BY JENNIFER WEINGART
Residents and visitors to Petoskey will soon have something better to look at as they enter town. The site formerly known as Petoskey Pointe and now mostly known as "that big hole" is in the process of being purchased.
The saga of the Petoskey Pit starts back in 2002 when the block-sized piece of land was purchased by Lake Street Petoskey Associates for an ambitious development project known as Petoskey Pointe.
Excavation began in 2006. However, due to mismanagement and loss of financing the projected was halted around 2008.
The site was foreclosed on. It's currently owned by Northwestern Bank. Now the Cottage Company of Harbor Spring has announced its plans to buy the site.
Before the purchase is finalized Northwestern will be improving the site so that while construction is in process the city will no longer have the eyesore of the 'Petoskey Pit.'
Rob Mossburg with The Cottage Company is heading the project.
"Over the next few weeks Northwestern is going to bring in the dirt required to partially fill the site, plant grass, put up a brand new fence and otherwise make the property look very nice until we get to the point where we can actually begin construction on the new development," Mossburg said.
No specific plans have been made for the future of the site, but Mossburg said the project will be on a smaller scale than Petoskey Pointe and will be more of a natural development of a city block. The Cottage Company will be seeking community input for the plans.
The sale should be finalized and more specific plans made by the end of the summer.
BY RICK PLUTA
Michigan Public Radio Network
This coming Sunday isn't just Father's Day, it is also National Fudge Day. By most accounts, the first batch of fudge was concocted in Baltimore in the 1880s. By the turn of the century, fudge-making arrived on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan, which, today has a legitimate claim as the modern day fudge capital.
Tourists pile off ferries and onto Mackinac Island by the thousands every day during the summer. For many, one of the first stops when they arrive or last before they board a ferry back home is one of the island's 15 or so fudge shops.
"Which one do you like? Do you want the rocky road? Is that your favorite?" Snider said.
Janet Snider is here with her daughter Madison, examining rows of different flavors.
"I already bought peanut butter. My husband's request to bring peanut butter fudge home cause he couldn't come today," Snider said.
But island-wide and here at Ryba's Fudge Shop, the favorite is plain, unadulterated chocolate fudge.
Meet Ed Turbin.
"I'm a fudgemaker at Ryba's Fudge Shops," Turbin said.
"We start with the basic ingredients, the sugar and the corn syrup and cream and the chocolate, and we blend those all together and mix 'em and cook 'em in the big copper kettle up to 232 degrees. When it gets to that temperature, we bring it out and we pour it here on the marble slabs into this frame," Turbin said.
After the mixture cools a bit, Ed Turbin goes to work, mixing, twisting and flipping the fudge, lifting it into the air and slapping it down. It's a storefront operation. Tourists stop to watch through the window, or they come into the store.
Turbin said he's not just a fudge-maker, he's a showman:
"In fact, when no one's around for me to interact with, it's kind of a dull job for me just to make fudge. I know I know how to make fudge, but if I can do it for people and they come and they talk and they want a taste. They all ask the same questions, but they don't know the last person asked the same questions, so it's all new to them, so I treat every one of them like it's the first time," Turbin said.
"So what are the questions?" Pluta said.
"Do you ever get it on the floor? Are your arms tired? How long have you been doing this," Turbin said.
"OK, so I'm going to ask. Do you every get it on the floor?" Pluta said.
"Never," Turbin said.
"Do your arms get tired?" Pluta said.
"All the time. They're tired right now," Turbin said.
"How long have you been doing this?" Pluta said.
"For 31 years," Turbin said.
"What's unique about Mackinac fudge is the way that it's made, on the marble slabs, large batches at a time in a very dramatic process," Porter said.
Phil Porter is an island resident who wrote a short history of Mackinac's fudge business.
He said candy has been a popular foodie souvenir here since Mackinac Island became a popular tourist destination in the late 1800s.
"And one of the things people did on vacation back then was they liked to enjoy candy. Today, we accept candy as an everyday phenomenon. Back then it was a treat. It was a treat that you did on vacation," Porter said.
At first, the mainstay was maple syrup candy in little birchbark canoes. It was a cottage industry for nearby American Indian tribes. The candy shops expanded their sales over time to include taffy and peanut brittle. But Phil Porter said Mackinac's confectionary future was in fudge.
By the 1920s, fudge shops lined the streets of Mackinac's downtown. Porter said electric Fans pushed the smell into the streets, streets emptied of cars and trucks since they were banned in 1898.
"And pretty soon people were like Pavlov's dogs. They had no choice but to go in and buy the fudge, and it's taken off since then," Porter said.
The most common forms of transport on the island are bikes and horse-drawn carriages. On a hot summer day, the smell of fudge cooking wafts from the shops and combines with what the horses leave in the streets to make a visit to Mackinac a unique olfactory experience.
BY AMANDA HARRISON
Michigan had a record year for tourism in 2012. The Pure Michigan campaign announced there were three point eight million out-of-state visitors.
Those three million-plus visitors spent a record one point one billion dollars at Michigan businesses.
George Zimmerman is the vice president of Travel Michigan. He said its the product that makes the campaign so successful.
"Michigan has a great tourism product. That's where you have to start. Michigan has always had a great tourism product, that is not new but for budget and other reasons until 2009 we never advertised nationally our great tourism product." Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said now that the state advertises nationally Michigan's tourism industry could easily double.
BY AMANDA HARRISON
Traverse City has been named one of America's best small towns by Fodor's Travel.
The online publication cited the city's culinary offerings as the top reason.
Brad Van Dommelen, president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Traverse City restaurants add.
"A flavor to our community that people really look for. Our restaurants, being chief owned utilize the farm to table concept, utilizing much of our local agriculture." Dommelen said.
Van Dommelen said Traverse City offers sophistication, without a big city price.
BY AMY ROBINSON
If you're the type that likes to plan ahead, than you may want to mark your calendar. One of Michigan's landmark Christmas attractions will be back in service next year.
The locomotive, the 1225, is known as The Polar Express; it was the model for the train in the popular movie of the same name.
The 1225 has been down for a federally required rebuild since 2010. Officials said it's expected to be back in service in November of 2013.
Terry Bush is the Events Coordinator for the Steam Railroading Institute in Owosso. That's the group that owns the 1225.
She said in addition to the return of the 71-year old steam locomotive, her organization is also busy working on a Train Festival for the summer of 2014.
"We have named it "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and our goal is to bring in classic cars, motorcycles, farming equipment, antique planes at the airport. Fill this town of Owosso with interesting machinery of all kinds to appeal to everyone who's into mechanical stuff." Bush said.
Bush said the Railroading Institute is hoping to attract 50,000 people to the festival. She said expects the event to fall in June, although a date has not yet been confirmed.
BY ANTHONY RIZZO
A mid-Michigan man has his holiday lights up like so many of us do. The difference is his display is shining light on the cause of a mid-Michigan nonprofit group.
Gary Shepard of Freeland decorated his home with 85,000 Christmas lights for his annual holiday show.
It is a light show and has a "drive-in" style, in which cars drive up to his home. The show consists of flashing Christmas lights, synchronized with music that can be listed to through a local radio station.
Donations collected from those who have visited Shepard's display have raised nearly twenty-one thousand and five hundred dollars for the Child Abuse and Neglect Council.
Delores Gale is the Development Director of CAN.
"It's just an awesome thing. I mean, the sight itself is truly amazing and he does it so it doesn't bother his neighbors... It's a way of spending time with your family, taking them over there, being in the car and dropping one dollar, five dollars, ten dollars in the box." Gale said.
Gale said it's something different and a great way to support a great cause.
Complete information about the show and it's cause can be found on Shepard's website, freelandlights.org
BY AMANDA HARRISON
Michigan themed bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets are commonplace and some people may have books or framed pictures, but a new Michigan themed game is now competing for a spot on the coffee table.
The game is called Chat Pack. It's a series of questions designed to get people to think creatively about their favorite aspects of the state.
There is already a demand for Michigan themed products said co-creator Bret Nicholas, but he said the market for question products might surprise people.
"Probably sold, I'm going to combine both the books we've written and the boxes of question cards we've done. probably about 1.5 million units we've sold of question related products that we've created. So there is ironically people kind of think it's funny but there's really a large market out there that really get into these question products and really has fun with them and knows what to do with them." Nicholas said.
Nicholaus said he used a combination of his childhood memories from Michigan with a lot of research to develop the questions.
BY ANTHONY RIZZO
The fall color in Michigan trees has arrived early this year. There is debate among officials how the early fall will affect tourism.
Tourism officials are concerned about this fall's color travel season being cut short. The shortened season could pose problems for local businesses.
Others think differently. Carlin Smith is the President of Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce.
He said he sees no slowing down, in the fall's tourism schedule.
"If I were to pull out my crystal ball, I would say the autumn tourism numbers will be just as strong as they have in the past, if not, even a little bit stronger. So I think our restaurants, our hotels and those businesses related to the hospitality industry will be just fine this fall. We're on the heels of a great summer, a really strong summer from a tourism standpoint."
Smith said leaves are beginning to fall rapidly this week due to high winds.
He said, looking ahead, he is hoping for snow this winter to build a strong winter tourism season.
BY CONSUELO MCABOY
The Pure Michigan campaign has been recognized all over the country for its tourism efforts. Recently, the campaign was honored with five national awards.
Pure Michigan won five Mercury awards this past week for having the best state tourism television advertising, radio advertising, social media presence, partnership advertising, and public relations efforts.
To receive a Mercury award, each state submits their work for 12 different categories, including best website, travel guide, television advertising or public relations.
George Zimmerman is the Director of Pure Michigan. He said the awards are flattering, but it's not the campaign's primary focus.
