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Five Things You Need to Know: Winter, Two-Party Primary & Six Weeks of Winter come to Michigan


1930s Newsreel: Winter Comes to Michigan

The Michigan Department of Transportation shared this newsreel from the 30s featuring all kinds of winter fun including ski jumping that also hypes Michigan’s road system and winter road maintenance.

It was discovered by Nancy and Barbara Sleeper of Newberry, daughters of former Luce County Road Commission superintendent Sanborn Sleeper, and it’s ridiculously awesome.

2February 8th Deadline to Register to Vote for March Primary

Michigan Democrats have always held closed caucuses, but in 2016 have opted to join Republicans for the March 8 Primary – likely reducing the questionable tradition of Michigan Dems voting in the GOP primary. Jack Lessenbery looks back on some notable primaries and observes that although we vote after the traditionally early states like New Hampshire, our primary comes before most other big states like Ohio, Illinois, New York and California vote.

The Secretary of State has all the details and candidates.

7-11 Now Selling Vernors Slurpees

Lest we get accused of being too serious, here’s news that more than 200 Michigan 7-Elevens are selling a Vernors Slurpee!

The oldest surviving ginger ale brand, Vernors was created in 1866 by James Vernor in a downtown Detroit pharmacy located on 233 Woodward Avenue.

Legend has it that Vernor was trying to replicate an Irish ginger-flavored ale when he was called away to serve in the Civil War. He left his creation behind in an oak barrel and, on his return, sampled the aged beverage. He pronounced its bold flavor “Deliciously Different.”

4BREAKING! 6 More Weeks of Winter on the Way

(via Michigan in Pictures) While America’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has predicted an early spring, there appears to be a conflict as CBS Detroit just tweeted that Michigan’s official groundhog, Woody the Woodchuck of the Howell Nature Center, is predicting 6 more weeks of winter.

5Michigan Groundhogs, Woodchucks and Whistle Pigs

Michigan has native groundhogs, and you can learn all about them from a great resource, the University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web under Marmota monax (woodchuck) which says (in part):

Woodchucks have numerous common names, including ground hog, and whistle pig. The word “woodchuck” is a misinterpretation of their Native American name “wuchak”, which roughly translates as “the digger”. Groundhog Day occurs when Punxsutawney Phil, a captive woodchuck held in rural Pennsylvania, is awakened from hibernation in order to determine if he will see his shadow. According to the legend, if he sees his shadow there will be 6 additional weeks of winter. If he does not see his shadow, legend predicts an early spring.

The legend of Groundhog Day is likely due to the fact that woodchucks often re-enter hibernation after emerging from their dens prematurely.

Read on at Michigan in Pictures!