News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Michigan Heartbeat Coalition

A Michigan group wants to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This would effectively ban abortions after around six weeks. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed ballot petition language with the Secretary of State Tuesday.

St. Joseph Public Schools

Northern Michigan’s largest school district is one step closer to hiring a new superintendent. On Monday, the board for Traverse City Area Public Schools voted unanimously for Ann Cardon to proceed to the final round.

Cardon has 10 years of superintendent experience and is the current head of St. Joseph Public Schools downstate.

"I like the fact that she’s basically done everything, teacher, principal, leader and she’s been involved with finance and with unions," TCAPS Board Member Doris Ellery says.

Did you know that in the 16th century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe measured hundreds of stars and created a popular catalog of the night sky without ever once using a telescope? And that Polish astronomer Nicholas Copernicus also never used that handy device? 

Essay: What Kind

May 17, 2019

As a little girl, I often went to play at friends’ houses and my mother sent me out the door with firm rules about being polite—which began with please and thank you.  Next, she insisted we call all adults by their Mr. and Mrs. names.

Creative Commons

Michigan health officials are trying to educate parents that are skeptical of vaccines, encouraging them to immunize their kids. But it’s not working in Grand Traverse County, where more and more parents are opting out of vaccinations. Plus, a dietician helps people cook healthier food.

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. 

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.)

Newly released images from Enbridge Energy show damage sustained to the Line 5 oil pipelines from an anchor strike last April.

Benzie County Sheriff's Office

Investigators have still not found a missing plane in Lake Michigan. They suspect it crashed Sunday night about four miles off the coast of Frankfort

Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel says the pilot contacted air traffic control to say he was having issues.

“The last thing they heard from the pilot was that the engine had locked up and was dead, and then it was shortly thereafter that that they lost radar contact with them,” says Schendel.

BAY VIEW CHAUTAUQUA INCLUSIVENESS GROUP

Housing discrimination cases against Bay View Association near Petoskey have been settled. The resort community has been accused of discriminating against non-Christian homeowners.

Two lawsuits filed by current homeowners and a claim filed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development allege Bay View broke fair housing laws by only allowing Christians to own homes at the resort community.

At the middle of this week, Mercury comes to what I’ll call its “Full” phase, and at the end of the week, the Moon achieves its rare Blue Moon phase. We won’t see Mercury, and the Moon won’t appear blue, but still they’re both good for story!

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital is closing their maternity unit on May 31. Many residents criticized that plan at a town hall on Saturday.

Jessica Cracraft is 28 weeks pregnant and says she planned on giving birth at the hospital.

"I don't want to have to go to a new hospital. I don't want to have new nurses, and I don't want to have a new doctor," Cracraft said. "I only have 11 weeks left."

State Representative Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann) said the closure will make Manistee less attractive to young people.

Essay: Scattered Clouds

May 10, 2019

I sit at the kitchen table with my husband before dinner. We’re drinking a beer and eating pretzels and talking about the day. And while we’re talking, I look over his shoulder out the window where gray-bellied clouds are moving across a blue sky. 


Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a U.S. soldier was injured in a training exercise and discharged from the army. Then he found an unusual way to cope with his depression and serve his country: beekeeping.

 


Adam Ingrao, founder of Heroes to Hives, checks on some beehives owned by Michigan State University, in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

When military veterans leave the service, many of them struggle with their return to civilian life. Adam Ingrao was no different.


A river flows through a wooded landscape. The banks are lined with hemlock trees and half-melted piles of snow.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently seeking public comment on an application for the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) to set their own water quality standards. The KBIC is based out of L'Anse Township in the Upper Peninsula.

Stephanie Cree, water resources specialist for the tribe, says they would be the first one in Michigan to have that authority.

“It's gonna allow us to set our own water quality standards for the waters here on the reservation, where right now we follow the standards of state and federal guidelines," she says.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Five people who design newspaper layouts were laid off in Traverse City on Tuesday. They worked for CNHI, the company that owns the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Record-Eagle Publisher Paul Heidbreder says the employees were part of a local "design hub" that worked on layouts for newspapers across the country, but CNHI is reducing the number of papers designed out of Traverse City. 

Dan Wanschura

Elections were held across Michigan on Tuesday, and school bonds were on many ballots.

Unofficial election results show that school bonds in Ludington and Leland passed, but a $47.8 million proposal for Benzie County Central Schools narrowly failed by 114 votes, or just under 2 percentage points. Another proposal in Kingsley Area Schools overwhelmingly failed with 73 percent of voters saying ‘no.’

DTE Energy

DTE Energy is among 60 Fortune 500 companies that did not pay federal income taxes in 2018. That’s according to the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

DTE spokesperson Peter Ternes confirmed in an email they did not pay those taxes last year.

Ternes says the company, which provides electricity and natural gas to millions of customers in Michigan, follows current federal tax laws and claims their capital investments as deductions.

Up North Pride

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will be the grand marshal for an LGBTQ+ pride march in Traverse City next month.

The Visibility March will be held by Up North Pride, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group. Founder Jonny Cameron says they chose Nessel because she has fought for LGBTQ+ rights during her career.

“She’s making sure that we are protected, as parents, as families, in the state of Michigan,” Cameron says.

Up North Pride says Nessel is the first openly gay candidate elected to state office.

Nearly 1000 years ago, a star went super nova in the region of the Bull’s Horns, in Taurus, and this week, the waxing crescent Moon will sweep over the very spot, opening the door on a fascinating bit of cultural and scientific history.

Medical marijuana lottery selection
Taylor Wizner

A lottery was held in Traverse City on Friday to hand out licenses for medical marjiuana centers. The city clerk selected the winners by lottery out of 72 applicants.

Valerie Rissi’s eyes lit up when her business was called.

Rissi was retired until her daughter convinced her to apply for a licence for a medical marijuana center. She worked on her application for over two years

"I thought 13 of 72, what’s your odds? Not real well, but that’s why it’s the lottery," she says.

Ludington Area School District

School districts across Michigan have bond proposals going to a vote on May 7.

Ludington Area Schools district is asking the community for a new elementary building, renovations to the middle and high school and improvements to technology, transportation, arts and athletic facilities.  

District Superintendent Jason Kennedy says the district needs signficant renovations.

"The average age of the facilities in Ludington is 64 years old," Kennedy says. "We need to consider doing more than just fixing and repairing the facilities."

GREGORY VARNUM

Electrical cables in the Straits of Mackinac were severed when an anchor struck them last year. More than 400 gallons of mineral oil, acting as a coolant, leaked out.

The Line 5 oil pipelines were damaged during the same incident.

A proposed tunnel would house Line 5 and the electrical cables to avoid more damage, an idea Enbridge Energy supports and Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she is open to.

But in a letter, Vice President of American Transmission Company Tom Finco says that plan could be dangerous.

Dan Wanschura

More than 50 Michigan counties will hold elections Tuesday, May 7. School funding is the focus of most of them.

Benzie County Central Schools district is asking voters to approve $47.8 million for a new elementary building and an addition to the middle and high school. Ludington, Kingsley and Leland school districts also have bond requests.

Kalkaska County wants to improve the Kaliseum Recreational Complex. It’s asking for a 1.5 mill increase to its facilities millage.

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