Category Archives: Uncategorized

Committee could meet this week to consider expelling Courser, Gamrat

CourserandGamratEarly this week, the public will find out the details of a state House investigation into two Tea Party lawmakers involved in a sex-and-cover-up scandal.

Preliminary findings released last week say Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) and Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) both committed misconduct and misused taxpayer resources. But details have not been released.

Depending on those details, a state House committee could meet this week to determine if the two are fit to serve.

“We had the committee created specifically so that it would be ready to go as soon as we needed it, and that could be as soon as this week when the report comes out,” said Gideon D’Assandro, a spokesperson for state House Speaker Kevin Cotter.

“The committee will be empowered to go through every bit of evidence that we’ve collected and to air it out in a public hearing for us all to see. We want to make sure that any instance of wrongdoing is found, evaluated, and that we put a stop to it.”

D’Assandro says the speaker is still deciding who would serve on the panel if it meets. That could be a step toward removing Courser and Gamrat from the House.

On the Map examines the European history of Sault Ste. Marie

SSM MI MapThe European history of the Sault starts in the sixteen-hundreds, when explorers arrived. 



Bernie Arbic is a long time resident of Sault Ste. Marie Michigan. We talked Sault history on the deck behind his home. He said an under-appreciated bit of history is the French influence. “The first European to be in this area, was a Frenchman, Etienne Brule, he was here, I give the date 1620 just because that’s such an iconic date in our history, give or take a couple years maybe, 1618, 1622, sometime this young Frenchman was this far in the interior.”

To give you a perspective on how early that was… ”This area was known to the French almost 50 years before they knew anything about the Detroit River,” Arbic said. “We tend to think everything comes from the south, I like to say the first man to visit Detroit made his travel arrangements with an agent here in Sault Ste Marie, ‘cause we do pre date Detroit by about 50 years in terms of the European knowledge of geography.”

Arbic said when the French discovered Sault Ste Marie, they were searching for the Northwest Passage. Because of the rapids, they had to stop. Since they were fur traders, they set up a trading post. They interacted with Native people, and then, as the story often goes, they tried to ‘save’ them.”First mission was established here in 1668 by Father Marquette, that’s, he’s perhaps the best known of the french explorers.”

Sault Ste Marie survived on the fur trade for many years. Then in the 1800’s the city took leaps forward. In 1822, Fort Brady was built.  Thirty years later, one of the Sault’s most famous attractions appeared. Although, Arbic said, the Soo locks of the mid-1800’s looked and operated differently than the ones tourists visit today. ” The first lock opened in 1855, and it was really, it was built by the state of Michigan, they charged tolls, uh, it was what’s called a tandem, a pair of locks really, now a days, ever since 1881, the locks is a single chamber, with a 20 ft lift, the first looks were two in tandem, with 10 ft lifts.”

But, Arbic said, the building boom of the 1800’s wasn’t done yet. in 1888, the railroad was built.  And that brought in tourists.”In the late 1800s folks that would run people down the rapids in a canoe. For some reason it seems to be mostly women that wanted to do it, that’s kind of interesting it, wearing hats and stuff, and here they are shooting the rapids with these two Native American river guides, taking them down the rapids, so, there were, there were those things; fishing and shooting the rapids.”

Sault Ste Marie had one more use for it’s precious river. In 1898, construction began on a hydroelectric power plant. Think of it as a sort of farewell to the 19th century. Work was completed in 1902, and the city began harnessing the power of the St Mary’s to light homes and businesses. Even today the plant produces power. 

Some of the notable industries in the Sault included Union Carbide and Northwestern Leather; both major employers for half a century. Fort Bradley was decommissioned; the property is now home to Lake Superior State University. In 1962 the International Bridge opened, linking Sault Ste Marie Michigan with its Ontario sister-city. 

Time has changed the city, but the river has provided consistency.  It is Sault Ste Marie’s past, present and undoubtedly it’s future. Continue reading

On the Map explores Sault Ste. Marie Native history

SSM Chippewa logoThe old adage says ‘history is written by the winners’. In this story, we’re going to let it be written by the survivors. Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan was one of the first white settlements in the state.  But for centuries before, it was home to Native American tribes.  

When the French voyagers arrived, the ensuing culture clash devastated native peoples.  Continue reading

AMBER ALERT for missing Alpena boy

Missing child Keegan Elijah Waterman, and the suspect in his disappearance, Christina Marie Waterman.

Missing child Keegan Elijah Waterman, and the suspect in his disappearance, Christina Marie Waterman.

Police have issued an Amber Alert for 3-year old Keegan Elijah Waterman. He’s 4’3″ tall, 55 lbs, last seen wearing a diaper and sandals. He was last seen today at 2660 East Grant Street, Alpena, MI.

Keegan may be en route to Tennessee with his mother Christina MArie Waterman. They may be traveling in a 2000 tan Chevy Tahoe with Tennessee license plate; U4758V.

