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Communication and control are the keys to changing the climate at Douglas County's "dysfunctional" highway department, according to report presented by consultant Jeff Thompson last week. Douglas County Highway Commissioner Paul Halverson said the overall tone of the evaluation was positive. "It's something that's going to be worked on," he said. "There will be improvements made." The assessment, commissioned at the request of Halverson, noted department employees appreciated improved facilities and more efficient equipment now available, but morale was extremely low.
Action by Superior police to break up several makeshift camps on railroad property has prompted concern from people who serve the homeless. Four men were cited for trespassing on railroad property Tuesday after they were found in camps on Burlington Northern-Santa Fe property behind Wal-Mart and behind Charter Films in North End, according to a Superior Police report. One man was removed from the property where he was staying and the other three were given 24 hours to vacate the area. "It is the policy of Burlington Northern-Santa Fe not to allow trespassers on their property," said Capt.
Every day since he watched his home burn, Tony Hewitt has been back, searching for pieces of his life. "It's completely gutted," the Superior man said. "There's very little you can recognize on the inside." The beds are gone, as are the antique oak dining table and 100-year-old bookcase that came from England. Lumps vaguely resembling chairs can be seen. None of it was insured. "There's a couple of things that really hurt," said Hewitt's wife, Billie Jo.
They walked into the Lake Nebagamon Auditorium on Sunday with heavy winter boots on their feet and dancing shoes in hand. People peeled off coats as couples welcomed one another. Then they gathered to learn a new dance step, the waltz. "It's good exercise," said Lake Nebagamon resident Larry Johnson, who danced with his wife, Gail. Tom and Sheryl Chambers glided across the floor to demonstrate -- left, two, three, right, two, three -- in slow circles. Students practiced the steps solo and conga-style.
The cause of two house fires late last week remain under investigation. Meanwhile, Superior firefighters battled two new blazes over the weekend. A Sunday sauna fire at the Bridgeview Hotel, 415 Hammond Ave., was started by a towel draped on a light fixture, according to Battalion Chief Mike Kolanczyk. The fire broke out at 12:26 p.m. and triggered an evacuation. Firefighters cleared the scene at 1:24 p.m. The fire was confined to the sauna, which was a complete loss, Kolanczyk said. No monetary damages were listed and no one was injured. A wood fire caused a basement blaze at 1808 E.
A dog that wandered onto the Blatnik Bridge on Sunday jumped over the railing to his death after causing a two-car accident. Superior Police were called to the bridge at 12:52 p.m. on a report of a dog causing traffic problems, according to a Superior Police report. The dog -- a large male Rottweiler -- was reported to be in the Superior-bound lanes on the Superior side of the bridge near the center span. En route, officers were directed to a two-car accident at the same area. A car had slowed or stopped to avoid the dog and was struck from behind, according to the report.
A Superior man will spend the next year in Douglas County Jail for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl. If he fails to meet the conditions of his probation, Lonny Roy Jenson, 29, faces a 10-year sentence -- four years in prison and six years extended supervision. Jenson pleaded guilty to one charge of first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 without great bodily harm Jan. 11, just minutes before jury selection was to begin for his trial.
A former Superiorite, 7-year-old Justice Hadley, will represent Prevent Blindness Feb. 27-March 1 in Washington D.C. The 7-year-old will tell her story to create more awareness for vision screening across America. The Sun Prairie, Wis.
Years ago, George and Agnes Stariha settled into a small house in Superior's North End. George worked as a clerk for Great Northern Railroad while the couple raised 17 children. When St. Mary's Hospital of Superior (SMHS) completes its new chapel, it will bear their names thanks to a fundraising effort launched by George and Agnes' grandson, Andy Lisak. "My grandparents both placed a lot of emphasis on faith and family," said Lisak, director of the Development Association in Superior.
Maple School Board members added three new courses to the high school curriculum and agreed to tweak two other courses Tuesday during a regular school board meeting. They also took the reins to address math curriculum issues. The math program is currently under fire from community members. And a decision on its direction must be reached by February because math textbooks are up for replacement this year. "We don't necessarily have to do it this year if we're looking at changes," said Board Member Eve Zosel. The district implemented the new Core Plus Math in 2000.