Press Release

April 20, 2018

UP Health System – Portage announces new Chief Financial Officer

UP Health System Portage release

UP Health System – Portage Interim CEO Roy Vinson is pleased to announce Hugh DePaulis as its new Chief Financial Officer effective Monday, April 23, 2018. DePaulis comes to Portage from Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, where he served as Vice President of Finance. While there, DePaulis oversaw finance, revenue cycle, HIM medical records and several other key financial functions of the organization.

DePaulis joins Portage with more than 15 years of strategic leadership in hospital financial planning and budget processes. Besides serving as VP of Finance, he has served as Controller, Interim Patient Account Director, and Director of Reimbursement, Budget and Decision Support.

Depaulis received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Accounting from Eastern Michigan University. He went on to get his Masters in management with a healthcare management concentration from Troy University in Troy, Ala.

“I really enjoyed spending summers with my grandparents near Ironwood.” said DePaulis. “My wife and I are looking forward to hiking and walking throughout the beautiful Upper Peninsula.”

Coast Guard ice breaking near Houghton

US Coast Guard release

Sault Sainte Marie, Mich. Coast Guard Cutter Alder starts the break out of the Keweenaw Waterway this Monday.

At the request of the National Park Service, the Coast Guard will break out the west end of the Keweenaw Waterway, April 23. The Park Service plans to launch the RANGER III later in the week. Alder will approach from the west and then establish a track in the ice under Houghton-Hancock Bridge. The icebreaker will not transit Portage Lake and the east end of the Keweenaw Waterway. Alder will leave by the same track she arrived to avoid disrupting stable shore fast ice.

All recreational users of the Keweenaw Waterway should plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice.

Please call Sault Vessel Traffic Service at (906) 635-3232 or via email for further information.

April 19, 2018

Calumet Michigan’s Dianne St. Amour receives award.

Americinn Lodge & Suites release

CALUMET – The Keweenaw convention and visitors board today announced that, Dianne St.Amour has been awarded the annual “General Manager of The Year” for 2017, at Americinn Lodge & Suites.

Dianne has been the General Manager of Americinn Lodge & Suites of Calumet since 2009. Americinn has also most recently won an award for “Best of Americinn” for 2017. These awards are a testament to how hard she works with her team in delivering top-notch hospitality day in and day.

As General manager, Dianne is responsible for marketing, establishing community relations, record keeping, employee staffing and training, controlling inventory, as well as, coping with the unexpected situations involving guests, employees, and the property. While doing so, she is also the President of the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2009

Join us in congratulating Dianne for receiving such a great reward, as well as running an award-winning hotel.

Peters Statement on Senate Failure of Ballast Water Discharge Legislation

Senator Gary Peters release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) released the statement below after the U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Coast Guard Reauthorization Act that included the controversial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA):

“The spread of invasive species presents an existential threat to health of the Great Lakes, and I’m pleased to have worked with my Senate colleagues to stop the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act from moving forward. Setting weak environmental standards for ballast water in the Great Lakes, and preempting the State of Michigan and the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, would only put the Great Lakes at greater risk for devastation. As a strong supporter of the U.S. Coast Guard and its mission, I believe the Senate should debate and pass a clean Coast Guard reauthorization bill that is free from controversial measures like VIDA, which jeopardizes the health of the Great Lakes and prospects for bipartisan Coast Guard legislation.”

Portage Lake District Library Celebrates National Park Week

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites children and their families to celebrate National Park Week and enjoy family programs presented by Isle Royale National Park Ranger Valerie Martin.

The programs are as follows:

Wednesday, April 25, and Thursday, April 26, 10:15 a.m.

Junior Ranger Storytime

Young children will celebrate National Park Week and the Year of the Bird with stories about the winged wonders of Isle Royale National Park. Children will also make binoculars and search for birds that are hiding in the library.

Thursday, April 26, 6:30 p.m.

Junior Ranger Family Program: Fantastic Beasts

Kids will join Ranger Val to discover the curious features of some of Isle Royale National Park’s aquatic creatures. This program offers adventures and activities that are suitable for families and kids ages five to twelve. Kids can also pick up their Great Lakes Junior Ranger booklet anytime at the library and bring their completed booklet to this program to receive their Great Lakes Junior Ranger badge.

Valerie Martin has been a National Park Service Ranger and educator for over twenty years. She has spent eighteen summers sharing the wonders of Isle Royale with others.

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

C&H Mineral Building, Hubbell, MI potential asbestos exposure

Western Upper Peninsula Health Department release

HUBBELL – The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department has issued a warning for people to avoid activity along a 1,000 foot section of M-26 near the C&H Mineral Building in Hubbell. The building, owned by Silver Shore Enterprise, Inc., is located at 52986 M-26 on the north side of Hubbell, between M-26 and Torch Lake. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conducted a public health evaluation of the hazards at the location as part of ongoing Abandoned Mining Waste projects in the area.

Roofing material falling from the building has been found on both sides of M-26, presenting a physical hazard to the public. According to Kate Beer, Health Officer, “Recent sampling of this material has confirmed the presence of asbestos fibers. These fibers can become airborne as the roofing materials degrade or are damaged by passing vehicles and during routine maintenance of the roadway. Exposure to these airborne fibers should be avoided as, over time, they can cause damage to the lungs and increase the risk of developing cancer.”

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality removed and disposed of 14 tons of this material in 2016 and 2017, and the property owner will be responsible for ongoing clean-up of falling debris. The potential for public exposure to asbestos fibers will continue until the building is repaired or demolished.

The public is asked to avoid activities in this section of the highway, including walking and biking, and to be cautious of possible debris in the roadway while driving. All public access to the C&H Mineral Building property should be avoided.

The health department is working with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other stakeholders to reach a long-term solution to this issue.

For more information contact the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department at 482-7382 or visit their website at

Cyber Safety Presentation

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children release

Want to know more about internet safety for your children? What are our children actually doing online and are they hiding anything from us?  

Join Special Agent (SA) Todd Wilton, assigned to U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan as he teaches parents, teachers and guardians the risks/consequences and ways to protect our kids from online predators, high risk social media apps (75+), sextortion, sexting, cyberbullying and much more of the dangers aimed at our children on the internet. 

Internet Safety Presentations will be held Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 pm at Houghton High School, Wednesday, April 25 at 1:00 pm at Michigan Tech MUB Ball Room and Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 pm at Jeffers High School. These presentations contain sensitive content and are for adults only.  

Keep in mind that the World Wide Web has no boundaries and that our children are no more isolated in the Upper Peninsula than anywhere else. SA Wilton will bridge the gap between the generations and provide basic/discreet computer/telephone forensic training for monitoring our children’s online activities. The presentation is very real and fact based. Audiences have referred to it as “eye opening” and “a powerful message.” Audiences are encouraged to take notes and/or pictures for their future reference. In addition, instructional manuals referred to as “Smart Cards” for monitoring social media and etc. will be disseminated electronically to anyone interested. This is a free event open only to adults due to the subject matter. The presentation will contain actualcase examples which include explicit conversations amongst children and online predators as well as training that is not subject for children as we don’t want to teach them anything they don’t already know.

Application Period Open for USDA Broadband Loan Application

Congressman Jack Bergman release

Washington – Congressman Jack Bergman, along with federal partners at USDA, remain committed to expanding energy and broadband infrastructure in the First District of Michigan. Information on how your community can apply for a Rural Broadband Access Loan through USDA can be found below:
U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Perdue announced this week that USDA is accepting applications for loans under its long-standing “Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program” to extend broadband infrastructure in eligible rural communities. 

USDA has also announced that it is revising the process in which applications will be accepted under the program. Since the passage of the 2014 Farm Bill, the Agency has only accepted applications according to discrete application windows. However, USDA has determined that the use of application windows has not effectively supported its mission to finance improved broadband service in rural areas. As a result, USDA will now accept applications on a rolling basis throughout FY 2018. This will give the Agency the ability to request additional information and modifications to submitted applications whenever necessary.

USDA plans to make more than $100 million available through The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program. Loan applications ranging from $100,000 to $25 million will be processed on a first come, first served basis. USDA will review and rank applications every 90 days through Sept. 30, 2018. Funding priority will be given to applicants that propose to serve the highest percentage of unserved households.

Funds must be used to provide broadband service at a minimum rate-of-data transmission of 25 megabits downstream and 3 megabits upstream. These are the benchmark speeds the Federal Communications Commission has adopted for broadband connectivity.

Applications must be submitted online at For details, see page 13225 of the March 28 Federal Register.


Portage Health Foundation release

The Portage Health Foundation (PHF) is proud to award the James Bogan Health Administration Scholarship to deserving residents of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties of Michigan. PHF will award one (1) $5,000 scholarship to be paid (per scholarship agreement) upon award each year. It is the intention of PHF that the awarding of this scholarship will assist the individual student with the financial costs and burden associated with pursuing Master’s level program that will help advance their careers in the health care sector.

The scholarship applicant must meet the following criteria to apply and be considered for funding.

Eligible Criteria:

• The student must be enrolled/accepted into a Master’s level program in an accredited institution/program of education;

• Acceptable programs include a Master’s in Business Administration, Master’s in Public Health, Master’s in Health Administration, Master’s in Public Administration; or Master’s in Non-profit Administration.

• Proof of acceptance must be provided with the application;

• The student must have at least a 3.0 GPA or meet the education institution’s minimum GPA and academic requirements for maintenance in the enrolled program;

• The student must be a resident of the four county area identified above;

• The student must be intending to maintain, pursue or advance their career within a health-related occupation/administration opportunity;

• The student must submit a cover letter and accompanying essay in support of their application.

