Listen Live

Podcast

Videos

Daily E-lert

News Archives for 2023-09

Federal emergency alert systems get tested Wednesday

Your phones will chirp and your favorite radio and television stations will be interrupted on Wednesday in the name of safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will host its nationwide test of its Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) at approximately 1:20 p.m. If you are listening to the radio or watching television, it will be similar to what you already experienced during the regular monthly EAS test with a one-minute message. For the WEA test, your phone will play a unique tone and vibrations while receiving a text-like message. The test covers extreme weather warnings, local and national emergencies, and AMBER and Blue alerts. If the test date is postponed, you will have to keep your eyes and ears open on the make-up date of October 11th.

Clean sweep coming up for Kewaunee County

Kewaunee County will be holding its Agricultural and Household Hazardous Waste and Dry Pharmaceutical Collection on Saturday, October 21, 2023 from 8 a.m. to Noon at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds.

 

Some persons may be wondering what kind of collection that is. This is where you can bring in lawn and garden pesticides and herbicides that are outdated, hazardous or are no longer being used by your household. You can bring in your garage hazardous chemicals. An excellent opportunity to properly dispose of those heavy-duty cleaners, anti-freeze, transmission fluids, and degreasers! Household Hazardous Waste....what is that?? Well, those can be your bleaches, oil-based paint, paint thinners and solvents, silver polish, etc.

 

We are only accepting dry pharmaceuticals in this collection. No creams or liquids will be accepted, so please don't bring them, they will get sent back with you. Empty your pill bottle(s) out into a plastic bag. We do not want your pill bottles. 

 

We will also be accepting: old ammunition, old fire extinguishers, used eye-glasses (these get donated by the Kewaunee Lions Club), sharps containers from personal household use (note: any needles/lancelets must be in a sharps or sharps-approved container - do NOT bring them in milk jugs, in plastic bags, or laying loose).

 

We will be collecting for a $2 fee 4ft, 6, ft, and 8ft fluorescent lightbulbs per bulb. This is the same rate you would pay if you took them to Riverview Transfer Station directly. 

 

We are NOT taking any electronics at this collection. That means we are not taking any TVs, no humidifiers, no washers, no dryers, no stoves, and no computers. NO electronics of any sort. 

 

Also, we are NOT taking any tires. I get asked every year when we will hold another tire collection. I have not been able to find a grant that will help us hold something like this. Your best bet is to bring your old tires to Riverview Transfer Station or any other such type of facility and to pay to dispose of them properly. 

 

Also, we will not take used automotive oil. That you can bring to a number of places for no fee. 

 

Our office does its best to make the best use of the grant dollars that are awarded to Kewaunee County to hold the Clean Sweep Event. There are items that can be taken elsewhere for no fee, so there is no reason to bring it to the Agricultural and Household Hazardous Waste collection to take away from someone else from being able to dispose of something that cannot be brought somewhere else without having to pay a huge fee to do so. The grant dollars received pay for the proper disposal of the agricultural and household hazardous waste that gets brought in.

 

 While it may be free for you to bring in your items, please keep in mind that those who are volunteering to help are donating their time to help us help you properly dispose of your items. 

 

We encourage people to register for this event. Don't worry, there are plenty of time slots available. We take 10 - 15 persons every 15 minutes. By registering, this helps us spread people throughout the 4 hours of the event. We do not take anyone before 8 a.m., so it does you no good to try and get there early. You will have to wait in line and wait until 8 a.m. until we are ready to take persons coming through. Our staff and volunteers have plenty to get set up for this event and it cannot be done at any other time than the morning of the event. 

 

Visit the Kewaunee County website at www.kewauneeco.org and look for Emergency Management and then information regarding the Clean Sweep for more information. 


Government shutdown looms ahead of Saturday deadline

You may see a repeat of 2018’s government shutdown if Congress cannot come together by October 1st.

 

The Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-held House are working on separate plans to address the 12 different spending bills to fund agencies across the federal government. 

 

Once the clock strikes midnight on October 1st, it means millions of federal employees will have their paychecks delayed, federal offices and national parks will close, and other services will be halted until the problem is fixed. 

 

During the last government shutdown, organizations like Adopt-a-Soldier Door County provided interest-free loans and other assistance to local members of the United States Coast Guard, which like many other federal employees, were furloughed during the 35-day stretch. This was because the United States Coast Guard, unlike other military branches, is under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security and not the Department of Defense. U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced a bill on September 18th that would make sure the Coast Guard were treated like other members of the Armed Forces and get paid during a government shutdown. 

 

 

To avoid future shutdowns, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson joined Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma on an amendment that would automatically provide continuing appropriations if new spending bills are not enacted by October 1st. If the amendment is included, he would vote for a stop-gap measure that bundles the 12 different funding bills into three different ones. 

 

 

Rep. Mike Gallagher has proposed a bill that would make sure $11 billion in previously appropriated defense funds from being canceled and go back to the U.S. Treasury instead of to the Department of Defense. He told WLUK this week that the House has to put their best foot forward when it comes to negotiating with the Senate on a new government funding bill to avert the shutdown. Gallagher admitted there might be a temporary shutdown, though there is a chance they could avoid it.

 

NEW Plastics shares national spotlight with Packers

While the play of the Green Bay Packers Thursday night may have forced you to turn your attention to other things, a local business may have caught your attention in between commercial breaks. NEW Plastics of Luxemburg was featured as one of the clips returning viewers to the game on Amazon Prime. The manufacturer produces reusable squeeze bottles for Gatorade, which is a sponsor of the NFL. Founded in 1968 by Irvin Vincent, NEW Plastics continues to be a family-owned company employing more than 200 people while producing a wide variety of plastic-based products ranging from bottles and containers to lumber.

 

Photo courtesy of Lynie Vincent

 


Truck destroyed in Union Fire

It is still a mystery how a truck caught on fire while driving in the Town of Union on Thursday. The Brusels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Door County Emergency Services responded to the blaze that occurred off of State Highway 57 near County D just after 8:45 p.m. where a truck was pulled off to the side of the road fully engulfed. Firefighter Matt Phillips said the driver of the vehicle pulled over when he noticed smoke coming from the vehicle but did not know how it would have caught fire. Four firetrucks spent about an hour on the scene, two of which were used for traffic control since the incident occurred on the decline of a hill.  No one was injured in the fire, but the cause remains unknown.

 

One injured in Sturgeon Bay crash

A Sturgeon Bay woman was transported to Door County Medical Center for suspected minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Thursday. Sturgeon Bay Police officers were called to the corner of Michigan Street and 5th Avenue at about 9:45 a.m. after a car struck a sports utility vehicle. According to the police report, Kristopher Strandell of Forestville admitted to being at fault for the accident, adding that he did not look when he crossed Michigan Street heading north on 5th Avenue after being at a stop sign. He struck the SUV driver, Lisa Carmody of Sturgeon Bay, as she was traveling west on Michigan Street with the right of way. Her vehicle had to be towed from the scene while she was transported for treatment of her own. Strandell was cited for a failure to yield the right of way.  

"Great Fire" commemorated at the Belgian Heritage Center

The history of the "Great Fire of 1871", known locally as the Peshtigo Fire, will be revisited on its 152nd anniversary next month. Barb (Englebert) Chisholm, a fifth-generation American of Belgian descent with ancestors who survived the devastating fire, will speak at the Belgian Heritage Center during the Remembrance of the Great Fire. Dressed in character as her great-great-grandmother, Chisholm shares the story of the Englebert family's survival.

Chisholm will re-enact her program on Saturday, October 7 at 11 a.m.   Prior to that, Green Bay Metro Fire Chief David Siegel will also speak about the unique aspects of the Great Fire and why it was so deadly for many. The blaze swept through Northeastern Wisconsin and claimed over 1,200 lives. The fire devastated a large part of the Belgian settlement in one of the worst natural disasters in United States History on October 8, 1871. 

Republican debate takes on more combative tone in encore

Many of the Republican candidates for U.S. President pulled no punches when it came to attacking each other and some cases former President Donald Trump during Wednesday’s second debate.

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum took the stage at the Ronald Reagan President Library in California to discuss topics like the Biden administration, foreign policy, energy independence, and social media regulation.

 

With last month’s debate in Milwaukee in the rearview mirror, candidates frequently attacked each other and some put their crosshairs on former President Trump more often than they did the first time. Door County Republican Party Chairperson Stephanie Soucek said the combative nature of the debate made it a little bit harder for candidates to stand out compared to the first debate.


Soucek’s biggest hope with these debates is that the Republicans on stage are able to share their ideas on how to help the move the country forward and improve upon what has been done over the last four years under the Biden Administration. The next Republican debate is slated for November 8th in Miami.

Deer activity expected to increase

The Charlie Berens adage of “say hi to your folks and watch out for deer” will likely be a part of your daily routine over the next few months. October and November tend to be the busiest months for deer vs. vehicle accidents in Wisconsin. Last year, Door County 86 deer hits in October and November combined while Kewaunee County saw 84. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is important for motorists to keep their eyes open for deer, especially if you are driving a vehicle where you are not as protected. 

The breeding phase is the biggest reason for increased deer activity during October and November, especially during evening and nighttime hours. You can claim deer accidentally killed by a motor vehicle, but you do have to register it online. You also have to report the incident to local law enforcement.

Local manufacturers blocked from "Coolest Things" bracket

Products made by Sturgeon Bay’s Marine Travelift and Luxemburg’s SAS Forks are still cool, but you will not see them in the next round of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s Coolest Things in Wisconsin Contest. Neither company had their items chosen for the 16-item bracket, which includes food and drinks, motor vehicles, and even skeeball in the mix. 

 

The SAS Extreme Auto Processor can be attached to medium-sized excavators making it easier to recover valuable materials from scrap car bodies like radiators, transmissions, and more.

 

Marine Travelift’s variable-width mobile boat hoists give operators nine feet of width variability and can expand and retract under a full load in 60 seconds.

 

Voting began earlier this month for the approximately 100 nominees and continued until September 26th. You can vote for the final 16 entries by clicking on this link.

Discussions begin on possible Egg Harbor roundabout

If the Village of Egg Harbor and Door County officials can agree, you might encounter a roundabout on your travels to and from its public beach. The Village of Egg Harbor discussed the possibility of erecting a temporary, pop-up roundabout near the “five corners area” south of downtown Egg Harbor where Horseshoe Bay Road/County Road G, Alpine Road, South Trail, Beach Road, and Hillside Trail all intersect. The intersection is controlled by stop signs now, but a temporary, pop-up roundabout could change that for a lot less money than constructing a full-fledged one like what is found in Sturgeon Bay and other communities. Since Horseshoe Bay Road/County Road G is a county-owned roadway, the village would need county approval to proceed. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash is approaching the request from the Village of Egg Harbor with an open mind, but he does have some reservations about the potential project. Space and driving behaviors were the biggest concerns for him.

Ash says the conversation could lead to other ideas of what could be done for that area even if it doesn’t mean constructing a roundabout. East Palo Alto, Calif. Sioux Falls, S.D., Kaysville, Utah, and Wilmington, N.C. are all examples of municipalities that have used temporary roundabouts in the past to see if more permanent ones needed to be built. 

 

 

Donors needed during blood shortage, local drives start Thursday

You can help to make up the difference in the blood supply shortage in the area as the American Red Cross looks for more blood donors due to a shortfall in August.  The organization is in dire need of collecting 10,000 additional blood products each over the next month to meet patient and hospital needs.  The national Red Cross blood supply dropped by about 25 percent in late summer after one of the busiest travel seasons ever.  Locally, the American Red Cross will be holding seven upcoming blood drives the next month to help Door County Medical Center and other area hospitals stocked up with blood units. 

 

In Door County

Sturgeon Bay Community Church 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Thursday, September 28 

The First Baptist Church in Sister Bay 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesday, October 3 

Washington Island  Trinity Lutheran Church 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.Tuesday, October 4

NWTC in Sturgeon Bay  9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Thursday, October 19

Door County YMCA in Fish Creek  Noon until 5 p.m. on Friday, October 19

Baileys Harbor Town Hall 9:00 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday, October 26 

 

In Kewaunee County

Monday, October 2nd the American Red Cross will be having a blood drive near Luxemburg at the Pilsen Church on Highway 29 from 11:45 a.m. until 6 p.m.  

 

 

As an added incentive, the American Red Cross is giving donors a free $15 Amazon.com gift card by email for any blood donation between October 1 - 20. 

 

The Red Cross offers three ways to make a donation appointment that can help save lives:


Download the Red Cross Blood Donor App
Visit RedCrossBlood.org
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)

 

Nasewaupee Fire Rescue begins new era this week

You will see a new fire department officially starting up in Door County as of 10:00 p.m. today (Wednesday) when the Nasewaupee Fire Rescue begins operations in southern Door County.  The Town of New Nasewaupee will split from the Southern Door Fire Department which will continue to service the town and village of Forestville and Clay Banks.  Fire Rescue Chief Jacob Schartner says Nasewaupee received licensed approval from the State of Wisconsin for responding to fire calls and Emergency Medical Response by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services earlier this month.  Schartner shares the process of starting up the new department to be fully ready to go.

 

 

Schartner says the public will not notice any difference in services other than a new logo on the fire station, equipment, and clothing. Nasewaupee Fire Rescue currently has a staff of 25 firefighters and EMRs with hopes to hire five more people from recently received applications. 

Grand Opening set for Sturgeon Bay YMCA on October 8th

You can be part of the community to celebrate the Door County YMCA Sturgeon Bay Program Center expansion project next month.  Although the Door County YMCA has already opened its newly expanded facility in Sturgeon Bay, the Heart of the Community Capital Campaign Grand Opening will be held on October 8th.  Mission Advancement Executive Brett Cleveland says the celebration will be special for the staff and the community.

 

 

The renovation and expansion of the Sturgeon Bay Program Center was a $10.2 million project that added over 16,300 square feet of space including a wellness center, new youth activity center, outdoor classroom, and a new kitchen area for the year-round meals program.  The Heart of the Community Capital Campaign Grand Opening will be from 11:15 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 8th.  

 

Fire damages trailers in Nasewaupee

What started as a camper trailer fire on New Settlement Road southwest of Sturgeon Bay could have been a lot worse if not the the quick response by the Southern Door Fire Department on Tuesday afternoon.  Southern Door Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Cihlar says crews were dispatched around 2:30 p.m. to 2490 New Settlement Road.  Upon arrival, Cihlar was concerned about a 500-gallon propane tank that was only a few feet away from the fire-engaged camper trailer.  The fire was extinguished quickly, but substantial damage was already done to the smaller trailer and slight damage to two other storage trailers located by a shed. Cihlar says the fire was probably caused by a generator that was feeding an electrical panel in the camper from the shed that had a solar panel on it.

 

 

Cihlar notes that over 4,000 gallons of water were used to douse the blaze and that the scene was cleared shortly after 3:30 p.m.  An initial MABAS call to the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was canceled when the fire was quickly put out.  No injuries were reported.

Travelers urged to start booking now for winter

The calendar may have just turned to fall, but airlines and their partners at airports across the country are encouraging you to start thinking about winter. Air traffic continues to nudge closer to pre-pandemic levels. Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay has seen its air traffic increase by 15 percent each month over the last three months and it is on pace to be about 10 percent higher than in 2022. Airport Director Marty Piette thanks “revenge travel” for the uptick in air traffic as people continue to try to make up for trips canceled because of the pandemic. Piette says he expects more of the same to close out the year, urging potential fliers that if they want to lock in the right trip for the right price, the time is now.

As always, Piette encourages people to arrive early, review the different rules and regulations when it comes to your packing list, and bring a little patience as well. Local airports have been especially busy this week with the Green Bay Packers hosting their first two home games of the year within five days of each other.

Door County's love affair with lighthouses prevails

Although you may not use them for their intended purpose, lighthouses continue to fascinate people from near and far and of all ages. The Door County Maritime Museum’s Fall Lighthouse Festival is just the latest example of residents and visitors alike wanting to get up close to Door County’s 11 lighthouses plus others in Kewaunee, Algoma, and Green Bay. For many, this is the only time people can visit and tour the structures, many of which have either gone automated or dark as the times have changed. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director & Development Manager Sam Perlman says people remain fascinated by lighthouses and the stories that make them even more unique.


While some tours are sold out, Perlman says there is still some availability depending on if you want to travel by air, water, or land. Making the Fall Lighthouse Festival even more attractive is the arrival of the fall colors to the peninsula. According to the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report, Door County is at 15 percent peak while Algoma is at 25 percent.

 

Presidential candidates ready for debate encore on Wednesday

You will be able to hear from most of the Republican Presidential candidates on Wednesday as the political party hosts its second debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum will all take the stage for their second debate while former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson failed to meet the minimum standards for fundraising and polling to join the group behind his podium. The debate serves as an encore to last month’s event that took place at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, which will also host next year’s Republican National Convention. Door County Republican Party Stephanie Soucek was among those who attended the debate and gave her thoughts on the candidates who participated the next day.


Former President Donald Trump, who leads the polls with 55.2 percent of likely voters supporting him according to FiveThirtyEight, is opting to not participate. DeSantis leads the debate field with 13.8 percent, followed by Ramaswamy (6.1 percent) and Haley (5.6 percent). According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, Trump is also leading the poll against his likely opponent President Joe Biden, leading him 51 percent to 42 percent. No one is likely to challenge Biden in a presidential primary, though the same poll shows only 33 percent of Democrats prefer Biden as the nominee while 63 percent would rather choose someone else. The debate is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. on the Fox Business Channel. 

 

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Soucek

One injured in Friday's Ephraim rollover crash

A Sister Bay man was injured and transported to Door County Medical Center as the result of a one-vehicle crash into a concrete barrier Friday afternoon.

 

The Door County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene on State Highway 42 near Holand Road just after 4 p.m. with the car resting against a concrete wall with its passenger-side door up in the air. According to the crash report released on Tuesday by the Door County Sheriff’s Department, the driver, Jerry Lee Zaug of Sister Bay, was still seated on the driver’s side and was being treated for a possible diabetic issue when deputies arrived. Zaug was transported to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. The car had to be towed away while the owner of the property was alerted about the damage sustained to the wall as a result of the crash.

 

The incident closed down the roadway for approximately one hour and crews reopened it shortly before 5:15 p.m.

