Lights, camera, judging! Film fest next month

The Door County Short Film Festival takes over the Sister Bay Village Hall on February 14th and 15th. Local residents have the chance to say, “I love you” to movies from around the world, 29 in all. President Chris Opper says that technology has opened the door to entries from anywhere.


Opper is able to choose which films are part of the festival at his discretion. He then selects what he thinks are the best entries and sends the top five films to a panel to be in the running for the Golden Mug trophy. Films run the gamut from documentaries to dramas and other creative works.

Twilight ski events kick off next week

Area state parks will be holding outdoor twilight events in the coming weeks. Whitefish Dunes hosts the first of these on Saturday the 25th from five to eight pm. The hope is for enough snow to have fallen that trails can be groomed for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Those remain weather-dependent. A hike is expected to happen regardless of what Mother Nature delivers. Adele Douglas from the Friends of Whitefish Dunes State Park says a lot of work goes into creating the right ambiance for the event.


The outdoor fun is free for those who have already purchased a vehicle sticker for park admission.


Ukulele Society a plucky group

Sundays at the Northern Door YMCA have a Hawaiian sound to it thanks to the Ukulele Society of Door County. It started as an offshoot of a class at The Clearing Folk School and has grown to 20 active members, with double that playing at some point during the year at least once. President Bruce Hake says most of the founding core were retirees who sought to learn something new. Hake says ukulele clubs are growing in popularity across the world because it is easier to learn than other strings.


Hake has played with clubs during travels as far away as Ireland. Beginners to experts are welcome for those who have an interest in joining. The club meets the second and fourth Sunday of the month from 1-3 PM. 


Southern Door offers Fab(Lab)ulous opportunity

Southern Door High School's fabrication lab is being turned over to adults for a ten-week workshop starting January 29th. The sessions run each Wednesday night from 6-8 PM and are open to district residents and non-residents alike. Superintendent Patti Vickman says the lab has been used for creative purposes in the past.


Application forms and payment for each participant need to be turned into the high school office while spots are still available. Generally, 12-15 people are allowed into the program. 


Tournament draws hockey Hall of Famer

This year’s Door County Pond Hockey Tournament takes place on February 8th. In the past, legends of the game have made an appearance including a Hall of Famer inducted for a stellar career with the Chicago Blackhawks according to Brynn Swanson.


Swanson says players come to Door County from across the country, cities like Seattle and Salt Lake City, to participate. Colleges send teams as well. Divisions for those over 40 years of age still have registration spots available. Kangaroo Lake will be divided into 10 rinks with games being played from 8 AM to 4 PM.


Area apprenticeship program adds discipline

The apprenticeship program at Luxemburg-Casco High School is adding technical college credit to its repertoire according to Superintendent Glenn Schlender with more in the works.


Schlender says that experts believe a change is underway in the workforce profile and that in the coming years vocational careers will be in demand at a level that exceeds jobs that require a four-year university diploma. The Luxemburg-Casco District has been beefing up its apprenticeship offerings recently to keep students well-positioned for this trend. 


Buyers prefer dealers when purchasing cars

The advent of vehicle purchases online through social media and websites is growing, but local dealerships are finding consumers are still depending on them for advice when it comes time to buy.  Pete Beane, President and owner of Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, says consumers still are looking directly to automobile dealers to find the right vehicle. 


Beane says the automotive industry is a fun business to be involved in and has changed greatly over his 35-year career.   A recent Harris Poll revealed that respondents said they would not want to buy a vehicle without a dealership involved and sales consultants have the expertise to help people navigate the complex vehicle buying process. 


Feed My People looking for meat products

In the next couple of months, area food pantries are looking to restock shelves for those in need.  Estella Huff, executive director of Feed and Clothe My People of Door County, says they typically serve over 300 families on a monthly basis.  She adds that right now the pantry is in need of fresh meats.



Huff adds that paper products are always in demand as well as canned foods.  Feed and Clothe My People is open four weekdays a week and also operates the Thrift Store that raises additional funds for the organization. 


