News Archives for 2022-08

Local schools receive thousands in state funds

This week, Governor Tony Evers announced a $90 million investment into K-12 education, resulting in thousands of dollars for schools in Door and Kewaunee counties.  A portion of the money, approximately $15 million, will go towards the Governor’s Get Kids Ahead Initiative, which will provide additional mental health services for schools.  This doubled the initial investment into the program made earlier this year. Districts had to opt into the program to receive the funds, which every district in  Door and Kewaunee counties did.

The other $75 million is being distributed among the state’s districts based on their current enrollment. Districts will receive approximately $91 per student to help retain and recruit staff, offset transportation costs, and cover increased prices due to inflation. The $75 million comes from funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

You can see how much each school district received in funding below:

Algoma: $38,880 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $64,625 Back to School aid
Kewaunee: $45,448 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $87,231 Back to School aid
Luxemburg-Casco: $66,986 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $161,062 Back to School aid

Gibraltar: $33,934 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $47,763 Back to School aid
Sevastopol: $34,358 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $49,221 Back to School aid
Southern Door: $47,760 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $94,796 Back to School aid
Sturgeon Bay: $48,532 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $97,804 Back to School aid
Washington Island: $21,622 Get Kids Ahead Initiative total, $5,560 Back to School aid

Restorative Yoga featured at Door County YMCA

You may have to get on the ground to do it, but the restorative yoga classes at the Door County YMCA are a great way to improve your overall health and release tension, says Northern Door YMCA Executive Director Megan Schneider.  The practice is about slowing down and using a passive, meditative form of yoga to focus on your breathing.  Schneider says the practice is beginner-friendly.

 

 

Registration is currently open this week at the YMCA, with Fall 1 Sessions beginning after Labor Day, next Monday.  You can find out more about the classes offered at the Door County YMCA’s program centers in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay online or by calling (920)-743-4949.   


Associated Bank closing branches in Wisconsin

The closure and consolidation of Associated Bank locations throughout Wisconsin and Illinois will not impact the two Sturgeon Bay facilities. On Tuesday, Associated Bank announced that it would consolidate seven branches in Wisconsin. The closures in November will include Northeastern Wisconsin locations inside the Festival Foods in Manitowoc, Suamico, and Neenah. Associated Bank says that the consolidations are because of an industry-wide trend and more online banking being done. The Associated Bank location in Algoma on Steele Street was closed last October, with seven other bank locations being shuttered in Wisconsin.         

Granary settles in for final restoration

After two moves across the Sturgeon Bay waterfront the past few years, the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator took its final step in placement on Wednesday morning at its original and permanent location.  Engineers, construction contractors, and movers did the final inspection and lowered the top two-story bin structure on top of the 18-foot restored columns. 

 

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber shared the progress on Tuesday and the final work to be completed with the project. 

 

 

 

James Dahlman, a lead engineer from Greenfire Management Services, added that after the granary is in place and secured with braces, the cribbing will be removed, and sheer walls will be put on. 

 

Refurbished boards and corrugated metal siding from an old granary in Superior, Wisconsin, will be added to the exterior in the next week or two. Weber noted that plans are for a kitchen to be added to the original structure for catering events. After the granary is fully restored, it will be a three-season public facility.  

 

The Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator was built in 1901 and is on the state and National Register of Historic Places. 

 

 


Marina Fest shines bright light on area non-profits

Your end-of-summer tradition returns to the Sister Bay waterfront this Labor Day weekend. Sister Bay will host its annual Marina Fest this Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, as it has for approximately 30 years. While the event features several activities such as live music, fireworks, kids’ carnival, pedal tractor pulls, and more, it is also a time when local non-profits are given a chance to shine. The Sister Bay Lions Club has many volunteers helping young children build wooden boats. The Door County Maritime Museum raffles off the wooden boat its class has worked all year on perfecting. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department flips pancakes every year so it can have the funds needed to properly train its members and carry the right equipment. For many local non-profits, Fire Chief Chris Hecht says this is the most face-time they get with the general public all year.

The festival started in 1993 as a thank you to the community for their help rebuilding the marina. You can click this link to find the complete schedule for this year’s event. 

Names released from fatal Gordon Road accident

Sturgeon Bay resident Joshua Gann, 43, is charged with Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Vehicle after he allegedly struck a 71-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman with his vehicle on Saturday. Marilyn J. Vandenbogart was along Gordon Road, west of Old Highway Road, in the Town of Sevastopol when Gann’s SUV hit her after 5:30 p.m. After hitting Vandenbogart, Gann’s vehicle crossed the eastbound lane before entering a ditch. After his car became stuck in some fencing near an orchard, Gann fled the scene on foot, only to be caught by law enforcement soon after that. Vandenbogart was transported to Door County Medical Center where she later died. Gann appeared in Door County Circuit Court on Monday, where his $500,000 cash bond was announced. His initial appearance on his felony charge will take place on Thursday. The accident remains under investigation, but the Door County Sheriff’s Department pointed out that this accident had nothing to do with Gordon Road’s intersection with State Highway 42/57.

Highway 57 blocked in Jacksonport for a second time

This story has been updated to reflect that Tuesday's road closure is related to pulling a vehicle out of the woods from Monday's crash. It also reflects that the crash report has not been completed as of 11:50 a.m. Tuesday.

 

For the second time in just over 12 hours, you cannot travel north through Jacksonport on State Highway 57. The first time was Monday night just before 8:30 p.m. According to one tipster, a vehicle drove off the roadway and hit a tree. As of 11:55 a.m. On Tuesday, the crash report had not been submitted, according to the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation alerted motorists through 511 Wisconsin of a second incident blocking the roadway due to a crash at around 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

 

 

Door County Sheriff's Department Chief Pat Deputy Pat McCarty says the road was closed due to a heavy-duty tow truck being used to pull a vehicle out of the woods from Monday's accident. State Highway 57 is closed in both directions between County V and County E. We’ll have information on these incidents as soon as the reports are available.

 

Picture submitted Monday evening during the first incident. Details are still pending.

School year gets underway this week

If your kid has not hopped on a school bus this week, chances are they will be by the end of this week. Most schools like Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, and Southern Door will host their students for the first time on September 1st. One exception is Algoma, which hosted its first day of instruction on Monday. It marked a day of change for the school district, which had its first day of school with a new superintendent, middle school/high school principal, director of learning, and athletic director, among other positions. Superintendent Jesse Brinkmann, who previously served several leadership roles at Green Bay Area Schools before arriving at Algoma this summer, expressed his thanks for the experience he has on his staff.

The only public school in Door and Kewaunee counties not to start this week is Gibraltar. They will have their first day of student instruction on September 6th.

Door County sees another three COVID-19 hospitalizations

For the fifth consecutive week, Door County’s COVID-19 situation update included new hospitalizations in its report. Released on Tuesday this week instead of its usual Monday time, the Door County Public Health Department announced three new COVID-19-related hospitalizations in addition to 57 new cases. July 25th was the last time Door County did not report a new hospitalization in its weekly situation update. Door County was placed in the high COVID-19 community level for the fourth consecutive week last Thursday. The metric is based on the number of new cases and hospitalizations and the current number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive people. In Door County, it is recommended but not required to wear a mask inside most buildings, stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, get tested if you show symptoms, and take additional precautions if you are considered at risk. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - August 29, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 31,362 (+140)
Positive: 7,552 (+57)
Probable: 438 (+8)
Negative: 23,372 (+75)
Hospitalizations: 261 (+3)
Deaths: 65 
*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

Two men transported to hospital after water rescue

Good samaritans in the right place at the right time at Whitefish Dunes State Park may have helped emergency personnel save the lives of two men. 

 

Just after 3 p.m. on Saturday, Door County Emergency Services, Door County Sheriff’s Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Jacksonport Fire Department, and Sevastopol Emergency Responders were notified of a possible young girl in the water at Whitefish Dunes State Park that may have been pulled under due to the riptide. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department called in assistance from the Jacksonport Fire Department, but along the way, responding emergency personnel was notified that an individual was out of the water and that CPR may have been used. Upon arrival, emergency personnel discovered a teenage man and an adult man on the rocky shores of the north end of the beach being tended to by Good Samaritans. According to Door County EMS Director Aaron LeClair, the men were alert and oriented, and no CPR was performed by emergency personnel. LeClair notes that at the time of the incident, the National Weather Service did issue a beach hazard statement for the shores of Lake Michigan.

The two men were transported to Door County Medical Center after being checked out by emergency personnel on-site for further evaluation and treatment. LeClair was happy with the outcome and proud of the response to the incident, which required no emergency personnel to enter the water as the two men could get back to shore on their own.  

 

 

ADDED 3:55 P.M.

After posting this story, we heard from one of the good Samaritans, who asked for her and her family to remain anonymous. She detailed the events that led up to the arrival of the Door County Emergency Personnel. She, her fiancé, and his brothers were there from Appleton to celebrate her son’s 10th birthday. They were hanging out on the beach when they saw two kids in the water. They watched as they saw the kids’ father spring into the water after their kids, struggling in the rough waters.

 

According to her account, the dad was able to push a young girl toward that good Samaritan’s fiancé, who pulled her onto the shore. The father went back out into the water and grabbed his teenage son. When he was pulled ashore, the teenage son was purple in the face and not breathing. The good Samaritans’ fiancé was able to revive the teenage son with a combination of pounding on his back and chest compressions.

 

The father, who pulled his kids ashore, had to be pulled onto the beach himself by one of the Samaritan’s brothers. The Samaritans kept the family company and engaged until emergency personnel arrived. Reflecting on her experience, the Samaritan said her son commented how it was a bad birthday when instead, she looked on the bright side and said they were chosen to be on the beach that day to help save a life.    

Thousands attend Death's Door BBQ

Do not be surprised if you hear Washington Island in the same breath as Memphis, Kansas City, Carolina, and Texas when it comes to barbecue. Death’s Door Bar-B-Q wrapped up its 10th year on Sunday as several barbeque outfits came from across the country for the nearly weeklong event. Saturday’s public event drew thousands of people to the Washington Island Airport, with some competitors running out of food just hours into the event. Event organizer Dick Jepsen says what was once the slowest summer weekend is slowly becoming one of the biggest.

With a score of over 700 points, Smokey D’s BBQ, out of Des Moines, Iowa, was named Grand Champion of the event. The business captured top honors with a perfect score for its brisket and another first-place award for its chicken. 

 

Click here for the full results

 

 

Kewaunee County adds two new hospitalizations to COVID count

For the first time since the beginning of August, Kewaunee County reported something other than new cases of COVID-19. According to its weekly COVID-19 update last Friday, the county saw two recent hospitalizations and 24 new virus cases. The last COVID-19-related hospitalization reported in Kewaunee County was on August 1st. The last time the county had multiple hospitalizations in the same report was July 18th. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department noted no new deaths. Kewaunee County is one of 29 counties at the medium COVID-19 community level.

 

 

As of 10:30 a.m., Door County had not submitted its weekly COVID-19 situation update, which usually comes on Mondays. 

Nicolet National Bank continues expansion efforts

You can follow the familiar green and white signs out west after former Charter Bank locations opened Monday under the Nicolet National Bank banner.

 

The two banks initially announced the merger at the end of March, with August 26th being the final day for the Charter Bank moniker. Before the merger, Charter was a $1.1 billion bank headquartered in Eau Claire with additional locations in Chetek, Wis., Chippewa Falls, Wis., Chanhassen, Minn., and Chaska, Minn. Additional details about the sale were made available here when the deal was announced.

 

It was a part of a recent string of mergers for Nicolet National Bank, which joined forces with Michigan-based mBank and Manitowoc-based Investors Community Bank last year. The bank’s parent company Nicolet Bankshares, Inc., saw its stock rise Monday morning to nearly $79 per share before 9 a.m.

"Drive sober or get pulled over" campaign on through Labor Day

In an effort to raise awareness of the risks of driving impaired, local law enforcement is participating in the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign continuing through Labor Day. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT), about one-fourth of all traffic-related deaths, last year in Wisconsin were alcohol-related crashes and someone is injured or killed in an impaired driving crash every two hours in the state. Door County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says patrol will be stepped up in the next couple of weeks, with heavier traffic expected to be coming to the peninsula.

 

 

If you plan to celebrate, be sure to have a designated driver or find an alternative way home. When you travel, protect yourself and your passengers every time you drive by buckling up, putting your phone down, watching your speed, and eliminating any distractions.  

Sunday Spotlight: Marcia Albertson

Monday will mark the first time in over 30 years you will not find Marcia Albertson cuddling a baby at a childcare center. Albertson, dubbed the “baby whisperer,” retired from her role as a child care professional at the Casco Kidz Zone last Thursday after a long career in the industry. She graduated from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in 1971, where at the time, there was only one child care facility located in Green Bay. They were not hiring at the time, so she did not enter the field until 20 years later, after she raised her own family. When the Casco Kidz Zone opened in 1991, she got one of the open positions and stayed put ever since. A familiar spot for Albertson has been in with the babies, where they take turns getting snuggled by her while also singing them songs and taking care of their other needs. One child she was caring for at the time was the family’s third-generation Albertson had cared for, going back to her days when she was a teenage babysitter. She says it has been a special experience to touch the lives of so many children.

Albertson already has volunteer opportunities lined up for her retirement years as she looks forward to sleeping in for the first time on a weekday in years. Upon her retirement, Casco Kidz Zone owner Lisa Cochart told Albertson that she was setting up a scholarship at Luxemburg-Casco High School in her honor for any student looking to get into the childcare field. You can listen to our full interview with Albertson by clicking this link.

Back to School tips:  Regular Family meeting, establishing routines

With families preparing their children for the new school year, Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White has advice on establishing routines that will help you deal with a busier schedule.  Dr. White says the new school year, which will hopefully be more normal than the past two, still brings demands for all family members.  He shares how his family established family meetings and responsibilities around the dinner table. 

 

 

Dr. White notes that family meeting times and chores can change throughout the year.  Encouraging participation with an agenda while establishing clear guidelines with limits and boundaries for your children can make for successful outcomes.  You can listen to Dr. White’s entire Mental Health Minute on the Podcast Page here.     

Door County Fair weathers the rain for another strong year

If Saturday did not fall victim to a summer storm, you might have seen another record crowd at the Door County Fair this year. In 2022, the Door County Fair switched to its more traditional dates that coincide with the second weekend of August and the back end of the Wisconsin State Fair. Fair attendance was down about 1,300 people from its 150th-anniversary celebration that welcomed the BoDeans to the main stage, but it was still up from its pre-pandemic levels. That includes Saturday’s washout, where the fair saw about half of what it usually sees. The fair’s opening day saw record crowds, and Sunday was about double what they are used to seeing.  Door County Fair President Tom Ash says more people participated in the fair as exhibitors than in years past.

The Door County Fair will return to John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay next year, August 9th-13th.

Sturgeon Bay woman killed in vehicle-pedestrian crash

A 43-year-old Sturgeon Bay man is behind bars after striking a woman with his car Saturday evening.

 

The incident occurred just after 5:30 p.m. when the man, who was driving westbound on Gordon Road in the Town of Sevastopol, hit a 71-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman. He lost control of his vehicle after that, crossing the eastbound lane before entering a ditch and hitting a fence at a nearby orchard. 

 

Local emergency personnel were able to find the man after he fled the scene of the accident. They were unable to revive the woman, who was transported to Door County Medical Center where she was declared dead. The release from the Sheriff's Department did not share the identity of either individual.

 

Gordon Road was closed for six hours before being reopened at approximately 11:30 p.m.

Education courses available as hunting season arrives

Before you head out to your blind in the coming weeks, you have some homework to do with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The department is reminding prospective hunters that if they are born on or after January 1st, 1973, they must complete a hunter education course and have a hunter education certificate on file to purchase any hunting license. The only exception is if you are hunting under the mentored hunting law, which allows an unlicensed hunter to participate with a licensed hunter if they promise to follow the state’s rules and stay within arm’s reach. Those interested in participating in a hunter safety course can click on this link. They can attend virtually, in person, or in a hybrid format, where they take classes online before attending a field day. Hunting season for migratory birds such as snipes, mourning dove, rail, early goose, and early teal begins on September 1st. Bear hunting season starts on September 7th. September 17th is the first day you can begin hunting for wild turkeys, cottontail rabbits, squirrels, crows, and deer with a bow or crossbow. 

