LATEST ARTICLES

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.

Baraga State Park getting new playground

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NEW EQUIPMENT–New playground equipment will soon be installed at the Baraga State Park through a partnership with the Michigan Army National Guard. The community build program will take place June 2nd through the 7th at the park. Baraga State Park authorities noted that the National Guard will lend their expertise to construct and install the brand-new playground system in the campground. While the park and campground will remain open during construction, the playground area will temporarily close for safety reasons.
by Melissa Newland New playground equipment will soon be installed at the Baraga State Park through a community playground build program. The Baraga State Park announced at the end of February that the project was able to be accomplished through a partnership with the Michigan Army National Guard for the community playground  build program and will take place June 2nd through the 7th at Baraga State Park. Baraga State Park authorities noted that the National Guard will lend their expertise to construct and install the brand-new playground system in the campground. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

LAS Junior High band attends first Festival

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A FESTIVAL FIRST–The L’Anse Junior High band recently participated for their first time at Band & Orchestra Festival! The band received a second division rating on their performance and a first division rating in sight reading, overall receiving a second division rating.
by Melissa Newland The L’Anse Junior High band recently participated for their first time at Band and Orchestra Festival which was held at Houghton High School last week. According to the Michigan Schools Band & Orchestra Association’s (MSBOA) website, www.msboa.org, “At Band and Orchestra Festival, students have the opportunity for ensembles from member schools to perform a program of three pieces for adjudication, one of which must be from MSBOA’s required list. District-level festivals are held at the end of February through the beginning of March, with this one being held Feb. 29, 2024. Each group is evaluated by three performance judges and one sight-reading judge. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

County provides election info

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EARLY VOTING–The presidential primary this past Tuesday also featured nine-day early voting for all jurisdictions at the L’Anse Township Hall from Saturday, Feb. 17, through Sunday, Feb. 25. These are pictures from early voting on the first weekend.
by John Raffel It’s an election year and Baraga County clerk Wendy Goodreau reminds individuals of various deadlines for filing for various offices. Filing deadline for partisan county and  township candidates is April 23 at 4 p.m. for the August ballot. Filing deadline for precinct delegates is May 7, at 4 p.m. for the August ballot. Filing deadline for candidates without political party affiliation seeking partisan office is July 18, at 4 p.m. for the November ballot. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.

Mild winter affects long-established businesses

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MILD WEATHER ABOUND–A lot in front of the L’Anse Motel & Suites that is typically full of snowmobiles has none. With one of the warmest winters on record, we go another year without ice on the bay, without snowmobilers on the trails. Businesses that rely on winter for a great deal of commerce are hurting more than ever this year. From restaurants to motels to logging, the mild temperatures are worse than you might think.
by Porter Davis As most Yoopers could tell you, winter is never consistent in northern Michigan, but rarely is it so tame as it has been this year. Most people would consider a mild winter to be a blessing, and perhaps in most places that is true, but here where we’re so accustomed to cold winters, most businesses plan their best times around the darker months. When faced with a winter that hardly leaves snow on the ground, decades old establishments are  struggling to find ways to operate. Beyond ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing,  there exists the restaurants that feed us, the hotels that provide a warm bed, and the shops with fishing supplies. The bay is devoid of the dozens of ice shacks that typically dot it in the heart of February. Snowmobile trails are practically nonexistent and thus tourism is taking a huge hit. With March right around the corner, we may yet get a big storm or two, but the likelihood that our winter is already over is all too apparent. Beyond commercial industries that everyone is familiar with, the warm weather brings an even greater threat to the state economy. Logging has been a part of life in the UP since the land was first  settled. Logging with modern machinery and vehicles typically requires the logging  companies to adhere to strict rules and regulations to preserve the land for further use and relogging over time. When the ground freezes, heavy equipment doesn’t damage the  ground and loggers are able to do some of their most profitable work in the winter. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.  

Road commission engineer honored

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Doug Mills
  by John Raffel The County Road Association (CRA) of Michigan Engineering Committee presented its 2023 Engineering Awards at the annual County Engineers Workshop held on Feb. 6 in Manistee and Doug Mills, engineer-manager with the Baraga County Road Commission, was presented with the Rural Engineer of the Year Award. Tim Brown, Saginaw County Road Commission, was named Project Manager of the Year. “CRA’s Engineer of the Year Awards honors those who have dedicated their careers to the pursuit of engineering excellence,” CRA CEO Denise Donohue said in a statement. “Doug and Tim have positively impacted their county road and bridge system. They are hardworking and integral members of their road commissions.” To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.  

Sacred Heart celebrates Catholic Schools week

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HELPING HANDS–Students at Sacred Heart School (SHS) in L’Anse celebrated National Catholic Schools week Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, with fun activities for students and faculty alike, including a school-wide service project and giving appreciation for the work teachers do every day. The week ended with a celebration on Friday of the school’s teachers, with the Home and School Association providing coffee and goodies for the teachers in the morning and an afternoon free of lesson plans with the entire school spending the afternoon skating at Meadowbrook Arena. Pictured are (l-r) hockey player Roman Brennan (grade 6) assisting classmate John Holcomb (grade 5) with his skates.
by Christy Miron  Sacred Heart School Principal National Catholic Schools Week was celebrated by staff and students at Sacred Heart School (SHS) in L’Anse who participated as part of the nationwide celebration of Catholic education. The event took place Jan. 28 through Feb. 3, with fun activities for students and faculty alike, including a school-wide service project and giving appreciation for the work teachers do every day. “Catholic Schools Week is a favorite for all each year,” said SHS  Principal Christy Miron. “Students had the opportunity to put aside their uniforms for the week and dress according to each day’s theme.” To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.  

Otter Lake Fishing Derby has great results

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ICE FISHING WINNER–Robert Aho of Tapiola caught the biggest fish at the Otter Lake Fishing Derby on Jan. 27, 2024. His fish was 34 and 3/4 inches long, garnering him $360. The fishing derby saw 76 contestants out on the ice, which stayed solid despite the warm temperatures.
by Porter Davis The Otter Lake Fishing Derby has been going on in Tapiola for many years now, bringing people from all over the western Upper Peninsula to go out on the ice. The fishing derby is a day of ice fishing on Otter Lake, where fisherman and kids compete to catch the biggest fish. Beginning at sunrise, fisherman haul in fish all day long using poles and tip-ups. Some people sat around the drilled holes with friends or family, while others drilled multiple holes and waited to see the flags from their tip-ups swing up across the lake. Regardless of  method, most fished in groups and enjoyed the warmer weather. The derby took place on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024. This year, the only fish measured for the contest were Northern Pike. Fisherman had until the morning of the derby to sign up and were allowed to fish until 4 p.m. Afterwards, a weigh in took place at 5 p.m. Most people came in a little early and fish measurements were submitted throughout the day. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.