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Partnership also received $20,000 to provide technical assistance to seven counties including Door and Kewaunee.

 

You can read more about the grants awarded by clicking this link and by watching today's press conference below.

 

 

Accurate Marine & Storage purchased by Yacht Works

Another Kewaunee marine business has been purchased by Yacht Works in Sister Bay.  After buying Salmon Harbor last year and rebranding it Yacht Works Kewaunee, Yacht Works has bought Accurate Marine & Storage.  Tom Kleiman says after 17 years of operating Accurate Marine it made sense to combine the two businesses that worked together occastionally and competed in the past.

 

 

Chad Lamer, general manager of Yacht Works Kewaunee says the acquisition provides for an inhouse entity for service with skilled laborers.

 

 

The combined businesses have about 20 full-time employees currently working at each location.  Russ Forkert, the owner of Yacht Works, told Door County Daily News that the business transaction paperwork was finalized on Thursday.

 

Area women walk on for rights

Two separate events in Door County made sure that you know that the fight for women’s rights is not going anywhere anytime soon.  Inspired by last month’s Supreme Court decision turning the decision of abortion over to the states, walks for women’s rights took place in Sturgeon Bay on July 4th and Sister Bay on July 5th. 

For the Sister Bay event, organizer Emma Cox reached out to Sara White and Abby Duebler to organize the "Walk for Women" after the Supreme Court decision, and a similar event celebrating Northern Door Pride took off from Peach Barn Brewery in late June.  Between 200 and 400 people participated in the walk down the hill into downtown before setting up on the corner of Mill Road and State Highway 42. With men, women, and children all participating, Cox was happy with the response the event received.

Cox hopes the walk was just the first step for women’s rights advocacy in northern Door County. She said approximately 50 people indicated their interest in helping organize more events like voter registration drives in the future.

Pictures courtesy of Emma Cox and Christian McWhinney

 

Bayview Bridge will not open for boat traffic July 20th

You will have to take your boat in a different direction on July 20th due to some maintenance work on the Bayview Bridge if your vessel requires the bridge open to pass through.  Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash announced that boaters will not be able to go underneath the Bayview Bridge on that day from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be at the bridge changing the gear oils in the lift platforms. While you may not be able to go under the Bayview Bridge on a boat, you will still be able to go over it as a motorist, bicyclist, or hiker.

Car catches fire in Nasewaupee

A late-night car fire at a home in Nasewaupee Wednesday night is leaving firefighters and the car's owner scratching their heads as to the cause.

 

The Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay Fire Departments responded to the home on Sawyer Drive just past 11:45 p.m. to the sight of a car fully engulfed in flames.

 

The departments’ firefighters were able to quickly put the fire out and left shortly after midnight. The car was completely destroyed, but the quick action of the firefighters was able to prevent the flames from damaging a nearby deck.

 

Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the damage sustained to the vehicle will make it impossible to identify the cause of the fire. The owner of the vehicle told Olson that the vehicle had been parked outside and not used since 3 p.m. that afternoon

Preparation makes perfect for Kewaunee County Fair

Long before you walk through the exhibition areas, hop on a carnival ride, or sample your first brats, many youth and adults are preparing for a long weekend at the Kewaunee County Fair. Animal exhibitors spent their Wednesday getting their animals weighed in and in their designated pens. There was a little extra excitement when a steer escaped the fairgrounds, making its way to downtown Luxemburg. Others were able to put out the bedding for their animals and a makeshift living room for themselves. Alissa Gaedtke, Lane Kinnard, and Wyatt Christoph say they are looking forward to spending time with their friends, family, and animals at the fair.

Youth and adults alike were in the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exposition Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday having their projects judged in a number of different categories, ranging from art projects and pillowcases to pies and corn stalks. 

 

The Kewaunee County Fair officially opens with a Superhero theme on Thursday. Each day will feature live music and entertainment like a rodeo, a BMX bike show, and a truck and tractor pull in the grandstand. The event runs through July 10th.