Learning about others through driving

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending some time in the Smokie Mountains with my family. While the destination was a great week of hiking, and enjoying the many views and sceneries, the journey there was also full of memories.

     

Long distance road trips provide a time to connect with those inside your vehicle as well as providing some opportunities for interaction with those sharing the roadways. It was those external interactions that gave me the idea for this week’s article.

     

There is an old saying that you can learn a lot about a person just by the way they carry themselves or the way they act. The same can be said about our driving and what personality traits we are demonstrating by the way we interact with fellow motorists. This is also much like the message we send our children in that first impressions mean everything. So here are a few of my observations and the impressions that may be interpreted by other motorists.

    

There were numerous incidents where vehicles were traveling at highway speeds with extremely limited distance between them and the vehicle they were following. This would tell me that these drivers are by nature very impatient and likely aggressive. Similarly, there were drivers that decided to hang out in the left lane of an interstate highway incumbering the movement of those around them. This tells me that these folks are ambivalent to those around them and lack consideration and courtesy. Then you have those who overtake you at speeds which are not only greater than the posted speed, but greatly beyond reason and logic. This would tell me that these people are just overall reckless and have little respect for not only their lives but those around them. These were just some of my interstate observations, but the theme is the same even when in local traffic within the cities and towns.

     

The use or lack of directional signals is a direct reflection of our own personal communication skills. The need to play music from vehicles or motorcycles at volume levels which could be not only heard but felt, tells me that these folks are merely living in their own self preserving reality ignorant to the disruption they are causing.

     

On the positive side, when you allow for safe distances between vehicles, you are demonstrating patience and respect. When you see vehicles attempting to merge or gain access from a side street and you give them space, that shows a great deal of empathy and consideration.

     

The point to all of this is that each of us aspire to be decent respectful human beings, but what we aspire to means noting if our actions are in direct contradiction to the person we are trying be. Many times, we will never get to know fellow motorists on a personal level, but that should not remove us from the obligation to demonstrate the same positive character strengths we show to those closest to us in our personal relationships. Our vehicles and the way we operate those vehicles are in fact a direct extension of who we are.

      

League motors through city celebrating suffrage

Celebrating your right to vote could only be delayed by Sturgeon Bay’s marine traffic on Friday afternoon. Several decorated cars drove through the city with signs celebrating the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote on August 18th, 1920. The extra 12 minutes it took to drive the parade route due to a pair of bridge-related delays paled compared to the 70-plus year-long fight women took on the right for equality. Upon their arrival at Martin Park, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton channeled through the voices of Susan Kohout and Chris Milton, delivered an address that crossed generations. The pair connected themes from when they fought for women's equality in the 1920s as they relate to battles women and other groups of Americans are fighting in the 2020s.

 

The afternoon program concluded with a performance by Cathy Grier. Women’s Equality Day, which is paired with the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, was passed in 1973.

Sturgeon Bay's NERR bidding entering final stages

The next several weeks will play a significant role in whether you will see a National Estuarine Research Reserve visitor center built in Sturgeon Bay. On September 7th and 8th, the Green Bay NERR selection committee will host public meetings for site selection for natural areas to be studied. Sites near Chambers Island, Washington Island, and the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal are all considered as spots to study in Door County for the NERR. The governor's office and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have the final say. 

 

As for the visitor center facility, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has narrowed its potential cities to Sturgeon Bay, Marinette, and Green Bay. The ad hoc committee tasked with finding a site for the possible facility has been working for approximately a year. They are preparing to present their final recommendation later this fall. Between the over two million visitors they welcome each year to the research already being done locally, Mayor David Ward likes their chances.

Land near Sunset Park and the Sturgeon Bay Yacht has been previously mentioned as potential places in Sturgeon Bay for the facility to land. The final decision on where it goes will come in early 2023.

Monarch butterflies focus of Wild Ones, Crossroads programming

Wild Ones-Door Peninsula Chapter and Crossroads at Big Creek hope you can help them welcome monarch butterflies as they flutter through the area. Now is when the popular orange and black insect makes its long and winding trip from Canada through the United States to Mexico. While the butterflies themselves are not endangered, their migratory nature is, according to Coggin Heeringa, who serves as the president of Wild Ones-Door Peninsula and a naturalist at Crossroads at Big Creek. At two separate events happening next month on September 6th and 11th, Heeringa says visitors will learn the importance of monarch butterflies' migration habits and how they can help them complete their long journey.

The presentation on pollinator-friendly plants will occur on September 6th at 6:30 p.m., and the monarch tagging event will take place on September 11th at 1:30 p.m. Both events will occur at Collins Learning Center on the Crossroads at Big Creek campus. The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor will have its own Monarch butterfly event this Saturday at 10 a.m.

 

No changes in community levels for Door, Kewaunee counties

Despite the shuffling around of COVID-19 community levels across the state, you will not find a change in Door County or Kewaunee County. Door County remained at the high community level for the fourth week in a row, while Kewaunee County stuck around one notch below at the medium level. The metric is based on the number of new cases and hospitalizations and the current number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive people. In Door County, it is recommended but not required to wear a mask inside most buildings, stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, get tested if you show symptoms, and take additional precautions if you are considered at risk. Earlier this week, the public health department reported 59 positive virus cases, one death, and one hospitalization. It marked the second straight week Door County reported a COVID-19-related death and the third week in a row where there was at least one hospitalization. As of Thursday, 17 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties were listed in the high community level for COVID-19, down from 27 the week before.

Sister Bay Plan Commission tables decisions on food truck ordinance and post office, moves forward on Village Hall removal

The Sister Bay Plan Commission took some action on removing the village hall but held off on two other main agenda times on Tuesday. A recommendation for a new Food Truck Ordinance allowing up to four food vendor trucks in the village per 20,000 square-foot lot was tabled until after the next Plan Commission meeting to review the public comments voiced Tuesday.

Village Administrator Julie Schmelzer says the Plan Commission, decided after a three-and-one-half-hour meeting decisions would be better served on the food truck ordinance and the future of the post office building at a later time. 

She says the Plan Commission decided last month to move forward on removing the village hall, and it is in the hands of the Parks Committee for final review next week. The village is addressing how the building removal cost will impact its budget for next year.

 

 

Schmelzer says the Plan Commission also discussed the exciting possibility of a village boathouse museum. 

 

 

Schmelzer adds that the Sister Bay Historical Society is interested in the museum project that would give the public access to one of the few boathouses on the waterfront.

Nevue reimagines hymn for piano dedication

You will be able to catch a new take on an old hymn with a special place in the hearts of Friends Community Church members on Sunday. Solo artist and storyteller David Nevue will perform his music at the Sturgeon Bay church as the congregation celebrates the dedication of its piano. Performing as a full-time artist since 2001, Nevue’s faith plays a significant role in the music he plays. In addition to his original music, Nevue enjoys playing his own versions of classic hymns. One of the hymns he has been working on and plans on performing on Sunday is “The Old Rugged Cross.” The hymn was written over 100 years ago and was first performed at Friends Community Church in 1913. Nevue knows the responsibility of playing any hymn, let alone one as locally important as “The Old Rugged Cross.”

Nevue will perform at Friends Community Church on August 28th at 3 p.m. A free-will offering will be accepted for those wishing to attend. You can listen to the entire interview with Nevue by clicking this link.

County Board unanimously approves temporary Gordon Road fix

The Door County Board is tired of seeing accidents at the State Highway 42/57 and Gordon Road intersection and will now do what it can to keep you safe. The board passed a resolution by a vote of 21-0 on Tuesday to transfer $100,000 in funds to make adjustments to the troubled intersection to prevent left-hand turns from Gordon Road to head north from occurring. After his discussion with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash told the board that it was up to the county to do something as the department maintains there are more dangerous intersections to address with traffic safety features than that. Ash plans to move an island already in place towards the center of the road and change it so you can turn left onto Gordon Road, but you cannot turn left from it, forcing motorists to head south towards the roundabout before heading north. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich hopes it can be incorporated in next year’s resurfacing of STH 42/57. Board members offered other suggestions, such as increased signage and construction barrels to control traffic. Ash believes nothing would be done without a bit of pressure on the DOT.

Since March, there have been six accidents at the Gordon Road/STH 42/57 intersection. With the money transfer approved, Ash hopes something can be put in place by November.

Door County farms on display for PPF Field Day

Two Sturgeon Bay farms will show you how conservation practices have positively impacted their operations during a field day hosted by Peninsula Pride Farms on August 30th. Brey Cycle Farm will host expert Jamie Patton for a soil pit demo while showing off the managed grazing system they have installed recently. Owner and PPF member Tony Brey explained its benefits to the Door County Daily News earlier this year.

The field day will then move to Olson Family Farm, where they will show the benefits of interseeding into corn and cover crops after winter wheat. Olson Family Farm owner Eric Olson says after trying out some of the practices over the last few years, he is disappointed he did not try them earlier.

The field day begins at 3:30 p.m. at Brey Cycle Farm before moving to Olson Family Farm at 5:30 p.m. ahead of the member appreciation picnic. You can learn more about the event by clicking this link.

Snowberry receives national award for career-readiness programs

One of the leading voices for the youth apprenticeship program at your school is receiving a national award later this year. Luxemburg-Casco Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry was selected as the winner of the 2022 Walter G. Turner Award by the Association of Educational Service Agencies this month. The honor recognizes individual contributions to the advancement of educational programs at a regional, state, or national level. Snowberry helped oversee the Ahnapee Regional Youth Apprenticeship Program, which grew from five students in 2018 to over 280 last year, earning more than $1.24 million, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The program's success caught the notice of the entire region, leading to the creation of the Northeast Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program, which now encompasses close to 40 high schools in several different counties. Snowberry said back in January after NEWYA was announced that it was important that the program evolves over time.

He will be presented with the award during this year’s annual AESA conference in Atlanta later this year. Snowberry was also instrumental in developing its Ahnapee Automotive, Ahnapee Diesel, and Bellin College Healthcare Academy programs.

Two invasive species hitting Door County

Keep your eyes out for two new invasive species that have been recently found in Door County. The Door County Invasive Species Team most recently found European frogbit, an aquatic plant that grows quickly and floats on top of the water, near Peninsula State Park earlier this month after seeing it around Little Sturgeon in July. The team has also found smaller amounts of a weed known as Johnson grass, which is herbicide resistant and tends to grow near forest edges and crop fields. With both invasive species, Samantha Koyen from the Door County Invasive Species Team says they could have a negative impact in several different ways.

Koyen advises you to take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the invasive species and notify the team if you encounter it.

Highway 42 construction project continues

You will be able to travel south of Sturgeon Bay on Highway 42/57 without any orange barrels and one-lane closures after next month.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is completing the resurfacing of the last stretch of the roadway at the Highway 57 junction in the town of Nasewaupee.  DOT Project Communication Manager Mark Kantola says the whole project should wrap up in late September as crews just finished diamond grinding northbound in the inside lane from County MM to Stagg Road this past week. The $7.5 million project began in late March and also improved intersections at Ashland and Neenah Avenue, County Road U/ Circle Ridge Road, and the Green Bay northbound ramp off Highway 42 in Sturgeon Bay.  

Free Community Picnic celebrated this Saturday in Sturgeon Bay

Your family can participate in a summer picnic with your friends and neighbors this Saturday, August 27.   The Door County YMCA is partnering with the Boys and Girls Club, and the United Way of Door County to present the free Community Picnic.  Door County YMCA Marketing Director Amy Gamble says the afternoon is about giving back to the community and having some fun.

 

 

The event is free to the public and runs from noon to 3 p.m. at Peterson Park by the Sturgeon Bay Program Center.  The Door County YMCA is also offering a free community day on Saturday for the public to check out the facility and a “pool party” with the waterslide open from ten until noon at both the Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Centers.    

 

A previous version of this story said the event starts at 3 p.m. instead of stating that it ends at 3 p.m. This story now reflects that and we apologize for the error.

 

(photo courtesy of Door County YMCA)

Sturgeon Bay dog park gets new shelter

After several years of dedicated work and persistence, the construction of a  long-awaited Sturgeon Bay Bark Park shelter was completed this month.  The small building gives dog owners a place for shade and shelter between the two fenced-in areas of the dog park while allowing access to both sides for their pets.  The City of Sturgeon Bay Parks Department and several volunteers, Virge Temme, Mike Dovichi, Jim Sommers, Tony Waldron, Greg Joyner, and Shawn Parsons, completed the project that was budgeted for between $10,000 and $15,000.  Bark Park is located on Shiloh Road near the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park and is sponsored by the Door County Humane Society.

 

(photo courtesy of City of Sturgeon Bay)

New telescope installed at Leif Everson Observatory

You can stargaze the skies over Sturgeon Bay like never before this weekend, thanks to a state-of-the-art telescope upgrade by the Door County Astronomical Society.  Last week, a new 17-inch PlaneWave CDK 400 telescope was installed at the Leif Erickson Observatory on the astronomical campus located off Utah Street at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Dave Lenius of the Door County Astronomical Society says it cost over $75,000 to install the new equipment, replacing the original Ritchey-Chretien telescope erected in 1996.  According to Observatory Solutions, the design of the new telescope far exceeds the off-axis performance of most commercial telescope designs, including the Ritchey-Chretien.  The Door County Astronomical Society is allowing public viewing of the new telescope this Saturday, starting at 7 pm.  

 

Fentanyl use growing across the country

Like many communities across the country, you will find the use of fentanyl growing in Door and Kewaunee counties. Fentanyl causes similar effects to other opioids like morphine, hydrocodone, and heroin, but it is much more potent. The Drug Enforcement Agency says drug traffickers are increasingly mixing it with other drugs to drive addiction and attract repeat buyers. In Door County, 3.1 grams of fentanyl and 80 fentanyl pills were seized in 2021. According to the Door County Sheriff's Department Annual Report, there were two incidents of fentanyl delivery and one of possession. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the issues are growing every year, and it is not an issue they can arrest themselves out of. He says, like all drugs, it has to come down to supply and demand.

In 2021, over 107,000 Americans died from fentanyl-related overdose and poisoning, and hundreds of thousands more people are likely to be impacted by the highly addictive drug.

 

Kewaunee School District supporting students beyond the grades

While they want your kids to do good in the classroom, Kewaunee School District is making sure they do just as well away from it.

 

Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz was able to hire the district’s first school counselor last year, and it expanded its partnership with Bellin Health to offer services to assist with the students'' social and emotional well-being as well as athletic training. The district could also see nearly 40 percent of its student body get real-life work experience before graduation through the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship Program. Fritz says there have been a lot of changes in education during his 30-plus-year career, and a lot of it is taking place outside of their walls.

Entering his second year as the superintendent of Kewaunee School District, Fritz is excited to welcome back students and staff in the coming weeks. He is looking forward to once again having individual conversations with the high school’s graduating seniors to get a pulse of how things are going.

 

Wisconsin Humane Society in search of fosters as more beagles arrive

More beagles are coming to the state as a part of the Humane Society of the United States’ biggest rescue mission in its history, and they need your help. The Wisconsin Humane Society announced Monday it was picking up another van full of beagles from the mass-breeding facility in Virginia found guilty earlier this year in federal court for the mistreatment of animals. All the dogs making their way to Wisconsin are adults who will need some extra time to adjust to life outside the facility before making their way to a forever home. Angela Speed from the Wisconsin Humane Society says being a foster parent to any animal is a gratifying experience.

Speed says the support for their efforts to help the over 4,000 beagles being removed has been outstanding. Sixty-two beagles arrived at Wisconsin Humane Society locations earlier this month. They were able to adjust well to their foster homes, and many have already been adopted.

UW-Oshkosh, Door County partner for well water study

For the fourth year in a row, you are invited to submit water samples for research on Door County’s groundwater quality. UW-Oshkosh and Door County residents have worked together since 2019 to offer an easy way for residents to get into the habit of getting their water tested and for the university to build its groundwater quality database in Door County. The study will mainly look at bacteria and nitrate counts, with the preliminary test being distributed for $30 for the first 300 participants and $45 for anyone after that. Residents can also learn more about their water by testing for pH, hardness, alkalinity, and iron for an extra $25 per test. You can click here to learn more about the water testing process and fill out an application to participate. You have until September 12th to apply.

