City Notes

CITY NOTES – May 1018

Dear Editor,

This is updated information for The Night Psalms concert (two separate cantatas) presented by the Marquette Choral Society at 7:30 p.m. on April 28 and 3 p.m. on April 29, at the NMU Reynolds Recital Hall. Both cantatas will feature soprano soloist Aani Bourassa (praised for her “brilliant, yet sparkling high notes”) and baritone soloist Richard Lippold (a Grammy winner with The Metropolitan Opera and currently concertizing in the New York and New England areas) along with the Choral Society and orchestra.

The Night Psalms (world premiere at these concerts!) was commissioned by the Marquette Choral Society from local composer Griffin Candey and set to the words of local poets Kathleen M. Heideman and Anastasia Pennington-Flax as well as Walt Whitman. The cantata Dona Nobis Pacem was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams with lyrics drawn from poetry by John Bright and the Bible as well as Whitman.

Composer Griffin Candey and Poet Kathleen M. Heideman–both Marquette area residents–will discuss the music and text of The Night Psalms (at 7 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday) in the Reynolds Recital Hall prior to these World Premiere concerts. Tickets are general seating for both concerts (adults: $10; students: $6) and are available from the standard NMU ticket outlets (Berry Events Center, Forest Roberts Theatre, etc.), online at, and at the door.

To avoid “traffic jam” aspects at the door, perhaps obtaining concert tickets several days prior would be a sound consideration.

 —Howard Harding

UPAWS awarded grant

The Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter was awarded $10,000 through Animal Welfare Fund grants from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Industry Division (MDARD). This year, the MDARD grant will provide almost $125,000 to 21 registered animal shelters throughout the state. The funds go directly to registered shelters to increase the number of adoptions through spay and neuter programs, improve staff knowledge of proper animal care through educational programs and training, and assist shelters with unreimbursed costs of care for animals housed for legal investigations. This year, MDARD received 46 applications totaling more than $372,500 in requests.

MRHC to host Explosion presentation

Hear about the events leading up to the explosion of a boxcar loaded with nitroglycerin on a railroad siding west of Negaunee in 1878 and the tragic aftermath at the Marquette Regional History Center’s presentation Explosion. Historian Bill Van Kosky will lead the presentation from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9. There is a suggested donation of $5. Contact Jessica Bays at 226-3571 for more information.

Craft beer fest coming to Escanaba

Craft beer has become a staple of Upper Peninsula culture. Try some new and favorite Michigan craft beers at A Taste of the North Craft Beer Festival from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, at the Ruth Butler Building in Escanaba. The Wells Lions Club Charity Fundraiser will feature northern craft beer, wine and food. Event goers will receive a 16 oz. custom glass that gets you access to craft beers and wine. Food will be available for purchase from Andy’s Diner, Bobaloon’s and Yooper Nuts. Bean bags, beer pong, yard Jenga, hay wagon rides, golf putting, music, a 50/50 raffle and a $250 door prize will be available. No carry-ins are allowed. Designated driver’s get free admission. Tickets are available at Mr. Tire in Escanaba, Iron Mountain and Marquette, Delta Co. Chamber of Commerce, the Sand Bar in Gladstone and Bald Eagle Harley Davidson in Marquette. Tickets can also be purchased on the Wells Lions Club Facebook page.

Registration open for Blueberry Fest vendors

Registration is now open for vendors interested in participating in this year’s 17th Annual Blueberry Fest, to take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, July 27. Artisans, food vendors and nonprofit organizations can apply for a booth up until the end of May. Due to limited available space, a cap has been set on the number of vendors allowed at the event, and previous booth locations are not guaranteed. All applications will be subject to review and approved at the discretion of the Marquette Downtown Development Authority. Vendors will be notified of their approval in early June. Vendors not approved will have their registration fee refunded. All retail items sold by vendors at the 2018 Blueberry Festival must be handmade, original items only. Businesses preparing food on-site must submit a copy of their health department license with application. Visit the Blueberry Fest web page on the Marquette Downtown Development Authority website to apply or for more information.

