Leelanau County

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.

Tom Swift

After Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle was caught using, and later defending, a racial slur, local officials are arguing about the county’s response. 

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.

 

  

 

 

 

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.

State Park campgrounds reopening Monday

Jun 19, 2020
Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan State Park campgrounds are reopening Monday.

That means campsites in addition to most bathrooms, visitor centers, showers, playgrounds, fishing piers, viewing platforms, sports areas and picnic tables will be accessible.  The only exception is drinking fountains, which will remain closed until further notice.

But if you plan on camping this summer, you should probably start planning, said Joshua Drage, the lead ranger at Leelanau State Park.

A woman in her 80s who traveled through Cherry Capital Airport earlier this month tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department.

She traveled just prior to symptom onset, and is recovering at her home in Leelanau County, states the health department press release.

The woman traveled to Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport from Chicago O’Hare on United Airline flight UA4132 on April 14, arriving at 9:30 p.m.

If you were on this flight contact the health department. 

JAN-MICHEL STUMP / Traverse City Record-Eagle

The Benzie and Leelanau County Democratic parties say sheriffs up north made a mistake by undermining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘stay at home’ order.

Interlochen Public Radio graphic

Sheriffs of Michigan's 101st House district are questioning details of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders, according to a press release.

Michigan's 101st House district includes Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties. 

 


Today on Stateside, the Michigan Legislature convened in Lansing today, but some lawmakers question the safety of meeting in person. We hear from one of them, and talk about what lawmaking looks like in the middle of a pandemic. Plus, how plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 could protect health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

Noelle Riley / Interlochen Public Radio

People are flooding into Leelanau County since COVID-19 hit Michigan last month, according to several local business owners.

Health departments in northern Michigan have asked those visiting to self-quarantine, and essential workers in the county are concerned about the increased foot traffic.


CDC

Leelanau residents are getting phone calls telling them they’re selected for free COVID-19 testing, asking them for personal information.

The caller ID reads as a Leelanau number and looks safe to answer, but it’s not, says County Administrator Chet Janik.

 

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

A millage that would fund early childhood development for young children in Leelanau County passed in a close vote Tuesday.

 

The tax won by just about 100 votes, with 3,343 votes in favor and 3,244 against, according to unofficial election results as of 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night.

 

Leelanau County will continue to provide services for families with children under the age of five for the next five years. 

 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, Leelanau voters will decide the fate of an early childhood program.

Plus, tribal and city officials celebrate the new Clinch Park art installation honoring the Anishinaabek.

 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

A program that’s been providing services to Leelanau County young children for twenty years is out of money. To save it, the program’s supporters are asking the community to pay a five year tax that would keep it afloat. Others argue the program overlaps with other government services.

Research shows the first five years of a child’s life are critical to their development and can have lifelong effects. Leelanau County is asking residents to pay a tax that will continue funding a program supporters claim will help children ages zero to five in the 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.

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