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News Archives for 2023-11

Town of Sevastopol opens December with Christmas Party

You can celebrate Christmas early and enjoy community fellowship at the Town of Sevastopol’s Christmas Party on Friday evening.  The relatively new tradition started five years ago when Town Clerk-Treasurer Amy Flok and Linda Wait decided to spearhead the event they had seen done in other smaller communities.  Flok says the gathering has grown over the years and is an opportunity for residents of Sevastopol to meet up and enjoy spending time together.



The free “mix, mingle, and jingle” includes food, beverages, treats, decorating ornaments and cookies, games, singing, and more. The family-friendly event will be held at the Town Hall from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday and is open to all Sevastopol residents.  

Search continues for track promoters

Your guess is as good as anybody’s regarding whether stock car racing at John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay or The Burg Speedway in Luxemburg will return in 2024. On November 8th, the Door County Highway and Facilities Committee placed the response for its request for proposals (RFP) for the 2024 stock car racing season to be on a future agenda or referred to a committee, official, or employee. The former operators said they were not seeking a new contract in September, which triggered the county to release an RFP then. They are scheduled to meet again on December 13th at 9 a.m. Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says they have received a lot of interest, but they have not received a proposal to run their track since they first released their RFP in October. The deadline to submit an RFP for The Burg Speedway is December 5th. Both counties have said the stock car racing programs have been successful in the past.

Environment interweaves with indigenous culture for Door County Reads

You will be able to learn about how the state’s Native American tribes connect with nature during Door County Reads 2024. This year’s selection is “Braiding Sweetgrass For Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. The book was adapted by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt as a way to open the door for younger readers to absorb Kimmerer’s work as a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. As a part of its Door County Reads programming, library officials are bringing in members of other tribes to talk about their backgrounds and connections to the environment. Maggie Behme from the Door County Library says the book was picked after learning that other local organizations had read it, and the feedback they received while scheduling the events has been great, especially from the Native American community.

Even though the first event is not until January 20th at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor, you can pick up copies of the book now to read ahead of time at any Door County Library branch or through Libby and Hoopla platforms. We have an initial schedule of Door County Reads events listed below.


All events are free and open to the public. 
?Presented by Door County Library & Door County Library Foundation.

Saturday, January 20 from 1:00pm-3:00pm
Kickoff Event
Egg Harbor Library and Kress Pavilion

Sunday, January 21 from 1:00pm-3:00pm
Teaching Indigenous Art
Location TBD

Wednesday, January 24 at 1:00pm
"Finding Purpose in Research From an Indigenous Perspective"

Thursday, January 25 at 10:30 am
Egg Harbor Book Discussion
Egg Harbor Library

Thursday, February 1 from 6:00pm-8:00pm
Virtual Presentation & Author Talk
Crossroads at Big Creek

Monday, February 5 at 7:00 pm
Peninsula Players Theater Reading
Bjorklunden's Vail Hall

Tuesday, February 6 at 1:00 pm
Sturgeon Bay Book Discussion
Sturgeon Bay Library

Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 pm
Baileys Harbor Book Discussion
Baileys Harbor Library

Tuesday, February 13 at 2:30 pm
Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Book Discussion
Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Library

Wednesday, February 14 at 1:30 pm
Fish Creek Book Discussion
Fish Creek Library



Picture courtesy of Door County Library



One injured in four-vehicle Bayview Bridge crash

The first snowfall of the year turned an ordinary Sunday afternoon commute into something from a Hollywood movie that ended with one person going to the hospital and three cars getting towed.


On Thursday, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department released the crash's accident report after reviewing the incident's video and eyewitness accounts. Police officers responded to the accident just before 4:45 p.m. after four cars were involved in an accident on the icy roadway triggered when Madison Davis of Sturgeon Bay lost control of her vehicle while traveling south on the bridge.


After crossing the centerline, she crashed into the concrete barrier next to the northbound lanes. Tara Steuber of Sturgeon Bay was traveling northbound when she was forced to swerve to avoid hitting Davis. Still, she spun out into the southbound lane, where she was struck by Shelia Klansky of Sturgeon Bay, who could not stop in time. Carson Lischka of Algoma was also involved in the accident when his vehicle struck Davis’ car when he could not stop. 


Miraculously, Klansky was the only one transported to Door County Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries out of the nine total people who were in the vehicles during the accident. No citations were issued, and the bridge was closed for just over an hour so clean-up could occur.

Northern Lights add to night skies Thursday

Your neighbor’s lights display will have some competition on Thursday night. The Space Weather Prediction Center has placed Canada and parts of the northern United States in a geomagnetic storm watch for Thursday evening and early Friday morning thanks to an expected G3 (strong) geomagnetic storm. A storm that strong makes seeing the Northern Lights, also known as Aurora Borealis, a real possibility as long as the night skies are clear and you are away from major metropolitan areas. Scientists told NBC News in September that stargazers can expect to see more Northern Lights in the coming year thanks to the increases in sunspot observations and solar activity.

Bill looks out-of-state for local mental healthcare relief

Removing some of the red tape around mental healthcare could help you get the care you need. The Senate Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse Prevention, Children and Families held a public hearing on Senate Bill 515 on Tuesday, which lists Rep. Joel Kitchens as one of 10 Assembly co-sponsors of the bill. If signed into law, it would allow out-of-state providers to practice in Wisconsin through telehealth without getting a separate license from the state. It was previously allowed during the pandemic as long as they registered with the state. The practice was discontinued when the state of emergency was lifted a month later. The hope is that allowing out-of-state providers to offer their services would address more of the mental health needs in the state. According to the United Way of Door County, there is one mental health provider for every 440 Wisconsin residents, which is worse than the 1:350 ratio for the national average. It is even worse in Door County, where there is one mental health provider for every 720 residents. Kitchens says it is one way they can start addressing the nationwide mental health crisis in Wisconsin.

The out-of-state providers would still need to carry a license in good standing in their home state, provide the client with contact information for their licensing board, and report to the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Senate Bill 515 still needs to make its way through an executive session before getting a vote on the floor of the state Senate. 

Surging auto insurance rates hitting Wisconsin drivers hard

You might have noticed your auto insurance premium rising considerably when getting your renewal notice.  Car insurance rates continue to rise across the country throughout 2023. According to a new MarketWatch Guides report, Wisconsin has seen a 38.9% increase this year alone.  Phil Schmitz of Schmitz Insurance says the reasons include inflation after the pandemic, supply chain issues, and the cost of automotive repairs.



He says many insurance companies have pulled out of the state for auto and home underwriting due to weather-related losses and increased claims. 

Schopf steps in as Egg Harbor Town Chair

The Town of Egg Harbor will move into 2024 with a new town chair. Steve Schopf has stepped in from his supervisory position to take the leadership role.  Schopf, who retired as the Egg Harbor Fire Department Chief in 2020, accepted the role in late October when then-town chair Paul Peterson unexpectedly passed away.  Schopf says the transition has been challenging but Egg Harbor hopes to have key issues like road repairs and the broadband internet project completed within 18 months.



Schopf says the 2024 budget was set in the past month with no increase in the tax levy.  Mark Graupman, who serves on the Broadband Committee, filled Schopf’s Supervisor 3 position on the board.  The Town of Egg Harbor will meet again on Monday, December 18th.   



Soup Day coming to Door County YMCA

To support its annual campaign for the community, the Door County YMCA invites you to partake in the annual Soup Day coming December 11 in Sturgeon Bay.  Event Coordinator Makayla Thoma says there will be a variety of soups made by YMCA members and local businesses.  She says you can preorder your soup the Sunday before the event online with inside soup sales beginning on Monday, December 11 at 5:45 a.m.



Thoma adds that over 48 different donated soups will be provided on Soup Day.  The annual campaign funds go towards financially assisting families, enabling them to utilize the YMCA.

Peninsula Symphonic Band/Community Choir readies for holiday concert

In wrapping up its 33rd season, the Peninsula Symphonic Band will be hosting a concert of holiday music in Sturgeon Bay next week, along with the Community Choir of Door County.

The evening will also include the Swingin’ Door Big Band. At the same time, the Peninsula Symphonic Band, under the direction of Jason Palmer, and the choir, directed by Avery Burns, will perform their favorite carols and songs.   Palmer says the holiday concert will feature a sing-along of traditional hymns with audience participation.


 The free holiday concert is sponsored by Door County Medical Center, Heid Music, and Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, with a free-will offering going in part to the Door County Food Pantry Coalition. 


 The performance will be on Thursday, December 7th, at 7:00 p.m. at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Michigan Street.  

Hunters can't close gap on deer harvest numbers

You will likely see more deer than you would like to around the area after the gun season ended over the weekend. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources released its final numbers for the season on Tuesday. The deer harvest was down 17.6 percent over last year and 11 percent over the five-year average during the nine-day period. The weather cooperated for hunters the final weekend, with different parts of the state, including northeastern Wisconsin, getting snowfall and colder temperatures to help drive activities. DNR Deer Program Specialist Jeff Pritzl says that even though there were a lot of factors that led to disappointed hunters, there are still chances to get your buck or doe.

Pritzl warned last week that they would only make up a little ground after the opening weekend harvest numbers were 16 percent behind last year and 10 percent off the five-year average. Over 50 percent of the deer harvest each gun season comes during opening weekend. The muzzleloader season started on Monday, while a statewide antlerless hunt will take place December 7th through 10th. Door and Kewaunee counties are also included in an antlerless holiday hunt from December 24th through January 1st and an extended archery season until January 31st.



Door County: 1,100 antlered 1,103 antlerless, TOTAL: 2,203

Kewaunee County: 786 antlered, 947 antlerless, TOTAL: 1,733

Area law enforcement celebrates season of giving

Ahead of the lighting of its own Christmas tree, Lambeau Field saw its parking lot illuminated with different lights on Monday night for a good cause.  More than 70 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin traveled to the home of the Green Bay Packers to celebrate the success of this year’s Police Lights of Christmas event organized by a Christian music radio station in the Green Bay area. More than $180,000 was collected through the campaign, including $4,000 to $5,000 in Door County. Most funds were raised during events at Culver’s restaurants, including in Sturgeon Bay in July. Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Brandon Shew says it is incredible to see how much the program has grown and the impact it will have this upcoming holiday season.

Shew says some funds have already been put to good use, and some have been donated to HELP of Door County. It is just one example of how law enforcement in Door County gives back during the holiday season. The Door County Sheriff’s Department hosts its annual Chop and Shop with a Cop this Saturday. The event has touched dozens of families over its 20-plus year history by pairing kids with law enforcement personnel to find a Christmas tree and go shopping for presents for their parents and siblings.


Photos and posts from Sturgeon Bay Police Department and Door County Sheriff's Department





Home fires start with beginning of winter weather

Before you start using your fireplace, space heater, or furnace for the first time in several months, firefighters hope you take the necessary precautions to keep your family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association, home fires occur more in the winter than in any other season, with heating equipment being the main culprit. Heating equipment is involved in one of every six reported home fires and one in every five home fire deaths. Door and Kewaunee counties have struggled to get out of the teens with their overnight lows, and the temperature is not expected to touch 40 degrees until next week. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says simple maintenance can help you avoid common problems they see on calls.

For some property owners, Thanksgiving marked their final weekend in the area before heading to their primary residence or a warmer locale for the winter. Hecht says you can also do things to avoid troubling phone calls while you are away.

The NFPA also advises you to keep a close eye on the lights, candles, and Christmas trees you use to decorate your home for the holidays. 

Giving Tuesday becoming more important to charities

Stretching your holiday budget to include area non-profits is becoming more critical. Last year, donors gave $3.1 billion on Giving Tuesday, 15 percent more than they did in 2021, according to the Giving Tuesday Data Commons. More than 37 million adults participated in Giving Tuesday in some way, a six percent increase over 2021. Despite the increases in giving, local non-profits are still battling inflation like everyone else. For example, Door County Habitat for Humanity estimates it could cost as much as $200,000 for its 50th home build, even with some of the materials and labor being donated. With the increased demand for services from local non-profits, United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says contributing what you can is even more critical.

Kohnle advises potential donors to find charities supporting causes they feel passionate about and help people locally. The United Way of Door County will continue to work towards its annual campaign goal of $825,000 with the second annual Pay to Play event on December 8th. Donors can pick the songs they want to hear that day on U-102.1 for a donation to the organization. You can hear more about it by listening to the entire interview with Kohnle here.

Luxemburg woman finishes in top five of National American Miss Pageant

Nineteen-year-old Micaela Boucher of Luxemburg, representing Wisconsin, finished as the fourth-runner-up in the National American Miss pageant held in Orlando, Florida last week.  Arriving home on Monday, Boucher says the experience was incredible and one that she will always cherish.  She shares the most exciting part of the weeklong activities and competitions, after trying 13 times at the state level.



Boucher, a 2022 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School and currently a sophomore at U.W. Green Bay, also won the Alumni Essay Contest and finished in the top five in NAM Miss Photogenic.  Her essay will be featured in IAM Dream Magazine, along with her work in winning the Brand Ambassador Award.  According to its website, the National American Miss pageant is a program based on fostering positive self-image by growing confidence and teaching real-world skills.  NAM awards over a million dollars yearly in cash scholarships and prizes.  


(photos submitted)  



Road to spring election begins on Friday

The first step to serving your community begins on Friday. That is the first day people can begin circulating nomination papers for the 2024 Spring Primary on February 20th and the General Election on April 2nd.


All of the seats on the Door County and Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors are up for grabs, in addition to spots on the boards in most towns, villages, cities, and school districts in the two counties. Door County residents will also have the opportunity to choose a new circuit court judge after D. Todd Ehlers announced earlier this year he would not be running for another term. Door County Family Court Commissioner Jennifer Moeller announced her intentions to run for the seat shortly after Ehlers' announcement.  Door County Board District 9 Supervisor Daniel Austad has also indicated that he will not run again for his seat.


The spring election will also attract additional attention since it is when voters will head to the polls to choose who they want to see run for President of the United States ahead of the Democratic and Republican national conventions this summer.  For those looking to run for office, you can begin circulating your nomination papers as soon as December 1st.  You have until 5 p.m. on January 2nd to return them with the necessary signatures. You can contact your local clerk with additional questions.


Egg Harbor, Door County Medical Center team up on trails initiative

Egg Harbor officials announced a significant milestone for its trails initiative on Monday as it hopes it connects you with Northern Door from the village’s center.


Door County Medical Center has joined the effort as a supporting project partner. The initiative aims to build four off-road, multi-use trails totaling about 11 miles that connect the village with surrounding municipalities and Gibraltar Area Schools. The project already 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.


“We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the Village of Egg Harbor to implement a trail system, as it aligns perfectly with Door County Medical Center's vision of promoting a healthy community by providing accessible and enjoyable outdoor spaces for recreational activities and wellness, “ said Door County Medical Center Chief Information Officer Erick Schrier. “Together, we aim to inspire and encourage the community to embrace an active lifestyle through the development of a vibrant trail system.”


After hosting a community survey last month, the Village of Egg Harbor is hosting two engagement sessions on December 12th at the Kress Pavilion from 10 a.m. to noon and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The presentations on the draft trails network will take place at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively.

Sunday snow wreaks havoc on motorists

For several motorists, the Thanksgiving weekend ended with a visit from a tow truck or Sheriff’s Deputy, thanks to the season's first significant snowfall. An early morning weather system coated the area with a couple of inches of snow, leaving local roadways with slick conditions for motorists to battle. From Sunday to early Monday morning, the Door County Sheriff’s Department responded to six incidents involving vehicles going into ditches or against other cars.


One of those accidents involved two vehicles at the County Highway G and State Highway 42 intersection in the Town of Egg Harbor at 4:45 p.m. Sunday, which sent four people to Door County Medical Center for treatment. Dennis Mayborne of Fish Creek was traveling east on County Highway G when he tried to make a U-Turn. While maneuvering, he was struck by Joseph Miron of Green Bay, who was traveling south on State Highway 42 and could not stop in time to avoid the accident. Mayborne was cited for failing to yield to the right of way. Mayborne, Miron, and his passengers, Michael Bienapfl of Green Bay and Michael Miron of Green Bay, were transported for possible injuries.  The intersection was closed for about an hour as a result. A report on the multi-vehicle accident that shut down the Bayview Bridge is expected to be released tomorrow by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department.


