News

In the mid-19th century, a persuasive Mormon leader named James Jesse Strang led hundreds of followers to Beaver Island in the middle of Lake Michigan. Then he declared himself the King of Earth and Heaven.

 

That’s the story author Miles Harvey tells in his new book, The King of Confidence - A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch.

 


Outdoors: Toads and violins

15 hours ago

Many years ago, we had faculty member at Interlochen who was a great teacher and fine violinist but who was reluctant to work with Junior campers.

Turns out, she was afraid that they might be hiding toads in their instrument cases.

That  wouldn’t have surprised me. In a way, it’s sort of a tradition.

This week, in that sacred place where the dark of night surrenders to the dawn, a mighty council of stars is taking place, as if to say: “O, humanity, if you seek remedy to your current trials, lift up your thoughts to the stars, for the powers that wait on your noble deeds have gathered and await your participation.”

Courtesy of the Michigan State Police

 

The times of lounging on a crowded beach or walking through a busy downtown without a mask are coming to an end.

The Health Department of Northwest Michigan announced possible COVID-19 exposure at Torch Lake on July 4, when thousands of visitors partied on the lake’s sandbar.

Executive Office of the Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has toughened the rules that require masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. Her latest Executive Order says businesses must deny service to people who refuse to wear masks indoors. It also says customers must remain at least six feet from others outdoors.  

Outdoors: Possum actors

Jul 10, 2020

Opossums may be ugly, but what they lack in grace and beauty, they make up for with their abilities to reproduce and with their acting skills, which are remarkable.

Well, their acting skills are remarkable but limited. They do a superb death scene.

Should danger threaten, an opossum really does “play possum.”

It wilts to the ground or goes limp,  falling over on its side, eyes unfocused, mouth agape with tongue hanging from between rows of fifty pointy little teeth. Copious drool.

Outdoors: Bird lighting

Jul 9, 2020

Many years ago, a lighting technician made a comment that stuck with me.

She said, “If we do our job right, nobody notices us. If we don’t — ooh, boy.”

And that is the reason for at least some of the anxiety that precedes the first tech rehearsal of any show.

How will the scenery look under the lights?  And the costumes?

Different materials reflect and refract light differently and under bad lighting, to quote my friend, “Ooh, boy.”

Any bird watcher will tell you the same thing.

Courtesy of Munson Healthcare

 

Reversing the trend of many rural hospitals across the country, Munson Healthcare’s Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital is offering inpatient services to Benzie area residents again.

Outdoors: Petoskey stones

Jul 8, 2020

Visual artists always have been aware of geometric shapes. 

The Great Masters were all about geometry. 

Pablo Picasso captured  his world in shapes.  M. C. Escher combined shapes with his tessellating designs, and architect Buckminster Fuller demonstrated that tessellating triangles form a hexagon, which is a shape with great structural strength.

This structural strength is demonstrated by  a coral fossil we call a Petoskey stone. 

Michigan colleges and universities are scrambling to figure out what a new federal government rule means for their international students.

That comes after the government’s announcement this week that the government will no longer issue student visas to foreign students whose universities go to online-only classes.


Young fans watch a Traverse City Pit Spitters game during the 2019 season.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

After starting last week, the Traverse City Pit Spitters season has been put on hold. The same goes for the newly created Great Lakes Resorters and Northern Michigan Dune Bears.

Several players recently tested positive for COVID-19 which prompted the pause.

 

 


Outdoors: Baby skunks

Jul 7, 2020

When I think of Interlochen, I can’t help but thinking of lines. Morning line-up, lines for meals, lines for tickets, lines at the Melody Freeze.

The animal kingdom is filled with lines, too.

Take baby skunks. Skunk kits look just like adults, only cuter.

They develop musk glands when they are about eight days old, and they learn how to spray after a few weeks.

Kits stay in their nests for about the first three weeks of their lives, but when they do emerge, the stubby-legged infants  follow their mother in a single-file line.