What’s it worth?

On Tuesday, May 1, tickets go on sale at the Peter White Public Library circulation desk for the Antique Appraisal Fair to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 25, in the library’s Shiras Room. Tickets are $15 per item to be appraised.  Categories of objects include fine art, furniture, ceramics, glassware, vintage photographs, advertising, folk art, metalware, toys, costume jewelry and more. Call 228-9510 for more information.

Check out one-of-a-kind art at Art in the Moment

Art in the Moment, an artist reception which will feature the works of 12 individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, May 11, at the Marquette Regional History Center.

While an Art in the Moment open house has taken place previously, this will be the first year the artists’ work will be available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit Lake Superior Adult Day Services.

“It’s paintings, ceramics, kites, cards. It’s a way for them to be creative and produce some art in the moment and that’s exactly what happens. Whatever moment their in that’s the art they produce,” said Darlene Weisinger, volunteer for Lake Superior Life Care and Hospice.

The guest speaker will be Angel Duncan, who practices counseling psychology as a marriage and family therapist, art therapist and neurosciences clinical researcher. Hor’s d’oeuvres and wine will be provided.

UPPAA to hold annual conference

The Upper Peninsula Publishers & Authors Association (UPPAA) will hold its 21st Annual Conference from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the Landmark Inn. This year’s conference will cover a variety of topics relevant to writing, publishing and marketing, and will be of interest to beginning writers as well as seasoned, published authors. This year’s keynote speaker is Steve Lehto, an attorney and writer whose family is from the Copper Country. His keynote speech, titled “From Unagented Queries to a Dozen Books With Five Different Publishers,” will discuss how Lehto went from being an unpublished author to having a dozen books published by four different publishers. Other sessions to be held are “Children’s Book Industry 101: Terms, Conventions, How It Works, and How We Get Paid” by Carrie Pearson, “Open a Vein: The Art of Memoir in Today’s Culture” by Felicia Schneiderhan, “Life-Altering Surprises, Annoying Sisters, and Running from Danger: Using Various Forms of Conflict to Keep Readers Addicted to Your Novel” by Naomi Rawlings and more. There will be a business meeting, a lunch buffet catered by the Landmark Inn, a book collection taken up to support the Alger County Kiwanis’ annual auction and networking opportunities for anyone wishing to learn more about writing, publishing and book marketing. General public may attend the meeting for a $15 registration fee. UPPAA members attend free of charge. Space is limited, so advanced registration is recommended. Membership details, benefits and registration are available online at A catered deli lunch is available for $10 per person with advance reservations required. Contact membership secretary Brandy Thomas at or (509) 675-2487 for more information.

Robogators gets new coach, seeks volunteers

After a successful fall season, middle School FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics programs is gearing up for Iron Mountain’s spring scrimmage. The fall season welcomed new teams from Engadine, Escanaba, Gladstone, Iron Mountain, Munising and Houghton. Four U.P. teams traveled to state finals at Battle Creek’s Kellogg Arena and competed among Michigan’s top 20 percent teams: Bothwell’s Robotic Narwhals; Houghton’s SnowBots Blue; Munising’s Electrostangs; and North Star Academy’s Robogators. Teams formulate a game strategy and then design, build and program their robot that fits in an 18” sizing cube to play the game on a 12’ x 12’ field. Teams engage in community outreach and document their work in an engineering notebook. Teams present notebook, robot and community outreach to a panel of judges. Volunteers are needed to sustain existing teams and to support growth to involve more students in FIRST’s K-12 programs. No experience/technical background needed and training is available. Find more information at Contact the Seaborg Center to learn details of upcoming free volunteer training. North Star teacher Molly Smith recently became the Robogator’s new coach. Smith brings two years of FTC coaching experience.

