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News Archives for 2023-07

Wind phone makes first call in Sturgeon Bay

A “Wind Phone” became a new permanent addition to Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay this past weekend and is designed to help you grieve the loss of a loved one.  Josh Gregory, who lost his mother Judy over a year ago, approached the City of Sturgeon Bay and worked with the Parks & Recreation Committee to get approval back in June for the design and location of the “Wind Phone”.  The tradition started in Japan back in 2010 when a landscaper built a disconnected phone booth in his garden to “talk” with a cousin he had lost.  The idea gained popularity around the world and Gregory was inspired to raise money for the project.  Gregory hopes people take advantage of the “wind phone” in the park and find some peace and closure using it.

 

 

Over $2,000 was raised through a Go Fund Me page with a bench planned to be positioned near the “wind phone”  in the future.  Gregory says the project was a mental health exercise and was a way for him to continue the legacy his mother had in helping people.  The “wind phone” is located on the shore of Bradley Lake in Sunset Park, on a path just north of the pickleball courts.  

Wisconsin launches tool for discounted internet service

An opportunity for you to get discounted or free internet service was just launched by Governor Tony Evers, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. 

 

The new tool launched on July 27th is called the “Internet Discount Finder” and does exactly what the name suggests, helps Wisconsin households find and access affordable internet. Not only does this program help for everyday recreational usage for families, but it also helps families who have students in school that need to have internet access at home for schoolwork. Wisconsin Broadband and Digital Equity Director Alyssa Kenney talks in depth about what the new discounted internet service will have to offer. 

 

 

Kenney goes on to state that most of the service will be the “basic” or “standard” internet service that the providers have to offer. The service will also be based on household income, which is intended for low income families who are looking to either add or switch providers. 

 

The tool will show available plans and describe the next steps for enrollment in the Affordable Connectivity Program. The program helps eligible households get a discount of up to $30 per month for broadband service and internet-connected devices and even some free options for families who are low-income or are in use of medicaid. 


Kewaunee, Manitowoc counties team up for nuclear plant emergency drill

Even though Point Beach Nuclear Plant is located in Two Rivers, Wis., you will still see some impact on how Kewaunee County reacts if incidents occur there. The emergency management departments for Kewaunee and Manitowoc counties along with the state will conduct Hostile Action Based emergency response exercises on August 15th at the nuclear power plant so they can be evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The training covers what would happen if there is an act towards a nuclear power plant or its personnel that includes the use of violent forces to destroy equipment or take hostages. Since Kewaunee County is located within a 10-mile radius of the power plant, it is required to partake in the exercise, which includes setting up a reception area for personnel to use to receive proper protective equipment and be monitored for potential radiological contamination. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says approximately 80 employees and volunteers will participate in the exercise which is happening for the first time in eight years.

The reception center will be set up at Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School for the drill. The general public may see emergency teams out and about in addition to several government vehicles during the August 15th drill date. 

 

Suffrage car parade set for August 26th

You are invited to help the League of Women Voters of Door County celebrate over 100 years of women’s voting rights in late August simply by driving your car and honking your horn. For the fourth time, the organization is hosting its Women’s Equality Day car parade to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment, the culmination of the suffrage movement guaranteeing women the right to vote. The event itself was marked with church bells ringing and a car parade 103 years ago, but became a tradition in Sturgeon Bay in 2020. Event chairperson Heidi Ling says it is a milestone worth celebrating, especially with the next election cycle ready to start gaining traction. 

The car parade will start at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Jefferson Street with the Door County Community Foundation’s bell tower marking the occasion at noon. The parade will send the motorcade down 3rd Avenue across the Michigan Street and Maple/Oregon Street bridges before arriving at Martin Park. The event will also include a reading of the 19th Amendment and a performance of Northern Sky Theater’s Lipstick Optional. 

 


Firefighters put out days-old fire

A jet skier proved why if you "see something, say something" as he may have prevented further damage done in northern Door County over the weekend. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department and Door County Emergency Services were dispatched to a remote area near Highway 42 between Gills Rock and Northport before 6 p.m. on Saturday after a jet skier saw flames from the water. It took time for crews to find the fire due to the remote nature of the fire, which was located on a ledge between two bluffs. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the fire likely burned for days after the area was potentially struck by lightning.

Approximately 15 firefighters and four trucks from the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Gibraltar, and Ephraim fire departments took parts of two days to put out the blaze. It was not the only fire attended to by firefighters over the weekend. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to a straw field fire near County Highway C and Sams Road on Sunday at approximately 4:40 p.m. BUG Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says the farmer believes he struck a rock as he was cutting hay, potentially providing the spark the staw that eventually burned a 100 feet by 100 feet area.

 

 

Kewaunee County looks to pay off its 2012 debt

Saving you about $158,000 in interest expenses and potentially giving the county more space to borrow for a new jail is the goal of a resolution being discussed by the Kewaunee County Finance Committee on Thursday.

 

The resolution calls for paying off the $620,000 in general obligation refunding bonds from December 20th, 2012. The bonds’ maturity date is May 1st, 2032, paying them off sooner would save the county $158,000 in interest expenses over the course of an eight-to-nine-year period. Kewaunee County Finance Director Paul Kunesh said in his memo to interim County Administrator Ed Dorner and the finance committee that in addition to reducing interest expenses it would make room for a new bond issue if a new jail is eventually built. After project bidders came in nearly $8 million over budget on plans to replace the current jail, the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors failed to get a two-thirds majority to approve funding plans to bridge the gap.

 

The committee will also consider a facilities request from the Kewaunee County Historical Society when the body meets on Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Center.

Sturgeon Bay couple named best Airbnb host in Wisconsin

Over the past few years, more Airbnbs have begun to pop up around the county, being mostly full throughout the summer during the tourist season. One specific spot however has been the go to for many tourists, as “The Shed” run by Glen Vander Velden and his wife Kathy was named the best Airbnb in Wisconsin. 

 

The state holds nearly 7,000 Airbnb listings, so to be named the best in Wisconsin isn’t easy. Airbnb requires that the top listing receive more than 100 reviews, with a 100% five star rating in three different categories. The Shed received five stars in every category, from nearly 250 different reviewers. The owner of the Airbnb Glen Vander Velden talks about how he keeps the place in top shape, and the idea to start it all. 

 

 

Airbnb is one of the most popular ways for people to stay in areas they are visiting around the world with six million active listings on the platform. As for how popular The Shed is, they are sold out in the summer months until 2025 and have few listings in the winter of 2024.? 

Griffon String Quartet, Lewis collaborate on new album

If you missed his performance with Midsummer’s Music earlier this month, you will soon have the opportunity to take another Eric Lewis collaboration wherever you go. Midsummer’s Music recently announced that its Griffon String Quartet and Lewis will release an album this fall. Beneath the Waves is a collection of instrumental tunes and songs featuring Lewis with string arrangements composed by Sam Shoup. Seth Hanford from Midsummer’s Music says it is a great opportunity to see Lewis perform again and how he is able to interact with the Griffon String Quartet.

The official release of the album will take place at Northern Sky Theater’s Gould Theater on September 9th at 7 p.m. Midsummer’s Music announced on Friday that violinist Alex Norris and cellist Jesse Nummelin. Norris is a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Stoughton Music Festival, and the Quad City Symphony. Nummelin currently serves as the assistant principal cellist with the Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, and Duluth Superior Symphony, among others.

Classic and Wooden Boat Show to feature Peshtigo manufacturer

One manufacturer will stick out among the rest at the Door County Maritime Museum’s Classic and Wooden Boat Show from August 4th through the 6th. The Sturgeon Bay campus' parking lot will be filled with a wide variety of vessels, but it will pay special homage to the Peshtigo-produced Thompson Brothers boats. The company began producing wooden pleasure boats and canoes in 1904 before the switch to fiberglass watercraft drove them out of business in the 1960s. No matter vessel, Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director and Development Manager Sam Perlman says the Classic and Wooden Boat Show brings out a lot of interested people.

Coast Guard demonstrations and the Sikaflex boat-building challenge also highlight the Classic and Wooden Boat Show, which serves as one of the many events highlighting Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week.

Making smart goals with your health

Many people come to personal trainers with broad product goals such as losing weight, toning up, or getting fit. None of the goals identify a motivator such as sleeping better, having more confidence, improving energy, being able to play with kids/grandkids, etc.

    

Having a motivator will more likely help you to stick with a fitness routine. Writing down a SMART goal is a great place to start. It should be Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Remember a fitness routine doesn’t have to be all or nothing just all or something. There will be barriers that come up in life that prevent us from doing what we planned. You can overcome these barriers by planning ahead. For example, if you know family is coming into town ask them to go on a walk with you. Or if you have a lot of appointments coming up try to plan just 15 minutes during your day to get some movement in. Sometimes it can be as easy as parking further away to get extra steps to where you are going.

      

Physical activity doesn’t have to be lifting or going for a run. Sometimes it may be walking around the school as you wait for your kid to finish practice. It may be throwing a tennis ball for your dog to chase.

      

All little things add up and it starts with those little things to make a routine! Instead of jumping into big fitness goals and becoming sore and then falling off and repeating the same vicious cycle, make yourself fitness goals you know you can do.                                             

Instead of saying, “I am going to run a half marathon”, you might instead say “I am going to jog to the end of my street”. Having an overall goal of a half marathon is great, but if you are new to fitness or restarting your journey these big goals a lot of the time can lead to injury or burnout.

      

If you start with small achievable goals eventually you will get to that big goal without even realizing it and build confidence in yourself. If you need help starting the Kewaunee County Public Health Department offers several opportunities to get you started on your fitness routine.

Southern Door Fire Department holds annual picnic

The Southern Door Fire Department debuted its new fire truck at their annual picnic, and used help from concession sales and auctions and raffles to help outfit the truck with all the bells and whistles. 

 

The all-day festivities began at 11 am, as a parade through the main streets of Forestville kicked off the day. Many people who attended the picnic said they were happy that the event returned after a long hiatus was broken the past couple years. One event that was brand new to the picnic was a cornhole tournament. The fourteen-team bracket kept the fun going until the raffles and auctions were completed and set to be announced. 

Even though the day was warm, families were still able to enjoy their time at the picnic with different activities that were kid-friendly. Earlier in the day, the Southern Door Fire Department was giving kids and families tours of the new truck that arrived just on time for the picnic.

Door County Plein Air Festival final day takes over Fish Creek

Whether it be lines of cars from downtown Fish Creek to Gibraltar High School, or the hundreds of people maneuvering traffic and other pedestrians trying to take a look at the nearest painting, the Door County Plein Air Festival could not have had a better final day. 

 

A tradition that has lasted in Door County since the early 1900s, Plein Air is the act of painting outdoors, and usually most artists use what they see in front of them as a reference point, which was downtown Fish Creek in this case. While the viewers were looking at the painting and taking pictures, artists talked about their background in art and describing what they are painting, but could not say too much, as they were timed to get the painting finished. 

These artists however, were not just any artists who were able to sign up to participate in the event. The Peninsula School of Art brings together over 30 of the best painters in the country to participate in the Plein Air Festival, which runs for the entire week. It was not just Fish Creek that got the spotlight for the painters, as they were up and down the entire peninsula throughout the week-long stretch, making different kinds of paintings based on how the summer light enhances different areas, according to one of the painters. 

 

The festival was capped off with a live auction of all the paintings that were made during the “Quick Paint” Saturday morning.

Birch Creek swings toward the end of the academy season

You will have to hurry in if you have not caught a show at Birch Creek Music Performance Center yet this summer. The Egg Harbor institution will begin the final session of its academy season with the second group of big band jazz students with students and new staff members moving in on Sunday. The first performance by its jazz ambassadors will take place at the Jacksonport Farmer’s Market on Tuesday, and the first full performance inside Birch Creek’s concert barn on August 3rd. Across all of its sessions, Executive Director Mona Christenson says the audiences have been adoring the concerts and have been coming in bigger numbers as well.

The second Big Band Jazz session runs through August 12th. If you cannot make it to a show at Birch Creek Music Performance Center, the jazz ambassadors will have gigs in Jacksonport, Sister Bay, Ellison Bay, Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, and Fish Creek. You can listen to a full preview of the upcoming session with Christenson by clicking on this link.

K-D Salmon tournament sets record sales, awaits final results

One week after the record-setting conclusion of the 41st annual Kewaunee/Door (K-D) County Salmon Tournament, the tourney committee is still investigating multiple fish caught that placed up and down the leaderboard.  Nearly 3,800 participants fished the tournament, smashing last year’s record of 3,310.  Kevin Naze says other than the delay in announcing the prize payout, the tournament was incredibly successful.

 

 

The unofficial leader at the end of the tournament was Tom Bray of Iron Mountain, Michigan with a 31.9 salmon that was caught on Sunday, July 16th.  That fish, which is one of the entries being scrutinized regarding ticket holders onboard and the waters it was caught in.  Naze says the committee hopes to decide within a week on the final standings of the tournament.

 

 

Although fewer salmon of over 25 pounds were caught this year, compared to last year, over 400 chinooks weighed in at over 20 pounds.  


Naze notes that changes to the 2024 contest will allow for all ages to participate and the elimination of the one-day tournament.  

Ridges Sanctuary receives grant for Dwarf Lake Iris Restoration

The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor has received a $73,000 grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program for restoration of the Dwarf Lake Iris species. 

 

The Dwarf Lake Iris is a rare species from the Upper Great Lakes region, but is actually relatively common in Door County. The species grows on the edges of shoreline forest and dune habitats and are purple in color. The plant has been decreasing in numbers due to loss of its habitat, effects of climate change, and other environmental threats. 

 

The Ridges Sanctuary Land Manager Sam Hoffman reiterates the importance of the plant, telling us it is common for the plant to be in Door County, but it is still at a high level of endangerment. He also went on to talk about the grant they received and some restoration plans. 

 

 

Door County is just one of two Wisconsin counties hosting the federally threatened iris with The Ridges Sanctuary being the county’s resident expert in Dwarf Lake Iris conservation and research. The plant is one of the more popular of the recently named endangered plants, and the Ridges is hoping to not only increase the population of the plant, but to maximize its genetic diversity over time. 

Supreme Court change offers new opportunity for redistricting push

You can likely expect to see a number of legal challenges brought to the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the coming months thanks to a change in the courts on Tuesday. August 1st will mark the first time in 15 years that the state’s highest court will be controlled by a slim progressive majority after Janet Protasiewicz defeated Dan Kelly earlier this year in the spring election. Cases involving reproductive and voting rights will likely be brought to the court shortly after Protasiewicz begins her term. Redistricting was brought to the forefront earlier this week by State Senator Jeff Smith and State Representative Deb Andraca, who notes that this could be an opportunity to throw out the current maps and institute a system similar to what is used in states like Iowa where an independent commission draws the district lines. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says citizens got a taste of what the process could be like when Governor Tony Evers’ office published the People’s Maps Commission report in 2021.


Heck anticipates things will start more partisan for the court, but he hopes the new court will bridge the ideological divide that has widened in recent years.

St. John Bosco names Robey new principal

You will see yet another new face in the principal’s chair at St. John Bosco School in Sturgeon Bay. The school’s board of directors announced earlier this week that Dr. Michael Robey would take over the reins after Matthew Hanson abruptly resigned from the post after being hired to replace Vickie Dassler one month prior. Robey comes to St. John Bosco from Illinois where he has over 35 years of experience ranging from a teacher to the Assistant Regional Superintendent of Schools in DuPage County. According to a release from the school, the move to Door County will not be a big stretch for Robey. He and his family regularly visited the area before deciding to call it home when Robey decided to continue his career in education. An active participant in his home parish in Illinois, Robey said his and his family’s faith will always play a large role in their lives, adding that God wants him to continue his career in education, but now within a Catholic school setting. Robey officially takes on the role of principal on August 1st.

 

 

Door County Fair exhibitors count down the days

You only have just over a week to prepare for the Door County Fair from August 9th through 13th. Hundreds of exhibitors are planning on bringing more than 3,000 projects to John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay to be put on display. While the fair experience may be old hat for some exhibitors, it could be a nerve-wracking experience for others, especially if it is your first time bringing a project to the fair.

Heard encourages you to visit the fair’s website ahead of time to make sure you bring in your project at the correct time so a judge is available. If you want to check out the projects, they will be exhibited through the end of the fair on August 13th.

 

 

Pheasant exhibit construction taking off

After some delays due to redesigns and other factors, you can start picturing some of the newest residents of the Bruemmer Park Zoo in Kewaunee. Crews began work on the ornamental pheasant exhibit at Bruemmer Park Zoo in May after initially announcing it would break ground on the approximately $300,000 project in fall 2021. New ideas for the exhibit meant pushing back the bidding process to early 2022 with construction costs also playing a factor in the wait. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says things are looking good so far for the structure that will house the birds in eight to ten enclosures thanks to the work of the Zoological Society of Kewaunee County.

Myers did not have an estimate on when the project would be finished, but he does hope visitors to the society’s Zoobilee celebration on September 23 will be able to get a good idea of what the exhibit will look like when they attend the event.

 

Picture courtesy of Bruemmer Park Zoo

Gibraltar voters approve Redmann property purchase

It took about 15 years to get done, but the town of Gibraltar’s plan to buy 118 acres of land was resoundingly approved by residents on Wednesday night.  Nearly 200 people filled the Gibraltar Fire Department building to vote on the purchase of the Redmann property that was once voted down in 2019.  The $1.5 million purchase was approved by a hefty 124-34 margin.   Town Chair Steve Sohns says a few concerned citizens were reassured prior to the vote that the purchase agreement stipulates that only grants and donations can be used in buying the property. The approval included the south and east portions of Half Mile Bridge LLC’s property for public purposes.  The land is near the Settlement Shops just off Highway 42 south of Fish Creek.  Over 50 acres of the property is protected woodlands and marsh.  Sohns notes that over $600,000 of grant money has already been secured and that the township has five years to raise the remaining balance. 

Saxby's horseshoe skills are more than just good luck

What you see as just any old horseshoe ring a Kewaunee man saw as an opportunity to compete on the world stage. Dominic Saxby recently completed his run at the World Horseshoe Pitching Championships in Lansing, Mich., competing against over 900 others from 48 states and three countries. Horseshoe pitchers must qualify by competing in different tournaments and having a high ringer percentage, which is when you hook your horseshoes around the stake compared to how many throws you make. Saxby’s ringer percentage hovers right around 25 percent and posted some of his best scores during the world tournament where he even won his division. Despite not advancing to the world championship in the end, Saxby is thankful for the opportunity to play.

Saxby began playing horseshoes with family members and he enjoys meeting new people across all of the tournaments he enters. The World Horseshoe Pitching Championships wraps up this weekend.