A form-fillable application may be downloaded at

Spring Vaccination Clinic

Copper Country Humane Society release

The Copper Country Humane Society will be holding a vaccination clinic on May 20th. Pre-registration is available via the website at Pre-registers will begin at 11 am and non pre-registers at 1:00-3:00 pm. For more information, please see our website or call 906-487-9560.

April 18, 2018

Drinking Water Week highlights vital resource at risk

Michigan Water Works Association release

Safe, affordable water is a public health and economic necessity that requires greater investment, says the Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association (MI-AWWA), which is recognizing May 6-12 as Drinking Water Week, in Michigan as well as nationally.

“Part of the message our members will drive home during weeklong public events is that water itself might be free, but collecting it, treating it and delivering it costs money – as does maintaining the systems that ensure timely and efficient delivery of this important resource,” says Bonnifer Ballard, MIAWWA executive director. “More than 7.2 million Michigan residents receive water service from about 1,425 community water systems with water drawn from aquifers, lakes and rivers. Protecting the source is another key message we’d like consumers to keep in mind.”

During the annual observance, water facilities across the state will host open houses, plant tours and other community events to better educate the public about the essential commodity and service they provide. Tours of water filtration and water treatment plants are planned in Muskegon, Ann Arbor and other facilities around the state.

While residents and businesses currently pay bargain prices of less than $1 a day on average for water on demand, the cost to provide it will continue to rise as water mains, pipes and valves age and need repairs and upgrades, MI-AWWA cautions.

“Our members are proud of the work they do to provide clean, safe water to communities throughout Michigan. Funding those repairs and upgrades will be a challenge for most communities,” Ballard explains. “We’re hoping that through greater public awareness and understand about the entire water cycle and all that goes into delivering water to customers’ taps, water supplies will be able to more effectively make the case for investing in water infrastructure maintenance and upgrades.”

Current spending by local, state and federal sources fund only about one-third of the upgrade needs for all U.S. water systems. It will cost $1 trillion over the next 25 years to restore and improve those delivery systems.

In the meantime, the U.S. loses 1.7 trillion gallons of drinking water every year to faulty, aging or leaky pipes, which on average are 47 years old. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives a grade of “D” to the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

AWWA offers tips on protecting the sources of our drinking water, including:

• Never flushing non-degradable products, such as baby wipes or feminine hygiene products, in the toilet.

• Not pouring paint, used oil, chemical cleaners and similar household items down the drain.

• Scooping up pet waste from yards before the bacteria-laden material can run into storm drains and water supplies.

• Lessening stormwater runoff, which often contains contaminants, by using gravel, paver stones, wood or other porous materials on your property whenever possible.

Michigan Section of American Water Works Association is a vital community of nearly 1,700 water professionals in Michigan leading the advancement of water knowledge and improving the value and quality of water in our lives. AWWA is the largest nonprofit, scientific and educational association dedicated to managing and treating water, the world’s most important resource.

Keweenaw Ideals: A Photography Exhibition At Omega House

Michigan Tech Department of Visual and Performing Arts release

HOUGHTON – A team including Michigan Tech student co-curators Mads Howard and John Hughes, Omega House Marketing Coordinator Carol Pfefferkorn and Anne Beffel (VPA) are creating an exhibition of mindfulness-based photographs. The Omega House Hospice of Houghton will host a series of images by students of Beffel’s Art and Nature studio course now through May 2. A series of 32 photographs taken almost exclusively with cell phones, utilizing no zoom or editing, demonstrate the power of simply slowing down and paying attention to life as it unfolds from one moment to the next. Students mindfully framed the experience, working independently and intuitively in the field to make the images. In tandem, they participated in rigorous critiques in the studio classroom, applying theories of visual art and culture to understand why some photographs resonated more so than others. The result is a thoughtful and inspiring exhibition including both photographs and written statements by the artists. The exhibition is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Student artists represented: Liz Adams, Bernie Alkire, Maria Corona, Jake DeVries, Dusty Haxton, Mads Howard, Brett Howland, John Hughes, Gabriel Lamer, Alex Osterholzer, Jake Peterson, Alex Pohl, Julia Smit, Maddie Steger, Paul Vogt, Anrea Zubke.

The Studio for Here and Now, where the exhibition was designed, is a studio space in Wadsworth Hall where students are free to drop in and join conversations and projects about putting art in spaces frequented by the public for the purpose of supporting a more empathetic and inclusive environment, and experience mindfulness-based art practices. The Studio for Here and Now makes art for the social good. 

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disability.

Aspirus Keweenaw earns national recognition for quality and patient satisfaction

Aspirus Keweenaw release

LAURIUM – Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium is the recipient of four national Excellence in Healthcare Awards from industry leading research-marketing firm, Professional Research Consultants (PRC). The awards are based on patients’ perception of care and are presented to organizations and individuals who have achieved excellence throughout the prior year. This is the third consecutive year that Aspirus Keweenaw has earned the awards for quality and patient satisfaction.

Aspirus Keweenaw received 5-Star Excellence Awards for the 2017 calendar year for: 

• Responsiveness of Staff – Inpatient Services

• Discharge Information – Inpatient Services

• Overall Quality of Care – Medical/Surgical

• Overall Quality of Care – Inpatient Services

All 5-Star awards that Aspirus Keweenaw has earned ranks them in the top 10 percent of PRC’s database of national healthcare organizations for 2017. In addition to Aspirus Keweenaw, Aspirus Ontonagon, Aspirus Iron River and Aspirus Ironwood hospitals received Excellence in Healthcare Awards.

“This is a tremendous honor and testament to our commitment to continuously improve the patient experience and deliver a higher level of care for patients close to home,” said Karen Dugdale, Aspirus Upper Peninsula Regional Patient Experience Leader. “Our culture of caring is a key part of what all patients and their families experience when they come to Aspirus.”

PRC’s annual Excellence in Healthcare Awards recognizes hospitals rated at the top of the industry. Ratings are based on H-CAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores. The H-CAHPS government quality rating system is shared publicly at The data was collected by PRC through phone interviews with patients.

“It is an honor to recognize Aspirus Keweenaw with these Excellence in Healthcare Awards for their deserving work,” said Joe Inguanzo, PRC President and CEO. “It takes true dedication and determination to achieve this level of excellence in healthcare and Aspirus Keweenaw has shown their commitment to making their hospital a better place to work, a better place to practice medicine and a better place for patients to be treated.”

April 17, 2018

Multiple Honors Awarded to Novel of Michigan’s Indians  

Provided release

A historical novel of the Ojibwe Indians of northern Michigan is reaping multiple literary awards for Traverse City author Robert Downes.

Set 400 years ago in the Upper Great Lakes, Downes’ novel, Windigo Moon: A Novel of Native America, is about a young Ojibwe couple who lead their people forward after the destruction of their respective villages during the apocalyptic 16th century.

“The Ojibwe, also known as the Chippewa and the Anishinaabek, are the heroic people at the heart of my novel. It’s my hope that the book will prompt readers to learn more about them, their heritage, and their immense contribution to life in the Upper Great Lakes,” Downes said in a statement.

Last week, Independent Publisher magazine announced that Windigo Moon had earned a Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction in the Great Lakes area.   

The award comes on the heels of Windigo Moon being named a finalist in the Foreword Reviews INDIE Books of the Year awards for historical fiction. 

In 2014 Windigo Moon won first prize for its first chapter, “The Raid,” in a writing contest sanctioned by the Grand Rapids ArtPrize.

Downes read or researched more than 50 books about the Ojibwe, Native America and anthropology in writing the book.  He also backpacked extensively throughout Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, including winter camping on Lake Superior, to get a feel for life in the wilderness.  He is also the author of Planet Backpacker, Travels With My Wife and Biking Northern Michigan.  His forthcoming thriller, Bicycle Hobo, will be published this summer by The Wandering Press.

Nominations sought for U.P.-wide volunteer awards

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development release

MARQUETTE – Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development announces the launch of the 10th annual U.P. Service Awards to honor the contributions of volunteers across the Upper Peninsula. Nominations of volunteers serving anywhere in the U.P. will be accepted through June 1.

“It’s National Volunteer Week, April 15-21,” said Grow & Lead CEO Amy Quinn. “What better time to recognize our outstanding community volunteers by nominating them for a U.P. Service Award.”

Award recipients will be announced in July and honored at an awards luncheon during the U.P. Nonprofit Conference at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, October 18. Recipients receive a plaque and are invited to attend the entire conference compliments of Grow & Lead. All nominees receive a letter of thanks and certificate of recognition.

Categories for the awards include youth volunteer, adult volunteer, senior volunteer, business community leader and volunteer program.

“This is the 10th year of the awards which have become a highlight of the conference,” Quinn said. “It’s always inspiring to hear the stories of these otherwise unsung heroes.”

Nomination forms are available at or Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development, 712 Chippewa Square, Suite 200, Marquette.

For more information, visit, email, or call Grow & Lead at 228-8919.

Bergman Leads Bipartisan Effort to Rebuild Soo Locks

Congressman Jack Bergman release

Washington — Citing national security implications, steel production, and economic impact, Congressman Jack Bergman urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to use new funding to complete design work and begin construction on a new Poe-sized Lock. 

“An unexpected outage at the Poe Lock would be disastrous to the U.S. and global economy. In March, Secretary James (Army, Civil Works) testified to a House Committee that building a new lock is not only a priority but additionally, not building a new Poe-sized Lock is a ‘very dangerous situation for national security.’ Building a new Lock in Sault Ste. Marie has been, and will continue to be, my number one infrastructure priority for Michigan’s First District,” said Bergman. 

This week, Congressman Bergman authored a bipartisan letter to Lt. General Semonite and Assistant Secretary of the Army James, requesting USACE prioritize the Soo Locks project and utilize additional appropriated funds to begin design and construction work on a new Poe-sized Lock. Steel plates used as armor for ships, Abrams tanks, and other military applications rely solely on the locks as a shipping route. Even a short-term closure of the Lock would have large implications on military readiness and national security. 

