VA to Host Presentation on New VA Community Care Program June 20th

June 12, 2019

Escanaba, MI – The VA launched its new VA Community Care Program on June 6, 2019, which is part of the VA MISSION Act signed by President Trump in 2018.

To help explain the new program, which includes a new urgent care benefit, the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center will be hosting a presentation and question and answer session at 5 pm ET on Thursday, June 20, 2019, at Bay College in Escanaba. The event will be held in Conference Room 952 and is open to all Veterans and their families, community health care providers, and the general public. Bay College is located at 2001 N. Lincoln Road.

For those that cannot attend in person, the presentation will be streamed live on the medical center’s Facebook page and will be available for later viewing.

“Under the VA MISSION Act, Veterans can expect improvements in how we provide them community care,” said Jim Rice, Medical Center Director. “Eligibility criteria will be different, a new urgent care benefit will be provided, and customer service will be better.”

VA medical center leadership will discuss the details of the new program, including eligibility requirements, new access standards, copays and more. Officials will also introduce and provide details of the VA’s new community urgent care benefit, which allows Veterans to seek urgent care at non-VA facilities.

“We are doing this presentation in Escanaba because almost all of the Veterans in Delta and surrounding counties are positively impacted by this new program,” said Rice.

Any questions can be directed to Iron Mountain VA Public Affairs Office at (906) 774-3300, extensions 32593 or 32001.

NMU Offers ‘Summer College for Kids’

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – Northern Michigan University’s Glenn T. Seaborg Mathematics and Science Center is offering “Summer College for Kids”, a program for students in grades K-8 to take courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM education).

Classes available for kindergarten and first graders include “Buzz” Light Year, Movin’ and Groovin’ and Yuckology. Classes available for second and third graders include The Best of Bugs, Pocket-Bots and Inside Out. Classes available for fourth and fifth graders include Minecraft University, Stars Wars Maker Lab and Virtual Reality. Classes available for sixth-eighth graders include Outdoor Survival 101, 3D Design Challenge and Testing the Waters.

The 2019 Summer College for Kids classes will be held the following weeks: June 17-21, June 24-28, July 8-12, and July 15-19. There are both morning and afternoon classes available, with sessions running from 9 am to noon and from 1-4 pm. The enrollment cost is $75 per class. Optional lunch time supervision is available from noon-1 pm for an additional $10 per week.

For more information, please call 227-2002 or email For a view of the full schedule, click here.

Forest Roberts Theatre Presents ‘Mamma Mia!’ Beginning June 20th

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – Northern Michigan University’s Forest Roberts Theatre will present Mamma Mia! as part of FRT’s summer 2019 season. Performances are Thursday, June 20 – Saturday, June 22 and Wednesday, June 26 – Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 pm.

A “Theatre for All” performance of the musical is aimed at children and adults who are on the autism spectrum or have sensory issues will be presented. FRT has partnered with the Theatre Development Fund in New York City to produce this sensory-friendly performance, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Free admission to the “Theatre for All” performance has been made possible through private donor support.

Based on the hit songs of 1970s dance-pop group ABBA and directed by NMU professor Shelley Russell, this jukebox musical focuses on Sophie Sheridan, who dreams of a perfect wedding with her father giving her away. However, Sophie does not know who her father is. When her mother Donna refuses to talk about the past, Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three show up, it turns out to be not as clear as she thought.

NMU senior theater major Audree Stephens portrays Sophie Sheridan in the production, a role which she has found to be very relatable.

“I find myself a lot in Sophie,” said Stephens. “She is a very kind and loyal person, the close relationship she has with her mom is very similar to the one I have with my mom and we’re both 20-years-old.”

Mamma Mia! is part of the Forest Roberts Theatre’s inaugural summer season, a new addition to the NMU’s theatre program.

“The goal of our summer season is to create community engagement, as well as meaningful, educational opportunities for our students to work in a professional setting during the summer,” said NMU theatre director Bill Digneit. “This is a great way to help our theatre and dance programs grow and give prospective students more of a reason why they should chose to study theatre and dance here at NMU.”

An opening night party will follow the Thursday, June 20 performance in the FRT lobby. The party will feature food and beverages, a photo booth and a meet and greet with the cast, crew and artistic staff.

