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News Archives for 2023-08

One-vehicle crash shuts down County U Thursday afternoon

A car being driven on County Trunk U in the town of Sturgeon Bay crashed into a utility pole causing the closure of traffic on Thursday afternoon.  Shortly after 2:30 p.m., Door County emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection of Johnson Road and County Trunk U where a vehicle hit a utility pole on the northwest corner of the roadways severely damaging the front end of the car.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities was on the scene repairing the damage to the pole which was compromised.  



Southbound traffic on County Trunk U was detoured onto Cedar Creek Road to Taube Road for about one hour to allow crews to repair the pole and the tow the disabled vehicle. No information is available on the condition of the driver and any passengers who may have been inside the vehicle.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more information becomes available.

Tax-free retirement highlights new legislation

You might have a little extra incentive to stay around in Wisconsin in the future.  The creation of tax-free retirement is part of the larger “Returning Your Surplus” proposal championed by Republicans around the state on Wednesday. The proposal would exempt up to $150,000 in retirement account income, which would cover about 98 percent of Wisconsinites who currently pay income taxes on it. Rep. Joel Kitchens says not only eliminates some of the financial stress people are facing in the state but also encourages them to stay local rather than live in areas like Florida where the tax burden is not so high.

Unlike some parts of the proposal, Kitchens says there has been support on both sides of the aisle for the tax-free retirement income provision. Paired with a middle-income tax rate reduction from 5.3 percent to 4.4 percent, the average tax filer would see a savings of $772 from the proposal. Governor Tony Evers vetoed a similar proposal earlier this year, taking income tax relief from $3.5 billion to $175 million.

More opportunities to hunt deer in Door County in 2024

Whether you hunt with a gun or a bow, you will be able to get more bang for your buck hunting for deer in Door County this year.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released its 2023 hunting forecasts for deer, upland game birds, migratory birds, bears, and furbearers on Wednesday. The forecasts provide hunters an insight into what to expect when trying to track down their favorite game species along with important information to know.


Door County is one of three farmland counties in the state offering up to four antlerless harvest authorizations per license, joining Marquette and Richland counties with that distinction.  Door County is also one of approximately 30 counties, which also includes Brown, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc counties, that will have both a holiday hunt period from December 24th through January 1st and an extended archery season from January 8th through 31st for antlerless deer. 


According to DNR Wildlife Biologist, last year’s mild winter has led to a higher deer population this year with staff and members of the public reporting lots of sightings this summer. He does warn that the dry conditions may also affect the quality of the corn and soybeans that deer rely on as a good source, re-emphasizing the importance of scouting where you hunt.


You can read the full report by clicking this link.


Marina Fest puts bookend to summer in Door County

You can be among the thousands of people who head to Sister Bay to put a bow on their summer season during this weekend’s Marina Fest.


What started as a celebration of the completion of the expanded Sister Bay Marina in the 1990s has turned into a weekend full of food, drinks, and entertainment of all kinds for all ages. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department is among the groups that benefit from the two-day event as running the food and drink tents provides important funding for the work local organizations provide throughout the year. It is the sense of community that fills the streets and Waterfront Park that brings a smile to the face of Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht.

One of the highlights of the entire weekend takes place Saturday night when Marina Fests hosts its annual fireworks display at dusk. You can click on this link to see the entire schedule.

Bank addresses cybersecurity concerns

Nicolet National Bank wants to help you keep your money out of the hands of scammers when it comes to your bank accounts. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were over 800,000 cybercrime complaints in 2022, costing consumers $10.3 billion along the way. That is five times more money lost to cyber criminals compared to 2018. Bank fraud has come a long way since the days when people only had to worry about the information on their checks being changed. Nicolet National Bank Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking Jamie Alberts wants to make sure businesses and individuals alike have the information they need to protect themselves and their assets.

A pair of cyber security seminars hosted by Nicolet National Bank will take place on September 19th with breakfast served at Chop in Sister Bay from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and lunch served at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Boating safety stressed for upcoming holiday weekend

You should remember some important safety tips before you venture out boating on the water this Labor Day weekend. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the United States Coast Guard are reminding you to keep safety top of mind as you cast offshore. USCG Petty Officer Stephen Bell says wearing a life jacket and boating sober are two of the best ways to keep you and your family safer on the water. All children under the age of 13 must be wearing life preservers when they are onboard a boat.



Bell notes that the Coast Guard has noticed a lot of people bow-riding on boats, especially on pontoons, which can be very dangerous and has caused several accidents this summer. He says boaters should be aware of their surroundings and check the weather frequently for changing conditions. Alcohol use and poor decision-making are the two biggest contributing factors that lead to boating-related incidents. In Wisconsin, there have been 13 boating fatalities, with 12 of which were not wearing life jackets.  

Door County YMCA Swim Team starting "fall prep" 

A local swim team with years of local and national success will begin its preparation for another winning campaign later this fall.  The Door County YMCA Swim Team will begin practicing next week and Director of Competitive Swimming Mike McHugh says over 140 swimmers will be training two days a week at the two aquatic centers in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay. He shares how the DCY Team has been able to be so successful over the years in the pool and have the strongest youth program in the state.



The Door County YMCA Swim Team won four individual state championships, a 200 Free Relay, and a 200 Medley Relay last spring in Brown Deer.  The 2023-24 competitive swimming season will begin in November.  McHugh notes that the relatively new Dolphin Club program has become a perfect stepping stone for kids in swimming lessons to advance to the swim team.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Mike McHugh on the Y Wednesday podcast here.


(photo courtesy of YMCA from last season's state meet)

Former Door County Treasurer Jay Zahn remembered for community involvement

A former Door County treasurer is being remembered for his community involvement and engaging personality.  Jay Zahn of Sturgeon Bay passed away on Monday at the age of 66.  Having served as the Door County treasurer for 30 years, Zahn was elected in 1991 and retired in 2021 having served as the president of the State Treasurer’s Association.

A 1975 graduate of Sevastopol High School, Zahn is remembered by former elementary teacher and long-time friend Larry Maas as a great person who was very active in the community, especially with the Miss Door County Scholarship Program.




According to his obituary, Zahn was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Jaycees, received a Volunteer Service Award from the Kidney Foundation, was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club, the treasurer of the Sevastopol School Board for 9 years, treasurer of the Miss Door County program, and was president of the Door County Historical Society.

Funeral services for Jay Zahn will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6th.  You can read Zahn’s full obituary here

Accident on Highway 42/57 Intersection closes highway Wednesday morning

A multiple-vehicle crash south of Sturgeon Bay caused traffic to be detoured off the Highway 42/57 intersection for over an hour early Wednesday morning.  Shortly after 7:00 a.m. Door County emergency personnel responded to an accident at the junction of Highway 42 and Highway 57 in the town of Nasewaupee with reported unspecified injuries to some people involved in the accident.  




One vehicle with severe front-end damage was disabled in the intersection causing northbound and southbound traffic to be detoured off the highway to allow for the Southern Door Fire Department and Door County Sheriff's Department personnel to direct traffic away from the crash site.  Traffic was opened up again at about 8:30 a.m. after emergency vehicles cleared the scene and the vehicles were towed away.  Door County Daily News will update this story when more details become available. 

United Way partner with PSC, churches to chat about internet access

Even if more reliable and faster internet comes to your neighborhood, getting connected to it might be a completely different hurdle for you to overcome. The United Way of Door County is assisting the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Council of Churches in hosting a series of community conversations across the peninsula discussing internet access and what needs to be done to make it accessible to all. As of right now, municipalities including the County of Door are working with a wide range of providers to help connect residents with reliable internet at a time where it has never been more important. United Way Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the pandemic showed what the need was and what the barriers were to achieving it.

The conversations will start this Wednesday morning in Sister Bay and Thursday in Sturgeon Bay. They will resume after the Labor Day holiday with a session in Baileys Harbor on September 5th and in Ellison Bay and Brussels on September 7th. You can find the complete schedule below. For sharing your insights, pre-registered participants are eligible for childcare upon request during the sessions and a $25 gift card as a thank you. You can register by calling 920-746-9645 or emailing


August 30th – Sister Bay Fire Department 8:30am – 10:00am

August 31st – Sturgeon Bay Library Jane Greene Room 9:30am – 11:00am – Spanish Speakers will be available at this session

September 5th – Baileys Harbor Town Hall 10:00am – 11:30am

September 7th – Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church, Ellison Bay 9:30am – 11:00am

September 7th – Brussels Community Center 2:00pm – 3:30pm


Impact of Algoma cruise ship arrival going beyond docking day

You will see at least three more cruise ships dock outside of Algoma’s breakwall this year, but you will experience their impact for years to come. Visitors from around the world have arrived on the shores of Algoma via their cruise ships’ passenger vessels seven times already this summer with six sailing under the Viking Cruise Lines moniker and one other under the HANSEATIC name. Once ashore, visitors are greeted by locals before they hop on buses to visit sights in the region or walk around the city to explore on their own. Algoma Chamber of Commerce Director Rosemary Paladini says the feedback has been great so far from cruise ship operators and local businesses alike. Paladini adds they have even received correspondence from visitors thanking them for the hospitality and asking them about possible return trips. She is happy with the response the City of Algoma has received the whole summer.

Three more ships are expected to dock in Algoma waters this summer, including September 4th. Paladini says a great sign came from the HANSEATIC which added Algoma to their itinerary in October after having a positive experience with the city in June. Ships will be coming back several times in 2024 and the propeller is already in motion for more cruises to Algoma in 2025.

Youth organizations begin enrollment periods

Taking your kids back to school often means being introduced to the many different organizations catering to youth development. Thousands of Wisconsinites are involved in organizations like 4-H, Boy Scouts, and Girls Scouts to have different opportunities outside of the school day. While you can join the organizations at any time, the fall is the most popular time for families to reach out to organizations and vice versa. Door County 4-H Program Educator Candis Dart says they had a lot of families come through and check out the projects exhibited by members during the Door County Fair earlier this month. She hopes it stoked interest in area youth to check out one of their six clubs and several different projects.

For 4-H, the re-enrollment period opens on September 1st. You can find more information on how to register by clicking this link. As for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, individual units will have their own recruitment events occurring in the coming weeks. 

United Way of Door County sticks with $825,000 campaign goal

If the United Way of Door County’s campaign goal of $825,000 sounds familiar to you, it should hopefully inspire you to give even more this year. The organization announced the 2023 Annual Campaign goal of $825,000 during a special kickoff event held at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor on Monday night. It was the same goal they had last year when they raised over $776,000 to help support the United Way’s mission as well as 30 other local non-profits. The event featured Door County YMCA CEO Tonya Felhofer, who discussed her upbringing in an ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) household and how she was discouraged from going to college because of it. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says stories like Felhofer’s and others across the community helped the board realize that they should give the $825,000 goal a second chance.

Kohnle says campaign materials will be sent out to donors during the month of September with special events popping up through the end of the year. One of those special events is on September 23rd as the organization takes on a Woodstock-vibe for “Peace, Love, and United Way” at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. You can find more details on that below. 



Crash sends Sturgeon Bay woman to hospital

An 84-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman was injured in a one-vehicle accident in a parking garage on Sturgeon Bay’s west side on Sunday afternoon.  According to the police report, Barbara Jeanquart was attempting to park her KIA Sportage SUV in the parking stall at Bay Lofts Apartments at about 3:00 p.m. when she proceeded to hit a concrete block wall.  The crash caused the airbag in the steering wheel to deploy with Jeanquardt suffering apparent injuries.    She was transported to Door County Medical Center by Emergency Medical Services with serious injuries. The vehicle had substantial damage to the front end and required towing from the scene. 

Industrial flex building presents "huge opportunity" in Sturgeon Bay

You will see plenty of construction going on in the Sturgeon Bay Business Park in the near future.


Last week, the Door County Economic Development Corporation, the City of Sturgeon Bay, general contractor Immel Construction, and leasing agent NAI Pfefferle announced a new 50,000-square-foot development project that would create the largest industrial building in the business park. The building is divisible to 5,000 square foot spaces, which Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Michelle Lawrie says could fill the demand by businesses looking for manufacturing, warehouse/distribution, assembly, and other industrial uses.

Lawrie hopes the announcement gets businesses dreaming big in Sturgeon Bay and Door County. Once a major potential tenant commits to the future building, construction workers will break ground on the project.

Sevastopol School kicks off centennial celebration next Monday

You saw teachers head into the Sevastopol School District building on Monday to prepare for the future school year, but you’re invited to honor its past beginning next Monday. The district is hosting a special Labor Day celebration from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of the school’s Ripp Road/Pioneer Way entrance in the student parking lot. While the free food and drinks might provide some incentive, the district will place a bigger emphasis on its past. In addition to a special retrospective video playing, National Honor Society students will provide tours of the building, and district officials are asking alumni to record their Sevastopol memories to be shared throughout the year. District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke has been at the helm for seven years and he says it was the conversations he had with alumni during the renovation project that gave him a greater appreciation for the building he works in daily.

Monday’s celebration will also feature comments from Luedtke, former superintendent Joe McMahon, and alumni Mike Madden and Heather Fellner-Spetz. Luedtke added that this will be the first of many events the district will put on to celebrate its centennial year.

Sturgeon Bay hopes Delavan's "dark store" win is their gain

The City of Sturgeon Bay and Wal-Mart will go toe-to-toe over assessments in the coming months, but Administrator Josh Vanlieshout hopes a Wisconsin State Supreme Court case from earlier this year helps them be more successful.


The Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust filed their most recent suit against the city on August 4th, charging the city with over-assessing their property. Two previous settlements between the two sides have been reached, shaving a couple hundred thousand dollars off Wal-Mart’s assessments and their property taxes each time. The impact of those settlements in turn could lead to higher taxes for the city’s other property owners. Often called the “dark store theory,” big-box retailers have been successful in getting their property assessments lowered by comparing their stores to others across the state whether they are shuttered or not.


Municipalities received a boost against the practice in February when the City of Delavan won its case against the hardware store Lowe’s in the Wisconsin State Supreme Court. Lowe’s was challenging the city’s assessment of their property was overvalued and they wanted it lowered by 50 percent. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruled 6-1 that the hardware store did not use comparable properties when applying for their assessment change. Van Lieshout is not sure what it will mean for its case against Wal-Mart this time, but hopes it can at least help.

Supporters of the dark store theory include the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2018 that it opposed legislation to fix the “dark store theory” loophole because it would force retailers to pay more than their share of property taxes. Vanlieshout says they are used to this process and the city will have to wait and see on what happens next.


DNR seeks comments for more equestrian opportunities at Newport State Park

You could soon take your horses to more places in and around Newport State Park in the future. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is taking public comment on a master plan variance to allow up to 10 miles of equestrian trails at Newport State Park, up from the original four to six miles originally proposed in 2018 through the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Regional Master Plan. The changes came after conversations with horseback riders who felt that the original proposal would not be able to offer high-quality experiences.  Hikers and bikers would not be negatively impacted because the variance would only incorporate about a half-mile of their trails in Management Areas 1 and 2, which take up much of the southwestern portion of the park.  The variance also includes a new parking area. You can use the contact information below to reach DNR Property Planner John Pohlman with questions and comments before September 16th.Wisconsin


Currently, the Ahnapee State Trail offers most of the trail riding opportunities in Door and Kewaunee counties that falls under the DNR's guidance.


DNR; Attn: John Pohlman
LF/6; P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707-7921 or 608-264-6263


Picture courtesy of MemoryCatcher on Pixabay

Sturgeon Bay sending strong signal to housing developers

Almost as quickly as you see them built, housing options in Sturgeon Bay are filling up. Addressing housing in the city has been a major focus of the city and Door County for the last several years after the Door County Economic Development Corporation conducted its study showing a peninsula-wide shortage, especially for affordable units. It has been a hurdle for local manufacturers and other businesses looking to hire people, only to learn that they cannot take the position because they cannot find a house or apartment. Recently, a number of units have opened up near Target, only to have them immediately filled. Mayor David Ward says it only helps their case to developers that if you build it, they will move.

Ward says while the influx of rental units has been great, the city wants to start turning its attention to single-family homes. They took a step in that direction recently, approving a development agreement with Joe and Paul Shefchik of J & P LLC to create a workforce housing subdivision. 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 homebuyers from quickly flipping the house and making money on the transaction.

Town Hall meetings next step in Destination Door County's master planning

You have likely filled out online surveys or participated in one-on-one and group interviews, but Destination Door County invites you to the next step of their master planning process. Destination Door County is hosting three town hall meetings staggered out on September 13th to take place at the Sister Bay Fire Station, over Zoom, and at the Sevastopol Town Hall. The organization started the process in May when over 1,200 online surveys were returned by residents and other local stakeholders. A similar survey done prior to the pandemic gave Destination Door County the idea and the tools to become more of a destination manager rather than a destination marketer. It paved the way for the Care for Door County movement, which included a sustainability pledge and eco-centric events such as guided nature hikes and park clean-up events. With additional input at the town hall meetings, Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert hopes to generate a master plan built around the needs of residents, visitors, and stakeholders alike.

The information gathered from the town hall meetings will be immediately put to use as the organization teams up with local leaders to form the destination master plan. You can find more specific details about the town hall meetings being organized by Destination Door County below.


Date: Wednesday September 13, 2023

Time: 9:30-11:00 AM

In-Person Location: Sister Bay Fire Station, 2258 Mill Road, Sister Bay, WI 54234


Date: Wednesday September 13, 2023

Time: 1:30-3:00 PM

Online Location: Virtual Meeting via ZOOM at the following link:


Date: Wednesday September 13, 2023

Time: 5:30-7:00 PM

In-Person Location: Sevastopol Town Hall, 4528 Hwy 57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Collaboration sparks creativity with Lewis, Griffon String Quartet

By the end of next month, Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck is confident that you will see that folk music and chamber music can work together in harmony. The excitement is building for the album release of “Beneath the Waves,” a collection of seven songs featuring Eric Lewis and the Griffon String Quartet. Performing outside of their element is nothing new for the Griffon String Quartet, which performs in unique settings in Door and Brown counties bringing their repertoire to people and places you never thought you would find chamber music in before. Throw in a talented musician like Lewis, and Fleck says you can see how all musicians can work together to perform the perfect piece of music.

The album will be officially released at a special event at the Northern Sky Theater’s Gould Theater on September 9th at 7 p.m. Fleck says the album will have a physical release in addition to downloads available to purchase on their website if you can not make it. You can listen to our full interview with Fleck by clicking this link. 




