News Archives for 2022-11

Door County Candle Company shines light on continued Ukraine crisis

After raising over $800,000 for Razom for Ukraine, Door County Candle Company hopes you will continue your support for the war-torn country. Last week, the Carlsville-based retailer announced its newest initiative to send tin candles to thousands of Ukrainian residents without power. Russia has begun targeting Ukraine’s utility providers in efforts to cripple the country’s available power supply. The hope is that the candles, sent in a more durable tin container than their usual glass container, will get into people’s homes so they can have a power source. Door County Candle Company owner Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani says she learned about the need for candles at an event in New York earlier this fall. She is happy that, once again, the community has stepped up.

You can purchase three different candles to benefit those living in Ukraine. You can learn more about those options and purchase your own by clicking on this link. Since they announced the new initiative, they have been able to donate close to 2,000 tin candles.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Candle Company

Door County Chop 'N' Shop with a Cop turns 20

For the last 20 years, you have been able to catch members of the Door County law enforcement community kicking off the holidays with some of the area's younger residents. Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard helped start the program back in 2002 where members of the department would take children into the community to shop for presents for their families. The annual event has grown to include taking the kids out to a tree farm to cut down their Christmas tree, hosting a pizza party where they can wrap their presents, and providing each family with what they need to make a holiday meal. Sternard says the program would never have gotten to this point without the entire community's support.

The 20th annual Chop 'N' Shop with a Cop Day will take place this Saturday in and around Sturgeon Bay, with approximately 30 families benefiting from the program. You can contact Sternard for more details about participating or donating to the program.

 


"Giving For Sara" collection drive starting in Kewaunee

You can help support a food and hygiene drive program celebrating ten years of supporting area food pantries in Kewaunee County. The "Giving for Sara" program is held every December in honor of Sara Malay, the Aging Services Unit Director for Kewaunee County, before she passed away in a car accident in October 2013. Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard shares Sara's impact on the community and that of the "giving tree" on display.

 

 

The donations of non-perishable healthy foods, personal hygiene products, and monetary funds can be dropped off at the Kewaunee County Health & Human Services building on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee. The "Giving for Sara Food & Hygiene Drive will accept donations through December 31.

Northern Door YMCA hosting Body Pump Launch

The Door County YMCA in Fish Creek is holding a free Body Pump Launch in December to bring back a popular fitness program. Instructor Amie Brey says due to the COVID restrictions for the past two years, the body pump program has been on hold. She says the weighted-bar class is more about repetition than the weights and helps tone all body parts.

 

 

The one-hour session is open to anyone 13 years or older. Brey notes that the Body Pump Launch is an excellent way to test the program and find ways to increase strength to support your skeletal system and organs. For more information on the Body Pump Launch scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, call the Door County Northern Door YMCA  at (920) 868-3660.  

 

(photo is courtesy of Northern Door YMCA)


Overnight parking ban starts December 1

Although no major snow events are forecast shortly, local municipalities are informing you about the restrictions on overnight parking on city streets.  The City of Sturgeon Bay will be enforcing ordinances that ban the overnight parking of vehicles on the streets starting on Thursday.  The winter parking ban is in place to allow street departments to clear snowfall off the roadways safely and quickly.  On-street parking is prohibited from 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. until April 1, 2023.  You can apply for a special On-Street Winter Parking Permit at the Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services offices on North 14th Avenue.  Property owners are reminded that they are required to remove snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours after snow ceases to fall without blowing or shoveling it onto the streets.  The City of Kewaunee also has an overnight ban on on-street parking from 1:00 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. that goes into effect on Thursday, while the overnight parking ordinance in Algoma went into effect back on November 1st.   

Wisconsin Gun Deer harvest surpasses 200,000

Deer hunters in the area and throughout the state had a relatively successful gun hunt this year.  On Tuesday, the state's Department of Natural Resources reported that 203,295 deer were bagged during Wisconsin's nine-day season.  The kill represented a 14.4 percent increase, with 98,397 bucks taken and 104,898 antlerless deer harvested.   That is a 14 percent increase over 2021.  

In Door County, 2391 deer were registered, with 1,131 bucks and 1,250 antlerless deer.  The overkill was up just 4.2 percent (2,289 in 2021) from last year.  

Kewaunee County reported a slight decrease in the nine-day hunt, with 1,788 deer bagged compared to 1,822 in 2021.  More bucks were taken this year (729) than last year (717), but the antlerless count was down from 1,105 in 2021 to 1,059 this season.  

The deer hunting season will continue for bow hunters until January 31st, muzzleloader season running this week, antlerless-only hunts from December 8-11, and the holiday hunt between Christmas eve and New Year's Day.

 

Click on this link for the complete DNR numbers for the 2022 deer gun hunt.  

Jeff and Katie are "Home for the Holidays"

A pandemic-induced production will be a part of your holiday celebration at Northern Sky Theater in December. Jeff Herbst and Katie Dahl will headline this year’s Home for the Holidays shows inside the Gould Theater on the Northern Sky Theater campus. With California folk singer Claudia Russell and pianist/composer Colin Welford serving as their special guests, Dahl and Herbst will provide the music, the banter, the humor, and even the baked goods that were made popular when “The Jeff and Katie Show” was first streamed into homes via Facebook in 2020. The show aired dozens of times in the ensuing months after COVID-19 shut down the performing arts industry. Herbst is happy that his pair with Dahl still gets a tremendous response.

Tickets are on sale now for Home for the Holidays, which will play at 4 p.m. December 27th through December 31st

Former teacher gives back with miles

A former Washington Island School teacher is trying to earn your donations one three-mile loop at a time. Margaret Foss wrapped up a nearly four-decade run at Washington Island School this past June. While almost everything else around her at the school changed, the playground did not change as much. Some of the equipment has been removed over the years, and what still stands and the surface below it could use some repairs. Borrowing an idea from a walk she did to benefit the American Cancer Society, Foss says she pledged to walk 35 miles in exchange for the money the playground desperately needs.

While she acknowledges that much more money will be needed to make the necessary improvements, Foss is proud of the over $2,000 she raised and the 40-plus miles she walked in November to support the project. You can make your donation to support her efforts here. Foss added that her walks would remain part of her routine, but she will wait until the spring or next fall to tie it with a charitable effort.

Ephraim, Baileys Harbor next on Santa's Door County tour

After spending time in Egg Harbor and Sister Bay last weekend, you will find Santa Claus in Ephraim and Baileys Harbor this Saturday.

 

His arrival by fire truck at 3 p.m. kicks off an afternoon of festivities at Ephraim’s Christmas in the Village event. You will be able to see Santa inside Village Hall, where you can make a holiday craft or venture outside to find his reindeer and elves in Olson Park. The village will light its Christmas tree at 5 p.m. at Harborside Park before Santa lights a bonfire, a callback to those familiar with Ephraim's Fyr Bal celebration. Ephraim Marketing Coordinator Kelsey Stone says Christmas in the Village is a great way to cap off what has been a strong year for visitors.

Santa will then make his way to Baileys Harbor for the town’s Harbor Holiday event. Along with meeting Santa, his elves, and his reindeer, you can make holiday crafts and enjoy treats ahead of the town’s Christmas tree lighting at 7:30 p.m. You can click on the links above for the full schedule of each event.

 

Picture by Luke Collins

Election 2023 prep officially begins Thursday

Less than a month after the dust surrounding the fall election settled, you can start preparing for the next one on Thursday. December 1st is the first day you can begin circulating nomination papers for various state and local offices. The highest profile race will likely be the Wisconsin Supreme Court, with three candidates already declaring their desire to replace the retiring Justice Patience D. Roggensack. Two Wisconsin State Court of Appeals seats will also be up for grabs. The spring election is also when many local municipalities have at least a portion of their elected officials deciding whether they will run again or not. Interested candidates must file their nomination papers, declarations of candidacy, and campaign registration statements with their local municipal clerk by 5 p.m. on January 3rd

Sturgeon Bay, Door County exploring sober living facility

Community members fighting drug abuse and other addictions could have a place to go under a proposal you can learn more about at Tuesday’s (11/29/22) Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee meeting. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich is scheduled to give a presentation on what the county would like to build as a sober living facility using funds received from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The housing project would give individuals trying to get sober a safe place they could go while they get their feet underneath them. If the city was interested, they could contribute some of their ARPA dollars to make the project even more robust. Helping people address their issues is a familiar one for Sturgeon Bay Common Council member and Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee member Seth Wiederanders. As a longtime employee of Jak’s Place, a drop-in social and resource center for people affected by mental illness, Wiederanders says places like these can provide vital support to those who may not have it from other sites.

Tuesday’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee meeting begins at 4 p.m. inside the Sturgeon Bay Council Chambers.

Future of commercial vendors at Sister Bay Marina up in the air

You may not be able to take a sightseeing tour or rent a boat at the Sister Bay Marina for much longer if a future agreement cannot be reached.

 

The Sister Bay Marina Committee is entertaining the idea of not allowing commercial vendors like Sister Bay Scenic Boat Tours to operate there for the foreseeable future.  The discussion arose after the request for proposal was sent out and published by the village for possible new vendors to do business there for the general public. In addition to the ten commercial slips, the Sister Bay Marina offers 100 seasonal and forty transient slips.

 

According to Sister Bay Marina Committee Chairperson Scott Baker, dock damage, noise complaints, trash issues, and the request for a new kiosk all contributed to the discussion. He emphasized that nothing is set in stone yet and that discussions are still ongoing.

 

In a statement from Sister Bay Scenic Boat Tours owner Eric Lundquist, he says he has never found the committee unreasonable. He has faith the committee will “go through the process of negotiating new contracts with open minds as to find solutions over any challenges that may exist.”  

 

The Sister Bay Marina Committee will continue the discussion at their next meeting on December 14th at 4 p.m. at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station.

Online shopping and giving opens doors to scam

As you head online to take advantage of Cyber Monday and support local charities on Giving Tuesday, you should take caution of all the places your personal information could be heading. According to CNBC, nearly $20 billion was spent online between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2021, with another $2.7 billion donated to charities on Giving Tuesday. Technology makes it easier for money to exchange hands, whether to charities and businesses or scammers posing as them. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says they have received several calls related to scammers because, as much as you know about technology, many people need to learn more about it.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection issued some advice for you to stay safe and keep money in your pocket for Giving Tuesday. Some tips included watching for imposter websites and social media profiles, looking up the information for charitable organizations, and ensuring you know where and how you are making your donations. Joski has more tips on how to protect yourself from holiday-related scams below.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

Although I have made the issue of frauds and scams the topic of many articles, there seems to be an increase in the number of calls we continue to receive, and unfortunately there continues to be honest people falling victim to these types of crimes. As we approach the holiday season, there will no doubt be an increase in this type of activity as these perpetrators prey upon our very own sense of good will.

      

While I could fill pages of this paper describing the various types of scams and stories of those who have been victimized, I would rather focus on the basic human trait that each and every one of these scams feeds upon for their success.

      

Whether the scam involves helping the less fortunate during the holiday season or the potential to win a great deal of money in a lottery that you had never entered, or receiving a large sum of money from a relative you have never met, these contacts raise your emotional state of mind. Although the emotions generated from these types of possibilities may be emotions of compassion, jubilee or happiness, they are still just that; emotions. On the flip side when you receive a call from what you believe is the IRS or law enforcement you experience emotions such as anxiety, fear or guilt. We can add to this list the calls from that you believe are family or friends requesting money because they have found themselves in a tragic set of circumstances and desperately need your help immediately creating emotions of sympathy, compassion and obligation.

      

Each and every one of these circumstances is very different, but there is one distinct shared feature and that is the ability of the caller to elevate your emotional state of mind.

      

This is no accident in fact it is essential to the success of their twisted endeavor because by elevating your level of emotion they are diminishing your level of logic.  This mathematical equation of : Emotions High=Logic Low is not just related to the perpetration of scams, it follows us every day of our lives and each of us can find numerous times when we made decisions and fought our own battle between emotion and logic. It could be as simple as a purchase of shoes that we really didn’t need and maybe have yet to be worn as they sit piled in our closet. It could be the purchase of a home that was well above our means and caused financial stress in our lives. To a greater extent, it could be that relationship we stayed in even though we knew it was not healthy and was keeping us from true happiness. Ultimately many of the choices we make from childhood into adult life are made in the balance between emotion and logic.

       

As parents we watch as our children navigate through their own young lives and learn the importance of good decisions. We cheer them as they experience the joy and satisfaction of good decisions and feel their pain and frustration of consequences from not so good decisions. Each and every one of these a lesson which we hope will continue to build their understanding of when to follow emotion and when to follow logic.

       

In regards to scams and frauds, our ability to follow up and bring justice to victims once money is sent or vital personal information is shared remains very limited. These crimes are perpetrated many times from overseas and the technology they utilize eliminates our ability to investigate effectively. Our best defense remains our own logic and when possible, the logic of those around us. If you are contacted with an opportunity that seems too good to be true or a call which causes you a high level of anxiety, take a moment to contact a family member or friend. Create an environment where someone other than yourself who is not emotionally attached to the event can review the situation and hopefully bring a more logical perspective.

      

When it comes to charities, it is always better to give local, which not only provides a more direct sense of impact, but also decreases your exposure to scams or fraudulent fundraisers. Also, please share your experiences with others. Your close encounter with a scam may make the difference for the next person on the receiving end of a call or email. 

Death, hospitalization mars latest Door County COVID-19 update

For the first time since September, the Door County Public Health Department delivered sad news as a part of its weekly COVID-19 update. On Monday, the department noted one new death related to COVID-19, marking the 68th life lost to the virus since the pandemic's beginning. The update also included one recent hospitalization and 34 additional cases of COVID-19.

 

Kewaunee County's last COVID-19-related death was earlier this month. The county has only seen four new cases of COVID-19 over the previous week. Ahead of Thanksgiving week, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department announced two recent hospitalizations and 12 cases of COVID-19.

 

Both counties and 58 others remain at the low COVID-19 community level.

 

Home lost in Gibraltar fire

Gibraltar Fire and Rescue and supporting departments were on the scene of a residence for approximately 12 hours after the blaze started early Sunday evening. The first crews from Gibraltar Fire and Rescue were dispatched at approximately 5:30 p.m. They immediately called for assistance from the Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, Egg Harbor, Jacksonport, Sturgeon Bay, and Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department when they discovered the home on Sugar Bush Court in the Town of Gibraltar was fully engulfed. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says the home’s owners left town earlier in the day. Because of the fire’s location, he added that no one noticed until it was too late.

