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For 28 years, Betty Prinz has been serving up smiles to seniors at the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium through the Elderly Nutrition Program. "I was there the day it opened," said Prinz, who now lives in Superior. Over the years, she has volunteered in the kitchen, led Friday bingo games and driven meals to homebound seniors.
The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development has linked Northland libraries, approved funding for a Parkland sewer project and repaired roofs over the heads of area families. The agency wants to do more. Money is available for homeowners, businesses and community facilities through the USDA. Area Specialist Sue LaPorte will be in town 11 a.m.
A Douglas County meal program aimed at seniors feeds many hungers. The elderly nutrition program, headed by Senior Connections, provides lunch to seniors age 60 and older - either delivered to their door or at congregate meal sites. A varied menu encourages them to try new things. "Sometimes it's their only meal of the day," said Steve Westerlund, a volunteer at the Wentworth meal site. "If it's their only meal, they've gotten a good meal.
Here in the Northwood, residents have taken the Scout motto of "be prepared" to heart. A recent survey found that 30 percent of respondents in northwest Wisconsin were prepared for an emergency, the highest percentage in the state. "I feel pretty good that our citizens were the most prepared population," said Keith Kesler, emergency management coordinator for Douglas County.
Northwest Wisconsin K-9 units converged on Superior High School and Superior Middle School Monday for training. The dogs and their handlers walked through both buildings, checking lockers for drugs, according to Superior Police Capt. Chad La Lor. Although nothing was found at the high school, dogs "hit" on one of the lockers at the middle school, according to Capt. Matt Markon of the Superior Police Department. Suspected marijuana shake - an extremely small amount of substance similar to pepper flakes - was found in a backpack in the locker.
The Yellowjacket Union was buzzing with activity Tuesday. As the grand opening event for the new building drew near, University of Wisconsin-Superior students could be seen chatting, eating, reading, working on laptops and sharing hugs. "Everyone seems to love it," said Kasey Jones, a UWS junior majoring in studio art. The $22 million building, paid for with student fees and the Campaign Superior fund, replaces Rothwell Student Center. "It's a lot better than RSC," said sophomore Tad Hildebrandt.
To a child on the verge of running away, a voice on the phone may be their last hope. For options. For support. For a sounding board. Jane Larson has been that voice for 14 years. As the program coordinator for Project Reach Out, she has talked youth in crises through a gamut of situations - from a teen debating whether to attend a party where alcohol will be served and a girl searching for the closest site to get a pregnancy test to a suicidal teen who had taken pills. "It's not our job to tell them what to do," Larson said.
David Fechtelkotter has dreams of becoming a paleontologist. But the Northwestern Middle School eighth grader could add meteorologist and geologist to his list of possible careers. He won the top slot in the school's National Geographic Bee on Friday by knowing the name of the region of reduced precipitation that occurs on the downwind side of a mountain range - rain shadow. "Mr. Ketola taught us that," he said after being declared the winner. After being in the bee for three straight years, David finally clinched the No. 1 position.
Pair an ideas man with a problem solver. Add in technology that keeps people linked with the push of a button and a growing web of volunteers. Stir in some enthusiasm and a "can do" attitude. Then watch the momentum build. "Lots of good things are happening in Wascott," said Sheryl Beglinger, many of them prompted by the new Neighbors Helping Neighbors network. Since its inception in August, the group has winterized approximately 250 houses in the Gordon/Minong/Wascott area, hosted a Christmas day dinner and began developing a Neighborhood Watch Program.
A small office space at Superior High School has transformed into a dress shop. Dozens of dresses hang about the room, a tapestry of colors, styles and fabrics. But there are no price tags, no cashiers, just the promise of a special evening. "Every girl dreams of going to a dance and looking spectacular," said Cindy Johnson, whose daughter, Paige, is a senior at SHS. Generous dress donations from Johnson and her employer, maurices Inc., have given wings to those dreams.