For Immediate Release


Downtown Sault Ste. Marie to host  Main Street visioning and strategy meeting on Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Sault Ste. Marie, MI, April 17th, 2017:  The Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority was recently accepted as a “Select Level” member of the Michigan Main Street Center, a State program focused on assisting communities revitalize their downtowns by utilizing a “four-point approach” to downtown development. 

The Michigan Main Street Center, as well as the National Main Street Center, will be in downtown Sault Ste. Marie this Thursday, April 20th, for two days of meetings with various stake holder groups, including a public visioning and strategy session.

The visioning and strategy session is open to everyone in the community that wants to see downtown Sault Ste. Marie improve.  The session will take place at the Ramada Ojibway Plaza Hotel located at 240 W. Portage Avenue. 

The visioning and strategy will take place from 6pm-8pm, and will feature a review of more than 600 community surveys collected over the past month.  Community residents, downtown business owners, and area organizations are all encouraged to attend and take part in the discussion.

For more information or to RSVP (not required but encouraged), please email or call the DDA at 906-635-6973.

Justin Knepper, Downtown Manager

Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority

(906) 635-6973 

City of Sault Ste. Marie and LSSU Team Up On Courtesy Bike Program

LIKE THESE BIKES — Lake Superior State University and Sault Ste. Marie’s Downtown Development Authority are teaming up to offer bikes for free day use by anyone 18 or older through what’s being called the Soo Cruiser program. Look for Laker blue and yellow-colored bikes — named after Great Lakes freighters — in racks in front of Harmony Health Foods (217 Ashmun St.) and LSSU’s Regional Outdoor Center (ROC), located kitty-corner from the Shouldice library and next door to the Considine Hall construction site. Bikes will also be available on racks around town and campus, and returnable to Harmony or the ROC. Pictured left to right are LSSU president Tom Pleger, Sault city manager Oliver Turner, Sault police chief John Riley, Laker mascot Seamore the Sea Duck, Sault commissioner Kathleen Twardy, LSSU special assistant and city commissioner Jay Gage, and LSSU ROC manager Paul Tumey. The bikes are donated by the Sault Ste. Marie police department and will be maintained by the LSSU ROC. The program is also accepting donation of functioning bikes. For more information, contact Paul Tumey at or Jay Gage at (LSSU/John Shibley)

Cloverland Electric Call to Action

Time to make your voice heard! Cloverland Electric needs your help in doing everything we can to get this recent FERC decision reconsidered. The effect of this will devastate the entire Upper Peninsula. The average residential electric bill could jump $30 a month. Commercial accounts could jump $500 a month. Large industrial accounts could be forced to close. Please act now or this will be implemented January 2015. Provided are sample letters and address information to email, fax, call, or mail to John R. Bear, President and CEO of Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) also our Michigan Senators and Congressman.

To get started please access the Word document sample letters below; there are two sample letter for each representative along with a letter to Cliffs National Resources, Inc., who is the owner of the mines. Please know that you are able to change the letters to meet your personal feelings, needs, and/or thoughts. The first person we want to flood with responses would be John R. Bear of Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

We have added state contacts to the list and also a complete list of contacts with all of their information. In the list are two petitions forms and a signature sheet. Please print each of the petition forms and two of the signature sheets attaching a signature sheet to each letter. Collect as many signature from Cloverland Electric customers as you can and then drop off or mail the sheets to: The Sault CVB 1808 Ashmun Street, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783. Any questions please contact us here at the Sault CVB 906-632-3366 or email.

John R. Bear MISO
Petition For MISO
Petition For Elected Officials
Senator Stabenow Marquette MI
Senator Stabenow Washington DC
Congressman Benishek Marquette MI
Congressman Benishek Washington DC
Senator Levin Escanaba MI
Representative Wayne Schmidt Lansing MI
Representative Ed McBroom Lansing MI
Representative Lee Chatfield Levering MI
Representative Frank Foster
Senator Tom Casperson
Senator Howard Walker
Governor Rick Snyder
List of All Contacts
Cliffs Natural Resources Sample Letter.docx

Possible Economic Impact on Cloverland Electric Members Residential and Commercial