There were no injuries, but the home is considered a total loss. Firefighters were able to save a nearby detached garage. Bertges says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it does serve as a reminder for residents to make sure their fire alarms are fully operational. While much of the work was completed by midnight, Bertges added that they were still putting out the occasional hot spot until early Monday morning. 

Community Spotlight:  Luxemburg-Casco supporting Best Buddies and Special Ed program

Tuesday’s night girls’ basketball game in Luxemburg will be about more than just what is happening on the court. The Luxemburg-Casco and Oconto Falls Girl's Basketball Teams are bringing awareness and support to their Best Buddies and Special Education Departments at each school. L-C Head Coach Taylor Bredael-Schmidt says one of the pillars of the basketball program is service leadership and giving back to the community.

 

 

There will be a 50/50 raffle and a “Minute to Win It” dash to collect donations during halftime of the varsity game. Last year, Luxemburg-Casco partnered with the Algoma Wolves to raise awareness and funds for Cancer, raising nearly $4,000 at one game. Tuesday’s activities will start with the JV game at 5:45 pm, with the varsity game at about 7:15 pm in the Luxemburg-Casco Gymnasium.

 

(photo courtesy of Luxemburg-Casco Girls Basketball Facebook page)

 

 

Donors bucking inflation to benefit non-profits

The higher prices you are finding just about everywhere may not have the impact you think they would have on non-profits. According to a Yahoo! Finance survey, 17 percent of respondents plan to increase donations compared to 10 percent who plan to give less. Social and political issues are the main reason for the increase in planned contributions this year. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says people are becoming more familiar with the charities they support, whether that is through social media, podcasts, or local events.

Giving Tuesday celebrates its 10th anniversary on Tuesday as a way to raise vital funds for charities across the country. According to CNBC, an estimated 35 million U.S. adults participated in Giving Tuesday in 2021 by donating $2.7 billion to charity. 

Door County YMCA youth sports highlighting basketball and volleyball

You can keep your child active with two popular sports programs at the Door County YMCA this winter.  Youth and Sports Director Paul Briney says the basketball program has practice sessions called “skills and drills” on Mondays and Tuesdays, with a volleyball session on Wednesdays. He says additional programs will be offered to go into the New Year.

 

 

The Door County YMCA has two program centers with locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.  You can find more information on registering your child for youth sports programs with this link.  

Local tree farms ready for Christmas season

With Thanksgiving Day in the rearview mirror, many families will be heading to find the perfect Christmas tree for their home in the coming weeks.   According to the Census of Horticultural Specialties, Wisconsin is ranked fifth worldwide for how many Christmas trees are grown, with over 850 independent tree farms. Randy Krueger of Krueger Tree Farm in southern Door County says this year’s crop of trees is excellent. He shares tips for keeping your tree fresh and green throughout the holiday season.

 

 

Most tree farms in Door and Kewaunee counties opened this weekend with holiday trees and wreaths contributing more than $16 million to the state’s economy annually.

 

(photo courtesy of Krueger Tree Farm)

United Way hits the 42 percent mark of annual campaign

Your generosity is helping the United Way of Door County outpace 2020 and 2021 to reach its 2022 annual campaign goal. At over $366,000, the United Way is 42 percent of the way to its $825,000 goal. Percentage-wise, that is ahead of where they were each of the last two years despite having a higher goal amount. The United Way has done a lot of different activities to help drum up funds, including the Second Chance Prom back in September. Executive Director Amy Kohnle says much like the various organizations they support, her team always thinks of unique ways to close the gap in the final weeks of the annual campaign.

The United Way of Door County is supporting over 30 different organizations with funding this year. The annual campaign ends on January 7th.

KCEDC paying you to shop local

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation could end up paying you $180 in gift certificates at the end of the holiday season, all for buying local. The KCEDC has brought back its 920 Pledge for the second year in a row. Through December 31st, the organization encourages you to spend at least $20 at nine different Kewaunee County businesses. Participants who complete the challenge could win at least some of their money back in gift certificates from the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce, Kewaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, and Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce. KCEDC Executive Director Ben Nelson says its inaugural year was a success.

Nelson says the hope is that the 920 Pledge is not just for the holiday tradition but a year-round practice. You can download your pledge form by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation

Salentine's design team stint hits high point

You will notice a familiar face running the show at this weekend's National 4-H Congress in Atlanta.

 

Megan Salentine of the Pilsen Skylighters in Kewaunee County is one of the eight design team members from across the country who helped organize this year's annual event full of training, activities, and other events.

 

Salentine applied to join the design team after attending last year's National 4-H Congress as one of 30 delegates from Wisconsin. After being named to the design team, she flew down to Atlanta again to meet with the other seven design team members to begin work on the 2022 National 4-H Congress before meeting monthly via Zoom to iron out the details.

 

You can keep track of what Salentine and her team planned for the thousands of 4-H members at this year's event by clicking this link.

Small Business Saturday helps impact local economy

You can help the area economy this weekend by participating in Small Business Saturday in Door and Kewaunee counties. The annual event was created to encourage consumers to shop at small businesses locally in person and online. Jon Jarosh of Destination Door County says local and visiting shoppers have a significant opportunity to increase small business sales this Saturday.

 

 

American Express reported that Small Business Saturday reached an all-time high last year with an estimated $23.3 billion in U.S. consumer spending. Jarosh notes that the 2022 sales tax numbers so far in Door County indicate a strong year for overall expenditures and tourism in Door County. 

Judge Weber to have conversation on Treatment Court

An alternative to incarceration for some criminal defendants will be the topic of conversation next Wednesday when Door County Circuit Court Judge David Weber holds a public discussion at the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC). Judge Weber will explain why the Door County Treatment Court began two years ago and why participants in the Treatment Court may make excellent employees. Treatment Courts provide intensive supervision of defendants while making those individuals more productive and providing increased public safety. The Door County Treatment conversation with Judge Weber will be from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the DCEDC on East Walnut Street in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, November 30. You can RSVP for the event at michelle@doorcountybusiness.com or by calling (920) 743-3113.  

Gibraltar's Strousland enjoying his new home school

Gibraltar is not Germantown, but Superintendent Brett Strousland is happy he decided to come north. A Wisconsin native, his teaching career began on a Native American reservation in New Mexico. He took on several roles at a Wisconsin school district, including elementary school principal, before he and his family moved to Croatia and Cyprus where he was a K-12 principal. Strousland and his family eventually returned to Wisconsin, where he was the superintendent for school districts in Barneveld and Germantown before landing the top spot at Gibraltar. After having the opportunity in the first few months to get to know the teachers, staff, and students, the only negative he could come up with when he was asked was having to go all the way to Green Bay for certain things. He is, however, already working on some big projects for the district in the future.

In addition to its high report card scores, Strousland is proud of the success of the high school’s athletic teams and being able to host one of the county’s Veterans’ Day ceremonies.

Kewaunee County looks for its next Fairest of the Fair

You only have a few weeks to apply to be the next Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair. Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Grace LeGrave and her Junior Fairest of the Fair, Lexi Rivera, will wrap up their year-long reign later this year. During their stint, LeGrave and Rivera handled the hosting duties during the Kewaunee County Fair and promoted the fair and local agriculture at events throughout the county. Those interested in becoming the Fairest of the Fair compete against other participants during a gala event scheduled for January 6th, 2023. Judges will select the winners based on how they do during an individual interview, group interview, mock radio commercial, and basket auction. It is something that Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair committee member Isabella Haen knows a lot about as a former Fairest for the county and the Wisconsin State Fair herself. She says she took a lot away from the program and hopes that those on the fence will try it.

Winners of the Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair competition would have the opportunity to follow in Haen’s footsteps and try to become the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair in 2024. You can click on this link to fill out an application due by January 1st, 2023.

Midsummer's Music preparing for mid-winter

Midsummer’s Music and its Griffon String Quartet hopes you can join them for one of the approximately two dozen opportunities they are offering to hear the sounds of the season. The quartet will perform pop-up holiday concerts in northern Door County at area businesses on December 13th before doing the same thing on December 14th in Green Bay and December 15th in Sturgeon Bay. They will pair their holiday repertoire with the works of Beethoven and Villa-Lobos for full performances in Sturgeon Bay, Green Bay, and Egg Harbor from December 16th through December 18th. Executive Director Allyson Fleck says playing holiday music is an excellent entry point for those who have never heard classical music.

You can find the full concert schedule here. The concerts are free, but monetary donations are encouraged. You can also bring non-perishable food items to the Hope United Church of Christ performance, where proceeds will benefit Feed and Clothe My People in Sturgeon Bay.

 

 

Local companies manufacturing younger workforce

You will not find a shortage of ways local manufacturers are working to help foster the next generation of employees. Last month, businesses throughout Door County, including those in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park, hosted high school students for Manufacturing Day, where they got a chance to go behind the scenes to see current employees and their machines go to work. Earlier this month, Sevastopol became the latest high school to receive significant upgrades to its technical education department with new machines. Much like D&S Machine and NEW Plastics in Luxemburg did for school districts in Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties, NEW Industries helped finance some of the machines that went into the building, and they will also provide some in-person instruction from current employees. NEW Industries owner Chris Moore says they are willing to do about anything to help generate interest in the manufacturing field, and he believes it is working.

The extra effort being made by manufacturers now is addressing a future problem. Industry trends show that the manufacturing sector could have a shortage of 2.1 million workers by 2030.

Crossroads at Big Creek preparing for winter

This week, we are thankful for recreation, which includes a host of activities which are, according to Google’s English dictionary, "done for enjoyment when one is not working." We at Crossroads are dedicated to inspiring environmental stewardship, and we believe that people of all ages and all backgrounds who enjoy recreational activities on our trails, in our waters, and at our events will gain a greater connection to the land. We also believe that providing a free and safe place for outdoor activities results in both physical and mental health benefits. And for that, we are truly grateful.

 

 A growing body of research has shown that recreation in nature, called “green exercise,” can improve self-esteem, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure. In children, nature-based exercise seems to reduce the symptoms of hyperactivity. Perhaps the most valuable benefit for most people is that time spent outdoors can decrease stress and anxiety—which most of us experience to one degree or another, especially in winter.

 

 So, during a Wisconsin winter, we can take our cue from our wildlife and either hibernate or embrace the cold season, living to the fullest. 

 

Rabbits do not hibernate, but rather, seem to embrace the winter. These creatures have enormous, hair-covered hind feet which enable them to bound over the surface of deep snow. People wearing snowshoes, like rabbits, can venture off into deep snow throughout the preserve. They can walk on the frozen water of Big Creek. They can leave the trail to explore, just like explorers have been doing for thousands of years.

 

The origin of snowshoes will never be known for certain. But while skis were developed in Europe, Canadians are convinced that, inspired by snowshoe hares, the First Nation People of the Far North invented snowshoes. As the First Peoples spread across the continent, each successive generation learned to adapt snowshoes to fit the climate of the region they explored. European immigrants learned to use snowshoes from First Peoples. Using snowshoes, trappers and loggers, like rabbits, could travel over the drifts and deep snow in winter.

 

Even more than rabbits, which are desirable prey, otters thrive in snow and ice. They appear to enjoy winter immensely. And yes, we have otters at Crossroads.

 

Animal behaviorists tiptoe around the words “play” and “fun” and they may be right. I’m sure the games of tag otters engage in and the wrestling they do is some sort of bonding or socialization behavior. And maybe balancing sticks on their noses and juggling pebbles is just coordination training which helps otters become effective hunters. And the sliding on snow and ice clearly is an efficient way to travel. 

 

But it sure seems to me that otters are having a great time, playing in the snow and fishing through the ice just like the people who make Door County their winter residence.

 

When folks started using kicksleds to glide around the Big Creek Preserve, I noticed that the technique used mimics that used by our otters. And where European otters live in Sweden, Norway and Finland, kicksleds have been popular for more than a century.

 

Otters use their feet to bound over the snow, building up momentum. Then they drop to their bellies and slide, five, ten, sometimes even 15 feet before kicking forward again. So, were kicksleds inspired by otters?

 

Perhaps. But, apparently kicksleds were first developed in The Netherlands, a land too flat for downhill skiing and crisscrossed with icy canals. Until the last century, otters were rather common in Holland. Who knows?

 

We do know that like otters, cross-country skiers glide across reasonably flat surfaces.

 

And as soon as we have enough snow to create a base, Crossroads will be grooming trails, and on weekends, we will lend skis – free of charge – in a weekend program aptly named Ski-for-Free. We lend winter equipment – skis, snowshoes and kicksleds – so Door County residents and visitors, like otters, can take joy in winter recreation.

 

Or folks may want to participate in winter like a Cooper’s Hawk. These raptors are birdwatchers, secretly hiding in the trees or shrubs watching and waiting for the opportune time to pounce on a medium-sized bird. Indoors or outdoors, winter birding is a great recreational activity, so Crossroads has now started a program we call Bird Club. 

 

At this point, Bird Club is not an organization (though it may grow into being one) but rather a monthly program offered the first Tuesday of every month for those interested in learning more about birds and/or those who want to participate in a meaningful Community Science program. On Tuesday, December 6, at 6:30 p.m., the Bird Club program will include a discussion of the “Winter Finch Forecast 2022,” the upcoming Christmas Bird Count, and discuss suggestions of a few holiday gifts for a birder.

Kewaunee family warms up community with annual collection

It is a different Cullen running the drive, but you can still donate to the less fortunate in Kewaunee County to ensure they stay warm this winter. It is Christopher Cullen’s turn to run the Weather Warm-Ups Drive, seven years after his brother James kicked off the tradition. The items collected will be distributed during the Kewaunee County Back to School Program, which is held in August and the Lakeshore Community Thrift Shop. This is Cullen’s second item collection drive this year after having tremendous success with his pet supply drive to support area animal shelters. Cullen says he is proud that his family tradition has become a community too.

You can drop off new or gently used sweaters, sweatshirts, and hoodies at locations throughout Kewaunee County, including the high school offices at Kewaunee, Algoma, and Luxemburg-Casco, until December 2nd.

 

 

Thankful: A Year in Review

Many of us only think about what we are thankful for during this time of year, I’m thankful year around for the family and staff that I have at NEW Radio. This past year has not been any different, except for a few new faces that have been added. First, I’m thankful that my wife, Tami has stepped into some of the behind-the-scenes work. Others you may see or hear are Angela Lemme and Gary Barta. Angela (or Angel-A on U-102.1) has done a wonderful job bringing a new voice to the airwaves in Door County and a good spirit to our office. Gary is another student at Southern Door that comes to NEW Radio from the youth apprentice program. His passion for sports and positive attitude is greatly appreciated. Most recently added to sports broadcasting and doing amazing, Henry Annen from Kewaunee High School. Our core group is still here, including Tim Kowols, Paul Schmitt, Shelly Lau, Larry Stevens, Reece Robillard, Lee Peek, Don Clark, Peter Kerwin, and Jacob Nate. I will never be able to thank each of them enough for their dedication to make the quality of the stations and the company better. I would encourage everyone to take a moment and thank those around you. 

