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It happened again. Early last Friday morning, fire destroyed the home of Ed and Doris Charbonneau -- for the second time. The Lake Nebagamon couple watched as the blaze spread from their attached garage into the house where they planned to retire. But there was no doom or gloom in Ed's voice during a phone conversation Wednesday. In fact, his first question was "How are you, dear?" That's to be expected, say those who know the couple. They are able to focus on the positive. "Everybody's safe and sound," Ed said, and they were able to salvage about 90 percent of their clothes.
A Superior sex offender is accused of exposing himself to the public days after he was put on probation for a similar offense. Michael Francis Nelson, 55, made his initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court on Monday for one count of lewd and lascivious behavior, a class A misdemeanor. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and a $500 signature bond was ordered.
It started with dinnerware. About 20 years ago, Janet Sobolik went to an estate sale with her brother. The vast array of items interested her, but it was the kitchen items that hooked her on antiques. "I bought a few pieces of Blue Ridge dinnerware," the Superior woman said. "So then I had to go to all these shops and find more of the pattern to get my hutch full." Fast forward two decades.
Bowl by bowl, Cathedral School fifth graders fought hunger Tuesday. Mariah Hill folded her clay around a jar. Kade Walpole flattened his into a round circle before turning up the edges. Lorena Lane, 11, packed clay into the bottom of a Cool Whip container. After two firings and a coating of glaze, their one-of-a-kind bowls will be sent to the 15th annual Empty Bowl event, which runs 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 31. "They're pretty excited," art teacher Kay Sitek said of her students.
A revolution is underway at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and it's visible in the construction of tall buildings, narrower margins on class reports, the lack of Styrofoam cups and hopping on a bus. "UW-Superior is going green," said Tom Fennessey, director of facilities management. And, said campus sustainability coordinator Janice Crede, "We need everybody. Everything we do can make this better." Last year, Crede began connecting faculty, students and staff to the idea of sustainability -- creating a more sustainable world.
Peer-to-peer file sharing can offer identity thieves the keys to your life -- from social security numbers to tax refunds. Worse, the Internet can give criminals the keys to your kids. "When I was growing up, it was 'Don't take candy from strangers,'" said Jennifer Jubenville, Parent Involvement Coordinator for Cooper School. Today, predators don't need a house or car. They can snare their victims online. A presentation by the Superior Police Department made the danger clear to Cooper parents 1 1/2 years ago. "I work in IT.
Jeff Tucker shared a dose of Magic during a Friday visit to Villa Marina Health and Rehabilitation Center. The South Range man and his miniature horse stirred memories and prompted smiles from residents. The 3-foot-high chestnut was the star, calmly lying her head in laps or leaning in for a pat. "She's about the size of magic," said resident Lorraine Lind. "The name fits her." "She's a peach," said Laverne Bolin, another resident. "I love animals." This was Magic's second visit to Villa Marina. "We love her," said June Mattison.
President Barack Obama tossed out a challenge to American teens Tuesday during his address to Congress. "Dropping out of high school is no longer an option," he said. "It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country -- and this country needs and values the talents of every American." Northwestern High School Principal Steve High puts it to students another way. "Dropping out, not having a diploma, is paramount to sentencing yourself to an economic future that's going to be less than," he said. "Less than your neighbors; less than your peers.
Nearly 1.5 million barrels of Canadian crude flow through Superior, the main hub of Enbridge's U.S. operations, every day. While supplying approximately 10 percent of the nation's foreign oil, the pipelines propel tax dollars and employee wages into the local economy. "I think a lot of people just take it for granted," said Denise Hamsher, director of public, federal and regulatory affairs for Enbridge.
Everyone needs the basics -- food, shelter, clothing, heat. Across Douglas County, programs that provide the basics are seeing an increase in clients. The need for food alone has jumped dramatically. The Salvation Army in Superior served 60 individuals or families per week through its food shelf in January 2008. Last month, the number grew to 100 per week. Use is climbing at the Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency (NWCSA) food pantry, too. In 2008, the agency provided food to 50 percent more clients than in 2007 -- from 2,492 to 3,837.