 

Photo courtesy of Dobie Gutweiler and Horseshoes Around Wisconsin 

Steady cruising for Washington Island Ferry

As long as you are in line before the last scheduled trip, the Washington Island Ferry Line is making sure you are getting to your desired destination. Washington Island Ferry Line President Hoyt Purinton estimates that traffic using its five vessels is about even with where it was in 2022, which was down from a record-setting 2021 when people on both sides of Death’s Door got their sea legs back after pandemic-related restrictions began to get lifted. Purinton says a number of factors are helping visitors make the decision to visit the island to experience a baseball game, a festival, or some of their other activities.

The Washington Island Ferry has 22 scheduled trips every day with additional ones also on the calendar for the weekends through September 4th. Purinton says they have done additional trips during the course of the day in order to keep up with demand and lower waiting times.

EAA event brings aviators to Door County

While Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh becomes the world’s busiest this week because of the EAA AirVenture, you will still see plenty of traffic coming to Door County’s airports because of it. From July 24th to 30th, more than 600,000 aviation enthusiasts will make their way to the EAA grounds to check out the more than 10,000 aircraft that come to the area at a clip of 121 takeoffs and landings every hour according to the organization. Craig Ross from the Door County Cherryland Airport says the event causes them to see an uptick in traffic over the course of a three-week span with people visiting the area on their way to or coming back from Oshkosh. Ross says some even land in Door County and then make the more than 90-minute drive to the EAA during Airventure just so they can see more of the area and stay out of the fray.

Ross adds that even before EAA, the Door County Cherryland Airport continues to see an increase in traffic as people remain more comfortable traveling in a post-pandemic world. AirVenture wraps up on Sunday.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County

Return of S.S. Badger trips likely weeks away

If you are heading to Michigan in the upcoming weeks, be prepared to drive. The Lake Michigan Carferry, which operates S.S. Badger, updated potential passengers earlier this week after a ramp used to load and unload cars collapsed into the water last Friday in its home port of Ludington, Mich. Marine contractors were expected to begin removing the old ramp lifting equipment on Tuesday so repairs could take place. The Lake Michigan Carferry has not said when they believe the S.S. Badger will be back in service, but they are offering ticketholders an opportunity to either change their reservation or receive a refund. The S.S. Badger recently restarted its night sailing journeys between Ludington and Manitowoc earlier this month after a three-year hiatus.

 

 

Local markets and sales bring sense of community to Sturgeon Bay

Every Saturday, new and familiar faces line Third Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay to check out the newest vendors and offerings at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market. On Thursday, another chance to explore what members of the community have to offer occurs at the Sail Thru the Avenues Sidewalk Sale. 

 

Businesses like The Gnoshery on Third Avenue have been positively impacted by the sales and markets, even setting up tents to display their store offerings during the events. Many community members find themselves waking up early on Saturday mornings to venture down to the farmers market, to find items they enjoy, or even strike up conversations with some of the vendors they may be familiar with. Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Marketing Director Rachel Malcore talks about the sense of community and togetherness she senses while at the events. 

 

 

The Sail Thru the Avenues Sidewalk Sale is unlike the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market however, according to Malcore the Farmers Market offers you handcrafted items, specialty foods, and produce, whereas the Sidewalk Sale brings more of a retail side of things, with businesses around the city. 

 

The Sidewalk Sale will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday.

Mega Millions jumps to over $900 million jackpot

With no tickets matching the winning numbers from Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot, the prize will grow even more.  The jackpot is estimated to climb to $910 million with a cash option of $464.2 million for the next drawing on Friday. 

 

For a two-dollar ticket, players can pick six numbers from two separate pools of numbers. 

 

Last week, the Wisconsin Lottery announced that the JP Express in Algoma sold one of the state's two winning  $200,000 tickets in the Powerball Power Play drawing that was later claimed by a local man.  Jandu Petroleum Owner Parv Jandu who operates four convenience stores in the area including JP Express says excitement is building off of the Powerball drawing and hopes are for a national jackpot winner will come from the area and Wisconsin.

 

 

Friday’s drawing for the $910 million Mega Millions jackpot will be at 10 p.m.  

Sturgeon Bay updating Aquatic Plant Management Plan

The City of Sturgeon Bay is looking for your input in addressing the weed control issue it faces on the waters in the Bay.  In accordance with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' requirements to obtain permits, the 2019 Sturgeon Bay Aquatic Plant Management Plan is being updated.  As part of the process to update the plan for 2024, the city is asking for the opinions and thoughts of the people that care for and utilize the Bay.  You are asked to take the poll if you are 18 years or older and use any watercraft to recreate on the Bay or if you operate a fishing guide or charter boat business.  Owners or managers of marinas or businesses that offer seasonal or transient dockage on the Bay are encouraged to take the survey as well.  The survey will be available online to take through September 30 and the results of it will be incorporated into the Sturgeon Bay Aquatics Plant Management Plan.  You can access the poll by clicking on this link.

Swimming options abound at the Door County YMCA

With the summer swimming classes wrapping up soon at the two Door County YMCA locations, Aquatics Director Makayla Thoma wants you to know that private swim lessons are always available at the facilities. Thoma says almost all the summer classes are filled at this point with the Fall sessions set to begin September 5th, but private lessons can be worked around your schedule and child’s needs.

 

 

The YMCA swim team is completing its summer training and peak performance clinic this week with fall training beginning in September. Thoma shares some of the lifelong benefits that swimming offers you and your children.

 

Due to incoming rain, YMCA Camp in the Park (Otumba) is canceled today, Wednesday, July 26th.

 

 

The fall swimming sessions will be open to registration starting on August 21st for members and August 23rd for others in the community.  

Property tax deadline looming

If you haven’t fully paid your property taxes this year, your second installment is due soon.  Door County Treasurer Ryan Schley reminds you that the payment is required by next Monday, July 31st.  Failure to pay your taxes can mean penalties of 1.5 percent per month retroactive to February 1st, which is equivalent to a 10.5 percent penalty.   You can make payments via cash, money order, or personal or cashier’s check.  Additional service fees are added to any credit or debit cards or electronic checks.  If you have any concerns or questions regarding your property taxes, you can contact the Door County Treasurer’s office.  

Narcan vending machine debuts in Sturgeon Bay

If you need it, NEW Sober Living’s Eli Phillips and Angie Levens do not mind refilling a vending machine outside their future thrift shop. Inside the vending machine are primarily products used to combat fentanyl, which includes testing strips and Narcan, the medicine often used to reverse an opioid overdose. The idea came to Levens and Phillips at a conference in Green Bay where they learned similar machines were already operating in Milwaukee and Rock counties. Knowing people who have died from opioid overdoses and the prevalence of fentanyl in Door County, Phillips and Levens agreed that the $500 investment in a used vending machine to distribute the free products was worth it if it meant saving a life.

In the week since Phllips and Levens installed the machine, two test strips and four boxes of Narcan have already been claimed. NEW Sober Living is a newly established non-profit in Door County aimed at helping people manage their sobriety. Phillips is proud of the success they have already had in the organization’s infancy with five people graduating from their program. The vending machine is located across the parking lot from Door County Habitat for Humanity’s offices and ReStore.

Culver's, law enforcement shines light on need in the community

While butterburgers were fried on an open grill top, law enforcement nipped at your heart strings Tuesday as a part of the annual Police Lights of Christmas campaign day at Culvers in Sturgeon Bay. Following the lead of the other law enforcement agencies across the region, members of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and Door County Sheriff’s Department teamed up to help deliver food to cars and tables while also collecting tips for the Police Lights of Christmas, which helps them purchase gift cards to distribute to families in need during the holiday season. Culver’s owner Austin Hildebrand is no stranger to giving back as the restaurant’s Curd Partners program donates thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations and school groups. He, along with Brandon Shew of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and Clayton Paral of the Door County Sheriff's Department, said they always appreciate the support this day brings.

While we likely will not know the final amount earned until later in the week, past editions of the Police Lights of Christmas have raised more than $2,000 each of the past two years. Hildebrand expects it to be more than past years because it is taking place during the busy summer season rather than the fall and winter when it has taken place in the past.

 

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department brings training to Luxemburg

For the second time this month, you will likely hear a large-scale training exercise occur in Kewaunee County for local law enforcement. 

 

Scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, the police departments of Algoma, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg, and other emergency responders will hold their annual training at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg. Chief Deputy Jason Veeser says because Kewaunee County does not have the same resources as larger counties do, it is important for them to go through the basics every year.

 

 

The training is expected to take place between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. and include simulated gunfire and possible yelling and screaming. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is asking people to avoid the training grounds during this time. The agencies worked together on a similar training at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee on July 12th and last week at the Algoma Youth Club.

Hope Spot designation re-emphasizes importance of Great Lakes

When you do the little things to help protect the area’s water supply, it could make a big impact in the rest of the world. The international marine conservation non-profit Mission Blue named the Great Lakes earlier this year the first and only freshwater Hope Spot. The designation means that the Great Lakes, made up of the St. Lawrence Seaway and the lakes of Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior are scientifically identified as critical to the health of the ocean. Since the bodies of water flow into the ocean, the impact of agricultural run-off, plastics pollution, and industrial emissions could be felt not just in Door and Kewaunee counties but thousands of miles away. Dean Hoegger from the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin says any attention is good when it comes to this important issue.

 

 

Hoegger says some of the efforts they are participating in currently to protect area waterways and the Great Lakes include working with municipalities to ban the use of some asphalt sealants and inspecting streams to make sure agricultural activities do not disturb them. There are over 150 Hope Spots around the world identified by Mission Blue.

 

Graphic from Mission Blue

Extreme heat and humidity bring health concerns

The expected rising of temperatures along with higher humidity this week is cause for health concerns including dehydration and heat exhaustion.  Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard reminds you to stay out of direct sunlight during the hottest times of the day.

Kinnard says you should drink plenty of fluids, like water or liquids with electrolytes in them.  She adds that wearing a hat and light-colored clothing that reflect the sunshine.  If you need to take breaks, Kinnard recommends that if you have to work outside, take frequent breaks and seek air-conditioned facilities to cool off.  Senior citizens, those with medical conditions, along with young children are most at risk to experience a medical emergency during heatwaves. 

Door County Fair planting seeds with youngest community members

Even your youngest child or grandchild can participate in the Door County Fair. The Door County Fair introduced its Fair Seedlings program earlier this month, aiming its efforts at children between the ages of three to five with an experience that hopes to create lifelong exhibitors. The children can bring up to five projects to show off to the thousands of people that file through the junior fair building during the Door County Fair.

 

There will be no face-to-face judging, but that does not mean the kids will not be rewarded for their efforts. All kids participating will receive a ribbon just for participating. Fair Seedlings participants can bring their project to the fairgrounds on August 9th from noon to 7 p.m. with no preregistration required.

 

The Door County Fair runs from August 9th through the 13th at John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay.

Canadian wildfires force state into another air quality advisory

The shifting winds and the ongoing Canadian wildfires may force you to change your plans early this week.

 

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued another air quality advisory for much of the state including Door and Kewaunee counties. Five southwestern Wisconsin counties which include the cities of Platteville, Mineral Point, and Prairie du Chien are exempt from the advisory. The advisory places the other 67 counties at an orange level, which means the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children. Those groups should reconsider if they are planning for periods of prolonged or heavy exertion. The smoke is not expected to get as bad as it did last month when events had to be canceled due to poor air quality.

 

The air quality alert is expected to last until noon on Tuesday. Don’t expect the air quality alerts to disappear anytime soon.

 

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Monday morning, there are over 1,000 active fires in Canada, 683 of which are considered to be out of control. More than 11.6 million hectares have burned as a result of forest fires in Canada.

 

 

 

United Way of Door County offers babysitter course

Your kids do not have to join a club to become a babysitter, but a course being offered by the United Way of Door County could be worth the investment of your time and money. With support from the Women’s Fund of Door County, the United Way of Door County is offering a babysitter training course on August 15th. Teaching concepts from the American Red Cross, the course covers how to stay safe, how to provide care, how to prepare age-appropriate activities and other basics of starting a babysitting business. Child Care Community Coordinator Molly Gary says much like other child care options in Door County, a good babysitter is hard to find and high in demand.

The day-long training at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church is available for $20 with scholarships available. You can find details on how you can participate below.

 

 

Birch Creek taking jazz to the people

Do not be surprised if you hear a jazz standard or two while visiting different spots in Door County this summer. Birch Creek Music Performance Center is continuing its tradition of its jazz outreach concerts with student ambassadors setting up music stands throughout the county ahead of their concerts in Egg Harbor. The jazz ambassadors wrapped up their first week of pop-up concerts with a performance at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay near where many were enjoying the sights and tastes of the city’s farmers’ market. Students earn their spot in the group by auditioning and then oftentimes have to perform twice a day during the session. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson says session after session, the students that perform in the Jazz Ambassadors ensemble are a special group of kids.

The Jazz Ambassadors will play at different locations in Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor, Fish Creek, and Sister Bay ahead of the end of the first Big Band Jazz session at Birch Creek Music Performances. You can see their full schedule by clicking this link.

 

 

 

 

Produce and People abundant at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers market

If you’re looking for fresh seasonal produce, it can be found at farmers' markets in Door County.

 

From cucumbers and cherries to peppers and radishes, they were all found along with hundreds of people enjoying the weather at Saturday's Sturgeon Bay Farmers' Market.

 

According to several vendors, corn will be arriving in the coming weeks and the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables will only be getting larger as the season progresses.

 

This is the case not just at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers' Market, but at the many other farmers' markets throughout Door County.

 

 

 

 

Town looks to purchase 118 acres

Your vote could help the Town of Gibraltar purchase four parcels totaling just under 119 acres of land on Wednesday.

 

The town is hosting a special town meeting on July 26th at 6 p.m. to approve the purchase of the south and east portions of Half Mile Bridge LLC’s property for public purposes. The land is located near Settlement Shops just off Highway 42 south of Fish Creek. Purchasing the land would not require general fund tax dollars as grants and donations are expected to cover the $1.5 million price tag.

 

The purchase would also trigger the donation of just over six acres of additional land from Marise Redman, who inherited the land in the early 1980s according to the website HalfMileBridge.com. While some of the Half Mile Bridge Farm property is developed as condominiums, over 50 acres of woodlands and marsh are also protected.

 

Town Chair Steve Sohns says the opportunity to connect Peninsual State Park with Egg Harbor through a trail system could potentially be accomplished down the road.

 

 

The Town of Gibraltar will host its second and final information session on Monday at 4 p.m. before holding its vote at the special town meeting of electors on July 26th at the Gibraltar Fire Station beginning at 6 p.m.

Village to visitors: Know where to leave your mark

The Village of Ephraim is okay with you commemorating your visit at Anderson Dock, they just want you to do it in the right space. Graffiti on Anderson Dock has been a common talking point over the last year as the long-standing tradition of writing names along the exterior walls of the warehouse that hosts the Hardy Gallery has stretched to rocks, concrete, and even the fireboat.

 

Village Administrator Brent Bristol says the issue has peaked over the last five to six years, forcing Ephraim officials to determine the best course of action to prevent the practice from occurring. Graffiti abatement strategies like anti-graffiti coatings, dry ice blasting, and potential security camera installation have all been discussed as possible actions, but they are starting first with re-educating people about the tradition itself. Bristol hopes that through re-education and quick action when graffiti appears in the wrong places the issues will take care of themselves.
 

He adds that their re-education efforts coincide with the board’s capital improvement efforts for the village. The slate of projects would include improvements to Anderson Dock such as replacing the concrete. Bristol believes the board would like to see the graffiti concerns subside before investing the money needed to make the improvements.

 

 

Bacon and beer added to Destination Sturgeon Bay's Bloodys event

You will have more options to enjoy along the water at Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Bloodys, Brews, and Bacon event on August 6th. In its third year, Destination Sturgeon Bay added premium bacon samples and local beer brewed by Bridge Up Brewing Company and One Barrel Brewing to the lineup, but it will still highlight bloody marys and garnishes made by local businesses. Those local businesses will still compete for the top honors for the best Bloody Mary and garnish at the event. Rachel Malcore from Destination Sturgeon Bay hopes the expanded offerings bring even more people to the now-annual event.

Tickets are $40 and include Bloody Mary samples from five local Door County restaurants, beer samples, five strips of bacon, and a slice of breakfast pizza. Not only will you get to enjoy live music during the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., but you will also be in a position to check out the Sikaflex Challenge going on during the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Show across the street at the Door County Maritime Museum. You can purchase your tickets for the event here.

Allen settling into role as Algoma Police Chief

David Allen reentered his law enforcement career as the new Algoma police chief six weeks ago and is adjusting to the new challenges that go along with it.  Having started his new position on June 6th in replacing Randy Remiker who retired, Allen says his biggest challenge so far personally has been the computer work and dealing with a shortage in staffing which is preventing him from his goal of getting out into the community more.  He shares his vision for the Algoma Police Department during his leadership going forward. 

 

 

Allen says he has received incredible support from the City of Algoma staff, and others including Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski, Kewaunee Police Chief Robin Mueller, and Gibraltar Police Chief  Ryan Roesch.  Comparing his past twenty years as a conservation warden to his current law enforcement position, Allen says it's refreshing to do even more for the public as Algoma’s police chief.

 

 

You can listen to the entire conversation with Algoma Police Chief David Allen on the podcast page here. 

Police Lights of Christmas shines at Culver's July 25th

You will see a large police presence at Culver’s of Sturgeon Bay on July 25th, but don’t worry: it is for a very good reason.

 

Culver’s, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department are hosting their annual Police Lights of Christmas campaign day, with officers “on duty” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. What started as a radio promotion in the Fox Valley has spread to other Culver’s locations across the region including Sturgeon Bay. The money raised during the event goes towards the Lights of Christmas, which allows officers the opportunity to buy and distribute gift cards to residents in need during the holiday season.

 

Thanks to the generosity of the community, Culver’s of Sturgeon Bay has been able to raise thousands of dollars for the Police Lights of Christmas campaign including over $2,000 each of the last two years. 

Leading with care for happier workplaces

UW-Green Bay professor and Fish Creek resident Dr. Phil Clampitt believes you may have to change your leadership style to adapt to your evolving workplace.

 

Gallup recently reported that 15 percent of employees in the United States are truly engaged in their workplace, adding that they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. It is a trend that started well before the pandemic sent many employees to remote roles within their organizations. It was those realizations that led Clampitt to join forces with Bob DeKoch to write the book Leading with Care in a Tough World: Beyond Servant Leadership. The term servant leadership refers to a philosophy that focuses on the growth and well-being of others. Clampitt says getting positive results for your organization and your employees goes hand-in-hand.

