News Archives for 2022-10

New York men injured in Sunday rollover

Two New York men were transported to Door County Medical Center after rolling over their vehicle Sunday afternoon.  Just after 4 p.m. on Sunday, emergency personnel were notified of the single-vehicle crash on County Highway V near Loritz Road in the Town of Jacksonport. According to the police report, the vehicle was navigating the right curve of the road when it veered off the roadway into a ditch. The car rolled end over end multiple times until it came to a stop. The passenger, Michael S. Murphy of Mohawk, New York, had to be removed from the vehicle when emergency personnel arrived. Both Murphy and the driver, Caleb Wesley Alford of Mannsville, New York, were transported to the hospital to be treated for their injuries. Alford was cited for operating a vehicle while under the influence and operating left of center. The results of his alcohol and drug tests were still pending as of 1 p.m. The current condition of Alford and Murphy is currently unknown.

Church's outreach spreading its wings

Whether you are sitting in one of its pews or not, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma wants you to feel welcome in the community. The church recently welcomed over 500 people to its annual Trunk or Treat event, which offered candy and other activities to enjoy. Planning is already underway for its fourth community Thanksgiving dinner, where residents and visitors can share a free meal or ensure those who are homebound can still celebrate the holiday. Pastor Joel McKenney says with new families always coming into the area and the hectic pace of life, it is good for them to make sure they introduce themselves to one another.

You can contact the church in the coming weeks if you want to participate in its free Thanksgiving meal.

 

 


Baileys Harbor park reaches significant milestone

As soon as they can install it, you will see new playground equipment at the Kendall Park playground in Baileys Harbor. The Kendall Park Playground Committee has raised enough money to purchase all the necessary equipment to make the park accessible for children of all abilities. The original fundraising goal was adjusted when it was decided to hold off on the poured concrete surface for at least a few years while they discussed additional options. When completed, the playground will have a large central structure with smaller pieces of equipment surrounding it. Getting to this point is a considerable accomplishment for Kari Baumann, who is organizing the efforts. The park is named after her late sister Kendall Weisgerber, and she is thrilled the community has supported their efforts so strongly.

Baumann says you will likely see the smaller pieces of equipment installed in late spring and hopes the entire park will be open for use by the end of the summer. While the equipment is purchased, the Kendall Park Playground Committee is still fundraising to help cover the installation costs. You can donate directly to the Baileys Harbor Community Association.

 

City looks to move Fleet Farm forward

A Fleet Farm on the southern edge of Sturgeon Bay could take more steps forward during Tuesday’s common council meeting. 

 

The City Plan Commission and the Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee have each recommended the council approve the annexation petition for the nearly 38-acre parcel along State Highway 42/57 in the Town of Nasewaupee.  If the petition is given its blessing, it will need two-thirds of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council to approve it before it can be rezoned as commercial. According to the annexation study provided in the agenda packet for the meeting, the only improvements needed relate to the site’s water supply. The site has sufficient water and sewer capacity, but the study shows that looping the water main will be required to ensure enough water pressure. The site’s annexation would allow existing water and sewer mains to be extended into the area for future development. The fire and police departments agreed they could serve the area without incurring extra costs. If annexed, the city would be obligated to pay the Town of Nasewaupee a total of $1,073.65, which is the equivalent of five years of taxes.

 

Once the annexation and the zoning are approved, Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says the plans for the store will be scrutinized to ensure the proposed Fleet Farm is a good fit for Sturgeon Bay. This includes studies related to its potential traffic concerns, traffic impact, and plans for re-use. Most of these studies have not been required since Wal-Mart opened its supercenter on Egg Harbor Road in 2012.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting is set for 6 p.m. 

 


Kewaunee County highway to close on Tuesday

You will have to find a different way to get to and from Luxemburg and Algoma for two days this week. The Kewaunee County Highway Department and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced they are shutting down State Highway 54 at the intersection of County Highway K near Rio Creek to replace a culvert beginning on Tuesday. The hope is the work will be done by Wednesday evening. Traffic will be detoured onto County Highway D and County Highway K for those traveling through the area. 

Rollover accident closes County V Sunday afternoon

A one-vehicle accident on County Road V closed the highway late Sunday afternoon,  according to Jacksonport Fire Department. The incident occured near Bley Farm in the town of Jacksonport around 4 pm.  No details on the condition of occupants of the vehicle are available at this time and Door County Daily News will update this story as more details become available.  

Maintenance to shut down Bayview Bridge begins Monday

The day is finally here for those worried about their morning commute through Sturgeon Bay on Monday and Tuesday.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be doing the work on October 31st and November 1st, requiring the bridge to be fully closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days. The bridge was shut down for a similar reason at this time last year so crews could do their routine maintenance and its annual cleaning of the bridge’s drains. The DOT and the Door County Highway Department will work together for a suitable detour that will have to include the use of one of Sturgeon Bay’s two downtown bridges. 

Algoma American Legion organizing food drive

A local veterans organization is stepping up to help those in need for the upcoming holidays.  The American Legion Ernest Haucke Post 236 in Algoma is holding a food drive for the Kewaunee County Food Pantry next month.  American Legion Commander Tracy Steiner says the event has been successful in the past, supporting others who are hurting financially.  She says it is important for the organization to give back to the community.

 

 

The food drive will take place at the Legion Hall in Algoma from noon until 4 pm, both Saturday, November 12, and Sunday, November 13.  All non-perishable foods and household goods will be accepted over the weekend.  Steiner adds that her American Legion Post will deliver all donated items to the Kewaunee County Food Pantry before the holidays.

B.U.G. Fire Department proactive in future member shortage

Keeping your family and home safe in the event of a fire could be harder to do without a few volunteers stepping up. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department is not unlike other fire departments in the county and, for that matter, the country with its woes in terms of recruitment. It especially faces challenges with its daytime staffing as current members retire and prospective ones either lack the interest or the ability to get out of their day job for fire calls. For B.U.G. Fire Department, it means only having 11 of its 48 members across its two stations available for emergencies if it happens in the middle of a weekday. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says he is trying to be proactive now to avoid more headaches later.

Vandertie says that having a steady stable of volunteer firefighters can potentially delay the higher costs of having paid on-call members or even more expensive options that may be cost-prohibitive to small, rural communities. He is happy they are not at that point yet. 

Community Spotlight: Life Scout Ethan Moll

If you bought Boy Scout popcorn this year, you likely bought it again from Scouts USA Troop 1041 member Ethan Moll. Last year, we challenged him to sell $30,000 of popcorn after he sold close to $27,000 worth last year. He completed that goal this weekend, going door-to-door in neighborhoods and setting up shop in front of local businesses that would allow him. While he has turned his portion of the sales into trips like the Boundary Waters with his troop and next summer’s National Scout Jamboree, approximately half of the proceeds from the popcorn sales is split between Bay-Lakes Council and his troop. He is proud of reaching his goal and what he has learned along the way.

 

 

With over 100 merit badges to his name, Moll is in the early stages of planning what he will do for his Eagle Scout project as he serves his troop as its Senior Patrol Leader.

Griffon takes strings to kids

With a lack of strings programs in the tri-county area, you will see the Griffon String Quartet fill the void where they can with children.

 

Used to performing in homes, churches, and even libraries, the Griffon String Quartet recently took to the corner of a classroom at Sunrise Elementary School in Sturgeon Bay. During the 45-minute assemblies, the Griffon String Quartet members not only performed for the students but allowed them to ask questions and even hold their instruments. Introducing children to string instruments to kids is nothing new for the Griffon String Quartet. They have partnered with Door County and Green Bay area school districts to provide opportunities to learn more classical and chamber music through workshops, concerts, and other music education outreach.

 

In the coming weeks, the Griffon String Quartet will take on a favorite author of children with a pair of shows on November 12th. The ensemble will perform the music behind the children’s book Because by Mo Willems. The author of the Pigeon Series, Willems wrote Because as a tribute to the late Charles Schulz. The Griffon String Quartet will perform Because at the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay on November 12th at 11 a.m. and the main Brown County Library branch in Green Bay at 1:30 p.m.

 

Watching out for bullies

October is National Bullying Prevention month. We have all heard the phrase bullying, but what does it actually mean? Bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.

     

Bullying is unfortunately a reality for far too many in our communities both young and old. Much like any other form of violence, bullying is not isolated to any particular age group, gender or demography. Just about everyone of us can look back in our lives and recall a time where either we were personally bullied or witnessed one of our friends or schoolmates being bullied. It’s hard to believe that with all of the advancements and awareness, this type of behavior still exists, but it does and with the advent of social media, it had actually gotten much worse. This is because unlike in the past, the bully not only impacts your life on the playground or classroom; they now are able to follow you into your personal life due to the constant presence of social media.

     

There is good news in that we have learned a great deal about what creates these bullies and how to neutralize their ability to isolate and intimidate. The key is for those in authority to respond to reports of bullying immediately to show without question that bullying will not be acceptable. That message needs to follow to our homes with the messages we send our children not only by what we say but by our own actions in how we treat fellow adults. Bullying is without question a learned behavior. It is learned on the playground, in the classroom and follows through to the workplace and social interactions as adults. We need to send a strong message to our own children, a message of empathy and compassion not of ridicule and rumor.

     

Who are at risk of bullying the most? Typically those who are bullied have one or more of the following risks: 

 

  • Are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”
  • Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem
  • Are less popular than others and have few friends
  • Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention

     

However, even if a child has these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they will be bullied. The important lesson is that we as adults set the tone for how the next generation will interact with each other. Chances are if we show acceptance of others, our children will show acceptance of others. If we engage in demeaning others or spreading rumors, our children will follow suit. So often we as adults underestimate the influence, we have not only on our own children but even those who don’t know us but witness our behavior.

     

While school or workplace policies are an important component, the only way to truly decrease bullying is by denying the bully their victim. We do this by raising strong, confident, resilient children, and speaking out and supporting those who find themselves on the receiving end of this type of behavior. We are all teachers in life lessons and we teach by our actions. Let’s all be aware of what we teach.

Sturgeon Bay keeping busy into the fall and winter

It may not be 2021, but you will still see plenty of foot and vehicular traffic traveling through Door County this year. Occupancy rates have dipped across the county compared to 2021 when tourists enthusiastically hopped into their cars and went anywhere they could after COVID-19 locked down travel for much of 2020 and early 2021. Using Sturgeon Bay as an example, the occupancy rate for lodging between January and August dipped in 2022 compared to 2021 in five of the eight months reported. Those same occupancy rates in 2022 are higher every month compared to 2019, the last reportable year before the pandemic struck. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says visitors still kept area businesses and events like their Saturday farm market busy.

Just because the unofficial end of the tourism season has come and gone does not mean Sturgeon Bay is packing it in for the winter. Destination Sturgeon Bay will host its annual Thrills and Chills on October 29th, its Sturgeon Bay Unwrapping car parade on November 18th, and its Christmas by the Bay Parade on November 19th. You can listen to our interview with Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski by clicking this link.

Manufacturers open their doors to area students

The sight of school buses entering the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park during your morning commute on Thursday could be the start of a new generation of manufacturing employees in Door County. Over 300 students representing all five Door County school districts and Algoma visited 12 manufacturers throughout the county, including NEW Industries, Therma-Tron-X, and Hatco, as a part of Manufacturing Day organized by the Door County Economic Development Corporation and the Door County Manufacturers Association. Students got to tour the manufacturing facilities and see current employees in action producing hundreds of different products. NEW Industries' Dave Moore, Jake Schinktgen, and Christine Conlon say with the need for new employees that they are seeing, you can never start too young to inspire the next generation. 

According to the DCEDC’s Korey Mallien and the latest figures from JobEQ, Door County’s 65 manufacturing businesses employ more than 2,200 people and contributed $200 million to the peninsula’s gross domestic product in 2021.

 

Picture courtesy of NEW Industries

 

 

 

Keeping fall flavors around longer

Just because apple orchards are closing up for the season in the coming days does not mean you have to stop buying them locally. Orchards are down to many of their late-season varieties of apples like red and golden delicious, Cortland, Empire, and Macoun still on the trees with others already picked. Depending on how you want to enjoy your fruit, Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says there are ways you can enjoy your harvest long after he closes his doors this weekend.

Roethle says even if the weather did not always cooperate for picking apples, it did help make for a great crop this year for people to enjoy. 

Communities prepare for Halloween celebrations

For many municipalities in Door and Kewaunee counties, there is a lot more for you to do this Halloween weekend than just going trick or treating.

 

In Door County, Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, and Fish Creek will all have their Halloween celebrations on Saturday, complete with trick-or-treating at area businesses. Ellison Bay will host a Trick or Treat Trail event on Sunday, while Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay will host Halloween parties on Monday. Outside of Egg Harbor, Ellison Bay, and Fish Creek, all other Door County communities will hold their trick-or-treat hours on Monday.

 

In Kewaunee County, Lakehaven Hall will host its Havoc at the Hall event on Sunday and Monday to ring in Halloween. Luxemburg and Casco have their trick-or-treat hours on Sunday afternoon, while Algoma and Kewaunee will do the same on Monday night.

 

You can click on the banner below for Halloween safety tips, along with the specifics on all of the events and trick-or-treat hours in Door and Kewaunee counties.

 

Door, Kewaunee counties re-enter low COVID-19 community level

The Centers for Disease Control indicated improvement on the COVID-19 front in Door and Kewaunee counties on Thursday, listing them both at the low community level.

 

Both counties had been previously listed in the medium level for the last few weeks despite not having any deaths or many hospitalizations. According to the CDC, six counties in northwest Wisconsin are at the high community level, and 19 are at the medium level. 

 

In its Monday situation update, Door County Public Health showed that 36 of its 109 tests returned positive for COVID-19. Door County has not reported a new death since October 3rd and has had no hospitalizations due to COVID since mid-September. According to the October 26th update from the CDC, Kewaunee County saw 15 new cases over the last week and an estimated two hospitalizations.

 

At the low COVID-19 community level, the CDC recommends staying up to date on your vaccinations and getting tested when showing symptoms.

New CNC program dedicated

A program designed to create pathways to a more skilled workforce in the area was recognized Thursday evening by dozens of community members at Sevastopol High School.  A new machining program that allows students from all Door County Schools, not just Sevastopol to earn dual credits toward a CNC certificate through NWTC was recognized with a grand opening of the new tech lab.   At the presentation, Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedke introduced the key stakeholders who were responsible for making the facility possible to all high school juniors or seniors.

 

 

After graduation, students can enter the workforce or continue their college education.  All credits earned through the machining program can transfer to the Machine Tool CNC Technician program at NWTC.  

Halloween safety tips for Trick-or-Treating

As many area communities will be observing Trick-or-Treating this weekend and Monday, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections advises you and your family to keep your children safer this Halloween by discussing ahead of time what to do if you are ever separated.  A list of safety tips from state agencies is below to help ensure a safer Halloween weekend for everyone.  You can also find the hours for trick-or-treating in Door and Kewaunee counties by clicking here. 

 

-A parent or trusted adult should always accompany children

-Stay on well-lit streets and stick to neighborhoods you know

-Only stop at homes where the porch light is on

-Never enter a home or car for a treat

-Trick-or-treaters should carry a cell phone to allow for quick communication

-If the child carries a cell phone, activate location services prior to trick-or-treating

-Call 911 if you see any suspicious or illegal activity

Children should yell “No!” and run from any stranger who tries to take them somewhere

-Have a responsible adult check treats at the end of the night

 

Similarly, the Wisconsin Department of Health also suggests some tips for families with trick-or-treaters and families who are giving out candy. 

