State briefing

Bridge walkers get new options

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (AP) — Participants in the traditional Labor Day walk across the Mackinac Bridge should expect some changes — and prepare for traffic tie-ups.

The 5-mile-long bridge will be closed to vehicles Monday from 6:30 a.m. until noon. Historically, two lanes were designated for vehicles and the other two for walkers. But because of safety concerns, officials decided in 2017 to keep vehicles off the bridge during the walk.

What’s new this year is that walkers will have several options. They can start on the north or south side of the bridge, cross halfway, then return. If they go all the way across, they’ll have to arrange their own transportation back because no buses will be operating. Or, they can walk all the way back — adding up to about a 10-mile hike.

Family hopes to keep ferry going

LELAND, Mich. (AP) — The present generation of a family that has operated ferries between the mainland and two Lake Michigan islands for more than a century hopes to keep the job a while longer.

Michael Grosvenor and his sister, Megan Munoz, are fourth-generation co-owners of Manitou Island Transit, which provides ferry services at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The vessel runs between the village of Leland and North Manitou and South Manitou islands from mid-May through early November.

The Traverse City Record-Eagle reports that their contract with the National Park Service will expire around the end of the year. The agency is accepting applications for a company to handle the task for the next 10 years.

Munoz says her family will try to keep its streak going.

Tornado in southwestern Michigan

PRAIRIEVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The National Weather Service has confirmed that a 100-yard-wide (91-meter-wide) tornado appeared in southwestern Michigan’s Barry County.

The weather service said Sunday in a release that a preliminary report shows the tornado was on the ground in Prairieville Township for about two minutes Saturday evening.

It had wind speeds up to 75 mph and traveled nearly a half-mile. Minor damage was reported.

Saginaw officials save old mansion

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — The Saginaw City Council has agreed to a development deal that will save a historic 144-year-old mansion from demolition.

The council voted last month to accept the agreement from Ann Arbor Builders, The Saginaw News reported.

The city had initially resolved in 2016 to demolish the property to make room for development in the area, but the decision was overturned following the community’s response.

“I didn’t really realize how much the community cared,” said Alexander Mixter, who helped in the campaign to save the property.

The property will soon be redeveloped to be “The Front Door to Downtown,” he said.

“So if anyone is coming to Saginaw, they can stop in and find out anything they need to know about Saginaw,” Mixter said.

The mansion will include community meeting space, a gift shop and office space, and will provide historical information about the city, he said.

“I’m on cloud nine about the whole thing because it has been such a long process and there has been so many players,” Mixter said. “It’s been really, really great working with the city. They’ve been great. I (am) glad that it got this far, and it crossed the finish line.”

The city purchased the home from Rosemary Degesero for $19,900 in 2011. The building has been considered for demolition since then.

The property is also known as “the cat lady mansion” because Degesero had a pet leopard named Chichu. The home also features ornamental lion heads on the front porch.