Door County Highway Department Patrol Superintendent Randy Dvorak says Sunday went as expected for snow removal and road treatment. He reminds motorists how they can help keep everyone safe out on the streets as the state recognizes Snowplow Driver Appreciation Day on Monday.

The area will get a break from the snow for at least a week, with no precipitation predicted by the National Weather Service until at least Sunday. Temperatures will remain cold, with overnight lows struggling to hit 30 degrees. 

Destination Door County to host personal care and cleaning supply drive

Items like shampoo, toothpaste, and laundry detergent are just as good, if not better, for you to give to the less fortunate this holiday season. Destination Door County is adding personal care and cleaning items to the list of things it is helping to collect this year, in addition to its traditional coat drive. Toiletry items, household cleaning supplies, and toilet paper are particularly needed. Jen Rogers from Destination Door County says they have a lot of community partners willing to collect the high-demand items.

The personal care and cleaning supply drive runs through January 7th, with all donated items being distributed through the United Way’s community partners. You can find a list of suggested items and drop-off spots below.



Shampoo, conditioner, body wash & lotion; hand soap & sanitizer; band-aids & small first aid kits; baby care items: shampoo, wash & lotion; deodorant & lip balm; razors & shave gel; toothbrushes & toothpaste; dental floss & mouthwash; tampons & sanitary pads; laundry detergent & dryer sheets; dish soap, sponges & scrub pads; household cleaning supplies; adult incontinence products; toilet paper, paper towel & facial tissue



Baileys Harbor Post Office
2398 Bluff Rd., Baileys Harbor - (920) 839-2859


Baileys Harbor Town Office & Library
2392 Cty F, Baileys Harbor - (920) 839-9509 l Library - (920) 868-3471


Destination Door County Welcome Center
1015 Green Bay Rd., Sturgeon Bay - (920) 743-4456


Door County Library - Sturgeon Bay Branch
107 S 4th Ave., Sturgeon Bay - (920) 743-6578


Egg Harbor Welcome Center & Village Hall
7860 Hwy 42, Egg Harbor - (920) 868-3334


Eyes for You @ Cherry Point Mall

1300 Egg Harbor Rd #160, Sturgeon Bay – (920) 743-0101


Grasse’s Grill
10663 N Bay Shore Dr, Sister Bay - (920) 854-1125
*closing for the season on December 9, 2023


Harbor Fish Market & Grille
8080 Hwy 57, Baileys Harbor - (920) 839-9999


Kick Ash Coffee
12001 Mink River Rd., Ellison Bay - (920) 854-9400


Main Street Market
7770 Hwy 42, Egg Harbor - (920) 868-2120


Nicolet National Bank - Egg Harbor
7842 Hwy 42, Egg Harbor - (920) 868-3871


Nicolet National Bank - Sturgeon Bay East
236 N 4th Ave., Sturgeon Bay - (920) 743-5551


Nicolet National Bank - Sturgeon Bay West
34 W Maple St., Sturgeon Bay - (920) 746-3980


Nicolet National Bank - Washington Island
1131 Main Rd., Washington Island - (920) 847-2557


Pheasant Park Resort
2236 Mill Rd., Sister Bay - (920) 854-7287


The Gnoshery
23 N 3rd Ave., Sturgeon Bay - (920) 818-0727
*also collecting NEW socks for Health & Hygiene Sock Drive


Visit Fish Creek Welcome Center & Library

4097 Main Street, Fish Creek – (920) 868-2316 l Library – (920) 868-3471


Froelich named Luxemburg's Person of the Year

Three community members will be honored next month for their contributions to the Luxemburg area.  The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced its annual award winners for 2023.  Kelly Froelich was chosen as the “person of the year,” Dan Opicka was named Community Service Award winner, and Mary LaCrosse was the L-C Spartan Spirit recipient.  Froelich, the owner of the Rendezvous of Luxemburg for the past twenty years, is also the president of the Luxemburg Lions Club, treasurer for the Baylake ATV Club and the Kewaunee County Tavern League, as well as a director for the Lance Cpl. Dean Opicka Memorial Foundation.  He says helping a great community and positively impacting the local youth are two reasons he is involved with several organizations. 



Froelich will be honored with Opicka and LaCrosse at the annual Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce Christmas Party on Saturday, December 2nd, at Northbrook Golf & Grill at 6 p.m.   The event is open to the public, and tickets are available at Stodola’s IGA, Nicolet Bank, and the Bank of Luxemburg.

Santa Paws! Holiday tradition goes to the dogs (and cats)

A tradition you usually save for your kids could include your pets, too, on December 2nd. The Wisconsin Humane Society- Door County Campus is hosting its third annual holiday celebration with pictures featuring your fur babies with Santa being the highlight. Tanya Ditzman from the Wisconsin Humane Society says it is a great event that connects pets and their owners with the holiday season.

The holiday celebration, including an open house and raffles, serves as a fundraiser for the animals at the Wisconsin Humane Society- Door County Campus. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and well-behaved dogs and cats that are leashed are invited to come.

Southern Door's 37th annual Holiday Party for seniors scheduled for December 13

The Southern Door School District cordially invites all senior citizens, age 62 and above, residing in the Southern Door Community, to the 37th Annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, December 13th at 1:00 pm. The dedicated students and faculty of Southern Door High School generously sponsor this event which features an afternoon filled with student-crafted prizes and holiday-themed music. Following the festivities, a lunch prepared by the students will be served to all the seniors in attendance..


Reservations for this event must be made by calling the high school office at 920-825-7333 no later than Friday, December 8th. Seating is limited, so you must make reservations as soon as possible. Plenty of parking will be available in the high school parking lot, with a convenient entrance at door #11.

Crossroads kicks off holiday traditions this week

Crossroads invites the community to get cozy at Crossroads Fireside on Saturday afternoons at the Collins Learning Center during the center's open hours from 1-4 pm. Whether you want to warm up by the fire after a hike or just stop by for a cup of coffee and some conversation, we’ll be ready for all visitors with some comfy seats, hot chocolate, and some fresh popcorn! We are moving our weekly Science Saturday, our “science in fun” activities for elementary-aged students and their families, to Saturday afternoons. The next science Saturday program will be “Night Tree”, our traditional holiday observance. 

The program was inspired by a children's picture book, "Night Tree," by Eve Bunting that tells the story of a family driving out "to where the quiet begins" on Christmas Eve to decorate their tree for the creatures of the forest.

We owe this tradition to Jane Bumgardner who, for years, brought her first-grade students from Sawyer School to Crossroads to read the story by the fire and then go out into the forest to decorate a tree with gifts for the birds and animals. Our program, which will start at 2:00 pm on Saturday includes videos, a fireside story, a walk, and the opportunity to decorate a special tree near the Council Ring on Crossroads Campus.

 Helping birds is a lovely concept, but around the holidays the birds don’t really need much help. There now is plenty of food is available for the birds, especially in landscapes  (and may they increase) in which  folks subscribe to  the “messy garden movement,”  leaving  dead flower heads to provide seeds for wildlife. The messy garden movement spreads food throughout a landscape reducing the concentration of birds around a particular point such as a feeder, reducing potential disease outbreaks.  


Still, we feed birds and wildlife at Crossroads, not so much to help the creatures, but instead, to inspire young people develop a lifelong love of nature and a desire to help the environment, and because we love to see our feathery visitors.

In severely cold weather or during ice storms, and at the end of a long winter,  backyard feeding probably does help our winter birds---if we supply food high in fat and calories.

One blustery year during our Night Tree trip to the forest—some of the children thought it would be a great idea to build a shelter for the little birds.  The parents were shushing and trying to redirect the children, but the truth is, the shelter would help the birds as much and probably more than decorating a tree with food gifts for the holidays.

Many properties have large lawns, but lack areas for birds to perch, or protective places for birds to escape predators and/or to get out of the wind. Planting trees, hedges and shrubs, NATIVE of course, improve the habitat for wildlife and birds. Thick tangles that imitate nature are the best.

I used to recommend putting used Christmas trees out in the yard for the birds…..and I still do, IF, and ONLY IF,  the tree was grown locally. We should support our local economy! BUY LOCAL.

But also know that evergreen wreaths, garlands, floral arrangements, and trees from elsewhere might harbor invasive insects, fungi or plant diseases that we really really don’t want to introduce here. 

Speaking of wreaths and garlands, Friends of Crossroads will be “Decking the Halls" and sharing a potluck at the Collins Learning Center on December 1 between 2:00-5:00.  All are welcome but we do encourage volunteers to RSVP on the Crossroads website. After all the merriment in doors, we will then head outside at 5:30, for the First Friday Campfire, which will celebrate the start of the holiday season.

The Door County Historical Society’s “Glimpse of Christmas Past” in the Heritage Village which will run 4:00-7:00 Fridays and Saturdays throughout December. Non-profit organizations are decorating the buildings to celebrate the season, and Crossroads is decorating the Warren House. 

Never willing to pass up a chance to educate, we invited the 3rd grade from Sevastopol School to learn about history by helping with the decorations for “Glimpse of Christmas Past”. These young Pioneers were reading “Little House in the Big Woods,” looking through turn-of-the-last century catalogues and using “ink pens” to write letters to Santa as if they were children out of the past.

Last Tuesday, the children went into the forest to cut a Christmas tree for the Warren house, and in the Vigness School, they strung cranberries and popcorn into garlands and created fragrant orange/clove pomanders for decorations. Wednesday, they learned about pioneers traditions, gathered the greens for the outdoor garlands.  We know they would love to have many visitors at “their” house and view all their hard work.

Finally, Bird Club will meet on Tuesday, December 6 to learn about another long-term Crossroads tradition, and a far longer international event, the Annual Christmas Bird County. Crossroads Program Director Corey Basten will explain how and why we will continue with this cherished tradition.

Friday, December 1

2:00-5:00 Deck the Halls

Break out the wreaths, the ribbons, and holiday cheer. Join us as we decorate the Learning Center. Help us hang lights and welcome the holidays with a potluck feast. Please RSVP on the Crossroads website and let us know what you think you will bring to the potluck.  Open to all. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.


Saturday, December 2

1:00-4:00 Fireside at Crossroads

Whether you want to warm up after a hike or just stop by for a cup of coffee and conversation, we’ll have some comfy seats out, heat up the hot chocolate and pop some fresh popcorn for you. Reservations not required. Drop in whenever. Free and open the the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.


 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Science Saturdays: Night Tree

During this cherished Crossroads program, families will enjoy videos, a story by the fire, and a visit to the forest to decorate a tree for the birds and wildlife.  If families want to bring a gift, black oil sunflowers seeds are preferred. Free and open to learners of all ages. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI, United States


December 5 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Crossroads Bird Club: The Christmas Bird Count



Crossroads Bird Club: The Christmas Bird Count - Crossroads at Big Creek

Whether you're a life-long birder or newly interested we invite you to come learn about all things bird and bird...


Bird Club – a gathering of people who love birds – meets the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. Whether you’re a life-long birder or newly interested we invite you to come learn about all things bird and birding-related.

This month we are discussing the upcoming Christmas Bird Count. With over a century of citizen science data collected all across the nation, we will explore the history of the Christmas count, its role in bird conservation, and how you can participate with Crossroads on December 16, 2023 as well as other bird watching science you can help out with this winter and beyond! Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Sturgeon Bay


Weather impacting travel on final day of Holiday Weekend

As you wrap up a long weekend, it will continue to feel like the holiday season as snow has moved into the region. Total snowfall amounts through Sunday night are not expected to exceed 2-3 inches in the Door and Kewaunee County areas, but this could impact travel plans. Areas to the South could receive a little more precipitation throughout the day today. Slow down and drive safely. Your latest forecast is available anytime at the Door County Daily News.

Weather cooperates with final stages of harvest

After a dry summer and a wet start to the harvest, you might finally find farmers relaxing with months of hard work now in the rearview mirror. Farmers across the state had nearly seven suitable work days last week for field work thanks to warm and windy conditions in Wisconsin. As a result, the corn for grain harvest is 78 percent complete, two days ahead of last year’s pace and a day ahead of the five-year average. According to the USDA’s Crop Progress and Condition Report, the soybean harvest is almost 94 percent complete. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says despite the rough patches during the growing and harvest seasons, farmers have a lot of optimism heading into winter.

The warmer, brighter days have also helped crops like winter wheat flourish before snow and frost rears its head. Ninety-four percent of the winter wheat crop has emerged, with its condition rated as 65 percent good to excellent.

Ridges Sanctuary reprises Natural Christmas

While storefronts in downtown districts may be busy, The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor invites you to slow down. The organization will host its annual Natural Christmas Celebration on December 9th. Guests can walk around the property on its lit boardwalks while stopping to grab a quick snack, tour the Range Lights, listen to music, or make a wreath. The Ridges Sanctuary’s Jeanne Farrell says it has become a family tradition for many, even if it does not have the same bells and whistles as others.

While the wreath-making workshops do have a registration cost that goes with it, the rest of the event is free to enjoy.

Gibraltar's Thomas inducted into theatre hall of fame

While you could have seen Gibraltar students clean up at the awards ceremony, their director stole the show at the 2023 State Theatre Festival over the weekend at the Weidner Center. Gibraltar Performing Arts Director Lizbeth Thomas was inducted into the Wisconsin Interscholastic Theatre Hall of Fame. Thomas also serves as the school’s forensics coach and high school musical director, but her students’ performances in One Acts under her direction have garnered the most attention. Of the 20 years of directing One Act, 18 qualified for the State Theatre Festival, garnering 51 awards. Most recently, The 2023 One Act Team troupe added to the long list of tenured accomplishments by earning 7 State Awards with their All in the Timing performance. State WISDAA Awards earned by the troupe included the Critics’ Choice Award, Ensemble Award, Technical Award, Directors Award, and three Outstanding Actor Awards. Senior Italia De La Torre, Sophomore Emerson Lecy, and Senior Bekka Porter earned Outstanding Actor Awards. 

Dating back to 1930, when the Hall of Fame was started, only 24 directors, including Thomas, have been inducted into the Wisconsin Interscholastic Theatre Hall of Fame.

Local Christmas tree farms ready for season

With the Thanksgiving Day holiday over, many families will be heading to find the perfect Christmas tree for their home in the coming days and weeks.   According to, Wisconsin is ranked fourth in the country for how many Christmas trees are grown, with over 850 independent tree farms. Randy Krueger of Krueger Tree Farm in southern Door County says this year’s crop of trees is excellent. and that it takes an average of seven years to grow a six-foot tree to harvest.  He shares tips for keeping your tree fresh and green throughout the holiday season. 



Most tree farms in Door and Kewaunee counties opened this weekend with holiday trees and wreaths contributing more than $16 million to the state’s economy annually.

Dog lost in Thanksgiving Fire

One dog died but three other pets were saved in a mobile home fire Thursday evening in the Town of Monpelier.


The Luxemburg Community Fire Department were dispatched to the home on Sleepy Hollow Road at 7:45 p m. as flames were pouring through the front of the house and was starting to break through the roof. Crews were able to extinguish the fire first by working around areas where the roof was collapsing and then in voids between the ceiling and the roof.


No one was home when the fire erupted but there were pets inside. One dog died but two other dogs and a cat were able to be saved. No cause has been determined but the mobile home sufferend extensive damage from the fire, smoke and water. Kewaunee, Denmark, New Franken, and Casco fire departments provided assistance for the nearly four-hour blaze while Brussels-Union-Gardner and Ledgeview fire departments provided backfill support at the vacant fire stations. 

Door County schools taking mental health in STRIDE

Without the STRIDE program, you would not see many Door County school children receive the mental health services that they may need. STRIDE stands for Strengthening Trust and Resilience, Instilling Independence, and Discovering Empowerment and aims to provide a quality mental health option to teens around the county. The program works with the Door County schools, community leaders, and mental health professionals and looks to provide a sense of community and empowerment in their service. Students and their families would like to have to pay large sums of money out of pocket or travel far distances to get the care that may be required. Last year, STRIDE provided approximately 1,000 hours of mental health services to Door County students. Community Impact Coordinator of Health Cami Peggar says that even if students only needed help for a short period of time, parents told them it was worth it.