Algoma in search of new City Treasurer

The City of Algoma is looking to fill the treasurer position currently held by Amber Shallow, who will be leaving her post on October 13.  City Administrator Matt Murphy says Shallow did a great job over her ten years of working for the city, especially the application process for community development block grants earned by Algoma over the years.  Murphy describes the work Shallow performed over the years and expectations for the new treasurer.

 

 

Murphy adds that Shallow has agreed to help out after October 13th with onboarding the new person who is hired and working some evenings if needed.   

EV Charger Mini-Grant Program restarts next month

You will have another opportunity to get a little financial assistance installing a new EV charger with help from Destination Door County. The organization is opening its third round of mini-grants on Sunday at 8 a.m. for area businesses that want to install the electric vehicle infrastructure needed to charge cars when needed. The $ 1,000 grants are open to any Door County business, non-profit organization, or government entity wishing to upgrade their current equipment or to install new products. The grants have disappeared quickly in the past because of interest in the program, which is part of Destination Door County’s sustainability initiatives. You can find more information about the program by clicking this link. The mini-grants program for EV chargers is expected to expire at the end of the year, but there is a possibility that it will get extended. There is a network of over 50 charging stations in Door County, located primarily in Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, Fish Creek, Ephraim, Ellison Bay, Egg Harbor, and Baileys Harbor.

 

Inattentive driving blamed for Sturgeon Bay crash

No one was hurt but an accident in Sturgeon Bay early Sunday afternoon gave you a lesson in the importance of keeping your eyes on the road. The Sturgeon Bay Police Department was called to State Highway 42/57 near Utah Street just after noon on Sunday after a two-vehicle crash led to both of them getting towed. According to the police report, Max Boursaw of Sturgeon Bay was driving behind Zhifeng Liu of Algoma when his eyes went off the road. When his pickup truck hit the rumble strips on the shoulder of the road, Boursaw overcorrected and tried swerving around Liu’s vehicle before striking it. His truck went off the roadway and both vehicles suffered significant front-end damage. The accident caused major back-ups on State Highway 42/57 as many people were traveling home after their weekend stays. The road was closed for about 25 minutes and the scene was cleared before 12:45 p.m. Boursaw was cited for inattentive driving and operating a vehicle without insurance. 

Kratom legalization explored by Assembly Republicans

Whether you eat, drink, or inhale it, kratom could be legalized if approved by state officials later this year.

 

Rep. John Macco of Ledgeview and four other legislators introduced the bill known as AB 393 last week calling for the legalization of the herbal supplement some use to self-treat conditions like pain, anxiety, and opioid use disorder. Under the bill, kratom would be regulated to help prevent other issues from occurring. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, kratom can produce opioid and stimulant-like effects depending on the dosage. Its usage has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medical use. Rep. Macco told WBAY last week that it would be a “great alternative to add some of the drug problems we have.”

 

Door County Sheriff’s Department drug investigator Elizabeth Williams says they have not seen too many issues yet with kratom but knows that despite it being a misdemeanor to possess, people can order the supplement through the mail. She sees kratom as an accessory to other drug use, not necessarily a replacement.

Assembly Republicans introduced a bill legalizing kratom last year, but the effort was dropped due to criticism from law enforcement. Kratom is legal in over 40 states with some stipulations and approximately 1.7 million Americans 12 and older used the substance in 2021.

Corn maze puts state's history forward

You can get lost in a corn maze and in the state’s agricultural history thanks to a fall attraction in Forestville.

 

The 175th anniversary of Wisconsin inspired the Guilette family to design its Red Barn Corn Maze in the state of Wisconsin, adding other features of America’s Dairyland into the final product. Visitors can follow the outline of the state and other elements of the Wisconsin flag.

 

 

Jan Guilette designed the course on graph paper before they planted the corn and subsequently began carving the path with a lawnmower. With the entrance stationed just outside a tent featuring old farm equipment, Guilette hopes visitors learn and have fun at the same time.

For those wanting less history and more hysterics, the Red Barn Corn Maze will feature a haunted maze on Fridays in October. Guilette credits members of the former Southern Door Haunted Mansion for helping them outfit the maze and help continue a Southern Door-area Halloween tradition.

 

 

Community Choir of Door County starting up on Tuesday

You can bring your vocal talents and sing with the Community Choir of Door County for the fall season.  The Community Choir is for all ages and levels of talent and skills.  The group will meet on Tuesday, September 26, and rehearse from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m. weekly during the season at the Sturgeon Bay High School choir room.  The first planned performance will be for a Veteran’s Day performance, and they sing the Messiah during the holidays.  There are no auditions or mandatory attendance, and a $25 dues fee covers expenses.  The choir director is Avery Burns and Cheryl Pfister is the choir’s founder.  If you want more information on the Community Choir of Door County, contact them on their Facebook page.  

Accident snarls traffic near bridge

An accident near the Bayview Bridge may affect your commute through Sturgeon Bay on Sunday.


A multi-vehicle accident between the Bayview Bridge and Utah Street closed both lanes of traffic as emergency crews clear the scene.

 

Crews were still on the scene as of 12:20 p.m., forcing people to use Sturgeon Bay's downtown bridges to travel across town. 

 

We will have more details on this incident when they become available.

"Sinking of the Erie L. Hackley" commemorated 120 years later

You can find out the interesting facts behind what is considered the largest single sea disaster in the history of Green Bay waters and how the loss impacted Fish Creek.  The last Gibraltar Talks for the 2023 season next month will feature the “Sinking of the Erie L. Hackley”.  The presentation will tell the story and numerous accounts of the survivors and victims of the tragedy that occurred on October 3rd, 1903.   Eleven people perished with only eight survivors who clung to the wreckage.  Gibraltar Historical Association Director Laurie Buske says the evening will have a narrator who will tell the story with community members representing the characters who were involved in the disaster 120 years ago.

 

 

The steamship transported freight and passengers across Green Bay waters long before roads and highways were around and sank near Marinette in 110 feet of water. The “Sinking of the Erie L. Hackley, the Day Fish Creek Stood Still” presentation will be at 7 p.m. at Gibraltar’s Old Town in Fish Creek on Tuesday, October 3rd.  The program is free to the public and you are encouraged to bring any articles or stories related to the sinking of the steamboat that evening. 

 

(Photo contributed)

Luxemburg-Casco Middle School students ditch personal tech

What may not seem like a big deal to you is now the talk at Luxemburg-Casco Middle School when it comes to personal devices.

 

The school launched its “Away for the Day” initiative at the beginning of the school year, barring its students from accessing their smart devices during the school year. Middle School Principal Todd Chandler says they implemented the program because they wanted the attention of their students back in the classroom. “We believe – and research supports – that by eliminating personal smart devices, schools are seeing increases in academic performance, increases in face-to-face communication, a reduction in social issues, and decreases in unkind acts and bullying.”

 

The research does back up Chandler and his administration’s claims. When schools in England banned mobile phones, the test scores of 16-year-old students increased by 6.4%. Moreover, research has shown that students who are regularly interrupted by text messages average 10.6% lower test scores. Approximately 89 percent of Luxemburg-Casco’s middle school students carry a personal cell phone, but 78 percent of the students’ parents agreed that there should be limitations to how much and when those devices can be used. Chandler says the learning curve has been steeper for eighth graders who were able to have their personal devices at the same school last year.

Students get five strikes before the tougher decisions need to be made. Previous transgressions are usually greeted with the devices taken away and a mandatory check-in of the device when they come to school after the fourth offense. Students can still have their phones for use before and after school, but Chandler admits that it has declined significantly since the first week of school.  

Special electors meeting looks to get Nasewaupee wired

If you want to surf the web quicker when living or working in the Town of Nasewaupee, Monday’s vote could be a step in the right direction. The town will host a special meeting of the electors on Monday to approve $5,000,000 in borrowing to fund the build-out of town-wide fiber-optic infrastructure. Nasewaupee officials have been working on providing better internet for its customers for well over a year since its Fibernet/Broadband Committee started meeting in April 2022. Bertram Communications has partnered with the town to help get its fiber project off the ground. A Wisconsin Public Service Commission grant, which has helped jumpstart other communities like Baileys Harbor, Washington Island, and Jacksonport with their efforts to get fiber internet installed is available, but matching funds are usually required to obtain them. The special meeting of the electors will take place at the Naswaupee Town Hall at 7 p.m. 

Farmers, motorists work together in the name of safety

As hundreds of farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties hit their fields over the next several weeks, you are being encouraged to do what you can so everyone gets to go home to their families. The agricultural sector remains one of the most dangerous in the country according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with 573 fatalities, or an equivalent of 23.1 deaths per 100,000 workers. During the third week of September, federal, state, and local agencies compile resources for farmers and other stakeholders to recognize National Farm Safety and Health Week. Not only does the week focus on tractor and rural roadway safety, it also focuses on operating within confined spaces and mental health. Adam Barta from Rio Creek Feed Mill and Peninsula Pride Farms says there are lots of ways farmers and motorists can keep each other safe.


According to UW-Extension, there were found 41 agricultural deaths in 2017 and 34 in 2018.  Tractors were the source of the majority of non-highway fatalities, and machinery is often the agent involved in entanglement, amputation injury, crushing, and other forms of non-fatal injury.

Fall Archaeological Dig at the Crossroads Cove Estuary Preserve is underway

The Fall Archaeological Dig at the Crossroads Cove Estuary Preserve is underway, and the general public—adults, families, groups –are invited to observe, or even better, to participate in the Dig on weekdays from now until Thursday, October 5.

Anytime you see activity at The Cove Estuary Preserve, you are welcome to park at the lot at 817 S. 20th Place and join in the experience. If school groups are present, visitors are invited to watch, but need to understand that our team of professional archaeologists may be too involved in educational outreach to answer questions. At other times, though, they will be more than willing to discuss their work and help visitors understand that archaeology is far more than a treasure hunt.

The stereotype of archaeologists involved in exotic travel, adventure and the acquisition of fabulous treasures is now far from accurate. Archaeology also is no longer an adult hobby like, say, stamp collecting, in which many families had a cigar box full of arrowheads tucked away, or perhaps an array of artifacts displayed in a shadow box on the mantlepiece. 

Archaeologists of today care less about acquiring treasures and more about learning about the lives of people. At Crossroads this year, we are focused on “foodways” – the ways people gathered, stored, cooked and disposed of food on Crossroads’ property. That will provide a window on our cultural heritage spanning several thousand years. We are particularly interested in the challenging times when people learned to adapt to a changing climate or conditions which presumably also led to changes in their societies, diet, trade and even their spirituality.

So, how, you may ask, can small, chipped stones, pottery sherds and chunks of partially burned wood reveal the stories of past cultures. 

Well, once the artifacts have been underearth at our dig, our archaeology team cleans, sorts, and examines them under a powerful microscope. Selected specimens will be sent off to be analyzed using the following, specialized and high-tech scientific methods.

Appropriate to our foodways theme, our team includes a specialist in ethnobotany who studies the organic materials – seeds, nutshells, fish scales, corn cakes, bones, shells, teeth – to determine what made up the diet of people during any given time. 

Using an electron microscope, trained researchers can look at the edges of stone tools and hunting weapons to examine use-wear marks to determine how and on what materials the tools were used answering questions such as: Was it a scraper? Was it used to scrape fresh hides? Process meat? Make clothing?

Using technologies from medical science, archaeologists use blood protein analysis to determine, with precision to genus and sometimes even to species, the prey animals of various cultures.

Ceramic analysis will determine the source of clay (local or traded) and, because ceramics were not glazed, pots and storage vessels sometimes absorbed oils and liquids which also helps us learn even more about “foodways.”

Organic material samples can be used for carbon dating so we can determine when people lived beside the estuary.

As part of the Archaeological Experience, Crossroads will be offering interpretive tours of the Hans and Bertha Hanson Home. Tours are free and open to the public, though donations are welcome.

So why do we care about environmental history and archaeology? First, we acknowledge and honor all people who lived or worked on the land we now steward, and we endeavor to learn how humans have interacted with nature in both positive and detrimental ways through the centuries. With this knowledge, we can make informed decisions on how best to manage and restore the land for future generations.

And speaking of future generations, Crossroads Junior Nature Club, a six-session program for pre-school children, will begin meeting on October 27. For information and to register, please visit the Crossroads at Big Creek website.

Folks who want to help in our restoration efforts are encouraged to participate in our Pollinator Pals and Habitat Healers programs which will run through the end of October.

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 land restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 

Thursday, September 28

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Archaeological Dig Public Outreach at The Cove Estuary

Learners of all ages are invited to observe or take part in our Fall Archaeological Dig. We provide gloves, instructions and supervision. Please park in the lot at 817 South 20th Place. Free and open to the public.  

Friday, September 30

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Archaeological Dig Public Outreach at The Cove Estuary

Learners of all ages are invited to observe or take part in our Fall Archaeological Dig under the supervision of a team of professional archaeologists. Learn about the foodways of the Woodland Era people who are thought to have lived, at least seasonally, beside the estuary. We provide gloves, instructions and supervision. Please park in the lot at 817 South 20th Place. Free and open to the public.   

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

Enjoy a free tour of the Hans and Bertha Hanson House to learn about life in the 1880s. No reservations needed. The Hanson House is located at 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area, 817 South 20th Place, so as not to detract from the historical character of the area. 

Saturday, September 30

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 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. 

 

Sunday, October 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

Monday, October 2

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Archaeological Dig Public Outreach at The Cove Estuary

Learners of all ages are invited to observe or take part in our Fall Archaeological Dig under the supervision of a team of professional archaeologists. Learn about the foodways of the Woodland Era people who, we believe, lived, at least seasonally, beside the estuary. We provide gloves, instructions and supervision. Please part in the lot at 817 South 20thPlace. Free and open to the public. 

Tuesday, October 3 

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Archaeological Dig Public Outreach at The Cove Estuary

Learners of all ages are invited to observe or take part in our Fall Archaeological Dig under the supervision of a team of professional archaeologists. Learn about the foodways of the Woodland Era people who, we believe, lived, at least seasonally, beside the estuary. We provide gloves, instructions and supervision. Please part in the lot at 817 South 20thPlace. Free and open to the public. 

6:30 p.m. Crossroads Bird Club

Birders, novice to experienced, are invited to Bird Club the first Tuesday of each month. We meet at the Collins Learning Center, but if weather cooperates, bring your binoculars and come dressed for an outing. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

Wednesday, October 4

10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Archaeological Dig Public Outreach at The Cove Estuary

Learners of all ages are invited to observe or take part in our Fall Archaeological Dig under the supervision of a team of professional archaeologists. Learn about the foodways of the Woodland Era people who, we believe, lived, at least seasonally, beside the estuary. We provide gloves, instructions and supervision. Please part in the lot at 817 South 20thPlace. Free and open to the public. 

Slow down for curds and kids

Trips to attend school or grab a bag of cheese curds could become safer in the future thanks to a new traffic pattern and a lower speed limit. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Door County Highway Department, and Renard’s Cheese have been working to make the intersection of Wisconsin 42/57 and Cloverleaf Road a safer one to navigate. The DOT will be changing the intersection to a right-in/right-out/left-in configuration, providing protected right-turn lanes onto Highway 42/57 and protected left-hand turn lanes on Cloverleaf Road. You will not be able to cross the intersection to turn left on Highway 42/57 under the configuration. One stop sign will be removed and two more will be added as a part of the project. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin DOT says there have been a number of accidents at the intersection over the years and he is hopeful that the new pattern will help.

As a part of the change, Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash is looking to lower the speed limit on County DK, which runs alongside Highway 42/57 near Renards, to 45 miles per hour from Stone Road to Stevenson Pier Road. The Door County Board of Supervisors will vote to approve the change at its meeting on Tuesday.

 

Former Sturgeon Bay conservation warden honored by DNR

You may remember the 2022 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden from his time serving the Sturgeon Bay area. The DNR announced on Friday that it has recognized Lt. Bryan Lockman as its 2022 DNR Conservation Warden of the Year Award, also known as the Haskell Noyes Efficiency Award. It is the highest award that a conservation warden can receive in the state, recognizing their ability to balance enforcement, education, and community involvement. Lockman, who has served the DNR for the last 22 years, has served in Sturgeon Bay, New London, Wisconsin Rapids, and Stevens Point during his tenure. His current role involves him leading a group of wardens. Capt. Ben Treml and Lt. Warden Jon Scharbarth honored Lockman in the DNR’s announcement, which you can find below.

 

STATEMENTS FROM DNR RELEASE

  • Capt. Ben Treml, Lockman’s supervisor, says community policing is Lockman’s foundation. “Bryan is thorough on investigations related to environmental complaints and violations, and his humble and caring demeanor helps him connect with hunters, anglers, trappers and landowners,” said Treml. “That combination allows him to enforce the law while building trust with the public.”
  • Lockman is also held in high regard by his colleagues. “Bryan’s integrity cannot be compromised. He is a genuine, great person who is not just an incredible teammate and work partner, but an amazing asset and resource,” said Lt. Warden Jon Scharbarth. “His empathetic communication style and commonsense approach puts people at ease. There is no one I would rather have by my side in a tough situation.”

Government resurrects free mail-order COVID test program

If you are worried about COVID wrecking your fall and winter plans, the federal government has restarted a program to give you peace of mind.

 

The Biden Administration announced Thursday that it was dedicating $600 million to get free COVID-19 tests into the hands of Americans. The government halted the free test program and insurance providers stopped covering the costs of over-the-counter tests when the federal emergency designation expired earlier this year. The announcement comes as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations have started to slowly increase in recent weeks. According to National Public Radio, COVID-related hospitalizations have peaked in January each of the last three years after many holiday celebrations have concluded. Americans will be able to request up to four free COVID-19 rapid tests per household beginning on September 25th. 

 

The announcement is also on the heels of the announcement that an updated COVID-19 vaccine is available to those interested. While some people may be able to get it for free through Medicaid, Medicare, or their private insurance providers, others may have to pay. According to Door County Public Health, the newest formulation from Pfizer could cost you $120. According to Reuters, U.S. officials are encouraging everyone ages six months and up to get the newest vaccine, which contradicts the World Health Organization’s recommendation that only the elderly and certain at-risk groups need the booster if they have already received more than three doses.

