The Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) reports that $1,483,024 in Federal Transportation Enhancement Funds will be used to create a 10-foot-wide surface of crushed, compacted limestone on the trail which connects Gaylord, Vanderbilt, Wolverine, Indian River, Topinabee, Cheboygan, and Mackinaw City.
The scenic route runs past farmland, through Stewarts Creek Marsh, along and across the Sturgeon River, on the west side of Mullett Lake and parallel to Lake Huron along U.S. 23. Once completed, the TOMTC claims it will rate as one of the premier rail-trails in the United States.
This is the largest federally funded enhancement project to ever benefit Cheboygan and Otsego counties.
The hand of former President Jimmy Carter is being felt in Northern Michigan, and it is wielding a symbolic hammer.
Five homes will be constructed by Habitat for Humanity -- Grand Traverse as part of its participation in the 2005 Jimmy Carter Work Project.
Last spring Carter announced that his 2005 project would be in Michigan with a goal of building 220 new homes by June 24 of this year. He said that he has been disturbed by the growing chasm between the rich and poor in the state. He felt that this divide between the haves and have-nots is growing faster in Michigan than in other areas of the country due to the state‘s hard-hit economy and job loss.
The first Jimmy Carter Work Project was held in 1984 and President Carter has been an enthusiastic supporter of Habitat for Humanity ever since. Thousands of homes have been built as a result of his Jimmy Carter Work Projects.
Habitat for Humanity, Grand Traverse Region has provided 60 families with homes since its establishment in 1987.
Downtown Traverse City continues its shape-shifting course with last week‘s groundbreaking on a new 53,000-square-foot office complex at 600 E. Front, across from West Bay.
The new Plante and Moran Building will include a three-story parking garage in addition to offices with views of the bay. No word from the accounting and business advisory firm as to whether those views will mean half the pay for employees as is traditional in TC...
Minimum wage hike
Michigan Democrats are on the bandwagon calling for a raise in the minimum wage from the federal rate of $5.15 per hour to $7.15.
A release from the state‘s Democratic Party noted that Wisconsin recently became the 16th state since 1997 to raise its minimum wage above the federal level. Democrats feel that Michigan should follow suit.
“One after another, states are recognizing that their workers deserve a raise and Michigan cannot afford to be left behind,“ said House Democratic Leader Dianne Byrum (D-Onondaga). “Our workers have struggled at $5.15 an hour for eight years. The dollar‘s value is dropping, the cost of living is rising. It‘s time for Michigan to help our workers and give them a fair wage.“