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Like most of today's teens, Pete Merrill grew up making friends with a keystroke. He navigates MySpace, Facebook and My Yearbook with ease. But the Minong teen was looking for something different - a social networking site that focused on good old socializing. So he made his own. "It was one of those 'why not' things," the 17-year-old said. It would be a cool project, he thought, a hobby. Merrill is known for his ability to tackle things head-on. When he was recruited into the band "The Scarlet War," he taught himself to play bass guitar.
It's official. The Twin Ports VA Outpatient Clinic will stay in Superior. "This is huge for the community," said Ralph Heussner, spokesman for the Minneapolis VA Center. "This is huge for the veterans." Local veterans echoed the sentiment. "I'm just ecstatic about it," said Carl Zukowski, a Korean War veteran. Everyone's happy to hear the news, said John Robinson, chairman of the Douglas County Veteran's Commission.
A loud boom startled neighbors of the brick apartment buildings along the corner of North 12th Street and Hughitt Avenue on Thursday morning. Looking out, they could see members of the Superior Police Department's Emergency Response Team with rifles and protective vests enter a number of apartments. Police executed two narcotics-based search warrants in the raid, according to Capt. Chad La Lor, which resulted in two arrests The loud noise neighbors heard was a distraction device deployed by police. No one was injured in the police action, but neighbors gathered to watch.
Keyport Liquor and Lounge becomes a dragon's lair Thursday. For a year, a crystal dragon statue will rest there, symbol of a job well done. The business' team, Keyport Krew, raised a record $22,468 for the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival this year. "We're pretty proud," said Connie Austin, team manager. At 6 p.m. Thursday, representatives from the SMDC Foundation present the traveling award to Keyport. "I think this is just such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with one of the teams that has gone above and beyond," said SMDC spokeswoman Kim Kaiser.
For nearly 50 years, Nellie Bird has opened Les Bird's Bar with a smile. "I like people," she said. "I've never had a day where I thought, 'Oh, I hate to go down to that bar today.'" So at 6:45 a.m. every morning, you can find her at the business in Superior's South End, sorting mail, preparing tills and waiting for the regulars. By 8 a.m., they're sipping coffee together, solving the problems of the world. "The coffee's always free; somebody always bakes," said Roxie Boustead, a coffee clatch regular.
For Howard and Jessica Huber's family, the last month has felt like a long hotel stay. On Aug. 10 when they walked into their new, energy-efficient home - built by community volunteers in a single week - there were a few loose ends. Like the laundry room. "A lot of stuff they did for TV, not livability," said Howard "Howie" Huber. Storage space does not make a good camera shot. Apparently, neither do laundry rooms.
Traditional holiday concerts have been canceled at all Superior school district elementary schools this year, according to Superintendent Janna Stevens. Similar concerts at Superior middle and high schools will not be affected. "We knew it would be controversial," Stevens said of the decision. Winter concerts have been part of the school year as far back as anyone can remember. Ideas for other winter events to replace the concerts - such as after school sing-alongs - have been discussed, but no decision has been reached.
Sometimes an ordinary item can transform into something more. Saturday, a flagpole in Superior's Allouez neighborhood became a rallying point for five families who lost servicemen in the Iraq War. The flagpole was dedicated in honor of Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vrooman, who was killed on July 15, 2008, when he stepped into a house wired with explosives in Iraq. But a nearby table held the pictures, medals and mementos of four young men who paid the ultimate price for freedom. "We came together to put this pole in the ground," said Duane Pionk of Oliver, whose son, Sgt.
Bridget Zinn can attract people even in cyberspace.
For seven years, East End Family Day has brought with it sunny weather. Saturday was no exception. As nearly 6,000 people wound their way through five miles of rummage sales and stopped for treats in the heart of Superior's East End, they enjoyed weather more in tune with summer than fall. "I think it's fun," said Matt Bixler of East End. This year, the entertainment included garage band jam sessions, a choir and gymnasts.