Literacy mentors become family

Luxemburg’s Bob Garfinkel has been unofficially adopted by several families thanks in part to his work Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County. The organization helps people learn the English literacy skills needed to help them earn their General Education Diploma, pass their citizenship test, and get a job. Garfinkel says the bond he has been able to generate with his dozen students is a big reason why he and others continue to mentor students since Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County started over a decade ago.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County is always looking for more tutors and will host an orientation at Algoma United Methodist Church on March 5th beginning at 9 a.m. Garfinkel says he is always willing to share his experiences with those on the fence on becoming a tutor.

Vents and roofs vulnerable after snowstorms

Local safety officials are warning homeowners to check all vents around their house. The blockage of air vents on your home can lead to deadly consequences. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman explains what can happen if vents are not properly cleared of the recent heavy snows.  



Removing heavy snow from your rooftop can reduce the chance of the roof collapsing, according to Ackerman.  He says city residents can help out around the neighborhoods by digging the snow away from any fire hydrants that may be by their home and street.  

Area orchards dealing with potential crop damage

Although the harvest of cherries and apples are months away, local orchard owners are concerned about their investment throughout Door and Kewaunee counties.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says workers are pruning some of the more mature trees in the orchard right now.




 Wood says there is concern that the severe cold weather earlier this month might have caused damage to sweet and tart cherries.  He says it may be too early to tell, but some apple trees could have been affected as well especially varieties that are crossed with the more sensitive Gala apples.  


Ice fishing showcases Door County for future visits

Out-of-the-area Ice anglers are inclined to visit Door County in the tourism months after experiencing ice fishing on Green Bay, according to one professional fishing guide.  JJ Malvitz says the chances that anglers revisit the area after the ice fishing season are good.  He says it can really add to the local economy. 




Malvitz says ice anglers need to take precautions when heading out on the ice regardless if ice conditions are ideal like this weekend.  Taking a GPS, dressing appropriately and fishing with a group of other ice anglers are a few of the tips Malvitz suggests before venturing out on any body of water.  

Candidate forums in Sturgeon Bay coming up

Sturgeon Bay residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the candidates seeking public office in Sturgeon Bay in two upcoming forums.  The Door County League of Women Voters is sponsoring a candidate forum for both the mayoral position and those running for city council.  The eight candidates seeking a city council seat will have their chance to state their cases on Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 pm in the council chambers at City Hall.  The mayoral forum between Shawn Fairchild and David Ward is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12.  Shirley Senarighi from the Door County League of Women Voters says the forums are an important venue for the public to engage the candidates.



You can find a list of the eight candidates running for Sturgeon Bay City Council below.  

     District 1 – Helen L. Bacon and Dawn Goodban
          District 3 – Sean Linnan and Dan Williams
          District 5 – Sarah K. Evenson and Gary Nault  
          District 7 – Laurel Hauser and Kirsten McFarlin-Reeths  

Spude to be honored for Veteran work

A local veteran will be honored Saturday at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay men's basketball game at the Resch Center.  Jared Spude, who served in the U.S. Army, will be given the Lou LeCalsey Phoenix Hero award that is given to individuals who have made a significant impact in the life for veterans on campus or in the community.  Spude, a Southern Door and UW-Green Bay alum, says he is humbled by the honor.  He credits Nancy Hutchinson from the Door County Adopt-A-Soldier program with major involvement with veterans in this area.



 Spude was active in the military for three years after high school before attending UW-Green Bay and graduating with honors in 2015.  He lives in Brussels with his wife Amanda and their two children.  


(Photo submitted) 


Farm Tech Days committee distributes $89,000 in grants

Three days in July 2017 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma will lead to over a quarter-million dollars being distributed locally, including $89,000 in grants announced by the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Grant Committee Friday.  Twenty-nine different projects will receive assistance from the grants, ranging from improvements at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds to programs at local schools. FTD Executive Committee Chair Amber Hewett says it will be great to see the impact their years of planning and three days in July will have on the community moving forward.

Other Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days-funded projects include recreational improvements at Winter Park, ten years’ worth of scholarships, and a swing in memory of Britney Ebert, the daughter of the event’s host.  