League to host in-person forum featuring Assembly candidates

For the first time since the onset of the pandemic, you will be able to hear from political candidates in-person at a forum ahead of the August primary. 

 

The Door County League of Women Voters has invited State Rep. Joel Kitchens, Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Milt Swagel, and Baileys Harbor Town Supervisor Roberta Thelen to discuss the issues affecting Assembly District 1. The First Assembly District covers Door, Kewaunee, and parts of Manitowoc and Brown counties. Kitchens and Swagel are currently pitted against each other for the Republican nomination, while Thelen is running unopposed for the Democrats. The forum is scheduled for July 16th at Southern Door High School Library, beginning at 9 a.m. Pending COVID-19 concerns, this could be the first in-person candidate forum since the pandemic. The Door County League of Women Voters will post a link to their website and Facebook after its conclusion.

Door County YMCA golf scramble set for July 25

You have the opportunity to participate in a 36-hole straight-up golf scramble this month at the Door County YMCA Golf by the Bay event.  Capital Campaign Director Tonya Felhofer says there is still room for a few teams of four to eight golfers.  She says the event covers the whole peninsula with the proceeds going towards the “membership for all” program.

 

 

You can find more information on the Golf by the Bay outing at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club on the Door County YMCA website.   For the entire conversation with Tony Felhofer, including other upcoming events and the Heart of the Community Capital Campaign plans, listen on the Y Wednesday podcast page here.  

Door County Public Health adjusts vaccine clinic schedule

In an attempt to better serve you and the community while preserving resources, Door County Public Health is making adjustments on the COVID-19 immunization front. 


As the number and severity of COVID cases continue to subside, the Door County Public Health Department has modified its COVID-19 vaccine and regular immunization clinic schedule.  

The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for those 12 years of age and older will be available monthly in one clinic.  The next ones will be on Tuesday, July 19, August 9, and September 13 from 1 pm until 4 pm at the Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.  You can schedule a recommended appointment or walk-in, which will be accepted.
 
Routine childhood and general adult immunizations can be done every Wednesday, with appointment times varying.  The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children six months to 18 years old will also be available during the Wednesday clinic.  Due to higher demand for the infant COVID-19 vaccine for those six months to four years old, appointment times may be limited.  You can schedule your Door County Public Health appointment by calling 920-746-2234 during business hours. 
 
 
 

Brussels readies for 61st annual Belgian Days

You can enjoy a tradition that goes back six decades this weekend at the Town Park in Brussels. The 61st Annual Belgian Days will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Brussels Lions Club Secretary Penny Wautier says the weekend will start with a free concert by Boogie and the YoYo’z and the beginning of a youth baseball tournament.

 

 

Other events throughout the weekend include the Belgian Days Run/Walk on Saturday and the parade on Sunday at 10:30 am. Through the money raised from the event, Wautier says the Brussels Lions Club has been able to purchase and install over $40,000 of playground equipment at the Town Park. The Brussels Lions Club has served 11,530 people through 88 service activities in the past year, with over 2700 volunteer hours donated. You can find more information on the Belgian Days celebration here.   

Sturgeon Bay settles with Wal-Mart, gives raises to Community Service Officers

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council moved on a couple of recommendations from the Personnel Committee on Tuesday evening while also ending the City’s legal battle with Wal-Mart. 


The City moved on a recommendation to have Community Service Officers receive an immediate increase in wage ranges from $17-$19 per hour, with no budget impact for 2022 since hours will be adjusted accordingly.  


The Council then voted unanimously in favor of an agreement between the City and the Sturgeon Bay Professional Police Association Local 449 and Wisconsin Professional Police Association/LEER Division Local 449.  A Memorandum of Understanding on lateral entry consideration was also approved by the City, allowing the police chief to slot personnel to open positions considered lateral moves.

