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News Archives for 2023-02

Old Nelson Ford property sold  

You could be seeing changes to a piece of property with a long history of car dealerships on Sturgeon Bay’s west side.   The commercial real estate at 120 Green Bay Road that was home to Nelson Team Ford and Witt Ford for many years was sold to Michael and Barb Rapp, who recently joined the Sturgeon Bay community.  The property was owned by the Nelson Trust, represented by Mark Nelson.  In the past few years, the property served tenants that included a weight room and gym operated by Sturgeon Bay High School students.  The Rapps are commercial real estate investors who plan on redeveloping the property and construct  a Door County Signature Building to rent to other business owners.  Commercial  Business Services/ CBS Global in Green Bay handled the real estate transaction. 

UW-Oshkosh continues well water study in Door County

UW-Oshkosh wants to learn more about your water in Door County. The university’s environmental research and innovation center has been offering the discounted well-testing program in Door County since 2019. By testing for water impurities like bacteria and nitrates, the program has been able to educate property owners about the importance of getting their well tested every year. Speaking about their well-testing program last year, Carmen Ebert from UW-Oshkosh says they have been able to learn about the uniqueness of Door County’s water quality through their years of testing.

A fee is required in order to participate in the testing program. You can learn more about it and register by clicking this link. The program is a cooperative effort between the university, Door County Public Health, and the Door County Soil and Water Department. 


Tower project with ramp makes Governor's capital budget

You may be able to enjoy the Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower by June 2026 if Governor Tony Evers’ State of Wisconsin Capital Budget is approved by the State Building Commission and the Joint Finance Committee.

 

The $3.8 billion in recommended investments in Evers’ capital budget specifically names three Door County projects to be considered by the State Building Commission on March 23rd.

The governor has budgeted just over $6 million to rehabilitate the current Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower and build a helical ramp to make it more handicap accessible. According to the DNR, 257 of the 488 respondents to a January survey favored repairing or restoring the tower and 341 of them preferred the helical ramp structure over the linear ramp used at Eagle Tower inside Peninsula State Park. Local state officials and groups oppose the ramp structure, advocating for restoring just the tower to save money and to provide immediate relief to the observation tower that is on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and the Potawatomi Park Alliance pushed a second survey that included a “restore only” option.

 

Peninsula State Park could also receive funding for an upgrade of a new public entrance visitor station. The $6 million replacement structure would include office space for staff, a visitor common area, and space for education and merchandise. Door County’s state parks will also receive approximately $8.8 million in additional money for projects like the break wall and pier replacement at the Rock Island State Park’s historic boat house.

The budget proposal also calls for $1 million to assist the Peninsula Players Theatre to build new dormitories on its campus.

 

You can look through the entire 2023-2025 capital budget request by clicking on this link. The State Building Commission counts State Senator Andre Jacque among its members.

Farmers expect some lower input costs in 2023

Even as you dig out from the second snowstorm in less than a week, area farmers are still thinking about spring. The winter months are a time when farmers try to lock in pricing for items like diesel fuel, fertilizer, and seeds ahead of their spring planting season. Last year at this time, the world was dealing with the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which was partly to blame for the price of fertilizer skyrocketing. Input prices are trending downward for 2023 with the University of Illinois Farm Policy News reporting that wholesale fertilizer pricing has dropped near the lowest level they have seen in two years. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says other input costs are softening heading into the spring as farmers look at their overall bottom line.

As for the recent snow, Barta says that is good news for farmers. The mild winter had left fields unprotected by snow from the weather prior to the most recent snowstorms. He says the snow should help cover the fields so winter crops like alfalfa and winter wheat are prepared to grow when farmers are prepared for it.


Winter storm snarls traffic, cancels events

It was not quite what the area saw last week when snowfall totals hit double-digits, but you were undoubtedly affected by the region’s most recent winter storm on Monday. Snowfall totals varied up and down the peninsula, ranging from just over eight inches in Sturgeon Bay to approximately four inches in Ephraim. The storm came just days after Sturgeon Bay set a 100-year-old record for the most snow ever recorded on February 22nd with 10.3 inches.

The school districts of Sevastopol, Southern Door, Kewaunee, Algoma, and Luxemburg sent their kids home early on Monday because of the weather, with other community events either being canceled or held virtually only.

 

It also ended up being a busy day for law enforcement and tow truck drivers as they tended to 27 vehicles in ditches from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

The storm added more snow for the snowmobile trails in Door County, but it was enough to reopen the trails in Kewaunee County, which closed at 8 a.m. on Monday.

 

Photo courtesy of the Door County Sheriff's Department

Forum planned for Town of Nasewaupee Board candidates

At an in-person forum, you can learn more about the six candidates vying for three seats on the Nasewaupee Town Board next week.  The Door County League of Women Voters organization is hosting a Candidate Forum, a nonpartisan effort to inform voters about the candidates unbiasedly before the Spring Election on April 4th.   

 

The number of town supervisors in Nasewaupee is increasing from three to five with the other contested race being for an existing seat.  The candidates who advanced from the primary race last week include Mark Hilsabeck and Bill Krueger for Supervisor seat 1;Mark Feuestein and Don Sixel, Jr. for seat 2; and Gene LaPlante and Tim Smith for seat 3. 

 

The in-person forum will be from 6:30 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7th at the Nasewaupee Town Hall at the corner of County Road PD and Highway C.  

(Bill Krueger's name was omitted in the original post. DCDN regrets this error)

Municipalities look to connect Fish Creek to Sister Bay through trail system

You may have the opportunity to travel from Sister Bay to Fish Creek without using a car. 

 

Officials from the Town of Gibraltar, the Villages of Ephraim and Sister Bay, and Peninsula State Park have discussed the feasibility of creating a connectivity trail through the three communities. The Town of Gibraltar will discuss its involvement in the proposed project when its board meets on Wednesday. 

 

Gibraltar’s proposed portion of the trail would take users from south Ephraim through Peninsula State Park and its golf course along the Highway 42 corridor. It would wind around Gibraltar Elementary and Secondary School before ending near Fish Creek Park. The town is considering working with Bay Lakes Regional Planning to create a trail plan for the community and sending a request for a proposal for design and engineering. Although there is no money budgeted for trails or even the design of trails, there are several grants the town could pursue to help get things rolling in the right direction.

 

According to the Town of Gibraltar's agenda packet, the Town of Egg Harbor has also been approached to help extend the proposed trail system further and make more grant opportunities available as it would be multi-jurisdictional. The Town of Gibraltar Board will tackle the issue along with others during its meeting at Gibraltar Town Center on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

 

The meeting is also available via Zoom.

 

Door and Kewaunee counties remain at low COVID-19 community level

While the state saw more counties enter higher community levels for COVID-19, you will not find Door or Kewaunee counties among them. Door and Kewaunee counties remain at the low community level for COVID-19, where they have resided together for over a month. The same cannot be said for a cluster of western Wisconsin counties, where 13 of the state’s 17 counties at the medium level and all three at the high level reside. Since their last situation update, Door County Public Health reports that 17 of the 47 tests administered have returned positive for COVID-19 and no new hospitalizations or deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Kewaunee County saw 20 new cases of COVID-19 pop-up out of 79 tests performed. New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have trended downward over the last week

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - February 23, 2023

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 33,621 (+47)
Positive: 8,263 (+17)
Probable: 486 (+4)
Negative: 24,872 (+26)
Hospitalizations: 275
Deaths: 77 
*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

Kewaunee County closes snowmobile trails

The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department hopes you enjoyed your weekend of snowmobiling on its local trails because that is all you will get until further notice. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department Director Dave Myers made the call Sunday night to close all four of its snowmobile trail sections effective Monday at 8 a.m. They had been open since Friday at noon. Door County’s snowmobile trails remain open for now, though they are still rated as being in poor condition. The trails might get a little help from Monday’s winter storm, but daytime high temperatures will hover right around the freezing mark through the end of the week. Snowmobilers should know that they can be cited for riding trails when closed.

 
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Winter storm warning issued for Door and Kewaunee counties

More winter weather is arriving for your morning commute on Monday. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. for much of northern Wisconsin including Door and Kewaunee counties. Snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected with three to five inches of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice possible. 

 

Crossroads honors Aldo Leopold's legacy

For as long as there has been an Aldo Leopold Day in Wisconsin, you have been able to count on Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay to celebrate it. Despite being from Iowa, Leopold might best be known for his work in the Badger State, first as a University of Wisconsin professor and for his famous book, “A Sand County Almanac.” The book is heralded as one of the most important books discussing the environment as he journaled about the importance of “the land ethic,” a philosophy focused on how humans should treat the land. Interpretive Naturalist Coggin Heeringa says the work of Leopold continues to be important decades after his death.

 

Crossroads at Big Creek has hosted an Aldo Leopold Day celebration ever since former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle designated the first Saturday of March in his honor in 2004. This year, Crossroads at Big Creek will host a hike around its property that features volunteers reading a passage from “A Sand County Almanac” as they relate to water. The hike runs from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 

Rep. Kitchens to hold listening sessions

Rep. Joel Kitchens wants your thoughts on Governor Tony Evers’ budget. On Friday, the Sturgeon Bay Republican announced a trio of listening sessions on March 6th in Fish Creek, Sturgeon Bay, and Algoma.

 

In his budget address last week, the Democratic governor called for increasing K-12 school funding, giving the middle class a ten percent tax cut, and creating a paid family and medical leave program. The budget totals approximately $104 billion in spending over the next two years, as it also addresses other areas of concern like childcare, affordable housing, neighborhood development, workforce creation, and more. Part of the budget would add $50 million to continue Evers’ Main Street Bounceback Program, a pandemic-born initiative he highlighted with separate visits to Door and Kewaunee counties last fall. The budget also calls for $117 million to bolster tourism by recruiting new large-scale events and additional visitors. 

 

Kitchens says the listening sessions are an opportunity for residents to tell him what they like, don’t like, and what needs to be changed in the budget. You can find the schedule with times and locations for each listening session below.

 

Listening Sessions with State Representative Joel Kitchens

11:00 am – Noon - Town Board Room, Town of Gibraltar, 4097 Highway 42, Fish Creek

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm – Greene Room, Door County Library, 107 South 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm - Council Chamber, Algoma City Hall, 416 Fremont Street, Algoma

Midsummer's Music collaborates for Easter concert

You will be able to see area faith leaders and Pro Arte Quartet collaborate for an Easter-themed concert to highlight the final hours of Jesus' life. David Perry and Suzanne Beia (violins), Sally Chisholm (viola), and Parry Karp (cello) will perform "The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross" at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay on March 31st at 7 p.m. Composed by Franz Joseph Haydn, the orchestral piece was commissioned for a Good Friday service in the 1780s. Providing narration for the piece are Pastors Dawn Volpe (Ephraim Moravian Church) and Jim Honig (Shepherd of the Bay), retired pastor Barb Sajna, Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy, Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens, and United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle. A freewill offering will be accepted for the concert.

Give back to your community by volunteering

You can give back to your community by volunteering. Lana Bilyk, a volunteer at Door County Candle Company, has been working there for almost a year. Bilyk started there because of the Ukraine candle campaign, which has raised over $850,000 to help those in Ukraine in need. She said her parents are from Ukraine and she felt the need to assist those of her heritage. Bilyk shares that you could find volunteer opportunities to give you purpose and lighten you up.

Volunteering is an easy way to give back to your community. You can also discover a new passion. Simple ways to volunteer include donating to a local food pantry, helping an animal shelter, going to nature centers, and coaching at the YMCA. 

 

Taking 4-H to school

A solution to getting your child more involved in the community without upsetting your daily routine could be starting up in Algoma. Earlier the week, the Kewaunee County 4-H held its first meeting during the school day with Algoma Elementary students. With 4-H Positive Youth Development Program Educator Mariah Vandertie leading the group, the eight students could participate in a typical meeting during lunch and recess. It is part of a pilot program being utilized by 4-H to discover ways to get kids involved with the program that otherwise would not be able to because of different barriers. Last fall, the state's 4-H form simplified the registration form, so internet access would not be needed for those who do not have or can not afford access. Vandertie hopes this is only the beginning.


The new initiative comes as other youth organizations like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts have seen steep membership declines in recent years because of factors like COVID-19 and busier schedules for kids. You can contact the Kewaunee County 4-H to learn more about the Algoma Elementary-based club or any of its other clubs located throughout the area.

 

Door County municipalities making progress on broadband efforts

From Washington Island to Forestville, municipality leaders are working to ensure you have better access to the internet in the future. Door County broadband coordinator Jessica Hatch updated the Door County Board on the progress made at Friday’s meeting. At the beginning of the process last April, it was determined that 1,574 miles of fiber are needed to wire the county with high-speed internet to over $130 million. The bulk of the fiber and investment is required for the county’s more rural areas. Hatch says its ongoing surveying of Door County residents shows the dire need for better, more reliable internet throughout the county.

Of the 19 municipalities that make up Door County, only Washington Island and Baileys Harbor have received grants and begun work to improve internet access in their communities. Five others have confirmed municipal internet service provider (ISP) partnerships, while nine others are working to confirm their agreements with ISPs soon. The villages of Ephraim and Forestville and the City of Sturgeon Bay are the only municipalities that need a broadband or ISP partnership committee formed. You can listen to the entire presentation by clicking below.

 

 

Schools prepare voters for informational sessions ahead of April election

You will have more opportunities to get additional information about a pair of school district referendums hitting Northern Door ballots for the spring election. On March 1st at the Gibraltar Town Center at 6:30 p.m., Gibraltar Area School District will hold its second informational session concerning its upcoming $29.8 million referendum to overhaul the facilities at Gibraltar Area Schools. Last month, the Gibraltar Area School Board approved the referendum question on the ballot that will pave the way for the district to demolish the 1930s and 1950s sections of the building. In its place, the district plans on building a new two-station gym, community space, and classrooms in addition to updates to the cafeteria and offices. Early estimates show that after the district’s mill rate stumbles from $3.42 in 2022 to $2.98 in 2023, it will increase to $3.25. Because of its high property values, Gibraltar Area School District has one of the lowest mill rates in the state. Gibraltar Superintendent Brett Strousland explained last month that over 30 ramps connecting different parts of the building, like other parts of the older sections, are not up to code.


Washington Island School District plans to host a similar event on March 7th. The Washington Island School District Board approved the language for its forthcoming recurring referendum, which has become a biennial rite of spring on the island. If approved, the operational referendum would allow the school district budget to exceed the revenue limit by $935,000 for the 2023-2024 school year and $935,000 for the 2024-2025 school year. For taxpayers, the mill rate would increase from its current $4.04 two cents in its first year ($4.06) and an additional cent ($4.07) the following year. Washington Island residents, which carry the brunt of the school’s funding, approved the district to exceed the revenue limit by $775,000 in its last referendum vote two years ago.

 

The spring election is on April 4th.

Residents call for groundwater ordinance in Door County

Protecting the water you use daily is the hope of a call for a public health and groundwater ordinance to be enacted in Door County. In an email correspondence to the Door County Board, resident Christine Reid called for an ordinance similar to what was passed in Kewaunee County to be approved locally as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources prepares to rule on the expansion of S&S Jerseyland Dairy in rural Sturgeon Bay. In that ordinance passed by the Kewaunee County Board in September 2014 and approved by 83 percent of voters in April 2015, farmers are not allowed to spread manure on land with less than 20 feet of soil depth from January 1st to April 15th when the ground is likely frozen. Kewaunee County officials have in the past credited the ordinance along with measures like the NR-151 rules and Silurian standards for improving water quality in the area. During Friday's board meeting, resident Steve Eatough appealed to the board, saying more needs to be done to protect the county's residents.

Door County Board members took up the issue during the special reports section of the meeting. County officials expressed concern about designating a specific date range for winter spreading when they had already adopted NR-151 rules in 2018.

County board members asked several questions about the Silurian standards listed with the NR-151 rules and when emergency manure spreading would take place. Since it was just a discussion topic, no action was taken.

