News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

One of Michigan’s top Republican lawmakers has been fined for bringing an unregistered gun to the airport. Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) was caught with the gun at the Pellston Regional Airport in July. 

On August 21, the Emmet County Sheriff’s Office charged Chatfield with a civil infraction. The following day, Chatfield paid a $250 fine. He could not be reached for comment but has said on Facebook that bringing the gun to the airport was an accident. He called it an “inexcusable mistake.”

The elk is an important Michigan symbol. It’s even on our state flag. But have you ever seen an elk in the wild in Michigan?  Did you even know there are elk in Michigan?

This month marks the 172nd anniversary of the discovery of Neptune, the only planet in our system that can’t be seen with the naked eye, and this week, it comes to its annual opposition with the Sun.

The Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music’s Gregorian Schola performs at the Cross in the Woods Shrine in Indian River earlier this week.
Jack Conners

A Gregorian chant group from Rome wraps up a tour in northern Michigan Friday.


Essay: God's Begonia

Aug 31, 2018

I never expected to be doing missionary work, hampered as I am by doubt in the existence of God. It began when our book group met at a church and I discovered a gorgeous huge begonia in the hallway.


Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County settled with the family of Craig Carlson – who was killed more than 10 years ago.

Voices of the Boardman River: Tawny Hammond

Aug 29, 2018
Naina Rao

Two years ago, Tawny Hammond fulfilled a lifelong dream when she moved Up North and took over a kayak rental business on Boardman Lake. Even when she was a teenager, Hammond knew she would end up in Traverse City.

“it just felt home to me, I felt like I belonged here,” Hammond says.


Colin Shea

Saturdays are for selling fish. On this Saturday, Ed and Cindi John aim to earn a week's income in only five hours.

Cindi unfolds the tables while Ed drags big, blue coolers off their truck bed. They’re filled to the brim with fish – cisco, lake trout and lake trout patties.

“We come out rain or shine,” says Cindi. “If it’s pouring rain, we’ll be here.”

 

Munson Healthcare

Nurses have filed charges against one of northern Michigan’s largest hospitals. The Michigan Nurses Association says Munson Medical Center in Traverse City is not operating in “good faith” during contract negotiations.

 

Last year, around a thousand nurses at Munson Medical Center unionized and have been working toward a new contract. James Walker is a Munson nurse and he says they unionized for a number of reasons.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) might be in for a shakeup – and Michigan could feel the effects.

President Donald Trump has been negotiating with the US’s neighbors to the north and south. Mexico, the US and Canada have been trying to negotiate a new trade deal for about a year.  While Mexico seems to be on board with small changes – the bigger impact on Michigan has to do with Canada.

Morgan Springer

Lake whitefish are the most important commercial fish species in Michigan. But in the last decade, state biologists say fishers are harvesting about a third of what they used to get. 

On this edition of Michigan Writers on the Air: Aaron Stander will talk with Mardi Link about the new edition of her true crime book, When Evil Came to Good Hart. Then Cari Noga will read from and give some background on her new novel, The Orphan Daughter. Finally, poet Fleda Brown will provide an audio essay about the life and work of the late Donald Hall. 

The planet Venus moves close to the star Spica this week, where the star is held in the arms of Virgo, the maiden. What can it mean?

 


Essay: Carrying the Baggage

Aug 24, 2018

A friend is telling me about the new man in her life. “I really like the guy,” she says, “but I’m finding out he has a lot of baggage.” “We all do by this age,” I say.

The U.S. Coast Guard

Environmental groups say the U.S. Coast Guard is not ready for an oil spill in the Great Lakes.

 

The Coast Guard is required by law to have a plan for a spill.

Michigan ranks first in the nation for per capita violent incidents at schools, according to a new report.

The report, from the Educator’s School Safety Network, compiled the number of school threats and violent incidents at schools across the country.

Michigan ranked number one in per capita threats and incidents, with 196 threats in the 2017-18 school year and 13 incidents.

Amanda Klinger is with the network. She says the study compiled news reports of incidents and threats and controlled for population.

Cheyna Roth

Michigan State University has named a search committee to find a new president.

A Traverse City doctor has been charged with sexually assaulting two female patients.

Attorney General Bill Schuette charged Dr. Jonathan Robertson after he allegedly traded narcotics for sexual favors with at least one woman. He could get up to 15 years in prison.

Robertson could not immediately be reached for comment. He also has an office in Marquette.

Voices of the Boardman River: the Gibbs Family

Aug 22, 2018
Naina Rao

Old dams are being removed from the Boardman River. That’s because they are costly to maintain and harmful to the river’s wildlife.

But not everyone is excited about losing the dams. The Gibbs family has been here for generations and their ancestors helped build the dams.


Max Johnston

An Enbridge vice president says the company will release more information on damage to Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. A ship anchor struck the pipeline in April.

 

David Bryson, the vice president of operations at Enbridge, committed to releasing the information at a meeting hosted by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in Traverse City Monday morning.

 

Peters pressed Bryson to be more cooperative with the state and to release video footage and pictures of the pipeline. Peters sounded surprised when Bryson agreed.

On Sunday the planet Mercury completed its retrograde and resumed its direct, or eastward motion. This coming weekend, the planet Mars will do the same thing when it completes its apparent retrograde.

 


Voices of the Boardman River: Hank Bailey

Aug 16, 2018
Naina Rao

Ottawa Indians have been in Northern Michigan for centuries. They witnessed the Ottoway River become the Boardman River when it was renamed by settlers.

When a series of dams was proposed for the river, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians was against it. So when word got out that the city might remove the dams, the tribe jumped at the opportunity to help.

But things didn’t go as smoothly as they expected.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died. She was 76.

Reports of Franklin's declining health began early Monday, with family members confirming that the singer was gravely ill and hospitalized in Detroit.

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