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News Archives for 2023-05

Inspectors give tower good early marks

A company that specializes in structural engineering and restoration is working on the Potawatomi State Park Tower this week on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Wood Research and Development from Jefferson, Oregon has a team of engineers studying the tower.  Engineer Kim King from Wood Research and Development (WRD) of Jefferson, Oregon started inspecting and evaluating the tower on Tuesday and will conclude on Thursday.  WRD was commissioned by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society a few years ago to conduct a study.  King says the tower looks to be in structurally good shape with some strategic areas of deterioration.



King notes that he and his team will finalize a report that will be submitted to the DNR within 30 days. The 75-foot Potawatomi State Park Tower was built in 1931 and was closed to the public in 2018.  The DNR had come forward with a plan for the restoration of the tower with a spiral ramp that includes three levels of the tower with a price tag of $6 million back in January.  Governor Tony Evers announced in March that emergency repairs to the historic structure were approved with an estimated cost of $500,000.  

YMCA reducing access to Sturgeon Bay Center during construction

You might have to adjust your plans when visiting the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay as the facility continues its expansion work.  CEO and President Tonya Felhofer says the YMCA is making some changes to classes and access as the work continues as scheduled.  She shares that classes scheduled from June 12 through 25th will be canceled while new flooring is being installed.



No 24/7 access will be allowed during the class closure period with only the track, pool, and fitness areas open to members at the Sturgeon Bay Program Center.  The YMCA is adding 16,300 square feet to the Sturgeon Bay facility with plans to have the expansion completed by September.  The new complex will include social gathering spaces, an expanded wellness center, a new youth activity center, a kitchen, and an outdoor classroom. 


You can listen to the entire interview with Tony Felhofer on the Y Wednesday Podcast page here.  


Bald eagle struck in Kewaunee County dies

Wildlife officials are reminding you to slow down for wild animals after a bald eagle struck in Kewaunee County last week died. Sue Theys of Wildlife of Wisconsin told Fox News Digital on Monday that the bird passed away after a few days of examination. Theys suggested something was wrong with the bald eagle before it was struck, adding that it was very thin and it was possibly not strong enough to get out of the way of the oncoming car. The eagle died two days after it was taken in and the Department of Natural Resources has the option to do a necropsy if it chooses to do so. Things had looked more promising last week when the hope was that a dented beak was the most the bald eagle may have to suffer long-term from after being struck by a vehicle last Thursday. Deputies discovered the bald eagle in a ditch near what is presumed to be its nesting location near County Highway K and Red River Lincoln Townline Road, which is between the communities of Frog Station and Casco. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department contacted a bald eagle rescue group for an expert’s opinion on the bird. At the time it appeared the bald eagle did not sustain any major injuries and that it could have been released near where it was found once it was healthy.

Brush fire in Brussels, DNR elevates Fire Danger

Another brush fire in the area was put out quickly by the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department on Tuesday.  The BUG Fire Department was dispatched at about 4:30 p.m. for a fire just off Eden Lane in the Town of Gardner.  Captain Pat O’Hern says the fire started on the shore and reached a wooded area, but was quickly contained.



O’Hern adds that about 150 gallons of water were used to douse the fire.  With current fire danger at a high level across the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties, local officials and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are advising people to avoid any outside burning.  The DNR and local fire departments responded to over 90 wildfires in the past week. The Town of Egg Harbor already placed a burning ban in effect Tuesday until the area receives substantial rainfall. 


Allen to be sworn in as new Algoma Police Chief

The City of Algoma will have a new police chief starting in June.  David Allen will be sworn into office on Monday, June 5th and replace Randy Remiker who is retiring after joining the Algoma Police Department as its chief in 2018. 


Allen comes to Algoma with over 20 years of experience as a Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden, many of which was in Kewaunee County.  Remiker resigned as the chief back in March and will remain in the Algoma area as he takes on additional duties in the New Mexico National Guard after being promoted to Brigadier General earlier this year.


Algoma City Administrator Matt Murphy says the swearing-in ceremony for Allen will take place at City Hall prior to the Council meeting at 6:00 p.m. next Monday.

Bass begin swim around Sturgeon Bay

If you missed one of the two bass fishing tournaments this month or the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair over the weekend, put your hands together because you are in luck. Destination Sturgeon Bay launched its street art project for 2023 with a new palette for artists from across the Midwest to paint. After three years of cherries and previous strings that included sturgeon, chairs, and benches, artists this year painted 27 bass statues to be displayed around the city. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says the change of pace is nice for everyone involved.

All 27 bass will be auctioned off this fall as a part of the 23rd Annual Street Art Auction on Saturday, September 16th. You can see the bass in and around the city, including nearby 3rd Avenue where the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market will kick off their season on Saturday.

Door County 4-H to host open house Sunday

Introducing your family to 4-H and what it can offer in Door County is the goal of Sunday’s open house happening in Sturgeon Bay. Door County has seven 4-H clubs, stretching from Washington Island in the north and the East Maplewood Beavers in the south. Sunday’s open house will be an introduction for many to Candis Dart, who took over the role of 4-H Program Educator in April. She outlined her goals for the organization when we first met her then.

The Door County 4-H Open House will take place inside the Junior Fair building at the Door County Fairgrounds from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Emergency personnel kept busy over Memorial Day weekend

There is a good chance that no matter where you went in Door County over the weekend, the flashing lights and sirens of a police car, a fire truck, or an ambulance vehicle were not far behind. The Door County Dispatch Center took 400 calls according to the sheriff’s department’s reports with the majority being for traffic stops and 911 follow-ups. Fire departments were busy with seven fire calls, five of which occurred on Friday. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department bookended the weekend of fire calls with one occurring just before noon on Friday and the other a little after 11 a.m. on Monday. In Friday’s call, firefighters from the BUG and Southern Door Fire Departments tended to a grassfire near Gravel Pit Road, an effort that took about 90 minutes to complete. The blaze started with hot embers from a fire pit igniting some nearby dead leaves, which then eventually spread to some nearby trees. BUG Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says with how dry it has been, you have to be extra cautious.

On Monday, BUG Fire arrived on the scene of another fire on Horseshoe Lane where an outlet melted the plug of a space heater that was connected to the wall but not being used. BUG Assistant Chief Ryan Wery says crews were on the scene for approximately 30 minutes to make sure the fire was completely out after the homeowner was able to put it out ahead of their arrival. Other fire incidents occurred in Gibraltar, Egg Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, and Jacksonport.

Summer foods program begins next week

With your kids likely out of school by the end of the week, it is time to find out where you can put some food into them.


Free lunches will be distributed to kids at 18 different sites across Door and Kewaunee counties, with many of them starting as soon as June 5th. The meals are for those 18 and younger, though the Door County YMCA locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek and the Algoma United Methodist Church, which will have a limited number of meals for adults over the age of 65 as well for the kids. Thanks to its partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Door County and Sister of St. Francis, the Door County YMCA’s Brett Cleveland says the summer meals program has a tremendous impact on the community.

Many of the sites will serve food at least four days a week through August 25th during a designated time slot. You can find the full schedule below.



Sturgeon Bay honors fallen with Memorial Day service

On a day to honor and mourn those who have lost their lives in service and battle, the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department hosted a memorial service on Monday morning. 


Brief ceremonies were conducted at Bayside Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 9:00 a.m., and Sturgeon Bay Health Services at 9:30 a.m, before the final ceremony at the fire station began at 10:00 a.m. From the reading of names of local veterans who have fallen in wars to a salute with the sounding of taps, the service was a fitting way to cap off the Memorial Day weekend of remembrance. 


Members of the Peninsula Symphonic Band under the direction of Jason Palmer (pictured below) played patriotic songs before and after the service. You can see pictures of the event below. 


Casco Marine memorialized with softball tournament

As Memorial Day ceremonies were celebrated throughout Door and Kewaunee counties this past holiday weekend, a 1997 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School will be memorialized with a special event this coming weekend. The 13th annual Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Softball Tournament will be held at the Casco Village Park from Thursday through Sunday. Held in early June every year, the tournament is in honor of LCpl Dean Opicka who died serving our country.  Opicka was a marine who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2008 at the age of 29. Annie Zelewske says Dean was always about helping children and the community.



The softball tournament begins at 6:15 Thursday evening with a military ceremony before the first pitch. All proceeds from the events benefit the Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Memorial Fund which has raised about $150,000 for local academic scholarships and local hardship gifts over the past twelve years. 

Southern Door celebrates graduation and co-valedictorians

With the class of 2023 from Southern Door moving their tassels from the right to the left on Sunday, it marked yet another local school honoring their seniors during graduation . 


For the first time in years, Southern Door celebrated graduation with two valedictorians, as both candidates were more than qualified to split the honor for the graduating class. Laura Zittlow and Amanda Austin were chosen as the co-valedictorians this year at Southern Door, something both students were honored to have the ability to share. Austin went on record saying she was glad to share it with her friend Laura, and that it worked out well for both of them, with how the competition was at the top. On the other hand, Zittlow mentioned how the two friends pushed each other in their classes and everything they did together. 


Becoming a valedictorian is no easy task however, as just not academics are factored into the decision of nominating the top student. From academics to extracurricular activities, the process finds the top student in the school, or in this case the top two students. Zittlow and Austin both gave advice to younger students who are aspiring to be nominated for their classes top spot. 



Austin, who finished with a 4.0 GPA and a 36 on her ACT, will be continuing her studies at Michigan Technological University majoring in Electrical Engineering and minoring in Astrophysics. Zittlow, who also finished with a 4.0, will be attending Ripon College and double majoring in Biology and Mathematics. 

Wisconsin DNR offers free state park admission, fishing this weekend

If you have been waiting for a good reason to take your family to Peninsula State Park or to drop a line into Kangaroo Lake, the Wisconsin DNR is giving you a good reason this Saturday and Sunday. As a part of its Free Fun Weekend, the agency is offering free admission to its 50 state parks, 15 state forests, and 44 state trails. That covers Door County’s five state parks (Rock Island, Newport, Peninsula, Whitefish Dunes, and Potawatomi) and the Ahnapee State Trail. You will also be able to fish in the state’s waterways without having to purchase a license.



Water quality issue on tap at presentation in Egg Harbor

You can learn about the water quality status in Door County this Wednesday at a free program sponsored by the Door County Environmental Council.  Professor Gregory Kleinheinz, who serves as Chair and Distinguished Professor of the Department of Engineering and Engineering Technology and the Director of the Environmental Research and Innovation Center at UW-Oshkosh, will talk about the water testing and current water conditions in Door County as a result of his recent studies.  He says water issues have evolved in Door County since he began work in the area, and he hopes those who attend the “Water Quality in Door County: the Good, the Bad, and the Needed” will come away better informed on the improvements made in the past few years. 



For 18 years Dr. Kleinheinz and his group have partnered with Crossroads at Big Creek to have a state-certified microbiology lab operational in Door County.  He oversees over 50 students at over 100 beaches in 12 Wisconsin counties who monitor the impacts of rainfall on E. coli, pathogens and viruses in recreational water, and various emerging contaminants.  The “Water Quality in Door County: the Good, the Bad, and the Needed” program will take place at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 31st at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.  You can watch the program via Zoom with the link found at 

Art lovers enjoy perfect Door County Sunday

You could not have painted a better picture for exploring art fairs in Door County on Sunday as Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport hosted events over the Memorial Day weekend.


A flurry of activity in Jacksonport kept traffic inching along as a part of the Maifest Festivities at Lakeside Park. The juried art fair featuring approximately 50 artists went on as many revelers enjoyed the 40th annual Maifest Run followed by a performance by the Door County.


In Sturgeon Bay, the Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair saw Cool AF Glass win Best of Show and Great Balls of Fire win First place for 3D art.



Presented by Destination Sturgeon Bay, the fine art fair also had some winged guests at the Open Door Bird Sanctuary held court with a screech owl and a marlin falcon.


Conversations important when addressing mental health

Having the courage to talk about your suspected issues can go a long way to addressing your mental health. According to a recent study by Next Step Solutions, an organization specializing in behavioral health, 21 percent of adults are experiencing at least one mental illness, 55 percent of which have not received any treatment. While people are becoming more open about addressing their own mental health concerns, Door County Medical Center Behavioral Health Coordinator Barb Johnson-Giese says there is still a negative stigma surrounding mental health. She hopes people are more open to sharing what they are personally dealing with and that others are willing to listen.

Adding fuel to the fire is the lack of medical health services available to people. Nationwide, there is one mental health provider for every 350 people living in the United States.  In Door County, it is even worse with just one mental health provider for every 720 residents. Johnson-Giese says Door County Medical Center is beginning the process of expanding what it can offer in behavioral health services so it can serve even more people. You can hear the full discussion with Barb Johnson-Giese by clicking this link.

Spiritual wellness important with mental health

As I continue to cover concepts related to Mental Wellness Awareness month, I wanted to share another aspect of wellness, and that is Spiritual Wellness. This is one of the more complex tenants of Wellness as it is not as tangible or defined as many of the others. To some, Spiritual Wellness is directly tied to their faith, while to others they may assign it to an activity or place that brings them peace and tranquility. While we may each assign our own individual example of Spiritual Wellness, I would advocate that it starts with this; An awareness of something greater than myself. With this in mind, we can then start to consider those places or activities that do in fact bring us to place where we can truly appreciate our own fragile existence, and even more importantly help us to understand our “Why”.


This simple three letter word has some amazing power in sustaining our own personal wellness, as well as helping others to do the same. As Leaders we must know our “Why” and then be able to effectively communicate that “Why” to those in our organization. This is many times the difference between a positive work environment and a toxic dysfunctional workplace. The same holds true in our personal lives, as those who understand their “Why” tend to live a life of happiness, contentment and inner peace.


This “Why” can not be derived from neither monetary gain nor elevated position title, it must be derived from deep within our own being, and the personal character strengths, values and morals that make us who we are.


I have been asked so many times over the past 30 plus years, why I chose the field of Law Enforcement. It’s obviously not placed me in the Forbes Fortune 500, nor has it afforded me a lavish lifestyle, but it has allowed me to fulfill a basic intrinsic personal necessity; The Need to be Needed”. I thrive on human interaction and the ability to help others. It is as much a part of my physical being as breathing. This is my “Why”, and it has been with me long before I became Sheriff, and will be with me long after I am done being Sheriff. My current role is just a means by which I can live out my “Why”.


Although there have been many times where this need has interfered with my family life, and invaded my personal boundaries, it is still the driving force behind my ability to persevere during times of struggle or challenge. It is truly what charges my battery.


So why does “Why” matter? It matters because in each and every one of our lives, we will be faced with pain, struggle, and setbacks. If we assign our “Why” to the superficial, we will come up empty in those times when we must dig deep to find the courage and reason not to give up. Our “Why” must supersede hobbies, possessions, or social events, as all of these are in fact fleeting. Instead, we must look deep inside ourselves for what truly matters to us, and where we find both inner peace, as well as external strength.


So, the next time you are around a campfire, or visiting with friends, instead of a conversation rooted in meaningless talk of politics, sports or gossip, share with each other your own stories of “Why”. For those raising children, helping them understand the value of Spiritual Wellness, is one of the greatest gifts we can give them. We need to model our “Why” for them to emulate. We do this by sharing stories of challenge, struggle, failure and perseverance, and by living the example of a balanced life with a firm foundation in Spiritual Wellness.

Northern Door set for two Memorial Day ceremonies

You have two opportunities to honor fallen veterans on Monday, May 29. Billy Weiss American Legion Post 527 of Sister Bay and VFW Post 8337 of Ellison Bay will both hold Memorials. 


Starting at 8:30 am, a wreath will be placed at the Veterans Memorial marker at Hendrickson Park, followed by a brief ceremony. Then meeting at the Little Sister Cemetery at 10:30 am, the program will be led by American Legion Commander Tom Kowalski. The program will include the Gibraltar Band led by veteran Charlie Eckhardt, a choir singing patriotic songs, a guest speaker, and a list of fallen veterans from this past year. Bill Becker, First Vice Commander of the Billy Weiss American Legion Post 527 in Sister Bay, talks about what more to expect at the ceremony. 

Remember to bring a chair. If there is inclement weather, meet at First Baptist Church in Sister Bay. 




Southern Door
Sunday, May 28th

The Firing Squad from the George W. Goetz Post 372 Forestville American Legion will conduct Memorial Day Services at the following places and approximate times.  POC—Bill Karas (920) 857-8008.


Forestville Town (Maplewood)......... 7:20 (Split Squad)

Namur (Pit Road).............................. 7:30 (Split Squad)

BrockHausen...................................... 7:40 (Split Squad)

Miesere.............................................. 7:50 (Split Squad)

Brown................................................ 7:55 (Split Squad)

Kolberg............................................... 8:05

Brussels............................................. 8:20

White   Star....................................... 8:30

Precious   Blood................................. 8:40

St. Joe Catholic  (Fox Ln.).................. 8.50

Stevenson.......................................... 9:00

Geises................................................ 9:10

Break ................................................. (9:20-9:45)


Maplewood.................................................. 9:55

Carnot.......................................................... 10:10

Clay Banks Town.......................................... 10:25

Vignes.......................................................... 10:35

Mount Olive................................................. 10:45

Shiloh  Moravian.......................................... 10:55

Schumacher................................................. 11:05

Hainesville................................................... 11:15

Salem-Schulties........................................... 11:35

Forestville.................................................... 11:50

Old Catholic (Between Maplewood & Forestville)         12:10



Sturgeon Bay

Monday, May 29th


Brief ceremonies will be conducted at Bayside Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 9:00 a.m., Sturgeon Bay Health Services (formerly the Dorchester) at 9:30 a.m., and the main ceremony will be at 10:00 a.m. at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. The Peninsula Symphonic Band under the direction of Jason Palmer will play throughout the ceremony. Please bring lawn chairs if arriving closer to the start time of the ceremony—as the number of chairs will be limited. POC—Door County Veterans Office (920) 746-2225.