All receiving groups were required to submit an application and were vetted by the 2018 FTD Grant Committee. The following groups will be accepting donations:


4-H Teen Association Prom Dress Sale

Agriculture Advocacy and Gardening Practices

Agricultural Literacy

Algoma Community Kitchen

Algoma Schools - Growing Microgreens

Algoma Pocket Park Project

Denmark High School - Hydroponics

Denmark Middle School Ag Education

Emergency Air Lifting Equipment

Freedom Inclusive Swing Set at Peterson Park

Historical Machine Storage Building

Holy Rosary Child Care Garden Project

KCHCE - WI Bookworms

Kewaunee 4-H Beef Project Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Dairy Committee Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Goat Project Pens

Kewaunee 4-H Hog Project Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Sheep Project Pens

Kewaunee Dairy Promotions - WI Farm Discovery

Kewaunee Fire Department Special Use Trailer

Kewaunee Police Department K9

Literacy Partners

Luxemburg-Casco FFA Animal Science Labs

Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni Animal Science Labs

Mishicot FFA Greenhouse Benches

Screening Cold Hardy Grapes

Students Helping Students

WI Made, WI Proud

Wolf Den Weekend Backpack Program


Many of the groups receiving awards will be using funds that will benefit others. Examples of how the funds will be used include improving emergency equipment and services, a number of school and youth education projects like 4-H, literacy, libraries, parks, sustainable agriculture and much more.



Current justice system a bipartisan problem

State Senator Andre Jacque believes there are a number of aspects of the current justice system that should be addressed to help prisoners readjust to civilian life after their time is served. The vice chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, he says he has already had several conversations with secretary of the state Department of Corrections Kevin Carr about finding the most appropriate setting for arrested individuals. He believes addressing issues like public defender pay, prosecutor shortages, and follow-up in treatment courts are also important.

Senator Jacque says he will introduce legislation asking for more resources for the court system in the near future. 

County administrator enjoying broadband discussion

Identifying the broadband needs in Kewaunee County is off to a good start according to Administrator Scott Feldt. The Broadband Study Committee was established by the Kewaunee County Board after a plan to earmark $1 million to improve the area’s Internet was nixed. Featuring a mix of county officials, IT professionals, and other citizens, the group is considering the options that best fit the area including a look at the coverage area and types of technology. Feldt says he likes how open-minded the committee appears to be addressing the county’s needs.

The Kewaunee County Broadband Study Committee will meet on the last Wednesday of every month at the administration center in Kewaunee beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Home project builds relationships with contractors

The Door County Economic Development Corporation’s High School Home Build project is staying the course despite weather playing its tricks. Snow and cold earlier this month forced the students from Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door high schools inside to do painting and drywall work. On nice days, they headed back outside to work on some of the smaller details. Sturgeon Bay teacher Seth Wilson says the support from the Door County Homebuilders Association has been instrumental in helping the students feel great about the work they are doing.

Wilson says the home located in Sturgeon Bay is still on track to host an open house in May.



Local environmentalist all for new Wisconsin alliance

A Door County environmental advocate is lauding Governor Tony Evers’ decision to have Wisconsin joining a group that is fighting climate change.   Wayne Kudick from Fish Creek says by networking with the other 20 states belonging to the U.S. Climate Alliance, Wisconsin will be better able to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  He says Door County and all of Wisconsin will benefit from Gov. Evers’ new cabinet appointments.  



Preston Cole is the newly appointed secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.  Kudick says he is optimistic that Wisconsin can return to being a leader in environmental issues with the direction of the new administration.  

Historic steam engines featured at presentation

The iconic "Big Jim" steam engine and the impact it had on farming and Kewaunee County will be revisited this weekend.   Jim Rabas will be speaking on "the "Age of the Steam Engine" this Saturday in Kewaunee.  The program is part of the Winter History Series sponsored by the Kewaunee County Historical Society.  Rabas says the presentation will share part of his family history from nearly 100  years ago. 



Rabas says the steam engines were a big part of the agricultural heritage in Kewaunee County as well as offering entertainment value back in the day.   He will be showing historic photos including the "Big Jim" steam engine at the State Fair in Milwaukee in 1964.  The presentation will be at one o'clock on Saturday afternoon at the Kewaunee County Historical Society on Ellis Street in Kewaunee. 

