ST. CHARLES WINERY on West Washington Street is closing down at the end of the week. It had a three year run.
The closure is further evidence that it’s tough to follow your dream and start your own business. The reason for closing? Too much debt, and a realization that Marquette is a beer town. This, according to the winery’s Facebook page.
Randy and Lisa St. Charles had plenty of energy–you’d see them out at the Farmers Market every Saturday–and they managed to get their wines on the shelves of local stores, but sometimes a good idea and a ton of energy aren’t enough.
They had substantial sales of their wines only four months a year, they said. Sales on July 4th alone nearly outsold the entire month of November.
So it goes in the wintertime in the U.P.
Thursday’s the last day they’ll be selling wine. Furniture and accessories will be sold after that at a deep discount.
And what will the couple be doing now that they’re shutting down their own business? Working for someone else again.
SPEAKING OF WINTER.
We’ve finally gotten a little bit of it at the end of the month, but WLUC’s Karl Bohnak says this December will be the warmest since the National Weather Service in Negaunee started keeping records back in 1961. It’ll be more than two degrees warmer than the previous record in 1994, and eleven degrees warmer than average.
Sounds about right.
Even with this latest burst of winter, snow totals at the NWS in Negaunee in the last month also rate much lower than average.
Bohnak does point out that, actually, according to older records kept in the city of Marquette, December of 1877 may have been much warmer than this year. Like five degrees warmer.
Gotta admit, our memory’s a little hazy for that particular year.
So what about the next few months? It’ll likely remain warmer than average but not as drastic as December has been.
Snowfall will remain lower than average because El Ninos push the storms to the south, away from the U.P.
A PUBLIC-PRIVATE collaboration may be in the works at NMU. The university is taking a serious look at razing the old Summit Apartments on campus, and working out a deal with a private developer to build new apartments and manage them for a set period of time.
The building costs would be borne by the developer, and, in return, the developer would profit from the rents generated by the apartments.
Eventually, the apartments would revert back to NMU.
It’s a way to get new housing built on campus without the university having to pay for it. Other universities around the nation have been trying this arrangement with success.
If NMU can find a private partner to build the housing, construction could begin later this year.
IF YOU’VE DRIVEN south on US 41 recently, about a mile past the M-28 junction, you’ve probably noticed a huge tower arising on the eastern side of the highway.
Maybe it’s the base for a windmill? Or how about government surveillance tower? Or….
Chocolay Township officials confirm it’s nothing more than an ordinary Verizon cell phone tower installed on private property.
But maybe it’s really, actually a tower providing guidance for UFO’s and….
Uhh….sure. But let’s keep it a secret.
HOW MANY TOWNS can boast that they have a two time Olympian greeting you as you walk into the YMCA?
Well, Marquette can.
She’s not one to make a big deal of it but Lindsey (Weier) Dehlin, a US Olympian in Nordic skiing in 2002 and 2006, is just a wee bit more accomplished than the rest of us.
Her job today is certainly more conventional but she’s acquired other responsibilities along the way, like two four-year-old twin sons who, yes, have already been introduced to the trails of cross country and the slopes of downhill skiing.
Does she miss her old life–globetrotting from Italy to Finland to Japan to New Zealand? Not really. She loved the competition, the travel and the adventure while she was doing it…but there came a time to settle down with a husband and children, and plenty of recreational skiing in a town she loves.
Her smile at the YMCA front desk these days tells it all.
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