BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Press Release

Feb. 16, 2018

Panel on women’s careers

Michigan Tech release

HOUGHTON — A panel discussion on women’s careers, “Women’s Professional Lives: Choice, Chance, and Serendipity,” will be held Monday, February 26 from 4-6 in Michigan Tech’s East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Panelists, who will make evident that often women’s career trajectories are neither linear nor predictable, will be Elizabeth Flynn, Humanities, M. Ann Brady, Humanities, Kette Thomas, Humanities, Sarah Green, Chemistry, Faith Morrison, Chemical Engineering, and Jill Hodges, Van Pelt and Opie Library.

The event is a celebration of the publication of a book co-edited by Flynn and Tiffany Bourelle, Women’s Professional Lives in Rhetoric and Composition: Choice, Chance, and Serendipity, published recently by The Ohio State University Press. Fifteen essays, a foreword, and an introduction chronicle the professional lives of women from diverse backgrounds, illustrating ways in which the personal and professional often intertwine and influence one another. Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.

Aspirus’ diabetes education programs earn ADA recertification for quality and performance

Aspirus release

LAURIUM, Mich. – Diabetes self-management education programs at Aspirus Keweenaw and Aspirus Ontonagon hospitals have recently been awarded recertification by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Program for providing high-quality education services for patients.

The ADA Education Recognition effort is a voluntary process and assures that approved education programs have met the National Standard for Diabetes Self-Management Education Programs. Achieving recognition status signifies that staff are knowledgeable health professionals who provide patients with comprehensive information about diabetes management. Recognition is verified by an official certificate from the ADA and awarded for four years.

Aspirus Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Beth Cook, RD, CDE, who manages the diabetes self-management education programs for both Aspirus Keweenaw and Aspirus Ontonagon hospitals, said, “Knowing that our hospitals maintain high standards, procedures and protocols, assures our patients that they are receiving the highest quality of care and most up-to-date clinical resources to help them manage diabetes.”

Self-management education is an essential component of diabetes treatment, and patients in ADA-recognized programs are taught self-care skills designed to promote better management of their diabetes treatment regimen. Through appropriate self-management, unnecessary hospital admissions and some of the acute and chronic complications of diabetes can be prevented.

The ADA is the nation’s leading non-profit health organization supporting diabetes research, advocacy and information for health professionals, patients, and the public.

For more information about the diabetes self-management group classes, one-on-one appointments and monthly support groups, call Beth Cook, RD, CDE, at 906-337-6078.

World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute is an opportunity for teens to explore solutions to local and global challenges.

Michigan State University Extension release

EAST LANSING and CHATHAM, Mich. – As millions across the globe deal with food insecurity, the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute (WFP MIYI) offers young people an opportunity to be part of the solution. The fourth annual event, to be held May 10, seeks to inspire and prepare the next generation of global leaders to end world hunger and poverty.

“Nearly one in nine people on this planet do not have access at all times to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food and this problem will only continue to grow if we do not address the critical factors that lead to food insecurity,” said Brian Wibby, leadership and civic engagement educator for Michigan State University Extension (MSU Extension) and co-coordinator of the WFP MIYI. “We know that there are many interconnected issues that lead to food insecurity and we are providing the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute to young people as an opportunity to explore and help solve these vital issues. We know that young people have innovative ideas and a passion for solving problems that can and will make a difference if we provide them with the right tools and opportunities.”

The WFP MIYI is a collaborative effort of MSU Extension, Michigan 4-H, Michigan FFA, the MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the World Food Prize. The event provides Michigan youth with the opportunity to share their ideas related to global food security with MSU experts and other Michigan youth while learning how MSU faculty, staff, researchers and students are working to address issue related to food security and hunger. The WFP MIYI partners hope that as a result, program participants will be inspired to pursue education that will allow them to apply their passion for global issues in impactful careers related to global food security.

“I became aware of how ensuring food security is integral to providing access to education, eliminating poverty, and ensuring a more equitable future for millions of people across the world,” said Neha Middela, a participant in the 2017 WFP MIYI. “By being aware of global issues and potential solutions, teens can gain additional perspective on potential career opportunities. Being conscientious of the world around them will allow teens to impact their local, national, and global communities to the fullest extent, both now and in the future.”

The May 10 program will be held simultaneously at two locations for the first time: MSU’s campus in East Lansing and the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, MI. This new update to the program will allow participants from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas to interact with each other virtually, while making the program more accessible to students across the entire state.

To participate, youth should be in grades 8 -12 and register by the deadline of April 1. As part of the application process, youth prepare a 3 page research paper about a global issue concerning hunger and poverty. Paper writing instructions and resources are available to students on the World Food Prize website. At the event, youth present and discuss the results of their research with other participants and experts. They also participate in interactive activities to explore research and other current work that seeks to address food security and access challenges and engage with area experts to discuss solutions to global hunger and poverty.

The top performing students in the WFP MIYI will be selected to attend the World Food Prize Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. Held in conjunction with the Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, youth who attend the Global Youth Institute have the opportunity to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize laureates and participate in dialogues with the world’s leading experts and policy makers in the area of global food security.

“I was able to interact with incredible youth from around the country and the world,” said Nathan Laurenz, a participant in the 2016 WFP MIYI. “I met some of the global leaders of agriculture and listened to some of the most knowledgeable and influential people I have ever met. The experience opened my eyes to the problems and solutions of feeding the world.”

For more information on the WFP MIYI, visit msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/wfpmiyi or contact event coordinator Brian Wibby (wibby@anr.msu.edu or 315-2662).

Local author’s short story wins state prize

Michigan Short Story Contest release

GRAND RAPIDS — Hancock author Nancy Barr’s short story was recently selected as the Judges’ Choice Runner-up in the sixth annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest.

Sponsored by the Kent District Library, Schuler Books & Music, and Meijer, the contest drew almost 900 writers from across the state in four categories –185 adults, 459 teens, 222 youth and 32 Spanish writers.

Barr’s story, “Peace,” is set in the Houghton-Hancock area and explores the long-term impact the Vietnam War had on one veteran and his family. The story will be published in an anthology featuring all of the wining authors later this year. The winning authors will be honored at an awards ceremony at Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids on Saturday, March 17.

Barr is also the author of the Page One mystery trilogy set in the Upper Peninsula and published by Arbutus Press. Her next project is turning “Peace” into a screenplay, which she would love to see filmed in the U.P.

She earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Bay College and LSSU, respectively, and master’s and PhD degrees in rhetoric from Michigan Tech. She currently serves as the director of the Engineering Communications Program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University, where she teaches engineers best practices in communicating their work to a wide range of audiences.

Although born elsewhere, Barr considers herself a Yooper, having thrived through three-and-a-half decades of winters, fourteen of them in the gorgeous Keweenaw Peninsula. She lives with her family near Hancock where she enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, and, of course, reading and writing.

Feb. 15, 2018

Skills USA Competition 2018

Copper Country Intermediate School District release

On Friday, February 9, 2018, Bay Community College held a Skills USA Competition for Auto Tech students across the U.P. Skills USA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. Skills USA helps each student excel. They provide educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education (CTE) in the nation’s classrooms.

Copper Country ISD Automotive Tech students participated in this regional competition. Along with the Copper Country, three other U.P. ISD Auto Tech programs participated in the competition. A total of 34 students participated in events in Automotive Brakes, Automotive Refinishing, New Vehicle Prep, Electrical and Overall Auto.

The Copper Country ISD Auto Tech students swept the Brakes competition with Noah Stromer in 1st, Patrick Oja 2nd both from Hancock High, and Sam Haataja in 3rd from Houghton High School. In the Electrical division Orrin Erickson also from Hancock place 3rd. In the New Vehicle Prep division Stanley Helminen placed 3rd who is from Calumet High school.

Auto Tech teacher David Narhi said that he, along with his students had a great day at the competition. The students worked hard and performed well. I am very proud of them.

Sen. Peters National Criminal Justice Commission Provision Approved by Judiciary Committee

Sen. Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved a provision based on bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) that would create a National Criminal Justice Commission. The commission would be tasked with conducting a top-to-bottom review and proposing recommendations to address the most pressing issues facing our nation’s criminal justice system. The provision passed as part of broader sentencing reform legislation.

“It’s been more than 50 years since we last conducted a comprehensive review of our criminal justice system, and this commission is long overdue,” said Senator Peters. “Every American should trust that they will be treated equally under the law, but numerous incidents in cities across the country have eroded faith in America’s in the system. It’s clear we need to address these serious concerns, including police and community relationships, our growing prison population and the cycle of recidivism. I’m pleased the Judiciary Committee approved this bipartisan provision that will help us identify solutions to ensure we are administering justice in a fair, equitable and effective way for every American.”

The provision creates a bipartisan National Criminal Justice Commission to conduct an 18-month, comprehensive review of America’s criminal justice system. The review would include federal, state, local and tribal criminal justice systems, and issue recommendations for changes in oversight, policies, practices and laws to reduce crime, increase public safety and promote confidence in the criminal justice system.

The 14-member commission would be made up of Presidential and Congressional appointees, including experts on law enforcement, criminal justice, victims’ rights, civil liberties and social services. The commission will help provide a better understanding of community relationships with law enforcement and the administration of justice through our court system, and identify effective policies to address a broad range of issues in the criminal justice system including policing, crime reduction, incarceration and prisoner reentry.

