Anderton’s Earth Day Events Scheduled – 4/17/17

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – Northern Michigan University’s Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department will host its third annual “Anderton’s Earth Day” celebration in memory of the late professor John Anderton April 17-22. All events are free and open to the public.

Two Patagonia documentaries will be screened at 6 p.m. Monday, April 17, in 1322 Jamrich Hall. The films are titled Great Lakes, Bad Lines and Making Waves: The Battle for the Great Lakes. Popcorn will be provided.

The NMU chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the geographical honor society, will put on a bake sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first floor of Jamrich Hall.

An Outdoor Learning Area tour led by professors Matt Van Grinsven and Robert Regis, along with student Tabitha McAlpine, will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Friday, April 21. The meeting place is at the GeoPark next to the greenhouse on Elizabeth Harden Drive.

The celebration will culminate with an Earth Day March for Science on Saturday, April 22. Participants will meet at the Berry Events Center parking lot at 9:30 a.m. The march begins at 10, followed by a peaceful rally until 2 p.m. It is co-sponsored by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Paddleboard Venture Wins College of Business Competition

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – Ben Phillips won first place in the New Business Venture Competition sponsored by the NMU College of Business. His proposal, Ben’s Boards, is a paddleboard rental venture. Phillips also won Best Trade Fair Display.

Keefer Edwards earned second place and Best Elevator Pitch for Keef Company, which produces baseball caps made in the USA with organic or recycled fabric. Third place went to Gisele Duehring for Yooperade, a maple syrup-sweetened lemonade.

The top three overall finishers for best business plan received various cash prizes, consulting and technology support. Local businesses providing consultation services or technology support were: 906 Technologies, Inc.; Kendricks, Bordeau, Adamini, Greenlee & Keefe, PC; Grandchamp, McBride, Wallner, Wallner and Prophet, CPA; and QuickTrophy.

All three finalists participating in the finale received business consultation from the College of Business faculty and reimbursement funds up to $200 for business development and materials.

The New Business Venture Competition is designed to encourage entrepreneurial activism and is open to all students regardless of their degree program. It recognizes and rewards those who present detailed plans for designing and creating new business enterprises, drawing on their own ideas and inventions or those of others.

Beaumier Center Seeks U.P. Folklife Award Nominations

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University is seeking public nominations for the 2017 Upper Peninsula Folklife Award. The award recognizes those who make a difference in the creation and/or preservation of Upper Peninsula folk arts, including music, dance, storytelling, crafts and food. Persons or organizations can be nominated through Friday, April 28.

The U.P. Folklife Award(s) will be presented at a benefit dinner on May 10. Past recipients are: John Perona, bones player; Les Ross Les Ross Sr., harmonica player; Oren Tikkanen, storyteller and musician; Fred Rydholm, storyteller and historian; Bette and Dean Premo, musicians; Michael Loukinen, folklorist; Corrine Rockow, musician and educator; Kay Seppala, dance and music; and the Hiawatha Music Co-op.

For information on submitting a nomination, visit and click on the “Events” tab. Or access the online nomination form here.

A selection committee will make the final decisions on the 2017 award. Committee members include Dave Bezotte, a retired librarian from Houghton; Diane Darlington, a Beaumier Center advisory board member from Negaunee; Rosemary Michelin, fabric artist and archivist at the Marquette Regional History Center; Bette Premo, White Water Associates owner and musician from Amasa; Hilary Virtanen, folklore scholar at Finlandia University; and Phil Watts, NMU professor and folk musician.

World-Renowned Bear Expert to Speak at DNR ‘Wildlife Through Forestry’ Forum in Houghton County – 4/18/17

April 17, 2017

lynn_rogersHoughton, MIApril 17, 2017 – Lynn Rogers, principal biologist at the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minnesota, is a Michigan native renowned worldwide for his studies of black bears.

Known to have formed trusting relationships with wild black bears, including mothers with cubs, Rogers is often likened to Jane Goodall for his depth of empirical knowledge gained from “walking” with black bears.

An educator whose materials are carried by media to more than 100 million people worldwide each year, Rogers will speak in Houghton this month as part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ “Wildlife Through Forestry” forum series, which began in the Upper Peninsula last month.

The forum, which is open to the public, is set for 7 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, April 18 in 135 Fisher Hall on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton. A campus parking map is linked here. Parking lots are open to the public after 5 p.m. Fisher Hall is labeled on the map.

“We are quite pleased to have Dr. Rogers coming to Houghton as part of our series,” said DNR service forester Gary Willis. “This forum will take an in-depth look at black bear biology and behavior and provide information on resource management plans for habitat enhancement.”

Rogers has written more than 100 scientific articles on black bear biology and ecology, founded the North American Bear Center and has appeared in documentaries and other television programs, including “The Man Who Walks with Bears,” which was featured on the Animal Planet cable network

The DNR recently launched its forums designed to demonstrate to private landowners that they can accomplish their wildlife habitat enhancement goals and objectives by careful implementation of a well-written resource management plan.