Step back into time at the Hanson House

Labor Day has become the traditional, though often not the meteorological, last day of summer. It became a holiday in 1882 to celebrate the success of the labor movement; over the years it has become a special day to honor American workers. So at Crossroads at Big Creek, we will honor the hundreds of people who, over the centuries, have labored at Crossroads’ Big Creek and Ida Bay Preserves.


During Labor Day Weekend – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., the Hanson House (2200 Utah Street) will be open for tours and for an activity we are calling “Labor Day Reminiscences.”


If local legend serves, for generations, on holiday weekends, family and neighbors gathered at the Homestead. We can’t imagine that folks did not sometimes sit around a kitchen table and reminisce about the past.


We are inviting the community to visit the Hanson House and, if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table. While enjoying a glass of lemonade, they can chat about the people who have labored at Crossroads – stone tool makers, pottery makers, fishers, gardeners, loggers, farmers, orchardists, conservationists, Christmas tree and strawberry growers, stable hands, construction workers, archaeologists, restorationists and educators.


We have an ulterior motive for our reminiscence activity. We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings will share their memories. Or even better, give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories.


We want to offer a grateful shout-out to one particular group of workers – the barn volunteers and the construction crew from Carlson Erickson Builders – who are revitalizing an historic barn, turning it into a field station for research and education.


Whether you have memories to share or not, all are welcome. House tours are free of charge.


On the actual Labor Day, the last day of summer, we will offer a 3:00 p.m. hike at our Ida Bay Preserve, and each hiker will receive a map/brochure that tells the stories of the people who lived and labored at Ida Bay. And perhaps, fingers crossed, hikers will witness a butterfly and bird migration.


Speaking of migration, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., Bird Club will meet at the Collins Learning Center, and, if weather permits, the group will visit the Cove Estuary Preserve. Anyone interested in birds – from novice to fanatic – is welcome and should bring binoculars and a cell phone, if possible. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research and restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 


Thursday August 31

6:30 p.m. Badger Talk: “Jumping Worms: Biology, Impact and Control of a New Soil Invader and Plans for Door County”


Jumping worms have been found in at least three of Door County's compost sites. Brad Herrick, Ecologist and Research Program Manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum, will discuss why it matters that jumping worms have arrived, the long-term ramifications of their arrival, and ways to mitigate their impact and spread. 


After Herrick’s presentation, Sam Koyen, Door County Invasive Species Team Leader, will discuss what is happening in Door County, and Josh VanLieshout, Sturgeon Bay City Administrator, will discuss the City's plan of action.


The lecture is free and open to the public, but advance seating reservations are requested. Those interested can register on the Events page of the Crossroads at Big Creek website


Friday, Saturday and Sunday

September 1, 2, and 3

1:00-3:30 p.m. Hanson House Tours with Labor Day Reminiscences 

Crossroads invites the community to visit the Hanson House and, if they’d like, sit around the kitchen table. While enjoying a glass of lemonade, they can chat about the people who have labored at Crossroads – stone tool makers, pot makers, fishers, gardeners, loggers, farmers, orchardists, conservationists, Christmas tree and strawberry growers, stable hands, construction workers, archaeologists, restorationists and educators.

We are hoping that people who have worked at what now is our Big Creek Preserve, or who knew the people who lived here, or boarded horses here, or picked fruit, caught fish or helped build our buildings…..will share their memories. Or even better, will give us contact information so we can arrange to record oral histories. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Hanson House, 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.


Monday, September 4

3:00 p.m. Labor Day at Ida Bay

On the last day of summer, Crossroads will offer a hike at our Ida Bay Preserve, and each hiker will receive a map/brochure that tells the stories of the people who lived and labored at Ida Bay. And, fingers crossed, hikers may witness a butterfly and bird migration. Meet at the Parking Lot at 1195 Canal Road in Sturgeon Bay.



Tuesday, September 5

6:30 p.m. Bird Club

Bird Club will meet at the Collins Learning Center, but because migration probably will be underway, weather permitting, the group will visit the Cove Estuary Preserve. Anyone interested in birds is welcome and should bring binoculars and cell phone, if possible. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

Rules and safety for smaller vehicles and bikes on the road

Local law enforcement and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation want to remind you that mopeds and smaller motor vehicles are subject to all traffic laws like cars and trucks.  That includes electric bikes and small electric scooters which must follow all rules of the road and restrictions on highways and interstates. Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman shares how drivers of all-size vehicles can make the roadways safer for everyone.    

Brinkman notes that you can drive your moped side-by-side with another moped on the street if the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less, but you must go single file if it's more. Mopeds are banned on freeways, and drivers should be aware of other vehicles and not impede roadway traffic.  According to state law electric bikes are regulated like bicycles. The same rules of the road apply to both e-bikes and human-powered bicycles.  Wisconsin designates three classes of electric bikes but they are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.  For more information on sharing the road safely, click this link from the Wisconsin DOT.  


Suicide awareness begins with you with proper training

It’s hard to believe that September is right around the corner, and with it all of the activities both in school as well as within our communities. One of the initiatives which we recognize in the month of September is Suicide Awareness Month. Recent statistics report that there 45,000 deaths annually attributed to suicide and that for every 1 documented death there are actually 25 attempts.


While there may be various reasons why people contemplate suicide as an option, some of the key circumstances in the State of Wisconsin are Diagnosed Mental Health Problem, Physical Health Problem, Recent Crisis, Financial Problem, Job Problem or Intimate Partner Problem. It is also important to note that suicide does not discriminate between genders, age or ethnic background. The one positive note is that suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death in our culture. This should give us great hope, but we as a culture need to be comfortable engaging with those who are feeling hopeless. Rather than responding to their cries by isolating them even further due to our discomfort with having an open discussion with them, we need to reach out and let them know they are not alone and they are in fact valued members of our families, and communities.


One reason that we are reluctant to reach out is the feeling that we are not mental health experts and that we may do more harm than good. This is not the case and there are now tools which can empower us to have these conversations not in an effort to diagnose, but to validate the feelings that our loved ones may be having and offering a message of hope.


The protocol that we have embraced here in Kewaunee County is titled. QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) The first step in this process is just what is says, to actually confront the individual who may be exhibiting signs of suicide and asking the difficult question “Are you thinking about suicide?” Although many would think that this would do more harm than good just the opposite is found to be true. Typically, those who are considering suicide are just waiting and hoping someone does actually intervene. This brings us back the statistic that for every 1 death by suicide there are 25 attempts, which are many times calls for help and not actions just looking for attention.


The second step is to persuade. This is where we need to take the time to stop whatever we or they are doing and have a meaningful conversation about all that is good in their lives and the many reasons they have to live rather than single reason they feel is bringing them to this decision. Again, we are not trying to diagnose them, but rather help them to find hope where all they see is hopelessness. One important key in this process is not to judge. Although we may view their crisis as minimal, to them it is crushing and trying to minimize it to them is not the answer.


The third step is to “Refer”. This where we get the professionals involved. What is key in this portion is the follow through. It does no good to show concern and then walk away once the referral is made. One of the biggest struggles for those in this state of mind is isolation. We must commit to standing by their side not just during the initial intervention but through the weeks and months that follow as they receive the professional help they need.


If you would like any additional information on this subject, or have an interest in a QPR presentation, please feel free to reach out to me. (920)255-1100

Alice in Dairyland enjoying the stories of Door County's agriculture

Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow knew Door County’s agriculture was diverse, but you will still see her learning a lot on her travels over the next year. Hagenow was selected for the role earlier this year, which will include monthly visits to Door County leading up to the finals competition in May 2024. Hagenow’s travels have taken her from Washington Island to Sturgeon Bay in just a few short months. Thursday’s travels ended at DC Farm for Vets, where she learned about the sustainable agricultural practices taught to veterans. DC Farm for Vets founder Jacob VandenPlas. showed Hagenow the operation's vast field of lettuce varieties and a greenhouse full of tomatoes during the tour. Hagenow says she has appreciated the stories behind the farmers she has met along the way.

VandenPlas’ goals for DC Farm for Vets go beyond what they are able to bring to market. The hope is by developing farming skills and kinship among the area’s veterans, the organization can help save lives along the way. He is thankful for the opportunity to showcase the work his organization does.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced last month that Door County will host the 77th Alice in Dairyland Finals May 2-4, 2024 at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.

Sturgeon Bay accident injures three people

A Sturgeon Bay woman and two visitors from the Madison area were injured due to a car accident between the two Thursday afternoon.  Sturgeon Bay Police officers were dispatched to the parking lot for the Ice Age Trail near Lansing Avenue just after 1 p.m. for the accident. Elijah Pinkert of Sturgeon Bay was leaving the parking lot when he was struck by an oncoming vehicle driven by Korissa Sperber of Sturgeon Bay, who was traveling north on Lansing Avenue. Pinkert’s passengers and Sperber suffered minor scrapes and bruising due to the accident, but no one had to be transported to Door County Medical Center for treatment. Both cars had to be towed from the scene due to the damage sustained in the accident. Pinkert was cited for failing to yield from non-highway access.  


A previous version of this story had Jon Pinkert as the person involved in the accident. He was not driving the vehicle, but he owns the vehicle. DCDN regrets this error.

Helping neighbors Feel the Love

You can help local Lennox dealers find people in need before the season’s turn and bring cooler weather. For the last 14 years, the indoor air environment company has provided more than 2,000 heating and cooling systems for community heroes across the country. It is a program that Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke has participated in since it was the regionally named Heat UP Wisconsin. The simple act of kindness turns into a day-long affair with his employees and their families spending the second Saturday in October interacting with the recipients and getting other local businesses. Blemke says it is one of his favorite days of the year that has left a lasting impression on him.

While Blemke knows he has the crew, the equipment, and the local business support to make this year’s Feel the Love program a success, what he needs more of are nominations for deserving people in your community. You can click this link to learn how you can nominate someone for the Feel the Love program.

Moeller to run for District Court Judge next spring

One day after Judge D. Todd Ehlers announced that he would not seek another term as Door County’s Circuit Court Branch One judge, Jennifer Moeller is the first to publicly announce her intentions to run for judge in April 2024. Moeller has served as the Door County Family Court Commissioner for the past 12 years. Moeller was a partner in the law firm and worked in private practice for over 15 years before becoming the Family Court Commissioner.  She says all of her legal experience prepares her well for the circuit court judge position.



Moeller has volunteered for numerous local non-profit organizations for over 20 years and received the Anne Kok Social Justice Award from Help of Door County.  Having been on the Sturgeon Bay City Council for two years, Moeller served on the Sturgeon Bay Police and Fire Commission for nine years, with seven years being the president.  The non-partisan election for a six-year term as Circuit Court judge will be held on April 2, 2024.  David L. Weber is the other Circuit Court judge in Door County for Branch 2 having been re-elected last spring. 

Heyse captures characters in new Door County-based novel

After thinking about the potential characters for years, Ann Heyse is happy to finally introduce you to them. The owner of the Baileys Harbor-based Sand Beach Press recently released her first novel, “The Light is Ours.” The book is based on fictional lighthouse keepers in 1870s Door County. Although it is her first novel, it is not her first book as she has already published two children’s books and one collection of her poetry. Heyse says the writing process was different but enjoyable and she is happy that these characters were finally put to paper.

Even though there are still some stories that could be told with the characters featured in “The Light is Ours,” Heyse says she is undecided on penning a sequel at this time. You can purchase “The Light is Ours” directly from Sand Beach Press and from select retailers in the county.


Picture courtesy of Sand Beach Press and Amazon

Investing in the Community: City of Sturgeon Bay

You may see the impact of Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund a little more in the City of Sturgeon Bay than other municipalities in the area. The city received another $50,000 grant from the recently established Community Investment Fund earlier this month, this time for improvements to the pavilion and public bathrooms at Sunset Park. During the first grant cycle, the city received a grant for the purchase of an aquatic weed harvester to clean up areas along their waterways. Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward says city staff members and common council members have worked hard to identify important projects that enhance the summer experience but benefit its residents year-round.


Ward added that it also shows the ongoing investments the city is making in its local parks, citing the recent success seen at Graham Park and Otumba Park. Local room tax dollars help support Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund, which was launched earlier this year and has already awarded over $575,000. This is part of an ongoing series about the projects being supported by the fund. The next grant cycle ends on October 5th.

Local GOP chair soaks in Milwaukee debate

While former President Donald Trump was not in the room for Wednesday's Republican Presidential Debate, you still would have found some familiar faces inside the Fiserv Forum beyond those on the stage.


Door County Republican Party Chairperson Stephanie Soucek was among the 4,000 people in attendance for the first debate of the 2024 Presidential election cycle that featured eight candidates including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. All eight candidates trail Trump massively in the polls with the former President averaging more than 50 percent support.


Soucek says the energy you may have heard on television was very apparent all night long with many people, including herself, attending their first-ever presidential debate. Except for one detour addressing Trump, the debate mainly focused on the issues, something Soucek appreciated.

Soucek admits however that race at this point feels like everyone is trying to come in second place to Trump.

Even with the bickering that occurred on stage at certain points of the evening, Soucek says watching the debate in person was a much more enjoyable experience than viewing it at home. The next Republican Presidential Debate is scheduled for September 27th at the Ronal Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in California.




Pictures courtesy of Stephanie Soucek

First Picture: In the middle is RPW chairman Brian Schimming, and to the right is Pam Van Handel, chair of Outagamie County.

Second Picture: Debate stage



STH 54 work begins September 5th in Kewaunee County

Just in time for your kids to go back to school, you may have to change your route to get there in Kewaunee County.


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that it will begin making improvements on State Highway 54 from near Rockledge Road to Sunset Avenue beginning on September 5th.


The project encompasses 13.2 miles of roadway and affects traffic flow through the towns of Luxemburg, Casco, and Ahnapee, the village of Casco, and the city of Algoma. While the road will remain open for much of the project with flagging operations to direct traffic, there will be a three-week period where the highway will be closed due to culvert replacements. Two short-term detours will be used during that time, one using County C and County K and another requiring County K and STH 42. In addition to replacing the culverts, construction crews will resurface the road, widen the paved shoulders, install rumble strips, and make other repairs. The $7.7 million project is expected to be finished by mid-November.

Door County Board extends administrator's contract

You will continue to see Door County Administrator Ken Pabich roaming the halls of the government center building in Sturgeon Bay for the foreseeable future. The Door County Board renewed Pabich’s contract for another five years during Tuesday’s County Board meeting. Pabich was hired in 2015 as the Door County Administrator after previously serving the City of De Pere as its community development director. Pabich is proud of what he has been able to accomplish in his eight-plus years.


In a release from the county, Board Chairperson David Lienau stated that “the relationship between the County Board and Administrator is critical to the overall success of the organization.  The Board has been able to work with Ken to make changes which have had a positive impact on our County and for our employees.” Pabich says the attention will now go toward the county’s employees who help ensure its operations run smoothly.

YMCA starting new programs in renovated Sturgeon Bay Center

Nearly one year after breaking ground on the 16,300-square-foot expansion of the  Door County YMCA Sturgeon Bay Program Center, the organization is getting close to offering the Fall 1 Session in its new facility.  Healthy Living Director Sarah Gavin says some of the equipment is already being moved over from the gymnasium and the upcoming classes will begin after Labor Day.  She shares details on the new “Sprint 8” and “Sports Performance Field” programs that are designed for teenagers or adults at any level of fitness.



Gavin says you can make sure the class is for you by participating in the free “try-its”.  Registration for the Fall 1 Session began this week and classes will begin September 5th.  You can find all the Door County YMCA program offerings online with this link.

Salmon's Meat Products issues voluntary recall

Eight different product lines produced by Luxemburg-based Salmon’s Meat Products have been voluntarily recalled after they were potentially contaminated with a harmful pathogen.


Salmon’s Meat Products issued the voluntary Class I recall for a variety of ready-to-eat products after it was discovered they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail, or elderly people. Healthy individuals may experience a high fever, severe headaches, nausea, and diarrhea. No illnesses have been reported as a result of consuming these products., but customers who have these products should discard them. According to Salmon’s Meat Products, the issue was found internally and was corrected immediately. You can learn more about the recall below.


The recalled products include:

  • Sliced Homestyle Summer Sausage, approximately 16 oz. packages, packed with “Best if used by” dates of 09/30/23 and before
  • Cracker-sized Sliced Summer Sausage, approximately 8 oz. packages, packed with “Best if used by” dates of 09/30/23 and before
  • Country Smoked Sliced Ham, approximately 2 lb. packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 09/11/23 and before
  • Country Smoked Ham Steaks, approximately 0.4 lb. packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 09/11/23 and before
  • Country Smoked Shaved Ham, variable weight packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 09/11/23 and before
  • Cooked Ham, approximately 1 lb. packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 09/11/23 and before
  • Beef Stick Snack Bites, approximately 12 lb. packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 11/05/23 and before
  • Smoked Sliced Ribeye, approximately 1 lb. packages, packed with “Best if used by” date 09/11/23 and before


Gas prices continue to fluctuate this summer

You may have noticed that filling up your vehicle this summer has seen a rollercoaster of gas prices at the pump. Although gas prices are higher than they were this spring, according to AAA, the current average price of regular gasoline in the state is $3.65 per gallon, compared to $3.67 last year at this time. As of Wednesday, most gas stations in Sturgeon Bay are pricing regular gas at $3.59 per gallon.  Kari Baumann, manager of Baileys Harbor 57 says she doesn’t know the cause of the recent price volatility, but they try to buy the wholesale gasoline at the best time and lowest prices.

Baumann adds that this summer has been a record-breaking summer at the convenience store and that people are not holding back from spending more money while traveling.    
One significant change in gas prices is good news for the trucking industry.   Diesel gasoline prices at the pump have seen a significant drop in the past year. A gallon of diesel fuel was $4.76 in August 2023 and now averages $4.09 in the state.

Kewaunee County passes FEMA test for Nuclear Plant Incidents Response Exercise

It’s a disaster exercise that Kewaunee County hopes never to have to implement, but they passed the test with flying colors.  A drill to determine the readiness of the Kewaunee County emergency response team in case of a nuclear incident at the Point Beach Nuclear Plant in Two Rivers was successful last Tuesday, August 15.  The Biennial Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program, Full-Participation, Hostile Action Based, Plume Exposure Pathway Exercise is required every eight years by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says a lot of training and preparation goes into the one-day exercise.  She says over 100 people from different agencies in Kewaunee County were involved starting back in June with the reception center portion for emergency responders.



