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Flickr / USDA

 

This year, many northern Michigan schools forecast student lunch debt, and without regulation from government to collect those dues, districts have to figure it out on their own.

School lunch debt has increased in recent years to the point where the median amount each district carries is just over $3,000, according to the School Nutrition Association —  a professional organization that monitors lunches at schools.

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Several beaches in northern Michigan are under advisories for E. coli contamination.

Beaches at Clinch Park, Traverse City State Park and Suttons Bay Marina are under level 2 advisories. That means beachgoers should avoid contact with the water above the waist.

The Traverse Senior Center Beach is under a level 3 advisory, meaning visitors should avoid all contact with the water.

Environmental Health Director for the Grand Traverse County Health Department Daniel Thorell says that more testing will be done Friday morning.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

In 2016, then Gov. Rick Snyder signed the controversial “Read by Grade Three” bill into law. It's meant to improve the reading and writing abilities of third graders in Michigan, but if their scores don’t rise students could be held back.

As the law starts to take effect, educators are frustrated with how it aims to get test scores up. 

Back to school

NMC to offer Nick Nissley president position

Sep 3, 2019
School for Creative & Performing Arts

Nick Nissley rose to the top as the number one pick for the next president of Northwestern Michigan College.

The NMC board of trustees voted 4 to 3 at a special board meeting Tuesday to offer him the position, according to an NMC press release.

He was one of five candidates in Traverse City for interviews over the last couple of weeks.

Though most of the aurora activity has settled down by now, there’s still cause to be hopeful if you want to see it, because statistics show that the elusive lights are more active around the time of Equinox each year, and that’s where we’re headed. What’s more, the coronal hole that caused this weekend’s wild forecasts is rotating around the surface of the Sun and may face earthward again in about 28 days, so stay tuned.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow visited Traverse City on Thursday to tout her plan to extend funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The initiative has funded almost 900 projects in the northwest lower Michigan region, she says.

Earlier this month, Stabenow, D-Mich., introduced bipartisan-supported legislation that would renew funding for the initiative that expires next year. Her proposal would also increase the current budget by about 60 percent over the next seven years.

Essay: Bad Day

Aug 30, 2019

I don’t even notice that I’m getting out of bed on the wrong side until I grab for my socks and shove my toe into the heel.  And I wonder whether I should climb right back in and call it a day… a bad day.


Kevin Donner

This week on Points North, tribes try to bring sturgeon back to Michigan’s waters. Plus one man realizes his dream of running a curling league. 

Sturgeon are a prehistoric fish that can live up to 100 years old, but overfishing and habitat destruction has decimated their population across the state.

Baby sturgeon were released last weekend as part of a joint effort between the state, tribes and conservation groups to restore populations of this ancient fish. 

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.


Some lawmakers in Lansing want to take away the licenses of medical professionals who sexually assault their patients under the guise of treatment.

Today on Stateside, it's been three weeks since a Michigan man died after being deported to Iraq. How are things for hundreds of other Chaldeans facing deportation? Plus, how one school district is remodeling its high school to make it harder for a mass shooter to carry out an attack.

Aaron Selbig / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Former Kingsley Middle School Principal Karl Hartman is facing eight criminal charges, following his second preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Hartman was a teacher and principal at Kingsley schools for over 30 years.

 

In January, he resigned after former students accused him of sexual assault and allegedly giving them alcohol as minors.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Kyle Atwood says his office dropped three charges Tuesday after one of the victims decided to leave the case.

 

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

The invasive aquatic plant called European frogbit was found in Oceana and Ottawa counties this summer. 

Frogbit is a small green plant that looks like a water lily. Kevin Walters with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said it can form dense mats on the water's surface.

"So there’s no light penetration in the water, it makes movement of waterfowl and fish difficult," Walters said. "For humans it makes access to the water for fishing, swimming, boating, things like that can become very difficult."

A large building with the words "Cheboygan County building" on the front.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Cheboygan County Commissioners passed a resolution to support Enbridge’s construction of a tunnel underneath the Straits of Mackinac Tuesday morning. 

The Tim S. Dool exits the Poe Lock southbound in May 2016.
David Cassleman

The Soo Locks came to a halt on Monday as the large Poe Lock was shut down to complete emergency repairs.

The state Legislature plans to go back to its normal schedule this week. Republicans in the state House plan to keep working on a budget and road funding plan they can agree on along with the Senate and Governor Gretchen Whitmer, but they’ve got other priorities too.

Every year in August, the constellation Orion returns to northern hemisphere skies at dawn, bearing with him the brightest star in our sky after the Sun ~ the star Sirius.

Sirius played a significant role in every aspect of Ancient Egypt culture, a role that carried on well into the 20th century, because its heliacal rising in mid-August each year was the signal from the natural world that the mighty river Nile was about to flood. At the heliacal rising of Sirius, people would move off the flood plain to make way for the river, which would rise up to 46 feet in some places!

Today on Stateside, we hear about a lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Republican Party, that aims to block an independent commission from redrawing legislative maps. Plus, we talk about the tough ethical choices people face when trying to do something about climate change.

An attorney says she should not have to join the State Bar of Michigan in order to practice law, and she's filed a lawsuit to strike down the requirement.

A federal judge is weighing whether to allow faith-based adoption agencies to keep turning away LGBTQ potential parents while an underlying lawsuit plays out.

Taylor Wizner

Five years ago, hops were in high demand in Michigan, and more and more farmers started experimenting with the crop. 

However, as beer tastes changed and breweries went looking for the next new thing, many northern Michigan hop farmers have been unable to make ends meet. This year, more than a dozen hop fields throughout the region sit idle as their owners wait for prices to rise or decide to close farms for good.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how Michigan hops farmers are struggling to keep up with the craft beer boom. Plus, a look ahead on the future of the Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team.

Five years ago hops were in high demand in Michigan, so farmers started experimenting with the crop. However, as beer tastes changed and breweries went looking for the next new thing, many northern Michigan hop farmers have been unable to make ends meet.

Players from the Traverse City Pit Spitters celebrate winning the 2019 Northwoods League championship on August 16th, in Traverse City.
Traverse City Pit Spitters

It’s going to be hard to top the season that the Traverse City Pit Spitters had in 2019. Besides winning the Northwoods League title, the team set a new league record with an 18-game winning streak. Looking ahead, general manager Mickey Graham thinks 2020 will be even better.

 


The school year is about to begin in Michigan without contracts between many districts and teachers. That’s because the state Legislature has not adopted a K-12 schools budget to let school boards and teachers unions know how much money they’ll have to work with.

The state attorney general’s new policy about faith-based adoption agencies will be up for debate in federal court.

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