News

Crossroads "Night of Wonder" returns for a second year

This year you have a chance to participate in the Crossroads at Big Creek "Night of Wonder," where you can walk their trails while they are lit by candlelight. Crossroads program director, Coggin Herringa, described the creation of this tradition during a challenging time.

 

 

Out on the candlelit trails, you might not be able to see much, but you will be able to hear the sounds of nature surrounding you. Last year, people on the trail heard animals rustling in the forest and birds and owls in the trees. The luminaries will lead you along one of Crossroads trails for a half-mile loop walk. You can join Crossroads at Big Creek December 5th from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm for their second "Night of Wonder." All ages are welcome, and it is entirely free of charge, with no pre-registration required. If the weather is not permitting on the 5th, Crossroads has added a weather date of December 12th.

Kewaunee County "Giving For Sara" Drive back for another year

The food & hygiene drive program that started in Kewaunee County nine years ago has returned for the 2021 holiday season. The program was created after the Aging Services Unit Director for Kewaunee County, Sara Malay, passed away after a car crash while at work. Since then, every December, the Kewaunee Public Health Department has put on the “Giving for Sara” food and hygiene drive in her honor. Cindy Kinnard, the Public Health Director, details what you can do to get involved and the impact she has seen from the community in the last nine years.

 

 

If you would like to donate non-perishable foods, the Public Health Department suggests canned chicken or tuna (packed in water), canned fruit (packed in water or fruit juice), healthy cereal, granola bars. As for hygiene products, they suggest shampoo, conditioner, diapers, deodorant, or baby wipes. The health department urges those donating to check the “Best by:” label on any item, as expired items can not be accepted.

Community Spotlight: Baileys Harbor's Kari Baumann

Baileys Harbor’s Kari Baumann started her march towards Madison because of her son Grady, but she has pulled along many other kids and their families along the way. The journey started well before she sat in front of the Assembly and Senate Committees on Education earlier this fall.  After struggling to get the help her son needed so he could read better as he fought dyslexia, she spent thousands of dollars and 18 weeks in Illinois to get him a little bit closer to where he needed to be.  She could have stopped there, but she did not. Her work with Decoding Dyslexia-Wisconsin and other reading advocacy groups led to progress across the state. Governor Tony Evers approved a measure developing a dyslexia guidebook to provide guidance for students, teachers, and parents trying to get a handle on the challenge. School districts have changed their approach to teaching reading as a result. This month, Gov. Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 446 and Senate Bill 454 which would have provided more tools to help identify students dealing with poor reading abilities and a road map on how to get them back on track. Baumann is frustrated it did not pass, but she is happy with the change she has been able to foster through her work.

Baumann hopes her journey with Grady helps more parents have the courage to ask questions and become more involved in their children’s education. You can listen to our full interview with Baumann at this link.


Kewaunee High School FBLA volunteering in the community

Kewaunee High School FBLA volunteering in the community

 

The Kewaunee High school Future Business Leaders’s mission is to help prepare students for their future by providing them with opportunities to learn skills like leadership, communication, networking and service. A big part of the National Future Business Leaders of America is teaching students to help their community through community service projects. Kewaunee’s chapter is participating in two of these projects through the holiday season. With the first project, the students in the FBLA group received letters that second graders from the district wrote to Santa about what they want for Christmas. The FBLA members then took that letter and wrote the student back as an elf, answering their letter and questions about the North Pole. The second community service opportunity for the FBLA students is to participate in the Shop with a Cop program in Kewaunee County. The students will go with the police officer and the child in need to help them pick out presents for their family and wrap them. The FBLA group at Kewaunee has participated in these two events for many years, and they will continue to do so in the future.

 

Churches hope attendance continues to increase

If it has been a while since you last went to church, your pastor would like to see you again soon. Church attendance was trickling downward even ahead of the pandemic, but the Wall Street Journal reports that in-person worship is still 30 to 50 percent lower than it was before COVID-19 shut down sanctuaries for weeks. Many parishes like St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg and Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Casco connected with its members by playing mass over Facebook. As it weaned away from those offerings weeks ago, attendance has returned to about 85 percent of where it was pre-pandemic. Pastor Dan Schuster says they continue to worship together as safely as they can and work even harder to keep its parishes’ young families engaged with the church.

