BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Press Release

Dec. 15, 2017

Finlandia hosting open house for transfer students and nurses

Finlandia University release

HANCOCK — Finlandia’s effort to become the most transfer friendly college will be highlighted on Tuesday, December 19 with a Transfer Open House from 4 to 8 p.m. in the lobby of the Jutila Center. On hand that night will be Transfer Coordinator Craig Kangas and RN-BSN Program Director Mark Miron.

“We’re proud of the work we’ve done to improve our university from a transfer student perspective, and on Tuesday night we’re looking forward to showcasing that,” said Kangas.

Those changes include a new pricing model that puts Finlandia’s private college experience at a lower price point than many state schools, an easier admissions process, including a fast-tracked application process, and an increase in staffing in the registrar’s office that will make it easier for a transfer student to come in and create a plan that will have them graduating as soon as possible.

Kangas will be on hand from 4 to 6 p.m. to answer general transfer questions, and Miron will come in from 6 to 8 p.m. to showcase the university’s online RN-BSN program. All working nurses interested in advancing their career are invited to learn more about the university’s online RN-BSN program, the first program of its kind offered in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“Having a bachelor’s degree in nursing is becoming the industry standard,” Miron said. “We’re proud to offer our program to the skilled and passionate nurses of the U.P.”

Miron will be able to answer questions about financial aid opportunities, credit for experience, Finlandia’s unique $15,000 price guarantee, deferring tuition payments until employee reimbursement has arrived, unique employee reimbursement programs offered by local employers such as Aspirus and the university’s state-of-the-art online learning platform.

This event is free for anyone interested in learning more about advancing their career in nursing. Light refreshments will be served. Attendees are not required to RSVP.

Finlandia University Gallery will present “Sauna: Divine Comedy”

Finlandia University Gallery release

HANCOCK — The Finlandia University Gallery will host Onni Nordman’s “Sauna: Divine Comedy” from January 18 to February 17. An opening reception will be held Thursday, January 18 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Artist talk will begin at 7:20 p.m.

Onni Nordman’s “Sauna: Divine Comedy” is a series of paintings that set Dante’s Commedia, the 14th century Italian narrative poem, in the sauna. “The Commedia, for all its world-building, is also an interior drama,” notes Nordman. “The sauna is a pressurized space coequally infernal, purgatorial, and paradisiacal, built on three levels, housing figures who are naked and vulnerable, as well as serene and exalted.”  The Sauna: Divine Comedy series has emerged as a continuing response to the possibilities of splicing together fertile ideas. Rather than illustrate the Commedia poem, Nordman’s paintings use it as a matrix to tell a story with a cast of figures.  His language of materials informs our viewing experience.  “My job as a painter is to find a pattern, to create abstract loveliness and order, to find a design with which to create a dynamic, satisfying flatness.”

Learn more about this exhibit, other exhibits and the Finlandia University Gallery in general by visiting finlandia.edu/universitygallery. 

Finlandia University Gallery Announces Holiday Hours

Finlandia University release

Finlandia University Gallery will be closed from December 23-January 3, 2018 for the holidays. The Gallery will re-open on January 4th.  The current 27th Contemporary Finnish American Artist Series Exhibition featuring the ceramic of Kristin Pavelka will be on display through January 13th. 

The Gallery will resume regular hours Mon-Fri 8am-4:30pm,  Thursday, 8am-7pm and Saturday 12-4pm on January 4th.

Calumet Schools Art Exhibition

Copper Country Community Arts Center release

HANCOCK — The Copper Country Community Arts Center is featuring artwork from Calumet Schools now through December 23rd in the CCCAC Youth Gallery. View work by talented local youth from grades K-12 during the Arts Center open hours, Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 or visit coppercountryarts.com for more information.

Peters Floor Remarks on Need to Reauthorize Children’s Health Insurance Program

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) spoke on the Senate floor on the need to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The CHIP program provides health care coverage to over 100,000 children in Michigan and more than 9 million children nationally. Below is video and text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Over two months ago I stood here in this chamber urging my colleagues to pass legislation that will prevent kids enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance program from losing their health care.

“The Children’s Health Insurance Program – or CHIP – provides health care coverage to over 100,000 children in my home state of Michigan and more than 9 million children nationally.

“I recall welcoming the news that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hatch and Ranking Member Wyden had reached a bipartisan agreement to extend the health care benefits for children. They worked together and went through regular order. The Finance Committee held a hearing and a markup on the bill in October.

“We all know that regular order has become a rare event in the Senate – and I appreciated the bipartisan effort to have a Senate vote on a bill that is critical to our nation’s children.

“I certainly expected that this bipartisan bill would come to the floor – and pass with broad bipartisan support – thus bringing relief to families across the nation who are worried about whether their children will continue to have health care in 2018.

“Unfortunately – in the months since those good faith efforts – we still have not seen a vote on this important legislation.

“Mama President, this is inexcusable. We must take action now.

“States are already beginning to notify families that their children’s health plans may be cancelled – yes, cancelled – if Congress does not act. States like Louisiana, Texas, Virginia and others have announced they may run out of funds within weeks.

“In my home state of Michigan, I’ve heard from parents who are worried about whether their children will still be able to see their pediatricians next year.

“I’ve also heard from pediatricians who take care of these children how children will be hurt if their health care is taken away.

“It would be unconscionable to rip health care services away from children during the most formative years of their life. It would be unconscionable to put new roadblocks up for families whose children need their annual physicals and vaccines before they can go to school. And it would be unconscionable to increase health care costs for working families who are just trying to keep their children healthy and give them the opportunity to prosper.

“This is not a partisan issue.

“In 1997, President Bill Clinton worked with a Republican Majority in both the Senate – and the House of Representatives – to successfully pass the Children’s Health Insurance program into law. That legislation passed with 85 votes in the Senate, because providing needed health care services to children should never be a partisan issue. The CHIP program has been reauthorized on a bipartisan basis since its inception because it is effective.

“CHIP is working for our nation’s children, and we should be too.

“Mama President, I urge my colleagues across the aisle to call for a vote on legislation to extend CHIP and to pass it without delay. Let’s do what is right for our country’s children and families and pass this bipartisan legislation now.

Social dance class open to both Finlandia students and community

Finlandia University release

HANCOCK — There’s no better way to warm yourself on a chilly winter’s evening than to dance. And Heikinpäivä 2018 is offering plenty of opportunities to do just that – even for folks who’ve never danced before.

That’s because the City of Hancock’s Theme Committee is partnering with Finlandia University to offer an 8-week class in social dance that’ll teach even the most firmly-rooted wallflower some of the most enjoyable and easy to learn dance steps. Led by Finlandia University fiber arts professor and dance enthusiast Phyllis Fredendall, the course will run for eight Wednesday evenings, beginning on January 10. Home base for the class will be the University’s Finnish American Heritage Center.

Registration for the class is $50 per person for all eight sessions. Partners are helpful but not mandatory; all that’s required is a willingness to learn and have fun. Several instructors have expressed an interest in leading a session or two, so students will have the opportunity to learn a variety of dance steps and techniques.

For more information about the social dance class, call Fredendall at 487-7376 or the Finnish Theme Committee registration number at 482-1413.

SHF accepting health-centered large grant applications for spring funding cycle

Superior Health Foundation release

MARQUETTE – The Superior Health Foundation is now accepting large grant applications for its spring 2018 funding cycle.

SHF will award more than $75,000 in large grants during the spring cycle.

Eligibility information and on-line application forms are available on the SHF’s website at www.superiorhealthfoundation.org and at its office located at 121 N. Front St. in Marquette. Applications will be accepted from Dec. 15 through January 15, 2018.

The Superior Health Foundation’s Grants Committee will review the applications and will make its recommendations to the SHF Board of Directors at its March board meeting.

In October, the Superior Health Foundation awarded more than $347,500 in large grants, with more than $283,000 in funding to address substance use in the Upper Peninsula. Since its inception in 2012, the SHF has awarded more than $1.6 million in grant funding.

“We’re delighted to provide health-centered funding to a number of incredible causes all across the Upper Peninsula,” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We encourage health-centered organizations to submit proposals, which will be carefully reviewed and acted upon by the SHF Grants Committee.”

SHF’s mission is to assist with unmet healthcare needs, with health education, and with programs and research on preventing illness and promoting health throughout the Upper Peninsula. Its vision is to improve the health of the residents of the Upper Peninsula.

For more information, contact the SHF at 225-6914 or email shf@superiorhealthfoundation.org.

COAST GUARD BEGINS ICEBREAKING OPERATIONS IN THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES

U.S. Coast Guard release

SAULT SAINTE MARIE, Mich. – U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie commenced Operation Taconite today in response to expanded ice growth in the commercial ports of western Lake Superior and the lower St Marys River. Before ice impedes commercial navigation, icebreakers were assigned to each region.

Today, U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER was assigned to manage the ice breaking needs of western Lake Superior, specifically the twin ports of Duluth, MN and Superior, WI as well as the Port of Thunder Bay, Ontario. USCGC BISCAYNE was assigned to the St Marys River. In the coming days as ice growth expands on the Great Lakes, additional Coast Guard ice breakers will join the operation.

Operation Taconite is the Coast Guard’s largest domestic icebreaking operation. The operation encompasses Lake Superior, St. Marys River, the Straits of Mackinac, Georgian Bay, and all of Lake Michigan. In the coming weeks, various commercial waterways may close after due consideration is given to the protection of the marine environment, the need for cross-channel traffic (e.g. ferries) and the safety of the island residents; who in the course of their daily business use naturally formed ice bridges for transportation to and from the mainland.

The implementation of Operation Taconite places additional movement criteria on commercial ships plying the Western Lakes, St. Marys River, and the Straits of Mackinac. These measures include restricting tanker transits to daylight in the presence of ice, reducing speeds by 2 miles per hour in specified locations to reduce incidental ice breaking, and requiring additional voice and position reporting points throughout the operation’s area of responsibility. The Coast Guard recommends all recreational ice users plan their activities carefully, dress appropriately, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Recreational users and island residents should stay tuned to local media resources for the status of regional waterway closures.

Further inquiries can be made by phone to Mr. Mark Gill (mark.s.gill@uscg.mil) or to Vessel Traffic Service St. Marys River at 635-3232.

Dec. 14, 2017

Peters Blasts FCC Vote to Dismantle Net Neutrality Protections

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) released the following statement on today’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote to roll back net neutrality protections that ensures all consumers and small businesses have access to a free and open internet:

“Today’s FCC vote to scrap net neutrality protections is an anti-consumer decision that disadvantages small businesses and everyday internet users. This action could usher in a two-tiered internet, where large corporations that can pay for a fast lane have the power to slow down or block content, and consumers and small businesses are relegated to the slow lane.

“We live in an increasingly interconnected world where a free and open internet has never been more important to Michigan’s economic success. Michigan families and small businesses rely on net neutrality protections to ensure they can achieve their goals-whether it’s reaching customers in new markets, accessing educational opportunities or connecting with loved ones around the globe. Net neutrality levels the playing field, and without these protections, consumers and entrepreneurs will face unnecessary hurdles to the economic opportunities the internet provides.”

In response to today’s decision, Senator Peters joined his colleagues in announcing a plan to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would reverse today’s FCC action and restore the agency’s 2015 net neutrality rules. CRA resolutions allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions at federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.

New regional brand initiative, “Innovation Shore”, seeks input from the local STEM community

Innovation Shore release


HOUGHTON, MI (December 13, 2017) Michigan Technological University is taking the lead on a region-wide community brand project and seeks input from people working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The purpose of this new brand, Innovation Shore, is to position the community as a high-tech region to attract STEM-related talent and business to the Upper Peninsula. The survey takes about five minutes and can be accessed at www.InnovationShore.com. It will close on January 20.
 