 

Costume Tips

-Choose costumes that are light-colored and more visible to motorists.

-Use reflective tape to decorate costumes and candy bags to increase the visibility of children to drivers. Reflective tape may be purchased at hardware, bicycle, or sporting goods stores.

-Use make-up rather than a mask; if your child’s costume does include a mask, make sure it fits snugly and that the eyeholes are large enough to allow full vision.

-Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes.

-Costumes should be short enough that a child will not trip and fall.

-Choose costume accessories such as swords or knives that are made of soft and flexible material.

-Do not use novelty contacts such as “cat eyes” or “snake eyes.” 

 

Pedestrian Safety

-Engage in Halloween activities during the daylight hours, if possible.

-Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervision.

-Remind children to walk, not run, and to only cross streets at crosswalks.

-Be sure your children are accompanied by a responsible adult who has a flashlight. -----

-Flashlights or chemical light sticks should be used so that children can see and be seen by motorists.

 

Halloween Home Safety

-Remove obstacles from your lawn, porch, or steps if you are expecting trick-or-treaters.

-Make sure your front porch is well-lit.

-Avoid using candle-lit jack-o-lanterns if possible. If you do use candles, don’t place them near curtains, furnishings, or decorations. Move them off porches where children’s costumes may ignite.

-Keep your pets in another room when you are expecting trick-or-treaters.

-Small children should not carve pumpkins; instead, allow them to draw the designs on the pumpkin and adults may carve.

-Turn on an outside light if welcoming trick-or-treaters. 

Door County YMCA reaches $9.9 million in capital campaign

The project you see underway at the Door County YMCA Sturgeon Bay Program Center is approximately $350,000 away from its final goal. The Door County YMCA announced Wednesday afternoon that its Heart of the Community campaign had crossed the $9.9 million threshold. The news comes a month after the organization broke ground on the project that will make the most substantial improvements to the facility since the pool was added in 2001. Campaign coordinator and former Door County YMCA CEO Tom Beernsten told the crowd at last month's groundbreaking that this was as fulfilling of a campaign as he has ever been a part of during his 50-plus-year career

The hope is the walls will be erected in the coming weeks and be enclosed before snowstorms hit the area. The goal for the Heart of the Community campaign is $10.3 million, and donations can still be directed to the Door County YMCA.

 

Pictures courtesy of Door County YMCA

M/V Roger Blough leaves Sturgeon Bay

The freighter that caught fire at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in February 2021 is heading for bluer waters.

 

The M/V Roger Blough left Sturgeon Bay on Thursday morning after spending more than a year sitting in lay-up following the blaze that the National Transportation Safety Board estimates caused more than $100 million in damage. The NTSB incident report released on August 17th, 2022, said, “the probable cause of the engine room fire on the Roger Blough was likely the repeated removal and reinstallation of the furnace’s burner that led to the failure in its mounting coupling.” The fire resulted in the NTSB recommending that the U.S. Coast Guard and ABS should develop standards for furnace installations in line with the National Fire Protection Association’s guidelines to MarineLink.com.

 

The Roger Blough’s history includes a fire that occurred before its maiden voyage in 1971 and the rescue of a 25-person life raft from the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975. The vessel left Sturgeon Bay with the assistance of tug boats. The boat tracking website MarineTraffic does not show the final destination for the Roger Blough.

WEDC CEO, NEW North President visit Kewaunee

You can see the positive impact of the state’s Main Street Bounce Back program just by walking a few blocks in the City of Kewaunee. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Missy Hughes and NEW North President Barb Lamue visited several Kewaunee businesses that benefited from the grant program that awarded them grants to improve their operations. The state has invested $100 million into the program to help approximately 10,000 businesses statewide. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ben Nelson says businesses in Kewaunee County have recently received roughly $1.7 million in grants, including those from the Main Street Bounce Back program, which is good for the entire community to attract more visitors and future residents.

State officials have been on a tour of Wisconsin touting the program’s success in recent weeks. Hughes and Governor Tony Evers visited Sturgeon Bay last month to see how the different grants benefited several local businesses. 

 

 

 

Kewaunee County schools with big plans on the horizon

The home of the state's first diesel truck repair program and several other hands-on learning programs continues to make plans for the future with the area's employment needs in mind. Luxemburg-Casco School District, along with Kewaunee and Denmark schools, are looking to establish a program to cultivate the next generation of volunteer and professional firefighters. Collaborations between schools, businesses, and other community leaders are part of why Luxemburg-Casco School Superintendent Jo-Ellen Fairbanks says she has enjoyed her first few months on the job.

Fairbanks says they are not stopping there. The district continues to plan for its facility for the construction trades. She also mentioned that they will host a summit later this year with area farmers about some of the other opportunities that are available in agriculture.

Fire Chief recounts cliff rescue efforts

Last Saturday, the rescue of a 32-year-old woman who fell off a cliff at Peninsula State Park required a coordinated effort that is rarely seen in the area.  Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says the rescue involved over a dozen agencies, including ten local volunteer fire departments, Door County Emergency Medical Services, the Wisconsin DNR, the Door County Sheriff’s Department, Peninsula Park State Service, and the Theda Star helicopter.  Bertges shares the challenge of a rope rescue that required lowering the injured hiker off a ledge on the bluff down some 40 feet from where she had fallen.

 

 

The rope rescue took a little over two and one-half hours and required hauling lighting and rescue equipment nearly one mile from the staging area in the park.  The woman was taken from the shoreline by a DNR boat to the Nicolet Boat Launch and subsequently taken by ambulance to the local airport and flown to a Green Bay Hospital.  The name of the woman and her condition has not been released.

 

(photo courtesy of Gibraltar Fire & Rescue)

YMCA readies for Halloween Party, volunteers needed

This Friday, you can help bring more smiles to children's faces by volunteering to work the Halloween Party at the Door County YMCA. The event usually draws more than 200 children dressed up in costumes. Door County YMCA Youth and Sports Director Paul Briney says more help is needed to organize the two-hour party.

 

 

Briney adds that kids can participate in numerous activities, including an inflatable gaga pit, bounce house, and carnival-style games. The Halloween Party will be from 5 until 7 PM at both the Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Center locations. In Sturgeon Bay, a magician and balloon artist will also be entertaining attendees. Admission is five dollars per child, but your kids get in for free if you volunteer. 

Kane receives Sister Bay's Volunteer of the Year award

A prominent Sister Bay resident has been honored with the 2022 Volunteer of the Year award.  The Sturgeon Bay Advancement Association (SBAA) recognized Ron Kane as the Parade Marshall of the 76th Annual Fall Festival Parade earlier this month.  He was driven through the parade by his longtime friend and collaborator, Steve Mann.  SiBAA Executive Director Louise Howson says Ron is always ready to help anyone or any organization. 

 

 

Having been active in government and tourism-related efforts for the village over the past 40 years, Kane has served on the Board of Directors of the Sister Bay Historical Society and volunteered at the weekly Farmer’s Market.  A past president and board member of the SBAA, Ron ran the Door County Festival of Fine Arts for many years.  Currently, he serves as a Sister Bay Plan Commission member and on the Visitor Center staff.  The SBAA will be contributing to Feed and Clothe My People of Door County in the name of Ron Kane.  

Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday

You can clean out your medicine cabinets and help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs. Door and Kewaunee County law enforcement agencies will participate again in the Drug Take-Back Day across Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is promoting the opportunity for you to dispose of unwanted and unused medications at Drug Take-Back and drug disposal locations. The Door County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, inhalers, creams, vials, and pet medications for disposal. You can drop off any old medications from 10 am until 2 pm Saturday at either the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department or the Door County Sheriff’s Office in Sturgeon Bay. Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty explained that this disposal method beats others, like throwing drugs in the trash or flushing them.

 

 

Both Door and Kewaunee County have drop boxes available for proper disposal year-round.

City's aquatic weed management strategy up for discussion

Making sure you see less green in the waters of Sturgeon Bay is the goal of the aquatic weed management plan to be discussed at the Sturgeon Bay Joint Parks and Recreation Committee/Board meeting on Wednesday evening.

 

The city marked approximately 116 acres on either side of the bay, stretching from near Strawberry Creek estates to Centerpointe Marina, to be harvested. An offload site would be set up near Madelyn Marina.

 

In August, concerned residents asked the city during a Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting to search for better and more comprehensive ways to remove the aquatic plants. Engineering Technician Brian Spetz said at the meeting that the City of Sturgeon Bay has three operating harvesters that collected 357 loads of weeds up to that point, compared to 371 total loads in 2021. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources restrictions on harvesting from the bay limit the areas and how low the harvesters can cut in the Sturgeon Bay Channel. 

 

Mary Gansberg from the DNR will be a part of the discussion when it takes place inside the council chambers at 5:30 p.m.

 

Soybean harvest, winter wheat planting ahead of average

This week’s rains are the only thing slowing down the farmers you are seeing in the fields, as some are even seeing the fruits of next year’s harvest. According to the USDA’s Crop Progress Report for Wisconsin, farmers had approximately six days of suitable days for fieldwork, allowing them to get a little closer to last year’s pace and jumping ahead of the five-year average. The harvest of corn for grain is 22 percent complete, two weeks behind last year and four days behind the average. The silage harvest statewide is 94 percent complete. The soybean harvest is 76 percent complete, two days ahead of last year and over a week ahead of the average. Sixty-seven percent of the winter wheat that has been planted has emerged already, which is five days ahead of last year but four days ahead of the average. Guilette Farms owner Nick Guilette says now is an excellent time to see the impact of some of the strategies they implement through Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network.

The Peninsula Pride Farms Conservation Conversation at Guilette Farms about his cover crop mixture plot has been rescheduled to November 1st  at 4 p.m.

Salvation Army begins bell ringer recruitment

It will be just a few short weeks before you will be greeted throughout Door and Kewaunee counties by the sounds of bells ringing in the name of a great cause. The red kettles of the Salvation Army will be placed throughout the region Thanksgiving Day weekend for donations through Christmas Eve. Red kettles across the country collect millions of dollars each year. More money is being donated at sites where volunteers are ringing bells, singing Christmas carols, or just being welcoming toward guests. John Ortlieb is in charge of coordinating bell ringers for Kewaunee County’s efforts in Algoma. He says it is essential to have volunteers at the red kettles so the organization can serve more residents in need.

With several mini-kettles distributed throughout the community, Door and Kewaunee counties each have five main kettle sites where bell ringers would be appreciated. You can register to volunteer by following this link or contacting your local Salvation Army representative. 

Early in-person voting begins Tuesday

You do not have to wait until November 8th to cast your ballot in person ahead of the fall general election. Local municipalities opened their doors to voters on Tuesday wishing to cast their ballot absentee but not have to rely on the mail or someone else to ensure their vote is received. Door County Clerk Jill Lau said earlier this month to check with your municipality when they are open and ensure you have everything you need to vote.

Early in-person voting ends on November 6th statewide, depending on the municipality, though many in Door and Kewaunee counties will stop the practice on November 4th. Absentee ballots sent through the mail must be received by November 8th to be counted.  

Erickson to be inducted into Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame

A woman you may have checked out a book or two from in the past will be inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame next month. Miriam Erickson placed her fingerprints all over libraries in Door County during her 50-year career, including a 30-year stint as a school library media specialist at Gibraltar.

 

Erickson also served on the Door County Library Board, the Door County Library Foundation, the Nicolet Federated Library System Board, and the Wisconsin Council on Library and Network Development. Thanks to her work at the state level, Erickson is credited with how educational technologies of all types are used in the classroom. Despite retiring in 1999, Erickson continues to advocate for libraries at the local and state level. Her hall of fame induction is not the first time she has been honored for her work. She has also received awards from the Wisconsin Library Association and the Wisconsin Educational Media Association.

 

Erickson will be officially inducted at the Wisconsin Library Association’s Annual Conference in Lake Geneva on November 3rd. 

Door County continues positive streak in COVID-19 update

Another week, another update where you will not find a new death or hospitalization related to COVID-19. In its Monday situation update, Door County Public Health showed that 36 of its 109 tests returned positive for COVID-19. Door County has not reported a new death since October 3rd and has had no hospitalizations due to COVID since mid-September. The Door County Public Health Department hosts vaccine clinics on Thursdays through November 10th, where you can get your flu shot and the COVID-19 bivalent booster. They will also host a drive-thru clinic on November 1st at the Brussels EMS Station and an additional Tuesday clinic at the Door County ADRC building on November 8th.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - October 24, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data is available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at-home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,096 (+109)
Positive: 7,811 (+36)
Probable: 457 (+2)
Negative: 23,828 (+71)
Hospitalizations: 261
Deaths: 67  
*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/data.htm

 

 

Beef sticks, hot dogs voluntarily recalled by Door County business

Door County Custom Meats wants to make sure you stay safe with the voluntary recall of some of their products. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection distributed the recall information on Monday. The Class I recall is for the business' jalapeno cheddar beef sticks, beef hot sticks, sweet bourbon smoked beef strips, and hot dogs. The recall was done voluntarily by Door County Custom Meats, and it is due to the products being misbranded and produced without the benefit of an inspection. Owner Keith Birnschein says it affected about 60 pounds of product and when the mistake was realized, they pulled it immediately.  While a Class I recall is reserved for products with a reasonable probability that health consequences could occur, no illnesses from eating the affected items have been reported. You can read more about the recall, including the exact specifications of the affected products and where they were sold, by clicking this link.

Defibs4DoorCounty hits $75,000 fundraising goal

Thanks to your generosity and the help of an anonymous donor, the Door County Fire Chief's Association will add 84 new automatic external defibrillators throughout the county. Through its Defibs4DoorCounty campaign, the organization raised $79,898, which was more than enough to trigger the $75,000 challenge grant. Door County Fire Chiefs Association President Chris Hecht thanked the community for responding to the effort, which was launched in February. He said earlier this year how important the program was to the health and safety of all of those who live, work, and play in the county.


Most of the units will be for government agencies, including emergency personnel,  but some were earmarked for high-traffic locations at schools, churches, museums, and more. The units purchased through the program proved vital when back in August, a first responder was able to use it on an individual who lost consciousness near Weborg Dock in the Town of Liberty Grove.  Over 356,000 people experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, according to Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation.

Ghost ship docks again in Sturgeon Bay

For the first time since 2019, you will be able to explore a United States Coast Guard ship while getting into the Halloween spirit. Like many activities, the tradition of the Ghost Ship was derailed by the pandemic. After being shut out entirely in 2020, the United States Coast Guard members were able to get into the Halloween spirit in 2021 by hosting trick-or-treating hours outside of their Sturgeon Bay headquarters. This year, turning the Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay into a floating haunted house is something Navigator John Allen says his fellow guardsmen were looking forward to doing.

 

 

The Ghost Ship will run from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, October 28th. The event is free to attend, but the members of the Cutter Mobile Bay hope you choose to bring a canned food item to donate. It acts as a kick-off to a weekend full of Halloween activities throughout Door County the following day, including Thrills and Chills in Sturgeon Bay, Jack O’Lantern Days in Fish Creek, and the Halloween Safe Walk in Egg Harbor. You can learn about other Halloween activities by clicking on this link.

