News

Getting out with your kid for their first deer

In a couple of weekends, you’ll be able to take your child out in Door County or Kewaunee County for the exclusive youth deer hunting weekend in Wisconsin. The annual youth deer hunting season goes from October 9th to October 10th, and gives hunters the opportunity to harvest a buck or doe with either a firearm or bow. State Deer Program Specialist Jeff Pritzl says you can expect roughly 7,000 to 8,000 deer to be harvested during the youth hunt in any given year. Pritzl adds that parents sometimes find the youth hunt more enjoyable than their own hunt. 

 

 

Pritzl stresses your safety when on the hunt, saying that while proper firearm handling is crucial, they see the most accidents with hunters getting in and out of their tree stand. 

Electronics recycling getting harder; SBU plans event

It can be hard these days to find the best place to dispose of your unused electronics, and special electronics recycling events like the free one in Sturgeon Bay on October 6th help those wondering where to go. The event is held at the Sturgeon Bay Utilities office and Energy Services Representative Mark Bscherer, notes that recycling your electronics isn’t like your typical recycling process.

 

 

Bscherer says they aim the event toward Sturgeon Bay Utilities customers, but they don’t turn anybody away. One carry-over at the event from last year is that you won’t have to get out of your car as workers will unload your electronics for you. Understanding that it can be tough to find places to recycle electronics, Bscherer suggests keeping your eye out for other local events that can sometimes be scheduled sporadically in case you miss theirs. 

 

(Photo by Scott Schild)

ADRC helping people tackle tough topics like dementia

It can be hard to cope when you or a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. In Kewaunee County, the ADRC of the Lakeshore is trying to offer the resources people need to face the disease. The ADRC of the Lakeshore is offering a course that educates people on the basics of dementia and then a course on what the progress of dementia looks like. Dementia Care Specialist Ariel Yang, says it’s common for people affected to avoid the topic of dementia, and some may even try finding humor in the situation to cope. 

 

 

Yang also says that once a caregiver does take time to learn, they’re happy they did. 

 

 

The October series is in person and the November series is virtual. Class sizes will be limited, but the ADRC doesn’t want that to stop you from showing interest by contacting them, as they’ll make a waitlist for future classes. 


Baileys Harbor fills up for AutumnFest

It was the first time in two years on Saturday that you could enjoy AutumnFest in Baileys Harbor, and the blue skies, vendors, and car show had plenty celebrating being back. Auto and motorcycle show participant Rick Wilinski was excited to be back as he says he makes it an effort to show up each year at this point. Wilinski showcased his 1957 Ford Skyliner, and emphasized the time it takes to keep the vehicle in fresh condition, and the amount of parts he and other showers have to be aware of. 

 

 

Hilinski said that he likes to go check out the other cars at the show when traffic gets quieter. Visitors were also welcomed to AutumnFest with live music.

 

Lily Bay County Park shutting down to start week

For the bulk of the coming week, you’ll have to find elsewhere other than Lily Bay Boat Launch County Park to do any outdoor recreation. Starting at 8:30 PM on Sunday, the park will be closed for parking lot maintenance, and it is expected to be reopened by the end of the day on Thursday. Door County Parks Manager Burke Pinney said given its small size and location, it won’t have any impact on traffic. Pinney adds that while it’s not the most popular launching point in Door County, people tend to utilize the Lily Bay Boat Launchwhen the waters are calm. 

 

The dates can change depending on the weather, and the Lily Bay page on the Door County website will have further information if updates occur. Nearby alternative parks you may be inclined to visit are La Salle Park north Algoma and Cave Point County Park in Door County. 

50-mile walk for MS underway in Door County

Multiple Sclerosis touches the lives of many, and 165 participants took part in day two of the three-day MS Challenge Walk in Door County on Saturday. The three-day walk allows participants, many of which live with the condition or have a loved one who does, to walk up to 50 miles over that span. The walkers departed from Ellison Bay, and $244,000 was raised by participants to fight against MS. 

