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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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