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Your connection to northern Michigan news.

A top-ranking Republican in the Michigan House will not face criminal charges after bringing an unregistered gun to the airport. Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) says he accidentally brought the firearm to the Pellston Regional Airport in July.

“Mr. Chatfield entered the Pellston Regional Airport with a firearm and everybody realizes this is a dangerous situation," says Emmet County Prosecutor James Linderman.

But Linderman says he cannot charge Chatfield under current law. 

Update 8/3/18, 6:30 p.m.: In a written response provided to IPR, the Traverse City Film Festival writes, "In December 2017, after a unanimous vote by the Traverse City Film Festival Board of Directors, the executive committee of the board met with Deb Lake in-person to inform her that her employment was terminated."

The former executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival says Michael Moore is lying regarding her termination last year. 

The Traverse City Festival is celebrating it's 14th year in 2018.
Dan Wanschura

Update 8/3/18, 6:30 p.m.: In a written response provided to IPR, the Traverse City Film Festival writes, "In December 2017, after a unanimous vote by the Traverse City Film Festival Board of Directors, the executive committee of the board met with Deb Lake in-person to inform her that her employment was terminated."

David Cassleman

Robin Lee Berry is a singer-songwriter and a mainstay in northern Michigan’s folk music scene. She came Up North in the 80s as a single mom.

Kenny Eishoff, WDIV

The Republican candidates for governor have been battling it out for months. There’s more money being spent on the Republican primary than recent years – and it’s being used to help the candidates go after each other.

The Michigan primary is fast approaching. Democrats and Republicans will head to the polls Tuesday to decide who they want to represent their party in the November governor’s race. Three Democratic candidates hope they’ll be chosen, and money – and the television ads it buys – has played an interesting role in the Democratic race so far.

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.

Andy Berthiaume

On any given day, Gregg Schumaker deals with the following: beavers, badgers, rats, mice, raccoons and skunks. He runs a company called Wildlife Management and Nuisance Removal, based in Emmet County. 

 


Tech incubator opens in downtown TC

Jul 25, 2018
20 Fathoms

A new tech incubator opens its doors in downtown Traverse City this week. 20 Fathoms will provide workspace and business coaching for eight small tech companies in fields like satellite communications and cryptocurrency mining.

Executive Director Andy Cole says local investors are eager to help new businesses get off the ground.

"Traverse City's a really small town, but it is incredibly dense with entrepreneurial and technology talent,” says Cole. “And then also has a really untapped, but important investment community."

Growing Saskatoon berries in northern Michigan is becoming more challenging thanks to an invasive species called spotted wing drosophila.
Rick Cross

Berry harvest is underway in northern Michigan, and this season’s crop forecasts are rosy. But getting those crops harvested is requiring heavier use of insecticides because of an invasive pest that’s on the rise. The situation is taking a toll on the region’s farms and orchards.


Kate Pillsbury (left), Emilee Petersmark (center) and Ben Zito (right) of The Crane Wives perform in IPR's Studio A.
Dan Wanschura

When The Crane Wives formed eight years ago, the band featured a straightforward acoustic sound and performed around the Grand Rapids area. Much has changed since 2010 though, as the band has evolved to a more amped-up, electric sound and has gained a national following.

Courtesy of the Tholen family

 

(Editor's note: We recommend you listen to the story before reading.)

It was December when Rick Tholen was killed. He was working at M&J Grocery in Grand Rapids.

He’d just graduated college and was in his first year of teaching high school English. And he’d decided to take some shifts over Christmas break for extra cash. He was getting married soon.

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.

Aaron Selbig

The tart cherry harvest has begun in Michigan. Millions of pounds have already been harvested in central and southwest Michigan.

The Cherry Industry Administrative Board estimates the harvest will go up to 254 million pounds this year from 197 million pounds last year. That would be a 22 percent increase.

Lindsay Lou performs in IPR's Studio A. She grew up in Kingsford but now lives in Nashville.
Dan Wanschura

Ten years ago, Lindsay Lou made the decision to quit her day job as a biologist and tour the country – and the world – as a full-time musician.


Brad Aspey

When Dan Nickels makes a mistake, he doesn’t throw it away. He keeps it. In fact, Dan puts his mistakes on display .


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.

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.”

Jillian Speece (right) and her husband Nathaniel Hoff (left) perform "Mayflies" in IPR's Studio A.
Dan Wanschura

The Bergamot is the husband and wife duo made up of Nathaniel Hoff and Jillian Speece. The Brooklyn-based couple first brought their indie pop sound to northern Michigan in 2012, when they performed at the Traverse City Film Festival.

Aaron Selbig

Some lawmakers in Lansing say the entire Straits of Mackinac need to be an anchor free zone – permanently.

Governor Rick Snyder temporarily made the Straits an anchor free zone. That was after an anchor damaged the oil and gas pipeline, Enbridge Line 5, and caused cables to leak mineral oil into the water.

Antrim County

It’s been five months since a special prosecutor was asked to review a suicide at the Grand Traverse County jail. 

Alan Halloway hanged himself in the jail nearly a year ago. It took three hours for officers to find Halloway after he died; they were supposed to check on him every hour. 

An earlier investigation by the Michigan Sheriff’s Association found that two corrections officers did not follow jail policies and procedures; both officer no longer work there.

The Traverse City Festival is celebrating it's 14th year in 2018.
Dan Wanschura

Students will be able to watch films for free at this year’s Traverse City Film Festival. The festival recently announced the launch of it’s TCFF Student U program, which offers 10 tickets to each accepted high school and college students.

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.

Mason County

Voters in a few northern Michigan counties will be asked to approve more money for police officers. Wexford, Benzie and Mason counties all have public safety millages on their August ballots.

In Mason County, they’re asking residents to fund four new road patrol deputies. Residents would pay a millage of $30 for every $100,000 worth of property they own.

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