Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Articles written by Cortney Ofstad

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  • Local artist featured in magazine

    Cortney Ofstad|Feb 6, 2015

    IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - Ironwood resident Gary Jackson takes a lot of photos. So many in fact, he forgets how many he has taken. The subjects in Jackson's photos vary, among animals, people, structures and nature, and he travels around the area, searching for his next photo. One summer day in 2014, Jackson was walking along the beach at Little Girl's Point in Ironwood, when he came across his niece and her family playing in the water. He thought of the moment as a photo opportunity. "I was just... Full story

  • Local 4-H nearing $1 million with auctions

    Cortney Ofstad|Feb 5, 2015

    IRONWOOD - A million dollars is within reach for some local youth after years of hard work and dedication. The Gogebic County 4-H Market Livestock Group is within $50,000 of hitting the million-dollar mark through its annual livestock auction during the Gogebic County Fair in August. The group, originally called The Hidquarters, started in 1972 after beef breeders and other interested parties started planning to put together a youth steer project for the fair, allowing the youth to show and... Full story

  • YooperBeiner planned for Wolverine

    Cortney Ofstad|Feb 4, 2015

    IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - With only a few weeks left to finalize the details, one of the American Birkebeiner founders took time to help with another Beiner-themed event on Monday. Ernie St. Germain attended a planning meeting for the annual YooperBeiner snowshoe race/tour at Wolverine Ski Trails to help plan to the timing of the event. The YooperBeiner is set for Feb. 21 at Wolverine. St. Germain is the only skier to race in all 41 of the Birkebeiner races, also called the "Birkie," in Hayward, Wis.... Full story

  • Marquette Diocese Bishop celebrates Catholic Schools Week

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 29, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Bishop John Doerfler, of the Marquette Diocese, on Wednesday made a stop at All Saints Catholic Academy to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week with students, staff and community members. During his visit, Doerfler held Mass in Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church with children and other members of the congregation before visiting classrooms in the afternoon. During Mass, which celebrated Saint Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of Catholic Schools, Doerfler asked the children what a... Full story

  • G-Tac proposes new lease agreement

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 28, 2015

    HURLEY - The Iron County Board of Supervisors learned on Tuesday that mining company Gogebic Taconite was unable to make its lease payment for county property for its proposed mine site near Upson. County chairman Joe Pinardi told the board he learned the news after an Iron County Mining Impact Committee meeting last week. A payment of $20,000 was due by 5 p.m. Monday, and covered G-Tac using county property throughout 2015 and 2016. "(G-Tac) asked if we could just let it go for a year,"... Full story

  • Ironwood, Hurley chambers laud area businesses, individuals

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 27, 2015

    IRONWOOD - From singing German polkas to Finnish jokes, the night was filled with laughter and recognition during the 20th annual Joint Installation Chamber Banquet Monday night at Gogebic Community College. Members of the Ironwood Chamber of Commerce and the Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce recognized local businesses and community members for their work throughout 2014. Ironwood Chamber president Peter Grewe welcomed a crowd of more than 100. Jacquart Bob Jacquart, CEO of Jacquart Fabric... Full story

  • Saxon-Gurney Fire Department holds fundraiser

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 26, 2015

    SAXON, Wis. - Nearly 200 people dined on roast beef and all the fixings during a benefit dinner and gun raffle for the Saxon-Gurney Fire Department on Sunday afternoon. According to department members, 189 meals were served during the annual dinner, filling the Saxon Community Center. The meal started around 15 years ago, first as a spaghetti meal, then steak and for the last few years, roast beef. Throughout the meal, attendees dined on roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, bread and dessert, and... Full story

  • Power restored in Wakefield

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 26, 2015

    WAKEFIELD — Residents in the city of Wakefield had their power restored on Saturday evening after power outages started early Friday night. The outages began momentarily on Friday afternoon, around 3:30 p.m. But by 5 p.m., power was out entirely in many locations across Gogebic County. On Friday evening, Xcel Energy’s power outage map on its website showed reported outages stretching from Ironwood to Lake Gogebic. Some temporary outages were also reported in Oma, Wis., in Iron County. Throughout the outages, more than 3,000 people were lef... Full story