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council then went into a closed session to discuss a proposed mediated agreement with Wal-Mart, which was suing the City in Door County Circuit Court, contesting the 2021 property assessment in which Wal-Mart paid over $135,000 in property taxes.  After 30 minutes of closed session discussion and reconvening in open session, the City voted to approve the Wal-Mart Property Assessment Settlement, which will assess 2021 at $60 per square foot and $57 in 2022.   City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told Door County Daily News that Wal-Mart initially sought $38 per square foot, with the City at $66 per square foot.


Before the business meeting, the Door County YMCA gave a presentation update on the Capital Campaign and Building Addition that is expected to begin construction later this summer and total $9.9 million.

Missing Casco boy found safe

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department thanks you for your help locating a Casco teenager Tuesday. Fifteen-year-old Adrien J. Hockenstock was reported missing after leaving his Casco home on his bike on July 4th at 2:30 p.m. He was located at a nearby residence about an hour after the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department issued the runaway juvenile alert early Tuesday afternoon. 

COVID cancels upcoming Northern Sky Theater performances

Saturday will be the next chance you will be able to catch the musical stylings of Northern Sky Theater. The Fish Creek-based performing arts organization alerted visitors on July 4th that it would be forced to cancel its performances at its outdoor Peninsula State Park amphitheater and indoor Gould Theater due to multiple cases of COVID-19 within the company. Holly Feldman from Northern Sky Theater says the affected members are doing fine, but they are bummed they are not able to perform.

Northern Sky Theater is contacting those who may have tickets for the canceled shows this week. Ticket holders will be able to pick another date this season, receive a voucher for a future show, get a full refund, or donate the value of the ticket to Northern Sky Theater. Regular programming is expected to return to Peninsula State Park with “Fishing for the Moon” on July 9th and to the Gould Theater on July 11th featuring “Dad’s Season Tickets.” 

Better safe than sorry during busy holiday weekend

The sight of sirens and emergency personnel was likely a common one if you visited Door County this past weekend.

 

According to Door County Dispatch records, 237 incidents were reported from July 1st to 7 a.m. July 5th. 

Nearly 20 of those calls were related to fireworks being shot off. Gibraltar Fire and Rescue responded to two fires during the weekend. The first occurred on Friday when a plug connected to a touring bus at the Door Community Auditorium shorted out. The second was a small grass fire on Sunday that got away from the homeowner who was on the scene with a limited amount of water with him at the time. In both cases, Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says he appreciated the fact that they were called before things got out of hand.

Emergency personnel also responded to three water rescue calls over the weekend in Egg Harbor, Liberty Grove, and Baileys Harbor. Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak and Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald could not be reached for comment on their towns’ incidents. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht said the water rescue call they had near Sand Bay Lane was more of a miscommunication among family members than an emergency. He did add that it brought up the importance of having a float plan and a way to communicate with friends and family if you are going to be out on the water.

Door and Kewaunee counties remain at low COVID community level

Door and Kewaunee counties received a much more positive outlook regarding their COVID-19 levels on Tuesday.

 

In Door County, 66 of the 136 total tests for COVID-19 came back positive. While that accounts for almost half of the total tests reported, it did not result in additional hospitalizations or deaths.

 

Last week, the report showed one death and four hospitalizations. Kewaunee County officials shared their COVID-19 for the first time in a few weeks before the holiday weekend. They received only 22 new cases over the previous seven days with no new deaths or hospitalizations.

 

The lack of deaths and hospitalizations kept Door and Kewaunee counties as two of the 52 counties in the low community level. By comparison, two counties are at the high level and 18 are at the medium level.

 

As of July 1st, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 1,377, 87 less than what it was the week before at the same time.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - July 5, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 30,407 (+136)
Positive: 7,104 (+66)
Probable: 401
Negative: 22,902 (+70)
Hospitalizations: 250
Deaths: 62 
*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

 

 

Sturgeon Bay cancels fireworks, three others reschedule for tonight

Just because it will not be the Fourth of July does not mean you will not be able to catch fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. Rainy weather wrecked fireworks displays across northeast Wisconsin, including Door County.

