PAT TORREANO - WKQS - (906) 228-6800

UPDSA's Pat Torreano.

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – The annual runnings of the UP 200 and Midnight Run sled dog races are fast approaching, and although the weather has been less than wintry, the races will go on.

That was the message from Pat Torreano with the Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association when she visited SUNNY 101.9’s Mark & Walt in the Morning today.  She talked about the adjustments that had been made to the race routes and the current condition of the trails.

Pat also explained that the starting ceremonies for the UP 200 will be held in downtown Marquette as usual, but they will have the start of the Midnight Run race there as well.  The two race starts will be separated by about a half-hour and will add to the excitement of Sled Dog night in Marquette.

To listen to the interview with Pat, please click on the audio link below:

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To visit the UPSDA’s website and find out more about the race and the organization, please click “HERE”.

MI 38th District Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba)

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – 38-th District State Senator Tom Casperson called in to SUNNY 101.9 WKQS-FM’s Mark & Walt in the Morning today to share his thoughts on the State of the State address delivered by Governor Rick Snyder last night at the State Capitol in Lansing.

Senator Casperson expressed a fairly positive sentiment about the role of Upper Michigan in the Governor’s plans for the rebuilding of  the economy of the state.  He discussed the impact of hearing the governor single out tourism and natural resources of the U.P. as viable players in Michigan’s recovery during the address.

The Senator also commented on how Governor Snyder seems to actively be avoiding “finger-pointing” about how Michigan got to where it is economically and is focused on moving the state forward and back on it’s feet.

To listen to the comments of State Senator Tom Casperson, please click on the audio link below:

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Lorrie Hayes of the Flat Broke Blues Band with the new CD.

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Upper Michigan’s very own Flat Broke Blues Band is having a CD release party this week in Marquette,  MI.

The band is performing this Friday evening at 6pm at the UpFront & Company nightclub to celebrate the release of “FB 3” the band’s third studio album.

Flat Broke’s lead singer Lorrie Hayes joined SUNNY 101.9’s Mark and Walt in the Morning today to promote the event.

Lorrie was joined by show co-host and fellow band member Walt Lindala to chat about the evening’s schedule and more about the CD.  They talked about writing and producing the music on the CD and about the process of writing and recording.

To listen to the interview, please click on the link below:

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For more about the new CD and how to order a copy, click “HERE“.

KILN SHELL MOVE - WKQS - (906) 228-6800

Kiln Shell move across Marquette County from 2009.

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Drivers traveling between Iron Mountain and Palmer may experience some delays this afternoon due to a major equipment moving project.  Here’s the story from the newsroom:


Cliffs Natural Resources is moving a piece of oversized equipment from the Michigan-Wisconsin border in Dickinson County to the Tilden Mine today that could impact travel on several U-P roads.
The equipment that is being moved is a kiln shell piece that is 26-feet in diameter and weighs approximately 67 tons. This kiln shell move is similar to one moved in 2009.  The move will affect vehicle travel on roads from the Michigan/Wisconsin border at Florence, WI to the Tilden mine beginning around noon today.
The kiln shell move will start at U.S. 2 North at U.S 141 at the Michigan-Wisconsin border, then progress to M-69 East, to M-95 North, to U.S. 41 East to M-553 South to Marquette County Road 480 West to M-35 South to the Empire Mine entrance at Palmer, arriving at approximately 4:00 PM EDT.



Dan Benishek - WKQS FM - (906) 228-6800

Congressman Dan Benishek

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Congressman Dan Benishek has responded to charges in an advertising campaign claiming he is siding with big oil by voting in support of  tax breaks for the companies.

Congressman Benishek, who represents Michigan’s 1-st Congressional District covering all of Upper Michigan and a large portion of Northern Lower Michigan, appeared on SUNNY 101.9’s WKQS-FM’s Mark and Walt in the Morning today and addressed the ad.

The Iron River Republican says the message of the ad is misleading and he calls it “ridiculous” and he is not concerned about it.  To listen to the complete comments of Congressman Benishek about the advertisement, please click the link below:

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The advertisement was run by the League of Conservation Voters and is running in the Marquette and Traverse City markets.  You can find out more about the advertisement by clicking “HERE“.

The 20-millionth Ford car rolls off of the assembly line in 1931 with Henry Ford behind the wheel.

In one of those fun turns of events, I discovered an unique piece of automotive history today.  As a car buff, I was surprised to find out about a local connection to America’s corporate history right here in the U.P.!