Tickets are $15 for the public, $10 for students and $5 for NMU students. Tickets are available for purchase at NMU EZ Ticket outlets. For more on the production, including the full cast list, click here.

NMU Named Military Spouse-Friendly School

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – Northern Michigan University has been named a Military Spouse-Friendly School by Viqtory, a company that connects veterans and spouses with civilian opportunities. NMU previously earned gold status from the company by ranking 6th among small public schools nationwide designated as 2019-20 Military Friendly Schools.

Viqtory’s description of why NMU is a great choice for military spouses states that the university “has instituted policies to address the concerns and needs of military spouses and their families.” NMU has also constructed admissions, retention, career counseling and mentoring programs to assist in alleviating the difficulties military spouses commonly face. NMU’s flexible learning options and its degree continuation programs are designed to accommodate deployments and relocation.

“We offer spouses in-state tuition, integrate them in to the Student Veterans group, and give them the same priority as veterans when using a transferred benefit,” said Mike Rutledge, veterans’ resource representative at NMU.

The Military Friendly Schools designation, for which NMU ranks 6th nationwide, honors the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that provide benefits for military and veteran students.

For more information on NMU’s veteran services and benefits, visit For background on the Military Friendly rankings, visit

U.P. Cybersecurity Consortium Receives $2.47 Million in Innovation Grants

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – The Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Consortium, convened by Northern Michigan University in collaboration with industry and education partners, has received two innovation grants totaling $2.47 million through the State of Michigan’s Marshall Plan for Talent. It is one of 13 consortia statewide awarded funding to develop talent pipelines for high-wage, high-demand occupations through enhanced education and training initiatives.

Businesses and organizations are increasingly eager to hire employees capable of detecting and preventing costly data breaches, yet there is a critical shortage of qualified cybersecurity professionals. According to the annual workforce study by non-profit IT organization (ISC)², 2.9 million positions are vacant worldwide. The U.P. Cybersecurity Consortium seeks to enhance related career opportunities in the region, and the grant will help to accelerate those efforts.

“We’re elated that the Marshall Plan for Talent is demonstrating the value of this initiative through its generous support,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “We will be able to leverage the new U.P. Cybersecurity Institute on NMU’s campus as a shared regional resource for providing career exploration for K-12 school districts, non-credit credentials and cyber certifications to address the workforce gap in this emerging field. The institute also complements NMU’s related bachelor’s degree program.”

One component of the U.P. Cybersecurity Consortium’s initiative involves collaborating with 18 K-12 school districts and four intermediate school districts to expedite students’ career preparation through focused programs and a badging system. Industry professionals will help to develop the curriculum for the competency badges and work through the institute to train teachers in five “anchor” school districts.

“Those teachers will then be able to train colleagues at smaller districts in their areas, so it’s a hub-and-spoke model we envision,” said Steve VandenAvond, vice president of NMU Extended Learning and Community Engagement. “Students will have an opportunity to complete from one to three badges in a series, enabling them to advance to the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute to obtain industry-certified credentials as a pathway to becoming professionals.”

VandenAvond said there is clearly an abundance of young talent in the region. U.P. schools were well-represented at Michigan’s spring Girls Go Cyberstart Competition, endorsed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. And at the 2018 Governor’s High School Cyber Challenge in Detroit, three of the top 10 teams were from the U.P., and Westwood finished second. Westwood is part of NICE Community Schools, one of the five participating anchor districts. Others are Marquette, Adams Township, Escanaba and Menominee.

Because cybersecurity jobs can be performed remotely from nearly anywhere, NMU and an industry advisory panel are working to create a cybersecurity ecosystem rooted in Marquette that will branch out across the Upper Peninsula. The goal is to enhance career opportunities for students, displaced workers, military veterans and others who want to thrive in a 21st century occupation while enjoying the U.P quality of life.

NMU alumnus Keith Glendon is successfully doing just that. From his hometown of Marquette, he serves as program director for Worldwide Sales, Strategy and Business Development with IBM Security, a key industry partner. Glendon is a passionate advocate for developing “new economy” opportunities for the region. He serves on the industry advisory committee for NMU cyber education initiatives.

