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Northland residents can dust off their dancing shoes and pull that tux out of storage. The Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse is ringing in the New Year with a Dance to End Abuse, and everyone's invited. "The ball has officially rolled here for New Year's Eve," said Erika Leif, CASDA assistant director. "We're just very excited." The benefit fills a Northland void. For years, nearly 2,000 people gathered for the SMDC New Year's Eve Extravaganza at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center.
Once a year, Arthur Gil de Lamadrid plays Santa. No one sits on his knee; no pictures are taken. The lead fire inspector for the Superior Fire Department doesn't even don the red suit and beard. But for two days, he and fellow volunteers make Christmas wishes come true through the Toys for Tots program. "Deep down I really enjoy it," said Gil de Lamadrid, who co-chairs the program with fellow firefighter Les Luder.
With a marketing splash, the versatile Seasnake was introduced to Superior officials and members of the transportation community last week. The concept ship works like a train on water, with a forward traction unit, two to five detachable cargo barges and a powered "caboose." This articulated Seasnake has low draft and can be split into sections to pass through locks along the St. Lawrence Seaway. The barges - which can carry dry or wet bulk or containerized cargo - connect with a ball and socket system and utilize stabilizing bumpers. They can be individually delivered into most harbors.
Landmark Lanes came to life Wednesday afternoon with smatters of applause, the hum of conversation and occasional cheers. Superior High School students rolled bowling balls down the lanes, netting plenty of smiles and the occasional strike or spare. Some bowled with ramps or bumpers. A few youth rolled up to the lane in wheelchairs; others walked. "Whatever score they get, they get," said James Starzynski, a special education teacher at SHS.
On Sunday, family, friends and community members will gather at Mr. D's to eat spaghetti, bid on auction items and support Tracy Starkes Plunkett of Wentworth. For Bea and Teri Starkes, this is not just another benefit.
The Silver Bay Veterans Home fills with the sound of music Saturday.
With a stroke of his pen, President Barack Obama gave potential home buyers new incentive to find their dream home. His signature on the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 extended the first-time home buyer tax credit until April 30 and offered existing homeowners a similar deal. Realtors are hoping the lure of a tax credit will be the spark that heats up the local housing market. "It's just a great time to buy," said Mike Raivala with RE/MAX1 of Superior. Home prices are good, he said, and interest rates are low.
The first H1N1 flu-related death was confirmed in Douglas County on Monday. The individual was an adult between the ages of 25 and 64 with an underlying health condition, according to Deb Clasen, Douglas County health officer. "For most people, the 2009 H1N1 flu is not severe," she said.
Pattie Teig is ready to sound the alarm. "On Sunday I'll have to stand up and say, 'It's an emergency; it's an emergency," said Teig, a member of the food pantry team at Faith United Methodist Church. When she prepared to open the pantry Tuesday it was full, bolstered with boxes of donations from Our Savior's Lutheran Church and a J.C. Penney food drive. "Within an hour and a half, it was gone," Teig said. Thirty-four families stopped by for food, leaving the shelves nearly empty. "It's terrible," Teig said.
Talent scouts are on the prowl at Superior High School. As students prepare for the second annual Spartan Telethon to benefit the Salvation Army of Superior, they need acts. "Last year we had quite a variety," said Ryan Zimmerman, an SHS senior who is coordinating the telethon. There were singers, a magician, musicians and even a pie-eating contest. "My favorite act from the community was two little girls dressed in poodle skirts doing a hula-hoop routine," said Dale Van Ert, SkillsUSA advisor and teacher of the TV broadcasting class at SHS.