News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

CARLOS OSORIO / AP

Originally published on April 25, 2019 8:07 pm

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A federal court in Michigan says that the state's Republican-controlled legislature unfairly drew some of Michigan's state legislative and U.S. House district lines and that a divided government will have to come up with new boundaries.

Essay: Leaving Home

Apr 26, 2019

It began with me sleeping overnight at my grandparents’ house. They lived close by, so it didn’t feel like being away, or not very far away. The next step was sleeping overnight at my best friend’s. Everything about Bonnie’s house was different:  late bedtime, unlimited candy, noisy furnace. 


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, after school bonds fail, some districts keep asking taxpayers again and again to change their minds. One small district in northern Michigan is renewing their attempt. Plus, more religious discrimination allegations against Bay View and local musicians play a violin that made it through the Holocaust.


BAY VIEW CHAUTAUQUA INCLUSIVENESS GROUP

Bay View Association, a summer resort community in Petoskey, has been under fire for alleged housing discrimination. A group of homeowners has filed two lawsuit against the association, claiming it is violating housing discrimination laws by requiring homeowners to practice a particular religion. They filed their second lawsuit last week.

The first suit

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Dozens of school districts across the state will put bond proposals to voters next month. They are asking residents to pay for improvements in schools, but in some small communities in northern Michigan, a tax hike for your schools can be a tough sell.

Libor Ondras holds a violin from the 'Violins of Hope' project. It's a collection of violins that made it through the Holocaust.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

During the Holocaust, some six million Jewish people were killed. Some of them were musicians. 

Currently, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra has a violin which made it through the Holocaust. The violin is a rich brown color and has a beautiful inlaid Star of David decorating the back of it.

Map shows prescribed burn areas
National Parks Service

For the first time, the National Park Service will do a controlled burn at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Officials say they plan to start the fire in two forested regions covering about 900 acres in the Platte River District.

Micah Bell is a fire prevention educator with the Great Lakes Fire Management Zone. He says without fire as a disruptor, hardwood trees will outcompete the pines and alter the forest’s ecology.

 

Julie Viken / Pexels

The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

U.S. cherry farmers filed a legal case against the country of Turkey on Tuesday. They say Turkey subsidizes their cherries so much that they can sell some products for half the price of domestic ones.

RTDNA

Interlochen Public Radio has won a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association.

Study shows Isle Royale wolves are genetically weaker

Apr 22, 2019
Relocated wolf lands on Isle Royale
Courtney Celley / USFWS

Researchers say wolves on Isle Royale are genetically weaker from years of inbreeding.

A recent study looked at DNA collected over 30 years from wolves living on the island.

Michigan Technological University Professor Rolf Peterson says introducing more wolves from different regions may lead to a healthier population.

"It’s not going to be stable any more than it’s ever been," Peterson says. "But there shouldn’t be a problem with genetic-caused defects or health problems for a long time."

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22nd, which makes it poetically coincident with the Lyrid Meteor Shower. The Lyrids take their name from the constellation Lyra, which bears a challenging story across the sky of lost love in the Earth.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

A controversial plan for a wind farm in the Upper Peninsula has been cancelled. Renewable Energy Systems was behind the project which aimed to put 49 wind turbines across 28,000 acres in L’Anse Township.

In a statement, RES said the project was no longer financially or logistically viable.

Lawrence Brownlee sings about experiences of black men in America in ‘Cycles of My Being.’
Shervin Lainez

Lawrence Brownlee is using his clout to make opera more relevant for today’s audiences. The world-renowned tenor co-wrote a piece about being black in America called, "Cycles of My Being." Brownlee performed at Interlochen Center for the Arts on Thursday.

 


Essay: Horse Love

Apr 19, 2019

When I was about eight years old, I fell in love with horses.  It began with “Black Beauty,” the classic novel about a carriage horse who narrates his life story.  Then I begged my father for riding lessons and found myself climbing into an English saddle on a bay mare named “Miss Muffet.” Horses were a lot higher off the ground than they looked!


The leader of the state Senate Republicans says he’s not in favor of the Secretary of State’s call for candidates to disclose their financial information.

Steve Baker

This week on Points North, millions of people cross the Straits of Mackinac each year. But it’s also a highway for thousands of raptors - or birds of prey - that migrate over the Straits each spring.

Plus, after beating his own addiction to drugs, an advocate trains others to respond to an overdose.

Kaye LaFond

Over four million people crossed the Straits of Mackinac last year. But they are also one of the busiest migration spots for raptors, or birds of prey, in the United States.

Wikimedia Commons

 

Northern Michigan University is holding workshops for Upper Peninsula communities on how to practice sustainable tourism.

Outdoor destination travel is growing in northern Michigan, with Marquette County bringing in about $75 million each year.

But NMU Assistant Professor Scott Jordan says some rural communities feel exploited.

"One way to address that is to involve community members in making decisions about the tourism economy. That gives them a sense of power," he says.

Attorney General William Barr delivers a press conference at the Justice Department ahead of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. A redacted version of the report is expected to be released on Thursday.  

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday. 

Lenten fish fry feeds spirit of camaraderie

Apr 17, 2019
Fred Keeslar

The season of Lent ends for many Christians this week. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. For Catholics, Lent means abstaining from many things, including meat on Fridays.

In northern Michigan, some local churches host fish fries on Fridays.  

MARK BRUSH / MICHIGAN RADIO

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in an interview with the Detroit News that she is considering a tunnel for an oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. A tunnel is one of several proposed alternatives to the Line 5 oil pipelines.

Broken glass spread along Sleeping Bear Dunes beach

Apr 16, 2019
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

 

The National Parks Service says broken glass was purposely placed in the sand along the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The glass was found near Good Harbor Picnic Area at the east end of Lake Michigan Road in Cleveland Township.

Park Rangers say it was spread evenly across several hundred yards. They say the pieces looked like they had been broken recently, and would have injured beachgoers if stepped on.

Today on Stateside, does a new pretrial risk assessment tool aimed at helping judges answer complex pretrial questions help or hurt defendants? Plus, we talk to an expert about the spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive insect that could be making its way to Michigan. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

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