Officers shine for their schools

The resource officers you see in your children’s school provide an important service for the districts and the communities they serve. According to Education Week, approximately 45 percent of schools in the United States had a school resource officer (SRO) in place at least one day a week as of the 2017-2018 school year, which was up from 32 percent just a decade before. In Door County, Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Derek Jennerjohn and Door County Sheriff’s Deputies Blake Luebker (Southern Door), Heather Bemmann (Gibraltar), and Ashley DePas (Sevastopol) serve their respective districts as SROs. Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Deputies Nia DuBois and Dana Schopf (Luxemburg-Casco) and Kewaunee Police Officer Scott Szydel (Kewaunee) serve as the SROs for their respective districts. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it takes a different mindset to serve as an SRO because of the kind and concentration of people you deal with daily.

Joski is proud of the relationships the SROs have established at their respective schools in their years of service. Last week, school districts and law enforcement agencies nationwide celebrated National School Resource Officer Day on February 15th.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

As I continue in providing information on the annual operations of the Sheriff’s Department, I feel this is a great time to focus on the amazing school liaison resources which we share with our school districts. If we look at the makeup of our community on any given week day, there is no greater concentration of people and activity than that of our schools. It is fitting that we allocate resources to these important members of our community; our students, in a setting which has such a great impact on their current and future lives.

       

As it pertains to the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, we provide two School Liaison Deputies to the Luxemburg / Casco School District as part of a contract for services. These positions and their duties are quite unique and the skill set necessary to be successful is also unique. We are very fortunate to have the two Deputies we currently provide to the school who possess the very traits and qualities to make this a successful relationship. Deputy Nia DuBois is our School Liaison Deputy for the High School, and Deputy Dana Schopf is our Liaison Deputy for the Primary, Intermediate and Middle Schools. Both of these young ladies bring with them a great deal of energy and passion for working with our youth, and the relationships they have built over the years has been a great benefit to not only the students, but the staff as well.

        

Just as in any community, those school communities experience a great diversity in personalities, backgrounds and behaviors. The ability to have a law enforcement resource at hand when incidents arise has proven essential time and time again.

        

Another valuable aspect of this program is the ability for our Deputies to have daily interaction and engagement in a positive way to demonstrate that the men and women serving in law enforcement are in fact human beings who can serve as not just a resource for filing complaints or conducting investigations, but also as a trusted resource of advice and mentorship for the many challenges our young people face day in and day out.

       

These roles, while rewarding, are probably some of the most demanding in our department. The complaints they are called to investigate and the sensitivity that they must show require a great deal of empathy, compassion and patience. The ability to interact effectively with Students, staff and parents is key to maintaining the trust needed for such a program to be successful.

        

In addition to all of this responsibility, both of these amazing ladies return back to the Jail/ Dispatch role when needed as well as during the summer months.

      

Thank you, Nia and Dana, for all that you do in our schools to keep our students safe and assist the staff in creating the best learning environment possible.

Snowstorm opens trails in Door and Kewaunee counties

For the first time since last March, you can take your snowmobiles out on the trails in Door County.

 

The Door County Parks Department officially opened the trails in all four zones on Wednesday after the bulk of the snowstorm had passed. Trails in the southeast zone, including areas from Gordon Road south over the Bayview Bridge south and Potawatomi State Park and the Ahnapee State Trail, are the only ones rated as fair. The north, southwest, and central zones are rated poor due to a lack of a base, exposed fields due to drifting, and areas with standing water before the storm. A section of the 3W trail to Ephraim in the north zone remains closed. You can stay up-to-date with snowmobile trail conditions by clicking this link.
 

 Kewaunee County riders had to wait a little longer for their trails to reopen. The Moonriders Snowmobile Club in Kewaunee posted Thursday afternoon that the trails they maintain would remain closed until further notice. The lack of frost and a base paired with swampy conditions in some parts of the trail system makes it hard to open the trails without endangering the fields the club uses thanks to their cooperation with neighboring landowners. Shortly before noon, the Moonriders posted this bit of good news:


In both counties, it is considered trespassing if you go off the trail system or go on it before it is officially opened.

 

Ducat takes reins of Peninsula Pride Farms

Newly minted Peninsula Pride Farms President Duane Ducat hopes you continue to see the positive momentum being made by local farmers regarding water and soil conservation in Door and Kewaunee counties. Ducat, who has been a Peninsula Pride Farms board member since the organization's inception seven years ago, slides over to a chair previously held by Don Niles, who will remain on the board himself. Last summer, Ducat's  Deer Run Dairy was recognized with the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Ducat appreciates the opportunity to lead the organization forward as its members continue to work on ways to be better stewards of the land they farm.

A partnership with Houston Engineering to show off the progress its members have made in soil and water conservation over the last several years excites Ducat the most moving forward. Nathaniel Baeumler presented the preliminary work performed by the Fargo, N.D.- based civil engineering firm at last week's Peninsula Pride Farms annual meeting. Ducat says the maps created will give a look at the impact of the organization's conservation strategies on the Ahnapee Watershed. A more comprehensive look should be made available next month.  

Winter storm cleanup enters phase 2 in area

County and city crews in Door and Kewaunee County are busy ensuring the roads and streets are safe for you to navigate after the snowstorm dropped several inches of snow in the past two days.  Sturgeon Bay Municipal Director Mike Barker says the city’s plows completed the first pass Thursday morning with plans to make another sweep through the connecting streets and thoroughfares for the rest of the day.  He explains how to deal with temperatures dropping to the single digits overnight and on Friday morning.

 

 

Barker notes that you can help to make the work of clearing and cleaning the snow off the streets by keeping your vehicles parked in driveways while the crews do their job.  He adds that Sturgeon Bay crews did not utilize salt on the streets in the first clearing efforts since most of it would be scraped off and wasted.  The City of Sturgeon Bay postponed Thursday's garbage pickup due to the storm and will pick it up on Friday. 

Supreme Court race drives voter turnout in Wisconsin

More of your neighbors went to the polls for Tuesday's spring primary than in past years according to data from the Wisconsin Elections Commission. Voter turnout was approximately 20 percent among voting-age adults, far surpassing previous years when it hovered between 10 and 13 percent for the spring primary. A driving force of the primary was the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which narrowed the original field of four to two with Janet C. Protasiewicz and Daniel Kelly advancing to the April 4th general election. In Door County, 6930 votes were cast for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates on Tuesday. That far surpasses the 3619 votes cast for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates in 2020, a primary that took place before the pandemic's beginning. It was also more than double the votes cast in the primaries held in 2018 (3260) and 1016 (3310). You can find the final results from Tuesday's spring primary by clicking this link.

 

Regulatory relief tops Farm Bill wish list

Rep. Mike Gallagher held two separate meetings in Green Bay and Luxemburg on Wednesday morning to help make sure your voice is heard when it comes to discussions about the upcoming farm bill. About a dozen people representing different-sized farms, bankers, conservation professionals, and others attended the meeting in Luxemburg at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds to discuss the Farm Bill, which the federal government uses to address food and agriculture policy and is set to be updated later this year. A big topic of discussion among the farmers in attendance was getting federal government support for some of the conservation techniques already receiving assistance at the state level. Because of the high capital investment in digesters and CNG conversion centers and the regulatory pressures that come with them, many farmers are worried about the high costs of becoming more sustainable. Gallagher says it is important to make sure the farmers' voices are heard in the bill's negotiations.

Gallagher admitted that some of the finer points of the legislation that could come from the listening sessions often get drowned out by the debate over food share benefits, which also is included in the Farm Bill. The topics of immigration and trade were also brought up during the approximately 45-minute session. 

 

Video by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher's Office

 

Agropur's Robinson among top winners at U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

World-renowned judges confirmed what you may have already known: some of the best cheese made in the country is produced in Door and Kewaunee counties. Local cheesemakers won 10 awards across seven different categories in the biennial contest. Overall, judges sampled hundreds of dairy products across 118 categories, ranging from traditional cheese varieties to milk protein concentrate.

 

Agropur's Luxemburg plant led the way with seven awards. Jeremy Robinson won Best in Class for his Whole Milk Low Moisture Mozzarella, Smoked Provolone, and Reduced Sodium Provolone. Renard's Cheese/Rosewood Dairy in Algoma won a third-place award for its Renard's Whips. Agropur's Pat Doell and Ezra Frater, Door Artisan Cheese Company's Ricardo Gutierrez, and Team DACC from Red Barn Family Farms also received awards in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest held at the Resch Expo in Green Bay.

 

The Top 20 cheeses in the USA include Team DACC's Vintage Cupola American Original Cheese. The entry will vie for the title of the overall winner, which was announced at 2 p.m. on Thursday at this link. 

 

UPDATE: The Vintage Cupola American Orginal Cheese produced by Door Artisan Cheese Company in Egg Harbor for Red Barn Family Farms in Appleton, won second place overall in the competition, coming just behind an aged gouda made in Connecticut by a Wisconsin-born cheesemaker. The margin of victory was .126 points.

 

MOZZARELLA

Jeremy Robinson
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.275
Best of Class
Low Moisture Mozzarella, Whole Milk

 

Pat Doell
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.13
Third Award
Low Moisture Mozzarella, Whole Milk

 

MILD PROVOLONE

Pat Doell
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.725
Second Award
Provolone Cheese
 

Jeremy Robinson
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.625
Third Award
Provolone Cheese

 

SMOKED PROVOLONE

Jeremy Robinson
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.65
Best of Class
Smoked Provolone

 

Ezra Frater
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
98.725
Third Award
Smoked Provolone

 

REDUCED SODIUM CHEESE

Jeremy Robinson
Agropur
Luxemburg, WI
US
99.3
Best of Class
Reduced Sodium Provolone

 

NATURAL SNACKING CHEESE

Renard's Rosewood Dairy, Inc
Renard's Cheese / Rosewood Dairy
Algoma, WI
US
99.485
Third Award
Renard's Whips

 

AGED GOUDA

Ricardo Gutierrez
Door Artisan Cheese Company
Egg Harbor, WI
US
98.8
Third Award
Aged Gouda

 

OPEN CLASS: HARD CHEESE

Team DACC
Red Barn Family Farms
Egg Harbor, WI
US
99.44
Best of Class
Vintage Cupola American Original Cheese

Winter Storm Delilah grinds region to a halt

The Door County Sheriff's Department asked motorists to at least slow down on area roadways after 7 p.m. on Wednesday. At that time, the Door County Highway Department's plows were expected to take a few hours off before resuming snow removal operations in the early morning hours. Door County Connect/Door2Door Services canceled its services for Thursday to keep its drivers safe, eliminating one transportation option for those who might need to get out but can't on their own. As for other modes of transportation, the Washington Island Ferry is running its same schedule on Thursday as of 5:30 a.m., but Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay has nixed all of its flights for the day.

 

All eight school districts and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College canceled classes by 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, with some calling it off shortly after 1 p.m. The one exception is Washington Island School, where the middle and high school students will attend classes virtually while the elementary school children will have the day off. UW-Green Bay students are also scheduled to attend classes virtually on Thursday. Many area non-profits, churches, and businesses have also called off operations for the day due to the snow. You can visit our cancellations page for more information. If you have additional cancellations and closures, please call our Newsline at 920-746-9758 or email us at news@doorcountydailynews.com.

 

With several inches of snow still on the way, the attention could turn to your home. Spectrum has been warning customers since Tuesday that the high winds and snowfall totals could cause outages in their services. Wisconsin Public Service is also keeping an eye on the weather and potential outages in the area. High wind and snowfall totals could also block heating vents on the side of your home, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if you do not keep an eye on it. 

 

FROM GOVERNOR EVERS' OFFICE

 Gov. Tony Evers today signed Executive Order #186 declaring an energy emergency in the state of Wisconsin. The intense winter storm currently moving across the state is bringing snow, sleet, and freezing rain that could result in widespread power outages from downed trees and ice on power lines and conditions that make travel difficult or dangerous. Executive Order #186 will provide waivers from federal and state requirements to give additional flexibility to in-state utility workers and allow for out-of-state utility workers to come to Wisconsin to help restore power.

“During and after a winter storm, restoration of power is critically important to the safety and well-being of folks across our state. As we continue to deal with the challenges of severe winter weather and its impact on everyday necessities, the health, welfare, and safety of our neighbors remains our top priority,” said Gov. Evers. “This executive order will allow for a more swift and efficient restoration of any electric power outages throughout the state.”

Executive Order #186 waives hours of service, certain driver qualifications, and International Fuel Tax Agreements and International Registration Plan requirements for utility workers. 

Kewaunee Assistant Fire Chief retires

The Kewaunee Fire Department will have big shoes to fill in the future as Assistant Chief Paul Nimmer has resigned from the Kewaunee Fire Department after 35 years of service. Nimmer, known informally as Big Nim by his friends, says his firefighting career started with being asked to play softball by Orville Shultz. He says the only way he could join the team was if he became a member of the Kewaunee Fire Department.

 

 

Nimmer has served as a captain and the assistant fire chief as a Kewaunee Firefighter. He says he will keep busy in retirement this summer, cutting lawns and working in mini-landscaping in the area while volunteering with his church and Kewaunee youth sports. 

Critical Sturgeon Bay blood drive scheduled for Friday

Overcoming challenges brought on by winter storms, local blood banks are in greater need of your blood donations to keep up with the significant demand this time of year. This Friday, the Community Blood Drive is hosting a critical blood drive in Sturgeon Bay. Mike Domast from the Community Blood Center says all blood types are needed, but “O positive” and “O negative” blood need is urgent, even before Winter Storm Evelyn hit. He says giving blood has lifesaving ramifications throughout the community.

 

 

The Community Blood Drive will be held at the Door County Government Building on Nebraska Street from 9:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. About 20 spots remained open as of Wednesday morning. You can book your blood donation time by clicking this link or calling the Community Blood Center at (800) 280-4102. All blood donations gathered on Friday will remain local at the Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Algoma's Austin Haegele makes it to State

You can see at least one bowling club student compete in Wausau on March 5th. Austin Haegele is a senior at Algoma high school and joined the bowling club this year. His coach, Alex Van Lanen said Austin put a lot of effort into being ready for the season. Haegele says he’s excited about going to state and that he saw himself improve a lot throughout the season. Alex Van Lanen goes more in-depth about how Algoma’s bowling club came to be and the season’s highlights. 

This is Algoma’s first season as an official club, in past years Van Lanen had a small high school club which has since expanded. 

 

"Hoopathon" back for YMCA Day of Giving

You can be part of an event that raises money for the annual campaign at the Door County YMCA by shooting some buckets in the gym. The popular “Hoopathon” is back as part of the Day of Giving and is open to all ages. Door County YMCA Youth Sports Director Paul Briney says the kids find sponsors to donate money based on how many shots they can make in one hour.

 

 

The Hoopathon will be from 3:45 pm until 5 pm on March 7th at both Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers.  Prizes for securing pledges include a Milwaukee Bucks jersey, shorts, and a stocking hat. You can find registration information on participating at the Door County YMCA or by clicking this link.  

Field narrows for Gardner, Gibraltar, and Nasewaupee town supervisor seats

The ballot is all but set for the April Election in Door County.  The Town of Gibrlatar narrowed their  supervisor seat.  Thomas Birmingham, Vinni Chomeau, Brian Merkel and John Selenica will battle for the two Supervisor spots while Mike Marchant and Mark Lentz will face off for the Supervisor 2 position in  the Town of Gardner.

 

Nasewaupee will have Mark Hilsabeck and Bill Krueger vie for the Supervisor 1 slot, while Don Sixel, Jr. and Mark Feuerstein garnered the most votes in the Supervisor 2 primary.

 

The Village of Sister Bay Trustee field was narrowed down to six candidates who will battle for three positions in the April Election.

 

You can find the complete results from Tuesday’s primary election in Door County and the statewide results for the Supreme Court Justice primary race that saw Janet C. Protasiewicz and Daniel Kelly advance to the general election on April 4th with this link.  

The City of Sturgeon Bay holds off on Kwik Trip driveway

On Tuesday, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council held off on approving a  consideration for a driveway to Highway 42-57 for the future Kwik Trip development on Duluth Avenue. Over 20 people attended the meeting, with many voicing concerns over Kwik Trip's plans to put a driveway to Highway 42-57, which would require a raised median to be built eventually, according to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) determination.

