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Ship carrying iron runs aground in Lake Michigan

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MARINETTE, Wis. (AP) -- A freighter with a cargo of pig iron ran aground Monday in Lake Michigan's Green Bay, Coast Guard officials said.

The accident happened at 6:55 a.m. about a half mile east-northeast of the Menominee River in about 21 feet of water near the Michigan-Wisconsin border, Coast Guard Commander Mark Hamilton said.

No one was injured and there was no reported pollution.

Hamilton said Monday evening that officials were investigating whether there was damage to the vessel and if it could be refloated.   more...

 



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Bridge plaza should move to township

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 It's not surprising that traffic and security concerns are delaying state plans to expand the Blue Water Bridge plaza. Those issues figured significantly in the plaza's current problems.

Truck traffic in particular often results in long tie-ups near the bridge. The necessity of thorough inspections often clogs the plaza and beyond with trucks awaiting release.

Michigan Department of Transportation officials are facing the fact that the plaza was poorly designed to accommodate the increased traffic the bridge's second span was built to address. Worse, the new plaza, finished in November 1996, was a year late and more than $10 million over its original $41.1 million budget.

That said, MDOT officials are right to try to fix the problem. Doing so, however, raises a new set of obstacles.    more...

 



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New commander to oversee era of change at Group Sault

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SAULT STE. MARIE - With several changes in the wind at Group Sault, new commander Capt. Quain Kahler broke some new ground, starting with his office.

Out of the executive office went the desk chair, and the 44-year-old group commander said he likes it that way. Without the chair, he said, he won't be tempted to sit down in his new command. "I'd get rid of the desk too ..." he said.

Instead, Kahler works standing at an easel-like desk that resembles an old-time chart table behind the cleared wooden Group commander's desk at Base Sault.

When the re-organization is completed, he said the Cleveland-based Ninth District will be composed of four "sectors" with Group Sault becoming one of those sectors. He said a certain amount of uncertainty remains about the final make-up of the sectors. but said they will likely include Buffalo, Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie the way matters stand now.   more...

 



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Funds fall short for dunes purchase

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GLEN ARBOR -- Federal officials failed to come through with all the money they pledged to close a deal to make 104 acres along the Crystal River part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

An appropriations bill approved by Congress this month earmarked $1.5 million for the Crystal River project, not the $2 million that members of Michigan's delegation had said was forthcoming.

The $388 billion measure was gutted by roughly $100 million in across-the-board, last-minute cuts that surprised U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, said spokesman Sage Eastman. more...

 



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Sail of the Century

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It had hardly seen the light of day since 1805, but when the top foresail from Admiral Lord Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory was pulled from its sail bag and shown at the International Festival of the Sea at Portsmouth, UK, in 1998, it proved to be one of the highlights of the event. Now conservation work has been completed by the Society of Nautical Research and the Textiles Conservation Centre, with the help of a GBP5000 donation from Pusser’s, and the sail will once again be on display to the public next year as part of the bicentennial celebrations of the Battle of Trafalgar.


The sail, which is now known as the HMS Victory Trafalgar Sail, was packed away after the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 complete with some 90 holes from cannon and musket shot, and left largely untouched for nearly 200 years. Measuring 80 feet at its base, 54 feet at its head, and 54 feet deep, the sail covers an area of 3,618 square feet; it has never been hoisted since Trafalgar. It is thought to be the only surviving sail of the battle, and therefore not only holds clues as the methods of sailmaking 200 years ago, but is also of huge historical importance.
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Disputes over wetlands continue

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— (11/29/04)--It's a right that all Americans have: the right to own property.

Once we own land, local laws and zoning ordinances limit us in what we can do with the land. In Michigan, some landowners are fighting the government over property rights.

At issue is the protection of wetlands. The state government says it's protecting one of our greatest resources. Some landowners say one government agency is out of control.

Terry Camp had more.

Bay County is one area in particular. Right now there are three cases there involving wetlands violations. One resulted in a conviction, one may soon go to court, and another is in a legal quagmire.   more...

 



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Ship is targeted to be a museum

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ImageA group seeking to keep the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw in the city as a museum has nearly completed its incorporation as a nonprofit and gained support of local officials.

The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Inc. organization now hopes to begin raising money for the project.

The committee, which began work last summer, has garnered support from key civic and government groups.

Its goal is to convert the giant icebreaker to a maritime museum and bed-and-breakfast after it is decommissioned in 2006.

The group hopes to move it to an onshore location just east of Gordon Turner Park in the Joseph F. Doyle Recreation Area. The site is owned by the city.    more...

 



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Maligned body of water reborn

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HAMILTON—Vic Haynes and his two sons sit on the pier, with their fishing lines in the surprisingly clear and inviting waters of Hamilton Harbour. Suddenly, Haynes feels a tug on the line. He fights it for a bit and then methodically reels in his catch. It's a six-inch-long spotted goby.

