Press Release

Aug. 21, 2018

Portage Health Auxiliary announces grant opportunity

Portage Health Auxiliary release

Hancock, MI – The Portage Health Auxiliary is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to serve the health and well-being of elderly and youth causes in Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon Counties.

The Auxiliary is pleased to announce that it will be accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations in the 4-county area (Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon) it serves September 1, 2018 through September 28, 2018. The Auxiliary will be accepting grant applications for funding for health and well-being projects.

All requests for funding must be submitted on the Auxiliary’s grant application form. Forms can be picked up at The Guilded Rose Gift Shop, located in U P Health System-Portage, Hancock, or by contacting Barbara Worrall, phone 906-523-4445, or email

Applications can be dropped off at The Guilded Rose Gift Shop, or mailed to Barbara Worrall-President, Portage Health Auxiliary, c/o The Guilded Rose Gift Shop, U P Health System, 500 Campus Drive, Hancock, MI, 49930. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 28, 2018 to be considered for funding. Late applications will not be considered.

3rd annual Baraga County Beer Fest

Baraga County Chamber of Commerce release

L’Anse, August 20, 2018 — Baraga Chamber of Commerce is proud to present its third annual Baraga County Beer Fest that will be held October 6th from 1:00 PM to 5 PM at the Waterfront Park at N. Front Street in L’Anse. 

This event will take place rain or shine and will highlight some great brews from Michigan breweries. New this year will be wine tastings. Algomah Acres, End of the Road winery and Threefold Vine will be on hand to deliver some fantastic wine tastings. There will also be food by The Dogfather and UP North Pizzeria available to satisfy any hungry desires while tasting a variety of local craft beers. Eagle Radio will be broadcasting live.

Tickets are $25 in advance and can be purchased at the Baraga County Chamber office from 9 am – 3pm Monday to Wednesday, Baraga Convention & Visitors Bureau, Skippers in L’Anse,  Hardwood Steakhouse in Covington, American Legion in L’Anse, and online at: or $35 at the door.

Interested in volunteering for the Beer Fest? We are looking for door volunteers and beer servers. Volunteers will receive a beer glass and 6 tasting tickets. Please call us at 353-8808 or online at: to sign up or for more information. 

The Baraga County Beer Fest is a fundraiser for the Baraga Chamber of Commerce. The funds are used to support community events such as Baraga County Lake Trout Festival, Lumberjack Days, Baraga County Fair, KBIC Kids Fishing Day, Camp 911 and Meadowbrook Arena. 

Like us on facebook at: to keep up to date on the latest Baraga Beer Fest happenings and other community events. 

Portage Health Aux Books Are Fun Sale

Portage Health Auxiliary release

The Portage Health Auxiliary will hold a Books Are Fun/Collective Goods sale on Wednesday, August 29 from 9-5 and on Thursday, August 30 from 8-1.  Books for all ages, gifts, toys, gadgets, and many other items will be available.  The sale will take place in the UPHS-Portage lobby in Hancock.  All profits go towards the auxiliary’s medical scholarship and non-profit grant programs.  Questions?  Call Barb Worrall, 523-4445.

Copper Country Mental Health Institute to offer Guiding Good Choices in Houghton

Copper Country Mental Health Institute release

Guiding Good Choices is a five week parenting series for parents of middle school age children. Parents will learn effective child management skills, how to improve parent-child interaction and bonding, learn to teach children to resist peer influences and reduce adolescent problem behaviors.

Door prizes will be offered weekly for parents/caregivers who attend.

COST: Free, there is no registration fee.

When: Tuesdays, September 25, October 2, 9, 16, and 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Copper Country Mental Health Institute, 900 W. Sharon Ave., Houghton, MI 49931

Contact: Taryn Mason at 482-4880 or

“I Know that Tune!”

Keweenaw Heritage Center release

On Sunday, August 26 at 7:00 pm, the Keweenaw Heritage Center, Calumet, will be the setting for a festival of folk tune-based hymns. The festival is an annual event performed by the Organists of the Keweenaw. Singers are invited to both the loft and the main floor to raise their voices in a great acoustic and beautiful venue. Listeners are welcome, too, of course! Admission is by donation, with proceeds to be donated for local flood relief efforts. Refreshments will follow.

Peters Opening Remarks at Field Hearing on Line 5 & Great Lakes

U.S. Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security, today convened a Senate Commerce Committee field hearing in Traverse City on Line 5 and the importance of protecting the Great Lakes for future generations. You can watch Senator Peters’ opening remarks on his Facebook page, and below is the text of his opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you to the Dennos Museum for their gracious facilitation of this hearing. I also want to acknowledge the many comments and questions that have been submitted for the hearing record from the community. We’ll keep the hearing record open for several days following the hearing record for anyone who would like to submit comments or questions.

“I had the opportunity to read through many of these last night, and I’m grateful for all of them. I heard from the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority, representing very diverse tribes including the Bay Mills Indian Community; Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa Indians and the Sault Ste. Marie Chippewa Indians. I also have comments from the National Union of Operating Engineers, Michigan Technological University, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, For Love of Water, Michigan Environmental Council, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Great Lakes Business Network and Michigan Pipeline Petroleum Taskforce. I can go on, but I think Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers captured the common thread in his letter to the Committee with this quote, ‘Our economy relies on our clean, fresh water, and if that were to change, life as we know it in Northern Michigan would also change, devastating what makes life here so special.'”

“That’s why we’re here first and foremost – to talk about the Great Lakes.  Here in Michigan, the Great Lakes are a way of life. They are part of our DNA – and next to our people, they are our most precious resource. Not only do the Lakes provide drinking water for 40 million people, but they are an economic engine for our state and our nation – supporting more than 500,000 jobs in Michigan alone. From commercial shipping and agriculture – to fishing, boating and tourism – the Great Lakes are deeply intertwined with our state and our people. We know that an oil spill in the Great Lakes would be catastrophic for our environment AND our economy. 

“As the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal pipeline safety policy, I called this hearing to take a closer look at the federal and industry response to the April vessel strike in the Straits of Mackinac – to get some answers to some potentially tough questions. Questions that I’m often asked by Michigan residents, not just here in Traverse City but in every area of the state. 

“Michiganders are both deeply invested and deeply concerned about the continued existence of Line 5, an aging pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac – one of the most vulnerable locations in the entire Great Lakes.

“While pipelines are typically a safe and efficient method of transporting energy resources that we all use, the reality is accidents do happen. 

“As Michigan Tech’s recent risk analysis noted, a Line 5 oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac could reach hundreds of miles of shoreline in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ontario. It could cost the state nearly $2 billion dollars – some estimates much higher -to say nothing of the countless lives and livelihoods around the Great Lakes that would be shattered. Some have called this analysis purely hypothetical, but after the most expensive pipeline break in history on land on the Kalamazoo River, Michiganders know better than anyone else what happens when a pipeline fails. 

“I don’t want to wait until the next disaster to consider what more we could have done to prevent it. I’ve authored provisions in legislation such as the 2016 PIPES Act, and in past and present Coast Guard authorizations, that are intended to protect the Great Lakes, bolster pipeline safety and response planning, and prevent harm. 

“Mr. Elliott, as PHMSA Administrator, I appreciated working with you last April towards a temporary shutdown of the damaged Line 5 during severe weather. Your willingness to actively engage is very much appreciated with folks from Enbridge.

“This hearing is intended in that same spirit – to invite testimony that will help inform our understanding of safe pipeline operations – to prevent another disaster like the Kalamazoo River spill – and to ensure the Great Lakes are protected for generations to come.  This hearing is an opportunity for Michiganders who want answers to hear directly from each of the witnesses, and so again, I thank you very much for your willingness to be here.”

Portage Health Aux. Linen Sale

Portage Health Auxiliary release

The Portage Health Auxiliary will hold our annual linen sale on Monday, August 27, from 7-3, in the UPHS-Portage lobby in Hancock.  Sheets, throws, pillows, and other items will be available.  All profits benefit the auxiliary’s medical scholarship and grant programs. 