"Winning awards is not our primary objective. To us, the most important data is not how many rewards we've won but how well the campaign is doing as far as attracting visitors to Michigan and their money so that's the main prize for us but it's always nice to be recognized for the work you're doing
Zimmerman said since its launch in 2006, Pure Michigan has been recognized with a total of 15 Mercury awards.
He said the campaign brought 3.2 million visitors to Michigan last year.
BY DAVID NICHOLAS
Earlier this morning, Senator John Moolenaar headed out on day two of the Heritage Route 23 Tour, several stops Thursday and today to promote tourism in northern Michigan.
There are stops this morning in Alpena before the tour moves on to Harrisville, Oscoda, the Tawas', Au Gres and winding up this evening in Standish.
I spoke with the senator on Wednesday before the tour began, asking him about how the travel and tourism industry has recovered as part of Michigan's economy, and what impact stable and sustained funding for promoting the state has had on the northern Michigan businesses...
Senator Moolenaar is on the road again today with Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan DNR Director Keith Creagh and Michigan DEQ Director Dan Wyant.
To view or download the tour schedule, go to our CMU Public Radio news page at http://news.cmich.edu/wcmu_news/radio-news.html
Go to www.wcmu.org, click on the Radio Page and the link to CMU Public Radio News.
BY DAVID NICHOLAS
Even after the extended July 4th holiday week, people will be on the road the rest of the summer.
Senator John Moolenaar of Midland hopes some of the stops will be along Heritage Route 23.
Beginning today in Mackinaw City, the senator and several state government department heads and economic development officials will be seeing the sites of northeast Michigan.
Moolenaar said the stable and sustained funding for Pure Michigan is making a positive difference for those looking to attract visitors to the area...
"You know we have many treasures in northern Michigan that...that we just need to have people become aware of and once they're aware of it, they can tell others and become ambassadors for tourism and recreation in northern Michigan. And so, you know, jobs are still, uh, very much at the forefront of everyone's minds and some of these jobs in tourism and an economy that benefits from tourism is of huge importance to northern Michigan."
Senator Moolenaar will be joined by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan DNR Director Keith Creagh and Michigan DEQ Director Dan Wyant.
The two day tour starts in Mackinaw City at the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum and concludes Friday evening at the Historic Depot and Welcome Center in Standish.
To view or download the tour schedule, go to our CMU Public Radio news page at http://news.cmich.edu/wcmu_news/Route%2023%20Detailed%20Schedule.htm
Go to www.wcmu.org, click on the Radio Page and the link to CMU Public Radio News.
For the complete detailed tour itinerary, including times, locations, and addresses -
A two-day tour of Heritage Route 23 from Mackinaw City to Standish as a way to highlight the region.
Thursday, July 12 and Friday, July 13
The tour begins at the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum at 131 S. Huron Ave. in Mackinaw City and travels down to the Historic Depot and Welcome Center at 107 N. Main Street in Standish.
For more information, contact Moolenaar's office at 1-517-373-7946.
NEWBERRY (11:30PM 5/25/12) -- A wildfire in the Upper Peninsula's Luce County remained out of control Friday evening, threatening numerous homes and Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, nearly 18,000 acres had been consumed by the Duck Lake Fire. The fire was sparked Wednesday afternoon by a lightning strike.
The highest danger area is to the east of the fire, and officials fear the fire could quickly push to the east if winds were to increase.
Residents in the area from Pike Lake east to County Road 500, and north to Little Lake Harbor, have been ordered to evacuate. County Road 414 to County Road 410 is closed to traffic, as is County Road 500 from M-123 north to Little Lake Harbor.
According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the long and narrow fire is 14 miles north of Newberry, and seven miles west of Tahquamenon Falls State Park. From north to south, the fire is 11 miles long, and includes six miles of Lake Superior shoreline. In all, there are 29.5 miles of unconfined fire line, and the fire is active along its entire eastern flank.
Emergency management officials say numerous structures have been lost or damaged. Luce County's Emergency Management Team will begin assessing property damage when conditions permit.
A statewide toll-free information line has been set up for people affected by the wildfires. The number is 855-440-6424.
As of Friday evening, 91 firefighters were on the scene of the fire. They include 49 DNR firefighters and 24 from area volunteer fire departments. There are 17 fire engines on the scene, two water tankers, 10 bulldozers, one U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Helicopter and two Minnesota DNR air tankers.
Also Friday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder declared a state of disaster in Luce and Schoolcraft counties because of ongoing fire conditions. The governor's order bans outdoor burning and the sale and use of fireworks in the area affected by the wildfire.
The governor also activated the Michigan National Guard to assist with the wildfire, and granted emergency managers the authority to order and compel evacuations.
Snyder has also banned outdoor burning in 49 Michigan counties. A list is below.
The DNR is strongly encouraging all residents and visitors across the state to avoid open burning and the use of any fireworks this weekend, to minimize the possibility of more wildfires.
On the Web
Counties where outdoor burning is banned
Grand Traverse Houghton
Otsego Presque Isle
Photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
By Consuelo McAboy
Last month, the Pure Michigan ad campaign was celebrating its recognition as the most visited tourism site in the country. Now, Pure Michigan is taking the state's recognition a step further in a national tourism effort.
Pure Michigan is a key partner in Brand USA, which is the first-ever unified national tourism campaign.
Brand USA encourages travelers from all over the world to visit the United States.
George Zimmermann, the Vice President of Pure Michigan, has been appointed to the Brand USA Marketing Advisory Group.
Michelle Begnoche is the Senior Communications Specialist for Pure Michigan. She said his input, and the partnership will help market Michigan.
"The great thing is, being part of this is Michigan will have a voice, will have a role. Michigan as well as the entire great lakes region really has some unique travel experiences here in the U.S and by having a seat on this marketing board, those experiences will be able to play into the work that Brand USA is doing."
Begnoche said the success from the Pure Michigan campaign has placed Michigan on the map and will help grow the economy.
By Laura Weber
A conversation about a small piece of unused train track in Petoskey has turned into a larger discussion about the future of train transit in Michigan.
State lawmakers are weighing the benefits of converting old train tracks into recreational trails.
Officials in Petoskey are asking lawmakers to give them the go-ahead to negotiate the purchase of old, unused train track to add on to an existing recreational trail. The section is a rail "spur," which would be like a train's driveway off of a main line and into Petoskey.
Republican state Senator Geoff Hansen said he's particularly concerned with getting rid of a spur that could prove useful to future train transit in and out of the area.
"Because if we keep abandoning all of these, I'm just concerned about the fact that the more of these we abandon, we can't put these back."
Those who support turning decaying train tracks into usable trails for hiking and biking say the trails support tourism and recreation on unused swaths of land. The Petoskey rail-to-trail conversation is expected to continue next week.
Copyright 2010, MPRN
By Amanda Harrison
Pure Michigan ad's campaign is paying off. The state's tourism website is number one in the nation for views, taking the lead with a large margin.
Pure Michigan dot org is the most visited tourism website in the country for the fifth year in a row.
Michelle Begnoche is the senior communications specialist with the Michigan Economic Corporation. She said the success is due in large part to the Pure Michigan national ad campaign and social media.
She said the diversity in seasons and a number of special attractions gave Michigan's tourism site a large lead.
"Michigan.org received 7.69 percent of the overall market share of visits to state tourism websites and had nearly three million more visits than the number two state tourism website in Arkansas. So not only are we number one for the fifth year in a row but we continue to be number one by a very large margin."
Begnoche said the high volume of site visits translates to more money and jobs in Michigan's 17 billion dollar travel industry.
By Laura Weber
The film industry in Michigan may soon get a boost from the state. The state Legislature has approved a measure that would create a grant-based program to entice film companies to work in Michigan. The new grant program would replace the tax credit the state currently awards film productions. That incentive was dramatically scaled back this year by Governor Rick Snyder.
Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said he was glad the Legislature approved the film incentive program before the end of the year.
"It was important for me to I think continue the investment in this industry and continue to make it attractive, slash, competitive, to make movies here. I think it's a great industry and I'm excited to maybe have helped out some today."
Richardville said he knows there may be some disagreement among Republican lawmakers next year over how much money should go toward film incentives. He said he thinks the program needs at least 100 million dollars in state funding to be viable.
The measure now goes to Governor Rick Snyder for his signature.
Copyright 2010, MPRN
By Laura Weber
The state may have a new structure approved before the end of the year for cash incentives to encourage film and video game companies to work in Michigan. The state Senate approved a measure to create a program to distribute money to film companies approved for the grants.
State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville said it's important to strengthen the state's anemic film-incentive program.
"People are actually moving here and changing their jobs. So the real winners in my mind are the workers in the state of Michigan that will benefit from these programs."
Richarville said he hopes to approve the program proposal before the end of the year and get the Legislature to decide next year how much money should go into the program. Richardville said he thinks the film-incentive program would need about 100 million dollars to succeed.
by Amy Robinson
For people who stick around at a job for years; say 20 or 30, maybe 40, they might be rewarded with a certificate or maybe a bit stereotypical, a gold watch. One woman in Alpena, is being rewarded with a spot in the book of Guiness Book of World Records. And nothing about the honor is typical; Clarise Grenkowisk, a 92-year old great-grandmother, has been recognized under the category: "Longest Career as a Bartender."
It was quite a process; the record book checked her birth certificate, marriage certificate, and three letters of verification before approving her accomplishment.
There are things you expect to see when you walk into a bar. A pool table, Beer taps, maybe a dance floor. And then there are things you don't expect to see; like a 92-year old woman working behind the counter.
Let me back up. If you live in Charlevoix, Midland, Traverse City or hundreds of other towns throughout Michigan, you don't expect to see her. If you live in Alpena and frequent the Maple Wood Tavern, you definitely do. Clarice Kramer Cadarette Grenkowick has been bartending here, in the same bar, since 1940.