The reception center in Kewaunee County would be located at the Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School in case of an emergency.  There were 88 demonstrations and 22 capabilities to evaluate that generated hundreds of observations between Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and the State of Wisconsin.  Nollenberg notes Kewaunee County is involved because any county within a ten-mile radius of an emergency planning zone (nuclear power plant) is required to participate in the FEMA-evaluated emergency response exercise.  The finalized FEMA report from the exercise will be made available in 90 days.

Door County Judge Ehlers to retire

    You will be voting for a new Door County circuit court judge at next April’s election.  Judge D. Todd Ehlers, Door County’s Circuit Court Judge in Branch One, announced Wednesday that he has submitted to the Wisconsin Elections Commission his Notification of Non-candidacy. Ehlers chose not to run for re-election next year with his term expiring on July 31, 2024. Ehlers succeeded Judge John Koehn in 2000 and is serving his fourth term as judge.  He will retire after 24 years and be the third longest-serving judge in Door County history.

     Judge Ehlers, a Sevastopol native and graduate of St. Norbert College and Marquette University Law School, practiced law in Sturgeon Bay for 16 years before becoming a judge. 

     Ehlers says in the news release “It has been my extreme pleasure to have served the citizens of Door County and the State of Wisconsin as one of their circuit court judges for the past 23 years. What greater privilege and honor could there be than to have the chance to return to the community where you were born and raised to work and serve for almost 40 years,” he said. “I want to thank my judicial colleagues, court reporters, judicial assistants, and other court staff, and clerks of court and their deputy clerks for their comradery and assistance during my years of service.”

    The election to succeed Judge Ehlers will be held next April with the new judge taking office on August 1, 2024.

Motorcycle accidents plaguing summer travel season

You can play a role in helping motorcyclists return home safely after Door and Kewaunee counties have seen a number of motorcycle accidents this summer, including two fatalities. Kewaunee County has seen two motorcycle-related accidents happen within the last week, including last Wednesday when the Kewaunee Police Department announced that 67-year-old Paul Hirst of Kewaunee died after striking a sports utility vehicle with his motorcycle. In July, 23-year-old Bradley Jordan of Sturgeon Bay passed away after he was struck by a motorist in Baileys Harbor. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says motorists in four-wheeled vehicles need to be extra vigilant when driving around their two-wheeled peers.

Oconto County has also had a motorcyclist die as the result of injuries from an accident it had with a vehicle this month. Joski encourages all motorcyclists to wear the correct safety apparel and do all that they can to keep each other safe on the roadways.

Water rates jump 30-plus percent for SBU customers

You may have to pay about $100 more on your water bill from Sturgeon Bay Utilities. SBU customers began getting notified of the approximately 35 percent increase to their water bill, with the majority of that going towards upgrades to the public fire protection system. It has been 10 years since the rates have changed in Sturgeon Bay and the increase is just a sign of the times according to General Manager Jim Stawicki.

Along with the notification of the increase in their recent water bill, SBU included details on how to attend next Tuesday’s virtual public meeting. Sturgeon Bay is not the only municipality to see its water and sewer bills get increased. Some municipalities that work with NEW Water in Green Bay also saw their sewer rates going up, resulting in a similar 30-plus percent increase for residents in those towns and villages.   

Investing in the Community: Town of Gibraltar

Being able to take your family on a trip between Sister Bay and Egg Harbor took a major step forward earlier this month when Destination Door County announced a $100,000 grant for the Town of Gibraltar. The grant gets the town to almost the halfway point of its $1.5 million offer to purchase the Redmann property so it can expand Fish Creek Park and serve as an extension of the Bayshore Connectivity Trail. Sister Bay, Ephraim, and Egg Harbor have all looked into how it can establish the multi-modal trail to connect the communities without the need for a car or motorcycle. Town Administrator Travis Thyssen says it is great to see the municipalities work together to make the dream a reality.

The town’s electors approved the $1.5 million purchase of the Redmann property by a 78 percent majority with the expectations that it would be completed with grants and private funds. Thyssen says they are waiting on other grants to come through, but they do have backup plans in place if they come up short of their goal. Local room tax dollars help support Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund, which was launched earlier this year and has already awarded over $575,000. This is part of an ongoing series about the projects being supported by the fund. The next grant cycle ends on October 5th. This is part of ongoing series highlighting the projects the Community Investment Fund has supported.

REAL ID deadline adds urgency

If your driver’s license or state identification card does not expire until after May 2025, you may want to schedule an appointment with your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. 


REAL ID is a more secure version of your driver’s license and it is often denoted by a star in the upper right-hand corner. The state has been issuing REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards since January 2013, leaving only a few stragglers when it comes to people carrying a non-compliant card. Without a REAL ID, you will not be able to fly within the United States or visit military bases and other federal buildings. The pandemic is to blame for the deadline being pushed out twice, most recently in 2022 to May 7th, 2025.


You can visit your local DMV office to get a new REAL ID card and you can click this link to learn what you will need to bring in order to obtain it.

Kewaunee County under Heat Advisory Wednesday

Make sure you drink plenty of water and stay inside or in the shade if you can while much of the state experiences excessive heat on Wednesday.


Kewaunee County is one of eight counties in Wisconsin that will be under a heat advisory thanks to heat index values that could be between 100 and 105.


Other parts of the state are expected to have it much worse where 18 counties are under an excessive heating warning thanks to heat index values that could be as high as 114. The combination of excessive heat and humidity could increase your chance of suffering from heat-related activities, especially if you work outside or participate in outdoor activities. Both the heat warning and advisory run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday.


As of 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, Door County is not included in any heat advisories, watches, or warnings, but the area could see temperatures reach into the high 80s compared to the low to middle 90s in Luxemburg and Green Bay. 

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign on until Labor Day

To raise awareness of the risks of driving impaired, local law enforcement is participating in the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign continuing through September 4th.  Door County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says it’s important to keep impaired drivers off the roads and that everyone can do their part to help.



McCarty adds that If you plan to drink alcohol away from home, be sure to have a designated driver or find an alternative way home. He says when traveling, protect yourself and your passengers every time you drive by buckling up, putting your phone down, watching your speed, and eliminating any distractions. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT), about one-fourth of all traffic-related deaths, last year in Wisconsin were alcohol-related crashes.  

Name released from motorcycle fatality in Kewaunee

The name of the 67-year-old man who died after being involved in a two-vehicle accident last Wednesday in Kewaunee has been released.  According to the Kewaunee Police Department, Paul Hirst of Kewaunee died last Thursday from the injuries he sustained after his motorcycle struck another vehicle.  Hirst was driving his Harley Davidson northbound on Highway 42 south of Terraqua Drive when it hit a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by a 71-year-old man from Racine.  Hirst was then transported to a Green Bay hospital by Kewaunee Rescue after the accident.  The accident remains under investigation by the Kewaunee Police Department with assistance by the Wisconsin State Patrol.  

Back-to-School Immunization clinics on Wednesday

You will want to make sure your children are immunized for the upcoming school year and local health departments are offering clinics this week.  Door County and Kewaunee County Public Health are holding immunization clinics all day Wednesday by appointment.  Kewaunee County Public Health Officer Cindy Kinnard says parents can help by bringing their children’s medical records so they can be verified by public health.



Wisconsin state law requires all public and private school students to present written evidence of immunization against certain diseases within 30 days of school starting.  Those diseases include diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, Hepatitis B, Varicella, tetanus, and acellular pertussis vaccine.   Kinnard notes that her department is not offering the COVID vaccinations for children right now as they wait to see if the state issues a new formalization this fall. 

Highway 57 accident closes road briefly Monday

A two-vehicle accident that involved a motorcycle caused the closure of Highway 57 in Door County Monday morning.  Shortly before 11 a.m., emergency personnel were sent to the scene just north of the STH 42/57 junction north of Sturgeon Bay.  Both northbound and southbound traffic was detoured off of Highway 57 for about 40 minutes while emergency personnel responded. 




The motorcyclist was injured and required medical attention but no other details are available at this time.  The northbound lane was opened on Highway 57 at about 11:15 am., while the southbound lane remained closed until 11:30 to allow the tow truck to remove the vehicles.  Door County Daily News will update this story when more information becomes available. 

Door County Bookmobile returning to action

A familiar vehicle that delivered books around the area starting in the early 1960s is being restored to its original condition and use.  The Egg Harbor Historical Society has recently increased efforts to get the Door County Bookmobile back in operation after purchasing it in 2014. 


The traveling library-on-wheels has been out of commission after breaking down in 1989. Co-Chair of the restoration of the Door County Bookmobile John Sawyer says the vehicle needed a new chassis and engine.  Working with fellow chair Carey Betschinger, Sawyer says efforts to restore the bookmobile required a budget of $136,000 to fix it and another $350,000 to put it back into service for programming.  Sawyer shares the back history of the vehicle and the schedule to get it fully repaired and restored.



Sawyer adds that hopes are to have the vehicle fully restored by June of 2024 and operational to deliver books to kids one to five years old and children 5-7 by September 2024. 



(photos courtesy of Egg Harbor Historical Society)



Monarch Butterfly Tagging event at Crossroads on August 27

Cross-pollination is important to many plants, and organizational cross-pollination is important, too. It enables Crossroads to host two special programs this week. Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula, the Door County Master Gardeners Association and Crossroads at Big Creek are co-sponsoring a Monarch Tagging Activity on Sunday, August 27 at 2:00 p.m. 

A whole host of environmental groups—Master Gardeners, Wild Ones, the Door County Climate Change Coalition, the Door County Invasive Species Team, and the Door County Seed Library – with support from the Door County Medical Center – are collaborating with Badger Talks to present “Jumping Worms, the Biology, Impact and Control of a New Soil Invader,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 31.


We haven't found jumping worms out on Crossroads’ preserves (yet), but during the past week or so, monarch butterflies, in numbers significantly greater than in the last two years, have been flitting about at Crossroads. Yet monarch-lovers who comb the fields for eggs are having very little luck. This is not a crisis. It is normal monarch butterfly behavior.


Understand that the “job” of a caterpillar is to eat. The “job” of a butterfly is to reproduce. For most of the butterflies fluttering around our preservers, this is more or less what happens.


But as Wild Ones board member and Master Naturalist Karen Newbern will explain during the Monarch Tagging Program, monarch butterflies are different. 


At first, the monarchs behave like other butterflies. They mate, lay eggs, and the eggs hatch into caterpillars. When they mature, those monarchs also mate and lay eggs which metamorphose into butterflies.


But, according to Newbern, this time of year, it is almost like turning a switch. Instead of responding to the “mate and lay eggs” instinct, the newly matured monarchs respond to an alternate instinct – to migrate. 


And they do. Without maps or GPS, the monarchs we find this time of year will migrate to the same groves of trees in Mexico in which their great-great grandparents spent last winter. We tag monarchs to assist in the research on why and how this mysterious migratory phenomenon occurs.


We understand monarch mating. When it comes to jumping worms, there is nothing to understand.

Jumping worms don’t have the instinct to mate. They are parthenogenic, which means a single worm can reproduce without mating. These invasive worms live just one year, but about now, for the second time, mature jumping worms are depositing tiny egg-filled cocoons which easily can survive a Wisconsin winter.

Because a single jumping worm can reproduce, a single cocoon could easily result in an infestation.

It shouldn’t take Wisconsin’s foremost authority on jumping worms, Brad Herrick, the Ecologist and Research Program Manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum to explain that a population of worms can increase exponentially.

He will explain that this is bad because jumping worms feed on organic matter and change the soil structure and chemistry. If your soil looks like coffee grounds and your plants are not growing because nutrients have been stripped from the topsoil, especially near mulched areas, you may have a problem.

Understand that predators such as birds and salamanders literally spit the worms out. (Chickens will eat them but shouldn’t. Moles seem to relish them, but that has other consequences.)

Oh, to the inevitable question: they don’t exactly jump, but they do flop and wriggle with considerable vigor and if they are agitated, they can drop their tails.

After Herrick’s Badger Talk, Sam Koyen, Door County Invasive Species Team Leader, will discuss what is happening in Door County, and Josh VanLieshout, Sturgeon Bay City Administrator, will discuss the City's plan of action.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but advance seating reservations are requested. Those interested can register on the Events page of the Crossroads at Big Creek website or at

In the meantime, DCMGA is providing informational brochures for residents. At this time, brochures are available at Crossroads at Big Creek, SunnyPoint Nursery, Bonnie Brooke Nursery and at Door Landscape.


Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research and restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 


Friday August 25

2:30 - 4:30 pm Tours of the Hanson House

Enjoy a free tour of the Hans and Bertha Hanson house to learn about life in the 1880s. Hands-on activities for kids. No reservations needed. The Hanson House is located at 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Saturday, August 26

9:00 am Habitat Healers

Help heal the earth. Volunteers of all ages are invited to help with our land restoration efforts. Wear clothing and footgear that can get dirty and wet and bring a water bottle. Instruction, equipment, and gloves provided along with cookies and lemonade at the end. No need to register in advance and all ages are welcome. Meet at the Workshop at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


2:30 - 4:30 pm Tours of the Hanson House

Enjoy a free tour of the Hans and Bertha Hanson House to learn about life in the 1880s. Hands-on activities for kids. No reservations needed. The Hanson House is located at 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Sunday, August 27

2:00 p.m. Monarch Tagging

Karen Newbern, a Wild Ones board member, Master Gardener, and Master Naturalist, will present a program on the monarch life cycle and migration. Then participants are invited to help to capture and tag butterflies at the Crossroads preserve. Instructions and equipment are provided. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by The Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula, Door County Master Gardeners, and Crossroads. Free and open to the public.


Thursday August 31

6:30 p.m. Badger Talk: “Biology, Impact & Control of a New Soil Invader and Plans for Door County”

Jumping worms have been found in at least three of Door County's compost sites. Brad Herrick, Ecologist and Research Program Manager at the UW-Madison Arboretum, will discuss why it matters that jumping worms have arrived, the long-term ramifications of their arrival, and ways to mitigate their impact and spread. 


After Herrick’s presentation, Sam Koyen, Door County Invasive Species Team Leader, will discuss what is happening in Door County, and Josh VanLieshout, Sturgeon Bay City Administrator, will discuss the City's plan of action.


The lecture is free and open to the public, but advance seating reservations are recommended. Those interested can register on the Events page of the Crossroads at Big Creek website:   The programs will be recorded and posted on the Master Gardener Website.

Kitchens' poll paints Door County purple

While Door and Kewaunee counties have consistently voted red for their Assembly members for well over a decade, State Representative Joel Kitchens’ survey shows a diverse set of opinions when it comes to a number of topics in the First Assembly District. The Sturgeon Bay Republican has been releasing bits of the data over the last month highlighting budget priorities, the direction of the state, the greatest challenges facing the state, and its views on abortion. On many topics, the views of Kitchens’ constituents are split down the middle. To Kitchens, it shows how “purple” the region is and how he has to approach his job differently compared to his colleagues in safe Republican or safe Democratic districts.

Door County has been reliably purple for the heads of the state and the nation. The county flipped from Republican Donald Trump in 2016 to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020 for U.S. President and after voting for Republican Scott Walker for two more terms as Wisconsin Governor in 2014 and 2018 to Democrat Tony Evers in 2022. Local Republicans will get to hear from potential candidates for U.S. President when Milwaukee hosts the Presidential Debates on August 23rd. 







Investing in the community: Tug John Purves

Over 70,000 visitors have toured the Tug John Purves since it was donated to the Door County Maritime Museum approximately 20 years ago, and a grant from Destination Door County will ensure that thousands more will be able to come aboard. The Door County Maritime Museum was one of four recipients of the latest rounds of Community Investment Fund grants from Destination Door County, receiving $50,000 to support the dry docking and repairs to the Tug John Purves. The Tug John Purves looks really good figuring it was built in 1919 and served the country during World War II as the Tug Butterfield. As a floating exhibit however, Deputy Director and Development Manager Sam Perlman says there is some work that needs to be done so it remains docked near the museum for future generations.

Local room tax dollars help support Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund, which was launched earlier this year and has already awarded over $575,000. This is part of an ongoing series about the projects being supported by the fund. The next grant cycle ends on October 5th.

Door County League nearing its goal for AEDs

The Door County League baseball season is wrapping up over the course of the 10 days, but your support is still needed to have fun at the old ballgame for years to come. Earlier this summer, the Door County League started its Field the Fields with AEDs effort to outfit its eight parks with life-saving defibrillators. Donors have donated online and in fire boots this season to the tune of over $1,300. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht explained during this year’s Institute/Sister Bay game the importance of having these life-saving devices at Door County League ballparks after a scary scene at a Maplewood Mets game this season and in the wake of Buffalo Bills defensive DeMar Hamlin suffering cardiac arrest in front of a national audience in 2022.

The Gibraltar/Washington Island baseball team donated $1,500 to the Washington Island Islanders squad for the purchase of an AED in memory of the late Bradley Jordan. You can click this link to donate or bring your donation to Sunday’s games in Sister Bay and Kolberg. The Sister Bay/Egg Harbor contest will be broadcast on 105.1 The GOAT beginning at 1:15 p.m.

Keeping your eyes open for back-to-school pedestrians

I hope you can indulge me for one more school safety related article before the start of the school year for schools throughout Kewaunee County. Last week, I had touched on issues related to school busses and the laws that apply to keeping them and their passengers safe. Subsequently I had a wonderful conversation with an experienced bus driver who stated he appreciated the article and wanted people to know that as school bus operators they are aware of both vehicles and pedestrians and consider the presence and proximity of both when activating their warning equipment. Please do the same when approaching a school bus. With the new transition to the yellow warning signals before the red stop signals, bus drivers have witnessed the same phenomenon that occurs at a set of stop lights. While the yellow caution light should be just that; a signal for cautious driving, it more often results in vehicles speeding up to beat the red signals. Please do not be that driver.


Continuing on with the subject of back-to-school safety, I would like to focus on those that make their way to and from our institutions of learning on foot. While there are always pedestrians in our communities, the beginning of the school year will definitely bring an increase in that traffic and therefore the need for greater awareness. As in any accident there is usually more than one contributing factor, this is also true in vehicle versus pedestrian accidents.