GLCYD seeking nominations for Service Awards

Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development (GLCYD) announced the launch of the 10th annual U.P. Service Awards to honor the contributions of volunteers across the Upper Peninsula. Nominations of volunteers serving anywhere in the U.P. will be accepted through June 1. Award recipients will be announced in July and honored at an awards luncheon during the U.P. Nonprofit Conference at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, October 18. Recipients receive a plaque and are invited to attend the entire conference compliments of GLCYD. All nominees receive a letter of thanks and certificate of recognition. Categories for the awards include youth volunteer, adult volunteer, senior volunteer, business community leader and volunteer program. Nomination forms are available at or at Grow & Lead: Community and Youth Development in Marquette. Visit the GLCYD website, email or call Grow & Lead at 228-8919 for more information.

Upcoming events at the Calumet Theatre

The Calumet Theatre will host an array of entertainment events over the next few weeks.

Keweenaw Stars to present The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Keweenaw Stars Homeschool Drama Club will host it’s 10th annual performance and put on C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 3. Students ages 5 to 13 will perform. Tickets are $5 for adults and free for children.

Country Western coming to Calumet: The Chassell Country Western Show will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5. Tickets are $11.50 for general seating, but a 50 cent historic preservation fee does apply.

Bob Seger Tribute band to rock Calumet Theatre: The System, a Detroit-based Bob Seger tribute band, will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19. Tickets are $27.50 and $24.50 for reserved seating. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Call 337-2610 or visit to purchase tickets.

Get dinner and a show: As a part of their Dinner & Movie Film Series the Calumet Theatre will show Grease and serve dinner on Friday, June 8. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. and the movie will start at 7:15 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear ‘50’s style clothing. For dinner and the movie, tickets are $22. For dinner only, the cost is $18. For just the movie, tickets are $7. A child dinner and movie tickets costs $14.50 and a child movie ticket is $4.50

MACC hosts various classes

The City of Marquette Arts and Culture Center (MACC) galleries and workshop spaces will be closed to the public during library renovations beginning May 1, 2018.  The City Arts and Culture Office will temporarily relocate to the Peter White Conference Room on the library’s main floor. Renovations will not disrupt the office ongoing initiatives, support services and programs such as Art Week. Renovations that directly impact MACC space include, improvements to atrium windows, sound proofing and private entrances into workshop rooms. Changes will greatly improve disruptions between spaces, acoustics, privacy and security. The new office will be located adjacent to the LSAA Gallery.

Visual arts classes for seniors: Senior Visual Arts classes are typically offered on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. Classes will not be held for the month of May.

Performing arts senior acting classes: Senior Acting classes are offered on the first and third Monday each month from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Marquette Senior Center, located in the lower level of City Hall. These classes are open to individuals ages 60 and up and cater to a wide variety of skill levels. Participation is free to City of Marquette residents, but non-residents are welcome to attend for a small donation of $5 per class to help cover the cost of instruction. Interested parties must pre-register by contacting the City Senior Center at 228-0456.

Thank God It’s Wednesday Artists group: Each Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. the Thank God It’s Wednesday Artists meet to work on individual projects and meet other individuals who share the same passions. The new location for the artists meeting is the City of Marquette Senior Center, located in the lower level of the Marquette City Hall. The group is free to join. Bring your own art supplies.

Learn about the woodland caribou population

In the boreal forest of Northern Lake Superior, woodland caribou still haunt the offshore islands, but they are disappearing. Despite centuries of habitation on the North Shore of Superior, and early habitation throughout the Lake Superior watershed, woodland caribou may be on the verge of extinction in this system. On Wednesday, May 2, at Lake Superior State University, Leo Lepiano and Christian Schroeder will describe a mid-winter air lift of 15 caribou from one threatened area to a safer area. This management effort is part of an attempt by people of the Michipicoton First Nation and the Wawa area to strengthen the remaining herd. Doors open at 6 p.m. in Crawford Hall, Lecture room 204. This event is co-sponsored by the Three Lakes Group of the Sierra Club and the Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy. Visit for more information.