Customers have been showing up at the Maple Wood since prohibition. The bar was built in 1924 as a dry dance hall. 16-years later, Clarice began working in the Tavern when she married her first husband.
"Well, I married Henry and Carol's dad in 1940, September 6th, and his mother was running this place. My mother in law, Ortha Cadarette, and she needed help so we moved in to stay with her; and I've been here ever since."
Clarice raised her children in the apartment attached to the bar. Over the years, this tavern itself has become a home to this remarkable woman. She takes me on a tour to show me the memorabilia saved through the years.
A wall full of old cameras, a display case full of cigarette lighters, and a random roll of novelty toilet paper.
Past the pool tables, there's a shelf dedicated to Clairce's family photos. Memories of nearly 100 years preserved on the back wall of the Maple Wood Tavern.
These days Clarice has the grey hair well earned after more than 90-years of life, but everything else about her belies her age. She looks a good 20-years younger than her 91 years. The kind of fortunate person that time forgot.
This lifelong bartender has never smoked. She doesn't drink. She can mix drinks with the best of them; She tends toward the alcohol-equivalent of comfort food.
Vodka and Squirt, seven seven. We have a quite a few different kinds of liquor you know like rum. But nothing fancy it's just straight up, mostly beer here.
Clarice has a billy club tucked under the counter, just in case. She said she's only needed to pull it out twice; and then the threat was enough.
She said most of the people who come in the Maple Wood are no problem at all. In fact she counts them among her friends.
Clarice has outlived two husbands, her parents, three sisters and many friends. For this small, sturdy woman, this is home. She's spent her entire life within about a half-a-mile of this bar, a legacy she seems to enjoy. Clarice said its unreal to believe how many people have passed through her doors.
So we lift a drink to Clarice; Grandmother, great-grandmother and after 71 years of work, the world's longest serving bartender.
By Laura Weber
Michigan's film incentive program is up for discussion this week at the state Capitol. State Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville wants to keep Hollywood filmmakers coming back to Michigan.
Richardville likes having the film and T-V industry in Michigan. A couple years ago he was even cast in a bit part as a politician on a show aimed at young teens called "The Wannabes," which he describes as "Fame" meets "Saved By The Bell."
Richardville said the old tax incentive program designed by Governor Jennifer Granholm's administration won't work anymore for Michigan. But he said the film incentives were very aggressive, and without them...
"...We wouldn't have had the workforce in place, we wouldn't have the infrastructure investment, we wouldn't have the businesses that would support the industry while they're here."
But Richardville said Michigan is losing movies like "Iron Man 3" because the incentives have been scaled back too much. Richardville said he wants to come up with a funding structure that will continue to attract film companies, but won't cost the state too much money.
Copyright 2010, MPRN
By Laura Weber
Governor Rick Snyder said he considers himself the most aggressively pro-immigration governor in the country. Snyder said Michigan should work to attract workers from other countries, especially those with advanced degrees.
Snyder told an audience of students, educators, and researchers at the University of Michigan that he reminds people who disagree with him of two words.
"Bring up the words Dow and Meijers, because we tend to forget that, we tend to forget they're Michigan names. Dow was a Canadian emigrant and Meijers was a Dutch emigrant. And now they're household words that we consider them Michiganders."
The state demographer said one of the big reasons Michigan was the only state to lose population in the past decade is because of a failure to attract immigrants.
© Copyright 2010, MPRN
By Jen Richardson
Traverse City author Jerry Dennis visited the Charlevoix Library on Monday to promote his new book, "The Windward Shore." Dennis is well-known for his celebration of the Great Lakes and Michigan's streams and rivers.
"The Windward Shore" recalls a winter spent living on all five of the Great Lakes, in a variety of different locations.
"We stayed in cabins remote and primitive as a log cabin on the Keeweenaw Peninsula that pumped, piped its water directly from Lake Superior, to a twenty million dollar mansion."
The book, Dennis said, is a reflection on the beauty, power and fragility of the lakes, and an exploration into the connection between man and nature...
"I discovered that after spending November in the Keeweenaw, January at Cat Head Point, on Lake Michigan, February on Northern Lake Michigan, not too far from here, and then March back home, I also wanted to write about my home. We live on Old Mission Peninsula, and I realized that in all my travels, in all my explorations, one of the things I had neglected was to really learn my home."
In a review, Dennis' book was described as a "gentle call to action," to protect the Great Lakes. During the evening, Dennis spoke about environmental issues, such as invasive species, fracking and other threats to water quality.
By Ginny Beauchamp
Midland's Dow Diamond will soon open its doors not only to baseball fans, but to blood donors. The Michigan stadium is the first in the country to house a blood donation facility.
Nick Wasmiller is the PR manager at Michigan Blood. He said he is pleased to partner with Dow Chemical and the Great Lakes Loons baseball team to encourage people to become donors.
"We hope that it keeps Michigan Blood and the need for blood in general top of mind, and that it improves the ability of the community to come out and donate. We're really in a constant need to be able to connect with the really great donors of the Great Lakes Bay region, and I think a top mind location like Dow Diamond is one great way that we're going to be able to do that."
Wasmiller said Michigan Blood hasn't yet decided on what the donation process will entail, but whole blood will definitely be taken. From those samples, technicians will extract certain elements of the blood, like red blood cells, platelets and plasma.
Wasmiller said Michigan Blood's commitment to its donors states every drop of blood donated at the facility stays in Michigan. He Said the organization has exclusive relationships with 32 hospitals across the state where Michigan Blood provides their entire supply.
By Laura Weber
Mitt Romney dominated the presidential candidate straw poll this weekend during the Michigan Republican Party conference on Mackinac Island.
Romney and Rick Perry both spoke at the conference, but fervor for Romney swept over the island. Many delegates said the Michigan native offers hope of turning Michigan a red state in the upcoming presidential election.
It was clear from the beginning of the weekend that Mitt Romney's homecoming was eagerly anticipated. Many folks wore Romney t-shirts or stickers, and hung Romney signs around Mackinac Island.
But not everyone was sold on the former Massachusetts governor. Gary Glenn a conservative Republican candidate for the U-S Senate said he was more interested in hearing what Texas Governor Rick Perry had to say.
"Governor Perry has a record. They're a Right To Work state, Michigan is a compulsory unionism state. And so there is a clear comparison that you can make between the state that is No. 1 in the nation in job creation, the state that's No. 50 for having lost the most manufacturing jobs."
There was some marked anticipation for Governor Perry's presence. Party members stood in a long, claustrophobic line to flood the dining room where Perry would speak, waiting to see just what the Texan could offer Michigan. Perry told the crowd right off that he did not want to disappoint them.
"We were coming up here and they said 'Don't mispronounce the island's name.' So it is an honor to be on Mackinac Island, let me tell you ladies and gentlemen! What a beautiful place."
Perry said Michigan is the source of a fond boyhood memory.
"Dad said 'Listen, I'll just drive up to Michigan," and I think he went to Flint, or actually I think he went to Fenton to pick up a new GMC pick-up truck."
The crowd often clapped supportively and politely, with occasional cheers. But nothing and no one stood a chance with the audience once Romney entered the building.
"I love being in Michigan, I like people who know what Vernors is. I like people who when you ask them where they're from they hold up their hand and point to a piece on their thumb. I love that..."
And the crowd went wild. Romney took on the air of a presidential Johnny Carson - drawing wild laughter and occasional tears. He told boyhood stories of time spent in Michigan with his father, former governor George Romney, and his wife, Ann, whom he said he fell in love with on Mackinac Island.
"It's a wonderful place for us. It's got special memories. Mitt mentioned we met when I was just 16..."
That's Ann Romney.
"...He said 'My father's governor of Michigan.' Obviously I knew that. 'How about would you like to go up to Mackinac and stay in the governor's mansion with my family.' And I thought 'That is a great idea."
Audience members began clinking their forks on wine glasses, like a chorus of champagne flutes at a wedding.
"I don't even know what... Oh!"
The crowd gave Mitt Romney four standing ovations, as if he were giving his first State of the Union address.
"What an incredibly beautiful place. And I might add, rather romantic as well."
Don't forget, though, that Rick Perry had come to the island too. Perry may not have the rich family history in Michigan that Romney has, nor can he point to a location on his hand to tell Michigan Republican Party members where he's from. But he made an earnest plea to the state's party faithful to take him seriously as a presidential candidate. And he assured them he took them seriously as well.
"Listen, you all did something this last election cycle that was pretty powerful. You elected a Republican Legislature and a Republican governor I know what that means! Rick Snyder is going to be out there every day knocking on doors in Texas, trying to get them to move jobs from Texas to Michigan. I understand that. And that is what it's supposed to be about."
In the end, Romney ran away with the straw poll. Perhaps not surprisingly.
"From a very selfish standpoint I think Mitt Romney, for a state race, for a Legislative race, for everything else, is good for us..."
That's Saul Anuzis, one of Michigan's representatives on the Republican national committee.
"...I mean having Mitt Romney at the top of the ticket would probably put Michigan in a play, which means there would be national resources diverted here and investments made that would be good for the rest of the party."
The chairman of the state party, Bobby Schostak, said Romney's name could appeal to Republican and independent voters in Michigan, and perhaps turn the state red for the first time since 1988.
Photo by Chelsea Hagger, MPRN
Copyright 2010, MPRN
Northern Michigan Cities are reporting a successful summer season in terms of travel.
Jim Baumann is the director of the Boyne City Chamber of Commerce. He said he recently spoke with a restaurant owner who had a record summer.
"I think it was a number of factors, Boyne City is just slowly becoming better and better every year just in terms of what we have to offer people and terms of events interesting businesses."
Baumann said the city offered a number of new attractions this year including motorcycle rallies and ship exhibits.
Many northern tourist cities said the weather played a large role in a successful summer season.