I would like to focus first on the obligation of those operating a motor vehicle. Please be aware that in the State of Wisconsin those pedestrians in the cross walk have right of way. Cross walks are usually found in the urban settings with lower speed limits so there should be plenty of time to recognize and respect the existence of these crosswalks and those utilizing them. When traveling through both business districts and school districts with vehicles parked along the street, please maintain a higher sense of awareness as pedestrians may not always use the cross walks and step out between vehicles giving you much less of a response time. If you see a pedestrian preparing to cross, do not assume they see you or your vehicle, and maintain a high level of awareness.


For those who are on the pedestrian side of the equation, please be aware of your surroundings as well. While I know it may be quicker and save a few steps, crossing outside of the crosswalk removes you from any of the privileges you have by state law. If you have to cross mid block, take every precaution to make sure that it is indeed safe to cross. Do not assume that any of the vehicles actually sees you; rather assume that they do not.


For parents of the school bound, know their route of travel and maybe even walk it with them either in the first few days or prior to school commencing. Go over emergency precautions regarding what to do if they find themselves in an unsafe situation. While not always stylish or available, try to have something brightly colored on their person which will increase their visible presence.

Dr. Jo-Ellen Fairbanks looks ahead to second year as L-C Superintendent

Dr. Jo-Ellen Fairbanks became the fifth superintendent – and first female superintendent – in the history of the Luxemburg-Casco School District when she began her work on July 1, 2022. An educator within the state of Wisconsin for three decades, she spent much of her first year in the district listening and learning from students, parents and members of the community.


Heading into her second year leading L-C, Dr. Fairbanks sat down for a question-and-answer interview. She discussed a variety of topics, including what has impressed her about the district, the personal fit for her and her family, priorities and programs being implemented in the upcoming school year, her long-term vision for the district and the challenges she sees ahead.


Q:  Looking back on your first year as Luxemburg-Casco superintendent, what were the things that you learned or impressed you about the district?

JF:  I was impressed with the community support for the district. If we need something and a parent or community member can provide it, we just have to ask and somebody will answer our call. The community is proud of the district and the education their kids are getting here. They want to help it succeed. I’ve learned that there has been a lot of growth in the district over the last five years in curriculum, activities and programming.


Q:  How has the fit in Luxemburg-Casco been for you and your family?

JF:  The fit was better than I could have hoped for. Families have been very welcoming. My son, who came in as a junior, was welcomed by the other students, made friends and has found his niche in the school. That speaks to the family fit of the schools. Staff really try to make students feel welcomed.


Q:  What priorities do you have for the district in the coming academic year?

JF:  At the High School, we’re working on standards-based grading. This type of grading helps to ensure that students are meeting the state academic standards. It also answers the question, What is an A? What does it mean? It demonstrates that a student has shown proficiency in a certain set of skills, along with helping to quantify what kids are learning.


The Middle School is going to be piloting a program, “Away for the Day,” where students will not be allowed to have access to personal electronic devices during the day. The goal is to increase academic achievement and social skills, and to decrease bullying during the school day. We want the attention of our students back. By taking that distraction away, they can focus more on their learning.


An emphasis at the Intermediate School is going to be on their behavior intervention system. We want to strengthen it to help reteach behavior expectations and hold students accountable to those expectations.


We will be starting to adopt the Science of Reading philosophy in the younger grades, Kindergarten through Grade 3.


We also have leadership development ongoing with our staff, using the Initiative One in-sourcing process. The purpose is to develop staff decision-making and problem-solving skills and increase the opportunity for staff to be innovative and creative. All administrators have already been trained.


Over the summer, we have been providing youth mental health training to staff. Roughly 80-85 percent of our staff have already received this training. Our goal is to get as close to 100 percent as possible.


Q:  Are there any things you've heard from students, parents or the community that you plan to implement?

JF:  I met with a number of high-school students last year, and they expressed concern about weighted grades. We are expanding the amount of college credits students can earn in high school, but the weighted grade rules only apply to AP and certain courses. We listened to the students and have expanded the definition of weighted classes to recognize the difficulty of college-credit bearing classes.


Q:  Looking further out, what is your vision for the district and what do you see as reachable, long-term goals?

JF:  I want to build on the solid foundation that is already in place, and through improvement in teaching and curriculum increase student academic achievement. I want all of our students to gain the personal traits and social skills to be thriving members of society. I am also exploring ways to increase opportunities for students to find their passion and purpose.

Valmy Thresheree celebrates 40 years this weekend

You can see over 200 vintage farm tractors at a long-time agricultural event that will be marking its 40th year in Valmy this weekend.  The Northeastern Wisconsin Antique Power Association showcase of historic and modern agriculture equipment will be on display through Sunday at the Valmy Thresheree grounds north of Sturgeon Bay.  Organizer Ralph Bochek says the Calvacade of Power event on Sunday is a parade of antique machines featured in front of the grandstand.  



The Valmy Thresheree runs Friday through Sunday and includes tractor pulls, farm demonstrations, and mud wrestling.  The gates to the Valmy Thresheree open at 6 p.m. Friday and you can find the complete schedule of the weekend events here.  

Door County looking to establish first-ever flag-flying policy

A flag-flying policy for government buildings in Door County will be discussed at the next Highway and Facilities Committee meeting.  The committee is looking to recommend to the Door County Board of Supervisors an established policy that will cover procedures at all the flag pole sites that are on government property in the county.

 Highway and Facilities Chair Roy Englebert says the county needs to determine exactly how many flag poles are on government property and a specific policy to determine how the United States flag is to be flown in relation to other flags displayed.



The State of Wisconsin received national attention in June when Governor Tony Evers ordered a rainbow flag above the state Capitol in June in honor of Pride Month which was criticized by some lawmakers for being divisive, while others hailed it as a sign of inclusivity.   

The Door County Highway and Facilities Committee also reviewed the final planning for the Door County Museum and Archives Project with hopes to bring the final cost estimates to redesign the inside of the building on North 4th Avenue to the County Board soon.  Englebert adds that the committee also approved a graveled accessibility path plan for Cave Point which now will go before the Door County Board at its meeting next Tuesday.  

KCEDC places focus on housing

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation wants you to have more neighbors in the future as it places a large focus on increasing the area’s housing stock. KCEDC Executive Director Ben Nelson outlined the organization’s major priorities during Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board Meeting. According to data shared by Nelson, Kewaunee County’s available home units and housing permits far trail what is seen in Brown, Door, and Manitowoc counties. All of Kewaunee County’s major employers that have at least 100 employees identified housing as the number one issue they face when bringing in new workers. Nelson says there are a number of ways to approach this issue that requires a lot of people to come to the table.

Nelson also highlighted redeveloping the former Kewaunee Power Station site, diversifying and growing the business community, and advancing technologies as other priorities for the KCEDC moving forward. 

Kewaunee women sentenced in fraud case

A 54-year-old Kewaunee woman who stole over $60,000 for her employer in Kiel was sentenced to six years in prison earlier this week.  Karen Schwind pled no contest on Tuesday to 17 counts of Theft and Fraudulent Writings by a Corporate Officer from a case dating back to 2020.

According to the criminal complaint then, Schwind allegedly stole money from Steller & Son LLC in 2018 and 2019.  The complaint stated that the thefts involved 70 checks where Schwind forged signatures and altered the business’ QuickBooks records to hide the crime.
Schwind had previous convictions including last November in Kewaunee County on a filing fraudulent income tax charge and theft charges of $24,000 from an asphalt company.

In Manitowoc County Court this week, Schwind was sentenced to spend six years in prison with six more years of extended supervision.

Stolen vehicles continue to plague Sturgeon Bay

The pace may have slowed down from the spring, but the Sturgeon Bay Police Department still saw plenty of cars stolen this summer. The department issued a release on Thursday afternoon reporting that another five vehicles were stolen from May 25th to August 11th, four of which have been cleared by arrest and charges have been referred to the District Attorney’s Office and the Juvenile Justice System. These reports are on top of the six stolen vehicles from February 7th to April 10th, five of which were cleared by arrest, and charges were referred to the same offices. In all cases, the same three individuals, ranging from 15 to 18 years old have been identified for their roles in the crimes that also resulted in the stolen vehicles getting stolen. In the release from Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman, he credited the work of Sgt. Investigator Luke Deibele, Officer Chad Mielke, Sgt. Gander, Capt. Hougaard, and the Green Bay Police Department for their assistance in solving the case.



Gnoshery unleashes Lorcana

You will be able to try one of the most anticipated card games in recent memory in Sturgeon Bay this weekend. A select number of game retailers like Gnome Games and The Gnoshery will be a part of the prerelease of the Disney Lorcana ahead of its official launch on September 1st. According to ScreenRant, events like Disney D23 Expo and GenCon in Indianapolis gave out promotional cards featuring Mickey Mouse as a musketeer, Robin Hood, and Cruella De Vil that are now worth hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Comparing the Disney Lorcana to similar games like Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, Gnome Games owner Pat Fuge told Door County Daily News last month that the cards are played among players and not just sold between collectors.

Fuge said that despite offers from collectors to purchase his entire stock, he is going to limit people buying the starter pack and subsequent boosters so more people get a chance to play. That will be part of the goal of a special release event on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of Disney Lorcana.



Accessibility growing at Peninsula State Park

The long, winding ramp to the top of Eagle Tower is proving to be not just a return of a popular attraction to Peninsula State Park, but the beginning of a more accessible Wisconsin State Park for you to enjoy. In 2022, kids enjoyed a new park near Nicolet Beach with new accessible features such as a poured-in rubberized surface so those with mobility challenges could play alongside their more able-bodied friends. Earlier this summer with the help of the Friends of Peninsula State Park and locally-based KinectM1, Peninsula State Park received one of two new trackchairs in the county, joining The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. Peninsula State Park Superintendent Eric Hyde says it has been heartwarming to see families explore the trails together for the first time. He is happy that this is just their improved accessibility efforts are only growing more.

It is just the latest in a string of good news for Peninsula State Park, which saw lower-than-usual winter attendance due to poor trail conditions for outdoor recreation activities such as cross-country skiing. Attendance has rebounded to nearly 2022 levels thanks to the good summer weather with camping reservations at capacity during the weekends and close to the same during the weekdays.

Motorcyclist injured in Kewaunee crash

A 67-year-old Kewaunee man suffered major injuries Wednesday after striking another vehicle in the City of Kewaunee on his motorcycle. The Kewaunee Police Department reported to State Highway 42 just south of Terraqua Drive at noon for the two-vehicle accident. The initial investigation shows the motorcyclist was traveling north of STH 42 when he struck a sports-utility vehicle driven by a 71-year-old Racine man. While there is no update on the condition of the driver of the sports-utility vehicles, the motorcyclist was transported to a Green Bay hospital for his injuries. Kewaunee’s fire, police, and rescue departments, the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin State Patrol all responded to the accident, which remains under investigation at this time.



New COVID variant present locally, but not a major concern

As long as you are not elderly or immune deficient, the newest variants of the coronavirus should not have a major impact on your daily life.


The World Health Organization has classified COVID Eris, also known as variant EG.5, as the new dominant strain in the country. Approximately 17 percent of new cases of COVID around the United States are associated with the subvariant. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise says the hospital went months without having a person hospitalized for COVID but about five people have been admitted in recent weeks with it. Despite the influx of hospitalizations, he is not concerned with it for the vast majority of the population.

As for long COVID cases, Heise has not seen many if any cases locally, though there are clinics in Green Bay dedicated to those suffering from the prolonged effects of exposure. Recently, scientists added rapid discoloration of legs to the long list of symptoms of long COVID including brain fog, shortness of breath, chest pains, and muscle aches.

Kewaunee County hits partial reset on jail planning

The Kewaunee County Board will restart its jail planning efforts, but not without stark reminders of the work that has already been done. The board voted 11-7 to move forward with Midwest Construction Consultants to design a new jail facility.


After working with Venture Architects and The Samuels Group on the county’s previous jail plan iteration, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson contacted the Iowa-based firm to develop a viable, but more cost-effective facility. Plans on a new jail were halted last month when the county board decided to not exceed their original budget of around $25 million. Bids for the project came in well above that mark at approximately $33.2 million.


Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski described during the meeting one of the facilities built by Midwest Construction Consultants in Henry County, Iowa while also issuing a stern warning to the board about the upcoming planning process.


After being prompted by Supervisor Tim Kinnard, Kewaunee County Finance Director Paul Kunesh told the board that they had spent approximately $1.1 million over the last year planning the previous iteration of the jail.

Grocery sales reflect strong summer for local supermarkets

A summer of busy shopping at food stores in Door and Kewaunee counties has been reflected in national numbers with the release of retail sales in July for grocery stores.  According to Supermarket News, grocery store sales rose 3.5 percent compared to last year.  Alex Stodola, owner of Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg says the summer traffic up and down the store’s aisles has been higher than usual this summer.



Stodola adds that online shopping has tailed off since the end of the pandemic as more customers are enjoying getting their groceries in-store and experiencing a social setting with others in the community.  According to a 2002 survey by Statista, 51 percent of respondents chose to shop for groceries exclusively in-store.  Around one in four respondents buys groceries for the most part in-store, while just two percent exclusively online. 

Activity/Events Center breaks ground in Sturgeon Bay

Dozens of people attended a groundbreaking Wednesday morning of a 21,000-square-foot remodel of a commercial building just off Egg Harbor Road.  The old building that was once home to Pamida and Palmer Johnson’s Cabinet Division will be the new home of the Sturgeon Bay Activity/Event Center.  The business will feature an indoor golf simulator, axe-throwing areas, and a bar and restaurant with banquet facilities available for up to 400 people.  Mayor David Ward says the new facility will be a good addition to the city and complement the new Cobblestone Hotel that is being planned just west of the building.



The project is called the Door County Boardwalk and estimates employing 60 people when it is completed this November. 




YMCA gears up for Youth programs

With the summer vacation winding down before the school year, you can get your child ready for fall activities at the Door County YMCA.  The Fall 1 session of classes will start after Labor Day, but registration opens next Monday for members and Wednesday, August 23 for non-members.  Youth Development Executive Paul Briney says youth programs include art classes besides the popular dance, gymnastics, volleyball, flag football, and dodgeball activities.



Briney adds that the new program center in Sturgeon Bay should be fully operational by the end of September while providing everything under one roof for the organization. 



You can find more information regarding the youth programs at the Door County YMCA with this link. 

Skies the limit in Algoma this weekend for Soar on the Shore

You can be part of a kite-flying tradition on the waterfront in Algoma this weekend. The 9th Annual Soar on the Shore Kite and Beach Festival is held on Crescent Beach and Lake Street overlooking Lake Michigan. Event Coordinator Sara Krouse says the family-friendly event will showcase the healthy Algoma beach while featuring the Wisconsin Kiters Club’s stunt kite flying to music, a kite candy drop, a scavenger hunt, and a formal cannon firing at 11:30 a.m. Sara Krouse, is the event coordinator at Friends of Crescent Beach and shares the inspiration behind the event that began nine years ago. 



The Soar on the Shore will take place from 11 am until 4 pm on Saturday, August 19, with a rain date for Sunday at the same time. The event is presented by Friends of Crescent Beach and the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce. You can find more information on the Soar on Shore and Beach Festival with this link.

Car Parade route, amended development agreement gets City approval

A 40-minute Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting saw five agenda items get approved unanimously on Tuesday evening.


One person spoke during public comments as Bill Murrock of the Old Bolts Car Club requested to have the City of Sturgeon Bay provide police control at three intersections in Sturgeon Bay during the Harvest Fest Car Parade on Friday, September 15 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  The Council did unanimously approve the street closure with the parade route starting at John Miles Park and ending at Martin Park after going around the city and both downtown bridges with an estimated 150 vehicles participating.   


Two second readings of ordinances regarding lot line frontage and various references were approved and finalized.


A resolution declaring official intent to reimburse expenditures from proceeds of borrowing for Sturgeon Bay Utilities was approved.


The amended Development Agreement for Cobblestone Hotels Development which was requested by developers was approved.  The overall amount of the financial assistance remains the same, but the City will give $210,000 more upfront money while cutting back the annual payments from $50,000 to $26,000 over a longer timeframe.  The developers agreed to raise the guaranteed appraised tax value $1.2 million higher which will mean an extra $5,000 in tax revenue for the City.   


During the mayoral appointments, Mayor David Ward nominated members to the newly formed Local Transportation Board, which was approved at the last council meeting. The council then approved Kirsten Reeths as chair, Gary Nault as vice chair, and council member Spencer Gustafson with Brian Weiss as a citizen member to a three-year term and Mark Smullen as citizen member to a two-year term.


In the Administrator report, Josh Van Lieshout reported that Walmart is challenging its property tax assessment again this year and the City will have to decide if they want to negotiate again.  He also shared that the City received a $50,000 Community Investment Fund for improvements to Sunset Park Pavilion. 

Kewaunee begins planning for new senior/community center

Approximately six years after the former Marquette School was demolished, you may soon see some action on the site. The Kewaunee Common Council approved a resolution on Monday night authorizing the preparation of plans for the development of a new senior/community center on the site of the former school. The site was cleared after the building sat vacant on the property for almost 20 years. An attempt to build “twindominiums” occurred in 2021, but it was rejected by the Kewaunee Historical Preservation Committee. Kirt Johnson, speaking as a representative of the Marquette Historic District during the meeting’s public comment period, outlined why he thinks the former Marquette School property makes sense for the potential facility.

Representing the Kewaunee City Community Center, Inc., Cindy Tang said passing the resolution would allow all current and potential stakeholders to be on the same page before hiring more people to become part of the process.

The senior/community center would occupy half of the Marquette School property, leaving the other half available for other acceptable uses. Kewaunee Library Director Carol Petrina petitioned the board to be a part of the planning process for the new senior/community center, citing the inefficiencies it is dealing with in its current building. The hope is to have plans ready in approximately nine months. You can watch the full meeting below.



Photo courtesy of City of Kewaunee live stream via YouTube

Highway Department to work on road to popular parks

If you plan on heading to Whitefish Dunes State Park and Cave Point County Park over the next month, you will have to make sure you watch out for road construction crews. The Door County Highway Department announced late last week that it would begin work on its road reconstruction project on County Highway WD (Clark Lake Road) from State Highway 57 to West Shore Drive. The work will begin first with driveways and intersections being marked and cut on August 16th. The road pulverization portion of the project is slated to start on August 21st. With the road’s grading and compaction expected to take place after that, it is expected to take five to six days to complete. The hope is the road project will be done sans centerline striping by September 15th pending favorable weather. No detour is planned for the project as the road will remain open with flaggers in place to direct traffic. 

