Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cougar illegally killed in Schoolcraft County; DNR conservation officers apprehend suspects

SCHOOLCRAFT COUNTY, Mich. -- Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) law enforcement officials have confirmed a cougar was illegally killed last week in the Upper Peninsula’s Schoolcraft County.

Acting on a tip that a cougar had been illegally killed at a hunting camp in northeast Schoolcraft County, DNR conservation officers and Special Investigations Unit detectives were able to successfully recover evidence and identify and apprehend two suspects from Bay County.

Upon completion of the DNR’s investigation, the case will be turned over to the Schoolcraft County Prosecuting Attorney with warrant requests for charges. The state penalty for illegally killing a cougar, classified as an endangered species in Michigan, is up to 90 days in jail and fines and restitution of up to $2,500.

Anyone with information about this or any other poaching case is encouraged to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline at 800-292-7800, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Information can also be reported online at www.michigan.gov/conservationofficers. Tips and information can be left anonymously; information that leads to an arrest and conviction is eligible for a cash reward funded by the state’s Game and Fish Protection Fund.

A trail camera photo of a cougar near the same area as this incident was recently confirmed by the DNR’s Wildlife Division. Wildlife officials believe the animal killed was most likely the same cougar seen in the recent photo.

Cougars, also known as mountain lions, disappeared from the state in the early 1900s. The last confirmed wild cougar in Michigan prior to 2008 was an animal killed near Newberry in 1906.

Since 2008, the DNR has confirmed photos or tracks of cougars on 23 occasions in 10 Upper Peninsula counties. The animals are believed to be young individuals dispersing from established populations in the Dakotas in search of new territory. There is no evidence of a breeding population of cougars in the state.

The Wildlife Division’s specially trained cougar team welcomes citizen reports of possible cougar evidence or sightings. Cougar photos and other evidence -- such as tracks, scat or cached kills -- should be reported to a local DNR office or through the DNR's online reporting form at www.michigan.gov/cougars. See that page also for links to more information about cougars -- such as distinguishing cougars, bobcats and domestic cats or distinguishing cougar, coyote and bobcat tracks.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Artist studios at E.L. Wright in Hancock to hold Open House TONIGHT, Dec. 19

HANCOCK -- Artist studios in the E.L. Wright Building, 801 N. Lincoln Dr. (US-41) in Hancock will hold an Open House from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. TONIGHT, Thursday, Dec. 19.

"Come Eat, Drink, Shop, and be Merry!!!" says fiber artist and designer Andrea Puzakulich.

Her Distant Drum Clothing Studio (downstairs) will offer Holiday Specials -- 20 percent off Studio-wide items. Distant Drum will also have drawings for two $50 gift certificates. 25 percent of all sales will be donated to the Salvation Army.

Also, visit these other Artist Studios at E.L. Wright tonight: Joyce Koskenmaki Studio with Cynthia Coté (Room 201, art sale) and Brockit Photography (upstairs -- holiday soirée and raffle -- check their Facebook page).

Photo (inset): Andrea Puzakulich, fiber artist and designer, displays her original creations during the 2013 FinnFest USA Tori (market) at Michigan Tech's Student Development Complex (SDC) in June 2013. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Community Arts Center to hold holiday party, children's art exhibit Dec. 19

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC) is holding a holiday party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. TOMORROW, Thursday, Dec.19. The evening will feature artist demonstrations in spinning, letterpress printing, encaustics, and painting; a sing along with Rhythm 203; and kids’ story time with Chris Alquist.

Rhythm 203 -- from left, Sue Ellen Kingsley, Phyllis Fredendall and Norm Kendall -- are joined by Debbie Mues, right, Calumet Schools art teacher, in singing holiday tunes during the December 2012 Copper Country Community Arts Center holiday party and children's art exhibit. Rhythm 203 will lead a sing along again this year at the Dec. 19 party to be held at the Community Arts Center. The event is free and all are welcome. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

An opening reception for the Calumet Schools Art Exhibition will also be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Youth Gallery.

Stop by for cookies, refreshments, door prizes, and holiday fun. This event is free and all are invited. The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Call 482-2333 for more information.

In addition, 2013 and 2014 CCCAC Members also receive 10 percent off gallery sales all day Thursday.

Update: VSA "Art Around the World" traveling exhibition in Kerredge Gallery.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is hosting "Art Around the World" -- the VSA Michigan Emerging Artists’ Touring Exhibition -- in the Kerredge Gallery through Dec. 23, 2013.