STRIDE is one of the many programs under the United Way of Door County umbrella, which relies on grants and donations for its funding. Earlier this year, STRIDE received a $30,000 grant from the Door County Community Foundation and the Door County Mental Health Awareness Fund. The money from the grant went toward more than 450 hours of one-on-one mental health services throughout the county. It also helped reach more youth in Northern Door County instead of them having to take the trip to Sturgeon Bay. Not only does STRIDE do one-on-one services, but they also have programs such as Art Therapy and free online e-courses for youth.

Women's sports growth trending nationally

National audiences are catching up with a topic you might already know: the popularity of women’s sports. According to Nielsen Ratings, women’s sports, ranging from the NCAA Basketball Tournament to the WNBA to the Women’s World Cup, have seen viewership rise over 40 percent year-over-year. Wisconsin volleyball and Green Bay Phoenix basketball have also seen their popularity increase along with their success. The attention being paid to women’s athletics is nothing new for Luxemburg-Casco volleyball coach Jeff Frey. He has seen bigger crowds at volleyball matches and more participants in their camps since the Spartans started their current run of success in 2017. Frey does not expect it to slow down soon.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, girls’ participation in high school sports continues to rebound from the pandemic, with over 7.857 million participants. It had been as high as 7.98 million for the 2017-18 school year. Earlier this year, the NCAA celebrated 50 years of Title IX, which allowed women the same opportunities as men in athletics. 

Kewaunee County offers a second weekend full of holiday strolling and more

The final weekend for the Kewaunee County Christmas Stroll looks to get residents and visitors in the holiday mood with other events coming in December. The long-standing tradition of the “stroll” encourages shoppers to visit unique shops and markets in Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Algoma while offering incentives to shop locally. Kewaunee Chamber of Commerce Vicki Vollenweider says the event involves 30 participating businesses and promotes local shopping, especially with Small Business Saturday this weekend.


The 2023 Kewaunee County Christmas Stroll is sponsored by the three chambers of commerce from Kewaunee, Algoma, and Luxemburg. The event runs this Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and you can download the stamping passport and map here. 

Other holiday events coming in December in Kewaunee County include the Santa Visit at the Luxemburg Village Hall Gym on Friday, December 1st from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. and Cookies with Santa at the Algoma Youth Club from 9:00 until 11 a.m. on Saturday, December 9th.

What I'm Thankful For: Door County Medical Center's Brian Stephens

All of the employees at Door County Medical Center would like to thank our neighbors and friends for the trust that you place in us.  We work hard to honor that trust every day and provide world-class medical care that you can take pride in!  


Happy Thanksgiving!

What I'm Thankful For: Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward

The City of Sturgeon Bay and the Mayor have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The last several years have seen positive change in our City as more new housing is built, more roads are paved, more jobs are created, and more museums and performing and visual arts develop.


Sturgeon Bay has become a very attractive community for full-time residents and visitors. It is a safe environment that offers natural beauty and so many events and attractions that everyone can enjoy. It enjoys great schools and non-profit organizations that care for and educate our children. And it enjoys great medical care that serves people of all ages.


I am grateful for all of this progress, but recognize that this is the result of hard work by many people and organizations. We are blessed with terrific people who work for the City to ensure its public safety, clean and orderly streets and parks, and progressive government. We are blessed by people who work for and manage the non-profit organizations essential to the great quality of life we enjoy. And we are blessed by many private businesses - manufacturers, merchants, and service companies- who provide jobs and who support so many events and public service activities.


Finally, on a personal level, I am thankful for a wife and family and so many friends who have supported me as we continue to build a great community!

What I'm Thankful For: United Way of Door County's Amy Kohnle

As the director of the United Way of Door County, there are so many things to be thankful for: volunteers, donors, nonprofit organizations serving our community, the staff of their organizations, the fearless staff at United Way, our board of directors, and so many more.  However, what I am most thankful for is HOPE.  Every day, I am able to witness the gift of HOPE being given to someone. When someone knows that someone else believes in them, the unbearable becomes bearable. The impossible becomes possible. The Door County community gives me HOPE every day.  There is something special about Door County. Our sense of community is strong.  We will rally when no one else will.  We give our time, talent, and treasure to create a thriving community.  We care about our friends and neighbors; we step up and do more.  We give HOPE to those who need it most. Thank you to each of you who help spread HOPE in Door County.  And remember, this can be as simple as sharing a smile. You never know the impact that smile may have.  These small acts are essential to a thriving community.  Thank you to each of you who help spread HOPE and make our Door County community what that place that I call home.

What I'm Thankful For: Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Dan Olson

How blessed we are to live in our community!  We enjoy a quality of life in this area that is not easy to find.  We see how people don’t feel safe to even walk the streets of cities across our nation or allow children to play outside in broad daylight.  We often fail to realize how blessed we are to live in a place where you can work and play with a sense of peace and security.  I thank God for the blessings that we enjoy living in our county.  We enjoy those blessings because our citizens believe in something greater than themselves.  You cannot legislate people into being kind to those around them.  No law or threat of punishment can convince a person to care about their neighbors.  Those blessings can only be received when beliefs and values have been instilled within a person.  When people fail to realize where those blessings come from, those blessings are lost.  I am thankful to be able to raise my family and live in a community where people still understand that the blessings we enjoy come to us from Almighty God!  We have so much to be thankful for!  


Photo courtesy of St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School, Luxemburg

What I'm Thankful For: Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

 I am grateful each and every morning, for the arrival of the new day. I treat each day as a bonus, knowing many have not been given that same gift. I am grateful for my family, who provide unconditional love and support. I am grateful for the community I am so lucky to both live in and serve. I am grateful for my health, and the opportunities it affords me to continue serving my country. I am also grateful for the struggles and the pain that I have experienced, for it is through perseverance in the face of these challenges that I have grown. Without turmoil, there is no appreciation for tranquility.

What I'm Thankful For: Peninsula Pride Farms

We are thankful for a safe, abundant harvest. While it started out as a dry growing season, we are grateful for the rain we started getting in July and through the rest of the season that ended in bountiful crops. Today’s hybrid crops showed resiliency this season, and we are thankful for that, too.


We are thankful for all those who support Peninsula Pride Farms in our mission to have clean water and a thriving agricultural community. We feel blessed to farm in the beautiful Door peninsula and for all the blessings God has bestowed upon us. On behalf of all farmers in Peninsula Pride Farms who care for land and animals in Door and Kewaunee Counties, we wish everyone in our community an enjoyable holiday season!

What I'm Thankful For: Door County Community Foundation's Bret Bicoy

Living in a community characterized by generosity and care from both year-round and seasonal residents fills me with profound gratitude. The sense of belonging and support that permeates Door County creates a tapestry of compassion that enriches daily life. Year-round residents form the bedrock, providing stability and a sense of continuity, while seasonal residents bring a unique vibrancy, infusing the community with diverse perspectives and experiences.

Generosity manifests in various forms, from neighbors lending a helping hand during challenging times to the collective efforts in organizing events that foster a sense of unity. The shared commitment to caring for one another builds a supportive network that transcends the boundaries of time and seasons. It's not just about the tangible acts of kindness; it's the intangible warmth that permeates Door County, creating an atmosphere where people genuinely care for each other.

In our community, gratitude extends beyond individual relationships and fosters a collective spirit of benevolence. The harmony between our year-round and seasonal residents forms a symbiotic relationship, each contributing to the well-being of the other. This mutual understanding and collaboration create a haven where everyone feels valued and appreciated. In such a nurturing environment, gratitude has become a way of life in our beloved Door County.

What I'm Thankful For: NEW Radio's Bryan Mazur

This past year has brought joy and presented obstacles we have all encountered. I will not dwell on anything but the positive because every obstacle brings an opportunity to learn and grow. Some of the wonderful highlights from the past few months were watching a broadcast team call their first State Finals game. Seeing the pure joy come from a sports broadcast makes you realize why we cover as many games as possible all year long. Win or lose, their experience will be with them for the rest of their careers. 


Returning to the air as a host of a morning show is something I never thought I would do, but it's been fun. Watching someone continue to grow as they broadcast with you is worth the extra effort and longer days. And getting to experience my first-ever Packers Game at Lambeau Field. Yes, they won, but the excitement was in the entire experience, not just the field action. Finally, I am grateful I was able to mend a friendship. You know who is close to you and who you can trust, but when those people aren't around anymore, you are thankful that you have them back. Don't ever take your friends for granted. 


The NEW Radio team works hard, and they have earned some time to be with their families over this holiday break. Many of us will travel over the holiday to spend it with family, or we will have them over. Be thankful for that and take a moment and recognize how lucky we are to enjoy the company of loved ones this time of year. Many are not as fortunate. 


Lastly, I want to say thank you to the new friends and clients that we have made this year and to our dedicated listeners and readers, I hope that you have a wonderful and safe holiday season. 

What I'm Thankful For: Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard

As Sheriff, I’m thankful for the opportunity to lead an organization full of dedicated men and women in a community who support their law enforcement officers. I know the members of the Sheriff’s Office are extremely thankful for the support they receive as well. On this Thanksgiving Day, I think if you would ask a law enforcement officer what they are thankful for, most would say their family.  We are no different than everyone else. We want to live and raise our family in a safe community. I’m thankful for the men and women working this Thanksgiving Day. It requires them to give up time with their family and friends to ensure others have a safe holiday.


In today’s crazy busy world all of us should probably slow down a bit and express our thankfulness for the people and things most important to us.  This holiday season, I personally have so much to be thankful for.  Working and living in a community that supports people in their time of need has never been clearer to me than this past year.  The support I’ve received from my family, friends, co-workers, and community is something I will never forget and always be thankful for.  I know sometimes it may be easy to focus on the negative; don’t waste your energy on the stuff you can’t change.  Wake up each day and, focus on the things you can control, be thankful for the people and things in life that bring you joy. 


On behalf of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, we wish you all a safe, blessed, and wonderful Thanksgiving.

What I'm Thankful For: Destination Sturgeon Bay's Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski

I am feeling extra thankful this Thanksgiving holiday season! 


I am so thankful for our incredible Destination Sturgeon Bay staff. They work tirelessly to create engaging events, promote Sturgeon Bay, connect with our business members, and engage with visitors. It’s an honor to be part of this special team. 


I’m also very thankful for our Destination Sturgeon Bay Board of Directors. This group not only supports the staff but truly believes in our organization’s mission and is always willing to lend a helping hand. 


I am so thankful for my little family – my husband, Nick, and our two-year-old princess, Lucy Mae. They are truly my rock and always the best part of my day. 


It’s incredibly humbling to be able to promote, live, and work in the community I grew up in and now call home again. I am thankful for our incredible community – the residents and our local Destination Sturgeon Bay partners. 


Reflecting after this past weekend’s Christmas by the Bay celebrations, it’s obvious – our Sturgeon Bay community truly is one-of-a-kind. It’s a special time to reflect on how blessed we are and to celebrate the beauty of Sturgeon Bay. 

Door County continues holiday celebrations

You can get into a festive spirit in Door County, all while not skipping any holidays this week.

Jacksonport starts the holiday celebrations with its Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit. The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit steps off at 10:30 a.m. from the Jacksonport Town Hall and does two laps along State Highway 57 before calling it a morning. It gives you two chances to see some of the exciting floats that adorn the route and offers a pair of opportunities to give back to a family in need. This year’s parade will benefit the Lasnoski family.

Instead of standing in line at a big box store in Green Bay, Egg Harbor and Sister Bay resume the county’s Christmas celebrations with activities scheduled for Friday and Saturday. In Egg Harbor, activities are being hosted by local businesses throughout the village, including an elf hunt, cookie decorating, and ornament making. Santa Claus will arrive by fire truck at 4:30 p.m. before Egg Harbor residents and visitors light the Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols beginning at 5 p.m.


Santa will make the quick jaunt north to Sister Bay for the opening of its Capture the Spirit event on Friday. Preceding his visit to turn on the village’s holiday lights and host storytime at the Sister Bay Library,  you can meet his elves and reindeer at 3:30 p.m. and check out the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair at Village Hall at 10 a.m. The fair will continue on Saturday while the Sister Bay Library transforms into Santa’s workshop with holiday craft projects for kids from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Just a few miles away, the Door County Christkindlmarkt will host its opening weekend. Also open December 1st-3rd and December 8th-10th, the Christkindlmarkt will feature traditional Nordic foods and fine artisan goods, among other activities. 


For those venturing outside of Door County for Thanksgiving weekend, Santa will return to the area on December 2nd for Ephraim’s Christmas in the Village event that features not just his arrival at the Village Hall via a fire truck at 3 p.m. but also concerts by Colin Welford and the lighting of the Christmas tree by Fyr Bal Chieftain G.G. Paschke at 5 p.m. The Door County Maritime Museum will remain decked out for the holidays until December 31st for its Merry Time Festival of Trees, which includes its Jingle Mixer on December 12th.


Photo courtesy of Ephraim Tourism Council and Luke Collins

What I'm Thankful For: State Senator Andre Jacque

I’ve been richly blessed by God in many ways- certainly by family, friends and the opportunity to make a difference. As the son of a veteran and friend and family member to many others, I had the chance just a couple of weeks ago to reflect with gratitude at Veterans’ Day ceremonies for how their sacrifices have protected our lives and way of life.  And generosity in both time and treasure is on full display across our communities throughout the Christmas season and beyond.


But as we prepare for that Thanksgiving Dinner and holiday festivities, my thoughts often turn to the countless reminders in our society of our need for protectors- the ones who willingly put themselves in harm’s way and answer the call when lives are on the line.  When they respond to an emergency, there is a good chance they may know the victim in the car accident or the family whose house burned down, especially at those times when they are on the job so that we can be together and safe with our loved ones. 


As I write this late at night, an ambulance flew past my house, sirens blaring.  Not knowing what is being experienced by those inside it.  Whether on our daily commute or elsewhere about the community or even just through a news broadcast, we are bombarded almost daily with situations none of us would EVER want to face with our friends and families, times where we take a moment and say a silent prayer for those affected, including our first responders. 


This Spring, several members of my immediate and extended family were injured by a reckless driver who hit them from behind.  The responding officer said it was the worst crash he’d ever seen. Thank God everyone has recovered.  But when my wife and I came to the scene, we were a wreck emotionally.  And I thank God that there are those still willing to bring incredible skill and care when called upon in the worst circumstances.


Those who put their lives on the line to protect us are true heroes, and they deserve all the prayers and support we can give them, especially as they deal with the cumulative effects of countless dangerous, traumatic, and life-or-death situations- at any and every time of year.  God bless you this Thanksgiving, and thank you for the honor of being your State Senator!

What I'm Thankful For: Door County Habitat for Humanity's Lori Allen

Door County Habitat for Humanity is feeling grateful this holiday season. We give thanks to so many who have helped Door Habitat and local residents improve lives through our five key services: Home Build, Home Repair, Deconstruction, Ramp Up, and the ReStore. Our services are delivered with the outstanding commitment from dedicated volunteers and staff. We are grateful to continue to operate in Door County only through the financial support from individual donors, local businesses, church communities, service organizations, and foundations.   


Thank you to all of you who have gone above and beyond to help us carry out our commitment to provide affordable and decent home ownership and home repair for low to moderate-income families.  With community support, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability, and independence they need to build a better life for themselves, their families, and the Door community. 


Thank you! Door County Habitat for Humanity wishes you all a Blessed Thanksgiving! 

What I'm Thankful For: Kewaunee County Interim Administrator Ed Dorner

This Thanksgiving holiday, I am thankful most for the opportunity to spend time with family.  It never gets old!  As interim County Administrator for Kewaunee County, I am thankful for the opportunity to help the County as it seeks the next administrative leader.


I am thankful for the Department Heads and their staff who work every day to make Kewaunee County the wonderful place to live and work and to provide the essential services we need.


As this Thanksgiving holiday approaches and the Christmas/New Year’s time as well, I urge all to reflect on the blessings in our lives and seek to move forward with respect, tolerance, and resolve to make our lives and communities better.

Destination Door County looks to name its hospitality hero

You or somebody you know or work with could be Destination Door County’s next hospitality hero. The contest will award one lucky hospitality worker in the county a prize package worth over $1,000, allowing them to experience many things visitors enjoy while working. Destination Door County’s Jen Rogers says the area’s hospitality workforce is a significant reason why people keep visiting year after year.

