Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Articles written by Katie Perttunen


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  • Area youth learn elements of dance

    Katie Perttunen|Mar 1, 2014

    IRONWOOD - On Thursday night, a short odyssey began for area youngsters. "Show me a shape you've never seen before," Katharine Larson, dance instructor, told a stage full of young dancers. The Eisenhower Dance Ensemble drove 11 hours from Rochester by way of Marquette to "...bring dance to everyone, even the very young," Laurie Eisenhower, creative director, said. "Some kids learn more physically; they like to move," she said. The EDE is known as a premier, 23-year-old Midwestern dance company....

  • Duffy discusses forest products industry with local businesses

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 21, 2013

    MERCER, Wis. - U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, listened to concerns from Action Floors of Mercer, Bessemer Plywood and others in the wood products industry Friday morning in Mercer. Action Floors owner Dan Corullo told Duffy issues facing the industry are critical. "When we built the plant, 40 percent of raw materials came from national forest land," Corullo said. "Today, we get 2 percent." Corullo said 40 percent of the raw material used is imported from Canada. Part of the problem, Corullo sai...

  • Local man takes part in Wreaths Across America

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 19, 2013

    IRONWOOD- 14 year Air Force Veteran, and longtime Ironwood resident Murray Morgan travelled to Arlington National Cemetery Saturday Dec. 14 along with 40 other truck drivers as a part of Wreaths Across America. Morgan served as an ambassador for Halvor Lines Trucking, Superior, his employer. This year 2,000 volunteers at Arlington laid 3,168 wreaths, with 143,000 wreaths across the country at other locations, Morgan said. The project to honor fallen soldiers began five years ago, and the goal fo...

  • Bessemer city council discusses medical marijuana business

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 17, 2013

    BESSEMER - Kismet was in evidence at Monday night's Bessemer City Council meeting, as it began with a presentation by the Gogebic Iron Area Narcotics Team members from the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department, and ended with vehement public opposition to the newly approved medical marijuana nursery and transfer point in Bessemer's industrial zone. (Editor's note: See separate story on GIANT presentation on page 5.) The council approved a special land use permit for the business, operated by Richa...

  • Bessemer celebrates holiday with hayride

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 16, 2013

    BESSEMER - Twenty-five people braved sub-zero temperatures to carol on an old-fashioned hayride as part of Bessemer's community Christmas party, departing from the VFW Sunday afternoon. Mayor Butch Semmerling donated the trailers and hay for the rides, and Neal Nelson and Larry Miskovich volunteered to drive. After the hayride, Santa and Mrs. Claus were inside the VFW for children to visit with, and enjoy Christmas tales. Event volunteer Donna Frello said cocoa, cookies, and other goodies were...

  • Prison to begin dog training program

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 14, 2013

    MARENISCO — Camp Ojibway and HOPE Animal Shelter are moving full speed ahead with a plan for prisoners to train dogs. Warden Linda Tribley said the first dog, Anna, will arrive next week. Camp Ojibway, near Marenisco, will house three dogs which will be trained and socialized by six inmates to prepare them for “forever” homes. It took more than a year of work to get the project off the ground, Tribley said. Ojibway prisoners have paid for a lot of the necessary supplies for the dogs, Tribley said. A total of 200 prisoners applied to assis...

  • Overdue update

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 12, 2013

    IRONWOOD - The Carnegie Library recently received a $19,000 grant from the Reinhardt Library Fund for lighting improvements. "We are proud and excited to have received this grant," Elaine Erickson, library director, said. The lighting, installed on the first floor, has a more historic feel, Erickson said, and adds to the ambience of the library. Desk lamps, task lamps and new lighting for the exterior of the library are being selected to complete the project. Robert Charles Reinhardt, who...

  • Bare bones

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 11, 2013

    IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - Aspirus Grand View Hospital's $4 million renovation project is about 15 percent done, Peter DuPuis, project manager from Miron Construction, Neenah, Wis., said Tuesday. Late September is the anticipated completion date. Work began in early October. Miron has completed more than 20 health care remodels in Wisconsin and Illinois over the past 10 years, and is also constructing a new clinic for Aspirus in Houghton, DuPuis said. Houghton's clinic will be completed by the end of...

