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Points North

Points North, Ep. 10: Boilers, Buses & Bonds

Max Johnston
Interlochen Public Radio
McBain Rural Agricultural School has more than 1,000 students from three counties.

This week on Points North, after school bonds fail, some districts keep asking taxpayers again and again to change their minds. One small district in northern Michigan is renewing their attempt. Plus, more religious discrimination allegations against Bay View and local musicians play a violin that made it through the Holocaust.

Rural school districts look for a passing grade on bond proposals

Credit Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
Superintendent Steve Prissel has been working on a school bond proposal for McBain Rural Agricultural School.

Steve Prissel is proud of McBain Rural Agricultural School, but he says there's room for improvement. The district is asking residents to pay for replacing some of the schools technology and facilities. But in some small communities in northern Michigan, a tax hike for your schools can be a tough sell. 

Hear about one rural McBain’s push to improve their school.

Second lawsuit alleges religious housing discrimination at Bay View

Credit Bay View Chautauqua Inclusiveness Group

Bay View Association in Petoskey used to only allow Christians to own homes. Last summer, Bay View changed its membership rules. Now they say anyone can buy a home there, regardless of their faith. But a group of homeowners at Bay View is still not satisfied. They say new rules continue to violate federal housing laws.

Learn more about the dispute and Bay View’s response here.

Restored violins from Holocaust keep history alive

Credit Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Public Radio
Libor Ondras holds a violin that made it through the Holocaust and was restored for the program 'Violins of Hope.'

Decades ago, Amnon Weinstein, a violin maker in Israel, came across a violin which made it through the Auschwitz concentration camp. Since then, he has collected and restored more than 60 other instruments as part of the project 'Violins of Hope.' 

Learn more about the violin and hear it played.

We want to hear from you:

Deer hunting season may be over in Michigan, but hunting stories are told year round. What do you love about the sport? How do you have a good time and stay safe? What is life like during deer season? What are you hunting for right now?

Call 231-276-4444 and leave a comment, email a voice memo to ipr@interlochen.org or comment below. 


Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. 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, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.
Morgan Springer is a contributing editor and producer at Interlochen Public Radio. She previously worked for the New England News Collaborative as the host/producer of NEXT, the weekly show which aired on six public radio station in the region.