"The Future of the Bay of Green Bay" presentation on Wednesday

You can hear from an expert in the study of the characteristics of freshwater systems this week at a presentation in Door County.   Dr. J. Val Klump, Ph.D., a Great Lakes limnologist, and biochemist, will speak on the state of the water quality of the bay of Green Bay, the challenges it faces today, and what the future holds for the local ecosystem.   The Future of the Bay of Green Bay presentation will be held at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor and hosted by the Door County Environmental Council.  Dr. Klump says his research has shown the bay has concentrated areas of dead zones with low oxygen levels that prevent aquatic life from existing.



Besides dead zones, harmful algal blooms are spreading in the waters of Green Bay.  Dr. Klump has been involved in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Great Lakes research program for over 43 years and is a Professor Emeritus and former Dean of the School of Freshwater Sciences.  He has done submersible research in the oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia, as well as the deep waters of Lake Superior and Michigan.

Dr. Klump’s free presentation will be held at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion on Wednesday or can be watched on Zoom with this link. 



(Photo courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Madison)


Door County Historical Society to host Vignes School Reunion

While you might try to avoid your own high school reunion, the Door County Historical Society invites you to attend one that has not had a new graduating class in approximately 50 years. The Door County Historical Society is hosting a Vignes School Reunion next month after years of students reminiscing about the times they had in the building during visits at Heritage Village at Big Creek. The school was built in the Town of Clay Banks in the 1890s and served students until the 1970s. It continued to serve the community until the 1990s as the host of its town hall meetings before it was eventually donated by the town to the Door County Historical Society and moved the nine miles to where it stands today. Executive Director Amy Frank says the opportunity to connect the dots between the physical building and the people who filled it for years is important and one that does not often come up.

The Vignes School Reunion will include a special recognition for all of its students, tours of the building, and opportunities for alumni to help the history really come alive. The Door County Historical Society is encouraging Vignes School alumni to donate pictures and other memorabilia and record oral histories of their time there. The Vignes School Reunion runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 16th. 


Picture courtesy of the Door County Historical Society

Peninsula Symphonic Band looking for musicians

You can be part of a local community musical ensemble that performs throughout the year in Door County.   The Peninsula Symphonic Band will begin its fall and winter season rehearsals next month.  The band is seeking to fill openings in all parts, especially trumpet and clarinet players.  Director of the Peninsula Symphonic Band Jason Palmer says anyone who has musical experience is welcome to join the band.



The 2023 free concert schedule will include performances on November 9th for Veteran’s Day and a holiday concert on December 7th.  The Peninsula Symphonic Band will hold rehearsals weekly at the  Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay starting on Monday, September 11th.  You can find more information on the band by contacting Palmer at    

Highway pavement repairs scheduled for Tuesday

You will have to keep your eyes peeled for highway construction workers on Tuesday and Wednesday this week as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation continues to do maintenance in the area. Crews will be repairing pavement on State Highway 57 between County D and Stone Road between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on both days. This is a continuation of maintenance work that began last week.

United Way of Door County prepares to launch annual campaign

It is almost that time again for you to support the United Way of Door County in a number of different ways. The United Way of Door County will kick off its 2023 Annual Campaign on August 28th at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. Last year, United Way of Door County raised over $776,000 during its annual campaign, the second-highest total in the organization’s history. Executive Director Amy Kohnle says they are working on ways to engage more with employers and make it easier for people to donate.

Your generosity last year helped the United Way of Door County support over two dozen local non-profits along with their own initiatives. You can find more details about the campaign kickoff event on August 28th below.



Hotel project seeks more assistance from Sturgeon Bay

Projected cost overruns are the reason why a proposed hotel project is approaching City of Sturgeon Bay officials for more funding assistance.


Several months ago, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a development agreement with Cobblestone Hotels Development that provided financial assistance towards the construction with funding coming from Tax Increment District #6. Due to higher-than-expected bids, the developer approached the city to change the agreement to account for the gap, which is approximately $210,000. The developers are asking for the same $1.2 million in incentives, but for an additional $210,000 to be paid upfront, from $600,000 to $810,000. Annual payments would then be stretched out over a longer period of time (12 months to 15 months) and for a smaller amount ($50,000 to $26,000).


City staff is recommending the new development agreement be approved, citing that it is highly likely that the new hotel will be able to generate enough tax increment to not just recover the incentives but to provide additional funding within the TID.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also hear the second reading of two ordinance amendments and look to approve a resolution agreeing to reimburse Sturgeon Bay Utilities for improvements made to its wastewater treatment plant when they meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

MyTeamTriumph gives captains, angels big wins

You can find people helping others go further than they ever would have thought they could in front of many events throughout northeast Wisconsin this summer. The latest example of this was during the Algoma Shanty Days 5K, where about 40 volunteer angels accompanied approximately a half dozen captains on the course, pushing them to cover the 3.1-mile course. The captains often have diverse physical and cognitive abilities, requiring volunteers to guide them or push them in wheelchairs while running, tow them while cycling, and even pull them while swimming. MyTeamTriumph’s David Konshak says the support they receive is important because of the work they do behind the scenes to make these opportunities happen.

MyTeamTriumph has captains lined up to participate in nine other events throughout the state the rest of the year, including two in the Green Bay area. You can click this link to learn more about how you can volunteer to be their angel. The organization is also hosting a charity dinner at Homestead Kitchen and Tap in Algoma on Wednesday, August 23rd. The restaurant’s owners, the Ebert Family, have a strong connection to the organization because of their late daughter/sister Brittany, who participated in MyTeamTriumph events as a captain for three years.



Photo from 2017 Shanty Days Run from MyTeamTriumph-Wisconsin Chapter and Patrick Parise from this year's Packers 5K

Kewaunee County finds new partner for potential jail

Kewaunee County is going back to the drawing board for a new jail and hopes a new partner will save you money in the long run. After working with Venture Architects and The Samuels Group on the county’s previous jail plan iteration, the Kewaunee County Board will vote on working with Midwest Construction Consultants from Iowa to develop a viable, but more cost-effect facility. Plans on a new jail were halted last month when the county board decided to not exceed their original budget of around $25 million. Bids for the project came in well above that mark at approximately $33.2 million. Kewaunee County Chairperson Dan Olson is hopeful Midwest Construction Consultants will offer new ideas that will cost the taxpayers less money.

Olson will also chair the newly formed Jail Strategy Committee, which will also include John Mastalir, Gary Paape, Tom Romdenne, and Aaron Augustian. The board will also receive an update from Bug Tussel and vote to approve a pay increase for its future city administrator when they meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Building.

New Forever Well program launches at YMCA

A new Y-USA program designed for adults 55 years or older will kick off next week with a special Seniors Fun & Fitness Day.  The Forever Well program will have a launch party at both Door County YMCA locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.  Specialty Wellness Director Abby Tesch explains how the new program transcends physical well-being, offers a sense of community for older adults, and gives them resources in Door County.



Tesch says registration is not necessary for the Seniors Fun & Fitness Day launch party and you can just show up at either program center on Tuesday, August 15 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.  You can listen to the entire conversation with Abby Tesch about upcoming senior programs on the podcast page here.   

Algoma Library continues long standing tradition in Storybook Trail

Opportunities for kids and youth to stay mentally sharp before heading back to school have been popping up around the area, but none have the tradition and longevity as the Storybook Trail hosted by the Algoma Public Library. 


A trip along the Crescent Beach Boardwalk while attending Shanty Days or Soar on the Shore will give you a chance to read this years’ Storybook Trail book, “Thank You, Neighbor!” The Algoma Public Library has done the trail along the boardwalk the past few years, and have seen the amount of participants rise throughout the years. Algoma Public Library Director Cathy Kolbeck was the one to put up the signs with the book along the boardwalk, and talks about how the event got started, and how it has stood the test of time throughout the years. 



Kolbeck mentions how families have given great feedback when coming into the library, expressing how they are appreciative of the library putting it all together. The book was chosen based on the summer reading program theme, which was “All Together Now” and gave out prizes to kids who participated in the program. 

Activities keep Crossroads at Big Creek buzzing

Saturday, August 19, will be quite a day at Crossroads at Big Creek. In the morning, volunteers will be helping with restoration; in the evening, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will hold a Viewing Night at the Astronomy Campus. This weekend we begin offering tours of the historic Hanson House. And, from 9:00-11:00 a.m., the Door County Beekeepers will hold their annual Community Honey Harvest.


The Community Honey Harvest is a wonderful opportunity to learn about honeybees and their amazing products: wax and honey. Apiary tours, tasting and extraction demonstrations, exhibits, and kids’ activities will celebrate honey, much of which was produced at the Apiary at Crossroads at Big Creek.


Over the centuries, many kinds of food have been hunted, fished, foraged or grown on the preserve.


“Foodways of the Watershed” will be the educational theme for many upcoming history-related programs at Crossroads because we understand that the people of the Cove Estuary and the Big Creek Watershed – from the First People of the Woodland Era, to the early settlers, and later farmers and orchardists – chose to settle beside Big Creek where they could acquire or grow the food they needed to feed their families.


To explore the foodways of the early Door County settlers, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from now until mid-October, we will offer tours of the historic Hans and Bertha Hanson House, which was originally a snug two-room, log home built in 1856. The home was moved a short distance in the 1870s and has been enlarged and renovated a number of times. But the original ax-hewn logs and dovetailed corners still show the skilled craftmanship which went into the structure.


In keeping with the Foodways theme, each weekend we will have a food-related, hands-on activity for kids.


Folks who visit the Hanson House will notice other activity on the Hanson Homestead. The picturesque historic barn which once housed livestock is being restored, so in the future, it can be used by researchers as a field station and for special programs.

Last spring, the deteriorating barn was moved off its foundation. Currently, work is being done by contractors and volunteers to create a new foundation, structural improvements, and a new roof, but much of the original exterior has been saved in order to preserve the rustic charm of the building We are continuing our fundraising efforts to complete this project. Contact Crossroads if you would like to make a donation.


Crossroads at Big Creek Learning Center and Nature Preserve is located at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. Crossroads is a 501(c)3 organization committed to offering education, conducting research and restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support.


Thursday, August 17

6:30 p.m. Summer Explorers

Join a Crossroads naturalist in exploring the fascinating life living on the preserve. The whole family is welcome as we take a stroll, collecting bugs, searching for frogs, crayfish and much more. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Friday, August 18

10:00 a.m. Crossroads Make and Take and Puppet Show

Explore nature through artistic and creative activities. Each week, families will get to make and take home a nature-inspired craft. This week we welcome special guest, Nancy Hawkins, a local puppeteer who will be presenting “The Fearsome Beast.” Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Saturday, August 19

9:00 a.m. Habitat Healers


Help heal the earth! Volunteers of all ages are invited to help with our land restoration efforts. Wear clothing and footwear that can get dirty and wet and bring a water bottle. Instruction, equipment, and gloves provided along with cookies and lemonade at the end! No need to register in advance and all ages are welcome. Meet at the Workshop at 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


9:00-11:00 a.m. Community Honey Harvest

The Door County Beekeepers Club will share the fascinating world of honeybees through hands-on activities and demonstrations for all ages, expanding people’s understanding of honeybees, their role in our environment, and the importance of protecting them. Honey extraction demonstrations will take place from 9:30-10:00 and 10:30-11:00 a.m. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


2:30-4:30 p.m. Tours of the Hanson House

Visit the pioneer home of Hans and Bertha Hanson to learn about life in the 1880s. Hands-on activities for kids. No reservations needed. Free and open to the public. The Hanson House is located across from the Cove Estuary at 2022 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.


8:30 p.m. DPAS Viewing Night
Join members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society as they explore the beautiful night sky in the StarGarden or with images from the new telescope. The fun starts at dusk. If skies are cloudy, Planetarium shows will be offered. Free and open to the public. 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Sunday, August 20

2:30-4:30 p.m. Tours of the Hanson House

Visit the pioneer home of Hans and Bertha Hanson to learn about life in the 1880s. Hands-on activities for kids. No reservations needed. Free and open to the public. The Hanson House is located across from the Cove Estuary at 2022 Utah in Sturgeon Bay.

Festival of Fine Arts gives Wisconsin artists spotlight

Hundreds of people flocked to Waterfront Park in Sister Bay to take in the Festival of Fine Arts, which included many local artists from Door County and Wisconsin Saturday. 


Artists ranged in different styles, from a handful of pottery and other crafts, photography, and even jewelry. Dan Powers was one of the artists who was at the Festival, as he was debuting his novel, which has some Sturgeon Bay ties, he said. It was Powers' first year at the festival after he had to cancel last year due to rain. Having conversations with familiar faces was one of his favorite parts of the festival.  

The Festival was celebrating 20 years this year, and had its third annual Legacy Artist Exhibit which was located in the Village Hall. The artists that were chosen had a total fifteen combined pieces of art on display, and all three had made significant contributions to the artistic landscape of Door County, according to the Miller Art Museum.

Delfosse finds pride in gaining experience in first year showing

It may have been the first year showing turkeys for Southern Door High School Junior Ashlyn Delfosse, but that did not stop her from picking up experience and a Reserve Champion finish Saturday morning. 


After spending months taking care of and prepping her turkey for the fair, which was her first ever time doing so, Delfosse also had work to do in the Dairy Barn at the fair as well. With how successful her first year was with her turkey, you may see Delfosse with more animals at the fair next year. When asked about how she believed her first year went, Delfosse talked about the process and the time commitment it took. 

Delfosse mentioned one of her favorite moments about showing her turkey was the showing day, and mentioned that she looked forward to the auction Saturday night. The pig show also took place Saturday morning. The Door County Fair runs until Sunday, with many fun opportunities still available for day four and five.

School buses offer safety confusion for motorists

It is hard to believe, but in a few weeks the new School year will be commencing. As usual it is hard to determine whether the kids or the parents are more excited to begin the new school year.          


I hope that all had an enjoyable summer, and would like to take some time to re-focus on some safety reminders that we should all be aware. For those driving out on the country roads, be aware that you will be sharing that road once again with the school buses. Give them the attention and respect they deserve. If you are driving on the streets of the Cities and Villages, be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic. Do not assume that the child about to cross the street will see you and will stop.


For this week, I would like to focus on the rural environment and touch on a few of the basic statutes that relate to school buses. From time to time I get asked “When does the oncoming vehicle need to stop for a school bus about to load or unload”. State Statute 346.48 “Vehicles to stop for school buses displaying flashing lights” states that any vehicle approaching from either the front or the back of a school bus with its flashing lights activated must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator of the bus has extinguished its flashing lights. This statute also directs the driver of the bus that they must activate those flashing lights 100 feet prior to the location of the subjects to be loaded or unloaded.


State Statute 346.485”Owners liability for vehicle illegally passing a school bus” describes the process by which the driver of the school bus documents the incident, and reports it to law enforcement, thus allowing law enforcement to cite the owner of the vehicle regardless of who the driver is. This is different from most statutes in which we issue the citation to the driver.


These laws do not pertain to drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway when the school bus is loading or unloading.


Aside from these two statutes, it is also important to note that school buses will and do make wide right turns, and that due caution should be used when near a bus at or near an intersection. And finally, please remember that those drivers have a lot going on inside that bus. Please give them the space and time that they deserve considering the cargo they are carrying. Next week, I will cover some safety tips for those eager learners traveling by foot to their academic institutions.


Gibraltar wraps up indoor summer work with referendum project looming

It may have been a quiet summer compared to other schools around the district, but the Gibraltar School District took an inside approach before their large project kicks off in two phases next year. 


There was nothing extreme on the building or exterior of the school that was fixed, and if you were to drive past the school district, it may not look different at all. Everything that was fixed and cleaned was on the interior of the school, which included projects that would create more privacy for students and a better overall experience. Gibraltar School District Superintendent Brett Stousland is in his second year of being the district's superintendent, and talks in depth about what was done over the summer, and what you will see in the near future. 



Stousland mentions the referendum that was voted on and passed in the spring, which will be done in two phases. He explains how the two phases will work and what the work being done will be. 



Gibraltar will welcome students into their classrooms starting on September 5th. 

Birch Creek hits final weekend of summer academy season

You are running out of time to see some of the very talented musicians that have graced the concert barn stage this summer at Birch Creek Music Performance Center.


The final three Big Band Jazz performances are set for this weekend, including a free family concert hosted by the Town of Egg Harbor inside the Dutton Concert Barn at 1 p.m. Hundreds of musicians have taken part in the sessions as students and as instructors. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson says the growth the students showed during the percussion, symphony, and jazz sessions from their first day to their final one was very apparent and it left some last great memories for all who performed, taught, and attended.

You can find ticketing information for Birch Creek’s Friday and Saturday night performances by clicking this link. Even though the summer academy season is coming to a close, the music will not disappear from the Birch Creek Music Performance Center campus. Two adult music retreats will take place over the next two weeks with free concerts scheduled for August 18th and August 24th at 2 p.m. Birch Creek Music faculty will also take the stage this fall four times before their annual Christmas concerts on December 2nd.


You can hear more about Birch Creek’s programming by listening to our podcast here.


Tug Purves, Little Sister Barn among Community Investment grant recipients

Some familiar sights in Door County will receive important funding thanks to your room tax dollars.


Destination Door County announced its four latest Community Investment Fund grant recipients, totaling $250,000. The Town of Gibraltar received the biggest award of $100,000 for its efforts to acquire the Redmann property to expand Fish Creek Park and the extension of the Bayshore Connectivity Trail. Three other $50,000 grants were awarded during this cycle, including ones that will make improvements to the Little Sister Barn being placed at the Corner of the Past Museum in Sister Bay and the Tug John Purves. Destination Door County President and CEO Julie Gilbert appreciates how history will be preserved as a result of these grants.

The City of Sturgeon Bay received the other $50,000 grant so it can make improvements to its Sunset Park Pavilion and public restrooms. Over $575,000 have been awarded through the Community Investment Fund grant program, supporting 12 different projects along the way. There is one more grant cycle scheduled for 2023 with October 5th acting as the deadline for those applications.



  • Town of Gibraltar was awarded $100,000 toward the acquisition of the Redmann property for the Fish Creek Park Expansion and extension of the Bayshore Connectivity Trail. 
  • City of Sturgeon Bay was awarded $50,000 for improvements to the Sunset Park Pavilion and public restrooms.
  • Sister Bay Historical Society was awarded $50,000 for the repurposing of the 104-year-old Little Sister Barn at the Corner of the Past Museum property.
  • Door County Maritime Museum was awarded $50,000 for dry-docking and repairs of the historic vessel and in-water museum John Purves.

