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Mark Liebaert supports a proposed J-turn at the intersection of U.S. Highway 53 and County Highway B. If it can prevent tragedy, said the Douglas County supervisor, it's worth trying. "The thing you have to remember is the people who are getting killed at this intersection are our friends," he told more than 55 community members during public meeting on the planned safety improvement Wednesday in the Hawthorne Town Hall. Since 1996, there have been 50 multi-vehicle crashes at the site according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
Devyn Rosenbaum used to think AIDS was curable. Then, the Superior High School student began researching for her senior project. And she met seven smiling youngsters whose lives have been altered by HIV/AIDS. Now, she is determined to help those affected by the virus. "It's just something I've become passionate about, one of those things that changes your whole world," Rosenbaum said. A family friend set the foundation for that change. Barb Anderson raised three daughters and taught for 33 years in the Maple School District.
A new holiday tradition is set to begin in Douglas County. Friday at 7 p.m., lights will burst to life on a pine tree in the village of Poplar. Carols will be sung; guests will sip hot chocolate and munch cookies near a bonfire. And a special visitor is slated to arrive with a hearty "Ho, ho, ho." "It's the Christmas season," said Terri Nelson of Lakeside, who is organizing the tree lighting event. "You're supposed to get together with your neighbors." Every year, the village decorates six light poles along U.S. Highway 2 for the holidays.
A dragonfly sits poised on a lush green quilt rich with textures. Below, beadwork and fabric pieces, a doll and jewelry lay spread out, a testament to a life full of art. The work, bits of color and texture in the Superior Public Library lobby, show the many facets of Angie Haworth. The self-taught artist is an award-winning quilter with a unique style. But her work encompasses much more. For the Superior woman, art has been a constant. Growing up in Wentworth, her parents encouraged her creativity.
Three Christmas trees were boxed up Wednesday in an Eau-Galle farmhouse. Their ultimate destination: Iraq. For Mary Lemke and her family, the holidays are creeping by. Every day since her three sons deployed this spring with the Wisconsin National Guard's 724th Engineer Battalion has been, in Lemke's words, "long." The Eau-Galle woman has sent countless packages to the three soldiers - SPC Greg Lemke, PFC Curtis Anderson and PFC Lance Lemke. The trees, filled with homemade ornaments and accompanied by camouflage stockings full of gifts, are just the latest.
Christmas will come early for the Gordon Area Food Shelf. In less than two weeks, the organization will move from the basement of the Gordon Town Hall into a brand new building. The gift came from Brad Guinn and his battalion of friends. "I'd just like to thank them all," said Guinn, an accountant from New Richmond. "I think you realize what good friends you have when you ask them to do things and they jump at the chance." He has three pages full of names - his friends, his sons, and friends of friends - who spent hours putting up the 28-by30-foot building.
Three students from Solon Springs will spend Thanksgiving in Thailand. The youth - along with two teachers and Solon Springs School District Administrator Fred Schlichting - are in the midst of a three-week exchange to Si Sanchanalai in northern Thailand. "It's an incredible experience for the kids," said Bruce Meyers, a social studies teacher who is on the trip. "We want to give kids an idea of what life is like outside the U.S." Along with Meyers and Schlichting, teacher Kim Pipitone flew overseas.
Emma Kern got a hands-on lesson in giving this season. The 5-year-old spent Wednesday morning toting two dozen coats and two dozen pairs of boots into Our Savior's Lutheran Church for children in need. "It's never too early for them to learn," said Emma's grandmother, Renee Kern. Emma's mother, Angie Snyder, agreed. "I think it's fantastic," she said. "It's teaching her to share." Giving is something familiar in the Kern family. Last spring, they fed the hungry by donating $3,000 worth of food to the food shelf at Faith United Methodist Church.
A planned safety improvement for the intersection of U.S. Highway 53 and County Highway B is drawing a lot of local interest, not all of it positive. "We've got 600 signatures from people disgusted with the J-turn," said Debra Wermter, who owns two businesses on that corner - the BP gas station and the Road House. She's concerned that the new J-turn, set to be installed in 2011, will increase the number of sites where traffic crashes could occur and decrease business from local customers. She's been gathering signatures for a month.
Cold, rainy weather put a damper on donations during the annual "A Night Without a Home" sleep-out for the homeless last weekend. "Every year it's cold," said organizer Tom Wodolkowski. "Twenty-eight degrees and snow is not bad. Thirty-three degrees and rain is the pits." Although there was plenty of traffic passing by during the 24-hour event, he said, few people stopped, "and I don't blame them." But the stormy weather did something else. It put a human face on homelessness for those who spent the night in the cold. At about 3 a.m.