Public Service Commission (MPSC) has approved a rate
increase for Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO).
Overall, the company's retail base rates will increase
approximately 7.0% beginning January 1, 2010.
While the net effect of the rate increase on
customers will vary by rate classification, the average
residential customer in UPPCO's Integrated System using
500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month will see an
increase of approximately $7.33 per month. An average
residential customer in UPPCO's Iron River System using
500 kilowatt-hours a month will see an increase of
approximately $8.42. The effect on business customers
will vary by usage and rate classification.
Increased business costs are the primary reasons for
the increase, including:
Hydroelectric facility upgrades
Cost of capital
Low sales growth
UPPCO also received approval to recoup 80% of bad
debt charges that exceed those already included in
customer rates. The company agreed to return 80% of any
unused bad debt expenses, as well.
In addition, the Monthly Customer Charge that was
included on electric bills will now be a Daily Customer
Charge, which will help UPPCO more accurately bill
customers for a partial month of service.
"It's been three years since our last base rate
increase," said Keith Moyle, UPPCO Vice President &
General Manager. "We know that our customers are already
stressed by the poor economy, so we did what we could to
control costs internally. Despite our efforts, our
previous rates did not reflect today's costs to provide
retail electric service."
UPPCO customers will learn more about the proposed
rates in their January bills and online at
Helping You Manage Energy Use and Costs Controlling
your use is one way to lower electric bills, and UPPCO
has suggestions on its Web site that may help. Visit
Saving Energy at
www.uppco.com for tools and information to help you
understand your electric usage and find ways to manage
UPPCO also offers a Budget Billing payment plan that
helps keep electric bills manageable all year by
dividing your bill into 12 equal payments. You can
enroll in Budget Billing online at
www.uppco.com or by calling 800-562-7680.
Strengthens Role in Finnish and Finnish-American Scholarship
Finlandia University has
strengthened its intellectual role in Finnish America by
becoming the host university for the Journal of Finnish Studies.
The first issue of the Journal generated at Finlandia
University, Vol. 13, No. 1, is now in print.
HANCOCK, MI – December 17,
"The Journal of Finnish Studies has been roundly welcomed
by Finlandia University," said Finlandia Paloheimo Scholar Beth
Virtanen. "The move of the Journal to Finlandia reflects
Finlandia’s central role in Finnish studies scholarship in North
The journal’s transition to Finlandia was supported by a
grant from Finlandia Foundation National.
The latest Journal contains ten peer-reviewed articles by
Finnish and American scholars. The articles, of two types,
examine contemporary literary studies as well as scholarly
papers presented at the summer 2009 conference, "Finnish-
American Immigrants in Transition," hosted by the Institute of
Migration at the University of Turku.
The Recall Vigilantes of
Ironwood Township have filed their financial disclosure forms in
accordance with Michigan’s Campaign Laws. The group that called
themselves "Township Citizens for Change" didn’t change much
except to their reputation and their member’s checking account
There were little surprises in the filing either. Everyone
knew that the group was spending a lot of money to garner the
few votes that they would receive, and they thought correctly.
The Simmons fiasco cost his seven friends and himself $4769.
Monday evening the Township
Board of Trustees passed the 2010 fiscal budget. We hope you
didn’t read the Globe and show up on Tuesday night. Strangely
enough the Globe was in such a hurry to put the Budget in their
headlines, that they forgot what day the budge meeting actually
was (or wasn’t).
Now how do you suppose the Globe got it wrong? After all the
Township paid $300 bucks to the Globe to advertise the meeting
correctly. Of course this is the same newspaper that still has
Ice Skating at The Colonial listed on it’s calendar.
In any event, the good citizens of Ironwood Township should
be very pleased with the new budget. Large, very large
reductions were managed through restructuring the employee’s
health care coverage. Other savings were derived at holding back
on several salary increases.
The only significant increase in either the expected revenues
or the expected expenditures was in the Fire Department account.
Last November the voters approved a millage increase for the
purpose of purchasing a new(er) addition to their fire fighting
equipment. The exact pricing for the truck is yet to be
confirmed nor the means of financing the truck.
The Board of Trustees have been receiving "A"’s on the
Township Financial Audits and continue to maintain an affordable
and balanced budget for the Township Taxpayers, unlike their
city counterparts at the City of Ironwood, which is the most
heavily taxed municipality in the Upper Peninsula.
