News

Pantry not finding enough veggies for holidays

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is getting plenty of donations for holiday meals except when it comes to certain vegetables.  Produce has been in shorter supply this season because of reduced harvest brought on by poor summer growing conditions.  Ken Marquardt, the pantry president, says even pantry suppliers face challenges in finding select vegetables.

 

 

 

Marquardt says you can help by picking up an extra can of peas or carrots when shopping and dropping them off at the pantry on Sunset Avenue in Algoma.

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Sevastopol

A 64-year-old man from Sturgeon Bay was killed after being struck by a vehicle Friday night in Sevastopol. The accident occurred on Highway 57, near County Road P, just after 7 PM. Inside the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe was a man and woman, both from Sturgeon Bay, who were not injured. The man who was hit was taken to Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay where he was pronounced dead from his injuries.


An investigation continues. According to Lieutenant Robert Lauder, Door County Sheriffs were assisted at the scene by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Sevastopol First Responders, and Door County Emergency Services. The Wisconsin State Patrol Reconstruction Unit was also on the scene causing 57 to be closed for over six-and-a-half hours.

 

 

 

Every day is a small business day

The Door County Economic Development Corporation works to make every day a small business day.  That's made possible through a number of different programs tailored to the needs of entrepreneurs at all levels.  DCEDC offers its eight-week Entrepreneur Training Program in the first quarter of each year.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the program helps those with just an idea for a new business and those looking to take their enterprises a step further.

 

 

 

In addition, DCEDC offers First Steps, an online class to help aspiring business owners check their business readiness and a counselor through the Small Business Development Center in Green Bay.


Lawmaker and economist differ on critical study of Foxconn

A university study of the Foxconn project concluded that the tax breaks and other incentives could be costly in the long-run to counties statewide, including Door and Kewaunee.  The George Mason University survey says the $3.6-billion in incentives could depress economic activity in the state by tens of billions of dollars over the next 15-years.  The study concludes the incentives would be made up for through higher taxes for other companies and individuals and reduce investment in public services. State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay believes that type of investment would have been better spent helping Wisconsin counties.

 

 

 

A UW-Madison economics professor, however, believes the George Mason University study did not consider other factors.  Noah Williams says similar tax incentives have been used on other projects and are not uncommon in neighboring states.

 

 

 

State tax incentives for Foxconn were also contingent on the creation of 13,000 jobs over 15 years in addition to the construction of a manufacturing center in Racine County and regional technology centers in communities around the state including Green Bay.

Trying to prevent copycat shootings

With two school violence incidents this week in Waukesha and Oshkosh, plus a school threat made against Sturgeon Bay High School, Door County School Resource Officers are trying to prevent another copycat attack. Lieutenant Bob Lauder says the danger for schools goes up after any incident nationwide. He stresses that it can also be a wake-up call. 

 


Lauder says it is the job of School Resource Officers to do constant threat assessments. When the possibility of violence ticks up, a SRO can lean on the ties they have built within the school, or district, that they serve. 

 

Lawmaker seeks answers to tourism council leadership challenges

The election of a new chair for the body that aids tourism in Door County and statewide is raising concerns and questions.  This weeks' selection of Joe Klimczak to head the Wisconsin Tourism Council comes after an earlier election was tabled because a quorum was not present at that meeting.  That's also raised concerns that Klimczak's tenure may be short because of the uncertainty of his reappointment to the council next year.  Many people within the state's tourism industry want answers, including council member and State Senator Andre Jacque of De Pere.

 

 

Klimczak was the only person nominated for the chair when the tourism council met this week.  He and council member Kathy Kopp ran for council chair in October, however that vote was canceled because there were fewer than the eleven members needed for any business to be transacted legally. 


Bitter cold dangerous to pets 

With the first arctic cold blast of the season predicted to hit the area early next week, pet owners are being reminded to shield their dogs from the bitter temperatures outside.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of the Luxemburg Pet Clinic and Door County Veterinary Hospital says dogs should only be let outside for a brief time when temperatures fall below freezing.

