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SOO CO-OP TO CLOSE PARADISE BRANCH

Feb. 9, 2017

Effective March 15, the Paradise Branch of Soo Co-op Credit Union will be closed. SCCU sent the following statement to members:

"We continuously evaluate our products and services, hours of operation, security and technology, staff and branch locations so as to ensure that we are always doing what is best for the membership and the credit union. It is with great regret to inform you that we will be closing our Paradise Branch effective March 15, 2017. The decision to close a branch is never an easy one. As technology continues to advance, the demand for electronic services continues to increase. Growth strategies based on branch development have shifted to satisfying the membership's demand for electronic delivery."

 

Hours of operation until the closure are : Feb. 10 - 24, Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

March 1-15 (through the end of the business day): Wednesdays only, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

None of the other branches will be impacted by the closure.
 

BYWAY PLAN APPROVED

Feb. 8, 2017

The North Huron Scenic Byway Advisory Committee approved the Corridor Management Plan  on Feb. 1.

M-134 received the Pure Michigan Byway Designation over a year ago, in October of 2015. Since then, the Advisory Committee has worked to assemble the Corridor Management Plan, which outlines goals, along with specific projects and potential funding sources, for the development of the Byway. The plan, while not legally binding, provides a blueprint for future community and economic growth in the area, centered on a byway-based marketing and development strategy.

The North Huron Scenic Byway begins at the junction of M-134 and I-75 and follows M-134 all the way across the Drummond Island Ferry to the intersection with South Shore/South Townline Road. The route traverses Hessel, Cedarville, DeTour Village, and Drummond Island communities, and showcases stunning natural vistas. Travelers can enjoy hundreds of miles of trails to hike or ride on their bike, ATVs, and ORVs. The North Huron Water Trail and North Huron Birding Trail both have numerous stops along or very near the byway as well.

 

“The response to the Byway Designation was overwhelmingly positive,” said Advisory Committee Co-Chair, Scott Danforth.

“Although the federal funding for these programs has waned in recent years, the Byway Program provides a framework for communities to come together and showcase their best assets,” said Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development (EUPRPDC) CEO, Jeff Hagan. Additionally, several states with robust byway programs have completed economic impact studies. New Mexico’s byways were shown to have a $267 million impact, and Colorado’s byways added nearly $800 million annually to their economy between 2009 and 2014.

The volunteer Byway Advisory Committee meets the first Wednesday each month to discuss developments and strategies for promotion of the byway and its many attractions. It is attended by members from interested businesses, attractions, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Department of Transportation, local government, and others. The EUPRPDC provides administrative support to the committee. Anyone interested in marketing their business or attraction can join the North Huron Scenic Byway group by contacting Rebecca Bolen at the EUPRPDC office at 906-635-1581 or rbolen@eup-planning.org.

ALBERTA HOUSE OPENS FOR 2017 WITH THE FOCUS ON PHOTOGRAPHY

Photographs are featured in both Alberta House Arts Center galleries during February.  Sweeping photographs by Brian Hunt of Sault, Ontario are in the Olive Craig Gallery.  In the Mini Gallery photographs by Mary Barry are displayed with the paintings they inspired in Judith Hamilton.  Both artists live in Rudyard.  The public is cordially invited to meet all three artists at their reception on Friday, Feb. 10, from 4 to 7 p.m.

 

Alberta House is located at 217 Ferris Street, just south of the Soo Locks Visitors Center in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Admission is free of charge.  Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information e-mail:  saac@saultarts.com or download the February “Alberta House News” on the Sault Area Arts Council website:  www.saultarts.org.

 

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.

 

STUDENT INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY:

 

The Office of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Programs is looking for a graduate level college student to participate in the Summer 2017 Class of Health Equity Fellows for the HHS Office of Minority Health’s Youth Health Equity Model of Practice (OMH YHEMOP).   This is an excellent opportunity for the perfect student who is interested in working with American Indian, Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian Elders.  Although the work-site will be Washington, DC, telework options will be discussed with the right candidate.  Work details will include gathering and analyzing data, developing materials, and compiling information for grantees.