 

According to the Wisconsin Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Door County is faring better than much of the state regarding its private water quality. Approximately 1.6 percent of water test results were above the EPA standard of ten milligrams per liter when it comes to nitrates compared to 10.1 percent for the rest of the state. About 2.5 percent of water test results were above the ten micrograms per liter standard the EPA has for arsenic, compared to 5.4 percent for the state. The county's karst geography still makes the area's groundwater susceptible to contamination. 

 

 

Northern Sky Theater performer sings National Anthem at Brewer Game

Northern Sky Theater playwright and actor Lee Becker has been performing in front of audiences for many years, but singing the National Anthem before 30,000 people at American Family Field last week was an entirely different experience.  Admitting that he had some “stage fright” initially, Becker says he managed to stay focused and belt out the Star Spangled Banner successfully.

 

 

Becker, who sent his National Anthem audition recording last December to the Milwaukee Brewers, rated his live rendition last Wednesday as an eight out of ten and would jump at an opportunity to sing it at Lambeau Field.  Performing next month at Northern Sky Theater’s Fall Concert Series with Doc Heide at the Peninsula State Park Amphitheater, Becker is looking forward to returning to the Door County stage again.  The Northwoods Nightcap: Happy Hour Edition will feature music and stories at 4:00 pm on September 14-16.  

 

 

 

(Video and photo courtesy of Northern Sky Theater)

Top BBQ cooks descend on Death's Door

Some of the best barbeque you can taste in the entire country will be just a ferry ride away this weekend. While you will have to wait until Saturday to sample it, the hard work begins on Wednesday. That is when competitors can first check-in and start setting up for their residency at the Washington Island Airport.  The meat they will be using will be inspected on Friday before a welcome party. The public will be able to take part in the festivities on Saturday. In addition to visiting the different barbeque booths, there will also be children’s games, live music, and other activities. The first awards will be passed out at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, hours after entrants’ chicken, pork ribs, pork, and beef brisket need to be turned in. The competition will wrap up on Sunday as the competitors enter steak options, dessert, and Death’s Door Gin cocktail entries. The grand champion winners from 2021 included Red Rock Café from Amasa,  Mich. (Day 1), and Can Country Outlaw BBQ from St. Louis (Day 2). There was one local winner: Jaylyn Nikchen of Washington Island won the Kid’s Que in the cooked hot dog category. You can learn more about the event by clicking this link.

Delays not dampening donations for Door County Granary projects

While you have noticed that the Door County Granary has not been immune to construction delays, you may not see the enthusiasm for it. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announced on Friday that another $100,000 donation had been made to the Door County Granary by the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The Nelson Family Fund was established in 2018 to support historic preservation efforts. The donation put the project over halfway towards its fundraising goal of $4.5 million to rehabilitate the 1901Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator and turn it into a three-season gathering space. The building has received siding from the Globe Grain Elevator in Superior, Wis., to go along with several accolades it has gathered along the way from architecture publications. What it has not received is a break from the struggles of backed-up supply chain issues and construction schedules. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council expressed their frustration with the lack of progress the project has been able to make. Project Manager Nicole Matson says all they can do is ask for patience.

While construction crews work on the outside of the building, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is combing through some of the items salvaged from the building with plans to make them a part of the Door County Granary’s indoor space. Construction crews were able to place the granary’s original columns last month after they were restored in Tennessee. 

ROTC carries weight of veterans' support on march through Kewaunee County

The soldiers you may have seen marching through Kewaunee County on Sunday and Monday are not lost but are instead marching for veterans who have lost their way. Samuel Skiff, Lydia Myszka, Andrew Lopez, Anton Bruley, and Cameron Wittman began their 140-mile journey to Milwaukee on Sunday, stopping at the Luxemburg Fire Station and setting up shop at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) building in Kewaunee on Monday. Like other St. Norbert College ROTC members have done before them, the group is marching for 4th H.O.O.A.H, a national non-profit specializing in support for deployed servicemen and servicewomen and their families and returning veterans. This is the second time Andrew Lopez is making the journey that started at the Veterans Memorial near Lambeau Field on August 21st and ends at Veterans Park in Milwaukee on August 27th. He says last year left him inspired to do more.


The group is expected to spend the night in Kewaunee Monday night before continuing their journey south early Tuesday morning. You can learn more about the 140-mile For Them Ruck March and how you can donate to the cause by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of For Them - 140 Mile Ruck

Door County sees another hospitalization, death for COVID-19 totals

Door County remains in the high COVID-19 community level after reporting another new hospitalization and death in the last seven days. The hospitalization and death were paired with another 59 positive cases for the virus. It marks the second straight week Door County has reported a COVID-19-related death and the third week in a row where there was at least one hospitalization. Deaths and hospitalizations are vital factors when determining a county’s community level. Kewaunee County, meanwhile, remained at the medium community level after reporting no additional deaths or hospitalizations but 30 new cases for COVID-19. Statewide, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases stood at 1,419, which is 129 less than the previous week. The seven-day average for deaths also dropped from three to two. 

Community Spotlight:  Yesteryear's agriculture, Valmy Thresheree

You saw another successful celebration of agricultural history this past weekend if you attended the annual Valmy Thresheree.  Hundreds of people flocked to experience a family-friendly environment with vintage tractors and machinery on display.  With over 200 pieces of  operating antique working equipment, the Valmy Thresheree grounds provided a true living, working museum.  Organizers Becky Gosser and Ralph Bochek share some of the history and events celebrated during the thresheree.

 

Activities on Sunday concluded with the Kids Pedal Pull, Champion Garden Tractor Pull, parade of antique machines, and the famous Mud Pig Wrestling event.  The Valmy Thresheree will be celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023.  

County looks to expand Forestville Dam Park

You could have more room to stretch out at Forestville Dam County Park in the future.

 

The Door County Board of Supervisors will vote on Tuesday to add a .73 acre parcel to the park following a foreclosure of the property at 449 Mill Road in the Town of Forestville. The county acquired the property officially on July 15th. Since it is directly adjacent to the park, the Door County Facilities and Parks Department recommended it be added. Depending on the county's wishes, a storage building on the property could either be removed or kept on the site.

 

The county will also decide on whether to transfer $100,000 from the Capital Improvement Project Highway Reserve Account to make changes to the intersection of State Highway 42/57 and Gordon Road. The intersection has seen 22 accidents between 2015 and 2022, ten of which involved motorists making a left-hand turn from Gordon Road to head north on State Highway 57. The county has submitted a grant application to fund a permanent traffic feature to be installed to prevent left-hand turns. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has said that the data does not support a complete redesign of the intersection to add a feature such as a roundabout. The state is also planning on repaving that portion of State Highway 42/57 next year.

 

The Door County Board of Supervisors meets on August 23rd at 9 a.m.

 

Picture was taken prior to the drawdown that has welcomed a number of issues at the millpond as shared in the full county board agenda packet.

Pet Walk Door County coming in September

You can celebrate with your furry friend and join other pet owners next month for the third annual Pet Walk Door County at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay.  Lori Nachtwey, the event coordinator at the Wisconsin Humane Society, says the event has inspired many to form teams and help raise much-needed funds for the organization.

 

 

The 2022 Pet Walk Door County will be from 8:30 until 11 Saturday morning, September 10, and with the actual walk through the park starting at 9:30.  Participants are encouraged to dress their dogs up for the costume contest while using a regular restraining leash, and not a retractable one.  There will also be pet and kids’ games onsite to keep everyone entertained.  You can form a team, join a team, or register as an individual on the event’s website here.  

Rural environment increases school bus safety importance

It is hard to believe, but in a few weeks the new School year will be commencing. As usual it is hard to determine whether the kids or the parents are more excited to begin the new school year.         
I hope that all had an enjoyable summer, and would like to take some time to re-focus on some safety reminders that we should all be aware. For those driving out on the country roads, be aware that you will be sharing that road once again with the school buses. Give them the attention and respect they deserve. If you are driving on the streets of the Cities and Villages be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic. Do not assume that the child about to cross the street will see you and will stop.

For this week, I would like to focus on the rural environment and touch on a few of the basic statutes that relate to school buses. From time to time I get asked “When does the oncoming vehicle need to stop for a school bus about to load or unload”. State Statute 346.48 “Vehicles to stop for school buses displaying flashing lights” states that any vehicle approaching from either the front or the back of a school bus with its flashing lights activated must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator of the bus has extinguished its flashing lights. This statute also directs the driver of the bus that they must activate those flashing lights 100 feet prior to the location of the subjects to be loaded or unloaded.

State Statute 346.485”Owners liability for vehicle illegally passing a school bus” describes the process by which the driver of the school bus documents the incident, and reports it to law enforcement, thus allowing law enforcement to cite the owner of the vehicle regardless of who the driver is. This is different from most statutes in which we issue the citation to the driver.

These laws do not pertain to drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway when the school bus is loading or unloading.

Aside from these two statutes, it is also important to note that school buses will and do make wide right turns, and that due caution should be used when near a bus at or near an intersection. And finally, please remember that those drivers have a lot going on inside that bus. Please give them the space and time that they deserve considering the cargo they are carrying.

Next week, I will cover some safety tips for those eager learners traveling by foot to their academic institutions. 

ADRC workshop on dealing with "Chronic Conditions" beginning

You can find practical ways to help deal with your diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, or other chronic health conditions at a workshop starting Friday, August 26, in Luxemburg.   The Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Lakeshore will be offering a six-week Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop weekly at St. John Lutheran Church.  Outreach Coordinator Olivia Delikowski says the class can help you utilize tools to deal with fatigue and pain while taking charge of your life.

 

 

The class is free with a suggested $10 donation at the first class to cover the cost of the provided textbook.  To learn more about the Living Well with Chronic Conditions workshop, call the ADRC of the Lakeshore at (877) 416-7083.  

Sun Protection and Being Visible on the Water! -- Kayak Series VII

Part of being on the water in Door County is being out in the sun.  Most of us have probably had far too much sun exposure and do not need it anymore.  I am on the beautiful waters of Door County many days a year and see the barely dressed people like me who take protection from the sun seriously.     

 

For me, whether out in my fishing boat or one of my kayaks chasing smallmouth bass or just enjoying a pleasant paddle on the lake, I am protected from the sun.  Starting from top to bottom, I always wear a hat with a brim, polarized sunglasses, and a gaiter to protect my ears, neck, and part of my face.  I wear a good sunscreen of at least 50 SPF on any exposed areas, including areas of my face not covered by the gaiter.  I wear sun gloves, long sleeve fishing shirts, and pants that have UPF protection built in.  Even with the pants and water shoes, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ankles and the tops of your feet if not covered.

 

Also, being on the water as much as I am, I know first-hand how busy our beautiful Door County waters are with watercraft of all types, including plenty of kayakers.  With the kayaks having such a low profile, they are sometimes hard to see.  Often pleasure boaters have several people in the boat talking, laughing, and probably not always looking for or able to see small watercraft like kayaks.  For this reason, I have liked having fishing and recreational kayaks that are brightly colored.  I like bright orange, lime green or chartreuse, white, red, etc.  Those darker greens, grays, and browns tend to blend into the water and are much less visible.  I have also begun wearing a PFD in blaze orange to give me added visibility.

 

A good thing is that many of the recreational kayak paddles come with yellow, orange, or white blades that can be seen from quite a distance.  If you are out early or late with low light, I might suggest some sort of light.  There are products that come on a thin pole with a battery-operated light on top that attaches to the track systems most kayaks come with.  As always, when on the big waters of Green Bay or Lake Michigan, be as safe as possible and take sun protection seriously!

 

If you have any questions about kayak fishing or kayaking in general, please email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

 

Honoring Andy's legacy in the field

Support for your family and others struggling with the impact of cancer can be found in the fields of Rio Creek.

 

The Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund was established three years ago after its namesake passed away from a battle with colon cancer in 2018. His wife Allison, moved by the support her family received in the wake of his passing, established the fund to pay it forward to other Kewaunee County families going through their own battles with cancer. Through several generous gifts and fundraisers, the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund has been able to donate thousands of dollars to local families. Allison says the requests for help through their Facebook page ebbs and flows, admitting that some of the families they serve are too proud to ask for help, and she finds out about them through the grapevine. The fund donates money and gift cards to the families to help with groceries, gas, and other expenses. Allison appreciates the support her family and the charity still receive, saying it shows that Andy is still relevant in people’s lives and they believe in the work they are trying to do in his honor.

 

Andy’s love for agriculture shines through two annual fundraisers the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund holds. This weekend, the fund will have a sweet corn sale, and on September 17th, they will return to Rio Creek Feed Mill for its pumpkin sale. All proceeds from the two sales go to the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund so Allison and her family can provide even more assistance to Kewaunee County families affected by cancer. You can click on the links above for more information about the events.

 

Picture courtesy of the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund

Sister Bay food truck ordinance gets hearing, village buildings possibly receive last rites

The Village of Sister Bay wants your voice heard regarding a proposed food truck ordinance. The new ordinance would allow mobile food-vendor courts in the village with up to four trucks per 20,000 square-foot lot. Additional regulations suggested in the ordinance set up rules for signage, seating, and health and safety concerns. It would also require food truck operators to purchase a permit from the village. Since the new ordinance requires changes to the zoning code, a public hearing will be held before the Plan Commission’s discussion and vote during their August 23rd meeting. 

 

It is part of a busy plan commission agenda where the future of the Sister Bay Village Hall, boathouse, and post office will also be discussed. At their July 26th meeting, none of the plan commission members spoke in favor of keeping the village hall, remarking that the building was no longer functional and not worth the money to make the necessary repairs needed to save it. If razed, the plan commission spoke about possibly building a visitors center or some other structure holding changing areas and bathrooms for the nearby public beach. 

 

As for the boathouse, plan commission members Rob Zoschke and Nate Bell said the structure broke up the village’s downtown area. A citizens group is trying to save the wooden boat known as “The Shadow” and has expressed interest in using the boathouse as a recreational boating museum. Plan Commission member Denise Bhirdo advised the rest of the committee to look through the Waterfront Master Plan and the Downtown Redevelopment Plan before making formal recommendations. The Sister Bay Plan Commission meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. You can attend virtually by clicking this link. You can read the full agenda by clicking this link.

Nasewaupee to split from Southern Door Fire Department in October 2023

You will see a new fire department formed in Door County beginning next October. The Town of Nasewaupee Board voted Thursday night to split from their agreement with the Southern Door Fire Department, ending a 42-year-old partnership. The feud over representation on the Southern Door Fire Board and the town’s contribution to the department’s budget, which represented nearly three-fourths of its funding, reached a boiling point earlier this year. A motion to split off from the Southern Door Fire Department was raised at the town’s annual meeting in April. When an agreement on either lowering its share or increasing its representation could not be met, Nasewaupee officials began appraising the equipment and the department’s north station, which resides in the town. Nasewaupee will have to pay the Village of Forestville and the towns of Forestville and Clay Banks for the pieces of equipment they choose to purchase at their fair market value as dictated in the Southern Door Fire Department operating agreement. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson calls the decision disappointing but says it was a business decision the town felt it needed to do to have more control over the funding for a fire department. The split will not happen until October 1st, 2023, and Olson adds that residents will receive the same fire protection they have always received and should still feel safe. 

Door County remains at high COVID-19 community level

For the third week in a row, you are recommended to wear a mask inside most buildings, stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, get tested if you show symptoms, and take additional precautions if you are considered at risk in Door County.

 

Thursday’s release of the state’s COVID-19 community levels marked the third straight week Door County was placed at the high level. The metric is based on the number of new cases and hospitalizations and the current number of hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive people. Earlier this week, the Door County Public Health Department announced 59 new cases of COVID-19 out of 114 tests, in addition to two more deaths and three hospitalizations. Kewaunee County remained at the medium COVID-19 community level. They announced last Friday 39 additional cases but no new hospitalizations or deaths.