You can click this link to nominate your hospitality hero. Tourism supports more than 3,300 jobs in Door County, generating $113 million in labor income.

Churches give thanks through free community meals

You do not have to be alone this Thanksgiving if you want a hot meal and some good conversation. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma, Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, and Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church offer free holiday meals to enjoy at the church or in the comfort of your home. While Thanksgiving is known as a holiday to share with friends and family, a 2022 Statista Poll shows that 13 percent of Americans planned to be alone for the day. The cost of putting together a Thanksgiving meal for one or two people may also hamper people’s ambitions, even though the average price to put on the feast went down 4.5 percent over last year at $61.17, it is still about 25 percent higher than it was in 2019. St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Pastor Joel McKenney says no matter the reason and wherever you go, Thanksgiving is proving to be a day to show how grateful they are for everything they have been given and their willingness to pay it forward.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will host its Thanksgiving Day meal after its 9 a.m. service. Deliveries will take place between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., with in-house dining occurring from 11:30 p.m. Bay View Lutheran Church offers theirs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church offers theirs beginning at 4 p.m. You contact each respective church for more information.

Deer harvest lagging 10 percent behind five-year average

If you thought things were slow while sitting in your deer stand last week, you are not alone. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that the statewide deer harvest is 16 percent behind last year and 10 percent behind the five-year average. In total, hunters registered 92,050 deer statewide during the opening weekend of the 2023 gun deer hunt, compared to 103,623 reported for the same period in 2022. Locally, 1,241 deer (741 bucks) were harvested in Door County while 933 (509 bucks) were harvested in Kewaunee County. DNR officials blamed the weather conditions for the lack of success, with the increasing temperatures suppressing deer and hunter movement as the day progressed. DNR Deer Specialist Jeff Pritzl also spoke to reporters about how the number of acorns still on the ground could explain the low numbers.

Pritzl added that it is often hard to catch up to previous years’ totals when opening weekend is slow. Over 50 percent of the deer harvest each gun season comes during opening weekend. Over 774,000 licenses were sold for this year’s deer hunting season, less than a percentage point off last year. Only two firearm-involved hunting incidents, one in Forest County and the other in Adams County were reported.

Overbeck, Hubbard wins Lighthouse Pitch contest

Two Door County entrepreneurs will head to Titletown Tech in Green Bay next week after winning last week’s Lighthouse Pitch contest. Co-hosted by the Door County Economic Development Corporation, Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation, and the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the "Shark Tank"-style Lighthouse Pitch contest featured five Door County entrepreneurs competing for additional money to invest in their businesses and additional exposure. The winner was Dustin Overbeck, who operates HeyGov, Inc. to help cities and other municipalities become more efficient in conducting business. In recent years, Overbeck has been able to expand his services to 180 municipalities across the country, serving just under a half million people. His most recent venture would make it easier for municipal clerks to do their jobs, such as compiling meeting minutes and handling issues with short-term rentals. Overbeck says Door County and the surrounding area do a great job helping small businesses get their feet underneath them and thrive.

Overbeck is excited about next week’s competition as Titletown Tech, saying it is good practice for him to get in front of different audiences to buy into his platform as either a partner or investor. Emily Hubbard and her venture, Vente Tours, took second in the contest. Hubbard’s business is designed to provide personalized driving tours with local guides to explore Door County and other parts of Wisconsin. Hubbard appreciated the competition, saying it helped her clearly define what she wanted to do with the business. Door County residents Andrew Grumbles of Hook & Punch, Dawn Krueger of Freeze Dried Door County, and Amber Novotny of Hype Studios LLC also presented their business ventures.


Photo courtesy of Door Count Economic Development Corporation

Door County YMCA talks turkey for holiday hours

You can still get your fitness workout done before your big Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, as the Door County YMCA will be open for limited hours on Thanksgiving Day.  Youth and Healthy Living Director Mae Daniels says the YMCA in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek will be open Thursday morning for two free classes: a body pump class at 8 a.m. and a cycle class at 9:00 a.m.



The Door County YMCA will be open from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. Thursday and regular hours for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after the holiday. You can find more information on the classes and the 24/7 access for members at  

DOT applauds safe driving during busy construction season

You saw plenty of orange barrels dot the roadways in Door and Kewaunee counties in 2023, but the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is happy worksite injuries did not follow. The DOT is wrapping up its final projects of the year this week, which includes the resurfacing of 13.2 miles of State Highway 54 in Kewaunee County. That project is expected to wrap up by Wednesday as crews finish installing new guardrails and other punch list items. Earlier this year, crews had several projects in Door County, including pavement repairs of STH 57 between County D and Stone Road and resurfacing of STH 42/57 from Egg Harbor Road to the mid-junction. DOT spokesperson Mark Kantola says this was one of the busiest construction seasons in the northeast region of the state in the last few years thanks to work on Brown County’s STH 172 and the Leo Frigo Bridge. Outside of a rash of work zone crashes due to distracted driving in April, Kantola says it was safe construction season for motorists and construction workers.

Kantola said residents will be able to look ahead to the 2024 road construction season when they release a final list of projects in the middle of January to early February. 

Sturgeon Bay residents victims of fatal car vs. deer collision

A Sturgeon Bay teenager died, and another Sturgeon Bay man was seriously injured as a result of a crash near Dyckesville Saturday night. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, 18-year-old Beetle Benites and 54-year-old-man Wilder Benites-Arcibia were traveling north on State Highway 57 at around 8:30 p.m. when they struck a deer near Gravel Pit Road in New Franken. The collision caused the deer to go through the windshield, leading the sports utility vehicle to cross the median, through the northbound lanes, and off the roadway. The vehicle came to a rest after it struck a tree in the woods. The man was seriously injured in the crash, but he was found walking along the highway when emergency personnel arrived. 


Last week, Door County Sheriff Pat McCarty said drivers should be more vigilant as visibility is more restrictive near dawn and dusk.


The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related accidents is when vehicles try swerving to avoid hitting a deer. The safer recommended option is to slow down as much as possible and let your car hit the deer, rather than swerving and possibly moving into oncoming traffic or hitting other objects that can cause a rollover. If you hit a deer, pull to a safe location off the road, ensure everyone is okay, and then contact law enforcement immediately by calling 911 for assistance.

Sunshine shipwreck listed in National Register of Historic Places

For the third time this year, the National Register of Historic Places announced the addition of a Door County shipwreck to its listing. On Friday, the Wisconsin Historical Society announced that the National Park Service placed scow schooner Sunshine on the register late last month. More than 2,400 sites on the National Register of Historic Places are in Wisconsin, including the shipwrecks Boaz and Emeline listed earlier this year. According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Sunshine sits upright and broken approximately one mile away from the entrance of North Bay in Lake Michigan. The vessel primarily carried lumber from ports in northern Michigan to ports along Lake Michigan before it was caught up in a gale, driven into some rocks, and sank in 1869 after 15 years of service. Located near the Town of Liberty Grove, the Sunshine was listed on the State Register of Historic Places in June, and it is the 29th shipwreck to be listed on the National Register. Despite the large number of vessels on the state and national registers of historic places, Door County and neighboring Kewaunee County remain on the outside looking in on the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary, which was designated in 2021 and co-managed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Wisconsin.

Millions expected to travel for Thanksgiving

Whether driving or flying, you can expect plenty of people to join you this Thanksgiving week for traveling. The AAA expects over 55 million Americans to travel 50 miles or more for Thanksgiving holiday plans this year, 2.3 percent more than last year. If it rings true, it would make it the third busiest travel season since the AAA began keeping track in 2000. Tuesday and Wednesday will be the busiest days for travel as people rush to plan their Thanksgiving. Two Packers games in five games are adding to traffic flying in and out of Austin Straubel Airport in Green Bay, with staff saying goodbye to people who came into town for the Chargers game on Sunday and are leaving it for Thursday’s matchup in Detroit. Airport Director Marty Piette says air traffic continues to be up year-over-year, and they continue to inch closer to where they were before the pandemic.


Whether you are flying or driving, Piette advises you to pack a little patience with you due to the increased traffic in the sky and on the road. You can do that by having all of your paperwork in order and leaving your home in plenty of time to get to your destination.

City, granary push for new deadline

The fourth time may finally be the charm for the City of Green Bay and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society regarding the Door County Granary project.


The two sides will discuss a fourth amendment to its development agreement when the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meets on Tuesday. Two of the three previous amendments dealt with pushing the substantial completion date back after it was initially approved in April 2019. The first amendment moved the substantial completion date to June 1st, 2022, and called for the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to own the building after it was previously supposed to be transferred to the city for ownership. The third amendment pushed the date for substantial completion from June 1st, 2022, to April 30th, 2023. The fourth amendment that is up for discussion will put the date back again to July 31st, 2024. It also requires the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to submit and get approval for its final plans, acknowledges the accomplishments achieved to date for the city and the developers, forgoes default remedies to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation if they can comply with the new completion date, and allow city officials to participate pre-construction meetings. The city is required to build a central walkway for the campus by July 31st and construct a portion of the fire access driveway.


In October, 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 of 2024. The Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee recommends the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approve the amendment, but it is still scheduled to go into a closed session for further negotiation.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss its fire protection services agreement with the Town of Sevastopol and a contract with Edgewater Resources for waterfront planning along Nautical Drive when it meets on Tuesday at  6 p.m.

YMCA takes yoga to the pool

A form of exercise and fitness that calms your body and mind in a relaxing setting is now offered at the Door County YMCA.  Aqua Yoga is a program that focuses solely on your body’s movements and breathing while achieving a deep sense of relaxation and inner peace.  Healthy Living Director Mae Daniels says the sessions are a great way to ease stress and anxiety while strengthening your body and relieving pain.



Aqua Yoga classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 am until 10 am at the Jackie & Steve Kane Center.   The Aqua Yoga program began two weeks ago, but you can still join the classes by calling the Door County YMCA in Fish Creek. 

Fairests reflect on reign before year's end

Your visits to events in Kewaunee County over the last year likely included a friendly hello from Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Vanessa Van Pay and Junior Fairest of the Fair Jakayla Steinhorst. Since they were crowned last January, Van Pay and Steinhorst have crisscrossed the county with their crowns and sashes to dozens of events like the Kewaunee County Fair, Breakfast on the Farm, Kewaunee County 4H Open House, and more. Van Pay says it has been an unforgettable year full of exciting opportunities she had never participated in before.

Steinhorst wishes she had more time for her reign, saying she wishes she could do it all over again. She appreciated the sisterly bond she developed with Van Pay.



Van Pay encourages young men and women to run for the titles of Fairest and Junior Fairest of the Fair. You can apply until January 1st by clicking this link. The winner will be decided at a special gala event scheduled for January 5th at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg.



Crossroads in the Thanksgiving spirit

As we approach the holidays, we see many images of Dr. Seuss’s antihero, the Grinch. But around Thanksgiving, we at Crossroads think of another Dr. Seuss character who also finally saw the light: the Old Once-ler from the environmental classic, “The Lorax.” Near the end of the story, the Old Once-ler explains, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”


This time of year, and always, we are thankful for “someone like you who cares a whole awful lot.” That includes early founders and visionaries; members of the Crossroads Board, past and present; Crossroads staff, past and present; and all the generous donors, foundations, funds, volunteers, teachers, and families who have cared a whole lot about this special place “at the far end of town.” 

Fortunately, Door County has had many people who fervently have cared for it. It is our tradition on Thanksgiving Saturday to screen films about Door County in the Collins Learning Center auditorium so out-of-town family, visitors and, of course, residents can be reminded to be thankful for the Door Peninsula. 


Last Spring, Peninsula Filmworks released “Ridge and Swale,” a two-part film celebrating a legacy of conservation and community. Both parts tell the story of how the Door County community has worked and continues to work on preserving and maintaining its natural beauty and heritage.


During our Door County Movie Day, we will screen Part 1, “The Awakening,” at 1:00 p.m. and Part 2, “The Flourishing,” at 2:00 p.m. Other films will be “Wisconsin Hometown Stories” starting at 11:00 a.m. and “Wisconsin Water from the Air” at 3:00 p.m.


Always eager to turn our children into beings who care, we offer Science Saturday at 10:00 a.m. This week, surprising nobody, our topic is turkeys. Please note that starting in December, Science Saturday will move to the afternoon at 2:00 p.m.


And don’t forget the Thanksgiving  Luminary-lit Hike 5:30-7:00 on Friday, November 24.  If you are looking for something to do after Thanksgiving? Take a walk on one of our trail in the enchanting glow of luminaries. Then, when you get back, warm up around a cup of hot chocolate and the company of people who care! 



Friday, November 24

5:30-7:30 Thanksgiving Luminary-lit Hike

Take a walk on one of our trail in the enchanting glow of luminaries. Then, When you get back, warm up a cup of hot chocolate. Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads ,2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay


Saturday, November 25

10:00 a.m. Saturday Science: Turkeys

Wild turkeys will be the topic for Saturday Science, our “science is fun” program for kids and their families. We will explore the adaptions that enable turkeys to thrive. A make-and-take craft will accompany the program. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. 


11:00 a.m. Door County Movie Day

Looking for something to do post-Thanksgiving celebrations? Bring your family or out-of-town guests and spend the afternoon watching free, nature-related movies about Door County in our auditorium. No tickets needed!


11:00 a.m. Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Door County


1:00 p.m. Ridge and Swale Part 1


2:00 p.m. Ridge and Swale Part 2


3:00 p.m. Wisconsin Water from the Air


Auditorium, Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay


Tuesday, November 28

6:30 p.m. Annual Meeting of the Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula

The Door Peninsula Chapter will hold its annual meeting at the Collins Learning Center. All are welcome to attend, but only current members will be allowed to vote. Auditorium, Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

Sturgeon Bay parades bring out holiday revelers

As often as he checks his list, that is how many times you could have seen Santa Claus riding in Sturgeon Bay in less than 24 hours. On Friday night, Santa guided dozens of cars through the streets of the city for the Unwrapping Sturgeon Bay Community Car Cruise, cheering and honking in approval as several businesses dramatically pulled back the curtain on the holiday displays that will adorn their windows for the coming weeks.

Gathered around the Old Bell Tower, Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward helped lead the crowd in a few carols as he ultimately kicked off the holiday season in Sturgeon Bay with the lighting of the Christmas Tree.

On Saturday, residents and visitors alike greeted dozens of floats as they drove down Third Avenue during the Christmas by the Bay Parade. Parents and children enthusiastically waved as Santa greeted them as the final entrant in the parade.

Santa held court at the Door County Historical Museum to talk to kids as a part of the Christmas by the Bay celebration that continues through Sunday. 


Learning by counting area birds

A little bird seed and some patience at your home can go a long way to helping keep track of the area’s bird population. For over 120 years, the National Audubon Society has sponsored the early-winter bird census to track them as they travel across North America as a part of their natural migratory patterns.  Researchers have used this data since the turn of the century to determine the long-term health of bird populations. Birders in Door County can help out by counting birds on December 16th, specifically in circles surrounding Washington Island, Ephraim, Brussels, and Sturgeon Bay. Director of Research Tony Kiszonas says local birders are lucky to have such a unique area to survey.

Last year, 50 birders in Brussels, Sturgeon Bay, and Ephraim counted more than 150 species of birds during the Christmas Count. You can contact Kiszonas at The Ridges Sanctuary or visit the National Audubon Society’s website for more information.

Warden preaches safety ahead gun season kickoff

You will find plenty of blaze orange heading into the woods this weekend for the gun portion of the deer hunting season, and Department of Natural Resources Warden Chris Kratcha wants to make sure you make it out. So far, hunters have harvested 949 deer (506 antlered) in Door County and 753 deer (433 antlered) in Kewaunee County since the deer hunting season started with the archery and crossbow season on September 16th. With hundreds of thousands of people entering the woods for the first time this weekend, Kratcha preached safety first. He says if you practice good gun safety, you are more likely to get hurt crawling in and out of your tree stand than you are discharging your weapon.