Northern Door

Monday, May 29th


Little Sister Cemetery (in case of rain, First Baptist Church) – May 30th at 10:30 A.M. The Schedule is listed below: 


Gibraltar Band, under direction of Charles Eckhardt, plays patriotic songs before ceremony.


10:30 A.M. Veterans will post the Colors.


Place the Battle Field Cross.


All rise for National Anthem, Gibraltar Band.


Continue standing for the Pledge of Allegiance led by members of Boy Scout Troop #1120.


Invocation by Rev. Sue Gunderson.


Welcome by Billy Weiss Post 527 Commander Kowalski.


Dale Seaquist leads choir in songs.


Mixed choir led by Dale Seaquist.


Introduction of guest speaker Mike Vizer.


Band will play a salute to all military branches.


A veterans poem will be read by Commander Kowalski.


Names of deceased 2022-2023 veterans read by Don Sitte.


Benediction by Rev. Sue Gunderson.


Veterans prepare for closing ceremonies.


Sounding of Taps by Dale Sequist and echo sounded by Charles Eckhardt.


Dave Gunderson singing of "God Bless America"

Washington Island says farewell to school year with lost tradition

One of the final things you may have lost due to the pandemic makes a triumphant return to Red Barn Park on Washington Island on June 2nd. For the first time since 2019, the Washington Island Community Health Program will host its annual End of Year School Picnic, complete with a potluck dinner and free rides for students on the Cherry Train. It is just one of the many unique traditions centered on Washington Island School’s graduation classes. Earlier this week, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bethel Church, and Stella Maris Parish honored the Class of 2023 with a special High School Baccalaureate service. When the five graduating seniors attend their graduation ceremony, they not only receive their diploma but also a personalized quilt crafted by community members that are followed by a dinner and celebration in the community gym. Washington Island Community Health Program Director Christine Andersen says the picnic is just another example of the intergenerational connection the island’s residents have with their students.

The End of the School Year Picnic runs from 12:15 to 2 p.m. at Red Barn Park. The community is invited, but you are asked to bring a dish to pass.   


Picture courtesy of Washington Island School



Brush fire extinguished near possible explosives site

A potentially catastrophic event was avoided Friday afternoon after thick black smoke from a brush fire was reported in northern Door County.  According to the Gibraltar Fire & Rescue, they were dispatched a little after 2 p.m. to an area near County Highway A and Peninsula Players Road.  A uncontrolled brush fire on Juddville Road, near where a drilling and blasting company’s building where explosives are occasionally stored. 

After a MABAS call was issued, Gibraltar Police Chief Roesch was able to deploy a drone to assess the scene for firefighters and determine a safe course of action.  Once the area was deemed safe, fire crews extinguished the fire quickly and no injuries were reported.  The incident remains under investigation and the Gibraltar Fire & Rescue expressed appreciation to the multiple agencies in the county that responded.


(photo courtesy of Gibraltar Fire) 



Algoma valedictorian looks ahead to future

Amelia Robinson graduated from Algoma High School, on May 21, 2023. Robinson says there was a lot of competition in her class, and the class salutatorian pushed her to be the best version of herself. She plans on going to the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, but she’s undecided for now. She plans on getting her Bachelor's and Master's degree while finding a career path she is passionate about pursuing. 


Robinson’s goal is to find a job that makes her happy. She says she definitely wants a job that involves children or other people. During her junior year at Algoma, she shadowed one of the Speech and Language Pathologists at the school and is now looking into similar career paths, but is open to change. 

Advice Robinson has for other students, “Get involved, your time there is short and there's so much to do. So if there is something you like, just go for it and be a part of it… it’s nice to be connected.” Robinson talks more about what she wishes someone would have told her while she was in high school. 

Spring Kayaking and Kayak Fishing is Here!-- Series I

Pictured is my fishing kayak my last day on the water in Door County last early November.  It always amazes me how fast time flies and here we are on Memorial Day Weekend ready for another great season of kayaking and kayak fishing in Door County!


As I always do in my first bi-weekly article from now through Labor Day is to remind everyone to be careful. Water temperatures in many locations are as cold as 50 degrees, so, when you take to the water in your kayak take precautions.  Be sure to wear your PFD, put your phone in a plastic waterproof bag, wear proper clothing in case you tip, and be sure to tell someone where you are launching and will be kayaking. Also, be aware of the weather conditions. In Door County, the wind can shift quickly making conditions dangerous.  With the big water and quick weather changes, I stay close to shore. 


In upcoming articles, I look forward to sharing great spots to kayak in Door County, fishing tips, where to launch, rigging your kayak, information on paddles, transporting your kayak, and more. Kayaking is becoming more popular each year and this time of year many people looking to get into kayaking have questions.  


There are several stores and outfitters in NE Wisconsin, including Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay, where you can check out kayaks, paddles, and other kayak-related equipment.  If you are on Facebook there are kayaking sites with great information and good places to ask questions.  For general kayaking check out Wisconsin Kayaking and Kayaking in Wisconsin. For kayak anglers, Wisconsin  Kayak Fishing Club is a good source of information.  


If you are a kayaker or kayak angler, I hope you have a special season on the water and as always I am also happy to answer any of your questions. You can email me at


Linnan earns perfect score on ACT

Sevastopol junior Ezra Linnan just accomplished something you thought was impossible and statistically, you are not that far off. Linnan is one of just 3,376 students to earn a perfect score of 36 on the ACT, which is used as a college readiness exam in the subjects of English, math, science, and reading. That puts him in the less than 0.25 percent of ACT exam participants who were able to accomplish the feat. Linnan says he felt confident that he got a good score, but was still shocked by the 36 he received.

Linnan is the second Sevastopol junior to score a 36 in recent years, but he also had some classmates that were not far off the mark. Kylee Duessler (30), Samantha Herrell (30), Inho Lee (33), Jolene Luedtke (31), and Merrick Mann all scored 30s on the ACT. Like many schools across the country, Sevastopol runs an ACT preparatory course to help students prepare for the exam.

Return of tourism season brings safety reminders

More people traveling around Door County could bring more problems for you if you are not careful. Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer across the country and the beginning of tourism season for locales like Door County. With that comes more people traveling on area roadways and opening up their second homes for the summer. Ephraim and Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald say there are things you should keep in mind to help keep safe not just this weekend, but all summer long.

Tourism officials expect this summer to be similar to last year when a record $11.1 million in room taxes were collected. Room tax revenues are one of the tourism indicators Destination Door County uses along with other data that will be made available by the state next month.

"Fourth trimester" a concern for women's health professionals

The health concerns do not stop after you give birth according to Door County Medical Center’s Dr. Elizabeth Gaida.


While much of the attention around women’s health centers around breast and cervical cancers, the number one killer of women is actually heart disease. Gaida says a lot of it is because the health needs of women often take a back seat to that of their families, especially if they recently gave birth.


Gaida says many doctors are now emphasizing the need for “fourth-trimester” care, the time after a woman gives birth when their physical and mental well-being may be fragile, but hidden behind the joy of a child.

May is National Women’s Health Month, an annual observance led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health to help them understand the steps they need to take to stay healthy. You can listen to our full interview with Dr. Gaida by clicking this link.

Bald eagle struck in Kewaunee County

The hope is a dented beak is the most a bald eagle may have to suffer long-term from after being struck by a vehicle on Thursday in Kewaunee County. Deputies discovered the bald eagle in a ditch near what is presumed to be its nesting location near County Highway K and Red River Lincoln Townline Road, which is between the communities of Frog Station and Casco. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department contacted a bald eagle rescue group for an expert’s opinion on the bird. While it appears the bald eagle did not sustain any major injuries, the group did keep the bird for further evaluation. If all goes well, they will release the bald eagle back where they found it.



Dillon embraces bright Door County spotlight

As soon as the Boston College running back was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 2020 NFL Draft, he became a fan-favorite around the state. Door County however, took in the Packer as he expressed his newfound love for the county. 


After Dillon raved on Twitter and in press conferences about the beautiful landscape and his favorite spot to stop and eat wings, he was given the key to the county and was named the “Honorary Mayor of Door County” by Destination Door County. Many Packer’s players have made their impacts in communities, but nothing quite to the level that AJ Dillon has left on the local area. NEW Radio Sports Network was able to sit down with the Packers running back to ask him what is truly so special about Door County. 



A prime example of his love of Door County was this past Sunday, when Dillon threw out the first pitch at the Door County Baseball League Washington Island vs Sister Bay game. Fans flocked towards him, and AJ made sure to take the time to get a picture with or sign an item for every person who wanted one.

Memorial weekend traffic expected to spike

You might want to plan your holiday travels a little better in the coming days as AAA projects that 42.3 million Americans will venture more than 50 miles from their home this Memorial Day weekend.  With a favorable weather forecast predicted, more travel is expected on the roadways as the price of gas is also lower nationally than last year when it was more than $4.00 per gallon at the pump.  Door County Sheriff Chief Deputy Pat McCarty advises drivers to plan accordingly with the influx of traffic this weekend.  [MCCARTY]  Peak traffic is expected from noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Monday, but delays and backups can be expected at times over the weekend.  Local and state police will be out enforcing the “Click it or Ticket” campaign during the National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization now through June 4th.   

Jacksonport's Maifest celebrates 50 years

You can kick off your Memorial Day festivities this weekend in Jacksonport at one of Door County’s oldest festivals. Maifest celebrates its 50th year in 2023 by continuing the many traditions that have helped it reach the milestone. The two-day event begins on Saturday with a juried art fair, activities on the Maifest Family Midway, a parade, live music, and food. Sunday’s slate includes much of the same fun, but it also features the 40th running of the Maifest 10K Run and 2-Mile Fun Run/Walk. Race organizer Annie Kapolnek says it means a lot to the whole community that the Memorial Day tradition continues in Jacksonport.

You can click on this link to see the entire schedule for Jacksonport’s Maifest, which also includes the new Saturday night fireworks and a Sunday afternoon exhibition by the Door County 4-H Horse and Pony Drill Team.

Mountain Tower reopens on Washington Island

You will have one more place to check out on Washington Island if you are visiting this Memorial Day weekend. The Town of Washington announced on Thursday that additional work done on Mountain Tower has been completed and visitors can check out the entire structure. Mountain Tower was closed last Tuesday in order for repairs to the second level of the tower to take place.  The work had been years in the making after the tower had to be closed in 2020 because of the need for repairs. In late 2021, the Town of Washington electors purchased the necessary land around the tower and earmarked $100,000 for repairs to be made to save the structure. Repairs to the supports and the first level of the tower were completed late last summer. The town specifically thanked the public, their crews, Town Supervisor Martin Andersen, and Sun Valley Enterprises for their assistance in making the project a reality.



Register for field trips with The Ridges Sanctuary for the Festival of Nature

There is still time for you to register for some outdoor activities and hands-on field trips in Door County. Throughout Memorial Day weekend and early June, The Ridges Sanctuary will be providing over 60 field trips and activities for families and community members. 


While some are sold out, there is bound to be something that piques your interest. Katie Krouse, Assistant Director of The Ridges Sanctuary says it’s a “choose your own adventure” type of festival. With limited availability, some activities include hiking, kayaking, biking, learning, and exploring. 


Some trips include going hiking and learning more about fossils. Join Dave Bultman, a local fossil hunter and expert, and explore and identify local fossils. Learning to draw plants of your choice with scientific illustrator Kathleen Garness. Supplies will be provided. 


You will also have the opportunity to go out onto Lake Michigan on a retired U.S. Navy boat. Hear stories of the past, of shipwrecks and lighthouses, ancient geology, and current geography. Also, take a hike through the dunes to Europe Lake and the headlands of Newport State Park in search of birds and wildflowers, bring your binoculars. 


There are many more field trips to register for, to see what the festival has to offer, click this link. 

Kewaunee County Board nixes wage study, returns surplus general funds

A string of emails and phone calls between County Administrator Scott Feldt and his colleagues in other counties will continue to be the way wages are studied in Kewaunee County.


During Tuesday’s meeting, the Kewaunee County Board approved an amended motion 14-4 to remove up to $75,000 that was to be earmarked for a wage study. The county’s executive committee panned the study earlier this month, saying the information learned from the study was not going to present anything that they did not know. It still sparked some discussion during Tuesday’s meeting with both sides of the argument presenting their case. District 5 Supervisor Brian Patrycia saw the merits of the study, saying the county should be taking the steps necessary to recruit and retain the best that they can.

District 10 Supervisor Scott Browne said the money should be spent on additional maintenance projects that some of the county-owned buildings desperately need.

The amended motion made by District 11 Supervisor Aaron Augustian did not make the original resolution more palatable for the Kewaunee County Board. The resolution, which also allocated $30,000 to complete county building maintenance and $32,362 to replenish the vehicle damage fund balance along with setting aside $75,000 for the purchase of a new financial/human resources software system, was also nixed because it did not reach a two-thirds majority vote. Those dollars will remain in the county’s general fund.


You can watch the full discussion below:


Seven pets, home lost in Red River fire

An exact cause is yet to be determined of a fire that destroyed a home in the Town of Red River on Wednesday afternoon.


The Luxemburg Fire Department was called to the scene of a fully-engulfed home shortly after 2 p.m. on Wellers Lane. Flames were coming out of the front door and side windows and beginning to pierce the roof when the Luxemburg Fire Department called for extra assistance en route to the home. Once they arrived, firefighters could knock down the fire from the outside before entering the home.


Luxemburg Fire Chief Lew DuChateau said that due to the number of voids in the home that allowed the fire to breathe, crews had to cut into the home's roof and attic to fight the blaze. Firefighters had most of the fire under control within the first hour of their efforts, which required several apparatus including a ladder truck. DuChateau said the homeowners were outside of the house but on the property when the fire began. While there were no injuries, the home is a total loss and three dogs, two cats, and two turtles died in the fire.


Fire Departments from Luxemburg, Casco, New Franken, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Kewaunee, and Tisch Mills, Luxemburg Rescue, and the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department assisted with the fire, which included shutting down County Highway DK for a couple of hours. DuChateau said they were able to clear the scene a little more than four hours after they arrived.

Sevastopol Destination Imagination brings home Global titles

The kings and queens of Destination Imagination are in your backyard for the second year in a row. Two Sevastopol Destination Imagination teams won the Global competition held in Kansas City, Missouri this week with a third coming in the top 20.


Coached by Annie Rabach, Nick Schultz, and Jenny Hobart, the Ultimate Miners won their category for the Thrill Ride: Engineering competition.



Da’ Magix, coached by Annie Rabach, Mindi Vanderhoof, and Shelley Stenzel, took first place in the Far-Fetched: Scientific competition.



The third team, 7 Musketeers, tied with Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan’s Flames of Creativity and Camden May’s Dungeons and Digons for 16th place in the Flip the Script: Fine Arts competition. They were led by Annie Rabach, Kim Lama, and Susan Czagas.  



The Sevastopol teams will be honored with a police escort through Sturgeon Bay before arriving at school to a hero's welcome at approximately 7:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Algoma was also represented at the Destination Imagination Global Finals with the Matt Schaper-led Swing taking 18th in the Far-Fetched: Scientific competition and Duck Usta, led by Jillaine Toebe and Lisa Stewart, took 10th place in the same competition, but in different divisions.  The Candy Vans, led by Lisa Stewart and Megan Schaper took 31st place in their division for the Flip the Script: Fine Arts competition.


Pictures and videos courtesy of Sevastopol Destination Imagination

Celebrate Memorial Day weekend with the 25th Annual Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair

You could explore and see different types of art and activities with Destination Sturgeon Bay on  May 27th and 28th. At Martin Park, view over 70 various artists' works, enjoy live entertainment, children's activities, food, and more. 


On Saturday, May 27 from 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday, May 28 from 10 am - 4 pm you can stop by over 70 exceptional artists that range from mediums in sculpture, glass, jewelry, painting, wood, fiber, and more who will be selling their art. Both two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks will have the opportunity to be awarded. Winners will be given their awards Saturday afternoon. 


There will also be activities for families and children, like temporary tattoos, hula hoops, chalk, and more, provided by Door County Health & Human Services and the Door County Library. As well as, a free raptor meet and greet with Open Door Bird Sanctuary Saturday 12- 2 pm and Sunday 11 am - 1 pm, which is a new addition to the Fine Art Fair. Rachel Malcore, Marketing Director for Destination Door County says “We are really happy they are coming, it’ll be a great addition” 


For more information on the artists that will be participating in the Fine Art Fair, click this link.




Photo credits to Rachel Lukas.

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department investigating Algoma High School parking lot incident

A  black vehicle traveling through the Algoma High School parking lot early Wednesday morning reportedly was carrying what appeared to be a weapon.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says his department received a call at about 6:30 a.m. and was notified of the vehicle immediately and began to investigate the situation.  A student came forward and shared that another student brought a paintball gun to school in the morning.  The intentions behind the incident remain unclear.  The Algoma School District sent a safety update to parents by email and the incident remains under investigation as a strong police presence will be at the schools through Wednesday, according to Sheriff Joski.  You can read the safety update below. 




