Door County ranked as the eighth healthiest of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in the 6th annual County Health Rankings, released this week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI).

Thirty factors that influence health were compared, including education, housing, violent crime, jobs, diet and exercise. Only Ozaukee, Pepin, Calumet, Florence, Kewaunee, Pierce and Portage counties were rated healthier than Door.

The five counties in the poorest health, starting with the least healthy, are Menominee, Milwaukee, Forest, Washburn and Rusk.

“Since the County Health Rankings began in Wisconsin more than a decade ago, we’ve seen them serve as a rallying point for change,” said Karen Timberlake, director of UWPHI in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Communities are using the Rankings to inform their priorities as they work to improve health for all their residents.”

Nationally, this year’s Rankings show that the healthiest counties in each state have higher college attendance, fewer preventable hospital stays, and better access to parks and gyms than the least healthy counties. The least healthy counties in each state have more smokers, more teen births, and more alcohol-related car crash deaths.

This year’s Rankings also look at the links between income levels, income distribution, and health. Learn more about the rankings at

• The Sierra Club on March 30 renewed its call for the Wisconsin Legislature to repeal 2013 Act 1, the measure written by Gogebic Taconite (GTac) to enable its now-abandoned proposal for an open pit mine in northern Wisconsin.

“GTac has abandoned its proposal after demanding certainty in permitting that only this law could give it. That fact gives the Legislature a rare opportunity to fix the huge mistake it made when it approved such damaging legislation based on false information. GTac lied to the public and the legislature to get its way and made a lot of promises it couldn’t keep. Let’s fix this law now before the next fly-by-night company shows up,” said Dave Blouin, Sierra Club John Muir Chapter mining committee chair.

The mining law was opposed at each public hearing held by the state. Polling showed a majority of state residents opposed the law, which established reductions in environmental protections and citizen involvement to enable the mining proposal.

• Washington Island Ferry Service is now in spring mode with an expanded schedule of trips between the island and the peninsula. For times and prices, visit


On Tuesday, April 21, the Sevastopol School District will conduct its annual Four Year-Old Developmental Screening/Registration and “New Students” to the district (entering Kindergarten) Screening and Registration.

All children who will be four years old prior to Sept. 1, 2015, are eligible to participate and all children who will be five years old prior to Sept. 1, 2015, and have not, yet attended Sevastopol are urged to attend. The purpose of this screening is to provide parents information about their child’s individual development. This screening involves a health and developmental interview with parent, a hearing and vision check, and an opportunity for your child to demonstrate thinking, language, and motor skills.

If you have not received a packet in the mail regarding screening, please call the Sevastopol Elementary office at 743-6282 ext. 1107.

• A Summer Work Travel program forum to prepare Door County employers for a safe and successful program for all J-1 Visa participants will be held Tuesday, April 21, from 9 am to noon, at the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove South Fire Station, 2258 Mill Road, Sister Bay.

Employers, community leaders and all interested parties are welcome to attend. Light breakfast, snacks and beverages will be provided. Presenters include a representative from the U.S. State Department, Door County Visitor Bureau and CCI Greenheart, one of the leaders in offering cultural exchange programs. To reserve a spot, email Haldis Toppen of CCI Greenheart at [email protected].

• The Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH) is joining a long list of advocacy and health care organizations opposing Senate Bill 46. The legislation would criminalize “intoxicated co-sleeping” and encourage a focus on community-based efforts to educate new parents about the full range of unsafe sleep risk factors, such as soft sleep surfaces, pillows, blankets, placing the infant to sleep on its back and co-sleeping.

On March 31, the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services heard testimony on the bill. Health care organizations including the Wisconsin Medical Society, the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the Wisconsin Public Health Association are all registered in opposition of the legislation. Evidence shows that the most common factor in unsafe-sleep-related infant deaths is the presence of soft objects such as pillows, quilts and blankets which can cause the infant to accidently suffocate.

Beyond soft objects, the next two most common risk factors are exposure to secondhand smoke (present in about 60 percent of cases) and placing an infant to sleep on his or her side or stomach (about 40 percent of cases) rather than on his or her back.

“Health care experts agree that criminalization of intoxicated co-sleeping will not reduce unsafe-sleep-related infant deaths in Wisconsin,” said WAWH Executive Director Sara Finger. “A better priority for our legislators would be to invest taxpayer dollars to support programs that demonstrate improvement in infant and family health outcomes.”

• The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive at the Bertschinger Center in the Village of Egg Harbor, from 1:30 to 5:30 pm on April 15.

If you have questions, call Lynn Ohnesorge at 920.868.3334 or go to the Red Cross website at