Michigan has suffered two hunting blind-related tragedies since its gun season started on Wednesday. According to, a 75-year-old man in Sanilac County died after a fire started in his hunting blind. On the same day in Roscommon County, a hunter had to be airlifted to an area hospital after falling 25 feet out of his tree stand. Kratcha also reminds hunters to have all their licenses and tags with them before they go out into the woods, to not go onto private property without permission, and to remember that you can always give your harvest to the less fortunate through the state’s deer donation program.

Area schools get high marks on state report card

The area’s eight school districts’ report cards are out, and they are worthy of posting on your refrigerator at home. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released its annual report cards earlier this week, showing how schools are doing with test scores, attendance, and other factors. Of the 421 school districts in Wisconsin, 94 percent met or exceeded state expectations. All eight school districts in Door and Kewaunee counties met expectations, and five exceeded them. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke credited the students and faculty for their efforts to keep their district’s scores the highest on the peninsula for public school districts.

The DPI notes that this is the first report card not to include any pre-pandemic data, giving officials a full look at how they have done after COVID-19 and where improvements need to be made. You can click this link to dive deeper into your district's results. 



Algoma: 62.5 Meets Expectations (Elementary School 61.6, High School 62.1, Venture Academy 60.8)

Kewaunee: 60.6 Meets Expectations (Elementary 68.6, Middle 60.3, High School 56.0)

Luxemburg-Casco: 73.7 Exceeds Expectations (Intermediate 94.1, Primary AR, Middle School 67.3, High School 57.1)



Gibraltar 77.8 Exceeds Expectations (Elementary 71.3, Middle 72.6, High School 86.8)

Sevastopol 80.4 Exceeds Expectations (Elementary 86.8, Middle 92.2, High School 60.8)

Southern Door 75.5 Exceeds Expectations (Elementary 77.6, Middle 82.6, High School 65.4)

Sturgeon Bay 68.5 Meets Expectations (Sawyer AR, Sunrise 64.7, Walker Middle 86.5, High School 55.5)

Washington Island 77.9 Exceeds Expectations (Elementary 82.9, High School)


NOTE: AR means Alternate Rating- Satisfactory Progress. Some schools, because of size or grade range, do not have enough data to receive a score. Public schools with insufficient data participate in an alternate accountability process. 




Presentation hopes to put faith into elections

With public sentiment for elections at a low point in the nation’s history, the League of Women Voters of Door County hopes a presentation being hosted this weekend will at least change your mind about what is being done locally.


According to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 44 percent of Americans have “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence that the votes in the next presidential election will be counted accurately. Depending on your political leanings, a big reason is how the 2020 Presidential Election was handled. The results were subject to reviews, audits, recounts, and court cases across the country, all of which could not find enough evidence to overturn the results. Several state legislatures, including Wisconsin, introduced measures banning or restricting some practices related to absentee voting.


At Saturday’s session, Door County Clerk Jill Lau and Town of Egg Harbor Clerk/Treasurer Pam Krauel will take attendees through the entire election process and show what they do to ensure they are secure and accurate. With a series of big elections in 2024, LWV of Door County President Susan Kohout says it is essential for people to hear and see local clerks' hard work to ensure your vote counts.

The presentation, including a question and answer session, will occur at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor on November 18th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Sevastopol hit-and-run suspect pleads guilty

Sturgeon Bay’s Joshua Gann will be sentenced in the spring after pleading guilty to eight charges related to a fatal hit-and-run accident last year. Gann was intoxicated when he struck 71-year-old Marilyn J. Vandenbogart as she grabbed her mail in front of her home on County Highway BB (Gordon Road) in the Town of Sevastopol on August 27th. On Thursday, Gann pleaded guilty to four felonies and four misdemeanors related to homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, resisting or obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct, and bail jumping.  With Judge D. Todd Ehlers on the stand, the court accepted the plea and convicted Gann. His sentencing is scheduled for March 7th, 2024, at 9 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee ready to kick off the holidays

The City of Sturgeon Bay and the City of Kewaunee want you to start early on the holiday season by celebrating and shopping locally.


In Kewaunee, their chamber of commerce kicks off its Christmas Stroll of businesses on Friday ahead of their Holiday Parade of Lights at 6:30 p.m. with more activities scheduled throughout the city over the rest of the weekend and after Thanksgiving.


Destination Sturgeon Bay celebrates Christmas by the Bay over the course of two days beginning Friday night. That’s when Santa Claus leads cars through the city for the Unwrapping Sturgeon Bay Community Car Cruise beginning at 5:30 p.m. from John Miles County Park to the Door County Cooperative parking lot. The event gives participants their first glance of area businesses' different Christmas window displays. The evening ends with lighting the city’s Christmas tree near the Old Bell Tower on Third Avenue. The event picks up again Saturday morning with the Christmas by the Bay Parade at 10 a.m., followed by free trolley rides and a visit with Santa at the Door County Historical Museum. Destination Door County Executive Director Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski says they are also bringing back its popular Moo-La-La Giveaway tradition to encourage people to stick around and shop local for the holidays.

Christmas By The Bay wraps on Sunday with Brunch with Santa at Stone Harbor Resort beginning at 9:30 a.m. The weekend full of events is sponsored by Door County's Christmas Playlist, 96.7 WBDK.  If you need to wait until after Thanksgiving to get into the Christmas mood, Egg Harbor is hosting Holly Days on November 24th and 25th, and Sister Bay is holding its Capture the Spirit event on November 25th.

Luxemburg man injured in Union crash

A Luxemburg man could not recall what happened before he crashed his vehicle in the Town of Union, sending him to the hospital.


The Door County Sheriff’s Department responded to the crash on County Highway Y before 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday. According to the accident report, the man was driving eastbound when he crossed the center line and entered the ditch line. He hit multiple snowmobile marker signs before striking a driveway access, sending the vehicle airborne and coming to rest on its passenger side.


The man was taken to a Green Bay hospital for a suspected serious injury. His passenger, a three-year-old girl, did not suffer any injuries. The vehicle was towed from the scene, and he received a citation for operating left of center.


The accident shut down the intersection of County Y and Sandhill Road for a period of time as emergency personnel extricated the victims from the vehicle and cleaned up the scene.

Kitchens' peer support bill passes Assembly

Emergency personnel across the state are close to receiving the same help they do right in your own backyard.


Assembly Bill 576, introduced by State Rep. Joel Kitchens and cosponsored by State Sen. Andre Jacque, was unanimously approved by the State Assembly on Wednesday. The bill will require the Department of Justice to implement peer support teams and critical incident stress management services teams for law enforcement and emergency services teams across the state.


"Too often, first responders' only way to cope with the stress of their job is to tough it out. Some call that 'John Wayne Syndrome,'" Kitchens said, "My bill will make sure there is confidential help from others who understand."


When the bill received hearings earlier this month, Door County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty testified in favor of the bill, citing the success of its own mental wellness program in recent years. McCarty said that the impact of witnessing traumatic events can pile up over time if not adequately addressed.

McCarty added that mental wellness programs like theirs are becoming an expectation of emergency personnel recruits. The bill now goes to the State Senate for further consideration before it potentially heads to Governor Tony Evers for his signature.

Parents hold vigil for St. John Bosco School

Parents of St. John Bosco School students worry that you may not have the option of Catholic education in Door County if changes are not made.


Parents hosted a vigil Wednesday night at the school in the wake of several teachers and trustee members resigning their posts since the beginning of the school year. This does not include its initial hire of Matt Hansen as its school principal, who was hired during the summer and resigned before the year started. Organizers of the vigil charge the school’s administration with failing to “create a work environment that prioritizes the Catholic tenets of kindness, love, and mercy, at the expense of our children’s stability, academic success, and faith formation.”  


St. John Bosco is Door County’s only Catholic grade school, serving approximately 100 kids in grades 4K through 8th Grade.


In a statement made to WBAY in Green Bay, the Diocese of Green Bay said its office of Catholic schools is working with St. John Bosco School to hire more teachers and fill vacant trustee positions. It also reiterated that there are no plans to close the school.

Luxemburg home destroyed by fire

Wood-burning equipment is the likely cause of a house fire in the Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County Tuesday night.


The Luxemburg Community Fire Department was dispatched to the blaze on County Road C just after 7 p.m. to the report of a house fire with flames showing. The call was immediately upgraded to a multiple-alarm fire, triggering a response from the Casco, Brussels-Union-Gardner, New Franken, and Algoma Fire Departments. The home’s occupants were out of the 1.5-story home when the firefighters arrived, with heavy fire reported in the attics at two levels. Firefighters went inside the home to fight the blaze. They were able to knock down most of the fire in the first 30 minutes, but firefighters remained on the scene for about four hours total to put out all the hot spots.


The house sustained extensive fire, smoke, and water damage due to the blaze. There were no injuries, and the Red Cross has been contacted to assist the family.


Denmark, Carlton, and Southern Door Fire Departments, Luxemburg Rescue, and the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department provided additional assistance.

Compost site reopens in Sturgeon Bay

You can utilize the City of Sturgeon Bay’s compost site again this fall.  Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says dealing with the Jumping Worms issue in the mulch piles this past summer delayed the grinding of branches into wood chips.  He says due to the amount of drop-offs at the site, the grinding operations will start up again after the winter.



Barker adds that the leaf collection in Sturgeon Bay is winding down with plans to end it the final week in November or the first week of December.  You are reminded to rake leaves to the curb but not into the street or gutters.   






Sturgeon Bay's Christian nominated for Grammy

A Door County musician and composer has been selected for the Grammy nominations.   Sturgeon Bay musician and composer Hans Christian had his new CD release, "Ocean Dream Ocean” nominated in the New Age/Ambient/Chant category.  He says the recording is a personal highlight and collaboration with well-known cellist David Darling, who passed away over two years ago.



Christian notes that the music is a special project that was one of five nominations out of 175 entries.  He plans on attending the 66th annual Grammy Awards when they announce the winners on February 4th in Los Angeles prior to the televised event in the evening.     

YMCA's Ugly Sweater Fun Run coming in December

You can enjoy the great outdoors and gear up for the holidays with the annual Ugly Sweater Run in Fish Creek in December.  Door County YMCA Youth and Healthy Living Director Mae Daniels says the 5K fun run and walk will begin at the Jackie & Steve Kane Program Center and is more of a casual event that the whole family can enjoy. 



The 2023 Door County YMCA Ugly Sweater 5K Fun Run & Walk will start at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 2nd, with an entry fee of $15, including a free T-shirt with pre-registration.  Daniels adds that the festivities include hot cocoa, music, cookie decorating, and a visit with Santa Claus after the fun run and walk. 

Major vehicle crash in Town of Union

A major accident in southern Door County has shut down the intersection near County Road Y and Sandhill Road.  Brussels-Union-Gardner and Door County emergency personnel are on the scene.  As of 9:50 a.m., crews are extricating a person from the vehicle involved in the crash.  No other details are available now, and Door County Daily News will update this story as more information is released. 

Grocery self-checkout lanes not so appealing locally

With grocers trying to make shopping more efficient and cost-effective, self-checkout lanes in stores locally are not gaining more popularity like the worldwide trend.  According to ConnectPOS, roughly 75 percent of shoppers nationally utilize self-checkout for groceries regularly.  Store Manager Alex Stodola from Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg says the customer service aspect is essential, and he has no plans on adding self-checkout lanes in the foreseeable future.



 Stodola notes that his customers appreciate interacting with store clerks and the baggers who offer carryout services. The New York Post reported last week that the British grocery chain Booths is scrapping self-checkout lanes in its 28 stores in northern England after six years.  

Tradition of giving on the move

The parade that is so nice you get to see it twice returns for its 27th year. The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit steps off at 10:30 a.m. from the Jacksonport Town Hall and does two laps along State Highway 57 before calling it a morning. Not only does it give you two chances to see some of the exciting floats that adorn the route, but it also gives a pair of opportunities to give back to a family in need. This year’s parade will benefit the Lasnoski family. Stephanie is a Gibraltar alum and the former director of nursing at Scandia Village in Sister Bay. What started out as pain she felt cleaning her chicken coop turned into a bevy of issues that have since left her paralyzed from the chest down with minimal use of her extremities. One of the parade’s organizers, Jeri Taylor, says her favorite part of the parade is raising money for the families that need help.

The parade has raised thousands of dollars over the last 27 years to benefit people in need in the community. To participate in the parade, you must line up at the Jacksonport Town Hall by 9:30 a.m.

Accessibility theme of latest Destination Door County grants

Making sure you can enjoy Door County, regardless of physical ability, was a common theme of the final grant cycle of 2023 of Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund.


The towns of Jacksonport and Sevastopol, the Village of Sister Bay, the City of Sturgeon Bay, Door Shakespeare, and the Peninsula School of Art were the latest recipients of Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund, which has awarded nearly $829,000 in its first year. The Town of Sevastopol received the most significant award of this grant cycle, which was $70,000 for creating a new restroom facility that is ADA-compliant and includes men’s, women’s, and family bathrooms. The Town of Jacksonport was granted $61,421 to refurbish the pavilions at Lakeside Park to include electrical and plumbing. The Village of Sister Bay earned a grant of $48,489 towards purchasing a shuttle bus that will provide public transportation to residents, J-1 workers, and visitors. The City of Sturgeon Bay garnered its third grant of the year from the Community Investment Fund to purchase floating docks for the Sawyer Park Boat Ramp. Door Shakespeare and Bjorklunden will benefit from a grant totaling $18,756 to buy a six-seat electric cart with a trailer to not only take guests with mobility concerns to performances but also provide accessibility options to guided, narrated trail tours. The Peninsula School of Art was awarded $15,000 to increase public access to their campus's main entry points.


The grant dollars come from room taxes collected by area lodging partners and given to Destination Door County for their marketing efforts. Gilbert says they are excited to continue the project in 2024. Municipalities and non-profit organizations have until January 4th to participate in the next grant cycle. You are encouraged to meet with the Door County Community Foundation to discuss your idea before applying.

Door County names new emergency management director

Door County has a new man in charge of its emergency management operations.


The County of Door appointed Joseph Saelens as the new Emergency Management Director, replacing Dan Kane, who left earlier this year. Saelens is familiar with Door County, having served as a first responder with the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department since 2019 and as an Emergency Medical Technician with Door County Emergency Services since 2022. Last May, he took on the Emergency Management Assistant with Kewaunee County, serving under their director, Tracy Nollenberg. The county is complimentary of Saelens’ calming personality and strategic planning skills.


When he begins his new position on November 20th, Saelens will conduct comprehensive risk assessments, ensure the county complies with state and federal grants, and engage in community outreach to educate residents about emergency preparedness. His arrival is also marked by a change in venue for the office of Emergency Management. According to county officials, the new office of Emergency Management will operate out of the Emergency Services building on 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Movie screening takes deep dive into mental health

A coalition of local organizations can help show you that a lot can happen beneath the surface regarding mental health. The United Way of Door County, STRIDE, the Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition, and Door County Medical Center are teaming up to screen the movie “Coming Up for Air” at Crossroads at Big Creek this Thursday at 5 p.m. The 2019 movie is a story about a single mom whose college-aged son, who is a star on his school’s diving team, unexpectedly starts suffering from a mental illness. Community Impact Coordinator of Health Cami Peggar says the movie is a tough watch, but it stirs up a good dialogue about mental health and what you can do to help people cope.

The event begins at 4:30 p.m. with dinner provided by Door County Medical Center, and it will end at 7:30 p.m. following a post-screening discussion about the film. You contact the United Way of Door County to RSVP for the event.



Proposed variance for Newport equestrian trails gets mixed reaction

Wisconsin residents want to pull back on the reins on a proposed variance change that would expand the equestrian trails at Newport State Park. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources collected public comment for nearly a month in August, garnering almost 100 responses.


The proposed variance would allow the DNR to increase the mileage of authorized equestrian trails from 4-6 miles to up to 10 miles. It would also extend the trails into Newport State Park’s Management Area 2 and co-locate them where hiking and biking trails currently exist. The DNR’s summary of the public comment highlighted the appropriateness of equestrian trails at a wilderness park, the possible impact of equestrian uses on the environment and visitors, and the funding and maintenance of the trails. Some respondents said there needs to be more horseback riding opportunities in northern Door County, especially since the network of equestrian trails using private land has deteriorated recently.


There was concern about how many people could take advantage of the opportunity based on the location and the number of horses in the county. Safety of interactions, spread of invasive species, erosion, and crowding were other concerns during the public comment period. The DNR will now decide if they will continue the process of developing the equestrian trail or if they will drop their pursuit of the variance change. That decision is expected to come by the end of November.


