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News Archives for 2022-12

Federal funds allow fire department to hit reset button

For an organization that has to flip pancakes and sling drinks for much of its funds, last week’s passage of the omnibus spending package was a sigh of relief for the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department. Included in the $1.7 trillion Omnibus Appropriations Act passed last week by Congress was $900,000 towards a new fire truck for the department. The new pumper tanker will replace its current one, which has served the community for over 20 years. The purchase would have to happen sooner rather than later, but Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief says the federal funds will allow the communities to hit the reset button regarding budgeting for other department needs.

Also receiving funds from the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act was the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, which received $3.3 million in federal funds to continue their efforts converting the former Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator into an agricultural museum and civic center. 

Sheriff reflects on year's end

Each new year brings with it an opportunity for both reflection on the year we leave behind as well as anticipation for year that we embark upon. Each of us will look back on 2022 and take from it both the good and the challenging. We leave 2022, having lost loved ones while hopefully creating new relationships that were not there when the year began. For some, lives are better than they were a year ago, while for others they find themselves in the midst of struggle or loss. In both cases, the new year brings with it the opportunity for introspection, and focus. We look inward to re-affirm the purpose for which we live, or in some cases re-visit that purpose based on our experiences through the past year. So much of what we saw in 2022 just as it has been throughout history was out of our control, and no doubt, very much of what happens 2023 will also be out of our control. That being said, while we cannot control much of what has happened or what happens in the future, we can control our own response and reaction to it.

            

Although we have no control over those people or events around us, we can in fact influence them. This idea between control and influence is an important difference. Too often, we try to control, which leaves us both frustrated and exhausted with little to show for it, however, if we direct our efforts to being a positive influence in those around us, or in events that come our way, we now have the potential for real impact. This influence can be as simple as starting the day with a pleasant smile for those we meet, or a positive spin on what others may see as a negative situation. This brings us to the second part, Focus.

           

The new year is, if nothing else, a great time to pause and focus on what really matters. Too often that focus gets blurred as the pressures and priorities come at us as if we were drinking from a fire hose. We lose focus on long term goals as we find ourselves reacting to the many unforeseen events that confront us throughout the year. We need to periodically put things back into perspective so that we don’t find ourselves traveling down an alternate life path that we didn’t set but rather we were diverted to by some outside force. This isn’t always easy as we parcel out our time and energy in so many different directions, be they family, work, friends, or community. While each of these are worthy of our efforts and focus, we need to remember that you can not give water from an empty well. In order to be the best for those around us, we first need to replenish our own personal well. This is not to be taken as a selfish perspective, but rather a means to perpetuate our ability to give of ourselves.

            

So, as we welcome the new year, let us do so with a strong sense of both reflection and anticipation. With a commitment not to control, but to influence. Let’s take a moment to make sure that we have taken inventory in all that is good and challenging and focus our efforts in a direction that will yield the greatest outcomes and results for both ourselves personally and all those we meet. 


Law enforcement clamping down on drunk driving

As celebrations occur over the holiday weekend, local law enforcement wants you to know that they will be enforcing the National Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign that continues through New Year's Day.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says hopes are to educate people about the dangers and consequences of drinking drunk and high.  He asks anyone that is driving to act responsibly, and to utilize a designated driver if necessary.

 


McCarty adds that local law enforcement will be stepping up patrols through the weekend to get any impaired drivers off the roadways.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, one-third of traffic fatalities during the holidays last year were drunk-driving related.  The Tavern League of Wisconsin offers the SafeRide program that will give you a ride home if you feel you have had too much to drink.  You can find more information on SafeRide with this link.

Year-end giving hits crunch time

The clock is ticking if you want to make your tax returns look better by supporting your favorite charities. December 31st is the deadline for people to make charitable contributions to potentially be used for tax write-offs. That makes for a busy time for non-profits that receive the funds. According to the charitable software company Neon One, the average non-profit raises between 17 and 22 percent of its annual revenue during December. The same study shows approximately 10 percent of all giving takes place on December 30th and 31st. It is something United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle is aware of as they approach the final week of their annual campaign at 82 percent of their $825,000 goal. Kohnle says her volunteers are working hard to make sure they can help support other organizations to the best of their ability.

While Kohnle hopes you choose the United Way of Door County, she encourages you to think about what causes are important to you and ask questions to learn how your donations will be used. For those looking for the tax break, you must make those donations online by December 31st or make sure your check is dated December 31st and placed in the mail immediately. The United Way of Door County annual campaign runs through January 7th.


Sadness, loneliness key concerns of Do Good Door County study

Turning your frown upside down is the goal moving forward to help Door County’s populations age in place more gracefully. Do Good Door County hosted community forums last month to discuss the results of its month-long survey. The results focused on eight domains:

  • outdoor spaces and buildings
  • transportation
  • housing
  • respect and social inclusion
  • social participation
  • civic participation and employment opportunities
  • communication and information
  • community support and health services

People are most concerned with being unable to drive, becoming seriously ill, or having memory loss without a support system. Do Good Door County’s Cynthia Germain says she was most shocked that more than a third of its respondents are worried that they are or will become a burden to their loved ones or experience loneliness or sadness.

Germain breaks down each of the eight domains weekly at this link. She says the next step is to take the information gathered and develop strategies to help address some of the concerns that have been brought up.

Pickleball shows no season with New Year's Tournament

Do not be shocked when you drive past Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay on New Year’s Day and see the pickleball courts buzzing with activity. It is a part of the fourth annual Polar Ball Pickleball Tournament, which is expected to draw a record number of 50 participants to its courts on Sunday. Jay Renstrom from the Door County Pickleball Club says last weekend’s storm just added to the fun of organizing this year’s event.

If the forecasted high of 36 degrees is warm enough for you, Renstrom says additional players can come by and play in the tournament for free. The tournament has drawn extra attention from across the country, bringing in Core Pickleball and Pickleball Central as sponsors. 

 

Pictures courtesy of Jay Renstrom

 

Treasurers' office busy collecting 2022 property taxes

With property owners trying to beat the December 31st deadline for claiming property taxes on their 2022 tax returns, local municipalities are busy processing payments. Door County Treasurer Ryan Schley says his office has been very busy with walk-ins and mailed-in property tax payments.  He notes that the Door County Treasurer’s office in the Government Center at 421 Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay will be open from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Friday. Property owners can either drop off or mail their payments by Saturday to claim the taxes on their 2022 tax return.

 


According to Tax-Rate.org, the median property tax in Door County is $2,357 per year for a home worth the median value of $189,500. Door County has one of the highest median property taxes in the United States and is ranked 309th of the 3143 counties in order of median property taxes.

Local docs tackle pediatric respiratory illnesses

Door County has not been immune to struggles with pediatric respiratory illnesses like RSV, the flu, and COVID-19. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise and Pediatrician Dr. Shane Colvin addressed the topics during a Facebook Live session on Tuesday night. Heise pointed out that as children’s hospitals in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Madison were filling up with young patients suffering from respiratory illnesses, Door County Medical Center was experiencing an influx of respiratory illness cases, primarily due to RSV. Colvin says there is a good reason why children, especially infants, have struggled with the virus.

Heise says the most significant struggle parents are having is deciding if their kids are sick and what they might be suffering from if they are sick.

Both doctors recommend practicing using some of the same strategies used to protect yourself from COVID-19, including washing your hands, getting vaccinated, and staying home when you are sick. You can watch the full presentation below.

 

 

Voting access remains a focus for League of Women Voters

Making sure your right to vote remained accessible was a major focus of the League of Women Voters of Door County in 2022. The organization hosted more than 90 events to ensure voters were informed leading up to election day and could cast their ballots when they were ready. Some initiatives included dropping off 411 Election brochures at the Door County ADRC building, sending individual thank-you notes to the county’s election workers, sponsoring free polls, and hosting candidate forums. League of Women Voters Door County President Susan Kohout is proud of the work the organization accomplished in 2022, even as the rhetoric around elections has become more toxic.

The League of Women Voters Door County will hit the ground running in 2023 with a pair of scheduled events. Along with more than a dozen other LWV chapters around the state, they are sponsoring a virtual event on January 10th about how the state’s conservation legacy has been impacted in recent years. The organization will host its Lively Issues event on December 12th at the Bertschinger Community Center in Egg Harbor, where members of the League of Women Voters of Door County and the general public will brainstorm critical local issues of concern for 2023. 

Kewaunee County 4-H gives new life to old prom dresses

That old formal dress in your closet could give you and the Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association a few extra bucks in 2023. After two years of COVID-related cancellations, the organization is bringing back its annual prom dress sale. For a small consignment fee, the Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association puts your dress on the sale block for people to browse and purchase. If your dress is purchased, you get to keep the profits. 4-H Leader Kayla Bosman says the money the organization earns through the consignment of the dresses allows them to do many community activities.

Start gathering your dresses now because you can bring them to the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds on January 19th, 20th, and 21st for them to be sold on January 20th and 21st. Dresses not sold can be donated or picked back up after the event. You can find more details about this year’s event below.

 

 

No changes in city races ahead of final weekend

If you plan on running for office this spring, you are running out of time. The spring election is made up mostly of local municipal races, though the state Supreme Court race could be what drives people to the polls. Jennifer Dorow, Daniel Kelly, Janet Protasiewicz, and Everett Mitchell all filed campaign registration statements as of Thursday. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, Dorow is the only one to have returned their nomination papers in the race to replace retiring Justice Patience Roggensack.

 

Closer to home, the races for the area’s three city councils look very much the same as they did a week ago. Kewaunee is the only one with a potential contested election as Joe Mills looks to reclaim his seat from District 3 alderperson, Robin Nelson. No one has submitted paperwork to run for the vacated seat by District 4 alderperson Richard Taylor. John Blaha (District 1) and Wendy Shelton (District 2) are also running for re-election. Algoma will have at least two new members if everything stays the same as Wayne Schmidt (District 3) and John Ortlieb (District 1) hope to be seated as city council members. Midge Swedberg (District 2) and Lee Dachelet (District 4) are running for re-election. It could be just incumbents in Sturgeon Bay, as nobody but Helen Bacon (District 1), Dan Williams (District 3), Gary Nault (District 5), and Kirsten Reeths (District 7) have taken out nomination papers for signatures.

 

In addition to the city races, the Village of Sister Bay put out a special call-out for candidates last week. Mary Lyon resigned from her post on the village board earlier this month, and a candidate is needed to finish her term, which runs until April 2024. Incumbents Scott Baker and Chad Kodanko recently filed their non-candidacy papers, creating another pair of voids on the board if no one runs.

 

Interested candidates have until January 3rd at 5 p.m. to return the necessary paperwork to run for office in the spring election. If needed, a spring primary will occur on February 21st before the general election slated for April 4th.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Lottery credit gives homeowners tax break

Even if you didn’t hit the big payday, homeowners across Wisconsin will get some money thanks to the success of the state’s lottery. Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Peter Barca announced on Wednesday that homeowners in the state would receive an approximate $213 credit on their property tax bill. That adds up to nearly $320 million in property tax relief in 2022. The exact amount depends on the tax rate for the school district you live in. The credit is less than the $230 credit homeowners received last year but more than what was given in 2018 and 2019. Barca pointed to strong lottery sales for the high average lottery credit. The buying binge was likely sparked by two of the largest lottery jackpots in the nation’s history: the November 2022 Powerball drawing of $2.04 billion and the July 2022 drawing of $1.34 billion.

Anglers rescued off ice near Sherwood Point

Two ice anglers averted a near disaster Wednesday morning when the Southern Door Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard rescued them. A witness called 911 shortly after 11 a.m. near Oak Avenue in the Town of Nasewaupee to report that two people were on a chunk of ice floating away from the shore. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson said by the time they and the Coast Guard got their banana boats into the water that the original 40-foot gap had grown to nearly 400 feet.

Both anglers were brought to shore safely, though some of their equipment was left behind. Olson says it was one of the earliest ice rescues they could recall. He also reminds anglers to take extra caution before heading out onto the ice, especially as temperatures are expected to be above freezing over the next several days.

 

Picture courtesy of United States Coast Guard

 

 

Looking back before setting your 2023 resolutions

For the sake of your mental health, you might want to take some time in the next few days to have a personal "year-end review." Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White recommends that you take stock of what happened to you in 2022 before making any New Year resolutions for 2023. He suggests writing down your 2022 experiences and reflecting on your accomplishments rather than focusing on what you failed to get done.

 

 

Dr. White says the year-end review can help you remember, learn, and grow as a person. The process can better prepare you for moving forward while leading to meaningful resolutions in 2023.

 

You can listen to Dr. White's complete Mental Health Minute below.

 

Fire call in Brussels caused by electrical outlet overload

A fire call by the Brussels-Union-Gardner (BUG) Fire Department on Tuesday was another good reminder to ensure you are not overloading the electrical outlets in your home. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says his department was dispatched late Tuesday afternoon to 1157 Brussels Road, where a homeowner reported a burning smell after plugging his Christmas tree into an outlet that caused a spark. Vandertie says the homeowner took the right course of action by turning off the main power supply to the house and calling 911. He notes that the affected outlet was an older two-prong outlet.

 

 

Vandertie recommends that you contact a licensed electrician to make sure your electrical supply is up-to-date by a licensed electrician and that it can handle the number of cords plugged into the outlets throughout your home. 

Additional openings for Door County YMCA Kids Club

Even though your children might be off school this week,  the Door County YMCA wants to let you know that they have five additional openings for its “after school” program.  Known as the Kids Club at the Lansing Avenue Center, the program offers an opportunity for kids 7 to 12 years old to interact with others their age from 2:30 until 5:30 pm when parents are still at work.  Northern Door YMCA Healthy Living Coordinator Mae Daniels says the staff always comes up with new and creative ways to entertain the kids.

 

 

She notes that the staff provides snacks and provide a safe, fun program for kids to unwind after school.  You can find more registration information about the Kids Club online with this link.  

Drone helps rescue lost skier in Peninsula State Park Tuesday night

A cross-country skier who lost his way was found safe in Peninsula State Park on Tuesday evening thanks to a drone utilized by the Gibraltar Police Department. The Gibraltar Police Department and Door County Sheriff's Department were notified shortly after 6:00 p.m. by a 62-year-old Whitefish Bay man who was cross-country skiing in the park. With the aid of a DJI 30T Drone with a thermal imaging camera, Gibraltar Police Chief Ryan Roesch says they were able to locate the man. Roesch explains the Gibraltar Fire Department was then able to find the injured man quickly.

 

 

Roesch added that the man did not require medical assistance, but the drone sustained some damage during an emergency landing.  

Critical blood drive this Thursday in Sturgeon Bay

A fragile and compromised blood supply caused by three days of weather cancellations last week means a blood drive planned this Thursday at Sonny's Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria and Bridge Up Brewing in Sturgeon Bay is more important than ever.  This is the third consecutive year Sonny’s has hosted the holiday blood drive. Tina Ferron from the Community Blood Center says the added incentives for giving blood help make for a successful event every year.