 

The biggest issue voiced by business owners was preventing traffic, especially delivery trucks, from crossing the highway to access businesses which would be detrimental to sales and the safety of customers and staff. After 75 minutes of discussion during the public forum, many asked that the council take more time and look into impact studies to examine more options. Troy Mleziva, director of real estate for Kwik Trip, stated that the company intends to be a good neighbor and that the DOT's plans for medians on Green Bay Road between Ashland Avenue and Duluth Avenue were brought up over ten years ago.


Ultimately the council took up Mayor David Ward's recommendation to table the vote on the Kwik Trip driveway and establish a special committee to discuss the matter further.

 
In other business, the council unanimously approved two-second readings of ordinances that rezoned the city's dimensional requirements to make building easier in Sturgeon Bay and to rezone the future Fleet Farm property to General Commercial (C-1).  


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council concluded the two-hour meeting by approving a Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee's recommendation to approve the Development Agreement with Cobblestone Hotels, a 60-unit hotel planned for the corner of Egg Harbor Road and North 12th Avenue. 

Door County Board to push DNR on Potawatomi State Park Tower

Over a week after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources closed its public survey concerning the future of the Potawatomi State Park, your representatives on the Door County Board may push them toward a third option. At the Door County Board meeting next Tuesday, supervisors will consider a resolution asking the DNR to consider a plan to repair the Potawatomi State Park Tower without an addition. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the resolution is being made at the request of the Town of Nasewaupee, which passed a similar resolution earlier this year.

The Door County Board will also weigh in on a request by the towns of Washington and Liberty Grove to pass a resolution asking the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to take action on the cormorants that inhabit Pilot Island. The once-endangered species has wreaked havoc on the island, causing poor fishing, foul smells, and the contamination of its soil and water. Pabich says the county has tried tackling the issue before with little cooperation from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The two resolutions were discussed at Tuesday's Administrative Committee meeting. 

Winter weather coming to Door and Kewaunee counties

The weekend’s warmer weather will be a distant memory as you pull out your snowblowers and shovels over the next few days.

 

The National Weather Service has placed Door County and five others in northeast Wisconsin on a winter storm watch beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m. and ending at 6 p.m. Thursday. Known as Winter Storm Delilah, heavy snow is predicted, with 10 to 13 inches on the horizon. With wind gusts reaching as high as 40 miles per hour, near-blizzard conditions could sometimes occur.

The winter fun is predicted to begin even earlier in Brown, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and nine other counties as the National Weather Service issues a winter weather advisory from 6 p.m. Tuesday until 9 a.m. Wednesday. Two to five inches of snow could hit the area before it joins the rest of the region in the winter storm watch where 10-13 inches of snow is predicted.

It could be one of the most significant snowfalls the area has seen since Winter Storm Evelyn dumped close to 30 inches on Door County in April 2018. It could even threaten records set for February.

Area churches mark start of Lent with Ash Wednesday

As Lent begins on Wednesday, the next several weeks mean more to people than just the ashes you find on some people’s foreheads. Marked by Ash Wednesday, Lent observes the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and practicing self-control leading to his death and resurrection. For many Christians, Lent is a time of giving up eating in between meals and meat on Fridays. For others, it is a time of self-reflection. Pastor Joel McKenney of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma hopes people use the next several weeks to become closer to God.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is marking Lent with services at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesdays in addition to its usual Saturday and Sunday services. Churches around Door and Kewaunee counties will offer their own activities throughout Lent until Easter Sunday, which this year is on April 9th.

 

6 p.m. Ash Wednesday service canceled due to weather. 

 

Sister Bay clinic aims for spring opening

You could be receiving treatment at Door County Medical Center’s Sister Bay Clinic as soon as the end of March. Door County Medical Center broke ground on the $14.5 million project in November 2021. On March 29th, Door County Medical Center will open its expanded rehabilitation center on the 30,000-square-foot facility’s second floor. It will replace its current operations at Scandia Village. A week later, the first floor will open to the public as the hospital moves its Fish Creek operations to Sister Bay. As a result, Door County Medical Center will be able to offer behavioral health services in addition to twice as many clinicians. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens says it is exciting to be able to open the facility for the sake of its patients and its medical professionals.

Excitement is also growing for Door County Medical Center’s Direct Care Clinic at the corner of Duluth Avenue and Green Bay Road (State Highway 42/57). Stephens says supply chain challenges have pushed back the opening of that facility to early summer.

 

You can hear about both construction projects by listening to our full interview with Brian Stephens by clicking this link. 

Local bakeries prepare for Paczki Tuesday

You can prepare for the Lenten season with a sweet polish tradition. Paczkis are sold throughout the world but are popular locally as well. This week in honor of “Fat Tuesday,” a celebration associated with Mardi Gras, retailers in the area will be offering the sugary treat. This year there will be an array of flavors at Tadych's Marketplace in Sturgeon Bay, including apple, lemon, cherry, raspberry, and prune. Cake decorator, Kris Sawdo, talks about what goes on to prepare for Fat Tuesday. 

In past years, Tadych’s has sold over 500 dozen paczkis. Sawdo says paczkis are only available around this time of year.

 

Support for Ukraine, other causes still burns at Door County Candle Company a year later

You will still see the bright shades of blue and yellow poured into glass containers at Door County Candle Company almost a year after the first Russian tanks pulled into Ukraine as a part of its invasion.

 

Just days after the Russian occupation began, Door County Candle Company owner Christiana Gorchynsky-Trapani took action to help support her family’s homeland by donating the proceeds of the blue and yellow Ukraine candles to Razom for Ukraine. With help from national media attention and local volunteers, the business shipped thousands of candles and raised more than a quarter million dollars in a month. That total has ballooned to over $800,000, and Door County Candle Company has made similar fundraising efforts for other causes, including the recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Gorchynsky-Trapani says she certainly did not see this type of business coming when she took over in the summer of 2021, but she is thrilled she can shine a light on various causes as a result.

Her candle sales for the Turkey and Syria earthquake relief have already raised $2,000 for UNICEF. Gorchynsky-Trapani hopes to expand the program to benefit other organizations, including Door County non-profits, later this year.

 

Spring primary set for Tuesday

You will have the opportunity to set the stage for the spring general election on April 4th by heading to the polls on Tuesday.

 

Polling locations throughout Door and Kewaunee counties will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday for the spring primary. The primary drawing the most attention will be the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, where Janet C. Protasiewicz, Daniel Kelly, Everett D. Mitchell, and Jennifer R. Dorow have hit the campaign trail in a fight over the political makeup of the non-partisan body. School boards, city and village councils, and town boards will also be on the ballot, with the towns of Nasewaupee, Gardner, Gibraltar, and the Village of Sister Bay needing a primary. 

 

Door County Clerk Jill Lau suggested earlier this month that while the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat battle could inspire more people to vote than usual in Tuesday’s primary, voter turnout will depend on the municipalities.

 

You will need valid voter identification to participate, something the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said in a press release on Monday that it can still help you if you need one.

Door and Kewaunee counties hit positive COVID-19 milestone

It has been over a month since Door or Kewaunee counties found themselves outside their current low COVID-19 community-level status. The pair is among the 65 counties at the low community level. Five counties are in the medium level, while Kenosha and Racine counties are in the high level for COVID-19. The high level is the only one where more dramatic measures like masking in indoor spaces are recommended. It has been since January 16th since either county was reported to be at the medium community level. Neither county has been at the high COVID-19 community level since last August. 

 

In their weekly situation update, Door County Public Health reported only ten new cases out of 33 administered tests with no new deaths or hospitalizations. The CDC reported only nine cases out of 89 administered tests in Kewaunee County. 

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - February 16, 2023

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 33,574 (+33)
Positive: 8,246 (+10)
Probable: 482 (+3)
Negative: 24,846 (+20)
Hospitalizations: 275
Deaths: 77 
*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

Youth Art Month is coming to Algoma

You could see local student artwork on March 3rd. Save the date for the 2nd annual Youth Art Month in Algoma. Students from Algoma, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg- Casco will each be displaying student artworks at 8 local galleries in Algoma for the month of March. Each school is allowed to submit 37 pieces by high school students. Pieces will range from 3-D sculptures, acrylic paintings, collages, and more. Support students and their artwork on the first Friday of March. 

 

Algoma High School will be having 21 students participate, art teacher, Clarissa Louis highlights seniors, Lyla Bohling, Asher Feest, Faith Mocco, Kaitlyn Paul, Kade Preston, and Meagan Stoller. 

Louis shares that “Many of the students who will be featured in this year's gallery show are seniors. The seniors who were chosen have been a huge part of the art department since they began High School. Lyla and Meagan focused on creating pieces outside of their comfort zone this year, and even explored sculptural art. Their pieces are very meaningful to them, and can be interpreted in so many ways.  While Asher, Faith, and Kade worked very hard this year to hone in their specific styles and technical abilities. Their pieces in this year's show exemplify their growth as artists and abilities to express themselves. Finally, Kaitlyn has been working in collage for the past two years, and has found a style that gives her the ability to communicate ideas in a visual way. She also uses this medium to get through the difficulties in her life and has created some of her most powerful pieces during these times.” 

 

Luxemburg-Casco High School will be having 27 students participate, art teacher, Rebecca Woodbury highlights senior, Paige VandenHeuvel, and says “Pagie VandenHeuvel is one of my seniors who is currently in Art 3. She is very talented with acrylic paints, colored pencils, and most other 2 dimensional media.” 

Here is VandenHeuvel’s artist statement, “These projects were my favorite to work with the past year. I put a lot of effort into making them look as realistic as possible. I chose these pieces because the colors and how everything went together stood out to me the most. The colors blended into each other nicely, which made it easier to agree on paper. These projects also helped me realize that I want to pursue a career in art in the future.”

 

Kewaunee High School will be having 30 students participate, art teacher, Erin LaBonte highlights senior, Ricky Clark.

LaBonte states that “He is exhibiting two works in the YAM show.  Both are large-scale graphite drawings.  Ricky is one of several students who spends a lot of time in the art room.  This makes me super happy.  When I was in high school the art room was my favorite place to be as well.” 

 

Below are some of the student artworks that will be displayed on March 3rd.

 

Luxemburg-Casco's Paige VandenHeuvel's "Little Yellow House"

 

Portrait by Algoma's William Bennett 

Graphite drawing by Kewaunee's Ricky Clark

 

Open Door Bird Sanctuary offers spring break camp

Your children can experience birds and the great outdoors with a special program coming next month to Door County.  Children 8-12 are invited to learn about birds and their habitats at Open Door Bird Sanctuary’s spring break camp on March 20th-24th. Activities will be hands-on and allow children to experience something new. Valerie Mann, the sanctuary’s first full-time raptor educator, goes more in-depth about the camp details.

Registration for the camp is due on March 17th. To register, visit opendoorbirdsanctuary.org.

 

Photo credits to Open Door Bird Sanctuary's Facebook.

Algoma High School's Emily Kirchman makes history

Emily Kirchman is a senior at Algoma High School, she was Algoma’s first-ever female football player this past season. You may have seen her out on the field or on the volleyball and basketball court. One of her coaches Michael Kruis says “As a pass rusher, she recorded three Quarterback pressures, which is impressive from a nose tackle position. Playing Nose Tackle is one of the toughest positions to play because they essentially get beat up every game. They don’t get a lot of stats, but they are an important part of the defense.” 

Kirchman has inspired herself and other students by pushing through what others thought she couldn’t. She emphasizes that if she could have she would have started football sooner. Kirchman said the best part about joining football was proving people wrong. 

Rotary Club announces Muckian Scholarship opportunity

High school seniors in Door County can get a jump start on financing their future education at a technical college with help from the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay. Applications for the Rotary Technical Education/Robert Muckian Scholarship are being accepted now for the 16th year. The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 and are funded through the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Charitable Trust and an endowment from the estate of Rotarian Robert Muckian.  Committee Chair Dr. John Swanson shares the legacy behind the Muckian Scholarship, now in its 16th year, and why it was started. 

 

 

The scholarship application deadline is March 10, with awards presented at the Rotary luncheon in April. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club also offers academic scholarships called “Service Above Self” for seniors seeking a four-year education. You can find application information on both Rotary scholarships with this link.

Kwik Trip driveway leaves businesses stuck in the median

You will not be able to cross State Highway 42/57 to enter or leave the future Kwik Trip based on recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

 

The median is the last piece of the puzzle after the building design and site plan was approved at a previous meeting. The DOT later decided that closing the median was the safest option, adding that any new development would have triggered it. This means the raised median would stretch from Duluth Avenue to Ashland Avenue.

 

Eliminating the two-way left turn lane would limit traffic trying to get to either Destination Door County or Sturgeon Bay Metal Products. While Destination Door County is hoping an easement can be granted so visitors could get to their building from Duluth Avenue, representatives from Sturgeon Bay Metal Products expressed their opposition to it. At the Aesthetic Design and Site Plan Review Board meeting on February 13th, Vern Smith and Dana Anderson from Sturgeon Bay Metal Products questioned why it was needed, saying that it has always been a safe area and that a median would negatively impact how their semi-trucks navigate the area. They hope a solution can be met that is positive for both businesses.

 

The debate sparked additional conversation from board member Pam Jorns, who asked if a similar median will be needed if Fleet Farm is built south of the site.  The board punted the issue to the Common Council after an agreement was not reached.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also weigh in on the development agreement for a new hotel and the Door County Granary's request for an extension on their development agreement when they meet Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Sheriff's Administrative Assistants do heavy lifting behind the scenes

While we are still in the early part of 2023, I would like to continue with providing information on the various aspects of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. This week I will be focusing on our “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants”

      

In every organization there is a system of processes which allows for the smooth and reliable transfer of information from one component of the organization to another. It is the center of all activity and its success relies on constant communication and the ability to adjust to changes on a moment’s notice. For the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department these processes involve the handling of all documentation from traffic citations to accident reports, civil process to criminal charge requests, juvenile referrals to open records requests. They involve providing information to agencies throughout Kewaunee County, the State of Wisconsin and in some cases the Federal Government.

       

All of this activity falls under the duties of “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant” and in Kewaunee County we have two of the best; Angie Mueller and Tara LaCrosse. To provide a glimpse into the daily life of these two will be difficult in the space I have available for this article, but I will try to provide a broad overview.

       

From the moment a report is generated to the time when it goes to court our Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants are a vital link between the responding officers to the Supervisory staff where reports are filed reviewed proofed, and ultimately submitted to either the District Attorney’s Office, Human Services or the many other agencies with whom we work with on a daily basis. Here at the Sheriff’s Department all reports are dictated by the responding Officers which then require them to be transcribed by the Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants. This accounts for a great deal of the volume of work which is done by these two employees. Beyond just transcribing they also must make sure all of the incidents are coded correctly so that the monthly reports to the Department of Justice are accurate and reflect the actual offenses occurring in Kewaunee County.

         

Beyond the world of law enforcement reports they are also involved in the civil process work that is done at the Sheriff’s Department. This involves the service of court orders ranging from Sheriff sales to writ of executions, evictions to restraining orders. Even after the reports have left the Sheriff’s Department and the cases have moved forward in the legal process, many times we receive requests for various reports which these two employees facilitate.

         

In the world of law enforcement where documentation is everything, the need for accurate and timely reports is vital and we are very fortunate to have two dedicated individuals who make sure the “I’s” have been dotted and the “T’s” crossed. Thank you, Angie and Tara!

         

In this past year, we said farewell to our long time Administrative Assistant Mary Berkovitz, and welcomed a new member of our law enforcement family, Tara LaCrosse.

          

Last year I mentioned how Mary would be leaving some big shoes to fill, and I am pleased and proud to say that Tara, was able to transition into that role as though she was destined to do so her whole life! Next week I will be providing information regarding our School Liaison Deputies and the work they do to keep our school communities safe. 

