News Archives for 2022-08

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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