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When a black cat crosses your path, the saying goes, you should prepare for bad luck. If Jessica Grant believed that, she would be cursed. As an employee of Superior's Animal Rescue Federation, Grant cares for dozens of cats. They leap into her arms, reach out from cage bars to pat her with their paws and snuggle into her lap to purr. And yes, they even cross her path.
Dawn Theelke-Thomas is golden. The second-grade teacher at Cooper Elementary School was the first to receive a Golden Apple award from the Northland's NewsCenter this school year. The giant check for $150 showed was presented in the classroom last week. "You cried at the end," Logan Chatterson reminded his teacher. "It was a happy crying," his classmate, Clair King noted. "Because it was a big surprise for you and you've never won it," added Kaileigh Miller.
The Superior man accused of a string of stranger sexual assaults in Douglas County makes an initial appearance Wednesday in Burnett County Circuit Court. Craig Allen Mehtala, 28, faces two felony counts - second-degree sexual assault and battery - stemming from a July 2006 sexual assault along Pike Bend Road in the town of Meenon. He also faces three second-degree sexual assault charges in Douglas County Circuit Court in connection with three separate attacks on women this summer in Superior.
When she was accused of altering the voting machines, Cecile Helsel didn't get mad. The Superior City Clerk took the council member who questioned her integrity to where the machines were kept. With utmost patience, she showed that member and anyone else who was interested how the machine worked, over and over. "She had justification to be very angry," said Steve Schweppe, former city attorney. "I was upset." Instead, Helsel was patient and kind. "She was a wonderful person," said Margaret Ciccone, who years later stepped into the role.
A decision to pocket $210 from a state travel reimbursement has led to a six-week suspension for Superior City Clerk Terri Kalan. Kalan was placed on administrative leave last week. She will remain on unpaid suspension until Nov. 24. Kalan estimated the suspension would cost her $9,000 in lost pay. As another term of her continued employment, she must use some of her banked health insurance worth $1,922 to cover health and dental premiums for November. "We thought the settlement was fair, and it fit what had occurred," Superior Mayor Dave Ross said.
A Superior man has been arrested in conjunction with a Saturday drive-by shooting. Cletis Bernard Portis, 29, faces felony charges of discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a person, second-degree reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday with the Douglas County Clerk of Courts Office. He also faces a misdemeanor battery charge.
At 90, Dick Lundberg has a lifetime of stories to tell. The Poplar native shares them every Wednesday at Mother's Kitchen. These stories, however, have to pass the scrutiny of not one, not two, but three of his older siblings - Bob Lundberg, 91; Elsie Erbentraut, 93; and Marion Olson, 98. "We match stories," Bob said. "And try to outdo each other." The Lundberg family numbered 12 - William and Hulda Lundberg and their 10 children.
They may be too old to trick or treat, but a group of Superior teens continues to celebrate Halloween. In a two-stall garage at 621 10th Ave. East, they turn their vast knowledge of horror movies into a thrill ride for the neighborhood. "I think we do this because we love Halloween," said Austin Lindstrom, 16. "It's our favorite holiday," agreed Taylor Olson, 16. The annual spookfest began two years ago in Olson's East End basement. The teens turned the narrow hallways into a spook house for friends. Why? "Just for the heck of it," said Eric LaGesse.
There's a little more elbowroom at Superior Middle School this week. About 200 students - 20 percent of the school's population - are missing, according to Nancy Smith, director of health services for the School District of Superior. Cathedral School, too, has 21 percent less students in the halls according to Deb Clasen, Douglas County health officer.
Mike Brostowitz officially resigned his position as chief of the Solon Springs Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday following a public hearing in front of the Solon Springs Fire Commission. Commission members said the resolution was a good one for the community. Now, the former chief's position is no longer in limbo. The move also keeps Brostowitz, a volunteer firefighter for 35 years, with the department. "My heart is in fire service big time," he said.