Door-Tran volunteers stretched, but loyal

In a community where up to 20 percent of the population does not drive, you need a great group of volunteers to make sure those people get to the places they need to go. Door-Tran has approximately 40 drivers in its stable willing and able to drive residents to and from places throughout Door County and even for appointments in Brown and Kewaunee counties if possible. Executive Director Nikki Voight says with rider demand continuing to climb, her volunteers have continued to answer the call, even with changing circumstances throughout the county.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, you can contact the Door-Tran office for more information.

Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade kicks off holiday weekend in Door County

You do not have to wait until after you finish your Thanksgiving dinner to start celebrating the holiday season in Door County this weekend. Jacksonport kicks things off with its annual Thanksgiving parade at 10:30 a.m. While it may be the smallest parade you have ever attended, it may also be the one with the biggest heart. This year, spectators can donate money to the family of nine-year-old Alice Mattson along the route as she continues her battle with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

 

Egg Harbor and Sister Bay welcome Santa Claus himself for their respective holiday events on Friday and Saturday. At Egg Harbor Holly Days, you can have breakfast with Santa at Big Easy Door County on Friday and Saturday mornings ahead of children’s activities. Santa will arrive on a fire truck at 4:30 p.m. Friday to coincide with the village’s tree lighting and caroling. Santa will zoom north to Sister Bay Friday to turn on the holiday lights at the village’s Capture the Spirit. You will also have a chance to visit Santa’s reindeer, participate in storytime with him, and check out the Arts and Crafts Fair at Village Hall. You can see the full schedule of those two events by clicking the links above. 

The importance of gratitude

I looked back over the many articles I had written at this time of year, and realized, I cannot say it any better than I did in this one from 2019, so I submit the following to you for your consideration and reflection.      

As we recognize Thanksgiving this Thursday, it is appropriate to take stock in all that we should be grateful for. It could be the amazing and supportive people we are surrounded by every day or the positive events we experience whether as a result of our own efforts or maybe for no explainable reason at all. Even if you find yourself in challenging circumstances or surrounded by people who are less than supportive, there is still cause for gratitude. You may just have to dig a little deeper or search a bit harder, but it is there.

             

If you are challenged by a work environment that you feel takes you for granted, take the time to share with those around you how grateful you are to have them in your life, even if for no other reason than they motivate you to pursue other exciting career opportunities. If you have had a rough financial year, be grateful that you have weathered the storm this far and use that challenge to look at things differently and possibly re-align some priorities. Maybe you have even lost a loved one recently and question what there is to be grateful for. Be grateful that they were in your life and cherish the memories you made together. Also, take this experience of loss to be even more grateful for those still here and never take a moment for granted.

             

To fully realize the potential that gratitude has in improving our mental well being there are two components which are essential. The first is the ability to see the good through the negative, or for that matter to see the good in the good. We have to literally train ourselves to be mindful of the miracles that surround us each and every day. The second is to share that sense of gratitude with those around us. If you are grateful for that amazing spouse, friend or family member, make sure to tell them. They may be struggling with a sense of being taken for granted and a simple gesture of appreciation could change their whole perspective. Maybe you are surrounded by people who are always looking for the bad in any given event. Break away from that mindset and be the person who can always find the good in the moment. Just as negativity can be contagious, so too can gratitude catch on and over time change your immediate surroundings.

            

As amazing as Gratitude is on its own, it’s only the beginning. A natural product of Gratitude is Optimism, and Optimism is in fact a mental wellbeing powerhouse! A person’s ability to create, sustain and channel Optimism is scientifically proven to benefit everything from our immune system to our quality of sleep. It gives us the ability to endure the challenges in our life, and come away from traumatic events with our spirit intact. When shared it can change societies, and conquer oppression. It is the common characteristic of most great leaders throughout history, and has changed the course of human events on more than one occasion.

           

So this Thursday, during all of your gatherings and visits, make sure to take the time to share what and who you are grateful for in your life, and hold onto that gratitude for the other 364 days of year. Along the way, you may find yourself appreciating the little things that so many miss!          

 

Higher holiday traffic expected on roadways

Travel on the local roadways for the Thanksgiving Day weekend is expected to be back to pre-pandemic numbers starting Wednesday. According to AAA Travel, the peak times for travel will be between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 11 am until 4 p.m. Thursday, and 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday. Door County Patrol Deputy Brad Shortreed says drivers should allow more time to get to their destination this weekend safely. 

 

 

Approximately 54.6 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving (November 23-27). That reflects a 1.5 percent increase from 2021 and 98 percent of pre-pandemic volumes. This week is projected to be the third busiest Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking in 2000. The Door County Sheriff’s patrols are planning a heavy presence on the area highways to monitor and assist travelers all weekend. The local weather forecasts call for good driving conditions with temperatures above freezing during the daylight hours with only possible scattered rain showers on Thanksgiving Day.

Processors seeing heavy traffic as hunting season continues

You might have to wait a little bit to sink your teeth into your venison if you were lucky enough to harvest a deer recently.

 

Over a half million hunters have taken to the woods to shoot a trophy buck or doe, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, most of which have done so since the gun season started on Saturday. The DNR reports that 1,194 deer in Door County (655 bucks) and 891 deer in Kewaunee County (415 bucks) have been harvested in the first few days of the gun season. 

 

Local processors can also give you an idea of how successful the hunting season has been thus far. Konop Meats in Stangelville began notifying its customers two days before the gun season started that they would have to wait until after the New Year to bring in their boneless venison. That is on par with last year when they made a similar announcement on November 16th. Levi Zeitler from Salmon’s Meats in Luxemburg says they keep seeing lots of venison daily.

Konop Meats and Salmon’s Meats both accept frozen venison well into spring for those who can hold out on enjoying their harvest until later. The DNR predicts approximately 300,000 deer will be harvested during its different hunting seasons. Hunters who do not want their venison can donate it to the DNR’s Hunt for the Hungry program.

Community throws support behind Kewaunee family

A Green Bay family with Kewaunee County ties injured south of Kewaunee last Friday night is getting some vital support in their time of need. The incident occurred when Matt Wensel drove his car into a tractor on State Highway 42 near its intersection with County J. The accident sent Wensel and his two young sons to the hospital. Wensel and one of his sons, Brantley, were discharged from the hospital on Saturday. Wensel’s second son, Jay, was airlifted to a children’s hospital in Milwaukee, where he remains in the pediatric intensive care unit. GoFundMe organizer Brittany Bennett has known Jay and Brantley’s mother, Brittany Schleis, for over 20 years and sprang into action when she heard who was involved in the crash. She says the family, friends, and neighbors hope “Jay Bird” makes it through okay.

You can click on this link to donate to the GoFundMe page set up by Bennett. You can also drop off books, pictures, and cards to Hippielicious, which is owned by a member of Jay’s family in downtown Kewaunee. This is not the first cause Bennett helped start. She assisted in creating Misty Claflin Charities, named in honor of her friend after she passed away last November. They raised $6,000 to help support Claflin’s children after she passed. 

 

No additional information has been released since Monday's release from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department

Rotary Interact raises $2250 for Thanksgiving meals

Thanks to your generosity, approximately 30 families will have an even better Thanksgiving meal. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact raised $2,250 for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner Project. The money raised will go towards $75 Tadych’s MarketPlace Foods gift cards for families that frequent Feed my People Clothe my People in Sturgeon Bay. Rotary Interact member Ophelia Linnan says it was an excellent opportunity to see the generosity that exists in the community.

According to Linnan, the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact already has planned the next events they are helping out. They are calling in a big name to help them. Santa Claus will be at the Wisconsin Humane Society-Door County Campus on December 3rd for a holiday celebration and pictures with you and your pet from 1-3 p.m. Later that same day, Santa will head over to Corpus Christi Parish for a dinner in his honor from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. to benefit the Sturgeon Bay Lions Club. 

Community invited to Peninsula Symphonic Band's Holiday Concert 

You can enjoy the sounds of the season when The Peninsula Symphonic Band performs its annual Holiday Concert on Thursday, December 8th, in Sturgeon Bay. The band consists of over 60 members under the direction of Jason Palmer. Besides an audience sing-along of traditional carols, the evening will include two pieces by the Swingin' Door Big Band of "Nutcracker Overture" and Sammy Nestico's "Jingle Bells." The free concert is open to the public, with a free goodwill donation being accepted. The Peninsula Symphonic Band Holiday Concert will start at 7 PM at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Michigan Street.  

Gibraltar One-Acts pile up awards at state contest

Gibraltar High School has made it a tradition to bring home many awards from the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival, and this year was no exception. Performing "Paul Sills' Story Theatre," Gibraltar won the Critic's Choice, Ensemble, Directing, and Technical Theatre awards. Only 22 high schools across two theatres at UW-Whitewater won awards in all four categories. In addition, the cast also won several acting awards, including Cameron McEvoy as "Little Peasant, Sexton, Ma, Eldest son," Emerson Lecy as "Rich Peasant, Parson, crow, Simpleton," and B Salmi-Klotz as "Sound effects on stage." Paul Sills' Story Theatre is a play adapted from fairy tales collected by the Brothers Grimm and Aesop's Fables. The last time Gibraltar captured awards in all four categories was in 2018 when Lia Smith played the lead in "Death's Door."

 

Picture courtesy of Gibraltar Area Schools

 

Door County Connect, Door2Door Rides boasts high ridership

Calling the day you need a ride from Door County Connect and Door2Door Rides may be too late, according to Door County Transportation Director Pam Busch. After two years of low ridership due to COVID-19, the two systems have rebounded and are on pace to provide 43,000 rides this year. Door County Connect and Door2Door Rides saw about 41,000 riders a year leading up to the pandemic's start. Busch says the increase in ridership is most robust among those using the service to get to work.

In the wake of the increased ridership, Busch recommends riders call a day or two ahead of time to ensure they have a vehicle available. Door2Door Rides and Door-Tran are expected to be stretched even thinner in the coming months after Aurora BayCare announced it would be closing its Sister Bay clinic. The decision will require drivers to take riders from northern Door County to Sturgeon Bay or further for medical care.

Three injured in Kewaunee crash

A 35-year-old Green Bay man and two of his children were injured Friday night in a crash south of Kewaunee. The accident occurred at approximately 5:45 p.m. on State Highway 42 near Old Settlers Road when the car stuck a tractor traveling in the same direction. The tractor driver was not hurt, but all three passengers in the car sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to a Green Bay hospital. Kewaunee Rescue, Carlton First Responders, and Carlton Fire Department responded to the incident along with the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. The accident remains under investigation by the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol. A friend of the family involved in the accident has set up a GoFundMe page to support the family affected, specifically for one of the more seriously injured children.

Festive Weekend kicks off the holiday in Sturgeon Bay

Whether you were part of the Unwrapping car parade Friday night, the tree lighting downtown, or the Christmas by the Bay parade Saturday morning, you know that the holiday spirit is in Sturgeon Bay and Door County.

 

Hundreds of cars joined in the Unwrapping Sturgeon Bay Friday night when Santa and Mrs. Claus led the way for local businesses to reveal their window displays.

 

That was followed by the annual lighting of the tree outside of the Door County Community Foundation building, where many braved the below-freezing temperatures to enjoy the lighting that went off without problems this year thanks to Mayor David Ward.

The weekend continued with the Christmas by the Bay parade Saturday morning, with almost 40 participants bundled up and passing out treats for the thousands watching as the parade made its way through Sturgeon Bay.

96.7 WBDK, Door County's Christmas Playlist, was there both days playing everyone's favorite holiday hits while enjoying seeing the smiles on everyone's faces as the Holiday Season started in Door County. 

Significant grant to protect Hine's Emerald Dragonfly in Door County

You will be able to enjoy more of the Hine’s emerald dragonfly on the peninsula thanks to a special grant awarded to the Door County Land Trust. A Midwest Coastal Grant of $196,396 through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will go a long way in eliminating invasive species plants at the Kellner Fen Natural Area north of Sturgeon Bay. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Emily Wood says the organization is excited to be able to do more restoration and protection of the habitat.

 

 

Director of Charitable Giving Cinnamon Rossman says the grant targets common and glossy buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs with toxic chemicals that threaten the Hine’s emerald dragonfly population at the Kellner Fen Natural Area.

 

 

Because the Hine’s emerald dragonfly forages well beyond its breeding location, improving the natural area will benefit the dragonfly by restoring native ecological processes and drastically improving the habitat. You can learn about the Door County Land Trust efforts with this link. 

Community Spotlight: The Jason Estes Family

At Thanksgiving, you can find Jason Estes and his team at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen doing what they love: cooking and serving the community. Thursday marks the third year Estes will cook free Thanksgiving dinners for families in need in the community. The tradition started in 2020 to support those impacted by COVID-19. Estes and his team will take care of the full Thanksgiving freight for 30 worthy families in Door County nominated by community members this year. Estes feels blessed to live and work in Sturgeon Bay. He is happy for the opportunity to give back and help foster those same feelings in his children.

Offering free food is nothing new for the crew at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen. They also provided lunches for kids during the first few months of the pandemic. Estes is not the only one offering turkey and mashed potatoes for those in need or with nowhere to go this Thanksgiving. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma, Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church, and Bayview Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay are just some other places offering Thanksgiving meals.

 

 

Preparing for pets under the Christmas tree

Before you wrap a gift that either barks or meows, just make sure you do the research ahead of time. Giving pets as gifts has long drawn the ire of animal rights groups because of the time and financial commitment some owners may not realize they are getting themselves into at the time. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals recommends giving pets as gifts, but only to people who have shown a sustained interest in owning one and can care for it. If you are giving the pet to a child, you should assume that you will also be doing a lot of the work. Angela Speed from the Wisconsin Humane Society, which operates one of its shelters in Door County, says the data shows that many pet owners become even more attached to their pets if they are gifts, especially with the extra time at home to adjust to each other.

Speed encourages you to visit with your possible pet choices and visit with an adoption counselor with WHS to see if they will be a good fit for your home. 

Busy travel week expected for Thanksgiving

If you are heading out of town this week for Thanksgiving, you will not be alone, no matter how you plan on doing it. The automotive and travel club AAA expects 54.5 million people to travel for the holiday, which is about 1.5 percent over last year and 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels. While Americans have changed many of their habits due to inflation, Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay proves that leisure travel has not been affected too much. They have seen a 17 percent increase in traffic this year, and Airport Director Marty Piette does not see that slowing down.