Packers dominate conversations at local establishments

The Green Bay Packers are one win away from going to the Super Bowl and area bartenders are finding that patrons are getting more excited as the kick-off approaches.  Can the Packers win the Super Bowl this year?  Steve Geurts, owner of The Grove Food and Drink in Kewaunee, says optimism at the bar is running higher than his beer taps.



Geurts adds that the mood in the bar all week has been upbeat with everyone venturing an opinion on the outcome of the game.  He says The Grove will open at 11 am on Sunday and will remain open until the conclusion of the Green Bay- San Francisco game which is scheduled to start at 5:40 pm.    


Weekend travelers can expect slippery roads with drifting snow

The US National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for most of Wisconsin including Door and Kewaunee counties until 6 pm Saturday.  Local law enforcement agencies are warning drivers to take extra time and precautions if travel is necessary this weekend.  Between four to seven inches of snow is expected through Saturday night.  Snow is expected to be moderate to heavy with blowing and drifting snow at times.  Stay tuned to for any postponements or cancellations.    


Algoma being spared from damage

Unlike some communities, the city of Algoma is being spared from much of the damage being done to the lakeshore due to high winds and water levels. Mayor Wayne Schmidt says its chamber of commerce building suffered some damage due to waves hitting the shoreline, but that problem has been rectified thanks to hauling in debris to cushion the blow. He feels for communities like Kewaunee where high water levels are causing major issues with no relief in sight.

Schmidt says it could be an interesting spring when the snow melts with experts saying water levels will only continue to rise in the coming year.



Speedway changes lanes on dates

The roar coming from the fairgrounds will come at the end of the weekend instead of the beginning after the Kewaunee County Board approved a new promoter for its track. The Kewaunee County Racing Association and the country agreed to the one-year contract Thursday night. Operating the track under the moniker of “The ‘Burg Speedway”, the organization will pay the county $1,500 in rent for each of its 12 races scheduled which will be raced on Sunday nights as opposed to Fridays like in the past. Retiring Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is good for everyone to have someone using that facility on a regular basis.

During its Thursday meeting, the Kewaunee County Board also approved the purchase of two new vehicles for the highway department at a combined cost of around $85,000.


Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County


Official release:

Racing will return to the dirt track at the Kewaunee County
Fairgrounds this summer, following approval of a one-year lease agreement by the
Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors.

The Kewaunee County Racing Association (K.C.R.A.), which is made up of five
promoters, plans to race on Sunday nights in Luxemburg. This would make “The ‘Burg
Speedway”, as the group rebranded it, the only area track in operation on that day.

“This is big news, we have a group of promoters who have all had different experiences
with racing, and having cars running on Sunday verses Friday is going to bring a new feel
to the track,” says Dave Myers, Director of Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation.
“We wish the Kewaunee County Racing Association the best of luck on their venture.”
The K.C.R.A. will host 12 races and aims to run five classes consisting of IMCA
Sanctioned Modifieds, Stock Cars, and Sport Modifieds as well as Street Stocks and
4 Cylinders. The scheduled start time of each race is 5PM with the goal of a 9PM curfew.

Included with Kewaunee County’s Request for Proposal, the K.C.R.A. shared this:
“We are a group of individuals dedicated to preserving racing in Luxemburg and consist
of former drivers, track workers, and fans that have also been involved in track
operations at Luxemburg Speedway and other local facilities. It is not our mission to
profit off racing events, but to bring back the fans and drivers to what was once the
premiere dirt track in Wisconsin.”


The ‘Burg Speedway will have a table at the Luxemburg Racing Show at the Kewaunee
County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 9AM-3PM and
promoters will be available to answer any questions. There will also be an on-site
informational session held at 11AM for the public, as well as drivers, fans, and sponsors.
A practice night for The ‘Burg Speedway has been scheduled for Sunday, May 4, 2020
from 4PM-8PM.

