Press Release

May 21, 2018

Tenure status awarded to Dr. Gee and Dr. Knoblauch

Finlandia University release

Finlandia University is proud to announce that Dr. William Knoblauchand Dr. Richard Geehave been granted tenure status.

“These two professors exemplify much of what makes Finlandia distinct,” said Dr. Fredi de Yampert, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “They care deeply about our students, are passionate about their subject matter and have a proven track record of notable academic work. I am proud to call them colleagues, and congratulate each of them for this honor.”

Dr. Gee is an Associate Professor in Finlandia’s Criminal Justice program. He came to Finlandia in 2012, and has taught more than 30 courses in his time at the university. He also leads a group of students to Europe each year to explore the differences in criminal justice from country to country. During his travels he has taken students to Finland, Russia, Great Britain and more.

“Tenure status is the pinnacle of academic achievement,” Gee said. “This confirms to me that I’m doing my job right.”

Dr. Knoblauch also came to Finlandia in 2012, and is an Associate Professor in FinnU’s History program. He teaches 17 courses, including History of Rock & Roll, Energy and World Power and Rise of American Capitalism. He recently received the Board of Trustee’s Distinguished Faculty Award at the 2018 Commencement Ceremony.

“Tenure aligns with my career goals because I’d like to stay at Finlandia and continue to work on being the best teacher and writer that I can be,” Knoblauch said. “With tenure, I feel that I can act more officially as a voice for the university and what it should stand for.”

To apply for tenure, a member of the Finlandia faculty submits a portfolio exemplifying their accomplishments since their appointment at the university. Qualified candidates are eligible to apply for tenure after being with the university for six years.

Story originally posted at 

Winners of the 2018 DTWG Writing Contest

Dixon-Ticonderoga Writing Group release

The Dixon-Ticonderoga Writing Group is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 DTWG Writing Contest.

Isabella Menzel-Smith from Houghton High School took first place in the essay portion of the contest with her essay, “Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone.”

Dante Cyrus from Houghton and Veronica Hausman of the Copper Country Christian School tied for second place with their essays, “Aiming High to the Skies” and “God Gave Me His Word, so What Do I Do With It.”

In the poetry division, Mara Marie Pelto took first place with her poem, “Flying High.” Pelto attends Horizons Alternative School. Eva Nemiroff of Houghton High School took second place with her poem, “Age These Words”

No short stories placed. High school students should start prepping for the DTWG Writing Contest in 2019.

Ontonagon County REA Announces New Power Deal with Wolverine that Will Reduce Costs

Ontonagon County REA release

ONTONAGON–The Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association (Ontonagon REA) has announced a new, long-term wholesale power supply agreement with Wolverine Power Cooperative (Wolverine) that begins next year and will reduce the UP Cooperative’s future power supply costs. These cost reductions may allow Ontonagon REA to consider future retail rate reductions and/or operational improvements such as increased tree trimming, reliability initiatives or the addition of new personnel.

Currently, Ontonagon REA receives its power supply from two Wisconsin utilities. The new agreement with Wolverine, a Michigan-based cooperative, begins, in part, in 2019 as the first power supply agreement expires. The full impact of this new agreement will begin benefitting Ontonagon REA members in 2021, when the other Wisconsin wholesale power supply agreement expires.

“Our board of directors is certainly pleased with our new power supply agreement with Wolverine,” said Debbie Miles, Ontonagon REA General Manager. “Wolverine is not only a member-owned cooperative like we are but, just as importantly, they are one of the state’s leading and most competitive wholesale power suppliers.”

Under the new agreement, a portion of which begins in 2019, Wolverine will also be responsible for ensuring Ontonagon REA meets the Michigan 15% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2020. Wolverine is the state’s leader in renewable energy and carbon free supply with a diverse portfolio of generating assets in Michigan that will be used to meet Ontonagon REA’s future power supply needs.

“This new partnership with Wolverine will result in more competitive retail rates for Ontonagon REA member-consumers,” Miles said. “In addition, this new partnership with Wolverine also enhances the electric cooperative footprint in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and we think that is good for the UP and its residents.”

Ontonagon REA serves approximately 5,000 members throughout portions of Houghton, Baraga, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties. Based in Cadillac, Michigan, Wolverine Power Cooperative serves six member cooperatives and provides wholesale power to their more than 350,000 member consumers throughout portions of 59 Michigan counties.

Summer at the Calumet Public Library

Calumet Public Library release

CALUMET — Lots going on at the library – mark your calendar and join us!

We’ve begun collecting books at the library for the Annual Used Book Sale on June 23rd & 24th- keep these dates in mind as you begin spring cleaning – we are looking for gently used books and DVDs. And remember to put those dates on your calendar for a terrific selection of books at affordable prices!  There will be lots of beach reads and rainy day options for the whole family!

If you are able to help with the book sale whether during the two-day event, helping to set up Thursday prior or to take down on the following Monday, please respond to this email, leave your name and contact information at the library desk, or come to the next meeting of the Friends on 6/12 and learn more – your information will be forwarded to the organizers. Thank you again to Dan Riutta for help with our larger storage issues – the Friends are thankful for friends!

Books have been selected for the Red Jacket Reader’s Book Club and we’re working on dates.  The books are being processed for circulation at the library, so check them out soon!

• The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne – Aug 8

• A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

• Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

• Confederates in the Attic, by Tony Horwitz

A flyer is attached for the Summer Reading Program at the library, and spring hours for May 29 – June 7 are listed below.

