Category: Michigan News

U-M Museum of Natural History Kicks off ‘Mammoth’ Crowdfunding Effort

ANN ARBOR—When Jim Bristle discovered the remains of a mammoth on his farm near Chelsea, Michigan last fall, excitement was felt throughout the community.

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History now plans to draw on this excitement to raise funds so that the partial remains of the mammoth can be exhibited where the public can view them and learn what U-M scientists have discovered about prehistoric Michigan.

From April 15 through May 1, the museum will ask the public to help raise $12,000 through Crowdrise, a fundraising site for charitable and personal causes.

“We thought it would be fun to use 21st-century methods to raise funds for this ancient animal,” said Amy Harris, director of the Museum. “Additionally, crowdsourcing provides a way for people to be part of the mammoth story.”

The Bristle Mammoth, (pronounced brist-lee) named for the farmer who found it and donated it to the university, was a large male, about 45 years old, and is estimated to have lived between 11,700 and 15,000 years ago. U-M paleontologists have also determined that it was probably a hybrid between a woolly mammoth and a Columbian mammoth. There is also strong evidence that he was butchered by humans and the meat was stored in what was once a pond.

The museum raised funds last year to hire an expert to develop the Bristle Mammoth exhibit. The $12,000 would be used to include elements such as:

  • Interactive 3-D digital models of selected mammoth bones.
  • Full-size casts of tusks that visitors can touch.
  • Programs for school children visiting the exhibit on field trips.

It will be several more months before the mammoth is ready for display because the bones need to dry and the scientists want to complete their initial research.

All donors to the Bristle Mammoth fund will be invited to attend a preview reception and meet the U-M scientists who are studying the mammoth. Exhibit donors of $250 and up will be invited to the exhibit unveiling breakfast. Donors contributing $500 or more will also be recognized on a donor plaque and will be invited to a behind-the-scenes tour of U-M Museum of Paleontology to see the mammoth exhibit preparations. Breakfast and tour are limited to two people per household.

Upper Peninsula Upcoming Events

There’s more to do than just be in awe of Nature’s paintbrush! For bushels of fun ideas to do this fall see our September and October events calendars.
Now ’til July 2014 1913 Miners’ Strike Centennial
Sept. 14 Powwow
MunisingCeltic Festival
Sept. 15 Iron Oars Regatta
Teal Lake, Negaunee
Sept. 22-28 4th Annual Mackinac Island Restaurant Week
Mackinac Island
Sept. 28 Jersey Mud Run
Sept. 29-Oct. 4 Copper Country Eco-Photo Tour
Oct. 4-5 5th Annual Oktoberfest
Oct. 5 Fall Color Float
Seney National Wildlife RefugeAutumn Apple Days, Great Pumpkin Roll, Crabby Apple Road Race
St. Ignace
Oct. 11-12 Haunted Trail
Oct. 12-19 9th Annual Music Festival
Mackinac Island
Oct. 17-19 MWC World Walleye Championship
Oct. 26 Halloween Spectacle

Source: Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association
P.O. Box 400 Iron Mountain, MI 49801 800-562-7134 906-774-5480 FAX 906-774-5190

Another Team Rehabilitation Facility Opening Up in Michigan

Dearborn, MI., May 29, 2013 – Team Rehabilitation Services announced the opening of their 26 th  location in the Metropolitan Detroit area. The location, which will be called Dearborn East, will offer the same exceptional service found at all Team Rehabilitation locations. The director of the facility, Rebecca
Jose, holds a doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Miami and is experienced in treating  complex neurological injuries and diseases such as stroke, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries,  amputees, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
“I am certified in LSVT-BIG physical therapy, which is a treatment specific to Parkinson’s Disease, but, at the same time, my staff and I are trained and very experienced in treating orthopedic injuries to the  spine and the extremities, post-op and balance, and vestibular impairments”, said Rebecca Jose, “We
would like to show the public and the professional community what a terrific facility this is.”
Persons who are looking for a physical therapy facility for themselves or a loved one, as well as medical professionals, are encouraged to stop by the Dearborn East facility during regular hours.
Call 313-359-8200, or visit for more information.

