News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Update 5/14/20: IPR has learned the inmate hunger strike mentioned in the following story ended on May 13. 

As several hundred prisoners from California saturate North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, more than 100 inmates started a hunger strike, refusing food until they’re tested for COVID-19.

All of this is happening as cases of coronavirus double at the immigrant prison.

Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc.

 

Correction: In a previous version of this story IPR inaccurately reported that 22 people tested positive for COVID-19 and 14 were asymptomatic, as earlier reported to IPR by the Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc. Please read the following story for the accurate information.

More COVID-19 testing is available in Northwest Lower Michigan, even for those without symptoms.

Pure Michigan campaign

Mackinac Island, one of Michigan’s largest tourist destinations, is still over a month away from opening for business due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.

State Theater / Courtesy

 

The Traverse City Film Festival is officially canceled. 

Film Festival Founder and President Michael Moore made the announcement Monday, saying there was no way around it amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I’m very, very sorry to announce that we cannot come together this summer to participate in our 16th Traverse City Film Festival,” Moore said in a statement. “We doubt the governor’s order closing our theaters and the festival will be lifted any time soon — and we agree it shouldn’t.”

Three of the five naked-eye planets begin their retrograde motions this week, beginning with Saturn on Monday, followed by Venus on Wednesday, and Jupiter on Thursday. 

Interlochen Center for the Arts

 

 

For the first time since 1964, Interlochen Center for the Arts will not be hosting its annual summer Arts Festival.

Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Enbridge Energy’s permit application to build a tunnel for the Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac needs revisions. 

That’s what the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) told the company this week. 

Specifically, EGLE says the application is too long, especially for the public to review. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Construction is underway on the new lock at the Soo.

“The three major phases of the project remain on track with their timetables virtually unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic at this time,” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a press release.

Contractors working on the lock are taking precautions to prevent catching or spreading COVID-19, according to an Army Corps spokesperson. They are being screened for symptoms, wearing face coverings and maintaining six feet of social distance in work areas.

Max Johnston

As coronavirus sweeps through the nation, tearing families apart and overwhelming hospitals, there’s one part of healthcare that’s expanding: opioid addiction treatment.

Taylor Wizner

 

Update 5/13/20: The Federal Bureau of Prisons began publishing data about privately-managed federal prisons around May 8. That information can be found here

On April 21, IPR reported there were nine inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility who tested positive with COVID-19. 

Since that story was published, IPR has been unable to obtain further information about the number of inmates who are sick, who have died or recovered from the disease. 

 

NMC aviation program

For many Americans, their first insight into Afghan history and culture came from Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 book, “The Kite Runner.”

The book describes the brutality of the Taliban’s reign starting in 1994 that only came to an end as a result of U.S. military action in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Several proposals on the ballot for Tuesday’s election passed in northern Michigan.

Here’s a list of unofficial results to ballot proposals:

Rachel Krino / Bellaire Family Health Center

As more tests for COVID-19 become available, drive-thru test sites are popping up across the state. The newest one in northern Michigan is in Bellaire.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

On Tuesday, May 5 residents across Michigan will vote on local ballot proposals. Due to the coronavirus pandemic most voting will be done by mail, but there will be some in-person options for those who want or need it.

Mercury meets the Sun at superior conjunction on Monday, on the other side of the Sun from Earth, then the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower peaks toward dawn on Tuesday, followed by Full Moon on Thursday morning. What are your plans for the week?

Michigan DNR

 

Overnight camping at Michigan state parks won’t be allowed until late June, the state Department of Natural Resources says.

State forest campgrounds and harbors run by the DNR will open on June 10, while overnight camping and shelters at state parks are set to open on June 22.

Most state-maintained parks, trails and dock sites are currently open to the public.

The parks have canceled reservations before June 22, including the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the DNR says. 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

The Michigan Department of Education announced Thursday that a controversial part of the ‘Read By Grade Three’ Law has been delayed indefinitely.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
Michigan.gov

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan elections are still on for Tuesday, May 5.

 

Residents across the state — including some in northern Michigan — will vote on a variety of local ballot initiatives.

 

 


 

Families and friends that have succumbed to COVID-19 in northern Michigan will live on forever in the memories of those who loved them. 

Every passing was a blow to the tight-knit communities throughout the region. 

Blessing Ovie

Blessing Ovie was only 12 years old when she left Nigeria seeking a better life. She took a harrowing journey across Africa, ending up not in Europe but in Morocco where she spent the next four years under increasingly desperate conditions.

Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Summer is going to look and sound a lot different at Interlochen Center for the Arts this year. The usual cacophony of music coming from students practicing their instruments all around campus will not happen.

 

Last week, Interlochen canceled its traditional summer arts camp experience due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the summer camp will transition to online, virtual instruction.

 

Taylor Wizner

The Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education narrowed their list of superintendent candidates Monday night.

A woman in her 80s who traveled through Cherry Capital Airport earlier this month tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department.

She traveled just prior to symptom onset, and is recovering at her home in Leelanau County, states the health department press release.

The woman traveled to Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport from Chicago O’Hare on United Airline flight UA4132 on April 14, arriving at 9:30 p.m.

If you were on this flight contact the health department. 

Venus will be at its brightest for the year this week, which brings Alfred Tennyson to mind for the Storyteller’s Night Sky: Her constant beauty doth inform stillness with love, and day with light.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

For the first time since 1928, Interlochen’s annual arts camp will not take place in person.

Instead, camp activities will move online with a series of three-week programs in what is being called Interlochen Online Arts Camp. The virtual courses will commence June 28 to July 19.


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