Fire damages Mr. G's Supper Club

A fire caused substantial damage to Mr. G’s Supper Club in Jacksonport and closed Highway 57 for over five hours on Sunday afternoon.  Jacksonport Fire Chief Nathan LeClair told Door County Daily News that when his crews arrived at about 12:30 p.m., the outside of the building was on fire and that smoke filled the dining room, hallway and ballroom.  Over 5,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze.  No one was inside the building when the fire broke out, but one dog was rescued by a person who was passing by and checking to make sure no one was in the building.  LeClair says no cause of the fire has been determined yet.  Fire Departments from Jacksonport, Sister Bay, Egg Harbor Ephraim, Baileys Harbor, Gibraltar, Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, Algoma, and Casco all responded with the scene being cleared shortly before 6 pm. 

Door County Daily News will have more details on the fire when they become available.

 

 

Southern Door makes final push for its referendum projects

Southern Door Superintendent Chris Peterson is making it easy for you to get the information you need to make an informed decision regarding the school district’s two referendum questions this fall. 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. While there has been little criticism about the project, Peterson says there have been plenty of questions about the referendum. The biggest one centers around how they can do what they want and not have it cost taxpayers any extra money if their property values stay the same.


Peterson says he is happy with their transparency throughout the process to ensure residents can ask questions and weigh in on the topic. That includes having the two referendum questions on the ballot for a hotly contested election when some districts may opt for other times of the year where a more favorable result is more likely.

 

Southern Door will host one final open house and information session on October 24th from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school library. Election Day is November 8th.

 

Estate plans require updating

With less than ten weeks until the end of the year, keeping your estate plan updated is an important task one should do before 2023, according to one Sturgeon Bay estate planner. Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says reviewing and updating one's estate plan should also be done when changes occur in your family. He says one should take note of life-changing events that may affect their estates.

 

 

Ross says people may want to change their advance financial and healthcare directives and take advantage of charitable contributions for tax purposes before the New Year.

Lead blood tests resume in Door County

Making sure you and your family are safe from the harmful effects of lead is the goal of a program returning to Door County Public Health for the first time since 2020. The agency will again offer blood testing to those primarily 12 and 24 months old to see if they have been exposed to lead. It is critical for children to get tested since long-term exposure to lead can alter brain and nervous system development. Since you may not know what is under all the layers of paint or floating around in your water at home, exposure to lead may be happening without you knowing it. This is especially true if you live in an older home where 69 percent of homes built between1940 and 1959 and 87 percent of homes built before 1940 used lead-based paints. Door County Public Health Nurse Katie Van Laanen says there are some symptoms to look for and some things you should do if you believe you are being exposed to lead.

This week is considered to be National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. The World Health Organization said in 2021 that nearly half of the two million lives lost worldwide in 2021 due to chemical exposure were because of lead. 

Woman hospitalized after Peninsula State Park fall

Door County emergency crews responded to a call of person who fell at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek early Saturday evening.  Door County Sheriff’s Department and Gibraltar Fire and Rescue officials say a call came in at about 5:30 p.m. near Eagle Tower. A 32- year-old woman was airlifted to a Green Bay hospital after she reportedly slipped and fell off a cliff near the tower. Mutual aid was called when emergency personnel onsite found difficulty getting to the location where she had fallen. 

 

Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says the rough and unstable terrain and the loss of daylight made the rescue difficult. Shortly before 8:30 p.m., crews were able to get the injured woman onto a boat and into an ambulance before she was flown to a Green Bay hospital in a helicopter from Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport. No word on the condition of the woman was given as of the latest update at 7:45 a.m. Sunday morning.

 

Ephraim Fire Department, Baileys Harbor Fire and Rescue, Egg Harbor Fire Department, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, Jacksonport Fire Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Southern Door Fire Department, B.U.G. Fire Department, Door County EMS, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Door County Sheriff's Office, and ThedaStar all responded to assist the Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Department.

 

 

Unsafe tree stands could be months in the making

The tree stands you are getting ready to use during the current archery season or next month’s gun season may not be as safe as you remember them. According to the National Tree Stand Safety Awareness Foundation, there were approximately 3,000 tree stand-related incidents in 2018, which was down substantially from 2010. From the harnesses you should be wearing to the trees you use for your stand, a lot can change from year to year. DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha suggests an extensive checklist for you to go through to make sure you stay safe this hunting season.

So far during the archery season this year, over 17,000 deer have been harvested in Wisconsin. That includes 324 in Door County and 246 in Kewaunee County.

Now's the time to join 4-H

There are many laudable traits of Kewaunee County, abounding in beauty and history. Being an area of agricultural prominence, it is fitting that Kewaunee is home to the historic childhood cabin of the Father of Wisconsin 4-H. We have made the Father of Wisconsin 4-H proud, with more than 20,000 volunteers and 150,000 youth taking part in educational experiences throughout the state. You may have a preconceived notion that 4-H exists exclusively at the fair. Maybe you have grown up believing that 4-H is cows and cookies, or horses and corn? This is certainly a component, but 4-H is so much more. 


Kewaunee County is a unique slice of this positive youth development pie. We are rooted in welcoming community clubs and project groups that foster experiential learning. Kewaunee County 4-H boasts projects building skills in food preservation, crop growing, robotics, art, health and wellness, woodworking, leathercraft, cake decorating, animal care, livestock, and more. Youth in 4-H follow a model proven by research. Our goal in Kewaunee County is to provide all youth the opportunity to feel belonging, develop positive relationships, and find their spark through engaging activities. Have you ever been so engulfed in an activity or a hobby that you completely lost track of time? Everyone, youth and adults alike, has a talent, a skill, or an interest they are passionate about. These qualities provide us with joy, purpose, and direction. We call these sparks. Exploring, nurturing, and developing sparks are at the heart of a young person’s ability to achieve a thriving orientation, leading to highly positive 4-H outcomes. 


Research surrounding 4-H is abundant. Youth involved in 4-H are six times more likely to be at the highest levels of positive development. They are more likely to see themselves going to college compared to other youth and forty-one percent less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. Youth participating in 4-H programming are twenty-five percent more likely to contribute to themselves, their families, and their communities.

 

Thriving in 4-H leads to academic or vocational success, increased civic engagement,
employability and economic stability, and overall happiness and well-being. Youth development is community development! Enrollment is encouraged for any youth in Kewaunee County in grades kindergarten through grade thirteen. Youth in kindergarten, first, and second grade participate in the Cloverbud project. This project is exploratory, developmentally age-appropriate, and activity-based. Youth can enroll in Kewaunee County 4-H at any time throughout the year. However, to show at the Kewaunee County Fair, prior members need to be re-enrolled online by November 1st, 2022. New members have until February 1st, 2023, if interested in exhibiting at the fair. Contact Mariah Vandertie, 4-H program educator, at 920-388-7185 or email mlvandertie@wisc.edu if you have questions or want more information. We are
excited to have you join us for belonging and growth. Find your spark with Kewaunee
County 4-H.

Crossroads, Open Door Bird Sanctuary team up on owl presentation

Halloween creatures – owls, crows and bats – all live at Crossroads, and that makes us very happy, for these “scary” animals make a positive contribution to the habitats of the preserve. We don't even mind black cats, IF they are kept indoors. Feral and outdoor cats  are exceedingly harmful to wildlife ... and that's not a superstition! But to tamp down superstitions, we at Crossroads will spend the week demystifying Halloween creatures.

 

On October 28, 2022, at 6 p.m. will be our “Evening with Owls.” The Open Door Bird Sanctuary will be at Crossroads, offering a one-hour presentation followed by the opportunity to meet and greet live birds. Learn all about owls and the other incredible birds in the care of the Sanctuary!

 

Down through the centuries, in many cultures throughout the world, owls have been associated with evil and death. Truth is, owls probably are not smart enough to be evil.  But researchers agree that owls are about as dim as the nighttime forests in which they hunt.

 

Owls don't need to be smart. They have everything else going for them. They are muscular. They fly silently. Their huge eyes enable them to see in the dark. Their beaks and talons are strong and wickedly sharp. But their sensitive ears are what make owls extraordinary hunters.

 

Most people assume that the plumicorns (a.k.a. "horns”) of an owl are its ears. Not so.

The actual ears lie under feathers on the sides of the head, and they aren't symmetrical. Because one ear is higher than the other and the ears are unequal in size, sound is different from different directions, helping owls locate prey, which they do almost unfailingly, even in total darkness.

 

Owls do not smell their prey. As with most birds, the sense of smell is insignificant, if it exists are all. Great Horned Owls frequently prey on skunks. Enough said.

But well-developed intelligence? Researchers have observed owls beating their wings on bushes to try to flush out little birds. Is this learned behavior? Is it problem-solving?

 

Maybe.

 

For the most part, owls do not have a lot of problems to solve. They appropriate abandoned nests of other birds, so they don't need building skills. They are stealthy by nature, and they pounce on and usually catch anything they hear, so they don't need hunting techniques.

 

In spite of ghost stories, legends of American First People, and superstitions from Europe and India, hooting owls do not foretell impending death, although their nocturnal calls are spooky. We hear them now and then this time of year, but we will regularly  hear those eerie calls at Crossroads in January or February.

 

In contrast to owls, crows are noisy all year ‘round and they are amazingly intelligent. They can learn. They can remember. They can solve problems. They can even identify individual humans. And they detest owls, though whether this is innate or learned behavior is not clear.

 

Those curious about crows will want to attend the Crossroads Book Club on Wednesday, October 26, at 10:00 a.m. This month, the book “Crow Planet, Essential Wisdom for the Urban Wilderness” by Lyanda Lynn Haupt will explore the fascinating world of these remarkable birds. The program is free and open to all, whether or not they have read the book.

 

So bring the family to our program on owls, learn about crows at the Crossroads Book Club, or learn about bats at our pre-school Junior Nature Club on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. or our Family Science Saturday program at 2:00 p.m. Costumes are encouraged but not required at Junior Nature Club and  Science Saturday, and adult visitors are welcome.

Luxemburg-Casco celebrates growth, facility improvements

You have been able to experience the new facilities for a while, but that is not stopping Luxemburg-Casco School District from inviting you to check them out. The district is hosting its open house on November 8th from 6-8 p.m. to show off its new middle school, agriscience center, renovated high school, and Casco Career Academy. The improvements were made partly because of a $27.8 million capital referendum passed by voters in 2018. Many of the new facilities, such as the high school gym, wrestling room, and Ahnapee Automotive Shop, have been in use since 2020. While smaller ribbon-cuttings have happened, the pandemic prevented a larger-scale community event from taking place. The district credits its investment in facilities for the growth of its student body in recent years. The district has seen more than 135 students enroll into Luxemburg-Casco School District since 2020, leading to the highest attendance it has experienced since the 1993-1994 school year. Almost eight percent of Luxemburg-Casco's student body of 2,001 kids is due to open enrollment. 

Area manufacturers to open doors to local students

After a multi-year reprieve due to COVID-19, you will once again be seeing area students get a first-hand look at Door County’s manufacturing industry.

 

Students from Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, and Washington Island will participate in Manufacturing Day on October 27th as they tour approximately a dozen businesses located primarily in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. Over 60 different manufacturers call Door County home, and Korey Mallien from the Door County Economic Development Corporation says Thursday’s event will hopefully show students that they do not have to travel far from home for a great career.


The Door County Economic Development Corporation has been highlighting Manufacturing Month during October, with Thursday’s tours of businesses like Hatco, Therma-Tron-X,  and N.E.W. Industries one of the highlights.

Expect heavy traffic Saturday thanks to colors, race

A reprieve from the winter-like temperatures and a popular running tradition could make your commute through Door County feel like a festival weekend.

 

The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the 60s, a far cry from the mid-30-degree temperatures we saw earlier in the week that caused it to snow in some parts of the area.

 

The Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report has Door County at 100 percent peak, which could also bring additional traffic to the area for those looking for one last glimpse of the changing leaves. Most of the state is either at peak or past it according to the most updated entries in the report.

 

It is also a big weekend for runners as over 100 solo participants and 400 teams plan on tackling the Fall 50 course that stretches from Gills Rock to Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay. Area highways and side roads will remain open to traffic, but motorists can expect some spots to be crowded because of support vehicles and spectators. You can plan your trip by clicking the link while keeping the race and its corresponding traffic in mind.

Door, Kewaunee counties remain at medium COVID-19 level

For the second week in a row, the Centers for Disease Control recommends you speak with your doctor if you are at high risk for severe illness along with other precautions regarding COVID-19. Door and Kewaunee counties remain at the medium COVID-19 community level. The CDC also recommends staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine and getting tested if you have symptoms. In its weekly COVID-19 situation update on Monday, Door County Public Health reported that 28 of the 101 COVID -19 tests returned positive for the virus, and there were no hospitalizations or deaths. In Kewaunee County, CDC data shows there were just 16 new cases through October 19th, along with two hospitalizations. 

League of Women Voters focused on improving local government

You can learn more about how local government works by attending a program next month in Sturgeon Bay. The League of Women Voters of Door County is sponsoring the event to serve its mission of improving and shining a light on local government.  Member Susan Kohout says the evening will cover two parts.  First will be an overview of the history and structure of local government and its workings in Door County, specifically.  She says the second part of the program will explain the League's Observer Corps and its past experiences in influencing town, village, city, county, and school governments.

 

 

Open to the public, the League of Women Voters of Door County will host the free program at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 3rd.  

Algoma Venture Academy giving back

You may be able to thank the Algoma Venture Academy for having warm feet this fall and winter. Students from the public charter school distributed 750 pairs of socks to several different organizations, including the Kewaunee County Food Pantry, Violence Intervention Project, Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, ESI - Empowering & Supporting Individuals, City of Algoma Police Department, Algoma School District, Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce, and US Venture Open. AVA Board member Adam Peronto says it was on the kids to decide how to distribute the socks so they had the broadest reach and the most significant impact.


The Algoma Venture Academy partners with the Algoma School District to focus on experience-based learning so they can develop the skills needed to go out into the workplace and serve their community. This Friday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Perry Park in Algoma, Algoma Venture Academy students are hosting an outdoor movie night for area teenagers featuring a pair of scary movies to celebrate the Halloween season. All funds raised go back to the Algoma Venture Academy.

Nasewaupee residents to decide on four referendum questions

You will have more to vote on in the Town of Nasewaupee compared to other voters in Door County. In addition to deciding on several state, federal, and county positions, Nasewaupee residents will also get to vote on a pair of referendum questions for the town and the school district. 

 

For the town, residents will be asked if the town clerk and town treasurer should remain as elected positions like they are at the county level or if they should follow the lead of other municipalities like the Village of Egg Harbor and appoint people to those positions. Each position is its own question. 

 

The town resides inside the Southern Door School District, which has its own pair of referendum questions. 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. 

 

Mail-in absentee voting is already underway, while in-person early voting begins on October 25th. The general election takes place on November 8th. 

Fischer Family issues $350,000 match for Door County Land Trust

A Sturgeon Bay family is challenging you to help make a big difference in Door County. The Door County Land Trust announced on Thursday a matching grant challenge by The Fischer Family to raise up to an additional $350,000. The grant to the Door County Land Trust is a memorial to the family’s matriarch Anne. In the Door County Land Trust release, Anne’s son John says his mother loved Door County for its beautiful scenery, beaches, and hiking trails just outside their summer home on Glidden Drive. Over 20 years after her passing, the Fischer family issued the challenge to help fund new land protection projects and to care for the Door County Land Trust’s existing preserves. John Fischer said a donation to the Door County Land Trust and its efforts to save wild places is an appropriate gift for those who love Door County and everything it offers. All donations, including new and renewed memberships, must be submitted before December 15th to count towards the match.

Kewaunee County budget draws little ire

The approximately $25 million Kewaunee County budget presented on Tuesday drew only praise during the scheduled board meeting. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt went department by department describing some of the highlights of the budget. Even though the budget size and the tax levy amount went up, taxpayers will likely pay less depending on their property values.