Baumann said he expects continued tourism to the city through the winter.
He said he predicts the trend of increased tourism to continue.
A ferry company is going great lengths to keep its business afloat.
The SS Badger is a car ferry that transports passengers and vehicles between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
Lynda Matson is the Vice President of Customer Service and Marketing for
the Badger. She said the ferry is the last coal-fired ferry in the
Great Lakes region.
She said because the ferry dumps about four tons of coal ash into Lake
Michigan per day from mid-May to mid-October, the company must get
proactive in finding an alternative fuel source or they'll be shut down.
"Currently, after looking at many other options including ash
containment and switching to diesel, we were contacted by DTE Energy
with the suggestion of converting to natural gas. And that is currently
where we're putting all of our time and energy and resources to create
this program that has never been done before."
Matson said this is the first time a vessel will have converted from
coal to natural gas. She said there is no timeline set at this point
because of the amount of research that has yet to be conducted.
Picture is property of Madmaxmarchhare at en.wikipedia [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html),
from Wikimedia Commons
Saturday marked the five year anniversary of the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City.
Officials will use the occasion to officially turn the iconic ship over to the non-profit that runs the museum.
The 290-foot vessel has been docked in Mackinac City since 2006.
Lisa Pallagi is the operations manager for the museum. She said her organization has been working for years to gain possession of the ship.
"For five years, we as a non-profit organization have been running the ship, doing tours. And we had to basically prove ourselves. Now that five year time is up, and now they are officially going to give us the title."
A number of dignitaries are expected to be on hand, including representatives from the local, state and federal governments that helped bring the ship to Mackinaw City.
The Mackinaw is open daily for tours. Details at themackinaw.org
by abarndweller (The Icebreaker Mackinaw) [CC-BY-2.0
(www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Meet key historical figures from Odawa, French and British history. Watch a movie based on a French soldier's journal during the time of the French and Indian War (1750-1761), and tour an authentic wigwam during the grand opening celebration of "The Odawa Warriors' Journey" exhibit at Pellston Regional Airport.
The exhibit, a project of the Emmet County Historical Commission, opens to the public on Aug. 12, with a celebration planned from 4-6 p.m. The exhibit will be open daily beginning Aug. 13, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at no charge. Signs in the airport will direct visitors to the Trophy Room, where the exhibit components will be arranged, including interpretive display boards, a self-guided cellphone tour and life-size figures telling their own stories from the time period.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Emmet County," said Beth Anne Piehl, Emmet County's Director of Communications and Web Development, and the exhibit's Project Director. "It represents a broad collaboration of organizations who share the same mission: To promote our region, tell our stories and preserve our history. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for residents and visitors to learn about a significant time period that impacted the entire Michilimackinac region and to view artifacts culled from local grounds."
Emmet County received a $15,000 Michigan Humanities Council grant to help fund this project. Collaborating with the development of the exhibit and lending of artifacts are Mackinac State Historic Parks, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and the National Park Service, through Fort Necessity. The Odawa Warriors' Journey had been on display at Fort Necessity, in Penn., from July 2010 to July 2011.
The exhibit details the journey of Odawa warriors from Emmet County to Farmington, PA, to join the fight for Native sovereignty. The Pennsylvania battle in the summer of 1754 was the opening action of the French and Indian War. At least 20 Odawas (Ottawas), known as the Anishinaabe, were among those who traveled about 630 miles to this battle against George Washington.
The local exhibit committee further expanded the journey by tying in key figures and events in the Mackinaw region to the national actions going on at time, through the use of a special movie and characters like Patrick McGulpin, the namesake family of McGulpin Point Lighthouse just west of downtown Mackinaw City, and Charles Langlade, a prominent Odawa leader who impacted numerous battles and events here and nationally.
The Pellston display will be open until summer 2012. It will be open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call (231) 348-1704, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.emmetcounty.org.
MEDIA: For further information, contact Piehl at the number or email listed above.
Michiganders have a unique opportunity to experience life like Christopher Columbus by touring the Nina and the Pinta replicas.
Visitors will discover the conditions the shipmates endured and how far society has come.
"It's a unique opportunity to come stand on the deck of a 15th century vessel and understand what life was like 500 years ago, how arduous the journey was, the things the men had to put up with and do to sail across to an unknown land that they weren't even sure existed."
Captain Kyle Freeoff said the type of ship used was known as a caravel. He said historians considered this type of ship the space shuttle of the 15th century.
"It's very well suited for exploration because it is very fast. Columbus used two of them when he sailed across the ocean and Magellan even took a caravel with him when he sailed around the world."
Freeoff said the vessels gain speeds between four and eight miles an hour.
The ships will be in Port Sanilac August fifth through the eighth...open to the public starting at 9 on Friday, August 5...and in Frankfort August 18th through the 24th.
Celebrities now have a safe haven from paparazzi and pushy fans in Elk Rapids after the city introduced a celebrity code of ethics.
Lindy Bishop is the economic director in Elk Rapids. She introduced the idea to the chamber of commerce.
She said a lot of celebrities visit and live around the area. She wants them to know they can spend time in town without being harassed.
"What motivated me the most was thinking about being a small town and the fact that that in itself is asset. And I was trying to think who was that asset most valuable to and to me it seemed it was the celebrities.
Bishop said it is difficult for celebrities to experience small town living.
She said she hopes this proclamation will encourage celebrities to visit Elk Rapids.
problems are pretty well documented. But just in case, here's a rundown:
murders, arson, blight, poverty, massive police layoffs and the dubious honor
of being named one of the most violent
cities in the country.
And then of course there's Michael Moore's 1989
movie Roger and Me...which basically memorialized Flint's decline on the big
screen. A movie Stephen Zacks would rather forget:
know Michael Moore and they know Roger and Me and so you respond to that
question for your whole life. You keep answering the question: What's wrong
other comment he hears a lot is - oh Flint! Right, I think I've driven by it on
the highway. So Zacks - a Flint native who now lives in New York - has moved
back to his hometown temporarily to start a new, city-wide public art project.
But he wants to be clear about one thing:
not a project to try to save Flint. It's a project to collaborate with people
who live in Flint. Trying to find areas of the city are underutilized and where
people who live in those neighborhoods would like to see something happen, and
we're trying to make them happen quickly.
The goal is to create a bunch of temporary art
installations around the city...whether it's in abandoned buildings or along the
river or in someone's front yard. Create almost a kind of critical mass of
small projects....that will maybe, just maybe get the people in Flint to start to
see their city differently.
Zacks is talking to anyone and everyone for the
project. Local and national artists, community organizers, neighborhood
associations, business owners. He even pitched the idea to Flint Mayor Dayne
Waling...who seems to like the idea:
would be wonderful if this project creates such strong new memories and new
attachments that our community refers to these now vacant sites as the place
where that really cool installation was put in as opposed to that's where
people went to work and the factory closed and we hit all these bad times.
and Zacks met for coffee and talked about the project for about an hour. The
two kicked around ideas for potential sites for the installations...the vacant
lot known as Chevy in the Hole, Atwood Stadium...
Another space to
think about on Grand Traverse and University, one of the long time problem
loitering spaces, former grocery market and parking lot, is being greened, so
all of that is being removed...
When I asked the Mayor if he really thought something like this could make a
difference in the city...he didn't give a definitive yes, but he said he's open
have tried to really keep that open door to new ideas b/c obviously the old
approaches aren't working in Flint anymore.
of the money for the Flint Public Art Project will come from grants. Zacks
launched an online fundraising campaign to bring in money that way, too. And while
the projects main focus is on temporary art installations... Stephen Zacks hopes
something more permanent will come out it:
would like for there to be a landmark that is really integral to the place that
emerges from the project. Where you'd see a sign from the highway that says,
says that'll all depend on how much community "buy in" there is for the idea.
Which is where they might have their work cut out for them. Cade Surface is a
student at U of M Flint and he' helping Zacks with the project. He says he's
already gotten some flak from folks in town:
heard its Auto World 2.0.
the now defunct indoor theme park in Flint
think sometimes people around here - including myself - can be kind of cynical
of people from outside coming in with their ideas because we have had that come
in before and it hasn't worked. Doesn't mean it's a reason to stop trying!
says yeah it might be a pie in the sky...but it also just might work.
Authorities are looking into whether a Lansing medical marijuana clinic broke the law by offering free pot to customers who stop by and register to vote. The owner of the clinic opposes Lansing's new medical marijuana ordinance. And, as we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, she has called for the ouster of city council members who supported the ordinance.
The Your Healthy Choices Clinic advertised on its web site that customers who stop in and register would get a half-gram of pot or a marijuana-laced snack item. It also encouraged people to vote against city council members who supported Lansing's medical marijuana ordinance. Authorities said that may have put the clinic afoul of state election laws.
John Sellek is the spokesman for Attorney General Bill Schuette. He said clinics have mushroomed far beyond what Michigan voters intended when they approved the medical marijuana law in 2008.
"And they certainly didn't plan for those pot shops to be handing out marijuana as party favors essentially for their own political, personal agenda."
Schuette is looking into filing criminal charges. The clinic owner told a Lansing T-V station there was no attempt to buy votes - only to get people to register.
Another (One) group of people who
are having to face the heat head-on are fair-goers and exhibitors.
Tuscola county fair has had the interesting fortune of running this year during
a week long heat wave.
Rupprecht (ROOP-reck) is on the Tuscola county fair board. She said so far, so
"Actually things are going very well. We've purchased fans and we have
misters on the animal, so they're taking the heat as well as can be
expected. Better than many of the people
Rupprecht handles bio-security at
the fair. That means she oversees the
well being of the animals.
She said so far, they've had to
send some rabbits and chickens home due to stress, but otherwise the animals,
and exhibitors, are faring well.
