See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

See "The Nutcracker" by Minnesota Ballet with Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra Nov. 30, Dec. 1 at Rozsa Center

A scene from The Nutcracker, with the Minnesota Ballet, to be performed Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

HOUGHTON -- The snowflakes, the beloved Christmas music, the magical tale: Come to the Rozsa Center to experience the timeless Christmas tradition that is the Nutcracker ballet! Minnesota Ballet and Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra (KSO) (with Joel Neves conducting) will present a fully-staged production, with live orchestra, of Tchaikovsky's enchanting Nutcracker ballet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1.

Filled with mischievous mice, twirling treats, and shimmering snowflakes, the tale of Clara and her Nutcracker prince promises special Christmas memories. Aspiring young dancers from many area schools have also been training and rehearsing for their upcoming performances of The Nutcracker. There will be a pre-performance interview in the Rozsa Lobby with Conductor Joel Neves and the dancers and director of the Minnesota Ballet each night!

Young dancers from area schools will join the Minnesota Ballet dancers for the Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 performances of The Nutcracker at the Rozsa Center. (Photo courtesy Rozsa Center)

Young dancers with the Superior School of Dance will take the stage with the professionals from the Minnesota Ballet to create this magical Christmas fairytale, along with Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets are on sale now, $28 for adults, $12 for youth. Special for the Nutcracker performances, a $64 "family package" includes two adults and two youth tickets; and additional youth tickets can be added on for $8 each. No charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Advance reserved seating is now available -- please order tickets early! Tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office the evening of the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances. 

This performance is supported by Minnesota Public Radio, WGGL, and with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Copper Country Disaster Case Managers helping flood victims

Logo courtesy Flood Recovery Project.

HANCOCK -- If you still need help recovering from the June flood, assistance is available.

The Flood Recovery Project - Copper Country, created in October, will assist Copper Country residents facing long term effects from June 2018 flooding, also locally known as the Father’s Day Flood.

Marci Vivian and Dennis Leopold will staff Flood Recovery Project - Copper Country as Disaster Case Managers. They are assessing needs and stand ready, reaching out to help those affected by the Father’s Day Flood. They are also looking into enhancing counseling options specific to flooding.

"This is a commitment to holistically getting their lives back to a place of normalcy," said the Rev. Paul Perez, of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church. "The work of disaster case management is not only material but it’s psychological, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being."

Marci and Dennis work with the Copper Country Team Disaster Recovery Group -- comprised of local church and community leaders, and nonprofit and government agencies. They also work in partnership with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR is the humanitarian disaster recovery arm of The United Methodist Church.

Their work "officially" got up and running Oct. 5th -- four months after the June 17 flood. There are still a lot of questions Vivian and Leopold are assessing in terms of the community’s needs. They plan on reaching out, at least initially, to as many people as they can.

One thing they know for sure? Lots of people still need help.

Based on their first 150 calls, and how many people registered for aid, they estimate they’ll be overseeing about 80 households for disaster case management.

"We are finding that there are people out there still not recovered," Vivian said. "For a lot of people in the Copper Country, not everybody has the resources."

The case managers have compiled a list of flood-impacted residents from a variety of sources and have been making calls since early October. However, they fear there are more residents out there who are still in need of help. After initial contact is made and a need is expressed, a home visit is scheduled to further assess needs.

From there, the plan is for the case managers to connect the residents-in-need to appropriate organizations and nonprofits and walk them through their full recovery process.

"The need from household to household can vary greatly, and funds will be distributed accordingly," Leopold said.

"Because it’s getting colder, we’re looking for people without furnaces, hot water heaters, as well as homes that have not been cleaned and sanitized yet," Vivian said. "A lot of appliances were submerged, so those have been big needs at this time."

No cost to residents for this service

The disaster case manager service does not cost residents anything; they simply have to reach out to Vivian and Leopold indicating they need help to start the process or opt in when they receive a call from the case managers.

"Our case managers assist from the beginning of their client’s case to the close of it to aid and empower that person to work toward their long-term recovery," Perez said.

"A lot of times we don’t realize the length of time it takes for a community to recover from a natural disaster," Vivian concluded.

How to contact case managers

Leopold and Vivian are based out of the old D and N Bank building (now Huntington Bank) in Hancock, Room 402, and can be reached by phone at (906) 231-6856.

Volunteers, funding needed

They are looking for volunteers with a background in construction to help with flood damage assessments and home repair.

Funds for flood recovery are being collected through the Keweenaw Community Foundation, located in Hancock, as well as Lutheran Social Services -- Lutheran Disaster Response c/o Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Houghton.

For more information visit