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Upper Peninsula

a collection of glowing rocks known as "yooperlites"
Erik Rintamaki

Today on Stateside, why President Trump's tweets are unlikely to change Ford's decision to move small car production abroad. Plus, why rocks in the U.P. are giving off an alien glow. (No, it does not involve extraterrestrials.)

Listen above for the full show, or find individual segments below. 

Ford won’t be moving production of Focus hatchback to the U.S. Here’s why.

KAYE LAFOND / Michigan Radio

The federal government has again rejected Michigan’s request for federal assistance to Upper Peninsula residents hit hard by flooding in June.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

 


The Upper Peninsula Health Departments has published their first ever Community Health Needs Assessment

This 350-page report combines 18 months of research, surveying 5000 households spread over the regions' 15 counties. 

 

A living room, with a couch and a window, is shown with inches of mud piled on the carpet.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

In mid-June, massive floods devastated parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The situation has been declared an emergency by both the state and federal government.

This week, Bridge Magazine reporter Jim Malewitz did a deep dive into what the recovery looks like in the region nearly two months later.

jackson mine in negaunee
Andrew Jameson / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

This weekend, the town of Negaunee in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will be filled with the sound of wheezing bellows and ringing hammers hitting anvils.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is holding its Artisans at the Forge festival, which includes blacksmiths and other craftspeople.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Flooding in the Upper Peninsula earlier this month prompted Governor Rick Snyder to declare a second state of disaster for Houghton County.

The declaration will open up additional resources and money for areas that were still recovering from severe flooding in June.

That flooding washed away large chunks of concrete and asphalt, damaged homes, and killed a 12-year-old boy.

Several roads that had already been repaired were damaged again this month.

black and white damaged ship
Department of the Navy / wikimedia commons

The remains of a Michigan man who was killed in the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor have been buried in the Upper Peninsula.

Lowell Valley was 19 years old and in Navy when the USS Oklahoma was attacked. Radio station WDBC says Valley's remains were identified through DNA tests.

Valley's younger brother, Bob Valley, says he received a call from the Navy in January.

A funeral Mass was held Saturday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Ontonagon, followed by burial with full honors at the church cemetery.

A flooded road in Houghton.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

The state is asking President Trump to declare three Upper Peninsula counties hit by flash flooding last month disaster areas.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley wants the federal designation extended to Houghton, Gogebic, and Menominee counties. Those counties were hit by record-breaking rainfall on June 17th, flooding homes, buckling roads, and causing one death.

prosthetic leg
U.S. Army / Flickr

Rep. Beau LaFave was born with a congenital defect. When he was 18 months old, doctors amputated his left leg at the knee. He’s worn a prosthetic device for most of his life. 

For amputees, a prosthetic device can be life changing, but prosthetics are expensive -- LeFave (R-Iron Mountain) says his latest has a price tag of $70,000 -- and they’re not always covered by health insurance.

damaged road and car
Vicky Ingram

Storms moving across the Upper Peninsula washed out several roads in the Houghton and Hancock areas and created dozens of sinkholes across the Keweenaw Peninsula.

A male deer
Michigan DNR / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Wildlife biologists are worried about how prolonged wintry weather will affect deer in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

State Department of Natural Resources supervisor Terry Minzey says things looked good for the U.P. deer herd a month ago, but the situation has deteriorated as winter has held on.

Deer fitted with radio collars for DNR studies have suffered a 13.5 percent mortality rate so far this winter, with 11 percent of adult female deer dying.

University of Wisconsin Press

Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota were rich hunting grounds for a young man in the early part of the 20th century. He wasn’t hunting game. He was in search of lumberjack songs.

Red Bull / Screen grab-YouTube


 

There are many ways to make the most of winter in Michigan, but how about climbing frozen waterfalls? 

LITTLE TRAVERSE BAY BANDS OF ODAWA INDIANS

Wildlife specialists will soon be in the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, tracking wolves. 

The Department of Natural Resources last conducted a wolf census in 2016, when it estimated more than 600 wolves prowled in the U.P.

The DNR's Kevin Swanson says they don't know what to expect. But he says conditions may be right for an increase in the wolf population. 

"We have a lot more deer on the landscape now," says Swanson. 

But Swanson says there are other factors, like canine distemper, that could negatively affect the wolf population. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses are walking a picket line outside the largest hospital in the Upper Peninsula.

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association launched a 48-hour strike against U.P. Health System Marquette on Thursday. The nurses have been working without a contract since May.

Scott Balko is the president of the local nurses’ union. He says staffing issues have become an increasing problem since an out-of-state hospital company acquired three local hospitals in the U.P. in past few years.

Map showing the land owned by the Huron Mountain Club as of 2006.
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

Well... it's not an absolute "no."

It's more of a "probably not," given what we've learned about the Huron Mountain Club in reporting this story.

We'll get to the downright practical ways you might get into the club below. In the meantime, we'll just say it doesn't hurt your chances if you’re Channing Tatum, or related to Henry Ford (and even Ford had trouble getting in).

Kyle Rokos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

Jim Curtis lives in Ahmeek, a village in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. That's right near the Douglass Houghton Falls.

