Press Release

July 18, 2018

Houghton-Keweenaw County Local Youth Wins Prestigious 4-H State Award!

MSU Extension release

Over 100 outstanding Michigan 4-H members from 35 counties state-wide gathered on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) on June 21st to celebrate their accomplishments through the Michigan 4-H State Awards Recognition Program. During the event, 31 youth received Michigan 4-H State Awards in 18 award categories that showcase the diverse array of 4-H knowledge, skills, and experience. State Awards are the highest honor bestowed on Michigan 4-H members.

We are excited to announce that the 2018 Junior Civic Engagement 4-H State Award winner is local Houghton-Keweenaw County 4-H member Ganna Omar.  “We congratulate Ganna for her accomplishments and contributions to her club, community, country, and world,” says Anne Kretschmann, Houghton-Keweenaw County 4-H Program Coordinator, “she exemplifies a key component of 4-H which is service to others.”

Ganna has learned to use her passions to make a difference in regards to the issues she cares about. She is the founder and president of Houghton Keweenaw Girl UP, an organization which raises awareness and funds for girls in the developing world without access to education, healthcare, or safety. Her work has been recognized by U.S. Congressmen and Senators. In 2017, her organization was named the ninth most impactful group in the world out of 18,000 groups working towards women’s equality. Her work with 4-H paved the way for this success, as through 4-H she has taken up multiple opportunities to expand on her leadership qualities and global thinking perspective. Ganna joins other 4-H State Award winners to become a part of an elite group of 4-H youth who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence.

Hosted by MSU Extension, the awards ceremony was held at the Kellogg Center on the campus of MSU and attended by 4-H award delegates, their families, 4-H staff members and volunteers, partners, donors, and sponsors. Youth competing for awards were 13-19 years old with 3 or more years of 4-H experience who submitted an application showcasing the learning experiences, knowledge, and skills they’ve acquired through their participation in 4-H, as well as their contributions to their local 4-H programs, clubs, and communities. Submissions were reviewed by a selection committee who determine which members are selected as award delegates. Delegates were invited to participate in one of two additional phases: an interview process for seniors (ages 16-19), in which their skills and experience were further evaluated, or a vigorous leadership program for junior delegates (ages 13-15.)  Awards were made possible by the generous donations of the Michigan 4-H State Award Recognition program sponsors. To learn more about 4-H opportunities in the area please contact the Michigan State University Extension office at (906) 482-5830.

Keweenaw Alumni Chapter 5K Scholarship Walk/Run

Keweenaw Alumni & Friends release

Michigan Tech’s Keweenaw Alumni & Friends Chapter annual 5K Scholarship Walk/Run is scheduled for Saturday, August 4th. Registration is slow and you helped us considerably with publicity in the past. We were hoping you could give it a boost with an article and/or listing on the events page.

Below are the details. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions . I can be reached by email or by phone at 906-231-5243.

The Keweenaw Alumni and Friends Chapter is a group of Michigan Tech alumni and friends residing in the local area. We are passionate about keeping local alumni connected with the university and providing opportunities for them to connect with students. We are proud to call the Keweenaw home.

Please help us provide opportunities for local students to pursue a great education at Michigan Technological University by participating in our annual 5K Scholarsip Walk/Run on the beautiful Michigan Tech Trails. All proceeds go to support MTU scholarships for Keweenaw area students and the Michigan Tech Cross Country Team. The cost to participate is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. The walk kicks off at 8:30 a.m. and the run at 9 a.m.on the Michigan Tech Trails. New this year is a Kids Fun Run at 10:00 am. Register at mtu.edu/alumni/kac5k or call 906-487-2400. 

PHF announces flood relief application

Portage Health Foundation release

[Hancock, MI] The Portage Health Foundation’s (PHF) flood relief application is still available through July 27, 2018, at 3:30 pm ET. PHF wants to stress that no late applications will be accepted and encourage community members affected by the Father’s Day flood to submit an application. This funding is not income based and is not a loan that individuals would need to repay. Applications can be found at phfgive.org or the listed physical locations:

• Community Action, Houghton

• City of Houghton Office

• City of Hancock Office

• Hubbell Fire Department

• Lake Linden Village Office

• Dial Help

• Volunteer Center, Old JCPenney Store

• Campioni TruValue Hardware, Calumet

• Stanton Township Office

• Superior National Bank, Chassell Location

• Franklin Township Office

• Ripley Fire Department

• PHF Office

The PHF’s board, committee, and staff are working hard to move this initiative forward to begin working with contractors and homeowners to get their homes back to healthy, safe environments. PHF asks that the community is patient with them as they are working through this process.

The PHF is holding a community meeting Thursday, July 19, 2019, at 6:00 pm ET at the Lake Linden School Auditorium. This meeting is an opportunity for community members to learn more about the PHF funding process, ask questions and voice concerns. This is an effort to better communicate the flood relief initiative from PHF.

Kesan Laulu (Summer’s Song) Will Perform at Portage Lake District Library

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone to take a break and enjoy a lively midday concert at the library on Thursday, July 19, from noon – 1:00 p.m.

Kesan Laulu (Summer’s Song) will perform Finnish music plus a variety of waltzes, polkas, and schottisches. Band members are Jaana and Rauli Tuttila, Eric Platt (mandolin), Dennis Halme (accordion), Kalle Rahkonen (violin), Ken Holster (banjo), Raimo Juntunen-Hewlett (accordion), and Rauno Karvonen (guitar).

This program will be held in the community room.

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

Strong enough to admit help is needed

UP Health System – Portage Release

by Will Schuett

Houghton, Mich. – On June 27, 2018, large amounts of rain fell upon Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula in short, strong bursts causing damage estimated to cost well over $120 million. One death and several other injuries were reported.

Several dozen roads washed out and others became impassable from mud, fallen trees and debris. Mudslides moved homes. Businesses and residential properties completely filled with mud and water. Utility pole failures caused power disruptions in several areas.

The residents of the affected areas did not wait long before taking action. Chainsaws, heavy equipment and generators started as soon as the sun started rising. Before the end of the day, several roads previously washed out became usable. Electricity became restored quickly and homes became stabilized to prevent further damages.

Teams of volunteers started collecting resources and equipment. People from across the Midwest donated time, money and materials to help restore items lost or damaged. 

Yoopers (the appropriate name describing the residents of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, pronounced youŸpurŸs) gave as much time, energy and money they could spare. It will not fulfill the safety and security needs in the areas affected by the storm. 

The area averages over 300″ of snowfall per year. Expect further damage to the infrastructure, buildings, roads and waterways from the snow extra weight. 

