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The Northland has a story to tell. Despite the economic bailout and Wall Street's teetering numbers, good things are happening locally. Within the last year, the number of jobs in Douglas County has increased by 651, despite the close of the General Mills Plant in Poplar.
A decision to ban smoking in 360 apartments in 18 different communities has drawn both praise and concern. CCB Housing Management, an affiliate of Catholic Charities Bureau, provides housing to seniors and people with developmental disabilities. On Oct. 1, a letter from CCB to residents detailed a decision to turn the apartments smoke-free on Oct. 1, 2009. "We're putting this into effect system-wide," said Gary Valley, director of housing for CCB Housing Management. "That's wonderful news," said Michele Hughes, coordinator of the Douglas County Tobacco-Free Coalition.
A Douglas County Sheriff's Department deputy accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old man was arrested and released on bail Thursday. William J. Webber, 55, a full-time bailiff at the Douglas County Courthouse, had been placed on administrative leave prior to the arrest, according to Sheriff Tom Dalbec. Webber is accused of assaulting the 18-year-old in Superior on the evening of Oct. 14, according to a news release by Capt. Chad La Lor of the Superior Police Department.
This year, the state's fuel assistance program is being handled directly through the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services, not Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency. Applicants may apply for the one-time heating/electric assistance benefit by mail, over the phone or at an appointment with an economic support worker. Applicants must meet income guidelines. For example, a family of four must make $2,650 a month or less to be eligible. Last year, more than 2,000 people received fuel assistance in Douglas County.
Each of the men vying for the 73rd Assembly District seat promise to bring something new to Madison. Independent candidate Jeffery Monaghan stressed his individuality. "I don't want to be labeled a Democrat or Republican," he said. "I will think independently" and be accountable to the voters, not a party line. Democratic candidate Nick Milroy holds a unique viewpoint due to his 10 years of work in the natural resources field and a young man's perspective. "Most politicians have law degrees; I have a biology degree," said the 34-year-old.
Flashing lights, red signs, yellow curbs, even crossing guards in bright orange fail to stop them. They can be found roaming alleys, four lane streets or quiet cul de sacs.
The creation of Red Step Press is a story of connections. Lindsy O'Brien met Aaron Brown on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus in 2003 when the two took the same creative writing class. Over the years their friendship morphed into a business that catapulted him to the title of book author and her to the ownership of an independent publishing company, Red Step Press. O'Brien, who lives in Superior, had toyed with the idea of opening a publishing company for years.
Three participants in an early-morning fight told slightly different stories on the stand Wednesday in Douglas County Circuit Court, but in the end the fourth participant, Joseph Thomas Saari, was bound over for arraignment on felony charges of mayhem and substantial battery. Saari's defense attorney Lance Nelsen characterized the incident in the early morning hours of Oct.
This was no ordinary court session. If the applause flooding the courtroom didn't give it away, Judge Michael Lucci's final words did. "Keep up the good work, fellows," he told Douglas Van Puymbrouck and Brian Johnsen. So ended the second session of Douglas County's drug court program -- with congratulations and the passing around of baby pictures. "It's a different environment," Lucci said. "I find it refreshing." Douglas County District Attorney Daniel Blank called it a "conversational court." "It's supportive," he said.
From home sales to grocery bills, the current economic crisis has definitely hit Main Street in the Northland. The Telegram spoke with several people who are living differently today because of the nation's economic woes. The Housing Market Amid housing slump headlines, Superior's home sales clipped along. Even the first six months of 2008 were fairly stable, according to Bobbi Germond, one of four broker-owners at Weichert Realtors-Twin Ports.