 

Senator Jacque announces Senate Scholars applications

State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere) was proud to announce earlier this week that the Wisconsin State Senate will again offer the Senate Scholar Program next year, and urged 1st District students to apply by the November 17, 2023 deadline.

 

“The Senate Scholar Program is a leading initiative designed to challenge Wisconsin’s best students,” Sen. Jacque said.  “It is a truly unique, hands-on educational experience for high school juniors and seniors interested in the state legislative process.” 

 

The Senate Scholar Program consists of an advanced government curriculum that includes classroom instruction, roundtable discussion sections, and a lab component.  Experts teach Scholars about constituent relations, research and development of legislation, and bill drafting.  Scholars also engage in roundtable discussions with legislative support agency directors and staff, media, and lobbyists throughout the week, resulting in further insight into all facets of the legislative process. 

 

Sen. Jacque said the program culminates in a mock committee hearing that includes testimony from experts and members of the public. 

 

“Scholars have the opportunity to put all they have learned into action after staffing the Senate Floor during session and watching debate on legislation,” Sen Jacque said.  “Scholars draft their own bills and amendments, form their own committee, and elect committee leadership.”

 

Sen. Jacque said one student from each of the 33 Senate Districts may participate in the week-long program in Madison.

 

“Although the program is rigorous, fun evening activities are planned for participants,” Sen. Jacque said.  “Senate Scholars stay near the state Capitol at the Concourse Hotel in downtown Madison.”

 

Applications need to be received no later than November 17, 2023.  A digital copy of the application and more information can be found at: www.senatescholar.com. 

 

“Any interested students who have questions about the Senate Scholar program should feel free to contact my office,” Sen. Jacque said. 

Street crack sealing starts next week in Sturgeon Bay

You may want to be prepared to take a little more time to get around the streets of Sturgeon Bay starting next week. On Monday, an asphalt sealer contracted by the City of Sturgeon Bay will begin work on Project 2303 – Street Crack Sealing Program. City Engineer Chad Shefchik says this project involves crack sealing on most roadways and parking lots throughout the city. He expects that affected roadways will remain open to traffic while work is being done, but parking may be restricted as the contractor can complete the work.

 

 

Traffic may be down to one lane for a short period on the various streets as the roadways are being sealed. Shefchik asks that you try to avoid the roadway being impacted for the safety of the public and the installation crews. You can find the labeled maps that show the affected roadways and the approximate order in which they will be resealed here.

Door County ready to welcome football fans

Better late than never, but you should see some football fans squeezing in a side trip this weekend as the Green Bay Packers host their first home game of the season on Sunday. Destination Door County’s Jon Jarosh points to the uniqueness of this season’s schedule as to why the peninsula could see more people at typically untraditional times. It is only the eighth time in franchise history that the Packers have started a season in Green Bay in Week 3 or later according to the organization’s Dope Sheet, with the last occurrence coming in 2016. It was a year later that the Packers added more activities surrounding the game to help get people to the area earlier if they were coming in from out of town. Jarosh says the combination of the Packers’ Kickoff Weekend festivities and two games in a seven-day stretch could help people decide to extend their stays or find time to visit Door County.

After next Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions, the Packers will not host another game until October 28th, catching the potential tail end of the leaves changing colors but missing Door County’s two busiest weekends of Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch and Sister Bay Fall Fest. Jarosh says that could set the stage for a bigger shoulder season for Door County businesses with five home games occurring at Lambeau Field after November 1st.

Patience key with apple picking

While the sight of a tree full of apples might be tempting for you to pick, apple growers say even better tastes can come to those who wait depending on the variety. Orchards across Door and Kewaunee counties are open now with both apples that are pre-picked or still on the tree for you to pick yourself. Many trees are full of apples to the point that the fruit itself might be a little smaller than in other years because of the vast number of them hanging on the branches. Before you pick a whole bag full of apples, Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says to slow down and talk to the orchard owner for an idea of which ones of the dozens of different varieties are right for the picking when you visit.

While most apples are ready to be picked between mid-September to mid-October, the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association says there are some varieties like Granny Smith, Yellow Bellflower, and Winesap that are not typically ready until late October. Roethle says the later the apples are ready, the more likely it is that you will be able to store them.

Michigan Street Bridge to close for a week in October

You can start planning your commutes through Sturgeon Bay ahead of time after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that the city would be down a bridge to open the month of October.

 

Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik shared the details on Thursday stating that the Michigan Street Bridge would be closed from October 2nd to October 5th to vehicles and pedestrians. Crews have to remove the concrete on both leaves of the bridge so repair work can be done on the structure’s overhead counterweight.

 

The Maple/Oregon Street Bridge and the Bayview Bridge are alternate routes across the water for people motoring around Sturgeon Bay ahead of Columbus Day weekend.

Staffing as big of a concern as building for potential Kewaunee County jail

While the Kewaunee County Board moves ahead with the planning for the potential Kewaunee County jail project, Sheriff Matt Joski is also worried about how they are going to staff it.

 

Law enforcement is a lot like other industries coming out of the pandemic when it comes to staffing. According to a Police Executive Research Forum survey, there has been a steady staffing decrease in recent years. Resignations and retirements have outpaced the number of officers and deputies being brought on board during a time when the number of qualified applicants is also down. It is not good timing for the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, which has been able to nail down some efficiencies but will still have to hire some new people to staff the jail whenever it gets built. Joski says it is a challenge that everyone is facing, but one they will have to figure out.

Like other places of employment in the public and private sectors, Joski says the department is hiring so it can operate its current facilities in a safe manner. You can read more on this topic below.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

It has been a few articles since I have provided an update on our jail project. Most are aware that in late July, the County Board was to vote on the acceptance of the plan as well as the financing for the project. While the acceptance of the plan was approved, the financing did not get approved as the bids for the project were substantially above what was estimated. So, what has transpired since that vote?

      

In early August, there was communication with a firm based in Iowa that had experience in building similar Jail facilities as what we are pursuing. In an effort to better understand this new approach, Myself along with members of my staff and members of the County Board did travel to a facility in Iowa to see for ourselves what opportunities this approach would provide.

      

While there were many differences to their communities as well as varying operational realities, there was great value in gaining a different perspective. At the recent Jail Study Committee meeting, there was consensus to move forward in a working relationship with this firm, which will now go to the full County Board for approval.

      

As the path related to the physical aspect of this project moves along, there is another piece which I have shared in past that requires some renewed attention. This piece is related to the operational realities. Over the past eight years of our planning, we have discussed our current staffing levels, as well as the unique aspect of utilizing our staff as Jailer/ Dispatchers. Although we would have liked to split these two very different and very demanding roles, as part of this project, it became evident very early on that we would still have some overlap so as to recognize cost savings in our new environment. Even with those overlaps, it was determined that we would need to add five new positions to our operations. This is where the concerns are starting to develop.

      

Nationally, we continue to see a decrease in the number of men and women who are pursuing careers in law enforcement. Here at the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, we too struggle to recruit at the rate we have in the past. 30 plus applications have dwindled to 10. Testing of 15 have dwindled to 3, and interviews of 12 have dwindled to 1. Although we are fortunate to enjoy a very high retention rate, we face the same realities of resignations, and retirements that have been with us throughout history.

     

At our recent Public Safety Committee meeting as well as at the recent Jail Study Committee meeting, this reality was shared so as to provide an awareness to an important piece of this project. After much discussion, it was proposed that we continue to move forward cautiously, tracking our ability to sustain adequate staffing levels for this new facility. This is an important factor in moving forward as there is very little flexibility in staffing any proposed new facility.             

     

Although our existing facility has numerous deficiencies and limitations, the one redeeming characteristic is the minimal staffing we are able to function with. Again, this is information that needs to be considered, and we will continue to do our best to recruit and retain the highest quality staff that we can, regardless of which facility we are operating.

     

     

To that point, we have just posted an employment opportunity for the Jailer/Dispatcher position. If you or someone you know would like to embark upon and a rewarding career of public service, this may be the opportunity! Please go to www.kewauneeco.org where this posting is available.

     

While the building piece of this project has received the bulk of attention thus far, our ability to operate that facility in a safe manner, greatly overshadows all else. The biggest piece of those operations are the men and women who have devoted themselves to this unique aspect of law enforcement. We are grateful to those currently filling those roles, and excited to welcome those who will take on this rewarding challenge in the future!

 

Special session on childcare falls silent

A special session of the Wisconsin Legislature that was supposed to discuss the state’s childcare and worker shortage concerns was done within minutes on Wednesday, following the same fate as past special sessions called by Governor Tony Evers. The session was called by the Democratic governor to discuss a $1 billion proposal that would have kept the Child Care Counts program that has kept many facilities afloat since the pandemic permanent, created a paid family leave program, and put more towards the University of Wisconsin system programs. Evers called out Republicans for not filling out the nearly 30-question survey that he sent out last week, asking for all members of the Wisconsin Legislature to go on the record with their stance on the issues regarding workforce issues such as childcare and paid family leave. It was a likelihood predicted by Rep. Joel Kitchens shortly after the special session was announced, calling it a political stunt and adding he would rather have a conversation about it with the governor.

 


Wisconsin Republicans announced their plans to address child care in the state earlier this month, allowing parents to set up a pre-tax child care reimbursement account similar to ones currently used for health care, the creation of a loan fund for childcare facilities that wish to make upgrades, and loosen restrictions on adult staff-to-children ratios and the age of assistant child care providers from 17 to 16. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer from Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay and United Way Childcare Coordinator Molly Gary both agreed that the childcare reimbursement account bill was a good idea if it was made available to all Wisconsin families. The other bills were met with less enthusiasm, especially when it came to increasing class sizes.


According to the Associated Press, Governor Evers called the Republican plans mostly ridiculous, but there might be some aspects he would approve. According to Forward Analytics, childcare costs average between 18 and 36 percent of a family’s income and the tuition for two kids at a childcare facility per year is more than what it is to send them to UW-Madison. The same study also showcased another area of concern: the number of childcare workers has declined 26 percent since 2010.

Baileys Harbor readies for Autumnfest Saturday

 Another Door County festival will kick off the fall season this Saturday with the annual Baileys Harbor Autumnfest. Baileys Harbor Community Association Director Cindy Krowas says the popular ”pinups and pistons” car show will be featured again, although there will be no pin-ups this year. The car show is planning on having about 100 entries again this year.  Krowas shares details on what people can look forward to at the festival. 

 


  
With Kendall Park temporarily closed, the festivities will be held at the town hall with live music featuring Ann Lynn Ferris and the Wheels from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m

Muse Sturgeon Bay breaks ground on music school/venue

Over 50 community members celebrated the groundbreaking of a new music school at the vacant lot by the corner of North Third Avenue and Jefferson Street on Wednesday morning.  Five speakers spoke about the Muse Sturgeon Bay development which will house lesson rooms and a performance center on the main floor, and host 11 studio apartments on the second floor.  The developer, Shirley Weese Young, has rehabbed several other downtown properties in the city over the past few years.  She shares the inspiration behind putting together this latest project.


 


The two-story brick building will also include two public restrooms accessible from the outside of the building.


The Muse Sturgeon Bay is a non-profit that entered into a development agreement with plans for completion by June 2024. 

 

(top photo:   Dave Utzinger, Artistic Director, Kaira Rouer, Executive Director,  Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward, Board President Gary Ciepluch, Craig Cornell, building contractor, Developer Shirley Weese Young)

 

 

(Muse rendering submitted)

 

 

 

 

 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding begins new vessel construction

You will see the construction of a new 288-foot vessel on the Sturgeon Bay waterfront being built over the next couple of years.  Dozens of community members and dignitaries were on hand Wednesday morning for the “First Cut” of steel of a new Service Operation Vessel (SOV) being built at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (FBS). The HAV 832 SOV will be used to transport technicians to service the Dominion Energy wind farm off the coast of Virginia.  Vice President and General Manager Jan Allman says the wind farm industry is growing and the project will hopefully be the first of many projects of this type for Bay Ship.  

 

 

 

Fincantieri Marine Group contracted for the construction of the vessel with CREST Wind earlier this year as part of a joint venture with Crowley and ESVAGT.  Crowley is a U.S. maritime, energy, and logistics solution company that works on the offshore wind market, while ESVAGT is a Denmark-based leader of SOV service in Europe. The barge is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year with the barge sailing out in early 2025. 

 

 

 

Youth in Government program beginning October 9th

Your middle or high schooler has the opportunity to experience a program that gets students learning the workings of government and developing leadership and public speaking skills. The Door County YMCA Youth in Government program has three sections that cover the legislature, judicial, and press corps. Youth Development Executive Paul Briney shares the program's success over the years and how it culminates with a trip to the state capitol every spring.

 

 

The Youth in Government program, which has accommodated over 30 students in the past, is open to any Door County student from 7th through 12th grade. The first meeting will be held at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA Program Center on Monday, October 9 from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.  Parents and students interested in finding out more about the Youth in Government program can call the YMCA at 920-743-4949. 

Granary project waiting on federal review, Sturgeon Bay approves ordinances and TID plan

The Sturgeon Bay Granary Project was the major discussion topic at the City’s Common Council meeting Tuesday night.  Project Manager Nicole Matson gave an update on the renovation project and handled many questions regarding the delays the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation (SBHSF) is facing in moving forward on construction on the Teweles & Brandeis Grain Elevator.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) informed the SBHSF that a Section 106 State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) review is needed before the $3.3 million of federal funds that was earmarked for the Granary Project would be received.  Matson explained why the bidding for the construction phase is on hold until the review is completed.

 
 

 

The documentation was submitted to the USDA earlier this month with the 30-day review process and a final answer will be received by October 8th.  Greenfire Vice-President of Operations informed the council that once the SBHSF gets the green light from the USDA, the work should be completed within six to eight months.   

 
In other business Tuesday night, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved two separate second readings of rezoning ordinances for properties at 26 West Pine Street and 1361 North 14th Avenue.


The council also approved the project plan for Tax Incremental District (TID) Number 10 which establishes the boundaries of about 36 acres of land on Sturgeon Bay’s west side. It would be proposed as a mixed-used district that would have a shelf-life of 20 years with five years to close out the debt for the TID.  The plan includes a potential single-housing development of six acres of property along South Hudson Avenue and a planned extension on South Geneva and South Fulton Avenues. 

Donors, businesses helping spread Peace, Love, and United Way

Thanks to your generosity and support of local businesses, the United Way of Door County is off to a great start in fulfilling its annual campaign goal. Last month, the United Way of Door County announced it would be reprising its $825,000 goal for the 2023 annual campaign, which if reached would be the highest amount in the organization’s history. In the weeks, concerts, car shows, and cheese-mongering have just been some of the ways the gap has been narrowed. This Saturday, the organization will host “Peace, Love, and United Way” at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, a dinner-dance event that will take revelers back to 1969. Whether it be attending the event itself or donating items for its raffles and auctions, Executive Director Amy Kohnle knows how special the Door County community is to its non-profits and civic organizations.

“Peace, Love, and United Way” goes from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and registration for the event is still available by clicking on this link. 96.7 WBDK and U-102.1 are among the major sponsors for this event.

Late heat wave helps kickstart harvest season

The extra dose of heat this week will likely bring tractors, combines, and more implements to your commute this week. Corn usually needs to have a moisture content between 60 and 70 percent before it can be harvested for silage. That benchmark was reached by more than a third of the 96 samples brought to last week’s corn dry-down event hosted by Rio Creek Feed Mill in Luxemburg last week. Even with the threat of storms Tuesday night in Wednesday, farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties will see unseasonably warm temperatures through the weekend with Sturgeon Bay being in the low to mid 70s and Luxemburg hitting the high 70s to low 80s. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says farmers are ready to get going on the harvest season after going through some struggles due to elevated drought conditions for much of the summer.

About a third of the corn silage harvest is already complete across the state according to the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. That is seven days ahead of last year and one day in front of the five-year average. In recognition of National Farm Safety and Health Week, Barta reminds both farmers and motorists to drive slowly and to give each other plenty of space on area roadways.

Luxemburg and Sturgeon Bay manufacturers nominated for Coolest Things contest

Two local businesses would like your vote in the latest edition of the Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest orchestrated by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Sturgeon Bay’s Marine Travelift and Luxemburg’s SAS Forks each have entries in the first round of voting, which began on Monday.

 

The SAS Extreme Auto Processor can be attached to medium-sized excavators making it easier to recover valuable materials from scrap car bodies like radiators, transmissions, and more.

 

Marine Travelift’s variable-width mobile boat hoists give operators nine feet of width variability and can expand and retract under a full load in 60 seconds.

 

Voting began on Monday for the approximately 100 nominees and will continue through September 26th. After three rounds of bracket voting, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce will announce the winner on October 19th.

 

Last year, the Bay Shipbuilding-produced Mark W. Barker advanced to the Top 16. You can click on the links above to vote on your favorite, locally-produced Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin and see some of the other nominees.

Northern Lights entertains peninsula stargazers

Those looking to the northern skies late Monday night into Tuesday morning were able to catch quite the show. The conditions were just right for the Northern Lights, otherwise known as aurora borealis, to make another appearance this year, stretching from at least Montana to Ohio to delight stargazers. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the maximum Kp was six, which is strong enough for moderate storm conditions. By comparison, April’s Northern Lights, which were much more vibrant, had a Kp of 8. Kp refers to the measurement associated with the K-Index, which deals with the magnitude of the geomagnetic storms that cause the Northern Lights to occur.

 

Picture above submitted from previous Northern Lights experience this year

 

 

Wisconsin State Patrol enforcing from the sky Sunday in Door County

If you are driving on Highway 57 in Door County this weekend, you might want to take note that there will be “eyes in the skies” watching you and enforcing the traffic laws.  Weather permitting, the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Air Support Unit is scheduled to keep an eye out for traffic violations in Door County along State Highway 57 on Sunday for about four hours.

 

The aerial enforcement crackdown is an effort to enhance public safety, with the pilot radioing down to ground-based patrol cars to initiate a traffic stop.  The air patrol can spot drivers who are speeding or driving recklessly more easily from the sky. 

 

 The weeklong mission by the State Patrol will begin in Manitowoc County on Interstate 43 on Tuesday, Fond du Lac County on Wednesday on I-41, Oneida County on US 51 on Friday, and I-43 again on Saturday in Walworth County.  