Final touches for Sevastopol renovation plans

Sevastopol School District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says they are about 90 percent complete with their final plans for a major overhaul at their facilities. The $25.1 million project was approved by voters in 2018 and includes new classroom space, an industrial lab, and a greenhouse. Luedtke says it is an exciting time for everyone at the district, especially those directly involved with the project.

Sevastopol will have some new faces on their school board by the time the district breaks ground on the project this spring. Gerald Worrick and Richard Weidman are running to replace Jay  Zahn and Karen Brauer on the school board. Zahn and Brauer chose not to run again for their seats for the upcoming term.   

Wisconsin senators happy for USMCA passage

Both of Wisconsin’s United States Senators expressed happiness after the United States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement was approved 89-10 by the Senate on Thursday. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) replacement is expected to open up trade opportunities for farmers while also tightening rules for auto parts manufacturers and labor enforcement. Senator Tammy Baldwin says the USMCA is a win for Wisconsin farmers, manufacturers, businesses, and workers.

Senator Ron Johnson said in a statement that he hopes the USMCA is the first of many trade agreements that will benefit Wisconsinites. Gears quickly switched for Senators Baldwin and Johnson as they were both sworn in as jurors in the upcoming impeachment trial shortly after the USMCA vote.


Read Senator Baldwin's statement here

Read Senator Johnson's statement here

Luxemburg-Casco addition featuring new wrestling room

The powerhouse Luxemburg-Casco High School wrestling program will have a new home for the New Year.  The newly constructed Luxemburg-Casco Multi-purpose Wrestling Room will be showcased on Sunday, January 26 along with the new gymnasium.  The addition was part of the $27 million referendum projects past in 2018.   Athletic Director Jenny Bandow says the state-of-the-art facility will be utilized for other events in the future.



The L-C wrestling program is bringing in Wisconsin coaches for a camp in the new wrestling center the same day as the new gym dedication on the 26th.   The new gym dedication will be from 3 until 5 pm.  


Help of Door County bringing awareness of stalking

Reportedly one in six women have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime and a local advocacy group is making a concerted effort to inform people about red flags.  Help of Door County Executive Director Milly Gonzales shares some startling statistics associated with stalking.



January is National Stalking Awareness Month.  One out of 19 men nationally is reportedly stalked as well.  Gonzales adds that Help of Door County can provide victims with harassment restraining orders and give emotional support and advice while going through the legal system.    

Safety tips for winter road travel

With a snowfall of 4-6 inches of snow expected to impact Door and Kewaunee counties this weekend, area drivers are being advised to take added precautions and use care if they must travel.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay recommends a winter safety kit to keep in your vehicle.



Sahs also suggests, if you must travel, to keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle and inform friends and family of your travel plans.  You can find more winter travel tips with this story below from the American Automotive Association (AAA).



AAA recommends the following tips while driving in snowy and icy conditions:

Cold Weather Driving Tips

  • Keep a bundle of cold-weather gear in your car, such as extra food and water, warm clothing, a flashlight, a glass scraper, blankets, medications, and more.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated and have plenty of tread.
  • Keep at least half a tank of fuel in your vehicle at all times.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface, such as on ice and snow.

Tips for Driving in the Snow

  • Stay home. Only go out if necessary. Even if you can drive well in bad weather, it’s better to avoid taking unnecessary risks by venturing out.
  • Drive slowly. Always adjust your speed down to account for lower traction when driving on snow or ice.
  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Apply the gas slowly to regain traction and avoid skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry and take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Increase your following distance to five to six seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads will just make your wheels spin. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill slowly.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

