Soar on the Shore rises to new heights

Crescent Beach in Algoma was filled again on Saturday with people watching kites take to the sky. Amateurs all the way to the Wisconsin Kiters, who are as close to professional as kiters can get, were on hand. They came ready to fly just about everything. Dual line kites and quad line kites displayed precision as their movement was synchronized to music. And then there was the big ones, life-size whales. Wisconsin Kiter President Charlie Mazzulla talks about the different sizes:



If you’re interested in joining the Wisconsin Kiters, click on the link

Safe Kids Door County draws a crowd in Sturgeon Bay

The Eagle III emergency air ambulance helicopter knows how to make an entrance. It swooped in at the Door County Fair Grounds and landed at a makeshift helicopter pad to a throng of spectators at the annual Safe Kids Door County event. After the landing, families were free to meet and talk to the pilots. Also on hand were EMT and ambulance services, fire departments, and law enforcement. For the second year, the Gibraltar Fire Department was running the “Firefighter Challenge.” Assistant Fire Chief Jerrad Anderson explained the course:


Check out a video of the copter landing on the Door County Daily News Facebook page.


Local law enforcement and ACLU question social media posts of impaired drivers

The Door County Sheriff's Department and the American Civil Liberties Union question the concept of putting photos of those arrested for impaired driving on social media.  By months end, booking photos of those arrested for drunk or impaired driving will appear on the Dodge County Sheriff's Department Facebook page.  It's part of an effort to reduce vehicle accidents due to speed, stop sign offenses and impaired driving.  Such information has long been available to news media outlets and appears in some sections of local newspapers.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says his department would have to consider the backlash of such postings based on similar experiences in other cases.



The Dodge County Sheriff's Department plans to post disclaimers reminding readers that all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Tim Muth, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin,  however, says the speed of social media could impact a suspects' right to a fair jury trial.



No date has been set for when the Dodge County Sheriff's Department will begin posting impaired driving suspects photos on Facebook.  But the department says it will start sometime before August 31st. 

Dont forget boating safety as Labor Day approaches

The summer is coming to an unofficial close during the busy Labor Day holiday weekend in two weeks. In Door County, that means a lot of boating. The Wisconsin DNR was in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday showing off the capabilities of their patrol boat. That doesn’t mean you want to rely on them to bail you out of a bad situation though. DNR Officer Jordan Resop says that one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the water is to remember the FLOAT plan:



Officer Resop says he’s on the boat almost every day, patrolling Door County’s vast shoreline.

Luxemberg Casco fishing team is a go

There's something fishy at Luxemburg-Casco High School and Brian Eisch couldn't be happier. As Eisch describes it, he was "voluntold" he would be coaching the Spartans' newest squad. Fundraising should start as soon as the final approval goes through with an eye towards participating next summer. The team is linked to the Bass Master series and Eisch has some special guests lined up:


There is an extracurricular component to the team. In addition to competition, shoreline fishing is part of the experience as much as guidance allows. Eisch says he expects plenty of participation. 

Casco Lions Days swinging for the fences

The 42nd annual Casco Lions Days event is sure to be a home run. The weekend is anchored by the all-ages softball tournament. It's a three-day competition that started Friday night with evening games at the Village Park. Sunday a Parade gets things going at 11 AM traveling from the Village Kitchen restaurant to the park before ball resumes at the diamond. Mark Jandrin explains that the softball used to be only an old-timers affair:


The Casco Lions club counts 37 members and is active in the community including Casco Fire and towards good causes like muscular dystrophy research. You can connect with the Casco Lions at their Facebook page,

Master Gardener program in full bloom with graduation ceremony

The Door County Master Gardener program is budding with 13 new members. Education classes began in January, three hours every Wednesday running through April for twelve weeks. The courses aren't University science but botany, entomology, and other topics are covered. On top of the curricula, Master Gardener applicants have to volunteer 24 hours throughout the summer. The Master Gardeners tend to several spots throughout Door County and they run the Garden Door which is close to being a full botanical garden providing plenty of opportunities. With education and volunteering requirements complete, Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill said it was time to celebrate at graduation:


Spots fill up fast for each year's class, head to to find out how you can become a Door County Master Gardener in 2020.


