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News Archives for 2023-06

ADRC offers support for Alzheimer's patients

If you have seen people wearing purple more often, that is because purple signifies and raises awareness for Alzheimer’s Awareness month.

 

According to the Alzheimer's Association, over 120,000 people in the State of Wisconsin are living with Alzheimer's or Dementia, and nearly 191,000 people are taking care of loved ones with such disease. Although there is no direct cause of Alzheimer’s, experts agree in the majority of cases the disease probably develops by many factors such as age, genetics, and environment. Dementia Care Specialist at ADRC Door County Sierra Witczak talks about some programs ADRC offers. 

 


The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County is hosting a “Walk to End Alzheimer’s” at Graham Park on September 9th. All funds raised through Walk to End Alzheimer's further the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer's Association.

Kites set to fill Sister Bay sky Saturday

If the wind stays blowing like forecasted, kites will be filling the skies of Sister Bay as the village hosts “Kite Day” on Saturday. 

 

A fun day for people of all ages to kick off the holiday weekend is planned for the Sister Bay Sporting Complex as members of the Wisconsin Kite Fliers Association will be at the event to assist in the kite building process and the flying. The 2nd annual event is back for another year after a successful 2022 kite festival saw many different kinds and colors of kites be flown in the morning hours of the day. 

 

The first 100 kids that participate in the event will get a free kite kit for flying and construction of the kite. Although last year's kite festival did not have enough wind needed for big kites, little kites for the kids have been successful even with the smallest amount of wind. The forecast for Saturday shows winds at 10 miles per hour. 

 

The event will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

Picture Courtesy of Sister Bay Website 


Lawnmower fire a reminder of ongoing dry conditions

Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says you have to remain vigilant when protecting yourself and your property from possible fires despite the improving conditions.

 

Recent rains have allowed much of the state to dip into the moderate level of fire danger with 15 northwestern Wisconsin counties in the low level. It was still dry enough on Thursday when a riding lawnmower burst into the flames. Members of the Southern Door Fire Department responded to the fire on Maplewood Road in Forestville after 7:20 p.m. The mower was fully engulfed when they arrived and it was considered a complete loss after firefighters used approximately 250 gallons of water to put it out.

 

While the exact cause of the fire is unknown at the time, Olson says it is a nice reminder to keep an eye out for dry grass clippings and make sure you clean your lawn equipment after you use it.


Olson was thankful the lawnmower was away from the home as the incident reminded him of a similar event where a home was destroyed after a lawnmower caught fire in the garage. 

Kitchens proud of budget heading to Governor's desk

Rep. Joel Kitchens is hopeful many of the ideas included in the 2023-2025 biennial budget avoid the red pen of Governor Tony Evers in the coming days. A $3.5 billion tax cut, a $1 billion increase for public school funding, and a raise for state workers are some of the highlights of the nearly $99 billion, two-year spending plan for the state that passed along party lines Thursday night. Republicans say it is a responsible budget that meets the needs of the state while Democrats believe they could have done more to help its citizens with a $7 billion surplus waiting in the wings. Kitchens says while there were some aspects he wished were addressed in the budget, but adds it is a plan that helps everyone.


Governor Evers has promised to at least partially veto many of the items within the budget, if not the entire document because of some of the provisions. Kitchens says it can be a concern, but he also said the administration and the Legislature have worked together on certain aspects of the budget more than they ever have in the past.

Once signed by the Governor, it will be in place until June 30th, 2025.


Moped accident victim identified

A moped accident that killed a Franklin man remains under investigation after the Door County Sheriff’s Department identified the victim on Friday. The department announced that 54-year-old Eric Rutkowski was behind the handlebars of a moped when he crashed on State Highway 42 near Seaquist Road Tuesday evening. The initial investigation suggests that Rutkowski lost control of the moped and was ejected when he went into a ditch, striking a culvert pipe in the process. He was transported by helicopter to Door County Medical Center to be treated for his injuries where he later died. Although the autopsy of Rutkowski’s body was performed on Wednesday, the results are not available and no further information is being released at this time.

Two Door County beaches close ahead of holiday weekend

You will have two fewer places to cool off this weekend out of concern for your health.

 

The Door County Public Health Department announced Friday morning that the beaches at Frank Murphy County Park near Egg Harbor and Newport State Park in Ellison Bay are closed until further notice due to elevated bacteria counts when they were tested on Thursday. A third beach, located at Robert E. LaSalle County Park near the Town of Clay Banks, is also seeing elevated bacteria counts, but it is only under an advisory.

 

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, research has linked swimming in polluted waters with adverse human health effects such as sore throats, diarrhea, and various infections. You can stay up-to-date on other beach closures throughout the state of Wisconsin by clicking this link.

Man involved in Kewaunee County child enticement case sentenced

A child enticement case with Kewaunee County ties has concluded with a 45-year-old Virginia man going to prison for 20 years.

 

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced earlier this week that Stanley J. Seifert III was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment, 20 years of supervised release, and a lifetime listing on the sex offender list after he pled guilty to child enticement and receiving child pornography.

 

It was the conclusion to a case spearheaded by the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Brown County Sheriff’s Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the Michigan State Police ICAC, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Green Bay. According to court records, Seifert struck up the relationship with the then 15-year-old girl through an online game platform. Investigators did not enter the fray until the girl’s mother caught her in the middle of a live video with Seifert performing sexually explicit acts. Seifert, who had moved to Wisconsin last July from Virginia for a job to be closer to the teen, was arrested in Michigan in September. He was charged with nearly 50 counts of various crimes related to child enticement, child pornography, and the solicitation of a minor.

 

In a release, Kewaunee County District Attorney Andrew Naze thanked all of the different law enforcement agencies that collaborated on the case, including the  Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Office and Investigator Ryan Vandermoss.

Record travel expected for this holiday weekend

With a favorable weather forecast predicted, more travel is expected on the roadways for the Fourth of July extended weekend.  AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday.  Door County Sheriff Chief Deputy Pat McCarty advises drivers to plan accordingly with the influx of traffic this weekend.

 

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation expects the peak times for travel on the roadways to be Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and again on Tuesday, July 4th from noon until 3 p.m. and again Wednesday from 3:00 until 6:00 p.m. 

PTSD awareness month shines light on veterans

The month of June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness month, and PTSD can be an unfortunate factor in veterans returning home from service. 

 

In a recent survey by Wounded Warrior Project, 76% of veterans surveyed self-reported PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans can be misunderstood or misinterpreted by the public, and the month of June gives a chance to raise awareness but also to highlight factors and what PTSD truly is in not only veterans, but everyone. Door County Veterans Service Officer Beth Van Oss talks about the importance of talking to our veterans, and some signs to watch out for. 

 

 

Ways to help veterans according to Van Oss is to be cognisant and take into consideration that not all veterans have “visible wounds” and everyone's experience in service was different. The Door County Veterans Service Office has services they can direct veterans to such as counseling and psychiatric and mental health care.

Casco's Funk hopes to keep career aspirations flying high

For four generations, you’ve been able to associate the Funk family with Kewaunee County skies. Aaron Funk graduated this spring from Luxemburg-Casco as he turns even more of his focus to becoming a career pilot with additional coursework at Fox Valley Technical College and training at Door County Cherryland Airport. Funk got interested in flying by watching his father work on his pilot’s license when he was four years old. His grandfather and great-grandfather also have aviation in the background, only adding to the interest as he would routinely fly with his father. Funk says the feeling of going up in the air never gets old.

Funk hopes to become an airline pilot one day but says there are several steps along the way he has to finish before he gets to that point. His scholarship from the Rio Creek Aviation Association will help him pay for his flight training and coursework. Funk says it is a good time to get into aviation, pointing out that there is a shortage of pilots in the industry as many of them approach retirement age.

Gordon Road intersection area to see improvements after unanimous board approval

You will see some improvements made to what has proven to be one of the county’s more dangerous intersections in recent years. The Door County Board unanimously approved on Tuesday an additional $151,515 for improvements to be made to the intersection of State Highway 42/57 and Gordon Road. Last August, the board approved $100,000 to be used to limit motorists from being able to turn left from Gordon Road onto the STH 42/57 to head north. That traffic maneuver has caused the most serious of the over 20 total accidents to occur at the intersection. The additional funding will be used to not only make the intersection itself safer but to make improvements to Old Highway Road, which will likely see additional traffic as a result of the changes. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash reiterated to the board why the improvements are needed and why some of them are likely temporary.

The county will likely not be able to start work on the improvements until after Labor Day. There have been no accidents at the intersection so far this year.

Kewaunee County Board wrestles with jail bids

Bids for the proposed jail facility coming in at nearly $8 million over what was initially thought dominated the discussion at Wednesday’s Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors meeting.

 

Members of the Kewaunee County administration team and board of supervisors talked about the topic for roughly half of the two-hour meeting. Kewaunee County Finance Director Paul Kunesh laid out a number of scenarios where they could stomach the rising costs without endangering the county’s bond rating or sending them down dire straits with another major capital project for the Kewaunee County Highway Department looming in the future. It is possible that taxpayers could see their contribution rise from 20 cents per $1,000 of property valuation to 35 cents. That would raise property tax bills by $70 a year over the next 20 years for a $200,000 home, up the original $40 that was projected.

 

Supervisors asked for alternative scenarios that might be more financially pleasing such as renovating the current jail or sending inmates to other county facilities. Alternate scenarios and the cost associated with them were discussed at previous jail planning strategy meetings. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski asked the board at what point do they stop pushing this project into the future, adding that what they are doing in the current jail is “a crime” and “indefensible” according to a jail and justice analysis performed in 2016.

 


The Finance and the Jail Planning Strategy committees will discuss options moving forward at their next meeting on July 7th before the Kewaunee County Board meets again on July 18th.

 

You can watch the entire discussion below:

 

Thresheree grounds plays important role for dairy breakfast

In recent years where the crop rotation has not fallen just right or there just were no volunteers, you can thank the Northeastern Wisconsin Antique Power Association for stepping in to help.

 

The same organization that runs the annual Valmy Thresheree is also hosting this Sunday’s 41st annual Sevastopol FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast. The Thresheree grounds also hosted the event in 2015 and 2019. Ralph Bochek from NEWPA says their mission is to keep the farming tradition alive in Door County, and filling in to host the Sevastopol FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast is one of the ways they have been able to do that over the years.

One of the final June Dairy Month activities in Wisconsin, the Sevastopol FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast runs from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and features pancakes, scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, and Door County-produced products. All proceeds from the event go to support scholarships and other functions of the Sevastopol FFA and their alumni. If you cannot attend this weekend, NEWPA will host its annual Valmy Thresheree in August.

 

FROM THE LAST TIME THE VALMY THRESHEREE HOSTED THE SEVASTOPOL FFA ALUMNI DAIRY BREAKFAST

 

 

 

Southern Door breaks ground on indoor facility and other projects

The Southern Door School District will be busy this summer renovating the school in time for classes beginning in late August, and the construction was officially marked on Wednesday when they broke ground in front of the old district office. 

 

Although construction was already underway on the inside of the buildings, which has mostly been in the classrooms and the former Talon Fitness Center, which is set to be the new district office. The indoor multipurpose training facility was all the buzz at the groundbreaking as Athletic Director Mark Jonas spent some time during the ceremony to talk about the new big project. 

 

The facility is set to include synthetic turf 30 yards long, ten yards for the endzone, and room around the perimeter of the field. The other outdoor projects set for Southern Door that were a part of the groundbreaking included the demolition of the district office which will lead to more parking spots in the main parking lot, updates to an aging septic system, and construction of a bus garage. Southern Door School District School Board President Penny Price talks about the referendum projects finally being in construction mode. 

 

 

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2024 with Miron Construction Co., Inc. serving as the construction manager and Bray Architects serving as the architect.

Kewaunee County Back-to-School Supplies for Kids Program looking help

You can start registering your child or making donations to the Kewaunee County Back to School Program that will be held later this summer.  The program provides required school supplies for children and families who are in need.  Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says any families that have an emergency situation, are on WIC, Food Share, or Badger Care, as well as those on reduced or free lunch programs are eligible.  She says she is proud of the support the Back to School program has received over the years. 

 

 

The Back to School Program distribution will be on Wednesday, August 16 at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee, with registrations due by August 7.  Registrations were sent out earlier this year by the schools, but forms can be picked up at the Kewaunee County Public Health Department, Algoma Public Library, Kewaunee Public Library and Nicolet National Bank in Luxemburg.   

You can help with monetary donations or by dropping off school supplies at the many boxes at area churches, Nicolet National Bank in Luxemburg, or the Kewaunee County Public Health Department.

 

The list of needed school supplies is noted below.

Wide and College Ruled Spiral Notebooks

1” 3-Ring Binders

Two Pocket Folders (Paper and Poly)

Colored Pencils

Washable Wide Markers

Highlighters

Lined Index Cards

Dry Erase Markers

3 x 3 Post-It Notes

#2 Pencils

Pencil Top Erasers

Glue Sticks

Glue Bottles

Backpacks

Boat safety urged for busy holiday weekend

The United States Coast Guard and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources want you to put safety first by boating sober and wearing a life jacket before you hit the waters in the area to partake this holiday weekend.

Almost 80 percent of fatal boating incidents involve drowning and alcohol use is a leading cause of accidents on the water.  According to the Wisconsin DNR, two people have died from boating accidents so far this year and 20 other ones died last year. 

Local Coast Guard Auxiliary member Jeff Feuerstein reminds everyone that all on board a watercraft need a personal floatation device to increase their chance of survival.

 

 

The leading causes of watercraft crashes are due to operator inexperience, inattention, recklessness, and speeding.

The Wisconsin DNR offers online boater education courses to help improve water safety.  You can sign up for the course by clicking on this link.

You can find more boating safety tips from the DNR below.

 

LEAVE ALCOHOL ONSHORE

  • Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation. Alcohol's effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, and vibration.

USE AND MAINTAIN THE RIGHT SAFETY EQUIPMENT

  • Have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person onboard and one approved throwable device for any boat 16 feet and longer. The DNR recommends that everyone wear their life jackets while on the water.
  • Have a fire extinguisher.
  • Have operable boat lights - Always test boat lights before the boat leaves the dock and carry extra batteries. 
  • Emergency supplies - Keep on board in a floating pouch: cellphone, maps, flares and first aid kit.

PADDLE BOARD SAFETY TIPS

  • Wear a life jacket! - More than 90% of boat fatalities related to drowning involve victims not wearing life jackets. You need one for your safety. You also need one because Wisconsin law, as well as U.S. Coast Guard law, treats paddleboards the same as kayaks and canoes. This means there must be a personal flotation device for each person on board. However, the best way to obey this law and to ensure your safety is to just wear the life jacket.
  • Carry a whistle
  • Be a competent swimmer
  • Know how to self-rescue
  • Know how to tow another board
  • Know the local regulations and navigation rules
  • Understand the elements and hazards – winds, tidal ranges, current, terrain
  • Know when to wear a leash
  • Be defensive – don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be and avoid other swimmers, boaters, paddleboards
  • Use proper blade angle to be the most efficient paddle boarder
  • And, take a safety course, Paddling Safety Course[exit DNR]

BE WEATHER WISE

  • Regardless of the season, keep a close eye on the weather and bring a radio. Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm is brewing. If bad weather is approaching, get off the water early to avoid a long waiting line in inclement weather.

TAKE THESE STEPS BEFORE GETTING UNDERWAY

  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Open all hatches and run the blower after you refuel and before getting underway. Sniff for fumes before starting the engine and if you smell fumes, do not start the engine.
  • Check the boat landing for any local regulations that apply. If boating on the Great Lakes or Mississippi River, review the federal regulations for additional requirements.

LOADING AND UNLOADING YOUR BOAT

  • Overloading a boat with gear or passengers will make the boat unstable and increase the risk of capsizing or swamping. Abide by the boats capacity plate which located near the boat operators position.

FOLLOW NAVIGATION AND OTHER RULES ON THE WATER

  • Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales or seatbacks or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop or start could cause a fall overboard.
  • After leaving the boat launch, maintain slow-no-wake speed for a safe and legal distance from the launch.
  • Follow boat traffic rules.

 

 

Town of Gardner man arrested after fleeing crash

A 34-year-old man from the Town of Gardner was arrested Tuesday afternoon after leaving the scene of a rollover vehicle crash.  Door County Sheriff's Deputy Pat McCarty says officers were deployed after a reported crash on Rileys Bay Road.  The initial investigation found that the crash that left the vehicle upside down was due to a domestic situation.  No one was injured in the initial incident, but the man took off in a different vehicle before being stopped minutes later by a roadblock.  The man then resisted arrest before eventually being subdued by deputies after a stun gun proved ineffective.  The man was arrested on several charges, according to McCarty.

 

 

McCarty adds that the man taken into custody faces a bond hearing scheduled for Thursday at the Door County Courthouse. 

Man dies from moped accident in Liberty Grove

A 54-year-old man from Franklin died from injuries sustained in a moped accident on Highway 42 in the town of Liberty Grove Tuesday night.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office was notified about 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday about a one-vehicle crash just north of Seaquist Road.  The initial investigation shows that the man, who was driving a 2021 Taizhou Zhongneng Wolf RX-50 moped, lost control of his moped and was ejected after hitting the ditch on the west side of the highway, and struck a culvert pipe. 

The man was transported to Door County Medical Center by Eagle III helicopter with life-threatening injuries before passing away at the hospital.

The accident remains under investigation and the name of the victim is being withheld until the family is notified.  This marks the third fatality on Door County roads this year.  

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay YMCA returns to 24/7 access

After a couple of weeks of dealing with the new construction on its facility in Sturgeon Bay, the Door County YMCA has reopened access to the building on a 24/7 basis.  Local members can now work out anytime again by accessing the facility.  Member Services Director Rachel Stoehr notes that any visiting YMCA member from outside the area can utilize the Door County YMCA freely through the nationwide reciprocity program.

 

 

The 24/7 Access perk allows for the use of the gymnasiums, lifestyle center, weight room, and public restrooms at both the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers. You can find out more about the 24/7 access with this link.

Midsummer's goes beyond the notes

If you are not careful, you might just get a Ph.D. in music this summer if you attend Midsummer’s Music performances. The performing arts organization is entering its third and fourth series of performances with the ensemble playing the works of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky June 29th-July 2nd and the compositions of Okoye, Somervell, and Brahms July 6th-July 9th. The performances go beyond the notes the musicians play. Development Director Seth Hanford says the discussions in between pieces and opportunities like Wednesday’s open rehearsal at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor take guests behind the music.

Hanford says the Midsummer’s Encore program, which allows you to see multiple performances within the same series, also gives a peek at how musicians perform night to night and from venue to venue. You can listen to our full interview with Hanford here.

United Way of Door County launches Volunteer Connections

Connecting your interests with some of the area’s non-profit organizations is the goal of a new program launched by the United Way of Door County this month. Volunteer Connections is a place on the organization’s website where non-profits can post their different opportunities. The site fills a void left in the community by the Volunteer Center of Door County, which dissolved in 2019. Thanks to the pandemic, a recent survey done by U.S. Census Bureau and Americorps showed that volunteer participation dropped seven percent to 23.2 percent between 2019 and 2021, which is the largest recorded drop since statistics were first kept in 2002. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the need is there to help non-profits find the people they need to flourish.

Kohnle added that they are looking to collaborate with the Door County Fire Chief’s Association, which was able to establish a volunteer roster of over 1,000 people during the pandemic. You can click on this link to find volunteer opportunities or, if you’re involved with a non-profit, post one of your own.

Alice in Dairyland visits Door County

You missed royalty traveling through Door County on Monday as Alice in Dairyland Taylor Schaefer visited the area before her reign is up at the end of the month.

 

 

The UW-Madison graduate visited four different Door County businesses as a part of her tour promoting agriculture. Schaefer talked strawberry and cherry production with Toni Sorenson of Soren’s Vahalla Orchards before moving on to visits to Wienke’s Market and Brey Cycle Farm. Her tour of Door County ended with a stop at Renard’s Cheese to visit with Chris and Ann Renard about the finer points of cheese production.

