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The Bugs are invading local CD players. Not the normal, six-legged variety, however. These Bugs have soulful voices, catchy beats and a classic 60s sound. For five years, the Superior band has been practicing and playing together. In July, the group released their first CD, Raspberry Avenue. More than 100 have already sold, even though it's only available at two Twin Ports outlets. "It's a cute CD," said Stacy Abbot, owner of Lit'l Sisters Specialty Shoppe in the Blaine Business Center. "They did a really good job." "Our theory is more is better," said Bugs drummer Kevin Giersdorf.
A resolution to spend a quarter-million dollars to reconfigure space on the third floor of the Government Center for the Aging Disability Resource Center program squeaked past the Douglas County Board by a 19-5 vote Thursday night. The money would come from W-2 funds the Health & Human Services Department earned while managing the state's W-2 program. In four years, the department would recoup the full $250,000, according to Pat Schanen, health and human services director. The space formerly used by the county's defunct home health program would be remodeled for the ADRC.
The water near Barker's Island was teeming with dragons Tuesday. They lunged, picking up speed as they prowled back and forth. On their backs, team members focused on paddling in unison. For many, these brief flights over water have become an annual event. One team that has taken part in the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival every year is Team Stariha, also known as the Stariha family. The first year the races were held, they thought it would be a neat way to get relatives together, said member Andy Lisak. They knew they could get enough people for a 22-person team.
Access to a short stretches of county highway could open up new paths to ATV users, according to a discussion item brought before the Douglas County Highway Committee this month. The item, offered by the Northwest Trails Association, is expected to be discussed at the committee's September's meeting as well. "This is a big step for the county," said Kay Johnson, committee chairwoman.
Traces of wildlife dot Wisconsin Point -- a white feather, animal tracks, the glimpse of a heron silent and still, waiting for supper to swim by. The other kind of wildlife on the point doesn't bother to hide its tracks -- broken bottles, burned cans, dirty diapers. "It's the gem that we have and you go out there and it's McDonald's bags and beer bottles," said Superior City Council President Tom Bridge of the stretch of land. Since a vehicular curfew went into effect in 2003, the litter situation has improved.
Access to health care and education topped the list of concerns veterans voiced during a public hearing Wednesday at the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center. Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Amnicon, hosted the event. He called it a "unique opportunity to really hear from vets" about their needs and see how to "best serve the interests of the people who have best served America." Of particular concern was health care. "The VA Clinic here in Superior is my primary health care center," said Bruce Brown.
Candidates for the 73rd Assembly District seat fielded a variety of questions during a Superior Federation of Labor forum Tuesday night at the Superior Public Library. The public wanted to know the candidates' views on health care, smoking bans and garbage tipping fees.
A proposal to expand the Government Center parking lot fizzled Thursday during the Douglas County Administration Committee meeting. A tie vote kept the motion to spend $125,000 on two additional houses from moving forward to the full county board. The county has already made an approved offer to purchase one of three homes along Hammond Avenue, said County Board Chairman Doug Finn. "We started the process, there's a need and if we wait it's going to cost us more money," he said.
A one-two punch of bad luck has laid the Animal Rescue Federation low. The Superior animal shelter is scrambling to find financial footing, but it may be too late. "The problem is we're dying, basically," said ARF board president Bill O'Keefe in an emotional interview. "We are completely out of money (for the year)." A large influx of dogs and a bout with ringworm that closed shelter doors for five weeks siphoned off all ARF's operating budget.
After years of blending in, Scott Johnson is ready to stand out. His business, Northwoods Guitar, moves into the center of three buildings that were the former Louis Cafe on Sept. 1. A bold canopy highlights the site as Northwoods Music, and a blue neon sign will soon do the same. "I'm going out of my way to make sure my building looks different and separate from the other buildings," Johnson said.