Clampitt has written several books on leadership over the years, including Transforming Leaders into Progress Makers and Embracing Uncertainty. Both of those books he also wrote with DeKoch. You can listen to our full interview with Clampitt, where he also shares his favorite parts of living in Door County, by clicking on this link.

 

 

Picture courtesy of LeadingWithCare.net

Registration open for Master Gardeners course

You can take your green thumb to the next level by becoming a Door County Master Gardener volunteer. With over 100 members, Door County Master Gardeners are not just a wealth of knowledge but they are also the caretakers of The Garden Door, located at the Peninsular Agricultural Station in Sturgeon Bay. In order to become a volunteer, you have to go through the UW Extension’s online Foundations in Gardening course, which covers a wide variety of topics ranging from growing and caring for plants to pest management. Door County Master Gardeners President Shawn Mathys says the course is full of great information and it can be done at your own pace.

Registration is now open until August 14th with the course itself running from September 10th to December 9th. You must then take a test and get at least 70 percent on it to become a Master Gardener. You can find more information on the course and how you can sign up for it below.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Master Gardeners

New Favorite Place to Kayak in Door County -- Series V

Two years ago, one of my kayak articles for Door County Daily News was titled Best Places to Kayak in Door County:  Everywhere! This question comes up regularly on a couple of Wisconsin Facebook kayak sites and when I answer I just note, “everywhere.”

 

I still feel anywhere you pick on Lake Michigan or Green Bay will be special, but my new personal top spot is Cave Point!  We have been to Cave Point dozens of times during all four seasons and love it, but even with all the kayaking we do, we had never seen it from the water. A couple of weeks ago, Becky and I put our kayaks in at the kayak launch on Schauer Road about a mile or so north of Cave Point. The day was perfect with light wind. We were not alone as three kayak tour companies launch there and take clients for this spectacular trip.

 

Why do they call it Cave Point? Because there is a cave and a big one at that. I guess I should have known, but did not, and was impressed when six kayaks headed in for a little excitement. Of course, Becky and I did the same. I am sure some of you have seen Cave Point from the water, but if you haven not, pick a day with light wind and you will not be disappointed.

 

Here are several of my other favorite places to paddle. On the lake side Moonlight Bay is great and fun to head out around the Cana Island Lighthouse. Heading north there is a kayak launch by the Rowleys Bay Resort and paddling the Mink River is not to be missed. On the Green Bay side, to the north is Garret Bay with a great launch and a shipwreck nearby. Kayaking under the bluffs is one of our favorite things to do. I would suggest Ellison Bluff in Ellison Bay and Eagle Bluff in Peninsula State Park. We also love kayaking in Sturgeon Bay itself paddling by the huge ships, under the bridges and getting up close with the tugboats.

These are several of the amazing places to kayak in Door County. As I noted just about everywhere is great, but do not miss Cave Point!  If you have any kayaking or kayak fishing questions, please email me at kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

S.S. Badger ferry temporarily suspends service 

Your trip across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc on the car ferry will have to wait for now.  According to a new release on Friday, the S.S. Badger experienced a mechanical failure of its ramping system and caused the car ferry business to suspend its cross-lake service. 

 

The company has engaged a quick-response team of Great Lakes partners to repair the issue as quickly as possible. 

 

If you have tickets purchased for this weekend, you can call 1-800-841-4243 for a refund or change in your reservation.

Door County to create special projects fund

You will see approximately $3.2 million distributed to a number of different programs throughout the county as a part of a resolution being put in front of the Door County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

 

The plan is to move the money from the Capital Projects County Highway Roads Construction account to a new special projects fund. The special projects fund would address projects originally discussed last year as a part of the county using its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support a number of different initiatives. Affordable housing ($1.2 million) and broadband internet ($1 million) take up much of the funding while invasive species control, water quality protection, transitional housing, and childcare are some of the other areas addressed in the county’s strategic initiative plan that was passed in February 2022.

 

The Door County Board of Supervisors will also look to approve a contract with GEI to control woody invasive species on Plum and Detroit Islands and raise the price of a marriage license to the statewide average of $100 when they meet on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Midsummer's Music continues to highlight deep cuts

Whether it is featuring unique instrumentations or the brother of an even more famous composer, Midsummer’s Music looks to highlight the often ignored or undiscovered pieces of chamber music. Midsummer’s Music recently started its series featuring Felix Mendelssohn and Michael Haydn. He was an accomplished composer in his own right, but Haydn’s brother Joseph is often more widely known thanks to pieces The Creation, The Seven Last Words of Christ on the Cross, and The London Symphonies. Upcoming Midsummer’s Music performances will also highlight instrumentations not often seen in chamber music, something Seth Hanford says lends itself to the organization’s mission.

Midsummer’s Music will feature Haydn and Mendelssohn on Saturday and Wednesday in Sister Bay and Sunday in Egg Harbor. The work of Franz Schubert will be explored on July 27th-30th in Egg Harbor, Ephraim, Sister Bay, and Sturgeon Bay. You can listen to our full interview with Hanford by clicking this link.

New bill puts future of Barn Weddings at risk

Many couples dream of a rustic barn venue for their wedding, especially with Door County having so many to offer. A new bill may make that more difficult, if not impossible in the next few years. 

 

Under the new bill, wedding barns that host more than six events a year would have to obtain a Class B liquor license, which would allow them to serve beer and wine. Originally, the venues would not need a liquor license, but that could soon change. An assembly committee quickly voted 12-2 to pass the measure, even with owners of wedding barns across the state saying it would put them out of business. 

 

Many wedding venues around Door County involve the opportunity to have barn weddings, including the Woodwalk Gallery and Northern Haus. Kewaunee County also has an option for barn weddings, in Heritage Farm. 

 

The main reason for the change is for a bigger crackdown on alcohol, and to level the playing field for banquet halls, taverns and others who must get liquor licenses. Farmers however find that the unique part about their venues, where friends and family can bring their own beverages and food. 

 

The next time the bill will be presented to the senate is in September. 

Planting seeds for better relationships

By the time this article goes to print, the new jail facility issue will have been voted on, and for that reason, I will change my focus for this week’s article, although it does have some relevant points. Whether it moves forward or not, I just want to thank all those who continue to be a part of this crucial resource for our community.

 

Growing up, my mother instilled the love of gardening in all of her six children. While I am sure it was a way to get us out of the house and serve as a means to expend our overwhelming energy, and maintain her sanity, it was also the basis of great life lessons. Beyond the obvious of hard work, patience and appreciation for the delicate balance in nature, it taught me a lesson that wasn’t apparent until many years later. It is the lesson of relationships.

 

Each one of us is solely responsible for creating our own reality, and I will refer to that reality as our garden. It is up to us what we want in that garden. We decide what relationships we want in our own personal lives by how we treat that garden. Just as I don’t particularly like having certain vegetables in my garden, I can also choose the relationships that I welcome into my reality.

 

The first step is to make sure our garden has healthy soil. Are we positive, optimistic, compassionate, giving? If so, that is some good soil to plant the seeds of relationships. If not, we must first attend to our own wellbeing so that we can in fact accept and nurture the seeds we are about to plant. Once we plant the seeds of relationships, we must continuously and diligently attend to those relationships, otherwise they will go dormant very quickly, and most likely not even sprout. We must also be careful not to smother or overwhelm them as that too will result in damage to the seed. Just as in a garden, certain types of soil serve to nurture certain vegetables. I would say that this type of soil is not open to diversity, and therefore must seek to broaden its composition so that it doesn’t inadvertently starve those vegetables that would make our garden truly magnificent.

 

As is the case with the cultivation of our garden, we too must cultivate our relationships. Too often the weeds of toxicity, rumors, misunderstandings, pride, or envy can choke out those newly planted seeds and keep them from their full potential. But once we have established deep meaningful roots, and a healthy plant, the weeds themselves are unable to overcome the established relationship between soil and plant.

 

Beyond, the risk of an uncultivated or unattended garden, there still remains the challenges and risks that come from outside our garden, no matter how hard we try to nurture it. Just as the deer, rabbits, or birds can prey upon your garden, there are those that will prey upon your relationships. While you can try to build fences, or impediments to avoid such risks, you must be careful that those precautions don’t in turn keep you from attending to the very plants you are trying to protect. My point is, that having relationships come with risks, and sometimes we risk the lose of those relationships to unforeseen and uncontrollable events. Even in those times of loss, we must go back to the garden, and be willing to plant new seeds. Although there may be times in the growing season where planting new seeds is not practical, in life, it is never too late to plant new seeds.

 

I hope this analogy helps to bring appreciation to the relationships that others have nurtured in us, and those we in turn work every day to sustain. Unlike our garden, our lives provide us only one chance to reap what we sow in those seeds that we plant. Let’s make sure to attend to our garden of relationships. 

DCEDC adds two members to Board of Directors

In their meeting on July 17th, the Door County Economic Development Corporation welcomed two members to their board of directors, Jackie Bongle and Dale Wiegand. 

 

Jackie Bongle and Dale Wiegand will join the nine directors already on the board, who help aid the Door County Economic Development Corporation in a governing role. The board of directors consist of members that are experts in certain areas of expertise and that make sure each part of the county is represented, from northern door to the southern part of Door County. DCEDC Executive Director Michelle Lawrie talks about bringing on the two board members, and what they will bring or continue to bring in some cases to the organization. 

 

 

Bongle is the Human Resources Manager at Hatco and has been with the Sturgeon Bay company for the past 23 years. She previously served on DCEDC’s Business and Education Partnership Committee. Wiegand is a Door County native with an extensive background in local government. He has served on the Egg Harbor Town Board for the past 10 years, including a time as its chairman, and also previously served on the Door County Board of Supervisors. 

 

Picture courtesy of DCEDC July Newsletter

Two 30-plus-pounders lead as K-D Salmon Tourney enters final weekend

You could be one of the big winners in the Kewaunee Door County Salmon Tournament that finishes this Sunday. So far 35 King Salmon weighing 25 pounds or more have been registered in the area, including the two top fish which were taken off of Washington Island.  The ten-day fishing derby has drawn over 3,300 anglers competing for the $15,000 top prize.  Organizer Kevin Naze says the stories of friends and families coming back for the tournament over the years make for special memories on and off the water.

 

 

Tom Bray of Iron Mountain, Michigan is top on the leaderboard with a 31.9-pounder and Ryan Jorgenson of Washington Island is in second place with a 31.65-pound salmon.  The 19-year-old Jorgenson caught his 42-inch Chinook last Saturday morning, hours before the funeral of his longtime friend and fishing buddy Bradley Jordan died in a motorcycle accident.  Washington Island is having an inaugural Bradley Jordan Memorial Prize/Plaque for the biggest fish weighed in on the island.  The unofficial top 40 fish taken in the tournament are listed below.  

 

Tom Bray, 31.90, 7/16 @ WI

Ryan Jorgenson, 31.65, 7/15 @ WI

Cathy Lohrey, 28.97, 7/16 @ A

Andrew Barker, 28.77, 7/19 @ SB

Reid Winkler, 27.55, 7/16 @ K

Jon Kasten, 27.30, 7/18 @ BH

Barry Hullett, 26.82, 7/16 @ WI

Nick Kenney, 26.81, 7/15 @ SB

Lynn Albers, 26.79, 7/18 @ A

Kevin Bartz, 26.65, 7/14 @ A

Megan Waelchli, 26.62, 7/17 @ BH

James Wolfenberg, 26.52, 7/18 @ BH

Charles Wagner, 26.51, 7/18 @ SB

Callie Kress, 26.50, 7/19 @ BH

Sam Buhr, 26.28, 7/19 @ A

Cory Schneider, 26.23, 7/19 @ A

Troy Berryman, 26.15, 7/18 @ WI

Wallace Krueger, 26.00, 7/18 @ WI

Kevin Iczkowski, 25.89, 7/18 @ K

Jason DeJardin, 25.85, 7/19 @ A

Dave Tillman, 25.82, 7/15 @ SB

Kevin Luedtke, 25.71, 7/15 @ BH

Andy Jurczykowski, 25.64, 7/18 @ WI

Alec Nickel, 25.59, 7/18 @ WI

Christian Miller, 25.48, 7/18 @ WI

Paul Zich, 25.38, 7/15 @ A

Jon Denny, 25.32, 7/17 @ SB

Jeremy Naze, 25.29, 7/19 @ A

Michael KuKuzke, 25.20, 7/19 @ SB

Brandon Belchmer, 25.16, 7/15 @ K

Brad Veeser, 25.18, 7/15 @ SB

Randy Dorow, 25.16, 7/16 @ WI

Matthew Monk, 25.14, 7/19 @ WI

Ron Trzcinski, 25.10, 7/18 @ BH

Scott Dunn, 25.04, 7/17 @ WI

Wallace Krueger, 24.98, 7/16 @ WI

Terry Gfeller, 24.89, 7/14 @ WI

Scott Chevalier, 24.86, 7/17 @ K

Todd Wiese, 24.79, 7/18 @ A

Alex Hahn, 24.76, 7/16 @ BH

 

(photo by Ellie Krueger)

Rustic Roads guide includes several local stretches

The Wisconsin State Department of Transportation is helping you explore the state's 124 Rustic Roads, including the six in Door and Kewaunee counties, with its new guide.  

 

The Rustic Road Guide, which is published every year entails the spots all around Wisconsin that you could find nature that you may not see on the main highway or county roads. According to the Wisconsin State Department of Transportation, the Rustic Road Guide is used by hundreds to thousands of tourists every year. These roads are the “roads less traveled on” in the local area. 

 

The guide includes local roads such as Rustic Road R 77, which runs north on Lake Forest Park Road in Sturgeon Bay near the ship canal. Another local route on the guide includes County T (Glidden Drive), between Brauer Road and Whitefish Bay Drive. The other locations in Door County are on Washington Island, near the Ridges Sanctuary, and Cana Island. In Kewaunee County, you will find a brown and yellow sign, which marks that you are on one of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads, on portions of Hrabik Road, Cherneyville Road, Sleepy Hollow Road and Pine Grove Road between WIS 29 and County AB. 

Southern Door Fire Department looks to outfit new truck

A new truck is coming, but the Southern Door Fire Department needs your help to fill it. After several delays, the newest fire engine truck is set to make its debut at the annual Southern Door Firefighter’s Parade and Picnic on July 29th. While the fire truck carries its own expenses, it also carries all of the equipment they need to fight fires and save people from precarious situations. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says they have equipment that is 40 years old that needs to be replaced.

The annual Southern Door Firefighter’s Parade and Picnic begins at 11 a.m. at the department’s Forestville station. You can find more details about the event below.

 

 

Tooley's encore set for Monday

Southern Door alum and Kids from Wisconsin member Brady Tooley will prove on Monday night that you can come home. Tooley and Kids from Wisconsin will perform in front of a sold-out Southern Door Auditorium as their Starstruck Tour continues through the state and even into Michigan and Iowa. This marks the final summer as a part of Kids from Wisconsin for Tooley, who has performed with the singing and dancing troupe for the last three summers. The pandemic kept Kids from Wisconsin to performances in mainly outdoor venues in 2021 and 2022, including Egg Harbor’s Peg Egan Performing Arts Center. Tooley says he never thought he would get the chance to be on the Southern Door Auditorium stage again after graduating in May 2021 and performing as Mickey McKee in "Hello My Baby!" earlier that spring. He expects the emotions to be a little higher for that performance in particular as he hits the stretch run of his time with Kids from Wisconsin.

Even though Monday’s show is sold out, there are other opportunities to see Tooley and Kids from Wisconsin this summer. The Starstruck Tour will visit nine other cities in addition to their annual residency at the Wisconsin State Fair. Kids from Wisconsin will also host a workshop for students ages 7-14 at the Southern Door Auditorium at 4 p.m. on Monday. You can click this link to learn more details about that opportunity.  Tooley's role with Kids from Wisconsin is sponsored by NEW Radio and 96.7 WBDK.

Kielar confirmed to DATCP Cherry Board

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Production (DATCP) have officially confirmed the results of the 2023 Wisconsin Cherry Board election meaning Sturgeon Bay’s Dan Kielar has been officially appointed his spot on the board. 

 

The Cherry Board is responsible for administering Wisconsin’s Cherry Marketing Order and is made up of five board members, all of which reside in Northeast Wisconsin. Kielar will be joining the likes of Terry Sorenson and Glen Musil of Sturgeon Bay, Barry Peterson of Green Bay and James Seaquist of Ellison Bay. The board oversees the use and collection of nearly $50,000 in fees paid by Wisconsin cherry growers. The money is used to support the research, education and much more with the cherry association.  

 

Wisconsin’s cherry growers produced 12.9 million pounds in 2022, up 23 percent from the 2021 production levels. Kielar will have a spot on the board for a three-year span. 

Right to Read bill with Door County roots signed into law

After over 3,340 miles on the road traveling to and from Baileys Harbor to Madison, Kari Bauman is happy that her child and yours too will have the tools to succeed in the classroom. Governor Tony Evers signed the Right to Read Act into law on Wednesday, hoping to reverse a troubling trend in the state’s dipping reading scores in recent years. Wisconsin schoolchildren will use a technique known as the Science of Reading, which focuses more on the sounds of letters than words. The state budget committed more than $50 million to the Right to Read Act, which will be invested in teacher training, teacher coaching, and new curricula for schools. Rep. Kitchens says it is particularly satisfying to help get this bill to the Governor’s desk.

Wednesday’s signing was a sigh of relief for Bauman, who first approached Kitchens advocating for her son, whose struggles with dyslexia led him to hate school, and her to go out of state to get him the help he needed. She knows the journey is not over for kids who struggle with their reading just because a bill she traveled to Madison eight times to help push was finally signed.

Both Kitchens and Bauman say the real goal now is to make sure that schools commit to the process and can help their students improve through accountability.

Local scouts heading to National Jamboree

Scouts USA members you may have bought popcorn from over the years are on their way to the Boy Scouts of America’s biggest event.

 

Ethan Moll is a member of the Bay-Lakes and Samoset Council's Troop 3147 for the 2023 National Jamboree, taking place at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia from July 19th-28th. Close to 40 members from Door and Kewaunee counties are a part of the contigent's five troops. The event gathers more than 40,000 scouts from around the world for more than a week of high adventure opportunities, arena shows, shooting sports, and more. It is one of the many opportunities Moll’s popcorn-selling acumen has allowed him to do over the years. Last year, Moll sold over $30,000 in popcorn, not just supporting his own endeavors but also the scouting movement in his troop and council. Moll says he is looking forward to all of the different activities he will be able to do during the National Jamboree.

Moll also recently wrapped up his Eagle Scout project where he and his Scouts USA troop was able to raise the necessary funds to make 50 cat pads for the Wisconsin Humane Society- Door County Campus. The 2023 National Jamboree runs until July 28th. You can click this link to get a live stream of the camp.