 

Communities like Baileys Harbor, Gills Rock, and Washington Island waited as long as they could before eventually deciding to postpone their fireworks shows. All three will host theirs at the same time, but just a day later, on July 5th.

 

In Washington Island’s case, they will still hold its bike parade at 8:15 p.m. leading up to the display at the Washington Island ballfield.

 

Sturgeon Bay pulled the plug earlier on July 4th, canceling the Sturgeon Bay Celebrates event and fireworks show. Those fireworks will not go to waste, as they plan to use them as a part of the city’s Maritime Week festivities.

 

Picture courtesy of Destination Sturgeon Bay

Fourth of July parades line the streets of the peninsula

On the Fourth of July, you could have seen people lined up along two of the main thoroughfares in Door County. The first parade occurred in Baileys Harbor for the first time since 2019. Attendees were already finding their spots along State Highway 57 well before the parade began at 10 am. Area veterans kicked off the procession, followed by a Door County Sheriff’s car and the Baileys Harbor, Ephriam and Southern Door fire departments. A line of colorful and American themed floats followed.  After the parade, many viewers made their way down to Egg Harbor, where the second parade of the day started at 1:30 pm. This celebration included a special viewing of the University of Wisconsin marching band. The Egg Harbor route ran south along State Highway 42.

 

Community joins together to celebrate Michigan Street's birthday

If you were wondering why people were on the Michigan Street bridge on the 4th of July, the answer is a 91st birthday celebration. The Bridge Walk event held by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society takes place annually to celebrate the structure’s age and significance to the city. The Michigan Street Bridge was built as the first mode of crossing the Sturgeon Bay canal. This year, attendees gathered at Stone Harbor before heading over the bridge at noon to pay tribute to the bridge’s original dedication at noon on July 4th, 1931. The walk was led by Sturgeon Bay Historical Society board member Anni Lampert.

 

 

Sister Bay Kite Day event ready to take flight

You can see colorful kites take to the sky this month in Sister Bay. This day will be filled with family fun outdoors. Sister Bay will be hosting the Wisconsin Kiters club at this event, where they will be flying their display kites and answering questions you may have about kiting. There will also be free kite-making kits for the first 100 kids who attend. This event will take place at the Sister Bay Sports Complex from 10 am until 3 pm on July 16th. Admission is free to all who would like to attend and participate. Kite flying will be dependent on weather conditions, and the village will be posting updates on the day of the event here.

"Touch of the World" brings Asia to Sturgeon Bay

A new retail store in Sturgeon Bay with a long history of handcrafted imports from around the world opened this past weekend in Sturgeon Bay. A Touch of the World is a retail shop with a history of 47 years. Owner Marty Biebel first brought back treasures from the Himalayan Mountains after climbing Mount Everest in 1975. He shares some of the unique items he has brought back from Southeast Asia over his yearly visits.

 

 

Biebel recently closed the Fish Creek business location after 27 years and simultaneously operated seven stores in the Green Bay, Appleton and Wausau areas before that. He hopes visitors and customers will appreciate the different cultures that are reflected in his one-of-a-kind inventory. Touch of the World is located at 823 Egg Harbor Road and is open daily from 9 am until 9 pm.

Door County reacquaints itself with dairy at annual breakfast

Thousands came to Cherryland Dairy in Sturgeon Bay for a plateful of pancakes, eggs, and Door County staples, but it meant so much more to Sevastopol FFA members and alumni. It was the first time the Sevastopol FFA was able to host the event since 2019 because of COVID-19 concerns. It has been since 2018 when it was last held on a working farm since the Valmy Thresheree grounds hosted the 2019 event. For Brittney Larsen of Ephraim and her kids Argo, Agnes, Kiel, and Fredde, seeing the animals and hopping on farm equipment were highlights.


