News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

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. 

 


Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan has complicated laws when it comes to private beaches and public access, and the rules for inland lakes are different from the Great Lakes.

A flooded beach near Lake Michigan.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

The last major outbreak of avian botulism on Lake Michigan was in 2016, when hundreds of dead birds washed up on shore. The bacterial disease has affected waterfowl like loons and mergansers in the Great Lakes for decades, but high water levels on the lakes are good news for the birds for now.

Wikimedia Commons

Anti-abortion groups will soon be on sidewalks and at events around the state, asking voters to support ballot measures that would restrict abortion in Michigan.

Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

The money will be distributed to a variety of areas, including funding for implementing parts of the new Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy $30 million of tart cherries from domestic farmers this year, according to Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet.)

"The tart cherry industry has gone above and beyond to fight adverse circumstances facing their market, including the unfair dumping of cheap imports from Turkey and other foreign countries," Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) said in a press release.

The tart cherries will be used in federal food assistance programs like the National School Lunch Program.

Finding Stars the Way Bo Peep Finds Sheep

Jun 24, 2019

Constellation-hopping is one of the ways you can find your way around the night sky, and this week it can help you to the radiant, or center point of an early summer meteor shower, called the Boötids.

 The Boötids take their name from the constellation Boötes, the herdsman, and even though the falling stars don’t really come from the constellation itself, this kind of naming practice makes for some great storytelling.

Essay: Don't Contradict

Jun 21, 2019

Freedom of speech, while guaranteed in the Constitution, was not encouraged in my home when I was growing up. I could speak my mind only if I agreed with my parents. Otherwise, I was told, “Don’t contradict.” 


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a good preschool education can lead to success later in life. As Michigan officials push to enroll more kids in programs, poor funding and infrastructure get in the way. Plus, we celebrate the teachers who have impacted your lives.

 


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Researchers say if your kid goes to a good preschool, they'll be better off as an adult. A four-decade study from the HighScope Educational Research Foundation looked at the long-term effects preschool had on students. It found that kids who went to high-quality preschools grew up to have higher incomes and IQs than those who didn't. They also committed fewer crimes and had fewer teenage pregnancies.

Eugene Jenneman has been the executive director of the Dennos Museum Center since it opened in 1991. He will retire at the end of the month.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Ever since it opened in 1991, the Dennos Museum Center has had one executive director: Eugene Jenneman. After all these years, he's retiring at the end of June. Jenneman’s path to become an art connoisseur took a different route than most would expect.

Groups with ballot measures to restrict abortions in Michigan could be gathering signatures soon. A state board approved the 100-word summaries and forms of their petitions Wednesday. Now the groups just need to get a final stamp of approval before they can start asking Michigan voters for their support.

Max Johnston

The attorney for State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) wants the charges against his client dismissed. Inman has plead not guilty to charges of extortion, soliciting a bribe and lying to the FBI. 

Creative Commons

The Petoskey City Council unanimously approved a city-wide energy plan on Monday. It sets a goal of 100% renewable energy city-wide by 2035.

The plan is to replace fossil fuels with solar, wind and hydro-power to supply electricity for all Petoskey residents and businesses. 

Petoskey Mayor John Murphy says the city's investments in coal plants will terminate by 2030.

"We're moving away from coal, moving away from fracking and going into total renewable energy," he said. "It's going to be good for generations to come." 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard says current high water levels increase the risk of Electric Shock Drowning.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

High water levels in the state have the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard concerned about Electric Shock Drowning.

For the second year in a row, Interlochen Public Radio has won a national award for to its “Irredeemable” series.

image captured from Sen. Gary Peters' YouTube page

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) has introduced a bill to improve a country-wide broadband coverage map.

Glen Lake Schools to separate from superintendent

Jun 14, 2019
Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Glen Lake Schools will soon be in search of a new superintendent.

 

The school board called a special meeting for Friday to discuss a separation agreement between the district and current superintendent Sander Scott.

 

Scott faced criticism in December of last year for unresolved contract negotiations with teachers and high employee turnover. His evaluation with the school board was on Monday.

Essay: Disappointed Life

Jun 14, 2019

When I was in college, I read a novel by Saul Bellow called “The Adventures of Augie March,” the story of a young man growing up in Chicago.  Augie had a kind of bold optimism, inspired by a woman who’d survived the London bombings during World War II.  


Wikimedia Commons

This week on Points North, we look at animals and the threats they face. Great Lakes piping plovers were on the verge of extinction in the 1980s, but recently they’ve been making a comeback. Still, their slow recovery is hindered by absent-minded beach walkers, high water levels and racoons.

 


Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Half a century ago, hundreds of pairs of piping plovers lived in the Great Lakes. But by the 1980s, they were on the verge of extinction and only a dozen pairs remained.

Over time, wildlife biologists have helped increase the population. But it’s still well below a stable number and each year there’s a new threat.

 

Piping plovers are small, stout white-gray birds. In the spring, they can be found nesting on the shores of the Great Lakes. Once a fixture on the lakes, the birds are now on the federal Endangered Species List.

Volunteers count frogs for annual DNR survey

Jun 13, 2019
Creative Commons

Frogs and toads are highly sensitive to habitat degradation, and that makes them a good barometer for environmental health.

Every year volunteers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources do a listening survey to determine which species of frogs and toads are present and how abundant they are.

 

Volunteer Kathy Gray's survey route is on Old Mission Peninsula.

“Well, I do love the toads. I love the trilling toads," Gray says.

 

STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

Some Michigan lawmakers are trying – once again – to pass legislation that would require elected officials to file financial disclosures. It’s an issue that lawmakers have been trying to get past the finish line for decades. 

Wikimedia Commons

Update: The U.S. Forest Service says the ban may still go into effect next summer, but it is one of several options they are pursuing.

TCL&P approves fiber-optic internet plan

Jun 12, 2019
Creative Commons

On Tuesday, the Traverse City Light and Power board voted to finance a new fiber-optic internet plan. 

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