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Local News

Sand Sculpture Contest canceled

Another summer favorite is being canceled next month: The Alpena News’ Fourth of July Sand Sculpture Contest. Unlike other events canceled because of COVID-19 concerns, this one is being called off because there is not enough beach left at Starlite Beach to hold the event. Lake Huron’s ...

Hot, dry weather boosts fire danger

Weather across Michigan has been great in recent days — mostly warm, sunny and dry. But that means a higher risk of wildfires. Most areas in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula currently are at elevated fire risk, and that is expected to continue through the weekend. ...

Body of teen found near Atlanta

ATLANTA -- The search for a missing boy in Montmorency County that lasted most of the day, ended in tragedy as the boy’s body was discovered. Alpena County Sheriff Steve Kieliszewski confirmed today the remains of Charles Cordes, 15, were discovered by a search-and-rescue dog in or near ...

‘Growth lab’ at old Kmart busy

ALPENA — When the company I2P renovated the former Kmart building in Alpena, it hoped to help companies turn ideas into realities and to help expand other businesses in its economic growth lab. Today, several companies work in the old big-box building. One of them is thriving by producing ...

Just in time: Pre-summer reopening a relief for many small businesses

The timing of states reopening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic was just soon enough that many businesses did not have to shut down for good. Even so, small business owners remain very cautious as they open doors to be sure to try and avoid a second shutdown. We spoke with business owners ...

ACC cadets schooled in defensive tactics

ALPENA — On a rectangle of mats in the center of a gymnasium, 20 T-shirted officers stood around an instructor, nodding as he demonstrated how to keep someone from killing them. The four-week Local Corrections Officer Academy, in session at Alpena Community College this month, provides ...

High Lake Huron closes Tawas park

HARRISVILLE —State officials are recommending Michiganders try out Harrisville State Park after record-high water on Lake Huron forced the closure of the lone road into nearby Tawas Point State Park. Tawas Point, in Iosco County, “has experienced unprecedented water levels, erosion, and ...

Records: Avery secretly filmed girls changing

ALPENA — Bradley Avery, sentenced last year for stealing more than $16,000 while treasurer of the Alpena County Fair Board, videotaped minor girls without their knowledge as they were participating in the annual Alpena County Fair Queen Pageant, police say. Arrested on child pornography ...

Businesses benefit from at-home projects

It’s Vinnie Lavorgna’s third year running his Premier Power Cleaning and Landscaping business in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He hadn’t expected a pandemic or the 75 percent increase in business he’d received in the last few months because of it. “It’s a lot because we’re a small ...

Death threats protected by First Amendment, attorney says

ALPENA -- A 26th Circuit Court judge will weigh whether death threats should keep a man in jail if they’re considered free speech. A judge set a $150,000 bond when David Frey said was arrested on a terrorism charge for allegedly threatening to kill someone, among other charges. But the ...

Camping comeback expected amid COVID-19 slowdown

ALPENA — Campgrounds around the state have recently opened or are on the verge of doing so, and demand is high. Campgrounds in Alpena, which opened to the public on June 6, are seeing high booking and occupancy rates, owners said. Campgrounds owned by the state open June 22, and high ...

ReStore rubble hauled away

News Photo by Julie Riddle A machine operator supervises work at the site of the former Habitat for Humanity ReStore and consignment shop site on Chisholm Street as debris from the November fire that destroyed the building is scooped into metal bins on Wednesday afternoon.

Alpena DDA adds to All In giving

ALPENA — The Alpena Downtown Development Authority will add a 50% match to grants given to downtown businesses by the All In for Alpena program. All In for Alpena, a cooperative of area nonprofits aiming to help businesses hurt by coronavirus-related shutdowns, announced last week it had ...

Virus takes financial toll on health agency

ALPENA — The coronavirus pandemic has hurt District Health Department No. 4’s budget, administrators said Tuesday. The Health Department had used $91,238 from its cash savings as of the end of April as department staffers worked overtime responding to the pandemic, Deputy Health Officer ...

Officials: City needs new water wells

ALPENA — City officials are pursuing a federal grant of between $4 million and $6 million to replace a pair of aging clear wells at the city water treatment plant. The money is being sought from the Defense Communities Infrastructure Program through the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of ...

No-appointment coronavirus testing offered Friday

Free coronavirus testing will be offered in Alpena on Friday, thanks to the Michigan National Guard and District Health Department No. 4. The free, drive-thru testing will be available 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Besser Elementary School and is open to all Michigan residents. No appointment is ...

No arrests yet after neighborhood vandalized with ‘BLM’ graffiti

ALPENA -- Police are searching for suspects after graffiti touting the Black Lives Matter movement was spray-painted around an Alpena neighborhood early Tuesday morning. The letters “BLM” were painted multiple times on the east side of Ella White Elementary School and on a school dumpster ...

Northeast Michigan schools plan for kids’ return

ALPENA -- Local school leaders are working behind the scenes to ensure students can return to the classroom safely after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced in-person learning would return in the fall. More details of the requirements, guidelines, and recommendations for safe schooling are ...

Alpena man gets 10 years in drug death

ALPENA — James Hayes, of Alpena, will spend at least 10 years in prison after a woman died because of drugs he gave her. Hayes said he didn’t remember what happened the night in April 2018 when April Brown, of Alpena, died after taking the fentanyl-laced heroin he gave her and another ...

Firefighters save boy from swing

News Photo by Julie Riddle Paramedics from the Alpena Fire Department come to the rescue of a little boy who was trapped in a swing at Kiwanis Kiddie Park in Alpena on Tuesday afternoon. The boy was tearful as he was loaded into the arms of a loving caretaker, but a ride to the hospital in ...