Taylor Wizner

Health care and tourism reporter

Taylor Wizner is the health and tourism reporter for IPR News. She joined IPR in 2019 after working at Detroit's Public Radio station, WDET. She graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Michigan. When not sharing the news of the day, she enjoys spending time in northern Michigan's beautiful woods and dunes, often with her dog in tow.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Testing wastewater can rapidly detect COVID-19 outbreaks in college campuses, nursing homes and prisons.

Thanks to a $10 million dollar grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the state is beginning to test wastewater across Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will team up with local health departments and colleges for the three month pilot.

Courtesy Legs Inn

 

A steady stream of visitors to resort areas in northern Michigan over the summer exceeded national tourism averages. But local businesses are still hurting from lost revenue during the state’s COVID-19 lockdown, and are now putting their hopes into fall tourism.

Shared with IPR

 

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys volunteered at an Antrim County event that hosted John James, the Republican candidate for Michigan’s U.S. Senate seat this year.

Taylor Wizner

 

A U.S. Postal Service facility in Traverse City is now running with two fewer mail sorting machines.

Last week, USPS workers removed and dismantled two of their four large mail processing machines. They sort mail for zip codes starting in 496 and 497, covering most of northern lower Michigan.

Friske Farm Market Facebook page

 

A northern Michigan health department says it’s struggling to make a local market comply with a state executive order. Now the Antrim County store may have also been a COVID-19 exposure site.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Northwest lower Michigan health departments reported 37 possible COVID-19 exposure sites since Monday, August 10.

 

They included typical exposure sites, including restaurants, retail stores and airplane flights, but they also include other types of locations that have recently cropped up — a community pool, skate park and a ferry.

TOM SWIFT

 

The Leelanau County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to condemn racism in county government at its Tuesday meeting.

The resolution called for inclusivity and equity of services to minority residents, while acknowledging the negative impact of racism.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

State or local health department confirmed COVID-19 cases in northern Michigan:

Last updated September 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Tom Swift

 

On Sunday evening, Northport resident Tom Swift attached a duct tape message to a government building sign.

A few letters in black marker showed what he believes to be true: racism exists in Leelanau County.

Leelanau County Road Commission Facebook

 

Update 8/11/20: Tom Eckerle has resigned from the Leelanau County Road Commission. More information is available here.

 

Update 8/7/20: The Leelanau County Road Commission has asked Commissioner Tom Eckerle to resign following racist comments he made on Tuesday.

 

In an email, road commissioner John Popa confirmed the commissioners sent the letter to Erckerle this morning.

 

  

 

 

 

Courtesy MUNSON HEALTHCARE

 

While COVID-19 cases continue to rise steadily in northern Michigan, Munson Healthcare is treating fewer patients and reports it has enough resources to treat those who need hospital care.

traversecitymi.gov

Traverse City commissioners unanimously approved restrictions on vacation home rentals in some parts of the city Monday night. 

Areas zoned C-1 office-service and C-2 neighborhood center will now only be allowed one unit or 25 percent of a development for short-term use, provided the rest of the units are used for long-term housing. 

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Arts Academy will test all of its students and staff for COVID-19 this August with help from a Boston lab.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department

 

Helene Mitchell, a 17-year-old resident of Leland, kept her friend group small this summer to avoid the coronavirus.

Still her friend tested positive and she was exposed.

Shari Bernstein

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Authorities say they have arrested a man who pulled a knife on a Meijer employee in northern Michigan after she asked him to wear a mask.

The alleged incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, when a Kalkaska County man went shopping for groceries at the Meijer in Acme Township.

Grand Traverse County Detective Captain Randy Fewless says one employee would not let the man go in the store.

Courtesy of the Michigan State Police

 

The times of lounging on a crowded beach or walking through a busy downtown without a mask are coming to an end.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan announced possible COVID-19 exposure at Torch Lake on July 4, when thousands of visitors partied on the lake’s sandbar.

Courtesy of Munson Healthcare

 

Reversing the trend of many rural hospitals across the country, Munson Healthcare’s Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital is offering inpatient services to Benzie area residents again.

Courtesy of EGLE

 

An Ingham County Circuit Court Judge ruled today to continue a temporary restraining order against Enbridge, while also allowing the company to resume operations on the western leg of its Line 5 pipeline. 

The decision comes after a long hearing in court yesterday, during which the state and Enbridge each made their case for why the state should, or shouldn't, be able to regulate the pipeline.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

The coronavirus is starting to creep back into northern Michigan. 

Taylor Wizner

 

Munson Healthcare says it will cut 25 administrative jobs, alter services and cut capital projects, as it deals with financial losses incurred during the pandemic.

Courtesy COVID Act Now

Update 6/22/20: Northwest Michigan Health Services corrected numbers it shared with IPR. 

Taylor Wizner

 

In the early days of the pandemic Munson Healthcare administrators were in a flurry of panic.

 

 


Governor's Office

 

A new order signed Friday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer will soon allow Michiganders to get their hair cut or styled – as well as head to the gym or a movie theater – with certain precautions.

The restrictions will be lifted first in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula starting Wednesday -- followed by southern Michigan starting June 15th.

In northern counties, indoor gatherings of 50 people will be permissible.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

There continues to be few new COVID-19 cases reported in northwest lower Michigan. No positive diagnoses were added to the region Tuesday. This weekend, the state only revealed a new diagnosis in Wexford County and two in Otsego County. 

Pages