Dog tails will be wagging in Harbor Springs today if a controversial location for a dog park is approved by the city commission.
The dog park committee has been working for two years to get a park in down town Harbor Springs.
Sherly McCleery is with the dog park committee and the planning commission. She said the committee was looking for a location that would enhance the downtown and attract more people to the area.
"This piece of property is close enough to down town to encourage people who have never come to Harbor before to come and visit the dog park. And then maybe actually go down town and spend a little money."
McCleery said the proposed park location is currently used as an overflow parking lot for boaters. She said opponents have been sending letters to the city manager complaining that the parking lot would have to be moved.
Opponents are also worried that the dogs would disrupt a nearby deer park.
The Petoskey area has received a visit from one of its biggest fans this summer. Best-selling author Ann Patchett was in town to promote her newest book, State of Wonder.
Last spring, Patchett published an article in the New York Times Style Magazine that was complimentary to the Petoskey area.
Speaking in front of a crowd of 200 at The Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, she remembered being less than thrilled at the thought of traveling to Petoskey, until she got here.
"When I first came here, to say that I did not want to go, I was livid. I was livid that my publisher was sending me someplace that required two separate flights and a two hour car ride. There isn't anyplace else in the country that I can think of that a publisher would say yes you have to do this. And I've been coming back here ever since."
Patchett spoke about the importance of maintaining independent bookstores. She also mentioned that she is in the process of opening a book store in her hometown of Nashville.
Ann Patchett, who is also the author of Bel Canto, won the Pen/Faulkner Award in 2002. Her new book, State of Wonder, is currently ninth on the New York Times best-seller list, and has been compared to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Film industry advocates said they hope a plan to be rolled out this week will succeed in partially restoring incentives to lure movie, T-V, and video production to Michigan. As we heard from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, they said the state's new 25 (m) million dollar cap on incentives is too low to lure big productions that will make Michigan a viable movie-making destination.
Chris Baum works with Michigan Film First and Film Detroit to market the state to the movie industry. He had said the state's built a reputation among filmmakers for its scenic locations and reliable production crews.
"There's an awful lot of stuff that's working in our favor, and we can be a little less generous now that we've given them a taste of Michigan because we know they want to come back."
Baum says the state needs to spend at least 100 (m) million dollars a year to attract movies. He says the film subsidy may not be a short-term gain in tax revenue, but it's already helped launch a long-term diversification of the state's economy.
But critics of the subsidies said it's not fair to take that kind of risk with taxpayer dollars, especially when the state is emerging from a decade of budget troubles.
Warnings are going out to Morel mushroom hunters; make sure the mushroom you've found is actually a morel before you eat it. Health officials says ten people in Michigan have already been hospitalized this year after eating toxic, false morels.
Last year there weren't any hospitalizations. In 2009 there were five.
Sarah Ray with the Grand Traverse County health Department, says if you eat a false morel, it doesn't take long before you feel the symptoms, "It presents very similar to a food-borne illness, so you have the nausea, stomach cramping, vomiting, but it can quickly progress depending on an individual sensitivity to the toxin that could lead to things such as coma or stroke"
Ray says if you're new to morel hunting, you should go with an experienced Morel hunter or take a guidebook along.
You can also get information on how to determine what's a real morel at the Michigan poison center at the Detroit Medical Center. Their website is www.childrensDMC.org
2010 ended up being a very good year for Michigan's tourism industry.
Visitor spending jumped $2.1 billion dollars last year, the biggest one year increase in travel spending in Michigan history.
George Zimmermann is the Vice President for Travel Michigan.
He said out-of-state guests fueled the spending increase.
"People coming to Michigan for vacation from out of state: up 21 percent in one year," said Zimmermann. "2010 was the first time that out-of-state visitors spent more on leisure trips in Michigan than Michigan residents."
According to Zimmermann, last year's jump in tourist visits created 10,000 new jobs.
And the trend seems to be continuing.
Zimmermann said through April of this year, hotel occupancy rates are up nearly 10 percent, compared to the same period last year.
The Michigan Department of Transportation plans on suspending 70 percent of road construction statewide over the coming holiday weekend.
MDOT will lift traffic restrictions on 75 projects statewide, beginning at 3pm Friday.
"It's a tradition for a long time to try to ease travel during holiday weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day weekends," said MDOT Communications Director Jeff Cranson, "both to protect the workers because there is so much more traffic on those holiday weekends, but also to make it easier for people to get to the places they want to go."
Still, Cranson said travelers will encounter some construction over the holiday weekend -- and he urged them to slow down when they do come across an active work zone.
Active Work Zones over the Memorial Day holiday:
- I-75 Business Spur in Sault Ste. Marie, Chippewa County, will remain closed between 10th Avenue and Easterday Avenue. Detour on city streets.
- M-35 in Escanaba, Delta County, will have one lane closed for northbound traffic south of US-2/41 (Ludington Street), with one northbound and two southbound lanes open.
- M-123 north of Newberry, Luce County, will remain closed at Murphy Creek. Detour on M-123 and M-28 through Eckerman Corners.
- US-2, Mackinac County, will have a traffic shift between Naubinway and M-117, with one lane open in each direction.
- US-41 in Menominee, Menominee County, will be closed to through-traffic between M-35 and 48th Avenue. Detour on M-35 and 48th Avenue.
- US-141 in Breitung Township, Dickinson County, bridge linking Michigan and Wisconsin will remain closed. Detour on US-141, US-2 and US-8 through Norway.
Northern Lower Peninsula
- The Mackinac Bridge (I-75) will have intermittent lane closures during off-peak hours for painting.
- M-37, Wexford County, will be closed over the Pine River with a posted detour.
- US-131 Business Route (Mitchell Street) in downtown Cadillac, Wexford County, will be closed with a posted detour.
- I-96 in Cascade, Kent County, will have two lanes open in each direction at M-11 (28th Street). M-11 will have two lanes open in each direction.
- I-196 in Grand Rapids, Kent County, will be shifted under Fuller Avenue with two lanes of traffic maintained in each direction. Fuller Avenue will have one lane open in each direction; a left-turn lane from northbound Fuller Avenue to westbound I-196 will be open. The ramp from Fuller Avenue to eastbound I-196 will remain closed.
- M-21 in Ada, Kent County, will have one lane open in each direction on the temporary bridge over the Grand River.
- M-66 (Dexter Street) in the city of Ionia, Ionia County, southbound lanes will be closed from the Grand River to M-21 with a posted detour. One lane remains open on northbound M-66.
- M-121 in Hudsonville, Ottawa County, will continue to have one lane open in each direction between Main Street in Zeeland and 40th Avenue.
- US-31 in Hart, Oceana County, will have a traffic shift and one lane open in each direction from Polk Road to just north of the Monroe Road interchange into Pentwater.
- 142nd Avenue, Allegan County, bridge closed over US-131. A detour is posted; all US-131 lanes will be open.
- Britain Avenue, Berrien County, bridge closed at I-94 with a detour posted. Two lanes of I-94 open in each direction.
- I-94 in Kalamazoo/Portage, Kalamazoo County, will have two lanes maintained in each direction at Westnedge Avenue. The following ramps are closed:
- Southbound Westnedge Avenue to eastbound I-94;
- Southbound Westnedge Avenue to westbound I-94;
- Northbound Westnedge Avenue to westbound I-94;
- Westbound I-94 to southbound Westnedge Avenue;
- Westbound I-94 to northbound Westnedge Avenue; and
- Eastbound I-94 to northbound Westnedge Avenue.
- I-94/Main Street interchange in Mattawan, Van Buren County, will have the eastbound I-94 ramp to Main Street closed; all I-94 traffic lanes open.
- I-196, Berrien County, will have one lane open in each direction over the Coloma Road and CSX bridges at Mile Marker 4.
- I-196 in South Haven, Van Buren County, will have one lane open in each direction over 20th Street (County Road 380).
- M-99 in Albion, Calhoun County, bridge closed over Kalamazoo River and traffic detoured.
- M-140 in Watervliet, Berrien County, will have one lane open in each direction.
- US-12 in Union, Cass County, closed to through-traffic with detours posted.
- US-31, Berrien County, will have one lane open in each direction over the Saint Joseph River.
Central Michigan and Thumb
- I-75, Bay County, will have northbound traffic shifted to southbound lanes from Linwood to Pinconning roads, using a moveable barrier to separate traffic. Wednesday - Saturday: two northbound lanes and one southbound lane will be open. Saturday - Wednesday: two southbound lanes and one northbound will be open.
- I-75, Saginaw and Bay counties, will have three lanes maintained in each direction from M-84 to Crane Road. Three northbound and two southbound "express" lanes are shifted and open on the northbound side of the highway; one southbound "local traffic" lane is running on the southbound side. Access to I-675 and M-84 is maintained on the southbound lane.
- I-675, Saginaw County, remains closed from M-13 to Veterans Memorial Highway. Alternate routes include: M-13 to M-81 to I-75, and northbound I-675 to I-75. Downtown access is available via southbound I-675, using the Warren/Jefferson exit.
- M-13, Bay County, will have one lane open in each direction at Worth Road.
- M-21, Genesee County, will have one lane open in each direction over Mistequay Creek; traffic shifted to the north half of the bridge.
- M-25, Huron County, will remain closed over the White River with traffic detoured.
- M-57, Gratiot County, will have one lane open over Bear Creek with traffic maintained via temporary traffic signals.
- M-84, Bay County, will have southbound lanes open from I-75 to Euclid Avenue. Northbound M-84 is closed from Hotchkiss Avenue to Euclid Avenue with traffic detoured.
- Grand Ledge Rest Area off eastbound I-96, Clinton County, is closed.
- Okemos Rest Area off westbound I-96, Ingham County, is closed.
- Kipp Road, Ingham County, is closed over US-127 with traffic detoured. Two lanes of US-127 open in each direction.
