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      Great Lakes breaker history in print

      Author Mike Fornes dropped by the Dickinson County Library in Iron Mountain Thursday. He talked about his book The USCG Mackinaw, an illustrated history of a Great Lakes queen. The 300-foot ice breaker was built in Toledo and commissioned in December of 1944.

      Fornes highlighted the Mac's ability to clear shipping lanes of the Great Lakes so iron ore could reach the steel mills during World War II.

      "It gave an extra six weeks at the end and beginning of the winter so that the shipping was allowed to continue, and we needed that iron ore to make the tanks and planes and ships that helped win the war," said Fornes. The Mackinaw was decommissioned from its Coast Guard career in June of 2006. The vessel currently resides in Mackinaw City as a museum with tours available to the public.