Life Jackets key to water safety this boating season

The United States Coast Guard and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources want to help keep you safe this summer on the water.  This week is National Safe Boating Week, and the United States Coast Guard recommends before leaving the shore on your boat that you check to make sure it’s ready to launch. You should look over all the safety equipment that is on board, make sure lights are functional, registration is current, engine cut-off lanyard and plug are present – and don’t forget to make sure you have one life jacket per person on board.  Today’s life jackets are more comfortable, lightweight, and stylish than the old bulky orange style of the past. There are innovative options, such as inflatable life jackets that allow for more mobility and flexibility for activities like boating, fishing, or paddling and are cooler in the warmer weather. Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering a courtesy vessel safety check for your boat if it is 65 feet long or smaller.  You can click here to schedule your free boat safety check.  


Here are other tips on boating safety by the Wisconsin DNR:  


Sign up now to take an online boater education course.


Always wear a properly fitted life jacket that has a snug fit and is fastened when you're on or near the water. Life jackets will keep you on top of the water if you walk off an unexpected drop-off, or a wave or current overpowers you or you fall out of a boat.


Enjoy the waters sober and know your limits. Alcohol blurs a person's judgment, reaction time, and abilities.


River shorelines and sandbars pose unseen dangers. Higher, fast-moving water can overpower an individual's boating, paddling, and swimming skills.


Keep an eye on the weather and let someone know where you are going.


(Photo courtesy of USCG)

YMCA stresses Membership For All program

You and your family can have access to two fitness facilities in Door County regardless of your financial situation.  Through the Door County YMCA Annual Campaign, the YMCA provides assistance to youth, adults, and families based on individual needs and circumstances.  Membership Engagement Executive Brett Cleveland says anybody in the community can become a member of the YMCA through a mutual partnership.



The support offered by the Door County YMCA reduces membership fees but does not eliminate them.  The financial assistance is based on household size and annual income.  Every YMCA member receives the same membership benefits, regardless of whether or not they receive financial assistance.  You can fill out an application for the Membership For All program by stopping into either of the Y program centers in Sturgeon Bay or Fish Creek.  

Grant makes trail bridge repairs possible

If you have spent any time at the Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve recently, you may have noticed the trail bridge with some damage. Thanks in part to a new grant, the damaged bridge will be no more. 


The grant given to the Door County Land Trust was a part of the first round of the Community Investment Fund Grants given by Destination Door County in the middle of May. The grant was given for a full construction of a new bridge for visitors and community members to use while they are at the Blufflands. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Emily Wood says the project was a necessity for the area, and goes into detail about what the new bridge will be like. 



The Land Trust was given $75,000 from the DDC, the second most amount of money in the eight different governments and organizations that received money from the grants. However, the cost of the construction of the bridge will be more than the amount of money they received, so fundraising will be required to complete the cost of the project. 


Wood hopes the construction of the new bridge can begin this fall, and an official ribbon cutting may come as early as next summer. 

More graduating seniors heading straight into the workforce

You will see more graduating seniors earning a paycheck rather than filling out a financial aid form this year.


According to a National Student Clearing House study last year, undergraduate enrollment was down by 1.4 million people. The combination of higher wages coming out of high school and the prospect of not carrying debt has carried many people into the trades or technical and vocational schools where you can get on with your career after two years in some cases.


It is a trend Luxemburg-Casco High School is seeing with this year’s graduating class, which will receive their diplomas on Wednesday. About 44 percent of its graduating class (44 percent) of 139 students is committed to attending a four-year school, compared to the 45 percent that is going to a vocational or trade school and 21 percent that are heading right into the workforce. Praising the success of its own apprenticeship and vocational training programs, Luxemburg-Casco Principal Troy Haws says he is happy that students feel more comfortable following their passion rather than what many think is the norm.  

Luxemburg-Casco is the second area school to hold its commencement exercises this week after Algoma hosted theirs on Sunday. 

Birch Creek readies for another exciting season

It will not be long before you will be able to walk the grounds of the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor and hear music in the air. Tickets are already on sale for the upcoming season, which kicks off on June 22nd with the Percussion, Steel Band, and World Music session. The Symphony session starts up two weeks later on July 4th with the first of two Big Band sessions following suit on July 19th. Just because the barn is sitting quietly now does not mean there is not a lot of work happening behind the curtain. Executive Director Mona Christensen says a lot of work goes into welcoming hundreds of students and their supporting staff members for a summer of music.

In addition to their performances in the concert barn from July 22nd through August 12th, Birch Creek Music Center has four family concerts and more than 20 shows around the county featuring their jazz combo scheduled for this summer. You can listen to our full interview with Christensen by clicking on this link.

Fire chief expresses caution after Liberty Grove grass fire

Just because it is greening up does not mean you can rest easy when lighting a fire in the area.


The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to a grass fire near Hill Road in Sister Bay before 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon after a passerby noticed some debris near where they were driving was ablaze. When crews arrived, approximately a half-acre was on fire with some flames jumping from tree to tree. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in about 45 minutes with no buildings threatened and no injuries reported. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht reminds people that even though the fire conditions have improved a little bit as the plant life has greened up over the last few weeks, there also has not been much measurable precipitation during that time either.

The grass fire in Sister Bay was not the only one reported in Door County on Monday. Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says they also experienced one near Fairview Road at 12:45 p.m., but that it was quickly extinguished.

Region expects big boom from NFL Draft

You can expect to see more than just Packers and Bears jerseys roaming around Door and Kewaunee counties in April 2025.


The National Football League announced on Monday that Green Bay will be the host of the 2025 Draft. The Green Bay Packers expect an estimated crowd of 240,000 people to attend the event, generating an economic impact of approximately $94 million statewide and $20 million locally. According to Green Bay Packers Chief Operating Officer Ed Policy, that would make the draft the biggest event Green Bay has ever hosted. 


Similar to what occurred when Whistling Straits in the Sheboygan area for the 2021 Ryder Cup, areas as far away as Milwaukee and Madison could see people staying in hotel rooms there before driving to Green Bay for the NFL Draft festivities. Destination Door County’s Jen Rogers says the area will likely see its own influx of visitors due to the draft, whether they are just here to sleep in between rounds or need to escape the draft for the day.

Rogers says they will start planning ahead for 2025, working with Discover Green Bay, area businesses, and visitors on how to make this a positive experience for everyone. The NFL also announced plans to flex Thursday night games to get the best matchups available for their partners. While the Packers were one of eight teams to vote against the proposal, Destination Door County’s Jon Jarosh said earlier this month that it could actually turn into an advantage for the area.

Northern Door Sky Theater announces Krause Scholarship winners

A Southern Door graduating senior was named the recipient of the Northern Sky Werner & Sue Krause Scholarship this year.  Hunter Malvitz will receive a $2500 scholarship to pursue a degree in theater or music performance. 


Selected based on his participation and love for the performing arts and GPA while in high school, Malvitz plans on attending the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire this fall and majoring in Music Education. 


The Werner and Sue Krause have been long-time supporters and patrons of performing arts organizations statewide.  Sue passed away in 2021, but Werner has been carrying on the tradition and the scholarship opportunity was expanded the last year. 


Past recipients are allowed to reapply during their college careers as long as they are pursuing a degree in the performing arts.  Lexie Henkel, a junior at Lawrence University majoring in Physics and Vocal Performance and Lia Smith Redman, in her fourth year majoring in Dance and English at UW-Milwaukee received scholarships of $4,000 and $5,000 respectively. 


(submitted photo:  Sue & Werner Krause, Sue passed away in 2021)

Veterans remember fallen colleagues

The flags and ceremonies you see this weekend remembering fallen soldiers of Door County are often organized by those who served alongside them. On Thursday, Door County Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3088 will be placing approximately 1,400 flags on the graves of veterans at St. Joseph and Bayside cemeteries. It is a tradition Post Quartermaster and submarine veteran Bill Graf has participated in for the last 10 years, though he remembers his father doing it when he was younger. It makes him smile knowing that he is helping keep the tradition alive and that many others are making it a Memorial Day tradition for their own families as well.

People wishing to help are invited to start their day at the Bayside Cemetery Chapel on Thursday at 9 a.m. with a rain date scheduled for May 26th. George W. Goetz Post 372 Forestville American Legion’s firing squad will continue its tradition of visiting 23 Southern Door cemeteries on Sunday beginning at 7:20 a.m. and ending just after noon. You can see that full schedule along with the other Memorial Day weekend activities throughout Door County below.



Southern Door
Sunday, May 28th

The Firing Squad from the George W. Goetz Post 372 Forestville American Legion will conduct Memorial Day Services at the following places and approximate times.  POC—Bill Karas (920) 857-8008.


Forestville Town (Maplewood)......... 7:20 (Split Squad)

Namur (Pit Road).............................. 7:30 (Split Squad)

BrockHausen...................................... 7:40 (Split Squad)

Miesere.............................................. 7:50 (Split Squad)

Brown................................................ 7:55 (Split Squad)

Kolberg............................................... 8:05

Brussels............................................. 8:20

White   Star....................................... 8:30

Precious   Blood................................. 8:40

St. Joe Catholic  (Fox Ln.).................. 8.50

Stevenson.......................................... 9:00

Geises................................................ 9:10

Break ................................................. (9:20-9:45)


Maplewood.................................................. 9:55

Carnot.......................................................... 10:10

Clay Banks Town.......................................... 10:25

Vignes.......................................................... 10:35

Mount Olive................................................. 10:45

Shiloh  Moravian.......................................... 10:55

Schumacher................................................. 11:05

Hainesville................................................... 11:15

Salem-Schulties........................................... 11:35

Forestville.................................................... 11:50

Old Catholic (Between Maplewood & Forestville)         12:10



Sturgeon Bay

Monday, May 29th


Brief ceremonies will be conducted at Bayside Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 9:00 a.m., Sturgeon Bay Health Services (formerly the Dorchester) at 9:30 a.m., and the main ceremony will be at 10:00 a.m. at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. The Peninsula Symphonic Band under the direction of Jason Palmer will play throughout the ceremony. Please bring lawn chairs if arriving closer to the start time of the ceremony—as the number of chairs will be limited. POC—Door County Veterans Office (920) 746-2225.


Northern Door

Monday, May 29th


Little Sister Cemetery (in case of rain, First Baptist Church) – May 30th at 10:30 A.M. The Schedule is listed below: 


Gibraltar Band, under direction of Charles Eckhardt, plays patriotic songs before ceremony.


10:30 A.M. Veterans will post the Colors.


Place the Battle Field Cross.


All rise for National Anthem, Gibraltar Band.


Continue standing for the Pledge of Allegiance led by members of Boy Scout Troop #1120.


Invocation by Rev. Sue Gunderson.


Welcome by Billy Weiss Post 527 Commander Kowalski.


Dale Seaquist leads choir in songs.


Mixed choir led by Dale Seaquist.


Introduction of guest speaker Mike Vizer.


Band will play a salute to all military branches.


A veterans poem will be read by Commander Kowalski.


Names of deceased 2022-2023 veterans read by Don Sitte.


Benediction by Rev. Sue Gunderson.


Veterans prepare for closing ceremonies.


Sounding of Taps by Dale Sequist and echo sounded by Charles Eckhardt.


Dave Gunderson singing of "God Bless America"

Junk piles ignite a forest fire

A Saturday evening fire near the Town of Carlsville is still under investigation after a strenuous firefighting effort involving most of Door County’s departments.


The Egg Harbor Fire Department was notified just before 5:40 p.m. Saturday due to reports of a huge plume of black smoke rising through a forested area near Ash Lane and West Carlsville Road. The sight of the smoke forced Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald to activate the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) to call in support from Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Gibraltar, Jacksonport, Ephraim, and Sturgeon Bay fire departments.

Upon arrival, crews found multiple piles of appliances, implements, wood, and other materials on fire, which led to an additional three to four acres of the forest being ablaze. MacDonald says it took a lot of effort and different resources to put the fire out.

The property’s owners were not home and there were no injuries reported by the time crews left the scene after 8:15 p.m.

STH 42/57 project to be finished this week

Just in time for the traditionally busy Memorial Day weekend, you will not have to worry about a detour heading north through Sturgeon Bay. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced late last week that overnight closures are no longer expected as the contractor in charge of the project expects to finish all major work operations before the holiday weekend. The project, which included concrete base patching, concrete curb and gutter repairs, culvert repairs, guard rail updates, asphalt milling and overlaying of the roadway as well as pavement marking and other incidental work, was supposed to wrap up by June 8th. According to the DOT, crews will still have to shut down the road’s shoulders at some times this week to finish up minor work and project clean-up.

St. John Bosco names new principal

You will see a new, but familiar face roaming the halls of St. John Bosco as its new principal. The school’s board of trustees and board of directors announced last Friday that they hired St. John Bosco alum Matthew Hanson as their principal effective July 1st. He will replace Vickie Dassler, who came into the fold at St. John Bosco in 2015. 


Hanson brings experience to the role, serving as a teacher and an assistant principal in his previous stops during his career in education. Hanson said in a release from the school that St. John Bosco gave him a set of standards to live by, adding that he will “back (?) by giving myself fully to help students in their Catholic, social, physical, emotional and academic pursuits.” Aside from reintroducing himself to the community he grew up in, Hanson will be tasked with filling a number of roles on his new faculty. Hiring the new staff members will put Hanson’s wheels in motion before his official start date.

Work to ban coal-tar-based sealants continues

Clear Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Executive Director Dean Hoegger thought you would have seen a ban on some dangerous pavement sealants by now.


Many coal-tar-based pavement sealants contain the carcinogen PAH, which over time can have a negative impact on kids and aquatic life alike. Many sealant companies do not realize the products they are using have PAH in them and that the cost savings of one over the other do not exist as much. 


Hoegger says getting the information to communities and their residents is crucial as the state has stalled out in recent years to issue a statewide ban, relying on individual municipalities to do the work.

Algoma, Luxemburg, and Sturgeon Bay have already passed bans in their communities in recent years following presentations made by Hoegger and others.


The Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin and 100+ Women Who Care of Door County are sponsoring two presentations discussing the negative impact of coal-tar-based pavement sealants on May 25th at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay and June 1st at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Sister Bay. Both presentations will begin at 8 p.m.

"Dairy Days Dash" makes comeback to support veterans

A popular run and walk in Luxemburg is back after a three-year hiatus.  The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce will again sponsor the Dairy Days Dash 5K on Saturday, June 3, after the event was postponed due to the pandemic and a volunteer shortage.  The 3.1 mile (5K) course is open to all runners and walkers, including those with strollers and wheelchairs. 


The course will wind through Luxemburg, beginning and ending at Village Hall.  This year’s race will benefit local veteran’s organizations and contribute to the Luxemburg Chamber’s Music in the Park program.


This year marks the 15th Dairy Days Dash which will begin at 8 a.m. on June 3rd.  You can register as a runner or walker by clicking on this link, or by signing up on the day of the event beginning at 6:30 a.m. 

County Board set to approve ambulance agreement with Door County Medical Center

You will have more peace of mind when it comes to times of need when your loved ones need reliable transport to a different hospital.


Officials from Door County and Door County Medical Center have been collaborating for months on a way to make sure an ambulance is available for hospital transfer when patients need to leave Door County for facilities in Green Bay and beyond. Previously, the hospital would rely on the county for emergency cases when other ambulance providers could not be used. If one is not available, it would set the stage for long wait times that could have poor outcomes.


The agreement calls for the hospital to help fund the service, which will later include the purchase of a new vehicle and the hiring of new staff members. It also calls for only one transfer at a time and mandates that the services do not compromise the county’s 911 commitments for emergencies. Door County Medical Center Brian Stephens explained in September why forming this agreement was so important.

The Door County Board will also weigh in on resolutions aimed at invasive species control on Plum and Detroit islands and using budget surplus funds to help fix issues with the County Trunk Highway System when they meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m. 

Author expands on area's farming history in newest book

Telling the story of farming through a lens you might be familiar with is the goal of a new book written by agriculture journalist and part-time Door County resident Corey Geiger.


Last week, Geiger released his second book called The Wisconsin Farm They Built, which tells his family’s farming history in northeast Wisconsin taking place between World War II and the early 1980s. One of the stories told in the book covers how interest in the Lake-to-Lake Dairy Cooperative was so popular that it forced the Door County Board of Supervisors to cancel one of its meetings in the 1940s. Geiger says he got interested to telling the stories about farming in Wisconsin simply by listening to his own family members.

Geiger is the managing editor of the publication Hoard’s Dairyman and part of the steering committee that helped bring the Alice in Dairyland Finals to Door County, which will take place May 2nd-4th, 2024. You can learn more about Geiger’s newest book and his previous entry, On a Wisconsin Farm, by clicking this link.

Summer weather increases local air travel

Many runways around the local area and around the state have begun to fill up with the warmer weather finally settling into Northeast Wisconsin and across the state. 



With the uptick in traveling during the summer months due to the high tourism rates and attractions of Northeast Wisconsin, expect more planes to be in the sky. Not only will the summer weather bring in the traffic, but so will the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport’s Director Marty Piette says that seats are filling fast, if not already filled, and that does not seem to be slowing down. 




Alongside the summer travel, the fall flights into Green Bay for Packer games have begun to come into play with the NFL recently announcing their schedule for the season. With most home games bringing in teams from bigger cities, expect Lambeau Field to be packed with fans from both teams come gameday. With the arrival of those fans comes a busier airport, Piette explains. 




With the combination of the nice weather, tourism, and the Green Bay Packers, the Austin Straubel International Airport is set for a busy period ahead, so planning ahead will be a must for travelers.

