Max Johnston

Government and education reporter

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a general assignment reporter. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio and WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing.

Aaron Selbig / Interlochen Public Radio

Randy Bishop, a radio host in Cheboygan, has called for an “Open Carry” rally in Traverse City this weekend amid planned protests over the killing of George Floyd.

As of Thursday night, one protest over Floyd’s death was planned for 12-2 p.m. at the Open Space in Traverse City on Saturday.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

At a press conference Tuesday, Traverse City officials including Mayor Jim Carruthers and Police Chief Jeff O'Brien condemned the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis Police Officers.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Parts of Traverse City's Front Street will be closed to vehicles to make more room for pedestrian foot traffic this summer. The City Commission approved the proposal at a virtual meeting Monday night.

Max Johnston

U.S. tart cherry growers and processors narrowly voted to renew the Federal Marketing Order last week. The FMO passed with 53 percent of growers and 57 percent of processors in favor.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Some businesses in northern Michigan reopened Friday, with restrictions, under an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

While many welcomed the news, some businesses are playing it safe.

Alpena Public Schools

The Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) Board of Education unanimously selected John VanWagoner as the new district superintendent.

Executive Office of the Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says some rural regions of the state can partially re-open Friday, May 22 due to low COVID-19 infection rates. Restaurants and bars will be able operate at 50 percent seating capacity in the Upper Peninsula and 17 counties in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Pure Michigan campaign

Mackinac Island, one of Michigan’s largest tourist destinations, is still over a month away from opening for business due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Construction is underway on the new lock at the Soo.

“The three major phases of the project remain on track with their timetables virtually unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic at this time,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a press release.

Contractors working on the lock are taking precautions to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19, according to an Army Corps spokesperson. They are being screened for symptoms, wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet of social distance in work areas.

Max Johnston

As coronavirus sweeps through the nation, tearing families apart and overwhelming hospitals, there’s one part of healthcare that’s expanding: opioid addiction treatment.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Several proposals on the ballot for Tuesday’s election passed in northern Michigan.

Here’s a list of unofficial results to ballot proposals:

Rachel Krino / Bellaire Family Health Center

As more tests for COVID-19 become available, drive-thru test sites are popping up across the state. The newest one in northern Michigan is in Bellaire.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

On Tuesday, May 5 residents across Michigan will vote on local ballot proposals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic most voting will be done by mail, but there will be some in-person options for those who want or need it.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

The Michigan Department of Education announced Thursday that a controversial part of the ‘Read By Grade Three’ Law has been delayed indefinitely.

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.

 

 


Taylor Wizner

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education narrowed their list of superintendent candidates Monday night.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Several farms in Missaukee County have clusters of COVID-19 cases among workers, according to District Health Department #10. 

In a press release Thursday the department said it's investigating the situation and contacting people that could have been exposed to the virus.

Michigan House of Representatives

State House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) is running for Antrim County Sheriff.

Cole has represented northern Michigan’s 105th district - which includes parts of Antrim, Otsego, Charlevoix, Montmorency and Oscoda counties - in the state house since 2014. 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

More Democrats are running for office in Grand Traverse County than ever before, says the local Democratic chair.

Democrats will run for seats in county government, including board of commissioners and township trustee, according to a press release.

“There is a lot of energy … for change, transparency and a different form of government than what everybody seems to be used to,” says Grand Traverse County Democrat Party Chair Chris Cracchiolo.

Interlochen Public Radio

This story was updated April 22 at 11:55 a.m. with more information from District Health Department #10.

Health officials confirmed coronavirus cases in what the state calls “congregate care facilities” in Otsego and Crawford counties this week. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says a cluster of nearly 20 positive cases were found at an undisclosed care facility in Otsego County over the weekend.

JAN-MICHEL STUMP / Traverse City Record-Eagle

The Benzie and Leelanau County Democratic parties say sheriffs up north made a mistake by undermining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘stay at home’ order.

Megan Harris

Schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning high school seniors like Megan Harris had their final year cut short.

As part of IPR's series School’s Out, hear how that's a big blow to Megan and her fellow seniors in the Petoskey High Steel Drum Band, who were looking forward to another summer of shows.

 

Lark Jankewicz

Schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning high school seniors like Lark Jankewicz had their final year cut short.

As part of IPR's series School’s Out, hear how Jankewicz wanted her softball season to be the final chapter of a tragic time.

Morgan Ju

Schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning high school seniors like Morgan Ju had their final year cut short.

As part of IPR's series School’s Out, hear how Ju won’t get the chance finish her last season running track and cross-country.

School's Out is a new series from Interlochen Public Radio where you'll hear from high schoolers who have had their worlds upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education will interview five candidates for the superintendent vacancy. The first round of virtual interviews starts April 25, according to a press release. 

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