Gibraltar Fire Chief targeting at-risk population with help

Making sure your loved ones are taken care of in a time of need is the goal of a new effort underway in the Town of Gibraltar. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges is working with various county stakeholders to identify individuals who may suffer additional hardships when a natural disaster or severe weather event occurs. Those include the Aging  idenand Disability Resource Center, Door County Emergency Services, Door County Public Health, and Wisconsin Public Service. Bertges says it is an idea he has toyed with for a few years and is finally getting some traction. 

If you or someone you care for lives in the Town of Gibraltar, you can sign up by clicking on this link. Bertges says he could see the program spread to other municipalities in Door County with a bit of time.

Future of Hamachek-Klockner property remains unclear

Your wait for the development of the Hamachek-Klockner property will continue for the foreseeable future as a result of the last few Kewaunee City Council meetings. The city and Pierpoint Development Group had gone back and forth on developing the Hamachek-Klockner property since mid-2020 when developers approached Kewaunee officials about a project that would include a 70-suite hotel, event center, spa retreat, and dining facility, among other amenities. The projected cost of the endeavor, known as The Gathering at Pierpoint, was estimated to be $26.5 million. That total included $2.4 million in Tax Increment Financing dollars. The relationship between the city and the developer has grown contentious recently, something both sides admitted during Monday’s Kewaunee City Council. Kathy Howlett-Despot from Pierpoint Development Group addressed the council during the open comment period, asking members to tell them where they stand.

When the council took on the issue as an agenda item, Mayor Jeffrey Vollenweider recused himself from the discussion since his family owns a motel in the city. With their attorneys helping guide the discussion, the debate then centered around dropping the exclusivity agreement and issuing a Request for Proposal so other developers could create their plans.

The city will release a Request for Qualifications in the coming weeks, with one of the conditions being that developers can prove they have financial backing for their proposals.

 

Watch the meeting below:

 

 

Gibraltar to host information session on referendum

You can get your questions answered on Monday about the upcoming $29.8 million referendum aimed at overhauling the facilities at Gibraltar Area Schools. Last month, the Gibraltar Area School Board approved the referendum question on the ballot that will pave the way for the district to demolish the 1930s and 1950s sections of the building. In its place, the district plans on building a new two-station gym, community space, and classrooms in addition to updates to the cafeteria and offices. Early estimates show that after the district’s mill rate stumbles from $3.42 in 2022 to $2.98 in 2023, it will go up to $3.25. Because of its high property values, Gibraltar Area School District has one of the lowest mill rates in the state. Gibraltar Superintendent Brett Strousland explained last month that over 30 ramps connecting different parts of the building, like other parts of the older sections, are not up to code.


The public information session will take place on Monday at 6 p.m. inside the IMC at the Gibraltar Secondary School. The IMC was the focus of the school district’s last referendum effort in November 2018. This referendum question will appear on the April 4th spring election ballot.

Rare plant threatened by Peninsula State Park project

Your drive through Peninsula State Park may be smoother, but you may also see less of a particular purple flower along the shoreline.

 

Last week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources proposed to issue authorization for the incidental taking of the dwarf lake iris, which is considered to be threatened by state and federal authorities. Incidental take refers to the unintentional loss of individual endangered or threatened plants or animals that does not put the species’ overall population at risk. The DNR issued the proposal because of the Peninsula State Park Shore Road replacement project, which has needed to be done for several years. As a part of the proposed Incidental Take Authorization, DNR officials will consider conservation measures to minimize the adverse effects the project could have on the dwarf lake iris.

 

You can click the link to learn more about the proposed Incidental Take Authorization and how you can submit written comments regarding the project.

 

Picture courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

Open Door Pride Mixer hosted at Lawlss Coffee

You could spend the night with members of the community who are there to support you. Open Door Pride is having a board game night hosted at Lawlss Coffee on February 19th. There will be coffee, tea, and games prepared. The event is open to the public with the intent of helping members of the LGBT+ community feel like they have a safe place to be themselves. Open Door Pride organizer and board member, Andrea Frank goes more in-depth about past and future events for members of the LGBT+ community.

For those who can't make it, there will be another mixer on March 13th at Other Worlds Books from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. 

Community support builds tech skills at Luxemburg-Casco

Over the sounds of 3-D printers, mini CNC mills, and laser engravers, you could hear Luxemburg-Casco High School students thoroughly enjoying the opportunities they have in their Fab Lab classroom.

Since the start of the school year, the district has added five new pieces of equipment to its technical education arsenal. Chief among those is the Fenceless ER-4iA robotic arm, one of the largest in the industry and a sign of the investment the district and its community partners are putting into the technical education program at the high school. In addition to the community donations and district funding, Luxemburg-Casco received a $25,000 grant from the state’s Department of Workforce Development as a part of its Fast Forward program. Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry says the students’ interest in its Fab Lab courses has only grown, increasing from 74 to 102 students in the last school year alone.

Technical Education Teacher Will Simonar is tasked with helping guide his students through the pieces of equipment, doing everything from embroidering backpacks and producing vinyl stickers to laser engraving coffee mugs and creating wooden lake depth maps. He is thankful for the support they have received to install cutting-edge equipment so his students can get a taste of the future that could be ahead of them.

The district has invested heavily in providing opportunities for students to find a career path before moving on to college. In recent years, they have established the Ahnapee Diesel, Ahnapee Auto, and Bellin Health Academy programs. They are still trying to put the pieces together to establish a new construction program.

 

 

 

Door County YMCA completes Heart of Community campaign

While you will still see work going on inside and outside the Sturgeon Bay Program Center, the Door County YMCA did check one big item off their to-do list, thanks to you.

 

The organization announced on Thursday it has raised the necessary $10.2 million for its Heart of the Community Campaign, the driving force for its recent construction projects. Door County YMCA CEO Tonya Felhofer expressed her gratefulness for the support the organization has received for the campaign, adding that “the funds raised will help us continue our work of building a healthy spirit, mind, and body for all, and to make a positive impact on the lives of those in our community.”

 

When the project is complete, members will experience a new youth activity center, wellness center, and additional class and community spaces. With half of the facility under renovation, Felhofer thanked its members and guests last month for their flexibility throughout the process.

 

The capital campaign update coincided with the Door County YMCA’s community breakfast at Stone Harbor Resort on Thursday morning.

Governor Evers lays out budget plans for next two years

Increasing K-12 school funding, giving a ten percent tax cut for the middle class, and creating a paid family and medical leave program were among the ideas shared in Governor Tony Evers’ biennial budget address on Wednesday night.

 

The budget totals approximately $104 billion in spending over the next two years, as it also addresses other areas of concern like childcare, affordable housing, neighborhood development, workforce creation, and more.

 

Part of the budget would add $50 million to continue Evers’ Main Street Bounceback Program, a pandemic-born initiative he highlighted with separate visits to Door and Kewaunee counties last fall. The budget also calls for $117 million to bolster tourism by recruiting new large-scale events and additional visitors.

 

At the end of his address, Governor Evers called for bipartisanship for his “breakthrough budget” that contains priorities for the state. “This is a budget about solutions, not wish lists. This is a budget about pragmatism, not politics. This is a budget about getting back to basics and doing the right thing,” Evers said.

 

Wisconsin Republicans have already panned much of the budget, with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos saying it is “devoid from reality.” He said in his Republican response that while there are some areas in the governor’s budget where they hope to find common ground, “the solutions will look dramatically different.”  

 

You can watch the budget address and the Republican response below. 

 

 

 

Jail project shrinks to keep within budget

The price tag is the same, but small changes may be made to the proposed Kewaunee County Public Safety building once crews get to work. Representatives from Venture Architects and The Samuels Group provided an approximately nine-minute update on the project to the Kewaunee County Board during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday night. One change that will be seen from the outside will be the building's exterior walls, thanks to a drop in costs in the pre-cast concrete panel market. Rising costs in other areas will cause the footprint of the building to shrink to help keep the project on track with its budget.

Currently, contractors have placed the construction costs of the new jail facility to be about three percent higher than the original budget. The final amount could be closer to the original if contractors overestimated certain areas' costs. The goals are to put the project out to bid by May in order to let the Kewaunee County Board decide on contractors during their June or July meetings. 

 

 

Home warranty scam hits Door County

Since she received one herself, Door County Register of Deeds Carey Petersilka is making sure you know about the home warranty scam hitting a mailbox near you. Residents across the state, including Door County, have reported receiving a letter from Home Warranty Direct urging you to purchase a home warranty to replace your expiring or soon-to-expire home warranty. The letter asks you to either respond by a specific date or lose your home warranty. What might confuse some people is that it says “County Deed Records” at the top of the letter, and not everybody even has a home warranty. Petersilka hopes her experience stops people from falling for the scam.

Petersilka recommends you ignore and throw away your letters from Home Warranty Direct. If you are interested in a home warranty, you need to do your research before choosing a company to work with first.

 

YMCA's "M.IN.D." program addresses memory loss

You can help improve your memory loss with a free program at the Door County YMCA.  Memory In Development (M.IN.D.) is a six-week class starting on March 20th.  Door County YMCA Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin says the reach-driven workshop is open to anyone who wants to do something about memory concerns or may be coping with an early dementia-related diagnosis.

 

 

Gavin adds that the program will be facilitated by Active Adult Coordinator Christine Webb-Miller and Christy Wisniewski, the outreach specialist from Door County Medical Center’s Memory Care Services.  The Memory In Development class will be held on Mondays from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m.  You will need to register before March 16th by calling 920-746-3504 or going online at dcmedical.org/classes-and-events/m-in-d.

Over six million fish stocked in Wisconsin waters last year

Your opportunity to catch more fish this season looks pretty good after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released its numbers of the total fish stocked throughout the state in 2022.  Over six million fish were stocked in 2022 to fill stocking quotas established by fisheries biologists.  Walleyes topped the species list for Wisconsin’s inland bodies of water with nearly 1.6 million fish planted.  Lake Michigan saw over 475,000 brown trout and over one million Chinook salmon stocked last year.

Every year, the DNR raises millions of yearlings and fingerling fish to boost natural fish populations, maintain or restore fisheries, and support recreational fishing opportunities. 

You can see the complete 2022 inland and Great Lakes stocking summary below. 

 

2022 INLAND STOCKING SUMMARY

 Species

 Total Number Stocked

 Brook trout

 232,896

 Brown trout

 315,981

 Lake sturgeon

 12,421

 Lake trout

 78,099

 Largemouth bass

 114,241

 Muskellunge

 41,970

 Northern pike

 48,181

 Rainbow trout

 267,198

 Walleye

 1,588,918

 

Below is a list of the fish stocked into Lake Michigan (LM), Lake Superior (LS) and their tributaries in 2022.

2022 GREAT LAKES STOCKING SUMMARY

 Species

 Total Number Stocked

 Brook trout (LM)

 50,021

 Brown trout

 475,701 (LM)

 140,839 (LS)

 Chinook salmon (LM)

 893,650

 145,095*

 Coho salmon (LM)

 412,273

 Lake sturgeon (LM)

 4,185

 Lake trout (LS)

 88,027

 Muskellunge (LM)

 3,029

 Steelhead (LM)

 850,772

 150,497*

 Splake (LS)

 47,770

 Walleye (LS)

 109,850

*These fish were raised by the Michigan DNR and were stocked by Wisconsin DNR staff. They helped supplement Wisconsin DNR stocking quotas but are not included in the Wisconsin DNR’s stocking database.

 

 

(photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR from 2022 fish stocking of Forestville Dam)

Algoma High School's Upcoming Musical: Shrek

You could see Algoma students perform Shrek the Musical on February 17th and 18th. This year’s musical has a range of cast members, homeschooled, middle school, and high school students will all be featured. Seniors Kade Preston as Shrek and Kennedy Neuzil as Fiona, share that their roles have helped them form relationships with the younger cast members and given them more responsibility within the musical. Both students have been in choir together since middle school and have used that as a way to help build their relationship when it comes to the musical. They both said they were hesitant to join the musical at first, but they now regret it because of how much they have enjoyed the experience on stage. The stage crew, band pit, and directors have also been a huge part of the musical. The cast gives thanks to  Mrs. Jennifer Massey for directing the pit, Holly Walker for creating the costumes, and Gail Toddy for the set design. 

 

For more information on the upcoming shows, visit the Algoma Performing Arts Center’s Facebook Page.

 

Algoma trims down public safety building ahead of referendum

For the second year in a row, you will get to voice your opinion on a new public safety building in Algoma. Last year, over 60 percent of voters voted against a new facility located on Sunset Avenue that would have housed the city’s police, Fire, and EMS departments. . The new building is needed because the fire department has outgrown its current station on 3rd Avenue, which was confirmed in a space needs analysis performed by the city three years ago.  Last year, Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman said the new area kept the health and safety of its volunteer fire department in mind.  

After last year’s failure, the city adjusted the scope of its plan in anticipation of having to go to a referendum again. The redesigned facility will now house the Fire and the EMS departments, keeping the Algoma Police Department at city hall for now. That allowed the cost to be cut from $5.7 million to $3.7 million and to reduce the repayment term from 40 years to 30 years. Algoma City Administrator Matt Murphy hopes the new plan addresses last year’s citizen worries and the current woes of its public safety departments.

The city will host public information meetings on March 7th and 29th at the Algoma Performing Arts Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Local honor guard pays tribute to fallen police officer

The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard was among the dozens of departments you would have seen at Monday’s funeral for Milwaukee Police Department Officer Peter Jerving. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, approximately 3,000 people visited Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wis. to pay homage to Jerving, who was killed in the line of duty while trying to apprehend a robbery suspect on the city’s south side. Police and Sheriff’s Departments from across the state, including Kewaunee County, joined the procession through the suburb to Jerving’s final resting place at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Other area departments supported Jerving’s family and the Milwaukee Police Department by posting tributes on their social media channels. 

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department

Sturgeon Bay bus route part of 2030 multimodal plan

It is still years away, but you could soon see people traveling between Chicago and Sturgeon Bay without ever having to use their own car. Addressing the Door Peninsula corridor's transportation needs is part of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's 2030 long-range multimodal plan. Much of the WisDOT plan calls for the continued service, preservation, and maintenance of current transportation aspects like area roadways, the Washington Island Ferry, and bicycle/pedestrian routes. The plan also calls for the expansion of rail throughout the region, including an extension of the current Hiawatha Service between Chicago and Milwaukee to extend north through the Fox Cities and Green Bay. From there, the plan calls for a bus route between Sturgeon Bay and the Green Bay rail station and other routes stretching from Marinette to Milwaukee. Noting how transportation needs have changed in big cities, Jon Jarosh from Destination Door County says a bus line between Sturgeon Bay and Green Bay would be great. Still, additional local investments would be needed to handle the visitors once they arrived.

According to Forbes magazine, the number of vehicles on the road could drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030. The plan's third phase includes a bus route that would stretch from Green Bay to Gills Rock, with stops in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay.

Sevastopol School District preparing for 100th Anniversary

With 100 years to cover, Sevastopol School District could use your help to put together next year’s centennial celebration. The school began as a three-story building along State Highway 57 in Institute in 1924. Residents said goodbye to a large portion of that history in 2021 as a part of its most recent referendum project to update their facilities. Much like they did approximately 25 years ago for their 75th Anniversary, the district has formed a committee to discuss how to celebrate the centennial milestone in 2024. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke wants the community’s help to organize the activities and piece together over a century of memories.

The 100th Anniversary Committee for the Sevastopol School District will meet for the first time on Wednesday in the high school IMC at 3:30 p.m. 

Harbor Commission looks to improve markings at Dunlap's Reef

The City of Sturgeon Bay will explore additional ways to warn boaters of a troublesome reef in the channel of Sturgeon Bay. At Monday's meeting, the Harbor Commission addressed Dunlap’s Reef, located just north of the Michigan Street Bridge. Committee Chair Gary Nault says poor boating contributes to the accidents, but better marking could help prevent more visitors from running aground with their vessels. He says, in his opinion, Dunlap’s Reef is one of the most dangerous waters in Lake Michigan.