Late Summer at the Calumet Public Library

Calumet Public Library release

“The Log Cabin in America: From Settlers to Syrup Cans,” presentation and book signing by Alison K. Hoagland will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 22 at the Calumet Public Library. Open to the public.

The log cabin is an iconic American building, reminiscent of pioneers and politicians, Abe Lincoln and Lincoln Logs, Finnish immigrants and motels and gift shops. Once the most common form of building in America, it became a symbol of antiquity, rustic living, and bygone values of independence, ingenuity, and egalitarianism. This illustrated presentation will look at four centuries of log cabins, from early settlers to the present day. The log cabin often served as a basic shelter, an expedient solution to a building problem. But it also became an icon of the American past, signaling a connection to the land and our history.

Alison K. Hoagland is professor emerita at Michigan Tech, where she taught history and historic preservation for fifteen years. An architectural historian, she is the author of The Log Cabin: An American Icon (University of Virginia Press, 2018), as well as Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country (University of Minnesota Press, 2010).  Books will be available to purchase, and proceeds will go to support efforts of the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.

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.)


September Meeting – Friends of the Calumet Public Library will be held 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 11 at the Calumet Public Library. Open to the public.

Are you looking for a way to become involved in your community? How about joining the Friends of the Calumet Public Library? There are many ways to lend a hand at the library: programming ideas, volunteer opportunities, the Red Jacket Readers book club, and more! Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 in the library’s community room – mark your calendar! This is an open meeting, and we welcome new members and fresh ideas. Come find out what’s ahead at YOUR library – the Calumet Public Library.

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.)


Red Jacket Readers book club discussion of “Confederates in the Attic”, by Tony Horwitz will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 pm Wednesday, September 12 at the Calumet Public Library. Open to the public.

Propelled by his boyhood passion for the Civil War, prize-winning war correspondent Tony Horwitz embarks on a search for places and people still held in thrall by America’s greatest conflict. The result is an adventure into the soul of the unvanquished South, where the ghosts of the Lost Cause are resurrected through ritual and remembrance.

Written with Horwitz’s signature blend of humor, history, and hard-nosed journalism, Confederates in the Attic brings alive old battlefields and new ones ‘classrooms, courts, country bars’ where the past and the present collide, often in explosive ways. Poignant and picaresque, haunting and hilarious, it speaks to anyone who has ever felt drawn to the mythic South and to the dark romance of the Civil War.

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

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


“Our Lives as Identical Twins,” presentation and book signing by Sally Bair will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, October 3 at the Calumet Public Library. Open to the public.

Sally Bair, columnist and author, will present her memoir telling her story about growing up as an identical twin.  In Run Sally Run, Bair relates with humor the good times she shared with her twin and the anguish of living with a father who paid little attention to his family. Bair’s talk will provide new insights about life as an identical twin and will touch the spirit as well as tickle the funny bone. “Of all the words I’ve written, telling my true story of childhood with my twin was the most fun,” Bair has said. “We disagree about some of my memories, but it doesn’t matter. We’re still best friends. We always make up after our disagreements. We love each other to the moon and back.”  Bair’s sister lives in the area, so we will have the opportunity to hear both sides of the story!

An author since the age of 14 (this book is unpublished), Bair has written seven additional books, including a three-part series about Alaska and four devotional books compiled from her weekly newspaper column.  Copies of the books will be available for sale and the proceeds will support projects of the Friends of the Calumet Public Library.

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.)

McBroom Files Request for Information on Prison Closure

U.P. senate candidate Ed McBroom release

Former Representative and current U.P. senate candidate Ed McBroom released information today about his demand of answers from the Michigan Department of Corrections in regard to the closure of the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marinesco. Last week the MDOC stunned the small community in rural Gogebic County with the announcement of the closure of the prison. The 2019 fiscal year budget required a prison to close but many felt Ojibway had too many positives to be the one chosen. It is also a critical source of employment in an area of long economic hardship, which led to it taking on the prison decades ago when few other communities were willing.

McBroom wants the department to specifically answer questions regarding what, if any, analysis was done by MDOC on the closure’s impact to the local community. “The impacts must be researched beyond just the 200 plus employees,” McBroom said. “This will affect our schools, local services, construction, and even other employers who lose key personal when the corrections officers move their families, which is sadly about their only option considering jobs presently available in this region.” He also believes the MDOC is required to do this by state law. “The budget passed has language in it from my time in the House, requiring the department to do a comprehensive analysis of these impacts and take them into consideration when making a closure. Was this done? When was it done? And, what did that analysis reveal, as it’s hard to imagine if were done, how this closing can be justified as the economic consequences are in a word, ‘devastating’ and simply are far more significant to this region than any other area would suffer in the state through such a closure. We need to know, and I am filing a request that all of that analysis be shared with us immediately.” McBroom is referencing Sec. 944 of the budget which says, in part, “…the department shall fully consider the potential economic impact of the prison closure on the community…”

While a representative in the Michigan House, McBroom worked with John Kivela and Tom Casperson on legislation to force the State to consider the net impact of privatization of State services on local economies. “I see this the same way,” he said. “When a decision saves tax payer dollars from one bucket but costs more out of another it is not good policy. A responsible state weighs out all of the impact, and the Department should have done so here and considered the profound adverse economic impact to the Western UP.”

Hearing & Vision Screening Clinics

Western UP Health Department release

Hancock-Hearing and vision greatly impact your child’s ability to succeed in school.  Undiagnosed hearing problems may impact a child’s ability to pay attention or follow directions, while undiagnosed vision problems may affect a child’s ability to read and learn.

Western UP Health Department is offering free vision and hearing screenings at their Hancock office for children entering Head Start and Kindergarten. Appointments are available between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm Wednesday, August 22nd and Thursday, August 23rd.

While other community organizations provide free vision screening services, only those screenings provided by your local health department or a licensed eye care practitioner meet the Public Health Code criteria for preschool or school-age screening.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact the health department at 482-7382.

Aug. 20, 2018

ICYMI: Rep, Jack Bergman Sends Letter Urging President Trump to Approve Governor Snyder’s Individual Assistance Appeal

Rep. Jack Bergman release

Houghton – Following Governor Rick Snyder’s appeal for Federal Individual Assistance after the Father’s Day floods, Congressman Jack Bergman sent the below letter to President Donald Trump:

Dear Mr. President:

I write in support of Governor Rick Snyder’s Individual Assistance appeal for those affected by the June 16-18 mud-slides and storm damage in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
I am deeply appreciative that your Administration has approved the Public Assistance request for Houghton, Menominee, and Gogebic Counties and for the quick response by federal agencies to work hand in hand with the state and local officials. However, there is still much work left to be done. When I arrived in Houghton less than 48 hours after the initial storm damage occurred, I was encouraged by the determination and will of the communities. Neighbors joined hand in hand to help neighbors who had lost everything in the overnight storms. The immediate relief efforts by local and state authorities, first responders, road crews, and volunteers has been remarkable.

On August 10, I returned to Houghton for the third time since the storm damage occurred, to meet with local residents and officials. As highlighted in the Governors appeal, the need for Individual Assistance is still very important, and with the winter months quickly approaching, it’s imperative this assistance is received in a timely manner.

The evidence of damage in the affected counties has been made clear by the granting of Public Assistance and while that will go a long way in helping us rebuild critical infrastructure, I remain concerned about the initial denial for Individual Assistance. It is my hope that you consider Governor Snyder’s appeal of that denial, and continue your Administration’s efforts to help Michigan’s First District recover.

A link to the full letter to President Trump can be found

Charter Township of Portage Regular Board of Trustees Meeting

Charter Township of Portage release

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisor Bruce Petersen, Clerk Tressa Alvarado, and Trustees Peggy Anderson, Bill Bingham, Bill Fink, and John Ollila. Absent: Treasurer Betsy Smith.

