Leelanau County

David Gersenson slides a curling stone down the ice at his Leelanau Curling Club in Maple City.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The temperature in Maple City on a recent August afternoon was over 80 degrees, but inside the Leelanau Curling Club it was just above 40 degrees. A big sheet of ice is spread out in the building — 147 feet by 32 feet — which is enough for two curling lanes. It’s a dream come true for David Gersenson.


Morgan Springer

 

The Glen Lake School Board has identified a likely candidate to be their new superintendent. 

The district, which has been dealing with conflicts since last year, just added three new members to its board last week.

Morgan Springer

The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District has started to replace several members of the Glen Lake School Board.

Four members of the seven-member board resigned on Wednesday, in protest of the departure of the district’s superintendent.

The TBAISD is now looking for applications from people who reside in Glen Lake to finish the remaining terms. Two of the appointments will last for a year, while the others go through 2022.

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, the water is so high in Michigan this summer that shorelines are disappearing, docks are underwater and rivers are overflowing. Plus hear how high water is affecting public access to beaches and research on avian botulism. 

 


Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce announced Friday that they will investigate cherries imported from Turkey.

Tart cherries are the largest crop in northwestern lower Michigan, and growers here say they can't compete with Turkey. Some Turkish tart cherry products sell for half the price of domestic ones.

Ben LaCross, a grower in Leelanau County, says to break even he needs to make around 25 cents per pound for his tart cherries.

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.


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.

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."

O'Malley wins 101st house seat

Nov 7, 2018
David Cassleman

A former radio personality has won the race for the 101st state house district.

Jack O’Malley was the longtime morning host on radio station WTCM in Traverse City until he signed off earlier this year. O’Malley and his opponent – Democrat Kathy Wiejaczka – are both political newcomers.

Tuesday night, Wiejaczka said she was not ready to concede the race until the results are official but she enjoyed the experience of running for office.

Aaron Selbig

The candidates for the 101st state house district met at the annual Cherry Pie Debates in Glen Arbor Thursday night. Democrat Kathy Wiejaczka and Republican Jack O’Malley are running for the seat.

The candidates disagreed on Proposal 1, a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan. O’Malley said he’s against Prop 1 because the ballot language is flawed, and the law would be difficult to change in the future.

Polestar LGBT+ Community Center of Traverse City/Facebook

Polestar LGBT+ Community Center of Traverse City opened its doors Saturday. It's the first of its kind in northern Michigan.

Author Jack Hobey has written about Edward Beebe, a photographer who would often lie about the location of his photos.
Matt Mikus

Edward Beebe was a popular photographer in northern Michigan in the early 1900s. He created postcards with his photos but often deceived people regarding the location of the shots.

“I think a lot of these cards were intended to take advantage of tourists and visitors,” says local author Jack Hobey.

Caroline MacGregor

A well-known horse whisperer has passed away in northern Michigan. Alex MacLellan was the owner of H&H Stables in Leelanau County.


"Birds Eye View - Leland, Mich." reads the caption from one of Edward Beebe's photo postcards.
Matt Mikus

Edward Beebe was a popular photographer in northern Michigan in the early 1900s. He created postcards with his photos but often deceived people regarding the location of the shots.

“I think a lot of these cards were intended to take advantage of tourists and visitors,” says local author Jack Hobey.


Leland raises $250k for dredging gear

Feb 22, 2017
Amanda Holmes

The town of Leland has raised $250,000 to buy its own dredging equipment. The money comes from private donations through the crowd-funding website FundLy.

Leland Harbormaster Russell Dzuba says the federal government used to pay for harbor dredging, but in recent years, it hasn’t been a priority.

The oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac has become a key election issue in northern Michigan this year. Candidates for Michigan’s 101st state House spoke about it at a debate in Glen Arbor Thursday night.

Republican Curt Vanderwall says the pipeline provides economic stability.

“We need to make sure that we understand that there’s 250 high paying jobs in those communities throughout the whole line from the tip to the bottom that are in this state,” said Vanderwall.

Vanderwall’s opponent, Democrat Dan Scripps, took a firm stance on shutting down Line 5.

Leelanau County loses its only urgent care facility

Oct 18, 2016
Leelanau Urgent Care

The only urgent care facility in Leelanau County has closed. Leelanau Urgent Care in Suttons Bay shut its doors this month when owners Dave and Janice Lemak moved.

The Lemaks had run the facility for the last 14 years, according to the Leelanau Enterprise. They moved to Reno, Nevada.

Urgent care facilities typically treat patients who require immediate care, but don’t need an emergency room.

Michelle Klein with the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department says the facility will be missed.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

Efforts to conserve northern Michigan’s rural landscape just got a huge boost from the federal government. An $8-million dollar grant is headed to a coalition of local conservation groups. 

The money will help preserve local farmland and restore waterways. It comes through a part of the federal farm bill authored by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

“This is a really exciting new beginning," says Glen Chown of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. "I think it will change the face of conservation going forward, for the better.”

Derek Bailey went on trial in Leelanau County today for charges of five counts of criminal sexual conduct.

In opening arguments, Douglas Donaldson, Leelanau County's chief assistant prosecuting attorney, said his case rests heavily on testimony from the two victims and Bailey's relatives. He also noted that while a search of electronic devices did not produce any evidence of criminal sexual conduct as law enforcement suspected, he does have evidence that one device was deleted or reprogrammed the day it was taken.

Officials don't know why 911 system failed during storm

Aug 6, 2015
Aaron Selbig

UPDATED on Thursday at 1pm with statement from AT&T.

Officials in Grand Traverse County want to know why the 911 system failed during Sunday’s storm.

Emergency calls in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska Counties had to be rerouted for several hours after the storm. Some of the calls ended up at a dispatch center in Petoskey.

Aaron Selbig

As northern Michigan cleans up after Sunday’s violent storm, some communities face a bigger job than others.

The town of Glen Arbor was especially hard hit. Power is still out there and the main road into town is blocked by dozens of fallen trees. Contractors were using chainsaws and a bulldozer Monday afternoon to try to clear M-22.

The Leelanau County Sheriff’s department says no one was killed or seriously injured during the storm Sunday. But for residents like David Tepoorten, it was a pretty harrowing experience.

Aaron Selbig

If you’ve picked up a box of fresh strawberries recently from a local grocery store, there’s a good chance they were handpicked by a migrant farm worker.

The workers have been coming up from their homes in Mexico or Texas for generations. But in recent years, local farmers have noticed there are fewer workers coming to northern Michigan. They’re saying the problem is likely to get much worse.

Steve Bardenhagen grew up on his family’s farm in Leelanau County.

Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver passed away Tuesday night at her home in Glen Arbor. She was 74. Weaver served on the state’s highest court for 15 years, until her resignation in 2010.

Weaver came to Leelanau County from her native New Orleans shortly after receiving her law degree from Tulane University.

In a 2005 interview with IPR, she talked about settling in Glen Arbor.

Deputy Diane Speas, inside the art room at Leelanau County Jail.
Daniel Wanschura

Nearly ten years ago, the jail chaplain in Leelanau County challenged the inmates to participate in a drawing contest. It was Christmas and Leelanau County Deputy Diane Speas remembers the results of that first contest.

“We looked at them and found them just gorgeous, and decided to make them into cards," she recalls.