Listen Live

Podcast

Videos

Daily E-lert

News Archives for 2024-02

Eleven anglers rescued from ice near Gardner

The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department is urging you to stay off the ice after they joined other emergency personnel in rescuing 11 anglers Saturday afternoon. The BUG Fire Department was called at 4:15 p.m. to reports of 11 people who were stranded between the shore and open water. There was an area of approximately 200 yards of open water between the shore and the stranded anglers when firefighters arrived. Nasewaupee Fire Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard could provide quick support as they were dealing with a separate ice emergency at the end of Wood Lane near Riley’s Bay Road. The department requested assistance for airboats from Nasewaupee Fire Rescue, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the United States Coast Guard. A helicopter from the Coast Guard was also used to check for other potentially stranded anglers. All eleven anglers were safely rescued and transported to the shore near Wood Lane. The scene was cleared just after 6 p.m. Nasewaupee Fire Rescue, Door County EMS, Gardner Emergency Medical Responders, Door County Sheriff’s Office, United States Coast Guard, the DNR,  Door County Emergency Management and Door County 911 Communications Center assisted with the incident.

What to do when your child goes missing

The AMBER Alert affecting the family of a three-year-old Two Rivers boy is serving as a sobering reminder of what you should do when your child goes missing. As of Friday afternoon, the Two Rivers Police Department was still working with state and federal agencies to help bring home three-year-old Elijah Vue after issuing an AMBER Alert earlier in the week. The boy’s parents, Jesse Vang and Katrina Baur were arrested on an allegation of child neglect and were in Manitowoc County Court on Friday for bail hearings. Meanwhile, residents and emergency personnel have searched everywhere, hoping to find Elijah.

 

 

Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman says a missing child case turns into an AMBER Alert based on three criteria: the child has to be 17 years or younger, be in danger of severe bodily harm or death, and there must be enough descriptive information about the child, suspect, and/or suspect vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help locate the child. Brinkman says the first 24 hours are crucial when helping find a child.


According to AMBER Alert Wisconsin, an average of seven children per day are reported missing to law enforcement throughout the state.


Door County MS Alliance finds inspiration from within

David Mailand likely had Multiple Sclerosis for years before his diagnosis seven years ago, but he is making sure he can help provide support for you if you are finding out about your diagnosis now. According to the National MS Society, multiple sclerosis is a disease that impacts the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves, which make up the central nervous system and controls everything we do. People like Mailand often do not experience symptoms after years of damage had already taken place. Mailand’s support system helped him persevere through the disease and find the medical help he needed to keep his symptoms under control. He says his experience inspired him to get certified by the National MS Society to start the Door County MS Alliance to ensure other community members can share their stories and feel the same support he has received.


The Door County MS Alliance meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Conference Room 1 at the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay. The next meeting is on February 27th and will also be available via Zoom.

Group hopes to bring skiing back to Potawatomi State Park

You may see something at Potawatomi State Park that hasn’t existed in over a quarter-century. Volunteers guided a ski hill at Potawatomi State Park for decades until 1998, when the decision was made to close the facility due to a stretch of mild winters and not enough people to help run the attraction. Plans to restore the ski hill had to undergo its own resurrection after progress on the plans stalled in 2018. Resident Dana Wangerin recently restarted organizational meetings to generate interest in the project again and get on the radar of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He says DNR officials have been open to hearing more about welcoming skiers back to the park, believing they would like to see it used to its full potential. Wangerin knows it will take a lot of time, effort, volunteers, and money to get everything restarted, but he is thrilled with the support he has already received to make it a reality.


A group of residents started meeting last month to start working on a business plan, a feasibility study, and an amendment to the local long-range plan for the park. The next meeting will occur on February 26th at 6:30 p.m. at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen in Sturgeon Bay and in March at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.

 


DCMC addresses workforce challenges with Lt. Governor

You might see one of the possible solutions to addressing the workforce challenges seen at the states’ hospitals already employed by Door County Medical Center. Hospital officials hosted Lt. Governor Sara Rodriguez earlier this week to show her how they meet the community’s needs at a time when rural healthcare is taking on an even greater importance. Rodriguez is leading the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce, which is looking at the different challenges the industry faces when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees, improving patient care while alleviating burdens, and exploring educational and training pathways. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Brian Stephens was proud to share with her the success of the hospital’s SPARC (Start the Path to a Rewarding Career) program, which brought on-the-job training for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Medical Assistants, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurses inside the hospital with help from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. He says it has been a cost they have been willing to bear to address a problem, but it might be a way the state can get involved.


Stephens says the workforce challenges in hospitals have been going on for years and are hitting rural areas like Door County hard because their employees are retiring. At the same time, the aging population that requires the most care in those communities continues to grow.

Community Investment Fund stretches its impact

You can find even more good that Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund has provided beyond the $1.2 million that has been given over the last year. The organization recently made its most significant contribution, awarding over $376,000 to six different projects across the county, including new trails in Peninsula State Park and Sturgeon Bay, illuminated water quality signs at five Door County beaches, the Door County Bookmobile, and more. The projects are typically discussed with Door County Community Foundation representatives before being vetted by an independent group so Destination Door County can award the grants. Destination Door County President/CEO Julie Gilbert says she is proud of the types of projects they have been able to support, adding that state statute prevents them from granting funds for other efforts that address childcare and affordable housing.

Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh says the pleasant side effect of having to deny some projects for grant funding because of one reason or another is that some of them have been able to receive help in other spots.

The next grant application deadline is March 25th at 4 p.m. Gilbert encourages interested local non-profit organizations and Door County municipalities to schedule an appointment to discuss their ideas before applying.

 

Click here to listen to our full interview with Julie Gilbert and Jon Jarosh

No injuries in Tuesday's propane truck incident

Two delivery drivers walked away from a two-vehicle collision on STH 42 south of Carlsville that caused the highway to be closed for over four hours Tuesday afternoon as emergency crews cleaned and cleared the scene.

 

Egg Harbor Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says the propane truck collided with a cargo van shortly before noon, causing both vehicles to overturn on the highway.  Both vehicles were traveling northbound when the van attempted to turn left onto West Town Line Road.  After the collision, the driver of the van was trapped and needed to be extricated from the vehicle but did not need medical assistance. MacDonald describes how his department provided protection with a water curtain to contain the slight spillage of vapors from the fill hose that escaped.

 

  

 

Both Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay fire departments responded to the call, along with Door County EMS, Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Door County Emergency Management.

 

Highway 42 was reopened to traffic at about 4:30 p.m.  

Algoma primary puts Lautenbach and Buhr in mayoral race

There will be a new mayor for the City of Algoma when the general election is held in April after a big turnout of 515 voters on Tuesday.  Incumbent Virginia Haske finished third in Tuesday’s primary as challengers Steve Lautenbach and Casey Buhr finished with the two highest vote counts in the run-off election.

 

Buhr garnered 184 votes, and Lautenbach finished with 177 votes to Haske’s 153.

 

Buhr and Lautenbach will face off in the general election on April 2nd.

 

Buhr was also the top vote-getter in the Algoma Alderperson District 3 primary race, with 84 votes, followed by Bill Bush with 57 and Kenneth D. Taylor with 29.

 

Buhr and Bush will now advance to the general election to determine who gets the seat on the Algoma Common Council. 

Southern Door taps Krutzik as new superintendent

You will find a new face in the superintendent’s office at Southern Door this summer. The district announced Monday night that it has appointed Dr. Kevin Krutzik as its newest superintendent.

 

Krutzik carries with him a 19-year career in education to go along with his studies at Edgewood College, Silver Lake College, Marquette University, and Lakeland University. He served as a Principal at Sheboygan Falls High School, Assistant Principal at Fond du Lac School High School, Middle/High School Principal at Oshkosh Lourdes Academy, and Business & Information Technology Teacher and Interim Principal at Manitowoc Lincoln High School before Monday’s appointment.

 

Board President Penny Price lauded Krutzik’s experience and the “innovative ideas and proven strength” he is expected to bring to Southern Door. “The Southern Door Community is fortunate to begin this journey with Dr. Krutzik, who has the skillset and attitude to take on challenges that our school community is facing while embracing the incredible opportunities that already exist," Price said.

 

Krutzik expressed his enthusiasm for joining the district, citing his excitement to collaborate with students, staff, and board members in his statement following his appointment. “I look forward to creating trusting relationships with all stakeholders and ensuring that we help each student reach their full potential," Krutzik said.

 

Krutzik will officially assume the role on July 1st, relieving Tony Klaubauf of his interim duties. You can read the full announcement from Southern Door School District here.

Washington Island School makes third straight trip to International SeaPerch Challenge

You will see the tradition of Washington Island students going to the University of Maryland for the International SeaPerch Challenge continue in 2024. Sponsored by the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance, the team Fast & Furious took second place at the Ashwaubenon Regional competition on Saturday, earning Washington Island’s third straight bid with at least one team making it to the international competition held in College Park, Md. The school narrowly missed out on a second consecutive year where they had two teams qualify for the competition, with Team JAWS taking third place. Teacher Miranda Dahlke continues to marvel at how her students turn their preparation into success at the regional competitions to earn a trip to internationals.

Carrying the theme of deep-sea exploration, the International SeaPerch Challenge will take place on May 31st and June 1st. Supported by the Door County Maritime Museum, local teams participated in a practice earlier this month at the Door County YMCA, where they could practice with the robots in the pool just like they do during regional and international competitions. Competitors undergo two challenges in the pool and an oral presentation with judges.

Aquatics center proposed for Sister Bay

You will be able to go for a swim in Sister Bay and not have to rely on a beach or a hotel to do so.

 

During Tuesday’s Sister Bay Plan Commission meeting, Rachel Parr will present drawings on a sports and recreation center situated on 3.5 acres along State Highway 57. The first phase of the development is described as a “medical aquatic spa of sorts,” according to the meeting’s agenda packet, that includes endless pools where swimmers could adjust the resistance they swim against, similar to a treadmill. The drawings also show an indoor and outdoor lap pool, playground, and splash pad to be built in the future phases.

 

The village is asking Parr for a change in the future facility’s parking lot so she is not developing on an easement located on the property. Parr is asking the village to support her pursuit of a Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Development Corporation to the tune of $250,000 for what is expected to be a multi-million dollar project.

 

The Sister Bay Plan Commission will also host public hearings for six ordinance amendments, including two impacting parking at short-term rental properties. The meeting will occur at 5:30 p.m. at the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Station and will be available via Zoom at this link.

Aldo Leopold Day arrives at Crossroads at Big Creek

In 2004, Gov. Jim Doyle signed legislation designating the first Saturday in March as Aldo Leopold Day in Wisconsin. At Crossroads at Big Creek, our first event was  in 2007. This year, we will continue the tradition of celebrating the life and legacy of Wisconsin’s most influential ecologist/philosopher, Aldo Leopold, and to use the day for re-dedication to Leopold’s concept of a “land ethic.”   

Nancy Rafal (who at that time served as Door County Poet Laureate) suggested that Crossroads host our first Door County Aldo Leopold Day. Because so many environmentalists have been inspired by the works of this  Wisconsin writer, and because countless people read and re-read his essays to renew their commitment to the land, the idea of inviting professional actors and other volunteers to read the book aloud and to invite the community to stop by for a few minutes … for an hour….perhaps for the whole day …seemed the perfect way to share Leopold’s legacy.

Since then, we have held Leopold Breakfasts. We’ve participated with our partners in conservation, The Land Trust, The Ridges Sancturys, The Clearing and Write-On Door County in hosting stwo-day progressive Marathon Reads throughout the county. We’ve celebrated Leopold’s graduate student Fran Hamerstrom.  And Emma Toft. We’ve masked up to offer social-distanced outdoor readings. And in 2011, we hosted the Wisconsin premiere of the documentary “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time”

The screening was a memorable event. The lecture hall was filled to overflowing learners of all ages and was  a “whose who” of Door County environmental advocates and leaders. I turned to the late educator/environmentalist Carl Scholtz and commented, “It looks like we are preaching to the choir.”

“Good,” he said. “The choir needs to get together and practice from time to time.”

And that is why we re-read and reflect on “A Sand County Almanac” each March. Sometimes we in environmental field get so overwhelmed with paperwork…... grant reports, budgets, management plans…we need to pause and ponder Leopold’s words and to take a bit of time to observe the beauty and complexity of nature. This time of year, everybody needs a little inspiration. 

So we invite the community—whether  or not folks have read this short literary classic---to join us on Saturday, March 3 for a afternoon of reflection, nature observations, and a showing of the Green Fire documentary

 From 1:00-4:00 Self-guided nature journaling hikes will be offered. Also starting at 1:00, selected reading from a Sand County Almanac will focus on anecdotes of Leopold’s nature observations.

At 2:00 the documentary will be screened at 2:00, and although it is free and open to the public, we expect a good turnout so are requesting reservations. And because the group size is limited, reservations will also be required for the 3:00 Guided Nature Journaling Hike.  Visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek.og to RSVP.

Some members of the community will want to prepare, so for the February meeting of the Crossroads Book Club, we selected “A Sand County Almanac.” The group will gather around the fireplace and discuss the concept of a “land ethic” and how it influences current land management practices.

One of the many insightful quotes from this book guides our Board of Directors in its decision making: “Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

And  a second quote will sound remarkably familiar to the pre-school-aged children and their caretakers who will participate in our spring session of Junior Nature Club [we still have a few openings], which will start in March. At the beginning of each class the youngsters will repeat a pledge promising “to be a friend of of Nature — the soils and the water, the plants and the animals.” Our little pledge was inspired by Leopold’s Land Ethic.

 “The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land.”


February28

 

10:00 am Crossroads Book Club: A Sand County Almanac

This month we’re discussing ”A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Crossroads will have a few copies of the book available to borrow if needed.

Whether you have read the book yet or not, we would love for you to join us as we explore the essays and philosophies found in inspiring literary classic. Free and open to the public.  Meet around the fireplace in the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan, Sturgeon Bay.

 

 

Friday, March 1

5:00 pm Crossroads Volunteer Mixer

Interested in finding out more about volunteer opportunities at your local nature center? Whether you are simply curious or a seasoned volunteer, join us Friday to find out what’s up and coming this spring at Crossroads. This casual event is a great chance to learn about volunteering at Crossroads and meet other wonderful people who care about nature! Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads at Big Creek. 2041 Michigan.

 

March 2

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Aldo Leopold Day

Crossroads is celebrating the life and work of Aldo Leopold. Join us for an afternoon of reflection, nature observations, and a showing of the 2011 film: Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic of Our Time.

All  events are free, but reservations are required for the documentary and the guided hike. Visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek to save a seat and for more information.

