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Whether you're looking for gifts, entertainment, clothing for the kids or a way to make a difference, Solon Springs has it all. This weekend, the small community is giving back with a day of thanks. Three businesses - the Garden House, Solon Springs Mercantile and the Little Gift House - teamed up to support local nonprofit organizations.
It began with the whisper of a turning page. Paige Olson's eyes were drawn to the bright pictures of trains, toys and animals. As her mother, Kathy, read, the 18-month-old watched solemnly. The story pulled the child in. Soon, Paige was turning the page, making monkey sounds and pointing out the train's steam. "Hot," she said. Paige loves books, Olson said, but the family can't afford to buy many. This summer, they signed up for Dolly Parton's Imagination Library program, offered through the Superior/Douglas County United Way.
A split second decision, an unlocked door and a reliable partner may have saved a man's life April 22. Superior Police Officer Todd Maas and his canine partner, Blek, responded to a stabbing incident at Catlin Courts that morning. As he drove along the 500 block of Catlin Avenue, Maas saw a man in a bloody shirt running across the street. He stopped the car and ordered the man, Donald Lavail Christopher, to get on the ground. Instead, the man advanced on the officer, throwing his knife in Maas' direction.
A former Douglas County Sheriff's Department deputy and bailiff with a 33-year history of public service will spend six months in jail, two years on probation and 15 years as a registered sex offender. William James Webber, 56, was sentenced Friday in Douglas County Court for two counts of fourth degree sex assault and one count of obstructing an officer. A jury found Webber guilty of the three misdemeanors following a Sept. 22 trial. Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Kutz handed down the sentence.
Students offer a voyage of discovery next week on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus. The weeklong Peacebuilding Conference can open eyes and tweak attitudes; it can even lead to change. "Peacebuilding is something we all need to do," said Khalil Dokhanchi, professor of political science at UWS, who recruited students to organize the annual event. "This is done by students for the community," Dokhanchi said.
An early morning bar fight ripped a formerly friendly relationship apart to the point where a bullet was fired, according testimony in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday. Cletis Bernard Portis, 29, faces felony counts of discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a person, second-degree reckless endangerment and possession of firearm by a felon for a drive-by shooting Oct. 17 in the 1600 block of North 18th St. He also faces one misdemeanor battery count, which he entered a not guilty plea to during his initial appearance Oct.
A living legend was honored Monday when the new auditorium at Northwestern High School was named. As 500 people looked on, longtime educator Pat Luostari, known affectionately as "Mrs. L," was memorialized in brick and mortar. She had no idea it was coming. "It was a marvelous surprise," Luostari said. "I was really, totally, totally surprised." The crowd of nearly 500 was treated to a rare sight - a flustered Luostari. "I've known the woman for 30 years and I've never seen her verklempt," said Peggy Janigo, executive secretary for the Maple School District.
When a black cat crosses your path, the saying goes, you should prepare for bad luck. If Jessica Grant believed that, she would be cursed. As an employee of Superior's Animal Rescue Federation, Grant cares for dozens of cats. They leap into her arms, reach out from cage bars to pat her with their paws and snuggle into her lap to purr. And yes, they even cross her path.
Dawn Theelke-Thomas is golden. The second-grade teacher at Cooper Elementary School was the first to receive a Golden Apple award from the Northland's NewsCenter this school year. The giant check for $150 showed was presented in the classroom last week. "You cried at the end," Logan Chatterson reminded his teacher. "It was a happy crying," his classmate, Clair King noted. "Because it was a big surprise for you and you've never won it," added Kaileigh Miller.
The Superior man accused of a string of stranger sexual assaults in Douglas County makes an initial appearance Wednesday in Burnett County Circuit Court. Craig Allen Mehtala, 28, faces two felony counts - second-degree sexual assault and battery - stemming from a July 2006 sexual assault along Pike Bend Road in the town of Meenon. He also faces three second-degree sexual assault charges in Douglas County Circuit Court in connection with three separate attacks on women this summer in Superior.