“There is incredible innovation happening throughout our region – we just haven’t done a great job telling the world our story yet,” explains Karyn Olsson, CEO of Marketing Department, Inc., the agency hired to guide the branding process. “The survey results will provide us with ideas and inspire stories of the talented people who work and learn in STEM fields while highlighting our tech companies and university research.”
 


Once the survey has been completed, the initiative will convene a small local group of people who work in STEM-related companies or universities to provide input as the brand develops. The branding work is expected to be completed and launched early in the summer of 2018.
 


Ian Repp, Director of University Marketing and Communications at Michigan Tech encourages employees, managers, students and business owners who work in STEM fields and live in the Upper Peninsula to respond to the short survey. “We’re looking forward to the development and implementation of a strong community-driven brand that will promote the stories of innovation throughout our community. The survey results will help Marketing Department Inc. position our region as a viable place for entrepreneurs and STEM-related businesses.”
 


To learn more about the project, the community is encouraged to attend the next Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) monthly meeting where representatives from Michigan Tech will present the project and some preliminary results from the survey. That meeting will be held at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center at 7:30 am on January 10.
 

This project is made possible by a grant from Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP), a program funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, which is administered through University of Michigan.

Peters Floor Remarks on Need to Protect Net Neutrality

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) spoke on the Senate floor today in opposition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to roll back net neutrality protections that keep the internet open and free for consumers and small businesses. Below is video and text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“There are a handful of innovations in recent centuries that have redefined the United States, and the world. The cotton gin, railroads, electricity and the automobile are just a few examples. 

“However – without question – broadband internet is one of the defining innovations of our time.

“Broadband internet connects both rural and urban communities to vital services like telemedicine, educational resources, and international commerce. Broadband internet is absolutely essential for communication in the modern era, it lets us keep in touch with our loved ones – no matter where they live – and has boosted productivity across industries. And perhaps most importantly, broadband internet revolutionized our economy and led to the creation of millions of jobs.

“The ability to instantly reach consumers wherever they live has allowed American small businesses and startups to compete with large, global corporations in a way that would have been unimaginable just a couple decades ago.

“Michigan is home to over 850,000 small businesses, and a growing number of startups. The new ideas and creative solutions they generate put America on the cutting edge of a global and interconnected economy. Michigan small businesses are able to compete and innovate because of the free and open structure of the internet, but unfortunately these opportunities are at risk.

“Tomorrow, the FCC will vote to eliminate current net neutrality protections that stop large corporations from stifling small businesses and harming the American people. The FCC is wrong, and they should keep the current protections in place.

“The current rules, which I have consistently supported, prevent internet service providers from blocking, slowing or prioritizing web traffic for their own financial gain at the expense of small businesses and everyday internet users.

“The FCC’s actions to roll back these protections could usher in a new era of the two tiered internet, one for large corporations that can pay for the fast lane, and a slow lane for the rest of us. This will allow internet service providers and multi-national corporations to compete unfairly against startups, slowing down their traffic, and playing gatekeeper to their potential customers.

“Let me be clear, repealing net neutrality is anti-innovation. Repealing net neutrality is anti-competition. And repealing net neutrality is anti-consumer.

“The FCC should not consider this proposal tomorrow to degrade Internet service, especially during a time when over 20 million households in rural America – including far too many in Michigan – still lack access to high-speed broadband in the first place.

“The FCC has a lot of work to do to close the digital divide, and repealing net neutrality is taking our country backwards. If the Internet doesn’t work for growing small businesses and startups, our economy will be hurt for generations to come.

“High-speed broadband in the 21st century is every bit as vital as electricity was in the 20th century, all Americans deserve access, regardless of their income or zip code.

“We accomplished the goal of bringing electricity to every household in the country, even in the most rural areas, by making it a national priority. We cannot put a handful of multinational corporations ahead of the students, artists, advocates, entrepreneurs and other visionaries who could be inventing the future and creating the next big thing.

“The FCC should call off this dangerous vote and instead work to ensure the Internet remains a hub of entrepreneurship, creativity, and competition.”

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Ancestry Library Edition Training Sessions

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host two training sessions that will show participants how to use Ancestry Library Edition to search family records on Wednesday, December 20, at 1:00 p.m. and again at 6:00 p.m.

Ancestry Library Edition contains billions of records in census data, birth, marriage and death certificates, passenger lists and immigration records, military records, land records and wills, schools and church histories, city directories, newspapers, photos, and much more.

At this training, participants will learn how to use basic search techniques to discover their own family’s stories as they navigate the many collections that are offered in Ancestry. Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops so they can follow along with the tutorial, but bringing a laptop is not a requirement for attendance.

Library events are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community announces their recent gaming distributions

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community release

Since 1993 the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community has been making bi-annual payments from gaming proceeds of their casinos to local units of government and to the State of Michigan. These payments are 2% and 8% respectively and are derived from the net win from all Class III electronic games of chance commonly known as slot machines.

The two-percent (2%) payments are made each May and November. Local units of Government may make requests throughout the year. To receive an award the entity must first make a request in writing.

For the period of April I, 2017 through September 30, 2017, the total to be distributed to local units of government in Baraga County, which was derived from the Ojibwa Casino Resort-Baraga, was $129,291.03. The payments approved by Tribal Council for this distribution are as follows:

Baraga County $31,445.47

Baraga Area Schools $37,857.09

Baraga Township $12,667.15

Baraga Township/Bay Ambulance $15,000.00

Village of Baraga $ 9,737.93

L’Anse Area Schools $18,894.52

L’Anse Township $ 2,129.77

Village of L’Anse $ 1,559.10

Distributions totaling $161,747.78 were made to local units of government in Marquette County that were derived from the Ojibwa Casino-Marquette for the same period as follows:

City of Marquette/Hospitality House of the U.P. (Beacon House) $ 5,000.00

Chocolay Township/Fire, Police, PW Dept., Water Tower $70,000.00

Marquette County/Meals on Wheels $ 5,000.00

Marquette County/UPAWS $ 1,000.00

Marquette County/Superior Watershed Partnership $15,270.00

Marquette County/RSVP – Aging Services $ 4,477.78

Marquette County/NMU NASA Powwow $ 7,000.00

Marquette County/Prosecutor’s Office — Child Advocacy $ 5,000.00

Marquette Township/US-41 Recreational Underpass $25,000.00

Marquette Area Public Schools/Title VII Native Amer. Educ. Prg. $ 6,500.00

Forsyth Township/Michigan State Police U.P.S.E.T. $10,000.00

Forsyth Township/Trail Riders Enthusiast Alliance (T.E.A.M.) $ 2,500.00

Onota Township/U.P. Central Trails $ 5,000.00

Eight percent (8%) payments are made to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The November 2017 distribution for the Ojibwa Casino Resort-Baraga totaled $517,164.15 and $646,991.12 for the Ojibwa Casino-Marquette.

The next cycle of awards will be made in May 2018. Local units of government within Baraga or Marquette Counties may apply. Written requests received before March 31, 2018 will be considered.

Hancock Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, December 9, 2017 – The Hancock “Bulldogs” played the Bark River-Harris “Broncos” in the second round of High School Bowl and won by a score of 200-190. Forty schools from the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin field teams for Public TV 13’s High School Bowl tournament, now celebrating 40 years on the air. Hancock will advance to the third round when they play Manistique in Game 25, scheduled to air on February 10. Running from November through the championship game in April, the High School Bowl series airs on Public TV 13 Saturdays at 8 pm and Mondays at noon. Find more information on the 2017-2018 tournament at wnmutv.nmu.edu.

Representing Hancock, seated from left, are players Michael Lancour, Alex Hart, team captain Adam Jordan and Johan Hepokoski. Standing are alternates Jake Patchin and Camden Kyro with Coach Senia Kuntze. Players for Bark River-Harris are, seated from left, Luke Rivard, team captain Raquel Leisner, Eden Oswald and Madelynn Mosher. Standing are alternates Cierra Ouradnik and Zandria Kell with Coach Jim Bilski. High School Bowl host Jim Koski is standing at lower left.

Major production funding for High School Bowl is provided by The Ray & Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and by Janice Mills of Bark River, and by the Donald & Audrey Anderson Foundation. Local support is provided by 17 Upper Peninsula Credit Unions: TruNorth Federal Credit Union, U.P. State Credit Union, Tahquamenon Area Credit Union, Soo Co-op Credit Union, Delta County Credit Union, Integra First Federal Credit Union, Upper Michigan Community Credit Union, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union, Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, Gogebic County Federal Credit Union, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Baraga County Federal Credit Union, Iron Mountain – Kingsford Community Federal Credit Union, Peninsula Federal Credit Union, U.P. Catholic Credit Union, Northern United Federal Credit Union and Marquette Community Federal Credit Union. Local support is also provided by Petrucelli and Waara, Attorneys at Law; in partnership with the Regional Educational Service Agencies & Intermediate School Districts of the Upper Peninsula.

Keweenaw Land Trust Annual Meeting

Keweenaw Land Trust release

Keweenaw Land Trust Annual General Membership Meeting will be held 6-8 PM on Tuesday, December 19th at the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton

The public is invited to attend the Keweenaw Land Trust (KLT) annual general membership meeting at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, December 19th in the community room of the Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. The meeting will include program reports, elections for the KLT Board of Directors, and project updates. At 7:00 PM, attendees can participate in a question and answer session with the KLT Board and staff, including general discussion about ongoing programs as well as community concerns and goals for the future. Please come and be a part of this important discussion – all are welcome.

Light refreshments will be provided.

If you cannot attend the KLT Annual Meeting but would like to submit comments or questions, please email those to info@keweenawlandtrust.org or call the office in Hancock at 906-482-0820. We welcome and appreciate feedback and ideas.

The Portage Lake District Library is located at 58 Huron Street in downtown Houghton along the waterfront.

Become an Isle Royale Summer 2018 Teen Artist

National Park Service release

Houghton, MI – Isle Royale National Park is now accepting applications for the summer 2018 Isle Royale Teen Artist Exploration. This artistic discovery is geared to all aspiring teen artists who want to develop their art through experiencing wilderness, and is open to all visual and performing artists, writers, and composers ages 13 to 18 at time of participation.

Elisha Houle, the 2016 teen artist said of her time on the Island: “Isle Royale and the Teen Artist-in-Residence Program has opened my life to so many amazing things. My art has taken on a new dynamic; I appreciate so much more the wild and natural ways of life the Island showed me.”

Over the course of a week, two selected teen artists will explore their art and the island–hike and backpack along wave-washed shores, canoe quiet bays of Lake Superior, or take boat tours. An artistic mentor will provide coaching during the artistic and wilderness exploration. Interested artists must be available for at least one of the two potential sessions:

· Tuesday July 17, through Wednesday July 25, 2018

· Tuesday August 14, through Wednesday August 22, 2018

Complimentary transportation to and from the island is provided on the Ranger III, a 165-foot ship operating from Houghton, Michigan. Housing will be provided by the park in the Rock Harbor Lodge Housekeeping Cottages. The cottages are equipped with kitchenettes including utensils and dishware, a private bath with tub, shower, and dressing room, one double bed and one bunk bed, linens, towels, electric heat, and a studio type living area.

Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, and the Copper Country Community Arts Council sponsor the program. The selected artists will be park volunteers and be required to donate a piece of artwork representative of their stay on Isle Royale to the park. If seventeen or younger, a legal guardian must accompany the teen artist.

