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One person can make a difference. That's what Jessica Tapani teaches her children every Thursday. The seven children, ranging in age from 14 to 3, spend their weekly $10 allowance on juice boxes and granola bars, pop tarts and beef jerky. Then, they give it away to homeless children through the Nutrition On Weekends (NOW) program. "They're not complaining at all," Tapani said. "It was their idea." The Maple family is not unique. There has been an outpouring of support for the program. Everyone from church groups and businesses to Girl Scout troops and firefighters has embraced NOW.
While Kevin Norbie and Warren Bender don't always see eye to eye, both candidates for the 3rd District city council seat say the job is about being nonpartisan. "We're all doing the people's work," said Bender, an incumbent with one term under his belt.
Superior's 9th District rematch pits Councilor Mick MacKenzie against former Councilor Dennis Dalbec at the polls. Two years ago, MacKenzie, a retired clerk and control operator for Burlington Northern-Santa Fe, launched a write-in campaign two weeks before the election. He walked away with 63 percent of the vote. This year, both candidates flung their hats into the ring the traditional way. Dalbec, a retired police officer, is brimming with ideas for the city.
In the sole contested Douglas County Board race this spring, a 12-year veteran faces off against a newcomer interested in looking for new solutions. Incumbent Carol Johnson said she wants to continue serving the people of Bennett and Hawthorne as a conduit between them and the county board. "I know these people and I care about them," she said.
An incumbent who wants to finish what he started faces a newcomer with a fresh perspective in Superior's 5th District election. With eight years of council experience under his belt, Ed Anderson is involved in ongoing projects from the harbor to the baseball fields. And he ticked off other possibilities he's looking at including switching to LED streetlights and tackling blight on a block-by-block basis. Anderson said his experience on the council sets him apart. "There are a lot of issues out there that need a tremendous amount of work," he said.
Both contenders for the 1st District City Council seat have their eye on taxes and the budget. Incumbent Dan Olson is especially concerned about cushioning the tax impact of bringing the city's wastewater treatment plant up to mandated federal standards. Challenger Tom O'Neill sees enhancing economic development as key. The no-nonsense labor leader and local businessman have similar ideas about funding - make sure the city is searching for new sources of revenue. Olson is known for getting right to the point, refusing to "sugar coat" his words.
Customers are flocking to South Superior's newest restaurant. One week after opening, Wide World of Wings already had a regular. The man has visited the business every day to tuck into a plate of wings with one of 16 homemade sauces. He started with garlic parmesan and is working his way through the menu, said waitress Yvonne Conito. "We'll see if he makes it in today," she said Thursday. When Doug Buhr opened the restaurant from scratch March 10, he was hoping business would start slow so his staff of approximately 15 could work into their new positions.
They've read about it. They've studied it. Now, Solon Springs students are letting their feet roam where their minds have already traveled as part of what their teacher Lydia Lewis calls the "ultimate teaching experience." "Every day when they open a book you want them to see things anew," she said. This week, the books were personal journals as students and chaperones spent nine days discovering Europe for themselves. The group of 50 began their spring break expedition with a flight to London, England on Monday.
Mille Rounsville is tired of hearing that federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars are not helping everyday people. In her job as chief executive officer at Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency, she has seen the federal funds trickle down to impact hundreds of area residents. "We're just too busy spending the money to tell people about it," said Wende Nelson, executive director of Lake Superior Community Health Clinic. A hefty $1.4 million, sorted into 16 different contracts, landed on NWCSA's doorstep in October.
Dianne Edgett's plan to keep in touch with her grandchildren has mushroomed into a ministry. The Superior woman is currently leading a doll-making brigade. The soft, hand-made dolls will travel to a Haiti orphanage in early April with missionaries Justin and Christia Fulkerson. "When a child has something to hold onto, they feel more secure," Edgett said. To fill the need for the toys, she is inviting members of the community to help.