Tips for Long-Distance Winter Trips

  • Be Prepared: Have your vehicle checked by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility before hitting the road.
  • Check the Weather: Check the weather along your route and when possible, delay your trip if bad weather is expected.
  • Stay Connected: Before hitting the road, notify others and let them know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • If you get stuck in the snow:
    • Stay with your vehicle: Your vehicle provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Do not try to walk in a severe storm. It is easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
    • Don’t over exert yourself: When digging out your vehicle, listen to your body and stop if you become tired.
    • Be Visible: Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna of your vehicle or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
    • Clear the Exhaust Pipe: Make sure the exhaust pipe is not clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust pipe can cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment of the vehicle while the engine is running.
    • Stay Warm: Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps. Pre-pack blankets and heavy clothing to use in case of an emergency.
    • Conserve Fuel: If possible, only run the engine and heater long enough to remove the chill. This will help to conserve fuel.


Sunshine House looks to return WWII ring

A World War II veteran’s ring was believed to be mistakenly donated to the Sunshine House Resale Store in Sturgeon Bay.  Resale Director Nancy McClellan found the ring last Friday while clearing out items to be thrown away.  Director of sales and marketing at the Sunshine House Jeremy Paszczak says the goal is to get the ring back to the rightful person.  He says the discovery of the ring is a story in itself.



The ring was probably dropped off with other jewelry or clothing last Thursday or Friday.  Paszczak says the sterling silver ring with the World War II veteran logo will remain at the Sunshine House for the time being.  Hopes are still to return it to the rightful owner.  If it goes unclaimed, Paszczak says the ring will probably go to a veteran’s organization in the area.  




Extension of stewardship program sought

Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says losing the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program would flip their business model upside down. Rep. Joel Kitchens of Sturgeon Bay and Rep. Amy Loudenbeck of Clinton are proposing a bill to extend the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program out to 2030. The last budget signed into law by Governor Tony Evers only extended it for two years while a bipartisan task force was supposed to study its future. The new legislation calls for $31 million in total authorized yearly spending, a third of which would come from segregated forestry funds to save on future debt. Clay says without the funds, efforts like last year’s acquisition of Pebble Beach in Sister Bay would be nearly impossible.

The Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program has been used to purchase 669,000 acres in Wisconsin since 1989, including 4,833 acres in Door County and 1,025 acres in Kewaunee County.



Picture courtesy of the Door County Land Trust

Second Amendment sanctuary discussions picking up

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says his oath is to the United States Constitution when it comes to establishing sanctuary communities with issues like immigration and the Second Amendment. Brown County became the latest to attempt to become a Second Amendment sanctuary, a movement occurring across the country to help protect citizens from possible overreach from the government to restrict gun ownership. While Brown County failed in their attempt Wednesday night, Florence County and the city of Merrill have passed measures declaring themselves as sanctuary communities for the Second Amendment. Joski says he would react rather than initiate such discussions about Kewaunee County becoming a Second Amendment sanctuary, but says he has an obligation to uphold the Constitution.

While he supports Second Amendment rights, Joski says there does need to be a conversation in some instances when it may not be safe for some people to have guns in their home.

Shrine champions scripture in series

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion is taking a deep look into the Catholic faith as it celebrates the tenth anniversary of being declared an official Marian Apparition site. Father Thomas Reagan will lead the 15-week series called Championing the Word Wednesdays as he focuses on how Catholics approach the sacraments and interpret the Bible. Reagan hopes the series helps people realize there is always room to grow no matter where you may be with your faith.

Championing the Word Wednesdays begin on January 22nd and continue through April 29th. The free events begin at 6 p.m. with a mass followed by discussions until approximately 8:15 p.m.  



Additional information and picture courtesy of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help


Have you ever wanted to understand why the Catholic Church teaches that some actions are good while others are not? Topics covered in session one of Championing the Word Wednesdays include: The Ten Commandments, Tradition, the Bible. There will be an examination of how the Magisterium and the Catechism are deeply connected and how each affects the way in which we determine what is good to do, in prudence and led by the Holy Spirit.
These topics will be covered Jan. 22, Jan 29, Feb. 5, Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 of 2020.