Two free concerts at Adult Band Camp

When something is free it always seems better and that includes the two free concerts at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor this weekend. The organization runs an Adult Band Camp which provides adults with the opportunity to learn music and/or refine skills. During the weekend members from the camp will perform two free concerts that are open to the public. Executive Director of Birch Creek Mona Christensen says the free concerts bring in as many people as the paid concerts.

The first free concert will be on Saturday August 17th at Juniper Hall beginning at 4 P.M. The final concert and the conclusion to the Adult Band Camp will be on Sunday August 18th at the Dutton Performance Barn. A pre-concert will begin at 1:30 P.M. with the big performance beginning at 2 P.M.

Hall of Fame taxidermist featured at Door County Historical Museum

Master taxidermist Mike Orthober will be showcasing his skills at the Door County Historical Museum next Saturday, August 24.  The “Season of Life” exhibit at the museum has been growing over the past twenty years.  Orthober has mounted a variety of specimens including birds and mammals.  He will be mounting a new bird and talking about the art and science of taxidermy.  Well known for his work in taxidermy, Orthober has won national and world-wide awards and was inducted into the National Taxidermy Hall of Fame last month in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He shares some of the more challenging subjects he has worked on in the nature diorama.



Orthober will be at the Door County Historical Museum from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. next Saturday, August 24.   Admission is free to the museum which is located on North Fourth Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

Picking the Right Paddle: So Important --Kayak Series VII

I’ve touched on this in the past, but after the kayak itself, the next big question relates to your paddle.  For years I have recommended buying the lightest, most expensive paddle you can afford.  Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of a day. 


Based on my experience over the past 15 years, I use 30-ounces as a guide for paddle weight.  Personally, I use paddles in the 25-ounce range. For those of you using a sit-in kayak a traditional sized blade is fine, but, for the wider, heavier fishing sit-on-tops, look to getting a paddle with an oversized blade to push your kayak even better.  A paddle I’ve recommended over the years for kayak fishing is the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon and for recreational kayaking, the Sting Ray Carbon, both are under 30 ounces and reasonably priced at $199.  Paddle length is also an important consideration. This is based on your height and the width of your kayak. Most outfitters can help.


It's prime time to catch and release those smallmouth bass.  As always, take a quick picture of your trophy and “Free the Fighter”.  Here are a couple lure tips I’ve mentioned in the past, but, are worth repeating for you smallie anglers.  One is the Ned Rig presentation with the Z-Man soft plastic lures. This finesse presentation is productive from a few feet deep up to 20 feet.  It’s just a very slow stop and go retrieve with a little twitching. The other is swimming a Kalin’s Lunker Grub or Keitech Swimbait on a jig very slow and steady.  I catch and release hundreds of smallies each season and this is all I use.  


Yes, unfortunately, the end of summer is in sight, but don’t put those kayaks or fishing gear away just yet.  From September through November can be great smallmouth bass fishing and with the colors changing later in fall, great for recreational kayaking.  As always, if you have any questions, please email me at

City sidewalk costs can be deferred and financed

The walking on sidewalks is commonplace around Sturgeon Bay, but the paying for new sidewalks and its maintenance became a subject of concern at the last city council meeting earlier this month.  Chad Shefchik, the city engineer, shares how the financing of sidewalks and other improvements has been handled for years in the city.



Shefchik adds that maintenance and spot replacement comes out of the city’s budget.  City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the assessment of new sidewalks is by the linear or square feet of the sidewalk surface.  He says property owners receive a standard notification well in advance to the assessment of the project.  Deferments of the special assessments can be done by the city council for a period of time, indefinitely or until the property transfers.  Sturgeon Bay property owners can also finance the special assessment by stretching out payments on their taxes over six to twelve years with an interest rate that is only one percent above prime, according to Van Lieshout.

Grain harvest picking up the pace

After a slow start to the grain harvest, places like Rio Creek Feed Mill are seeing more truckloads by the day. On July 31st, the mill had only seen 10 loads of grain delivered to its Luxemburg plant, down from 90 last year and 80 in 2016. As the weather has dried out, the pace has picked up. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says the amount of grain farmers have been able to produce this year, commonly known as yields, have been at or below average.

Barta says a recent United States Department of Agriculture report about actual acres planted and yield estimates have made the markets more volatile. He suggests making sure you get the price you need by either bringing it in right away or storing it until the markets improve.