Actions include:

• A motion was made by Ollila and seconded by Anderson to accept the agenda with changes. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Ollila and seconded by Anderson to approve the July 9th and July 18th, 2018 meeting minutes with corrections. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Anderson and seconded by Fink to approve the bills as audited. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Fink and seconded by Ollila to increase number of election inspectors to 5 in precinct 2 for the November 2018 election. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Ollila and seconded by Alvarado to allow OLFD to proceed as they choose to regarding the well at the fire hall. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Bingham and seconded by Fink to approve rental ordinance as corrected. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Fink and seconded by Anderson that the municipal violations bureau each get paid the $30 meeting fee for conducting committee business. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Fink and seconded by Ollila to authorize the replacement of the 2 Zoeller pumps. All in favor, motion carried by a voice vote.

• A motion was made by Ollila and seconded by Alvarado to adjourn at 9:10PM. All in favor, motion carried by voice vote.

Copies of July 9th and 18th, 2018 meeting minutes are available at the township during office hours and online at

Tressa Alvarado, Clerk
Charter Township of Portage

Women’s barbershop chorus welcoming new members

Noteworthy release

HANCOCK–Do you like to sing? Noteworthy is inviting all local women who enjoy fun music and great company to come to the first practice of the fall, which starts at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 6, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

This lively women’s chorus is founded on friendship and the love of barbershop harmonies. It’s members are bound together by a passion for music and the enthusiasm of their director, Joan Petrelius. There are no auditions; if you can carry a tune, you are welcome.

Noteworthy performs annual concerts in the spring and during the Christmas holidays, with proceeds benefiting local nonprofits. Most of Noteworthy’s repertoire is in the four-part barbershop style, which is sung without musical instruments. Unlike traditional choral music, barbershop music is always memorized and relies almost exclusively on songs with understandable lyrics and singable melodies, often old favorites.

“So, if you love to sing, have fun and help your community with your talents, join us on Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. to see what it’s all about,” said Petrelius. For more information, email or call 906-482-5088.

Energy Show Sept. 28: Call for Exhibitors

New Power Tour release

HANCOCK–All area businesses and organizations involved in renewable energy and energy-saving activities are invited to participate in New Power Tour’s Energy Show, set for Friday, Sept. 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center.

“This is a great chance to connect to your audience and your customers,” said Melissa Davis, New Power Tour executive director.

The cost is $50 and includes lunch and admission to the Business & Technology Energy Conference, which is set for 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Finnish American Heritage Center. Guest speakers include two experts from Finland who will speak on using woody biomass for heating and power generation. Finland leads the world in using forest resources to generate both electricity and heat, a technology that has been adopted by every municipality in that country.

If you are interested in having a table at the evening event, aimed at the general public, contact Davis at 906-281-5986 or

Aug. 17, 2018

Leading A Multi-generational Workforce

Baraga County Chamber of Commerce release

L’Anse, August 17, 2018 — Baraga Chamber of Commerce is proud to present Leadership Seminar: Leading a Multi-Generational Workforce that will be held September 7th from Noon to 4:00 PM at the Baraga Lakeside Inn. Registration is $20 for a Baraga Chamber member, $30 for a non-member.

With three generations firmly represented in the workforce, and a fourth knocking on our doors, it is incumbent upon leaders to learn how to adapt to a changing landscape. As leaders, our role is to maximize the potential of every team member. To do that, we need to understand what makes them tick.

In this highly interactive workshop, you will learn:

· How each generation’s experiences influenced their views and behaviors

· What motivates employees of each generation

· Why mindsets around age impact productivity

· When to step in to build team cohesiveness

· How Gen Z will rock our world 

Presenter Kathy Grinsteiner has worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield/Blue Care Network for 34 years, and currently serves as a Provider Relations Manager. Previous roles include Training and Quality Manager, Claims Manager, and Employee/Labor Relations Senior Representative. Kathy led the development and implementation of an in-house trainer development program, as well as a frontline leader development program which she continues to lead today.

You can register online at: If you have questions, or would like to know more, please call the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce at 906-353-8808.

MONDAY: Peters to Hold Commerce Committee Field Hearing on Line 5 & Protecting the Great Lakes

U.S. Senator Gary Peters release

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) will convene a field hearing titled “Pipeline Safety in the Great Lakes: Incident Prevention and Response Efforts at the Straits of Mackinac” at 10:00 AM on Monday, August 20th in Traverse City, Michigan. The hearing will focus on enhancing federal oil spill prevention efforts, preparedness and response capability in the event of an oil pipeline break in the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5, the 65-year-old pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac, has been the subject of multiple safety concerns, including damage from anchor strikes. To view the hearing live, visit Senator Peters’ Facebook page by clicking here.

“The Great Lakes are not only important to Michigan – they are an economic driver for our entire country, and this hearing will examine how we can ensure they are protected from an oil spill or pipeline leak,” said Senator Peters. “An oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac would be an economic and environmental catastrophe that could disrupt the flow of commerce on the Great Lakes, damage our significant fishing and tourism industries, and threaten the drinking water supply for millions.”

Peters is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and serves as Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security. The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the federal agency tasked with overseeing pipeline safety throughout our nation’s extensive pipeline system, including the Great Lakes. It also has jurisdiction over the U.S. Coast Guard, which plays a leading role in overseeing the federal and state response to oil spills, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provides scientific support for oil spill prevention, response and restoration.

Last Congress, Peters helped pass bipartisan legislation reauthorizing PHMSA, which included provisions designating the Great Lakes an unusually sensitive area, subjecting the Great Lakes basin to higher standards for safe pipeline operation, and improving oil spill response plans to address ice cover. He has also authored provisions to improve both NOAA and Coast Guard’s oil spill preparedness, including the establishment of a Coast Guard Center of Expertise to improve research and understanding of oil impacts in freshwater systems.


Panel I:

• The Honorable Howard Elliot, Administrator, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

• Rear Admiral Joanna Nunan, Ninth District Commander, United States Coast Guard

• Mr. Scott Lundgren, Emergency Response Division Chief, Office of Response and Restoration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Panel II:

• David Bryson, Senior VP Operations, Liquid Pipelines, Enbridge Inc.

• Michael Shriberg, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center

• David Murk, Manager of Pipelines, Midstream and Industry Operations, American Petroleum Institute

• Chris Hennessy, Business Development Representative, Michigan Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)

• Larry Bell, Founder and Owner, Bells Brewery

*Witness list and panels are subject to change.

Coast Guard Station Portage Open House

Coast Guard Station Portage release

Sault Sainte Marie, Mich.- Coast Guard Station Portage will hold an open house on Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 22911 Chippewa Trail, Dollar Bay, Michigan.

The open house will include tours of the Coast Guard Station and small boats; crewmembers will be available to answer questions about boating safety and Coast Guard operations. Other partner agencies will also be present including Dollar Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Michigan DNR, Michigan State Police, Houghton Count Sheriff’s, and Mercy EMS.

For more information contact LTJG Sean Murphy at (906) 635-3223 or, or follow the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste Marie page on Facebook.

Recreation Survey Available for Houghton County

Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region release

Houghton County is working with the Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR) to update their joint five-year recreation plan. In addition to guiding improvements to the county’s recreation facilities and sites, the plan will ensure the county is eligible for certain grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Members of the public can have a voice in the planning effort by taking a short survey. In addition to general questions about recreation interests, the survey requests feedback on a number of potential projects.

Online responses are preferred and can be provided at Alternatively, paper copies can be obtained at the County Courthouse Building, the Portage Lake District Library, and local city, village and township offices.

Survey responses will be accepted through August 31, 2018. For further information, contact Brad Barnett at or (906) 482-7205 ext. 113.

Koopikka Family Reunion

Koopikka Reunion Committee release

A celebration to honor the family of Mikko and Sanna Koopikka was held in the Copper Country the weekend of June 30 – July 1. Over 100 family members from Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and from Upper and Lower Michigan came together to honor our parents and grandparents and our Finnish heritage.

Mikko Koopikka was born in Finland on July 1, 1870. He was the first of 12 children born to Matti and Liisa Koopikka. In 1889, at the age of 19, Mikko traveled “across the pond” and settled in the Copper Country as a miner. At the age of 25, on November 7, 1985 in Copper Falls, Keweenaw County, Mikko married 19 year old Susanna (Sanna) Steini. Mikko and Sanna rented a home in Copper Falls where 8 of their 11 children were born. They then purchased a home in Wolverine Location (Kearsarge) where the three youngest children were born. That home is still standing and is currently occupied by Mikko and Sanna’s grandson. Each of the 11 siblings were represented during this festive weekend, except for one who was not married and one who had no children.

