National Sauna Week, Free Legal Services for UP Veterans, Governor Whitmer Issues 2024 Goals, Free Speech on UP Campus, & Marquette Named Best Place to Visit

Photo credit: Cabo Girao
Photo credit: Cabo Girao

Correction 2/6/24: The veteran services listed below are for if you are homeless/at risk of being homeless, have civil/legal concerns, and are low income. We apologize for not including this information at the time of publication.


This Week in Rural Insights

On Wednesday we will be publishing the latest article by Michael and John Broadway, exploring health in the Upper Peninsula and whether it’s improving, based on data from county health ratings.

National Sauna Week

February 18-24 is the week everyone should fire up their sauna and celebrate National Sauna week and the Finnish heritage and traditions of sauna..

Finlandia Foundation National (FFN) launched the annual sauna celebration to increase awareness and appreciation of traditional Finnish  sauna through a week-long series of free, online programming on different aspects of the subject.

Debbie Paver of Calumet Michigan submitted a winning poster entry to celebrate National Sauna Week. All the poster entries will be on display at the Finnish American Heritage Center in Hancock.

You can get more info at

Free Legal Services** for Veterans in the UP

If you are a veteran and need some legal help, here are some places you can go and on what dates:

February 7:  Oscar G Johnson Hospital VMAC, Iron Mountain

February 8:  Escanaba Veterans Center

March 23:    Manistique VA CBOC*

April 3:         Sault Saint Marie VA CBOC *

May 7:         Hancock VA CBOC*

June 5:       Ironwood VA CBOC*

July 10:      Menominee VA CBOC*

July 11:      Marquette VA CBOC*

*Veterans Clinics Centers in the above towns.

**Must be homeless or at risk of being homeless, must be civil/legal concerns, and must be low income.

Lawyers will be available in all the above locations from 8 am to noon.

Call 1-231-941-0771 or 1-888-783-8190.

Please let the veterans in your family, neighborhood or in your circle of friends know about this service and schedule/locations. Spread the word.

Governor Whitmer Issues 2024 Goals

In her annual State of the State last week, Governor Whitmer prioritized free community college, universal preschool, affordable housing and various business incentives.

She said she proposes spending $1.4 billion on affordable housing to create 10,000 units of affordable housing, a $5,000 child care credit, $700 million for road repairs and an incentive for electric cars.

Observers are looking forward to more budget details when the Governor releases budget details in her upcoming budget address.

Housing Costs Continue to Climb

According to recent reports, 50% of renters and 25% of homeowners spend 30% of their income on housing.

Feedback on Recent Comments on Free Speech on Upper Peninsula Campuses

Friends, alumni and staff at Michigan Tech let us know that MTU was rated number one in the country by an organization for its free speech on campus. A very important honor. Congrats MTU!!!

Marquette Named to Michigan’s 8 Best Places to Visit in 2024 says that “the bars and restaurants downtown Marquette are a close second to those in Detroit–especially those with views of Lake Superior.”

From the World Around Us

A Reminder:

Children born in the United States are natural-born American citizens, regardless of their parents immigration status. Source: US Constitution.

Rural Insights Articles on Places, Facts and Information Not in the Upper Peninsula:

We occasionally publish information about places that may or may not be having issues or developments similar to life in the Upper Peninsula. If you have an article that you would like to share, please send it to us and we will consider it. Hopefully sharing this kind of information makes us all smarter.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“When you are acting like you are more sacred than a saint you shouldn’t have any skeletons in the closet.” Kristoffer Rytterager.

“One should leave the world a better place than how you found it.” From the Jewish Tikkun Olam.

Books Recommended by our Readers

“Black AF History: The Unwhitewashed Story of America.” By Michael Harriott. 2023.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at We love to read them.

About Us

Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories/information you might have not seen or overlooked. We bring you original writing from Rural Insights and other researchers, change makers, and storytellers, as well as our latest research and analysis.

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David Haynes

David Haynes has served as a professor of public administration and public policy. He previously has served as President of Northern Michigan University. David has been involved in the public administration and political science field for over 45 years.


  1. Sarah Z on February 5, 2024 at 1:09 pm

    I believe Tech recently got some heat from a free speech organization for removing a professor from teaching responsibilities for expressing an opinion that was deemed controversial. I don’t know the full details, though.

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