MARQUETTE, MI--   A speaking tour is stopping at Northern Michigan University Monday to discuss the proposed Back Forty mine in Menominee County.  

Al Gedicks is executive secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council. He’ll join Guy Reiter—a member of the Menominee Conservation Committee—to talk about the planned 83-acre, open-pit sulfide mine.

Nathan Frischkorn is a member of NMU’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society.  He says the project would pose environmental problems.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bipartisan group of state lawmakers and local officials will try again this year to shut down a tax break that’s allowed big box stores to cut their property taxes. 

The so-called “dark store” loophole allows open and functioning big-box stores to base their property taxes on the value of stores that have been shut down. The value of the empty stores can be further reduced by restrictions on who can buy them.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Marquette Food Co-op has donated more than $4,000 to the United Way of Marquette County through its Round Up at the Register program. 

During fundraising periods Co-op shoppers were asked if they wanted to round up the total of their purchases to the next whole dollar amount. The difference was donated to the United Way. 

Store officials say they collected 9,417 individual donations averaging 42 cents from shoppers over the 60-day campaign.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder has written letters to every member of Michigan's congressional delegation to warn how House Republicans' health care legislation would "adversely impact" the state's most vulnerable residents. 

The Republican governor's letter, dated Tuesday, says the debate has largely focused on people participating in the expanded Medicaid program. But he says half of all Michigan children are served by the traditional Medicaid program, which would also be affected by the bill.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has released an update on the health of the state's forests, including threats posed by insects and diseases.

Michigan's 20 million acres of forest land supports recreation, forest products and other industries while providing crucial wildlife habitat.

The report outlines efforts to control spruce budworm, a pest that periodically defoliates spruce and fir forests. It says infestations probably will increase over the next 10 years. Experts are looking for high-risk areas in state forests.

TRAVERSE CITY, MI (AP)--   The rusty patched bumblebee is officially an endangered species. 

Advocates say the bee has disappeared from about 90 percent of its range in the past 20 years. Bees are crucial for pollinating crops and wild plants.

The listing was announced in January and had been scheduled to take effect Feb. 10. But the Trump administration ordered a last-minute review and postponed the listing until Tuesday. Some environmentalists had feared the designation could be canceled.

GLADSTONE, MI--   Four cats were rescued from a burning home in Gladstone Tuesday. 

Gladstone Public Safety was contacted around 12:45 p.m. by a resident who said he could see smoke coming from the roof of a residence on the 600 block of North 15th Street.  The fire—which is believed to have started in an attic area near the back entryway—was quickly extinguished once firefighters got inside the house.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire, but four cats were rescued and two received medical attention with an oxygen mask. The cats were returned to their owner.

GWINN, MI--   Forsyth Township Police are investigating a breaking-and-entering at a laundromat in Gwinn.  

Police say someone entered the Ultra Clean Laundry on East Stephenson Avenue and accessed the facility’s change-maker. A large amount of cash and hundreds of dollars in quarters were taken.

Officers believe the incident happened in the early morning hours of Sunday.

Anyone with information regarding the break-in or the use of a large number of quarters is asked to call Forsyth Township Police at 346-9224.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Al Roker of NBC’s The Today Show is coming to Marquette next week.

As part of the third annual Rokerthon the weatherman will broadcast from the Superior Dom as NMU students try to break the Guinness World Record for the largest game of freeze tag.  The event will be broadcast live on the Today Show.

NMU President Fritz Erickson says Northern was one of only five schools selected for the event, beating out schools like Ohio State, the University of Wisconsin, and Virginia Tech. 

GLADSTONE, MI--   The Gladstone Public Safety Department has suspended winter parking restrictions in the city of Gladstone. 

Due to recent warm weather and the soft conditions that exist in many of the boulevards and yards within the city, the winter overnight and side-of-street restrictions have been lifted. 

Normally, parking restrictions remain in place until April 1.  Residents are urged to be mindful of snow plowing and emergency access needs in the case of another late-season snowstorm.