Curtis said he's always wondered how the height of those falls compares to other waterfalls in Michigan. So he submitted this question to our MI Curious project:

"What is the tallest waterfall in Michigan, and how is that figured out?"

A group of retirees holds court almost every morning at Cops and Doughnuts in Clare.
Maya Kroth

At Cops and Doughnuts in Clare, classic tunes play on the stereo while customers line up at the glass display case, waiting to place their orders.

But Bill White isn’t here for the doughnuts.

“I never have a doughnut,” says White. “When you get old enough you can’t eat good stuff anymore. You have to go with fruits and vegetables.”

White has been coming in every Saturday morning, for years, even though he doesn’t partake in the doughnuts or coffee. In fact, White doesn’t order anything at all at Cops and Doughnuts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly every week you'll hear something about the Federal Reserve Bank. But how often do you think of the Fed and how it affects your local economy?

a moose being released
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The moose population in the western Upper Peninsula appears to be rebounding after taking a dip a few years ago.

Moose were reintroduced into the western U.P. in the 1980s. Their range there covers about 1,400 square miles in parts of Marquette, Baraga, and Iron Counties. 

The moose population in the area grew to 451 in 2013 before dropping down to 285 in 2015.

But Michigan Department of Natural Resources spokesman John Pepin says the just completed aerial survey counted 378 moose.

A copper mine in the Upper Peninsula.
Richie Diesterheft / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law changes to the regulation of Michigan copper mines.

Legislation enacted Tuesday establishes separate regulations for small native copper mines that developers are eyeing in the western Upper Peninsula. The law also does not allow for local governments to regulate mining activities.

The sponsor, Republican Sen. Tom Casperson of Escanaba, says it's not economically feasible to have smaller mines regulated the same as bigger ones and doing so could hurt job growth.

A hiking trail in the Upper Peninsula
Brook Ward / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Authorities say a student at Michigan Technological University has died after suffering from symptoms of hypothermia while on a hiking trip in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette County sheriff's department says 19-year-old Marcus Antilla of Republic was among a group of six students from the school camping in the Rocking Chair Lakes area when he went looking for firewood but didn't immediately return. His friends found him wet and cold.

Delta County Airport near Escanaba is one of the nine rural airports in Michigan that are subsidized by the Essential Air Service.
redlegsfan21 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump's proposed budget would eliminate funding for something called the Essential Air Service program.

The EAS began in 1978 to make sure small, remote communities had access to air travel. The federal subsidies help keep them open. 

A storm
Flickr/mdprovost

Flooding in southwestern Michigan has closed several roadways and swamped the home of the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team ,while severe thunderstorms caused damage in the Upper Peninsula.

The Kalamazoo River is one of several across Michigan's Lower Peninsula where flood warnings or advisories are in effect.

Christine Cooper

A popular overlook at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is closed after a viewing platform slid about 100 feet down the face of a sand dune.

The park recently announced the closure at Log Slide Overlook, saying heavy snow, ice, and sand deposits at the site - as well as erosion - were to blame.

The overlook located west of Grand Marais offers a view from atop the Grand Sable Dunes.

Plans call for moving the overlook's walkway back from the edge of the dunes and rebuilding the viewing platform if major erosion doesn't take place.

The Car Plunge Contest asks the question: How long will it take for this 1998 Saturn to fall through the ice?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford

It's the heart of winter, and there you are in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, wanting to raise some money for the community.

If you're the Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, you embrace the winter and come up with a pretty unique fundraiser: the Car Plunge Contest.

Jayna Huotari, secretary of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club, joined Stateside to talk about the third annual contest, including how placing bets on when a 1998 Saturn will fall through the ice became a fun, and successful, fundraiser.

This map shows land ownership and location of the exploratory copper drilling project.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has given the green light to an exploratory copper drilling project in the Upper Peninsula.

The use permit allows Orvana Resources U.S. Corp., a subsidiary of Highland Copper, to drill in a one square mile area located on the western edge of  Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

According to John Pepin, a DNR spokesman, the company is taking steps to reduce the impact of the exploratory drilling on the land surface of the park. 

Courtesy of the Michigan History Center/Archives of Michigan

Happy birthday, Michigan!

On Jan. 26, 1837, 180 years ago today, Michigan became the 26th state to join the union.

Before that could happen, there was some housekeeping to do, namely: to settle the fight between Michigan and Ohio over a narrow strip of land known as the Toledo Strip. The conflict is otherwise known as the "Toledo War."

State Archivist Mark Harvey from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to look back at how the state of Michigan got started.

L'ANSE, Mich. (AP) - A utility says more than 700 customers have had their natural gas service restored after a ruptured line caused an explosion and fire in the Upper Peninsula.

Semco Energy says crews continue to go door-to-door Saturday afternoon in the L'Anse area in Baraga County.

The process of restoring gas service involves going to each address to shut off the valve and then returning to open it.

About 1,200 customers have been affected by the outage.

Ruth (Maki) Powell

 

Ninety years ago yesterday brought the worst mining accident in Michigan history.

The Barnes-Hecker Mine disaster on November 3, 1926, killed 51 miners. The disaster rocked the community west of Ishpeming.

Mary Tippett’s grandfather was killed in the disaster. It was his first day on the job.

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