“I’m thrilled that this Marshall Plan award, our U.P. Cybersecurity Talent Consortium and the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute will help thousands of young people launch great careers in one of the highest-demand fields of our time,” Glendon said. “At IBM Security, our mission statement is, ‘We exist to protect the world’. That’s truly what this is about: protecting lives, businesses and communities while building talent in our region to support and participate in a huge growth sector. Cybersecurity is a critical component of all modern industries and a core part of the foundation for our future as a tech-based innovation zone.”

“NMU brought together industry experts who shared their needs and the opportunities they can provide for students in meaningful careers,” said Dave Nyberg, director of corporate engagement at NMU. “The geographical disposition of the U.P. that often presents logistical barriers for growth in certain industries actually provides a competitive advantage for cyber and IT companies that embrace a culture of allowing employees to work where they want to live. These grants will enable our consortium to broaden talent development. And in collaboration with our industry partners, Northern will continue to invest in innovative education and training programs.”

NMU will help to fund a full-time staff member to coordinate activities at the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute. The Marshall Plan for Talent Innovation Grants will also support a portion of that cost, along with curriculum creation, professional development for teachers, stipends for industry mentors, endorsement/certification fees and equipment for the institute and anchor school districts.

NCLL Offers Traverse City Area Tour

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning (NCLL) will offer a “Traverse City Tour: Villages, Wine and Lavender” from Sunday, July 28 – Tuesday, July 30.

The registration deadline is July 15th.

Attendees will take a history, wine and beer tour of The Village (formerly known as the Northern Michigan Asylum), visit four vineyards on the Leelanau Peninsula, and stop at three vineyards and a farm on the Old Mission Peninsula. Lodging will be at the Indigo Hotel.

The tour cost is $405 for NCLL members and $408 for non-NCLL members. Departure time is 6:45 am on Sunday, July 28, with an expected return time of 11 pm on Tuesday, July 30. For questions, contact tour guides Ginger Bollero-Petry at 906-228-8051 or Darlene Arseneau at 906-236-4146. To register, call 227-2979.

The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning is organized by and primarily for actively engaged seniors interested in pursuing intellectual, recreational, and/or social activities. Membership is open to adults of any age and membership is not needed to attend programs and events. For details on monthly activities, visit

Downtown Marquette Blueberry Festival Poster Contest Winner Announced

June 12, 2019

Marquette, MI – The Marquette Downtown Development Authority is pleased to announce Sabrina Stanley, with her poster “Berry Happy Puppy”, as the winner of this year’s Blueberry Festival Poster Contest. Sabrina, originally from Marquette, Michigan, is 19 years old. She currently is attending Northern Michigan University pursuing a degree in in Elementary Special Education and a minor in Deaf Studies. In her spare time she works at Sayklly’s the Candy Store and during the summer she also works at the SOS summer day camp at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Sabrina was inspired to create this artwork by her adopted dog, Snickers. “My family adopted her (Snickers) from UPAWS 3 years ago. She has one eye so it looks like she’s permanently winking, which fits her personality. She is very goofy and she makes the best faces so I knew she’d make a great subject for the poster,” says Sabrina.

This winning entry will be utilized as the official poster for the eighteenth annual Blueberry Festival in Downtown Marquette on July 26th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm. This entry was chosen by a combination of online votes, in-person votes at the Marquette Arts and Culture Center, and a panel of judges. All fourteen entries will be on display at the Marquette Downtown Development Authority Office, 337 W. Washington St., Marquette, MI.

Blueberry Festival will feature a combination of traditional sidewalk sales, artists and crafters, food vendors, family activities, and live musical acts set in the streets of Downtown Marquette. The popular Blueberry Festival Youth Talent Show, sponsored by the Lake Superior Youth Theatre, will also return to complement the festivities.

For more information, contact the DDA office at (906) 228-9475 or email Tara Laase-McKinney at

City of Negaunee Substation Maintenance June 13th

June 12, 2019

Negaunee, MI – The City of Negaunee Electrical Department will be doing maintenance in the substation between the hours of 2:00 am to 5:30 am on Thursday June 13th. Residents will experience brief power outages through out the morning hours in order for the Electrical Department to safely conduct maintenance on equipment and improve system reliability.

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