LATEST ARTICLES

Keweenaw Classic, Lake Trout Fest success despite tragedy

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CARNIVAL FUN–Youngsters were out in full force at the Baraga County Lake Trout Festival this past weekend. At the L’Anse Waterfront, there was an Art & Crafts Fair, Coin Toss (sponsored by Baraga County Federal Credit Union), a kid’s fishing pond, kid’s carnival (sponsored by Ojibwa Casino), and a pie eating contest (sponsored by Nite Owl Restaurant). The Kid’s Carnival was a big hit with the bounce houses throughout the waterfront lawn.
by Melissa Newland Despite the tragic boating incident that happened on Lake Superior during the Keweenaw Classic Fishing Tournament (see seperate story on this page) this past weekend, the Baraga County Next Gen Team made the hard decision to push on, weighing in fish and handing out prize money to the top teams. “Despite the terrible boating incident for one of our teams, the 2024 Keweenaw Bay Classic Fishing Tournament was a success,” said  Shawnia Taisto, Baraga County Next Gen Team Member. “Our team offers our deepest condolences to the friends and families affected by the tragedy that occurred during the tournament.” The annual Lake Trout Festival and Keweenaw Classic Fishing Tournament coincided with free fishing weekend and was cohosted by the Baraga County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Baraga County Next Gen Team. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

LAS celebrates 31 grads

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A LAST HURRAH–was seen at L’Anse Area School last week during graduation on Thursday, May 30, as the 31 graduates tossed their caps in the air and received hugs and congratulations amongst falling balloons for having completed this milestone and start a new chapter in their lives.

by Melissa Newland

Though this year’s L’Anse High School (LHS) graduating class was small at 31 students, the celebration was huge and there was much joy and congratulations in the air as the class of 2024 gathered in the gymnasium for the last time to receive their diplomas last week. The evening was warm and beautiful on Thursday, May 30 as the L’Anse Area School (LAS) gym bleachers filled up with guests and the class of 2024 lined up by the gym doors waiting for the ceremony to begin at 7 p.m. LHS band members and Director Aaron Poniatowski started the program with James D. Ployhar’s “Fanfare & Processional,” announcing the senior’s entrance. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

Disaster drill takes place at state park

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DISASTER DRILL–The Baraga State Park was host and participant in a two and a half hour disaster drill on May 22. Guests of the park were made aware of the drill ahead of time.
by John Raffel The Baraga State Park hosted and participated in a Baraga County disaster drill for 2 1/2 hours from, 5 to 7:30 p.m. on May 22. Ahead of time, park officials alerted guests that they could expect to see EMS, law enforcement and fire vehicles and staff in the park along with mock victims of a school bus accident. Park officials were set to practice its emergency response and guests may have been contacted but were not to be alarmed as its only a drill to practice county-wide coordinated emergency response and planning. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

Remembering, running for Denise Marth

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DENISE MARTH MEMORIAL RUN–The Denise Marth Memorial Fun Run is held once again on May 11, 2024, in memory of a community member who advocated for health and wellness. Her memory is alive and well in L’Anse as this year is the 18th annual event in her honor.
by Porter Davis With a rainy start to the morning, the Denise Marth Fun Run had a dreary outlook this year, and organizers were worried no one would show up. Of course, though, there are members of the community that make a show no matter the weather conditions, because some  things are more important than a bit of discomfort. What is exercise after all if not a bit of discomfort for the sake of body and wellness. The Denise Marth Memorial Fun Run was held on Saturday, May 11, at the L’Anse Waterfront Park from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Denise Marth would no doubt be proud of everyone who attended this year if she were still here. In her memory, runners, cyclists, roller skaters, and all manner of exercise enthusiasts owned the day and conquered the weather for Denise and for themselves. Making the trek along the bay shore, participants were rewarded with snacks, drinks, water bottles and prizes. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

KBOCC celebrates graduating class of 2024

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DEGREES IN HAND–Happy graduates thank their teachers and mentors for helping them to graduate and earn the knowledge that will undoubtedly serve them positively later in life. The colors are held above, making an arch for the graduates to symbolically move through onto the next step in their journey. There’s no telling what they’ll do now, the world is theirs.
by Porter Davis As another semester comes to a close, the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) celebrates the graduating class of 2024. The entire community showed their pride and joy for the successes and graduates this year, as they on reflect what can be accomplished when one puts their mind to something. This year’s graduates and teachers have been hard at work earning their degrees and certificates together. Although a  ceremony in the rain may have been unique, it probably wouldn’t have been the most comfortable for most of the graduates in their finest clothes and makeup. Originally planned for the powwow grounds, the graduation ceremony was moved into the Niiwin Akeaa Center where it was dry and easily accessible for the supporting friends and families. At least with the indoor venue, the acoustics were good for the local Woodland Singers drum group. The Honors and Commencement Ceremony took place on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at 5 p.m. The ceremony began with two songs from the Woodland Singers, as the colors were posted by the KBiC Honor Guard. Following the Honor Guard, graduates and staff were led into the gymnasium and took their seats before an introduction from Kathleen Smith, and an invocation by Donald Chosa. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

