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Phil Porter named Michigan History Hero in 2024 Upper Peninsula History Awards

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Phil Porter named Michigan History Hero in 2024 Upper Peninsula History Awards


UPPER PENINSULA — The winners of the 2024 Upper Peninsula History Awards have been announced ahead of the annual Upper Peninsula History Conference on June 22.

At the 75th annual conference, the Historical Society of Michigan will present three awards to recognize individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the preservation of U.P. history.

The Historical Society of Michigan History Hero Award was established in 2017 to recognize individuals who have made contributions to preserving history not just in the Upper Peninsula but across the state.

Phil Porter of Cheboygan is receiving the award this year for his contributions to the Mackinac State Historic Parks.

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Porter worked with Mackinac State Historic Parks for 49 years, serving as a tour guide at Fort Mackinac, curator of collections and other positions, before eventually becoming the director of the parks. He retired in 2020.

More: Phil Porter to retire from Mackinac State Historic Parks

The next individual award is the Charles Follow award, named after an Escanaba schoolteacher who established multiple historical societies to promote U.P. history preservation.

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The Charles Follow Award will be presented to Diedre Stevens of Sault Ste. Marie for her volunteer work at the Chippewa County Historical Society.

In her work, Stevens has helped create searchable databases and physical collections of local newspapers going back decades. She has cataloged the historical society’s photographs and other research materials for years and has contributed to the creation of several articles, books and other materials in the city.

Visitors to Sault Ste. Marie might also recognize her as the narrator for the history of the Soo Locks at the Famous Soo Locks Boat Tours company.

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More: The quest for Lake Superior shipwrecks

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The Superior Award, established in 2006, is meant to recognize organizations that have played a role in preservation. This year, the award is going to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Society.

The society formed in 1978. The group maintains the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point, which is home to the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior. The museum is also home to Great Lakes shipwreck artifacts and the group searches the Great Lakes each year for undiscovered wrecks.

The society also helps support other historical organizations, such as the old U.S. Weather Bureau building in Soo Locks Park, and has contributed to video documentaries in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and the Discovery Channel.

The awards will be handed out at the 75th annual Upper Peninsula History Conference, which takes place June 21-23 at the Historical Society of Michigan. The event will feature a keynote presentation about Michigan’s first female chief of staff Mary Hadrich and more, including a history of the Soo Locks and the impact Jesuits had on the development of the Upper Peninsula.

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The weekend long event will feature presentations, content sessions, educational workshops, an exhibit hall and more.

For more information, visit hsmichigan.org.

— Contact Brendan Wiesner: BWiesner@Sooeveningnews.com



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Michigan

Western Michigan Broncos Defense to Watch vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

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Western Michigan Broncos Defense to Watch vs. Ohio State Buckeyes


The last time the Buckeyes did not play a top-50-ranked defense was against Minnesota on Nov. 18, 2023.

This season, as they have the last couple of seasons, they will start with [what should be a lighter slate, including facing a Western Michigan defense in week 2 — one that allowed more than 31 points per game a season ago. Now down two of their top defensive players, they must face a Buckeye offense which put up 30.5 points per game in 2023.

Regardless, the Buckeyes should not have trouble getting past the Bronco defensive line — one which allowed just under 400 total yards per game.

SAF Tate Hallock

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Western Michigan’s top returner will likely be graduate Tate Hallock, a player who found himself in a starting role for the first time last season. The leading tackler for the Broncos, Hallock racked up 75 total — as a safety, funny enough. In fact, a newly acquired Buckeye did that for the Crimson Tide last season as well.…

Hallock’s best showing was a lights-out individual performance against Toledo early last season — despite the loss, Hallock stuffed the stat sheet with seven tackles, a forced fumble, and two interceptions.

CB Aaron Wofford

Although he didn’t see the field much in either of his first two years, Aaron Wofford returns to the Broncos coming off an outstanding season. The redshirt junior cornerback finished second on the team with 72 total tackles and five pass breakups.