 

Traffic Alert: Highway 42 closes in Ephraim due to crash

A vehicle crash in Ephraim closed Highway 42 Thursday afternoon.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the crash occurred at about 2:30 near the intersection of Anderson Lane and Highway 42.   Door County Sheriff’s Department’s Dispatch confirmed that northbound and southbound lanes on the highway were still closed as of 5:30 pm.  State Highway 42 was closed until late Thursday due to power lines across the highway.  We will update this story as more information becomes available. 

 

 

 

 

New CDC guidance opens door to more normal school year

Your child’s school year could look as normal as it has since before the pandemic, thanks to new guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control last week. The CDC released its latest recommendations last Thursday before many schools across the country open their doors to students. Most schools in Wisconsin will not open their doors to students until September 1st due to state law. It acknowledges the ongoing pandemic but points out that approximately 95 percent of the population have either had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated against it. The updated document removed many recommendations, such as quarantining after exposure to the virus except in high-risk settings. Also gone is the rule that unvaccinated students exposed to the coronavirus should test for COVID-19 to stay in school, even if they do not have symptoms. They are now recommended to mask up if they have been exposed. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says he will recommend to the board when they meet on August 24th to adopt many of the standards set forth by the CDC. That means only the students that become infected with COVID-19 will be forced to quarantine for five calendar days before they can return to class with a mask on for another five calendar days. Masking will be optional whether they are deemed a close contact or not.

Southern Door (August 15th), Luxemburg-Casco (August 17th),  and Algoma (August 22nd) and their school boards were also scheduled this month to discuss their COVID-19 mitigation strategies for the upcoming school year. 

Algoma arson suspect charged

A 24-year-old Algoma man is facing multiple felonies and misdemeanors after he allegedly tried setting a home on fire in the city earlier this month.

 

Filed in Kewaunee County Circuit Court on August 16th, Zackarie J. Clark was charged with three counts of burglary of a building, two counts of arson of a building, one count of misdemeanor theft, one count of obstructing an officer, and four counts of misdemeanor bail jumping.

 

On August 5th, Kewaunee County Dispatch responded to an early morning call that Clark attempted to break into a vehicle before entering a garage to break windows and light a home on fire in the 1000 block of Division Street. The house was unoccupied as it went under renovation by the Jandu family. While the Algoma Fire Department took care of the fire, the Algoma Police Department worked with the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, the Kewaunee Police Department, and a Brown County Sheriff’s Department Canine Unit to track down Clark after he fled the scene on foot. Clark was arrested just before 5 a.m. After further investigation, they found hand tools that he had stolen in his vehicle.

 

He was placed into jail on a $25,000 bond on August 5th, and he had his initial appearance at the Kewaunee County Courthouse Thursday morning.

Cost-share program planting seeds for the future

Buying into different conservation efforts now could lead to better environmental outcomes in your community later. That is the goal of Peninsula Pride Farms’ cost-share program, which incentivizes farmers to try different practices in their fields to limit their impact on soil erosion and water pollution. Planting cover crops, splitting nitrogen application, and creating harvestable buffers are different ways farms can positively impact the environment if done correctly and receive a little help doing it too. Peninsula Pride Farms Board Member and certified crop advisor Nick Guilette says the program has been very beneficial on several different fronts.

Over 50 percent of Peninsula Pride Farms members last year participated in the cost-share program. Last year, more than 350,000 acres of land owned by members were covered by Peninsula Pride Farms members with conservation practices. Guilette says Peninsula Pride Farms has also teamed up with The Nature Conservancy to allow member and non-member farms to participate in some of the conservation efforts. You can find more information by clicking on the links below.  You have until October 15th to apply for the Peninsula Pride Farms cost-share program and November 15th for the one through The Nature Conservancy. 

 

2022 cost-share program enrollment

2022 TNC Cover Crop Trial Incentive Program

Northern Lights show possible again for Thursday night

If the clouds cooperate, you could be in store for another light show in the sky Thursday night. 

 

The National Oceanic Space Weather Prediction Center issued a G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm watch for Thursday after entering the area as a G1 (minor) geomagnetic storm on Wednesday. If the storm materializes, the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, could be seen as far south as portions of Pennsylvania and Iowa.  While the Auroras are pretty to look at, NOAA warns there could be issues with navigation, operations with radios and satellites, and the power grid. Wednesday appears to have been the better opportunity to see the Northern Lights, with meteorologists predicting more cloud cover for Thursday. 

Unemployment in Kewaunee County among lowest in the state

You will still see plenty of help-wanted signs around Kewaunee County, but finding people who do not work is harder. At their meeting on Tuesday, Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ben Nelson updated the Kewaunee County Board on the organization’s efforts. At 2.9 percent, Kewaunee County had the fifth lowest unemployment rate in the state in June. By comparison, Door County is in 11th place at three percent, and Brown County is 25th with 3.2 percent. It also means Kewaunee County’s labor participation rate is high at 97 percent. Nelson added that both numbers are higher than they were before the pandemic. Those two pieces of data show there is not a large local pool of employees to draw from, and if you are looking for work and are of age, you should not have a problem finding a job. Nelson pointed out ways Kewaunee County businesses can help attract employees to fill the over 100 vacant positions in the community.

Even more job opportunities are on the way in Kewaunee County as EnergySolutions ramps up its efforts to decommission the former Kewaunee Power Station. Nelson told the board that the company which bought the shuttered nuclear power plant late last year would like to finish its work in eight to ten years. 

 

 

During the meeting, the Kewaunee County Board also unanimously approved a resolution allowing the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department to make a more than $60,000 purchase for body cameras. The department recently received  a 50 percent matching grant to cover a large portion of the cost.

Northern Sky Theater to host fall concert series

Even when the calendar turns from summer to fall, you will still be able to catch live performances under the Peninsula State Park sky. Northern Sky Theater announced this week its plans to host three different shows for nine days in September. The performances will feature the musical stylings of Northern Sky Theater standbys playing original music and a few tunes from the company’s musical catalog. Associate Managing Director and performer Holly Feldman says Northern Sky Theater fans will have one of their wishes granted with these offerings.

General admission tickets are $20 for the shows that run from September 1st to 3rd, 8th to 10th, and 14th to 16th at 4 p.m.. Karen Mal, James Kaplan, Katie Dahl, Jeff Herbst, Doc Heide, Dan Klarer, and Matt Zembrowski are among those performing during the nine-day run.

Door County YMCA CEO Erickson resigns

The Door County YMCA is on the search for another Chief Executive Officer after Heidi Erickson resigned from the role on Wednesday. She will stay on as the Door County YMCA CEO until September 16th. Erickson will still be involved with the YMCA as she moves onto the Fox Cities to be a Branch Executive for the Fox West YMCA in Greenville, Wis. Door County YMCA Chief Volunteer Officer Sally Pfeifer thanked Erickson for her almost two years in the role. She applauded Erickson’s role in the Door County YMCA’s successful capital campaign project, leading the organization through the pandemic and developing deeper connections with community partners. Erickson complimented the Door County YMCA’s staff and volunteers for their time, talent, and dedication. Pfeifer says they are in the early stages of their search process, which will include support from the national YMCA office. This was Erickson’s second stint with the Door County YMCA, previously serving as the Northern Door YMCA Branch Executive Director from 2016 to 2019. Her career with the YMCA has also taken her to Green Bay and Eau Claire.

Southern Door and BUG Fire joint train for "Mayday" rescues

Two local fire departments worked in unison Monday night doing rescue training they hope they never have to use. The Brussels-Union-Gardner and Southern Door Fire Departments team up twice a year for special training in the Auto-Eight partnership, where they have to respond to each other’s structure fire calls jointly. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) training is to help refresh the skills of firefighters on standby in case a fellow firefighter in distress needs to be rescued.

 

 

Vandertie added that his department is having its busiest year in the past seven years while also responding to numerous structure fires with neighboring fire departments throughout Door and Kewaunee counties. He noted that the BUG Fire Department, like many other volunteer departments throughout the state, is struggling to fill day-time staffing and would welcome interested parties to reach out and apply online on the BUG Fire website.

 

(photo courtesy of BUG Fire Department)

 

 

 

Door County YMCA presenting Blues by the Bay

An event planned for next week in Sister Bay is set to help out the Door County YMCA’s Membership For All Program and bring out the blues music lover in you.  Blues by the Bay will be a casual affair that includes live entertainment with musician Paul Taylor and a Pop-up Taco tent.  Membership Experience Director Brett Cleveland shares other details surrounding the outdoor event.

 

 

Blues by the Bay will be from 6 until 9 in the evening on Wednesday, August 24.  All proceeds will benefit the Membership For All Program through the Door County YMCA Annual Campaign.  You can find out more about Blues by the Bay in Sister Bay and register for the event by clicking here.  

World of Honey bees on display at Crossroads Saturday

You can see first-hand how honey is produced at the so-called “sweetest” event of the year at Crossroads at Big Creek this Saturday.  The Community Honey Harvest will be held from 9 until 11 in the morning by the Door County Beekeepers Club.  The free program will have interactive activities demonstrating the importance of honeybees and their role in the environment.  Gretchen Schmelzer of the Door County Beekeepers Association says the educational stations will offer a close view of honeybees in action behind the glass widow of an observation hive.

 

 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to make beeswax wraps and rolled wax candles and view a demonstration of dipping hot wax candles.  A children’s tent will have a live drone honey bee for kids to pet and display hive boxes and beekeeper tools.  Bee-related items will be available for resale for the first time this year at the “Shop the Hive.”  Sales and proceeds of honey, soaps and shirts will go for youth beekeeping scholarships through the Wisconsin Honey Producers program.

City's patience wearing thin on Granary project

Several Sturgeon Bay Council members shared concerns over delays In the Granary project on the City’s westside waterfront. Project Manager Nicole Matson gave a status update on the Tewels & Brandeis Grain Elevator before Tuesday night’s meeting. Worried that the project was not progressing as promised, council members Dan Williams, Spencer Gustafson, and Kirsten Reeths shared their concerns.

 

 

After the consent agenda business was handled, the Common Council approved a Revised Development Agreement with the new Sturgeon Bay Plaza that is to be built on the waterfront. Owner Peter Gentry says the timeline is for the development to break ground in October with a planned opening in May of 2023.   A second motion passed regarding the donation agreement that will allow the developer to use public space for amenities around the building.


The City also delayed a decision to approve a lease of City land at Big Hill Park with US Cellular for a new cell tower for 60 days until more information can be gathered to finalize details and approval by the City Attorney.


A recommendation by the Community Protection & Services Committee for two Class B Liquor licenses was approved unanimously for Crate (BH Canvas, LLC) on North Third Avenue and Amagma, LLC, which will be a new business on Egg Harbor Road. The City of Sturgeon Bay still holds one Class B license available for the future.  


Before going into closed session for the last piece of business, Mayor David Ward informed the Council that an agreement had not been reached yet on the Right of way acquisition of real estate connecting Grant Avenue and Sawyer Drive. The Council then adjourned without taking any action after the closed session.

Nasewaupee looks to withdraw from Southern Door Fire Department

Thursday could be the day you see the Southern Door Fire Department break up. The Town of Nasewaupee Board is set to vote on a resolution authorizing the withdrawal from its fire station agreement pending the appraisal of the site near the Door County Cherryland Airport. Talks about the potential split began in April when there was a motion at the annual town meeting for Nasewaupee to leave the Southern Door Fire Department unless new terms, such as more representation on the fire board and less money towards the budget, could be reached. The town has hired consultants to appraise the fire station and its equipment. The board meeting is scheduled to take place at the Nasewaupee Town Hall on August 18th at 7 p.m.

League of Women Voters takes to the streets to celebrate milestone

You can celebrate women’s suffrage next week on the streets of Sturgeon Bay. The League of Women Voters Door County is continuing the tradition to celebrate the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, with a parade through downtown Sturgeon Bay to Martin Park on August 26th.. When they reach the destination, actors playing the roles of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony will address the crowd before Cathy Grier, and Tony Menzer from Cathy Grier and the Troublemakers take the stage. Parade coordinator Heidi Ling hopes the event is a reminder that we can never take our rights for granted, even if they have been around for over 100 years.

You can participate in the parade by dressing up and decorating your car, similar to what was done when Wisconsin became the first state to ratify the 19th amendment in 1920. Cars can start lining up at the intersection of 3rd Avenue and Jefferson Street at 11:15 before the parade begins at noon.

Southern Door Board sends referendum questions to voters

Your mill rate from Southern Door School District is not expected to rise in the near future, even if two different referendum questions are approved this fall. The Southern Door School District Board unanimously approved questions 6-0 related to an operational referendum and a capital referendum. 

 

The operational referendum would allow the district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $975,000 annually for three years. These funds would be used for non-recurring expenses such as student support services, updating curriculum materials, maintaining current programming and technology, and wages. The capital referendum would authorize general obligation bonds to be issued for $14.9 million. Under the plans currently posted on the district’s website, new construction would include an indoor practice facility, a relocated weight and fitness room, and a greenhouse. The current district office building would also be torn down to make way for additional parking in front of the school building. The district office would then be relocated to what is now the fitness center.

 

Thanks to the district’s fiscal consciousness over the years, approving the two referendum questions would not increase the mill rate over current levels, according to Superintendent Chris Peterson. Informational presentations and school tours are being organized ahead of the November 8th general election when the two questions appear on the ballot. 

Manufacturers bucking recession threats

If there is a recession coming, you would not know it driving through the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. NEW Industries and Hatco are just some of the manufacturers in Sturgeon Bay in full-out hiring mode to meet the demands of their customers. Logistics Management magazine says manufacturing grew in the United States for a 26th straight month, with some orders being placed for as far out as 2024. Supply chain issues, in some ways, have helped keep things manageable for companies as orders are not getting canceled but merely moved. Manufacturing component parts for several different industries has kept NEW Industries owner Chris Moore and his company busy.

Moore added that the diversity allows them to stay steady even when other industries are not. He referred back to the recession in 2008, where their business only softened for approximately three months before they regained their stride and started to grow again. The Door County Economic Development Corporation shows dozens of manufacturing job openings across several different businesses in the county.

Home-based child care getting help

The answer to solving Door County’s childcare crunch could be living in your neighborhood. United Way of Door County is offering resources to those in the area who provide home-based child care as a way for community members to receive high-quality care if they cannot get into one of the few centers available. United Way Childcare Community Coordinator Jess Holland says census data shows there are about 850 kids in Door County under the age of four with only approximately 300 regulated childcare slots for them to occupy. Thanks to the Women’s Fund of Door County, the United Way is offering $500 grants for home-based child care, whether they are regulated or not. Holland says it is vital for caregivers in these situations to have the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

The United Way of Door County also provides workshops and free activity bags for at-home child care providers to give those individuals even more support.

Kewaunee County looks to purchase body cameras for Sheriff's Department

The next time you interact with a Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Deputy, you might be able to smile for the camera. The Kewaunee County Board will vote on outfitting the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department with body cameras for when they go out on duty. The total cost of the cameras is $61,273, with a grant secured by the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department covering approximately half of that. In addition to the initial cost of purchasing the units, instituting the program carries an annual maintenance fee of just over $8,400. The cameras will have to be replaced every three years. Board Chairperson Dan Olson says the grants they receive are crucial for any project like this undertaken by Kewaunee County.

The resolution before the board acknowledges that the use of body cameras by law enforcement has become the norm and has proven to be an effective tool for ensuring transparency and accountability. Seven states, including neighboring Illinois, have mandated law enforcement to wear body cameras. The meeting will take place on August 16th at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee. It will also be available online.

