Upper Peninsula

As snow and ice disappear with climate change, some Michigan businesses struggle

BY: - December 27, 2021

Jim Rudicil says West Michigan winters have been fickle since 1984 — the year he helped open the winter sports complex inside Muskegon State Park. The longtime executive director of the Muskegon Luge Adventure Sports Park, formerly known as Muskegon Winter Sports Complex, and his team have made do with Mother Nature’s handiwork. But it’s […]

Son of former Michigan lawmaker sentenced to time served for participating in Jan. 6 insurrection

BY: - August 4, 2021

An Upper Peninsula man who threatened “war everywhere if we let this election get stolen” was sentenced Wednesday to time served after spending six months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Karl Dresch, 41, of Calumet, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of willfully and knowingly demonstrating in a Capitol building. […]

What four new wilderness areas would mean for the U.P.

BY: - July 27, 2021

Updated, 10:06 p.m., 7/27/21 “There are better views than this. This isn’t the most scenic,” former wilderness ranger Doug Welker tells me, unimpressed, as we peer down hundreds of feet onto a breathtaking panorama of dense green forest, uninterrupted and wild up to the horizon. Welker, who still regularly hikes the area since leaving his […]

At Michigan-Wisconsin border, enviros and tribes fight to keep new mine at bay

BY: - July 17, 2021

For years, Indigenous and environmental groups have been standing up against Calgary-based Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac, arguing a rupture could harm the areas’s freshwater and ecosystem. And about 200 miles west across Lake Michigan, in the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, a similar story is unfolding. On Friday, […]

Coalition seeks federal wilderness protection for 4 U.P. areas totaling 51k acres

BY: - June 28, 2021

A wide-ranging coalition of 61 state and regional organizations (and counting) are teaming up to protect four tracts of Upper Peninsula land under federal wilderness designations. The coalition, called “Keep the U.P. Wild,” is seeking the highest level of wilderness protection for the Trap Hills, the Ehlco Area, Norwich Plains and a 2,000-acre addition to […]


Column: What Michigan’s response to the 1918 flu epidemic can teach us about the COVID pandemic

BY: - April 5, 2021

On Jan. 11, 2021, nine officials from Baraga County in the Upper Peninsula signed a letter stating that they would not enforce restrictions aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19.  This letter arrived as Michigan had just confirmed nearly 520,000 cases and roughly 13,000 deaths. Those numbers have risen to more than 692,000 cases and […]

Enviros applaud Whitmer’s plan for propane security without Line 5

BY: - March 12, 2021

With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s deadline for Canadian oil company Enbridge to shut down its controversial Line 5 pipeline now less than two months away, the state issued a plan Friday to ensure propane security for residents in the absence of the embattled pipeline. Enbridge has long argued that Michigan’s propane supply would be devastated without […]

Cafe Rosetta gets food license back

BY: - March 11, 2021

The recalcitrant cafe in Calumet that has been the source of protest and conflict as well as court actions has been authorized to open its doors again. On Thursday, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Wanda Stokes dissolved a Jan. 22 injunction.  No date for a reopening of the Upper Peninsula restaurant has been announced, WLUC-TV […]

After being reshaped by extremism, Houghton County faces an uneasy, uncertain future

BY: - March 10, 2021

With an average of 200 inches of snowfall a year, Houghton County is a winter lover’s dream. At the end of January, the weather was warmer than usual in the western U.P. But it didn’t stop the “sled heads” — as locals call them — from driving to area hotels with their snowmobiles in tow.   […]

How Cafe Rosetta became the nexus of Houghton County’s conflict over the COVID crisis

BY: - March 9, 2021

Sitting on the corner of Fifth Street and Scott Street in Calumet’s business district sits a nondescript building, the entrance of which is pushed back under the roof by about 15 feet, obscuring the view. It stands in the shadows of looming large brick buildings created during the Upper Peninsula village’s heyday as a center […]

‘It’s become toxic’: Houghton County wrestles with its past, Trump and coronavirus

BY: - March 8, 2021

There’s an unwritten, and unquestioned, rule in the Upper Peninsula, including in the far-western area where Houghton County lies between the shores of Lake Superior. Generally, folks stay out of each other’s business and leave each other alone. But if there is a problem, and one can help, it’s an expectation. It’s known as the […]

Updated: U.P. lawmakers postpone planned coffee hour at cafe ordered to close

BY: - February 11, 2021

Updated, 3:26 p.m., 2/11/21, with new comments from McBroom and court details Two Upper Peninsula lawmakers were planning a coffee hour from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday at Cafe Rosetta in Calumet. But the meeting of state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) and Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock) could be a violation of a temporary injunction prohibiting […]