Possible Economic Impact on Cloverland Electric Residential Members

Make Your Voice Heard Please All Three Releases and Write Your Letters

2008 – Michigan legislature amends “Customer Choice and Electric Reliability Act”
 Limits industrial load shift, exempted Tilden and Empire mines
Summer, 2013 – Mine owner changed to Integrys Energy Services
Summer, 2013 – WEPCO loses 80 percent electric load
August, 2013 – WEPCO announces plant to close
October, 2013 – MISO says PIPP has to stay open for reliability
February, 2014 – MISO agrees to pay $52 Million to WEPCO
April, 2014 – PSCW files complaint to FERC saying split unfair
July, 2014 – FERC agrees with PSCW
    Cloverland would pay 22.5 percent
August, 2014 – Cloverland and other U.P. organizations file for FERC rehearing September, 2014 – PIPP EPA compliance costs added to total

 $52 Million jumps to $116 Million
 Cloverland Members would pay 22.5 percent or $21.6 Million per year

Possible Economic Impact to Commercial Cloverland Electric Members

Possible Economic Impact to Commercial Cloverland Electric Members

~~Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR)
 Adjustment on bill for increase or decrease in cost of purchased power
 Pass through charge for power supply, transmission and MISO
Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO)
 Nation’s first – created in 2001
 Oversees power grid across 15 states and Manitoba, Canada
 Responsible for system day to day operations consistent with reliability standards

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
 Regulates wholesale rates of interstate sales of electricity
 Regulates the reliability of interstate transmission of electricity

Wisconsin Electric Power Company (WEPCO)
 Supplies Wholesale Power to Cloverland
 LBA for Wisconsin and Michigan
 Owns Presque Isle Power Plant (PIPP)
 Lost 80 percent of U.P. load due to MI law PA 286
 2013 Announced plant closing
 SSR agreement with MISO to keep plant running

System Support Resource (SSR) for PIPP
 PIPP plant necessary to support reliability
 MISO pays WEPCO $52 Million/year to keep PIPP plant open as of April 2014
 Wisconsin pays 92 percent or $48 Million/year
 Michigan pays 8 percent or $4 Million/year
 Percentages set by MISO based on MISO tariff at that time

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW)
 Says split is unfair to Wisconsin
 Complains to FERC asking for new formula
 FERC agrees that Wisconsin pay 0 percent and U.P. pay 100 percent of PIPP SSR costs

Power Supply Cost Recovery (PSCR)
 Adjustment on bill for increase or decrease in cost of purchased power
 Pass through charge for power supply, transmission and MISO


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Candidates for Sault Ste. Marie City Commission will be at Lake Superior State University for a forum to meet students and community members at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, in the Walker Cisler Center.

The forum, sponsored by the LSSU Political Science Club, Student Government, and the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce is free and open to the public.

Candidates Ray Bauer, Jay Gage, Mark Meiners, and Kathleen Twardy will all be present at the forum in order to answer questions developed by the Political Science Club members, as well as questions from the audience about issues pertinent to the city of Sault Ste. Marie.

Light refreshments will be provided at the event. Information about each candidate will be available before and after the event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact LSSU Student Government representative Patrick Brooks, 248-462-0041,, or Prof. Gary Johnson,, 906-635-2763.


Cover of the new book Border Crossing

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Faculty, staff and student interns associated with Lake Superior State University’s international literary and arts journal, Border Crossing, invite the community to a launch party for its third issue at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 10, at Bayliss Public Library.

Amber Edmondson, Marquette poet and contributor to this latest volume, will be reading her work. In addition, Melissa Connors, a photographer from Sault Sainte Marie, Ont., whose art is featured on the cover of this issue, will be exhibiting her artwork. Copies of the journal will be available for purchase.

Border Crossing seeks to publish the best work submitted by emerging and established writers on both sides of the United States and Canadian border with the goal of supporting literacy and the literary arts in the sister cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario. Visual art is only considered from residents of Michigan or Ontario in order to provide an outlet where area artists may publish their work.

“We like writing that crosses boundaries in genre or geography and voices that aren’t often heard in mainstream publications,” says Prof. Mary McMyne, who serves on the faculty editorial staff. “The best way to see what we mean by this is to order a copy of our latest issue. The third issue, which will be for sale at the launch party, features the work of some amazing Michigan and Ontario writers and artists, alongside that of national and international writers.”

Border Crossing is a product of a cooperation between the LSSU Creative Writing Program and local artists. Profs. Julie Barbour and McMyne supervised the editing of the third issue, with Barbour, a poet, working with student poetry student interns, and McMyne, a fiction writer, working with student fiction interns. Prof. Jillena Rose edited nonfiction, and Jeanne Mannesto, a local artist, co-edited art with Barbour and McMyne. The publication is a “teaching journal,” in that one of its main goals is to create editing and publishing opportunities for LSSU English and creative writing students prior to graduation.

