Daniel Wanschura

Morning Edition host / broadcast director

Ever since he was young, Dan has been fascinated with radio. From hearing the dulcet tones of John Gordon broadcast Minnesota Twins games, to staying up late listening to radio theater, he was captivated by the imaginative medium. 

In 2012, Dan graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a BA in Communications. In 2015, he moved from the Twin Cities to northern Michigan to work at Interlochen Public Radio.

Dan has received numerous awards for his reporting including three Edward R. Murrow regional awards and a national PRNDI award. His work has also been heard on NPR, Minnesota Public Radio, Michigan Radio, and KFAI Radio.

Dan enjoys playing volleyball with his wife Erin, driving on Michigan’s renown M-22 highway, and volunteering as a leader in Grand Traverse Young Life. He is also a lover of the Oxford comma — much to the chagrin of his editors.

Piles of debris sit on shore near the Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

As if shoreline erosion wasn’t enough, communities and property owners on Lake Michigan are now dealing with another problem due to record high water levels — trash. Up and down the lake, large amounts of it are washing up on shore.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
Michigan.gov

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan elections are still on for Tuesday, May 5.

 

Residents across the state — including some in northern Michigan — will vote on a variety of local ballot initiatives.

 

 


Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Summer is going to look and sound a lot different at Interlochen Center for the Arts this year. The usual cacophony of music coming from students practicing their instruments all around campus will not happen.

 

Last week, Interlochen canceled its traditional summer arts camp experience due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the summer camp will transition to online, virtual instruction.

 

Isolation is one of the biggest triggers for people in addiction recovery, which is why socially distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard time for some. That’s why Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City is ramping up its virtual outreach efforts.

 

“The opposite of addiction isn’t necessarily abstinence, the opposite of addiction is connection,” says Matt Zerilli, Recovery Center Manager at ATS. 

 


Parallel 45 Theatre Company announced it has cancelled it's 10th anniversary season.
Parallel 45 Theatre Company

The show won’t go on for Traverse City’s Parallel 45 Theatre Festival. The group announced Wednesday that it canceled its upcoming summer season due to COVID-19 concerns.


Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville remains open despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Michigan Legacy Art Park

If you want to look at art during the coronavirus pandemic, your options are pretty limited. Art museums and galleries are considered non-essential businesses and are closed across the state until at least the end of the month.

That’s why Michigan Legacy Art Park in Thompsonville is uniquely positioned at a time like this. It’s outdoors and visitors have plenty of space to socially distance in the park’s 30 acres. 

Sarah Allis works at Leland Mercantile in Leland. Essential businesses like grocery stores are now required to screen their employees for symptoms of COVID-19 and take proper social distancing measures.
Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

County health departments are asking businesses that remain open to step up their efforts to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

Add Elk Rapids to the list of northern Michigan communities worried about the influx of travelers coming north amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Village President Jim Janisse wrote a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week, asking her to give people a “one-time choice” between staying at their first and second homes and banning future travel between the two. Janisse says there are currently some people coming to the area just for the weekends. 


Artists across northern Michigan are scrambling to find ways to make up for lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

With many events and large gatherings canceled through spring and into the summer, artists have lost out on gigs and other opportunities they were depending on to make ends meet. 


   

Non-profit organizations in northern Michigan are among those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Dave Mengebier is the president and CEO of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. He says more people depend on nonprofits for essentials during this crisis, but it’s a really tough time for those organizations to raise money. 

 


A $500,000 grant from the state will support businesses in the 10 counties of northwest lower Michigan affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

About that same amount is also available through a new loan program from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

 


Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. The spherical viral particles, colorized blue, contain cross-sections through the viral genome, seen as black dots.
Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin / CDC

As coronavirus continues to spread in Michigan, the pandemic puts the state's blood supply at risk.