Pilgrim or tourist? A look at mental health

I would like to take a pause from the annual report segments and talk a bit about wellness once again. I just returned from a quick getaway with my dear wife, and I try to use these adventures to not only dedicate my absolute attention to this amazing lady, but at the same time refresh and adjust my perspective. In my daily routine, I have limited time for reading, but I did my best to catch up on the flights there and back this year.

       

One of the books I was able to read over my free time, was “Resisting Happiness” which is written by Matthew Kelly. The title is a bit of a twist in the actual context, as it is not how we should resist happiness, but rather how we should find happiness even when our own natural tendencies pull us in other emotional directions. If we think about the various habits we may have, these are behaviors that are deeply engrained in our minds, and to change them takes deliberate and concerted effort. In that same way, we can get into habits of behavior and thinking that actually prevent us from experiencing true happiness.

        

When the author refers to finding happiness, he is not referring to merely being happy in those times of satisfaction or comfort, but being able to find happiness regardless of the environment or conditions in which we find ourselves. Yes, even in times of pain or struggle, there is a place for happiness. It may not be jubilant in the form of joyous expression, but rather a sense of peace and contentment.

         

There is a great analogy that is used in the book which poses the question; “Are you a Tourist or a Pilgrim?” The author goes on to describe the behavior of a typical tourist as they search for things to purchase or comforts to be enjoyed, annoyed by any delay or diversion from their planned itinerary, oblivious to the real treasures that surround them. In contrast, the Pilgrim approaches their travels in search of connection to people, and aware of the moments in which they find themselves. They are able to smile at a rainy day, laugh at a delayed flight, and find peace in disrupted vacation plans.

         

This can be applied to how we live our lives as well, and our ability to find happiness. If we are focused on ourselves, our deadlines, our material possessions, or solely our needs; happiness will elude us. However, if we take the time to look at each person as a gift, each struggle as a challenge, and each day as a new beginning full of opportunities, happiness is a natural outcome.

        

Reading this book brought me back to a question that a friend once asked me. The question was; “Why are you always so happy?” I responded that I am in fact not always happy. I have times of anger, times of fear, times of sadness and times of regret. I visit those emotions from time to time, but I don’t set up camp there. I visit, but choose not to stay. I set up my camp in happiness. I pitch my tent in contentment, and enjoy my campfire of gratitude. We each choose our emotional state of being. Choose Happiness.

Kitchens reflects on Assembly session

You will find members of the Wisconsin Assembly heading back to their home districts after completing their final day on Thursday. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called the session incredibly productive, citing the budget passage, increases in funding for local communities, and multiple tax cuts as some of the successes. Rep. Joel Kitchens is especially proud of the tax cut legislation they were able to get to Governor Tony Evers’ desk, especially those that benefit senior citizens and child-care dependent parents.

The end of the session does not mean members of the Assembly were able to accomplish everything they wanted to do. Kitchens says he will be keeping an eye on several bills waiting for Senate passage, including one that would legalize medical marijuana.

While the Assembly was adjourned until after the fall election, the Wisconsin State Senate seemed poised to return to Madison next month to finish their duties.

League of Women Voters of Door County to host second candidate forum March 6th

The League of Women Voters of Door County has an opportunity for you to become more informed ahead of the April 2nd election.

 

The organization is hosting its second candidate forum of the spring election cycle on March 6th from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Sevastopol Town Hall. This forum will focus on the four candidates seeking Town of Sevastopol Board seats. Incumbents Jeanne Vogel and Derek Denil are looking to ward off challenges by Mark Haberli and Trent Olsen.  The forums organized by the League of Women Voters of Door County give the public a chance to hear from the candidates about their thoughts on questions from the community. The Town of Sevastopol Board Candidate Forum will be live-streamed on the town’s YouTube channel and recorded by the League of Women Voters of Door County.

 

The organization hosted its first candidate forum of the spring election cycle last week when Jennifer Moeller and Brett Reetz presented their case to become the next Door County Circuit Court Judge.

 

You can watch the forum below:

 

Door County Maritime Museum takes another step towards full accreditation

You may not notice a difference the next time you stop by, but the Door County Maritime Museum is a step closer to becoming fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The organization recently announced it has verified the museum’s core documents, which cover its educational mission, strategic plan, code of ethics, and emergency and collections stewardship policies. Deputy Director & Development Manager Sam Perlman says the requirements set forth by the AAM were nothing new compared to what the museum has been doing in the past. Still, it shows they have codified those practices in a written document. Core Documents Verification puts the Door County Maritime Museum one step closer to becoming fully accredited, which only three percent of the country’s 35,000 museums, zoos, and aquariums have reached, including 21 in Wisconsin. Perlman says AAM accreditation has been a goal of the museum for a long time, and it will open the door for more educational opportunities in the future.


Perlman says the process includes an exhaustive self-study and site visit before an accreditation commission decides. Once accredited, the Door County Maritime Museum would carry that distinction for ten years before reaccreditation.

Gibraltar Area Schools invites community to learn about upcoming improvements

You will be able to learn more about how Gibraltar Area Schools will be transformed in the coming years. The district and its contractor, CG Schmidt, are hosting two engagement sessions tonight (February 22nd) and Tuesday, March 5th, at 5 p.m. The sessions will include an overview of the project and its team, its two bid packages, the pre-qualification process, and a question and answer session. The improvements were approved last year as a part of a $29.8 million referendum to demolish the 1930s and 1950s sections of the building. In its place, the district plans on building a new two-station gym, community space, and classrooms in addition to updates to the cafeteria and offices. Superintendent Brett Stousland says there will be plenty of construction, but they are trying to limit student, staff, and visitor interruptions.


Stousland says the project will break ground behind the building on June 3rd and hopes to be completed by the end of August 2025.

Business puts "gratitude is attitude" to work for House of Hope

“Gratitude is attitude” has been Uncle Tom’s Candy’s slogan for 50 years, but its current owners, Ryan and Rebecca Mueller are taking it one notch further.

 

The Muellers discovered House of Hope when he was the Director of Operations for The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County. Opened in 2000 on the city’s west side, House of Hope provides emergency shelter and housing stability programs for young parents and their children dealing with homelessness. The organization also provides financial literacy, parenting, and other educational programs for its clients. Mueller says he has been saddened by what he sees in the world, and he wanted his business to provide a bright spot in the region.

Uncle Tom’s Candy is offering discounts on their products online and in-person Friday and Saturday, with all profits going to support House of Hope’s mission. Mueller hopes this is the first of many events in the coming years where they will be support local non-profits while showing that gratitude is attitude.

Public safety warns of AT&T outage

Emergency personnel nationwide are warning you how a service outage involving a major cell phone carrier could affect your ability to call for help. According to CNN, AT&T’s network went down for thousands of customers early Thursday morning. As of 6 a.m., approximately 46,000 customers lack service, according to DownDetector.com. Cricket Wireless, which uses AT&T towers, reports about 10,000 customers without service. The Egg Harbor Fire Department, the Washington Island Police Department and Brown County Public Safety Communications are just some of the local agencies that took to social media to help people who may use those services connect with 911 operators if needed. They recommend using the SOS feature on your cellphone, a landline, or a different cellphone service. 

 

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

 

 

 

 

YMCA Youth program registration open this week

You can sign your child up for Door County YMCA's Winter Session II Youth Programs as the registration period is underway.  Members began enrolling in classes this past Monday, with non-members starting today (Wednesday).

 

School Age Director Ashley Bagneski says the new youth programs include dodgeball, soccer, gymnastics, swimming,  gaga ball, and various dance sessions. She says the move of the preschool programs from the Lansing Center to the new Sturgeon Bay facility has brought more opportunities for the younger children to participate in different sports.

 

 

Youth programs for the Winter II session will begin on Monday, February 26, and run through late April.  Bagneski adds that you can find the complete listing of youth programs offered at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek on their website.

Hovde enters U.S. Senate race

Businessman Eric Hovde wants your help turning the U.S. Senate red this fall. The long-rumored candidate announced on Tuesday his intentions to run for the U.S. Senate, pitting him against two-term Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin. Hovde grew up and went to school in Madison, Wis., before starting several businesses and The Hovde Foundation, which supports other charities addressing various issues. In a video launching his campaign, Hovde says that “our country is facing enormous challenges” and that “All Washington does is divide us and talk about who’s to blame.” This is the second time Hovde has tried running for the U.S. Senate. He lost a primary challenge to former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, who lost to Baldwin in the 2012 election as they raced to replace the retired U.S. Senator Herb Kohl. While Hovde may be the biggest name to enter the Republican race for the U.S. Senate, he is far from the only one. According to Ballotpedia, Kyle Corrigan, Stacey Klein, Rejani Raveendran, and Patrick Schaefer-Wicke also plan to challenge Baldwin for her U.S. Senate seat. Baldwin is not facing a primary challenge.

 

Picture from Hovde for Wisconsin

Sturgeon Bay approves equipment and repair recommendations

During a relatively routine meeting on Tuesday night, the City of Sturgeon Bay moved forward on several recommendations by the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee.  Council President Dan Williams filled in for Mayor David Ward to preside over the regular meeting, which took about 35 minutes.  He says the first piece of business was the approval of a first reading of an alteration to the Municipal Code to make the wording clearer on the Tourist Rooming House ordinance. 

 

The council then approved the contract with Flock Safety to install a license plate reader camera system for $31,500 with a recurring cost of $30,000 annually.  Williams says the system will only be used in Sturgeon Bay as an investigative tool for situations like Amber or Silver Alerts that have been issued.

 

 

Other recommendations approved Tuesday included the purchase of a new Volvo L90H rubber tire loader and resurfacing the Safe Boat. 

 

After the regular meeting, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council went into a closed session and discussed a property purchase on Division Road but did not take action after deliberating for about 30 minutes.

Two-vehicle crash closes WIS 42

Approximately four miles of WIS 42 south of Carlsville was shut down Tuesday afternoon due to a two-vehicle crash. At about noon, emergency personnel reported to the scene of WIS 42 and W Town Line Road, where two vehicles were found lying on their sides. One of the vehicles was a propane truck that was reportedly leaking fuel.   The state highway was closed shortly after that, with personnel directing traffic near intersecting streets. No other information has been released, and we will have more as soon as it is available.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department

United Way of Door County releases funded program list

Tuition assistance for young families, home repair programs, and family service programs are among the ways your donations to the United Way of Door County will be used in 2024. Close to 20 organizations will benefit from United Way of Door County funding. That includes the organization’s programs addressing child care, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, family education, and nutritional wellness. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says their committee worked hard to figure out a way to stretch the over $800,000 it raised during its record-setting annual campaign last year.

In addition to the programs it helped fund, the United Way of Door County also formed initiatives and collaborations with 2-1-1, AARP Tax-Aide, the Door County Food Pantry Coalition, and Volunteer Connections.

 

 

Tooth Fairy returns to Door County Medical Center

For over 20 years, you can find the Tooth Fairy and some of her assistants roaming around the halls of the Door County Medical Center Clinic. Every year, the clinic hosts its Tooth Fairy event, which collects donations to support its work with patients in Door and Kewaunee counties who are on Medicaid or considered low-income with no dental insurance. The Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic has grown tremendously since it opened its doors 25 years ago. Last year, the clinic had over 4,500 visits from patients. Tanya Fischer from the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic says it is sign that is important to get the preventative care you need for your teeth.

You can donate by stopping by their 16th Avenue entrance and purchasing a paper tooth to hang on the wall or you can mail it in. We have more information on the Tooth Fairy event online with this story.

 

 

3-year old Two Rivers boy missing

Two Rivers authorities are trying to locate a missing 3-year-old boy.  The Two Rivers Police Department issued a missing person report for the boy named Elijah, who was last seen in the 3900 block of Mishicot Road in Two Rivers at 8 a.m. Tuesday.  He is described as having Hmong and white ethnicity with dark blonde hair and blue eyes.  He was last seen wearing gray pants, a long-sleeved dark shirt, and red and green dinosaur shoes.  He is possibly carrying a red and white plaid blanket, as shown below.  If you have any information on Elijah's whereabouts, please call 920-686-7200.

 

 

 

 

Crews respond to Midwest Wire Products fire Monday night

Some fraying wires near the roof line of Midwest Wire Products in Sturgeon Bay are to blame for a small fire Monday night. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was called to the scene just after 8:40 p.m. to the far southwest-side business for reports of smoke and flames coming from the building’s gutters near a gas line. Crews quickly extinguished the flames before going inside to see if the fire extended into the interior of the building. They did not find any other signs of an ongoing fire, even after pulling down some insulation and poking holes into the roof. Sturgeon Bay Interim Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says some fraying wires near the gutter likely sparked, igniting the materials in the gutter.

The building was closed for the day, so no one was inside when the fire occurred. Montevideo says the building’s owners and maintenance personnel were on the scene with the firefighters to assess the damage and determine how to make repairs. Nasewaupee and Southern Door fire departments responded to the fire but were quickly sent back after the fire was quickly put out. Montevideo says crews were on the scene for over an hour.

 

Fire brings warning of unseasonably dry conditions

A fire call in Baileys Harbor on Monday afternoon served as a reminder that an uncontrolled blaze can start up quickly, even during the middle of winter.  Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak says crews responded around 1:30 p.m. when something on a power pole shorted out on the riser and dropped down on the ground, starting a small grass fire near the intersection of West Kangaroo Lake Road and Fairview Road.  Zak notes that the fire burned itself out and scorched only about a ten by 20-foot area.  Although the fire was not caused by burning, Fire Chief Zak advises you to be extremely careful when you do any outside burning and to acquire the necessary permits in advance.

 

 

The National Weather Service forecasts above-normal temperatures and no precipitation for the next week, meaning even drier and potentially more dangerous conditions.  

Governor Evers signs new maps into law

It is expected that you will see more competitive legislative races this fall after Governor Tony Evers signed new legislative boundary maps into law on Monday morning. Wisconsin Act 94 enacted the maps proposed by the Democratic governor, which experts said still lean Republican but could produce different results depending on the ballots cast. According to the Associated Press, 15 Republican incumbents in the Assembly and six in the Senate will be forced to run against each other under the new maps. According to the Governor’s office, this will mark the first time in 50 years the legislative maps will be fair and enacted through the will of the Wisconsin Legislature and not the courts. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wrote in his weekly newsletter that I have always said it is the job of the Legislature to determine the maps, not the courts. This should be a win for both sides, as it ends the millions being spent on this redistricting lawsuit, yet not a single Democrat spoke on the floor and all but one voted no.” Evers claimed victory on Monday, saying, “When I promised I wanted fair maps—not maps that are better for one party or another—I damn well meant it. Wisconsin is not a red state or a blue state—we’re a purple state, and I believe our maps should reflect that basic fact.” Fair maps has been one of the main talks for groups like Common Cause Wisconsin. Executive Director Jay Heck hopes this takes the state down the path of a non-partisan redistricting process so the maps remain fair for all parties.

