The unseasonably warm weather in Michigan has begun to affect northern Michigan businesses. Business owners say tourists are foregoing trips North because of the lack of snow.
Northern Michigan’s warmer than usual weather could allow ferries headed for Mackinac Island to stay open throughout the winter season.
Allison Abraham is the assistant director for the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. She said winter tourism on the island isn’t a new thing.
Over 25 million people are expected to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday period from November 20 – December 1. Thankfully, airlines are prepared for the large number of travelers.
Airlines for America said this is the largest number of Thanksgiving holiday flights booked since the great recession in 2009. It’s also a 3% increase from last year. Continue reading
Out of all of the destinations in the world, Mackinac Island is in the running for the most romantic spot.
In a contest held by USA Today, Mackinac Island is currently ranked 2nd out of 20, for the most romantic spot in the world. The island trails Porto, Portugal. But is ahead of spots like the Bahamas, Colombia, and Argentina.
The quaint island is one out of four places in the U.S. to make it on the list.
Voting for the top spot will continue until August 3rd.
To vote for Mackinac Island, follow this link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-under-the-radar-romantic-destination/mackinac-island-mich/
Captain has been all three. Today he lives with a family in Saginaw. He was adopted out of Iran. A place where dogs have been outlawed for over thirty years.
Jeff Popovich tells us about Captain, his new family and his remarkable journey:
Despite missing a leg, Captain runs effortlessly to greet, Reza Saffarian.
Saffarian is an Iranian-born American citizen who adopted Captain from his home country two years ago.
He said, “We are just happy to be able to help an animal that had probably been put down overseas if that was not, you know if that was not for the circumstances.”
Dogs have been outlawed in Iran since the Iranian revolution in the late 1970s.
It wasn’t until 2004 the country’s first ever animal shelter was founded. It’s called Vafa. That means loyalty in Farsi, the official Persian language in Iran.
Saffarian said animal activist groups like Vafa have been busy trying to improve the fate of dogs in Iran.
He said, “They were instrumental in identifying these dogs and bringing them in, and sheltering these animals.”
The shelter adopts dogs to safe homes in other countries through their website.
Saffarian said, “We were able to look on their website, read the stories of these dogs, and be able to hook up some of these dogs and he was one of those few, and I think they would tell you that, he was one of the few fortunate dogs to be able to get adopted out of nearly 500 dogs.”
Saffarian decided on Captain because he says he felt the dog would be overlooked by other families looking to adopt because he is missing a leg.
He got in touch with the Vafa representative who handles adoptions to the US.
A few weeks later Captain was on a plane to Boston.
Once he was in the US, his journey continued to Saginaw through a volunteer group called The Liberty Train.
That’s an all volunteer organization dedicated to rescuing and transporting animals to homes across the country.
Laura Harper is transport coordinator and founder of The Liberty Train.
She said, “We get drivers to pick up a dog at one location then they transport them to the next location and pass them off to the next driver and so on and so forth until they get where they’re going.”
Harper said it’s a humbling experience working with so many people that are so willing to help.
She said, “When I get to the end of the week and I know that I’ve got wonderful people like Team Iran and Team US/Canada or the Vafa shelter and all the other rescues that we work with it fills my heart. It keeps me going knowing that there are good people out there.”
Back in Saginaw, Reza Saffarian said he’s grateful to all the people who were involved in Captain’s rescue and transport.
When Captain arrived, the Saffarians were concerned about his stump. It had not been properly amputated when he was still in Iran.
Saffarian said, “So we put him through a surgery shortly after we got him, and ever since I think he has…his life has taken for the better.”
Since his rescue, Captain has adapted to the English language.
He’s also picked up on things that American dogs take for granted, like climbing stairs and even playing with toys.
Saffarian said, “We are delighted…we are really delighted. And I think somehow he appreciates that too you know you saw how he comes to the door and greets us, and how he sticks by me. I think he understands that maybe he is somewhat lucky.”
Captain went from being a target on the streets of Iran to a full fledged Saffarian family member.
Aside from being one lucky dog, Captain’s journey is one example that possibilities are endless.
ON THE WEB
Vafa Animal Shelter http://vafashelter.com/main/
Rural Michigan could see some changes to its speed limits under legislation being considered in Lansing.
Spring break may be a great time to travel, and not all travelers choose warm southern beach destinations. Some travel around Michigan.
USA Today is running a 10 Best, Readers Choice Awards contest.
Michigan has three destinations in the running.
Saugatuck, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and Seney Wildlife Refuge are in the running.
ON THE WEB
USA Today 10 Best Readers Choice Contest http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/
The new man in charge of how people from all over the world view Michigan has been on the move since assuming his duties.
AAA predicts that nearly 95 million people will be traveling for the holidays. Many divers are finding gas prices to be much better than last year.
However, energy economists said gas prices have little impact on how much people actually drive.
They said life milestones such as retiring and even what part of the country we live in are more important factors. Continue reading
Recent graduates from Central Michigan University however, spent their post-grad weeks volunteering. In Kenya. Continue reading
The state is looking for a business to manage it’s sponsorship programs, and bring in some funding. Continue reading
While the winter brings holiday cheer, the weather creates treacherous conditions for drivers on the road.