Kitchens wants workforce challenge conversation

You can likely expect another quick special session in September when the Wisconsin Legislature convenes at the request of Governor Tony Evers. The Democratic governor called for a special session earlier this week to address workforce challenges, with a special emphasis on childcare, paid leave, and higher education funding. He points to the $4 billion budget surplus as a reason to invest in solving the problem as the state has plenty of jobs available despite having a low unemployment rate and high labor participation rate.


Republicans have panned the move, saying that it is all political theatrics. Previous special sessions taking on issues like gun control, abortion rights, and redistricting have lasted mere minutes, gaveling in and out before conversations can take place. Rep. Joel Kitchens expects this special session to go the same way, but he would like to see some meaningful conversations take place beforehand instead of forcing action on the floors of the Assembly and Senate.


Kitchens hopes some acts of bipartisanship, similar to what came together for his Right to Read bill, show up in this discussion since both parties believe workforce challenges like affordable childcare are major issues. He admits, however, that Evers’ use of his line-item veto power in the last budget rubbed Republican leaders the wrong way, making it more difficult to have good-faith discussions about the topic.

Wisconsin Hereford Queen grateful for Kewaunee County ties

The love for all things Hereford cattle you see and hear from Algoma’s Marie Prodell was born right in Kewaunee County.


Prodell is the Wisconsin Hereford Queen for 2023, acting as an ambassador for the breed at events held across the state including the Wisconsin State Fair. She is the first person to hold a statewide royalty position since Isabella Haen was crowned the 2018 Wisconsin State Fairest of the Fair. Prodell was on hand in West Allis this week for the beef cattle show where several breeds, including Hereford, were showcased. That included an appearance at Wednesday’s Governor’s Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction where the Grand Champion Hereford entry shown by Brady Jones received $14,000.


Prodell says she carries the passion for the Hereford breed and agriculture everywhere she goes and in everything she does. That passion was born in the barns at the Kewaunee County Fair.

Prodell hopes to keep wearing a crown while championing the Hereford breed when she runs for the position of National Hereford Queen this fall. If she is successful, she would be only the fourth Wisconsinite to hold the position.



She and other Kewaunee County youth are participating in the Wisconsin State Fair through the event’s conclusion on Sunday. You can see how the participants fared at the Wisconsin State Fair by clicking this link.





$100,000 lottery ticket sold in Luxemburg

You might want to double-check your lottery tickets because you could be sitting on a ton of money.


The Wisconsin Lottery announced on Thursday that a $100,000 Powerball winning ticket was sold at the Kwik Trip in Luxemburg for the game played on August 9th. The winning ticket matched four of the five winning numbers and the Powerball. It is the second time in as many months that Kewaunee County boasted a major lottery prize winner. In July, 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. 


The state’s other major lottery game, Mega Millions, also produced its fair share of winners as the jackpot climbed to over $1.5 billion before a Florida man picked the right numbers. Since July 21st, one $1 million, one $20,000, and 11 $10,000 Mega Millions winning tickets were sold throughout the state.

Weekend-long meteor showers set to fill local skies

Unlike past potential Northern Lights showings that never came to fruition, the Perseid meteor shower that is expected to fill the skies this weekend will stick around and live up to expectations. 


Conditions in the sky will be perfect for the shower, which will occur during many events at night throughout the weekend, including shining bright over the Door County Fair. The Perseid meteor shower is considered to be one of the best celestial events of the year, and has much hype built around it throughout the summer. According to NASA, 100 meteors per hour could be produced during the prime hours. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Dave Lenius talks about why the meteor shower is happening, and how anywhere is the perfect spot to witness the annual shower. 



Locally, Lenius says, will be a perfect spot for witnessing the meteor shower. The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will be holding viewings at their campus on Friday and Saturday, as the showers are expected to last throughout the weekend. DPAS is located on the land of Crossroads at Big Creek, off of Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

USCGC Katmai Bay tours offers trip inside life of a Coast Guardsman

Sturgeon Bay Maritime Days has had events lined up throughout the week-long event, but one of the more interactive and knowledgeable opportunities was taking a tour of the USCGC Katmai Bay. 


The USCGC Katmai Bay, which is stationed out of Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan, is a supporter of the larger USCGC Mackinaw. The tours were led by members of the Coast Guard who were assigned to the cutter, including the Lieutenant Junior Grade. From talking about what it means to serve in the Coast Guard, to going through everyday tasks which every member of the boat does, from the E-3 Seamen to Lieutenant Commander, the tour allowed for a hands-on experience. 


Serving in the Coast Guard was something LTJG Overstreet decided on after spending his years in the Navy. The ability to continue to serve his country was the main factor in deciding on heading to the Coast Guard, and said that rang true with many other crew members on the boat. 

You can experience the tour and hear more of their stories on Friday from 6pm to 8 pm, as the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Days come to an end. 

Southern Door removes greenhouse, bus garage from referendum project list

Being the best stewards they can be of your tax dollars is the reason why Southern Door School District is shelving two projects from its referendum checklist. The district announced on Wednesday that a proposed greenhouse and bus garage have been removed from the list of projects made possible by a $14.9 million capital referendum plan. The decision was made due to increased material costs, a lower-than-expected number of bidders, and other factors. Business Manager Jason Melotte says it was a hard decision to cut the two projects, but ultimately they wanted to keep their promises to the taxpayers who approved the referendum.

Melotte says other than some rooms that will have to deal with older furniture for a while yet, the projects that kicked off at the beginning of the summer have been going quite well. Those projects include a newly expanded parking lot, renovated elementary and middle school art classrooms, and a relocated district office. 


Algoma gets ready to have fun by the lake

You will not run out of things to do this weekend in Algoma as the community hosts its annual Shanty Days festival. The annual event got underway Thursday morning with the start of its annual fishing contest before picking up steam Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Levi Zeitler helps organize one of Shanty Days’ biggest events of the weekend with the Battle on the Beach Volleyball Tournament, which brings over a dozen teams to Crescent Beach to compete for cash prizes. Zeitler is proud of the wide array of activities that are available for people to participate in beyond going to the grounds for some music, a drink, and a bite to eat.

Other Shanty Days highlights include the car cruise and parade on Saturday and the Sunday night fireworks. You can find a complete schedule for this year’s Shanty Days by clicking this link.

Door County loses connection to Lahaina in wildfire

Though the real tragedy of this week’s wildfires in Hawaii is in the lives that have been lost so far, a Door County connection to the Town of Lahaina is no more.


According to CNN, at least 36 people have been killed as a result of the wildfires that started earlier this week. Like large pockets of the country, Hawaii has suffered from drought conditions, which have fueled the wildfires along with high winds from the passing of Hurricane Dora. The wildfires have destroyed the Town of Lahaina, the government seat of Hawaii when it was a kingdom. In the town was the historic Baldwin Home, which was built in the 1830s and used as a housing compound for medical missionaries Dwight Baldwin and Charlotte Fowler Baldwin.


According to Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy, Baldwin helped fight the smallpox epidemic on the island, saving countless lives. Dwight Baldwin was the great-great-grandfather of the late Ruth Baldwin Barker, who Bicoy called one of Door County’s greatest philanthropists. Barker’s financial gifts helped pave the way for several initiatives for the Door County YMCA including the gymnasium at the recently renamed Jackie and Steve Kane Center in Fish Creek, the former Barker Child Development Center in Sturgeon Bay, and scholarships for families who could not afford memberships. Bicoy, whose father was born in Lahaina in the 1920s, says the wildfires claimed an important landmark that just happened to have a Door County connection and so much more.

The destruction caused by the fires has made communication tough for Bicoy and others to connect with people on Maui due to power and cell phone outages. More than 11,000 people have been evacuated from Maui as hundreds of buildings including the Baldwin Home Museum have been lost to the blaze. Hawaii Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke told CNN on Wednesday that the road to recovery will likely take years to achieve. The Hawaii Community Foundation has set up the Maui Strong Fund to help support those affected by the wildfire. You can support their efforts by donating at this link.

Door County Fair welcomes community

In between rain showers on Wednesday, you would have encountered the same sense of community that has been experienced at the Door County Fair over 150 times before.


The Door County Fair opened its gates to kick off the 152nd annual edition of the event. While the midway was silent until later in the afternoon, the barns and the exhibition buildings were buzzing with activity as some prepared their animals for their nearly weeklong stay and others answered questions from judges about their projects. It was a first for Candis Dart, who is no stranger to the fair itself but found herself on the other side of the table this time around as Door County’s new 4-H Program Educator. She says it was great seeing the excitement of opening day.

For exhibitor Beckett Tassoul, the Door County Fair is the culmination of several weeks of hard work with his animals leading up to Saturday’s Door County Quality Market Animal Sale.

 The community came together Wednesday to not just enjoy the fair's usual activities, but also to celebrate the area’s veterans. For the first time, the opening night festivities included a salute to the military as a part of Sturgeon Bay’s Maritime Week. Door County Fair Board Member Thad Ash reflects on the family connections molded at the fairgrounds, including his own.

The Door County Fair continues through Sunday at John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay. You can click on this link for a complete schedule or download the Door County Daily News app to have the highlights of each day sent directly to your smart device.


Farmers encouraged to experiment to benefit soil health

Becoming better stewards of the soil they farm was the goal of a special field day hosted by Peninsula Pride Farms and Door-Kewaunee Watershed Demonstration Farm Network at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee on Wednesday.


Retired United States Department of Agriculture Physiologist Jerry Hatfield and GPS LandCares Consultant Bill Powel-Smith spoke to the group of approximately two dozen farmers and agriculture personnel during the day-long session. Farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties have instituted different strategies such as cover crops and no-till planting in hopes of improving soil health and protecting ground and surface water while still getting good yields on their crops.


Hatfield says the journey for improved soil health is just beginning for farmers in the area, which are trying a different combination of strategies while trying to handle what the weather and other variables throw at them. He wants farmers to continue to try and work as a community to reach their desired goals.

The field day comes as farmers are coming off a productive week across the state as they were able to get just enough rain to alleviate some effects of drought and harvest hay and small grain crops.

New MS support group formed in Door County

More support is available for you and others who may suffer from a rare debilitating disease.  A new self-help group in Door County will be guiding those affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).  The Door County MS Alliance is officially registered with the National MD Society and will be holding monthly meetings starting later in August.  Self-Help Group Leader David Mailand says the meetings will have a guest speaker and offer informative discussion along with guidance and help.




Mailand says the organization can become important for those living with MS because of the overwhelming feeling the disease can have from a health, financial, and emotional standpoint.  The inaugural meeting for the Door County MS Alliance will be on Tuesday, August 29th at the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay at 5 p.m. in Conference Room 1 and is open to anyone. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.   

Thayse, O'Neil honored during Maritime Week

Maritime Week began Monday with a celebration for the Mariner and Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Person of the Year banquet.  A banquet held at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club saw dozens of local maritime community members come together to honor Petty Officer First Class Daniel O’Neil as the USCG Person of the Year and Todd Thayse as the Mariner of the Year.  A special congratulations to the Purinton family was bestowed as Harry Purinton was awarded the Posthumous Mariner Award.  Thayse retired as the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in 2021 after 40 years of working in the maritime business.  He says the Door County Maritime Museum does a great job of highlighting the significance of the maritime industry and how it bolsters the whole community.



Sturgeon Bay Maritime Week 2023 continues today (Wednesday) with free USCG Cutter Katmai Bay deck tours from 1:00 until 4 p.m. and a salute to all USCG and veterans of all branches of the military at the Door County Fair at 7 p.m.  You can find the remaining Maritime Week events planned through Saturday with this link.  


(photo courtesy of Door County Maritime)

Truck causes downed power lines and Highway 57 closure

A truck driving near the Ripp Road and Highway 57 intersection in the town of Sevastopol closed the highway for about four hours late Tuesday afternoon.  Door County Sheriff Deputy Pat McCarty says shortly before 3 p.m., a truck driving inadvertently clipped off multiple power lines that fell and caused a power pole to break.  He says traffic was diverted around the area for five hours until WPS crews repaired the lines.



McCarty says the Door County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the incident.  The truck, which reportedly did not suffer any damage, was identified by a witness, and the information on the company was forwarded to WPS for possible reimbursement.  Highway 57 was reopened to traffic at about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday night.   


(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department)



Single ticket from Florida wins Mega Millions jackpot

You would have had to travel south in order to buy the winning ticket for the huge Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday night.  Someone in Florida is the lucky winner of the $1.58 billion jackpot from Tuesday night.  The winning ticket was sold at a Publix grocery store in Neptune Beach, according to the Associated Press.  There had been 31 straight drawings since April 18th when the last winner claimed the game’s jackpot.  The winning numbers drawn were 13, 19, 20, 32, 33 and the gold ball was 14. 


This was the third-largest prize ever in U.S. history for the Mega Millions with the jackpot returning to $20 million for the next drawing.


The winner of the $1.58 billion can either take the full amount over a 30-year annuity or an estimated lump sum of $783.3 million.


According to the Wisconsin Lottery website, the state did not have any $1,000,000 Match 5 winners.   

Local student serving on National YMCA Youth Advisory Council

The Door County YMCA announced this week that Yana Zenefski has been chosen to serve on the inaugural Youth Advisory Council with YMCA of the USA (Y-USA).  Zenefski, who will be a senior at Southern Door High School this fall, will be one of 16 youths that will be serving on the council to advise and support the Y-USA Executive Team and National Board that oversees 2,600 YMCAs across the country.  The inaugural Youth Advisory Council’s strategy looks to recognize more young people as active contributors to strategic decision-making for emerging issues and programs on a local and global scale.  The 17-year-old Zenefski says her involvement in the Y’s Youth and Government Program was the passion that led her to seek the council membership.



The Inaugural Youth Advisory Council consists of individuals ranging in age from 16 to 23 who will serve until February 2025.  Zenefski, who also was a candidate in the Miss Door County Scholarship Program, began her term on July 1st.   

Child care focus of Evers' special session request

Governor Tony Evers is calling the Wisconsin Legislature together for a special session in September to address a number of challenges to the workforce, placing an extra focus on childcare. According to the United States Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in June 2023 was 2.5 percent, a full percentage point less than the national average. Paired with a higher-than-average labor participation rate, the pool of potential employees is small, which in turn is causing major headaches for those businesses looking to fill important positions. In Governor Evers’ request, he calls on the Wisconsin Legislature to specifically address the state’s childcare industry, which is expected to face major challenges when funding for the Child Care Counts program expires in January. The funding allowed providers the financial stability to stay open and to get full-staffed. The Century Foundation reported earlier this year that without the funding, more than 2,000 childcare programs could close. If parents are forced to stay home, the study projects a loss of $232 million in earnings. United Way of Door County Child Care Community Coordinator Molly Gary placed a local spin on the topic during U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin’s visit last week, pointing out that affordable childcare and housing are among the most important factors for people considering relocating to the area for work.

In addition to more funding for child care, Evers also calls for creating a paid family and medical leave program, investing in higher education, and strengthening key workforce sectors as a part of his special session request, which he made for  September 20th at noon. 

Patches, fun drive scout's Jamboree experience

For Scouts USA member Ethan Moll of Sturgeon Bay, you could not have created a better event than the 2023 National Scout Jamboree. More than 15,000 scouts and scouters from across the country participated in the event hosted at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia from July 19th to July 28th. Many of the contingents, including the joint venture between Samoset Council and Bay Lakes Area Council, bookended the experience with tours of the area. For Moll, that meant visiting the sights of Washington D.C. at the beginning of their two-week trip. Once on the grounds of the National Scout Jamboree, scouts got to participate in a wide range of activities including patch trading, whitewater rafting, and skateboarding that introduced him to scouts as far away as Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Moll says it was an experience he will not soon forget.

Almost three dozen other scouts from Door and Kewaunee counties were a part of the 120-member contingent. For those interested, the National Scout Jamboree usually takes place every four years, which would put it in line to take place again in 2027 in time for the 90th anniversary of the first one that was hosted on the National Mall in Washington D.C. As for Moll, he is setting his sights on scouting’s other high adventure opportunities such as the Florida Sea Base and Philmont Scout Ranch.

Mr. G's arsonist heads to mental health facility

The man responsible for setting fire to a Door County eatery last October is heading to a state mental health facility as a part of his plea agreement on Monday according to online court records.


Jonathan Polich has been in the Door County Jail since November after the Door County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin State Fire Marshall’s office found evidence that he set Mr. G’s Supper Club near Jacksonport on fire while the owners were away. After being charged with two counts of arson of a building without the owner’s consent and one count of stalking, Polich pled not guilty in December by reason of insanity in December and was granted his mental health evaluation in January. Wausau-based clinical psychologist Dr. Steven Benson completed his report approximately a month later. During Monday’s status conference, Judge D. Todd Ehlers found Polich not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Polich was committed to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as a part of the agreement. 

Southern Door leans on alum for interim superintendent role

He may be new to the role with the district, but you will likely recognize the new interim superintendent at Southern Door.


The district announced on Monday that Tony Klaubauf would be its interim superintendent. Klaubauf is a 1976 Southern Door High School graduate before he continued his education at UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, Marian College, and UW-Milwaukee. He served as a teacher at several districts including Stockbridge, Hillsboro, and Waupun before entering a more administrative role in Mishicot. Most recently, Klaubauf was the superintendent of Denmark School District where he served between 2004 and 2018. Klaubauf, a 2019 inductee into a Southern Door Alumni Hall of Fame, said in a statement that he was comfortable in retirement but the opportunity to help the district “continue to excel in academic achievement and student growth” was enough for him to return.


He takes on the role from Chris Peterson, who resigned earlier this summer following a multiple-month leave of absence. Southern Door School Board President Penny Price says nothing is set in stone, but they will likely begin the recruitment process for a new, permanent superintendent in January, seeking input from various groups, including district employees, parents, and community members. The goal would be for the new superintendent to begin in July 2024. Price added that the district is "fortunate to have Mr. Klaubauf on board who will also provide insight in the hiring process and transition to a superintendent."


Statement from Tony Klaubauf

“I had settled on the retirement life, but the opportunity to help Southern Door School District to continue to excel in academic achievement and student growth was enough to get me excited again. I read this summer that if a person wants to stay young, stay around young people. Since all the employees and students will be younger than me, this shouldn’t be a problem!”