 

 

You will see plenty of Alice in Dairyland in the coming months, even if it is not Schaefer holding the title. Schaefer will be back in Door County on Sunday for the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast being held at the Valmy Thresheree grounds. Ashley Elizabeth Hagenow was crowned the 2023 Alice in Dairyland by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection earlier this year and will formally take over the role from Schaefer on July 5th. Hagenow will make monthly visits to Door County ahead of the 2024 Finals event to be held at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay May 2nd-4th. It will be the first time the finals will be hosted in Door County since 1983.

 

Pictures courtesy of Aerica Bjurstrom

 

 

State under air quality advisory until Thursday

Some of the worst air in the world right now is in your backyard.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an Air Quality Alert for the entire state of Wisconsin through noon on Thursday. The cause of the air quality alert continues to be the Canadian wildfires that have been raging for weeks. According to the National Weather Service, the eastern half of the state will experience the heaviest surface smoke from noon on Tuesday to noon on Wednesday, causing the air quality index (AQI) to reach unhealthy and very unhealthy categories with the possibility of reaching hazardous levels. By comparison, the air quality advisory over the weekend only reached “unhealthy for sensitive groups.” It is recommended that people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion and consider avoiding all physical outdoor activities.

 

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported that several cities in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota have AQI readings worse than some of the biggest cities in the world including Dubai (UAE), Doha (Qatar), Delhi (India), and Beijing (China).  As of 7 a.m., Chicago had the worst AQI among the world’s major cities at 164. Green Bay, by comparison, was at 163 as of Monday night. 

Queen For A Day golf outing a huge success again

Over 160 women golfers took to the links in Door County and did not let a cloudy, cool afternoon dampen their spirits during Monday's benefit golf outing for two organizations. The 16th annual Queen for a Day golf outing to benefit Door CANcer Inc. and the David Spude Cancer Center Fund was held at Idlewild Golf Course and featured a nine-hole scramble followed by a dinner and award ceremony. Barth Guilette, co-organizer and one of over 30 volunteers, says the turnout Monday, despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions, was a testament to everyone's love for donating their time and money to two important causes.

 

 

Guilette estimates that the Queen for a Day golf outing raised $36,000 this year and has donated about a half million dollars in the past 16 years. Door CANcer serves Door County residents with financial needs for cancer treatments. The David Spude Cancer Center Fund was created through the Door County Medical Foundation to ensure cancer treatments are available to all at the Door County Cancer Center.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

County to establish enterprise fund for Kewaunee Winter Park

Ensuring the future of your winter fun in Kewaunee County is the goal of a new enterprise fund being suggested at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting. The fund was suggested by Kewaunee County Finance Director Paul Kunesh at the June 2nd Finance and Public Property meeting due to the increase in the revenues generated by the park and the need for those dollars to be used to replace equipment and make other improvements. The money remaining after all revenues, expenses, assets, and fund balances would go into the fund for future use at Kewaunee Winter Park. In the past, Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says all of the profit from Winter Park went into the county's general fund. If major purchases arose, the county would have to place it in its budget and often provide matching dollars to the organization tasked with the park's upkeep.


The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors will also get to give their thoughts on the revelation that the bids for the new public safety facility came in over $7 million above what was originally planned. Even with the money from earned interest, payments from Dominion, and other dollars from the county’s general fund could help limit how much money is borrowed, approximately $3 million additional may need to be borrowed. If that occurs, taxpayers could see their contribution rise from 20 cents per $1,000 of property valuation to 35 cents. That would raise property tax bills by $70 a year over the next 20 years for a $200,000 home, up the original $40 projection. The topic is only a discussion item, meaning no votes will be taken on the issue.

Door County looks for stories on internet data caps

If you have ever wished you had more data on your internet plan, Door County wants you to tell the Federal Communications Commission more about the experience. The FCC established the Data Caps Experience Form so Americans can share their experiences and challenges with their fixed or wireless broadband plans. The hope is the FCC can learn how data caps impact access to broadband for all individuals. With a lack of internet options available, data caps have a big impact on Door County residents, which often ends up costing them more money or severely curtailing their usage. Door County Broadband Coordinator Jessica Hatch says filling out the form could strengthen their case to get more funding for future broadband projects.

Hatch says you can either fill out the form online or via a paper application. Either way, she offers her assistance to help you fill it out.

 

There is proof that “badgering” the FCC can help the state get crucial broadband access funds. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced on Monday that the state will be receiving over $1 billion in federal funds through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to connect more Wisconsinites to high-speed internet. The effort to “Badger the FCC” came after serious questions were posed after the FCC released a National Broadband Access map last year.

Door County to look at potential partnership with Brown County on emergency management

The departure of Emergency Management and Communications Director Daniel Kane is the cause of Door County officials looking to rethink the structure of the department.

 

During Tuesday’s Door County Board of Supervisors meeting, the board will discuss potentially splitting the role Kane held for five years beginning in May 2018. Under a proposal laid out by Door County Administrator Ken Pabich, the Door County Emergency Management and  Communications Department would be separated into three areas: E911 Call Center/Communication Center, Emergency Management, and Public Safety Communications/Towers. The emergency management and E911 Call Center/Communications would be their own departments under the proposal while Public Communications/Towers would be placed under the Technical Services Department umbrella. A new director would be hired if the county is unable to form a partnership with Brown County to combine emergency management functions. The proposed plan would create one new position and increase the 2023 budget by just over $44,000 and $100,000 in 2024.

 

The Door County Board of Supervisors will also discuss accepting the grant from Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund and transferring money to make safety improvements to the area around State Highway 42/57 and County Highway BB (Gordon Road) when they meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

Busted breaker leads to west side outage

A power outage early Monday morning may have caused you to reset your clocks and show a little more patience driving. Sturgeon Bay Utilities announced that it experienced a widespread power outage at approximately 7:15 a.m., sending multiple crews out to address the issue. Within an hour, SBU says they were able to restore power for the majority of its customers outside of a small group around Duluth Avenue. The outage caused some businesses to open later than usual and forced intersections with traffic lights to turn into four-way stops. SBU's Jim Stawicki said the culprit was a broken breaker in its Redwood substation. Stawicki said they are looking to replace that breaker and they are not sure why or how it broke. The outage did not affect the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. 

Brush fire burns 10 acres in Gibraltar

A brush fire that burned 10 acres near a business in the Town of Gibraltar remains under investigation after six fire departments and several other agencies responded Saturday afternoon.

 

The Gibraltar Fire Department was called to the scene just before 2:30 p.m. to a field off of Choke Cherry Lane near the Settlement Inn and Lavender Spa. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System was activated shortly after arrival when the fire that started as one acre in size grew rapidly. Taking advantage of the dry and windy conditions, the fire grew to nearly 10 acres in size.

 

It took firefighters two hours to contain the fire and six-and-a-half hours to fully extinguish all the hotspots. Baileys Harbor Fire and Rescue, Ephraim Fire Department, Egg Harbor Fire Department, Jacksonport Fire Department, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Door County EMS, Door County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Peil Construction, MABAS 154 Incident Support Team, American Red Cross of Wisconsin, and the owners and employees of Settlement Inn and Lavender Spa all provided assistance on the call.

 

No injuries were reported and no cause has been determined.

 

Picture courtesy of Gibraltar Police Department

 

 

Rio Creek Airport prepares to celebrate 50th year without its founder

You have been able to fly into Rio Creek for over 50 years, but this will be the first without a familiar face cutting its runway.

 

The late Don Walter was a founding member of the Rio Creek Aviation Association, buying the land for the airport in the 1970s before adding the nearby Rio Creek Airview Campgrounds years later. Walter passed away in March, ahead of the 50th anniversary of the airport and the annual fly-in commemorating it.

 

If Walter was not by his airplane, he was often cutting the grass on the property. That task is now handled by Rio Creek Aviation Foundation member Bill Roethle, who says he is thankful for all the work Walter did to help grow the hobby in Kewaunee County.

The Rio Creek Aviation Foundation will host its annual Fly-In at the Rio Creek Airport beginning at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast on July 1st. The daylong event also includes airplane rides, live music, food, and other activities. All proceeds go back to the foundation, which this year awarded a scholarship to Aaron Funk as he looks to be the fourth generation in his family to turn aviation into a career.

 

Picture courtesy of Rio Creek Aviation Foundation

Algoma's Perry Park gets a makeover

You may have noticed Perry Park has had some new changes. Plans to change the park have been in motion since January, but it only took the City of Algoma 2 weeks to install the new playground structures. The new playground is bigger and has much more for wider age gaps of kids. New installations range from new swings, a three-story slide, and an in-motion Simon-says-like game. The park is open from dawn to dusk each day. Casey Groessl, Public Services Manager for the City of Algoma, talks more about what there is at the park. 

The park is essentially complete besides a few fill-ins of woodchips. 

 

Photos of the new Perry Park below.

 

Warm weather no match for Kornhole for Kids Sake Saturday

Although it was a warmer day in Door County, many teams and people showed up to Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Kornhole for Kids’ Sake event. 

 

A full bracket of all ages showed how important the event was, and the cornhole was just the start of the entire day. A smaller board for kids prizes, a raffle to win prizes from businesses who sponsored the event, and a “korn roast” to give the competitors and the people watching some food to eat as well. Big Brothers Big Sisters Door County Coordinator Patty O’Rourke said the event has grown each year since making it a cornhole tournament instead of bowling, and says this year was no different. 

 

 

The teams of the tournament were competing for a grand prize of 250 dollars and overall bragging rights. The proceeds of this event all stay in Door County, as with Kornhole for Kids’ Sake being the biggest fundraiser of the year for Big Brothers Big Sisters the money goes towards the one-on-one matching and coordination to get the “bigs” and “littles” together at no cost to either person. 

New app puts DCMC at people's fingertips

You will have your health information right at your fingertips thanks to a new app from Door County Medical Center. The My DCMC app will allow its patients to manage their health information, access their medical history, and view their test results on their smartphones. The new interface replaces the previous Patient Portal where patients are able to schedule appointments and pay their bills. Not only will the My DCMC app allow you to buy flowers for loved ones laid up in the hospital in addition to the previous Patient Portal features, you can also access a number of medical resources to learn about various medical conditions and treatments along with healthy living tips. The My DCMC app is available in the Apple and Google Play stores to download.

Martin Park hosts this years' Open Door Pride Fest

Hundreds of people spent their day at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay in support of pride month for the Open Door Pride’s “Open Door Pride Fest” held on Saturday. 

 

Tents lined the outside of the park with fun activities for all, from a henna tent to a massage tent to relax in the warm heat to businesses showing their support at the event by having their own tent. At noon on the big stage, the ‘June is Open Door Pride Month’ proclamation took place, which many people showed their support by responding in excitement to the words of encouragement. 

 

 

The prestigious Sandy Brown Award and IDEA Student Scholarship was presented at the festival, and across the street people were able to show off their artistic ability for free art activities and take pictures at a selfie station. The event was the seventh of its kind, which runs annually during June. 

Door County History Days continues with Heritage Village event

On one of the last days of Door County History Days, Heritage Village at Big Creek hosted a Indigenous storytelling seminar late Saturday morning. 

 

David Lea led the seminar for a room full of people about many different things, but most specifically about the life of Simon Kahquados and the path he took, the things he hoped for, and the many things Kahquados accomplished. The Door County Historical Society has had many events throughout the week of Door County History Days beginning on Monday, June 19th and finishing on Sunday, June 25th. 

 

 

One familiar place that Lea brought up in the seminar was Peninsula State Park, and its monument on the golf course. He also told the audience about a funeral which had over 200 Model T cars lined up on the golf course. 

 

You can find Sunday, the final day, events on the Door County Historical Society website. 

Rock painting brings remembrance to loved ones

Saturday morning at Jak’s Place in Sturgeon Bay was a chance for community members to add their lost loved one to their memorial rock garden and bring some memories home with them. 

 

At first it may have seemed like the painters were just enjoying a nice Door County Saturday, but there was a much deeper meaning behind the rocks. From events like adding those rocks to the garden to bringing home a plant that can represent a piece of the loved one to a biodegradable balloon release with a message to the loved one, the event gave a sense of closure to many people. Jak’s Place in Sturgeon Bay’s Lisa Barnaby and Sam Burris shared more about the event. 

 

 

Jak’s Place holds many recurring events, but this “Memorial Rock Party” was much more than a usual event. Barnaby and Burris made sure to make one thing clear: they did not need to know who you were or who you were making the rock for, but ended up hearing many different stories throughout the day. 

Community paint by number brings community together

You could have enjoyed the warm weather and done some art within your community. This is Yonder’s second mural within Sturgeon Bay, they have done many more outside of Door County, from Manitowoc to Algoma. You can find their art anywhere. The community paint-by-number is located on the side of the Door County Epicenter on Fourth Avenue. Erin Labonte, one-half of Yonder, talks about how community involvement is so important.

 

 

The mural will be completed by the end of June 23rd. This summer is packed with murals that will be started by Yonder. 

 

Photos from the community paint by number below. 

 

 

 

Door and Kewaunee County are set for plenty of family events this 4th of July

This upcoming Independence Day will not have a shortage of events for you and your family. You can enjoy fireworks, parades, live music, and more in the days leading up to the 4th of July. Starting on July 1st, enjoy the day on Rock Island over by Washinton Island and take a ferry to participate in a silent auction, with food and kids activities. Later in the day, you could go to Fish Creek, at 9 pm there will be fireworks. 

 

On July 3rd take a trip to Kewaunee from 12 - 8 pm and cookout, and see the second annual art walk. If you are farther north, go to Egg Harbor and 4 pm - 10 pm and enjoy live music and fireworks. 

 

The 4th of July is packed with events, from Washington Island fireworks at 8:30 to a Kewaunee 5K. Make your way up the peninsula, start in Kewaunee at noon for the Lakeshore Firecracker 5K and go through Sturgeon Bay, Bailey’s Harbor, and Gills Rock for food, live reggae, an arts and crafts market, and more. 

 

Firework Schedule - 

July 4, 9:15 pm: Sturgeon Bay

July 4, 9:15 pm: Baileys Harbor
July 4, 9:15 pm: Gills Rock
July 4, 9:15 pm: Washington Island

The Best Paddle for Your Kayak Adventures -- Kayak Series III

I was fishing several days ago in Ellison Bay and along came a couple of recreational kayakers with nice kayaks. I could tell from the aluminum shafts that their paddles were lower end and heavier than what they should be using. Fishing was slow so I chatted with the father and son out on a beautiful day for kayaking. I mentioned that they might have even more fun with a lighter paddle and handed them my 27- ounce paddle. They were surprised at how nice and light my paddle felt compared to theirs. 

 

Many kayakers and kayak anglers spend much more time and money on their kayak than on their paddle. When I give talks, I suggest people buy the lightest most expensive paddle they can afford. It an investment like the kayak and will last for years. Nothing can ruin a fun day on the water faster than a heavy paddle and until you are using a lighter one, you may not even know it. I would suggest using 32-ounces as a benchmark for the heaviest paddle you should look at and you don’t have to spend $300 to $500 to get a very nice paddle.  There are great paddles with carbon shafts and fiberglass blades that are very affordable.

 

When considering a new paddle, you will want to check out one of the length charts you can find on-line. Your height and the width of your kayak are part of picking the correct length. Most will be fine with a two-piece snap ferrule, but some paddles can be adjusted up to 15 cm which can be helpful for different water and wind conditions. Checking with a good outfitter or asking questions on Facebook kayak sites can be helpful.


Picking the correct paddle for you is very important, so if you have any questions, please email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com and I’d be very happy to help.

Therma-Tron-X expanding with new addition

A major business in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park will be adding to its sizeable footprint on South Neenah Avenue soon.  Therma-Tron-X (TTX) will be building an addition of over 3,300 square feet that will also change the look of the existing façade facing the street.


Owner Brad Andrae says the project will more than double the size of TTX’s maintenance facility while putting a second-story mezzanine inside the original building.  The expansion will also allow for adding 30 more engineers to the 90 they already have working at TTX.  Andrae shares the details of the new addition and other future plans for the facility.

 


The Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park Development Review Team approved TTX’s application for the addition last week.  Andrae adds that the new roof and addition should be completed by the end of the year while the earlier purchase of land to the south will allow for two new expansion plans in the future.  Employing nearly 300 workers, Therma-Tron-X was founded in 1969 and specializes in manufacturing automated paint-finishing systems and water treatment equipment. 

Blessing of the Fleet wishes best for fishermen

A tradition dating back centuries will be on full display this Sunday as the annual Blessing of the Fleet occurs in Baileys Harbor. 

 

Fishermen are welcome to bring their boats to the blessing to start a safe and hopefully successful fishing season in Baileys Harbor, which is known for its rich fishing history in past years. The event first originated in Baileys Harbor, and then other communities joined on to the Blessing of the Fleet, making it more of a popular event than many will realize. Baileys Harbor Destination Director and Community Coordinator Cynde Ploor talks more about what the event really is and what it means to the community. 

 

 

The day of events begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Baileys Harbor farmers market that runs all the way up till 1:00 p.m., the time of the blessing. There will also be yoga in the park according to Ploor, and live music throughout the day as well. 

Community cuts ribbon for new Otumba Park playground

The long wait is over for your kids as officials from the City of Sturgeon Bay, Destination Sturgeon Bay, donors, and community members officially opened the Otumba Park playground. Families were not just greeted by an all-accessible playground with new equipment, but also food, music, and some of their favorite characters like Bluey and Princess Ariel. The groundbreaking for the park took place in April, but the fundraising for the nearly $500,000 started months ago. For the project’s fundraising leader Ashley Schanock, it means a lot to see eager children climbing on the equipment and playing with each other.

The new equipment has three distinct areas for children to enjoy when they come to the park to play. 

 

 

 

Air quality concerns expected to continue into the weekend

If you struggle with your breathing on a regular basis, you may want to consider reducing the amount of time you spend outdoors this weekend. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Ozone until 11 p.m. Friday night thanks to favorable meteorological conditions and the Canadian wildfires that have been plaguing the area for weeks. Peak ozone concentrations are expected to take place between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m., causing the air quality index to reach the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” level and potentially the “unhealthy” level.  During peak times, people with lung diseases like asthma, children, older adults, and people who are active outdoors should reduce or consider avoiding heavy activity. Even once the warning expires, the smoke and the haze is expected to stick around, causing poor air quality later into Saturday.

Washington Island shows off what they have to offer

You have the opportunity to take a ferry and see the unique details of Washington Island. With farmers markets every Saturdays from 9 am-noon, you are sure to have an interesting weekend. Washington Island started doing farmers markets about 6 years ago, and started with only two farms, and this past week they had 13 local vendors. Become a vendor and sell your crafts and goods, or visit the island and have a story to tell. Gathering Ground, a community-based organization, has many events and workshops for those who want to give back and get involved with the Earth. Enjoy the geography while also showing thanks. Alessandra Rolffs, Executive Director for Gathering Ground, talks about why visiting Washington Island is important.

To learn more about the Gathering Ground, click this link.

4-H club experiences sweet taste of success

You will be able to experience it yourself at the Kewaunee County Fair next month, but the Pilsen Skylighters got one of the first tastes of the award-winning ice cream flavor they helped inspire.

 

Back in February, the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation announced that the Pilsen Skylighters 4-H Club’s entry was chosen as the winner of the Cedar Crest Ice Cream Flavor Creation Contest. “Cow Lick,” which is vanilla ice cream featuring a caramel swirl chocolate coated pretzels and fudge pieces, beat out four other finalists and 200 additional entries across the state. The winners received not just $500 for their club but also an ice cream party where they got to celebrate with the new flavor taking center stage.

 

 

Club officers Rachel and Dylan Grimm said their members divided into teams to think of fun flavor combinations and the names to go with them. With special guests like Packers public address announcer Bill Jartz joining in the celebration, the Grimms said the ice cream party was a great way to end a meeting and celebrate their accomplishment.

 

 

Some lucky tasters got to sneak a taste of Cow Lick at the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm last Sunday. In addition to the fair, Cow Lick ice cream will be available at Cedar Crest scoop shop locations throughout the state during the month of July. The closest locations include Ellison Bay, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Ephraim, Denmark, and De Pere.

 

 

Pictures by Jenny Salentine

Car rear-ended in bank drive-thru

A car waiting at a drive-thru window at a Sturgeon Bay bank had another vehicle nearly deposit itself into its trunk on Wednesday morning. The crash occurred before 11:15 a.m. at the Nicolet Bank location on 4th Avenue. Richard Malzahn of Baileys Harbor was approaching the drive-thru window when he accidentally tapped the gas instead of the brakes. He guided the car into the building before striking the car ahead of him, which was being driven by Karen Ash of Sturgeon Bay. Thankfully, there were no injuries and there was no damage to the building itself.