 

One of the budget's more significant changes is with the corporation counsel, which will become a full-time position in 2023. Before winning his position as a circuit court judge, Jeffrey Wisnicky served a dual role as corporation counsel and human services director. Feldt hopes that once a new corporation counsel is hired and gets a grasp of the position, they can be contracted out to other municipalities. 

 

The county will continue to receive payments from Dominion due to the Kewaunee Power Station closure. The $500,000 has been used in the past to fund loans to Bug Tussel Wireless as they wire the county with broadband and fiber services.

 

The county’s human services department commands the most significant part of the budget at $6 million, but the staff’s ability to get reimbursed for billable hours has lessened its impact on the tax levy by as much as $60,000. It also contains the budget’s biggest question mark, which sets aside $20,000 a month for two children determined to be under the county’s care.

 

One of the few questions of the discussion came from Supervisor Aaron Augustian. He asked Feldt why they are paying down an additional $300,000 in debt service ahead of the county’s most considerable expense moving forward: the future jail facility.

Supervisor Gerald Paape praised Feldt and his staff for putting together the budget and making it easy to understand. The Kewaunee County Board will vote to approve the budget at their next meeting. Community members made no comments during the public hearing on the budget preceding the board meeting.

 

 

Citizen's Academy still accepting applications

You are running out of time to be a part of the next class of the Door County Sheriff’s Department Citizen’s Academy. The program is designed to give community members a first-hand look at the department’s operations over 11 weeks. Jail operations, patrol procedures, criminal investigations, and use of force decision-making are just some of the topics that will be covered. It is free to participate for Door County residents who are at least 18 years old and complete a background check. Registration runs until October 21st. You can learn more about the course and apply by clicking on this link.

 

 

Fall II registration starts next week, blood drive Friday at YMCA

Starting next week, you can begin signing up for the new Fall II classes at Door County YMCA. Current members of the YMCA can either stop in, call or register online starting on Monday, while community members can begin signing up on Wednesday. Member Experience Executive Brett Cleveland says the fall sessions include something for everyone.

 

 

Cleveland adds that the Door County YMCA is also hosting a community blood drive this Friday, October 21, from 9:30 am until 3:00 pm at the Sturgeon Bay Program Center and from Noon until 5 pm at its Fish Creek location.

Construction on Michigan Street causes "soft" closures until December

As crews begin gas line replacement on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, you must take alternate routes for the next several weeks. City Engineer Chad Shefchik says replacing gas lines on a section of Michigan Street will require frequent temporary “soft” roadway closures between South 10th Avenue and North 4th Avenue on Michigan Street. The closure during the work days will have staggered barricades to close off only the blocks that KS Energies will be actively working on. Thru traffic will be allowed only for emergency service vehicles and those needing access to their homes or businesses. Shefchik adds that reduced traffic will increase the safety for the work crews and the general public while allowing for the fastest possible completion of the project.  

Sturgeon Bay finalizes rezoning, fence permit fee

In a relatively quick meeting, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council took care of approving the groundwork for some projects that worked their way through the Plan Commission. A zoning map amendment for the property on the east end of Alabama Place from Single Family Residential (R-1) to Single Family Residential (R-2) was approved. The rezoning will allow the city to connect North 12th place to Alabama Place for future housing projects. The council also passed second reading for the rezoning of parcels on the east side of West Spruce Street and 60 Green Bay Road. Mayor David Ward says a change in the city’s comprehensive plan was also approved to accommodate the new Fleet Farm coming to the city.

 

 

In the final piece of business, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a resolution to set the price for a new fence permit fee at $50. The city had updated the rules for building any new fences along the streets earlier this year.

Conservation efforts for big and small farms alike

Nick Guilette proves you do not need to be one of the “big guys” to farm like one. Guilette runs his family farm, a 300-acre operation straddling the Door-Kewaunee line that grows cash crops like corn, soybeans, and winter wheat. He is also the conservation coordinator for Ebert Enterprises in Algoma, which operates on 8,000 acres to help feed its 3,000 cows. A member of both Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Network, Guilette says there is a misconception that only the large-scale operations can afford to take on some of the conservation strategies his groups have been championing over the last several years. He believes everyone can, though it may look different from farm to farm.

Guilette will show off the success of his cover crops mixture and the use of fertilizer on cover crops as a part of the next Conservation Conversation at his farm in Casco on October 25th from 5 to 6 p.m. You can learn more about the event by clicking this link.  

Law enforcement encourages drivers to buckle up, put phone down

Distracted driving without a seatbelt could change your life forever. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies took time on Monday to recognize Buckle Up Phone Day across the state. Both have significantly influenced the number of injuries occurring on area roadways. Nearly two-thirds of motorists injured in crashes did not have a seat belt on, and distracted driving has contributed to 31 deaths and almost 3,000 injuries in 2022. While Wisconsin is lagging behind the national average regarding wearing a seatbelt (90.4 percent nationwide compared to 88.1 statewide), the number of people killed in crashes has dipped below the five-year average for this time of year.

Girl Scouts council to divest Baileys Harbor property

You may not see as many Girl Scouts traveling through Baileys Harbor soon. The Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes announced on Tuesday that it was entering phase two of its long-term property plan, which includes investments, divestments, and new programmatic elements to reach Girl Scouts in its council. The council serves 10,000 girls and 5,000 volunteers across 58 northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan counties. Part of that strategy involves divesting from Camp Cuesta in Baileys Harbor and GSNWGL Communications Director Missy Brozek says Camp Cuesta’s future is unknown but knows they will use this time to learn how they can best serve the girls in Door County.

Brozek encourages families and supporters of the Girl Scouts to contact them at reimagine@gsnwgl.com with their feedback about how the organization can grow and change with them. GSNWGL will also invest more money in its camps in Gwinn, Mich., and Irma, Wis., along with a new mobile unit known as Adventures on the Go. The reorganization will also create four regional scout centers, forcing the closure of its Green Bay and Schofield locations.  You can read more about Tuesday’s announcement below.

High winds causing havoc for power companies, public safety

You can blame the high winds for keeping utility companies and emergency personnel busy over the last 24 hours. From 8 a.m. Monday to 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Door County Dispatch has taken calls for ten downed trees and multiple other traffic hazards. Washington Island, Jacksonport, and Egg Harbor’s fire departments all received fire calls during that time because trees fell on power lines.

 

At 9 a.m., Wisconsin Public Service reported over 560 customers without power, which was about 200 more than those that were experiencing outages earlier in the morning. According to WPS, power should be restored to most areas between 9:45 a.m. and noon. Sturgeon Bay Utilities Electric Utility Manager Jason Bieri announced just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday that broken poles and cables were to blame for Glidden Drive being closed off about 4,000 feet north of the Lily Bay boat launch. He expects the road to be closed until around 1 p.m. and advises people to use County Road T in Valmy to get around the closure.

 

In the City of Sturgeon Bay, a traffic light is operating in flashing mode at the southeast corner of Maple Street and Madison Avenue due to the high wind blowing it down. Until the repairs are made, you are advised to treat this like a four-way stop intersection.

The Washington Island Ferry Line has not been able to run any crossings since its 10 a.m. trip to the island on Monday. The ferry line plans to run its regular schedule on Wednesday and will run extra trips if needed.

 

Picture courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department

 

Video courtesy of Mary Blichmann

 

Maintenance to shut down Bayview Bridge

Your Halloween activities may be affected by the Bayview Bridge being shut down for two days for maintenance.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be doing the work on October 31st and November 1st, requiring the bridge to be fully closed from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both days. The bridge was shut down for a similar reason at this time last year so crews could do their routine maintenance and its annual cleaning of the bridge’s drains. The DOT and the Door County Highway Department will work together for a suitable detour that will have to include the use of one of Sturgeon Bay’s two downtown bridges. 

 

Hundreds without power as wind advisory continues

Many of your neighbors in Door County could be without power Tuesday morning as the area continues to get hit by high winds.

 

Approximately 350 Wisconsin Public Service customers found themselves without power as of 6:15 a.m., including 232 near Jacksonport. Power is expected to come back between 8:30 a.m. and 8:45 a.m., according to the WPS Power Outage map. 

 

The Washington Island Ferry likely will not have service today because of the high winds. It canceled most of its trips on Monday and warned its passengers of the potential cancellation of trips at that time. As a result, the Washington Island School Board meeting can be accessed virtually for those who cannot attend in person. 

 

As a part of its wind advisory, the National Weather Service predicts wind gusts as high as 54 miles per hour in Sister Bay and 51 miles per hour in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday before dipping below 30 miles per hour in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Google and Wisconsin Public Service

Preparation for Election Day begins with voter ID

A visit to your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) may be needed to prepare for the upcoming election. A valid and compliant photo identification card, such as a driver’s license, federal passport, state ID, military ID, or student ID, is needed to vote in Wisconsin. You can receive a free state identification card by heading to your local DMV and filling out the necessary paperwork. Door County’s DMV service center is located at the Bay Ridge Mall in Sturgeon Bay. It is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Kewaunee County’s DMV service center is on 4th Street in Algoma and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. If you find yourself in Brown County, their service center is open five days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at their location on Vanderperren Way in Green Bay. If you need to register to vote and skip the potential line at your polling place on Election Day, the deadline to do so by mail or online is October 19th.

Deer tails and hides big bucks for Lions Clubs

The deer you harvest today could mean a lifetime of memories for children at the Wisconsin Lions Club Camp in Rosholt, Wis. The state’s Lions Clubs have started their deer hide collection fundraiser for the current hunting season. So far in the state, hunters have harvested over 17,000 deer in the Central Farmland Zone, including 324 in Door County and 246 in Kewaunee County. Kewaunee County Lions Club member John Mastalir says they collected 808 hides locally last year, which goes a long way in supporting the state organization’s efforts.

The thousands of dollars raised through the sales of the deer hides go to the Wisconsin Lions Camp, which serves kids with mild cognitive disabilities and issues with their hearing and vision. You can find drop-off containers near Blue Water Services in Kewaunee.

 

Photo by John Mastalir

No deaths, hospitalizations in latest Door County COVID-19 update

Door County was placed in the medium COVID-19 level last week despite no deaths or hospitalizations in the previous seven days. In its weekly COVID-19 situation update on Monday, Door County Public Health reported that 28 of the 101 COVID -19 tests performed returned positive for the virus. Another two tests are considered probable. The good news is there were no new deaths or hospitalizations, which are critical factors in determining their COVID-19 community level. Kewaunee County has not updated its COVID-19 portal since September 9th. 

Right place, right time for RV fire

Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald is thankful that another firefighter from a different department was in the area when an RV owner was experiencing a fire on Saturday. The initial call came in at 2:20 p.m. near the intersection of State Highway 42 and Plum Bottom Road when the RV’s owner noticed smoke coming out of the vehicle. The owner was in the middle of moving the RV from one part of Egg Harbor to another. MacDonald says the fire could have been a lot worse without a bit of luck.

Another close call came in the Town of Liberty Grove on October 14th when the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove responded to a chimney fire at approximately 8 p.m. Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the home’s owner was able to put out the fire before crews could arrive. After checking the interior walls for damage, Hecht says the owner was simply advised to have the chimney inspected and cleaned.

Wind advisory issued for Door County

Your view of Door County’s fall colors could be short-lived as the area enters a wind advisory for the next two days. The National Weather Service predicts wind gusts as high as 40 miles per hour on Monday and 47 miles per hour on Tuesday before dipping below 30 miles per hour in the early morning hours on Wednesday.

 

 

Semi-trailers and other high-profile vehicles may get pushed around by the wind, while tree limbs and power lines could be blown down. The Washington Island Ferry scheduled two trips this morning but warned travelers that other crossings may be canceled due to the wind conditions. They initially sent out the warnings on Sunday, suggesting that a limited schedule may also be necessary for Tuesday.

 

 

Fall Fest draws crowds despite weather

The rain and chill in the air this weekend could not stop the weekend revelry in downtown Sister Bay for its annual Fall Fest.

 

Rain came to the area late in the evening on Friday, which only affected the closing acts at area bars.

 

Thousands lined the streets on Saturday for the annual Fall Fest parade with marching bands from around the region and floats built by local organizations.

 

Pictures from Ann Trip

 

Saturday continued with live music at eight different locations throughout the day while the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department's pancake breakfast children's activities took over the waterfront.

Sunday saw a new champion crowned in the Fall Fest Derby Race and other children take advantage of the 2 p.m. ping pong ball drop.

 

Fall Fest signals the unofficial end of fall in Sister Bay and is the oldest festival in Door County.

 

Top picture submitted by Bryan Mazur

Kewaunee County Toys for Tots opens registration

While they cannot help you with Santa’s naughty or nice list, Kewaunee County officials can help you get on a different list this holiday season. Kewaunee County Toys for Tots is accepting registration for its program beginning on October 17th. The program is for families with children under the age of 16 that register before December 10th. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski has helped run the program in the area for over a decade and says he continues to be humbled by the families he meets and the support Toys for Tots gets locally.

Information on how you can register and what you will need to provide at the toy distribution event can be found below. Joski says he will begin distributing the collection boxes for the toys throughout Kewaunee County starting the first week of November.

 

Pop culture hits high school stages

No matter where you see a high school musical or play this fall, there is a good chance you might know the source material. Sevastopol, Southern Door, and Kewaunee High School students are all hard at work for their fall productions, and they all feature slices of pop culture. From November 4th through the 6th, Sevastopol students will perform “Puffs,” a parody play based on the successful Harry Potter Series. At Kewaunee High School, students will try their hand at the stage adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid from November 10th through the 13th. Southern Door is getting ready to perform “The Addams Family,” which started as a cartoon strip in the 1930s, a TV show in the 1960s, and a series of films in the 1990s. Gary Barta is preparing for his role in the musical as Uncle Fester. While he enjoys some of the more typical Broadway productions Southern Door has put on in past years, Barta says it was great for him to see Uncle Fester evolve in the different Addams Family iterations.

Southern Door will perform The Addams Family the first two weekends of November, with alternate dates being planned depending on the Eagles' run in the WIAA football playoffs. Tickets are on sale now for all three of the productions. 

Community Spotlight: Help of Door County impacts community every day

A Door County organization is shedding light on the domestic abuse impacting hundreds of people in Door County every year. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and Help of Door County wants to help bring an end to the destructive cycle. Nationally, one in four women and one in seven men are affected by domestic violence, according to Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales. On average, Help of Door County served at least one person a day last year.

Tracey Robertson, the new Violence Intervention Program Coordinator, says she hopes to increase the community reach and the impact the agency can have in the area.

Help of Door County held a Walk with Me event earlier this month to raise awareness and received a $10,000 grant for the Nations of Neighbors award from Royal Neighbors of America, who honored Gonzales for her work.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Milly and Tracey on the Spotlight on the Community Podcast Page.   

Three Kewaunee County meat processors earn cut of state grant

Three local businesses with ties to the meat processing industry are getting assistance from a state grant.

 

Salmon’s Meats, Otto’s Meats, and Paulie’s Chop Shop, all in Luxemburg, are among the 91 meat processors receiving up to $150,000 in matching funds from the Wisconsin Meat and Poultry Supply Chain Resiliency Grant Program. The American Rescue Plan Act partly funded the $10 million program. This is the second state grant Paulie’s Chop Shop has received ahead of the opening of its new building this fall. It also received a $50,000 grant earlier this year to help fund its new butcher shop's development and construction and outfit it with new equipment.

