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Donovan Kobett had one goal Wednesday morning. The 4-year-old wanted to see his hero, Ty Pennington. He and his older brother, Renic, wandered the grassy space reserved for spectators near Swamp Road in Oakland. As he watched, volunteers worked construction magic to build a new home for Howard and Jessica Huber in one week. Donovan's grandmother, Anna Kobett, held a paper bag holding a box of salted nut rolls. The candy - Donovan's favorite - were meant to be a gift for the host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." "Something for Ty," said Donovan, who lives in St. Paul.
Elma Sandhal got her first doll, a Bonnie Braids, in 1951. "I won her in a contest," said the Superior woman. That stroke of luck opened the door to a hobby that would last decades. Sandahl has been collecting dolls for years. Today she has more than 200, too many to display in her Superior apartment. Sandahl isn't recreating her childhood. As one of eight children, she never had a doll while growing up in Superior. "We had each other and we had a lot of fun," she said. "We made our own fun." After retiring from Western Electric in Duluth, she was looking for an inexpensive hobby.
Work at the Oakland site where "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is being filmed was on what volunteers termed "Hollywood time" Tuesday. "It's production," said volunteer Meg Jager of Duluth. "It's Hollywood." The ABC reality show, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, aims to transform the home of the Huber family - Howard, Jessica, 6-year-old Henry and 3-year-old Rose - in one week. The first wave of volunteers arrived at the site on Swamp Road around 9 a.m. this morning, Jager said.
If you missed a volunteer slot on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" project, you can still make a difference. Residents flooded phone lines and e-mail boxes to offer their time on the as-yet-unknown building site, where a new home will be built for a deserving Twin Ports family in one week.
The Twin Ports community is mobilizing to make the impossible happen. In one week - a mere 106 hours -- they will tear down and rebuild a home for a deserving Twin Ports family.
Kayaking can be a very solitary activity. As the quiet craft slips through the water, paddlers can pass ducks or loons, sneak up behind a swimming turtle or lean back and watch an eagle fly past. But, as Kit McCarson of South Range put it, "It's always more fun to go with a group." Monday, about a dozen kayakers congregated off of Barker's Island to add social sparks to this solitary sport. They paddled, they played, they chatted and most of them flipped out.
Ella Brill loves sparkly costumes, princesses and ponies. Her brother Jake likes Legos, Nerf guns and Spider Man. The two share a combined birthday bash every July. This year, however, they will use it to fight hunger. When friends gather in Maple Saturday for the Brills' "Spooktacular Boo-Day" party - Ella just turned 6, Jake will be 8 - they won't bring gifts in bright wrapping paper.
Whether he's on the bench or in the halls of the Douglas County Courthouse, Judge Michael Lucci makes an impression. "He's a good man," said Scott Campbell, bailiff. "Oh, he's wonderful," agreed Joan Osty, clerk of courts. "Great guy, great judge," said local attorney Chris Gramstrup. "He's done a terrific job as judge," said fellow Douglas County Judge George Glonek.
For Tom Foster of Duluth, the Head of the Lakes Fair is a chance to introduce one flock to another. The Catholic priest serves as full-time chaplain at St. Mary's Medical Center and for the 148th Air Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard, both in Duluth.
Local union members picked up pens in support of the Employee Free Choice Act on Monday at the Superior Public Library. About 20 workers, retirees and community members attended the event, and most penned a letter to Sen. Herb Kohl requesting continued support for the bill. Introduced in May, the act may come before legislators by fall, according to Jim Mattson of Poplar, staff representative for the Wisconsin Council 40 AFSCME.