2018 Calendar Dates: 

• Wednesday, 5/30 Stamp out Stamp Sand!, presentation by the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lexus Eco Challenge and eCYBERMISSION teams (flyer attached)

• Tuesday, 6/12 Annual meeting and pot luck dinner – Friends of the Calumet Public Library

• Friday, 6/22 AND Saturday, 6/23 Annual Book Sale (flyer attached)

• Wednesday, 6/27 How the Rock Connects Us, presentation and book signing by Dr. Erika Vye

• Wednesday, 8/8 Red Jacket Reader’s book club discussion of The Marsh King’s Daughter, by Karen Dionne

• Tuesday, 8/14 Monthly meeting Friends of the Calumet Public Library

Stamp out Stamp Sand!, presentation by the Lake Linden-Hubbell Lexus Eco Challenge and eCYBERMISSION teams 

Wednesday, May 30th

6:30 pm – 8:00 pm 
Open to the public
Calumet Public Library 

The Lake Linden-Hubbell Lexus Eco Challenge and eCYBERMISSION teams (students Siona Beaudoin, Katie Griffin, Beau Hakala, Elijah Poirier, and Gabriel Poirier) will be talking about their STEM competitions focused on methods to reuse or remediate stamp sand, a byproduct of historical copper mining. They will give an overview of the competitions, a summary of the projects, and description of two outreach activities they conducted with third graders at Lake Linden-Hubbell Elementary School and with fifth graders at C-L-K Elementary.  Come and hear about how these classes planted alfalfa and fescue in stamp sand and monitored the growth modeling remediation practices and what might be the next chapter in their award wining studies.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.
For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107
(In case of bad weather, when school is cancelled, all library programs are cancelled.)

June Annual Meeting and Potluck – Friends of the Calumet Public Library
Tuesday, June 12th 
5:30 pm
Open to the public
Calumet Public Library

The Friends of the Calumet Public Library accomplished much this year, and we’re ready to celebrate! In addition to the election of this year’s board members, the annual meeting will recap programs and acquisitions, and will help chart the course for another year. This is an open meeting, and we welcome new members and new ideas. There are many ways to lend a hand at the library: programming ideas, volunteer opportunities, the Red Jacket Readers book club, and more! Come find out what’s ahead in the upcoming year at the Calumet Public Library, and help us celebrate a year of good work in support of the library. Following the meeting, we’ll be having a potluck so bring a place setting, a dish to pass, some friends and family, and join us as we look forward to the new year.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.
For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107
(In case of bad weather, when school is cancelled, all library programs are cancelled.).

Used Book Sale – Two Days!

Friday, June 23rd 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 24th 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Member’s preview each day ½ hour prior to opening
CLK Multi-Purpose Room
Open to the public
Proceeds go to support efforts of the Friends of the Calumet Public Library

Sponsored by the Friends of the Calumet Public Library, the used book sale on Friday and Saturday, June 23rd and 24th is the organization’s annual fund raiser. Featuring a wide variety of books, CDs, and DVDs, the collection will be on sale from 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm Friday and from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm on Saturday at the CLK Multi-purpose room located down the hall from the library. (When entering the building from the library parking lot, turn left and the multi-purpose room will be a few feet down the hall on your left.) Members of the Friends of the Library are invited to a special shopping time beginning ½ hour before opening on both days, so join today!  (Membership information will also be available at the sale.)  The bag sale will be from 2:00 – 3:00 on Saturday, only.

Proceeds from this fundraiser go to sponsor library services and programs not provided for by the general library budget. In 2017-2018 funds have been used to purchase Mango Languages (a world language teaching program available to all library patrons), large print books, multiple titles for our Red Jacket Readers book club, and many new books including additions to the children’s, YA, and adult collections with a special emphasis on books that have been requested through inter-library loan. 

If you have gently-read books or other materials to donate to this event, please bring them to the library during library hours. For more information, visit the library or call 337-0311 ext. 1107

May 21, 2018

2017 General Manager of the Year

ZMC Hotels, LLC release

ZMC Hotels, LLC proudly announces Tauna Happner as ZMC Hotels 2017 General Manager of the Year. Ms. Happner is the General Manager of the Country Inn & Suites located at 919 Razorback Drive in Houghton.

To achieve this honor Ms. Happner, her team and the hotel ranked number one on TripAdvisor for her market and earned high guest service and satisfaction scores. In addition to providing quality service, there were operational and financial criteria where Ms. Happner and her team earned high marks. As General Manager, Ms. Happner is responsible for providing day-to-day direction, oversight and leadership to the team. She has been welcoming guests and leading the team at the Country Inn & Suites since September 2014.

ZMC Hotels, LLC is a hotel management company managing 42 hotels in 13 states with 1,300 employees. ZMC Hotels, LLC is based out of Walnut Creek, California with regional offices located in Duluth, Minnesota; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Oxford, Alabama.

For attached photo: Mark Hall – CEO; Tauna Happner – GM; John Henry – COO. Interior of Country Suites & Inn.

Baraga County (MI) Lake Trout Festival 2018

Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau release

The 13th annual Baraga County Lake Trout Festival will take place Saturday, June 9, which coincides with Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend-no fishing license necessary. 

Baraga County has been named the Lake Trout Capital of the Great Lakes and the free (no admission charge) festival will combine the Keweenaw Classic Fishing Tournament with family-oriented fun events.

Food and fun for the entire family will include food and drink booths, coffee and baked goods, arts and crafts booths, junk art contest and sidewalk art, kids’ games and carnival, ducky river contest and kids’ fishing pond. And, don’t miss the Little Miss Superior Talent contest and coloring contest.