You can read the public comment summary by clicking this link. 

Luxemburg-Casco alters school schedule for state run

If you are a Luxemburg-Casco School District family and want to make plans to catch the football team at Camp Randall Stadium, administrators are doing what they can to give you the green light.


The Spartans clinched their first-ever trip to the state championship last Friday night when Trace Schoenbeck celebrated his birthday with a game-winning kick to give his team the 23-21 victory over traditional power Catholic Memorial. As a result, district administrators altered their schedules for Thursday and Friday to allow students, faculty, and their families the opportunity to support the Spartans in Madison. The district will close Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and cancel its afternoon 4K session. Primary school families will have an extra week to prepare for parent/teacher conferences, as those have been moved from Thursday to November 20th. On Friday, Luxemburg-Casco School District canceled classes after many staff requests for the day off. January 15th will be a student attendance day, and staff members will have an extra day tacked onto their contract year. The district reminded parents that they have ten days each school year to excuse their student for any reason per state statute. Anything beyond ten days is considered truancy.


Speaking after Friday’s game on the NEW Radio Sports Network, head football coach Neil Seering said how proud he is of the team and how deserving they are to have this experience.

If you cannot make it to Camp Randall Stadium for the game, Paul Schmitt and Eric Fischer will have the radio call on U-102.1 and, with the kickoff scheduled at 7 p.m.



Note: This story has been updated to reflect the district's change of schedule for Friday. It was originally a two-hour delay.

Two-dollar bills proving more than their worth

According to U.S. Currency Auctions, if you need a quick buck, that $2 bill could be worth a lot more than the paper it is printed on. The auction site recently updated the values of the uncommonly-found bank note, with some fetching more than $4,500 if it is uncirculated and $2,500 if it has been passed around. Even bills produced as recently as 1995 and 2003 could be worth hundreds of dollars if they were not circulated. According to the United States Treasury, approximately 1.2 billion $2 bills were in circulation, carrying a value of $2.4 billion. That is not much compared to more popular bills like $1 ($12.8 billion), $5 ($14.8 billion), and $10 ($19.6 billion). After you find your collection of $2 bills, you can discover how much they are worth by clicking this link.


Picture courtesy of the U.S. Treasury

Grants music to the ears of the Griffon String Quartet

The Griffon String Quartet will be able to bring music to schools, nursing homes, and hospice patients thanks to a trio of grants received by the organization in recent weeks. The Door County Women’s Fund provided $3,000 for lesson scholarships, instruments, school outreach concerts, and community engagement for the Griffon String Quartet while a Project Music Heals Us grant of $10,400 will allow the group to provide tablet concerts for shut-ins supported by Scandia Village and Unity Hospice. Executive Director Allyson Fleck says every dollar helps them bring music to people who may not otherwise experience it.

Fleck is hopeful they will have more good news to share about the grants they receive to support the Griffon String Quartet’s mission. The quartet has a series of performances next week at the First Presbyterian Church in Green Bay on November 16th, Door County Medical Center on November 17th, and the ADRC in Green Bay on November 18th.

Mobile food pantry returns Wednesday

If you are over 55, Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin is back in Door County this week to help you fill your pantry and refrigerator at home. On Wednesday, the organization has its second of three drive-thru mobile food pantry events for seniors at Holy Name of Mary Food Pantry in Maplewood. Across the country, food pantries are struggling to keep up with the demand. Food pantry budgets have been taxed as they try to keep their shelves filled with products costing more at the grocery store. With so many seniors living on a fixed income, United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle said last month that these mobile food pantry events come at a great time.

Only 100 boxes are available at this event and will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can find additional details below.



Santa coming to dine with the Lions

The Sturgeon Bay Lions have pulled a few strings so you can enjoy dinner with Santa next month. The club’s Dinner with Santa is back a second year after the pandemic forced them to flip the event from a breakfast affair. The event is just the latest example of what the Sturgeon Bay Lions Club is doing to impact the community positively. Club members are currently doing a tour of all the schools in Door County, conducting vision screenings for children to ensure they get the help they need if their lack of good eyesight is hampering them. Club President Theresa Fett says they are a fun group that loves to give back in various ways.

You can support the Sturgeon Bay Lions Club at their Dinner with Santa event, which will take place on December 2nd from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Corpus Christi Social Hall. 

Animals begin to prepare for winter at Crossroads

While regularly scheduled classes and activities are taking place at Crossroads this week, it almost seems like a pause. We are done with the frenzy of the growing season and not quite into the holidays. The lyrics of a Thanksgiving hymn comes to mind: “All is safely gathered in, ‘ere the winter storms begin.”


Nick, our Land and Facilities Manager, has safely gathered in (and serviced) the restoration equipment. And “ ‘ere the winter storms begin,” he’s got the plows on the trucks and the grooming equipment ready.


A young member of our Junior Nature Club, a regular visitor at Crossroads, was disappointed last week that the chipmunks were not raiding the bird feeders as they sometimes do.


He and most people would be surprised to learn that in summer, chipmunks eat insects, slugs, bird eggs, and earthworms. But they need seeds and nuts to survive the winter, and those are already “safely gathered in.”


As overwhelming as winterizing and holiday preparations may be for humans, they pale in comparison to the incessant labor chipmunks perform in readying their burrows for winter. 


Chipmunk burrows are elaborate lodgings, complete with sleeping areas, mazes of tunnels, and a special room for when "nature calls." One couldn't call it a bathroom – no bath. And it's not an outhouse, because it's inside. An underhouse? Scientists call it a latrine.


The sleeping room, dug well below the frost line, is lined with crumpled or shredded leaves. The nest area is connected by tunnels to several storage rooms.


Chipmunks spend most of summer and all of autumn compulsively harvesting food. Each petite striped creature stores approximately eight pounds of nuts and seeds in the underground storerooms. And that means countless trips from food source to burrow because chippies carry their winter food in their expandable cheek pouches.


To be honest (and chipmunks aren't, at least by human standards), they spend a great deal of time stealing food from each other. They probably assume that the Crossroads feeders are the well-stocked cache of another chipmunk.


When cold weather finally arrives, chipmunks seal up the entrances to their burrows, curl up, and go to sleep. They do not hibernate; they are too skinny. Seriously, chipmunks do not build up enough body fat to survive the winter.


Instead, they sleep for several days, and then wake up. Before they drift back to sleep (well, it's deeper than what we think of as sleep ... a torpor), chipmunks gobble down a substantial snack and use their latrine.


They have gathered in enough food to last until spring and probably beyond. Many chipmunks won't survive the winter. Scientists don't know why, but some fall into a sleep so profound that they fail to wake up. Enough survive, however, that we will have plenty of chipmunks above ground next year. 


Unlike the hibernating native bees which have safely gathered and stored pollen in underground nests or in the stalks of dead plants, European Honeybees also spend the summer “gathering in,” collecting and processing nectar, then storing the honey to sustain them during the winter. 


The Door County Beekeepers are careful to leave enough honey or supplemental food to maintain the hives, but they collect some of the honey and wax, for these have countless uses.


One use of honey is to make a fermented beverage called mead. The Beekeepers group will turn the Lab at the Collins Learning Center into a mead-tasting party for their November meeting, “Mead Making, Tasting and Pairing.” Reservations will be required. See for more information.


Saturday Science, our “science is fun” program for kids and their families, will feature sedimentary rocks, utilizing some edible demonstrations. Please let us know ahead of time if children have dietary restrictions so we can provide accommodations.


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. 


Saturday, November 18

10:00 a.m. Saturday Science: Sedimentary Rocks

Saturday Science, our “science is fun” program for kids and their families, will involve hands-on demonstrations about the formation of sedimentary rocks, incorporating edible demonstrations. Please let us know ahead of time if children have dietary restrictions by emailing so we can provide accommodations. Free and open to learners of all ages. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, November 21

6:30 p.m. Meeting of the Door County Beekeepers: Mead Making, Tasting and Pairing

Reservations are requested for the November meeting of the DBBC at which Lynn and Dennis Marquardt will provide an interactive program on mead, a fermented beverage made with honey. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Dealer filling boat for a cause

While many organizations put out boxes when they solicit donations for food, toiletries, and toys, one Sturgeon Bay business is going big to support a local pantry. Centerpointe Yacht Services in Sturgeon Bay launched its Stuff the Boat campaign earlier this month to benefit the work at Lakeshore CAP Food Pantry. The donations most needed include canned meat, canned vegetables, canned fruit, rice, flour, sugar, soup, peanut butter, jelly, toothpaste, shaving cream, razors, shampoo, and other hygienic products. General Manager Peter Kordon says after meeting with the volunteers at the Lakeshore CAP Food Pantry, they decided to do something a little outside the normal to inspire the community to give back.

Potential donors can swing by Centerpoint Yacht Services’ location along State Highway 42/57 to drop off their non-perishable food items or monetary donations during business hours. It is one of the many ways local businesses are supporting local causes this holiday season. Volunteers for Door County Toys for Kids and Kewaunee County Toys for Tots have spent this week distributing boxes to collect donations.

Packed gym salutes Door County veterans

Friday’s Veterans Day ceremony at Sevastopol School District gave students and community members several ways to thank Door County’s military heroes. Following a presentation of the colors and invocation, the Sevastopol Band played “Armed Forces Salute,” a medley of the military branches’ march song, allowing the dozens of the veterans in the audience to stand in honor of their time in Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

This year’s guest speaker was Door County Farm for Vets President  Jacob Vandenplas, who started his speech by telling the heroic tale of a soldier who saved the rest of his platoon and earned the Medal of Honor for saving his entire platoon. Vandenplas told the hundreds in attendance that while veterans may seem humble now, they were fierce defenders of freedom in the battlefield.

A chorus of Sevastopol’s 2nd and 3rd graders and the Sevastopol High School choirs also performed as a part of the 50-minute program. After the ceremony, veterans and students shared a meal in the cafeteria. Another Veteran’s Day ceremony and lunch is scheduled for Monday at the Door County ADRC in Sturgeon Bay.



Maritime museum kicks off Door County's holiday celebrations

Your first glimpse of Santa Claus in Sturgeon Bay is this Saturday, but it will not be Rudolph leading the way. The Door County Maritime Museum kicks off its Merry Time Festival of Trees this Saturday with not just dozens of trees adorning its exhibit areas but also with a visit from Santa. Instead of a sleigh, Santa will arrive at the museum on a U.S. Coast Guard boat before meeting with children. Deputy Director Sam Perlman says it is a privilege that the Door County Maritime Museum helps Door County welcome the holiday season.



The trees donated by local businesses will be up through December 31st. The county gets deeper into the holiday spirit beginning next weekend with Sturgeon Bay holding a pair of parades on November 17th and 18th, Egg Harbor hosting Holly Days on November 24th and 25th, and Sister Bay inviting you to Capture the Spirit on November 25th. 

Rotary Interact kicks off Thanksgiving Fundraiser

Local high school students want to help your family put food on your table this Thanksgiving. On Friday, the Rotary Interact Club launched its annual Thanksgiving Dinner Fundraiser to collect funds to purchase Tadych’s Marketplace Foods gift cards for families in need this year. Last year, the organization raised $2,250 to support approximately 30 Door County families. Gavin Forest and Jade Tomberlin from Rotary Interact joined “The Bryan and Reece Show” on 104.1 WRLU to talk about the fundraiser and how it is one of their favorite projects they do within the club.

Rotary Interact is the youth version of Rotary, made up of kids between the ages of 12 and 18 who are encouraged to be leaders in their community through service. To support the cause, you can donate online at the Door County Community Foundation’s website and write in “Rotary Interact Thanksgiving Fundraiser” or send a check made out to Rotary Interact to the Door County YMCA.

Northern Door Children's Center looks to expand to fill more needs

The Northern Door Children’s Center recently completed one expansion project, but it needs your help to think even bigger.


The Sister Bay-based early childhood center finished a $1.2 million expansion earlier this year, adding a teacher resource area, a garage/storage space, and two 4K classrooms for its new collaboration on preschool offerings with Gibraltar Area School District. Northern Door Children’s Center recently launched the second phase of its $3.6 million Essential Campaign, which will turn its focus to expanded and reconfigured classrooms for its infant, toddler, and 3K classrooms, a new outdoor classroom, indoor/outdoor bathrooms, a library, kitchen, multi-purpose room, and administrative space. The second phase carries a price tag of $2.4 million as Northern Door Children’s Center goes down the path of other child-care facilities trying to address the shortage of services for Door County families. The Door County Community Foundation is partnering with the Northern Door Children’s Center to support the campaign.


The Northern Door Children’s Center is one of three childcare facilities in Door County and the only one north of Sturgeon Bay. 


To kick off the public portion of its Essential Campaign, the center is holding an open house on Saturday from 12-3 p.m., featuring tours and informational sessions about the planned improvements.

Thank you for your service

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, that’s when we celebrate Veterans Day. This day was formerly known as Armistice Day, and it was changed to honor all Veterans in 1954. Take a moment and thank someone who has served in one of the branches of the armed forces or someone who is currently serving. Our service men and women have given us opportunities that some take for granted. 


I recently had the privilege to be involved in two events saluting and honoring Veterans, one of which was the Peninsula Symphonic Band, where they asked veterans to stand when their branch's song was played during an Armed Forces Medley. When those service members stood in the audience, you could almost see their reluctance to be wholly recognized initially because of their pride in their service. When each stood, they received a large applause from the packed house and stood tall during their respective songs. These experiences humble me as I can pursue my life goals because of what these men and women did. If you know a Veteran, take a moment and thank them for their service to our country and for what they have done to make your life better. They sacrifice so we don’t have to. 



Thank you, Veterans, and all those who are active, from myself and the entire staff of NEW Radio and the Door County Daily News. 

Veterans honored with free dinner in Sturgeon Bay

You can participate in a free harvest dinner that Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay is hosting for Veterans on Saturday.  As part of honoring military veterans, all families can partake in the fellowship and a smorgasbord of food.  Church council member Misty Michaud says the goal is to engage the community and provide a hearty meal for veterans and anyone else who would like to share an evening together.



Michaud notes that NEW Door Sober Living has provided free meals on occasion at the church, with the idea of a harvest dinner on Veterans Day growing from there.  Saturday’s meal will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and include Pork Loin with numerous side dishes and a variety of pieces for dessert.    

Local farms receive energy efficiency grants

After looking green all summer because of their crops, three local farms will get even greener thanks to some federal grants announced this month. Kinnard Farms in Casco, S&B Dairy Farm in Sturgeon Bay, and S&S Jerseyland Dairy in Sturgeon Bay received over $650,000 in funding from the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The program assists agricultural producers and rural small business owners in making energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy investments to lower energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resiliency of their operations. All three projects are related to the feed and grains they give to their animals. As a result of the improvements they can make to their farms because of the grants, the three farms will combine to save more than $252,000 per year and replace over three million kilowatt hours of electricity. You can read more about each individual project below.


KINNARD FARMS INC – $403,507 to help Kinnard Farms Inc., a dairy farming operation in Casco, Wisconsin, install a new feed handling system. This project is expected to save $163,059 per year. It will replace 1,186,313 kilowatt hours (kWh) (45 percent of the company's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 109 homes.


ROBERT SCHOPF DBA S&B FARM – $124,203 to help S&B Farm install a more energy efficient grain dryer. The farming operation is based in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and this project is expected to save $55,797 per year. It will save 746,873 kilowatt hours (kWh) (51 percent of the farm's energy use) per year, which is enough energy to power 68 homes.


S&S JERSEYLAND DAIRY – $125,000 to install an energy efficient grain dryer. S&S Jerseyland Dairy is a dairy farming operation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. This project is expected to save $33,789 year. It will replace 1,084,186 kilowatt hours (kWh) (45 percent of the energy used by the grain drying equipment) per year, which is enough energy to power 100 homes 

Blood draws by police news to officers

The state’s top toxicologist says you could have your blood drawn by police officers if you are suspected of alcohol or illegal drug use as soon as next year. Amy Miles from the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene suggested to Wisconsin Public Radio last week that certifying police as phlebotomists, also known as medical professionals trained to perform blood draws, would ease the burden off of busy hospitals. The practice is not unheard of, as almost a dozen states already do. The possibility was news to members of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, with Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman saying the state has not approached them about it. Brinkman says many questions would have to be answered before they went down that path.