 

 

Scammers using Door County Sheriff's Office

You may be a potential target of scammers that claim they work for the Door County Sheriff’s Department while requesting money.

 
The Door County Sheriff’s Office received multiple complaints of a telephone scam recently where the callers claimed to be deputies or lieutenants from the agency.  Door County Sheriff’s Department Captain Carl Waterstreet says none of the potential victims lost any money, but you should be wary of any phone calls soliciting money or gift cards.

 

 

 

 

Waterstreet adds that if offers or appeals online or over the phone seem suspicious, they are probably a scam. 

 

 

Waterstreet notes that the Bureau of Consumer Protection will be putting on a presentation on how you can protect yourself from scams next Wednesday, July 26th at the ADRC Building in Sturgeon Bay at 12:45 p.m.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans lost nearly $9 billion to fraud last year and that artificial intelligence (AI) is making phone scams more sophisticated.  

$200,000 Powerball winning ticket sold in Algoma

One of the two Powerball winning tickets sold Monday was purchased at Jandu Petroleum’s JP Express in Algoma.  The store confirmed that a local man is the winner but has not formally claimed his prize yet or released his name.

 

The other winning ticket in the state was purchased in West Bend with both tickets added to the $1 Power Play turning the two $50,000 winning tickets into two $200,000 winning tickets because of a multiplier.

 

For the third time ever, the Powerball jackpot has reached the $1 billion mark with the next drawing being tonight (Wednesday).  The jackpot has an estimated cash value of $516.8 million. 

Cleveland named new Mission Advancement Executive at YMCA

A familiar face you’ve probably seen at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay will take on the new role of Mission Advancement Executive. Brett Cleveland, who joined the organization in 2021 and most recently was the Member Engagement Executive, has helped the Y navigate the reopening during the pandemic and completed a strategic plan that will guide the organization for the next five years. He shares his excitement for what his new position will entail.

 

 

The Door County YMCA recently eclipsed the record number of 10,000 members, in part through the assistance of the Membership For All program, Cleveland adds that the annual Golf by the Bay Outing on Monday, July 31st at Horseshoe Bay in Egg Harbor has room for one more team in the four-person scramble that will entertain 100 golfers. 

Board votes down Kewaunee County Jail funding

The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors voted down the funding for a new jail that came in $8 million over the budget that was approved a year ago.

 

Four options were considered for funding the new jail, all of which projected costs at over $33 million.  The board had approved $25,546,233 for construction in June of 2022 to move forward with the project.  The vote was 12-8 in favor on Tuesday but failed due to requiring a two-thirds majority for the increased spending on a new jail.

 

Supervisor Aaron Augustian said during the meeting that he was not about to break a promise to their constituents to keep their tax bills in mind, calling instead to rebid the project.

 

 

Supervisor Brian Patrycia explained why he supported the jail construction, pointing out that the can is 

 

 

Kewaunee County Chair Dan Olson says the Jail Study Committee will meet on Thursday and move forward in making repairs at the current jail facility while figuring out the possible lowering of costs for a new jail in the future.

 

 

The Kewaunee County Board also voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Ed Dorner as the Interim County Administrator position with Scott Feldt retiring next week.  

Sturgeon Bay takes action on housing, bonds and more

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council moved forward on some old business and a new development agreement for a planned housing project for single-family dwellings.  
The development agreement was unanimously approved for a west-side housing proposal by Joe and Paul Shefchik.   The 24 new homes would be priced from $270,000 to $305,000 and be built on 5.5 acres of land on South Hudson Avenue and the south ends of Fulton and Geneva Avenues.  


Two-second readings of ordinances were approved.  One was for the rezoning of land at 1605 Shiloh Road from Agricultural (A) to Light Industrial (1A), allowing Mueller Towing to put up a building for the storage of outside equipment. The other second reading was to repeal the Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Board and the Parking and Traffic Committee to recreate a single entity called the Local Transportation Board.

 
In a city financial matter, the council approved resolutions to approve the sale of about $3.1 million in General Obligation Promissory Notes and declaring official Intent to reimburse expenditures from proceeds of borrowing needed by Sturgeon Bay Utilities for a Clean Water Funding Project for a Biosolids Storage Facility.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities General Manager Jim Stawicki noted the reimbursement of project funds is needed for a Biosolids Storage Facility to meet future DNR and state requirements.  

 
Before the business meeting, the council received an update on the Teweles & Brandeis Granary Project.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation President Laurel Hauser says the bidding timeline for “Phase 2” of the project would be completed by August 30th with construction beginning October 20th with completion by July of 2024.

Community gets first look at Kinnard Farms/Sedron project

The potential future of cow manure handling in northeast Wisconsin was introduced on Tuesday during the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting in Luxemburg.

 

The Kewaunee County Fairgrounds 4-H Room was filled with residents and other stakeholders wanting to learn more about the proposed partnership between Kinnard Farms and Sedron Technologies. The project plays a role in the agreement Kinnard Farms reached with the state Department of Natural Resources in May. The DNR would not require groundwater monitoring of land application sites if Kinnard Farms can substantially eliminate the use of liquid manure on its field by 2027.
Lucas Reid and Tim Evenson of Sedron Technologies provided those gathered information on its Varcor system, which processes the liquid manure and is already in use at dairy facilities in Texas and Indiana. The facility would process all of the liquid manure generated at the farm, removing the pathogens and separating it into clean water, dry organic fertilizer, and organic ammonia.

 

Reid says the system would help Kinnard Farms decrease its carbon footprint, end the need for land application of manure, be more efficient with nutrient use, and protect waterways. Reid provided information about the amount of water being discharged from the facility to Casco Creek and the purity of it, which was a question some in the audience had going into the presentation.

 


Reid confirmed that the system will only handle Kinnard Farms and the existing lagoons would not be relied on unless there was a service interruption with its technology. The company will have approximately two to three employees working at the facility 24/7 and it will have a large engineering presence in the region due to a similar facility being built at Fair Oaks Farm in Indiana. Sedron Technologies is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on the finer details of the project. Lee Kinnard added at the end of the presentation that water quality and soil health go hand in hand and that this project could help them with that.

 


Supervisor Tim Kinnard, who also serves on the Village of Casco Board, updated the committee on its water concerns, saying that it is in the initial stages of exploring adding a municipal water system. Recent spikes in nitrates in the Village of Casco wells have been a consistent topic at the last several Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meetings. You can watch the meeting, including the Sedron Technologies presentation, below.

 

 

Training turns into rescue for Coast Guard members

Members of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay were in the right place at the right time on Monday when they came to the rescue of nine people in a boat. According to their Facebook post, the outfit was conducting training and its recreational boating safety patrol when they were contacted by a boat in distress near the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal on the lakeside. Crews were able to reach the ship and tow the vessel to a marine to receive repairs. This is the fourth boat the U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay has had to tow to shore since July 8th.

 

Picture courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay Facebook

 

 

Local organizations to hand out dairy products Thursday

Stocking your refrigerator with delicious dairy products is the goal of a series of events happening across the region on Thursday. For the fourth year, local dairy farmers, dairy producers and distributors, FFA chapters, 4-H clubs, neighborhood volunteers, and representatives of Maple Valley Mutual Insurance are joining forces on July 20th to pass out free dairy products to residents. Each vehicle will receive a complimentary cooler bag full of dairy products. There are two dozen distribution sites in the region, including at Kewaunee High School and Southern Door High School. You can pick up your free bag of dairy products beginning at 4 p.m.

 

 

 

Powerball drawing hits $1 billion

Wisconsinites have been cashing in on the Powerball drawing, but you still have a chance to win the game’s biggest prize.

 

Nobody matched all six numbers Monday night, sending the jackpot on Wednesday to north of $1 billion, which is the third highest in U.S. Lottery history. It is still a far cry from last November’s record-breaking $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot. No one has won the Powerball jackpot since mid-April when it was just over a quarter billion dollars. Just because no one has won the big prize does not mean lottery players have not been cashing in on the drawing in Wisconsin. On Saturday, players in Delavan, Waukesha, and Chippewa Falls won at least $50,000 for matching four of the five numbers but not the Powerball. The next drawing is set for Wednesday night with the jackpot rolling over to Saturday if no one wins.

 

If you cannot wait that long, the Mega Millions jackpot has climbed all the way to $640 million, which has also gone since mid-April without a big winner. It is currently the seventh-highest jackpot in the game's history according to the Associated Press.

 

Oddly enough, it is Lottery Week across the United States and Canada this week as those communities celebrate how the games have had a positive impact on communities. In Wisconsin,  the lottery has helped generate over $5.4 billion in Wisconsin property tax credits, $10.2 billion in prizes, and more than $1.1 billion in retailer compensation since 1988.

Accident closes County C Monday afternoon

A multiple-vehicle accident near County C and Idlewild Road forced the closure of surrounding roadways about five miles west of Sturgeon Bay for nearly an hour Monday afternoon.  Emergency vehicles from Brussels-Union-Gardner and Southern Door fire departments responded shortly before 4 p.m. and detoured traffic from intersections from County PD to County MM, north of Highway 42-57.  According to Door County Dispatch, the scene and roads were cleared for traffic around 4:30 p.m. after the vehicles involved in the accident needed to be towed.   Door County Daily News will update this story as more details become available.

Door County Community Foundation honors Kress family

The Door County Community Foundation wants your help thanking one of the area’s most generous couples, even if they had to be talked into accepting the honor because of their humble nature. This Thursday’s Celebration of Giving in Baileys Harbor will honor Donald and Carol Kress as its 2023 Philanthropists of the Year. They are the namesake of the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, which houses not just a branch of the Door County Library but dozens of public and private events throughout the year. The Kress family was also a major supporter of the foundation’s Emergency Response Fund, which helped support several organizations during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite that, Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Brett Bicoy says they did not want to be recognized for their generosity, even if their impact goes beyond the dollars they personally donated.

The 2023 Celebration of Giving also honors all of those that donate to local causes in Door County, which is statistically the most generous in the state. You can attend the Celebration of Giving at Gordon Lodge in Baileys Harbor for free by contacting the Door County Community Foundation.

Affordable housing development goes before common council

You could soon see more affordable single-family homes being built in the near future pending the approval of a new development agreement on Tuesday. 

 

The City of Sturgeon Bay has been working with Joe and Paul Shefchik of J & P LLC to create a workforce housing subdivision to the tune of $970,000. The city would use money from the proposed TID and remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and TID #1 to help support the project in addition to the possible creation of a 10th tax increment district. Under the development agreement with the Shefchiks, approximately 24 homes between $270,000 and $305,000 would be built. The developers are open to restrictions such as the amount the homes could be sold for and limiting the purchasers to be Door County workers. Additional language has also been added to deter home buyers from quickly flipping the house and making money on the transaction.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also hear an update on the Door County Granary, consider an intergovernmental agreement with Door County on improvements coming to Duluth Avenue, and create a new local transportation board when they meet Wednesday at 6 p.m. inside the council chambers. 

Proposed bills take aim at absentee ballots

Your absentee ballots could have some minor changes to it next year if two bills pass the Wisconsin State Assembly. Lawmakers are pushing for military members to provide their Department of Defense number when requesting an absentee ballot. Currently, members of the military are exempt from the state’s voter identification law. The bill was originally introduced in June alongside other bills that have bipartisan support including broadcasting election night procedures, preventing polling place closures within 30 days of an election, and helping local governments pay for special elections. Another bill being discussed would add watermarks to absentee ballots sent through the mail. Republican Reps. Scott Allen and Romaine Quinn argue that the watermarks add another level of security to the ballots that have been questioned ever since the 2020 election.  Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin sides with the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, saying that the addition of the watermark may do more harm than good.

Whatever tweaks need to be made to the ballot still have plenty of time before the next elections, which are February 20th for the Spring Primary and April 2nd for the Spring Election. April 2nd is also the election where voters will be able to choose who they want to see get the Democratic or Republican nomination for U.S. President.

Troubled intersection site of another crash

A Door County intersection with improvements on the way was the site of another collision that briefly shut down State Highway 42/57 for approximately 15 minutes Saturday afternoon.

 

Door County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the intersection of STH 42/57 and Gordon Road just before 4:45 p.m. after a two-vehicle crash. According to the accident report, North Aurora, Ill. resident Oscar Almonaci was attempting to turn left from Gordon Road when his vehicle was struck by another driven by Bruce Jacobe of Green Bay. Jacobe, Almonaci, and their passengers were not injured in the crash, but Almonaci’s vehicle did have to be towed away after suffering disabling damage in the incident. Almonaci was cited for failure to yield the right of way from a stop sign. The southbound lane of STH 42/57 did have to be closed for about 15 minutes and it was reopened shortly after 5 p.m. 

 

While it had been a while in between incidents, the intersection of STH 42/57 and Gordon Road has seen its share of accidents in recent years. It is part of the reason why the county has earmarked over $200,000 to make necessary safety improvements in anticipation of a new roundabout to be built by the end of the decade.

Estates generally close within a few months

The disbursement of money and assets from a will or trust can be done relatively fast if it is structured the right way, according to one local attorney. Reportedly over half of all Americans do not even have a will or last testament in place. Attorney Jim Downey of Blazkovec, Blazkovec & Downey in Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, says the executor of the will should be able to allocate the funds fairly quickly to beneficiaries if the trust administration is set up correctly. He explains reasons some trusts may stay open for longer periods.

 

 

Trustees are responsible for managing the assets involved with an estate. The distribution of trust assets may need the guidance of an attorney or CPA the more complicated the estate. State law requires that estates be closed within 18 months from the time of death, according to Downey. Some counties in Wisconsin require that the closing must be within one year.  

Herd limits cause of celebration, concern for stakeholders

A 2021 Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling is proving to have a big impact on what happens in your backyard. That ruling paved the way to allow state regulators to consider potential environmental impacts when ruling on permits for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) owners and high-capacity well operators. The DNR is also allowed to place extra conditions on farms, such as groundwater monitoring, as a part of its permit approval process. The decision has impacted recent rulings on permits handed down to four CAFOs in the state, including Kinnard Farms in Casco and S&S Jerseyland Dairy in Sturgeon Bay. For S&S Jerseyland Dairy, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is allowing the farm to have up to 10, 331 animal units in their operation, which is approximately 4,000 less than what was originally listed. The farm will also have to install groundwater monitoring wells and submit a groundwater monitoring plan.  Similar conditions led to an agreement between the DNR and Kinnard Farms that the operation installs a manure treatment facility on-site that could eliminate a lot of additional truck traffic and the need for long-term storage of liquid manure. The facility and its technology will be a part of the discussion at next week's Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting. Peg Sheaffer from the Midwest Environmental Advocates is happy with the progress being made.

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce filed a suit on behalf of the Wisconsin Dairy Alliance and Venture Dairy Cooperative fighting against the state regulators in charge of levying the rules on farmers. The groups allege that the DNR’s requirements conflict with federal law ruled on in 2005 and 2011.

 

Tim Trotter, CEO of Dairy Business Association, called for room for more compromise among stakeholders. "The best outcomes for all involved come when the farming community, the DNR and other stakeholders work together to ensure these regulatory conditions are applied practically. Every situation carries its own unique circumstances which we hope will be carefully considered.

More broadly, our dairy farmers are demonstrating a deep commitment to innovative technology and practices that reduce the environmental impact of their farms. They are doing so alongside solutions-oriented conservation groups recognizing progress is made when pursuing common goals together. At the end of the day, we all want clean water and, at the same time, should want opportunities for farmers who may seek to grow their businesses. Both are surely attainable."

K/D Salmon Tournament helps economy for locals

The Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament is one of the biggest summertime events in the local area, and that will help many towns economies. 

 

Washington Island’s Ryan Jorgenson currently leads the tournament at the time of this article, registering the lead salmon at 31.65 pounds and 42 inches. Weight-in spots are located in both Door and Kewaunee counties, which adds opportunities for local businesses to gain more revenue during the tournament. 

 

Baileys 57’s Kari Bauman talked about the tournament and how it has gone so far, while also bringing up the economic value it brings to the participating areas. 

Bauman says she enjoys the tournament, because it brings in so many different people around to the area.

Crossroads gets help from younger sources at Habitat Healers event

The Habitat Healers event happens every week at Crossroads at Big Creek during the summer months, but it is one special Saturday a year that some extra help is lended. 

 

Every weekend for two hours beginning at 9 a.m., community members of all ages head to the tool shed at Crossroads and do their part to help with the land restoration project. On this particular Saturday, girls from the Wisconsin Lutheran College basketball team traded in their basketballs for muck boots and gloves and helped out the local community.  

 

Speaking with Land and Facilities Manager Nick Lutzke before the event all started, he said the team has been coming to the event once a day per summer, and the day is “usually the most productive day of the year.” The girls were put to work nearly as soon as they got to Crossroads, with Lutzke even going on record to say that “it’s hard to keep up with the girls at times they work so fast.” 

 

Crossroads at Big Creek Program Director Corey Bastan talked about the event that happens every week, mentioning that the program runs from around Earth Day to the end of September one day per weekend. If you cannot make the dates that are set for Habitat Healers, Bastan says to contact Crossroads and they will point you in the right direction for events. 

Destination Door County to aid "Top Chef" Wisconsin Filming

Season 21 of Bravo TV’s popular TV show “Top Chef” will have some new faces, but potentially some familiar sights as the show will reportedly be filmed in Milwaukee and Madison, but could have some Door County ties. 

 

To what extent Door County will be involved in the show is still yet to be determined or announced. It was reported that the show is being produced with the partnership of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and is cooperating with Travel Wisconsin, Travel Milwaukee, Destination Madison, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, and others, including Destination Door County. 

 

Destination Door County was also unable to comment on how much Door County will be involved in the new season, but were able to state that “Destination Door County will be collaborating with the production of ‘Top Chef’ and are excited for what’s to come.” 

 

The news of Door County somehow being involved with the show has reached Packers running back AJ Dillon, as he took to Twitter to express how he might be able to offer some help. 

 

Season 21 will feature a new host as Kristen Kish, who won Season 10 of “Top Chef” will take over for Padma Lakshmi, who hosted the series for 19 seasons. 

First year deemed successful for Fairytales Animal Show

Bleachers were full and many cheers were had at the 1st Annual Fairytales Animal Show at the Kewaunee County Fair Saturday morning. 

 

Creator of the Fairytales Animal Show Morgan Servaes talked earlier in the month about the event and how it truly came to be. Now on the day of the event, she shared some nerves, but those were quickly washed away when she saw the bleachers filled with people watching and seeing her dream and goal come true. 