A committee included cousins Doris Koopika Poshak, Deb Wheeler Allain, Sue Lehto LeBlanc, Enid Koopikka Bessolo, Claire Hill Sullivan, Renee Koopika Jacobson and Carol Mattila McKee. After years of planning, the Koopikka families came together for an enjoyable weekend in the Keweenaw. The cousins, some who have never met, reunited with one another, shared stories of their time spent in the Copper Country, visiting relatives, camping, picking berries, enjoying the pristine beaches and swimming in Lake Superior, and simply enjoyed the beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

On Saturday, June 30, a pasty luncheon, serving 100 family members was held at the beautiful Siskiwit Reception Hall in Calumet. The delicious pasties were provided by Toni’s Country Kitchen in Laurium. Our desserts of nisua, assorted fruit tarts and other sweets were compliments of our cousin and committee member, Deb Allain. The musical entertainment was provided by Raimo Juntunen Hewlett and Jack Chamberlain playing folk music on their accordions. A drawing was held for baskets filled with merchandise from local merchants and everyone was gifted with a keepsake coffee mug with the inscription “Koopikka Family Reunion 2018”. The day culminated with a memory walk at the Lake View Cemetery to honor Mikko, Sanna and the Koopikka siblings. A rose, compliments of cousin and committee member, Sue LeBlanc, was presented at each grave site.

On Sunday, July 1, which was Grandfather Mikko’s birthday, over 100 family members came together once again at the George Gipp Arena in Laurium for a Vollwerth’s hot dog picnic/potluck luncheon. The families got reacquainted with one another and shared stories of their parents and grandparents.

Special recognition goes to our oldest living cousin Ralph Mattila who at 94 years “young” attended the weekend’s festivities with much enthusiasm. Ralph shared many stories with us of his days here in the U.P. He and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren still make a yearly visit to the Keweenaw during the 4th of July festivities in Copper Harbor. Our youngest guests were Ralph’s great granddaughter one year old Lea Lile and one year old Emeri Bley, great-great granddaughter of Mikko and Sanna. Young and old took this opportunity to learn about our Finnish heritage and what the word SISU means. After it was explained what SISU means, a round of applause was given when asked “Who here has SISU?”.

A sincere thank you to the committee of Koopikka cousins who worked tirelessly to make this weekend evolve from a dream to reality.

Aug. 16, 2018

Keweenaw Chamber Of Commerce & Houghton County Fair Business After Hours

Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce release

Houghton, Michigan, – The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is happy to team with the Houghton County Fair to host this month’s Business After Hours.

Come join us for a fun networking event Thursday, August 23rd from 5-7:00 pm at the Dave Wiitanen Room of the Houghton County Arena. Members from the fair board will be on hand to discuss their upcoming events. Fair food appetizers will be served.

Attendants must RSVP by Monday the 20th by going to the Chamber website (, or by calling the Chamber at 906-482-5240. Please RSVP all members of your party and arrive at the main gate to gain free access.

10th annual Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital Foundation Golf Outing raises over $6,000 for patient comfort improvements

Aspirus Hospital Foundation release

ONTONAGON, Mich. — Twenty, four-person teams took to the greens at the Ontonagon Golf Course for the 10th annual Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital Foundation Golf Outing on July 18. This year was another great success, raising $6,028 for patient comfort improvements in the medical-surgical unit at Aspirus Ontonagon Hospital.

The golf outing is one of the highlights of the year for the Foundation, Aspirus and the community. The tournament includes dinner, an awards ceremony and a live auction. This year, the golf outing was also a special coming together in memory of Andy Lockhart, one of the Foundation’s late board members who passed away on January 12.

A total of 80 golfers participated in the tournament. Congratulations to these winning teams:

Women’s Division: Chloe Ashley, Sara Hirvela, Brittany Turin, Brittany Penegor (39)

Men’s Division: Craig Immonen, Andy Borseth, Jeff Rule, Tom Immonen (31)

Mixed Division: Joanne Wood, Joe Strong, John Niskanen, Bob Raisanen (33)

Stabenow, Peters Urge President Trump to Approve Individual Assistance Appeal to Help Families Affected by Severe Flooding in the Upper Peninsula

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today urged President Trump to approve Governor Snyder’s appeal of Individual Assistance for families affected by the severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties. FEMA denied the State of Michigan’s request for Individual Assistance last week. The Governor’s appeal indicates that only 18 individuals and businesses have active flood insurance and without federal assistance, the majority of the over 900 homeowners suffering major structural and electrical damage will be without necessary resources.

This follows calls by Senators Stabenow and Peters for the Administration to approve a major disaster declaration for the three communities in order to provide federal assistance. Public Assistance was made available to public facilities such as roads, culverts and water and sewer systems; however, many homeowners are still in need of Individual Assistance to repair extensive damage to their homes.

“We have seen firsthand the extensive damage and heard from those affected by the flash flooding that additional assistance is needed,” wrote the senators. “We urge you to accept the Governor’s appeal and swiftly provide the requested assistance, so the residents and business owners in these communities can recover from this disaster.”

An exhibition and community benefit inspired by WATER – Kerredge Gallery, August 14-31.

Copper Country Community Arts Center release

HANCOCK, MI – The Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) invited community artists to respond to the theme of WATER for an exhibition in the Kerredge Gallery. The CCCAC will donate its portion of the sales to the Keweenaw Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund which benefits those who are working to put their lives back together after the disastrous June 17 flood. The gallery is filled with paintings, photographs, and drawings, as well as baskets and fiber depicting soothing images of water.  Artists taking part in this exhibition include: Brenda Anttila, Leona Blessing, Kevin Breyfogle, Eunice Carlson, Cynthia Coté, Bob Dawson, Phyllis Fredendall, Joyce Koskenmaki, Nancy Kromer, Donna Lenard, Madhura Mehendale, Clyde Mikkola, Eric Munch, Paul Osmak, Sandra Norris Palmore, Miriam Pickens, Kris Raisanen Schourek, Bridget Riversmith, Toivo Salo, Daniel Schneider, Judith Saunders, Barbara Summersett, Fredi Taddeucci, Abigail Tembreull, Karen Tembreull, Rod Waara, and Christa Walck. The public is invited to celebrate the healing power of art at a reception on Friday, August 24 6-8pm. Refreshments will be served. Purchasing a piece from this exhibition will support a local artist and help the CCCAC help our community. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10-6 and Saturdays 10-2. For more information call (906) 482-2333.

Aug. 15, 2018

Local 4-H competitors all in the top 5 at the State 4-H Shoot!

MSU Extension release

The Houghton and Keweenaw County 4-H archery program sent competitors for the third year to the 2018 Michigan 4-H Shooting Sports State Tournament near Port Huron, MI. Fourteen local youth qualified for the state shoot at the regional U.P. shoot in June.

Over 350 4-H participants from 38+ Michigan counties tested their skills against the finest marksmen and archers that 4-H has to offer. Participants competed in 3D Archery, target archery, shotgun (trap and skeet), rifle (BB, pellet, and .22), and muzzleloader with competitors divided into age divisions.

Three competitors from the Copper Tips Archery 4-H Club representing Houghton/ Keweenaw Counties competed and won awards in Target Archery, with Unsighted Compound Bows. In her first year competing, in the Unsighted Archery Junior Division (ages 12-14), Karissa Kruzich of Lake Linden earned 4th place. Caleb Bach of Houghton County earned 5th place in Unsighted Archery Junior Division. In Unsighted Archery Senior Division (ages 15-19), Noah Bach earned fifth place, increasing his score by 51 points from 2017. This team of shooters took 4th overall in the state!

 “These 4-H members practiced for weeks to prepare for the State Shoot”, said Jen Bach, Copper Tips Archery 4-H Club Leader, “We’re so proud of how they represented themselves and the Copper Country! Their diligence and dedication paid off.”