UPHS Family Medicine Clinic begins Reach Out and Read Program

The UPHS-Marquette Family Medicine Clinic has recently become a site chapter for the Reach Out and Read Program. Patrick Huffer, MD, an assistant director of the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program, applied for and received a grant from the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan. Reach Out and Read is a national organization that serves 4.7 million young children and their families each year. The program boasts more than 5,800 sites nationwide. When children come to their wellness visits at the Family Medicine Clinic, they will receive a brand new, developmentally appropriate book. The age range is 6 months to 5 years, so children can receive up to 10 books throughout the 10 wellness visits in that age span. According to the Reach Out and Read Program, 95 percent of the brain is formed in the first 6 years of life.

“Books boost social and cognitive development,” said Dr. Huffer, “They provide a positive force for families to spend quality time together. They also allow for creative play and establish a lifetime love of reading.”

Visit to learn more about the Marquette Family Medicine Residency Program.

DDA receives grant for

cigarette litter prevention

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has been awarded a 2018 Keep America Beautiful grant as part of its Cigarette Litter Prevention Program. The grant in the amount of $2,500, includes program funds to help purchase cigarette urns to be placed in strategic locations in the downtown, educate adult smokers about the negative effects of cigarette butt litter and distribute portable ashtrays to smokers to reduce the incidents of cigarette litter. The grant is one of 42 awarded nationwide. Carl Lindquist, executive director for the Superior Watershed Partnership stated that people often don’t make the connection that cigarette butts are litter and when they are tossed onto the street the butt goes down a storm drain and ends up on our local beaches. The DDA is partnering with the Superior Watershed Partnership and the Community Foundation of Marquette County to implement the grant program.

Baraga to celebrate 13th Annual Lake Trout Fest

The 13th Annual Baraga County Lake Trout Festival will take place Saturday, June 9, and will coincide with Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend. The festival will feature the Keweenaw Classic Fishing Tournament with family-oriented events such as a Kids Carnival, Little Miss Superior Contest, Kids Fishing Pond, Pie-Eating contest, Beach Volleyball tournament, Pequaming Run and 1/2 marathon, sponsored by the Fitness Center of Baraga County Memorial Hospital, and a Junk Art contest. The fishing tournament will have separate classes for lake trout and salmon with cash and merchandise awards as well as door prizes. The festival will also include food and drink booths, coffee and baked goods, the Ducky River Race, an arts and crafts fair and music by area talent. There are discounts available for early registration. All events will take place at the Waterfront Park and marina in downtown L’Anse. For entry forms and information, visit For maps and accommodation information, visit the website of Baraga County Convention and Visitors Bureau or call 800-743-4908. For fishing tournament information contact Steve Koski or Tracey Barrett at 524-7444. In case of inclement weather, the fishing tournament will be held Sunday, June 10.

AAUW to host robotics discussion

The “Blackrock Bots” robotics team from Bothwell Middle School will demonstrate their technical skills and discuss their challenges at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the Women’s Federated Clubhouse in Marquette. The program, sponsored by the Marquette Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is open to the public. To learn more about robotics, Contact Dr. Constance Ann Arnold at to learn more about AAUW’s program.

“Fiddler on the Roof”  coming to Iron River

The West End Players of Iron County, Michigan’s next musical production will be Fiddler on the Roof. The theatre group will perform at The Windsor Center in Iron River May 10 through 13. Set in the little village of Anatevka, the story centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of an intriguing and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill in them traditional values in the face of changing social norms and growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia. Shows will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at the door or in advance online. Visit the West End Players Facebook page to purchase tickets. Families over five persons are $40, and children under age three are free.

