News Bulletin: Continued Investigation into Bay Ship Fire


  •  Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Herlache said the investigation into what caused the Dec. 11 fire aboard the 519-foot cement carrier Alpena continues. Sturgeon Bay firefighters were joined by crews from six other departments throughout the county. “My gut on this through experience, it could be a long time before we find out the cause,” Herlache said on Dec. 16, adding that insurance investigators for both Bay Shipbuilding, where the Alpena was undergoing maintenance, and Andrie Inc., owner of the freighter, began their investigations into the cause of the fire on Dec. 15. Four people – two firefighters and two Bay Shipbuilding employees – were treated and released for smoke inhalation and dehydration on the night of the fire. Herlache said eight other firefighters were treated on the scene for dehydration. He added that one firefighter suffered a wrist injury and another had a knee injury. “For the magnitude of the fire and amount of firefighters there, we’re happy there were no serious injuries,” Herlache said.
  • Two Sevastopol School students may be facing charges as a result of a Dec. 1 bullying incident of an 18-year-old autistic student in the boys high school locker room. Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle said the department was notified of “significant bullying” by school administration. “The incident was videotaped and posted on one of the juvenile’s Snapchat accounts,” the sheriff said. A 14-year-old boy is considered the main aggressor and a 16-year-old boy recorded the bullying incident and posted it online. The two boys were members of the junior varsity basketball team. “It’s being referred to the district attorney to see if he wants to go ahead with charges,” Delarwelle said. “One of the young men will be referred for disorderly conduct and the other for disorderly conduct and battery.”
Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard speaks during the Nov. 21 commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5). USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom variant littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. U.S. Navy photo

Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michelle Howard speaks during the Nov. 21 commissioning of USS Milwaukee (LCS 5). USS Milwaukee, the third Freedom variant littoral combat ship, is designed to operate in shallow and coastal waters throughout the world. U.S. Navy photo

  • Twenty days after it was commissioned in Milwaukee on Nov. 21, the U.S. Navy’s newest combat vessel, the USS Milwaukee, had to be towed back to port due to what the military has deemed an “engineering casualty.” The ship broke down Dec. 11 while attempting to travel from Halifax, Canada, to Mayport, Fla. It was towed about 40 nautical miles to the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, Va., for repairs. According to a report in the Navy Times, the USS Milwaukee lube oil filter failed because “fine metal debris” was able to collect inside the system. It is not yet known where the debris emerged from or the full extent of the new combat ship’s failure. The vessel is a Freedom-Class Littoral Combat Ship — F-Class, built at Marinette Marine under direction of defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. It can travel at more than 45 knots-per-hour and boasts a crew of 98 sailors. It was in the news in September when a sea trial was conducted in Lake Michigan during busy Labor Day weekend, damaging many boats with its powerful twin wake. “Reporting of a complete loss of propulsion on USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) is deeply alarming, particularly given this ship was commissioned just 20 days ago,” Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement to the Navy Times. “U.S. Navy ships are built with redundant systems to enable continued operation in the event of an engineering casualty, which makes this incident very concerning.”
  • Last weekend officers from the Door County Sheriff’s Department, Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Wisconsin DNR and the Door County Sheriff’s Department Dispatch Center spent the day with 31 area children at the 13th annual Chop “N” Shop with a Cop program. Children were paired up with a law enforcement officer for the day. The day was spent picking out the perfect Christmas tree at Door County Tree Farm, shopping at Target picking out gifts for their families and finishing up with a gift wrapping and Sonny’s pizza party. Babler Bus Service provided the transportation.
  • Having troubles with the perfect Christmas gift idea? The Sturgeon Bay Professional Police Association’s 2016 Raffle Calendar are available. The drawings are by local students and the proceeds go back into the community. You can purchase the calendar at the Sturgeon Bay Police Department or by asking an officer.


  • The Door County Economic Development Corp. and the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center UW-Green Bay are proud to once again sponsor an entrepreneurial training program in Door County. Beginning Monday, Jan. 25, at NWTC-Sturgeon Bay, the eight-week business planning course takes students through a step-by-step approach to researching and writing a professional business plan. The cost for the Door County Entrepreneurial Training Program course is only $250, including books and materials. The course usually costs $1,000, however the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is offering an Entrepreneurial Training Grant to qualified applicants that covers 75 percent of the tuition. For registration forms and additional information, visit

Related Organizations

Article Comments