News

State award helps employed Door-Tran clients

Underemployed Door County residents will continue to get help to ensure they have reliable transportation to their jobs.  Door-Tran received $26,763 through the  Wisconsin Employment Training Assistance Program, which was part of a $1.7-million award program for county and local transit operations.  Nikki Voight, Interim Director of Door-Tran, says that it will aid working people who need a second chance when facing transportation issues.

 

 

Voight says Door-Tran does about eight-to-ten loans yearly.  For more information, you can contact the Door-Tran office on Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay.

Price at the pump continues to fall

Gas prices at the pump continue to drop in Door and Kewaunee County.  Prices fell to below $2.00 per gallon in early March and now are as low as $1.49 as of Tuesday for regular unleaded gasoline.  Governor Evers “Safer at Home” order last week calls for the elimination of all non-essential travel.  With demand decreasing and the overseas crude oil price wars, prices continue to plummet.  The current price of WTI crude oil is at just over $20 a barrel which is the lowest since 2002.  Parv Jandu, who owns eight Jandu Petroleum convenience stores in the area, says the volatility of the stock market is also driving the price down.  The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Wisconsin is $1.57 per gallon, according to AAA.  Gasbuddy.com reports prices in the state as low as 97 cents a gallon in Wautoma as of Tuesday.    

Outside exercise still a great option for kidsĀ 

Finding the right exercise routine for young children can be challenging for parents as area schools remain closed throughout the state.  Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School Physical Education teacher Neil Seering has developed a weekly slide show and video to share interactive exercise programs and ideas for his students to stay active.  He encourages families to take this opportunity to do outside activities.

 

 

You can find this week’s plan by Seering for Physical Education at Home Activities with this link below.

 

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YKeW5Kj1LkC9d6GVTozGareSeFofpijYgCoFsEhnlWI/edit?usp=sharing

 


Benefits of martial arts shared

Dan Barnard of Sturgeon Bay takes time to appreciate the benefits that go along with learning and teaching martial arts.  A black belt in Karate and TaeKwonDo through the Door County YMCA, the 42-year-old Barnard received his Tae Kwon Do belt three years ago, and his Karate black belt back in high school.  Barnard experienced other instructors in college and eventually taught Tae Kwon Do at the YMCA.  He says that martial arts can be a very rewarding achievement.

 

 

Barnard says it takes discipline and a high level of technique to advance through the ranks.  He adds that the martial arts help with controlling your body while giving you strength and flexibility.  Plans are for Barnard to organize female self-defense courses in the future in Door County.  

Keeping the Washington Island supplied

Even with a ferry ride between them and the mainland, Mann’s Store on Washington Island has not been immune to the impact of the coronavirus. Almost like a busy summer weekend, staff members at the family-owned grocery store have been working hard to keep the shelves full for their customers. Owner Jerry Mann says like other grocery stores on the mainland, they are running low on some of the same items as the supply chain catches up with the demand. Mann believes with the help of the community that they will get through it.

Mann says it has not been forced to go the way of some grocery stores that have instituted online shopping or special hours for the island’s senior residents. Since Governor Tony Evers’ issued his Safer at Home order last week, the Washington Island Ferry has dropped the number of daily roundtrips it offers down to four.

 

Picture courtesy of MannsGrocery.com

Faith leaders look at the bright side

Pastor Joel McKenney of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Algoma has preached in front of small numbers before, but nothing prepared him for the last few weeks. Like all churches across the country, clergy members have not been able to open their doors for services due to a ban on mass gatherings of 10 people or more. This has forced them to find alternate ways to reach their members and also receive donations to keep their churches thriving. McKenney prefers to look at the positives. He says technology has made their services more accessible to those who have not been able to attend in person in years, let alone weeks.

Views for St. Paul’s services on Facebook have averaged between 300 and 500 views since churches had to stop holding them in person. 