Survey seeks out veterans in need

You could be costing yourself some important aid from the government if you are a veteran. The Extension Kewaunee County is calling for all veterans to participate in a survey on behalf of the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Office to learn more about how they can be better served locally. The Kewaunee County Veterans Service Office, much like its colleagues around the state, assists veterans and their families. With programs like disability compensation, Veterans Affairs healthcare, pensions, and other benefits available to veterans and their families, the support is there. Community Development Educator Patrick Nehring says the biggest issue is not getting the veterans the benefits they deserve, but rather finding the veterans to have the discussions in the first place.

You can click this link or call Nehring at 920-391-4616 to take the survey. According to the U.S. Census, over 1,100 veterans are calling Kewaunee County home.

Algoma brightens city with community art mural project Friday

Using a building as their canvas, over 100 community members and students from Algoma High School participated in another colorful mural painting project in Algoma Friday. The Algoma Venture Academy along with volunteers in the community began painting the Algoma Book Corner on Third Street.  Local artist Don Krumpos who helped collaborate with the project shares the theme behind the new mural.




Krumpos says the crew used over 100 different colors of flat exterior paints to complete the "paint by numbers" mural in about nine hours.  One of the goals of the students was to incorporate the school’s motto which is  “Ignite, Engage, Connect” while bringing their mission to the downtown. 

Governor Evers visits Washington Island

You could have shared the ferry cabin with Governor Tony Evers on Thursday as he visited Washington Island as a part of his tour touting the recently announced broadband access grants from the Public Service Commission. Over $16 million in grant money was awarded to 24 projects across the state, including Washington Island ($2,500,000 with $2,806,000 match) and the Town of Jacksonport ($500,000 with $2,714,576 match). The grant will help the Washington Island Electric Cooperative begin the final phase of bringing fiber internet to 786 locations across the island. Since the school was one of the first places to be connected to the fiber line, Robert Cornell from the Washington Island Electric Cooperative pointed the former state superintendent toward Washington Island School to visit before heading back to the mainland. Principal Tim Verboomen says it was a great experience for the kids to meet the governor and for the governor to see how the state’s investment in bringing fiber internet to rural areas like Washington Island is paying off.

The state received 74 applications for grant money to be used for broadband purposes, totaling more than $73 million.


Picture courtesy of Washington Island School



Kids zoom through career choices at annual event

The trucks you saw behind Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School were inspiring the next generation of workers during the district’s Careers on Wheels Day.


Over 1,300 students between the grades of 4K and 6th grade had the chance to learn about 18 different career paths from the public and private sectors. Students rotated every five to ten minutes to talk with firefighters, ambulance drivers, truck drivers, machine operators, and more about their jobs with their work vehicles standing in the background.


Fifth-grade teacher Hannah Lilly says it is a great opportunity for her students to see, not just hear about people’s jobs.

The event comes weeks after the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation sponsored Ag Career Days for students at Kewaunee, Algoma, Luxemburg-Casco, and other school districts in the area to learn about jobs available that are specific to the agriculture industry.




TTX's Andreae makes history at DCEDC Annual Investors meeting

Therma-Tron-X owner Brad Andreae earned something only two others have received during Thursday’s Door County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Investors Meeting at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.


Andreae was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, joining Fran Shefchik of PortSide Builders and Ellsworth Peterson of Peterson Builders as the only business owners to ever earn the Lifetime Achievement Award from the DCEDC. He was recognized for not just the growth his company has experienced but for his philanthropy in the community, specifically the $2 million he committed to help Sevastopol School District upgrade its technical education and athletic facilities.


Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding received The Lighthouse Award for being the Established Business of the Year after completing the first Great Lakes freighter in nearly 40 years. Door Candle Company was honored with The Lightkeeper Award for being the Women-and-Minority-Owned Business of the Year after owner Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani and her husband Nic helped raise over $1 million for Razom for Ukraine through their candle sales. Peach Barn Farmhouse and Brewery was given The Range Lights Award for being the New Business of the Year.


The annual event also featured presentations from DCEDC Executive Director Michelle Lawrie, DCEDC Board Chairperson Brian Stephens, and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Business and Community Development Mike Ward.



Bees help keep people buzzing about blossoms

You still have time to see the cherry and apple blossoms in Door County as long as Mother Nature continues to cooperate. The cherry blossoms are right at or in some cases a little past full bloom in Door County while the best of the apple blossoms are still to come. Orchard owner Steve Wood says the blossoms may be a touch earlier than usual, adding that they usually expect them to peak around Memorial Day. He says the cooler weather has been slowing down some of his most important employees at this time of the year: the bees he rents from an operator in Chippewa Falls.

Wood says once the bees’ work is done, they get picked up and likely are taken to cranberry country in western Wisconsin to help pollinate those plants. While it will become more apparent in a few weeks, Wood guesses that we are in store for a great crop of cherries and apples based on how the blossoms look.

Canadian wildfires cause air advisories in northeast Wisconsin

Wildfires in Canada are to blame for more than just the hazy skies and the reddish glow of the sun you have noticed in Door and Kewaunee counties. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality advisory for several of the state’s counties including Brown, Door, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc counties. The smoke from the wildfires in Canada is expected to move into the area at around midnight Thursday, which is when concentrations of particulate matter (PM 2.5) are supposed to increase. The National Weather Service says this could be made worse when a cold front rolls into the area. The air quality index is expected to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” though it is expected to be worse in the western part of the state compared to the northeastern part. People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.  The air quality advisory is expected to expire at around midnight Friday night.


Picture and accompanying graphic courtesy of National Weather Service Green Bay



Fire damages Egg Harbor home

Investigators continue to look into the cause of a fire on Highway 42 near Sunny Slope Road in Egg Harbor Wednesday afternoon.


The Egg Harbor Fire Department was called to the scene just after 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday for a report of smoke coming from the basement. Wisconsin Public Service had cut the power to the home by the time Egg Harbor firefighters arrived on the scene, only to find that heavy smoke was also coming out of a second-floor window.  No flames were found by crews, but approximately 200 gallons of water were used to help cool the upstairs area.


The fire was under control just after 1:15 p.m. with the mutual aid units from the fire departments of Sturgeon Bay, Jacksonport, Ephraim, and Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Departments, Door County Emergency Services, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department able to leave shortly after. Fire Chief Justin MacDonald gave special kudos to Wisconsin Public Service for recognizing an issue was happening and taking the necessary steps to cut the power and alert the authorities. The residence was unoccupied at the time, though the second story of the building is now unhabitable due to the smoke and water damage caused by the fire. Crews were able to salvage most of the items on the first floor without injury.

Fair entry season begins in Door and Kewaunee counties

Whether you are a young person or just one at heart, you can participate in one of the two area county fairs this summer.


The registration portals for the Kewaunee County Fair (July 13th-16th) and the Door County Fair (August 9th-13th) are open for people to submit their entries for both open class and junior fair divisions. Door County Fair Secretary Hilary Heard says the online registration has made it easy for people to participate.

Exhibits Coordinator Darlene Boeder has been involved in the Kewaunee County Fair in some form for approximately 65 years. She says it has been an excellent way for the whole family to participate regardless of age.

You still have some time to decide what you want to do and to register to exhibit at the Door County Fair and the Kewaunee County Fair. You have until June 1st to register for the Kewaunee County Fair and July 7th for the Door County Fair. Boeder and Heard invite you to contact them if you have any questions about the registration process. The Door County Fair will also hold special registration events on Saturday, June 17th from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Thursday, June 29th at the secretary’s office on the Door County Fairgrounds.

Culvert repair to close Highway 42 in West Kewaunee next week

You will have to plan your commute through West Kewaunee differently next week. The Kewaunee County Highway Department announced earlier this week that State Highway 42 just south of its intersection with Krok Road will be closed to all traffic to repair a failing culvert. The work is expected to close the highway on May 23rd and May 24th. The construction will detour traffic onto a combination of County Highway C, State Highway 29, County Highway B, and County Highway J.

Special Southern Door School District meeting called for administrator discussion

The fate of Southern Door School District Administrator Chris Peterson may be close to a decision after the Southern Door School Board called for a special meeting that is scheduled to take place Friday morning.


Peterson was placed on administrative leave following a special school board meeting held in mid-March. The school board has met several times since then with Southern Door School Board President Penny Price saying in early April that the board “remains committed to doing what is best for the District.” Business manager Jason Melotte has filled in for Peterson during that time, which has included the ongoing work with the district’s referendum projects and a threat that was resolved earlier this month.


The Southern Door School Board will gather at 7 a.m. on Friday with the meeting heading into a closed session quickly after it begins. The board could return to an open session to take any necessary action after they meet behind closed doors.

Kewaunee County third-graders get crash course on safety

Many of the safety tips you use every day were introduced to third graders Tuesday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg as a part of the annual Kewaunee County Safety Days. Over 300 third-graders from the county’s public and private schools rotated through 15 different stations highlighting safety tips covering several different activities with different agencies.

Aerica Bjurstrom from UW-Extension Kewaunee County says the joint venture with the Kewaunee County Public Health Department is an important one as they target a group of kids that may be experiencing a little more freedom for the first time.

According to, falls, accidental impacts, motor vehicles, cuts or puncture wounds, bites and stings, foreign bodies, and burns are the seven most common childhood injuries.

Pictures courtesy of Kewaunee County


Northern Door YMCA Program Center dedicated to Jackie and Steve Kane

The Door County YMCA dedicated its Northern Door Program Center on Wednesday to Jackie and Steve Kane in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the organization.


One example of the support given by the Kanes came last year when they donated $2 million to the Door County YMCA’s capital campaign helping to keep its expansion efforts in Sturgeon Bay on track. 


The formal unveiling and renaming of the facility after Jackie and Steve Kane were celebrated inside and outside the YMCA building on Wednesday morning.




CEO Tonya Felhofer says the Kanes have been tremendous supporters of the Door County YMCA and that their years of contributions are worthy of being recognized at the Northern Door location.




The Door County YMCA has 150 full and part-time staff serving over 9,300 members in Door County with facilities in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay.

Times of Future Past back in Kewaunee this June

You can experience an outdoor two-day festival that combines history and fantasy this June, as Times of Future Past returns for the third year in Kewaunee.  Winter Park will host a unique event that will include stage shows, music, strolling lane characters, and a costume contest with over 32 artisan vendors.  Founder and Co-Producer Lynne Melssen says this year’s Times of Future Past will feature Cosplay demonstrations and new characters portraying Mark Twain, Mary Todd Lincoln, and popular Ghostbusters.



Attendees are invited to participate by dressing up in their favorite historical or fantasy character.  A costume contest will be held both days during the event on June 10th and 11th from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  Times of Future Past is a non-profit organization that donates a portion of the proceeds to support the Desert Veterans of Wisconsin.  You can find more information on the “festival for any era” with this link.  

Over $325,000 awarded by Destination Door County in CIF grants

In the initial grant awards from Destination Door County’s new Community Investment Fund (CIF), eight projects will benefit from a total of $325,251.  The DDC announced on Tuesday that the projects will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $90,000.  DDC President/CEO Julie Gilbert shares the positive impact the first grant cycle will have in assisting three municipal governments, the County of Door, and four area non-profit organizations.



The DDC will be awarding two more cycles of grant money this year, with deadlines of July 6th and October 5th.  The qualified applicants must be a 501(c)(3) public charity, 501(c)(6) organization, or a local unit of government.  You can reach out to the Door County Community Foundation to discuss applying for the Community Investment Fund grant at (920) 746-1786. The initial recipients of the CIF grant are listed below. 


Village of Sister Bay awarded $90,000 for a Multi-Jurisdictional Trail


Door County Land Trust awarded $75,000 for the Trail Bridge at Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve


City of Sturgeon Bay awarded $45,551 for an Aquatic Weed Harvester


County of Door awarded $44,000 for an ADA and Intergenerational Playground at John Miles County Park


Door Community Auditorium awarded $40,000 for a Blues, Roots & Jazz Festival


Town of Gibraltar awarded $15,700 for Phase II Fish Creek Beach Playground


Door County Historical Society awarded $10,000 for the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Restoration


Northeastern WI Antique Power Association awarded $5,000 for an Historic Replica Valmy Service Station

Northern Door YMCA readies for Summer Camp programs

You can have your children participate in the summer day camps at the Door County YMCA that are starting next month at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers.  Youth and Family Coordinator Carolyn Grasty says the Northern Door first session runs from June 12 through the 15th, while the second session will be  June 19th thru July 13th, except for the Fourth of July.  The final session is set for July 17th through August 10th.  Financial assistance is available to families, and Grasty shares the details of the programs which are half-day and full-day sessions. 



The summer camp programs at the Northern Door YMCA will be for kids ages seven to 12 years old.  Grasty adds that field trips include a visit to Hands On Art Studio, The Ridges, a foot golf outing, a beach day and more.  You can register your child or have them volunteer as a leader-in-training to help with summer camps if they are 13 to 16 years old.  You can find more information on the Summer Camp programs at the Door County YMCA by clicking on this link.     

Granary development agreement gets big discussion at Sturgeon Bay Common Council

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council heard from nine people for over 30 minutes during the public comments Tuesday on the Granary Project before going into the business part of its meeting.  Seven speakers spoke in support of the Granary and extending the development agreement, while two people said they were not opposed to the project but that it has taken too long, and the city should not extend the agreement.

The last extension of the development agreement between the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society was to have the Teweles & Brandeis Granary restored and “substantially completed” by April of 2023.

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation President Laurel Hauser updated the council and said that the visible construction work on the Granary should begin in September this year with plans to have the work completed by the end of 2024.

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council convened in a closed session later in the meeting to address the development agreement extension with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society but did not take any action afterward.

 In agenda items, the council approved the second reading of the ordinance to rezone property located on Colorado Street and North 6th Avenue from R-1 and R-2 Single Family Residential to a Planned Unit Development (PUD).  

In the final piece of business, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved the NERR Advisory Committee’s  26-page prospectus document aimed at bolstering the city’s bid to attract the National Estuarine Research Reserve visitor center to be built on the waterfront.  Sturgeon Bay is competing with Green Bay and Marinette as a possible location for a visitor center for the Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Grant makes John Miles Park playground a reality

Thanks in part to your room tax dollars and a new grant received by Destination Door County, the Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced they will be building a new intergenerational playground at John Miles Park in Sturgeon Bay. 


After the old playground was in use for nearly 25 years, the parks are now able to upgrade the equipment to hopefully attract more members of the community to use the playground. The area will accommodate people throughout many generations, and will be able to assist people with disabilities as well. Door County Parks Manager Tim Kazmierczak talked about the impact of the new playground, and why it was so important to build a new one for the community. 



The department was able to put the finishing touches on finalizing the playground with the money they received from Destination Door County in the first round of the Community Investment Fund Grants. Eight total projects were awarded grants with villages and towns like Gibraltar and Sister Bay, to the Door Community Auditorium receiving a grant for a Blues, Roots and Jazz Festival. After the DDC awarded $44,000 towards the construction of the Intergenerational Playground, Kazmierczak said that was what put the plans through the finish line. 



As heard above, there will be a Community Engagement Forum held at the Door County Library on May 22nd from 4:00pm to 6:00pm to talk about the type of equipment the community may want.


The projects that were awarded funding in the first grant cycle include:


Village of Sister Bay awarded $90,000 for a Multi-Jurisdictional Trail

Door County Land Trust awarded $75,000 for the Trail Bridge at Bay Shore Blufflands Nature Preserve

City of Sturgeon Bay awarded $45,551 for an Aquatic Weed Harvester

County of Door awarded $44,000 for an ADA and Intergenerational Playground at John Miles County Park

Door Community Auditorium awarded $40,000 for a Blues, Roots & Jazz Festival

Town of Gibraltar awarded $15,700 for Phase II Fish Creek Beach Playground

Door County Historical Society awarded $10,000 for the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse Restoration

Northeastern WI Antique Power Association awarded $5,000 for an Historic Replica Valmy Service Station

Mountain Tower closes for final repairs

You could be just weeks away from seeing Washington Island like you have not been able to since 2020. Washington Island officials announced this week that the Mountain Tower would be closed until further notice for repairs. The work has been years in the making after the tower had to be closed in 2020 because of the need for repairs. In late 2021, Town of Washington electors strongly supported the board’s decision to buy the land near the Mountain Park Outlook Tower on Washington Island and borrow nearly $100,000 to make the necessary repairs.  It was the second time that year the town’s electors approved a land purchase related to the Mountain Park Outlook Tower since the land surrounding the structure had three different owners. The vote included a small parcel, but one that included nearly three-quarters of the approximately 180 stairs leading up to the tower. Repairs to the supports and the first level of the tower were completed late last summer. This closure will allow repairs to the second level of the tower to be completed, which could take a few weeks.



SeaPerch teams swim home to Washington Island

Two teams from Washington Island School once again made a name for themselves over the weekend at the International SeaPerch Challenge hosted at the University of Maryland. Team Flounder (Teagan McGrane, Corbin Kellerman, and Allison Bennett) finished in 22nd place out of 56 middle school teams, while Team Sea Angels (Jaida Mann, Jaylyn Nickchen, and Julia Pratt) came in 40th place. Before landing in Maryland, teams had to submit a video and engineering plans about their underwater robotic vehicle before they went through a course inside the pool at the University of Maryland. Team Flounder especially excelled in the video portion of the competition, taking eighth place overall. Pratt and Bennett made their second appearance at the International SeaPerch Challenge and said having that experience was important.

Nickchen and Kellerman were in awe of the experience, starting with the police escort all the way to driving their robot in front of hundreds of people in the University of Maryland pool.

Their supervisor, Miranda Dahlke says the kids were already talking about what they would do differently next year, although they still have to wait to see what the theme will be. Dahlke adds that they are looking to potentially expand the school’s robotics programming so future high school students like Kellerman can continue to participate. 