One of the showpersons with special needs was Michael Funk, who was able to experience what it felt like to showcase and lead a goat onto the shavings. Michael will be a freshman at Luxemburg-Casco High School, and loves animals and being in nature, especially traveling in the family’s Cessna 172 aircraft. Michael was joined by his family, who talked about the experience after the show, including how they got involved with the program. 

Also being able to enjoy the experience was 10 year old Oliver Pryes, who is entering fourth grade at Luxemburg-Casco. Oliver loves hanging out with his friends, playing with his Scooby Doo guys, and his very active with the Kewaunee County Special Olympics. Alongside both of the boys were mentors, who helped out not only while they were presenting, but leading up to the event as well. One of those mentors was Anna Pravecheck, who has shown animals before, but talked about how special this event truly was. 

It was a special moment for many on Saturday morning, one that the people involved will surely never forget.

Door County Triathlon lights up Murphy Park in Egg Harbor

Thousands of cars with many different license plates filling the makeshift parking lot at Murphy Park in Egg Harbor showed how important the Door County Triathlon was early Saturday morning. 

 

While most enjoy sleeping in during their summer weekends, the competitors for the event had to be up bright and early as the first wave, titled the “elite wave” hit the bay at 8 a.m. As they traveled through the challenging ¼ mile swim, 18 mile bike ride, and 3.1 mile run, many different competitors had different reasons for competing. 

 

 

One competitor said the reason they come back to compete every year is because of the ability to just stay healthy and active, and another competitor said running was something his father and him would do in their free time. No matter what the reason was for the commitment to the triathlon, it was always something that would keep them coming back. 

 

Brian Andryk from Verona was the winner in the men’s division, finishing with a time of 1:05:43. Robin Pomeroy, also from Verona, won the women’s division at 1:10:53. The half iron event is set to kick off at 8 a.m. on Sunday. 

Emotions swing between sessions at Birch Creek Music Performance Center

With the anticipation of every new session you can experience at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor is a corresponding farewell. Saturday marks the end of the two-week symphony session, the official halfway point of the organization’s academy season. The start of a new session acts like a reunion for students and staff members alike with a session’s end a call for an encore that will not come for another year. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson says the session transitions are always an emotional time.

Christenson is excited for the final concert of the symphony session on Saturday and the last two sessions of the Academy season, which are both Big Band Jazz. You can listen to our full conversation with Christenson by clicking this link.

Cycling tour hits Door County

Your commute to Door County has nothing on what a group of cyclists have done up to this point. Approximately two dozen cyclists set up shop in the parking lot of Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay after a sixth day of ride around the state of Wisconsin that began in Beloit. They will have biked more than 890 miles when it all said and done. Leading the group is Lon Haldeman of Sharon, Wis., who captured the country’s attention on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and earned several cycling records in the 1980s, including the fastest to ever ride a bike from New York City to Los Angeles and back. His business, Pacific Atlantic Cycling Tour, takes cyclists around the world on supported cycling expeditions that are hundreds if not thousands of miles in length. Thanks to a great network of roads, Haldeman says he always enjoys taking cyclists on tours around his home state.

Door County gets two days of attention from the Wisconsin tour as the cyclists arrived in Sturgeon Bay on Friday from Manitowoc before riding the entire peninsula on Saturday. Haldeman says the goal of his tours is to get people to forget their bikes and enjoy everything else around them.

Drought conditions leading to more beach closures, advisories

Your lawn is not the only one in need of a little more rainfall. The dry weather this summer is partly to blame for beach closures throughout the country, including Otumba Park Beach earlier this week and at Frank Murphy County Park near Egg Harbor and Newport State Park in Ellison Bay ahead of the holiday weekend. All three have since been cleared for use because they are below acceptable bacteria levels.  The University of Nebraska’s U.S. Drought Monitor has northern Door County as abnormally dry and southern Door County as moderate drought. Door County Environmental Health Specialist Allie McDonald says the conditions are lending themselves to bacteria growth.

 


As of Friday at noon, there were no beach closures or advisories in Door or Kewaunee counties. McDonald says some beaches will soon be getting digital advisory boards that can let swimmers know of the conditions before entering the water without having to go online.

Dorner tapped to be interim Kewaunee County administrator

A familiar face will take the reins after Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt retires at the end of next week.

 

Kewaunee County Board members will vote to approve Ed Dorner as the interim county administrator until someone is named permanently to the role. Dorner took on the role in 2000 after the last major discussion concerning a new jail led to a major shakeup of the board’s makeup and how the county’s government was run. Dorner retired in 2014, leading to the hire of Feldt as the county administrator where he has served for the better part of a decade.

 

Feldt’s last county board meeting as its administrator will take place on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration building. Supervisors Dan Olson, Gary Paape, Jeff Vollenweider, Joanne Lazansky, and Tom Romdenne are being appointed to the county administrator interview committee. The meeting will also feature discussion and votes regarding the new county jail facility, which came in nearly $8 million over budget according to the initial bids. 

DNR issues new air quality advisory for weekend

Your plans outside may have to change this weekend after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued an air quality advisory on Friday. The Canadian wildfires is once again to blame for the advisory, which will last from noon on Friday until noon on Sunday. The northern half of the state will see the heaviest smoke impacts from noon on Friday to midnight Sunday. The air quality index (AQI) is expected to hit unhealthy for sensitive groups, but it is possible that pockets of areas with an AQI in the unhealthy level could develop. The DNR recommends those in sensitive groups (people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, those who are pregnant, and those who work outdoors) consider avoiding prolonged or heavy exertion, while everyone else limits prolonged or heavy exertion. The agency does not expect the advisory to last as long or be as severe as it was late last month when many outdoor events had to be canceled due to the smoke. 

 

 

Picture courtesy of the National Weather Service Green Bay Facebook page

Multiple stakeholders to be a part of proposed athletic complex upgrade process

The potential work you could see done at the Sturgeon Bay Athletic Complex in the coming years is aiming to be a true community effort.

 

With Craig Sigl and Mark Schuster donating their time to organize the effort, Sturgeon Bay School District, the City of Sturgeon Bay, Door County Medical Center, Door County, Destination Door County, and the Raibrook Foundation may all work together to make a new athletic complex with outdoor and indoor facilities a reality, beginning first with a feasibility study. The complex would be located where the school’s current soccer, baseball, softball, and track facilities sit, which sits on land owned by either the district or the city.

 

A feasibility study is being sought to determine financial projections, comparable projects, stakeholder feedback, and economic impacts among other factors. Sturgeon Bay Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says another important component that will be discussed is the district’s role in the planning after already going to the community for millions of dollars for capital improvements in the recent future.

If approved by the school board at its meeting on July 19th, Sturgeon Bay School District would contribute $15,000 of the $89,500 for a sports complex feasibility study. The rest of the amount would be covered by other potential stakeholders.

Conveyor belt ignites feed at Forestville farm

You can’t judge a book by its cover and firefighters put that phrase to good use Thursday night with a fire they responded to in Forestville. The Southern Door Fire Department responded to a blaze on Salona Road a little before 9:30 p.m. The call came as a silo fire, but firefighters were thankful to see that flames were located outside of the structure whether than inside of it. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says that dramatically changed their strategy upon arrival.

Olson blames a hot bearing on a conveyor belt for igniting the feed that had spilled over. Firefighters from the Brussels-Union-Gardner, Algoma, and Sturgeon Bay Fire Departments assisted on the call which lasted approximately 45 minutes and used 1000 gallons of water. Other than what was done to the conveyor belt, there was no other major damage and nobody was hurt as a result of the fire.

Budweiser Clydesdales usher in homecoming for LaCrosse

While you were excited to see the Budweiser Clydesdales at the Kewaunee County Fair on Thursday, one of their handlers was just happy to be home.

 

Tisch Mills’ Andrew LaCrosse is part of the traveling party that takes the brewer’s iconic horses around the country for different events. Handling Clydesdales is nothing new for LaCrosse after helping his family raise them on their farm and exhibiting them not just at the Kewaunee County Fair but at other events as well. After graduating from Kewaunee High School and UW-River Falls, LaCrosse turned an internship caring for the Budweiser Clydesdales into a full-time job that keeps him on the road approximately 330 days a year. LaCrosse says he enjoys the job and the joy the horses bring to others.

There are still opportunities to catch LaCrosse in the area before he and the Budweiser Clydesdales hit the road to Minneapolis. The Budweiser Clydesdales will be at the Green Bay Rockers game Friday night before heading to De Pere to appear in the Pink Flamingo Softball Tournament. 

 

Photo permission from Andrew LaCrosse

Michigan Street partially closed due to water main break

Your smooth drive down Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay may be interrupted again now that the city suffered a water main break.  City Engineer Chad Shefchik announced Thursday that all traffic on the eastbound lane of Michigan Street between 10th Avenue and 12th Avenue is closed until further notice.  The water main break caused significant damage to the southern portion of Michigan Street that was completed last month.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities' annual lead detection survey was completed on the east of the City as the Michigan Street project was wrapping up and did not detect any concerns.  A contractor has been scheduled by Sturgeon Bay Utilities to begin repairs Friday morning. 

Wood dubbed as 2023 Miller Dome House Artist-in-Residence

For the third year, the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay has announced its 2023 Dome House Al & Mickey Quinlan Artist-in-Residence, selecting Christopher T. Wood. 

 

The program, which started in 2021 after the pandemic, has taken off in its time at the Miller Art Museum. Wood is the fourth artist to be showcased in the three years of existence. Artists Nicole Shaver and Ariana Vaeth of Milwaukee and Amy Usdin of Minneapolis have all had their careers transformed while being the artist that had the museum dedicated around their work. 

 

Wood, a Milwaukee-based artist, received an MFA in Painting from Northern Illinois University in 2005 and his BFA in Visual Communication Design with a concentration in Illustration, from the University of Dayton in 2001. He will be given a $500 stipend and receive access to time, space, and resources to advance his work. Wood was selected from a pool of 24 candidates by the program’s Artist Selection Committee. 

 

Wood’s work is made up of drawings consisting of powdered graphite and complex shading that form creations that can easily be seen. He has exhibited internationally in two different countries and was the 2022-2023 Artist-in-Residence at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. 

 

Wood will be in residence in Door County from August 1st to September 25th.

Sturgeon Bay Library offers educational experiences for youth

Just because the doors to the local schools are closed for the summer, does not mean that the learning has to stop, and the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library has that opportunity to keep your kids brain sharp and avoid any summer drop off. 

 

The opportunity to have kids get outside during their summer vacation and keeping their brains sharp for when school starts back up in less than two months was something the Door County library took account for when planning this event. Door County Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken talks about keeping kids' minds sharp and active while on summer vacation. 

 

 

A study that was recently published in the American Educational Research Journal found that the average student across 1st to 8th grade lost 17-34% of the prior year’s learning gains during summer break, as well as that students who lose ground in one summer are more likely to also lose ground in subsequent summers. Lokken called this drop the “Summer Slide”, which many kids, like the study shows, go through during the summer. 

 

From books to a science educational activity this weekend at the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market, the Door County Library will have it all to keep your child's mind fresh over the last few months of summer. 

Cruise ships keep shining in Kewaunee County

Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ben Nelson hopes you keep coming to Algoma’s marina to welcome the guests coming off of various cruise ships this summer. The City of Algoma will welcome its third of eight visits of Viking Cruise Lines ships on Friday and its fourth overall visit of the summer. The German-based HANSEATIC Inspiration also stopped in Algoma a week after the first Viking Cruise ship did. Nelson says thanks to community support, he says cruise ship operators have given their hospitality high marks.

He adds that it is still too early to tell the long-term effects of the cruise ship stops, but in the short-term local businesses have seen a bigger-than-expected boost thanks to the visitors coming to shore.

Trackchair expands possibilities at Ridges Sanctuary

Thanks to a generous donation from Kinect M1, there are no limits to where you or a loved one can go at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor.

 

The Green Bay-based consultant group purchased a new track chair for the organization this spring, allowing the mobility-impaired to explore more of The Ridge Sanctuary outside of what it can already access via the boardwalk trail system. It was the second trackchair the organization purchased for the Door County community, also donating one to Peninsula State Park. 

 

People can reserve the trackchair for use on the Family Discovery Trail, offering some people access to the sanctuary’s more rustic highlights for the first time.

 

Executive Director Katie Krouse hopes this is just the beginning.

The Ridges Sanctuary is raising additional funds to pay for a solar charger, a covered trailer, and other signage to support the program. An anonymous donor is pledging to match the donations up to $3,500.

Otumba Park Beach closed due to elevated bacteria levels

Your beach plans may have to change after a popular Sturgeon Bay spot is closed due to elevated bacteria levels.

 

Recent test results posted by the Wisconsin Department of Resources show that elevated bacteria levels are to blame for the closure of Otumba Park Beach until further notice. Two other areas, Sister Bay Beach and Fish Creek Beach also have elevated bacteria counts, but they are low enough to be placed at just the advisory status. Specific numbers from each of the three beaches were not available on the Wisconsin DNR website. Advisory signs are posted whenever the water quality criterion of 235 colony-forming units (CFU) of E. coli/100 ml of water is exceeded. Beaches are closed when E. coli levels exceed 1,000 CFU/100 ml, indicating a more serious risk of illness.

 

Beaches at Frank Murphy County Park near Egg Harbor and Newport State Park in Ellison Bay were closed earlier this month, but have since reopened with no advisories. 

 

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.

Coast Guard tows in damaged boat

Local United States Coast Guard members continue to be busy this summer as they responded to another disabled boat on Wednesday. Crew members were dispatched to Cabot Point near Sawyer Harbor where they found a boat stuck on some rocks. After further review, it was found that the boat suffered severe damage to its lower unit, preventing the vessel’s owner from being able to move it under its own power. Crew members were able to tow the disabled boat and its lone person on board to Rock Quarry. This is the third time in the last week the United States Coast Guard had to respond to vessels that became aground after responding to calls near Horseshoe Bay and Pirate Island over the weekend.

 

Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay and BM2 Mckendra Torrey

 

 

Work comes before Fun and Games at Kewaunee County Fair

There were several weeks of work involved by a lot of people before you enjoy the sights and sounds of the Kewaunee County Fair this weekend.

 

Youth exhibitors and their parents were making the final adjustments in the livestock barns Wednesday afternoon to make sure their animals were comfortable and their displays were finished. The expo hall was decorated to fit the Fun and Games theme of this year’s fair after participants brought in hundreds of entries to be judged.

 

Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Vanessa Van Pay and Junior Fairest of the Fair Jakayla Steinhorst are seeing the event from both sides this year as the event’s official hostesses. Van Pay got to help judge the Cloverbuds' entries while also caring for her animals in the barns. Steinhorst has already captured Top Trainer honors in the rabbit hopping contest and a first-place ribbon for her pottery in addition to caring for her animals. They are looking forward to continuing their reign through the Kewaunee County Fair.

 

 

The first animal show was Thursday evening with the goats being exhibited in the Andy Barta Legacy Show Pavilion. Many of the other shows are on Thursday and Friday before the livestock auction on Saturday. You can find more information about this year's Kewaunee County Fair, including a full schedule, by clicking this link.

 

Sturgeon Bay continues to struggle with Jumping Worms

The Sturgeon Bay Compost Site will remain closed for the removal of mulch and compost as it deals with the infestation of Jumping Worms. Last Thursday, the City of Sturgeon Bay shut down the site after a resident noticed a worm in some mulch. The Door County Invasive Species Team and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources investigated and subsequently confirmed the presence of the Asian Jumping Worm.  They have not decided on the next steps to be taken by the city.  Municipal Services Director Mike Barker said last Thursday that the entire state is dealing with the problem.

 

 

According to the DNR website, the Asian Jumping Worms are non-native, invasive earthworms that present challenges to homeowners, gardeners, and forest managers. The worms can deplete the soil of nutrients and quickly transform it into dry, granular pellets with a texture like discarded coffee grounds. The Sturgeon Bay Compost Site will remain open for the drop off of brush and lawn waste.

Potential Northern Lights viewing made possible by Solar Storm

You may have the opportunity to view an Aurora Borealis, better known as the Northern Lights on Thursday night into Friday morning thanks in part to a solar storm. 

 

According to the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, the Northern Lights are expected to be seen in seventeen different states, ranging from North Dakota to Maryland, and here in Wisconsin. The lights are usually seen in the northern parts of North America, in places such as Canada, Alaska and Scandinavia, but an eleven-year solar cycle is making them be seen in further south areas. 

 

The Geophysical Institute has Thursday’s solar storm making the Northern Lights viewing at a 6 on the Kp, which is a scale-out of nine, with nine being bright and active. The best time to view the Northern Lights is said to be 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and those who would like to see the lights are advised to get away from any city lights. 

 

Viewing the Aurora Borealis isn’t as easy as just looking into the sky at times however, as the Thursday night forecast has Door County with some “Patchy Clouds” overnight. 

Midsummer's Music awarded Women's Fund Grant

The “Women to be Heard” concert program by Midsummer’s Music got a boost from a $2,500 grant provided through several Door County Community Foundation funds.  Midsummer’s Music announced Wednesday that the awarded grant will go towards supporting its dedication to presenting music by women composers.  


The 2023 summer season debuted in June with Midsummer’s Music’s Women to be Heard program which showcased works by German composers Ilse Fromm-Michaels and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, and Austrian composer Johanna Muller-Hermann.  Other women composers featured in the summer season include African-American Nkeiru Okoye and Hungarian Dora Pejacevic.  This year’s ensemble at Midsummer’s Music performances is comprised of over half women musicians.  They include flutist Heather Zinninger; oboist Lindsay Flowers; clarinetist Alicia Lee; pianist Jeannie Yu; violinists Suzanne Beia, Sahada Buckley, and Ann Palen; violists Sally Chisholm, Allyson Fleck, Catherine Lynn, and Kayla Patrick; and cellists Paula Kosower and Mara McClain.    

The Door County Community Foundation grant was made possible through the Women’s Fund Endowment of Door County, the Marion Peterson Memorial Fund, the Sally and Michael O’Brien Family Fund, the Bernard S. Bloom Family Fund, and the Bev and Tom Lisle Fund. 

Huge K-D Salmon Tournament begins Friday

Some local businesses can expect an economic boost with the start of the 41st Annual Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament this Friday. The largest summer fishing tournament on the Great Lakes attracted a record of over 3,300 anglers last year, according to founder and co-organizer Kevin Naze. He says fishing offers a huge boon to the area with about half of the anglers from outside the area including participants from 32 different states in the past five years.

 

 

The ten-day tournament runs from this Friday through noon of Sunday, July 24th.   Over $50,000 in prize money is awarded every year, including a first-place $10,000 cash prize with a free mounting of the winning salmon and a customized ring. You can find more information about the 41st Annual K-D Salmon Tournament here. 

 

You can listen to the entire conversation with Kevin Naze on the podcast page here.