 


The maps enacted on Monday will be in place for this fall’s election and will stay in place until 2031 when the boundaries are redrawn to reflect population changes in the state.

Algoma holds lone primary Tuesday

You can head to the polls on Tuesday in Algoma as the city holds Door and Kewaunee counties’ lone primary. Residents in District 3 will have two races to choose their preferred candidates, while the rest of the city only has to worry about the mayoral races. Voters will choose from Virginia Haske, Steve Lautenbach, and Casey Buhr for mayor and Bill Bush, Kenneth D. Taylor, and Casey Buhr for District 3 Alderperson. The top two will advance to the spring general election on April 2nd. Even though registration is available on election day, voters must bring the proper identification to their polling place to vote.

DNR sets ice shanty removal dates

If Mother Nature has not forced you to move your ice shanties, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will also give you an end date. Permanent ice shanties must be removed from state waters by specific dates beginning February 20th along the Wisconsin-Iowa border. You have a little more time locally with shanties having to be removed from inland water south of Highway 64 (Marinette to the St. Croix Crossing bridge on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border) by March 3rd. Anglers fishing along the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary have to remove their ice shanties by March 15th and those located on Lake Michigan and Green Bay and inland waters north of Highway 64 by March 17th. The removal deadlines are to ensure shanties are removed and to avoid the additional costs and hazards of shanties breaking through the ice. Those deadlines are assuming you were able to put your shanty on the ice at all. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last week that the average ice cover on the Great Lakes was at 2.7 percent, which is the lowest level since they started keeping track in 1973. 

Turning Door County in Dairyland for Alice

While Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow continues her 12-month reign, the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals Committee members are busy preparing for her successor’s coronation. Door County was officially named the host of the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals last May, but members in the area’s agriculture community learned of their springtime duties months before. Denise Plassmeyer, the chairperson of the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals Steering Committee, says they submitted their bid to host the event as a way to showcase agriculture in an area often more associated with tourism or manufacturing. There is a story to tell, and Plassmeyer is thrilled with the opportunity to tell it with the help of Alice in Dairyland.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will announce the six finalists for the role on March 1st at The Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. Plassmeyer says that is just the beginning of the road for the future Alices ahead of the finals event on May 4th.

You can support Door County’s Alice in Dairyland bid and meet Hagenow on March 9th at Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay when the committee hosts a fundraising meat raffle from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

 

Listen to our full interview with Denise Plassmeyer here

UW-Oshkosh, county opens spring groundwater monitoring registration

You can sign up to participate in the ongoing study of the water you use daily. UW-Oshkosh and Door County are teaming up again to provide groundwater testing in the area as they have since 2019. The program's goal is not just to provide education about the importance of testing your water but to continually update its database of groundwater quality data in Door County. Last year, UW-Oshkosh tested 195 wells in the spring and 162 in the fall. According to the Door County Government website data, nitrates posed the biggest concern to residents, with 26 percent of samples showing between 2-10 mg/L of nitrates and two percent with samples of over 10 mg/L of nitrates. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, concentrations over 3 mg/l generally indicate contamination. The website's data also shows coliform, arsenic, and E. coli levels. Residents can apply to participate in this year’s program for a small fee by clicking this link before March 22nd. Test kits must be returned on April 5th or 6th, depending on your chosen drop-off site.

City looks to purchase license plate reader camera system

If your vehicle is stolen or associated with a crime, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department could have a new tool in their arsenal to find you.

 

When it meets on Tuesday, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council is considering building a license plate reader camera system within city limits. The system could capture computer-readable images of license plates and vehicles to assist in their investigations. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, upwards of 70 percent of crimes involve license plates, and they are often the top piece of evidence the police can use to make an arrest. Not only would it help the police identify stolen vehicles and those associated with a known suspect, but the camera system could also be used to help find Silver Alert suspects. The contract with the company Flock Safety would be $31,500 for installation and an annual charge of $30,000 per year. That installation amount is actually less than what was budgeted by the city.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss repairs to its Safeboat and a contract associated with the West Waterfront Promenade before going into a closed session to discuss the purchase of some property located on Division Road. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. inside the council’s Sturgeon Bay City Hall chambers.

Board games and bubbles highlight Crossroads activities

Family-friendly programs will abound at Crossroads at Big Creek this weekend. Friday night, Crossroads will offer a Winter Board Game Bash for all ages. The weekly Saturday Science program will feature activities about bubbles, and on Sunday afternoon, the Door County Library will present an Author Talk featuring children’s book author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh. And then, on Tuesday, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Master Gardeners join to offer a program called, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

 

The free Sunday afternoon program will give families opportunity to learn a bit about the history of Mexico from Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in both English and in Spanish.

 

And for learners of all ages, what can be more fun than blowing bubbles? This week’s Saturday Science program will introduce a number of concepts about these floating iridescent spheres which enhance our beverages, make ice cream soft enough to eat, carry oxygen to our lungs and the oceans, and much, much more. To quote Professor James Bird, “There is no doubt that bubbles connect our world in ways large and small.”

 

Any time now, especially on windy days, we will start seeing bubbles in Big Creek. Not isolated delicate bubbles, but large mounds of suds that smell rather like fish. The fish smell actually is good news because it means the foam in the creek is harmless and natural. When dead plant parts – leaves, sticks, logs – decompose, they release organic surfactants, not unlike soap, which release the surface tension of the water so bubbles form. Mounds of suds add energy (and hiding places) to the creek.

 

But not all foam is good for a body of water. Human-made suds (which sometimes smell quite nice—OR NOT) can come from industry, or from soaps, paints, and fertilizers and pesticides that run off our lawns and parking places. The obvious solution is to stop using harmful chemicals, but there is another way to at least reduce the chemicals that wash into storm drains or directly into the bays.

 

On Tuesday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m., the Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners will bring Naturalist Karen Newbern to Crossroads to present, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

 

Newbern will explain how creating a rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. She will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include and also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality.

 

We at Crossroads cannot predict winter weather, but we will post conditions on our website so if there is adequate  snow, visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org for conditions, closures, etc.

 

 

 

 

February 23

6:00-9:00 p.m. Winter Board Game Bash

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a warm fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, and a good board game to play with family or friends. We’ll have tables set up with a variety of board games including Wingspan, Sushi Go, Science Trivia, and more. Open to all ages. No reservation necessary. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center. Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Saturday, February 24

2:00 p.m. Science Saturday: Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is entertaining, but bubbles also can introduce a number of science concepts, not to mention developing motor skills and coordination. Participants will view a short video and then will participate in a variety of bubble activities for all ages. Free and open to the public. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Sunday, February 25

2:00 p.m. Door County Library Author Talk

 

This Sunday afternoon program will give families the opportunity to learn a bit about Mexican history from Duncan Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in English and in Spanish. This promises to be an exciting afternoon and it is free and open to the public. Meet in the Lecture Hall of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Tuesday, February 27 6:30 p.m.

“Soak it up, Rain Garden Basics”

 

A rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. In this program, we will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include. We’ll also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality. The Newbern in-person lecture is presented in collaboration with Crossroads at Big Creek, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners. It is free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center.

Egg Harbor continues to make progress on road project

You can start to see the future streetscape take shape through the Village of Egg Harbor as its construction project nears the end of its second month.

 

The Egg Harbor Business Association provided its latest update on Friday, forecasting the utility burial at a pair of road crossings beginning Monday. The first is across STH 42 just north of the STH 42/White Cliff Road intersection, and the second is across White Cliff Road at the STH 42 intersection. Motorists are advised to use Orchard Road and Market Street to access Church Street to bypass the work. The hope is that they can complete the work in one day. Otherwise, it will be finished on February 20th.

 

After that, utility burial efforts will continue from White Cliff Road to CTH G within Harbor View Park. Village officials and business owners continue to stress that despite the construction, the area remains open to business for local traffic. The village has set up bypass routes around the village in addition to the designated detour for those who want to visit Egg Harbor but avoid the construction.

 

You can find the full update posted below.

 

 

Myths of a traffic stop

As a follow-up to last week’s article on the operations of our patrol division, I wanted to expand on a few myths I hear from time to time regarding our motivation and benefit of conducting traffic stops and issuing citations. 

 

As it pertains to generating revenue is our primary motive, this could not be further from the truth. Let’s take a common citation for speeding with a forfeiture of $200.50

      

Of that $200.50, $25.00 goes directly towards court costs. $89.50 goes towards Court Support Services, 23.00 is assessed as a Crime Lab surcharge, $13.00 is a penalty surcharge, and $50.00 goes towards a deposit. In essence, none of that money remains here with the Sheriff’s Department, so revenue is not a driving factor in our decision to issue a citation for a given offense. It always has been and will continue to be the safety of our community which motivates us to be proactive and vigilant in our enforcement of traffic laws.

      

The next narrative is that we here at the Sheriff’s Department have a quota that must be met each and every month. I will concede that there is a slight aspect of truth to this, however, not in terms of citations or fines. Instead, we do encourage and monitor “Contacts” that our Patrol Deputies have on a given shift. Now, there are two ways in which “Contacts are made; one is proactive, and the other is reactive. You could also define them as “Formal” or “Informal” contacts. I can tell you that as Sheriff, what I like to see are a solid number of proactive and informal contacts. What this tells me is that the Deputy is going out of their way to engage with members of our community. This could be in the form of a traffic stop or just stopping in at a place of business. The outcome is not the focus here but rather the contact itself and the positive relationships that these interactions cultivate.

     

Another concern that I have heard is that we should be focusing our efforts on major crime in our communities rather than wasting our time on traffic enforcement. To this, I would say that, fortunately, we have the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. We have a wonderful community that is not overwhelmed with criminal activity, and when such activity occurs, we have the resources and abilities to pivot and confront such challenges. We do not need to suspend our focus on keeping our roads safe in an effort to thwart criminal activity, nor do we ignore criminal activity in pursuit of dealing with those lesser violations. To this point, next week, I will be spending some time sharing information about our Investigative Division here at the Sheriff’s Department.

Wicklund takes reins of Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region

A new face is at the head of the organization, but it is one you will recognize if you have supported the Boys & Girls Club over the last two decades. This month, the Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region appointed Johanna Wicklund as its Chief Executive Officer, leading the organization’s strategic direction and operations of its three clubhouses and ten school-based sites. Wicklund is no stranger to the organization, having spent her entire professional career with the Boys & Girls Club, serving as the Director of Program Development and Evaluation in Green Bay for 14 years before moving on to become the Senior Director of Strategy & Measurement and Chief Operating Officer before her most recent promotion. She says she knew early on that being with the Boys & Girls Club and helping it reach new heights was where she wanted to be.

Wicklund wants to see the Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region continue to grow under her watch. Over 160 kids are a part of the club in Sturgeon Bay, exceeding where they were before the pandemic. She hopes that collaborating with other youth organizations, community groups, and businesses can provide even more opportunities for kids in Door County.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region is approaching its first anniversary since the Green Bay, Shawano, and Door County clubs combined to provide more enriching opportunities for kids across the region. You can listen to our full interview with Wicklund by clicking this link.

City, district exploring options with Memorial Field athletic complex

Your views and uses of the Memorial Field athletic complex in Sturgeon Bay could change in the future after multiple entities contributed to a feasibility study for the site. The City of Sturgeon Bay and Sturgeon Bay School District have been collaborating for years on possibly improving the complex to modernize surfaces and improve drainage so the facilities can be used for more activities consistently. The complex is a patchwork of pieces that are separately or jointly owned by the city and the district. The city’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee approved $20,000 to be used for a feasibility study on the site, with the district, the Door County Pickleball Club, Door County Medical Center, Fincantieri, and an anonymous donor making up the balance of the $74,500 commitment.  City Administrator Josh Vanlieshout says the parties must learn what they can and can’t do with the site while being fiscally responsible.

Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel expressed last summer his appreciation for the interest from other community partners in the improvements so the complex can serve an even greater good for the community. The feasibility study will take a few months to complete before its findings are presented to the district and the city for further discussion.

Electric vehicles get tagged with new fire safety stickers

Protecting first responders in emergencies is the goal of the new stickers you will receive in the mail if you drive an electric vehicle. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that the new electric vehicle hybrid stickers will be sent to nearly 146,000 owners by June so they can be affixed in the upper right-hand corner of the license plate. The stickers stem from a law passed in 2023 requiring owners to have the stickers on their vehicles for the safety of first responders. Protocols for responding to a vehicle fire change depending on whether it is a gas-powered or electric vehicle. Last month, Luxemburg Community Fire Chief Lew DuChateau explained the dangers his crew faced when responding to an electric vehicle fire.

The Luxemburg Fire Department received a $3,000 donation from the Lee and Kathy Anderson Foundation to purchase a fire blanket to be used during an electric vehicle fire, which is a much safer option for firefighters. 

First District stays largely intact after Legislature's approval of new maps

The Wisconsin Legislature approved new legislative maps on Wednesday, but you will not see a difference in your representation if you live in Door or Kewaunee counties.

 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos admitted on Tuesday that the vote to approve the new maps drawn by Governor Tony Evers was a major win for the Democratic-led administration. According to the Associated Press, 15 Republican incumbents in the Assembly and six in the Senate will be forced to run against each other under the new maps. There is just one instance where two Democrats were forced into duels. Experts hired by the Wisconsin Supreme Court said earlier this month that the maps were still titled toward Republicans but should offer more competitive races throughout the state.

 

You will see the same representation for voters in Door and Kewaunee counties. It does not mean that State Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens and State Senator Andre Jacque will not see some changes to their districts. According to maps provided by the governor’s office, the First Assembly District saw a population deviation of -89 voters, while the First Senate District saw an increase of +2. Democrats were still leery about approving the deal, pointing to language in the bill that the maps would not go into effect until after the November elections.

 

Earlier this month, Evers rejected a different proposal by the Wisconsin Legislature to approve his maps but protected more incumbents. After that episode, Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck had predicted that the courts would have the final say in the matter. He instead celebrated the passage, saying, "We urge Gov. Evers to sign his voting maps passed by the Wisconsin Legislature into law. That will help bring stability and certainty to the fast-approaching 2024 election cycle and for the years ahead until the next decennial redistricting process occurs in 2031."

 

Evers said he would sign off on it if the Wisconsin Legislature approved his maps, but he has not yet taken action on it. 

Rotary Club announces Muckian Scholarship opportunity

High school seniors in Door County can get a jump start on financing their future education at a technical college with help from the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay. Applications for the Rotary Technical Education/Robert Muckian Scholarship are being accepted now for the 17th year. The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 and are funded through the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Charitable Trust and an endowment from the estate of Rotarian Robert Muckian. Committee Chair Dr. John Swanson says each application requires a brief essay on "Service Above Self" which is Rotary International's motto.

 

 

The scholarship application deadline is March 15th, with awards presented at the Rotary luncheon in May. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club also offers "Service Above Self" academic scholarships for seniors seeking four-year education. You can find the complete scholarship information at the Door County Scholarship Network website here.