Click here to listen to our full interview


Picture courtesy of Miranda Dahlke

Minor damage caused by fire at Egg Harbor home

A small fire caused about $5,000 worth of damage to a home in the Village of Egg Harbor Monday afternoon. Just after 3 p.m., the Egg Harbor Fire Department was notified of a fire at a home located on Hillside Road. Firefighters discovered some smoke coming from the garage connected to the ranch-style home. Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says they were able to quickly knock down the fire using about 50 gallons of water, keeping the blaze from spreading further than the exterior wall underneath a window sill. Crews had to cut a hole into the wall of the garage to make sure the fire had not spread into the interior portions of the home. The cause of the fire has not been determined and further investigation into the incident is expected to take place later on Tuesday. MacDonald says all of the Northern Door Fire Departments and the City of Sturgeon Bay responded to the incident, which was wrapped up within an hour.

Michigan Street to be closed Thursday for repairs

You will have to use the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge if you plan on driving through downtown Sturgeon Bay on Thursday.


Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash announced on Tuesday that the Michigan Street Bridge would be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Thursday, May 18th from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. State crews will be in town correcting some of the bridge's electrical issues, forcing its spans to be in the open position for much of the closure. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation performed other maintenance on the bridge earlier this month.

Kewaunee County offering soil testing

Extension UW-Madison Kewaunee County is encouraging you to test your soil and not your patience when it comes to your lawn and garden this year.


The extension office is offering soil testing through the University of Wisconsin Soil and Forage Analysis Lab in Madison to identify your soil’s pH levels, percent of organic matter in the soil, and the amount of potassium and phosphorus. Testing your soil will allow you to see what kind of fertilizer applications are right for you and explain why your trees, shrubs, and other plants might be struggling. The base price for soil tests ranges from $8 to $22 based on where you are sampling from and the investment can go up depending on what you are looking to find.


You can find more information on how to get your soil tested by clicking this link.


Picture from Peninsula Pride Farms

Knights of Columbus in Sturgeon Bay recognized for 100 years by Bishop Ricken

Over 200 parishioners and visitors celebrated the Knights of Columbus Sturgeon Bay council’s 100th anniversary Sunday morning at Corpus Christi Church with Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese being the celebrant.  The Knights of Columbus honor guard and members were present along with co-celebrants Fr. Ryan Krueger and Fr. Tony Birdsall assisting Bishop Ricken.  Following the mass. Knights of Columbus State Deputy Corey Coonen presented Grand Knight Jeff Bruemmer with a recognition plaque and message from Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly of New Haven, Connecticut.




The Knights of Columbus Council 2478 was founded on May 27th, 1923, and are a fraternal organization that follows the missions of Charity, Unity, Fraternity and Patriotism.

City looks to finalize key piece of NERR bid

Having a world-class visitor center centered around local research involving Lake Michigan and the Bay of Green Bay potentially in your backyard is a step closer to becoming a reality.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will look to approve a prospectus document aimed at bolstering the city’s bid to attract the National Estuarine Research Reserve visitor center to be built. Sturgeon Bay is competing with Green Bay and Marinette as a possible location for a visitor center for the Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Last December, UW-Green Bay submitted several sites where some of their studies would take place within the reserve, including two that are in Green Bay. Earlier in 2022, the city began looking into potential sites for the visitor center, which will be a central space where public outreach, laboratory analysis, and other operations can take place.


The 26-page prospectus highlights the reasons why Sturgeon Bay should be considered for the future visitor center, which includes its status as a national tourist destination, its renewed focus on sustainability,  and its support for the arts and sciences. The prospectus also shows its six potential sites for the visitor center and features the $500,000 already committed to a future visitor center through the NERR Startup Fund at the Door County Community Foundation. The city has received two dozen letters of support for their bid, ranging from local municipalities and school districts to business owners and private citizens.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also receive an update from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society on the progress of the Door County Granary and approve the purchases of a stormwater easement from Tall Pines Estates when they meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Kinnard Farms, DNR reach settlement on groundwater suit

You may not see liquid manure trucks leaving Kinnard Farms in Casco in the near future as a result of a settlement reached on Monday.


The Midwest Environmental Advocates on behalf of six Kewaunee County neighbors, the Wisconsin Department of National Resources, and Kinnard Farms announced a settlement of a suit on Monday. According to the settlement’s terms, Kinnard Farms will withdraw a legal challenge it launched opposing the permit conditions imposed by the DNR such as instituting herd limits and mandating groundwater monitoring in several locations throughout their operations. It also requires Kinnard Farms to install a manure processing technology by 2027 that would substantially eliminate the use of liquid manure on their fields. The farm would be required to install groundwater monitoring systems in the fields and report the results if they do not reach those marks. The groundwater monitoring was a part of their 2022 permit application.


Jodi Parins was among the six neighbors involved in negotiating the settlement and she expressed her hope that the settlement and the potential of Sedron’s Varcor manure processing technology will allow them to stop being afraid of drinking their water. “Our fight for clean drinking water stretches back more than a decade and has involved many ordinary yet dedicated people, including more than a few who are no longer with us. This is a deeply personal issue for many of us,” said Parins. In March, Kinnard Farms reached a separate settlement that required them to pay $215,000 in fines and upgrade a pair of waste storage facilities and a feed storage area. 


In a statement made then by Kinnard Farms owner Lee Kinnard, he said that they “look forward to pursuing state-of-the-art manure management technology that will allow our family to remain on the cutting edge of conservation and further protect and improve water quality.”


You can read full quotes from Parins, Kinnard, and MEA attorneys below.


“Due to the relatively new nature of the technology, as well as this CAFO’s history of compliance violations, our clients insisted that a clear timeline and strong provisions for ensuring transparency and accountability be incorporated into the final settlement,” said MEA Staff Attorney Adam Voskuil.


Jodi Parins, a neighbor involved in negotiating the settlement, said, “Our fight for clean drinking water stretches back more than a decade and has involved many ordinary yet dedicated people, including more than a few who are no longer with us. This is a deeply personal issue for many of us. This settlement and the potential of Sedron’s Varcor technology will allow us to get on with our lives and, hopefully, stop being afraid of drinking our water.”


“Reaching this settlement allows us to move forward in our work to advocate for increased accountability and oversight of large livestock operations,” said MEA Senior Staff Attorney Dan Gustafson. “MEA’s participation in this case continues to focus attention on the public health risks associated with the expansion of industrial dairy operations in areas that are highly susceptible to groundwater and surface water pollution.”



As part of our ongoing commitment to implement practices that are highly protective of our region’s precious water and soil resources, the Kinnard Farms family is excited about the opportunity to move forward with the installation of state-of-the-art manure management technology.

The installation of this technology, the first such in Wisconsin, is a game changer. It will transform liquid manure into three separate and pathogen-free products: clean water, dry organic fertilizer and an organic ammonia fertilizer. The technology will remove most of the truck traffic from our local roads and greatly reduce the need for long-term storage of liquid manure in lagoons. Removal of the water from the manure hastens our ability to increase our family’s already extensive use of regenerative agricultural practices, allowing us to plant cover crops and eliminate tillage on an even greater number of our fields. These practices are proven to regenerate soil health, prevent erosion and sequester carbon, and are highly protective of water quality.


This settlement agreement represents a breakthrough in recognizing the benefits of accommodating farmer-led innovation to drive science-based environmental solutions on Wisconsin dairies. In facilitating this settlement, the DNR deserves credit for recognizing the potential of the technology, the value of providing flexibility within a regulatory framework and the usefulness of collaboration. We also appreciate the willingness of the other parties in this agreement to come to the table in the pursuit of the common goal of protecting our precious water and soil resources.

Leave No Trace Center shines spotlight on Peninsula State Park

 You can learn how to be a better steward of the environment next month as a part of a national series coming to Peninsula State Park. The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics announced last week that the popular Door County state park has been selected as a 2023 site during its National Get Outdoors Day weekend celebration June 8th-10th. Fifteen sites across the country were selected for visits by the organization and its corporate sponsors, including Peninsula State Park. Destination Door County, Friends of Peninsula State Park, and Department of Natural Resources staff members will participate in the weekend full of activities, which include a spotlight social in the Fish Creek lot, a pop-up event at Eagle Tower, a naturalist-guided hike, and a service project. All of the Spotlight events are free and open to the public. Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert said it is an honor to be chosen to host the event and looks forward to welcoming the community. Peninsula State Park Naturalist Krista Lutzke highlighted the importance of the Leave No Trace principles, especially in areas like Door County where there is a crucial balance between recreational use and environmental stewardship that needs to be met. You can learn more about the Spotlight activities by clicking on this link.


Door County to host 2024 Alice in Dairyland Finals

It will be easy to find Wisconsin agriculture royalty wandering around Door County over the next year.


The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced during its crowning event of the 76th Alice in Dairyland Finals in Walworth County that the 77th edition will be held in Door County. Alice in Dairyland acts as a full-time communications professional for the department, highlighting different kinds of agriculture in Wisconsin. The Door County Farm Bureau applied to become a host of the event and was later accepted by the department.


Corey Geiger, Denise Plassmeyer, and Claire Olson are leading the steering committee to help make the Alice in Dairyland Finals in 2024 a success in Door County. Geiger says the county’s agriculture industry will be in the spotlight for the next year as a result of being named the host for the 2023 Alice in Dairyland Finals.

On Saturday, the DATCP selected Ashley Hagenow of Poynette as Wisconsin's 76th Alice in Dairyland. Hagenow graduated from the University of Minnesota  this month with a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural communication and marketing, with minors in animal science and agricultural and food business management. She will begin her term as the 76th Alice in Dairyland on July 5, 2023. She succeeds the 75th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer of Franksville, who will continue her current term until the transition in July.


Geiger says they are still finalizing the details for where and when Hagenow will make her stops in Door County during her term in the position, including where the finals will take place May 2nd-4th.

DCMC Direct Care to open June 15th

Providing you with efficient care for a variety of common illnesses is the goal of the newest outpost of Door County Medical Center opening next month. On June 15th, Door County Medical Center will open its DirectCare clinic at the corner of State Highway 42/57 and Duluth Avenue. The new clinic will offer a number of health services to address ailments like bug bites, muscle pain, pink eye, and more while also providing point-of-care tests for pregnancies, COVID-19, flu, and rapid strep. Outpatient Services Manager Michelle Johnson says the hope is to get people treated right away so they can feel better quicker.

While the DirectCare clinic can take care of a lot of things, you will still have to go to the hospital for x-rays, stitches, and blood draws or if your child is under the age of one year. You can learn more about the DirectCare clinic by listening to our interview with Johnson and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise by clicking this link. Door County Medical Center will host an open house on June 14th from 4 to 6 p.m.


PIP demolition to close 4th Avenue Monday

After the job was started on Wednesday, you will see the conclusion of the demolition of the former PIP Printing building on Monday. City Engineer Chad Shefchik issued the road closure of 4th Avenue on Friday so crews could safely complete the demolition. The road will be closed to thru traffic between Jefferson Street and Iowa Street from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The intersections at Jefferson Street and Iowa Street will not be affected. The demolition of the PIP Printing building will make way for a new development that will feature a music venue and school called Muse and new apartments. To help fund the improvements being made in the area, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved the creation of Tax Increment District #8 last month.



Door County Board of Realtors offers new tips for home buying

If you have never bought a home or it has been a while since you have, the Door County Board of Realtors wants to make sure you have the tools you need to be successful in your search. In March, the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) said home inventories were historically low across the state, driving down sales while bringing prices up. With this in mind, the Door County Board of Realtors is hosting an educational home buyers seminar with experts across the industry speaking. MaryKay Shumway from the Door County Board of Realtors says a lot has changed over the last three years, making this seminar worth your time whether you are looking to buy for the first time or hope to downsize.

The Home Buyers Education Seminar will take place on Thursday, May 18th starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Door County Community Foundation in Sturgeon Bay or over Zoom. You can click on this link to register.

Southern Door unveils Artist-In-Residence Sculpture

An afternoon filled with art, music, and ice cream was headlined with the much awaited reveal of the Southern Door Artist-In-Residence Sculpture that was built throughout the school year on Thursday. 


Families celebrated the art made by elementary school students, and the High School Band and Choir members wrapped the night up with their spring concert, but the sculpture that sits in front of the Southern Door High School Community Auditorium, stole the show. Southern Door alum and Sturgeon Bay artist Rob Soukup and Southern Door Elementary School art teacher Barb Schriner-Schmitt were the leaders of the project, guiding students, Southern Door faculty, and community members to contribute to the art. 


Schriner-Schmitt and Soukup spoke before the unveiling to thank the countless students, companies and workers that helped make the whole process possible, including the many years working at the Haunted Mansion during the cold October month.




End of COVID public health emergency cause for reflection

You may have not known it, but Thursday marked the end of an over a three-year era in public health around the world. May 11th marked the end of the federal public health emergency surrounding COVID-19, taking with it much of the guidance that accompanied your daily life. The public health emergency was first declared by then President Donald Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on January 31st, 2020, several weeks before COVID-19 would shut down schools and businesses across the country. President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan resolution last month ending the public health emergency and the World Health Organization said last Friday that COVID-19 was no longer a global health emergency. According to Door County Public Health, close to 8,400 positive tests were received since then, leading to 280 hospitalizations and 77 deaths. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise was at the center of it, not just giving updates online but also fighting it on the front line inside the hospital. Looking back, Heise says he would not change a thing about how they responded to the pandemic, whether it was closing the hospital and the skilled nursing center to visitors during the early stages to now where things look almost the same as they did before 2020. Heise does wish there were studies that would have occurred at the moment so federal and state health officials could learn about similar situations in the future.

While COVID-19 is in its endemic phase, many of the programs associated with the pandemic have ended as a result of the expiration of the public health emergency. That means for many Americans, the costs of COVID-19 tests and vaccines may no longer be covered by insurance or federal funds in some cases. Heise encourages you to continue to wash your hands, keep your distance from people if possible, and stay home if you are sick. He also added that if you are really ill do not hesitate to see your doctor.

Measuring up during Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year in the month of May, I write an article or even a series of articles related to mental health awareness month. This year, I will try to do the same and would like to start out with a conversation about feelings. The topic of feelings is usually one that evokes a certain level of resistance, as many see any focus on feelings as being soft or vulnerable. This could not be further from the truth, as feelings and our response to our feelings is one of the main drivers of our actions and outcomes. What has been missing in many of the conversations about feelings, is a methodical and objective approach to the subject.


I recently read a book which did a deep dive on the subject of feelings and I would like to share the main premise of the book and how it can assist each and every one of us is managing our feelings rather than our feelings managing us. The title of the book is “Permission to Feel” written by Dr. Marc Brackett, and in the book, he makes use of an acronym to walk through the steps in which we can effectively both understand and incorporate our feelings in a way that brings about growth both personally and in our relationships.


The acronym is RULER, and it goes like this: The first step is to “Recognize” that we are in fact experiencing an emotion, which of course we all are at almost every given moment. This may just be a pause, as we stop and acknowledge the presence of a given emotion. Many times, we may not understand why we are experiencing that specific emotion in that moment. That brings us to “Understand”. This is where conduct a quick self-check as to why this emotion has surfaced. It may be because of a previous experience, or that it is a critical moment in our lives. The key here is to understand why we are feeling what we are feeling. We can then proceed to “Labeling” the emotion we are feeling. This may seem pointless as we have already recognized that we are feeling an emotion, but we must be careful to give that emotion it proper title. You could start this process and say “I’m feeling angry” but after you give it some consideration, you may realize that the emotion is not actually anger, but possibly fear or restlessness. This is important as we then go to the next step which is “Expressing” our emotions to those around us. Many times, those closest to us see our emotions long before we do, and it is important to be able to effectively communicate how we are feeling in a given situation to those around us, so that they can better understand how to respond. This prevents misunderstandings which result in inappropriate responses in our relationships.


The final step and my personal favorite is where we take personal responsibility for our emotions and self “Regulate”. Too often in our society, we expect others to change their response or reactions to suit our needs, or adjust their emotions to appease our current emotional state. This is both unrealistic and unhealthy to expect this from anyone. The fact that I may be experiencing an emotion such as anger, does not give me license to disregard the emotional state of others or try to justify my inappropriate actions. We are all accountable to each other and self-regulation is the key to that accountability.


The fact is, we are all human beings, existing in a constant state of one emotion or another. Our ability, or inability to manage our emotions can have an impact either positive or negative. We spend so much or time having conversations about issues and matters that we have no control over. I think our time would be better spent having conversations about the things can control and our emotions are in fact one of the few things in life we can control and ultimately manage. So, the next time you ask someone, “How are you feeling?” consider turning that into an actual conversation rather than a passing comment.

Friendship inspires latest Ukraine support effort

When you see approximately 130 Ukraine-themed planters this weekend at Bonnie Brooke Gardens in Sturgeon Bay, owner Paul Kell sees a tribute to his friend.


Kell and Viacheslav Sikazan became friends 15 years ago after the Ukrainian citizen emigrated from the port city of Odesa to the United States. Odesa has become a flashpoint for violence over the last year as Russian forces view the city as an important economic driver for the entire country as it continues its takeover attempt. “Slava” has lost friends as a result of the ongoing war in Ukraine. Kell’s friendship has gone beyond standing up at Slava’s wedding as a groomsman and providing the flower arrangements for the ceremony. As Slava applies to become a freelance linguist for the federal government, Kell is supporting his efforts by testifying on his friend’s behalf so he can obtain temporary protected status on his way to becoming an American citizen.