The last comprehensive review of the criminal justice system was conducted in 1965 under President Lyndon Johnson. The 1965 Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice’s report offered over 200 recommendations that have shaped the current criminal justice system, including the creation of the 9-1-1 system, establishment of research organizations like the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and improved training and professionalization for law enforcement.

Peters is also a cosponsor of the broader sentencing reform package, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, which revises prison sentences for nonviolent offenders and strengthens penalties for violent and career criminals. The legislation also includes provisions to address recidivism and help inmates successfully reenter society and limits the use of solitary confinement for juveniles.

PHF Annual Update Breakfast

Portage Health Foundation release

HANCOCK — The Portage Health Foundation is hosting an “Update to the Community” breakfast on March, 22, 2018. The breakfast will be held in the Portage conference room located on the seventh floor of the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn in Houghton.

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) will be giving an update to the community on their programs, funding that has been granted, and their future granting and program plans. Please join us and other community members for this update. A buffet breakfast will begin at 8:00 a.m., with the program commencing at 8:30 a.m.

RSVP no later than Friday, March 9, 2018, if you plan to attend by calling 906-523-5920 or emailing info@phfgive.org. We look forward to seeing you!

Bergman Questions Budget Director Mulvaney on President Trump’s FY19 Budget

Congressman Bergman release

Washington – Today, the House Budget Committee held a hearing with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney to discuss the priorities of the Administration for FY 2019. Congressman Jack Bergman had this to say after questioning Mulvaney on military funding, cuts to GLRI, and reducing waste in the federal government:

“There are tough budgetary decisions that need to be made here in Congress, and President Trump’s budget request provides a blueprint for how the Administration proposes we do that. But it is Congress, not the Executive Branch, that decides how federal dollars are spent. Congress has the final say on how the federal government is funded, and as a member of the House Budget Committee I have the unique opportunity of being involved in that process at multiple levels.”

During his line of questioning, Rep. Bergman stressed the importance of Great Lakes funding to Director Mulvaney: “Michigan’s First District has more Great Lakes shoreline than any District in the nation. The Great Lakes are truly our lifeblood – not only for the people in our communities, but also our economies. 20% of the worlds fresh surface water reside in the Great Lakes. They are a global and natural resource that we need to preserve and make sure remain healthy. A year ago the President’s budget cut the GLRI to zero. Working with colleagues we were able to get the funding level back to it’s original $300 million. In this budget it concerns me that there is a 90% cut. I will work with the administration and my colleagues to make this number realistic so that we do not make a mistake with this 90% cut.” 

Congressman Bergman discussed several other issues with Director Mulvaney and had the following to say regarding today’s hearing:

On National Security and DOD Audit: “I’ve said many times that the United States government must be held accountable for every penny of taxpayer money received and spent – especially when committing resources to the defense of our nation. As we work to rebuild our military, it’s important that we ensure every dollar is spent wisely. I asked Director Mulvaney for an update on the Pentagon Audit for which I have long been an advocate. The Director informed me that last week the audit discovered about $800 Million in improper payments. The audit is working, and it’s necessary to continue the work being done to audit DOD. 

On Infrastructure: “No part of the country requires more investment in infrastructure like rural America, and I applaud the Administration for focusing on this issue. Rural connectivity is vital to the First District’s residents, especially our agriculture community. I will continue to work with the Administration and my colleagues in the House to bring high-speed broadband to our rural communities. Additional focus on updating the Soo Locks is also vital, and I will work to ensure the Soo Locks Modernization Act is at the forefront of the infrastructure discussion. To enact a 21st Century infrastructure plan, we must find bipartisan solutions.“

On the Opioid Crisis: “We are having roundtables through the district to discuss how we handle the addiction crisis. I asked Director Mulvaney for clarification on how the Administration planned on implementing and allocating the suggested $20 billion to combat the opioid crisis. Director Mulvaney ensured me that a portion of the Administration’s budget proposal would be spent on additional NIH programs to develop non-addictive alternatives to opioids, additional methadone treatment funding for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as a campaign to discourage the use of opioids. 

On Essential Air Services: “As I’ve said before, the President’s proposed cut in funding for Essential Air Services fails to take into account communities like the ones in our district. Airports depend on Essential Air Services to help them boost industry, economic stability, tourism, and mobility in the Upper Peninsula and throughout the First District. I will fight for full Essential Air Services funding as Congress moves through the budget process.”

Peters and Burr Introduce Bill to Protect Small Businesses from Unfair Trade Practices

Sen. Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Richard Burr (R-NC) today are introducing bipartisan legislation to help enforce trade laws for small and medium-sized businesses that are undercut byunfair trade practices. Under current law, the Commerce Department has the authority to self-initiate investigations into dumping and subsidies, but rarely utilizes this authority. The majority of their investigations begin only after companies or industry representatives lodge formal complaints. Small and medium-sized businesses, including agricultural producers, manufacturers, parts suppliers, and paper goods producers, often lack the resources needed to identify unfair practices and bring them to the attention of the Commerce Department.

“Small and mid-sized businesses in Michigan and across the country are working hard to make great products for consumers, but they often face unfair competition from foreign companies that flood American markets with artificially cheaper goods,” said Senator Peters. “Smaller companies with limited resources may not have the ability to identify trade violations, or worse, they fear retaliation from governments in foreign markets where they sell their products. This bipartisan bill will ensure American manufacturers and agricultural producers can compete on a level playing field.”

“I’m pleased to join Senator Peters as a cosponsor of this legislation to encourage the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration to flag more potential trade abuses for investigation,” said Senator Burr. “This bill will help put small and medium-sized business on a more level playing field against unfair imports. With Secretary Ross’ support, I hope my colleagues will join us to protect American trade in the global economy.”

The ­­­­­­Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act would create a permanent task force at the International Trade Administration (ITA), an agency within the Commerce Department, to investigate dumping and subsidies on imported goods. Dumping is an unfair trade practice where foreign competitors intentionally lower the price of their goods to make it harder for American companies that produce raw materials, manufactured goods and agricultural products to compete. Additionally, U.S. manufacturers are disadvantaged when imports are subsidized by foreign governments. The task force would be charged with independently researching trade data and subsequently referring identified trade abuses for further formal investigation by ITA, with an emphasis on cases impacting small and medium-sized businesses.

At a bipartisan trade policy meeting held at the White House earlier this week, Peters raised this proposal with President Trump, who indicated his support for initiating investigations into trade violations on behalf of small and medium-sized businesses. In 2016, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recommended the creation of such an office to identify and pursue antidumping and countervailing duty cases to improve the United States’ response to unfair trade practices by China.

“I strongly support efforts to enforce existing trade laws. Small farmers and business owners in Michigan’s cherry industry simply do not have the resources to defend against unfair trade practices from other countries,” said Phil Korson, President, Cherry Marketing Institute. “I thank Senator Peters for consistently championing this effort. Anything that can be done to maintain robust domestic agriculture production is critical to the future of our country.”

“For years, my business and farms across Northern Michigan have been hurt by foreign competitors looking to undercut American cherry production,” said Ben LaCross, Manager of Farming Operations, LaCross Farms. “This bill can help ensure that cherry farmers have a voice in addressing trade violations that impact us. I appreciate Senator Peters’ efforts and support for our state’s agriculture industry.”

“Senator Peters and Burr’s Self-Initiation Trade Enforcement Act is a necessary and important step toward ensuring a more effective and timely response to China’s unfair trade practices, especially for small and medium enterprises in the United States,” said Michael Wessel, Commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. “For too long, the burden has been on the private sector to have our trade laws enforced. Our companies are essentially being forced to compete with countries and their predatory policies. The U.S.-China Commission recommended creating a task force within the International Trade Administration whose purpose is to identify and initiate anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases and I believe it will be an integral part of levelling the playing field for American businesses and workers.”

Copper Country Community Arts Center’s annual Parade of Confections

Copper Country Community Arts Center release

HANCOCK — Looking for a special treat? Come out for the Parade of Confections fundraiser where there will be a live auction of decadent gourmet desserts. The Parade of Confections is an annual fundraiser for the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock and will take place on Friday, February 23rd from 6-9pm at the Finnish American Heritage Center Hall at 435 Quincy Street in Hancock

The live auction will begin at 6:30pm sharp with auctioneer Brad Baltensperger. The evening will also include a silent auction of jewelry & art, libations, and hors d’oeuvres. People may bid on desserts individually or in groups. Tickets are $10 in advance and available for purchase at the Arts Center or $15 at the door. Live piano tunes by Clay Hilman of KC Bonkers.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is a non profit arts organization dedicated to fostering an environment where the arts and people grow together. The CCCAC is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 for more information or to purchase tickets.

Feb. 14, 2018

CALUMET Post Seeks Chaplain

Michigan State Police release

CALUMET — The Michigan State Police (MSP) is seeking applicants to fill the vacant chaplain position at the Calumet Post. Chaplains are civilian members of the department who provide pastoral services to members of the department, their families and the communities they serve_

MSP chaplains are volunteers who are appointed to the honorary rank of captain. They are provided with a uniform and extensive training to give them the tools to be successful in this specific type of work. Chaplains accompany troopers on patrol, participate in ceremonial events and provide various ministry services, upon request.

MSP chaplains attend two training conferences per year at the MSP Training Academy in Lansing and routinely work closely with the other 32 MSP chaplains statewide. To apply, applicants must meet the following minimum qualifications:

• Be an active ordained member of the clergy with five continuous years in full-time ministry.