The needs assessment of the affected areas reached the federal level and awaits proper signatures before any distribution of money and assistance occur. Without the signatures needed, more damage 

The number of volunteers decreased significantly over the last month, but the needs of the community increased. Another round of storms came through the area only weeks after the original flooding causes more damage and reignited fears of the inability to complete projects before winter. 

Local not-for-profit organizations offer monetary assistance to those with damages. Multiple private companies started selling goods and services to help raise funds to donate to the relief efforts. Additional community needs include the creation of a centralized hub to coordinate the collection and distribution of supplies, services, and communications for the residents. 

The phrase “Copper Country Strong” became the sound of survival to area residents. With the millions of dollars and countless hours needed to complete safe reconstruction, these Yoopers stay determined. Federal help ensures the safety of the areas proper reconstruction. Please urge everyone to help, including politicians with influence in such areas. 

MEDC Introduces Revamped Business Website

Michigan Economic Development Corporation release

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has launched a revamped website to support initiatives to market the state, attract private investment and build vibrant communities. The michiganbusiness.org website features improved usability, enhanced navigation, and includes original content on MEDC programs and resources, as well as stories from across Michigan.

“We took feedback from our partners throughout the state to design a site that is compelling, intuitive and helps us better market Michigan as a place to live, work and grow a business,” said MEDC CEO Jeff Mason. “This refresh provides better usability on both desktop and mobile applications and better highlights the work the MEDC is doing throughout Michigan.”

One of the new features of the site is a dedicated media room to provide media with easy access to information including press releases, MEDC media contacts, bios, FOIA procedures and policies and more. Coming soon, media will also be able to access a photo and video library through the media room.

Another new feature on the site is the launch of Handshakes, which features original stories of economic growth, with insights from the people who worked together to get the job done. This dynamic content moves beyond the news cycle to explore broader themes in industry and economic development and provide valuable insights and advice for members of the business and economic development community.

Additional enhancements to the site include:

• A homepage that better tells the “Why Michigan” story. This content highlights the exciting business developments happening in the state and the work MEDC is doing to help create a better place to live, work and play. 

• A dedicated section that allows users to search for reports and data quickly and easily. All MEDC and legislative reports can be found in this searchable section as well as fact sheets, MEDC scorecards, and more.

A revamped services section providing resources related to site selectors – including a Real Estate Database – entrepreneurial services, the Pure Michigan Business Connect program, International Trade resources, Capital Access programs and more. This section also provides information on other statewide economic development partners.

July 17, 2018

New Consignment Store Opens in Houghton

The Tool Shed Consignment Store release

Houghton, Mich., July 13, 2018 — The Tool Shed Consignment Store and new owners Mary and Joe Ovist are hosting an open house for their new consignment store in Houghton at the old Sears building located at 910 Evergreen Drive. The open house will be held 9am to 8pm on Friday, July 27 and will feature coffee, cookies and drawings for prizes throughout the day.There will be hot dogs served between 11am and 1pm.

The Tool Shed opened in early June and consigns tools from the garage and shop, garden, fitness, sporting goods, and outdoor recreation items. People with goods they are no longer using can bring them to the Tool Shed to consign until they find a new home for the item.

Owner Mary Ovist saw a need in the community for reselling and repurposing items. “I wanted to get needed items in good condition into the hands of those that can use them,” Mary said.

The Tool Shed can be contacted by phone at 906-523-7595, email at toolshed7595@gmail.com, or by coming into the store during business hours: 9am-6pm Tues – Thurs, 9am-8pm Friday, or 9am – 3pm Saturday. You can shop current listed items on the web at www.thetoolshedup.com or on Facebook @TheToolShedUP

Porcupine Mountain Folk School scheduled for Sunday

Friends of the Porkies release

Make a U.P. Stepping Stone at the Porcupine Mountain Folk School in Ontonagon Sunday July 22nd 1-3pm. Cost is $26, which includes all supplies. Teens through senior citizens. Advance registration required. Go to:

Porkies.org, email friendsofporkies@gmail.com or call Sally Berman at 906-884-2914.

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center welcomes OB/GYN provider

Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center release

HANCOCK, MI — Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center (UGL) welcomes Joe-la DeWitt, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), to their team of OB/GYN providers at the Hancock Family Health Center–Obstetrics & Gynecology.

DeWitt was born and raised in a small town northeast of Pittsburgh, PA. She attended Pennsylvania State University — New Kensington Campus in New Kensington, PA, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Indiana, PA, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology/Pre-Medicine Degree. Dr. DeWitt then went on to earn her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Degree at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, PA. She completed her medical student rotations and residency in Saginaw, MI, but fell in love with northern Michigan. During her ten years of practice, DeWitt gradually moved north until she found herself in the Keweenaw.

To DeWitt, Obstetrics & Gynecology is one of the last “old school” style specialties. Doctors still work crazy hours and come when called, day or night. She says, “I love the close relationship I can develop with my patients. Women are amazing and inspirational. I witness this every day. To have someone let me be a part of one of the biggest moments in their lives — childbirth — is an honor that I do not take lightly. I am humbled by it. The relationships I develop with these women often last into their later lives as we continue to tackle life’s changes together.”

DeWitt enjoys administering obstetrical ultrasounds. She is a North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Certified Menopause Practitioner meaning she has extra training in menopausal complaints. DeWitt’s primary focus is the relationship between doctor and patient. “I always stress that the doctor-patient relationship is a partnership, not adversarial. We work together to find a solution that works for the patient. I will never tell a patient what to do, only what I recommend and why. I never want a patient to leave my office with a question unanswered,” says DeWitt.

DeWitt has multiple hobbies. She is currently in her last year of a Master’s program in Writing Popular Fiction and she is writing a novel. She also loves road-trips and always tries to find the most unusual road-side attractions to visit in her travels. Joining Dr. Dewitt are her husband, Matt, her children and their hairless cat, Feenix.

Hancock Family Health Center — Obstetrics & Gynecology is located at 500 Campus Drive, Suite 3, Hancock, Michigan. To schedule a visit with Joe-la DeWitt, DO, or one of UGL’s other providers in Hancock, call (906) 483-1050.

July 16, 2018

Jensen Case Management Brings Aging Life Care™ To Houghton

Jensen Case Management release

A new Aging Life Care™ service is coming to Houghton and Keweenaw Counties. Our aging population is often referred to as “elder orphans.” Families have become geographically or emotionally remote. Children may live miles away; and while they worry about their parents’ well-being, they aren’t able to easily travel long distances to coordinate their parents’ care.