 

One of the walkers, Sandra O’Laire, said the walk to her is about family members of hers who live with the condition. O'Laire thought the weather was perfect, especially compared to the last time the walk was held in-person, which was 2019 when they battled some rainy conditions. O’Laire also added that doing the 50 mile-walk together after 2020’s virtual walk was a nice change. 

 

 

O’Laire also found it nice to see familiar faces at the Challenge Walk. 


Flu clinics go drive-thru

Just like you may have done for your COVID-19 vaccine, you will not have to leave your car if you want to protect yourself from the flu this season. Flu activity was low last year thanks to COVID-19 mitigation efforts making it hard to transmit all kinds of viruses. Experts say that could change as people return closer to the lives they had before the pandemic. In preparation, Door County Medical Center is offering flu vaccine clinics close to 30 different times across the next several weeks at locations in Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek, Algoma, and Washington Island. Drive-through clinics have already started at Stella Maris Church in Fish Creek and will be made available at the Door County Medical Center Sturgeon Bay Clinic beginning October 4th. 

 

Chief Clinical Officer Jodi Hibbard says they found out well the drive-through clinics could work when they began distributing the COVID-19 vaccine in a similar fashion earlier this year.

Patients will have to make an appointment either online or over the phone. Last year over 189 million Americans received the flu vaccine.

 

Picture courtesy of Door County Medical Center

 

For all flu vaccination appointments, patients should: 

Be prepared to provide insurance and demographic information

Wear a short sleeved shirt

Wear a mask at all times

Stay home if you are sick

 

Additional guidelines apply to Drive-Through Clinic appointments: 

Leave pets at home

Must have no history of fainting with injections

Follow all signs and remain in your vehicle

Put the vehicle in “park” before staff approaches

 

Flu Clinic times, locations and contact information is as follows:

 

DCMC Sturgeon Bay Clinic - Drive Through Available

323 S 18th Ave, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235

Call: (920) 746-0510

Monday, Oct. 4, 7:30 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 8 am – 4 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7:30 am – 3 pm

Thursday, Oct. 21, 8 am – 4 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 7:30 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 8 am – 4 pm

 

Stella Maris Church - Drive Through Available

4012 WI-42, Fish Creek, WI 54212

Call: (920) 868-3511

Wednesday, Sept. 22, 9 am – 3 pm

Friday, Sept. 24, 9 am – 3 pm

Monday, Sept. 27, 10 am – 3 pm

Tuesday, Sept. 28, 9 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 9 am – 3 pm

Friday, Oct. 1, 9 am – 3 pm

Monday, Oct. 4, 10 am – 3 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 9 am – 3 pm

Friday, Oct. 22, 9 am – 3 pm

Monday, Oct. 25, 10 am – 3 pm

 

DCMC Children’s Center

323 S 18th Ave, Sturgeon Bay WI 54235

Call: (920) 746-3666

October 4, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

October 6, 9 am – 12 pm

October 18, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

October 19, 3 pm – 6p m

October 20, 9 am – 12 pm

November 8, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

November 10, 9 am – 12 pm

November 16, 3 pm – 6 pm

November 22, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

November 24, 9 am – 12 pm

November 29, 2 pm – 4:30 pm

 

DCMC Algoma Clinic 

815 Jefferson Street, Algoma WI 54201

Call: (920) 487-3496

Friday, Oct. 15, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Monday, Oct. 18, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

 

Washington Island Clinic

910 Main Road, Washington Island WI 54246

Call: (920) 847-2424

Call to make an appointment

150th Anniversary of Great Fire commemorated in October

Next month, you will have the opportunity to partake in the remembrance of the Great Fire of 1871 that impacted much of the Belgian community in the area.  The Belgian Heritage Center will host three days of programming on October 8, 9, and 10.  It is the 150th anniversary of the large forest fire that started on October 8, 1871, in Peshtigo and spread across Green Bay into much of the southern half of the Door Peninsula.  Belgian Heritage Center volunteer Ann Jinkins says the featured programs are an excellent way to learn about the history of the devastating fire.