Feeling competitive? The festival also has a pie-eating contest and cardboard boat races-see how your boat and crew can race the course on our beautiful bay. For the more competitive, there’s the 1/2 marathon, 8-mile run or walk, 5K and a kids’ 1/4 mile Minnow Run, all sponsored by the BCMH Fitness Center.

The fishing tournament will have separate classes for lake trout and salmon with many cash and merchandise awards as well as door prizes. Last year’s 1st-place winners in each category took home $1200! Catch a specially-tagged fish and win an additional $100! All events will take place in the Waterfront Park and Marina in downtown L’Anse, Michigan. (in case of inclement weather, the Fishing Tournament will be held Sunday, June 10)

For entry forms and information, visit 

For maps and accommodation information, visit the website of Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau (, or call 800-743-4908, M-F 9-5 EST. 

For fishing tournament information and details, contact Steve Koski 906-395-1282, 

And for running information, go to 

RN-BSN Program at FinnU now offers eight-week classes

Finlandia University release

Upcoming start dates include June 25 and August 28

Finlandia University is now offering eight-week classes and twice as many start dates each year for its online RN-BSN program.

“Working nurses need programs that are specially designed to suit their needs, and we’re working hard to make sure that’s exactly what our program does,” RN-BSN Program Director Lori Sullivan, DNP, MSN, RN, said. “The additional start dates mean nurses don’t have to wait as long to get started, and have the opportunity to complete degree requirements sooner.”

Finlandia’s online RN-BSN program is designed for working nurses who have earned their Associates Degree in Nursing, but are looking for career advancement or to add to their existing skillset by earning their bachelor’s degree.

“National initiatives continue to recommend increasing the number of bachelor-prepared nurses, and more employers are seeking out the BSN,” Sullivan said. “We are proud to offer this opportunity for nurses who might not have the ability to make it to courses on campus.”

Upcoming start dates for the program included June 25 and August 28. Applying is always free online at finlandia.edubsn.

Story originally posted at 

“Get to Know Hancock”

Hancock Business and Professionals Association release

HANCOCK — Hancock Business and Professionals Association will hold its first Progressive Dinner on Thursday, June 7th.  This event will be held at six downtown restaurants.  Starting at Milly’s between 5 to 6 p.m. and then proceeding to Kaleva, Bleacher’s, Nutini’s, Gemignani’s and ending at K.C. Bonkers.

The Progressive Dinner Card MUST be initialed at each stop and submitted at K.C. Bonkers, being the last stop for a chance to win Hancock Bucks.

Dinner tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at Hancock City Hall, Northwoods Sporting Goods and the Copper Island Beach Club.  You must pre-register.  Limited tickets available. 

Girls on the Run UP 5K Celebrates a Successful First Year in the Keweenaw

Girls on the Run release

On Saturday May 19th, the Barkell Elementary team participated in the first Girls on the Run 5K in the western Upper Peninsula. 15 girls, their running buddies, coach volunteers, and community members ran the course along the waterfront trail. The celebratory event marks the end of an inaugural season where the girls learned about their unlimited potential. The girls met twice weekly for the past 10 weeks to learn life skills and train for the 5K event, which is one of more than 350 that are happening nationwide this spring.

Girls on the Run is a national non-profit organization that aims to teach girls in grades 3-5 important social emotional skills while using running as a means of empowerment. The curriculum focuses on leadership, friendship, positive choices, emotions, and goal-setting. The intentional skill-building, along with physical activity, has proven to have a sustained impact for the participants in research studies. People are very excited that this research-based program has made its way to the Keweenaw. Erin Carlson, a parent of a Girls on the Run participant, says the program is a “fun way to have girls get together and support each other and not focus on competing with one another, but to focus on building each other up.”

The Girls on the Run Upper Peninsula council was started in 2007 in Chippewa County, but has expanded this year to include all of the Upper Peninsula. Nicole DeHerder, a third grade teacher at Barkell Elementary started the site in Hancock. She has high hopes “that more schools start teams in the area so that our Copper Country 5K continues to grow.” Visit for more information on the program or how to start a site in your school next spring.

UPEC Board Member Nancy Warren wins prestigious Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership

Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition release

Houghton – Nominated by the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC), long time board member, Nancy Warren of Ewen, Michigan, has been named the winner of the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership. The prize is given annually by the Michigan Environmental Council, based in Lansing.

The Petoskey Prize recognizes a volunteer activist whose outstanding grassroots environmental leadership is marked by commitment, creativity and courage.  Inaugurated in 2001, the award carries a $5,000 gift which Nancy has designated to be used to further wolf education and research in Michigan.

On learning of the prize, Nancy said “I am humbled and in awe.”

Nancy is being honored for her many years of work on behalf of numerous environmental causes. Her environmental leadership skills extend back many decades. They focus around the core goals of protecting and enhancing public lands, promoting ecosystem integrity and biodiversity, restoring habitat and sustainable species populations, increasing informed citizen involvement in democratic environmental stewardship, and building organizational capacities to pursue these goals.

Nancy’s passion for wolves began in the early 1990s as wolves began to recolonize the state. Nancy discovered that for wolves to survive there needs to be human tolerance of wolf behavior. Her goal is to have a sustainable wolf population within suitable habitat.

Since 2013, Nancy has served as the executive director of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition which fosters positive attitudes about wolves through education and advocacy. She oversees the activities of about 50 volunteers and regional coordinators, researching issues, countering misinformation, providing testimony, raising funds and produces educational material.

