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SNOWMOBILE ADVISORY WORKGROUP TO MEET IN SAULT STE. MARIE ON MARCH 2

Feb. 23, 2017
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup will hold its next scheduled meeting Thursday, March 2, at Kewadin Casino, 2186 Shunk Road in Sault Ste. Marie, in the eastern Upper Peninsula's Chippewa County.

 

The public meeting will begin at 10 a.m.
Topics for the meeting include an equipment subcommittee report, groomer equipment, trail updates and other related topics. A copy of the meeting agenda is available on the Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup website.


The workgroup's purpose is to assist the Michigan Trails Advisory Council in performing its duties and responsibilities and to provide the DNR advice related to the snowmobile program, including the creation, development, operation and maintenance of the designated snowmobile trail system.

 

TAX REFUNDS BEING ISSUED FOR EITC

Feb. 19, 2017

 As the IRS begins releasing refunds for taxpayers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Additional Child Tax Credit, the tax agency reminded taxpayers that they should not expect refunds to be available in bank accounts or on debit cards until the week of Feb. 27. The additional time is due to several factors, including weekends, the Presidents Day holiday and the time banks often need to process direct deposits.

Many of these refunds had been held since the filing season started in late January due to new requirements the 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act.

Find out the status of your refund on IRS.gov by visiting the “Where’s My Refund?” tool.  “Where’s My Refund?” will be updated Feb. 18 for the vast majority of early filers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit. Before Feb. 18, some taxpayers may see a projected date or a message that the IRS is processing their return. The IRS added that “Where’s My Refund?” is only updated once daily, usually overnight, so there’s no need to check it multiple times per day.

Here are a few important things to know about tax refunds:

  • Nine out of 10 refunds are issued in less than 21 days.

  • IRS customer service representatives cannot provide individual refund information before the 21 days has elapsed.

  • The filing season started later this year, on Jan. 23. Although taxpayers could submit returns with a software provider or tax preparer in early January, the return was not filed with the IRS until the filing season opened.

  • “Where’s my Refund?” can also be accessed through the mobile app, IRS2Go

  • “Where’s My Refund?” is updated once daily. Checking the tool multiple times each day will not produce new information or different results.

  • The Get Transcript tool will not reveal a tax refund status, despite the social media myth to the contrary.

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.

BAY MILLS HEALTH CENTER RECOGNIZED


Feb. 17, 2016
Bay Mills Health Center was recently awarded the MCIR (Michigan Care Improvement Registry) award for excellence in utilizing MCIR to enhance immunization practices.


The MCIR award is given to sites that exceed the state percentage in vaccinating children in the community. Bay Mills Health Center was nominated by the Chippewa Health Department for their percentage of children vaccinated in the community and being a place where people want to go to receive vaccinations. The award was also given for their timeliness of reporting to the MCIR system.


One of the keys to the success of the Health Center is the input of data into the system on a timely basis. This requires coordination of Emmy Cygan, LPN, the MCIR lead,  who keeps track of all inventory and storage of the vaccines. She is assisted by Karen Harlukowicz, LPN; Sheree Weems, LPN; and Katie Clow, LPN; Brenda Brining, LPN; Betty Jahnke, RN; Marilyn Hillman, RN; and providers, Dr. Maloney, MD; Dolly Furr, FNP; and Amber Rivard, FNP. As a result, the group has been able to exceed state percentages.

Bay Mills Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center and a Primary Care Medical Home that offers services to the tribal community as well as the public.“Please congratulate all our nurses and providers for achieving this award; without their passion and dedication it wouldn’t have been possible,” said Abby Kaunisto, clinic coordinator.

 

Pictured above, from left to right, are: Sheree Weems, LPN; Karen Harlukowicz, LPN; Emmy Cygan, LPN and MCIR lead; and Katie Clow, LPN.

FOREST SERVICE LOOKING FOR YOUR INPUT

Feb. 25, 2017

GLADSTONE —  The Forest Service wants your input.  If you are a trail user/enthusiast who would like to help identify opportunities to improve connectivity, sustainability, and the user experience across the Hiawatha National Forest trails system, this is your chance. Hiawatha National Forest invites you to attend a Comprehensive Trail Plan Meeting.
  

The Forest Service is proposing to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the forest trails system through facilitation of a Trails Working Group (TWG) on each forest zone. The TWG will be made up of representatives from each activity group, as well as the Forest Service and other partners.

 

There will be two upcoming meetings, one for each zone, to identify a representative (and one alternative) from each activity group to serve on the TWG. These representatives will be responsible for coordinating with their respective trail activity group to develop proposed updates to the forest trails system, and to present those proposals to other members of the TWG for consideration. Collectively, the TWG will develop a mutually agreeable Comprehensive Trails Plan that supports the needs of all forest trail users. This plan will help forest leadership make informed decisions about future investment in the forest trails system.     


The next local meeting will take place:
—    Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 6  to  8 p.m.
    Rudyard Township Hall, 18725 S. Mackinac Trail, Rudyard, MI 49870
   

Individuals who attend will:
—    Receive an update on the Forest Service’s plan to conduct a comprehensive trails analysis of all forest trail systems.
—    Designate one primary representative (and one alternate) to solicit input from your trail activity community, develop proposals for proposed changes to the trails system, and present your trail proposals to the TWG for discussion and inclusion in a comprehensive recommendation.
   

And if you’d like to serve as a representative, bring your calendars and come prepared to schedule future TWG meetings as needed from March 2017 through December 2017.
Please RSVP no later than one week prior to the meeting you wish to attend; contact Paul Holeva by telephone at 906-428-5889 or by email at pholeva@fs.fed.us.