4-H Shooting Sports is the second largest 4-H project area in Michigan, providing youth the opportunity to safely learn and participate in a life-long outdoor recreational activities with avenues for leadership, personal growth, and achievement. The Copper Tips Archery 4-H Club serves over 50 youth participants, offering experiences to learn personal responsibility; developing confidence, discipline, self-control, and focus through setting personal goals and through the overall structure of the sport. The club promotes standards of safety and ethical behavior, teaching youth about a responsible shooting sport. The Copper Tips 4-H Archery Club was grateful to receive support from the Keweenaw Community Foundation, the Houghton-Keweenaw 4-H Council, the Michigan 4-H Foundation, and the Lake Linden-Hubbell Sportsmen’s Association.

For more information about the Copper Tips 4-H Archery Club contact For more information about 4-H Shooting Sports opportunities in the area please contact the Michigan State University Extension office at (906) 482-5830.

Statement from state Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) on the announcement that the state will close Ojibway Correctional Facility in December:

Rep. Scott Dianda release

MARENISCO – This morning, Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington announced that she will close the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco in Gogebic County on December 1. In response, State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) issued the following statement:

“This is bad news for the more than 200 employees who support their families thanks to the good jobs that Ojibway Correctional Facility provides for people across the Western U.P. Some of these workers drive from surrounding towns and counties, but now the closest facility they might be able to transfer to would be more than 100 miles away. That’s a tough option for a family up here particularly in the winter months.”

“I voted against the recent state budget because it included a prison closing. Our U.P. communities can’t afford to lose any jobs, and losing more than 200 jobs is going to be devastating for families and our small U.P. towns. This decision puts the state’s bottom line before community safety and working families, and that is appalling. Gov. Rick Snyder and the state Unemployment Insurance Agency need to immediately begin work with these workers, Marenisco Township officials and Gogebic County officials on job placement services and economic development opportunities. These folks put their lives on the line at work every day to keep the rest of us safe. Republicans who think saving a buck is more important than keeping communities safe and helping working families get by need to do whatever it takes to help these folks find good jobs.”

Extension Master Gardener Class Begins in August

MSU Extension release

Houghton, MI – Did your garden not turn out the way you had hoped last year? Did those pesky weeds take over your garden space? Was your harvest more or even less than you expected? If you experienced any of these issues or one of many others, then this is a great time to begin talking and learning about gardening!

Start next year’s garden season out right by taking time now to learn the basic science of growing plants. Whether it is plants in your landscape or plants in your vegetable garden, the Extension Master Gardener Class can help you become a better gardener! You can also connect with other gardeners and learn from them too.

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is being offered on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. EST beginning August 22 through December 12. Classes will not be held on August 29. Participants are expected to regularly attend classes; occasional makeup can be scheduled for extenuating circumstances. The program will be held at the Portage Lake District Library, 58 Huron St., Houghton, MI 49931.

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a volunteer leader training program offered by MSU Extension to those who are interested in learning more about general gardening and have the desire to pass that knowledge on to others. No experience or prior knowledge is required!

Participants will gain access to world class gardening knowledge. Instructors will cover a series of 13 topics based on university research including: plant and soil sciences, annuals and perennial flowers, small fruits, tree fruits, vegetable gardening, lawns, woody ornamentals, diagnostics, integrated pest management, household and nuisance pasts, and gardening practices to protect water quality.

The cost of the 14-week program is $325, which includes the 1,000-page training manual. There are partial scholarships available to help offset this cost; you can apply for these online. To enroll in the Master Gardening training, please complete the online application/registration and agreement forms online at:

The last day to register online is August 20. Register by August 8 if paying by check. For more information, please contact Rebecca Krans, Michigan State University Extension Consumer Horticulture Educator, at 906-875-0606 or

McBroom Statement on Prison Closure

Ed McBroom release

The State of Michigan Department of Corrections announced the closure of Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marinesco today. Marinesco is on the far west end of the Upper Peninsula in Gogebic County. Ojibway houses about 700 prisoners and is a relatively new facility with the capability of housing over 1200. The prison employs over 200 persons in a county with some of the highest unemployment in the state.

The 2019 budget, passed in June, called for the closure of another prison in the state but it was unknown until today which facility it would be. The 2019 fiscal year begins October 1, 2018 so the time frame for the shutdown is very fast. State Senator John Proos of south-west Michigan is chairman of Corrections Appropriations in the senate and pushed hard for the closure during debate. Senator Proos, with no prisons in his district, has been a consistent fighter for closures, citing the significant reductions to state prison populations over the last 8 years.

However, former Representative Ed McBroom, had a different perspective on the closures and Senator Proos’ arguments. “This closure is another example of the state being both financially dishonest as well as dismissive of the U.P.,” McBroom said in a statement. \“We know the reduction in population has more to do with fudging recidivism numbers and sending more prisoners to our county jails than with an actual reduction in incarcerations. This does nothing more than shift the cost from the State to our counties, who cannot afford that shift. And the costs of running Ojibway are not being fairly compared to other facilities because the state is putting undo emphasis on distance rather than taking into account the relatively young age of the facility, security of the location, and proximity to other state facilities nearby. Most of all, it is a state run, typical, myopic way of budgeting that ignores the net costs to the state by foisting such a dramatic hurt on a small, already hurting community –a community mind you that invited this prison in when other communities were turning up their noses.”

McBroom has been working with State Senator Tom Casperson since the budget fight began on ways to keep the prison open. Senator Casperson\’s office released a statement saying, “We previously presented a plan to corrections that would have saved money while not attacking any facility and ensuring counties are not left subsidizing the closure. However, this was not the approach desired because it failed to promote the misplaced notion that ‘recidivism is at an all time low.’ I am very disappointed in this news and frustrated that the significant consequence that will result to the Western U.P. was not considered, especially after this community accepted this responsibility from the state at a time other communities shunned having a prison – the lack of recognition is a slap in the face for the whole U.P.”

The closure of Ojibway will leave U.P. prisons in Baraga, Marquette, Munising, Newberry, and Kinross and follows recent closures in Iron River, Manistique, Shingleton, Painesdale, and Kincheloe.

Third Annual Parkinson’s Disease Symposium This Friday

Parkinson Society Support Group release

The third annual Parkinson’s Disease symposium to be held in Iron Mountain will take place at the West Campus of Bay College on N. U.S 2 on Friday, August 17, 2018. The event will begin with registration check-in at 8:30 CST, and programming at 9:00 CST.

A full day of speakers and activities are planned beginning with a return visit by Jo Bidwell of Lubbock, TX coming here to visit her Michigan friends. She will talk about Parkinson’s disease, its prevalence, treatment, new medications, research, etc. Later in the day Jo will speak to Caregivers with suggestions on coping while caring. Jo has over 30 years of dealing with Parkinson’s patients and continues to keep abreast with new meds and research. She presently is director of support groups for PD patients and their families throughout northwestern Texas and southern New Mexico. She also authors the “Tulip Messenger”, a publication for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Nadine Waeghe, MPT ATC, from Redwood City, CA comes with much experience in the field of physical therapy and will expose the audience to a variety of alternative therapies to treat Parkinson’s Disease. She calls herself an Integrative Physiotherapist, besides integrative physiotherapy, she has expertise in biomechanics, equipment analysis, manual therapy, and therapeutic taping. She has taught and lectured in her field throughout the U.S. and abroad. She currently owns and operates Elevate Performance and Physical Therapy in her home town in California.

Attorney Paul Sturgul comes to us from Hurley, WI where he has his office and deals with elder law issues in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. He is certified as an Elder Law Attorney and has given public presentations internationally. You may have seen him as he appears regularly on WNMU-TV – Channel 13 PBS in Marquette, Michigan. At his first appearance at this symposium he will speak on “Estate Planning in the 21st Century: Managing Risk for Unpredictable Events”. His second topic during the breakout session will be “Planning for Your Future”.

As one of the sponsors of this symposium, U.S.World Meds sends to us Stephanie Belf and Megan Williams. Megan will present “APOKYN (apomorphine hydrochloride injection) – Parkinson’s Disease and the Management of ‘Off Episodes'”. They will be available to answer questions after the presentation.

