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TAX AIDE FOR SENIORS
AARP will provide free tax preparation on Fridays in February and March to Seniors and others, by appointment. Call 906-632-8368 for more information and to make an appointment.
FIRE MANAGEMENT COURSE TO BE OFFERED IN BAY MILLS
Bay Mills Fire Management will be hosting a class (S130-90) on basic wildland fires. This course is required for those interested in joining the Bay Mills crew. The course will be offered from Jan. 23-27 and will cover entry-level topics such as fire suppression, techniques, fire behavior, and incident management. Class times are Monday, 9 a.m to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information contact Cole or Kyle Tadgerson at 906-248-8443 or 906-248-8448, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the class.
SOO LOCKS CLOSE FOR SEASONAL REPAIRS
January 15, 2017
DETROIT –The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, closed of the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie on Jan. 15 at midnight. The Locks will undergo maintenance and repairs until the Navigation Season re-opens on March 25.
"The Soo Locks are critical to the Great Lakes Navigation System and we have a tremendous team that operates and maintains them daily," said Lt. Col. Dennis Sugrue, district engineer. "This important maintenance and repair period is our highest priority, and is vital to the next shipping season. This work keeps the locks functioning safely and reliably for the benefit of our nation."
Planned winter maintenance work includes: Poe Lock hydraulic system testing and final commissioning, Poe Lock anchorage replacements and MacArthur Lock dewatering bulkhead weld repairs and coating replacement. Both locks are scheduled to reopen on March 25.
More than 4,500 vessels carrying up to 80 million tons of cargo maneuver through the locks annually. Iron ore, coal, wheat and limestone are among the most frequently carried commodities. Opened in 1969, the Poe Lock is 1,200 feet long.
The MacArthur Lock was opened in 1943 and is 800 feet long.
U.S.-flag Great Lakes vessel operators are going to spend more than $80 million to maintain and modernize their vessels for the 2017 shipping season. (Bay Mills News Archive Photo)
And the Locks aren’t alone is preparing for the 2017 season with winter work on the docket.
“Once again Lake Carriers’ Association members are demonstrating their commitment to Great Lakes shipping,” said James H.I. Weakley, President of the trade association representing the major U.S.-flag carriers. “As a Department of Homeland Security report has emphasized, many steel mills, power plants and stone quarries do not have viable alternatives for the shipment of their raw materials. If the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet is not primed to meet the needs of commerce in 2017, industrial activity and hundreds of thousands of family-sustaining jobs would be in jeopardy. This year’s winter work program ensures the vessels will be ready.”
January 16, 2017
SAULT STE. MARIE – Lake Superior State University's creative writing program invites submissions for its third annual High School Short Story Prize, a competition open to students living in the United States and Canada.
A number of students participating in a survey last year requested that participants be allowed to write realism. Taking a cue from this request, the theme of the contest this year will simply be realistic fiction. Any form of realistic fiction will be accepted as long as the stories are set in the real world. Teachers, parents, and students interested in contest updates are encouraged to visit the contest website to read recommendations for classic and award-winning realistic fiction short stories that students can use as models.
Submissions should be no more than 5,000 words and will be accepted online until April 30. Run a Web search on "LSSU short story prize" for contest rules, details, a lesson plan for teachers, and recommendations for model realistic short stories. You can also read winning stories from previous years.
Finalists will be selected based on literary merit, with a winner announced on June 1. First place is a $US500 cash prize, convertible to a $1000 scholarship if the winner wishes to attend Lake Superior State University. The winner 's story will also appear in volume seven of Border Crossing, Lake Superior State University’s international journal of literature and art, which features fiction, poetry, and nonfiction by professional writers and book reviews by undergraduate creative writing interns. Second place is a $250 cash prize. The third place winner receives a $100 prize.
LSSU's English department works with local focus groups and subscribers on its List Serv mailing list (click here to subscribe) to select genre-based themes for the short story competition. Last year's theme was alt-history short stories; 2015's, post-apocalyptic fiction.
