-- To the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce and W.K. Kellogg Foundation for more than $60,000 in Grand Vision economic prosperity and growth grants to fund projects in Ellsworth, Frankfort, Kingsley, Kalkaska, Empire and for the Grand Traverse County and recreation department. Technical assistance from NWMCOG also will go to Kalkaska County and Cadillac.
-- To U.S, Rep. Candice Miller who called last week for a federal review of waters releases from Lake Michigan through an outlet at Chicago, a century-old practice she said should end as Great Lakes levels approach record lows.
-- To Avis Wolfe for transcribing and preserving the diaries of pioneer Northport Indian missionaries George and Arvilla Smith. The diaries are an important area historic record and reveal much of early pioneer life and American Indian life in Michigan and this region at the time of white and Indian settlement in the mid-1800s.
-- To the dozen local community leaders who slept out on a recent cold, wet and windy night to raise funds and awareness about the plight of needy individuals and families. The second annual Traverse City Sleep Out was sponsored by the Coalition to Keep Michigan Warm, a statewide advocacy, education and aid group that supports energy assistance for Michigan's low-income households.
-- To the Leland Public Schools and teacher Ed Wodek for once again holding its annual mock election and simulated convention, complete with area candidates and 1,000 student "voters" from area schools.
-- To developer Bob Jacobson of LC Consultants and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority on the renovation of Cottage 36 at the Grand Traverse Commons into 29 affordable housing units. It is Jacobson's second affordable housing project there. His 630 Lofts project opened last year with 39 units in Building 50. The bulk of financing for the project came through the state housing authority.
-- To state archaeologists who unearthed new knowledge about Michigan's ancient farming practices. Their discoveries, now on display in a farming exhibit at Michigan State University, suggest that ancient farmers were domesticating foods and starting to farm as early as 4,000 years ago — much earlier than previously predicted.
-- To the vandals who smashed and toppled headstones, monuments and flower pots at Traverse City's historic Oakwood Cemetery. This is not a funny, harmless prank but willful destruction of something deeply important to human decency. Anyone with information that could lead to the vandals' arrest is asked to contact the Traverse City Police Department at (231) 995-5152 or anonymously at (231) 947-TIPS.