In the afternoon participants can select one of 6 breakout sessions to attend. The breakout sessions will be 1. John Debelak, a young onset Parkinson’s patient reviewing and discussing Dr. J. Eric Ahlskog’s book on the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. John met Dr. Ahlskog when he went to the Mayo Clinic for treatment. 2. Debbie Flannery, speaking and demonstrating the benefits for PD patients in the use of the Interactive Metronome. 3. Jo Bidwell speaking on Caring for the Caregiver. 4. Paul Sturgul, “Planning for Your Future”. 5. Nadine Waeghe, “Move It or Lose It” and 6. From Marquette, MI will be SAIL representatives Maureen Sullivan and Emily Herman to discuss and demonstrate ways to make independent living with Parkinson’s easier and successful.

Unique to this symposium will be a Caregiver consultation and materials room where care partners can meet with and consult any one of three experienced care givers. The room will be open all day,, with Oggie St. Martin, Pam Champagne from Menominee, and Nancy Reese from Maryhill Manor to help meet your needs as a caregiver. Materials will be available at no cost. If you are a caregiver, be sure to visit this room during the symposium.

Also available for your browsing pleasure will be many health care representatives with information and materials to answer your questions.

The day will end with a Question and Answer Panel to answer as many of your questions as possible. Dr. Patti Peterson, local neurologist will join the speakers on the panel. So get your questions ready, get them to Sara Gunville of UP Rehab and let’s make the most of this time.

Arrival coffee and donuts will be available after you check in, a box lunch will be distributed at noon., and prizes will be handed out during the day.

Register now online at or call 1-800-852-9781. There is a registration of $5.00. Make your check payable to Michigan Parkinson Foundation.

Pauline Hill, at 906-774-0332 will also take your reservation and answer your questions. The cast is ready, it’s going to be an educational and inspiring day! Come join us at

Bay West College in Iron Mountain, Friday, August 17, 2018, from 8:30 CST to 3:30.

Statement from Ken Summers, candidate for Michigan’s 110th House District, on the coming closure of the Ojibway Correctional Facility

Ken Summers for State Representative release

Marenisco Township, MI – Today the Michigan Department of Corrections announced they will be closing the Ojibway Correctional Facility in Marenisco, and operations will cease on December 1st. Decades ago when no one wanted correctional facilities in their communities, Yoopers stepped up and welcomed the livable wages and family sustaining jobs created by the facility. In response to the announcement by the MDOC, Ken Summers, candidate for state representative in the 110th House District, issued the following statement:

“Last spring when Republican leaders in Lansing passed a budget along party lines that cut corrections spending by 18.8 million dollars, they effectively cut jobs for corrections officers. Today they announced that families in our community will pay that price.

Closing this correctional facility means putting more than 200 people out of work. These hardworking men and women, and their families will need a transition plan. The same leaders who are cutting these jobs need to immediately get to work with the Ojibway staff to talk through job placement, retraining, education assistance, and retirement options. They also need to think through plans to utilize the facility, perhaps to assist with our ongoing mental health and substance abuse issues that are tearing families apart. As a current candidate and as state representative, I will champion quick and efficient transition plans for both our working people and this facility.”

Democratic Secretary of State Candidate Jocelyn Benson Visiting U.P. Wednesday through Friday

State Candidate Jocelyn Benson release

Jocelyn Benson, Democratic candidate for Michigan Secretary of State, will be in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (U.P.) for a three-day swing beginning today.  This is Benson’s second visit to the U.P. this summer.  Benson’s public schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, August 15, Escanaba:

2 p.m. U.P. State Fair (Escanaba) – Benson will join State Representative Scott Dianda at the Delta County Democratic Party booth and then visit the fairgrounds.

4 p.m. Leigh’s Garden Winery Tour – 904 Ludington St., Escanaba

5:30 p.m. Delta County Democratic Party Cookout – Gladstone Bay Campground, East End Pavilion, 37 Michigan Ave., Gladstone

Thursday, August 16, Marquette:

5 p.m. Marquette Democratic Club Meet and Greet – 1651 S. Front Street, Marquette

Friday, August 17, Sault Ste. Marie

Noon Chippewa County Democrats Meet and Greet – 224 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie

2 p.m.  St. Ignace Meet and Greet – Mackinac Grille, 251 S. State, St. Ignace

Additionally, Benson is scheduled to appear this weekend on the WNMU-TV13 “Media Meet” public affairs program.  Check local listings.

Jocelyn Benson was endorsed by more than 7,000 party delegates in April and will be formally nominated by the Michigan Democratic Party on August 26.  Her plans includes a  30-Minute Guarantee for service, a ban on fee increases, election security, protecting voting rights, and transparency and ethics in government.

To learn more visit:

Aug. 14, 2018

Keweenaw Co-op Celebrates 45 Years

Keweenaw Co-op release

Keweenaw Co-op is celebrating its 45th anniversary with a Community “THANK YOU” BIRTHDAY BASH. Join us Saturday, August 18th from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm at 1035 Ethel Avenue in Hancock. Enjoy LIVE music from local artists such as the Back Room Boys and Milkman Jamboree. We’ll be featuring white and red Sangria during a special wine tasting event featuring contemporary paintings by local artist Graydon Dagen. FREE samples of our delicious Co-op foods will be available, along with horse & wagon rides, Helium Baloons and fun activities for the kids. Mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE for this weekend. THANK YOU Copper Country for 45 years of support!

Creating Confident Caregivers Workshop – Houghton

Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress release

Creating Confident Caregivers is an exciting new program in select regions of Michigan, for family caregivers of persons with dementia and/or memory loss. Creating Confident Caregivers is a six-session workshop led by trained dementia care specialists. This university tested program provides participants with information, skills and attitudes to manage stress and increase their effectiveness as a Caregiver.

Creating Confident Caregivers is once again available in the Houghton area, brought to you in part by the U.P. Area Agency on Aging/UPCAP. There is no charge to participants for the weekly sessions or materials and respite care may be available through participating area agencies while caregivers attend the workshop.

The next “Creating Confident Caregivers” workshop starts September 11, 2018 in Houghton. This is a six week workshop which meets once each week on Tuesday’s from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. If you are interested in participating in this workshop contact Marja at (906) 370-7789, UPCAP at 1-800-305-8137, dial 2-1-1 or visit us on the web at

Coppertown Mining Museum open house

Coppertown Mining Museum release

Coppertown Mining Museum is having an open house on Saturday, Aug. 18th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm during Calumet’s Pasty Fest. Coppertown will be featuring Robert Jensen from The Chockley Raptor Recovery Center in a one-hour presentation at 12:30 on the birds of prey The live birds he will have are a Peregrine Falcon, A Kestrel and a Red Tailed Hawk. This presentation is made possible by a donation from Tom Tikkanen and Superior Properties Real Estate. This will be a great learning experience for kids and adults

HistoriCorps Hard at Work to Restore the Nesbit Lake Camp Cabins

HistoriCorps release

Sidnaw, MI: HistoriCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s historic structures, in collaboration with the Ottawa National Forest, will restore several cabins’ windows at the Nesbit Lake Camp  from September 2 – 22, 2018. The project’s primary scope entails window restoration, delicate work that requires the experience and dedication the HistoriCorps experts and volunteers, will bring to this project. Nesbit Lake Camp will serve as home for volunteers and preservationist experts from the local community, state, and across the nation.

According to the Ottawa National Forest, Camp Nesbit was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1938. The camp, “blending a rustic feel with many modern conveniences,” is vast, spanning over 30 acres consisting of a dozen cabins, a dining hall and kitchen, recreation room, and numerous other facilities. Well known to the local community, it has been utilized by schools, non-profits, and various other community-based organizations.

HistoriCorps Executive Director Townsend Anderson is happy HistoriCorps can do its part in preserving the Upper Peninsula’s cultural heritage, “The UP has a rich heritage and enduring legacy with the Civilian Conservation Corps, and HistoriCorps has an affinity for the CCC; so much so, that we jump at every opportunity to be involved with the preservation of the thousands of structures they built in some of the most beautiful places in America. These structures tell a remarkable story, and, through our highly valued partnership with the Forest Service, we are proud to be a small part of keeping that story alive.”