 

Picture courtesy of St. Paul's Lutheran Church web site


PLAYING ON 96.7 WBDK SUNDAY

8 a.m. St. Joseph's Catholic Parish, Sturgeon Bay

9 a.m. St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Algoma

10 a.m. Friends Community Church, Sturgeon Bay

 

PLAYING ON 104.1 WRLU SUNDAY

8 a.m. St Francis & St Mary Catholic Church, Brussels

 

Schedule subject to change


Students adjust to new normal

Students across Door and Kewaunee Counties are still going to school this week, however, their classroom looks a little different. Schools across the state have been closed since early March as a precautionary measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Students have had to adjust to not just learning remotely, but not being able to be with friends or participate in sports. Sturgeon Bay senior Sarah Bridenhagen was planning on playing her last season of softball this spring before heading to Wisconsin Lutheran in the fall to begin her road towards being a pediatric nurse. She says her human biology course will be a little different if they are not able to get back into the classroom.

School districts across Door and Kewaunee Counties have developed remote learning plans to replace in-person instruction for the time being, in some instances just within the last few weeks. While high school students are primarily online, elementary students have had a mixture of paper and digital assignments. Click here to read Bridenhagen’s Culver’s Student-Athlete of the Week profile at DoorKewauneeHighSchoolSports.com.

Moving forward after positive case

It may not be the last case, but Door County health officials are moving forward after announcing the first positive test of a person with COVID-19 Monday evening. Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise and Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers shared broad details about the case during their weekly Facebook Live chat. They said the person has been isolated since being tested and is currently hospitalized in Green Bay.  Powers said now it is a matter of backtracking from when they became symptomatic to determine where they have been and who else may have been exposed.

Heise credited residents with practicing safe social distancing and good hygiene for curtailing the spread of COVID-19 in Door County up until this point. As of March 30th, 102 people have been tested for COVID-19 with 43 coming back negative and over 60 still pending. 

 

 

Algoma community response impresses police chief

The level of cooperation by the public since the “Safer at Home” order was handed down last week by Governor Tony Evers has a local police chief taking note.  Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says his patrol officers are still responding to emergency calls and enforcing speeding violations in the city, but are not monitoring any unessential travel.  He says he has been impressed with the community’s commitment to following the restrictions imposed by the state and federal government to this point.

 

 

Chief Remiker is asking residents to make correspondence to the police via the phone if the issue is a small matter or of a non-criminal nature. The “Safer at Home” order was issued for one month and will run until at least April 24.    

 


Giving can be a great gift to yourself -- Mental Health Minute

With more stresses facing people today including the elderly who may not be seeing their family members at this time due to health concerns, this week’s life lesson by psychologist Dr. Dennis White of Sturgeon Bay focuses the importance of giving.  Dr. White shares a story about a five-year-old boy who agreed to have a blood transfusion with antibodies for his younger sister who had developed the same disease he had recovered from a few years earlier.  The volunteer nurse in the room explains what happened next, according to Dr. White.

 

 

You can find Dr. White’s entire Mental Health Minute with the fourth life lesson with this story online.   

 

 

Community support helping pantry meet demand

Feed and Clothe My People of Door County is meeting its' mission of helping anyone in need at any time, despite increased demand.  The pantry in Sturgeon Bay says it's helping more people as businesses reduce or close down operations to address health concerns.  Estella Huff, Director of Operation for Feed and Clothe My People, says as more people are looking for help others are stepping up their support for the pantry.

 

 

 

Huff says Feed and Clothe My People remains open Monday and Thursday from Noon until 4 PM, and other weekdays from 10 AM until 2 PM. The 14th Avenue Thrift Store will be closed temporarily and no donations of goods or clothing will be accepted during this temporary closure.  Food donations continue to be needed and may be delivered to the "Food Pickup" door during the hours of operation.

First confirmed case of COVID-19 in Door County

The first reported case of the coronavirus in Door County was announced Monday by the Door County Public Health Department.  According to the news release, the Individual has remained in isolation since testing for the virus.  The Door County Health and Wisconsin Department of Health Services are identifying and contacting people who have been in close contact with the person affected.  Those people will be asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from exposure.  You can find the complete news release with this story online including simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to the coronavirus.   

 

 

 

COVID-19 Update Confirmed in Door County 

Door County—Department of Health and Human Services announced today that there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Door County. This individual has remained isolated since time of testing. 

Door County Public Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) responsibilities include: 

• Identifying and contacting anyone who has been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19. These people are asked to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their exposure and will be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms. People with symptoms are tested for COVID-19. 

• Daily symptom monitoring to determine when a person can be released from isolation. 

• Providing guidance to clinicians regarding testing 

• Preparing Wisconsin for community spread of COVID-19. 