As an example, Jensen Case Management, established in Marquette in 2014, assists a 94-year old gentleman who resides in a local assisted living facility. His family members live out of state. We helped him transition from independent living, hospitalization, and a skilled nursing facility to his current residence. We have developed a mutual plan that includes seeing a family physician on a regular basis, communicating and coordinating with local home nursing agencies and his Veterans Administration benefits. His medications are monitored, and health issues are addressed as they arise. When he needed help with a financial question, we initiated communication with his power of attorney and an estate planning attorney to help him solve a frustrating issue.

You are invited to a presentation offered by Jensen Case Management, August 16th at 6:30 pm at the Portage Lake District Library. A detailed explanation of Aging Life Care™ will be offered, as well as what services we provide.

If you have questions, please call Maureen Jensen at 906-250-4975 or Carol Johnson Pfefferkorn at 906-231-6447.

GLC Meeting features “Keweenaw Butterflies”

Gratiot Lake Conservancy release

Gratiot Lake Conservancy (GLC) will hold its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, July 24 at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Eagle Harbor Community Building on M-26 in Eagle Harbor. A report will be presented about GLC’s educational programs and land conservation activities. After an intermission, Miriam Pickens will present “Keweenaw Butterflies” featuring her photos of butterfly species. Her talk will cover butterfly basics including how butterflies differ from moths, what kinds of flowers butterflies feed on, and their habits.

Pickens is a nature photographer and ceramic artist who serves as a board member of the Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock and is a member of the Copper Country Associated Artists in Calumet. She writes the Arts Corner column in the Mining Gazette and is author of a field guide, “Butterflies of the Maasto Hiihto Trails, Hancock, MI.

This event is free and open to the public (space permitting). For further information visit www.GratiotLakeConservancy.org.

Candidate Forum Rescheduled

Republican Party of Keweenaw County release

HOUGHTON – The Republican Party of Keweenaw County will be hosting a candidate forum featuring Republican 110th District State House candidates on Monday, July 23rd at the Dee Stadium Ballroom in Houghton. Doors to the event will open at 7 P.M. and the forum will begin at 7:30 P.M. Candidates Keith LaCosse, Gregory Markkanen, Kirk Schott, and Brady Tervo will be answering questions and discussing issues important to Copper Country voters.

“This forum is an excellent opportunity for voters to hear from the Republican candidates in one place,” explains Chair of the Republican Party of Keweenaw County Sherry Bryson. “Voters will be able to hear candidates positions on key issues affecting the Copper Country and the Upper Peninsula as a whole.”

The candidates will be asked on a wide variety of topics from forum moderator Jake Putala, including jobs, the economy, education, energy costs, auto insurance reform, and constitutional rights. 

This event is free to attend and open to the public. Refreshments will be available. For more information, contact the Republican Party of Keweenaw County.

Critical need for A-negative, O-negative and O-positive blood types

UP Health System Regional Blood Center release

UP Health System Regional Blood Center servicing UPHS Marquette and 12 other hospitals across the U.P.  is experiencing a critical need for A-negative, O-negative and O-positive blood types. If you are healthy, at least 17 years of age and have a  picture ID please consider giving the “gift of life.” Please call 225-4610 or check our FACEBOOK page @ U.P. Regional Blood Center for a location near you.

Dianda Requests Federal Disaster Declaration for U.P. Communities

Democratic Communications release

CALUMET – State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced a House resolution today asking President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster for the Michigan U.P. counties of Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee, which are still struggling to clean up and rebuild after widespread damage from flooding in June.

“The disaster declaration from Gov. Rick Snyder helped our communities respond to the needs of residents and businesses immediately after the catastrophic floods on June 17, but nearly a month later we still need additional help to continue our recovery,” said Dianda. “State officials have assessed the situation and determined that the damage has reached federal disaster declaration levels. I hope that we can get a quick response from the president so that families and businesses can continue working to get their lives back together.” 

Two days of intense storms and flash flooding did significant damage to roads, highways, businesses and homes. Washouts and sinkholes destroyed and damaged roads, trails, homes and businesses. Federal aid would allow homeowners and businesses to apply for assistance through programs, grants and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. It would also help with state costs for work on public facilities such as schools and roads.

“These were unexpected and disastrous floods, and now we need to make sure that our repairs to our buildings and roads can withstand this kind of an event in the future,” said Dianda. “Our families, kids, businesses and local governments are working hard to recover. We appreciate all of the state assistance and the help from volunteers. Now we need our federal government to lend a hand and I look forward to working with them on our recovery.”

Garden Tour Through Aura and Skanee

Baraga County Chamber of Commerce release

L’ANSE, July 16, 2018 – The Baraga County Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Garden Tour on July 27th from 4 PM – 9 PM rain or shine.

Stroll through the beautiful gardens of Aura and Skanee. Take in the sights and sounds of the musician and artists performing among the greenery. 

Tickets can be purchased at: Baraga County Chamber Office, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Superior National Bank – L’Anse & Baraga Branches and online at bit.ly/baragagardentour.

USDA Highlights $5 Billion Available for Rural Water Systems & Wastewater System Improvements

U.S. Department of Agriculture release

EAST LANSING, July 13, 2018 – U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Rural Development State Director for Michigan Jason Allen today announced the availability of more than $4 billion in loans and $1 billion in grants for rural community water and wastewater system improvements.

“There is increased concern about the integrity and safety of rural water systems in Michigan, and how we can protect the water quality of the Great Lakes,” said Allen.  “This is a tremendous opportunity to replace old, inadequate or inefficient systems.  It is essential for rural communities to reach out to USDA and secure this funding.”

The funding is available for small towns (population of 10,000 or fewer) to construct new water or sewer systems or improve existing ones.  USDA’s Water and Environmental Program (WEP) in Michigan offers long-term, low-interest loans and grants.

To learn more about how USDA Rural Development can fund your project or potential project, contact USDA Rural Development Community Programs Director Chris Maxwell at (517) 324-5208 or by email at chris.maxwell@mi.usda.gov.

USDA WEP eligibility information is available online at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/water-waste-disposal-loan-grant-program/mi.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community services such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Portage Lake District Library Hosts Program about Isle Royale Seaplanes

Portage Lake District Library release

The Portage Lake District Library invites everyone for an evening learning about the only air service from Hancock to Isle Royale National Park on Wednesday, July 18, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Jon Rector, Director of Operations for Isle Royale Seaplanes, will discuss questions that have recently come up about seaplane operations on the Portage Canal. Topics include why the seaplanes operate from the Canal, regulatory requirements, bridge clearance and safety, boat/seaplane interaction and safety, what they do to mitigate noise, and noise comparisons.

There will be time for questions and answers following the presentation. Participants will also be able to enter a drawing for a free ride in the seaplane.