MI Pace Car Sweepstakes Kicks Off, Offering Fans a Chance To Win the 2013 Official Pace Car This Year at MIS

BROOKLYN, Mich.  – Four Michigan companies – Michigan International Speedway, Ford, Pure Michigan and Quicken Loans – today partnered to unveil the Ford Fusion Energi as the 2013 Official Pace Car at NASCAR’s fastest track.

One lucky fan will have the opportunity to win the pace car as part of the MI Pace Car Sweepstakes during the Pure Michigan 400. Each of the four monthly winners will receive great prizes during the summer-long sweepstakes announced Tuesday.

Fans can enter the sweepstakes at and complete the entry form. All online entries must be submitted by July 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. EDT to be eligible to win the car. Fans may also enter onsite at the New Holland Fan Plaza at any Michigan International Speedway NASCAR race.

The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi will pace the field for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 on June 16 and the Pure Michigan 400 on Aug. 18. The plug-in hybrid will be the first such car to pace a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, is a distinction made possible thanks to the terrific partnership between MIS, Quicken Loans, Pure Michigan and Ford.

“We are excited to announce this opportunity for our fans to win the 2013 Official Pace Car,” MIS President Roger Curtis said. “It is great that we are able to work with such outstanding partners and it makes it even better since they are each based in Michigan. It is exciting to see four Michigan companies work together for our fans.”

“This fan sweepstakes highlights the best Michigan has to offer – from fantastic destinations to world-class companies and cutting-edge automobiles,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan. “We are excited to join with Quicken Loans, Ford Racing and MIS to offer five lucky fans the ultimate Pure Michigan experience.”

One lucky fan’s name will be randomly drawn each month and entered as one of five finalists to win the Grand Prize. But the winner does not need wait until August to claim a prize.

Quicken Loans will make one month’s mortgage payment for each finalist. The four monthly winners will also enjoy a Pure Michigan vacation with a four-night stay at one of the following hotels in Michigan: Holiday Inn and Suites in Ann Arbor, JW Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids, Shanty Creek Resort in Traverse City and Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. In addition, the winners will receive a MIS VIP Package – two passes to the Champions Club presented by CP Federal Credit Union, one Graves Farm campsite, one RV Rental, two cold garage passes and two pace car rides on Aug. 17.

Each of the four monthly winners will be joined by a fifth finalist in prerace during the Pure Michigan 400. The contestants will be introduced from the pre-race stage and each finalist will select a key. One at a time, the finalists will try to start to the pace car. The person holding the key that starts the car will take the Ford Fusion Energi home.

Residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) are also eligible to win, but restrictions apply to the mortgage prize.

The 2013 Ford Fusion Energi is a plug-in hybrid which is anticipated to deliver more than 100 MPGe, making it the most fuel-efficient midsize car in America. The Energi has a 2.0-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine along with a Lithium-ion high voltage battery.

“Ford is proud to join with MIS and these other great Michigan partners to provide our fans with a unique way to literally take home part of the race weekends with them,” said Ford Racing Motorsports Marketing Manager Tim Duerr.

“Our 2013 Fusion Energi, anticipated to be the most fuel efficient midsize car in America, is another example of Ford using high-visibility pace car programs like this to showcase the capabilities of our great new products to the millions of loyal NASCAR fans at MIS and watching around the country.”

Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, markets the state’s tourism industry and provides valuable visitor information services. For Michigan travel news and updates, go to

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business, talent and jobs, with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy. For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit:

Detroit-based Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online home lender and the country’s third largest retail home mortgage lender. The company closed a record $70 billion of volume across all 50 states in 2012. Quicken Loans generates loan production from web centers located in Detroit, Cleveland and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Visit for more information.

Nestled in the lush Irish Hills of Southeastern Michigan, Michigan International Speedway is the Great Escape, a venerable NASCAR national park where fans can get away and enjoy the very best in racing and camaraderie. It’s the love of racing and the thrill of a great time for race fans and drivers alike.

All race tickets are on sale at or by phone at 800-354-1010.