 

 

Nault cited two incidents from last year, including a 42-foot Sea Ray yacht that suffered $650,000 in damages and a ski boat that was damaged in October. He added that if the water level rises six more inches over the winter, the reef will be barely underwater and even more dangerous this boating season. The Harbor Commission will look into getting additional markings, including lighted buoys, for Dunlap’s Reef, after gaining permission from the United States Coast Guard, who could not attend Monday’s meeting. 

 

 

(photo: A damaged prop that was found near Dunlap's reef last year that Nault displayed at the Harbor Commission meeting)

 

League of Women Voters expands free rides to the polls program

The League of Women Voters of Door County wants to make sure you can vote in this spring’s elections. The organization is again sponsoring free rides through Door 2 Door Rides to your polling place on February 21st for the primary and April 4th for the general election. New this time is the ability to book your ride to the municipal clerk’s office to register to vote and submit your ballot absentee. Susan Kohout from the League of Women Voters of Door County says recent changes to the election process prompted the expansion.

Kohout estimates a couple of dozen people have taken advantage of the program since its reintroduction dating back to the 2020 presidential election. You can call the Door County Transportation Department to arrange your ride at 920-746-6944. 

Sturgeon Bay High School hosts Blood Drive

You can help save lives with your blood donation at Sturgeon Bay High School’s blood drive on February 15th. Sturgeon Bay High School has helped meet the needs of Door County Medical Center by doing four blood drives a year for the past three years. Community members with Type O and Type A are encouraged to donate. Tina Ferron from the Community Blood Center says blood is in critical need right now.

To schedule a blood donation go to communityblood.org or walk-in Sturgeon Bay High School from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm on February 15th.

 

Project day returns for Kewaunee County 4-H

Your kids can dive into several subjects of interest on March 4th when Kewaunee County 4-H returns with its first Project Day since the start of the pandemic. Open to all children in first through sixth grades, the event features more than a dozen different workshops for them to dive into during the day. From baking and cake decorating to woodworking and sewing, Project Day allows kids to learn about some ideas they could carry into their everyday life or even showcase them at the Kewaunee County Fair. The event costs $8 and includes session materials and lunch. Check-in begins at 9:15 a.m., with the workshops running from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can click on this link to register.

Door and Kewaunee counties stay at low COVID-19 community level

Even though the number of counties at the medium COVID-19 community level nearly doubled over the last week, you will not find Door or Kewaunee on that list. The number of counties at the medium level grew to 14 last week, up from nine the week before. The rest are at the low level, with no counties residing in the high level, which has been the case for several weeks. It still was not great news for Door County as it lost its 77th resident to a COVID-19-related death. Only two of the 33 tests administered returned positive for the virus, and there were no new hospitalizations.  According to the CDC, Kewaunee County saw 12 new cases of COVID-19 out of the over 90 tests performed over the last week. The numbers do not reflect the tests performed by at-home testing products. The state announced it was inviting residents to stock up on tests through its “Say Yes! Covid Test” program, making up to two five-test kits available each month.

Military operation closes Lake Michigan airspace Sunday

Those military aircraft you saw soaring near Door County had a purpose on Sunday after Lake Michigan airspace was closed for part of the day.

 

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command announced the closure at approximately 11 a.m. due to an unidentified flying object that had been initially tracked in Montana. According to images shared with the Door County Daily News by a reader from the flight tracking website FlightRadar24, one United States Air Force plane made circular patterns around Door County before following that pattern across Lake Michigan into Michigan before entering Lake Huron.

A second plane circled the Sheboygan area before flying up the Door Peninsula shoreline and into lower Michigan.

Several news outlets later reported that the unidentified flying object was shot down over Lake Huron after it flew across Michigan at an altitude of about 20,000 feet. It was recovered approximately 15 nautical miles from shore. U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin thanked the military for their swift action. Still, they demanded more transparency regarding what is being learned from the recovered flying objects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is the fourth time since February 4th that the military has had to shoot down an unidentified flying object.

 

Screenshots of FlightRadar24 courtesy of reader

Inside the AbiliTees classroom

You can help provide students with the opportunity to succeed and form relationships with members of the community. The Algoma High School AbiliTees team invited us into their classroom, where they screen print, craft greeting cards, package products, and various other things. Every student in the room had a job to do and was able to give more insight into what they were creating or packaging. In the 2021- 2022 school year, they had an array of successes. Students Nate and Jay printed 132 bandanas in just two days for a youth group. The group of students also had a Scatter Kindness project where they printed, packaged, and sold over 700 items, which gave them an opportunity to work and sell products at Country Cupboard. Each step of the process, every student gets to build their self-confidence and give them hands-on experience in being a bigger part of the community. Here is a look into their workspace.

 

 

Students Berkley and Brady

Connor and his T-shirt designs 

Students Maddie and Kendra with their baby clothes design

WAMI nominee Cathy Grier is going strong with 45 years in the music industry

You can listen to award-winning local musician Cathy Grier at her upcoming show at the Door Community Auditorium on February 25th. Grier has been in the music industry since the mid-70s and has been releasing albums since. She was recently nominated for the 2023 Wisconsin Area Music Industry female and blues artist. She moved to Sturgeon Bay in 2016 from New York. She was drawn to Wisconsin because of the geography and the community’s ability to engage. Grier also founded Open Door Pride which is now in the 7th year of supporting the LGBTQIA+ and promoting diversity in the community. Grier shares the inspiration behind her music throughout the years.

Grier encourages people to swing by the Door Community Auditorium and support her and other local artists. 

Local cheesemakers prepare for U.S. Championship Cheese Contest

The Resch Expo in Green Bay will feature plenty of names you recognize when the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest takes place later this month.

 

Hundreds participate in the biennial cheese contest and feature some of the world's best varieties across 113 categories. Over 2,200 entries of cheese, butter, yogurt, and dry milk ingredients make up the contest. Locally, Agropur in Luxemburg, Door Artisan Cheese Company of Egg Harbor, Renard’s Cheese/Rosewood Dairy, Inc. of Algoma, and Ron’s Wisconsin Cheese, LLC of Kewaunee will all compete in the contest. When the event was held, Sara Richards of Door Artisan Cheese, Pat Doell and Roger Krohn of Agropur, and the Production Team at Ponderosa Dairy Products all finished in the top three of their respective categories, with Doell and Krohn doing it in two of them.

 

The U.S. Championship Cheese Contest is open to the public when they judge the cheese varieties on February 21st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and February 22nd from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The winners will be announced on February 23rd at 2 p.m. on the contest's Facebook page.

Community Spotlight: Remiker promoted as Brigadier General in National Guard

The next time you meet up with Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker, you will be in the presence of a newly promoted Brigadier General.  Remiker was promoted to that rank in a ceremony in Sante Fe, New Mexico, on February 3rd. A member of the New Mexico National Guard, Remiker has maintained his military career after moving back to Wisconsin and becoming Algoma's police chief in 2019. Remiker, who began his military career in 1992 with the Minnesota National Guard's 34 Infantry Division, transferred to the New Mexico National Guard in 1998. He says he is thankful to all the general officers who influenced him and the support from his family and the Algoma Police Department to continue his service, which requires monthly flights back to New Mexico for weekend training.

 

 

Remiker has been awarded the Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, and the Combat Action Badge.  Assigned as the New Mexico National Guard's Director of the Joint Staff, you can listen to the entire conversation with Randy Remiker on the podcast page here.

 

 

(photos courtesy of the New Mexico National Guard)

Upcoming Crossroads at Big Creek Activities

You can enjoy the outdoors with Crossroads at Big Creek. They host events and activities for all ages. Ranging from hikes, demonstrations, lectures, and clubs. Their website states, “We are proud of Crossroads’ mission to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages through education, research, and outdoor experiences and we work every day to further that goal.”  Some upcoming activities are, the Luminary-lit Hike on February 17th, an Ice Harvest Demonstration on February 18th, and a Wild Ones Lecture: Butterfly Gardens 101 on February 28th. All events listed above are free and open to the public. We follow up with Coggin Herringa about how they get events started, how to volunteer, and their restoration process. 

For more information and events, visit their website at crossroadsatbigcreek.org.

 

Help of Door County working to stop teen dating violence

Help of Door County is reaching out to area schools and students to bring awareness to teenagers about the signs of an abusive relationship. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales says the organization's proactive approach is vital in curbing the problem.

 

 

 New Advocate Ava Beaudot, who works with students in the FYRE (Forging Youth Relationships and Education) program, says open dialog is essential for teens to understand what is and is not appropriate behavior while dating.

 

 

You can listen to the entire conversation with Gonzales and Beaudot on the podcast page here.

Peninsula Pride Farms map out progress at annual meeting

With plenty of work still to do, Peninsula Pride Farms hope a partnership with Houston Engineering shows off the progress its members have made in soil and water conservation over the last several years. Nathaniel Baeumler will present the work performed by the Fargo, N.D.- based civil engineering firm to create maps looking at the impact its conservation strategies has had on the watershed. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says it is the first time farmers and other residents can see what the joint effort has done for the entire region rather than on a farm-by-farm basis.

Shawn Wesener from Farmers for Sustainable Food, Mark Witecha from Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and Dr. Lee Briese from Centrol Crop Consulting will all speak at the event scheduled for February 14th at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exposition Hall beginning at 10 a.m.

Abortion, gerrymandering top of Wisconsin State Supreme Court debate

A race on your ballot this spring is capturing attention across the country. Politico, the Washington Post, and the New York Times have highlighted the importance of this year’s Wisconsin State Supreme Court race featuring Janet C. Protasiewicz, Daniel Kelly, Everett D. Mitchell, and Jennifer R. Dorow. Millions of dollars are expected to be spent on the nonpartisan race between now and the spring general election on April 4th. Democrats and Republicans are waiting for the outcome of the spring primary on February 21st before backing their preferred candidates. The state’s battles over redistricting and the abortion ban are big reasons why the race has gotten so much attention nationwide. Mark Jefferson of the Wisconsin Republican Party told Politico that Democrats want to use the Supreme Court “to circumvent legislators who make policy decisions. Ben Wikler for the Wisconsin Democratic Party says the state Supreme Court election carries with it “implications that will affect national politics for years to come. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says much of the attention is because of the importance of the election at a time when voter turnout is usually low.


School boards, city and village councils, and town boards will also be on the ballot, with the towns of Nasewaupee, Gardner, Gibraltar, and the Village of Sister Bay needing a primary. If you cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, you have until February 17th to cast an in-person absentee ballot. Just like you would need on Election Day, you will need a valid photo identification to vote and any additional materials if you register to participate.

Technology a curse and a blessing for investigators

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the technology you use daily is both a godsend and a headache depending on the day.

 

The department saw an increase in fraud complaints in 2022, many of which can be hard to track down because of the distance between the perpetrator and their target. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission reported that U.S. consumers lost approximately $1.2 Billion in 2022 due to scammers online and over the phone.

 

Some of their more unique calls also came from the world of technology as internet crimes against children (ICAC) like sexting. Joski says while technology has helped solve a lot of cases, it has led to the creation of many as well.

With a team of three investigators, Joski says he is proud of their work, especially their ability to solve the crimes the department tasks with them. You'll be able to read more about the topic below.

 

FROM MATT JOSKI

While some of the duties here at the Sheriff’s Department are in the public’s view and receive a great deal of attention, there is a division of the Sheriff’s Department that works tirelessly each and every day behind the scenes. As I reported in an earlier article regarding the response of our patrol Deputies to calls of a criminal nature; many of these calls are dealt with by those Patrol Deputies when the evidence for an arrest is clearly present. Not all crimes that are committed provide clear evidence of responsibility or even a clear picture of what actually occurred.

          

When a given call presents the need for evidence gathering, and in depth follow up, we rely on the members of the Investigation Division to apply their expertise in the pursuit of a successful outcome. This division is comprised of three Investigators, each of them skilled in various facets of criminal investigative work. While they may receive preliminary information from the initial responding Deputy, their work requires them to look at each and every case with a fresh perspective and recreate the events of the incident through extensive interviews, forensic investigation and follow through on each and every piece of information available.

          

A great deal of resources is expended in our constant vigilance against drug activity within our community as well as assisting adjacent counties and municipalities in their efforts. We continue to see the emergence of fentanyl in addition to methamphetamine in our communities along with the alarming abuse of prescription drugs which have impacted too many families and friends. The knowledge and intelligence gathering which is done on a daily basis by our Investigators has proven successful in many convictions pertaining to all criminal activity throughout this past year.

         

As another component of our effort to reduce drug use in our community, our Investigators are also tasked with the coordination of our 24/365 drug collection program. This program allows members of our community to bring in their unused capsules, pills, and tablets for proper destruction. The receptacle is located right our Safety Building and one of Staff will be more than happy assist you when you arrive.

          

Some of the common calls which are transferred to Investigations are burglaries, sexual assaults, and criminal damage to property. Some unique calls which this division has handled in this past year include the crime of sexting and related ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children). As with many crimes based in technology, there may be a limited awareness on the part of those perpetrating the crime, as well as those who are potential victims of the crime. sexting is when sexually explicit photos are taken by an individual and then shared electronically. A truly alarming trend which we have been seeing is the sexting which is going on among children in our community. While the young person taking the photo may not see it as a crime, or the young person who receives or shares the photo on their electronic device may not see it as a crime, it is in fact a serious offense. The real danger is the lasting damage that such activity causes in that these photos never go away and will last for perpetuity. The plain fact is that anyone taking such photos is in essence creating child pornography, and anyone with such an image on their electronic device is in possession of child pornography. Furthermore, anyone who shares these images is actually distributing child pornography.

         

In 2022, we saw an increase in the number of fraud complaints which required extensive investigations, as many of these crimes are perpetrated from distant locations. For the vast majority of these types of incidents, our efforts in prevention are the most effective means to minimizing the impacts of such crimes. Once perpetrated, the potential for successful outcomes is limited, if not impossible. Our Investigators do an amazing job at fostering relationships with financial institutions both within our county and beyond to help bring awareness and assist those who have been victimized.

        

Of the many ways we use in calibrating our success, one tool is the Incident Based Reporting system to which all Law enforcement agencies submit their data. A key area we look at is our ability to solve or clear cases. If you are interested in the details of this data, it can be found on our website at: www.kewauneesheriff.com

        

We pride ourselves on not only our clearance rates, but more importantly the quality of the work that goes into our investigations which ultimately leads to successful adjudication of these cases. This again is due to the diligent and hard work of our entire staff as well as the many leads we receive from our community.

        

Thank you to our Investigators for the thorough and methodical manner in which you do you jobs each and every day!  

One student injured in rollover crash

One Sevastopol High School student had to be transported to Door County Medical Center Thursday night after a car he was riding in rolled over before striking a utility pole. Emergency personnel were called to the scene after 4:30 p.m. near State Highway 57 and Mathey Road intersection. According to the incident report, the driver lost control of his vehicle as they were trying to navigate the curve of the road, which was affected by the wet and slushy snow that had started to fall approximately an hour earlier. The car left the roadway into a ditch, rolling over onto its side before coming to rest against a utility pole. While the vehicle's driver did not have to be transported to the hospital, his passenger was due to possible injuries. The car was towed away from the scene, and the scene was cleared about an hour after the crash took place.

 

Since both of the vehicle's occupants are under 18, the Door County Daily News will not release the names.

 

The weather did keep emergency personnel busy on Thursday, with at least one car going into a ditch and four accidents resulting in property damage occurring between 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ice conditions force Sister Bay to Rock the Rink

Sister Bay is proving that when life gives you lemons, you can still make lemonade no matter the season.

 

The Peninsula Pacers, which organizes the Door County Pond Hockey Tournament, pulled the plug on the event on Thursday after temperatures hit over 40 degrees this week and will get close to it again on Saturday. Crews put in over 100 hours flooding the rinks and making other preparations for the tournament. Still, organizers called off the tournament early to allow the several teams traveling from outside the area to change their travel and lodging arrangements.

 

With one event canceled, the village pivoted to “Rock the Rink,” a day-long event that will feature live music, food, drinks, and ice skating conditions permitting. The impromptu event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the band Absolut Bratwurst playing from noon to 3 p.m.