In his honor, Bonnie Brooke Gardens will sell Ukraine-themed decorative planters through June 13th, with all profits going to support the Energy of Rebirth charity which supplies humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and equipment to support the war effort and rebuilding Ukraine's war-torn infrastructure.


The sale comes on the heels of similar efforts throughout Door County. Approximately $1 million has been donated by Door County Candle in Carlsville to Razom for Ukraine since the war started early last year.

New program to link seniors with part-time jobs

Finding your parents or grandparents a part-time job could be easier in the future thanks to the work of Do Good Door County. The new organization will introduce a new program called MatchUp during a presentation at the Door County Economic Development Corporation on May 23rd at 11 a.m. The program is designed to help older adults who want to find a part-time job find employers who need reliable and experienced workers. Do Good Door County’s Cynthia Germain says their surveys and listening sessions showed that older adults in the area do not just want to be idle all day.

The event will also be available to attend over Zoom. Last year, Bloomberg magazine estimated that because of inflation and depleted savings, people ages 75 and up in the workforce will grow over 95 percent during the next decade.



Washington Island sees off SeaPerch teams

A group of Washington Island School students hope to show you and the world once again that size does not matter when it comes to underwater robotics. The Washington Island Police Department escorted the members of Team Flounder (Teagan McGrane, Corbin Kellerman, and Allison Bennett) and Team Sea Angels (Jaida Mann, Jaylyn Nickchen, and Julia Pratt) to the Washington Island Ferry dock ahead of their date at the International SeaPerch Challenge on the campus of the University of Maryland.



It is the second straight year a team from Washington Island has participated in the competition and the third time a Door County school has qualified. The event is nothing new for Bennett and Pratt, who were on last year’s team that took 14th out of 56 teams in the competition. Science teacher and SeaPerch team supervisor Miranda Dahlke said earlier this year that the experience from last year should benefit them this time around.

Teams have to maneuver through two different courses in a pool along with making a presentation. Pool check-ins begin at 8 a.m. EDT on Saturday with the team presentations beginning at 10 a.m. EDT. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT.


Pictures and video courtesy of Washington Island School District

Algoma's Luedke preparing for FBLA Nationals

Even after her softball season ends and her graduation on May 21st, Teagen Luedke will still be representing Algoma High School. Last month, Luedke qualified for the Future Business Leaders of America National Leadership Conference after taking third in the written test for health care administration at the state conference in Green Bay. While she admits her studying could have been a little better for the 100-question test, she credits her summer working at Door County Medical Center as being the most beneficial preparation she had for the competition. She was able to perform well despite being involved in several other activities, keeping her grades up in school, and leading the Algoma softball team to an over .500 record as an All-Packerland Conference performer. She credits sticking to a schedule for her success.



The FBLA National Leadership Conference will take place from June 27th through 30th in Atlanta. After her days at Algoma High School are officially behind her, Luedke will attend St. Norbert College where she will play softball and take pre-medical courses on her way to becoming an obstetrician.

Knights of Columbus in Sturgeon Bay celebrates 100 years of service

You might have seen the members of this organization last weekend around Sturgeon Bay giving away Tootsie Rolls to raise money for the Sunshine House and special education programs at area schools.  The Knights of Columbus Council 2478 in Sturgeon Bay will be celebrating its 100th anniversary this weekend with Bishop David Ricken of the Green Bay Catholic Diocese being the presider at the 10:30 a.m. mass at Corpus Christi Church on Sunday.  Grand Knight Jeff Bruemmer shares the significance of marking the anniversary and having Bishop Ricken participating as the celebrant.



The Knights of Columbus has about 120 members and participates in local youth programs every year like the Free Throw Championship and Christmas Poster Contest.  The organization will be holding a special dinner marking the 100th anniversary on Saturday evening at the Arle Memorial building commemorating the past Grand Knights, Faithful Navigators, and deceased members of council who served over the years. 



Token program returns to two Door County farmer's markets

Your FoodShare dollars could once again get you nutritious food directly from local farmers this summer in Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport. The United Way of Door County is bringing back its token program for another season at the Sturgeon Bay and Jacksonport farmer’s markets. FoodShare/SNAP beneficiaries can exchange their funds for one-dollar tokens to use at select vendors. Last year, the United Way of Door County sold $2,900 worth of tokens between the two farmer’s markets, up from $1,800 the previous year when the program was limited to just Sturgeon Bay. United Way of Door County’s Amy Kohnle says it is a great program for customers and vendors alike.

Kohnle says there are currently no plans to expand the program to other farmer’s markets in the county due to unreliable internet that is needed to connect with FoodShare accounts and the lack of available volunteers. The Jacksonport Farmer’s Market officially opens for the year on May 16th at Lakeside Park while Sturgeon Bay will start theirs on June 3rd.

Scotties kick off spring event season

The sounds of barking you hear next Saturday are not just from the dogs, but from the start of the special event season in Door County. 


The Door Scottie Rally will host its 23rd annual parade on May 20th, inviting other Scottish terriers to partake in their favorite attire. This year’s theme is “The Wonderful Wizard of Scotz.” Organizer Michele Geiger-Bronsky says the event is not just a lot of fun, it also supports a great cause.

While the Saturday Parade of SCOTS is open to the public, you must register in advance to participate in the two-day Door Scottie Rally. The parade generally arrives at the Bailey Harbor Town Square by 11:30 p.m. Since 2001, the Door Scottie Rally has raised more than $484,000.

Packers schedule arrival big business day for the area

Festivals and Packers games are among the things you have to consider when booking your stay in Door County during the fall.


The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman and Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber leaked the upcoming schedule at approximately 8 a.m. on Thursday, almost 12 hours before the NFL’s official release. According to the leaked schedule, it appears the Packers will only host three of its eight home games before November, avoiding two of Door County’s biggest weekends in October for Pumpkin Patch in Egg Harbor and Fall Fest in Sister Bay. You can see the schedule below.


With more than 80 percent of fans attending games at Lambeau Field coming from more than 50 miles away according to a 2019 economic study, schedule release day becomes one of the biggest booking events of the year for area lodging owners, including those in Door County. One wrinkle that could still happen with NFL owners' approval would allow for games late in the season to be flexed from Sunday to Thursday night. The Packers are against the proposal, but USA Today Network-Wisconsin reporter Rich Ryman suggests the league could still approve the move later this month. Destination Door County’s Jon Jarosh understands why players, coaches, and some fans hate the proposal, but he also sees how it could benefit lodging destinations like ours.

While the contrast is not as deep as it once was due to online ticketing services, but Jarosh says gold package games are generally better for Door County because those games have traditionally gone to more Milwaukee-area residents. 



Week 1, 9/10: @ Chicago Bears (3:25 PM - FOX)

Week 2, 9/17: @ Atlanta Falcons (Noon - FOX)

Week 3, 9/24: vs New Orleans Saints (Noon - Fox)

Week 4, 9/28: vs Detroit Lions (7:15 PM - Amazon Prime - Thursday Night Football)

Week 5, 10/9: @ Las Vegas Raiders (7:15 PM - ESPN - Monday Night Football)

Week 6: BYE

Week 7, 10/22: @ Denver Broncos (3:25 PM - CBS)

Week 8, 10/29: vs Minnesota Vikings (Noon- FOX)

Week 9, 11/5: vs Los Angeles Rams (Noon - FOX)

Week 10, 11/12: @ Pittsburgh Steelers (Noon - CBS)

Week 11, 11/19: vs Los Angeles Chargers (Noon - FOX)

Week 12, 11/23: @ Detroit Lions (11:30 AM - FOX - Thanksgiving)

Week 13, 12/3: vs Kansas City Chiefs (7:20 - NBC)

Week 14, 12/11: @ New York Giants (7:15 PM - ABC - Monday Night Football)

Week 15, 12/17: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Noon - FOX)

Week 16, 12/24: @ Carolina Panthers (Noon - FOX)

Week 17, 12/31: @ Minnesota Vikings (7:20 PM - NBC - Sunday Night Football)

Week 18: vs Chicago Bears (TBD)

Tooley named to Kids from Wisconsin for final encore

You will see a familiar face adorn the stage for Kids from Wisconsin for one final curtain call this summer. Southern Door alum Brady Tooley was named earlier this spring to his fourth cast of Kids from Wisconsin, which has scoured the state for the past 55 years for the best young singers and musicians to join them on a summer-long tour. This represents the fourth time Tooley has been named to Kids from Wisconsin after earning his spot ahead of the pandemic. Before last year’s stop in Egg Harbor, Tooley said it has meant a lot to him to be able to perform with the troupe and to meet a lot of new people along the way.

Tooley is currently attending Columbia College in Chicago where he is studying musical theater and stage combat. The Kids from Wisconsin’s Starstruck Tour, which will include selections from famous award shows like the Tony Awards, Oscars, and Grammys, kicks off in Mukwonago on June 30th. Tooley will get to perform in front of his hometown crowd on July 24th when Kids from Wisconsin performs at the Southern Door Auditorium. Tooley’s final performance with the troupe will take place at UW-Whitewater on August 18th following a residency at the Wisconsin State Fair.  

Destination Door County reinvests $800,000 into local parks

The room tax dollars you see come into Door County will benefit the local parks you get to experience every day. Destination Door County announced at Tuesday’s annual tourism breakfast that it would be investing $800,000 into the area's state, county, and municipal parks. The special one-time investment is made possible by the higher-than-anticipated room tax collections in 2022, which were just under $11.1 million. That is a 52 percent increase over 2021 and more than double its third-highest total in 2019. Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert says the investment is the latest example of the tourism organization giving back to the community that makes the area a special place to visit.

The $800,000 donation to the Door County parks is separate from its Community Investment Fund efforts, but it will have to follow the same rules as it does deal with tax dollars. The annual breakfast hosted at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday serves as the kickoff to the season in Door County and coincides with National Travel and Tourism Week. This year, Destination Door County is sponsoring several events to mark the occasion.


You can hear our full interview with Julie Gilbert and Jon Jarosh by clicking this link.

Southern Door unveiling of Sculpture Project Thursday

You are invited this Thursday to witness the grand unveiling of a Southern Door School District year-long Artist-In-Residence Sculpture project.  Alumnus of Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay-based artist Rob Soukup with the collaboration of Elementary Art teacher Barb Schriner-Schmitt led the school and community collaboration starting with 4K through 5th-grade student sketching inspirations. Schriner-Schmitt says explains the year-long process to get the project completed and how the funding was procured.



Middle and High Schoolers, with help from staff and community members, were then tasked with designing and building a Corten steel outdoor sculpture and an indoor mobile sculpture.  As part of the celebration, a student sculpture and artwork exhibit in the Eagle Gym hallway space will occur from 5:30 to 7:00 pm with elementary students playing music.  The presentation and unveiling of the outdoor sculpture will take place at 6:15 in front of the auditorium.  At 7:00 pm, after the Arts Celebration, the Southern Door High School Spring Concert will be held in the auditorium.

Door County YMCA featuring Dining by the Bay May 25th

You can experience a popular evening of fine dining that features some of Door County’s best chefs at the annual Dining by the Bay later this month.  The Door County YMCA is sponsoring the event to help support the Membership for All program.  Welcome Center Coordinator Makayla Thoma says the evening offers great fellowship and a unique five-course dining experience prepared by talented cooks, including a “mystery chef”.



Thoma adds that the menu will include fish, meat, and vegetarian courses.   A live auction will also be part of the festivities at the Dining by the Bay which will be held at Maxwelton Braes on Thursday, May 25th from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.  You can order tickets by calling 920-743-4949 or online at


Live Auction items include:

Crave Cooking for 4

Chicago Cubs game and stay

Golf by the Bay Foursome/Music by the Bay 4 tickets/ YMCA swag

Packer Tickets - Any game except Bears Game - two tickets

Golf Outing


Gardening starts with perennials for now 

Although the weather has turned more seasonally warmer this week, your planting of flower beds and gardens of annual gardens should wait until late May. Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says you can start getting your perennial plants looking better right now with some trimming.  He shares tips on tending to the perennials to help them thrive and grow better this spring.



Maas adds that watering plants is essential for perennials in early spring, regardless of the wetter-than-usual conditions the area has experienced lately. He notes that fertilizing is best done when plants show only a little growth. You can find more tips on spring plant care here.

Construction update:  Kewaunee Public Works restoring water service

You might have to be a little more patient if you drive through Kewaunee this week.  The City of Kewaunee is working on repairing water service in the next couple of days just south of the Harrison Street and Milwaukee Street (Highway 42) intersection.  The areas along both sides of Milwaukee Street will not be available for any parking and an altered traffic pattern will be in effect.  The crews began Wednesday morning and plan on having the project completed by mid-morning on Friday.  Flagging operations will be taking place throughout the area.  Kewaunee officials ask that you avoid the area on Wednesday and drive cautiously until the work is completed.  

Jefferson Street downtown to close Wednesday for razing of building

A portion of Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay will be closed during the day Wednesday as an old downtown business building comes down.  The former PIP Printing building will be demolished and Jefferson Street, between North 3rd Avenue and North 4th Avenue, will be closed to traffic from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.  The north and southbound traffic on Third and Fourth Avenues will be maintained throughout the work.


City of Sturgeon Bay Engineering Technician Brian Spetz recommends that drivers and pedestrians avoid this area if at all possible.  Otherwise, you are advised to use caution for your safety and the safety of the workers.

German shepherd rescue shines as a sign of community

A walk down Memorial Drive turned into a moment of community pride for Sturgeon Bay residents Laura Van Dreese and her husband Jon. The Van Dreeses were taking their usual walk down Memorial Drive after 3 p.m. when they noticed an 11-month-old German shepherd dog named Haley walk across the road. The couple kept an eye on her while having a conversation with a neighbor until the dog eventually jumped into the water. A call to the non-emergency line later caused a chain of events that led to one man borrowing another’s kayak, a boat owner, and the Sturgeon Bay Police and Fire Departments on their respective vessels looking to lend a helping hand. Van Dreese says without the joint effort of everyone involved, the story likely has a different ending.



Haley was returned to her owners, who had reported her missing at approximately 10 a.m. earlier that day.



Nationwide food drive comes at critical time

When you throw your birthday card in the mailbox for your grandma on Saturday, make sure you put a few cans of soup nearby too. The National Association of Letter Carriers is conducting its 31st annual Stamp Out Food Drive on Saturday. Nationwide, the Stamp Out Food Drive has turned into the largest one-day campaign to collect food for needy families, collecting over 41 million pounds of food in 2022 and 1.82 billion pounds since the program started. Darrel LeCloux has organized the effort locally for several years, helping collect tens of thousands of pounds of food countywide every year. It comes at an important time for food pantries like Lakeshore CAP according to Sandi Soik who says they are receiving less food from the United States Department of Agriculture and more requests from the community.

If you want to participate in this year’s Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, you can place a bag of non-perishable food near your mailbox before their letter carrier arrives so it can then be delivered to local community churches, food banks, and pantries for distribution.

Producer-led watershed groups to get more state support

You can expect to see even more conservation strategies get implemented in Door and Kewaunee counties as a result of a bill signed into law by Governor Tony Evers on Monday. Introduced by Rep. Joel Kitchens and more than two dozen other members of the Assembly, the bill allows producer-led groups like Peninsula Pride Farms to be in a single watershed or adjacent ones. The bill also opens up a new pool of money for the groups to apply for from the state’s Department of Natural Resources as lake and river protection grants. Peninsula Pride Farms most recently received $37,960 in grant money from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, funding the organization’s president Duane Ducat says goes to its cost-sharing programs where over 50 percent of its members participated last year.


In a statement, Evers said that “farmers and producers are leading the way on some of our water conservation efforts because they know firsthand the value of clean water and fruitful land. I am glad to be signing this bipartisan bill today to expand opportunities for more producers to access this program so we can work together to improve surface water quality across the state.” Farmers received additional good news this week with improving weather conditions. The planting of corn, soybeans, and potatoes is either at or ahead of last year’s pace, but anywhere between two to five days behind the five-year average. That progress was made with only about four days suitable for fieldwork and approximately three days suitable the week before.

Traffic stops, jail admissions go up in Door County

You likely saw more lit-up Door County Sheriff’s Department vehicles in 2022 than you have seen in a few years. Sheriff Tammy Sternard released the 2022 annual report on Tuesday, which recaps the department’s efforts across all of its divisions.


The  Patrol Division issued more citations and ordinance violations in 2022 than they have in the last five years with 1838, compared to 1603 in 2021 and 1491 in 2019. The department also saw the number of OWI arrests go up sharply to 132, the only time it has cracked the 100-mark since 2018. The patrol division saw three fatal crashes in 2022, which was one more than it experienced in 2021. As a whole, the department responded to 638 crashes, one less than last year and more than 60 fewer than the previous high of 699 in 2019.


The county jail saw 756 admissions in 2022, 102 more than in 2022 but still a far cry from 2018 and 2019 when the admissions were over 870 on the year. The average daily population ticked up from 64 to 67, but it was still lower than what was seen in 2018 (79 people/day) and 2019 (80 people/day).


The annual report also highlights the success of its recently established drug treatment court, adult and youth diversion programs, and the department’s marine and snowmobile enforcement patrols. You can read the full annual report by clicking on this link.

Archaeological dig starts Wednesday at Crossroads

You can watch, and even participate, in an archaeological dig experience in Sturgeon Bay this week.  The “Stories of the People of the Cove Estuary” is the theme of an educational outreach program at Crossroads at Big Creek that begins on Wednesday. The dig will be held at the Cove Estuary Preserve between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on weekdays from May 10 through May 18.  Bob Jeske, a retired professor from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, explained last fall the significant finds the excavation has uncovered in the past seven years. 