Man wanted for posting "suspicious video" in Door County

Law enforcement needs your help looking for a man who posted a suspicious video on a social media app on Thursday.  According to the Door County Sheriff’s Office, the man in the video is believed to be Devon A. Keller who has an outstanding warrant.  The 31-year-old Keller was believed to be in the area of Pit Road and Truway Road in the town of Union when deputies began their search.  Authorities conducted extensive searches on the ground and by air and were not able to locate Keller.  The video was posted on Thursday morning and there are no details are available on the exact content of the video at this time.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office is asking if you have any information on Keller’s whereabouts to contact them at (920) 746-2416.  

 

 

"Wind Phone" coming to Sunset Park

A relatively new concept founded in Japan and used as a tool for people to help grieve the loss of a loved one will have a permanent place in Sturgeon Bay at Sunset Park.  Josh Gregory, who lost his mother Judy a year ago, is working to put up a “wind phone” that is meant to help people ease their grief and bring closure in some cases.  In 2010, a Japanese landscaper who was grieving the loss of his cousin built a phone booth in his garden with a disconnected rotary phone to “talk” to him.  The “wind phone” was open to the public a year later after an earthquake and tsunami disaster hit Fukushima with people streaming to use it.  The popularity grew with other “wind phones” popping up around the world.  Gregory is grateful to the City of Sturgeon Bay for unanimously approving the installation of the “wind phone” at Sunset Park.  He explains the next steps in the project and how the “wind phone” is dedicated to the memory of his mother Judy.

 

 

Gregory notes that this will be the first “wind phone” installed in Northeastern Wisconsin with completion expected by the end of July. A GoFundMe page this week has already raised well over $500 for the “wind phone” with plans to add a bench and landscaping around it with more donations. 

 

(photo is a submitted rendering of the future "wind phone" at Sunset Park)

Big Brothers Big Sisters weekend event supports mentoring program

Big Brothers Big Sisters has been giving opportunities for kids for years on end, and they are hoping that their next event will let them continue that with help from the community. 

 

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin has been providing service in Door County since 2001 and has a mission of creating and supporting one-to-one mentoring relationships that help not only the “littles” in the programs, but the “bigs” as well. The Kornhole for Kids’ Sake will be raising money for just that, as all of the proceeds from the event will stay in Door County and according to Big Brothers Big Sisters Door County Coordinator Patty O’Rourke, will have a positive impact on the matches as she talks about the importance of the program. 

 

 

The organization prides itself in making a safe place for kids to talk and makes its “bigs” into mentors to give the kids at least one adult they feel comfortable with outside of their home life. BBBS puts on many events throughout the year to raise money for the program, and Kornhole for Kids' Sake looks to be the one of the biggest ones yet.

Kewaunee County Jail project bids come in $7 million over

Kewaunee County officials are going to the drawing board to figure out how to pay for estimated cost overruns in the proposed Kewaunee County Jail project. The Joint Finance and Public Property and Jail Strategy Committee received the dire news last week that the project will potentially cost approximately $7.7 million more than what was originally expected. Even with the money from earned interest, payments from Dominion, and other dollars from the county’s general fund could help limit how much money is borrowed, approximately $3 million additional may need to be borrowed. If that occurs, taxpayers could see their contribution rise from 20 cents per $1,000 of property valuation to 35 cents. That would raise property tax bills by $70 a year over the next 20 years for a $200,000 home, up from the original $40 projected. It was explained to the committees what may have happened during the bidding process.

Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson said they should operate in facts, not in hysteria. He added that at some point, a county this size cannot support a project like this, suggesting that the over $7 million could address some of the glaring issues with the current jail.

Members of the committee are skeptical that they would get the necessary votes from the rest of the Kewaunee County Board to move the project forward. The Kewaunee County Finance and Public Property Committee will discuss jail financing options further at their meeting on June 28th at 5:30 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee, which will take place ahead of the full board meeting. 

 

 

Kitchens' Right to Read Act advances to State Senate

A bill that got started in Door County and aims to help your kids read better took another step in the right direction Wednesday.

 

The Right to Read Act, which was introduced by Rep. Joel Kitchens of Sturgeon Bay and State Senator Duey Stroebel of Cedarburg earlier this month, passed the Assembly by a bipartisan vote of 67-27. The bill’s origin could be traced back to Door County where Baileys Harbor resident Kari Baumann lobbied not just the Gibraltar School Board but also the Wisconsin Legislature to change their approach to reading as she advocated for her son. Governor Tony Evers vetoed a similar bill last year, citing the lack of funding for the parts of the program. 

 

Kitchens said earlier this month when the bill was introduced that by transitioning to the technique known as the Science of Reading, which focuses more on the sounds of letters than words, they can start reversing the trend.


The bill also received the endorsement of Wisconsin State Superintendent Jill Underly, who said after the Assembly’s passage of the bill that is a big step in the right direction. It will still need to be passed by the Senate before Governor Evers can potentially sign the bill into law. 

 

Kitchens also had another bill pass through the Assembly chambers on a bipartisan basis. Assembly Bill 176, which will allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraceptives, was approved by a vote of 82-11. Kitchens said that with more access to effective birth control, there will be fewer unplanned pregnancies and fewer abortions. That bill is also heading to State Senate before it potentially reaches the governor’s desk.

Kewaunee County in need of volunteer drivers

Volunteers are the backbone of a community that keep members happy, healthy, and involved. If you look around at all of the different organizations or community events held in Kewaunee County, the bulk of the work is done by people who volunteer their time, energy, and passion for making Kewaunee County a great place to live. 

 

Kewaunee County Human Services is recruiting volunteers for the Driver Escort program.  The Driver Escort program is available to individuals in the County who are eligible for services and do not have any other means of transportation and want to remain independent in the community.  The program runs on the use of volunteer drivers to provide the rides to screened participants.  Currently, the program has 27 volunteer drivers that provide an average of 280 rides per month to individuals in the County and an average of 3306 miles are driven per month.  Volunteers receive mileage reimbursement.  Our program is growing and we need additional volunteers to meet the demand of rides. 

 

We asked our current volunteers why they volunteer and here are some of the responses; Jean Robinson who has been volunteering since 2016 states “The clients are so grateful for the rides and how many people you would never have met without volunteering. It really is very satisfying how wonderful you feel in helping people.” Another volunteer; MaryAnn Breitlow shares “I very much enjoy helping people, but until I joined the transportation program, I never realized how much of a need there was.  Many people have no other way to get to their appointments as other driving services are much more expensive. It is so wonderful to be able to look back on your day and know that you helped someone who could not have gotten to their appointment or work etc. without your help. The mileage reimbursement is a nice plus as well. It is also a great way to meet new people and even keep some as friends. If there are any retirees out there who want a more fulfilling life and are a good driver, this is a great opportunity!”

 

Becoming a volunteer is easy!  If you have a valid driver’s license and some time to spare, you can volunteer and set your own schedule.  The program runs Monday through Friday during office hours.  Training is provided.   Please reach out to us for more information or with questions, we can be reached at 920-388-0626.

Door County Baseball League starts drive for AEDs

When you take yourself out to the ballgame, the Door County Baseball League hopes you consider the safety of the players and the crowd with your spare change. A potentially dangerous situation inspired the most recent drive for Door County residents to donate money to purchase defibrillator units, this time for the ballparks that host Door County Baseball League games. Earlier this season, a Maplewood pitcher was struck in the chest by a baseball hit by a Kolberg batter. While he survived the scare, the event brought back memories of Buffalo Bills defensive back Demar Hamlin, who had his heart stop on the field after suffering a blow to the chest during a football game. Six of the eight Door County Baseball League parks do not have defibrillators, also known as AEDs. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht regularly attends games to watch his son Matt play for the Sister Bay Bays and he hopes people on both sides of the dugouts stay safe with the installation of new AED units at all of the parks.

 

 

Hecht helped lead a countywide effort to install AED units across the county last year. Residents and visitors responded in a big way, helping the Defibs for Door County campaign raise enough funds to purchase 83 units, which typically cost $1,500 each. You can learn how you can donate to the cause below or bring your donation to one of the Door County Baseball League games this weekend in Kolberg, Sister Bay, Egg Harbor, or Baileys Harbor.

 

Sunrise Elementary Summer School fundraises using sweet treats

Lemonade stands have been common for years, but a summer school class at Sturgeon Bay's Sunrise Elementary has found itself with a successful one this week. 

 

The stand did not only feature lemonade, as puppy chow, tattoos, water balloons and much more was available while fundraising for a new playground, which will replace the current playground which is over 25 years old. The kids working at the stand also made fun memories during their summer school days. Sunrise Elementary School’s Administrative Assistant Brenda Hartl and Sunrise Elementary Summer School Principal Amanda Wilke talk about the lemonade sale and how it all came to happen. 

 

 

The line for the stand reached the road of 15th Avenue at times during the sale, which came to a close on Tuesday at 11:00 am. If you missed the opportunity to purchase lemonade or anything else the students were selling, there will be another sale from 9-11 am on July 18th and 19th. There is also a link on the Sturgeon Bay School District website to donate to the playground fund as well. 

 

Picture Courtesy of Sturgeon Bay School District's Facebook 

Michigan Street close to reopening

A major thoroughfare through the City of Sturgeon Bay could reopen by the end of the week for your travels. Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik announced on Wednesday that crews will be applying the final layer of asphalt on a stretch of Michigan Street from just west of 12th Avenue to 4th Avenue and some of the connecting streets in between. That could make it possible that those streets will be reopened to all traffic on June 23rd. Shefchik advises motorists to avoid the area until the work is completed. Work on the roadways began on June 7th. You can read the full construction update below.

 

Construction Update - Sturgeon Bay Roadway Projects

 

If things go well Michigan Street and all of the roadways branching off of it will get their final layer of asphalt tomorrow (June 22nd) and finish by the end of the day.  Therefore, if things go according to plan the following roadways will be reopened to full traffic on June 23rd! 

 

  • Michigan Street (from just west of 12th Ave to 4th Ave)
  • N 12th Ave (from Michigan Street to Louisiana Street)
  • S 8th Ave (from Michigan Street to Oregon Street)
  • S 7th Ave (from Michigan Street to Oregon Street)

 

Please completely avoid these areas if at all possible tomorrow (June 22nd).

 

  • S 16th Place (from Rhode Island Street to Utah Street) should be completing on Friday (June 23rd) and the following roadways were completed this morning:
  • W Juniper Street (from N Duluth Ave to N Fulton Ave)
  • N Elgin Ave (from W Juniper Street to W Hickory Street)

 

While these activities are taking place all of the roadways under construction will be closed to all nonlocal traffic.  Therefore, if you are not traveling to a property within the closed areas please do not enter the closed areas at all.  Generally, all of the closed roadways will have “soft” closures so that people who live within the closed areas can get to their homes.  However, Michigan Street will have full hard closures between 12th Ave & 14th Ave and between 4th Ave & 5th Ave to discourage people from improperly entering the closed areas.  These closures will remain in place until the new asphalt surfaces are completed.

Swimming opportunities abound at Door County YMCA

With summer officially here on the calendar, the Door County YMCA has a slew of swimming programs available at its aquatic centers in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay.  Aquatics Director Makayla Thoma says some swimming lessons classes are still open for registration for children from third grade through high school age. She notes that the summer swim team starts up on June 26th with sign-up availability, along with the Peak Performance Clinic with Director Mike McHugh.

 

 

Thoma added that a lifeguard course will be offered in late July at both program centers and that more swim instructors are needed in order to increase the number of swimming classes offered at the Y.  For more information on the swimming programs, you can contact the YMCA at 920-743-4949 or by clicking this link

Waniger Schoolhouse saves history for future generations

If you want to take a trip back in time and learn what it was like to go to school in the 1800's, you have the opportunity to see the recently restored Waniger Schoolhouse that has been open since the early 1880s. Local volunteers in the school's restoration efforts have been meeting for years and were all involved in local education. The team has yearly reunions to celebrate the history they preserved. Nancy Feld, a retired teacher at Southern Door, gives a tour of the building and shares more about the restoration process. 

 

 

If you want to visit the schoolhouse, it is open Saturdays from 12 - 3 pm.

 

Photos from the Waniger Schoolhouse below.

 

 

 

 

Rare "Eggs of Art" Collection gets permanent home at Kress Center

A new permanent display from the Public Arts Initiative (PAI) of Egg Harbor will open this Thursday at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion.  The “Eggs as Art” Collection of Kathy Guillaume Beck was donated to the Village of Egg Harbor and will be permanently featured at the Kress Center for the public to enjoy.  Public Arts Initiative of Egg Harbor President Ken Mathys says the one-of-a-kind collection has over 600 eggs, with 500 of the eggs being artistic in nature having been hand-painted and carved by Beck and other artists.  He notes that about 100 of the eggs are actual wild bird eggs, including a 70 million-year-old dinosaur egg featured in the movie Jurassic Park.

 

 

The “Eggs of Art” Collection display will open officially with a free reception from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. this Thursday, June 22.  The PAI was founded in 2010 as a committee under the Village of Egg Harbor, before eventually becoming its own non-profit organization in 2017 and working in close partnership with the village to promote the arts in the community.

 

(Photo courtesy of PAI and Kress Pavilion)

Otumba Park playground grand opening set for Friday

The construction of the new playground at Otumba Park is finally nearing completion, and the date for the grand opening ceremony has been set. 

 

With the flooring needing time to cure, June 23rd was announced as the ribbon cutting day. The bright new playground replaces the previous one that stood for years. From new slides to an overall larger place for kids to play, the final product of the playground makes the park much improved. 

 

The ribbon cutting ceremony will begin at 12:00 pm on Friday and there will be opening festivities that include music from a live DJ, visits from characters such as Princess Ariel and Bluey, face painting and a balloon artist. The park will also be able to be used after the ceremony after months of waiting.

DNR develops new strategy against Phragmites

An invasive and woody reed found throughout the Door Peninsula has the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announcing a statewide approach to manage the non-native plant.  Phragmites, an aggressive wetland plant with a wide distribution across the country, negatively impacts the ecosystem of wetlands by shading out and overtaking native plants.  The science-based strategy of management by the DNR will utilize Surface Water Grants to prioritize Phragmites-focused planning and control applications.  You can find more information on the new Phragmites Statewide Management Strategy by clicking this link.

Sturgeon Bay moves forward on west side developments

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved several considerations and recommendations without going into closed session for two development agreements on Tuesday evening.

After public comments, an update of the Tewels Brandeis Granary project was provided by Project Manager Nicole Matson who shared that Phase I of the project will start once the funding from the USDA Rural Development is procured from a $3.3 million federal grant.  She added that a September groundbreaking is still on schedule and contractors recently repaired the roof that was damaged last fall.

A recommendation to approve a development agreement with Duquaine Development on Sturgeon Bay’s west side was approved.  It permits Phase II for two buildings of 30 units along Sawyer Drive, including financial assistance of $330,00 and changes to the annexation agreement.

An amendment to the development agreement with WWP, LLC. Was approved unanimously.

An American Transmission Company settlement from the mislocated burial of underground cable was approved, allowing plans for the Sturgeon Bay Plaza (WWP, LLC) project to move forward, including a bar and deli with outdoor seating.  The amended development agreement will include $685,000 for the project as part of a Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) loan. 

The council also approved amending the municipal code on natural landscape within the city and limiting grass length to 10 inches or less.

Improvements still coming despite roundabout grant approval

A new roundabout in Door County could be constructed by the end of the decade, but Highway Commissioner Thad Ash wants you to stay safe now. Last month, Ash told the Highway and Facilities Committee that the state had received approval for a grant paving the way for the roundabout to be potentially built at the intersection of Gordon Road and State Highway 42/57 in 2028, with a possibility it could be moved up to 2027. That has not stopped the Door County Highway Department from trying to find solutions to accidents happening now at the beleaguered intersection, which have totaled 25 since 2015. Supervisor Hugh Zettel challenged the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s belief that the accidents are caused by "80 percent locals" in correspondence written to Highway Committee Chairperson Roy Englebert. Ash says any work done now would likely be torn up when the construction of the roundabout begins in three to four years, but it is worth the investment.

The Door County Finance Committee approved the transfer of an additional $152,000 to make some of the proposed changes to the intersection and to nearby Old Highway Road, which has taken on additional traffic in recent months. The county board previously agreed to transfer $100,000 to improve the intersection at Gordon Road and State Highway 42/57. The Door County Board of Supervisors will meet next Tuesday at 9 a.m. to decide if it will approve the rest of the money needed to fund the project. 

Planning underway for Hope Beyond The Hurt Conference

Helping you build a resilient community in times of hurt is the goal of a conference being planned in Door County to take place later this year. The Door County Trauma Informed Care Community Team, made up of local non-profit, governmental, and health organizations, is working on creating the Hope Beyond The Hurt Conference to take place August 15th at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. The day-long conference will be open to professionals and parents in the community so they can learn how to build resilience within themselves and those around them by learning the Safe Person Seven Promises. Tamra Oman of EXPO of Wisconsin will be the keynote speaker at the conference, representing an organization that works to restore formerly incarcerated individuals to become full participants in their community. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says it should be a powerful day of learning.

You can register for the conference now by clicking on this link. You can also take a free online e-course to prepare yourself if you are interested in attending.

Warming waters causing increase in fish kills

You may have noticed an increased amount of dead or sick fish in your favorite bodies of water recently. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Monday that because the water is warming up, you may see more dead fish than usual. There is more than one cause for this, from pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, to environmental issues like low dissolved oxygen levels and thermal stress. The good news is it usually does not have a lasting impact on larger fish populations. 

 

The DNR urges the public and their pets to never consume dead or visibly sick fish. You should also report any fish kill events to your local fish biologist and do so quickly because water conditions and warm temperatures could make it hard to identify the exact cause of death.

 

From the DNR:

  • If you catch a diseased or dying fish or observe a fish kill, please take the following steps: 
  • Always wear gloves or wash your hands after handling dead or dying fish.
  • Anglers should not actively collect fish samples from a fish kill event. If you accidentally catch a diseased or dying fish, retain the fish as a part of your daily bag limit and place the fish in a plastic bag on ice in a cooler. Do not transport the fish to a DNR office or hatchery.
  • Note the waterbody, date, fish species and number of dead or dying fish and report it immediately to your local fisheries biologist or the DNR tip line (1-800-TIP-WDNR or 1-800-847-9367).
  • If possible, and it’s safe to do so, take clear images of the affected area (e.g., waterbody showing dead/dying fish) and close-up images of the affected fish.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Pets left in cars a growing concern

No matter how much you love your pet, it might be best if you leave them at home if you plan on taking them along while you run errands.

 

The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department has answered a number of animal welfare calls for dogs and other animals left in vehicles on warm days, including at Sunday's Breakfast on the Farm. Opening your windows a crack for your pet may not prevent them from suffering from brain damage or even death on warm days as the car’s internal temperature can reach well over 100 degrees on days when the outside temperature is 85 degrees.

 

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says people who encounter pets in vehicles should try to locate the owner first by alerting nearby store owners or calling law enforcement before taking matters into their own hands.

Joski advises pet owners to leave their pets at home or at a kennel if possible to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat when possible. If your pet absolutely has to come with you, he recommends having a person with the pet to ensure its safety.

Percussionists salute Lukes as Birch Creek opens season

A salute to a Door County legend is part of the opening week of performances you can enjoy as the Birch Creek Music Performance Center kicks off its 2023 season on Thursday. Sandwiched between two performances highlighting musical themes of movies is one show paying homage to the life of naturalist Roy Lukes. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame posthumously in 2018 and played a huge role in the development and funding of natural areas in Door County such as The Ridges Sanctuary, Toft Point Wilderness, Newport State Park, Whitefish Dunes, Mink River Estuary, and Moonlight Bay. Birch Creek Executive Director Mona Christenson says they worked with Lukes’ widow and fellow naturalist Charlotte Lukes to help create the program entitled “Wild Percussion: Music in Nature.”

The second week of the session will include special guests Liam Teague and Anders Åstrand on select nights. You can learn about the full Percussion, Steel Drum, and World Music session by clicking this link and listening to our full interview with Christenson here.