 

This is at least the second time organizers have had to act on the fly on behalf of Mother Nature. The 2020 edition of the Door County Pond Hockey Tournament had to be moved from Kangaroo Lake in Baileys Harbor to the Sister Bay Sports Complex due to unsafe ice conditions.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Pond Hockey Tournament

Saving green while composting brown

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County wants to make it easier for you to start a new environmentally-friendly habit. The organization is partnering with the City of Sturgeon Bay, the Village of Egg Harbor, Sturgeon Bay Utilities, and Recycling Connections to begin a compost bin group buy for those interested in composting. The bins usually retail for $100 to $200, but purchasing through the program can make them available for as little as $48. In November, Door County Compost Initiative member Dean Hoegger explained why composting is a good idea.

Orders must be placed by clicking this link by early March so they can be picked up at the Sturgeon Bay Public Works office, the village hall in Egg Harbor, or the Corner of the Past Museum in Sister Bay on either April 20th or April 21st.  Through the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, the Door Community Compost Initiative offers ten different sites from Washington Island to Gardner to drop off pumpkins and other fruit and vegetable waste to turn into compost for those who cannot or do not want to do it on their own.

Nominations open for Golden Heart Awards

The Golden Heart Awards would like to hear about the special volunteers in your life. The nomination period is now open for community members to recognize exceptional volunteers in Door County. There are six categories for people to choose from Adult Volunteer of the Year, Environmental Stewardship Volunteer of the Year, Arts and Culture Volunteer of the Year, Group Volunteers of the Year, the Karl May Lifetime of Service Award, and the Youth Volunteer Scholarship Award. Award winners will receive $500 to donate to a non-profit of their choice. For the Youth Volunteer Scholarship, nominations are limited to high school seniors, who will then be asked to write an essay on volunteerism to be included with the nomination. Up to four high school seniors will be chosen to receive a $500 scholarship. When the Golden Heart Awards Celebration takes place on April 19th at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, it will mark the first time the organization will host a full-fledged, in-person event since before the start of the pandemic. The last two years were held at the Sturgeon Bay High School Auditorium both in-person and live-streamed. You have until February 17th to make your nominations, which you can do by clicking this link.

Northern Door Children's Center completes first phase project, eyes more improvements

You will see more space and, in the future, more kids at Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay. Thursday marks the first-day teachers and staff members will move into its new space at the Northern Door Children’s Center thanks to $1 million gift from an anonymous donor. The center also received $50,000 from a larger $3.5 million State of Wisconsin innovation grant. The new room will be primarily used for the center’s 4K program, which is in collaboration with Gibraltar Area Schools. This will allow for reconfiguring the building’s other classrooms, which brings even more good news for community members, according to Northern Door Children’s Center’s Karen Corekin-DeLaMer.

Phase one construction also included a new combination garage/workspace to receive donations from community members and room for staff members to plan and prepare their lessons. Corekin-DeLaMer says more facility upgrades are in store for the second phase of their construction projects. The Northern Door Children Center Board of Directors is in the progress of securing financial support for this effort.

Kewaunee County high schools join the Rising Phoenix program

You can be a wolf, a spartan, or a storm, walk into a classroom and become a phoenix thanks to a new partnership with UW-Green Bay. Algoma, Luxemburg-Casco, and Kewaunee high schools announced they would partner with the local college and their Rising Phoenix program.

 

Current sophomores apply to the program, allowing the students to enroll in high school and UW-Green Bay courses. If successful, students can graduate high school with an associate’s degree or, at the very least, a good start toward earning their bachelor’s degree. It can also give the students a chance to thrive in either a high school setting or on the UW-Green Bay campus. Similar to its collaboration with the Ahnapee Youth Apprenticeship program, Ahnapee Diesel, and Bellin Health Academy initiatives, Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz says Rising Phoenix allows students to get a feeling for what their future can be before their decisions get expensive.

Kewaunee County’s high schools join GEAR UP Target School, Manitowoc Lincoln High School, Marinette High School, Mishicot High School, Two Rivers High School, and other rural high schools as partners in the Rising Phoenix program.

Winter Weather Advisory issued for Kewaunee, Brown counties

The National Weather Service is giving you a heads-up about a few rough hours of traveling in five Wisconsin counties, including Brown and Kewaunee.

 

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Brown, Kewaunee, Calumet, Winnebago, and Manitowoc counties from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Door County and others in the northern part of the region were left out of the advisory because the band of heavy snow shifted to the southeast.

 

Two to four inches of snow are expected to fall, and wind speeds could reach as high as 35 miles per hour. Even though the roads could still be hazardous to travel on due to visibility concerns, blowing and drifting snow is not expected.

 

Most of the snow is expected to fall during the morning hours and taper off before the evening.

Local 4-H Club wins ice cream flavor contest

You will be able to grab a scoop of ice cream inspired by a Kewaunee County 4-H club this summer. The Wisconsin 4-H Foundation announced Tuesday that the Pilsen Skylighters 4-H Club’s entry was chosen as the winner of the Cedar Crest Ice Cream Flavor Creation Contest. “Cow Lick,” which is vanilla ice cream featuring a caramel swirl chocolate coated pretzels and fudge pieces, beat out four other finalists and several additional entries across the state. That includes the club’s other entries of “Very Dairy,” “The 4H,” “County Fair,” and “Pig Tracks.” Pilsen Skylighters 4-H co-leader Jenny Salentine says she is thrilled for the kids.

The victory will be sweet for the club as they receive $500 and an ice cream party. “Cow Lick” will be available in ice cream parlors and scoop shops across the state for July.

Door County YMCA's "Membership For All" serving two purposes

No matter your situation, a program designed to make the Door County YMCA accessible is available. Membership for All (MAF) is a financial assistance initiative that ensures individuals and families can utilize the Door County YMCA, regardless of age, income, or background. Membership Experience Executive Brett Cleveland says the program reduces membership costs and gives program discounts for those needing assistance. 

 

 

Cleveland adds that the Door County YMCA membership numbers are at an all-time high, with over 9,400 members between the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek locations. The Door County YMCA is hosting its annual Free Community Breakfast at Stone Harbor next Thursday, February 16th, at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Local reaction to President Biden's State of the Union

With a refrain of “let’s finish the job” cited numerous times in his speech, President Joe Biden called for unity during the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. Locally, Door County Democratic Chair Kris Sadur says the one part of the speech that stood out was when President Biden asked everyone to stand up for senior citizens and prevent any cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

 

 

Sadur says the president also did well covering the issues facing working people, like the job market, our veterans, the environment, and education impacting working people and getting them the needed benefits and resources.   Wisconsin 8th District Congressman Mike Gallagher released a statement Wednesday morning, criticizing President Biden’s address for not backing down from his “policy failures .”The complete statement by Rep. Gallagher is below.

 

“During the past two years, President Biden interpreted a narrow Congressional majority as a mandate for radical change. The American people responded by electing a divided government to put a check on the excesses of the Biden administration and work together to address the challenges we face. If last night's speech was any indication, the President has not learned his lesson.

 

“The President’s speech doubled down on the same policies that added trillions of dollars to our national debt, helped fuel 40-year high inflation, and dramatically increased the cost of living for all Americans. It failed to offer any solution on the border crisis fueled by the President’s policies, and it lacked any accountability for the President’s foreign policy failures that have reduced our standing on the world stage and made the country less safe.

 

“Right now, America faces two existential threats: a debt crisis and a hostile foreign adversary in the Chinese Communist Party that threatens our very way of life. We must address these challenges in bipartisan fashion, and Republicans stand ready to do so if the President has the humility to admit his failures, stop demagoguing Republicans, and find compromise and common ground in good faith.”

 

 

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin also released a statement on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released the following statement after President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address to Congress:


“In the last two years, I worked hard with President Biden to lower costs for working families, boost our Made in Wisconsin economy, and create good paying jobs in all corners of our state. I am thrilled that he recognized that work tonight,” said Senator Baldwin. “By working with Democrats and Republicans, we’ve invested in rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and water infrastructure, using American products and American workers. And we made progress to lower the cost of prescription drugs because no one should go broke to get the care they need to stay healthy. I am proud to have delivered for Wisconsin’s families, farmers and businesses, and I look forward to continuing to work with President Biden to invest in our Made in Wisconsin economy and workforce and expand access to affordable health care for all Americans.”

 

President Biden highlighted several key priorities Senator Baldwin has long worked hard for during his speech, including:
 

Investing in Made in America Economy – President Biden announced he would follow through on a provision that Senator Baldwin included in the infrastructure law requiring construction materials used in federally-funded infrastructure projects to be made in the US. This provision was originally included in Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan Made in America Act to strengthen Buy America requirements for the federal government in order to support American businesses, manufacturers, and workers.

 

President Biden also highlighted a robust and growing Made in America economy, including $700 billion in announced private investment in manufacturing, utilities, and energy from more than 200 companies in all 50 states driven by the semiconductor, energy, electric vehicles and batteries, and other cutting-edge sectors thanks to Baldwin-supported legislation like the CHIPS and Science Act and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). President Biden also highlighted how these Baldwin-supported victories have helped create more than 800,000 manufacturing jobs nationwide.

 

Lowering the Costs of Health Care and Prescription Drugs – President Biden called for capping the cost of insulin for all Americans. Senator Baldwin supports and is working to pass legislation to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs at $35 per month for private group or individual plans. This builds on Senator Baldwin’s support for the IRA which capped the cost of insulin for seniors on Medicare at $35 per month and made vaccines such as the shingles vaccine available with no co-pay or out-of-pocket cost. Thanks to the new law, Medicare will also be able to negotiate drug prices and cap out-of-pocket costs at $2,000 per year under Part D, and drug companies will pay rebates to Medicare if they try to hike their prices faster than the rate of inflation. The IRA also extended premium tax credits for plans purchased on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace, helping a record-setting 16.3 million people sign up for ACA coverage this year, and reducing the national uninsured rate to an all-time low last year. 

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson's statement on the State of the Union address.

“Tonight, President Biden said he ran ‘to fundamentally change things’ and he has done so – for the worse. The disastrous results of his governance describe the actual state of our union – a more divided nation, 40-year-high inflation, an open border with a flood of illegal immigration and deadly drugs, high energy prices, rising crime, record debt and growing threats from global adversaries. Our nation is in peril.”

 

(photo courtesy of Wikimedia)

Schuh, Klaubauf crowned during Miss Door County Pageant

The Miss Door County Scholarship Organization awarded more than $6,500 in scholarships on Saturday, crowning its newest titleholders. Sevastopol High School student Lindsay Schuh was crowned Miss Door County, performing a self-written monologue for her talent while highlighting kindness as her social impact initiative. Sturgeon Bay High School Student Kalei Klaubauf was crowned Miss Door County Outstanding Teen, performing an operatic vocal for her talent and sharing the importance of music in the lives of young people as her social impact initiative. Anna Staudenmaier and Abrielle Lenius competed for Miss Door County, while Yana Zenefski, Emily Bley, Faith Blackley, Sayde Jeanquart, and Anna Dahlke battled for the Miss Door County Outstanding Teen title. In June, Schuh and Klaubauf will compete for Miss Wisconsin and Miss Wisconsin’s Teen 2023 in Oshkosh. They will follow in the footsteps of Miss Door County 2022 Chloe Staudenmaier and Miss Door County Outstanding Teen 2022 Claire Bohn, who attended dozens of community events, parades, and speaking engagements across the county over the last year. 

 

(photo courtesy of Miss Door County Scholarship Program)

 

Charges dismissed in Wakker manure spreading case

Only one of the three individuals involved in a court case related to a series of manure-spreading incidents in Kewaunee is still on the hook after several charges were dismissed last week. Last Thursday, Judge David Weber granted an order of dismissal without prejudice for charges against Kewaunee farmer Johannes Wakker and his crop consultant Benjamin Todd Koss. According to the amended complaint filed on January 25th, the charges alleging a conspiracy to commit a crime and fraudulent writing were dropped against Wakker, Koss, and manure hauler Gregory Stodola. An investigation in 2021 showed that Stodola intentionally over-applied manure contrary to the conditions of Walker’s Nutrient Management permit. The complaint accuses Stodola of manipulating the record-keeping before sending the falsified information to Wakker and Koss for their review. The actual amounts were collected from data on Stodola’s equipment. Wakker forwarded the documentation to Koss to be sent into the DNR, where the numbers were further fabricated to ensure everything was done to an acceptable and legal standard. He told the DNR conservations that manure was being over-applied on several occasions, leading to some pollutant discharge events. The complaint does not explain why the fraudulent writing and conspiracy to commit crime charges, felonies in Wisconsin, were dropped. Stodola is still facing three counts of discharging pollutants into the state’s waters, which includes fines and possible jail time.

Sturgeon Bay takes action on Fleet Farm, Industrial Park projects

On Tuesday night, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council moved on two big future development plans on the City’sCity’s west side.


A Memorandum of Understanding agreement between the City and Howard Immel, Inc. to possibly construct a new building in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park got the green light. If it goes through, the project will accommodate five tenants with 50,000 square feet of space each for manufacturing, logistics, and warehouse.


The council also approved the consideration of the development agreement and public improvements for the Fleet Farm project.   The City agreed to contribute $425,000 (about one-third) towards the project's cost of a street intersection and utility improvements. Fleet Farm would agree to dedicate the right-of-way needed for the extension of South Grant Avenue through the property, construct the street and install utilities. Fleet Farm would also agree to a minimum assessed value of $8 Million for the property for ten years.


Road replacement contracts were approved for concrete and asphalt work for street projects for 2023, which were approved in December at the Public Works meeting. An Otumba Park Playground Site Work contract for the dirt needed for the project was approved in the final piece of business by the council.


At the beginning of the meeting, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council was shown a presentation by Julie Gilbert from Destination Door County on the Community Investment Fund. The fund has $1.8 million from 2022, with up to $1 million being projected to be available annually. The Municipal Reimbursement Program has $376,000 that goes back to the municipalities, with Sturgeon Bay receiving $46,000 from the Tourism Zone’s collected room tax. 

City on alert after string of stolen vehicles

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department can use your help identifying who may be behind several stolen vehicles this week. According to a department release, cars were stolen from four locations through the City of Sturgeon Bay and Door County during the overnight hours of Monday, February 6th, into the morning of February 7th. Those areas are:


- 200 block of South 18th Ave.
- 10 block of West Pine St.
- 1400 block of Georgia St.
- 2600 block of County U.

Three of the vehicles were later found crashed. In all cases, the thieves could steal the cars because the keys were inside them. No suspects have been identified, but the department is processing the recovered vehicles hoping to find some leads. In the meantime, you can help the Sturgeon Bay Police Department find the suspects if you have security footage from your home that you can share. They also urge you to bring your keys into the house when you park your car and remove all other valuable items so your vehicle does not become a target.

Sturgeon Bay claims championship final Packerland Conference Math Meet

The Sturgeon Bay Math Team won its 22nd consecutive conference championship on Monday night. Sturgeon Bay’s Russell Pudlo led the seniors with a perfect score of 40 points. Southern Door’s James Zittlow and Sevastopol’s Ezra Linnan tied with perfect scores in the junior class. Overall, Sturgeon Bay had an undefeated season, winning all five math meets. See the complete results of the fifth and final Packerland conference math meet below.

