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      Who determines snow days?

      Three a.m. comes early every morning, but Jerry Gagnon doesn't mind. He's the first person out on the road for the Houghton County Road Commission each day, checking ice and snow conditions. Then he gauges which equipment is needed to clean the roads off.

      "With this lake effect up here, nobody can predict the weather," said Gagnon. 'Somebody has to get up and make that cruise in the morning to see what it looks like."

      Gagnon is the guy who recommends if the Copper Country Intermediate School District should delay or cancel schools.

      He says low visibility and large amounts of snowfall that keep falling convinces him to make the call. And people have tried to get him to call school off when the conditions are normal.

      "I was told by one school that they had $126 in pledges from all the kids, that if I would call off school, they were going to bribe me," he said.

      And now after 34 years with the Houghton County Road Commission, Gagnon will say goodbye, retiring as the road superintendent. Two employees will take on his duties, checking out the roads and issuing permits on county right of ways.

      Gagnon says he might do some private plowing when he retires in a few days, and now kids can bribe somebody else to call a snow day.