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High above Lake St. Croix, pilot Bill Irving tells Solon Springs sixth-grader Allison Smith to take the controls of the airplane. Talk about your non-classroom learning. "It was kind of scary at first, but once I got used to it, it was cool," Smith said of her first small plane flying experience. Smith, along with 33 other students from Solon Springs, got the chance to fly as part of the Young Eagles program sponsored by Experimental Aircraft Association 272. "We just want to introduce the kids to the world of general aviation at a young age," said Young Eagles coordinator Ellen Oaks.
A young cowboy in love, a rough and tumble cavalry sergeant, a beautiful young rancher and a shady peddler of cure-alls lit up the gymnasium as the Opera for the Young's crew brought "The Elixir of Love" to Northwestern Elementary School this week. The group, which makes it's home in Madison, travels all over the Midwest bringing opera to children who may not get to experience the art form in their hometowns. Opera for the Young incorporates students from the schools they visit into their performances.
It's not easy being Sparty, Superior High School's mascot. It takes plenty of time to don the costume as shown, at left, by senior Jason Pichard, one of two students who takes on the mighty Spartan persona to get the crowds moving at school events. In the photo, bottom left, Kelli Ritsche, gives Picard a hand with the pads that are worn under the costume. Once the gloves are on, at right, Sparty makes an impressive entrance into the SHS gym and works the crowd with the cheerleaders. "It takes awhile to get used to," Picard said of the spartan suit.
Thanksgiving is always the time of year when we take time to give thanks for all the gifts in our lives. It's a time that even Viking and Packer fans can agree on one thing -- at least we're not Lion fans. I know of one Superiorite who has a new appreciation for the upcoming holiday. "I'm thankful to be alive," said Steve Kirk, 34, Wessman Arena coordinator and assistant director of campus recreation at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. "Everything has a different meaning this year." His story starts Oct. 17 at a Superior High School football game in Eau Claire.
It had been about 12 years, I figured. Twelve years since I last rode in a yellow submarine. The last time I rode in a school bus was in 1996 for a basketball game in Alexandria, Minn. Well, all that changed Saturday. I had the privilege of riding with the Solon Springs Eagles baseball team to their game against the Northwood Evergreens at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. I thought it might be fun to take some notes about my first school bus ride in 12 years. 11:45 a.m.
Sometimes it's tough to find a reason to cheer for either team involved in the Super Bowl, especially when your team isn't there. People tend to come up with clever reasoning to cheer for a particular team. A buddy of mine from Grand Forks, N.D. told me he's going to cheer for the Patriots because Giants quarterback Eli Manning's regular season play wrecked his fantasy football team this season. Another is cheering for the Giants because he doesn't want to see New England's Tom Brady on the cover of any more magazines.
The fourth annual Great Lakes Pond Hockey classic continues today and Sunday. Rounds 3-5 are played today starting at 10 a.m. Don't miss the all-day bonfire party or the tournament party starting at 7 p.m. at Barker's Island. The fund continues Sunday with championship rounds starting at 10 a.m.
Low water levels aren't reserved for Lake Superior in Douglas County. During a trip to Amnicon Falls State Park on Monday, I witnessed first-hand the low levels throughout the park, but to my surprise it enhanced my experience. Many times I have walked along the trails and enjoyed taking photos along the banks of the river; however, my trip Monday afternoon led me to new trails throughout the park, like walking the dry riverbed. The new, unexpected trails opened my eyes to many new areas to photograph. Places I had never even seen from the trails are now available for everyone to see.
I said that many times Wednesday morning. But I said it for the last time as I stood on the beach wearing a life jacket and propping blue goggles on my forehead. Just then, a large firework shot out of a homemade stand and 29 of us hit the water. For reasons I can't recall, I entered the TinMan Triathlon on Lake of the Woods near Solon Springs. The race consisted of a 200-meter swim, 10-kilometer bike ride and 5-kilometer run. I think more than anything else I wanted to know if I could do it. I've never run an race in my life, so why not try one now?
My name is Jed and I'm a Vikings fan. It's probably not the most popular thing to admit in this county, I know. But I'm originally from west central Minnesota. I own a purple horned helmet with yellow braids. I miss Cris Carter and was happy to see Daunte's small hands roll out to Miami. That being said, I was a little apprehensive about my Tuesday assignment to cover the "Green Bay Packers' Tailgate Tour Stop" at Wessman Arena.