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department works with Door County Medical Center for its blood draws in such instances, with Brinkman adding that they have been a great partner for them and neither side has had complaints.

Wisconsin Legislature looks to pass three election measures

Three potential constitutional amendments could be on your ballot in the coming years, pending approval from the Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Senate passed three measures along party lines outlawing private funding for elections administration, codifying existing voter identification requirements, and specifying that only U.S. citizens can vote in state and local elections. According to the Wisconsin Examiner, Brown, Price, Lincoln, and Waukesha counties passed advisory referendum questions that banned outside groups like the Center for Tech and Civic Life from contributing to election administration costs. The state’s Voter ID law has been in effect since 2011, and federal and state law bans non-citizens from voting, though it does not explicitly say that only U.S. citizens can vote. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says it is only stirring up the base.

Republicans say banning outside groups from providing the grants would help keep local control of the elections. They also say that doubling down on their Voter ID and U.S. citizen voting stances would protect the issues from going through the courts. While the Voter ID measure still has to go through the Wisconsin Legislature before it can go before voters, the potential amendments regarding the election grants ban and specifying that only U.S. citizens can vote in elections could pop up on ballots as soon as April.

Algoma Police look for vandalism suspects

The Algoma Police Department needs your help identifying three individuals who may be linked to vandalism in the city. The police department released the images of the three individuals and the vehicle they were captured driving late Tuesday morning. According to the social media post, the individuals entered a property on Perry Street and caused damage to the building’s interior. Algoma Police Chief Dave Allen said that although they have received some feedback, there are no updates. The department does ask people with information to contact them at 920-487-3311 if they can identify the individuals or the vehicle.



"A Glimpse of Christmas Past" coming to Heritage Village at Crossroads

Although the local polls were quiet on Tuesday, you can vote for next month's best-decorated building in the Heritage Village at Crossroads at Big Creek. The Door County Historical Society (DCHS) Is sponsoring the first-ever "A Glimpse of Christmas Past," where various non-profit organizations will compete in a decorating contest for the historic buildings in the Heritage Village. Executive Director Amy Frank says the public can tour the facilities and vote with donations for their favorite. 




Every Friday and Saturday in December, the Heritage Village will be open and free to tour the buildings from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The Door County Historical Society will hold its final dinner program and season meeting at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church on Monday, November 27th. You can find out more information on the DCHS below.

Deer activity spikes in area

As area deer hunters are readying for the gun season soon, you should be more vigilant on the roadways as deer crashes become more common as the breeding rut season peaks in November. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, the number of deer-related insurance claims in November is more than twice the yearly average.  Door County Sheriff Pat McCarty says drivers should be more vigilant as visibility is more restrictive near dawn and dusk.



The leading cause of accidents, injuries, and deaths from deer-related accidents is when vehicles try swerving to avoid hitting a deer. The safer recommended option is to slow down as much as possible and let your car hit the deer, rather than swerving and possibly moving into oncoming traffic or hitting other objects that can cause a rollover. If you hit a deer, pull to a safe location off the road, ensure everyone is okay, and then contact law enforcement immediately by calling 911 for assistance.





(photo courtesy of Kewaunee County Sheriffs Department) 

YMCA celebrates Free Family Day for Veterans this weekend

You and your family can enjoy a free weekend of use at the Door County YMCA if you are a military veteran.  As a gesture of gratitude for service and bravery, the Door County YMCA is celebrating  “A Salute To Our Veterans”.    Branch Executive Director Holly Butenhoff says that all veterans who sign up for a YMCA membership from November 10th through the 12th will also have their joiner fee waived.  She shares the opportunities available at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek facilities.



Military families are also eligible for a 20 percent discount on a yearly membership by bringing a military ID when signing up at either YMCA Welcome Center desk.  The Door County YMCA has locations at the Jackie & Steve Kane Center in Fish Creek and the Sturgeon Bay Program Center on Michigan Street.     

Kewaunee County still seeking Administrator

Kewaunee County could not find its next administrator after the first wave of interviews for the position.  Ed Dorner, the interim county administrator who replaced Scott Feldt earlier this year after he retired, told the Board of Supervisors at Tuesday’s meeting that 16 applications were screened. Four interviews were conducted, narrowing the field to two.  Dorner notes the eventual finalist for the position pulled out of consideration after citing housing costs.


Public Administration Associates (PAA) will now help continue the search for a new administrator and recommends extending applications beyond the end of the year.  In other business, the 2024 budget and 2023 tax levy were approved by a 17-2 vote.  The Board then went into a closed session to discuss the county administrator position in more detail and returned without further action.  

Sturgeon Bay moves forward on downtown development

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted approval Tuesday on a new development on Jefferson Street, vacating a street on the west side and a new building inspector.

The former Door County Ace Hardware building downtown will have a facelift thanks in part to Sturgeon Bay approving a development agreement with Austads, LLC that has financial incentives.   The new development will have space to house three commercial tenants.  The agreement calls for a minimum property assessed value of $250,000 higher over the next ten years than it is today.  That guarantees that the city recoups its investment in the development through property taxes.  Austads, LLC will receive $50,000 from TID #8 for improving the structure’s façade while making about $500,000 improvements to the interior of the building.

 A resolution was introduced and approved by the council for vacating a portion of the southernmost part of South Madison Avenue that has a right-of-way, which the city has no future use for.

The final piece of business Tuesday night was the awarding of the building inspection services to Inspection Services, owned by Brett Guilette.

During the City Administrator report, Josh Van Lieshout shared that the city had completed the street paving projects this year and plans to cover between three and 3.2 miles of asphalt placement throughout the city next year which would be a record.

Democratic chair stresses message ahead of 2024

He may be new to the area, but Kewaunee County Democratic Party Chairperson Stan Johnson is excited to lead.


Johnson and his wife retired to Kewaunee County several months ago after living in Chicago and Milwaukee for much of his life. His belief in community service led him to join the county’s Democratic Party, where he quickly took on a leadership role.


He takes the reins in an area reliably Republican in recent years, voting for former President Donald Trump by an over 60 percent to 40 percent margin in the last two Presidential elections. The only time the county has gone blue for a Presidential candidate since 2000 was for former President Barack Obama in 2008.


Johnson says Tuesday’s elections around the country and Wednesday’s third Republican debate will show how far they need to go and the messaging they must put out there.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs, protecting environmental safeguards, and investing in infrastructure are some of the issues Johnson highlighted as important ones to be fought for moving forward. 


Johnson is hopeful that, like Obama, President Joe Biden’s record will close the gap between him and his likely opponent, Trump, before next year’s election. The Emerson College Polling Survey in Wisconsin shows Trump with a 42 percent to 40 percent edge on Biden, with 11 percent wanting someone else and eight percent undecided.  You can find a link to our most recent interview with Door County Republican Chairperson Stephanie Soucek here.

Draft announcement puts tourism organizations on the clock

You now know when hundreds of thousands of football fans will flock to northeast Wisconsin for the NFL Draft.


The Green Bay Packers, the NFL, and other local officials announced on Monday that the 2025 NFL Draft will take place April 24th-26th. Draft activities will center around Lambeau Field and Titletown, but the impact of hosting the event is expected to stretch much further than that. The 2023 NFL Draft in Kansas City saw over 312,000 fans come for the festivities, and another 54 million people watched the event unfold on television. Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy expects a total economic impact on the state to be around $94 million. Destination Door County Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh says they have been working with Discover Green Bay to serve the huge crowds best coming to the region.

Since 2015, the NFL Draft will have visited Chicago, Nashville, Las Vegas, Cleveland, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Detroit by the time Green Bay gets its turn in 2025. Jarosh adds that Destination Door County has talked to other areas similar to theirs to see the impact the draft had on a host city’s outlying area.

Child care discussion turns focus to Washington Island

The United Way of Door County is crossing Death’s Door on Saturday to highlight an issue that is a big issue on the mainland but could be even more significant on Washington Island.  Child Care Community Coordinator Molly Gary will discuss the childcare situation on Washington Island and how their current successes and failures can be addressed in the future. Gary says Washington Island residents have to rely on in-home childcare options more than other parts of the state, let alone the county, due to its location.

The presentation given by Gary will include solutions to opening a home-based childcare business and information on how to apply for grant programs through the United Way of Door County. The session will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Washington Island Community Center. The listening session comes after President Joe Biden called on Congress to provide $16 billion to support childcare programs nationwide. According to the Appleton Post-Crescent, that could mean $229 million for Wisconsin. 

Tyson recalls Fun Nuggets

You will have to make your dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets extinct before you serve them to your kids. Tyson is voluntarily recalling approximately 30,000 pounds of frozen, fully cooked chicken “Fun Nuggets.” The recall includes Tyson’s fully cooked “Fun Nuggets” sold to retailers in 29-ounce packages. The recall occurred when a few consumers found small, pliable pieces of metal in their chicken nuggets. You can find specifics of the recalled products below, but you are encouraged to throw away the product after cutting the UPC and date code from the packaging and calling 1-855-382-3101. You can find more information about the recall at this link.



29-oz. Plastic bag packages containing “Tyson FULLY COOKED FUN NUGGETS BREADED SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIES” with a Best If Used By date of SEP 04, 2024, and lot codes 2483BRV0207, 2483BRV0208, 2483BRV0209 and 2483BRV0210.

Fire destroys workshop in Baileys Harbor

A fire in Baileys Harbor completely destroyed a workshop on Kangaroo Beach Road Monday morning near Logerquist Road, with seven local fire departments responding to it.  Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak says at about 8:30 a.m., the property owner had started a fire in a wood stove and went back to the house to get a cup of coffee,. By the time he returned to the workshop, the whole north end of the structure was fully engulfed in flames.



Zak adds that the 30-foot by 50-foot building and its contents are a total loss.  Over 7,000 gallons of water and 10 gallons of foam were used to extinguish the fire.  Baileys Harbor Fire Department received mutual aid assistance from Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Egg Harbor, Ephraim, Jacksonport, Gibraltar, and Sturgeon Bay.   

Local law enforcement testify in favor of peer support

Emergency personnel could receive help following traumatic situations thanks to a new bill authored by Rep. Joel Kitchens. The bill requires the Department of Justice to implement peer support teams and critical incident stress management services teams for law enforcement and emergency services teams across the state. While most Americans might experience one critical incident in their lifetime, emergency personnel could see dozens if not hundreds. Door County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty testified in Madison on Wednesday after talking to Kitchens about it a year and a half ago.  He says that the impact of witnessing traumatic events can pile up over time if not adequately addressed.

The Door County Sheriff’s Department has had its own mental wellness program with peer support for the last few years. McCarty added that new recruits to emergency departments now expect their employers to have some program in place. Kitchens also co-authored a bill directing the Department of Health Services to establish a pilot program to implement virtual behavioral health crisis care services for county and municipal law enforcement agencies with officers encountering people in crisis while in the field.

Kewaunee County Board to discuss budget, administrator vacancy Tuesday

Kewaunee County officials are getting closer to naming a replacement for its former County Administrator, Scott Feldt. The county has been going through the hiring process since August, when it named Ed Dorner to the role on an interim basis following Feldt’s departure.  Most of the discussions about hiring a new administrator has happened behind closed session, but the County Administrator Interview Subcommittee agreed to schedule a formal interview with two of the applicants during its meeting on October 20th.  The Kewaunee County Board will also vote on approving the 2024 budget and 2023 tax levy. Earlier this fall, Dorner shared with the board that the total expenditures, along with the tax levy, would be going up due to the addition of almost two new full-time employees and a boost in the cost of living increases and health insurance premiums. Property owners will still 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. The Kewaunee County Board will meet on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administration Building.


City to consider development agreement for former Door County Ace Hardware

The former Door County Ace Hardware is getting a makeover over a year after its owners moved the operations to a larger location. The City of Sturgeon Bay and Austads, LLC are considering a development agreement for the former store’s area on Jefferson Street downtown. Amy Austad Labott, who owns Door County Ace Hardware and Austads, LLC, is converting the old storefront into three commercial tenant spaces. The development agreement would give about $50,000 in funding from Tax Increment District #8 to Austads, LLC, to improve the building’s façade. In return, Austads, LLC makes about $500,000 to improve the building’s interior. According to the agenda packet for Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting, TID #8 can cover the expense without any impact on the city’s general fund. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council is also set to award a contract for building inspection services and authorize a street vacation off Madison Avenue when it meets on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Leaves ignite riding lawnmower in Sister Bay

A weekend fire in Sister Bay reminds you of some things you must do to stay safe while cleaning up your yard. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department was paged to Highview Road in the village just before noon on Sunday. A riding lawn mower caught fire after its owners mulched leaves on the property. The firefighters on the scene used between 50 and 100 gallons of water to put out the fire, and they were able to leave in about 30 minutes. Lieutenant Jim Appel says it is likely the heat from the lawnmower's engine caused the leftover leaves underneath to ignite. He added that it is essential for owners who use lawnmowers for their yard cleanup to watch the depth of the leaves they are going over and to clean the mower’s deck of residual leaves to prevent possible fires from occurring. There were no injuries as a result of the fire.

Bayview Bridge closure still on for this week

Unless Mother Nature has anything to say about it, you will have to find a different way through Sturgeon Bay later this week. The Bayview Bridge will close on November 8th and 9th so crews can complete repairs and annual maintenance. The bridge will be closed to pedestrians and motor traffic from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. If you need to drive across the city, you can use the Michigan Street and the Maple/Oregon Street bridges. The work was initially scheduled for October 30th and 31st but was later moved.

Joski packing it in for veteran suicide awareness

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is putting his miles where his mouth is when it comes to spreading the word about veteran suicide awareness. On Sunday, Joski hopes to complete his 50-mile journey as a part of the 50 For the Fallen ruck team. The group left the Brown County Veterans Memorial near the Resch Complex Saturday night to do an out-and-back on the Fox River Trail before ending on the 50-yard line of Lambeau Field during Sunday’s Packers/Rams game. Days later, Joski will be doing 17 miles as a part of the 11th Annual Wisconsin Veteran Suicide Awareness Ruck March to benefit HOOAH WI. The number is important to note because 17 represents the number of veteran suicides that occur every day. As a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of the Army National Guard, he says the issue of veteran suicide is an important one.

According to 50 for the Fallen, over 6,200 veterans died by suicide in 2019. Military veterans in crisis are encouraged to dial 988 and press 1 for help. 

Pool of lifeguards at Door County YMCA needs a boost

You can bring your swimming skills to the Door County YMCA to help fill a void of lifeguards following a national trend.  According to the American Lifeguard Association, the shortage of lifeguards spans over the past three years and has grown during the pandemic.  Door County YMCA Aquatics Director Heidi Honold says that they offer a lifeguard course, typically four days, with about 25 hours of online learning done before the class.  She shares how the program is conducted inside and outside the pool. 



Honold notes that most lifeguard shifts needing to be filled are three to four hours long.  If you become a certified lifeguard through the Door County YMCA program and stay working there, you receive the training certification free.  For more information on lifeguard training or becoming a swim instructor, contact Heidi at or by calling 920-743-4949. 

Take a closer look at fall

At Crossroads, we are observing the plants and animals as they make their final preparations for winter, and we humans are preparing for the snowy season as well. But fall landscape work isn’t what it used to be.


A quote from Maya Angelou has become a mantra for Crossroads’ restoration efforts: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”


Consequently, when we learned that native trees support the moths and butterflies that produce the caterpillars which are the primary food source for songbird nestlings, we have been planting thousands of native trees and shrubs on our preserves.


This year, after learning about the needs of insect pollinators, especially the needs of our native bees, we gave the Bird and Butterfly Garden at the entrance of the Collins Learning Center a makeover, planting regionally appropriate native wildflowers.

We have been thrilled that others in the community are similarly planting native trees, shrubs and flowers to help the pollinators.


Alas, many of these well-meaning efforts are jeopardized by our collective compulsion to “clean up” our lawns and properties every autumn.


We have learned a great deal from the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation which is “an international nonprofit organization that protects the natural world through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.” As a science-based organization, it conducts research and relies upon the most up-to-date information to guide its conservation work.