While Austin Straubel Airport has made several improvements and is well-staffed to handle the increase in traffic volume, Piette still advises travelers to pack their patience and everything they need to make their trips go as smoothly as possible.

 

Start of hunting season begins with gun safety

Make sure you practice proper gun handling as you crawl into your tree stand over the next week. Saturday marked the beginning of the gun season for deer hunting in Wisconsin. Last year, there were 12 hunting-related accidents involving guns in Wisconsin, including two in Door County. On November 20th, 2021, a 40-year-old man shot his left pinky finger when his hand was on the muzzle and pulled the hammer back on his firearm. A 10-year-old was injured a day later when a hunter attempted to unload his firearm inside the house when he shot him in the leg. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Chris Warden asks hunters to remember the four primary rules of gun safety when heading out.

Kratcha also urges hunters to wear a harness and check to ensure their tree stand is safe and secure before climbing up. The gun season for deer hunting runs through November 27th.

How To Be a Lottery and Gaming Credit Winner!

The Lottery and Gaming Credit is a credit that provides direct property tax relief to qualifying taxpayers on their property tax bills.  To qualify for the lottery and gaming credit, the property owner must be a Wisconsin resident, the owner of the dwelling and use the dwelling as their primary residence as of January 1 of the year in which property taxes are levied (January 1, 2022, for this tax bill).  Primary residence is defined as the home where an individual lives for more than six months of the year.   Only one primary residence may be claimed.  Renters do not qualify.  The Lottery and Gaming credit cannot be claimed on business property, rental units, vacant land, garages or other property that is not the primary residence of the owner.

 

To find out if you are getting the credit, look at your last year’s tax bill to see if the credit had been given.  A line for the Lottery and Gaming credit on the property tax bill is located below the Total (tax) and First Dollar Credit lines on your tax bill.  The property received the credit if an amount is listed on this line.  You can also check the County Treasurer’s website or contact the County Treasurer’s office to obtain that information. 

 

How much will you receive?  The Lottery and Gaming credit is determined in November for each year based on the amount of revenues from the Wisconsin lottery, pari-mutuel on-track betting, and bingo during the year.  The credit amount on your tax bill is based on your school tax rate.  Last year residents that lived in the Algoma School district received a credit of $230.73, Demark School district $222.58, Kewaunee School district $253.65 and Luxemburg-Casco School district $219.20.  

 

To apply for the Lottery and Gaming credit, you will need to complete an application.  These forms can be found at the Kewaunee County Treasurer’s Office and on their website. 

 

It may not be the million-dollar jackpot, but it all does help. 

 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Kewaunee County Treasurer’s Office at 920-388-7131 or dax.michelle@kewauneeco.org  Their website is at www.kewauneeco.org

Semi accident closes County S on Friday

A semi-trailer traveling northbound on County Trunk S in southern Door County caused the highway to be closed for about two hours on Friday afternoon.  Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the driver of the semi lost control of the truck on the slippery road caused by blowing snow, and it jack-knifed into the ditch.  A heavy-duty wrecker from Green Bay was dispatched to pull the semi-truck out, and traffic was detoured west from Carnot Road to County Trunk J.  The Door County Sheriff’s Department reported that County Trunk S was reopened shortly after 5:30 pm.  No injuries were reported.    

DOT, county still trying to find solution for Gordon Road intersection

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is hearing your concerns about a dangerous intersection, and now it is attempting to do its part to do something about it.

 

Door County officials and the state have been back and forth for months on ways to make the intersection of State Highway 42/57 and Gordon Road safer for motorists. Several accidents at the intersection have occurred this year, including a two-vehicle crash on November 2nd that sent an Antigo woman to the hospital when she attempted to turn left from Gordon Road to head north on STH 42/57. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash has been committed to finding ways to keep people safe traveling through the intersection over the last several months, which led the county board to transfer $100,000 in funds for a potential temporary fix in August. DOT officials say it is too late now to do something for this year, but it has applied for federal funding to help build a safety feature like a roundabout in the future. The department understands something needs to be done to address the rising crash statistics at the intersection. Still, DOT spokesperson Mark Kantola says it will take time to find the best solution.

Kantola says they can only apply for federal funding twice a year, and they like will not know if they receive the money until this spring. It would likely not be until 2028, that something like a roundabout is built due to the lengthy process of public meetings, environmental impact studies, and other aspects of the project.

Renard's Cheese breaks ground for next generation

You will see a lot more cheese come out of Door County in the coming years. On Friday morning, Renard’s Cheese broke ground on its multi-phase construction project that will allow the cheesemaker to produce approximately 12 million pounds of cheese annually. The first phase will include remodeling its existing warehouse, where they prepare three million pounds of cheese across the country, and installing new equipment. That will pave the way for the project’s second phase, where they will build a new 50,000-square-foot facility along Highway S in Algoma. During the groundbreaking, Chris and Ann Renard made sure they included not just their family but their employees as well. Chris and Ann say it is because of the hard work of so many through the generations that got them to this point.

The expansion will also bring more jobs to the area. In addition, to close to a dozen current cheesemaking and packaging positions available now, another 20 will be added when the new factory is completed.

Fires keeping American Red Cross active

They are not the ones putting out the actual fires, but your generosity is helping the American Red Cross of Wisconsin put out the personal flare-ups for individuals long after firefighters clear the scene. Wednesday’s apartment fire in Sturgeon was one of the latest opportunities for the organization to help in a time of need. Along with their community partners, the Red Cross helps with temporary housing, meals, and more until they can get the displaced back on their feet. The organization has already helped 140 residents across northeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan with an average of two home fires daily. American Red Cross of Wisconsin Communications Director Justin Kern says the start of winter weather is always their busiest time.

Kern thanks the community for their support, whether through donations to the American Red Cross or volunteering to be there for their neighbors in times of need.

No Wisconsin counties in high COVID community level

The good news from the Centers for Disease Control continued for a third straight week on Thursday as they kept Door and Kewaunee counties at the low COVID-19 community level. In fact, no Wisconsin counties are in the high community level for the first time in months, and only 13 are in the medium level. According to CDC data, Door County saw only 29 positive cases from November 10th to November 16th. Kewaunee County saw 17 positive cases during that same time. The data does not include those who tested positive with an at-home test. The CDC estimates there were two hospitalizations in Door County and one in Kewaunee County. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said on Thursday that the seven-day average of 717 new cases of COVID-19 is the lowest it has been since April. The department also announced it was expanding its at-home rapid COVID-19 test program ahead of the holidays. You can click this link to order additional free tests.

Local public school districts fare well on DPI report cards

Six of the eight public school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties are exceeding expectations, according to the latest report cards from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. Each school in the state is judged on four priority areas: achievement, academic growth, target group outcomes, and on track to graduation. The district scores take the average of its schools. No school district in Door and Kewaunee counties hit the significantly exceeds expectations mark, but Sevastopol (80.3) and Gibraltar (80.2) came the closest to the 83 points needed to qualify. Sevastopol, Gibraltar, Luxemburg-Casco (75.9), Washington Island (79.4), Southern Door (73.3), and Sturgeon Bay (73.3) all exceeded expectations. Kewaunee (63.9) and Algoma (58.3) met expectations. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke is proud of the district for posting the area’s top grade but says there is still plenty of work to do.

While the majority of the area’s school districts saw dips in their score from the 2018/2019 and 2020/2021 report cards, Gibraltar actually saw it jump from 79.6 after dropping to 74.6 to this year’s 80.2. Gibraltar Superintendent Brett Strousland credits the connection the teachers and staff make with their students for their success.

Only about 20 school districts in the state failed to meet expectations according to the DPI report cards, which you can find by clicking this link.

 

2021-2022 (current report card)/2018-2019 (year before start of the pandemic) /2020-2021 (first report card after the pandemic)

Algoma 58.3/65.9/59.5

Kewaunee 63.9/73.1/65.8

Luxemburg-Casco 75.9/77.4/75.5

Gibraltar 80.2/79.6/74.6

Sturgeon Bay 73.3/79.8/80.6

Southern Door 72.6/76.3/71.5

Washington Island 79.4/74.2/78.8

Sevastopol 80.3/81.1/81.2

 

 

 

Kewaunee Winter Park loses ski hill for season

You will still be able to do two out of the three cold-weather attractions at Kewaunee Winter Park this season. The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department announced on Wednesday that the ski hill will be closed for the 2022-2023 season. The reason is that the volunteer group that helped with the ski hill’s operation, The Winter Park Association, is stepping away after several years of getting it ready for the hundreds that use it every year. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers specifically highlighted the efforts of Barb and Barry Nelson, who headed up the group that made so many memories possible for area ski and snowboard enthusiasts.

 

"All of us with the Kewaunee County Parks Department are grateful and thankful for everything the group, especially Barb and Barry Nelson, have done to make this park such a destination for the community and visitors alike. The amount of work it takes to open the park each season is a huge undertaking, and we are definitely going to miss the experience and hard work that the group has provided to Kewaunee County for all these years!," said Myers in a Facebook post late Wednesday afternoon.

 

Even though the ski hill will be closed this year, the tubing hill and the skating rink located at the nearby Dana Farm will be open for visitors. With the right conditions, Myers hopes both attractions will be open in December.

Sturgeon Bay resident displaced after apartment fire

A candle in an entertainment center is to blame for a fire in an apartment Wednesday afternoon. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department responded to the fire shortly before 3:40 p.m. Sturgeon Bay Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says thanks to the quick work of a neighbor, the fire was largely extinguished by the time firefighters arrived.

There were no injuries from the fire, but the affected resident will have to stay with her friend until other arrangements can be made. The American Red Cross of Wisconsin responded to ensure she had temporary housing figured out and the essentials she would need. Communications Director Justin Kern says this was the third time in the last year the American Red Cross of Wisconsin had responded to a fire in Sturgeon Bay, dating back to February when a blaze destroyed the building that housed Butch’s Bar and killed two people.

Town of Liberty Grove getting more connected

A five-year mission to get you better and faster internet in the Town of Liberty Grove picked up some more bandwidth on Tuesday. The Town of Liberty Grove Board approved a letter that will be sent to approximately 60 parcels in Northport notifying them that they are eligible to get hooked up to fiber optic internet from Nsight, which has been tasked with providing the same service to residents and businesses on Washington Island. They will continue working with Nsight well into the future too. They signed a contract with the company and FARR Technologies to complete an engineering study to determine how to bring fiber optic internet to the rest of the town and how much it will cost. A combination of federal and state grants is being used to finance a portion of the project along with long-term borrowing. Town Board Chairperson John Lowry says their technology committee has worked hard to ensure the project could take off.

Lowry expects the study to take place for much of 2023 to develop the plan to be implemented in 2024.

Gibraltar 4K collaboration off the great start

After being one of the last districts in the state to offer it, Gibraltar’s new four-year-old kindergarten collaboration is off to a successful start. Along with the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay, Peninsula Preschool in Ephraim, and the Dragonfly program at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, Gibraltar introduced its 4K classes this school year. The four entities have been meeting since to ensure they remain on the same page regarding curriculum, programming, and materials. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer from the Northern Door Children’s Center says they could not have asked for a better partner when starting the pilot program.

In addition to changes that come with hosting the 4K program at its facility, the Northern Door Children’s Center is undergoing its physical transformation. Approximately 4,000 square feet are being added to the current building to give them more space for its 4K students and, with additional proper staffing, more children for its other programs. 

Accident shuts down Sturgeon Bay intersection

Two people suffered possible injuries when their vehicles collided Tuesday afternoon in Sturgeon Bay. The two-car accident occurred just after noon when Jon Bins of Green Bay was driving eastbound on Duluth Avenue toward State Highway 42/57. As he was crossing the roadway, witnesses say Tammy Grun of Sturgeon Bay ran a red light in the southbound lane of STH 42/57 and struck Bins’ mini-van with her sports utility vehicle. The impact of the crash sent Grun and her vehicles across the intersection before it came to a rest in the driveway of a local business. Both motorists were treated for possible injuries, but Bins was transported to Door County Medical Center for further care. The accident report filed by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department notes that snow was falling and the roadway was wet, but the snow was not accumulating. No citations were issued to either driver. The intersection was closed for about 35 minutes and reopened shortly after 12:45 p.m.

Olson Farms celebrates 20 years as Weather Observing Station

After the first significant snowfall of the season arrived on Tuesday, local weather observers for the National Weather Service (NWS) were busy calculating the snowfall and the high and low temperatures over 24 hours. One of those Citizen Weather Observing Stations is Olson Family Farms in southern Door County, which just celebrated 20 years of volunteering to report live data to the National Weather Service, emergency managers, wildland firefighters, and universities worldwide. Rich Olson says as a farmer, it is crucial to stay in tune with the weather, even though it is something he can’t control. He shares the process he goes through daily in documenting the past day’s weather statistics.

 

 

Olson reported a total of 3.5 inches of snowfall on Wednesday morning in the past 24 hours. You can find out more about becoming a volunteer to help your National Weather Service on this link.

Kewaunee County crash closes Highway 29 Tuesday afternoon

A one-vehicle accident on State Highway 29 east of Birchwood Road downed utility lines and detoured traffic Tuesday afternoon.  The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department reported that a westbound 2001 Dodge Truck struck a utility pole after losing control and leaving the roadway at about 3:30 PM.  Neither the 16-year-old boy driving nor his 15-year-old female passenger were injured in the crash.  The responding deputy instructed the occupants to remain in the vehicle until the downed powerlines could be safely removed by Wisconsin Public Service.  The driver was cited for Operating Too Fast for the Conditions.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski reminds you that road conditions can change quickly during the season, and drivers should exercise additional caution when driving. 

Door County YMCA sets holiday hours

You can still complete your workout next Thursday as the Door County YMCA will allow locals and visitors to utilize the facility on Thanksgiving Day from 7 AM until 11 AM.  Membership Experience Executive Brett Cleveland says YMCA members 18 or older can utilize the 24/7 access available at Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Centers.

 

 

To ensure safety for all, background checks are conducted on every member who would like to be a 24/7 member.  The 24/7 access excludes the gymnastics center, track, pool, multi-purpose rooms, locker rooms, and family changing rooms.  The Door County YMCA will also be staffed from 7 AM until 11 AM on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day during normal facility hours. 

 

NOTE:  The YMCA won't open today (Wednesday) until 10 am, and the pool will open at 1 PM. due to the moving of a transformer in the aquatics center. 