Division Street project in Algoma gets started before Shanty Days

Your traditional Shanty Days Parade route will not be impacted in Algoma this weekend, even though the Division Street construction is underway.  Algoma City Administrator Matt Murphy says the work began last Tuesday, but the popular parade route will remain intact, although no parking will be allowed on Division Street starting at Fremont Street to Jefferson Street.  He shares what has been done to this point and the plan for the project.



The Division Street road work spans four blocks and will encompass new storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water, curb, gutter, sidewalks, and pavement.  The project is expected to wrap up by early November.  Murphy adds that the city is busy making the proper preparation for the Shanty Days celebration by the lake which begins on Friday.

Granary shoots for October construction date

Members of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society are anxiously waiting for mail from the United States Department of Agriculture so you can start seeing more changes to the Door County Granary.  The letter from the USDA will give the organization the green light to start filling out construction documents and submit bidding information for the Door County Granary, which was designated to receive $3.3 million from a rural development grant earmarked late last year. Hauser says once that happens, things can finally start moving quickly toward having people use the granary for the first time in decades.

With construction starting in late October and crews working inside the structure through the winter, Hauser hopes to welcome some of their first visitors to the Door County Granary next summer pending an updated development agreement with the City of Sturgeon Bay.

Absentee voting envelopes get redesign

Do not be shocked if you vote absentee next year and your envelope looks a little different and even comes in a different color.


The Wisconsin Elections Commission recently approved new designs for the absentee voting envelopes and designated different colors depending on your group. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says the redesign has been in the works for a few years as the WEC gathered feedback for the possible changes. The new design aims to make it easier for voters to read and complete the envelopes with a three-step process for them to follow. The envelopes will be color coded so they can be easily identified when going through the mail with blue designated for outgoing mail going from clerks to voters, purple for return envelopes to be mailed in, teal for return envelopes from care facilities, and brown for return envelopes for military and overseas voters. Lau does not expect the new envelopes to make her life easier or harder as a municipal clerk but believes it will make a difference for voters.

Lau says the number one thing missed by absentee voters is the witness signature line on the ballot envelope, which requires election workers to track down people to fix the error. The new envelopes will be in circulation in time for the February 2024 primary. 

Pavement repairs continue through Tuesday

Expect to see more construction crews on State Highway 57 during your commute on Tuesday. Crews from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation began pavement repairs on the roadway on Monday at 9 a.m. The impacted area of State Highway 57 stretches from County D to Stone Road. A moving closure will be used until 3 p.m. on Monday and between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday.  

BUG Fire tends to second field fire in a week

Picking stones might be a tough job to do for you, but the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department has proved why the chore is so important for the second time in a week. Firefighters traveled just a mile north from its south station to a farm field on County Highway C in Brussels to the scene of the fire. BUG Fire Chief Jim Wautier guesses that farmers in the field baling straw struck a stone that caused a spark, igniting a trail of stubble behind it. Wautier adds that the farmers likely saw the fire right away, but the dryness in the field caused it to spread quickly. Four trucks and about a dozen firefighters were used to put out the fire, which required approximately 1200 gallons across 10 acres to put out. Firefighters were on the scene for about 45 minutes.


Pictures courtesy of BUG Fire Department


Bloodies Brews and Bacon showcases local businesses for third year

Although the “brews” and bacon were just added for the first time this year, Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Bloodies, Brews, and Bacon event drew a large crowd to Sonny’s Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria Sunday morning. 


The event was a hit from the moment tickets were sold, and it gave local businesses an opportunity to showcase and show off what makes their bar or restaurant so special. Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski mentioned how the event was in its third year, but just brought in the other two options, as before it was just a bloody mary event. Ehlers-Kwaterski mentioned how it gave more local people a chance to test what Sturgeon Bay and Door County has to offer. 

The taste testers' opinions and values were put on full display as they were able to grab drinks from many different vendors, and then vote on which one had the best bloody mary, and which vendor had the best garnish. In the end, the best bloody mary of 2023 in Door County was the Door County Fire Company, and the bar and restaurant that had the best garnish was Stone Harbor. 

Impact of growing drug use felt throughout county government

The Door County Sheriff’s Department may battle on the front line of the area’s growing drug abuse problem, but you will find the impact it has in the community down every hallway of the Door County Government Center in Sturgeon Bay. According to data from the Door County Sheriff’s Department, there have been 17 investigations executed so far this year in addition to almost 20 other incidents related to drugs during the first seven months of the year. Government officials such as Chief Deputy Pat McCarty, Door County Administrator Ken Pabich, and Door County Health and Human Services Department Director Joe Krebsbach have all acknowledged that drug abuse is a growing problem. For Krebsbach, it is a problem that affects his department in multiple different ways.

Krebsbach says with early intervention, it is less expensive for the county to be able to rehabilitate someone early on as opposed to just throwing them in jail. He will join a panel on Wednesday at Crossroads at Big Creek for a community forum to discuss rising drug use and addiction in Door County. You can find more details on the forum by clicking this link.

Local dual-credit opportunities help get students into workforce faster

A program that gives students the opportunity to earn both high school and college credits in the same class has been gaining popularity over the past few years, and it officially had its highest number of students in recent years. 


The main pull of the program is to jump start the process of getting into college. Schools around the county have offered these classes, in partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. One of the main dual-credit programs in Door County is the Sevastopol High School CNC Program, which sees students from all of the local schools take CNC classes while earning up to 15 college credits through NWTC. Sturgeon Bay Campus Regional Manager April Konitzer talks about the program's popularity. 



One thing NWTC has done with their Sturgeon Bay campus according to Konitzer is making the diesel programs schedule more high school-friendly, which gives students a better opportunity to fit the program into their regular daily schedule. This was done due to the interest of the program compared to the availability of students who could make the time it was offered work.


Also on board are the employers and owners of businesses who are looking for new employees. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state's largest business lobbying group, released its summer employer survey last month showing 99 percent of respondents supported additional funding for apprenticeships, dual enrollment credits and work-based learning opportunities for high school students. In a new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum, 69,741 students have enrolled in the program, with the most popular subjects being math, engineering, English, Spanish and medical terminology.

Two new musicians join Griffon String Quartet

Midsummer’s Music recently announced that their professional string quartet, the Griffon String Quartet, has officially added two new members, after holding auditions looking for their next members. 


Alex Norris and Jesse Nummelin were the two musicians that were selected to begin performing with the string quartet in September. Norris will play Violin II and Nummelin will be the Cello player for the quartet. Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck said the process was just like any other, as they held many auditions and had a lot of interest, but in the end they were able to get their finalists. 



Alex Norris is not only a member of the Griffon String Quartet now, but he also is a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera, the Stoughton Music Festival, and the Quad City Symphony. Alex has a strong background in orchestral playing as well, having formerly been a member of the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and Principal Second Violin in the Illinois Symphony.

As for Jesse Nummelin, he completed a Bachelor of Arts in cello performance at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, and then a Masters of Music at Arizona State University. He currently serves as the assistant principal cellist of the Des Moines Symphony and has performed with the Phoenix Symphony, Tucson Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, and Duluth Superior Symphony, among others.Midsummer’s Music recently announced that their professional string quartet, the Griffon String Quartet, has officially added two new members, after holding auditions looking for their next members. 

Summer heat makes hydration crucial before fall sports practices

High school football players, cross country runners, and boys soccer players are gearing up and ready to take their practices outside and the heat and humidity could make for warm practices, which puts water and hydration at the forefront. 


Before the Friday night lights can be turned on, or before the runners take off with the sound of the gun, grueling practices in sweltering heat will have to be completed. The chances of dehydration and heat-related illness are higher if the athletes are not preparing themselves for the practices, especially by drinking water. How can the players do that? Door County Medical Center Athletic Trainer Jason Linzmeier talks about how the athletes can prepare for the high temperatures, and the difference water makes against drinks with electrolytes, like sports drinks. 



Linzmeier stresses the fact that events like practices could potentially be moved inside, depending on what the heat index would be at that day. He also mentions how different sports impact the decision to move the event to a different area, as sports like football include helmets and shoulder pads, which can heat up the body faster. However, alternatives would be looked at before putting shoes on gym floors, such as a later practice, or an air conditioned strength and conditioning day. 


The first high school sport to begin practice officially is football, as they began August 1st for 11-player teams.  Eight-player football, girls' tennis, girls' golf, and girls' swimming start the following week with cross country, boys' soccer, and girls' volleyball starting on August 14th.

County administration search begins in Kewaunee County

The Kewaunee County Executive Committee will begin the process of looking for a new permanent county administrator on Monday. Last month, Scott Feldt retired from the position after being hired in 2014. The man he replaced, Ed Dorner, was unanimously approved to take over the job on an interim basis while the county conducts its search. At the meeting, the committee will review and approve the job description before considering an employment contract option and the use of a search firm, and recommendations from the County Administrator Interview Committee. The committee will also discuss a job title change for Veterans Service Office Administrative Assistant Dallas Hubbard when it meets at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Building in Kewaunee.

Classic and Wooden Boat show brings back memories for owners

For many, the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat show is an opportunity to head to the Door County Maritime Museum and look at many classic boats you may not see on an average day. For the owners of the boats, special connections make it more than that. 


When walking into the parking lot of the museum, the feel of the history of the boats that were on display was unmatched. The 2023 marque of the year was the Thompson boat, which are Peshtigo-produced boats. Many boat owners would talk to the audience about what made the boat special to them, with many different reasons and examples being shared. One common theme however from many boat owners, was how it was the first boat that the owner and their family had and spent their time on. 

That theme was represented well at the boat show, as many father-son duos were able to build their own boat on Saturday, and then on Sunday test their crafting skills with an opportunity to race them out on the water. The Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Show is much more than just an opportunity to showcase off classic boats, some even dating back to the 70’s, it is about the memories that were and are still being created with the event.

Altrusa rings in beginning of school year for families in need

With the start of the 2023-2024 school year already just under a month away, Altrusa of Door County held their 2023 Back to School Fair. 


The Back to School Fair was back for its 24th year of in-person festivities, as the fair returned last year for the first time since 2019 before the pandemic. The event has grown throughout the years, and was shown at the event today, as families in need were able to receive the supplies needed to begin their new school year. Everyone who helped out the families and students in need were volunteers for the day, as many volunteers mentioned how helping out and getting the youth the right supplies to make sure they have a good education was all the satisfaction they needed. 


The Altrusa of Door County Back to School Fair has grown in numbers throughout the 24 years, as the first year of the fair served 50 students. This year's fair was scheduled to serve just under 600 students from 9 am until 2 pm. 

Jacksonport Cherry Fest brings Door County history to life

One of the first things you notice or hear about Door County is always the cherries. Whether it be the opportunity to pick them at a local orchard, or the deep history within the county. Jacksonport made sure the history was transformed into the current day as they held Cherry Fest. 


This is the 28th year of the Cherry Fest in Jacksonport, which is run by the Jacksonport Historical Society. Even with the event having things going on which were unrelated to cherries, the lines for cherry related tents and food sites showed how much of a role it played in the event and in everyday life of residents. Walking through the park where the event was held, one thing was clear, the event demonstrates how a food item beloved in the area can be turned into an entire festival. 

In cherry-related food the food tents offered baked cherry kolaches, cherry pie and ice cream and cherry sundaes. A variety of cherry jams, cherry pie filling and other cherry products were popular take home items as well. 

What the ban on incandescent light bulbs means

Under new energy efficiency rules that went into effect last Tuesday,  you won’t be able to buy most incandescent bulbs.  New LED lights will replace the banned incandescent lights, other than those used in ovens and bug lights.  The new standard for lighting efficiency requires light bulbs to have a minimum of 45 lumens per watt which will be difficult for either incandescent or halogen lights to meet.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities General Manager Jim Stawicki says the LED lights have become much more common and affordable through better technology and subsidies.  He says LED lighting is much more efficiently engineered because it does not generate heat like incandescent bulbs.



Stawicki believes most businesses and households have already switched to LED lighting, which can last 25 to 50 times longer than its incandescent counterparts.  According to National Emergency Management Association (NEMA), about 20 percent of light bulb sales in the first quarter of last year were incandescent.  

Jacque sees updated Dillon's Law signed into law

You can breathe a little bit easier knowing that if you suffer life-threatening allergic reactions that someone could be right around the corner to help you.


Governor Tony Evers signed into law on Friday Wisconsin Act 27, also known as Dillion’s Law 3.0, which further expands the availability of epinephrine auto-injectors in emergency situations.


State Senator Andre Jacque and Rep. Shae Sortwell have been with this effort since 2017 when Dillon’s Law was first signed into law by then-Governor Scott Walker. It is named after Dillon Mueller, who passed away shortly after suffering from a major allergic reaction he did not know he would have when getting stung by a bee. In the years since, it has expanded to other states like Minnesota, Indiana, and Michigan and a federal version has also been introduced by Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Glen Grothman. Eleven people have been saved 3,000 people have been trained to use epinephrine auto-injectors as a result of the law, something that is just as important to Jacque.

One bill was signed, but Jacque has plenty more on the horizon in Madison with bills concerning sexual abuse, human trafficking, veterans affairs, water quality, and other areas all in various stages.  

Back-to-school prep a good time to catch up on vaccinations

Back to school is an important time for parents and families to prioritize their children’s health.  Vaccines are one of the most effective tools we have to keep kids healthy in school. Kewaunee County Health Department encourages families to think ahead about the vaccinations their children may need to return to school.  According to Wisconsin School Law, every child entering kindergarten will require updated vaccines, as well as every child entering the 7th grade.  Kindergarteners require a DTaP, polio, and varicella vaccination.  7th graders require an updated Tdap.


Wisconsin’s most recent vaccination rates in childcare and schools show a decline as parents and providers work to get caught up on vaccinations that were put on hold during the pandemic. The vaccine decline was greatest among children entering kindergarten.


Current immunization rates for schools in 2022-2023 show:

  • 88.7% of students met the minimum immunization requirements – a 3.2% decrease from the previous year.
  • 3.3% of students were behind schedule on their vaccinations – a 0.4% increase from the previous year


Vaccines are recommended for children to provide protection. “Parents who choose to keep their children up to date on vaccinations are not only protecting their own child’s health but are making a choice that protects the people who live and work in their communities,” said Health Officer Cindy Kinnard, RN. “Vaccines are safe and effective and are one the strongest tools we have to prevent getting sick from diseases. We encourage all parents to work with their child’s health care provider or our agency to ensure their child is up to date on immunizations.”


The Vaccines for Children program provides no or low-cost vaccines for those who are eligible. Any parent or guardian who has questions about their child’s vaccination record can contact our health department for assistance. You can track and print your student’s vaccine record through the Wisconsin Immunization Registry: Vaccines are available each week by appointment. Make sure your child is up-to-date on vaccines that protect them from many serious but preventable diseases. 



Crescent Beach ready for close-up

Algoma’s Crescent Beach is a popular place to go throughout the entire summer, but you will see even more people there over the coming weeks. The popular destination is preparing to host the Shanty Days Battle on the Beach Volleyball Tournament on August 12th and 13th and Soar on the Shore a week later on August 19th. Both events bring hundreds of people to the coastal area in addition to those looking to build a sand castle or wade into Lake Michigan. Friends of Crescent Beach’s Sara Krouse hopes the extra attention brings people back to the area over and over again, whether it is just to hang out or to volunteer.

You can find details about both of the upcoming events at Crescent Beach below. Cathy Pabich, who helped create the Friends of Crescent Beach in 2015 with support from the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, is this year’s Shanty Days honoree.


Frank Murphy Park Beach reopens; Fish Creek Beach closes due to bacteria

When one beach closes, another one reopens for you to enjoy.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Door County Public Health announced on Friday that Frank Murphy County Park Beach is reopened after being closed on Thursday due to elevated bacteria levels in the water. It was the second time this summer that the popular beach was forced to close due to bacteria levels being above 1,000 cfu (colony forming units)/100.


While that was good news for fans of that beach, the two agencies also announced on Friday that Fish Creek Beach would be closed due to elevated bacteria counts. Research has linked swimming in polluted waters with adverse human health effects such as sore throats, diarrhea, and various infections. 


As of 11 a.m. Friday, the elevated bacteria count is also the reason why Ephraim Beach is under an advisory. 


You can keep track of the health of Door County’s beaches by clicking on this link.

UpliftWI offers "warmline" to Door County's mental health woes

The state of Wisconsin has another number for you to call when you are in need to talk to someone. Thanks to a $600,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Human Services, UpliftWI launched on Monday to help provide callers a voice to chat with when they are struggling with mental health or substance abuse when their symptoms have not reached emergency levels. The “warmline” will be staffed by people who can offer peer-to-peer support for callers who have experienced similar challenges. According to a 2019 Mental Health America study, the peer support strategy can lower the overall cost of mental health services. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says any additional resources are helpful and appreciated in an area that is well behind the state and national averages for mental health professionals in their communities.

United Way of Door County is doing its part to address the area’s mental health challenges through a number of different programs including STRIDE, which brings services directly to students at Door County’s five schools. The organization is also sponsoring a conference on resiliency on August 15th at Sturgeon Bay’s Stone Harbor Resort. You can find more details on that event below.



PortSide Builders win construction award

One of the best custom homebuilders in the state works right in your backyard the state's building association confirmed this summer. PortSide Builders announced earlier this week that it had won a Wisconsin Builders Association Badger Craftsman Award in the New Home Design and Construction ($500,000-$750,000) category.

The Sturgeon Bay-based business won out over 900 builder members and approximately 2,500 associate members thanks in part to its attention to the home’s design, quality of construction, use of materials, price to value, functionality, and creativity. The award-winning home sits on a private peninsula and designers had to incorporate the owner’s vision and needs all while staying on the footprint of the former family cottage. PortSide Builders Custom Home Designer Alan Shefchik said winning the award is truly an honor, adding that they were able to design a home that showcases the best the lot of land has to offer while taking zoning and setback requirements into consideration.

PortSide Builders was formally awarded the honor at the WBA Celebration of Housing Event in June.


Pictures courtesy of PortSide Builders

Storms knock power out in area, closes Highway 57

A line of thunderstorms rolled through Door and Kewaunee counties Thursday afternoon and caused power outages in certain areas.  As of 3:30 pm, Wisconsin Public Service reported that over 1500 customers are affected, including over 1000 in Sevastopol.  The northbound lane on Highway 57 was closed off around 3 p.m. between the Highway 42 junction north of Sturgeon Bay and County P in Institute with the report of power lines being down from a large tree limb falling near the Institute Saloon and St. Peter & Paul Church.  