Do Good Door County links local goals to cinema classic

A movie released in 1951 might give you an idea of the themes Do Good Door County are chasing locally. Formed in 2021, the organization has found out that many people within the community would like to age in place, which means having more in-home care rather than assisted living. Cynthia Germain, President of Do Good Door County says there are a lot of connections between the movie "The African Queen" and what they are trying to accomplish locally.

 

 

Katharine Hepburn, plays a religious spinster, whose missionary brother is killed in WW1 Africa. The main way to get supplies is through a boat called the African Queen, Humphrey Bogart, plays the captain who tries to help her to safety, the two spend most of their time arguing and eventually fall in love.  Do Good Door County is hosting a screening of the movie to help raise funds for the organization. You can find more information about the event by clicking this link.

Juneteenth story kicks off Door County History Days

The untold stories of the area are what the Heritage Alliance of Door County hopes you uncover over the next seven days and beyond. The organization kicked off its Door County History Days celebration on Monday morning with a special program featuring speakers from the state and local levels. Among the speakers were State Rep. Joel Kitchens, State Senator Andre Jacque, Rep. Mike Gallagher Constituent Services Representative Kelsey Fenske, and Wisconsin State Historical Society Ruth and Hartley Barker Director and CEO Christian Øverland. It was Øverland who revealed a story of how a native of Fish Creek and Door County became interweaved with the backstory of Juneteenth, the federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of African-American slaves on June 19th.


The Boynton Chapel in Baileys Harbor, the Pottawatomie Light House Museum on Rock Island, and the Juddville Cemetery are just some of the spots being highlighted as 15 non-profit organizations throughout Door County provide 30 programs for people to attend. You can find a listing of all of the events associated with Door County History Days by clicking this link.  

 

 

Three injured in highway crash

Three people had to be transported to Door County Medical Center on Sunday for suspected injuries after an accident in front of Morning Glory Restaurant south of Sturgeon Bay.

 

The Door County Sheriff’s Department was notified just before 1 p.m. Sunday to State Highway 42/57 in the Town of Nasewaupee. A passenger van driven by Roger Blasier of Sturgeon Bay was pulling onto the highway from the restaurant when it was struck by an oncoming vehicle in the southbound lane. The oncoming vehicle, driven by Alvin Hiemstra of Beaver Dam, tried swerving out of the way when it hit the rear of Blasier’s vehicle. While Blasier was unharmed, his passenger Gail Blasier, Hiemstra, and his passenger, Carol Hiemstra, were transported to Door County Medical Center for treatment. Blasier was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

 

State Highway 42/57 was closed for about 30 minutes as a result of the crash and it was reopened before 1:40 p.m.

City to take development agreement discussions into closed session

An apartment complex and an outdoor plaza could be two of the next major construction projects occurring in the City of Sturgeon Bay pending common council approval. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will discuss the development agreements with Duquaine Development and WWP, LLC in open session before finishing up the finer details behind closed doors. With Duquaine Development, the project centers around the second phase of a larger development that will consist of two buildings with a total of 30 units along Sawyer Drive. Duquaine Development is requesting $331,000 in financial impact, an amount that could come from the affordable housing funds generated from the one-year extension of Tax Increment District #1. Once the property is annexed into the city, it is expected to take about 12 years to recoup the investment through the increase in property value.

 

With WWP, LLC, the recent settlement with American Transmission Company after its construction of the underground bay crossing will allow plans to build the Sturgeon Bay Plaza, a project that will include bar and deli with outdoor seating, to restart. The amended development agreement includes grant funds the project has received. It is slated to receive $685,000 as a part of a TIF loan. 

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss a new ordinance related to natural landscapes when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Friends of Algoma Long Term Care Unit gives back and supports

Friends of Algoma Long Term Care Unit is a non-profit organization, that helps support and care for the staff and residents at the Algoma Long Term Care Unit. Some examples of what they do range from, buying lunches for staff and residents or buy needed equipment. The organization is 100% volunteer-run, and most volunteers have relationships with someone at the Algoma Long Term Care Unit. Marge Rodrian, President of Friends of Algoma Long Term Care Unit, talks more about how you can support this organization.

 

You had the opportunity to do some shopping from the trunks of people's cars on June 16th. Friends of Algoma Long Term Care Unit set up a fundraising event where anything you could fit in your trunk, you could sell. The organization does a few fundraising events throughout the year.

 

For more information on Friends of Algoma Long Term Care Unit and how to become a member, click this link. 

 

Krohn's Lake drowning victim identified

Saturday’s drowning at Krohn’s Lake remains a reminder of the potential risks you should be aware of when taking part in activities in and around the water. The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the death of a Two Rivers man after he drowned at Krohn's Lake County Park in the Town of Pierce Saturday afternoon. The sheriff's department was called to the park at approximately 4:20 p.m. after a caller stated that the man, who was identified on Monday as 29-year-old Javier Contreas, jumped into the water from the end of the dock and had not surfaced. He was removed from the lake just after 6 p.m. thanks to the assistance of the sheriff's department, Algoma Police Department, Algoma Fire and Rescue Departments, and the Door County Dive Team.

 

Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County

Tostitos Avocado Salsa Dips recalled for missing allergen label

Before you unwind with some tortilla chips and salsa, make sure you check the labels. Frito-Lay, which produces Tostitos Avocado Salsa Dips, is recalling the product because of a labeling error. While the front of the product is correct, the ingredients label has the information for a different one. Tostitos Avocado Salsa Dips contain milk allergens, which the recalled containers do not include. The recalled items are 15-ounce jars with a best-of-date of either November 2, 2023, or November 3, 2023. If you are allergic to milk allergens, you are advised to return the product to the store for a full refund or to throw the product. The product should be good to eat if you are not allergic.

Gilman honors late friend at Humane Society

Barbra Gilman’s passion for animals and the community does not go unseen. Gilman had been friends with the late Marilyn Jensen for the past 18 years. Together, they worked to create a place for animals to get support and a second chance. When both of them were board members of the Door County Humane Society, they pushed for a new building to be built. Gilman says “We did everything we could to raise money for the shelter and that brought us even closer.”

 

Gilman says she had the idea for Jensen’s Memorial for a while, adding that she wanted a quiet space for Jensen to have. Gilman created a scene for her friend and made sure to spread some of her ashes in the pavement, so that a piece of her would always be with what she loved. When asked, “What inspires you to keep Marilyn’s legacy alive?” Gilman responded with, “She was my friend.” Gilman talks more about her and Jensen’s work with the Door County Humane Society.

Last weekend was the unveiling of Marilyn Jensen’s Memorial Space. During the ribbon cutting, community members donated over $100,000 to help the Door County Humane Society Campus.

Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm helps families celebrate Father's Day

You could have been one of the many families who went to Breakfast on the Farm on Sunday, June 18th. Over 5,600 people attended this year's event, including approximately 500 people that attended mass officiated by Father Daniel Schuster of the nearby St. Mary Catholic Church. 

 

 

Hundreds of volunteers helped coordinate the event, from conducting farm tours and kids activities to cooking and plating items like scrambled eggs, pizza, and ice cream sundaes. Megan Salentine, from Salentine Homestead Dairy, says “It’s amazing how it all comes together… we are just so happy everyone could come” 

 

 

The next Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm will take place at Heim’s Hillcrest Dairy in Algoma on Father's Day 2024.

 

Photos from this year's Breakfast on the Farm below.

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations get assistance with Neighbor to Neighbor event

Equipment for businesses can be hard to come by at times, especially for non-profit organizations. That can change with Neighbor to Neighbor offering pre-selected items to members of the Door County Community free of charge. 

 

After sorting through their equipment and getting ready to bring in their new equipment after receiving grants, Neighbor to Neighbor is looking to make room and will be offering those items for permanent use. Equipment always needs to stay up to date with guidelines, which can be hard for non-profits to do from time to time. With this first come first serve event, this can be an opportunity for organizations in need. Neighbor to Neighbor Executive Director Ann Bennett talks more about the event and what you can expect to be available. 

 

 

Equipment can cycle in and out of businesses fast and regularly, according to Bennett and these items are permanent, instead of temporary like the organization usually offers. The event will take place at the Sturgeon Bay equipment facility in the basement of Cherry Cove assisted living facility at 1610 Georgia Street on Friday, June 23, 2023, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. only. 

Fyr Bal bonfire ushers in summer in Ephraim

All of your winter blues were burned away in Ephraim on Saturday night as the 57th Annual Chieftain Ceremony and Bonfire Lighting lit up the night sky. 

 

As the Chieftain was escorted on boat from Eagle Harbor to the Ephraim Town Hall and then to the fire, the event capped off what was a full day of activities during Fyr Bal. From a cornhole tournament to a pancake eating contest to the finale of the fireworks, people from around the state and even from different states flocked to the small village of Ephraim for the festival. The fire “ended the feeling of winter and burned away the winter witch” giving summer its official feel in northern Door County. 

 

 

The two-day festival kicked off on Friday night and ran from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm on Saturday, as thousands of people made their way through the main drag of Ephraim. One of the bigger events of the summer in Door County held up to its title, and showed the Scandinavian tradition to not only tourists, but to community members as well. 

 

Two RIvers man drowns in Krohn's Lake

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the death of a 28-year-old Two Rivers man after he drowned at Krohn's Lake County Park in the Town of Pierce Saturday afternoon. The sheriff's department was called to the park at approximately 4:20 p.m. after a caller stated that the man jumped into the water from the end of the dock and had not surfaced. He was located and removed from the lake just after 6 p.m. thanks to the assistance of the sheriff's department, Algoma Police Department, Algoma Fire and Rescue Departments, and the Door County Dive Team. The name is being withheld until friends and family can be notified.

Crossroads hosts 14th annual trail run

A picture perfect morning was just what runners were looking for as they had the chance to spend their time outside and in nature as Crossroads at Big Creek hosted their 14th Annual Crossroads Trail Run. 

 

Three course options were available for the runners as they could choose from a 2k, 5k, or a 10k run through the trails. Runners took off from the start at 8:00 Saturday morning and received a native American Arborvitae tree and a post-race cherry sundae as a congratulations. The event gave community members a chance to spend their summer weekends in the wilderness while also staying active at the same time. 

 

 

Proceeds from the run and walk event supports the Crossroads at Big Creek’s mission to offer education, conduct research and provide all the outdoors experiences they give to the community and organizations. Participants who registered on time were also given a t-shirt to commemorate the run.

Bikers cruise around Northern Door County Saturday morning

An early morning bike ride was in the cards for many riders as they rode in the 2023 Peninsula Century Spring Classic on Saturday morning. 

 

Riders of all ages were welcome to compete in the events, which were split into four different rides based on distances. The rides included the 100-mile which went as low as Institute and was high as Gills Rock, the Metric Century (64.9 miles), 50-mile and 25-mile. Each ride had a unique sightseeing opportunity in it, including a ride over Kangaroo Lake and through Cave Point for some riders. 

 

 

The idea of getting out and active was the main goal for most riders at the event. With the Peninsula Century Spring Classic being a ride instead of a race the competitors were given “suggested” starting times instead of all lining up at the start and racing against each other. The ride included seven stocked stations and the riders were provided with a post-ride meal. 

Open Door Pride offers empathy and support

You can have a safe place to learn and talk with others who relate to you. June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Open Door Pride is here to support you. With events and mixers sprinkled throughout the month, one thing you can be sure of is that Open Door Pride will be at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market on Saturdays 8 am - noon. They have pins, can koozies, and pride flags for everyone. The organization also hosts a 'What's My Pride' photo set up, where you and your loved ones can say what you are prideful for. Each year they take a handful of photos to display at the following year's display. Open Door Pride has open arms for anyone who needs to talk or needs extra support.

 

Photos of ‘What’s My Pride’ display and Open Door Pride’s Farmer’s Market booth below.

 

 

 

TAP welcomes in musical while reflecting on premiere

The busy summer season means more business for small businesses, and especially for local theaters, and the Third Avenue Playworks has felt that so far this summer. 

 

After just wrapping up their World Premiere Wisconsin show, “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by Jennifer Blackmer, TAP is now turning their attention to their newest production in the form of a musical. However, their World Premiere Wisconsin show was a hit according to Third Avenue Playworks Artistic Director Jacob Janssen as he talked about what World Premiere Wisconsin is and what comes next at the TAP. 

 

 

The Northern Sky Theatre and Peninsula Players Theatre both debuted their World Premiere Wisconsin shows this week as well. The Fish Whisperer at the Northern Sky and A Rock Sails By at Peninsula Players are shows available to be seen throughout the month of June and even into August. 

 

Daddy Long Legs opens at the Third Avenue Playworks on June 21st and runs through July 9th. 

Algoma welcomes visitors from all over the world

Your favorite foods may be unknown to those across the world, but local businesses in Door and Kewaunee counties are willing to help with an introduction to the region's newest visitors. Cruise ships will be a common occurrence in Algoma this summer, as will be the mobile visitor center that is stationed near the city marina. All visitors will be given maps of the area with all the restaurants and bars in town, so they won’t be going hungry while exploring. Elizabeth and Bill are two of the passengers aboard the Viking Polaris cruise ship that stopped in Algoma on June 16th. Visiting from Australia, Bill claims to have never had cheese curds or an old-fashioned, a classic pair for those who live or frequently visit Wisconsin. Although the couple has been to America before, they have never been to a city like Algoma. Bill looks forward to the food, the walkability of the town, and meeting new people. 

 

You have another chance to welcome some new faces to Algoma on June 20th when the cruise ship Hanseatic pays the city a visit at 8:00 a.m. It is carrying close to 300 passengers and crew members from Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Italy, and more. 

Movie filmed in Door County up for award

Not often do you get to see a movie made in your hometown, but residents of Door County can finally experience that as “Confessions of a Sailor” hits the big screen. 

 

Although the film experienced delays from when it was officially set to be released, the movie debuted at the 2023 Door County Short Film Festival. Now, it finds itself being nominated for an award at the 2023 MLC Awards on Saturday, June 24th. The main award the movie is nominated for is the “Best Midwest-Made Feature” but also has nominations for “Strong Filmmaking Talent in a Film” which would be given to director Kurt Krauss and for “Outstanding Supporting Role Performance” by John Schakel Jr for his role of William ‘Old Tobe’ Tobit.

 

The plot of “Confessions of a Sailor” is about a young writer who was sent to Sturgeon Bay in search of a story. He is told to take a look into the Carl Bradley, a ship that sank in Lake Michigan. You can see many familiar spots of Door County in the movie, including the iconic Sturgeon Bay Canal North Pierhead Lighthouse. 

 

“Confessions of a Sailor” will screen at the MLC Awards beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Aloft Green Bay. The awards ceremony, which includes the three nominations the film has, will take place at 9:00 p.m. 

Midsummer's variety goes beyond sheet music

You will be able to listen to the works of Faure, Bartok, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and several female composers through the end of the month, but that is not where the variety ends for Midsummer’s Music. The chamber music performance organization opened its season on Wednesday at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. It kicks off a series of over 40 performances throughout the summer, taking place at almost a dozen different locations throughout the county. That includes St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay on Friday, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim on Tuesday, and Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. Even though each of those performances will feature the same pieces by Bartok and Faure, the different venues all play differently to the musicians according to Executive Director Allyson Fleck.

 


Tickets are available for all of the performances through Labor Day weekend. You can listen to our full conversation with Fleck and new Development Director Seth Hanford by clicking this link.

Gibraltar students give the gift of beach time

The next time you have fun at the beach in either Ephraim or Baileys Harbor, you can thank a Gibraltar fifth grader. Before leaving the fourth grade this month, students of teacher Justin Burress worked on a service learning project to help benefit the community. An initial brainstorm of ten ideas was whittled down to a pair before they ultimately decided on constructing beach borrow bins. Based on the Little Free Library and Little Free Food Pantry concept, the beach borrow bins give discarded toys a new lease on life and make a day at the beach a little brighter. The students contacted business leaders for donations and municipal employees for permission before building the bins with help from Burress. From start to finish, Burress says it was all the kids.

 

 

You can find the beach borrow bins at the south side of Ephraim Beach and at Anclam Park in Baileys Harbor. As long as they are not inflatables that could blow away, Burress encourages you to donate other beach toys by placing them in the bins. 

 

Photo courtesy of Gibraltar Area Schools

Algoma welcomes first cruise ship of the summer

You will get familiar with the site of cruise ships and their tenders coming to shore in Algoma this summer. The first of nine different cruise ships, including eight from the Viking Cruise Line, lowered their anchor outside of the Algoma Marina Friday morning. The 665-foot vessel began shutting people to the Algoma Marina via tenders just after 8 a.m. beginning with members of the crew first followed by some of the passengers.

 

 

Algoma City Administrator Matt Murphy said a lot of work and conversations went into the logistics of welcoming hundreds of passengers to the area off of an international ship. He added the city is embracing what the opportunity will bring.


 

About a third of the passengers on the ship were going to be boarding buses to head off to area attractions in Door County and Green Bay. Locals like Steve Mayheu are helping out the Viking Cruise Line to give the excursions a local flavor as tour guides. He has given tours at Lambeau Field for a long time, but even he admitted to having some nerves about this experience.


 

Cruise ships and their guests are becoming a normal sight in Door and Kewaunee counties. A year after docking in Sturgeon Bay, the ship Ocean Navigator of American Queen Voyages cruised through the area on Thursday. In addition to the Viking fleet, the City of Algoma learned this week that the HANSEATIC inspiration will also make a stop in Algoma on Tuesday. That is in addition to the seven upcoming Viking Cruise Line stops going through mid-September.

Hauser to transition to new role at Crossroads

You will still see her at Sturgeon Bay’s Crossroads at Big Creek for the foreseeable future, but Executive Director Laurel Hauser will just have a different title. Crossroads at Big Creek announced this week that Hauser will be transitioning to a new role in the organization as its Development Director. Hauser became the executive director in 2020, navigating the organization through the pandemic while helping it create new trail systems, build improved pedestrian bridges, and increase programming opportunities. Hauser is excited to be sticking around with the other great members of the staff, but she believes the time is right for her to do something different at Crossroads at Big Creek.

The Crossroads at Big Creek Board is in the early stages of its search for a new executive director.

Johnsonville, Willamette Valley Fruit recalling product

Check your freezer because your lunch and dinner menu might have to change. Willamette Valley Fruit out of Salem, Ore. is voluntarily recalling select packages of its frozen fruit featuring strawberries grown in Mexico because of Hepatitis A concerns. The company packages its products under the Great Value brand at Wal-Mart. The specific packages to watch out for are Great Value Sliced Strawberries, Great Value Mixed Fruit, and Great Value Antioxidant Blend purchased between January 24th and June 8th. Johnsonville recalled more than 42,000 pounds of its “Beddar with Cheddar” links after a consumer reported to the United States Department of Agriculture that they had found thin strands of black plastic fibers. Although they are produced in Sheboygan, the packages were shipped to eight different states west of the Mississippi River including Iowa. In both cases, you are encouraged to bring the product back to the store to get a refund.

 

 

Motorhome a complete loss at Sister Bay campground

Officials are still trying to figure out how an unoccupied motorhome at a Sister Bay campground went up in flames Thursday afternoon.

 

The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department was dispatched to the Aqualand Campground on County Q in Sister Bay just after 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. After arriving at the scene himself and finding the motorhome fully engulfed, Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald called for mutual aid from his department to support the effort. Both departments aggressively attacked the fire to knock down the flames. MacDonald says the direction of the wind helped their actions as they were able to put out the fire with only a few trees getting scorched in addition to the motorhome. Approximately 2,800 gallons of water were used to put out the fire, which completely destroyed the motorhome. There were no injuries and firefighters were able to clear the scene by 2:30 p.m. Its’ owners are from the Green Bay area and they are meeting with investigators to determine what may have caused the fire and how to remove it from the campground.

 

MacDonald says the campground will operate normally this weekend as officials finish their investigation. 

 

Southern Door begins referendum construction

The summer project for the Southern Door School District has gotten underway as construction on multiple facets of the fall referendum began recently. 

 

In the fall, Southern Door passed their referendum, which had two different questions on the ballot. Question one asked to exceed the revenue limit by $975,000 for three years, beginning with the 2023-2024 school year and ending with the 2025-2026 school year, to maintain programs, services, and staffing. Question two asked for $14.9 million to fund a school improvement project. 