Keep up with Michigan International Speedway via Twitter @MISpeedway or on Facebook at You can also follow track president Roger Curtis on Twitter at @MISRoger.

Join our Mobile Fan Club by texting MISCLUB on a Sprint Handheld or other mobile device to 69050. Standard text message rates may apply.

2013 Michigan International Speedway Schedule

Saturday, May 18 Michigan Wine and Beer Fest presented by Experience Jackson

Friday, June 14 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and Sprint Cup Qualifying
Saturday, June 15 NASCAR Nationwide Series Alliance Truck Parts 250
Sunday, June 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400

Friday, Aug. 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice and Qualifying
Saturday, Aug. 17 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sunday, Aug. 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400

Nominations for Governor John B. Swainson Award Open

The Michigan Historical Commission today announced it is accepting nominations for the Governor John B. Swainson Award.

The prestigious Swainson Award is given annually by the Michigan Historical Commission to state, county or municipal employees who have gone above and beyond their official job duties to help preserve Michigan’s history. To recognize these contributions, in 1996 the Michigan Historical Commission instituted the Governor John B. Swainson Award in honor of the legislator, governor and judge whose commitment to history continues to inspire.

“Our historic resources are among Michigan’s greatest treasures, and the Swainson Award helps us pay tribute to those who serve as stewards of our state’s rich heritage,” said Jack Dempsey, Michigan Historical Commission president.

Presentation of a plaque and certificate will be made during a special ceremony in the spring of 2013. Nomination forms and complete rules can be found online at

The deadline to submit nominations is April 12, 2013.

The Michigan Historical Commission advises the Department of Natural Resources on the work of the Michigan Historical Center. The commission is dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information and preserving and promoting Michigan’s heritage. The Michigan Historical Center is the principal state agency that builds programs and alliances that preserve and interpret Michigan’s past and help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage.

24-Year-Old Michigan Director’s Film Approved to Shoot in State

Novi, Michigan –  Michigan’s film industry receives another name on its growing list of approved films for its Film and Digital Media Incentive.

First-time feature film director and producer Michael Angelo Zervos wants to bring a unique and “Un-Hollywood” tale to silver screen entitled Papou, a Greek word meaning grandfather. Zervos will direct international film actor Yorgo Voyagis (Zorba the Greek, Without Borders), child actor Evan Kole (Golden Shoes, Avengers), and Emmy-Nominated comedian Basile (Jimmy the Greek).
The story centers around the titular grandfather named Archie (Voyagis) and his remarkable bond with his equally remarkable grandson, Demetri (Kole).

When Archie is diagnosed with cancer, the oblivious but highly imaginative Demetri becomes determined to find a way for the two of them to live forever. “It isn’t a story that one would expect to see picked up by some enormous studio because it doesn’t contain over-the-top violence or meaningless sex” Zervos states. “I knew that when I wrote the script and that it simply wouldn’t be made if I didn’t helm the project myself.”

Papou is a story that is told through the perspective of a child and deals with universal themes of life and death. Zervos hopes that families will be able to watch the film and discuss their own views on these issues. “I am a firm believer that films, if they are going to be treated as art, must be bold, intelligent, but also emotionally-driven. As an audience member, if I forget a film by the following day, it wasn’t worth watching. I’m hoping that the story we tell is the kind that people will remember for a long time.”

Film industry veterans Michael Sinanis and Christos Moisides quickly joined the project as co-producers, giving the rookie director guidance through the often difficult waters of crafting a feature film independently. “It’s a deep, heartfelt, and personal story that will resonate with audiences of all types” explains Sinanis when asked why he took the role. “I can tell that [Zervos] is serious about this project because he knows exactly how he wants this story told and he’s committed to doing it right. Everything is in his head ready to be shot.”
In addition to his all local crew, Zervos has hired a diverse cast comprised of mostly local talent. “I’m using talent from six to sixty so I’ve had to recruit from both grade schools and senior citizen homes” Zervos quipped. “The talent is all here if you dig enough. Some of the actors have never been on camera before but I knew just as soon as met them that they have potential to carry significant roles. Others that I’ve hired are seasoned experts at the craft and will bring the kiss of life to what only exists currently on paper.” 
Zervos even completed his film’s financing in a dramatic way fitting for film itself. When planning for a recent fundraiser at a local restaurant, Zervos and his co-producers estimated a mere one hundred would show up to support the project. Instead, over 250 people crowded the modest establishment and helped him raise the final $7,000 of his $200,000 feature. “Once again, the people of Michigan proved supportive of the arts and of an industry they have grown quite fond of” Zervos declared.
Principle photography is set to start in July and be wrapped by the end of the summer. Zervos plans a entering Papou into the festival circuit followed limited theatrical release in 2014.
Visit to follow along while cast information, concept art, and other news is released on the daily.

