Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Articles written by Alissa Pietila

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  • City council hears complaints about medical marijuana

    Alissa Pietila|Apr 7, 2015

    BESSEMER - The main topic of contention at Monday's city council meeting surrounded the laws on the use and growing of medical marijuana. Bethany Hellen, who owns a dance studio in Bessemer, along with several parents of dance students, attended Monday's meeting to voice their concern about the medical marijuana caregiver who resides above her studio. The biggest complaint was the smell coming from the building, both into the studio and out on the street. "Our children can walk down the street a... Full story

  • Mercer Lions host annual Easter egg hunt

    Alissa Pietila|Apr 6, 2015

    MERCER, Wis. - Families lined the hallway with each child gripping an Easter basket or bucket in the hopes of finding treats at the Mercer Lions' annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday. Kids of all ages had the choice of a basket or bucket filled with Easter grass to hold their collections. Louise Minisan and her husband Dave, co-chair the Easter egg hunt, which she said has been going on for more than 15 years. "(The event) is open to anyone, not just Mercer students," Louise said. "Last year we... Full story

  • April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

    Alissa Pietila|Apr 3, 2015

    WAKEFIELD — More than 3,000 people were killed in distracted-affected crashes nationwide in 2012. The Michigan State Police and National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration seek to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving. When visiting the MSP website, the first banner reads, “One text or call could wreck it all,” as part of the national campaign to bring awareness to distracted driving. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the United States. “Distracted driving is a known serious problem, however... Full story

  • Students take part in day-long conflict resolution, mentoring training

    Alissa Pietila|Apr 1, 2015

    HURLEY - Around 650 students from Hurley, Ironwood and Bessemer schools took part in a day-long event held at the Hurley K-12 School on Tuesday. Michael McGowan, President of McGowan and Associates, led many programs throughout the day, for students of all ages. McGowan's training and consulting firm specializes in handling school, alcohol, drug, conflict resolution, workplace and family issues. He presents school assemblies every year, with each presentation being tailored by grade level and... Full story

  • GCC board hears three presentations

    Alissa Pietila|Apr 1, 2015

    IRONWOOD - The Gogebic Community College board heard three separate presentations to start Tuesday's monthly meeting. First, Diane Oliver, the President of Snowflake Aquatics, thanked the board for their support of the pool and the Barracuda Swim Team. Elijah Sprague, Sol Lagalo, Axton Ruotsala, and Luca and Sophia Villanueva, recently competed in the YMCA state swim meet in Brown Deer, Wis. The boys relay team, consisting of the four boys listed above even shaved 2.34 seconds off their time at... Full story

  • Bessemer set to celebrate World Autism Awareness Day next week

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 28, 2015

    BESSEMER - Students and faculty at A.D. Johnston High School have been preparing to celebrate the eighth annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2. Students will be tested with trivia about autism at the end of each class hour on Thursday, said ADJ special education teacher Jamie Stiffarm. Stiffarm said the questions will help to "celebrate what kids already know about autism" and will help them learn new things, too. According to Stiffarm, data shows that "one out of every 68 children born i... Full story

  • Fiscal budget approved for Bessemer Township

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 25, 2015

    RAMSAY - The main topic on the agenda for Bessemer Township's annual meeting on Monday night was setting the budget for the next fiscal year. The budget begins on April 1 and runs through March 31, 2016. Township Supervisor Jeff Randall spoke to those in attendance about the key points in next years budget. Randall said the estimated total available funds, which are at $1,297,627, may seem like a lot of money, but it does not all arrive at once. "It's a lot of money, but most of that income... Full story

  • No decision made for Gogebic Miners football coaches

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 24, 2015

    BESSEMER — The A.D. Johnston library was filled for Monday night’s school board meeting, with the hopes of a new Gogebic Miners (Bessemer-Wakefield-Marenisco) football coach being announced. A committee was put in place to hire a new football coach, which consists of Bessemer’s Athletic Director Tim France, Principal Dan Vander Velden and board representative Mary Beth Trudgeon. Wakefield-Marenisco’s Supreintendent Cathy Shamion and Athletic Director Mark Lane are also on the committee. “We had four applicants. … At this time we are not goi... Full story