• Have an ecumenical interest in view of the diverse religious preferences.

• Possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in theological-related studies from an accredited university. Seminary education is preferred, but not required.

• Meet the same standards with regard to criminal and traffic convictions, drug use and overall good character that must be met by a candidate for the position of trooper.

• Is not a current chaplain with another law enforcement entity.

For more information about this position, contact F/Lt. Randy Danison at 906-337-5145 or via email at DanisonR@michlgan.gov.

Finlandia University International School of Art & Design Alumni Exhibit 2018

Finlandia University release

HANCOCK, MI – The Finlandia University International School of Art & Design (ISAD) will present an alumni exhibit at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from February 22 to March 20, 2018.

An opening reception for the artists will take place at the gallery Thursday, February 22nd, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. An artist talk will begin at 7:15 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In the 19 years since the inception of the bachelor of fine arts (BFA) degree at Finlandia University 172 students have graduated in five concentration areas: Ceramic Design, Fiber Arts/Fashion Design, Integrated Design, Graphic Design, and Intermedia.

The Alumni 2018 exhibit spotlights the current work of 25 Finlandia BFA graduates. Here are a few updates on alumni exhibiting in the show. 

Since graduation, Pamela Kotila (’10) has been creating comics and games, often focusing on queer sci-fi and fantasy.  Kotila will display three self-published books as well as a few pages and early concept art from one of their current webcomics. Kotila recently published a coloring book and Volume 2 of Spidersilk, which is the print version of their webcomic.

Also featured in the exhibit is Jordan Siegler (’09) who is now working in corporate and community development for Wisconsin Public Television and is currently serving as the Finlandia University President of the Alumni Board.

Mike Godell (’14) currently living in Wisconsin will be exhibiting a sculpture made from 4 species of wood (Cherry, aspen, red cedar, oak ply).

Amanda Rogers (’11) is currently working as the Marketing Manager for Pewabic, Detroit’s historic landmark pottery. She will be exhibiting her exploration into photography, including images she captured from the 2017 total eclipse and the historic Super Full Moon of 2018. 

Kasey Koski updates us on her current work from Washington state, “Between larger community based creative endeavors I enjoy finding new ways to combine materials typical to some of the worlds most ancient craft practices into simple forms,” says Koski.  “These pieces come from my personal need to stay grounded in a creative practice and to satisfy my own desire to create beauty.” 

Ashlee Kranz (’16) Since graduation, Kranz has been focusing her efforts on a YouTube gaming channel she runs with fellow ISAD alumni Amanda Yoder (’14).  She is also developing concept work for her graphic novel, as well as making more creative crafts to sell at pop culture conventions. She will be displaying a formal Byzantine crystal necklace made from steel, aluminum rings, and Swarovski crystals. 

Becky Weeks (’03) creates historical costumes and millinery, working on simple draped garments taken from early Greeks and Romans, and more recently the Art Nouveau period. She will be exhibiting a garment titled “Snow”, inspired by Alphonse Mucha, a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist. 

Melanie Houghton (’14) creates emotionally charged work, she will be displaying a three panel acrylic painting that expresses the deep meaning that can result from facing hardship, hatred and ridicule in one’s life.   

Paige Emily (’15) is currently teaching K-12 Art/Graphic Design/Publishing at Ewen-Trout Creek since January 2017. She will have an acrylic painting on display. 

“Every two years I get to touch base with the alumni of the International School of Art & Design,” says Gallery Director Carrie Flaspohler. “It is an honor for me to see the artwork of our alumni as it changes and develops over time, I learn from their paths and I get energized by seeing their creative processes.”

Please join us at the opening reception to learn more about the work of our alumni.  Mediums included in the Alumni Exhibit 2018 include ceramic design, mixed media, fashion design, painting, jewelry design, graphic design and product design. 

The Finlandia University International School of Art & Design Alumni Exhibit 2018 will be on display until March 20, 2018.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment. Please call 906-487-7500 for more information.

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

Peters Floor Remarks Calling for Rural Broadband Investment

U.S. Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), spoke on the Senate floor today calling on the Trump Administration to make rural broadband investment a priority, following the release of the President’s infrastructure plan that fails to provide any dedicated funding for rural broadband. Below is video and text of his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“A community built without access to drinking water would never be expected to grow and thrive. Parents wouldn’t move their children to a home where they don’t have running water for bathing and drinking. Restaurants wouldn’t be able to cook and keep their kitchen clean. Manufacturers wouldn’t build new factories where they couldn’t access water for cooling and other processes. Simply put, a community without access to water would fail.

“Being connected to high-speed broadband in the 21st century is as critical to the prosperity of rural communities as being connected to running water in the 20th century.

“I have seen this first-hand. While meeting with Michiganders in Barry County, we discussed recent economic development. Part of the county is seeing new construction of homes, the creation of new small businesses, and an influx of young families.

“The other part of the county is stagnant. You can guess which part of the county is set up for broadband, and which isn’t. My constituents from Barry County know that high-speed internet is the key to economic growth, educational opportunity and access to limitless services, information, and ideas.

“Our rural communities and our nation as a whole, are at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to level the playing field for all Americans by making the right investments, right now, in rural communities across our nation. These towns are not connected to broadband by choice, they are not connected to broadband because it is expensive to deploy to remote geographic areas.

“Local city councils in rural areas struggle to fund broadband projects themselves, and they struggle to convince providers that it makes economic sense to invest in their communities, especially where populations are small or spread out.

“While deployment can be expensive, high speed broadband is not a luxury. It is critical infrastructure. High speed broadband is critical infrastructure the same way that the pipes that carry our water and the wires that carry our electricity are critical infrastructure.

“The federal government has a role to play in infrastructure when it comes to national deployment of life-changing, critical innovations.

“We have been here before. In the 20th century, the U.S. faced a parallel challenge with the deployment of electricity. It took strategic federal action to bring electricity to less populated rural areas. These commonsense investments raised our overall standard of living and spurred productivity in an agricultural sector at risk of falling drastically behind the growth of urban-based industries.

“If we can successfully electrify a nation, then we have no excuse not to connect it to the internet in the modern era. Rural electricity was the breakthrough of the 20th century. Universal high-speed broadband will be the breakthrough of the 21st century, provided we invest in it.

“Any serious national infrastructure package needs real federal investment in rural broadband.

“Unfortunately, the Administration’s infrastructure proposal utterly fails to recognize the urgency for robust connectivity nationwide, especially for communities caught on the wrong side of the digital divide. The Administration’s plan fails to provide any dedicated funding for rural broadband.

“Strategic federal investments are needed to fill in the gaps for states and local communities struggling to keep up with the internet demands of today, let alone getting ahead of the connectivity demands of tomorrow. This Administration’s infrastructure proposal would only create more gaps.

“Although the Administration is advertising their infrastructure proposal as a $1.7 trillion dollar plan, $1.5 trillion of it would fall on the backs of cash-strapped state and local governments. If this is all they are proposing, this is a lost opportunity. If this is all they are proposing, this Administration is setting up our communities for failure.

“And what are they actually proposing? Toll roads and hiking state and local taxes. And they aren’t even being subtle, it’s in black in white.

“The Administration’s plan says, and I quote, “providing States flexibility to toll existing Interstates would generate additional revenues”. Mr. President, Michiganders did not send me to the United States Senate because they want toll roads and higher taxes.

“As a candidate, President Trump promised real federal investment in communities across our great nation. Now, his administration is offering up state and local taxes and tolls to pay for roads, bridges, and waterways, and zero dedicated dollars for broadband expansion.

“As I said earlier, any serious national infrastructure plan needs real federal investment in rural broadband.

“Universal broadband means rural prosperity, continued economic growth and international competitiveness. But we must invest in this goal in order to reach it.

“I urge my colleagues to join me in making real investments in rural high-speed broadband a top priority in any infrastructure legislation. All of our friends, family members, and neighbors in rural communities across our great nation are counting on us.”

Bergman Releases Statement on President’s Budget Request

Congressman Jack Bergman release

Washington – Congressman Jack Bergman, member of the House Budget Committee, issued the following statement after the President released his budget outline request for FY 2019:

“President Trump’s proposed budget request is the first step in passing a budget for Fiscal Year 2019. I look forward to reviewing the Administration’s budget suggestions and working with my colleagues on the Budget Committee to pass a balanced budget for 2019. It’s not lost on me that our country faces a severe budgetary crisis. We cannot continue down the road of reckless spending and irresponsible governing that has become the new normal over the past decade.

”Congress has the final say on funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Essential Air Service, and other important government services, and I will continue to fight to protect these important issues that directly affect the constituents of the First District. In the days and weeks ahead, I will continue my work with the House Budget Committee to pass a fiscally conservative budget for 2019 that remains focused on border security, defense, and infrastructure.”

Bergman’s Cormorant Control Act to Receive Committee Hearing

Rep. Jack Bergman release

Washington – Congressman Jack Bergman, Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, released the following statement:

“The House Committee on Natural Resources will hold a hearing on my bipartisan legislation H.R. 4429 – The Cormorant Control Act Thursday, February 15th, at 2:30 PM. A witness from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will be providing testimony on the importance and need for a comprehensive management plan for the double-crested Cormorant. Cormorants consume thousands of pounds of fish a day and scientists and experts agree that a depredation plan is necessary to ensure our natural fisheries remain healthy and vibrant. 

