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Purple Tube Project key to dementia awareness

You can have peace of mind if your loved ones with dementia have a medical or behavioral emergency with the help of a purple tube. Door County is joining other counties statewide with its Purple Tube Project. In this tube, loved ones can place a copy of the individual’s healthcare power of attorney, emergency contact information, and a photo of the individual. Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center Director Jenny Fitzgerald says they are teaming up with law enforcement, emergency medical services, and the 911 communication endeavor to become more dementia-friendly locally as the number of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease grows.

The ADRC in Sturgeon Bay will hold a pair of Purple Tube Project clinics this month, with more on the horizon in December in northern and southern Door County. You can also contact the ADRC for an appointment if you cannot make the clinic dates and times posted below.

 

Monday, November 6th from 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm or

Thursday, November 16th from 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm

Other clinics for Southern and Northern Door will be offered in December (Dates to be determined)

 

Trinidad discoverers highlight November Maritime Speaker Series

You can hear directly from the two men who became the latest to discover a shipwreck off the coastline of Kewaunee County. Brendon Baillod and Robert Jaeck found Kewaunee County’s latest shipwreck, the 156-year-old 140-foot schooner Trinidad, on July 15th using various 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 said after they announced the discovery that it was a unique vessel to find because of its backstory and its condition.


The Maritime Speaker Series featuring Baillod and Jaeck will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend in person at the Door County Maritime Museum or online, but you are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item.

 

The session comes days after another Door County shipwreck was named to the National Register of Historic Places. The schooner Boaz, listed on the state’s register earlier this year, was added to the national register earlier this month, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society. It marked the second time this year a Door County shipwreck was named to the registers, joining the Emeline located near Baileys Harbor. Baillod predicts a similar fate for the Trinidad in the coming months.


Mittermann humbled by attention after dog rescue

Gibraltar senior Logan Mittermann’s Labor Day weekend working at the Ephraim Marina was anything but ordinary, but he treated it as such until recently. Mittermann was working his job at the marina when he heard a commotion outside the office he usually sits in, waiting for boats to come in to dock. Upon going outside, he noticed a dog had fallen off the dock, and its owners were struggling to pull the dog onto the pier. Mittermann jumped in and helped push the dog out, much to the delight of its owners. After receiving a tip and some compliments from the owners, Mittermann thought that was the end. Little did he know, North Chicago Assistant Police Chief Gary Lunn was witnessing the whole event unfold and contacted the Village of Ephraim to make sure the deed did not go unnoticed. Lunn says he was impressed by the composure the high school student showed during the emergency.

The email triggered a commendation awarded to Mittermann at a Village of Ephraim Board Meeting earlier this month, which has attracted additional attention ever since. Mittermann says he just wanted to help and believes other employees he worked with this summer deserve similar credit.

 

 

He looks forward to finishing his senior year after wrapping up his final cross country season with an All-Packerland Conference selection. 

Volunteer recruitment begins now for the Red Kettle campaign

Without your help, not only will the bells near the Salvation Army’s red kettles lay silent, but community members may not get the help they need. Salvation Army chapters nationwide are working on getting their red kettles staffed for the holiday season. The organization is more likely to receive donations to their kettles when paired with a volunteer or two ringing bells, singing songs, or simply saying hello. Sheriff Matt Joski helps organize the effort in Kewaunee County, which raised more than $22,900 in 2022. Joski not only sees the money come in, but he also sees it going out as the county’s lone voucher writer. He says the cold temperatures increase the need in the community.

You can contact Salvation Army representatives in Door and Kewaunee counties to learn how you can help staff a red kettle this winter from the weekend following Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve. Last year’s Red Kettle Campaign raised more than $102 million nationwide.


"Trick or Treaters" brace for tricky Halloween weather

Children celebrating Halloween this year might want to take extra precautions with unseasonably cold temperatures expected on Tuesday. The National Weather Service forecasts high temperatures in only the high 30s for Door and Kewaunee counties. Besides dressing warm enough for the elements, parents are advised to follow some tips when getting their children ready to "trick or treat."   All costumes, wigs, and accessories should be fire-resistant. If children are out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags or give them glow sticks. Opt for nontoxic Halloween makeup over masks, which can obscure vision. A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds. If your older children are going alone, plan and review an acceptable route. 

 

Other safety tips include: 

  • Agree on a specific time children should return home
  • Teach your children never to enter a stranger's home or car
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends
  • Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home.  

Motorist tips: 

  • Motorists should keep an eye out for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Discourage new, inexperienced drivers from driving on Halloween

Below is the list of local communities celebrating on Tuesday with "Trick or Treat" hours.

  • Algoma (city) - Halloween 4:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Baileys Harbor - Halloween 5:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Jacksonport - Halloween 3:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Kewaunee - Halloween 3:00-6:00 p.m.
  • Red River - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.
  • Sturgeon Bay - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.

 

The U.S. Coast Guard is hosting the Haunted Ship, which is also a canned food drive from 5-6 p.m. for young children and from 6-8 p.m. for those wanting a scarier experience aboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront.  

 

Commitment, Friends drive fight against substance abuse

The death of a popular television actor is serving as another reminder to those who are suffering from alcohol and substance abuse about the importance of reaching out. Matthew Perry, who starred in such shows as Friends, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and Mr. Sunshine, passed away over the weekend from an apparent drowning in his Jacuzzi. No drugs were found near Perry when he was discovered by emergency personnel, and no foul play was expected while the authorities wait for the toxicology reports to arrive. Perry was open about his battle with addiction, which, according to a Variety magazine article, cost him approximately $9 million because of 15 stints in rehab and multiple surgeries due to opioid abuse. His efforts to help others get sober, whether it was taking them to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or turning his home into a sober living facility, have been highlighted in the days since his death. Laurie Chapman from The 115 Club says it shows the importance of reaching out to people in need and staying connected with them.

The 115 Club is dedicated to improving the lives of anyone in a 12-step program trying to kick their drug and alcohol habits. 


Mental Health, food insecurity, special needs addressed with latest $29,000 donation

You will see the impact of the latest donation by the 100+ Women Who Care of Door County Giving Circle across the peninsula, thanks to its support of three organizations. Lakeshore CAP Food Pantry received a $14,500 grant, while the Little Eddie Big Cup/Mental Health Support Fund and Sunshine Resources Door County each received $7,250. Lakeshore CAP Food Pantry is a part of the larger Door County Food Pantry Coalition, which United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle said last week has been getting taxed as of late.


Sandi Soik, Director, Lakeshore CAP Food Pantry commented, “It was very inspiring to see the enthusiasm the 100+ Women Who Care have for the nonprofits in Door County. Without financial support like 100+WWC, this food pantry would not exist. Thank you for your concern for our friends and neighbors in need.”

 

The Little Eddie Big Cup/Mental Health Support Fund is in honor of Edward Strege who died in 2014 after battling a mental illness. What started as a golf scramble tournament in his honor became a more significant effort to promote mental health awareness and education in Door County. Rachel Willems, President of Little Eddie Big Cup/Mental Health Support Fund, shared, “It’s a point of pride to think that what started as grieving friends planning a golf tournament to remember their classmate has now grown into the nonprofit Mental Health Support Fund. We grew up in a world that didn’t talk about the mental illness around us, we hope the work of the fund helps change that for future generations.”

 

Sunshine Resources Door County helps give opportunities to area individuals with special needs to make a positive impact in the community. The 100+ Women Who Care of Door County Giving Circle comprises 380 donors and has awarded nearly a half million to 56 Door County non-profits over the last five years.

Enthusiasm in youth apprenticeship programs growing

You will see more local students take advantage of opportunities to go from the classroom to the workspace to help further their education. Student apprenticeships are growing in school districts like Sturgeon Bay, which has 26 kids involved at 18 businesses. It aligns with the state’s goals for K-12 schools, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Some goals include doubling the number of students who complete a work-based learning program, increasing the number of high schools providing a regional career pathway, and helping students receive industry-recognized credentials for in-demand fields. Sturgeon Bay District Administrator Dan Tjernagel says his daughter is an example of the success these opportunities can bring to students.


CESA 7, which includes Door and Kewaunee counties, has over 1,000 kids involved in work-study programs through the Northeast Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship (NEWYA) program. Hundreds of students had the opportunity earlier this month to plan on those potential apprenticeship opportunities during a special Manufacturing Month event hosted by the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Students from Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, Southern Door and Algoma will tour manufacturing businesses: Marine Travelift, ExacTech, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, N.E.W. Industries, Therma-Tron-X, Hatco, Pro Products, Midwest Wire Products, Renard’s Artisan Cheese, Itasca Automation Systems, Door County Candle Company and Door County Coffee as a part of the event to give them an inside look at the work that they do.

 

Here are the numbers of students currently enrolled:
Gibraltar:10
Sevastopol: 9
Sturgeon Bay: 36
Southern Door: 41
Washington Island: 0
Total: 96 Participants Enrolled

 

Door County to host broadband grant education summit next week

Getting you quicker internet faster remains a top priority for Door County and other local municipalities ahead of a summit being held next week in Sturgeon Bay. A significant point of discussion will be how they can get their fair share of a $1.055 billion federal grant received by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. The summit will welcome local municipal leaders to discuss the funding requirements and how to put their best forward. Door County’s broadband coordinator, Jessica Hatch, is amazed by the progress municipalities have been able to make in such a short time while also doing their due diligence to make sure they get the best service they can get for the money they can afford.


The Broadband Grant Education Summit is taking place at Stone Harbor Resort on November 7th, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Registration is due on November 1st.  If you cannot attend in person, a Zoom option will be available.

Kitchens co-authors safe haven baby box bill

If you are overwhelmed with the prospect of raising a child, you may have a new place to turn for help. Rep. Joel Kitchens teamed up with Rep. Ellen Schutt (R-Clinton) to author Assembly Bill 369 and Senate Bill 369, allowing Wisconsin to have an anonymous 24-hour, 7-day-a-week drop-off site for newborns through what are known as “baby boxes.” The baby boxes are often attached to hospitals, police stations, and fire departments and allow distressed parents a place to drop off their children, no questions asked. The boxes are monitored and alert medical professionals when they are in use. Kitchens’ involvement was spurred at the request of Door County Medical Center following the discovery of an infant in a field near Whitewater, Wis. Fourteen states, including nearby Iowa and Indiana, already use the boxes. Assembly Bill 369 will get its hearing this week after the Senate passed the bill with unanimous support earlier this month. 

Sister Bay seeks park system input

Splash pads?  All-inclusive playgrounds? Pickleball courts? The Village of Sister Bay wants you to voice your questions and comments about the future of its parks at a public input session on Monday.

 

The village conducted a recreational needs survey last summer that gave officials the information they needed for many park and trail projects in the early planning stages. By gathering additional public input on top of the survey results, village officials hope to get more information as they develop Sister Bay’s comprehensive outdoor recreation plan. It is being done at the same time the village puts the final touches on its facilities plan and its comprehensive land use plan with assistance from Ayres and Associates and the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission. The public input session planned for Monday will examine six different activities and provide information on the area’s Dark Sky Initiatives.

 

The session will go from 3-6 p.m. at Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station on Mill Road. No pre-registration is needed, but you are encouraged to sign in so you can be kept up-to-date with any developments.

State Building Commission approves Peninsula State Park Project

You will be able to shower and use the facilities a little more comfortably when camping at Peninsula State Park in the future. The State Building Commission, which includes State Senator Andre Jacque, approved the design report and granted the authority to renovate some of the flush toilet and shower facilities at Peninsula State Park. According to the State Building Commission’s agenda, the approximately $2.9 million project will renovate three facilities in Welcker’s Campground, including two toilet/shower buildings and one flush toilet facility, along with one toilet/shower building and one flush toilet facility in the North Nicolet Campground. The facilities are outdated and beginning to fail, including the sewer lines that serve them. The timeline shows that the project will go out to bid this spring before construction begins in May. The hope is the project will be completed by early 2025. The Peninsula State Park bathroom facilities project was a part of the over $388 million in state funds approved by Governor Tony Evers on Wednesday. Some of the other projects funded on Wednesday include the construction of a Wisconsin History Museum in Madison and Food and Farm Exploration Center in Plover.

Breaking down upcoming Crossroads activities

With all of the superstitions and mysteries floating about this time of year, Crossroads decided to demystify the mysterious and celebrate a phenomenon that, through the ages, has been associated with death and decay. It's probably a rotten idea, but this is Decomposition Week at Crossroads. 

 

Already we have learned about scavengers from our friends at the Open Door Bird Sanctuary. Thursday, we will collaborate with Wild Ones and Master Gardeners for our Second Annual Compost Potluck. Friday, representatives from the Door County Mushroom Club will be at the Collins Learning Center during the First Friday Campfire, and our Saturday Science Program will focus on decomposers during an activity we call, "Life in a Dead Log."

 

"Rotten," "decayed," and "decomposed" are all words with negative connotations, yet without decomposers, we would not have life as we know it.

 

Consider a forest, or any other habitat, for that matter. What would it be like if everything – dead trees, fallen leaves, dead animals, dead birds – just piled up? Not a pretty picture, but that's only a part of it.

 

We all have been taught that green plants, through the remarkable process of photosynthesis, 

capture the energy of our Sun and, using water and carbon dioxide, manufacture food. This is true, but a bit oversimplified. 

 

To grow and thrive, plants also need minerals and nutrients, at least 17 of them and probably more. The major ones are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. With a few odd exceptions, land plants absorb these minerals from the soil.

 

Let’s break this down using a forest as an example. If, over the years, trees absorbed all of the minerals, the forest soil would be so depleted that nothing would thrive, and eventually nothing would grow at all.

 

But decomposition is the original recycling system. When a tree or any part of a tree dies, decomposers start breaking down the wood or leaves and replenishing the soil with minerals. When I say "soil,” I don't mean “dirt,” but rather, a diverse, dynamic soil ecosystem made up of countless fungi, bacteria, insects, spiders and microscopic soil flora and fauna.

 

Fungus has a bad reputation (and admittedly some fungi are harmful), but scientists believe that 80 to 90-percent of land plants benefit from their relationship with fungus. These living organisms (they aren't plants; they aren't animals, either) feed on decaying material or else absorb carbohydrates directly from the roots of living plants. In exchange, the fungi and other soil microorganisms improve the soil porosity, water retention, and nutrient availability. 

 

The Wild Ones and Master Gardeners will join together for a "Finger Food" Compost Potluck at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 2. Each participant should bring a plate of hors d’oeuvres or bite-sized desserts. Following the meal, participants will scrape their plates, separating “compost-appropriate food” from the scraps best left out of a compost pile. At 6:45 p.m., we will have a short presentation on the importance of keeping food waste out of landfills. Thanks to our friends from the Climate Change Coalition, we will have Door Community Compost Initiative "buckets” available for purchase and provide information on community drop-off sites. 

 

On the November 3, from 5:30-7:00 p.m., the traditional Crossroads First Friday Campfire will include a special Decomposition Week bonus. Members of the Door County Mushroom Club will set up exhibits inside the Collins Learning Center and be on hand to answer questions about fungi. And – last chance! – costumes are appropriate for the luminary-lit hike and campfire.

  

Decomposition occurs quickly in a compost pile, but it takes a very long time in a log, and the first stage is boring. Boring means making holes. Woodpeckers, ants, beetles, lawn mowers and string trimmers, to name a few, create openings in the bark of living or dead trees. Those openings allow moisture to get into the wood and fungal spores quickly follow. Through the years, a succession of fungus species release enzymes that dissolve cellulose and lignin in the wood. 

 

In our Saturday Science Program on November 4, families will dissect a dead log, looking for signs of life – holes, tunnels, egg galleries, fungus, and maybe even hibernating amphibians that are the first step in returning the minerals of the tree to the forest soil. Weather permitting, understanding and respecting that logs are wildlife homes, participants will carefully dissect a rotting log out in the preserve. If the weather is uncooperative this program will move into the lower level of the Collins Learning Center. 

 

Bird Club – a gathering of people who love birds – meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Collins Learning Center. Whether you’re a life-long birder or newly interested, we invite you to come learn. This month, the main topic will be Winter Finches, and, of course, any rarities we’ve seen. 

 

Wednesday, November 1

7:00 p.m. Informational Session on Lead and Arsenic Soil Remediation.

Join us for an informational session on how Crossroads is dealing with lead and arsenic-contaminated soil – remnants of 20th century orchard management practices – in two areas on its preserve. Ken Ebbott, senior project manager and geologist with Sand County Environmental, will discuss the removal of contaminated soil. He will be joined by Crossroads board member and geologist, Brian Forest, and former Door County Soil and Water Department head, Bill Schuster. Free and open to the public. Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. 

 

Thursday, November 2

6:00 p.m. Wild Ones Compost Dinner; Program at 6:45 p.m.

