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The Jim Dan Hill Library on the University of Wisconsin-Superior campus was not renovated with nostalgia in mind. Anyone who used the building in the past 40 years would have a hard time finding anything familiar. "We kind of chuckle because the stairway that goes upstairs and the one wall for the conference room in the corner are the only things that are the same," said Deb Nordgren, library director interim. The $7.7 million project began last summer, stripping the interior down to the bare concrete, then building it up again.
They trace their roots back to Canada, Czecholslovakia, Nassau and Germany. Some came to work, others to play. But they shared one thing in common - these pioneers chose to make the Gordon-Wascott area home. In their own words, 88 families take readers "Back the Road A Bit" with pictures and stories of life in the small, intertwined communities. The family histories, compiled by residents Nancy Hasbrouck, Claudia Postl, and Mike and Bette Balcsik, have been flying off the shelf at the Gordon-Wascott Historical Society.
Hollywood leaves the Northwoods this week, but the real stars remain. The volunteers who built a home in one week for Howard and Jessica Huber in one week as part of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" deserve a round of applause. "I'm amazed at how much love has been poured into this house," said Thad Whitesel, president of Builder's Commonwealth Inc., the Duluth construction company that helmed the build.
Technology has outpaced the current policy at Superior High School. The district now has the capability to allow wireless access for electronic devices in the SHS cafeteria. But students won't be able to Goggle with their Iphone during lunch when school starts Sept. 1. "The school board will need to complete its policy to offer this access to students," said Sam Jones, director of information technology for the district. The district already provides secure, filtered access through the SHS library, which is monitored by staff.
You could call Dave Minor a shaker; you could call him a mover. Just don't call him Coop. Thanks to the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition build going on in Oakland, Minor, the president and chief executive officer for the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, knows more about chicken coups than he ever expected to.
Donovan Kobett had one goal Wednesday morning. The 4-year-old wanted to see his hero, Ty Pennington. He and his older brother, Renic, wandered the grassy space reserved for spectators near Swamp Road in Oakland. As he watched, volunteers worked construction magic to build a new home for Howard and Jessica Huber in one week. Donovan's grandmother, Anna Kobett, held a paper bag holding a box of salted nut rolls. The candy - Donovan's favorite - were meant to be a gift for the host of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." "Something for Ty," said Donovan, who lives in St. Paul.
Elma Sandhal got her first doll, a Bonnie Braids, in 1951. "I won her in a contest," said the Superior woman. That stroke of luck opened the door to a hobby that would last decades. Sandahl has been collecting dolls for years. Today she has more than 200, too many to display in her Superior apartment. Sandahl isn't recreating her childhood. As one of eight children, she never had a doll while growing up in Superior. "We had each other and we had a lot of fun," she said. "We made our own fun." After retiring from Western Electric in Duluth, she was looking for an inexpensive hobby.
Work at the Oakland site where "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is being filmed was on what volunteers termed "Hollywood time" Tuesday. "It's production," said volunteer Meg Jager of Duluth. "It's Hollywood." The ABC reality show, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, aims to transform the home of the Huber family - Howard, Jessica, 6-year-old Henry and 3-year-old Rose - in one week. The first wave of volunteers arrived at the site on Swamp Road around 9 a.m. this morning, Jager said.
If you missed a volunteer slot on ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" project, you can still make a difference. Residents flooded phone lines and e-mail boxes to offer their time on the as-yet-unknown building site, where a new home will be built for a deserving Twin Ports family in one week.
The Twin Ports community is mobilizing to make the impossible happen. In one week - a mere 106 hours -- they will tear down and rebuild a home for a deserving Twin Ports family.