 

(photo courtesy of K/D Salmon Tournament Facebook)

Door County YMCA  gears up for childcare and youth programs

As the construction and expansion at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay reaches its final phase this summer, the Y is planning its childcare programs for the fall.  Youth and Sports Development Executive Paul Briney says the fall planning at the YMCA for child care services has been in the works for a while, especially with the new addition to the facility expected to be completed in September.  He describes how the new Youth Activity Center will be utilized when the Kids Club returns for the after-school program for children.

 

 

Briney says the excitement is building for when all the YMCA youth programs will be held under one roof at the expanded Sturgeon Bay Center.

 

 

A post-camp week for child care will also be held from August 28th to September 1st.  You can find out more information on youth programs and child care services offered by the Door County YMCA by calling (920) 743-4949.  

New Middle School principal announced for Southern Door School District

Kami Harvey has been hired as the new Southern Door Middle School Principal/Curriculum Director.  The Southern Door Board of Education approved the hiring at its Monday board meeting.  Harvey is replacing Brenda Shimon who resigned earlier this year.

 

With over 24 years of experience in education, Harvey started her career in Michigan as a first-grade teacher before moving to the Fox Valley area where she taught second, third, and four grade, along with middle school math, language arts, and science.

 

Harvey graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and minors in math and science. She also received her Master’s in Reading Education and her teacher and reading specialist licensure from UW-Oshkosh.  Most recently, Harvey completed coursework for her Director of Instruction and Principal Licensure from Stritch University. 

 

Harvey’s official start as the Southern Door Middle School principal will be on August 1st, after a few weeks of getting acclimated with the campus.

Summer shoppers loving Sturgeon Bay

Destination Sturgeon Bay is giving you plenty of reasons to spurn Prime Day and shop local this summer. The organization is in the thick of its Saturday Farmer’s Market season, which has been featuring over 80 seasonal and day vendors each week, with that number likely going up as fruits and vegetables begin to be harvested. Rachel Malcore and Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski say it seems like the Farmer’s Market is getting busier every week.

Just as the Farmer’s Market has seen growth, so is Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Sail Thru the Avenue Sidewalk Sale on July 27th. Malcore and Ehlers-Kwaterski say thanks to feedback from residents, visitors, and business owners, everything from storefront display outdoors to operating hours is getting bigger in 2023.

The Sail Thru the Avenue Sidewalk Sale runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on July 27th while the Sturgeon Bay Farmer’s Market runs 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through October 14th.

Tower repairs could begin later this summer

You may soon have another reason to head to Potawatomi State Park as it experiences another strong attendance year. The park received good news earlier this month when $500,000 in the state biennial budget was designated for repairs to be made for the observation tower, which has been closed in recent years due to safety concerns. It was good news for local legislators and preservationists who wanted to see the tower saved without necessarily having an ADA-accessible ramp drive up the costs of the project, potentially endangering its future. Potawatomi State Park Superintendent Erin Brown says it is too soon to know when work related to those funds will begin, but she says crews could start the process later this summer thanks to $500,000 in emergency stabilization funds that were earmarked last spring.

Since no firm dates have been set for the work, the project's impact on the park's operations is unknown. The park is experiencing another higher-than-average year when it comes to daily attendance, a trend that was kickstarted in 2020 when COVID restrictions forced many people outdoors to recreate. In June, the park welcomed slightly fewer visitors during the month than it did in 2022, but they set a record for campers on the property. Brown credits the great weather the area has seen this summer, with Monday’s rainstorm more of the exception than the rule. 

El Niño packing hot, dry weather for region

If the summer is any indication, you can pretty much count on having a green Christmas this year. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration believes we are 56 percent likely to have a strong El Niño event this year and about 84 percent likely to have at least a moderate. El Niño conditions occur when the atmosphere responds to warmer waters in the tropical Pacific seas. That causes the Midwest to have hotter, drier weather than usual. While the summer’s weather suggests that it is already having an impact, Weatherology meteorologist Mike Karow says El Niño usually saves its punch for the Midwest for the fall and winter.


Earth saw its hottest day ever recorded on July 5th when the global temperature was 17.18 degrees Celsius (62.62 degrees Fahrenheit). The three hottest days ever recorded occurred July 3rd-5th, 2023. Karow suggested the area could see some additional rain later this week, but added that you should not expect drought-busting precipitation anytime soon.

Proposed Kewaunee County jail running out of options

You will have to pay for a new jail facility in Kewaunee County, but it is just a matter of when. The Kewaunee County Board will discuss options at its July 18th meeting after bids came back over $7 million above the original estimates to north of $32 million. To build a new facility, the county board will likely either have to approve another $1 million of borrowing or reach into their fund balances to help make up the difference. Those prospects raised concerns among many of the Kewaunee County Board members, with supervisors inquiring on whether they can put more money into the existing facility or send its prisoners to other facilities in the region, which it does now when they are unable to house them. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says those may not be viable options, calling them band-aids while the cost of a new facility is only going to go up more.

The board approved the construction of the proposed Kewaunee County Jail last July to the tune of $25.6 million, which was lower than the $32 million that was originally projected before the project was scaled back. Joski adds that he appreciates the scrutiny the board has placed on the project in the name of protecting the county’s taxpayers. The rest of the July 18th agenda has not been released as of July 11th.

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

Last week, I provided an update on where we stand with the proposed Jail facility Project. In that article I laid out a brief history of our planning and processes along with financial information as it currently stands.

 

Of the many questions that I have been asked throughout these past years of planning, is about our options. This is a valid question, as any and all options must be explored and weighed for their merit, so that once a decision is made, we are able to say that the project put forth is the best option, both in short-term costs as well as long-term costs.

 

In looking at the various options we must also make sure that cost is not the only focus, as we must also weigh each option for its ability to address both operational costs and operational liability. I am proud to say that the exploration of options was prioritized in the early days of our planning, and only after an exhaustive effort, did we arrive at the option to build a new facility on green space.

 

Although at the time of the decision to move forward last year, the Board was almost unanimous in that vote, with the recent realization of cost increases for the proposed new facility, talk of options is once again front and center.

 

So what are our options? The first is to move forward in the building of the new facility. This new facility would address our ongoing challenges both from a capacity and programming perspective as well as from a safety perspective. This facility would serve our community long into the future and provides a footprint and vision for future phases when the time would come to move both the Sheriff’s Department and Courts to that site. It provides the greatest level of efficiency in operational costs as well. This is important as the building itself is a one-time cost, however, the operational costs are perpetual.

 

The second choice would be to turn our attention once again back to the existing building and expend resources to remain in that building. This option is problematic as it is a building built in the late 1960s and was built to meet the building codes and State Department of Corrections codes for that era. While we are able to be exempt from those codes as this building is Grandfathered, once we start making modifications, those exemptions would no longer be valid. The question of what we can or can’t do to remain exempt from current code, is not clear. We could begin the process of trying to correct deficiencies, only to find out, we need to go further, and in going further, we then cross that point, and need to be in compliance. This is significant concern, as there is no way for this current building to meet the various codes of today, without major renovations and even physical building additions. Even after that effort and cost, we would still not solve the safety issues that come with our linear-style jail versus current pod design.

 

Anyone that has embarked upon the remodeling of an older home or restored an old vehicle knows exactly what I’m talking about. You can begin with the best intentions of limiting the scope of your efforts only to be faced with new “Layers” of issues you could not have predicted. In this case, we are dealing with 50-year-old structural, plumbing, and electrical components, which have been exacerbated by numerous fixes, and a patchwork of remedies to get us by year by year.

 

I commend our County Board for the many years of diligent study and scrutiny that this project has undergone. The decision that lies before them is significant, and time has not been nor will it be in the future, on our side. Delaying the inevitable will only bring more costs, and expending additional resources on a building which is no longer relevant would be a disservice to future generations.   

 

It is my hope that this community will support our Board in their decision.

 

As always, I can be reached at (920)255-1100. Thank you! 

Non-residents to pay more to hunt, fish in Wisconsin

If you are not from Wisconsin, prepare to pay more to hunt and fish in the state. For the first time since 2005, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources raised the prices of its non-resident licenses for hunting and fishing. While some fees like the annual fishing license only went up $5, the cost of a deer hunting license for a non-resident during the season went up $40 to $200. The fee increases announced on Tuesday were a part of the 2023-2025 budget signed into law by Governor Tony Evers last week. You can see the full fee schedule below.

 

New Nonresident Hunting Fees 

Annual Small Game: $90

Five-Day Small Game: $60

Deer: $200

Archery and Crossbow: $165

Turkey: $65

Furbearing Animal: $165

 

New Nonresident Fishing Fees

Individual One-Day: $15

Individual Annual: $55

Individual Four-Day: $29

Individual 15-Day: $33

Family Annual: $70

Family 15-Day: $45

 

New Nonresident Combination License Fees

Conservation Patron: $620

Sports License: $295

BUG Fire Department extinguishes big field blaze

A fire that burned about 20 acres of farmland north of Brussels on Monday afternoon was put out before causing any damage to a home near County C on Lover's Lane. Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says a piece of farm equipment working in the field probably ignited some cut winter rye that was being merged for chopping up. He says the fire was able to be contained within 25 minutes, but due to the high winds, did spread close to a nearby house causing damage to the lawn and a tree line.

 

 

Vandertie says the additional help from Southern Door Fire Department and Door County Dispatch was crucial in keeping the fire from causing more damage. A state patrol officer and Door County Sheriff's Department personnel were used to detour traffic off of County C for about one hour while firefighters were on the scene of the blaze. The BUG Fire Department was busy this past weekend extinguishing two fires that started in roadside ditches on Saturday afternoon near Tru Way Road and Low Road in Brussels.  With the severely dry weather conditions, Fire Chief Vandertie asks you to be careful when disposing of any burning material and cigarettes.  

NWTC, Bay Shipbuilding expand partnership

Two Sturgeon Bay institutions are ensuring there are plenty of family-sustaining jobs available for Door County residents for the foreseeable future. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding announced on Monday that it will be expanding its partnership to advance the maritime manufacturing industry to meet the business’ growing workforce demand. The two organizations joined forces last fall to design a specialized training program for FBS employees to improve their welding and pipefitting techniques. Over 100 participants and 15,000 training hours later, NWTC and FBS will expand on their initial pilot program that included a five-week course into one with a higher student capacity and longer curriculum. NWTC Dean of Corporate Training and Economic Development Jim Draeger said this is an example of how it meets the needs of the communities they serve.

 

 

FBS Vice President and General Manager Jan Allman said it is “important to have community-based training with experienced, highly-skilled instructors like those at NWTC “ when it comes to helping its employees gain additional skills. You can apply to be in the next session here.

 

County Highway AB to close July 25th

You will have to use detours to get around Stangelville beginning next week when road construction season hits the Town of Franklin. The Kewaunee County Highway Commission announced on Monday that County Highway AB will be temporarily closed between County Highway J and County Highway KB through the town for roadwork. The project includes pulverizing the existing pavement, installation of a new hot mix asphalt surface, and the installation of gravel shoulders. The work is expected to begin on July 25th and will likely last a few weeks. The highway will only be open to local traffic, so motorists are encouraged to use County Highway J, County Highway V, and County Highway KB as a detour for County Highway AB.

Rural transit continues to grow locally

Thanks to a steady stable of drivers and a growing customer base, you are only seeing public transportation continue to grow in Door County. So far this year, Door 2 Door Rides and the Door County Connect bus service are providing approximately 4,000 rides each month. That is 500 more than they were serving on average a year ago. Door County Transportation Manager Pam Bush credits the work ethic of its drivers and people becoming more comfortable with the services as reasons why they continue to rebound after COVID-19 hampered it.

July 16th is National Rural Transit Day and the Door County Transportation Department is taking time to thank both its drivers and its riders. It is hosting a driver appreciation lunch on July 13th and offering free rides on July 17th. 

Motorcyclist dies in two-vehicle Baileys Harbor crash

A two-vehicle crash Sunday evening remains under investigation after a 23-year-old Sturgeon Bay man died as a result of his injuries sustained in the incident. The Door County Sheriff’s Department, Baileys Harbor First Responders, Door County Emergency Services, Baileys Harbor Fire Department, and the Baileys Harbor Constable responded to the intersection of State Highway 57 and County Highway E just before 5:40 p.m. Sunday to the scene of the crash. The initial investigation shows that 83-year-old James Schorer of Baileys Harbor was attempting to head west on CTH E from northbound STH 57 when he struck a motorcycle heading south. The motorcyclist, 23-year-old Bradley Jordan of Sturgeon Bay, sustained serious injuries in the crash and was transported to the Door County Medical Center where he later died.  STH 57 was closed for close to four hours as a result of the crash after the Traffic Reconstruction Unit from the Wisconsin State Patrol assisted in the investigation efforts. 

Help of Door County advocating through youth programming

You can have your children learn important life lessons while having fun this summer with two special programs presented by Help of Door County.  The FYRE (forging youth relationships and education) and Sparks & Flames groups meet every other week at Crossroads at Big Creek and are for high schoolers and children seven to 13 years old, respectively.  Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales says the youth choose their own curriculum that includes crafts, exploring around Crossroads, and conversations about what healthy relationships look like.

 

 

Help of Door County provides services and programs throughout Door County to victims of domestic abuse as well as to their families and friends.  Services are free, confidential, and available to everyone.  You can find more information about Help of Door County services and programs by clicking this link.

Construction shuts down access to Southern Door School District

You will have to wait a week if you need something from Southern Door School District. The district announced last Thursday that public access to the district’s buildings will be closed from 6 a.m. on  July 10th to 6 a.m. on July 15th. Construction is forcing the building to transition water and electrical services, which will create power outages among other issues. This means the public will not be able to access the building for things like student activities and the Talon Fitness Center during that time. Southern Door School District recently held groundbreaking ceremonies for its series of referendum projects, which includes an indoor athletic facility, a relocated district office, and other classroom improvements.

 

 

Door County Medical Center Auxiliary stepping up with volunteers

An organization that makes a huge difference when you visit the Door County Medical Center keeps contributing with volunteers year after year.  The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary presented a symbolic check of $370,000 to Brian Stephens, the CEO of DCMC.  The check amount represents the value of 14,800 volunteer hours that were donated by auxiliary members last year.  Volunteer Coordinator Robin Hamm-Jackson says the volunteers served in many areas, including the hospital, skilled nursing facility, canter center, dental clinic, gift shop, House & Garden Walk, Angel Scholarship Gala, and more. 

Hamm-Jackson notes that she tries to match the needs and interests of incoming volunteers to what is established within the organization.  The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary has over 200 members with about 85 active volunteers.  If you are interested in applying to become a member and/or volunteer you can reach out to the DCMC Auxiliary at 920-746-3609.

Kinnard Farms, Sedron Technologies to present manure treatment project July 18th

You will get to hear more about a potential game changer in manure treatment strategies later this month at the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting. 

 

Lee Kinnard from Kinnard Farms in Casco and a representative from Sedron Technologies will give a presentation during the July 18th Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting about the manure treatment facility that will be built in the coming years. The facility would process all of the liquid manure generated at the farm, removing the pathogens and separating it into clean water, dry organic fertilizer, and organic ammonia. If the project goes to plan, it would lessen the need for long-term storage of liquid manure and eliminate much of the truck traffic required to transport it to the farm’s nearly 10,000 acres that it manages. 

 

The project plays a role in the agreement Kinnard Farms reached with the state Department of Natural Resources in May. The DNR would not require groundwater monitoring of land application sites if Kinnard Farms can substantially eliminate the use of liquid manure on its field by 2027. Kinnard said in May that the agreement “represents a breakthrough in recognizing the benefits of accommodating farmer-led innovation to drive science-based environmental solutions on Wisconsin dairies.” 

 

Sedron Technologies’ Varcor system, which processes the liquid manure, is already in use at dairy facilities in Texas and Indiana. 

 

 

The presentation is the sixth item on the agenda for the meeting which is scheduled for July 18th in the 4-H Room at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds’ exposition hall beginning at 8:15 a.m..

Root Beer Festival succeeds with family-friendly atmosphere

The Door County Historical Society put on their 9th Annual Door County Root Beer Festival, and had cars flooding the parking lot throughout the entire five hour festival. 

 

Between the calming polka music, the food trucks and businesses providing food during the festival, and all the root beer centric activities, the festival had something for everyone. Door County Historical Society Executive Director Amy Frank said the reason this was put on was because of the rich history in Door County of root beer, and it was an opportunity for families to go to a festival that was available for all ages. 

 

 

The festival had so many activities that they had to use up the entire stretch of Heritage Village at Big Creek, which included behind the general store where there were “Root Beer Flights” where people could taste test different types of root beer, and then cast their vote for their favorite. 

 

The Door County Historical Society puts on many events like this throughout the summer season, with the dates and times on their website. Much like this festival, the events are family oriented, and Frank said they are hoping to have even more opportunities to expand local educational learning for the interested families. 

 

Coast Guard rescues passengers from two vessels

Local members of the United States Coast Guard had a busy Saturday as they executed two search and rescue missions near Fish Creek.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard launched their first ship from Washington Island for a reported vessel leaking fuel and oil while taking on water near Horseshoe Bay. Crew members towed the vessel to shore. Two members boarded the damaged vessel to make enough repairs to keep it afloat during the tow.

 

A second rescue mission occurred when Coast Guard members from Sturgeon Bay were sent to near Pirate Island. They safely evacuated four people from the damaged vessel before taking them to Fish Creek.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard thanked the Gibraltar Fire Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan for their assistance.

 

 

62nd Annual Belgian Days lights up town park

The sound of baseballs hitting mitts and the sweet smell of the grills cooking up burgers and all authentic Belgian food set the mood as you walked into Brussels Town Park for the 62nd Annual Belgian Days Festival. 

 

It all started bright and early on Saturday with the Run/Walk, baseball tournament, and something new recently added in the past few years, homemade Belgian waffles. Something that was seen through the day was the sense of community at the town park, and how the southern Door County and Belgian communities were put on display. Brussels Lions Club Member Jared Spude called it the “biggest event south of Sturgeon Bay” as he talked about the day and events happening at the festival. 

 

 

When you think of festivals in Door County, you may think of many different vendors selling their stores or businesses items. But at Belgian Days, the proceeds from the event stay local in the Brussels Lions Club, who use the money from their biggest fundraiser of the year to do good in the local community. From the cornhole tournament to the Cooyah tournament, the sense of togetherness at the park is what keeps the festival alive and going at such a strong rate. 

 

 

Sunday includes the end of the baseball tournament with the championship games, a parade in the morning, and the raffle drawings. 