 

 

The Belgian Heritage Center’s schedule of events also includes a remembrance vigil on Friday, October 8, with a reenactment of the experiences of a fire survivor, Emmerence Englebert, who will be portrayed by her great-granddaughter Barb (Englebert) Chisholm on Saturday and Sunday.  The premier of the Great Fire video will be shown both days on request until 3 pm.  You can find the complete schedule of events below.

 

Friday, October 8 (the anniversary of the fire)

6:00 pm to 6:30 pm 

Remembrance Vigil including:

Prayer of Remembrance with Father Edward Looney

Reading by Door County’s Poet Laureate, Mike Orlock

Candle lighting accompanied by prayers in the Walloon language

Tolling of the church bells in the BHC

 

Saturday, October 9

9:00 am – 1:00 pm

Brussels-Union-Gardner (BUG) Fire Department fire trucks on site

10:00 am

Reenactment of the experiences of a fire survivor

11:00 am

Premier of the Great Fire video; also shown until 3:00 pm on request

11:30 

Presentation by David Siegel, Captain, Green Bay Metro Fire Department 

Author Virginia Feld Johnson

 

Sunday, October 10

10:00 am

Reenactment of the experiences of a fire survivor

10:45

Showing of the Great Fire video; also shown on request until 3:00 pm

 

The Belgian Heritage Center is located at 1255 County Road DK, Brussels (on the curve in Namur near the historical markers).  For more information on the Belgian Heritage Center, you may visit www.belgianheritagecenter.org

 

 

Fire extinguishers play vital role in initial response

Two fires in the last month in the Town of Gibraltar should give you more reason to invest in a fire extinguisher for your home or business. Earlier this month, a fire extinguisher helped control a blaze that originated near a clothes dryer in a home. Just this past week, an extinguisher was used to contain a fire to just a single unoccupied home at a motel in Fish Creek. In both instances, Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges believes the structure would not be standing if the blaze had been allowed to spread without the use of an extinguisher.

Bertges later noted that the Door County Sheriff’s Department actually played a big role in putting out a pair of fires during his time as fire chief due to the use of extinguishers. He recommends buying an ABC fire extinguisher that can handle a variety of situations and checking them at least once a month to make sure they are ready to be used in the case of an emergency.


Park popularity remains strong

This weekend is as good as any for you to get out and enjoy Door County’s natural beauty as Saturday is National Public Lands Day. The Parks Director for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Steve Schmelzer finds it important to get to your local public lands to connect with the environment and think about how you can help improve it for future generations. Schmelzer notes that the parks are for everybody, especially Peninsula State Park. Schmelzer said in his most recent visit to the Peninsula State Park, it was really heartening to see how anyone can go up the wheelchair-accessible Eagle Tower, and that they’re always looking for similar opportunities to other parks. 

 

 

For this year’s National Public Lands Day, you’ll likely see more people than you have in years prior to the pandemic. Even if you’re not familiar, Schmelzer says you should give the parks a try as many others did in 2020. Schmelzer says that the momentum from last year has continued into this year, and state park visitor numbers went up for the second straight year. 

 

 

If you’re looking for the right Door County spot for you on National Public Lands Day or anytime after, Schmelzer suggests the Find a Park tool on the DNR website. 

Farm safety a top priority to a successful operation

It’s National Farm Safety Week, and Jim Wautier of Church Site Farms in Brussels says there are so many things going on at the farm at any point that safety has to be on the front of your mind. Wautier stresses extra vigilance when it comes to children on the farm.

 

 

Wautier, who operates a family dairy farm, also talks about the precautions they use when wrapping corn silage. 

 

 

With fall harvest you’ll see larger equipment on the roadways, and Wautier says you’ll need to make sure you’re doing the right things like using turn signals and paying attention to slow-moving vehicle signs. 

