A Ghoulishly Great Time at Watersmeet Fire Trucks and Treats

The 2nd annual Fire Trucks and Treats was another success with over 125 trick or treaters visiting the fire station, local police and ambulance and residents’ car trunks along 1st Street.

Along with local residents, several cars arrived from Hope Lutheran Church where the children were able to “fish” for their treats from poles, Watersmeet Bible Church provided fresh hot popcorn and the ISCCW Lakeguards served hot dogs, chips and drink to all participants.  Local students also offered face painting to the kids.

The Watersmeet Fire Department Volunteers thank all those who turned out to “Trick” and to “Treat”

We look forward to 2023!


Gogebic Santa’s Headquarters Seeking Santa Helpers

The Christmas Season is approaching fast and Santa’s Headquarters is underway. Santa’s Headquarters is a project to support those in need of gifts for their children at Christmas. We extend to you an invitation to support this outreach program.

The effort in 2021 served over 350 children in Gogebic County. Last year families received: A $70 gift card for groceries, 1 large toy for each child, 1 blanket per family, stocking stuffers, toiletry items, toothbrush & toothpaste, and hat and mittens for each child.

Any family in need may fill out a form and return it to the Department of Health and Human Services office in Bessemer. The complete address is on the bottom of all forms. Forms may be picked up at various locations in the following cities: Ironwood, Bessemer, Wakefield and Watersmeet, along with St. Vincent DePaul, MSU Extension Office and Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency. The deadline for returning forms is November 11th, 2022. It is very important that all families register.

Those who wish to donate $15.00-$20.00 unwrapped gifts will be able to do so at locations listed below. Interested persons are asked to pick an age-appropriate gift tag from the Christmas tag trees at one of the following locations and return the gift to the same location. Deadline for returning gifts is December 3rd at close of business for each location.

This year we also have set up an Amazon wish list so that anyone that wants to shop online can choose an item to purchase off the wish list and it will be sent directly to our organization. The link to the Amazon wish list is: https://bit.ly/Gogebic-Santa


Participating gift locations are:

Participating gift locations are:

Coleman Engineering
Ironwood City offices
Marenisco Town Hall
Dairy Queen – Bessemer
Our Lady of Peace Church
Community Mental Health
Trinity Lutheran Church
Incredible Bank in Ironwood
Tribal Offices
Aurora Athletic Club
Gogebic Medical Care Facility
North Lakes Community Clinic
Watersmeet Township Office
Watersmeet Health Clinic
Northern Waters Casino
Higher Love
UP Beat
Suffolk Street Eatery
Gogebic County Senior Center
Mattson Family Chiropractic
Gogebic County Federal Credit Union
Wakefield News
Bessemer Pick & Axe

Gift distribution will be at the Gogebic County Fairgrounds Multipurpose Building on December 7th. Distribution will be at the Watersmeet Community Center on December 8th. Each family will be assigned a number and a time to come to pick up their things to minimize gatherings of people.

Monetary donations may be sent to:
St. Vincent DePaul, Attn: Santa’s Headquarters, 108 S Marquette St., Ironwood, MI 49938

For any questions or to drop off toys and/or gifts you have collected contact: Erin Ross, MSU Extension: rantae@msu.edu or 906-364-2055

Ashley Dennis, MSU Extension: hampston@msu.edu or 906-364-4074

Pat Niksich, Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency: niksichp@gocaa.org or 906-667-0283, #31 Amanda Niemi, MDHHS: NierniA@michigan.gov or 906-663-6200


LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: Watersmeet Sisters to compete with TEAM USA at the Pankration World Championships in Athens, Greece!

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT:  Watersmeet Sisters to compete with Dave Sixel and TEAM USA at the Pankration World Championships in Athens, Greece!


Dave Sixel has been a 50+ year Martial Artist and has now been recognized to become Team leader of Team USA.  “I was an athlete in 2000, when we competed and received the gold medal at the 1st World Championships. It is now coming full circle where I can give my U.S. athletes the opportunity that I had,” Dave said.

Along with Dave, there will be qualifying athletes from throughout the United States, even as far away as Hawaii. Dave will also be bringing two Watersmeet sisters that have been involved with him for over 6 years and they will show and prove they have what it takes to become world champions.

The Peterson sisters, from Watersmeet, Michigan, Haley, age 16, and Nicole, age 14, are both excited and honored to represent the Red, White, and Blue as they travel to Greece with Team USA. They will be competing in the Pankration World Championship that is being held in Greece February 2023. Haley and Nicole have trained in the art of Pankration for over 6 years and have become accomplished brown belts in their sport.

This past year Haley was one of 92 students from a staggering list of 1,300 to do an on-site internship with NASA at the University of Texas. While there she worked on the Mars Rover Team and has accepted to return in December to work on LunaSats.

The younger of the two sisters, Nicole, challenged, and successfully tested out of the 8th grade after only sitting through 1 quarter of learning to move up to the 9th grade. She is currently a straight A Sophomore at Watersmeet High School.

In their free time both sisters display their kind and humble demeanor by volunteering to help Dave Sixel teach self-defense classes as well as to try and help their high school Quiz Bowl and Robotics teams achieve victory. Both Haley and Nicole are in The National Honor Society as well.