Door County sees first COVID-related deaths since June

We know more about why Door County remained at a high community level for COVID-19. In addition to 59 cases of COVID-19 out of 114 tests, the Door County Public Health Department announced two more deaths and three new hospitalizations. The 64th death since the beginning of the pandemic was the first Door County has seen since June 27th, and it has been even longer since the last time the department noted multiple deaths in the same report. Kewaunee County’s COVID-19 report was more positive, with no new hospitalizations or deaths but 39 additional cases. Door County is currently one of 27 counties in the high community level for COVID-19, and Kewaunee County is one of 27 counties in the medium level. The seven-day average for new cases of COVID-19 is 1,548, 84 less than one week ago. While the number of new cases is ticking down, the seven-day average for deaths was up from two to three.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - August 15, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 31,087 (+114)
Positive: 7,346 (+59)
Probable: 424 (+6)
Negative: 23,227 (+49)
Hospitalizations: 257 (+3)
Deaths: 64 (+2)
*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

 

Dairy distribution event coming to Southern Door

You can stock up on your milk and cheese ahead of the upcoming school year next week. With the assistance of local dairy farmers, producers, distributors, area FFA chapters, 4-H clubs, Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Company, and neighborhood volunteers, you will be able to grab a free cooler bag of dairy products at Southern Door High School. The distribution event is at 4 p.m. until supplies are gone on August 24th. The opportunity is similar to other events that have taken place since the beginning of the pandemic. The event comes at a time when inflation has caused dairy prices to be over 11 percent higher than they were one year ago.

Community Spotlight: Shanty Days Honoree Mitch Groessl

A pillar of the Algoma community was posthumously honored during the Shanty Days celebration this past weekend. Mitch Groessl, who passed away one day short of his 62nd birthday in June, was recognized as the 2022 Shanty Days Honoree during the Friday luncheon and parade on Sunday. Parade organizer Jim Rabas says Groessl did many great things for Algoma and was well known for his volunteer activities with Shanty Days.

 

 

Groessl was a fixture behind the bar at the Algoma Boat Club for many years and served on the Algoma Rescue Squad from 1982 until shortly before losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. Serving two terms as Algoma’s Ward 3 alderperson, Groessl was also on the Door County Medical Center Board of Directors before stepping down due to health reasons. The complete list of past Shanty Days Honorees is listed below.

 

Past Honorees Include:

2021-Katie Brandt and Tina Lawrence

2019- Sharon and Wayne Grosbeier

2018- Paul Schmidt

 

2017 – Aric and Brad Schmiling

2016 – Mary Dier

2012 – Judy Srnka

2011 – Bob and Jane Kuhn

2010 – Jerry Matuszek

2009 – Jerry and Bonnie Seiler

2008 – Merle and Kathy Colburn

2007 – Jan Dart

2006 – Jim Rabas Jr.

2005 – Earl Krueger

2004 – Mahlon Dier

2003 – Whitey Ellsworth

2002 – Gene & Ione VanPrice

2001 – Lee Rush

2000 – Maynard Zima

1999 – Ray Fulwiler & “Page” Knipfer

1998 – George Miller

1997 – Reiny Krause

1996 – Larry & Ann Schmitz

1995 – Edgar “Tiny” Nell

1994 – Clif & June Harmann

1993 – Emil Pagel

1992 – James Rabas Sr.

1991 – Ernie & Mabel Haack

1990 – Ron Leist

1989 – Jag Haegele

1988 – Art Dettman

Southern Door referendum questions set for approval

Your vote this fall could decide whether a major facelift is given to Southern Door School District.

 

The district’s board will discuss and approve two referendum questions to be placed on the November 8th general election ballot. The operational referendum would allow the district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $975,000 annually for three years. These funds would be used for non-recurring expenses such as student support services, updating curriculum materials, maintaining current programming and technology, and wages. The capital referendum would authorize general obligation bonds to be issued for $14.9 million. Under the plans currently posted on the district’s website, new construction would include an indoor practice facility, a relocated weight and fitness room, and a greenhouse. The current district office building would also be torn down to make way for additional parking in front of the school building. The district office would then be relocated to what is now the fitness center.

 

According to their survey results, Superintendent Chris Peterson told Door County Daily News earlier this summer that the public was supportive.

The Southern Door School Board will meet on August 15th at 6:30 p.m.

Ridges' Gill enjoying master planning process

Giving your feedback on the future of The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor has been an enjoyable history lesson for its executive director Andy Gill.

 

The Ridges Sanctuary kicked off its 20-year master plan process in May on the heels of its purchase of The Ridges Inn. The two-acre parcel is considered vital not just for its native orchids but for the survival of the endangered Emerald dragonfly and the limestone oak, which is regarded as a Wisconsin Species of Special Concern. The Ridges Sanctuary recently wrapped up its summit, which featured its annual meeting, an open house, and additional master plan public engagement. Gill, who was hired as the executive director in May 2021, has enjoyed hearing about the history of The Ridges Sanctuary and learning about what they have done right and where there are areas for continuous improvement.

Additional public engagement events are planned for early September and early October, with sustainability and programming being the focus areas.  

Birch Creek set to host retreats for adults

The kids may be headed home for the summer, but you can still catch music playing at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor. After Saturday’s finale of the second Big Band Jazz session, Birch Creek opens its doors this week to the adults. Formerly known as "adult band camp," the wind ensemble allows older musicians to get some of the same world-class guidance Birch Creek has been offering youth all summer. The following week, Birch Creek will present the same opportunity for chamber music performers. Executive Director Mona Christensen says the adult participants want to be challenged.

You will be able to check out the retreat classes performing the pieces they have been working on during the week. The Wind Ensemble Retreat concert will take place on August 19th at 2 p.m. inside the Dutton Concert Barn, and the Chamber Music Retreat concert will take place on August 25th at the same time. While there is a tuition cost for students to participate in the retreats, the shows are free to enjoy.

Road construction at Peninsula State Park to begin Monday

You may run into some delays the next time you visit Peninsula State Park. The Department of Natural Resources announced Friday that road construction at one of Wisconsin’s most popular state parks would begin on August 15th. It will start with setting up staging areas and signage before roadside tree removal begins. Shortly after, construction will start on culvert replacements ahead of repaving the road itself. The streets affected by the road construction project include 2.7 miles of Shore Road from the Fish Creek entrance to the Bluff Road intersection and 2.5 miles of Shore Road from the Ephraim entrance to the Bluff Road intersection. Park Superintendent Eric Hyde said last month that the project would not affect the weekend traffic.

Camping, biking, and other activities at the park are likely not to be affected, but back-ups and delays still may happen. Hyde expected the project to take approximately 30 to 40 days. You can keep up-to-date with the construction progress by clicking this link once the project gets underway.

 

"Soar on the Shore Beach and Kite Festival" will fill the skies in Algoma

You can be part of a kite-flying tradition on the waterfront in Algoma next weekend.  The 8th Annual Soar on the Shore Kite and Beach Festival is held on Crescent Beach and Lake Street overlooking Lake Michigan.  Event Coordinator Sara Krouse says the family-friendly event will feature the Wisconsin Kiters Club showcasing stunt kites and will “paint the sky” with color and movement if the winds cooperate.  She says there will be a designated area on the beach for people to fly their own kites.

 

 

Krouse explains the inspiration behind starting the event eight years ago.

 

 

The Soar on the Shore will take place from 11 am until 4 pm on Saturday, August 21, with a rain date for Sunday at the same time.  The event is presented by Friends of Crescent Beach and the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

(photo submitted)

Beach hazard and flood advisory for Door County

Stormy weather has made outside activities difficult and dangerous Saturday.  A warning has been issued for beaches along Lake Michigan in Door and Kewaunee counties.  The National Weather Service reports that waves are expected to build up to four to seven feet along the lakeshore.  The Beach hazard advisory is in effect until Sunday morning.  Several beaches will be susceptible to dangerous swimming conditions with strong currents. 

 

Heavy rains Saturday morning is also making flooding possible in the area and drivers should be aware of changing road conditions.  Authorities advise you to avoid driving through any standing water on streets that can stall and damage your vehicle.  

Shanty Days Parade, fair horse show postponed

You will have to wait 24 hours to see the floats ride through Algoma. The hard rains and high winds forced the organization in charge of Shanty Days in Algoma to postpone the parade 24 hours until noon on Sunday. The event's car cruise has been cancelled. 

The Door County Fair continues to push on with much of its schedule, though it was forced to cancel its stock horse show in the horse arena.

We will share more details on our social media pages as information becomes available.

Dairy is family at Door County Fair

You would not be entirely off base for confusing portions of the dairy barn at the Door County Fair for being a family’s living room. Farm families retreated to their respective parts of the barn during the lunch break of Friday’s dairy show, which features both a junior fair and open class divisions.

 

 

Names like Wautier, Olson, Brey, Kinnard, Uecker, LaCrosse, and Wilke lined the walls with posters describing their animals and ribbons attached highlighting their achievements. Showing animals at the Door County Fair is more than something you do. It is a tradition passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, and even cousin to cousin. That is the case for Rachel and Natalie Wilke of the Country View 4-H Club. After years of helping out her older cousins during their five-day residency at the fair, Natalie got to have her own cow to show. Natalie was proud of what she accomplished in her first year, while Rachel, who has also exhibited poultry and sheep at the fair, was able to give her some words of advice along the way.

The last animal shows at the Door County Fair wrap up Saturday morning before the Quality Market Animal Sale at 7 p.m. inside the dairy barn. The only exception is the gymkhana show, which takes place at 9 a.m. at the horse arena on Sunday.

 

 

Fleet Farm submits initial plans for Sturgeon Bay location

A popular retailer that previously required you to drive to Green Bay could be on its way to Sturgeon Bay. The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission will hear more details and give feedback about a plan to bring Fleet Farm to the city. The company notified the city on August 4th that it had entered a purchase agreement dated June 16th with the Kerscher Family Trust to purchase approximately 40 acres in the Town of Nasewaupee for a new store just off State Highway 42/57 near South Grant Avenue. Once the land is purchased, Fleet Farm would annex into the City of Sturgeon Bay and construct the store in the near future. Actions would be required as annexing the property and approving it for commercial zoning would need to occur as it does not currently comply with the current Future Land Use designation of Agricultural/Rural, according to a memo written by City Planner Christopher Sullivan-Robinson. A public hearing is scheduled for September 21st, after which the Plan Commission can act upon a recommendation to the Common Council. The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission meeting is planned for August 17th at 6 p.m.

 

 

State pushed to approve occupational licenses quicker

Whether caring for you in a hospital or fixing the toilet in your home, the people doing the work need the occupational licenses they are not getting right now from the state. The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, the agency in charge of approving the licenses, has been suffering from a backlog for close to a year. Rep. Joel Kitchens says his office is working with 13 cases of people trying to get the necessary paperwork to start positions. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens wrote in a letter to Governor Evers’ office that they have three nurses who have been waiting for their licenses since May, preventing them from working despite being licensed in a different state. This has caused the hospital to either work short-staffed or hire agency personnel at a higher expense. Stephens added that with the current nursing shortage, the situation is “expensive, dangerous, and unnecessary.” Kitchens, who is also on the Board of Directors for Door County Medical Center, says other occupations are experiencing similar issues.

Rearranging current staff within the department, hiring limited-term employees, and bringing more people back into the office are some ways Kitchens hopes the issue is addressed. The department currently has close to 30 vacancies and is transitioning from Secretary Dawn Crim to Deputy Secretary Dan Health as its leader.  

County taking steps to improve Gordon Road intersection

You may be unable to turn left onto State Highway 42/57 from Gordon Road in the future.

 

The Door County Finance Committee will look to approve a resolution to send to the entire county board later this month to transfer $100,000 from the Capital Improvement Project Highway Reserve Account to the Capital Outlay Expense Country Roads and Bridges Account to make improvements to the troubled intersection. The intersection has seen 22 accidents between 2015 and 2022, according to a presentation made by District 14 Supervisor Hugh Zettel. Ten of those accidents involved motorists making a left-hand turn from Gordon Road to head north on State Highway 57. The county has submitted a grant application to fund a permanent traffic feature to be installed to prevent left-hand turns, though Zettel hopes something can be placed. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has said in the past that the data does not support a complete redesign of the intersection to add a feature such as a roundabout.

 

In correspondence shared during the Highway and Facilities Committee meeting on August 10th, Sevastopol Town Chair Dan Woelfel shared his support for Zettels’s efforts, writing that “this is an opportunity to proactively address a need before it becomes a bigger problem.”  There is extra urgency for changes to be made after the Town of Sevastopol recommended the approval of rezoning a parcel on Gordon Road to allow for the proposed expansion of the Door Community Child Development Center. The state is also planning on repaving that portion of State Highway 42/57 next year. The Door County Finance Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.

Candle fundraiser for Ukraine shooting for $1,000,000 mark

The Door County candle business raising money for Ukrainians since the Russian invasion earlier this year has a goal of $1,000,000 by August 25. Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, owner of Door County Candle in Carlsville, says over $700,000 has been raised to date.   From this last Monday until August 24, Ukraine’s Independence Day, $5 from every online sale of its 16-inch yellow Lemongrass and Blue Lakeshore “Light to Unite” candles will be donated. Trapani, a second-generation Ukrainian American, says the fundraiser started as a way to help the people from Ukraine, including her grandmother.

 

 

Trapani adds that donations are being made to Razom for Ukraine.  The non-profit is providing humanitarian war relief and recovery in Ukraine, evacuating vulnerable populations, and advocating for Ukraine to strengthen its relationship with the United States. 

New CDC guidance eliminates quarantine after COVID exposure

According to new Centers for Disease Control guidance, you will only have to wear a mask if you have been exposed to COVID-19. The CDC released the latest recommendations on Thursday before many schools across the country open their doors to students. It acknowledges the ongoing pandemic, but points out that approximately 95 percent of the population have either had COVID-19 and/or have been vaccinated against it. The updated document removed many recommendations, such as quarantining after exposure to the virus except in high-risk settings. Also gone is the rule that unvaccinated students that are exposed to the coronavirus should test for COVID-19 to stay in school, even if they do not have symptoms. They are now recommended to mask up if they have been exposed. While some districts like Sturgeon Bay have already had this policy in place, Luxemburg-Casco, Washington Island, and Kewaunee have quarantining as one of their mitigation strategies for COVID-exposed students.

 

The new CDC guidance comes as it was announced that Door County remains in the high community level for COVID-19 along with 20 other Wisconsin counties. At that level, it is recommended you wear a mask inside most buildings, stay up-to-date with your vaccinations, get tested if you show symptoms, and take additional precautions if you are considered at risk. Kewaunee County remains one of 36 counties in the state at the medium community level.

Cana Island Lighthouse tower, keeper's quarters reopen August 12th

You will be able to see a whole lot more the next time you go to visit the Cana Island Lighthouse in Baileys Harbor. In collaboration with the Door County Parks Department, the Door County Maritime Museum announced this week that its Phase 4 restoration work is nearly complete. This benchmark will allow visitors to climb the 97 lighthouse tower steps once again and peruse the keeper’s quarters beginning on August 12th. While visitors have been able to tour other parts of the property, the tower and the keeper’s quarters have been closed for much of the 2022 season due to the $1.1 million restoration project. The project fulfills the goals of the Cana Island Light Station Historic Structures Report, which highlighted several issues that needed to be addressed to keep the popular attraction available for future generations.

 

School administrators brace for budget impact

You can blame several factors for the stress school boards and district administrators will likely face in the coming months. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported earlier this week that inflation, lagging state funding, declining enrollment, and the expiration of federal dollars through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund will contribute to the Green Bay Area School District facing a $36 million budget deficit in two years and Milwaukee Public School over $70 million. Some school districts used the ESSER funding to hire additional staff to help students that suffered setbacks in their education due to virtual learning challenges catch up. Luxemburg-Casco School District, for example, hired six instructional staff members on two one-year contracts to address concerns. Last December, former Superintendent Glenn Schlender said those positions would exist as long as the dollars were available. He also remarked that time under their roof would allow the district to get a closer look at the teachers for future vacancies. Other school districts like Sturgeon Bay did not go that route. District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says they looked at hiring additional people as being unsustainable, instead taking the state legislature’s advice to use those federal funds to address the inflationary costs they were experiencing.

Depending on what the Wisconsin Legislature and the Governor’s office decide to do with education funding in the next budget, school districts will likely have to rely on voter-approved operational referenda or cut programs to make their numbers work.

 

Community rings the bell for Salvation Army

The loose change you dropped in their red kettles last Christmas season is making a big difference thanks to the Salvation Army of Kewaunee County. Last year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign raised over $25,000 which is then distributed by voucher writers in the community when individuals or families approach the organization in need. Helping people catch up on rent and utilities or make a car payment when they experience tragedy or fall on hard times is often when the dollars are used. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is one of the voucher writers in the area, and he says the most challenging part of the job is when the people they helped need further assistance because they cannot get past the challenges they are facing. Joski says the money they distribute is supposed to be one-time payments. In times when the Salvation Army’s bell is meant to be silent, Joski is proud the community steps up and rings it for them.