Pantries, community organizations coordinate county-wide food drive

Even if some food pantries are experiencing a drop in demand, a county-wide effort needs your help to ensure they are prepared for the next influx of users. The Door County Food Pantry Coalition is working with the county’s business associations on a food drive to replenish their supplies. Donors can bring their items to the business association's offices to directly benefit the nine members of the Door County Food Pantry Coalition that stretches from Maplewood to Washington Island. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says inflation continues to drive families to food pantries to make ends meet.

All food collected will stay in their local communities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Household Food Security Report in October, approximately 17 million households experienced food insecurity in 2023, up from 13.5 million in 2021.

 

 

Buying books for school libraries getting more complicated

Finding the right books for your child’s school library is far from perfect science as librarians try to find the perfect mix for students. Through Wisconsin’s Common School Fund, districts receive thousands of dollars each year to fund the purchase of new books and other materials to be distributed through the libraries to the tune of $37 per student, according to Education Week magazine. Before choosing books, each school librarian considers a number of different factors, including quality of text, age appropriateness, and format. Parents can request that certain books be removed from school libraries if they deem them inappropriate. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 43 titles were banned or restricted in Wisconsin School Libraries during the 2022-2023 school years, many of which have LGBTQ+ themes. The Wisconsin Legislature recently introduced a bill late last year that would criminalize school librarians for purchasing books that are considered “obscene,” potentially joining 12 other states. In his testimony, State Senator Andre Jacque, one of the bill’s co-authors, says they are “ensuring that when parents send their children to school, they’re sending them to a safe space.” Gibraltar Area Schools Superintendent Brett Stousland is proud of their library staff and how they choose their materials. He adds that parents can always see what books are available and can make their concerns heard to the board.

Opponents of the bill say many of the goals outlined are already in place. The Wisconsin Legislature also circulated a bill last year that would require public and school libraries to alert parents about what kids under 16 are checking out.

Luxemburg woman dies in Green Bay crash

A night in Green Bay turned tragic for a pair of Luxemburg residents Wednesday night after a fatal accident on the city’s east side. According to the Green Bay Police Department, an 83-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman from Luxemburg were trying to cross the street near the 700 block of Bellevue Street near Mason Street Street just after 6 p.m. when they were struck by a vehicle. The woman died as a result of the crash, while no update was given on the man other than that he was injured. The police report did point out that the driver of the vehicle that hit the couple stayed at the crash scene and cooperated with the early stages of the investigation. The victims nor the driver were identified in the report. No other details have been released by the department other than the investigation is ongoing and that they can be contacted at 920-448-3200 if anyone else can provide information on the incident.

 

A previous version of the story had the man passing away and the woman being injured. The story above reflects those changes and we apologize for the error.

Mild weather not freezing generosity on Washington Island

The lack of ice around Washington Island does not have to stop you from fishing this weekend. The Washington Island Lions Club is still holding its weeklong fish derby despite the lack of safe ice to sit on for the competition. Dozens usually participate in the event that celebrates the winter season and brings out the community in droves, especially for Sunday’s community lunch. It serves as a kickoff to the year for the Washington Island Lions Club, which also counts the Fly-In Fish Boil and Island Fair as its keystone events. Because of the community’s support, Club Treasurer Joel Gunnlaugsson says they can pump thousands of dollars right back into other Washington Island organizations.

Ice fishing throughout the state has been impacted by the mild weather, costing some counties thousands in tourism dollars as a result. As it relates to the fish derby, Gunnlaugsson joked that there is nothing in the contest’s rules that forbids people for taking their boats out for spin to find the winning fish.

Farmers share ideas at annual meeting

The day was all about continuous improvement for area farmers attending Tuesday’s Peninsula Pride Farms Annual Meeting held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. The producer-led watershed group listened to speakers throughout the day as they spoke about ways to fine-tune their conservation methods while also keeping an eye on their bottom line. While the farmers received feedback from local sources like Randy Zogbaum from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and Shawn Wesener from Farmers for Sustainable Food, they also heard from speakers from outside the area. One of those speakers was Keith Berns, a farmer from south central Nebraska and owner of a cover crop seed company. He says the growth of producer-led watershed groups in Wisconsin is something he wishes Nebraska and other states would emulate.


Berns says he hopes the annual meeting inspires the farmers in attendance to try out other conservation methods on their farms and also invites community members to check out their operations for themselves.  

 

 

Candidate forum for Door County Judge Thursday

You will be able to hear directly from the two candidates running for the Door County Branch 1 Circuit Court Judge position on Thursday evening at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Door County (LWVDC).  The forum will feature Jennifer Moeller and Brett Reetz, allowing both candidates to speak and respond to voter questions.  Reetz announced his candidacy in December and has owned and operated a law firm in Sturgeon Bay for over 30 years.  Moeller has been the Door County Family Court Commissioner for the past 12 years and announced her intentions to run last August.   

 

The forum will be held at the Door County ADRC building in Sturgeon Bay starting at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

 

You can still email potential forum questions for the judicial candidates to vsforums@lwvdoorcounty.org. Please put “Forum Question” in the subject line.

 

Election Day is Tuesday, April 2nd. 

Thursday weather advisory mark winter's return

There’s still a chance you will get to use your snow blower or shovel again with another round of winter weather heading to the area. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory starting at midnight for all of northeastern Wisconsin, including Door and Kewaunee counties.  Snowfall totals between two to four inches are expected late this evening through Thursday morning, with higher amounts possible.  The Winter Weather Advisory will last until noon on Thursday.  You should plan on slippery road conditions that will likely impact your morning commute.

Youth Performance Sports Training highlighted at Door County YMCA

You can have your children participate in a proven program to increase their strength, power, and endurance.  The Door County YMCA offers a Youth Performance Sports Training class that can take student-athletes to the next level.  Specialty Wellness Director Abby Tesch says the program is an excellent way for youth to keep up their training during the off-season and unlock their true potential.  She says the goal of Performance Sports Training is also to reduce your injury risk while increasing muscle mass and making athletes more robust and faster.

 

 

Tesch says an adult version of the Performance Sports Training is available but does not have to be associated with athletic endurance and can focus more on strength and conditioning.  You can learn more about registering for all the Winter II sessions at the Door County YMCA starting February 26th here.   

Bathroom fire call serves as a reminder

A potentially dangerous situation was averted Tuesday morning on Tru Way Road by a smoke alarm and the quick response from a 911 call.  Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says his department was deployed about 8:30 a.m. for a potential bathroom fire.  Crews arrived after the homeowner reported hearing a loud pop and sizzling from the ceiling area.  Vandertie notes that the smoke had already dissipated when they determined that the source of the smoke was the motor of a ceiling fan. 

 

 

Vandertie adds that this serves as a good reminder to check that all of your smoke detectors are in good operating condition, along with fire extinguishers.

 

 

Vandertie says no water was used during the 30-minute fire call, and the home did not experience any damage.  

Destination Door County awards $376,000+ in Community Investment Fund grants

Trails, beach water quality signs, a new interpretative park, and a bookmobile are among the things you will be able to experience thanks to Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund program. In this cycle, Destination Door County awarded $376,035 to six projects, which marks the most amount of money the organization has granted since the program was established last year. The Friends of Peninsula State Park received the largest grant, which was $150,000 to help create 8-10 miles of mountain bike trails that will include a beginner level loop, an intermediate level loop, and advanced gravity runs. Sturgeon Bay will see two projects get a boost from the Community Investment Fund with the city receiving $100,000 to construct a pedestrian/bicycle trail to construct a safe route from the Ahnapee State Trai to the otherside of State Highway 42/57 by going under the Bayview Bridge and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society being granted $30,000 for a walkway connecting the West Promenade to the Door County Granary. The Door County Bookmobile received $25,000 to finish the restoration and create programming when it hits the road in the future while the Greater Escarpment Organization of Door is awarded $15,000 for the development of a park near Ellison Bay. The program, which is funded with room tax dollars, has awarded more $1.2 million to 24 projects across the county. That includes more than $828,900 across 18 projects in 2023. Local organizations and municipalities are encouraged to apply for the next grant cycle by March 25th at 4 p.m.

Lent about more than giving up something

Area ministers would rather see you give up sin this Lenten season than your favorite vices. Abstaining from something is a way many Christians mark the Lenten season, which begins with Ash Wednesday this week. According to a 2017 Lifeway Research poll, 57 percent of Christians will fast from a favorite food or beverage, while 35 percent will take a break from a bad habit and 23 percent from a favorite activity. Compare that to the 39 percent that say they will pray more or the 38 percent that say they will give to others. In the Lutheran tradition, Pastor Joel McKenney says Lent is about repentance, not just giving something up.

Local churches will mark the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday services throughout the day. Area Lutheran churches will continue their tradition of having pastors travel to meet each others’ congregations to give special sermons on Wednesdays during Lent. The 40-day season ends on Easter Sunday, which this year will take place on March 31st.

Kitchens being patient with school districts on literacy law implementation

Rep. Joel Kitchens is not reading between the lines regarding the state’s school districts implementing changes to its reading curriculum. Earlier this month, State Superintendent Jill Underly requested that lawmakers change the deadline for implementing some of the changes being brought on by Act 20. The law changes how public and private schools teach reading by focusing on the science-based method, which hopes to improve the state’s reading scores that have dipped in recent years. Some parts of the law, including reading intervention testing and additional training for teachers, should be implemented in time for the next school year. Department of Public Instruction officials fear that schools are not ready to start administering universal screening tests on the state’s youngest learners that will identify their early reading skills. Rep. Joel Kitchens, who has played a leading role in getting the law passed since it was first discussed with parents in Door County, does not believe school districts are purposely putting some of the law’s points on the back burner. He would like to see school districts implement the new strategies sooner rather than later.

Kitchens said they will likely make the first screening test scheduled for this fall to be optional.

Food pantry gets a lull in demand

Since the holidays, the demand for collected items and supplies for underprivileged people in Door County has subsided slightly. Feed and Clothe My People of Door County, which usually helps out over 40 families a month, has seen a decrease in people utilizing the food pantry lately. Executive Director Stella Huff says the trend can change quickly, and people can still help by dropping off non-perishable goods and toiletries that are always needed. Items like boxed meals, shelf milk, canned vegetables, frozen foods, and meats are donated foods that are always welcomed.   Huff notes other donated supplies that can always help restock the shelves.

 

 

Wisconsin has 162 food banks in the state, according to causeiq.com.  You can find more information and hours of operation for Feed and Clothe My People of Door County here.  

AT&T/Sevastopol broadband deal continues positive momentum

Municipality by municipality, you are becoming better connected to the internet in Door County. On Monday, the Town of Sevastopol and AT&T announced they would partner on a fiber-powered project that would bring broadband access to more than 2,000 customers. According to the release, the $7.4 million public-private project, AT&T will provide fiber services to residential and business addresses in the Town of Sevastopol in Door County. Extensive planning and engineering work for this project will begin in the second quarter of 2024, with the network buildout expected to be complete within two years. Municipalities have been inking their own deals with broadband carriers over the last several months, ranging from Washington Island to Clay Banks. Door County Broadband Coordinator Jessica Hatch says that while some municipalities have been able to receive grants to fund parts of the projects, others have opted to go it alone. Hatch adds that there is still a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone who wants fast internet can get it.

The NEW North Broadband Equity map shows that despite the positive momentum in the county, there is still a long way to go. Less than 60 percent of Door County addresses are considered “served,” which is regarded as a connection of 100/20 Mbps or more. Hatch says that number could be higher than what is actually seen in the area, which is 14 percent underserved and 28 percent unserved.

QPR training focuses on business owners and employees

Whether they are friends, family, or co-workers, the Kewaunee County UW-Madison Extension office wants to ensure you have the tools to help a person in need. The office will hold suicide prevention training classes on February 27th at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall. Under the guidance of Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski, the course will help you recognize the signs of suicide and prevention, learn what to say and what not to say, and be prepared for circumstances that may pop up in daily life. Extension educator Renee Koenig says the office has put on the course for years. They recently turned their focus to local business owners and their employees so they can potentially help while in the workplace.

The 90-minute training on February 27th will occur at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. You can register for the course by clicking on this link.

Candidates begin lining up for Gallagher's seat

Local politicians waited no time to hop into the race to replace U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher in Congress. The four-term Green Bay Republican announced on Saturday that he would not be seeking re-election, opting for more time with his family instead of a fifth term representing Wisconsin’s Eighth District. Shortly after Gallagher made his intentions, former State Senator Roger Roth announced he would enter the race. Roth left the Wisconsin State Senate to run for Lt. Governor alongside gubernatorial candidate Tim Michels in 2022. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports two other Republicans mulling bids after Gallagher’s exit. Republican political consultant Alex Bruesewitz had been mulling a primary bid ahead of Gallagher’s exit but tweeted over the weekend that he is “taking a very strong look” at the opportunity. State Senator Andre Jacque, who represents Door and Kewaunee counties, also told the Journal-Sentinel that he is considering his own challenge. No Democrats were firmly running for the seat before Gallagher’s announcement. However, former journalist Kelly Peterson, Navy veteran Alicia Saunders, and women’s health Dr. Kristin Lyerly all expressed interest in running at an event held last month by Women Win Wisconsin. Candidates for Congress have to file their nomination papers by June 3rd to run for office in time for the August 13th primary.

Elections commission decision changes absentee ballot handling

Door County Clerk Jill Lau says you treat your absentee ballot just like you would other essential documents that must be filled out completely and accurately to be valid. The request comes after the Wisconsin Elections Commission ruled last week 5-1 that election clerks can accept absentee ballots even if they are missing parts of witnesses’ addresses as long as they can discern how to reach them. Not long ago, the same election clerks were required to reach out to voters to correct absentee ballot envelopes with “incomplete or insufficient” witness address information for them to be counted. The ruling was made after liberal groups took the WEC to court over the rules, preceded by conservative groups taking the commission to task over ballot curing rules following the 2020 election. Lau says there are four instances where clerks can accept the ballot and try to find the voter to fill out the rest of the information correctly.

Lau says you can save yourself a lot of stress by ensuring your absentee ballot is filled out completely and you submit it right away to give clerks time just in case of an issue. With most of the area not having to deal with an election until April 2nd, you have until March 28th to request an absentee ballot. Your municipal clerk must receive your completed ballot by Election Day to be counted.

Kewaunee to open search for new council member

Kewaunee residents in the city’s second aldermanic district could step in and serve their community in the wake of the resignation of one of its representatives.

 

At the last City of Kewaunee Common Council meeting on January 8th, Mayor Jeffrey Vollenweider announced and accepted the resignation of Second District Alderperson Wendy Shelton, who was in the middle of her current term. The announcement came days after Shelton took to her blog announcing her resignation from the council and her assignments on the personnel and finance committees. In the post, she charged the city with poor management of its finances, saying they “are not being accurately reported” and that “staff officers are simply providing misinformation.”