For 2018, there is a new online application process. Please visit the Teen Artist Exploration website for the new submission process: https://www.nps.gov/isro/getinvolved/teen-artist.htm. To be considered, all application components must be digitally received by 11:59 pm on February 16, 2018. Entries received after February 16 will not be considered. Notification to all applicants will be made by May 1, 2018. For further information, visit the park’s website, call (906) 482-0984, or emailisro_parkinfo@nps.gov

Dec. 13, 2017

L’Anse Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, December 2, 2017 – The L’Anse “Purple Hornets” played the Pickford “Panthers” in the first round of High School Bowl and won by a score of 210-150. Forty schools from the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin field teams for Public TV 13’s High School Bowl tournament, now celebrating 40 years on the air. L’Anse will advance to the second round when they play Ironwood in Game 21, scheduled to air on January 27. Running from November through the championship game in April, the High School Bowl series airs on Public TV 13 Saturdays at 8 pm and Mondays at noon. Find more information on the 2017-2018 tournament at wnmutv.nmu.edu.

Representing L’Anse, seated from left, are players Jordin Jones, team captain Breanna Jones, Shelby Harrison and Ethan Hansen. Standing are alternates Greg Dowd and Darien Francois with Coach Rebecca Keyes. Players for Pickford are, seated from left, Megan Cook, Johnny Nichols, team captain Holly Hagen and Nicholas Mitchell. Standing are with Coach Briana Otten. High School Bowl host Jim Koski is standing at lower left.

Major production funding for High School Bowl is provided by The Ray & Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and by Janice Mills of Bark River, and by the Donald & Audrey Anderson Foundation. Local support is provided by 17 Upper Peninsula Credit Unions: TruNorth Federal Credit Union, U.P. State Credit Union, Tahquamenon Area Credit Union, Soo Co-op Credit Union, Delta County Credit Union, Integra First Federal Credit Union, Upper Michigan Community Credit Union, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union, Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, Gogebic County Federal Credit Union, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Baraga County Federal Credit Union, Iron Mountain – Kingsford Community Federal Credit Union, Peninsula Federal Credit Union, U.P. Catholic Credit Union, Northern United Federal Credit Union and Marquette Community Federal Credit Union. Local support is also provided by Petrucelli and Waara, Attorneys at Law; in partnership with the Regional Educational Service Agencies & Intermediate School Districts of the Upper Peninsula.

Public TV 13, WNMU-TV is a member-supported public broadcasting service of Northern Michigan University and is licensed to the NMU Board of Trustees.

Peters Provisions in Defense Bill Signed into Law 

Senator Gary Peters release 

WASHINGTON, DC — President Trump today signed into law major defense legislation that includes over a dozen provisions from U.S. Senator Gary Peters supporting Michigan’s growing defense industry and boosting America’s military preparedness. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets Department of Defense (DoD) policy, was passed with bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate last month. Peters is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves.

“America and our allies face an unprecedented wave of new security threats, and our military must be prepared to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing battlefield,” said Senator Peters. “I am proud that Michigan’s servicemembers and manufacturers play such a critical role in our national security, and the bipartisan bill signed into law today will enable our men and women in uniform and the manufacturing industry that supports them to effectively execute their mission.”

Highlights of Senator Peters’ provisions in the NDAA include:

• Supporting Michigan’s Military Installations & Small Businesses

• Providing Air Force Clarification on A-10: Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which hosts A-10 aircrafts in Harrison Township, is currently under consideration to host an F-35 mission. Included in the NDAA is report language clarifying that the U.S. Air Force has the authority to convert Selfridge’s A-10 mission to the F-35 mission and move the existing A-10 aircraft at Selfridge to other bases hosting A-10 missions, increasing their squadron size to 24 aircraft. Currently, A-10s cannot be retired, and this language is intended to bring Selfridge to parity with other bases seeking the F-35 mission.

• Protecting Michigan Small Businesses from Fraud: The NDAA includes a provision authored by Peters and based on bipartisan legislation Peters introduced earlier this year to help protect small businesses from falling victim to fraud when they register to do business with the federal government. The provision would require small businesses to be notified that free assistance is available for help in bidding on government contracts through federal programs, including Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs). Many business owners are unaware these resources exist and fall victim to scams that mislead them into paying high sums of money for contract procurement assistance that is already available at no-cost. Michigan is home to ten PTACs and over 850,000 small businesses that account for half of the state’s private workforce.

• Accelerating Process for New Missile Defense Site: The legislation includes a provision based on the Advancing America’s Missile Defense Act, legislation Peters cosponsored to improve America’s missile defense capabilities and counter threats posed by Iran and North Korea. The provision requires DoD to identify potential sites to host the deployment of up to 104 additional ground-based interceptors. Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan is under consideration to host a potential ground-based midcourse missile defense site.

•Supporting Research Conducted at TARDEC in Warren: Peters worked to include an additional $50 million in funding for fuel cell prototyping at the Army’s Tank and Automotive Research Development Center (TARDEC), building on TARDEC’s successful collaboration with General Motors on the ZH2. The bill recognizes TARDEC’s capability for prototyping and experimentation and collaboration with technology developers, users, testers, and the private sector. The bill also includes a requirement for the Army to plan to build a prototype for a new ground combat vehicle.

Bolstering our Military & Supporting our Servicemembers

• Funding Stryker Vehicles Modifications: Peters supported provisions providing additional support to the U.S. Army Stryker vehicle program with upgraded weapons systems, survivability improvements to the vehicle hull, and other mobility and communication improvements. The Stryker is the U.S. Army’s most versatile and deployable combat vehicle, and earlier this year, Peters helped lead a bipartisan letter with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), calling for funding to complete much-needed upgrades. Peters and Portman previously included an amendment in the FY 2016 NDAA that authorized $371 million in funding to install medium caliber cannons on 81 Stryker vehicles forward deployed in Europe, to support U.S. interests in Eastern Europe and our NATO allies. General Dynamics Land Systems of Sterling Heights is the prime contractor for the Stryker armored vehicle and many Michigan companies serve as suppliers.

• Supporting Servicemember Mental Health Research: The NDAA includes report language requiring the U.S. Air Force to provide a report on steps taken to address the mental health of pilots that operate Remote Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs) and Airmen supporting RPA operations, particularly those stationed in the U.S. and flying missions with aircraft abroad. The 110th Attack Wing in Battle Creek, Michigan hosts an RPA mission and Airmen there fly RPAs that are located all over the world. This provision builds on Senator Peters’ Fairness for Veterans amendment, signed into law last year as part of the NDAA FY 2017, which helps veterans with a bad paper discharge resulting from behavior caused by PTSD to petition for an upgrade in discharge status to access mental health treatment and other VA services.

• Mitigating Risk of Humvee Rollover Accidents: Earlier this year, the National Guard issued a safety alert related to rollover mishaps and loss-of-control. The NDAA includes a provision encouraging the U.S. Army to mitigate the risk of Humvee rollover accidents and requesting a briefing on plans to mitigate rollovers. Peters has previously written to the Acting Secretary of the Army about his concerns related to Humvee safety. Additionally, the Michigan National Guard has undertaken a pilot program for commercial off-the-shelf technology aimed at mitigating Humvee rollovers using technology manufactured in Michigan.

• Training for Operations in Major Urban Areas: The NDAA includes a provision to require a plan for military training to operate in densely populated environments. Peters has asked military leaders about the impact on potential future military operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in “megacities”, or cities with a population above 10 million. Camp Grayling in Crawford County already hosts military training for urban operations and could play an important role as the military better prepares for these operations.

• Incorporating New Technologies: The NDAA includes provisions requiring DoD to provide briefings to the Senate Armed Services Committee related to robotics, autonomy, and artificial intelligence, and also requires DoD to include autonomous systems on the list of eligible technologies for simplified contracting opportunities between DoD and universities.

Strengthening America’s Presence Abroad

• Boosting American Support in Eastern Europe: Peters included language directing DoD to provide personnel to the NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence (StratCom) in Riga, Latvia. StratCom is a multi-national and NATO-accredited international military organization that works to enhance strategic communication capabilities and help counter Russian propaganda efforts in Eastern Europe. Currently, the United States is not a participating nation. Earlier this year, Peters visited StratCom as part of his visit to Latvia to learn more about NATO activity in the Baltic region and Russian practices aimed at undermining and destabilizing democracies like Latvia. This amendment came about as a result of Peters’ visit. For over 20 years, Michigan’s National Guard has worked jointly with Latvia’s military through the State Partnership Program, participating in joint training and exercises in both Europe and Michigan.

Senator Peters also supported several provisions in the final NDAA, including:

• A provision to require the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to conduct a study on the health implications of PFAS in drinking water;

• An amendment authorizing funding to support the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, encourage partnership between MEP affiliates and the Manufacturing USA Institutes established by DoD, and improve manufacturing engineering education. MEP is a public-private partnership dedicated to providing technical support and services to small and medium-sized manufacturers.

• An amendment authorizing the constructions of three additional Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Marinette Marine, located along the Menominee River, produces the LCS and employs hundreds of Michiganders. The USS Detroit, an LCS that was commissioned last year, was built at Marinette Marine. Peters previously cosponsored an amendment authorizing the construction of two LCS in the Senate NDAA.

• A provision to extend protections for servicemembers from home foreclosure for two years following the end of their military service. Current law providing a year of protection is set to expire at the end of this year, and this provision extends the full year of protection through 2020.

Senators Urge FCC to Focus Efforts on Closing Digital Divide, Expanding Rural Broadband

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), members of the Senate Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai expressing their strong opposition to the recently released draft order to eliminate net neutrality protections. The senators also called on the FCC to focus its efforts on closing the digital divide rather than limiting net neutrality protections that help small businesses and consumers compete and succeed in the online environment. Michigan and Minnesota are home to hundreds of thousands of small businesses that rely on strong net neutrality protections to compete in the online marketplace.

“As members of the Senate Commerce Committee and strong supporters of an open internet, we write to express our opposition to the recently released draft order to eliminate net neutrality protections. Net neutrality is critical to the competitiveness of our economy and the health of small businesses and startups,” the Senators wrote. “A truly open internet encourages economic growth and provides opportunities for businesses to reach new markets, drive innovation, and create jobs. With unrestricted access to the internet, entrepreneurs can focus their resources on growing a business rather than paying for equal footing to compete online.”

“The FCC should not be pursuing policies that will slow and degrade internet access when many Americans, particularly in rural areas, still lack access to high-speed broadband entirely,” the senators continued. “As we face an increasingly global and interconnected economy, it is critical that the internet remains a hub of entrepreneurship, creativity, and fair competition.”

In light of reports that bots filed hundreds of thousands of comments to the FCC during the net neutrality policymaking process, Klobuchar, Peters, and a group of 26 other senators also urged the FCC to delay the planned December 14th vote to roll back net neutrality rules until an investigation of the record is conducted.

The full text of the Senators’ letter is below and available here.

Dear Chairman Pai:

As members of the Senate Commerce Committee and strong supporters of an open internet, we write to express our opposition to the recently released draft order to eliminate net neutrality protections. Net neutrality is critical to the competitiveness of our economy and the health of small businesses and startups. The rules in place today level the playing field for entrepreneurs and protect the internet as a place that allows small businesses to succeed. Your order to repeal these rules would take us in the wrong direction.

