WUOMFM

Upper Peninsula

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses are walking a picket line outside the largest hospital in the Upper Peninsula.

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association launched a 48-hour strike against U.P. Health System Marquette on Thursday. The nurses have been working without a contract since May.

Scott Balko is the president of the local nurses’ union. He says staffing issues have become an increasing problem since an out-of-state hospital company acquired three local hospitals in the U.P. in past few years.

Map showing the land owned by the Huron Mountain Club as of 2006.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Well... it's not an absolute "no."

It's more of a "probably not," given what we've learned about the Huron Mountain Club in reporting this story.

We'll get to the downright practical ways you might get into the club below. In the meantime, we'll just say it doesn't hurt your chances if you’re Channing Tatum, or related to Henry Ford (and even Ford had trouble getting in).

Kyle Rokos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Jim Curtis lives in Ahmeek, a village in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. That's right near the Douglass Houghton Falls.

Curtis said he's always wondered how the height of those falls compares to other waterfalls in Michigan. So he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"What is the tallest waterfall in Michigan, and how is that figured out?"

A group of retirees holds court almost every morning at Cops and Doughnuts in Clare.
Maya Kroth

At Cops and Doughnuts in Clare, classic tunes play on the stereo while customers line up at the glass display case, waiting to place their orders.

But Bill White isn’t here for the doughnuts.

“I never have a doughnut,” says White. “When you get old enough you can’t eat good stuff anymore. You have to go with fruits and vegetables.”

White has been coming in every Saturday morning, for years, even though he doesn’t partake in the doughnuts or coffee. In fact, White doesn’t order anything at all at Cops and Doughnuts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly every week you'll hear something about the Federal Reserve Bank. But how often do you think of the Fed and how it affects your local economy?

a moose being released
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The moose population in the western Upper Peninsula appears to be rebounding after taking a dip a few years ago.

Moose were reintroduced into the western U.P. in the 1980s. Their range there covers about 1,400 square miles in parts of Marquette, Baraga, and Iron Counties. 

The moose population in the area grew to 451 in 2013 before dropping down to 285 in 2015.

But Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokesman John Pepin says the just completed aerial survey counted 378 moose.

A copper mine in the Upper Peninsula.
Richie Diesterheft / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law changes to the regulation of Michigan copper mines.

Legislation enacted Tuesday establishes separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The law also does not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, says it's not economically feasible to have smaller mines regulated the same as bigger ones and doing so could hurt job growth.

A hiking trail in the Upper Peninsula
Brook Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Authorities say a student at Michigan Technological University has died after suffering from symptoms of hypothermia while on a hiking trip in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette County sheriff's department says 19-year-old Marcus Antilla of Republic was among a group of six students from the school camping in the Rocking Chair Lakes area when he went looking for firewood but didn't immediately return. His friends found him wet and cold.

Delta County Airport near Escanaba is one of the nine rural airports in Michigan that are subsidized by the Essential Air Service.
redlegsfan21 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump's proposed budget would eliminate funding for something called the Essential Air Service program.

The EAS began in 1978 to make sure small, remote communities had access to air travel. The federal subsidies help keep them open. 

A storm
Flickr/mdprovost

Flooding in southwestern Michigan has closed several roadways and swamped the home of the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team ,while severe thunderstorms caused damage in the Upper Peninsula.

The Kalamazoo River is one of several across Michigan's Lower Peninsula where flood warnings or advisories are in effect.

Christine Cooper

A popular overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is closed after a viewing platform slid about 100 feet down the face of a sand dune.

The park recently announced the closure at Log Slide Overlook, saying heavy snow, ice, and sand deposits at the site - as well as erosion - were to blame.

The overlook located west of Grand Marais offers a view from atop the Grand Sable Dunes.

Plans call for moving the overlook's walkway back from the edge of the dunes and rebuilding the viewing platform if major erosion doesn't take place.

The Car Plunge Contest asks the question: How long will it take for this 1998 Saturn to fall through the ice?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford

It's the heart of winter, and there you are in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, wanting to raise some money for the community.

If you're the Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, you embrace the winter and come up with a pretty unique fundraiser: the Car Plunge Contest.

Jayna Huotari, secretary of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club, joined Stateside to talk about the third annual contest, including how placing bets on when a 1998 Saturn will fall through the ice became a fun, and successful, fundraiser.

This map shows land ownership and location of the exploratory copper drilling project.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has given the green light to an exploratory copper drilling project in the Upper Peninsula.

The use permit allows Orvana Resources U.S. Corp., a subsidiary of Highland Copper, to drill in a one square mile area located on the western edge of  Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

According to John Pepin, a DNR spokesman, the company is taking steps to reduce the impact of the exploratory drilling on the land surface of the park. 

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center/Archives of Michigan

Happy birthday, Michigan!

On Jan. 26, 1837, 180 years ago today, Michigan became the 26th state to join the union.

Before that could happen, there was some housekeeping to do, namely: to settle the fight between Michigan and Ohio over a narrow strip of land known as the Toledo Strip. The conflict is otherwise known as the "Toledo War."

State Archivist Mark Harvey from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to look back at how the state of Michigan got started.

L'ANSE, Mich. (AP) - A utility says more than 700 customers have had their natural gas service restored after a ruptured line caused an explosion and fire in the Upper Peninsula.

