Aaron Selbig

Managing Editor

Aaron Selbig began his journalism career in Alaska, at the alt-weekly Anchorage Press in 1999. It has taken him in many different directions over the years, including print, web and commercial and public radio. He has won many awards over the years for his reporting, including a 2017 Edward R. Murrow award (Midwest region). In 2009, Aaron took over as news director for public radio station KBBI in Homer, Alaska, where he served for five years. He has served on the board of directors for Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated. Aaron came to IPR in in July 2014 and is happy to call northern Michigan home. He lives in Interlochen with his wife, Nova, and son, Otto. His elder son, Gabriel, is a student at the University of Nevada.

Aaron Selbig

Dozens of people marched in Traverse City Thursday night in support of nurses at Munson Medical Center. The nurses are bargaining with hospital management for their first labor contract.

Nurses and their supporters marched along Division Street wearing red T-shirts and waving signs with slogans like “Patients Over Profits” and “Safe Staffing Saves Lives.”

Joe Shlabotni

Two years ago, President Donald Trump won election despite losing the popular vote to Hilary Clinton by nearly three million votes.

That’s because of the Electoral College, a system set up in the Constitution gives votes – or electors – to each state based on population.

Psychonaut/Wikipedia Commons

Methamphetamine use is on the rise in Michigan.

Prosecutors say imported “crystal” meth from Mexico is now replacing homemade meth labs. A report from Michigan State Police says homemade meth labs are in decline.

Matt Morgan (D-Traverse City) is running for northern Michigan's seat in Congress.
Aaron Selbig

A Traverse City Democrat is confident he’ll appear on the November ballot for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress. 

Matt Morgan failed to get on the primary ballot for the 1st Congressional District because of an error on the forms he used to gather signatures. Most of the forms listed the campaign’s post office box instead of a street address. State election officials decided to keep Morgan’s name off the primary ballot.

Aaron Selbig

Morgan Arrowood has been belting out songs and banging away on keyboards since she was four years old. She says even back then - when her parents first signed her up for piano lessons - her style was bold, brash and loud.

Aaron Selbig

Drivers for the ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft are welcome back to the Traverse City airport. For the last month, the companies have been banned.

Grand Traverse County is doing a better job of funding retirement plans for its employees, according to a new report from the Municipal Employees Retirement System, or MERS.

MERS is an independent organization that invests retirement funds for Michigan municipalities.

FBI

Police are stepping up their efforts to solve a five-year-old hit-and-run case in Traverse City. The F.B.I. is offering a $25,000 reward for any information lading to a conviction in the death of 29-year-old Kelly Hurlbert.

On July 5, 2013, Hurlbert was riding her bike home from work at North Peak Brewing Company when she was struck by a car on Washington Street. Evidence at the scene showed that Hurlbert was dragged for more than a block.

Aaron Selbig

IPR’s series “Irredeemable" has won two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated. 

Aaron Selbig

A new federal law requiring stricter background checks could force some child care providers out of business. Starting in October, all adults living in a home with a day care will have to be cleared by the F.B.I.

The new regulations forbid anyone convicted of a violent crime – or any crime against children – from living in a day care home. Anyone with a misdemeanor drug conviction would be banned for five years.

Aaron Selbig

The Traverse City airport is not allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to operate at the terminal.

Drivers say the problems started this week. They say Cherry Capital Airport security officers are accusing them of trespassing and asking them to leave.

Uber driver Laura Johnson says she was approached by security while unloading a passenger Friday morning.

“[He said] that I wasn’t allowed at the airport, and that I needed to leave immediately or I would be charged with trespassing or jailed,” says Johnson.

University of Wisconsin

A large number of dead fish have been washing up on the shores of a lake near Gaylord. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the dead fish along Otsego Lake are adult white suckers that have died after spawning.

DNR biologist Dave Borgeson says fish die-offs happen in Michigan’s inland lakes every year, but this one is unusually large.

“There’s a lot more suckers this year,” says Borgeson. “I think it had to do with a late spring and then that really rapid warm up, which caused it to be a little more dramatic this year.”

Grand Traverse County

The search for Grand Traverse County’s next leader is down to two candidates. County commissioners will choose between a local law enforcement officer and a former state representative from Bay City.

