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Bergson says jail time was tough, dangerous/Century old cornerstone found in DOT project
A little more than a month from his release from the Dane County Jail, Herb Bergson says the experience was harrowing. Mike Simonson reports.
Bergson says he feared for his life.
The former mayor of Superior and Duluth was serving a 15 day sentence in late April for his third drunk driving conviction.
Bergson says the 13 days he spent in a Sauk County jail for his second offense was without incident but the Dane County Jail was another story.
He says he was confronted by tattooed gangsters who knew he was a cop. Bergson told them he didn't know what they were talking about, but he says he slept with one eye open before his request to be moved was granted and he was released on Huber.
Huber is a work release program and he was moved from the general jail population.
Bergson says he spiraled into alcohol as a way to relieve his anxiety attacks about ten years ago, attacks which began when he was the mayor of Duluth.
His doctor put him on medication which helped, but he found beer also helped. Bergson says things started spinning out of control more than two years ago, after he was mugged in New Orleans. Now, he says he's gone through out-patient rehab and "it's time to be a good boy."
Bergson has been arrested for drunk driving three times, once in Washburn County in 2005, two years ago in Sauk County and last year in Dane County. In that arrest he had a .33 blood alcohol content, four times the legal limit.
Bergson was in Superior to speak to UW-Superior journalism and political science classes about his experience last month.
////////////////Kloth trial date set for Oct.
The person accused of a felony robbery with use of force and misdemeanors for damage to property and theft was arraigned in Iron County Court late last month.
27 year-old Katie Kloth of Weston is accused of being part of a raid on a GTAC drill exploration site in the Penokee Hills a year ago. About a dozen masked, black-clad protesters emerged from the woods yelling obscenities and made threats to drill workers and geologists on the scene.
Price County Judge Douglas Fox ordered a jury trial for October 1 and 2. Kloth entered a not guilty plea.
////////////////////////// Yellowstone mine fight compared to Penokee Hills battle
An effort to stop a gold and copper mine just outside the border of Yellowstone National Park has many parallels to the proposed open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills.
Mike Clark was the director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition as it fought that mine for ten years. He says the mine was one mile away from the park and 9000 feet high, threatening three rivers that run into Yellowstone.
Clark says the federal buy-out cost $40 million, the amount of money spent by the mining company in its effort to get a mining permit.
He says the argument for the mine, like the one by Gogebic Taconite, was jobs.
And, like some of the opponents of the Penokee mine, Clark says they weren’t against mining, but against the location.
Clark spoke at UW-Superior as part of the Sigurd Olson Lecture Series.
///////////////////DOT to add more roundabouts in far north
Three new roundabouts are planned for northwestern Wisconsin on the heels of last year’s construction of a round-about at Highway 2 and 13 west of Ashland.
DOT Project Manager Dave Ostrowski says they’re pleased with that one, the first in the northern district. He says there have been no major crashes there, a change from what was a hazardous and deadly intersection.
Roundabouts slow traffic to 15 miles per hour and circles traffic instead of a T-intersection. Ostrowski says next summer they’ll build a roundabout at Highways 70 and 35 north of Siren, also considered a dicey intersection.
DOT Project Development Supervisor Andy Stensland says they’ll build another roundabout in Hayward at Highway 27 and Highway B in 2018.
Another roundabout is being built in Billings Park in Superior as part of the two year Bong Bridge reconstruction.
Weather permitting, and so far that's been rough, the $13 million reconstruction of Tower Avenue in downtown Superior will be finished in a week. Stensland says they’ve got to finish cleaning up, landscaping, and pavement marking but things look great.
He says they've gotten positive comments from pedestrians and businesses, although some people are still trying to get used to the bike lanes there, a new thing for Superior.
Stensland says those bike lanes are required by law in this kind of project. Ostrowski says people will love the finished product.
Meanwhile, Stensland says this two year project didn’t turn up any secret Prohibition-era tunnels but they did find many century-old artifacts like old bottles, shoes, and even a building cornerstone from around 1900.
You can see the cornerstone if you visit the DOT office at 4th and Tower.
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