Progress in some places, shortcomings in others
COVID-19 continues to interrupt community activities, coverage
Things still aren’t going smoothly this week, but there are some bright spots, too. I wanted to share the ups and downs with you. In a one-person newsroom where there is no ‘plan B’ for when these things happen, the least I can do is share the challenges I’m facing with you.
I’ll start with the bad news. Yesterday, I was finally— after more than 18 months of pandemic reporting— ill enough to justify getting a COVID-19 test. I’m not feeling too rough, but a tightness in my chest and a dry cough developed, and I’m trying to be as responsible for myself and my community as possible.
I’m waiting on the results, and have been told to stay home by my 2nd job, my physical therapist, the nurse who took my test, and pretty much every other real health authority until I receive a negative result.
The impact to Copper Beacon is that I will not be attending either Houghton or Hancock’s city council meetings this evening. Hopefully, I’ll receive a negative test result tomorrow and won’t miss the South Range meeting as well.
While I certainly feel a responsibility to cover these meetings, there are other reporters in the community, and this lapse in Copper Beacon’s coverage will certainly be temporary. I also have a social responsibility to avoid transmitting communicable diseases, COVID-19 or otherwise. So I’ll have to temporarily rely on the coverage of others for these meetings.
Neither Houghton nor Hancock’s agendas are particularly interesting, so I don’t think anyone will miss much, but they are linked below for your perusal. I added some odds and ends that I picked out of the board packets that seemed notable. If you see anything curious, let me know and I’ll make a couple of calls to get the story. I’ll do my best to give South Range the same treatment if I don’t make it to the meeting tomorrow.
I’m also on track to finish that other story (a podcast about HB 4722 and short-term rentals) that I didn’t get done last week.
Now on to the good news: We’ve nearly cleared the second big hurdle (the first being the rollout of the Copper Beacon brand). The lawyers have given me and the board of directors a draft document of incorporation, and we’re reviewing it currently. It should be submitted within days and we should officially be a board-controlled non-profit before the end of the month!
The last big hurdle to our foundation is getting 501(c)3 status from the IRS. We’ll also have to register with the State of Michigan before we can solicit donations, but the lawyers assure me that’s relatively simple. After that, I’ll be working in earnest to fundraise for and arrange paid internships! I have so many ideas that I can’t wait to put into action, but most of them have to wait until the foundation work is complete.
I think 2022 will be a very exciting year for Copper Beacon.
I’ll be making a formal proposal to the board about how exactly the internships will work, how much they’ll be compensated, and other details. The two things that we’ve already committed to are that they will be paid reasonably for their efforts and that the internships will be open to adult non-students as well as students.
Thanks for reading, and stay “tuned” for more!
“Holiday Hoopla” canceled due to low registration, and rise in COVID-19. Silent auction to be moved online
Not from Houghton’s board packet, but I did come across this:
It’s hard to say what impact Thanksgiving break is going to have on the area’s COVID-19 infection rates, but even a momentary pause in available testing is likely to skew things.
Urging caution now for a merry Christmas later.