The Wild Ones and Master Gardeners will join together for a "Finger-Food Potluck.” Each participant should bring a plate of hors d’oeuvres or bite-sized desserts. Following the meal, participants will scrape their plates, separating “compost-appropriate food” from the scraps best left out of a compost pile. At 6:45 p.m., we will have a short presentation on the importance of keeping food waste out of landfills. Thanks to our friends from the Climate Change Coalition, we will have Door Community Compost Initiative "buckets” available for purchase and provide information on community drop-off sites. Free and open to the public. You need not participate in the potluck to attend the presentation. Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. 

 

 

Friday, November 3

5:30-7:00 pm First Friday Campfire and Mushroom Exhibit

The traditional Crossroads First Friday Campfire will include a special Decomposition Week bonus. Members of the Door County Mushroom Club will set up exhibits inside the Collins Learning Center and be on hand to answer questions about fungi. And – last chance! –  costumes are appropriate for the luminary lit hike and campfire. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. 

 

Saturday, November 4

10:00 a.m. Science Saturday: Life in a Dead Log

Families will dissect a dead log, looking for signs of life---holes, tunnels, egg galleries, fungus, and maybe even hibernating amphibians that are the first step in returning the minerals of the tree to the forest soil. Weather permitting, understanding and respecting that logs are wildlife homes, participants will carefully dissect a rotting log out in the preserve. The program will move into the lower level of the Collins Learning Center if necessary. Each child will be given a free “log probe” to take home. Free and open to the public. Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

  

Tuesday, November 7

6:30 p.m. Bird Club

Bird Club is a gathering of people who love birds. Whether you’re a life-long birder or newly interested, we invite you to come learn. This month, the main topic will be Winter Finches, and, of course, any rarities we’ve seen. Free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Upcoming Northern Sky Theater season hits familiar chords

Four of the six shows playing at Northern Sky Theater next year are world premieres, but you will not be lost entirely when you take your seat.

 

The performing arts company announced its 2024 season earlier this week with three shows slated to play at the outdoor amphitheater in Peninsula State Park and inside the Gould Theater at the Northern Sky Theater’s creative campus in Fish Creek.

 

Outside, audiences will get a second look at The Fisherman’s Daughters, which played in 2021 but did not get the full Northern Sky Theater experience because of the pandemic. Belgians in Heaven will return to the amphitheater stage for its 30th anniversary, but you will also get to see the musical’s prequel as a world premiere, Hell’s Belgians.

 

The Gould Theater will see the world premieres of Reality Trip and Girls on Sand. While Girls on Sand is considered a love letter to the title of the popular production Guys on Ice, Reality Trip is a contemporary musical about how technology helps and hinders us. The indoor season also includes And if Elected, the semi-annual ode to the election season.

 

Artistic Director Jeff Herbst says the 2024 season is a blend of throwing it back to the classics while looking ahead to the future.


The three summer shows at the Park will run in repertory six nights a week, including two double show nights on Mondays and Thursdays. The double show nights will allow you to see Hell's Belgians and Belgians in Heaven on the same evening. The summer show in the Gould will also run six nights a week. The fall indoor shows will run six nights a week in September and October. A ticket sale date will be announced in early 2024.

 

Picture courtesy of Northern Sky Theater

Staying safe this Halloween

This year, Halloween falls on a Tuesday. Some communities may have Trick or Treat set for that day, while others may allow this activity to occur on Sunday. Either way, I hope the weather holds so the kids can enjoy showing off their costumes rather than being cloaked in Cold Weather Gear.

 

I would first like to briefly go over some basic safety tips for both the young and old alike. While the goal of any good costume is to obscure your true identity, make sure it doesn’t obscure your vision. This is especially important when walking door to door, and crossing streets. Some masks have the unfortunate side effect of severely limiting your peripheral vision. Try to wear costumes that lend themselves to good visibility. I am not saying that all the kids should go as safety cones or Deer Hunters in Blaze orange, but try to keep them as bright as possible.

 

While it is the goal of the kids to disguise themselves and make the people giving out candy wonder what or who they are, the opposite is true for those giving out candy. We are fortunate to have such a close-knit community, but please keep a watchful eye on any suspicious behavior by those on the giving end of the Trick or Treat.

 

It is always recommended that parents escort their children on their route, but if that is not possible, the Buddy system is the next best thing. Encourage your kids to go as a group, and when possible, attend organized functions for Halloween sponsored by local non-profits or businesses.

 

If you do see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, please feel free to contact Law Enforcement, and we can investigate. 

Local music groups for Veteran's Day concerts

Whether you live in Door County or Kewaunee County, you can honor the veterans in your life and your community with the sounds of music. The Algoma High School Bands, Algoma Community Band, the Peninsula Symphonic Band, and the Community Choir of Door County all have Veterans Day concerts scheduled for the coming weeks.

 

The slate of shows starts on November 8th when the Algoma High School Concert Band and Wind Ensemble and the Algoma Community Band host a joint concert on November 8th at 7 p.m. inside the Algoma Performing Arts Center. The event is not just honoring veterans but also supporting the Kewaunee County Food Pantry. Audience members are encouraged to donate personal care products, cleaning supplies, and canned soup to the cause.

 

On November 9th, the Peninsula Symphonic Band will host their Veteran’s Day Concert at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay. Directed by Jason Palmer, the concert will also feature selections performed by the Swingin’ Door Big Band and narrated by Door County Daily News’ Bryan Mazur.

 

On November 11th at 2 p.m., the Community Choir of Door County will perform a selection of patriotic tunes and other songs. The concert’s proceeds will benefit the Door County Veterans Association. The concert will take place at Sturgeon Bay High School.

County employees to receive four-percent raise

You will see a little more money in your paycheck if you work for Door County after the county board gave its blessing earlier this week. Employees across the board will receive about a four percent raise as a part of the upcoming budget that will be approved next month. The pay raise for all county employees will help keep up with the cost of living increases and help the county stay competitive with other positions in the public and private sectors. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says they are no different than private businesses in their struggles to attract and retain good staff members.

 


The Door County Board also discussed an increase in hours, new positions, reclassification requests, and part-time pay rates for 2024 as a part of their meeting on Tuesday.

Wautier wins Brussels Lions Club's Melvin Jones award

With his family and fellow members watching on, Matt Wautier received the Melvin Jones Award from the Brussels Lions Club in recognition of his service to the community.

 

The award is named after the founder of the Lions Clubs International, kicking off the global service movement a century ago. Wautier certainly moves as a volunteer with the Brussels Lions Club. In addition to his role helping run the bar area during Belgian Days, Wautier also sits on the committee that awards scholarships to deserving youth. Wautier started coming to meetings as a kid along with his siblings, tagging along with parents Jim and Penny. He is happy that service to the community was instilled in him at a young age.

 


The Brussels Lions Club is preparing to host the community youth on Tuesday for their annual Halloween Party.

Gallagher focuses on work ahead post-Speaker election

Now that the House has its Speaker, you will find U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher going back to work on his efforts to fight against China and for the nation’s military.

 

The United States House of Representatives elected Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson to the role of Speaker after Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the role more than three weeks ago. Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Gallagher was on C-SPAN saying that times like what just occurred happen after “years of institutional neglect” and when people “feel no loyalty to an institution like Congress.” He expressed concern that if they did not select a new speaker soon, the “end of the year homework would keep piling up” and that they would lose negotiating leverage with the U.S. Senate regarding items like the looming government shutdown.

 

After Johnson’s election, Gallagher congratulated his Republican before focusing on some of the legislative priorities that lie ahead. “From countering Chinese Communist Party aggression to supporting Israel to passing basic appropriations to passing the National Defense Authorization Act, the House has its work cut out for it. It’s time to unify, deliver on our promises to the American people, and finally get back to work,” Gallagher said. China will be Gallagher’s focus on Monday when he brings his U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s IP Road Show to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Green Bay campus, where he will meet with local business leaders about how to protect their intellectual property from the Chinese Communist Party.

Door and Kewaunee counties ready for spooky weekend

Door and Kewaunee counties expect to have plenty of ghouls and goblins roaming their streets beginning this weekend to celebrate the Halloween season.

 

Fish Creek’s Jack O’ Lantern Days and Sturgeon Bay’s Thrills and Chills take place on October 28th, with many children’s activities taking place during much of the morning and early afternoon hours. Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski from Destination Sturgeon Bay says the Thrills and Chills name may sound spooky, but it is a lot of fun for the whole family.

 


As a part of Thrills and Chills, the Boys and Girls Club of Door County will hold their annual haunted house and accompanying Grills and Thrills fundraiser with other activities scheduled throughout the city. Visit Fish Creek announced this week that the weather will force them to cancel their haunted trail, but the activities surrounding Jack O' Lantern Days will continue as scheduled. Other organizations in Door and Kewaunee counties also have activities scheduled over the coming days that you can read more about below:

 

YMCA readies for Halloween Party, volunteers needed

Halloween flies into Crossroads

Algoma’s Halloween Walk to benefit Inclusive playground

Welford brings spooky sounds to Ephraim church

 

The U.S. Coast Guard will also once again host their Haunted Ship experience on October 31st. The event, which also doubles as a canned food drive, will take place from 5-6 p.m. for young children and from 6-8 p.m. for those who want more scares while aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay.

 

While many local municipalities hold their trick-or-treating on Halloween, some will actually do it ahead of time. You can find that schedule below:

Algoma (city) - Halloween 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Town of Algoma - Halloween 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Baileys Harbor - Halloween 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Casco - Sunday, Oct. 29, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Fish Creek: Saturday, Oct. 28 1:00-4:00 p.m. at participating businesses
Jacksonport - Halloween 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Kewaunee - Halloween 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Luxemburg - Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Red River - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Sturgeon Bay - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Egg Harbor: Saturday, Oct. 28 2:00-4:00 p.m. at participating businesses

Kewaunee ATV Park closes early for season

You will now have to wait until 2024 to ride the ATV trails in Kewaunee again.  Due to the recent heavy rains, the Riverview ATV Park is closing two weeks earlier than planned.  Kelly Froelich, a Bay Lake ATV Club member, says that, unfortunately, because of the mud and standing water, the trails are impassible in some areas.

 

 

Froelich says the Bay Lake ATV Club will do a lot of trail preparations next spring to make for safer riding conditions when the Riverview ATV Park opens in May.  The park trails experienced heavy usage all summer during the weekends, with riders from all over the state and the area recreating the 20 miles of trails.  Riverview ATV Park is located west of Kewaunee, off County Trunk C.

 

 

 

 

Dairy Dreams receives federal grant for organic fertilizer production

You will soon find organic fertilizers produced right in Casco. Recently, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced that Dairy Dreams will receive a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fertilizer Product Expansion Program to build a production facility. The technology being used in the facility will convert cow manure to domestically manufactured fertilizer. It is also expected to generate clean, dischargeable water and reduce greenhouse emissions by taking vehicles used for hauling and spreading manure off the roads.  

 

In a statement, Senator Baldwin said, “Wisconsin’s agriculture community helps feed the world, and as many of them innovate and scale up operations to meet the global demand, I am proud to deliver the resources they need to grow their business and drive our Wisconsin agriculture economy forward."

 

Dairy Dreams is co-owned by Don Niles, who helped spearhead Peninsula Pride Farms, which has helped farmers take on different sustainability initiatives over the last seven years.

 

The investment also comes when high fertilizer prices are associated with rising food prices and increased hunger. The news comes after Kinnard Farms, and El-Na Farms make plans for their manure digestion projects.

 

Picture courtesy of Peninsula Pride Farms

 

State funding a mix bag for area school districts

Your tax bill may shift slightly depending on where you live in Door and Kewaunee counties. Area school districts are primarily funded by general state aid and property taxes paid by residents and business owners. Earlier this month, school districts learned the exact amount they will receive from the state as a part of the 2023-2024 October 15 Certification of General Aid. Of the over 420 school districts in the state, 247 will see an increase in aid compared to what they saw a year ago. That figure includes Algoma (16.42 percent), Sturgeon Bay (15.59 percent), and Luxemburg-Casco (7.48 percent). More than 140 school districts saw a dip in general state aid, including Southern Door (15.41 percent), Gibraltar (14.99 percent), Sevastopol (14.99 percent), and Kewaunee (3.29 percent). Washington Island was one of six districts that saw no change to their state aid. Districts have to approve the final tax levy as a part of their 2023-2024 budget partly based on these figures. Sturgeon Bay School District Administrator Dan Tjernagel says it is always an interesting time for those who crunch the numbers.


Sturgeon Bay School District officials discussed its financials as part of their regular board meeting on Wednesday. The district saw an approximately $1,200 decrease to the levy compared to last year, equating to a mill rate of $7.55. The board approved the December 2023 Tax Levy, used for the calendar year of 2024. You can see the general state aid numbers for each school district below.

 

School: State Aid This Year/State Aid Last Year/Change/Percentage Change 

Algoma:  5,581,013/4,794,041/786,972/16.42

Kewaunee: 6,796,133/7,027,244/-231,11/-3.29

Luxemburg-Casco: 13,198,783/12,280,031/918,752/7.48

Southern Door County: 1,591,184/1,881,133/-289,949/-15.41

Sturgeon Bay: 5,077,117/4,392,351/684,766/15.59

Washington Island: 0/0/0/0.00

Gibraltar Area: 1,350/1,588/-238/-14.99

Sevastopol: 4,037/4,749/-712/-14.99

 

Welford brings spooky sounds to Ephraim church

Some of your favorite Halloween-related songs will be featured this Saturday as a part of an Ephraim musician’s ongoing music concert series. Colin Welford reprises his Colin and Friends Concerts Series with “Devilishly Good Music for Halloween,” featuring music from “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Night on Bald Mountain,” “Dance Macabre,” and others. In addition to playing songs on the piano, organ, and harmonium, Welford will share a few scary stories from his past leading musicians in orchestra pits of popular musicals worldwide. He enjoys the interaction he gets to have with his audiences at venues like the Ephraim Moravian Church the most about doing the small, intimate concerts.


Going on for over a year, Welford hopes the Colin and Friends Concerts become a fixture in the Ephraim arts scene. This Saturday’s free concerts will occur at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Ephraim Moravian Church.

 

Picture courtesy of Colin and Friends Concerts Facebook page

Rain slowing down leaf pick-up process

It might be helping your leaves fall, but it is not doing any favors for municipalities picking them up.

 

City of Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker gave an update on their leaf pick-up efforts on Wednesday, sharing they had made their first pass through areas three, four, and five and that they had started on area one. Barker admitted that the rain had slowed their progress, stating that if the leaves are wet or frozen, they are harder to vacuum. They also take longer to vacuum when more leaves have been raked to the curb because of the volume, encouraging property owners not to wait to rake their leaves and take them up to, but not into, the curb. The city typically makes two or more passes through the city before the snow starts to fly, requiring municipal employees to switch over their equipment.

 

 

Most municipalities across the state will be in similar straits with rain in the forecast, and most counties seeing their fall colors either at peak or fading peak, according to the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report.

Brakes pushed on Bayview Bridge Closure

You will have an extra week to prepare your route across Sturgeon Bay after the Door County Highway Department announced Wednesday that work on the Bayview Bridge has been delayed. Initially scheduled for October 30th and 31st, the work will now occur on November 8th and 9th. Other than the dates, many of the other details remain the same. The bridge will be closed to pedestrians and motor traffic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily so crews can complete repairs and annual maintenance. If you need to drive across the city, you can use the Michigan Street and the Maple/Oregon Street bridges.

Fox River cleanup discussion coming Monday

You can find out more about the world’s most extensive environmental river sediment cleanup ever on Monday, October 30th, in Egg Harbor and how it benefited the bay of Green Bay and Door County.  The Door County Environmental Council, in partnership with the Door County Land Trust and Door County Library, is hosting “The Fox River Fix:  The First Step Toward a Healthier Bay.”  The discussion will center on what was behind the $1.3 billion fix for widespread PCB chemical contamination of the Fox River.  The project was completed in 2020, and P. David Allen II and Susan Campbell, authors of the recently published book, “Paper Valley:  The Fight for the Fox River Cleanup,” will give first-person accounts of their efforts to clean up cancer-causing PCBs released in the Fox River.   Allen says the purpose of the discussion is to connect the past of the PCB cleanup with future needs to keep natural waters safe and clean.

 

 

 The free program will be held at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.  You can also watch via Zoom at a link found at dcec-wi.org.  

Rogue Theater/DC Arts Center showcased on Saturday

A new musical performance venue has opened its doors in Sturgeon Bay.  Rogue Theater and the DC Arts Center are celebrating a grand opening and Arts for the Community Campaign this Saturday.  The new facility is located at 917 North 14th Avenue and has been in the works for over four years.  Co-founder and co-artistic director Stu Champeau worked with his wife, Lola DeVillers, to make the arts center a community showcase.  He says the event theater, which can seat over 80 people, has been a group effort and will be an arts center for the community.

 

 

Rogue Theater and the DC Arts Center will hold its grand opening this Saturday, October 28th, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.   The dedication will be at 11:15 a.m., and tours of the theater will follow.  The venue will feature shows three weeks of every month, with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”  happening this fall.   