”Conserving our natural resources in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula will always be one of my top priorities. Conservation of fish and wildlife demands an accountable management program. Management of the double-crested cormorant has long been a successful endeavor between state agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service until a court order left Michigan unable to respond to the negative effects these migratory birds have on our fish populations. 

“H.R. 4429 would direct Secretary of Interior Zinke to reissue the 2014 rule related to double-crested cormorant depredation orders: allowing Michigan to resume responsible cormorant management activities. According to Michigan DNR, Michigan’s fishing industry provides nearly 38,000 direct jobs, and adds $2.5 billion annually into the states economy.”

Feb. 13, 2018 

Portage Lake District Library hosts “Do It for Daniel,” a documentary and community discussion about depression and mental illness

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON — The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to watch “Do It for Daniel,” a documentary about Daniel Olson’s struggles with anxiety and depression which ultimately led him to take his life at age 19. This event will take place on Tuesday, February 20, at 6:00 p.m.

This film tells the incredible story of Daniel and his family and shows how the community of Ishpeming, Michigan, through the Hematite football team, rallied to restore hope for all who suffer from depression. Daniel was an all-state quarterback for the Ishpeming Hematites football team. He had a great family and great friends, and he also had a life-long battle with anxiety and depression.

Jeff Olson, Daniel’s father, will lead a discussion following the film. The Olson family’s mission is to tell their family story with the hope of removing the stigma of mental illness for people who struggle to come forward and seek help. The documentary was created to educate people about the impact depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses have on people and their families. They want to create a dialogue with the hope that through education, the stigma will be removed and people who suffer from these illnesses will feel less isolated and more willing to seek help.

Statistics show that one in four adults suffer from mental illness and one in four youth ages 13 – 18 experience mental disorders. Most will not seek help. Ninety percent of suicides are committed by people who suffer from some sort of mental illness. To decrease suicide, its sources need to be treated, which are commonly anxiety and depression. The Olson family wants to help people understand what it feels like to suffer from it and to give people hope that this can be treated.

It is also the Olson family’s wish that this film will show the power of love, strength, and determination. The Ishpeming community rallied behind a dark situation and banded together to overcome the odds. Together they created a feeling of hope that if we believe and work hard enough, anything is possible.

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

Feb. 12, 2018

Dianda Wants Penalties for Misuse of Slow Moving Vehicle Signs

Rep. Scott Dianda release

LANSING – State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Bill 5555 today creating penalties for people who misuse slow moving vehicle signs. The signs – a large orange triangle with a red border – are primarily used on the back of farm equipment and vehicles that travel roads at speeds far below the posted speed limit. They also show up on the back of horse-pulled buggies used by the Amish, and other slow-moving vehicles such as golf carts.

“I’ve heard from a number of farmers and others in my communities that people are using these signs for other reasons, including displaying them at the end of their driveways or on their mailboxes,” said Dianda. “These signs have an important purpose and using them for something else creates a serious safety hazard, and that’s why I’m introducing this bill to make their misuse a civil infraction.”

Dianda said he’s heard that people use them in driveways as a way to get people to slow down so it’s easier for someone trying to exit the driveway.

“There are other markers homeowners can use to alert motorist to a driveway or a mailbox,” said Dianda. “We need to use slow-moving vehicle signs for their intended purpose of keeping our roads safe for farmers and drivers, so that drivers aren’t confused. This is a common-sense bill and I look forward to the support of my colleagues.”

RN-BSN program at Finlandia under new leadership

Finlandia University release

Finlandia University’s online RN-BSN program is now under new leadership as long-time nursing faculty member Lori Sullivan, DNP, MSN, RN, has been named director of the program. In her new role, Sullivan will continue the nursing program’s mission to prepare professional nurses dedicated to academic excellence, spiritual awareness and the practice of nursing.

“I am passionate about nursing and assisting nursing students to meet their professional and educational goals,” Sullivan said. “Leading this program will be a wonderful challenge and opportunity as we continue to grow our online RN-BSN program.”

Sullivan has over 20 years of nursing experience, working in hospital and community settings before beginning her career in academia in 2007. She joined Finlandia University in 2009, teaching both on-campus and online.

“I’m looking forward to helping nurses meet the demand of the changing healthcare environment,” Sullivan said. “I believe that online coursework offers the needed flexibility that nurses require to balance educational goals with other work and family obligations.”

Sullivan earned a Master of Science in Nursing Education from Fort Hays State University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Graceland University with research interests in clinical reasoning development in nursing students. She is a member of the National League for Nursing and Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing. Active in the community, she has participated in advisory boards, health fairs and events, community based committees and youth Christian education.

In addition to her role as RN-BSN Program Director, Sullivan is also the Assistant Chair of the Nursing Program and retains the title of Associate Professor of Nursing.

Finlandia introduced the RN-BSN program in the early 2010s for associate degree nurses who are looking to advance their careers. At the time it was offered as a hybrid program, and over time it increased its online offerings. In 2016 the program became accredited to be offered fully online.

The Finlandia University RN-BSN online program is fully accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Finlandia has been an accredited nursing school continuously since the 1980s, with the BSN originally accredited in 2007. The accreditation was last renewed in 2011, and is good through 2022.

Story originally posted at finlandia.edu/news. 

Cabin Fever Dance Social

Baraga County Democrats release

L’ANSE — The Baraga County Democrats are hosting a Cabin Fever Dance Social!  There will be appetizers, a cash bar, and live music by the band Midnite Storm.  There will also be a chance to meet and talk with Democratic candidates and their representatives.

The Cabin Fever Dance Social will be Friday February 23 at the American Legion in L’Anse from 7-10:30 PM. Tickets are $20/person.

Houghton Tractor Supply Donates 37 Bags of Pet Food

Houghton Tractor Supply release

HOUGHTON – The Tractor Supply Co. store in Houghton is donating 37 bags of pet food to feed dogs and cats in need of adoption.

“More often than not, animal shelters and rescues depend greatly on food donations to support the pets they take in that await adoption,” said Bob Wilkins, manager of the Houghton Tractor Supply store. “Our goal at Tractor Supply is to do our part in helping adoption efforts in our community because we know that pets are more than just dogs and cats, they are family.”

Tractor Supply presented the pet food donation to K-SNAG.

In addition to the pet food donation, the Houghton Tractor Supply hosts pet adoption events throughout the year. Visit TSCEventPartners.com or call the store at 483-3826 to learn more about working with Tractor Supply for pet adoption events.

For information and tips on adopting an animal and raising pets, visit TractorSupply.com/PetCare.

UP Health System – Portage Awarded Hospital Accreditation

UP Health System – Portage release

HANCOCK — UP Health System – Portage announced it has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for Hospital Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. The Gold Seal of Approval® is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient care.

UP Health System – Portage underwent a rigorous, unannounced onsite survey on October 12th and 13th. During the review, a team of Joint Commission expert surveyors evaluated compliance with hospital standards related to several areas, including emergency management, environment of care, infection prevention and control, leadership, and medication management. Surveyors also conducted onsite observations and interviews.

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years. More than 4,000 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals currently maintain accreditation from The Joint Commission, awarded for a three-year period. In addition, approximately 360 critical access hospitals maintain accreditation through a separate program.

“Joint Commission accreditation provides hospitals with the processes needed to improve in a variety of areas from the enhancement of staff education to the improvement of daily business operations,” said Mark G. Pelletier, RN, MS, chief operating officer, Division of Accreditation and Certification Operations, The Joint Commission. “In addition, our accreditation helps hospitals enhance their risk management and risk reduction strategies. We commend UP Health System – Portage for its efforts to become a quality improvement organization.”

“UP Health System – Portage is pleased to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the premier health care quality improvement and accrediting body in the nation,” added Roy Vinson, Interim CEO of UP Health System – Portage. “Staff from across the organization continue to work together to develop and implement approaches that have the potential to improve care for the patients in our community.”

The Joint Commission’s hospital standards are developed in consultation with health care experts and providers, measurement experts and patients. The standards are informed by scientific literature and expert consensus to help hospitals measure, assess and improve performance.

Portage Health Foundation Small Grants RFP

Portage Health Foundation release

HANCOCK — The Portage Health Foundation’s mission is to support the charitable health needs of the community through enhanced philanthropy and community collaboration. The Portage Health Foundation’s five pillars of emphasis guides meaningful investment in projects, programs, and services that meet the needs of the community and align with our mission of improving the health of residents in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties. In recognition of the importance of small grants, PHF is releasing a targeted call for proposal focusing on small grants. The intention of these grants is to support projects that will have an impact on community health and wellness while addressing the systemic health needs and risk factors of the broader community. Further, it is hoped and desired that proposals seeking funding will have identified key components to support sustainability and/or systems change to ensure ongoing delivery of services to meet community need. This call for proposals is designed to offer smaller levels of funding support to meet the needs of our community that focus on health related events and or activities that promote a healthy active lifestyle. March 23, 2018 3:30pm ET Applications Due April 14, 2018 Grants to be awarded Although not required, Portage Health Foundation strongly encourages all interested applicants to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) prior to submitting a grant application. An LOI helps promote a clear understanding, collaboration, and project outcomes between PHF and grant applicants. To learn more about eligibility, criteria, and parameters of this RFP, please visit PHF’s website at phfgive.org.

