Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 23, 2013

Michigan in Brief: 08/23/2013

Associated Press

---- — Quest for Griffin moves to Gaylord

TRAVERSE CITY — Explorers who removed a wooden slab from Lake Michigan this summer are taking an unusual step to determine whether it could have come from the Griffin, a long-lost vessel from the 17th century.

The nearly 20-foot-long timber will undergo a CT scan Saturday at Otsego Memorial Hospital in Gaylord.

The scan will produce images of the beam’s interior, including tree rings. An expert with Cornell University in New York hopes to analyze the ring patterns and estimate the timber’s age and when it was cut down.

The Griffin was commanded by French explorer La Salle and disappeared in 1679.

Expedition leader Steve Libert says if the wooden beam dates from that period, it probably came from the Griffin. State officials say they’re not convinced it’s from a ship.

State firefighters trek to Montana blaze

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has sent 18 people to help fight a fast-moving fire that has burned more than 9,500 acres in western Montana.

The crew includes fire officers, foresters and one surveyor.

Forest Resources Division chief Bill O’Neill said Thursday the staffers have been trained to battle fires and are ready to go wherever needed. He says it’s important for states to cooperate during emergencies.

About 50 large, uncontained fires are burning around the nation.

Tests: No Asian carp in Kalamazoo River

KALAMAZOO — No genetic material from Asian carp turned up in 200 water samples taken from Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in July, one of a series of tests for the aquatic invaders in Great Lakes tributaries, officials said Thursday.

The samples were taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is monitoring Great Lakes tributaries for signs of the invasive fish.

DNA from bighead and silver carp has been detected in Chicago-area waterways, raising concerns that they may be near Lake Michigan. Both were imported from Asia.