Though known for her work for her wolves, Nancy is actively involved with the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) which is authorized to receive $900 million from offshore energy production. However, Congress diverts most of the funds elsewhere. Nancy has provided testimony to congressional committees and encouraged others to do the same to use the funds to protect wild lands, fund local community projects and ensuring public access.

Nancy and her husband have conducted hands-on surveys of wood turtles in the Ottawa National Forest as part of its Wood Turtle Monitoring Project. The Warrens have identified and handled over 100 turtles, compiling essential data to support the protection and revitalization of this species.

Nancy serves on the Ottawa National Forest Resource Advisory Committee. Three of her recommendations for the Ontonagon River have been adopted and implemented, including a barrier to protect prime turtle nesting areas and another that minimized erosion and sediment run-off into the East Branch of the river.

Nancy has been a member of UPEC for more than 20 years, serving on the Board for the past seven years. During that time she has taken on the roles of President and Vice President. Her strong organizational skills have helped keep UPEC activities effective.

Also involved in local community activities, Nancy participates in Michigan’s “Adopt-A-Highway” program and serves on the Ontonagon County Commission on Aging.

“I am thrilled to hear Nancy has received the Petoskey Prize,” says Horst Schmidt, President of UPEC. “We believe Nancy’s efforts for wolf protection represents the ecological balance needed in the Upper Peninsula. Her advocacy for the environment through hands on activities, education and maintaining vigilance on the legislative front has helped us meet our organization’s goals.”

The Michigan Environmental Council believes that lasting environmental protection is earned through a synergy of local activism and institutional leadership. We support the Council in its work. The annual awards are another way of honoring distinguished vision and service by public and private sector leaders while recognizing the significance of grassroots leadership.

For more information, contact Horst Schmidt at 906 369 3797.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Moves to New Office

Edward Jones release

Shelly Larson of the financial services firm Edward Jones opened a new office at 217 6th Street, Calumet, MI. The new office opened for business on May 15, 2018. The phone number is (906) 337-0356.

Larson, who has been a financial advisor since 2013, said, “We are excited about our new location, and we are eager for our clients and neighbors to visit us.”

Larson will host an open house from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on June 1, 2018. Refreshments will be served. 

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in St. Louis, provides financial services in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the investments its financial advisors offer to the location of its branch offices, caters to individual investors. The firm’s 16,000-plus financial advisors serve more than 7 million clients and care for $1 trillion in assets under management. Visit the firm’s website at and its recruiting website at Member SIPC.

May 18, 2018

HKCD has leftover pine plugs

Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District release

Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District has many white and red pine plugs available at a deep discount: 100 for $30.00.

We will also donate to some school forests.

They need homes.

Call HKCD at 482-0214

PAC Awards Ceremony

Copper Country Intermediate School District release

The Copper Country Intermediate School District Parent Advisory Committee for Special Education held their 16th annual awards program at the CCISD on Tuesday, May 15th. “In recognition of person who have made outstanding contributions and accomplishments in special education during the 2017 – 2018 school year.” Award winners were:

Administrator: Chris Salo, Director of Special Education, CCISD

General Education Teacher: Mary Bastion, CLK Elementary

Special Education Teacher: Rachael Lassi, Philip LaTendresse Elementary, Baraga

Ancillary Staff: Janel Summers, Autism Coordinator/Instructional Coach, CCISD

Support Staff: Kim Oldt, Instructional Aide, Houghton Elementary

Dynamic Duo Award: Kelly Roland & Trista Soumis, Special Education teachers, CLK Middle School

Make a Difference Award: Teddy Randell, student at Hancock High School

Spirit of Collaboration Award: South Range Elementary- Kim Harris, Principal; Joann Feeley, Special Education teacher; Susan Destrampe, Amanda Lehto, Sheri Normand and Jessica Schuette – General Education teachers

Special Teams Award: CCISD Mild CI Program – Jennifer Meyer, Special Education teacher, Tricia Crampton, Shari Randell and Shannon Wesa, Instructional Aides

Student Salutes: Monica Aho, physical therapist CCISD; Steve Aho, Special Education teacher Hancock High School; Paul Dube, General Education teacher Hancock Middle School; Emily Lancour, Special Education teacher Hancock Middle School; Dodie Toutant, Instructional Aide Hancock Middle School; Annette Levanen, Instructional Aide Barkell Elementary; Erica Theisen, Special Education teacher Barkell Elementary Maren Rouleau, Special Education teacher CCISD

Special Recognition – Retiring:

Teri Braun, Early Childhood Special Education Services/Early On Coordinator

Tammy Parmentier, Special Education teacher, Elementary Mild CI Program

Kathy Penegor, physical therapist, CCISD

Lois Weber, Transition Coordinator, CCISD

Chris Salo, Director of Special Education

In Memoriam:

Steve Lancour, General and Special Education teacher, CLK Schools

May 17, 2018

Sturzl ACF-Upper Michigan Chef-of-the-Year

Upper Michigan Culinarians release

PETOSKEY —  The American Culinary Federation-Upper Michigan Culinarians presented Chris Sturzl with the 2018 Chef-of-the-Year honors at its annual dinner held Sunday evening in Petoskey.

Sturzl, who resides in Atlantic Mine, was recognized for his leadership and mentorship of professional chefs throughout the Great Lakes Region and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The awards dinner was held at Palette Bistro, as the 2017 Chef-of-the-Year Jeremy Pomeroy delivered a special seven-course dinner for the attendees.

“It’s humbling to be recognized by your peers of the ACF,” remarked Sturzl, who had received the Chef-of-the-Year award while a member of the ACF’s Minneapolis (Minn.) Chapter in 2009. “I truly enjoy fostering the professional development of chefs and the opportunity to interact with some great people in the food industry.”