Schuster hopes that something as simple as their upcoming photo directory will help bring people back to church to see what they have been missing out on over the last several months.

Door County Imagination Library reaches 1,100 children

Door County Imagination Library reaches 1,100 children


Since the Door County Imagination Library program first sent out books to their subscribers in 2019, the number of kids reached has grown exponentially. The program provides a free book every month to children from birth through age five who are registered with the program. The books received by the child are age-appropriate and something the child will enjoy. The Imagination Library is a program within the Door County Partnership for Children and Families, from United Way of Door County. Chad Welch, the Imagination Library coordinator, says the response seen from the community since the beginning of the program has been highly positive.

 

 

Although the program is reaching many children within Door County, there is still room for more. If you are interested in registering your child for this program, you can find a paper registration form at the United Way office or, you can sign your child up through the Door County Parents website. You then have the option to take a short pre-registration survey before being led to the registration page. After you fill out the registration form, you will begin to receive books by the second month after completion. If you are interested in more information or making a donation you can reach Chad Welch at chad@unitedwaydc.com.


Red poinsettia plant popularity continues to grow

As you prepare to decorate around the home for the holidays after the Thanksgiving Day holiday, be aware the exotic plant that has become synonymous with Christmas over the years is still in heavy demand.  Larry Maas from Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says the red poinsettia is still the color of choice, despite the growing interest in blue and multi-dyed plants.

 

 

Maas recommends that Poinsettia plants thrive with natural light for up to six hours a day, regular watering, and to keep them away from direct heat that will cause drying out.  He says appropriately cared for poinsettias can live well beyond the holidays and well into the New Year.  Maas notes that other plants to decorate around the home include the Jerusalem cherry and Christmas cactus that don’t bloom very long but are incredibly showy.

Door County Libraries hosting holiday fun

The libraries in Door County have many things planned for you to participate in during the holiday season. With the eight different library branches that reach throughout Door County, five of them hold their own festive activities, while others are still taking part in activities available in all locations. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant for the Door County Libraries, describes the holiday book sale that they have been planning all year that is taking place at the Sturgeon Bay library.

 

 

Along with the three-day book sale, you can also enjoy many crafts all month long, like Reverse Painted Snowman Plate at the Egg Harbor Library and the Christmas Stocking Grab-n-Go Craft Pickup at the Forestville Library. The libraries also have many activities that aren’t holiday-themed throughout December. All events hosted at this time are in-person events, but if you are uncomfortable with attending in person, some of the activities are streamed online. A complete list of December events can be found on the Door County Library website here.

Help United Way create a quilt of services

Why should I give to United Way?  I already give to my favorite nonprofit.  

 

Think of your favorite nonprofit as a quilt square.  United Way grants dollars to nearly 30 nonprofit organizations whose mission is to help people with their basic needs, education, healthy lifestyles and financial stability.  Each of these organizations is a quilt square.

 

If someone goes to one of those quilt squares for help, chances are that they also need help from one or more of the other quilt squares. A gift to United Way makes sure that all of those quilt squares are sewn together and connected to make a nice warm quilt that we can wrap around the person who is seeking help for themselves or their family.

 

The nonprofits that make up these quilt squares take the time to talk to guests to make sure that all of their needs are being met, not just the one that they came in about.  They will make the referrals and help their guests access the resources that represent that quilt. Typically, it is not just a ride, or the cost of childcare, or mental health resources that a guest needs.  They need at least two or more squares to help them during a challenging time. 

 

This year, we hope that you will make your charitable contribution to help over one third of our Door County who might need that quilt of services during 2022.  Thank you.

 


COVID vaccines are not the only vaccine to stay up to date on

Although COVID-19 has been the virus on everyone’s mind these past two years,  it is important to remember that the Influenza virus is still circulating throughout the area. The fall and winter seasons are typically flu season, with flu activity peaking from December to February; however, active flu cases can still occur throughout the rest of the year. Lori Notz, an Infection Prevention RN with Bellin Health systems, explains why an influenza vaccination benefits you and those around you.