It’s all part of the Model A Ford Club of America’s Convention coming to Marquette County next summer.  As part of the festivities of the event, the 20-millionth car produced by Ford Motor Company will be displayed.  The car is a 1931 Model A sedan and has a direct connection to my hometown of Chassell, MI.

The fully restored 20-millionth Ford car on display downstate. This car will be in Marquette next summer.

The long and short of the story is that the car was produced in 1931, toured the country for a year, then went on display at a Ford Museum and was eventually sold as surplus.

The family that bought it in 1940 was the Liimatainens from Chassell and Aura.  After the father drove the Model A for almost 20 years, it was put into storage in a garage in Aura.  That’s where it sat from 1960 to 2000, when it was confirmed by automotive historians to be the 20-millionth Ford car and was leased back to the company and was fully restored.

Click “HERE” to read more about this car and it’s history.


I love this kind of stuff!

-Walt L.


Jan Hillman and Bonnie Kilpela in the WKQS studio.

MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – A special calendar designed to tell the stories of several area breast cancer survivors has been released.  The 2012 Pink Warrior calendar, entitled “Strength in Numbers” is out in time for October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The calendar, the brainchild of Bonnie Kilpela with Marquette General Health Systems, features artistic photographs and the stories of local people whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.

Kilpela and “Miss January” from this year’s calendar, Jan Hillman, joined Sunny 101.9’s Walt Lindala this morning to discuss the calendar and how it was put together this year.  They also talked about how you can get a copy of the calendar.

To listen to the interview with Bonnie and Jan, please click below:

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For more about the calendar, please click “HERE“.

For the latest power outage updates from the Upper Peninsula Power Company, please click “HERE“.


MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Strong storms with high winds and heavy rain moved across the U.P. affecting thousands of people by knocking out power and causing damage including downed trees and more.  The Upper Peninsula Power Company is reporting thousands of customers without power, with outages reported from the Copper Country to Delta County.  UPPCO has not released a timeline for the expected full restoration of service.

The Marquette Board of Light and Power says their crews are working on restoring main circuits first, and as a result, some of their customers in some of their outlying service areas in Marquette County such as Skandia, Sands and Chocolay Townships may be without power until tomorrow.

Wind gusts over 50 miles per hour were reported on the Lake Superior shoreline in Marquette, while 65 mile an hour gusts were reported in Menominee.  The high winds caused trees and branches to be blown down across the region, blocking roads and cutting power.  State Police at Central Dispatch in Negaunee Township say all main roadways are open and clear, but roads in many rural locations may still be blocked by trees and debris and motorists need to use caution.

Residents are being advised to stay away from downed power lines and treat them as if they were live and energized.  People should not attempt to move or cut any trees or branches near the power lines.  Downed power lines and trees can be reported to your local police agency, power company or local road commission office.


MSP Negaunee Post Commander Robert Pernaski.

MARQUETTE, MI – Great Lakes Radio News– A number of  State Police posts around the state have been slated closure due to budget cuts to the department.  This includes posts located here in Upper Michigan such as the post in Munising.

The post there was supposed to be closed down later this fall, but the word came down late last week from MSP Headquarters that the Munising Post was to cease office hours this week and close down the building.

As part of the plan, the post would become a detachment of the Negaunee Regional Dispatch Post in Marquette County and troopers in Alger County would share some small office space with city police and firefighters in downtown Munising.

Negaunee Post Commander F/Lt. Robert Pernaski joined Sunny 101.9’s Mark and Walt in the Morning today to discuss these changes and more in detail.  He explained that the State Police will still maintain the same level of service and security via road patrols with the “brick and mortar” elements of the posts being the only noticeable loss for residents.

To listen to the interview with Post Commander Pernaski, please click below:

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MI State Senator Tom Casperson

MI State Senator Tom Casperson

MARQUETTE, MI – Great Lakes Radio News – Michigan State Senator Tom Casperson joined Sunny 101.9’s Mark and Walt in the Morning to chat about the latest happenings in Lansing.

Senator Casperson discussed the trip he was making later today to join Governor Rick Snyder in Grand Marais to meet with residents about the harbor dredging effort and what it means to that small Lake Superior coastal community.  Casperson, a current target for recall, also gave his thoughts on the outcomes of the recent recall elections in Wisconsin and what impact they may have on recall efforts here in Michigan.

Casperson then wrapped up with a few encouraging words about the U.P State Fair going on this week in his hometown of Escanaba and invited everyone to come over and enjoy the Fair.

To listen to the interview with Senator Tom Casperson, please click below:

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