Zoning for Fleet Farm and housing project gets final approval

Two second readings for rezoning properties had the same results Tuesday evening by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council, but one had much more discussion before it was approved.

 
The annexing of the property from the Town of Nasewaupee to the City of Sturgeon Bay, giving temporary rezoning from Agricultural to Commercial for a future Fleet Farm was approved unanimously with no discussion.


The second reading for the 22-unit apartment complex on North 14th Avenue had several questions raised by councilmembers based on the three stipulations that were added to the first reading at the last meeting concerning a partial retaining wall be completed and relocation and cleaning out of debris from a drainage ditch. In public comments, three nearby residents of the proposed development property requested that the council approve the rezoning until all three conditions were fully completed. City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout, and City Engineer Chad Shefchik noted that the Plan Commission would handle the site plan review process and ensure the stipulations are met, including the retaining wall completion, which will probably have to wait until spring.

 

 

The Council eventually unanimously approved the rezoning of the property from Agricultural to Multi-Family Residential (R-4) so the property owners, Estes Development, LLP, could move forward on the project.  


The final action Tuesday night by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council was the approval of the incentive package for the housing project that will use $163,000 in the American Rescue Plan Act for design, sewer, and installation of water extensions. The city would recoup those funds from about ten years of future property taxes.  

Hunting seasons on par with years past

Make sure you have everything you need before heading out to the woods this weekend to start the gun season for deer hunting. So far this year, hunters have harvested 693 deer in Door County and 539 in Kewaunee County. That includes 111 deer in Door County and 107 deer in Kewaunee County that were harvested during the youth hunt held October 8th and 9th. The number of participants was on par with past years, according to Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha. He predicts the number of hunters out in the woods during the nine-day gun season will be on par with years past.

The gun season runs from November 19th to 27th. Kratcha reminds hunters to practice proper safety techniques when out in the woods and have the landowner's permission if they are hunting on private land.  

 

Picture from Pixabay

Social isolation, loneliness still prevalent among seniors and disabled

The COVID-19 pandemic did not create a new problem but made an old one worse when it comes to the company for the aging and disabled. In the United States, 40 percent of people with a disability and 43 percent of people aged 65 years or older say they feel lonely sometimes or all the time. Two-thirds of adults are experiencing social isolation, which is contributing to increased anxiety. Family Development and Relationships Educator Renee Koenig says the problem of social isolation and loneliness dates back to even before the pandemic brought new worries and restrictions, and the community continues to age. Nearly a third of Kewaunee County are aged 65 years or older. She says technology allows at least one solution to help alleviate the problem a little bit if you cannot physically be there.

Koenig started the Aging-Friendly Kewaunee County group to help raise awareness about the issue and work with others to identify support strategies. Governor Tony Evers declared “Social Isolation and Loneliness Week” this week throughout Wisconsin. 

Little parade with a big heart returns on Thanksgiving

Jeri Taylor thanks you for supporting one of the shortest parades in the state with the biggest of hearts.

 

The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade returns to Highway 57 on the morning of November 24th for its 26th edition. When Taylor helped start the two-block parade that bounces between a pair of local restaurants, they did not have high hopes. Instead of throwing candy, they threw birdseed just in case no one showed up. The parade has always benefited a local family or cause, raising tens of thousands of dollars over the years. Taylor is thrilled that it has become a tradition for so many people.

You can show up at the Jacksonport Town Hall to participate in the parade at 9:30 a.m. Spectators can donate money to the family of nine-year-old Alice Mattson along the route when the parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Mattson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia two years ago, and the money collected will go towards the expenses piling up as her family cares for her.

Luxemburg Chamber announces award winners

Three community leaders will be honored for their contributions to the Luxemburg area in December. The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the annual award winners for 2022. "Person of the Year” is Lynie Vincent, Vice-President of NEW Plastics Corporation and Northbrook Golf & Grill Business Partner. Fran and George Stahl will be given the “community service award,” and Intermediate School Principal Jolene Hussong will receive the "L-C Spartan Spirit Award." The honors will be formally presented at the Luxemburg Area Chamber Christmas Party on December 3rd. DoorCountyDailyNews.com will feature the award winners in upcoming articles.

 

photos courtesy of Luxemburg Chamber

 (Above)  Jolene Hussong, L-C Spirit Award winner, holding plaque 

 

 

(L)Alex Stodola, Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce  President, with award winners

Baileys Harbor trainers get missing mustang to stop horsing around

A wild mustang that escaped from its Sevastopol farm on Sunday is back with its owners. The mustang was reported loose just after 2 p.m. Sunday. The horse entered the bay of Green Bay, swimming from Bay Shore Drive to Potawatomi State Park. After being sighted in other parts of southern Door County and several attempts to contain it were unsuccessful, the mustang reentered the water and swam back to Bay Shore Drive. It was not until horse trainer Jesus “Chewy” Jauregui intervened that they could corral the horse for the first time since it escaped. Jauregui, who is also a roofer out of Baileys Harbor, says he told the owner to be patient until it decided to come back on its own.

Jauregui, who has been training horses since 2007, says the mustang seems tired from its unplanned journey around southern Door County. He adds that it is just a sign that the horse needs just a bit more work. 

Snow expected to hit area Tuesday

Like it or not, you will have to make sure your shovels are ready, and your snowblowers are tuned up this week. Chances of snow are expected all week long, with one to five inches on the ground expected by Friday. The National Weather Service predicts there could be significant lake-enhanced snow near Lake Michigan, though warmer temperatures could also cause it to be mixed precipitation. For local municipalities like the City of Sturgeon Bay, that means not just preparing their trucks with snow plows and salt but also hustling through the area to pick up the last piles of leaves. Director of Municipal Services Mike Barker is hopeful they will get all the leaves picked up before more significant snowfalls come to the city.

Barker re-emphasized that when the snow plows are out to give them plenty of space to operate and to remain cautious and patient while driving. 

Two injured in Sturgeon Bay crash

The drivers in two vehicles had to be transported to Door County Medical Center following a collision at the intersection of Alabama Street and North 18th Avenue last Friday. The crash occurred before 3:15 p.m. when Cinthia Lardinois of Sturgeon Bay stopped at the stop sign controlling traffic on 18th Street and then pulled into traffic. According to the police report, Lardinois looked but did not see Danny Rezachek of Sturgeon Bay driving on Alabama Street, which does not have stop signs. Rezachek struck Lardinois, and both vehicles careened into a ditch southeast of the intersection. Rezachek and Lardinois were transferred to the hospital for their suspected injuries, and the cars were towed away. No citations were issued for the incident.

Kewaunee County kicks off holiday season Friday

Sturgeon Bay is not the only place where you can attend a night parade this Friday. The Kewaunee Holiday Parade will depart from Kewaunee Elementary School at 6:30 p.m. on November 18th. The parade will travel from the school’s parking lot on Lincoln Street to Lakehaven Hall via Third and Ellis Streets. Lakehaven Hall is also the city’s site for its Christkindlmarkt, which is open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. The holiday festivities coincide with the Kewaunee County Christmas Stroll, a collaborative effort between the business chambers of Algoma, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg to encourage shopping at 30 participating stores. The annual event also takes place on November 25th and 26th.  

Mustang on the loose in Door County

"Guess you better slow down" is both a song lyric and important advice to know when it comes to mustangs, especially for the one that is currently on the loose in Door County.

 

The Door County Sheriff's Department was notified just after 2 p.m. on Sunday of the news of a loose horse near Bay Shore Drive in the Town of Sevastopol. According to the department's Facebook post at around 7 p.m., the horse, which the owner identified as a wild mustang, entered the Bay of Green Bay and swam from Bay Shore Drive to Potawatomi State Park. The horse exited the water and continued running around Grondin Road, Duluth Avenue, County S, and Wilson Road. 

 

Several attempts to contain the horse were unsuccessful and the owner is asking that you do not approach the horse or try to catch it. Instead, you are encouraged to call the Door County Communications Center at 920-746-2416 with a location. You are also advised to slow down and be aware that a horse is loose in Southern Door County. The picture included with this story from the Door County Sheriff's Department is the missing horse. 

Respiratory diseases on the upswing

Some of the ways you protected yourself from COVID-19 could come in handy again this fall. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of new cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has tripled over the last two months, with severe cases sending toddlers and babies to the hospital. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports that local hospitals are seeing an increase in the number of RSV cases and hospitalizations, but nothing that has had a drastic impact on the care of its patients, like postponing visits and procedures. Door County Medical Center Head Pediatrician, Dr. Ann Fogarty says they are seeing the same locally. She says kids are being introduced to some of these viruses for the first time due to COVID-19 precautions, adding that a little extra tender, loving care, is all you may need to fight against it.

 

 

She adds that just like when COVID-19 was at its peak, you should be extra vigilant with your hand washing and surface cleaning.

Thanksgiving dinners delivered early to benefit community

The aroma of a homemade Thanksgiving dinner arose from Henry S. Baird Lodge Saturday and helped raise vital funds to support the community. Thirty very busy Masonic and Eastern Star members took their spots in the supply area, in the kitchen, on the meal packaging assembly line, and in cars ready to deliver almost 300 Thanksgiving meals with all the trimmings. The organization donated the funds for these dinners to the Lakeshore Cap and ADRC services recipients. The drivers’ routes went from Southern Door to Washington Island on the ferry and were delivered in under three hours.  

 

(Mason Andrew Crow, photo submitted)

Community Spotlight: Our Veterans

To hundreds of men and women that live, work, and play in Door and Kewaunee counties and served our country: thank you. Ceremonies from Washington Island into Kewaunee County were held to pay tribute to the men and women of the Armed Services that returned home and, in some ways, make the lives of their fellow veterans better. It was something Richard Purinton took on when he and his family landed on Washington Island following his service during the Vietnam War. Purinton did not face some of the verbal and emotional abuse other Vietnam veterans received when they returned home, but he was invited to attend a meeting of American Legion Post 402. Forty-eight years and three stints as the organization’s commander later, Purinton still sees the importance of veterans connecting with the community and each other.

Veterans and even aspiring soldiers have found other ways to support each other outside of American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) halls. In August, St. Norbert ROTC members Samuel Skiff, Lydia Myszka, Andrew Lopez, Anton Bruley, and Cameron Wittman stopped at the Luxemburg Fire Station VFW building in Kewaunee in route to Milwaukee as they raised money for 4th H.O.O.A.H, a national non-profit specializing in support for deployed servicemen and servicewomen and their families and returning veterans. In recent years, Door County Farm for Vets, started by a group of veterans, including recent Congressional candidate Jacob VandenPlas, provided training and financial support for veterans looking to get into agriculture.

Sturgeon Bay night-day parade doubleheader continues holiday celebration

Destination Sturgeon Bay ensures you get your fill of holiday parades in before Christmas on November 18th and 19th.

 

The fun starts on Friday with the Sturgeon Bay Unwrapping Car parade, which began during the first year of the pandemic when local leaders had to nix the traditional Christmas by the Bay. Cars are invited to meet in the Sawyer Park parking lot between 5 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. before departing for downtown with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Door County law enforcement and emergency personnel, and the Door County Daily News van leading the way. Businesses along the parade route will then “unwrap” their windows to show off their holiday windows as the parade of cars drive by. Friday’s activities end with lighting the city’s Christmas tree in front of the Door County Community Foundation building at 7 p.m.

 

At 10 a.m. the next day, the Christmas by the Bay parade will kick off with car floats, bands, and more. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski believes it is special how the community has embraced both parades.

Christmas by the Bay continues on Saturday, following the parade with a visit by Santa at the Door County Historical Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Breakfast with Santa from 9:30 a.m. until noon at Stone Harbor Resort on Sunday.

 

Picture courtesy of Destination Door County

 

Two Sturgeon Bay zoning decisions expected on Tuesday

A piece property slated for a Fleet Farm in the future could officially become a part of Sturgeon Bay depending on how the Sturgeon Bay Common Council votes on Tuesday. In their last meeting, the council approved the recommendations of the Finance, Purchasing, and Building Committee and the City Plan Commission for the Kerscher property to be annexed from the Town of Nasewaupee and temporarily rezoned from Agricultural to Commercial. The property, located along State Highway 42/57, needs two-thirds of approval from the council before it can be annexed and rezoned. If annexed, the city would be obligated to pay the Town of Nasewaupee a total of $1,073.65, the equivalent of five years of taxes. It would then set the next steps in the process, where plans for the store will be scrutinized to ensure the proposed Fleet Farm is a good fit for Sturgeon Bay.

 

The second reading for a proposed 22-unit apartment complex on North 14th Avenue will also occur. The land needs to be rezoned from Agricultural to Multi-Family Residential R-4. The only hang-up would be if the property’s owner, Estes Development, LLP, does not address three conditions being met concerning storm water run-off and the grading of the property. The rezoning action cannot occur if those issues are not fixed.  The council will also discuss an incentive package for the project using approximately $163,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to reimburse Estes Development for designing and installing sewer and water extensions. The city would recover that investment in approximately ten years through property taxes.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

Construction closes Sturgeon Bay YMCA Wednesday morning

Your morning workout routine may have to change a little bit on November 16th. The Door County YMCA announced this week that the Sturgeon Bay Program Center will have to keep its doors shut from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m. on that due to its ongoing construction project. If you have 24/7 access, you can still work out that morning, but you must leave the facility by 4:45 a.m. Most of the facility will reopen after 10 a.m., with the aquatics center following suit at 1 p.m. Construction was also why the program center was closed all day on November 4th so transformers could be moved. The YMCA is nearing the completion of the $9.9 million Heart of the Community Capital Campaign for the project.

Veterans honored in Door County at ADRC

Dozens of community members turned out to commemorate Veterans Day and honor our local veterans at the ADRC and Door County Senior Resource Center on Friday morning.  Door County Assistant Veterans Benefits Specialist Robert Walsh (Ret. USCG) spoke about the importance of helping veterans deal with loneliness and letting them know services are available in the area.

 

 

AMVETS Post 51 performed a Rifle Salute, and Marine veteran Ken Pollock provided entertainment during the luncheon that followed the program. The Door County Veterans Service Office celebrated at Gibraltar High School on Friday with a program for area veterans as well.  

 

 

Excellent yields balancing out high input prices for farmers

With fuel and fertilizer at or near record highs, the extra traffic you see on area roads, thanks to local farmers, is good. Farmers took advantage of the unseasonably warm and dry weather to wrap up their soybean harvest ahead of this weekend’s wet and cool weather. The soybean harvest is 95 percent complete, four days ahead of last year’s pace. The harvest of corn for grain is 55 percent complete across the state, which is over a week behind last year but still a day ahead of the five-year average. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Bara says many of their customers are seeing record or near-record yields for their operations. Following up on the success of the local wheat and soybean harvest earlier this year, he says they have gotten creative with their storage.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is just one of the factors adding to the recent volatility in commodity markets. However, Barta says the prices for corn and soybeans are still higher than they have been in recent years.  

