2008.11.19 A newsprint tour of the north

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Cousin Tim traveled through the north country in late September and collected a pair of newspapers that he recognized as exceptional in size.

He’s right. If I take a sheet out of the Observer and open it up so it’s two pages side by side, that’s the size of one page in the Munising News and also Manistique’s Pioneer Tribune.

The Pioneer Tribune is “the voice of the Central U.P.” and the News is “the only newspaper in the world that gives a darn about Alger County.” Well of course. It’s probably the only newspaper in Alger County.

The size is a little unwieldy. I assume there are a lot of neck problems among the readers of these two papers, because you really have to stretch to get it all in. Unlike the Observer, you just couldn’t read one of these things on the subway.

Fortunately, I’m not on the subway this morning. I can read them in the comfort of my home, although about half of my table is now under newsprint.

A lot of people know I enjoy looking at papers from afar and people drop copies off now and then after they’ve traveled. There are always a lot of familiar news items—city council, sports, school news, etc.—but always a different twist on issues.

In the Pioneer Tribune, I see that Kitch-iti-kipi was added as a stopping point on the Lake Superior Trail. A new fish-eating guide will tout the health benefits from eating fish, while warning that carp should not be eaten by anybody, catfish consumption should be limited...well, for women and children, there’s nothing that’s in the clear from the Manistique River due to the paper mills upstream.

An open house is scheduled at the wastewater treatment plant in Manistique to show residents “where their dollars go.” Yes, it really says that. Come in and watch your dollars go down the drain.

An economic task force is being formed, based on the first church as described in the Bible, but “the group doesn’t exclude people with different religious views.”

It’s a little sad reading the article because it’s the same story most everywhere in small-town America—trying to maintain basic services, fighting Wal-Mart filled with made-in-China goods.

But it’s not all bad news. There’s an article about the welcome return of Bear Cooperator patches. From a bear’s perspective, it’s an oddly named patch. A Bear Cooperator is a person engaged in trying to kill bears.

The Senior Center open house was a big success. Dozens of prize donations were given, including two sets of pot holders from Carol Anderson and crocheted dishcloths from Belinda Gardapee.

School mascot names are always of interest. In this case, there are Emeralds and Hematites. The police news includes the report of blight at 8:14 in the morning and a voluntary missing person at noon a few days later.

The one item that really caught my attention is a photograph of a water spout over Lake Michigan. The caption says it’s a rare sight.

Now let’s give a darn about Alger County. The lead story starts out this way: “Let me show you something,” asserted Don Thomas as he turned the knob, opened the door....

The headline reads: “It’s the size of his toys.” That’s the answer to the question: What’s the difference between a man and a boy?

The story is about a retired autoworker who has a license plate from every state in the union, a fantastic HO train set, amazing miniature automobiles, some full-size vintage cars, etc.

If you don’t want to make the hour and a half drive to the football game in Ishpeming, stop at the Barge Inn and watch the game film afterwards. I suppose you have to wait an hour and half for someone to drive back to Munising with the film. It’s going to be a late night at the Barge.

The school menu includes Hammy Sammy, tator tot casserole and meatballs and gravy on mashed potatoes.

A local columnist provides a wide array of local anecdotes, along with important questions such as this: When you blow your nose in the morning, which nostril is cleared first?

I have to thank you, Tim, for a quick trip through the Upper Peninsula. But, man, do I ever have a sore neck.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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