Seniors

Name

school

score

1

Russell Pudlo

STURGEON BAY

40 (Perfect score)

TIE 2

Christy Braun

STURGEON BAY

35

 

Luke Nell

NEW

35

 

Espen Walker

STURGEON BAY

35

5

Philip Schmidt

STURGEON BAY

31

       

Juniors

     

TIE 1

Zittlow, James

SOUTHERN DOOR

40 (perfect score)

 

Ezra Linnan

SEVASTOPOL

40 (perfect score)

TIE 3

Ben Stephens

STURGEON BAY

37

 

Joski, James

KEW

37

5

Gavin Forest

STURGEON BAY

34

       

Sophomores

     

1

Luke Selle

STURGEON BAY

37

2

Tre Wienke

STURGEON BAY

33

3

Chabrie, Maurits

KEWAUNEE

32

4

Logan Filar

SEVASTOPOL

27

5

Julia Michalski

STURGEON BAY

27

       

Freshman

     

1

Keira Wesley

STURGEON BAY

25

2

Levi Ullman

STURGEON BAY

25

3

Ava Estes

STURGEON BAY

22

4

Grant Pieschek

SOUTHERN DOOR

21

5

Miya Nell

STURGEON BAY

19

       
       

Varsity Teams

     

1

STURGEON BAY

 

339

2

KEWAUNEE

 

247

3

SEVASTOPOL

 

243

4

NEW

 

210

5

SOUTHERN DOOR

 

192

6

GIBRALTAR

 

130

7

OCONTO

 

120

8

ALGOMA

 

95

       

JV Teams

(8 total teams)

   

1

STURGEON BAY

#2

262

2

STURGEON BAY

#3

163

3

SEVASTOPOL

#2

151

4

SOUTHERN DOOR

#2

102

 

 

 

 

Varsity Standings

 

FINAL STANDINGS

 

1

STURGEON BAY

100

(undefeated season)

2

SEVASTOPOL

86

 

3

NEW

79

 

4

KEWAUNEE

68

 

5

SOUTHERN DOOR

65

 

6

GIBRALTAR

50

 

7

ALGOMA

38

 

8

OCONTO

34

 
       
       

JV Standings

(11 total teams)

 

League Points

1

STURGEON BAY

#2

150 (undefeated season)

2

STURGEON BAY L

#3

136

3

SEVASTOPO

#2

134

4

KEWAUNEE

#2

114

 

 

ALL CONFERENCE RESULTS:

Seniors

Name

school

score

1

Christy Braun

STURGEON BAY

144

2

Russell Pudlo

STURGEON BAY

135

3

Luke Nell

NEW

134

4

Espen Walker

STURGEON BAY

127

5

Scarlet Serafico

STURGEON BAY

124

       

Juniors

     

1

Ezra Linnan

SEVASTOPOL

151

 

 

2

Zittlow, James

SOUTHERN DOOR

149

3

Jade Tomberlin

STURGEON BAY

132

TIE 4

Joski, James

KEW

127

 

Ben Stephens

STURGEON BAY

127

       

Sophomores

     

1

Luke Selle

STURGEON BAY

152

2

Tre Wienke

STURGEON BAY

127

3

Logan Filar

SEVASTOPOL

123

4

Chabrie, Maurits

KEWAUNEE

104

5

Jack Konop

STURGEON BAY

97

       

Freshman

     

1

Keira Wesley

STURGEON BAY

87

2

G

Egg Harbor to hold public hearing on architectural review ordinance

You will be able to weigh in on an ordinance designed to protect the look and feel of the Village of Egg Harbor. Before Wednesday’s Village of Egg Harbor Board of Trustees meeting, officials will conduct a public hearing to discuss the regulations outlined in a proposed architectural review and historic preservation ordinance. The ordinance would create an Architectural Review and Historic Preservation Board to review all proposals that could have an impact on the village’s commercial district. The proposed board would be appointed by the Village President and would review proposals based on six different general standards:


1.. Visual arts/Door County Culture – consistency as expressed through integration of art into building design, landscaping, and public spaces
2. Treelined street and vibrant landscaping
3. Respectful massing, scale and integrity of existing historic architecture in the Village
4. High quality and timeless architectural design
5. Aesthetic compatibility that strengthens the overall Village
6. Local materials and sustainable building systems


The Village of Egg Harbor’s Board of Trustees created an Ad Hoc Committee at the end of 2021 to develop procedures and guidelines for the future Architectural and Historic Review Board. During 2022, the committee talked to business owners and developers about what they would like and not like to see from the guidelines for future changes to the exterior of some of the village’s buildings in its downtown area. Similar rules are already in place in Sister Bay and Ephraim. In November, ad hoc committee Chris Roedl said it was a balancing act, especially since the downtown already has a mix of historic and contemporary buildings. The village board will be asked to approve the ordinance during the meeting which will take place at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

 

By clicking this link, you can see the entire agenda, which includes a recap of last month’s STH 42 hearing.

Mental health, substance abuse, and healthy lifestyles top community health assessment

Figuring out ways to help you live a healthier life is the goal of a new community health assessment published by the Door County Public Health Department this week. The Door County CHA is the final product of nearly 18 months of data collection, from figures from the United States Census and 242 community surveys to interviews with 16 people from all walks of life in Door County. The nearly 100-page document pointed to mental health, substance abuse, and healthy lifestyles as potential focus areas. For mental health, the study shows a wide gap in the ratio of the population to mental health providers, which is 720:1 in Door County, compared to 440:1 in Wisconsin and 350:1 in the United States. The significant increases in drug-overdose and alcohol-induced deaths brought up a concern about substance abuse in the region. Regarding healthy lifestyles, the study shows that only 45 percent of Door County middle and high school students ate fruits and vegetables over the past week, compared to 43 percent in Wisconsin and 59.3 percent nationally. Shauna Blackledge from Door County Public Health says the CHA gives them good targets to shoot for in the coming years.

Blackledge says the CHA will help the county develop a community action plan in the coming months. The Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition (AODAC) and the free dental clinic are examples of programs born out of the findings of past CHAs. You can read the full document by clicking on this link.

Joski receives Wisconsin National Guard honor for community support

The things you see Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski daily were recognized by the Wisconsin National Guard this week. Joski, a staff sergeant with the 1157th Transportation Company, received the 2022 1LT Thomas E. Wortham IV Achievement Award during a ceremony at the Oshkosh Corporation Global Headquarters held last week. In addition to his six years of service with the Wisconsin National Guard, Joski was recognized for his time serving in law enforcement, the U.S. Marine Corps, Toys for Tots, and other local causes. Joski was humbled by the award, saying he has never considered what he does to be outside of the ordinary.


Lt. Col. Craig Jansen, commander of the 732nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, said at the ceremony that he has “always admired that Staff Sgt. Joski can be the Sheriff of Kewaunee county, supervising 30 or so employees during the week, and then come over to Oshkosh on a drill weekend as a non-commissioned officer and be the backbone of the Army.” Joski shared the ceremony with the 2019 recipient, Sgt. Grant Kjellberg, whose ceremony was postponed due to COVID-19.

Kitchens introduces new water quality bill

You could see more money go towards farmers to help address water and soil conservation efforts as a part of a new bill introduced by Rep. Joel Kitchens. If signed into law, farmers would have access to millions of dollars through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to make further improvements to their practices to help store more nutrients in the soil and prevent pollutant leaching and run-off. Producer-led watershed groups like the locally-run Peninsula Pride Farms can currently access funds through the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The announcement comes as residents and farmers are at odds over two recent developments in Door and Kewaunee counties.  In Kewaunee County, residents are keeping a close eye on a court case where a farmer, a manure hauler, and an agricultural advisor are being charged with conspiring to commit fraud with the nutrient management plan for Wakker Dairy in Kewaunee. In Door County, residents are lining up in opposition to a proposed herd expansion at S&S Jerseyland Dairy in rural Sturgeon Bay. They call Door County officials to approve a new public health and groundwater protection ordinance and for DNR officials to conduct an environmental assessment before a new pollution discharge permit is approved. Kitchens says farmers have made significant gains in addressing water quality concerns in the region and will have to continue working with the DNR and the community to ensure the positive momentum continues.

Kitchens says another bill that will be introduced will expand the well compensation program for owners in the state in cases where their drinking water supply is contaminated. He adds that the two bills build on the success of the programs in the last budget cycle and on what was discussed in meetings with the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality.

Eleven ice anglers rescued off Door County shoreline

Southern Door Fire Department Fire Chief Rich Olson says your time may be up when it comes to ice fishing this winter after the most recent rescue Monday afternoon.

 

Emergency personnel from the Southern Door Fire Department, Door County Sheriff's Department, Door County Emergency Services, United States Coast Guard, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources were called into action at approximately 12:30 p.m. to the report of a crack in the ice and that a chunk of it had started to float away from the shore. Anglers made the call out on the ice that realized that they were not going to be able to get back to shore safely. Crews deployed rescue vehicles from Oak Road to bring 11 ice anglers back to shore at the Potawatomi State Park boat launch.

 

In addition to the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flying overhead. Olson says he was a part of the teams that went along the shore to the south and west of their deployment spot to ensure other anglers were not on the ice or in trouble. He says you must be 100 percent sure you will be safe if you think you can still ice fish in some spots yet this winter. 

Emergency crews began to disperse at approximately 2 p.m. The weather forecast is not promising for ice anglers in the future, with rain predicted for Monday night and daytime temperatures at 32 degrees or above for four of the next six days.

Lottery jackpots continue to challenge records

Some weeks you are a Mega Millions player, and other weeks, like this one, you are a Powerball player if the growing jackpots are any indicator. Monday’s Powerball jackpot is $747 million, which, as it stands currently, is the fifth-largest in Powerball history and the ninth-biggest in U.S. lottery history. According to the Associated Press, three of the top 10 lottery jackpots have occurred since 2022. Since 2020, that number has grown to six of the top 10. Rising interest rates, more expensive tickets, and a larger playing pool are why you have seen jackpots rise in recent years and near record highs. To win the Powerball, you have to match all six numbers. The jackpot will roll over to Wednesday’s drawing if no one wins on Monday night.

 

A previous version of this story said that current jackpot is $747 billion, which is not correct. The story now includes the correct amount.

Former Atrium CEO charged with Medicare, Medicaid fraud

The former operator of Atrium Health and Senior Living, which previously owned 24 facilities in Wisconsin, including Kewaunee, is facing a dozen charges and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines due to Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

 

Kevin Breslin of New Jersey was charged by a federal grand jury during an indictment last week by the Western District of Wisconsin. According to the United States Department of Justice, the indictment alleges that the fraud scheme took place between January 2015 and September 2018. Breslin and Atrium billed Medicare and Medicaid millions of dollars for medical services they did not spend on patient care in Wisconsin. Instead, the money lined the pockets of owners and investors investing in the construction of new facilities in New Jersey. The indictment also alleges that withheld insurance premiums from employees’ paychecks and evaded payment to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and the Internal Revenue Service for state and federal income taxes. Breslin could receive penalties of five years in federal prison on the conspiracy to commit tax fraud and money laundering and 20 years for each of his ten counts of health care, wire, and mail fraud. He is also facing a $500,000 fine for money laundering and a $250,000 fine for each tax, health care, wire, and mail fraud charge.

 

The Kewaunee facility was owned by Atrium Health and Senior Living and 23 other facilities for a few years before the company was placed in receivership in September 2018. Twenty-two of the facilities, including Kewaunee’s, were purchased in December 2019 by North Shore Healthcare.  

Door and Kewaunee counties remain in low COVID community level

One new COVID-19-related death in the area did not change the COVID-19 community level in Door or Kewaunee counties.

 

The pair are among 63 counties in the low COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nine are at the medium level, and none are at the high level.

 

This is despite Door County reporting its 76th death since the beginning of the pandemic and its second straight reporting at least one. Door County Public Health also announced 28 new cases of COVID-19 out of 75 tests performed. No additional hospitalizations were reported. In Kewaunee County, the CDC reported seven new cases through February 1st.

 

According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the state has had its lowest number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations since July.

 

Door County COVID-19 Case Counts - February 6, 2023

Updated weekly on Monday when data available from the state. Case counts do NOT  include any at home testing results.  
Total Tests: 33,508 (+75)
Positive: 8,142 (+28)
Probable: 479 (+1)
Negative: 24,802 (+46)
Hospitalizations: 275
Deaths: 76 (+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

 

Rogue Theater's commitment to Sturgeon Bay

You can experience live theater in Sturgeon Bay at Rogue Theater’s new space this spring. After years of moving locations, they’ve made a commitment to create their own permanent space in Sturgeon Bay. Rogue Theater founder Stuart Champeau says their new location will be on North 14th Avenue and construction is planned to be complete at the end of May. This year they have an array of productions for you to enjoy in their new space.

 

Rogue Theater has been dedicated to giving back to the community by donating funds to local charities and non-profit organizations. 

 

 

 

(Correction: Rogue Theater was mispelled in the original post.  We regret and apologize for this error)

Wisconsin filmmakers highlighted in 14th Annual Door County Short Film Fest

You can watch films that were directed or filmed by Wisconsin filmmakers at the 14th Annual Door County Short Film Fest. Stop by the Northern Sky Gould Theater on February 17th and 18th for refreshments, discussions, and Q&As with filmmakers. Friday, you could watch a full-length feature film shown at 7:00 pm. On Saturday, 23 short films and 1 full-length will be screened from 1:00- 7:00 pm. The founder and director, Chris Opper, will discuss the production and moving-making process. At the end of the festival, the 2023 Golden Mug Award will be given to the winning film, and the 2023 People’s Choice Mug Award will be presented to the film that receives the most votes from the festival attendees.

Algoma high school AbiliTees Project gives opportunities to students

You can give back to your community by supporting the AbiliTees Project. A local student-run business located in Algoma. In the 2020-2021 school year, the small team of students printed over 1,300 face masks, which is almost a third of Algoma’s population. Now in its third year, they partner with local Algoma businesses to promote products and sales. The AbiliTees project helps form connections between students and the community. Throughout the years, they’ve produced over 4,000 items. Amy Schoenberger is a special education aide at Algoma High School and has made a huge impact on students’ lives by creating an environment where they can be themselves. 

 

You can support the AbiliTees project by going to the Algoma High School community wellness center, where they host sales or visiting their FaceBook page. 

 

Kewaunee County still interested in GBCI replacement?

The dates may differ, but you will hear the same rhetoric surrounding where a new state prison will go, especially if it is in Kewaunee County.

 

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, bipartisan support to close the Green Bay Correctional Institution has surfaced again after Rep. Dave Steffen of Howard proposed replacing the over 100-year-old facility in Allouez in 2017. County, state, and local officials from both sides of the aisle have written the Department of Corrections, pointing out that a modern facility would be cheaper to operate and the current GBCI site is likely worth millions in redevelopment potential. In 2019, the Joint Finance Committee approved $5 million for replacing the facility, only to have it vetoed by Governor Tony Evers.

 

At that time, Kewaunee County was preparing to be one of the sites for the new prison, with Algoma and Luxemburg's officials voicing their interest in having the prison built there. Former Kewaunee County Chairperson Bob Weidner said in 2019 that there would have to be a payment in place of taxes so the new prison would benefit both the state and the local municipalities. In 2023, Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says the state has not approached them.

Feldt added that the county board did not take a stance at the time on whether or not it want the new prison built within the county. Rep. Steffen said a modern prison would save the taxpayers millions by being more efficiently built and owned by a private entity. 

Adult forum series brings speakers to Hope Church

You will find religion and interesting conversations at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay. This year has marked the return of its Adult Forum series, which brings speakers to talk on various speakers. Past presentations have included a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. and a presentation by Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward. This Sunday, Marcia Kritzler-Egeland will tell the story of her mother, Millie Kritzler, who escaped Nazi Germany when her parents sent her to live with strangers in 1941. Sandy Brown from Hope United Church of Christ says it has been great to have this dialogue presented after the congregation took a break from the programming due to COVID-19.

The Adult Forum series is also part of the church’s effort to become a Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged (WISE) congregation. WISE is a mental health ministry within the United Church of Christ intended to increase understanding of mental illness and the people it impacts. Hope’s programming is open to the public and begins at 9 a.m.  

Kewaunee County Sheriff's patrol division sees more complaints in 2022

As I continue with reporting the activity of the Sheriff’s Department in 2022, I would like to share some data from the Patrol Division. Probably the most visible division within the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is our Patrol Division, and it comprises of the most recognizable duties which we carry out throughout the year. There are twelve deputies assigned to the Patrol Division which is supervised by Lt. Eric Zellner. The minimal staffing for Kewaunee County’s 322 square miles is two patrol deputies. When you consider the distance from Tisch Mills on our southern border and Dyckesville on our northern border you begin to understand the demands which this puts on our staff both from the perspective of continual presence to that of response time.