Bergman continued, “Every additional year that our Great Lakes steel mills depend on the 50-year old Poe Lock as their only iron ore transportation gateway risks the production of vitally needed military weapon systems. The Soo Locks project cannot be delayed any longer for the sake of our military and economic supply chains.”

Since taking office in January, Rep. Bergman has lead the fight to build a new Poe-sized lock. In June of 2017, after leading a bipartisan tour of the Soo Locks with both of Michigan’s U.S. Senators and members of Michigan’s Congressional delegation, Rep. Bergman introduced the Soo Locks Modernization Act.

Additionally, after Rep. Bergman secured funding for the Army Corps to complete the Soo Locks feasibility study, USACE is set to release the study in June.

Billionaire’s Ball – Dinner & Auction

Copper Country Christian School release

HOUGHTON — The Copper Country Christian School is hosting a Billionaire’s Ball benefit auction, on Saturday, April 28th in Michigan Tech’s MUB Ballroom. You are cordially invited to attend. This year’s theme is Monopoly, so dress like a millionaire! Mr. Monopoly will greet you at the doors at 5 p.m. which will also begin our silent auction. A roast beef dinner will be catered by Michigan Tech Catering Services with fun entertainment to follow. Our live auction main event will begin at 8 p.m. with all festivities wrapping up at 9 p.m..

Consider supporting your local Christian school. Tickets are $35, $60 for couples, and are available at the school office, 20980 Broemer Rd., Chassell, or at the door. All proceeds for this benefit fundraiser will help fund student scholarships along with future classroom and building improvements.

The Copper Country Christian School was established in 1980 and offers a quality biblical education from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. CCCS promotes a competitive curriculum which focuses on instilling a strong work ethic and personal integrity in young people’s lives. By partnering with charitable organizations such as Gitche Gumee Bible Camp, Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, Operation Christmas Child, and various local churches, we have promoted Christian integrity, service, and good citizenship without sacrificing high academic standards. All this is done at a fraction of the cost associated with our local schools. We are dedicated to build up children’s hearts, souls, minds, and strength, and we ask you to consider partnering with us. If you have any questions about this event or 2018-19 enrollment please contact our school office at 487-1718.

April 16, 2018

UP Health System – Portage Release

The number of influenza cases throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula has decreased. As a result, UP Health System – Portage is lifting its visitation restrictions. Thank you to everyone during this influenza season for helping keep our community healthy.

Medication Take Back Event

Michigan OPEN release

The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office will host a medication takeback event at the Sheriff’s Office on April 28, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, contact Claire Wolniewicz, or 734-764-9491.

LLUMC Spring Salad Luncheon

Lake Linden United Methodist Church

The Lake Linden United Methodist Church will be hosting a Spring Salad Luncheon on Saturday, April 21st from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The cost of lunch is $6. In addition to lunch there will be a bake sale and a “Country Thrift Store”

Superior Fab Lab Interest Meeting

Superior Fab Lab release

Are you a maker, inventor, artist, crafts-person, entrepreneur or tinkerer? If your garage, basement or other workplace just doesn’t have the space or the right tools to build what you dream of? Would you like access to cutting edge design resources and fabricating tools and machines like computer controlled laser cutters, machine tools, routers, engravers and 3D printers and learn how to use them? Would you like to meet and work with other similar people in the community in a shared work space?

Superior Fab Lab is having an initial meeting on Thursday April 19 at 6PM at the MTEC Smart Zone Community Room, 600 E Lakeshore Drive, Houghton. Any person, group, or institution interested in trying to create and operate such a facility in the Keweenaw area are invited to attend. See for more information on the similar facilities world wide. If you cannot attend, please send email to explaining your interest to be added to the mailing list.

Banquet for Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation

Copper Country Chapter of Ducks Unlimited release

The Copper Country Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is pleased to invite you to the 42nd Annual Banquet for Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation. Join the fun with raffles and a silent auction. The banquet is Wed. May 9th at the MTU Memorial Union Ballroom, Houghton, MI. Doors open at 5 pm and dinner is at 6:30 pm. Must RSVP. Contact Scott at 487-6719 or email

Can reserve tickets online at

Visit our event on facebook at

Orpheum shows for this week

Orpheum Theater release

HANCOCK — Thursday 4/19 8:30pm: Mu Beta Psi benefit with music by Momentum and headliner UPHat LineUP.

UPHAT LINEUP: 3 V.I.P.s: (Veterans of Innumerable Peninsulas) Mike “Big Noise” Christianson-Brass Bass Mike “Bukka Roux” Irish-Guitar; and Jim “Big Wheels” Weiler-Trumpet & Vocals.

Avec 8 etudiants de MTU: Aaron “Easy C” Christianson-Trumpet; Ben “Greg Gumbo” Gregory-Alto & Soprano Sax Dave “Nicholas Cajun” Schreifels-Tenor Sax Tom “Dr. Bari Moore” Bialy- Bari Sax; Matt “Finn Bone” Sietsema-Trombone; Jacob “Hurricane” Gust-Trombone; and David “King David” Renaldi-Snare Drum Dawson “Big 4” McKenzie- Bass Drum.

“This band “goes UP to 11” and becomes the UP’s largest, newest, funkiest, phattest (cobblestone) street band! Our groove is centered in the New Orleans “second line” tradition, powered by the rarely wielded “Brass Bass” and the Phabidextrous 2-person percussion platoon (the P2PPP). But we’ve added A GUITAR enabling us to “chunk & funk” like no other band!

We cover tunes by: Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Scofield Medeski Martin & Wood, Prince, The Meters, Louis Armstrong, and Thelonious Monk.”

Admission is $10 adults and $7 for students and seniors.

Sat. 4/21 @ 8:00pmJoin us for the MEDLIFE Concert at the Hancock Orpheum! A night of food and music featuring Soul Raga, Highlight Reel, and Natty Daddy’s!

In August 2018 and summer of 2019, a group of MTU students are headed to Peru on a Mobile Clinic volunteer trip with the organization MEDLIFE. MEDLIFE’s mission is to provide medicine, education, and development to low income families everywhere. As they volunteer, they’ll work closely with medical professionals, work on a community development project, interact with and learn from locals in need. As a future healthcare professionals, this Clinic will have powerful influence on how the students conduct their careers. It will be eye-opening, life-changing, and offer a learning environment unlike any before.

On Saturday, April 21st the Orpheum Theatre will be hosting a charity concert to help these students on their way! Join us for a night of pizza, good company, and music across the board: Soul Raga at 8 p.m.. Highlight Reel at 9 p.m., and Natty Daddy’s at 10 p.m.

Tickets on-sale now, $5 for students and $10 for the community. At the door prices are $7 for students and $12 for the community. Email for tickets!

Sun. 4/22 @ 7:00pm: Brian Keith Wallen is on the road all the time. From one coast to another, Brian is spreading his brand of blues-rock across the country. His lightning licks on guitar will never let you forget his name. In just a few years, Brian has released five albums and performed over 1,000 shows in 14 states. iSpy Cincy writes, “His raw passionate sound encompasses the blues soul with perfection.”

Brian placed 2nd in the 2015 International Blues Challenge, ranking in the top two out of hundreds of blues artists from all over the world. He is also the winner of the Star-Gennett Blues Artist of the Year award, the Cincy Blues Challenge, and the Dayton Blues Challenge.

Brian has brought his foot-stomping, one-man-band show to timeless treasures, such as Dollywood and the Ryman Auditorium, all the way to countless blues festivals and the one and only Beale Street. “The artists that I love bring energy and soul to their music,” Brian says. “They put it all out there, and it’s real. I aspire to get to that level, and every performance is an opportunity.”

$10 adults, $7 for students and seniors. Music at 7pm

Peters Statement on Enbridge Announcement to Suspend Line 5 Operations in Event of Severe Weather

U.S. Senator Gary Peters release

Bloomfield Township, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) released the statement below following an announcement from Enbridge that it will temporarily suspend Line 5 operations if weather conditions limit the ability to respond to a spill:

“The Great Lakes are too precious to risk an oil spill, especially when bad weather conditions would render ineffective response equipment onsite. Today, I pushed PHMSA Administrator Elliott to work with Enbridge, and I am pleased that Enbridge has indicated Line 5 will be temporarily shut down in the event of severe weather this weekend. It is critical that Enbridge, PHMSA and the U.S. Coast Guard work together to fully assess the damage to Line 5 with a visual inspection as soon as is practical.”

Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Can Get Help From The VA

Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center release

IRON MOUNTAIN – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the VA uses this month to raise awareness of Veterans who are survivors of military sexual trauma (MST).

Military Sexual Trauma (MST) is not a diagnosis, but rather it is sexual assault or sexual harassment that a Veteran experiences while serving in the military. Veterans across all military branches and from all eras of service have reported MST, and it has affected all genders, ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religious backgrounds, and physical sizes and strengths.

Survivors frequently have difficulties with strong emotions, feeling emotionally “flat,” trouble sleeping, poor concentration, blaming self, substance abuse, self-harm, avoiding things that remind of the trauma, relationship difficulties, sexual difficulties, and other physical health problems.

This year’s national VA theme Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “Speaking Up, Moving Forward: VA supports survivors of military sexual trauma.” It is important for survivors of MST to know they are not alone. The VA can help. There are outpatient, inpatient, and residential services available to assist Veterans in their recovery from MST. There is also an educational support group at the VA specifically for men who are survivors of sexual trauma.

Free MST-related care is offered to all veterans even if they are not currently enrolled in VA healthcare. They do not need to have reported the incident(s) when it occurred or have other documentation to prove it. MST survivors also do not need to have a VA disability rating to be treated for MST.