How parents can keep their kid's school technology and smartphones safe

The first day of classes is just over two weeks away in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Computer experts say the final days of summer vacation are a good time to ensure their kid's high-tech gadgets are safe and secure.  Erin Helgeson, co-owner of Quantum PC  Services in Sturgeon Bay, says a check-up of home computers, I-Pads and Chromebooks anti-viral software is a must.



Helgeson says similar security measures should be taken with smartphones.  That can be done with some simple discussions between parents and children and using apps to prevent social media access when it's appropriate.



Helgeson says the best resources on smartphone security would be input from other parents who've used parental controls and apps for their kids.


(Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

Kewaunee County ATV UTV regulations getting tweaked

Just like an off-road vehicle suspension, ordinances sometimes need some fine tuning. Several towns are pumping the brakes on ATV UTV ordinances until tweaking is wrapped up at the county level. Kewaunee County Supervisor Robert Weidner confirmed the changes:

County officials are working on the regulations at the behest of several townships but Weidner notes there are safety issues regarding ATV or UTV use on paved roads. This is confirmed by several manufacturers. Polaris' rider safety page on its website reminds operators that all of its vehicles are specifically engineered for off road trails only. All townships who have approved the ordinance already will need to reapprove the new language assuming county acceptance in September.


Kinnard rides waves to marine travel market

A boat trip with a friend turned into a new business opportunity for Kinnard Heating and Cooling owner Tom Kinnard. Experienced with air conditioning units at homes and businesses, Kinnard’s friend had him look at the broken system on the boat they were on and eventually got it running. Fourteen years later, Kinnard has two employees dedicated to installing and servicing air conditioning units on boats. Kinnard says unless you know boats, it is a very specific and difficult market to get into without proper training.

The high water levels are causing some issues for marine air conditioning systems according to Kinnard. He says weeds and other debris from the water have been causing issues with the boat’s intake and filters.

Washington Island Fair celebrates community

Those traveling through Door County this weekend can still satisfy their fair kick on Washington Island. The Lions Club is hosting their annual Island Fair on Saturday on the grounds of Washington Island School. Starting with a parade at noon, the community heads down to the “fairgrounds” to sample local fare and enter exhibits into competitions. Lions Club member Joel Gunnlaugsson says it may not compare in size to other fairs, but it is still a great time.

The Island Fair, which supports several community and Lions Club initiatives, runs until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Tradition lives on at Algoma Performing Arts Center

A project dating back to the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration continues to bring high-quality entertainment to the city of Algoma. Built in 1935, the Algoma Performing Arts Center has been an important piece for cultural programming in the school district and the community. In 2008, it received over $250,000 in renovation work to preserve the auditorium located at Algoma Elementary School for generations. After being selected by readers and listeners of as the best performing arts center in Kewaunee County, Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart credits a group of individuals who wanted to take its success to a new level.

The Algoma Performing Arts Center brings in a number of acts throughout the year in addition to being the home of performances for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Sen. Johnson hoping "Operation Safe Return" helps with border crisis

In an effort to resolve problems at the United States and Mexico border, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is pushing for a new program called “Operation Safe Return”.  Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, says the crisis at the border is overwhelming but the program he is suggesting has gotten some bipartisan support.



Johnson says “Operation Safe Return” is only one step towards helping, but the asylum laws need to be addressed soon.  He adds that many of the asylum claims are not valid causing a clogged up court system.  You can listen to the entire interview with Sen. Johnson with this story below.





Hauser finding fulfillment with chaplain role

John Hauser of Sturgeon Bay turned a 25-year career in banking and serving on the Sturgeon Bay School Board into a calling in chaplaincy.  Starting as a chaplain for Door County Medical Center (DCMC) four months ago, Hauser says working for a catholic hospital fits well in serving a multitude of people.  He says the culture and caring at the facility helps him fulfill his calling.   



Hauser assisted in moving residents into the new Peter and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing Center and Hospice Care this past week.  Prior to starting at DCMC, Hauser worked as a chaplain intern at hospitals in Grafton, Hartford, Two Rivers, and Green Bay.    


DNR looking for local help on deer herd management

A program to help the Department of Natural Resources manage the deer herds in the area is looking for local involvement.  Operation Deer Watch asks for people to voluntarily record their observations and sighting of deer.  Brian Dhuey, wildlife and survey analyst for the Wisconsin DNR, shares what information the program will gather from now until the end of September. 