Hancock Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, February 10, 2018 – The Hancock “Bulldogs” played the Manistique “Emeralds” in the third round of High School Bowl and won by a score of 250-100. 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 quarter-finals when they play Marquette in Game 33, scheduled to air on March 24. 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 Joanie Anderson with Coach Senia Kuntze. Players for Manistique are, seated from left, Anna VanDyck, team captain Isaac Anderson, Zach Matchinski and Sophia Ziemba. Standing are alternates Madison Schwartz and Elle Pugh with Coach Jackie Burns. 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

ARQUETTE, February 10, 2018 – The Houghton “Gremlins” played the Marquette “Redmen” in the third round of High School Bowl and were defeated by a score of 320-130. 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. 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 Kevin Beaghan, team captain Anne Desrochers, Mary Massopust and Andra Campbell. Standing are alternates Kate Desrochers and Irene Ra with Coach Bill Martell. Players for Marquette are, seated from left, Ilah Wilson, Rachel Mellin, team captain Alex Pohlman and Leandra Bruggink. Standing are alternates Travis Young and Ian Addison with Coach Jesse Kainulainen. 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.

L’Anse Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, January 27, 2018 – The L’Anse “Purple Hornets” played the Ironwood “Red Devils” in the second round of High School Bowl and were defeated by a score of 320-80. 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. 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 Ethan Hansen, Shelby Harrison, team captain Breanna Jones and Jordin Jones. Standing are alternates Alexis Aleo and Greg Dowd with Coach Rebecca Keyes. Players for Ironwood are, seated from left, Rico Braucher, team captain Zane Ozzello, Ian Bentley and Kinley Lyons. Standing are alternates Dylan Taivalmaa and Travis Collins with Coach Steven Boyd. 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.

Painesdale-Jeffers Competes in High School Bowl

WNMU-TV release

MARQUETTE, January 27, 2018 – The Painesdale-Jeffers “Jets” played the Cedarville “Trojans” in the second round of High School Bowl and were defeated by a score of 150-70. 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. 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 Painesdale-Jeffers, seated from left, are players Lily Coponen, Jordan Wiles, team captain LeeAnn Mantta and Bethany Foreman. Standing are alternates James Bates, Corbin Haischer and Ethan Vadnais with Coach Jennifer Pera. Players for Cedarville are, seated from left, Drew Bailey, team captain Eden Preston, Grace Snyder and Selah Preston. Standing are with Coach Rob Preston. 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.

Soil removal nearly completed at Sturgeon River 


Western U.P. Health Department release

Much of the fuel-impacted soil has been successfully removed from both sides of US-41 at the Sturgeon River Bridge, site of a 4-vehicle traffic accident involving a fuel tanker on February 3. Many truckloads of removed soil were transported to a landfill over the last week. As excavation continued on Sunday, those materials were temporarily stockpiled off site and will be trucked to the landfill during the week.

Since the work began nine days ago, more than 2,100 tons of material have been excavated and taken to the landfill. Another 1,200 tons are projected to be disposed of before the site is backfilled. In addition, 15,000 gallons of mixed fuel and water have been recovered for proper disposal.

Restoration of the bridge embankment is being conducted in accordance with Michigan Department of Transportation requirements. There were no visual observations of fuel or detections by field instruments during river assessment work and water sampling. Water samples are being analyzed to validate those observations.

Air quality monitoring and sampling continues under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the immediate area, adjacent homes and in the community. This continues to be done to verify that there are no health and safety concerns for the community and workers.

Snowmobiling is not allowed in the immediate vicinity of the bridge due to the presence of open water and clean up equipment. Heavy truck traffic will continue over the next few days. Traffic control lights and traffic control personnel will be assisting in the movement of trucks and workers.

Drivers are reminded to be patient and to use extra caution if they need to drive along US-41 near the Sturgeon River. For situation updates, visit the health department web site at www.wupdhd.org

Feb. 9, 2018

FinnU Business students hosting inaugural BPA Day on February 14

Finlandia University release

HANCOCK — Finlandia University’s chapter of Business Professionals of America is hosting Business Professionals of America Day on Wednesday, February 14 with a full day of activities for Upper Peninsula high school and college students.

“Our entire chapter is looking forward to this inaugural event, and I’m proud of them for putting this together,” Chapter Advisor and Dean fo Finlandia’s International School of Business Kevin Manninen said. “It will be a busy and engaging day of speakers, networking opportunities and activities aimed at developing students’ knowledge of business. We’re hoping to truly awaken an interest in choosing business as a career for students.”

The day is being hosted in conjunction with the national Business Professionals of America Week. Key speakers include Bob Jacquart of Stormy Kromer fame and Marilyn Clark from MTEC SmartZone. Additional remarks will be given by FinnU BPA Chapter President Logan Moore, Finlandia President Philip Johnson and students in the BPA Chapter of Calumet High School. All activities will take place at the Finnish American Heritage Center on the campus of Finlandia University. Lunch will be provided for all of those who register ahead of time.

The event is free for all high school and college students, but anyone attending is asked to RSVP by Monday, February 12, by e-mailing BPA Chapter President Logan Moore at lemoore@finlandia.edu.

Story originally posted at finlandia.edu/news, including a full schedule of events and more about Business Professionals of America. 

Houghton Rotary update

Houghton Rotary release

We are pleased and proud to welcome Miss Mook Lalita Jonggitvetvetchakul – our rotary exchange student from Thailand for the 2017-18 year. She is a senior student at Houghton High School and is enjoying the weather and Copper Country living.

On February 14 is the 2nd annual Valentine’s Day fundraising gala at the Houghton Bonfire Grill with sit down buffet dinner, live music, dancing, cash bar and silent auction. Tickets are $50 with vegan/vegetarian options. Call 370-5547 or email mswift@pasty.net for tickets. Babysitting available.

New Rotary members are Dillon Geshel, Kathy Mann, Jonathan Oakes, Christopher Hatton, Vicky Marino, Bj Jollimore and Jonathan Grubb.

Rotary youth leadership weekend was September 29 – October 2 with three Houghton High School students attending: Cameron Jackson, Sierra Slis, and Malone Jepsen.

Members conducted Salvation Army bell ringing on December 16 and 23.

Houghton Rotary celebrated the five-year anniversary for the Houghton High School Interact Club. Interact officers are President Clayton Sayen, Vice President Seth Helman, Treasurer Leo Wheeler and Secretary Nikoli Hutori. Faculty advisor for five years is Frank Bonacorsi and Ron Helman, rotary sponsor.

A Houghton Rotary Hilite Program coming up features the choices 8th- and 9th-grade workshops partnering with selected faculty and their students. Choices is an interactive live classroom workshop that empowers teens to make positive educational and life choices to increase their careers and life opportunities. In two classroom sessions, trained Houghton Rotary volunteers take students through real-world exercises on the lifelong benefits of educational attainment and life consequences of dropping out while also introducing them to life skills for success including self-discipline decision-making, time management, prioritization and goal setting. Houghton Rotary currently supports the Houghton, Chassell, and Dolllar Bay faculty with the 8th/9th grade workshop. Rotary member Jim Spence leads the choice program.

Houghton Rotary Dictionary annual project: this is the sixth year the club has handed out 213 dictionaries to 3rd graders at Houghton-Portage School District, Stanton Twp District, Chassell Twp. District and Elm River Twp. District. The dictionaries are part of the national program called “The Dictionary Project.” the dictionaries include sign language, the longest word, weights and measures, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, maps of the seven continents, info about the 50 states, biographies of U.S. Presidents, planets in the solar system, weights and measures.

This program has the goal to provide a dictionary to every student in the United States.

Houghton Rotary officers are President Eli Karttunen, President-elect Patricia Butler, Treasurer Debbie Bradford, Secretary Carrie Richards and Directors Jack Ham, Kelly Jepsen, Marilyn Swift, Jim Spence, Jim Lavalle and Steph Olsson.

Jersey Fund returns for another season in support of 
local cancer care

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital release

CALUMET, Mich. – Calumet students and Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital are partnering once again for the Jersey Fund in support of local cancer care.

The Jersey Fund is a collaborative effort to help bring extra comfort to oncology patients during their care. Funds are raised through student-organized activities and jersey silent auctions during the Calumet Copper Kings varsity boys hockey game on Tuesday, Feb. 13 and the varsity girls basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 15. Athletes gear up in pink for both games.

All proceeds will be used to create special comfort kits filled with useful items patients may need before, during and after their treatment. In previous years, proceeds helped to purchase iPads and warming blankets for patients to use while receiving treatment at Aspirus Keweenaw.

Many generous community sponsors help make the Jersey Fund a great success each year. Partnering sponsors this year include: AmericInn, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Calumet Machine, Erico Electric, Erx Group, LLC, Miron Construction Co., Inc., Pat’s Foods, Range Bank, RC Mechanical, River Valley Bank, U.P. Engineers and Architects, Inc., and Upper Peninsula Power Company.

Calumet students have already started raising money through root beer float and pink, cream-filled doughnut sales during lunch. The middle school organized a dance and the elementary school is selling popsicles. During the hockey and basketball games, students will be selling chocolate kisses for donations. Jersey silent auctions will take place at both games. Bidding sheets will be available in the lobby areas. There’s a $75 minimum bid to enter the hockey jersey silent auction and $50 for basketball.

“It’s really great to see how passionate the students and sponsors are about supporting local cancer care,” said Jessica Bessner, oncology service line director for Aspirus Keweenaw. “It means a lot to our patients and we can’t thank them enough for their generous involvement.”