The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign will return with sites throughout the area again this Christmas season. You can read more about the Salvation Army’s efforts in Kewaunee County below.

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Although you can’t get much farther from the holiday season than we currently are in the year, I wanted to pause and share some information into where some of your holiday generosity has been directed to.

     

As I have shared in the past, I have the privilege of being the Kewaunee County Voucher Writer for the Salvation Army and in doing so, I have the unique opportunity to interact with those who are in need throughout our community on a regular basis, and I am always humbled by their willingness to share what they are going through.

     

As you may recall, all of the funds for these types of assistance interactions are derived from the donations that you the community provide through the Kettle Campaign which runs from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. These Kettles are placed at businesses throughout Kewaunee County and the requests for assistance are also received from our neighbors throughout Kewaunee County.

     

Recently, I provided a voucher to a young Mother who was in between jobs with assistance for her rent. In another instance, I was able to provide your generosity to a gentleman in the early stages of cancer treatment to assist with utility expenses during his recovery. Yet in another time of need, your generosity provided fuel for a young woman’s vehicle so that she could get to a job interview. Unfortunately, there is very seldom a week that goes by that I do not receive a request for help in some way. Fortunately, most of these needs can be met. While I am able to provide assistance through the Salvation Army on most of these occasions, there are also other charitable organizations that assist our community in resources as well. I am very grateful for the local food pantries, as well as the Lakeshore Community Pantry Thrift shop. There have also been so many situations in which local businesses have stepped forward to assist a family or individual with help in the area of their expertise.  

     

In a world that tends to fixate on the negative, we can never let ourselves be distracted from the fact that they are vastly outnumbered by the positive events and supportive people that are around us every day. Even in those negative people or events, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to peal away the layers to find the good.

     

Many times, we feel helpless as we watch events unfold around the world and even in our own communities. While we can not change so much of what we see, we can make sure that it does not change us. Please know that each and every time we are able to assist someone in our community, we are sending a message that we will always be here for each other without judgement and without hesitation. That in itself is the definition of community.

Door County Fair gets off to rocking start

If Wednesday's opener was any indication, you will see big crowds at the Door County Fair all weekend long. Helped partly by excellent weather, Door County Fair President Tom Ash was optimistic for one of their biggest opening days ever as he watched the midway fill up ahead of the official welcome and introduction by Door County Fair Ambassador Emily Guilette. Flanked by fair officials, her family, and Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Grace LeGrave, Guilette welcomed local favorites Boogie and the Yo-Yoz to the stage for the first of five straight nights of live music.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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While the midway was packed with revelers, exhibitors were busy in the barns getting their animals settled in for their fair residency and in the junior fair building having their projects judged. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn VandeVoort believes they saw an increase in participation this year as the barns and exhibit halls slowly filled up.

 

 

The first animal exhibitions are scheduled for Thursday, with the horse pleasure show in the morning and the beef show in the evening. The Door County Fair runs through August 14th. You can click this link for a full schedule of events.

Door and Kewaunee counties see strong primary turnout

You were not alone on Tuesday if your polling place in Door or Kewaunee counties was running low on ballots. 

 

Both counties saw higher than usual activity at their polling places for the partisan primary, which featured 11 different races among the Democratic, Republican, Constitutional, and Libertarian parties. Contested primaries for Governor, U.S. Senate, and First Assembly District were among the reasons that led to 29 percent of eligible Kewaunee County voters and 40 percent of Door County voters participating. Kewaunee County Clerk Jamie Annoye says she tried planning ahead by looking at three to five years of historical data and considered the political climate when she ordered ballots this year. It was not enough as they still had to make additional copies for some locations, requiring those ballots to be hand counted. It did not get to that point in Door County, but Clerk Jill Lau says it could be a sign of what to expect for the general election in November.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission estimated that the turnout statewide was going to be 16 percent, but the most recent data shows it may be around 20-25 percent. By clicking this link, you can find the results of this year’s primary and how they fared in Door and Kewaunee counties. The general election will take place on November 8th.  

Door County Maritime Museum awards Coast Guard, Mariner honors

The Door County Maritime Museum took time on Tuesday to honor three individuals who have significantly impacted the city’s maritime history. The museum gives out two Mariner Awards and one Coast Guard Person of the Year Award every year as a part of the city’s Maritime Week festivities.

MST Rustin Batterman of the Marine Safety Detachment (MSD) received the Coast Guard Person of the Award, recognized for his commitment to developing four junior personnel at MSD Sturgeon Bay. Batterman fought for a year to transfer to MSD Sturgeon Bay from Sector New York for family reasons so they could be close to the support network that they needed. As a result, Batterman commutes to Sturgeon Bay four hours every day.

The living recipient of this year’s Mariner Award was Bill Schoendorf, who, along with his brother, bought Baudhuin Yacht Harbor in 1979. Now known as  Bay Marine Yacht Harbor, he improved and expanded the yard while adding more storage and harbor facilities. He was also a big promoter of the Sail Training Foundation, which helps people learn the finer points of sailing.

The posthumous Mariner Award went to Lieutenant Gene R. Gislason, a World War II veteran who was awarded a Silver Star while landing assault troops at Omaha Beach as a part of the D-Day invasion of Normandy. After retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1970, Gislason returned to Sturgeon Bay and served as a master on vessels undergoing sea trials at local shipyards. 

 

Pictures courtesy of Door County Maritime Museum

Racing Sausages to participate in Shanty Days

The traditional celebration of the Lake in Algoma returns this weekend with Shanty Days and the famous Racing Sausages for the first time. An estimated 25,000 people have attended the event in the past, which will feature an art show, street fair, live music,  5K Run/Walk and Kids Superhero Fun Run, beach volleyball tournament, car show, parade, and more. Parade organizer Jim Rabas expects another big weekend in Algoma. He says the parade at noon on Saturday is one of the biggest in the area and even caught the attention of the Milwaukee Brewers and its Racing Sausages.

 

 

Long-time volunteer Mitch Groessl, who passed away in June, was named the 2022 Shanty Days Honoree. This year’s theme is “Fired Up for 35 years,” and the Shanty Days annual celebration will wrap up on Sunday evening with fireworks over the Algoma Harbor at dusk. You can find the complete schedule of events here.  

July inflation holds steady as gas prices drop

The high inflationary trend leveled off in July as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced no increase in the Consumer Price Index last month. Coupled with decreasing gas prices in July and an increase in hourly wages for employees around the country went up a half percent, the news slightly offsets the record high 9.1 percent figure. The gasoline index fell 7.7 percent in July, with the food index increasing 1.1 percent.

Gas prices in the Sturgeon Bay area have dropped as low as $3.69 per gallon for regular unleaded, which is the state average price as of Wednesday. According to AAA, the national average price is $4.01, which is one dollar less than the all-time high of $5.01 in June.

Groundbreaking for first addition in two decades and free community picnic at YMCA

You will see the first major expansion of the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay in over 20 years, and the groundbreaking for a two-story wellness center and youth program center is set for September 6.  Executive Director Heidi Erickson says the renovation will include a new welcome center desk entranceway and multi-purpose rooms.  She shares how an outdoor classroom and activity area will be featured on the campus.

 

 

Erickson adds that the Door County YMCA will host and celebrate a Community Picnic on Saturday, August 27, from noon until 3pm at Peterson Park.  The family event is free to the public with games, free popcorn, and cotton candy provided.  The Door County Community Picnic is put on by the Door County YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and United Way of Door County.  

Republican Primary Election:  Kitchens wins easily, Michels edges Kleefish

Tuesday’s decisive Partisan Primary saw the Republican races in the state run the gamut from landslide wins to tightly contested races.  In the State Assembly for District 1 race, Incumbent Joel Kitchens won convincingly by a 78 to 22 percent margin over challenger Milt Swagel. 

Tim Michels won the hotly contested race with Rebecca Kleefisch for the opportunity to face off with Governor Tony Evers in November.  Claiming 47 percent of the vote, Michels was declared the winner.

Both U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Mike Gallagher won by over an 80 percent margin in their races to win over their challengers. 

You can find the complete results from Tuesday’s primary election here. 

Democratic Primary Election: Night ends with no surprises

With many races on your Democratic ballot featuring either zero or one candidate on the ballot, Tuesday's primary was more of a formality than anything. Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul were unopposed for their statewide offices. First District Assembly candidate Roberta Thelen and First Senate District candidate Andrea Gage-Michaels also had no one to face other potential write-in candidates. Speaking of write-in candidates, Julie Hancock was hoping to get at least 7,000 votes so she can appear on the ballot opposite likely Republican primary winner Rep. Mike Gallagher. Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes won his U.S. Senate primary easily, but many of his prospective opponents bowed out of the race weeks ago.  Doug La Follette easily won his Democratic primary over Alexia Sabor for his re-election bid for Secretary of State. The only competitive primary was for state treasurer where Aaron Richardson is leading but has not been declared the winner over Gillian Battino. 

 

You can find the full results and how they fared in Door and Kewaunee counties here.

Denny's Super Valu being purchased by Hometown Grocers

An Algoma supermarket with a family history of over five decades will have new ownership starting next week.  According to the Wisconsin Grocers Newsletter, Hometown Grocers, Inc. is acquiring Denny’s Super Valu with plans to start operations on Tuesday, August 16.  Hometown Grocers is a subsidiary of Festival Foods and will continue to operate the store under the Denny’s Super Valu banner.  Jodi Wautlet, who currently owns the grocery store, purchased it from her parents, Denny and Karen Wautlet in 2008.  Denny Wautlet began the business in 1968, which was initially called Denny’s Red Owl.  Hometown Grocers has five other locations in Wisconsin, including Wittenberg, Merrill, Lakewood, Lake Mills, and Seymour.  

Northern Door Children's Center excited for 4K collaboration with Gibraltar

Starting school for the first time can be difficult, but a new collaboration in northern Door County could make it easier for your children. This marks the first year Gibraltar Area Schools will offer a 4K program to the community, an initiative started by the since retired superintendent Tina Van Meer. The challenge before was not upsetting the area's 4K ecosystem established by Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay, Peninsula Preschool in Ephraim, and the Dragonfly program at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. All four institutions will work together as Gibraltar begins its 4K pilot program. That has meant changes for Northern Door Children's Center beyond the addition they are putting on their facility to accommodate the extra section of 4K students. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer from the center says they began adjusting their curriculum last year to accommodate the students crossing over from their facility to Gibraltar for kindergarten.

Corekin-DeLaMer added that working with new Superintendent Dr. Brett Strousland and Elementary School Principal Lauren Ward has been a fabulous experience, citing that the pair have been excited about the pilot program's potential and that it has been a true collaboration. Before this school year, Gibraltar was one of three school districts in the entire state without a 4K program.

Lessons learned at Door County Fair extend to life

Behind every animal and exhibit, you will find at the Door County Fair in the coming days are youth developing skills they will take with them for the rest of their lives.  Door County Scrap Metal owner Hilary Heard certainly credits her time exhibiting at the fair for how she has grown as a business owner and a community member. Heard's relationship with the fair started as a Cloverbud, a project within 4-H designed for younger children in kindergarten, first, and second grades. Even though everyone gets a ribbon at that age, you still had to work on your interpersonal skills, and the lessons learned only grew from there.

You can click this link to hear how Heard's passion for the fair led her to giving back as an event sponsor.  Youth participants will head to the fairgrounds on Wednesday to have their projects judged in the exhibition. Those showing animals will have their projects evaluated during the opening days of the Door County Fair, which runs August 10th through the 14th at John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay. 

Reading program preparing to dock for the summer

You only have a couple more weeks to finish up those books you have been reading this summer. The Door County Library Summer Reading Program, “Oceans of Possibility”, wraps up on August 31st after three months of aquatic-themed activities. Since the program started June 1st, the Door County Library has invited speakers from the Department of Natural Resources, Crossroads at Big Creek, Fish Printing, and the United States Coast Guard for different programming opportunities. They have also been able to go out to the DNR’s Strawberry Creek facility and the Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay for unique experiences while keeping with the theme. Door County Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says it has been great to see families coming through its eight branches to participate.

You could still participate in the final weeks by downloading the Beanstack app and logging your reading for your chance to win gift certificates. You can hear more about some of the upcoming activities at the Door County Library’s branches by clicking on the link below.

 

Partisan Primary election Tuesday, polls open at 7am

You can vote on who will be on the ballot this November starting at 7am Tuesday. The field for the upcoming general election will be narrowed tomorrow as the Partisan Primary will be held throughout the state. 

 On the Republican side, Door and Kewaunee voters will have to choose between incumbent Joel Kitchens and challenger Milt Swagel for the District 1 Assembly seat. 

Both incumbents, U.S Congressman Mike Gallagher and Senator Ron Johnson, are being opposed in the primary.  

The Democratic ballot will have contested races for the U.S. Senate, although Alex Lasry, Sarah Godlewski, and Tom Nelson have withdrawn and put their support behind Mandela Barnes. Multiple candidates for the State Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Lieutenant Governor positions will also face off tomorrow.

Polls will be open statewide from 7am until 8pm, and voters must show a valid Wisconsin ID to vote in person on Tuesday. Door County Daily News will update the primary results as they become available. 

Casco girl's toymaking brings joy to others

Making your dog happy with a new toy this week will be paid forward thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of a 10-year-old Casco girl. Sky Schoenberger began making her Tugs of Love dog toys shortly after going to a Green Bay fabric store to buy supplies for a fleece tie blanket for a friend’s birthday gift. When the clerk told her the fabric could also be used to make dog toys, Schoenberger’s love for animals kicked in. Since 2020, Schoenberger has made hundreds of her braided dog toys. The money she makes goes not to a piggy bank but instead to two charities close to her heart. Her dog Rooster and her neighbor Michael served as inspiration for her philanthropic spirit.

It is one of the biggest weeks of the year for Schoenberger, who will host her fourth annual lemonade stand at her home on Division Street at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. All proceeds will go to benefit Saving Paws Animal Rescue and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. 

 

Previous version of this story had Sky living in Algoma. While the sale will be taking place in Algoma at her grandparent's house, the Schoenbergers are from Casco. DCDN regrets this error.

One more hospitalization added to Door County's COVID rolls

Door County is in the high COVID-19 community level, and Kewaunee County is in the medium level as health officials urge you to take proper precautions to protect yourself and your family. In Monday’s Door County situation update, the public health department reported that 51 of the 123 tests administered in the last week returned positive for COVID-19. The update noted no deaths, but one additional hospitalization was stressed. That pushes Door County to 254 hospitalizations since the beginning of the pandemic. Friday’s Kewaunee County update showed 21 additional cases of COVID-19 but no new deaths or hospitalizations. Statewide, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 1,672 as of Friday, which is 113 less than it was a week ago.  

Kewaunee County crash victim identified

The 37-year-old Algoma man who died in a traffic accident in Kewaunee County has been identified. Jeremy J. Garrett was driving his pick-up truck northbound on County Highway AB when he drove into the back of a hay bine at a high rate of speed. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, Luxemburg Fire and Rescue, Luxemburg Police Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin DNR, and Red River First Responders all assisted with the call after the crash was reported just before 4:40 p.m. on August 6th. The crash remains under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol.

 

Click here for the original story

Pierce gets life in prison

A nearly 50-year-old cold case came to a close last Friday when 86-year-old Richard Pierce was given a life sentence for murdering his wife, Carol Jean. Pierce was arrested in 2018 at his home in Cheboygan, Mich., before eventually going to trial for his crimes earlier this year. He was found guilty of first-degree murder and for moving the body on April 28th.  Carol Jean went missing approximately 47 years ago when she lived with Pierce in Sturgeon Bay while he was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard. The body has never been found, a point Pierce’s defense team tried to relay to the jury during the trial. Pierce was also given three years in prison for moving the body after he murdered her. 