  • Artists 'Paint the Masters' for upcoming show

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 21, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Local artists, members of the Range Art Association, have been studying master painters for the upcoming "Paint the Masters" show. Seventeen local artists have been studying famous master painters. Some of the artists being studied include Paul Gauguin, Georgia O'Keefe, Rembrandt, Salvador Dali, Johannas Vermeer, Claude Monet, Cezanne, Winslow Homer, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. The artists each study a master artist's work and attempt to recreate the original. One of the... Full story

  • Sunday marks 22nd World Water Day

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 21, 2015

    Twenty-two years ago, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day. Each year, a different issue is spotlighted, with this year's theme focusing on Water and Sustainable Development. The same theme is highlighted in the annual UN World Water Development Report, launched on WWD. "For those of us living on the shore's of the world's largest supply of fresh water, the Great Lakes, and in particular Lake Superior, we need to consider ourselves guardians against threats... Full story

  • Washington Elementary hosts Family Wellness Night

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 18, 2015

    BESSEMER - Area families attended the 10th annual Family Wellness Night at Washington Elementary on Tuesday evening. The event is mostly organized by physical education teacher, Janet Hellman. "I think everybody is enjoying it," said Hellman at the event. Balloons provided by Aspirus Grand View Hospital and Dr. Micheal Gregor Family Dental filled the gymnasium. Head teacher at Washington Elementary, Diana Hansen, said there were many families out for the event, including many new faces. Tables... Full story

  • Bessemer City council hears public discussion on sewer rate increases

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 17, 2015

    BESSEMER — The Bessemer City Council chamber was filled with about a dozen members of the public on Monday evening, with public comment focused on sewer rate increases for the city customers. “This area here is depressed as it is and then you’re going to slap on all these fees on people,” said one concerned citizen. “There’s nobody that’s on fixed incomes that can afford that.” According to city manager Mike Uskiewicz, there is $5,265,000 in grants available to repair the sewer. “The remaining... Full story

  • Jendrusina honored with Congressional Award Gold Medal

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 12, 2015

    BESSEMER - U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, who serves Michigan's First District, awarded a Congressional Award Gold Medal to A.D. Johnston senior James Jendrusina on Wednesday. After a short introduction by principal Dan VanderVelden, Benishek stood in front of the gym, filled with Bessemer students and administration, and spoke about self-improvement and serving the community. "You need to have the commitment to better yourself and give back to your community," Benishek said. The Congr... Full story

  • Planning Commission to send recreation plan to township board

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 11, 2015

    RAMSAY - The only item on the agenda for Bessemer Township's Planning Commission on Tuesday was an update on the Five-Year Recreation Plan. Phil Strong, a project engineer for Coleman Engineering, updated the commission on the project. "We just had the public review period, from. Jan. 20 to Feb. 20 ... and in that time it was advertised in the newspaper, the (Daily) Globe and the (Wakefield News) Bessemer Pick & Axe, and it was on the website," Strong said. "Unfortunately, there were zero public... Full story

  • Bessemer Township adopts several resolutions

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 10, 2015

    RAMSAY - The Bessemer Township board met Monday to discuss support for several resolutions. The first resolution focused on poverty guidelines and exemptions on property taxes for qualifying individuals and families. "We deal with this every year," said Township Supervisor Jeff Randall. "It allows, as state law requires, those that fit the poverty guidelines can apply for exemption or a portion of exemption from their property taxes." Randall said it has to be updated each year to match the pove... Full story

  • Science Olympiad teams to head to state tournament

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 5, 2015

    BESSEMER - This year, Bessemer's high school Science Olympiad team, with 36 total players including alternates, won first place in the Upper Peninsula regional competition at Northern Michigan University in Marquette in February. The junior high team took second place. Both are moving on to the 2015 State Tournament on May 2 at Michigan State University in East Lansing. Teachers Dave and Tracy Rowe, along with parents and other teachers, have been practicing with the students for a long time.... Full story