- LaPlaisance Road, Monroe County, will have one lane open over I-75 with traffic maintained using a temporary signal. All lanes on I-75 will be open.
- Page Avenue near Jackson, Jackson County, has one lane maintained in each direction over US-127. Two lanes of US-127 will be open in each direction with a shoulder closure.
- I-69, Shiawassee County, will have one lane open in each direction between M-52 and M-13.
- I-94, Jackson County, has two lanes maintained in each direction between Sargent Road and the Jackson/Washtenaw county line with a traffic shift.
- M-43 (Saginaw Highway), Eaton and Ingham counties, will have two westbound lanes open between Canal Road and Mall Drive West, and between Waverly Road and Rosemary Avenue, with all eastbound traffic detoured.
- M-43 (Grand River Avenue), Ingham County, ramp from northbound US-127 is closed with a detour posted.
- M-43 (Grand River Avenue) near Williamston, Ingham County, has one lane maintained at Meech Road with a temporary signal.
- M-71, Shiawassee County, will be closed over I-69 with a detour posted.
- Old M-78 (Lansing Road), Shiawassee County, will have one eastbound lane open between Woodbury Road and Ruess Road, with westbound traffic detoured.
- M-100 (Wright Road) near Grand Ledge, Clinton County, is closed at I-96 with traffic detoured. Two lanes of I-96 are maintained in each direction with a shoulder closure.
- US-223 east of the village limits of Blissfield, Lenawee County, has one lane maintained with a temporary signal.
Metro Detroit Region
City of Detroit
- I-96 eastbound and westbound ramps to northbound M-39 are closed. Traffic detoured via US-24 (Telegraph Road).
- M-39 (Southfield Freeway) is closed in both directions between M-5 (Grand River Avenue) and M-10 (Lodge Freeway) for reconstruction. Traffic detoured via US-24.
- M-39 down to one lane in both directions between M-5 and M-153 (Ford Road) for ongoing construction.
- M-85 (Fort Street) is closed in both directions between Schaefer Road and Oakwood Boulevard for ongoing reconstruction. Traffic detoured via I-75.
- Crooks Road is reduced to a single lane in each direction over M-59.
- I-75 northbound exit to eastbound M-59 is closed with a detour posted.
- M-5 eastbound and westbound lanes closed between Purdue Street and 8 Mile Road.
- M-59 eastbound ramps to northbound and southbound I-75 are closed with detours posted.
- M-59 westbound ramp to southbound I-75 is closed with a detour posted.
- M-59 has two lanes open in each direction between Crooks and Opdyke roads.
- US-24 has the left northbound lane closed from 12 Mile Road to Maple Road for construction
St. Clair County
- Wadhams Road is reduced to a single lane over I-69 with traffic controlled via a temporary signal.
- I-94/I-69 has two lanes open in each direction between the Black River Bridge and Lapeer Road with a traffic shift and reduced speeds posted. In addition, Riverside Drive is closed under I-94/I-69 and detoured.
- I-94/I-69 eastbound exit to Water Street is closed with a detour posted.
- 11 Mile Road westbound entrance ramp to westbound I-94 is closed. A detour is posted.
- Van Dyke Avenue is reduced to two lanes over I-696.
- I-94 left shoulders closed in each direction between 8 Mile and 11 Mile roads.
- I-696 has shoulder closures in both directions between Van Dyke Avenue and Hoover Road for ongoing bridge construction.
- M-3 (Gratiot Avenue) southbound bridge over the Clinton River is closed. Traffic is detoured to the northbound bridge with a single lane open in each direction on the northbound structure.
- Northline Road entrance ramp to northbound I-75 and the southbound I-75 exit ramp to Northline Road are closed and detoured.
The Department of Natural Resources has proposed closing 23 northern Michigan State Forest Campgrounds.
The campgrounds could close as soon as next month.
According to DNR spokesperson Mary Detloff, the sites are rustic, unstaffed, and offer few amenities.
"These are underperforming campgrounds," Detloff said. "They're not bringing in a lot of revenue. They're probably costing us more to operate and maintain than what they're bringing in."
Detloff said fiscal considerations are behind the proposal to close the campgrounds.
"General fund money has traditionally been the main source of financial support for our forest recreation program. That's been cut 63 percent over the last three years," she said.
Detloff stressed that the proposal does not affect any state parks, and that the state has no plans to close any state park campgrounds.
"The DNR understands and realizes that state parks are huge tourist draws," she said. "They are huge to the economies at the communities that they are located near. A lot of other states closed their state parks in times of tough budgets. We have done everything we can to keep ours open."
Detloff said the proposal does not mean an end for camping in Michigan's state forests.
"Dispersed camping is still available on any state forest land in the State of Michigan," she said. "As long as you're more than a mile away from a campground, you can simply pitch a tent in the woods if that's what you're into. That's allowed, and that's free."
The proposal must be approved by the Natural Resources Commission before the closures could take effect.
That could happen as soon as May 12.
State Forest Campgrounds slated for closure:
- Baraga County - Beaufort and Big Lake state forest campgrounds
- Cheboygan County - Black Lake Trail Camp
- Chippewa County - Lime Island State Forest Campground and Cabins and Munuscong River State Forest Campground
- Crawford County - Manistee River Bridge State Forest Campground
- Iron County - Deer Lake State Forest Campground
- Lake County - Bray Creek State Forest Campground
- Luce County - Blind Sucker #1, High Bridge, Holland Lake, Natalie and Reed & Green Bridge state forest campgrounds
- Macinac County - Black River State Forest Campground
- Montmorency County - Little Wolf Lake State Forest Campground
- Oscoda County - McCollum Lake State Forest Campground
- Otsego County - Pigeon Bridge and Round Lake state forest campgrounds
- Schoolcraft County - Canoe Lake, Cusino Lake, Mead Creek and South Gemini Lake state forest campgrounds
- Wexford County - Long Lake State Forest Campground
For three years now, Michigan's hunting community has been divided over a state-imposed ban on deer baiting and feeding in the Lower Peninsula.
The ban was put in place three years ago to stop the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease, said Russ Mason. He's the wildlife chief for the Department of Natural Resources.
"Three years have gone by," said Mason. "We've done a lot of testing. We haven't found CWD. And so it's incumbent on the department and on the Natural Resources Commission to revisit this issue."
"We told the public that we would. The baiting ban was put in place in the context of CWD. We haven't found it, so now it's time to revisit this issue," he said.
The discussion over the coming months promises to be contentious. Some hunters love baiting. Others despise it.
According to Mason, the Natural Resources Commission will have to weigh the pros and cons, which range from the spread of disease to the natural movement of deer to a hunter's ability to bag a big buck.
His official position is that baiting is full of risks.
"Any baiting, and supplemental feeding presents a statistical risk," said Mason. "To say otherwise is just silly."
Mason said one of the biggest risks with baiting is the spread of disease. As an example, he cited Bovine Tuberculosis.
The disease has plagued northern Michigan's deer population for decades. It's spread when deer come in close contact, like they do at bait piles.
But because of the ban on baiting and feeding, Mason said the disease is now on the decline.
"And that was a big part of the reduction in TB incidents up there, from about 5 percent to about 2 percent," explained Mason.
"But here's the cautionary tale in all of that: it's very clear at this point, from the modeling we've been able to do that we now have an endemic disease in deer. Which is another way of saying that barring some literal intervention from God, we will have TB in deer in the northern Lower Peninsula forever, entirely the consequence of baiting and supplemental feeding."
"We want to think about that in the context of other diseases with which we'll be confronted in the future," he said. "CWD is just one of those. There's a whole host of other things out there that could be a problem for us."
Another major concern is the ability of hunters to actually get a deer.
John Madigan sits on the National Resources Commission, and he chairs the board's committee on fish and wildlife policy.
He said it's getting harder and harder to bag a deer.
"I've baited, and I've also hunted without bait," he said. "And both have some advantages and both have some disadvantages. With the amount of property around, and the amount of property being owned by private individuals, it's getting a little bit more difficult just to go into the woods and have free range of hunting areas."
Russ Mason, the DNR's wildlife chief, agrees.
He said baiting is especially effective up north, where many hunters own, and try to attract deer to, small plots of land.
"There are a lot of guys in this state, particularly in the northern part of this state, that bought small hunting properties say 25 years ago when deer numbers were higher than they are now. Deer had to go someplace, and they baited, and so those deer showed up on their properties," Mason said.
"They don't have to be there now, they don't have to be there, and in the absence of baiting, those guys are going to be pretty much deer free. What do you do about that? I don't think the answer is clear."
John Madigan, the NRC commissioner, says all those issues will be examined over the coming months.
"It's just not a black and white issue," he said. "I think depending on how old you are, how fit you are, where you hunt, if you own property, all those factors come into play on baiting or not baiting."
Madigan is inviting the public to attend one of the deer baiting forums over the coming months, or to submit written comments by mail or online.
To comment on the baiting and feeding ban:
Mail: Natural Resources Commission, P.O. Box 0028, Lansing, Michigan 48909
The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is one step closer to getting a funding boost for the current fiscal year.
The State House Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee has signed off on a bill diverting $10 million from the 21st Century Jobs fund to the Pure Michigan campaign.
That would bump the total investment in Pure Michigan up to $25 million for the current fiscal year.
The advertising campaign has been a boon for Michigan, bringing in over $2 in tax revenue for every dollar spent.
Representative Wayne Schmidt of Traverse City said the advertising campaign is helping to rebrand Michigan at the national level.
"Whether you're talking the $18 billion tourism industry, whether your talking about getting people to just get in here to take a look at it to create jobs or place a business here in Michigan, it's really part of rebranding Michigan," he said.
The measure now moves to the full house for consideration. It also must be approved by the State Senate.