Gibraltar to host Solo and Ensemble Festival

Door County music lovers can tune into over 200 different musical entries this Saturday at Gibraltar Secondary School in Fish Creek.  Students from Gibraltar, TJ Walker, Sturgeon Bay, and Sevastopol’s bands and choirs will perform during the Solo and Ensemble Festival to be judged by other musical educators. Gibraltar instrumental music teacher says the festival gives soloists and members of small performance groups a unique experience.


Eckhardt adds the community can also stop by to listen to the county’s talented young musicians.


The Solo and Ensemble Festival runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. 

Name released in County S fatality

The name of the Algoma man who died in a vehicle Sunday night in the town of Clay Banks has been released.  According to the Door County Sheriff’s Department, 28-year-old Kyle Agamite was found unresponsive and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the scene did not reflect a crash of the car.  



 The vehicle was found at the intersection of County S and Rosewood Road.  An autopsy was completed but the results are not expected back for quite a while, according to McCarty. 

County looks to approve grants for recreational improvements

Snowmobilers and boaters alike could benefit from a pair of resolutions slated to be discussed by the Kewaunee County Board next week. The county received a grant of $61,900 to improve a snowmobile bridge in the town of Carlton while it looks to split the $15,000 cost with the state to make improvements to the Heidmann Lake boat launch. Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is important for the county to continue to look for ways to maintain and improve its recreational opportunities.

The Kewaunee County Board will also discuss a resolution encouraging Door County to follow environmental regulations when they begin their drawdown of the Forestville Mill Pond in November. The Kewaunee County Board meets on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the administrative center in Kewaunee.

Door County YMCA celebrates its community

The Door County YMCA has learned over the years that good news is best shared over breakfast. Over 180 people attended the annual community breakfast, which highlights the success of its programming over the last year. One aspect the Door County YMCA is especially proud of is being able to support the entire community regardless of income, with about 1200 of its 8500 members receiving some sort of financial assistance. Door County YMCA CEO Tom Beernsten says the annual breakfast is all about generating awareness.

The event also serves as a kick-off to the Door County YMCA’s annual campaign, which hopes to raise $500,000.

Spring primary voting expects to be light

Only three elections are scheduled for Tuesday’s spring primary date in Door and Kewaunee counties. No primaries are taking place in Kewaunee County while only voters in the town of Sevastopol, Gibraltar Area School District, and Southern Door School District have anybody on their ballots. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says only 3,250 ballots have been printed for a Tuesday primary that has historically posted low turnout rates.

Lau says if turnout exceeds expectations, the county will be able to print additional ballots at the expense of the town and school districts. You can see a list of the candidates running in the three local races online with this story.




Gibraltar School Board

There are two open seats on the Gibraltar School Board and five candidates running. The candidates are Mike Peot (incumbent), Ray Einhorn, Don Helm, Brett Reetz, and Carole Vande Walle. Incumbent Britt Maltby chose not to run. The primary will be held on February 19th.


Southern Door School Board

There are five candidates running for two open school board spots. The candidates are Milly Gonzales, Penny C. Price, George Sincock, Matthew Tassoul, and Adam Urban. The primary will be held on February 19th.


Sevastopol Town Board

Linda Kiehnau Wait
Tony Haen
Kurt Krauel
Kimberly Denil
Darrick DeMeuse

Boy Scouts give trade experiences

Bay-Lakes Council is no stranger to offering its Scouts USA and Cub Scouts members a peek at local careers in the trades. According to Scouting magazine, over 70,000 merit badges have been earned nationally in areas related to skilled labor like robotics, engineering, and woodworking. In the past, Bay Lakes Council hosted opportunities to earn the welding merit badge at its Gardner Dam Scout Camp and partnered with the former Kewaunee Nuclear Plant to work on award requirements there. Voyageur District Senior Scout Executive Christopher O’Brien says those types of opportunities can open doors locally.

O’Brien says in addition to recruiting more merit badge counselors, the Boy Scouts of America has career exploration units scattered across its councils to introduce youth to future job paths. 