Download the January Digital Issue here
DECEMBER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UP SLIGHTLY IN MICHIGAN
Annual Rate Falls for Seventh Consecutive Year
January 20, 2017
Lansing – Michigan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December edged up over the month by one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.0 percent, according to data released on Jan. 19 by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget . The state’s workforce rose by 14,000 over the month as both total employment (+9,000) and the number of unemployed (+5,000) increased.
The Michigan jobless rate in December 2016 was one-tenth of a percentage point below the state’s December 2015 rate of 5.1 percent. The national jobless rate decreased by three-tenths of a percentage point over this period. The state’s December unemployment rate was three-tenths of a percentage point above the national rate. The U.S. jobless rate rose slightly by one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.7 percent in December. READ MORE
CLOVERLAND REMINDS CONSUMERS OF RATE CHANGE
January 18, 2017
SAULT STE. MARIE — Notice a change in your electric bill?
All 42,000 Cloverland services are now under what is being described as "the fair, simple and responsible rate plan" as approved by the Cloverland board of directors last October. The energy charge for kilowatts was reduced for all residential members to 9.149 cents per kilowatt hour. The facility charge increased to $23.75 per month. For a residential member using 1,000 kWh per month, this means a decrease of $11.03 per month for former legacy Cloverland members and an increase of $10.75 per month for former legacy Edison Sault customers. ESE customers had been heavily subsidized by the commercial and industrial customers since 1983. Under the current rate plan, all residential members pay the same rate, all non-residential and large power members pay the same rate within their rate class.
DNR CITIZENS' ADVISORY COUNCILS TO MEET THIS WEEK
January 17, 2017
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Eastern and Western Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Councils are scheduled to meet this week, in separate sessions, on back-to-back days.
The councils are designed to provide local input to advise the DNR on regional programs and policies, identify areas in which the department can be more effective and responsive, and offer insight and guidance from members’ own experiences and constituencies.
Council members represent a wide variety of natural resource and recreation interests. Agenda items are set by the council members and council recommendations are forwarded to the DNR for consideration.
The Western U.P. Citizens’ Advisory Council will meet from 6-8 p.m. EST, Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the conference room of the Baraga Lakeside Inn, located 900 U.S. 41 in Baraga.
Prior to the meeting, at 5:30 p.m. EST, DNR division reports will be presented by staff.
Agenda items include updates on new council members, western U.P. trails and a western U.P. deer season recap. Additional discussion will include updates on the U.P. Wildlife Habitat Workgroup and chronic wasting disease.
The Eastern U.P. Citizens’ Advisory Council will meet from 6:30-8:30 p.m. EST, Thursday, Jan. 19 in the conference room of the Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft Health Department, located at 14150 Hamilton Lake Road in Newberry.
This council meeting was rescheduled from Dec. 15, when weather forced postponement of the session.
Agenda topics include updates on the DNR’s forest roads inventory, eastern U.P. trails, bear and deer seasons, council member term expirations and new members.
The public can participate in these two council sessions by offering comments to the discussion during two specified periods at the meeting (for instructions on comment procedures, see
Anyone interested in being considered as a future council member should fill out the application form found on the DNR website at For more information, contact the DNR Upper Peninsula regional coordinator’s office at 906-226-1331.
NEW OFFENDER TRACKING FEATURE ADDED TO MI-VINE
Registration Link system allows tracking of offenders across jail facilities
January 14, 2017
LANSING – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has enhanced the MI-VINE (Michigan Victim Information and Notification Everyday) service with a powerful new feature called RegistrationLink 2.0. The RegistrationLink system links offender records and cases to better track incarcerated individuals as they move from one jail facility to another. The feature allows victims to more easily follow an offender in Michigan.
“RegistrationLink has provided Michigan residents with an additional layer of security when they track their offender’s whereabouts within the county jail or state prison system,” said Nick Lyon, director of the MDHHS. “Crime victims deserve a seamless process to track an offender that has been transferred to another correctional facility and the right to know if the offender is due for parole.”