BY: GINNY BEAUCHAMP
CMU Public Radio News
An art museum that opened two years ago during the recession wants to expand. It's broadening its art contest and adding an expanded winners exhibit.
Starting this summer, The Mackinac Art Museum will host a contemporary art and photography contest.
Phil Porter is the director of Mackinac State Historic Parks. He says both professional and amateur artists are encouraged to send their Mackinac-related works to the museum, where they will be judged by experts in each field.
Porter says first, second, and third places will receive a cash prize and an opportunity for their work to be displayed at the museum.
"One of the things we wanted to do was to use this facility to also display contemporary art, and in doing so to show that Mackinac continues to inspire artistic creation and then put those pieces on display. And also by having changing displays it keeps attracting the visitors to come to the Mackinac Art Museum and seeing all that we have to offer there."
Anyone 18 or older is eligible. Contemporary art entries must be postmarked by May 16th and photography entries by June 1st.
More information about the contest is at mackinacparks.com.
Beginning Friday, the historians at Mackinac State Historic Parks will be using a very new technology to teach us about the past. They'll be using Twitter to relay observations of Mackinac Island that were made 128 years ago, by a 10-year-old boy.
The observations were recorded in the diary of Harold Dunbar Corbusier. He followed his father to Mackinac Island in 1883.
"He was the son of Ft. Mackinac's post surgeon, Dr. William H. Corbusier," said Steve Brisson, chief curator for Mackinac State Historic Parks.
"And he was at Ft. Mackinac as a 10-year-old in 1883, for a two year period after that, and then he returned again, his father was reassigned to Ft. Mackinac, in 1892."
Brisson said Dr. Corbusier and his wife both kept diaries, and the doctor encouraged his son to do the same.
"Harold's father encouraged him to keep a diary chronicling his life and his daily events, and it was sort of an assignment of his father to do this," Brisson said. "And he indeed did do it. He kept a diary. It's the diary, in the beginning of course, of a 10-year-old boy. So it's not necessarily the most introspective type of diary you're ever going to find. He's basically recording the daily events of Mackinac Island in the Victorian Period as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy."
With the exception of the active military base, Brisson said the Mackinac Island of 1883 was very similar to the Mackinac Island of today.
"Mackinac Island had, by the 1880s, come into its own as a major Victorian summer resort," he said. "People were beginning to flock here. It had been declared a national park in 1875. So many people, as the same as today, were coming to Mackinac Island to enjoy the summer climate and the wonderful amenities that Mackinac Island has always offered."
Harold and his family lived in the military garrison's officers quarters. From there, Brisson said Harold had a front-row view of life on the Island.
The entries are not always that exciting, but they do paint a vivid picture of Victorian island life.
"He's recording exactly what he saw," Brisson said. "Often comments on the weather: it's cold, there's ice in the harbor, there's a boat stuck in the ice, it's a cloudy day today he might say. And then what they did. It's a perhaps a springlike day. We went to the literary club this evening. Men are cutting ice on the lake today. Just what he saw going around."
Harold's diaries were first published in 1994. Brisson's wife, a former park employee who now serves as a museum consultant, was involved in that effort at the time.
Brisson said she also came up with the idea of putting the entries on Twitter.
"She's just very into Twitter," he said. "And during her time here, she had worked with the diary and the publication of it, and developing curriculum activities for local school groups based on the diary. And now, it just struck her recently that boy, Harold's entries would really work well on Twitter."
Brisson said historians love using new technology to help people connect with the past, and publishing Harold's diaries on Twitter is a great example of that in action.
"It's just another example of trying to use whatever we can in the present to excite people about the past," he said, "and... forge a connection between now and those who have gone before us."
On The Web
BY LAURA WEBERMichigan Public Radio Network
LANSING -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm's proposal to use part of a projected budget surplus to fund the Pure Michigan ad campaign is drawing some heat in Lansing.
The governor and tourism advocates say the Pure Michigan ad campaign creates jobs and is a net revenue maker for the state. And they argue Pure Michigan should have been better funded.
"Yeah, but there's also great arguments that people can make about supporting our local communities through revenue sharing," said Republican State Rep. Dave Hildenbrand.
He thinks the state should sit on the surplus and use it for the next budget cycle, or to pay back loans from the federal government.
Other lawmakers say the money could be used to fund a Constitutional Convention if voters approve one in November.
Meanwhile, school advocates say the money should be used to restore cuts in the School Aid Fund.
"I think caution would be best for everybody," said Bob Emerson, the state's budget director.
Nothing can be done with the money until lawmakers return to the state Capitol, which will most likely be after the elections.
© Copyright 2010, MPRN
BY RICK PLUTA
Capital Bureau Chief, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING -- A revenue windfall should allow the state to restore funding for the "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign in time for the tail end of the winter travel season, according to Gov. Jennifer Granholm. That is good news for museums and resort operators, who say the ad campaign has helped them weather the recession.
[AUDIO] "...This fall, take a deep breath of Pure Michigan..."
This radio ad has never aired because the Legislature could not agree on how to pay for the Pure Michigan campaign, despite the fact that it's widely popular.
But according to Gov. Granholm, the state is going to end the year with higher-than-expected income tax collections. And that will be more than enough to pay for the ads, and get the campaign back on the air nationwide in time for the tail end of the winter travel season.
"If they don't know about us, then they're not going to visit, and that's the bottom line," Granholm said.
The governor said the state gets back as much as five dollars in economic activity for every dollar spent on "Pure Michigan." But she also said the state can't always count on being this lucky, and called on lawmakers to approve a permanent source of money for the campaign.
BY RICK PLUTA
Capital Bureau Chief, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING -- Michigan and four other states are asking a federal judge in Illinois to shut down the Chicago shipping locks as an emergency measure to keep invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.
The U.S. Supreme Court has already refused -- twice - to shut down the locks. But Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says the need for action has become more urgent since then - last month a 20-pound Bighead carp was found in the canal beyond an electric barrier that was supposed to contain the fish.
"It's sort of like where there's one cockroach, there's more cockroaches," said Cox.
Cox's lawsuit asks a judge to shut down the canal and order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use nets and poison to contain the Asian carp until a permanent solution is developed.
"Some of these fish are making their way to Lake Michigan and, ultimately, will start moving up the west coast of Michigan," said Cox. "And ultimately will start move into the Saint Joseph River, ultimately will move into the Grand River, and to the Pere Marquette, and wrap around Michigan and destroy our inland lakes, and our great fishing rivers."
Cox, Governor Granholm and other Michigan officials say that should include a physical separation of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems. But that's opposed by the Obama administration because of the burden it would create on Great Lakes shipping and the economy of the Chicago area.
Two public meetings are planned for next week in northeast Michigan to discuss proposed deer hunting restrictions in that part of the state.
The proposal would limit hunters to either antlerless deer or older bucks, in order to reduce the deer population.
According to Brent Rudolph with the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment, a smaller population makes it harder for Bovine Tuberculosis to spread among the deer herd.
"Increasing antlerless harvest is a big way to do that," said Rudolph. "You need to take females, the productive segment of the population out, in order to have a greater impact on reducing the size of the deer herd overall."
Under the proposal, hunters would only be allowed to take antlerless deer or deer with at least three antler points on at least one side.
"That point restriction, along with the added flexibility for taking antlerless deer are supposed to be working together to further reduce deer numbers overall," said Rudolph. "Get more people taking antlerless deer and reducing deer numbers overall, while still allowing people to take older bucks that are a little bit more likely to be TB positive."
If approved, the new regulations would affect only Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties.
The state Natural Resources Commission will vote on the new regulations next month.
Public meetings will be held:
June 22 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Harrisville Township Hall, 114 S. Poor Farm Rd, Harrisville.
June 23 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Alpena Civic Center, 133 Johnson St., Alpena.
A effort is underway to build a replica of a lighthouse that stood on Petoskey's breakwater nearly a century ago.
The original lighthouse, built in 1912, was washed away during a winter storm just 12 years later, in 1924.
It was a unique structure, said Terry Pepper, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
"The original structure was made of a wooden frame with a corregated iron skin on the outside, stood about 45 feet tall, was hexagonal on the base, had a door, and had a very unique, almost onion appearing lantern on the top," said Pepper.
Only six lighthouses of the same design were built, and the Petoskey light was the only one in Michigan.
"It's just such a rich part of our heritage," said Pepper. "It's sad to see any lighthouse disappear. And when you have a structure that's as unique visually as this lighthouse was in Petoskey, it's a sad thing that people don't get to see this anymore. And this would give an opportunity to people to see a replica of a relic from a different age."
Pepper says his organization is willing to do all the fundraising for the project.
"Our expectation, our plan is it will cost the city nothing," he said. "If they will approve it, we the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association will work with the contractor to build the replica, and we will raise all the funds necessary to build this replica."
Petoskey's Parks and Rec Commission has already signed onto the plan. A public meeting on the proposal is now scheduled for June 2 at 7 p.m.
On the Web:
Image: A postcard showing the original lighthouse on the Petoskey breakwater. Image courtesy Terry Pepper
Michigan's enhanced ID cards eliminate the need to carry multiple forms of identification when traveling by land or sea. Technology on the cards also helps speed border crossings by identifying bearers as US citizens.
Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, says demand is especially high among people traveling to Canada.
"So many of our residents travel to and from Canada to do business or play. So it makes very good sense for the people in Detroit, and Port Huron, and especially in the Sault area, that go back and forth. So we're seeing a lot of people get the enhanced driver's license."
Chesney says the cards are convenient for travelers - and they help border security, too.
"You just hold up your enhanced driver's license when you're approaching an American border station, and the technology speeds you through. There's no personal information that's transmitted. It just lets the border personnel know that you are an American citizen, and eligible to cross the border. It actually bolsters our security at the border."