 

 

All donors will receive a slice of pizza, “A pint for a pint” voucher from Bridge Up Brewing, and a long-sleeved CBC t-shirt.  Blood can be donated at Sonny's from 11:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, or you can schedule your donation in advance with this link.

Door-Tran, Sunshine House receive state transportation grants

Thanks to grants from local organizations from the state, it will be easier for you and your neighbors to get around Door and Kewaunee counties. The office of Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced more than $5 million in rural transportation grants on Tuesday. The grants were aimed at 44 organizations that provide transportation services for seniors and disabled residents. Door-Tran received $129,885 for its mobility management program and $39,167 for its volunteer driver and vouchers initiatives. Executive Director Nikki Voight says these dollars are crucial for their programs that benefit area residents who have no other way of getting around.

Sunshine House, Inc. in Sturgeon Bay also received $103,788 to replace one of its buses. 

Jacksonport Polar Bear Club excited for potential record crowd

Thanks to several different factors, Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Founder JR Jarosh believes this could be the year for you for their annual swim. Last year, between 500 and 600 swimmers stormed the chilly Lake Michigan waters for the Polar Bear Club swim, representing 18 states and two international countries. Another 1,500 spectators stood just outside the beach at Lakeside Park in Jacksonport, watching the festivities. A Sunday holiday ahead of a late afternoon kickoff for the Packers and temperatures potentially above the freezing mark has Jarosh thinking optimistically about this year’s event.

The swim is free to participate in beginning at noon on New Year's Day. All proceeds collected through merchandise sales are donated to the Jacksonport Fire Department, which is on the scene during the swim to ensure everyone has a safe swim.

 

Picture from Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Swim

 

 

 

 

Ski-for-Free kicks off winter recreation season

Now that the wind has died down and trails have been groomed, you can enjoy the winter wonderland outside in Door and Kewaunee counties while the snow lasts. While snowmobilers did not get enough snow to hit their trails in Door and Kewaunee counties, cross-country skiers could wax up their skis over the weekend. Crossroads at Big Creek began its Ski-For-Free program on Monday, allowing visitors to take skis, snowshoes, and kicksleds around their trails. Executive Director Laurel Hauser says they had a big crowd on Monday and expect to see more throughout the week, weather permitting.

Those interested in participating in the activities can head to Crossroads at Big Creek from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Kewaunee County hopes to have its tubing hill up and running at Winter Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

 

Mother Nature may have the final say on the activities later in the week as temperatures are predicted to hit 40 degrees on Thursday and remain above freezing through Monday.

Door County jumps to high COVID-19 community level

Door County is one of four counties in the state residing at the high community level for COVID-19. Although the latest situation update showed no new deaths or hospitalizations, Door County Public Health reported that 94 of the 195 tests returned positive for COVID-19. Those results do not include those that come up positive or negative with at-home tests. Kewaunee County went back up to the medium level, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The Kewaunee County Public Health Department did not issue its report last week, but the CDC shows 26 new cases of COVID-19 through December 21st. No new deaths were reported, but an estimated two new hospital admissions were recorded.

 

With COVID-19, RSV, and the flu causing major issues for area hospitals, Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise is hosting a Facebook Live session on December 27th at 5:45 p.m. to discuss pediatric respiratory illness.

Luxemburg-Casco Talls and Smalls program making a difference

A program that mirrors Big Brothers Big Sisters has benefited many students in the Luxemburg-Casco School District. The L-C Talls and Smalls mentoring program matches students at Primary and Intermediate schools with high schoolers.

Over 60 students across grades nine through 12 participate in the Talls and Smalls and help kids with challenges at home, with peers, higher anxiety, or other issues.   School Counselor Danielle Garceau says the program is amazing and attempts to match the younger students with high schoolers with similar interests.  She says they see social skills advancements among the “smalls” participating.  

The Talls and Smalls program has grown considerably over the past five years, with approximately ten L-C High School students volunteering their time when it first began.

Keep an eye on your Christmas tree post-holiday

You may have to get rid of your Christmas tree just as quickly as Santa delivered the presents sitting under it hours prior. Trees not cared for adequately leading up to Christmas may not be in the best shape moving forward, especially if they stopped soaking up the water in their stand. According to the National Fire Protection Association, approximately 25 percent of Christmas tree fires result from electrical problems or heat sources being too close to the tree. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says if you find a lot of needles from your Christmas tree next to your presents, it may be time to say goodbye.

Bertges also reminds homeowners to ensure their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly so they can be alerted appropriately in times of danger. He added that they have already had many carbon monoxide-related incidents this winter due to malfunctioning furnaces.

School leaders excited for future of local agriculture programming

The future of agriculture education in Kewaunee County thanks to your feedback earlier this month. School and agriculture leaders met earlier this month to discuss how agriculture education can change to fit the changing needs of the industry. Luxemburg-Casco and Kewaunee School Districts have been able to build dedicated structures in recent years for their agricultural programs. Agricultural business owners, agri-education teachers and school leaders, FFA members and alums, current students, parents, and area residents met at Luxemburg-Casco High School on December 3rd to discuss where to go next. Kewaunee School District Superintendent Scott Fritz believes it was an important discussion to have kids involved in the industry and close to home while doing it.

Agriculture is vital in Kewaunee County, with an economic impact of $80 million and approximately 2,300 jobs tied to the industry.

Old standard Cheeseheads gets new update at Northern Sky Theater

This week’s Home for the Holidays shows at the Gould Theater are not the only Northern Sky Theater shows changing a few notes. Northern Sky Theater announced its 2023 season earlier this year, which will see the return of such favorites like “Cheeseheads, The Musical.” For “Cheeseheads,” the musical will be updated to fit today’s more modern times compared to when it debuted under the American Folklore Theatre banner in 2009. It will also be told through the lens of LaChrisa Grandberry’s character leading a much more diverse cast than what was seen over a decade ago. Grandberry was recently named to Madison365’s list of the top 52 most influential Black leaders in Wisconsin. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says not all of their shows lend themselves to going through such changes.

Northern Sky Theater is also set to perform “The Fish Whisperer” at the Peninsula State Park amphitheater as a part of the World Premiere Wisconsin Festival during its 2023 outdoor season. Inside the Gould Theater, Northern Sky Theater will perform “Guys on Ice,” “Guys and Does,” and “When Pigs Fly.”  You can read their full announcement here.

Snow drifts keep road crews busy

Road crews in Door and Kewaunee counties can finally get a breather after Winter Storm Brooklyn stopped hitting the area with high winds and snow. Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker announced at around 9:30 a.m. that North 18th Ave between Alabama Street and Colorado Place was reopened after two days of being barricaded because of drifting. While snowfall amounts fell short of what was predicted, the wind more than made up for it. Both in Sheriff's Departments in Door and Kewaunee counties reported drifts as high as two feet on some highways during the course of the weekend. 

 

The spirit of giving

I hope that this article finds you in the presence of family and friends as we prepare to gather and celebrate another magical season of festivities. Earlier this month, we conducted our 2022 Toys for Tots distribution. This day was a culmination of many months of work on the part of so many kind and generous people and businesses. I could fill this entire paper with the names of those who assisted in so many ways. In addition to those who gave so much in time, talent and resources, I want to also thank those who were on the receiving end that exhibited so much gratitude towards our efforts as they picked up their toys on Saturday afternoon. There is an old saying that the greatest gifts are those given with love and received with gratitude, and I can attest to the existence of these elements throughout this year’s events.

 

This year we served over 100 families with over 260 children. These numbers do fluctuate over the years as new families are added due to unforeseen circumstances in their lives, and some families do not return as their circumstances have improved. That is the essence of this and any charitable program; that it is there for those who need it, and there to be supported by those who are able to do so. Having been part of the Toys for Tots program since 1991, I complete each season with both a sense of exhaustion and accomplishment, hopeful that a difference has been made in the lives of children in our community.

 

There is another part to this experience that many miss, and it is as important if not more so than what I have described thus far. In our giving, we always hope that a difference is made. We derive a great level of comfort in knowing that our efforts made a direct and measurable impact in the lives of those whom we have given to. But what if it hasn’t? What if our efforts haven’t changed the circumstances of those receiving those gifts? What if, despite our greatest efforts, people continue to make life choices that negate our efforts to improve their lives? What if our generosity doesn’t warm the hearts of those who receive it? I would submit that we do it regardless of the actual outcomes. We do it because it is in the giving, sharing and loving that our own hearts are nourished. We derive an intrinsic benefit to our own wellness both mental and spiritual by doing good for others. That personal benefit is not dependent on the ultimate outcome of those efforts, but merely in the efforts themselves.

 

I was in Madison a few years ago, and there was a gentleman with a cardboard sign asking for money. As I was stopped at the traffic lights anyhow, I took the opportunity to give the gentleman a few dollars. I will never know what he did with that money. Maybe he was able to get himself a warm meal, or maybe he immediately went and purchased some alcohol or drugs. In the end it doesn’t matter. I drove away with a better feeling in my heart, and an optimism that I helped another human being.

 

This is the real theme of the Christmas season that should carry on in each of us throughout the year. To give without question. To love without condition. To sacrifice without hesitation.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Community Spotlight: Santa Claus

After a long night delivering presents to boys and girls around the world, Santa Claus can finally put his feet up. The Atlantic estimates that Santa delivers presents to 6,100 children every second, drinking over 34 million gallons of milk along the way.  Santa made dozens of trips to Door and Kewaunee counties to celebrate the Christmas season over the last six weeks, bringing up the rear in parades and sitting in front of thousands of kids listening to their wishes. In Kewaunee County, the jolly old elf looks a lot like Joe Delleman, a Luxemburg resident who worked at the paper mills in Green Bay before his career took him to Bay Shipbuilding. Delleman has been confused with Santa Claus for close to 15 years at different events like Christmas in Casco at the Casco Kidz Zone and brunch at Homestead Kitchen and Tap. While he is flattered by the comparison, Santa is just happy he is able to bring a little Christmas magic to everyone he meets.

Santa says he is looking forward to sitting in his recliner, finishing off the last few cookies from the night before, and watching the Packers play. Last year, Trent Snyder from Bridge Up Brewing shared his thoughts on helping fill in for Santa for Christmas events in Door County.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from President/Owner

It's the time of year when you need to take a moment and simply say Merry Christmas and Happy New year to everyone involved in making 2022 a success.

 

I need to say that to the staff at NEW Radio because they work tirelessly to make the Door County Daily News, NEW Radio Sports Network and our stations some of the best in the industry. I know how hard they work and I appreciate everything that they do for the company and for our listeners and readers.

 

I'm also grateful for our listeners, readers and clients as we look forward to another year delivering news, sports and entertainment to this wonderful community.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

 

Pay to Play with the United Way raises $4000

On a snowy day, if you turned into U-102.1 you were treated to a wide variety of music as listeners called, texted and emailed in request donations for the Pay to Play with the United Way.

 

With the help of numerous U-102.1 and United Way board members, volunteers and staff, this event was a success and we were able to raise $4000. Donations came in from everywhere including right here in Door County and as far away as Florida. Thank you to everyone who made this possible and a successful event.

 

You can still donate to the United Way's annual campaign, their goal this year is $825,000. Details are available at unitedwaydc.com

Weather shuts down Washington Island Ferry until Christmas Day

The weather is acting like the Grinch for those trying to travel to and from Washington Island this Christmas. The Washington Island Ferry Line announced Friday afternoon that weather conditions would not allow passengers to cross Death’s Door. Having the ferry shut down multiple days in a row is virtually unheard of, even more so at around the holidays. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says some ships may still hit the water in weather like this, but none carry the precious cargo that they do.

Purinton says the weather forecast is looking favorable to allow people to cross Death’s Door on the Washington Island Ferry on Christmas Day morning.

Senators urge for FCC accountability in broadband fight

A group of 26 U.S. Senators is joining your fight for better broadband access in Door County. The bipartisan group of senators wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairperson Jessica Rosenworcel earlier this week to ensure the new broadband maps are accurate. The amount of federal funding states receive for their various broadband projects depends on the coverage maps created by the FCC. Currently, the maps show Door County as being almost completely covered with high-speed internet access. According to the current maps, Door County is 100 percent covered by broadband access. Door County Broadband Coordinator Jessica Hatch says that is inaccurate, with early returns from its broadband surveys showing that more than half of the county is either underserved or not served at all.

Calls from constituents and local government officials led the state’s Public Service Commission to encourage Wisconsinites to “Badger the FCC” to check the accuracy of the broadband coverage maps. You can help the FCC paint a more accurate picture of the area’s broadband connection by submitting a location challenge to the government agency by January 8th, 2023. You can learn how to do it by clicking this link. You will also find the letter sent by the bipartisan group of U.S. senators to Chairperson Rosenworcel below.

 

Dear Chairwoman Rosenworcel,

 

We write today to highlight important next steps in ensuring that the national broadband map being developed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ultimately satisfies the goals of the Broadband DATA Act and provides a reliable depiction of broadband availability across the country.

 

As an initial matter, we appreciate the efforts of you, your colleagues on the FCC, and the FCC staff in seeking to develop a nationwide Fabric that identifies serviceable locations and in amassing data detailing the level of broadband service available to each of them. We appreciate that this has involved the creation of a new means of capturing and presenting such data, and we are pleased that the public can now view a preliminary version of the map reflecting initial location estimates and initial service coverage reports from providers.

 

But for all of the work done to date, as you and others have noted on multiple occasions, this is an “iterative” process. We have heard from constituents, state and local governments, and service providers alike of continuing concerns about the accuracy of the map, ranging from persistent issues with missing or incorrect serviceable locations to potentially overstated claims of coverage by providers. To ensure the map can be used for decisions about where to direct tens of billions of dollars for broadband deployment, it is critical that these issues be examined and addressed in a systematic and thorough manner.

 

Accountability and accuracy must be paramount moving forward. A more granular map will be of little use if there is little confidence in the results and if providers are not accountable for reporting accurately. We encourage you therefore to work with stakeholders of all kinds to make sure that all serviceable locations are in fact represented on the map, such as by making it relatively simple for adjustments to be made to the Fabric. We also recommend that the Fabric be updated more than twice each year and that such updates, especially when adding new locations, also enable the identification of the locations as served or not.

 

Similarly, we encourage you to make sure that providers are accountable for their reports – not just after the fact if they are found to have overreported coverage, but on the front end even prior to the map being finalized. This is especially important precisely because choices as to how billions of broadband dollars will be spent or not will turn on these claims. We therefore ask, for example, that you not allow a provider to claim coverage at locations where challengers can demonstrate they have tried to request service and been told the service is unavailable or cannot be delivered within 10 business days. Likewise, if a challenger submits robust testing data or publicly available coverage data indicating that a provider’s signals cannot in fact be received at a given location as promised, this should disqualify the provider from claiming to serve that location. In addition, the Commission should ensure that its crowdsourcing process works effectively and promptly in response to parties filing robust testing data regarding performance of services that are available.

 

We recognize that these steps will require more work now in ensuring all serviceable locations are represented and in sorting through challenges as to the availability of service and to the underlying Fabric data. But these processes must not be short-cut or millions of Americans in need of broadband risk being short-changed.

