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For the Humane Society of Douglas County, 2017 is the year of the cat. It kicked off with the removal of 58 cats from a town of Superior home, a process that began Jan. 2 and took several weeks. The response soon encompassed the community. The humane society launched an online fundraiser to offset medical costs for the cats. Businesses and community members contributed about $6,000. Families stepped up to adopt the felines, many of which were less-social barn cats. The last two cats were placed in a home June 12, according to shelter manager Sheila Keup.
After years of planning, an old school has a new home in Douglas County. Last month, Poplar-based Woodhull Construction set the 1890 Monticello School on the pedestal of a new walk-out basement at the junction of U.S. Highway 2 and County Road F in Maple. The basement is slated to become the base of operations for Old-Brule Heritage Society and its archives, once work on the site is complete.
Superior has the oldest housing stock in Wisconsin, and some of the oldest in the country. That makes it a gold mine, in certain circles. "It's always talked about as a negative," said Brian Finstad of Superior. "In any other city, it would be a badge of honor."
When explosions rocked a cabin May 19 east of Solon Springs, "somebody" was there to battle the flames. Throughout the Northland, when cars collide, wildfires spring up or hunters go missing, "somebody" is there to help. On Saturday, volunteer fire departments from across Douglas County are asking local residents to be that "somebody." "There's no greater feeling than to help your neighbor when they're having a bad day," said Maple Fire Chief Mike Lundeen.
After more than half a century of educating, coaching, encouraging and inspiring, English teacher Patricia "Pat" Luostari is retiring from Northwestern High School. She will continue to direct the Douglas County school's one-act play, co-direct the musical and coach forensics over the next few years, but she'll leave the classroom. "I've had a good run," Luostari said. Her signature smile, energetic stride and ubiquitous pencil tucked behind the ear have been etched in the memory of thousands of students over the years.
Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander had his eye on developing a more diverse police force before he ever sat in the chief's chair. Thursday, a step toward that goal was made when the department's first black officer, Ronald Robinson of Superior, was sworn in. Although the department has four female officers — that number has been as high as six in the past — and Alexander himself is of Greek, Mediterranean descent, this marks the first time an African American has worn the Superior Police Department badge.
The Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the murder conviction of Chance Andrews, one of five young people charged in connection with the 2014 fatal shooting of Garth Velin in his Superior home. The court of appeals also denied Andrews’ motion for a new sentence. He is serving 25 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision for the murder, and unrelated battery and threat convictions.
Keys and dollar bills changed hands in the Enbridge parking lot in Superior on Wednesday. Four of the energy company’s retired fleet vehicles were donated to Douglas County fire departments and a Superior High School mentoring program, for $1 apiece.
A Duluth man charged in connection with a fatal New Year’s Day shooting in Superior was bound over for arraignment in Douglas County Circuit Court on Wednesday following testimony from two police detectives. Jamar Maurice Smith, 25, faces a felony charge of possession of a firearm by outstate felon and a misdemeanor charge of bail jumping connected to the shooting death of Kyle Androsky, 20, behind the Third Base Bar. Androsky’s brother David was shot in the chest during the incident, but survived.
A Duluth man charged in connection with a New Year's Day homicide in Superior made his first appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court on Tuesday. Jamar Maurice Smith, 25, faces a felony count of possession of a firearm by outstate felon and one charge of misdemeanor bail jumping. "The charges aren't murder at this point; we're still investigating the incident but what I can prove at this point he'll certainly be held accountable for," said Douglas County District Attorney Mark Fruehauf.