Miron brings years of service to new role

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EXCITING OPPORTUNITY–New Sacred Heart School principal Christy Miron will continue with her coordination of the Faith Formation program, doing both jobs on a part-time basis. She replaces Dr. Eric Grekowicz who resigned recently after bringing technology, innovation and new curriculum to Sacred Heart School. Enrollment doubled during “Dr. G’s” tenure.

When Dr. Eric Grekowicz unexpectedly stepped down as Sacred Heart School’s principal, it didn’t take the pastor and the Diocese of Marquette long to find a replacement. Christy Miron was already well known for her work and commitment as the Faith Formation Coordinator in the local Catholic community. Miron has been approved as Sacred Heart’s new principal by Bishop John Doerfler. She will work in that position part-time and continue as the Faith Formation Coordinator, also a part-time position. Grekowicz had been a principal and fifth and sixth grade teacher. Sacred Heart has a long-term substitute teacher on board, and will hire a teacher in the summer. The staff will have four teachers and an aide. Amber Johnson will continue in her role as the school secretary, and she will serve part-time as the Faith Formation secretary. Although the changes have the Sacred Heart community looking ahead, most are also taking time to look back on the accomplishments of “Dr. G”. In two and a half years as principal Dr. G led efforts to double Sacred Heart School’s enrollment, which is now 55 students. He was a successful grant writer and he brought SHS up to current standards with classroom equipment, smart boards and student computers.

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Big drop in moose count

2015 ESTIMATE--Every two years the DNR does an aerial survey to estimate UP moose numbers. Specific grids are flown and sitings recorded. The numbers are then used to estimate the herd. There has a been a drop from an estimated 451 moose in 2013 to 328 in 2015. DNR pilot Neil Harri provided this photo of two bull moose taken during the winter count.
2015 ESTIMATE–Every two years the DNR does an aerial survey to estimate UP moose numbers. Specific grids are flown and sitings recorded. The numbers are then used to estimate the herd. There has a been a drop from an estimated 451 moose in 2013 to 328 in 2015. DNR pilot Neil Harri provided this photo of two bull moose taken during the winter count.

The UP moose herd has taken a hit, down an estimated 128 animals since 2013. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released its 2015 moose population survey which estimates the herd at 323 animals. In 2013, the herd was estimated at 451. Potential factors range from climate change to a possible increase in wolf predation. “We do a core range survey in the Western UP, in Iron, Baraga and Marquette counties where we did the reintroductions,” said Chad Stewart, deer, elk and moose management specialist for the DNR. “There’s a smaller population in the eastern UP as well.” The moose range in the Western UP covers roughly 1,400 square miles. Every other year DNR staff survey most of that area from above. In 2015 flights covered all survey plots within the core moose area, where 80-90 percent of the Western UP moose population is located.

 

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Train in missing person rescue

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RESCUE OPERATION–Several agencies and numerous volunteers trained last Sunday in a mock missing person drill. Aided by the Civil Air Patrol plane search rescue squads efficiently located the vehicle and missing person. L-r, are James Soli, Mike Malloy, Ed Roth, Dean Velmer and Nathan Stockton. The team set up an Incident Command Center at Big Erick’s Bridge and organized the mission.

Multiple agencies coordinated on a search and rescue drill on Sunday, March 22, 2015. From the Civil Air Patrol based at Houghton County Memorial Airport to local police, fire and rescue personnel the drill was successful. The mission was to rescue a lost four-wheeler operator. Mike Roth served as the lost rider. He took his pick-up out on the Triple A road, unloaded his four-wheeler and took off, finding a remote location. Ed Roth is the Training Officer for the Baraga County Search and Rescue (SAR) team. He explained how the exercise was unfolded. Participating were personnel from the Civil Air Patrol, KB Tribal Police, Bay Ambulance, L’Anse Fire Department and the county search and rescue team. “We would have gotten notified by the Sheriff’s Department about a missing person somewhere in the Huron Mountains. We set up an incident command at Big Erick’s Bridge,” Roth said. Meanwhile the Civil Air Patrol..

 

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Skaters entertain crowds

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SENIORS–Four HS seniors skated in their last shows Saturday and Sunday. L-r, Sonja Welch, Kelsey Kemppainen, Genevieve Smith and Nicole Rossi.

L’Anse Meadowbrook Arena hosted the L’Anse-Baraga Figure Skating Club’s annual and always well-attended spring skating show March 14 and 15, 2015. The theme for this year’s performance was “Skate Like Nobody’s Watching.” Two performances were held over the weekend with a Saturday show at 6:30 p.m. and another on Sunday at 2 p.m. This is the club’s largest performance of the year and features skaters from both the L’Anse and Baraga rinks. “We live in a community that thankfully really supports our youth,” said club President Sarah Thompson. “With approximately 70 girls in skating, we get a lot of family members and friends that come to watch the show. We’ve had people from out of town come every year to watch, and some of the girls that have graduated come back to support their friends that are still in the club. Figure skating is a fun sport to watch and anyone who has been on figure skates knows it’s not as easy as it looks!”

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Log spill closes U.S. 41

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PICKING UP THE PIECES–US-41 was closed from around 2:30-11 p.m. Wednesday, March 4 after two logging trucks lost their loads. Logs were scattered on both sides of and on the Sturgeon River bridge at Canyon Falls near Alberta. Two other vehicles were damaged in the accident which remains under investigation. Strong winds and heavy snow squalls hampered cleanup operations. No serious injuries were reported although the driver of one logging truck was taken to BCMH, treated and released.