 

At Monday’s meeting, the council will post the vacancy for Shelton’s seat, which runs through April 2025. The deadline is March 7th, with plans to interview and consider candidates at the March 11th Common Council meeting. Janita Zimmerman is slated to fill Shelton’s seat on the personnel committee, and John Blaha will do the same on the finance committee.

 

The council will also consider raises for its wastewater operator, part-time patrol officers, and crossing guards during the meeting, as well as consider a flag policy that codifies its current practice of flying the United States flag, the State of Wisconsin flag, the City of Kewaunee flag, and on occasion the POW/MIA flag on stationary poles on or within City of Kewaunee property.

 

The meeting is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. inside the Kewaunee Municipal Services building.

Sen. Jacque hopes "problem-solving courts" go more mainstream

According to State Senator Andre Jacque, getting the help you need to improve your life through a treatment court is a better alternative than staying locked up. Last week, Jacque’s Senate Bill 275, which establishes specialized “problem-solving courts” into state law, was passed by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee 5-2. Instead of passing down jail or prison sentences, the treatment courts assist non-violent offenders in getting the treatment they need so they can get out of the cycle of ending up on the streets or in the courtroom. Door County established its treatment court in 2020, approximately 30 years after the first one was established in the United States. Jacque says the success of treatment courts like Door County’s can hopefully inspire more in the state to be established and expand their services to include mental health.

Jacque’s Senate Bill 11, which included more funding for the Treatment Alternative and Diversion (TAD) grant program so mental health can be included, passed by a 7-0 margin in committee. The TAD program operates in 50 counties and two tribes, and 97 percent of program graduates have stayed out of prison. The bills are now waiting for the approval of the Assembly and the Senate and the signature of Governor Tony Evers.

Kewaunee County sees increase in complaints assigned to patrol division

As I continue with reporting the activity of the Sheriff’s Department in 2023, I would like to share some data from the Patrol Division. Probably the most visible division within the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is our Patrol Division, and it comprises of the most recognizable duties that we carry out throughout the year. There are twelve deputies assigned to the Patrol Division, which Lt. Eric Zellner supervises. The minimal staffing for Kewaunee County’s 322 square miles is two patrol deputies. When you consider the distance from Tisch Mills on our southern border and Dyckesville on our northern border you begin to understand the demands that this puts on our staff, both from the perspective of continual presence to that of response time.

       

If we were to look at the overall process from when a call or complaint is made to the Sheriff’s Department through its completion, the Patrol Division plays an important role. Aside from those calls which are determined to be civil in nature, and not involve an active crime, the patrol division is dispatched to every one of them, ranging from keep the peace to traffic offenses to domestics. The category for these calls is “Complaints Assigned” and in 2023, they accounted for 5037 compared to 3,264 in 2022 of the total activity. In many cases, the complaints may be occurring within one of the local jurisdictions or even involving an adjacent county, but we are requested to assist. These are categorized as “Assist Other Agencies” and accounted for 690 versus 662 in 2022.

         

Of these complaints that we respond to, not all result in arrest. Many times, the Deputy can mediate the situation or resolve the complaint with a warning to the perpetrator. In some cases, the evidence provided to the Deputy requires an arrest be made. In those cases where it is necessary to arrest, the total number of arrests in 2023 was 222. In 2022, the number was 281. While this number may seem low, these calls tend to be very involved and require a great deal of the Deputy’s time in follow-up and documentation.

         

The most commonly perceived duty of the Patrol Deputy is, of course, traffic enforcement, although it accounts for very little of the overall time spent in a given shift due to the demands of call response. In 2023, there were 1689 citations and 1808 warnings issued, which is compared to 1949 Citations issued in 2022 along with 2033 Warnings. The main reason for the stark decrease in these numbers, is that in 2022 we received a safety grant focusing on speed enforcement. This allowed us to put on additional hours dedicated to just traffic enforcement.

           

We like to approach traffic enforcement from an educational perspective and, when possible, try to achieve the learning experience through warnings. Unfortunately, there are times when either the offense is so egregious, or the individual has already been given the courtesy of a warning that a citation is unavoidable. It is important for people to realize that Deputies do not enjoy issuing citations any more than the person on the receiving end. Our ultimate goal is always public safety.

          

Some of the duties that the Patrol Division carries out, which may not be as commonly known, are those related to civil process. By statute, the Sheriff’s Department is tasked with carrying out actions that result from our circuit court judge’s orders. These can range from eviction actions, actions in support of a writ, or even involvement in child custody orders. We are also part of the notification to those involved in these actions through the service of papers or notices. These “Papers Served or Attempted” account for 498 of the calls in the past year., whereas last year the number was 419.

           

The two final categories are what I would consider Customer Service. They are “Citizen Assists” and “Property Checks”. The category of citizen assists is for the most part unplanned events which are a result of an unfortunate circumstance on the part of the citizen. These can range from stranded motorists to providing information regarding vehicle registration or licensing. Deputies handled 527 citizen assists last year compared to 448 in 2023. Property checks are a service we provide when requested from individuals in our community who may be away from their homes for an extended period of time or an additional amount of attention we may give to a property that has been the victim of a recent criminal act and the owner would like us to monitor activities in their area. In 2023, we conducted 3,483 such checks, compared to 3,299 the previous year. A final category that our Patrol Division responds to is; “Welfare Checks”. These are calls where a loved one or neighbor has not heard from or had contact with the person involved and is asking our assistance in verifying their well-being or status. Fortunately, the outcome is mostly that they were gone on vacation or just too busy to get back to the person checking on them. Our department responded to 123 such requests in 2023, which is up from 115 in 2022.

             

I hope that the takeaway from this article is that when you see a Sheriff’s Department squad, you have a better understanding of the many different duties that these men and women engage in on a given shift. In all of these numbers, the most important element is the relationship that we have with those whom we serve. All the data and statistics mean nothing if we do not have the support of our community, and it is our goal to maintain a high level of professionalism for those we have sworn to protect and serve!

Southern Door hits final stretch for new playground improvements

You will see kids of all ages and abilities playing together on the Southern Door School District campus as they close in on a significant fundraising goal. The district has raised approximately two-thirds of the $150,000 needed to install new equipment on the playground that is rated for the district’s youngest learners and those with physical challenges. Southern Door 4K Teacher Rachel Schneider and Director of Pupil Services Dave Desmond were working on separate aspects of the goal before they joined forces to address the needs they saw. When completed, the playground will include a “Rock with Me” all-inclusive glider and other equipment encouraging imaginative play on the playground. Schneider and Desmond say this will greatly benefit the school and the community.

Schneider says this will cover some of the equipment that had to be left on the “wish list” following a more extensive expansion effort at the school that was completed in 2019. You can contact Desmond using the information below if you would like to contribute to the project.

 

 

Rep. Gallagher decides against re-election

You will have a new person to vote for in this fall election for the United States House of Representatives after Rep. Mike Gallagher announced on Saturday that he would not be seeing re-election for WIsconsin's Eighth District. In his statement, he said the framers of the United States Constitution never intended serving in Congress as a lifelong profession. "The Framers intended citizens to serve in Congress for a season and then return to their private lives,"  Gallagher said. "Electoral politics was never supposed to be a career, and, trust me, Congress is no place to grow old." Referring to his military past, he called back to his belief that he was to treat his time in Congress as a "high-intensity deployment," which included his bipartisan work on the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, chairing the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, and chairing the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party. He ended his statement by saying thank you to his constituents and emphasizing his belief that the United States is the greatest country in the world. "Though my title may change, my mission will always remain the same: deter America’s enemies and defend the Constitution,"  Gallagher said. 

 

 

Gallagher has been under fire this week after voting against the impeachment of  Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, angering his colleagues on the House floor and local GOP outposts. He said that his vote would not change the swell of illegal immigration at the southern border, and he feared supporting the measure would lower the bar for future impeachment votes.

 

UPDATE: Shortly after Gallagher's announcement, former State Senator Roger Roth thanked him for his time in Congress before announcing his own bid for the Republican nomination.

 

Friday night racing returns to Kewaunee County

You will have the sounds of Friday night racing under the lights at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds for the next two years under a contract approved by the Kewaunee County Parks, Promotions, and Maintenance Committee on Wednesday. Under the initial agreement, the committee gave the green flag to Tracy Thrun to operate the track as its promoter for the next two years. Thrun has never been a racetrack promoter, but Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says he brings a wealth of industry experience to the role. Myers added that he is happy they have someone in place before spring.

The final contract details will still need to be approved by the Kewaunee County Board at its March meeting. The announcement comes on the heels of the Door County Facilities and Parks Committee awarding Sternard Motor Sports LLC a one-year contract to run its track at John Miles County Park in December. The group recently announced that the Bumper to Bumper IRA Sprints are heading to The Hill Raceway Labor Day weekend. Both counties entered the offseason searching for promoters after their previous tenants opted not to renew their contracts. 

Nature feeling the love at Crossroads

At Crossroads at Big Creek, the creatures seem to sense Valentine’s Day.  A few days ago,  we noticed a pair of red  fox showing great interest in each other.  Love  (or at least pair bonding)  is in the air   And as the days get increasing longer, courtship behaviors seems to be blooming throughout the preserve.

 

Fox start to pair up in January and by Valentine's Day, they are hunting in pairs and traveling together. Coyotes are also getting that loving feeling. Often this time of year, we hear the male and female coyotes howling sweet nothings to each other.

 

Those grey squirrels you see chasing each other through the trees? They are NOT playing tag.  The courtship chase can become quite frenzied with both males and females making a funny "chuck" sound. This behavior is the prelude to mating and the dominant male usually gets the privilege of fathering the next generation.

 

Little red squirrels come into heat in February. When a female gives off a chemical come-on, males will show up and chase her, sometimes hours at a time. Oddly, males seems to be following a scent trail given off by the female rather than following the female herself.

 

It may be a little early for the otters in the Cove Preserve to be courting. Researchers think that in Wisconsin, mating takes place in March or April….but they aren’t sure. Otters mate under water, and if there is ice, they mate below Ice and water. And then to complicate things, river otters have “delayed implantation” means the fertilized eggs remain dormant in the female's uterus for 10–11 months after breeding. Apparently, this is a reproductive strategy which means the mother will not start gestation until conditions are favorable.

 

Our backyard birds already seem to be responding to hormonal change brought about by lengthening day light. On our precious sunny days, we are hearing the two-note breeding song of male chickadees and at backyard feeders, male cardinals are beginning to be less aggressive toward the females, meaning courtship will be starting soon.

 

This weekend, February 16-19 Crossroads, the Door County Land Trust, and The Ridges Sanctuary are teaming up to encourage Door Peninsula residents to participate in a community science .initiative called the Great Backyard Bird County. On February 12 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm these groups are sponsoring a webinar to help potential participants to prepare. The program will cover the best tools to use, how to think taxonomically, and, if there is time, tips to identify some of our most common birds by sight and sound. Register online with the Door County Land Trust to receive the Zoom Link.

 

On Tuesday, February 20 at 6:30 The Door County Beekeepers Club will feature Virtual Presentation by the Minnesota Bee Squad.  This is the teaching and outreach arm of the University of Minnesota Bee Research Facility. These people know bees, but honeybee romance?  Not so much. It is true that a virgin queen bee is irresistible to the drones, but it is a fatal attraction. This program is open to the free and open to the public.

 

Love is in the air, and we at Crossroads can’t let the week go by without expressing our love for our donors, our volunteers and our visitors who share our love for a very special piece of land, its plants, its animals and its water.

If we get adequate snow,  watch our website for information, trail conditions and hours for Ski-for-Free.

 

Friday, February 16

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Fire & Ice Weekend Luminary-lit Hike

Help kick-off Sturgeon Bay’s Fire & Ice Weekend with a candle-lit walk. Join us for a walk on one of our trails marked by the enchanting glow of luminaries. Once the luminaries guide you back to the nature center, take some time to warm up around a campfire with a cup of hot chocolate and the warm company of fellow nature enthusiasts. Free and open the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

  

Saturday, February 17

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Special Family Program – Science Saturdays: Ice Harvest

As a part of the Fire & Ice Weekend, Pat Madden, Mike Madden and Dan Hanson will revisit the Sturgeon Bay Ice Harvest using authentic period tools to show how ice was cut and transported. Kids might get a chance to cut ice and to move ice cakes like the ice cutters of yore. Fun and informative for all ages. Dress for the weather. Meet in front of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St. Free and open to the public.

 

Tuesday, February 20                                                  

 6:30 The Door County Beekeepers Club

The Beekeepers club will offer Virtual Presentation by the Minnesota Bee Squad.  This is the teaching and outreach arm of the University of Minnesota Bee Research Facility and it promises to be fascinating.

This program is open to the free and open to the public. Meet in the Collin Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

 

Wednesday February 21

 10:00 am  Crossroads Book Club This month we’re reading A Sand county Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Crossroads will have a few copies of the book available to borrow if needed.

 

Whether you’ve read the book yet or not, we would love for you to join us as we explore the stories, ideas, and concepts shared within the pages of these awesome books! Meet in the Upper Level of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay.

Algoma lifts overnight parking ban

With the unseasonably warm weather hanging around and no snow in the foreseeable future, the City of Algoma Police Department has suspended the enforcement of the winter parking ban on the streets until further notice.  Municipalities implement overnight parking rules during the winter months to allow street crews to remove snowfall from roadways in a safe and timely manner. 

 

Kewaunee announced two weeks ago that they would not enforce the overnight parking ban until snow is forecasted in the area.  The long-range forecast calls for high temperatures to remain above freezing until next Thursday, with no precipitation expected throughout next week. 

 

Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee began their overnight parking ban on December 1st, and Algoma started theirs on November 1st.  The overnight ban expires on April 1st.

Child care bill gets hearing in Madison

A bill that would have local school districts partner with area providers held its first hearings this week as legislators work on addressing childcare concerns in the state. Under Senate Bill 973, school districts would be required to contract with eligible child care and Head Start programs to provide a public 4K option that is still tuition-free. Often called the "community approach," this would send at least 95 percent of the funding that goes to the school districts for enrolled students to the childcare centers they work with and the parents choose. Some school districts around the state already operate on a similar model voluntarily. Gibraltar Area Schools recently collaborated with Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay and The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor to bring 4K programming to those facilities. Howard-Suamico School District runs its 4K program almost entirely out of seven partner sites in those villages. Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel said last week that many districts that already partner with area daycare centers do it out of necessity because of space restrictions.


Tjernagel, similar to what Rep. Joel Kitchens said, would like to hear more information on the topic. On the heels of the bill’s announcement last month, United Way of Door County Child Care Coordinator Molly Gary said the plan would provide a guaranteed and much-needed revenue source for childcare facilities. Meanwhile, Sevastopol School District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke said it would take critical funding from schools when districts are cutting where they can to make ends meet.