The enhanced cards are not required, but they are an acceptable form of identification for travelers visiting Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean by land or sea.
In the last year, Chesney says the state has received more than 170,000 applications for the cards, which are available only to Michigan residents who are US citizens.
Two summer programs from the Department of Natural Resources & Environment are designed to encourage more visits to Michigan's state parks.
Maia Stephens is the Recreation Programmer for the DNRE. She says the Park and Read program allows a user from a participating library to borrow a state park day pass for free.
"It's just like any other circulation material. You can go in, and you check it out, and it's valid for seven days, but it's good for one use during that seven days, at any of our ninety-eight state parks and recreation areas."
Last year, about four hundred Michigan libraries participated, and about twenty-five hundred passes were redeemed through the program, according to Stephens. Over five hundred libraries are expected this summer.
She says Park and Read will run from mid-May through October. More information about Park and Read is available by clicking here
Stephens also says state park visitors who want to try camping can learn how from Michigan's Department of Natural Resources and Environment this summer through the First Time Campers program.
"You get two nights of camping; your motor vehicle permit's included. You'll got on-hand expert instruction from rangers in the park on how to pitch a tent, how to start a campfire."
Retailer Gander Mountain donated camping equipment to the DNRE for First Time Campers, so that materials can be provided.
Stephens says nineteen state parks throughout Michigan are expected to offer the program, including:
Baraga State Park
Bay City Recreation Area
Bewabic State Park
Cheboygan State Park
Hartwick Pines State Park
Hayes State Park
PJ Hoffmaster State Park
Holly Recreation Area
Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area
Muskegon State Park
Pinckney Recreation Area
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area
Port Crescent State Park
Silver Lake State Park
Sleeper State Park
Sterling State Park
Traverse City State Park
Wells State Park
Young State Park
A new stamp honoring the Mackinac Bridge will be officially unveiled tomorrow.
The last time the Mackinac Bridge graced a U.S. Postal Service Stamp was 1958, less than a year after the bridge opened.
The new stamp has been a long time coming, said Bob Felt, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He thinks the stamp will bring the Mackinac Bridge some much needed national attention.
"We've been able to maintain the bridge in a beautiful way for the past 52 years, going on 53, and we hope it lasts another 53 years," said Felt. "And the way that will happen is if people pay attention and understand what our needs are."
"We get recognition all the time in our state," Felt said of the bridge. "It's a Michigan landmark, but it's also a national icon. And any time you get recognized at this level, it's a great reason to celebrate."
According to Felt, the stamp was designed by artist Dan Cosgrove of Chicago.
It will be used for priority mail shipments, and sell for $4.90.
A ceremony will be held at Bridge View Park in St. Ignace Wednesday to officially unveil the stamp. The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m.
BY MARY FINN
The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will be getting one million dollars to use for land acquisition.
The money is part of $400 million in funding set aside by congress for Great Lakes restoration.
The funds will be used to expand the national lake shore, by acquiring private property around the park.
Tom Ulrich is the deputy superintendent for Sleeping Bear Dunes.
"A number of things have to be in place," said Ulrich. "They have to want to want to sell it, they have to be willing to sell it to the federal government to the park, they have to like the price that we're able to offer them from our government appraisal and then we have to have the funding in the land acquisition fund".
The park has already identified 15 properties available for purchase.
Is it a bike? Is it a taxi? Is it a billboard? Is it a trailer? Whatever it is, it appears Petoskey Pedicab will be allowed to ride the streets again next summer.. and advertise, too.. despite the past few months of controversy.
The 2 Petoskey pedicabs and their drivers became part of the fabric of Petoskey for many business owners and residents this summer:
"we support the Petoskey pedicab. we have our adverstiements on the baack...we pass out their business cards"
A green pedal-powered politically correct way to get around - with the added attrtaction of two cute guys behind the handlebars!
"I think it's a good idea.. 'm glad they did it"
Some people call the pedicabs goodwill ambassadors for the city of Petoskey, saying they add a nice character to the town.
Calvin Schemanski and his friend Josh Lycka - both raised in Petoskey- .came up with the idea for Petoskey Pedicab when they were working at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club Kitchen last year:
"it was kind of a slower day.it was something we started talking about jokingly.. .Then we talked a little longer and decided it could actually be done, and then we went for it"..
The 19 year olds who attend college now in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor developed a business plan to take people on short trips through Petoskey's gaslight district in the summer months. Putting signs on the back of the bike's carriage to advertise other businesses was part of the idca from the get-go.
They say they mentioned to the city planner what all that was about .. she didn't think it was something people would like
Suddenly . Shcmasnki says they hit a bureaucratic snag: He says they found that the sign ordinance didn't talk about pedicabs; made no mention of non-motorized vehicles. He says they wanted to play it safe so they filled out the necessary permits and submitted it to the sign committee.
Schemanski says all this was being done in the spring while they were still in school.. they appealed to the sign committee and lost on a 3 to 5 vote... at that point, they were not issued a permitd. The two decided to test the waters on the project.
Te 2 old fashioned looking bikes with black carriages for 2 passengers each.. complete with advertisements on the back..took their first official rides May 15th, 2009 . Offering downtown rides for tips only.. five dollar to 15 dollar rides from bay view to downtown.. and 12 dollar scenic tours.. . City Planner Amy Tweeten took action. july 1st and slapped Schemanski's partner with a ticket for prohibiting the sign ordinance
The Pedicab owner say the real financial problem came from the restriction in advertising, so Schemanski and Lyka obtained an attorney and fought the citation. They claimed that the only difference was the fact that we didn't have a motor.. they say that seemed silly. They didn't think the arguement would legally would stand up at all.
On august 5th.. 90th district judge Richard May dismissed the ticket.
Schemanski says he and Lyka had cheering sections and there was a round of applause
But the Petoskey pedicab dispute ruffled feathers.. and caused some folks to take sides:.. Bottom line: noone seems to want Little Traverse Bay, the sky above it, and the streets of Petoskey's Gaslight District filled with moving billboards. and many most seem to want to make sure the city's ordinances protect Petoskey from that scenario: Also : recent pedicab-related deaths and injuires in seattle, san deigo and new york have raised other concerns,,
Petoskey mayor Ted Pall says simply the city needs a pedicab ordinance.
He argues that there is a point where, without a dramatic change in people's driving habits, there IS a limit on what is safe. He says that's where his interest is. He says the city might have to limit the pedicabs from a safety standpoint.
The Mayor says it's time to be specific. He says although the pedicabs may not have been a problem this past summer, the city needs to protect itself going forward.
It's all over but the analysis. The summer travel season is officially over, and business and industry groups can begin reviewing the success of the season in Central and Northern Michigan.
Many businesses of course, were looking to tourists to bolster their businesses, and over the next weeks and months, the industry will crunch the numbers to see if that occurred.
Law enforcement often has a unique perspective on summer travel trends.
Trooper Rick Carlson has been with the Petoskey State police post for 13-years.
"I would say it was probably a little slower than years past. I would say it was up a bit from last year, of course gas prices last year kept travel down a little bit. But I would say it was still down from even four-five-years ago."
Trooper Carlson says summer vacations for State Troopers in tourist towns will probably begin next weekend.
BY MARY FINN
CMU Public Radio News
Many of us would never think to put luxury and camping in the same sentence but one RV Park in Petoskey has shown that it isn't hard to get the two together.
The Rose brothers opened the doors to the Hearthside Grove Motor Coach Resort earlier this summer to business that exceeded their expectations.
Craig Rose said that it was due to the little extra elements of luxury they put into their business.
"We have full time concierge service, pet walking; we have a courtesy car that's available for folks to use when they come stay with us."
Hearthside Grove plans on completing construction on their 140 acres in the next 5 years. This will expand their current 75 lots to over 300.
For many people camping is seen as roughing it but one RV Park does not perceive it that way.
In opening the Hearthside Grove Motor Coach Resort the Rose brothers weren't thinking about the bad economic times but about offering their customers the best place to have a vacation with all the luxuries of a four star hotel.
Craig Rose's expectations for a first summer in business were exceeded by mid June.
"You know in the past 60 days I've had visitors from about 31 states and we really draw from a national audience and people are very impressed about the quality of the activities and the sites in Northwest Michigan."
Although it is open for business, Hearthside Grove will continue to expand their 75 lots to over 300 in the next 5 years.
BY MARY FINN
CMU Public Radio News
When most people think of RVs the first thing that comes to their minds is 8 miles per gallon and no faster than 30 miles per hour.
However a Michigan based company Thetford Corporation is trying to change that with introduction of a Green RV.
A Green RV uses low flow toilets and sinks as well as solar panels for working the appliances in the RV.
Mary Burrows is the environmental spokesperson for Thetford.
"RVing actually can be a very Green experience. Really less of an environmental impact than many other things that you do and people that are RVers enjoy the outdoors they enjoy getting out and seeing the country and I think naturally have an interest in making sure that they don't pollute and don't have a negative impact on the environment."
Although the Green RV itself is only a demo many of the Green products in it are used by manufacturers to put into other RVs.
Although they may look the same, at least some of those RVs that you see barreling down the highway are not the same on the inside.
One company has pioneered products to turn the once gas guzzling RV into an environmentally friendly vehicle.
A Green RV uses recycled materials, low flow toilets and sinks as well as solar panels to make the appliances more energy independent.
Mary Burrows is the environmental spokesperson for Thetford Corporation who's promoting the new Green RV.
"Actually you know an RVing vacation is actually a very Green vacation. There's been a study that's been done that shows that vacationing in an RV has half the carbon footprint of taking a vacation using an airplane, rental car and a hotel room."
Thetford is promoting a demo Green RV. It houses all of the new Green technologies currently available. Manufacturers have also come up with a concept hybrid RV to add to the Go Green cause.