Peter Wolfe Chapter of the North Country Trail annual general membership meeting

Peter Wolfe Chapter of the North Country Trail release

HOUGHTON — The public is invited to the Peter Wolfe Chapter of the North Country Trail annual general membership meeting on Monday, April 30th, 2018.  Starting at 7pm, in the Michigan Tech Forestry Building, Gene Hesterburg Hall. We will have an entertaining talk by recent Michigan NCT thru-hiker, Jo Oostveen, called “Comedy on the NCT in the UP!” followed by a short business meeting.

For more info on the trail, go to or

UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour® visits Michigan Technological University

UNITE release

HOUGHTON — The Arrive Alive Tour® from UNITE will visit with a virtual reality impaired driving and texting simulator from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 20 at Michigan Technological University Main Campus on 1400 Townsend Drive (SDC Ice Arena as a rain location).

UNITE’s Arrive Alive Tour® program uses a high-tech simulator, impact video, and a number of other resources to educate the public about the dangers of intoxicated driving. The simulator allows participants to experience the potential consequences of impaired driving in a controlled environment.

Nearly one-third of all traffic deaths involve alcohol-impaired drivers. Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash. On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime. In 2014, the highest percentage of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes were in the age range of 21 to 24. Every day, people drive drunk more than 300,000 times. However, only about 3,200 of those people are arrested.

One of the most commonly recognized driving distractions is cell phone use. About 89 percent of all Americans have a cell phone, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association. Drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group, and the number of young drivers who text is only increasing.

UNITE brings health and wellness programs to high schools, colleges, and communities across the nation. Its programs are designed to heighten awareness to the dangers and consequences of impaired driving. These events have a powerful impact on students to reinforce the subjects that schools and parents teach them daily. If you have any questions or for more information, please call Todd Betzold at 888.436.3394 ext. 6388.

April 13, 2018

Peters Calls for Suspension of Line 5 Operations

U.S. Senator Gary Peters release

CHARLOTTE, MI – Below is a statement from U.S. Senator Gary Peters on a briefing he received from the U.S. Coast Guard about recent damage to Line 5 in the Straights of Mackinac. Yesterday, at a Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing, Peters questioned U.S. Coast Guard officials about the decision to keep Line 5 open despite an undetermined risk to the Great Lakes.

“There are few greater dangers to the Great Lakes than an oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac, which would devastate Michigan’s environment and our economy.

“Yesterday, I was personally briefed by U.S. Coast Guard officials in Michigan on the damage to Line 5 caused by a vessel anchor strike in the Straits of Mackinac. Based on the limited information currently available, two segments of the pipeline will require repairs in the short-term, but a visual inspection is still needed to assess the full extent of the damage.

“Upcoming blizzard conditions and high winds pose a threat to the already-damaged pipeline and – even worse – would render on-site cleanup equipment ineffective in the event of an oil spill. We simply cannot afford that kind of risk to Michigan’s most precious natural resource. 

“Given the lack of visual inspection and impending storm, I am calling for PHMSA and DEQ to suspend the operation of Line 5 until a visual evaluation is complete and Michiganders can be assured that Line 5’s integrity has not been compromised by the vessel activity.

“In the Senate, I have worked in a bipartisan way to strengthen federal oversight of pipeline safety and will continue fighting to protect our Great Lakes from something as catastrophic as an oil spill.”

U.P. Apparel Company Promotes the Region’s Aesthetic for a Cause

Invent@NMU release

MARQUETTE — The Mottonen family is a Keweenaw-based crew that has embraced the classic Yooper spirit with an entrepreneurial business venture. Aric and Erin Mottonen founded the apparel and gear company, MickyFinn, to celebrate an eccentric U.P. lifestyle where fishing and being outdoors are the activities of choice.

The name MickyFinn derives from a family nickname coined by Erin’s father for their family boat. The title represents the family’s combined heritage, strong principles and an outgoing lifestyle.

“Here, we fall in love with the outdoors, learn to keep warm, work hard and utilize the Great Lakes,” says the couple.

MickyFinn’s mission seeks a larger purpose than profit. The Mottonen family wants to provide water safety equipment to local beaches in the Lake Superior region.

“Having easier access to life-saving equipment is necessary up here,” says Erin, with whom water safety hits home due to a family accident years back at a local Marquette swimming hole. She created the brand with her husband to raise money for the installation of rescue cannons and community life jackets to assist with accident prevention.

“It’s been a great experience working with Aric and Erin to help develop the MickyFinn brand and the amazing mission it’s trying to accomplish,” says Pierson Boyer, a project manager at Invent@NMU who has assisted the company with business needs.

Check out MickyFinn at the upcoming TV6 Mother’s Day Craft Show at the Superior Dome May 11-13. Products are also available for purchase at and on their MickyFinn Facebook page.

Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office K9 Dogo to get body armor

Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office release

Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office K9 Dogo will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.”. Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) charity located in East Taunton, MA whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. The non-profit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 officers. Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided over 2,800 protective vests, in 50 states, through private and corporate donations, at a cost of over 2.4 million dollars.

The program is open to dogs actively employed in the U.S. with law enforcement or related agencies who are certified and at least 20 months of age. New K9 graduates, as well as K9s with expired vests, are eligible to participate.

The donation to provide one protective vest for a law enforcement K9 is $950.00. Each vest has a value between $1,744 – $2,283 and a five-year warranty, and an average weight of 4-5 lbs. There is an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978. Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts tax-deductible donations of any denomination at or mailed to P.O. Box 9 East Taunton, MA 02718.

Portage Lake District Library Celebrates National Poetry Month with the Marquette Poet’s Circle

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to join the Marquette Poets Circle for an evening of poems as they celebrate the release their five-year anthology, Maiden Voyage, on Tuesday, April 17, at 6:30 p.m.

Poets whose poems are in the book and who will be reading from Maiden Voyage are Beverly Matherne, Kathleen Heideman, Jesse Koenig, Janeen Rastall, John Taylor, and Richard Rastall.

The Marquette Poets Circle was formed in 2012 by Matt Maki to celebrate poetry. Maiden Voyage celebrates the fifth anniversary of the group and features the poems of thirty three local and regional poets with an expansive and varied collection of themes and images. The book opens with a preface by Martin Achatz, U. P. Poet Laureate, and an introduction by Richard Rastall, poet and creator of the anthology.

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

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

Lt. General Jack Bergman, USMC (Ret.) announced today that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed his campaign for re-election

Lt. General Jack Bergman release

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of over 3,000,000 businesses and organizations of every size. After receiving their endorsement in support of his campaign for Congress, Jack Bergman released the following statement:

“I’m honored to receive the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, based on my record of fighting for the small businesses of Michigan’s First District. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished to lower taxes, roll back job killing regulations, and expand the economy. There is much left to accomplish as we continue fighting for pro-growth policies, and work to bring good paying jobs back for the people of the First District of Michigan.”

Bergman Votes for Balanced Budget Amendment

Congressman Jack Bergman release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jack Bergman, member of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement after the Balanced Budget Amendment came up short in the House:

“Every individual and business in Michigan’s First District have to live within their means financially, and there’s absolutely no reason that the federal government should be an exception to that rule. Our country is facing a financial crisis, and we’re leaving our children and grandchildren an insurmountable national debt. The politicians in power have had a spending addiction for years with no physical restraint. It’s time that Congress is held to the same standard that every family in Michigan is held to,” said Bergman.

In 2017, as a member of the House Budget Committee, Congressman Bergman successfully worked to craft a balanced budget. In October of 2017, the House passed the“Building a Better America Budget” for FY2018. Due to obstruction in the Senate, the budget plan stalled.

Bergman continued, “The American people deserve better – that’s why they sent outsiders to Washington. The House passed a budget for FY2018, yet the Senate never moved on it, causing Congress to be faced with stop-gap short term deals and a reckless ‘omnibus’ spending package. I was proud to support the Balanced Budget Amendment. I’m disappointed my Democratic colleagues chose to derail this common sense effort, and chose partisan politics over the will of the people.” 

In March of 1995, after passing the House with a 2/3 majority, the Senate failed to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment by one vote. Since then, the national debt has exploded from just under $5 Trillion to nearly $20 Trillion.

April 12, 2018

Commissioner Race Expands

Provided release

Former Houghton County Undersheriff Roy Britz of Portage Township has filed petition for County Commissioner of District 5 including, Portage, Chassell, Stanton, Elm River, Donken and Laird Townships. Britz believes working with the residence and having open dialogue on issues can accomplish goals and county needs. “I look forward to meeting and being available for the residence of District 5.” Britz said.

WELCA spring meeting in Baraga

Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America release

All the Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (WELCA) are invited to the Spring Cluster Meeting that will be held on April 28, 2018 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Baraga. Registration begins at 9 a.m. with coffee and bakery provided by the ladies of United Lutheran Church, L’Anse. The meeting will begin with opening devotions at 9:30 a.m. and will end with a service of Holy Communion at noon. A lunch will follow.

There will be a bible study, special music and a presentation by Rev. Soren Schmidt of Finlandia\who will speak on Feeding America. A personal offering will be taken, the recipient organization will be chosen by those attending. Because we are dispensing of the White Elephant Sale everyone is asked to bring can/cans of food for local hunger.

Please remember to bring your CU Offering. For more information, call Rosanne Kuivinen at 353-2755.

After 16 Years, Vicky Crystal Ends Her Career at TV6

TV6 release

NEGAUNEE – Vicky Crystal has announced plans end her TV6 career. The longtime TV6 Morning News anchor is planning to pursue a career as a United Methodist pastor.

Vicky began her broadcasting career in 1984. She worked in radio at WJPD in Ishpeming until 2001. Vicky then took a job in the TV6 News department, working with the TV6 News Director at the time, the late Ed Kearney. She became the main anchor for the TV6 Morning News the following month.

