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State land bank does local networking

BARAGA — Officials from the Michigan Land Bank recently made their first visit to the western Upper Peninsula in a bid to form local connections and work with county land banks. “We just haven’t built that relationship, and that’s the main goal of this trip is with our four western ...

Feds spring for road-fix funds

WASHINGTON — The Federal Highway Administration is providing $2 million for emergency repairs to roads and bridges damaged in in the wake of the June 17 flash flood. The money will be available for Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties, for which Gov. Rick Snyder issued disaster ...

Independence Day update: 18 beaches safe to swim

HANCOCK — Even though weekend storms flushed more runoff into area water bodies, 18 beaches in the Copper Country are classified as open and safe for swimming, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department said in a Tuesday update. Three additional locations are open with advisories to ...

Water Under Weather: Time will heal what ails flood-plagued water

HOUGHTON — Despite a murky brown Portage Lake and beach closures immediately after June 17 flash flooding, the long-term ecological impacts to waterways aren’t expected to be substantial, but only time will tell. The flooding released sewage, sediment and assorted contaminants into area ...

2nd Senator Tour: Peters surveys damage, pledges support

HOUGHTON COUNTY — Visiting homes, rail grade, roads and businesses, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters got a firsthand look at the damage caused by the June 17 flash flood. The county is awaiting approval for FEMA disaster funding, and Peters is the ranking Democrat on the Federal Spending Oversight and ...

Township chief stands against drive to dissolve village

CALUMET TOWNSHIP — Supervisor Paul Lehto said he will oppose any disincorporation of the village of Calumet, and he opposes any recall of members of the Village Board. In an interview with the Daily Mining Gazette Monday, Lehto said those were his opinions, and he was not speaking for the ...

Guitars go silent: This year’s Rock Camp canceled to ‘take breath’

HOUGHTON — The 2018 session of PJ Olsson’s Rock Camp has been canceled, according to a Monday post on its Facebook page. “We hope to see the Rock Camp continue to thrill and delight for many generations to come,” the camp’s program director Todd Brassard said in the post, “but ...

Empathy March: Flood disaster gives migrant policy protesters perspective

HOUGHTON — About 90 community members hoisted signs and marched across the Portage Lake Lift Bridge Saturday in opposition to President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. The protesters demanded the reunification of migrant families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. “I think it’s ...

Flood relief effort’s next phase needs people power

HOUGHTON COUNTY — With the initial June 17 flood disaster work completed, the Copper Country has a new challenge to overcome — a shortage of volunteers. The new volunteer and donation center in the Copper Country Mall’s former JCPenney store opened this weekend to low turnout due to ...

Wedding Present: Downstate man goes extra 800 miles for flood relief

HOUGHTON — The afternoon after a June 17 flash flood incapacitated the Kestner Waterfront Park, Warren MacNeill already saw children playing on playground equipment. “They weren’t living in their house, but this seemed to be a safe spot for them, a point of joy in their life,” he ...

Lake Linden Damage: Village estimates flood caused more than $1M

LAKE LINDEN — Lake Linden suffered an estimated $1.1 million in damage in the June 17 flood, Clerk Bob Poirier said at Thursday night’s Village Council meeting. However, much of that will be ineligible for reimbursement through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Poirier ...

Quick storm blast could repeat during weekend

HOUGHTON — Heavy rain, hail and high winds quickly passed through the downtown Friday. The weekend could see similar systems and high temperatures. As the Friday storm rolled in, the wind abruptly switched from traveling toward the front to move with it, blasting sand and loose dirt down ...

Nara family gives land to Tech

HOUGHTON — In the latest of philanthropic donations from the Nara family, Ruth Nara finalized the gift of forest land valued at more than $1 million to Michigan Technological University’s School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences at a signing ceremony Thursday. Nara finalized ...

Rising Tide roundtable: Planning for future

ONTONAGON — Brainstorming a Project Rising Tide game plan, members from various councils and boards joined Michigan representatives in holding their first meeting Thursday. The village kicked off the project in early May with a visit from Gov. Rick Snyder who welcomed the village of ...

DEQ working to stabilize streams

HOUGHTON — Before more rain comes this weekend, the Department of Environmental Quality is trying to restore stream flows. Crews were out Thursday at several sites identified as problems. Work began with debris removal at Swedetown and Huron creeks, along with teams documenting washed-out ...

MDOT working on M-203 bridge replacement

HANCOCK — A replacement bridge is in the works for M-203 over Swedetown Creek after flooding washed out a large culvert at the site on Father's Day. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will first put in a temporary bridge with July 24 as the target completion date, said Dan ...

Damage Done: City discusses flood destruction, hails disaster response

HOUGHTON — Houghton City Manager Eric Waara led off his report to the City Council Wednesday with three words: “Bridgefest went well.” Most of his report, and what was discussed at the meeting, was focused on what began immediately after: The light rains at the end of fireworks that ...

All In: Meijer buys parcel

HOUGHTON — The Houghton City Council approved a real estate option agreement with Meijer on Wednesday for 10 acres of city property on M-26 near the southern intersection with Sharon Avenue. Meijer put down $5,000 on the property, which has a purchase price of $200,000. The council voted ...

Keweenaw objects to proposed state assessing mandate

EAGLE RIVER — The Keweenaw County Board voted unanimously to approve a resolution opposing proposed changes in state assessment law at its monthly meeting last Wednesday. House Bill (HB) 6049 and Senate Bill (SB) 1025 seek to restructure the tax assessing qualifications, process and ...