 

Thank you again for your work thus far in developing the map and for your attention to this letter. We look forward to continuing to work with you to promote accountability on the part of reporting providers and to ensure that we are working from a map that is both granular and accurate in making responsible decisions about distributing valuable taxpayer resources for broadband deployment.

 

The letter was led by Senators Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.). Joining Senators Baldwin, Capito and Rosen in signing the letter were Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

Granary, fire department benefit from omnibus passage

You may not have realized that a pair of projects designated for Door County was included in the $1.7 trillion in the Omnibus Appropriations Act passed on Thursday by the U.S. Senate.

 

You may not have realized that a pair of projects designated for Door County was included in the $1.7 trillion in the Omnibus Appropriations Act passed on Thursday by the U.S. Senate. The bill passed the Senate by a 68-29 margin. According to Senator Tammy Baldwin’s office, $3.3 million was earmarked for the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to continue the transformation of the former Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator into an agricultural museum and event center. Another $900,000 will go to the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department for a new fire truck.

 

Senator Baldwin said afterward that she was proud that the funding package would bring $255 million to the state for community-driven projects “with critical investments for roads, bridges and water infrastructure, workforce development, access to health and child care, improvements for emergency services, and so much more.”

 

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson voted against the bill, even offering an amendment to eliminate $9.8 billion in earmarks. According to WisPolitics.com, he pointed out that Democrats and Republicans were both trying to get billions of dollars of pet projects passed in an over 4,000-page bill likely not many people had a chance to read. “Once again, Congress easily waived the ‘Paygo’ discipline to enable massive deficit spending to continue," said Johnson. "We are mortgaging our children’s future and a majority of the members of Congress couldn’t care less.” 

 

In addition to avoiding a government shutdown, the bill places a ban on TikTok on government devices, sends $45 billion to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, and reforms to the Electoral County redefining the Vice President’s role in the process.

Sturgeon Bay closes part of 18th Avenue due to snow drifting

Extremely windy and drifting conditions have caused a Sturgeon Bay street to be temporarily closed.  Sturgeon Bay Municipal Director Mike Barker reports that North 18th Ave between Alabama Street and Colorado Place has been closed to traffic due to near zero visibility and severe drifting.  He says the City of Sturgeon Bay crews will keep an eye on the area and reopen when possible but expects the street to remain closed through the night as high winds are forecasted throughout the day.

 

 

Keeping Christmas full of faith

You will find area pastors in Door and Kewaunee counties helping people remember the reason for the season. According to Lifeway Research, six out of ten Americans will find a pew this Christmas and attend services. Of the Americans not attending church their year, 57 percent said they would attend Christmas services if invited.

 

Pastor Daniel Schuster of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg and Holy Trinity Church in Casco evoked the words of Mother Theresa when speaking about filling your heart full of faith this holiday season.

Pastor Jim Honig of Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay is happy to welcome more people to their services after running an altered schedule for the last two years due to the pandemic.

Pastor Matthew Sprunger of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kewaunee says Christmas represents a promise kept by God.

Pastor Joel McKenney of Algoma’s St. Paul’s Lutheran Church hopes those who hear his message find something good during a time that is anything but that for some people.

Most churches offer multiple opportunities to attend services on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion will continue its tradition of being one of the few churches in the region offering a true Midnight Mass. You can listen to some of our local pastors share their Christmas Full of Faith below:

 

Father Edward Looney, Pastor of St. Francis and St. Mary Parish, Brussels and St. Peter/St. Hubert Parish, Lincoln/Rosiere

Deacon Mark Bortle of St. Joseph's Church, Sturgeon Bay

Pastor Joel McKenney, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Algoma

Father Daniel Schuster, Pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church, Luxemburg and Holy Trinity Church, Casco

Pastor Matthew Sprunger, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Kewaunee

Pastor Jim Honig, Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church, Ellison Bay

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Sister Bay looks to fill immediate opening on Village Board

The Sister Bay Village Board is looking to fill a trustee position that opened up this week.  Mary Lyons tendered her resignation at the last regular meeting on Tuesday.  The Village Board is now looking for someone to take over Lyon’s term, which expires next April.  If you are a Sister Bay resident and are interested in the appointed position, send a letter of interest and biography/resume to Administrator Julie Schmelzer by January 10. 

Two other Village Board of Trustees positions are open as well, as incumbents Scott Baker and Chad Kodanko are not interested in running again and have filed non-candidacy papers.  If interested in putting your name on the ballot for next April’s election, contact Sister Bay’s Village Clerk Heidi Teich.  Paperwork must be submitted by 5 pm on January 3, 2023. 

Former mayor looks to join Algoma City Council

Wayne Schmidt does not plan on being done serving the community after suffering a loss in the Algoma mayoral race earlier this year. Schmidt returned his paperwork last week to run for the District 3 seat vacated by Steve Lautenbach. District 1 alderperson John Pabich and Lautenbach returned their non-candidacy forms earlier this month. John Ortlieb has started the process to replace Pabich on the council. District 2’s Midge Swedberg and District 4’s Lee Dachelet have returned their paperwork for their re-election bids.

 

No changes were reported in the other two elections for city council seats in Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee. Sturgeon Bay may not see any change as incumbents Helen Bacon (District 1), Dan Williams (District 3), Gary Nault (District 5), and Kirsten Reeths (District 7) are the only ones to have taken nomination papers out in their bids for re-election. Kewaunee is the only one with a potential contested election as Joe Mills looks to reclaim his seat from District 3 alderperson, Robin Nelson. No one has submitted paperwork to run for the seat vacated by District 4 alderperson Richard Taylor.

 

Interested candidates have until January 3rd at 5 p.m. to return the necessary paperwork to run for office in the spring election. If needed, a spring primary will occur on February 21st before the general election slated for April 4th.

Proposals for Potawatomi Tower to be shared January 12th

You will be able to see what could be in store for the observation tower at Potawatomi State Park at a virtual hearing next month. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced on Thursday it would be holding the informational session on January 12th at 6 p.m. In April, Governor Tony Evers and then-Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole said the state selected GRAEF to move forward with the next phase of the project, which included providing the state with design options. The announcement drew criticism at the time because it did not address what could be done in the short-term to preserve the structure, which will have to go through at least one more winter subjected to the elements. Melissa Van Landuyt from the DNR says residents will be able to share their thoughts online following the presentation.


You can find the login information for the meeting when it happens here. The most popular design will be included in the 2023 Capital Budget. The Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower, constructed in the 1930s, is a part of the National and the State Registry of Historic Places. The Potawatomi Tower was closed in December 2017 after engineers found significant wood decay and unsafe conditions.

 

 

Pay to Play helps the United Way of Door County's Annual Campaign

Have you ever wanted to play deejay for a day?

 

You can, while helping the United Way of Door County get to its annual goal this Friday when U-102.1 shuts off the music and only takes your requests. Pay to Play starts at 7 a.m. and runs all day where you can make request donations of $25 for a song that you would normally hear on U-102.1 or $50 for a song that would break the station's format.

 

Every donation received will go directly to the United Way of Door County. Tomorrow will be filled with guest hosts, including Amy Kohnle and other members from the United Way, the U-102.1 DJ's, and other NEW Radio staff, and your requests all day. The requests aren't limited to songs, birthday wishes, "shout-outs" and other requests are welcome for a donation all day as well. More details about the U-102.1 Pay to Pay with the United Way are available at u1021.com. 

Christmas keeping florists busy

While the weather outside is frightful, area florists have been able to help make your home delightful. According to Yahoo! Finance, winter holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah account for the most significant percentage of all holiday flower sales at 30 percent. At $2.28 billion, it even outpaces Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Todd Maas from Sturgeon Bay’s Maas Floral said earlier this month that customers have been keeping them busy, especially when it comes to Christmas’s most popular flower, the poinsettia.

Known as a finicky plant to keep alive, Maas says plenty of sun and just the right amount of water can help keep your poinsettia alive well past the holiday season.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Winter Weather Warning issued for Door and Kewaunee counties.

It was not a matter of if but when Door and Kewaunee counties would be included in the winter weather advisories engulfing much of the Midwest this weekend.

 

Just before 11 a.m. on Wednesday, the National Weather Service issued the Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday night through Thursday evening and the Winter Storm Watch for Thursday night through late Friday night. By Saturday, anywhere from four to twelve inches of snow could fall, with wind gusts as high as 45 miles per hour further complicating things. The snow will result in slippery roads and hazardous travel conditions, including almost zero visibility in some spots due to the high winds. By 4:20 p.m., the advisory and watch merged into a winter storm warning, which will now run from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Saturday.

 

At least two organizations are not waiting until after the storm hits to decide whether to run their services for Thursday. As of 2:45 p.m., the Meals on Wheels programs in Kewaunee and Algoma canceled their routes. You can click this link for up-to-date closures, delays, and postponements.

 

Winter storm bringing challenges to heating units

You may have to go outside to ensure you are comfortable, healthy, and safe inside. The winter storm could dump as much as a foot of snow across Door and Kewaunee counties, and snow drifts could be even higher with the accompanying winds. Overnight low temperatures are also expected to struggle to get out of the single digits from Friday to Tuesday. Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke says making sure your filters are clean and your vents are clear are just two ways to ensure your air quality and indoor temperature stay where they need to be.

Blemke also recommends making sure your furnace is maintained to make sure it is operating correctly. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges said earlier this week that they have already encountered several carbon monoxide calls due to malfunctioning furnaces this winter.

Door County Hospitality Worker Thank You Campaign winner selected

One of many hard-working employees in Door County will be getting a large prize package this holiday season. Destination Door County announced Wednesday Tanya Schaut as the winner of the Door County Hospitality Worker Thank You Campaign conducted over the past few weeks. Schaut, who works at Baileys Harbor Cornerstone Pub, was among 41 workers nominated for the recognition. She will receive a prize package that includes a $250 Sun Country Airlines voucher from Austin Straubel International Airport and $250 in Door County gift certificates.  Destination Door County and local community business associations put together the campaign for the second year to show gratitude towards area hospitality workers for their hard work over the past year.

Other nominees included Jesse Sanchez from Jim Olson Motors,  Rosella Trotter from Destination Sturgeon Bay, and Ann Williams from Westwood Shores and Bliss.

You can find the complete list of nominees from the Destination Door County Hospitality Worker Thank You Campaign with this link.

Registration starts up at Door County YMCA

You can start the New Year by getting active at the Door County YMCA, as registration for Winter 1 programs begins this week. Members had a head start with registration on Monday, with community members eligible to sign up starting today. Membership Experience Executive Brett Cleveland says the winter sessions will begin on January 2nd. He shares some of the more popular classes available for you.

 

 

Cleveland adds that the Door County YMCA is waiving the $50 “joiner fee” for all new members through January 15th. Holiday hours for the Door County YMCA will be 7 am until 11 am on Christmas Eve at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers. The facilities will be closed on Christmas Day, but 24/7 access is available to those approved members.  

Bird City Algoma offering "birding all year long"

In preparation for the Bird City Celebration planned for next May, the Bird City Algoma organization is looking for bird lovers to capture photographs of our feathered friends commonly found in the area. “Birding All Year Long” is a bird recognition game that will begin in January and continue all year. Avid Bird photographer John C. Walch will supply monthly bird images with information on the bird of the month, when and where to spot them, and interesting physical characteristics found with each species. Sue Hepp, president of Bird City Algoma, says young and old are encouraged to participate by sending photos of the birds every month. 

 

 

 Photos submitted from January through May may be displayed at the annual Bird City Celebration on May 17, 2023. You can send your photos to  suehepp8@gmail.com.

 

Algoma was officially recognized as a Bird City Wisconsin, on May 4, 2013. The organization offers educational programs while sharing information about birding and healthy bird habitats. 

Sturgeon Bay lays groundwork for 2023

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council promptly took care of the City's business on Tuesday night. The year's final meeting was held right after an hour-long session of the Board of Public Works. City Engineer Chad Shefchik gave an overview of 2023 capital road improvements and the five-year plan. The board formally approved future sidewalk projects for stretches on Delaware and Georgia streets, Memorial Drive, and South 15th Avenue. In the council meeting, the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee recommended the continuation of special assessment deferments. Two properties of the five deferments were written off because neither parcel would hook up to Duluth Avenue's city water and dates back more than 50 years.  
The City of Sturgeon Bay also approved a consent agreement to be listed as a Firefighting Resource Provider between T & T Salvage and the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. The City could be reimbursed for firefighting efforts similar to those done during shipyard fires in the past, according to Fire Chief Tim Dietman. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a bid of $217,443 for a multi-purpose Brush/Fire Responder Truck unanimously for the fire department in the final action Tuesday night

TikTok discussion grabbing additional attention

The social media app TikTok is grabbing more eyes than the 15-second videos you may find. State houses across the country are banning the app on government devices. Both chambers of the United States Congress have a similar measure tied in with its $1.6 trillion omnibus spending plan. U.S. Rep Mike Gallagher wants to take it further, saying the app should be banned altogether because of its ties to the Chinese government. He told Fox News last week that TikTok could potentially “propagandize young Americans” by controlling the news content they find on it. He has also called it “digital fentanyl,” as it is highly addictive and highly destructive. Chad Mielke, the digital forensics expert with the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Sturgeon Bay Police Department, says TikTok shares some of the same cybersecurity concerns other social media apps have just because of the data it collects. He says there are ways to keep your kids as safe as possible on TikTok if you allow them to have it.

According to Statista, there have been over three billion downloads of the TikTok app, with the average user spending over 90 minutes daily on it. Mielke will host a presentation on mobile app safety on March 6th, 2023, at Sevastopol after hosting a session at Sturgeon Bay School District last month. He hopes to hold presentations at Gibraltar and Southern Door in the near future.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Pharmacies set limits on children's pain medication amid flu, RSV surge

You may have to rely on other methods to treat your children’s illnesses as the country battles RSV, the flu, and COVID-19. According to the Associated Press, CVS and Walgreens will limit the purchases of some children’s pain and fever medications. An increased demand and supplier challenges are why the two national retailers are being proactive in their approach before the national shortage of the products becomes more widespread. Behind the counter, the prescription antibiotic amoxicillin used to treat nose and throat infections in children is also becoming hard to find due to the increased demand. Door County Public Health Officer Eric Krawczyk encourages you to take those preventative measures before you get sick.

If you need medications to treat your children, you are advised to shop around or try generic versions of the same drug. For those looking for non-medicinal aid, baths in lukewarm water, humidifiers, and honey could be other ways to treat the symptoms besides rest. 

Highway department preparing for holiday storms

Saying “I’ll be home for Christmas” may be more of a nightmare than a dream this weekend as the state prepares for a winter storm. Much of Wisconsin outside the northeastern corridor is already under a Winter Storm Warning from Thursday through Saturday morning. In addition to several inches of snow, wind gusts as high as 50 miles per hour could produce whiteout conditions in some cases. Door and Kewaunee counties are currently under a watch or a warning. Still, the National Weather Service has issued a special weather statement for the region advising residents to be aware of the oncoming storm. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash says that after snow plows came off the road Tuesday morning after the area received just over an inch of snow, they already started preparing for Thursday’s expected weather.

Ash says with the size of their crew that it will be all hands on deck all weekend long if the storm materializes. The winter weather will stick around even after the snow disappears as cold air is expected to settle into the area. Wind chills are predicted to be 10 to 20 degrees below zero.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Santa's Crew prepares for off-season

After over 1,500 miles of travel in Wisconsin, Santa's Crew's reindeer from Luxemburg are ready to let Rudolph and his crew carry the heavy load for Christmas to help deliver your presents. Santa's Crew's four reindeer have been bringing smiles to children and their parents to places as close as Casco Kidz Zone and as far away as Fall River and Lake Geneva since approximately mid-November. Cupid, Vixen, Prancer, and Dancer traveled the state taking pictures and helping kids see what reindeer looked like up close. Santa's Crew owner Sara Pinchart says the families' reactions when they see her four reindeer never get old.

Santa's Crew made several visits to Door County this year, including Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, and Sister Bay. The reindeer will celebrate a job well done at their last public appearance of the season at the Titletown District's New Year's Eve Celebration. Pinchart says the reindeer will spend the offseason resting in their pasture as they prepare for next year.

Protecting yourself from holiday season scams

With the holiday buying season here and charitable donations being requested, local law enforcement agencies are warning you to be aware of scammers trying to take advantage of consumers’ holiday plans through rip-offs and fraudulent schemes. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reports that fake shipping companies may send consumers messages alerting them to a delivery and threatening to delay it unless the consumer “verifies” private information. Door County Deputy Sheriff Pat McCarty says you should always be wary of suspicious emails and texts and call to make sure the company is legitimately the one portrayed.

 

 

Other scams are giveaways, online marketplace, pet, and ticket scams. You can read more details on holiday scams and how to protect yourself from being a victim of a scammer below. 

 

Delivery notification/shipping scams. Fake shipping companies may send consumers messages alerting them to delivery and threatening to delay unless the consumers ‘verify’ private information. Sometimes there is an attachment to download, usually containing a virus.

Do not open these messages or provide any personal information. Contact the company directly using a verified customer service phone number or email address for a shipping status update.

Giveaway scams. Consumers may receive messages claiming they have won a prize such as a gift card to a major retailer. The catch: consumers are asked to pay a small ‘processing fee,’ to complete a survey, or to provide some personal data before they can claim it.

Prizes do not require fees. Never engage with someone offering gift cards or other goods for “free,” but with strings attached.

Online marketplace scams. Social media platforms and other online marketplaces offer the option to buy and sell directly with other users. Scammers may pose as buyers or as sellers, and have a variety of strategies they use to fool consumers.

Be wary of buyers overpaying with checks – this is a sure sign of fraud; do not refund them. Do not pay for items unless the seller can be confirmed as legitimate. Do not give personal information or move the conversation to an off-site channel.

 Pet scams. Pets are a popular holiday gift, but consumers should use caution when buying one online. Scammers will advertise pets, and when contacted claim the pets were already sold but that they know a faraway second seller with more options.

Ask for the name and location of the pet’s veterinarian. Contact the vet using publicly available information to confirm the pet really exists. Never pay up-front for pets sold online.

Ticket scams. Tickets to popular events can be expensive and in short supply. While many unofficial sellers and third-party websites are legitimate, watch for unreasonable prices and fake ticket sales.

Purchase tickets from official vendors that have established policies for cancellations and refunds.

For additional information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit DATCP’s Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions or believe you are a victim of a scam, report it by contacting DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline by phone at (800) 422-7128 or email at DATCPHotline@wi.gov.

 

 

Kewaunee County Board wraps up year Tuesday

A busy year for the Kewaunee County Board will wrap up on Tuesday with its final meeting of 2022. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Daniel Olson will fill several positions on various boards and committees and will name Melissa Annoye as the new Human Services Director. She replaces Jeffrey Wisnicky, who served a dual role as the director and Kewaunee County Corporation Counsel until he was elected judge earlier this year. The Kewaunee County Board will also discuss taking the tax deeds away of residents who are delinquent on their taxes and approving budget adjustments for the public health and sheriff’s departments. It could be a quiet end to the year for the board, which supported the construction of a new jail facility earlier this year after almost 20 years of discussion.

Area Jews celebrate Chanukah

Christmas is not the only religious holiday you will find people celebrating this week. December 18th marked the first night of Chanukah for practicing Jews worldwide. The eight-day celebration commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple after it was reclaimed from the Syrian-Greeks during the second century BC. The lighting of the menorah is a symbol of the light that can be found during dark times. While there are no synagogues in Door or Kewaunee counties, area Jews can connect with the faith during the summer months when rabbis from the Chabad of the Bay Area come up to share thoughts about the Torah and Jewish life. Rabbi Michoel Feinstein says it is important to stay connected with your faith as much as possible.

The Chabad of the Bay Area will host its Chanukah Festival celebration on Thursday at 6 p.m. at its facility on Libal Street in Green Bay.

Turning Point Door County offers $10K for mysterious death information

Turning Point Door County needs your help to solve a mystery in hopes of easing the pain of one of its own.

 

On Sunday, the organization announced it would be rewarding $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the death of Cordarrow Hirthe. Turning Point Door County provides services such as daily living skills, supported employment, day services, and employment services to individuals who may need additional support. 

 

Over three years ago, Hirthe was found with two gunshot wounds to his head outside his vehicle near a wayside parking lot for the Ahnapee State Trail in Sturgeon Bay. "Hirthe holds a special place in the heart of In-Home Support Dana Vandertie," said Turning Point of Door County's Tim Beck. "We want to help the family in any way we can, and the extra funds will benefit the ongoing investigation. By working together and supporting the efforts of the investigation, we hope to provide the family with answers and closure."

 

The organization is also asking for donations to help support the investigation surrounding Hirthe's mysterious death.

 

Hirthe was 32 years old when he passed away, leaving behind his family, his career at Bay Shipbuilding, and his love of riding Harley-Davidson motorcycles as the vice president of the Door Devils Motorcycle Club. 

 

A previous version listed Dana Vandertie as the mother of Hirthe's child. The mother according to this obituary is Amanda Vandertie. We regret the error.

Door and Kewaunee counties dip into low COVID community level

After a week in the medium COVID-19 community level, data from the Centers for Disease Control shows Door and Kewaunee counties back in the green. A big reason why is that Door County snapped a streak of weeks where there was at least one hospitalization and/or death  Neither was reported by the Door County Public Health Department this week to go along with the 29 positives of COVID-19 out of 94 tests administered. Kewaunee County only had 18 positive tests with no new deaths or hospitalizations. Overall, no Wisconsin counties are in the high level, and just 25 of the state’s 72 counties are in the medium level. Despite the good news, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that COVID-19, combined with the flu and RSV and staffing shortages, are stretching the limits of area hospitals.

 

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

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,888 (+94)
Positive: 8,040 (+29)
Probable: 468 (+2)
Negative: 24,380 (+63)
Hospitalizations: 270
Deaths: 69 
*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

 

 

Baldwin proud of recent Senate bipartisanship

In a polarized Washington D.C., U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is proud of the work the U.S. Senate accomplished over the last year. Democrats squeaked another majority in the U.S. Senate after Senator Raphael Warnock reclaimed his seat in Georgia. It ended a long election cycle that saw the top five most expensive Senate races of 2022 add up to nearly $1.3 billion, including $205 million in the race between U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and former Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes. Baldwin says the last year should show that both Democrats and Republicans can work together to pass bills and solve issues.

The country’s newest House of Representatives and U.S. Senate members will be sworn into office on January 3rd. The country’s leadership will be split after Republicans reclaimed the House in the last election. We will be talking to Rep. Mike Gallagher about that and more in the near future.

Community Spotlight: Griffon String Quartet

The Griffon String Quartet is making sure you get to experience the magic of string instruments regardless of your background. The Midsummer’s Music ensemble wrapped up a busy weekend of musical performances on Sunday with their performance at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. Their attention will now go back to the kids that members of the Griffon String Quartet spend a lot of time with, sharing their skills through lessons and outreach events. Last month, the ensemble performed concerts at branches of the Door County Library and Brown County Library to go hand-in-hand with Mo Willems’ book “Because.” As is the case for many of their outreach events, the musicians allowed the children to hold and even play the instruments, something that does not occur for many in an area that lacks a lot of orchestra programs. Violinist Roy Meyer said during his caroling stop at NEW Radio on Thursday that its interaction with area youth is among his favorite parts of the Griffon String Quartet.

The ensemble will pair up with the Suzuki Strings of Madison in the New Year to present the inaugural Griffon Winter Retreat. During the day on January 6th, Meyer and the Suzuki Strings will present a concert at Gibraltar Elementary before holding a workshop for the school’s 3rd-6th grade students. The retreat continues at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay with a pair of events on the evening of January 6th and during the day on January 7th.

 

 

Kewaunee School District shines light on community's child care needs

Kewaunee School District is giving you an excellent reason to move to their community if child care is an issue. Like many rural areas, childcare facilities can be hard to find, let alone the room at the centers to take on more students. It was an issue brought to the Kewaunee School District years ago. Approximately three years ago, the district was able to offer all-day 4K. This fall, the district opened the Lighthouse Learning Center, which offers a 3K program based on the state’s learning standards and wrap-around care for working parents. Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz says it was a need the community asked for, and he is glad they can offer it to those who live in the district and to others considering making Kewaunee their home.

There is still space available in the programs at the Lighthouse Learning Center. You can click on this link to find registration information for the wrap-around care and 3K programs.

New Door County Land Trust acquisition preserves water quality in Southern Door

Southern Door's water quality has been boosted with a rare gift through a conservation easement agreement. The Door County Land Trust received the donation from Patricia A. Nell of Sturgeon Bay. The 158-acre property contains a portion of the headwaters of the Ahnapee River and surrounding wetlands that slow down water runoff and filter sediments and nutrients before entering the river. Conservation Easement Program manager Drew Reinke says the easement agreement protects the land and water while benefiting future generations. Reinke adds that the headwaters will be protected in perpetuity, keeping water quality protection as a top conservation focus for the Land Trust in Southern Door.  The acquisition of the land continues the efforts of the Land Trust to protect property that impacts local groundwater and surface waters that flow into Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay. 

 

(photo submitted: Patricia Nell (center) joins conservation easement program manager, Drew Reinke (left), and executive director, Emily Wood, at the Door County Land Trust offices in Sturgeon Bay. Door County Land Trust)

Keeping tabs of your mental health during the holidays

The Holiday season brings with it so many amazing opportunities for both sharing memories and making memorable moments with our friends and families. While this season is known for gift-giving and celebrations, let’s also use these get-togethers as a time to reconnect on a personal level. Although the overall atmosphere may be brimming with happiness and joy, let’s make sure we take the time to engage on a meaningful level to those who may appear to be struggling. While for many of us the Holiday season is a time of peace and hope, for others, this season brings heightened levels of anxiety and mental pain.

         

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to present on suicide awareness throughout our communities by using the QPR philosophy (Question, Persuade, Refer). The best part about these training sessions is that they don’t necessarily focus on the subject of suicide but rather on the subject of hope. Even more recently, I have had the honor to partner with the Center for Suicide Awareness in providing Resiliency Courses to our First responders. While suicide prevention techniques are critical at the time of crisis, so too is resiliency training, as it builds the skills necessary to navigate through adversity.  It’s no secret that our society as a whole is struggling to a greater extent with mental wellness than ever before in our nation’s history. This isn’t because our nation has not experienced adversity before, nor is it because we as individuals haven’t struggled. The missing component is that we have lost a great deal of our connection to each other as human beings. We live in an age where the ability to communicate has never been greater, yet meaningful communication has decreased. We have substituted the experience of conversation, which incorporates vital verbal and non-verbal expressions, with short texts and emojis. We base friendships on the likes of a social media post or the frequency by which our Snap Chats are shared. What we need is to get back to the basics. We need to listen, not with the anticipation of responding and giving our opinions, but rather listening to understand. We need to return to the concept that disagreement and respect are not exclusive of each other but inclusive. Those of us who have a few miles behind us need to take the time to share our stories with those less traveled so they can understand that what they are experiencing in today’s world is no better or worse than times of our past. It is up to us to plant the seeds of Hope.

         

Attending to the mental needs of our family and friends does not take a degree, certificate, or even an office. It can happen sitting on a park bench, a truck tailgate or a bale of hay. Anyone of us can provide hope to another at a critical moment. Many times that may be all they need; Hope. At times, our providing Hope may just be the bridge that holds them over until we can get them to a greater level of care. Just as we would provide physical first aid when we see the need, our ability to intervene when someone needs immediate emotional of mental support is vital to their ultimate success in recovery. The first step is having the courage and compassion to step out of our comfort zone and have those crucial conversations. We need to normalize talking about mental health, and especially to discuss feelings of suicide. We need to move beyond conversations about football scores, or politics, to conversations about each other’s experiences, the setbacks, the victories, the pain, and the joy. A key component to this sharing is our ability to be vulnerable to each other and recognize that in some way, shape, or form, we are all broken, and the best journey is a shared journey.

         

If you are interested in exploring these topics, I am always willing to provide this training to any group, big or small young and old alike. You can reach me at: (920)255-1100

Holiday road travel expected to spike, Drive Sober campaign underway 

Local law enforcement encourages travelers to take the proper precautions for holiday travel this week as significant increases are expected compared to last year. AAA predicts that travel on the roads for the holidays will be the third busiest ever since tracking began in 2000. 

An estimated 102 million travelers are expected to hit the road starting Friday through January 2. That is two million more people than last year during the period of travel. The Door County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Pat McCarty suggests keeping an eye on the weather if you need to travel over the holidays and allowing plenty of time to reach your destination.

 

 

Chief Deputy McCarty adds that local and other law enforcement agencies are engaging in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign currently in effect through New Year’s. He advises people drinking to find arrangements to get home, like a designated driver. 

Ellison Bay congregation looks within itself

You are a part of a bigger congregation than you might think when looking at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay. This fall, Shepherd of the Bay joined a cohort of 15 other churches as a part of the Thriving Congregations Initiative. Funded by the Lilly Endowment, Pastor Jim Honig says the program helps congregations thin the walls between the church with its members and the entire community. A group within the congregation has been working hard to explore and understand the contexts in which they minister and to gain clarity about the church’s values and missions. They have done this through one-on-one meetings with members to gain information and ideas for the congregation's future. Honig says the program came at an essential time after COVID-19 kept people apart from each other for so long.

Honig believes during the two-year process that they will learn a lot about what is needed to help the congregation prosper, noting that it will take relationships, not programs, to keep it vibrant. 

Kewaunee manufacturer cited after June accident

An accident in June that ended in an employee being sent to the hospital could cost a manufacturer in Kewaunee County over $250,000. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced earlier this week it was citing Kewaunee Fabrications for 12 violations and proposing over $250,000 in fines after an investigation spurred by an employee getting his leg crushed by a falling load from a below-the-hook magnet. Kewaunee Fabrications worked with OSHA investigators to find that workers were exposed to an unguarded machine point of operation that did not prevent workers from having their hands in the danger zone while straightening parts. OSHA Area Director Robert Bonack commended Kewaunee Fabrications for taking the incident seriously, noting that the safety representatives walking with inspectors “documented the issues to improve their procedures and ensure compliance.” Kewaunee Fabrications was given 15 days to comply, request an informal conference with Bonack, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Commission. 