Both Minnesota and Michigan are home to hundreds of thousands of small businesses. One way in which the draft order will hurt small business entrepreneurship and innovation is by limiting access to the open internet. A truly open internet encourages economic growth and provides opportunities for businesses to reach new markets, drive innovation, and create jobs. With unrestricted access to the internet, entrepreneurs can focus their resources on growing a business rather than paying for equal footing to compete online. Small businesses are the engines of job creation, responsible for an estimated 63 percent of net new jobs from 2010 to 2016. Without strong net neutrality protections small businesses and startups will face new barriers to compete in the online marketplace.

The landmark 2015 Open Internet Order effectively prevents major corporations from blocking, slowing, and prioritizing web traffic for their own financial gain. Your proposal not only directly eliminates these protections but also reclassifies broadband as an information service, jeopardizing the FCC’s authority to keep internet service providers (ISPs) in check. These protections are crucial to the continued success of small businesses and startups competing online.

The only open internet provisions your proposal salvages are requirements for service providers to disclose their internet traffic policies. However, the benefits of transparency rules are negated when tied to a repeal of essential net neutrality protections. If approved, your order will still result in ISPs having the power to interfere with web traffic as they please, putting small businesses, startups, and everyday users at a significant disadvantage.

The FCC should not be pursuing policies that will slow and degrade internet access when many Americans, particularly in rural areas, still lack access to high-speed broadband entirely. We need to focus our efforts on closing the digital divide rather than creating an online environment in which the success of small businesses and consumers is at the mercy of large ISPs who are not bound to the doctrine of a free and open internet.

American consumers, entrepreneurs, and innovators rely on net neutrality. As we face an increasingly global and interconnected economy, it is critical that the internet remains a hub of entrepreneurship, creativity, and fair competition. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Dec. 12, 2017

Great Start to Quality Expands Quality Rating and Improvement System: Programs licensed to serve schoolagers only, children ages 5-12 now eligible to participate

Great Start to Quality release

LANSING, Mich – Programs that are licensed and serving schoolagers, children from kindergarten entry to age 12 only, are now able to complete the rating process within Great Start to Quality, with eligibility to receive subsidy beginning on December 1, 2017.

Great Start to Quality is a points-based system where licensed child care programs earn a Star rating that reflects quality above and beyond licensing requirements. By completing the rating process, out-of-school time programs rated at a 2, 3, 4 or 5 Star will be eligible to receive increased subsidy rates for families participating in Child Development and Care. Those families who receive subsidy, and attend a 3, 4, or 5 Star program will no longer have a family contribution to the program. More information on how to participate can be found at www.greatstarttoquality.org/out-of-school-time.

In addition to the subsidy eligibility, the ratings received are publicly posted online, on a searchable database for families to help find licensed child care, preschool and now out-of-school time programs in Michigan. This database, found on www.greatstarttoquality.org, makes it easier for families to see the care available in their area and recognize quality programs.

Michigan believes that children should not “age out” of quality care once they reach kindergarten. “We want families to understand the importance of high quality care for schoolagers, “ Kelly Kreider, Senior Director of Great Start to Quality continues, “and out-of-school time programs can be supported to improve the quality of care they provide. Programs improving the quality of care they provide benefits all children and families in our state”.

Over the last two years, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation and the Michigan Department of Education – Office of Great Start, along with its partners, conducted three pilots with out-of-school time programs to expand Great Start to Quality to include these programs. Programs serving schoolagers were not previously eligible to participate.

Great Start to Quality has been supporting early childhood programs for six years to increase the quality of their programs and to allow families to make informed decisions about which program to choose for their children.

This expansion of Great Start to Quality will not change the experience of any programs that serves children ages 0-12. These programs will continue to participate in Great Start to Quality the same way they have to this point. More information about participating as a 0-12 program can be found at www.greatstarttoquality.org/getting-started.

Ontonagon Area School District receives grant from Portage Health Foundation

MSU Extension release

ONTONAGON — Ontonagon Area School District recently received a grant from Portage Health Foundation. The funds granted will be used for implementing a “Healthy Gladiators” initiative. Among the activities that will be featured will be purchasing light processing equipment, marketing signage and serving items designed to increase the consumption of more fruits and vegetables. Chef Arlene Coco Buscombe, an Ontonagon resident and school food culinary specialist will donate her time of lending support to the program whenever possible. With the assistance of SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, Kathy Bauer, and the MSU Extension office the school will participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, a national program developed by Cornell University and is dedicated to providing schools with the knowledge, motivation, and resources needed to build a lunchroom environment that makes healthy food choices the easy choice.

The Movement brings evidence from the fields of economics, marketing, and psychology into the school cafeteria. Smarter Lunchrooms strategies are free or low-cost solutions that nudge students to voluntarily select the healthiest food in the lunchroom. Smarter Lunchrooms can see less waste, higher participation, more satisfied students, and increased consumption of important nutrient-rich foods.

For this initiative to be successful, school food directors need the support of parents, students and staff. Staff and families are encouraged to be a part of the healthy meal enhancement by trying the new menu items, sharing feedback and ideas and joining the school food advisory team.

The goal of the Healthy Gladiators initiative is to make it easy for kids to make healthy lunch choices. Research proves that when kids eat a balanced diet, they are better able to focus on academics and extra-curricular activities. Ontonagon Area School District is very excited to be participating in this initiative and looks forward to serving more meals that are both good for students and taste good.

For information contact Frank Wardynski, MSU Extension Educator at wardynsk@anr.msu.edu or 906-884-4386.

L’Anse Tree Contest

L’Anse Downtown Development Authority release

It must be Christmas magic. Every year around this time, a forest of fully-decorated Christmas trees springs up throughout downtown L’Anse, bringing good cheer – and, with a bit of generosity, lots of money to two area charities. It’s the annual Christmas Tree Contest sponsored by the L’Anse Downtown Development Authority. From Dec. 1 to Dec 31st, shoppers and other visitors to the downtown are encouraged to vote for their favorite trees by throwing money into whatever jar, basket or canister businesses have put out for the collection of monetary votes. The three businesses earning the most vote money will, in turn, pick up a little green themselves. The 1st prize winner will get $225, 2nd prize $175 and the business taking third prize will get $125. However, as always, there will be no losers in this contest. The downtown is turned into a winter wonderland for a month and people who need extra help this time of year will get it.

This year the contest’s vote money will be distributed a little differently. For years, the vote money has gone to St. Vincent DePaul’s. This year, however, businesses were given the opportunity to choose which non-profit they wanted their vote money given to: St. Vincent De Paul’s or the Baraga County Shelter Home. And the businesses split nearly fifty-fifty. Of the thirty-nine business participating in the contest, sixteen will be collecting proceeds for St. Vinnie’s and eighteen will be sending their vote money to the Shelter Home. To find out which business is supporting which non-profit, voters need only look for the poster on the store’s window or next to a particular business’s collection jar.

Although they will be sharing the proceeds this year, St. Vincent’s is gracious about spreading the good cheer. “We’ve always liked to help out the shelter,” store manager Irene Pawlowski said. As for how much money they will get this year, Pawlowski said, “Anything is welcome. People are so generous. We always use the money for a special purpose, one that helps support the store and those who use it.”

Char Spruce, the Executive Director for the shelter, echoed that sentiment. “We are always so warmed and grateful for the generosity and support we receive from the community this time of year. Around the holidays, we really strive to make what can be a very difficult time for survivors and their children just a little brighter by trying to make it special and magical. As always,” she went on, “funds that we receive go to providing hope, healing and support” for families coming to them for help.

Each year the L’Anse DDA furnishes the trees and their bases to businesses within their district for free. In the five years the contest has been held, nearly $7000 has been raised for charity.

Keweenaw Lions Club Meeting Notes

Keweenaw Lions Club release

The December meeting of the Keweenaw Lions Club was held on Dec 4 at Slim’s Cafe. This was the annual Christmas Party and was well attended by members and their guests.

The Keweenaw Lions Club will hold it’s next monthly meeting 7 p.m. January 8 at Slim’s Cafe. Meeting will be preceded by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and followed by guest speaker. January’s speaker will be Sargent Brad Pelli of the Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit. Office Pelli will be discussing the police work that he does with his partner, Dogo (pronounced dough-go), a Dutch Shepherd.

New members are welcomed. Call Cherri Allen at 289-4470 for more information.

Active Weapons Drill Performed at UP Health System-Portage

UP Health System-Portage release

HANCOCK — On Monday, December 4, 2017, UP Health System – Portage worked with Michigan State Police, Houghton County Sheriffs Department, Houghton City Police Department, Hancock City Police Department, Negaunee Dispatch, Quincy Franklin Volunteer Fire Department, Hancock Volunteer Fire Department to conduct a Live Active Weapons Drill. The drill began at 5:15 p.m. and concluded at 6 p.m.

The purpose of the drill was to prepare the hospital, fire and rescue, EMS, and area police, if a situation like this would occur in our community. Realistic response times, dispatch correspondence with the hostile caller and hospital procedures when an emergency is initiated where tested during the live roll play event.

No patients where affected during the drill, and the hospital took every precaution to prepare all visitors prior to beginning the drill.

UP Health System – Portage, and the area emergency services, prepared for several months leading up to the drill. Prior to beginning the simulation, a final meeting was held to ensure all departments understood procedures and expectations.

“I am very happy with the overall results of the Live Active Weapons Drill.” said Kevin Karenen, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of UP Health System – Portage. “Our departments responded appropriately to the situation, and we are very confident in our area emergency response team’s ability to handle a situation like this in our community.”

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club Receives Grant

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club release

Keweenaw Community Foundation’s Keweenaw Cross Country Endowment recently awarded the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club $400 to help defray the cost of purchasing a new power brush cutting tool, used for preparing the trails for winter grooming.

Keweenaw Community Foundation (KCF) is a non-profit, community organization created by and for the people of Houghton and Keweenaw counties. Established in 1994, KCF inspires giving that invests in our community’s quality of life. They provide sustainable financial support to organizations for projects aimed at solving problems and enhancing life in our community. They also serve as a catalyst for change, a partner for other local organizations, and a resource for solutions to emerging community needs. KCF’s motto is “For good. For ever.” And with over 80 funds, they truly impact not only residents but also visitors to our communities.

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club’s mission is to promote the sport of cross-country skiing in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan for both youth and adults and to provide stewardship of the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trails. KNSC is committed to ensuring trails will always be usable year round for silent sports. To accomplish our mission effectively requires an enormous investment, both in paid and volunteer labor, and especially in equipment, tools, and supplies. KNSC would not be able to fulfill its mission to the highest degree possible, without the generosity of organizations such as the Keweenaw Community Foundation.

KCF welcomes partnerships in the Foundation and urges interested parties to share this information with their constituents and all sub-groups within their organization. Tax deductible contributions may be made to the Keweenaw Cross Country Fund (or to any of KCF’s 80+ other funds) online at www.keweenawgives.org. All contributions to a permanent endowment of KCF qualify for a Federal Tax Credit.

For more information on giving or grant opportunities, please visit the KCF website (www.keweenawgives.org) or email mail@k-c-f.org. To be placed on KCF’s request for proposals list, please email your contact information to mail@k-c-f.org. You will be notified when grants become available.

Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, Keweenaw Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come. For more information on Keweenaw Community Foundation and how to give, visit its website at www.k-c-f.org.

Utility customers who opt in would receive energy credits on monthly electric bills

UPSTART release

Michigan Technological University students and the Upper Peninsula Solar Technical Assistance Team (UPSTART) will present the results of the community solar feasibility study to Village of L’Anse community members Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the L’Anse Area Schools Cafetorium. The project seeks to determine whether L’Anse residents are interested in community solar and how to best design a program that would be affordable and accessible.