Valmy Thresheree back to full speed this year

You can experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear’s agricultural history at the 39th Annual Valmy Thresheree coming up August 19-22. Sponsored by the Northeastern Wisconsin Antique Power Association, the event was canceled in 2020 and limited to just one day in 2021. Back to a full schedule of events, the thresheree will showcase vintage tractors and machinery at its grounds on Country View Road between Valmy and Highway 42. Becky Gosser, one of the event organizers, says working exhibits will give first-time visitors a glimpse of farm life many years ago.

 

 

Ralph Bochek, another long-time organizer of the Valmy Thresheree, says that orchard and high crop tractors will be featured this year.

 

(photo courtesy of Valmy Thresheree)

 

 

The three-day event will have live entertainment, a barn dance, a Polka Mass, Antique Tractor Pull, and a chainsaw carving competition on Saturday. Sunday’s activities include a Kid’s Pedal Tractor Pull, a Champion Garden Tractor Pull, a parade of antique machines, and the famous mud pig wrestling to close out the thresheree. You can find the complete schedule of events here and listen to the entire conversation with Becky Gosser and Ralph Bochek on the Door County Happenings Podcast Page here.  

 

Kewaunee County rabbits hop their way to state fair

You will be able to catch some of Kewaunee County’s tiniest but furriest competitors taking the course Monday and Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Fair.

 

The Kewaunee County Rabbit Hopping Team was squeezing in another practice on Friday before they make the trip to West Allis for this year’s competition. Rabbits can participate in the straight line course, crooked course, high jump, long jump, agility, and team relay events.

This marks the third year Kewaunee Hilltoppers 4-H member Jakayla Steinhorst and her rabbit Peanut Butter have participated in the competition. What started as a curiosity has turned into something Steinhorst and Peanut Butter are really good at doing.

If you are heading to the Wisconsin State Fair, the rabbit hopping competition begins at 9 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday at 9 a.m.  

 

 

Pictures and video from the Steinhorst Family

Community Spotlight: United States Coast Guard

The love between the City of Sturgeon Bay and the United States Coast Guard has stood the test of time for over 130 years.

 

It was in 1886 when work was completed on the Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay, shortly after the then privately owned Sturgeon Bay & Lake Michigan Ship Canal transferred the surrounding land to the U.S. government. The Coast Guard’s presence in the community has grown to include the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay and the marine safety detachment. The city’s Maritime Week celebration corresponds with the Coast Guard’s birthday on August 4th, kicking off a week-long celebration that this year included fireworks, a Bloody Mary social, and the Door County Maritime Museum’s Classic and Wooden Boat Show. Other events celebrating the United States Coast Guard are planned for the coming days, something that helped lead Sturgeon Bay to be declared a U.S. Coast Guard City in 2014.

 

The feeling is mutual between the city and Guardsman that call Sturgeon Bay home. Chief Nick Grim is the Executive Petty Officer for Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay after previous tours in Oregon, North Carolina, New York, California, and Alaska. While he enjoyed those other stops, he has enjoyed Sturgeon Bay the most.

Grim adds that he will be sad to leave Sturgeon Bay next summer for his next tour because of the community he has become a part of over the last two years. The U.S. Coast Guard Person of the Year will be given out on August 9th at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club. You can listen to our full interview with Chief Nick Grim here.

Getting kids ready to go back to school

Getting off to a good start can make life less stressful for both parents and children and can help set the stage for a more successful school year. Here are some suggestions for parents to help ease the transition back to school.

 

Help your child adjust to a new sleep schedule. During the summer many kids prefer to sleep in and stay up late at night. When school starts kids have to adjust their sleep schedule. This transition can make the start of school more difficult if it’s done suddenly, leading to morning battles and difficulties concentrating at school. Because it takes about three weeks for the body to adjust to a new sleep schedule, encourage your child to begin his or her bedtime well before school starts. You might suggest that they set their alarm 15 minutes earlier every  day until school begins.

 

 Work with your child to set up an environment to promote good homework habits. Make sure that s/he has a place to record assignments that s/he will have access to at home. Designate a homework area equipped with adequate light and supplies. Try to minimize distractions (e.g. no TV, video games, loud music …). Work on designing a regular schedule for homework, even if it varies by day of the week due to extracurricular activities.

 

Discuss your expectations in terms of study hours, screen time, TV, cell phones, bedtime, etc. For those issues you deem negotiable, involve your child in setting expectations together. The clearer the ground rules and the more involved your child is in setting them, the more likely he or she will abide by them.

 

Try to establish a regular habit of conversations about their school day, including their homework and projects and their teachers' expectations. The first few weeks are the best time to create some habits that can build a foundation for the rest of the year. Specific questions usually work best. Rather than asking open ended questions like, “How was school today?”, try more specific ones like, “Who did you sit with at lunch?”, “What were the best and worse things that happened today?” or “Who’s your favorite teacher this week and why?”

 

Get them thinking about the opportunities they will have for new friendships and how they might want to handle themselves as they meet new kids. Help them to be open to expanding their circle of friends.

 

Ask your child about his or her goals for the new school year. For example, do they want to try out for a new sport, get involved in a new extracurricular activity, make new friends, improve their grades in math? Help them think about what they can do (and how you can help) to achieve rejuvenated goals.

Algoma man dies in two-vehicle crash in Red River

A 37-year-old Algoma man is dead after crashing his vehicle into a haybine in Kewaunee County Saturday afternoon.  According to the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, the fatal accident happened about 3:30 pm on County AB just south of County S in the township of Red River. 

 

The haybine was traveling northbound on County AB when the pickup truck driven by the Algoma man hit the back of the self-propelled haybine at a high speed.

 

The name of the deceased driver is not being released until his family is notified and the accident remains under investigation by the Wisconsin State Patrol. 

Defibs4DoorCounty hits $60,000 mark

Your generosity has made Door County a safer place to live, work, and play. Door County Fire Chiefs Association President Chris Hecht announced Friday that Defibs4DoorCounty had raised over $60,000 to place defibrillators in businesses and public areas.

 

That works out to 60 defibrillators that could assist people suffering from a cardiac event. A recent incident in Sturgeon Bay could have ended tragically if it was not for someone knowing CPR and the location of a nearby defibrillator. Hecht says stories like that show the importance of their mission, which is to raise $75,000 so they can purchase 80 units to place around the county.

You can donate directly by clicking this link or check out their booth at the upcoming Door County Fair in Sturgeon Bay or Marina Fest in Sister Bay. 

New alcohol ordinance being discussed in Ephraim

You may not have to wait another 100 years to buy packaged alcohol in Ephraim. Discussion concerning a new Class A alcohol ordinance for Ephraim will continue at its board meeting on August 9th. Similar to its other ordinances, some of the finer details have been getting ironed out before the board eventually votes on them. At the July 12th meeting, much of the discussion was focused on the regulations limiting the “Class A” alcohol license by population or setting a quota per commercial zone. Other restrictions could include determining the amount of square footage for alcohol, giving priority to Ephraim residents, and distance from other similar businesses. The village attorney is expected to determine if the regulations were permissible. At the same time, board members were suggested to understand better how much space is typically dedicated to alcohol at places like grocery stores and convenience marts. Incorporated in the 1800s, Ephraim famously became the last Wisconsin municipality to rid itself of its dry status in 2016. It allowed the village’s restaurants to offer a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with the meals they served. It did not allow people to buy items like cases of beer.

 

A final decision is also expected to come down on the village’s short-term rental ordinance. According to the village board minutes, approximately 12 hours of public meeting time was used to discuss the topic over the last few months. STR owners in the villages have been defending themselves during the meetings, saying they have been painted by a broad brush in a negative light. 

 

The Ephraim Village Board meeting is expected to occur at the village hall and on GoToMeeting at 7 p.m.

Transporting Your Kayak? Series VI

I have written about this before, but it is an important consideration worth touching on again.  How do you plan to transport your kayak?

 

I have talked to many people at events who are excited about getting a kayak,  however, they have not thought about getting it from home to the water. The challenge is not as big with lighter sit-in touring and recreational kayaks, which are easy to load on a roof-top rack.

 

Sit-on-top fishing kayaks, which are usually wider and heavier. Add in the even heavier and wider self-propelled fishing kayaks, and the challenge is magnified. Two people can handle most of the fishing kayaks for roof-top transport.  A pick-up truck or a kayak trailer is much easier, especially if you are alone. For the past 12 years, I have been using a kayak trailer, which makes my fishing outings much easier. At most launch sites, I can simply back right up to the water with loading and unloading made quite easy. For storage, I  simply leave the kayak on the trailer. Do your research and ask the outfitter you buy from for their suggestions for transporting your kayak.

 

I have been out on the waters of Door County several times in my kayaks over the past couple of months and continue to appreciate using the various boat and kayak launches with my trailer. Also, using roads that dead-end at the water and making sure to park off the road. If you put your kayak on your vehicle or a trailer, you will need a rack system. Personally, I prefer the SeaWing style, which is like a cradle. Also, you can often get close to the water but may need a kayak small cart to transport your kayak from parking to the water’s edge.

 

Smallmouth bass fishing is picking up but still challenging compared to just several years ago. To help protect our fishery, please practice catch, photograph,ing and release, along with getting the bass back in the water quickly, especially with water temperatures quite warm at this time of the year. 

 

As always, if you have any kayak/kayak fishing questions or questions related to transporting your kayak, please email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

 

 

Washington Island Fire tows in another distress boat

The Washington Island Fire Department is reminding you to be careful while boating after towing in its second vessel in approximately a week.

 

Emergency personnel received the call just after 10 a.m. Friday morning when a docent from Rock Island State Park notified dispatch about a boat in distress just off their shores. Less than 30 minutes later, the Washington Island Fire Department was able to locate the vessel and its three passengers and tow it into safe dockage. The United States Coast Guard was also notified, but their mutual aid was called off shortly after the Washington Island Fire Department made contact with the boat.

 

No other details were given concerning the incident. This is the seventh water rescue call the department has responded to in the last two weeks.

Arson suspect arrested in Algoma

A 24-year-old man was put behind bars at the Kewaunee County Jail Friday morning after allegedly attempting to light a building on fire in Algoma.

 

Kewaunee County Dispatch received the call just before 3:30 a.m. that the man attempted to break into a vehicle before entering a garage to break windows and light a building on fire in the 1000 block of Division Street. The home was unoccupied as it went under renovation by Parv and Renuka Jandu. While the Algoma Fire Department took care of the fire, the Algoma Police Department worked with the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, the Kewaunee Police Department, and a Brown County Sheriff’s Department Canine Unit to track down the man after he fled the scene on foot.  He was arrested just before 5 a.m. After further investigation, hand tools stolen from the residence were found in a nearby vehicle that was driven by the suspect.

 

The Algoma Police Department will release more information, including the man’s identification and his charges, at a later time.  The Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting the fire investigation, which is currently considered as being intentionally set. The Jandu family told the Door County Daily News that they are saddened by the event.

 

 

Peninsula Charities takes to the water for the encore

You will be able to once again catch music in Sturgeon Bay this month from the comfort of your own boat. Peninsula Charities is reprising its popular kayak concert from last year, raising money for local causes. Taking the pontoon boat stage this year will be Buffalo Galaxy, a Minneapolis-based bluegrass band that came at the recommendation of last year’s kayak concert performers Feed the Dog. Outside of a change of the launching point for the kayakers, canoers, and paddleboarders taking to the water for the concert, Peninsula Charities President Adam Peronto is hoping for another year of good music and fundraising for Door County’s environmental causes.

Tickets are on sale for the August 27th concert, which costs $25 for those with watercraft and $50 for those who have to rent one. 

 

Doing your part for crime prevention

There are times when I get creative and start from scratch with an article topic and there are times when I revisit and revise previous articles because they have a timeless message which is worth repeating. This article is one of those of the second category which I am revisiting so as to bring awareness to the need for community crime prevention. Next week I will get creative again!

      

We are so fortunate to live in a community where both property crimes as well as crimes against persons are few and far between. There are numerous reasons that we are able to enjoy such relative tranquility, but two of the main reasons are; One, the amazing men and women we have dedicating themselves to the safety of the communities they serve, and two, the amazing community itself which maintains a strong sense of unity and vigilance.

     

We all have a stake in the preservation of the quality of life we experience in our daily lives. Many times, we begin to take on a false sense of security believing that crimes could not occur in our communities.

    

We do however have crimes which are committed and most times, law enforcement is able to develop leads and ultimately solve these cases. Although isolated and infrequent, crime does exist here in Kewaunee County and I wanted to revisit the issue of crime prevention.

    

Many times, we may see something that looks out of ordinary, or is in fact downright suspicious. Unfortunately, many times we do not go any further due to our busy lives, or our desire not to involve ourselves in someone else’s business.  For there to be effective crime prevention, we all need to realize our obligation to our neighbors and our communities, and this may mean that sometimes we get involved by calling in suspicious persons or activity. Once law enforcement responds there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the person or activity has a legitimate purpose and we can wish them well and move on. The second is that the person or activity is in fact suspicious and our contact with them could lead to the solving of a past crime or better yet the prevention of a future crime. The bottom line is we all need to be a part of the solution.

    

The second part to Crime Prevention is eliminating easy targets. While I would love to say we can live in a community where we do not lock our doors, I would be openly encouraging an environment of easy targets. There is an old saying that locks keep out the honest people, and there is some truth to that. While there will always be those people in our midst who may be inclined to steal, the more barriers we can put before them the more we limit their access to our valuables. If nothing else the barriers will force them to expend more effort in the commission of their crime increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed.

     

These barriers are very simple. They include preventions such as: Locking doors of buildings and vehicles. Securing valuables, whether that is a piece of equipment in the yard or valuables in your home or vehicle. Making a record of your valuables so that if taken they can be more accurately reported and effectively recovered. The most important barrier is to be part of your community by noticing and if need be, reporting those things that seem out of the ordinary. We should be very proud of the high quality of law enforcement we have in our communities, but we would be negligent by saying we can do it all. A community where law enforcement and citizens work together always has been and always will be a better community.

Former Woldt's beginning transformation

You will notice more work occurring at the corner of State Highway 42/57 and County Road S in Sturgeon Bay. Contractors have already removed the cottages from behind the former Woldt’s Corner Pub, and work on the building has already started on the building itself. The plans for the site were released last month, unveiling a three-tenant strip center. Door County Medical Center will occupy one of three spaces with a new express clinic concept. President and CEO Brian Stephens shared some of the innovative practices they plan to use at the new clinic last week.

Although construction crews are already on-site, a groundbreaking ceremony is being planned for the site on August 10th at 9 a.m.

Door County re-enters high COVID-19 community level

You are being recommended to mask up indoors and take other precautions as Door County re-enters the high community level for COVID-19.  Door County has been in and out of the three different community levels since the Centers for Disease Control introduced the new way to track disease activity earlier this year. Since the beginning of June, Door County has spent approximately three weeks in the high level and four weeks in each of the medium and low levels. 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.

 

In Monday’s situation update, Door County Public Health reported 57 new cases of COVID-19 out of 130 tests administered. It also noted one recent hospitalization. New case counts do not include positive or negative results from at-home tests.

 

Much of northeast Wisconsin is in either the high or medium COVID-19 community levels. Door County joins over 20 other counties in the high level. Kewaunee County is currently listed at the medium COVID-19 community level. 

Dairy project looks to repeat State Fair success

The Wisconsin State Fair kicks off this week, and while you may go for the deep-fried cheese curds and cream puffs, youth from Door and Kewaunee counties are shooting for something bigger. Last year, the dairy project, comprised of 4-H members from Kewaunee and Door counties, earned first place for large county herdsmanship at the fair. In addition to having great-looking dairy cattle, judges for the herdsmanship prize look at the cleanliness of the animals and the place they call home at the Wisconsin State Fair during the event’s opening weekend. This means constantly sweeping up the paths near the cows, picking out the bits of hay from their water, and even turning buckets into portable bathrooms. Hunter Guilette is among the over 20 exhibitors from Door and Kewaunee counties showing dairy cattle at the Wisconsin State Fair. He has already experienced some success at the fair, taking second place among all 17-year-old exhibitors showing dairy cattle. Guilette says it is all about the hard work he and his fellow exhibitors have put in up to this point.

