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After months of waiting, watching and Facebook following, the doors to Billings Park Cafe opened last Thursday to a steady stream of customers. A family of five was waiting outside 1802 Iowa Ave. when co-owner Cheryl Miller and her son, Doug Brunner, opened at 6 a.m. Three hours later, residents were reacquainting themselves with the neighborhood touchstone. "We're back at our usual table," said Kim Gralewski, who lives four blocks from the cafe with her husband, George. "This is our favorite place."
A new headquarters fire hall is on tap for the Superior Fire Department. Bids for the $4.5 million construction project went out Tuesday, according to Superior Fire Chief Steve Panger. The new structure will encompass more than 20,000 square feet, doubling the size of the current fire hall at 3326 Tower Ave. Construction is slated to start in May and be completed in November, with final site work and a new outbuilding planned for spring 2019.
BRULE, Wis.—A team of athletes from the town of Brule is en route to making a dream come true. Talia Martens, 17, aims to compete in the Junior Iditarod Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 24-25. Before she does, she'll have connected with some big-name mushers and tested her mettle in the wilds of Alaska. On Monday, Jan. 8, she hitched up for a 15-mile training run in Fort Nelson, British Columbia, Canada, at Streeper Kennels. She met sprint musher Bud Streeper and his father Terry, who paced her on snowmobile. The wind chill was minus-15.
Work is underway to turn a former hair salon into a Superior coffeehouse. Annette and Mark Jacobson have decided to bring their passion for coffee and baked goods downtown, setting up shop beside Horizon Travel at 1418 Tower Ave. Twisted Pastries Coffeehouse is set to open in February. Keeping things local is important for the couple, who both hail from Superior. "We want to have our business here, in Superior," Annette Jacobson said. "This is where we're from. We love the community and we'd love to help make it grow in a really positive direction."
Two nonprofit agencies in Douglas County are planning a move without the boxes. The Human Development Center will transfer its outpatient mental health and chemical dependency treatment programs to Lake Superior Community Health Center in February. The move only affects services in Douglas County. Although bills will come from the health center, and clients may hear a different voice on their reminder calls, everything else should stay the same. Providers will remain in their current Superior HDC offices, which will be leased by the community health center.
The Humane Society of Douglas County's first session of cat yoga Wednesday ended with smiles. "I think it went well," said yoga guide Holly Bounting. "It was fun and it can be a lot of giggles, you know, because cats are showing up everywhere." As shelter manager Ashley Gotelaere went through poses, cats of all ages stopped to bat at her hair, walk under her upraised body and snuggle into her outstretched hands. "Very distracting," she said with a laugh.
A new brewery is coming to Superior, but its focus is on beans instead of hops. Aryana Buck and Evan Meyer plan to open Empire Coffee in the restored Empire Building on the corner of North 12th Street and Tower Avenue. Empire Block LLC owner Mark Hubbard confirmed the coffee shop is one of two businesses eyeing spots in the historic 1892 building. The other is in the process of final lease negotiations. "We're 99.9 percent of the way there," Buck said last week, a signature away from the new venture.
The Superior Public Library is opening a new chapter: "Upgrade." Construction is set to begin Monday on a six-month renovation project. When it's complete, the library will have a changed atmosphere — lower shelves, better lighting, an open floor plan, additional meeting rooms, new carpeting, furniture, paint and a new airlock entrance. Visitors will find a new local history research area, new computer lab and nearly double the amount of space dedicated to children and youth.
Dog owners in Superior got an early Christmas present this year. Fencing for the city's first dog park was completed the day after Thanksgiving, and it's been a hotbed of canine activity ever since. "Someone messaged me Sunday: 'There are 15 dogs here, is it open?' " said Linda Cadotte, director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the city.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stopped at Exodus Machines in Superior on Wednesday during the final leg of his re-election bid tour. "I am more optimistic about the state than at any time in my life," he told the crowd, asking them for another four years in office. Walker stressed workforce gains and tax savings in the state during his seven years of leadership. "From one end of the state to the other, crisscrossing the state, we're seeing exciting things happening," Walker said. "We're moving Wisconsin forward. It's not just about jobs, it's not just about businesses."