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.

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. 

 


Earlier this week, the owners of Horizon Books in Traverse City, announced the store would be closing sometime this year.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Horizon Books in Traverse City is closing. The iconic bookstore has been a popular gathering place on Front Street for almost 60 years.

 

Ron Wilson's summer cottage is dangerously close to falling into Lake Michigan. Wilson wants to lower water levels on Lake Michigan by letting more water out of the Chicago River, and reversing the flow of Long Lac and the Ogoki River in Ontario, Canada.
Dan Wanschura

On a cold and windy afternoon in Manistee, Ron Wilson trudged through snow to check on his shuttered cottage.

 

Not much changed since he was last there — which is good — because just a few feet of land separate the beach house from Lake Michigan.

“We once had a deck out here,” says Wilson, pointing behind the house. “But the storms in mid-October just took out all the beach in front of us.” 


Gary Langley, FAA certified sUAS pilot / Interlochen Public Radio

Lakeshore property owners fighting erosion due to high water levels are getting some help from the state. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is expediting the permitting process for sandbag use. 


New public art in Traverse City's Clinch Park Tunnel honors Anishinaabe heritage. The murals were painted by artist Bobby Magee Lopez from Denver, Colorado.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

New public art is now on display in Traverse City at the Clinch Park Tunnel, and it once again features art murals honoring the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Waves crash over the Frankfort Pier as Ella Skrocki heads out into a raucous Lake Michigan.
Beth Price / Beth Price Photography

Gale force winds fueled huge waves on the northern Great Lakes Tuesday with some on Lake Michigan topping out at 13 feet. For some residents in Michigan, the fall storm season is the time to hunker down — but for others it’s the perfect time to jump in the lake.


Property owners along the Lake Michigan shoreline are worried about the rapid erosion caused by high water levels on the lake.
Gary Langley, FAA certified sUAS pilot / Interlochen Public Radio

As Lake Michigan water levels remain at a near record high, more and more shoreline is being eaten away everyday. Large trees are sliding down steep banks into the water, wooden staircases are being torn out and property owners are panicking. As the fall storm season approaches, some worry their homes will be next.


Craig Hadley is the new executive director of the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan.
Cindy O'Dell

When Eugene Jenneman announced his retirement from the Dennos Museum Center last year, the art museum in Traverse City began a national search for his replacement. Jenneman had been the first and only executive director of the museum since it opened nearly 30 years ago.

After narrowing the search, their top choice was 35 year-old Craig Hadley, who spent the last eight years as curator of the art museum at DePauw University in Indiana.


A "Do Not Eat" deer advisory remains in effect in parts of Oscoda for Michigan deer hunters.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Archery season begins Oct. 1 for deer hunters across the state, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reminding hunters of a “Do Not Eat” deer advisory in Oscoda.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island was built in 1887. It was sold this week to an investment firm based out of Denver.
Grand Hotel

The historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has been sold. The hotel made the announcement Tuesday.

 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

After a run of 11 years at the State Theatre in Traverse City, broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera performances will no longer be streamed live at the theatre.


New TCAPS superintendent Ann Cardon outside Interlochen Public Radio recently.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Another school year began this week in northern Michigan, and so has a new era in leadership for Traverse City Area Public Schools. 


David Gersenson slides a curling stone down the ice at his Leelanau Curling Club in Maple City.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The temperature in Maple City on a recent August afternoon was over 80 degrees, but inside the Leelanau Curling Club it was just above 40 degrees. A big sheet of ice is spread out in the building — 147 feet by 32 feet — which is enough for two curling lanes. It’s a dream come true for David Gersenson.


Players from the Traverse City Pit Spitters celebrate winning the 2019 Northwoods League championship on August 16th, in Traverse City.
Traverse City Pit Spitters

It’s going to be hard to top the season that the Traverse City Pit Spitters had in 2019. Besides winning the Northwoods League title, the team set a new league record with an 18-game winning streak. Looking ahead, general manager Mickey Graham thinks 2020 will be even better.

 


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