Semco Energy says crews continue to go door-to-door Saturday afternoon in the L'Anse area in Baraga County.

The process of restoring gas service involves going to each address to shut off the valve and then returning to open it.

About 1,200 customers have been affected by the outage.

Ruth (Maki) Powell

 

Ninety years ago yesterday brought the worst mining accident in Michigan history.

The Barnes-Hecker Mine disaster on November 3, 1926, killed 51 miners. The disaster rocked the community west of Ishpeming.

Mary Tippett’s grandfather was killed in the disaster. It was his first day on the job.

Shayan Sanyal / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Last month on Sept. 10, there was an incident at the Kinross Correctional Facility. It started with a peaceful demonstration by prisoners and ended with a fire, smashed windows, and other vandalism. 250 inmates were moved to higher security prisons.

Prison bars
flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

On September 10, there was an uprising at Kinross Correctional Facility in the Upper Peninsula.

According to the Michigan Department of Corrections, it’s the most serious incident inside a Michigan prison anyone can recall since the 1981 riot at what was then called Southern Michigan Prison in Jackson.

The Mackinac Bridge connects Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas
flickr user Always Shooting / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Happy 906 Day!

Michigan's Yoopers want us all to know that today is the day to celebrate what they consider to be America's greatest area code. 

Bugsy Sailor is the self-titled "Official Unofficial Ambassador of the Upper Peninsula."

He joined us today to talk about the U.P. why the 906 area code deserves its very own day of celebration.

user Alchemist-hp / wikimedia commons

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has proposed approving a permit for a company that plans to develop a gold, zinc and copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The agency announced the decision Friday about the mining permit for Aquila Resources for the Back Forty Project in Menominee County. The project also includes a proposed processing facility in Lake Township.

A public hearing is planned for October 6.

The MDEQ says it determined the application meets the requirements for approval under Michigan's mining law.

The Donaheys with their dog, Buddie, in front of their summer home.
Grand Marais Historical Society

If you're heading to the Upper Peninsula for a vacation this summer, you might choose to stay in a hotel. Maybe you'll camp out in a tent or camper. 

Or maybe, if you're like 20th century cartoonist William Donahey, you'll stay in a pickle barrel.

Thanks to continuing cold temperatures and snowfall, Michigan is not yet done with skiing for the season.

Three mountains will be open this weekend: Mount Bohemia, Boyne Mountain, and Ski Brule. Bohemia is reopening after closing this past week, while Boyne and Brule have yet to close.

Parts of the Upper Peninsula have seen unusually high snowfall this month. Marquette, MI is already having the fifth-snowiest April on record, with over 32 inches of snow already, according to the local division of the National Weather Service. 

The Empire Mine
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.

The Marquette area recently received some painful news when Lourenco Goncalves, the CEO of Cliffs Natural Resources announced that the Empire Mine would be closing by the end of the year. More than 400 workers from the region are affected by the announcement that iron ore production, that has been a big part of the area’s economy for a long time, will end.

Save The Wild UP / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Michigan-based environmental organization is taking a new approach to protect a patch of land near the Yellow Dog River in northern Marquette County in the Upper Peninsula. The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve started a crowd funding campaign to raise money to purchase the 695-acre property to protect it from development.

Emily Whittaker, the special projects manager at the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve joined Stateside to talk about the Yellow Dog River Community Forest campaign and what makes the land so special.

flickr user Hung Thai / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Poet and writer Keith Taylor joins us today to offer a quick list of recommendations for some good reading.

The Michigan Ice Fest is expecting 700 attendees this year, 40% more than the festival saw last year
Aaron Peterson/Clear & Cold Cinema

Last week it was 50 degrees in many parts of the state. This week it’s freezing. But in the Upper Peninsula, freezing is a good thing for certain adventurous souls.

The sandstone cliffs in Munising, Michigan rise 200 feet above Lake Superior, and during the winter the area attracts ice climbers.

State Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette
John Kivela's office website

ST. JOHNS, Mich. (AP) - A northern Michigan lawmaker has pleaded guilty to drunken driving stemming from an incident in which authorities say he was speeding, swerving and driving with an open bottle of whiskey.

Democratic Rep. John Kivela made the plea to a first-offense charge Friday in a Clinton County court. Prosecutors dropped a more serious charge of operating while intoxicated with a high-blood-alcohol content.

Don Harrison/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The largest ski jump structure in the world is located, not in Bavaria, not in Switzerland, not even Scandinavia.

It's Ironwood's Copper Peak in the Upper Peninsula. At 469 feet, ski jumpers soar through the air at 65 miles per hour.

Copper Peak was built in 1970. The last ski flying competition happened there in 1994.

But, plans are afoot to renovate the ski jump for a September 2017 contest.

Post office in Kingsford, MI
Lucy Blair

Even in these days of email, Skype and FaceTime, we all know the purpose of a Post Office: to sort and deliver “snail mail.”

But Lucy Blair wanted to dig deeper. She and her wife Lina wanted to know what story the post office building tells about the community, and the people who depend on it.

State urges hunters to help keep deer disease out of UP

Nov 12, 2015
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has launched an education campaign to try to keep chronic wasting disease from spreading to the Upper Peninsula.

The disease affects the central nervous system and is always fatal to white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose, according to the DNR. And there is no known treatment.  

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