 

One of those projects on hand for the district was to move the district office, which was located near the entrance of the school, into the building where the fitness center used to be. With the movement of the office, there will be approximately 75 additional parking spots, something the district has needed for quite some time. 

 

 

In addition to the district office being relocated, the referendum included educational classroom improvements of the art, agricultural science, family and consumer sciences, and technical education classrooms. Construction of an indoor multipurpose training facility, updates to an aging septic system, and a construction of a bus garage are other projects included in the process which looks to be fully completed by the summer of 2024. 

Annual Fyr Bal welcomes summer in Ephraim

You have to opportunity to dig into your heritage on June 17th and celebrate the transition from spring to summer during Fyr Bal in Ephraim. This Scandinavian-turned-Door County tradition begins with the Artisian and Food Market starting at 10:00 am. Once it is dark, a bonfire, fire performers, and fireworks over Eagle Harbor will bring the night to an end. In between, Ephraim Tourism Coordinator Lane Methner says there is fun for everyone.

You can find more details about this year's Fyr Bal by clicking this link.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits -- Tad Dukehart

Jacque blasts shared revenue plan after Legislature's approval

The State Senate passed a shared revenue plan in a bipartisan vote that will send $1.5 billion to municipalities across Wisconsin and prevent the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County defaulting on Wednesday, but you will not find Senator Andre Jacque (R-De Pere) among its supporters. Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu, and Governor Tony Evers announced last week that the two sides compromised on a plan that also repeals the personal property tax and allocates more money for public and private school children. After the deal was announced last week, Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) said there are things he likes and does not like about the plan, but the fact they were able to reach a compromise was the biggest win. Jacque was harsher in his critique when he announced Wednesday why he did not support the measure. He says that “initial agreements that would have ended the duplicity of the falsely labeled “Police and Fire Protection Fee”, funded critical public safety communications, and doubled law enforcement training reimbursement while ensuring voter consent for on the imposition of sales tax hikes” were stripped from the bill that eventually passed by a 21-15 margin in the Wisconsin Senate with Jacque voting in the minority. It passed the Wisconsin Assembly earlier in the week by a 56-36 bipartisan vote and now will wait for Governor Evers’ signature.

 

STATEMENT FROM SENATOR JACQUE

“I have long championed efforts to eliminate unfunded mandates and empower local spending decisions.  Unfortunately, today’s vote will result in missed opportunities that will foreclose prospects for future reforms and represents a step backward from initial agreements that would have ended the duplicity of the falsely labeled “Police and Fire Protection Fee”, funded critical public safety communications, and doubled law enforcement training reimbursement while ensuring voter consent for on the imposition of sales tax hikes.  Over the last several weeks, these provisions were gradually stripped from the package behind closed doors, taking it further and further away from a place that would have my vote.

 

It is extremely disappointing that needed reforms to the state shared revenue formula have been held hostage to backroom deals that ostensibly bail out Milwaukee after decades of fiscal mismanagement - while at the same time allowing for continued wasteful spending and social engineering.  In the end, that was too high a price to pay for me to support this legislation.”

Quick-acting neighbor assists in Egg Harbor blaze

A toaster oven fire in Egg Harbor could have been a lot worse if it was not for the quick action of a nearby neighbor.

 

The Egg Harbor Fire Department was notified of the fire on Harbor School Road in the Heritage Lake development just after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The homeowner had been cooking a flatbread in their toaster oven when it caught on fire. When their combination of baking soda and water failed, the fire spread to other small appliances nearby and the shelving where the toaster oven was sitting. The homeowner’s neighbor saw flames through the window and was able to put the fire out with a small fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived. Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says the experience shows the importance of having a fire extinguisher in your home.

MacDonald added that crews remained on scene until just before 3 p.m. to make sure that the fire had not spread into the walls and to ventilate the home. The fire caused an estimated $1,000 to $1,500 in damage, but nobody was hurt.

 

Door County Medical Center Dental clinic earns state grant

Helping you get affordable dental care is like pulling teeth sometimes, but the State of Wisconsin is helping numb the pain with grants to several providers including the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic. Fourteen non-profit dental clinics received approximately $5.1 million from the state earlier this week to increase access to dental care. Each grant ranged from $59,000 to $150,000. The Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic has slowly been able to expand its services over the year thanks in part to the grants, but they still need help to meet the demand of the community.


A non-profit dental clinic like Door County Medical Center’s primarily serves children and families in need, including Medicaid members, people who have low income, people with disabilities, and people who are uninsured. Fischer says some of their programs have allowed them to take their services into schools and out on the road in order to serve more people.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Medical Center

Road construction season continues after STH 42/57 completion

Your drive is smoother heading north thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation finishing work on State Highway 42/57.

 

The DOT announced on Wednesday that it had finished the 1.2 miles of work stretching from Egg Harbor Road to the mid-junction of WIS 42 and WIS 57 in the Town of Sevastopol. The improvements will extend the life of the existing roadway, mitigate future flooding concerns, and provide a safer trip. Thanks to favorable weather conditions and its overnight work, the project not only finished ahead of schedule but also in line with its $1,554,844 budget.

 

For those that still want to see construction cones on their commute, the Door County Highway Department announced it will start work on County Highway Q on June 26th. The resurfacing work will stretch from the north end of North Bay Drive to Woodcrest Road. The roadway will remain open to traffic with flaggers guiding the way when necessary. The majority of the work is expected to be completed by July 21st.

 

As always, motorists are advised to travel with caution through road construction areas and obey all signs.

Door County Medical Center shows off newest clinic

You could have visited two of Door County Medical Center’s newest facilities within days of each other after the hospital showcased its DirectCare Clinic during an open house Wednesday. Located at the corner of State Highway 42/57 and Duluth Avenue (County S), patients will be able to use the DirectCare Clinic to get immediate attention for a number of common issues such as flu symptoms, sore throats, and urinary tract infections. While showing off the lobby area that will greet patients and the exam rooms where they will be treated, Outpatient Services Manager Michelle Johnson says they are excited to welcome everyone to the new space.

 

 

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. The DirectCare Clinic will officially open on June 26th. You can listen to our podcast with Johnson and Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise about the DirectCare Clinic by clicking on this link. Door County Medical Center also held an open house for its Sister Bay Clinic on Sunday.

Kornhole for Kids' Sake making a difference while tossing in fun

You can earn bragging rights while helping to support a local youth mentoring program at the annual Kornhole for Kids’ Sake in Sturgeon Bay later this month.  Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Northeast Wisconsin is organizing the event for the third consecutive year to raise funds for youth one-on-one mentoring across Door County.  Community Engagement Manager Ashley Stewart says the double-elimination tournament is for teams of two and will include a “korn roast” provided by the Sturgeon Bay Lions Club.

 


The Kornhole for Kids’ Sake will be from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay.  Last year, BBBS served 89 children in Door County and helped improve their educational success and socio-emotional competence by over 80 percent.  You can find out more about the BBBS program and this event by clicking on this link.  The Kornhole for Kids’ Sake is presented by Door County Medical Center. 

 

 

 

 

 

BBBS is also sponsoring an event this weekend in Ephraim:

Wildfire smoke brings caution back to Northeast Wisconsin

Smoke and haze from the Canadian wildfires have been making its way around many areas throughout the United States, and currently has an effect on Northeast Wisconsin. 

 

Although it may not be as obvious or substantial as scenes from the eastern United States last week, this damages the air quality for citizens and even forced those living in the areas affected last week to wear a mask. The air quality won’t reach those drastic numbers, Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard warns you about the air quality and what you can do to stay healthy. 

 

 

Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning is the peak time for the air quality to be poor, so as Kinnard mentioned, limiting the amount of time spent outdoors during those times could be something to think about.

YMCA Father-Daughter Ball this Saturday

An annual event that offers fathers and daughters a special evening together is scheduled this Saturday.  The Door County YMCA Father-Daughter Ball, with the theme of “Under the Stars”, will be held at the Sturgeon Bay Program Center from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.  Executive Director Tonya Felhofer says that some girls have even brought father figures to the event in the past.

 

 

Felhofer notes that the Door County YMCA is looking for additional volunteers for the event.  She adds that it’s a perfect opportunity for moms to be there taking pictures while helping out.

 

 

You can register for the Father-Daughter Ball online at doorocuntyymca.org or by calling the Door County YMCA at (920) 743-4949.  The cost is $40 per couple and $10 for each additional child. 

 

(Photo courtesy of Door County YMCA from 2022 event)

Recall on late model Jeeps for rear coil springs

You might be taking your late-model Jeep Grand Cherokee back to the auto shop later this summer. The company that owns Jeep, Stellantis, issued a recall on certain 2022 and 2023 Grand Cherokee and 2021 to 2023 Grand Cherokee L SUVs. 

 

According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a document posted by the company says that the springs may have been installed incorrectly during production and could detach from a moving vehicle, increasing the chances of a crash.

 

Over 354,000 vehicles are being recalled worldwide, with most being in North America. 

Stellantis says through documents that they are aware of 17 warranty claims that may be caused by the problem, but no crashes or injuries have been reported yet. Jeeps with air suspensions are not affected, and owners of affected vehicles will be notified by letter beginning on July 28th.

Newman family's dream begins with groundbreaking

For Abigail and Evan Newman, having a home to call their own is becoming a reality because of your generosity.

 

The Newmans took part along with Door County Habitat for Humanity officials and volunteers on Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony held at the home’s future site on Cherry Court. Truth be told, the Newmans have not missed a chance to be the at build site since excavators first dug the hole a few weeks ago and volunteers started to pour the concrete footings shortly after that. It goes beyond the sweat equity hours required of Habitat partner families, but an act of appreciation for the opportunity according to the Newmans.

 

 

 

This marks the 49th home build for Door County Habitat for Humanity in addition to its home repair and ramp efforts throughout the area. Build days are Tuesdays and Thursdays and volunteers to both help with the build and to cover the crew’s snacks and meals are appreciated.

Cyclists take to the roads Saturday for Century Ride

Motorists will have to be extra careful riding around Door County as the Peninsula Pacers host its annual Peninsula Century Spring Classic on June 17th. Hundreds of cyclists will take part in four different routes ranging between 25 miles and 100 miles. The routes take place primarily in the northern part of the county, with only the 100-mile route going as far south as Institute. The routes are open to normal vehicular traffic with one exception. The Door County Highway Department warns that County Highway F from State Highway 57 to Guy Street in Baileys Harbor will be closed for the event between 5 a.m. and 6 p.m. You will be able to access County F from Park Street.

Door County History Days returns

For the second year in a row, you will be able to find opportunities to learn about Door County's history up and down the peninsula through special week-long programming.

 

 The Heritage Alliance of Door County along with Destination Door County will present the second annual Door County History Days from June 19th to June 25th. The Boynton Chapel in Baileys Harbor, the Pottawatomie Light House Museum on Rock Island, and the Juddville Cemetery are just some of the spots being highlighted as 15 non-profit organizations throughout Door County provide 30 programs for people to attend. John Nelson from the Heritage Alliance of Door County says the event’s success last year showed that historical tourism is thriving in the area.

The event kicks off at the Miller Art Museum on Monday, June 19th at 11 a.m. with local leaders scheduled to speak, including Destination Door County’s President and CEO Julie Gilbert. You can find a listing of all of the events associated with Door County History Days by clicking this link.  

United Way of Door County offers new child care benefit

You have the opportunity to get monthly funds based on how long your child is in childcare. This joint effort partners employers with the Women’s Fund of Door County and offers funds to employees monthly payments towards childcare costs. You must have at least one child under the age of 5, and the child care benefit pilot program lasts 9 months once enrolled. 

 

The amount of funds you can get ranges based on the amount of time your child in is childcare. Molly Gary, Community Child Care Coordinator at United Way, talks more about what other benefits are available.

For more information on the child care benefit pilot program, click this link.

Resident calls for removal of Land and Water Committee chair

Tempers flared in the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting. Resident Nancy Utesch called for Kewaunee County Board member and dairy farmer Aaron Augustian to either resign or be removed from his seat after allegedly lying about an email inviting USDA scientist Tucker Burch to speak to the county. Burch recently co-authored several field studies on well contamination in Kewaunee County and spoke at an event hosted by Door County Environmental Council and Kewaunee CARES in Sturgeon Bay in March. Things got testy as the three-minute limit was about to be reached during public comment.


Other residents used public comment to ask the committee to use other periods of the meeting to address their concerns. Kewaunee County Conservationist Davina Bonness emphasized the importance of residents participating in their latest well-testing efforts, especially in the Village of Casco where nitrates concerns have dominated the conversations at the county, town, and village levels.

 

Picture from previous meeting as the recording posted below had no video

 

 

Weekly events in Sturgeon Bay kicked off with huge success

You have the opportunity to get out and do some shopping while supporting local vendors. The Sturgeon Bay farmers market takes place Saturdays from 8 am - noon in downtown Sturgeon Bay, with plenty of vendors, food, and people to talk to. Now in its second week, the farmers market has had a wonderful turnout from the community. Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski, Executive Director for Destination Sturgeon Bay, says “Everybody’s been very happy with the turnout, we’ve been very lucky with the weather as well but, it’s been a really great start to the season.” 

Harmony by the Bay also started last week, where members of the community gathered around  to enjoy  live music. This event takes place every Wednesday at 7 pm in Martin Park. Ehlers-Kwaterski also talks about the 23rd Annual Street Art Project, Bass Around the Bay. You can find 27 Bass in walkable areas of Sturgeon Bay. 

 

For more information click this link.

 

Electrical fire starts surge of generosity for dispatcher's family

While it will not replace what has been lost due to a fire in Forestville last Friday, you are already helping make sure the affected family gets back on their feet. The Southern Door Fire Department had to drive just a few blocks to the home on Lucerne Drive when they received the call at approximately 8 a.m.

 

According to Southern Door Fire Department Chief Rich Olson, flames and smoke were coming out of the kitchen window when they arrived. Thanks to the quick work of the Southern Door Fire Department and their mutual aid partners in Algoma, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Luxemburg, and Sturgeon Bay, crews were able to begin leaving the scene just after 9 a.m. before clearing it at 10:30 a.m. Not known at the time was that not only was it Door County dispatcher Marisa Anderson’s house, but she was also the one who had to take the phone call that it was on fire and send people out to extinguish it. In addition to parts of the house damaged by the blaze, three dogs, four cats, and a rabbit died during the fire. An extension cord was ruled to be the cause of the fire after investigators went through the building on Monday.

 

Olson says the Door County Fire Chiefs Association donated $2,000 to the family to help them get back onto their feet and to thank Marisa for all she does for the area’s departments.

 

 

In addition to the donation by the Door County Fire Chiefs Association, more than 100 donations have raised almost $7,700 as of 4 p.m. Monday through a GoFundMe page that you can contribute to here.

Times of Future Past in Kewaunee

Times of Future Past is a ‘festival for any era’ and offered a space to be anyone you want, and it lived up to that billing this weekend. People filled Winter Park in Kewaunee, with costumes ranging from Marvel characters to Renaissance and fantasy characters. Filled with all different kinds of vendors, they ranged from upcycled found items, handmade metal items, handcrafted ceramics, handmade jewelry and clothes, soaps, yarn, and much more. With food, music, and cool weather, it was a great way to meet new people.

 

Along with costume contests and stage events, there was something for everyone. 

Marilyn Jensen Memorial Fountain shows tribute

On Sunday, June 11th, the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus unveiled the Marilyn Jensen Memorial Fountain. Jensen was deeply involved within the community and within the Door County Campus. She had a passion for animals and people, she served on the Board of the Door County Humane Society for 15 years, 12 of which she was the board president. 

 

With high emotions, one of Jensen's closest friends, Barb Gilman gave a speech in honor and cut the ribbon for the Marilyn Jensen Memorial Fountain. After the unveiling, friends, and supporters went inside to learn more about the Door County Humane Society and the impact Jensen made on the community. Gilman then made a surprise announcement that she would match donations up to $50,000. This was followed by a surge of donations and support for the Door County Humane Society. 

 

To learn more about the Door County Humane Society and to volunteer, click this link. 

 

 

 

Liberty Grove shipwreck added to State Register

After locating both underwater near the Door peninsula, you will now find the Boaz near the Emeline on the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places. The Wisconsin Historical Society added the Boaz shipwreck, a sunken schooner near the Town of Liberty Grove on Friday. It joined the list the same day as the Agnes and Ruth Lenfestey Mark House, a home built during the 1950s in De Pere, Wis. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the vessel spent most of its career carrying lumber from various ports throughout the Great Lakes region. In November 1900, the Boaz was caught in a gale while sailing for Racine, Wis. when it began to leak quickly. The schooner’s crew sought shelter in nearby North Bay, but it was not enough as the ship would sink and later be deemed too expensive to recover. The Boaz is the second Door County shipwreck to be listed on the State Register this year, following the Emeline’s designation in March. A third could drop anchor on the State Register of Historic Places later this year as the Sunshine, a scow schooner that was also a shipwreck near the Town of Liberty Grove, is also being discussed by the Historic Review Board.

Wait ends as Salentines prepare for Breakfast on the Farm

Your breakfast date at Salentine Homestead Dairy in Luxemburg will finally become a reality on Father’s Day after several years of waiting. The Salentine Family put their name in to host the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm event before their original date in 2020 to make sure they could celebrate their centennial status with thousands across the county and beyond. COVID and the lineup of other hosts pushed out their celebration until 2023, making the last few weeks all about getting their usual farm work done while also prettying up the place for their guests both known and unknown. Caleb Salentine says it has been a busy time on the farm, but they are looking forward to welcoming the community for this year’s event.

This marks the first time since 1992 that Salentine Homestead Dairy has hosted the annual event, which has over tripled the herd and added on a larger milking parlor and free-stall barn since that time. The Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm will take place this Sunday beginning at 7 a.m. with a church service followed by breakfast, farm tours, and other activities at 8 a.m. The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion is still looking for volunteers for this year’s event.

 

INTRODUCTION OF THE HOST FAMILY FROM APRIL 2023

 

 

Habitat building volunteer base

Door County Habitat for Humanity is hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on June 13th at 3 p.m. and your help is needed to make sure they can host a dedication ceremony later this fall.

 

Some of the initial work is already underway at 864 Cherry Court where the organization is building its 49th home. As the home’s partner family, Abigail and her son have already been assisting the volunteers in the early stages of the building as they start to accumulate the sweat equity hours Door County Habitat for Humanity requires.

 

Executive Director Lori Allen says the start of every home build is exciting, but it needs its stable of volunteers to grow to keep the positive momentum going.

Allen emphasized that if you cannot make it to a build site they can always use volunteers in the ReStore.

 

While the groundbreaking marks the beginning of Home #49, a different event that happened last weekend marked the near completion of another. Door County Habitat for Humanity hosted a thank-you lunch for its volunteers that helped with Home #48, which involved a complete remodel of a donated house in Algoma. A dedication of the house featuring the partner family of Kim and Amber, will take place later this year.

Door County Medical Center hosts open house in Sister Bay

Door County Medical Center held an open house for their new Sister Bay Clinic and Rehab Center on Sunday, showing off their major investment in the wellbeing of northern Door County residents.

 

The new state-of-the-art clinic replaced the Fish Creek location earlier this spring to better serve the community. The building itself does not have the old hospital feel, which is what Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens said they were hoping to make different. The event began with presentations and speeches from Stephens, new DCMC Board Chair Patti Vickman and Former Board Chair Bill Mundy. 

 

 

After the presentations were over, people who attended the event were led through a tour of the new facility, which includes a larger gym workout area, more office spaces for the employees and more rooms to accommodate the community that need therapy and rehab. 

 

Door County Medical Center hired architects from Florida to construct what the building would look like, and one of the architects even spent time at Peninsula State Park and talked to community members of Door County to see what the people needed and what the county truly has to offer.

Peninsula Players hosts World Premiere Wisconsin show

Peninsula Players Theatre will be a place to be for the next few weeks as they debut a World Premiere Wisconsin show, “A Rock Sails By" beginning on Tuesday. 