Non-profit grant request goes to Door County Board for approval

Some of your favorite non-profits could receive a much-needed boost in funding if the Door County Board of Supervisors moves forward with a plan to award over $263,000 in grants. Nine non-profits across Door County could benefit from the over $263,000 slated to be awarded, ranging from $9,880 to United Way Stride to increase the number of mental health counseling hours available in the school systems to nearly $21,000 for Door County Habitat for Humanity to assist 12 families who fell behind in their mortgage payments due to the pandemic. The only issue is the final amount is over the $200,000 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds initially allocated to the program. The Door County Finance Committee gave its blessing for the awards earlier this week. The additional $63,871 will come from the $1.2 million in ARPA funds allocated to the Door County Health and Human Services Department. The department’s director, Joe Krebsbach, said last week that he believes these funds will do much good in the community.

The Door County Board will also discuss staffing changes at the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Door County Emergency Management and Communication Department and the end of the COVID-era supplemental paid leave program when it meets on December 20th at 10 a.m. 

Sturgeon Bay's second Kwik Trip gets hearing

You will learn more about Sturgeon Bay's long-rumored second Kwik Trip location at the Aesthetic  Design and Site Plan Review Board meeting.  Located near the intersection of Green Bay Road (State Highway 42/57) and Duluth Avenue, the proposed Kwik Trip will occupy much more space than the recently opened location along Egg Harbor Road. The 20.7-acre development will include gas station pumps, a convenience mart, a car wash, and an area for diesel trucks to fill up and rest. To make room for the development, a commercial building and a home with its outbuildings would have to be demolished.

 

Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak noted in his memo to the board that while the development is generally consistent with the design guidelines and municipal codes, the width of the driveways, the Duluth Avenue facade of the building, and the amount of interior landscaped space versus the relatively large development setbacks as possible issues to consider.

 

You can click on this link to see the plans for the Kwik Trip, which will be discussed by the Aesthetic  Design and Site Plan Review Board on Monday beginning at 6 p.m. inside the Council Chambers.

Humane society to host holiday-themed adoption event

The Wisconsin Humane Society’s Door County campus hopes you have a “hoppy holidays” with a new friend. For the first time ever in Door County, the Wisconsin Humane Society-Door County Campus will host an adopt-a-thon event just in time for Santa’s arrival. The doors to the campus will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday to allow potential new owners the opportunity to name their own fee for adopting any small animal or adult cat. Director of Shelter Operations Olivia Webster says several factors led to the influx of small animals like rabbits in their care. Still, it could be an opportunity for a family to meet their new best friend.

You can learn more about the event and see some of the animals up for adoption by clicking this link. Webster says similar events have been held for their small animals in Racine and Milwaukee this year. 

Winter Park rooting for snow, cold

With a bit of help from Mother Nature, you should be able to start participating in winter activities in Kewaunee County as soon as later next week.

 

Kewaunee Winter Park got a jumpstart on its winter preparations with the arrival of approximately three to five inches of snow early Thursday morning. While some of that snow may melt due to temperatures above freezing on Thursday and Friday, cold temperatures start entering the weather pictures as soon as this weekend. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreations Director Dave Myers says that is prime snowmaking weather, putting them on track to open its tubing hill in late December.

Like many industries, the only thing that could hamper the success at Winter Park this winter is the need for more employees and volunteers. You can learn about the available opportunities by clicking this link. The Kewaunee Promotions and Recreation Department announced last month that the ski hill would not open this year partly due to a lack of volunteers.

 

Contested elections hard to find in local city council races

You could see some new faces on area city councils this spring based on the early returns.

 

That is undoubtedly true in Algoma, where both John Pabich (District 1) and Steve Lautenbach (District 3) have turned in their declarations of non-candidacy.  District 2 alderperson Midge Swedberg and District 4 alderperson Lee Dachelet are planning to run again for their current seats. Algoma City Clerk Erin Mueller says she has had a few people come in and pick up the necessary paperwork.

 

Sturgeon Bay may not see any change as incumbents Helen Bacon (District 1), Dan Williams (District 3), Gary Nault (District 5), and Kirsten Reeths (District 7) are the only ones to have taken nomination papers out in their bids for re-election.

 

Kewaunee is the only one with a potential contested election as Joe Mills looks to reclaim his seat from District 3 alderperson, Robin Nelson. No one has submitted paperwork to run for the seat being vacated by District 4 alderperson Richard Taylor.

 

Interested candidates have until January 3rd at 5 p.m. to return the necessary paperwork to run for office in the spring election. If needed, a spring primary will occur on February 21st before the general election slated for April 4th.

Arson suspect pleads not guilty due to mental disease

A Sturgeon Bay man accused of setting a Jacksonport restaurant on fire in October will have to undergo a mental evaluation due to his not-guilty plea.

 

According to court records, Jonathan Polich and his attorney waived his right to preliminary court questions and reading of information during his hearing on Wednesday, instead entering a not-guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect. Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin and Polich’s attorney Shannon Viel have until January 5th to agree on a doctor to use for the mental evaluation. An additional status conference has been scheduled for March 3rd to discuss the results of the mental evaluation.

 

Polich was arrested in early November after the Door County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin State Fire Marshall’s office found evidence that led to an arson investigation. Polich was charged with two counts of Arson to a dwelling and was placed on a $250,000 bond. 

 

First major snow causes issues throughout peninsula

The first significant snowfall this winter, coupled with the rainy weather in front of it, made for an interesting 24-hour stretch for Door County emergency personnel.

 

According to the Door County Dispatch report on Thursday, six accidents were reported on Wednesday, two resulting in injuries. The overnight snow of three to five inches caused its own issues, including a semi-truck jackknifing near Spruce Street in Fish Creek just before 6:30 a.m., blocking traffic on State Highway 42 for approximately two hours. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says the heavy snow was responsible for its brief fire call Thursday morning when it fell on a powerline and knocked it out. He added that the fire was out upon their arrival and was not a traffic hazard.

 

The winter storm forced schools in Door County to open on a two-hour delay, but you only have to look across the bay to see who had it worse. Schools like Oconto and Peshtigo canceled classes, and more than 12,000 Wisconsin Public Service customers across the northern half of the state were without power as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

 

You can find up-to-date cancellations and postponements online by clicking on this link.

Broadband coordinator hopes to dispute FCC maps

If you ever struggled to get a strong internet connection at your Door County address, Broadband Coordinator Jessica Hatch could use your help. The Federal Communications Commission has released its broadband service location and availability maps, which shows where internet coverage is possible and available. These maps help determine how much federal funding states will receive to assist in their efforts to build their broadband infrastructure, such as Door County's hopes for a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network  According to the current maps, Door County is 100 percent covered by broadband access. Hatch says that is inaccurate, with early returns from its broadband surveys showing that more than half of the county is either underserved or not served at all.

You can help the FCC paint a more accurate picture of the area’s broadband connection by submitting a location challenge to the government agency by January 8th, 2023. You can find directions on how to participate below. 

 

Link to FCC challenge video

 

Here is a link to the FCC’s process on How to Submit a Location Challenge in addition, you will see on this page several Articles in this section that you can look to for additional materials.

Instructions as provided by a Federal Program Officer.

  1. Point your browser to: https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/home#/
  2. LOCALITY: Type in the address and select from the auto-generated location options.
  3. When the map renders, verify that the locator dot is centered on the correct rooftop
  4. If not, click on the “Location Challenge” link in the upper right corner of the map and type in the contact information and select the appropriate Challenge Type and any documentation if available.
  5. Click Submit.
     
  6. SERVICE AVAILABILITY: Check the Provider, Technology, and Speeds available at this address.
  7. If any information is incorrect, click on “Availability Challenge” and select any of the providers that are incorrect.
  8. Enter Challenge or Feedback, the contact information, and you may either describe your experience or upload a documentation image or file.
  9. Click Submit.

ATV routes expanded in Luxemburg

You will have more room to drive around Luxemburg if you are on your ATV or UTV. On Tuesday, the Luxemburg Village Board amended its current ordinance on ATV/UTV usage within its limits, allowing it on all streets. The only exceptions are Center Drive (State Highway 54) and Main Street/ North Main Street (County Highway AB) between Church Road and Spartan Drive. The Ahnapee State Trail remains off-limits to ATV and UTV operations.  According to the Luxemburg Police Department's Facebook post written by Police Chief Chris Gulbrand, the village experienced little to no problems when the village allowed ATV and UTV operations on certain streets in 2021. Luxemburg has become the latest community in Kewaunee County to allow ATV and UTV usage on its streets since the Kewaunee County Board passed its ordinance three years ago. You will see more details below.

 

 

Starr shines bright again for Christmas Eve lunch

The Starr family of Sturgeon Bay is hosting the 5th annual Community Christmas Eve Lunch which provided over 300 free meals last year. Carrie and Kyle Starr will again coordinate the free dinner at the Arle Memorial building (Knights of Columbus Hall) on December 24th from 11:30 am until 2 pm. According to Carrie Starr, the event has grown considerably over the past few years.

 

 

The traditional Christmas lunch will be served as a sit-down meal or drive-thru take-out. Starr notes that another option for delivery will be available as well. You can find out more about the Community Christmas Eve Lunch below. 

 

 

(photo submitted)

Reporting of mudpuppy sightings asked by DNR

You can help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources protect a species found in the waters of Lake Michigan this winter. Mudpuppies, an aquatic salamander, were once a common species in Wisconsin but has been a declining species of late. The DNR is encouraging ice anglers this winter who catch mudpuppies while fishing to take a picture and then release it back into the water while avoiding handling the mudpuppy as much as possible. Lena Carlson, DNR Conservation Biologist, says, "Observations from the public are incredibly valuable. This information will show us where we will need to direct future management efforts to help declining populations." You can send photos and reports of mudpuppy observations to DNRherptiles@wisconsin.gov.

 

(photo courtesy of Wis-DNR)

Door County YMCA starting up free "Stepping On" program

To help you reduce the chances of falling this winter, the Door County YMCA will offer a free "Stepping On" class beginning after the first of the year. Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin says the program builds confidence and reduces falls. She and Christine Webb-Miller will facilitate the class designed to help improve your balance as you age.

 

 

The seven-week course will begin on January 25th and will be held at the ADRC of Door County on North 14th Avenue. It is available to anyone who would like to participate. You can find more information on the "Stepping On" program by contacting the Door County YMCA at (920) 743-4949. 

Winter Storm Watch issued for Door County

Your commute through Door County could get dicey as the area prepares for its first substantial snowfall of the season. The National Weather Service added Door County to its Winter Storm Watch effective from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 9 a.m. Thursday. Total snow accumulations could be between four and eight inches, with wind gusts reaching as high as 35 miles per hour. So far, the Green Bay area has only seen approximately three inches of snowfall this season. The wintry weather is expected to hit the area Tuesday night, with mixed precipitation lasting through Wednesday morning. 

Griffon String Quartet Pop-up Caroling begins

The season's music is being shared throughout the area thanks to a foursome of musicians. The Griffon String Quartet is giving a preview of their community winter concert throughout Door County and spreading holiday cheer this December. Traveling to businesses and homes this week. The musical group, formed by Midsummer’s Music, is having fun popping up at different locations before the main concerts begin. The “pay-what-you-can” community winter concerts will feature holiday favorites this weekend.  Executive Director Allyson Fleck says the pop-up concerts are a highlight for the group every year.

 


The Griffon String Quartet consists of violinists Ron Meyer and Alex Norris, violist Erin Rafferty, and cellist Normin Zolzaya.  The concerts began in northern Door County on Tuesday and will continue in Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.  You can find the complete schedule below.

 

Pop up concerts:

Pop-up Caroling Schedule


December 13, between 10:00am and 1:00pm (Northern Door County)
10:00 Scandia, Sister Bay
10:20 Midsummer’s Music Office Building, Sister Bay
10:40 Piggly Wiggly, Sister Bay
11:00 Nicolet Bank, Sister Bay
11:30 YMCA, Fish Creek
11:50 White Gull Inn, Fish Creek
12:15 Kress Library, Egg Harbor
12:45 Main Street Market, Egg Harbor
1:15 Peninsula Publishing, Baileys Harbor

December 14, between 11:00am and 2:00pm (Green Bay)
11:00 Wisconsin Public Radio
11:30 ADRC
12:00 Brown County Library (Pine St. Branch)
12:30 The Press Times
1:00 Lambeau Field
1:30 Fortifi Bank
2:00 Art Garage

December 15, between 12:00pm and 5:00pm (Sturgeon Bay)11:50 Sunshine Resources
12:15 Rotary Club
1:00 NEW Radio
1:40 YMCA
2:10 Young Automotive
2:40 Door County Medical Center
3:10 Nicolet Bank (N. 4th Ave. branch)
3:30 Door County Library 
4:00 Boys & Girls Club
Times are approximate. Schedule subject to change.

Griffon Calendar
 
December 11: 11:00am • Bach Concert, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Ephraim
December 11: 3:00pm • Bach Concert, Christ the King Episcopal Church, Sturgeon Bay
December 16: 5:00pm • "Music for Food" Holiday Concert, Hope UCC, Sturgeon Bay
December 17: 2:00pm • Holiday Concert, First Presbyterian, Green Bay
December 18: 3:00pm • Holiday Concert, Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor
January 6: 9:30am-11:45am • Griffon Winter Retreat, Gibraltar School, Fish Creek
January 6: 4:00pm-7:00pm • Griffon Winter Retreat, Shepherd of the Bay, Ellison Bay
January 7: 9:30am-12:00pm • Griffon Winter Retreat, Shepherd of the Bay, Ellison Bay
February 12: 2:00pm • "Sunday Selection" Concert, Franciscan Music Center, Manitowoc

 

 

L-C art students paint the town festively

You do not have to go to a department store in a big city to see holiday-themed window decorations.

 

Members of Luxemburg-Casco’s Art Club and Art 4 classes took to the streets of the two villages to paint images of snowmen, reindeer, and other winter scenes. According to Luxemburg-Casco Art Teacher Rebecca Woodbury, the tradition has been going on for over a decade. Her program adopted it from the Lions Leo Club at the school, which would do the window painting at just a handful of businesses. The efforts grew to 53 businesses this year in Luxemburg and Casco, plus some teachers inside their schools. Woodbury says Luxemburg-Casco Principal Troy Haws donated the money for the paint. It took about 25 students working in small groups to paint all of the different scenes across the community.

 

The students only ask for the business' glass to be a canvas for a few weeks, though Woodbury adds that some give them a little money to buy some snacks if they did not provide them already. It is a tradition that is enjoyed by all, according to Woodbury. “It’s pretty simple, but the community really enjoys it, the kids really enjoy doing it, so it’s something pretty easy that we can just take a little time to do. It really gets people excited for the holidays.”