  • All the world's a stage

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 10, 2013

    IRONWOOD - The Historic Ironwood Theatre is hosting a production by the Carnegie Library's Drama Group of 23 actors and three crew members today for around 600 local students. Dress rehearsal was Monday night, with the thespians in full costume and the make-up artist taking notes for the performance. Brett Daniels, a senior at Luther L. Wright, is reprising his role as the Rooster in "Henny Penny." Today's performance will be the fourth under his belt, and he didn't have any butterflies Monday....

  • Cookie sale raises money for charities

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 9, 2013

    IRONWOOD - Salem Lutheran Church hosted a cookie sale fundraiser to benefit local charities Saturday morning. Many different varieties of cookies were available, and the event enjoyed a successful twelfth year, starting with a long line of people waiting for the doors to open to the sale. "I'm the first in line every year," customer Linda Abramson said. "I used to bake. My grandaughter is coming home from Thailand, and I'm going to give some of the cookies to her." Salem's Women of the...

  • Mayle meets with W-M, Bessemer superintendents

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 9, 2013

    IRONWOOD — Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District Superintendent Bruce Mayle has met separately with superintendents from Wakefield-Marenisco and Bessemer school districts to discuss the upcoming consolidation issue, and once collectively, he said Friday. One concern he said needs to be discussed is the continual decline in student populations. “We need to do something about it,” he said. Mayle is neutral on the issue of consolidation, and is working with the two school districts to foster conversations about sharing services...

  • Cops and shoppers

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 9, 2013

    IRONWOOD - Thirty area youth got the opportunity to do Christmas shopping with local law enforcement on Saturday. The kids were given $100 each to spend on gifts, and after they hunted bargains they met back at the Memorial building to eat pizza and wrap gifts. Organizer Anna Bolich said Michigan State Police, Ironwood Public Safety, Gogebic County Victim Services, Gogebic County Sheriff's Department, Watersmeet Tribal Police Department, Hurley Police Deparmtent and Objibwe Correctional...

  • Glass-blowing studio, art gallery opens in Bessemer

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 4, 2013

    BESSEMER - Kikkebusch Glassworks, a glass-blowing studio and art gallery, opened in Bessemer Nov. 23 in the old Presbyterian Church. Holiday customer traffic was good all weekend, Doug Kikkebusch, owner and glassblower, said. "It was a banner day Friday, and we had a steady stream of people all weekend," Kikkebusch said. "It exceeded my expectations." Kikkebusch started looking for a building for his studio and gallery space when he moved to the area from Chicago a couple years ago. He was sold...

  • Many disabled veterans eligible for tax exemptions

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 2, 2013

    BESSEMER — About 72 disabled veterans in Gogebic County are newly eligible for property tax exemptions on their homesteads, John Frello, service officer for the Gogebic County Council of Veterans Affairs said. The veterans must appear before their municipality’s board of review in December to apply the new exemption to the 2013 tax year. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed Senate Bill 352 on Nov. 12, amending the property tax act to include permanently and totally disabled veterans, as well as individually unemployable veterans. The exemption...

  • Santa visits Gurney

    Katie Perttunen|Dec 2, 2013

    GURNEY- Santa came early this year to Gurney. Santa's arrival was announced not by jingle bells, but by the sound of the fire siren, and the kids got in line to tell him their dearest wishes and answer the question, "have you been naughty or nice?" Santa visited with about 30 children and their families at the Gurney Community Center on Saturday. He arrived in a Saxon-Gurney fire truck, and brought sacks full of toys for the good girls and boys. Santa, of course, knew exactly what each child...

  • Consolidation discussion heats up Bessemer school board meeting

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 26, 2013

    BESSEMER - Bessemer Area School District's Board meeting grew heated during discussion of possible consolidation, with Bill McDonald, a board member who is facing a May recall, moved to curse. Superintendent Dave Radovich said McDonald had named a local attorney as head of a committee of citizens from the Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco school districts that filed a request to begin consolidation proceedings with the state in early October. Radovich received a letter dated Nov. 19 from the...

  • Mercer, Wakefield host craft shows

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 25, 2013

    MERCER, Wis. - The Mercer Lioness Club sponsored their 10th annual Craft Bazaar and Luncheon on Saturday, despite poor weather. Baked goods, lunch items, and a wide variety of items were available, from jewelry, to knit goods, to sewn items. Wakefield American Legion Women's Auxiliary also held their 20th annual Craft fair on Saturday, to benefit the Wakefield Veteran's of Foreign Wars, Post 9084. Wooden items, knit goods, gourmet dips, pickles, framed photography, sewn and woven items were...