Through the ACF, Sturzl holds status as Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Educator, Certified Secondary Culinary Educator, and Approved Culinary Evaluator.

The Rhinelander (Wisc.) native initially earned a culinary Associate Arts degree from Chippewa Valley Technical College in 1977.  He then received a Bachelor’s degree in education from Wisconsin-Stout in 1979, and a Master’s degree in education in 1986 from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

He worked as a chef for several restaurants before becoming a teacher in the Anoka-Hennepin (Minn.) School District, where he taught foods and nutrition for 33 years.

Sturzl has been actively involved within the Upper Michigan chapter of the ACF having participated in both the OSF Heart of Gold and Heritage dinners, presenter for the chapter’s monthly segment with WLUC-TV’s Morning News, and a chapter board member.  He was also a contributor to a 2010 publication “Great Lakes Whitefish Recipes.”

The Upper Michigan Culinarian chapter of the ACF has members who work in restaurants and professional food service throughout the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Michigan.

Lindsay King-Miller Named Finlandia’s 2018 Campus Read Author

Finlandia University release

Lindsay King-Miller has been selected as the Finlandia University Campus Read 2018 author. She will be at the Finnish American Heritage Center on Oct. 15, discussing her book Ask A Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls.

“We’re very excited to welcome Lindsay King-Miller to campus this fall, and she’s also looking forward to the opportunity to meet personally with Finlandia students in classrooms and student organizations,” said Assistant Professor of Communication Dr. Monique Bourdage. “King-Miller writes both compassionately and entertainingly about a number of issues that do or will touch the lives of members of the Finlandia community. From being able to speak about her experiences in the so-called gig economy to discussions of gender, healthy relationships, popular culture, parenting, and health care, King-Miller is sure to spark many fruitful conversations on our campus and in our community.”

Copies of the King-Miller’s book are now available atNorth Wind Books for purchase.

King-Miller received her BA from the University of Arizona and her MFA from Naropa University. She started the advice column “Ask A Queer Chick” on The Hairpin in 2011and has been a contributor for severalpublications include and Buzzfeed.

Story originally posted at

Bergman Votes to Replace Problem Ridden VA Choice Act, Sends MISSION Act to Senate

Congressman Jack Bergman release

Washington – Congressman Jack Bergman, Chairman of the VA Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, released the following statement following House passage of the VA MISSION Act:       

“For years, Veterans in rural communities of northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula have struggled to access the care they’ve earned in a timely and convenient setting. While the VA Choice Program was meant to provide Veterans with flexibility in receiving care, its results were far from acceptable. From Veterans not receiving care, to providers not receiving reimbursement for the care provided, the shortfalls and red-tape of the Choice Program have been problematic for years. The VA MISSION Act addresses these shortcomings, and if signed into law, will provide rural Veterans the flexibility needed to receive the care they’ve rightfully earned,” said Bergman. 

Congressman Bergman continued, “One of my top priorities on the VA Committee has been not only replacing this broken system, but making sure we get it right this time. Today’s vote in the House to pass the VA MISSION Act was a monumental step towards making healthcare accessible for our rural Veterans.”

The bipartisan VA MISSION Act passed the House today and must now pass the Senate before heading to President Trump’s desk for final approval. 

The MISSION Act replaces the VA Choice Act and:

• Consolidates seven duplicative community care programs into one cohesive program; 

• Removes the arbitrary 30-day, 40-mile barriers in the Choice Program; 

• Expands Veteran choice and access to timely, quality care;

• Allows for a one-year “funding bridge” to ensure Veterans have continuity of care while the Choice Program is phased-out;

• Creates a fair and transparent process for a comprehensive audit of VA’s assets that is insulated from politics;

• Transitions VA from a reliance on outdated and inefficient facilities to a more modern infrastructure based on current and future medical models; 

• Creates equity between seriously injured pre-9/11 and post-9/11 veterans by allowing pre-9/11 caregivers to receive a monthly stipend and other support; and

• Contains numerous provisions that would expand VA’s internal capacity to care for veterans in VA medical facilities.

May 16, 2018

Pictured Rocks Days: Family Friendly Festival Where Yoopers Ride Free

Alger County Chamber release

Pictured Rocks Days festival, hosted by the Alger County Chamber, is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 9 & 10 at Bayshore Park in downtown Munising, MI. During the weekend, Pictured Rocks Cruises is offering annual free cruises for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula residents. Pictured Rocks Days festival, which started in 2013, has grown to over 7,000 attendees from across the Upper Peninsula, the Munising community, international and domestic tourists. “Combining our efforts with the Cruises has been a success for both us and the community. While people wait for their cruise or after their ride, they can enjoy the festival. There is something for people of all ages stated Kathy Reynolds, Alger County Chamber Executive Director. Festivities include bands, nature shows, vendors, food, interpretive displays, demonstrations, informational booths and a petting zoo. Reynolds stated that “In 2012 we started with 60 vendors, last year we had almost 100 vendors and this year we expect the same. It is now the largest event in Munising, other than the July 4th celebration. As far as vendor participation it is the largest ever in Munising and Alger County. Year after year, the festival has been record-setting for Munising’s Bayshore Park. We started with a one-day event and the last few years it has grown to a two-day event. People that come make it a weekend-long excursion and there is something for people of every age and interest. One of our biggest sponsors is the Munising Visitors Bureau; without them, and numerous other sponsors, this event could not take place. Partnering with a private business, like the Cruises, and with support from local businesses, Pictured Rocks Days has become a win-win for Munising. Planning an event like this generally starts around Christmas and vendors start registering in early January. Visitors make vacation plans months ahead to be here for Pictured Rocks Days.”