       

If we were to look at the overall process from the time that a call or complaint is made to the Sheriff’s Department through its completion, the Patrol Division plays an important role. Aside from those calls which are determined to be civil in nature, and not involving an active crime, the patrol division is dispatched to every one of them ranging from keep the peace to traffic offense to domestics. The category for these calls is “Complaints Assigned” and in 2022 they accounted for 3264 compared to 3,195 in 2021of the total activity. In many cases the complaints may be occurring within one of the local jurisdictions or even involving an adjacent county, but we are requested to provide assistance. These are categorized as “Assist Other Agencies” and accounted for 662 versus 558 in 2021.

         

Of these complaints that we respond to not all result in arrest. Many times, the Deputy is able to mediate the situation, or resolve the complaint with a warning to the perpetrator. In some cases the evidence which is provided to the Deputy requires that an arrest be made. In those cases where it is necessary to arrest the total number of arrests in 2022 was 281. In 2021 the number was 230. While this number may seem low these calls tend to be very involved and require a great deal of the Deputy’s time in follow up and documentation.

         

The most commonly perceived duty of the Patrol Deputy is of course traffic enforcement, although it accounts for very little of the overall time spent in a given shift due to the demands of call response. In 2022, there were 1949 citations and 2033 warnings issued which is compared to1,073 Citations in 2021 issued along with 1,062 Warnings. The main reason for the stark increase in these numbers, is that in 2022 we received a safety grant focusing on speed enforcement. This allowed us to put on additional hours dedicated to just traffic enforcement.

           

We like to approach traffic enforcement from an educational perspective, and when possible, try to achieve the learning experience through warnings. Unfortunately, there are times where either the offense is so egregious or the individual has already been given the courtesy of a warning that a citation is unavoidable. It is important for people to realize that Deputies do not enjoy issuing citations any more than the person on the receiving end. Our ultimate goal is always public safety.

           

Some of the duties which the Patrol Division carries out which may not be as commonly known are those related to civil process. By statute the Sheriff’s Department is tasked with carrying out actions which are a result of our circuit court Judge’s orders. These can range from eviction actions, actions in support of a writ, or even involvement in child custody orders. We are also part of the notification to those involved in these actions through the service of papers or notices. These “Papers Served or Attempted” account for 419 of the calls in the past year., whereas last year the number was 339.

           

The two final categories are what I would consider Customer Service. They are “Citizen Assists” and “Property Checks”. The category of citizen assists is for the most part unplanned events which are a result of an unfortunate circumstance on the part of the citizen. These can range from stranded motorists to providing information regarding vehicle registration or licensing. Deputies handled 448 citizen assists last year compared to 578 in 2022. Property checks are a service we provide when requested from individuals in our community who may be away from their homes for an extended period of time, or an additional amount of attention we may give to a property which has been the victim of a recent criminal act and the owner would like us to monitor activities in their area. In 2022 we conducted 3299 such checks, as compared to 2,322 the previous year. A final category which our Patrol Division responds to are; “Welfare Checks”. These are calls where a loved one or neighbor has not heard from or had contact with the person involved and are asking our assistance in verifying their wellbeing or status. Fortunately, most times the outcome is merely that they were gone on vacation or just too busy to get back to the person checking on them. Our department responded to 115 such requests in 2021, which is down from 335 in 2021.

             

I hope that the take away from this article is that when you see a Sheriff’s Department squad you have a better understanding of the many different duties that these men and women engage in on a given shift. In all of these numbers, the most important element is the relationship that we have with those whom we serve. All the data and statistics mean nothing if we do not have the support of our community and it is our goal to maintain a high level of professionalism for those we have sworn to protect and serve!

            

Rock Island State Park gets $1.4 million for boathouse restoration

You will see the historic boathouse at Rock Island State Park get some much-needed attention after it was awarded $1.4 million in funding from the State Building Commission on Friday.

 

The 1930 Thordarson Estate Boat House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will now see repairs to the building's envelope, masonry, and windows. It was part of the over $178 million of funding from the State Building Commission. State Senator Andre Jacque, who sits on the commission, says it is important to invest in Wisconsin's outdoor recreation opportunities.

In addition to the money for the boathouse, Friends groups for Rock Island, Potawatomi, Newport, Whitefish Dunes, and Peninsula State Parks received a portion of over $117,000  in matching stewardship grants.

Ridges set to release first concept plans this month

Your first peek at the direction of The Ridges Sanctuary will take into the future will take place later this month.

 

The Baileys Harbor-based organization will host a public review of its draft concept plans on February 15th at 6:30 p.m. During the session, The Ridges Sanctuary and its design team will walk through what the organization will look and feel like over the next 20 years. Part of those discussions centers around The Ridges Inn, which the sanctuary purchased in 2022. It has been a long process for The Ridges Sanctuary, which started looking for a design firm in 2021 and began a series of public meetings and workshops in early 2022. Executive Director Andy Gill says he has been ok with the measured pace, adding that it is essential to learn where they have been before considering how to move forward.

The Ridges Sanctuary will host the hybrid public meeting at The Ridges Sanctuary at 6:30 p.m. on February 15th and online via this link.

 

Destination Door County powering electric vehicle charging program

You could soon have more places in Door County to charge your electric vehicles. Bloomberg predicts that electric vehicle sales could reach 13.6 million in 2023 after touching 10 million last year and 3.2 million in 2020. As a result, more places are offering places where they can charge their vehicles. There are currently 50 charging stations in Door County, but Destination Door County is enticing government bodies, non-profit organizations, and businesses to install or upgrade more of them with $1,000 mini-grants. Destination Door County Community Engagement Director Morgan Rusnak says this is just another way they are trying to benefit residents and visitors alike.

Destination Door County will offer eight mini-grants quarterly (32 total) for charging stations this year. The charging stations play a key role in the Destination Door County 2023 strategic plan, which identified sustainable developments as one of its key pillars to focus on in the future.

Staudenmaier reflects on Miss Door County reign

Chloe Staudenmaier has enjoyed being your Miss Door County over the last year, but she is also looking forward to seeing what the new Miss Door County and Miss Door County Outstanding Teen will do in the future. The University of Minnesota student had a full schedule for her final weekend with the crown, including preparing for Saturday’s pageant and a classroom visit at Sevastopol School. She attended over 50 events during her year-long reign, including Miss Door County's first-ever visit to Washington Island School. Staudenmaier enjoyed her time as Miss Door County, especially when speaking on her platform about eating disorders.

Saturday will also mark the final day of Claire Bohn's time as Miss Door County Outstanding Teen for 2022. She tackled the issue of dyslexia for her platform. The Miss Door County Pageant will take place on Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Southern Door Auditorium. All proceeds go to benefit the Miss Door County Scholarship program. You can listen to our full interview with Miss Door County Chloe Staudenmaier by clicking this link.

 

Winter Park working to get ski hill ready

You may get to go down the ski hill in Kewaunee after all this winter as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Winter Park in Kewaunee has been working around the clock to make enough snow to ensure it is as safe as possible for its guests.

 

It is a 180-degree turn from where the park was in November when it was announced that the Winter Park Association stepped down from their volunteer duties, thus closing the hill for the 2022-2023 season.

 

It was revealed at the December Finance Committee that Barry and Barb Nelson from the Winter Park Association felt like they were being forced out because of a disagreement over terms in the contract that would have funneled more money to the county and away from the organization that helps care for the park and make some of the improvements. Several residents spoke in support of the Nelson family, calling for the county to remove the Facebook post that said they had retired and offer a formal apology.

 

In January, the Finance Committee reported that the county and the Winter Park Association had worked on an agreement for the remainder of this season. According to the committee's minutes, they will work towards a long-term contract moving forward.

 

The ski hill will not be open this weekend, but the hope is that conditions will hold up so you can see skiers slide down in the near future. The tubing hill is open, and crews were trying to take advantage of this week's arctic temperatures to make the ice rink available. 

 

 

Cold weather likely factor in Sturgeon Bay man's death

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department has ruled out foul play in the death of a 61-year old Sturgeon Bay man earlier this week. On Tuesday, Carl Russell Johnson was found dead in the street in the 100 block of South Lansing Avenue. The department's investigation concluded that Johnson was walking home late Monday night into the early morning hours Tuesday when the incident occurred. The Brown County Medical Examiner completed his autopsy on Thursday and although a cause of death is still pending, it was determined that the extreme cold weather conditions likely contributed to his death. The wind chill factor made it feel like it was -25 degrees at times. At this time, the department considers the case closed and not criminal in nature.

Waiting game continues for Gordon Road intersection safety improvements

You will likely have to wait until April to know what will be done to address a dangerous intersection in Door County. The Gordon Road (County BB)/State Highway 42/57 intersection has been an ongoing talking point at the Door County Highway Safety Commission meetings for the last several months. A string of accidents in 2022 added extra urgency to the issue, with Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash appealing to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for help addressing it. WisDOT Traffic Engineer Rod Hamilton told the committee that the department is working on a grant application to construct a roundabout at the intersection. Randy Asman, another WisDOT Traffic Engineer, said they likely would know if the project would proceed in April. The committee, led by Door County Supervisor Roy Englebert, pressed to see if they would learn about the grant’s success before work began north of the intersection on State Highway 42/57.

Englebert addressed additional concerns for a solution due to a new childcare center that will be on the road in the coming year. Lengthening the northbound passing lane on State Highway 42/57 was also mentioned as a way to make the intersection safer for the time being until a more permanent solution can be addressed.

 

The committee also discussed new access points for the future Kwik Trip and Fleet Farm south of Duluth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. Hamilton says they should have more on those projects in the coming weeks, but he did point out that traffic entering and exiting the Kwik Trip may be restricted depending on if you are traveling northbound or southbound on the highway.  

Landlord/tenant issues, telemarketing top Wisconsin consumer complaints list

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection knows the aspects of your daily life that grind your gears.

 

On Thursday, DATCP announced the top 10 consumer complaints they received in 2022, with more than 11,000 resolved in the past year. Topping the list was landlord/tenant issues, with 1,912 disputes filed and another 6,000 contacts made regarding issues like security deposit returns, evictions, unauthorized entry, and unsatisfactory service. Telemarketing was close behind, with 1,651 complaints of robocalls, phishing, and harassment. Home improvement concern complaints reached 1,216 in 2022, more than double what was received in 2021. In those cases, consumers complained about contractors failing to provide products or services, honor warranties, and proper workmanship.

 

New to the Top 10 this year were health and medical products (8th, 217 complaints) and furniture/home furnishings (9th, 189). Telecommunications (4th, 655 complaints), identity theft (5th, 513), medical services (6th, 440 complaints), travel (7th, 224 complaints), and auto sales (10th, 184 complaints) made the top ten. The department did reach settlements in several cases, returning millions of dollars to consumers.

 

You can read the full release here.

Wind chill advisory issued for northeast Wisconsin

You better bundle up if you plan on heading out the door Friday morning. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for 13 northeastern Wisconsin counties, including Door and Kewaunee counties, from 11 p.m. Thursday until noon Friday. Wind chills are expected to be as low as 20 to 25 degrees below zero. The forecasted high temperature for Friday is eight degrees. With the dangerously low wind chills comes frostbite in as little as 30 minutes if your skin is exposed. The National Weather Service encourages you to wear appropriate clothing, such as a hat and gloves, and to use caution while traveling outside.

 

 

Early voting begins Tuesday

If you want to vote in person but are busy on February 21st, you have another option beginning Tuesday.

 

February 7th marks the first day of in-person absentee voting begins in Wisconsin, with exact hours varying among the municipalities. The primary drawing the most attention will be the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Janet C. Protasiewicz, Daniel Kelly, Everett D. Mitchell, and Jennifer R. Dorow have hit the campaign trail in a fight over the political makeup of the non-partisan body.

 

School boards, city and village councils, and town boards will also be on the ballot, with the towns of Nasewaupee, Gardner, Gibraltar, and the Village of Sister Bay needing a primary. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says the State Supreme Court race may get some people to the polls, but voter turnout is usually low for the primary.

 

 

You have until February 17th to cast an in-person absentee ballot. Just like you would need on Election Day, you will need a valid photo identification to vote and any additional materials if you register to participate.

Grow your small business with DCEDC

Training beginning in Sturgeon Bay next week can benefit you by teaching you how to start or grow your own business. Starting February 7th, the Door County Economic Development Corporation is offering an eight-week Entrepreneurial Training Program. Experts from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay are there to help you develop a business plan. DCEDC Director of Marketing and Communications Korey Mallien says this is also an opportunity to expand and improve your operation.  

The eight classes will be held on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 pm until 8:30 pm and will be held at the DCEDC Business Center in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Critical need for blood donors

You can help the local blood bank and the Door County Medical Center keep up with the critical blood supply needed this time of year by donating blood this Friday.  The Community Blood Center is holding a Winterfest Blood Drive at the Northern Door County YMCA in Fish Creek. Tina Ferron from the Community Blood Center says the challenges of collecting blood are more difficult this time of year, but blood donations can make the difference between life and death for many.

 

 

The Community Blood Drive hours will be from noon until 4:30 p.m. Friday, with walk-ins welcomed. You can schedule your blood donation in advance with this link
 

The American Red Cross is also holding a blood drive on Friday at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  You can schedule your blood donation online at Redcross.org. 

Door County YMCA swim program accommodating over 140 kids

One of the biggest programs offered by the Door County YMCA is swimming lessons, and Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says lessons can eventually lead to involvement with the YMCA competitive swim team. Kids are encouraged to participate in the swimming program as early as possible, starting with children as young as 18 months with their parents. According to Shepard, it is never too late for even adults to learn important swimming skills.

 

 

Shepard adds that the Door County YMCA is looking to fill swim instructor positions at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek campuses. Lifeguards are also in demand, with a certified training session scheduled for March 9th through the 12th. The training is valued at $365 but is free to those who become YMCA employees. You can call the Door County YMCA at 920-743-4949 for registration and more information on participating in the swimming program.

New hotel project proposed for Sturgeon Bay

You could see a 62-room hotel on the corner of Egg Harbor Road and North 12th Avenue by the end of 2024.  The Sturgeon Bay Finance/Purchasing & Building met Tuesday and approved a recommendation for a development agreement with the new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, pending approval by the City Attorney.  Committee Chair Helen Bacon says the project would be built in the newly developed Tax Incremental District (TID) #6, which includes the former Pamida/Sav-a-Buck properties vacated by Palmer Johnson Yachts several years ago.  She says that the Cobblestone Hotel chain had initially approached the City of Sturgeon Bay back in 2017 and has worked well in smaller cities around the country.

 

 

According to the Finance Agenda Packet, the properties are currently owned by 1023 Egg Harbor Rd, LLC, which Scott Virlee and Steve Estes represent.   If the project goes through, a $6 million guaranteed property value assessment would be realized.  The project would generate far more revenue than needed to pay for the agreed-upon amount of 1.2 Million in Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) incentives the City would pay out.  The development agreement recommendation will go before the Common Council for final approval later this month.

Fish Creek celebrates 35th  annual Winterfest

Fish Creek may be your spot this weekend if you want a chance to get outside and enjoy the weather.  Now in its 35th year, Winterfest features live music, games for all ages, and fireworks at the end of the day.

 

This year, Winterfest will be hosting a new event, the Snowflake Cake Bake, which will take place between 11-1 on Saturday, February 4th, 2023. You can purchase raffle tickets and pick your preferred cakes. The winning bakers will be chosen by the number of tickets in their cake box, and a lucky raffle winner will take each cake home!

 

Another fun way to enjoy the weather is participating in the annual Fruit Loop Run on Sunday. Those who register for the run/walk are encouraged to wear costumes while going through the scenic downtown area of Fish Creek.

 

Winter Festival committee chairperson Dan Stollenwerk shared some of his favorite activities.

 

 

Although he enjoys all the activities, Stumpf fiddle and the bike toss were his top choices.   Click this link to check out all the activities going on during the Fish Creek Winter Festival February 3rd- 5th.

 

(photo of 2022 Fish Creek Winterfest)

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