For Sevastopol FFA Advisor Dale Carlson, the event means the organization will be able to fund some of the activities they like to do during the year and scholarships for future graduates.


Carlson thanked all of the visitors and the over 200 volunteers for their support of this year's event. Cherryland Dairy also raises pigs, collects sap for maple syrup, and cuts wood for its sawmill.

 

 

 

Holiday blood donations needed this time of year

You have a chance to help area doctors and patients by donating blood near the holiday weekend. It is known that the American Red Cross sees a decline in the amount of blood supply available during the holiday seasons. Justin Kern with the American Red Cross explains why this decline happens.

 

 

Kern urges you to take this opportunity to donate blood, whether you are a long-time donor or a first-timer. Because of the shelf-life of blood, having donations throughout July will help keep the shelves stocked in case of an emergency. There are several donation opportunities during July in Door County.

 

Egg Harbor

7/22/2022: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Village of Egg Harbor Bertschinger Center, 7860 Hwy 42

 

Sister Bay

7/13/2022: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., First Baptist Church, 2622 S Bayshore Dr

 

Sturgeon Bay

7/5/2022: 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m., Bay View Lutheran Church, 340 W Maple St.

7/15/2022: 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., YMCA Door County, 1900 Michigan St.

 

Community Spotlight: Sara Miller

Without Sara Miller, you would not be enjoying the articles on our website as much as you might be right now.

 

Miller joined NEW Radio as a Kewaunee High School student as a part of the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship program. She contributed news articles virtually before transitioning to the office during the summer. She quickly picked up other tasks, including billing, traffic, and sales, in addition to news. Miller says she was nervous at first but quickly grew into the position that earned her respect from her peers at the office.

Miller says the biggest takeaway from her apprenticeship at NEW Radio were the basic life skills she learned, like time management and communication. She advises other students to take that first step and talk to their youth apprenticeship coordinator to see if an opportunity is right for them. Miller graduated from Kewaunee High School in May and will attend UW-Oshkosh this fall to study journalism.

 

Click here for our full interview with Sara Miller featuring the whole news team

Birch Creek welcomes symphony session

You will be able to catch the sounds of strings, winds, and brass walking through the campus of Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor over the next two weeks. Less than 12 hours after it said its final goodbyes to its percussion and steel band students, it began welcoming the first students for the symphony session. They will not have much time to get used to their surroundings as they open the season with the traditional Fourth of July concert before performing six more days over the next two weeks. It will be fast-moving for the students according to Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson.

As of this writing, there were still general admission tickets available for the Fourth of July concert on Monday. You can listen to our podcast with Christenson to learn more about the symphony session, which runs through July 16th.

Plans revealed for old Woldt's Corner location

The former Woldt’s Corner Pub property in Sturgeon Bay will be redeveloped into a three-tenant strip center.  Located on the corner of Highway 42/57 and Duluth Avenue, the Shoppes at Sturgeon Bay, will be a 5,600-square-foot building, will have national coffeehouse chain, a national mobile phone provider, and a Door County Medical Center clinic. According to Door County Medical Center CEO Brian Stephens, “We are very excited to provide services on the west side of Sturgeon Bay for the first time. This clinic will also be ideally located to serve visitors since every visitor who travels north of Sturgeon Bay passes through that intersection.” The developers, First & Main Properties, LLC and Illuminate Real Estate, LLC, are making efforts with local parties to preserve and move the Woldt’s Corner Pub building, as well as the six cottages behind the structure.  Construction of the new strip business center will start in late July with completion by the end of the year. 

Keep invasive species from spreading this summer

As you may be heading out on the water, it is important to avoid accidentally spreading invasive species. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources defines these species as “nonnative plants, animals and diseases that cause great ecological, environmental or economic harm.” We spoke with Jeanne Scherer, the Aquatic Invasive Species Specialist from the University of Wisconsin Madison Extension Program on the harm that invasive species can potentially cause.

