Stamas, Schmidt complete 2015 Heritage Route 23 tour

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas was joined by Sen. Wayne Schmidt on Friday for the second leg of a two-day legislative tour of Heritage Route 23 with several state and regional officials.

“My goal in leading this successful tour was to highlight Michigan’s sunrise side and engage the community with state officials about issues critical to the region,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “It is an honor to serve the people of northeastern lower Michigan. This hands-on tour offered us a unique experience to see what the sunrise side has to offer, promote tourism and help improve the economy.”

The tour traveled 200 miles along the U.S. 23 Heritage Route from Standish to Mackinaw City.

Highlights on Friday included attending the “Good Morning Alpena” breakfast at the Brown Trout Festival, visiting Port Calcite in Rogers City, touring the McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Cheboygan and enjoying some of the world’s best fudge at JoAnn’s Fudge Shop in Mackinaw City.

“It was great to join the heritage tour today to meet with residents, District 7 State Police troopers and health care providers and, of course, enjoy some delicious fudge at JoAnn’s Fudge Shop,” said Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Cheboygan County is one of Michigan’s best, and I thank Senator Stamas for bringing his tour through the 37th Senate District.”

The first day featured touring the Wurtsmith Airport and Kalitta Air in Oscoda; visiting a local branch office with Secretary of State Ruth Johnson; checking out Neiman’s Family Market, a locally owned and operated grocery store in Alpena; and stopping at the Harrisville State Park for an announcement about the Michigan Activity Pass.

Joining Stamas and Schmidt on the tour were Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering; Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare; Secretary of State Ruth Johnson; Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams; Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon; Vice President of Travel Michigan Dave Lorenz; and officials from Michigan Department of Transportation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Northeast Michigan Council of Governments.

“It is clear that Heritage Route 23 is one of Michigan’s hidden gems, and I encourage everyone to come experience its spectacular views and recreational opportunities,” Stamas said. “From relaxing on the beach in East Tawas to camping at one of Michigan’s oldest state parks in Harrisville or enjoying world-class fudge in Mackinaw City, the Lake Huron shore offers something for everyone.”

Residents can discover more information on Heritage Route 23 by visiting the route’s website at: The site includes information on community events, outdoor activities and even a “Plan Your Trip” link that can help visitors learn about what best fits their interests and assist them in mapping out their vacation.

For more information, residents may also contact Stamas’ office toll-free at 1-855-347-8036.


Editor’s note: The above right photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the Stamas photowire at: Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

The above left photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the Schmidt photowire at: Click on “Photowire” under the Media Center tab.

Governor signs Sen. Schmidt’s bill allowing cycle pubs in Michigan

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to expand the use of cycle pubs in the state of Michigan was recently signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Expanding the use of cycle pubs is just another way for people to enjoy Pure Michigan,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “Cycle pubs are fun, safe and becoming increasingly popular throughout our state, helping boost our economy and promoting tourism.”

Cycle pubs, also known as commercial quadricycles, are used for various social gatherings and activities, carrying patrons from establishment to establishment. Senate Bills 165 and 166, now Public Acts 126 and 127 of 2015, allow patrons to bring their own beer or wine on cycle pubs with them, as long as the business carries liability insurance. Previously, passengers were prohibited from possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages on cycle pubs.

Alcohol will still not be allowed to be sold or purchased on board a cycle pub, and there is a zero tolerance policy for the driver (often called the pilot), meaning that person absolutely would not be allowed to possess or consume alcohol or operate the vehicle while intoxicated.

Local governments have authority to pass ordinances to prohibit cycle pubs from operating on certain roads, and cycle pubs are not allowed on roads maintained by the Department of Transportation — any roads labeled “I,” “U.S.” or “M.”

“These new laws will allow us to expand our business and offer an experience that riders are getting in many other states, which is allowing riders to drink beer or wine at their leisure while pedaling from brewery to brewery,” said Kevin Farron, owner of the TC Cycle Pub. “The net consumption during our two-hour tours will likely decrease as patrons are not rushed to drink while at establishments and can no longer drink liquor — just beer and wine. This will allow us to see more of Traverse City and its breweries — something our customer base of visiting tourists will greatly appreciate.”

For more detailed information about the legislation, visit the Michigan Legislature website.


Great times to be had in Michigan’s great outdoors

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Senator Wayne Schmidt

Summer is in full swing, and with July designated as Park and Recreation Month, there is no better place than Michigan’s Up North to celebrate the season with family and friends.

While northern Michigan communities play host to various events, festivals and parades throughout the summer, what makes our part of the state so great are the abundant opportunities to get out and enjoy nature. Michigan is home to 102 state parks and recreation areas that welcome 22 million visitors each year.

Whether it be camping in the wilderness, kayaking a river, biking a trail or just hanging out at the beach, there is no shortage of opportunities.

Our state forest campgrounds offer more than 3,000 campsites in the nearly four million acres of state forest throughout the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. Each site is located near a river or lake, providing easy access to multiple watersports, like fishing and boating.

When it comes to water, Michigan again comes out on top. Not only is our state defined by it, but ours has the most shoreline of the contiguous 48 states and the most fresh water shoreline in the entire country. In addition to the Great Lakes, we’re also home to 11,000 inland lakes and have 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. No matter where you are in the state, you’re no more than six miles from a body of water.

If water isn’t your thing and camping is a little too out there, another great way to connect with nature is via Michigan’s network of trails. We’ve got 12,000 miles of recreational trails, which includes bike trails, rail trails, off road vehicle trails, snow machine trails and even trails dedicated for horses.

The state Department of Natural Resources provides all the information you need to find the right destination spot for your family. I encourage you to visit and to start planning your next trip.

In our modern times of 24-7 connectivity, it seems more and more difficult to unplug and get out and connect with nature. The good news is, Michigan provides ample opportunities, and there is no better reason than summertime.


Sen. Schmidt announces July coffee hours

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Sen. Wayne Schmidt

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Wayne Schmidt announced he will hold coffee hours in the 37th District this month. 

The senator will be available to answer questions and provide information and assistance, as well as take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district. No appointment is necessary. 

For more information or to contact Schmidt, please visit or call 517-373-2413. 

Sen. Schmidt’s July coffee hours are as follows: 

Monday, July 13
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Murray’s Bar and Grill
115 Main St.
East Jordan 

Friday, July 17
9 – 10 a.m.
Grand Traverse Pie Co.
101 N. Park St.
Traverse City