One death; hospitalizations up in Kewaunee County report

It was a tough week in the fight against COVID-19 in Kewaunee County. There was one death and four hospitalizations in the weekly report that came from the county on Friday. The death total from COVID-19 in Kewaunee County since the start of the pandemic is now 38. Of the 226 tests administered to Kewaunee County residents, 76 were positive and 150 were negative. The active case total increased by 37 cases and is now at 105. In Kewaunee County, 46.6% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 44.5% of residents are fully vaccinated. 

 

In Wisconsin’s COVID-19 report from Friday, the seven-day average of new confirmed cases is at 2746 and the seven-day average for confirmed deaths is 12. In Wisconsin, 56.5% of residents have at least one vaccine dose and 53.3% of residents have completed the series.


Fall colors driving traffic

Your fall travel plans in Door County depend a lot on the colors of the leaves. While not on par with the summer months of July and August, October is one of the top room-tax revenue-producing months according to the Door County Tourism Zone. Over $659,000 in room taxes were collected in 2019, making it the fifth-highest total for the whole year. Destination Door County Interim CEO Jon Jarosh says they have already received several calls on when they expect the peak fall color season to be this year. He tells them that it depends on where you go on the peninsula.

In anticipation for the fall, Jarosh says finding a room on the weekends could be tricky and weekdays are becoming more popular than ever. According to the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report, Door and Kewaunee counties are expected to be at their peak the second weekend of October. Some spots in northern Wisconsin are already at 30 to 60 percent peak fall colors.

Petito case puts new attention on missing person cases

Narrowing the focus is key to helping find your loved ones if they happen to go missing. National media have turned the spotlight on missing person reports in the wake of the Gabby Petito case developing in Wyoming. Petito’s body was found in Teton National Forest earlier this week and now a manhunt is on for her fiancé who is alleged to have murdered her. The NamUs.gov Missing Persons database has 181 people where their last known location was in Wisconsin. Door and Kewaunee counties each have one entry listed, but Carol Jean Pierce of Sturgeon Bay is at the center of a cold case murder trial set to begin next year while William John King was presumed to have drowned during a fishing accident in Algoma. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says how important it is to establish the details that could help find their whereabouts.

He reminds people to tell people where they are going and who they will be with just in case something bad arises. The FBI reports that over 540,000 people went missing in 2020, including approximately 340,000 kids.

Beardsley fills vacant supervisor seat

After almost three months of waiting, Door County’s Ninth District has its supervisor. The Door County Board approved Rodney Beardsley to fill the role after being nominated by Chairperson Dave Lienau. He is a newcomer to public service after moving from Colorado six years ago for a role at Hatco as its product reliability manager.  In addition to his role on the county board representing portions of the City of Sturgeon Bay, Beardsley has been appointed to five different committees.  He replaces Laura Vlies Wotachek after she resigned from the role in June.

Sturgeon Bay prepping for budget discussions; welcoming input

When dealing with an eight-figure budget, the city of Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward encourages you to give your thoughts. As the city is getting ready to discuss and adopt a 2022 budget, Mayor Ward points out that it’s typically a $15-17 million dollar budget and the public has chances to say their piece on it. 

 

 

City Administrator Josh VanLieshout noted that the process of crafting the 2022 budget is in full swing but still a work in progress. He added that it will remain a work in progress until the final budget is adopted. On Monday, September 27th, the council will have its first discussion on the 2022 budget to talk over budget principles and what’s in it, before discussing it further at future council meetings.

Thinking of local wildlife when you shine your light

You may not think much of leaving a light or two on around your property at night, but with bird migration in full swing on the peninsula, it may be time to switch up some habits. This time of year, you’re advised to turn off non-essential lights around you by 11:00 PM, according to birdcast.info. Lights often attract and disorient, confuse, or exhaust birds, leading them vulnerable to collisions with buildings or other harmful threats that may exist in towns like cats. 