 

(photo courtesy of Wisconsin State Patrol)

Door and Kewaunee counties hosting well testing opportunities

Making sure your water is as safe as it can be one of the goals of two well-testing programs going on in Door and Kewaunee counties.

 

In Door County, residents will be teaming up with UW-Oshkosh for their ongoing private well monitoring program that they have done since 2019. The testing being performed looks for total coliforms and nitrates. You can register for the testing program here by September 22nd with the drop-off date for samples set for October 6th and 7th.

 

Kewaunee County will also hold its well-testing program on October 16th with kits looking for coliform Bacteria, nitrate, chloride, pH, alkalinity, hardness, corrosivity index, and conductivity. You can learn more about the testing program through Kewaunee County here:

 

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Director Davina Bonness said during last week's Land and Water Conservation meeting that the last testing date earlier this year showed improvement throughout the county, which was four percentage points lower than the usual rolling average of 30 percent of area wells being deemed unsafe.


While the Door County program carries a small fee, the Kewaunee County program is free thanks to grants from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and Peninsula Pride Farms. Both programs have a capacity of 300 users.

Center supports growing Hispanic population in Door and Kewaunee counties

The area’s Hispanic population is growing in Door County and as you might imagine, a locally-based resource center is trying to keep up. According to the U.S. Census, the Hispanic population grew in Door County between census counts in 2010 and 2020 from 2.4 percent of the population to 3.8 percent. That represents approximately 350 new residents from areas like Mexico, Guatemala, and Nicaragua in a 10-year span and has only grown in the years since. Imelda Delchambre from the Hispanic Resource Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties says she has definitely seen an increase in assistance requests from families as they try to get adjusted to a new country while also finding work and a home. Delchambre is proud of the clients she serves and the work ethic they show trying to give their families a new lease on happiness in a different country let alone a different state.

September 15th to October 15th is known as National Hispanic-American Heritage Month, celebrating the contributions of the 63.7 million people of Hispanic descent who call the country home, including more than 408,000 in Wisconsin. You can contact the Hispanic Resource Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties to learn more about the services they provide and how you can support their efforts.

Neighbors spread love with lasagna

Baking for two could have a new meaning in Door County the next time you make dinner for your family. Lasagna Love started in 2020 when Hawaiian Rhiannon Menn wanted to find a way to make sure other families were able to take care of themselves as the world around them was shut down due to the pandemic. The network she developed serves 3,500 meals a week in the United States, Canada, and Australia with the help of over 45,000. One of those volunteers is Door County’s Barbara Krueger, who joined the effort in June as a chef and now helps coordinate efforts throughout northeast Wisconsin. She says anyone who can cook can assist in the program.

Krueger says you can sign up to volunteer your cooking skills for Lasagna Love by clicking this link. She has made approximately two dozen lasagnas during her stint, with weekly totals depending on the demand.

 

Picture from Lasagna Love

Gibraltar among the state's top high schools

You cannot go wrong enrolling your kids into one of the high schools that call Door and Kewaunee counties home.

 

Of the approximately 460 schools ranked by the U.S. News and World Report in Wisconsin, seven of the eight school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties ranked in the top 250. The exception was Washington Island School, which because of their unique status was one of the dozens of schools not ranked by the publication. The U.S. News and World Report ranked more than 17,800 public high schools across the country by considering their college readiness based on Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) participation and test scores, college curriculum breadth, state assessment proficiency and performance, underserved student performance, and graduation rate.

 

Leading the way in Door County was Gibraltar, which was ranked 23rd in the state and the top 1000 in the country. The school boasted a college readiness score of 41.1 with no other school in Door and Kewaunee counties scoring above a 30. That’s partly because 50 percent of their students took at least one AP Exam and nearly 40 percent of them passed one of them. Algoma ranked the highest in Kewaunee County with a ranking of 134th and a college readiness score of 28.8. All eight schools boasted a graduation rate of at least 92 percent. You can read more about the rankings below and search for your school at the site for more specific information.

 

DISTRICT SNAPSHOTS

Gibraltar High School
23rd state
Graduation Rate: 96%

College Readiness: 41.1

Enrollment 9-12: 185

 

 

Sevastopol High School
84th state

Graduation Rate: 96%

College Readiness: 20.2

Enrollment 9-12: 176

 

 

Sturgeon Bay High School
67th state

Graduation Rate: 95%

College Readiness: 27.3

Enrollment 9-12: 404

 

Algoma High School
134th state

Graduation Rate: 95%

College Readiness: 28.8

Enrollment 9-12: 201

 

Southern Door High School
153rd state

Graduation Rate: 96%

College Readiness: 20.9

Enrollment 9-12: 321

 

 

Luxemburg-Casco High School
196th state

Graduation Rate: 95%

College Readiness: 25.5

Enrollment 9-12: 599

  

 

Kewaunee High School
243rd state
Graduation Rate: 92%

College Readiness: 11.0

Enrollment 9-12: 319

 

Washington Island: Unranked

 

Kewaunee County to see lower tax rates in 2024

Property owners in Kewaunee County have good news coming their way when it comes to paying their taxes. Interim County Administrator Ed Dorner shared with the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday the 2024 budget as a part of his report. Total expenditures are expected to go up $774,703 over the adopted 2023 budget along with the tax levy going up $357,669. Part of the reason for that is the addition of almost two new full-time employees and a boost in the cost of living increases and health insurance premiums. Kewaunee County property owners will see their tax rate drop $1.15 per $1,000 from $6.20 to $5.05. Dorner says the pre-payment of some of the county’s debt and an increase in the county’s equalized value is the reason for good news on people’s tax bills.

 

 

You can access the budget by clicking this link. The Kewaunee County Board will hold a public hearing on the budget on October 17th at 6 p.m. ahead of the regular board meeting. The budget could then potentially be approved at the Kewaunee County Board’s November meeting.

Sister Bay looks ahead to the future with comprehensive plan

The Village of Sister Bay needs your input to decide on what the next 20 years will look like. Village officials are updating its comprehensive plan to forecast the development, infrastructure, transportation, and housing needs facing Sister Bay in the future. This is in addition to other planning already being done by the village to address their facilities, housing stock, and broadband.

 

The village's facilities plan will be presented at the board’s meeting on Tuesday, which includes recommendations for upgrades for the sports complex including a parks maintenance building, a new fire station with room to house full-time staff, and preserving the post office building. The housing plan will be presented in January. Village officials are asking residents, visitors, and other stakeholders to give their thoughts through an online survey which needs to be completed by October 10th. The goal is to complete the comprehensive planning process by next fall.

 

The village is also in the process of finishing its comprehensive outdoor recreation plan, which is expected to be complete by next summer.

 

In addition to learning about the village's facilities plan, Sister Bay Board of Trustees will also discuss the upcoming Mill Road reconstruction project, a redesign of the marina office, and a contract for the Highway 42 Trail when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Register now to ensure you can vote next year

The next election for some municipalities may not take place until next April, but voting advocacy groups like the League of Women Voters say now is the perfect time to make sure you are registered. Tuesday marks National Voter Registration Day, an event encouraging people to make sure they are able to cast their ballot on Election Day by making sure all of the information is correct and up to date. Wisconsin does not have some of the same barriers other states do because polling places are allowed to register voters on Election Day as long as they have the proper documentation with them. Barb Graul from the League of Women Voters of Door County suggests you double-check to make sure you are ready for Election Day to avoid any possible hassles that could pop up.

To recognize National Voter Registration Day, the League of Women Voters of Door County will be at the ADRC on 14th Avenue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to assist voters in registering for the first time or to update their current information. Outside of a potential primary for local races on February 20th, the next major election will not be until April 2nd. The spring election will also feature a Presidential preference primary for those still running for a shot at the White House.

Help of Door County stressing healthy relationships and education

Learning to set down healthy boundaries in a relationship can go a long way in protecting yourself from domestic violence, according to an advocate for victims of abuse.  Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales says her organization has seen an increase in strangulations, restraining orders, and direct services this past summer.  She says a prevention piece that is imperative, starts with having a healthy conversation, especially with teenagers.

 

 

Gonzales adds that Help of Door County does community outreach for children as young as seven to ten years old who are involved in the “Sparks” program, while 11 to 13-year-olds participate in the “Flames” group.  She notes that high schoolers can develop leadership skills by joining the FYRE (Forging Youth Relationships and Education) program.

To kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, Help of Door County is hosting the  4th Annual "Walk with Me" which honors survivors of domestic violence.  The event will be held at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, October 4th.  

Fall dig highlights upcoming Crossroads events

If you are picturing “Indiana Jones,” or long to help reveal mosaics at Pompeii, or enter secret crypts below cathedrals, the Archaeological Dig at Crossroads’ Cove Estuary Preserve may not be “the dig” on your bucket list. But if you have always dreamed of working side-by-side with professional archaeologists to assist in discovering a significant aspect of Door County history, you are invited to be a part of the 2023 Crossroads Fall Archaeological Experience.

 

The 2023 Fall Dig will run from September 25 through October 5, and this year, weather permitting, we expect to have a team of four to five archaeologists and field technicians on site each weekday.

 

Anytime you see activity going on at The Cove Estuary or Hanson Homestead, feel free to stop and watch, ask questions and, if you would like, even take part in the dig. No admission fee is charged (though we never refuse donations) and no reservations are required. We ask visitors to park in The Cove Estuary Preserve lot, 817 South 20th Place.

 

If school groups are present, learners of all ages are welcome to watch, but the archaeologists will be too involved in educational outreach to interact with adults. Educational outreach was the original objective of this program.

 

What started as a demonstration for a second-grade class field trip about a dozen years ago has grown into a significant archaeological investigation—a true crossroads of the humanities, science, and environmental history.

 

A collaboration between Midwest Archaeological Consultants and Crossroads offered a field trip opportunity designed to give middle school students hands-on experience in skills such as developing research questions, recording data, reading (and creating) maps, and comparing and contrasting objects. Now surpassing several thousand participants, The Dig at Crossroads has grown to be a cherished tradition – a rite of passage for Door County students.

 

Over the decade, under the direction of Randy Dickson of Midwest Archaeological Consultants, students from TJ Walker Middle School, Sunrise, Sevastopol, Southern Door, Washington Island, and St. Peter’s schools and homeschoolers have participated in shovel-test surveys, dug and sorted through soil in a test unit, watched demonstrations on flintknapping, and participated in experimental archaeology activities such as throwing an atlatl spear.

 

The tradition evolved further during the COVID years. During the days of social-distancing, Dr. Robert Jeske, who was at the cusp of retirement as Chair of the Department of Anthropology for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, began working at the Crossroads Dig and, by popular demand, we expanded the program to include families and interested adults.

 

Since that time, Dr. Bob has lured many of his colleagues from the Archaeological Research Lab at UW-Milwaukee to the project. They now volunteer their time  and expertise  to dig and offer outreach at The Cove Estuary Preserve.

 

If you see folks near the Estuary, stop and learn. And across Utah Street, if the red door of the Hans and Bertha Hanson House is open, drop by for a visit. Free tours will be offered from 2:30-4:30 p.m. daily from September 26 through October 8.

 

In recognition of International Astronomy Day, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS) is adding another Viewing Night to the calendar. The event will begin at 7:30 PM on Saturday, September 23, at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2023 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

 

On Tuesday, September 26, The Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula will hold their monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wild Ones, the Master Gardeners of the Door Peninsula and Crossroads are co-sponsoring the free public lecture, “Taming Your WILD Flower Garden.” There are countless benefits to landscaping with native plants, but even desirable plants (we’re looking at you, Milkweed!) can go rogue. Using the Crossroads Bird and Butterfly Garden as an example, Jason Miller of Silver Creek Ecological Services will explain how to restore a native plant garden. He will also discuss the City of Sturgeon Bay’s new regulations on native landscapes within the city limits.

 

Crossroads’ 3rd Annual Bread Pudding Night will be held Wednesday, September 27. The evening will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a short hike from the main trailhead at the Collins Learning Center to the Astronomy Campus. The 20-minute hike will highlight restoration efforts of the past year and the new field station project. Participants will be greeted at hike’s end with a roaring bonfire, hot apple cider, mulled wine and Bridge Up beer. Boxed dinners will include savory bread pudding, an autumn salad and Door County Apple Crisp—all made, as much as possible, with local and organic ingredients! A luminary-lit walk will guide participants back to the parking lot. Please visit Crossroads at Big Creek website www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org/event/breadpuddingnight for costs and reservation information.


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 land restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 

 

Thursday, September 21

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals Planting Day

Crossroads invites volunteers to help plant native species in the Bird and Butterfly Garden at the Collins Learning Center entrance. Equipment and instructions provided. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay. Coffee and cookies provided.

 

Friday, September22

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 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. To avoid detracting from the historical character of the area, please park across Utah Street in the Cove Estuary Preserve lot at 817 South 20th Place in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Saturday, September 23

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 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 p.m. 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. To avoid detracting from the historical character of the area, please park across Utah Street in the Cove Estuary Preserve lot at 817 South 20th Place in Sturgeon Bay.

 

7:30 DPAS International Astronomy Day Viewing Night

Join the members of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society at the  Stoncipher Astronomy Center and Leif Everson Observatory to explore the beauty of the night sky with DPAS members as you guides. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Astronomy Campus, 2023 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Sunday, September 24

2:30 – 4:30 p.m. 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. To avoid detracting from the historical character of the area, please park across Utah Street in the Cove Estuary Preserve lot at 817 South 20th Place in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Tuesday, September 26

2:30-4:30 p.m. 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. To avoid detracting from the historical character of the area, of please park across Utah Street in the Cove Estuary Preserve lot at 817 South 20th Place in Sturgeon Bay.

5:30 Family  Pumpkin Carving Night

Help us carve pumpkins for our 3rd Annual Bread Pudding Night fundraiser. Pumpkins will be provided (while supplies last) or feel free to bring your own and join in the carving fun. We’ll use each pumpkin for decoration on September 27 then you can pick up your pumpkin and take it home on September 28! Please RSVP to save a pumpkin on the Crossroads website  www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org  

6:30 p.m. Meeting of the Wild Ones “Taming Your WILD Flower Garden”

The program, co-sponsored by Master Gardeners and Crossroads at Big Creek, will be “Taming Your WILD Flower Garden.” There are countless benefits to landscaping with native plants, but even desirable plants (we’re looking at you, Milkweed!) can get out of hand. Using the Crossroads Bird and Butterfly Garden as an example, Jason Miller of Silver Creek Ecological Services will explain how to restore a native plant garden. He will also discuss the City of Sturgeon Bay’s new regulations on native landscapes within the city limits. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Wednesday, September 27

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. To avoid detracting from the historical character of the area, please park across Utah Street in the Cove Estuary Preserve lot at 817 South 20th Place in Sturgeon Bay.

 

4:30 p.m. 3rd Annual Crossroads Bread Pudding Night

This annual fundraiser involves a luminary hike, campfire, an exquisite boxed dinner, music and a celebration of restoration progress. Please visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org/event/breadpuddingnight for more information and to reserve tickets. Funds raised support Crossroads restoration efforts.

Common council to decide fate of Sturgeon Bay's 10th TID

Twenty-four lots earmarked for affordable workforce housing could be another step closer on Tuesday if the Sturgeon Bay Common Council moves forward with a plan to establish the city’s 10th tax increment district.

 

The common council is being asked to weigh in on a resolution establishing the boundaries and approving a project plan for TID #10. The potential decision comes after the city held a public hearing about TID #10 on August 30th and no public comments were made. The boundaries are adjacent to TID #9 and border S. Duluth Avenue and S. Hudson Avenue. The TID will support a recently approved 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.

 

In addition, TID#10 funds could also be used to cover the city’s share of road improvements near the entrance of the Door County Justice Center.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also get an update on the Door County Granary and decide on the acceptance of Nathan Hatch’s residence sculpture when they meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday inside the council chambers at city hall.

Nonpartisan redistricting bill passed by Assembly

A new way your voting districts are created is one step closer to reality after a 64-32 vote on Thursday. The Wisconsin State Assembly passed the nonpartisan redistricting bill co-written by Sturgeon Bay Republican State Rep. Joel Kitchens largely along party lines, with State Rep. LaKeisha Myers the lone Democrat to vote in favor of it. Instead of the Legislature drawing the maps, the state would institute a system similar to what is done in Iowa where a nonpartisan legislative staff would do the work and present their proposal to the Legislature. If proposals are not approved after three tries, they would be placed under the review of the state Supreme Court. Kitchens said earlier in the week that it has worked well for Iowa and other states that have mimicked the model.


While Republicans have said this is one issue many of their constituents have harped on them for years, Democrats and voter advocacy groups are weary of their change of heart after the two sides sparred over the issue for well over a decade. On Thursday before the vote took place, Jay Heck of Common Cause Wisconsin explained why he and others are skeptical of the proposal.


On Friday, Marquette Law School Lubar Center Research Fellow John D. Johnson offered his thoughts on the bill, saying that the amendments that were added would create “truly nonpartisan, independent redistricting in Wisconsin.” The amendments make it so the Wisconsin Legislature has to host more public meetings, approve maps on a bipartisan basis, and can only vote on maps created by the Legislative Reference Bureau. The bill still has to go through the Wisconsin Senate and be signed by Governor Tony Evers in order for it to be enacted.

Community foundation looks to help Build Door County

You can help the Door County Community Foundation play a role in addressing affordable housing in the area. The organization announced this week the creation of the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation, a new 501 (c) (3) corporation governed by the foundation and NeighborWorks Green Bay to offer incentives to developers to build affordable housing options in the area. The new corporation is the result of two years of work with business leaders, housing developers, government officials, and local citizens to address the housing concern that is limiting the workforce Door County can tap into to fill positions. The idea is to help these projects get off the ground and fill in the funding gaps that have discouraged affordable housing projects in Door County in the past. Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority have already pledged their support with $1.5 million matching grant and the Door County Board of Supervisors approved another $500,000 in hopes of getting the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation off the ground. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy never imagined a community foundation would get into real estate, but addressing the challenges the area faces is why they are there in the first place.