 

You can track down all 53 window scenes by clicking on this link for an interactive map.   

 

Pictures courtesy of Luxemburg-Casco School District

 

 

 

Millions to travel home for the holidays

Do not be shocked if highways are congested and airports are full during your holiday travels next week. According to AAA, an estimated 112.7 million people will travel at least 50 miles for the holiday season, from December 23rd to January 2nd. That is up 3.6 million people over last year, and it could be the third busiest holiday stretch since AAA started tracking the data in 2000. Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay will see thousands of the 7.3 million Americans taking to the air for the holiday season, which is a 14 percent increase over last year. Airport Director Marty Piette says with the holidays falling on the weekend, he believes many people are taking advantage of it.

As for other modes of transportation, nearly 102 million will jump in their car and drive to their destination, while another 3.6 million will travel by bus, rail, or cruise ship. Piette advises people to pack their patience when traveling throughout the country over the next few weeks.

Northern Sky Theater hosting Door County Short Film Festival

One of Door County’s major performing art venues will be involved in presenting the 14th Annual Door County Short Film Festival. The Northern Sky Gould Theater in Fish Creek will host the event next February. The Sister Bay Advancement Association will partner with Northern Sky Theater as the festival will feature a full-length film and 30 short films. Northern Sky Theater Associate Managing Director Holly Feldman says the organization is excited to play host at the new Gould Center and do more guest events in the future. 

 

 

The Door County Short Film Festival begins with the feature film at 7 pm on Friday, February 17, with the 30 short films being screened from 1:00 until 7::00 pm on Saturday, February 18. The winner of the film festival is awarded the 2023 Golden Mug Award based on the most votes from festival attendees.  

Respiratory diseases becoming more prevalent

If you do not have the flu, RSV, or COVID-19 yourself, there is becoming a growing possibility that you know someone who does. The combination of the three viruses is slamming hospitals with patients as their prevalence is rising. The increase in cases has led the Centers for Disease Control to recommend masking indoors for all Americans and public officials in the country’s biggest cities considering making it a requirement. Public Health Nurse Cindy Kinnard says while Kewaunee County's COVID-19 numbers have stayed steady, they are hearing increased reports of RSV, the stomach flu, and norovirus. She recommends returning to what worked during the early stages of the pandemic to keep yourself and others healthy.

The CDC says this year’s flu vaccine has matched well with the strain getting so many people sick this winter. Health officials admit, however, that the country is behind last year’s pace of getting vaccinated against the flu. 

Ephraim continues alcohol ordinance discussion

It will still be a while before you can purchase a case of beer, a bottle of wine, or some distilled spirits in the Village of Ephraim. The discussion has dominated the last several meetings of the board as they try to nail down the best policy for everybody concerned. At their November meeting, the board discussed potential regulations they could implement to control the alcohol sales, such as limiting how much they could sell in relation to the size of their store and the revenue they receive from it. It was determined that such specifications could not be spelled out verbatim in the ordinance, but they could be used internally when deciding whether to grant a license application or not. At least two residents voiced their opposition during the discussion, with one saying he does not want a large “liquor warehouse” like what can be found in Illinois. Another claimed he feared this discussion materializing when Ephraim became the last municipality in Wisconsin to allow Class B and Class C alcohol licenses in 2016. The debate will continue on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Village of Ephraim Board meeting at Ephraim Village Hall and online at this link.

Mail carriers feeling the holiday rush

Make sure you thank your mail carrier over the coming weeks as holiday shipping hits a yuletide peak. The United States Postal Service considers this week their busiest of the holiday season. According to the Washington Post, approximately 1.6 billion Christmas cards will be sent this year. That is in addition to the more than 50 million packages sent via USPS. For postal worker Brad Allen, bringing a piece of Christmas to those along his route is a great joy, but it is also a tiring stretch.

With the later delivery times, Allen asks that homeowners keep their lights on so mail carriers can safely get to and from their mailboxes. He also suggests putting your Christmas cards and letters in a plastic bag so they can get from your mailbox to his truck as dry as possible.

 

Your Christmas cards and packages have to be in the mail by December 17th for them to get to their destination on time this holiday season. If you are running behind, you have until December 19th to send it via Priority Mail or December 23rd via Priority Express Mail, though those two options will cost you extra money.

Door and Kewaunee counties slip into medium COVID community level

The holiday season has brought with it the first time Door and Kewaunee counties have been at a heightened COVID-19 community level since late October. The Centers for Disease Control placed Door and Kewaunee counties at the medium COVID-19 level and 31 other counties at the medium COVID-19 community level. One county is at the high level, while 38 others are at the low level.  In Door County, 42 of the 143 tests processed were positive for COVID-19 over the last week. Door County Public Health also reported one new death and two hospitalizations related to the virus. In Kewaunee County,   their public health department has seen 23 new cases of COVID-19 over the last week, eight of which are still considered active. They did not report any new hospitalizations or deaths.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - December 12, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,794 (+143)
Positive: 8,011 (+42)
Probable: 466 (+1)
Negative: 24,317 (+100)
Hospitalizations: 270 (+2)
Deaths: 69 (+1)
*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

 

Door County Medical Center to host job fair

One of the county’s largest employers hopes you consider a change in scenery. Door County Medical Center is hosting a job fair on Tuesday to respond to the dozens of openings available on its team. Like many industries, healthcare has seen a high number of people leave the field for a wide range of different reasons. As a result, Door County Medical Center is looking for a wide assortment of people, ranging from those who can cook food at the hospital and clean rooms to those who care for patients and help them figure out their medical bills. Door County Medical Center Human Resources Director Skye Reynolds says that even if you have never worked in a healthcare setting, some skills are transferable no matter where you work.

The Door County Medical Center Change Your Career Fair is scheduled for December 13th inside the Sheldon Conference Room, near the Emergency Department entrance at the Sturgeon Bay hospital, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can learn about their available careers here.

Eagle Project goes to the dogs, other animals

A Scouts USA Troop 1042 member in Luxemburg hopes you will support sheltered animals during the holiday while also helping him earn his Eagle Scout Award. Life Scout Trevin DeGrave is hosting a donation drive for the Furry Friends Food Bank at the Wisconsin Humane Society. DeGrave is asking potential donors to bring a variety of food, toys, treats, and other items to help the cats, dogs, and other small mammals in the humane society’s care. DeGrave says the idea of the donation drive came from his love for animals.

The donation drive will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on December 17th at Luxemburg-Casco Primary School. Executing a service project in the community is one of the requirements needed to earn the Eagle Scout Award, in addition to being active in your unit for at least six months after your last rank advance and completing several different merit badges.

Kewaunee County manure case gets new date, judge

A change in the judge will result in changing the date for three Kewaunee County men alleged to have improperly spread manure in Kewaunee County. Last week, farmer Johannes Wakker, manure hauler Greg Stodola, and agronomist Benjamin Koss were charged with conspiring to commit a crime, discharging liquid manure into state waterways, and falsifying written records related to the farm’s nutrient management plan. The complaint alleges Stodola far exceeded the manure spread on his farmland in late 2019. The amount so far exceeded what Wakker’s permit allowed, resulting in pollution discharges into tributaries leading to Lake Michigan with E. Coli bacteria readings as much as 100 times that would result in the closure of a public beach. The DOJ complaint further states that Stodola created a document that grossly underreported the manure spread by over 1.9 million gallons. Days after being charged with the crimes, Stodola, Koss, and Wakker asked for a new judge to be assigned to the case being tried in Kewaunee County. Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Wisnicky was Kewaunee County’s corporation counsel for separate cases against Wakker in February 2019 and February 2020. Door County Circuit Court Judge David Weber is now assigned to the case, and the new date for the initial appearance is February 1st, 2023.  

Food pantries well stocked for holiday needs

Although the demand for food pantries can spike during the holidays, Clothe and Feed My People of Door County has yet to see an increase in families seeking help in the past few weeks. Executive Director Estella Huff says the pantry sees about 40 families utilizing the facility monthly. She says the community's generosity has kept the shelves relatively full, although canned foods and lunch meats are always welcomed.

 

 

Huff notes that more pantries are providing services in Door County than ever which greatly benefits families while making it more convenient for them. Clothe & Feed My People is open on weekdays, except Wednesdays, with the Food Pantry remaining available to those making appointments.

Northern Sky Theater preparing for World Premiere Wisconsin

World premieres are nothing new for Northern Sky Theater, but what they plan on doing for 2023 is a first of its kind. Northern Sky Theater, Forward Theater Company in Madison, and Milwaukee Repertory Theater are producing the World Premiere Wisconsin running from March 1st to June 30th. Door County theater groups like Third Avenue Playworks, Peninsula Players, and Door Shakespeare will also participate as festival theaters where new and original works will be celebrated. Northern Sky Theater will perform "The Fish Whisperer" as a part of the four-month fine arts celebration that will culminate in Door County when the show is in the middle of its summer run at Peninsula State Park. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says it has been an extraordinary experience to be a part of over the last few years, even though it was officially announced last January.

"The Fish Whisperer" joins "Cheeseheads: the Musical," "Guys on Ice," and "When Pigs Fly" as a part of the 2023 season at Northern Sky Theater. 

Why donate at Christmas?

As we get closer to the Christmas season most people’s thoughts are occupied with preparations for family gatherings and last-minute shopping ideas. For some however their minds are on recent life changing events which may have put them in dire financial times. They may be sitting down at their tables deciding whether to pay the heating bill or the mortgage payment. They may be choosing between gas in the car or supper.

    

Some parents are listening to their children’s wish list knowing full well they will not be able to gather the resources to make their children’s wishes come true. It is for these families that so many in our community reach beyond their own needs and wants and provide much needed donations and gifts during the Holiday season.

      

Next Saturday December 17th, we will be having our Kewaunee County Toys for Tots distribution event as we have for the past two decades. This program has been going on here in Kewaunee County for almost three decades, with the level of need remaining consistent. The good news is that we have always been able to meet those needs. This year is no exception, as the many boxes around the county have been filling up and I have even had to pick up toys early as the boxes have been overflowing. Thank you to all who have donated and to those who will be assisting with the distribution.

       

Another program which assists our neighbors in need throughout the year is our Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. As the voucher writer for the Salvation Army here in Kewaunee County, I can attest to the need for these resources and the impact that it has at critical moments in people’s lives. This year’s campaign will end with the last day of bell ringing being on Christmas Eve. Thank you to all who have taken time out of their busy lives to ring bells and to those who stopped for a moment to drop a donation into the Kettles. I have no doubt this year’s campaign will be just as successful as year’s past.

       

I recently spoke to a group of students on this very issue and I got to thinking; why does all of this matter in the scope of being Sheriff? I do believe that programs like this as well as the efforts of so many charitable organizations make for a safer community and here’s why.

      

Most issues we respond to, occur for two basic reasons, Desperation and Isolation. I have seen many good people make poor choices because they felt they had few to no options. If we can provide assistance at critical moments maybe that assistance is the difference between that person or a member of their family doing right or doing wrong.

      

The second factor, Isolation has to do with our accountability to each other. If through our giving we show that we do in fact care and that we take time to help one another it builds a stronger sense of community. It is my firm belief that this stronger sense of community may in fact make a difference when an individual is contemplating a criminal act against another.  This is just my optimistic view and you can accept it or disregard it but I do believe that we can start to change the world by what we do here in our communities. Be Safe and Take Care!

Marina vendor discussion continues Wednesday in Sister Bay

You can make your thoughts known about the potential removal of commercial vendors from the Sister Bay Marina on December 14th. Last month, the topic hit a fever pitch when the Sister Bay Marina Committee mentioned that tour operators like Sister Bay Scenic Boat Tours might not be able to operate their businesses there for much longer. 

 

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 to find solutions over any challenges that may exist.” Residents and visitors alike have made their thoughts known since the meeting took place a month ago, pointing out to operators’ economic impact on the village outside of their sales.

 

The Sister Bay Marina Committee will meet on December 14th at 4 p.m. inside the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire House. The public is welcome to provide input during the meeting, but speakers will be limited to three minutes.  The committee is scheduled to go into closed session during the meeting to meet with some or all of the potential vendors to discuss contract terms.

 

World Cup adding to local soccer enthusiasm

In addition to stopping by to see him to pick up your Christmas poinsettia, you might also join in on a soccer conversation or two with Todd Maas. The World Cup is entering its third weekend of play, with teams like the Netherlands, England, and Portugal all trying to punch their tickets to the semifinals. Similar to the enthusiasm garnered by the Summer and Winter Olympics, sports fans have been gravitating to their televisions and local restaurants to catch World Cup action. It did not hurt that the United States made the knockout round for the first time since 2014, which was also the last time they qualified for the tournament. An estimated audience of over 16 million people caught the United States beating Iran across all platforms. Another 13 million tuned their TVs into their knockout round loss to the Netherlands last Saturday. Maas says events like this are good for the sport and the community’s local players.

The World Cup is not the only reason local soccer fans are cheering. The area is two months removed from another successful Sturgeon Bay soccer season and six months from a sold-out Lambeau Field hosting Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

Krebsbach hopeful for ARPA Fund allocation request

Door County Health and Human Services Director Joe Krebsbach hopes you or someone you care for can benefit from the recent grants he hopes are approved by the Door County Board of Supervisors. Nine non-profits across Door County could benefit from the over $263,000 slated to be awarded, ranging from $9,880 to United Way Stride to increase the number of mental health counseling hours available in the school systems to nearly $21,000 for Door County Habitat for Humanity to assist 12 families who fell behind in their mortgage payments due to the pandemic. The only issue is the final amount is over the $200,000 initially allocated to the program. The board was given the option to partially fund seven of the 11 projects presented. Still, Krebsbach says he would rather see his department dig deeper into their own American Rescue Plan Act funding so the organizations can put the dollars to good use.

Krebsbach says the proposal will head to the Door County Finance Committee on December 13th before it goes to the Door County Board of Supervisors for final approval. You can see the projects up for ARPA funding from the county below.

 

 

Church attendance back on the rise

More than two years after many churches were shuttered due to the pandemic, many congregations are happy to see you back in their pews.

 

According to a Barna Group study published earlier this year, attendance doubled from 2021 to 2022 among American millennials who go to services weekly. Gen-X and Boomers also saw jumps last year. Figures among millennials and Gen-X members attending services weekly are higher than before the pandemic. Part of that reason could be how churches reach out to their area families. Pastor Matthew Sprunger of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kewaunee says they have focused a lot on their Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, and other kid-centric programming.

Just up the road in Algoma, Pastor Joel McKenney says their outreach activities, like last month’s Thanksgiving Dinner that brought record attendance, have also helped people connect with their fellow members.

Despite the good news, Lifeway Research shows that overall church attendance is still down across the country. A survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors stated that despite all of their churches hosting in-person services, their attendance levels were approximately 85 percent of what they were in January 2020.

Incumbents early entries into city spring election races

As candidates enter their second week of circulating nomination papers, you will likely see familiar faces on the ballot this spring.

