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U.P. towns listed for charm, beauty

A recent listing claims to have found the most charming small towns in Michigan. Some of these picks seem a little random.. Battle Creek, really? But we won't argue over Crystal Falls and Ishpeming, both sleepy gems of the U.P.
Excerpt: There’s something special about a small town, that you just can’t find in the big city. Maybe it’s the way everyone seems to know you (that can be a good AND bad thing, but that’s another story). Maybe it’s the sense of pride that comes from making a difference in a tight-knit community. Or perhaps it’s the friendly, independent shops where you’d rather patronize because you know the families that run them. Here are some of those charming, beautiful towns across Michigan that you should be proud to call home.
For the whole list, go here.

Lansing State Journal picks favorite Michigan spots, heavy on the U.P.

Pick a favorite place in Michigan? That's a tough question for any resident. The staffers at the Lansing State Journal offered up their favorites to kick off a statewide contest, and the results are very flattering to the U.P.
Excerpt: By any route, the hike is rich with lakes, ponds, streams, birdlife and flowers, such as lady slippers, found in so few other places.  The payoff comes when you pop out of the forest and onto the beach. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see another person in any direction. If winds are calm and Lake Superior is flat, you won’t have to die to experience heaven.
For the whole list of choices, click here.
Source: Lansing State Journal

Upper Hand Brewery releases 906 Ale

Based in Escanaba, Upper Hand Brewery is rolling out the latest addition to its U.P.-made beers. the 906 Ale. It's a U.P.-palate friendly red ale.
Excerpt: Upper Hand Brewery is pleased to announce the upcoming release of 906™ Ale (9.06% ABV). An Imperial Red Ale brewed in celebration of the 906 area code, the beer’s name is a tribute to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the brewery calls its home.
For the whole story, go here.

U.P. photos highlighted in Detroit News contest

A photo from Isle Royale won a recent Michigan photo contest run by the Detroit News, in company with two other U.P. photo finalists... and the contest is ongoing, so if you have the perfect photo with the theme "Celebrate Michigan," they want to see it at the link below.
Excerpt: His shot, "Sunrise Fishing on Isle Royale," wins a place in the finals of The Detroit News’ ninth annual Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest. Each Wednesday through Sept. 2, Detroit News judges will select four photos of Michigan that reflect what’s special about our state.
Check out all the photos online here.
Source: Detroit News

Sault Ste. Marie to get new PlacePlan

The Sault is participating in the placemaking program PlacePlans, enrolling in the latest round of communities to focus on improving its downtown.
Excerpt: The city of Sault Ste. Marie is considering development of Moloney Alley in the heart of downtown Sault Ste. Marie. Moloney Alley would serve as a focal point in the community, acting as a bridge between the Soo Locks tourist attractions and more traditional downtown uses. In doing so, the Alley will fulfill a need for such a space that was recently identified in a survey conducted by Lake Superior State University students. The Alley development project will also complement past and ongoing investments and partnerships fostered by the city in the effort to revitalize and enhance downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
More on the plan is online here.
Source: Michigan Municipal League

Marquette implements parklets on downtown streets

The new bike corral, benches and parklets in downtown Marquette are part of a placemaking project to improve streets in the city.
Excerpt: The City of Marquette recently began experimenting with an approach to placemaking called Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper. Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Association of Realtors, the Marquette Downtown Development Authority worked with local businesses to implement several Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper placemaking projects along Third Street in Marquette. 
For the whole story, click here.
Source: Michigan State University Extension

Watch 24 hours of Upper Peninsula skies in time-lapse

Sometimes, the U.P. just gives you days of extraordinary beauty. A 24-hour time-lapse video of the skies near Marquette shows one of them recently.
Excerpt: Marquette photographer Shawn Malone did not set out to photograph variations of Michigan's sky within a 24-hour period. But on June 22, it just kind of happened.
Weather conditions in Marquette were ripe for capturing stunning photos of the starry Milky Way, morning's first glow, a passing storm, a double rainbow, dusk and the aurora borealis -- all during a single day at a Lake Superior beach about a mile from Malone's home.
To see the video, go here.

New book chronicles company towns of the U.P.

A native U.P. writer turned to the history of the U.P.'s many small towns that were both built and abandoned by companies for his latest volume.
Excerpt: Author Christian Holmes uncovers stories of struggle and celebration as he explores vanished communities and their legacy that make up the history of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
For more on the book, click here.
Source: Holland Sentinel

Michigan ranked best of all 50 states

Well, those of us who live here already knew there was good reason to think so... But in a very unscientific ranking, Thrillist decided Michigan was the best of all the states.
Excerpt: Seeing how it's America Week at Thrillist, and we've already danced with state rankings involving food/drink and beer, we thought it was time to use the perfectly American cliche "go big or go home" and rank the states based on everything. More specifically, their contributions to America, so think inventions, food/drink, somewhat productive famous people, unique physical beauty, etc.
For the whole list, go here.