Door County Land Trust purchases 63 Acres in Sturgeon Bay

More opportunities to protect wildlife are possible for the Door County Land Trust after they recently purchased 63.3 acres of land located near Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay.

The area of land that was purchased is near the organization’s Kellner Fen Natural Area which holds many rare and unusual species like the Hine’s emerald dragonfly, and other animals like Sand Hill Cranes. The purchase is good for the wetland that the Kellner Fen offers, as it features a large amount of open water and is surrounded by forests. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Emily Wood talks more about the purchase.
 


The Door County Land Trust has protected over 8,800 acres of fields, forests, farmlands, orchards, wetlands and shoreline and continues to protect Door County’s lands and waters.

Reinhardt earns Tom Young Scholarship

A Sturgeon Bay High School alumna received a little more help to chase her dreams thanks to scholarship from Capital Credit Union. Emma Reinhardt was one of 10 graduating seniors to receive a $2,500 award from the Tom Young Scholarship program through Capital Credit Union. She was among 113 applicants to the program that rated potential recipients on their academic success, community service, and volunteering. Student had to have a minimum  2.5 grade point average and be members of Capital Credit Union to apply. Reinhardt’s future plans include studying to become an occupational therapist.

 

Picture from previous Facebook post by Sturgeon Bay Girls Basketball

 

 

Cherry orchards welcome first pickers of the season

Sweet or tart, you will find the cherries you have been dreaming of waiting for you on the trees of area orchards. The first pick-your-own fields opened earlier this week, first with the sweet cherries followed by the tart cherries depending on where you are visiting. According to the University of Wisconsin, Door County produces seven million pounds of cherries annually and accounts for 95 percent of all of the tart cherries grown in the entire state. Toni Sorenson from Soren’s Vahalla Orchards in Sturgeon Bay says the early returns from their customers are good so far despite the lack of rain this year.

Sorenson added thanks to the uniqueness of Door County's climate that orchard owners across the area are excited to welcome you to their fields. You only have about a month to get your fill of cherry picking with the peak season running from now until mid-August. 

City looks to establish 10th TID

You could find more affordable housing options in Sturgeon Bay if plans to create a tenth tax increment district are fully realized. The Sturgeon Bay Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee will weigh in on the proposal to hire R.W. Baird for consulting services to create TID #10, which would be located near a five-acre city-owned parcel fronting South Hudson Avenue. The City of Sturgeon Bay has been working with Joe and Paul Shefchik to create a workforce housing subdivision to the tune of $1 million. The city would use money from the proposed TID and remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and TID #1 to help support the project. Taking advantage of the recent development in the area, which includes a future Kwik Trip, the city hopes to establish the TID by September 30th to capture the most amount of tax increment from the area. If the new TID is approved, the committee would then discuss a development agreement with the Shefchiks to build approximately 24 homes that would range between $270,000 and $305,000.  The committee will meet in the council chambers at 4:30 p.m.

Farmers weathering dry start to growing season

The scattered rain showers predicted for next week may force your plans to change, but they will be welcomed with open arms by the area’s farmers.

 

According to the latest crop progress report from the United States Department of Agriculture for the state of Wisconsin, the corn condition was 44 percent good to excellent, which is up two percent from last week thanks to some rain the area has experienced over the last seven to ten days. That is still down from where it was at the same time in 2022 (76 percent good to excellent), 2021 (75 percent), and 2020 (79 percent).  The only year where that indicator was below 70 percent at this time in the last 10 years was 2019 when only 55 percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent as farmers were close to two weeks behind planting due to wet conditions.

 

The reason why the corn crop is rated so poorly is the lack of rain the area has received in the last several weeks. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Kewaunee County and much of southern Door County are considered to be in moderate drought, while northern Door County is considered abnormally dry. For farmers, Nathen Nysse from Tilth Agronomy and Peninsula Pride Farms says you have to pay attention to the weeds and cover crops in your fields that are competing with your cash crops for the limited moisture that is in the ground.

Between May 8th and June 8th, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that only 1988 was drier in the last 130-plus years. Next week could spell good news for farmers with at least a 30 percent chance of rain seven times over the next two weeks.

Door County Maritime Museums expands ROV programming

Your kids do not have to wait until the school year starts to learn more about underwater robotics. The Door County Maritime Museum is teaming up with the Door County Library system and the United Way of Door County to present a series of workshops over the next several weeks and a four-day camp in August. The goal of the workshops and the camp is to learn how to build and pilot an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The two-hour workshops that will be hosted at seven Door County Library branches are geared toward kids who are brand new or have limited knowledge of robotics. The camp, which will take place at the Door County Maritime Museum from August 21st through the 24th, is focused on kids who have previous experience with robotics and want to expand their skill set. In either case, Door County Maritime Museum Educations Programs Coordinator Andrea Stromeyer says the opportunities will be a fun experience full of learning for kids.

 


The workshops are free to attend, but you have to contact each individual library to reserve your spot. If your kid would like to attend the camp, you have to register at the Door County Maritime Museum. You can find more information about the ROV opportunities, including the dates and locations of the workshops below. The Door County Maritime Museum introduced the SeaPerch Challenge program to a number of Door County school districts in recent years, which brought underwater robotics into the classroom. It has been a worthy investment as four teams from two schools (Sevastopol 2020, Washington Island 2022, and 2023 with two teams) have qualified for the international competition.

Sturgeon Bay closes compost site infested by Asian Jumping Worms

You will have to find another source to get mulch or compost for your garden other than the Sturgeon Bay Compost Site for now. On Thursday, the City of Sturgeon Bay temporarily shut down the site for removal due to an apparent infestation of Asian Jumping Worms. Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says after a resident reported finding the worms in mulch that was picked up, he closed the site immediately for the removal of mulch and compost.

 

 

The Door County Invasive Species Team and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will investigate and help determine the next steps to be taken by the city. According to the DNR website, the Asian Jumping Worms are non-native, invasive earthworms that present challenges to homeowners, gardeners, and forest managers. The worms can deplete the soil of nutrients and quickly transform it into dry, granular pellets with a texture like discarded coffee grounds. The Sturgeon Bay Compost Site will remain open for the drop off of brush and lawn waste.  

 

 

 

 

Kewaunee County's Feldt set to retire

After more than eight years on the job, Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt is calling it a career. At the July 10th Kewaunee County Executive Committee meeting, members will vote to approve the vacancy created by Feldt’s retirement, which is effective July 21st.  Feldt joined the county in 2015, following a four-year stint as Deputy State Treasurer for Wisconsin. During his tenure, Feldt helped the county upgrade its debt rating, create a capital improvement plan and tourism initiative, and oversee a number of initiatives including the county sales tax, county-wide broadband. and the economic development fund. The Kewaunee County Executive Committee will meet at the Kewaunee County Administration Center on July 10th at 6 p.m.

Potawatomi Tower survives Governor's veto pen

Governor Tony Evers’ veto pen changed large portions of the 2023-2025 budget, but there was one item he did not scratch off that will allow you to see some improvements at Potawatomi State Park. The $500,000 requested by State Senator Andre Jacque and State Rep. Joel Kitchens to make immediate repairs to the Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower stayed in the budget signed into law on Wednesday. The money was in addition to the emergency repair funding that was already approved earlier this year. State Senator Andre Jacque says he is happy that the people of Door County were listened to after initial proposals to build a helical ramp to the top for more than $6 million were met with lukewarm enthusiasm.

 

 

Jacque adds that even though he was not happy with many of the vetoes, the budget included many items he is excited about moving forward.

 

 

Dave Allen from the Potawatomi Park Alliance says he is happy with the decision, but he also understands that this is just the first step that needs to be done before people can start climbing the tower again.

 

 

Some of Evers’ vetoes included extending an increase in per pupil, preventing a robust tax cut of $3.5 billion, and halting a plan to eliminate 188 positions from the University of Wisconsin System.

 

Photo courtesy of Paul Anschutz

Door County Folk Festival returns to in-person festivities

For the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic forced all in-person events to shut down and become virtual, the Door County Folk Festival returns to where it was known best, in person at Egg Harbor. 

 

The 44th year of the event will be held at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavillion, instead of being on zoom, like in 2021 and 2022. When asked about how excited he is to have the event back in Egg Harbor, Door County Folk Festival Director Paul Collins said, “200%.” Collins has been a part of the festival since the very beginning when it first started in 1980, and the Folk Festival gives the opportunity to not only bring in the people of Door County for international dancing, but to expand the audience to across the midwest. When talking about the attendance for the festival, Collins talked about how the in-person and Zoom is the best of both worlds and expand the audience to people who could maybe not have participated in the past years. 

 

 

The instructors for all the different activities come from all across the world, from Tucson Arizona to Sofia Bulgaria, which makes the event so important to have in person once again. DCFF has undergone many changes of events that have resulted in even more fun. According to Collins, the event nearly was canceled by the third year. Needing to make some changes, Collins and founder Gerhard Bernhard sat down at a local restaurant in Sister Bay to talk about the changes. 

 

 

The Door County Folk Festival will open its doors for the first time since 2019 on Friday beginning at 9:00 a.m. for the setup and registration aspect of things. The scheduled activities will begin at 12:45 p.m.

Gnoshery to carry new Disney card game

Gnome Games and its Sturgeon Bay outpost The Gnoshery are no strangers to magic, but they will get you as close to the Wonderful World of Disney without having to book a flight. Gnome Games, which in addition to the Gnoshery in Sturgeon Bay has locations in the Green Bay and Appleton area, has been selected by Disney and the Ravensburger toy company to carry its new Disney Locana card game later this summer. Only a select number of retailers nationwide will be able to have the card game in early to mid-August. The game is similar to other immersive card games like Magic and Pokemon, but it will instead use its Disney characters as the stars. Gnome Games owner Pat Fuge says it is a big deal to be selected as a retailer for the game’s launch, which could be the biggest in its business' history.

Getting on the ground floor of popular games is nothing new for Fuge and Gnome Games. They were among the first to sell copies of Cards Against Humanity, which now reaches $40 million to $50 million in sales each year according to the Board Game Quest website. 

Sturgeon Bay plans to replace traffic signals at Maple-Madison Intersection

If all goes according to plan, the Maple Street and Madison Avenue intersection will feature new traffic lights and less time spent at red lights. 

 

The City of Sturgeon Bay’s Parking and Traffic Committee recommended an update and installation of new traffic lights at the intersection, which includes everything but the concrete bases in the ground. The four-way intersection, which some jokingly deeming the longest light in Sturgeon Bay, has had the traffic lights switch into “emergency” mode, and many technicians have not been able to fix the issue. City Engineer Chad Shefchik talks more about what was wrong with the traffic lights and why it is time to get new ones. 

 

 

The quotes that Shefchik said he has received from contractors and suppliers who will be on board to replace the traffic lights have totaled an estimation of around $125,000 to $130,000. One of the other reasons for the replacement is turning the new lights into a faster switch response, meaning fewer long traffic lines on Madison Avenue. 

 

When the construction of the new lights were to occur, the intersection would turn into a four-way stop for about two days. As for when this could all happen, Shefchik explains the process and timeframe, which could happen sooner than most expect. 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Common Council moves quickly on five items

The City of Sturgeon Bay’s Common Council met on Wednesday due to the 4th of July holiday and took care of business in less than one-half hour.

After unanimously approving the purchase of new traffic lights for the Maple and Madison Street intersection, the council approved the second reading for amending the municipal code regarding property maintenance and natural landscaping.

Then the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a zoning map amendment and the rezoning of land on 1605 Shiloh Road from agricultural to light industrial.  The action will allow Mueller Trucking and Repair to erect commercial storage buildings for existing outdoor materials.


The final piece of business Wednesday had the council unanimously approving the transfer of $14,570 to cover additional project costs for heating and insulating for the cold storage building.  The city needs additional space for equipment that has to be stored in a climate-controlled setting.

Special Nature Walk planned for YMCA's Peterson Park

You can experience the great outdoors with a guided tour of Peterson Park later this month.  The Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay is hosting a nature walk on Thursday, July 27 featuring a walk-through with Mark Holey, a retired fisheries biologist from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Door County YMCA Specialty Wellness Director Abby Tesch says the walk is an opportunity to admire the prairie garden while enjoying lunch afterward.

 

 

With the current construction going on at the YMCA facility in Sturgeon Bay, you can gain access to Peterson Park from North 19th Place by the playground and pavilion.  The free Door County YMCA Nature Walk will be from 10 a.m. until noon.  You can sign up by contacting Tesch at atesch@doorcountyymca.org or calling the Y at 920-743-4949.

Two-vehicle accident sends woman to hospital

A two-car crash in Sturgeon Bay sent a 66-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman to the hospital on Tuesday afternoon.  According to the Sturgeon Bay Police report, shortly before 4 p.m., a two-vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of County C and North Duluth Avenue.  A Toyota Highlander SUV driven by a 26-year-old woman from Green Bay was attempting to cross the intersection and collided with a Buick LaCrosse driven by the 66-year-old woman.  The driver in the Buick was taken to the hospital with unspecified serious injuries and the crash remains under investigation.  The intersection was closed for over 45 minutes and both vehicles were towed from the scene. 

Belgian Days unites Brussels community with festival

For the 62nd year the Brussels and Belgian communities are put on display with “Belgian Days” at the Brussels Town Park every July. 

 

The charity fundraiser brings together thousands of people across the three day festival to experience Belgian traditions, a youth baseball tournament, and much more including live local bands on all three nights. Not only is it the Brussels community and surrounding towns that come out to celebrate the Belgian Days festival, many out-of-town people with Belgian heritage make their way to the Brussels Town Park to celebrate, especially for the homemade Belgian Waffles Saturday morning. Brussels Wisconsin Lions Club Secretary Penny Wautier talks about the festival and what makes it special every year. 

 

 

Proceeds from the event go to the Brussels Lions Club, who every year give back in many ways to the community, including large scholarships to Southern Door graduating seniors, free vision screenings, and much more. What brings people back every year however is the parade and the Brussels-Union EMRs Belgian Days Run-Walk, which occurs every Saturday morning. 

 

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday night, and will open at 7:00 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. 

 

Picture Courtesy of Brussels Lions Club Facebook 

Fireworks suspected culprit of two Tuesday fires

Two grass fires in southern Door County kept the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department busy on the Fourth of July. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says fireworks were the likely causes of both fires. The first fire was about ten feet by 20 feet in the ditch at 891 County DK, between the road and Highway 57 in the town of Union. Vandertie says the fire was put out by nearby people and crews used 25 gallons of water to wet down the area after arriving around 9:30 p.m. About 15 minutes later, BUG Fire Department was dispatched to 3080 Pine Lane, off of County C in the town of Gardner for another grass fire that was described as eight by ten feet in size where fireworks were set off. 

The property owner was able to extinguish that fire before the fire crews showed up. Vandertie says his department may institute a burning ban if no substantial rainfall comes in the next day or two.

 

 

Vandertie adds that windier conditions have added to the drying out of vegetation, raising higher chances of fire, and that a few people who were issued a fireworks permit chose not to ignite any fireworks on Tuesday. 

Detour added for County Highway A construction

Due to the high traffic volume and hopes to maintain the completion date you will have to find an alternative route through the center of Door County.  The Door County Highway Department has decided to implement a detour during the County Highway A construction that started Wednesday, Highway Commissioner Thad Ash released the new information Wednesday morning that the road will remain open to local traffic and driveways will have road access except when the construction in front of your driveway is being done. He notes that the road is used by a lot of commercial traffic, especially in the summer months and the detour will only be during crews' working hours during the week.

 

 

The detour route will have northbound traffic on County A being diverted west onto County F to State Highway 42. Southbound traffic will follow Highway 42 south to County F, then east to County A.  The paving project on County A is expected to be done by August 10th. You are encouraged to travel with caution through the construction zone, be on the lookout for road crews, and obey all signage.

Sheriff's Corner: New Jail reaches key point

Over the past 7 years, I have tried my best to provide updates on the jail project at key points along the journey. This past week we definitely arrived at one of those key points, as the bids were returned from the various contractors, giving us for the first the actual costs of this long overdue project.

 

If you recall, last summer, the County voted to move forward with the project without sending it to a referendum. There were many reasons for this decision, but one of the most critical reasons was that we really do not have any options, so even if the referendum would have failed, we would still be faced with the need to move forward. It also isn’t a project that could be sent back for any further reductions, or revisions as that work had already been done. Four years ago, the proposed Public Safety Facility which included the Sheriff’s Department and Evidence Building was estimated at 35 million. At that time, we went back to the scope of the project, scaling it back to just the Jail and supporting spaces (Kitchen, Medical, Dispatch). With those reductions, the project was then proposed at 21 million dollars. We then moved forward with planning and preparations to prepare it for the Board’s approval, and decision regarding a referendum. 

 

By the time this came in front of the board for this action, the projected cost for the new facility was now at approximately 26 million dollars. That number was an estimate based on similar projects and what the building environment was at that time. From that date on throughout the next year, we spent almost every week in meetings drilling down on the actual building plans so as to develop a specification guidance to be used for the actual bid documents. During that time, we further refined this project taking out anything and everything that we could short of violating code in an effort to keep costs down. 

 

The unfortunate reality is that while we were diligently cutting where we could, the market and inflation were not only consuming our cuts but sending this project’s costs beyond that which were proposed. As you can see, while we were taking the time to be diligent and methodical in our planning, the costs of this project continued to escalate, to a current cost of 33 million. The good news is that this number for the first time is locked in as the contractors must honor their bids for 45 days, which in this case is late July. This aligns with the date that the board will take action on this matter which will be at the July 18th County Board meeting. Once that 45-day benchmark is past, we will once again be faced with continued cost increases.

 

So, what are the financial implications? This is where we are fortunate to have Paul Kunesh as our Finance Director for Kewaunee County. He has done an amazing job at putting together the various financial projections as well as various options for the Board to consider. In general terms, it breaks down like this: The original number of 21 million dollars of debt would have meant .20 cents per 1,000 of assessed value. If the board were to take on an additional debt of 3 million dollars, it would increase that amount to .35 cents. By using some of the existing fund balances that we have saved up over the years, we could reduce that to only incurring a 1 million dollar increase in debt bring the impact to .25 cents. The third option provided would require the use of numerous current and proposed fund balances, which would not increase the debt level beyond what was proposed last year.

 

The two main considerations in all of this are First, we can no longer exist in our current facility, and any expenditure on this current structure would be a band-aid approach which would still bring with it additional operational costs, and never truly be a solution. The Second is that the longer we wait, the less facility we will get for our money. You can see how even in our efforts to be cautious and frugal, the ever-increasing costs that we all have faced in our daily lives have and will continue to impact this project as well. In next week’s article, I will re-visit why the current facility is no longer feasible, and the implications of any possible renovations.