 

The Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the Wisconsin Educational Association Council teachers union, and the Wisconsin State Reading Association have registered against the bill, while the Wisconsin Child Care Administrators Association and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association support it.

Rotary Club reimagines shipyard tours

You will get a different view of Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront while still supporting the Rotary Club’s efforts in the community. For over 30 years, shipbuilders and maritime partners like Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding collaborated with the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay for the annual Shipyard Tours event, giving visitors an inside look at what goes on behind the gates of some of the county’s biggest employers and raising thousands of dollars for local efforts and youth scholarship. Changing dynamics at  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding made the Rotary Shipyard Tours something the organization could not continue in its past form but something that will be reimagined. The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay is now working with Shoreline Boat Tours and the Door County Maritime Museum to showcase “Sturgeon Bay Working Waterfront Tours, Past and Present.” During the three-day event, a charter tour boat will take interested guests on 90-minute tours as they highlight seven unique working waterfront points of interest while exploring their connections to Sturgeon Bay’s maritime history. Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay’s Keith Mutchler is excited to keep the tradition alive, albeit in a different way.

Mutchler expresses his appreciation for Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and their cooperation over the last three decades. He looks forward to the new relationship with the Door County Maritime Museum and Shoreline Boat Tours. Tickets for the 90-minute tours scheduled for June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd will go on sale on April 1st. They will be $75 apiece and include admission to the Door County Maritime Museum, with all proceeds benefiting the work of the Rotary Club of Door County.

Southern Door School District names superintendent finalists

Southern Door School District officials have narrowed down its field for a new superintendent down to three candidates. The district wrapped up its first round of interviews earlier this week before naming Brent Johnson, Kevin Krutzik, and Marc Vandenhouten as finalists.

 

Johnson is the principal of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Wausau School District after earning degrees from UW-Superior, University of Phoenix, and Beloit College.

 

Krutzik has been the principal of Sheboygan Falls High School since 2018 and is a graduate of programs at Edgewood College, Marquette University, Silver Lake College, and Lakeland University.

 

Vandenhouten is the current principal at Southern Door Elementary and has completed programs at UW-Oshkosh and Marian University.

 

The three candidates will participate in the final round of interviews with the Southern Door School Board and a stakeholder group on February 12th with a decision coming later this spring. 

FFA chapter giving hope through packaging meals

The Luxemburg-Casco FFA needs your support to help the less fortunate in the community have a little more food on their table. The student-led club is orchestrating a campaign to bring Florida-based Meals of Hope to the school for a packing event. Since the organization was founded in 2007, Meals of Hope has packed over 80 million meals for people worldwide. Some members of the Luxemburg-Casco FFA had the opportunity to participate in a meal-packing event at a national conference last year. President Savannah Bailey says she wanted to help bring the program to Kewaunee County after talking with her leadership team.

The Luxemburg-Casco FFA is about halfway to the $4,080 needed to pull off the event. If successful, the meal packing event will take place on February 26th. Information on how you can donate to the cause can be found below.

 

 

Picture courtesy of Luxemburg-Casco FFA Program

CANCELED: Amber Alert issued for four Green Bay children

NOTE: The statewide Amber Alert from Green Bay has been canceled, with authorities saying all four children have now been found safe.

 

ORIGINAL STORY:

You are being advised to watch for four children from Green Bay after an Amber Alert was issued early Friday morning. One-year-old Journee Hargrove, four-year-old Tru Ward, six-year-old Jada Hargrove, and seven-year-old Genesse Hargrove were reported missing and endangered as of 2:25 a.m. on Friday. Two of the children suffer from medical conditions that require daily medication, adding extra urgency to the situation. They are believed to be with 34-year-old Deanna Ward and 57-year-old Diana Halfaday, and according to WLUK-TV, they were last seen near the 800 block of South Van Buren Street in Green Bay, the approximate location of St. Vincent Hospital. Authorities are not sure where they are or how they are traveling. Don't hesitate to contact the Green Bay Police Department at 920-448-3208 if you have any information. 

 

SUSPECTS

Deanna M. Ward

AGE: 34
SEX: Female
RACE: American Indian
HEIGHT: 5 ft 1 inches
WEIGHT: 192 lbs
HAIR COLOR: Brown
EYE COLOR: Brown

 

Diana L. Halfaday

NO PHOTO
Age 57, female, American Indian, 5 ft 1 inch, 162 lbs., brown hair, and brown eyes.

 

ENDANGERED CHILDREN

Journee Hargrove

CHILD AGE: 1
CHILD SEX: Female
CHILD RACE: American Indian
CHILD HEIGHT: 2 ft 11 inches
CHILD WEIGHT: 30
CHILD HAIR COLOR: Black
CHILD EYE COLOR: Brown

 

Tru Ward

Age 4, male, American Indian, 4 ft 2 inches, 44 lbs., black hair, brown eyes, with facial pigmentation.

 

Jada Hargrove

Age 6, female, American Indian, 3 ft 11 inches, 57 lbs., black hair, brown eyes, with facial pigmentation.

 

Genesse Hargrove

Age 7, female, American Indian, 4 ft 5 inches, 75 lbs, black hair, brown eyes, with facial pigmentation

 

Golden Heart Award nominations open

You can celebrate the great work of volunteers in your community with a few clicks of your mouse and keyboard. The United Way of Door County opened the nomination period for its Golden Hearts Awards, which is entering its second year under its guidance. The organization will present awards in seven different categories: adult volunteer of the year, environmental stewardship volunteer of the year, arts volunteer of the year, cultural volunteer of the year, volunteer group of the year, youth volunteer scholarship award, and the Karl May Lifetime of Service Award. After nominations are made, an independent, anonymous panel of community leaders will choose award recipients for each category. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says the event is a great way to celebrate the “Door County spirit.”

Nominations can be made by clicking this link and submitting them before February 27th. The Door County Golden Heart Awards will take place on April 24th at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.

Weather not cooling down Fire and Ice Festival excitement

The weather may suggest fire, but the activities will still highlight the ice at Sturgeon Bay’s first major event of 2024. The Sturgeon Bay Fire and Ice Festival begins on Friday night with a luminary hike at Crossroads at Big Creek before the activities shift to downtown on Saturday. The lack of snow will emphasize the over 20 blocks of ice that will be transformed into works of art throughout the city beginning at 9 a.m. Destination Sturgeon Bay Marketing Coordinator Alexa Soto says there will also be other activities throughout the city for residents and visitors to partake in before the gala event on Saturday night.

The Sturgeon Bay Fire and Ice Festival concludes Saturday night with a fireworks display at 9 p.m.

 

Photo taken by photographer Rachel Lukas 

 

Sevastopol classmates ready to tackle Miss Door County duties together

Pioneer pride will continue to reign over the next year after Sevastopol seniors Kylie Duessler and Emily Bley were crowned at last weekend’s Miss Door County pageant. Duessler was crowned Miss Door County, and Bley was named Miss Door County Teen in the competition despite just a couple of months' age difference between the two. This was Bley’s third time competing for the title, picking up more confidence each time. She is happy that the third time was the charm for her.

Bley acted as a sounding board for Duessler, who was also approached by Sevastopol alum and former Miss Door County Lindsay Schuh about competing for the role. After watching Bley on stage last year, Duessler knew it was something she wanted to try.

Duessler and Bley understand what comes with being Miss Door County and Miss Door County Teen. They embrace their opportunity to be mentors and role models for other young girls in the county because they already do it at home.

Duessler and Bley will now travel the county over the next year to represent the program and promote their community service initiatives. Duessler will reflect on her recent bout with performance anxiety with her initiative, while Bley will address her experience with body image concerns in their travels around the area. You can listen to our entire interview with Duessler and Bley online with this story.

Kewaunee County exploring WPS facility for highway shop

You may see highway trucks and other maintenance vehicles leave from a different location in the future. Members of the Kewaunee County Highway Department will tour the former Wisconsin Public Service building located on State Highway 42 in the City of Kewaunee on Friday as officials continue to weigh options for an updated facility. Last year, former Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every floated the idea of fixing up its current highway shop to the tune of $10.5 million for a phased-in approach or $26 million for a complete overhaul. A Milwaukee firm later found 20 deficiencies in the facility, including issues with the plumbing, sewer, and septic systems. Interim County Administrator Ed Dorner told the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday that it would likely take a few months for WPS to get the property ready for sale but that they have been open about letting them check it out to see if it could be a viable option in the future.


The Kewaunee County Highway and Solid Waste Committee are also slated to discuss the project during their Friday meeting at 7 a.m. The Kewaunee County Board also met its incoming administrator, who is set to replace Dorner later this month. Jeremy Kral, who has been the Executive Director of Brown County Health and Human Services for the last two years, says he is excited to get started.


In addition to Kral’s confirmation, the board approved the appointment of Marty Treml as its new highway commissioner. He will start his position in June while he wraps up his time in the military.

DNR to reopen comment period for Eagle Tower parking variance

You still have a day to comment on the two variances being floated for Peninsula State Park, but one of those will actually need your feedback again. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that it is revising its variance request to add more parking and reconfigure roads around Eagle Tower, which has become even more popular since it was rebuilt to be more accessible a few years ago. The revised variance will address requests for additional and clarifying information regarding the potential areas of impact for the changes near the tower, which was not included in the original. Earlier this week, Planner Yoyi Steele said there would be lots of planning and studies before shovels hit the dirt to ensure it is economically and sustainably feasible after the variance was approved.

While the current comment period will still close on February 8th, a new one will be scheduled once additional information is available.

Sturgeon Bay still waiting on Fleet Farm

The building of a new Fleet Farm on Sturgeon Bay’s west side is still in a holding pattern.

 

Sturgeon Bay Council member Spencer Gustafson confirmed this week that the paperwork by the city and the state had been processed already and that the Department of Transportation approved the intersection design plan for Highway 42-57.  Fleet Farm put the project on hold with no possible restart date provided.    

 

One year ago, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved the Fleet Farm project's development agreement and public improvements.   The City agreed to contribute $425,000 (about one-third) towards the project's cost of a street intersection and utility improvements. Fleet Farm would agree to dedicate the right-of-way needed to extend South Grant Avenue through the property, construct the street, and install utilities. Fleet Farm would also agree to a minimum assessed value of $8 Million for the property for ten years.

 

Fleet Farm, which owns the land, plans to construct a 91,952-square-foot store on land annexed by the city from Nasewaupee just south of Highway 42-57 at the intersection of Grant Avenue.   As of Wednesday morning, Fleet Farm representatives could not be reached for comment.

Youth Apprenticeship added to DCEDC business awards

You can help decide who will be recognized in April for the Door County Economic Development Corporation’s business awards, which includes saluting a local student serving as an apprentice.

 

DCEDC Executive Director Michelle Lawrie says it is exciting to begin the nomination period and continue recognizing individuals and businesses that contribute greatly to the community.  She notes that the new Youth Apprentice Program Award will include a $1,000 educational scholarship to a Northeast Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship Program student.

 

 

The awards will be presented at the DCEDC’s Annual Meeting on April 17th at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.  The nominations for the four categories are due by 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 23rd. 

 

Last year’s award winners were Peach Barn Farmhouse & Brewery of Sister Bay for New Business of the Year (owners Jason and Sarah White); Door County Candle Company of Carlsville for Women and Minority Owned Business of the Year (Christiana Trapani); and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay for Established Business of the Year. DCEDC also recognized Brad Andreae, owner of Therma-Tron-X, Inc., in Sturgeon Bay, with a distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

You can find descriptions of each award nomination forms and submission details can be found here.  

 

(submitted photo of 2023 award winners)

YMCA membership continues to boom

Thanks to a major facility expansion and a committed staff making for the best experience possible for members, the Door County YMCA announced this week that the organization is on the cusp of hitting the 11,000 membership benchmark.  Membership Experience Director Josh Lardinois says the remarkable growth comes just after the YMCA reached the 10,000-member total about six months ago.  He says it is fantastic to see new faces of youth and active older adults utilizing the Kane Center in Fish Creek and the Sturgeon Bay facilities daily.

 

 

Lardinois adds that the Door County YMCA will celebrate its annual free community breakfast next week. Executive Director Tanya Felhofer will share membership news and the current “state of the Y” with the public at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday, February 15th. 

Sturgeon Bay awards major construction contracts for 2024 work

You will see plenty of street and infrastructure improvements in Sturgeon Bay this year as the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved awarding four significant contract bids for construction projects in the city.

 

The first consideration was a $610,701.08 bid by Martell Construction, which was the lowest accepted for the concrete work, while Northeast Asphalt was awarded the asphalt replacement with its $1,426,202.38 bid.  This year, City Engineer Chad Shefchik says over 3.5 miles of milling and paving of streets will be completed in Sturgeon Bay, along with two new parking lots.

 

Two site work projects for a proposed parking lot and a subdivision were unanimously approved.  Express Excavating was awarded the contract for a 52-stall parking lot located just west of city property at 911 N. 14th Avenue.  Lily Bay Sand & Gravel’s bid of $495,228.08 was approved for sanitary sewer, water, and site work portions of the Geneva Ridge Subdivision for 24 lots and single-family homes that are being developed.

 

Mayor David Ward wrapped up the meeting on Tuesday by thanking retiring Fire Chief Tim Dietman for his eight years of leading the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department.  He announced that Assistant Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo will now take over as interim Fire Chief for up to six months, as the Fire & Police Commission will meet later this month to decide how to move forward in recruiting a new fire chief.   

Feedback mixed on parking variance at Peninsula State Park

The need is there, but you are among the many people wondering exactly where more parking could go near one of Peninsula State Park’s most popular attractions.

 

Last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced it was pursuing two variances near its biggest attractions: Eagle Bluff Lighthouse and Eagle Tower. After the announcement, Peninsula State Park Superintendent Eric Hyde said the changes would be welcomed as Eagle Tower and Eagle Bluff Lighthouse garner many visitors' attention during the tourism season. At the tower, the goal is to add more parking and reconfigure some nearby roads to make the attraction more accessible to those looking to get a bird’s eye view of the area.

 

DNR Planner Yoyi Steele got a first-hand look at how popular Eagle Tower is when she visited the park last summer. As the public comment period winds (down?), she admits that the feedback for adding parking has been mixed, with people trying to find the balance between welcoming more visitors and altering the landscape around the tower. Some have said there is insufficient information to comment on it since the variance documents do not specify where additional parking and roads would go. Steele says there will be lots of planning and studies before shovels hit the dirt to ensure it is feasible economically and sustainably.


You likely will not see what is done at some popular U.S. National Parks properties where remote parking and shuttles are used to ease traffic congestion. Steele says if it were ever to happen, the DNR would have to work with a private entity to make it work. It is not something the DNR is currently exploring. People interested in letting their thoughts know about the variances have until February 8th.