 

In Sturgeon Bay, incumbents Helen Bacon (District 1), Gary Nault (District 5), and Kirsten Reeths (District 7) have taken out the necessary paperwork to begin their campaigns for city council. Current District 3 council member Dan Williams has yet to take out his nomination papers.

 

In Algoma, incumbent council members Midge Swedberg (District 2) and  Lee Dachelet (District 4)have started re-election campaigns. Alderpersons John Pabich (District 1) and Steve Lautenbach (District 3) have not started the process since Thursday morning.

 

Kewaunee is where the lone incumbent among the three cities has stated he will not run for re-election. Richard Taylor of District 4 submitted his notice of non-candidacy over the last week. John Blaha (District 1), Wendy Shelton (District 2), and Robin Nelson (District 3) have all submitted their declaration of candidacy. 

 

Candidates have until January 3rd at 5 p.m. to return their paperwork to appear on the ballot for the spring election.

Door County Toys for Kids ready to serve 500-plus kids

Thanks to your generosity, a portion of Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church looked like Santa’s workshop at the North Pole on Friday. Today was the pick-up date for Door County Toys of Kids, with volunteers collecting donation boxes from area businesses. Volunteers sorted the toys into different categories ahead of Saturday’s distribution event at Sturgeon Bay United Methodist and Sunday’s at Northern Door Children Center in Sister Bay. Door County Toys for Kids Vice President Jackie Baermann says collection day is still an emotional day as she sees the gifts rolling in, knowing the amount of generosity being shown by community members and the faces of over 500 children opening them on Christmas Day. If you missed the donation boxes around the county, you can still bring the toys and other gift items to the church. That is what Sonja Schmitt-Pinney of Sturgeon Bay did on Thursday morning as she donated 65 Beanie Babies to the effort, many of which were teddy bears. She explains the significance of the donation:

 

I’d like to give a little history to go with my donation to Toys for Kids. The first “teddy bears” go back to President Theodore Roosevelt who was on a hunting trip in 1902 and came upon a small injured suffering bear cub in pain. He said that it should be protected and not shot. That incident was reported in local and national newspapers.  Then soon toy stuffed animals were manufactured to look like that bear cub and were named “Teddy Bears” after our President.  They were given to ease the pain of those who suffer loss, or injury by accident, fire, or illness.

 

 President Roosevelt was a Mason. On behalf of the Sturgeon Bay Masons and Order of the Eastern Star, I am happy to make this donation of these “Beanie Babies” many of which are teddy bears. They have been stored safely in a plastic tub since the 1990’s when they were manufactured and purchased. I am pleased they will go out into our community that I am happy to call home.

 

You must be registered with Door County Toys for Kids to participate in the distribution event. Though registration is closed, Baermann says you could contact Door County Toys for Kids to see if you can be included for this year. 

 

 

Affordable housing in Sister Bay becoming a reality

Addressing a significant concern for northern Door County, you could soon see more affordable housing options in Sister Bay. Earlier this year, the Door County Housing Partnership purchased eight lots in the Stony Ridge plat from the village at an investment of $10,000 each. Through its community land trust model, the purchase will help keep the future homes built on the lots affordable for income-qualified purchasers for years to come. In an area where housing is crucial for attracting year-round residents to work in the community, Door County Housing Trust President Jim Honig says it is a game changer.

Honig hopes homes can be built on the lots in the coming years. With the support of community partners like Door County Habitat for Humanity, the Door County Housing Partnership has helped build several homes in the two years, many of which are located in Sturgeon Bay.

Winter paints The Ridges differently

Door County looks a little different during the winter, and you will find that especially true at The Ridges Sanctuary. The Baileys Harbor destination offers multiple ways to check out its trails during the winter months beginning this Saturday. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., guests are invited to walk along the boardwalk, enjoy snacks and warm beverages inside the Kaye cabin, and participate in holiday crafts and a campfire. From December 26th through December 30th, The Ridges Sanctuary will light the boardwalk for its holiday luminary walks. Executive Director Andy Gill says winter at The Ridges Sanctuary is one of his favorite times of the year because it allows you to look at the same forest differently.

While Saturday’s wreath-making workshop requires a fee, this Saturday’s Natural Christmas event is free. The holiday luminary walks are $5, which is also the daily trail admission.

Respect for Marriage Act vote coming this week

A bill codifying same-sex and interracial marriage in the United States could be sent to the White House for a signature before the end of the year.

 

Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says signs are pointing to the House of Representatives to vote for the Respect for Marriage Act later this week, possibly as soon as Thursday morning. Baldwin, the first openly LGBT woman elected to the U.S. Senate, helped pen the bill that received bipartisan support when it passed 61-36. The bill repeals the Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as the union between a man and a woman and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional in 2013 before a different case legalized same-sex marriage in 2015. Comments made by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas following the decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade earlier this summer made marriage equality a major talking point for Democrats on the campaign trail this past fall. Baldwin says approving the measure will bring certainty and stability to same-sex couples.

Bipartisan support does not mean everyone agrees on the bill. Many Republicans have said amendments addressing religious liberty concerns do not go far enough. Some Democrats say the bill falls short because it does not require all states to allow same-sex marriages but merely to recognize them. Baldwin says the plan would be for President Joe Biden to sign the bill into law next week if passed by the House.

 

Christmas in Casco a holiday gift to families

What was once limited to a special day for just Casco Kidz Zone owner Lisa Cochart's students has now evolved into an event you can bring your children to while helping out those in the community.

 

Christmas in Casco originated as a Christmas-themed day at the children’s center, where Santa and his reindeer would come to help make memories for the kids and their families. After collaborating with the village and area businesses, the event was opened to the public in 2021. The event will still feature Santa and his reindeer, but members of the Paw Patrol will also join them for photo opportunities and other activities.

 

The free event does come with a charitable component after collecting socks last year for the Sock Donation Tree. This year, the event is collecting donations for the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund, which raises funds to support Kewaunee County families impacted by cancer. You can also donate boxes of snacks that can be distributed to children of the Luxemburg-Casco School District.

 

Christmas in Casco runs from 11:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at the Casco Kidz Zone 1 location on Applewood Street in Casco.

 

Pearl Harbor remembered in Sturgeon Bay Wednesday

Sturgeon Bay's first-ever Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony, presented by the U.S. Coast Guard, was held Wednesday morning to honor the 81st anniversary of the historic event. Dozens of community members gathered along the Sturgeon Bay West Waterfront Promenade behind the Door County Maritime Museum for the special commemoration. Sturgeon Bay Fire and Police Department's provided a joint color guard, and a U.S. Coast Guard Honor Guard rang 8-bells and floated a remembrance wreath on the Sturgeon Bay channel remembering the 2,335 lives lost on December 7th, 1941.  The memorial portion of the event included a moment of silence at 11:55 a.m., which is 7:55 a.m. Honolulu time, precisely 81 years to the moment when the attack began. All three U.S. Coast Guard commands in Sturgeon Bay aligned personnel in formation on the pier for the event. 

 

 

 

The ceremony was organized by the "Coast Guard City Sturgeon Bay Committee," a standing committee of the Greater Green Bay Navy League.

Door County Land Trust adds to Chambers Island Nature Preserve

The Door County Land Trust has purchased a key narrow strip of property on Chambers Island. The land is the isthmus that runs between the bay of Green Bay, and Lake Mackaysee and is called an “ecological gem” by the Land Trust. Executive Director Emily Wood describes the uniqueness of the parcel of land and how it became available through the generosity of the island residents.

 

 

The nearly 23 acres of land has a history as it was part of the Holy Name Retreat, owned by the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay until sold to residents in 2014. The Door County Land Trust now owns about 900 acres on Chambers Island. The recent land purchase provides critical wildlife and fishery habitat thanks to the Natural Resources Damage Assessment grant, which helps offset PCB contamination damage in the surrounding waters. 

 

(photo courtesy of Dan Eggert/Door County Land Trust)

"Servant leadership" drives new YMCA CEO

A passion for an organization that gives back to the community led Tonya Felhofer to take on the leadership position at the Door County YMCA.  Felhofer was officially named the new CEO last week by the Board of Directors and began the position this past Monday.  Having worked and volunteered with the Door County YMCA for the past 18 years, Felhofer says knowing the current YMCA staff are “servant leaders”, it was easy to accept her new leadership role.

 

 

Felhofer, who most recently was the Mission Executive at the YMCA, has been a dance instructor, healthy living coordinator, while also working in membership, marketing and financial development.  The Door County YMCA is within $170,000 of its $10.2 million Heart of the Community Capital Campaign.  The new addition and improvements are expected to be completed by next fall.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Tonya Felhofer on the Y Wednesday podcast page here.  

Sturgeon Bay increases boat launch fees

The cost to launch your boat in the City of Sturgeon Bay next year will increase, especially if you are a commercial user, as the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved raising daily, seasonal, and commercial user fees.


After discussing concerns over doubling the commercial user's fee from $50 to $100, a motion to refer the boat launch resolution back to the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee was voted down 3-2, with Mayor David Ward casting the deciding vote. The Council then approved the resolution by a 3-1 vote, with Councilmember Gary Nault abstaining due to his fishing connections. He did share some comments from commercial anglers that raised issues with the doubling of the fees.

 

 

Finance Chair and Councilmember Helen Bacon noted that other northern Door County locations charge over $100 for commercial users.


 The price increase is the first since December 2011. The daily launch fee will increase from $7 to $8. The seasonal launch pass would go from $44 for a city resident to $50 and $73 to $80 for non-residents.


 According to Municipal Director Mike Barker, the fee hikes will raise approximately $6,500 in additional revenue and will be used to help offset dock repairs in the future.

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council also approved the purchase of a new Ford F-350 truck along with a stainless steel dump body and V-plow with two other actions on Tuesday night.  

 

  

Peninsula Pride Farms earns producer-led watershed protection grant

Peninsula Pride Farms, based in Kewaunee and southern Door County, was one of more than 40 producer-led watershed groups to receive grants to continue their efforts. Governor Tony Evers and the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection awarded $1 million in grants to the groups, which is earmarked in the state’s biennial budget. Peninsula Pride Farms was one of four groups that received $37,960, the most awarded to a single applicant. A dozen others received at least $30,000 for efforts to incentivize farmers to engage in conservation efforts through educational activities, on-farm research and demonstration, and incentives that help minimize financial risk. In the past, Peninsula Pride Farms has used the grant funding for its cost-share program, which board member Nick Guilette said earlier this year that it has been very beneficial on several different fronts.

Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says the grants show the state has noticed what the organization is trying to accomplish and the success they have had.

Over 50 percent of Peninsula Pride Farms members last year participated in the cost-share program. Last year, more than 350,000 acres of land owned by members were covered by Peninsula Pride Farms members. This is the eighth round of grant funds made available through the state budget since the 2015-2017 cycle. Four of the 43 organizations that received grant funding through the program were new.

Sturgeon Bay students play elves for holiday shop

There is no reason to call Santa when you can contact the Sturgeon Bay School District Special Education Department students for Christmas gift ideas. For the past three years, members of the department’s life skills classes have spent time acting as elves each holiday season, producing items like food and drink mixes, birdseed wreaths, bath bombs, and potpourri jars to be given as gifts. Teacher Shannon Fahey says it is something the students look forward to doing every year because it is fun for them to do.

Proceeds from the sale go towards outings for the special education students and their community outreach projects. You can order your gifts from the classes by clicking on this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Sturgeon Bay School District

Holiday shipping deadlines approaching

If you send Christmas joy through the mail, you better plan to drop it off soon. Major carriers like the United States Postal Service, FedEx, and UPS are forecasting hundreds of millions of letters and packages being sent in the coming weeks and are already anticipating slower delivery times. UPS says tight airfreight capacity, backlogs at ocean ports, and truck driver shortages are all adding to delivery times. Christmas Day is also a Sunday, which presents additional challenges because of the days off for delivery drivers. Renard’s Cheese owner Ann Renard says they have noticed an uptick in orders and a slowdown in deliveries, making the call to submit your orders even more urgent.

To get your Christmas cards and packages to their destination by December 25th, you must pop them in the mailbox by December 17th if you’re relying on first-class mail and retail ground service, December 19th for priority mail service, and December 23rd for priority mail express service.

Kewaunee County farmer, two others,  charged with overspreading manure  

The owner of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Kewaunee County has been charged with conspiring to submit a forged report to the Wisconsin DNR. According to a Department of Justice (DOJ) news release, Dairy farmer Johannes Wakker, along with Greg Stodola, a hired manure hauler, and crop consultant Benjamin Koss, all face charges.  The complaint filed alleges that Stodola far exceeded the amount of manure spread on his farmland in late 2019 that his permit allowed for.  The amount so far exceeded Wakker’s permit it resulted in pollution discharges into tributaries leading to Lake Michigan with E. Coli bacteria.  The readings were as much as 100 times what would result in the closure of a public beach.  The DOJ complaint further states that Stodola created a document that grossly underreported the manure spread by over 1.9 million gallons.  The initial appearance in Kewaunee County Circuit Court will be on January 12, 2023, at 2 pm.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (Wis-DNR) led the investigation, and the Criminal Litigation Unit of the Wisconsin DOJ Division of Legal Services is handling the prosecution.   

Algoma's Brinkmann getting a feel for the community

If it has been going on in the City of Algoma, there is a good chance you could have run into Jesse Brinkmann. It has been a goal of the new Algoma School District Superintendent to go to as many community events, municipal meetings, and school functions as possible to meet residents and learn more about them. It is part of his 180-day plan for his first year on the job, which includes job shadowing every employee to learn how they are positively impacting the district. Brinkmann says he has learned a lot in his first few months on the job since joining the district in July.

If you have yet to run into Brinkmann around town, he is providing an opportunity to do just that. The Algoma School District is offering a Meet and Greet with Brinkmann from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on December 6th at the Algoma Performing Arts Center attached to the elementary school. 

Water main breaks along Sturgeon Bay roadway. UPDATE: Repairs completed

 
Update:  SBU spokesperson Jeff Hoffman says the water main has been repaired as of 1:30pm. He says the leak was reported about 10am on Sunday and repairs began early Monday morning. 

 

Several Sturgeon Bay businesses and homeowners found themselves without water Monday morning after a water main break was detected. Sturgeon Bay Utilities crews began working on it after 9 a.m. in front of the former Citgo station at 1309 Green Bay Road, also known as State Highway 42/57. You can find the impacted area below.

Crews told DoorCountyDailyNews.com that they were waiting on a few critical parts to make the repairs and when that happens, water service will be returned. The right lane of northbound Green Bay Road will be closed so the repairs can occur. We will have more updates as soon as more details are made available.

 

Sturgeon Bay looks to raise boat launch fees

It may cost you a little more to launch your boat in the City of Sturgeon Bay next year. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will consider raising the fees for launches for daily, seasonal, and commercial users.

 

The prices have stayed the same in most cases since December 2011. If passed, the daily launch fee would be increased to $7.58. The seasonal launch pass would range from $47.39 for a city resident to $75.83 for a non-resident. The commercial launch fee would be $94.79. The price increases keep the city in line with many other Door County communities and the City of Algoma. It still costs more to launch from Sister Bay and Egg Harbor. The fee increases do not include tax.