You can find more information on Operation Deer Watch and how to participate in the program with the link below.


Proposed Food Stamp changes will affect free or reduced meal program at local schools

The Trump Administration has proposed changes to SNAP benefits that will lower food stamp rolls by an estimated three million Americans nationwide. This potentially could have a big impact on the number of students in Door County receiving meal assistance from school districts. Food Services Director for Sturgeon Bay Jennifer Spude says nearly half of reduced meal students qualify automatically because of their inclusion in programs like SNAP:


Losing access to food stamps means applying with complicated forms. While it is unknown what percentage of students rubber stamped for reduced meals are SNAP beneificiaries, it is clear that changes in that program will ripple out into others.

Local psychologist questions law enforcement plan to ID impaired driving suspects on social media

A Sturgeon Bay psychologist suggests law enforcement agencies carefully consider using social media to post the names and photographs of people arrested, though not convicted of impaired driving.   Dr. Dennis White says he understands why the Dodge County Sheriff's Department hopes such postings on the department's Facebook page could help prevent drunk or buzzed driving.  Dr. White, however, believes that could damage the reputations of those later found not guilty.

Information on all arrests is currently available to news outlets and is regularly published under designated columns in some newspapers. The Dodge County Sheriff's Department plans to begin posting the ID's of those charged with impaired driving by August 31.

Missing person found safe in Ephraim Wednesday night

Door County Sheriffs and Ephraim emergency personnel responded to a missing persons incident Wednesday night. A man with dementia became separated from his family. He was missing for approximately one hour before being located by members of the Fire Department. The man had traveled a mile before Ephraim Fire made contact. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says you should carry a recent photo of family members who may be suffering from dementia:


MacDonald says it's always a good day when a missing person can be found safe and sound. He added that all emergency services involved acted swiftly and as a cohesive unit.


(Photo courtesy of Tad Dukehart)


Valmy Thresheree turns history into family fun

Over 200 antique tractors and pieces of farming implement will make their annual trek to Valmy this weekend for a celebration of Door County’s agriculture history. The Valmy Thresheree is in its 37th year and will place a special emphasis on historic tractors and implements produced by Farmall and International Harvester.  Valmy Thresheree organizer Ralph Bochek says the event is a great way to see some of the implements in action.

The Valmy Thresheree runs from Friday night through Sunday and includes tractor pulls, demonstrations, and mud pig wrestling.


Click Here for complete Valmy Thresheree schedule

Governor Evers in Northeast Wisconsin to say the time is now for gun background checks

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says there's sentiment in Door and Kewaunee counties and statewide to take action on background checks for firearms purchases.  Governor Evers indicated during a visit to Northeast Wisconsin that he may call a special legislative session to take up background checks.  He believes there's public support to act now.



Governor Evers believes the longer Assembly and Senate GOP leaders delay action on background and red-flag checks the more it could hurt them. State Senator Andre Jacque was available for a recorded interview but did release the following statement to


“It is difficult to know what can or should be done legislatively that would actually stop these atrocities from occurring where individuals are hell-bent on mass murder, especially frustrating since many of these incidents arise from lack of enforcement of existing gun laws and background check requirements, and those looking to kill people aren’t concerned about being law-abiding in pursuit of doing so.


I am happy to have worked with my colleagues on common sense bi-partisan reforms that retain second amendment and due process rights and treat firearm offenses with the seriousness they deserve and would be happy to help find future areas of agreement. For example, I was a co-author with former area Rep. Garey Bies of 2013 Wisconsin Act 321 which created a standardized procedure for the surrender of firearms by persons subject to a domestic abuse or child abuse injunction, or subject to an order prohibiting the respondent from possessing firearms issued in connection with a harassment injunction. I also supported both in committee and on the Assembly floor 2017 Act 145 which created new crimes and penalties for providing false information in the purchase of firearms, straw purchasers, and human holsters, and 2017 Act 310 which requires a mandatory minimum period of incarceration for firearms offenses.


Mental health is certainly an issue for anyone who is seeking to murder innocent people, regardless of the weapon they are using to carry it out, and it should certainly be a public policy concern regardless of party.”


(Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay)

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