  • Bessemer sisters selected for all-state band ensemble

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 22, 2013

    BESSEMER - Two A.D. Johnston High School band students had great news this past week; out of 2,600 auditioning students, they earned spots to perform together in an 80-student Michigan all-state ensemble at the Michigan Music Conference in Grand Rapids in January, Steve Boniface, band instructor, said. The conference is for music teachers and professionals, Boniface said, with the student performance as the week's grand finale. Boniface has taught Megan for three years and Madeline for two....

  • O'Brien, Begalle to dance at Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 21, 2013

    IRONWOOD - Two local competitive dancers are traveling to Orlando to dance at half-time as part of 300 performers doing a jazz pom routine for the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day. Cheyanne O'Brien, a 2013 Gogebic Community College graduate from Wakefield, won the honor in March in an individual competition in Duluth, Minn., at "Spring Fling." Dani Begalle, a senior at Luther L. Wright High School, won the honor by submitting a video audition. O'Brien has studied dance for 16 years, and...

  • Merit-orious beginning

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 20, 2013

    IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP- Merit Network Inc. and community partners in Gogebic County commemorated the completion and lighting of the fiber optic network's segment between Watersmeet and Ironwood on Tuesday. In 2010, Merit received two federal stimulus awards for the Rural, Education, Anchor, Community and Health Care-Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative to create more than 2,200 miles of open access advanced fiber optic infrastructure in rural and underserved areas in Michigan. This has been...

  • Bessemer City Council discusses Mary Street park project

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 19, 2013

    BESSEMER- New Bessemer Mayor Butch Semmerling asked questions about the Mary Street Ethnic Commons during his first city council meeting Monday. "Some people are proud of the park, some aren't," Semmerling said. He asked City Manager Michael Uskiewicz how much local money was tied up in the project. Uskiewicz said $80,000, or 20 percent local match of the $279,000 grant, is being used, with some consisting of in-kind donations from the Gogebic Range Water Authority. Concerns were raised about...

  • Petition to recall Bessemer school board member circulated

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 18, 2013

    BESSEMER — A petition to oust Bessemer School Board member Bill McDonald has made a lot of progress since wording for it was approved in October, Sheri Graham said Friday. More than 270 Bessemer and Bessemer Township voters need to sign the petition by the end of December to meet the deadline for a recall against McDonald to appear on the May ballot, Graham said. “Board members have ethics and procedures to follow,” Graham said. “If someone doesn’t want to follow them, they shouldn’t be on the board,” she said. Everyone has the...

  • Geeked about reading

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 15, 2013

    IRONWOOD - Ironwood's Carnegie Library is "Geeking the Library" with an open house Thursday at 5 p.m. "Geek is a verb," Elaine Erickson, library director, said. "For example, I geek the library." Geek the Library started in 2010, and is an effort in communities across the nation to show people that the library has the resources to support whatever it geeks, their passions, Erickson said. The open house will kick off the program, with goodies and treats provided. Participants can create posters a...

  • Officials warn gathering about many drugs used in community

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 14, 2013

    IRONWOOD - Sgt. Adam Clemens, of the Ironwood Public Safety Department, gave nearly 50 community members tips and information on how to spot drug use and what to do if they suspect it at a presentation at Luther L. Wright High School Wednesday night. Other members from the Gogebic Iron Area Narcotic Team from IPSD, the Gogebic County Sheriff's Department, and Hurley Police Department were on hand to answer questions as well. GIANT has created a tip line (1-855-644-4219) and an email addresss...

  • Semmerling sworn in as mayor

    Katie Perttunen|Nov 12, 2013

    BESSEMER - August "Butch" Semmerling was elected mayor of Bessemer at Monday's city council reorganizational meeting, having garnered the most votes Nov. 5 at 271 and receiving an unanimous vote from the council. Semmerling said, "I'd like to thank everyone for supporting me in this election." The Nov. 5 election drew a poor 22 percent turnout in Bessemer, with 375 votes cast. Al Gaiss and Doug Olsen tied for second with 257 votes apiece, so a coin was tossed, and Gaiss won for mayor pro...

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