Isle Royale Seaplanes employs the Cessna 206 amphibious seaplane, long known as one of the most reliable workhorses of general aviation. The airplane can maneuver in and out of tight strips or stretches of water with ease and safety, manage a large load without problem, and features four passenger seats for ample capacity. The planes are regularly maintained by a full-time mechanic, and the pilot has over 35 years of experience that includes 25 years as an airline captain and 15 years flying floatplanes.

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

“Retrospective – Vertical Integration” Art by Gary Olds on display in the Copper Country Community Arts Center’s Kerredge Gallery July 13-August 3, 2018

Copper Country Community Arts Center release



HANCOCK, MI – The Copper Country Community Arts Center is pleased to present “Retrospective – Vertical Integration” Art by Gary Olds on display in the Kerredge Gallery July 13-August 3, 2018. The exhibition includes hand woven textiles, leather shoes, pottery, baskets, jewelry, metal work, felted wool, and hand made paper collage. The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, July 21 from 5-7pm. There will be a brief gallery talk and refreshments will be served.


Gary Olds has had a career in the Air Force and one as an art center director. He earned degrees in economics and fine art in textiles and fibers. He continued with his graduate studies specializing in metals and ceramics. He is a member of two community and one regional arts council in the St Louis Missouri area, serves as a judge and juror of regional art events, is the awards chairman of a large Midwest arts festival, teaches workshops in a variety of art subjects, has garnered a number of awards in different mediums, and continues to explore and push boundaries of his favorite mediums-textiles, clay, and metal. He and his wife return each year to enjoy summertime in the Copper Country.

His statement about the exhibition reads,

An economist’s simple definition of ‘vertical integration’ would say it’s the merging of two or more businesses each responsible for separate steps in the process of creating an end product.

It’s no accident with advanced degree work in economics and art this artist incorporates ‘vertical integration’ in his methods of expression.

Most contemporary artists purchase the supplies needed for their art from the local art supply store. A painter for example purchases brushes made by a company specializing in paint brushes, paint from a company specializing in paint pigments, canvas from a company specializing in painting canvases, and picture frames from a company specializing in art framing.

In much of the work created by artist Gary Olds he has chosen to participate in creating each step of his final product. It’s that intimacy in each phase that sets his work apart and gives him the satisfaction of ultimate control. A wool scarf for instance would mean first deciding on a design idea. Then studying a sheep breed for its wool characteristics, selecting a particular breed and shearing the sheep, washing and combing the wool, spinning the wool into yarn, dying the yarn into colors of a palette he prefers to work in, then, finally, either knitting or weaving the yarn into the finished item.

And just to make it more interesting, he will often work into the design an encoded message, perhaps using Morse code, Braille, ancient Nordic symbols, Celtic Ogham, or Gaelic Runic writing. The message, of course, usually is known only to him and the recipient of his creation.

The pieces on display show the breadth of artistic endeavor Gary brings to the art & fine craft table. He insists as diverse some might think his work is, that each medium is simply a part of one overarching pursuit. The pursuit being ownership of the entire process—the ‘vertical integration’ of his end product.

The artist will give a series of demonstrations in wheel thrown pottery and weaving: Pottery Demo Wednesday July 18 4-6pm, Loom Weaving Demo Wednesday July 25 4-6pm, and Pottery Demo Friday August 3 4-6pm. The demonstrations are free and informal designed to encourage questions and discussion. The exhibition and programs are supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit the website: www.coppercountryarts.com

VRC reports great need for volunteers

Volunteer Resource Center release

The Volunteer Resource Center (VRC) reports that there is still a great need for volunteers. They currently have 117 job requests on their job board and the number of volunteers has dwindled. Also, approximately half of the jobs require the use of heavy equipment such as skid steers, loaders, dump trucks, etc. Volunteers who can bring any of that equipment would be greatly appreciated. The VRC will be open on Saturday from 9:00 to 5:00 but individuals can call (906) 233-6621 any time to volunteer.

The Portage Health Foundation has pledged financial assistance to Houghton County homeowners whose property was damaged by the Fathers Day Flood and have developed an application process to apply for those funds. To assist homeowners with the application process and to answer general questions, the Foundation will be holding an informational session this Thursday, July 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Lake Linden High School auditorium. Anyone that is considering filing an application for assistance is encouraged to attend.

July 13, 2018

The Vogts Sisters’ Great Lakes Music Tour

Vogts Sisters release

Friday, July 20 – Orpheum Theater, Hancock, MI, 8:30 – 10:00 PM

Saturday, July 21 – Hiawatha Music Festival, Marquette, MI

Kansas acoustic roots duo, the Vogts Sisters, will head North this July on their first Great Lakes Music Tour, with a stop in Hancock, MI at the Orpheum Theater. They will also be performing a few tunes in the lobby from 6:30-8 as part of the Key Ingredients Music Festival in town. 

The Vogts Sisters will bring with them their newly released album, Broken Ties. This fourth album highlights ten original songs and explores the range and dynamics of their maturing harmonies and instrumentation on mandolin, fiddle, and guitar. Other album titles recorded by the Vogts Sisters include Homeward (2016), My Own Dixie (2015), and Old Time Noise (2012). 

“What if I told you that some of the best mountain music you’ll hear this year is coming from Kansas? Welcome to the world of vocal bluegrass. Broken Ties is more than the voices. It is the light touch on the instrument, the phrasing, the lyrics, and the songwriting.” Frank Gutch, Jr. – No Depression Review

Touring throughout the year in the Midwest, the Vogts Sisters have garnered numerous awards in regional and international songwriting competitions and have over thirty original songs that fit seamlessly into their acoustic Americana-Folk act, blending timeless music with sweet sister harmony. Their growing mastery of songwriting continues in this fourth collection of original music with award-winning title, In the Valley, which placed in the 2017 NewSong Competition at the Walnut Valley Festival this past year. A few of their musical influences are Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch.

Maggie (age 27) plays the fiddle and guitar and graduated college in December 2013, while Abigail (age 21) plays the mandolin and guitar and attends Pittsburg State University. They make their home in rural Southeast Kansas. 

Learn more about The Vogts Sisters’ music and northern Great Lakes Music Tour at www.vogtssisters.com or stay in touch with them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Update about the Copper Country Strong photo on July 17

UP Health System – Portage release

The Copper Country Strong photo scheduled for July 17 at 12:15 p.m. at UP Health System – Portage has continued to gain interest. As such, the Hancock High School parking lot will be utilized for parking. Volunteers will assist with crowds from the High School lot to the photo location.  Shuttle services will also be available. Please encourage everyone to participate. It’s a great opportunity to continue raising awareness for the needs of our community.