  • City hears about Chamber of Commerce plans for the year

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 3, 2015

    BESSEMER - The Bessemer City Council heard from Bessemer Chamber of Commerce president Kathy Whitburn about the chamber's plans for the year. "We are very excited to keep supporting, and keep stepping up ... to introduce some new programs to the business community," Whitburn said. The chamber's next event is a "Business After 5" on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Pit Stop Bar & Grill. Plans are for similar events every other month. The chamber is also holding an Easter Extravaganza for area children... Full story

  • Frost Fest draws many out on Saturday

    Alissa Pietila|Mar 2, 2015

    By ALISSA PIETILA [email protected] IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - Ironwood Township celebrated Frost Fest Saturday activities for kids, food and vendors filling the gymnasium and most of the basement. The kids activities included balloon animals and face-painting. Brenna Erickson, who makes wooden crafts and other items, makes her products after her children go to bed and said it's her "me time." She said she had a good number of people stop by her table through the morning. Amy Foster, administ... Full story

  • Gogebic Community College to expand Copper Country campus

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 25, 2015

    IRONWOOD - The Gogebic Community College Board of Trustees met on Tuesday night to a approve Copper Country Campus expansion plans. Chairman John Lupino said the board had quite a bit of discussion on the expansion plans prior to the board meeting. The new plan features a front entrance in the Copper Country Mall, as well as three classrooms and many offices. One of the large classrooms can also be divided into two smaller rooms as needed. "This can allow us to generate more income up there,"... Full story

  • Students attend day-long Life Quest Program at GCC

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 24, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Area high school students gathered in the gymnasium of Gogebic Community College's Lindquist Center for a Life Quest Program on Monday. The event was not open to the general public due to a lack of space, as witnessed by the bleachers filled with students. The Department of Human Services, DOVE, Inc., the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, Community Mental Health and others had booths for the students to browse and attain more information about what is available in the communi... Full story

  • The Cat's Pajamas set to perform at Ontonagon Theater

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 21, 2015

    EWEN - The Ewen-Trout Creek School music program has enlisted the vocal band, The Cat's Pajamas, to perform at the Ontonagon Theater to raise money for the program. Music director Brad Besonen said fellow teacher Patti Witt told him the group had posted on Facebook about helping high schools. "(Witt) brought to my attention that The Cat's Pajamas had posted an ad on Facebook asking for schools in the Midwest to contact them to bring them in to have a concert in the local areas," Besonen said.... Full story

  • Bessemer city council hears sheriff's report; discusses land offer

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 17, 2015

    BESSEMER - Gogebic County Sheriff Peter Matonich was first on the agenda for Bessemer's city council meeting on Monday night. Matonich said the sheriff's department has been adding some new services or is currently in the process of doing so. He said the county still has a very active drug team and that the department also added a new corrections officer in 2014. Gogebic County is currently training officers on a new statewide information system, which allows the county to access statewide... Full story

  • Van Buskirk families relive history 'On the Rocks'

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 16, 2015

    ERWIN TOWNSHIP - Descendants of the original Van Buskirk school children gathered on a chilly, but sunny Sunday to recreate an old photo and share some laughs. The original photo was taken on Feb. 17, 1915, by Matti Siirila and is titled "On the Rocks." Ivan Hellen, who helped make the re-creation happen and is one of the descendants, said the bluff sits "off the side of the wagon road built by Matti Siirila." Notes from an Oct. 1907 Erwin Township Board meeting said, "Matti Siirila paid... Full story

  • GCC president Lorenson named to state legislative committee

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 13, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Gogebic Community College President James Lorenson was recently named to the Michigan Community College Association Legislative Committee to a two-year position. There are 12 members on the committee, which includes six presidents and six trustees. According to the release, "Committee membership, per MCCA bylaws, is determined by the appointment of the chair of MCAA, with concurrence of the MCCA Executive Committee." The committee seeks a good balance of small and large, urban and... Full story

  • Council hears about business closure

    Alissa Pietila|Feb 3, 2015

    BESSEMER - In a short meeting on Monday night, the city council heard of a downtown business closure. La Panetteria, a bakery on Sophie Street, plans to close the doors on Friday at 4 p.m. Bessemer Chamber of Commerce President, Kathy Whitburn, was saddened when she heard the news early Monday. "I think it behooves us as a city and as a community to reach out to a business if we hear that they are having some type of difficulty and are going to be closing their doors, because it means lost... Full story

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