Traverse City will buy body cameras for its police officers. The final price tag, make and model is still being researched, but the City Commission approved to spend up to $100,000 dollars on the cameras at a virtual meeting Monday night.

Dear Listeners, 
 

“Think” with host Krys Boyd from KERA in Dallas is coming to northern Michigan.
 

Every weeknight at 8:00 p.m., listeners can expect thought-provoking and in-depth conversations with newsmakers from around the globe. Since launching in November 2006, “Think” and Krys Boyd have earned more than a dozen local, regional and national awards.
 

Outdoors: Shakespearean flowers

Jul 6, 2020

The plays of Shakespeare are filled with references to herbs and flowers. 

“There’s fennel for you and columbines.  There’s a daisy. I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died.”

In "Hamlet," when Ophelia mentions flowers, Shakespeare was making statements that probably were quite obvious to his audiences.

In Elizabethan times, fennel was the symbol of flattery, while columbines signified marital infidelity and ingratitude. Daisies were symbols of unhappy love. 

So maybe you heard there was an eclipse last weekend. Did you see it? Or did you go out to look at the brilliant lunar light and wonder what everybody was talking about? Sometimes it’s like that.

Executive Office of the Governor

A few weeks ago, IPR reported on the problems facing rural schools in northern Michigan before next fall. Now, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has provided a roadmap for them to reopen.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty on what next school year will look like.

Linda Dewey

On Forest Haven Road by M-22, through stone gates and into the forest, lays the Glen Arbor Township Cemetery. 

 

But in 2015 a storm brought down surrounding trees, leaving the cemetery difficult to reach and in need of some TLC. 

 

That’s where Linda Dewey comes in. She partnered with Glen Lake Schools and a tree company to do some work at the cemetery. 

 

Outdoors: Federation squirrels

Jul 3, 2020

The rodents that thrive in dry sandy fields at Interlochen are called thirteen-lined ground squirrels. At least, that’s what we call them now.

Around Independence Day, I like to recall their original common name: federation squirrels.

These grasslands creatures have thirteen stripes, alternating dark and light, that are interspersed with little dots that look rather like stars.

Lake Michigan waves crash onshore at a beach in Frankfort, Michigan. Lakes Michigan and Huron were almost three feet above the June water level average.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Water levels in the Great Lakes continue to remain high. 

Every month this year, Lakes Michigan and Huron have surpassed record-high water levels set in the 1980’s. In June, those lakes were nearly three feet above average. 

Outdoors: The river of the Saw Beaks

Jul 2, 2020

The Little Betsie River connects the two lakes at Interlochen. Then the Betsie River flows from Green Lake to Lake Michigan.

They were named for a duck: a merganser.

Early maps of Lake Michigan bear names given by the French. They called the Betsie "la Reviere du Bec-Scie," or "the River of the Saw Beaks."

The French called mergansers “saw beaks” because of the serrations on the ducks’ narrow  bills. These sawtooth edges aid the birds in capturing and holding onto the slippery fish that make up the bulk of their diet.

Courtesy of EGLE

 

An Ingham County Circuit Court Judge ruled today to continue a temporary restraining order against Enbridge, while also allowing the company to resume operations on the western leg of its Line 5 pipeline. 

The decision comes after a long hearing in court yesterday, during which the state and Enbridge each made their case for why the state should, or shouldn't, be able to regulate the pipeline.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff says his officers will undergo more implicit bias training after the killing of George Floyd.

Outdoors: Loons' breath control

Jul 1, 2020

At Interlochen, breath control is a big deal. 

Singers, wind players, actors and dancers all have to deal with the basic need to have enough breath to produce their art.

Our beloved loons have breath control under control.  These remarkable birds can dive and stay under water for about three minutes, maybe more. And that is while undergoing strenuous exercise!

You can watch them disappear beneath the surface, but it is anybody’s guess where they might resurface.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

The coronavirus is starting to creep back into northern Michigan. 

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