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Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

If there’s one essential experience of fall in northern Michigan, it’s getting lost in a corn maze. In Traverse City, Jacob’s Farm has hosted a 10 acre corn maze for a decade.

 

 

Wet corn stocks smack in the wind at the maze entrance.

But Brett Hood, the farm manager and maze master, says the windy and rainy conditions don't keeping people away.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Traverse City Area Public Schools. Recently hired Superintendent Ann Cardon resigned last week. Now during the ensuing controversy, social media chatter has turned into efforts to recall several members of the district school board.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers say school buses need to be more secure.

A package of bills would make it a crime to enter a school bus without the permission of the driver. In some cases, it would be a felony. The buses would also be allowed to have a sticker saying that people trying to get on without permission could be arrested.

A bigger focus of the package of bills for student transportation advocates, involves preventing people from illegally passing stopped school buses.

Some lawmakers want to prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from issuing rules restricting access and use of vaping products. Lawmakers debated the bill in front of a House committee Tuesday.

Waves crash over the Frankfort Pier as Ella Skrocki heads out into a raucous Lake Michigan.
Beth Price / Beth Price Photography

Gale force winds fueled huge waves on the northern Great Lakes Tuesday with some on Lake Michigan topping out at 13 feet. For some residents in Michigan, the fall storm season is the time to hunker down — but for others it’s the perfect time to jump in the lake.


A dead water bird, speckled black and white, lies on beach grass.
National Park Service

Dozens of dead loons washed up at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore last week. On Friday afternoon, the official carcass count was 32.

A resolution in the state house proposes changes to the state constitution to remove limits on the age of Michigan judges.

Under current law a person cannot be over the age of 70 when elected or appointed to a judicial office. 

Republican State Representative Tommy Brann sponsored the measure. He said he’s nearly seventy and it isn’t that old. 

This week marks the anniversary of the death of Tycho Brahe, on October 24 in 1601, the Danish astronomer whose dying wish to his assistant, Johannes Kepler, was something Kepler couldn’t fulfill.

New state house legislation would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to give residents a five business day notice before conducting aerial sprays. 

The legislation is in response to the state’s use of aerial sprays to kill mosquitoes in an effort to keep Eastern Equine Encephalitis from spreading across Michigan. 

The state has reported five people have died from the virus. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces the new policy change at the Greater Lansing Food Bank.
Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan lawmakers want to make it easier for people to apply for public assistance.

Licensed mental health counselors in Michigan will be allowed to continue diagnosing and treating patients under a bill adopted Thursday by the state Senate. The bill is now in its way to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her to sign or veto.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

After weeks of tense meetings, bad blood and tumult on the Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education, the district has a new — albeit interim — Superintendent in Jim Pavelka. He held a short meeting with reporters Friday morning.

Pavelka said School Board President Sue Kelly reached out to him Thursday afternoon, shortly before a board meeting in which previous Superintendent Ann Cardon formally resigned.

A woman stands on a dock with foggy water and the sun low in the sky.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

You’ve probably heard about harmful blue-green algae on Lake Erie (it's actually not algae at all - it's cyanobacteria). A large bloom of it famously shut down the City of Toledo’s water supply in 2014. But, did you know that cyanobacteria also blooms on Michigan’s inland lakes every year?


Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Ann Cardon has resigned as superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools. 

After 45 minutes of public comment at a special meeting of the TCAPS Board, Board President Sue Kelly announced Cardon’s resignation.

Update 9:42 p.m. 10/17/19: A federal judge set the trial date. This story has been updated to reflect that change.

A motion to dismiss the criminal charges against State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) has been denied.

Now Inman will go to trial in federal court over charges of soliciting a bribe, extortion and lying to the F.B.I. Federal prosecutors allege Inman tried to sell his vote on Michigan's prevailing wage law last May.

The governor will now have to decide if the criminal justice system should stop automatically treating 17-year-olds as adults.

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board will hold a special meeting Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m.

TCAPS Board Member Erica Moon Mohr told IPR the board will discuss a separation agreement with superintendent Ann Cardon.

Flicker / Vaping360.com

A Michigan Court of Claims judge says the state ban on flavored vaping products must be lifted.

That’s while underlying litigation opposing the ban plays out in court. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration issued emergency rules in September. The Department of Health and Human Services says youth vaping is a public health crisis. 

Some state lawmakers want to swap one holiday for another. Monday was Columbus Day, and a pair of bills would get rid of Columbus Day and make Indigenous Peoples Day a state holiday instead.

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

In a radio interview with Vic McCarty on WTCM Monday morning, Traverse City Area Public Schools Board President Sue Kelly broke her silence on an alleged fallout with TCAPS Superintendent Ann Cardon.

Kelly dodged direct questions on Cardon or her future with the district.

Northwestern Michigan College

The Northwestern Michigan College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two-year contract for new school president Nick Nissley Monday.

“We are extremely pleased to conclude our comprehensive and transparent presidential search by officially welcoming Dr. Nissley to NMC,” said board chair Chris Bott via press release. “Dr. Nissley’s proven experience in leadership and innovation make him the right leader to take our community’s college forward.”

Traverse City Area Public Schools

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board is allegedly at odds with new District Superintendent Ann Cardon, and there is speculation that Cardon may be out of a job soon.

The school board hasn't commented on Cardon's future or the nature of the disagreement, but Board President Sue Kelly put out a joint statement with Cardon Monday.

Each year in this season, the Sun moves through the region of Libra stars, and the constellation of the starry crown sets in the west, settling all the mysteries of destiny for the year.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Ann Cardon still has a job, for now.

She’s the superintendent of Traverse City Public Schools — a job she’s had for a little over two months, after the school board unanimously voted to offer her the position earlier this year.

Robert Haase / Flickr

Gale warnings on the northern Great Lakes are in effect until late tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

Strong winds from the southeast will cause gusts that may exceed 40 miles per hour on the northern coast of Lake Michigan.

Most of Lake Superior is also under gale force winds advisory. 

The National Weather Service expects waves up to 19 feet.

They say there is an increased threat of lakeshore flooding in coastal areas throughout the weekend.

 

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