 

“A Rock Sails By" by Sean Grennan will have its world premiere at the theater, which is the fourth play of Grennan’s to premiere at Peninsula Players. The show features few roles that play big parts in the performance. Alongside “The Fish Whisperer” at Northern Sky Theater, the two shows will run nearly simultaneously to each other, with the show at Northern Sky running later into August. Peninsula Players Theatre’s Artistic Director Linda Fortunato talks more about the show and what World Premiere Wisconsin entails. 

 

 

You can see “A Rock Sails By” from June 13th through July 2nd on Tuesday through Sunday.

 

With Peninsula Players Theatre and Northern Sky Theater just beginning their shows, the Third Avenue Playhouse in Sturgeon Bay recently ended their World Premiere Wisconsin show. TAP hosted their show titled “I Carry Your Heart With Me” by Jennifer Blackmer on May 10th to 28th. The show was about the main character Esther Shannon, a government stenographer working for the US Air Force during the tempestuous Vietnam War. Lonely, conflicted, and haunted by voices from her past, Esther found herself smack dab in the middle of a troubling investigation. 

Shared revenue compromise sign of changing times

You saw something that has not happened a lot in the past four years: a compromise at the Wisconsin State Capitol between the Legislature and Governor Tony Evers. On Thursday, Evers announced that he had reached a tentative agreement with Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on a shared revenue plan that includes a 20 percent increase in funding for communities across the state. The plan also provides more money for K-12 education and keeps the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County from going bankrupt. Rep. Joel Kitchens says there are things he likes and does not like about the plan, but the fact they were able to reach a compromise was the biggest win.

With compromise in the air, Kitchens says it has made this budget cycle the busiest he has been involved in since he was inaugurated for the first time in 2015. That is partly because Republicans were in complete control with former Governor Scott Walker in office during his first few terms and neither side talked to each other over the last four years. He hopes it is a sign of better things to come as they approach their July deadline for the 2023-2025 budget.

Yonder brings Paint by Number to Door County

You and your family can get out into the community and do some art. Yonder, owned by Don Krumpos and Erin LaBonte, has made it their mission to promote the arts within communities, big or small. LaBonte and Krumpos started doing community murals in 2018, with great success, they have done one to two community paint-by-numbers every year since. LaBonte talks about how personal art is different from community-based murals.

With support from the Algoma Venture Academy,  they were able to do a large mural at the Algoma Book Corner this past school year. LaBonte and Krumpos are now bringing their art to the former Nicolet National Bank, 217 N 4th Ave, Sturgeon Bay. The community will be welcome to join on June 23rd from 9 am - 5 pm. 

 

To see some of the work done by LaBonte and Krumpos, click this link. 

 

SCENES FROM LAST YEAR'S MURAL PAINTING EFFORT IN STURGEON BAY

 

 

The Ridges Sanctuary welcomes their first female executive

The Ridges Sanctuary was Wisconsin’s first land trust in 1937, you can visit and help preserve over 1600 acres of land. Katie Krouse, assistant director of The Ridges Sanctuary, has been working at The Ridges since 2015 and recently became the first female director. Krouse is honored and excited to fill this position and says “The Ridges is surrounded by a lot of really incredible women, especially as it relates to our founders.” 

She has set goals for herself to see the sanctuary’s master plan come to life. Almost a year and a half ago, the concept of a master plan started and in mid-May, there was a unanimous vote to approve the plan. The master plan covers things such as facility improvements, land management, programming events, and more. Another goal Krouse has set is to establish a more substantial staffing model, which means continuing to engage with the community for volunteer opportunities. 

 

Krouse says this about how she got to where she is now, “I got where I am now by having a deep passion and a true belief in the work we do. I’m inspired by those that surround me and have taught me how incredibly special The Ridges is. With a little determination and passion, I’ve been able to grow into the role I’m entering. My advice is to find something and somewhere you are passionate about. Anyone can be a conservationist. Anyone can tell this important story. And if you have an ounce of passion and a belief in a mission attached to it, you will feel greatly rewarded for the work put in.” 
 

To read more about The Ridges Sanctuary and their impact on the community, click here.

Algoma Public Library hosts "Touch a Truck"

A chance for the youth of the City of Algoma to spend some time with law enforcement and “meet the heroes” will happen on Tuesday as the Algoma Public Library holds a “Touch a Truck” event. 

 

From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Algoma Public Library there will be trucks and vehicles from all of the city’s departments, including fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, and much more. Children and families will be able to ask questions for the volunteers and get to experience what the role the specific worker does. Algoma Public Library’s Adult Service Librarian Katie Haasch explains more about what the event is and why it was so crucial to put on. 

 

 

This is the second time the event has been put on as Haasch said she was a part of the event back in 2015 when they did it for National Library Week. This event coincides with the summer reading program “All Together Now” the library is putting on alongside the Door County Library as well. 

 

Haasch says that parking can be found on the street in front of the library due to the parking lot being closed for the event.

Kids enjoy summer opener at Sunset Park

The expected rainy weather for Saturday stayed away long enough for kids to experience a day filled with music, games, and activities at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay. 

 

The event was planned by the City of Sturgeon Bay, the Sturgeon Bay YMCA and Door County Public Health and has been becoming widely more successful each year they put the event on. Once again, the event appeared to be a success once again as kids enjoyed the many bounce houses and presenters throughout the day, including the Sturgeon Bay Fire and Police Department, plus musical appearances and more. 

 

 

People in attendance were able to ask questions to the presenters and volunteers, as well as climb a rock climbing wall and other fun activities. The fun-run was a success and kids were able to break out of their school ways and officially “kick off” their always fun summer vacation at Sunset Park.

Goats take over Sister Bay streets Saturday

Thousands of people found their way to the streets of Sister Bay on Saturday morning for the 9th Annual Roofing of the Goats Parade and Festival. 

 

The event was one of the many that would go on throughout the day in Sister Bay at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant. Community members were encouraged and allowed to bring their own goats to walk in the parade that began at 11:00 a.m. and others who did not have a goat were told to wear “goat costumes, viking hats, and other creative endeavors.” 

 

The parade was headlined by many goat owners bringing their own goat, and even AJ Dillon making once again another appearance in Sister Bay. There were prizes if a goat made a “deposit” on a piece of tape, as well as prizes for kids with their kids' games. With live music and goats around the local businesses, the village had one of its busiest days of the summer season.

 

You can see the video of the parade on Door County Daily News Facebook page, and below are some other pictures from the event.

 

Baldwin helps secure Great Lakes and coastal resiliency funding

Living in Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin knows how important the Great Lakes are to your daily life. It is part of the reason the Democratic senator from Wisconsin helped push for $2.6 billion to be allocated for coastal resiliency and Great Lakes-related projects with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Over the course of time, the money will help communities along the Great Lakes prepare for possible challenges presented by climate change such as issues with the fisheries, coastlines, and more. With how important the environment is to Wisconsin’s economy, Baldwin says the investment is worth it.

The funding is a part of the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed last year. Baldwin is proud of her role in writing portions of the Inflation Reduction Act that is starting to make a difference across the country.

Summer heat raises dehydration and exhaustion concerns

With temperatures consistently hitting 80 degrees and even days where 90 was obtainable, making sure you prepare accordingly for the heat should be in your weekly plans. Spending time at festivals, parades, and parks in Door County is what makes the area a big hit in these months, but Door County Health Educator Shauna Blackledge reminds you that in order to enjoy those events, you need to be hydrated and prepared. 

 

 

The key hours of the day to keep an eye on your health will be mid to late afternoon, as the hours of 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. have the highest potential for the warmest temperatures and can cause the most trouble. 

 

A common misconception according to Blackledge is the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion. One difference would be the temperature difference in the body as she explains that and more. 

 

 

People who are most likely at risk in the heat are the younger population of under four years old, seniors over the age of 65, and those with a medical condition. 

Pride Month events throughout Door County

You can get out in the community and celebrate Pride Month. Open Door Pride is hosting their 7th annual Pride Festival on June 24th from 10 am - 5 pm at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay. The festival is the main event, with other smaller events happening throughout the month. Admission to the festival is free, there will be vendors, food, music, games, and much more. 

 

Andrea Frank, Board Member at Open Door Pride, talks about how this is the first year there are events happening all month and what events are coming up. 

For more information on Pride Month events, click this link.

Turning Point Door County finds value in moving

After moving locations, Turning Point Door County has found more success and overall a better environment for those who need their services. 

 

Turning Point is an adult special needs day program that also does in-home care, alongside job training and some housing available for their special needs clients, which most other agencies do not have. 

 

Now at their new location on Michigan Street, Turning Point Door County has felt that the overall move has had a positive impact on their business in many ways. They’ve found more space to work in a bigger building and more room to grow the business overall as well. Turning Point Door County Operations Supervisor Cindy Josefson talks about what their organization is all about and some of the things they take pride in doing. 

 

 

Turning Point Door County offers many services and programs such as daily living skills, pre-vocational skills, transportation, and much more. 

 

On July 19th, Turning Point Door County will have their grand opening at their Michigan street location featuring bouncy houses and a grill-out. 

Let's talk some kayak fishing for smallmouth bass -- Kayak Series II

I have had a chance to hit the waters of Green Bay four days in mid-May and a few days around Memorial Day.  Even though Door County smallmouth bass fishing is not what it was back eight or nine years ago, it is still a fun time with an opportunity for some large smallies.

 

Throughout Door County, the smallmouth bass spawn is happening, and in many locations male bass are guarding those nests. It is important to let them do their important job. We have a large population of gobies in the waters of Door County and taking a male off the nest, even for a couple of minutes, will have gobies inundate that nest eating eggs and the fry once the eggs hatch. 

 

Kayak anglers tend to fish close to shore, where most of the nests are located.  In the clear water, it is easy to see nests, so I try to avoid those areas. Male bass are mostly concerned with predators and lures right in the nest, so I like using lures that are not fished on the bottom. Small swimbaits and curly tail grubs can work great swum slow and steady on a light chartreuse mushroom head jig. Fishing deeper, where there are few nests, I will use a 2.5” tube and the Ned Rig, which are both fished slowly on the bottom.

 

Here is another tip.  Up and down the shores of Green Bay there are Permanent rock piers and most of these attract smallies, although these are usually smaller fish. I will be touching on places to launch kayaks in a later article but know that any road that dead-ends at the water you can use to launch your kayak.  Just be sure you can park off the road.

 

Good luck, be safe on the water and if you have any kayak or kayak fishing questions email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

 

Pecks take Hidden Bridge to restaurant ownership

The more you think things change, Misty Peck hopes they mostly stay the same at Hidden Bridge Pub in Sturgeon Bay. Peck and her husband took over the former Stage Road Inn at the beginning of June after flirting with the idea for close to a year. Stage Road Inn regulars should be familiar with Peck, who worked under the guidance of former owners Tom and Barb Schmelzer off and on for 30 years. The new name is in honor of the rides she would go with her grandfather through the woods to get to her great-grandmother's house near the restaurant when she was a young girl. When the opportunity came up, Peck says she felt like it was important to keep the restaurant similar to how people remembered it.

Outside of a new paint job and some other improvements, the Pecks have kept the menu at Hidden Bridge Pub almost identical to what it was before with one addition: deep-fried pickles, which is a favorite of their eight-year-old daughter Ali. Hidden Bridge Pub reopens to the public on Saturday with a grand opening event featuring a bags tournament that will take place on June 24th.

Kitchens renews battle for better literacy practices

Rep. Joel Kitchens hopes his new bill will help your kids read better quicker in the future.

 

Along with State Senator Duey Stroebel of Cedarburg, the Right to Read Act hopes to find struggling readers sooner and place them on the right track to improve their skills while training new teachers to help in the process. In 2022, Stroebel said that nearly 70 percent of Wisconsin 4th graders were not reading at their grade level, which is the worse it has been since 1998. Kitchens says by transitioning to the Science of Reading, which focuses more on the sounds of letters than words, they can start reversing the trend.

Kitchens and Strobel introduced the new bill on Thursday and they are currently looking for co-sponsors. Governor Tony Evers vetoed a similar bill last year, citing the lack of funding for the parts of the program. Kitchens gave credit to Door County residents Kari Baumann and Jeanne Schopf for their roles in advocating for better reading practices.

Forestville home damaged in fire

It is still not exactly known how a fire started inside a home in Forestville Friday morning.

 

The Southern Door Fire Department had to drive just a few blocks to the home on Lucerne Drive when they received the call at approximately 8 a.m. According to Southern Door Fire Department Chief Rich Olson, flames and smoke were coming out of the kitchen window when they arrived. Thanks to the quick work of the Southern Door Fire Department and their mutual aid partners in Algoma, Brussels-Union-Gardner, Luxemburg, and Sturgeon Bay, crews were able to begin leaving the scene just after 9 a.m. before clearing it at 10:30 a.m. Olson says only one person was at home at the time, crediting him with calling 911 right away and staying calm throughout the whole ordeal.

 

There were no injuries as a result, but the fire did heavily damage the kitchen and portions of the basement where it is initially believed to have started. The entire home also suffered extensive smoke damage.

Pre-teen bicyclist injured in vehicle collision

A 12-year-old bicyclist from Sturgeon Bay had to be treated for injuries sustained Thursday afternoon when she was struck by a vehicle.

 

The collision occurred at 1 p.m. Thursday near 2nd Avenue and Kentucky Street when the bicyclist left a nearby alleyway and attempted to cross the street when she was hit. Lindsey Brower of Heathrow, Florida was driving the vehicle and called 911 to alert emergency personnel after the accident happened. Members of EMS were already on the scene providing treatment when police arrived. The bicyclist did not have to be transported for her injuries.

 

No citations were given, but it was noted in the police report that it was the bicyclist that failed to yield to vehicles traveling east and west on Kentucky Street. Nobody else was injured in the crash and there was only minor cosmetic damage between the vehicle and the bike.  

Gallagher focuses on House re-election

Rep. Mike Gallagher will not be on your ballot for the U.S. Senate in 2024 after announcing his re-election campaign for his U.S. House seat on Friday.

 

Some circles had penciled in the Republican congressman to battle U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for her seat after he won his fourth election last fall. Gallagher put those rumors to bed on Friday, stating that he has “a rare, bipartisan opportunity in the 118th Congress to help restore American strength, prevent war in the Pacific, and defend our basic freedoms from communist aggression,” adding that it deserves its undivided attention. Gallagher did not face a Democratic challenger in 2022, winning 70 percent of the vote.

 

As for the U.S. Senate, Baldwin has declared her intentions to win her seat for a third time as a Democrat. No Republicans have officially entered the race, but Gallagher’s colleague in the House Rep. Tom Tiffany, and business leaders Eric Hovde and Scott Mayer have all expressed interest in the seat.

 

FULL STATEMENT FROM REP MIKE GALLAGHER

“As the representative of Northeast Wisconsin and Chairman of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, I have a rare, bipartisan opportunity in the 118th Congress to help restore American strength, prevent war in the Pacific, and defend our basic freedoms from communist aggression. Accomplishing this mission and serving Wisconsin’s 8th District deserve my undivided attention. Therefore, I will not run for the Senate in 2024 and will pursue re-election to the House.” 

 

“I believe that when we look back in 50 years, the American people will ask: Did our elected leaders rally as a country and confront the Chinese Communist Party threat before it was too late? Continuing to lead this fight in the House of Representatives is the best way for me to help answer that question affirmatively.”

 

Picture Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher

Fire safety imperative as area experiences drought, potential limited resources

As the extremely dry weather conditions continue throughout the Door Peninsula, local fire chiefs are urging the public to keep fire safety in mind when enjoying the outdoors, while helping to prevent emergency resources from becoming too stressed.  All Door County municipalities have implemented a burning ban on brush or field fires.  Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says although campfires are allowed at this time, cautionary measures should be taken to prevent the possibility of a fire getting out of hand.  He says emergency response resources, including firefighters, can be stretched with shortages of manpower within a very short time. 

 

 

You should not use wood chips around the circle of the campfire and have two-to-three feet of a non-combustible surface around your fire pit.  Hecht says that you should be mindful of the dry conditions in the area and limit the size of any campfires.  He notes that a good rule of thumb is that it is considered a recreational or cooking fire if you could stand and jump over the fire without taking a running start.  

Sturgeon Bay kicks off summer with weekend event

A free event at Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay this Saturday is the unofficial kickoff to summer as local schools have officially reached summer break. 

 

The annual event will begin at 10:00 a.m. and run until 2 p.m. and have events for kids of all ages. The City of Sturgeon Bay, the YMCA and Door County Public Health are sponsoring the event and are adding their own flair to the event. From having a juggler and a musical entertainer there throughout the day, to demonstrations from Sturgeon Bay Fire and Police Departments, Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Assistant Colleen DeGrave talks about the event as a whole and the ability to get kids involved and outside during the summer. 

 

 

Light rain forecasted for Saturday won’t wash out the event DeGrave said, as anything non-severe will be partied through. Beginning at 11:30, there will be a fun-run where the participants receive a t-shirt. From 12-2 there are opportunities for creations from a balloon artist, and then a balloon drop at 1:45 p.m. 

Wilson's Wish collaborates with Algoma Venture Academy

You will have another chance to connect with others in the community. On June 6th, Algoma Venture Academy and Wilson’s Wish partnered together to create a space for those with disabilities to interact. The event was held at Wilson’s Wish in Luxemburg, an animal rehabilitation farm, where animals who are displaced or disabled are given a second chance. The venue was a wonderful place for those of all abilities to come together and feel accepted. 

 

Harmonii Gerlach, the event's organizer, said, “I wanted to use my passion to give everyone the same opportunity. I'm excited that this meaningful event at Wilson’s Wish was a success.” Algoma Venture Academy board member Adam Peronto added that “all individuals, regardless of ability, should have the opportunity to connect and thrive. By coming together for this event, we were able to share and recognize that despite perceived differences we are all alike.”

 

If you would like to visit Wilson’s Wish, you’re in luck. The farm normally only takes private tours but on Friday, June 9th, you have the opportunity to stop by from 5 pm- 9 pm. Along with local art vendors, you and your family can shop, play, and eat. Co-founder and owner of Wilson’s Wish, Tonya Edwards, goes more in-depth about why events like these benefit the community. 

For more information on future events, check out their Facebook. 

 

Picture courtesy of the Algoma Venture Academy and Kinect M1

International student worker program rebounding in Door County

For the summer and fall months, you will notice that Door County turns into a mini-United Nations as they provide a critical service to the area’s businesses. Almost 530 international students will participate in the summer work and travel program in Door County, commonly known as the J-1 Student Visa. The students represent 27 countries and they will be working primarily in eight municipalities, with most of them serving the Egg Harbor and Sister Bay communities. Destination Door County Director of Advocacy Phil Berndt says the program has rebounded and then some since the pandemic severely limited international travel for almost two years.


Over 180 students are already working in Door County with the remainder coming in the coming weeks. As a result, Destination Door County is hosting J-1 Social Security Sign-up Days on Wednesday, June 21st, and Friday, July 14th at the Ephraim Village Hall to help ensure a smooth transition for the students and their employers when they arrive. The Door County Bridges program, which sets up activities for the students to participate in throughout the summer, has already hosted one of its events when it took some of them on a cruise around the peninsula.

DDC funds multijurisdictional trail in northern Door County

The first main northern door trail will be coming soon thanks in part to a grant, and it will stretch through multiple jurisdictions in the northern municipalities of Door County. 

 

This multijurisdictional trail would give much needed relief to the traffic on Highway 42 and give community members opportunities to feel connected between the northern towns. The trail will run from Sister Bay to Ephraim and Gibraltar, who is working with the state to put a trail through the parks that would run up to Fish Creek. The final leg of the trail would run south to Egg Harbor and connect all of the participating towns and villages. Village of Sister Bay Administrator Julie Schmelzer talks about the trail and the big effects it will have on the areas involved. 

 

 

Destination Door County played the biggest role in this process of the trail, as they gave a $90,000 grant to the Village of Sister Bay. This grant covered the entire design of the trail, and was the leading factor of this becoming possible, Schmelzer said. 

 

The hope is that the design is done in six months, and the bid for the construction can be out next spring. 

