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

Morgan Springer

Hundreds of people were at Interlochen Public Library’s open house Wednesday. The mood was festive, and people were excited.

The building is a modern take on the northern Michigan cabin look – a mix of exposed wood and paint with high ceilings.

David Cassleman

The superintendent of Traverse City schools was praised for his leadership last night. The Traverse City Area Public Schools board rated Paul Soma “highly effective” during his annual evaluation.

The evaluation lasted about two hours and happened behind closed doors. No one from the public was there when the TCAPS board came out of closed session and read aloud the superintendent's top marks. Soma scored four - the highest possible score - in almost every category, including student growth and community and staff relations. His final score was 3.885 or 97 percent, which corresponds with a rating of "highly effective."


Boskydel Vineyard Facebook

Bernie Rink of Boskydel Vineyard died at 92 last night.

His youngest son Andy Rink says his dad started making wine in his basement in the 50s before starting his commercial operation around a decade later.

Andy says his parents decided to go commercial because they needed something to occupy their sons and make them better men.

“He would tell customers at the winery that he put his five sons to work to put them to bed tired at night,” says Andy.

Ludington Area Schools will put a bond before voters for new buildings and major renovations. The school board moved forward with a $101 million proposal this week.

The investigation into a deer hunter’s death is wrapping up. Justin Beutel was shot and killed near Torch Lake by another hunter on opening day. 

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials say they still can't offer many details about the incident, but evidence points toward a hunting accident. They believe the other hunter mistook Beutel for a deer. Lietenant Jim Gorno, a DNR conservation officer, says Beutel was a relative of the property owner.

skeeze/Pixabay

A deer hunter has been killed in northern Michigan. Justin Beutel of Sanford was shot Thursday afternoon. He was killed while hunting near Torch Lake in Antrim County.

Changes are coming to The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay. The Bahle family has decided to stop managing the theater at the end of this year.

Theater Manager Erik Bahle says they’re tapped out physically, financially and emotionally.

He says he hopes the community will take over management and eventually ownership, and there is already energy and enthusiasm around this.

"This really is the start of its life," says Bahle. "This isn't the end of anything."

Morgan Springer

 

The percentage of Americans who fish is in decline and that decline has had an impact on conservation projects, because hunting and fishing licenses help fund everything from habitat restoration to clean water programs.

Morgan Springer

Voters mostly rejected a group of candidates campaigning as a team for the Traverse City school board. Team 5 TCAPS candidates ran on a similar platform, calling for more transparency and accountability in the district, but only one of the five candidates – Erica Moon Mohr – was elected Tuesday.

Morgan Springer

The Mesick Consolidated Schools bond has failed again. This was the third time the district asked the community for more money for schools. The $13.7 million plan was to build an elementary school wing on the high school, upgrade technology and enhance security.

Judy Myers is 71. She doesn't have any grandkids in the district, but she voted for the bond.

"If we can pay for seniors to have a senior center," says Myers, "we can have a school for the kids."

But more people agreed with Cindy Short, who voted against it.

Dan Wanschura

UNOFFICIAL ELECTION RESULTS: Updated 11/7/18 10:00 a.m.:

Governor: Democrat Gretchen Whitmer

Republicans held onto the U.S. 1st Congressional seat. Incumbent Rep. Jack Bergman beat his Democratic challenger Matt Morgan handily. As of Tuesday night, Bergman had around 57 percent of the vote in northern Michigan, winning by more than ten percentage points.

He's now preparing for his second term representing northern lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.

"I went [to Congress] a couple of years ago, made some promises, and I’ve tried everything I can to keep those promises to the constituents of the first district, and people realize that," says Bergman. 

Morgan Springer

The leader of Traverse City’s school district has said he was "blindsided" when he found out last week the state might take back money from a homeschool program. But other sources indicate TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma knew it was a possibility for months. 


Morgan Springer

At a forum Thursday night, candidates for the Traverse City school board were asked if the election was a referendum on district Superintendent Paul Soma. The Traverse City Area Public Schools superintendent has been under criticism for potential financial issues relating to the district's homeschool program and allegations of bullying

NPS/Jim Peaco

National park officials will stop bringing wolves to Isle Royale this fall. Four wolves have been relocated to Isle Royale National Park so far, as officials work to keep the island's moose population in check and balance the island's ecosystem.

Originally, the plan was to bring six gray wolves to the island, but recent cold weather, rain and snow showers have made wolf trapping less safe.

David Cassleman

The Soo is one step closer to getting a new lock. The Senate authorized nearly $922.4 million in funding for the project Wednesday.

Michigan PFAS Action Response Team

A low level of pollutants has been detected in the City of Gaylord's municipal drinking water. State environmental officials tested the municipal water for PFAS at three sites in the city. A small amount of the chemicals was detected at one site, but nothing was found at the other two sites.

Morgan Springer

The Board of Education for Traverse Area Public Schools could look very different in January. Five of its seven seats are up for grabs.

Morgan Springer

A landfill in northern Michigan will be allowed to inject contaminated water thousands of feet underground.

NPS/JACOB W. FRANK

A wolf that was part of a plan to repopulate Isle Royale National Park died last week. The wolf died in a holding facility during the transportation process.

New wolves are being introduced to the island as part of a long-term plan to balance the island’s ecosystem. Moose populations on the island have been on the rise as the wolf population has dwindled to just two, and moose are overbrowsing the island. Park officials plan to introduce 20 to 30 wolves in the next few years to help keep the moose population in check.

USFWS/Courtney Celley

A male and female gray wolf were released in Isle Royale National Park Wednesday. The wolves came from two different packs in Minnesota. They were captured at the Grand Portage Indian Reservation and then transported by plane to Isle Royale in Lake Superior. 

“One of the wolves – the female wolf – stayed in the crate for about 45 minutes before she decided to head out and check out the island,” says Liz Valencia, public information officer for the park.

Valencia says the male wolf didn’t leave his crate till after dark.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

State officials will begin using drones to find water contamination. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will use drones to look for PFAS in Lake Margrethe near Grayling this week.

Elevated levels of PFAS were found at Camp Grayling on Lake Margrethe in 2017. PFAS compounds come from fire fighting foam among other things. They can cause cancer and reproductive problems. 

Morgan Springer

It could be a competitive race for Michigan’s 104th house seat this coming election. The district covers Grand Traverse County. Republicans have held this seat firmly for at least 20 years.

A northern Michigan lawmaker says he will not participate in any debates or forums before the election. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) withdrew from a League of Women Voters forum scheduled for October 8.

In an email, Inman’s campaign manager Ashleigh Ackerman said they’re disappointed they couldn’t make it work out, but the Grand Traverse County representative doesn't have the time in his schedule. 

"Our campaign offered to do a written questionnaire, which would be easily available to those that would not be able to attend a forum," she said.

Emmet County

Emmet County Commissioner Betsy White lost by one vote in the Republican primary. GOP nominee Izzy Lyman got 223 votes to White's 222.

After she lost the primary, White says her first reaction was to just let it rest, but then she thought, 'my work is not done.' She's been a commissioner since 2016.

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