n To the dozens of groups, from quilters to choirs, school groups and local townships, and the hundreds of volunteers who organized Memorial Day observances across the region Monday. Flowers were laid, flags raised, songs sung and salutes given to honor the men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces over its nearly 240-year history.
n To Traverse City Area Public Schools, which plans to purchase about 2,200 Chromebooks, a type of laptop computer, for use in elementary classrooms next school year. The new and existing Chromebook already in classrooms will give elementary schools a ratio of two students for every one laptop. The computers will cost the district $712,366 from a 2007 bond. Students use the devices for reading, writing, research, math and more.
n To the hundreds of volunteers who every year make the Northwestern Michigan College BBQ run, raising tens of thousands for various programs over the years. Thousands of visitors ate buffalo burgers at the 59th annual event last weekend. The BBQ has raised an estimated $1.5 million since it was launched in 1955. This year’s event raised $40,000.
n To DTE Energy officials who held consultations and offered other services to customers looking for help in paying their energy bills after the region;s brutal winter. Heating bills were about 21 percent higher than last year for DTE Energy customers across the state, DTE representatives and officials from other groups that offer energy assistance, home energy consultations and other services took part.
n To the Mancelona-based Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies and its volunteers, who were to collect insects from five locations on the Upper Manistee River, in Kalkaska County to test for water quality. Testing bugs makes it easier to determine if toxic substances are present.
n To the Project Learning Tree International Coordinators’ Conference, which will draw 125 environmental educators from 47 states, Mexico, Japan and Puerto Rico to Traverse City. Project Learning Tree, a program of the American Forest Foundation, is an international outdoor and environmental learning program designed for teachers, parents and community leaders.