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New equipment, new members and life saved earned the Summit Volunteer Fire Department the title of 2009 department of the year in Douglas County. "To stand out among your peers - that really says something," said Keith Kesler, Brule fire chief and secretary for the Vacationland Fire and Emergency Association, which presented the award last month. The association encompasses 18 volunteer fire departments in Douglas County. Every year, one is singled out for the award. "It is hard to pick one," said Brian Laverdiere, town of Superior fire chief.
Vision and optimism turned job loss into opportunity for Trish Waltman. When the Superior woman was served her pink slip last September, it was a shock. "I knew that no matter what my attitude was going to make me or break me," she said. But as she was packing the items from her desk, Waltman noticed something. "Everything I packed had nothing to do with my job, which meant my job had nothing to do with me," she said. After 20 years in the transportation business, Waltman decided it was time to follow her dreams.
The images in the lobby of the Superior Public Library pull visitors over to the glass case - a rodeo spill, a butterfly poised on a flower, a tall ship at rest in the harbor. The photos were captured by the lens of Joni Tauzell, this month's featured artist. For 25 years, Tauzell has toted around a camera. The Lake Nebagamon woman focused her lens primarily on nature scenes, but recently began capturing action shots like the moment where a cowboy is thrown from a bull. The colorful images capture slices of Northland life.
Solon Springs' youth got their hands dirty Thursday to improve the water quality of Upper St. Croix Lake. They turned over soil with trowels and inserted dozens of native plants, creating the first public rain garden in Solon Springs behind the Joan Salmen Memorial Library. "I think it's going to be really cool," said Sara Constantine, 15. "I like it because it feels like we're kind of making a difference." The bowl-like garden is meant to control storm water runoff aimed at Park Creek.
There will be a democratic primary for Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District seat this fall after all. Superior businessman Don Raihala, a real estate broker, announced his candidacy with signatures - 1,027 of them, according to the Government Accountability Board - on July 13. Two days later, he sent his first press release for a campaign focused on common sense issues and fiscal responsibility. "Fiscal responsibility encompasses everything," said Raihala, 42.
A serial rapist who attacked three women in Douglas County and one in Burnett County was sentenced to 50 years Friday in a crowded Douglas County courtroom. Craig Allen Mehtala, 28, of Superior pleaded guilty in May to two counts of second degree sexual assault and no contest to a third. The charges stem from three stranger sexual assaults in Superior's North End last summer. "No sentence I'm going to mete out today will make the victims whole," Judge Kelly Thimm.
School's out for summer, but not for Levi Felton. The Superior High School senior is pacing his way through the myriad details involved in creating a 5k run/walk - the Osaugie Open Run for Hunger - from scratch. "It's a lot more work than I thought it would be," he said. "It's not impossible, but I'm glad I'm doing it in the summer when I have the time." This isn't just a race. The Aug.
Fairgoers will be greeted with the Stars and Stripes as they pass the main entrance this week. The American flag was absent from the site for years, according to Fair Manager Jim Borgeson. "We always have a flag up," he said, but it is inside the fairgrounds by the fair office. Tom Cannon, a member of the Superior Police Auxiliary, sent a letter to the Telegram about the lack of a flag last year. "Shame and more shame to our county board and the fair board," he wrote, ending his letter with a plea.
The Swenson family left a lasting impression on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus Tuesday. After touring Swenson Hall, now under construction, three generations of Swensons pressed their hands into wet cement.
Welcoming Japanese students into her home has changed Julie Halom's worldview. "Hosting is a wonderful way to experience another culture and get to know these students as people," the Superior woman said. "It has opened our eyes and our hearts to the world and to be accepting of differences." The connections made while hosting youth from Ami-Machi, Japan over the past 11 years paved the way for Halom's daughter, Kaitlyn, to land her dream job this summer. The younger Halom is now teaching English in Japan.