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A statewide smoking ban in Wisconsin moved a step closer to reality Wednesday when lawmakers announced they had brokered a compromise between advocates for a strict ban and the Tavern League. The agreement, expected to pass both houses next week, would prohibit smoking in restaurants, taverns, bowling alleys and virtually all workplaces in Wisconsin by July 5, 2010. "From the citizens' perspective, it's fantastic," said Charlie Johnson, general manager of Barker's Island Inn, which made the move to a smoke-free establishment two months ago. "I couldn't be more pleased," said Superior Mayor
Smoke rolled, heat pulsed, and somewhere in the burning building, an alarm sounded to indicate a firefighter in trouble. Highland volunteer firefighters Don Ronkainen and Dan Kephart crept into the building in near-complete blackness to look for their downed friend. With the help of a thermal imager, the two found Capt. Marvin Landreth wedged under a tangle of debris. "I need some air," the captain said. With two minutes to get Landreth a new air tank, Kephart retraced his steps.
Superior's Police Chief Floyd Peters says prevention efforts are cutting crime in Superior. A group of Superior-Douglas County Leadership participants made it their goal this year to learn about these powerful programs. Their project originally started in a search of the old Neighborhood Watch Program, long abandoned for new efforts that target specific types of common crime. "It was replaced by new programs," said Mark Peterson, a member of the leadership group.
A Superior Middle School seventh-grader accused of bringing a 10-inch steak knife to school was referred to juvenile intake last week on one count of possessing a dangerous weapon on school premises. Classmates told School Liaison Officer Todd Carlson that they saw the 12-year-old with the knife in his front pants pocket during math class, according to a Superior police report. When questioned by Carlson on Thursday, the boy said he has been bringing the knife to school for protection.
The case against a former Douglas County Sheriff's Department deputy accused of videotaping a nude woman without her consent and sharing pornography tapes with a minor will move on to arraignment next month. William James Webber, 55, faces felony counts of possessing, exhibiting or distributing a recording of nudity without consent and exposing a child to harmful material. Burnett County Judge Kenneth Kutz found probable cause to bind Webber over for arraignment on both charges following a preliminary hearing in Douglas County Court Friday.
Musical theater returns to Superior High School tonight with a recipe for laughs. "Just Another High School Musical" blends a dash of Shakespeare, a slice of Dickens and a dab of theater history, all wrapped in a thick coating of humor. "It's the funniest play I've ever seen," said sophomore Scott Kvam, who plays the clueless assistant director. The show follows a group of drama students who are abandoned by their drama teacher on opening night.
Federal stimulus money is trickling down to the local level. In Superior, a little over $1 million will beef up Superior Housing Authority projects throughout the city. "We're excited to get it," said Len Campbell, deputy director of operations. "We'll put it to good use." The money will replace the furnace and boiler at the Peter Rich Center, both of which have outlived their expected useful lives by at least five years. It will replace floor tiles, patios and siding at Bayview Terrace; storm doors and windows at Billings Park Villa.
Two separate class projects became intertwined for Superior High School senior Dan Tracy this year, both tied to an unforgettable boy. In October, television broadcasting students were asked by their teacher, Dale Van Ert, to put together a video montage for first-grader Robert "Bob" Salmela. The Northern Lights student was terminally ill with a rare brain tumor. Although it was a class project, Tracy found himself taking the lead.
The Superior man accused of stabbing three people in a Catlin Court residence Wednesday remains in Douglas County Jail on $300,000 cash bail. A bail hearing for Donald L. Christopher, 40, took place Thursday. No criminal complaint has been filed in the case, which is set for an initial appearance Friday. Christopher is expected to face three charges of attempted homicide, according to Sgt. Derrick Hughes of the Superior Police Department. During a Thursday press conference, Hughes gave a chilling account of the domestic violence that erupted Wednesday morning at 503 Carter Lane.
EDITOR'S' NOTE: To highlight Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month, a number of events have been scheduled for the community. This story focuses on one of them. As a 2-year-old teacher for Family Forum Head Start in Superior, Cheryl Moder spends her days surrounded by children. Like day care providers and school staff, she is mandated to report suspected child abuse.