July and August Ranger Programs for Kids at the Portage Lake and Calumet Libraries

Portage Lake District Library release

HOUGHTON, MICH. –  In July and August, join a park ranger for programs celebrating the cultural history of Isle Royale National Park. Programs are geared for families and youth ages 5 to 12 and average 45 minutes. Programs at the Portage Lake District Library, Houghton, Michigan, are held on Tuesdays at 1 pm, July 17 – August 21. Programs at the Calumet Public School Library, Calumet, Michigan, are held on listed Fridays at 1 pm.

July Programs: 

• Shipwreck Archaeology: Things CRASH on rocks! Ten major ships have sunk in the treacherous waters of Isle Royale. Join Ranger Alyssa to become underwater archaeologists and uncover a mysterious shipwreck from Isle Royale’s past.

o Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

o Friday, July 20, 2018, 1 pm: Calumet Public School Library

• Lighthouses: More Than A Light: Lighthouses have protected passengers to Isle Royale for over a hundred years. How do lighthouses prevent shipwrecks? Join Ranger Derrick to build your own Isle Royale lighthouse and discover the secret world of lighthouse messages.

o Tuesday, July 24, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

o Friday, July 27, 2018, 1 pm: Calumet Public School Library

• Crossing Lake Superior: Watercraft of all sizes have crossed Lake Superior to bring people to Isle Royale. Would you travel in a canoe? Some did. How about a small boat, a steamship, a freighter? Join Ranger Derrick and choose what vessel you think would best cross Lake Superior.

o Tuesday, July 31, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

August Programs:

• Isle Royale History Mysteries-The First Layer: When was the last time you dug through dirt and discovered something awesome? Archaeologists do this every day. Now it’s your turn to join Ranger Alyssa and uncover the first layer of Isle Royale’s past.

o Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

• Isle Royale History Mysteries-Digging Deeper: Native Americans have utilized fish, copper, and rocks of Isle Royale for over 5,000 years. Join Ranger Alyssa to sift through the second layer of a mock archaeological excavation. By using what you uncover, help recreate the past to survive Isle Royale’s wilderness.

o Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

o Friday, August 17, 2018, 1 pm: Calumet Public School Library

• Isle Royale Symbols: A Bison. A Lake. A Mountain. A Tree. An Arrowhead. These things come together to create the National Park Service symbol found on ranger uniforms, signs, and buildings. Join Ranger Derrick to explore the Arrowhead Symbol through Isle Royale National Park.

o Tuesday, August 21, 2018, 1 pm: Portage Lake District Library

o Friday, August 24, 2018, 1 pm: Calumet Public School Library

Range Bank donates $25,000 to Copper Country and hopes to double the donation

Range Bank release

Community Strong is the foundation of Range Bank. The disastrous flooding that devastated the Copper Country will take significant time and resources to repair the community. Range Bank is showing their support to aid the community by donating $25,000 to the Range Bank Copper Country Relief Fund.

“The core of Range Bank are the communities we serve, and we felt it was our responsibility to extend our support to the Copper Country,” said Roxanne Daust, President and CEO of Range Bank. “We hope this donation helps alleviate some of the burden for the community.”

Range Bank hopes to double the donation through donations from the community and has set up a Copper Country Relief Fund to collect donations. Funds from the Copper Country Relief fund will go directly to the Portage Health Foundation. The Portage Health Foundation is a non-profit organization that is working with the local emergency management team to coordinate local relief efforts. Additionally, Range Bank has set up a beneficiary fund for Thatcher Markham, the victim of the Copper Country flood. All proceeds of this fund will go directly to the family of the young boy.

To donate to the Copper Country Relief Fund visit Rangebank.com and click on the ‘Donate’ button. Donations to either the Copper Country Relief Fund and Markham’s Benefit are also accepted at your nearest Range Bank location or by mailing donations to the Houghton Office at 19320 Jacker Avenue, Houghton, MI 49931. Checks should be made payable to either the Copper Country Relief Fund or Markham’s Benefit. Visit rangebank.com to view a full list of Range Bank locations.

Flood with Love release

Portage Health Foundation release

[Hancock, MI] The Portage Health Foundation’s (PHF) flood relief application is still available through July 27, 2018, at 3:30 pm ET. PHF wants to stress that no late applications will be accepted and encourage community members affected by the Father’s Day flood to submit an application. This funding is not income based and is not a loan that individuals would need to repay. Applications can be found at phfgive.org or the listed physical locations:

• Community Action, Houghton

• City of Houghton Office

• City of Hancock Office

• Hubbell Fire Department

• Lake Linden Village Office

• Dial Help

• Volunteer Center, Old JCPenney Store

• Campioni TruValue Hardware, Calumet

• Stanton Township Office

• Superior National Bank, Chassell Location

• Franklin Township Office

• Ripley Fire Department

• PHF Office

The PHF’s board, committee, and staff are working hard to move this initiative forward to begin working with contractors and homeowners to get their homes back to healthy, safe environments. PHF asks that the community is patient with them as they are working through this process.

The PHF is holding a community meeting Thursday, July 19, 2019, at 6:00 pm ET at the Lake Linden School Auditorium. This meeting is an opportunity for community members to learn more about the PHF funding process, ask questions and voice concerns. This is an effort to better communicate the flood relief initiative from PHF.

North Wind Books to Host Cub Club

Finlandia University release

North Wind Books is excited to bring back Cub Club for another summer. This four-part series of events will highlight unique children’s books and each feature a special guest host.
Children will also be invited to participate in a craft during the event. Events are free, open to the public and no RSVP is required. Each event begins at 11 a.m.

July 9th – The Cow Says Ammuu!

Anna Leppanen, co-owner of Finnsight LLC, she is from Finland and knows all things Finnish. Including how cows speak Finn!

July 16th – Read to the Beat

Soren Schmidt, Finlandia University Campus Pastor, will be bringing his guitar to sing and read books.

July 23rd – One Cent, Two Cent

Travis Hanson, financial associate for Thrivent Financial and former Finlandia Admissions colleague, he will be teaching us all about counting those pennies.

July 30th – Planting a Rainbow

Margaret Hanson, Assistant Director A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum. Featuring children’s stories of gardening.

For reminders as the events get closer, RSVP on North Wind Book’s Facebook.

Story originally posted at finlandia.edu/news. 

College Avenue Walking Tour

Carnegie Museum release


Dr. Sarah Scarlett, Michigan Tech history professor and architectural historian


DATE: Thursday, July 26


TIME: 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.


LOCATION: Leaves from the Chamber of Commerce building at 5:00 p.m.