John Madigan, manager of Pictured Rocks Cruises, looks forward to the event as well. “Providing this free cruise weekend for Upper Peninsula residents gives people, that may not otherwise take the cruise, the opportunity to do so. After the first year, the Chamber joined in with their festival introducing Pictured Rocks Days. That change increased visitation dramatically; whether they wanted to take the free cruise, go to the festival or both. This combined effort with the Chamber has made Munising a destination for that second weekend every June.”

The largest sponsor of the event, Munising Visitors Bureau, has watched the growth. Cori Gerou-Cearly, President of the Munising Visitors Bureau notes, “Pictured Rocks Days is one of our community’s signature events and has something for everyone. The past few years’ attendance has increased steadily and the overall festival has grown. What started out as a one-day event, with no accompanying festival, has grown due to the partnerships in our community between the Chamber, Pictured Rocks Cruises, the Munising Visitors Bureau, private business sponsorships and the Downtown Development Authority. We are proud to support this event and to have the collaborations that have helped this community’s tourism flourish. We thank the Chamber and Pictured Rocks Cruises for their hard work and partnership”.

If you are interested in taking the free cruise, live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, weather-permitting, cruises will depart every hour on the hour from the Munising City Pier starting at 9:00 a.m. running until 7:00 p.m. Tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10 with a limit of 1,500 free tickets available per day. In order to obtain your free ticket you must be present, in person, a photo ID with an Upper Peninsula address at the Pictured Rocks Cruise ticket office. A child must be accompanied by a parent at the ticket office to receive a ticket. For more information about the free cruise visit their website at or call 906-387-2379. If you want more information concerning Pictured Rocks Days festival events or want to be a vendor, call the Alger County Chamber of Commerce at (906) 387-2138 or visit or their Facebook for a schedule and event updates.

Finnish rockers Steve ‘n’ Seagulls coming to Keweenaw on September 5

Finlandia University release

he Copper Country may never be the same after Finnish rock legends-in-the-making Steve ‘n’ Seagulls visit the Rosza Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, September 5. Tickets are on sale now for the high-energy band that performs bluegrass versions of well-known rock and metal songs from a decidedly Finnish perspective.

“The group has racked up millions of views with their unique antics on YouTube,” said Kevin Manninen, one of the driving forces to bringing the band to the area. “I’ve talked to dozens of people who are beyond excited to have these guys bringing their unforgettable music to the Keweenaw.”

Manninen has been working on this in conjunction with the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce Upper Michigan, Finlandia University and Copper Island Engraving, who are working together to make this event possible. The event will also be the first event of the third annual Festival Ruska.

More information about the event, links to some of the best Steve ‘n’ Seagulls videos and information abouttickets can be found at

Story originally posted at 

Calumet, Michigan, High School Student Awarded STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship

STARR Charitable Foundation release

EAST LANSING, MI – Mary Massopust, a senior at Houghton High School, was recently awarded a STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship to attend Michigan State University.

The STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship pays all regular costs of eight semesters at MSU, including tuition, fees, books, room, board, and incidental expenses as defined by the university.

An anonymous private donor established the STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship to provide a unique education opportunity for multiple students from the State of Wyoming and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The donors stipulated that STARR scholars must demonstrate academic interest and achievement by attaining a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, the scholars must demonstrate distinguished personal character and leadership ability.

For more information about the STARR Charitable Foundation Scholarship, visit

May 15, 2018

Bridgefest Presented by Superior National Bank Set for June 14-17

Superior National Bank release

HANCOCK — For the second straight year, Superior National Bank & Trust will be the presenting sponsor of Bridgefest, the annual festival celebrating the Portage Lake Lift Bridge. The 2018 edition of the event will take place June 14-17.

Highlights of Bridgefest include a parade, live music and food at the Ray Kestner Waterfront Park and the only summer fireworks show in Houghton and Hancock. New for 2018 is the Bridgefest 5000 5K run/walk that will utilize the parade route and begin immediately preceding the Friday evening parade.

“Superior National Bank & Trust is once again proud to back this great local event,” said Dave Vlahos, SNB’s President and CEO. “Bridgefest brings people together in celebration of our community, and we at SNB maintain our commitment to support this community.”

Superior National Bank & Trust, which was founded in 1890, is a long-time supporter of Bridgefest. The bank took on the presenting sponsor role for the first time in 2017.

“We’re happy to have SNB on board as our presenting sponsor again in 2018,” said Ryan Towles, Bridgefest Committee Chair. “Their support, along with donations of time and resources from many other local businesses and individuals, allows our committee to put on the best event we can for our community.”

The full schedule of events and opportunities to be involved in Bridgefest 2018 are available on the event’s website,

Copper Traces Education Event at Keweenaw National Historical Park

Keweenaw National Historical Park release

Fourth grade students from across the Keweenaw Peninsula and western Upper Michigan will be attending day-long field trips at Keweenaw National Historical Park from May 15-17. The annual event is known as Copper TRACES and is part of the Every Kid in a Park program. The name Copper TRACES identifies the topics that are the focus of the field-trip: Technology, Research, Art and Music, Community, Environment, and Service. This event is a fun, educational field-day that engages students through a variety of hands-on activity stations – all of which meet Michigan Education Standards.