DC Swim kicks off season at midnight Saturday

The Door County YMCA Swim Team will start off the competition this fall with a special midnight swim this Saturday.  Door County YMCA Competitive Swim Director Mike McHugh says over 140 kids are involved in the program, and the unique kick-off event adds some excitement to the usual practice routine.

 

 

McHugh notes that the Door County YMCA offers swim lessons, with registration currently underway for the new sessions that begin on Monday.  The classes are for all children from preschool to Youth Level 5.  The Dolphin Club then introduces swimmers to the commitment of the competitive experience provided by the DCY Swim Team.   

Electrical fire cause for BUG Fire Department response

An electrical fire in a home in Brussels Tuesday was quickly contained, thanks to quick actions by the homeowner.  Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department Assistant Chief Jim Wautier says crews were called out shortly after 8 a.m. Tuesday to 758 County C in Brussels, with smoke filling the house.  Before firefighters arrived, Wautier says the homeowner, Todd Wagner, noticed a black spot on the bathroom wall and used a fire extinguisher to bust open a hole and then put out the electrical fire.

 

 

BUG Fire helped circulate fans throughout the house to clear out the smoke and left the scene at about 8:30 a.m.  No water was used to put out the fire, and the home only had minimal damage.    

Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday 

You can clean out your medicine cabinets and help prevent the misuse of prescription drugs that could save lives. Door and Kewaunee County law enforcement agencies will participate again in the Drug Take-Back Day across Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice is working with local law enforcement to dispose of expired and unused drugs properly.

 

The Door County Sheriff’s Office will collect unused prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, inhalers, creams, vials, and pet medications for disposal. You can drop off old medications from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday at the BUG Fire Department in Brussels, the Sister Bay Fire stations, or the Door County Sheriff’s Office in Sturgeon Bay. Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty explained that this disposal method is better than throwing or flushing drugs in the trash.  

 

 

Both Door and Kewaunee County have drop boxes available for proper disposal year-round.   You can find more information on drop-off sites in Wisconsin here.   

Fincanitieri Bay Shipbuilding christens newest LNG barge

You will soon see another LNG bunker barge moving about the country after Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Seaside LNG, and Polaris New Energy christened its newest vessel on Tuesday. Executives from the three companies took part in the christening ceremony for the LNG bunker barge Clean Everglades, the sister ship of the LNG barge Clean Canaveral delivered by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding two years ago. Vice President and General Manager Jan Allman credited the design and the “motivated, experienced shipbuilders” at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for being able to deliver the Clean Everglades six weeks ahead of schedule. Seaside LNG CEP Tim Casey says the ship’s delivery will allow the company to expand its LNG bunkering business to the Gulf of Mexico. The company has the largest fleet of Jones Act-compliant LNG barges in the United States. LNG stands for liquefied natural gas, becoming a high-demand resource in the maritime sector as the industry advances its sustainability goals to meet growing emissions reduction goals.

 

Picture by Braden Slater

Kewaunee looks for movement on Ellis Point Riverfront Property Redevelopment

The City of Kewaunee is searching for the right people to turn the site of a former food processing facility into a destination.

 

City officials released their Request for Qualifications earlier this month to redevelop the Hamacheck/Klockner site, also known as Ellis Point. After purchasing the property in 2014, the city received state funding to make over $4 million to repair the nearby Kewaunee Harbor seawall in 2016. Redevelopment of the 3-plus acre parcel into a destination was one of the focuses of a community design charrette orchestrated by Extension UW-Madison in 2018. The city and Pierpoint Development Group had gone back and forth on developing the Hamachek-Klockner property since mid-2020 when developers approached Kewaunee officials about a project that would include a 70-suite hotel, event center, spa retreat, and dining facility, among other amenities. Planning for that project fell apart earlier this year. In the RFQ, the city listed its expectations for the project, which includes a mixed-use development project, supporting the health and vibrancy of the downtown area, considering the area’s existing structures and uses, and ties into the existing and proposed pedestrian connections.

 

The deadline for interested parties to submit their RFQ response is January 5th before the Public Property Committee reviews them on January 18th.

Decoration fire safety extends into the fall

You can file straw bales and corn stalks in the same conversation as your Christmas tree regarding fire safety after an incident in Baileys Harbor on Monday. The Baileys Harbor Fire Department responded to a fire on Ridges Road after 7:30 p.m. after a halogen light started some dry, decorative straw bales on fire. Crews used about 300 gallons of water and five minutes to put out the blaze. No matter the holiday, Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak says property owners need to be aware of the potential fire hazards of their decorations.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, decorations were to blame for an average of 790 fires per year between 2015 and 2019. More than 44 percent of those fires were started because the decorations were too close to a heat source. The likelihood of similar events could go up in the near future as more Americans decide to decorate their homes for Halloween and the fall season. According to a Lombardo Homes Survey, 79 percent of Americans will decorate their homes for the season, up from 71 percent last year. They are also spending more money to do it, with the average American spending $87 to decorate compared to $61 last year. 

County DK to see lower speed limit, different stop sign placement

Your commute on County DK will be a little slower in the future in the name of safety. The Door County Board of Supervisors voted 18-1 to lower the speed limit on the County DK from 55 miles an hour to 45 miles an hour and 15-5 to move stop signs at an intersection near Renard’s Cheese. Officials from the state, county, and Renard’s Cheese have been working together to help make the intersection safer for people using the area roads to get to the business and Southern Door High School. In addition to Renard’s moving its entrance as a part of its recently started expansion project, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is planning on building a J-Turn at Stone Road and a Reduced Conflict U-Turn (R-CUT) near Cloverleaf Road that will limit vehicles’ movement in that area. The new speed limit will apply to a 2.3-mile stretch of County DK between Stevenson Pier Road and Stone Road. More conversations occurred among board members regarding the placement of the stop signs. The hope is that moving the stop signs will alleviate backups on the highway and limit the number of accidents at the intersection. Some supervisors said it was an incremental change to make the intersection safer, while others believed they needed to fix driver behavior first.

Letters of support from Renard’s, Southern Door School District, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department were submitted as a part of the board's packet. The costs to the county include the signage, warning flag, and labor. No timeline was given as to when the changes will take place.

Two-vehicle crash sends moped driver to hospital

An accident involving an SUV and a moped last Friday afternoon in Sturgeon Bay sent a 50-year-old man to the hospital with suspected serious injuries. According to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Accident Report, shortly after 5:00 p.m. Friday, a moped driven by Brian Schwiderski of Sturgeon Bay was traveling westbound on Shorecrest Drive near Nautical Drive when 94-year-old Thomas Knab of Sturgeon Bay was turning out of a driveway with his SUV onto Shorecrest Drive and failed to yield. Knab said he did not see the moped, and Schwiderski did not have enough time to stop before crashing into the SUV. Knab was issued a citation for “Failure to Yield to the Right of Way,” Schwiderski was transported to the hospital after sustaining suspected severe injuries. No other information is available on his condition, and both vehicles suffered minor damage in the accident.  

Farmers go back to the basics with cover crops

As some crops come off the fields in the coming week, many farmers will plant others right back into the soil. In addition to farmers planting winter wheat, rye, triticale, and clovers are some other plants used now to help build better soil health for the winter and spring months. Cover crops have been a popular conservation practice for many farmers recently, with Peninsula Pride Farms members planting 25,716 acres of cover crops in 2022. Combined with other actions like reduced tillage and low-disturbance manure application, the group has seen a 60 percent increase in acres using conservation practices. That does not mean it is an exact science yet, as farmers battled the positives of cover crops with the negatives of a dry spring and summer. Eric Olson from Olson Family Farm in Sturgeon Bay says they will be showcasing what they did for cover crops this year as a part of Peninsula Pride Farms' final Conservation Conversation of the year.

 

 

Olson Family Farm in Sturgeon Bay will host other farmers and interested community members for a Conservation Conversation about cover crops on Tuesday at 4 p.m. You can find more details about the event below.

 

 

Mobile food pantry series begins Wednesday

If you are over 55, Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin can help you fill your pantry and refrigerator at home.

 

The organization is hosting a series of drive-thru mobile food pantry events beginning on Wednesday for seniors at Holy Name of Mary Food Pantry in Maplewood—the events will also take place on November  15th and December 6th from 10 a.m. to noon.

 

According to the most recent consumer price index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery prices rose 3.7 percent year over year in September. The website NerdWallet explains that while staples like eggs (14.5 percent), pork (4.3 percent), and butter (four percent) have gone down in price, others like frozen vegetables (11.6 percent), beef (seven to ten percent), and white bread (7.8 percent) have gone up. With so many seniors living on a fixed income, United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says these mobile food pantry events come at a great time.

Only 70 boxes are available at each event and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can find additional details below.

 

 

Egg Harbor looks to build trail network

You can have your say on approximately 11 miles of trails connecting the Village of Egg Harbor with its surrounding area.

 

The village is working with the towns of Egg Harbor and Gibraltar to gather community feedback on a proposed series of four off-road, multi-use trails. One of those trail spurs would connect the village with Gibraltar Area Schools. The project has support from the Wisconsin Bike Federation and the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program, and it would be funded through a combination of grants and private donations.

 

It is the feedback that town and village officials are looking for. “This is a community effort, and public participation is essential,” said John Heller, Village of Egg Harbor President. “Feedback from the survey will help guide the process as we work to create more connected communities.”

 

You can click on this link to fill out the approximately five-minute survey.

 

This is part of a larger effort to connect Door County communities via multi-modal trails. Earlier this year, officials from the Town of Gibraltar, the Villages of Ephraim and Sister Bay, and Peninsula State Park discussed the feasibility of creating a connectivity trail through the three communities.

Algoma's Prodell named National Hereford Queen

The National Junior Hereford Association had no beef naming Algoma’s Marie Prodell as its National Hereford Queen. Prodell beat out four other queens from across the country for the role after serving as the Wisconsin Hereford Queen for the past year. She became the fourth Wisconsinite to earn the role of National Hereford Queen after being crowned at last weekend’s American Royal Junior Hereford Show in Kansas City. Earlier this year, Prodell said it is an honor to represent the Hereford breed and Kewaunee County nationally.

Reflecting on the experience she just wrapped up in Kansas City, Prodell said she cannot wait for the upcoming year.

Thanks to the support of the National Hereford Women and the Hereford Youth Foundation of America, Prodell will now travel the country to events, sales, and shows, including the Junior National Hereford Expo, to present awards and assist in ring presentations. She will earn a $10,000 scholarship when she finishes her reign.

 

 

OUR FULL INTERVIEW WITH MARIE

 

Roadwork closes down portion of Madison Avenue Monday

You will have to plan for a different route through downtown Sturgeon Bay for at least a week beginning on Monday.

 

Sturgeon Bay Engineer Technician Brian Spetz announced on Friday that Madison Avenue would be closed to replace water and sanitary laterals for Dejardin Cleaners. The city is asking motorists to use N. Lansing Avenue as a detour. The road is expected to reopen by October 30th if the weather cooperates.

 

This is on the heels of similar work being done on the other side of the city, with N. 14th Avenue being closed to through traffic from the north side of Wal-Mart’s driveway to the north side of 1361 N. 14th Avenue for sewer and water main installations.  The closure will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the roadway reopening when work is not occurring. No end date has been shared, but a detour route will be posted to route traffic around the work area using Bluebird Street, N 12th Place, and Gordon Road. With that project, City Engineer Chad Shefchik said blasting was expected to take one to two days, and once the pipework started, it would be another four to five days after the project was completed.

Stock car racing disappearing from the peninsula?

You may have to travel to Manitowoc County and beyond to get your fill of stock car racing next summer. Officials for Door and Kewaunee counties have requested proposals from local promoters for the tracks at the Door County Fairgrounds and the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds.

 

In Door County, PKS3-LLC told officials in September that they would not seek a new contract to operate the track in 2024. A subsequent Highway and Facilities Committee meeting found no acceptable bids in the first round of the RFP process, but it hopes to be more fruitful the second time. District 9 County Board Supervisor Dan Austad said he would like to see racing continue, “but if no promoter wants to run the track, then racing may die in Door County.”

 

In Kewaunee County, Promotions and Recreation Department Director Dave Myers issued an RFP for racing at the Luxemburg Speedway, which has operated under The ‘Burg Speedway moniker for the last few seasons. According to the department's information, the track averaged over 100 cars and 630 fans in 2022 and 2023. That’s higher than in 2015 and 2019 but a far cry from 2016, when it averaged over 140 cars and 1.200 fans a night. The RFP for the Luxemburg Speedway is due back on December 5th.

 

Correction: A zero was omitted from the average race attendance in 2016, which was 1,200 and not 120. We regret this error.

YMCA readies for Halloween Party, volunteers needed

This Friday, you can help bring more smiles to children by volunteering to work the Halloween Party at the Door County YMCA. The event usually draws more than 200 children dressed up in costumes. Door County YMCA Youth Director Paul Briney says more help is needed to organize the two-hour party.

 

 

Briney adds that kids can participate in numerous activities, including a bounce house and carnival-style games. The Halloween Party will be from 5 until 7 PM in Sturgeon Bay and Kane Center in Fish Creek. Admission is five dollars per child, but your kids get in for free if you volunteer.

Halloween flies into Crossroads

Around Halloween, we seem to take pleasure in all things spooky. So this week at Crossroads, all of our activities will have a slightly creepy vibe, understanding, of course, that the sinister superstitions of the season almost always can be explained by science. 

 

Our Saturday Science Program will explore how clouds contribute to creating “dark and stormy nights.” The Restoration Fall Color Tour will delve into the question, “Are invasive species evil?” 

 

 And on Halloween Night, a live vulture will grace the lecture hall at the Collins Learning Center when representatives from the Open Door Bird Sanctuary present the program, “Superb Scavengers.”

 

While gorgeous in flight, a Turkey Vulture up close seems menacing. Its wrinkled and featherless red head is unsightly, but learners of all ages will discover that the ugly head is just one of countless adaptions that make vultures and other scavengers essential to the health of the environment.

 

During the “Restoration Fall Color Hike,” which is co-sponsored by the Door County Master Gardeners and Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula, we will be observing Crossroads’ efforts to improve the health of the environment; the topic of invasive species will undoubtedly rear its ugly head. 

 

We often explain to children that invasive species are just “plants out of place.” They are not inherently evil. When they grow in their native countries, they rarely are problematic. EXCEPT … (cue the spooky Halloween music.) 

 

According to an article called, “The Witches' Brew From ‘Macbeth’ Is More Accessible Than You Think,” by Jessica Mason, the ingredients the weird sisters were dropping into their bubbling cauldron may be familiar.

 

Just as we have common names for flowers that grow here, the common folk of Elizabethan England had common names, many fanciful, for the plants that they grew or gathered for seasoning or medicine. Some of the plants on the three witches’ list grow right here in Door County. For example, the “eye of the newt” was the name given to Black Mustard—an invasive species here in the Midwest, and a truly egregious problem-plant in the West. 

 

“Tongue of dog” is a weed we call “Hound’s Tongue,” which is a toxic invasive species that can harm wild and domestic animals. This time of year, it also has nasty bur-like seeds that stick to unsuspecting hikers.

 

“Root of hemlock” is not part of a tree, but rather Water Hemlock, which grows in wetlands and is probably the most toxic plant in North America. And “Bloody finger” was a name for Foxglove (a.k.a. Digitalis). It is toxic enough to sometimes cause cardiac arrest. 

 

 

 The more I think about it, I realize that Shakespeare's three witches knew what they were doing. Their herbal potion would have been lethal. Bubble bubble, toil and poison. 

 

Thanks to science, there are ways to get rid of some poisons, and on November 1, at 7:00 p.m., Crossroads has scheduled an informational session on how we are dealing with the lead and arsenic – remnants of 20th century orchard management practices – in two areas on our preserve. Ken Ebbott, senior project manager and geologist with Sand County Environmental, will discuss the removal of contaminated soil. He will be joined by Crossroads board member and geologist, Brian Forest, and former Door County Soil and Water Department head Bill Schuster.

 

Saturday, October 28

10:00 am Science Saturdays: Clouds

A Halloween-themed Science Saturday will explore clouds, their formation, and how they contribute to “dark and stormy nights.” This “Science is Fun” program is designed for elementary-aged students, but their families and interested adults are welcome. Activities offered in the lab, but weather permitting, we may venture outdoors, so dress for the weather. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

1:30 pm Master Gardeners & Wild Ones: Restoration Fall Color Hike

While enjoying the fall colors, participants will learn about the restoration efforts at Crossroads, both the planting of native and removal of non-native plants, and explore the Halloween weekend question: Are invasives evil? Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 31

6:30 - 7:30 pm Halloween program: “Superb Scavengers,” presented by the Open Door Bird Sanctuary

While it may look a little scary, a live Turkey Vulture will be the featured guest at this Halloween program. Learn from representatives of Open Door Bird Sanctuary about this superb scavenger and other beneficial creatures. Feel free to come in costume. Free and open the public. Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Wednesday, November 1

7:00 pm Informational Session on Lead and Arsenic Soil Remediation.