The Jersey Fund gets underway with the Copper Kings varsity boys hockey game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the Calumet Colosseum. The varsity girls basketball game takes place on Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7:15 p.m. at the Calumet High School Gym.

For more information about the Jersey Fund, contact Jenn Jenich-Laplander at 337-6541.

Feb. 8, 2018

Huskies Team Doctor Bruce Trusock awarded Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Silver Medal

Michigan Tech release

Silver medals aren’t strictly for the Olympics. Michigan Tech is handing out one of its own, to one of its own, this weekend.

Dr. Bruce Trusock, a 1974 graduate, will be awarded the Michigan Technological University Board of Trustees Silver Medal on Friday, February 9. Fittingly, the medal will be presented to the former student-athlete at a Huskies hockey game during Winter Carnival. Michigan Tech’s team physician has served 36 years as a sports medicine doctor for Michigan Tech Athletics, attending more than 1,500 games and volunteering more than 6,600 hours of service. 

Trusock also knows a thing or two about putting on Winter Carnivals. As 1973 Blue Key Honor Society President it was his job to oversee organizing and running the event.

The Silver Medal is awarded to those whose personal and professional achievements set an outstanding example for recent Michigan Tech graduates. “Throughout his 36 years of service, Bruce has helped make Michigan Tech a great environment for student-athletes,” says Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz. “We’re proud to be considered not only the safest campus in the country, but thanks to Bruce, one of the healthiest.”

For more on Trusock’s achievements as a Huskies Football offensive center, his career as a family and sports medicine physician in Houghton and why a Battle Creek, Michigan native would choose to live and work in the Upper Peninsula, see Inspiring By Example: Dr. Bruce Trusock Receives Silver Medal, on Michigan Tech News. A photo of Dr. Trusock is attached for your convenience.

We look forward to seeing some of you on campus this weekend as Huskies play in the snow!

Statement from state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) on Gov. Rick Snyder’s state budget proposal

Rep. Scott Dianda release

LANSING – Gov. Rick Snyder released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018-19 today, which included a pitifully small increase in state per-pupil funding, and virtually nothing for local governments. In response, state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) issued the following statement: 

“Gov. Rick Snyder apparently didn’t learn anything from Amazon passing over Michigan because they think we don’t have the talented workers they need. Instead of using that loss of a lot of good jobs for Michigan workers as an opportunity to step up and really give our kids top-notch schools and teachers, he recommended only $240 more per pupil in our lowest-funded schools. According to a study, we need $2,000 more per pupil in order to really ensure that our kids have great teachers and the tools they need to learn and thrive. The extra $240 for these schools is better than nothing, but it’s only a drop in the bucket and we need to do much more for all of our schools.

“The governor also talked about $175 million more for transportation, yet drivers throughout Michigan are still dodging potholes and falling cement from bridges three years after we supposedly dedicated money to do a better job of fixing our roads. When are people going to see the benefits of this money that is supposedly going into maintenance and repair? So far all my residents have seen are more car repair bills to fix the damage from the potholes they couldn’t dodge.”

New Catholic foundation distributes nearly $390,000 in U.P.

Diocese of Marquette release

Nearly $390,000 have been distributed across the Upper Peninsula in support of Catholic ministries in 2017. This is just the beginning as The Upper Peninsula Catholic Foundation, Inc. has only recently been established. In its first year of operations, eleven funds were started, or moved, into the Foundation.

Rooted in the faith brought by early missionaries to the original people of the U.P. in the 1600s, the charitable organization’s mission is to establish and grow permanent endowment funds for the long-term support of Catholic ministries in the Diocese of Marquette.

One of the fund holders is St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette. The parish finance council designated the distribution from their endowment fund to hire a new youth minister. “It’s been four or five years since we had someone on staff for youth ministry,” commented Msgr. Michael Steber, rector of St. Peter Cathedral. The Cathedral’s new youth minister, Katelyn McKeen, said she hopes to build relationships with the young people, helping them to feel that their faith is not a requirement, but something to be lived out and shared with others.

The UPCF has released its first Annual Report and audited financial statements. The report, titled “Rooted in Christ,” covers the period Jan. 15, 2016 (inception) through June 30, 2017. The full report and financial statements can be viewed at upcatholicfoundation.org.

For more information contact Terri Gadzinski, Executive Director by email tgadzinski@dioceseofmarquette.org or by phone 227-9108.

Peters, Stabenow Demand Answers from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Stalled Investigation into Equifax Data Breach

Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow today joined 30 of their colleagues in a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Acting Director Leandra English demanding answers on why the CFPB has reportedly halted its investigation into the Equifax data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers and personal identification information of more than 145 million Americans, including more than 4.6 million Michiganders.

“We are deeply troubled by recent news reports that, under Director Mulvaney’s leadership, the CFPB has stopped its investigation into the Equifax breach,” the senators wrote. “The CFPB is currently the only federal agency with supervisory authority over the largest consumer reporting agencies. Consumer reporting agencies and the data they collect play a central role in consumers’ access to credit and the fair and competitive pricing of that credit. Therefore, the CFPB has a clear duty to supervise consumer reporting agencies, investigate how this breach has or will harm consumers, and bring enforcement actions as necessary.”

According to reports, CFPB has not issued any subpoenas, sought testimony from key executives at Equifax, or proceeded with on-site examinations.

The Equifax breach exposed data that included consumers’ names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and, for some consumers, credit card numbers. This data could easily be used by criminals to steal identities or commit fraud, and consumers could suffer long-lasting damage to their credit, including being denied loans, mortgages, employment, or even rental housing.

Peters and Stabenow were joined in sending the letter by U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tom Udall (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Angus King (I-ME), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Mark Warner (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Doug Jones (D-AL).

The text of the letter is below and available here:

Dear Acting Director English and Director Mulvaney,

We write to express serious concerns that, according to recent news reports, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may have halted an investigation into the massive Equifax data breach, which compromised the personal information of 145.5 million Americans.

The Equifax breach exposed significant gaps in cybersecurity standards in an industry that collects a substantial amount of personal information on virtually every adult in the country.  The three largest consumer reporting agencies alone collect information on more than 200 million Americans-information that is used in more than 3 billion consumer reports a year.  The data collected and reported by consumer reporting agencies determines Americans’ access to credit and the cost of that credit for individuals and small businesses.  This data also impacts Americans’ ability to get a job or secure housing.  By letting criminals gain access to its databases, Equifax has put nearly half the US population at risk for identity theft and fraud, which can ruin the financial lives of its victims and increase risk in our financial system. 

Unfortunately, in the immediate aftermath of the breach, Equifax’s response caused more consumer harm and confusion.  Just to name a few examples, the company responded by promoting its affiliated paid credit monitoring service (i.e., LifeLock), asking consumers to waive their rights to access free credit monitoring, and charging consumers to protect their data by freezing their credit reports.  Not only do we need to better understand how this breach has impacted consumers, we also must ensure that consumer reporting agencies are taking the steps necessary to mitigate this harm-not misleading consumers or taking advantage of the situation for their own financial gain.

As established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB has a statutory mandate to implement and enforce federal consumer protection laws.  This mandate specifically includes protecting consumers from “unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and practices” and ensuring that “federal consumer financial laws are enforced consistently.”  Dodd-Frank specifically includes the Fair Credit Reporting Act as one of the enumerated federal consumer financial laws.  The CFPB also has clear supervisory authority over the largest consumer reporting agencies.  Consumer reporting agencies and the data they collect play a central role in consumers’ access to credit and the fair and competitive pricing of that credit.  Therefore, the CFPB has a duty to supervise consumer reporting agencies, investigate how this breach has or will harm consumers, and bring enforcement actions as necessary. 

We are deeply troubled by recent news reports that, under Director Mulvaney’s leadership, the CFPB may have stopped its investigation into the Equifax breach.  According to these reports, the CFPB has not taken even the most preliminary steps to conduct an investigation.  While we are aware of reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may be taking the lead in investigating Equifax’s failure to maintain adequate data security standards, the CFPB still has a duty to investigate the harm to consumers and whether other federal consumer financial laws have been violated.  We are also concerned that the CFPB appears to be scaling back its supervision of large consumer reporting agencies.  The agency has reportedly scrapped plans to conduct on-site exams of Equifax and other consumer reporting agencies and turned down offers from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to help with such on-site exams.

The responsibility of consumer reporting agencies as custodians of consumers’ personal and financial information is of paramount importance to us and our constituents.  Several committee in both the House and Senate have held hearings to investigate the causes of the breach and the inadequate post-breach response.  The CFPB has a statutory mandate to participate in this process by conducting an investigation.  If that investigation exposes wrongdoing or consumer harm, the CFPB has the authority, and indeed a duty, to bring appropriate enforcement actions.

We respectfully ask for more information about the CFPB’s actions with respect to investigating the Equifax breach.  Specifically, please answer the following questions by February 19, 2018:

1. In September, then-CFPB Director Richard Cordray announced that the CFPB would begin a probe into the Equifax breach.[1]  Has the CFPB stopped this or any other investigation related to this matter?

a. If so, why was that or any investigation halted?

b. Who directed the ending of any investigation?

2. Is the CFPB planning to conduct on-site exams of Equifax and the other credit bureaus under its supervisory authority?

a. Has the CFPB conducted an examination of a consumer reporting agency following the Equifax hack?

