The World Around Us, Listening and Learning in the UP, Luce County’s Census, and Civil War Tombstone Cleanup

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Correction: An earlier edition of this article mistakingly said the Senate is not in the US Constitution. We’ve updated this to say filibuster. We apologize for any confusion.

This Week in Rural Insights

This week on Rural Insights we’ll be publishing an article by Kristen Loszewski on the U.P. Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. This program was established in 2018 with the goal of “making the University of Michigan more accessible to high-achieving students with financial need from the U.P.”

Watch for this article on Wednesday morning!

The World Around Us

Our nation’s capital seems to be in gridlock. Day after day we seem to read more about what is not getting done than what is getting done. One pundit recently pointed out that the filibuster is not in the US Constitution–anywhere. It is a creation of the Senate. In fact this pundit said the filibuster’s modern abuses realize the founder’s greatest fears. 

Edelman’s 2022 global “Trust Barometer” surveyed 35,000 respondents in 28 countries. It reports that “A majority of people globally believe journalists (67%), government leaders (66%) and business executives (63%) are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”

“Around the world, people fear the media is becoming more sensational for commercial gain and that government leaders continue to exploit division for political gain.”

So what do we think around the Upper Peninsula? Let us know what you think.

Listening and Learning in Our Local Communities–We Do That Best Here in the UP

What the people of the UP have done better than many other regions is we listen and learn from each other and from community to community. 

Ask teachers, nonprofit leaders, nurses, doctors, health care workers, restaurant workers, miners, maintenance workers, etc., what they think is important to solving the American division today and what it means to be an American. How do we save American democracy? What is American democracy? 

We can listen, learn and lead from listening to each other and then telling government leaders what we think, what we want and how they should do it.

Should we set up small community forums, sessions to do the above, to talk and listen to each other? We could make the UP a national example on how to solve some of America’s divisions. Listen and learn days in the UP. America–take a look.

Luce County and the US Census

The Editor of the Newberry News, Carol Stiffler, contacted us recently. She wrote this to us: “Regarding Luce County’s 2020 census numbers as reported by the US Census Bureau. The figure is incorrect. I was able to dig up something that the Michigan Bureau of Labor and Statistics confirmed: The Newberry Correctional Facility population was included in the 2010 census but incorrectly omitted from the 2020 census. That resulted in a 1,110 person drop in Pentland Township of Luce County, where prisoners reside. Without the loss of the prison (adding back the 1,084 inmates who were housed at the facility on April 5, 2020) Luce County’s population dropped to only 6,423, a decrease of 3.1%. At the moment, inmates are counted in the area where they are being incarcerated–though I know that is likely to change.”

You can read her entire story here:

The Upper Peninsula houses many state correctional facilities and many prisoners, so this issue will continue to be important to many counties in the Upper Peninsula. 

Civil War Tombstone Cleanup in Marquette

Mike Rutledge, NMU’s Veteran Services Director, and various veteran organizations are organizing a civil war tombstone cleanup in Marquette cemeteries this spring. Mike Rutledge says: “There are numerous Civil War veteran graves in both cemeteries, and families have long ago moved on, and many of the tombstones are very weathered. There are some easy ways to clean up the stones and make them visible, and honor these veterans from long ago.”

If you know of other efforts like this somewhere else in the Upper Peninsula let us know. We would love to let our readers know about it.

By the way, Mike is a veteran and very dedicated to helping veterans of today and honoring veterans of the past. He is a very good guy and you will enjoy working with him.

If you want to help with this important project you can contact Mike Rutledge at

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“The secret to living well and longer is: eat less, walk double, laugh triple and love without measure.” Tibetan proverb. 

“There is a higher court than the courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” Mahatma Gandhi.

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Rural Insights connects policy, information, news and culture to raise topics and stories 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. Dirk Wierenga on January 24, 2022 at 9:10 am

    Whispers. Excellent as always. Interesting when people are asked about media, which then take as big media, I can agree. But, unfortunately, local media, is dying. Fewer are going into journalism as a career, and, especially in rural areas, the local media is critical yet it is either out of business or behind a paywall, which keeps the news away from many in the local population. Interesting to me is the growth in non-profit media. The latest news, Chicago NPR is purchasing the Chicago Sun Times. Here in Michigan, Bridge Michigan, a nonprofit seems to be doing quite well. If Chicago NPR turns the Sun Times into a volunteer pay, like Bridge, perhaps they are seeing a new future and could be the answer to saving local media.

    • Bob Courtois on January 24, 2022 at 11:22 am

      NPR is as biased as any. They should defund NPR. The Not for Profit label is a misnomer. Now purchasing a For Profit!!!

      • Andrew on January 24, 2022 at 12:33 pm

        When the Reagan administration did away with the Fairness Doctrine, objective journalism became nonexistent as the political Right used corporate
        and dark $$$ to control the media.
        There is NO freedom of the press when those with money and power control it…

      • Jim Katakowski on January 31, 2022 at 7:43 am

        Interesting but can you back that up with some factual support and not just ones opinion. Perhaps your information or where you pick it up from is a avenue for your misnomers of relevant information. Please no Fox entertainment news please!

  2. CRAIG JOHNSON on January 24, 2022 at 9:13 am

    I think you are on the right track, I like it.

  3. DarrylM on January 24, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    “Around the world, people fear the media is becoming more sensational for commercial gain and that government leaders continue to exploit division for political gain.”

    Much of advertising has left the corporate media for social media. Corporate media seems to be completely at the mercy of its major funders (Pfizer seems to be a big spender) and the reporting is biased to please that paycheck.

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