COST: $10 ($8 member price)

Join architectural historian and Michigan Tech history professor, Dr. Sarah Scarlett, on a walking tour along historic College Avenue including an inside view of the former Reginald C. Pryor residence, now home to Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. Learn about the buildings, architects, and “founding families” that built their homes along this tree-lined avenue and about the university that literally shaped it.

LIMITED SPACE: RESERVATIONS ADVISED! EMAIL: history@cityofhoughton.com or STOP BY the Museum to purchase your ticket. Tickets will also be available “at door”, from 4:30 – 5:00 on sidewalk by the Chamber of Commerce. Please note, spot not guaranteed until ticket is purchased. We will meet outside the Chamber of Commerce (902 College, near Miner Statue) and leave promptly at 5:00. You may park in the City lot, facing the canal, behind the Chamber parking lot.

Recent Rain Affects Water Quality at Beaches

Western Upper Peninsula Health Department release

July 13, 2018-According to the National Weather Service, communities across the Western Upper Peninsula received between 1-5 inches of rain throughout the early morning hours of July 12th. Water samples collected from Canal/Portage Lake waterways on July 12th indicated very high levels of both E.Coli and Fecal Coliform bacteria. WUPHD is issuing a swim advisory for any areas that experienced heavy rain during the July 12th weather event.

Significant rain events result in erosion and runoff into drainage ways and rivers that discharge into recreational bodies of water. Large rain events elevate the bacteria level in lakes from sources of contamination such as manure from farm fields, waste from pets and wildlife, flooded septic systems, and/or sewer overflows.

The presence of E.coli and high levels of fecal coliform bacteria in aquatic environments indicate that the water has been contaminated with the fecal material of man or animals. The presence of high levels of fecal contamination is an indicator that a potential health risk exists for individuals exposed to this water.

Swimming in waters with high levels of fecal bacteria increases the chance of developing illness (fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rashes, ear infections) from pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites) entering the body through the mouth, nose, ears, or cuts in the skin.

The public should always exercise extreme caution when swimming after a rain event. Avoid ingesting of water. Washing thoroughly with soap after contact with contaminated water can also help prevent illness.

When beaches are closed, the length of time to reopen is dependent upon the natural conditions. When condition are right (warm weather, warm surface water, continued rain events that cause runoff), bacteria survive and continue to multiply quickly. During conditions of cooler water temperature, cooler weather, and exposure to sunlight, the bacteria die in large numbers, allowing the beach to reopen.

Beaches are only being tested by the health department on a weekly basis. Note that most of the current beach sample results were from samples collected prior to the rain storm. The condition of the water has most likely deteriorated after the July 12th rain event. All beach locations should be considered a swim at your own risk.

For the most recent results of each tested location, please visit wupdhd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/July-13th-Beach-Status.pdf.

July 12, 2018

Dianda Requests Federal Disaster Declaration for U.P. Communities

State Rep. Scott Dianda release

CALUMET – State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced a House resolution today asking President Donald Trump to declare a major disaster for the Michigan U.P. counties of Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee, which are still struggling to clean up and rebuild after widespread damage from flooding in June.

“The disaster declaration from Gov. Rick Snyder helped our communities respond to the needs of residents and businesses immediately after the catastrophic floods on June 17, but nearly a month later we still need additional help to continue our recovery,” said Dianda. “State officials have assessed the situation and determined that the damage has reached federal disaster declaration levels. I hope that we can get a quick response from the president so that families and businesses can continue working to get their lives back together.” 

Two days of intense storms and flash flooding did significant damage to roads, highways, businesses and homes. Washouts and sinkholes destroyed and damaged roads, trails, homes and businesses. Federal aid would allow homeowners and businesses to apply for assistance through programs, grants and low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses. It would also help with state costs for work on public facilities such as schools and roads.

“These were unexpected and disastrous floods, and now we need to make sure that our repairs to our buildings and roads can withstand this kind of an event in the future,” said Dianda. “Our families, kids, businesses and local governments are working hard to recover. We appreciate all of the state assistance and the help from volunteers. Now we need our federal government to lend a hand and I look forward to working with them on our recovery.”

Superior Health Foundation accepting grant proposals for Indigent Care Fund

Superior Health Foundation release

MARQUETTE — The Superior Health Foundation (SHF) is now accepting grant proposals for the Indigent Care Fund. Application deadline is Tuesday, July 31, 2018 4:00 p.m.

At its July board meeting, the SHF Board of Directors voted to expend $25,000 in SHF dollars to “kick start” the Indigent Care Fund.

SHF will provide grants to health-centered, non-profit organizations across the Upper Peninsula who have indigent care needs. The maximum grant award will be $5,000.

The mission of the Indigent Care Fund is to provide for otherwise unmet medical needs of the indigent residents of the Upper Peninsula.

Grants will not be made to individuals. Rather, grants will be awarded to tax-exempt organizations under section 501 (c )(3)of the Internal Revenue Code or other public health agencies eligible to receive disbursements from the Foundation in compliance with 501 (c )(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are restricted to those residents who adjusted gross income is less than two hundred percent (200 percent) of the federal poverty level for the resident’s family size.

“Earlier this spring, the Superior Health Foundation was the proud recipient of $1.2 million in funding from the former Medical Care Access Coalition (MCAC),” said Jim LaJoie, executive director of the Superior Health Foundation. “We’re honored to accept and steward these dollars. The funds have been invested in the market, with investment earnings to provide grant funding in future years.

“The SHF board recommended, and I concur, that we expend $25,000 in Foundation funds to launch the Indigent Care Fund this fall. There are many needs across the Upper Peninsula and this serves as a terrific way to launch the fund and help those in need.”

The foundation will announce the recipients at its Fall Grants Program, scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Holiday Inn in Marquette.

To submit an on-line application, visit the SHF home page at www.superiorhealthfoundation.org. For more information, call 906-225-3431 or email shf@superiorhealthfoundation.org.

After 19 years Logrolling returns to Gladstone, Michigan

KRICK Log Rolling release

Logrolling Began in 1937 and 1938 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds. In 1941 it was hosted by Gladstone who went on to host five more events with a break for World War II. 1951 and 1952 was the Last time before the 1980’s and finally in 1999 for the World Lumberjack Championships were held before this July 4th Tournament.

The KRICK US Log Rolling Open had 23 competitors for the 3rd annual US Log Rolling Open.  Anthony Polentini of Oconomowoc, WI upset the reigning US Log Rolling Open Champion, Connor Birdsong of Onalaska, WI winning 3 to 0 in the Men’s division. This was a repeat final of the first United States Log Rolling Association tournament of the year with a different outcome. Anthony Polentini is a 16 year old Rookie competitor. The women’s division was also won by a Rookie competitor, Livi Pappadopoulos of Holmen, WI defeating Ellie Davenport of Hudson, WI. Ellie Davenport was the runner up in 2016 and the champion at the 2017 US Log Rolling Open. 

