State Police say The Mackinac Bridge was closed to traffic for a short time this morning due to falling ice. Ice that had formed on the bridge’s cables and upper structures started falling down to the traffic deck after 8 o’clock this morning. The Mackinac Bridge Authority says there were two incidents reported this morning. Falling ice and snow broke the windshield of one vehicle crossing on the bridge and a northbound vehicle hit some ice and snow causing the driver to lose control and hit the guard rail. No injuries were reported and the bridge was reopened at 10-am.
A major food drive is being completed this weekend in Western Marquette County. “Project Food For A Neighbor” is coordinated by Wesley United Methodist Church in Ishpeming and St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Negaunee and will benefit the food pantries of the Salvation Army and St. Vincent dePaul stores in Ishpeming and Negaunee. The drive kicked off last Saturday morning with the distribution of thousands of shopping bags in Negaunee, Ishpeming and West Ishpeming. The bags included a message attached explaining the food drive and what items are being collected. Those bags will then be picked up by the same volunteers tomorrow from 10am to noon.
The City of Marquette has hired Tiina Harris as the new Arts & Culture Center Director. Prior to joining the City she served as Educator for the Marquette Regional History Center, where she successfully integrated performing and visual arts in all MRHC projects. From 1997-2004 she served as the Education Director for the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago. Harris earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Michigan State University. As a first generation Estonian-American Harris served on the Estonian American National Council in Washington D.C., developing special projects to preserve Estonian American Cultural Heritage. Harris, who has family roots in Negaunee, Gwinn and Marquette Harris said, “I am honored to work in a place close to my heart. This is an incredibly culturally rich city and I am excited to continue its’ growth and work to ensure its’ vitality.”
NewPage Corporation is meeting with its unions this week including the unions at its paper mill in Escanaba. The company asked a month ago to talk with union representatives about re-negotiating labor contracts. United Steelworkers Union local 2-21 reached an agreement a year ago with the company after three years of negotiations. NewPage has since declared chapter 11 bankruptcy and is working to make the company more stable financially. Talks with the unions started Tuesday in Milwaukee. About 14-hundred people work at the Escanaba mill.
Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley has signed into law legislation that bans the open burning of certain household items. The law amends current legislation to now prohibit the uncontrolled burning of plastic, rubber, foam, chemically treated wood, textiles, electronics, chemicals or hazardous materials. Michigan is the last great lakes state that lets rural residents incinerate household waste in burn barrels. Calley says the new law does not prohibit all burning, but instead targets the substances most dangerous to public health. Rural residents can still burn yard waste like brush and leaves, and common household waste like cardboard and paper products. Calley signed the bill because Governor Rick Snyder is visiting Michigan troops in Afghanistan.