The junior dairy competition ends on Sunday. Other youth from across Door and Kewaunee counties will have projects featured at the Wisconsin State Fair, which runs through August 14th. 

 

Picture courtesy of Aerica Bjurstrom

Door County Highway Commitee asks DOT for help with Gordon Road intersection

The Door County Highway Committee is trying to be more active in addressing the accidents you have likely seen at the State Highway 42/57 and Gordon Road (County BB) intersection. The committee passed a resolution during its meeting on Thursday, officially stating that the intersection is one of very great concern. The resolution also asks the Department of Transportation to work with the Door County Highway Commissioner on short-term, locally funded options to restrict left turns onto State Highway 42/57 from Gordon Road, in addition to longer-term solutions such as a roundabout. With a repaving project coming to the area in 2023, the committee discussed why significant changes to the intersection are likely years away.

In May, Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash said he was putting in an application that would make a right-turn-only lane on Gordon Road to go on the highway.  Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation told Door County Daily News in April that crash data does not support an additional safety feature like a roundabout to be installed. From 2017 to 2021, five of the 11 crashes involved motorists traveling east on Gordon Road colliding with those traveling south on STH 42/57. One other collision involved a driver traveling north. Only one of those six crashes was due to a person failing to stop at the stop sign, which occurred on August 18th, 2020. The other crashes involved people failing to yield the right of way to traffic on State Highway 42/57.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters prepares for cornhole event

One of your favorite backyard games is being featured as a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sister of Door County. The organization is hosting its second annual Kornhole for Kids event, where 24 teams compete for prizes on August 20th at Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay. Proceeds go to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County, which like many organizations, had to play the waiting game as they tried to balance connecting youth with adults during the pandemic. Coordinator Patti O’Rourke is happy they are back to forming those meaningful connections again as they close in on their pre-pandemic level of 120 matches.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County is also hosting an electronic recycling event on August 13th. You can find more details about this year’s Kornhole for Kids event by clicking here.

Destination Sturgeon Bay celebrates its maritime history with fireworks, bloody marys

Whether you are enjoying the Saturday night fireworks or the Sunday morning bloody marys, Destination Sturgeon Bay's goal is to make it a celebration of what makes the city special. Sturgeon Bay was named Wisconsin's first and only Coast Guard city a few years ago, while the area has been connected to the shipbuilding industry for over a century. Thanks to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding's kindness, the fireworks scheduled for the Fourth of July celebration will be used to kick off the city's Maritime Week celebration. Rachel Malcore from Destination Sturgeon Bay says it has been fun creating a brand new event on the fly.

Malcore also looks forward to Sunday's Bloody Mary Social, which debuted at Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria last year. Tickets are still available for that Destination Sturgeon Bay event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grants keep Kewaunee County's broadband efforts buffering

You want faster internet, and Kewaunee County is doing what it can to help make that happen. Kewaunee County recently received its third broadband expansion grant from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, amounting to $1.3 million. Since partnering with Bug Tussel Wireless, the county has received $3.7 million in grant funds. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt credits their success with the story they have been able to tell about rural areas struggling with their internet connections.

 Survey results recently posted by the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation showed that 62 percent of residents are dissatisfied with their internet speeds, and 30 percent chose where they lived based on their ability to connect. 

Women's Fund of Door County, Geske celebrates 13 years of community impact

You heard about the impact a local women’s organization had on the community if you were one of the 260 people attending the 13th Annual Celebrate Women Luncheon Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay. The Women’s Fund of Door County invited Janine Geske, a retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice, to be the keynote speaker at the event held at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center. Geske shared her presentation on “Restorative Justice…The Path to Healing and Forgiving”.

 

 

 

Women’s Fund Co-Chair Annika Paulsen says the organization has an endowment of over $1.5 million and has granted over $500,000 to over 90 non-profits over the last 13 years. 

 

 

Paulsen adds that the Women Luncheon is designed to be an educational event and a fun gathering to celebrate all the work done throughout the year by the organization. 

Sturgeon Bay YMCA hosting Duathlon for kids Saturday

Your child can still participate in the first-ever Duathlon at the Door County YMCA this Saturday. Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says the competition involves a swim of 100 to 500 yards and a run ranging from .59 miles to 2.36 miles, depending on age. She shares details about the swim/run Duathlon that starts at 8 am on Saturday.

 

 

The event is open to youth five to 18 years old. All participants receive a T-shirt with the top three finishers from each age group awarded a custom swim cap. Shepard notes that 20 kids have registered already, and they hope to have at least 50 children participate in the inaugural Duathlon at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA. You can register for the event by calling the YMCA or logging on to their website.

 

Wave 1: 8:00am: 15-18 years // 500 yd swim // 2.36 mile run

Wave 2: 8:30am: 13-14 years // 400 yd swim // 2.36 mile run

Wave 3: 9:00am: 11-12 years // 300 yd swim // 1.77 mile run

Wave 4: 9:30am: 9-10 years // 200 yd swim // 1.18 mile run

Wave 5: 10:00am: 5-8 years // 100 yd swim // .59 mile run

 

 

United Way of Door County sets $825,000 goal

After raising over $786,000 last year, the United Way of Door County kicked off their 2022 Annual Campaign Tuesday night with a bigger and more ambitious goal for this year.  Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the campaign volunteers took the new goal of $825,000 very seriously. She says the needs of the Door County community continue to grow as the Community Investment Committee goes through the application process for area agencies and programs.

 

 

The $825,000 goal represents a five percent increase from 2021, and the annual campaign will continue through the year's end and finish on January 7. The United Way of Door County provides funding for 23 different non-profit organizations and 33 programs in the county.

Algoma's Third Street construction completed ahead of schedule

As the Third Street construction project has been finished, you can travel through Algoma’s downtown streets without any detours. City Administrator Matt Murphy says the major street repair went very smoothly and was completed about one week earlier than expected. He shares the specific improvements that were done around the street beside the repaving of the roadway.

 

 

Murphy says the City of Algoma will now focus on 2023 spring plans for a Redevelopment Authority (RDA) block on Fifth Avenue near Denny’s Super Valu where houses will be removed for new apartment complexes being built by a developer. Division Street, beginning at Jefferson Street and going five blocks north, will be the next major street construction project starting next spring.

Sturgeon Bay struggling with harvest of weeds in the bay

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council heard from several concerned residents about the weedy problem of aquatic plants in the city’s waterway.  Many asked for better ways of harvesting the weeds and a more comprehensive approach in dealing with the problem every summer.  Engineering Technician Brian Spetz says the City of Sturgeon Bay has three operating harvesters that have already collected 357 loads of weeds this year compared to 371 total loads in 2021.  Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) restrictions on harvesting from the bay limit the areas and how low the harvesters can cut in the Sturgeon Bay Channel.  Council member Gary Nault, Chair of the Harbor Commission, said they would work on the issue throughout the year and see if harvesting of just the top of the weeds in the water could be done where it is restricted.

 

 

After a thirty-minute public discussion on the aquatic plant harvesting issue, the common council convened in closed session to discuss the American Transmission Company T-46 Underground Cable Project and adjourned without taking any action.

Remembering the "Golden Girl" Mary Jane Sorgel 

Mary Jane Van Duyse Sorgel of Sturgeon Bay is being remembered for her passion and love of the Packers and baton twirling.  Having led the Green Bay Packer cheerleading squad from 1961-1972, the original “Golden Girl” passed away at the age of 89 last Saturday in Sturgeon Bay.  Sorgel was a 1951 Sevastopol High School graduate that was the 1952 Door County Blossom Queen and won state championships in baton twirling in the early 1950s.  Honored with a special exhibit at the Door County Historical Museum, Sorgel shared her Packer passion and thoughts about the display in an interview with Door County Daily News in September of 2019.

 

 

The Door County Historical Museum display is called  “Mary Jane and the Golden Girls” and is one of the first exhibits as you enter the museum.  Funeral services for Mary Jane will be at 11:45 am this Friday at St. Joseph’s Church in Sturgeon Bay, with visitation on Thursday evening and before mass on Friday from 10:30 am until 11:30 am.  You can read Mary Jane Van Duyse Sorgel’s complete obituary here.    

Brewery pours pints with a purpose

The next time you lift a beer from Bridge Up Brewing at one of their two taprooms, you could benefit a local organization. Head Brewer Trent Snyder started the Pints with a Purpose program,  linking a specific brew to a charitable cause. It has been the toast of the town ever since, raising thousands of dollars for organizations like the Wisconsin Humane Society-Door County Campus, Crossroads at Big Creek, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Door County. Snyder said last month that it is an easy way for him to give back and to say thank you.

For those looking to participate in this month’s Pints with a Purpose campaign, a dollar from every pint of Escarpment Citra Pale Ale will go to support the Door County Land Trust. Snyder says they are always looking for other non-profit organizations to partner with through the Pints with a Purpose campaign.

Boatbuilding takes center stage at museum event

Whether the vessel took years to complete or just a few hours, you will see plenty of both at the Classic and Wooden Boat Show. Boat owners across the Midwest bring their vessels to show off in the Door County Maritime Museum's parking lot and ride around Sturgeon Bay's waters. One of those cruises will be a part of the classic boat parade at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday ahead of Destination Sturgeon Bay's fireworks display. During the Classic and Wooden Boat Show, you will also see teams of two try to construct a boat of their own using nothing more than a few pieces of plywood and a marine adhesive before they take them through a course in the bay as a part of the Sunday time trials. Whether it is one of the classics or one participating in the Sikaflex Challenge, Sam Perlman from the Door County Maritime Museum says people are proud to show off their vessels during its signature event.

The Classic and Wooden Boat Show takes place at the Door County Maritime Museum on August 6th and 7th. You do not need a boat to participate as there will be plenty of activities, food, drinks, and music for people to enjoy during the weekend.

Survey shows support for Southern Door School District referendum questions

You could see two referendum questions from Southern Door School District on your ballot this November. School district officials recently reviewed the close to 1,000 responses received for a survey sent out earlier this year regarding a possible operational and capital referendum. The operational referendum had support at approximately 64 percent, while the capital referendum support was at just under 50 percent, with 18 percent undecided. Superintendent Chris Peterson says the results were positive given the many respondents who do not necessarily have kids attending the schools anymore. It also shows there is a lot of work ahead.

The Southern Door School District will have more discussions about the potential referendum questions next week before bringing it to a vote on August 15th. Peterson says they hope they can accomplish both referendum questions with residents paying the same mill rate or even slightly lower.

 

Eagle Scout project yields bike repair stations

The next time your bike breaks down on the Ahnapee Trail in Kewaunee County, Scouts USA members from Troop 1042 in Luxemburg have you covered. Carson Miller and Max Gruhlke of Luxemburg installed eight bike repair stations at different trailheads and parking areas along the trail in Kewaunee County as a part of their quest to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, Scout USA’s highest honor. Attached to the posts are some of the most common tools needed when a bike may possibly break down. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says partnering with the scouts on the project benefits the entire community.

The installed bike repair stations are also a cost savings for the county. Similar bike repair stations available online can cost as much as $2,000 uninstalled. Scouts looking to achieve their Eagle award must complete a service project, earn at least 21 merit badges (14 of which are required), and be an active member in the unit, among other requirements.

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County

Crash north of Egg Harbor closes Highway 42- UPDATE

A one-vehicle crash Monday afternoon on Highway 42 in northern Door County closed the road. Door County Sheriff’s Department reported that the accident occurred a little after 3 pm at Gibraltar Bluff Lane between Egg Harbor and Fish Creek.  Sheriff's Deputy Pat McCarty said the driver struck a utility pole, and both lanes of traffic were closed with detours off Highway 42 from Bluff Lane and Peninsula Players Road. The Door County Sheriff's Department reopened the roadway for traffic at 10 p.m.

 

Door County Daily News will update this story when more details become available.  

Dry conditions lead to pair of Algoma weekend fires

The lack of rain in our area indirectly contributed to a pair of weekend fires in Algoma. 

 

The first occurred Saturday at 12:45 p.m. to a grass fire near Washington Road and Ash Drive intersection in the Town of Ahnapee. Upon arrival, Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman says the decision was made to call for mutual aid from Southern Door, Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Casco because of the size of the fire. The fire spread to a nearby swamp where the flames were fed with matted cattails and other vegetation, which made the blaze even harder to fight. In addition to the responding fire department, Ackerman credited a local farmer for his help.

No cause of the fire has been determined, and Ackerman says it remains under investigation. Four firefighters were treated on-site for heat exhaustion, and another was treated at an area hospital for dehydration. The department was back in service at 6 p.m. The department was called out again for a fire in a recently harvested wheat field on Sunday afternoon. Algoma firefighters reported to the area near State Highway 54 and Birch Drive at around 2:30 p.m. to the field where some of the stubble from the harvested wheat field ignited. The fire burned about an acre of land before firefighters could defeat the blaze after approximately an hour. Ackerman reminds residents and visitors to practice extra caution due to the lack of rain the area has received in recent weeks.

 

Door County Housing Partnership completes first home

One of the newest homes you will find on the market in Sturgeon Bay is a milestone for those who have tried to address affordable housing in Door County. The recently formed Door County Housing Partnership announced that a home on Galley Drive in Sturgeon Bay is finished and ready to be sold. The organization operates on a community land trust model designed to keep the house and its property affordable for low-to-middle income working families to purchase. Financed by Michael and Kathryn Martell and built by Countrywide Construction and Design of Forestville, the home is the first the Door County Housing Partnership has constructed aside from their collaborations with Door County Habitat for Humanity. It is a proud day for the organization’s president Jim Honig.

Even though the home is for sale for $130,000 does not mean you are eligible to buy it. Purchasers must be or plan to be year-round residents of Door County and must meet other requirements set forth by the Door County Housing Partnership. By the end of the year, they will have three homes in their portfolio, including the two they have collaborated with Door County Habitat for Humanity to build.

 

Washington Island Fire, Coast Guard tow damaged boat

A potentially dangerous situation near Plum Island was thwarted Sunday morning thanks to the quick action of the Washington Island Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard. The call came into Door County Dispatch just before 6:30 a.m. after a boat scraped some rocks near Plum Island, wrecking some of its equipment, including the vessel’s propeller. The boat eventually lost power, and its two passengers believed it was taking on water. The United States Coast Guard was able to take the disabled boat most of the way to Detroit Harbor on Washington Island. When the water became too shallow for the Coast Guard’s boat, the Washington Island Fire Department launched its watercraft to bring the disabled vessel the rest of the way to a dock. There were no injuries in the incident.

 

More details are expected to be released later today.   

Door and Kewaunee counties each add one new COVID hospitalization

Door County Medical Center is asking you to take the proper precautions as COVID-19 cases rise across the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties. The hospital is asking residents and visitors to follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines, which includes masking up in areas of high transmission, getting tested when you experience symptoms, and staying up to date with your vaccinations.

 

In Monday’s situation update, Door County Public Health reported 57 new cases of COVID-19 out of 130 tests administered. It also noted one recent hospitalization. Kewaunee County reported one new hospitalization on Friday, along with 26 new cases of COVID-19. Neither county experienced another COVID-19-related death.  As a result, Door County is one of 30 counties in the medium COVID-19 community level, while Kewaunee County is one of 16 in the low level. Statewide, the seven-day average for new cases of COVID-19 sits at 1,785, which is almost 100 higher than the previous week.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - August 1, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 30,850 (+130)
Positive: 7,326 (+57)
Probable: 413 (+5)
Negative: 23,111 (+68)
Hospitalizations: 253 (+1)
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

 

Used log starts Ellison Bay house fire

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht wants you to leave your logs and other burned materials in the fire ring if possible after one log used in a campfire caused even more damage the following day. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to the fire on Olson Drive in Ellison Bay at 11:20 a.m. after a log pile near the home caught fire. The homeowner was able to control the blaze with a garden hose after calling 911, but not before it caused damage to the house’s exterior. Hecht says the homeowner placed the log that was previously used the night before as a part of a campfire back onto the log pile after they thought they had put it out. The fire surprised them when they woke up the following day. Hecht says you have to be careful when it comes to removing items from a fire pit.

Firefighters were able to leave the scene shortly after since there was no further threat to the home.

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