Your support and sponsorship would go a long way to help these amazing young ladies achieve their dreams that they have worked so hard for.  Dave, an exceptional coach, has an excellent track record of producing several Northwoods Martial Artists that have competed and became World Champions!

The competition will take place in Athens, Greece, which is the birthplace of the original mixed Martial Art of Pankration. The dates will be February 17-19, 2023. This world championship will host 47 different countries.

TEAM USA is a non-profit 501 3c organization where its athletes are self-funded. Haley and Nicole Peterson, from Watersmeet, are seeking donations and sponsorships. If you are interested, please contact Dave Sixel at davesixel@yahoo.com or 715-617-6170.


Dave Sixel
Team USA Pankration President
9th Degree Grand Master Black Belt


GREAT NEWS!!! High Speed Internet is Coming in 2023

Great News!

Last week we sent out a very pessimistic report on the status of fiber optic internet for Watersmeet Township.  We had not received any updates from Highline in quite some time and we anticipated the worst.

Well, all that changed on Friday, September 16, 2022.

On Friday, the Watersmeet Broadband Task Force had a virtual meeting with Bruce Moore, Highline CEO.  Bruce let us know right away that Watersmeet is DEFINITELY getting Fiber Optic Broadband in 2023!!  The crews will begin laying the fiber optic in the ground in June 2023.  They expect to have the first of three rounds laid by August 2023.

Currently, 40% of Watersmeet households (347 homes) paid the $25 deposit and signed up for Highline.  One of the main reasons we are getting fiber optic before the rest of the western UP is because of the high percentage of households that already signed up!

What Does this Mean?

Fiber optic internet is considered the gold standard of internet.  It is very reliable, fast and not affected by weather.  Here are some of the specifics:

  • Speeds to be up to 1 gigabyte per second download and up to 500 megabytes per second upload
  • No data caps
  • Set-up fee of approximately $99
  • Service pricing to be around $99/month which includes a modem/router
  • $29/month additional for a digital phone line may also be available

What Can You Do to help?

Improving internet service to all of Watersmeet has been an important issue for many years.  It is vital to our economic growth.  Highline and the Watersmeet Task Force is asking every Michigan property owner to go to the HighlineFast web page, click on “Sign Up” and enter your property address. If your address does not appear in the drop-down list, it may help to leave off the leading letter in your address. For example: 3928 instead of N3928.  (If it still does not appear, select an address closest to you and you can correct the information when Highline contacts you). By entering your address, you are letting Highline know you are interested in their service. It is not a commitment to subscribe to their service.  You do not need to enter any credit card information.

After signing up, you may be contacted by Highline to confirm your address and/or to request a $25 deposit (which will be deducted from the $99 set-up fee) to confirm your commitment in installing internet service. This deposit assures service and may also prioritize installation.  Installation fees this low are likely predicated on scheduling the installation crew and fiber optic runs to the homes for these advanced service commitments for the initial service offering.  It is expensive to deploy/bury fiber optic cable, installation costs would likely increase once crews leave our area.  Highline has an aggressive deployment schedule across the UP.

*It is possible that not ALL residences/businesses in the Watersmeet Township are included in the RDOF auction results area.  That is why it is SO IMPORTANT for all residents to sign up on the Highline web site.  Highline has indicated that if enough residents in these areas sign-up for interest they may be able to include service to these “edge areas” during the initial installation phase.  The only way they will know that you are interested is for you to SIGN UP!

Visit Highline’s website for addition information (https://highlinefast.com/internet). Highline Internet is also available on Facebook or call them at 888.212.0054.

Private Roads

If you live on a private road – an easement will likely be necessary.  This is a legal document that gives Highline permission to lay the fiber underground on your private road.  This will be similar to the utility easements already on file for your property.  Please look out for any mailers concerning these easements.

More Info to Follow

In the next few weeks, we should be able to share with all of you the listing of Township roads for each wave of fiber optic installation!

We will be updating the Township website regularly with progress reports and news concerning Highline.  Please spread the word to your neighbors to sign up for the Township updates to be sure to hear all the latest fiber optic news!

As the situation develops with Highline, your Task Force will post updates as appropriate.  Should you have any questions, please contact Trustee Yvonne Clark at trustee1@watersmeet.us.

Thank you,

Watersmeet Broadband Task Force
Bob McGuffin
John Oliver
Greg Clark
Yvonne Clark, Trustee

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Launched

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more.

About the Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who Is Eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program?

A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

How to Apply

There are three ways for eligible households to apply:

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
  2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742

After receiving an eligibility determination, households can contact their preferred service provider to select an Emergency Broadband Benefit eligible service plan.

Reminder: Short-Term Rental Permit Required in L-1 and L-2

Short-term renting without a permit approved by the Planning Commission is a violation of the Watersmeet Zoning Ordinance. Property owners engaged in short-term renting without a permit will be fined under our Municipal/Civil Infraction section of the Zoning Ordinance.

Owners interested in pursuing short-term renting need to contact the Watersmeet Zoning Administrator, (906) 358-4501 Ext. 112, for the requirements and how to apply for a permit.