Riders against domestic abuse, walkers for the water, and a new name and logo for Late Edition
Front Page, Week of Oct. 9, 2021
New name, new logo!
We’re getting closer and closer to tax-exempt status, so I’ve been given the go-ahead to share our new name and logo in conjunction with this month’s subscription drive! We hope you like it, we put some thought into what it meant and the imagery it conjures to the mind. I think Copper Beacon ties the organization to the Keweenaw Peninsula quite well. Far better than Late Edition ever could.
For those of you who don’t know Late Edition (and soon Copper Beacon) is currently solely supported by readers. No advertisers, no grants, no wealthy benefactor. This puts us in a fantastic position to write quality news that responds to its readers, but also in a bit of financial peril.
If you want Copper Beacon to continue creating news like it has been (and more!), please consider subscribing to The Inside Scoop, the paid portion of Late Edition-Copper Beacon. The Inside Scoop contains editorials, letters to the editor, and other informational tidbits that don’t make it into full stories. It also has an open comment section. Hope to see you there!
This week’s Inside Scoop focuses on the pros and cons of virtual meetings and virtual access to meetings. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been several bills proposed to allow different government bodies to meet electronically in perpetuity.
People of the Heart walk for Lake Superior for 3rd year
Plus meet one of our board members!
They don’t all know it yet, but I’m hoping to do something along these lines with each of our board members (I guess the cat’s out of the bag now).
Mental Health Awareness Week ends today
If you’re a regular reader, you know that Late Edition-Copper Beacon has been publishing a series about mental health and support through the summer and continuing into the fall.
I didn’t get anything special together for Mental Health Awareness Week, but here’s the series so far:
New Programs rising to meet young people’s mental health needs
Explores new offerings at CLK schools, CCISD, and beyond that are being used to make sure students feel the support they need to learn in school.
Autism advocates pushing for greater awareness, understanding in others
Highlights the needs and impacts of autism in individuals, and the community.
Relying on One Another
All about the Mental Health Support Group of the Keweenaw Area.
Pandemic safety procedures leave some mental health patients feeling abandoned
Reveals the difficulties of accessing mental health services during the pandemic.
Interacting with the police
Reviews the training, and some of the shortcomings, of what happens when those who have a mental illness or disorder meet “the law”.
When the rescuers need support
Takes a stark look at the mental impacts of being a first responder in a search and rescue situation, and what support there is when tragedy strikes.
Bikers ride against domestic violence in support of local women's shelter for the eighth year in a row
Not knowing the details of their route, I still managed to snag a few photos of the riders “in action”.
Mary Niemela, the executive director of the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home, told me they used to do candlelight vigils, but they’ve since decided to “make some noise”.
CEDAM fellow introduced, patrol car grant application approved, Waste Management contract extended, more
Hancock City Council, Oct. 6, 2021
The Hancock City Council had a fairly quiet meeting, but if you interact with city employees much, you’ll want to know who Sadiq Dahir Edo, the new CEDAM fellow, is.
New village clerk established, new sheriff resigns old elected position
South Range Village Council, Oct. 7, 2021
Debuting new coverage of the South Range village council! Starting this regularly here and in Calumet will help me get plugged into other events and meet the “movers and shakers” of the communities, which will build into more coverage.
This week’s recording is a little rough due to unforeseen recording circumstances, but the summary is as good as ever! I think it’s a great time to start this because, like Calumet last month, South Range has a new administrator. In this case, it’s Kristen Archambeau.
COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula, around the nation
I have been reluctant to do more reporting on COVID-19, which might be why I haven’t come up with any decent ideas for new angles that haven’t already been done ad nauseam.
If you feel like you know of a COVID-19 story that hasn’t been told already, please let me know. As much as it drags and grinds on all of us, I do feel that telling as many stories as possible in this moment of history is very important. Every story only happens once.
In the meanwhile, here’s a quick look at local, state, and national numbers.
The Western Upper Peninsula Health Department reports that we have been deep in the “High Transmission Rate” area for weeks now. Here’s their report, but it’s a little hard to break down so I’ll do a little number crunching below, too.
Obviously, red is bad, and there’s a lot of red. That’s pretty easy to interpret. Where all that redness comes from is the Case Rate/100,000 population number. Anything over 100 is considered high, and as you can see, Houghton County is at 308.2. Of course, Houghton County only has a population of around 37,000, so we don’t need 308 cases to get to 308 per 100,000, that’s just the ratio.
According to data from michigan.gov, Aspirus Keweenaw reported that they had three COVID-19 patients in their ICU, with 42% bed occupancy. UP Health System - Portage reported three COVID-19 patients, but none in the ICU, and 44% bed occupancy. The state average bed occupancy is currently 83%, with at least two hospitals reporting 100% occupancy.
On Monday, Lake Linden and Calumet both reported new school-based outbreaks of COVID-19 to the state. Lake Linden reported one involving 9 students at the high school and another with 8 students at the elementary. CLK schools reported an outbreak involving 13 students at the high school.
As you can see from the graphs above, the number of deaths (in red) in Michigan is lagging behind the previous waves, but the fact that we haven’t seen the peak of this fourth wave yet is troubling.
Data from Johns Hopkins University of Medicine shows that all in all, Houghton County and the nearby counties aren’t doing too poorly, with cases seeming to be concentrated in states to the south and west of Michigan so far.
It also shows that we’re the most virulent country on the planet (in part due to our size, the data isn’t population-adjusted, but Russia, China, India, and Canada all have much better 28-day totals than us).
Other News (aggregated, not sponsored)
//Click on the headlines to read the full story.
Upper Michigan Source
Charges have been filed against the woman who was shot, Ashley Novak. The story contains details from the attorney general’s report.
The Associated Press
I’m not sure how I feel about this “fun” repackaging of a story about crippling driver shortages. Shortages which, by the way, exist here, too. Although I’ve yet to hear of any local administrators picking up shifts behind the wheel.
Nick Friend, Upper Michigan Source
I think it’s worth point out (since this article doesn’t) that the redistricting group did anticipate missing its deadlines and asked for an extension.
By Ed White, The Associated Press
Canada has gotten involved to make the Line 5 fight a federal issue. This means whatever the pipeline’s future is, it’s not going to get there fast.
Dreyma Beronja and Ayanna Allen, The North Wind
“Kerri Schuiling, provost and vice president of academic affairs, was appointed as interim president of Northern Michigan University at the latest Board of Trustees meeting.”
By David Eggert, The Associated Press
Local politicians are now making deeply conflicted decisions because they don’t know what to expect from our state government. While clear control in a crisis is essential, the legislature has decided they should be in charge of taking action (or not) rather than the governor, and the power struggle is leaving local health departments scared for their resources, and guessing what’s next.