 

Door County and Kewaunee County are expected to see high-intensity bird migration over the weekend and are in a high lights out alert as a result. Program Director at Crossroads of Big Creek Coggin Heeringa says one way to reduce harm to birds and other species is pointing your artificial lights downward. 

 

 

Heeringa notes that while people may want lights outside their house for protection, a light with less environmental impact but equal effectiveness is a motion sensor light. She also explains how artificial light can be harmful to pollinators and insects. 

 

 

If you do need to use artificial light, it’s suggested that you use a yellow LED light. You can view the bird migration and lights out alert forecasts here.

Underly calls for support and protection in schools

Wisconsin’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Jill Underly says it’s time for us to come together and not be divided in order to keep our schools open. Underly offered the 2021 State of Education Address on Thursday, and said that strong schools are essential to a strong society. Underly touched on contentious issues that have garnered varied reactions in Door County, particularly masks. In an August 26th poll on DoorCountyDailyNews.com, 336 voters said they believe students should wear masks in school until the spread of the Delta variant is slowed down. 159 voters said students should not be required to mask up. Underly advocated for mask use, for the time being, saying that in her and Governor Tony Evers elementary school visits in the state, students seemed unbothered by them. She added that adults need to follow the lead of students, who’ve focused on their shared desire to be with their friends, learn, and protect each other. 

 

Before outlining her and Governor Evers’s aspirations for Wisconsin education, she made a call for people across the state and political spectrum to stop abuse directed at educators. She noted that it is the students who suffer the most from it. Underly shared the goal of having Wisconsin reach education funding levels that they had over a decade ago before the Great Recession. 

 

 

Underly made a call to address what she sees as education needs like increased funding in special education, fully funded preschool for four-year-old children, access to mental health support, robust nursing, and a stronger civics curriculum.  

Cases come down; Public Health makes important distinction

In Thursday’s COVID-19 report from the Wisconsin Department of Public Health, cases were slightly down while deaths went up by one. The 7-day average for new confirmed cases is 2807, which is a 50-case decrease from Wednesday and new reported deaths are at 13, which is an increase of one. Door County and Kewaunee County are two of the 62 counties in the state that are at the very high disease activity level. Eight counties, including nearby Oconto County, are at the critically high level.

 

Wisconsin’s vaccine numbers continue to inch upward, as 56.4% of residents have at least one dose and 53.2% are fully vaccinated. Door County Public Health issued clarification between the difference between an additional vaccine dose and a booster vaccine dose. An additional dose is for those who may have not received adequate protection from their initial vaccine series, which is mainly those with a weakened immune system. A booster dose is a supplemental vaccine dose given to people when the immune response to a primary vaccine series is likely to have decreased over time. The full explanation from Public Health can be found below. 

 

Apple issues stump orchard owners

Your guess is as good as the orchard owners themselves when it comes to some issues seen with this year’s apple crop. Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood has been trying to figure out why some of his honey crisp trees have had good years while others hardly produced any fruit this season. The cortlands and macintosh apples in his fields he believes are smaller than in years’ past. Wood has been producing apples long enough to know that other orchard owners in the state are seeing similar things and that every year is different. He thinks some of the early season weather may be the reason why the apple crop is good but not as great as it could be.

The dry months of May and June may have also contributed to some of the apples not reaching their full potential. Wood believes that no matter what kind of apple you are looking for that you will not have to try too hard to find it.

Sturgeon Bay Police warn of bank scam

A scammer may be trying to get into your bank account and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department is making sure you see the red flags. The department has received two separate reports of fraud involving a person posing as an employee trying to switch banking information. Through email, the scammer is trying to move a payroll direct deposit to a different account that belongs to a fake employee. The Sturgeon Bay Police Department says the recent cases involve Green Dot Bank, which is an online bank with no physical locations. The incidents serve as an important reminder to never provide banking information or personal information over the phone or email of someone you do not know.  Making sure the institution is on the FCA Register of regulated companies is also a good sign of whether the company is legitimate or not. Like other cases of fraud, you should also report the attempt to local law enforcement so it can be investigated.  