 

LAKER HOCKEY SET TO CLOSE OUT SEASON

Lake Superior State vs. Ferris State

 Feb. 24-25, 2017 (Taffy Abel Arena)

 Friday- 7:37 p.m.  | Saturday- 7:07 p.m.

Feb 24, 2017

Lake Superior State hockey returns home for the final time in the 2016-17 Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season this weekend to host in-state rivals Ferris State. Entering the weekend, the teams are separated by five points in the WCHA standings with the Bulldogs (12-17-4, 11-12-3 WCHA) currently tied with Bowling Green in fourth place and the Lakers (11-15-6, 8-12-6 WCHA) holding sole possession of seventh place.

The puck drops on the two-game series Friday evening at 7:37 p.m. ET inside Taffy Abel Arena. Saturday, following a special pregame Senior Night ceremony, the Lakers and Bulldogs renew the rivalry series at 7:07 p.m. Broadcasts of both games will be available live on 99.5 YES FM. A live video stream of the games is also available via http://WCHA.tv.

Friday evening, Laker Hockey hosts the annual Youth Hockey Jersey Night with special discounted prices for area youth donning their team's hockey jersey. Children's tickets for kids 14-and-under wearing a jersey can be purchased for a rate of just $4.

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SPRING WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT

Feb. 22, 2017

The Michigan Department of Transportation and local agencies are enacting additional annual spring weight restrictions.

Effective at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, weight restrictions will be expanded to cover all state trunkline highways for the entire state of Michigan, both Upper and Lower peninsulas. State routes typically carry M, I, or US designations.

In the restricted areas, the following will apply:

  • On routes designated as "all-season" (designated in green and gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be no reduction in legal axle weights.

  • On routes designated as "seasonal" (designated in solid or dashed red on the MDOT Truck Operators Map), there will be a posted weight reduction of 25 percent for rigid (concrete) pavements and 35 percent for flexible (asphalt) pavements.

  • All extended permits will be valid for oversize loads in the weight-restricted area on the restricted routes. Single-trip permits will not be issued for any overweight loads or loads exceeding 14 feet in width, 11 axles and 150 feet in overall length on the restricted routes.

County road commissions and city public works departments put in place their own seasonal weight restrictions, which usually, but not always, coincide with state highway weight restrictions. Signs are generally posted to indicate which routes have weight restrictions in effect.

For weight restriction information and updates, call 800-787-8960, or you can access this information on MDOT's website at www.michigan.gov/truckers, under "Restrictions." All-season routes are designated in green and gold on the MDOT Truck Operators Map, which is available online. You also may sign up to receive e-mail alerts.

ANGLERS REMINDED OF ICE SHANTY REMOVAL

Feb. 21, 2017

Anglers are being reminded that mandatory ice shanty removal dates are approaching. Regardless of the date, shanties must be removed as soon as the ice is unable to safely support them, especially when Michigan experiences unseasonably warm weather as it has this season and the ice can quickly become unsafe for anglers to retrieve their property.

Ice shanties on Lake St. Clair must be removed by sunset Sunday, Feb. 26

For counties in the southern Lower Peninsula, shanties must be removed from the ice by midnight Wednesday, March 1.

The deadline for removal from waters in the northern Lower Peninsula is midnight Wednesday, March 15. Counties in this area are: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Isabella, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon and Wexford.

On Michigan-Wisconsin boundary waters, ice shanties must be removed by midnight Wednesday, March 15. For all Upper Peninsula counties, shanties must be removed by midnight Friday, March 31.

Following the mandatory removal dates, ice shanties still may be used but must be removed daily from the ice.

Shanty owners whose structures fall through the ice are subject to penalties of up to 30 days in jail, fines of $100 to $500, or both. If a shanty is removed by a government agency, the court can require the owner to reimburse that agency for an amount of up to three times the cost of removal.

HOW SAFE IS YOUR WELL WATER?

 

Feb. 20, 2017

By LAURA BOHANNON
Capital News Service

LANSING — Even though Michigan has the most private wells in the nation, no state regulations control how often that water should be tested.

A quarter of Michigan’s residents rely on well water, according to Michigan’s 21st Century Infrastructure Committee’s most recent report. But the state has set no standard for monitoring the quality of water from private wells, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) source water unit supervisor Matt Gamble said.

“Private wells get tested when they’re installed and they may never be sampled again,” Gamble said. “There is no requirement — at least no statewide requirement — for a homeowner to have their well sampled on any schedule.”

Gamble said the DEQ frequently learns of contaminated well water. When it hears of new cases, the department responds through a program that funds projects to replace contaminated wells and connect residents to municipal water.

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ARTIST'S CHOICE COMPETITION UNDER WAY

 

Feb. 20, 2017

Applications for “Artist’s Choice," the annual juried exhibition of the Olive Craig Gallery in Alberta House Arts Center, are now available online at www.saultarts.com, or via e-mail from saac@saultarts.com

The multi-media exhibition will fill both Alberta House Galleries May 2 to 31, 2017.  Awards include $300 for First Place; $200 for Second Place, $100 for Third Place and purchase awards by Central Savings Bank, War Memorial Hospital and Kevin and Pam Cooper.

New this year is the requirement that all work be juried by e-mailed photographs only.  Applicants may e-mail photographs of up to three entries, with a limit of two photographs for each 2-dimensional piece and up to three for each 3-dimensional piece.  Entry fee is $25.  Entry deadline is April 10, 2017.  The juror is LSSU Art Professor Lloyd Eddy.  Details are on the application form.

For more information call Alberta House at 906-635-1312 or e-mail saac@saultarts.org