Michigan’s Final Hotel Data for 2012

Michigan’s final hotel data for 2012 is in, and it is the best we have seen in the past eight years, since we started getting this information from Smith Travel Research in 2004.  The statewide hotel occupancy rate for 2012 was 56.8%, up from 55.3% in 2011.  The average daily rate (ADR) for 2012 was $83.44, up from $80.47 in 2011.  And revenue per available hotel room (RevPAR) was $47.42, up from $44.52 in 2011.  All three measures are at their highest levels since 2004, and the health of the hotel industry is a good barometer for the broader Michigan tourism industry.

Complete 2012 Michigan tourism data and analysis, as well as projections for 2013, are on the agenda for the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism April 14-16 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.   Register today to save with the early bird registration rate of $299.   For complete conference information and to register today, go to

Thanks to Mike Busley, co-owner of Grand Traverse Pie Company and a member of the Michigan Travel Commission, for presenting his pies, Traverse City and Michigan to the country this morning on a National Pie Day segment on the Fox & Friends national morning TV show.  The on-camera visuals included a huge pie labeled Pure Michigan!

Speaking of the Michigan Travel Commission, the commission meets next on Friday, February 15, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m., at the Bavarian Inn, Frankenmuth.  Tourism industry attendance and participation at Travel Commission meetings is encouraged always.

Finally, Pure Michigan and MLive Media Group are partnering again in 2013 to offer Michigan destinations the opportunity to reach more than two million print and online readers with the Pure Michigan Summer Travel Guide. Publishing on May 19, 2013, the Summer Travel Guide will be part of Parade magazine across MLive’s 8 Michigan newspapers and publish as free-standing insert in Detroit, Fort Wayne, and Chicago. The guide also will be available online at for full navigation of the articles and advertising through the summer season. To participate in the 2013 Pure Michigan Summer Travel Guide as an advertiser, please contact your MLive account executive or Tanya Fair at (616) 307-8398 or by February 22. Click on the following link for more information: Pure Michigan Summer Travel Guide Information.

Heeren Crowned 2013 Michigan Apple Queen

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Courtney Heeren of Grand Rapids has been crowned the 2013 Michigan Apple Queen. Kate Sage of Eau Claire is First Runner-Up. Contestants for Michigan Apple Queen must have a connection to the Michigan Apple industry in order to serve as its ambassador.

Heeren, 20, is the daughter of Dan and Jill Heeren and is a student at Central Michigan University studying special education.

“It is a special honor for these young ladies to be selected to represent the Michigan Apple industry,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “Courtney will serve all year as an ambassador at schools, parades, festivals, grocery store events and more.”

Heeren will spend the next year attending different events and festivals as the face of the Michigan Apple industry. She will also travel to schools throughout Michigan teaching students about apples.

Sage, 19, is the daughter of Grant and Lynne Sage.  She is a student at Southwestern Michigan College where she is working toward an associate degree in science.

The contest took place on December 5 at the 10th annual Michigan Apple Committee grower luncheon. It marks the 62nd year of the competition that awards an apple representative based on poise, beauty, apple knowledge and public speaking ability.

Queen contestants must be between 17 and 23 years of age and have a link to the Michigan Apple industry. The Michigan Apple Committee sponsors the annual event. The winners receive a modest scholarship.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to marketing, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit


Source: Press Release – Michigan Apple Committee