To make Copper TRACES possible, 20 community partners, over 60 volunteers, and park rangers are on hand for three days as they guide students through an immersive field-trip experience. The annual event has become a much anticipated program that students and educators look forward to each spring. Copper TRACES is also a great way to introduce students to the natural and cultural sites that abound throughout western Upper Michigan.

As mentioned, Copper TRACES is part of the Every Kid in a Park program. This national program provides fee-free entry for all 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) and up to three adults to National Park Service sites and other public lands. The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for one year.

Copper TRACES is made possible with funding from the National Park Foundation (NPF) through the Every Kid in a Park Field Trip Grants program. Keweenaw National Historical Park has received an NPF grant in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Funding from this grant pays for student transportation costs, participant lunches, and event logistics.

For more information about Keweenaw National Historical Park and other park events and programs, contact park headquarters at 906/337-3168, or check the web at

Keweenaw Co-op to host Community “Thank You” Spring Fling

Keweenaw Co-op release

Celebrate the arrival of Spring at Keweenaw Co-op’s Community “Thank You” Spring Fling Event this Saturday, May 19th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Enjoy LIVE music from local artists such as Bob Hiltunen, Howard Hart and the Back Room Boys. FREE samples of our delicious Co-op foods will be available for sampling, along with fun activities for the kids. Stop by Keweenaw Co-op as we “Fling Spring” and welcome the first days of Summer!!!

Scholarship available for High School Student interested in Science

Gratiot Lake Conservancy release

High school students have until May 24 to apply for the Rita and Jack Sandretto Scholarship to attend Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program Aquatic Ecology at Gratiot Lake. After an orientation at Tech, the students will camp at the Noblet Field Station at the Gratiot Lake Conservancy nature preserve from July 15 to July 21. This educational opportunity is a collaboration of Gratiot Lake Conservancy, which offers the scholarship and stipend for the instructor, and Michigan Tech. Students can download information about the application on the GLC website or call the Summer Youth Program office at (906) 487-2219.

Girls on the Run 5K to be held Saturday

Girls on the Run Upper Peninsula release

HANCOCK — Girls on the Run Upper Peninsula is pleased to announce that its Keweenaw County inaugural Girls on the Run 5K, will be held on Saturday, May 19th at Chutes and Ladders Park in Houghton, Michigan. The un-timed, non-competitive event will be a community-wide 5K for all as well as a celebration of the local 3rd to 5th grade Girls on the Run participants and everything they have accomplished during the spring season.

Girls on the Run is a program of empowerment for preadolescence girls. The ten-week program uses running and other physical activities as a platform for teaching critical life skills and healthy living habits.

“Our girls are very proud to be the first Girls on the Run team in Keweenaw County.” reported Nicole DeHerder, the program’s lead coach and third grade teacher at Barkell Elementary School.

The girls have been meeting twice weekly since early March to build social emotional skills while working towards the end of the year 5K. “Many of our girls have become more confident and positive.” DeHerder shared. “They know that if they set goals for themselves in running, they can set goals in whatever they want to do.”

The Girls on the Run age-appropriate lessons encourage positive emotional, social, mental and physical development while the physical activity woven into the program inspires an appreciation of fitness and building habits that lead to a lifetime of health.

Completing the 5K gives the girls a tangible understanding of the confidence that comes through accomplishment as well as the framework for setting and achieving life goals.

Registration for Keweenaw County’s inaugural Girls on the Run Upper Peninsula’s 5K begins on-site at 8:30am the day of the event. The 5K will kick-off at 9:30am. The registration fee is by donation to the local program with a suggested minimum of $10.

“Our community-wide 5K will not be your ordinary 5K”, Cynthia Merkel, Executive Director of Girls on the Run Upper Peninsula, stated. “It’s a 5K at a pace that is just right for you and where everyone finishes number one” she said.

For more information about the Girls on the Run program and how to bring it to your community, visit or contact the Council at 906-632-8109.

Century 21 North Country Agency and it’s REALTORS® Win Multiple Awards Focus on customer Satisfaction and Impressive Sales

Century 21 release

Houghton, MI May 15, 2018 — Century 21 Real Estate LLC, franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization, has announced the 2017 Awards attributed to CENTURY 21 North Country Agency and its REALTORS®.

Recognizing the extraordinary sales effort of CENTURY 21 North Country Agency in 2017, Century 21 Real Estate LLC, awarded the office with the Gold Medallion Award recognizing the office for outstanding sales performance in the CENTURY 21® System.

Individual Agents also received recognition for their production and quality service. Greg Oestreich, received the 2017 Quality Service Award in recognition of his relentless commitment to quality service and dedication to his customers. Adam Taivalkoski was honored with the Emerald Masters Award for his consistent sales production. Jack A. Larson received the Emerald Masters award along with the Quality Service Pinnacle award, which goes to an agent who has at least a 95% customer satisfaction rating or better for 2 or more consecutive years. David Jukuri and Kristine (Jukuri) Weidner were awarded the 2017 CENTURY 21® CENTURION® Producer Award.

“Being able to recognize and celebrate the team of REALTORS® our firm has is a great honor. Every team member contributes to the success of each of our three offices and our communities. Their individual skills enhance the services our office provides and are valued by their customers,” said Gerald David Jukuri. “I am very proud of everyone’s achievements during the year 2017 and the award winning quality service that our customers have come to expect from all of our agents. As CENTURY 21 REALTORS® we strive to be Smarter, Bolder, Faster.” The office also received the CENTURY 21 Gold Medallion Award and the Per Person Productivity Award which have high standards that the entire firm’s REALTORS® contributed


Located in Houghton, Calumet and L’Anse, CENTURY 21 North Country Agency is a full service brokerage firm specializing in residential, waterfront, vacant land, commercial and recreational property listings. In 2017, CENTURY 21 North Country Agency, a member of the Keweenaw MLS, is the most productive real estate firm.

