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When the second wave of the H1N1 flu swept into Douglas County, public health workers stuck to the plan. "It was absolutely amazing how well Douglas County was prepared," said Rory Strange with the United Way's 211 service in Duluth. "They had everything covered." While the information and referral service received hundreds of calls from Douglas County residents about the pandemic, there was no panic, no mad dash.
Rothwell Student Center opens its doors to the public one last time Saturday. If you're looking for a bargain, a piece of memorabilia or one last trek through RSC, the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus is where you want to be. An auction of all the building's contents -- from cabinets and coffee cups to pastry cases and loveseats -- begins at 10 a.m. Saturday. Prospective buyers can stop by as early as 8 a.m.
The fight against childhood obesity is raging nationwide, from a new White House campaign launched Tuesday to a proposal letter composed over cups of coffee at Red Mug on Monday. Michelle Obama is urging youth, "Let's Move." The Community Youth Project Group is encouraging Douglas County residents, young and old, to "Tee off and fly freely." They are focusing their efforts on opening a six-tee disc golf course in Central Park. Along the way, they want to turn kids on to reading instead of TV. Superior High School junior Reba Buczynski attended a group meeting out of curiosity.
Coach Kevin Jones doesn't need to be on the bench to influence his players. When the Superior Bantam B boys hockey team takes the ice, they are thinking of him. Jones is serving in Afghanistan. "He's on their minds," said Jones' brother and fellow coach, Mike. Jones, an airman first class with the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing, is also on their helmets in the form of KJ stickers with camouflage-colored ribbons.
The children of Peace Lutheran Church have Haiti on their minds. Tonight, they will lift their voices in song, share their hopes for the Caribbean country and offer the community a chance to help. "We can make a change," said Kevin Garland, 9. The youth know some of the problems Haitians face. "They just got hit by an earthquake and they don't have a lot of money," said Annabelle Pflug, 8. Their parents have died and they're running out of food, she said. So they're raising money for relief efforts during "A Child's Hope for Haiti." The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
Thursday night, "Comedy Brings Relief" at Ace's on 29th. Chicago native Spark Mann brings his high-energy stand up act to Superior, with all the proceeds earmarked for American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. "It's a good way to help out a good cause," Mann said. It's going to be a great show, said local comedian Chuck Androsky. As posters for the event state, "The Sparkman Cometh." That drew a chuckle from Mann. "It makes me sound like a superhero," he said. "There's Aquaman, Batman and Sparkman." Mann has been entertaining audiences with his keen wit since 1987.
After talking about the jobs of tomorrow, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Roberta Gassman got hands-on instruction in one at Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College-Superior. She watched as Joshua Kagie connected hoses and manipulated the flow on a hydraulic fluid trainer in the Amatrol lab. Gassman asked questions, ducked down to check the flow meter and took time to talk to Kagie about his goals. The Superior man worked for nearly five years as a tool and die machinist, but his job was recently cut.
It's a waiting game in the Douglas County. Layoff threats have prosecutors on the edge of their seats. In light of the state's budget crunch, an unspecified number of assistant district attorneys face layoffs. Neither they nor their elected bosses know which counties could be affected or when. They do know the layoffs would hurt offices already straining to keep up with caseloads. "We've got two vulnerable positions," said District Attorney Dan Blank. With two full-time and one part-time position, Douglas County has the highest number of assistants in the northwest corner of the state.
The former Superior Housing Authority director who stole $10,000 from the agency will spend 90 days in jail as a condition of probation. Debra Lynn Waterman, 51, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft - one felony and one misdemeanor - in Douglas County Court last week for charging thousands of dollars in personal purchases on the SHA credit card while she served as the agency's director.
The town of Gordon offers a cure for cabin fever. Winterfest kicks off at 2 p.m. Saturday. with ice skating, sledding, snow bowling, a warming fire and free indoor crafts, all in the heart of Gordon. At 8 p.m., Chetek-based band the Twerps will rock the town hall. "The Twerps specialize in getting people involved," said Karen Griffin, a member of the Gordon parks and recreation committee, which planned the event. "They're very high energy." Last year, the committee launched Winterfest to raise money to revitalize the town park.