Western UP Copper Mine Complexities, UP Voter Information, Legal Service Dates for UP Vets, UP Leader Appointed, & Opioid Counseling to be Available

Untitled design(26)


This Week in RI

On Wednesday we’ll be publishing an article about the UPVETS Served program created by SAIL in Marquette, and how it benefits local veterans and their families.

Western Upper Peninsula Copper Mine Complexities

The Canadian company, Highland Copper Co., wants to reopen a copper mine in Gogebic County. Copper mining in this region of the western Upper Peninsula has not been doing so well since the last big operation closed in the mid 1990s. During the administration of Governor Blanchard (1980s) there was a big push to get copper mining active again in the region and some mines were employee owned until sold to corporations, bringing big payments to many employee owners.

The Highland Copper Corporation wanted a $50 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund so they could work on infrastructure at a proposed new mining site. However, the state expressed concerns about committing money because they have not seen that financing is put together for the $425 million project by the Highland Copper Corp.

The $50 million was held up until they see the financial commitments from the company. Also, environmental groups have now announced their opposition to the project.

Upper Peninsula Voter Information

On February 27th the Michigan Democratic Presidential primary is scheduled to be held.

On February 27th and March 2nd the Michigan Republican presidential primary and caucuses are set to be held.

Check with your local unit of government for rules on participating, registering and locations.

Still Some Free Legal Services Dates Available for UP Vets

This program is directed at homeless Veterans, or Veterans at risk of homelessness who are low-income, to provide them with civil legal assistance.

Here are the remaining dates and locations. If you are a veteran and need some legal help, here are some places you can go and on what dates:

March 23:    Manistique VA CBOC*

April 3:         Sault Saint Marie VA CBOC *

May 7:         Hancock VA CBOC*

UP Leader Appointed to Statewide Board Position

Susan Estler is the CEO of Travel Marquette, and she will serve as the President of the Michigan Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2024.

UP Opioid Use and Counseling to be Available

Several counties in the Upper Peninsula are scheduled to receive between $500,000 and $1 million to help with counseling for people addicted to opioid use. Counties and municipalities will decide how to best use this money in their jurisdiction.

This money will come from almost $1.5 billion received from a legal settlement with opioid drug manufacturers and distributors.

Upper Peninsula and Statewide Veteran Families Scholarship Available

“The children of a veteran who died honorably serving on active duty on or after 9/11, or is a post 9/11 veteran with a VA disability rating of 50% or higher are eligible to apply for a higher education Legacy Scholarship.”

Contact your local veterans assistance office or your college or university of choice.

From the World Around Us

The payroll tax that funds Social Security does not apply to incomes above $168,000. Some of the richest men and women in the United States pay less than most working Americans. There is a movement to make the wealthy pay their fair share.

Declining Public School Population

Michigan has lost 16% of its public school population since 2003, according to research by Bridge Michigan. In 2022-2023 there were 1.4 million students enrolled in public schools. This decline will have a big impact on rural schools in the Upper Peninsula and throughout Michigan, as well as in suburban and urban school districts.

Will this decline have an impact on K-12 student and family services? Will it bring about school district consolidation or more sharing of services? What is happening in your local school district? Let us know so we can share with our readers.

You can send the information to david@ruralinsights.org.

Quotes That Make Us Go Hmmm

“Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.” Michael Corleone.

“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.” Albert Schweitzer.

Books Recommended By Our Readers

“Oath and Honor.” Liz Cheney. 2023.

Talk To Us

Keep your raves, laurels, rants and darts coming. Send them to us at david@ruralinsights.org. 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.

Like Whispers?

If so, please forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here or on our website: www.ruralinsights.org.

TWITTER/X: Follow us @ruralinsightsUP.


bold fix

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. Bruce Otte on February 19, 2024 at 10:30 am

    Dear Michiganders,
    In the interest of having a functional government, please elect “boring”, “middle of the road” candidates, who will publicly commit to working “across the aisle” to advance our state & nation.
    We can scarcely afford gridlock or herky-jerky governance where one party tears down the others attempts at progress – we the people deserve much better.
    So, I would ask that we please ignore the freaky extremists from both the left and right & elect only those who publicly commit to serving the people – not special interests & not beholden to some goofy party agenda.
    I’d like to call realistic candidates we might expect to get ( necessary ) stuff done “Purple”.
    As they should be neither all Red nor all Blue,
    meaning please elect liberal conservatives & conservative liberals so the business of the people can be addressed. Thank you.

    • Dale Martin Borske on February 24, 2024 at 9:55 am

      That would be such a relief if only it were to happen. I agree most of America is “purple” and we want to find solutions and move forward. And both parties have good points of view. It should not be all or nothing as has been the case. We need to get the extremists out of office. That is the end result of gerrymandering districts. You know one party has a lock so to make yourself stand out you take extreme positions to get elected. Then you get to Washington and act on the extreme and nothing gets done.

  2. Carl Toivo Nurmi on February 19, 2024 at 12:08 pm

    The Copperwood mining complex at the western end of the Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park would be a terrible mistake. For only an 11 year! mine life it would permanently harm the area and environmental disasters are possible. It would leave a big highway where the South Boundary Road is now, a 17 story, 300 acre permanent tailings pile and a huge permanent tailings pond, with heavy metaqls and sulfides right next to our Great Lake. To top it off, this foreign company wants Michigan tax payers tp pitch in $50 million. Ridiculous and tragic. Please watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0mdl_lLPQw

  3. DWC on February 23, 2024 at 9:25 am

    FALSE: “The payroll tax that funds Social Security does not apply to incomes above $168,000. Some of the richest men and women in the United States pay less than most working Americans. There is a movement to make the wealthy pay their fair share”

    The tax that funds SS applies to every dollar made up to $168k, after $168k the tax no longer applies as the payroll tax has a cap.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Related Articles