CRHS Open House June 2

Copper Range Historical Society release

The Copper Range Historical Society will host its Annual Open House on Saturday, June 2, from noon-3:00 p.m. at the museum on Trimountain Ave, South Range.  Featured will be a book titled “Patina–A Visual Reference Guide to Prehistoric Copper Use in the Western Great Lakes Region” by Paul Schanen.  It will be presented by local copper history researcher Robin Hammer Mueller.  A collection of ancient copper tools and artifacts will also be displayed.  There will be refreshments and the presence of a Ranger from the Keweenaw National Historical Park, too.  We invite everyone to visit us that day for this free event, as we want to share all that our museum has to offer about the copper mining era in southern Houghton County.

We will open for the regular museum season on Tuesday, June 5. Days open will be Tuesday-Friday in June and September, and Monday-Friday in July and August.  All with hours of noon-3:00 p.m. Donation for admission is $1, with kids under 12, members, and group tours free.

May 14, 2018

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Keweenaw Garden Club

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON — The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for its final presentation for this season on Monday, May 21, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

MSU Master Gardener Amanda Binoniemi will present “Lilacs for the U.P. Gardener.” She will discuss the history and lore of lilacs from the Old World to the New and share tips for selecting varieties and caring for lilacs in a home garden.

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

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

Aspirus nurses to hand out ‘ACT F.A.S.T.’ magnets for American Stroke Month

Aspirus Keweenaw release

LAURIUM – Every 40 seconds someone suffers a stroke. Every four minutes, someone dies from a stroke. While these statistics reported by the American Heart Association (AHA) are profoundly alarming, it goes to show that stroke can happen suddenly to anyone, at any age, at any time.

That’s why for American Stroke Month, nurses from Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and Clinics are going out into the community to educate people of all ages about a four-letter word that can help spot a stroke quickly. Knowing the stroke warning signs and symptoms and calling for help immediately can make a difference and help save a life.

On May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, nurses are teaming up to hand out “ACT F.A.S.T.” magnets in Houghton at Econo Foods and Walmart and in Calumet at Pat’s Foods. The acronym F.A.S.T. appears on each magnet and stands for: face (look for an uneven smile), arm (check if one arm is weak), speech (listen for slurred speech) and time (call 911 right away).

“The faster you can spot a stroke and call for help the better the outcome,” said Louise Kauppinen, Emergency Department and ICU Director for Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital. “It can make the difference between life and death, or the difference between a full recovery and long-term disability.”

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot (ischemic) or the vessel ruptures (hemorrhagic).  When this happens, part of the brain cannot receive the blood and oxygen it needs and brain cells begin to die.

According to the AHA, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. Though some risk factors like heredity, age and race cannot be changed, there are several risk factors that can be changed, treated or controlled. The number one cause of stroke and the most important controllable risk factor is high blood pressure.

Call 911 right away if you recognize signs of a stroke in yourself or someone else. Symptoms include sudden:

• Numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

• Trouble speaking or understanding.

• Trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

• Trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance.

• Severe headache with no known cause.

Talk to your primary care provider if you are concerned about your stroke risk.

Visit to take a health risk assessment to learn about your risk for stroke.

Copper TRACES Education Event at Keweenaw National Historical Park

Keweenaw National Historical Park release

Fourth grade students from across the Keweenaw Peninsula and western Upper Michigan will be attending day-long field trips at Keweenaw National Historical Park from May 15-17. The annual event is known as Copper TRACES and is part of the Every Kid in a Park program. The name Copper TRACES identifies the topics that are the focus of the field-trip:  Technology, Research, Art and Music, Community, Environment, and Service. This event is a fun, educational field-day that engages students through a variety of hands-on activity stations – all of which meet Michigan Education Standards. 

To make Copper TRACES possible, 20 community partners, over 60 volunteers, and park rangers are on hand for three days as they guide students through an immersive field-trip experience. The annual event has become a much anticipated program that students and educators look forward to each spring. Copper TRACES is also a great way to introduce students to the natural and cultural sites that abound throughout western Upper Michigan. 

As mentioned, Copper TRACES is part of the Every Kid in a Park program. This national program provides fee-free entry for all 4th graders (including home-schooled and free-choice learners 10 years of age) and up to three adults to National Park Service sites and other public lands. The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for one year. 

Copper TRACES is made possible with funding from the National Park Foundation (NPF) through the Every Kid in a Park Field Trip Grants program. Keweenaw National Historical Park has received an NPF grant in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Funding from this grant pays for student transportation costs, participant lunches, and event logistics. 

For more information about Keweenaw National Historical Park and other park events and programs, contact park headquarters at 337-3168, or check the web at

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Michigan Tech’s Safety, Technology and Attention Lab for Research Study

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library will host Michigan Technological University’s Safety, Technology and Attention Lab while they conduct a research study titled “Attitudes Toward Technology” on Wednesday, May 16, at 1:00 p.m. and again at 2:00 p.m.

The Safety, Technology and Attention Lab is looking for people who are 55 or older who are either new to computers, a mid-level computer user, or a pro to fill out paper questionnaires. Each participant will be paid $20 cash, and each session will take approximately 60 minutes. Participants can choose which session they want to attend, and they are asked to arrive five minutes early. Registration is not required.

For more information about this survey, please call or text Kay Tislar at 906-231-5150 or send an email to her at

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