The goal is to raise another $2 million beyond the WHEDA match so the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation can reach a total loan pool of $5 million. Bicoy says the fund could evolve over time to potentially help prospective homeowners with down payments, a housing-rehab loan program, and employer-assisted homeownership programs. You can learn more about the Door County Workforce Housing Lending Corporation at BuildDoorCounty.org.

Multiple vehicle accident snarls highway traffic

Emergency personnel had to shut down access to State Highway 57 near County H in Brussels Friday morning due to a multi-vehicle accident. The Door County Sheriff’s Department, Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, and Door County Emergency Services were all on the scene of the crash after 10 a.m. One of the vehicles involved in the incident was a truck towing a trailer that suffered major damage including a shattered windshield. In addition to closing off access from County H to the highway, emergency personnel closed one of the southbound lanes of Highway 57 as a result of the crash. We will update this story as soon as more information is available.

 

Deer hunting season begins Saturday

If you are armed with a bow or crossbow, your first chance to get a trophy buck will take place on Saturday. The archery and crossbow seasons for deer hunting open on Saturday with a longer than usual time period to get outside. Door and Kewaunee counties are among the several counties that will have not just a holiday hunt between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day but also an extended season that will allow you to track down that doe or buck until January 31st. The extended season is the only real change hunters will have to consider according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources warden Chris Kratcha.


The seasons for the gun hunt for those with disabilities (October 7th-15th), youth deer hunt (October 7th and 8th), gun (November 18th-26th), and muzzleloader (November 27th-December 6th) are scheduled for the coming weeks. Securing your deer stand and practicing good firearm safety techniques among the several tips Kratcha has for hunters heading out into the field. You can hear more from Kratcha on that below.

 

 

Falls becoming a more regular occurrence

There are resources for you to consider if you are scared that either you or a loved one may be in danger of falling. A new report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services finds that falls are a leading cause of injury and death in the state. Emergency Medical Services providers responded to over 130,000 calls for falls last year. Causing more concern among health providers and aging advocates are the increasing rates of fall calls for EMS providers, which saw just over 25,000 more falls in 2022 than in 2019. That is an increase of just over 7 percent each year with most occurring inside private residences. Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center Director Jenny Fitzgerald says they do offer services to residents who get hurt by their falls and decide they also need a little help.

Fitzgerald adds that the ADRC has teamed up with the Door County YMCA on courses like Moving for Better Balance to give the people the tools they need for fall prevention. Moving for Better Balance is a 12-week evidence-based group exercise program that is based on Tai Chi principles to not just foster improved balance, but also muscle strength, flexibility, and mobility. 

Run Wild celebrates 35 years

For 35 years, you’ve been able to support the work of the Friends of Potawatomi State Park by logging just a few miles on a fall Saturday. The annual Run Wild Quarter Marathon/5K and Smokey Bear Fun Run is scheduled to take place again on October 7th at Potawatomi State Park. While the run has seen its participant counts decrease in recent years due to an increase in the number of races available in Door County, the event still expects to welcome approximately 400 runners and walkers to its trails. Pat Saladin has been one of the race directors of the Run Wild for 20 years after first volunteering on the Run Wild committee in 1996. He is proud of the lasting legacy of the event and the projects it has helped support over the years.

While you still have just under a month to train, there are still some deadlines for you to consider. The price of the race is $30, but it will increase to $35 on September 18th. You also have until October 2nd to register online at this link, otherwise you will have to sign up at either the packet-pickup event at Bay Shore Outfitters on October 6th or at the park itself on October 7th. You can find more details about the race, including what you will receive for participating, by clicking this link.

Missing safeguard spoils bill for redistricting proponents

One small provision in the recently announced nonpartisan redistricting bill is why you may see many Democrats and voter advocacy groups be sour on the proposal. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and State Rep. Joel Kitchens championed the bill on Tuesday that would introduce a new way Wisconsin would draw its electoral maps. Borrowing the idea from Iowa, Republicans and Democrats have equal representation on a board that reviews every legislative district drawn by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau. The Wisconsin Legislature would then have to approve the maps, sending the rejected versions back to LRB for revisions if necessary. Kitchens said after the announcement that “this is an opportunity to see if Democrats ever really believed in nonpartisan redistricting or if they plan to rig the maps in their favor. If we do not seize this opportunity, I do not believe we will see a nonpartisan redistricting process in my lifetime.”

Democrats and voter advocacy groups like Common Cause Wisconsin have long championed the Iowa model as a way to eliminate the current maps they say are gerrymandered to benefit Republicans. Former State Senator Dave Hansen introduced similar bills in 2012 and 2017 to use nonpartisan redistricting as a way to draw the electoral maps that have been challenged in court several times over the last decade. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says missing in the bill is a provision that protects the map drawing process from legislative malfeasance, something Iowa changed with their process in 2019.


Iowa has rarely gotten to a third try to get their maps approved, something Kitchens pointed out this week. Heck says the trust just is not there currently, something Governor Tony Evers said in his retort shortly after Tuesday’s press conference took place.

The State Assembly was expected to begin discussing and voting on the issue on Thursday with potential Senate approval to come.

Planned Parenthood resumes abortion care in Wisconsin

For the first time since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that effectively overturned Roe vs. Wade, abortions will be performed in Wisconsin.

 

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced on Thursday that it would resume abortion care services at its Madison and Milwaukee clinics beginning on September 18th. The organization chose to move forward with providing the services after a year-plus long hiatus due to a decision in Dane County Circuit Court in July stating that the 1849 criminal abortion ban was not enforceable for voluntary abortions and it would not dismiss a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Josh Kaul.

 

 

Governor Tony Evers applauded the decision, reassuring Wisconsinites that he would not give up fighting for the “same reproductive rights  and freedoms Wisconsinites had up until the day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe.”  

 

Anti-abortion advocates spoke strongly against the decision with Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling telling the Associated Press’ Scout Bauer that the “governor and Planned Parenthood is promoting an illegal activity” and that it is “still illegal in most instances for anyone to do an abortion in Wisconsin.”

More closures coming to Jefferson Street

You will have to avoid portions of Jefferson Street again next week according to Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker. Portions of Jefferson Street have been closed over the last seven days as the city replaced many of the crosswalks between Georgia Street and 4th Avenue. Barker announced additional closures for Jefferson Street between N. 3rd and 4th avenues beginning on Monday. Not only will crews replace the crosswalks in the area, they will also remove a tank located under the street. The closure will last through Wednesday with Kentucky Street being used as the main detour route. During the project, N. 3rd and 4th avenues will remain open.

 

Forestville woman injured in crash

A Forestville woman was transported to Door County Medical Center Tuesday afternoon after suffering suspected serious injuries in a two-vehicle crash. The incident occurred just before 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of State Highway 42 and Ashland Avenue in the City of Sturgeon Bay.

 

According to the crash report, Suzanne Blahnik was driving her vehicle south on Ashland Avenue trying to make a left-hand turn when she was struck by another vehicle that ran a red light. Blahnik was removed from the vehicle and taken to the hospital by Door County Emergency Services to be treated for her injuries. The driver in the other vehicle, Vincent Michaud of Sturgeon Bay, was not injured but was cited for failure to obey a traffic signal and inattentive driving. One lane of the road had to be closed for about 30 minutes while both vehicles were towed away due to the damage sustained in the crash. The scene was cleared by 3 p.m.

Prison tour inspires more conversation for Kewaunee County Board

A road trip of seven Kewaunee County Board supervisors and two members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department spurred more conversation Tuesday night about a potential new jail facility.

 

Sheriff Matt Joski thanked the traveling party of Aaron Augustian, Doug Doell, Joanne Lazansky, Joe Lukes, John Mastalir, Gary Paape, and Tom Romdenne of the Kewaunee County Board and Jason Veeser and Chris Vanerem of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department for making the trip to the Henry County Jail to tour the facility and ask questions for their own research. The Henry County Jail was built by Midwest Construction Consultants, which has built over 40 jails at an investment much lower than what Kewaunee County was facing with its doomed plan with Venture Architects and Venture Architects. The majority of the people who attended the tour felt that a similar facility and footprint could be feasible for Kewaunee County. Joski also used the opportunity to point out the list of changes the current jail would need to take steps to get closer to compliance.

Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson told the board that he was impressed with the facility and believes they could do something similar, but he does not think there is local cooperation to get something done. He even suggested that they make repairs to the current facility as a result of the stalemate. Much of the discussion centered around the number of beds the facility would have, with Olson and others pointing out that they do not want to be like Door and Oconto counties where many of their prisoners are from outside the area.

Olson says he will be requesting a contract from Midwest Construction Consultants for the board to approve at their meeting scheduled for October 17th. At that meeting, Kewaunee County will also hold its public hearing for its budget. The Jail Study Committee will also meet again on Friday to go into further detail about what they saw in Henry County and how they plan on moving forward.

YMCA offering Childhood Obesity Awareness program

You can find out how your kids can live a healthier lifestyle with a free community session at the Door County YMCA Kane Center in Fish Creek later this month.  On Saturday, September 23, the Door County YMCA will be hosting a Childhood Obesity Awareness pop-up event to educate youngsters from the age of eight to 17.  Door County YMCA Healthy Living Coordinator Bailey Cox encourages parents to register with their children for the program.  She shares the importance of sharing good habits when it comes to dealing with obesity for all ages.

 

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14.7 million children and adolescents are affected by obesity, which represents almost one-fifth of all kids.  The Childhood Obesity Awareness event at the Door County YMCA will be from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 23. 

Neighbor to Neighbor celebrates volunteers, achievements 

An organization that helps people in need of medical equipment recently recognized their volunteers who provide the loan service to people in Door County and recapped their accomplishments.  Neighbor to Neighbor celebrated their organization's achievements at the annual meeting recognizing Karen Bellin and Kathie Harrison.  Executive Director Ann Bennett says Neighbor to Neighbor's improvements in the past few years have made a big difference in getting organized and offering new medical equipment to community members in need.

 

 

Bennett shares the impact Harrison and Bellin have made and why they were chosen for the "Medical Equipment Volunteer Star Awards."

 

 

For more information about Neighbor to Neighbor's services or to make a difference by donating time or resources, contact (920)743-7800. 

 

 

(Contributed Photo: Karen Bellin, Volunteer Award Recipient,  Kathie Harrison, Volunteer Award Recipient, and Ann Bennett, Executive Director)

Door County beginning "No Left Turn" improvements at troublesome intersection

You will see the first steps being taken to make the intersection at Gordon Road and Highway 42/57 safer on Wednesday.  The Door County Highway Department will be starting the “No Left Turn” improvements at the intersection that has been the scene of over 25 accidents since 2015.

 
Traffic traveling east on Gordon Road/County BB will be detoured onto Old Highway Road to Egg Harbor Road and then back on the highway's roundabout.  

 The intersection will be opened on Wednesday evening. There are several phases to this improvement so you can expect lane closures and detours throughout the Gordon Road and Old Highway Road intersections over the next two to three weeks.  


The Door County Board approved an additional $151,515 for improvements to be made to the intersection back in June.  That was after $100,000 was approved in 2022 for limiting motorists from being able to turn left from Gordon Road onto State Highway 42/57 to head north.  A roundabout grant was approved by the state earlier this year but the project will not be completed until 2027 at the earliest.

 

 

Sturgeon Bay compost site open for wood chips

After dealing with the infestation of the Asian jumping worm at its composting site for the past two months, the City of Sturgeon Bay has heated piles of wood chips that can now be picked up on the hill at Shiloh Road.  Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says the city worked with the Department of Natural Resources to create a plan to heat the wood chip piles to kill the worms and any cocoons.  

 

 
Barker adds that the compost site remains closed due to the difficulty in getting the temperatures of the compost above 115 degrees to make sure the worms are killed.

 

 

 A statewide problem this summer, the DNR says jumping worms quickly transform perfect soil into dry pellets depriving nutrients from the ground and causing some plants to struggle to survive. Barker notes that even though the composting remains halted, you can still drop off brush and wood debris at the Sturgeon Bay site.

Assembly introduces non-partisan redistricting bill

A decade-long battle over Wisconsin’s voting districts may soon reach a conclusion.

 

Rep. Joel Kitchens and other members of the Wisconsin State Assembly announced on Tuesday its intentions to introduce non-partisan redistricting into its voting maps drawing process. The state’s maps have been challenged since Republicans drew the new district lines in 2011, causing Democrats to cry foul because they feel the process produced uncompetitive districts favoring their opposition.

 

The maps were put back under the microscope last month when a group of progressive law firms and Democratic voters filed a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme Court challenging the district lines they believe were gerrymandered. It also brought up the conversation of potentially impeaching newly-elected Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz for comments she made on the campaign trail calling the maps “rigged.” Republican leaders said Protasiewicz should be forced to recuse herself from the cases involving the election maps because of the comments.

 

With other states like Alabama, Maryland, and North Carolina being forced to weigh in on the issue, Kitchens believes many of his colleagues finally came around to the idea of giving the power of drawing the election maps to someone else.

Instead of the Legislature drawing the maps, the state would institute a system similar to what is done in Iowa where a nonpartisan legislative staff would do the work and present their proposal to the Legislature. If proposals are not approved after three tries, they would be placed under the review of the state Supreme Court. Kitchens says it has worked well for Iowa and other states that have mimicked the model.

If the bill is approved by the Assembly and the Senate and signed into law by Governor Tony Evers, Kitchens believes new districts could be established before the 2024 election. About three years ago, Door County passed an advisory referendum supporting the non-partisan redistricting process with more than 73 percent of the vote. 

Kitchens, Jacque bills pave way for easier education access to veterans

Thanks to bills with ties to legislators that represent Door and Kewaunee counties, you could have an easier time affording college if you served in the nation’s Armed Forces.

 

Last week, the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities approved bills either co-written or co-sponsored by State Senator Andre Jacque or Rep. Joel Kitchens aimed at keeping veterans and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces in Wisconsin.

 

In Jacque’s cosponsored bill known as AB 91, application fees would be waived at the state’s public higher education institutions, which range from $25 to $70 depending on the school.  Jacque says it is a sign of gratitude and expects it to bolster the recruitment of veterans to the state’s colleges and universities.

 

 

The Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities also approved AB 12, a bill co-written by Kitchens that would lower the five-year residency requirement to three years for veterans to take advantage of Wisconsin’s GI Bill while allowing veterans, spouses, and children for full remission benefits for 128 credits or eight semesters. It also eliminates the provision that a student must be a Wisconsin resident at the time they enter the military to qualify for non-resident tuition exemptions. Our veterans bravely served this nation and brought leadership and value to our communities and employers,” said Kitchens. “This bill gives veterans more security to complete their education here and find a job in Wisconsin after they graduate.”

 

Both bills are pending approval from both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature and the signature of Governor Tony Evers.

GOP leader opens inquiry into Biden impeachment

The door is open for a second straight American president to be impeached by the House of Representatives.

 

Assembly Speaker Kevin McCarthy called on the House Judiciary, Oversight, and Ways and Means committees to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden, who allegedly financially benefitted from the business dealings of his son Hunter Biden. In his three-minute address, McCarthy cited eyewitness accounts, bank statements, and treasury department notices as reasons why he believes the inquiry is warranted. He closed his comments by saying that “they will go wherever the evidence takes them.”

 

The USA Today reports that opening a formal inquiry means there will be no floor vote where Republicans hold a slim advantage over Democrats. McCarthy had previously said that such an inquiry would be subject to a House vote. No timeline was given in the announcement on when the inquiry would actually begin. In 2020, former President Donald Trump joined Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton in being impeached by the House of Representatives, which at the time was controlled by Democrats. He was impeached again in 2021, but it would become the fourth time the U.S. Senate acquitted an impeached president of his charges.

 

Photo submitted

FDA approves new COVID vaccines, available later this month

If you are at risk of suffering serious consequences from contracting COVID-19, help is on the way. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved and authorized the emergency use of updated COVID-19 vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer that are targeting the currently circulating variants, including the Omicron variant XBB.1.5. The doses are available for those six months and up for those who are interested. COVID-19 hospitalizations were growing in northeast Wisconsin as of September 2nd by 80 percent, though there was no significant change in those placed in the intensive care unit. Last month, Door County Medical Center saw five people admitted due to COVID-19 complications, though those patients were older or had other health concerns. Speaking to Door County Daily News last month, Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise said he was not concerned for the vast majority of the population despite the increases in cases and hospitalizations.

The Centers for Disease Control say hospitalizations (15.7 percent) and deaths (10.5 percent) are both up double-digit percentage points over the last week, but still a far cry away from where they were during the high points of the pandemic where people were concerned about a lack of hospital rooms, tests, and personal protective equipment. You can contact your local public health department, hospital, or pharmacy about the availability of the reformulated vaccine.

Plea/sentencing hearing set for Kewaunee County stalking case

A retired Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Deputy will have his date in court again later this month for his second plea/sentencing hearing. In the case that dates back to September 2022, Eric Pieschek is charged with stalking with a domestic abuse modifier, two counts of disorderly conduct, and one count of intentionally giving poison to an animal.

 

According to WBAY, Pieschek is alleged to have reached out to the victim via the mail, made unwanted appearances on her property, and potentially left poisoned apples for her horses after the two split in 2018. Following the plea/sentencing hearing in June, jury trial dates were set for October 11th and 12th with a pre-trial conference scheduled for September 15th. 

 

Last Friday, a second plea/sentencing agreement was set for September 26th at 11 a.m., with the jury trial at the Kewaunee County Courthouse still scheduled for the same dates at 8:30 a.m. 

Accident closes Highway 42 north of Sturgeon Bay

A two-vehicle accident caused the closure of Highway 42 for three hours in Door County on Monday afternoon.  Shortly after 2:30 p.m., emergency personnel were dispatched to the intersection of County P and Highway 42 just north of Sturgeon Bay.  One vehicle struck a utility pole on the east side of Highway 42.  Wisconsin Public Service was on the scene  repairing the utility pole.  Door County Sheriff’s Department personnel detoured traffic off the Highway 42/57 junction onto Highway 57 from the south and onto Whitefish Bay Road from the north on Highway 42.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more information becomes available. 
 

