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A jury awarded $3.25 million to a South Range business Friday in Douglas County Circuit Court. The amount -- $1.25 million for damages and another $2 million in punitive damages -- is believed to be one of the largest civil jury awards ever given in Douglas County. The verdict stems from a Dec. 27, 2004, fire that destroyed a tree harvester owned by Amys Forest Products, Inc.
Brandi Johnson could remember calling 911 one time the morning her neighbor Leah Gustafson was murdered, but two tapes from her were played for jurors in Douglas County Circuit Court this morning. The words were hard to make out in the first recording. "She won't answer the door," Johnson told the dispatcher. "She keeps screaming ow, ow, ow ... oh, my ...
An ashtray, a sword, the final moments of Leah Gustafson's life captured through an open phone line. The 14 jurors selected Monday in Douglas County Court will be presented with this evidence and more during the murder trial of Jason Richard Borelli. The 32-year-old Superior man faces one charge of first degree intentional homicide for the Jan. 7 stabbing death of Gustafson at her 1910 John Ave. residence. Gustafson, 29, was found dead in her upstairs apartment lying next to one of her own collector's swords, which police believe was used to kill her.
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Superior continues to operate -- for now -- according to comments made Thursday by members of a committee that reports to the University Student Senate. Official recognition of the group by the senate's Internal/External Affairs Committee was again postponed after Chancellor Julius Erlenbach relayed a message to Student Senate Executive Director Jim Paine. "There is a systemwide review of (the) recognition policy underway right now that seeks to make uniform how organizations are recognized throughout the entire system," P
Residents got a taste of democracy in action Thursday night at Maple Town Hall. Farmers, seniors, school board members and a state senator sounded off about the Maple School District's $33 million bond referendum that will be decided Nov. 7. There were heated exchanges and patches of common ground. Above all, there was involvement. "This gave people an opportunity to vent," said Paul Stein of Cloverland, one of the meeting organizers.
The Superior Police Department's youngest officer traveled all the way from Slovakia to join the force. He's energetic, inquisitive and he loves attention. Blek, a one-year-old German shepherd, is the department's new canine unit member. Six weeks into his training, the agile dog has displayed a real talent for drug work and tracking. "You can see a lot of puppy in him, but when he's working, he's a complete man," said officer Todd Maas, Blek's partner. "He's a very mature dog when it comes to work." The new pup on the block has some big paw prints to step into.
Maple School District school bond meetings concluded Wednesday, but their impact won't be seen until Nov. 7.
A Superior man is in federal custody after pleading not guilty Wednesday during an arraignment in Madison to federal charges of child pornography Wednesday. Eric Andrew Olson, 39, 19051?2 Butler Ave., faces two federal charges of using a minor to produce visual depictions of sexually explicit conduct and possessing a computer hard drive and DVDs containing visual depictions of minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen L. Crocker ordered Olson to be held without bail.
Cool rain striking hot asphalt created steam that contributed to an accident last week that damaged a semi-tractor and a quarter-million-dollar county-owned blacktop paver. The collision injured two Douglas County Highway Department workers. Steam was "definitely a contributing factor," said Douglas County Highway Commissioner Paul Halverson, who last week said the truck driver was at fault. The accident occurred Oct. 16 on State Highway 35 in Dairyland. A logging truck driven by Christopher Currie of Hayward collided with the county's paver around noon.
A former Douglas County jailer will spend the next 18 months behind bars for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met on the Internet. Jeff Allen Luckenbill, 30, of Washburn was sentenced Monday in Douglas County Circuit Court to 15 years in prison for one charge of sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age. He pleaded guilty in August. Judge Michael Lucci ruled Luckenbill could spend 13-1/2 years on parole if he meets the terms of his sentence.