Area lighthouses ready for close up with spring festival

Depending on the season, this weekend may be your only chance this year to get up and close to some of the lighthouses in the area. The Door County Maritime Museum once again hosts its Spring Lighthouse Festival with more than a dozen unique tours to choose from over the course of three days that take you by land, by water, and by air. In the cases of the Chambers Island, Plum Island, and Sherwood Point Lighthouses, this is your only opportunity to tour them.  Door County’s lighthouses are not the only ones being featured. You will also have the opportunity to visit the pierhead lighthouses in Algoma and Kewaunee and Green Bay’s Grassy Island Range Lights as they will also be open to the public. Tickets are still available for some of this weekend’s tours by clicking this link. You can also plan ahead for the Fall Lighthouse Festival scheduled to take place from September 30th to October 2nd. All proceeds from the festival go to support the work of the Door County Maritime Museum. 

 

 

 

Weekend rains a welcome sight for farmers

You may not be happy with the rain forecasted for this weekend, but you will see plenty of farmers smiling at the prospect of it. The weekly report from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service has not shown measurable precipitation for Door and Kewaunee counties since the week of May 15th. The dry weather has allowed farmers to get into their fields at least, with 6.7 suitable days for fieldwork for them to work with over the last week. Over 90 percent of the oats, wheat, and corn crops have been planted, which is two to three days ahead of last year’s pace. Now those plants need water, something farmers in northeast Wisconsin depend on since very few rely on irrigation systems to get by during drier periods. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says it is nothing to panic over quite yet, but the rain is definitely needed at this stage of the growing season.

Mother Nature could provide assistance for farmers as soon as Saturday afternoon when storms are expected to hit the area. According to The Weather Channel, there is at least a 50 percent chance of rain through Tuesday morning. 

Students introduced to dairy jobs during boot camp

Feeding calves, milking cows, and fixing machines are just some of the chores you will see some Kewaunee County middle schoolers complete this week as a part of the Pagel’s Ponderosa Boot Camp running through the end of the week. Thirty students from Kewaunee, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Luxemburg, and Holy Rosary Church in Kewaunee will participate in the five-day program, allowing them to participate in hands-on activities featuring jobs in the agriculture industries. Kiley Pagel was in the first Pagel’s Ponderosa Boot Camp when her grandpa, the late John Pagel, started the program in 2015 as one of his many ideas to get kids involved on the farm. Pagel says the connection the community has with the industry makes Boot Camp an important tradition to continue.

Coy Anderson of Luxemburg says it has been a fun week so far learning about the different jobs on a farm, including his favorite in the machine shed.

The Pagel’s Ponderosa Boot Camp concludes on Friday with the kids doing presentations on all of the things they learned over the five days and conducting farm tours for the families.

Governor Evers touts coastal grants in Jacksonport

You will see more than $62,000 directly impact Door County as a result of the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s (DOA) Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Governor Tony Evers announced a total of 34 grants worth $1.4 million that were distributed to Wisconsin’s coastal communities. Three of the grants will go towards planning efforts in the Village of Sister Bay, Washington Island, and the Town of Egg Harbor. The largest grant, which was worth $29,434, was received by the Wisconsin Historical Society for a study of settlement-era piers in Door County. According to the state, the Wisconsin Historical Society will expand Wisconsin’s documentation of maritime resources by locating, investigating, mapping, and evaluating the submerged and associated shoreline cultural resources associated with historic lumber and quarry piers of Door County. As a result, the grant will also allow the study to update its website and five area kiosks with new information. Governor Evers says it is important to highlight the area’s history to its visitors.

Door County will also see some of the benefits of a nearly $50,000 grant earmarked for the third phase of the Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) designation process. Not only are sites in Door County included in the NERR, but the City of Sturgeon Bay is also vying for the opportunity to be the home of its visitor center.

 

 

A LOOK AT THE DOOR COUNTY-CENTRIC PROJECTS FUNDED BY THE COASTAL MANAGEMENT GRANTS

 

Project Name Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve – Public Engagement and Preparation of the Draft Management Plan

Applicant Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay

Grant Amount $49,866

Category Great Lakes Education

The University of Wisconsin Green Bay will complete the third phase of the Bay of Green Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) designation process. This phase is the creation of the NERR Draft Management Plan, which will guide the operation of the NERR’s first five years of operation, and develop content (maps, plans, etc.) for inclusion within the DMP.

 

Project Name A Short Survey off of Long Piers: Settlement-Era Piers of Door County

Applicant Wisconsin Historical Society

Grant Amount $29,434

Category Great Lakes Education

The Wisconsin Historical Society will expand Wisconsin’s documentation of maritime resources by locating, investigating, mapping, and evaluating the submerged and associated shoreline cultural resources associated with historic lumber and quarry piers of Door County. The Wisconsin Historical Society website and five kiosks will be updated with the new information.

 

Project Name Town of Egg Harbor Long-Range Planning

Applicant Town of Egg Harbor

Grant Amount $9,000

Category Land Use & Community Planning

The Town of Egg Harbor will update four elements of the Town's comprehensive plan and will address topics that weren’t in the original comprehensive plan, including impacts due to fluctuating water levels, development in coastal areas, best management practices, invasive species control, and economic impacts of tourism. 

 

Project Name Town of Washington: Planning for the Island Community

Applicant Town of Washington

Grant Amount $9,500

Category Land Use & Community Planning

The Town of Washington (on Washington Island) will prepare four elements of a comprehensive plan: Natural, Agricultural, and Cultural Resources; Housing and Economic Development; Land Use/Future Land Use; and Implementation, leading to a complete municipal comprehensive plan.

 

Project Name Village of Sister Bay: Vision 2044

Applicant Village of Sister Bay

Grant Amount $14,700

Category Land Use & Community Planning

The Village of Sister Bay will update four elements of their comprehensive plan: Natural, Agricultural, and Cultural Resources; Housing and Economic Development; Land Use/Future Land Use; and Implementation.

 

Click here to read about all of the grants distributed on Wednesday 

 

"Fish Whisperer" hopes for loud response

The world premiere of a musical you can see at Peninsula State Park beginning next week will carry extra meaning to all involved with the production. Rehearsals for “The Fish Whisperer” have been going on for about three weeks already with the cast and crew taking the show to the outdoor amphitheater for the first time on Monday. “The Fish Whisperer,” written by Scott Guy, Robin Share, Dan Wessels, and Ron Barnett in association with New Musicals, Inc., is about a small Wisconsin town where fishing is king and the fish that help drive tourism stop biting. The story weaves its way through the town and a person who claims they can help for a $10,000 fee. The musical is not just a part of Northern Sky Theater’s summer outdoor season, but also a part of World Premiere Wisconsin, a festival encompassing original works across the state. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says the trust they have developed with their audiences helps make world premieres performed at Northern Sky Theater work for everyone.

The first performance of “The Fish Whisperer” will take place on June 14th and will alternate performances with the familiar but revamped “Cheeseheads: The Musical.” Herbst is optimistic about the upcoming season, citing high ticket sales and low COVID numbers across the state.

 

Sturgeon Bay apartment building damaged in fire

A structure fire on North 7th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay devastated a multi-family dwelling Wednesday morning.  At about 10:30 a.m., the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department responded to a fire at 404 North 7th Avenue with flames and billowing black smoke coming from the upper and lower levels of the complex.  The fire was contained to the building and as of 12:30 p.m. the fire department and police personnel are still at the scene.  Fire Chief Tim Dietman was not available for comment and no other details are available at this time.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more information is released.

 

 

Three injured in two-vehicle accident on Highway 57 north

Traffic along Highway 57 north of Valmy was slowed considerably Wednesday morning after a delivery truck and a passenger car were involved in an accident that sent three people to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. The Door County Sheriff’s Department responded to the accident just before ten o’clock at the intersection of Highway 57 and Clarks Lake Road.    Deputy Sheriff Pat McCarty says it appears that one vehicle was eastbound on Clarks Lake Road while the other was traveling south on Highway 57 when the accident occurred. 

 

 

Traffic on Highway 57 remained open while emergency response vehicles were present at the scene.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more details become available.

Tick season impact is here

The mild winter and early summer-like weather may have you encountering more ticks as you spend extra time outdoors.  Tick season typically occurs from May through October and can impact your health considerably.  Door County Public Health Registered Nurse Marggie Moertl says ticks can carry many other diseases than the more-known Lyme Disease.  She says you should be mindful as you hit the trails and outdoors this summer. 

 

 

Moertl adds you should examine your body closely for any ticks after hiking or walking through tall grasses.  If you find a tick on yourself, remove it immediately and observe the area you found it.  The most common symptom of an infected tick is a circular, reddish rash that can lead to fever, sweats, chills, fatigue, headaches, as well as muscle and joint pain.  Lyme disease and other similar infections can create lifetime issues.  Moertl advises you to seek medical attention right away if you notice a rash on your skin where a tick was present.  You can find tips on protecting yourself and your pets from ticks this summer below. 

 

Tick bite prevention

  1. Use a chemical repellent with DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
  2. Wear light-colored protective clothing.
  3. Tuck pant legs into socks.
  4. Avoid tick-infested areas.
  5. Check yourself, your children, and your pets daily for ticks, and carefully remove any ticks.

     

Sturgeon Bay passes "weigh on the water" Fishing Tournament Rule

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council narrowly passed a new “weigh on the water” fishing rule for tournament contests held at city facilities starting in 2024. No permits for tournaments will be issued in May or June unless the organizers of the event use a “weigh on the water” format, due to the timing of the smallmouth bass spawn.  No permits will be issued either for walleye tournaments before May 15th unless the weigh on the water” format is used. After more than a dozen people spoke for over 45 minutes during public comments, Mayor David Ward broke a three-to-three tie, voting yes to the updated fishing rule. Council members Dan Williams, Spencer Gustafson, and Kirsten Reeths voted no, while Seth Wiederanders, Helen Bacon, and Dennis Statz voted to approve the measure. Gary Nault abstained because of his involvement in fishing tournaments in the area. The Parks & Recreation Committee held four meetings addressing the “weigh on the water” proposal, before making the final recommendation that was approved at Tuesday’s council meeting.

In other business, four recommendations from the Finance, Purchasing, and Building Committee were approved by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council. A bid for resurfacing the Otumba Park tennis court, a consulting services agreement with Santec for $58,000, the hiring of Cedar Corp for engineering services for an Industrial Flex building, and the hiring of R.W. Baird for consulting services on the possible future creation of TID #9 in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park, all passed unanimously.  

Mayor David Ward also read a proclamation declaring June “Open Door Pride Month” reflecting the City’s support of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Tourism continues to make big gains in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Tourism confirmed what you may have already known: a lot of people spent time and money in the state last year. Tourism generated $23.7 billion in total economic impact in 2022, surpassing its previous record in 2019.  Every county in the state saw an increase in total economic impact year-over-year, thanks in part to the highest-ever overnight visitation. Door County saw an economic impact of $582 million, which was an increase of just under 10 percent over 2021. Direct visitor spending was up $41 million over the previous year to $467 million in 2022. Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert says a big reason why they have continued to see growth is the driving market continues to be strong while airlines continue to play catchup from the pandemic.

Gilbert is also proud of the over 3,300 jobs supported by tourism in 2022. You can see more about the year in tourism in Wisconsin by clicking this link.

 

 

DOOR COUNTY NUMBERS

  • Tourism’s total economic impact in Door County increased by $51.7 million over the previous year, totaling $582.4 million in 2022
  • Direct visitor spending led the way, totaling $466.5 million last year, with indirect and induced spending representing the remaining $115.9 million and bringing the total economic activity from tourism to $582 million.
  • Door County’s visitor economy supported a total of 3,335 jobs, which earned local jobholders $113.3 million in labor income in 2022.
  • $47.8 million in state and local taxes was generated as a result of tourism-related spending.

 

Municipalities extinguish burn permit issuance until further notice

For now, your backyard campfire is all you can do in many Door County municipalities as the area deals with drought. Brussels-Union-Gardner, Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, and Ephraim are among the fire departments in recent weeks to opt not to issue burn permits until further notice due to the lack of rain the area has seen over the last few weeks. Door County is not alone in the course of action as they are one of the fifty Wisconsin counties in the high fire danger zone. Much of northwestern Wisconsin is listed at the moderate level. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says that even though burn permits will not be issued, campfires can still occur with the proper precautions.

Mother Nature will not be doing its part to help end the drought with less than a 25 percent chance of rain being reported for almost the next two weeks.

 

Crossroads Run returns with new look

You will get to see some new sights during this year’s Crossroads Trail Run taking place on June 17th. Volunteer Race Director Morgan Rusnak says pre-registration numbers are climbing to where they were pre-pandemic, a feat that other race directors across the country have found to be elusive. While you will still receive a t-shirt, a plant, and other goodies with your registration, Rusnak says the biggest difference you will find is the route itself.

Registration for the 14th annual Crossroads Trail Run and its three distances can be found here. All proceeds from the event will go to benefit programming at Crossroads at Big Creek.

 

 

Allen takes Oath of Office as Algoma Police Chief

In front of dozens of family, friends, and community members, David Allen was sworn in as the new Police Chief of the City of Algoma Monday evening at the monthly council meeting.  Allen replaces Randy Remiker who retired on June 1 after more than four years as the police chief. City Clerk Erin Mueller, did the honors, first recognizing Remiker, who could not attend due to a military commitment.  Allen then officially assumed his duties as the Chief of Police.

 

 

 

Allen has over 20 years of law enforcement experience as a DNR conservation warden, including in Kewaunee County.  First Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens was present for the ceremony and spoke during public comments.  After congratulating Allen as Algoma’s new police chief, Kitchens noted that the state legislature is working on a shared-revenue bill that would mean up to $147,000 in state funds for the City of Algoma.

Wisconsin drivers' license/ID cards get a facelift

You may not even recognize your driver’s license and identification card anymore the next time you renew. The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles announced on Monday new changes to the cards to make them more resistant to fraud. In addition to new design elements and embossments, the new cards will feature transparent windows along the card’s right edge and bottom edge. According to the DMV, Wisconsin is the first in the country to have this security feature that allows a clear ribbon to flow off the edge of the card and be integrated with cardholder data. The upgraded security features will be available on regular and REAL ID cards, which will replace the current ones when you either renew your license or order a replacement through the DMV.

Jandu breathes new life into S-Stop

You will find a familiar name behind the Mobil station on County S/Duluth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Parvinder Jandu became the new owner of the S-Stop last month, filing the necessary paperwork for some of his licenses on May 15th according to the agenda packet for the City of Sturgeon Bay Common Council. He officially took over the Mobil gas station and convenience store just before Memorial Day weekend.

 

Jandu is no stranger to operating gas stations in Door and Kewaunee counties, including a pair in Algoma and one in Carlsville. Along with his wife Renu, Jandu is also well-known in the area for his philanthropy, having donated $15,000 to the Town of Brussels in 2018 to replace the fencing surrounding its baseball field and thousands more through its pride pump sales at its Carlsville and previous Sturgeon Bay locations. 

Algoma anxiously awaits first cruise ship arrival

You are about two weeks away from seeing the first cruise ship of the summer stop in Algoma for a quick visit to northeast Wisconsin. The Viking Polaris represents the first of several cruise ships to stop in Algoma this summer, with the first one arriving on June 16th at approximately 8 a.m. Boat tenders will shuttle visitors between the cruise ships and Algoma’s shores before they potentially hop on buses for excursions around the area. Algoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rosemary Paladini says it is pulling out all the stops to welcome its visitors, whether they are coming from the ship or coming from the mainland to see the ship.


Algoma is listed as part of a 15-day excursion through the Great Lakes. Viking Expeditions will offer six “Great Lakes Collection” cruises that will take passengers between Duluth, Minnesota, and Toronto, Ontario during the months of June, July, August, and September. Algoma marks the halfway point of the excursion with the cruise line offering side trips to check out Lambeau Field, explore Moonlight Bay by kayak, hike the Niagara Escarpment, paddle through Ellison Bay and the Mink River Estuary, and sample the area’s wine and cheese.

 

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation held preparation meetings in March and hosted Great Lakes Shore Excursions President Theresa Nemetz at its annual breakfast in May in anticipation of the cruise ship visits. Viking Cruises will also be bringing their ships to the area in 2024.

Changing demographics, user needs driving ridership increase

The picture you think of when you imagine the typical user of Door County Connect and Door 2 Door Rides is changing. The services are averaging approximately 3,900 rides each month, which is higher than the 3,500 rides monthly average last year. At this pace, Door County Connect and Door 2 Door Rides could hit over 46,000 in 2023, which would be close to the over 47,000 rides the services delivered in 2019. Transportation Manager Pam Busch says the trend that has been really encouraging is who is using the service. Before, Door County Connect and Door 2 Door Rides were primarily used by those 60 years and older and for medical purposes. Busch says they are now seeing younger people use the system for reasons of employment and for personal errands.

Door County Connect is available Monday through Friday beginning at 7:45 a.m. primarily in the Sturgeon Bay area starting at just $2.00 a ride. Door 2 Door Rides operates seven days a week with fares and hours varying on where you live. 

Sturgeon Bay looks to create TID #9

The City of Sturgeon Bay could create its second Tax Increment District this year in the near future in order to stimulate more economic growth.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council is looking at working with R.W. Baird to create the city’s ninth TID district as it looks to build a 40,000-square-foot industrial flex building on the former Zak property near Neenah Avenue and Shiloh Road in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. Once built, the Sturgeon Bay Business Center could potentially house four to five businesses. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also weigh in on hiring Cedar Corporation for engineering services for the proposed project. The Sturgeon Bay Business Center is not the only building project the council will discuss at the regularly scheduled meeting.

 

The council will also discuss hiring Stantec for surveying/engineering services for a potential affordable housing project on the west side of S. Hudson Avenue and the south ends of S. Fulton and S. Geneva  Avenues. If the project is fulfilled, approximately 23 lots of housing could be developed.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss new rules for fishing tournaments and how they use city docks when they meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

911 misdials stretching law enforcement during busy time

Just as much as they want to be there for you when you are dealing with an emergency, local law enforcement is asking for you to stick with them when you accidentally call them. Of the 313 calls received by Door County Dispatch over the weekend, nearly 60 of them were considered as either 911 hang-ups or 911 follow-ups, which are often triggered by a misdial. Door County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Pat McCarty says every one of those calls requires a lot of resources and often means diverting deputies from more pressing issues. In Kewaunee County, the number of 911 misdials and hang-ups so far this year is 513,  compared to 586 total in 2022 and 990 total in 2021. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says cell phone users need to be aware of how their apps work and if they do mistakenly dial 911 to stay on the line.

Both Joski and McCarty agreed that 911 hang-ups and misdials are near the top in the types of calls their respective dispatch centers receive every month.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

As we reach the midpoint of 2023, it has become apparent that the calls for service in regard to 911 hang-ups, continues to be an issue. In 2021 we had a total 990 calls due to 911 Hang ups, however in 2022 it decreased to 586. Thank you to everyone for being vigilant and helping to reduce those calls. So far in 2023 our calls numbers for 911 hang-ups are at 513 and continue to be an all-too-common occurrence which draws resources from our Dispatch Center as well as our Patrol Deputies who follow up on these calls. At this rate we will be over 1,000 of these calls.

 

As you can imagine, in either of these cases, we must ascertain the dynamics behind that hung up call as we cannot run the risk of assuming all hang ups were innocent in nature. While many were in fact a result of operator error, there have been those calls where only after following up do we determined that an assault, domestic or other violent situation was occurring.

 

Just a few quick reminders and mentions of some contributing factors that have lead to these incidents.

 

-Avoiding placing your phone in areas of your vehicle which may inadvertently activate a 911 call such as a cup holder.

-Avoid putting your phone in your pocket when you are engaged in dynamic physical activity such as cutting lawn, or operating an ATV where the phone is not stable as hitting the power button numerous times can activate a 911 call.

-Avoid leaving your phone in areas where small children can access it. This also pertains to phones you have that are de-activated as these phones are still capable of dialing 911.

-Be mindful of devices such as smart watches which have also shown the tendency to be the source of inadvertent 911 calls.

 

If you do find yourself on the line with one of our dispatchers due to an accidental dial, please stay on the line and provide the proper information to our Dispatcher so that we can close out the call and prevent the need to send officers to your location. If you have already hung up realizing your error, please answer when the Dispatcher calls you back.

 

We appreciate everyone’s attentiveness to this issue and I have no doubt we can decrease the number of these calls thus reducing the time and costs associated with them. Take Care & Stay Safe!

 

DNR Experts warn of bad spongy moth summer

The next two months could be the worst spongy moth caterpillar outbreak in more than a decade, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says. 