  • Reclamation plans focus on environmental impact

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 24, 2015

    HURLEY - Gogebic Taconite provided information on its current work for a proposed mine near Upson, Wis., as well as possible reclamation ideas during an Iron County Mining Impact Committee meeting on Thursday night. G-Tac president Bill Williams and engineer Tim Myers addressed the board and answered questions throughout the meeting. According to Williams, the company has been monitoring water levels at the mine site, and have been performing numerous office investigations. The investigations... Full story

  • Iron County Mining Impact Committee ponders loss of $50,000 donation

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 23, 2015

    HURLEY - The Iron County Mining Impact Committee heard an update on funding sources for a mining impact analysis Thursday evening. Jason Laumann, of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, talked about changes in funding after an anonymous donor pulled out. According to committee chair Leslie Kolesar, the donor withdrew a $50,000 donation to the analysis, believing the county wasn't moving fast enough with the project. "He wanted to see the county step up and put some skin in the game, but... Full story

  • 150 participate in Ironwood blood drive

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 22, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Nearly 150 people donated blood on Wednesday afternoon at the Ironwood Memorial Building through the American Red Cross Blood Drive. According to event coordinator Betsy Slabaugh, over the last 10 years, she has seen the number of people donating rise, making her job "so much easier." "Many people sign up ahead of time," she said. "Otherwise, I give them a call and see if they want to do it. People are used to this now, and I have been able to meet so many nice people." Many of the... Full story

  • Group means to acquire Interstate Falls

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 21, 2015

    KIMBALL, Wis. - An effort is taking place to acquire property at Interstate Falls in Kimball, Wis., as part of the Riverside Trail project. The goal of the project is to connect two waterfalls in Kimball - Interstate and Peterson Falls - to Norrie Park in Ironwood, further connecting to a regional non-motorized trail, connecting Montreal and Hurley in Wisconsin to Ironwood, Bessemer and Wakefield in Michigan. A private land owner currently owns Interstate Falls and allows for public access... Full story

  • Easton first baby of 2015 at Aspirus Grand View

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 17, 2015

    HURLEY - Twelve days into the new year, Monica and Justin Colassaco, of Hurley, welcomed a son, Easton Thomas, the first baby born in 2015 at Aspirus Grand View Hospital in Ironwood. "It was surprising," Monica said of Easton being the first of 2015. "I was thinking on Jan. 12, there had to a couple born by then." Easton was born at 5:13 p.m., more than 25 hours after mom arrived at the hospital. "Everything went really well," Monica said of her pregnancy. "We had Dr. (Tarek) Khalife... Full story

  • First baby of 2015 arrives early

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 16, 2015

    IRONWOOD - Newborn Sara Esther Bilc surprised her parents by arriving one month early, on Jan. 4, instead of Feb. 4. On Thursday, her parents, Esther and Andrei Bilc, of Ironwood, were further surprised to learn their only daughter was the first baby born in the area in 2015. "That is very neat," Esther said. "That is a surprise to us." An interesting part of Sara's birth was that she was born in a similar matter to her mother and to her uncles - at home instead of at the hospital. "It was very... Full story

  • Students learn about food preservation

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 14, 2015

    HURLEY - From planting to growing, harvesting to eating, youth in Iron County are getting a hands dirty approach to learning more about the food they eat. Over the last three years, fifth through eighth grade students have participated in a "Garden to Market" program through the Iron County University of Wisconsin-Extension office. The kids work in the Hurley School garden, growing different types of produce and then sell it at the Iron County Farmers Market or donate it to the Montreal Food... Full story

  • Township receives grant from Trans-Canada gas company

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 12, 2015

    IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - The Ironwood Township Volunteer Fire Department was recently awarded a grant to purchase automated external defibrillator (AED) units. The department received $3,500 from Trans-Canada, a natural gas company which operates a pipeline that runs through Ironwood Township. According to Bob Brentar, department member, the funding was applied to the department's community access to AED inititative, and two AED units were purchased. One unit will remain in the Ironwood Township... Full story

  • Sisu VI: Skiers anticipate annual cross country race this weekend

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 7, 2015

    IRONWOOD - The sixth annual Sisu Ski Fest kicks off this week, featuring a variety of events. Friday features registration and bib pick-up from 4 to 10 p.m. for race participants at the Ironwood Memorial Building. A ski expo will also take place from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Memorial Building. Saturday features a full day of racing, including the 42 kilometer Sisu Marathon, beginning at 8:30 a.m., and the 21K Heikki Lunta Half Marathon beginning at 11 a.m.,... Full story