3. If the CFPB is conducting an investigation, what specific steps has the CFPB taken pursuant to this investigation?

a. Has the CFPB issued Civil Investigative Demands (CIDs)?

b. Has the CFPB interviewed Equifax personnel?

c. Have the CFPB personnel examined Equifax systems or gone onsite to Equifax facilities?

4. Is the CFPB coordinating with the FTC, state law enforcement officials, or other Federal regulators in their investigations?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important issue.

Baraga County Community Foundation 2018 Grant Cycle

Baraga County Community Foundation release

BARAGA — The Baraga County Community Foundation has $14,000 in Grant Funding available for Non-Profit Organizations and area Schools servicing the geographical region of Baraga County. All grant application submissions must be received by the BCCF at 100 Hemlock Street, Baraga, Michigan by Friday, March 9th, 2018. Grant applications can be accessed on-line at baragacountyfoundation.org. and assistance can be requested by calling 906-353-7898. Grant Awards will be disbursed to approved Applicant Organizations at 4:30-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 at the BCCF Office in the Baraga Village Hall building. 

Feb. 7, 2018

Peters, Colleagues Question Mattis on Cost to Taxpayers of President Trump’s Military Parade

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. -U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) today sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary James Mattis to explain the impact of President Trump’s directive to conduct a military parade in Washington, D.C on American taxpayers. Peters is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.

“At a time of war, with American servicemembers serving in harm’s way, such a parade seems to be inappropriate and wasteful,” the Senators wrote. “Every penny of the millions of dollars that the parade would cost and every second of the tens of thousands of personnel hours its execution would require, should be devoted to the most essential missions of the Department of Defense – protecting the American people and our security interests.”

In their letter, the Senators requested that the Department of Defense provide the estimated total budget for this proposed military parade and the number of personnel hours that would be spent planning and executing the parade. The Senators also requested information on whether any military functions would be cancelled or rescheduled as a result of the parade, and how the parade ranks relative to other unfunded requirements.

The text of the letter is below and available here:

February 7, 2018

The Honorable James Mattis

Secretary of Defense

The Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301

Dear Secretary Mattis:

We are concerned by press reports that ‎the “highest levels” of the Department of Defense have been directed by the President to plan and execute a military parade in Washington, D.C. Reportedly, the order came during a discussion in the Pentagon’s Tank, a secure location normally reserved for the most sensitive defense conversations, during what should have been a discussion of the impact of budget negotiations on the Department. It is unclear what military need this event would fulfill. 

The United States Armed Forces make up the finest military in the world. It is the solemn duty of those of us in positions of leadership to ensure that they receive our country’s full support. In addition to local community activities, Washington, D.C. holds regular ceremonies at each of its military bases, at Arlington National Cemetery for Veterans Day, and major celebrations on the National Mall for Memorial Day and Independence Day that honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s veterans and servicemembers.

Yesterday, you testified to Congress, “Our military remains capable, but our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of warfare-air, land, sea, space, and cyber. Under frequent continuing resolutions and sequester’s budget caps, our advantages continue to shrink. The combination of rapidly changing technology, the negative impact on military readiness resulting from the longest continuous stretch of combat in our nation’s history, and insufficient funding have created an overstretched and under-resourced military.”

In light of these concerns, we ask that you respond to the following questions no later than February 23:

1) What is the anticipated total budget for the parade, including but not limited to, the cost of planning the parade, securing the route and viewing areas, transporting personnel and equipment, the salaries of participants, and ancillary costs of such an event, such as the cost of local police, sanitation, and other matters?

2) What routine Defense Department training, operations, or functions would be cancelled, rescheduled, or otherwise impacted in order to plan and execute the parade?

3) What is the anticipated total number of hours spent by all personnel participating in the planning and execution of the parade?

4) How does this cost and military priority rank relative to the military services annual unfunded requirements list, which outline each service’s most important “next available dollar” needs?

At a time of war, with American servicemembers serving in harm’s way, such a parade seems to be inappropriate and wasteful.  Every penny of the millions of dollars that the parade would cost and every second of the tens of thousands of personnel hours its execution would require, should be devoted to the most essential missions of the Department of Defense – protecting the American people and our security interests.

Thank you for your cooperation, and we look forward to your reply.

Portage Library Hosts Keweenaw Garden Club

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON — The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club on Monday, February 19, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for a presentation by certified Landscape Designer and Master Gardener at Michigan Technological University, Quincy Higgins Arney.

The public is invited to join Higgins Arney for a discussion on “Rain Gardens.” Topics will include ways to use stormwater and runoff as a resource, how to improve local water quality, and ways to beautify a residence. Participants will also learn the basics on how to design and construct rain gardens and other ‘green’ infrastructure for use on one’s property.

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. To learn more about the club, visit sites.google.com/site/keweenawgardenclub.

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

Portage Library Hosts Keweenaw Garden Club

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club on Monday, February 19, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. for a presentation by certified Landscape Designer and Master Gardener at Michigan Technological University, Quincy Higgins Arney.

The public is invited to join Higgins Arney for a discussion on “Rain Gardens.” Topics will include ways to use stormwater and runoff as a resource, how to improve local water quality, and ways to beautify a residence. Participants will also learn the basics on how to design and construct rain gardens and other ‘green’ infrastructure for use on one’s property.

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. To learn more about the club, visit sites.google.com/site/keweenawgardenclub.

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

Portage Library Hosts Community Poetry Reading

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to gather around the library’s fireplace for a Community Poetry Reading on Friday, February 16, at 6:30 p.m.

Lovers of poetry are invited to read their own poems or poems written by others, or simply enjoy listening to others read.

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

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Mango Languages Training Sessions for the Public

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host two training sessions that will show library cardholders how to use Mango Languages, a premier online language learning resource, on Friday, February 9, at 1:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, February 20, at 6:00 p.m.

Patrons can learn practical conversation skills for real life communication using Mango. Mango offers courses in more than seventy languages at beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Patrons can also listen to native speakers to learn the correct pronunciation of words.

Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or mobile device to follow along with the tutorial, but are not required to do so.

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

David Rogers, Classical crossover guitar

The Orpheum Theater

Hancock, MI-solo guitarist David Rogers performs Thursday, April 5th from 7:30-9:30pm at the Orpheum Theater, 426 Quincy Street, Hancock, MI 49930 (906) 482-5100. Admission: $10.00 Adults, $7.00 Students and Seniors. More information at facebook.com/OrpheumHancock or theorpheumtheater@gmail.com.

Termed, ‘a prominent guitarist,’ by the New York Times and praised by The Washington Post for his ‘astonishingly florid’ improvisations, David Rogers presents an evening of solo guitar music with strong leanings towards jazz, world, folk and classical music.

An endorsing artist for GHS Strings, his music has been featured in major guitar magazines such as Fingerstyle Guitar in the United States and Akustic Gitarre, in Germany. His solo and ensemble performances have been broadcast on American National Public Radio and Bayrische Rundfunk.

David will play a program based around Spanish, Flamenco, Up-Tempo Latin, original settings of Leonard Cohen, Rolling Stones’, Neil Young songs, as well as music by the Beatles, J.S. Bach and original compositions.

Watch for truck traffic near Chassell

Western U.P. Health Department release

CHASSELL — Cleanup work is continuing today at the site of last Saturday’s accident and fuel release at the Sturgeon River Bridge on US 41 south of Chassell. Dump trucks will be coming in and out of the area, taking out impacted soil and bringing in clean fill material. In addition to the traffic control lights, traffic control personnel will be assisting in the movement of trucks and workers.

Drivers are reminded to use extra caution if they need to drive along US-41 near the Sturgeon River. Western U.P. Health Department has also has notified Chassell Township School about the increased truck traffic and activity.

For situation updates, visit the health department web site at www.wupdhd.org.

Conversations for Today, Plans for Tomorrow

Omega House release

HOUGHTON — Members of the community are invited to join Omega House, UPHS-Portage; Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions; Aspirus Keweenaw; and Upper Great Lakes Healthcare Center, February 28 at Houghton High School cafeteria, 1603 Gundlach Street.

We will discuss planning ahead for future healthcare. Join our panelists Mary Beth Hines, MD; Doreen Klingbeil; Mark Miron, RN; and Terry Peterson who will share their stories and talk about how you can let your values direct YOUR healthcare. Join in the conversation.

Little Finnish Dancers

Kivajat Dancers release

HANCOCK — Little Finnish Dancers – traditional Finnish folk dancing for boys and girls in kindergarten, first or second grade – starts soon. The children will learn fun Finnish folk dances, just like the big kids in Kivajat. The group meets for four weeks on Thursdays, starting February 15, at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock. 3:45 – 4:45. $10 per family for the entire 4 sessions. Please call director Kay Seppala for more information, and to pre-register 523-6271

KUUF Hosts Speaker

Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship release

HOUGHTON — Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist fellowship will host Carol Johnson Pfefferkorn for a talk about ‘Five Wishes: Advance Care Planning’ on Sunday, February 11 at 10:30am. In the second part, Michael Lutz, executive director, will discuss the future of Omega House.

Advance care planning is about making end-of-life care choices now, while you are capable. It is important because it helps you get the care you want, and do not want; and it relieves burdens on your family. Five Wishes, the “heart and soul” of advance care planning, helps an individual make choices ahead of time, with the help of an advocate. On February 11, Carol Pfefferkorn, Advance Care Planning facilitator for Omega House, will discuss 5 Wishes at the Sunday Fellowship Forum.

