News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

NASA

Thirty years ago, global warming became front page news in the United States. That was when a NASA scientist first told the U.S. Senate that carbon pollution was warming the earth. In this call-in hour, we discuss how we’re doing communicating on the issue in northern Michigan today, and how we can do better at this divisive time.

Plus we talk about how people in northern Michigan are taking action.


Drew Hale (center) says he adds northern Michigan flare to his country music.
The Drew Hale Band

A couple years ago, Traverse City singer Drew Hale burst onto the country music scene when he won the national Country Showdown competition in Nashville. He got a $100,000 prize and the title of Best New Act in Country Music.

Grand Traverse County

Nate Alger is the new Grand Traverse County administrator. On Wednesday, the county board of commissioners unanimously approved Alger’s contract. Alger is expected to sign the contract with a starting salary of $124,000 and a start date of July 1.

 

Alger takes over a county that is dealing with instability as it tackles pension debt, suicides in the jail and employee dissatisfaction. Alger says stagnant pay and reduced benefits have caused some animosity with employees in the past, but he plans to work on that.

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.

Endangered plovers face new threat: snowy owls

Jun 20, 2018
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A new predator has emerged for piping plovers in the Great Lakes.

Snowy owls were recently seen eating plovers in several locations along the Great Lakes, including Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in lower Michigan and Vermilion Point in the Upper Peninsula.

Caroline MacGregor

A group of veterans who took part in a secret military operation in China during WWII were in Traverse City last week, celebrating their 62nd reunion.

The men were part of SACO - the Sino-American Cooperative Organization. It was an effort between the U.S. Navy and the National Military Council of China put together just weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Warm temperatures help cherry crop

Jun 19, 2018
Peter Payette

After a slow start to the growing season, cherry farmers are gearing up for the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City starting June 30.  Cherries are some of the first crops to bloom in Michigan, and officials say early spring weather can significantly impact their growth.

David Cassleman

Republican Carolyn Cater spent a dozen years working on ships in the Great Lakes. Cater was once a coal-passer on the S.S. Badger, spending her time shoveling coal into the ship’s boilers.

Cater is now running for Michigan’s 101st state House District seat, which runs from Ludington to Northport.


David Cassleman

Traverse City school officials have released to the public an investigation into the district’s superintendent.

Trenton Breithaupt (Chamomile and Honey) performs with his girlfriend Summer Green.
Dan Wanschura

Trenton Breithaupt is from Elk Rapids, and last month he graduated from the singer-songwriter program at Interlochen Arts Academy. That’s where he met his girlfriend Summer Green – and the two of them began performing under the name Chamomile and Honey.


Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced there are at least 662 wolves and 139 packs in the Upper Peninsula, according to a population survey conducted this year.

Whitewater Township

The Whitewater Township board has rejected a plan to allow short-term rentals. The proposal would have allowed residents to build new structures on their lots and rent them out on websites like AirBnb.

The idea came from the township planning commission but it was met with resistance from the community. Residents circulated a petition against the plan and presented it to the board at a meeting Tuesday night.

Google Maps

The argument over short-term rentals has come to Whitewater township. The township’s planning commission wants to relax zoning rules so new rentals can be built on existing residential lots.

Under a new proposal, residents who own at least 30,000 square feet of land could build a second structure on their property. The new structure could be up to 1,200 square feet in size.

The proposal would allow homeowners to rent their new structures on websites like AirBnB.

But township supervisor Ron Popp says it’s a bad idea.

David Cassleman

Traverse City school officials have cleared the superintendent of allegations of illegal gender discrimination.

The board of Traverse City Area Public Schools voted unanimously Monday night to accept the findings made in an investigative report. In March, the board hired a firm to look into claims that Superintendent Paul Soma bullied female principals.

David Cassleman

Jack O’Malley spent decades as a morning radio host in northern Michigan. He signed off at WTCM-FM for the final time in April. Now he wants a new job in the state House of Representatives.

 


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Some members of the U.S. House of Representatives are meeting in northern Michigan on Monday to discuss lethal control of a fish-eating bird. 

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

Grand Traverse County commissioners have picked a local law enforcement official to lead the county. This morning they voted four to three to offer Nate Alger the county administrator job.

NASA

Traverse City is hosting the first annual Michigan Space Forum on Friday. The event at Northwestern Michigan College will promote the state’s space industry.  

David Cassleman

Updated June 6, 3:45 p.m. with more details on the proposal. 

More people in Traverse City would be allowed to rent out rooms on websites like Airbnb under a proposal approved by the city planning commission Tuesday night. 

David Cassleman

Michigan Democrats hope to win back seats in the state House of Representatives this election. To do that, they’ll need to win districts like northern Michigan’s 101st, which was last won by a Democrat a decade ago. 

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.

Dan Kennedy / Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Environmentalists will celebrate the return of the Kirtland’s warbler this weekend.

The small songbird has been on the brink of extinction since 1973. It was put on the endangered species list that same year.

The Godiva moon: This week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

May 28, 2018
Sky and Telescope

 

In 1678, the Godiva Procession was instituted in Coventry, England to commemorate and honor Lady Godiva, who rode naked on horseback through the main street to protest her husband’s intent to raise taxes on the poor. Nearly 200 years later, in 1842, Alfred Tennyson found himself waiting on a train in Coventry and penned his iconic poem about it, which we can imagine is being written across the evening sky this week as the moon comes to full phase and sweeps past the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. 

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