Island living, Houghton city council election set for May, and possibilities of a new bridge
The Front Page, Week of Nov. 20, 2021
Seven local students learn about nature, life, and themselves from a week on Rabbit Island
Local high school students presented about their week-long trip to the uninhabited Rabbit Island this summer as part of the Rabbit Island School.
Houghton City Council, Nov. 18, 2021
Despite voting three times, the six currently-sitting Houghton City Councilors could not decide on a seventh member to replace the recently-resigned Dan Salo.
The Inside Scoop (and a photo of my cat)
This is the editorial section of Copper Beacon, and the only part of it behind a paywall. It includes a weekly editorial, and occasional letters to the editor, opinion columns, and reader comments.
This is behind a paywall not so much because it’s worth the $7/month minimum that Copper Beacon asks of subscribers, but more as a benefit for those that choose to support the otherwise free work Copper Beacon produces for the community.
As editor of Copper Beacon, I hope you’ll see fit to join our paid-subscriber community.
Houghton County Commissioners, Nov. 16, 2021
The commissioners have decided to undertake some effort to build a second bridge over the Portage Waterway, in large part due to concerns caused by backups during the ongoing maintenance on the Portage Lake Lift Bridge.
COVID-19 on the rise
I don’t want to beat this dead horse, but case rates are high right now. If you’re unvaccinated, it’s more important than ever that you protect yourself by getting the process started.
Even if you are vaccinated, boosters and masking in public is highly recommended by health experts and authorities.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.
These are the last two updates from the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department. Obviously still a solid wall of red, but looking at the numbers tell’s a more nuanced story, too.
Anything over 10% positivity is considered high risk, and Houghton County’s latest statistic shows over 25%, up from 21% last week. Rates are also up in Gogebic and Keweenaw Counties but are trending down in Baraga and Ontonagon Counties.
While a 4% increase in Houghton County may not seem large, looking down the column a little you can spot the case count. Houghton’s has almost doubled in the last week. And now we’re heading into Thanksgiving.
Now let’s look at some of the state’s data.
The state’s COVID-19 Region 8 (that’s the Upper Peninsula), shows there are 70 total adults are in the hospital with COVID-19. There are 63 ICU beds total for adults in the area, and 43 of them are occupied as of Nov. 19. Four of the Region 8 COVID-19 patients are listed as on a ventilator.
Occupancy rates for U.P. hospitals are listed above.
Meanwhile, local schools have seen many COVID-19 cases. Baraga Area Schools reported a new outbreak of 37 cases on Nov. 15. Meanwhile, Hancock Public Schools has an ongoing outbreak of 31 cases in their elementary school (first reported Oct. 27), Lake Linden Hubbell Public Schools has an ongoing outbreak of 21 cases in their high school(first reported Oct. 4), and CLK schools have an outbreak of 29 students in their high school (first reported Oct. 4).
An ongoing outbreak is one that has had additional cases added to it in the last 28 days.
Statewide, we’re seeing a huge spike in cases right now. As high as we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
Luckily, deaths are not keeping the same pace with infections in this spike, likely owing to the broad use of vaccines.
Think safe, mask in public, get your vaccine. I don’t want to lose any readers.
Other News (aggregated, not sponsored)
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Upper Michigan Source
It’s been a long time coming, but the Temple Jacob and surrounding community have finally seen at least partial justice done for the indignity committed on them in 2019.
The Associated Press
Prices are going up between $2 and $8 a night.
Upper Michigan Source
I only exchanged a few emails with Sarah Peurakoski, but it’s always sad to see someone so young and active, and with family and a multitude of community ties, pass away early and unexpectedly.
Jonathan Oosting, Bridge Michigan
While some municipalities scrambled to get their applications finished before the deadline, some local units of government turned down the offered money.