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An Up North baptism

September 30, 2010 - Bill Speer
If you've grown up outside Northern Michigan then you could suffer culture shock if suddenly you were to find yourself living here with no idea of the region's special and unique lifestyle.

That's why when I interview people living outside of our area that I go to great lengths to explain to them just how special our communities are, yet how challenging they can be if one isn't prepared for a new cultural experience and philosophical perspective.

Recently one of our reporters - Erika Fifelski - experienced what I refer to as an Up North baptism. A graduate of Michigan State University, Erika grew up downstate. She is one of our newest reporters and her enthusiasm, energy and outlook is contagious among our staff. She is a gem in her own right, and I love her to death. She is a great addition to our staff.

As readers will understand an Up North autumn means many things. In addition to apples, pumpkins and colorful leaves, perhaps more importantly to some it ushers in a whole new season of hunting opportunities. One of those this time of year is bear.

Hunters enjoy, and are encouraged to do so, bring their successful hunts by the newspaper office to share them with newspaper readers. Depending on the season, a steady stream of turkey, bear, deer and elk usually make their way to the office each fall. The reporter upstairs at the time the hunter arrives gets the duty of heading outside and capturing the hunter and trophy together for publication later in The News.

Recently Erika got her first shot (pardon the pun) at this duty and headed outside where a pickup was parked with two bear. "Oh my," Erika said as she turned the corner and caught her first glimpse of the bear. "I've never seen a bear before ... other than a zoo."

Welcome to Michigan Up North Erika.


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