40 trees planted to celebrate sustainability and traditional music

Due to inclement weather and availability of appropriate trees, the rescheduled Hiawatha Music Co-op is now at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. The Hiawatha Music Co-op will team up with NMU to celebrate their 40th year by planting 40 trees in Northern’s Outdoor Learning Areas. The event is a collaboration between the Hiawatha Music Co-op, Northern Michigan University’s Sustainability Advisory Council, student leaders associated with GTU and EcoReps and the Marquette County Conservation District. The trees will be purchased from the Marquette County Conservation District. These spaces provide educational opportunities to teach students about the ecology and geology of the region. The 40 trees will be mostly native trees, such as American sweet crabapple, elderberry, plum and black cherry. Native trees were emphasized because they are better at supporting native insect and native bird species. Volunteers will also plant sugar maples and a few non-native fruit trees such as apples with the hope that future generations will be able to harvest the fruits of this collaborative effort. Contact Sarah Mittlefehldt at or Susan Divine at the Hiawatha office at for more information on volunteering.

Fundraiser held for Area 36 Special Olympics

The Marquette Builders Exchange donated $500 to Area 36 Special Olympics as their chosen charity for the U.P. Builders Show. With that designation, Area 36 also received a free booth in the show. Their fundraising during the U.P. Builders Show raised another $706, including a $250 donation from one of the vendors, Snowbelt Stoves of Chatham. All funds raised will provide uniforms for athletes in swimming, cycling and athletics. Area 36 Special Olympics provides year-round sports training to more than 165 athletes in Marquette, Alger, Baraga, Houghton and Keweenaw Counties with intellectual disabilities. Visit for more information or to make a donation.

U.P. Pride to host Vino Y Tapas fundraiser

U.P. Pride is hosting Vino y Tapas Con U.P. Pride, an evening of food and wine featuring dishes created by Cafe Bodega from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 17. Special guests will be Brigette and Mariah LaPointe-Dunham from Dancing with our Stars 2018. The event will also feature live music, a silent auction and cash bar. Tickets are $35 and available online at A limited number of tickets are available. A portion of the proceeds from this fundraiser will support U.P. home Health & Hospice. The event is for ages 21 and up.

Line up announced for Interlochen Arts Festival

Interlochen announced its official 2018 Interlochen Arts Festival lineup. This year’s festival will feature an array of musical acts, comedy and cultural performances. The 2018 lineup will include performances by Reba McEntire, Steve Martin and Martin Short, The Beach Boys, Blondie, Jim Gaffigan, Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and more. Interlochen Presents will feature performances by Interlochen Contemporary, a summer- long program that celebrates the art and artists who influenced the evolution of dance, music and more from 1945 to present. This will include performances by the Koresh Dance Company, pianist Sarah Cahill, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and more. New to this year’s festival is Premier Parking for all Kresge Auditorium performances. A section of parking areas will be set aside for guests, with a shuttle service to and from the venue offered at an additional cost. Events run from June 23 through August 28. Tickets for all of the festival events are on sale now. Tickets are available online at

Hit music of Country Music Hall of Fame superstar Reba McEntire will perform in the Kresge Auditorium on Tuesday, July 24. Ticket cost is $112 for Platinum, $104 for Gold, $96 for Silver and $88 for Bronze. Ages 3 and up are welcome.

New-wave rock band of the 80s, Blondie, with lead vocalist Debbie Harry, will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, in the Kresge Auditorium. Their songs and legacy led to an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and Blondie’s newest album, “Pollinator,” has been selected as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s 20 Best Pop Albums of 2017. Ticket cost is $71 for Platinum, $66 for Gold, $61 for Silver and $54 Bronze. Ages 3 and up are welcome.

Creedence Clearwater Revival founding members and Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo,” following their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, launched their Creedence Clearwater Revisited project in 1995. They will perform at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 12, in the Kresge auditorium. Ticket prices are $59 for Platinum, $54 for Gold, $49 for Silver and $42 for Bronze. This performance is for ages 3 and up.

The iconic Beach Boys will perform in the Kresge Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17. Tickets are $70 for Platinum, $65 for Gold, $60 for Silver and $53 for Bronze. The performance is open to ages 3 and up.

For a complete list of events visit the Interlochen website.