Join us for an informational session on how Crossroads is dealing with lead and arsenic-contaminated soil – remnants of 20th century orchard management practices – in two areas on its preserve. Ken Ebbott, senior project manager and geologist with Sand County Environmental, will discuss the removal of contaminated soil. He will be joined by Crossroads board member and cgeologist, Brian Forest, and former Door County Soil and Water Department head, Bill Schuster. Free and open the public. Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Door County gears up for Halloween

Halloween is October 31st, but you will be able to find plenty of tricks and treats during the weekend leading up to the annual rite of fall. Fish Creek’s Jack O’ Lantern Days and Sturgeon Bay’s Thrills and Chills both take place October 28th with a wide array of children’s activities taking place during much of the morning and early afternoon hours. Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski from Destination Sturgeon Bay says the Thrills and Chills name may sound spooky, but it is a lot of fun for the whole family.


As a part of Thrills and Chills, the Boys and Girls Club of Door County will hold their annual haunted house and accompanying Grills and Thrills fundraiser with other activities scheduled throughout the city. While many local municipalities hold their trick-or-treating on Halloween, some will actually do it ahead of time. You can see the schedule of trick-or-treating in Door and Kewaunee counties below.


Algoma (city) - Halloween 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Town of Algoma - Halloween 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Baileys Harbor - Halloween 5:00-8:00 p.m.
Casco - Sunday, Oct. 29, 12:00-2:00 p.m.
Fish Creek: Saturday, Oct. 28 1:00-4:00 p.m. at participating businesses
Jacksonport - Halloween 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Kewaunee - Halloween 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Luxemburg - Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Red River - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Sturgeon Bay - Halloween 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Recognizing Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month. This is truly a global issue whose victims walk among us every day. Domestic abuse is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. While most of us associate domestic abuse with physical abuse, other forms include psychological and emotional abuse.

        

It is reported that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, which over a year’s time equates to 10 million women and men.

       

Here in Wisconsin, during 2022, there were 73 Domestic Abuse Homicide incidents which resulted in 96 deaths, and yet less than half of all domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement. This compares to 54 Domestic Abuse Homicide incidents in 2021, resulting in 65 deaths.

       

Sadly, domestic abuse is the number one cause of birth defects—more than all other medical causes combined.

       

In all of this tragedy, there is good news. We have organizations and individuals working tirelessly to end domestic violence by being the voice of the victims. They are ready to advocate for those who fear speaking for themselves. In 2022, our very own Kewaunee County Violence Intervention Project served 104 women, 22 men, and 47 children who were domestic violence victims.

       

To commemorate this month’s awareness and to support those affected by domestic violence here in Kewaunee County, the Violence Intervention Project will be holding a lighting ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church on October 24th at 6:00 P.M. This has become an annual tradition of support and sharing, and all members of our community are welcome to attend. We will be lighting candles to remember those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and will be joined by a guest speaker. For more information on this event, please feel free to contact the Violence Intervention Project at 487-2111

       

If you know of someone living in an abusive relationship, please encourage them to reach out for help. It may be the first step in changing their lives for the better. More importantly, if you yourself are a victim of Domestic Abuse, please take the time to reach out and surround yourself with people who are ready and willing to help you take that first step. This is especially important if you are a parent, as you not only can change your life for the better but, more importantly, change the lives of your children, preventing them from being the next generation of either abusers or victims.

       

As parents, our primary duty is to our children, and teaching them how to establish and maintain healthy, loving relationships is the greatest obligation we have. For more information on what to look for or how to start the conversation, please feel free to contact the Violence Intervention Project at 487-2111.

Evers tosses $170m lifeline to childcare facilities

Your local childcare facilities will get extra money to support their employees for nearly two years. Governor Tony Evers announced earlier this week that he was directing $170 million in emergency federal funding to extend the Child Care Counts program to June 2025. Without the influx of cash, the program would have ended in January 2024. The maneuver was in contrast to plans by the Republican-led Wisconsin Legislature to cut income taxes, offer tax-free accounts for parental and facility costs, and remove regulations limiting who could work as their way to address the shortage of childcare centers and workers in the state. United Way of Door County Childcare Community Coordinator Molly Gary is thankful that the funding gives the county’s centers time, but she still hopes for a more long-term solution.

While Democrats and Republicans spar over the public dollars being used to support the industry in Wisconsin, Minnesota doubled down on that concern this week. According to Minnesota Public News, the state’s Great Start Compensation Program is earmarking approximately $316 million over the next two years and $130 million every year after that to support wages for childcare workers for facility owners that apply.

Fall immunization clinics carry new costs for the COVID-19 vaccine

The fall brings you changing colors, colder temperatures, warmer drinks, and for some, new immunizations. The Door County Public Health Department launched its fall immunization clinics last week, distributing seasonal flu and COVID vaccines on Washington Island, the Door County Government Center in Sturgeon Bay, and the ADRC of Door County in Sturgeon Bay. The biggest change from the last two years concerns with the COVID vaccines, which due to the national emergency designation of the pandemic, were free to the general public. Now, only those enrolled in Medicaid/BadgerCare+, traditional Medicare Part B without supplement, or United Healthcare Medicare Advantage can get it for free. For all others, the COVID-19 vaccine is available for $120, though that could reimbursed through your private insurance. Flu vaccines range from $40 for the standard dose and $75 for the high dose. Shauna Blackledge from the Door County Public Health Department says your health is worth the investment, especially if you are subject to serious illness.

Appointments are required to get vaccinated through Door County Public Health. You can call 920-746-2234 or click this link to make arrangements.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

PFAS forum takes aim at impact, legislation

You will be able to learn where the state has gone since PFAS became a four-letter acronym that struck a chord with communities across Wisconsin. Perfluoroalkyl and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group of human-made chemicals used worldwide in industry and consumer products since the 1950s. Over the last five years, it has stolen headlines after homes near Tyco Fire Products’ facility in Marinette began having water issues because of the company’s testing policies. Last week, legislation sponsored by State Senators Eric Wimberger and Rob Cowles created the framework for how $125 million in funding will go to support homeowners and businesses affected by PFAS contamination. Included in the bill is a provision that would limit the Department of Natural Resources control on the situation in ordering landowners to test their water or clean up the mess unless they believe it would likely exceed the standards set by Wisconsin and the federal government. Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Executive Director Dean Hoegger is happy that legislators are taking PFAS contamination seriously but hopes their forum on October 27th addresses the deeper impact of the forever chemical.

 


The event, which runs from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at UW-Green Bay’s University Union, will feature Wimberger, Cowles, and Rep. Joel Kitchens to discuss the legislation being circulated in Madison alongside Hoegger and Peter Burress of Wisconsin Conservation Voters. Dr. Beth Neary from the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU), Region 5, will talk about the health impacts of PFAS contamination while Rob Lee from Midwest Environmental Advocates will present on the current legal actions happening in our state. You can register for the forum by clicking this link.

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

Door County fisheries commit to sustainability pledge

Thanks in part to three Door County fisheries, the fish you see come out of the water will be used for much more than filling your plate. Henriksen Fisheries and J&M Fisheries out of Ellison Bay and Baileys Harbor Fish Company joined 12 other fishing businesses this month in signing the 100 percent Great Lakes Fish campaign pledge orchestrated by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. The pledge recognizes that fish can be used for much more than just as a food source. Fish by-products can be used in medical products, nutritional supplements, nutraceuticals, leather, cosmetics, beverages, roe, fertilizer, and more. The hope is that using the whole fish for various products will lead to significant economic returns, job creation, and improved sustainability. The goal is for the 15 partners, including Henriksen Fisheries, J&M Fisheries, and Baileys Harbor Fish Company, to reach 100 percent utilization of each fish caught by 2025.

 

You can read the full pledge here.

Algoma street construction entering final phase

You will be able to travel through a couple of Algoma’s main streets without taking any detours in the next few weeks.  City Administrator Matt Murphy says all the infrastructure for sewer and water on Division Street is in the ground.  The curb and sidewalk work is to be completed this week, with the binder coating of the pavement being done next week.

 

 

Murphy notes that the plan is to temporarily have Jefferson Street reopened to traffic Friday with a gravel base until it is ready to be blacktopped.  The permanent paving and reopening of the streets are scheduled for completion by the second week of November.  

Bayview Bridge closure offers more tricks than treats for motorists

Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik is hopeful a planned closure of the Bayview Bridge this Halloween will be over before your kids start trick or treating. Due to scheduling conflicts, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation had to move work on the Bayview Bridge to October 30th and 31st from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Crews will fix the steel traffic barrier on the lift span and weld tie-off points to maintain the center lock. They will also do their usual fall cleaning of the deck drains and joints while tending to concrete repairs if Mother Nature allows. The bridge will be closed to pedestrians and vehicles on those two days, but boats can still pass underneath. Since the bridge’s detour takes motorists through downtown Sturgeon Bay, the hope is that the work will be completed before trick-or-treating begins.

Egg Harbor primes residents, business owners for STH 42 construction project

The Village of Egg Harbor wants to ensure you have all the necessary information before its major thoroughfare is torn up for construction. Village officials and its project partners will host a pre-construction meeting on October 26th at the Paul J. Bertschinger Center and over Zoom. They will cover the different elements and timelines of the project, formal detour and alternative access routes, property accessibility concerns, and where they can get continuous updates. For those who cannot carve out the time on October 26th, the video recording and presentation will be on the village’s Highway 42 construction website. According to the initial timeline, the project will kick off this fall with utility work before moving toward storm sewers, curb, gutter, asphalt replacement, and temporary sidewalks in the winter and spring of next year. The final touches on the project are expected to be completed in the spring of 2025.

Local giant pumpkins look to squash the competition

You can expect to see some giant pumpkins crossing county lines for the final time this weekend. Saturday’s Mishicot Pumpkin Fest marks the final weigh-in event for giant pumpkin growers like Casco’s Bill Roethle and Algoma’s Chase Romdenne. The competition marks the end of a summer of hard work to keep the pumpkin growing and to do so at the right pace so cracks and other blemishes do not appear. Romdenne is in his second year of competing for the title of biggest pumpkin. He estimates that he spent 300 hours this summer nurturing his giant pumpkins to ensure they reached their potential before picking them on Wednesday, one of which is approximately 1,400 pounds.


Roethle’s entry likely will tip the scales north of 1,700 pounds, but that is still far off from last year’s winner in Mishicot. Derek Sippel won the 2022 competition with a pumpkin that weighed 2,147 pounds. According to the Associated Press, Travis Gienger of Anoka, Minnesota, recently set a world record for his 2,748-pound pumpkin at a contest held in California.

 

 

Renards expansion gives elbow room to employees, motorists

Beginning next spring, you will have more room to move around inside and outside Renards Cheese. Officials from Renards Cheese and Fox Cities Builders broke ground on the expansion project on Tuesday, giving employees more room to operate at the County DK location’s shipping/receiving area and Melt Bistro. In addition to other expansion projects throughout the company, owner Ann Renard says it shows their growth in recent years.

Construction crews will do preliminary work this fall, most beginning after the holiday season. Renard says they are also modifying their entrances and parking lot to increase safety between the highway, the frontage road, and the store. She appreciates the collaboration with the Door County Highway Department and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to help make the intersection safer for everyone. The changes will also result in extra parking spots once the projects are finished.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Renards Cheese

Habitat for Humanity celebrates volunteers, Home Build 49

The community and Door County Habitat for Humanity volunteers came together Wednesday afternoon as the organization showcased its newest home in Sturgeon Bay.  The newly constructed home at 864 Cherry Court was the 49th home built by Habitat for Humanity in Door County.  Executive Director Lori Allen and homeowner Abigail Newman shared the excitement behind the project and all the volunteers who made it possible.

 

 

 

Chuck Stone, Richard Dannhausen, and Dave Hansen were three of many on-site volunteers, offering tours and insight into the construction process that made the house a reality.

 

In addition to the 49 new homes built over the past 30 years, Door County Habitat for Humanity has impacted almost 500 lives with 120 home repairs in the area.  

Leaf collection beginning across the area

With every falling leaf, your yardwork load is growing. Many municipalities, like the cities of Sturgeon Bay and Algoma, are starting their leaf collection efforts this week, with others either a few days in or away from the beginning. While many municipalities are universal in opposing lots of grass clippings, brush, and other yard waste getting mingled in with the leaves, the placement of those piles varies between municipalities. The City of Sturgeon Bay encourages you to rake your leaves up to but not into the gutter, citing clogged drains and runoff concerns. In the City of Algoma, Casey Groessl says it is easier for their crews if you rake it into the street and keep it close to the curb.

You should contact your municipality to learn the rules for your leaf collection. Groessl says they will likely cover the whole city once a week through Thanksgiving or until the area has its first significant snowfall.

Land Trust to rehabilitate barn for bats

An old barn in Sister Bay will get some new life moving in thanks to the Door County Land Trust, but who is moving in may surprise you. The DCLT will introduce plans to preserve the Three Springs Barn in Sister Bay so the area's bat population has a reliable place to call home at its Halloween social on Thursday. The barn at the Harold C. Wilson Three Springs Nature Preserve is a maternity roost for the endangered brown bat mothers and their pups. Other farm buildings and old stone fences also provide an essential habitat for area bats.  As a part of the announcement, the DCLT will introduce a grant challenge to help the organization raise funds for the barn. It is all a part of the Halloween social, including Executive Director Emily Wood dressed up as a bat while being interviewed and a chat with Wisconsin DNR Bat Specialist Heather Kaarakka about the critical need to protect bat roosting sites like Three Springs. The free event will occur at the Three Springs Nature Preserve from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. 

 

 

Midsummer's Music co-founder passes

Without her support, you may have never been introduced to chamber music in Door County. Midsummer's Music announced the passing of co-founder Jean Berkenstock, who died earlier this month in Evanston, Ill. She learned the piano and the flute as a young girl living in Northbrook, Ill., before taking that love for music to roles with the Atlanta Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. With her husband James, Berkenstock helped create Midsummer's Music in 1991, where she performed extensively over the following 28 years. Executive Director Allyson Fleck says Berkenstock helped transform the music scene in Door County.

 

 

Services will occur on Tuesday, October 24, at 4:00 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter, Kenilworth, IL. An additional service is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 1, at 3:00 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Sister Bay.  You can read the full obituary here.

Kewaunee County takes first step toward bonding natural gas project

You may see another farm turn waste into energy after the Kewaunee County Board approved an initial resolution on Tuesday offering tax-exempt bonds for a solid waste facility on an Algoma dairy farm. WI RNG EN LLC is looking to build a solid waste disposal facility to convert cow manure produced at El Na Farms into natural gas, similar to what has been done at other large farms in Kewaunee County, such as Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee and Dairy Dreams in Casco. The project would be financed with up to $45 million in revenue bonds from the county to help pay for the project. Revenue bond financing is typically used with tollways and local stadiums where the project’s revenue would help pay for its construction. Resident Lynn Utesch voiced his opposition to the project, saying the federal government offers enough funding opportunities for plans like this, and it does not need to be done on the backs of Kewaunee County taxpayers. He also says the practice also encourages a bad trend with manure in Kewaunee County to get worse.

The board was then addressed by bonding attorney Lynda Templin, who said these are the types of projects the federal government tries to get behind because of their renewed focus on alternative fuel sources.

The Kewaunee County Board voted 16-2 in favor of the initial resolution. Templin reiterated that the passage shows interest in a potential partnership and does not bind them to do anything.

Sturgeon Bay Granary secures USDA grant

With no agenda items on the docket Tuesday evening, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council took care of the city’s business in about ten minutes, including a positive development with the Teweles & Brandeis Granary project.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society’s Door County Granary Project Manager Nicole Matson informed the council that the SBHS secured the $3.3 million in federal funding and that construction plans will go out for bidding with a start date of January 15th and completion in July 2024. 

 

 

Council member Gary Nault asked if another structural integrity survey was needed since the last one was done quite a while ago, but Matson said there is no need for it now.

 In the City Administrator report, Josh Van Lieshout noted that leaf pickup in the city would begin this week.   All residents are encouraged to rake leaf piles near the curbside but not into the street for proper pickup.  Van Lieshout also mentioned that the City of Sturgeon Bay has new recycling stickers showing dates for pickup available at City Hall and at the Municipal Services building on North 14th Avenue.  

Hecht earns First Responder of the Year Award

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht was honored Tuesday afternoon on the floor of the Wisconsin State Capitol as the First Assembly District's First Responder of the Year.

 

As a member of the fire department and Door County Emergency Services, Hecht has served his community as a first responder for over 30 years. He doubled down on his commitment during the height of the pandemic as he helped organize the volunteer efforts of the Door County Fire Chiefs' Association. “Chief Hecht is an incredible public servant,” First District Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens said, “He goes above and beyond for his communities, provides great leadership, and is respected by everyone.” A humbled Hecht says it is an honor to be recognized by Kitchens and the rest of the Wisconsin State Legislature for his efforts.

Past recipients of the recognition from the Assembly First District include Mike Neal of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Al Tlachac of Luxemburg Fire Department. Along with providing each award recipient with a legislative citation recognizing their achievement, the state Assembly also passed a resolution declaring October 17, 2023, as “First Responders Appreciation Day.”

