Freshwater Reporter is a new community newspaper covering Manistee and Mason counties. The paper’s publisher and co-editor is Pat Stinson, who reported the news from Empire, Maple City and Cedar for the Sun for many years. After relocating to Manistee, Stinson said she saw a need to share more stories from rural villages in Manistee and Mason counties, as well as the larger cities of Manistee and Ludington.

n early March 2011 I invited the Representative of Michigan’s 101st District, Ray Franz to come and speak with my students at Onekema Elementary School about his role in our State’s government, I asked him to speak of current issues in Michigan that would be of interest to a typical third grader, and to answer student questions regarding our natural resources, energy, transportation, and our civil liberties.

Diane Conners of the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service wrote an informative story today about how legislation pushed by State Representative Ray Franz (who represents Leelanau, Benzie and Manistee Counties) and 14 other Republicans in Lansing would privatize food service for school cafeterias, which could hurt popular farm to school programs.

Courtesy of the Great Lakes Bulletin News Service — A newly elected state representative who says he doesn’t believe in man-made climate change and supports building a nuclear power plant in northern Michigan is standing by his recent claims about wind power, despite fact checking that indicates most of his assertions were incorrect.

Michigan Land Use Institute: A proposal by the nation’s largest energy company to erect more than 100 utility-scale wind turbines in Benzie and Manistee Counties holds the promise for an economic boost to the rural region, experts say, and will further the state’s efforts to become a leader in the nation’s emerging clean energy sector.

State representative-elect Ray Franz favors cutting “Pure Michigan” funding by as much as 80 percent, the soon-to-be legislator from the 101st District told the Leelanau Enterprise last week. Franz said he would reduce funding from $25 to $30 million down to $5 to $6 million, while comparing Michigan’s tourism economy to keeping the books at the Onekema grocery store he owns.