Solar art exhibit coming to Great Lakes Bay Region


The Great Lakes Bay region will soon be home to, what organizers say is, the world’s first major solar art exhibition.

Diana Tomlin is the Director of Fall In Art and Sol, which is placing solar powered art work at various locations in Bay, Saginaw, Midland and Isabella counties during the month of October.

She said the solar art exhibit will be a great way to promote what’s going on in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“I think we’re really looking into revitalizing this space and show people this is a space where lots of fun can happen, where art can happen. It can be a bright and beautiful space. It really will be lit up with lights all over the place with the solar art,” Tomlin said.

The “Art” portion of the exhibition encompasses more than 60 organizations showcasing performing and visual arts, family activities and workshops.

The art and 107 events will be active for an entire month, beginning September 28th.

More information can be found at


CMU events raise awareness during Banned Book Week


Central Michigan University is taking part in a world wide event known as Banned Book week.

Organizers said this week’s events are meant to celebrate the freedom to read, and all over the world people are gathering to read out loud from banned books.

Elizabeth Richard is the Program Director for the Riecker Literary Series at CMU.

She said some of the most common reasons books get banned is because people find the content subversive or inappropriate.

“ I don’t know that censoring books is a really a way to deal with subject matter that people find inappropriate. And it’s usually a group of people that for some reason feel it’s inappropriate and banned together and say we don’t want this book on bookshelves. And so libraries traditionally like the CMU libraries have become places where they have to draw the line and say no we have a freedom of information act and we believe in freedom of speech and books need to stay on the shelves,” Richard said.

Richard said, in the 1930s the Wizard of Oz was banned because people thought it was bad literature for children.

At one point, she said, the dictionary was also banned.

CMU is holding events for Banned Books week throughout campus.


First read-a-thon to be held at Alpena library


For the first time ever, book lovers in Alpena will gather for a 24-hour reading spree, in an effort to raise money for cancer research.

The Alpena Public Library will host a “Read-a-Thon” on Saturday the 14th through the following morning.

Eric Magness-Eubank is the Director of the Library.

“If we just get a hand-full of people turn out, well then, the cause is furthered than what it was before, and we learned something in the process. And if hundreds of people turned out, well then, that might surprise us a bit, but it would be very gratifying,” said Magness-Eubank.

Magness-Eubank said there is no fee, but he encourages donations of one dollar per hour read.

Proceeds will benefit the Relay for Life foundation.

More information is at


New book uses letters from Europe to tell story of WWII


A Michigan author is using letters her father wrote to loved ones to tell his story of being a soldier in Europe during World War II.

She’ll be making a stop in Houghton Lake to discuss her new book next week.

Teresa Irish, the author of A Thousand Letters Home: One WWII’s Soldier’s Story of War, Love and Life, will talk about her book at the Houghton Lake Public Library next Monday.

Irish’s book is filled with 320 letters and 104 photographs that her father sent home from November 1942 to December 1945.

Irish said it’s a unique perspective to read her father’s letters and see pictures from the time he entered the war to the time he left.

“His letters and his thoughts and his experiences really mirrored those of the 16.1 million Americans that went through WW2. So, very quickly did I realize how the letters resonated with other people who wanted to fill in the gap with their grandpas or dads. And I’m just really honored how it’s been received, both the presentation and the book,” Irish said.

Irish found her father’s letters shortly after he passed away in 2006 from cancer. She said her father never told her or her nine siblings about the letters.

Psychological thriller brings big names to Northern Michigan


Northern Michigan is home this month to filming for a Made in Michigan movie.

A Cheboygan county children’s author is testing the theatrical waters with the film release of one of his adult novels.

Headed down a one-lane gravel road in a driving rainstorm, I felt like a character in the psychological thriller that’s being filmed at a cabin here on the shore of Lake Huron.

Filming is taking place in DeTour and Petoskey this month for the book titled “Bestseller” by Michigan author Christopher Knight. Knight is well known by another pseudonym, Johnathan Rand. He’s been scaring kids since 2000 with his Michigan Chiller series and now he’s tempting an adult audience.

Christina Rohn, associate producer, said filmmakers don’t know yet how great the state is and she hopes to showcase the area and the love she and the cast and crew have for Northern Michigan.

“That’s what we’re hoping to kind of, you know give that back to Michigan, same thing with Petoskey, really give that back. Where people will be excited to come up and visit because that was a place where a film was shot, that was a successful film. At least that’s what we’re hoping for,” Rohn said.

The Michigan Film Office said “Bestseller” was awarded a tax credit of just over $42,000 on a projected budget of $145,000.

All of that money will be spent in-state. The project is expected to hire 34 Michigan workers.

The film is scheduled to be released later this year.

Inaugural North 45 East poetry reading

A chance to experience the original works of local award-winning poets has come.
The inaugural North-45-East poetry reading will be held in downtown Alpena at the Art tomorrow in the Loft.
Joe Bastow, a poet of Alpena, will be hosting the reading.
He said he has a vision that the reading could evolve in in the future.
“We see this going to possibly a writing festival in Northeast Michigan where we have a three-day event or a five-day event with workshops that entail slam writing and performances at the band show and cagefighting with poets and inspiring words. All kinds of things are on the horizon for us and we’re just getting started,” Bastow said.
Bastow said he’s launching the poetry reading to increase awareness and practice of reading and writing through education and performance. 

Weekend gathering to promote healing among native peoples

A gathering scheduled for this weekend in Ontario will focus attention on continued efforts of recovery from, what First Nation’s people call, the legacy of Indian Residential Schools.
The gathering will focus on “Healing and Reconciliation through Education”
It’s hosted by the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association and the Shingwauk Residential School Centre.
Mike Cachagee is with the Alumni Association. He said the residential schools tried to stamp out native culture, in part, by taking away the languages of the First People. He said this gathering will focus on bringing native languages back.
“We’ve always maintained that if we’re going to go back and find out who we are, it had to come back to language. This is what we’re looking at right now in this gathering we’re having is that who aspect of language reclamation,” Cachagee said.
Cachagee said the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement from 2007 has a $300-million surplus. He said his alumni organization is pushing for that money to be used for group language reclamation programs.