Max Johnston

Reporter/producer

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.

People stand in the water, holding both ends of a large net.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how citizens are becoming scientists on the Great Lakes.

Plus, a cheesy grits casserole recipe with a special ingredient: family history.

Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools will pay back $707,000 to the state over allegedly miscalculated student enrollment, but they could have to give back more money.

The Michigan Department of Education says TCAPS may have miscalculated enrollment in at least two other semesters.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A cougar was spotted in Gogebic County last month by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, making it the 39th cougar sighting in Michigan by the DNR since 2008.

Nearly all of those spottings have been in the Upper Peninsula.

The DNR says it's unlikely that there's a significant breeding population of cougars, otherwise known as moutain lions, in the U.P.

They say the animals likely emigrated to Michigan from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.

Michigan House of Representatives

 

The federal judge overseeing the trial of State Rep. Larry Inman, R-Williamsburg, is undecided on his court’s jurisdiction, wavering on whether some charges against the representative are federal issues or not.

Chief Judge Robert Jonker considered a motion to dismiss the charges against Inman in Grand Rapids Friday.

 

Bronte Cook / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, the U.S. Forest Service tried to ban alcohol on three popular northern Michigan rivers, but they backed off after public outcry. Now they say they will ramp up enforcement and education to curb drunken behavior.

Plus, how the Nordhouse Dunes in the Huron-Manistee National Forests is dealing with summer tourism.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Recreational marijuana businesses are still banned in the village of Vanderbilt. A measure to reverse that ban failed by a vote of 72 to 84 Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.

Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools will have to pay back over $700,000 to the state over allegedly misreported student enrollment.

American Cancer Society

According to the American Cancer Society, Michigan is in the bottom-half of states when it comes to policies that fight and prevent cancer.

Wikimedia Commons

Environmentalists are calling for Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club to remove golf balls from Lake Michigan. Arcadia Bluffs is a popular course north of Manistee.

Dan Wanschura

Candidates for Mayor and City Commission in Traverse City have been announced. Mayor Jim Carruthers will run for re-election against Shea O’Brien.

Five of the seven seats on the City Commission will also be open. Katy Bertodatto, Evan Dalley, Dave Durbin, Roger Putman, Amy Shamroe and Ashlea Walter are running for terms on the City Commission that run through November, 2023.

Tom Mair and Christie Minervini are running for partial terms that run through November, 2021.

Elections will be held on November 5, 2019.

   

Michigan House of Representatives

State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) is accused of extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. He has plead not guilty to all charges.

The trial is set for August 6 in Grand Rapids.

Prosecutors say Inman texted a lobbyist from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights (MRCCM) in June 2018 and offered to vote ‘no’ on a prevailing wage bill if MRCCM and other trade unions would donate more to his campaign.

Michigan House of Representatives

Prosecutors want to delay the trial of State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) by 30 days in order to prepare for his defense.

Aaron Selbig

The State of Michigan Court of Appeals says Traverse City Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power showed “extreme bias.”

Last year Power sentenced Samantha Lynn Hughes to 13 to 24 months in prison for methamphetamine use. Hughes was pregnant at the time, and the sentence would have kept her in prison for the birth of her child.

“Thinking about [Hughes] versus the unborn child I think I know whose side I’m on,” Power said.

In their decision, the Court of Appeals said that sentence was unfair.

Wikimedia Commons

Record rainfall this year has hit northern Michigan crops hard, and now farmers Up North are getting some help from the federal and state governments.

Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office

Green Lake Township currently relies on other deputies from across Grand Traverse County, but now the county will assign an officer to the township.

Interlochen Center for the Arts, Green Lake Township and Grand Traverse County will split the bill. Overall, the officer will cost about $130,000, which includes training and equipment costs.

Vice President of Finance and Operations at ICA Pat Kessel says an officer nearby will make campus safer.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy $30 million of tart cherries from domestic farmers this year, according to Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet.)

"The tart cherry industry has gone above and beyond to fight adverse circumstances facing their market, including the unfair dumping of cheap imports from Turkey and other foreign countries," Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) said in a press release.

The tart cherries will be used in federal food assistance programs like the National School Lunch Program.

Max Johnston

The attorney for State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) wants the charges against his client dismissed. Inman has plead not guilty to charges of extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. 

Wikimedia Commons

Update: The U.S. Forest Service says the ban may still go into effect next summer, but it is one of several options they are pursuing.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce announced Friday that they will investigate cherries imported from Turkey.

Tart cherries are the largest crop in northwestern lower Michigan, and growers here say they can't compete with Turkey. Some Turkish tart cherry products sell for half the price of domestic ones.

Ben LaCross, a grower in Leelanau County, says to break even he needs to make around 25 cents per pound for his tart cherries.

Michi

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) will seek treatment for long-term use of pain medications.

Michigan House of Representatives

The resolution was introduced by Speaker of the State House Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Rep. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). 

Shelly McSawby

This week on Points North, Native American tribes have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather, but many face racism and harassment when they use them. Plus hear some pet peeves of people in northern Michigan.


Morgan Springer

The hearing will determine if Traverse City Area Public Schools has to pay back over $700,000 to the state. The Michigan Department of Education planned to take back the money last year because TCAPS allegedly misreported student enrollment at the Northern Michigan Partnership, a homeschool program in Interlochen.

Noah Fortson / NPR

Special counsel Robert Mueller is making a statement about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Watch his remarks at the Justice Department live.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

There are more than 1.2 million drivers over the age of 65 in Michigan, and statistically they are safe on the road.

But a county in northern Michigan has one of the highest rates of car accidents for senior citizens.


Pages