HOSA students travel downstate

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AERO MED–L’Anse Area School HOSA/Keweenaw Bay Indian Community College CNA students visited the Traverse City North Flight Aero Med facility on their recent trip where the Aero Med personnel demonstrated intubation, IO insertion, and the use of LUCAS (a device that provides mechanical chest compressions).
Ten Copper Country Intermediate School District (CCISD) Career & Technical Education (CTE) HOSA students from L’Anse Area Schools (LAS) Health Careers and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College (KBOCC) Certified Nurse Assistant (CAN)programs traveled to Traverse City last week to compete in the Michigan HOSA State Leadership Conference. The event took place at the Grand Traverse Resort on April 18 and 19, 2024, where two HOSA Bowl teams competed. One team consisted of Brooklyn Dompier, Madison Peterson, Tessa Lanczy, and Madysen Skytta, and on the other team were Haley Dosmann, Cassie Kujansuu, Trysten Muma, and Kolyn Sweeney. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

Shantell Ekdahl Scholarship to ‘stop the stigma’

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SCHOLARSHIP FUND–Starting in the 2024-25 school year, the Shantell Ekdahl Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $2500 will be avail able at L’Anse Area School and will go to a graduating senior of L’Anse High School who is going into the mental health/psychology field in memory of Shantell Ekdahl. If there are no candidates going into that field, a secondary candidate will be chosen from those going into teaching. Pictured from left to right are Anne Koski, L’Anse Area Schools Foundation Treasurer, Shelley Ekdahl, and L’Anse Area School Superintendent Susan Tollefson.
by Melissa Newland Mental health issues and suicide too often go hand in hand and one L’Anse mother is taking action to bring the issue to the forefront after the loss of her daughter. Shelley and Lyndon Ekdahl along with their family felt the devastating effects of this problem when their eldest daughter Shantell recently “saved herself by suicide” March 23, 2024, after battling mental health issues for many years. “Committed suicide—that is a phrase that should never be used. There are other ways to say it,” commented Shelley. “This is the beginning of how we should speak of suicide and what she was going through. Shantell made several attempts to save herself by admitting herself into a psychiatric ward in Green Bay twice, seeing a therapist and doctor for her mental health and being prescribed medications for treatment, eating healthy and exercising to maintain a healthy baseline; all of which were not effective and ultimately led her to make this decision.” To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

KBIC program holds powwow at L’Anse school

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A GRAND ENTRANCE–LAS recently hosted a powwow put on by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and its Promise Neighborhoods Program. KBIC Vice President Rodney Loonsfoot along with other KBIC veterans and Head Dancers Willow Rexford and Kobe Forcia led the group of approximately 30 students dressed in regalia dancing around the gym.
by Melissa Newland Beautifully worked regalia full of color, beadwork, and bells could be seen at L’Anse Area School (LAS) last week as students learned about Native American culture. Thanks to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and its KBIC Promise Neighborhoods Program, LAS students were able to participate in a powwow and learn about Indigenous ways. The event took place at LAS’s gymnasium Thursday, March 28, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. where all students were invited to wear regalia. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

Tollefson to retire from LAS

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RETIRING–Susan Tollefson, Superintendent of LAS announced she will retire effective Oct. 1, 2024.
by Melissa Newland After serving the L’Anse Area School (LAS) for the past 30 years, Superintendent Susan Tollefson has decided it is time to turn over the reigns to someone new and enjoy retirement. At the last LAS board meeting held Monday, March 18, 2024, Tollefson submitted her official notification that she will be retiring effective Oct. 1, 2024. Tollefson’s career at LAS includes 21 years of teaching and 9 years as superintendent and she noted she enjoyed them all. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

LFD, MDNR urge caution

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FIRE CAUTION–is being urged by local fire department and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) due to lack of snow/precipitation this winter season. Last week, the L’Anse Fire Department (LFD) noted it was called to a small brush fire alongside US41. The crew headed out the morning of March 15, 2024, to assess the situation and found several ‘spot’ fires over a distance of 100 feet or more.
by Melissa Newland The small amount of snowfall/precipitation so far this winter has made for dry conditions here in the UP and local fire departments along with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) urges all to adhere to the burn permit restrictions that are in effect in the area. Last week, the L’Anse Fire Department (LFD) noted it was called to a small brush fire alongside US-41. The crew headed out the morning of March 15, 2024, to assess the situation. “It took us a bit to find it as it had gone out before we got there. But it was 10:30 on a somewhat frosty morning,” stated the LFD Facebook page noting, “The fire looked to be automotive related (possibly a bearing failure) that ignited several ‘spot’ fires over a distance of 100 feet or more. We counted ten-plus small fires that ignited. We were very fortunate that it was a cold morning, or this had the potential to be disastrous. Please, please, please be fire smart out there this weekend”. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.