In her 16 year career on the TV6 Morning News Vicky worked with 11 morning meteorologists Ty Shesky, Bob Lesh, Bill Roth, Nick Kanczuzewski, Wesley Williams, Shawn Householder, Dustin Bonk, Dan Giroux, Cassie Laine, Mackenzie Leigh and Jennifer Perez. Her co-anchors have included Greg Trick, Sam Bauman and currently, Andrew LaCombe.

Vicky commented on her career at TV6, saying “You’ve allowed me to be a part your lives for 16 plus years. We’ve been through a lot together – good, bad, happy, and sad. I will always love the time I spent here, and look forward to seeing how much more the show will become once a fresh perspective is brought in.

Do me a favor – don’t be afraid of change, and be kind, loving, and understanding to whomever comes on board. Thanks ahead of time for that.

So until the end of June, I will continue to do my best to help you make the most of your day. God loves you, and so do I”.

WLUC Vice President and General Manager, Rick Rhoades had this to say, “For over 16 years, Vicky has been a pillar at TV6, and a critical part of our news department from the very beginning. How do you replace Vicky Crystal? You really can’t. We’re thankful for her service and wish her the best in her future endeavors. She will always be part of the TV6 family”

News Director, Steve Asplund commented, “Vicky has been at the core of what the TV6 News brings you each day. Vicky has always been there, through the snow and the harsh, early, early morning work hours. She’s dependable, respectful and always has a smile for you. We’ll miss her, but wish her nothing but the best in her new adventure”.

Vicky’s final day as TV6 Morning News anchor will be Friday, June 28.

Local Student Chosen to Promote Peace In Japan

Provided release

May Amelia Shapton, a sophomore at Lake Linden-Hubbell High School is one of eight students from Michigan chosen by the Michigan State University Asian Studies Center to participate in their 2018 Japan exchange program. May Amelia will first travel to MSU this summer to work with a group of students from Tokyo’s Gakegui Secondary School on a project to promote peace and friendship. The group will then travel to Tokyo to complete the project at Gakegui Secondary School. Before returning home, the American students will embark with the Japanese students on a tour to promote peace, visiting sites in Osaka, Fukushima and Hiroshima.

LWVCC survey

League of Women Voters of the Copper Country release

The public is being asked to take a very short survey about future plans for the Houghton County Jail and Courthouse. The survey along with background information is on the web site of the Copper Country League of Women Voters, A summary of the first 155 responses has been shared with the County Board of Commissioners and a final report will be submitted next month. The board, at last night’s meeting, indicated that this small number of responses would not influence their plans already underway. People in the audience complained that not enough people know about the survey or the issue under consideration.

Collaboration with local school solves ongoing problem

OcuGlass release

CALUMET — OcuGlass, an acid-etched glass manufacturer located in the Houghton County Airport Park, has found a unique solution to a complex problem. The company was having to repeatedly repair or replace a key piece of their process equipment, which was costing them excessive downtime in production. The parts were difficult to repair and replacing them meant importing the parts from Italy, which came with major expense and extremely long lead-times.

After months of trying to find an alternative to repairing or importing from Italy, the solution turned out to be just four miles down the road. OcuGlass Director of Engineering, Jeff Stevens, also happens to be a member of the Board of Education for the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City Area Schools and familiar with their SOAR program (Student Organization of Aquatic Robotics). The program is a student-run, non-profit high school enterprise and a project-based class that allows students to design and create parts using 3-D printing technology. Stevens knew the program was more advanced than your average high school class and decided, with his Michigan Tech intern, to approach SOAR and start a collaboration. “Forming a collaboration between a local company, the DB-TC High School, and a Michigan Tech student has been a win-win-win,” said Stevens.

Michigan Tech Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Intern, Andrew Rose, under the direction of Stevens, has been the lead point of contact for the students and their advisor, Matt Zimmer. Rose said, “Working with the students has been a very rewarding experience for me. As an aspiring engineer, I have a passion for science and technology so to see such an impressive tech department in a local high school is awesome. The excitement the students express when we see a design come together to create a working part is remarkable.”

The initial project included recreating a geometrically complex part for 3D printing and provide that part to OcuGlass for use in their process equipment. This first part is now in use on the production line and the SOAR students are working on developing several more parts. The goal is to have a long-term partnership with SOAR consistently providing parts to OcuGlass. Zimmer said, “The students develop proficiency in scheduling, material selection, and professional communication between clients and designers, along with advancing countless other skills to solve real problems.”

OcuGlass has seen a tremendous benefit from the situation. The parts are being redesigned to better fit their applications, including increased durability and more accurate interface characteristics. Because SOAR is an enterprise business, the company pays for the parts, but saves a great deal on freight costs from Italy and saves over four weeks of lead time to get the parts. Stevens added, “We had a problem and we found a unique solution which has not only saved us time and money, but has actually improved our process equipment.”

For more information about OcuGlass, please visit their website at or call 483-3953. To contact DB-TC Area schools, visit them at or call 482-5800.

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Keweenaw Garden Club

Portage Lake District Library

The Portage Lake District Library will host the Keweenaw Garden Club for a two part presentation learning about wild mushrooms on Monday, April 16, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

“The Beautiful and Mysterious World of Wild Mushrooms” will be presented by Dana Richter.

Richter uses mushrooms in wood decay tests at Michigan Technological University’s School of Forestry, where he has been a researcher for many years. He will discuss edible and poisonous mushrooms and show examples of each.

Retired Michigan Tech professor Jim Pickens will also present “If You Cannot Tell the Safe Ones from the Bad Ones, Grow Your Own.” Pickens will discuss how to grow edible mushrooms with an emphasis on growing shiitake mushrooms.

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

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

Rep. LaFave: Road funding for Upper Peninsula

State Rep. Beau LaFave release

Like you, I’m frustrated with the condition of our roads.

That’s why I fought for a plan to provide an additional $175 million in road and bridge funding statewide without raising taxes or fees. The money will go directly to counties, cities and villages for road preservation and construction.

Some of the communities in line for additional funding include Menominee County ($376,372), Dickinson County ($313,720), and Delta County ($418,066). Local cities and villages also will receive funding including Carney ($3,268), Daggett ($4,290), Escanaba ($102,891), Garden ($2,044), Gladstone ($48,247), Iron Mountain ($69,973), Kingsford ($46,900), Menominee City ($72,393), Norway ($31,603), Powers ($5,225) and Stephenson ($9,488).

This money will be used for the current construction season and will have a positive impact on our communities.

This additional money comes on top of earlier projections and record level road funding for local allocations in 2018, including Menominee County ($4,872,198), Dickinson County ($4,005,073) Delta County ($5,389,322), Escanaba ($1,336,613), Gladstone ($626,754) and Iron Mountain ($908,997).

The Michigan Department of Transportation will work closely with local road commissions to ensure our roads last longer and are properly maintained. There have already been many projects announced in Menominee, Dickinson and Delta counties for 2018 and 2019.

The projects will improve road conditions and make travel safer.

Some of the Menominee County projects include:

• Sealing and pothole patching at locations to be determined by the road commission;

• Finish paving the No. 10 Lane Bridge over the Little River; and

• Complete construction of Bay De Noc Road from Birch Creek Road to north of No. 7 Road.

Some of the Dickinson County projects include:

• Crush, shape and pave in Waucedah and Norway townships;

• Paving projects in Breitung Township;

• Reconstruction and drainage correction of a section of Leeman Road; and

• Paving County Road 577 and County Road 607.

Some of the Delta County projects include:

• Reconstruct and overlay 18.5 miles of Highway 13;

• Pave 1.75 miles of County Road 416; and

• Seal about 60 miles of primary and local roads.

I will work closely with MDOT and local road commissions to ensure they have the resources to complete these local projects.

I will continue to fight for the residents in our community and make sure that road funding makes it way north of the Mackinac Bridge.

April 11, 2018

Advisory Commission to Meet

Keweenaw National Historical Park release

The Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission will convene for its regular quarterly meeting at 1:00pm on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at park headquarters located on the corner of Red Jacket Road and Hwy. US-41 in Calumet. 

The meeting will include an update on the work of the Commission and the National Park Service during the last quarter as well as a discussion of the plans for the upcoming tourist season.

The Keweenaw NHP Advisory Commission, paneled by citizens appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, represents the public and works collaboratively with the National Park Service to advise and assist with managing the resources of Keweenaw National Historical Park. The Commission’s quarterly meetings are open to the public.

Citizen Science hosts birding presentation

Carnegie Museum release

Carnegie Museum will host “Birds and Citizen Science: From Christmas counts to publishing research on birds” Tuesday, April 17. Presentation will be led by David Flaspohler, Michigan Tech and Joseph Youngman, Copper Country Audubon.

“The scientific study of birds has historically been and remains today an exceptionally accessible realm within science. Amateur bird watchers have made enormous contributions to our understanding of animal behavior and conservation. I will summarize this history, highlight the contributions of three important amateur ornithologists in North America (two from Michigan), and introduce a local avian scientist, Joe Youngman, who will describe his journey and experiences studying birds in the Keweenaw.” – David Flaspohler

Doors open at 6:30. Lecture and Discussion 7 – 8 

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Michigan Notable Book Author Daniel Wolff and Singer/Songwriter Chris Buhalis

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON — Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to an evening of readings, music, and first-rate storytelling with Michigan Notable Book author Daniel Wolff and singer/songwriter Chris Buhalis on Friday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m.

Wolff and Buhalis will present a one hour talk and musical exploration of Wolff’s award winning book Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913. Grown-Up Anger braids together biographies of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie with a labor strike in the Keweenaw to create an alternative history of 20th century America. The program will range from turn-of-the-century politics through the Great Depression and the 60’s civil rights movement to today.