Competitors came from across the country including New York, Connecticut, Oregon, Florida, California and the majority from Wisconsin.

Birdsong and Pappadopoulos have been rolling together since their early Amateur days at the La Crosse, WI YMCA and Onalaska Park and Rec program. Their training partners include former coaches Emily Christopherson and Katie Rick, who were coached by Margaret Bulk, in addition to Kody Kolblitz and Garrick Birdsong.

The tournament was co-directed by Dan McDonough for Jack Pine Lumberjack Shows in Mackinaw City, MI, and Katie Rick of KRICK log rolling in Onalaska, WI. Donations for the free event were the City Of Gladstone, Stihl Saws and Upper Hand Brewery.

Bergman Named to New Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization

Rep. Jack Bergman release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs approved the creation and leadership of the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization.

The subcommittee was announced by Chairman Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Walz (D-Minn.) on June 20 and will focus on oversight of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) technology projects, specifically the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Modernization program.

“As the department embarks on the nation’s largest EHR overhaul, it is critical that we ensure veterans and taxpayers are protected throughout the transition,” said full committee Chairman Roe. “I have personally gone through a transition to a new health record system when I was in private practice and I know how much potential there is for a project like this to be a costly disruption. Congress has a duty to conduct rigorous oversight every step of the way. I am thrilled to announce that Rep. Jim Banks will chair this subcommittee and he will be joined by subcommittee Ranking Member Conor Lamb, Reps. Jack Bergman, Mike Coffman, and Scott Peters. These members have been tireless advocates for veterans, and I know they will do right by both veterans and taxpayers. I look forward to seeing the great bipartisan oversight work that will be done through this important subcommittee.”

“For millions of veterans across the country, their first interaction with VA will be the simple act of booking an appointment. Unfortunately, even something as straight forward as that can be a struggle due to VA’s antiquated information technology systems,” said full committee Ranking Member Walz. “To guarantee the future success of VA’s core mission, it is necessary for VA to get IT modernization done right the first time. That is why I am proud to announce the creation of our new Subcommittee on Technology Modernization. With this new Subcommittee, Congress will be better suited to hold VA accountable every step of the way and ensure IT modernization is implemented as seamlessly as possible. I have complete faith in the Subcommittee’s new leaders, Ranking Member Conor Lamb and Chairman Jim Banks, and look forward to working with them on a bipartisan basis.

“It is an honor to be appointed chairman of the subcommittee by Dr. Roe and I look forward to serving our country’s veterans in this capacity, said Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Chairman Jim Banks (R-Ind.). “Service members and veterans deserve a seamless, lifetime medical record and an electronic health record system that supports the highest quality care. The goal is worthy and the strategy incorporates years of recommendations by technical experts, most recently the Commission on Care. However, I have no illusions about the challenge confronting VA in this monumental undertaking. I am committed to asking the tough questions and challenging the bureaucratic status quo. Veterans and taxpayers expect nothing less.”

“Caring for our nation’s veterans must be our top priority as we work to create a more efficient and effective healthcare system at the VA, “said Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Ranking Member Conor Lamb (D-Pa).” As a veteran, I am honored to have been appointed ranking member of this Subcommittee, and am committed to ensuring that the work to modernize the VA is done in a way that protects and empowers our veterans, not only in Southwestern Pennsylvania, but across the country.”

“I’m honored that Chairman Roe has asked me to serve on the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization,” said Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). “Having served in the Marine Corps for 40 years, I’ve experienced firsthand the complexities associated with transferring information between VA and DoD, and even between branches of the military. I understand the difficulty of implementing strategic change in large, complicated organizations, and I look forward to contributing to the subcommittee as we work to ensure our nation’s Veterans and military receive the care they deserve.”“As a Marine Corps combat veteran, it is an honor to join the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization,” said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.). “The seamless transfer of electronic health records (EHR) between the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs is long overdue. We have an obligation to ensure our veterans have consistent, quality care. A unified EHR is vital to this mission.”

“San Diego has one of the largest populations of veterans in the country, who will benefit from health data shared between the DoD, VA, and community partners,”said Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.).“As members of this new subcommittee, we can devote more attention to improving our veterans’ health care system. Our heroes earned quality and timely care through their service and we should have their backs by ensuring their records are easily accessible to medical professionals across the country. I look forward to bipartisan collaboration and oversight during the transition to electronic health records.” 

Subcommittee on Technology Modernization Members:

• Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Chairman

• Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), Ranking Member

• Rep. Jack Bergman, (R-Mich.)

• Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)

• Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.)

The Parkinson Society Support Group of Dickinson County Area Holding 3rd UP Parkinson Disease Symposium

Parkinson Society Support Group release

The Parkinson Society Support Group of Dickinson County Area is hosting the 3rd annual UP Parkinson Disease Symposium on Friday, August 17, 2018 from 9:00 to 3:30pm CST. The event will be held in Fornetti Hall and the lower commons area at Bay College West Campus in Iron Mountain, Michigan. This is a UP of Michigan and northern Wisconsin wide event focusing on Parkinson’s Disease. Registration begins at 8:30 and the program at 9:00 CST

Coming back on a return visit is keynote speaker Jo Bidwell of Lubbock, TX. She is director of support groups in the SW, covering northwestern Texas and southern New Mexico. She keeps abreast of new developments, research, medications, and treatments for Parkinson’s Disease and authors the quarterly publication “The Tulip Messenger. The title of her keynote speech is “I Have Parkinson’s Disease, Now What!”.

Jo has a B.S. degree in counseling and a M.ED in Health Education. She was the information and referral coordinator for the Lubbock office of American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) for 17 years, and has taught nutrition at a local college for over 30 years while doing the APDA job. She also was the neurology educator for Covenant Health System. While busy being a grandmother, she also continues to serve her Parkinson’s Disease family in Texas, New Mexico and here in the UP of Michigan.

Also on the symposium agenda is Nadine Waeghe, M PT, with local ties to Escanaba but now living and working in Redwood City, CA. Nadine has a BS in. biology and a M.PT, providing sports medicine services to urban and suburban high schools, colleges, U.S Olympic Training Centers, and other professional, amateur and recreational sporting events. Her topic at this symposium will be “An Integrative Approach to Reverse Parkinson’s Syndrome. She wants to expose the audience to a variety of simple and not so simple alternative therapies and self-care options that can reduce progression of PD and if intervention is early enough completely reverse the process.