 

Five million additional dollars was also earmarked to help attract students to meat-related fields. The grants hope to get more people into the industry while developing more productive and efficient operations.

 

A similar grant was awarded to dairy processors earlier this year. Renard’s Cheese received a $24,000 grant earlier this year to purchase new equipment to ease the physical demands of artisan cheese-making and increase production capabilities. Renard’s Cheese produced over three million pounds of cheese last year but had to turn away orders for almost as much because of production limits. 

 

Picture courtesy of Ebert Enterprises and Salmon's Meats

Door Shakespeare names new Producing Artistic Director

A Door County theatre community has a new artistic director in place. After filling in temporarily for Michael Stebbins earlier this year, Amy Ensign has been named the permanent Producing Artistic Director for Door Shakespeare. Ensign has over 30 years of experience in a variety of theatre responsibilities. She started with Door Shakespeare in 2007 as its acting company choreographer, company manager, and education director.  Since 2018, Ensign has been the company’s Managing Director.


Door Shakespeare was founded in 1995 and then known as American Folklore Theatre, and it has produced 44 productions at the Garden of Bjorklunden’s estate in Baileys Harbor.

Do I toss the salt shaker?

Trying to eat less salt? Have you been told to go on a low-salt diet? People sometimes say, "just don't use your salt shaker and should be good." Let's think about that. The recommended daily allowance of sodium is 2000 mg. How much is that? Two slices of a frozen pizza contain 960 mg of sodium. Do you usually stop at 2 slices or have you eaten more than that? French fries contain 250 mg of sodium, a can of soup has up to 800 mg. A hot dog might have 500 mg sodium. These foods are processed. That means they have been changed into something entirely different. A steak comes from a cow and carrots grow in the ground. But a hot dog? It doesn't exist in nature. If you have to think hard about where a food came from, that food is likely not nearly as nourishing as the foods you can easily name the source. Instead of worrying about the salt shaker, go back to the basics. Add more fresh vegetables and fruits to your meal. Make your favorite foods from scratch rather than buying a can, box, or package. Homemade pizza or soup can cut your sodium intake in half!

 

Effects of Sodium
Too much sodium in your diet may put you at greater risk for headaches, kidney disease, enlarged heart muscle, stroke, heart failure, high blood pressure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and/or stomach cancer. Excess salt also can cause increased water retention in your body leading to puffiness, bloating, and weight gain.

 

 

Audio of story

 

Door County, state taking mental health success in stride

The efforts you are seeing take place to tackle the issue of mental health are paying off across the state and right in Door County. A study by Mental Health America showed that Wisconsin is ranked number one regarding mental health. The study indicates that Wisconsinites are getting the help they need to address their mental health needs, among other factors. Nationwide, there is one mental health provider for 270 people that may need their services. In Door County, that number balloons up to one for every 710 people. That is why the STRIDE Program through the United Way of Door County has been so important. Developed in 2018, STRIDE (Strengthening, Trust and Resilience, Instilling Independence, and Discovering Empowerment) removed the barriers to mental health services for Door County youth by putting a provider in all five Door County school districts during classroom hours. Community Impact Coordinator Cami Peggar says it is paying dividends.

Peggar is proud that Wisconsin is leading the way in addressing its citizens' mental health concerns. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, one in five U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2020. Less than half of those people (46 percent) received treatment for their mental illness.

Missing person found in Egg Harbor

A 78-year-old man is safe after being missing for two-and-a-half hours on Thursday. The Egg Harbor Fire Department joined the Door County Sheriff’s Department at approximately 6:45 p.m. for the report of the missing man. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated shortly after that, mobilizing emergency personnel from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Door County Emergency Services, Jacksonport Fire Department, Baileys Harbor Fire Department, Gibraltar Fire Department, and Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department. Crews were searching by foot and UTV when they located the missing man at 9:15 p.m. No other details, including how the man got lost and his current condition, were shared in a press release on the Egg Harbor Fire Department Facebook page. All units cleared the scene at 10 p.m.

 

Sub-committee created for Kewaunee County highway shop

With one project moving forward with the new jail, you will see Kewaunee County begin work on its next big capital project. At Tuesday’s board meeting, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Daniel Olson will appoint his choices to the newly formed Kewaunee County Highway Shop sub-committee. Back in January, Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every pushed for improvements to be made at its main highway shop across the street from Bruemmer Park in Kewaunee. Every pointed out the age and size of the 1930s-era facility as the reason for the upgrades. The county spent approximately $28,000 for a pair of studies to determine needed improvements. A complete overhaul of the facility, including replacing several buildings, carries a price tag of $26 million. A phased-in approach would tackle the important projects first, costing about $10.5 million. Supervisors questioned the cost of the upgrades as they had a decision about a new public safety building lurking in the future. Every and Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt said at the time that not enough was done to maintain the structure.

Olson is set to appoint himself, Gerald Paape, Jeffrey Vollenweider, Joe Lukes, and Scott Brown to the new sub-committee. Paape and Olson sat on a similar committee for the jail, which was able to reconfigure the proposed building and save millions in construction and staffing costs. The Kewaunee County Board, which will meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee, will also discuss an amendment to its broadband expansion grant agreement with Bug Tussel Wireless. The meeting will be preceded by a public hearing on the county’s 2023 budget. 

Door and Kewaunee counties back at medium COVID level

After a week at the low level, Door and Kewaunee counties returned to the medium COVID-19 community level as a part of the Centers for Disease Control’s update on Thursday.

 

It means people with a higher risk of severe disease should discuss with their doctor additional precautions to take to protect themselves from the virus. According to the latest situation update provided by Door County Public Health, 25 of the 82 tests came back positive for COVID-19, with another five listed as probable. No new deaths or hospitalizations were noted in that report. Door County Public Health did host the second of its five drive-thru clinics for those looking to get the bivalent COVID-19 booster and the flu shot in one visit.

 

You can find the list of other upcoming vaccination clinics, which will take place on most Tuesdays and Thursdays through November 10th, by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Public Health

 

Rain hampers road projects' completion

You will still find some construction cones around Sturgeon Bay as the city tries to wrap up its road projects before the snow flies.

 

On Friday, City Engineering Technician Brian Spetz announced that North Hudson Avenue would be closed so new sewer and water laterals could be installed for an incoming home build.

 

City Engineer Chad Shefchik blamed the rain for a trio of road projects getting delayed with their completion. The paving of North Geneva Avenue from West Juniper Street to the termination of West Hickory Street would be able to receive its second layer of asphalt after the first coat was done earlier this week. An alley between Oregon Street and Pennsylvania Street from South 10th Avenue to the termination of 9th Avenue is also waiting for a new coat of asphalt. Those projects are expected to be finished by earlier next week. Michigan Street will also get some additional attention before the end of the month as road construction crews begin preparing for next year’s paving work. They will do that by spending next week installing gas line replacements.

 

In all cases of the road work being done over the next ten days, you can expect some lane and road closures. Shefchik asks you to use alternate routes and proper caution when driving around the impacted areas.

 

Kewaunee CARES joins suit against EPA

You will find a local tie to a recently filed federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency. Kewaunee CARES is one of 33 petitioners from 15 states accusing the EPA of ignoring a request to strengthen clean water rules governing large-scale farms. According to Food and Water Watch, the rulemaking petition was filed five years (ago?) and detailed how they feel the EPA’s regulation of farms classified as concentrated animal feeding operations under the Clean Water Act has failed to protect waterways and their neighboring communities. Kewaunee CARES founder Nancy Utesch says the EPA’s delay in response is making a bad situation worse for residents who are dealing with tainted water in rural communities.

Wisconsin mandates CAFOs file a permit with the state dictating how many animal units they will carry, how much manure they produce, and how many acres they plan on spreading that manure on during an average year. Utesch is happy with some of the recent success that has been had in states like Wisconsin and Iowa holding CAFOs accountable, but believes they still have a long way to go. 

County clerks preparing for busy election season

The county clerks in Door and Kewaunee counties know just as much as you do how much attention Wisconsin’s elections will draw this year. Polling for the Wisconsin governor’s race and the U.S. Senate race has gone back and forth in recent months as ad spending among Democrats, Republicans, and outside groups continue to climb. Add in state Assembly and Senate races and the Southern Door School District referendum, and it could be a busy night for municipalities. Door County Clerk Jill Lau is confident her clerks will be ready as they treat it similarly to a presidential election in terms of the number of ballots they print. She also encourages you to vote early if you do not want to wait in long lines on November 8th.

Some municipalities in Kewaunee County ran out of ballots during the August primary, which traditionally has a lower turnout. Clerk Jamie Annoye says her colleagues considered that when ordering ballots for this election.

Mail-in absentee voting is already underway, but there are several dates you need to keep in mind ahead of the fall election on November 8th. The last day you can register to vote by mail or online is October 19th, though you can always sign up on Election Day. In-person absentee voting begins on October 25th and runs through November 4th, with hours varying by the municipality. Lau reminds voters that it can only be theirs if they drop off a ballot at the clerk’s office.

Luxemburg-Casco to host bike rodeo Saturday

Luxemburg-Casco School District and several other local entities are doing what they can to help your children stay safe while riding their bikes. In conjunction with the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, Kewaunee County Health Department, Village of Luxemburg Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission, the district is hosting a bike rodeo this Saturday. In addition to allowing kids to test their riding skills on a bike rodeo course, the event will feature free helmets while supplies last, a safety check, additional educational opportunities, and the chance to win a new bike. You can click this link to register in advance.

 

 

Miss Door County Outstanding Teen fights back against dyslexia

Seeing Miss Door County Outstanding Teen Claire Bohn reading books to students with her crown has been a familiar sight depending on the area classroom you have visited. Since her reign began, she has championed the cause of fighting against dyslexia. The cause is special to her as her mother is a licensed speech therapist in Sturgeon Bay, and her brother fights dyslexia daily. One in five people struggles with dyslexia, often going undiagnosed and untreated in schools around the country. Bohn hopes that she can make a difference in the lives of so many students struggling to read in Door County with a bit of hard work.

She is encouraging you to donate money to the De Pere-based Bright Young Dyslexics to further guide her efforts. When you donate money to the organization and designate it for Door County, Bohn says the funds will return to the area and help kids locally. You can watch our full interview with Claire Bohn below.

 

 

Halloween tradition resurrected in Algoma

A family-friendly Halloween event returns to Algoma next week for the first time since before the pandemic. The Algoma Halloween Walk returns to Algoma High School for its 14th edition, but its first since 2019. Former organizer Jen Massey has passed the torch over to two of her teacher colleagues: Rachel Vandermause and Kayden Shaw. Vandermause grew up volunteering at the event and she is happy to be a part of the event’s return to families’ fall calendars.

The Algoma Halloween Walk takes place on October 22nd from 9 a.m. to noon. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children, with the proceeds going right back into the community. It kicks off two weekends for Halloween-related activities around Door and Kewaunee counties, including the Trunk or Treat at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma on that same day from 10 a.m. to noon. 

Highway 42/57 project completed

Outside of minor clean-up and finishing work, you will not experience significant road construction on State Highway 42/57 on your commute through Door County for the first time since March. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation declared the $7.49 million project complete on Thursday, finishing slightly under budget. Road construction crews have been working on diamond-grinding resurfacing, concrete repairs, pipe, and drainage work, and other necessary work on the 7.2-mile stretch between the south junction of Highway 42/57 to the Bayview Bridge since March 23rd. DOT spokesperson Mark Kantola says the improvements make the highway a little safer.

With the aid of local funding, the project also included intersection safety improvements at Ashland Avenue, Neenah Avenue, and County U. Crews also reconfigured southbound STH 42/57 lanes and reconstructed a multi-use path. 

Child care listening session scheduled for Washington Island

Dragons, unicorns, and licensed childcare options are three things you will not find on Washington Island. Door County as a whole is a childcare desert, meaning for every licensed childcare slot in the county, there are at least three children who can fill it. The United Way of Door County has been hard at work addressing those concerns, first with home-based child care funds back in August and employer match grants more recently in September. The listening session on November 5th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Washington Island Community Center is another part of those efforts. Babysitters will be available to watch children in the gym so their parents can participate.

Community Healthy Living Fair returns to YMCA

After two years of being canceled due to the pandemic, the Community Healthy Living Fair is back this month at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay.  Senior Director of Healthy Living Mary Claire McHugh shares some of the free screenings that will be offered during the fair on Tuesday, October 25.

 

 

You can contact the YMCA for an appointment at (920) 743-4949 for cholesterol and skin cancer screenings, however, registrations are limited.  Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin notes that a flu shot clinic and an expired prescription drugs disposal drop-

off will be on-site.

 

 

The Community Healthy Living Fair will be from 8:30 am until noon on Tuesday, October 25, and free transportation will be provided by the Door County Transportation Department. 

Sister Bay celebrates 76th Fall Festival this weekend

You can partake in the final big fall festival of the season in Door County in Sister Bay this weekend. Considered by many as the "Granddaddy of all Door County Festivals," Sister Bay Fall Fest is a celebration that began as a reward for Door County tourism workers after a busy summer. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend the longest-running three-day festival on the Peninsula. Highlights of the weekend include the Fall Fest Parade on Saturday at 11 a.m., and the Derby Race held downtown on Highway 42 at 11 a.m. on Sunday, followed later by the famous ping pong ball drop at 2 p.m. Sister Bay Advancement Community Coordinator Louise Howson shares the excitement that builds around the events, especially the parade. 

 

 

The Soap Box-style Derby race on Sunday is open to kids seven to 13 who will race down the big hill in Sister Bay.  The Sister Bay Fall Festival begins at 10 a.m. on Friday and will include kids' games, music, and a giant Arts & Crafts Fair. The calendar of events schedule is listed below. 

 

 

(Photo and calendar courtesy of Sister Bay Advancement Association)

Birch Creek Jazz Faculty Trio's "Artists in the Schools" returns

Jazz faculty musicians from Birch Creek Music Performance Center visited and provided music education at three school districts earlier this week.  As part of Birch Creek’s Artists in the Schools program, musicians Jeff Campbell, Rick Haydon, and Reggie Thomas performed on Monday for Sevastopol, Southern Door, and Sturgeon Bay students.  Nearly 300 elementary, middle, and high school students from choir, music, and band programs participated.  The jazz trio of Haydon on guitar, Campbell on bass, and Thomas on piano shared their talent and experience as professional musicians.  The Artists in the Schools (AIS) started in 2002 as a way for Birch Creek and its faculty to give back to the community.  It returned after a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 protocols in the schools.  

 

Jeff Campbell, Rick Haydon and Reggie Thomas perform for Southern Door middle school students

 

Jeff Campbell, Rick Haydon and Reggie Thomas perform for Sevastopol high school students

 

(photos submitted) 

Sturgeon Bay street closure notice for North 3rd Avenue

You will have to find another way to get from downtown Sturgeon Bay to Bay Shore Drive for the next few days. Starting at 7 am on Wednesday, North Third Avenue between Georgia Street and Florida Street will be closed for construction through Friday. Brian Spetz, Engineering Technician for the City of Sturgeon Bay, says a contractor will be installing water and sewer laterals for the new building being erected for Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Motorists are being advised to avoid the street, which will be open for local traffic only. North Third Avenue will fully reopen after the workday on Friday.  

  

Door County Medical Center receives highest grade from CMS

If you rely on Medicare and Medicaid and use Door County Medical Center, then Monday’s announcement should be no surprise to you. Door County Medical Center announced that it received a five-star rating for Overall Hospital Quality from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Only 429 hospitals across the country, including 10 in the state, received the rating based on several factors. Those categories include mortality, safety, readmission, patient experience, and timely and effective care. Door County Medical Center also received a high designation from CMS in 2019 and 2020. When they just missed receiving five stars in 2021, DCMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise says it gave them a renewed focus in their strategic planning.