 

School bus safety paramount throughout the year

They have been a part of your commute again for the last six weeks, but Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials still want to ensure you stay alert when school buses are in the area.

 

According to the state's data, there are approximately 600 crashes involving school buses every year. Still, the more significant focus is when those buses are stopped to let children enter or exit the vehicle.  Buses are equipped with swinging stop signs, flashing lights, and yellow bars to alert drivers to stop just in case kids need to cross the street. That does not stop all drivers, however. On one school day this year, bus drivers in Wisconsin reported 256 incidents of other vehicles illegally passing their school buses, according to a survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. State officials hope the $326 fine and four demerit points it costs you for illegally passing a stopped school bus is enough of a deterrent.

 

Children boarding or getting off the bus can also do their part to stay safe. They are encouraged to look both ways before crossing the street, make sure all motorists see them, stay away from the curb, and listen to the instructions of the bus drivers and crossing guards.

 

Area school districts use this week's National School Bus Safety Week recognition as an extra opportunity to work on safe practices in and around buses.

Gibraltar bands prepare for Disney trip

The music you hear at Gibraltar sporting events and concerts will soon grace the House of Mouse. Like many band and choir programs nationwide during the pandemic, enrollment in Gibraltar's music programs dipped. Time has healed those wounds, and the Gibraltar bands are preparing to return to Disney World and its imagination campus this spring for the first time since 2016. The pandemic wiped out the groups' planned trip in 2020. Gibraltar Music Boosters President Sam Perlman says it is an excellent opportunity for the kids.

 

 

To help defray the costs of the trip for the students, the Gibraltar Music Boosters are hosting a Wine and Jazz event this Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Twelve Eleven Wine Bar in Sister Bay featuring Gibraltar staff members Charlie Eckhardt and Eric Schroeder providing the musical entertainment. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Gibraltar Music Boosters, so scholarships for the Disney trip can be offered.

Road work to close Sturgeon Bay street beginning Wednesday

Beginning on Wednesday, your trip to get groceries and other essentials in Sturgeon Bay could be affected. City Engineer Chad Shefchik announced on Tuesday that N. 14th Avenue will be closed to through traffic from the north side of Wal-Mart’s driveway to the north side of 1361 N. 14th Avenue for sewer and water main installations.  The closure will be from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with the roadway reopening when work is not occurring. No end date has been shared, but a detour route will be posted to route traffic around the work area using Bluebird Street, N 12th Place, and Gordon Road.

One-vehicle crash slows traffic on Highway 57 south of Jacksonport

Traffic was down to one lane south of Jacksonport on Highway 57 Monday afternoon for over an hour after an SUV traveling northbound on State Highway 57 crashed into a tree.  Emergency personnel responded to the scene shortly after 2 p.m., and the Door County Sheriff’s Department flagged traffic with assistance from the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. At the same time, crews worked on removing the vehicle, which suffered substantial front-end damage.  Highway 57 was completely reopened to traffic as of 3:30 p.m. The condition of the vehicle's driver is unknown at this time, and this story will be updated when more details become available. 

Door County Habitat for Humanity offers peek at new home

You can see first-hand how people in your community support affordable housing in Door County one swing of the hammer at a time. Door County Habitat for Humanity is hosting an open house on Wednesday to showcase the home and the people behind its construction. Earlier this year, the organization began work on Home Build #49 at 864 Cherry Court in Sturgeon Bay. Abigail Newman and her son talked about what it would mean to have a home to call their own.

Executive Director Lori Allen said earlier this summer that the volunteers are what helps the organization facilitate positive change in the community.

The open house will also feature key volunteers and community leaders who have helped make Door County Habitat for Humanity’s work possible for the last 30 years. During that time, the organization has built 49 homes and made 120 home repairs, impacting nearly 500 people, including 176 children. The open house will take place from 2 -5 p.m. at the site of Home Build #49 on Cherry Court in Sturgeon Bay.

Literacy Door County sees increase in demand for services

Your tutoring skills could change the lives of Door County residents for years to come. Approximately 20 percent of all adults struggle to master the English language. According to the last census, Door County’s population also became more diverse, with an almost 70 percent increase in Hispanic and a 20 percent increase in its Asian population. For many individuals Literacy Door County works with, English is not their primary language. That can become a major barrier to them in their daily lives according to Literacy Door County Board Member Patty O’Rourke.

You can click this link to help tutor students or find a volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Putting your English skills to work can also help Literacy Door County fund its mission by participating in the organization’s Scrabble Tournament. The event will occur on November 4th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. You can click here to register and learn more.

Public, private schools battle enrollment challenges

Depending on where you live, you may see fewer kids hopping on a school bus than you are used to in the past.

 

According to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state’s public schools have lost more than 32,000 students due to several factors, with COVID-19 and declining birth rates being the main drivers.

 

Private school enrollment increased by more than 5,000 students, and home school enrollment jumped by more than 10,000 in the year following the pandemic's start. 

 

Sturgeon Bay School District Administrator Dan Tjernagel says they have gained students in recent years thanks to open enrollment and new families moving to the area, but they are still seeing the declining enrollment challenges everyone else is facing in public schools. He admits that he pays close attention to the city’s efforts to address affordable housing and child care, which could also play a major role in their future enrollment.

 


Some private schools like St. Paul’s Lutheran School in Algoma have seen their enrollment increase in recent years thanks to getting kids back into the classroom quicker following the onset of the pandemic among other factors. Principal Peter Kavicky hopes that trend continues after they added child care to their offerings last month.


Declining enrollment does not appear to be improving either, with UW-Madison’s Applied Population Lab adding that public school districts will lose, on average, 11,000 students annually over the next five years.

Teenager transported after two-vehicle Nasewaupee crash

A Forestville teenager had to be transported to Door County Medical Center with suspected minor injuries after a two-vehicle crash near the entrance of Renard’s Cheese Saturday morning.

 

Members of the Door County Sheriff’s Department, Door County EMS, and Nasewaupee Fire Rescue were dispatched to the corner of Cloverleaf Road and County DK just after 11:30 a.m. A car driven by a Milwaukee couple was trying to cross County DK to get to the cheese store when he was struck by a sports utility vehicle driven by a family from Forestville. The Milwaukee man driving told deputies on the scene that he did not see the sports utility vehicle when he tried crossing the roadway. The collision spun the sports utility vehicle around before it left the roadway and stopped in a ditch. Only one other possible injury was reported, but both cars had to be towed due to disabling damage. The Milwaukee man driving the car was cited for failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign.

 

County officials have explored lowering 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.

 

GEO-DC opts for interpretative park over museum

You will finally see a site in Ellison Bay commemorating Door County’s geological wonders next summer after years of waiting. The Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County (GEO-DC) announced Friday it has chosen to create an interpretive park rather than building a museum on its site along State Highway 42 in Ellison Bay. The organization purchased the property in 2017 and had originally planned to turn a vacant home into a proposed Niagara Escarpment Discovery Center. A failed building inspection and a pandemic later, GEO-DC reversed course and created a vision for the park, which will include informational signage covering the escarpment’s geology, flora, fauna, local cultures, area economy, and environment. GEO-DC Board Member Maryanne O’Dowd believes this reimagining can accomplish the goals of the original Niagara Escarpment Discovery Center more cost-effectively and time-efficiently.

O’DOWD1

The group is working on grant applications to help fund the site improvements after finishing the initial cleanup and clearing of debris earlier this month. The hope now is that the new park will be unveiled in early summer 2024.

Gibraltar National Honor Society rises with Phoenix

When things started to go down for a Gibraltar Area Schools family, you saw a group of high school students rise to the occasion to help. Phoenix Hatch is a fifth grader at Gibraltar beating the odds as she deals with the effects of Marshall-Smith syndrome. Those diagnosed with MSS often have abnormal bone formation, difficulty breathing, unknown body fractures, and other issues. According to the Marshall-Smith Syndrome Research Foundation, most children die in early infancy and often by three years old due to respiratory complications. Phoenix has been in the hospital for the last two months due to complications suffered following a surgical procedure. When Maureen Mercier, a football team parent, asked the Gibraltar National Honor Society to reprise last year’s bake sale to help the family, senior Chloe Alexander and other students jumped at the opportunity.

After raising approximately $700 to support cancer-related causes last year, the Gibraltar National Honor Society raised over $1,000 to help the Hatch family pay for some of their medical bills and other expenses. Alexander says a dodgeball tournament is also in the works for November with all proceeds also going to support the Hatch family. You can listen to our full interview with Alexander, where we also cover her current volleyball season and upcoming basketball season, by clicking this link.

Kewaunee veteran feels the love

You can nominate someone special in your community so they can feel the love, just like Luke and Kristen Albert did on Saturday. The Alberts were this year's recipients of Lennox's Feel the Love campaign, when the company donates heating and air conditioning units to worthy people, and their local dealers install them. Ultimate Air in Luxemburg has participated in the campaign for the better of the decade, and it has become the team's favorite day of the year. Owner Jeff Blemke says it has grown into a day that shows the kind of company they want to be in the community.

Luke served as an infantryman in the United States Army for four years in Germany and Iraq before beginning a new career at Agropur. Luke and Kristen were trying to figure out how they could afford to replace their failing indoor air systems when they got the call that they were nominated. It showed the two of them how caring their community is.

While the  Alberts will have a comfortable, healthy, and safe home for the foreseeable future, Ultimate Air is already looking for next year's Feel the Love recipient. You can click on this link to nominate someone deserving in your community.

Domestic violence numbers on the rise

Help of Door County is reaching out to victims of domestic abuse who may feel there is no place to turn. Milly Gonzales, executive director of Help of Door County, says removing oneself from an abusive relationship can be challenging for those victimized, especially when children are involved. Gonzales advises victims not to hesitate and to immediately get out of an abusive situation. She shares some staggering statistics and how domestic violence can impact families.    

 

 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can find out more about Help of Door County here.

Best-selling author featured in Fish Tale Lecture Series finale at Crossroads

You can learn more about the impact and importance of phosphorus in the waters surrounding Door County this week. 

 

Dan Egan, author of “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes,” will present the final edition of the Fish Tales Lecture Series at Crossroads at Big Creek this Monday, October 16.  

Egan, a New York Times best-selling author, has twice been a Pulitzer Prize finalist and currently is the Brico Fund Journalist in Residence at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Fresh Water Sciences.

  

The discussion will center around Egan’s new book, “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance,” as a special edition of the Fish Tales Lecture Series. 

 

Fish biologist Mark Holey, co-founder and organizer of the Crossroads Fish Tale Lecture Series will discuss with Egan why phosphorus is essential to our lives and the Great Lakes. They will also discuss his career as an environmental journalist and finish with questions from the audience.

 

The presentation will be held at 7:00 p.m. Monday at the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek. With limited seating available, reservations are required by going to Crossroads’ website here. You may participate via Zoom or Facebook Live by going to htpps://doorcountylibrary.org/event on Monday. 

Peninsula Players pulls curtain on 2023 season

You will not need Sherlock Holmes or Watson to find out when Peninsula Players take the stage again.

 

This weekend marks the final one for Peninsula Players and its production of “Baskerville,” a comedic take on the popular mystery hero that involves cast members going through a number of costume changes. Like other performing arts organizations, Peninsula Players and its managing director Brian Kelsey saw more steps towards normalcy in 2023, with this weekend’s limited ticket availability a common theme during summer and early fall months. According to a study orchestrated by the Peninsula Arts and Humanities Alliance, Door County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $38.6 million in economic activity in 2022, supporting 738 jobs along the way. Kelsey believes they may be ahead of schedule when it comes to being 100 percent recovered from the pandemic, which he and other local arts leaders thought would not happen until 2025.

The study, which you can find here, shows that Door County’s arts and culture industry generates $21.8 million in event-related spending by its audiences, averaging about $100 per attendee not including the cost of admission. While Peninsula Players will primarily work behind the scenes in the coming months, others in Door County are providing entertainment options for the late fall and winter months.

 

A CHAT ABOUT BASKERVILLE

 

Picture courtesy of Peninsula Players

Recognizing National Bullying Prevention month

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We have all heard the phrase bullying, but what does it actually mean? Bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.

     

Bullying is unfortunately a reality for far too many in our communities both young and old. Much like any other form of violence, bullying is not isolated to any particular age group, gender, or demography. Just about every one of us can look back on our lives and recall a time when either we were personally bullied or witnessed one of our friends or schoolmates being bullied. It’s hard to believe that with all of the advancements and awareness, this type of behavior still exists, but it does and with the advent of social media, it has actually gotten much worse. This is because unlike in the past, the bully not only impact your life on the playground or classroom; they now can follow you into your personal life due to the constant presence of social media.

     

There is good news in that we have learned a great deal about what creates these bullies and how to neutralize their ability to isolate and intimidate. The key is for those in authority to respond to reports of bullying immediately to show without question that bullying will not be acceptable. That message needs to follow our homes with the messages we send our children not only by what we say but by our own actions in how we treat fellow adults. Bullying is without question a learned behavior. It is learned on the playground, and in the classroom and follows through to the workplace and social interactions as adults. We need to send a strong message to our own children, a message of empathy and compassion not of ridicule and rumor.

     

Who is at risk of bullying the most? Typically those who are bullied have one or more of the following risks: 

  • Are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”
  • Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem
  • Are less popular than others and have few friends
  • Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention

     

However, even if a child has these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they will be bullied. The important lesson is that we as adults set the tone for how the next generation will interact with each other. Chances are if we show acceptance of others, our children will show acceptance of others. If we engage in demeaning others or spreading rumors, our children will follow suit. So often we as adults underestimate the influence, we have not only on our children but even those who don’t know us but witness our behavior.

     

While school or workplace policies are an important component, the only way to truly decrease bullying is by denying the bully their victim. We do this by raising strong, confident, resilient children, and speaking out and supporting those who find themselves on the receiving end of this type of behavior. We are all teachers in life lessons and we teach by our actions. Let’s all be aware of what we teach.

Crossroads present final programs of Wisconsin Science Festival

At Crossroads at Big Creek this week, we will present the final Door County programs for the 2023 Wisconsin Science Festival – Curiosity Unleashed. We are all about unleashing curiosity, and so are our partners, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society and the Door County Libraries. The Door County Libraries have presented programs over the past week ranging from a timed pumpkin hunt to reptile evolution, all in some way related to the Wisconsin Science Festival 2023 theme of “Time."

 

On Thursday, October 19, at 6:30 p.m., the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will offer a planetarium show featuring Time in Space. Most scientists agree that “time” is a very real property, but in space, it’s baffling. Einstein described spacetime as the fourth dimension, explaining that space and time are linked, and can expand or contract depending on momentum and the mass of nearby objects.

 

Using stunning images in the Planetarium at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, presenters Amanda and Tim Austin will explain “hard-to-get-your-head-around” concepts. The program is free and open to learners of all ages.

 

The Saturday Science Program at 1:00 p.m. at the Collins Learning Center also will feature the concept of time, starting with a video followed by hands-on activities. Each student will make a “water clock” to take home. This activity is appropriate for students grade 3 and up, but families and interested adults are welcome at this free program, too.

 

Finally, in spite the fact that the Science Festival will officially be over, Crossroads’ Book Club will discuss Dan Egan’s book, “The Devil’s Element,” appropriate to the time theme, as it covers the disturbing use of the 13th element on the periodic table – phosphorus – over time. All are welcome, whether or not they have read the book. The group will meet in the Upper Level of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

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, October 19

6:30 - 8:30 pm DPAS Planetarium Show 

As a part of the Wisconsin Science Festival, the Door Peninsula Astronomical society is hosting a planetarium show featuring “Time in Space.” The images projected on the planetarium dome will be dazzling – one might say "out of this world." Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2200 Utah Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Saturday, October 21

1:00 pm Science: Time 

This weekly “science is fun” series will feature the concept of time, starting with a video followed by hands-on activities. Each student will make a “water clock” to take home. This activity is appropriate for grades 3 and up, but families and interested adults are welcome at this free program, as well. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Wednesday, October 25

10:00 a.m. Crossroads Book Club

This month we’re reading “The Devil’s Element,” by Dan Egan. Whether you’ve read the book yet or not, please join us as we explore the stories, ideas, and concepts in this fascinating study on the uses of phosphorus over time. Free and open to the public. 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Picture courtesy of Crossroads at Big Creek

Two men busted for drugs in Algoma

Two Algoma men were arrested on drug charges on Friday morning.  The Kewaunee County Drug Task Force executed a drug bust at about 10:45 a.m. with a search warrant at 601 Navarino Street.  Matthew Berger and Gregory Holly have been charged with Possession of Narcotics and Drug Paraphernalia as well as possession of Marijuana.  The Algoma Police Department assisted and the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s SWAT team was also utilized.  Both men are in the Kewaunee County Jail awaiting their initial court appearance.   The incident is still under investigation by the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department.

Assembly passes bills banning gender-affirming care, transgender athlete participation

Whatever is on your birth certificate is what you will have to go by until you are at least 18 years of age after a trio of bills were passed by the Wisconsin State Assembly on Thursday.