The proposed community solar project would be built in the new industrial park, located on Lambert Road off of U.S. Highway 41. The power generated would feed into the grid and be distributed across the community. Customers served by the Village of L’Anse utility would have the option to purchase solar shares (panels within the system) and receive associated energy credits on their monthly electric bills. Rates for customers who do not choose to participate would not be affected.  

UPSTART and the Michigan Tech team conducted a social and economic feasibility study between July and November 2017, which included a community meeting in August, interviews with key informants, a community-wide survey, and door-to-door communication with dozens of residents. Team members will present the results of this analysis. The team will also make recommendations for program design and solicit feedback from community members. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.

Free refreshments will be offered and door prizes available. Ten participants will receive a $5 gift certificate to Baraga County businesses and one will win a $300 gift certificate to purchase an Energy Star® appliance.  

The UPSTART team consists of members from the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region (WUPPDR), WPPI Energy, the Village of L’Anse and Michigan Technological University. 

For more information on the community solar meeting or the project, visit UPSTART’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UPSTARTSOLAR/

Contact: Emily Prehoda, ewprehod@mtu.edu

Thank you for your interest in Michigan Tech.

Visitor Restrictions Implemented at UPHS – Marquette and Bell 

UP Health Systems release

Due to the high numbers of respiratory illness and influenza, UP Health System – Marquette and Bell have implemented visitor restrictions. The visitor restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.

In an effort to protect our patients, the following restrictions apply:

• Visitors who are ill with cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting and or diarrhea are not permitted.

• In the Family Birthing Center, visitors are limited to parents, labor coaches, and grandparents; and in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, visitors are limited to parents.

UPHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon 2018 Race Press Release 

UPHS Noquemanon release

The UPHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon will be celebrating its 20thAnniversary this January 26th – 28th, 2018, and there are a number of course changes that will both improve the skier experience and prepare the race for future growth.

Larger starting waves will now be utilized in the 50K classic and freestyle races – the classic race will have multiple waves of 200 skiers and the freestyle waves will vary in size with 100 skiers in the first, 180 in the second, and 180 or more in the third. To accommodate for more skiers in the starting waves the trail width for the first 3K has been increased to 30 feet and will utilize a portion of Al Quaal’s famed FIS and NCAA race course. 

Major course improvement projects have also been completed. On a privately owned tract of land known as the “Granite Point Section” a beautiful new 3K route, made specifically for the Noquemanon, has been added to the 50K marathon course. The new route is wider, has a better surface, and is more skier friendly than the previous route through the area and it is designed to withstand a high volume of ski racers. In addition to the new Granite Point Section another new section of trail was created for the 24K (ie mBank Half Noque) race which is known as the “Mead Hills Bypass”.  After the traditional start at County Road 510 skiers of the 24K will follow the new bypass route which has an improved surface over the older section of trail that was used. The Noquemanon Trail Network will have year-round access for grooming and trail maintenance on this section which will delight local skiers all winter.

The most prominent change of the 2018 UPHS Noquemanon is a new finish line. The new finish line will be at the “Log Yard” – approximately 4K west of the Superior Dome. This new finish line allows the race organization to eliminate the last 4K section of the course that is typically lowest in snow cover and historically is where most negative course feedback was concentrated. To further improve the skiing experience the entrance into the “Log Yard” has been widened and flattened to provide a great launching point for every finisher. Busing will be provided from the finish line to the Superior Dome via a very short commute and all participants will continue to have access to the world-class dome facilities which includes access to locker rooms, hot showers, and saunas. 

In addition to the finish line change more well-established Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) Forestville System ski trial will be added to the UPHS Noquemanon course which will bring with it new and varied terrain for skiers. Other course improvements include the 12K race which will now have a new scenic course over the first 4K along with more inclusive age group awards.

The race organization feels that this year’s course improvements are changes that will not only improve a skiers experience but will also allow the UPHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon to manage its growth safely and responsibly. The 20th anniversary is a major milestone for this event – race organizers look forward to the future while also celebrating the past and they are excited to host participants, both new and returning, in January!

For more information regarding this year’s UPHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon, please visit noquemanon.com.

The UPHS Noquemanon Ski Marathon is part of the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN), a non-profit 501 (c) three organization that promotes development of integrated, multi-use, non-motorized trails. For more information on the NTN visit noquetrails.org.  

Upper Peninsula Receives Skilled Trades Training Fund

UPWARD Talent Council release

Escanaba, MI – November 2017 – The UPWARD Talent Council is pleased to announce the Upper Peninsula has received funding in total of $685,097 for the Skilled Trades Training Fund (STTF). Applications closed on October 6, 2017 and award recipients were announced Wednesday, November 29th. A full list of recipients can be found on the Michigan Workforce Development Agency website at michigan.gov/wda/0,5303,7-304-64365_64538-312972–,00.html.

STTF increases the quality and competitiveness of Michigan’s employers by providing competitive awards for customized employer responsive training. The intent of these awards are to enhance and train talent, increase productivity and employment retention, support registered apprenticeships, and meet the current demand needed to address the skills gaps of employees.

Michigan’s Talent Investment Agency (TIA) states training must be “customized to meet employee skill requirements and is short-term in duration, preferably less than three months, with no training extending more than six months.” TIA more specifically states, “The training must lead to a credential for a skill that is transferable and recognized by industry.” Employers who utilize these grant funds must commit to retaining employees after completion of their training.

STTF funds are granted through Michigan Works! agencies (MWA). The Upper Peninsula’s UPWARD Talent Council MWA serves all 15 counties. Employers who were interested in STTF worked with their local Michigan Works! staff to determine whether they were eligible to receive training funds. The MWA then submitted the application through collaboration on behalf of the employer in early October.

From 2014-2017, 1,422 companies state-wide were awarded training funds. The average amount of each award was $33,938. The average training cost per person was $995. Sizes of companies receiving awards range from less than 100 employees, to 500 or more employees. Employers are encouraged to hire veterans and receive an additional $500 for each newly-hired veteran.

Verso Corporation in Escanaba received $146,469. “At Verso, Michigan Works! played an instrumental part in our ability to obtain grant money for 2018 through the Michigan STTF. There is no doubt their assistance and guidance helped us obtain this significant award,” said Verso’s Training Manager, Gary VanDrese. “Our continuing partnership, along with the grant monies, will allow us to bring in new talented recruits to fill our vacancies next year. It will also allow us to upgrade the skills of our current maintenance work force, something we’ve been financially challenged to accomplish in recent years. Thank you Michigan Works!”

UPWARD Talent Council Michigan Works! wants to say thank you to the Talent Investment Agency for giving Michigan’s employers the opportunity to develop talent and close skills gaps, and giving Michigan’s job seekers the opportunity to gain a credential and retain employment that will improve their life.

For more information about the Michigan Works! Services and STTF, please contact your local service center. For information on contacting us, please visit our website at www.upmichiganworks.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook at @UPMichiganWorks.

Starting a new chapter

Chassell Township Schools release

This year the Chassell Lions Club held a ribbon cutting at the school for the Little Free Libraries. The Lions Club started doing the little libraries because they saw a lot of enthusiasm about it from the students and felt that the program is great for the community. “It gets people reading and gets people sharing,” said Mrs. Berg, a member of the Lions club. This is especially important for the children because at the beginning of 2019, Chassell residents won’t have free access to the Portage Lake Library.

There are three places in Chassell where you can find these Little Free Libraries. One of the libraries is at the Chassell Township Schools, two are at the gazebo, and two more are located at the Centennial Park also known as the Chassell Park. The two boxes in the Centennial Park will be emptied for the winter and restocked in the spring.

 Many people have been using the Little Libraries. “It brings together booklovers,” said Mrs. Berg. The Lions Club put in lots of books and all of them were taken. In order to keep these boxes flowing, people who take a book also have to leave a book.

Shannon Torola in 7th grade won the contest for the design for the Little Free Library boxes and she had the honor of cutting the ribbon for the Little Library at the Chassell Schools. Chassell Schools would like to thank the Lions Club for doing this because the children have enjoyed it. The boxes are always open so please use the free Little Libraries!

Enter to Win Groceries and Help Out Those in Need During Keweenaw Co-op’s “Goodness Giveaway Sweepstakes”

Keweenaw Co-op release

‘Tis the season for giving and Keweenaw Co-op is offering you an opportunity to give to others and get great groceries for yourself at the same time. Stop by The Co-op this week to participate in the “Goodness Giveaway,” featuring great Co+op Basics groceries. Keweenaw Co-op will be giving away an assortment of grocery items valued at $100 to one lucky winner and making a $100.00 food donation to the Western U.P. Food Bank. Win the gift of healthy food and support the Western U.P, Food Bank that provides healthy foods to many of our neighbors in need. The winner of the “Goodness Giveaway Sweepstakes” will be announced at 7:00 pm Friday evening. Keweenaw Co-op is conveniently located two blocks off US-41 at 1035 Ethel Avenue in Hancock. Visit keweenaw.coop or call 482-2030 for details.

Reception and book signing at Carnegie Museum

Carnegie Museum release

HOUGHTON — There will be a reception and book signing with authors Bill Rose and Erika Vye 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Carnegie Museum upstairs.

Join us for a Reception and Book Signing for the newly published “How the Rock Connects Us”. Meet authors Bill Rose and Erika Vye, Michigan Tech geologists, view our exhibit “Keweenaw Basalt”, created by Bill Rose, and get your book(s!) signed. All while enjoying some light refreshments. 
From the book’s introduction: The Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale have a rich cultural, industrial, and mining heritage, all connected by their underlying geology. Geologic forces during two vastly different periods in time shaped the spectacular landscapes of this region-the largest lava flow and largest deposit of native copper known on Earth, stunning red cliffs of sandstone, an archipelago in the largest freshwater lake in the world, wave-tossed pebble beaches, dunes, and Lake Superior itself.
This book offers a general introduction to the processes behind the geodiversity of the Keweenaw and Isle Royale. Learn how to read the magnificent features we hike over, paddle around, paint and photograph, and have relied upon for natural resources. Delve even deeper into the story through the embedded QR codes that offer more detailed information and maps about related topics.

Dec. 11, 2017

Gardenview Holiday Party

Gardenview Assisted Living & Memory Care release

Calumet — This holiday season, Gardenview Assisted Living & Memory Care warmly welcomes you to it’s annual Holiday Christmas Party on December 15th from 2PM-4PM! The festivity is free and open to the local community! Gardenview’s party will include live music, delicious food, beverages, and more! We look forward to seeing you!

December 18th-25th, we will be having dress in days for Garden-view’s staff and residents. “Watch for information posted on each days theme!.”

Gardenview is also reminding families and caregivers alike that we will be hosting our P.E.A.C.E Dementia Support (Providing Empathy Awareness Comfort Education) group Thursday the 28th at 6PM in our assisted living dining room . We are honored to have our guest speakers from Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services to provide information on the services they can provide for our local community.

Portage Library Hosts Keweenaw Garden Club

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for a discussion about the preservation of the Quincy Mine Historic Landscape on Monday, December 18, at 6:30 p.m.

Steve DeLong, Landscape Architect for the Keweenaw National Historical Park, will focus his presentation on the resources, preservation and stewardship of the Quincy Mine historic landscape. He will also describe methods the Park uses to determine which historic projects are worth preserving, projects the Keweenaw National Historical Park has been involved in, and his role in this process.

There will be time for questions and answers following the presentation.