Thanks to their efforts, we now know that native plants provide the food for beneficial insects, and that nesting and overwintering habitat is probably the most crucial factor influencing the populations of native insects. They strongly advocate for “leaving the leaves.”


Just as it seems misguided to put food scraps in a landfill – which means valuable minerals and nutrients are lost forever – the accepted tradition of removing autumn leaves from our properties really doesn’t make a lot of sense. The leaves are a free source of fertilizer because they contain the very nutrients our plants need to thrive.


Moreover, according to current Xerces research, “the majority of butterflies and moths use leaf litter for winter protection of eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises, and adults,” and “roughly 70% of our native bees nest in the ground.”


Fallen leaves provide winter habitat for beneficial insects while protecting tender plants from the freeze/thaw cycles and moisture loss.


For years, we have been told that fallen leaves are hard on lawns. OK, thick soggy mats of oak leaves are not great, but a thin layer of decomposing leaves actually protects the grass and provides nutrients to a lawn.


Landscaping books, articles and posts have explained that using a leaf mulching blade on a lawn mower would chew up the leaves, quickly releasing nutrients—and that is true. But the mulching blade also chews up the creatures living in the leaves.


It seems that whole leaves offer the greatest protection to beneficial insects, and that raking, or maybe better, using a leaf blower or a leaf vacuum, is the best way to clean up a lawn if one is compelled to do so. Whole leaves can then become mulch for gardens, shrubs and, hopefully, native wildflower plantings or designated wild areas of a lawn.


Leaf litter is not litter. It may be too late this year, but now that we know better, we can do better in the future. Fallen leaves are an essential part of the food web, passing the energy from the Sun to the birds, the bees and the ecosystem as a whole.


And speaking of birds and the food web, Saturday Science – our weekly activity for elementary students and their families – will be “Fit the Bill,” a fun, interactive way to learn about the food gathering adaptations of various types of birds. Because the demonstrations include edible examples, we ask parents to email if their children have dietary restrictions. 


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. 


Saturday, November 11

10:00 a.m. Saturday Science: Fit the Bill

This “science is fun” program will introduce families to adaptations in the bills of different types of birds. Demonstrations involve edible components. If children have dietary restrictions, please contact so accommodations can be made. No registration required. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

2:00 p.m. League of Women Voters: Voting in Door County

The League of Women Voters is hosting a talk on Voting in Door County.  Free and open to the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.


Tuesday, November 14 

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

The public is invited to the monthly general meeting of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. Paul Gruener will present “Digital Imaging Basics” Meet in the Stonecipher Center at Crossroads’ Astronomy Campus, 2200 Utah St., Sturgeon Bay. Free and open to the public.

Candy economy hits crunch time

From Halloween through Christmas, you will likely find it hard to keep your hands off a piece of candy or two. The National Retail Federation estimates that about $3.6 billion was spent on candy for Halloween this year. A 2022 National Confectioners Association report shows that more than half of Americans planned on gifting chocolate or candy during the holiday season. That is good news for Wisconsin, which has the eighth-largest candy economy in the United States, according to the website Upgraded Points. They also rank the Green Bay area in the Top 100 metro area for its candy economy when considering the number of businesses and employees there. It is undoubtedly not surprising to Uncle Tom’s Candy owner Ryan Mueller, who says they have only seen their Ellison Bay business grow since they took over last year.

Candy and chocolate remain top stocking stuffers as well, with 83 percent of poll respondents saying they would use the sweet treats for the holiday tradition, far outpacing small toys (63 percent), lip balm (59 percent), and gift cards (54 percent).

It's That Time of Year Again

Fall and respiratory viruses go hand-in-hand.  The minute the weather turns cool outside, and people head inside, we will see colds and flu start. In Wisconsin, we tend to see respiratory viruses spread from October through March, with our peak happening between January and February. Currently, the health department is already being notified about cases of Influenza, RSV, and COVID-19, not to mention enterovirus and rhinovirus. It’s inevitable. One day, you’re going to wake up sick.


How many times have you woken up feeling sick, and all you want to do is go back to bed and rest, but you know there is a lot on your plate at work? Your throat is scratchy, your nose is running, and your eyes are watering. You try to convince yourself that it’s just seasonal allergies, and you hop in the shower. Only after you step out of the shower you don’t feel any better. This sparks the internal debate of whether you should go to work or stay home. You want to stay home and rest, but you have people to see and appointments to keep, and that paperwork is due next week!


Deciding to stay home can be difficult, but it can be made easier by considering a few important things. We often think about leaving our co-workers high and dry if we are sick. Someone may have to answer a question on our behalf or even help out with our job. However, rarely do we ponder what the effect of coming to work sick might be. We seldom think about how our co-workers may feel if we come to work sick. If a co-worker has a weakened immune system or an autoimmune condition, they may be more susceptible to getting sick. Maybe that cold you have shared will cost them three days of their sick time. You never truly know the life your co-workers have outside of the workplace. They could be caring for small children or older adults, which puts them at risk.


An important thing to remember when feeling ill is that you are typically most contagious in the first 24 hours. Even if you don’t have a busy day at work and you have your own office, remember that you may be sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, touching door handles, and using public restrooms and break rooms. Germs spread fast. When you’re not feeling well, your body tells you to rest. Stay home.  Rest up, drink plenty of fluids, wash your hands frequently, and cover your cough and sneeze. Try to put away those feelings of guilt and lay low. Your work will get done, and sick time can be taken. Help keep the workplace well.

Local political parties gearing up for 2024 ahead of Election Day

Tuesday is not an election day for Wisconsinites, but you will be able to feel the momentum building in Door and Kewaunee counties toward 2024. Kentucky, Louisiana, Connecticut, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and Virginia all feature elections on Tuesday that could give a preview of what will come next year. The local Republican and Democratic parties are hosting events in the coming days with local politicians headlining. On Saturday, the Republican Party of Door County is hosting its fall event featuring U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, where chairperson Stephanie Soucek expects he will give updates on the crises at the border and in Israel, the looming government shutdown, and the budget process. On Tuesday, the Kewaunee County Democratic Party will host its own event with Dr. Kristin Lyerly, who has been linked to potentially challenging Rep. Mike Gallagher for his seat in the U.S. House. Soucek thinks Tuesday could tell a lot about how the parties move forward toward the 2024 election.

Tuesday’s election will also come one day before the Republican Party hosts its final Presidential debate in Miami. Former President Donald Trump remains the frontrunner and a likely no-show in the discussion. Still, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senator Tim Scott, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will possibly be on the stage.  




DNR sets minimum water elevation for Forestville Mill Pond

Door County officials will have extra hoops to jump if they ever want to repeat a drawdown of the Forestville Mill Pond.


Late last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources set a minimum elevation of 591.5 feet for the Forestville Mill Pond at the request of the Friends of the Forestville Dam, which battled the county on its approach to solve issues with the body of water dating back to 2019. The hope was that the drawdown would address shallow water depth, the diversity and number of native plants, a carp-dominated fish community, and poor water quality. The drawdown lasted two years, with the county now undergoing water quality monitoring, aquatic vegetation surveys, and invasive plant checks to see if their efforts worked.


Members of the Friends of the Forestville Dam argue that drawdown flushed untreated sediment down the Ahnapee River, making its waters even more impaired. Establishing a minimum water level was a goal the group had in mind after the Door County Circuit Court dismissed their case against the county in 2021. The DNR agreed with the group, saying that the minimum water elevation “protects the public rights in navigable waters, safety, life, health, property values, and economic values." It will also ensure that the Southern Door Fire Department, which protects the area as a part of its jurisdiction, will have a fill site in case of emergencies. The minimum water elevation is in addition to the requirement that the county holds a public hearing and receives DNR approval before the county could do another drawdown.


You can read the order from the DNR by clicking this link.

Dual credit courses give Gibraltar students a head start

Students at Gibraltar Area School District are finding out that you can earn credit for UW-Green Bay and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College without breaking your piggy bank for gas money. Last spring, Gibraltar started working with a pair of higher education partners to develop the framework for offering dual credit courses on campus. Students can take classes in Spanish, psychology, literature, and 3-D art design and earn credits toward a degree at UW-Green Bay. The offerings are similar for NWTC credits, with students having the option to take psychology, sociology, and most business courses. They also have the opportunity to take the Advanced Placement (AP) test for the subjects for college credit that is more universally accepted. Principal Jim DeBroux credits the students and the staff for helping the program thrive in its infancy.

DeBroux says one of the most significant advantages of dual-credit courses is the money you can save before applying for college. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average credit hour is approximately $390 for in-state students, which can more than triple when you go out of state for college or attend a private institution. That is up over 3 percent from last year and likely double what was spent 20 years ago.


Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday

Make sure you set your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday. Sunday marks the end of Daylight Saving Time for those countries that observe it. As a result, you will have to roll your clocks back one hour to be on standard time for the next several months. The twice-a-year task of setting your clocks is a friendly reminder for other tasks, such as checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, replacing air filters, and sweeping chimneys. For those hoping to avoid resetting your clocks altogether, you will be waiting longer. The Sunshine Protection Act, introduced by legislators in 2018 and 2022, has stalled in the hall of Congress. It never received a vote in the House of Representatives in 2022 despite unanimous support from the U.S. Senate, and it did not pass the Senate Committee this year.

Historic chapel gets rededication and blessing Saturday

A century-old roadside chapel in southern Door County will host a special ceremony on Saturday.  St. Hubert Roadside Chapel, located near the Belgian Heritage Center, will have a blessing and rededication at 9 a.m.   Fr. Edward Looney will conduct a ceremony at the chapel, which is located in the St. Mary of the Snows cemetery on Pit Road south of Brussels.  The chapel was initially built in Rosiere in 1921 and was moved to Suamico, Tonet, and Pulaski before it was fully restored and returned to Door County.  St. Hubert is the patron saint of hunters, and his feast day is November 3, the day after the blessing.  The St. Hubert Chapel is one of many Belgian roadside chapels in southern Door County.   The outdoor celebration is open to the public and will have refreshments after the ceremony.

Peninsula Players receives state funding for dormitory project

The second time was the charm for Peninsula Players Theatre after Governor Tony Evers announced $36.6 million in funding for five building projects left out of the 2023-2025 capital budget process. The organization’s slice of the financing was by far the smallest at $330,000 to help build safe and modern dormitory facilities. Peninsula Players Theatre completed its housing project earlier this year, replacing structures that did not offer indoor plumbing or climate control. Brian Kelsey from Peninsula Players Theatre says with this funding, they were able to close their Act II Housing Campaign with exactly what they needed. 

The Janesville Sports and Convention Center ($15 million), the Milwaukee Iron District soccer stadium ($9.3 million), the National Railroad Museum ($7 million), and the Bronzeville Center for the Arts ($5 million) were the other projects awarded by the governor using American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. His office projects that these projects will support over 400 jobs and nearly $68 million in economic activity. Peninsula Players Theatre is a part of a nonprofit arts and culture economy that generated $38.6 million in economic activity in 2022, according to the Peninsula Arts and Humanities Alliance.

Registration for Door County Toys for Kids opens

If your family needs more help putting presents under your Christmas tree in Door County this year, Santa is officially taking requests. Online registration for Door County Toys for Kids opened on Thursday ahead of distribution events scheduled for December 9th at the United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay and December 10th at the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay. Parents and legal guardians that reside in Door County can click this link to register or attend one of Door County Toys for Kids’ in-person registration events at the PATH Clubhouse on November 19th from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. or December 3rd from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. A past recipient herself, Door County Toys for Kids Vice President Jackie Baermann speaks from personal experience with the program when she says that the need is there and encourages families not to be too proud to sign up.

As for those hoping to donate money or toys to the Door County Toys for Kids Drive, keep your eyes peeled for donation boxes throughout the county in the coming days.  Last year, enough toys and money were donated to serve over 500 children in Door County.



Door County museum on track to get facelift

After over a decade of discussion, you will see more elbow room at the Door County Historical Museum and Archives Facility in Sturgeon Bay in the near future. The proposed project calls for over 14,000 square feet of space to be added onto the current museum, which requires the county to demolish the former Younkers building along 4th Avenue, among other adjustments. October was marked with a series of approvals at the city and county level, setting the stage for officials to put the project out to bid next month. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says it is an exciting process to be a part of as it has been a long time coming.

Pabich says a pilot program last year that saw the museum be opened on a limited winter schedule proved to be a success, paving the way for the possibility that the new facility will be opened year-round. He hopes that they will be able to award bids for the project in January.

United Way to host second volunteer fair Monday

Almost 40 different Door County non-profit organizations want to meet you on Monday to see how you can help serve your community. The United Way of Door County is hosting its second volunteer fair at the Door County YMCA from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to highlight some of the opportunities available to them. Director of Operations Kelly Hellmann and  Amy Kohnle from the United Way of Door County say volunteering has lots of great benefits for not just the community but for the community as well.

Hellmann and Kohnle add that the organization is also working on building out its Volunteer Connections website so people can sign up for opportunities online, which currently features 18 non-profit organizations.



S.S. Badger gets ok for key fix

The Lake Michigan Carferry received good news on Wednesday that will allow you to sail from Manitowoc, Wis. to Ludington, Mich. next year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gave the LMC the final permit to begin work on the S.S. Badger after a broken lift gate sank the rest of the ship’s 2023 season. The failure of the S.S. Badger’s counterweight structure on its portside failed on July 21st, rendering the apron ramp non-operational. Work is expected to start this week so crews that need to go underwater to make the repairs can do so before ice begins to form. The repairs are expected to take several months, but LMC General Manager Sarah Spore says they should be ready to welcome back guests in 2024. “We’re very excited to receive the much-anticipated federal and state permits to start construction on the lifting mechanism for the apron here in Ludington,” said Spore in the release. “It’s a major step forward in the concerted effort to get the Badger back underway to serve our port communities and carry passengers and transport freight across our marine highway on Lake Michigan.”


Ephraim speeds towards off season

As the leaves turn colors, so does the speed limit through the Village of Ephraim. Village maintenance crews took time on Wednesday to change the speed limit signs from 35 miles an hour to 45 miles an hour and through the downtown corridor from 25 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour. It is an acknowledgment that the busy tourism season has come and gone. The higher speed limits will remain in effect until April 30th.  It was another busy year in Ephraim, with the occupancy rates in May, June, and July within six percentage points of last year, according to Door County Tourism Zone data.



Door County YMCA showcases after-school activities

You can learn more about the afterschool program available at the Door County YMCA this Friday. A free community event called “Lights on Afterschool” will be hosted at the Sturgeon Bay facility. School Aged Director Ashley Bagneski says the evening will celebrate the important role of afterschool activities in the lives of children, families, and communities. She shares what is planned for the event this Friday.



The afterschool programs are designed for two separate age groups of 4-6 year-olds and 7-12 years old. The open house-type event will be from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. on November 3rd in the new Youth Activity Center at the Sturgeon Bay Program Center.

Early snow slows late harvest for farmers

You might see a pause of farm machinery working the fields in Door and Kewaunee counties for the next few days after the area received the first measurable snow of the season on Tuesday.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says some areas recorded three inches of snowfall that will delay some farmer’s harvest until the snow melts.  He says many farmers still had cornstalks in the fields waiting to dry out after a wet October.



Olson notes that, for the most part the fall weather was ideal for harvesting crops with excellent weather conditions.  According to the USDA crop progress report, Wisconsin shows that soybeans are less than 50 percent good or excellent while corn is just over 50 percent.  That compares to about 75 percent and 80 percent, respectively, last year at this time.     

Overnight street parking ends in Algoma Wednesday

Starting Wednesday, the City of Algoma will enforce ordinances that ban the overnight parking of vehicles on the streets.  The laws are in place to give street departments the ability to clear snowfall off the roadways safely and quickly.  The timing comes after the first significant snowfall of the season on Tuesday afternoon.  The parking ordinance is from 2 a.m.- 5 a.m.   The overnight parking ordinances are in effect through March 31, and violations may result in a citation and the towing of vehicles at the owner’s expense.  The City of Algoma has made an exception to residents on Division Street affected by construction on the roadway who have limited access to the street and driveways. 


The municipalities of Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee have street overnight parking ordinances in place starting on December 1st. 

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