 

 

 Dr. Jordan also suggests checking your pet’s paws and stomach area to remove any ice, salt, and chemicals.  You can find winter safety tips for your pets below from ASCPA.org.

 

 

 

 

Exposure to winter’s dry, cold air and chilly rain, sleet and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin, but these aren’t the only discomforts pets can suffer. Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws. To help prevent cold weather dangers from affecting your pet’s health, please heed the following advice from our experts:

  • Repeatedly coming out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin. Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.
  • Bring a towel on long walks to clean off stinging, irritated paws. After each walk, wash and dry your pet’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals—and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes.
  • Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly or other paw protectants into paw pads before going outside can help protect from salt and chemical agents. Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation. Use pet-friendly ice melts whenever possible.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime. Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
  • Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. In addition, don’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.

 

 

 

 

Dollar General to resubmit proposal in January

After Sister Bay rejected an initial proposal last week by Dollar General, the discount chain will re-present at the next village plan commission meeting in January.  According to Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft, all of the zoning code requirements were not met by Dollar General.

 

 

Point of Beginning submitted plans on Dollar General’s behalf and will now have to adjust the necessary changes to gain approval by the plan commission.  The initial plans called for construction to begin next spring for a 7,500-square-foot building with 41 parking spaces located at the corner of Highway 42 and Fieldcrest Road.   

 

Bay Title moving to old Mandarin Gardens' location

Construction crews began tearing down the old Mandarin Gardens restaurant this week in Sturgeon Bay.  The property was purchased by Jack May of Bay Title and Abstract and Peninsula Title.  He explains the reasoning behind the move from his current business location on Highway 42/57 to the future location next to Marchant Foods on Green Bay Road.

 

 

May says the demolition and removal of the old restaurant should be completed by the end of the week and construction of the new building to begin next spring.   

 


Windows 7 deadline looming

Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay has been busy making sure people running Windows on their computers are ready for 2020. On January 14th, Microsoft will pull its support for devices running Windows 7. While the equipment will still run, it will be more susceptible to security risks and viruses. Erin Helgeson from Quantum PC says the deadline has kept them busy.

Quantum PC and other computer repair businesses likely will not run out of work soon as ComputerWorld.com estimates more than a quarter of PCs worldwide will still be running Windows 7 two weeks after Microsoft ends its support of the product.

Charitable giving struggling

Donors gave to charities in record numbers during this year’s Giving Tuesday, but local organizations like the Door County Community Foundation are still struggling to get donations. According to a Fox Business report, Giving Tuesday generated nearly $2 billion in donations worldwide, with $511 million raised online. It comes after GivingUSA reported 2018 was a down year for charitable donations, pointing to changes in the tax law and fourth-quarter declines in the stock market as possible causes. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says the economy is strong right now and says setting up a donor-advised fund could offer people extra incentive to give more this year.

Bicoy says even though Door County has not been immune to the drop in charitable giving, he says area donors have still been generous and it is up to the charities to make the case to why they deserve the funding.

DNR to increase fish stocking

Lakeshore businesses in Door and Kewaunee Counties are praising a plan to increase the number of fish the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources places in Lake Michigan. For the next three years, the DNR will stock the lake with 1.2 million fish annually, with most of that coming from coho (500,000) and steelhead (460,000) salmon species. Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association President and Accurate Marine owner Tom Kleiman praises the short-term and long-term vision of the plan by the DNR.

Kleiman says the introduction of brook trout and habitat preservation projects will only help the fishing industry thrive for years to come. Wisconsin DNR Fisheries Management Deputy Director Todd Kalish will speak on the full stocking plan at the WLBA’s fundraising event on Saturday at Classix in Kewaunee.

 

Photo submitted from Kewaunee/Door Salmon Tournament


E-learning battles snow days

Area school districts in Door and Kewaunee Counties hope to stay one step ahead of Mother Nature this winter to keep their academic calendars on schedule. Last year, snow and extreme cold claimed well over a week of class time, including a four-day stretch in late January. To limit the amount of instruction time that needs to be made up as a result, school districts are experimenting with different e-learning options. Gibraltar Area Schools recently tested out its e-learning platform with its students in November ahead of an in-home practice run this month. Kewaunee Principal Michael Bennett says its district has the ability to send assignments out to its students if they know school may be canceled for a certain amount of days.

