Kalkaska County

U.S. Coast Guard

Torch Lake in Antrim County is often the site of huge Fourth of July parties. But not this year.

In the past, the parties have attracted as many as 10,000 people who play loud music and tend to leave a pile of trash. But this year, the crowds were smaller and more law enforcement officers were on patrol.

“One thing that helped a lot this year is Fourth of July was on a Wednesday,” said Joe Clark, marine deputy for the Antrim County Sheriff’s office. “So there wasn’t as many people on the sandbar as there’s been in the past.”

Polestar LGBT+ Community Center of Traverse City/Facebook

Polestar LGBT+ Community Center of Traverse City opened its doors Saturday. It's the first of its kind in northern Michigan.

Reese Lassman

You probably remember the photos from last year’s Sandbar Bash and the stories: 10,000 people on the lake, trash in the water, higher E. coli levels, underage drinking, trespassing and loud music.

"It was really, really obtrusive and obnoxious last year," says Sue Kelly. "I was out on my patio vibrating. We have not had that this year."

U.S. COAST GUARD AIR STATION TRAVERSE CITY

It will be harder to throw a huge party on the Torch Lake sandbar in the future. Last Fourth of July, the Sandbar Bash drew around 10,000 people. That party prompted a lawsuit from the Torch Lake Protection Alliance, a group working to preserve the lake.

Yesterday, Judge George J. Mertz of Kalkaska Circuit Court ruled in favor of the TLPA's lawsuit which said the Sandbar Bash violated safety, environmental and zoning laws. 

Aaron Selbig

UPDATED on Thursday at 1pm with statement from AT&T.

Officials in Grand Traverse County want to know why the 911 system failed during Sunday’s storm.

Emergency calls in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska Counties had to be rerouted for several hours after the storm. Some of the calls ended up at a dispatch center in Petoskey.