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.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Gov. Whitmer orders flags lowered to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

LANSING -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the State of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff immediately on Friday, September 18, 2020, until interment, to honor the life and service of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away Friday.

"I am truly heartbroken at the news of Justice Ginsburg’s passing," Whitmer said. "Her intellect, her razor sharp wit, and her lifetime of service to our nation made her an inspiration to millions of Americans.

"I know there are a lot of women who are feeling worried right now about what this means for the future of our country. One thing I learned watching Justice Ginsburg’s fearless battles with cancer and injustice is that you never give up, and you never stop fighting for the values we hold dear as Americans. The best way to honor Justice Ginsburg’s memory is by making our voices heard at the ballot box this November. Register to vote, request an absentee ballot, and return it quickly. Let us turn our grief into action, let us choose hope over fear, and let us find the strength to build a stronger America for everyone."

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York, on March 15, 1933. She graduated from Cornell University before attending both Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School, where she ultimately completed her legal education. 
Before she was appointed to the bench, Ginsburg pioneered women’s rights working with the American Civil Liberties Union as founding counsel of the Women’s Rights Project. Her work with the ACLU led to the first U.S. Supreme Court decision in which a gender-based statute was struck down based on equal protection grounds.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.   

In 1993, Ginsburg was appointed by President Bill Clinton, becoming the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. While on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was known for her active role in oral arguments and her powerful dissents.

Justice Ginsburg passed away on Friday, Sept. 18, at the age of 87 years old after battling metastatic pancreatic cancer.

The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations also are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.

To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day. Flags should remain lowered until interment.

Senator Debbie Stabenow: Statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- On Friday night, U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow released the following statement on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg:

"Tonight we have lost an incredible voice for justice. As a lawyer and professor, Justice Ginsburg broke barriers for women. As a Justice of the Supreme Court, she helped build a better nation for all Americans. Justice Ginsburg spent her lifetime working to protect our people and our democracy. We must honor her legacy by continuing her fight.

"My heart goes out to Justice Ginsburg’s family and friends. She truly was a national treasure."

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Call for Actors: Auditions for "Miasma" to be Sept. 20, 21, 22 at Rozsa

HOUGHTON -- Auditions for Eric Samuelsen’s play Miasma, a story of enduring love’s struggle with selfish desire, will be held by appointment: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 20, on the Rozsa Stage; 7 - 10 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21, and Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Rozsa room 120 (Choir Room).

Please enter through the Rozsa Stage Door next to the loading doors. Email for Rehearsal Appointment. Auditions will be by "cold" readings. Callbacks are planned.

When you come to auditions, please wear a closed-tight mask. Use hand sanitizer when you come in and when you leave. Observe social distancing within the audition space. This first round of auditions will need you for about 30 minutes. The cast consists of Claire, who wrangles her feisty and stubborn father Ben. Ben holds the power of the family purse over his wife and children. His sons abandoned him and depend on Claire to speak for them. His other daughter, Beth, is his favorite; she follows his pursuit of wealth. Ben has left his wife, Liz, who weeps for the old West, in favor of Liza, a strong woman, who knows what she wants. Jorge, the ranch manager, is trapped between the family and the illegal aliens who work in Ben’s enterprises. (2 men, 4 women)

The play will be captured on video in Covid-19-compliant recording studios and spaces. The production will be streamed from the Rozsa Center facilities at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 10 through Dec. 12.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I Have to Quarantine for How Long? And Other COVID-19 Questions Answered

By Kelley Christensen, Michigan Tech University science and technology publications writer
Posted Sept. 2, 2020, on Michigan Tech News
Reprinted in part with permission

This graphic shows the timeline for a COVID-19 infection, disease incubation period, and time it takes to spread to another person. Typically a person who has been infected with COVID-19 becomes infectious to others two days prior to onset of symptoms (even if they are extremely mild and are not noticeable to the infected person). For health officials, quarantining people whom contact tracers have identified as possibly infected prior to when symptoms appear is crucial to slow the spread of COVID-19. A person is infectious as long as they have symptoms. Click on image for larger version. (Graphic courtesy Michigan Tech University)

In this interview, we speak with epidemiologist Kelly Kamm about virus latency, isolation versus quarantine, contact tracing, and why medical guidelines continue to change.

Kelly Kamm is an epidemiologist and assistant professor of kinesiology and integrative physiology at Michigan Tech University. Kamm’s expertise has been vital to informing the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, she explains some of the more complicated aspects of COVID-19 in a college setting. Inset photo: Kelly Kamm. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

How Long Am I Contagious?

Q: What is the latency period of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19?

KK: The virus can take between two and 14 days for someone to develop symptoms or test positive from the time they are exposed. This is called the incubation period. Many factors impact the range of the incubation period. If you were exposed on Monday the 1st and had a COVID-19 test on the 5th, only about half the people who are infected will have a positive test or have symptoms at that time. Just because you test negative on day five does not mean that you are not infected; you could still test positive up to 14 days after the exposure.

What’s the Difference Between Isolation and Quarantine?

Q: How does the incubation period relate to how long a person needs to isolate or quarantine?

KK: If someone tests positive for the virus -- whether or not they have symptoms -- they are infected and must be isolated. Their time in separation is based on the infectious period, which is how long they are able to spread the disease to other people. The infectious period differs between individuals, but can be determined based on their symptoms and whether those symptoms are resolving, or a specified time period if they tested positive but never develop any symptoms.

Q: So, what’s the minimum a person would need to isolate if they have no symptoms?

Click here to read the rest of this interview on Michigan Tech News.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

UP Energy Task Force to meet virtually Monday, Sept. 14

LANSING -- The UP Energy Task Force will meet virtually via Microsoft Teams from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, to discuss electric utilities that serve the U.P. and an overview of the region’s energy landscape.

Welcome and Task Force Business at 10 a.m. will be followed by two presentations:

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. -- Continuing Topic: "Electric Utilities' Role in Serving U.P. residents and business," presented by Aaron Wallin, Chief Financial Officer/Director of Power Marketing and Regulatory Affairs, on Cloverland Electric Cooperation utilities service."

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. -- "An Overview of UP Energy with Suggestions on Task Force Priorities," by UP Energy Task Force Member Douglas Jester, Partner, 5 Lakes Energy.

Discussion and public comments will follow.*

The meeting begins at 10 a.m. via the Microsoft Teams online platform. Registration is not necessary to attend. To participate Monday, go to,9429,7-135-3306_88771_93973---,00.html and click on the Join Microsoft Teams link. Those who are only able to join by phone can dial 248-509-0316 and use the conference ID 559 744 643 #.

Members of the public who wish to speak at the meeting are asked to send an email to with "Request for Public Comment During September Meeting" in the subject line and your name. Members of the public who attend the meeting but who did not submit their names ahead of time will be allowed to comment. Each speaker will have a three-minute time limit.

Comments regarding the work of the UP Energy Task Force can be submitted to

The U.P. Energy Task Force must submit its report on overall U.P. energy issues and alternatives to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by March 31, 2021. In April, the Task Force sent to the Governor its recommendations on propane availability in the U.P. The full report with appendices is posted here.

The Governor has asked the U.P. Energy Task Force to formulate alternative solutions for meeting the region’s energy needs, with a focus on security, reliability, affordability and environmental soundness. The E.O. also asked the Task Force to identify and evaluate potential changes to energy supply and distribution in the U.P., the impacts of such changes, and alternatives for meeting the area’s energy needs due to such changes.

Monday’s meeting is being held in accordance with Gov. Whitmer’s and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

* Click here for the Draft Agenda for this meeting.