 

The spongy moth caterpillars, formerly known as gypsy moths, feed on oak, birch, crabapple, aspen, and willow leaves and can cause harm to high-value trees. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will be setting over 10,000 traps for the spongy moths. The traps are small green boxes tied to tree branches and contain the scent of female spongy moths and are undetectable to humans and other insects. These boxes are used to attract and catch adult male spongy moths. 

 

Southern Wisconsin and parts of the north are already in a high-population outbreak that is predicted to continue and spread. 

 

Those who find spongy moth caterpillars should avoid touching them as the hairs often cause a skin rash, welt, or other irritation. Rubbing alcohol can help to remove the hairs and chemical irritants from the skin that is exposed to the hairs.

Door County Medical Center opens doors to Sister Bay facility

 If you have not had a reason to check out their new Sister Bay Clinic and Rehab facility, Door County Medical Center is giving you one on June 11th.

 

That is when Door County Medical Center is hosting its open house for its new facility, which first opened its doors at the end of March. The building replaced their clinic in Fish Creek, which proved to have tight quarters for all of the services they provided and their staff. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens touted the facility’s benefits earlier this year.


Stephens and Board of Directors President, Patti Vickman, will present a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by guided tours through the new clinic and rehabilitation facility. The open house runs until 2 p.m.

 

 

City of Sturgeon Bay acquires aquatic weed harvester with grant

A problem the City of Sturgeon Bay has been dealing with for a while will be getting some relief as the city was awarded a grant towards a new aquatic weed harvester. 

 

Many boaters will be breathing a sigh of relief with this news as there will be less weeds in shallow areas, which has caused many headaches for boaters. The city received a $45,551 grant from Destination Door County as part of their Community Investment Fund grants, which is made possible by room tax revenues. Josh VanLieshout, the City of Sturgeon Bay’s City Administrator, talks about what the aquatic weed harvester truly is and why the city truly needed it. 

 

 

The new harvester will join two other ones that were currently in use beforehand. The weeds will not be permanently gone, but the tops that were causing the issues for boaters will be eliminated, as well as some of the stray weeds that VanLieshout called “floaters.” 

 


The harvester will soon be built, and the City of Sturgeon Bay expects to have it in use by the spring of 2024. 

Packers continue to showcase Door County bond

You may see AJ Dillon with a deputy mayor alongside with him the next time he comes to Door County. A team bonding trip to Door County once again grabbed headlines as pictures and videos surfaced on social media over Memorial Day weekend, featuring players enjoying time on a boat and an impromptu race between receiver Christian Watson and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, who is married to Packers defensive back Jonathan Owens. The thousands, if not millions of views of the pictures and videos turn into tremendous earned media value for Door County. Destination Door County Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh says whether it is AJ Dillon, Simone Biles, or another Packers celebrity, it is about the authenticity as much as it is about the reach.

Jarosh says Destination Door County looks forward to working with the Packers on whatever their role can be for the 2025 NFL Draft, adding that it certainly helps their case that several Packers executives, including team president Mark Murphy, have put roots down in Door County.

Brussels Car and Motor Show packs town park

A plethora of cars lined the outfield grass of the Brussels Town Park baseball field on Saturday morning as the second annual Brussels Car and Motor Show was underway.

 

New this year to the car and motor show were the tractors, which was also a big hit alongside the many different cars. From muscle cars to the biggest attraction, the large General Lee bus, participants were able to judge the vehicles that were brought to the show. The judging ran until 1:00 p.m. 

 

All the proceeds from the second annual fundraiser go to the Brussels Union Gardner Fire Department, who were the hosts of the show. The money the fire department makes will go towards replacing some of its turnout gear for its 50 firefighters. The turnout gear has a typical life span of 15 years, though some of the equipment the BUG Fire Department employs is more than 20 years old. 

 

The trophies for the winners were awarded at 3:00 p.m. and there were dash plaques for the first 100 entries. 

 

Below are pictures from the car show at the Brussels Town Park. 

 

Master gardeners take over Sturgeon Bay for plant fair

Good weather usually means a good turnout and that is exactly what happened at the Door County Master Gardeners Plant Fair on Saturday morning. 

 

From the opportunity to get education on plants and the different types to tips on gardening, the plant fair had something for everyone that attended at the Peninsula Agricultural Research Station. From vegetables to vines to annual flowers, there were plenty of options for shoppers to choose too. Door County Master Gardeners President Shawn Mathys talked about the annual event that ran Friday night and Saturday morning.

 

 

Consumers walked out of the plant fair with full arms as tomatoes and peppers were the hot commodity being sold Saturday morning. All of the plants that were for sale today were grown at The Garden Door, so the community was buying local. Mathys said the high quality of plants and vegetables is the reason so many people come back every year the fair is put on. 

 

The proceeds from this event were to support the Door County Master Gardeners Association education programs and The Garden Door.

Braun graduates from Sturgeon Bay a valedictorian

Becoming valedictorian is no easy feat, as it takes hard work throughout all years of a student’s high school career. For Sturgeon Bay High School’s Valedictorian Christy Braun, it was support from her favorite teachers and hard work that made finding out she was nominated that much sweeter. 

 

From spending most of her time in school in the science lab to dominating the pool in the fall for the Door County United swim team, Braun spent the majority of her time doing things she loved, but also activities that benefited her in the long run. The honor of valedictorian did not come as a shock to Braun, but claimed she was pleasantly surprised when she found out because of the amount of deserving candidates in her class. 

 

 

As for advice for underclassmen who are aspiring to be their classes valedictorian, Braun offered a brief tip to those students. 

 

 

Swimming was a big part of Braun’s high school career, as she even stated that with the sport being in the fall, she was able to ease into high school better thanks in part to the family that she built on the team. She will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison to major in Biochemistry and eventually attend med school and become a doctor, which has been the goal since middle school for Braun. 

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day is June 15th

The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations (UN) launched the first World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) on June 15, 2006 in an effort to unite communities around the world in raising awareness about elder abuse. WEAAD serves as a call-to-action for our communities to raise awareness about abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders, and reaffirm our country’s commitment to the principle of justice for all.

 

While there is no singular definition for elder abuse — some are based on age, vulnerability, or determined by state statutes or tribal codes — The Elder Justice Roadmap offers one definition, created by the field for the field. It states that elder abuse is “abuse, neglect, abandonment, or financial exploitation of an older individual by another person or entity who has a trust-based relationship with the older adult or any harm that occurs because an older person is targeted by a stranger based on their age or disability.  Each year, an estimated 5 million older adults experience abuse, neglect, or exploitation.  Older Americans lose an estimated $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion annually due to elder financial abuse and exploitation, funds that could be used to pay for basic needs such as housing, food, and medical care. Unfortunately, abuse occurs in every demographic and can happen to anyone — a family member, a neighbor, even you. While cases of elder abuse appear to have been on the rise during the pandemic, it is commonly understood that many cases never come to light. One study has estimated that only one in 24 cases of abuse are reported.

 

When we come together, we can prevent elder abuse from happening. We can put support services in place, and direct community resources toward addressing elder abuse. Our country must reaffirm our commitment to justice and create a sturdy structure of support that will benefit us all as we get older. Elder abuse is widespread. Every year an estimated 1 in 10 older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. And that’s only part of the picture: Experts believe that elder abuse is significantly under-reported, in part because so many of our communities lack the social supports that would make it easier for those who experience abuse to report it. In addition to being a clear violation of the American commitment to justice for all, elder abuse is an issue with many consequences for our society. Its effects on our communities range from public health to economic issues. 

 

The good news is that we can prevent and address the issue of elder abuse. There are many ways to strengthen our social supports through policies, services, and programs that keep us integrated in our communities as we age.

  • We can think about the role of transportation in reducing social isolation and adjust systems so that we can all continue to move throughout our communities as we age.
  • We can figure out new and better ways to arrange and coordinate the teams, agencies, and programs that work specifically with older people.
  • We can develop programs to educate families and professionals who work with older adults to understand the importance of preventing isolation, how to spot the warning signs of abuse, and what to do to address abuse or neglect. By doing all that we can to strengthen the social support structure, we can reduce social isolation, protect communities and families against elder abuse, and build a nation that lives up to our promise of justice for all.

For more information please contact Kewaunee County Human Services at 920-388-7030.

 

*Portions of this article were taken from the World Elder Abuse Awareness tool kit; https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/weaad-home/take-action/

Packerland Conference announces scholar athlete awards

With the school year around Door and Kewaunee county slowly winding down, the Packerland Conference has announced their annual Packerland Scholar Athlete Awards for the 2022-2023 season. The two different awards that were presented were the Packerland Outstanding Achievement award and the Scholar Athlete Award. 

 

The Packerland Outstanding Achievement award is given to a three-sport athlete for their junior and senior years. The outstanding scholar must have earned a total of seven (7) athletic letters throughout their high school career. The outstanding scholar athlete must have maintained a minimum 3.9 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) compiled in accordance with the WIAA Scholar Athlete formula.

 

SCHOOL                                BOYS                                          GIRLS

ALGOMA                                                                             Emily Kirchman

                                                                                            Amelia Robinson

 

GIBRALTAR                                                                            Betsy Lecy

 

KEWAUNEE                    Payton Kohnle                              Emily Todd

                                     Mitchell Thompson

 

NEW LUTHERAN          Elijah Meerstein

 

PESHTIGO                     Grant Bauman

 

SEVASTOPOL                                                                     Bailey Rikkola

 

STURGEON BAY                                                                 Sanya Wienke

 

Packerland Conference principals may select four (4) students, two (2) boys and two (2) girls, as Packerland Conference Scholar Athletes. Student athletes, cheerleaders, pom/dance squad members, student trainers, and managers may be selected. The Scholar Athlete award is given to a second semester senior who must have earned at least four varsity letters through athletic participation in WIAA sanctioned sports during the complete freshman, sophomore, and junior years as well as the fall and winter seasons of the senior year. The scholar athlete must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). 

 

SCHOOL                               BOYS                                         GIRLS

ALGOMA                     Owen Robertson                         Halle Panger

                                      Ryley Robinson                        Amelia Robinson

 

GIBRALTAR                  Will Friedenfels                        Colleen Carlisle

                                        Garrett Voight                            Betsy Lecy

 

KEWAUNEE                 Sawyer Pribek                             Emily Todd

                                 Mitchell Thompson

 

NEW LUTHERAN          Brady Paul                               Natalie Lange

                                          Kian Rai                                    Greta Wise

 

OCONTO                        Davon Caylor                             Kate Bahrke

                                         Bryton Fuller                           Alyse Viestenz

 

PESHTIGO                    Grant Bauman                            Allison Peters

                                      Andrew Nelson                          Brooklyn Phillips

 

SEVASTOPOL               Logan Retzlaff                         Johanna Andreae

                                                                                            Reese Schauske

 

SOUTHERN DOOR      Alec Guilette                                Allianna Dufek

                                     Jack Peterson                                Brooke Strege

 

STURGEON BAY   Benjamin Lawrey-Hooker                Christiana Braun

                                                                                              Madelyn Wind

 

Not Pictured: Sanya Wienke and Emily Todd 

Kohnle picture courtesy of Kewaunee Baseball Instagram 

Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market opens Saturday

You will be able to explore Door County’s largest farmers market beginning this weekend.

 

At the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market, over 80 vendors will greet shoppers every week with even more joining the festivities off-and-on during the season. In addition to food items, flowers, crafts, jewelry, and other items will also be available for purchase. This marks the second year the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market takes over 3rd Avenue between Michigan and Nebraska Street and up Nebraska Street to 5th Avenue. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says the feedback about the change has been good since they took over coordinating the market.

The United Way of Door County will be back at the market as well, allowing those individuals and families on FoodShare to purchase tokens with their EBT funds. Thanks to Door County Medical Center, you will receive an extra dollar for every $2 you purchase in tokens, which can be used at select vendors. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle said last month that the token problem is a win for everyone.

The Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market runs from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through October 14th. Destination Sturgeon Bay is still taking vendor applications for the season, though spots are limited.

Gears for gear for BUG Fire

In the name of their safety for the future, the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department wants to see your best vehicle in Brussels Town Park on Saturday. The department is hosting its second annual Car and Motor Show fundraiser so it can afford to replace some of its turnout gear for its 50 firefighters. The turnout gear has a typical life span of 15 years, though some of the equipment the BUG Fire Department employs is more than 20 years old.

 

Like other volunteer fire departments, that means having to put on their party planning committee hats to make sure they can raise the necessary money while thanking the community for the support they already provide. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says it can be difficult at times to juggle firefighting and fundraising duties along with parenting and full-time job duties demanding their time, but he hopes it is worth it in the end for all involved.

Your cars, trucks, motorcycles, and tractors are invited to participate in the show for $10 an entry. If you are not entering the show, you can check out the show for free with food, drinks, and live music available to enjoy. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

 

How to get into state parks for free this year

Even if you are busy this weekend, you still have an opportunity to keep your wallet in your pocket when heading to one of Door County’s five state parks. This Saturday and Sunday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is offering free park admission to its 50 state parks, 15 state forests, and 44 state trails. You will also be able to fish in the state’s waterways without having to purchase a license. If your plans keep you away from a state park this weekend or you want to go to another one at a different time, your library card can help. The Algoma and Kewaunee public libraries have daily state park passes available to check out. Families are allowed to check out one pass per month and must pick a specific date to attend.

 

 

 

The Door County Libraries will raffle off state park day passes as a part of its summer reading program. The free passes are available through August 26th.

 

 

According to the DNR, Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, and trails draw more than 20 million visitors each year.

Peterson resigns from position at Southern Door

The Southern Door School Board is on the search for a new superintendent for the second time since 2021 after Chris Peterson resigned from the position on Thursday. 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 Peterson’s absence during that time, which has included the ongoing work with the district’s referendum projects and a threat that was resolved in early May. Melotte’s contract with the district was amended last month to compensate Melotte for the extra duties he has taken on as a result. In a statement from the district on Friday, Peterson called it a great privilege to serve as the superintendent of Southern Door, expressing his confidence that “the great work of this district and the progress that will be made will continue." School Board Penny Price thanked Peterson for his commitment to the students and families of the district, adding that they are committed to ensuring a seamless transition to the next superintendent." Peterson’s resignation is effective June 30th.

 


There was no update on the contract status of Southern Door Athletic Director Mark Jonas after Thursday’s special meeting. At a school board's regularly scheduled meeting in May, a discussion over his contract in closed session was laid over until a future meeting by a unanimous vote. Jonas filed a restraining order against the district in late April, but the case was dismissed in Door County Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Town of Gibraltar enters phase two of beach playground

After phase one completed the construction of the playground set, the Town of Gibraltar is now able to put the finishing touches on the new feature at the Fish Creek Beach. 

 

Phase two will feature the soft surface that will go underneath the playground. The town was able to get this money for the surface from a grant that was given by Destination Door County as a part of the first round of the Community Investment Fund grants. DDC gave $15,700 for the surface, which covered the entire cost of the second phase. Town of Gibraltar Treasurer Lisa Cain-Bieri was the one who wrote the grant and talks about when the project will be completed and what factors played into the playground. 

 

 

Community members that enjoy the Fish Creek Beach will also enjoy the new playground to give kids more opportunities to spend their time while at the beach. Cain-Bieri said bringing the playground back was a big community project as many people wrote letters in hopes for the playground to return. 

Wisconsin's senators split as U.S. Senate approves debt ceiling deal

Wisconsin’s delegation in the U.S. Senate was just as split as the governing body when they approved a bill to suspend the debt ceiling until early 2025 paired with other bipartisan concessions. The U.S. Senate approved the measure 62-36, with Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin siding with the majority and Republican Senator Ron Johnson voting with the minority. In addition to suspending the debt ceiling, the measure also keeps non-defense discretionary spending in 2024 level with this year and 1 percent more in 2025.

 

The House passed the bill on Wednesday by a 314-117 vote with District 8 Rep. Mike Gallagher voting in favor. Senator Johnson blasted the vote, saying that without a specific dollar amount that “no one can tell for sure how much additional borrowing will occur as a result.” On the flip side, Senator Baldwin applauded the vote, telling the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the compromise “ensures we will not default on our debt, crash our economy and raise costs for Wisconsin families.” With Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggesting the government will be out of money by June 5th, President Joe Biden is expected to sign the bill into law immediately.

 

You can read Senator Ron Johnson’s statement below.

“The original bill passed by the House to increase the debt ceiling contained the bare minimum of spending restraint and policy improvements.  The original bill also increased the debt ceiling by a fixed dollar amount – $1.5 trillion. The Biden-McCarthy deal suspended the debt ceiling, and no one can tell for sure how much additional borrowing will occur as a result. Unfortunately, Democrats seem to have no problem mortgaging our children’s future and Republicans haven’t figured out a way to stop them. I’ve consistently voted against massive deficit spending, so I’ll let those who consistently support it vote to increase the debt ceiling to accommodate their recklessness.”

 

 

 

Birch Creek looking to fill instrumentation

If you are a talented musician, Birch Creek Music Performance in Egg Harbor would like to hear from you, especially if you play the clarinet. Birch Creek’s opening night is June 22nd with the percussion, steel band, and world music session beginning. While its second big band jazz session is full, its symphony session beginning with a concert on July 4th and the first jazz session with its opening concert on July 19th could use a few more people to fill out its instrumentation for the season. Executive Director Mona Christenson says auditioning is relatively easy and you receive great feedback regardless of whether you are accepted or not.

You can learn more about how to audition for Birch Creek Music Performance Center by clicking this link. You can listen to our full interview with Christenson here.

Destination Door County asks for input for master plan

You can weigh in on how Door County markets itself as a tourist destination. Destination Door County is calling on residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to participate in a 15 to 20-minute survey as they develop a comprehensive Destination Master Plan. The goal of the plan would identify the amenities, programs, and experiences that will guide the long-term sustainability of Door County and its visitor economy. A similar survey done prior to the pandemic gave Destination Door County the idea and the tools to become more of a destination manager rather than a destination marketer. It paved the way for the Care for Door County movement, which included a sustainability pledge and eco-centric events such as guided nature hikes and park clean-up events. Door County residents are invited to click this link to take their survey with a chance to win a prize from Destination Door County. Civic leaders and other stakeholders are encouraged to click this link to take their survey. Both surveys will be available until June 21st.

Gallagher votes in favor of debt ceiling deal

Rep. Mike Gallagher was one of the 314 members of the House of Representatives to approve a deal to suspend the debt ceiling in exchange for some cuts to government spending on Wednesday. The congressman, whose Eighth Congressional District includes Door and Kewaunee counties, was one of five Wisconsin congressional members to vote in favor of the deal. Wisconsin Democratic Reps. Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore and fellow Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany voted against the measure.

 

In a statement released after the vote, Gallagher said the Fiscal Responsibility Act pulls the brakes on government spending while also looking to secure unspent COVID-related funds, restart student loan payments, and strengthen work requirements for those on welfare. He did chastise the bill for not raising the funding for the Department of Defense or eliminating mandatory spending. You can read his full statement below.

 

 

The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate ahead of the June 5th deadline set by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who suggests the government could run out of money by then. Last week, U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (Republican) and Tammy Baldwin (Democrat) weighed in on the debt limit. Sen. Johnson told WisPolitics.com that it was a “phony crisis” but that he would support the House bill. Senator Baldwin told the website that she has not signed onto a letter urging President Joe Biden to use the 14th Amendment to bypass Congress to raise the debt ceiling, but she had not ruled it out.

Door County Library begins summer reading program

Just because the school year in the local area is nearing a close, it does not mean the books you are currently reading need to be closed. Thanks in part to the summer reading program held by the Door County Library, those hours of reading can be tallied up to a reward. 

 

The Door County Library is kicking off its summer reading program titled "All Together Now" at the beginning of June, and it runs all the way through the end of August. The library is hoping to bring together a sense of community with this year's theme. Any age can register and take part in summer reading through the library, but they will have to register in an age group while they track their hours of reading. Door County Library’s Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken talks about the program that runs through the summer and why she believes it is important. 

 


Registering for the program is simple, as you can choose to register at the library with the forms Lokken mentioned, or on the Beanstack app. The library will also be hosting events that you can find on their website, which also holds the app to track your hours. The Door County Library hopes that reading, learning and a sense of community will be kept through the summer months with this program.

 

The tutorial for how to use the Beanstack app from the Door County Library is below. 

 

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