Pedestrian hit by car in parking lot

Making sure you check your mirrors when backing out is the lesson learned from a potentially scary situation in a Sturgeon Bay parking lot. According to a Sturgeon Bay Police Department report, Trudy Cox of Sister Bay was walking through the parking lot at Walgreens in Sturgeon Bay at around 12:40 p.m. when she was backed into by a vehicle and eventually pinned between another. Barbara Ann Buckingham of Egg Harbor stopped backing up when she heard Cox pounding on her back window. Buckingham told the responding officer she was distracted by her handicapped parking tag. Cox was not transported to a hospital to have her possible injuries treated, and neither person received a citation. 

Local counties continue low community level streak

Like much of northeast Wisconsin, you will find Door and Kewaunee counties at the low COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It marks the third straight week that both counties were in that territory, based on the number of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The latest situation update from Door County showed 27 of the 91 test results positive for COVID-19, with one listed as probable.

 

The Door County Public Health Department reported two new COVID-19 hospitalizations but no additional deaths. CDC data shows that Kewaunee County had 26 new cases over the last week out of 86 tests performed. They also had two new hospitalizations over the last week. Only three counties in Wisconsin are listed in the high level as the COVID case average reached a seven-month low in the state. 

Old, new Christmas traditions kick off Sturgeon Bay holiday season

Thanks to two holiday events, you will see the first signs of Christmas in Sturgeon Bay this Saturday. The Door Community Child Development Center welcomes families and other holiday revelers to its Door County Trek to the North Pole. Guests will hop on a trolley to travel to the North Pole, where they will be treated to readings of “The Polar Express” and a Meet and Greet with Santa. The event runs from 2-8 p.m., with tickets available online. Earlier in the day, the Door County Maritime Museum will welcome Santa by U.S. Coast Guard Boat as a part of its holiday festivities, including the kickoff of the Merry-Time Festival of Trees and the lighting of the Tug John Purves. The museum has long hosted the kickoff of the holiday season in Door County, a responsibility Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director Sam Perlman says they do not take lightly.

The rest of the county will get into the holiday spirit in subsequent weekends, with Destination Sturgeon Bay hosting a pair of parades next weekend. Egg Harbor will host Holly Days, and Sister Bay will welcome guests for Capture the Spirit on November 25th and 26th.  November 25th is also when the Sister Bay Historical Society will begin its second season of the Door County Christkindlmarkt.

Rep. Kitchens optimistic for future after fifth victory

Even though it was not the night many Republicans wanted, Rep. Joel Kitchens says there are plenty of things to be happy about after Tuesday’s election. With some races yet to be decided, it appears Republicans will retake the House of Representatives and could do the same if Herschel Walker can win his run-off election against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock. Despite that, it was not the “Red Wave” many pundits predicted. Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature could not capture enough seats to make future bills veto-proof after Governor Tony Evers reclaimed his seat along with Attorney General Josh Kaul and potentially Secretary of State Doug La Follette. Rep. Kitchens appreciated that he and his Democratic challenger Roberta Thelen were able to focus on the issues during their campaign that eventually went his way by a 62.5 percent-37.5 percent margin. He is hopeful he and his Republican colleagues can have a much better relationship with the Governor than they did the previous four years.

Kitchens and other winners of the state offices will be inaugurated on January 3rd, 2023.

Clerks brace for possible recount after busy election day

The clerks for Door and Kewaunee counties were happy to see many of you head to the polls on Tuesday for the mid-term election. Door County saw an 80 percent voter turnout on Tuesday, boosted by a strong slate of federal, state, and local elections and four referendum questions. Kewaunee County saw about a 62 percent voter turn-out, with only residents in the Town of Franklin having something extra to vote for, with the Denmark School District looking to pass its own operational and capital referendum questions. Only one race is yet to be decided in Wisconsin, with just over 7,000 votes separating Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette and his Republican challenger Amy Loudenbeck. A possible recount is likely weeks away, but Kewaunee County Clerk Jamie Annoye saying they are preparing for the chance it may happen.

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin reported that nearly 64 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot for Tuesday’s election, which was the highest voter turnout in the nation.

Teamwork helps save Brussels garage

A bad situation could have been worse without a collaborative effort at a garage fire early Thursday morning in the Town of Brussels. The first units were dispatched at around 4 a.m. to a residence on Country Road D in the town to the news of a fully engulfed 30 x 60 detached garage. Even though it was in the jurisdiction of Brussels-Union-Gardner, the Southern Door Fire Department out of Forestville was actually closer to the blaze. It arrived at the scene first to assist the family trying to save the garage after embers from a recently lit burn barrel ignited the structure. BUG firefighters arrived in time to assist in the efforts that had been reduced to just heavy smoke. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the actions of the family and the Southern Door Fire Department helped keep the damage to just the outside of the garage.

There were no injuries reported. Using around 250 gallons of water, firefighters cleared the scene in about 45 minutes. Vandertie also thanked the Door County 911 Center, Door County Sheriff’s Department, Door County Emergency Medical Services, and fire departments from Luxemburg, Casco, and Sturgeon Bay for their assistance.  

Referendums make two Nasewaupee positions appointed

For Town Clerk Jill Lau and Town Treasurer Carol Russell, their time as elected officials in Nasewaupee will soon be over. Nasewaupee voters approved a pair of referendum questions to make the clerk and treasurer appointed rather than elected. Voters approved the decision for the clerk position by a 601-509 margin and a slimmer 595-512 margin for the treasurer spot. With a lot of change on the horizon, Nasewaupee Town Clerk Jill Lau says the move will give someone office hours that can handle it.
 



Lau and Russellwill remain in their current roles as elected officials until April. After that, the town will have to hire someone to take on those duties.  

Butch's Bar Fire trial delayed

The case against a Sturgeon Bay man charged with starting the fire that destroyed a bar and killed two people will have to wait until next year to be tried.

 

The Anthony Gonzalez trial will begin on May 22nd, 2023, at the request of his attorney Aileen Henry. During a pre-trial conference call on Tuesday, Henry first requested the adjournment of the trial before asking the court for a new date. She told Judge D. Todd Ehlers that she needed more time to complete her investigation before proceeding to trial. The jury trial was scheduled to begin on November 28th. Gonzalez, 58, admitted to local authorities in February that he had inadvertently started the fire when filling a butane lighter, and fluid spilled on his bed above Butch’s Bar and ignited. Two people were later found dead in the rubble after the fire that displaced nine tenants, including one hospitalized with burns. He entered a not-guilty plea in May.

 

Despite multiple attempts to have it reduced or removed, Gonzalez remains behind bars on a $250,000 cash bond. 

Veterans Day celebrations planned throughout Door County

The opportunity to fully gather and celebrate Veterans Day throughout Door County will return this week after a three-year absence due to the pandemic. The Door County Veterans Office has helped organize three different events over the next few days that will honor all who have served in the military and current armed forces members. This Thursday, the Peninsula Symphonic Band will perform at the Prince of Peace Church at 7 pm with AMVETS Post 51 posting and retiring the colors. On Friday, the ADRC in Sturgeon Bay will host a Veterans Day program at 11 am that will include a speech by Door County Assistant Veterans Benefits Specialist Robert Walsh (Ret. USCG) along with a Rifle Salute by the AMVETS and patriotic music by Ken Pollock. Door County Veterans Service Officer Beth Van Oss will be the guest speaker at the Veterans Day celebration at Gibraltar High School at 10 am on Friday, with the Gibraltar High School Band performing. She shares her anticipated message for the students, community, and veterans in attendance.

 

 

The public is welcome to attend all three Door County Veterans Day events and can contact the Door County Veterans Office for additional information.

 

(photo from 2019 Veterans Day program at Sevastopol High School)

Southern Door administration grateful, planning next step on facility upgrades

The positive outcome of the two referendums that passed in the Southern Door School District on Tuesday night, will lead the administration to quickly begin implementing the capital project that will bring considerable changes to the school’s campus.  The operations referendum will maintain the current curriculum and student services.   Southern Door School District Administrator Chris Peterson says he is especially appreciative of the community’s support of the capital referendum, which narrowly passed and includes the construction of an indoor practice facility and the moving of the district office into the old fitness room.  He notes that he has already connected with the school’s business manager to lock in favorable interest rates for financing the projects.

 

 

Peterson expects some refurbishing projects to be finished by next year, with the whole process and major construction taking between 12 to 18 months to complete.

 

Here is the link to the news release sent out by the Southern  Door School District Wednesday afternoon.    

YMCA's Ugly Sweater Run coming in December

You can enjoy the great outdoors and gear up for the holidays with the annual Door County YMCA 2022 Ugly Sweater Run on Saturday, December 3.  The 5K Fun Run & Walk will begin at the Northern Door Program Center in Fish Creek, with check-in beginning at about 9 am.  Northern Door YMCA Executive Director Megan Schneider says the entry fee for the family-friendly event is $15 and includes a free T-shirt. 

 

 

Schneider adds that the run/walk will officially start at 10:00 am, with festivities continuing after the race with hot cocoa, music, and cookies.  You can pre-register in person at the YMCA, by mail, or online.

Southern Door says yes to both school referendums

 The Southern Door School District passed both referendum questions on Tuesday night, with the one passing by the slimmest of margins.   The operational referendum which will allow the district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $975,000 annually for three years passed by a 60 to 40 percent margin, 2,648 votes in favor versus 1,737. 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 which will authorize general obligation bonds to be issued for $14.9 million barely was approved by a 51 to 49 percent margin, 2,220 votes in favor and 2,139 opposed. New construction will 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.

 

You can see the complete election results with this link.

Waiting's the hardest part for election night

Even the landslide victories had to wait their turn on a busy mid-term election across the nation on Tuesday night.

 

The long wait for some counties muted the celebration for members of the Republican Party at an event organized by the Rep. Mike Gallagher campaign. Even with winning over 70 percent of the vote, it wasn't until almost 10 p.m. that he took to the stage and spoke about the common sense approach in Wisconsin that needs to make its way to Washington D.C.

 It was not until after 10:30 p.m. that Door and Kewaunee County results came through, paving the way for not only Gallagher won, but State Rep. Joel Kitchens and State Sen.  Andre Jacque had also won their elections. Door County featured tighter races between candidates but leaned more Democratic. Kewaunee County showed more support for Republican candidates, in some cases by an almost 2-1 ratio. Races that were too close to call at midnight leaned in favor of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Governor Tony Evers. You can see how Door and Kewaunee counties voted by clicking this link.

 

 

 

You can see the complete election results with this link.

 

 

DNR encouraging hunters to donate venison

You do not have to worry about that extra venison going to waste if that extra doe or trophy buck is too much for your freezer. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is encouraging hunters to donate once again deer harvested in the state to its donation program. Since 2000, hunters have donated 3.8 million pounds of venison from almost 100,000 deer to food pantries across Wisconsin. Thanks to meat processors across the state, including two in Door County, the DNR ensures your venison makes it to a needy family. Hunters wishing to participate must still field dress their deer and register it before contacting a participating meat processor to drop it off. If you harvest a deer in a county where chronic wasting disease is a concern, you must notify the processor so they hold onto it until test results are available. You can click on this link for more information. Area Lions Clubs are still accepting deer hides through the beginning of the New Year. Kewaunee Lions Club member John Mastalir said last month that the funds raised from the sales of the deer hides go to a great cause.

Ahead of the gun season's start next weekend, Door County hunters have harvested more than 570 deer, which is over 100 more than what has been done in Kewaunee County. 

Kewaunee County juggling building, hiring questions with new jail

If you have one, you must have the others regarding the future Kewaunee County Jail facility. The Kewaunee County Board formally approved the jail in July, and there have been non-stop meetings ever since with local officials, Venture Architects, and Samuels Group to ensure all of the necessities are included at the price tag that is wanted. Running parallel to that path are the county’s efforts to fill the five additional positions needed to staff the future facility. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is no different than a local business regarding hiring as they try to balance the incoming candidates with the outgoing retirements and resignations. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is confident they will get qualified people to fill the spots in due time.

The $25.6 million project will house 52 beds when it is finished, more than double what the current jail can support.

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

First and foremost, I would like to take a moment to thank all of our Kewaunee County Veterans as we celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th. Whether you served active or Reserve, Peacetime or in Conflict, the common thread that binds us together is that at some point in our lives, we held up our right hand and swore to serve our country. That oath was all inclusive and superseded every other aspect of our lives knowing the sacrifice that may be asked of us. For so many that oath and commitment lasts well beyond our formal service defining our very existence. To all who have served, as well as those currently serving; Thank you!

        

Now I would like to provide an update on the Jail Facility Project. Since the authorization was given to move forward with this project, we have been in a constant state of meetings. We are very fortunate to have a great team of architects and consultants from Venture Architects guiding us through the many decisions as well as our Jail Inspector remaining by our side making sure all aspects of state requirements and mandates are incorporated into each decision. We also have a great resource in Samuels Group, who serves the role of project cost estimator. This resource is vital in keeping a high level of vigilance to our budget so as to arrive at a quality structure within our financial parameters. I want to thank all of those who have and continue to dedicate their valuable to time in attending the many meetings involved in this project.

      

As these meetings continue and we slowing and methodically move through the planning phase of the building project, there is another aspect that will be just as daunting and require just as much effort and dedication; Staffing. As many will recall, we will be required to add five new staff to operate the new facility. This number was arrived at after many years of discussion, study and compromise, and is truly the bare minimum. Adding five staff in and of itself will be a challenge in our current hiring environment, but to add to this challenge, while we are attempting to add these five over the next three years, we will losing that same number through retirements. In addition, we know that we may lose some staff to other opportunities. While the hiring environment remains challenging, we are fortunate to get quality applicants when these positions are posted, and our current hiring process has resulted in some great candidates that will be continuing on through our background process. I am optimistic that as the need for candidates arises, so too will the presence of qualified applicants. Every time we conduct interviews, I am reminded that even in this challenging recruitment era for law enforcement, there will always be men and women willing to follow their calling in the service of their community.

       

We look forward to the challenge before us, and the many ways in which we will strive for both the facility and the staff necessary to serve the needs of our community.