Additional information about the Summer 2017 Class of Health Equity Fellows for the HHS Office of Minority Health’s Youth Health Equity Model of Practice (OMH YHEMOP) can be found at the following link:

 

https://www.minorityhealth.hhs.gov/YHEMOP/index.html

 

The student application deadline is Feb. 15.  For additional information please contact Cynthia LaCounte at 202-795-7380 or Cynthia.lacounte@acl.hhs.gov. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUNKE RACING GETS THE CHECKERED FLAG

 

Feb. 5, 2017

For the second year in a row,  #74 Bunke Racing went to victory lane in the 49th Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race. After nearly nine hours on the track, and a breakdown that put the team behind, at lap 445 Bunke Racing took over once again, all the way to the finish line. 

 

The patriarch of Bunke Racing, Gabe Bunke, the Moorhead, Minn. standout, recorded his seventh Soo I-500 of his career and fifth in the last six years. His teammate, Aaron Christensen, the 36-year-old from Metiskow, Alberta has scored his fifth Soo I-500 win of his career and also his fifth in the last six years. Finally, for the youngest member of the team, 21-year-old Taylor Bunke, it was the second win in two career starts for the Moorhead, Minn. rider.

Full race results are below.

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AMID PERSISTENT LINE 5 PIPELINE WORRIES, STATE PROMISES IMPARTIALITY

Feb. 3, 2017

By ISAAC CONSTANS

Capital News Service

LANSING–Awaiting the findings of state-commissioned studies that will determine its future, the infamous Enbridge Line 5 still rests on the seafloor of the Straits of Mackinac, pumping crude oil and natural gas from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario.

The studies are now set to come out in June, due to slight delays, and will be followed by community input and a final decision about whether to keep the pipeline running, improve its safety, or shut it down.

Environmental advocacy groups fret that the reports may weigh in the favor of Enbridge Inc., the Calgary energy delivery service, which is paying for the research. The state is eager to alleviate such concerns, assuring that the methodology of the investigation ensures objectivity.

The pipeline, which was commissioned in 1953, has been denounced by environmental groups across the state and nation for what is perceived as antiquated construction and inadequate maintenance.

READ MORE

VA TO HOST TOWN HALL MEETINGS

Feb. 10, 2017

IRON MOUNTAIN – Veterans and their families are invited to Veteran Town Halls in Brimley, Sault Ste. Marie and Saint Ignace, on Wednesday and Thursday, March 8-9..  The Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center will be hosting the town halls on March 8 at the Horizon Conference Center at the Bay Mills Resort & Casino at 2 p.m. and at American Legion Post 3 in Sault St. Marie at 6 p.m.  The town hall in St. Ignace will be at 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 9 at the VFW Post 5144.  The town halls are open to all Veterans and their families and friends. 

Leaders from the VA medical center, Escanaba Vet Center, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and area Veteran Service Officers will be on hand to provide a presentation on VA benefits and services, discuss updates to the Veterans Choice Program and other initiatives to increase access to VA healthcare, and listen to Veterans’ comments and concerns. 

“We have done a number of these Veteran Town Halls and found them to be very beneficial in our understanding of Veterans’ concerns and helping them to resolve any issues they may have,” said Brad Nelson, Public Affairs Officer at the Iron Mountain-based VA Medical Center.

In the last four years the VA medical center has conducted 35 Veteran Town Halls throughout the Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. 

Any questions can be directed to VA Public Affairs Officer Brad Nelson at 800-215-8262, extension 32001.

SEE A POTHOLE? REPORT IT TO MDOT

Feb. 9, 2017

Unseasonably warm temperatures may provide a nice break from Michigan's long winter, but they also offer another break that's not so nice. With each sustained warmup, the roads that have been frozen begin to thaw from the surface downward, and the melting snow and ice saturate the ground. The roadbed, softened by trapped moisture beneath the pavement, is more susceptible to damage during every significant thaw. A sustained thaw typically happens only once a year in the spring but not this year. Continuous temperatures above and below freezing have created several freeze-thaw cycles, which also create potholes. READ MORE

 
WALWORTH APPOINTED LSSU VP FOR FINANCE AND OPERATIONS

 

Feb. 8, 2017

SAULT STE. MARIE —  Lake Superior State University President Tom Pleger has appointed Morrie Walworth as the University's new vice president for finance and operations. The announcement was made at an LSSU Board of Trustee meeting on Jan 28.