Mike Lutz, executive director at Omega House will be on hand to discuss Omega House, its strategic vision and plans for the future.

KUUF programs and services are held in the community conference room at the BHK Center, Waterworks St. entrance, Houghton. 482-5586 keweenawuu.org

Feb. 6, 2018

Ribbon Cutting Celebrating UP North Pizzeria

Baraga County Chamber of Commerce release

L’ANSE — Baraga Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that it will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of UP North Pizzeria on February 17, 2018 at 11 AM. 

Tom LeRue II is the sole owner and is assisted by his 14 employees and family. He purchased the building on September 11, 2015 and completely remodeled it. First pizza was served on January 8, 2018.

“We’re excited to introduce the latest restaurant to L’Anse” said Debbie Stouffer, President of the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce. “The ribbon cutting ceremony for UP North Pizzeria will showcase the hard work Tom has put into renovating and opening a new business.”

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, the public is invited inside to check out the new restaurant along with enjoying some refreshments and pizza. UP North Pizzeria is located at 15740 Jack O’ Lantern Rd, L’Anse, MI 49946. 

Cleanup Continues at Sturgeon River Accident

Department of Environmental Quality release

CHASSELL — Local, state, and federal officials and private contractors are coordinating cleanup and environmental monitoring at the Sturgeon River Bridge on US 41 south of Chassell, site of last Saturday’s four-vehicle accident.

Cleanup crews are removing soil and snow impacted by the gasoline and diesel fuel release.

Air quality monitoring and sampling has been conducted under the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the immediate area and adjacent homes.

Air quality monitoring also is being done near stockpiled snow and soil to verify that there are no immediate health and safety concerns for the community and workers.

Arrangements are being made to transport impacted materials off site for disposal so that the area can be backfilled and guardrail replaced.

The health department also received the following statement from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ):

“The DEQ has evaluated all municipal drinking water intakes in the vicinity and none are threatened by the release of petroleum products from the accident on US-41 near the Sturgeon River

this past weekend.  The DEQ is working with the company’s consultant and the Western U.P. Health Department to evaluate potential impacts to individual water supply wells in the vicinity of the accident.” 

For more information regarding individual water wells, please contact WUPHD Environmental Health Director Tanya Rule at 482-7382, or by email at trule@wuphd.org.  For more information regarding community water supply intakes, please contact Bob London, DEQ Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division (DWMAD) at 989-450-7834, or by email at londonr@michigan.gov.

Western U.P. will release updated information as the cleanup operation continues, and will post bulletins on its web site, wuphd.org. The updates will be shared with Chassell Township officials for posting at the township web site, Chassell.net.

Kerredge Gallery to host “Artworks by Terri Jo Frew”

Copper Country Community Arts Center release

HANCOCK — The new exhibition in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery is “Artworks by Terri Jo Frew,” an installation of work that includes charcoal, pen and ink drawings, quilts, embroidery, and small sculpture. There will be a opening reception and gallery talk from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 9. Many of Terri’s concepts are manifest as large-scale drawings in fibers, charcoal and ink. Their content is drawn from her subconscious, primarily addressing themes such as feminism, nature, the occult, Canadiana, and humanity’s shadow side. Their execution is immediate and the scale brings life-sized figures and animals directly into the viewer’s space. Her work can often seem eclectic in description, however it is the unifying themes that bring it all together. Drawing is therapeutic and the theme of “process and the journey” is the focus of this multi-media installation featuring her work spanning from 2007 to the present.


Originally from Southern Ontario, Canada, Terri Jo Frew earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio arts from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and her Master of Fine Arts degree, fibers concentration from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Since moving to the area she is proudly part of the Visual and Performing Arts Faculty at Michigan Tech, Gogebic Community College, and teaches youth, teen and adult classes at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. 

The exhibition will run through February 28. The public is invited to an opening reception on Friday, February 9that 6pm. Terri will give a brief gallery talk about her work. She will also be working on her drawings on site at various times throughout the month. This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10-6 and Saturdays 10-2pm. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit the website at coppercountryarts.com

Feb. 5, 2018

Presentation on the Great Recession

Michigan Tech Economics Club release

HOUGHTON — The Economics Club will hold “Borrowing, Bernanke and Beyond: The Whys, Whodunits & What’s-Nexts of the Great Recession” with Dr. Latika Gupta from 7 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. Feb. 15 at ME-EM 112 on the Michigan Tech Campus.

Gupta will discuss what lead to the crisis, policy responses, who was responsible, policies to avoid future crises, what to expect next and lessons learned. There will be time for questions after the presentation.

Youth Advisory Council Grant Cycle

Keweenaw Youth Advisory Council release

The Keweenaw Youth Advisory Council, a local organization run for youth, by youth, will be opening up its grant cycle this coming February 19th. There are a few big changes for this year. Grant cycles will now be completed once yearly and there will be over $30,000 available. Applicants may now apply for up to $5,000 and projects should be geared towards serving the needs of the youth of the community – which can be found in the local Youth Needs Survey at keweenawgives.org. Applications are due by Wednesday, March 28th at noon to the Keweenaw Community Foundation. Applications can be found at keweenawgives.org under the Youth Advisory Council thumbnail.

Nursing Facility Transition Program through Superior Alliance for Independent Living

SAIL Disability Network release

Do you know someone in a nursing facility? Are they interested in returning home? Do they have barriers that will make it difficult? We can help!

The Nursing Facility Transition Program (NFT) through SAIL provides nursing facility residents, regardless of their age or disability, the option of returning to community-based living. The NFT staff at SAIL consists of Kristin Williams, Outreach Specialist and Sandi Heikkinen, Outreach and Transition Specialist. Together they visit 29 nursing facilities throughout the Upper Peninsula each month. They work to transition residents back home to live the independent lives they desire. The NFT Program works to solve barriers that a person may have when deciding to transition home. What is a barrier? A barrier could be a variety of things, such as: inability to secure housing, lack of a barrier free residence, deposit needed for rent and/or utility, durable medical equipment, needed home modification or repairs, lack of furniture, or moving expenses.

Individuals with Medicaid residing in a nursing facility, who would like to return home, move in with a family member, or find their own housing may be eligible for the NFT Program. SAIL will meet with the resident at their nursing facility to discuss transitioning home, to identify potential barriers, and develop a person centered plan. Follow along services are provided after the transition home to ensure that the individual is safely and successfully living independently.

SAIL has been serving people with disabilities and their families throughout the Upper Peninsula since 1998. SAIL provides information, and support and advocacy services to people with a wide variety of visible or invisible disabilities. If you would like more information about the NFT Program or SAIL, or know of a committee, club, or organization that would benefit from a presentation on the NFT Program please contact Kristin at 228-5744 or kristinw@upsail.com.

Cleanup Continues at Sturgeon River Accident


Western U.P. Health Department release


CHASSELL — Cleanup of gasoline and diesel fuel continues near the bridge over the Sturgeon River on US 41 south of Chassell at the site of Saturday’s four-vehicle accident.

The removal of soil and snow that was impacted by the gasoline and diesel release has begun, and work is expected to continue during the next week.

Environmental professionals are performing air monitoring at the site and in surrounding areas to ensure that air quality is safe for the public and workers. In addition, samples are being taken to monitor water quality.

State and federal environmental officials are on scene, monitoring the work, and assessing impacts to the environment.

There are no immediate health and safety concerns for the community and the Chassell School. Western U.P. Health Department will continue to work with local, state, federal and private partners to monitor health and safety conditions.

Houghton Middle School presents “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Beating Heart”

Houghton Middle School Drama Club release

HOUGHTON — The Houghton Middle School Drama Club will present two plays on Friday & Saturday, March 2 & 3 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, March 4 at 2:00 PM in the Houghton High School auditorium.

The 6th grade will present “Rip Van Winkle”, recounting the well known legend of the man who went hunting in the Catskill Mountains to escape the fury of his shrewish wife. As one villager says, “He did not marry well.”. The play is filled with fun and laughter and it will bring back memories to those who heard the story many years ago.

The 7th & 8th grades will present “The Beating Heart”. Not to be confused with Poe’s “The Telltale Heart” the play tells the story of Ivy McEwin, a college history major who becomes intrigued by a photograph of a young woman who lived during the Civil War. She travels to Ravensgate, an old Georgia plantation which she believes was the woman’s 

home. She hopes to find out more about the woman’s life but learns more than she had expected.

The new owners of the house have turned it into a Bed & Breakfast, but strange things like a woman crying during the night are scaring off the guests. When Ivy arrives with the photograph more things begin to happen. The rocking chair rocks by itself, the sound of a relentless beating heart is heard. More horrific events scare off the remaining guests. Two birdwatching sisters who claim that nothing scares them leave in a panic after they find hundreds of dead birds scattered around their room.

Ivy is determined to stay to try to find the reason behind the haunting, even as Mrs. Dyer the housekeeper, who lived in the house from the late 1920’s to the mid 1940’s, warns her that the house doesn’t want her there. Gradually a story of murder and revenge unfolds, reaching a climax when a local girl who possesses “the gift” enters the spirit world and the ghosts of Maggie Damon and Nora Damon Tyrell appear laying bare secrets held for 150 years.

With french doors that open by themselves, the rocking rocker, things flying off of shelves, terrible screams, evil laughter, the heart beating louder and louder, crashing thunder and the ghosts of Maggie and Nora this is a play that will scare the bravest of souls.

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