Heise is most proud of the hospital's marks on patient experience, calling it important to make sure everything is taken care of before they leave so they do not have to come back if it is not needed.

Traffic picks up as leaves begin to fall

Traffic on local roads is hitting a fever pitch as the seasons change. That is certainly true in Kewaunee County, where the combination of fall activities, corn and soybean harvest, hunting, and regular day-to-day business has created minimal accidents but lots of close calls. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says they have been getting their fair share of calls voicing their concerns about the traffic on local roads, especially when it is a near miss. Inattentive driving, speeding, and failure to yield have been the more common calls they have received. Joski says motorists have to play nice with each other while traveling the area.

Joski encourages people to safely reach out to the sheriff’s department if they see dangerous activity on the roadway. You can read more about the topic from Joski below.

 

Thank you to County Administrator Scott Feldt for sharing the updates and insights related to Broadband development here in Kewaunee County. I have no doubt that many found value in the information, and we greatly appreciate all that you are doing on this issue and many more.

      

Over the past few weeks, we have definitely seen an increase in agricultural activity. Beyond the ongoing movement of nutrient resources from farms to field, there is now the fall harvest of both Soybeans and Corn. Between fertilizing and harvesting, there is not a corner of our county that is not impacted by the increased road traffic. Along with this increase in traffic, we here at the Sheriff’s Department continue to field our share of complaints regarding the activities.

      

The blending of various forms of activity on any roadway will naturally result in increased safety concerns. Whether it is the relationship of cars to bikes, cars to trucks, cars to pedestrians, cars to AG Vehicles, or cars to ATV/UTVs, the basic differences between each of them create an environment which is problematic in sharing the same roadway. It is important to note that each of these do in fact have the right to be on the road at some level, and the key phrase to this relationship is “Sharing”. The first step in making all of this sharing of the roadway possible is mutual respect, and in most of the calls we respond to, this is the very element which many times is missing from one or both sides of the issue.

      

Over the years, I have written numerous articles on road safety, we have also participated in numerous grants to get additional Deputies on the road to target specific safety issues such as seat belt use, speed enforcement, and OWI enforcement. Here in Kewaunee County, we also have a Highway Safety Commission, which meets quarterly and discusses various issues brought to us by the community for recommendations or actions. All of these efforts make very little impact if the key component of Mutual Respect by each individual operator on our roads is not present.

     

In addition, those agricultural entities using the roads need to adopt and embrace what I will call a “Culture of Safety.” While we all understand the need and demands of farming and the constant pressure placed upon these entities by weather conditions and Planting/ Harvesting timelines, safety can not and should not be secondary to these considerations.

      

Over the winter months, I have the opportunity to meet with the owners and operators in our agricultural community, and it is during these conversations that solutions and remedies to issues of the past, as well as challenges predicted into the future, are discussed. While these are great discussions, they need to acted upon and put into practice. There is an old saying in the world of safety; “If it is predictable, it is preventable.”

      

I have been Sheriff now for almost 16 years, and we have been having these discussions for almost that long, with some operators still struggling to fully embrace this culture of safety. Thus far, we have approached these matters in the educational mode, but that can not be the case for perpetuity. At some point, we need to have accountability. It is for this reason that I encourage any and all of our farms and/or operators to participate in these off-season discussions, as it will be at these sessions that expectations will be set. I also invite our local and state legislators to these meetings, which are coordinated and hosted by our local UW-Extension Office. Legislation and those responsible for it are vital stakeholders in regard to effective language in our local and state laws governing the use of the roads and equipment standards for those vehicles on our roads.

    

Let’s all work together to keep our roads safe, regardless of what you are driving. 

Sunflowered continues to bloom

You have until the end of the month to catch Northern Sky Theater’s latest entry in its canon, Sunflowered. The musical focuses on a young woman facing a life-changing decision and her friends that she leans on for support during a Door County camping trip. It has been an emotional ride for Lachrisa Grandberry since Sunflowered opened on the Gould Theater stage on September 9th. Not only does Grandberry perform in the production, she also wrote the book, the music, and the lyrics for it. She is incredibly proud that it features a large cast of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) performers.

Sunflowered plays on the Gould Theater stage at Northern Sky Theater’s Fish Creek headquarters Monday through Saturday at 7 p.m.  The show can also be seen as part of a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.

Crews report to weekend fire at Fish Creek restaurant

A Fish Creek restaurant reopened on Monday after having to evacuate its guests on Sunday due to a fire. Crews responded to a small electrical fire in the attic at The English Inn at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Sunday. Dinner service was canceled for the rest of the evening due to the fire, which was quickly extinguished by responding firefighters, clearing the scene a few hours later. The restaurant was able to reopen for its usually Monday evening dinner service but took to social media to thank the Door County Sheriff’s Department and responding fire departments and first responders for being fully prepared for the worst. The social media post also thanked its customers for their patience and understanding during the event.

Devise an escape plan during National Fire Prevention Week

Taking suitable precautions around your home is crucial to preventing a fire tragedy. This week is National Fire Prevention Week, which is celebrating 100 years. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says fire safety begins with ensuring all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work correctly in your home or business. He says families should devise an escape plan in case of a fire and have a predetermined place to meet outside.

 

 

Olson says never wait to report a fire because it will double in size every minute. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, local fire departments responded to about 1.35 million fires last year, which caused 3,800 deaths. In conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week, the Southern Door Fire Department is hosting an open house this Saturday, October 15, from 10 am until 2 pm at the Forestville station. The event will include lunch and kid activities while checking out the fire station and trucks while meeting with the firefighters. 

Fall colors closing in on peak

If you have not had a chance to explore the fall colors in Door and Kewaunee counties, you may want to act fast. According to Travel Wisconsin, much of the state is at 35 to 65 percent peak fall colors. Approximately 20 counties are above 80 percent peak colors, with communities like Florence and Hurley already seeing it fade away. Destination Door County Senior Media Relations Manager Jen Rogers says they have been fielding calls on fall colors since the spring, but that has only intensified since the area hit 65 percent peak colors over the weekend.

 

She predicts Door County's fall colors will be at its peak this weekend, just in time for Sister Bay Fall Fest.  

Clean Sweep changes venue in Kewaunee County

You will have to bring your unwanted chemicals, pesticides, household wastes, dry medications, and opioids to a different location for safe disposal later this month. The Kewaunee County Emergency Management Department announced Monday it would be moving its annual Clean Sweep event from its highway shop location near Hillside Apples in Casco to the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg. No reason for the change of venue was given. You can bring your hazardous materials to the fairgrounds by entering through the Third Avenue entrance. Volunteers will remove the items from your vehicle’s trunk or rear compartment of an S.U.V. or truck. Events like these help ensure these materials are disposed of safely. The Clean Sweep event will run on October 22nd from 8 a.m. to noon and is made possible from grants earned by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection and funding from Kewaunee County Families and Communities Encouraging Success (F.A.C.E.S.).

Weekend air quality test for peace of mind following Menominee fire

Door County Emergency Management and Communications was being especially cautious over your safety this weekend after a fire destroyed a paper mill in Menominee, Mich. last week. Firefighters are still tending to the fire at Resolute Forest Products that started on October 6th, asking some communities to shelter in place until the fire could get under control. Door County’s additional concerns about the blaze began on Friday as the wind started to change directions, potentially sending smoke and soot from the fire across the bay to the area. With thousands of people flocking to Egg Harbor for the Pumpkin Patch Festival, Door County Emergency Management and Communications began discussing options with the Environment Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The department issued a warning Friday night.

Even though they later determined that there would be no significant danger to the area because of the fire, Emergency Management and Communications Director Dan Kane says the air quality tests performed were done out of extra caution.

Kane is still expecting the test results to come back from a lab in Chicago soon. This is the first time Door County has done air quality testing during Kane’s tenure due to a large area fire. Large fires in Canada brought smoke and hazy conditions to the state last year.

 

 

 

No deaths, hospitalizations in latest Door County COVID update

Door County residents received a dose of good news on Monday on the COVID-19 front after being listed at the low community level on Friday. According to the latest situation update provided by Door County Public Health, 25 of the 82 tests came back positive for COVID-19, with another five listed as probable. The best news from the report was that no deaths or hospitalizations were reported in the last seven days. Kewaunee County has not updated its COVID-19 portal since September 9th, but the Green Bay Press-Gazette says that the county has seen one death and 24 additional cases of COVID-19.

Frustrations growing with Anderson Dock graffiti

Village of Ephraim officials are begging you to keep your paint brushes off the area surrounding the famous Anderson Park warehouse.

 

The building, which houses the Hardy Gallery, has been a beacon for graffiti since boaters began writing their names on it in the 1880s to document their arrival. According to village officials, the problem now is tourists are leaving their mark in other spots around Anderson Dock if they cannot squeeze their inscription on the building’s brown and technicolored walls. At last month’s board meeting, Village Administrator Brent Bristol shared that the fire boat was graffitied, falling in line with the rocks and concrete around the building. Village President Mike McCutcheon shared his anger with the board and requested that the Physical Facilities and Utilities Committee and the Community Protection Committee look into how they can monitor, police, and ultimately punish those participating in the act.

 

The board admitted the substantial investment that would have to be made in the upcoming budget to change the public’s behavior, especially since the internet is not strong enough for security cameras to do the job. Having graffiti police for up to four months of the year and daily cleaning of the graffiti were among the ideas entertained by the board. Bristol told the board that a clean slate and the request for people not to graffiti in specific spaces should be a part of all proposals. It is not unlike what happens at Abbey Road Studios in London, where its famous walls are subject to millions of people leaving their marks on their outer wall, only to be painted over approximately once a month. 

 

The Ephraim Village Board will meet again on October 11th to provide a new update on graffiti abatement on Anderson Dock and to also discuss its Class A alcohol ordinance, its recent study performed by contractor AECOM on its roads, and the 2023 budget. The meeting will start in person and online at 7 p.m.

Crossroads hosting Herring Gull presentation Thursday

You can learn about the most visible bird along the shoreline of Door County this coming week. Staff at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay have been documenting bird migration at the Cove Estuary Preserve for the past month. On Thursday, October 13, Dr. Ray Faber will present his program, “A Century with Herring Gulls.”  He will discuss his research to understand better the herring gull population and their challenges in reproducing. Kathleen Harris of the Ephraim Historical Foundation will open the evening by speaking about the ground-breaking work Harold Wilson did on Strawberry Island near Ephraim. This free event is open to the public and is offered in conjunction with the Ephraim Historical Foundation. Dr. Faber is presenting the same program earlier on Thursday, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., at the Ephraim Town Hall. The presentation at Crossroads at Big Creek will be in the lecture hall of the Collins Learning Center and will start at 7:00 p.m.

Committee in initial fundraising stages of Kewaunee inclusive playground

Building a more inclusive playground for all to enjoy begins with your support. The Bruemmer Park Inclusive Playground Committee began raising the $450,000 needed to outfit the accessible park earlier this year following similar efforts that were completed at Kewaunee School District a few years ago and are currently underway in Baileys Harbor. Rhonda Detempel was inspired to begin this quest for the Kewaunee County kids two years ago while working with a girl who could not join some of her friends on a playground because she was in a wheelchair. She envisions a place where kids and adults can come from all around the area to play with each other regardless of ability.

Detempel hopes the park will be completed by fall of next year if they can raise the necessary funds. We have contact information for how you can support the endeavor posted below. 

 

 

Community Spotlight: Dawn Vandevoort

For the third time in her nearly 30 years associated with the organization, Dawn VandeVoort celebrated National 4-H Week with a different perspective. After 18 years as the Door County 4-H Educator, VandeVoort took a different position with the state office to help serve its thousands-strong volunteer base. She began in 4-H as a youth member under her mother’s tutelage in Rock County, where she learned how to bake and cook, show animals, and participate in service projects. She took the area educator position in Door County after graduating from college as a way to give back to an organization she loved so much. VandeVoort is excited about her new role in developing the volunteers that help 4-H find their own “spark” within the organization.

 

 

VandeVoort is thrilled that 4-H has expanded from its agricultural roots to something that now includes more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities. She is also proud to help keep families connected with 4-H through virtual activities and the Door County Fair.  You can click the link to listen to the full interview.

Thousands show up for Pumpkin Patch

Beautiful weather brought out large crowds on Saturday to Egg Harbor for their annual Pumpkin Patch Festival.

 

In addition to the sunshine, Pumpkin Patch revelers were treated to live music, carnival rides, pumpkin and scarecrow displays, and other activities lining the streets of Egg Harbor.

 

More activities are planned for Sunday including Big Mouth providing the tunes and Door County artists Cassandra Bissell and Neil Brookshire performing the world premiere of “Me and Debry,” a play in poetry that focuses on marine debris and how community members can help alleviate the issue.

 

 

Washington Island looks to purchase 21 acres for recreation area

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wants your opinion on approximately 21 acres of land Washington Island officials would like to purchase. The Town of Washington applied for a 25 percent matching grant as a part of the Urban Green Space program of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Known as the Nordheim Park Acquisition, the project is on the southern side of Washington Island consisting of forest, meadow, and over 1,200 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. The arrow-shaped parcel also includes a defunct marina with a breakwater structure, a home, and a storage shed. With help from the state funds, the town is looking to develop the property for recreational use including hiking and biking trails, a kayak launch, a beach, and areas to picnic and fish.  Because of the parcel’s proximity to a public roadway and residences, the DNR is recommending that hunting will not be allowed. You are able to use the contact information below to submit comments regarding the proposal by October 22nd. 

 

Department of Natural Resources
c/o Jessica Terrien
2984 Shawano Ave.
Green Bay, WI 54313
Jessica.Terrien@wisconsin.gov or 920-461-2680

 

Picture courtesy of Friends of Washington Island Airport page

Cape Cod Commission sharing strategies with Door County

Door County is often referred to as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, and next Tuesday, you will have the opportunity to hear from the Deputy Director of the Cape Cod Commission at a special program in Egg Harbor. Hosted by the Door County Environmental Council, Erin Perry will explain how Cape Cod became a thriving economic region while keeping its natural habitats well-preserved. She shares what Door County may learn from Cape Cod’s success in balancing environmental preservation with increased business growth.

 

 

The Cape Cod Commission was formed in 1990 and established partnerships between local, state, and federal agencies to design a comprehensive and coordinated approach to planning, environmental protection, and economic growth. Perry will present the program virtually at the Kress Pavilion at 7 pm Tuesday, October 11, and via a Zoom link at dcec-wi.org. 

Packers game gives unique choice for area churches

Sunday’s game in London is putting you in an odd position regarding the famous Vince Lombardi quote about “God, Family, and the Green Bay Packers.“ 

 

Playing in their first game in England since the London Series started in 2007, the Packers and the New York Giants will kick off Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m., which coincides with local church services for most denominations in the area. For area Catholics, missing Sunday mass is considered a mortal sin, which is partly why Father Edward Looney of St. Peter and St. Hubert Parish decided to move his 10:15 service in Lincoln to 7 a.m. He believes he is one of, if not the only, in the Diocese of Green Bay to do so.

Most other churches hope God outweighs the green and gold and are not adjusting their schedules. Pastor Joel McKenney of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma says there are ways you can still worship this weekend without having to miss the game.