 

 

The Influenza vaccine is available to everyone that is six months or older. You can receive the vaccine anywhere that has Bellin primary care and at their community sites that include fast care locations and their community clinic in Ashwaubenon. The flu vaccine is free of charge to all within the Bellin Health systems. Other places to receive the flu shot in Door and Kewaunee counties include Door County Medical Center, Prevea Health, Door and Kewaunee Public Health and some CVS and Walgreens locations. Notz urges you to practice safe responses when you are not feeling well, whether you have the vaccine or not. That includes staying home when you are sick, washing your hands regularly, and practicing social distancing and masking if you are not feeling well.

 

YMCA Dance sessions planning recital

A session of dance offered for children through the Door County YMCA since September will be offering a special recital for all the participants on December 15.  The recital will be held at the Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay and include five and six-year-old ballet and tap performers.  Traditional and hip-hop dancers of all levels will also perform.  Door County YMCA dance instructor Amber Novotny says the performances will include costumes with some fun added in.

 

 

The dance program will start up again in January for the spring recital.  You can find out more information about the dance programs offered by the Door County YMCA here.

Local winter advisory with more snow possible along the lakeshore

This morning the National Weather Service out of Green Bay issued a winter weather advisory for Door County. The advisory is in effect from 7am Saturday to 9pm Saturday and includes towns of Fish Creek, Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay. Snow is expected with 3 to 4 inches forecasted, however more snow may accumulate as the day continues. Plan for snow covered roads that may become slippery. If you are travelling, slow down and take caution while driving, also allow extra time before needing to be at your destination. Although Kewaunee County is not currently under a winter weather advisory, it is included in the hazardous weather outlook that is issued for most of north central, and northeastern Wisconsin. The National Weather Service still urges those in Kewaunee County to be cautious on the roads that may become dangerous. More updates will follow as needed. 

 


Two-vehicle accident closes STH 42 near Fish Creek

The Door County Sheriff's Department is reminding you that 'tis the season for slippery roads after a two-vehicle accident this morning.

 

The accident took place on the section of State Highway 42 known as "Fish Creek Hill." No injuries were reported. The Door County Sheriff's Department estimates the road will be reopened at approximately 8:30-8:45 a.m. The Door County Highway Department is heading to the area to apply sand and salt to the roadway, especially the main hills and curves.

 

Snow is expected in Door County throughout the day on Saturday with one to three inches is expected. 

Sevastopol Elementary students honor veterans

The Sevastopol elementary school's program "Community of Caring" benefited local veterans during the school year's first quarter. Through the program, each grade level is responsible for a different section of the community to support. In the first quarter of the year, students in the elementary grades participated in a Penny War to raise funds for the local VFW post 3088. During a penny war, different homerooms compete by bringing in pennies for positive points and silver coins to count against opposing homerooms' scores. In the school, two teams worked on getting points and taking points away from the other team to create a little friendly competition. After the competition was over and all of the coins were counted, the school raised $1111.11 for the post. The amount of money raised was intentional to recognize Veterans day on 11/11. Students from Sevastopol elementary presented Bill Graf, a quartermaster for the VFW post 3088, a check for the money raised. The funds raised from their collected coins will go towards projects that support local veterans suffering from the effects of war, like PTSD.

Manufacturers feeling employment, inflation woes

You will find plenty of work to do simply by walking into one of the local manufacturers in Door and Kewaunee counties. Manufacturers nationwide added over 60,000 jobs last month as more facilities go back to full capacity. The problem for many in the business is just finding the people to fill those roles. NEW Industries owner Chris Moore says they are over 40 people short of what is needed to keep up with their base business. It has meant turning down additional business in order to keep their quality high and investing millions of dollars into new equipment to make up for the loss of production. Coupled with high inflation that is making raw materials harder and more expensive to get, Moore says he has never seen anything like this.