Other speakers will include Paul Sturgul speaking on legal issues to face when dealing with a PD diagnosis, John Debelak with a book review, and a variety of health care vendors. In the afternoon a breakout session will be held where participants can hear about other Parkinson’s issues. The final session on the program will be a question and answer period. You have a chance to ask panelists questions about Parkinson’s.

Registration for the symposium can be done through the Michigan Parkinson Foundation at www.parkinsonsmi.org or phone 1-800-852-9781. There will be a registration fee of $5.00 to be paid to Michigan Parkinson Foundation to help defray the cost. Beverages and donuts will be available in the morning and a box lunch at noon. Prizes will be given out throughout the day. Health care vendors will be set up for your browsing and interest. Come for a day of information, activities, and interaction. For more information call Pauline at 906-774-0332.

HistoriCorps to Save Stunning Lighthouse from Further Decay

HistoriCorps release

Escanaba, MI: HistoriCorps, a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving America’s historic structures, in collaboration with the Great Lakes Conservation Corps, will restore the Peninsula Point Lighthouse from July 20 – August 3, 2018. Situated in Hiawatha National Forest, it has stood watch over the waters of Lake Michigan since its construction in 1865. More than 150 years later, volunteers from the local community, statewide, and across the nation, will join HistoriCorps’ preservation experts to save a part of this country’s history.

The Peninsula Point lighthouse has contributed significantly to the success of thriving economies of lumber, iron ore, and fishing. Today the lighthouse serves more as a place of rest, relaxation, and reflection. The 40-foot circular spiral staircase lighthouse overlooks Lake Michigan. HistoriCorps field staff and volunteers will repair deteriorated bricks on the tower, remove blistering and flaking paint on the lantern, catwalk and cupola, and repaint all affected areas. 

HistoriCorps Executive Director Townsend Anderson believes in saving places not just for the sake of doing so, but to preserve the stories they tell for future generations.  Anderson, a strong proponent of preserving our nation’s architectural history, notes that “this exceptionally built lighthouse once played an essential role in the region’s economy. Today, it is an icon of that era, telling its story and helping us, and generations after us, to understand the cultural and historic significance of this place and its rich maritime history.”

Finlandia’s International School of Art & Design hosting open house and portfolio review day July 31

Finlandia University release

Finlandia University’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD)is hosting an open house and portfolio review day for prospective art students on July 31.

“We are dedicated to making the arts strong in the Upper Peninsula,” ISAD coordinator Gini Brewer said. “We are hosting this event to bring in prospective students and show them what we have to offer.”

The day will begin at 10 a.m. with a tour of FinnU. Afterwards, students will be treated to lunch with faculty and staff from ISAD and be taken on a tour of the Art & Design facilities in the first two floors of the waterfront Jutila Center. Following the tour, Brewer will provide a free portfolio review. Portfolios do not have to be extensive and can be as small as a few pieces of original artwork.

“A portfolio is not required for admission in to our program, but gives students an opportunity to begin talking about their art outside of a classroom setting,” said Brewer. “Even if they decide Finlandia is not the right school for them, we would still like to give them a valuable experience that will help them on their way to a career in the arts.”

Space is limited for the event, but students can RSVP by email to Gini Brewer at gini.brewer@finlandia.edu or phone at 487-7225.

Story originally posted at finlandia.edu/news. 

Gay VFD Auxiliary dedicates portion of July 4 sales to Houghton County disaster relief

Gay Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary release

Gay Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary shared its proceeds from the July 4 Rummage Sale and Bazaar with Houghton County flood relief. The Auxiliary contributed over $600 through River Valley Bank, which matched the amount for a total over $1200. The Auxiliary will share their proceeds from the next sale, July 21, 12:00-3:00, also.

“We are doing this because these people are our neighbors!” said Chris Korhonen, the Auxiliary president.

“The Auxiliary supports the Sherman Township fire department and other community projects. We have extended our community to Houghton County to help after a catastrophic event. The need is truly great.” said Sherry Middlemis-Brown, treasurer. “And, it is great to have River Valley Bank matching contributions. That doubled the value of our contribution.” She added.

The group posts signage indicating when a sale’s proceeds go to something other than their usual designated purposes. Membership voted to add a second sale to support Houghton County flood relief, when so many attending the July 4 sale contributed extra cash for flood relief, when they saw the sign posted about donations.

“We felt good about helping the flood victims, and thought that we could do more.” Middlemis-Brown said.

July 11, 2018

Stabenow, Peters, Bergman Urge President Trump to Issue Federal Disaster Declaration Following Severe Flooding in the Upper Peninsula

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representative Jack Bergman (R-MI) yesterday urged President Trump to approve Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s request for a major disaster declaration following severe flash flooding that affected Houghton, Gogebic and Menominee counties. The Lt. Governor’s request describes the damage from the flooding in the three counties as extensive – estimated at more than $42 million in covered damage to public facilities – and requiring federal assistance. If approved, federal assistance and resources to the communities and families affected would be made available through various federal sources including FEMA and the Small Business Administration. 

“The people of the State of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to promptly assess the damage from the flooding,” wrote the lawmakers. “We urge you to issue a federal major disaster declaration swiftly and to provide the requested assistance so the residents and business owners of these communities can begin to recover from this disaster. Thank you for your consideration of our request.”

The text of the letter may be found below. 

July 10, 2018

President Donald J. Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing in support of Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley’s request on July 9, 2018 for a major disaster declaration for the State of Michigan as a result of severe flash flooding that occurred in Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties on June 16-17. This request comes after federal, state, and local officials conducted a Joint Preliminary Damage Assessment in the counties affected and determined that federal assistance was needed.

In mid-June, heavy rainfall in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula resulted in flooding that has had devastating impacts on homes, businesses, and public infrastructure. Federal, state, and local officials working on the ground conducted assessments from June 26-29, and determined the level of damage required federal assistance. As the Lt. Governor described in the request, the extensive damage and required recovery efforts extend beyond the capacity of the State and local governments.

The Lt. Governor is requesting Individual Assistance from the federal government to support eligible residents with home repairs and uninsured property losses and assistance to help businesses recover from this disaster. Additionally, the Lt. Governor is requesting Public Assistance to support the State and local governments in their efforts to repair damaged public facilities and infrastructure, including considerable damage to roads and bridges.

The people of the State of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are resilient, and we commend the work of federal, state, and local officials to promptly assess the damage from the flooding. While summer is currently in full swing, the Upper Peninsula’s unpredictable weather can significantly shorten the traditional construction season. Any damage that is not addressed before the season ends could be compounded by the snow melt in the spring and increase the risks to the affected communities. We urge you to issue a federal major disaster declaration swiftly and to provide the requested assistance so the residents and business owners of these communities can begin to recover from this disaster. Thank you for your consideration of our request.

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