Update: Highway 42 reopened to traffic as of 5:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

Second week of October predicted for peak fall colors

You still have plenty of time to schedule your trip to Door County to take a look at the beautiful fall colors. Travel Wisconsin has activated its fall color report page on its website, giving updates on the changing leaves across several of the state’s counties and prime leaf peeping spots. Most of the state, including Door and Kewaunee counties, is in the second to third week of October as a prediction for when the fall colors are expected to really pop. That puts it in line with Door County’s two major autumn festivals: Egg Harbor Pumpkin Fest and Sister Bay Fall Fest. Despite the promise of fall and the common sight of green all around, Jen Rogers from Destination Door County says that is not stopping people from calling or stopping by to ask if they can already see the leaves turning bright shades of red, orange, and yellow.

As of Monday, Ashland, Birchwood, Conover, Eagle River, Florence County, Forest County, Hayward, Madeline Island, Langlade County, Merrill, Nicolet Wolf River Scenic Byway, Phelps, Clark County, and Stevens Point are all above 10 percent peak colors according to the site. October is a big month for tourism in Door County, outpacing most of the months during the course of the year when it comes to occupancy rates and room tax revenue.

 

Rogers added that lots of lodging partners have also stepped up to help visitors who were supposed to stay at Rowley's Bay Resort during the fall months. Rowleys Bay had close to 60 rooms available to guests before it suffered a major fire last week, closing the businesses for the foreseeable future. Destination Door County staff are available to help visitors find alternate lodging for their upcoming stay in the area if they are affected.

Kewaunee County urges residents to do a "clean sweep" of their homes

Kewaunee County wants some of those unwanted chemicals, dry pharmaceuticals, and other materials before you decide to throw them out with the rest of the trash. The county’s emergency management department has set Saturday, October 21st from 8 a.m. to noon as its annual Clean Sweep Day where it accepts a selection of unwanted items like chemicals, pesticides, household wastes, dry medications, opioids, sharps, and more from residents, farmers, and agricultural businesses. The biggest change from years past is that this time, you can bring your items to the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds to dispose of items at little or no cost. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says these types of events not only take a little off your plate, but it also protects the community.

The event itself is more than a month away, but Nollenberg is asking people to sign up at this link before October 19th to schedule a drop-off time when volunteers wearing personal protection equipment will pull the items out of your vehicle so you do not have to get out. This service is made possible with grants received from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection as well as funding from Kewaunee County Families and Communities Encouraging Success (F.A.C.E.S.).

Area firefighters climb to remember 9/11

While millions of Americans took Monday to reflect on the events that happened over 20 years ago, several local firefighters remembered the terrorist attacks of 9/11 one step at a time. Thousands of people took to the bleachers at Lambeau Field on Saturday morning to participate in the Pierce Manufacturing 9/11 Stair Climb, which raises money for the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation to provide resources to assist their survivors in rebuilding their lives after losing their loved ones. Firefighters often take to the loop around Lambeau Field with their full turn-out gear on to add extra meaning to the 343 members of the New York Fire Department who perished when terrorists crashed airplanes into the World Trade Center, causing them to collapse.

While several departments have made it a tradition, Saturday was a first for Brussel-Union-Gardner’s Adam Monfils and Alex Knutson. From clipping on a name tag of a fallen firefighter to ringing a bell to commemorate the 87th floor of the World Trade Center, which was the highest point a firefighter reached on that day, Monfils says it was an emotional experience.

Monfils says he is already making plans to participate next year, but Algoma's Erin Mueller, it is already a tradition.

 

 

The wife of a firefighter, this was Mueller's fifth time completing the circuit around Lambeau Field. She says the emotions felt throughout the event have never lessened despite participating multiple times.

 

 

In addition to the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11, ABC News reports that another 331 firefighters have passed away as a result of post-9/11 illnesses. Forty-three names were added to a special memorial wall to commemorate those lost due to those illnesses, the biggest group of additions since it was created in 2011. You can find a list of names who died in the attacks and remembered at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City here.

 

Pictures by Adam Monfils and Erin Mueller

 

 

 

DNR collecting red pine seed for reforestation efforts

That red pine tree on your property could net you big bucks from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The DNR put out the call for assistance on Friday for people to bring their red pine cones for the agency’s reforestation program.

 

Though more densely populated in central and northern Wisconsin, there are pockets of red pine trees in Door County according to DNR maps. Red pine is the state’s number one conifer when it comes to timber production and bad crops of pine cones dropped from the trees have depleted the state’s supply of the seed. Early September is a prime time to collect red pine cones as they mature before their scales open up and deposit its seeds. The DNR is offering $125 a bushel for properly collected red pine cones, with each bushel netting the agency approximately a half-pound of seeds.

 

There are some stipulations however, including that they have to be sold to the DNR at one of their seed-buying locations in the state. The closest ones to Door and Kewaunee counties that are accepting the pine cones right now are in Appleton and Horicon. 

 

Picture courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

Sturgeon Bay's 3rd Avenue to close Monday

Your commute through downtown Sturgeon Bay will have to change on Monday because of work being done ahead of the new Muse development. The City of Sturgeon Bay announced Friday morning that N. 3rd Avenue will be closed to thru traffic from Jefferson Street for sewer and water work being done. The project is being done as the Muse development at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and N. 3rd Avenue is being constructed. City Engineer Chad Shefchik estimates that the work will be done by the end of the workday on Wednesday. He adds that the contractor in charge of the Muse development, which will house a music venue/school, an outdoor patio, and public restrooms when it is completed, will fence off the site when they begin work. They will close down the sidewalks and parking spots near the work site because of the fencing, but it will not impact the traffic.

Presentation on Door County's vulnerability to water contamination Wednesday

You can listen to a noted Wisconsin geologist and hydrologist speak on the groundwater quality challenges facing Door County at a special program being held in Sturgeon Bay this week.  Dr. Maureen Muldoon, PhD., will present “Why Is the Silurian Dolomite Aquifer So Vulnerable to Contamination?” at Crossroads at Big Creek on Wednesday, September 13th.  In 2016-17, Dr. Muldoon was part of a team of scientists who studied private well contamination in Kewaunee County.  She says the challenge to groundwater quality for people living in Door and Kewaunee counties is the lack of soil depth to bedrock and the impact of manure runoff throughout the peninsula.

 

 

Dr. Muldoon recently returned to the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey where she conducts groundwater research.  Her presentation will begin at 7 p.m. at the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek on Wednesday and will last about 45 minutes, followed by a question-and-answer period.  The free program hosted by the Door County Environmental Council can also be watched on a Zoom link at www.dcec-wi.org.  

 

(Photo contributed)

Lessons learned from trying year with corn

You are always learning as a farmer when it comes to your fields, and this year was no exception according to Peninsula Pride Farms Board Member and Ebert Enterprises Conservation Coordinator Nick Guilette.

 

According to the Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition Report from the United States Department of Agriculture, the corn condition was rated as 54 percent good to excellent, which was down five percent from the week before and it is the lowest rating it has had at this stage since 2013 when only 45 percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent.

 

Last week’s warm and dry weather was to blame for the dip in quality week over week. The corn's condition also varied based on how you planted your corn. Guilette says planting this year’s corn crop meant different results depending on which practices you used.

Guilette will be leading the discussion about evaluating your corn crop based on whether you planted into a green, growing crop compared to no-till after ryelage at Ebert Enterprises on September 12th at 5 p.m. It is part of Peninsula Pride Farms’ Conservation Conversation series.

Statz starting new Packer Community Mural

You can be part of a new community mural in Green Bay that Sturgeon Bay native Zane Statz has begun across from Lambeau Field on Lombardi Avenue.  Statz, a graphic artist and 2010 Sturgeon Bay High School graduate, has been painting a Packers Fence since its inception in 2014.  This year's newly painted mural will be on a 70-foot-long and six-foot-high fence.  With the help of the community volunteers the "paint-by-numbers" artwork will be done over three days leading up to the Packer home opener on Sunday, September 24 against the New Orleans Saints.  Statz says the public can get involved on Saturday and help finish the mural titled “A New Era" which will cover the "Tradition of Excellence" artwork he did eight years ago.

 

 

Statz will complete the layout for the fence mural on September 21st and 22nd and welcome anyone to help from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. to complete the painting project Saturday, September 24th weather permitting.  You can join in on the project without signing up by showing up at the area directly across from the Atrium on Lombardi Avenue.

 

(photo of two fences from 2021 and 2022 courtesy of Zane Statz)

Planting day coming up September 21st

Thursday, September 21 is Planting Day at Crossroads! This seems like a rather odd announcement since, during the past three growing seasons, we have planted about 4,000 trees and shrubs annually as a part of our Restoration Project, and we are planting something almost every day this time of year. 

But, on this special  Thursday morning,  our Pollinator Pals will be planting native flowers in the Bird and Butterfly Garden at the entrance of the Collins Learning Center. These volunteers will receive help from Master Gardeners and the Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and anyone else who wishes to volunteer.

We are occasionally asked, “Is it the Pollinator Garden or the Bird and Butterfly Garden?” It’s both – if and only if we plant eco-regional native plants!

Understand that most butterflies and moths lay eggs on one (or just a few) species of native plants. Without those specific species (referred to as host plants), there simply will be no caterpillars. That would be serious because almost all songbirds (approximately 90%) feed their nestlings caterpillars, a perfect soft, protein-rich, vitamin- and mineral-filled baby bird food. Hence the name Bird and Butterfly Garden.

But the Bird and Butterfly Garden has another essential function. It is a Pollinator Garden which meets the needs of countless beneficial insects.

Most people know that European honeybees gather nectar from flowers to make honey to sustain their hives over the winter. (If people don’t know this, they should attend the meeting of the Door County Beekeepers on Tuesday, September 19, at 6:30 p.m. at which Mark Lentz will talk about “Wintering Bees.”) Honeybees aren’t too picky. They will collect nectar from almost any flower they can land on. They are, however, selective about pollen which they need to feed their developing young, and the pollen having high protein and the right amino acids comes predominantly from blooming trees and shrubs in the spring and from yellow and purple flowers this time of year.

Most wild native bee species (and we have hundreds of them in Wisconsin) are hyper-selective about the pollen they collect to feed their offspring. In short, if we don’t plant the right species of flower, we will not have the native bee species that depends on it. But it goes both ways. Without a specific bee pollinating it, the flower species dies out. This is why diversity in a pollinator garden is so important.

Originally, the Collins Learning Center was surrounded by turf grass. It soon became obvious that with each extreme rain event, water gushing off the roof of the building was cutting deep gullies in the lawn. Ironically, the grass also dried out quickly every summer and required almost constant watering, with most of that water ending up on the parking lot.

About that same time, we realized that we lacked an outdoor area where school groups and visitors could gather for orientations, outdoor programs, and events. To solve this problem, Crossroads engaged Meissner Landscaping to design and install a rock garden amphitheater which was planted with typical landscape species, many of which were non-native. This installation was popular and attractive, but it made the entrance asymmetrical. So again, Meissner Landscape was engaged, this time to install rocks and plants on the opposite side of the stairway. During this iteration, they were asked to plant native species. Alas, back then, anything which grew in the Midwest was considered native, so a number of prairie plants were added to the garden. (With a few small exceptions, prairies are not native to Door County.)

Also during those years, Crossroads volunteers and school groups seeded the area east of the original parking lot with prairie wildflowers. When it became known that an enlarged parking lot would expand into their "wildflower prairie,” members of the Friends group organized work parties to rescue and replant the prairie plants around the learning center. 

Again, these prairie plants thrived, some aggressively taking over whole areas and growing to unattractive heights or flopping onto the sidewalk. But here is the kicker: prairie plants often do not meet the needs of many of the native bees in the Great Lakes Region.

Now, thanks to gifts from the Raibrook Foundation, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula, and several anonymous donors, Jason Miller of Silver Creek Ecological Services was engaged to create a new garden management plan. He supervised volunteers in the removal of the most aggressive of the undesirable plants throughout the summer and ordered eco-appropriate plants which have arrived! Thursday,  September 21, weather-permitting, the garden planting makeover will occur.

Those who want to help with environmental restorations are welcome to participate as a Pollinator Pal each Thursday morning or to become a Habitat Healer—a volunteer that helps with plantings and invasive species removal on Saturday mornings. (Note: cookies and lemonade are part of the tradition.)

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 land restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 

Thursday, September 14

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Friday, September 15

 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Saturday, September 16

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 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 p.m. 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Sunday, September 17

2:30 pm - 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Tuesday, September 19

6:30 p.m. Meeting of the Door County Beekeepers

Mark Lentz will present the program, “Wintering Bees and Treating for Mites,” during which he will talk about preparing hives for winter, including post-honey harvest supers, treating for mites, developing fat bees, fall feeding and cold weather hive protection and moisture control. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Thursday, September 21

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals Planting Day

Volunteers are invited to join in planting hundreds of eco-regional native plants in front of the Collins Learning Center. Equipment will be provided. Meet at the Center at 2041 Michigan St, Sturgeon Bay.

Midsummer's Music introduces new Autumn Music Fest

You will be able to listen to the beautiful sounds of chamber music until leaves begin to change colors in Door County this year. Midsummer’s Music announced Friday it would be launching its inaugural Autumn Music Fest beginning on September 30th. In addition to bringing in UW-Madison’s Pro Arte Quartet and its own Griffon String Quartet, Midsummer’s Music will also welcome back many of its musicians from its recently completed summer season that featured over 40 performances around the county. Other fine arts organizations in Door County like Birch Creek Music Performance Center, Northern Sky Theater, and Peninsula Players Theatre, have dipped into the fall as a way to keep audiences engaged in between its seasons. Executive Director Allyson Fleck is excited for Midsummer’s Music audiences to enjoy live chamber music into the mid-fall.


The Autumn Music Fest opens on September 30th at the Trenchard residence in Sister Bay and features oboist Lindsay Flowers, clarinetist JJ Koh, and pianist Garret Ross. You can see the full schedule and purchase tickets by clicking this link.

Reflections for National Suicide Prevention Week

September 10th through the 16th has been set aside as National Suicide Prevention Week. This is a difficult, yet important issue to discuss as anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide can tell you that there are no clear indicators and too often those left behind struggle with a deep sense of guilt. 

       

It is reported that every 12.8 minutes someone in our country dies by suicide, and that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those 15-24 years of age.

       

For many, the act of reaching out for help is a struggle in itself. We as a culture attach a stigma to those struggling with depression or mental crisis. While we think nothing of seeking help for the pain caused by any number of physical ailments, the mere suggestion that someone seek professional help for the pain or suffering they are experiencing in their minds is taboo. We as a culture have been told to suppress these feelings or that whatever pain we are feeling, it will pass.

       

Although everyone is different and their circumstances unique, there are general warning signs that may be visible. Some may exhibit a sense of hopelessness, recklessness or anger; other signs may be increased anxiety, withdrawal or purposelessness. In some cases individuals may attempt to harm themselves as a way to cry out for help, while in other cases there are no threats of action, just the tragic event itself.

       

Throughout the years, I have had the unfortunate experience to notify families of those who have taken their own lives. The lesson I draw from these incidents is to always take the time to help the person next to you, and never be too busy to stop and visit. Not just to ask how they are doing in passing, but to actually stop and listen to their answer to that question. Very few of us can claim to have the educational back ground to analyze or treat these afflictions, but every one of us has the ability to listen and lend support to those who are struggling, and to let them know we care.

        

As I feel this is such an important topic, I put myself through the certification to become a Suicide Prevention Instructor through the QPR Institute. I have conducted many classes over the years, and would be more than willing to present to any group or organization. Feel free to contact me at: (920)255-1100.

        

For more information on suicide prevention and the resources available visit: https://qprinstitute.com/

      

We have heard a great deal about the need for “Wellness” but we should not forget that true wellness has four basic components; Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual. Each of these supports the other and to be truly strong in one requires strength in the other two. Let’s all work together to sustain each other’s wellness above and beyond just the physical realm. In attending to our wellness, we also build up our own resiliency. These resiliency skills are the very foundation that we draw upon in times of adversity.

       

This year, we have a great opportunity to build up or resiliency skills as Myself, along with Jessica Depas from our very own Kewaunee County Health Department will be conducting weekly Wellness sessions. These sessions will be a combination of Physical movements designed to improve not only strength but also your flexibility, as well as resiliency lessons to help adjust our response to stress and adversity. For additional information and to enroll, please contact the Public Health Department at (920)388-7160.

New child-care bills panned locally

Wisconsin Republicans announced new plans to address child care in the state earlier this week, but local experts say they do not go far enough to help you or your local childcare facilities.

 

Legislators introduced the plans during a public hearing on Wednesday ahead of Governor Tony Evers’ requested special session on the topic scheduled for September 20th. The bills would allow parents to set up a pre-tax child care reimbursement account similar to ones currently used for health care, set up a loan fund for childcare facilities that wish to make upgrades and loosen restrictions on adult staff-to-children ratios and the age of assistant child care providers from 17 to 16.

 

Karen Corekin-DeLaMer from Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay and United Way Childcare Coordinator Molly Gary both agreed that the childcare reimbursement account bill was a good idea if it was made available to all Wisconsin families. The other bills were met with less enthusiasm, especially when it came to increasing class sizes. Corekin says they would be asking early care and education teachers who are already underpaid to do more work for the same compensation, potentially leading to an increase in staff turnover and a reduction in the quality of care in education. Gary says the loan program for facilities and lowering the age for childcare assistants does little to address the current problems facing childcare in the state.

Both Corekin-DeLaMer and Gary say the continuation of the monthly Child Care Counts funding, which expires early next year, is the best path forward to ensure parents have access to affordable child care in their communities. Evers proposed using $340 million to continue to fund the federal program on a state level in the 2023-2025 budget, but the legislators left it out of their version of the budget. 

Kewaunee County appoints Thomas as new CVSO

Kewaunee County officials are set to appoint Nathan Thomas as its new County Veterans Service Officer when the board meets on Tuesday. Thomas comes to Kewaunee County from Brown County where he has served as a veterans benefit assistant since May 2019. In addition to his time as an airborne infantryman in the U.S. Army, Thomas was also a police supervisor for six years with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He replaces Robert Stearns, who resigned from the role in June. The Kewaunee County Board will also consider resolutions for a new salary schedule and board compensation/travel policy when it meets on September 12th at 6 p.m. at the administration center in Kewaunee.

Koyen named new Crossroads at Big Creek Executive Director

You will notice a familiar face in the Door County environmental community leading Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.