MCKENNEY2

The most unique service may go to Algoma Boulevard United Methodist Church in Oshkosh, which, according to WLUK-TV, will take place during commercial breaks before reaching its conclusion during halftime.

 

Door, Kewaunee counties back in low COVID community level

After one week at the medium COVID-19 community level, things have gotten better according to metrics set by the Centers for Disease Control. Door and Kewaunee counties are listed at the low community level after being upgraded to medium last week. Fifty-one of Wisconsin’s 72 counties are in the low level, with 19 listed at the medium level and two at the high. According to its Monday situation update, Door County saw another 45 cases of COVID-19 come through out of 108 total tests. The one reported death was Door County’s 67th since the beginning of the pandemic. Kewaunee County has not updated its COVID-19 page since September 9th, but the USA Today Network reports that it has seen 105 new cases and 10 additional deaths since that report.

 

 

Towns making headway on broadband

You will see lots of work being done in Door County in the near future addressing your fiber connection. Washington Island may be the furthest along, as they began the first of five phases of its fiber network installation earlier this year. The Washington Island Cooperative and Sturgeon Bay-based Quantum Technologies are teaming up to connect every home and business to the high-speed internet line by 2027. On Wednesday, the Town of Liberty Grove followed the lead of Baileys Harbor in signing a town-wide fiber deal with nSight with an estimated cost of $100,000 per mile. Town chairperson John Lowry is happy that after years of talking, there is finally action to address their area's broadband woes.

The Town of Jacksonport chose Frontier Communications to be its Internet Service Provider, and it will ask the electors whether it should finance up to $1.75 million for the project. The electors' meeting will take place on October 18th at 7 p.m. The towns of Nasewaupee and Clay Banks have chosen Bertram Communications to provide the internet in their communities. 

 

Farmers still trying to catch up to last year's pace

The drier weather has helped, but you will still see some local farmers trying to play catch up.

 

The United States Department of Agriculture reported just over six days of suitable fieldwork over the last week. Despite the cool temperatures, the lack of rain helped farmers close the gap between where they would like to be on their corn silage and soybean harvest. Statewide, the corn silage harvest is 59 percent complete, about 12 days behind last year’s pace and five days behind the five-year average. The soybean harvest is a little less behind schedule. At 11 percent complete, it is six days behind last year and three days behind the average.

 

Brey Cycle Farm's Tony Brey says he is thankful for the drier weather for the sake of the farmers and the motorists that drive on the roads near the harvested fields.

While rain is not in the forecast until Tuesday night, Door and Kewaunee counties are two of several Wisconsin counties under a freeze warning on Saturday from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m.

 

Believers keep vigil for fire remembrance, apparition

You can pray in remembrance of two historical and sacred events at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion this weekend.

 

The Shrine’s grounds have their own unique perspective of the Great Peshtigo Fire of 1871, which they will celebrate on Saturday. While the area’s countryside was charred and thousands of people died because of the fire, the blaze left the grounds unharmed. Residents came to pray with Sister Adele Brise and the other Sisters for Mary’s protection from the fire. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help commemorates this event with a special historical reading of the miracle, followed by a rosary procession with the statue of Mary at 7:30 p.m. The procession is similar to what happened 151 years ago when Brise, the sisters, and the residents walked around the Shrine’s grounds with a statue of Mary. An all-night adoration will take place after the procession until 7 a.m.

 

The anniversary of the Great Peshtigo Fire pairs with another important date in the Champion site’s history. Sunday marks the 163rd anniversary of the day when Mary appeared to Brise, which sent her on the future path of teaching catechism to the area’s children. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help wraps up its novena on Sunday with an anniversary mass at 11 a.m., followed by the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick at 1 p.m.

Trailer a complete loss after battery fire

A trailer at Sahs Auto and Collision in Sturgeon Bay was a complete loss after a fire destroyed it on Thursday afternoon. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says his department was deployed shortly after 1 pm and found the trailer engulfed in flames. He says a malfunctioning supplemental charge to the lithium battery in the trailer caused the fire.

 

 

Olson adds that the estimated loss caused by the fire is unknown since the trailer might have been full of items. According to Olson, an employee called in the fire at Sahs Auto, and no injuries were reported. The Southern Door Fire Department cleared the scene on County S at about 2:30 pm.

Festival season resumes with Pumpkin Patch

After Sturgeon Bay kicked off the fall fun last month, Egg Harbor is the next Door County community to host a festival. Pumpkin Patch takes place on Saturday and Sunday with live music, carnival rides, pumpkin and scarecrow displays, and other activities lining the streets of Egg Harbor. Harbor View Park will host the live music, with Modern Day Drifters and the Mango Brothers playing on Saturday and Big Mouth providing the tunes on Sunday. Door County artists Cassandra Bissell and Neil Brookshire will perform the world premiere of “Me and Debry,” a play in poetry that focuses on marine debris and how community members can help alleviate the issue. For those coming from out of the area and do not know where to park, shuttle buses will be available at Horseshoe Bay Farms and Seaquist Processing Plant from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. You can find the full schedule by clicking this link.

 

 

Food pantries feeling the rush already

That extra canned food item in your pantry could go a long way in the community this fall. According to Feeding America, approximately 34 million people are living with food insecurity, which is when families lack consistent access to enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. For Heidi Penchoff of the Door of Life Food Pantry, the crunch for items has already started with the unofficial end of the tourist season still a couple of weeks away. She believes the impact of the pandemic and inflation are having a significant effect on residents, whether they are not working at all or trying to hold multiple jobs to make ends meet.

Canned food, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, and pancake mix are just some of the items the Door of Life Food Pantry needs right now. Penchoff says their doors are always open for people to donate items and take what they need. Door of Life is part of the larger Door County Food Pantry Coalition, made up of nine food pantries across the county from Washington Island to Maplewood.

Special session on binding referendum ends in a blink

Another attempt to pave the way to possibly reverse the 1849 abortion ban in Wisconsin went quicker than you could listen to a radio commercial. 

 

In a matter of seconds, the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate both gaveled in and out of the special session requested by Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday. The governor asked the Legislature to discuss a constitutional amendment that would have allowed Wisconsinites to change state law through referendum. The tactic was the governor’s latest attempt to bypass the Wisconsin Legislature to change the state’s controversial law on abortion after the Roe vs. Wade decision was reversed earlier this year.

 

According to Wisconsin Public Radio, Senator Ron Johnson suggested that the state’s voters should be able to say yes or no to abortion through a referendum, which is impossible under current state law. Only about half of the United States has such a rule on the books. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says even though the people should have the right, it is likely something that will not come to fruition. 

Michigan, Missouri, and Ohio are the closest states to Wisconsin that have laws allowing voters to approve or veto laws through a referendum. Regarding Wednesday’s events, Republicans echoed what they have said after previous special sessions called by Governor Evers, calling it all a political stunt.   

Freighter in Elite Eight for "Coolest Things" Contest

You can still vote for your new favorite Sturgeon Bay-built freighter in a statewide contest. Built by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and launched earlier this year, the M/V Mark W. Barker was voted into the Coolest Things Made in Wisconsin’s Elite Eight as its fifth seed. The M/V Mark W. Barker was the first Great Lakes freighter built in the United States since the 1980s.

 

 The M/V Mark W. Barker was one of 121 nominated products to make the championship rounds late last month. In the Sweet 16 round, the M/V Mark W. Barker toppled the Aerozen Advanced Performance Coating System produced by Hentzen Coatings of Milwaukee. It will now face the Reedsburg-produced Tomberlin E-Merge Beachcomber. 

 

Organized by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, voting is open for the third round by clicking this link.  

"Walk With Me" event showcases Help of Door County's work

Dozens of supporters met at Sawyer Park pavilion Wednesday afternoon and walked the downtown bridges in Sturgeon Bay as part of the “Walk With Me” event to kick off National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Help of Door County organized the event to bring awareness and a hopeful end to domestic abuse.  Before the walk, Executive Director Milly Gonzales shared the strides made to deal with the problem and help those impacted by domestic violence.

 

 


Long-time board member Don Herringa was presented the Anne Kok Social Justice Award for his years of service.  A special presentation was made to Gonzales who was one of ten people in the country to receive a unique Nations of Neighbors award by Royal Neighbors of America that will include a $10,000 grant in her name to help stop domestic violence locally. 

 

(photo of Milly Gonzales and Don Herringa receiving their awards)

Concerns come with progress on broadband project

First, I’d like to thank Sheriff Joski for his years of informing Kewaunee County residents as to the goings on in the Sheriff’s Department. This column is an important way for people to know what their county government does. In this article, I’d like to give an update on the county’s efforts to improve internet accessibility to the county. Back in 2019, we began a partnership with Bug Tussel Wireless to submit a grant application to construct seven towers to provide improved broadband accessibility to the rural areas of Kewaunee County. We received a grant from the state for $960,000. Since that time, the equipment has gone up on nine towers with number 10 coming online shortly. We have continued our partnership and strategy to seek grant funding to assist in bringing better internet to our residents. In 2020, we submitted an application and were awarded a grant for $1.4 million to install 62 miles of fiber optic cable in Kewaunee County to improve access and increase speed and capacity for those who are using towers to connect to the internet. In 2022, we submitted another application and were awarded $1.3 million to install another 62 miles of fiber in the county. Over the last five years, Kewaunee County has received over $3.7 million in grant funding for projects totaling over $10.2 million. The great thing about this is that this improvement is costing Kewaunee County taxpayers nothing. In our agreement with Bug Tussel, the County loans a portion of the funds to Bug Tussel, which is paid back to the County with interest. This is truly a win-win for Kewaunee County.

 

While this is great news for county residents, the installation of fiber has raised some concerns with homeowners as yards and property have been dug up as part of the installation. Holes and trenches have been made to assist in burying the conduit (or tubes) which hold the fiber. We ask for your patience and understanding as this work is being done. Another concern has been raised in the villages of Luxemburg and Casco. Residents in those villages have experienced (or will likely experience) their yards being disturbed twice as two different internet providers will be installing fiber in their communities. Cellcom (NSight) has agreements with Luxemburg and Casco to install fiber to the home in those communities. In addition, as part of their grant award, Bug Tussel agreed to extend fiber out by 1000 feet from the middle mile being laid throughout the county. This has resulted in some places having the property disturbed twice. Please remember that with the installation of fiber in your community, you are not obligated to sign up for service. Neither are you required to sign up with a specific provider. The choice is always yours.

 

Again, I appreciate the opportunity to keep you informed. If you have any questions about broadband or other county issues, please feel free to contact me at feldt.scott@kewauneeco.org. 

Reminder of construction zone at YMCA

The Door County YMCA wants you to keep your kids safe while the new addition is being constructed. Mission Advancement Executive Tonya Felhofer cautions everyone to avoid the secured area where trucks and heavy equipment are located. She says with the site being mobilized now, parents need to be aware of where their children are playing, especially with Peterson Park nearby.

 

 

Felhofer says the construction outside the building will intensify in the coming weeks as the electrical and wiring work is currently being completed inside. The new $10 million project will add over 16,000 square feet of space and include a new youth activity center and the Timmerman Family Wellness Center.  The completion of the new facility is expected by the fall of 2023.   

"Great Fire" commemorated Saturday at Belgian Heritage Center

The history of the "Great Fire of 1871", known locally as the Peshtigo Fire, will be revisited on the 151st anniversary of the event this Saturday. Barb (Englebert) Chisholm, a fifth-generation American of Belgian descent with ancestors who survived the devastating fire, will speak at the Belgian Heritage Center during the Remembrance of the Great Fire. Dressed in character as her great-great-grandmother, Chisholm shares the story of the Englebert family's survival.

 

 

Chisholm will re-enact her program this Saturday, October 8, at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm. Green Bay Metro Fire Chief David Siegel will also speak about the unique aspects of the Great Fire and why it was so deadly for many. The blaze swept through Northeastern Wisconsin and claimed over 1200 lives. The fire devastated a large part of the Belgian settlement in one of the worst natural disasters in United States History on October 8, 1871.

Renard's closes Algoma location

You have one less spot to pick up fresh Renard's cheese curds. Owners Chris and Ann Renard announced Tuesday evening that they would be closing the County S location in Algoma as of Wednesday, October 5th. The Renards cited staffing shortages as the reason for the closure, saying the decision was made to maintain their outstanding customer service while providing reasonable working hours for their employees. All employees will now work under one roof at their County DK location in Sturgeon Bay. Renard's has operated the retail store on County S since 1976.

 

A previous version of this story said today was the last day for the County S location when Tuesday was the actual last day. The story now reflects that and we regret the error.

 

Sturgeon Bay Common Council moves on land use for new Fleet Farm

The first steps of bringing a Fleet Farm to Sturgeon Bay were addressed by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council on Tuesday evening.  A change in the city’s comprehensive plan was approved, whereas the future land use designation was altered from agricultural/rural to regional commercial.


 A petition for a direct annexation of the property planned for the new Fleet Farm was also approved.  The annexation will happen once the parcel is officially purchased and reviewed by the Plan Commission.  In June, Fleet Farm entered into a purchase agreement with the Kerscher Family Trust to obtain the 37-acre property in the west corridor of Sturgeon Bay, just off Highway 42/57. 

 
In other business, the council approved the first reading of a zoning map amendment for the property on the east end of Alabama Place from Single Family Residential (R-1) to Single Family Residential (R-2).  The rezoning will allow the city to connect North 12th place to Alabama Place for future housing projects.


The council also passed another first reading for the rezoning of parcels on the east side of West Spruce Street and 60 Green Bay Road.

Fire destroys Kewaunee County barn

A fire just south of the Kewaunee County line destroyed a barn and shut down a road for several hours Tuesday morning. Crews started to get called out to the farm on County Highway P between County Highway X and Bluebird Road just before 9 a.m. When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke billowing from the milkhouse and an adjacent hay and straw storage area. Most of the cows were out of the barn when crews arrived. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman credits the responding firefighters for opening the building enough so they could successfully knock down the fire. By 1 p.m., heavy-duty equipment could remove debris from the front of the barn that had fallen in. Fire departments from Kewaunee, Luxemburg, Casco, Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Tisch Mills, Carlton, and Denmark responded to the blaze. At the same time, New Franken, Two Creeks, and Green Bay Metro Fire Department supported the effort by handling some of the vacant stations. Kewaunee Rescue also played the backup role while Algoma Rescue was at the scene just in case of injuries. Ackerman was also thankful for the support of the Luxemburg Emergency Responders, Kewaunee County Highway Department, Wisconsin Public Service, Red Cross, and MCC Label. Ackerman says there were some challenges that they had to face.

The last crews left the scene just before 3 p.m. Ackerman says the fire remains under investigation, and no exact cause has been determined. There were no injuries and all of the cows were moved to nearby farms, where they will stay for the immediate future.

 

Organization hopes to Do Good for Door County with survey

A few clicks of your mouse could improve your life living in Door County for years to come. Do Good Door County and St. Norbert College have partnered to survey area residents to help increase their quality of life. The organization was formed in 2021 to help enrich and enhance the aging experience in Door County, where the 2020 census showed that nearly 30 percent of its population was 65 years of age and older. Do Good Door County President Cynthia Germain is hopeful the survey will produce some important information about how to keep the area’s aging population thriving locally.

 

 

If you are a Door County resident, you can click on this link until October 25th to take the survey. From this survey, the information will be shared throughout the county at different community forums throughout the county. You can see that schedule below.

