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Local News

Schools scramble, students mourn after Whitmer cancels school year

ALPENA — Northeast Michigan school officials will work over the next two weeks to develop a plan for how students will learn and seniors will graduate after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday closed schools for the rest of the academic year. To help slow the spread of the coronavirus, ...

Alpena joins the ‘arsenal of health care’

ALPENA — If you can’t buy it, you can make it. Steve Tezak, at the headquarters of the STARBASE Alpena program at Alpena’s Combat Readiness Training Center on Thursday, explained how he used a rubber band, a three-hole punch, and a few zip ties — together with a couple of fancy pieces ...

Pandemic impact on airport ‘devastating’

ALPENA — Devastating. That is the word Alpena County Regional Airport Manager Steve Smigelski used to describe the decline in travelers the airport has seen since the spread of COVID-19 forced a near-halt to international and domestic travel. Quarantines, the shutdown of businesses, job ...

Groups aim to bring fish back to Trout River Dam

ROGERS CITY — The Presque Isle Conservation District plans to restore fish and wildlife habitat at the Trout River Dam in Rogers Township. Conservation District staff are seeking funding to modify the existing structure at the dam and replace it with a stop log-style barrier. The stop ...

Alpena gets back on the water

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Bill Moon launches his pontoon at the Alpena harbor on Thursday after the city put the docks at the boat ramp in for the season. Several boats were also out on Thunder Bay, fishing or going for joyrides.

News wins 4 Michigan AP awards

ALPENA — The Michigan Associated Press contest winners were announced Thursday and the entire editorial staff of The Alpena News won a first-place award in the Enterprise Reporting for their series, “Caring for Northeast Michigan.” All News reporters contributed to that series exploring ...

Gilchrist: Rural areas won’t be spared, but there is help

ALPENA — Much has been made of the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan’s southern counties, but state officials want people in more remote areas of the state to know their needs are being addressed, as well. As of Wednesday afternoon, Alpena, Presque Isle, Montmorency, and Alcona counties were ...

BREAKING: Schools closed for rest of school year

ALPENA — All K-12 school buildings will be closed for the remainder of the school year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today after signing Executive Order 2020-35. Schools will remain closed unless restrictions are lifted. The order ensures students will continue learning through remote ...

Alpena staffers win 4 awards in Michigan AP contest

The Michigan Associated Press contest winners were announced today and the entire editorial staff of The Alpena News won a first place award in enterprise reporting for their series on "Caring for Northeast Michigan." In addition, news staffer Julie Goldberg won a first place award in ...

Unclear if sick Alcona deputy was tested for COVID-19

ALCONA — Alcona County Sheriff Scott Stephenson on Wednesday notified the county Board of Commissioners an employee came to work sick last week and may have exposed staff to “whatever he had.” Stephenson refused to provide any further information about the employee “out of concern for ...

FEMA grant to help recruit, retain firefighters

ALPENA — A good firefighter is hard to find. That’s why the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded more than a quarter-million dollars to the Northern Michigan Fire Chiefs Association to help recruit and retain people to fight fires in rural northern Michigan. The money will be ...

March was warmer, wetter than usual

ALPENA — March brought Northeast Michigan warmer and wetter weather than usual. The average temperature for the month was 32.8 degrees, 4.1 degrees above normal, according to Andy Sullivan, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord. Sullivan said it was “a pretty warm ...

Alpena Police Department seeks info on break-in

An Alpena garage was burgled recently, the Alpena Police Department said, the thief making off with two Yamaha dirt bikes dating from the late-1970s to early 80s. The public’s help is needed in finding the blue-and-white bikes. The bikes were taken from a garage on Washington Avenue, ...

Alpena hospital readies for virus patient surge

ALPENA — As COVID-19 sweeps through the state, leading to 75 more deaths and over 1,000 new cases reported on Tuesday, communities wonder if their hospitals are ready for the possibility of a stream of patients requiring lifesaving care in an unprecedented time. In Alpena, we’re ready — ...

BREAKING: Carmeuse employee test result is negative

The coronavirus test results came back negative today for the employee at Carmeuse Lime and Stone's operation in Rogers City, company spokesman Kevin Whyte said in an email. The employee and one other plant employee worked alongside a contractor that was previously on site at the Presque ...

Health Department asks returning snowbirds to self-quarantine

ALPENA — Public Health officials in northern Michigan are asking snowbirds and travelers from Southeast Michigan to self-quarantine for 14 days if they head north to seek shelter in their cabins and cottages. Denise Bryan, administrative health officer of District Health Department Nos. 2 ...

Virus shutdown delays major projects

ALPENA – Many construction projects in the region have been suspended under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s March 23 executive order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. The executive order ceasing all but essential businesses allows some construction projects to continue, such as ...

Firefighters respond to false alarms

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz The Alpena Fire Department responded to a report of smoke in the basement of a home on Merchant Street on Tuesday afternoon, but no fire was found. A few hours earlier, firefighters responded to a call of a structure fire on Washington Avenue, but there was also ...

Alpena base possible COVID-19 overflow site

ALPENA — Alpena County is examining whether the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center could be used as an overflow site should MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena be overrun with COVID-19 patients, county commissioners learned on Tuesday. County Emergency Services Coordinator Mark Hall told ...