Crossroads will also be highlighting other stories of the Late Woodland Native American people.  Their history in Door County which dates back more than 1,000 years, will be featured during free daily tours at the Bertha and Hans Hanson House from 2:00-4:00 until Thursday, May 18.



Video of last archaeological dig at Crossroads in September 2022



100+Women Who Care of Door County awards $28K ahead of fifth anniversary

The 100+Women Who Care (100+WWC) of Door County once again made sure some of your favorite non-profit organizations received the critical funds needed to make a difference in your community.


Last month, the 100+WWC awarded $28,000 in grants to three separate organizations. The Boys and Girls Club of Door County received the primary award of $14,000 while two others, Friends of Gibraltar and The Clearing Folk School, received grants of $7,000. The Boys and Girls Club of Door County, which is part of the Boys and Girls Club of the Bay and Lakes Region, plans on using its grant dollars to support the staffing, programming costs, and summer scholarships at Camp LeVoy, its all-day summer enrichment program.


The awards were part of the latest philanthropic efforts made by the 100+WWC, which is currently made up of over 380 givers. In the almost five years that they have been an organization, the 100+WWC has awarded $427,000 to 50 different Door County organizations. They will celebrate their fifth anniversary at their next Giving Circle event in Egg Harbor on July 17th at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center where the Newport Wilderness Society, the Peninsula Symphonic Band, and the Open Door Bird Sanctuary will be recognized and awarded grants of their own.


Picture of 100+WWC with the Friends of Gibraltar submitted by Paula Latta

Boys and Girls Club CEO loving new Door County connection

The smile you see on the face of the Boys and Girls Club of the Bay and Lakes Region CEO Lisa Kogan-Praska when she visits Door County is real and sincere. Kogan-Praska was named the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay three years ago after a career that included a six-year stint as the President and CEO of Catalpa Health in Appleton. The Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay has extended its reach over the last 12-18 months as it formed partnerships with the organizations in Shawano and Door County. Kogan-Praska says they learned a lot from their experience working with the Shawano club that they are making sure they apply to Door County, though she admits she is taking plenty of ideas with her as well.

She is excited for what is to come for the Boys and Girls Club of the Bay and Lakes Region, including its summer programming and the expansion of its mental health resources for its members. You can listen to our whole interview by clicking on this link.

Twenty high school fine arts students honored by Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary

Some of the best high school artists across several disciplines that you have seen over the past year were honored Sunday by the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary. Twenty students from Southern Door, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, and Sturgeon Bay high schools were recognized for their contributions during the 21st Annual Rotary Fine Arts Awards of Excellence. Teachers at all five Door County high schools could nominate students in the areas of instrumental music, choral music, visual arts, drama, forensics, and journalism. We have the award winners and their disciplines listed below:


  • Sevastopol: Lucas Apsey (Choral Music), Teagan Ellefson (Journalism), Scott Derkez (Art), Reese Schauske (Instrumental Music), and Sean Eicher (Drama)
  • Gibraltar: Thelonious “Theo” Goode (Instrumental Music), Nick Davis (Choral Music), Bekka Porter (Drama), Emerson Lecy (Forensics), and Makenzie Koehler (Journalism)
  • Southern Door: Beyounce Hernandez (Instrumental Music), Zachery Rhoads (Choral Music), Gary Barta (Drama), Michael Nessinger  (Forensics), Emily Purdy (Art), and Amanda Austin (Journalism)
  • Sturgeon Bay: Rayna Hoffman (Art), Ainsley Stephan (Instrumental Music), Noelia Sanchez Rodriquez (Choral Music), and Ian Clay Estes (Drama)

Michigan Street Bridge closes after DUI-related crash

An overnight crash closed down a lane of the Michigan Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay early Sunday morning. 


Sturgeon Bay Police officers responded to the Michigan Street Bridge near 1st Avenue just before 2:15 a.m. after the westbound traveling motorist lost control of their truck before crashing into a concrete wall. The contact sent the truck rotating clockwise across the roadway before it rolled over. The truck came to a stop on the driver’s side of the vehicle. According to the police report, the driver, who was underage, appeared to be asleep or fatigued following the crash and he was possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


The results of the blood alcohol test are pending, but the driver was cited for operating a vehicle while under the influence.  While he did not need to be transported to the hospital to be treated for possible injuries, his truck did have to be towed away because of the damage it sustained. Crews were able to reopen the Michigan Street Bridge by 3:10 a.m. Sunday. 

Peninsula Symphonic Band awards Summer Camp scholarships

To help encourage the musical development of students from the schools in Door County, the Peninsula Symphonic Band announced six middle and high school students received scholarships for upcoming summer band camps.  This year’s high school recipients are Benjamin Grota from Southern Door, Ezra Linnan of Sevastopol High School, and Cora Carrier of Baileys Harbor of Gibraltar High School.  Other award winners includes, Miles Richmond, Olive Wisniewski, Baileys Harbor, Katja Nelson-Newman, Sister Bay, from Gibraltar Middle School.  


“We are very pleased to present these outstanding young musicians with these scholarships,” said Peninsula Symphonic Band Music Director Jason Palmer. “We want to do all that we can to encourage young music students to advance their skills and musicianship because doing so helps to make their school music programs that much stronger.”


Each student will receive a $350 scholarship to be used towards their summer band camp tuition this year.  The scholarship was funded through monies raised at performances in the past year by the Peninsula Symphonic Band and the Swingin’ Door Big Band. 


Photo submitted :  back row -- Cora Carrier, Ezra Linnan and Katja Nelson; front row -- Miles Richmond and Olive Wisniewski

Ephraim war memorial repair efforts to be discussed Tuesday

The future of an Ephraim war memorial commemorating the service of 1st Lt. Ellis Eugene Helgeson is up for discussion when the village board meets on Tuesday. According to the Ephraim Historical Foundation, Helgeson was a pilot in the United States Air Force when he was killed during the siege of Khe Sahn, which was one of the longest and deadliest battles of the Vietnam War. Helgeson was from Cincinnati, but he was a frequent visitor to Ephraim where his relatives owned the Edgewater Resort. A memorial was erected near Anderson Dock and dedicated in his honor in 1968, though Door County Advocate archives report that the family would have been honored if other Ephraim residents who gave their lives for their country would also be commemorated. In the years since the obelisk and the plaque have deteriorated to the point that repairs need to be made at the risk of losing the memorial. Ephraim resident Bill Schult told the Ephraim Board that he received a bid of $11,000 to make the repairs with the Helgeson family willing to donate $10,000 for the cause. The bidding contractor did express some concern with the project, not knowing what he would find once they began work on it. It is just the latest discussion surrounding Anderson Dock, which received approval for village officials to begin looking into improvements that need to be made to ensure it also stands the test of time. The Ephraim Village Board will meet on Tuesday at its village hall at 7 p.m.


Picture courtesy of Ephraim Historical Foundation


Hussong embracing final days as L-C principal

Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School Principal Jolene Hussong hopes you miss her as much as her Goldendoodle Elsie when she retires at the end of the school year. Hussong will say goodbye to Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School after two decades at the helm. She came to the district after more than a decade of education experience at schools in the Howard-Suamico area.


During her tenure, Hussong helped the intermediate school improve its test scores over the last decade improving from a cumulative test score of 73.5 in 2011-2012 to 95.0 in 2020-2021. The building has received the state's highest rating on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s school report cards each of the last six school years. Maybe even more important to Hussong than the test scores that have been achieved are relationships that have been fostered over time. Hussong says when she arrived in Luxemburg for the 2003-2004 school year, the teachers and administrators were not close with each other as they are now. Her relationship with staff members and students became very evident in 2018 following the passing of her previous dog. It led Luxemburg-Casco School District to employ a therapy dog program at its building while Hussong was able to fill a void in her heart with Elsie.



There is no counting down the days for Hussong, who says she is working to make sure the days count.



Hussong will enjoy retirement, but she does not plan on disappearing from the field entirely. Along with helping in the transition of her successor, Heather Mleziva, she hopes to take on a mentoring role with other education leaders in the area. Don’t worry: she also plans on bringing Elsie to school occasionally to say hi to students and staff members as well.

Center Stage Showcase gives local performers chances to shine

A nearly sold-out Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton held Northeast Wisconsin’s most talented high school performers for the 2023 Center Stage Award Showcase Saturday night. 


Performers and students ranging from Weyauwega-Fremont to Southern Door and 29 other schools showcased their talents throughout the night. The event began with a red carpet procession, where students were able to wear prom-like outfits and walk the red carpet into the PAC. The Showcase featured live performances, recognition of outstanding achievements and a celebration of all of the schools that completed their musicals this school year. 


Southern Door’s Hunter Malvitz and Luxemburg-Casco’s Joseph Thuecks were nominated for Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role awards at this year’s event. Malvitz was Gomez Addams in Southern Door’s production of The Addams Family, and Thuecks was Harry in Luxemburg-Casco’s Mamma Mia! 


Southern Door and Luxemburg-Casco were the only local schools represented at the showcase, with both schools having two performers in the closing number, as they capped off the night with “We’re All in This Together” from High School Musical.

Southern Door grad lays down arms for cameras in nature

Bringing you a little closer to nature while on a hunt is the goal of freelance photographer and 2013 Southern Door alum Keagan Keddell. Growing up in the Brussels area, Keddell says he and his friends dreamed of doing hunting and fishing shows. It was not until he became a guide in Alaska that he started to take a step toward his childhood dream. He learned that as much as he loved telling stories about the places he would take people fishing and hunting, it was more powerful to show a video or picture. Over time, he put down the guns, bows, and fishing poles and committed to hunting for the perfect shot with his camera. Keddell says that the decision has taken him places he never thought he would go.

Keddell routinely posts his work on his social media feeds, but you will also be able to see his video work in action when new episodes of The Crush with Lee and Tiffany debut this fall. You can listen to the full interview by clicking here.






Pictures courtesy of Keagan Keddell

Bringing awareness to National Prevention Week

Next week; May 7th through May 13th has been designated as National Prevention Week bringing awareness to the many issues that our communities struggle with. The three primary goals of National Prevention week are:

  • To Involve Communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies.
  • To Foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health
  • To promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications.

Sunday is marked as Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use. We have seen an increase in awareness of the health hazards associated with tobacco use, however there is much work left to do especially in the area of youth tobacco use.


Monday is marked as Prevention of Underage Drinking, which is an issue we have spent many resources in both education and enforcement and continue to reach out to the community, educating our young people about the many dangers and pitfalls of underage alcohol consumption. We have seen successes in this area as we now have the widespread adoption of school codes which hold the students accountable if they make the choice to consume alcohol. This message must be followed through in the home as well so that a consistent message is sent increasing our chance to truly influence our youth.


Tuesday is marked as Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use. This is notably our biggest challenge in our communities as we continue to see widespread use of varying drugs. Over the years we have seen the popularity of various narcotics come and go, but the presence of drugs in general continues to take its toll on both those who live with the addictions as well as those who die from them. We must continue our vigilance to the suppression and ultimately eradication of these drugs from our communities. These efforts must be two-fold in that we work to eliminate the availability through enforcement while at the same time eliminating the demand through treatment. We are very fortunate to have professionals dedicated to each of these efforts in their respective disciplines.


Wednesday is marked as Prevention of Alcohol Abuse. This issue is separate from prevention of underage alcohol because it is in fact its own serious issue facing those under the legal age as well as those who can legally consume. This issue includes such behaviors as binge drinking which unfortunately Wisconsin is rated as one of the top states for this behavior. This also brings awareness to alcoholism in general, which has claimed too many marriages, jobs, families, and even lives. Very few of us are able to say we have not seen this sickness affect someone, and we must call awareness to this issue even if that person is not receptive. I have always said, I would rather have someone angry with me and alive than to attend the funeral of a friend.


Thursday is marked for Suicide Prevention. This is not always easy to identify and unfortunately is not recognized until after the tragic event. Our most effective tool to combat suicide is our own daily interaction with those around us. We must always be sensitive to what our family and friends are going through. What might seem like a small matter to us may seem insurmountable to the next person. In support of this effort, there will be a QPR suicide prevention presentation on Monday May 8th at 11:00. This will be held at our Kewaunee County Fairgrounds EXPO Hall in Luxemburg. For more information, please feel free to give me a call (920)255-1100


Friday is marked as the Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavior Well Being. While our well being in these areas may be directly tied to the decisions we make or the circumstances we find ourselves in, for some it is truly a medical condition. We must all be compassionate to those around us who may be suffering from a mental health condition which in many cases is only manageable through constant medical attention.


For more information visit the National Substance and Mental Health Services Administration at

Spritka fills Sturgeon Bay School Board vacancy

A familiar name whether you live in Sturgeon Bay or not will finish out a remaining term on the Sturgeon Bay School Board of Education.


Superintendent Dan Tjernagel announced on Thursday that Wayne Spritka has been selected to fill the vacant spot. Spritka is no stranger to public service, having served as the Door County Facilities and Parks Department Director and a member of the Sturgeon Bay Fire and Police Commission and Sturgeon Bay Zoning Board of Appeals.


Spritka will serve out the term until next April, and at that time the Sturgeon Bay Board of Education anticipates that there will be three positions with three-year terms and one other for a two-year term.

Southern Door student charged in threatening email case

An 18-year-old Southern Door High School student has been charged with making terrorist threats and the unlawful use of computerized communication systems in connection to a series of threatening emails sent last weekend.


Matthew Zittlow allegedly sent an email from a fictitious account to a select group of students telling them they were on a hit list. The incident triggered a series of events that led to an increased police presence at Southern Door High School on Monday and Tuesday and a notification about the threat was sent to families in the district. More charges could be on the way following Zittlow’s bond hearing that was held in Door County Circuit Court at 1 p.m. Friday.


No other information is being released as the investigation is still ongoing with additional interviews to be conducted and electronic devices to be analyzed. Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard and District Attorney Colleen Nordin reiterated their stance that there will be no tolerance for threats aimed at area schools and all threats will be treated as credible.



The Southern Door School District released its own statement shortly after, saying the district will not have any additional comments beyond the Door County Sheriff’s Department media release, but that the school takes student safety very seriously, and thanks everyone involved in resolving this case.

Musicians address food insecurity in harmony

You will be able to catch beautiful music while helping your neighbors in need during Mother’s Day weekend. Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Midsummer’s Music, Colin and Friends Concerts, and Ephraim Moravian Church are joining forces to present two free Music for Food concerts in support of ending hunger in Door County. During the concerts, Mona Christensen, Allyson Fleck, Roy Meyer, Cynthia Stiehl, and Colin Welford will present a number of arrangements for flute, violin, viola, keyboard, and voice. Fleck and Christensen say the events are a great way to show how people use their gifts to collaborate with others and support the community.

The concerts are scheduled for 3 p.m. at Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall in Egg Harbor on May 13th and Ephraim Moravian Church on May 14th. The concerts are free to attend, but food and monetary donations for the United Way of Door County and the Door County Food Pantry Coalition are encouraged. You can make your advanced reservations by clicking here.

Donation extends Door County Land Trust's Legacy Preserve

Amphibians, birds, and you will have more room to roam at the Door County Land Trust’s Legacy Preserve in the Town of Clay Banks thanks to a recent land donation.


The Door County Land Trust announced on Friday the donation of 150 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline by Kathryn, Luke, and Marta Bogdanowicz. The land was purchased in 1980 for the purpose of camping according to Marta, who grew up skipping rocks and eating wild strawberries along the Lake Michigan waters. DCLT Land Program Director Jesse Koyen says the donation of the property is important because it sits within a major migratory bird route and it can have a positive impact on the area’s water quality.


The Door County Land Trust plans on raising $25,000 to help complete the land donation by the Bogdanowicz family and to ensure funds are available for the ongoing upkeep of the shoreline property.


Picture courtesy of the Door County Land Trust

Northern Door Program Center to be dedicated to Kane Family

You can thank Jackie and Steve Kane for the experience you have at the Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Centers and the Door County YMCA is making sure that gratitude is expressed for a lifetime. The Door County YMCA announced on Friday that it will be dedicating the Northern Door Program Center to the Kanes after years of demonstrating their support for the organization’s work. One example of that support came last year when the Kanes donated $2 million to the Door County YMCA’s capital campaign that helped keep its expansion efforts in Sturgeon Bay on track. Jackie Kane also sits on the YMCA’s Board of Directors. Door County YMCA CEO Tonya Felhofer and Board President Sally Pfeifer shared similar sentiments along with the announcement, saying they are honored to recognize the Kanes in this way. The Kanes will be honored as a part of a dedication ceremony scheduled for May 17th at 10:30 a.m. at the Northern Door Program Center.


Statement from Door County YMCA CEO Tonya Felhofer

Jackie and Steve Kane have been tremendous supporters of the Door County YMCA for many years, and we are honored to recognize their contributions with the dedication of the Northern Door Program Center. Their leadership and generosity have significantly impacted our organization and the people we serve, and we are grateful for their continued support.


Statement from Door County YMCA Board President Sally Pfeifer

Jackie and Steve Kane's commitment to the Door County YMCA has been extraordinary. Their vision and leadership have helped to shape the organization into what it is today, and we are proud to honor them in this way.