Border Crossing is currently accepting submissions in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The journal is also seeking a featured artist for the 2014 issue, whose work will be featured on the 2014 cover and exhibited at the launch party for volume 4. Submissions in art are limited to artists residing in Michigan and Ontario. Please visit the Border Crossing website at for more information.

For more information on the launch party, contact McMyne at 906-635-2327 or   -LSSU-


SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University has received a $1.86 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program that will enhance faculty teaching and strengthen student advising. The LSSU grant is one of 39 issued throughout the country, and the only one awarded in Michigan.

LSSU President Tony McLain said the five-year grant will be used to establish a faculty center for teaching and learning that will enhance faculty instruction and advising through a variety of resources, including the establishment of a student learning commons in concert with LSSU’s already established Learning Center. The grant will allow the analysis of “momentum points” in a “student life span” that will help LSSU manage barriers to learning by modifying policies and procedures.

“This grant is wonderful news not just for LSSU, but for our region, as it is geared to especially help students who may be the first in their families to attend college,” said McLain. “Many of our students fit that description and this program will help them succeed.”

The federal Strengthening Institutions Program (SIP) provides funds to improve and strengthen college and university academic quality, institutional management and fiscal stability, as well as build a framework to help students complete their degrees. The grants boost the capacity and quality of programs offered by higher education institutions as they work to increase completion rates and better prepare their students for success in college, careers and lifetime aspirations.

The grant will help LSSU analyze all of the steps that a student takes toward earning a degree, and better track and respond to students who are not making adequate academic progress. It will also help LSSU continue to improve its retention rate, which has increased from 60 percent to 73 percent over the past seven years, improve classroom technology, become more cost-effective and ultimately increase graduation rates.

SIP funds may be used for a wide variety of purposes, including planning, faculty development, and the development and improvement of academic programs. Administrative management and establishing an endowment fund are also supported. Institutions may use the grant for other projects as well, such as student service programs designed to improve academic success, including providing innovative or customized instruction courses designed to help retain students and see them through to program completion.

To be eligible for funds under this program, institutions must be serving a substantial number of students receiving need-based federal student aid and have low per-student expenditures.

McLain praised the committee that has been working on the education grant since last winter. The committee includes David Myton, Barbara Keller, Ken Hemming, Bill Eilola, Greg Zimmerman, Mark Terwilliger, Carolyn Rajewski, Geralyn Narkiewicz, Karen Johnston, Steve Eles and Shelley Wooley.

More information about the US Dept. of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program may be found at


LSSU Student Shares Passion for Fishing

Nate Sleight and the Catch of the Day

SEPTEMBER 25, 2013—SAULT STE. MARIE, MI—A Lake Superior State University junior is using his lifelong love of fishing to help fellow students discover the thrill of competitive angling—and to promote the St. Mary’s River’s world-class smallmouth bass fishery.

Nate Sleight grew up chasing bass on lower Michigan’s Wixom Lake, and participated in his first tournament at age 12. “I’ve always loved fishing, and am a competitive person by nature, so combining the two was awesome,” he says.

Sleight went on to compete in a number of events, and eventually his passion for fishing led to the pursuit of fisheries and wildlife studies at Lake Superior State University. While in Sault Ste. Marie, he also discovered the St. Mary’s River.

“The St. Mary’s is an incredible smallmouth bass fishery that’s overlooked by most anglers,” he says. “Locating the bass can be tricky, but once you do, there are a lot of big fish.”

While studying at LSSU he met fellow student Nick Dion, who shares Sleight’s love of fishing. In the spring of 2013, they founded the Lake Superior State University Bass Club, with the goal of participating in collegiate fishing events across the country, including the Bassmaster College Series and FLW College Fishing.

“Our objective is getting as many LSSU kids as we can to enjoy the camaraderie and excitement of these events,” says Sleight, noting that the club’s ranks quickly grew to 20 members. He and Dion also garnered support from LSSU student government, along with industry sponsors including Eagle Claw, Quantum, St. Croix Rods, Sunline and Tackle Warehouse.

With destinations stretching from Florida’s famed Lake Okeechobee to the California Delta, collegiate fishing circuits offer the chance to compete against teams from universities across the U.S. But, given Sleight’s passion for the St. Mary’s and its hard-fighting smallmouths, he’d also like to bring bass tournament action to the Soo. Possibilities on his short list include starting a National Bass Anglers Association division, and forming a collegiate circuit with other Michigan schools, which would make Sault Ste. Marie a regular stop.

