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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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