Highway 57 was reopened for traffic shortly before 5 p.m. on Thursday. 


Other areas impacted by power outages include Jacksonport with 374, and Egg Harbor with 18 residents without power.  Power is expected to be restored for the 1155 customers in Sevastopol by 9 p.m., according to the WPS Outage Map.

In Kewaunee County, 237 WPS customers were impacted in Montpelier, 50 in Carlton, and 16 in Luxemburg.  We will have more details and updates when information becomes available.



Friday's Mega Millions jackpot soars over Powerball

Although it just seemed like there was a large sum of money up for grabs with the Powerball jackpot being won late last month, the Mega Millions has made its way up to that high price range as well. 


With nobody winning the Tuesday night odds, Wisconsinites and people around the nation are set to test their luck at the $1.25 billion jackpot, higher than the $1 billion estimated that was won off of the Powerball lottery. The last jackpot winning ticket for the Mega Millions was sold back in April, which has given the number a chance to rise throughout the summer months. 


However, it hasn’t all been bad luck for people who are trying to win money, especially for those in the Door and Kewaunee County areas. The JP Express in Algoma sold a winning Powerball ticket worth $200,000 in the Power Play, and was claimed by a local resident. That winning could give local residents their glimmer of hope for this Mega Millions Jackpot. 


The next drawing for the Mega Millions is set for Friday night, and will have a cash option of $625.3 Million, one of the largest cash options in U.S. Lottery history. 

Recent arrests showcase drug concerns in Door County

The announcement of a Narcan vending machine in the City of Sturgeon Bay and the news of Monday’s arrests may have introduced you to a growing concern in Door County you did not know existed.


Three Sturgeon Bay women were arrested earlier this week after the Door County Drug Task Force seized 16 fentanyl pills, a variety of drug paraphernalia, and numerous electronic devices while executing a search warrant. The search warrant was triggered by the report of a Sturgeon Bay man in need of treatment after overdosing on fentanyl.


Fentanyl is nothing new for Door County after it seized over 300 grams of the highly addictive drug last year. The Door County Sheriff’s Department has had three drug investigations involving fentanyl so far this year, compared to five in 2022, seven in 2021, and zero in 2020. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the addictive nature of the drugs and how easily they can be masked is what is keeping deputies busy as they target the people trying to sell it.

He added that every deputy now carries Narcan with them just in case they encounter an overdosed individual while on a call. McCarty says 2023 has also seen an increase in methamphetamines-related investigations in Door County as they have already 13 so far this year, compared to zero in 2022, seven in 2021, and 11 in 2020. Drug investigations are dependent on cooperating informants to be successful.


Door County Administrator Ken Pabich expressed his concern with the rise in drug cases to U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin during a roundtable discussion in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. Since it is often the county’s responsibility to treat the individuals if they have a drug problem, Pabich said it could cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars for each person to treat them.

Southern Door set to approve candidate for Interim Superintendent

The Southern Door School District appears to be wrapping up their search for their new Interim Superintendent, as the board is set to head to a special meeting Monday August 7th. 


On the agenda for that meeting reads, “The board will adjourn to closed session to approve the final candidate for the position of Interim Superintendent and review the following: addendum to business manager contract; other compensation items; hiring/resignations.” The board has made this a focal point for the summer, going into special meetings two other times to consider candidates for the position and to interview candidates that they selected, which occurred on July 19th. The school district could not comment about the interviews or finalists for the position. 


The appointed superintendent will replace former superintendent Chris Peterson, who resigned from his position at Southern Door effective on June 30th. Peterson was the superintendent for two years, and was placed on administrative leave following a special school board meeting held in mid-March. 

Peninsula Pride Farms to host soil health field day

You can see things getting healthier above the ground in area farm fields, but Peninsula Pride Farms is turning its focus on what is below the surface at a special field day on August 9th in Kewaunee.


The United States Department of Agriculture credited the recent rains for improving the planted crops and increasing soil moisture. Fifty-five percent of the corn crop was rated as good to excellent, which is up seven points from last week while soybeans improved nine points week-over-week to 51 percent being rated good to excellent. Helping out those crops were some of the agricultural practices farmers have put in place over the years that helped increase the amount of organic material in the soil and keep the water in the fields.


Peninsula Pride Farms President Duane Ducat says its upcoming soil health field day will help show farmers how they can see big gains from healthy soils.

The Peninsula Pride Farms Field Day will take place at Ducat’s home operation of Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can find more details about the event below.

Frank Murphy Park Beach closed for elevated bacteria levels

A popular Egg Harbor beach is closed due to elevated bacteria levels, but there are still plenty of other beaches you can enjoy in Door County.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Door County Public Health announced on Thursday that Frank Murphy County Park Beach is closed until further notice due to elevated bacteria levels in the water. It is the second time this summer that the popular beach was forced to close due to bacteria levels being above 1,000 cfu (colony-forming units)/100 ml. As of its August 2nd test date, the bacteria levels at the beach were at 1986.3 cfu/100ml. The beach could reopen once levels drop below 235 cfu/100ml.


Last month, Door County Environmental Health Specialist Allie McDonald said the warm and dry conditions this summer are to blame for the bacteria growth, which has closed some Door County beaches for brief times.

The good news for Door County beachgoers is that none of the county’s other beaches have advisories, let alone closures, at this time. You can keep track of the health of Door County’s beaches by clicking on this link. 


The picture is from Sturgeon Bay's Otumba Beach, which was closed earlier this summer for elevated bacteria levels but has since remained open

Summer racks up tab for Humane Society

The temperature is not the only number going up this summer, especially if you ask the staff and volunteers at the Wisconsin Humane Society. Summer is often times peak intake season for animal shelters including the Wisconsin Humane Society as pets are either surrendered by their owners or arrive unannounced after going missing during a thunderstorm or fireworks display. To make matters worse, busy schedules due to extended vacations often make the summer a slower time for adoptions. Tanya Ditzman from the Wisconsin Humane Society says the bills really pile up during the summer due to costs associated with caring for the animal.

In recognition of this trend, the Wisconsin Humane Society activated a giving campaign this month where every dollar up to $200,000 will be matched by generous donors. For the Door County and Green Bay campuses, the donations will be matched by Virginia Kress and a special group of friends. 



Baldwin covers broadband, other issues on peninsula visit

Senator Tammy Baldwin spent her Wednesday visiting communities in Door and Kewaunee counties to discuss a variety of issues impacting residents while the U.S. Senate is on its August recess. The senator’s day started in Casco where she met with officials from the village and its partners at nSight and Cellcom to bring fiber internet to the area. The village received grants from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to get the project underway to over 250 addresses. Approximately 78 percent of the village is finished despite the village, nSight, and Cellcom agreeing to terms less than a year ago. The development means Village Clerk Tammy Skarban can be more efficient in her duties as her internet speeds increased from 1.5 MB to over 900 MB thanks to the upgrade. It is more personal for Casco resident Kevin Lampe, who joked first about using his new internet connection to play video games before saying the ability for his son with special needs to be able to connect with his ailing father via video calling was the most important. Baldwin says while the internet should be considered as infrastructure, it is virtually invisible compared to roads, bridges, and pipelines.

The Democratic senator headed north after her discussion in Casco to Sturgeon Bay, where she toured the Door County Maritime Museum before having a similar roundtable discussion with community leaders. While broadband was on the agenda, topics like childcare, affordable housing, and behavioral health also took center stage.  Baldwin heard sober statistics like the high percentage of income going towards childcare, the low success rate of the aerial deployment of broadband, and the growth of fentanyl abuse in Door County. In her closing comments, Baldwin says connecting with local leaders helps her do her job better.

Baldwin said her visit to Sturgeon Bay’s west side coincided with grants she helped champion that will support the Door County Maritime Museum’s Jim Kress Maritime Tower and Tug John Purves and the Door County Granary.

Broadband project revisited with Special Town Meeting in Clay Banks

The Town of Clay Banks will go back to the drawing board in its attempt to get broadband internet to its residents at a special meeting on August 19th.  In a letter sent to residents this week, the Clay Banks Broadband Committee stated that after two months of applying for three grants, the township did not receive any financial support.

At a Special Town Meeting held in October 2022, a resolution was approved authorizing the installation of a Fiber Optic Communication Package with Bertram Communications contingent on Clay Banks applying for grants while financing up to 40 percent of the project through bonds and loans.

Having been rejected on the Middle Mile, the USDA Federal Grants, and a PSC State Grant, the Town of Clay Banks will now have to fund a larger amount than previously approved to move forward on the broadband project. 

Town Chair Mike Johnson says hopes are to bring in the county for emergency communications and also cellphone companies to provide more reliable coverage in the area.  He adds that ultimately it is a community project and it is up to the people to decide what direction the township will take in the future.

The Special Town Meeting scheduled for Saturday, August 19 will have a report on the Broadband Committee’s look at alternate timeline of planning and financing options, including the possibility of the township financing the entire project.

The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and be held at the Clay Banks Town Hall on County Road OO or next door at the Tanum Forest Lutheran Church if necessary to accommodate the public. 

Wisconsin lakeshore counties once again in Air Quality Alert

High amounts of ground-level ozone on Wednesday is the main reason for the most recent Air Quality Alert that will affect the lakeshore counties of Wisconsin, including Door and Kewaunee Counties, until 11pm. 


The highest concentrations of ozone are expected to be contained within the lake breeze, where mostly Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups AQI is anticipated. However, Unhealthy AQI remains a possibility along the shoreline. The Air Quality Alerts have been common this summer, with the Canadian wildfires bearing down and causing most of the air quality concerns. The fires continue to burn at a high level, as according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there are 1,085 active fires, and 13 million acres of land have been burned due to the fires. 

SS Badger will not sail again this season

You will have to find other ways to cross Lake Michigan this summer than the usual car ferry between Manitowoc and Ludington.  The SS Badger announced Tuesday that the car ferry business will not travel for the rest of the season.


  A failure of the counterweight structure on the port side of the Badger’s ramp system used to load and unload cars collapsed into the water on July 21st in Ludington.  The extensive damage to the ramp system prevents Lake Michigan Carferry (LMC) from resuming the operation of its SS Badger in 2023. 


President Mark W. Barker of Interlake Maritime Services, the parent company of the LMC, says “We have made the difficult, and unfortunately unavoidable, decision to suspend our daily crossings for the remainder of the season.  We are fully committed to making the extensive repairs – and doing it the right way—so that we will be back better and stronger in 2024 to serve our loyal passengers and port communities.”  


The SS Badger was celebrating its 70th season this year and had recently restarted night sailing journeys in July after a three-year hiatus. 

YMCA begins new military and veterans membership programs

You could receive benefits through a new military program at the Door County YMCA.  Membership Services Director Rachel Stoehr announced Tuesday that both active-duty and retired military personnel can now receive discounted rates on membership.  Anyone currently serving in the U.S. Coast Guard while stationed in Door County is eligible for free individual memberships for the duration of their assignment.  Active duty personnel from other branches of the military with a permanent address within the Door County area are eligible for a free individual membership while on leave.  All veterans can receive a 20 percent discount on their membership which represents a large number of the over 10,000 total YMCA members in Door County.


Stoehr says if you are active-duty or retired military personnel you should bring your military ID card and appropriate verification forms to the YMCA front desk to receive your discounted or free membership.

Sturgeon Bay gets "Double A 2" Moody's credit rating

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council opened the business part of its meeting Tuesday with some good financial news for the city.  Robert W. Baird provided a recap of the city being upgraded to a “Double A 2” rating from Moody’s Credit Rating which will save Sturgeon Bay about $12,000 with the higher rating for the General Obligation Promissory Notes.  The council then unanimously passed the resolution awarding the sale of $3,100,000 in bonds to fund streets and parking lot projects, improvements to public buildings, vehicle purchases, and infrastructure improvements for TID #6. 


Two public hearings to deal with the proposed amendments for the first readings of ordinances regarding Zoning Codes front lot line were held and subsequently approved.

The council then voted on development incentives for the Estes/Virlee Events Center at 1023 Egg Harbor Road, LLC.  The city would give $211,000 incentives by paying the developer a lump sum of $61,500 within 30 days of an occupancy permit being issued for the events and activity center and then providing annually $10.000 over the next 15 years.  Additional parking for 50 spaces at 911 North 14th Avenue, which would also be utilized by Ace Hardware and the new Rogue Theater, will be completed by the city.  Beginning with 2025 taxes, the project investors would guarantee $1.5 million of incremental value for the earlier 15 years or the life of TID #6.   Construction of the project will begin in September and with the completion by July 31, 2024.  


Mayor David Ward ended the meeting with a special proclamation for Maritime Week and the 233rd anniversary of the United States Coast Guard.  He presented a plaque to Lt. Brett Belanger who was representing the U.S. Coast Guard stationed in Sturgeon Bay. 

Four women in custody following Sturgeon Bay drug overdose incident

The drug overdose of a 42-year-old Sturgeon Bay man on Monday has led to three women being charged with drug-related crimes and one additional woman being taken into custody.


The Door County Sheriff’s Department announced the charges Tuesday afternoon after it responded to a call of an overdose in the Town of Sturgeon Bay after 3:15 p.m. With the use of Narcan, the man was revived and transported to Door County Medical Center for treatment.


The incident triggered the Door County Drug Task Force to execute a search warrant on the home where deputies seized 16 fentanyl pills, a variety of drug paraphernalia, and numerous electronic devices.


A 31-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman who had outstanding warrants from the Door County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections was taken into custody after she was found hiding in the home. Two Sturgeon Bay women, a 19-year-old and a 47-year-old, were taken into custody for a variety of drug charges including possession of narcotic drugs without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place, and possession of fentanyl. A fourth woman, a 44-year-old from Sturgeon Bay, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.


More charges could be on the way as the investigation continues.

Republican Presidential nomination runs through Wisconsin

The 2024 Presidential Election is more than a year away, but Wisconsin is making sure you include it as a part of the conversation. 


As of Tuesday, former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneurs Vivek Ramaswamy and Doug Burgum, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have qualified for the debate set for August 23rd at the Fiserv Forum. Trump, who is well in front of everyone else in the Republican field, has already said he would not participate in the debate, taking to social media to say he would watch to see who might be his vice president.


With President Joe Biden dealing with his own sagging polling data and locked in a dead heat with Trump in an expected rematch, Door County Republican Party Chairperson Stephanie Soucek says voters have a chance to continue some of the momentum that started last fall with the House flipping control.

Soucek hopes for a similarly strong slate of Republican candidates to run against U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin for her seat in the Senate in the very near future. Rep. Tom Tiffany became the latest potential Republican challenger to Baldwin to announce that they would not be pursuing the seat. Eric Hovde, Scott Mayer, and former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke are all still considering potential campaigns. The Fiserv Forum will also be the site of the Republican National Convention July 15th-18th, 2024.

Newest Sturgeon Bay event series brings community to waterfront

The sounds of music and the smells of food hope to bring you to Sturgeon Bay’s Graham Park again this Friday. Destination Sturgeon Bay launched its Friday Foodie Fun Fest earlier this summer to not just highlight Graham Park but to promote the community coming together. August 4th marks the third edition of the series of Friday Foodie Fun Fests, which take place the first Friday of each month through October. Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says not only has the event gotten people outside, but it has also helped some local non-profits get the word out about their services as well.

This month’s Friday Foodie Fun Fest will feature food from Carjacks Patty Wagon and music from U 102.1.

Government leaders begin budgeting process

Before local county boards begin approving budgets in November, you will find a lot of people working behind the scenes to make sure the numbers work for everyone. The Door County Board of Supervisors started the process last month, reviewing some of the projects in the county’s capital improvement plan.


The most expensive projects in the $70 million-plus plan are in the technology services area where the county will follow the times and go from an analog system to a digital one. The plan earmarks $4.6 million for a tower replacement and $20,000 for a new Next-Generation 911 public safety tower. The county must also account for its growing population, which has grown nearly 10 percent over the last decade, the fifth-fastest among the state’s rural counties. While there are more people coming to Door County, many of them are people moving to the area to retire, which requires a different set of resources than younger individuals.


County Administrator Ken Pabich says it is all a part of the formula they are trying to work through right now.

Pabich says budget specifics will be worked through during committee meetings and other levels of government before public hearings are held and the county board registers their vote.

School districts prepare to welcome students back

As the calendar turns to August, your kids are getting closer to heading back to class. Registration materials are already out for many families in Door and Kewaunee counties with some in-person events occurring as early as Tuesday. Area school districts have been busy over the summer with custodians putting the final touches on buildings to make them ready for the school year and administrators making sure they have enough staff members to handle the students. Kewaunee School District’s newest hires will not just allow the district to teach social studies and science every day to its middle school-aged students but also lower its average class size to under 20 students. Superintendent Scott Fritz says the positive changes they have made over the summer have him extra excited for the upcoming school year.

While students and staff members may be excited about the beginning of the school year, your bank account may not. The National Retail Federation is predicting that parents will spend a collective $41.5 billion on school supplies this fall, with the average family spending $890 on them. That is up from $864 the previous year, thanks in part to school supplies increasing in cost by nearly 24 percent over the last two years. We have a list of some of the back-to-school registration information below.


7th/9th grade orientation 8/23 10-11:30 a.m.


Being finalized this week



8/14: Intermediate School Popsicles with the Principal on the Playground 5:30 p.m.
8/16: High School Freshman Orientation 7 p.m.,
8/17: Middle School New Student Orientation 
8/21: Middle School Open House 3 p.m.,
8/23: Primary School Open House

8/28: High School Open House 3 p.m.


8/1: Registration begins
8/8: in-person registration being held from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. in the Secondary IMC & Cafeteria.



8/1: In-Person Registration for New Students from Noon - 6:00 p.m.

8/7: In-Person Registration for New Students from Noon - 6:00 p.m.

8/30: 4k-12 Open House from 5:00-7:00 p.m.


Southern Door
Get to Know You Conference/Open House 8/28  4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Sturgeon Bay 
8/21: High School Freshman Orientation 6-7 p.m.
8/30: New Sunrise School Student/Family Orientation 3:30-4 p.m., Districtwide Open House 6-8 p.m.,
8/31: High School Open House 4-6:30 p.m.


Washington Island
Registration materials due back by August 11th

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