Wolff is a Grammy-nominated author and has published other non-fiction books ranging from a biography of singer Sam Cooke to a documentary look at New Orleans’ recovery post-Katrina. He has also published three volumes of poetry, helped produce documentary films with the Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, and collaborated with a number of contemporary songwriters. Winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Book Award, his work has been featured on National Public Radio, Sirius Radio, and in publications from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Buhalis was nominated for Detroit Music Awards “Best Singer” and has released two critically acclaimed albums: Kenai Dreams and Big Car Town. He has appeared at numerous music festivals and folk venues across the country and, over the past twenty-five years, has performed with artists Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Dave Van Ronk, Odetta and more.

There will be time for questions and answers and a book signing and selling after the presentation. This 2018 Michigan Notable Books program and tour are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Library of Michigan, the Library of Michigan Foundation, Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Humanities Council, Meijer, and the Michigan Center for the Book.

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

April 10, 2018

Making A Difference Scholarship Recipients

Michigan Tech release

Twelve students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarships. The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.87 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The $8,000 scholarships went to:

• Bailey Poyhonen, Dollar Bay, medical laboratory science

• Brennah Wasie, Hancock, biochemistry and molecular biology

• Laura Lyons, Lake Linden, biomedical engineering

• Sarah Dix, L’Anse, exercise science

Receiving $1,000 scholarships were:

• Kierstyn Codere, Lake Linden, biological sciences

• Grace Liu, Houghton mechanical engineering

• Mara Hackman, Houghton, medical laboratory science

• Jaden Janke, Dollar Bay, biological sciences

• Ally Fenton, Hancock, biomedical engineering

• Jada Markham, Houghton, exercise science

• Kellan Heikkile, Chassell, biomedical engineering

• Dawson Kere, Hancock, biological sciences 

The merit-based awards reflect the high caliber of student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional teachers, HOSA high school advisors and Michigan Tech faculty and students who do outreach in the schools,” Says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech.

“The merit-based awards reflect the high caliber student talent we have locally, thanks to exceptional teachers, HOSA high school advisers, and Michigan Tech faculty and students who do outreach in the schools,” says Jodi Lehman, director of foundations at Michigan Tech.

At a dinner for finalists recently, the scholarship recipients had a chance to talk one-on-one with Michigan Tech researchers. Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics faculty Ye Sarah Sun shared with students how she develops new interfaces for heart monitoring that are reliable and won’t disturb a patient’s life at home, while driving or at work. Biomedical engineer and health care entrepreneur, Megan Frost, shared how she is working to improve wound care with a product designed to prevent infection and reduce the need for some post-acute care.

Scholarship recipients also heard from current students, Adison Cook, a 2016 Making a Difference scholar, Stephanie Bean and Maddie Morley, both PHF Undergraduate Research Interns, and Kelsey Saladin, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic trainer scholar.

“The Portage Health Foundation has also been very generous in granting need-based scholarships to students enrolling at Michigan Tech, Finlandia University, Gogebic College, Northern Michigan University, and Michigan State University in health-related degree programs,” says Joe Cooper, Director of Financial Aid at Michigan Tech, “These scholarships make a significant financial impact for students in our own local communities. Thanks to the Portage Health Foundation, students from Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw, and Ontonagon counties have extra support so they can attend college and focus on health related careers.”

Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship applications will open in the fall for incoming high school seniors and transfer students applying to Michigan Tech for fall 2019. Questions about the scholarship ( can be directed to Rachel Connors, assistant director of admissions,; 487-1880.

Love INC Banquet

Love INC release

Love INC (Love in the name of Christ) is having a fundraising banquet April 21, 6:30pm-8pm. It will take place in the ballroom at the Bluffs. Many local businesses have sponsored tables and looking to have a full house. Love INC is a partnering of churches and businesses in the area to reach the needs of the people in our community. This is such a needed service that we would like the paper there to see the impact it is having on our community and to help get the word out. Hope to hear from you.

NARFE Chapter 1900 April meeting

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association release

Members of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) Chapter 1900 hear a presentation by Heather Addison of the Women’s Center at their regular meeting at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 25. Addison will speak on Marquette County’s Blueprint for Safety. Blueprint coordinates all eight agencies of Marquette County, including police, the Women’s Center and its Harbor House, and the prosecutor’s office, to provide more safety for victims of domestic abuse. The program is the first of its kind in the U.P.

NARFE will meet in Room B of the Marquette Senior Center, on the lower level of City Hall, 300 W. Baraga in Marquette. Members may enter from Spring Street, behind City Hall. Spring Street is one-way from east to west.

NARFE Chapter 1900 includes members from the Marquette, Escanaba, Rapid River, Houghton and Hancock areas. For additional information please call 475-0362.

Keweenaw Seed Swap

Calumet Art Center release

The 5th Annual Keweenaw Seed Swap will be held Saturday April 14th at the Calumet Art Center. At 10 am the doors will open to bring in seeds, with a discussion about regional food systems starting at 10:30 am. The doors will be closed during the discussion time. Gardeners at the discussion will then be able to select seeds. At 12:30 pm the doors will open again, with the general swap from 1-3 pm. All seeds are free, and all gardeners are invited. Hope to see you there!

‘101 Years of Finnish Music’ concert comes to Hancock

Provided release

HANCOCK — “101 Years of Finnish Music” concert will be held 3 p.m. April 22 at the Finnish American Heritage Center. It is a Musical Journey through the Finland’s Independence (see also attached poster). Pasi Lautala, Oren Tikkanen, Bob Hiltunen and Tim Havens (and some guest musicians) will perform popular songs from prominent artists during each decade from 1910s to today, from waltzes to tangos, jenkkas, humppas and rock n’ roll. Each song will be preceded by a short multimedia presentation of original artists…even by a virtual visit by a Finnish artist with most record sales by a solo artist.

Tickets available at the door: $5 for adults, free admission for children under 12.

April 9, 2018

Baraga County Chamber open house

Baraga County Chamber release

L’Anse — Baraga Chamber of Commerce is proud to present an open house on April 25th from Noon to 3 PM at 2 East Broad St in L’Anse. 

Stop in and see what the Chamber is all about. Network, meet members of the board, enjoy refreshments and door prize giveaways every 30 minutes. Prizes include: Garden Tour and Beer Fest tickets. There will also be a grand prize drawing for a 2018/2019 Chamber membership held at 3 PM. Grab some friends and come see what the Chamber has to offer!

The Chamber has recently updated their space and is looking forward to sharing it with the community. They are hosting the Baraga County Kids Art Show, so come in and view the local student art show as well.

For more information about this event or the Baraga County Chamber of Commerce, contact Debbie Stouffer at 906-353-8808 or at

Like us on facebook at: to see updates on this, and other Chamber events.

Michigan Tobacco Quitline offering free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges through May 31

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services release

LANSING – Thinking about quitting tobacco? The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is expanding its telephone coaching and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) program to all Michigan residents through May 31.

During this time, the Michigan Tobacco Quitline will offer a free, two-week supply of nicotine gum, patches or lozenges for all new enrollees who want to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Tobacco users who would like to quit may call the Quitline phone number at 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Quitline serves all ages, however, callers seeking NRT must be over 18 and meet basic health requirements. Enrollees will receive a coach who will assist them in setting a quit date, choosing a nicotine replacement product that is right for them and making an individualized quit plan. The coach will provide support with up to four telephone coaching sessions scheduled around the caller’s quit date.

“Callers using NRT along with coaching, such as through a telephone-based service like 800-QUIT-NOW, can increase their chances of becoming smoke-free by five times the rate of someone quitting cold turkey,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “Providing access to free NRT during this promotion might just be the jump start someone needs to quitting smoking tobacco for good.”

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is an evidence-based service providing free telephone coaching for the uninsured, pregnant women, residents enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare, veterans, cancer patients and American Indians. More than 100,000 calls have been received since the service was launched in October 2003. 

The Quitline offers English, Arabic and Spanish-speaking counselors, as well as interpretive services for a wide variety of languages. For more information about the Quitline, call 800-QUIT-NOW or visit

High school junior raises thousands for Beacon House

Beacon House release

MARQUETTE – LeeAnn Mantta is a high school junior at Jeffers Highschool in Painsedale, MI, and understands the importance of helping others. She has also found a very creative way to bring a community together and help a cause near to her heart. As part of her National Honor Society (NHS) service project, Mantta recently delivered her second donation to Beacon House of nearly $400 of toiletries, office supplies, and other items on Beacon House’s Wishlist, and is close to raising $4,000 in monetary donations.

“At my school we have the National Honors Society,” says Mantta. “We get to do a service project each year, so I chose the Beacon House because I thought it would be a perfect candidate for that.”

The NHS is an organization dedicated to recognizing excellence in middle and high school students. NHS honors students who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, service and character. Participating students are recognized for their work and challenged to develop their character through civil service.

Mantta says she chose Beacon House because her parents were guests during her father’s stay at UPHS-Marquette for radiation and chemotherapy. LeeAnn’s father, Robert was diagnosed with cancer and traveled to Marquette for frequent oncology appointments, using Beacon House as a home away from home. The Manttas say he’s doing well considering the circumstances and notes the Beacon House has been very helpful to the family.

“After 10 radiation treatments and seven chemotherapies, they have reduced the cancer by twenty five percent,” says Robert Mantta. “A big thank you to the Beacon House for making my treatment more bearable, with a nice place to stay.”

“I chose the Beacon House because my dad was in the hospital and they let my parents stay there, which was pretty nice, so I wanted to give back…,” adds LeeAnn. “I collected things mainly through Holy Family Church Catholic Church in South Range and St. Ignatius in Houghton and did monetary collections as well.”

On behalf of NHS, LeeAnn Mantta collected toilet paper, bar soap, kitchen items, copy paper, and cleaning supplies for Beacon House amounting to around $400 in value. Mantta also went to Copper Country businesses and raised $1,900 for the non-profit organization. She then did a collection at church and raised another over $1,400 from parishioners, and she says she’s not done yet.

