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Move over Jerry Lewis; there's a new telethon in town. The seniors in Superior High School's TV production class kick off a telethon of their own from 2-9 p.m. Dec. 13 on Channel 14.
A watched kettle really does collect coins. Dollars, too. The key ingredient to the Salvation Army's Christmas bell-ringing campaign isn't the bells or the kettles; it's the human hands and hearts behind them. "If there's no bell ringer there, money won't come in," said Major Rosemary Matson of the Salvation Army. Tuesday morning, an unmanned kettle stood unnoticed outside the main entrance to Wal-Mart. A few blocks away, Hugh Smith sat bundled up in heavy Carhardt parka and gloves outside Walgreen's.
Lonnie Dupre's pictures of seals, polar bears and sled dogs caught the imagination and interest of students at Four Corners school Monday. "I liked the seal," said Savanna Williams, a fourth-grader from Lake Superior school who attended the program. "I didn't know seals lived in the North Pole." But students from both schools picked up on the importance of the work done by the explorer, who has traveled more than 14,000 miles through polar regions by dog team, ski and kayak in the past 20 years. "I've always liked exploring things," said Dupre.
November is a month full of memories for Mike Jahn and Gloria Mattakat. On this month 15 years ago, Mattakat's son, Tom, saved the life of Jahn's wife, Susanne. "He's definitely our family's hero," said Mattakat, of Duluth. Susie, of Maple, suffered from an inherited condition called an idiopathic cardiomyopathy. Her heart was failing rapidly in 1993. After six-and-a-half-weeks in the University of Minnesota Hospital intensive care unit, the chance for a new heart looked slim. Then one family's tragedy turned into another's miracle. Tom Mattakat died Nov.
Paul Stein's retirement job raises a lot of eyebrows when he mentions it. "There are two comments I always get," said the Cloverland man. "'Euwww, ick,' or 'Do you have to have any training for that?" As a procurement technician for the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank, which is affiliated with University of Minnesota Department of Opthamology, Stein harvests corneas and whole eyes for donation and research. As one of three procurement technicians in the area, he drives from Sandstone Minn.
An invisible menace left six people homeless last week. Carbon monoxide leaking from an old furnace in the basement of an apartment building at 608-610 E. Seventh St. set off a resident's carbon monoxide detector last week. Responding firefighters detected high levels of the odorless, colorless gas. When the furnace kicked in, said Superior Fire Chief Tad Matheson, those levels spiked. "It wasn't at a level that could have killed us right then and there, but if we were exposed to it, it would have effected us," said Jenna Miller, a tenant of the building.
A new fire chief has been chosen for the City of Superior.
All the grant money in the world can't buy what the Highland Volunteer Fire Department has -- a growing, diverse group of volunteers. "It's all teamwork here," said volunteer firefighter Marvin Landreth. A crop of shiny new equipment slated for the group -- a tanker, engine, canoes and more -- just adds to that key ingredient. "They say firefighters are brothers and there's a huge amount of truth to that," said Highland Fire Chief Todd Carlson. "The people on my department are my family." That wasn't always the case.
Charley Weeth spotted a host of pedestrian dangers lurking on Superior's streets during a two-day walkabout. The executive director of Wisconsin Walks didn't mince words when he discussed his findings with city officials Thursday. Wide streets, no buffer zone between sidewalks and streets, signage that is hard to see, old, cracked and even missing sidewalks were all concerns.
Christmas came early for the Highland Volunteer Fire Department. Tuesday, members packed new river rescue equipment -- canoes, paddles, life vests, back rests and even wheels for portaging -- on a trailer. In about a week, the department's 1964 tanker truck will be replaced. And next summer, they will receive a new fire engine. The town's 265 residents will only foot the bill for the tanker. Everything else was provided by corporate and government grants. The new rigs will make a "gigantic difference in our ability to suppress fires," said Highland Fire Chief Todd Carlson.