Door County Public Health is working with our local, state, and federal partners to deal quickly and effectively when people have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been around people who have been infected with the coronavirus. 

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin, Governor Tony Evers directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel. This order went into effect at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, and will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. 

The public should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including: 

• Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, and non-essential workers in your house); 

• Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water; 

• Covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands); 

• Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; 

• Not shaking hands; 

• Avoiding touching your face; and 

• Staying home. 

We encourage the public to monitor the Door County Government website https://www.co.door.wi.gov/ Door County Public Health Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/doorcountypublichealth/ and the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or DHS WI on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website. 

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Travel Advisory issued in Kewaunee County

The Kewaunee County Public Health Department has issued a travel advisory to keep residents healthy and safe during the COVID-19 crisis.  Since there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Kewaunee County as of Monday, local health officials are asking non-permanent residents to avoid travel to their seasonal homes in the county.  The travel advisory is also asking residents of Kewaunee County to stay in the county when doing their shopping for necessities.  Kewaunee County Public Health Department Director Cindy Kinnard says, “we all need to continue to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and by everyone limiting travel is just another way that we can all unite.  Now, we do understand that some Primary care physicians of residents may require travel outside of Kewaunee County, and those appointments can be critical to keep.” She adds to keep social distancing at all times by remaining at least six feet apart from others.   Door County issued a similar travel advisory last week.

 

Fairests biding time

The area’s two Fairests of the Fair are at a standstill as they wait for schools to open and a ban on mass gatherings to be lifted. Door County Fairest of the Fair Katie Guilette and Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Kiley Pagel are tasked with visiting local events and talking to people promoting their area’s signature events. During the final months of her reign, Guilette was planning on visiting Door County schools to encourage students to enter some of their class assignments and other projects into the Junior Fair. Pagel hardly had a chance to get her term going, appearing at Winter Park and the Bruemmer Park Zoo’s ZoupArt before Kewaunee County events began being shut down and postponed. While she does have schoolwork to keep her occupied, Pagel is anxious to restart her Fairest duties.

The Fairests’ signature events are still scheduled to take place as of right now with the Kewaunee County Fair happening July 9th through the 12th and the Door County Fair occurring July 29th through August 2nd.

Coalition makes big impact in first week

The Door County Emergency Support Coalition is already making a huge impact in the community despite being just a week old. In its infancy, the coalition has already recruited 294 volunteers and completed 64 community assists. Their efforts include assisting in absentee voting efforts, delivering food on the Meals on Wheels program, and taking sanitizing materials to Washington Island. While the numbers and the amount of activity could be staggering to some, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says he is not surprised by the support the coalition has received.

While he is happy with the response early on, Hecht reminds everyone that responding to the community’s needs during the COVID-19 outbreak is a marathon and not a sprint. We have information posted below highlighting the achievements of the Door County Emergency Support Coalition and how you can be a volunteer for one of their non-contact positions.

 

Screenshot from video posted by Door County Fire Chiefs Association

 

Read more about Door County Emergency Support Coalition efforts by click here

 

Sign up to be a volunteer by clicking this link

 

 

Local blood drives to continue

Some blood drives around Door County will be held as scheduled, even though the donation locations are closed for their day-to-day functions until further notice. The American Red Cross is facing blood shortages and concerns about COVID-19 have canceled 67 blood drives in the Wisconsin/Iowa region. Blood drive locations will also be taking extra precautions to address health concerns.  Laura McGuire with the American Red Cross in Madison says that includes practicing social distancing.

 

 

McGuire says that viruses cannot be transmitted via blood donations.  She adds that donors' immunity does not go down after donating blood. However, she requests donors who feel ill within days after a donation please contact the Red Cross so the blood can be quarantined.

Sap season flows well

Sap collectors like Bill Roethle at Hillside Apples in Casco are starting to experience the sweet taste of success after another season comes to a close. The sap begins to flow in maple trees beginning in the middle of February and continues until the beginning of April. The 2,000 gallons of sap collected by Roethle this year went towards the production of 65 gallons of maple syrup for his own use and even more for area wholesalers. He credits gravity and a new system for helping him make about 20 more gallons of syrup this year.

Roethle says good weather also helped in the process as he was able to get to the trees quicker and the sap flowed faster.

