Next Dark Sky Park program at the Headlands: 'Astronomy and the World's Religions' on March 20


ASTRONOMY & THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park, Mackinaw City
Date; Friday, March 20
Time: 7 to 9 p.m. snow, rain or shine! Free, no RSVP required
Location: Guest House at Headlands, 15675 Headlands Road

Ceremonial celebrations in nearly every culture around the world are rooted in the star knowledge of each culture's forebears, which is the reason so many religious observances happen around the times of Equinox and Solstice each year.

"Sunset, sunrise, Moon phases, even the rising and setting of certain stars have all been used to establish the celebration of the most holy throughout history," explained Headlands Program Director Mary Stewart Adams. "So at this evening's program, we will consider the question: How has the development of the science of Astronomy influenced these observances? And how can this help us understand different cultures around the world in our own time?"

Though not visible to us, there is a Total Solar Eclipse on this first day of Spring 2015. Its path across the Earth will start due south of Greenland, then sweep up over the Faroe Islands, to skip off the Earth at the North Pole.

For complete program details, click here.

2nd Annual Essence of Emmet History Awards announced!


Do you know a local historian deserving of recognition?
Regional history group announces 2015 recognition program for area achievers in historical preservation, promotion

Throughout Northwest Michigan, individuals, volunteers and organizations are protecting and preserving this region’s rich history in ways not often recognized by the public. But without these caretakers of our past, many stories that have defined this area of Michigan would be lost to the passage of time and memory.

To recognize these extraordinary efforts in protecting, preserving and sharing our history, the Essence of Emmet – a local collaborative of organizations and individuals sharing an interest in our history – has announced its second annual Essence of Emmet History Awards program.

To be eligible for the awards, the recipient(s) must be individuals and organizations dedicated to the preservation, presentation and promotion of the history and culture of Emmet County. (Individuals serving on the Essence of Emmet group are not eligible.)  Work or programs must have taken place in the last 18 months within Emmet County, though the nominated party does not need to be a resident of Emmet County.

“The Essence of Emmet group has been discovering a really vast network of people, organizations and groups in our communities who are doing fascinating, important work preserving the stories from the past,” said Phil Porter, Director of Mackinac State Historic Parks and an Essence of Emmet member.  “It was a real tribute to see the number of individuals nominated during our inaugural year in 2014 and we had a fun celebration tied to one of our history programs in the fall. We plan to do the same type of program this year in September.”

Complete award information, rules and eligibility and nomination forms are available by clicking here

Emmet County Sheriff's Office, Search and Rescue Team implement 'Care Trak'


The Emmet County Sheriff’s Office and Emmet County Search and Rescue Team have implemented a program called  "Care Trak," a telemetry tracking system used to track high-risk people with Alzheimer's Disease and special needs children primarily with autism and Down Syndrome.

Randolph Bricker Sr., Director of the Emmet County Search and Rescue Team, said the system uses technology similar to that used to locate missing aircraft. The system allows caregivers for people with these medical conditions to have their loved ones fitted with a watch-like transmitter. If that person becomes lost or wanders away, emergency personnel can use a special directional antenna and receiver to listen for a signal emitted from the transmitter and hopefully locate the missing person. Since the system was introduced nationally in 1986, thousands of lost, high-risk individuals have been rescued by trained emergency responders in an average of less than 30 minutes.

“Time is of the essence when you are looking for someone with these medical issues,”  said Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin.

Two complete systems were purchased by the Emmet County Search and Rescue Team. One unit will be stationed at the Emmet County Search and Rescue Headquarters in Pellston and the other with the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office in Petoskey. For more information about signing up for the Care Trak System, call the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office at (231) 439-8900.

Circuit Court collections increase with new credit card payment option and installment plans

‘Making victims whole again:' Collections program sees increase in victim restitution payments by accepting credit cards, establishing installment plans

An increasingly successful collections program in Emmet County’s 57th Court is helping many victims of crime find closure more quickly in their legal and personal journeys. It’s also helping recoup court costs for the county and crime victims’ restitution at a higher-than-ever rate, thanks to new protocols established by the court and its collections manager, Cheryl Fitzgerald.

Among the biggest changes driving the increased collections is the acceptance of credit cards for payments of restitution, fines and fees. Bringing the success of the efforts to light recently was the pay-off a $26,000 debt owed to a victim in a local embezzlement case. Because the county is accepting credit cards for paying off such court-order restitution, the defendant was able to make the final payment to the victim in this case that had been ongoing since 2009.

“Judge Charles Johnson saw that case as a great example of our office’s efforts to bring justice and closure to victims of crime. It helps to make them whole again,” said Fitzgerald. “If not for the acceptance of credit cards, it’s unlikely this payment would have ever been made. A family member of the defendant stepped in to pay off the balance of the outstanding restitution order because they could do so using a credit card. It’s our goal to continue to make these things happen as quickly and effectively as possible for everyone involved, especially the victims.”

Fitzgerald estimates that since the court began accepting credit card payments in the past year, her office has brought in an estimated $9,000 to $10,000 per month from old, pending cases.

To read the complete article, click here

'Essence of Emmet' history magazine, Part II, now available!


Essence of Emmet PART I          
Essence of Emmet PART II

The second in a four-part historical series covering the history of Emmet County, called the "Essence of Emmet" magazine, is available!

Part II covers the "Century of Change" in Emmet County, from 1813 to 1917. During this timeframe, the way of life in Northwest Michigan underwent drastic changes, from a mostly Native American population to the arrival of the French and ultimately the British. It was the era that saw the railroads arrive and with them, abundant tourism. Marketing of Emmet County began, and some of our "firsts" arrived -- the first doctor, the first architect, and many others. It also was the era that had tremendous impact on the lives of our Odawa residents, who were faced with assimilation, treaties to remain on their lands and pressures to change the only way of life they'd ever known.

If you would like a complimentary copy of the Essence of Emmet, contact its editor, Beth Anne Eckerle, at, or call (231) 348-1704. The magazine series is produced by a collaborative of Emmet County historical organizations, with credentialed historians as writers and contributors.

Essence of Emmet editions: Part I was published in January 2014, covering pre-contact through 1812. Part III will publish in January 2016, covering 1918-1960; the final installment, Part IV, will be out in January 2017, covering 1961 through contemporary times.

New Visitors' Guide showcases the best of
Emmet County!



Take a look at Emmet County's highlights in our new mini visitors' guide, which will be available just after Jan. 1, 2015! In it, you'll enjoy the amenities and assets that make Emmet County the one of a kind place it is to work, live and play! And as you'll see and read through the pages, Quality of Life is Everything in Emmet County.

If you'd like a complimentary copy of the Emmet County Visitors' Guide, Imagine magazine, Essence of Emmet history magazine or other maps and brochures, contact Communications Director Beth Anne Eckerle at or by calling (231) 348-1704.

Imagine Magazine

Essence of Emmet history

Request a road map/brochures