The commission has been searching for a new administrator since the surprise resignation of Vicki Uppal in January. With the help of a consulting firm, the commission has named two finalists for the job – Nate Alger and Thomas Hickner.

Aaron Selbig

The president of the village of Kalkaska has been removed from office.

Jeff Sieting made headlines a year ago when some of his anti-Muslim social media posts went viral. On Facebook, Sieting compared Islam to “a flesh-eating bacteria,” and called for nuclear weapons to be used on Muslim cities.

A recall effort began soon after the posts came to light, and yesterday, Kalkaska voters chose a new leader to replace Sieting.


Peter Payette

Plans for a mixed-use development next to the Meijer store in Acme Township may finally be moving forward. The 157-acre “Village at Grand Traverse” has been beset with problems since it was built by Acme Township.

Grand Traverse County

Leaders in Grand Traverse County will wait until a new administrator is hired before they decide how to spend a budget surplus.

The county’s finance director says there’s about an extra $8 million in the budget. The money comes from increased property tax revenue and unforeseen savings in employee health care and the removal of the Boardman River dam.

Radio Television Digital News Association

IPR reporters Morgan Springer and Dan Wanschura have won 2018 regional Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

Aaron Selbig

A state board recommends the State of Michigan buy 300 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline that’s currently owned by a sand mining company. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board of directors has voted to spend $7.5 million toward a new deal with Sargent Sand Company.

Sargent Sand has been mining sand on its property inside the borders of Ludington State Park since the 1930s. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has tried several times to buy the land back from the company but the deals have always fallen through.

Great Lakes Maritime Academy

The Great Lakes’ only merchant marine academy will get a million federal dollars for training. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is in Traverse City.

Rear Admiral Jerry Achenbach says Congress recognizes the growing demand for trained merchant mariners.

“There’ll be 20,000 jobs for credentialed merchant mariners over the next several years," says Achenbach. "So I think it’s an acknowledgement of the cost of maritime education and the nation’s need for credentialed mariners.”

Merchant mariners operate cargo and passenger ships.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

The leader of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will keep his job.

Tribal Chairman Sam McClellan was the target of a recall election this week. Voters narrowly elected to keep McClellan despite accusations he misused a tribal credit card last year.

McClellan says those accusations are false.

“The issue they were trying to recall me on was all fabricated,” says McClellan. “There was nothing there, and it’s sad that our nation – the Grand Traverse Band – that we would take it that far.”

Nobuhiro Suhara

Traverse City officials are teaming up with an LGBT organization to build a piece of public art downtown.

The city Arts Commission plans to erect a “wishing tree” in the Warehouse District during the annual Up North Pride week in June. The tree is meant to hold handwritten wishes tied to its branches.

The City Commission approved the project Monday night and approved spending up to $2,000 on the tree.

Traverse City resident Rick Buckhalter opposed the project. He said the Arts Commission is overstepping its bounds.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will vote in a tribal election next week.

They will be choosing candidates for the tribal council, and they will also be asked whether or not to recall Tribal Chairman Thurlow “Sam” McClellan.

McClellan has been accused of misusing tribal credit cards during a trip to Washington, D.C. last year. But he’s also been an outspoken critic of the Tribal Council’s plan to build a new casino.

Aaron Selbig

The leader of Michigan’s only International Dark Sky Park has resigned. Mary Stewart Adams served as program director at the Emmet County-owned park for nine years.

Adams says a “difference in philosophy” with county leaders led to her resignation Monday.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this,” says Adams. “My understanding was that we would stay in conversation with one another, and that while I needed to hear from them what I could be doing better, they also needed to hear that from me. But it felt very much like a one-sided conversation.”

UPDATED Weds., March 14, with comment from Rep. Jack Bergman.

Several northern Michigan high schools plan to take part in Wednesday morning’s national walkout. Organizers say the walkout is meant to honor the victims of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida – and to call for stricter gun laws.

Senior Jade Ebel organized the walkout at Reed City High School. Ebel says she was motivated to organize a walkout after a recent campus shooting at Central Michigan University.

Kate Teegardin, Flickr

Over the last three years, many of the Grand Traverse County’s top officials have resigned or been fired, and the county is now looking for its fourth administrator since 2015.

Much of the turmoil stems from the county’s pension debt – the amount of money the county has promised to retired employees. Right now, Grand Traverse County doesn’t have enough money to cover the pension debt.


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