Race over the river and through the woods at 5k Trail Race

To aid in protecting land across the U.P., the U.P. Land Conservancy is hosting an Over the River and Through the Woods 5k Trail Race on Sunday, May 6. The race will begin at 2 p.m. at the Vielmetti-Peters Reserve in Marquette—on Brickyard Road at west entrance to Lowe’s, Petsmart and Ulta. A dinner and silent auction will follow at Ore Dock Brewing Company. There is a $35 entry fee. In-person registration is available at the Ore Dock Brewing Company through May 5.  Packet pick up is from 6 to 8 p.m. at Ore Dock Brewing Company the day before the race. Day of race packet pick up starts at noon at the trailhead. Participants should park at Lowe’s and walk 800 meters to the end of Brickyard Road. Drop-off and pick-up only on Brickyard Road. Visit Over the River and Through the Woods 2018 on to register online.

Business in brief…

•Goodwill of Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan (Goodwill NWUM) announced a joint venture with Comprenew of Grand Rapids to provide proper electronics recycling services to people in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin.

•Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center welcomed Whitney Brey, certified physician assistant, to their team of family medicine providers at the Calumet Family Health Center. Brey attended Northern Michigan University where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. She then went on to attend Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant where she obtained her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Brey is a current member of both the Academy of Physician Assistants and the Michigan Association of Physician Assistants.

•Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions, Inc. announced the addition of a mobile, wide-bore Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machine to their hospital. Two new GE Voyager MRI units will be shared among partner hospitals in the Upper Peninsula, including Aspirus Iron River Hospital, Aspirus Ironwood Hospital, Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital, Baraga County Memorial Hospital, Helen Newberry Joy Hospital, Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital and U.P. Health System – Bell. This next‐generation MRI helps reduce exam time and the improved patient comfort features result in a cooler, quieter experience while delivering uncompromised image quality and high productivity.

•U.P. Health System Rehab Services Gwinn Rehab office is now open and offers a variety of physical therapy and sports rehab. Services offered include athletic training, orthopedic and musculoskeletal care, pre and post surgical rehabilitation, cancer rehab, industrial rehabilitation, functional restoration and more. Gwinn Rehab is also the athletic training provider for Gwinn High School.

•On Tuesday, April 17, the Lake Superior Community Partnership was recognized by Governor Snyder and the Upper Peninsula Legislators for its 20th anniversary and the economic development services they provide in the Upper Peninsula.

•The Lake Superior Community Partnership teamed up with UP Kubota to celebrate the grand opening of its new location on US-41 and its new ownership with a ribbon-cutting. During the two-day grand opening, attendees had the opportunity to demo tractors, RTVs and zero-turn mowers, enjoy refreshments and enter prize drawings. UP Kubota carries utility vehicles, mowers, tractors, construction equipment, generators, and other power equipment. The business also repairs and services tractors and equipment.

•Keweenaw-based couple, Aric and Erin Mottonen are introducing their fishing apparel and gear company, MickyFinn, to the market. These entrepreneurs wanted to display the U.P. lifestyle where fishing and being outdoors are the activities of choice. MickyFinn’s mission is to provide water safety equipment to local beaches in the Lake Superior region. The name MickyFinn derives from a family nickname coined by Erin’s father for their family boat. The title represents the family’s combined heritage, strong principles and an outgoing lifestyle. Visit or the MickyFinn Facebook page for more information or to purchase products.

News & notes from the Michigan DNR…

•Conservation officers are investigating a break-in and theft of security cameras and signs from a mine site on private property near the city of Norway where an important bat research project has been underway. The old abandoned iron mine–a small, dead-end horizontal shaft where the ceiling partially collapsed in recent months–was once the annual winter hibernating home to more than 20,000 little brown, northern long-eared and big brown bats.

“They disturbed the bats, stole some of our cameras and signs, had a bonfire and damaged the gating structure. They compromised our research project designed to help save the bats. Survival of these bats is critical to the recovery of their species,” said Bill Scullon, DNR Wildlife Division field operations supervisor from the Norway office.