Rotary Interact prepares for fourth Thanksgiving project

You will be able to help local Door County families put food on their tables this Thanksgiving. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Interact Club is bringing back its Thanksgiving project for a fourth consecutive year. They have raised approximately $10,000 over the last three years, including over $6,400 in 2021. Members of the Rotary Interact take the dollars collected during the fundraiser and donate gift cards from Tadych’s Marketplace to Feed my People Clothe My People in Sturgeon Bay. Interact Member and Sturgeon Bay junior Gavin Forest says he has enjoyed all of the projects the organization has afforded him.

Interact is the student version of Rotary, and it is made up of kids between the ages of 12 and 18 who are encouraged to be leaders in their community through service. You can donate by clicking this link, and you can visit this link to listen to the entire interview.

Door County adds two more hospitalizations to COVID numbers

For the second week in a row, at least one person in Door County was hospitalized with COVID-19. The latest situation update showed 27 of the 91 test results positive for COVID-19, with one listed as probable. The Door County Public Health Department reported two new COVID-19 hospitalizations but no additional deaths. Last week, the state announced a free telehealth service to streamline access to COVID-19 treatment, which could reduce the risk of severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death. Door County is currently at the low COVID-19 community level, along with 50 others.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - November 7, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,286 (+91)
Positive: 7,869 (+27)
Probable: 459 (+1)
Negative: 23,958 (+63)
Hospitalizations: 264 (+2)
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

Deputy Mark Winkel remembered as "consummate professional"

The Door County Sheriff's Department regrettably announced on Monday the passing of Deputy Mark Winkel, who unexpectedly passed away last Thursday.  Winkel, 59, was a 36-year Door County Sheriff's Office veteran who worked as a juvenile and drug investigator for many years.  After his full-time retirement, Winkel returned to the Sheriff's Office as a special deputy.  Sheriff Deputy Pat McCarty says Winkel was a consummate professional whose loss will be felt throughout the law enforcement department.

 

 

McCarty adds that Winkel was instrumental in establishing a Door County SWAT team and was the team leader at the time of his retirement.   Funeral services for Deputy Mark Winkel will be at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday at Huehns Funeral Home, with visitation starting at 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.  You can read his full obituary with this link. 

 

(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Office)

 

 

 

Clerks prepared for busy Election Day

You are only a day away from knowing who will represent you at the federal and state level. The polls will open across the state at 7 a.m. before closing at 8 p.m. Wisconsin will have the nation’s eyes on them after millions of dollars were dumped in the U.S. Senate race featuring Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes and the state Governor’s race showcasing Tony Evers and Tim Michaels. The state Senate race between Andre Jacque and Andrea Gage-Michaels and the state Assembly rematch between Joel Kitchens and Roberta Thelen will also be on the ballot, along with battles for Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State. Local races for Door County Sheriff, Kewaunee County Sheriff, Door County Clerk of Circuit Court, Kewaunee County Clerk of Circuit Court, and Kewaunee County Coroner are uncontested. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, close to 720,000 Wisconsinites have already cast their ballot. That includes over 4,000 people in Door County and nearly 1,300 in Kewaunee County. Sister Bay Clerk Heidi Teich says about a third of its village’s population has already voted, but she is still expecting a big turnout on Tuesday.

Some voters will have even more incentive to vote before the polls close. Southern Door and Denmark School District residents will also decide on operational and capital referendum questions.

Wind storm wreaks havoc on area

Saturday’s storm packed the punch the National Weather Service was expecting for Door and Kewaunee counties. To go along with up to two inches of rain in some areas, Door and Kewaunee counties saw wind gusts as high as 51 miles per hour in Kewaunee and 46 miles per hour in Sturgeon Bay. Ephraim and Washington Island saw wind gusts near or just slightly over 40 miles per hour. The wind resulted in 17 calls to Door County Dispatch for trees down and two for wires in 36 hours between 8:30 p.m. Friday and 11:45 a.m. Saturday. Fire departments in northern Door County had to respond to five calls for fires, though they were mostly related to trees hitting powerlines. Ephraim and Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says things got hectic when two of the fire calls occurred within 15 minutes and a few miles of each other.

Washington Island, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, and Gibraltar also had fire calls during the storm. The storm also caused one tree to fall over near Door County Trolley, blocking the road and forcing Wisconsin Public Service workers into an approximately two-hour repair. According to WPS, residents in Maplewood were still feeling the effects of the Saturday storm on Monday. Power was restored by 9:30 a.m.

Kewaunee Police Chief retires, Mueller tapped as replacement

For the second time since 2020, you will see a new police chief for the City of Kewaunee. Police Chief James Kleiman, Jr. took to Facebook Monday morning to formally announce his retirement. Kleiman took over for Frank Salentine on January 3rd, 2020, after serving the community as its assistant police chief in 2014. He joined the department in 1989 as a part-time officer before joining the force full-time a year later. He thanked the community for their support for his over a 33-year career in law enforcement, admitting that the years are starting to take a toll on him. Kleiman also announced that his assistant chief, Robin Mueller, would be his replacement as the city’s top cop. Mueller has served as the assistant chief since Kleiman was promoted and tackled the day-to-day operations whenever Kleiman took time off. She will be sworn in as the new police chief in January. You can read Kleiman’s complete statement below.

 

 

 

Record-breaking Powerball jackpot up for grabs Monday

You can be a part of history Monday night with a little help a few dozen ping-pong balls. Saturday’s Powerball drawing of 28, 45, 53, 56, 69, and the 20 Powerball yielded no jackpot winners, but one person in Kentucky won $2 million, and 16 people in 12 different states won $1 million for reaching other milestones like matching five numbers. That pushes the jackpot to $1.9 billion, or an estimated cash value of $929.1 million. Jackpots are a significant business driver for local lottery retailers like Parv Jandu of Jandu Petroleum. He said last week that you can feel the extra enthusiasm when the jackpots get this high.

The previous record Powerball jackpot was won in 2016 when three winners in California, Florida, and Tennessee split $1.586 billion. The biggest Wisconsin-based lottery winner was Manuel Franco of West Allis, Wis., who won $768.4 million in the Powerball in 2019.

Door County launching "Operation Green Light"

With the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, Door County has announced that the Veterans Memorial at the Door County Government Center will be illuminated green the entire week starting on Monday.  The Operation Green Light initiative is a new national collaborative effort by the National Association of Counties (NACo) to support military veterans, as well as raise awareness about challenges faced by veterans and the resources available to them and their families from all levels of government.

In addition to lighting county buildings, you are encouraged to participate by changing one light bulb to green, inside or outside your home or business.

Participants are asked to share their involvement on social media by using hashtag #OperationGreenLight.

Visit naco.org/operationgreenlight for more information and links to resources available to veterans.    

Door County Toys for Kids begins recruiting families and donors

The direct line to Santa Claus in Door County is now open. Door County Toys for Kids opened its registration for this year’s toy distribution on Friday with its online form. For those who cannot fill out the form online, interested families can sign up at the PATH Clubhouse in Sturgeon Bay on November 20th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on December 4th from 10 a.m. to noon. Families in northern Door will be able to talk to Cindy Trinkner-Peot to register at the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay. After everything is collected, families will be able to receive their toys at the United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay on December 10th from 8 a.m. to noon or on December 11th at the Northern Door Children’s Center from noon to 1 p.m.  Last year, the organization gave over 2,000 gifts to more than 400 children as a part of their effort, something Door County Toys for Kids Vice President Jackie Baermann says would not be possible without the community’s support.

As for those hoping to donate money or toys to the Door County Toys for Kids Drive, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for donation boxes throughout the county in the coming weeks. 

 

You can fill out the registration form by clicking on this link

Veterans Day Concert scheduled for Wednesday in Algoma

A trio of directors will orchestrate the annual Veterans Day concert by the Algoma Community Band on November 9.  The free concert will be held at the Algoma High School Gymnasium with performances by the community band, and the high school and middle school bands.  The Veterans Day concert will start at 7 pm on Wednesday with attendees asked to bring donated items for the Kewaunee County Food Pantry, like household cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, dish soap and toiletries. 

Kewaunee musical welcomes back young actors

It will not be all high school students you see who want you to be a part of their world when The Little Mermaid opens at Kewaunee High School on Thursday.

 

Prior to the pandemic, elementary school kids would get a chance to see the world above their own and participate in the musical alongside the high school performers. It was important for Jayde Steward and John Bunyard, who plays Ariel and Aric in the adaptation of the Disney classic, to have the kids participate with them since it was how they discovered their love for the theater.

You can go under the sea with the Kewaunee High School musical this Thursday through Saturday.  

 

NOTE: Due to the success of the school's football team, Friday's performance has been moved from 7 p.m. to Saturday at 1 p.m.

 

Committee to guide future architecture in Egg Harbor

Your opinion is needed regarding the future look and feel of the Village of Egg Harbor. The Village of Egg Harbor’s Board of Trustees created an Ad Hoc Committee at the end of 2021 to develop procedures and guidelines for a future Architectural and Historic Review Board. During the past year, the committee has talked to business owners and developers about what they would like and not like to see from the guidelines for future changes to the exterior of some of the village’s buildings in its downtown area. Similar rules are already in place in Sister Bay and Ephraim. Ad hoc committee Chris Roedl says it has been a balancing act up to this point, especially since the downtown already has a mix of historic and contemporary buildings.

 

 

The ad hoc committee invites the community to give their thoughts during a hybrid public meeting featuring in-person and virtual options at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor at 6 p.m. The login information is below if you can not attend the in-person meeting.

Respiratory disease rates climbing

You can’t turn on the TV right now without seeing media coverage about high rates of respiratory disease.  From increased rates of hospitalization for kids suffering from RSV to the expectations that this upcoming winter will have record cases of flu. And let’s not forget the ever-changing variants of COVID-19. It certainly sounds like this winter could get nasty.  So how do you tell the difference between RSV, influenza, and COVID?  And what do we need to know to stay healthy?

 

RSV, Influenza, and COVID-19 are all highly contagious respiratory infections caused by common viruses. RSV is caused by respiratory syncytial virus.  It is usually more severe in infants and the elderly but can infect anyone.  Almost all children in the U.S. become infected with this virus by age two and it is the leading cause of hospitalization in U.S.-born infants. Influenza is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs. Influenza is commonly called the flu, but it's not the same as stomach "flu" viruses that cause diarrhea and vomiting. At first, Influenza may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat. Colds usually develop slowly. But Influenza tends to come on suddenly and you usually feel much worse with Influenza.  Finally, COVID-19 is a form of coronavirus.  There are many types of coronaviruses. COVID-19, a now common respiratory virus, affects different people in different ways. Infected people have had a wide range of symptoms reported – from mild symptoms to severe illness.

 

The symptoms of RSV are similar to those of the common cold. They tend to run their course with only mild intensity in adults and older children. In infants and the elderly, symptoms tend to be more severe and can include fevers and wheezing. Influenza and COVID-19 share very similar symptoms, and it might be hard to tell which of the two you have. These symptoms include fever, chills, headache, cough, muscle soreness, fatigue, sore throat, and runny nose.  It can take longer for people infected with COVID-19 to show symptoms, and people stay infectious longer than with Influenza. A symptom that seems to be unique to COVID-19 is loss of taste or smell. 

 

Regardless of which virus is circulating, staying healthy can be a challenge. Vaccines are available to help build our immunity to these viruses, but here are a few more things to remember.  Wash your hands often, especially before eating meals or snacks.  Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.  Keep several feet between you and others when possible.  Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or in the bend of your arm and avoid close contact, including kissing, shaking hands, and sharing cups or eating utensils. Most importantly, stay home when sick.

Campaigns hit fever pitch in Door and Kewaunee counties

No matter what ticket you vote for this Tuesday, it was not hard to find an enthusiastic crowd following it.

Picture courtesy of Debra Noel and the Kewaunee County Democratic Party

 

Governor Tony Evers, Attorney General Josh Kaul, Lieutenant Governor candidate Sara Rodriguez, and State Senate Candidate Andrea Gage-Michaels were joined by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for their stops at The Blue Door Pub in Kewaunee and the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor on Wednesday. Evers championed the infrastructure improvements they have helped make in Door and Kewaunee counties, including money for rural broadband, roads, the breakwater wall in Algoma, and the observation tower at Peninsula State Park. Kewaunee County Democratic Party Communications Director Jodi Parins says the enthusiasm is high heading into the final weekend.

Republican supporters filled the Greystone Castle in Sturgeon Bay on Friday, where gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels addressed the crowd behind the bar following speeches by Rep. Joel Kitchens, State Senator Andre Jacque, and U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher. He addressed how he would help Wisconsinites put more money in their pocket, feel safer in their communities, and address education reform. He ended his campaign stop with a request for the crowd’s support.

Democratic Assembly candidate Roberta Thelen, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, and his Democratic challenger Mandela Barnes have also been crisscrossing the area to generate more votes before people head to the polls on November 8th.

Luxemburg-Casco School District showcases special education programs

The cup of coffee you might enjoy at Luxemburg-Casco School District is much more than that to some students. Spartan Coffee is one of the many ways the district bridges the gap between its special education students and the general population. The program has a dozen students that grind, brew, and serve coffee throughout the high school to teachers and other staff members on Tuesdays. Supported by High School Special Education Teacher Morgan Cherney, Speech-Language Pathologist Sadie Mleziva, Occupational Therapist Sue Parker, and Green Bay’s Luna Coffee Roasters, the students not only raise money for future endeavors but are also able to work on their employability skills like communication, scheduling and more. Students get involved with the special education department through the Best Buddies program. It pairs students with intellectual disabilities with peers as they do activities in and out of the classroom. Director of Special Education Tara Zeal says she is thrilled with the support the special education program and its kids get daily.

The Luxemburg-Casco girls' basketball team will also spotlight the special education department and the Best Buddies program. Head girls’ basketball coach Taylor Bredael-Schmidt and her team will do a joint fundraiser with their opponents at their game against Oconto Falls on November 29th. A 50/50 raffle, a “Minute to Win It” challenge, and the Spartan Blend coffee sales will go to support the special education departments at the two schools.

One injured in Gordon Road crash

An Antigo woman was transported to Door County Medical Center with minor injuries after a car she was in struck another in the Town of Sevastopol Wednesday afternoon. The accident occurred just after 11:45 a.m. when Natasha Rutherford of Wausau turned left onto State Highway 42/57 from Gordon Road. While she saw one southbound vehicle merge into the right-hand turn lane, it is likely she did not see the second car driving behind it going straight. The driver of a truck, John Borkovetz of Sturgeon Bay, tried avoiding the collision by going into the northbound lane. He was still struck by Rutherford as she was turning left. Bryanna Bortle of Antigo suffered minor injuries in the crash while Rutherford, her other passenger Timothy Draeger of Deerbrook, Wis., and Borkovetz were uninjured. Both vehicles had to be towed. Rutherford received a citation for failing to yield to oncoming traffic while turning left. The intersection has been a central talking point in recent months because of the number of accidents that have occurred there over the years. Door County is exploring ways to prevent vehicles from turning left from Gordon Road onto STH 42/57 until a more permanent fix is possible.