As part of this effort – using funding from a Natural Resources Conservation Service grant – the DNR is offering “Wildlife Through Forestry” forums in the western Upper Peninsula over the next few months.

Each of these forums will include a presentation on an interesting and important wildlife- related topic, with additional information provided to private landowners on the value of a resource management plan.

“Understanding a species of wildlife’s basic needs is the starting point for prescribing management practices that enhance habitat,” Willis said. “Resource professionals will make themselves available to meet with the public one hour (6-7 p.m. EDT) prior to the meeting to discuss management of forest and wildlife resources.”

The DNR “Wildlife Through Forestry” steering committee planned specific goals in holding these forums in the western U.P.

“We want to get folks fired up about sound resource management so that they establish a family legacy with their forest ownership,” Willis said. “We want to show folks the importance of working closely with a resource professional to accomplish their goals and objectives for ownership. We also want folks to have a good time getting together to discuss topics of interest to us all.”

The first forum was held March 8 at the Ewen-Trout Creek School in Ontonagon County. A third Forum will be offered from 7 to 9 p.m. EDT, May 8 at the Ottawa Sportsmen’s Club conference room/banquette hall located on M-38 approximately 7 miles west of Baraga.

Speakers will be researchers from the U.P. Predator/Prey study group.

This study has been a collaborative effort between the DNR, Mississippi State University and Safari Club International. The project aims to provide a better understanding of the major factors affecting white-tailed deer survival.

Two members of the research team, Nick Fowler and Todd Kautz, both doctoral candidates at Mississippi State, will describe the study and review some of its preliminary findings.

More than 150 professional foresters and 20 wildlife biologists develop Forest Stewardship Plans for forest landowners in Michigan. For information about these plans or the Commercial Forest Program, contact Gary Willis, DNR Service Forester, 427 U.S. 41 North, Baraga, Michigan, 49908; 906-353-6651, ext. 122 or

NMU Receives Funding for Project Empire Study on Economic Diversification

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – Western Marquette County residents affected by the indefinite idling of the Empire Mine could benefit from a planned Northern Michigan University study of how other cities that faced mine closings successfully diversified their economies to retain and grow jobs.

NMU’s Center for Rural Community and Economic Development is receiving $55,000 in funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to perform the study for Project Empire.

Gov. Rick Snyder created Project Empire as a response team of state agencies to assist western Marquette County in addressing the economic and social challenges brought on by the 2016 indefinite idling of the Empire Mine and the loss of about 300 jobs.

Michael Broadway, an NMU earth, environmental and geographical sciences professor, will serve as the center’s lead researcher on the study on rebuilding mining communities after a mine closure. Bob Eslinger, interim dean of the College of Technology and Occupational Sciences, will assist with portions of the economic impact and workforce research. NMU students will also be a part of the study’s research team.

“Our primary goal is to identify successful examples of economic diversification after a mine closing that will help local community leaders develop recommendations that would have strong potential to lead to population and economic regrowth in the cities and townships most impacted by the recent mine closing,” Broadway said.

Broadway added that the loss of mining jobs in western Marquette County is part of a long-term decline dating back almost a century. The population peaked for Negaunee and Ishpeming more than 100 years ago and each city’s population has fallen by a half since then.

“At the same time, future population growth without strategic planning looks bleak due to the percentage of people under the age of 18 falling over the last 20 years as well as deaths exceeding births for Marquette County as a whole,” Broadway said.

The study will focus on cities and towns in North America that have successfully diversified their economies after mine closures.

“We want to help the residents by making these communities stronger for years to come, creating more and better jobs,” MEDC President and CEO Steve Arwood said. “This study could be a blueprint for us to do exactly that, learning from other communities that have faced similar challenges and prevailed.”

Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown and Negaunee Mayor Don Gladwell both said they welcome the study and are grateful for any assistance from the State of Michigan and the university.

The study is set to begin in May.

NMU Students Help U.P. Sheet Metal Worker Develop Product Idea

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – Sheet metal worker Ron Aho walked into Invent@NMU on the Northern Michigan University campus with a product idea that would save time and effort on the job. He had spent years manually hammering in drive cleats for air ducts. The repetitive motion of pounding upward put a lot of strain on his shoulder, eventually leading to rotator cuff surgery. Aho invented the Tinknocker Tool to reduce muscle fatigue and increase efficiency. The device attaches to a drill and quickly installs drive cleats, outperforming the traditional hammer method.

The Tinknocker Tool was reviewed by Dr. Wallace Pearson, orthopedic surgeon at Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Plastic Surgery in Marquette.

“It’s almost universal for people who do overhead activities that they are going to end up with some wear and tear—if not a full tear—of the rotator cuff,” Pearson said. “I have reviewed a video of The Tinknocker Tool and it makes perfect sense. What doesn’t make sense is why anyone was doing this activity prior to this device.”

