The Iron Mountain post of the Michigan State Police has received two awards for its 2013 traffic safety initiative of increasing seat belt usage in Dickinson and Iron counties.
Awards included the Governor's Traffic Safety Advisory Commission's outstanding traffic safety achievement award and the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police's award for excellence in traffic safety.
F/Lt. Christine Grabowski, commander of the Iron Mountain post, said that each post had to do a traffic safety initiative, and the Iron Mountain post chose to focus on seat belts.
As a result of local troopers' efforts, seat belt usage in Dickinson and Iron counties increased from 70 percent to above 90 percent. Injury crashes declined by about 30 percent.
Congratulations to Florence, Wis. Pat's Foods will be moving into the old Haberkorn's grocery store building on the west end of downtown Florence. Haberkorn's closed about seven years ago.
To make this possible, Florence County won a Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) grant, and received approval for tax increment financing (TIF) district.
The grocery store building, which is expected to open next month, will also contain an Ace Hardware store, and the Subway will remain in the building.
"The addition of this anchor grocery/hardware retail business in downtown Florence is a big benefit for our residents to shop locally and our visitors to have access to supplies for their cabins and camping stays," said Florence County Economic Development Director Wendy Gehlhoff.
The four-month period from December through March was easily the coldest on record at Iron Mountain-Kingsford, said Kevin Crupi, National Weather Service meteorologist at Marquette. Temperatures averaged 9.8 degrees over that span, which was 9.9 degrees below normal, Crupi said.
It was also the coldest March on record at Munising, Manistique, Ontonagon and the National Weather Service station in Negaunee Township.
Worse yet, the outlook for May is "a greater than climatological chance" of below normal temperatures across the Upper Peninsula, Crupi said.
Let's hear it for the increased interest in local elections.
All five members of the Dickinson County Board of Commissioners are seeking re-election. In years past, they faced no opposition.
This time, there are three challengers.
In the state House, State Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, is seeking his three straight term to represent Dickinson, Delta and Menominee counties.
This year, he's being challenged by Democrats Grant Carlson of Norway and Justin Zirkle of Rapid River.
Competition makes for better lawmakers, and increased voter interest.