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Local News

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 ...

Policing Whitmer’s orders? ‘Nonsense’

ALPENA — Rumors of police pulling over residents to challenge their right to be out of their homes have been swirling since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shut down all but essential business in mid-March to promote “social distancing,” Alpena Police Chief Joel Jett said Tuesday. “That’s ...

Defense in sex assault case: Old evidence should’ve been kept

ALPENA — The value of destroyed evidence was debated Tuesday in Alpena’s 88th District Court at a hearing for Todd Agar, of Ossineke. Agar, accused of sexually assaulting three women when they were between the ages of 6 and 14, appeared in the courtroom via a videoconferencing system from ...

Unemployment spike makes for frustrating claims process

ALPENA — New unemployment filings by the thousands have tied up phone lines and slowed Web pages as businesses continue to close their doors and lay off workers as they heed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to limit commerce to essential businesses to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. ...

APS releases educational resources

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools on Monday released a list of free online resources for students and parents during the state-mandated school closure. Students in grades K-12 now have access to numerous links to help students learn a range of subjects, from math and science to health and ...

In PI County first, man sentenced over computer screens

ROGERS CITY — Faces on a screen weighed in on the future of a Millersburg man Monday as the 53rd Circuit Court went digital. A sentencing hearing for Donald Ivey, 54, who pleaded guilty to delivering cocaine, was held via the videoconferencing software Zoom, a first for Presque Isle ...

Pool, arena, jail project shut down by virus

ALPENA — Private businesses aren’t the only ones forced to close, causing uncertainty for their owners, amid a statewide shutdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The ceasing of operations at the Alpena County-owned Plaza Pool and Northern Lights Arena could lead to financial ...

Addicts, for whom groups are a lifeline, struggle amid the virus shutdown

ALPENA — What do you do when a virus keeps you apart but being together is what saves your life? As businesses close, events are canceled, and people stay far from one another to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, those who battle addictions are facing the loss of the support ...

Porch party brings neighbors together

ALPENA — Inspired by videos of people singing from their balconies in other countries, Deb Ludwiczak took to her porch Sunday in an effort to cheer up her neighbors and motorists passing by. The 72 year-old Alpena resident, who has stayed at home for the last 12 days, had the idea after ...

Jail inmates released to reduce virus risk

ALPENA — Inmates are being released from jails around the state as the coronavirus threatens the safety of people who can’t stay away from one another. The Michigan Supreme Court Thursday asked county sheriffs to use aggressive measures to reduce jail populations as much as possible ...

House fire early Saturday morning leaves no injuries

No one was injured but two cats died in a house fire early Saturday morning on Clinton Street. Firefighters with the Alpena Fire Department were dispatched at 2:45 a.m. and arrived to find the back of the home heavily involved in fire, according to an email from Fire Chief Bill ...