It is a great time to get a job in manufacturing. Many businesses are offering the highest wages they have ever offered along with increasing other benefits along the way. Moore credits relationships with local schools as one way they hope tto get kids interested in a career in manufacturing.

COVID-19 still highly active in Kewaunee County

With the weekly COVID-19 report from Kewaunee County it showed the new cases outweighed the recoveries. Out of the 196 tests completed, 106 came back positive for the coronavirus. Along with the high number of positive tests, the number of active cases increased by 31 from 77 to 108. The numbers show that out of last week’s 77 active cases, 75 of those people are considered to be completely recovered, leaving two that are still active cases. No deaths or hospitalizations were reported for this past week.

Deer hides continue make big impact on state's youth

The hide from your harvested deer can go further than you think thanks to the efforts of local Lions Clubs in Door and Kewaunee counties. Otherwise discarded, Wisconsin Lions Clubs collect the deer hides before sending them overseas to be tanned in preparation for their next life as gloves and other leather items. Even the tails are used as some manufacturers use them as a part of fishing lures. The deer hides turn into approximately $80,000, which is then used to help run the Wisconsin Lions Club Camp in Rosholt. The Kewaunee Lions Club collects approximately 800 to 900 hides each year to donate to the program. Lions Club Treasurer John Mastalir says it makes him happy to see the high number of hides come in knowing the opportunities it is providing kids.

You can drop off your hides at locations in Sturgeon Bay, Forestville, Brussels, Kewaunee, and Washington Island until the beginning of January.

KCEDC launches buy local incentive program

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation wants you to remember your area code before you head to do your Christmas shopping this year.

 

The organization is calling on residents to commit to the “920 Pledge.” That means spending at least $20 at nine different Kewaunee County businesses during the holiday season. According to SustainableConnections.org, up to 90 percent of net new jobs in the United States are created by locally owned businesses. For every $100 you spend, $68 stays in the community when you shop local compared to $43 when going with a national chain. KCEDC Board Member Ryan Hoffmann says there are even more reasons to shop local this year.

You can also get paid to shop locally in Kewaunee County. The KCEDC is offering $180 to one lucky shopper for keeping their 920 Pledge.

Jacksonport celebrates Thanksgiving with 25th annual parade

If you were in Jacksonport on Thanksgiving Day, you might have seen floats making their way down Highway 57. This year marked the 25th Thanksgiving Day parade after last year’s COVID cancellation. This year the lineup had multiple floats and entries. Community members assembled outside of Island Fever, where the parade entries were announced as they went by, to enjoy the entirety of the parade. The town continued its tradition of helping a resident in need and a non-profit, with donations benefiting the Door of Life Food Pantry in Sister Bay. Proceeds also went to the family of Kim Burns, a Baileys Harbor emergency responder who suffered a stroke in March of this year. Throughout the parade, community volunteers walked along the way with buckets for donations. With the nature of the route being a loop, people stayed and toughed out the cold, snowy weather to see the parade twice.

 

United Way sharing gratitude to community

United Way of Door County is extremely thankful for the Door County community.  During 2020, you stepped up and demonstrated the spirit of Door County with gifts of time, talent, and voice. Your generosity amazed us and allowed us to invest more than ever into the non-profits that focus on helping people who are on occasion struggling.  With Thanksgiving weekend upon us, we want to thank everyone who has continued to support us during 2021.  We are currently in the middle of our 2021 annual campaign, with a goal of $775,000.  We are currently at 48% of that goal.  Thank you to our donors and volunteers who have made this possible. We are hopeful that those of you who can give, will before the end of the year to help us help one-third of Door County residents who need the help of our partner agencies, who we are also grateful for.

Charitable giving a way to impact your community and earn tax deductions

Greetings!  The S&P 500 has hit a new all-time high more than 50 times this year. The good news is that there is a way for you to avoid some capital-gains taxes, earn a substantial tax deduction and do a tremendous amount of good for the community you love: Consider using some of your highly appreciated stock to “bunch” several years’ worth of charitable gifts through a Donor Advised Fund at your local community foundation.

 

Let’s look at these pieces individually before seeing how they can work well together for your tax benefit.