Door and Kewaunee counties remain in low COVID community level

For the second week in a row, both Door and Kewaunee counties are at the low community level for COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The state as a whole saw an improvement week over week as the number of high-level counties dropped from six to two, and the number of medium counties stayed the same at 19. In the last week, Door County Public Health reports that there have been 71 new cases of COVID-19 in the area, excluding those who learn their diagnosis from at-home tests. There were no deaths, but Door County did report one additional hospitalization. According to CDC data, Kewaunee County saw 18 new cases of COVID-19 and had an estimated two new hospital admissions. At the low COVID-19 community level, the CDC recommends staying up to date on your vaccinations and getting tested when showing symptoms.

High wind watch issued for Door and Kewaunee counties

The last leaves on your trees will likely be gone by the end of this weekend, thanks to Mother Nature. Door and Kewaunee counties will be on a High Wind Watch from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The National Weather Service expects sustained winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour and possible gusts of up to 55 miles per hour. The high winds could blow down trees and power lines. Some power outages are possible, and higher-profile vehicles like semi-trucks could struggle with the wind on the road. Wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour are expected to last through Saturday. If the wind was not enough for you, the National Weather Service also predicts heavy rain through the weekend, with one to three inches of precipitation expected. 

Hazardous Household Waste Disposal Event this weekend

You can get rid of unwanted hazardous waste products found in your home or garage this weekend in Door County.  The Door County Agricultural and Household Waste Program is free to the public and will have collection sites in Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay.  The household waste will be collected on a first-come, first-served basis and recycled or disposed of in an environmentally-safe way.  Those dropping off items can stay in their vehicles as staff will remove the items from the vehicle.  The clean sweep event will be Friday at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department from 3:30 until 5:30 p.m. and from 8:00 until 10:00 a.m. on Saturday at the Door County Highway Department.  You can find a list of products and chemicals that can be brought for disposal with the link here.  

Man arrested for arson in Mr. G's Supper Club fire

A Sturgeon Bay man has been charged with arson in the fire that damaged Mr. G’s Supper Club in Jacksonport on October 23.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin State Fire Marshall’s office found evidence that led to an arson investigation based on a residence near Mr. G's and State Highway 57 that had fire damage to the outside of the home.  As part of that investigation, Jonathon J. Polich was arrested and was formally charged by the Door County District Attorney’s Office with two counts of Arson to a dwelling.  Polich is being held on a $250,000 cash bond at the Door County Jail.  The investigation is ongoing, and no other information is being released at this time. 

 

 

Car/deer collision season hitting its peak

Take the words of comedian Charlie Berens seriously over the next several weeks and make sure you watch out for deer. Late October through early November is the peak season for car-versus-deer accidents nationwide. According to University of Washington researchers, the end of Daylight Savings Time makes things even worse for motorists, showing that you are 16 percent more likely to hit a deer the week after you turn the clocks back. The time change also coincides with when bucks are looking to mate before heading into winter. Car repair shops are already dealing with full work schedules because of parts and labor shortages. Despite the likely delays in getting your car fixed, Randy Sahs from Sahs Auto and Collision Center in Sturgeon Bay says you are better off hitting the deer than trying to swerve and miss it.

Sahs urges you to schedule your vehicles to get their tires, brakes, and other components checked now rather than regretting it later. There have been close to a dozen car/deer collisions in Door County over the last week, according to the daily dispatch report from the Door County Sheriff’s Department. 

Gardner brush fire grows out of control

It took approximately two hours and 1,400 gallons of water to control a brush fire that quickly spread in the Town of Gardner Wednesday afternoon. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to the brush fire near Gravel Pit Road a little before 1:40 p.m. after the home's owner called 911. Leaves near the fire ring where the owner was burning some brush ignited, setting other materials into a blaze before spreading into the woods. The BUG Fire Department called the Southern Door Fire Department for backup with their brush trucks and ATVs in tow, controlling the flames so that only two acres burned. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie emphasized that bad luck, not carelessness, helped the blaze grow outside the owner's fire ring.

Vandertie also thanked the Door County Dispatch Center and Door County Emergency Services for helping with the incident.

 

Powerball grows to $1.5 billion

Your dream of becoming a millionaire by the bounce of ping pong balls is still alive. Wednesday’s Powerball drawing of 2, 11, 22, 35, 60, and the 23 Powerball yielded no jackpot winners, but three won $2 million, and 12 won $1 million for reaching other milestones like matching five numbers. That pushes the jackpot to $1.5 billion, or an estimated cash value of $745 million. Jackpots are a major business driver for local lottery retailers like Parv Jandu of Jandu Petroleum. He says the big jackpots are good for everyone involved.

If you are looking for a lucky place to go, Jandu says they have already had three winners of $20,000 this year. You have some time to plan what you would do if you won the $1.5 billion jackpot. The next drawing will not occur until Saturday, November 5th.  

Sturgeon Bay YMCA closed on Friday

You will have to keep your Friday workout inside your home, outside in the neighborhood, or at the Northern Door Program Center in Fish Creek if you are a member of the Door County YMCA.

 

Due to ongoing construction, the Sturgeon Bay Program Center will be closed on Friday so crews can move its electrical transformers into a new place. The closure will be short-lived, however, as the organization says it will return to its regular hours on Saturday. 

 

Maritime museum sees impact of investment in facilities

If you visited one of the three”ports of call” for the Door County Maritime Museum this summer, chances are you saw them like you have never seen before. This summer was one of changes for the museum’s Sturgeon Bay, Gills Rock, and Cana Island campuses because of the work being done. The Jim Kress Maritime Tower brought in more visitors to the Sturgeon Bay museum and is down to just a few more floors that need to be finished before the entire 10-floor structure is complete. After limiting visitors for much of the season, the museum finished its restoration work of the Cana Island lighthouse tower and keeper’s quarters in August. That allowed visitors full rein of the island for the first time in a few years while they, along with the county, completed other tasks. The Death’s Door Museum also saw higher attendance than it has in years’ past because of some of the improvements and changes that were made. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director and Development Manager Sam Perlman is happy that much of the heavy lifting is over, but says some of the extra space will allow them to tell stories of the region that have never been told before.


Perlman says the museum is planning to do more exhibit updates at Gills Rock for next year. Now, the Door County Maritime Museum is preparing for its halls to get decked out for the holidays beginning next weekend with the start of the Merry Time Festival of Trees.

 

Door County YMCA capital campaign, construction continues

The new expansion at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay is forcing adjustments for members and staff as the construction of the 16,300-square-foot addition continues.

The YMCA is nearing the completion of the $9.9 million Heart of the Community Capital Campaign for the project.

Mission Advancement Director Tonya Felhofer encourages members and the community to stay current on any changes involving the operations at the YMCA.

 

 

The Sturgeon Bay YMCA will be closed this Friday, November 4th, for a blackout while crews move a transformer. The YMCA in Fish Creek remains available, and the Sturgeon Bay program center will reopen at 6 am on Saturday. You can find more information on hours of operation with this link.   

Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, may become permanent next fall

This may be the last time you have to “fall back” to standard time this weekend, as Daylight Savings Time ends at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Last March, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act by a voice vote. That legislation would make daylight savings time permanent, beginning in November 2023. As of yet, the U.S. House of Representatives has not taken any action, and the bill would still need to be signed into law by President Joe Biden. Daylight Savings Time was first started in the United States in 1918 to conserve energy during World War 1. Florida Senator Marco Rubio suggested that the Sunshine Protection Act would reduce crime and encourage kids to play outside when he introduced the bill on the Senate floor. Daylight Savings Time traditionally starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.

Bicyclist seriously injured in vehicle crash

 

An accident on Monday involving a vehicle and bicycle resulted in a 13-year-old Sturgeon Bay boy being taken to the hospital with suspected serious injuries.   According to the police report, at about 4:30 pm, a pickup truck driven by a 47-year-old Sturgeon Bay man struck the boy on his bicycle that had improperly changed lanes while entering or exiting the roadway on South Neenah Avenue just south of Willow Drive.  The Sturgeon Bay Police Crash Report and witnesses indicated the bicyclist turned in front of the southbound truck, which the driver attempted to slam on his brakes before the collision.  Emergency Medical Services transported the boy to Door County Medical Center for treatment, where his condition was not released.  The pickup truck driver was not cited and was not impaired or under the influence.  

Paramedic's vehicle struck during incident call

A minor two-vehicle accident Tuesday night south of Baileys Harbor on Highway 57 led to a second incident where an off-duty paramedic crew’s vehicle on the scene was struck from behind. Door County Sheriff Patrol Lt. Brad Shortreed says no one was injured in either incident and that the paramedics were checking on any injuries from the first accident. The first accident occurred around 6:20 pm when a vehicle clipped the side of a truck and trailer that was parked on the roadside. According to the police report, shortly after 6:30 pm, the unoccupied vehicle driven by the paramedics, which was legally parked with flashers on, was struck from behind by a southbound van driven by a 45-year-old woman from Milwaukee. She was cited for failure to have control of a motor vehicle. Both vehicles in the second crash required towing, with no medical attention being needed for those involved in either accident. 

Fleet Farm, housing project moves forward

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council dealt with two major future developments at Tuesday night’s meeting, including the new Fleet Farm and an apartment complex on 14th Avenue.  In the first part of the business meeting, the council approved the recommendations by the Finance Purchasing and Building Committee and the City Plan Commission for the annexing and temporary rezoning of the Kerscher property located on State Highway 42/57 in the Town of Nasewaupee that is the proposed future site for a Fleet Farm.

After three residents shared concerns during public comments over potential drainage and erosion problems with the proposed plan for a 22-unit apartment complex at 1361 North 14th Avenue, the council moved forward on a first reading of a rezoning of the land from Agricultural to Multi-Family Residential (R-4).  The approval was subject to three conditions being met concerning storm water run-off and the grading of the property.  Those issues must be dealt with before the second reading is approved at the next council meeting on November 15.  Councilmember Gary Nault moved to table the rezoning action, but was defeated by a 5-1 margin.

In other business, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved the American Transmssion Company (ATC) damages distribution award of $162,250 to WPP Development and $69,700 to the City for incurred losses due to the misplacement of the buried transmission lines ATC had done earlier this year on the west side.  The city’s settlement portion will go back into TID #4, while WPP Development, who is putting in a 96-unit apartment complex near the Sturgeon Bay west side waterfront, had incurred financing and redesigning costs.

In the final piece of business Tuesday, the labor agreement between the City and Sturgeon Bay Firefighters Association passed unanimously. 

New restaurant opens in Sturgeon Bay

The newest eatery in Door County opened on Sturgeon Bay’s west side Tuesday as A’Boat Time Restaurant opened its doors for the first time on Oak Street.  The former location of Hot Tamales, the business was purchased earlier this fall by Steve Homan and Danielle Hall, who moved to Door County two years ago from Ocala, Florida.  With over 25 years of experience in the restaurant business throughout the United States, Homan says A’Boat Time is excited to bring a unique blend of foods to the area, including cheesesteaks and chicken wings with over 20 sauces.

 

 

Serving traditional breakfast foods as well, A’Boat Time Restaurant is open daily from 6:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and is located at 26 East Oak Street, across from Bay Electronics in Sturgeon Bay. 

Do Good Door County to host community forums following survey

The results are in, and Do Good Door County is ready to share the results with you. Over 1,200 survey responses were collected during October as residents answered questions about life in Door County. Do Good Door County and St. Norbert College partnered to survey area residents to help increase their quality of life. Do Good Door County President Cynthia Germain said last month that once the data was collected, they would be doing community forums in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Forestville, Baileys Harbor, Washington Island, Sevastopol, and Egg Harbor to share the information and start working on what happens next.

Each forum will have two sessions: one from 2 to 4 p.m. and the other from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can click on the link to submit your RSVP for attendance. 

 

Election trail heads through Door and Kewaunee counties

With just about a week until Election day, you will have a chance to hear directly from the candidates. U.S. Senator Ron Johnson participated in Kewaunee and Sturgeon Bay events on Saturday as he kicked off his bus tour. His visits came after his Democratic opponent Mandela Barnes was in Sturgeon Bay encouraging people to vote. Both gubernatorial candidates will be in Door County this week, with Democratic Governor Tony Evers stopping in Egg Harbor at the Kress Pavilion at 3:30 p.m. on November 2nd after an appearance at the Blue Door Pub in Kewaunee at 1:45 p.m. His opponent, Republican Tim Michels, will campaign at Greystone Castle in Sturgeon Bay at 12:45 p.m. on November 4th.  The race for Wisconsin governor has become the most expensive in the country, with just over a week to go. That includes over $16 million being spent on ad buys between the two sides from October 27th to Election Day, which is November 8th.

Composting initiative gives new life to used pumpkins

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, there is still some good your pumpkin can do if you know where to go with it. Instead of just simply throwing it away, some people leave their pumpkins out for area wildlife to nibble on in passing.  Another way is to compost it, turning the pumpkin into nutrient-filled soil over time. Through the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, the Door Community Compost Initiative offers ten different sites from Washington Island to Gardner to drop off pumpkins and other fruit and vegetable waste to turn into compost for those who cannot or do not want to do it on their own. Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin President and Executive Director Dean Hoegger organizes the Gardner site and says there are many great reasons to compost.

If you choose to compost on your own, Hoegger recommends keeping it to just carbon-rich “browns” like leaves and small wood chips and nitrogen-rich greens like grass clippings and fruit and vegetable scraps. Other items may take too long to break down or could attract other pests. Below is more information about the Climate Change Coalition’s Door Community Compost Initiative.

 

 

One new COVID hospitalization reported in latest Door County update

According to the latest situation update, more than half of the 139 total tests for COVID-19 in Door County have returned positive. In the last week, Door County Public Health reports that there have been 71 new cases of COVID-19 in the area, excluding those who learn their diagnosis from at-home tests. There were no deaths, but Door County did report one additional hospitalization. Door County, along with most Wisconsin counties, is currently at the low community level for COVID-19. The state saw its number of counties at the high-level double from three to six last week, but those are primarily clustered in northwestern Wisconsin. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - October 31, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data is available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at-home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,235 (+139)
Positive: 7,882 (+71)
Probable: 458 (+1)
Negative: 23,895 (+67)
Hospitalizations: 262 (+1)
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

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