 

Outgoing Executive Director for Crossroads at Big Creek Laurel Hauser announced on Thursday that Samantha Koyen would be her replacement. Koyen has been a conservationist at the Door County Soil and Water Department since December 2019 after serving in ecologist roles for NES Ecological Services in Green Bay and SWCA Environmental Consultants. Part of Koyen’s role with the Door County Soil and Water Department was to coordinate the county’s invasive species team, which collaborated with non-profit partners, homeowners, and other agencies to remove harmful plants and animals like phragmites, rusty crayfish, and black swallow-wort.

 

It is that local experience that excites Crossroads Board President Jim Stawicki, who added that Koyen has a deep appreciation for the organization’s work and the enthusiasm to take it into the future. Koyen said it was an honor to lead the Door County Invasive Species Team and she is excited to have some of those skills to use at Crossroads. 

Koyen's first day as the executive director for Crossroads will be October 16th. Hauser will stay on the team as its development director.

Prevea, HSHS continue to battle cybersecurity incident

Prevea and Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) remain open and ready to care for you and your loved ones despite trying to fix an internal ailment of their own.

 

The two Green Bay-area medical organizations have been dealing with cyber security concerns since August 27th when their clinical and administrative applications suffered a system-wide outage and knocked out their phone lines to their clinics and hospitals throughout the state due to a cyber attack. It has made it difficult for patients to schedule appointments and look at their health records among other tasks. Prevea and HSHS facilities have been able to get their phone lines back to operating and patients can schedule elective and non-elective procedures, but the organizations have suspended billing services. As a result, Prevea and HSHS are encouraging patients to be vigilant if they receive emails, texts, and phone calls claiming to be from the two organizations seeking payment for their services.

 

An investigation into why and how the cyber attack occurred is ongoing and it is still unclear on if patient information was compromised as a result of the breach. You can stay up-to-date with HSHS and Prevea’s progress by clicking on this link.

 

 

Locally, Prevea has clinics in Sturgeon Bay, Luxemburg, and Kewaunee.

County MM construction begins next week in Door County

You will still find road construction crews fitting in projects before the summer is through and the weather begins to cause its own havoc. The Door County Highway Department announced Thursday it will begin a road reconstruction project of County Highway MM from Rock Farm Road to County Highway C in the Town of Nasewaupee beginning on September 13th. The project includes road pulverization, a new asphalt surface and shouldering, and centerline striping. The road will be closed to through traffic from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the work week with Idlewild Road being the main detour route between Rock Farm Road and County Highway C. With help from favorable weather, the Door County Highway Department hopes to complete the project by October 6th. 

 

 

Suspected mechanical failure cause of Jacksonport crash

A suspected issue with the trailer it was towing was the cause of a crash in the Town of Jacksonport heading into Labor Day weekend, shutting down the road and knocking out a utility pole in the process.

 

At approximately 6:40 p.m. on September 1st, Fond du Lac’s Robert Stroede was towing his trailer with his truck north on State Highway 57 near Sand Dune Shores Road when an unknown mechanical failure on the trailer pulled it towards the shoulder and eventually into a steep ditch. The vehicle and trailer hit several trees before coming to a stop after striking a utility pole. According to the crash report, the utility pole snapped off at the base, causing live wires to be draped over the roadway and the vehicle. One of the three passengers in the vehicle had exited prior to the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin Public Service coming by to assess the damage and turn off the power. There were no injuries to Stroede or his two passengers in the crash, but both the vehicle and the trailer had to be towed away due to the damage they sustained. All lanes were opened by 12:40 p.m. on September 2nd.

 

It was the start of a string of major crashes on the peninsula during the first week of September with two of the crash reports still pending. Three vehicles were involved in a crash near the intersection of County Highway ZZ and Old Stage Road just after 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday with the motorists receiving minor injuries. 

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department

Four injured in Forestville crash

Four individuals had to be transported to Door County Medical Center following a two-vehicle crash on State Highway 42 Wednesday afternoon.

 

The incident occurred after 3:15 p.m. on State Highway 42 near Center Road when a 17-year-old Sturgeon Bay boy attempting to turn into a driveway in his sports-utility vehicle collided head-on with a 29-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman driving her sedan with three other passengers. When emergency responders arrived, they immediately began lifesaving measures on one of the sedan’s passengers that sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash. She was first transported to Door County Medical Center before being transferred to a Green Bay hospital for further treatment. The sedan’s driver and two other passengers were taken to Door County Medical Center for less serious injuries as a precautionary measure. No medical update on the driver of the sports-utility vehicle was given in a release from the Door County Sheriff’s Department Thursday morning.

 

State Highway 42 was closed for approximately four hours while the crash was investigated with the Wisconsin State Patrol responding to assist in the investigation. The Southern Door Fire Department, Southern Door First Responders, Door County Emergency Services, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department all responded to the crash, which was cleared by around 7:30 p.m. The incident remains under investigation and no other information is being released at this time by the Door County Sheriff’s Department.

Wisconsin Legislature eyes possible impeachment of state Supreme Court Justice

It is possible you could see something in Madison this year that has not happened since the state’s infancy.

 

Republican leaders have floated the possibility of impeaching newly-elected state Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz before she weighs in on a case. Most of the ire being directed at Protasiewicz is based on her comments about Wisconsin’s election maps, which she called “rigged” and “unfair.” The Wisconsin Judicial Commission rejected complaints lodged against her about her comments according to the Associated Press, but Republicans have said Protasiewicz should recuse herself from any redistricting-related hearings because of the comments and because of the $10 million she accepted from the Democratic Party causes during her state Supreme Court battle with former state Supreme Court Justice Daniel Kelly.

 

Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says he does not know what will happen, but says impeachments are usually based on something criminal in nature and not political.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told the Associated Press that he wants to do the legal research before moving forward with any possible action while Senate President Devin LeMahieu told WISN in Madison that they are “not looking to start the impeachment process as a regular occurring event in Wisconsin.”

 

The Wisconsin Legislature would need a majority vote from the Assembly and a supermajority in the Senate to remove Protasiewicz from office. Wisconsin leaders have not impeached a state Supreme Court justice since 1853 when Justice Levi Hubbell was accused of accepting bribes as a circuit court judge. He was acquitted of the crime, but he later resigned because of what he deemed to be too low of a salary, according to the Wisconsin Court System.

Crosswalk replacements close down Jefferson Street

Keep your eyes open for traffic signage and construction crews in downtown Sturgeon Bay over the next few days. Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker announced that crews would be closing both lanes of traffic between Georgia Street and N. 7th Avenue for a few hours for concrete crosswalk replacements. The traffic will be detoured from N. 8th Avenue down Georgia Street to N. 7th Avenue during the project. After crews remove the concrete from the westbound lane, they will reopen the eastbound traffic lane. The westbound lane will remain closed until the concrete cures, which Barker anticipates will be Friday for N. 7th Place and Saturday for N. 7th Avenue.

Time of the essence in spill reporting

With more traffic expected to be on the roadway in the coming weeks, you are being reminded of your role if you see hazardous waste get spilled. The Kewaunee County Local Emergency Planning Committee heard from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Spill Coordinator Cody Heinze as a part of its biannual meeting Wednesday morning in Luxemburg. Heinze shared that the northeast region, which includes Kewaunee County, accounts for 25 percent of all of the spills reported in the state. Close to half the spills reported are petroleum-related, a fact that Heinze contributes to gas or oil leaking onto the roadway after the crash. Heinze told the committee that it is important for people to call the DNR’s Emergency Spill Hotline to provide information as soon as they can.

Kewaunee County has had approximately 10 reported spill events between March and September of this year. The Kewaunee County Local Emergency Planning Committee also requested the state to provide them with an EPCRA Compliance Inspector effective October 8th since the county does not have one of their own. EPCRA stands for Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, a federal law passed in 1986 in response to concerns about the storage and handling of toxic chemicals.

Rowleys Bay Resort showing resilience in fire's aftermath

The operators of Rowleys Bay Resort in Ellison Bay are ensuring its guests and its employees are taken care of in the aftermath of Tuesday’s devastating fire. A portion of the property, which also included a bar/restaurant and bakery in addition to its lodging quarters, was razed as a part of the firefighting operations that saw over 100 firefighters from Door, Kewaunee, and Brown counties show up to assist in the efforts.  Staff members offered an update to its followers Wednesday afternoon, saying they are working with volunteers to arrange food, lodging, transportation, and personal resources for eight staff members who lost everything they owned in the fire.

 

 

Destination Door County is assisting Rowleys Bay Resort in helping guests who booked stays find alternative lodging for their visits to Door County while refunding those who had already made reservations. Staff members hope to have a temporary space to conduct business open by Friday after its administrative offices were also destroyed in the fire.

 

 

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht told the Door County Daily News Wednesday morning that he hopes to have more information about the cause of the fire later in the week.

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE: Nearly 100 firefighters used to extinguish Rowleys Bay Fire

CLICK HERE FOR MORE: Fire shuts down Rowleys Bay Resort campus

Picture from 2021

Replacing your vehicle's old license plates

You might want to take a look at your vehicle’s license plates on your car or truck before the next time you head out on the roads.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) wants to remind you that it’s your responsibility to replace any peeling, faded or damaged license plates.  The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now reissuing plates after they have been in circulation for ten years.  The Wisconsin legislature passed Act 163 in 2021 which requires the older license plates to be retired.  You will be notified at the time of your registration renewal if your plates have been selected for replacement.  In addition to your license plate renewal fee, you will have to pay an additional $8 for replacement plates.  The standard sailboat and farm design plates are being replaced for all auto and light truck plates.  You can also replace any peeling or damaged plates early by going to wisconsindmv.gov.vreplace      

Door County YMCA transitions into fall programming

The Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek kicked off a full schedule of Fall 1 sessions on Tuesday.  Josh Lardinois, member experience director at the Jackie and Steven Kane Program Center, says there are numerous opportunities for seniors, youth, and families to participate in a large spectrum of programming at both facilities.

 

 

Lardindois adds that the YMCA affords the ability to enjoy activities while engaging in socialization, thus eliminating isolation.  On Tuesday, the Sturgeon Bay YMCA celebrated a soft opening of the new Timmerman Family Wellness Center.   That expansion was part of the $10.2 million and 16,300-square-foot facility upgrade and addition over the past year.

Nearly 100 firefighters used to extinguish Rowleys Bay Resort fire

The major structure blaze at the Rowleys Bay Resort in Door County required assistance from 20 area fire departments and close to 100 firefighters on Tuesday afternoon.  Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the significant fire started in the basement of Grandma’s Swedish Bakery and spread to the upper level quickly requiring mutual aid from other fire departments.  He shares how the fire was contained to that building thanks to a firewall and favorable winds that blew away from the other main buildings.

 


Hecht adds that the fire originated in a sitting room area in the basement of the bakery that appeared not to have mechanical devices in the room.  He notes that an insurance company representative was on site after the fire was extinguished.  Since there was extensive damage and structural collapse in the area it was unsafe to enter the basement where the fire began.

 


The building was razed by an excavating crew late Tuesday and the scene was cleared at about 10 p.m.  Hecht says the investigation continues on the cause of the fire and more information may be available later this week. 

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE: Major fire shuts down Rowleys Bay Resort campus

CLICK HERE FOR MORE: Rowleys Bay Resort showing resilience in fire's aftermath

 

(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriffs Department)

Sturgeon Bay approves Green Tier Legacy Community Program participation

During the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting Tuesday night, the city joined a handful of other communities in Door County on the list of Green Tier Community Legacy members.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities General Manager Jim Stawicki explained to council members the benefits of the program now compared to when the city last looked at it in 2020.  He noted that the city can now realize about $500,000 in forgiveness through the state on the $5 million project for the wastewater management plan. 

 

  

 In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the first readings for two rezoning ordinances were approved.  A multi-family residential development at 26 West Pine Street and a 30-unit housing development for Estes Storage Condo at 1361 North 14th Avenue requires rezoning from Central Business District (C-2) to R-4, and from R-4 to a Planned Unit Development, respectively.  A second reading will need to be approved at the next council meeting on September 19 before the ordinances take effect.  

Major fire shuts down Rowleys Bay Resort campus

All Rowley's Bay Resort staff members are accounted for after a major fire forced their evacuation Tuesday afternoon.

 

Fire departments were called to the popular Ellison Bay destination at approximately 1 p.m. to the resort, which includes lodging, a pub, a bakery, and a restaurant. Black smoke could be seen from miles away as firefighters fought the blaze. Crews ended up closing down the entrance to Rowleys Bay Resort at the corner of County ZZ and Mink River Road to all traffic other than emergency personnel.

 

 

A representative for Rowleys Bay Resort took to social media after 2 p.m., saying that the building has been evacuated and the resort and food service will be closed for the foreseeable future.  Rowleys Bay management is working with its future guests by helping them make alternative arrangements if possible.

 

FROM ROWLEYS BAY RESORT FACEBOOK PAGE

"Rowleys Bay Resort and its attached businesses are currently affected by a building-wide fire. The building has been evacuated and all staff have been accounted for.

Arrangements are being made for incoming guests. If you are with an incoming bus group, please contact the groups manager number you have on file. If you are an individual who has a reservation with us tonight, we apologize and are working as quickly as we can to gather information and make alternate arrangements. Individuals who currently have reservations with us and cannot find alternate arrangements, please leave a message at 920-421-3005 and we will contact you as soon as we are able.

At this time the resort and food service departments will be closed for the foreseeable future. We will post additional information as it becomes available, including resources for contacting us if you have a reservation coming up with us.

Thank you so much for your support at this time!"

 

No further details are available at this time, but we will update this story as soon as they are available.

 

 

Trail builders come to Potawatomi State Park

You will see something at Potawatomi State Park that has not happened in over a decade, and organizers hope you will join in on the fun. Approximately 150 Ice Age Trail Alliance volunteers will descend on Potawatomi State Park this week for a five-day trail-building project. The project will create 0.6 miles of new Ice Age Trail tread along the escarpment, build a new 35-step staircase made out of limestone, remove overgrown vegetation near the Eastern Terminus, remediate a closed trail, and fix trail signage. Melissa Pierick from Ice Age Trail Alliance says the improvements will hopefully make one of the final miles to the Eastern Terminus even more special.


The trail rebuilding efforts are good news for cross-country skiers as they will allow hikers access to the Eastern Terminus without impacting the groomed ski trails. Funding for this trail-building project came from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program, the National Park Trust and National Park Service for financial support through a Challenge Cost Share grant, and the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation. Pierick says you are more than welcome to come on out and volunteer with their efforts.

Schools welcome back students and potential employees

As thousands of kids headed back to school over the last few days, many of those districts would appreciate you coming back yourself.

 

According to a study by the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the 16 percent teacher turnover rate from last year to this year was the highest the state has seen since 2012 when Act 10 tightened its grip on many districts. Last month, Green Bay area media outlets reported that Green Bay Area Schools needed to fill about 30 classroom positions with districts in Appleton, Oshkosh, and Manitowoc counties also needing to fill dozens of positions. 

 

Schools in Door and Kewaunee counties are in a better position, with many of them recruiting bus drivers and substitute teachers just to have their bases covered.  Kewaunee Superintendent Scott Fritz admits they are getting creative when it comes to filling open positions. The district is helping staff members get the necessary certifications needed to move into a full-time classroom role to have used its ESSER funding to hire “super substitutes” that can be deployed throughout the district.

Gibraltar Superintendent Brett Strousland is thankful for the “magic” that has helped them fill in open positions, including a late retirement that allowed another teacher to walk in from his long teaching career outside of the area into a role at the district. He says the community really helps them address their needs as they come up.

Interested candidates for potential open positions can contact their respective schools individually or visit the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network website.

Gibraltar to make decisions on broadband

The Town of Gibraltar could become the latest Door County community to make a move on broadband when it meets on Wednesday.

 

The move would follow a series of informational meetings that took place on August 24th and 28th. The Gibraltar Town Board will vote on a resolution supporting broadband expansion Projects and grant applications and broadband letter of intent for commitment of funds. The board will give an update on its broadband efforts and consider having a special town meeting of electors so they can weigh in on the path being taken. Municipalities across the county are sorting out their broadband picture as they try to recognize the shortcomings of the area.

 

While towns like Liberty Grove and Baileys Harbor have been able to nail down projects with their providers, others like Clay Banks and Sevastopol have had to go back to the drawing board to sort out agreements with other companies.

 

The Gibraltar Town Board will meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Gibraltar Town Center. 

STH 54 construction work begins Tuesday with partial closure

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is reminding you that you might have to use a different route to get to where you need to go beginning on Monday if you use State Highway 54. Tuesday is the first day of the $7.7 million, 13.2-mile road construction that will make much-needed repairs and safety improvements to State Highway 54 stretching from Rock Ledge Road in the Town of Luxemburg to Sunset Avenue in the City of Algoma. While the roadway will remain mostly open with lane closures and flagging operations during the project, there will be some times when hard closures are needed. According to Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, State Highway 54 will be closed from September 5th through the 12th between County K and Evergreen. He says the replacement of culverts in the stretch will cause the road to be entirely closed at different times.

The goal of the project, which includes resurfacing the roadway, adding new guardrails and rumble strips, and widening paved shoulders, is to make State Highway 54 a safer and smoother ride for motorists. With help from Mother Nature, the project is expected to be finished in mid-November.

 

Sturgeon Bay welcomes fall with Harvest Fest

You can experience classic cars around town, vendors on the streets, and colorfully decorated bass just about everywhere else during Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Harvest Fest and Street Art Auction later this month. The event kicks off on September 15th as the Old Bolts Car Club hosts its annual Cruise by the Bay beginning at 5:30 p.m.  The car show shares 3rd Avenue on September 16th with a wide variety of live music, food, crafts, and more as it coincides with the home stretch of the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market before it ends for the year in October. Destination Sturgeon Bay Marketing Coordinator Rachel Malcore says it is hard to believe that some of the local staples of the summer including the farmer’s market and the street art installation “Bass Around the Bay” are down to their final weeks.

Sturgeon Bay’s Harvest Fest carries on through the afternoon with the tapping of the Oktoberfest Firkin with Mayor David Ward at noon and the live interviews with the participating artists of the Bass Around the Bay beginning at 3:30 p.m. You can click this link to learn more about this year’s Harvest Fest and how you can beat the 5:30 p.m. deadline to bid on the Bass Around the Bay pieces.