 

 

In Door County there are stations located at Carmody and Pinney parks to help you clean off your boats, personal watercrafts and trailers. These are called CD3 stations and they are solar powered and equipped with the necessary tools to clean off your water vehicles. Simpler stations are also located at Chaudior and Murphy Parks. The Door County Invasive Species Team urges all water enthusiasts in Door County to be mindful of what you might be bringing to the dock and follow the proper procedures after coming in.  When you are out on your boat, personal watercraft or docking, there are a few tips from the DNR to help prevent invasive species from getting a hold. 

 

  • Inspect your boat, trailer and equipment
  • Remove all attached plants or animals
  • Drain all water from boats, motors, livewells and other equipment
  • Never move live fish away from a waterbody
  • Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash
  • Buy minnows from a Wisconsin bait dealer, and use leftover minnows only if you will be using them on that same waterbody or if no lake or river water or other fish were added to the container

 

Visit the DNR’s website on invasive species here.

 

Pilot OK after rough landing at Cherryland Airport

A pilot arriving at Door County Cherryland Airport in Nasewaupee Friday morning is doing fine after his airplane flipped while he was landing.

 

Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson said the wheels of the single-seat biplane clipped the outer edge of the paved runway, causing an uneven landing for the pilot. The plane skidded to a stop after flipping over and the pilot was able to walk away from the incident. He was outside of the plane when the first crews arrived.

 

Emergency personnel was able to treat the pilot for minor injuries, but he did not need to be transported. The plane was later removed to reopen the runway and to prevent further damage to the aircraft itself. 

Door and Kewaunee counties experiencing huge tourism growth

Both Door and Kewaunee counties have experienced considerable tourism growth in the last year and expectations are high for the remaining 2022 summer season.  Double-digit growth was experienced by all 72 counties in the state in 2021, according to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism’s economic impact data released in early June.  Kewaunee County Tourism Coordinator Jennifer Gonzalez says despite higher gas prices, there is optimism that 2022 will be a strong tourism year as well.

 

 

In Kewaunee County, Direct Visitor Spending increased over 25 percent to $27.7 million in 2021, while Door County saw a 39.1 percent increase netting $432 million last year.  You can see the “Tourism Impact” report by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism from Tourism Economics here

United Way of Door County adopts anti-racism statement

You will soon see the United Way of Door County become even more active in its quest to become more inclusive and welcoming. The United Way of Door County Board of Directors announced its adoption of an anti-racism statement on Thursday, recognizing its role in making its community “a place of inclusion and welcome for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in a community that is overwhelmingly white.” The statement commits the organization to leverage its assets and work with its partners “to co-create solutions so that everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive.” Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the statement is just the first step toward bigger plans in the future.

The United Way of Door County adopted its diversity statement last year and followed it up with participating in equity challenges with other United Ways across the state and contributing $7,775 to the County of Door to support their work in developing a “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan of Action.”

Sturgeon Bay welcomes cruise ship passengers

Not every day a cruise ship drops anchor in Sturgeon Bay, but that is exactly what happened Friday afternoon at Graham Park.

 

Approximately 130 passengers were on the Ocean Navigator when it sailed into Sturgeon Bay on its way from Green Bay. At least that many people were enjoying the sunshine and the scenery in Graham Park as they got to see the five-story cruise ship slide into the shore to dock for the day. Guests slowly filed off the ship to either walk around Sturgeon Bay or hop on a bus where they would then be driven to the Door County Maritime Museum and a winery.

Tourism officials greeted the passengers with a gift bag full of information and special offers to officially welcome them to the city. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says it was a tremendous opportunity to show off the city and the county to dozens of people from across the country.

Guests coming off the five-floor cruise ship remarked how warm of a reception they received and how beautiful of an area it was compared to other spots where the boat docked earlier in the cruise. The guests were expected on board by 6 p.m. before they headed off to Muskegon, Mich.