 

Two of three bills dealt with allowing transgender athletes to participate in high school and college sports only by the gender they are assigned at birth. Currently, the WIAA requires athletes transitioning from male to female sports to undergo at least one year of hormone therapy before competing. The WIAA policy is similar to the one used by the NCAA, which governs collegiate athletics. Green Bay news outlets reported one case within the Green Bay Area School Districts where parents objected to a transgender student participating in girls' athletics.

 

A third bill would prevent minors from not just getting gender reassignment surgery but also gender-affirming care such as hormones and puberty blockers. According to the Wisconsin Watch, many gender-affirming care options are unavailable until kids hit puberty, and healthcare facilities like Children’s Wisconsin and UW Health do not perform gender reassignment surgery on minors. PFLAG founder Sandy Brown says the votes are political theater, citing Governor Tony Evers's likelihood of vetoing the measures. She says children need all the help and support they can get during a potentially confusing time.

Rep. Joel Kitchens voted with his party on all three bills that fell largely along partisan lines. Kitchens says he has a long history of being supportive of the LGBTQ community, but says his votes are about fairness in athletics and a long-term view for kids that he would like to have more conversations on in the future.

According to Reuters, lawmakers in 37 states have introduced more than 140 bills restricting gender-affirming healthcare for trans and gender-expansive people this year.

 

Weekend weather spoils annular eclipse for locals

You may find dedicated skywatchers skipping out of town this weekend to catch Saturday’s annular eclipse. Wisconsin was expected to only see the moon cover about 40 percent of the sun when it did occur, making it likely that a cloudy day would spoil the fun.

 

As a result, Crossroads at Big Creek has canceled its special viewing event because of cloudy and rainy conditions. For those looking to leave the area to catch the annular eclipse, people living between Portland, Ore. and Houston, Texas will get the full effect of the annular eclipse. For those who view the solar eclipse there, it will appear as if the moon has a ring of fire around it. If it is a clear day, you will likely need some special glasses or some kind of other safety device to catch a glimpse of it. Otherwise, a potentially better view of it will be available locally in April. 

 

Picture Credit: NASA

Sister Bay prepares for Fall Fest

You will be among the thousands of people lining State Highway 42 if you are heading to Sister Bay this weekend.

 

The village is greeting the autumn revelers with its annual Fall Fest celebration from Friday through Sunday. In addition live music, ferris wheel rides, and the arts and crafts fair all three days, highlights include the festival parade and pumpkin bowling on Saturday and the derby races and ping pong drop for kids and adults on Saturday. You can find the full schedule for events here.

 

During the festival, State Highway 42 will be closed to vehicular traffic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. 

 

 

Fall Fest attendees are encouraged to use the Sister Bay Sports Complex for remote parking and to take advantage of the shuttle buses, which will run every 30 minutes along two separate routes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight.

Weighted blanket recalled by Amazon

The next time you tell your kids to not let the bed bugs bite, make sure you check their blanket too.

 

YourHealthToolKit is recalling their five-pound children’s weighted blankets that were sold exclusively on Amazon. The fear is that kids can unzip the blankets and crawl inside of them, potentially causing them to suffocate and die. Approximately 280 of the blankets were sold and you can return them for a full refund.

Institute church gets new dome with community project

You will see a new shining silver top on a local church when you drive through Institute on Highway 57.  Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Institute recently installed a new dome on its building steeple thanks to several volunteers and Therma-Tron-X in Sturgeon Bay.  TTX Sales Engineer Darin Ploor says the project occurred over a year ago when the church wanted to replace the old fiberglass silo roof with a stainless-steel dome similar to the original copper dome.  With only a photo of the original copper dome from a 1959 church directory, Brent Rankin, a former TTX employee, and St. Peter & Paul School graduate, volunteered to create the final drawings, with TTX agreeing to participate and donate a portion of the work.   Ploor says the community project was rewarding for him and his co-workers.

 

 

The cost of transporting the new dome and installing it was also donated by church members and local businesses.  The old dome that was installed in the 1950s was taken down during the summer with the stainless-steel dome being erected on September 27th. 

Sevastopol alumni take a trip down memory lane

You can learn what it was like to be a student during some of the glory days of Sevastopol Schools at an upcoming forum.

 

The Pioneer Alumni Memories Forum on October 18th will welcome back 11 alumni from Sevastopol School, ranging from the Class of 1948 to 1967, to answer a series of questions about their time at the district. Retired history teacher Jim Adams will moderate the event, which is being held in part to celebrate Sevastopol School District’s 100th Anniversary. You are invited to attend the event inside the Carl Scholz Pioneer Room at 1 p.m. or watch it on demand when it becomes available on the school’s website.

New bill addresses financial barrier to trade careers

You can make a good living working in the trades, but getting to that point could be daunting. A new bipartisan bill championed by State Senator Andre Jacque enhances the current Tools of the Trade apprenticeship program with an additional $100,000 per academic year to assist technical college students who have undertaken apprenticeship training courses in conjunction with instruction at their schools with the costs of specialized equipment. Each eligible student could receive up to $1,500 to assist in paying for items like tools, clothing, equipment, and other supplies needed to complete their apprenticeship. The Tools of the Trade program was established in 2013 and it has led 95 percent of its recipients to complete their apprenticeships or continue their training. Jacque says northeast Wisconsin has helped make the entire state a gold standard when it comes to its apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship programs.

 The new Tools of the Trade bill, known as Senate Bill 93, now has to pass both houses of the Legislature and be signed into law by Governor Tony Evers. The announcement comes on the day hundreds of students from several local high schools visited a dozen manufacturers in Door County as a part of a Manufacturing Month event.

Kewaunee County looks at revenue bond financing for natural gas project

Kewaunee County officials are looking at potentially providing financial assistance for a natural gas project being installed at a dairy farm in Algoma.

 

WI RNG EN LLC is looking to build a solid waste disposal facility to convert cow manure produced at El Na Farms into natural gas, similar to what has been done at other large farms in Kewaunee County such as Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee and Dairy Dreams in Casco. The project would be financed with up to $45 million in revenue bonds from the county to help pay for the project. Revenue bond financing is typically used with tollways and local stadiums where the project’s revenue would help pay for its construction. The initial resolution for the project will be discussed as a part of Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting at 6 p.m. inside the Kewaunee County Administration Center.

 

The meeting will start with a public hearing on the 2024 budget. At last month’s meeting, Interim County Administrator Ed Dorner shared with the Kewaunee County Board that 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 said 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.

Prescription card program saves residents over $59,000

A prescription card program run by the United Way of Door County is about a lot more than saving you money at the pharmacy counter. Since 2008, the organization has distributed Single Care prescription discount cards to residents to help redistribute the money usually spent on prescriptions to other needs that they may have. From July 2022 to June 2023, the program helped save Door County residents $59,738 at the pharmacy. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the program helps those struggling to make ends meet, like seniors on fixed incomes, make better decisions about their health and finances.

The program is one of the many funded by the United Way of Door County, which is currently in the middle of its annual campaign. The organization has a goal of $825,000 that they would like to meet by early January.

Community Healthy Living Fair returns to YMCA

You can improve your health by attending the free Community Healthy Living Fair later this month at the Door County YMCA.  The fair is sponsored by Door County Medical Center and will be held in the newly renovated YMCA in Sturgeon Bay.  Senior Director of Healthy Living Coordinator Sarah Gavin shares some of the free screenings that will be offered during the fair on October 24.

 

 

Registrations are limited for cholesterol and skin cancer screenings, and you can contact the YMCA for an appointment at (920) 743-4949.  Gavin notes that a flu shot clinic and an expired prescription drugs disposal drop-off by the Door County Sheriff’s Office will be on-site as well.  The Community Healthy Living Fair will be from 8:30 a.m. until noon on Tuesday, October 24, and free transportation will be provided by the Door County Transportation Department.  

Nasewaupee Fire Rescue handles dumpster fire at Potawatomi State Park

The first official fire call by the newly-formed Nasewaupee Fire Rescue was a reported dumpster fire Tuesday afternoon in Potawatomi State Park.  Fire Chief Jacob Schartner says his crew along with a brush truck arrived at the group camping site within the park around 3:15 p.m. They were able to put out the blaze quickly inside the dumpster as well as some smoldering grass around the container caused by the radiant heat of the dumpster.

 

 

Schartner believes hot ashes from a campsite were the cause of the fire and reminds you to be careful of disposing of anything that may be hot inside a garbage receptacle.  The Nasewaupee Fire Rescue Department left the scene at about 3:40 p.m.

Powerball jackpot drawing for $1.73 billion 

You could be the winner of the second-largest Powerball game in the lottery’s history Wednesday night.  With no jackpot winner from Monday night, the next drawing will be Wednesday at 9:59 p.m.  The lucky person to claim the grand prize must match all six numbers, with the odds of winning being one in 292.2 million.  According to powerball.com, the record for Powerball was $2.04 billion that was won in California in November of 2022.  Last Saturday, a winning ticket was sold in Green Bay for the $1 million Powerball with five white numbers being matched.    

Fire destroys storage barn

A fire on Sandhill Road on Tuesday night destroyed a storage building in the town of Union.  Brussels-Union-Gardner (BUG) Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says his department was dispatched to a fully engulfed barn on 778 Sandhill Road around 7:15 p.m.  The blaze was several hundred feet behind a house well off the roadway with a 30-foot-by 40-foot building in flames.  Vandertie says 21 members of the BUG Fire Department with assistance from Southern Door and Sturgeon Bay crews were on the scene and able to prevent the fire from getting to the house.  They also quickly contained the fire that spread into the nearby woods.

 

 

Some equipment and personal items in the old storage barn were lost, including a riding lawn mower used earlier in the day.   The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but the origin of the blaze was on the north side of the building where the mower was parked.  The BUG Fire Department used 11,000 gallons of water to extinguish the fire.  The scene was cleared at about 9:45 Tuesday night.  

Tips on home fire safety: National Fire Prevention Week

Taking good precautions around the home is crucial to preventing a fire tragedy at home. This week is National Fire Prevention Week and Sturgeon Bay Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says general fire safety includes making sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly in your home. Families should devise an escape plan in the case of a fire and have a pre-determined place to meet outside. Montevideo says the kitchen area is the most common area place fires begin.

 

 

Montevideo recommends that you place a smoke and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.  You can find more tips on home fire safety below.

 

  • Watch your cooking
    Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you must leave, even for a short time, turn off the stove.
  • Give space heaters space
    Keep fixed and portable space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn. Turn off heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Smoke outside
    Ask smokers to smoke outside. Have sturdy, deep ashtrays for smokers.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach
    Keep matches and lighters up high, out of the reach of children, preferably in a cabinet with a child lock.
  • Inspect electrical cords
    Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections.
  • Be careful when using candles
    Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow out candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Have a home fire escape plan
    Make a home fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.
  • Install smoke alarms
    Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Interconnect smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Test smoke alarms
    Test smoke alarms at least once a month and replace batteries once a year or when the alarm “chirps” to tell you the battery is low. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.
  • Install sprinklers
    If you are building or remodeling your home, install residential fire sprinklers. Sprinklers can contain and may even extinguish a fire in less time than it would take the fire department to arrive.

United Way takes babysitting class up north

The United Way of Door County and the Women’s Club of Door County are collaborating once again to help make sure your kids stay safe while at work or out on the town.

 

Teaching concepts from the American Red Cross, the course covers how to stay safe, how to provide care, how to prepare age-appropriate activities, and other basics of starting a babysitting business. Child Care Community Coordinator Molly Gary says much like other child care options in Door County, a good babysitter is hard to find and high in demand.

After holding a successful class in August in Sturgeon Bay, the United Way of Door County is bringing the babysitting course to the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station on November 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The training is available for $20 with scholarships available. You can find details on how you can participate below.

Door and Kewaunee counties approaching peak fall colors

If you are waiting until the last moment to book your fall colors retreat to Door and Kewaunee counties, you might want to consider pulling the trigger.

 

The Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report shows Door County is at a 45 percent peak and the Algoma Area is at a 35 percent peak based on their most recent reports from last Thursday and Friday respectively. That places the estimated week of peak colors to be next week for Door County and sometime later this week for the Algoma area. By comparison, Green Bay is at 65 percent and Oconto County is at 75 percent.

 

Travel Wisconsin has already declared Burnett County and the Rhinelander Area as places you are better off waiting until next year and nine other spots as “fading peak.”

 

The news comes after a Florida car dealership listed the Door County Coastal Byway as the third-best place in the state and the 120th place in the nation to go for a drive to admire the fall colors. It also comes in between two of Door County’s biggest festivals of the season: Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch last weekend and this weekend’s Sister Bay Fall Fest.

Tug John Purves to go to dry dock this winter

You only will have a couple of more weeks to check out the Tug John Purves before it heads across the bay for some much-needed tender, loving care. The Door County Maritime Museum, which began offering tours of the tug boat in 2008, secured the last piece of funding needed to make a number of repairs to the vessel’s hull among other improvements. Deputy Director and Development Manager Sam Perlman says it is important for the Tug John Purves to be preserved for future generations to tour, something over 70,000 people have already been able to experience.

 


Perlman says the plan right now is for the Tug John Purves to be towed by Roen Salvage across the bay to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding where it will be put in dry dock for its repairs as other visiting vessels come to Sturgeon Bay for the winter fleet. The tug will return to its rightful spot by the Door County Maritime Museum in time for the start of the 2024 season in May.

Three injured in three-vehicle Sturgeon Bay crash

One passenger was transported to Door County Medical Center for suspected minor injuries last week after a three-vehicle crash in Sturgeon Bay. Police officers reported to the scene near the corner of Oregon Street and 1st Avenue at approximately 3:45 p.m. last Thursday where vehicles were waiting for the bridge to close. According to the accident report released on Tuesday, Ashley Walsh of Sturgeon Bay struck a vehicle in front of her after misjudging why the traffic in front of her had stopped. The officer noted that it appeared The crash started a chain reaction that sent the car directly in front of Walsh into another vehicle in front of them. One of the passengers in the car that was initially struck by Walsh, Emily Vazquez Santiago of Green Bay, was transported to the hospital for minor injuries she may have suffered. No update on her condition was included in the report. Juan Ochoa Saenz of Green Bay and Kaitlyn Leonardson of Sturgeon Bay were also injured in the incident, but they were not transported. Walsh was cited for following too closely in a vehicle, due in part to the damage caused to the other vehicle and the belief that she was traveling too fast to stop the car in time. The lanes were reopened to normal traffic by 4:15 p.m.

 

Food drive spearheaded by Board of REALTORS restocks pantries

A local organization known for helping you sell or buy your property in Door County, facilitated a much-needed food drive for local pantries last month.  The Door County Board of Realtors collected over 850 pounds of non-perishable foods for the Kewaunee County Food Pantry and Klaud’s Food Pantry in Sister Bay.  Organizer Leah Gieseler-Hantke says the volunteers at the pantries were ecstatic with the delivery of food since most of the shelves were empty and in need of items like peanut butter, deodorant, and toothpaste.  She says the efforts by members of the Door County Board of REALTORS show that the organization is more than just helping you sell or buy your homes.

 

 

The Food drive was done internally by the REALTORS and their affiliates.  Gieseler-Hantke adds that if there are any other projects that address community needs, you should feel free to reach out to the Door County Board of REALTORS at (920) 743-9651. 

Changes likely coming to Kewaunee County Jail

While Kewaunee County officials discuss what to do about a new jail building, the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is working to see what they can do with what they have currently. An update on the jail is on the agenda for Wednesday’s Public Safety and Justice Committee meeting. In September, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski told the committee that the current facility needs more than just “tweaks.” The changes made would address violations of DOC 350, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), and other mandates. Joski added that he has an obligation to address the State Jail Inspector’s letter that outlines the problems with the current facility. Lt. Chris VanErem has been tasked with getting estimates for the work that needs to be done. As for the new facility, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson said he will be requesting a contract from Midwest Construction Consultants for the board to either approve or turn down at their meeting scheduled for October 17th. The Kewaunee County Public Safety and Justice Committee will meet Wednesday at 8 a.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Building.

Algoma church adds child-care center

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma wants to help nurture the youngest of children in your community through its newest venture.

 

The church announced late last month it was accepting enrollment for its Little Sprouts Early Learning Center, located down the street from its school in Algoma. The child-care center will care for children as young as six weeks old to three years old, in which case they could attend the school from 3K to eighth grade. St. Paul’s Principal Peter Kavicky says it is a great opportunity to introduce a Christ-centered environment at a young age.

Like other private schools in the area, St. Paul’s saw an enrollment increase over the last year, a trend they hope will continue.

Million-dollar Powerball ticket sold in Green Bay as jackpot climbs

No one won the big prize on Saturday, but you still might be a $1 million richer depending on where you bought your last Powerball ticket. The Wisconsin Lottery announced that $1 million Powerball ticket was sold in Green Bay on Saturday thanks to the winner matching the five white Powerballs. Since they missed out on the Powerball, the jackpot for Monday stands at $1.55 billion, which makes it the highest of the year and the third-highest in the game’s history. You will be able to follow along with the numbers being drawn when it takes place just before 11 p.m. on Monday.