The Keweenaw Garden Club was established by and for gardening enthusiasts. They have presentations at the Portage Lake District Library on the third Monday of each month September through May. Those who are interested in learning more about the club can visit sites.google.com/site/keweenawgardenclub/.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

Red Jacket Readers to discuss “The Almost Nearly Perfect People”

Friends of the Calumet Public Library release

Red Jacket Readers book club discussion of “The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia,” by Michael Booth will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 pm January 10 at the Calumet Public Library. Open to the Public

“Journalist Michael Booth has lived among the Scandinavians for more than ten years and has grown increasingly frustrated with the rose-tinted view of this part of the world offered up by the Western media. In this timely book, he leaves his adopted home of Denmark and embarks on a journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover who these curious tribes are, the secrets of their success, and, most intriguing of all, what they think of one another.
Why are the Danes so happy despite having the highest taxes? Do the Finns really have the best education system? Are the Icelanders as feral as they sometimes appear? How are the Norwegians spending their fantastic oil wealth? And why do all of them hate the Swedes? In The Almost Nearly Perfect People, Booth explains who the Scandinavians are, how they differ and why, and what their quirks and foibles are, and he explores why these societies have become so successful and models for the world. Along the way, a more nuanced, often darker picture emerges of a region plagued by taboos, characterized by suffocating parochialism, and populated by extremists of various shades.” (goodreads.com)

Join the Red Jacket Readers as we discuss The Almost Nearly Perfect People; the book club is open to everyone. The library has multiple copies of the book to check out, and it is also available for purchase in local stores.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library. For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107

Pat Patterson Appointed MCRGO Master Instructor for the Upper Peninsula

Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners release

Leon “Pat” Patterson of Iron Mountain has been appointed a Master Instructor by the Board of Directors of the Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners (MCRGO). He is the first MCRGO Master Instructor appointed in the Upper Peninsula.

Created 21 years ago by concealed pistol advocates in the successful fight to implement “shall-issue” concealed carry in Michigan, MCRGO is America’s largest non-profit, state-based firearms organization. Along with legislative and legal activities focused on firearms law reform, MCRGO is the only state organization recognized by the State of Michigan to train members of the general public to obtain their Michigan concealed pistol license. Two national organizations, NRA and USCCA, also provide this training.

MCRGO’s training program is overseen by five Master Instructors who represent the different geographic regions of the state. Pat Patterson will be responsible for training MCRGO instructors in the Upper Peninsula and overseeing MCRGO training activities in the UP. Steve Sanderson of Republic serves as MCRGO’s elected director representing the Upper Peninsula.

Questions regarding MCRGO training program can be directed to Pat at (906) 221-3205 and at PatsFT@charter.net. More information on the training program and services for MCRGO members and the general public is available online at MCRGO.org.

Holiday family fun event

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club release

HANCOCK — After the gifts are all unwrapped, and the fancy dinners are over…what else is there to do as a family? How about a fun outdoor event to burn off some of those cookies!

Join the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club on the evening of Tuesday December 26th for the annual Candle Luminary Ski at the Maasto Hiihto trails in Hancock. Starting from Hancock’s Four Seasons Chalet at the north end of the Houghton County Fairgrounds, 1 and 2 kilometer loops will be aglow with luminaria from 6-8 pm. This fun, free event is for the whole family, including the kids whether they are on skis or in pulks. Don’t leave the 4-legged family members home! Everyone is welcome at Maasto. For folks who don’t ski, you may snow shoe or snow bike. Afterwards, head to the Chalet to warm up with light snacks and, new this year – a Chili Cook-off!

NAMI Keweenaw to hold holiday potluck

NAMI Keweenaw release

The Keweenaw Area Chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, 6 p.m. to 8pm at the Institute, 900 W. Sharon Ave. Houghton. The meeting is the annual holiday potluck. This meeting is open to the public for persons with serious mental illness, their friends and family. Phone: (906) 231-2738

Kurt Blake Helmet Fund Puts Helmets on Young Skiers

Friends of the Porkies release

Are you a young skier who needs a new helmet? The Friends of the Porkies, with generous support from the Portage Health Foundation, will help any skier age 18 or younger purchase a helmet. The Kurt Blake Helmet Fund will pay 50 percent of the price of a helmet, up to $50.00, purchased at the Porcupine Mountains Winter Sports Complex.

Go to the shop at the ski hill, select a helmet, and tell the hill personnel that you qualify for making the purchase through the helmet fund. Hill personnel will give you a form to fill out and report the sale to the Friends of the Porkies. It’s that simple. The shop is open for business, and hill personnel will post their cell phone numbers on the shop door for you to call if no one is at the shop when you need assistance. The Friends and the Portage Health Foundation offer this program to put helmets on youngsters to promote safer skiing.

River Valley Bank is Pleased to Host the Angel Tree to Help Provide Happier Holidays for Area Youth

River Valley Bank release

CALUMET, Mich. (December 7, 2017) – River Valley Bank in Calumet is pleased to host this year’s Angel Tree in the branch’s lobby. The Angel Tree is decorated with many paper angels that contain the names and gift “wish lists” of children from local families with financial need.

The Angel Tree was started several years ago by the New Beginnings Angel Mission Free Store in Calumet to meet the holiday gift needs of area youth, from newborn up to age 18. Parents fill out a form with their children’s names and wish lists.

“Volunteers will pick an angel off the tree, shop for the children listed on that angel, and bring the gifts back here to River Valley Bank,” said River Valley’s Copper Country Market Manager Lea Dziesinski. “We’re excited to be a part of this wonderful tradition,” she added.

Stop by River Valley Bank’s lobby from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday to choose an angel. Unwrapped gifts are due to back to the branch by December 20th at the latest. River Valley Bank is located at 56500 U.S. Highway 41 in Calumet. The phone number is 906-337-0200.

River Valley is a strong financial center firmly integrated into the 13 communities it serves. The company’s strong foundation in business banking delivery has allowed for successful diversification in consumer lending, mortgage and insurance. The continued emphasis on creating an incredible customer experience has allowed River Valley to grow to more than $1 billion in assets.

The CHS Senior Class presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

CLK Schools release

CALUMET — The CHS Senior Class will be presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at the Calumet Theatre on Friday and Saturday, December 15th and 16th at 7pm and Sunday the 17th at 2pm. This Christmas favorite based on the award winning children’s novel puts a fun twist on the traditional telling of the Christmas story. A Mother is thrown into directing the pageant for the first time, only to have the Herdmans, the bad kids of the town, show up and take all of the main parts. Hilarity ensues as the Herdmans cause chaos, but in the end, it really turns out to be the best ever. Tickets are $5 for students and seniors, $8 for adults, and under 5 is free.

6×6 Art Fundraiser

Copper Country Community Arts Center release

Hancock-More than 45 artists near and far have created original 6×6 inch works of art as a fundraiser for the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock. The CCCAC gave out sixty 6×6 inch canvases and asked artists to create a small work. Individuals may purchase a $40 ticket to receive one of these works of art, chosen at random, through a drawing on December 16th. Everyone that buys a ticket get a work of art, but the surprise is you won’t know which one until December 16th.

The public may view the 6×6 show from December 13th-16th in the Kerredge Gallery at the CCCAC. The 6×6 reception will be on Saturday, December 16th from 1-3pm, with the drawing starting at 1:30pm. Work also may be purchased outright, for a $100 donation total, before the drawing begins on December 16th. Otherwise, all work will be chosen at random for each $40 ticket purchased. Ticket purchasers do not need to be present during the drawing.

The CCCAC would like to thank all the participating artists; Lynn Anderson, John Arnold, Julie Bakkila, Gini Brewer, Heather Brinegar, Cynthia Coté, Brooke Cummings, Bob Dawson, Elaine Eikenberry, Leo Eikenberry Ureel, Terri Frew, Phyllis Fredendall, Jessica Gale, Tammy Gajewski, Pamela Hecht, Adrienne Hilman, Clay Hilman, Susan Hooker, Melissa Hronkin, Retta Kanthak, Tammy Kero, Harriet King, Joyce Koskenmaki, Pamela Kotila, Ken Kozminski, Donna Lenard, Bonnie Loukus, Hailey Macias, Samantha Manderfield, Belinda Mattfolk, Madhura Mehendale, Clyde Mikkola, Miriam Pickens, Mike Ramos, Bridget Riversmith, Emily Rogers Arnold, Karin Schlenker, Daniel Schneider, Jennifer Slack, Peter Sproule, Fredi Taddeucci, Abbey Tembreull, Christa Walck, and Inseo Yoon.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Tickets are on sale now. For more information or to purchase a $40 ticket for a 6×6 work of art call 482-2333 or email ccarts@coppercountryarts.com

Nov. 22, 2017

Epic Nerf Battle for Kids at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites kids ages 8 through 12 to bring their Nerf blaster for another epic battle in the library after hours on Friday, December 1, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Nerf versions of Capture the Flag, Team Deathmatch, and other games will be played, and pizza and refreshments will be served. The library will provide Nerf darts for everyone.

Registration is required and all participants must have a parent or legal guardian sign and return a waiver prior to the event. The sign-up sheet and waiver forms are available at the main circulation desk in the library.

Because we have hosted a Nerf Battle for this age group before, there are some former participants who already have valid waivers on file at the library. These kids do not need to turn in a new waiver, but they do need to call or come to the library and add their name to the sign-up sheet.

This event will be limited to 18 participants and early registration is encouraged. The registration deadline for this event is 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information please call the library at 482-4570.

Pre-Advent soup and service at Our Saviour’s

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church release

ATLANTIC MINE — Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church will hold a Pre-Advent soup and service starting 6 p.m. Nov. 29. Soup will be served at 6 p.m., followed by the service with Rev. Mary Laub and Elaine Hendrickson, LLM, at 7 p.m. All are welcome.

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Meteorologist Karl Bohnak and Photographer Jack Deo

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone for an evening enjoying Upper Peninsula weather stories and photographs spanning a century and a half on Thursday, November 30, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Meteorologist Karl Bohnak and photographer Jack Deo will share stories and photos from their book Sunburns to Snowstorms: Upper Michigan Weather in Pictures and Stories. The book contains nearly 300 photos along with stories of locations and events surrounding the images. Participants will step back in time to view photos of the massive fires that destroyed the communities of Marquette and Ontonagon in the 19th century, get a glimpse of what it was like to live through the Blizzard of 1938, view how snow was removed using horses, sleighs, and electric streetcars, and see how residents dealt with heavy snows, spring floods, tornadoes, rare lightning strikes and more.

There will be a book signing and selling after the presentation.

Bohnak is the chief meteorologist at Marquette’s WLUC-TV6. He has forecast Upper Michigan weather for nearly 30 years. His first book, So Cold a Sky, was awarded the Michigan State Library’s “Notable Book” award in 2007.

Jack Deo opened a photography studio in Marquette in 1978 and also acquired the 110 year old Childs Art Collection. That began a 40 year collecting passion which has grown to include thousands of historic photographs from across Upper Michigan.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

Nov. 21, 2017

Celebrate your loved ones this holiday season with Aspirus Keweenaw’s Tree of Love program

Aspirus Keweenaw release

LAURIUM – In keeping with holiday tradition at Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, the Auxiliary invites you to celebrate your loved ones by making a donation in their name to the Tree of Love.

Now in its 24th year, the Tree of Love program is a heart-warming way to remember and/or honor someone special by purchasing a light, bell angel or star ornament. All names are showcased year-round on a special Tree of Love display at the hospital.

“While the holidays are a special and joyous time of year for many, they can also bring sadness, especially for those who have lost close family, friends and neighbors,” said Mariah Maggio, volunteer services coordinator for Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital. “This is such a wonderful and meaningful way to celebrate loved ones and find some peace during the holiday season.”