The exhibit is artwork created by artists with disabilities of all ages. Forty pieces including drawing, painting and photography are on display making a lively and enriching viewing experience. Pontiac artist John Sharpe has two expressive pastel drawings depicting Detroit Tigers’ Al Kaline stretching to catch a ball and Willie Horton up to bat. Gila Yael Gelford from Beverly Hills, Mich., created a painting titled "Collies" which has the words, Robert Bray says: "Which One is the Real Lassie." Three smiling dogs dwarf a man in a hat against a bright red background. Local artist, Rickie Manninen’s Fishy Fishy is a found object sculpture of a fish with bubbles made of strung beads and shells.

VSA Michigan promotes creative power in people with disabilities, and works to create a society where people with disabilities participate in, learn through, excel in and enjoy the arts. VSA Michigan has advocated for arts in education and increased opportunities for experiences and training within educational and community-based programs since 1977 and has expanded its programs and services to engage people through a statewide network of local affiliate committees and partner organizations. Activities include artist residencies, daytime and after-school classes, professional development, technical services and opportunities for individuals to learn through the arts and showcase their work.

VSA Michigan arts programs focus on engaging people with disabilities in learning skills, expressing themselves more fully, promoting access and inclusion, and engaging people in dance, drama, music, literary, media and visual arts. VSA Michigan is an affiliate of the VSA and Accessibility Department of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Exhibitions and programs are supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Arts Center is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturdays 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Special holiday hours include Sunday and Monday, Dec. 22 and 23, noon to 5 p.m. For more information call 482-2333 or email ccarts@coppercountryarts.com.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Italian Hall Tragedy Centennial Ceremony to be held on Dec. 24 in Calumet

CALUMET -- The centennial of the 1913 Italian Hall Tragedy will be commemorated at 3:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve at the Italian Hall Site on Seventh and Elm Streets in Calumet. Surviving family members are cordially invited to attend the ceremony and gathering afterward, both of which are free and open to the public.

The Italian Hall in Calumet, Michigan, photographed the day after the Dec. 24, 1913, Italian Hall disaster. The flag is at half-mast to honor the victims -- mostly striking miners' children enjoying a Christmas party, who perished in a stairwell when someone yelled a false alarm of "Fire!" (File photo courtesy Michigan Tech Archives)

The 45-minute ceremony will include a solemn reading of the victims’ names as well as hymns and reflection offered by Rev. Laura Eaton of Christ Episcopal Church. The site will be lit with 73 luminaries, which are placed every year by the C-L-K Rotary; and the arch will be graced by a wreath containing 73 white tea roses, which will be offered to surviving family members attending the event.

The Italian Hall Tragedy occurred on Christmas Eve during the nationally significant Michigan Copper Miners’ Strike of 1913. A Christmas party for the miners’ children ended in a calamitous rush for the stairway exit precipitated by a false cry of "Fire!" resulting in 73 deaths. These victims included 57 children below the age of 16. The tragedy remains a source of community grief, scholarly research, film documentaries, books of both fiction and non-fiction, exhibits, a dance performance, and debate.

A display of photographs depicting the tragedy and its aftermath will be available in the Council Chambers of the Village Office at 340 Sixth Street during normal office hours, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., from Dec. 18 through Dec. 30. A Book of Remembrance will be available for those wishing to record thoughts and reflections. The display will include 73 white lilies representing the victims and handouts detailing the ages, relationships, and lineage of those lost that fateful evening.

This historic photo of the funeral for the Italian Hall victims, which was held on Dec. 28, 1913, was part of a display of historic photos in the Calumet Village Council Chambers on June 20, 2013, as part of the Italian Hall Ceremony held during FinnFest USA. A similar exhibit will be part of the Christmas Eve Centennial Ceremony to be held on Dec 24, 2013. (File photo by Keweenaw Now)*

The Calumet Theatre will also have the "Tumult and Tragedy" exhibit, produced by the MTU Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, available to the public during the same hours, as well as during Theatre events, through Jan. 16. The "Tumult and Tragedy" exhibit is located in the Calumet Theatre Ballroom on the second floor of the Village Hall.