  • Garden City Hot Club offers jazz, blues at Ironwood Historic Theatre

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 5, 2015

    IRONWOOD – Local residents spent the evening listening to various styles of jazz and blues during a concert with Steve Jones and the Garden City Hot Club at the Historic Ironwood Theatre on Saturday night. The bands three original members -- Steve Jones, Bob Hiltunen and Scott McIntosh -- all hail from the Upper Peninsula, and were joined by guest musician John Peiffer. Peiffer plays the French horn in the orchestra at the National Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Throughout the evening, t... Full story

  • Volunteers key to annual snowmobile event

    Cortney Ofstad|Jan 5, 2015

    IRONWOOD – About 1,000 people braved chilly weather to witness the fifth annual Ironwood Snowmobile Olympus at the Gogebic County Fairgrounds on Saturday, but poor visibility caused Sunday's races to be canceled. The event is hosted by the Ironwood Snowmobile Olympus Group, comprised of snowmobile enthusiasts from around the area. The group works for six months to prepare for the annual weekend event. "The track has two months in it, between cleaning snow, prepping the base and those kinds of t... Full story

  • Ironwood to host exhibit featuring local history

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 29, 2014

    IRONWOOD — The team working on the “The Way We Worked” display have been busy lining up events for the displays arrival in April. The exhibit, through the Smithsonian Institution and National Archives, will be on display for eight weeks at the Downtown Art Place in Ironwood, from April 4 to May 31. It was created by the Smithsonian as part of the Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit funded by the United States Congress. TWWW, adapted from an original exhibition development by the National Archives, explores how work became a central eleme... Full story

  • IPSD hazmat team assists in semi tanker accident

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 27, 2014

    WATERSMEET - The Ironwood Public Safety Department hazardous materials team broke in equipment for the first time on Wednesday during a semi tractor and trailer accident on U.S. 2 in Watersmeet. Since first receiving the equipment in January, the team hadn't used it yet. "We always hope that we never have to use it," fire officer Brandon Snyder said. "But, we are prepared if we need to." In an accident on black ice, a tanker became detached from the tractor and was punctured, leaking fuel onto... Full story

  • Local shops see late holiday traffic

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 26, 2014

    With Christmas 2014 officially in the books, local residents are enjoying time with family and friends, eating leftovers or maybe even opening a late present or two. Many were seen out and about Wednesday, shopping locally to grab some last minute gifts. At Mattson's TV and Appliance in downtown Ironwood, things were busy the last few days before Christmas. Co-owner Randy King said there were quite a few last-minute shoppers in the store, similar to last year. "Televisions and cell phones have... Full story

  • Ironwood Schools commit to Accelerated programs

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 24, 2014

    IRONWOOD - After seeing success in reading and math scores at the elementary level, teachers in the middle and high school level in the Ironwood Area School District decided to incorporate similar programs to enhance student learning experiences in the classroom. With the help of Accelerated Math and Accelerated Reading 360, through Renaissance Learning, teachers have been able to individually assess students ability levels through testing. What separates the programs from other... Full story

  • Ironwood students donate to HOPE

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 22, 2014

    IRONWOOD - Students at Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood used their Christmas spirit to help out some furry friends on Friday. Students in Michelle Giackino, Michelle Trier, Tony Bunt and Rachel Boyd's second grade classes and Nicole Mesich's special education class donated numerous items to HOPE Animal Shelter. "The students have done this for a number of years, so we just carried on the tradition," Giackino said. The students gave donations to the shelter instead of exchanging gifts in the c... Full story

  • Ironwood elementary kids celebrate season

    Cortney Ofstad|Dec 20, 2014

    IRONWOOD - Students at Luther L. Wright School had a busy day Friday, before heading out for Christmas vacation. Throughout the morning, students at Sleight Elementary (kindergarten through second grade at LLW) were treated to a concert by Accent, received a visit from Santa and held classroom parties. The day kicked off with the annual Student of the Month celebration in the elementary gym, followed by a drawing for an iPad mini for students who participated in the summer education program.... Full story

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