Have you ever wanted to understand the "big picture" view of how, as Catholics, we should read and interpret the Bible? Topics covered in session two of Championing the Word Wednesdays include: Tradition, Mass Liturgy. There will be an examination of the Magisterium, Faith, Reason and how the Old and New Testaments are deeply connected, how each affects the way in which we approach the Sacred Scriptures be it as Mass or at home.
These topics will be covered March 4, March 11, March 18, March 25, April 1, April 15, April 22, April 29

Historic home awaits decision

With moving the building out of the question, a historic home in Sturgeon Bay has a few months to determine its fate. The home located at 442 Michigan Street was purchased by the county in 2008 for archival storage for the nearby museum. When the county purchased the former Younkers building last year, it also began looking for a buyer for the house. The structural integrity of the building would be compromised too much if it was moved to another location, so the house will either stay standing or be demolished. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says they are currently seeing if it is feasible to use the structure for its Human Services Department.

Pabich expects the final report on whether the building can be used and how much possible renovations would cost to come in May. For a  brief time, the house was used as a jail.

Kewaunee County starts diaper bank

The Kewaunee County Public Health Department has started a diaper bank to help offset the rising demand for assistance with baby supplies from moms in need. Federal and state assistance programs such as Badger Care do not allow for diaper purchases even though the expense rivals that for food for a newborn. Director Cindy Kinnard says that community response has been incredibly supportive.


Donations, both supplies and monetary gifts, are accepted during normal business hours. Those who wish to receive diapers can do so once a month for each child in the household up to four years of age. The diaper bank is open to Kewaunee County residents only so proof of address is required.


Photo provided by Kewaunee County


Voter purge drama not affecting local voters

The court challenges over whether 209,000 Wisconsin voter registrations should be purged is not fazing Door County voters.  Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy this week found the State Elections Commission in contempt for not complying with his December order to remove the names of voters who may have moved from their listed addresses.  That order was stayed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.  County and local elections officials will have to abide by whatever final decision is reached in this case.  Door County Clerk Jill Lau, however, says local voters aren't acting too concerned about this legal standoff.


The challenge over the question of the legality of the 209,000 voter registrations was raised by the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.  It claims that such votes from outdated addresses would be invalid.

Sturgeon Bay Math team continues to roll

Hosting the second Math Meet of the year, Sturgeon Bay High School claimed top honors against the seven other area teams.  Scoring 263 points, Sturgeon Bay outscored the second place NEW Lutheran by 80 points.  Sturgeon Bay math teacher and coach Cliff Wind explains the process of scoring during the Packerland Conference schedule.



Sturgeon Bay has won the conference 18 consecutive years.  You can find the complete results from Monday’s math below.



            1.  Darvin Feng, NEW, 35 points

            2.  Rose Zhu, NEW, 35

            3.  Reece Reynolds, O, 33

            4.  Michael Laxo, SB, 33

            5.  Simon Kopischke, Gib, 30



            1.  Abram Abeyta SB, 30

            2.  Carter Henry, SB, 28

            3.  Molly Fei, NEW, 28

            4.  Henry Pudo, SB, 27

            5.  Serena Laluzerne, SD, 27



            1.  Andrew Konop, SB, 35

            2  Maggie Stephens, SB, 30             

            3.  Makayla Ash, SB, 21

            4.  Grace Holmgren, O, 20

            5.  Arry VanLieshout, SB, 20



            1.  Christy Braun, SB, 20

            2.  Russell Pudlo, SB, 18

            3.  Espen Walker, SB, 18

            4. Laura Zittlow, So Door, 17

            5. Scarlett Serafico, SB, 14




1. Sturgeon Bay, 263 points

2. NEW, 183

3. Oconto, 166

4. Algoma, 157

5. Southern Door, 147

6. Gibraltar, 130

7. Sevastopol, 120

8. Kewaunee, 113


JV results (10 total teams)

1. Sturgeon Bay 2, 236 points

2. Sturgeon Bay 3, 157

3. Kewaunee 2, 104

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