Stunning Photos Of Michigan’s New Winter Sport, Ice Climbing

Tourism is a growing industry in the state of Michigan. By now, you’ve probably seen plenty of the state’s Pure Michigan ads. In the summer, the ads show beaches and sunshine. In the winter, it’s all about the snow.

This year, officials at Pure Michigan have also been pushing a winter sport that most people probably haven’t heard of: ice climbing. Meg Cramer went to the Michigan Ice Fest earlier this month to report a story for our partner station, Michigan Radio.

She took some amazing photographs we just had to share.

Click here, to listen to Meg’s full story on Michigan Radio.

And tell us what you think – would you climb a frozen waterfall?

4 Things We Learned About Michigan Through The Primary

If you want an honest opinion, ask a stranger, or so the saying goes. During the past couple of weeks, the political press corps has been spread out across Michigan, following Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul around the state, finding all kinds of things out.

Their stories have reflected a state that some Midwesterners might not recognize. So, here’s a list of what we learned through the Michigan primary.

1) We’re in a class war. The Michigan Republican party is divided between wealthy people and working class and middle class Republicans, or so writers told us.

Ron Brownstein of the National Journal found the latter at the Knights of Columbus hall in Lincoln Park.

They’re what he needs if Santorum is going to eventually beat Romney. He ” will likely have to reach more deeply into blue-collar, heavily Catholic, working-class white communities that have became central to the Republican electoral coalition, especially between the coasts,” Brownstein wrote.

Paul West of the Los Angeles Times found the same thing when he went to Troy. “The bitter Republican primary battle in Michigan has turned into an all-out class war,” he wrote. Continue reading “4 Things We Learned About Michigan Through The Primary”

On A Busy Campaign Weekend, Santorum Ventures Up North in Michigan

Republican candidates are wrapping up a busy weekend of campaigning before Michigan’s primary on Tuesday. But Rick Santorum is going where few have ventured — Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Santorum was set to hold a campaign rally at noon ET in Marquette, marking a rare visit by a candidate above the Mackinac Bridge.

The vast majority of candidate visits have been to southeast and western Michigan — not surprising, since that’s where the vast majority of Republican voters are located.

But, the U.P. has a Republican congressman, Dan Benishak. He took the seat vacated by veteran Democrat Bart Stupak in 2010. (You might remember Stupak for backing President Obama’s health care program.) Continue reading “On A Busy Campaign Weekend, Santorum Ventures Up North in Michigan”

Midwest Memo: Upper Peninsula Enjoys Mining Surge, Scott Walker Wastes No Time Plotting Wisconsin Recall Strategy

Three stories making news across the Midwest today:

1. Upper Peninsula’s mining boom. The mining industry in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is enjoying a renaissance more than a century after its best days passed. New technology demands are creating demand for gold, silver, copper and nickel, the Detroit Free Press reports today. Foreign companies are finding them in abundance in both new and reopened ore mines. Mineral rights on more than 1 million acres have been leased for prospecting. But many of the mines are near rivers and Lake Superior, sparking concern among environmentalists. “I’m not anti-mine. I’m anti-mining pollution,” one advocate tells the newspaper.

2. Busy finale ahead for Illinois legislators. The Illinois state legislature could end its fall session Tuesday with a flurry of activity. Lawmakers are expected to vote on several pieces of legislation that have garnered attention for months, including a bill that would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, which extends larger refunds to working families. Our partner station WBEZ reports the legislature could also tackle a package of tax incentives designed to keep CME Group and Sears based in in the state. Both have been wooed in recent months by Indiana and other competitors. A vote on legislation that would expand gambling in the state could also take place.

3. Walker plots recall strategy. A possible recall election may not take place until next summer, but Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is wasting no time in campaigning to keep his job. Walker is running television ads defending his 11-month record and Republican volunteers are going door to door canvassing likely voters. USA Today reports Walker’s office is trying to learn from the only two successful gubernatorial recalls in U.S. history. They believe California Gov. Gray Davis (2003) and North Dakota Gov. Lynn Frazier in 1921 both started campaigning too late to save their jobs. “There’s this momentum that builds, and once it builds it’s very difficult for things to reverse,” David Schecter, a political scientist at Cal State Fresno, tells the newspaper.