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Oliver Williamson is a soft-spoken man - a fisherman, golfer, world traveler and, classmates say, "a true friend." The Superior native can now add Nobel Prize winner to the list.
Bill Johnston is a scout at heart. Those who know him say he lives by the Boy Scout law: He is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. "Underline thrifty three times," said one of his former scouts, Jay Ott. He recalled Johnston driving old vans "packed to the gills" with camping gear that whisked the troop on trips and expeditions.
The trial date for a wrongful death suit stemming from a Nov. 1, 2007, industrial incident in the village of Superior was set Thursday in Douglas County Court. Due to crammed calendars and an anticipated two-week time span, the case of Cathy Olsen versus J. Kimmes Construction, Inc. and their insurance company, Acuity, will not be presented to a jury until Jan. 4, 2011. Complicating the case is last month's filing of a second wrongful death suit against the construction company, insurance company, Lakehead Blacktop & Materials of Superior, Inc. and Kimmes Brothers Construction, Inc.
Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer's disease. The diagnosis leads patient and family to the brink of a slippery slope. "This is a horrible disease," said Joan Litwitz, area coordinator for the Alzheimer's Association. "People know what's ahead." The fatal disease robs memories, steals emotions and literally destroys the brain. But not right away. "There will be a point and time when they need a little more assistance," Litwitz said.
The Oakes Avenue Super One is growing. An addition to the north side of the store will add about 11,000 square feet to the building, allowing for wider aisles, a larger deli -- which will move to the front of the store - and expansions of the natural foods and frozen foods sections. "It will just be nice to open it up," said store manager Greg Kremer. "It should give customers a better shopping experience." Work on the site began Monday. The walls for the addition will extend out from the produce department area.
Milton Olson hates billboards. As more of the outdoor advertising signs crop up along U.S. Highway 2, the Poplar man sees it as visual pollution. "We need some strict regulations soon," Olson said, noting that three new billboards were erected in the town of Amnicon this summer. Douglas County Board Chairman Doug Finn said he isn't opposed to such outdoor advertising.
Don't let the leathers fool you. The Pigs motorcycle riding group is no gang. "I have nothing but good to say about them," said Fred Paine Jr., owner of Roper's Saloon, where the group meets every Tuesday. "They're really good guys." And they have big hearts. This year, the Pigs raised funds for the family of Al Bennet, a Duluth man who died unexpectedly from lung cancer, and for Chris Smith, a Superior teen with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Three women were singled out, followed and sexually assaulted within a 10-block radius this summer. A Superior man accused of all three attacks made an initial appearance Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court. Craig Allen Mehtala, 28, faces three counts of second degree sexual assault. According to Superior Police, DNA evidence links the Superior man to an unsolved 2006 sexual assault in Burnett County as well.
A second wrongful death case has been filed in conjunction with a Nov. 1, 2007, industrial incident where toxic fumes killed four men at the Lakehead Blacktop & Materials Inc. landfill in the village of Superior. Karen Cossalter, wife of one of the men who died, filed the second suit Sept. 28 in Douglas County Court. It names as defendants Lakehead Blacktop, J. Kimmes Construction, Inc., Kimmes Bros. Construction, Inc. and their insurance company, Acuity.
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.