Tree of Love donation forms are available at all Aspirus locations in Laurium, Lake Linden and Houghton, and at several area businesses. Forms are also available online at www.aspirus.org. 

Donation forms can be submitted by mailing them to the Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital Auxiliary, 205 Osceola St., Laurium, MI, 49913. They can also be dropped off at a help desk at the hospital in Laurium. All forms must be received by Nov. 28 to be included on the Tree of Love display. All proceeds support the healing mission of Aspirus.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, everyone is invited to Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital for the Tree of Love Ceremony. The ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. and includes holiday music, guest speakers, tree lighting, and snacks and refreshments. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Tree of Love, contact Mariah Maggio at 906-337-6961.

Bonifas Arts Center announces Northern Exposure winners and sponsors

Bonifas Ar Center release

ESCANABA – Drum roll, please! The Bonifas Arts Center and gallery partners Baybank, Escanaba Veterinary Clinic, and Thrivent Financial are pleased to announce the winners of the Northern Exposure annual regional art competition. Artists were honored with over $3,000 worth of prizes, including cash, an artist residency, and regional media coverage.

This year’s Artist Residency Award from Mission Point Resort, Mackinac Island winner is: Taimur Cleary of Marquette for “Façade (To Face).” 

The placement award winners are: Tracy Anderson of Rapid River–first place for “Nature’s Symphony”; Brian Burroughs of Escanaba–second place for “Ouroboros”; and Rose Peltier of Escanaba–third place for “Marley.”

Purchase prize award winners include: Catherine Benda of Atlantic Mine–“Copper Vase” and Monica Miller Mortel of Escanaba–” Just Chirping Around”–purchased by Thrivent Financial–Escanaba branch; Janet Bernson of Gladstone–“U.P. Waterfall”–purchased by Schneider, Larche, Haapala & Co.; Gregg Bruff of Escanaba–“After the Storm”–purchased by the Delta Area Chamber of Commerce; Paul Nelson of Gwinn–“Anatomy of an Eclipse” and William Oman of Escanaba–“Cascade”–purchased by Bay College; and finally, Bernie Park of Marquette–“Early Spring”-purchased by Darolyn and Robert Spannuth.      

This year, new awards include a feature on U.P. channels TV6 and TV10 in the Media Awards category. In this category, Tracy Anderson’s (Rapid River) “Kindred Spirits” was chosen by Marquette Monthly newspaper. The Munising News awarded Shelly Dinsmoore of Munising for her work, “Ansestoral Echos.” The Daily Press chose Escanaba artist Michael Hall’s work, “Feeling Excited”, with WLUC TV6 & FOX UP TV choosing Diane Kribs-Mays’ of Rock’s work, “Adventures in Knit Glass” and Joan Maatta of Escanaba’s “Ice On The Rocks.” The Iron Mountain Daily News chose Escanaba’s Chris Hook for his work, “When It Rains.”          

Also, WYKX/ WDBC radio and upperpeninsula.biz chose three artists’ works: Rose Peltier of Escanaba for “Marley,” Cindy Wedig of Gwinn for “In the Recesses of My Mind” and Suzy Decker of Gladstone for “Swinging the Blues.”

The Student Award category is also new and sponsored by Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, and Bay College. Winners are: Chris Hook of Escanaba–first place for “When It Rains”; Andreaka Jump of Marquette–second place for “Waves on Superior 8”; and Delaney Viau of Bark River – third place for “Issaiah.”

Finally, winners in the Featured Artists Award category (sponsor that awards recipients a venue for a show listed after winners) include:

Al Hansen of Escanaba for “Untitled Glass Yellow Blue Vase”–Cappaert Gallery; JoAnn Deuel Shelby for “Rusted Elegance”, Stella Larkin for “Ancient Dweller”, and Jason Limberg of Gwinn for “Dream Sentinel”–all at the Erickson Center For The Arts Gallery.

JoAnn Deuel Shelby of Marquette for “Rusted Elegance”–Paige Ward Gallery; Cindy Wedig of Gwinn’s work, “Interior Cell”–Lake Superior Arts Association Arts Gallery; Cindy Wedig’s “Interior Cell”, Jason Limberg’s “Dream Sentinel,” Mara Manning of Escanaba’s “You Were On My Mind” and Brian Burroughs  “Ouroboros”–all at the Lake Superior State University Arts Center Gallery.

Northern Exposure is an annual regional art competition that has supported and encouraged new work from U.P. artists over the past 24 years with contributions from businesses like Escanaba Veterinary Clinic, Baybank of Gladstone, and Thrivent Financial – Escanaba Branch.

“The Bonifas would like to thank these Art Gallery partners for making it possible for the community to be able to view this artwork by exceptional artists from across the Upper Peninsula,” Bonifas Artistic Director Pasqua Warstler said. “The representatives from these businesses know that it is good business to support people who support their businesses.”

The entire Northern Exposure exhibit will be on display in the Bonifas galleries through Dec. 21.

“This event is a great opportunity for people to see a comprehensive look at the current work being produced here in the U.P.,” Warstler added. “We welcome the public and remind them that there is no admission fee.”

The award-winning artwork and the entire exhibit can be viewed at bonifasarts.org or at the Bonifas at 700 First Ave. So., Escanaba. Victoria LaFave is a freelance writer for The Bonifas Arts Center.

Nov. 20, 2017

Community Breakfast

Houghton Keweenaw Girl Up release

Houghton Keweenaw Girl Up has partnered with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church to put on a ‘Community Breakfast’ on December 2nd, from 8:00am-12:00pm. In an effort to bring the community together for a greater cause, Girl Up hopes to raise funds to send off before the holidays to disadvantaged boys and girls who do not have easy access to education. All community members are invited to attend and help out with this great cause, all while enjoying a hearty breakfast, provided to you by local businesses.

Entry is $3.00.

UP Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Fund donates to Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club release

The Upper Peninsula Sustainable Forest and Wildlife Fund, administered by The Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula, awarded the Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club $1,690 to help defray the cost of purchasing a new ATV for cross country ski trail maintenance and grooming.

According to the Escanaba MI based organization, “The Community Foundation of the Upper Peninsula provides a vehicle for donors who wish to support projects that benefit the Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a whole rather than a single community or county. The funds of the Community Foundation of the U.P. support projects that deal with concerns such as our environment, scholarships for our youth, and sustainable forestry. The CFUP is comprised of eight affiliate foundations and five U.P. wide funds that grant for projects throughout the Upper Peninsula.”

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club’s mission is to promote the sport of cross-country skiing in the Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan for both youth and adults and to provide stewardship of the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trails. KNSC is committed to ensuring trails will always be usable year round for silent sports. To accomplish our mission effectively requires an enormous investment, both in paid and volunteer labor, and especially in equipment, tools, and supplies. KNSC would not be able to fulfill its mission to the highest degree possible, without the generosity of organizations such as the Community Foundation of the U.P.

Nov. 17, 2017

Volunteers Needed for Communities that Care Suicide Prevention Work Group

Communities that Care release

Looking to volunteer in your community? Join the Suicide Prevention Work Group! The Houghton/Keweenaw Communities that Care (CTC) is in need of more volunteers for the Suicide Prevention Work Group.

Help us plan suicide prevention events and programming to help #StopSuicide in our community. The time commitment is very low, only one meeting per month, and it looks great on a resume!

Why do we need to promote suicide prevention? Did you know…

– More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED.

– Suicide is the SECOND leading cause of death for ages 10-24.

– Every 16.2 MINUTES a person dies by suicide

– Suicide is the 10th LEADING CAUSE of death in the US

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 28th at 4:00PM in the Administration Building Room 201 on Michigan Tech’s Campus. Stop by and see us!

For more information please contact Lauren Kirwin at lakirwin@mtu.edu or Mary LeDoux at houghtonkeweenawctc@gmail.com.

Keweenaw Lions Club Meeting Notes

Keweenaw Lions Club release

MOHAWK — The Keweenaw Lions Club held its November meeting on Nov 6 at Slim’s Cafe. Guest speaker was Calumet Girls Softball Coach, Joel Rastello, who presented the “Field of Dreams Project” of extensive renovation to the Legion Ball Field in Calumet. Joel was accompanied by two team members, Kendra and Kristy, who also spoke. The Keweenaw Lions Club decided, unanimously, to donate financial support to the project.

December 4 meeting is the annual Keweenaw Lions Club Christmas party, held at Slims at 6:00 PM.

New members are welcomed. Call Cherri Allen at 289-4479 for more information.

Deadline near for Elks Most Valuable Scholarship

U.P. District Elks release

U.P. District Elks Scholarship Chairman Jason Siik reminds area High School Seniors that the deadline to turn in your Elks Scholarship Applications is fast approaching.

Again this year, the Elks National Foundation is investing in our nation’s future by awarding $3.74 million in college scholarships.

The MVS scholarship is available to all high school seniors who are United States citizens. Applicants do not need to be related to a member of the Elks. Males and females compete separately, and are judged on scholarship, leadership and financial need. The Most Valuable Student scholarship will help 500 deserving students attend college. The ENF will award 20 top scholarships ranging from $20,000 to $50,000. The remaining 480 runners-up will receive $4,000 scholarships. Completed applications must be turned in on line no later than November 27th, 2017.

Each year, the Elks National Foundation and Local Elk Lodges provide millions of dollars in college scholarships to high school seniors like those in the community. To learn more about Elks National Foundation scholarship opportunities, Contact U.P. District Chairman U.P. District Scholarship Chairman,Jason Siik Cell: 734-890-2732. 921 Pine Street, Negaunee, Michigan. 49866 or jason.siik@negauneeschools.org or visit the Elks website at www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

The Elks National Foundation is pleased to announce its 2018 Legacy Awards scholarship contest for children and grandchildren of Elks. The program, which kicked off September 1, 2017, awards 400 $4,000 scholarships to children and grandchildren of Elks members. The contest is open to any high school senior who is the child or grandchild (or step-child, step-grandchild, or legal ward) of an Elk who has been a member in good standing for at least two years. Applications must be submitted online to the Foundation by Noon on February 2nd,2018. Children and grandchildren compete separately against other children and grandchildren from their sponsoring Lodge’s state. Applications must be completed and submitted online only. For more details and eligibility requirements, and to start the application process, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

Christmas Musical: “Take me to the King”

Hope Fellowship release

HOUGHTON — Hope Fellowship, Sharon Ave, Houghton will host a Christmas Celebration for the community, a musical entitled “Take me to the KING” presented by the Central Assembly Music Ministry, Vero Beach, FL. The musical will be live streamed on December 10, Sunday eve at 7 pm. A Christmas cookie and coffee social will follow the musical program. All are invited to participate.

Danny Dawidowski Announces Retirement, Jack Frost Named Successor

Range Bank release

Marquette, MI: After 42 years of service to the financial industry, Danny Dawidowski, Senior Vice President and Trust & Wealth Management Officer has announced his retirement from Range Bank effective March 30, 2018. In addition to Dawidowski’s retirement announcement, the Board of Directors is also pleased to announce the appointment of Jack Frost, Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager, as his successor.

“Although Danny will be missed, we appreciate his leadership over the past several years. We are happy that he will remain as a consultant and a member of the bank’s investment committee going forward. Danny has built a strong foundation and great team that continues to provide our clients with above average returns and growth,” stated Ken Palmer, Chairman and CEO of Range Bank.

“Over $100 million in assets is now being managed by our Trust & Wealth team,” stated Dawidowski, “I am proud to have been a part of growing our department and welcome Jack as my successor,” concluded Dawidowski.