December GCC Board of Trustees
Ironwood - December 16, 2009
Graham, Director of Admissions and Public Information
The Gogebic Community College Board of Trustees met in regular
session last night. In a brief agenda, the Board approved a new
fee for off campus students. All off campus students will be
assessed $50 per person per semester to support additional
In other action, the on- and off-campus adjunct faculty for the
Spring 2010 semester was approved. Also, the Board approved
initiating the search for the full time position of the Director
of Institutional Development. This position becomes vacant at
the end of December with the resignation of Carrie Miljevich.
President Jim Lorenson reported that the fall semester classes
were completed last Friday, final exam week is currently
underway, and that the campus offices will be closed starting
December 24 through January 3. Mt. Zion opens for the season
this Saturday, December 19, and the Lindquist Student Center
will be open for various hours which will be posted on the
December 10, 2009
On Sunday, December 6, at 2:00 p.m., the Finlandia University
Finnish American Heritage Center hosted its 92nd
annual Finnish Independence Day program. The program celebrates the anniversary of the date Finland
gained its independence in 1917.
Tonight was a typical night at Ironwood’s Council Chambers. Perhaps,
there were no more illegal council meetings, but then again perhaps
there was. This time the city council attempted to hide their sneaky
ways by having a "Closed Session" at the end of the night’s circus.
above - video of former Councilwoman, Suzanne Toth, explaining how
Ironwood City Council violated the City Charter. The Council then
violated the Open Meetings Act to discuss the Charter violation. The
councilhas been avoiding the subject ever since.
Junior High Quiz Teams
Move On To Finals
By Lori Hendges
LL Wright High School was, once again, the host site
for our local Junior High Quiz Bowl Competition held
on Monday, November 23rd. Bessemer’s junior high
team, coached by Lori Hendges, took first place and
Wakefield-Marenisco’s team, coached by Dan
Obradovich, placed 2nd. Placing 1st or 2nd allowed
these teams to move on to the UP Finals held at
Bark-River Harris Schools on Saturday, December 5th,
where both teams placed third in their respective
brackets. All the students represented their schools
and communities well and a good time was had by all.
above - Bessemer Jr High Quiz Bowl Team at
Regonals - October 29th. held at Gogebic Community
College - IronwoodInfo File Photo
Opens at Finlandia!
Hancock - December 9, 2009
For the first time in several years the
Gallery at Finlandia University is hosting a sculpture exhibit. The
exhibit is the latest of the terrific art brought to the Western U.P. By
The exhibit showcases the fantastic work of prominent sculptor Bruce
Niemi, an extremely accomplished artist from Kenosha Wisconsin. To say
that this exhibit is exciting would be a gross understatement. The most
often heard word at last Thursday’s opening was "WOW" . A word used by
both the young students and the more senior aficionados attending the
Black Bear Bowling
White Pine - December 2,
There is a new leader
in the Wednesday Night
Women's League. The
Peninsula Graphic team won
all four of its games
against the Porkies team and
moved into first place.
Simmone Zatirka had a
great night for the PGs,
bowling a scratch game of
180, and a 433 scratch
series. The S&S team which
had been in first place for
several weeks fell to second
place after losing three out
of four games last night.
As a result of the four
losses to the PGs, the
Porkies Team slipped from
fourth place into fifth
The big winner last night
was the Bowling For the Cure
Fund. The ladies have saved
$900 this year as a result
of their weekly 50/50
bowling raffle. It may be
too early to speculate but
the Ladies think that $3000
miy be raised for this
Pictured above the
members of the Flower Garden
In the Men's Monday
Night League, Pestka
Construction had the high
scratch game at 841, the
high scratch Series of 2242
and the high handicap game,
937. But, it wasn't enough
to stay in the top spot.
White Pine Electric Power
won there series and moved
into first place for the
first time this season.
Headquarters Ready to Go
Ironwood - December 10th, 2009
memorial building in Ironwood will serve as this
year's headquarters for Santa. The event will again
provide presents for 500 of the area's children.
Each child will receive hats, mittens and blankets.
They will also receive one major toy and two or
three stocking stuffers. The children's family will
also receive a $20. food certificate. The major
sponsors of the event are the Kawanis Club and St.
Vinnies. According to volunteer, Jim Mildren this is
a community wide event with all churches
participating. Jim also told us of one gentleman who
came and donated 5 twenty dollar bills. It takes all
year to bring the event to fruition.
When we visited the Memorial Building Auditorium
we found Jim and co volunteer Garson Ross. They told
us that a third volunteer, Pat Niksich was out out
for a while. Monday, the kids from A.D. Johnson and
the ROTC were on hand to help get things ready for
today. The doors to Santa's Headquarters open at