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      Negaunee students build strongest bridges

      A team of Negaunee High School students bridged the gap between them and $2,500 over the weekend. The teams secured first and second place at a national bridge-building competition in Traverse City. Roughly 50 teams fought for a spot in nationals, but only three met all the requirements. The winning cable stayed bridge, made mostly of popsicle sticks, held nearly 500 pounds. Second place cracked at 330 pounds.

      "Pretty much just 45 degrees--that seems to be the magic number for the trusses--so that's just what we did and just tried making everything just perfect," said second place team member, Derek Hicks.

      "We're not giving our secret away. These guys, I think, have a handle on their construction techniques and we're trying to keep the lid on that," said Industrial Arts teacher Kevin Bell.

      The competition was sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation.