United Way of Marquette County’s New Executive Director Announced

August 22, 2019

Marquette, MI – On behalf of the United Way of Marquette County’s Board of Directors and staff, Board President Scott Erbisch is happy to announce Andrew Rickauer as Executive Director effective Monday, August 19th. “Andrew’s personal passion for the health and well-being for the community is natural and very strong. I and the Board of Directors are excited to introduce him to the community. He will be a great addition to the United Way”.

Rickauer earned a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Finance from Northern Arizona University. He was previously at Bell Financial and wanted to be more involved in the Marquette community. With an analytical mind, he plans to examine the financial goal and ways to increase it. Upon accepting the position, Andrew noted, “As a proud and longtime resident of Marquette County, I am looking forward to building on the great foundation that has been established. Together, we are stronger, and United Way is all about coming together to improve the community.”

Andrew will be happy to meet with business managers that currently run a United Way campaign and help out workplaces that haven’t started one yet.

Eagle Mine to Conclude Regional Exploration Program

August 22, 2019

Champion, MI – Eagle Mine announced today that its regional exploration program in southern Houghton and Baraga counties will conclude over the coming days. The program commenced in the spring of 2018 with aerial magnetic surveys, and drilling commenced in the spring of 2019.

“Exploration programs and budgets across all our mines are continuously being evaluated for the potential likelihood of finding a deposit economic to mine,” said Matt Johnson, Eagle Mine External Relations Manager. “As a global company, allocation of capital across our operations is carefully considered. After significant investment over the last several years, the difficult decision was made to conclude this program at Eagle Mine.”

Eagle Mine continues to focus its efforts on the development of the Eagle East ore body that was discovered in 2016, which is on schedule to commence production this fall. Underground definition drilling of Eagle East is continuing with the aim of discovering additional mineralization to potentially extend Eagle Mine’s operational life beyond 2023.

We would like to thank host communities who allowed our regional exploration program to be part of their community and thank Eagle’s dedicated exploration team for their successful efforts over many years of work.

New Organizations For Fundraiser Jewelry Program

August 22, 2019

Marquette, MI – Beth Millner Jewelry has now released new pendants for our fundraiser jewelry program. Every year, we select worthy non-profit organizations located in the Upper Peninsula from a pool of applications. Once selected, Beth designs a custom piece for each organization to be sold in our studio in downtown Marquette and online. $50 of sales from each piece is donated to the organization. In 2018 we are proud to announce that we donated over $14,00 to local organizations. We’ve partnered in the past with many great organizations like UPAWS, the MooseWood Nature Center, Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, Noquemanon Trail Network, and the Superior Arts Youth Theatre.

The non-profit organizations we will be working with this year are: Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, Peter White Public Library, Bonifas Arts Center, and Iron Ore Heritage Trail. In the first month launched, we have donated $400 to the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum, and $1,250 to Peter White Public Library. Our Bonifas Arts Center and Iron Ore Heritage Trail Pendants launch in October of this year.

Seney National Wildlife Refuge is Seeking Comments about Expanding Fishing Opportunities

August 22, 2019

Seney, MI – Seney National Wildlife Refuge is proposing to update the refuge’s fishing program and we are seeking public comment on the types of angling opportunities you would like to see. How can we improve access? Would you like to see additional pools opened to fishing? Would you like to see changes to current refuge season restrictions? The last update to the fishing program was in 2009. We will be accepting comments from the public until September 15th, 2019.

Potential changes could include but are not limited to:
· Increasing access to the existing pools by providing better access points.
· Expanding the dates fishing is allowed along the Marshland Wildlife Drive.
· Opening new pools to fishing – which pools would you like us to consider?

There will be an open house on September 4th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Seney National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. This is an opportunity to discuss potential changes with refuge staff and to provide your comments on the potential changes. You can also submit comments to the refuge in person at the visitor center, by mail at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, 1674 Refuge Entrance Road, Seney, MI 49883 or email Seney@fws.gov. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

Across the country, national wildlife refuges work closely with state agencies, tribes, and private partners to expand access to fishing where it is compatible with refuge purposes. Fishing provides opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors, create memories and pass on family traditions.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws/gov.

Find more information at www.fws.gov/refuge/seney or connect with our Facebook page at facebook.com/seneyrefuge.

Sawyer International Airport Celebrates 20 Years

August 22, 2019

Marquette, MI – Sawyer International Airport and Marquette County are celebrating its 20th year Anniversary.

In 1999, Sawyer International Airport officially opened. After almost 40 years of operation, the U.S. Air Force base closed in 1994, leaving a small city containing dozens of buildings, their contents, utilities, a 12,700 foot runway, and a vast expanse of land. “Moving the airport from the former Negaunee Township location seemed like the right opportunity for Marquette County to potentially grow its Airport flight options and to position the airport for more economic development opportunities,” states Scott Erbisch, Marquette County’s Administrator and formerly the Director of Operations at Sawyer International Airport.

The first commercial air carrier incoming flight – Northwest 2961 from Detroit to Sawyer International Airport landed at 11:30 a.m. on September 22, 1999. Thousands of people showed up to watch the first plane land at Sawyer. Over the years, Sawyer has hosted five U.S. presidents, many notable passengers, and an amazing selection of some of the world’s largest aircraft.

Since the first Sawyer flight in September 1999, over two million airline passengers have passed through the terminal. The airport currently offers over 3,000 seats a week to three major hubs at Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Passenger totals have averaged 105,000 a year, with a record high of 133,681 in 2007. Sawyer continues to be the busiest of the Upper Peninsula’s six commercial airports.

Sawyer International Airport continues to be a strong economic force in the central Upper Peninsula.

Greco-Roman Wrestler Wins Bronze at Junior Worlds

August 19, 2019

Marquette, MI – Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site Greco-Roman wrestler Alston Nutter earned a bronze medal today at the Junior World Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

Nutter, of Fennimore, Wis., who competed in the 63 kg weight class, faced Kamil Czarnecki of Poland in the bronze-medal match. Czarnecki was up 6-0 over Nutter before Nutter was able to throw and secure his win with a pin with 4:44 left on the clock.

On the way to his medal, Nutter defeated Assaukhat Mukhamadiyev of Kazakhstan, 5-2 in the quarterfinals and won by pin over Zaur Nuriyev of Azerbaijan in his first bout. Nutter was defeated in the semifinals by 2015 Cadet World silver medalist Abu Muslim Aptievitch Amaev of Russia, in a 9-0 technical fall, which put him in the third-place match.

For more information on the NMU-OTS program, visit www.nmu.edu/ots.

NMU Alumni Awards Brunch Tickets Available

August 19, 2019

Marquette, MI – Tickets are available for Northern Michigan University’s alumni awards brunch, scheduled for 9 am on Saturday, September 21st, in the Northern Center. The five NMU alumni who will be honored over Homecoming weekend and their awards are: Joseph Evans of Marquette (’81 BS, ’83 MA) and Kristine Poole of Santa Fe, N.M. (’92 BFA), Distinguished Alumni; Tom Fish of Wilmington, N.C. (’69 BS), Alumni Achievement; Jon Mommaerts of Marquette (’91 BS), Alumni Service; and Nicole Weber of Washington, D.C. (’09 BA), Outstanding Young Alumni.

The brunch tickets can be purchased for $10 here.

Evans is executive vice president and head of strategy for SAAB Middle East and Africa, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Abu Dhabi, UAE. He holds a master’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s in engineering technology from NMU.

Poole is an internationally recognized sculptor whose work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and major arts publications. She has completed many public art commissions and, with her husband Colin Poole, champions emerging young artists as jurors and presenters of the Spectrum Rising Star Award for Flesk Publications.

Fish was an elementary education major at NMU. He retired after a 39-year career at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, where he taught, conducted research and developed programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He also founded the Next Chapter Book Club, the largest community-based reading program in the world for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Mommaerts holds an NMU degree in finance and is co-founder/owner of Mommaerts Mahaney Financial Services. The former Wildcat Nordic skier was co-founder of the Noquemanon Trail Network (NTN) and the Noquemanon Ski Marathon, for which he is the current Chief of Course, and helped to formulate what is now the Ore-to-Shore Mountain Bike Epic. He also helped to create a youth cross-country ski club.

Weber is a senior specialist at Save the Children, where she provides technical assistance and capacity strengthening support in water, sanitation and hygiene to a number of partners and countries. After graduating from NMU with a degree in community health education and Spanish, along with a French language certificate, she spent several years abroad advancing her education and engaging in humanitarian work. Weber later completed a research fellowship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A more detailed story on the alumni award recipients and their achievements, along with photos, will be posted after the awards brunch.

Competitive World Cup Skiing Returns as Michigan Invests in Sports and Outdoor Recreation

August 19, 2019

Lansing, MI – Federation of International Skiing (FIS) Race Director Walter Hofer and Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today the commitment to bring the FIS Ski Jump World Cup back to Michigan in 2021.

Hofer and the Governor addressed policy and business leaders at the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in Ishpeming, to announce Pine Mountain is in line to host an international World Cup ski jumping competition in 2021.

“Bringing an event back to North America has been a priority for us”, said Hofer.

At 176 feet high, the Pine Mountain Ski Jump is one of the highest artificially created ski jumps in the world. Located in Iron Mountain, it hosts annual FIS Ski Jumping Continental Cup competitions and it held the FIS Ski Jump World Cup in 1996 and 2000. The Upper Peninsula is also home to Copper Peak, the only ski flying venue in the western hemisphere, which would become the largest year around event and training facility in the world in 2021. Copper Peak organizers are expected to submit a bid in early 2020.

“I’m pleased to see this commitment to bring world-class ski jump competition back to Michigan after a 21-year absence,” said Billy Demong, Olympic gold medalist and executive director of USA Nordic Skiing. “This is truly a transformational opportunity for the entire state.”

This announcement comes after a $10 million appropriation from state law PA 618 of 2018 for the Northern Michigan Tourism and Sports Fund and Great Lakes Sports Commission – in response to the leadership of many community leaders and their vision to promote northern Michigan as a venue for world-class sport competition.

The Great Lakes Sports Commission (GLSC), a non-profit organization which promotes northern Michigan as a premier destination for sports and out-door recreation, says that this investment will not only create next-level competition, but will also enhance the economy and quality of life in Michigan.

“We are thrilled to facilitate investments that provide a winning edge for Michigan. While our work is just beginning, there are boundless opportunities to grow and attract events to northern Michigan, bring new talent, increase investment, and draw in many competitors and visitors that will generate millions of dollars for our region,” said GLSC Chair Doug Luciani. “We especially would like to thank Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her leadership on outdoor recreation and women’s sports,” added Luciani.

Nationwide, outdoor recreation generates $887 billion in spending, and sports business was over $11 billion annually; both supporting over 7.6 million direct jobs. In Michigan, skiing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking produces $26 billion in spending and supports 232, 000 thousand direct jobs.

The GLSC sees this investment as a catalyst to continue attracting sports and recreation business. Michigan has natural beauty, four seasons and unmatched landscapes and water to deliver un-paralleled results.

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