Morgan Springer

Executive Producer & Editor, Points North

Morgan Springer joined IPR in 2015. Her series "Irredeemable," about Michigan juvenile lifers and the state's resentencing process, received a 2017 first place national PRNDI award and a regional Edward R. Murrow award. Her stories "Irredeemable, episode 3: Tortured choice," "Grandmother's letter from the Holocaust" and "Behind bars, transformation through poetry" have also recieved national awards. You can hear her stories on NPR, the Michigan Public Radio Network, WHYY's "The Pulse" and National Native News.

Morgan has an undergraduate degree in International Studies from Earlham College. After graduating, she did a stint as the constituent services coordinator for the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office before leaving to work at a garden center. In 2014, she went to the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies to study radio and documentary film, bringing her briefly back to her home state of Maine.

Ways to Connect

RTDNA

Interlochen Public Radio has won a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, local governments across Michigan aren't letting recreational marijuana businesses open in city limits. But residents in one village Up North are trying to overrule their local government's decision – something that could set a precedent statewide. Plus, a look at one northern Michigan tribe’s maple sugaring operation. 


Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a renewable energy company wants to build a wind farm in a forested part of the Upper Peninsula, but there’s resistance. Plus, the last coal plant providing electricity in the U.P. shuts down.


Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

After 17 students were shot and killed in Parkland, Florida last year, Benzie County wanted to make their schools safer. They decided to address that by putting cops in their schools, and taxpayers agreed to pay for it. That sounds like a good thing but it turns out it was more complicated than it seemed.

 

Benzie County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeff Miller started in the schools in January. He serves 1,400 students in the Benzie County Central Schools district and deals with any criminal activity.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Reservations will be required for all campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore starting April 1.

Most of the sites at Platte River Campground already took reservations, but D.H. Day Campground was entirely first-come first-serve, leading to long lines overnight as people waited to nab a site. The National Park Service says the change to reservations will fix those long lines.

Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office

Counterfeit money is circulating in northern Michigan, from Emmet and Charlevoix counties to Traverse City and Cadillac. Most of the bills are $100s, have Chinese writing on them and feel more like paper than money.

Captain Jim Bussell with the Traverse City Police Department says counterfeit money has shown up in northern Michigan before but the distribution has changed recently.

Erin Iafrate

This week on Points North, March Madness is here. But for some in northern Michigan that means practicing their musical instruments – not college basketball. Plus, we meet the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate and take a look at counterfeit money in northern Michigan.


George Sundin / Michigan State University

This week on Points North, a bacteria called cherry canker is attacking sweet cherry trees nationwide, but one Michigan scientist is developing a solution. Plus, how a new bill could help tart cherry farmers compete with cheap Turkish cherry imports.


Jacques LeBlanc, a commercial fisherman from the Bay Mills Indian Community, pulls a gill net out of the ice on eastern Lake Superior.
Kaye LaFond

This week on Points North, a decline in lake whitefish is pushing tribal commercial fishermen to the northern edge of their treaty waters. Plus, we look at test results for PFAS contamination in Michigan’s public water and meet a funk band from Boyne City.


Liam James Doyle / NPR

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former lawyer, is testifying on Capitol Hill. Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison. His sentence begins in May. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to charges of campaign finance violations and other charges related to his work for Trump.

Taylor Wizner

In the first episode of Points North, a teen parenting program called "Generations Ahead" in Grand Traverse County expands to include dads. It helps parents day-to-day and encourages them to stay in school. Plus, we look at new harvest limits for lake trout fishers in Grand Traverse Bay and visit a wood baseball bat craftsman in the middle of his busy season. 


MDNR

People will not be able to catch as many lake trout in Grand Traverse Bay this year. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says recreational fishers harvested an extra 15,800 pounds from the bay in 2018. As a result, the harvest limit has to be reduced by around 30,000 pounds this fishing season.

Harvest limits are determined by treaty tribes, the federal government and the state. 

Dan Wanschura

On Friday, Feb. 22 IPR News is launching a new weekly show called Points North. It's a 10-minute segment where listeners explore northern Michigan through the news, the people and places.


Michigan House

A northern Michigan lawmaker wants to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced a bill last week to accomplish that.

Right now, Vanderwall says, if you win the lottery, the state publishes your name, what county you live in and where you bought the ticket.

Enbridge Energy

A tunnel for the Line 5 oil and gas pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac has its first permit. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued it to Enbridge Energy on Tuesday.

The permit would let Enbridge take soil and rock samples from the Straits. Company spokesperson Ryan Duffy says the samples will help them determine how to construct the tunnel.

Michigan’s House speaker has paid another fine for bringing an unregistered gun to the Pellston Regional Airport. 

Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) paid the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) $1,960 last week. The maximum fine for that infraction was nearly $10,000.

Bridge Magazine/Michigan Health & Hospital Association

It’s getting harder to find hospitals where women can give birth in Michigan. The number of hospitals with obstetrics care has dropped significantly over the past four decades, and rural areas have been hit the hardest.

CREDIT SKEEZE/PIXABAY

The man responsible for shooting another hunter near Torch Lake has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. David Michael Barber of Gaylord was arraigned in court Friday.

Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools could catch a $700,000 break related to a review of its homeschool program.

The Michigan Department of Education is currently reviewing that homeschool program, the Northern Michigan Partnership, to see if TCAPS collected too much money per students. If that’s what they determine, they could ask the district to pay roughly $700,000 back to the state.

But a spending package passed by the legislature early Friday morning included grant money to cover that cost.

Over 9,000 people struggling with medical debt in northern Michigan will get an early holiday gift this year. The Michigan Nurses Association announced Thursday they're donating $8.9 million to the cause.

“We know that we have patients who say over and over that they are worried about paying the hospital bills when they should be worried about getting better and going home,” says Melissa Boals, a nurse at Munson Medical Center and member of the nurses association board.

David Cassleman

The head of Traverse City schools has announced he will leave the district. TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma says he’ll retire from the position summer 2019.

Soma made the announcement in a letter to the TCAPS community Thursday. He expressed gratitude for the 17 years he’s spent with the school district.

"Of course, this has not been an easy decision," Soma wrote in the letter. "Please know that this decision comes after much reflection, deliberation and consultation."

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The state of Michigan is buying part of a controversial sand mine near Ludington. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will buy 100 acres of sand dunes, wetlands and forests for $17 million from Sargent Sand, a sand mining company.

"This purchase will permanently protect a beautiful tract of critical sand dunes, conserving a unique landform and its plants and animals for public enjoyment," DNR Director Keith Creagh says in a press release.

CREDIT SKEEZE/PIXABAY

Michigan’s deer hunting season has been pretty successful so far.

"Our harvest appears certainly up in the Upper Peninsula, and there are parts in the northern Lower and certainly southwest that appear up as well," says Chad Stewart, deer management specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Morgan Springer

A culture of fear was at the heart of a board meeting for Glen Lake Community Schools Monday night. There were around a hundred people in attendance and most public comments addressed the culture and teacher dissatisfaction in the district.

Grand Traverse County

Noelle Moeggenberg has been appointed Grand Traverse County Prosecutor. Thirteenth Circuit Court Judges Thomas Power and Kevin Elsenheimer announced the selection Thursday.

Moeggenberg takes over for County Prosecutor Bob Cooney, who was elected 86th district court judge this November.

Moeggenberg has worked in the prosecutors office for the last 20 years – most recently as Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

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