“It’s great to see young people like LeAnn show such compassion for our guests,” says Beacon House Public Relations Manager Andrew Lorinser. “We are blessed this next generation of philanthropists knows the value of contributing to causes like ours. LeAnn’s donation is huge. We are very impressed with the time and efforts she’s expended to make such an impact.”

Beacon House says no donated item goes to waste. “We have specific things on our Wishlist. Donations don’t always have to be monetary,” says Lorinser. “LeAnn stepped up huge financially for Beacon House, but she also provided much-needed supplies for our guests. Her generosity will go a long way. “

Mantta says while she collected donations, she often got positive feedback from people in the Copper Country who either once stayed at Beacon House or knew of someone who stayed at Beacon House. She says everyone was excited to donate to her NHS project. Beacon House is the Upper Peninsula’s only hospitality house, serving patients of UPHS – Marquette and the Upper Peninsula Medical Center from every county in the U.P., and a large portion of their donors reside in the Copper Country.

“It’s nice to pay it forward, because not everyone has everything you have,” says Mantta. “I encourage people to definitely donate, because Beacon House is pretty snazzy.”

For more information about contributing to Beacon House’s Wishlist visit

Jack Bergman Officially Files to Run for Re-Election to Congress in Michigan’s First District

Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman release

Lansing – Today, Lt. Gen. Jack Bergman (USMC, Ret.) released the following statement after filing 2000 petition signatures to run for re-election in 2018:

“Our petition gathering campaign was entirely a grassroots effort, done completely through volunteer work. I’m honored to have so many dedicated team members who are ready to continue our momentum and win in November. Whether in uniform as a Marine, or in a suit as your Congressman, I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to serve our great country. I’m proud of the work that we’ve started in Congress over the past year, but there is so much left to accomplish.

“My grandfather immigrated from Sweden in the late 1800’s to work in the iron mines of the Upper Peninsula. He knew the days were long, the work was hard, but the reward and dignity of a hard day’s work was an honor. These are the values I’ve used as my true North throughout my career as a Lieutenant General in the U.S. Marine Corps, a Union Airline Pilot, a small business owner, and as your Congressman today. 

“In 2016 you elected me to bring straight-talking common sense to Washington. By getting the government off your back and out of your business, lowering federal taxes, and fighting the entrenched bureaucracies, we are just getting started as we continue to implement our conservative values. I’m honored that you trusted me to represent you, and I am looking forward to earning your vote again this November.” 

Jack Bergman is a retired Lieutenant General in the United States Marine Corps. He is the highest-ranking combat Veteran to ever be elected to serve in Congress. Jack is the proud grandfather of eight grandchildren and lives in Watersmeet, Michigan. 

Michigan DNR Fisheries Division to Hold Public Meeting at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON — The Portage Lake District Library will host the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division for “Conversations and Coffee” with the public on Thursday, April 12, from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

George Madison, Fisheries Manager for the Western Lake Superior Management Unit, will discuss fish management topics that are pertinent to the local area. In addition to fisheries updates, there will be a discussion on a few sportfishing regulation change proposals. This meeting is geared to provide information and to collect public input on local fisheries management programs. People attending this meeting can also inquire about statewide regulations that impact anglers.

Information about Michigan sport fishing regulations can be found on the Department of Natural Resources website at or you may contact George Madison at 906-353-6651 for further information.

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

REST program study appears in national health care journal

Respite Education & Support Tools Program release

Research shows effectiveness of REST training on respite providers, and outcomes for family caregivers, including those in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Bloomingdale, Ill. A manuscript that assesses the effectiveness of the REST (Respite Education & Support Tools) training program has been published in Home Health Care Services Quarterly (HHCSQ).

Dr. Lynn Ackerman, co-founder and chief customer officer of Sensight Surveys, and Lois Sheaffer, National Director of REST, co-authored the study, entitled, “Effects of Respite Care Training on Respite Provider Knowledge and Confidence, and Outcomes for Family Caregivers Receiving Respite Services.” (

“This study is a first step in examining how formal respite training translates into competent respite care and, as a result, better outcomes for family caregivers,” Ackerman said. “The REST program was built on the idea that delivery of a quality respite experience involves equipping providers with skills that allow them to respond to unique family needs and situations. Our research supports the supposition that when respite providers are educated on the core areas of quality respite, they have the tools to develop an individualized plan of care and the know-how to thoughtfully respond to unique family situations, resulting in better caregiver outcomes.”

“It’s an interesting study that investigated the effects of a respite training program on respite providers’ knowledge and confidence as well as on family caregiver well-being,” noted a reviewer of the manuscript. “The study filled the research gap about if the training would be beneficial to improve respite providers’ competence and how it would be interacted with providers’ prior knowledge and background; and also how the training program would further influence family caregivers’ outcomes of different types… The authors found that the training program significantly improved caregivers’ outcomes through preparing providers to deliver quality respite.”

“It is my passion to serve caregivers through respite,” Sheaffer said. “As author of the REST curriculum, it is very humbling to see the program being used across the nation. To have this article published shows the efficacy of the first evidence-based respite training program in the nation. It is truly inspiring as we continue to deliver education and support to those offering a break to caregivers.”

REST is an evidence-based respite-training program that equips and prepares trainers to conduct an eight-hour respite training. By training paid and unpaid workers to provide respite, it allows caregivers who are caring for people with special needs across the lifespan (children, adults and seniors) to build networks of support to prevent burnout, and ultimately delay long term placement of their loved ones.

Currently, REST has 526 Trainers and 5,480 Companions – those who provide respite services – in 29 states, including Michigan.

Home Health Care Services Quarterly is a peer-reviewed quarterly journal dedicated to the advancement of research, practice, and policy in health care across a continuum of care settings.

To learn more about REST, visit

Calumet Business Students are Heading to Nationals

Business Professionals of America release

Top students from Calumet will be attending the Business Professionals of America (BPA) 2018 National Leadership Conference, “Dream Bigger,” in Dallas, TX, May 9-13, 2018. The Calumet chapter which is advised by Elsa Green and Lisa Twardzik boasts 30 high-caliber students who are challenging their business knowledge. Twenty-one qualified for state competition, and the four members who qualified for national competition, Eli Harmala, Kasey Kangas, Vera Peterson, and Claire Rhoades, will join over 5,000 other conference delegates from across the nation to participate in national level business skills competitions, workshops, and general sessions.

Kasey Kangas will be competing for the second time at the national level after earning the championship in Fundamental Accounting the previous year. Upon reflecting on this year’s state competition Kasey said “During the competition, I hoped that our hard work would pay off, and we would be able to represent Calumet at the state and national conferences. When they announced our team as a national qualifier I was thinking “Sweet, I am going to Texas!”

The conference will be the culmination of a school year’s worth of education and training which members of the local chapter of Business Professionals of America at Calumet have received. Chapter advisor Lisa Twardzik says “I am excited for these students. They were willing to put forth the additional work to prepare for competition and have this opportunity. Many of these students have found success in the classroom and now they have this accomplishment to add to their resumes. I am very proud of them!”

When asked about the benefits of BPA, Eli Harmala said, “It’s fun and it was a great experience! I am looking forward to going to Texas because it gives me the opportunity to prove myself at the national level.”

Vera Peterson, another national qualifier, said, “BPA has helped me grow to be comfortable in a professional situation. It also improved my public speaking skills. Being on the Financial Analyst team has helped me understand the financial statements that are involved in business.”

Business Professionals of America is a national organization for high school, college, and middle school students preparing for careers in business and information technology. The organization’s activities and programs complement classroom instruction by giving students practical experience through application

of the skills learned at school. Business Professionals of America acts as a cohesive agent in the nationwide networking of education and business and industry. BPA is contributing to the preparation of a world-class workforce through the advancement of leadership, citizenship, academic, and technological skills.

If you would like to support the chapter and the national qualifiers, please contact the Calumet School District at (906) 337-0311, Extension 1217. Students will also be serving a spaghetti dinner on Saturday, April 21, from 4 PM to 7 PM to help raise money to fund the regional and state conferences they attended. For more information on how to start a local chapter at your school, visit

Baraga County Lake Trout Festival

Baraga County Lake Trout Festival release

Save this date for fishing tournament and family fun!

Save this date for fishing tournament and family fun!

Planning is well underway for the 13th Annual Baraga County Lake Trout Festival on the lakefront in L’Anse, Saturday, June 9.  

Fishing, family fun and races!  For rules, regs and more info, call 524-7444, email or go to

Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District’s 66th Annual Meeting

Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District release

Please join us for the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District’s 66th Annual Meeting on Tuesday, April 17 starting at 5:00PM at the Orpheum Theatre, Hancock.

The featured presentation is on the Gay Stamp Sands and Buffalo Reef by Dr. Carol MacLennan and Dr. Charles Kerfoot.

This is a Public Meeting and everyone is welcome.

Call 482-0214 for more information

Workshop on Service Excellence

Michigan Tech’s Office of Continuous Improvement release

HOUGHTON — Michigan Tech’s Office of Continuous Improvement cordially invites the community to Karyn Ross’s workshop on service excellence.

On Wednesday, April 25, from 8:30 to 3:30, in the Memorial Union Building Ballroom B2, Karyn Ross, coauthor of the Shingo Award-winning “The Toyota Way to Service Excellence: Lean Transformation in Service Organizations,” will deliver her workshop “How to Coach for Creativity and Service Excellence.” Karyn will teach participants to use creativity in combination with the Toyota Way principles, practices and tools, to strive towards Service Excellence. Her unique approach enables organizations to build more purposeful ways of working. Light refreshments will be provided. Lunch will on your own.