Volunteering opportunities are still available on this project! Register for FREE today at

Aug. 13, 2018

Calumet Railroad Depot Receives Renovation Donation

Calumet Railroad Depot release

Calumet merchants Lorri Oikarinen, Cross Country Sports, and Shelly Hahn, Hahn Hammered Copper, team with former resident and artist Gary Olds in presenting a $1,100 check to Calumet Township Clerk, Beth Salmela, and Assessor, Tim Gasperich.

The check was presented for the Calumet Railroad Depot Renovation Fund. Cross Country Sports and Hahn Hammered Copper promoted and sold limited edition coffee mugs made and signed by artist Gary Olds. Olds’ grandfather Seth Anderson worked for the railroad for 44 years retiring out of the Calumet Depot in 1950. Fund supporters purchased 44 mugs at the cost of $25.00 each. The full amount was donated to the renovation.

Area artists are encouraged to continue looking for ways their art can benefit local causes.

Aspirus welcomes board certified family medicine physician Dr. Stephen Johnson to the Houghton clinic

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital release

LAURIUM, Mich. – Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital and Clinics proudly welcomes board certified family medicine physician Stephen I. Johnson, MD. Dr. Johnson specializes in comprehensive primary and preventive care for patients of all ages – from children to grandparents. He is now accepting patients at Aspirus Houghton Clinic in Houghton.

Dr. Johnson has been board certified in Family Medicine for more than 7 years. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Doctor of Medicine from Chicago Medical School. He completed his Family Medicine Residency at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois.

Prior to Aspirus, Dr. Johnson was a family physician at Little Company of Mary’s Medical Group, Family Christian Health Center and Friend Family Health Center. He is board certified in family medicine, and his professional affiliations include the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians.

For Dr. Johnson, having the opportunity to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of others is what inspired him to pursue a career in family medicine.

“My philosophy of care is to help patients get well and stay well,” he said. “I listen to my patients and help them understand all of their care options. My job is to help them take care of themselves.”

Dr. Johnson is originally from Oak Park near Chicago, Illinois. Moving to the Upper Peninsula is an exciting venture for him since it brings him closer to his sister, Shalini Johnson, MD, ophthalmologist at Aspirus Eye Clinic in Houghton. He is thrilled to get to know people in the community, and his colleagues at Aspirus.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson, call the Aspirus Houghton Clinic at 487-1710.

Flood relief donation

Houghton County Historical Society release

Yesterday we were humbled and grateful to be presented a check for $8,000 from Larry Wagenaar of the Historical Society of Michigan. This check represents the donations of many individuals and organizations to aid in recovery from the June flood. These donations were made through the GoFundMe page set up and administered by the Historical Society of Michigan. Pictured along with Larry receiving this donation are HCHS Board members Dave and Nancy Parker, Board President John Berry, with Board members Brian Keeney behind him and George West to his side. Also pictured are Keweenaw National Historical Park Superintendent Wendy Davis and Scott See, Executive Director of the Park’s Advisory Commission.

To all who helped make this possible, thank you very much. Please know that your donations will be put to good use as we work to recover from the damages of the June flood.

Gitche Gumee Bible Camp Fall Ladies’ Retreat

Gitche Gumee Bible Camp release

Gitche Gumee Bible Camp will be hosting its annual Fall Ladies’ Retreat and Adult Fall Retreats again this year. Please print the following information.

Gitche Gumee Bible Camp in Eagle River, MI will be hosting its annual Fall Retreats.

The Ladies’ Retreat is a Thursday-Saturday event (September 20-22), and our speaker will be Shannon Popkin. Bestselling author and speaker, Shannon Popkin, is the author of Control Girl, and is a contributing blogger at Revive Our Hearts. The theme of the retreat is Control Girl to Jesus Girl.

Gitche Gumee will also be holding two, five-day Adult Fall Retreats that feature engaging and highly trained Bible teachers, delicious food, and guided tours of the Keweenaw. There are still cabins available for the week of October 1-5.

For more information, go to or call the Camp Office at 906-337-0527.

Come and be refreshed by the teaching of God’s Word!

Music on the Menu Continues at Portage Library

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to bring their lunch and enjoy “Music on the Menu,” an outdoor series of events held on the dock outside the library.

Ryan Peterson will perform acoustic folk and rock tunes on Friday, August 17, from 12 – 1:00 p.m. He will perform covers of songs by artists such as Ray Lamontagne and the Avett Brothers as well as some of his own music.

Peterson has been playing guitar for fifteen years and teaches guitar, bass, drums, music theory and songwriting.

Everyone is invited to eat, relax, and enjoy their lunch hour while listening to some great music. In the event of bad weather, the program will be held in the community room.

This event is part of the library’s Summer Reading Program and is free and open to all. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570.

Carnegie Museum to hold Garden Walking Tour

Carnegie Museum release

“Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Walking Tour of West Houghton Gardens” will be held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18.

Join this walking tour of in-town gardens each a testament to the patience and determination of gardeners. Despite crowded lots, poor rocky soil, changing shade of neighbors’ trees, and a short growing season, these urban gardeners have managed to create yards full of flowers and food!

We will start at the Museum and then walk together to several gardens in Central and West Houghton. We’ll see berry patches and miniature orchards, native butterfly, rain, and shade gardens, rock gardens, living screens, and more.

We will tour each property as a group, but since the total route is almost two miles, all ticket holders will receive a route map in case driving is preferred.

Co-hosted by the Pewabic Street Community Garden.

COST: $10 ($8 for Members of Museum or Pewabic St. Community Garden)

Reservations preferred (we need to line up the correct number of guides!)

Wells Fargo donates $75,000 to Portage Health Foundation of Michigan to help flood victims

Portage Health Foundation release

Hancock — The Portage Health Foundation has expressed its commitment to a $3.8 million dollar initiative – Flood with Love – to get flood victims back into clean, safe living environments. The foundation is pleased to announce a partnership with Wells Fargo on these efforts, including a financial contribution of $75,000. These funds will go directly to those impacted by the flood.

The recent weather events caused disastrous results for several communities throughout Houghton County. More than 600 homes were impacted by water damage and eight were considered to be a complete loss.

“When we heard about the flood damage in the Houghton area we were distraught,” said District Manager Sean Geary. “Wells Fargo is a community bank and we understand our role as a partner during this difficult time for Michigan team members, customers, and residents. We are committed to helping those who have been stunned by this disaster and are happy to provide a grant to the Portage Health Foundation to aid ongoing relief efforts.”

“It is because of partnerships like this that we are able to work together to get the community back on its feet,” said Portage Health Foundation Marketing and Communications Coordinator Chelsea Goodreau. 100 percent of the monies received will be passed through to the flood relief efforts.”

Donations to the Flood with Love project directly supports the recovery of the 2018 Father’s Day flood victims, which includes financial assistance for homeowners, minimizing clean-up costs, and working with vetted, licensed contractors to get individuals back into safe, healthy homes. The initiative also provides emotional support for flood victims by partnering with Dial Help, an organization that promotes the physical, emotional and social well-being with problem assistance, crisis intervention, referrals, education, and training.

To learn more about the Portage Health Foundation and their flood relief efforts, you can visit their website at If you or a loved one needs assistance with home rehabilitation, apply for the Portage Health Foundation flood relief. You make the difference. Together we make it possible.

About the Portage Health Foundation

The Portage Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that receives and contributes charitable donations which support the health needs of the community through enhanced philanthropy and community collaboration throughout Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,200 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet ( and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Aug. 10, 2018

Gratiot Lake Geo Tour

Gratiot Lake Conservancy release

Saturday, August 18
9:30 AM to 1:30 PM

Join geologist Daniel Lizzadro-McPherson on a pontoon boat ride to see what the Gratiot Lake landscape reveals about its geological history.
Visit the Gratiot Lake Conservancy land to identify shoreline pebbles and boulders. Bring a bag lunch to picnic at the Noblet Field Station.