 

Photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay Police Department

Habitat, housing partnership names first partner family

Your curiosity on who the county’s newest partner family is was finally answered Thursday morning in Sturgeon Bay. Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership Trust announced Melissa Krueger and her children will be the owner of one of the two homes being built by the organizations. It is the first time Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership Trust have collaborated on an affordable home for a local resident. It was a long wait for Megan Dietz and Lori Allen of Door County Habitat for Humanity, who usually have the partner family announced before the foundation is often poured. Allen says it has been worth the wait.

Jim Honig from the Door County Housing Partnership says the home will be able to remain affordable for homeowners for years to come.

Both Door County Habitat for Humanity and the Door County Housing Partnership Trust is donor-supported, but you can also help out with the home build at the site on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

 

 

Extinguisher saves Gibraltar hotel room

A fire inside a vacant hotel room in the Town of Gibraltar earlier this week is giving you more of a reason to keep an extinguisher nearby in your home or business.

 

Gibraltar Fire and Rescue shared the details of a Tuesday evening fire on Wednesday after having to cut their monthly Mid-Door training session short. An employee at the Cedar Court Inn discovered the fire in the single, unoccupied room and began using an extinguisher to battle the flames until firefighters could arrive at the scene before 6:30 p.m.  Thanks to the hotel employee’s efforts, an additional fire extinguisher and a little bit of water were all that was needed to finish the job.

 

Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges credits the quick action of the employee for helping save the structure. He added it was the second time this month where an extinguisher was used to suppress a fire until crews could arrive.

 

The Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, and Egg Harbor Fire Departments along with the Door County Emergency Services, Door County Sheriff’s Department, and Wisconsin Public Service also responded to the call.

 

Photo courtesy of Gibraltar Fire and Rescue

 

 

Critical Race Theory a non-issue for local schools

You will not find much discussion about critical race theory at local school districts even as Assembly Republicans took aim at the topic on Wednesday. An Assembly Republican-led committee passed a bill along party linesprohibiting public schools from teaching students and training employees topics considered to be anti-racism and anti-sexism. Critical Race Theory was argued at school board meetings across the state ahead of the new academic year with parents demanding access to teaching materials.  Opponents to the measure say it takes the decision-making away from local school districts and oversimplifies the topic. NAACP Dane County Branch President Greg Jones thinks Critical Race Theory should not be taught in K-12 classrooms but he told DoorCountyDailyNews.com in August that Black history could be taught better. Southern Door, Sevastopol, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg-Casco School Districts have received inquiries on whether they were teaching it to their students. Southern Door School District Superintendent Chris Peterson says it is not being taught and it is not in their plans either.

Luxemburg-Casco and Sevastopol echoed those sentiments, saying the board has no interest in entertaining its introduction into the classroom. Kewaunee Principal Mike Bennett says the topic has not been brought up at a school board meeting, but he says he has had discussions with people about it, but that is as far as it went.

Feldt gives sneak peek at county budget

You could potentially find something that has not been seen in the Kewaunee County budget in the last 10 years when it is formally discussed next month. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt distributed the proposed 2022 budget to board members during Tuesday’s meeting. The tax levy currently sits at $12.8 million while the total expenditures stand at $24.8 million. Taxpayers will see a rate of 6.88 percent, which is the first time it has been below seven percent in a decade and a decrease of 6.9 percent. More details will be discussed at upcoming committee meetings and the budget hearing on October 19th, but Feldt touted other highlights during his administrator’s report.

In other Kewaunee County Board business, members will have to be present in order to vote on agenda items. The board may discuss at a future time an alternative plan for unforeseen circumstances like another pandemic where they would have to conduct the county’s business but are not allowed to meet in person. The board also recognized Chuck Wagner and his 22 years of service as a district supervisor.

 

 

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