A woman walks across an empty Front Street in Traverse City on Saturday, March 28, 2020. Grand Traverse Health Department officials want visitors coming to the county coming from COVID-19 hot spots to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

If you’re traveling to Grand Traverse County, please quarantine yourself. That’s the message from the Grand Traverse County Health Department. It's requesting a 14-day self-quarantine for anyone coming to the county from areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases.


Maria Farney (bottom left) teaches a Chinese student (top left) a song written by Traverse City singer songwriter Miriam Pico (right).
Miriam Pico

Traverse City singer songwriter Miriam Pico thought she was just writing a song to sing to her own kids. But now, kids in China are learning that song to help get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Employees for Anthony's Outdoor Services build a 400' long seawall in Manistee. Anthony Ganss, the owner, says they've been busy all winter constructing seawalls.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Update 3/25/20, 3:30pm: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, on Monday, March 23, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced temporary requirements “to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life” through April 13, 2020. Under that order, limited forms of construction are still permissible, including projects necessary “to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences.” A spokesman for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy says whether or not that includes shoreline construction “is dependent on the purpose and necessity of the shoreline work, and is case-specific.” He says contractors, their legal counsel and homeowners need to make that determination and if they are still unsure, contact the Governor’s office for more clarity.

 

At a time when many Michigan companies are slowing down due to the coronavirus pandemic, business is booming for contractors working along Lake Michigan’s shoreline.

 

They’re fighting a different crisis — trying to save people’s homes from extremely high water levels. But with so much demand, there’s little to stop unqualified contractors from jumping in on the action.


The Mackinac Bridge Authority will not accept cash for tolls starting this Saturday, March 21. The measure is an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Mackinac Bridge Authority

The Mackinac Bridge Authority will not accept cash transactions starting this Saturday, March 21. Drivers crossing the Mighty Mac will need to pay with a credit or debit card or use a MacPass card or windshield sticker. 

The move is a temporary effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

Sunday night, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed there are now 53 cases of COVID-19 in Michigan

No cases have been reported in northern Michigan yet, but health officials say it's just a matter of time before the coronavirus hits northern Michigan.

Is northern Michigan prepared?

From left to right, Katie Larson, Michael Dause, and Sav Buist make up The Accidentals.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The Accidentals kicked off another tour last night with a sold-out show in Leland. The Traverse City band had a unique request for the 150 people in attendance — help pick the songs for their next album.

Voters will decide the next public art display in Traverse City.

Tonight, five local artists will pitch ideas for a public art display downtown near the Boardman River, and audience members will vote to decide the winner. The Traverse City Arts Commission is hosting the event.

Treeskin is a side solo project from Michael Dause, drummer for The Accidentals.
Tess Starr

You might know Michael Dause as the drummer for The Accidentals, but the Michigan musician is much more than that. 

Treeskin is the name of a solo side project by Dause, who recently released a new album called "Learning."


A home in Manistee sits dangerously close to an eroding bluff in Manistee.
GARY LANGLEY, FAA CERTIFIED SUAS PILOT / INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO

Michigan is preparing for more damage that could come from even higher water levels.

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer met with federal, state and local officials in Lansing for the first Michigan High Water Coordinating Summit.

Steve Luxenberg is the author of 'Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation'. He'll be in Traverse City on February 6, as part of the National Writers Series.
Josh Luxenberg

America has a long, complicated history with race relations. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a “separate but equal” policy that encouraged segregation in the country for the next 60 years.

Steve Luxenberg says we have to come to grips with that controversial history.

 


Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, we dissect how many elk were poached this winter and why that number has increased. 

Plus, guides are illegally helping hunters bag an elk. What’s next for the guide industry?

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

A series of elk poachings have made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan's elk herd.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Last month, three more elk were poached in the Pigeon River State Forest.

It was the latest in a series of elk poaching that has made the past few months some of the worst in recent memory for Michigan’s elk herd.

Jader Bignamini will become the 18th music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra next season. He replaces Leonard Slatkin.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has a new music director, Jader Bignamini, who signed a six year contract that begins in the 2020-21 season. 

 


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