Vandals desecrate Luxemburg buildings

The Luxemburg Police Department needs your help again to find vandals accused of spray painting buildings in the village.

 

Police Chief Chris Gulbrand took to social media on Saturday to show the damage discovered on Friday to a building located at 230 Willow Street in Luxemburg. A large section of the north wall was spray painted with a number of phrases in a variety of colors, some of which were deemed too vulgar to share online. The initial investigation shows a small grove of trees that the perpetrators are alleged to have used as a fort or a place to hang out. Gulbrand is asking middle and high school students to call or text him with details about who hangs out in the area and who may have contributed to the crimes committed.

 

This is the second case of vandalism the Luxemburg Police Department has had to try and solve. Last week, the Luxemburg Police Department was notified of several incidents throughout the village involving food products being poured on vehicles and mailboxes. 

 

 

Door County YMCA dedicates new addition

The Door County YMCA officially welcomed you to the newest addition of its Sturgeon Bay Center on Sunday. Dozens of supporters filled the lobby of the new addition, the by-product of the multi-million dollar Heart of the Community Campaign. 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. You can watch the introduction below.

 

 

DCEDC paves paths for local careers with event

You will see approximately 400 students touring various businesses on Thursday as a part of the Manufacturing Month event hosted by the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Students from Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar, Southern Door and Algoma will tour manufacturing businesses: Marine Travelift, ExacTech, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, N.E.W. Industries, Therma-Tron-X, Hatco, Pro Products, Midwest Wire Products, Renard’s Artisan Cheese, Itasca Automation Systems, Door County Candle Company and Door County Coffee as a part of the event to give them an inside look at the work that they do. With over 60 manufacturing businesses in Door County, Korey Mallien from DCEDC says it is just a matter of showing students the path that is available to them.

Manufacturing is a major economic driver for Door County, accounting for more than 2,100 jobs and $300 million of the peninsula’s gross domestic product.

"Ring of Fire" eclipse arrives Saturday

It is the type of solar eclipse Johnny Cash would sing about, even if you will not get the full effect here in Wisconsin. An annular solar eclipse is set to occur on October 14th with people living between Portland, Ore., and Houston, Texas getting the full effect. For those who view the solar eclipse there, it will appear as if the moon has a ring of fire around it. If it is a clear day, you will likely need some special glasses or some kind of other safety device to catch a glimpse of it. If it is a cloudy day, you may not even notice at all. If you miss it, you will not have to wait long until the next solar eclipse which is expected to take place on April 8th, 2024.

 

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Algoma's Halloween Walk to benefit Inclusive playground

You can celebrate Halloween early while helping make the first inclusive playground in Kewaunee County a reality.  The 15th annual Halloween Walk in Algoma is planned for Saturday, October 28th at the Algoma High School.  Preschool teachers and event organizers Rachael Vandermause and Kayden Shaw have created the event to provide a safe and fun opportunity for children of all ages to meet their favorite TV and movie characters and visit a haunted house if they’d like.  The walk starts in the high school cafeteria and makes its way through the hallways with games and activities in the gymnasium.

 

 

Outside Algoma High School, rides will be offered by Thomas the Train this year with professional face painting and balloon twisting provided for the kids.  All attendees are encouraged to dress up in costume and meet characters like Barbie and Elsa in her new castle.  The Halloween Walk will be from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 28th with all proceeds benefiting the Breummer Park Inclusive Playground, BPIP in Kewaunee.  Admission is $6 for children and $3 for adults.  Last year, the event raised $400 for the Andy Barta Legacy Charitable Fund.   

One clerk in, one clerk out in northern Door County

If you are doing municipal work in the towns of Liberty Grove or Gibraltar, be prepared to meet some new faces.

 

Cyndi Gutschow used the Town Board meeting on October 4th to meet the residents she will now be serving. According to her LinkedIn page, Gutschow came to the Town of Gibraltar after a long career in the medical field for Ascension and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

 

The Town of Liberty Grove will lose its clerk by the end of the month after the Village of Hobart in Brown County announced last week it hired Stacy Bell to be its first full-time treasurer. Bell will start her new role in November. As for the Town of Liberty Grove, it closed the application window for its town clerk position last week.

Hunters encouraged to participate in statewide wildlife survey

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is giving you homework to do when you are out in your tree stand for the next several weeks. The DNR is encouraging hunters to take part in this year’s deer hunter wildlife survey. The hope is that deer hunters can give the state an idea of the kind of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and more that are out in the woods and how many are out there. The survey results help the DNR to determine its wildlife management plants. You can click on this link to participate in the survey, which includes the what, where, and when of your hunt. The survey period is open until January 7th.

Watch for high beams

Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, it is a good time to discuss lighting on vehicles. This provides us with a reminder and opportunity to make sure your vehicle as well as any trailer lights are operational. While preventative maintenance on your vehicle equipment will make you and your occupants safer, it will also eliminate the potential for being stopped for defective equipment.

 

In this article I would like to discuss high beams and low beams. I don’t have many pet peeves, but one of them is definitely when people do not dim their headlamps when they meet another vehicle. Wisconsin state Statute covers this in 347.12(1)(a) “Use of Multiple Beam Headlamps”

 

Whenever the operator of a motor vehicle equipped with multiple beam headlamps approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 Feet, the operator shall dim, depress or tilt the vehicles headlights so the glaring rays are not directed into the eyes of the operator of the other vehicle.

 

This paragraph does not prohibit an operator from intermittently flashing the vehicles high beam headlamps at an oncoming vehicle whose high beam headlamps are lit.

This statute goes on to apply the same distance (500 feet) in regards to dimming your headlamps when following another vehicle.

 

I have had people who believed that flashing your headlights at an oncoming vehicle was illegal, and I hope this clears up the misconception. The proper use , or in some cases the improper use of high beams becomes the source of many complaints, and the proper understanding and use will go a long way in maintaining harmony on our roadways.

 

One of the main reasons we use our high beams is to increase our response time in the event that a deer or other wildlife may wander onto the roadway and into our lane traffic. For those who are interested, we are slightly below the number of car deer accidents from this time last year. Last year’s total number of car deer accidents was 485. At this time last year we had 334 car deer accidents reported. The number for this year thus far is 310.  Stay Safe! Stay Alert!

Door County gets spooky for the season

While this weekend’s Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch and next weekend’s Sister Bay Fall Fest have the activities covered during the daytime hours, there are ways you can get a more haunted view of Door County. According to Destination Door County, guests of the Door County Fall Lighthouse Festival could have been introduced to spirits while checking out the Pottawatomie, Sherwood Point, and Chambers Island lighthouses. For those looking to be driven around while hearing ghost stories from the peninsula, Door County Trolley offers two different haunted tours telling the tales of the area and dropping you off at some of the different sites. Red Barn Corn Maze in Forestville adopted one of the area’s Halloween traditions with its haunted attraction on Friday nights. Jan Guilette told Door County Daily News that her family worked with the former organizers of the Southern Door Haunted Mansion to bring some of the event’s tricks and treats back to life.

Sturgeon Bay’s Thrills and Chills, Fish Creek’s Jack o’ Lantern Days, and the Coast Guard’s Ghost Ship are some other Halloween events happening later this month.

Kewaunee County waste collection service looks to expand operations

A Kewaunee County garbage and recycling service wants to grow so it can handle more of your waste. Kewaunee County Board member and Riverview Transfer owner John Mastalir approached the Finance and Public Property Committee with an idea to purchase approximately 12-15 acres of land near his current site so can he can grow his recycling capabilities. Committee member Jeff Vollenweider expressed some concern about the proposal, saying that he does not know what the needs of the county will be for garbage and recycling in the future and adding that “once the land is gone, it’s gone.” The placement of the potential expansion in proximity to other county facilities and the legality of the county selling to an individual were also explored.

 

 

Finance and Person Property Chairperson Tom Romdenne pointed out that no formal proposal exists yet and encouraged Mastalir, who also sits on the committee, to bring one to the next meeting. 

Police Cadets program puts members on right track

Your start in law enforcement and public safety could start with just a couple of meetings a month. The Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets are recruiting new members to join their organization that introduces law enforcement concepts to students between the ages of 14-20. In addition to classroom time, the cadets participate in competitions showcasing their newfound skills and ride-alongs with Sturgeon Bay Police Officers. A similar program is how Sturgeon Bay Police Officer and Police Cadets leader Brandon Shew got his career in law enforcement started. Shew says his involvement in the program formerly known as the Police Explorers gave him an edge when he attended the academy and other criminal justice courses.

 


The Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 6-8 p.m. You can contact Shew if you are interested in joining at (920) 746-2450 or bshew@sturgeonbaywi.gov.

Area exhibitors take in World Dairy Expo

Many dairy farm operators in Door and Kewaunee counties took a break from the harvest season to attend the World Dairy Expo in Madison this week. The 56th edition of the annual event brings thousands of farmers, agriculture professionals and cows from across the country and Canada to the Alliant Energy Center in Madison to not just learn from each other on a variety of different topics but also to exhibit their cattle across several different breeds. Tony Brey from Brey Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay says it is an important event that has become a family affair.

As of 9 a.m. on Friday, Algoma’s Megan Moede had the top performing animal as it earned Reserve Intermediate Champion Female of the Junior Show honors in the Jersey breed class. You can see how the animals with local ties did below or click this link for live results.

 

 



AYRSHIRE
Spring Heifer Calf: 17 3765 Rustic-Creek Ringer Jupiter-ET Piper & Liberty Jans Kewaunee, WI

Summer Yearling Calf: 11 3768 Rustic-Creek Ringer Skittles Edwyn Gonzalez Kewaunee, WI 


BROWN SWISS
Spring Heifer Calf: 2 2273 Powerline Diego Sparkle-ETV Paige, Josie, Jude & Camden Kinnard Sturgeon Bay, WI; 17 9 2277 Birdsallway Famous Koolaid Paige, Josie, Jude & Camden Kinnard Sturgeon Bay, WI

Summer Yearling Heifer: 15 9 2439 Payacres Famous Sunrise Twin Brianna Paye Casco, WI

Junior Two-Year-Old Cow: 21 4 2582 Payacres Diego Smirnoff Brianna Paye Casco, WI

Senior Three-Year-Old Cow: 19 5 2651 Birdsallway Carter Krispy-ETV Paige, Josie & Camden Kinnard and Mason Fisher Sturgeon Bay, WI
 

GUERNSEY
Winter Heifer Calf: 35 15 1136 Knapps Jd Trouble-ETV Jace and Jolin Dolphin Luxemburg, WI 

Winter Yearling Heifer: 6 4 1244 Just A Dream Java Lilac Jace and Jolin Dolphin Luxemburg, WI
 

HOLSTEIN (Still Being Contested as of 9 a.m. Friday)
Junior Two-Year-Old Cow: NP 4353 Crystal-Oak Lambda Cadillac Victoria & Derek A Christoph Luxemburg, WI

JERSEY
Summer Yearling Heifer: 10 3 653 Grammer-Time VIP Claire Megan Moede and Katie Ledvina Algoma, WI

Reserve Intermediate Champion Female of the Junior Show: 903 Arethusa Gentry Chevelle-ET Megan Moede Algoma, WI

RED AND WHITE
Spring Heifer Calf: 15 6 2963 Betley Lilyana-Red Evan, Alexa, Rosella, and Willem Brey Sturgeon Bay, WI; 31 14 2970 Betley Lets Go-Red-ET Megan Moede Algoma, WI; 36 2999 Synergy Sconnie RED-ET Gary Breitlow Algoma, WI

Winter Heifer Calf: 33 15 3037 Bay-View Doral Arrow-Red Chloe Lacrosse Forestville, WI

Senior Three-year Old: 8 3339 Trav-Annah Fantasy-Red-ET Mead-Manor, T & S Krohlow and W Schultz Algoma, WI

Four-Year Old Cow: 7 2 3360 Gaedtke Jordy Edna-Red-ET Mercedes & Jade Kroll and Alexys Gaedtke Luxemburg, WI

JUNIOR HOLSTEIN
Spring Yearling Heifer: 13 13 249 Mead-Manor Doc Arrogant Megan Moede Algoma, WI

Junior Two-Year-Old Cow: 4 4 1 325 Crystal-Oak Lambda Cadillac Victoria & Derek A Christoph Luxemburg, WI

Junior Three-Year-Old Cow: 13 13 372 Ryan-Vu Hancock Simple Mercedes & Jade Kroll and Alexys Gaedtke Luxemburg, WI

Youth Deer Hunt this weekend

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging you to help pass on the tradition of deer hunting to the next generation with the annual Youth Deer Hunt this weekend.  The hunt allows kids the opportunity to learn from a mentor and gain hunting experience. DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha who is stationed in Sturgeon Bay, says hunters 15 years of age and younger again were eligible to hunt deer the first weekend of October statewide as long as they were chaperoned by a mentor. He says it is a great way to introduce young people to the popular sport.

 

 

The Youth Deer Hunt is this Saturday and Sunday and follows the same rules as the regular gun deer season and all hunters for archery and small game must wear at least 50 percent blaze orange or pink clothing above the waist.  The four rules of firearm safety are listed below.

 - Treat every firearm as if it is loaded.

 - Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.

 - Be certain of your target and what’s beyond it.

 - Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot.

Crossroads approaches future digs from the sky

While a shovel will actually help you find artifacts underground at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay, archaeologists are looking up to see where to go down next. Archaeologists working at the dig site near the Cove Estuary on Thursday received assistance from Mary De La Garza, a research technology director from the Office of the State Archaeologist at the University of Iowa. With her drone flying about 400 feet above the estuary, De La Garza will be able to identify possible other sites for archaeologists to find other artifacts from the area’s indigenous population from over 1,000 years ago. By surveying the site from above, principal investigator Randy Dickson says they could potentially find hints of where other people may have settled, waiting over a millennium for their stories to be told.


Thursday marked the last day of the Fall Archaeological Dig that allowed students and their parents to see people uncover the area’s past right before their eyes. Crossroads at Big Creek holds archaeological digs in the fall and spring with the goal of introducing students to the process.

 

 

United Way of Door County opens grant application

Your vision of helping make Door County a better place to live, work, and play begins with a couple of clicks of your mouse. The United Way of Door County is now accepting applications from area non-profit organizations interested in receiving funding in 2024. Grant funds are directed to those organizations that have a focus on helping people in the areas of education, economic mobility, healthy lifestyles, or basic needs. United Way Executive Director Amy Kohnle says non-profit partners fill out an application before interviewing with a panel of United Way of Door County employees and volunteers. She says that even after being with the organization for over 20 years, it can still be an eye-opening ordeal at times.

The deadline to apply is November 13th at midnight. Kohnle encourages people to call if they have any questions or need additional information.

Salmon run begins in Kewaunee

You will be able to catch the final part of the journey for different species of salmon and trout in the coming weeks at Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee. Beginning with the chinook salmon, the different species of fish make their way to the facility between now and December. Hampering that journey back are low water levels and warm temperatures, which cause many fish to die just outside the facility’s walls because they simply cannot make it the whole way back.

Homecomings are nothing new for Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources limited-term fish technician Taylor Buelow, a Bay Port alumna who did similar work in Alaska and at the DNR’s facility in Wild Rose, Wis. before moving closer to home this summer. Buelow enjoys the work she does with the DNR and is looking forward to showcasing it to those who are interested over the next few weeks.


You can check out the Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility this weekend when it hosts an open house on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the open house, you will be able to watch salmon egg collection demonstrations, enjoy fishing displays and take a guided tour of the facility.

Speaker Series uncovers maritime history's untold stories

Shipwrecks, native canoes, and the Sturgeon Bay Railroad Bridge highlight the upcoming Door County Maritime Museum’s Maritime Speaker Series beginning on Thursday night for you to enjoy. The series of lectures and conversations offers an assortment of maritime topics of yesteryear and today. The monthly talks have gotten even more popular thanks to the pandemic because there is now a virtual and an in-person element to the events. Door County Maritime Museum Deputy Director Sam Perlman says the interest shows how powerful the stories are within the area’s maritime history.

Sponsored in part by Door County Medical Center, the Maritime Speaker Series takes place on the first Thursday of every month at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay. The events are free, but you are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or make a financial gift to your local food pantry. You can find the full schedule below.

 

October 5: Fringe History of the Great Lakes , Presented by Jordan Ciesielczyk-Gibson, Wisconsin Historical Society.

 

November 2: Discovery of the Schooner Trinidad: Algoma’s Nautical Time Capsule, presented by Brandon Baillod and Robert Jaeck.

 

December 7: World War II and Door County, presented by Kevin Osgood, DCMM

 

January 4: The Search for the Linda E. , presented by Brennan Christianson, DCMM.

 

February 1: Native Canoes in Wisconsin, presented by Sissel Schroeder and Tammy Thompson.

 

March 7: Freshwater Fisheries, presented by Dr. Karen Murchie, Shedd Aquarium.

