EMPIRE — Empire Area Community Center hosts a meeting at 4 p.m. Dec. 12 at the town hall. Everyone is welcome to help plan future activities and holiday events.
TRAVERSE CITY — Vocalist Claudia Schmidt performs with the Jeff Haas Trio and saxophonist Laurie Sears from 6-8:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at West Bay Beach. This family-friendly event is free.
Coffee with a senator
SUTTONS BAY — Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, hosts coffee hours throughout the 35th District on Dec. 13. Residents may express their opinions and concerns about the government or ask for help with state issues.
- 9 a.m. at Leelanau County Government Center in Suttons Bay
- Noon at Benzie County Government Center in Beulah
‘Holiday Magic’ program
SUTTONS BAY — Bay Community Theatre hosts the family-friendly “Holiday Magic” program Dec. 13-18. Watch the Royal Ballet company’s “The Nutcracker” at 1 or 6 p.m. Dec. 13-15. “A Christmas Story” is showing for free at 6 p.m. Dec. 16. View “Elf” at 6 p.m. Dec. 17 and “It’s A Wonderful Life” at 6 p.m. Dec. 18. Admission is $5 and popcorn is free. Box office: 231-271-3772.
TRAVERSE CITY — Old Mission Peninsula Women’s Club hosts its annual Christmas cookie sale starting at 8 a.m. Dec. 14 at the township hall on Center Road. Attendees may also enter a cookie raffle.
TRAVERSE CITY — Two local businesses host Christmas Open Studios from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 14. KKB Designs is at 124 N. Maple St. and Glass Mosaic Gallery is at 610 Pine St. Everyone is welcome to browse artwork.
TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Central High School Student Senate hosts the annual “Can the Principal” food drive through Dec. 18. Items go to food pantries at TC High School, the Father Fred Foundation and TC Central. Drop off donations from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1150 Milliken Drive.
Free holiday rides
TRAVERSE CITY — BATA offers free rides to area seniors and assisted living facility residents who want to see holiday light displays. Cookies and blankets are provided. Rides occur Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. More information: 231-941-2324.
Deckhand drowns after fall into lake
BURNS HARBOR, Ind. — A Michigan woman who was a deckhand on an ore boat has died after falling into Lake Michigan at the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor, authorities said.
Sara Murawski, 30, of Kinde, Michigan, had just completed a work trip of several weeks and was onshore retrieving her belongings Monday afternoon when she fell between a dock and the boat, Indiana conservation officers said. A witness entered the water in an attempt to rescue Murawski but she slipped below the surface before he could reach her and did not immediately resurface, officers said. She was not wearing a life jacket.
A diver reached her in 32 feet of water about 45 minutes later and brought her to the surface and a U.S. Coast Guard vessel, but she was pronounced dead at a hospital, officers said.
Murawski’s death is believed to be an accidental drowning, officers said.
Murawski fell at the site of Wilfred Sykes, an ore boat, according to a statement from ArcelorMittal, the steel company that operates the dock.
The company is working with Central Marine Logistics, which manages the Wilfred Sykes captain and crew, to investigate the incident.
Burns Harbor is a few miles east of Gary.