           

“Morrie has done an excellent job for the university during a critical time in our financial planning,” said President Pleger. “While in an interim role, Morrie delivered a balanced budget and also steered the University to an improved Standard and Poor's bond rating.”

As vice president for finance and operations, Walworth will be the University's chief financial officer and answer to the president for all business, operational, and fiscal affairs. His responsibilities include managing facilities, investments, budgets, projects, and contracts. He will handle financial, master, and strategic planning. He also oversees compliance and regulatory issues, as well as planning for facilities and infrastructure. Walworth heads up the departments of purchasing, business operations, institutional research, and information technology enterprise application services.

           

Walworth will also serve as treasurer for both the LSSU Foundation and Board of Trustees. He becomes a member of the president’s cabinet and an advisor to President Pleger.

           

“I am honored to receive this appointment and will do my best to serve Lake State, ” said Walworth.

           

Walworth has served as vice president of academic affairs and provost for LSSU since 2010, where, among other accomplishments, he led preparation for an accrediting visit from the Higher Learning Commission. Walworth started with LSSU in 1991, serving as faculty, chair and dean in the School of Engineering. Prior to joining LSSU, Walworth worked with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Purdue University, and held numerous consulting roles with businesses such as Continental Teves, Siemens Automotive, Takata, and Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Walworth holds bachelor's and a master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University.

 
SNOWMOBILE ENFORCEMENT STEPPED UP FOR RACE WEEKEND, NO ACCIDENTS REPORTED

Officers made contact with more than 500 snowmobilers from several states

 

Feb. 7, 2017

SAULT STE. MARIE — Conservation officers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources stepped up snowmobile patrols in the area surrounding this past weekend’s running of the International 500 Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie.

“These patrols helped ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for the several thousand visitors and residents who took to the trails,” said Lt. Eugene “Skip” Hagy, DNR district law supervisor for the eastern Upper Peninsula. “Patrols began Friday afternoon and ended Sunday morning.”

The DNR Law Enforcement Division focused the patrol efforts of its officers and allocation of resources on specific areas, enforcing safety and sound violations, in what is known as an “enhanced snowmobile enforcement effort.”

A fresh blanket of snow and cold temperatures made for good snowmobile trail conditions in Chippewa County over the weekend.

Conservation officers made over 500 contacts with visitors during their snowmobile patrol efforts, the majority of which were positive interactions, Hagy said.

During these contacts, officers answered questions, gave directions, advised riders of trail conditions and discussed operating tips to help promote safe snowmobiling.

“Safety on the trails is paramount, and it’s our top priority,” Hagy said. “With stepped-up patrols, our goal is to provide a safe experience for everyone.”

Hagy said there were no deaths or known accidents reported in the enhanced patrol area over the race weekend.

 
COPPER DRILLING PROJECT TO EXPLORE PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS WILDERNESS STATE PARK

Feb. 7, 2017

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a use permit to Orvana Resources U.S. Corp. – a subsidiary of Highland Copper – to conduct exploratory drilling on a 1-mile-square piece of property situated along the westernmost edge of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Gogebic County.

The exploratory drilling began Sunday, Feb. 5,  and is scheduled to continue into early March, depending on weather conditions.

“This drilling project will affect a very small portion of DNR-managed land,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “The vast majority of the park, including the Presque Isle River, will remain unaffected by this exploration activity.”

If the exploration results indicate the potential for copper in suitable quality and minable quantities, Highland Copper would conduct a feasibility study, designed to mine the deposit entirely by underground methods, allowing the company to gain access to the copper ore body from land it owns outside the park.

Any potential mining of the minerals would require a separate regulatory process through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Highland Copper would have to amend its existing permit and prove to the DEQ that, if the area were mined, no material damage would occur to state-managed park surface features.

READ MORE

 

CLOVERLAND CO-OP DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS OPEN

Feb. 6, 2017

Cloverland Electric Cooperative is governed by nine co-op members elected by the membership to its board of directors. Each director serves a three-year term. Any Cloverland member interested in seeking election to the board must meet the director qualifications outlined in the co-op’s bylaws and file a petition for nomination containing the valid signatures of at least 25 members from his or her district. For a nominating petition and information packet, call 906-632-5143. Nominating petitions and supporting documents must be returned to the co-op’s administrative office

located at 725 E. Portage Avenue in Sault Ste. Marie by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 3 .