US-41 near Alberta was closed for more than eight hours Wednesday, March 4, 2015, after logs from two pup
trailers were scattered across the highway on and near the Sturgeon River Bridge near Alberta’s Canyon Falls.
According to Michigan State Police (MSP) reports, the accident occurred around 2:30 p.m. Police report a pup
trailer’s metal bracket which helped secure logs on a fully loaded northbound logging truck snapped, causing
the load to spill across both lanes of the roadway.

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More photos are available here.

 

 

Students mill logs to lumber

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ANOTHER DAY AT THE MILL–Baraga Construction Trades students have been working on the sawmill since December. Teacher John Filpus and the class set up Filpus’ band mill in the shop and they’ve cut about 8,000-9,000 board feet of softwood lumber. The logs came from a thinning of a portion of the Baraga School Forest which was set up as an educational experience for students last September. The lumber will be available for all Baraga wood shop students.

Students mill logs to lumber Wood from Baraga School Forest

The sawmill has been humming in the Baraga school shop for two and a half months. Fifteen students in John Filpus’ Construction Trades classes are just about done sawing a double truck load of softwood logs into 8,000-9,000 feet of lumber. Logs were harvested by John Stenvig and a large cast who volunteered equipment and labor last September from the Baraga School Forest. The harvest was part of a 10-year thinning rotation designed as an educational experience. Busloads of about 500 Baraga students were taken to the harvest where they learned about forestry practices and equipment. Filpus had his portable band mill set up there then offeried students the chance to cut a few boards.

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Ice jam on Keweenaw

ICEJAM
The foot of Saari Road in Aura looks more like “Sorry Road”, at least if you are a fisherman looking to launch there for lake trout. After good ice cover was in place the north and northwest gales of Friday night and Saturday, Feb. 13-14, 2015, must have caused the pile-up. This was the scene on Thursday, Feb. 19. Although below normal temps have enabled broken ice to quickly re-freeze, there’s plenty of rough going. In another cold winter, as of Monday, Feb. 23, 95.4 percent of Lake Superior is ice-covered.

Chill out! February could set record for cold, but not snow
The month of February is shaping up to be a probable record, at least at the Marquette National Weather
Service (NWS) Office. According to NWS meteorologist Todd Kluber, all indications are February will end
pretty much as it has been for most of the month–cold. Kluber said to date, February, 2015, is the one of
the coldest on record at the Negaunee office located adjacent to the former Marquette County Airport. However,
despite the almost continual arctic blasts enveloping the Great Lakes for most of the month, Upper Peninsula
snowfall statistics have not been as eventful.

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Honor LaFave for L’Anse projects

SPARK PLUG AWARD--L’Anse Village Manager Bob LaFave, with friend Jan Bugni, as LaFave is honored for his leadership in accomplishing $21 million of improvement and infrastructure projects since he came to L’Anse in June of 2008. The award was presented last week at a program in Houghton.
SPARK PLUG AWARD–L’Anse Village Manager
Bob LaFave, with friend Jan Bugni, as LaFave is
honored for his leadership in accomplishing $21
million of improvement and infrastructure projects
since he came to L’Anse in June of 2008. The award
was presented last week at a program in Houghton.

L’Anse Village Manager Bob LaFave is a “spark plug”! Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, LaFave was honored among six Copper Country people with a “Spark Plug Award” in Houghton. This is the third year a group of economic development agencies have presented the awards. The program is a collaboration of the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, MTEC SmartZone, Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance and the Keweenaw Young Professionals.

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KBIC hosts round dance

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Keweenaw Bay Indian Community hosted a Native round dance on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Less formal than a pow wow, the round dance is for friends near and far to gather, sing, dance and share food. People from throughout Indian Country attended. See story, photo on page 2. Lauri Denomie photo.
Keweenaw Bay Indian Community hosted a Native round dance on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Less formal than a pow wow, the round dance is for friends near and far to gather, sing, dance and share food. People from throughout Indian Country attended. See story, photo on page 2. Lauri Denomie photo.

The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC)’s Pow Wow Committee hosted a round dance at the
Nii’winAkeaa Community Center in Baraga on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015. Unlike the traditional pow wow
where dancers are dressed in full regalia and various drums are featured in the dance arena, the round
dance is a more casual event according to KBIC Director of Cultural Services Gary Loonsfoot, Jr.

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Lindemann, partners buy Selkey fab shop in Baraga

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Nick Lindeman Jr.–front row, third from left–along with two other business partners–purchased Selkey Manufacturing Jan. 31, 2015. The new facility will continue offering the same quality welding and manufacturing as in the past. However plans are in the works to broaden out to include new ventures to complement the business. The company employs 19 fulltime and one part-time workers. Included are, front row, l-r, Kristine Miller, Clarence Darcy, Lindemann, Gary Fredrikson, Ken King. Back row, l-r, Bob Janisse, Ray Kaurala, Chris Kelly, Sam Parker, Durwyn Chaudier, Ron Thompson, Tom Mleko, Steve Geer, Bill Bolo, Kurt Retaskie, Silas Heck, Doug LeClaire. Dwayne Thomley is missing from the photo.

Selkey Manufacturing of Baraga is under new ownership and has a new name effective Jan. 30, 2015. Baraga resident Nick Lindemann Jr. and several partners have joined forces to purchase the well-known welding and fabrication shop which will now be known as Selkey Fabricators LLC….

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