Sister Bay looking ahead to the next 20 years

You can have your voice heard on what the Village of Sister Bay will look like over the next 20 years. The village will host a public input session on Saturday to discuss its 20-year comprehensive land use plan. This event was rescheduled from January 13th, which had to be postponed due to a crippling snowstorm that hit the area that weekend. The land use plan, which addresses housing, economic development, transportation, and other elements, is a requirement for the village to receive state funding. The village continues to grow, with outdoor recreation and affordable housing being the two most talked about items. Village Administrator Julie Schmelzer said the feedback is important because the community’s members should have a say on what gets done in the village.


The public input session will occur at the Village Hall on Bay Shore Drive from 9 a.m. to noon. If you cannot attend the in-person event, you can submit your comments at this link between February 10th and February 17th.

Walking in Door County's winter(?) wonderland

This may not have been your favorite year if you love winter activities. While big snowfalls and cold temperatures in January brought joy to ice anglers, snowmobilers, and other winter recreation enthusiasts, it was short-lived as the season was only days old when warmer temperatures made those activities unsafe or impossible. Both Peninsula State Park Superintendent Eric Hyde and Potawatomi State Park Erin Brown-Stender pointed to last year’s mild winter as why they saw their attendance numbers dip for a second consecutive year. Destination Door County’s Jon Jarosh says he feels for the businesses that depend on the cold weather for their bottom line. His tone was positive, however, saying the lack of snow, ice, and cold may encourage others not suited for most winter recreation activities to drive up and down the peninsula and walk around.

Jarosh pointed to last weekend’s Fish Creek Winterfest is an activity people may have gotten a chance to participate in because the weather canceled their previous plans. The National Weather Service is predicting another mild week with high temperatures staying above the freezing mark.

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding receives harbor maintenance grant

It will be smoother sailing for the incoming vessels you see heading towards Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The grant was part of $10 million in funding announced by the department and Governor Tony Evers on Tuesday, with the money being distributed to eight harbor maintenance and improvement projects to promote waterborne freight and economic development. Of that $10 million, Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding received $382,400 to dredge the bed of Sturgeon Bay to maintain navigation for vessels using its facility. The shipyard welcomes more than a dozen freighters every year as a part of its winter fleet every year in addition to the other work it does throughout the year. Projects in Milwaukee, Superior, La Crosse, and Manitowoc also benefited from the grant funding.

Record-high debt impacting households

You might be among many Americans struggling with increasing credit card balances as inflation and steep interest rates impact households nationwide. On Tuesday morning, the quarterly report on household debt and credit from the New York Federal Reserve Bank is expected to reflect that credit card debt for the last quarter in 2023 will eclipse the previous high of $1.08 trillion, according to LendingTree.com. Money Management Counselors Director Leslie Boden says more people are swimming in debt and looking for help.

 

 

Boden adds that the average credit card interest rate was between 12.99 and 19.99 once and has now risen to over 30 percent APR. That makes it even more difficult for consumers to make payments and even the minimum amount due.

 

If you need help getting out of or managing debt, Boden shares how you can reach out to Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay for workshops and individualized plans.

 

New Destination Sturgeon Bay Marketing Coordinator proud of her town

New Destination Sturgeon Bay Marketing Coordinator Alexa Soto proves you can go home to follow your dreams. The Southern Door alum went to UW-Stevens Point to study communications before returning to the area to find work. It was then that she realized that marketing was her passion and went door to door trying to find her dream job.  Soto says during that employment journey, she realized she loves learning about people and understanding their backgrounds. It means a lot to her to have the opportunity to bring people to her hometown.

Soto says it has been fun to learn more about the city despite living here for much of her life. One of those events she is happy to experience finally is Sturgeon Bay Fire and Ice, which is taking place next weekend throughout the city. You can hear more about Soto by clicking on the player below.

 

INTERVIEW WITH ALEXA SOTO

 

 

Door County Historical Society pushing for Eagle Bluff Lighthouse variance approval

The Door County Historical Society is ready to improve your experience at one of their most-visited attractions. Last month, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began accepting responses to two variances impacting Peninsula State Park. One of those variances is directed at the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, which would allow the Door County Historical Society to add additional features to the site to expand its historical interpretation areas and other amenities to visitors. Even though the Door County Historical Society manages the site, the state owns the lighthouse, so the organization needs the variance approved to make the improvements. Door County Historical Society Executive Director Amy Frank says returning the site to its 1868 roots is the ultimate goal.

Frank encourages submitting your comments to the Wisconsin DNR before the February 8th deadline. The other variance affecting Peninsula State Park addresses parking and accessibility concerns near Eagle Tower. 

Sevastopol seniors capture Miss Door County crowns

You would have seen some extra wide smiles walking the halls of Sevastopol High School on Monday after seniors Kylee Duessler and Emily Bley each won their respective categories at Saturday’s Miss Door County competition at the Southern Door Auditorium. Duessler was crowned Miss Door County, beating out Vanessa DeMarinis and Abielle Lenius. The future UW-Milwaukee biomedical engineering student played “Andante et Allegro” on the trumpet for her talent and promoted her community service initiative, “Trust Your Training; Anxiety Awareness in Athletics.” 

 

 

Her classmate, Emily Bley, won the Miss Door County Teen title ahead of Anna Dalke, Isabel Jeanquart, and Sayde Jeanquart. The future NWTC nursing student sang Taylor Swift’s Back in December and discussed her community service initiative, “Nutrition Before Competition.” All of the contestants shared $8,500 in college scholarships. Duessler and Bley will advance to this summer’s Miss Wisconsin and Wisconsin Teen pageants held June 17-22, 2024 in Oshkosh.

 

Photos by  Casey Nelson of Fire & Flame Creative. 

Early in-person absentee voting begins Tuesday

If you live in Algoma, you can start casting your ballot for the spring primary on Tuesday. February 6th marks the first day in Wisconsin that you can cast your in-person absentee ballot for the primary scheduled for February 20th. Voters in Algoma will choose from Virginia Haske, Steve Lautenbach, and Casey Buhr for mayor and Bill Bush, Kenneth D. Taylor, and Casey Buhr for  District 3 Alderperson. The top two will advance to the spring general election on April 2nd. No other municipality in Door or Kewaunee counties has a primary race.

 

Voters must bring their photo identification with them if they plan to vote in person by February 18th. You can also vote by mail, but you have until February 15th to apply, and the ballots have to be received by February 20th. For those waiting for the spring election on April 2nd, that time will soon come as well.. You have until March 13th to register by mail or online to vote absentee. You can cast your ballot for the spring election in person from March 19th to March 31st.

City of Sturgeon Bay to award construction contracts Tuesday

It will be a busy 2024 around the City of Sturgeon Bay based on the four contracts it is set to approve on Tuesday during its common council meeting.  The contracts cover a variety of work being done in the city, including at the Geneva Ridge subdivision, parking lots at 911 North 14th Avenue and North 2nd Avenue, and Alabama Place. The projects are a step forward for the 5.5-acre subdivision designated for twenty-four single-family homes addressing the need for affordable housing in Door County. People who buy houses in the subdivision must work full-time in Door County, promise not to list the property as a short-term rental, and be subject to a fee if they don’t keep the home for at least six years. The contracts cover the city’s concrete replacement, asphalt replacement, sanitary sewer and water line installation, and site work amounting to nearly $2.6 million. Depending on the location of the work being done, funding from Tax Increment Districts #6 and #10 will cover the cost of the projects. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also give its opinion on what to do with over $3 million in first dollar, school, and lottery credits when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday inside the council chambers at city hall.

Egg Harbor road construction remains on target

The less-than-winter-like conditions over the last two weeks have kept things on time in the Village of Egg Harbor. The Egg Harbor Business Association provided its third weekly update ahead of the first full week of February to inform residents and visitors on the project's progress. The storm sewer main line installation was expected to be finished by the end of last week, paving the way for crews to begin installing the storm sewer inlets. Most of that work is scheduled to take place between South Trial and Harbor School Road on the south end of the Village and CTH E and Church Street on the village's north end. Utility burial is also ongoing and will cause access restriction via Orchard Road from Church Street on Monday into possibly Tuesday. The business association reminds visitors and residents that they are considered local traffic if they stop at a business or public facility within the construction zone. They also lauded newly installed “construction bypass” signs to help people navigate themselves around the village. Those visiting Egg Harbor are encouraged to visit but to use caution and take alternate routes when possible.

 

 

Local law enforcement facing shortfalls in recruits

The landscape for law enforcement recruitment is still suffering nationwide and locally.  In a survey by Brother in 2022, two-thirds of law enforcement professionals stated that police recruitment and retention is law enforcement's most significant issue. The amount of police officers in service has decreased while the population has increased. Kewaunee Police Chief Robin Mueller says finding recruits and replacing retired officers remains a considerable challenge in today’s climate.

 

 

Mueller notes that Wisconsin crossed the 1,000 mark last July for the shortage number of law enforcement officers needed in the state.  The Kewaunee Police Department will be adding one new staff member soon, with one open position still needing to be filled. 

Crossroads features ice harvest at upcoming events

In Door County, Destination Sturgeon Bay’s Fire & Ice Festival is always a highlight of winter, and we at Crossroads at Big Creek are thrilled to again host the kick-off event, a Luminary Lit Hike on our beautiful preserve. Also during the Fire & Ice weekend, we are offering a special Science Saturday family program, “The Sturgeon Bay Ice Harvest,” with hands-on demonstrations provided by the crew from the Madden Tool Museum.

 

On Friday, February 16, join us for an after-dark walk on one of our trails marked by the enchanting glow of luminaries. Once the luminaries guide you back to the nature center, take some time to warm up around a toasty campfire with a cup of hot chocolate and the warm company of fellow nature enthusiasts.

 

Our historical reenactment of a Sturgeon Bay Ice Harvest is scheduled from 2:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, in front of the Collins Learning Center. 

 

It’s hard to imagine, especially this warm year, but back in the 1880s, before the advent of refrigeration, huge blocks of ice were harvested from the Bay of Sturgeon Bay. Ice was a valuable commodity and one of Door County’s most lucrative export products.

 

In those years, Chicago was the Midwest center for meat packing, requiring lots of ice. But in those days, the City of Chicago disposed of raw sewage into the Chicago River which flowed right into Lake Michigan. Ice from the Chicago Lakeshore? Yuck!

 

Milwaukee, a city made famous for brewing beer, also needed ice. Cities needed unpolluted ice for their industries and also for residents’ home use in ice boxes. The demand for ice was so great that as many as 700 local men—mostly farmers—sawed and extracted literally acres of ice from the bay. (Historians tell us that they did leave an ice bridge so the people of Northern Door were not totally cut off from the rest of the world.)

 

The shore of the Sturgeon Bay’s westside (then called Sawyer) was lined with huge warehouses where the ice blocks were stored between insulating layers of sawdust provided by Sturgeon Bay’s three sawmills.

 

I had read about the ice harvest for years, but I just couldn’t picture it until retired teacher Mike Madden agreed to present a demonstration at Crossroads. And now in its third year, Ice Harvest has become a favorite winter tradition.

 

But how is this a Science Saturday activity? Well, the tools used for harvesting ice are “simple machines.” (Remember that unit from elementary school science class? Maybe when Mr. Madden was your teaccher? ) Using tools, kids will more easily grasp how pulleys, inclined planes, and wedges work. Plus, they will have a blast!

 

And speaking of using tools, otters are among the very few mammals that use tools and thrive in winter. Otters living in The Cove Preserve are out and about whether or not the estuary is ice-covered. Science Saturday the week before Fire & Ice will feature these active animals. Activities will include a short video, games and, if conditions allow, participants can use kicksleds to learn how otters travel over snow and ice.

 

Trail conditions change with the weather, so watch Crossroads’ website for updates on conditions and open hours for our Ski-for-Free program. Our hiking trails are open every day, all day.

 

Thursday, February 8

7:00 p.m. Fish Tales: Elevating Optimism on the Menominee River

Dr. Patrick Forsythe, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, presents “Elevating Optimism on the Menominee River Through the Successful Upstream and Downstream Passage of Lake Sturgeon.” Attend in-person at Crossroads at Big Creek, 2041 Michigan St. or via Zoom. To participate via ZOOM or Facebook Live, go to https://doorcountylibrary.org/event on the date of each talk, to find the link.

  

Saturday, February 10

2:00 p.m. Science Saturdays Family Program: Meet the Otter

Otters are among the very few mammals the use tools, and otters living in The Cove Preserve thrive whether or not the estuary is ice-covered. Our Science Saturday on February 10 will be “Meet the Otter,” a program for families (and learners of all ages) which will include videos, games and, if conditions allow, the use of kicksleds to demonstrate how otters travel over snow and ice.

 

Tuesday, February 13

7:00 p.m. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society

The community is invited to the monthly meetings of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society. DPAS member Cory Gorski will present “Amateur Astrophotography,” encouraging members and visitors to discover the delights, intricacies, and challenges of astrophotography. His program will feature numerous images captured with a setup in a Sturgeon Bay backyard. Programs are free and open to the public. Meet at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center, 2200 Utah St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Friday, February 16

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. Fire & Ice Weekend Luminary-lit Hike

Help kick-off Sturgeon Bay’s Fire & Ice Weekend with a candle-lit walk. Join us for a walk on one of our trails marked by the enchanting glow of luminaries. Once the luminaries guide you back to the nature center, take some time to warm up around a campfire with a cup of hot chocolate and the warm company of fellow nature enthusiasts. Free and open the public. Meet at the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

  

Saturday, February 17

2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Special Family Program – Science Saturdays: Ice Harvest

As a part of the Fire & Ice Weekend, Pat Madden, Mike Madden and Dan Hanson will revisit the Sturgeon Bay Ice Harvest using authentic period tools to show how ice was cut and transported. Kids might get a chance to cut ice and to move ice cakes like the ice cutters of yore. Fun and informative for all ages. Dress for the weather. Meet in front of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St. Free and open to the public.

Redistricting up to the courts after maps get reviewed

The issues of where different people vote in the state and who their leaders may be are now in the hands of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Consultants Jonathan Cervas of Carnegie Mellon University and Bernard Grofman of the University of California-Irvine delivered their analysis of the legislative map proposals drawn by various people and groups, including Governor Tony Evers, the Republican Legislature, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, Senate Democrats, Law Forward, Petering (FastMap), and the Wright Petitioners. Cervas and Grofman are familiar with the process, according to Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck. Cervas assisted in the New York Legislature’s efforts to rid itself of its gerrymandered maps, leading to Republicans taking five additional seats. Grofman participated in a similar process in Virginia, making things more competitive for Democrats. According to the Associated Press, the pair said the maps drawn by the Republican Legislature and WILL were partisan gerrymanders, while the others were closer to the guidelines set forth by the courts. All of the maps would keep Republicans in the majority but by slimmer margins in some of them. Cervas or Grofman explicitly endorsed none of the maps. After Evers rejected another attempt by the Legislature to submit new legislative boundaries earlier this week, Heck says it is up to the courts to decide.