If you see Keegan, or Christina Marie Waterman, you’re asked to call 911 or contact the Alpena State Police post at 989-354-4101

Petoskey State Park dealing with trash problem

Matt Mikus/Petoskey News-Review Petoskey State Park director Dennis McDermott shows a collection of trash found on the state park beach.

Matt Mikus/Petoskey News-Review Petoskey State Park director Dennis McDermott shows a collection of trash found on the state park beach.

The shoreline of Petoskey State Park has been plagued with trash when heavy winds hit the bay.
But local park officials aren’t sure where all the trash is coming from.
Continue reading

Visitors at the Huron-Manistee National Forest will learn how to “Leave No Trace”


An organization that teaches people about limiting their impact on the outdoors is coming to the Huron-Manistee National Forest August 11-16.

“Leave No Trace” travels around the country, stopping in areas with fragile ecosystems. Continue reading

MAEAP teaching farmers to be better environmental stewards

file0001167317982Back in 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation codifying the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, or MAEAP, into law.

It’s a voluntary program that invites farmers to identify potential environmental issues on their farms, and fix them before they become a problem.

CMU Public Radio’s Mike Horace spoke with the Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Jamie Clover-Adams, about MAEAP late last month. She says it’s changing how farmers view their role as stewards of the environment. Continue reading

Clean up continues after severe storms swept through michigan

Dan Lockard of Muskegon captured the power and beauty of severe storms that swept through the state Sunday night

Dan Lockard of Muskegon captured the power and beauty of severe storms that swept through the state Sunday night

Extensive cleanup efforts are underway after several rounds of severe storms blasted through Michigan on Sunday night. Heavy rainfall combined with powerful winds knocked out power and communication to many areas. Continue reading

New learning center to tell story of Civilian Conservation Corps

The future site of the Pigeon River Country Learning Center

The future site of the Pigeon River Country Learning Center

Nestled 20 miles or so northeast of Gaylord is an area of forest that holds generations of rich historical significance. It is an area 120,000 acres strong and will soon be a site of discovery and learning. Continue reading

Campaign promoting businesses along I-69 expands to southern Michigan


An effort to promote economic development in Genesee and Shiawassee counties is expanding south to the Michigan-Indiana border.

The effort began 5 years ago to promote development along the I-69 corridor. This summer, the effort is expanding south to include the cities of Charlotte, Coldwater and Marshall, Michigan. Continue reading

St. Louis still recovering from Velsicol contamination

T.S Nurnberger excavation

T.S Nurnberger excavation

Dust and dirt settled around me in a mound the size of a mobile home when T.S Nurnberger Middle School’s practice football field was excavated.

The field is contaminated with chemicals that came from the Pine River. Continue reading

Large scale puppy breeders may soon have to follow stricter guidelines

puppiesLawmakers in Lansing are considering legislation that would further regulate large scale breeding kennel operations.

The package of bills, being dubbed the “Puppy Protection Act,” would require puppy mills to register with the Department of Agriculture.

The department would then conduct periodic inspections and enforce stricter guidelines. Continue reading

Davenport University announces restructuring of several mid-Michigan campuses

Davenport UniversitryDavenport

davenportDavenport University announced on Thursday they’ll begin to restructure several of their mid-Michigan locations.

Some of those changes includes a merger of the Flint and Kalamazoo campus with local community colleges, such as Mott Community College in Flint.

That merger will take place this fall. Continue reading

Chippewa International Airport will receive $71k federal grant

The Chippewa County International airport will soon receive a $71,250 grant from the federal government.airport_sign3

U.S. Senators Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow made the announcement this week, that the money will come from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The grant will go towards new snow removal equipment; mainly a new pick up truck to plow snow.

Tammy Besaw is the airport manager, and she says the new equipment will help to keep the airfield clear and safe during the winter season.

“We always need things like that. As you know last year was probably a record breaking snowfall year, and our job here is 24/7 to keep the runways clear and open” says Besaw.

Peters says the grant will improve the airports overall operations, along with making it safer for passengers traveling to and from the upper peninsula.

Besaw says the grant money will stay within the community, as the airport plans to purchase the truck from a local dealership.

Keeping pets safe and secure over the holiday weekend

4th - keep pets calmWhether your Independence Day celebrations will take place at home, on a beach or in a park. The busyness – and noise – of the weekend can be unsettling for pets.

Some organizations say more pets are lost during the Fourth of July period than any other time of year.

Jason is a Dispatch Supervisor with the Grand Traverse 911 Dispatch. He said it’s good to take basic precautions.
“Keep an eye on the pets. If you’re going to be distracted by a bunch of people coming to visit you, make sure they either in a fenced yard or on a leash or in a house. Somewhere where they’re not going to be able to run free when you look in the other direction”.

4th - pets infographic

CMU graduate compares rural life in Michigan to city life in Chicago with video


A time-lapse video showcasing and contrasting Michigan’s peaceful nature scenes with Chicago’s fast moving atmosphere has been released by a Central Michigan University graduate.

“Divergence” is an 11 minute time-lapse video that features Cadillac, Mt. Pleasant, Lake Superior, Paradise Point and other spots around northern Michigan. Continue reading