 

April 4: Bridging the Gap: The History of the Sturgeon Bay Railroad Bridge , presented by Daniel Liedtke, National Railroad Museum 

 

May 2: Program TBD.

"Walk with Me" event sheds light on domestic violence

Dozens of community members gathered at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday afternoon as Help of Door County commemorated National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Executive Director Milly Gonzales shared the startling statistics that impact families and victims of domestic abuse in Door County and around the country.

 

 

After musician Cathy Grier performed songs to honor the community and volunteers who are committed to ending domestic violence, attendees walked the Maple-to-Oregon Street Bridge as part of the “Walk with Me” event.   According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, one in four women and one in nine men experience severe partner physical violence.

Boys and Girls Club of Door County warming up for winter

The weather the last few days may say otherwise, but winter is coming and the Boys and Girls Club of Door County needs your help to keep area children warm. The organization is accepting boots, snow pants, waterproof gloves, and warm hats for its winter gear giveaway on October 16th and 17th. With support from the Salvation Army, close to 300 jackets and other winter gear items were given away. Boys and Girls Club of Door County Director of Programs and Operations Chelsea Dahms says she is proud of the community for being so generous towards this effort.

You can drop off your donations at the Boys and Girls Club of Door County’s building on 3rd Avenue in the back alley vestibule between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. For families in need of items, Dahms says you can drive up to the club’s doors beginning at 4 p.m.

 

 

Water rescue call serves as good reminder

Kayakers in Door County experienced changing weather conditions on the water Tuesday afternoon that required assistance from the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department and Door County Emergency Services.  Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the elderly couple having trouble getting to shore off of the  Rowleys Bay Resort when someone on shore called 911 about 4:40 p.m.  The Kayakers were able to land their watercraft but needed help to get back to their vehicle.  Hecht says anyone venturing on the waters of Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay needs to be very cautious, especially this time of year.

 

 

Hecht says always wear a life jacket, carry your cell phone in a waterproof bag, and leave a float plan with someone else before you head out on the water.  

YMCA offering military membership discounts

Your military service, past and present, comes with privileges at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.  A military program is available at the YMCA that thanks all those who are serving our country in the armed services.  Membership Experience Director Josh Lardinois says all active-duty personnel and veterans pay no joiner fee and are eligible for a 20 percent discount on monthly membership rates.  

 

 

All U.S. Coast Guard members serving in Door County are eligible for free individual memberships during their assignment. You should bring your military ID and appropriate verification forms to the YMCA’s front desk to receive your discount or free membership.

Powerball jackpot up to $1.2 Billion

You might want to pick up a Powerball ticket as the jackpot has surged to a $1.2 billion payout.  After Monday’s drawing did not net a winner, the third-largest jackpot in the game’s history will see if anyone can match all six numbers Wednesday night.

 

The potential winner can choose either the $1.2 billion payout over 30 annual installments or the lump sum amount of $551.7 million. 

 

The odds of winning the Powerball are one-in-292.2 million.   

 

The next drawing will be at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesday (tonight) with another drawing on Saturday if no winner matches the numbers. 

Sturgeon Bay moves on TID #9 Project Plan, authorizes sidewalk for Memorial Drive

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved a resolution Tuesday for a major development with the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park as part of the new Tax Incremental District (TID) #9.

The city, along with Immel Construction and the DCEDC has plans to erect a 50,000-square-foot industrial flex building to house several businesses.

In other business, the council approved authorization of a new sidewalk along Memorial Drive and South 15th Avenue that was on the city’s plans since 2015. 

Consideration for a ticket booth for Door County Scenic Cruises between the Door County Maritime Museum and the Michigan Street Bridge was also approved.  An amended contingency was added that the spot would go back to a grass area after the expiration of the lease and that the Aesthetic & Design Board would review the eight-foot by 12-foot building. 

The City of Sturgeon Bay made three proclamations prior to agenda items being discussed.  Mayor David Ward recognized Arbor Day, Manufacturing Month with the Door County Economic Development Corporation, and Fire Prevention Month with Fire Chief Tim Dietman and “Sparky the Fire Dog”.

 

 

House of Representatives remove McCarthy as Speaker of the House

In an unprecedented move Tuesday afternoon, the United States House of Representatives voted to vacate the Speaker of the House held by Kevin McCarthy.  Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla) filed a “motion to vacate on Monday night to overthrow McCarthy’s position.  The vote was 216 in favor of vacating the office and 210 to keep McCarthy in his job.  All Democrats and eight Republicans voted “yes” to remove McCarthy as the Speaker of the House for the first time in history. 

Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher (R) of the 8th District voted to have McCarthy retain his seat, while fellow Republicans Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Gaetz, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale voted with Democrats to vacate the Speaker of the House.

The next steps are uncertain, with no obvious successor to lead the House Republican majority in the House of Representatives. 

 

Statement by Rep. Mike Gallagher regarding vote to expel McCarthy as Speaker of the House.

 

“From pulling fire alarms, to calling for executions, to deposing a Speaker after tanking his conservative border and fiscal reform bill, public officials seem to be breaking a lot of precedents lately. If Congress continues this precedent-shattering spiral, we will further empower an already over-empowered executive branch and thereby make the federal government less accountable to the people. For our narrow majority to be effective going forward, we must muster more discipline and teamwork. This means aggressive oversight, a return to regular order, and a reform of the entire budget and appropriations process,"

Pumpkin Patch takes root in Egg Harbor

One of the busiest stretches this fall, if not the entire year, kicks off this weekend for you to enjoy as the Village of Egg Harbor hosts its annual Pumpkin Patch event. The annual rite of Columbus Day weekend includes pumpkin and scarecrow displays, kids activities, carnival rides, and live music beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

 

If you are visiting for the event and not sure where you are going to park your car, you may want to either carpool or take advantage of two remote parking shuttles located near Frank Murphy County Park and the Seaquist processing plant. You can click on this link to find a full schedule of the events going on at this year’s Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch.

Dahlke receives DPI recognition for STEM teaching

Washington Island STEM teacher Miranda Dahlke received a surprise on Monday when she formally received recognition from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a state finalist for the 2023 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Students, staff members, and a few boxes of doughnuts were present for the brief ceremony recognizing Dahlke for her efforts as a science and math teacher at the school. She has helped the school receive thousands of dollars in grants and training sessions through the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow program. She is also one of the supervisors for the school’s SeaPerch Challenge teams, which have qualified for the international competition multiple times. Since Dahlke was unable to make a recent ceremony celebrating the achievement, Kevin Anderson from the DPI presented her with the award.

 

 

News of the recognition came back in March when Dahlke was named a finalist in the state out of a field of many applicants. She said in March that she applied after she was able to get plenty of experience teaching STEM concepts to her Washington Island students.

Dahlke is still waiting on her invitation to the White House. One awardee in mathematics and one awardee in science may receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation and professional development opportunities, along with being honored at an award ceremony in Washington D.C.

 

 

Pictures and videos courtesy of Washington Island School District

Egg Harbor man to board Flight of Champions

You will find a local man among those flying in and out of Green Bay this Saturday with some Green Bay Packers alumni in tow. John O’Gara, an 80-year-old Navy veteran from Egg Harbor, will be among the dozens participating in this weekend’s Stars and Stripes Honor Flight “Flight of Champions.” Similar to other programs like Old Glory Honor Flight, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight takes veterans from several different eras on a day-long tour of Washington D.C. The 71st mission carries the extra excitement of having former members of the Packers on board with sister flights taking off from Milwaukee with alumni of the Brewers and Bucks organizations. O’Gara says after years of seeing other veterans go on similar trips and welcoming them home, his family surprised him by signing him up to go on his own trip.

If you want to welcome O’Gara home after the Flight of Champions, you are invited to the Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay and encouraged to bring banners and signs to thank veterans for their service as they enter the terminal. You are asked to arrive by 6 p.m. so you are ready to give them a rousing welcome when they arrive at 7:30 p.m. Stars and Stripes Honor Flight President Karyn Roelke says that “every flight brings so many smiles, memories, and courageous stories. It truly is an honor to be a part of it all.” Most veterans from Door and Kewaunee counties can contact Old Glory Honor Flight to participate in similar experiences.

Luxemburg Police in search of teenage vandals

Homecoming weekend antics may have gotten out of hand Sunday night and now, local police need your help.

 

The Luxemburg Police Department was notified of several incidents throughout the village between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Sunday involving food products being poured on vehicles and mailboxes. Syrup, nacho cheese, oil, and applesauce were some of the items used by two teenage males who were seen driving a silver four-door car without their headlamps on. The suspects would also blow their horns as they departed.

 

Luxemburg Police Chief Chris Gulbrand said on Facebook that the pranks went overboard as the perpetrators were entering private property when they were sleeping or not even home. Gulbrand is asking people to share their doorbell camera video or any information they may have on who may have committed the crimes with police officers.

 

 

Boats destroyed by fire in Kewaunee

Two boats docked in the Kewaunee Harbor were destroyed by fire on Monday afternoon.  Assistant Fire Chief Jim Kleiman says the two boats were fully engulfed when the Kewaunee Fire Department arrived at the Kewaunee Marina at about 2:15 p.m.  Kleiman describes the action taken when they arrived at the scene. 

 

 

Thick billowing black smoke crossing over Highway 42 north of the bridge could be seen from a distance for several minutes and crews worked for over an hour to extinguish the blazes.  A third docked vessel was damaged as well, according to Kleiman.  The cause of the fire is still being investigated and no injuries were reported. 

 

(photo above courtesy of Rick Basken)

 

Common sense key to cyber security

Updating your software, creating strong passwords, enabling multi-factor login authentication, and recognizing phishing attempts are just some of the ways you can protect yourself from cybercrime. Wisconsin has designated October Cybersecurity Awareness Month in the state as a way to raise awareness on the ways people can protect themselves in an ever-evolving, digitally connected world. According to the FBI, Americans lost nearly $7 billion to cybercrime in 2021 with older residents facing the biggest losses. Business email compromise is becoming one of the fastest-growing phishing scams in the country, with frazzled employees clicking on misleading links or connecting scammers with important information. FTS Technology Group owner Ryan Hoffmann says scammers thrive on the chaos they create by catching you with your emotions high and your common sense low.

While small businesses may be more vulnerable, recent cyber-attacks on Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS), MGM Resorts International, and Caesars Entertainment show anyone can be susceptible to being affected. Hoffman added that it is a constant circle of cybersecurity technology catching up only to be hacked by the latest scam.

Saturday book fair celebrates local authors

Your trip to Sturgeon Bay this Saturday could help you find a good book and a conversation with a local author while you search for fresh produce and other items.

 

Members of the Door County Published Authors Collective are participating in Saturday’s Write on, Door County Book and Author Fair at Martin Park. With over 30 members, the Door County Published Authors Collective has not just been a haven to exchange ideas but to simply become aware of each other’s works. In a community that does a great job celebrating and supporting local artists in other mediums, member Dan Powers says the Door County Published Authors Collective does the same thing for those who express themselves in the written word.

The book fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and feature collective members’ works in fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and poetry. 

Door and Kewaunee counties celebrate National 4-H Week

Kids and adult leaders will not be shy to show extra pride in their local clubs in Door and Kewaunee counties as National 4-H Week. Nationwide, 4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization with over six million members across 90,000 clubs. Hundreds of members make up the 12 clubs in Kewaunee County and six clubs in Door County, covering various projects that do not require you to live on a farm or have a tie to agriculture. Door County 4-H Program Educator Candis Dart says the opportunities are limitless depending on what you want to do and how much you want to get involved.

Kewaunee County and Door County are hosting opportunities this weekend for you to celebrate National 4-H Week whether you are a member or are interested in learning more about the organization. On Saturday, Kewaunee County will host its annual Fall Fest Open House at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Door County 4-H is hosting a family day at the Red Barn Corn Maze beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday. You can learn about both of their events below.

 

 

 

Rowleys Bay Resort owners choose retirement over rebuilding

Invoking a Biblical verse from the Book of James, the owners of Rowleys Bay Resort announced late last week that you will not see the business rise again from its ashes.

 

Rowleys Bay Resort owners Jewel and Bob Ouradnik had originally said they would rebuild after the fire destroyed a large portion of their buildings, including the bakery, administrative offices, and staff housing, on September 5th. After further reflection, the Ouradniks decided the property was for someone else’s journey and that they would retire.

 

“We have been asking God to direct our path and help us to see what His plans are for us, “ the Facebook post on the Rowleys Bay Resort page read. “The message is becoming more and more clear to us - it is time for someone else to carry on and build their own dreams.”

 

The couple has met with their commercial real estate agent and has already started conversations with a prospective buyer. They have spent the last few weeks thanking everyone who helped them build their business over the decades and assisted them over the last few weeks since the fire broke out. You can read the full message below.

 

 

Remaining docks to be removed from Door County Parks in November

You will not be seeing one of the last remaining signs of summer at some of your favorite county parks for much longer.

 

The Door County Facilities and Parks Department announced on Friday that because of the extended boating season, the last remaining docks at Robert M. Carmody, George Pinney, Chaudoir’s Dock, and Forestville Dam County Parks will be removed in early November. The wave attenuators/floating pier at Robert M. Carmody County Park and docks at Frank E. Murphy and Lily Bay County Parks were removed before seasonal employees left for the season. The department traditionally removes the docks in the fall for preventative maintenance.

 

Boaters have gotten extra time to get out on the water thanks to the recent stretch of warm weather.  Temperatures are expected to stay in the mid-70s through Wednesday before dipping back into more seasonal temperatures beginning on Thursday. 

Highway department works to finish final road projects

Despite the switch from summer to fall, it will still be construction season for your commute through Door County.

 

Despite the switch from summer to fall, it will still be construction season on your commute through Door County. This week, work on the Michigan Street Bridge was confirmed by Door County officials after Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik released the closure plans the week before. The Michigan Street Bridge will 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 counterweight. The bridge will be closed to marine traffic only on October 4th. The Door County Highway Department also announced two other projects on Thursday that will make road improvements to County Highway H from Stone Road to County Highway O beginning on October 2nd and to  County Highway S between County Highway OO and County Highway H beginning October 9th. Both projects will require the roadway to be closed during the workday and reopened at night. Door County Highway Commissioner Thad Ash says they know they have a lot to get done before the seasons change again.


The County H project is expected to be finished by October 20th while the County S project could take until early November. Both projects will need the help of Mother Nature to be completed on time and your cooperation to help keep the construction crews safe. You can read more about the projects below. 

 

 

 

Common Council looks to approve plans for TID #9

You could see shovels in the ground for a new development with the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park if the city’s common council approves a resolution for a new tax increment district. In August, the City of Sturgeon Bay, Immel Construction, and the Door County Economic Development Corporation announced in August plans to build a 50,000-square-foot industrial flex building that could be expanded up to 100,000 square feet and house several businesses. The TID, which covers three different parcels totaling about 40 acres between Neenah Avenue and Shiloh Road, would cover the costs for infrastructure improvements. Door County Economic Development Corporation Michelle Lawrie said in August that the industrial flex building could open a lot of doors for area businesses.

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also weigh in on the installation of a new sidewalk along Memorial Drive as a part of new facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians and the construction of a ticket booth for Door County Scenic Cruises on municipal land near the Door County Maritime Museum. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. inside the council chambers at Sturgeon Bay City Hall.

Demand increasing for local pantries

You can help local food pantries restock their shelves for the busy fall season as demand rises.  Door County Feed and Clothe My People Food Pantry Coordinator Ashley Madson says the organization helped an average of about 30 families every month during the summer with an increase in numbers for the upcoming holiday season.  She shares some of the food items and meal structures that are in the greatest need right now.

 

 

The pantry is open to drop off and pick up  Mondays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. and Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Madson notes that Door County Feed and Clothe My People is in need of volunteers for both the food pantry and donations/resale areas.  You can find a listing of all pantries in Door County and how you can help provide donations or volunteering.   

 

Sister Bay Lions Club Announces New Members

The Sister Bay Lions Club is pleased to announce that four new members were inducted during the months of August and September 2023.

 

Joseph and Janet Fricano who are fulltime residents of  Sister Bay. Joe is a retired service director for an auto dealership and Janet is a retired Illinois registered nurse. Both of them have expressed their interest in volunteering to become immersed in local community service activities. They have two adult daughters and four grandchildren.

 

Dennis Steigenberger has lived with his wife Connie in Fish Creek for a number of years. Dennis is a semi-retired registered professional engineer and Connie is a registered nurse working locally on a part-time basis. Dennis joined the club to become  involved giving back to the community by actively participating in fundraising activities. 

 

Loree Nicholas is a fulltime resident of Bartlett, Illinois . Loree is a retired dentist whose private practice was in Illinois. She has two adult daughters and her pride and joy is her new grandson named Charlie. Door County has long been in her blood, and she is interested in giving back to the community and meeting new people.

 

Lions President Andy Orf added, “ the Sister Bay Lions membership looks forward to working with the new members and being involved in all of the Sister Bay Lions activities, especially the community involvement and fundraising.”

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