Wofford had almost identical stats to his safety counterpart in Hallock — including hauling in two interceptions and a forced fumble.

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CB Bilhal Kone

After spending a year at Indiana State, Bilhal Kone showed out his sophomore year in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The young cornerback had a team-leading eight pass breakups, including one interception.

With Kone, Wofford and Hallock all returning to the Bronco secondary, the Buckeyes may have their work cut out for them Sept. 7.



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More than one of the Great Lakes is superior, according to USA TODAY readers

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More than one of the Great Lakes is superior, according to USA TODAY readers


Lake Michigan, bordering four states including Indiana, is gaining national recognition as one of the best lakes in the nation after making multiple lists in the USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

According to a news release from the network, Lake Michigan ranked in three categories: best lake, best lake for swimming and best lake for water sports. Here’s what we know.

Indianapolis Dining The Garage named one of nation’s best food halls in America

Lake Michigans gains some recognition for Indiana

Lake Michigan, touching Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, placed in the top six in three categories for best lake.

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According to Pure Michigan, Lake Michigan was named from the Ojibwa word Michi Gami, meaning “large lake.” The lake is one of five Great Lakes in the state and spans the entire west coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. It is the third largest Great Lake, spanning over 300 miles in length and a maximum width of 130 miles.

Best lakes in the U.S.

  1. Lake Erie (New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania)
  2. Geneva Lake (Wisconsin)
  3. Lake Superior (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin)
  4. Lake Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin)
  5. Lake Tahoe (California and Nevada)
  6. Big Bear Lake (California)
  7. Lake Coeur d’Alene (Idaho)
  8. Lake Champlain (New York and Vermont)
  9. Lake Austin (Texas)
  10. Lake Cumberland (Kentucky)

Best lake for swimming in the U.S.

  1. Lake Jocassee (South Carolina)
  2. Geneva Lake (Wisconsin)
  3. Lake Erie (New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania)
  4. Norris Lake (Tennessee)
  5. Lake Superior (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin)
  6. Lake Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin)
  7. Deep Creek Lake (Maryland)
  8. Lake Chelan (Washington)
  9. Grand Lake (Colorado)
  10. Lake Charlevoix (Michigan)

Best U.S. lake for water sports

  1. Lake Erie (New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania)
  2. Lake Murray (South Carolina)
  3. Lake of the Ozarks (Missouri)
  4. Lake Michigan (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin)
  5. Lake Martin (Alabama)
  6. Lake Havasu (Arizona and California)
  7. Big Bear Lake (California)
  8. Lake Superior (Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin)
  9. Lake Champlain (New York and Vermont)
  10. Lake Mendota (Wisconsin)



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DNR proposal seeks to allow e-bikes on more Michigan biking trails

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DNR proposal seeks to allow e-bikes on more Michigan biking trails


LANSING, MICH. — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking to allow electric bicycles on more Michigan trails.

The DNR has released a proposal that supports expanding e-bike rules, 9&10 News reports. This would allow motor-assisted bicycles on state-managed trails and bike paths, including mountain bike trails.

E-bikes come in several classifications that are generally either pedal-assisted or operated by a throttle.

The proposal seeks to permit Class-1 electric bicycles, which are bikes with pedal-assisted electric motors that can go up to 20 miles per hour, on DNR-managed bicycle trails and pathways, including natural surface mountain biking trails.

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The expansion would also authorize Class-2 electric bicycles, which are both throttle- and pedal-assisted and can travel up to 20 miles per hour, for individuals with mobility disabilities by an annual permit.

The proposal notes that e-bikes can help with barriers to cycling, such as hilly topography and long distances to destinations, and expand recreation opportunities to people with physical limitations.

The DNR conducted a survey in March to gather public feedback on the proposed changes.

“While some comments have voiced concerns with expanding electric bicycle use, the majority of comments received have been in support of expansion,” the DNR stated in the proposal.

The expansion could be approved on July 11.

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The full proposal is online here.



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