Luxemburg machine shop burns

Close to two dozen fire trucks and other emergency personnel responded to a blaze at a machine shop in Luxemburg Sunday night. Located off of Highway 54, fire departments from Luxemburg, Casco, New Franken, Algoma, and Kewaunee began arriving at E&H Premier Machine in Luxemburg at around 7:30 p.m. with smoke coming out and visible damage to the outside of the building. Luxemburg Fire Chief Lew DuChateau says most of the damage occurred in the machine shop’s office.

The Town of Luxemburg Hall, which is connected to the machine shop, only suffered smoke damage. No injuries were reported and DuChateau says the cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire Departments from Brussels-Union-Gardner and Tisch Mills provided back up for the responding units.

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Black swan" likely to cause recession

Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward sees some black clouds on the economic horizon. Ward, who has a Ph.D. in economics and was a former college professor, does not believe it’s possible to avoid a downturn. 

 


Ward expects a recession to take hold even with the stimulus bill passed this week in Washington, D.C. He thinks the economic effects from the coronavirus “black swan” event, defined as something rare and unforeseen, will hit before the stimulus can trickle through the economy. Ward says Sturgeon Bay’s manufacturing base should hold up well and encourages people to support local businesses even if it is as small as ordering a take-out meal at an area restaurant.

 

Door County Broadband aided by advance plan

Advance planning is paying off for customers of Door County Broadband.  With more people working remotely, the Baileys Harbor-based internet service provider is more than able to keep up with the demand for bandwidth.  Door County Broadband President and CEO Kevin Voss says his company is benefiting from long-term relationships with vendors that can supply additional bandwidth as needed.  He adds that having a disaster response plan in place has allowed the company to function as demand has increased.

 

 

 

Voss says Door County Broadband's disaster response plan has drawn compliments from vendors who say it surpasses those of some larger internet service providers.

Birch Creek faculty sharing hopeful music online

The Birch Creek Performance Center's social media page is buzzing with new sounds. The school’s faculty is putting their recent musical efforts online as they attempt to bridge the time between now and when they can play again at clubs or orchestra hall. Even instructor Reggie Taylor’s latest blues riff is up-tempo. Executive Director Mona Christensen says music is especially important now.

 


Christensen says that May will be an important time to evaluate whether summer instruction can continue as normal. 

Counseling organization adapts to social distancing requirements

Telehealth has taken off in the coronavirus era, with the diagnosis and treatment of physical, as well as mental, conditions being done in compliance with new guidelines on social distancing. Counseling Associates of Door County is adopting new Centers for Disease Control protocols surrounding mental health and substance abuse treatment. Director William Nick says telehealth isn’t his first choice, but he expects it will stick around.

 


Telehealth previously ran afoul of HIPAA privacy concerns in many cases, and Nick says once the public health emergency is over, he expects those restrictions to be put back in place.

 

County employees meet residents' needs from home

Door County government workers are still helping residents in need of assistance.  They're just doing it online in the comfort of their homes.  Many county employees are now answering residents' questions and looking up records working remotely.  That's to comply with Governor Evers' “Safer at Home” order.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says there's little risk of employees and their computers being overloaded at home.  He also says some county government offices are still being staffed though not accessible to the public.

 

 

 

Pabich says it's best for residents needing access to county services to call the Door County Government Center first and be directed to onsite staffers or employees working remotely. 

Burn ban in effect

From en fuego to no bueno, the Department of Natural Resources has instituted a temporary burn ban. No permits will be issued by local fire departments until the ban has been lifted. DNR Fire Prevention Specialist Catherine Koele says spring is the most dangerous time of the year for wildfires in the state.

 


Fewer than two percent of Wisconsin wildfires are caused by nature. 

 

Money Management Counselors helping clients through economic shock

Last week, an unprecedented 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance, with Wisconsin and the Door Peninsula following that trend. The previous record for a week was 695,000 claims in 1981. Unofficial data from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development suggests applications continue to skyrocket, at nearly 20,000 new filings each day. Leslie Boden, Director of Money Management Counselors, says the abrupt change in the country’s economic fortunes can be a clarifying moment for her clients.

 


Boden says Money Management Counselors will have to delay rolling out an Algoma office until economic uncertainty, and the new wave of demand it creates for the organization, dies down. 

 

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