Peninsula Pride Farms focuses on education

Education was a major theme during the Peninsula Pride Farms annual meeting held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg Wednesday. Over 120 people attended the event, which started off with updates on some of the different current farmer-led initiatives such as cover cropping. Educating consumers became a major focus of the morning after Peninsula Pride Farms announced member fields would receive signage with QR codes to allow people driving past an opportunity to learn more about the farm, what’s growing there, and the conservation practices taking place. Keynote speaker Ewell Smith covered the education-initiatives seafood producers on the Gulf Coast went through after information spread about their products possibly not being safe following hurricanes and oil spills. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says it was encouraging to see so many people attending the meeting and noticing their efforts.

The annual meeting concluded with breakout sessions covering a number of different topics and allowing farmers and other stakeholders a chance to share their ideas. 





YMCA Free Community Breakfast this morning

The Door County YMCA is celebrating their Community Breakfast Thursday morning at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.  The sold-out event will highlight the good deeds the YMCA performs throughout the area.  President and CEO Tom Beerntsen explains this year’s campaign theme which will be introduced at the breakfast.



The Door County YMCA Community Breakfast is expecting 175 people, according to Beerntsen.  The breakfast will be starting at 8 o’clock with registration at 7:30. The program will feature three speakers including Tyler Powell from the Northern Door YMCA , Scott Ryan of Algoma, and Kate Smith from the child center.  The Door County YMCA serves over 8,000 members with two locations in Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay.    

Rep. Shankland sees Clean Water Initiatives helping area

Door and Kewaunee Counties will be getting an opportunity to expand access to clean drinking water, according to one state representative.  Rep. Kristina Shankland of Stevens Point, who was just chosen as the vice-chair of the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force, is excited about Governor Tony Evers’ announced budget that includes $70 million in bonding to address water quality in Wisconsin.  Shankland says finding a solution has been long overdue. 


Shankland authored legislation to expand the Well Compensation Grant Program as well as Clean Water Initiatives.  She says with one in ten wells across Wisconsin being contaminated with undrinkable water, Governor Evers is taking immediate action to solve the problem the state is facing.  

Informal comments help get public input

STURGEON BAY, WI (Connor Harbit) -- According to one Sturgeon Bay councilperson, allowing for informal comments is one of the easiest ways to receive public input. Barbara Allmann, the alderperson for District 5, said she prefers to run her meetings as one would have a conversation at the kitchen table, with those in attendance able to speak up and be heard. Allmann said she enjoys hearing from those who take the time to come to the meetings. 



Allmann most recently acted in her role as the chair for the Protection and Services Committee. On Thursday, the three-person committee looked at a few topics including limiting vaping for minors and the lack of housing in the Sturgeon Bay area due to rentals and Airbnb.

Help of Door County addressing teen dating violence

In an effort to shine a light on teen dating violence, Help of Door County is taking a proactive approach by offering area youth an educational opportunity.  The effort is designed to curb teen dating abuse before it starts.   Executive Director Steve Vickman says during “Teen Dating Violence Awareness” month, the organization is doing something new this year. 



 About one-third of teens will experience some type of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone who they are in a relationship with, according to Vickman.  


Film screening looks into childhood trauma

The Door County Partnership for Children and Families will hold a screening and panel discussion of the film “Resilience” on Wednesday, February 20th.  The film deals with toxic stress created as a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which in itself can cause problems such as heart disease, cancer, and depression. Candis Dart, the coordinator for the DC Partnership for Children and Families, said the film shows ways to avoid gathering the negative stress that can be accrued easily by ACEs.


A panel discussion will follow the film screening, with six members of the organization fielding questions and concerns from those in attendance. The event is free and open to the public and will start at 5:00 p.m.

Local florists ready for big day after snowstorm

One of the busiest days of the year in the floral industry is being complicated locally by the weather.  Valentine’s Day ranks historically as the second-biggest days behind Mother’s Day for businesses selling flowers.  Larry Maas of Maas Floral and Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says roses are still the most popular gift on Valentine’s Day but delivery this week may a bit trickier with the recent snowstorm. 



Maas estimates that Maas Floral will deliver over 1,000 roses for Valentine’s Day.  He says plans are to have all deliveries completed by late Thursday afternoon to keep up with the demand, weather permitting.

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