Invent@NMU led Aho through product validation, the first step in its five-step process, and did not find anything like his prototype on the market. Invent@NMU then introduced Aho to lower Michigan legal firm Varnum LLP for help preparing and filing Aho’s provisional one-year patent. Invent@NMU’s student team created several iterations of the prototype to prepare it for mass production.

Cale Polkinghorne, associate professor of engineering technology and Invent@NMU advisory panel member, saw the Tinknocker Tool as an opportunity for his advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operations class to gain real-world experience producing a marketable product. Aho’s son had taken the class and Aho agreed to have the students manufacture the pilot run of 50 units.

“It’s incredible when we can provide a service to the community, while at the same time providing an excellent learning opportunity for the students,” said Polkinghorne. “Although chaotic at times, the opportunity simulates the industry the students will be working in upon graduation.”

Aho said the Tinknocker Tool would not be possible without help from Invent@NMU, and Polkinghorne’s class.

“There are ideas out there,” explained Aho. “Invent@NMU is a place that wants to help you take that idea and turn it into a product. My advice for people is to just go on into Invent, tell them your idea and they will get you started.”

See more on Aho’s product and related videos at

Invent@NMU helps people bring their concepts to market with its staff of inventors, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs and educators. For more information on the program, visit or like its page on Facebook.

Marine Corps Veteran Named New Administrator at Jacobetti Home for Veterans

April 17, 2017

Marquette, MIApril 17, 2017 – Veterans at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans in Marquette will soon have another Marine amongst their ranks as Ryan Engle takes over as the home’s administrator this month.

Engle has served as the Michigan Veteran Health System vice president of business services since January 2016, working on business processes, policies and budgeting for Jacobetti and the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Prior to working for MVHS, Engle lead operations and project management for General Mills’ Yoplait brand.

“I am very pleased Ryan Engle is the new administrator at Jacobetti,” said Brad Slagle, MVHS Interim CEO and former Jacobetti administrator. “He brings a passion for service to his country and to veterans. He is an outstanding leader and will be an asset to the home and to the community.”

Engle served as an infantry officer and deployed to Afghanistan as a rifle platoon commander and machinegun platoon commander. His military awards include the Combat Action Ribbon, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat V.

A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Engle has completed graduate coursework at Grand Valley State University and expects to receive a certificate in long-term care from Ferris State University in June.

“I am humbled and beyond grateful for the opportunity to work with the amazing Jacobetti team to continue the mission they have been fulfilling for decades: serving America’s heroes,” Engle said. “My family and I are also excited to become a part of the Marquette community.”

The Jacobetti Home for Veterans is home to nearly 200 former service members and dependents. It provides a wide range of nursing and long-term care including skilled nursing, a memory care unit for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementia and a domiciliary unit. The Home has a staff of 210 and an annual operating budget of $21 million.

MDHHS Reminds Parents Spring Chicks May Carry Salmonella

April 17, 2017

Lansing, MIApril 17, 2017 – Health experts at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are warning parents about the potential for baby poultry to carry Salmonella. A common bacteria found in the droppings of poultry, Salmonella can cause illness in people. Salmonella germs contaminate feathers, feet and beaks of birds, as well as cages, coops and the environment where the birds live and roam.

“Washing your hands thoroughly before and after handling chicks and other poultry protects both you and your family from the risk of Salmonella, and also helps keep the birds healthy,” said MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells. “Even birds appearing cute, healthy, and clean can carry bacteria that can make people sick.”

In 2016, there were nine nationwide outbreaks of Salmonella illness linked to contact with live poultry, causing illness in 911 people in 48 states.  Michigan reported 55 cases, of which almost half (45 percent) were in children.

During spring, live baby poultry are often displayed in stores in a way that children may be able to reach and touch the birds or areas where the birds are contained.  This is one way people become exposed to harmful bacteria that leads to illness.  People may also obtain birds through the mail by placing an order directly with a hatchery that supplies baby birds to raise for food or as pets.

Salmonella can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and/or abdominal cramps lasting four to seven days or more.  Salmonella infections can be especially serious for the very young, the very old, and those with weak immune systems.

Baby poultry have special requirements for warmth and protection.  Backyard flock owners may not be aware of the risk of Salmonella from baby poultry and consequently, may keep the birds inside their home.  Potential poultry owners should plan ahead to provide a proper space that is safe for the birds and for the people in the household. To address this, backyard flock owners should give live poultry their own space to live, outside of the home. People should follow these recommendations to protect themselves and others:

  • Children younger than five years old, older adults or people with weak immune systems should not handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other poultry because they are more likely to become severely ill.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching the birds or anything in their environment. Adults should supervise hand washing for young children.
  • Use hand sanitizer until you can wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.  
  • Always keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.
  • Do not kiss the chicks.
  • Do not put anything to or touch your mouth, eat or drink after handling poultry.
  • Do not keep live poultry inside the house where people live, eat or sleep.
  • Do not give live baby poultry as gifts to young children.

Stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment associated with raising or caring for poultry, such as cages, feed, water containers and other materials.

For more information, visit

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