 

I ask that if you have ay questions, to please feel free to contact me. I will do my best to meet with you either here at our offices, or even in your home, to answer any questions you may have. This will be the biggest capital project this county has embarked upon, and we have gone to great lengths to make it a project that will result in a facility that we can all be proud of, and one that will serve the needs of our community today and well into the future.

 

Sturgeon Bay looking to create a Local Transportation Board

The City of Sturgeon Bay will look to move forward Wednesday on a recommendation from back in March that will combine the Parking & Traffic Committee with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board. 

 

The new Local Transportation Board would be formed after an ordinance is established to repeal the Parking & Traffic Committee and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board.  The Council could retain a separate parking & traffic standing committee if it so decides to eliminate that part from the new ordinance.  The new Local Transportation Board would consist of five members, of which three are alderperson and two would be community members.    

 

In other business, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council will address a rezoning of land on 1605 Shiloh Road from agricultural to light industrial to allow Mueller Trucking and Repair to erect commercial storage buildings for existing outdoor materials.

 

A second reading of amending the Municipal Code for property maintenance and natural landscape is also on the agenda at the Wednesday night meeting.  The Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall. 

DPAS gives families fun astronomical summer opportunities

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society has already had many opportunities for families and kids interested in astronomy and has more events coming in the next few weeks. 

 

The Astronomical Society operates out of the Ray and Ruthie Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay and is the go-to place for astronomy in Door County. With events in the past weeks including having a telescope set up at the Old Ski Hill Overlook at Potawatomi State Park and community campfires and games while looking at the sky, the DPAS is looking to involve the community in all of their events. 

 

The events that are put on by the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society are absolutely free and open to the public, with most viewings happening on Saturdays so they are easier to access and get to than during weeknights. DPAS Outreach Chair Tom Minahan and DPAS Intern Amanda Austin guide most of the viewings, as the society has many telescopes if the skies are clear, but also have the ability to set up a planetarium for viewing as well. 

 

If all the stars and weather align, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will host “Open Dome Nights” that are free and open to the public as well.

Unique way to showcase summer reading in Forestville

After the Independence Day celebrations are over, the Forestville branch of the Door County Library is giving you a "dairy" good opportunity to get rewarded by reading over the summer. 

 

Partnering with the East Maplewood Homemakers, every book that a participant reads gives them an opportunity to be entered into a drawing for “Dairy Baskets for Readers.” This summer reading program is unlike any other in the area, as the library is not the only partner and organization running the event. East Maplewood Homemaker member Ingrid Donnelly talks about the reading program and why summer reading is so important. 

 

 

The Door County Dairy Promotion Committee gave a grant to the library and homemakers to help make the program happen. The summer program will run from July 5th until August 25th, when the eight baskets will be given away. 

Fairs look to introduce new people to their events

If you have only been to the Door County Fair or the Kewaunee County Fair, organizers hope you have new ways to participate in this year’s events. Next week, the Kewaunee County Fair will open its doors to exhibitors to display their projects and talk about them with judges. For those who have wondered what a day in the life of an exhibitor is like, the Kewaunee County Fair is offering tours on July 13th to showcase what it is like to prepare for the event. This is the second year they are offering the tours, but the first time they are offering them outside of daycares and other school groups.

 

 

On July 15th, the Andy Barta Legacy Show Pavilion will host two individuals who will show animals. Fairytales Animal Show organizer Morgan Servaes says mentors have been working with the showpersons with special needs so they can experience what it is like to lead a goat onto the shavings.

You have a little more time to get involved in the Door County Fair. Exhibitors have until July 7th to register their projects for the fair, which takes place on August 9th-13th.

 

 

The Door County Fair is also looking for volunteers to help make the event a success. You can register to volunteer by clicking this link.

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Police releases body cam from barn rescue

Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Andrew Crabb is being hailed a hero after saving three cows from a barn fire a week ago. The Sturgeon Bay Police Department posted Crabb's body cam footage from June 25th before 6 a.m. showing the officer arriving on the scene of a fire taking place on Stagg Road in the Town of Nasewaupee. Black smoke was billowing out of the barn as Crabb, who ran through an open end. When he arrived, he noticed three cows that were fenced in with a wall of flames behind them. The video posted by the department ends shortly after Crabb undoes the chain for the fence, allowing the three cows to run away. In the comment section that identified Crabb as the hero, Jaci Baer thanks Crabb directly, thanking him for not just identifying and calling in the fire but saving the cattle her dad was housing. She also thanked the firefighters who arrived on the scene to save what they could. 

 

Screenshot and video courtesy of Sturgeon Bay Police Department

 

 

County Highway A Project begins July 5th

You will have to plan your commute accordingly beginning after the holiday weekend if you use County Highway A in Door County. The Door County Highway Department announced on Thursday that it will begin its road reconstruction project of County Highway A between County Highway F and State Highway 42 beginning on July 5th. The project begins with the saw cutting of driveways and intersections replacing the asphalt on the roadway. There will be no detour used for the project as the roadway will remain open. Once the project gets to the paving phase, there will be lane closures and flagmen used to control traffic. With a little help from Mother Nature, the highway department expects the work to be completed by August 10th. You are encouraged to travel with caution through the construction zone, be on the lookout for road crews, and obey all signage.

 Guys on Ice marks 25th year of performances

The hit ice-fishing musical comedy Guys on Ice is back and celebrating its 25th anniversary this season with an opening performance on Wednesday at Northern Sky Theater.  The show, which was created by Fred Alley and James Kaplan, has been performed throughout the country and was made into a PBS TV special.  Debuting at the Ephraim Village Hall 25 years ago, the show features two men spending a winter’s day in a shanty on the ice talking about life, love, and Leinies. 

 

Doug Mancheski and Steve Koehler will anchor the production as fishing buddies Marvin and Lloyd, performing musical numbers like “The Wishing Hole”, “Ode to a Snowmobile Suit”, and “The One That Got Away”.

 

Starting July 5th, the Guys on Ice show will run through September 1st at Northern Sky’s Indoor Gould Theater with performances on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  You can get more information on the show and purchase tickets with this link.

 

(photo courtesy of Northern Sky Theater)

100+ Women Who Cares Door County celebrating 5 years of giving

You can be a member of a group of women making a significant impact in Door County later this month.  The 100+ Women Who Care Door County (100+WWC) will be holding its quarterly Giving Event on July 17.  It will mark the 21st Giving Event that has awarded $455,000 to 53 Door County nonprofit organizations since 2018 as part.

 

The Peninsula Symphonic Band, the Newport Wilderness Society, and the Open Door Bird Sanctuary are the three nonprofits that have been nominated and will be considered for the Giving Event which will mark the 5th anniversary of support given by 100+WWC.

 

Rebecca Nicholson from the Door County Partnership for Children & Families will share how the July 2022 100+ WWC award has made an impact in the area.

 

The 100+WWC Giving Circle will be held at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center in Egg Harbor from 6:30 until 7:30 p.m. on Monday, July 17th.

 

You can learn more about the 100 Women Who Care Door County by clicking this link.

 

 

 

 

(photo submitted)

Boys & Girls Club Door County was the recipient of the primary award in April. Pictured (left to right):
Ann Glessner (100+WWC Board), Terri Esposito (100+WWC presenter/advocate for Boys & Girls
Club DC), Lisa Kogan-Praska (CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of the Bay & Lakes Region), Chelsea Dahms
(Boys & Girls Club DC, Director of Programs & Operations), with Ann Morgan (100+WWC Co-
founder/President).

Celebrate Root Beer with Heritage Village Festival

With Door County having many different adult-friendly tastings and festivals throughout the summer, the Root Beer Festival put on by the Door County Historical Society is an opportunity for families to enjoy a festival that is youth inclusive. 

 

The 9th Annual Root Beer Festival celebrates the history of root beer, and just root beer in general in a fun event meant for people of all ages. In past years, there have been opportunities for experiments while at the festival and a chance to be a blacksmith for a day. Some of the offerings this year at the festival include special presentations in the schoolhouse about the history of root beer, live blacksmith demonstrations, live music and games, root beer cookies and floats, and much more. 

 

Admission to the event is $5 and kids 18 and under are free. Alongside all of the other events going on during the festival, guests have an opportunity to vote to determine Door County’s favorite root beer. 

 

The event is being held at Heritage Village at Big Creek on July 8th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Valmy Thresheree holds thousands for Dairy Breakfast

Lines hundreds of people long and thousands of people at a time filled the Valmy Thresheree grounds for the 41st annual Sevastopol FFA Alumni Dairy Breakfast. 

 

The breakfast kicked off when most were waking up, as the grills were hot and the workers were serving from 6:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. People who showed up to work included current high school students who were involved in their FFA programs, to former FFA members trying to support the program. Sevastopol FFA Alumni Treasurer Tim Ash talked about the event and the money raised, and how it all goes back in some way to support the Sevastopol FFA. 

 

 

However, it was not just the delicious breakfast and ice cream that brought and kept people at the event. Live country music began at 9:00 and ran all the way to the end of the breakfast. There were also wood and metal demonstrations, along with demonstrations from the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, who brought their big ladder truck. No animals at the thresheree was no problem, as animals were brought in for a petting zoo. 

 

 

For the 41st year, no matter where the dairy breakfast is held, the event has turned out to be yet another success, drawing large crowds and this year, adding to the 4th of July holiday weekend fun.

Hardy Center wraps up annual Wall-to-Wall exhibit

For the 61st time, the Wall-to-Wall Juried Exhibit in Ephraim is nearing its end with great success at the Francis Hardy Center for the Arts. 

 

Coming up to the final week of the event, and with the winners of this year being announced, the last chances for you to see the artwork are closing in. The Juried Exhibit is Hardy’s most popular of the year and is the season starter and has the most notable exhibits. Emerging and established artists were able to enter their art into the Center and were judged by Door County artist, Craig Blietz.

 

The public was able to voice their opinions and vote for the “People’s Choice Award” which was won by Sophie Perry for "Golden Hour at Cave Point”. After 173 total submissions, five artists received financial awards from $125 to $500. Best in the Show, also known as the Francis Hardy Legacy Award, was given to Lisa Dukowitz for “Young Doe”, which was charcoal on a cedar trunk. 

 

You can view all of the artwork and the winners at the Francis Hardy Center for the Arts in Ephraim until July 9th. 

Fourth of July, Clampitt Concerto winners kick off Birch Creek Symphony season

It is out with the steel pans and in with the strings and horns the next time you see students take the stage inside the barn on the campus of Birch Creek Music Performance Center. The organization said goodbye to its percussion students on Saturday as they prepare for the two-week symphony season. With promises of pie and ice cream, the season kicks off with the traditional Birch Creek Symphonic Fourth concert at 3 p.m. Birch Creek Executive Director Mona Christenson says the annual concert is a great way for them to kick off the symphony season.

Later in the week, Birch Creek will host its 2022 Clampitt Concerto Competition winners for an evening featuring the works of Walton, Hindemith, and Mussorgsky/Ravel. The winners may be teenagers, but Christenson says they play like professionals.

Tchaikovsky, Wagner, and Dvorak are some of the other composers that will be highlighted during Birch Creek’s symphony season, which runs through July 15th. You can listen to our full interview with Christenson by clicking this link.

Protecting yourself against scams and fraud

In going back over the articles I have written in the past, it appears as though a topic which is repeated about this time each year is Scam and Fraud awareness and prevention.

 

I could fill pages with the various types of scams as they seem to have penetrated most of our common activities or preyed upon our most vulnerable fears. There is however a common theme that runs through all of them and by making ourselves aware of this theme, we can apply it over and over again no matter what the solicitation.

 

Any fraud or scam requires one simple element; that we the subject of the fraud abandon our usual logic and transition to making decision based on fear, joy, or other basic human emotions.  It is in these moments that we most often make decisions we usually end up regretting. This not only applies to scams, but to any important decision in our lives. We would never consider buying a home based merely on our emotional attachment, and disregard the financial impact or shortcomings of the property. The same is true with a vehicle, or a job offering.

 

Yet when we look at the various types of scams they involve something like an audit from the IRS unless money is paid immediately, a credit card company who states your account has been compromised, a money order that needs to be sent to help out a child or grandchild who are stranded in a distant place, or that deal that seems too good to pass up. All of these conjure up the emotional side of our decision making process, and unless time is taken to allow us to return to our rational decision making process, the outcomes will most often be regretted.

 

A recent scam which we have been made aware of involves the topic of government grants. With the many grants that are continuously circulating, it can be easy to be drawn into such a fraud as it seems both reasonable and logical that there are in fact grant opportunities at all levels of government. This scam goes one step further in that the perpetrators compromised the victims facebook account and then posed at a family or friend recommending that they pursue this grant opportunity as they had. The best prevention to this scam is first to solidify all passwords to any and all accounts. Secondly, don’t believe anything or anyone you see on social media. Verify in person when possible.

 

While there are many great opportunities which may come along, it is vital that we put some distance between the initial offer and our final decision. It is always a great idea to put that same offer in front of another person who again is emotional detached and can give a second opinion based on logic and reason.

 

It is important that when faced with any sort of legal notice, that other family, or counsel be contacted to validate the request. Any legitimate agency or organization will understand the need for validation of a notice and will gladly provide further information when requested.

 

Another point I would like to stress is that once a fraudulent transaction has taken place, the ability for law enforcement to recover the loss or effectively charge the perpetrators is very limited. As soon as the perpetrators in these cases achieve their goal, they literally disappear. The phone number which was provided for you to contact them with will no longer work. Their email which you used to contact them with will not exist. This is not just a reality for our agency, but for any law enforcement agency attempting to follow up on these types of cases.

 

This is why prevention is so important, and remains our primary message. If you have encountered a suspicious incident regarding the sale or purchase of an item on the internet, or have been contacted by an individual or group with requests for your personal of financial information DO NOT PROVIDE ANY INFORMATION!

 

Even in the event that the transaction seems legitimate, DO NOT send money until you have received the product or service. PERIOD! If the transaction requires additional costs be incurred prior to the sale, this should be an indicator of a fraudulent transaction.  

Hundreds gather for Sister Bay Kite Fest

Kites as big as a person or as small as nearly a paper bag could be seen from about a mile away as the 2nd Annual Sister Bay Kite Fest took to the skies. 

 

The skies and weather played nice for the event, after an entire week of air quality concerns in Door County plagued the skies and air, kids were able to spend quality time outside. The Wisconsin Kite Fliers Association were flying bigger kites that kids were able to take a look at, which was something that was different from last year. Sister Bay Event Assistant Ellie Soderburg-Guger talked about the event being in its second year and how it came to be. 

 

 

Over 50 kites were in the air at one point during the festival, which Soderburg-Guger said was much more than last year, and she expressed how happy she was with the turn out. Kids who attended later in the day had the opportunity to buy kites if the kite making kits were all taken. The event was so popular that even though the start time was 10:00, there were kids at the complex at 9:00 itching to build their kite and fly it. 

 

Firework safety important around 4th of July celebrations

One of the nations favorite holiday celebrations is lighting off fireworks for the 4th of July, but with lighting off fireworks comes the risk of injury. 

 

Although there are many larger firework celebrations around Door County at eight different locations around the county, there are still families and friends who set off their own fireworks show. From sparklers to firecrackers, each firework needs to be treated with attention and care to avoid any future damages to property or people. Sturgeon Bay Fire Department Fire Chief Tim Dietman gives some tips about fireworks safety for this upcoming holiday. 

 

 

The DNR urges you to be safe with fireworks shows, as most wildfires caused by fireworks occur during the weeks leading up to and after the Fourth of July holiday. Fire danger levels are mostly moderate around Door County, but are expected to worsen in the next coming days. 

 

Every year, thousands of people are injured badly enough by fireworks to require some sort of medical attention. There are safer alternatives to the celebration aspect of the holiday, but if fireworks are for you, those safety tips can make the fourth a successful day. If you are looking to celebrate without lighting off the fireworks yourself, you can click this link for more information on July 4th parades and fireworks shows. 

Sports card collecting continues surge

Those old sports cards in your basement may be worth something thanks to continuing boom of popularity for the hobby.

 

The pandemic helped usher in a newfound love for the hobby as millions of people are becoming reacquainted with their cards. One new craze is the practice of box breaking, where collectors purchase hundreds of packs of cards and open them live on social media channels in search of rare cards. One such YouTube creator, known as Packman, has 248,000 subscribers to his channel and has about 50,000 views every time he does it.

 

Things are a little bit calmer for Joe Miller, who has kept up with his card collection since he started in the 1940s. Miller and his friend Roy Sye will be showcasing some of his rarer items as a part of his sports card show in his garage in Baileys Harbor over the Fourth of July weekend. While some of the more modern practices do not appeal to him, Miller says getting back into card collecting remains one of the greatest decisions he has ever made.


Some of Miller’s cards date back to the early 1910s, including rare Hassan Triple Fold cards that feature three different sections that can be folded together.

 

Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay receive WEDC Vibrant Spaces grants

You will see public bathrooms at the Door County Granary in Sturgeon Bay and accessible seating at Sister Bay Waterfront Park as a result of the grant funds awarded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation earlier this week.   

 

Both communities received $50,000 from the WEDC’s Vibrant Spaces grants program, which aims to improve public areas with additional amenities to make them more attractive for community members. For Sister Bay, that means “night sky” friendly lighting and additional features to make Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park more accessible to residents. In Sturgeon Bay, the grant dollars will be used for public restrooms and other amenities at the future Door County Granary, which hopes to officially break ground on the project this fall. The Door County Granary is waiting for over $3.3 million in USDA Rural Development funds to come in so it can begin soliciting bids for the work that needs to be done.

 

Other projects across the state to receive Vibrant Spaces grant funding from the WEDC include a pocket park in Hayward, a food truck plaza in Waupun, an art gallery in Oshkosh, and a village greenspace in Ripon. 

STRIDE program receives helpful grant

A program of the United Way of Door County, STRIDE, recently received a $30,000 grant from the Door County Community Foundation and the Door County Mental Health Awareness fund. 

 

STRIDE stands for Strengthening Trust and Resilience, Instilling Independence and Discovering Empowerment and aims to provide a quality mental health option to teens around the county. The program works with the Door County schools, community leaders, and mental health professionals and looks to provide a sense of community and empowerment in their service. Cami Peggar, STRIDE Program Coordinator and United Way Health Community Impact Coordinator talks about how important a program like STRIDE is to have in local schools, and the end goal for the program. 

 

 

The money from the grant will go towards more than 450 hours of one-on-one mental health services throughout the county, and will help reach more youth in Northern Door County, instead of them having to take the trip to Sturgeon Bay. Not only does STRIDE do one-on-one services, but they have programs such as Art Therapy and have free online e-courses for youth to take as well. 

 

You can find more information at SRIDE’s website by clicking this link

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