Poster for "Tumult and Tragedy: Michigan’s 1913-14 Copper Strike," a traveling exhibit of the Michigan Tech Archives. (Poster courtesy Michigan Tech Archives) 

"Tumult and Tragedy" explores the story of the 1913-14 Copper Miners' Strike. The conflict, sorrow, and tragedy of this confrontation between organized labor and mining companies affected local residents from all walks of life, created headlines across the nation, and continues to resonate in Michigan’s Copper Country today.

The Village is collaborating with Calumet Township, the National Park Service at Keweenaw National Historical Park, Main Street Calumet, the Calumet Theatre, and the C-L-K Rotary Club to produce the Italian Hall Tragedy Centennial Ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact the Village of Calumet at (906) 337-1713. You may also wish to visit the website of Keweenaw National Historical Park at www.nps.gov/kewe for more information about the Italian Hall Site.

* Editor's Note: See our July 7, 2013, article with videos and photos of the June 20, 2013, Italian Hall Ceremony in Calumet.

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club to hold monthly meeting Dec. 17; more photos from Gromit the Trail Mutt

Grooming at Maasto Hiihto Trails is underway. Gromit the Trail Mutt posted this photo on Thursday, Dec. 12. Since then Arlyn Aronson, groomer, reports trails have been rolled and some have been tracked where possible. (Photos © and courtesy Arlyn and Sandy Aronson)

HANCOCK -- Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club (KNSC) will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. TOMORROW, Tuesday, Dec. 17, at the Hancock Chalet. All are welcome.

If you have questions, contact Jay Green, KNSC president, at 906-487-5411 or jbgreen45@charter.net.

Gromit and friends at KNSC's first moonlight ski Saturday, Dec. 14, at Maasto Hiihto.

Last Saturday was a full day of skiing for Gromit. Here she and Sandy Aronson enjoy skiing on Eagle Harbor trails.

Afterwards, Gromit and her "pack" skied some of the Copper Harbor trails. Click here to see more photos of her recent snow adventures on The Trail Mutt Reports.

Monday, December 16, 2013

DEQ Air Quality Division to hold public hearing on Eagle Mine's proposed modifications for Humboldt Mill Dec. 17

MARQUETTE -- The Air Quality Division (AQD) of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold an informational session and a public hearing on Eagle Mine LLC's proposed modifications at the Humboldt Mill tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, at Westwood High School Auditorium, 300 Westwood Drive in Ishpeming.

The informational session will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the public hearing will begin at 7 p.m.

The proposed modifications allow general building ventilation for the Coarse Ore Storage Building and the Concentrate Loadout Building and an increase in the annual ore throughout. The facility is located at 4547 County Road 601, Champion, Humboldt Township.

During the informational session AQD staff will provide a brief introduction regarding the proposed project and will be available to answer questions. The sole purpose of the public hearing will be to take formal testimony on the record.

The public comment period is extended to the end of the hearing on Dec. 17. To submit comments on line, click here and go to Eagle Mine LLC - Permit to Install Application No. 405-08A. Click on links to information and on Submit Comment.

Click here for the public notice on the public comment period and hearing.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Wisconsin Citizens Media Coop: Spain’s Damning Evidence on Bill Williams’ Complicity in Crimes Against Environment

By Barbara With
Posted Dec. 14, 2013 on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative (WCMC)
Reprinted in part with permission

As Gogebic Taconite (GTac) President Bill Williams is being sought for alleged crimes against the environment committed while he was overseeing the Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) mine in Seville, Spain, WCMC has obtained documents that highlight the severity of those charges.

Together with other publicly available evidence, these documents reveal disturbing similarities between CLC operations in Spain and GTac’s behavior in Wisconsin, and raise serious questions about the motives of Bill Williams and his boss, the playboy coal magnate Chris Cline.
Photo inset: GTac Lobbyists, from left, Bob Seitz and Tim Myers, and President Bill Williams at Aug 13, 2013, (Wisconsin) DNR hearing on their bulk sample application. 
(Photo © and courtesy Rebecca Kemble)

CLC Investors

The CLC story begins in 1994. Leucadia National Corp., a multibillion dollar holding company, was alerted about a copper mine for sale in Spain by Frank Joklik, the former president of Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation -- owned by one of the world’s largest mining companies, Rio Tinto. Leucadia hired Joklik as president and CEO of MK Gold in 1995, despite his poor track record at Kennecott, where he concealed the dangers of a mine-waste pond in Salt Lake County, Utah. ... Click here to read the rest of this article on the WCMC Web site.