If there’s one issue that provokes anxiety among Marquette city officials, merchants and even residents, it’s the future home of Marquette General Hospital.
Duke LifePoint officials, who are working with a site development company, were in town this week checking out potential locations. Reportedly there are about thirty possible sites, about a dozen of them within the city limits, and the remainder outside. A hospital campus would require forty acres or so.
Marquette wants to keep the hospital in town. Badly.
The hospital, with more than 2000 employees, represents a huge tax base for the city. It also provides major support for surrounding businesses. And, of course, an in-town location would likely (though not necessarily) be more convenient for most of the city’s citizens.
As for Marquette Township, officials there are excited about the prospect of the hospital relocating there. They met with the LifePoint officials this week and specifically discussed two locations, one of which would be on the property for a proposed 70-90 million dollar, mixed-use development behind Lowes. The hospital would effectively be the anchor of that development if that’s the direction LifePoint chose to go.
The decision will be made in Brentwood, Tennessee, the headquarters for LifePoint. When? Likely within three to six months.
City officials and Township officials are holding their breath.
There’s gotta be something in the air. Like resignation fever.
Last week it was TV6 news director Regena Robinson unexpectedly bidding farewell to her staff. On Monday of this week, ABC10’s news chief Cynthia Thompson did the same. Her last day is Friday.
She didn’t say where she was going or what she would be doing next.
She did tell me she was staying in the U.P.–this is her home–and that on Monday, her first official day off, she’d probably be working out, getting her nails done and maybe taking down the Christmas tree. She seemed to be in uncommonly good spirits.
You could easily speculate that she might be taking the news director/anchor job at WJMN, the CBS affiliate that’s aiming to launch a UP newscast in the first quarter of this year. If she is, she’s not saying, nor is WJMN.
Who’s Thompson’s successor at ABC10? Nobody knows but whoever it is will face a daunting challenge.
ABC10 has long been underfunded and undermanned (though improving), while TV6 is a powerhouse in terms of staffing, resources and ratings, and WJMN will likely enter the competition with more-than-adequate funding and a determination to finally loosen TV6’s longtime stranglehold on this TV market.
Remember Eric Dompierre? He’s the young man with Down Syndrome who inspired all of us in 2012 as a player on the state champion Ishpeming Hematite football team.
So what’s he doing these days? Sitting around, playing video games and eating Cheetos while dreaming of the glory days?
Not really. He’s continuing his education in Transitions 2 at MARESA, a program that teaches special needs individuals how to budget their money, how to cook and how to get jobs.
He’s also interning at the Blood Center at Marquette General Hospital. He’s about to start interning at Anytime Fitness in Harvey.
Oh, and he’s also washing dishes at Wawonowin Country Club in Ishpeming, and he may work as a bag boy there again this summer.
He drives everywhere. He lifts weights. He plays in a weekly basketball league.
Yeah, sounds like we have a role model for our young people. Eric’s inspiring story continues.
The timing might seem a bit odd, given that the wind chill is hovering around ten degrees, but a new frozen yogurt shop is going in on the corner of Washington and Third Street.
It’ll be called Yoop-Phoria. Self-serve yogurt. You select one of eight flavors, then you add any of more than 30 toppings, then you weigh it, and then you pay, based on the weight.
You can do it with cups or muffins and they’ll also offer smoothies.
Sounds like fun. It’s all the rage in other parts of the country, and is apparently succeeding even in cold weather towns. You can get your dose of Yoop-Phoria on or about April 1st, just about the time the ice starts breaking up in Lake Superior.
You got news? Email me at briancabell.com