Free of charge but space is  limited.
R.S.V.P. is required.
Contact Bonnie at
or call 906-337-5476.

Your reservation will be confirmed via email.
Directions to meeting place will be sent on confirmation.

Heritage Day 2018 at the Hanka Homestead

Hanka Homestead release

All are invited to come out to the Hanka Homestead in Askel this Saturday, August 18, for full day of fun and learning! The Hanka Homestead Finnish Museum is hosting their annual Heritage Day on Saturday, August 18, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Featured will be the Kivajat Finnish Children Dancers and Dean Wascher’s Belgian draft horses Bonnie and Star.

The Kivajat Dancers, directed by Kay Seppala, will perform at 3:00 on the grass at Hanka.

Bonnie and Star will be re-enacting the way in which logging was accomplished in the early days of the 20th century by skidding logs out of the woods; and also providing hay wagon rides for all who wish to participate.

Especially for the children: Beth Heikkinen and Sharon Eklund will lead children’s games popular “in the old days”; so all children are welcome to come and have fun!

Abby Palmer, Education Coordinator at MSU UP Research and Extension Center North Farm in Chatham will present “The Homesteader’s Garden: Vegetable Varieties and Tools from the 1920’s” at the garden behind the cow barn.

Dave Morehouse will present instrumental and vocal music beginning around 2:00.

Some of other workshops being offered showcasing homesteaders’ skills are:

+Blacksmith Payne Ann Chassen will demonstrate metalworking skills that were utilized by the homesteaders in the Homestead’s original blacksmith shop.

+Ed (Bill) Raisanen will demonstrate cow-milking skills used before milking machines came into being.

+Marcia Slater will present Cast Iron Cookery on the Homestead in the 1920’s. She will demonstrate several dishes that were cooked in cast iron for the family.

+Shirley Kinnunen will provide a tour of the Hanka’s log home.

+Oscar Heikkinen and George Kauppila will demonstrate the operation of an original “hit and miss” engine, of the type that homesteader’s utilized in the “old days.”

Plus many more!

The concession stand, operated by the Feed Mill Café, will offer Finnish Fish Stew, hot dogs, chips, soft drinks, cookies and other snacks for sale.

It all culminates with singing around the bonfire at 4:30. Everyone is invited to come enjoy the fun this Saturday at Hanka! The Homestead is located in Askel, MI. From U.S. 41 ten miles north of Baraga or 20 miles south of Houghton, turn west onto Arnheim Road and follow the signs for six miles. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for 13-18 year olds, and children 12 and under are free.

Downtown Houghton Farmers Market Health & Wellness Fair

Downtown Houghton Farmers Market release

In addition to providing fresh and local whole foods to the community, the Downtown Houghton Farmer’s Market aims to support community outreach, education, and wellness activities. The Downtown Houghton Farmer’s Market will host the 3rd annual Health and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 from 4:00-6:00p. Participants in attendance this year include: Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, UP Health System-Portage, Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, Superior Family Chiropractic, Superior Essentials, Taste the Local Difference, MTU Biological Sciences Department, UP Myofascial Therapy, and Great Lakes Recovery. Free activities to those visiting the market include: “Think Your Drink” hydration station, body fat analysis, “Power of Plant-based Proteins” with a registered dietitian, myofascial stretching & massage, spinal thermography scans, healthy cooking demo with seasonal market vegetables, mindfulness activities, and much more! This will be a great event that brings together our community’s local growers and health-promoting organizations to offer a well-rounded perspective on health and nutrition for families. Mark it on your calendars to make it out to the Downtown Houghton Farmer’s Market Health and Wellness Fair Tuesday, August 14th from 4:00-6:00p!

Local Youth Breaking Employment Barriers

Superior Alliance for Independent Living release

Houghton, MI— This summer in Baraga and Houghton counties, Superior Alliance for Independent Living, Disability Network of the Upper Peninsula (SAIL) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) – Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) partnered together to provide paid work-based learning experiences for local area youth who identify as living with a disability. Identifying potential career fields that match one’s interests and abilities can be difficult and challenging to find the right job, especially for students living with a disability who may have limited work experience. This opportunity to learn skills in a supportive environment was necessary to assist students in finding and maintaining a job early on in their life.

The work based learning program offered students the opportunity to develop employability skills that has prepared them for entering the workforce after completing school. These skills included time management, organization, problem solving, communication, and teamwork. For many students, it was their first job and allowed them to gain valuable experience that they can include on their resumes.

There were a total of 5 job sites within the communities that agreed to partner with SAIL and MRS who provided the work based learning experiences. In total, there were 14 students who worked at the following sites: 2 at Baraga High School, 3 for the City of Houghton, 3 at Hancock High/Elementary School, 3 at Calumet High School, and 3 for the Village of Lake Linden. Their duties included janitorial, landscaping, maintenance, and manual labor.

Superior Alliance for Independent Living, Disability Network of the Upper Peninsula (SAIL) assists individuals with disabilities and promotes accessible Upper Peninsula communities for all. SAIL serves all 15 counties of the Upper Peninsula and provides a wide range of services that assist people with disabilities in gaining independence and preparing to enter the workforce. For more information about SAIL, contact 1-906-228-5744 or visit SAIL’s website at:

UPEC Opposes Summit Lake Wind Development

Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition

The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) believes that global warming is one of the gravest threats to our planet and humanity, and that the United States must work toward significant reductions in the emission of carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to global warming of the atmosphere. The utilization of renewable energy sources is one of the principal means for reducing carbon emissions, and wind energy can play a role in providing renewable electricity and a reduction in carbon emissions. However, there are many well-documented environmental, social, and human health impacts from wind energy plants, depending on where projects are sited and how they are operated. UPEC believes the construction of a large industrial wind energy plant in the Huron Mountains would have large-scale, significant, long-lasting negative impacts to the natural environment, and to the local economy and well-being of the citizens of the Upper Peninsula.

The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) is opposed to the proposed Summit Lake wind energy project in the Huron Mountains of L’Anse Township, Baraga County. Renewable Energy Systems (RES) is proposing to build an industrial scale wind power plant on land owned by the Weyerhaeuser Company, a real estate investment trust. According to information currently available, the project would include between 35 and 55 wind turbines each nearly 500 feet tall, with an approximately 25-mile high-voltage transmission line, access roads, and other infrastructure.

Industrial wind turbines have been documented as killing many birds and bats across the U.S. and elsewhere, and as having negative impacts on other wildlife species. Wind turbines also can have deleterious effects on human health due to flicker, pulsating lights, and noise, as well as effects to the viewshed and local economies dependent on tourism. Baraga County is known to provide habitat for five species listed by the federal government as threatened or endangered, 35 species listed by the Michigan DNR as species of special conservation concern, bald eagles and other raptors. 324 species of birds have been documented nearby on the Keweenaw Peninsula.

UPEC believes the construction of a large industrial wind energy plant in the Huron Mountains would have large-scale, significant, long-lasting negative impacts to the natural environment, and to the local economy and well-being of the citizens of the Upper Peninsula. The Huron Mountains is a relatively undeveloped area of Michigan that provides a natural environment, home for the members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and non-tribal members alike, and an area of respite for visitors in all seasons. The KBIC provides grants to the larger local community. Since the KBIC is opposed to this wind power project, continuation of this funding may be in jeopardy if the project is approved.

RES has made various promises regarding the amount of increased taxes that would be paid to the township. The company has also stated that up to 300 construction jobs could be generated, and that there could be 6-8 maintenance jobs once the project is operating. However, the number of potential jobs generated in the local community or the U.P. is a complete unknown, and the amount of taxes ultimately to be paid is uncertain.

The existing L’Anse Township zoning ordinance prohibits construction of industrial wind turbines in the Forest District. UPEC is urging the L’Anse Township Board to refuse all efforts on the part of RES, Weyerhaeuser, or others to interfere with the L’Anse Township Planning Commission’s legal authority to determine their own zoning regulations, and to maintain the prohibition against construction of industrial wind turbines in the Forest District.