While many other Lean consultants focus on implementing tools, Karyn teaches how to use Practical Creativity™ to continuously strive toward service excellence. By developing each person’s capability through Coached Practice, Karyn focuses on the means: the ‘how’, and not just the ‘ends’ or the results, because “how we get there is as important as where we are going.”

Everyone is welcome. If you’re interested in attending, please contact me at

Orpheum Theater weekend schedule

Orpheum Theater release

Friday 13th at 8:30pm Galactic Sherpas: Uniting the forces of space and time, the Galactic Sherpas create a sonic experience that draws from all corners of the musical Universe. Diving into jams as deep as a black hole, their highly improvised style leaves space travelers on the brink of cosmic euphoria.

Sat. 4/14 @ 7:30. Keweenaw Land Trust Benefit with musical guest Keweenaw Brewgrass: Keweenaw Brewgrass are reprising their role as the house musicians for KLT’s 2018 Land Jam! Join the Keweenaw Land Trust for an evening to celebrate land conservation and stewardship in the Copper Country. This year’s event will raise funds to remove the miles of 10′ high fence at KLT’s Huron Bay Field Station on the Abbaye Peninsula in Baraga County. The enormous project will open up natural deer migration across this important winter deer yard as well as allow public access for birdwatchers, explorers, and hunters. The 1,345 acre Huron Bay Field Station is KLT’s largest nature area.

Funds from this year’s event will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Carls Foundation. Come out and support this important stewardship project! $15/adults, $10/students (with ID), free for children 13 and under with parent/guardian admission. Doors open at 7:00 PM and Keweenaw Brewgrass starts playing at 7:30 PM. Hope to see you there!

Sun. 4/15 @ 7:00pm: Seth Bernard and Will See – poets, activists and Fathers: Bringing folk and hip hop together for peace and justice.

Seth Bernard has a uniquely Michigan anatomy: knee deep in glacier-folk with a belly full of whiskey and peaches smuggled from the root cellar of a ’70s guitar god. Fingers resinous with fresh cut white pine, and sacred north star geometries whirling around his brow.

Born on April Fools Day, and playing the trickster-bard every day since, he’s grown from a potent young Interlochen idealist into a black-bearded surprise-eyed psych-rocker singing the woods and water, souls and soils of the Great Lakes.

The tools! He’s got a pine-box-full, from his Gretsch (and the chops to play it, mister), to the many iterations of Seth-music. I mean Airborne or Aquatic, bristling with fuzz-poem arena-anthems, to Starlight Six, the madly talented hybrid of Michigan royalty (May Erlewine, Joshua Davis of Steppin’ In It, Mike Shimmin of, well, everything, and the power duo of Dominic and Rachael Davis). Or he can roll solo, with a catalog of hundreds of original tunes, thousands of covers and millions of improvisational licks. And the waltzes. By god the waltzes.

Will See is an environmental justice activist, cultural worker, and MC from Detroit. He is a student of tai chi and the metaphysical martial arts. He uses facilitation to organize popular education, movement schools, Peoples’ Assemblies, and other liberating spaces. He worked as Co-Director of the East Michigan Environmental Action Council (EMEAC) and served as a Local Coordinator for the 2010 US Social Forum among other activist projects in Detroit and across the region.

His solo hip-hop CD The Basics includes EJ anthems such as “Water Power” and “Take tha House Back.” His second project is a spiritual mixtape called SOL SWGGR. In his third project, #Detroitdiplomat, he brings Detroit to the world and bringThe s the world to the D.

Songbird Protection Coalition joins forces with other wildlife advocates for Wildlife Day on April 11 at Michigan’s state capitol

Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition release

The Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition is among several groups participating in Wildlife Day at Michigan’s state Capitol on Wednesday, April 11.

“It is vital for our elected and appointed officials in Lansing to hear the voices and understand the concerns of Michigan voters who staunchly advocate for protecting our state’s wildlife,” said Julie Baker, Director of the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition.

The event in Lansing will address potential threats to Michigan’s sandhill cranes as well as the state’s wolf and mourning dove populations. Simultaneous rallies will also take place at state capitols in Wisconsin and Minnesota, all to call attention to critical wildlife protection issues.

“This year’s Wildlife Day at our Capitol is especially relevant, given the fact that hunting lobbyists and some state officials are calling for recreational hunting of sandhill cranes,” Baker said. “April 11 is an opportunity for ordinary Michigan citizens to learn the facts about these majestic birds, as well as the need to protect wolves and other native carnivores from unnecessary cruelty.”

Joining the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition will be the Humane Society of the United States, Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife, the Endangered Species Coalition, and the National Wolfwatcher Coalition.

Wildlife attendees will gather at 9 a.m. in the Boji Tower (across Capitol Avenue from the Michigan Capitol), 124 W. Allegan St. in the Senate Hearing Room.

The focus of the meeting will be sandhill cranes, mourning doves and other imperiled species in Michigan, including wolves. Attendees will later visit with state lawmakers through the remainder of the day.

Participants will receive tips on how to advocate for wildlife, and will have the opportunity to network with other wildlife protection advocates. Registration includes lunch and a T-shirt. To learn more and to register, visit

Baker noted that Michigan citizens have voted overwhelmingly to prevent the hunting of mourning doves and wolves. “Further, state lawmakers should not allow unelected bureaucrats in the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission to establish annual hunting seasons on sandhill cranes in Michigan.”

State House Resolution 154 was passed by voice vote last autumn, which supports the concept of removing the protected non-game status to establish a sandhill crane hunting season.

“A voice vote is not a recorded vote, and thus an easy way for hunting proponents to declare a victory that doesn’t exist,” said Baker. “Only when you dig deeper, as we did, do you learn that more House members oppose a sandhill crane hunt than support it. Michigan citizens should take note of the distinction, and contact their elected representatives to demand they go on the record.”

Baker said the so-called “victory” of House Resolution 154 underscores the deception by its sponsor, Rep. Jim Lower, R-Cedar Lake. Testifying before the Michigan House Natural Resources Committee last autumn, Lower presented photographic “evidence” of sandhill cranes approaching a farm tractor – implying these majestic birds are so numerous that they are unafraid of human interaction and thus ready to pounce on newly planted seed corn.

Since that presentation, Lower’s “evidence” has been soundly debunked. The birds in the photo were not sandhill cranes, but in fact Eurasian cranes who were feeding from a tractor that was distributing food for them on a farm in Israel.

Michigan citizens have demonstrated that they oppose recreational hunting seasons on traditional non-game species, rejecting a mourning dove hunt proposal in a landslide ballot referendum vote in 2006, and the trophy hunting of wolves in two ballot referendum votes in 2014.

Sandhill cranes are a vulnerable and recovering species that was nearly wiped out in Michigan by the mid-20th century due to hunting and loss of habitat. Because of sound, scientific non-game conservation policy, their population has begun to stabilize and level out. Often described as majestic in flight, their trumpeting call is considered one of the most unique sounds in nature.

More facts about sandhill cranes:

· Michigan has a strong hunting tradition, and there are already dozens of game species for hunters to pursue.

· The sandhill crane is Michigan’s largest bird, with a wingspan reaching up to seven feet. Sandhill cranes mate for life, but pair bonding and breeding takes time. It often takes four to seven years before the cranes breed, making them among the slowest reproducing birds in North America.

· There is no clear consensus on sandhill crane population numbers in Michigan. This, combined with other existing challenges to sandhill crane persistence that include a slow reproduction and recruitment rate, disease, poisoning by ingesting lead ammunition and tackle, collisions with power lines, and other hazards, indicates a lack of sufficient evidence that a sport hunting season would not hinder continued recovery of sandhill cranes.

· If sandhill cranes are affecting corn seed planted near prime wetland habitats, Michigan farmers may obtain a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to control conflicts caused by those migratory birds. But biologists and researchers agree: a fall hunting season would not provide direct assistance to crop areas impacted by sandhill cranes occurring in the spring, and a 2017 report published by the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service notes that documentation is lacking to determine whether hunting or other lethal means of removing sandhill cranes actually reduces crop damage. Groups like the International Crane Foundation have worked at developing a non-toxic and non-lethal chemical deterrent, called Avipel, which is more effective than lethal control in reducing crop issues by sandhill cranes.

Here is the link that records how members of the Michigan House of Representatives voted on HR 154 last October:

Huron Island Lighthouse Preservation

Huron Island Lighthouse Preservation Association release

L’ANSE — The Huron Island Lighthouse Preservation Association is holding a reorganization meeting on April 19, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the L’Anse School Cafetorium. The Association is seeking community input on a commitment to continue its mission of preserving the Huron Island Lighthouse for future generations. All interested community members are welcome to attend this meeting.

The Association was formed in the late ’90’s to replace a dilapidated roof on the lighthouse. A large group of people held the first meeting at the Baraga County Courthouse. By-laws were drawn up, officers elected, a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Seney Wildlife Refuge, managers of the Huron Islands, and within two years funds were raised to write an Historic Structures report and replace the roof on the kitchen portion of the lighthouse structure. With more fundraising, a large grant was awarded to HILPA replace the entire roof on the structure with the work done by Local Roofing of L’Anse. Through contact with Congressman Bart Stupak’s office, the dock at Lighthouse Island was also replaced. Once the this work was completed, the Association quietly continued to exist.

The April 19 meeting is being held at the request of Sara Siekierski, current manage of Seney Wildlife Refuge. It is her hope the Association can become actively involved once again in the preservation of the Lighthouse. She is working with HistoriCorps, a group who works on preserving out-of-the-way historical buildings. The plan is to have this group work on the Assistant Keeper’s dwelling next to the lighthouse this summer. Also, the current MOU will run out in 2019. Ms. Sierkierski would like it to continue with a new commitment from another group of dedicated local people.

If you would like more information on this meeting you may contact me, Chris Collins at this email address or telephone number 395-6593.