Those efforts have found an ally in the Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We’ve had great success hosting major walleye tournaments, such as the recent Cabela’s National Team Championship—and it would be great to add bass events as well,” said executive director Linda Hoath, who explained that such events create an immediate economic boost, while showcasing the Soo as a tourism destination.

Toward that end, Hoath is soliciting community input on bass tournament options. “We’re looking at doing some type of event that is open to everyone,” she said. “We’d like to know what the community would like to see.”

For his part, Sleight is happy for the support, looking forward to tapping the fall bite on the St. Mary’s, and anxious to see what the 2014 tournament season brings the LSSU Bass Club and the Soo.

Cabela’s National Team Championship, Masters Walleye Circuit Visit Sault Ste. Marie August 23-25

Boats getting ready to fish.

Hundreds of top walleye anglers from across North America will battle in a dual tournament of epic proportions when the Cabela’s National Team Championship and Masters Walleye Circuit visit the St. Mary’s River out of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, August 23-25.

Cabela’s National Team Championship


I-500 Rookie Roundup

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The Rookie Roundup is designed to give International 500 Snowmobile Race officials a chance to see if newcomers to the race can handle the high speeds and banked turns of North America’s only mile-long oval snowmobile track, while giving racers the chance to get out and see first real test of I-500 pack racing. Instead, nobody saw anything. Read more of this story…



2013 Program Cover

SAULT STE. MARIE – The Lake Superior State University Investment Club played a big role in marketing for the 45th annual International 500 Snowmobile Race, to be held Saturday, Feb. 2. As a result, the club is earning money to help with expenses on its annual trip to New York City. For more on this story…


Day 2 Time Trials I-500 Recap 2013

Grant Vermeersch

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – The front row of Saturday’s 45th Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race features a combined six pole positions – but no I-500 wins.Grant Vermeersch will start on the pole position for Saturday’s 45th Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race after posting the fastest time during qualifying Tuesday.Vermeersch drove the Countryside Motorsports No. 12 Yamaha around the mile-long oval in 40.953 at an average speed of 88.69 mph. For the rest of the story…

Day 2 I-500 Recap 2013 Press Release


Keith Jacobson took a flashlight to look closely.

SAULT STE. MARIE – One by one, snowmobiles enter an 8-by-20 foot shack, engines blaring for a test of snowmobiling rivaling the 500 miles of the International 500 Snowmobile Race. For the rest of the story…

Day One of the 2013 International 500 Snowmobile Race

I-500 Snowmobile Race turns 45

Endurance racing returns to the icy oval in Sault Ste. Marie

(Sault Ste. Marie, MI) Spectators at the first International 500 Snowmobile Race in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan witnessed speeds so slow they could walk across the track between machines. This year, organizers of the race’s 45th annual running expect top speeds around the 100 mph mark, thousands of spectators, and the only people on the track will be those competing for tens of thousands of dollars in prize money.

Open pdf for the rest of the story.


2013 I-500 Press Release

Snowmobilers Our Streets Are Open

SAULT STE MARIE – We’ve rolled out the white carpet for snowmobiles in Sault Ste. Marie this year, where automobiles now share city streets with winter’s most exciting mode of transportation.

The “Soo” has always been identified with snowmobiling, thanks largely to its status as home to the International 500 endurance race. Our community is surrounded by a system of trails groomed by the Sault Snowmobile Association and local businesses put out the welcome mats every winter for another active snowmobiling season.


Newly-crowned Miss International 500 Marcie Rickley

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Newly-crowned Miss International 500 Marcie Rickley had to delay some of her official duties as the I-500 Queen to take a phone call. On the phone was her sister, U.S. Army Pfc. Laura Rickley, who is currently stationed in Afghanistan and called her congratulations after finding out about the win through Facebook.

45th International 500 Snowmobile Race Starting Grid

Colors for Cancer LSSU Color Run

Students in Lake Superior State University’s sports and events marketing class are sponsoring a self-described “color run” in November. Colors for Cancer participants receive an official long sleeve t-shirt that gets dashed with powdered color paint as they walk or run along a five-kilometer course. Each color represents the fight against a distinct form of cancer. No two shirts that compete the course are the same, each a work of art. Colors for Cancer takes place 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at LSSU’s Norris Center on Nov 3. Registration is $25 for adults, $20 for people 17 or under, and free for kids younger than seven years. Sign-in at the Norris Center opens at 10 a.m. (LSSU/Malloree McLeod)