Preparing for life after COVID relief funding runs out

Your wallet may get a little bit tighter in the coming months as some pandemic-era programs begin to disappear.

 

Millions of people are expected to be affected by the dissolution of programs created in the early months of the COVID-19 crisis to help people struggling financially. According to CNN, approximately 28 million people will have to start paying off their student loans beginning in October after having that requirement frozen since March 2020. October is also when some people will have to go back to work or at least look for a job at least 20 hours a week or they otherwise lose their SNAP benefits.

 

Leslie Boden from Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay encourages families to begin planning ahead if they see potential challenges due to the loss of benefits. Creating a budget and debt management plan, cutting unnecessary expenses, accessing community resources and support networks, and exploring alternative sources of income are just some of the ways you can make a better financial transition when COVID-19 relief funding runs out. You can find more tips on how you battle financial uncertainty below.

 

Assess your current financial situation: Start by reviewing your current income, expenses, and savings.

 

Create a budget: Develop a detailed budget that outlines your essential expenses, such as housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and education. Be mindful of non-essential expenses and find opportunities to cut back if necessary. We can help with this in many ways at Money Management Counselors

 

Debt management: If you have outstanding debts, create a plan to manage and reduce them. We offer programs and can help you navigate a path to reduce debts and interest.

 

Cut unnecessary expenses: Analyze your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back. Reducing non-essential expenses can free up funds to cover more critical needs.

 

Emergency fund: Establish or bolster an emergency fund. Aim to have three to six months' worth of living expenses saved in a separate account to provide a safety net in case of unexpected financial hardships.

 

Stay informed: Keep yourself updated on any changes in government assistance programs or new relief initiatives that might become available. Staying informed will help you take advantage of any resources that could assist your family.

 

Explore alternative sources of income: Consider ways to diversify your income streams. This could involve seeking part-time work, freelancing, or starting a small business from home. Having multiple income sources can increase financial stability.

 

Access community resources: Research and utilize local community resources and programs that can provide support for families in need. These might include food banks, rental assistance programs, childcare subsidies, and more. We help families identify eligibility and locate resources.

 

Support networks: Build a strong support network with friends, family, or community groups. Collaborating with others can lead to sharing resources, knowledge, and opportunities.

 

Prioritize mental and physical well-being: Financial stress can take a toll on mental and physical health. Take care of yourself and your family's well-being. Healthy bodies and minds can better navigate financial challenges.

Death's Door turned into graphic novel

You will be able to read about Door Couty in a different literary style next month. Written by Barbara Joosse and illustrated by Renee Graef, "Death’s Door: True Tales of Tragedy, Mystery, and Bravery from the Great Lakes’ Most Dangerous Waters" marks the first time the Wisconsin Historical Society Press released a graphic novel based on historical events. The book highlights five different events, including those surrounding a 17th-century fur trading crew and a 20th-century basketball team that occurred in the Death's Door passage. The strait of water highlighted by the graphic novel is located between Door County's mainland and Washington Island. The book will celebrate its official launch on October 21st at the Wisconsin Book Festival in Madison. Events surrounding the book are being planned for Door County next summer.

Critical documents to put in your will or estate plan

If you die without a will or an estate plan in place, your family may experience delays in settling your estate.  According to caring.com, over half of American adults do not have a will, and the percentage of people who say they don’t know how to get a will has increased by 90 percent in the last six years. 

 Attorney Bob Ross of Ross & Leibman Legal Group in Sturgeon Bay says if you lack either a will or an estate plan, there are three critical things you need to do right away.

 

 

Not having enough time or assets are the two excuses often given for not having a will or an estate plan in place.  Ross advises you to take the time now to get your end-of-life documents and plans in order and not to put them off.

Sturgeon Bay looks to join Green Tier Legacy Community program

Sturgeon Bay looks to join Door County, the towns of Gibraltar and Liberty Grove, and the villages of Egg Harbor, Ephraim, and Sister Bay on the list of local Green Tier Community Legacy Charter members.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will discuss joining the voluntary program when it meets on Tuesday. The request to become a Green Tier Legacy Community came from Sturgeon Bay Utilities, specifically highlighting the additional point considerations for select state funding sources as reasons to join. SBU has committed itself to doing much of the legwork behind the scenes required to join the program such as completing the Sustainability Strategies Scoresheet, drafting and submitting an annual report, and organizing a group of local stakeholders to spearhead future sustainability efforts.

 

Egg Harbor was the first from Door County to join the GTLC in 2017. It is part of the reason why the village in 2020 was awarded the Governor’s Tourism Stewardship for its sustainability efforts which included a free bike-share program, electric car-charging stations, and a solar program.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also weigh in on the rezoning of two different properties when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the City of Sturgeon Bay Common Council Chambers at city hall.

Kewaunee Food Pantry "rummaging" to help families 

You can help the Kewaunee Food Pantry keep its shelves full for the fall season with much-needed supplies.  President Ken Marquardt says the pantry serves about 180 families a month in the area with food and household supplies.  He shares some types of donations that can benefit the many local families in need.

 

 

 

Marquardt notes that the pantry is open Monday and Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. for food pickup.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry held a two-day rummage sale last week and will have a half-price sale on Monday from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.  The event usually raises over $2,000 every year for the pantry.  The all-volunteer organization provides food for families in need throughout Kewaunee County year-round and is a 501-C3 non-profit corporation. 

Crossroads discuss "where the waters meet"

“Where Waters Meet” is the 2023 educational theme of Crossroads at Big Creek. The phrase describes our preserve, where the waters of the Big Creek Watershed flow into The Cove Estuary, which in turn exchanges water with the Bay of Sturgeon Bay. Waters meet.

 

But other waters meet at Crossroads … and, actually, at most of the land above the Silurian Aquifer. Unlike many other regions where the distinction between ground water and surface water is relatively clear, here the distinction is muddy at best. 

At Crossroads, we can observe numerous places where ground water seeps into our creek and estuary. But the reverse also is true. The creek and our wetlands can be brimming with water after a heavy rain, but it rapidly drains through the shallow soil into the fractured bedrock below. During the dry spells this past summer, Big Creek would be running in places, then disappear; later and downstream, water returned to the surface.

 

This surface water/ ground water issue will be the topic when the Door County Environmental Council offers the program, “Why is the Silurian Dolomite Aquifer So Vulnerable to Contamination?” with speaker Dr. Maureen Muldoon. This free program will take place at the Collins Learning Center on September 13, at 7:00 p.m., either in person or on Zoom. A link can be found at www.dcec-wi.org.

 

Dr. Muldoon is a licensed professional geologist and hydrologist in Wisconsin. She will be talking about the hydrogeology of Door County’s Silurian dolomite aquifer and explaining what the implications are for water quality. Muldoon will discuss the impact of manure spreading in Kewaunee County, recent research from a site in southern Door County, and share an update on the airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey, which shows soil depth to bedrock.

 

Waters also meet at the area we now call the Hanson Homestead, for at this place, water from Big Creek flows into The Cove Estuary. For at least two thousand years, people have lived, at least seasonally, in this resource-rich area, and in the 1850s, Hans and Bertha Hanson built a snug two-room log home at this place. Until mid-October, on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., the Hans and Bertha Hanson House will be open to the public. 

 

The barn near the home is currently undergoing major renovations. Crossroads is re-purposing the barn to be a research field station, but though we are reinforcing the structure, Crossroads volunteers and the construction team from Carlson Erickson are making every effort to retain the historical, and admittedly quirky construction character of the barn exterior.

 

Folks stopping by will enjoy watching the progress, but we ask that visitors park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area. We appreciate the cooperation.

 

With the excitement garnered by the new telescope at the Leif Everson Observatory and the Dark Sky Park at Newport, interest in astronomy is skyrocketing on the Peninsula, and a number of community members are exploring the possibility of purchasing a telescope. This month, at the meeting of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS), Steve Hellman will offer the program, “Introduction to Telescopes.” If the sky is clear, the meeting will end with naked-eye and telescope viewing. The program is free and open to the public. Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay. All are welcome at this free meeting.

 

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 land restoration, and providing outdoor experiences to inspire environmental stewardship in learners of all ages and from all backgrounds. We welcome your support. 

 

Thursday, September 7 

8:30 a.m. Pollinator Pals

If you like to garden and are interested in giving our native pollinators a helping hand, Crossroads at Big Creek could use your help! Volunteers are “editing” unwanted plants which will be replaced by native species. We provide the equipment. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Friday, September 8

 2:30 pm - 4:30 p.m. 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Saturday, September 9

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 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. 

 

Saturday, September 10

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Sunday, September 11

2:30 pm - 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. Please park across Utah Street in The Cove Preserve parking area so as not to damage construction materials, impede progress or detract from the historical character of the area.

 

Tuesday, September 12

7:00 p.m. Meeting of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society

Visitors are always welcome at the monthly meetings of DPAS. The featured program will be “Introduction to Telescopes” offered DPAS Member Steve Hellman. If skies are clear, the organization will open the dome of the Observatory for an evening of night sky viewing. Meetings are free and open to the public. Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Accountability through love

I’ve been asked many times over the years as to what I think needs to be done in order to reduce the level of violence and criminal behavior in our society today. To say this is a loaded question would be an understatement, but I would share some thoughts.

      

No application of laws or penalties will provide meaningful change. No level of government intervention or increased social programs will truly impact the behavior that has brought us to our current reality. So, is it harsher punishment or greater leniency? I would submit that the answer is both and neither.

     

Having spent the past 30 years in law enforcement, responding to calls of violence against another, destruction of property, drug abuse, mental health crisis’ and various incidents related to simple human behavior at all ages, I have arrived at what I feel is a starting point for change. It’s not an easy starting point, and will challenge both our capacity for tolerance as well as our acceptance for action.

     

There are two fundamental tenants that if applied equally and consistently, have the potential for change; Love and Accountability.

     

I’ll start with Love, only because it is the foundation of our very existence. If we look back in history, we see that the most significant leaps forward were achieved when rooted in the wellbeing of others, not the demise of others. We have seen great strides in the human condition when we view each other as equals and acknowledge the value that each individual brings to the collective efforts, rather than diminishing the value of another.

     

In the efforts to reduce violence, we must first start to love each other once again, not just those who may look like us or think like us, but those who challenge our beliefs, and our norms. We must be able to see value in others, even if they devalue themselves by their behavior. We can show dignity for those who struggle to find dignity in themselves.

     

Many times, those who act out in violence are they themselves the product of violence. This is an important consideration when we attempt to apply judicial deterrence. Without getting to know the background, history or trauma that another is dealing with, we will most times apply ineffective corrective measures. This is the very foundation of Trauma Informed Care. That we look to those who struggle and ask not:” What’s wrong with you?”, but rather “What Happened to You?”

     

We have made many strides in this approach to criminal behavior, by applying such principles. This is what Love looks like in our Justice System. But it is only half of the equation. What we have to guard against is the over application of leniency, which would then turn our efforts of change into efforts of enabling. This is where accountability comes in.

     

Throughout human history, we have seen various approaches to accountability inn varying degrees of severity and leniency. While there is room for variation in the level of accountability, the need and application of accountability is undeniable. It is in fact the application of accountability that is in and of itself a form of love. Just as a parent must correct the behavior of a child, so as to instill essential life skills, so to must a society hold each member accountable so that each member can in turn be a positive contributing, member of that society. While there may be mitigating factors to criminal behavior, those factors do not, and cannot serve as a universal exception to accountability. I fear this is where we are currently in our culture.

  

We see too often, the claim of trauma to excuse a behavior that by any measure is unexpectable. There is the ability to recognize what others have been through, not to serve as a crutch that is leaned on, but rather, to use as a strength. It should be part of our work to create an environment where struggle and hurt do not define us, but rather become the foundation from which we build upon. It is of no value to merely compare scares or pain, but to share those events that have challenged us so to impart upon the next generation the comfort of knowing that challenges have always been part of our existence. We do this so that they too will persevere through those challenges rather than succumb to them.

   

So where do we start such a daunting journey? There is a famous quote, that every journey begins with a simple first step. We start by once again demonstrating love to those around us, while accepting accountability for or own actions. In the end, it is only ourselves that we have control over, and that is a great place to start!

The Nature Conservancy's Grimm honored by Gallagher

The Nature Conservancy’s Mike Grimm had quite the sendoff on Friday as he prepares to retire from his work protecting our local waterways.

 

Grimm was honored by Rep. Mike Gallagher on Friday at Green Isle Park in Allouez alongside the outgoing president of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies Tom Sigmund for their work protecting northeast Wisconsin’s freshwater resources.

Grimm worked for The Nature Conservancy as a conservation ecologist and is credited with creating “The Door Peninsula Project” while leading other conservation projects. Gallagher read the entry he made into the Congressional Record to commemorate Grimm and Sigmund’s accomplishments.

 

 

"Mr. Grimm has dedicated his life to conservation and ecological studies throughout Northeast Wisconsin, and he has been instrumental with my “Save the Bay” initiative since its inception," read Gallagher. "He led the first Lower Fox Watershed Workgroup meeting for the program in 2016 and has facilitated Door and Kewaunee County Watershed Workgroup meetings throughout the region for the past eight years. Mr. Grimm has invested many hours towards this collaborative program and has significantly contributed to its success. He has been instrumental with the formulation of goals and priorities for the initiative, and has played a substantial role with planning, preparation and idea generation."

 

 

The Nature Conservancy helps protect more than 7,800 acres across Door County including Kangaroo Lake, the Mink River Estuary, the North Bay-Mud Lake Preserve, and the Shivering Sands Reserve. 

 

Photos courtesy of the Office of Rep. Mike Gallagher

Birch Creek launches fall concert series September 9th

The change of the season does not mean you have to go without live music at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor. September 9th marks the first of three straight Saturday night concerts during the month of September. The music encompasses different types of jazz ranging from Dixieland offerings to more contemporary compositions. The fall concert series is something Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christenson first introduced in 2015 and it was a big success, selling out their first two shows. She says music lovers will enjoy the performances taking the Juniper Hall stage.

The fall concert series stretches in October with a performance of a percussion trio featuring Brad Stirtz, Carter Stirtz, and Wesley Morgan at the organization’s Birch Associates Fundraiser on October 7th. The series also includes its annual holiday concerts on December 2nd. You can read more about the shows here.

Century-plus-old shipwreck found near Algoma

As excited as you might get for reeling in a monster fish in Algoma’s harbor, imagine Wisconsin Maritime Historians Brendon Baillod and Robert Jaeck finding Kewaunee County’s latest shipwreck. Baillod and Jaeck located the 156-year-old 140-foot schooner Trinidad on July 15th using a variety of tools including survivor accounts of the shipwreck and side scan sonar technology. According to Baillod, the ship was built in New York in the 1860s and it was primarily used for grain trade between Milwaukee, Chicago, and Oswego New York. The Trinidad sank shortly after leaving the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in May 1881 about 10 miles from Algoma’s shores. Baillod, who has been chronicling shipwrecks since he was a teenager, says this was a special vessel to find because of its backstory and its condition.

With the assistance of Tamara Thomsen from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Maritime Archaeology Office, they were able to not just verify the vessel’s identity and document its artifacts, but they were also able to create a 3D photogrammetry model of the Trinidad. Baillod suggests that it will be included on the National Historic Register of Historic Places in the coming months.

 

First picture: The Trinidad's Intact Deck House, Zach Whitrock, Tamara Thomsen, State Historical Society of Wisconsin

 

Schooner Trinidad as she appears today; Tamara Thomsen & Zach Whitrock, State Historical Society of Wisconsin

 


Sonar image of the Trinidad from the Remote Operated Vehicle
Tamara Thomsen, Tom Crossmon

 

Brendon Baillod, Bob Jaeck and Tom Crossmon Survey the Trinidad
Tamara Thomsen

 

Corn dry-down dates set

You will get a better idea of when you can harvest the corn in your fields over the course of the next two Wednesday mornings. The Kewaunee, Door, and Brown County UW Madison Extension Offices are offering opportunities to have standing corn intended for corn silage tested for moisture. Farmers aim for 65 percent moisture at harvest time in order to maximize the quality of the forage. Last year, samples from 124 fields used the corn dry-down testing days to get a better idea of where their crops were at and when they could potentially head into the fields. The results averaged about 69 percent moisture, meaning that farmers had to wait a little bit longer before firing up their equipment. The extension office will hold the dry-down events at the Door County Cooperative on State Highway 42/57 from 9 a.m. to noon on September 6th and at Rio Creek Feed Mill’s Luxemburg site on September 13th from 9 a.m. to noon. You can find more details about the events below. According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Statistics Service report from earlier this week, the corn condition was rated as 59 percent good to excellent. While that was up four percent from a week ago, it is down 17 percentage points from 2022, 19 percentage points from 2021, and 21 percentage points from 2020.  

 

Picture from Aerica Bjurstrom

 

 

Summer says goodbye, but heat says hello

If you plan on enjoying your last gasp of summer this weekend, make sure you take the proper precautions.  The National Weather Service is predicting weather in the mid-90s for the Green Bay area and upper 80s to low 90s for Door and Kewaunee counties for Sunday and Monday. The warm front is greeting visitors and residents alike for one of the busiest weekends of the summer which includes farmers markets up and down the peninsula and Sister Bay Marina Fest. With how crowded it is expected to be for what many visitors use for their last hurrah of summer before the school year hits its stride, Katie Van Laanen from the Door County Public Health Department says it is important for people to have a plan on how they are going to take care of themselves while enjoying all of the activities around them.

Blackledge says if going to the beach is an option, you may want to look ahead too. Earlier this week, Murphy Park Beach and Ephraim Beach were closed at least temporarily due to elevated bacteria levels. No beaches were closed as of Friday morning, by Van Laanen says you still should be on the lookout for algae blooms due to the high temperatures.

 

 

Search Our Site

CANCELLATIONS

Current Weather

STURGEON BAY WEATHER

Poll

Would you consider voting for a third-party candidate in this year's presidential election?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Obituaries

Click Here for more Obituaries

Obituary posting fee is $25

Sports Poll

Newsletter

Sign up for our Daily Electronic Newspaper!

Plus, Get the latest updates for Local Sports, Obituaries and more delivered to your inbox!