 

 

Blessing of the Fleet in Algoma returns for the 5th year

This weekend you have the opportunity to see a parade of boats make their way out of the canal in Algoma to receive a blessing for the fifth year. The vessels will be led by a United States Coast Guard ship under a water fountain from one of the Algoma Fire Rescue trucks in a water salute. Pastor Brian Pursley from Lakeside Church in Algoma will perform a blessing on the ships for a safe and plentiful season. Pursley describes what the blessing will include this year.

 

 

You can join in to witness this event at the Algoma marina, where the ceremony will begin at 6:15 pm. If you own a vessel and want to receive the blessing, you can line up on the Ahnapee River near the marina at 6 pm. All boats and community members are invited to view and participate in this event.

 

Photo courtesy of Algoma Chamber of Commerce and Josh Kohanek

Four arrested in check cashing scheme

Three men from Georgia and another from Green Bay were arrested Thursday afternoon in Kewaunee County for trying to cash a fraudulent check.

 

The Bank of Luxemburg-Dyckesville Branch made the initial call to Kewaunee County Dispatch just before 2:30 p.m. about a man attempting to cash a fraudulent check. He was gone by the time law enforcement showed up, but bank employees called again when the man came back. He left again and was seen entering a sports utility vehicle parked on the road.

 

Members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol were able to find the vehicle and arrested Raymond D. Crowe, 63, of Green Bay, Laquentin Q. Kerbo of Hampton, Ga., Dennis D. Nelson of Atlanta, and Terrance L. Austin of Hampton, Ga. Crowe, Kerbo, Nelson, and Austin have all been under investigation for at least the last two weeks as they have attempted these acts before.  All four have charges related to fraudulent check writing. Kerbo was also charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and a full extradition warrant. The investigation is ongoing.

Krohn retires as a chip off the old cheese block

You will still see his name out front, but not the man himself making the cheese at Agropur’s Luxemburg plant and Krohn Cheese Store. After nearly 50 years of cheese making, Roger Krohn called it a career on Thursday. A third-generation cheesemaker, Krohn started as a teenager alongside his father when the family business was nowhere near the size the plant is today. He has since become one of over 60 Master Cheesemakers in the state, staking mozzarella and provolone as his claim to fame. In 2020, he was the recipient of the Wisconsin Cheesemaker’s Association Life Member Award, which is the organization’s highest honor. Speaking to Door County Daily News last year, Krohn called cheesemaking a passion and gave a lot of credit to Agropur’s member farms for the high-quality milk they produce.

Krohn’s final entries to contests this year certainly did not disappoint judges. He won the Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products Contest for his smoked provolone and provolone cheese entries. His mozzarella took second place in the World Championship Cheese Contest in March. The family tradition will continue at the Luxemburg plant where Krohn’s nephew and Master Cheesemaker Pat Doell also works. 

 

You can listen to our full interview with Krohn from last year here

Tooley ready for Kids from Wisconsin encore

For the second summer in a row, you will see a familiar face when Kids from Wisconsin takes the stage across the state this summer, including this Sunday in Egg Harbor. Southern Door alum Brady Tooley is back for his second season with the performing arts troupe that features dozens of other young singers and dancers from around Wisconsin. Tooley got a second crack at joining Kids from Wisconsin last year after the pandemic canceled the 2020 season. He joined last year as the new kid on the block, only to play the role of the experienced veteran on this year’s cast. Tooley says that has made this year a lot different.

Tooley and the rest of the Kids from Wisconsin wrapped up their two-week camp earlier this week ahead of their season opener on Friday. Their performance Sunday at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center in Egg Harbor will be the troupe’s third of the year. Tooley says it was a unique experience last year performing in front of the home crowd.

Kids from Wisconsin’s Big Bang Boom Tour will crisscross the state through July before taking up residency at the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds on August 4th. Their performance on Sunday starts at 6 p.m. Door County Daily News was Tooley’s Hometown Sponsor.

 

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