Picture courtesy of the Door County YMCA

New Peninsula State Park restroom facility part of state building commission approval

You will soon be able to go to the bathroom and shower comfortably at Peninsula State Park thanks to the approval of $125.7 million by the State Building Commission. Over 30 different projects across more than a dozen counties will benefit from the funding announced by Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday. That announcement includes the release of Building Trust Funds to begin the design of a flush toilet and shower facility renovation project for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at the popular state park. The $125.7 million represents a fraction of what was requested by Governor Evers earlier this year in his 2023-2025 Capital Budget, which also included funds for projects for Peninsula State Park, Potawatomi State Park, and Peninsula Players Theatre. Those projects were not approved by the State Building Commission when they met in March, but they will remain a part of the conversation as talks surrounding the 2023-2025 biennial budget resume.

Volunteer fair shows opportunities in Door County

If you cannot find an opportunity that appeals to your interests and skills, Wednesday’s Door County Volunteer Fair at the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay was proof that you may not be trying hard enough.


Approximately 50 non-profit organizations filled the dining area at the ADRC building in hopes of finding more volunteers for their efforts. United Way of Door County CEO Amy Kohnle says she was encouraged to see so many non-profit organizations and potential volunteers talking about the opportunities available to them.

Kohnle says that if you could not attend and do not know where to start on your search for a non-profit to volunteer with that you can contact the United Way of Door County. Later this year, Kohnle added that the United Way of Door County hopes to launch the Volunteers Connections network to link non-profits and community members together and to fill a void left by the Volunteer Center of Door County.



Firing range incident raises red flag at Washington Island School

A poster featuring the Graduating Class of 2022 used for target practice at a Washington Island firing range is the latest threat of violence involving a Door County school in the last seven days.


Washington Island Principal and Director of Curriculum Tim Verboomen notified parents and community members through various channels at approximately 8 a.m. on Thursday. In the letter, he says the poster was discovered at the local firing range and it appeared to have been used as target practice. He laid out what has been done since the discovery was made, which included contacting its School Resource Officer and starting an investigation. He says they have been getting updates and they are prepared to take any precautions or pieces of advice that are recommended. Verboomen goes on to say that they plan and conduct safety drills at school to ensure their students know the plans and practice how to keep them safe. 




This marks the third time since last Friday that a Door County School District had to address a threat of violence. On April 28th, a Sturgeon Bay faculty member found a sticky note with a list of names for a “hit list” at the high school, leading to a student’s immediate suspension. Southern Door School District asked for an increased police presence on May 1st and 2nd after a collection of students received a threatening email over the weekend. In his last update, Southern Door Principal Steve Bousley said the students that received the email have been contacted and it remains under investigation by the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

Door County traffic to be enforced by air Friday

You see the vehicles of the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol on the road, but it is what is happening in the air that could get you a ticket if you are not careful. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced this week that the State Patrol’s Air Support Unit will be patrolling State Highway 57 in Door County on Friday for an unspecified time period. The aircraft can track reckless driving and speed from above before radioing to patrol cars down below to stop the motorist. The same aircraft is used for drug activity surveillance, tracking criminal suspects, searches for missing persons, and other activities. 

Walk to Mary marks 10-year milestone

As has been the case for the last decade, you can measure your devotion to the Virgin Mary by the prayers you say and the miles you walk this Saturday. The 10th annual Walk to Mary will once again take pilgrims on a 21-mile journey from the National Shrine of St. Joseph on the campus of St. Norbert to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion near Kewaunee County. While the route does offer the opportunity for people to jump in at any time, dozens every year make the full journey, which uses portions of the Fox River Trail before cutting through Green Bay to the Town of Champion. Pat Deprey has organized the event along with his fellow co-founder Tom Schmit every year since its inception. It is about the experience, not the miles, that matters to Deprey, who has done similar pilgrimages around the world.

The Walk to Mary is part of a series of events centered on the May Crowning of Mary. The crowning of a statue is a Catholic tradition honoring Mary as the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. You can learn more about the event and how you can participate here.


Pat Deprey tells the story of one of Saturday's participants


Picture courtesy of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Champion

Grass fires smoke out portions of STH 54

You could have driven through a cloud of smoke Wednesday afternoon in Kewaunee County, and not because anyone was driving fast. The Luxemburg Fire Department and the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department responded to three separate grass fires along State Highway 54 after 12 p.m. between Casco and Rio Creek. The fires were quickly contained before they could spread far into farm fields or up embankments closer to the road. Traffic did have to slow down through the area due to the heavy smoke crossing the road and speed control measures to allow for firefighters to have the space to safely work. Luxemburg Fire Chief Lew DuChateau said shortly before 5 p.m. that they did not find anything suspicious that would have started the fires.



General Mills issues recall on Gold Medal flour

If you have bags of flour in your kitchen cabinets, you will want to check to make sure they are not the ones that are part of a national, voluntary recall of Gold Medal flour by General Mills.  The company announced last week that two, five, and ten-pound bags of Gold Medal unbleached and bleached all-purpose flour potentially have the presence of salmonella in it.  The bags would have “better if used by” dates of March 27, 2024, and March 28, 2024.  You are asked to throw out the product affected by the recall and reach out to General Mills Consumer Relations at 1-800-230-8103.  The recall was issued after salmonella infantis was discovered in a bag of flour during testing.  According to the CDC, symptoms for Salmonella Infantis start within six hours to six days after infection and can last up to a week.  No other types of Gold Medal Flur are not affected by the recall. The voluntary recall includes the following code dates currently in stores or consumer pantries.

Rare plant found on the dunes just south of Kewaunee County

A rare parasitic plant, called broomrape, was recently rediscovered in Manitowoc County.  The Wisconsin Department of Resources announced Wednesday that a trained volunteer for the Rare Plant Monitoring Program spotted the plant on the dunes overlooking Lake Michigan south of the Door Peninsula.  The clustered broomrape has not been seen in over 44 years.  DNR Natural Heritage Conservation Botanist and Rare Plant Monitoring Program Coordinator Kevin Doyle says the new discovery of the population of a rare parasitic plant, like the broomrape, is important in conservation efforts in the area. “These new discoveries are very exciting.  They help increase our understanding of the number of locations of rare plant species in Wisconsin so we can better monitor and protect them.” 


The Rare Plant Monitoring Program volunteers are trained in surveying techniques, including how to accurately estimate large plant populations, assess habitat conditions and use GPS coordinates to locate and mark rare plant populations.  You can learn how to become a volunteer for the program with this link.

Door County YMCA stresses Water Safety to prevent drownings

May is National Water Safety Month and the Door County YMCA wants to help you keep your kids safe around water this swimming season.  Aquatics Director Nicole Shepard says drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children under 14 years of age and that on average, three children die from drowning in the United States every day.  She says there are many ways for parents to keep their children safer, including keeping their eyes on their children at all times and making sure kids ask permission before entering or going near the water.



Shepard notes that the Door County YMCA offers a Safety Around Water Program, in addition, to swim lessons for various ages and skill levels.  The YMCA also recommends non-swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in and around the water.  All YMCA staff is certified in CPR every two years using newly donated, state-of-the-art mannequins called “Big Red.” The mannequins have a red light indicating when the appropriate pressure and speed is correctly applied in the CPR simulation.  

Southern Door FFA Alumni receives $5,000 America's Farmers Grow Community Grant

The Southern Door FFA Alumni announced Tuesday that they were the recipient of a $5000 2022 America’s Farmers Grow Communities Grant, a Bayer Fund program.  The grant was awarded to local farmer Richard Olson, who selected the Southern Door FFA Alumni to receive the funds.  Olson says the organization is donating the $5,000 award to the Southern Door School District to use in its greenhouse project.  He notes that the process for procuring the grant began over a year ago.



Olson adds that students in Agriculture classes and working on FFA projects and activities will greatly benefit from the added funds with educational opportunities.   Possible uses for the grant money can be quality growing tables, better ventilation, and/or an advanced watering system in the greenhouse. 


(photo submitted:  Photo attached:  Tracy LaCrosse, president of the Southern Door FFA Alumni, Becky Williams, treasurer of the Southern Door FFA Alumni, and Jen Willming, vice president of the Southern Door FFA Alumni hold a display noting the $5000 grant from the Bayer Fund.)

Sturgeon Bay approves dock lease for boat tour company

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council moved forward on a housing development plan and leasing dockage for a boat tour company on the west side waterfront. 


At the beginning of Tuesday's meeting, Brian Anderson of Wipfli from Madison gave the council a review of the 2022 audit report via Zoom that was formally approved after a brief presentation.


A planned unit development and rezoning for a large duplex complex on Colorado Street and North 6th Avenue took a step forward with an approved first reading at the meeting.  The project would eventually have 19 two-family dwellings and one single-family home built on the 11-acre property with a clubhouse and garage building.  The rezoning would be from R-1 and R-2 (Residential Single-Family) to a Planned Unit Development (PUD).  Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak shared the conditions that are placed on the PUD.



A recommendation for approval of a lease agreement between James Patterson of Shoreline Scenic Boat Tours and the City of Sturgeon Bay to use the former launch ramp located near the Michigan Street Bridge and Madison Avenue was approved.  The last boat tour located in the city was the Chicago Fire Boat that moved back to Chicago five years ago.

In his mayor report, Mayor David Ward encouraged children to attend the Free Bike Rodeo that the city is hosting this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the City Hall parking lot at Market Square.  Bike safety, helmet fittings and safety information will be provided to any child who attends.  

ALICE population grows in 2021

As the pandemic wanes, the number of your neighbors struggling to afford to pay their rent or buy their groceries is growing. A new report based on data from 2021 from United for ALICE shows 52.5 million American families cannot afford the basics. That number includes 16.2 million families living in poverty and an additional 36.3 million families that are considered to be asset-limited, income-constrained, and employed (ALICE). The data shows that a third of the nation’s retail salespeople, which is considered one of the most common occupations in the country, earn an income that does not allow them to adequately support themselves. United Way of Brown County President and CEO Robyn Davis says the effect of the pandemic can certainly be seen in northeast Wisconsin.

United for ALICE National Director Stephanie Hoopes says now that the ALICE population has a name, more people are becoming understanding of the plight they face.

According to 2018 data, 31 percent of households in Door County are in ALICE and poverty. You can listen to our full conversation by clicking here.

Kewaunee County considers wage study

You have seen plenty of “Help Wanted” signs around the area and Kewaunee County wants to take down theirs sooner rather than later. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt opened the discussion at the Kewaunee County Executive Committee meeting by pointing out that they are starting to see what other counties have seen for months: a dried-up labor pool that is leaving critical positions open in areas like the sheriff’s department, human services, and the highway department. Feldt asked the county’s finance committee to set aside $75,000 to perform a wage study, which would allow them to see how they compare to nearby and similar-sized counties as it relates to how well they pay their employees. Several members of the executive committee questioned the need to do the study, saying it would likely tell them something they already know. Prior to the discussion, they adjusted the pay scale used for their IT specialists to be more competitive with other employers. Committee members used that as a reason to approach other departments like that, though Feldt pointed out why a more complete look may be needed.

Since it was just a discussion item, the conversation ended with no formal vote taken. The committee ended the public portion of the meeting by going into closed session. You can watch the discussion below.



Sturgeon Bay Police search, eventually find missing woman

The Sturgeon Bay Police needed your assistance Tuesday afternoon to find a missing 19-year-old non-verbal autistic woman. At about 12:15 p.m., the department released word that it was searching for Katana, who walked away from her residence in the 600 block of North 16th Place during the 11 a.m. hour. She was last seen wearing dark pants, a purple shirt, and blue socks with no shoes. 


Just before 1 p.m., Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman reported that Katana had been found. 

Casco's Guilette added to Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council

For the first time, you will have a local voice on the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council.


Casco’s Logan Guilette was one of 14 high school students to be selected to the council based on their submitted materials of an application, essay, video, and letter of recommendation. The Luxemburg-Casco student will be able to partake in virtual sessions each month as the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council highlights career opportunities, agricultural policy development, and the tools available to support Wisconsin farmers.


Guilette, who is a member of the Luxemburg-Casco FFA and shows animals at the county and state fair, is the first local student to be a part of the Wisconsin Agriculture Youth Council since it was first formed four years ago. 

Utility work to close Sturgeon Bay street Wednesday

You will have to plan your travel in and around Sturgeon Bay even more on Wednesday due to utility work being done. City Engineer Chad Shefchik said on Tuesday that KS Energies will be closing the south side of the intersection of North 8th Avenue and Delaware Street to rock saw a gas line across North 8th Avenue. The road will be closed beginning at 7 a.m. and the closure is expected to last through the end of the day.


The announcement comes after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the Michigan Street Bridge would remain closed to all traffic through the end of the week. It had originally said that the bridge would be open outside of work time of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. WisDOT says the adverse weather conditions required the change in the closure.

Sister Bay's proposed STR ordinance keeping up with the state

You can expect to see the short-term rental ordinance in the Village of Sister Bay be more like what you see in other parts of the state. Under the proposed amended STR ordinance that will be subject to a public hearing at the end of the month, new owners of short-term rentals will not be able to rent out their properties for less than seven-day stays and for not more than 181 days a year. It is not just the village that is clamping down on STR owners but rather getting up to speed with what the state passed in 2017. Village Administrator Julie Schmelzer says it is all about finding a happy medium between residents who want to be able to rent their properties and those who want to feel like they live in a neighborhood and not next to a business.

Schmelzer says new STR owners will see the changes on their applications in the next two weeks before they become effective July 1st. She added that the previous language that would have raised funds for workforce housing development through new STR sales was removed.


This story has been updated to clarify some potential issues with the original, emphasizing that the proposed STR ordinance has not been passed and is subject to a public hearing that will take place at the end of the month. The changes to the STR ordinance will not effect existing permits, only new ones. We regret any confusion we may have caused with the original story.

Hit list snuffed out by the book

Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman and Sturgeon Bay Principal Keith Nerby say that Friday’s situation involving a student and an alleged “hit list” you heard about over the weekend was executed by the school district and the police department flawlessly.


On Friday, a faculty member discovered a list of names written by one of its students possibly suggesting violence towards a group of classmates. After bringing the list to School Resource Officer Derek Jennerjohn and Nerby, other police officers arrived at the school at approximately 12 p.m. for a disorderly conduct call with the student who had been brought to the office. 


Nerby says the events that occurred after the sticky note was found went as planned.


Brinkman says the situation was handled just the way it should have been from his perspective.

The student has been suspended and will not be returning to school for the rest of this year. Students and their families were notified at the end of the school day, with Principal Nerby applauding law enforcement and faculty members and encouraging all to say something if they see something suspicious.

Increased police presence used at Southern Door due to threatening email UPDATED

Students saw a larger Door County Sheriff’s Department presence on campus on Monday due to a threatening email discovered Sunday evening. The district was informed of a threatening e-mail at 6 p.m. that was shared with some high school students.  The district notified the Door County Sheriff’s Department shortly after its discovery along with the students that had also received the e-mail. Business Manager Jason Melotte emailed parents before 9 p.m., alerting them of their request to have the Door County Sheriff’s Department provide additional resources for Monday’s school day. The district and the Door County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the source of the threatening email, which did not come from a Southern Door account.


This is the second time since Friday a school district had to react to a threat towards some of its students. On Friday, a Sturgeon Bay High School student was suspended for developing a “hit list” that was later found by a faculty member. Melotte, much like Sturgeon Bay Principal Keith Nerby did on Friday, encourages families to talk to their children about the importance of reporting suspicious behavior.



Letter sent out on Monday afternoon





Krouse to take over top Ridges post

You will see familiar faces leading The Ridges Sanctuary, albeit under different titles. The Ridges Sanctuary announced Monday that Katie Krouse would become the organization’s new executive director as of May 1st. Its current executive director, Andy Gill, will remain with the organization in a supporting leadership role to assist The Ridges Sanctuary in its master plan implementation and fundraising. The appointment of Krouse is a history-maker for The Ridges Sanctuary as she will be its first female executive director in its 86-year- history. Krouse has been with The Ridges Sanctuary since 2015, serving multiple roles including her current stint as its Director of Operations. It was a key factor for Ridges Board President Dave Zuhlke, who says her in-depth knowledge of The Ridges and her ability to connect with others puts them well-positioned for the future. 

New tour boat operator looks to launch

For the first time since the former Chicago Fire Boat Fred A. Busse sailed south for a new life in the Windy City in 2019, you could soon see regular boat tours resume in Sturgeon Bay.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will weigh in on a new lease agreement between the city and DoCo, LLC for the former launch ramp south of the Michigan Street Bridge and north of 120 N. Madison Avenue. The site near the Door County Maritime Museum was where the former Door County Fireboat was moored for several years before being sold to a Chicago touring company. The city has not had a tour boat operator since the Fire Boat’s departure. DoCo, LLC’s proposal includes installing a floating dock system that would allow it to tie off a pair of 40-foot tour boats. The company plans to offer tours between Lake Michigan and Sherwood Point during the summer season. The proposed lease runs from May 1st, 2023, and ends on December 31st, 2026, and could be extended automatically on a year-by-year basis.


Photo by Thomas Jordan


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss a new Planned Unit Development proposed for Colorado Street and North 6th Avenue and its 2022 Financial Audit Report when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Michigan Street Bridge, STH 42/57 to close on Monday

The closures will be happening at different times, but your commute may have to change beginning on Monday due to roadwork in the Sturgeon Bay area.


The Michigan Street Bridge will take its turn getting its annual maintenance after the Bayview Bridge and the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge received its extra dose of care from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily to all traffic from May 1st through May 5th. You will be able to cross the waterway by using the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge or the Bayview Bridge.


May 1st also marks the first day of nightly closures of State Highway 42/57 from Egg Harbor Road to the highway’s split. That project will close the highway from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly to address the deteriorating pavement and improve safety. The project is expected to be finished in June with the detour using a combination of Egg Harbor Road, Old Highway Road, County BB, and County HH.

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