Bennett says students having their own devices to complete the work make the concept of e-learning days easier handle, but acknowledges Internet connections may still be an issue.

Joint Revolving Loan benefits city and county 

Door County’s revolving loan fund had to be returned to the state, but a one-time state Community Development Block Grant-eligible project may happen thanks to the city of Sturgeon Bay.  At Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay common council meeting, a recommendation for a joint City-County Revolving Loan Fund was unanimously approved.  The inter-governmental agreement between the city and the county would benefit both municipalities, according to Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak.  He says Door County approached the city with the idea.

 

 

Olejniczak says the agreement would help in the application process for the proposed affordable housing project by North Pointe Development at the Old West Side School property in Sturgeon Bay.  That project would be eligible for the state revolving loan and have Door County listed as a benefactor.  The goal has been to regionalize the more funds the last several years and avoid using federal monies that have many conditions attached to them, according to Olejniczak.  He says Door County still has to work through some details before the inter-governmental agreement would become a done deal.   

 

        

 

Youth basketball takes over Sturgeon Bay Saturday

The Northeast Wisconsin Boys Basketball League will be in Sturgeon Bay this Saturday to help support organized youth basketball.  The program has 43 schools from Northeastern Wisconsin participating and helps promote sportsmanship through competitive play.  John Lodl, one of the local organizers, says proceeds from the one-day basketball event helps support Sturgeon Bay boys youth basketball.  He says it’s an opportunity for people to watch some good hoops by teams from third-grade through 12th grade.

 

 

Teams are guaranteed two games that run from 8 am until about 5 pm with games played simultaneously in the high school and middle school gyms. Lodl adds that the organized basketball event that averages between 12 and 20 teams every year has raised over $3,000 for the Sturgeon Bay basketball programs.

 

(photo courtesy of NWBBL)

 

Algoma bridge opening delayed until December 11

The opening to traffic on the new Second Street Bridge in Algoma will be delayed until next Wednesday.  According to Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy, the planned opening for Friday was pushed back a few more days due to weather conditions.  Murphy says once the bridge is finally finished, some landscaping work will be done next spring.

 

 

The Second Street Bridge project began in July and when completed will mirror the look of the Fourth Street Bridge in Algoma. 

 

Attractions adjust to busier winter

Though it still trails summer and fall in terms of its popularity, winter is becoming a busier time for businesses and attractions in Door County. According to the Door County Tourism Zone, room tax collections and occupancy rates went up in November and December in 2018 compared to the previous year, which are two indicators of increased tourism activity. Places like The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor are taking notice, adding to their program offerings in the winter months. Drew Richmond from The Ridges Sanctuary says they hope to give families something to do when they’re exploring the county.

The Ridges Sanctuary is offering their wreath making workshops and holiday luminary walks over the next few weeks, including during its Natural Christmas celebration on December 14th.

Grant helps farmers dabble in conservation

Peninsula Pride Farms and 26 other similar groups received another endorsement for their work last month when it received a combined $750,000 in producer-led watershed grant funding. The locally-based organization received $10,000 in funding to address soil and water issues in Door and Kewaunee Counties. PPF President Don Niles says the funding goes towards the organization’s cost-sharing program, which gives farmers confidence to try some of the conservation practices others have been testing out on their own operations.

Peninsula Pride Farms, which made up of dozens of farms in Door and Kewaunee Counties has received the producer-led watershed grant each of the last four years.

District looks for more scouts

With the annual popcorn sale in the rearview mirror, Voyageur District officials in the Boy Scouts of America’s Bay-Lakes Council hope to add more members to its ranks. The fall recruitment push brought in 500 new scouts to Voyageur District, which covers Brown, Door, and Kewaunee Counties. Most of that growth comes from Cub Scouting and Voyageur District has been able to start up two new units for girls. Voyageur District Executive Bob Pekol says their programming is fun and involves the whole family.