 


The Wisconsin Supreme Court has until March 15th to choose a map so it can be used for the fall election. Heck is not ruling out a possibility that an appeal could be made regardless of which map is chosen. It is not the only election-related issue the Wisconsin Supreme Court is being asked to consider. Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips is trying to get his name on the April ballot to go against President Joe Biden after election leaders left him off.

Merging etiquette stirs up debate

Merging into traffic is an everyday occurrence during your commute, which also means it could be a daily frustration. The Wisconsin State Patrol is paying attention to the art of merging onto a roadway during the month of February, whether going onto a highway or into a construction zone. Checking for traffic, scanning quickly, looking carefully for other road users, and utilizing your turn signals are all ways you can help protect yourself when changing lanes. One of the great debates regarding merging is what to do when approaching a construction area where one of the lanes is shut down. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says more people than think approach these situations wrong, costing them time and causing them frustration.

According to Ayres and Associates, zipper merging can reduce the length of a traffic backup by as much as 40 percent. 

 

Watch this video for more tips on merging from the Wisconsin State Patrol

 

Sturgeon Bay looks for interim fire chief for retiring Dietman

A change is on the horizon at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department as they look for an interim fire chief. Appointing a temporary replacement for the retiring Fire Chief Tim Dietman is on the agenda for Monday’s City of Sturgeon Bay Police and Fire Commission meeting. Dietman has served as the city’s fire chief since he was hired to replace Tim Herlache. 

 

"It should go without saying that the City is, at once, delighted and disheartened to announce the retirement of Fire Chief Tim Dietman," said Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout. "Chief Dietman has served as Chief of the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department since 2016.  Before serving as Fire Chief, Chief Dietman served as assistant chief and firefighter; he has worked with the Fire Department since 2000.  Chief Dietman’s retirement is our loss, but a well-deserved respite for him.  Please extend your best wishes to Chief Dietman in his new endeavors."

 

The commission will meet at 4 p.m. Monday in the city hall's community room. 

Registration opens for hunter education courses

If you know someone itching to go hunting this fall that has never gone before, the journey to the tree stand begins this spring in Door County. Three courses are planned for the county, with two taking place in Fish Creek in March and one in Sturgeon Bay in April. In Fish Creek, a one-day virtual field day course will take place on March 9th, and a three-day in-person course will be held on March 12th, 14th, and 16th at the Peninsula Gun Club. The Sturgeon Bay three-day in-person hunter education course will take place on April 8th, 9th, and 13th at Virlee Gunworks and the Door County Rod and Gun Club. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden says the courses give a lot of good information to hunters before they put what they learn to practice, whether they have never hunted before or have only participated with a mentor.


Registration is open now for the Fish Creek courses and will open on February 17th for the Sturgeon Bay course. Kratcha recommends registering ahead if you are interested because enrollment is limited. Anyone born on or after January 1st, 1973, must have a hunter education certification to purchase a hunting license unless hunting under the hunting mentorship program. Kratcha thanks the volunteer instructors who donate their time and expertise to teach the courses and to meet the needs in the community.

Candidate forum for Door County Judge planned

The League of Women Voters of Door County hopes you will take time out of your schedule on February 15th to hear from the area’s two circuit court judge candidates. Jennifer Moeller and Brett Reetz are both running to replace the retiring Door County Circuit Court Judge D. Todd Ehlers. Moeller announced her candidacy in August, shortly after Ehlers said he would not run again. Moeller has served as Door County Family Court Commissioner for the past 12 years after 15 years working for private practices. Reetz entered the race in December after running his own firm in Door County for over 30 years.
Candidate Forum Director Dan Powers said last month that the forums are a two-way street as the events allow candidates to connect with voters and explain their views.


The February 15th candidate forum will take place at the Door County ADRC beginning at 6 p.m. The League of Women Voters of Door County encourages residents to request candidate forums for contested races so they can get to know them better before they have to put pen to paper for them in April.

Public school open-enrollment period starts Monday

You have the option to switch school districts if you so choose, beginning on Monday when the open enrollment period begins.

 

Through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's open enrollment process, parents can apply to up to three nonresident school districts and an unlimited number of virtual charter schools as a part of the open enrollment period, which first started for the 1998-1999 school year. Last year, more than 73,000 students from 4K to 12th grade participated in the program, according to the Appleton Post-Crescent. Locally, Luxemburg-Casco saw the most gains from the program last year, seeing 262 transfers in compared to just 66 out. Other school districts like Kewaunee (31 in, 114 out), Algoma (40 in, 85 out), Gibraltar (30 in, 26 out), Sturgeon Bay (186 in, 225 out), Sevastopol (153 in, 91 out), and Southern Door (114 in, 139 out) saw far less movement. While geography, compared to more urban areas, plays a role, Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent  Dan Tjernagel says the programming and collaborative nature of the schools also causes many families to stay put unless they move or jobs change.

You can apply here for open enrollment until 4 p.m. on April 30th.

New Laundromat opening in Sturgeon Bay-- UPDATED: opening delayed

The DC Laudramat, which was scheduled to open on Monday, February 5th, will now have to wait to open its doors to the public.  Due to supply chain issues the business will not officially open until later in February, according to owner Lori DeJardin.  Stay tune for updates on the new opening date.

 

(Original Story)

You will have a new place to go to get your laundry done in Sturgeon Bay starting next week.  The DC Laundromat will open on Madison Avenue on Monday, February 5th, and include an arcade game room.  Lori DeJardin owns and operates DeJardin Cleaners next door and is opening the new handicap-accessible laundromat after remodeling the location for the last five months.  For years, many of her customers have requested a new laundromat on the west side.  DeJardin says the state-of-the-art facility with automatic doors will allow users to pay using credit cards, phones, or cash. 

 

 

 DC Laundromat will have eight washers and 16 dryers on location with vending machines and games in the arcade room.  Hours of operation will be from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. with an attendant on duty.

Rock music, Rabas legacy, and Footbridge covered in History Presentations

You help celebrate and bring back some memories when the Kewaunee Historical Society showcases February History Presentations on the first three Saturdays this month.  The free presentations are held at the Kewaunee History Center and will have keynote speakers reminiscing about people and places in Kewaunee County.  This Saturday, February 3rd, Jim Schaller and Dan Fager will present “The Footbridge Area.”  The talk will center on the history of the tiny yet popular settlement west of Kewaunee.  The following week, on February 10th, Jim Rabas will have a presentation on the legacy of his parents, Millie and Jim Rabas, Sr., emphasizing Millie’s feature in Esquire magazine in 1963.

 

 

The final presentation during History Month will be by John Schultz and Bill Berkey on Rock and Roll bands of Kewaunee County while reliving the days of the British Invasion.

The February History Presentations begin at 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays at the Kewaunee History Center on Ellis Street.  A free light lunch and refreshments will be offered after the presentations.   

Kewaunee County appoints new administrator, highway commissioner

The Kewaunee County Board is set to appoint Jeremy Kral to County Administrator and Marty Treml to County Highway Commissioner when it meets on Tuesday. Kral has been the Executive Director of Brown County Health and Human Services for the last two years after previous government experience in Calumet County and the City of Montello, Wis. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Daniel Olson says his knowledge and background will make him an excellent fit for the position.

Treml grew up in Luxemburg, but has spent the last two decades in the United States Air Force, working his way up to Chief Master Sergeant after originally enlisting as a heavy equipment mechanic. Olson says his experience checks a lot of the boxes they were looking for in a new highway commissioner.

If approved by the Kewaunee County Board, Kral will begin his role on February 19th, while Treml will start on March 1st. Olson thanked Ed Dorner for his time back in the administrator role for the last six-plus months after he came out of retirement last summer. The Kewaunee County Board will also honor the lives of former supervisors  James Abrahamson, Donald Delebreau, and Robert Garfinkel when they meet at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Groundhog Day Parade returns for encore in Ellison Bay

You may not know whether or not Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow on Friday morning, but you can count on witnessing an Ellison Bay tradition traveling south on State Highway 42 later that afternoon.  The Ellison Bay Groundhog Day Parade returns for its second consecutive year beginning at 4 p.m. after being canceled in 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic. Organizers began putting out the call for the “inclement weather band” members a few weeks ago, asking prospective participants to bring their spoons, tambourines, recorders, and more to perform on the half-mile parade route. The event also features unique costumes and floats as a part of the festivities that all started with an offhand comment from a Gibraltar school teacher, according to parade participant Jane Lee last year.

Those looking to be in the parade are invited to line up on Garrett Bay Road near the Ellison Bay Post Office at 3:45 p.m.

 

Photo courtesy of Door County North

Luxemburg-Casco looks for buy in on $1.8 million referendum

Luxemburg-Casco School District officials hope that by tightening the belt, they will have your support on Election Day. The district has to go to voters for an operational referendum for the first time this spring, which has been a semi-annual rite of passage for others since the state limits what districts could spend per pupil in time for the 2009-2010 school year. The district is projecting a $3.2 million shortfall over the next three years. Officials originally proposed an operational referendum of $2.6 million, but district surveys showed that the community was unlikely to support it. That amount has since been lowered to $1.8 million with expected cuts to its maintenance, transportation, and curriculum budgets and a switch in its education service contract. Luxemburg-Casco District Superintendent Jo-Ellen Fairbanks says it is up to them to make their case to voters.

Without the operational referendum, the district says 11 full-time and five part-time positions would be eliminated in addition to other cuts.  To learn more, you can attend one of the three referendum information sessions on February 20th, February 29th, and March 13th. The sessions will occur at 6 p.m. inside the High School Heritage Room.

Landlord-Tenant issues, telemarketing fill up DATCP complaint box

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection responded to over 10,000 written complaints in 2023, many of which you or somebody you know could have been impacted.

 

More than 2,200 of the complaints were centered around landlord-tenant issues, whether it was related to security deposits, evictions or inadequate disclosures. That was a slight increase over last year, but it could have been even more as DATCP received more than 60,000 visits to its resources related to landlord-tenant issues online.

 

Telemarketing took the second spot with 1,276 complaints, as people reported robocalls, phishing, spoofing, and other scams. These types of complaints are no stranger to Door and Kewaunee counties. Recently, the Door County Sheriff’s Department have received reports of scammers calling the parents of high school-age children trying to get credit card numbers in exchange for ACT/SAT materials.

 

 

Home improvement, telecommunications, identity theft, medical services, motor vehicle repair, travel, motor vehicle sales, and motor vehicle accessories round out the top ten complaints addressed by DATCP in 2023. Through their efforts, DATCAP was able to return $3.3 million to Wisconsin consumers through mediation and enforcement settlements. 

 

DATCP’s top ten complaint categories in 2023 were:

1. Landlord-Tenant Issues

Landlord-tenant issues were the number one complaint filed with DATCP in 2023. Consumers filed 2,208 complaints when disputes between landlords and tenants could not be resolved between parties, a slight increase from the previous year. Common issues reported were security deposit returns, eviction, unauthorized entry, inadequate disclosures, and unsatisfactory service. Additionally, DATCP received more than 60,000 visits to landlord-tenant consumer resources found on its website, including the Landlord–Tenant Guide.

2. Telemarketing

DATCP received 1,276 telemarketing complaints in 2023, a slight decrease from 2022. These complaints concerned robocalls, phishing and spoofing, imposter scams, and Wisconsin Do Not Call Registry issues. Last year, DATCP joined the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and agencies from all other 49 states and the District of Columbia in the Operation Stop Scam Calls initiative to crack down on illegal telemarketing operations responsible for billions of unwanted calls to U.S. consumers. This resulted in a lawsuit against a company that allegedly sent or transmitted approximately 157 million calls to Wisconsin phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

3. Home Improvement

Home improvement concerns accounted for 867 complaints in 2023. The top issues consumers reported include failure to provide services and materials, failure to honor warranties, deceptive and misleading representations, poor quality of work, billing disputes and incorrect charges, improper installation, and failure to properly disclose lien waivers. DATCP contributed to the federal investigation into Tyler and Jennifer Hansen, who pleaded guilty in 2023 to multiple charges related to home improvement businesses they ran together which stole over $800,000 from Wisconsin consumers.

4. Telecommunications

DATCP received 642 complaints regarding telecommunications services in 2023, down slightly from the previous year. Consumers reported issues including billing disputes, disconnections and terminations of service, deceptive and misleading representations, refund and adjustment policies, and failure to cancel services when requested. Consumers should carefully read their contracts and policies to understand the extent and limitations of the services they are purchasing.

5. Identity Theft

With 459 complaints in 2023, reports of identity theft to DATCP decreased last year. Online account takeovers were the most common issue reported by consumers. To protect themselves against this risk and avoid the hassle of automated, sometimes unhelpful account recovery services, consumers are encouraged to create unique passwords and activate two-factor authentication for their important online accounts. Victims of identity theft should contact DATCP right away and keep in close communication with their DATCP consumer protection experts to recover and protect their identity against further fraud.

6. Medical Services

Complaints related to medical services decreased slightly from 2022, with consumers filing 380 complaints in 2023. The most common issues reported to DATCP include billing disputes, deceptive and misleading representations, and unsatisfactory service.

7. Motor Vehicle Repair

Returning to DATCP’s top ten list with 352 complaints reported in 2023, the number of complaints in this category more than doubled compared to 2022. Consumers reported issues such as failure to perform requested repairs, delays in service, poor quality of work, deceptive and misleading advertisements, overcharging, and charges for work not performed.

8. Travel

This category covers a variety of issues including motor vehicle rentals, airlines, hotels/motels, and travel company service bundling. DATCP received 255 travel complaints in 2023. Billing disputes, refund and adjustment policies, failure to return deposits and payment, and unsatisfactory service were commonly reported by consumers.

9. Motor Vehicle Sales (New and Used)

The ninth most common consumer complaint in 2023 concerned sales of both new and used motor vehicles, about which DATCP received 233 complaints. The most common issues cited in these complaints were inadequate disclosures, deceptive and misleading representations, and violations of prize notice and direct-mail marketing laws.

10. Motor Vehicle Accessories

DATCP’s tenth most common consumer complaint category of 2023, having received 185 complaints, was motor vehicle accessories. Common among these complaints were reports of deceptive and misleading advertising, refund and adjustment policies, defective products, and failure to deliver products.

Search Our Site

CANCELLATIONS

Current Weather

STURGEON BAY WEATHER

Poll

Has the unseasonably warm winter changed your outdoor activities for the better?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Obituaries

Click Here for more Obituaries

Obituary posting fee is $25

Sports Poll

Newsletter

Sign up for our Daily Electronic Newspaper!

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