 

Farmers break for World Dairy Expo

You may see some farmers ditch the fields for the biggest dairy-related convention in the world this week in Madison. The World Dairy Expo kicked off in Madison on Sunday with almost an entire week of exhibitions, demonstrations, seminars, and other events dedicated to the industry. Tony Brey was making his way to Madison to watch one of his cows get exhibited and to participate as a Holstein Association USA, Inc. Director. He says it is an excellent week for the dairy industry to get together and learn from one another.

Youth from Door and Kewaunee counties also participated in the World Dairy Expo this week as a part of the exhibitions. The Gaedtke and Kroll families of Luxemburg saw their fall heifer calf take 30th place and their junior two-year-old cow take second. Victoria and Derek Christoph showed their junior three-year-old cow to a fifth-place finish. 

 

Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese in Luxemburg will also be recognized for its award-winning mozzarella string cheese and flavored cheese curds as a part of the World Dairy Expo Championship Cheese Contest. 

Southern Door hosts first referendum listening session Tuesday

You have your first of two opportunities to learn more about the two Southern Door School District referendum questions on the ballot Tuesday evening. In August, the Southern Door School District Board unanimously approved the questions for the operational referendum and 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. 

 

The open house will take place at 6 p.m. inside the high school library tonight (10/4/22). The district will host a second open house at the same time and location on October 24th.

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Deputy receives stalking, disorderly conduct charges

A Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant will be back in court on October 13th after being charged with a felony and a misdemeanor last week. Eric Pieschek appeared in court last week for his bond hearing after being brought in for separate counts of stalking and disorderly conduct. Each count carries a domestic abuse modifier. According to WBAY, the victim dated Pieschek until earlier this year. In the months since Pieschek is accused of being on or skirting the victim’s property line and sending her and her neighbors letters describing their relationship. Pieschek is on paid administrative leave due to the investigation performed by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski told WBAY that he is proud of the way the two sheriff’s departments have handled the case so far, and he is prepared to let the justice system handle the rest of it. After having his $2,500 cash bond posted, Pieschek will be back in the Kewaunee County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. on October 13th for his adjourned initial appearance. As a part of his cash bond, Pieschek is not allowed to contact the victim or five witnesses, and he cannot be within 200 feet of the victim or her residence.

Sparks fly for area 4-H clubs

It is a special week for the 19 4-H clubs that call your communities home in Door and Kewaunee counties. The first week of October is recognized as National 4-H Week, when local clubs celebrate the organization and its opportunities. In Door County, it will be the last one with Dawn VandeVoort as its area educator. VandeVoort is remaining in Door County and 4-H, but she is transitioning to a statewide role helping train the over 7,000 volunteers the organization relies on to help guide its over 22,000 members. On the other side of the spectrum, it is the first National 4-H Week for Mariah Vandertie, who took on the role of area educator in Kewaunee County four months ago. Vandertie says the great thing about 4-H is the organization’s ability to allow kids to pursue their interests.

For those interested in joining 4-H, you can click on this link to register and find a club near you. Kewaunee County 4-H will host its annual open house at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds from 1 to 3 p.m. Vandertie says the event will feature crafts, demonstrations, and other activities while showcasing the program.

 

Picture courtesy of Megan Salentine

Door County Medical Center Auxiliary makes good on $250,000 promise

Your participation in its House and Garden Walk made an important milestone occur last month for the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary. At the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary’s annual luncheon last month, the organization presented the hospital with the final $45,000 check needed to fulfill its $250,000 pledge to support the Pete and Jelaine Horton Center Skilled Nursing Facility. It was a full year earlier than expected, something Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens noted in his comments at the event. House and Garden Walk Co-chairperson Wendy Walker is pleased with what they were able to complete despite a pandemic affecting their plans.  She credited her team of volunteers and the pent-up demand due to the cancellation of the 2020 event for their success. Over 1,200 people participated in this year’s Home and Garden Walk, including one who has not missed one since 1960. Despite reaching their goal, the House and Garden Walk and the Auxiliary’s gift shop are not going away. Walker says they have not decided where future funds will go but mentioned they are already trying to secure homes and gardens for next year’s edition.

 

Picture courtesy of John Koski

Door County reports 67th COVID-related death

Door County did not see any new hospitalizations, but a death is part of the reason why it is at a new COVID-19 community level as of last Thursday.  According to its Monday situation update, Door County saw another 45 cases of COVID-19 come through out of 108 total tests. The death was Door County’s 67th since the beginning of the pandemic. Kewaunee County has not updated its COVID-19 page since September 9th, but the USA Today Network reports that it has seen 105 new cases and 10 additional deaths since that report. Currently, Door and Kewaunee counties are two of 13 counties at the medium COVID-19 community level. Two counties are at the high community level, and the rest are at the low level. 

 

City to take steps to welcome Fleet Farm

The essential steps that need to occur before you see a Fleet Farm built in Sturgeon Bay are on the docket for Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. First, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council will act on amending the city’s comprehensive plan to change the future land use designation for three parcels along State Highway 42/57 from agricultural/rural to regional commercial. Fleet Farm notified the city on August 4th that it had entered a purchase agreement dated June 16th with the Kerscher Family Trust to purchase approximately 37 acres in the Town of Nasewaupee for the new store just off State Highway 42/57 near South Grant Avenue.  Once the land is officially purchased, Fleet Farm would petition to be annexed to the City of Sturgeon Bay and construct the store. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will discuss accepting the petition for annexation before forwarding it to the City Plan Commission. The council will also discuss rezoning a parcel near Alabama Place and another on Green Bay Road when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

St. Paul's Diaper Bank looking for families in need

If you are struggling to afford diapers, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma might be able to help you out. The National Diaper Bank Network estimates that the average family spends between $75 and $100 each month on diapers for one child. That number looms larger every month as inflation tightens its grip on families’ pocketbooks, increasing the price of diapers by nearly 20 percent. The Wisconsin Legislature could not approve a bill to make diapers tax-exempt earlier this year, and you cannot use food stamps or other government assistance programs to pay for them. The congregation at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma saw a problem they could provide a solution to with a bit of work. This spring, they began collecting diapers, wipes, and rash cream for the diaper bank. Pastor Joel McKenney says the problem is connecting needy families with donated items.


Distribution days are the first and third Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Algoma. You can click on this link to request assistance.

Corn silage harvest trending ahead of state's pace

You will find plenty of happy farmers traveling to and from their fields as their harvest operations continue this week. Last week’s United States Department of Agriculture Crop Progress report showed the corn silage harvest was 39 percent complete, which is ten days behind last year’s pace. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Andy Barta says the corn silage harvest is a little further ahead in Door and Kewaunee counties, estimating that it has hit its halfway point. He says farmers are happy about what they have been able to bring in so far from the fields.


Barta expects their Luxemburg and Rio Creek locations to start getting even busier in the coming days as soybeans become more mature. The USDA says soybeans coloring is at 90 percent, and 54 percent have dropped their leaves, one of the final cues for farmers to get out to those fields to harvest. Soybeans are about a week behind from where they were last year.

"Youth in Government" meeting starts Monday at YMCA

The YMCA’s Youth in Government (YIG) program will have an initial informational meeting at the Sturgeon Bay facility on Monday for parents and students. The goal is to teach students the ins and outs of the legislative and judicial branches of government and the press corps. Program and Innovative Director Tyler Powell shares how the YIG program gets teens involved in how the government works.

 

 

The Youth in Government is open to any Door County student from 7th to 12th grade. The Sturgeon Bay YMCA Program Center will host the meeting on Monday, October 3 at 6:30 pm for parents and students interested in discovering more about the Youth in Government organization. 

Community Spotlight: Betty Jo "BJ" Cassidy

It’s not an exaggeration that in my professional life, I have literally grown up working with and learning from BJ Cassidy.

 

I first met Betty Jo Cassidy, better known as “BJ,” in 1996 when I was a 26-year-old kid working in neighborhood development in downtown Green Bay.  Her official title was something like “Director of Education” at Wisconsin Public Service, and I’m sure she had lots of important corporate responsibilities, but that’s not how I knew her.  BJ was just that businesswoman you called when you needed to get something done in the community.  In those days in Green Bay, if you were going to form a task force, work group, or committee to confront some important issue, BJ Cassidy was among the handful of people you’d always hope to get involved because if she did, you knew that your chances of success were so much greater.  Eventually, I had sought BJ’s assistance on so many issues over the years that I almost felt guilty enough to stop asking for her help.  Almost.  I know a tremendous community-building talent when I see one.

Ultimately, I left Green Bay to lead community foundations in other states and completely forgot about BJ Cassidy until I moved back to Wisconsin and accepted the role of President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation.  My tenure began with a month-long overlap with that of my predecessor Jane Stevenson.  It was during that time we were sitting in the office together and Jane mentioned to me her unfulfilled desire to create a women’s fund.  She also said there was some dynamic lady from WPS in Green Bay that had retired to Door County that Jane really wanted to engage to help build it. 

 

Thus began the second phase of my professional life with BJ Cassidy.  In 2008, BJ, Jane, and another old friend from Green Bay in Sue Todey, got together at Door County Coffee at what we called our conspiracy breakfast to map out what would eventually become the Women’s Fund of Door County.  It is not an exaggeration to say that BJ Cassidy is one of the three or four key people whose leadership in those early years are what made the Women’s Fund of Door County possible.

 

Yet BJ was not satisfied at simply helping create the Women’s Fund, she wanted to make sure it would thrive forevermore.  So BJ, along with Jane, Sally O’Brien, Sharon Lutsey, Vicki Wilson, Barb Perloff, and Orlaine Gabert, collectively formed the leadership team of a campaign that would raise the first $1 million for the Women’s Fund and create the foundation for a granting program that has impacted the lives of countless women and girls in Door County. 

BJ Cassidy has long been my guide, counsel, champion, and, most importantly, my friend on too many community projects to list here.  Door County – and Green Bay – have unquestionably been made so much better because of her passion and commitment to community.

 

 

Bret Bicoy

President & CEO

Door County Community Foundation

 

Pictures and descriptions provided by Bret Bicoy

Top: Here's a picture from 2019 of me with BJ patting my hair down because, as she would say, she was always looking out for me.

 

Middle: A picture of BJ at a Celebrate Women luncheon.

 

Bottom: Finally, here's a picture of Sharon Lutsey, Barb Perloff, Vicki Wilson, BJ Cassidy, Orlaine Gabert, and Sally O'Brien at a planning meeting which lead to the first $1 million campaign for the Women's Fund.

Health scare a reminder for carbon monoxide detection

Regardless of the end result, Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak wants you to take the necessary steps to protect yourself from potential carbon monoxide poisoning. Last weekend, the Baileys Harbor Fire Department was called to a retreat center on Maple Road in the town to reportedly 23 people getting sick. The initial thought was that it may have been related to the furnace and possible carbon monoxide poisoning. While there was no sign of the potentially fatal gas detected, Zak says it did show the importance of taking the necessary steps to protect yourself from the dangerous impact of carbon monoxide.

In the United States, at least 430 people die annually from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control says the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up as the temperatures go down.

Keep fertilizing your plants in fall

Your gardening season may be winding down, but protecting and maintaining your plants and shrubs becomes more critical. Todd Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says homeowners that wish to keep their plants looking great throughout the fall season should remember to include a regular dose of fertilizer.

 


Maas adds that even though drier and hot conditions may not be around anymore, regular watering of plants is essential right up to the end of the season. In late fall, he advises you to trim back any spent stalks and remove dead leaves from perennials to prepare them for winter. You can listen to the conversation with Todd Maas and learn more fall plant care tips on the podcast page.

A see you later with introductions to come

Before I get to my main subject, I want to give a shout-out to the amazing youth of our community. Both Kewaunee and Luxemburg/Casco School Districts had their Homecomings this past weekend and throughout the week’s festivities, there were no incidents to speak of. I have no doubt that Algoma’s upcoming Homecoming will also be an enjoyable week and the same high standard of respect and responsible behavior will be reflected.

      

Back in 2011, I reached out to our local newspaper and radio news outlets asking if I could submit some articles on a regular basis to keep our community up to date on what we do here at the Sheriff’s Department as well as provide information on public safety-related topics. It was an idea that was rooted in the articles that former Sheriff Dennis Zuege provided back in the 90s when he was Sheriff, and I remember thinking what a great resource of information those articles were. I was elated when both of these media platforms gave me the green light, and I have been writing and submitting weekly articles ever since.

      

I have tried my best to keep these articles as inclusive and non-political as I could focusing on topics that could serve to benefit our community. There have been many Monday mornings where I have struggled to develop a new topic and many Mondays where members of our community provided those topics for me. In either case, I have appreciated the ability to provide information, and I have received a great deal of support and appreciation back from the community over the years. This brings me to today’s topic which is sharing of this amazing platform with other County Departments.

       

We are fortunate to have so many dedicated leaders in charge of the various departments serving our county. They each provide expertise in their respective field and bring that expertise to serve the needs of Kewaunee County. It is my hope that we can share updates and information from each of these departments in an effort to keep our community informed on matters that impact us all.

       

Starting next week, we will hear from our County Administrator Scott Feldt. Scott has worked tirelessly to position Kewaunee County to take advantage of numerous opportunities in the form of grants, as well as state and federal initiatives to bring resources to our community that we would otherwise not have access to. Scott also has the unique perspective to see the potential for growth and renewal of our local resources from his diverse background in other communities.

       

In the future, we will hear from many other County Departments, who have so much great information to share. These articles will be alternating with my continued articles which I hope to provide as long as I am serving as your Sheriff. Thank you again to the staff at the Kewaunee Star News and Door County Daily News for allowing me to share this gift with others.

        

A see you later with introductions to come

Before I get to my main subject, I want to give a shout-out to the amazing youth of our community. Both Kewaunee and Luxemburg/Casco School Districts had their Homecomings this past weekend and throughout the week’s festivities, there were no incidents to speak of. I have no doubt that Algoma’s upcoming Homecoming will also be an enjoyable week and the same high standard of respect and responsible behavior will be reflected.

      

Back in 2011, I reached out to our local newspaper and radio news outlets asking if I could submit some articles on a regular basis to keep our community up to date on what we do here at the Sheriff’s Department as well as provide information on public safety-related topics. It was an idea that was rooted in the articles that former Sheriff Dennis Zuege provided back in the 90s when he was Sheriff, and I remember thinking what a great resource of information those articles were. I was elated when both of these media platforms gave me the green light, and I have been writing and submitting weekly articles ever since.

      

I have tried my best to keep these articles as inclusive and non-political as I could focusing on topics that could serve to benefit our community. There have been many Monday mornings where I have struggled to develop a new topic and many Mondays where members of our community provided those topics for me. In either case, I have appreciated the ability to provide information, and I have received a great deal of support and appreciation back from the community over the years. This brings me to today’s topic which is sharing of this amazing platform with other County Departments.

       

We are fortunate to have so many dedicated leaders in charge of the various departments serving our county. They each provide expertise in their respective field and bring that expertise to serve the needs of Kewaunee County. It is my hope that we can share updates and information from each of these departments in an effort to keep our community informed on matters that impact us all.

       

Starting next week, we will hear from our County Administrator Scott Feldt. Scott has worked tirelessly to position Kewaunee County to take advantage of numerous opportunities in the form of grants, as well as state and federal initiatives to bring resources to our community that we would otherwise not have access to. Scott also has the unique perspective to see the potential for growth and renewal of our local resources from his diverse background in other communities.

       

In the future, we will hear from many other County Departments, who have so much great information to share. These articles will be alternating with my continued articles which I hope to provide as long as I am serving as your Sheriff. Thank you again to the staff at the Kewaunee Star News and Door County Daily News for allowing me to share this gift with others.

        

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