•The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), DNR and the Michigan Agency for Energy are notifying residents near the Straits of Mackinac of increased activity related to damage to American Transmission Co.’s electrical transmission lines and Enbridge Energy’s Line 5. Crews are expected soon to launch remotely operated vehicles to evaluate infrastructure conditions, according to the Unified Command (UC). The UC, consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, MDEQ, ATC and a tribal representative, was established to address a mineral oil release from the ATC cables. At the same time, additional crews near Mackinaw City and St. Ignace, at the direction of the UC, are continuing to vacuum any remaining mineral oils from ATC’s electrical cables that connect the Lower and Upper Peninsulas through the Straits. Two of the six lines were damaged earlier this month and resulted in the release of nearly 600 gallons of mineral oil. The Coast Guard, which is the lead agency in the UC, has identified vessel activity as one of the potential causes for the mineral oil release. The UC says there has been no major environmental impact on the Straits or wildlife from the ATC leakage. Enbridge has run tests to assess damage to Line 5. Company officials state they have found no evidence of fluid loss and have confidence in the pipeline’s structural integrity.

•The Michigan Duck Hunters Association, in cooperation with the DNR, introduces the 2018 special Governor’s Edition Michigan duck stamp and print. The Governor’s Edition Michigan duck stamp and print feature a pair of American wigeons in flight and Gov. Rick Snyder’s signature. Only 100 copies of the Governor’s Edition print will be available, for $150 each. Governor’s Edition prints each come with an artist-signed edition of the standard 2018 duck stamp and the special Governor’s Edition duck stamp. Two hundred copies of the stamp will be sold at a price of $25 each. In addition to the Governor’s Edition stamp, a standard version of the 2018 Michigan duck stamp and print—featuring the artwork only, without the governor’s signature—also will be available. Christopher Smith, a wildlife artist from Suttons Bay, painted the 2018 Governor’s Edition Michigan duck stamp. Purchase of Michigan duck stamps and prints helps to ensure continued conservation of wetlands and waterfowl habitat.

•Prolonged wintry conditions in the Upper Peninsula have forced the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to postpone a release of sharp-tailed grouse in the western part of the region, a place where they have not been seen reliably since the mid-1990s. DNR wildlife biologists had planned to capture about 20 birds from the eastern U.P. and reintroduce them to Ontonagon County this spring. However, late winter snowfall and a persistent groundcover of snow, as deep as three feet in some places, have delayed the effort until next spring. In Michigan, sharp-tailed grouse were first documented on Isle Royale in 1888. The birds were widespread across the U.P. after the logging era, when wildfires opened-up the landscape. Currently, the highest sharp-tailed grouse population levels in the U.P. are found in Chippewa and Schoolcraft counties. Michigan has the farthest east hunting season for sharp-tailed grouse in the nation. Students from Michigan State University have built traps for the sharp-tailed grouse. Decoys have been acquired by the DNR to help attract the birds. Private landowners have helped by granting access to their properties.

•The prolonged wintry conditions experienced in the Upper Peninsula has state wildlife biologists concerned about the stressful impact to white-tailed deer. Deer radio-collared in the western U.P. as part of an ongoing predator-prey study or a new deer migration study, have suffered a 13.5 percent mortality rate so far this winter, with 11 percent of adult female deer dying. That mortality rate compares to 15 percent through the entire month of April in 2017.

“With relatively no green vegetation available, deer are suffering a negative energy balance at the same time they are burning energy used for developing fetuses or antler development,” said Terry Minzey, Upper Peninsula regional wildlife supervisor for the DNR. “Deer expend five times more energy to move through snow than they expend to keep warm.”

At the Marquette DNR office, during the past month, folks who have been feeding deer have reported the number of deer observed has increased by 20 to 50 percent. Overall, with improving winter conditions, the Upper Peninsula deer herd had been rebounding over the past year or so, after three consecutive hard winters in which significant deer mortality was recorded.


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