Peregrine chicks hatching atop U.P. bridges draw wide attention

Two landmark U.P. bridges are home to peregrine falcon nesting pairs, and reported successful hatchings for the endangered species this spring, on the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and the Lift Bridge in the Keweenaw.
Excerpt: Three peregrine falcon chicks have hatched atop the Houghton-Hancock Lift Bridge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The state Department of Transportation installed nest boxes on the north and south bridge towers in 2012 and a pair of peregrine falcons showed up the next spring.
More on the story is online here.
Source: Detroit News 

New book highlights women writing about the U.P.

Ron Riekki, the force behind the U.P. Book Tour, has a new volume out that discusses notable women's writing about the Upper Peninsula.
Excerpt: How does place impact prose? "Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula" explores that very question, drawing on the work of Upper Peninsula authors, past and present, to create a kaleidoscope of voices and experiences. 
For the whole article, go here.
Source: Holland Sentinel

Marquette author turns historic play into new book

The play Willpower, about a historic notable Marquette resident, has been adapted into a book by its playwright and local author, Tyler Tichelaar. The story of Will Adams, the "Ossified Man," now has been released in several forms including a book and DVD.

Excerpt: When Will S. Adams was diagnosed with ossification, a mysterious disease that caused his tissues to harden until he became nearly a living statue, he refused to quit living life fully and was immensely productive. Now the original play Willpower, which translated his life story to the stage, is available as a book and a DVD.
For more on the book and play, go here.
Source: Tyler Tichelaar

Marquette named best paddling town

Access to freshwater is about as good as it gets in the U.P., which helps explain why recently named Marquette among its best paddling towns.
Excerpt: Anywhere in Michigan, you'll never find yourself more than six miles away from some sort of body of water. With that water, comes water sports.
"Kayaking draws a lot of people to the area," said Downwind Sports Co-owner Todd King. named Marquette, Michigan one of the best paddling towns in North America.
For the whole story, go here.

U.P. Second Wave article receives certificate from Good News Awards

U.P. Second Wave writer Brian Martucci recently was awarded a Certificate of Merit in the 2015 Good News Awards hosted by local religious leaders. He won the certificate in the non-daily written news category for a story from May 2014 exploring how the U.P. can solve the problem of population decline.
The full category results are below:
Nearly 50 media professionals and groups from throughout the Upper Peninsula were recognized for the positive stories they wrote and programs they produced during 2014 at the 18th annual Good News Awards luncheon held at Grace United Methodist Church in Marquette on June 9.  This year 16 media outlets, including newspapers, online publications, and TV and radio stations entered a total of 63 entries in the Good News Awards, resulting in 27 Good News Awards and 16 Certificates of Merit being given out.

The Good News Awards, which began in 1998, honors local works of excellence in broadcasting, print and on the web that affirm the dignity of people, recognize and uphold universally-recognized human values, and uplift and nourish the human spirit.  They are sponsored by the religious leaders of the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian and United Methodist Churches in the Upper Peninsula region.
Here are the 2015 Good News Awards by division and category:
Non-daily Written News
Straight News Story
Certificate of Merit:  The Munising News, Munising for "Warming up Trenary's Elderly" (a local tavern raised money to assist elderly neighbors heat their homes) by Toni Mann
Certificate of Merit:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for "Athletics to Lead Way for Finlandia's Growth" (university remains true to ethnic roots when implementing new athletic programs) by David Maki
Feature Story
Good News Award:  Pioneer Tribune, Manistique for "Digging into the Good:  Veteran, Philanthropist is 'Person of the Year'" (one man's mission to better the town despite his own obstacles) by Ashley Hoholik
Good News Award:  Marquette Monthly, Marquette for "The Guardians" (spiritualism and environmental advocacy linked by Native American culture) by Jon Magnuson
Good News Award:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for "Joseph Riippa's Life and Legacy" (a long-deceased pastor is remembered for his multiple contributions to Finnish-American culture) by Minna Salomaa
Good News Award:  The Munising News, Munising for "The Chatham Ski Hill" (an old-fashioned ski hill continues to unite the community with family-oriented recreation) by Toni Mann
Certificate of Merit:  Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Little Lake for "How the U.P. Can Fight Population Decline and Foster Economic Development" (how the region can tackle its population challenges head-on) by Brian Martucci
Good News Award:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for "Out of Respect" (a teacher is recalled for her efforts to teach students how to respect each other and live in harmony) by James Kurtti
Good News Award:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for "Heikinpäivä 2014: A Look Back at Midwinter Finnish Fun" (one of the events, the kicksled race, that make up the midwinter ethnic festival, Heikinpäivä) by James Kurtti
Good News Award:  The Munising News, Munising for "Mike's Hiking for Heroes" (following a Munising native, who was part of an eight-month-long journey across the country meant to bring awareness and support to America's Gold Star families) by Amanda Ingraham
Source: Good News Awards

Houghton named among most livable places

Houghton, Michigan got some recognition recently by, which focuses on quality of life across the U.S. Houghton made it into the top 100 small towns list on the site.
Excerpt: With more than 12,000 small towns considered, the city of Houghton was selected to be in the top 100 of the most livable small towns in America. The Copper Country city was ranked 96th on the national list released by — one of three Michigan cities to make the list and the only one in the Upper Peninsula.
For the whole story, go here.
Source: ABC 10
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