He pulls the ugly, wide-mouthed little fish off the hook and throws it over his shoulder. It lands on a foot-high pile of the rubbery, cigar-shaped bottom-feeders. Some are still flipping around, but most are dead. There are so many of them that the usually voracious ring-billed gulls can't eat them all.

"The government says that if you catch them, you can't throw them back — bad for the native fish," Haynes says of the intrusive gobies, invaders from the far-off Caspian Sea who stowed away in the bilge water of ocean-going freighters. "But at least there are fish here now. When I was a boy, you'd never even think of fishing in the bay; the only thing you'd catch would be a disease."   more...

 



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Sunken Rouse Simmons attracting new interest

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MUSKEGON, Mich (AP) -- It's been 92 years this month since the Rouse Simmons, loaded with more than 5,000 Christmas trees, sank in a raging winter storm on Lake Michigan, but the legacy of what's known as the Christmas Tree Ship continues.

The location of the ship's wreckage was unknown until 1971, when a diver found it near Two Rivers, Wis. Now the ship is being remembered in plays, a cable television documentary and limited edition prints this year.

For years after the sinking, sailors reported seeing a ghostly image of the 153-foot schooner in the moonlight -- its sails in tatters, Christmas trees glistening on the deck. The sightings have faded with time, but interest in the ship remains strong.   more...

 



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Ludington Festival of Lights

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Hi just wanted to let everyone know that the festival of lights is in Ludington and it is awesome!  All we need is some snow to make it complete.  It is 7.00 dollars a car load and it takes about 15-20 minutes to drive thru.  It runs from now until January 2nd.  Tell all!
Thanks
 
Molly McCarthy


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IN THE WAKE OF THE HURRICANES

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The intense storm year of 2004 isn't over yet. Japan is still picking up from Typhoon Tokage, which ripped across that island nation in late October, causing the worst storm death toll in Japan since 1988. Tokage (the word means lizard) was the eighth typhoon to hit Japan in 2004. The previous record, set in 1990, was six.

Three typhoons hit Japan in October alone, a drubbing not unlike the beating suffered earlier in Florida, and the damage has been horrific.
 
As early as last spring, hurricane specialists predicted a heavy storm season, but even they were caught off guard by the volume. "Underestimated" is a word that keeps popping up in meteorological discussions.

The Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University revised its forecast of intense hurricane days from 8 to 23 and noted, "The hurricane season has been one of the most active seasons on record since 1950, with [through September only] 220 percent of the full-season average."   more...
 


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Dirty Dogs 50% OFF!

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Dirty Dog

The crew at Dirty Dog is supporting your Holiday Shopping with a 50% off Exclusive Deal to SA readers only!! Give Dirty Dogs for the Holidays! Upon checkout at DD, enter promo code SA101 and you'll get 50% off your purchase price. This special is only good until 11/30 and is good for all non sale items at dirtydog.com...Guaranteed Delivery by 12/15!!

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U.S. Coast Guard in Schoolhouse Bay

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Shortly before going to bed last night, I was surprised to see four bright orange lights out on the water in Schoolhouse Bay. All that I could see was that it was a big ship, but it was impossible to see what kind of ship.

 

Well, it was still there this morning, and turned out to be the U.S. Coast Guard ship that comes by every fall to take out all the big channel buoys in the lake. With my binoculars, I could even see one of the big green can buoys on board. It's visible in 2nd and 4th pictures to the left of the crane. The boat stayed the night and left right around sunrise. The first morning stop today was the East Point (Lucy's Point) buoy.   more...

 



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Tanker spill creates 20-mile slick in Delaware River

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PHILADELPHIA -- A tanker spilled 30,000 gallons of crude oil into the Delaware River between Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, creating a 20-mile-long slick that killed dozens of birds and threatened other wildlife, federal officials said Saturday.

Private contractors were called in to skim oil from the surface of the water and place thousands of feet of boom to contain the floating slick.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials said 50 birds were dead from the spill, 300 others were affected and fish also were threatened. A stretch of the busy river was closed to commercial and recreational traffic while the spill was being cleaned up.   more...

 



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The Great Loop: A boat trip for the holiday

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Instead of driving or flying to see their Georgia relatives for the Thanksgiving holiday, Bill and Karen Hasselbach of Arizona decided to travel by boat.

The retired couple’s stay in Decatur County to celebrate Thanksgiving with Karen’s family is part of a long boat trip that began in August of this year. Their 38-foot trawler will literally be their home for the rest of this year and almost all of next year as they complete a trip that began and will end in North America’s Great Lakes.

For the holiday, they met up with Karen’s brother, John Holden Jr. of Bainbridge, and his wife, Gabrielle. Also visiting with the Hasselbachs for the holiday are Karen’s parents, John Holden Sr. and Maxine.

The couple, who have enjoyed boating all their lives, said their trip was sparked by a friend’s tales of boat trips and a book they bought at a book show titled Honey, Let’s Get A Boat.  more...


 



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