TRAVERSE CITY — A dozen local community leaders are taking to tents again.
The second annual Traverse City Sleep Out, scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday morning, is intended to raise funds to help needy individuals and families meet spiraling energy costs.
Community members are encouraged to stop by the Open Space beginning Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. to make a donation to local organizations that help area low income residents with heating costs. Participating organizations include the Grand Traverse Area United Way, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan and the Father Fred Foundation.
Donations also will be accepted for the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, a statewide advocacy, education and aid group that supports energy assistance for Michigan's low income households.
In 2011, the first Sleep Out garnered $10,000. Organizers hope to exceed that amount this year. The total still represents "a drop in the bucket of the need that's out there," said Doug Luciani, president and CEO of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It's a powerful way to send a message," he said of the Sleep Out event. "The purpose is to raise awareness in the community that times are tough. Plus, that there are programs out there to help, but even so these programs aren't enough."
The Father Fred Foundation's projected figures for 2012 show the need for utility assistance continues to climb in the sluggish economy. The foundation distributed $251,475 in emergency assistance in 2010. That figure rose 20 percent to $328,008 in 2011 and is projected to jump another 10 percent this year to $354,000.
During the most recent winter season covering November 1 through March 31, the Father Fred Foundation provided $133,000 in assistance to 688 families, an average of $193 per household.
"Bear in mind that there are shutoff and winter protection plans that spread utility payments throughout the year," said Jim Holwerda, Father Fred chaplain. "Indebtedness incurred in the winter months may not result in the threat of shutoff until spring or summer."
Representatives of local utility companies are on the Sleep Out roster, including Cherryland Electric Co-Operative, Traverse City Light & Power, DTE Energy and Consumer's Energy. The companies offer help for consumers to keep their heat on during financial difficulties.
A grant last year from DTE Energy purchased tents and sleeping bags for a dozen campers. The equipment then was donated the next day to Goodwill Inn, which distributed the items among area homeless people.
Families in need mean students in need. Local education representatives scheduled to participate in this year's Sleep Out including Steve Cousins, superintendent of the Traverse City Area Public Schools, and Mike Hill, superintendent of the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District.
With 24,500 students in a five-county area under his jurisdiction, Hill is taking part in the Sleep Out effort in order to raise awareness about young people affected by poverty.
"I go into this thinking about students, too many in our five counties who struggle in this economy," he said. "We all know the research: when students come to school it has an impact on achievement if they're coming from an environment where they don't have a warm home."
Officials raise awareness with another night outdoors
TRAVERSE CITY — A dozen local community leaders are taking to tents again.
Iconic TCL&P windmill over Traverse City will come down
Traverse City Light & Power’s iconic wind turbine, a towering structure that for 17 years spun its blades and accented the M-72 skyline, is set to be a thing of the past.Continued ...
Kalkaska struggles to pay retiree health care
Charlie Shafer recently fell from a ladder, a tumble that compressed three discs in his back and damaged several nerves.Continued ...
Sheriff's dept. closes lobby — 'last resort' to homeless
For years, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Department's lobby informally served as the “last resort” for a small number of street homeless people too belligerent and drunk to stay at church shelters.Continued ...
TCAPS board praises Cousins
The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education approved a largely positive evaluation of the district’s superintendent.Continued ...
Sewer plant fix could prevent a disaster
An environmental disaster could result if local officials fail to replace at least one of eight filtering membranes at Traverse City’s waste water treatment plant.Continued ...
GT commission revisits budget
Grand Traverse County commissioners will try again to pass a 2014 budget at a committee meeting tonight.Continued ...
- Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Man dies in Acme crash
One man is dead after a multi-vehicle crash in Acme Township today.Continued ...
Internet outage hits Grand Traverse gov't offices, businesses
An Internet outage left several Traverse area Charter Communications fiber optic customers without the means to send emails, take payments, check out library books and perform the thousands of other everyday tasks now requiring online access.Continued ...
Constant snow = slick roads
The new week didn’t begin quietly in Kalkaska County, what with a new round of wintry weather.Continued ...
NMC weighs in on Amazon drone plan
Amazon’s idea to let self-guided drones deliver packages from warehouse to doorstep could make online retail soar someday, but its ambitious timeline may not fly.Continued ...
Mom drives with drugs, child
A Traverse City woman faces charges after authorities said she illegally drove a vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication with her son, 3, in the car.Continued ...
Embezzler says he sorry for crimes
A Grawn man who admitted he stole electronics from an employer said he’s sorry.Continued ...
Possible bomb a false alarm
A “suspicious device” that brought a state police bomb squad unit to a fruit processor’s facility in Grawn turned out to be no bomb at all.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 12/10/2013
Because of a reporter’s error, a Sunday article on new legislation should have said adult foster care and group homes will be able to honor “do not resuscitate wishes” of patients.Continued ...
- Monday, December 9, 2013
City to increase focus on sidewalk plowing
City commissioners buried in residents' complaints about unplowed sidewalks took little warmth from efforts to increase enforcement of snow removal requirements for property owners.Continued ...
Interlochen Wendy's robbed; man arrested
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man on suspicion of armed robbery. Michigan State Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at the Wendy’s restaurant in Interlochen on Sunday night.Continued ...
Interlochen Wendy's subject of armed robbery
Authorities arrested an Interlochen man, 50, on suspicion of armed robbery.Continued ...
TCAPS reviews Cousins
Traverse City Area Public Schools’ Board of Education will release their annual evaluation of the district’s superintendent during a meeting tonight.Continued ...
Touching Michigan's History
Sometimes it’s best to sit on the floor and pass around artifacts to get a feel of early Michigan history.Continued ...
- Sunday, December 8, 2013
Officials question tax-exempt status of property that houses CVB
A smoldering debate over what some locals dubbed “festival fatigue” prompted city officials to question the tax-exempt status of the downtown property that houses the Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau.Continued ...
Dairy farmer goes against grain, succeeds
Dairy farmer Bob Plummer doesn’t trouble himself with the status of the Farm Bill in Washington these days. He doesn’t have to.Continued ...
Law will allow nursing homes to honor end-of-life wishes
A recent amendment to a Michigan law will allow nursing homes staff to honor the wishes of patients who signed “do not resuscitate” orders.Continued ...
Growing grapes, learning the biz
Sherman Atkinson is working toward a dream: his son Patrick’s dream.Continued ...
$20 million can't move Rogers City power plant
A 10-year-old quarry three miles from Rogers City remains just that.Continued ...
Scientists turn to math to analyze, predict weather
Think all ice is the same? That’s not the case on Michigan’s Great Lakes. And now scientists have found out how to detect the differences — with math.Continued ...
- Iconic TCL&P windmill over Traverse City will come down