Frost has over 20 years of financial services experience. Frost attended Western Michigan University where he earned his degree in Finance and Economics. He joined Range Bank in 2012 as the Chief Financial Officer.

Within the community Frost is President of the Marquette Rotary Fund, Treasurer of the Downtown Development Authority, Treasurer of the MSHS PTSO, Marquette County Habitat for Humanity Board Member, and Past President of the Rotary Club of Marquette.

He may be reached by e-mail at jfrost@rangebank.com, by phone 228-8042 or at the Range Bank headquarters located at 100 North Front Street in downtown Marquette.

Hancock Christmas Walk

Hancock Business and Professionals Association release

The 37th Annual Hancock Christmas Walk will take place Friday, Nov. 24, in downtown Hancock. Families can follow Santa on his fire truck down Quincy Street in a parade to City Hall for the lighting of the Christmas Tree. There will be cookie decorating, small gifts for children, dog sled rides on Quincy Green and horse drawn wagon rides around town. This free and festive event takes place from 6-8 p.m.

“Redistricting in Michigan” at the PLDL

Copper Country League of Women Voters release

HOUGHTON — On Wednesday, December 6 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Dr. Martha Sloan of the Copper Country League of Women Voters will present “REDISTRICTING IN MICHIGAN: Should Politicians Choose Their Voters?” at Portage Lake District Library. Her presentation will cover

*the historical background of redrawing national and Michigan districts,

*the effect of gerrymandering on selecting winners,

*a comparison of Michigan processes with those of other states,

*recent court decisions,

*the proposal of Voters Not Politicians for the Michigan 2018 ballot, and

*the recommendations of the Michigan League of Women Voters.

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

Zion Winter Night of Music

Zion Lutheran Church release

A winter night of music will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Hancock on Tuesday, December 5 at 7PM. Join us for an evening of Christmas caroling and special music by local musicians. A free will offering will be taken to benefit the Inter-Lutheran Theological Seminary. Refreshments will be served afterwards with support from Thrivent Financial.

Hancock Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, November 4, 2017 – The Hancock “Bulldogs” played the Stephenson “Eagles” in the first round of High School Bowl and won by a score of 230-120. Forty schools from the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin field teams for Public TV 13’s High School Bowl tournament, now celebrating 40 years on the air. Hancock will advance to the second round when they play Bark River-Harris in Game 9, scheduled to air on December 9. Running from November through the championship game in April, the High School Bowl series airs on Public TV 13 Saturdays at 8 pm and Mondays at noon. Find more information on the 2017-2018 tournament at wnmutv.nmu.edu.

Representing Hancock, seated from left, are players Michael Lancour, Nick Lang, team captain Adam Jordan and Johan Hepokoski. Standing are alternates Jake Patchin and Ben Galetto with Coach Senia Kuntze. Players for Stephenson are, seated from left, Trent Cappaert, team captain Joey Starzynski, Shaun Mikus and Evan King. Standing are alternate Trae Larson with Coach Brittany Wesner. High School Bowl host Jim Koski is standing at lower left.

Major production funding for High School Bowl is provided by The Ray & Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and by Janice Mills of Bark River, and by the Donald & Audrey Anderson Foundation. Local support is provided by 17 Upper Peninsula Credit Unions: TruNorth Federal Credit Union, U.P. State Credit Union, Tahquamenon Area Credit Union, Soo Co-op Credit Union, Delta County Credit Union, Integra First Federal Credit Union, Upper Michigan Community Credit Union, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union, Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, Gogebic County Federal Credit Union, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Baraga County Federal Credit Union, Iron Mountain – Kingsford Community Federal Credit Union, Peninsula Federal Credit Union, U.P. Catholic Credit Union, Northern United Federal Credit Union and Marquette Community Federal Credit Union. Local support is also provided by Petrucelli and Waara, Attorneys at Law; in partnership with the Regional Educational Service Agencies & Intermediate School Districts of the Upper Peninsula.

Public TV 13, WNMU-TV is a member-supported public broadcasting service of Northern Michigan University and is licensed to the NMU Board of Trustees.

Houghton Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, November 4, 2017 – The Houghton “Gremlins” played the Dollar Bay “Blue Bolts” in the first round of High School Bowl and won by a score of 300-60. Forty schools from the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin field teams for Public TV 13’s High School Bowl tournament, now celebrating 40 years on the air. Houghton will advance to the second round when they play Lake Linden in Game 12, scheduled to air on December 16. Running from November through the championship game in April, the High School Bowl series airs on Public TV 13 Saturdays at 8 pm and Mondays at noon. Find more information on the 2017-2018 tournament at wnmutv.nmu.edu.

Representing Houghton, seated from left, are players Irene Ra, Mary Massopust, team captain Anne Desrochers and Kevin Beaghan. Standing are alternates Kate Desrochers and Ilya Holden with Coach Bill Martell. Players for Dollar Bay are, seated from left, Amanda Marcotte, team captain Kayla Hakala, Hayley Beaudoin and Torri Haapala. Standing is alternate Meg Keranen with Coach Cathy Hill. High School Bowl host Jim Koski is standing at lower left.

Major production funding for High School Bowl is provided by The Ray & Peg Hirvonen Foundation, and by Janice Mills of Bark River, and by the Donald & Audrey Anderson Foundation. Local support is provided by 17 Upper Peninsula Credit Unions: TruNorth Federal Credit Union, U.P. State Credit Union, Tahquamenon Area Credit Union, Soo Co-op Credit Union, Delta County Credit Union, Integra First Federal Credit Union, Upper Michigan Community Credit Union, Great Lakes First Federal Credit Union, Michigan Tech Employees Federal Credit Union, Gogebic County Federal Credit Union, Limestone Federal Credit Union, Baraga County Federal Credit Union, Iron Mountain – Kingsford Community Federal Credit Union, Peninsula Federal Credit Union, U.P. Catholic Credit Union, Northern United Federal Credit Union and Marquette Community Federal Credit Union. Local support is also provided by Petrucelli and Waara, Attorneys at Law; in partnership with the Regional Educational Service Agencies & Intermediate School Districts of the Upper Peninsula.

Public TV 13, WNMU-TV is a member-supported public broadcasting service of Northern Michigan University and is licensed to the NMU Board of Trustees.

KUUF introductory meeting

Keweenaw Unitarian Universalism Fellowship release

HOUGHTON — “New to UU”, an introductory conversation about Unitarian Universalism will be presented by the minister, Saturday, December 2nd at 2pm in the church office of the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. The session is open to everyone interested in learning more about the history and perspective of this liberal religious denomination. The office is located in the annex of the Trinity Episcopal Church, Houghton. The office is accessed off the upper parking lot on the back side of Trinity, which is located on Montezuma street between Quincy and Pewabic.

Information about the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is available at 482-5586 and on the web at keweenawuu.org. Childcare during the meeting time is available upon request.

Peters: “Michiganders – and all Americans – deserve a tax code that is fairer, simpler, and more responsible, not more multi-national corporate giveaways and debt”

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) spoke on the Senate floor today to voice his opposition to the current draft of the Republican tax plan that disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Americans and creates over one trillion in new debt. Below is video and text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Mr. President, I rise today to make a simple request of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. When it comes to the tax legislation that my colleagues are rushing through Congress, please, stop, slow down, and start over.

“We need real tax reform with clear policy goals that will make our nation more competitive, not a partisan attempt to pass something – anything – that can get 51 Republican votes here in the Senate.

“Our shared policy goals should be making the tax code fairer, simpler, and fiscally responsible. If we can achieve these goals, that would be real tax reform.

“If we worked together, we could take long overdue steps and build a tax code that lets working families in Michigan – and across the country – keep more of their hard earned money, levels the playing field for our small businesses, and keeps good jobs here at home in the United States.

“Fairer, simpler, responsible. Those are three key points to making a tax code that works.

“Mr. President, if we do not start over, I am afraid that the current tax legislation will fail on all three counts.

“First, this tax legislation is not fairer. It dramatically moves towards benefiting the wealthiest people in this nation, with only a sliver of the benefits going to working class families.

“The Republican tax bill was clearly written to cut rates for CEOs and large corporations and treats the middle class like an afterthought.

“I would argue that working Americans are struggling with stagnant wages while the cost of prescription drugs, college, and housing continue to rise, any tax cut should be built around them.

“Instead, we’re looking at a Republican tax plan that repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax, a failsafe designed specifically to make sure that wealthy Americans cannot deduct their way to paying nothing in taxes.

“From what little we have seen of President Trump’s tax returns, we know that the AMT is the only reason he paid any income taxes at all.

“Wall Street loves this bill because hedge funds will continue to be taxed at lower rates than small businesses. This means many hedge fund managers making millions of dollars will have a lower tax rate than the office assistant working at their firm.

“Simply put, this proposal fails on the test of making the code fairer.

“I also believe this effort fails on the test of making the code simpler.

“For small business owners back in Michigan, they want to spend their time doing what they know best – running their business – not spending days or weeks doing their taxes. But as many of my colleagues in the Finance Committee have pointed out throughout this week, the provisions for a small business pass-through only serves to make a complicated tax code even more complicated.

“Expert analysis says that the pass-through provisions will require years of rule makings and thousands of pages of rules and regulations. As a small business owner – unless your hobby is studying the Internal Revenue Code – this bill is going to make your life more difficult.

“And finally, on the last test – the test of whether or not this bill is responsible – this proposal fails miserably.

“Writing responsible tax legislation means making hard choices, closing loopholes and balancing out the pros and cons of every action.

“Congress has a responsibility to take seriously the threat of a growing national debt and we have to think about this when changing our tax code. Instead of working to reduce the debt we are already passing onto our children, this proposal adds more than one trillion dollars in deficits.

“And it would be even more expensive, but in a haphazard attempt to limit the cost, the majority has put forward a bill where hundreds of millions of dollars of provisions that middle class families could use to reduce their taxes expire at random over the next few years.

“When you add it all up and factor in the added interest costs on all this new debt, you have a proposal that adds over two trillion dollars to the federal debt, according to the non-partisan Center for a Responsible Federal Budget.

“It is wildly irresponsible to pile on this debt to finance a tax break for the wealthiest people in this nation.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way. Tax reform can be bipartisan. The goal of tax reform must be – fairer, simpler, and responsible.

“This isn’t just idealism and wishful thinking, we’ve seen it happen. When Ronald Reagan worked with Congress to pass tax reform in 1986, the bill got 97 votes in the United States Senate – 97 votes!

“That is the sort of bipartisan approach we need. And we need to start working on it now.

“Michiganders – and all Americans – deserve a tax code that is fairer, simpler, and more responsible, not more multi-national corporate giveaways and debt.

“I won’t stop fighting for hardworking American families and small businesses who deserve to see more take-home pay, and I hope my colleagues across the aisle will join me.”

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Domestic Violence Awareness Presentation

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host Mary Niemela, Executive Director of the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, for a presentation on Tuesday, November 28, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Niemela will discuss the dynamics of domestic violence, why victims stay with their abuser, and the effects domestic violence has on children. She will also explore reasons why domestic violence is still happening.

Niemela has worked at the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for 27 years. Before becoming the Executive Director, she held various positions there including Coordinator of Volunteer Services, Coalition Coordinator, and Outreach Advocate.

The Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter is committed to ending all forms of violence in personal relationships and within the community. The Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter recognizes that violence in the home is a significant crime impacting the whole community’s health and well being. In addition to providing ways to access safety and support, the Shelter also offers counseling, advocacy, and referrals to other agencies in the community that work for or with those affected by domestic violence. 

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information please call the library at 482-4570.

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