 

First, when you donate publicly traded stock to a 501(c)(3) public charity, you generally avoid the capital-gains taxes that you would have owed Uncle Sam, and the charity doesn’t pay them either. Almost like magic, those taxes disappear, thereby allowing the entire value of your donated stock to support the charities you love.  

 

Further, as the donor, you can normally claim a charitable tax deduction of the fair market value of the stock. That’s why donating highly appreciated stock is one of the most tax-efficient ways to give. You get the double benefit of avoiding capital-gains taxes and earning a tax deduction.

 

Second, “bunching” is a tax-planning tool in which you take the standard deduction during most years and bunch all of your deductions into a single year during which you claim a substantial itemized deduction. 

 

Learn more by reading the rest of the column "Maximizing Your Charitable Deduction..."

Staying safe this holiday season

All of the plugs you put into outlets over the next several weeks could put you in line for a visit from your local fire department. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that more than half of all Christmas tree fires between 2015 and 2019 were started because of electrical distribution or lighting equipment. One in five fires involving home decorations during the course of the year takes place during the month of December. That does not even include the nearly 25,000 fires caused every year by space heaters placed inside of homes during the cold, winter months. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says there are some things you can do to keep your home safe this holiday season.

The Ephraim Fire Department keeps track of its fire calls during the holiday season with a wreath. The goal is to keep the wreath green the entire season, with red lights representing local structure fires and green lights representing no incidents. Ephraim’s wreath has remained green each of the last six years. 

Community Spotlight: Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht did not realize it would take 30 years before he would undertake one of the biggest volunteer efforts Door County has ever seen. It was shortly after the pandemic began taking its toll on the community, shutting down businesses and schools while forcing the area’s most vulnerable to stay indoors at risk of catching COVID-19, that the Door County Fire Chiefs Association and the Door County Emergency Support Coalition were born. Men and women seen fighting fires and saving lives were doing simple tasks like picking up groceries, checking on family members, and even just talking on the phone. The jobs would later shift to helping at testing and vaccination sites and passing out food boxes to families in need. After he and his wife Liz received the Sister Bay Advancement Association Volunteers of the Year Award last month, he was quick to point out that he did not do it alone.

Through the Door County Fire Chiefs Association and the Door County Emergency Support Coalition, over 700 people contributed more than 11,000 hours of community service. Hecht’s next undertaking will be helping the community never forget its first responders. After helping lead efforts to install commemorative brick pavers at the grounds of the Sister Bay Historical Society, he is assisting efforts to launch an oral history project for the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department.

Keeping gratitude in mind

As we recognize Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to take stock in all that we should be grateful for. It could be the amazing and supportive people we are surrounded by every day or the positive events we experience whether as a result of our own efforts or maybe for no explainable reason at all. Even if you find yourself in challenging circumstances or surrounded by people who are less than supportive, there is still cause for gratitude. You may just have to dig a little deeper or search a bit harder, but it is there.

            

If you are challenged by a work environment that you feel takes you for granted, take the time to share with those around you how grateful you are to have them in your life, even if for no other reason than they motivate you to pursue other exciting career opportunities. If you have had a rough financial year, be grateful that you have weathered the storm this far and use that challenge to look at things differently and possibly re-align some priorities. Maybe you have even lost a loved one recently and question what there is to be grateful for. Be grateful that they were in your life and cherish the memories you made together. Also, take this experience of loss to be even more grateful for those still here and never take a moment for granted.

            

To fully realize the potential that gratitude has in improving our mental well being there are two components which are essential. The first is the ability to see the good through the negative, or for that matter to see the good in the good. We have to literally train ourselves to be mindful of the miracles that surround us each and every day. The second is to share that sense of gratitude with those around us. If you are grateful for that amazing spouse, friend or family member, make sure to tell them. They may be struggling with a sense of being taken for granted and a simple gesture of appreciation could change their whole perspective. Maybe you are surrounded by people who are always looking for the bad in any given event. Break away from that mindset and be the person who can always find the good in the moment. Just as negativity can be contagious, so too can gratitude catch on and over time change your immediate surroundings.

           

As amazing as Gratitude is on its own, it’s only the beginning. A natural product of Gratitude is Optimism, and Optimism is in fact a mental wellbeing powerhouse! A person’s ability to create, sustain and channel Optimism is scientifically proven to benefit everything from our immune system to our quality of sleep. It gives us the ability to endure the challenges in our life, and come away from traumatic events with our spirit intact. When shared it can change societies, and conquer oppression. It is the common characteristic of most great leaders throughout history, and has changed the course of human events on more than one occasion.

              

So this Thanksgiving, during all of your gatherings and visits, make sure to take the time to share what and who you are grateful for in your life, and hold onto that gratitude for the other 364 days of year. Along the way, you may find yourself appreciating the little things that so many miss!

More Reasons than you think to Give Thanks

It was two years ago on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving that the paperwork was signed to complete the sale and start a new career path for me and since then a lot has transpired: rebranding of stations, launching of new brands, building of new friendships and of course, a global pandemic. During that time I have come to appreciate the staff of NEW Radio more than I thought possible.  I’m thankful for the way things unfolded because it brought out resilience in this team that I believe is unmatched in the industry. I’ve also seen this in our community which I’m proud to call home.


I want to thank the staff over the past two years for their dedication to our new process and their ability to adapt to the changing environment around them. It wasn’t always easy and we aren’t “done” yet. It’s time that you get to know a little more about everyone who makes NEW Radio and the Door County Daily News possible. 


I want to thank Tim Kowols for his outstanding work ethic, willingness to step in and do what it takes to make the company successful, plus he has a very entertaining sense of humor. 


Thank you to Paul Schmitt for working tirelessly to improve every day while always being one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Paul is a staple of the Door County Daily News and L-C Sports.


Thank you to Shelly Lau who always has the best interest of this company in mind. She will always go the extra mile to make people happy and has become a key person on one of our newest stations.


Reece Robillard came to us through an apprenticeship program from Southern Door High School and now plays a major part of our everyday operations.  I want to thank him for his willingness to learn and grow with the responsibilities that he has with us. 


Michael Cater is the newest addition to the sales team and I’m thankful for his knowledge of the area coupled with his passion to help clients, I see him being extremely successful with sales and with NEW Radio. 


I’m extremely thankful for Sara Miller, who came to us from the Apprenticeship Program and WIPPS. She is a senior at Kewaunee High School and has been an important part of the News team along with numerous other roles she handles around the office. Sara will accomplish great things with her career.


Lee Peek is someone who is responsible for the majority of the music you hear on our stations and I am thankful for his experience and passion for this industry. We sound great because of him. 


Thank you to Larry Stevens for being a steady and reliable voice for everyone, including me. With his years of service, he brings a sense of familiarity, we are lucky to have him as a part of the team. 


Don Clark is someone who I am grateful for as he provides not only guidance on everyone’s favorite station in this area, he has helped improve the quality of this company. 


There are many others that I need  to thank including all that have been involved with Sports Broadcasting like Matt Piesler (L-C),  Peter Kerwin (SB Soccer), Matt Frea (SD), Jacob Nate (Gibraltar), Jeremy Paszczak (SB Soccer/SD), Tyler Thrune L-C Volleyball and others that step in with NEW Radio Sports Network. Thank you for bringing these broadcasts to life. 


I need to thank the community for being welcoming and understanding. I have been all around this country and I’m proud to now call Door County my home. 


Finally, I have to say thank you to my family who have shown their support but I want to take a moment to thank someone who has supported me the entire time I have owned NEW Radio. She has put up with long hours that start before the sun comes up, after it sets and a lot of weekends. She has been a calming voice more often than she knows and she even helps out with roles inside the company. Thank you to my fiancée, Tami.

 
As you can see, there’s a lot that I have to be grateful for and I’m asking that we all take some time over the next few days and reflect over what we have to be thankful for. Say “Thank you” to those around you, I know that I don’t do it enough and as someone who is supported by more good people than I ever thought possible, I will start doing that more. 
Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

 

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