Grand Traverse County

Creative Commons

 

This spring, a measles outbreak in southeast Michigan spread because of a high concentration of unvaccinated people. The outbreak was contained to that part of the state, but Grand Traverse County is still a high-risk area because of the large number of unvaccinated students.

After a state mandate required parents to learn the risks of not vaccinating their kids, immunizations increased across Michigan. But in Grand Traverse Couty, many are still saying 'no' to vaccines.

Meghan Flaska used to vaccine her kids without a thought.

Michigan House of Representatives

State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Traverse City) was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of extortion, bribery and lying to the FBI. U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge alleges Inman offered to trade one of his votes in the House for campaign money. 

The indictment says 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. 

Daily lake trout limits on Grand Traverse Bay are going down from one to two this year.
Gretchen Boyd

The daily lake trout limit for anglers on Grand Traverse Bay is reduced from two fish to one - effective immediately.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission announced the change Friday.

 

They say it was necessary because last year’s recreational harvest limit for lake trout in Grand Traverse Bay was exceeded by nearly 16,000 pounds.

 

“We would encourage anglers to keep the first lake trout they catch and then shift to targeting other species,” says Heather Hettinger, a local DNR fisheries biologist.

Health Department says no more CBD oil in drinks

Mar 13, 2019
CBD oil
Wikimedia Commons

 

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is telling coffee shops to stop serving Cannabidiol (CBD)-infused drinks. So far they’ve sent cease and desist letters to three cafes that served CBD-infused lattes: Espresso Bay, Black Market and Cuppa Joe.

CBD is a derivative of cannabis without the psychotropic effects of the drug.

Dan Thorell with the Grand Traverse County Health Department says CBD oil is still new, so many people don't know the rules.

Wikimedia Commons

After nearly 20 years, Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City will stop performing court-ordered drug tests.

Teen parents in Grand Traverse County
Taylor Wizner

 

As teen pregnancy rates fall across the country, Grand Traverse County is struggling to bring them down. A new program in Traverse City may help; it’s restructured and expanded to include dads.

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. 

Grand Traverse County Commissioners
Taylor Wizner

The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners meeting was nearly cancelled yesterday because they couldn’t decide on whether to hear an agenda item on the new prayer policy.

Commissioner Betsy Coffia wanted the board to clarify the policy for her and the public. Other commissioners said the policy was clearly spelled out and any more discussion would be a waste of their time.

Ultimately, the board was split on the vote and couldn’t break the tie.

Grand Traverse County Commissioners
Taylor Wizner

 

After passing a much debated prayer policy, the Grand Traverse County Commission started its first meeting of February with an invocation. 

The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners approved two controversial policies today during a meeting that lasted seven hours.  

THERACANN

Recreational Marijuana became legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, 2018. Otsego County Prosecuting Attorney Brendan Curran says he welcomed it.

“We have a significant drug problem here, and that problem is not marijuana. That problem is drugs that kill people” Curran says. “That’s what I’ve intended to focus as much resources as possible on.”

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.

Grand Traverse County

Two Democrats will be joining the Grand Traverse County Commission in January.

The commission has historically been dominated by Republicans.

Bryce Hundley and Betsy Coffia were the two Democratic winners. Coffia says Democrats had a strong showing in races across the county.

"I think you're seeing a community that is really motivated for that change," Coffia says. "It takes a lot of work, but I do believe we're moving in that direction, in a more progressive direction."

Grand Traverse County

Updated on 11/1/18 at 5:21. The mailer was originally sent to residents of Peninsula Township 1 and Traverse City Precincts 7, 8 and 9  

Some people on Old Mission Peninsula may be confused about where they vote next week.

 

A mailer from county commission candidate Dan Lathrop (R) incorrectly told some residents that their polling place has moved.

Max Johnston

Medication-assisted treatment is increasingly cited as a way to curb the opioid epidemic. However, only 23 percent of publicly funded treatment programs offer it, according to the Pew Research Center.

David Cassleman

County Democrats say Kenzie Jeurink has moved to Manistee, effectively dropping her from the race.

Republican Gordie LaPointe is now essentially running unopposed for the county’s sixth district.

Grand Traverse County Clerk Bonnie Scheele says Jeurink’s name will still be on the ballot.

 

“If she won … she would decline to take the position and the new county board of commissioners would appoint someone from that district to fill that position,” Scheele says.

 

Grand Traverse County

Updated on 10/9/18 10:50 a.m.: Addison "Sonny" Wheeloch of District 4 was the only Republican to attend the forum last night.

 

The Republican candidates for the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners withdrew from a forum scheduled for tonight. They say they are protesting the League of Women Voters (LWV), whose local branch is sponsoring the event.

 

Imported crystal meth now a 'crisis' in Michigan

Sep 27, 2018
Psychonaut/Wikipedia Commons

County prosecutors in Michigan are warning of a resurgence of methamphetamine throughout the state. They say the latest incarnation of the drug is much more potent and addictive than it used to be.

The meth that’s sold on the street these days usually doesn’t come from homemade labs. It’s imported from places like Mexico.

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.

State of Michigan

People in Blair Township are now dealing with PFAs contamination. On Friday, twelve households started getting bottled water at the township hall. That’s after contamination was found in wells this week. 

PFAs are found in things like fire-fighting foam and are linked to cancer.

Psychonaut/Wikipedia Commons

Methamphetamine use is on the rise in Michigan.

Prosecutors say imported “crystal” meth from Mexico is now replacing homemade meth labs. A report from Michigan State Police says homemade meth labs are in decline.

Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County settled with the family of Craig Carlson – who was killed more than 10 years ago.

Morgan Springer

Residents will continue funding improvements in Traverse City schools. Voters passed a $107 million bond for Traverse City Area Public Schools. According to unofficial election results, 67 percent (15,679 residents) voted yes, while 33 percent (7,662) said no.

The money will go towards things like building reconstruction, safety and technology improvements and bus replacements. 

“I mean you have to educate your kids or you’re going to be nowhere," says Kathleen Ziege who lives in Interlochen and voted for the bond.

Grand Traverse County is doing a better job of funding retirement plans for its employees, according to a new report from the Municipal Employees Retirement System, or MERS.

MERS is an independent organization that invests retirement funds for Michigan municipalities.

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