 

The fee hikes will raise approximately $6,500 in additional revenue, according to the meeting’s agenda packet. The extra revenue will go towards the inflated costs of hiring an attendant, conducting repairs, and needing to replace the docks in the future. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will address this issue and potentially approve the purchase of two new city vehicles at its Tuesday meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. inside its chambers at city hall.

One death, three hospitalizations reported in recent COVID-19 updates

Door County saw its 69th COVID-19-related death over the past week, while both Door and Kewaunee counties saw hospitalizations. The updates come after the state reported that there were no counties at the high community level for a second straight week, which considers deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases, among other metrics. The Centers for Disease Control and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services did note that the number of counties at the medium level increased substantially from 12 to 21. In Door County, 28 of the 84 tests returned positive for COVID-19. The county also reported one new death and one additional hospitalization. Kewaunee County saw 34 positive tests over the past two weeks. During that time, the county also reported two other hospitalizations. 

 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - December 2, 2022 

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at-home testing results.  
Total Tests: 32,651 (+84)
Positive: 7,969 (+28)
Probable: 465 (+2)
Negative: 24,217 (+54)
Hospitalizations: 268 (+1)
Deaths: 69 (+1)
*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

Sturgeon Bay welcomes you to school

Whether it is a session about supporting children dealing with anxiety or learning ukulele, Sturgeon Bay School District hopes you join them for a class or two. Last month, the district’s pupil services department kicked off its series of six topics covering areas like online safety, student organizational skills, and behavioral struggles. The sessions start with a meal at 5:30 p.m. before the parent-focused sessions start at 6 p.m. In the New Year, the district will also offer a session of community programs for the first time since before the pandemic. The programs introduce community members to its technical education, art and music departments, and other opportunities. Sturgeon Bay Superintendent Dan Tjernagel is proud the district can offer the programming and tighten its bond with the community it serves.

The Pupil Services Series sessions are free to attend, while there may be some costs for classes through the Community Programming Series. You can click on the links above to learn more about the sessions and to submit your RSVP.  

Community Spotlight: Door County Toys for Kids and Kewaunee County Toys for Tots

Drop-off boxes across Door and Kewaunee counties are overflowing with toys, which is a good thing. Both giving programs are in their final days of toy collection before their respective distribution events.  Door County Toys for Kids will have their distribution events for registered families on December 10th from 8 a.m. to noon at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church or on December 11th at the Northern Door Children’s Center from noon to 1 p.m. In Kewaunee County, toys will be distributed to registered families at Holy Rosary Church in Kewaunee on December 17th from noon to 2 p.m. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says he has had to empty several boxes already to make room for additional donations. In Sturgeon Bay, Bridge Up Brewing’s Trent Snyder is playing the role of Santa Claus, shopping for Christmas presents with money donated in the tap room while patrons filled up thirteen boxes along the way. He feels blessed that he can help give back to the community and pass that spirit on to others.

If you are still out shopping for gifts for the two efforts, Joski and Snyder say that the community’s youngest and oldest children often do not have as many gifts for parents to choose from. 

Holiday traditions endure in nature

Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay and The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor are helping you take a nature-first approach with your holiday celebrations on December 10th. The holiday tradition of the Night Tree at Crossroads at Big Creek began a dozen years ago as a part of a field trip organized by a Sawyer Elementary School first-grade teacher. The students would read the book “Night Tree” by the hearth inside the Collins Learning Center, and afterward, they would head outside to feed the animals like they do in the book. Interpretative Naturalist Coggin Heeringa said when the teacher retired, it was decided that the tradition would continue.

The Night Tree program begins at 10 a.m. at Crossroads at Big Creek. Later in the day, families can head to The Ridges Sanctuary for their annual Natural Christmas celebration. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., guests are invited to walk along the boardwalk, enjoy snacks and warm beverages inside the Kaye cabin, and participate in holiday crafts and a campfire.  

"Chop 'N' Shop with a Cop" enjoys 20th year of success

Over 30 law enforcement officers from Door County partnered with area children on Saturday as part of the 20th annual Chop 'N' Shop with a Cop" program.  The day began with the kids being able to pick out a Christmas tree for their family at Krueger Tree Farm.  Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard shares how the event has been successful and grown with the community's incredible support.  

 

 


The day also included a shopping trip for the kids to buy gifts for their families and a pizza party at the Door County Sheriff's Office.  The law enforcement officers and children were also treated with a 20th-anniversary cake created by Holly Lehmann to cap off the day's activities. 

 

(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department)

 

 

Third Avenue PlayWorks showcasing "A Christmas Carol- A Live Radio Play"

This month, a classic Christmas radio show from the 1940s will be recreated at a Sturgeon Bay performing art center.  Third Avenue PlayWorks will be transformed into “A Christmas Carol- A Live Radio Play” starting December 11.  Artistic Director Jacob Janssen says five actors will perform 40 roles on stage.   He says the story is magical with all the familiar characters of Scrooge, Cratchit, and Tiny Tim while a live musician performs all the music and sound effects on stage.

 

 

The show will be performed Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm until the end of the year, except Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.  You can find ticket information on “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play” by clicking on this link or contacting Third Avenue PlayWorks. 

Washington Island, Gibraltar look at posing spring referendum questions

Two Door County school districts could be asking you to help fund their operations as a part of the spring election. Both the Washington Island School District and Gibraltar Area School District are in the initial stages of the referendum process. The Washington Island School District Referendum Committee hosted its first meeting Friday after calling for volunteers to serve on it. They spent Friday analyzing how much may be needed and setting up an action plan. The district last went to an operational referendum approximately two years ago. Gibraltar Area Schools are looking at making capital improvements to the school for the first time since the districts last passed a referendum in 2018. While the last referendum project focused on its library and media center, Superintendent Brett Strousland said would address other parts of the building.

According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the deadline to file a copy of the referendum question with the county clerk’s office in time to appear on the spring general election ballot is January 25th, 2023. 

Destination Door County begins Bundle Up collection

Your new or gently used winter gear could come in good use for those in need in the community. Destination Door County kicked off its annual “Door County Bundle Up” winter gear drive” earlier this week. Locations throughout the county in Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Sister Bay, Fish Creek, Ephraim, Ellison Bay, and Baileys Harbor will collect the winter gear before distributing it to Door County residents through local charity partners. The DDC has helped collect 800 to 1,000 winter gear items in recent years, including over 1,300 during the 2016-2017 drive. The winter gear drive is part of a more significant effort organized by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. You have until January 9th to donate the winter gear. You can find a list of the locations accepting donations below.

 

Destination Door County

Location: 1015 Green Bay Road, Sturgeon Bay

Hours: 24/7 in the Welcome Center Lobby

 

Baileys Harbor Community Association

Location: Baileys Harbor Town Hall, 2392 County F, Baileys Harbor

Hours: Daily 6 AM – 10 PM in lobby

 

Destination Sturgeon Bay

Location: 36 S. Third Avenue, Sturgeon Bay

Hours: 24/7 in the brochure room

 

Door County North

Location: Kick Ash Coffee, 12001 Mink River Road, Ellison Bay

Hours: Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri, Sat 8 AM - 3 PM; 8 AM – 12 PM Sunday

 

Egg Harbor Business Association

Location: Main Street Market, 7770 Hwy 42, Egg Harbor

Hours: Monday - Saturday 8 AM – 6 PM; Sunday 8 AM – 5 PM

Location: Nicolet National Bank, 7842 Hwy 42, Egg Harbor

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 AM – 4 PM; Friday 9 AM – 5 PM

Location: Egg Harbor Village Hall, 7860 HWY 42, Egg Harbor

Hours: Monday - Friday 8 AM – 4 PM

 

Ephraim Business Council

Location: Ephraim Post Office, 3043 Cedar Street, Ephraim

Hours: 24/7 in the lobby

 

Visit Fish Creek

Location: 4097 HWY 42, Fish Creek

Hours: Monday – Friday 10 AM – 3 PM, Saturday 9 AM – 3 PM, Sunday 9 AM – 12 PM

 

Sister Bay Advancement Association

Location: Nicolet National Bank, 2477 S Bay Shore Drive, Sister Bay

Hours: Monday-Thursday 9 AM – 4 PM; Friday 9 AM – 5 PM

Location: Al Johnson’s, 10698 N Bayshore Drive, Sister Bay

Hours: Monday – Sunday 7 AM – 3 PM

Keeping your holiday spending under control

Spending money will not be a problem in the coming weeks, but making sure you still have plenty left over will be the real challenge. The National Retail Federation said a record 196 million people shopped in stores and online last weekend, the official kickoff of the holiday spending. Almost a third of Americans said they overspent last during the holidays, going more than $1,000 in debt in some cases. Leslie Boden from Money Management Counselors says many shoppers get carried away when they think they are taking advantage of a good deal, while others forget about the additional costs that can accrue while shopping.

Boden encourages people to stick to a holiday spending plan and look to other giving strategies like making your own gifts. According to Investopedia, holiday spending could reach as high as $960 billion despite the average American planning on spending $47 less than last year ($832 in 2022 compared to $879 in 2021). 

 

Shelters busy heading into the holiday season

Your new best friend may be waiting for you at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Like many animal shelters across the country, the Wisconsin Humane Society has plenty of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and more in search of their forever homes. Angela Speed from the Wisconsin Humane Society said last month that there were a lot of reasons why they have over 1,000 animals in their care across their five shelters in Wisconsin, including their facility in Door County.

You can find adoption and fostering information by clicking this link. If you already have a pet at home, you can bring them and the rest of your family to the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Door County Campus in Sturgeon Bay for their holiday celebration this Saturday. A $10 donation allows you to tour the facility and participate in some festive activities, and your family, including your pet, to take a picture with Santa Claus. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Kewaunee County schools, leaders talk agriculture on Saturday

You will hear about the future of agricultural education on Saturday at Luxemburg-Casco High School.

 

Agricultural business owners, agri-education teachers and school leaders, FFA members and alums, current students, parents, and area residents are invited to participate in the discussion. The event is a starting point for Luxemburg-Casco School District, Kewaunee School District, Denmark School District, and Algoma School District to engage with the community about the direction of agricultural education in the area. Luxemburg-Casco and Kewaunee have been able to build dedicated structures for their agricultural programs. Several agricultural businesses, such as Rio Creek Feed Mill and Kinnard Farms, invested in the Ahnapee Diesel program that draws in students from the area’s school districts.

 

Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Jo-Ellen Fairbanks explained last month how important this discussion would be to ensure everyone is on the same page.

The discussion will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside Luxemburg-Casco High School’s multipurpose room. 

One injured in Sturgeon Bay crash

One person had to be transported by Door County EMS Thursday night after a two-vehicle crash in Sturgeon Bay. The accident occurred at 5:25 p.m. at the intersection of STH 42/57 and Duluth Avenue. According to the report provided by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Fischer Pawelski of Brussels was traveling south on STH 42/57 when a sport-utility vehicle driven by Angela Denil of Sturgeon Bay turned left in front of him. Denil told the responding officer in the report that she was in the intersection with a red turn signal and was trying to get out of the intersection. Pawelski said in the report that he saw the car turning in front of him and could not stop in time to avoid the accident. Pawelski did not sustain any injuries, but Denil had to be transported to Door County Medical Center for suspected serious injuries. No citations were issued, and both cars had to be towed away before the scene was cleared by 5:50 p.m.

 

 

Felhofer named new CEO for Door County YMCA

A familiar face will take over the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Door County YMCA.  Tonya Felhofer has been named the permanent CEO and will assume her new duties next Monday, December 5th. 

Felhofer has served as the Financial Development Director and, for the last year, as the Mission Advancement Executive.  She also successfully led the annual campaigns and, most recently, the Heart of Community Capital Campaign, which is approaching its nearly $10 million project goal. 

The Door County YMCA has 170 full and part-time staff serving over 8,800 members in the Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay Program Centers.  

AP, IB programs helping students prepare for college

There are multiple reasons why taking Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses may benefit your students at home. The AP and IB programs allow students to participate in college-level coursework and potentially earn post-secondary school credits through testing. While the closest IB programs are in Green Bay, many of the high schools in Door and Kewaunee counties offer multiple AP courses covering subject areas like English, history, and science. Students that get a score of three or better on an AP test and four or five on an IB test could receive college credit, allowing them to forgo the class once they move on to a university. According to USA Today Network-Wisconsin data, the $97 price to take and pass an AP test is 10 to 15 percent of the investment of a three-credit course at a state university like UW-Green Bay or UW-Madison and two percent of a class at a private school like Marquette or St. Norbert. Luxemburg-Casco Principal Troy Haws and Academic Counselor Lindsay Allen say for many of their students, it is also about the rigors of the course that simulate the college experience.

The high schools in Door and Kewaunee counties not only offer AP courses, but they have also had success with it as well. Luxemburg-Casco has twice earned national honor roll distinction from The College Board, which recognizes school districts committed to providing access to AP courses for underrepresented students while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of three or higher. Last year, Gibraltar High School received recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction for having at least 10 percent of its students take an AP class and 60 percent or more score a three or better on the exam.

Bailey remembers Christmastime for upcoming holiday tour

Former Vic Ferrari frontman and current STEEM vocalist Michael Bailey loves a good Christmas song, and he hopes you do too, for at least one night in Sturgeon Bay. Bailey and fellow STEEM collaborator Steve March-Torme return to eleven venues across the state for their second run “For Kids From 1 to 92” holiday tour. Last year’s tour featured the debut of the pair’s Christmas song “I Remember Christmastime.” It is a song of profound importance for Bailey, who wrote it in the thick of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic when people were not sure what the holidays would look like that winter. Like other great Christmas songs, Bailey believes it carries a lot of heart.

With over a dozen other musicians joining them on stage, Bailey and March-Torme will present this year’s edition of the “For Kids From 1 to 92” at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay at 7 p.m. this Saturday. You can find ticketing information by clicking this link.

 

 

One injured after motorist drives into Sturgeon Bay business

A person inside a Sturgeon Bay hair salon was treated for minor scratches on her face after a car drove into the building on Wednesday morning. The crash occurred at approximately 8 a.m. when Sturgeon Bay resident Traci Crabb pulled into a parking spot at First Impressions Hair Studio for her appointment and continued driving into the building. According to the accident report filed by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Crabb said she tried stopping the vehicle, but it would not stop. She told the responding officer that her car was recently repaired due to a recall notice. Casco’s Crystal Brandt was working at the salon and was seated near the window when the crash occurred. After feeling glass shards in her face, Brandt was checked out by EMS personnel and treated for her injuries. Crabb was uninjured and not cited in the incident. 

Malfunction closes Michigan Street Bridge UPDATE: Bridge reopens

You can only use two of the three bridges going through Sturgeon Bay this morning (Thursday).

 

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department posted just after 8 a.m. this morning that the Michigan Street Bridge is closed due to it being stuck in the open position. No other information as to why the bridge is stuck was shared, but the Door County Highway Department and Wisconsin Department of Transportation are aware of the problem.

 

The bridge reopened at about 12:20pm according to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department.  

 

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