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Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Although it won’t be full until next week, the Moon will put on a dramatic show at the end of this week, rising just as the Sun is setting, while making its way to its fourth and final Full phase of the Spring.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

The U.S. International Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce announced Friday that they will investigate cherries imported from Turkey.

Tart cherries are the largest crop in northwestern lower Michigan, and growers here say they can't compete with Turkey. Some Turkish tart cherry products sell for half the price of domestic ones.

Ben LaCross, a grower in Leelanau County, says to break even he needs to make around 25 cents per pound for his tart cherries.

Unemployment rates fall across the state

Jun 7, 2019
Creative Commons

Unemployment rates are falling in all regions of the state, according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

Between March and April of this year, unemployment in the Northwest Lower Michigan region dropped 20.9 percent. 

Bill O'Brien with the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce says drops in unemployment rates aren't new — but they create unique complications for the local economy. 

Essay: Cucumbers Don’t Like Me

Jun 7, 2019

“I like cucumbers,” my grandmother used to say, “but cucumbers don’t like me.”

I wondered what she meant by this but I was too embarrassed to ask.  At our house, cucumbers were part of every meal during the summer.  I loved them and, as far as I could tell, they loved me back.

My grandmother said other things I didn’t understand.  Sometimes she announced that she had slept well as if it were a special occasion.  I always slept well and couldn’t figure out why she didn’t do the same. 

Aaron Selbig

This week on Points North, former inmates of the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility claim their basic hygiene needs are sometimes ignored. IPR talked to half a dozen women who say it could take hours for officers to bring them feminine hygiene products.


Michael Coghlan/Flickr

 

When Kelsey Buttars was incarcerated at the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility in 2017, corrections officers would typically bring feminine hygiene products around at least once per day. But on one particular day when she was on her period, she says she had run out of pads.

Buttars says she wrote out a few request slips for more, but she was ignored. Then she pressed the button in her cell for help, but she says she was ignored again. She waited on the toilet in her cell.

Michi

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) will seek treatment for long-term use of pain medications.

Taylor Wizner

More and more school work is being done online, but some students across the country are falling behind their peers because they don’t have internet at home.

Leslie Hamp

At a time when many their age have retired, three northern Michigan artists are reuniting for a multimedia exhibit. They were the stars of the art department at Traverse City Central High School 50 years ago. Now they're getting back together and seeing each other in a whole new light.


Democratic lawmakers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer say it’s time to expand protections for Michigan’s LGBTQ people.

Some lawmakers have been trying for decades to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. New bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the act. That would mean that people could not be denied housing or fired simply because they are LGBTQ.

Michigan House of Representatives

The resolution was introduced by Speaker of the State House Rep. Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Rep. Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills). 

Creative Commons

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, there were 118 drowning deaths in the Great Lakes last year; a record high for the past decade. This year follows a similar pattern, with 11 drowning deaths by the beginning of June. 

 

Dave Benjamin, executive director of the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, encourages swimmers to be aware of swimmer safety protocols. 

 

Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office

The Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office has appointed a new jail administrator.

 

Lieutenant Christopher Barsheff has been promoted to Captain, and will now oversee the Corrections Division. Barsheff has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1996, and has led the community policing program and supervised deputies.

Barsheff’s predecessor, Todd Ritter, was accused of misusing funds and using his position to engage in sexual relationships with former inmates.

This first full week of June includes a New Moon on Monday and some illustrious dates, if you’re a storyteller of the night sky!

Essay: Another Pair of Eyes

May 31, 2019

As we slide the canoe into the Betsie River, I tie a bandana around my hair and pick up a paddle.  The water looks high but before I comment, my husband says, “Water is low; I wonder if they’ve lowered the dam.”


Shelly McSawby

This week on Points North, Native American tribes have treaty rights to hunt, fish and gather, but many face racism and harassment when they use them. Plus hear some pet peeves of people in northern Michigan.


A man with a long dark ponytail stands in a river holding a 3-pronged spear.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

For April in the western Upper Peninsula, it’s a pretty warm day. The Little Carp River, surging with snowmelt, winds through a forest of hemlock trees.

Robert Rajacic is scrambling up and down riverbanks, expertly carrying a spear in his right hand. He’s hoping to use it on some rainbow trout.

Morgan Springer

The hearing will determine if Traverse City Area Public Schools has to pay back over $700,000 to the state. The Michigan Department of Education planned to take back the money last year because TCAPS allegedly misreported student enrollment at the Northern Michigan Partnership, a homeschool program in Interlochen.

Ballard Marine Construction

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says she’s ready to go to court to force Enbridge to shut down a pipeline, Line 5, that moves oil and gas on a route that runs through the Straits of Mackinac. That’s if the energy company and the state don’t reach a deal by the end of June.

But Nessel says it also sets a deadline for negotiations on the future of the pipeline.

Michigan House of Representatives

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) was in federal court Tuesday for an arraignment on multiple criminal charges.

ADOBE STOCK

Five current or former Catholic priests from Michigan dioceses have been charged with sexual abuse crimes.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel made the announcement Friday. This is part of an ongoing investigation into each of the seven Catholic dioceses in the state for potential abuse, which Nessel said earlier this year could take two years or more.

“This really is just the tip of the iceberg and our work continues day in and day out as we seek justice for the hundreds, perhaps even thousands of victims of clergy abuse in our state,” said Nessel.

Essay: Turtles in the Sun

May 24, 2019

Before the snow melts from the woods, before the buds swell on the branches, my husband and I drag our canoe into the river. Bundled in layers, we paddle hard to warm up, lifting our faces to the sun.


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, elderly drivers in Grand Traverse County get in car accidents at a higher rate than most other Michigan counties. We explore the challenges of giving up the keys.

 


USGS

Every few years the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners release an updated version of what is known as the “National Land Cover Database.”

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

There are more than 1.2 million drivers over the age of 65 in Michigan, and statistically they are safe on the road.

But a county in northern Michigan has one of the highest rates of car accidents for senior citizens.


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