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After nearly a year in the deserts of Iraq, Spc. Vipul Patel will return home to green grass instead of a sandy lot. The soldier is serving his country with the Wisconsin Army National Guard's 724th Engineer Battalion. Last week, a trio of volunteers stopped by his Solon Springs home to transform his front yard. "What you see here is basically sand and weeds," said Bob Johnson of the Barnes-based Hobie's Services. "We're trying to get grass." He pushed black dirt onto the yard with a skid steer while his brother, Mike, raked it smooth. Dennis Mertzig of Wascott spread grass seed.
The tennis courts in Lake Nebagamon are prize-worthy. Gone are the cracks with grass straggling through them. The new surface is smooth, green and soft. "This is beautiful," said Jean Peterson of Sand Lake. "It's a joy to see a great tennis court here in Lake Nebagamon." The transformation took place this year thanks to a Nobel Prize winner with local ties. "I guess it was late last year when out of the blue Oliver Williamson called me and made his offer," said Village President Bob Anderson.
A malfunctioning cooler was the cause of a Thursday morning fire that gutted part of the interior of the Moose Lodge in Superior, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage. The Superior Fire Department was called to the site, 66 E. Fifth St., at 2:39 a.m. Battalion Chief Scott Gordon said the fire had been burning for a while prior to the call. Heavy smoke was coming out of the building when firefighters arrived. No injuries were reported. It took about an hour for the three engine companies and battalion chief to put the fire out, but they remained on the scene until 5:42 a.m.
By Maria Lockwood firstname.lastname@example.org A crowd of friends and backers turned out Sunday to cheer Bruce Hagen's decision to run for the office of mayor of Superior, again. "I've missed Superior since I left," said Hagen, who served as the city's mayor for three terms from 1975-1987.
Cake and conversation heralded a changing of the guard Wednesday. Carol Johnson is retiring from the Douglas County Board, where she has served as 26th District supervisor for 16 years. "She's one incredible lady," said fellow board member Mary Lou Bergman. "I'm sorry to see her go." Johnson said the change is for personal reasons. "I just decided I wanted to be closer to family, so I'm going to retire," she said.
The Animal Rescue Federation has a new interim manager. ARF board members confirmed that Shelter Manager Sheila Love, who held the position for more than five years, was let go earlier this week during a closed session of the board. Financial issues had nothing to do with the decision to let Love go, said board member Jay Johnson. It was, instead, a question of basic punctuality, attendance and availability. "It is one thing to be accountable to the employees, the city and the public," he said.
County and city employees pooled their energy last month to stay fit and save energy. Their combined efforts burned 41,118 calories and kept more than 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere as part of Health and Energy Awareness Month. Activities ranged from taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during lunch breaks and car pooling or biking to get to work.
A Superior teen accused of sexually assaulting a woman in her East End residence was bound over for arraignment Wednesday following a preliminary hearing in Douglas County Circuit Court. Andrew S. Lawrence, 17, faces felony charges of first-degree sexual assault and burglary stemming from a July incident. The woman who reported the assault testified that she was alone in the home that evening, checking her e-mail on the computer, when she heard the unlocked front door slam. She heard footsteps going up the stairs, looked up and saw Lawrence.
The Northland way of life and sense of community brought Jonathan Holets back to the Twin Ports. Now, the Duluth man is putting his law degree to use in Douglas County Circuit Court. Holets, 28, is the newest addition to the district attorney's office. He took a half-time assistant district attorney position in June, stepping into the spot vacated by newly-appointed Court Commissioner Rebecca Lovejoy. "I'm excited to be here," Holets said.
Nina Rivard grew up in the horse and buggy days. Her mother cooked on a wood stove and her neighborhood - Superior's Butler Park area - was checkered with farms. "At one time everybody out here had small animals, manure piles, hay barns," Rivard said. "It was all cows and chickens." She lived more than 70 years in the same spot, raising four children. The small woman with tightly-curled gray hair lived through World War II, the Depression and the loss of her first husband.