Voyageur District is hosting a recruitment event on December 11th in Green Bay. Pekol adds their popcorn sale raised over $600,000 for local scouting activities including $8,500 earned by Ethan Moll from Troop 1140 in Brussels.

 

 

Food pantry meets island needs

People in every corner of the county need a little bit of help, including those living on Washington Island. Over 20 years ago, John Davies used his experience working at one of the largest food pantries in Chicago to begin making changes at one still growing on the island to better fit the community’s needs. He oversaw the food pantry grow from a classroom at Trinity Lutheran Church to the building’s kitchen. Davies says it has been great to see the impact it has had on Washington Island.

Now organized by Dan Westbrook and Amy Rose, the Washington Island Food Pantry distributes items on the fourth Monday of every month to qualifying individuals and families. Davies says much of the food is shipped to the island, but the pantry also features extra items produced by locals such as eggs, vegetables, and cheese.

Spring election season in swing

The spring election is not until April 2nd, but the work to get on the ballot in Door and Kewaunee Counties officially began earlier this week. Algoma has already seen Mayor Wayne Schmidt and alderpersons Kevin Schmidt and Jake Maring take out their nomination papers to get signatures. City Clerk Jamie Jackson has some suggestions for those looking to run for the city council.

In Kewaunee, Sandi Christman looks for a third term as the city’s mayor while Jeff Vollenweider looks to capture the District 1 seat on the council. Nomination papers are due back to city clerk offices on January 7th.

DPI releases local report cards

Students in the Sevastopol School District are making the grade and then some according to the latest state report card.  The Department of Public Instruction found that when it came to math, reading, science and other subjects Sevastopol students scored just over 81 points out of 100.  The highest score came at the middle school level with nearly 98 points.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says that's a credit to teachers and staff at all grade levels.

 

 

Other area districts that exceeded expectations were Gibraltar which scored just over 79.6 points out of 100, Sturgeon Bay with an overall score of 79.8 points Southern Door had a score of just over 76 points, Luxemburg-Casco with a score of just over 77 points, the Washington School with 74 points and Kewaunee with just over 73 points.  The Algoma School District met expectations with a score of nearly 66 points out of 100.

 

(Corrects some previously reported scores)

More support expected for Kewaunee Health Services

North Shore Healthcare has an eye on improving services at it's newly acquired Kewaunee Health Services facility.  The former Atrium Post Acute Care Center is among 22 facilities in Wisconsin and Michigan purchased by North Shore this week.  The Kewaunee operations join co-owned facilities in Green Bay, Little Chute, Manitowoc, and Sturgeon Bay.  Kristin Mueller, North Shore's Director of Communications, says that will allow Kewaunee Health Services to share assets with the co-owned providers.

 


Mueller says it's also possible that some of North Shore's facilities could be reorganized to better provide specific health care services for clients in neighboring communities

Tips on Christmas tree safety

As many families take part in putting up fresh Christmas trees in their homes, local fire department officials remind people to take precautions to prevent a disaster.   According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees alone result over 14 million dollars, annually, in property damage.  Egg Harbor Fire Chief Steve Schopf shares some safety tips. 

 

 

When decorating the tree, Schopf recommends using the new LED lighting which is much cooler than the old incandescent lights.  He says always turn off all lights before going to bed.  You can find more fire safety tips for your home with the below link.

 

https://www.christmastreeassociation.org/fire-safety-tips-for-your-christmas-tree/

 

 

Man found dead near trail

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department is still investigating a suspicious death that occurred last week near the Ahnapee Trail. At around 10:15 p.m. on November 27th, the body of the man was found near the trail just off of Lansing Avenue while a police officer was out on a patrol. According to Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman, a gun was involved and now the department is still looking for answers.

Brinkman says the department is dealing with the case as a suspicious incident and will likely release more information including the name of the deceased in the coming days as the investigation continues.

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