Learn to knit
TRAVERSE CITY — SCRAP TC and the Bay Area Yarn Bomb Society is offering a community Learn to Knit class.
The class meets from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight, April 16, at SCRAP TC, 821 Garfield Ave. Knitting needles and yarn will be provided. A $5 donation for SCRAP TC is suggested.
Run for God starts
TRAVERSE CITY — Run for God starts today, April 16, at Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass St.
The program will prepare participants to complete the Cherry Festival 5K, while experiencing the parallels between race endurance and faith. Interested individuals should come prepared to run/walk from 5:30 to 7 p.m. For details, call Ann Porter, 946-5191.
ELK RAPIDS — The Elk Rapids District Library will host “Book Talk” on Wednesday, April 17.
Readers are invited to join the group at 3:30 p.m. at the library, 300 Isle of Pines Dr. There is no required reading list, no registration required and no cost.
TRAVERSE CITY — Glen Eagle retirement community invites the community to its annual Senior Wellness Expo on Wednesday, April 17.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at Glen Eagle, 39950 Sumac Dr. Admission is free. For details, call 935-4553.
TRAVERSE CITY — As part of the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign, Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan will offer testing for three STDs (chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV) and the Northwestern Michigan College Student Group Vox will host an information table.
Testing through April is available for $50 at Planned Parenthood, 1135 E. Eighth St. Medicaid, the Michigan Plan First! family planning program and most insurances are accepted. For details, visit www.ppwnm.org.
Vox: Voice for Planned Parenthood will man an information table from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, April 17-19, in West Hall on NMC’s main campus, with education about STDs and taboos about testing, trivia, prizes and a raffle.
Lake City forum
LAKE CITY — The next edition of “Good Morning Lake City” will be held Friday, April 19.
The public forum, described as a live newspaper, features between 14 and 16 speakers. It will be held from 7 to 8 a.m. at the Missaukee County EMS Building on First Street. The cost is $2 per person; free for first-time visitors. For details, call 920-9201 or email email@example.com.
Earth Day clean up
TRAVERSE CITY — The community is invited to join members of Traverse Bay United Methodist Church and area Boy Scouts for an Earth Day project.
The project, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, starts at the church, 1200 Ramsdell Road at Bay Street. It will open with a brief informational program on native plants and their importance for the environment, followed by a stream clean-up and planting of native plants and rescue wildflowers. For details, call 228-5927.
FIFE LAKE — The Walton Junction Sportsman’s Club will serve breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 20.
The meal is $7 for adults, $2.50 for children age 5 to 11 and free for children 4 and younger. The club is located at 11207 E. County Line Road.
Art exhibit opens
CHARLEVOIX — The next all-media exhibit at the Charlevoix Circle of Arts, 109 Clinton St., features Charlevoix carver Jim Lahde.
“Things With Wings” opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20. The exhibit may be viewed through June 16. For details, visit www.charlevoixcircle.org.
TADL book sale
TRAVERSE CITY — The Friends of the Traverse Area District Library will hold a “One Day, One Dollar” book sale.
Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the main branch, 610 Woodmere Ave. Sales are on a first come, first served basis. Credit cards will be accepted. For details, visit www.tadl.org.
PETOSKEY — Crooked Tree Arts Center is offering a ballroom dancing class for couples.
Competitive ballroom dancer Zoe Marshall-Rashid will lead the “Ballroom for 2” class from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the arts center, 461 E. Mitchell St. The cost is $40 for member couples; $55 for non-member couples. Space is limited to eight couples. For details or to register, v isit www.crookedtree.org.
TRAVERSE CITY — Charlie Wunsch and Barb Tholin, publishers of “Edible Grande Traverse” magazine, will be the guest speakers at the Tuesday, April 23, meeting of the Newcomers Club of Grand Traverse.
The group will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the History Center of Traverse City, 322 Sixth St. The program is free and open to the public. For details, visit www.gtnewcomers.org.
TRAVERSE CITY — The Traverse City Girl Scout Leadership Luncheon will honor the legacy of Helen Milliken and the Mackinac Island Girl Scout Honor Guard.
The fundraiser will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at the Hagerty Center, 715 E. Front St. The keynote speaker will be Denise Busley from the Grand Traverse Pie Company.
The $25 cost includes a lunch buffet and proceeds support Girl Scout programs. Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged; call 947-7354.
Art on exhibit
CHARLEVOIX — Art by Roger Stoppel of Bay Shore will be on exhibit through April at the Charlevoix Public Library.
Stoppel is a registered architect whose vocational expertise is in architectural renderings, but a skiing accident about 12 years ago led him to starting drawing during his recovery. Art he has created over the past five years make up the exhibit.
The library is located at 220 W. Clinton St. For details, call 237-7360.
TRAVERSE CITY — The Builders Exchange of NW MI Board of Directors is accepting scholarship applications from member companies, their families and employees.
Scholarships may be used to pursue a degree in the construction trades. Applications are due Wednesday, May 1. For details or an application, visit the Builders Exchange office, 1373 Barlow St.
Smoky Mountains route back open
GATLINBURG, Tenn. — The major route over the Smoky Mountains is open to traffic, three months after a landslide took out a section of it.
The National Park Service said Monday that U.S. 441 was reopened at 10 a.m., allowing travel between Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Cherokee, N.C.
On Jan. 13, a 200-foot-long section of the two-lane highway slid the length of a football field down a slope on the North Carolina side of the park.
The opening came a month ahead of schedule.
“We recognize the economic importance of the road to our neighboring communities and are grateful that our partners at Federal Highways Administration and were able to respond efficiently to our need and work with the contractors to make the necessary repairs in less than 90 days,” said Mokies Superintendent Dale Ditmanson.
Phillips & Jordan, Inc., was awarded a nearly $4 million contract. It had incentives of $8,000 per day for early completion.
The final design includes pipes to allow for the drainage of subsurface water flow along with side drainage leading to a culvert at the end of the slope.
Also on Monday, the park released visitation figures and they are down sharply.
The number of people coming into the 500,000-acre park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border in March was 465,594 — down 23.8 percent from the same month in 2012.
For 2013 to date, visits are off 47.4 percent from the park’s five-year visitation average for the lowest first-quarter figure in over five years. The January through March total was 983,664 visitors which, is 250,334 less than in 2012,
Park officials said the decrease was likely due to the closure of U.S. 441 between Newfound Gap and Smokemont. They expect visits to increase, now that the road is again open and spring has arrived.