News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how Michigan hops farmers are struggling to keep up with the craft beer boom. Plus, a look ahead on the future of the Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team.

Five years ago hops were in high demand in Michigan, so farmers started experimenting with the crop. However, as beer tastes changed and breweries went looking for the next new thing, many northern Michigan hop farmers have been unable to make ends meet.

Players from the Traverse City Pit Spitters celebrate winning the 2019 Northwoods League championship on August 16th, in Traverse City.
Traverse City Pit Spitters

It’s going to be hard to top the season that the Traverse City Pit Spitters had in 2019. Besides winning the Northwoods League title, the team set a new league record with an 18-game winning streak. Looking ahead, general manager Mickey Graham thinks 2020 will be even better.

 


The school year is about to begin in Michigan without contracts between many districts and teachers. That’s because the state Legislature has not adopted a K-12 schools budget to let school boards and teachers unions know how much money they’ll have to work with.

The state attorney general’s new policy about faith-based adoption agencies will be up for debate in federal court.

The embattled director of the Michigan Civil Rights Department has taken a leave of absence. That’s after Agustin Arbulu resisted calls for him to resign amid findings of misconduct and the Michigan Civil Rights Commission refused to fire him.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are asking a federal judge to toss a challenge the state’s new redistricting law.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer toured an elementary school in Flint Monday to call attention to the fact that schools have started their academic year, but they don’t know how much financial support to expect from the state.

Follow the Moon as it wanes through the midnight sky this week, and you’ll arrive at the site of a significant celestial event that has occupied and astonished astronomers for centuries.

A map of the northwestern Lower Peninsula of Michigan with a large area highlighted.
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

A federal judge has ruled against the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in a lawsuit to affirm its reservation boundaries.

Essay: White privilege

Aug 16, 2019

When I was growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1950s, my mother had a “cleaning lady” named Gladys, a soft-spoken colored woman who helped with housework.  I liked Gladys, especially when she made my lunch and cut the sandwiches diagonally.


A 61-year-old Ionia man will receive $1.3 million from the state.

In 1986, David Gavitt was sentenced to life without parole for three counts of felony murder and one count of arson. But the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic stepped in around 2011. It argued that much of the arson investigation science used against Gavitt at his trial had since been discredited. A court agreed and ordered Gavitt’s release.

Jeff Smith

Interlochen Public Radio is proud to welcome Noelle Riley as our next news director. She brings a wealth of editorial experience, a passion for journalism and a strong sense of how to lead a newsroom. 

Formerly the editor of Craig Daily Press in Colorado, Riley led the newspaper to winning numerous awards including overall editorial excellence three times in four years. IPR’s executive director Peter Payette says her high aspirations are what public radio needs.

People stand in the water, holding both ends of a large net.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how citizens are becoming scientists on the Great Lakes.

Plus, a cheesy grits casserole recipe with a special ingredient: family history.

A hand is holding a tiny fish.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

A new nonprofit is training citizen scientists to collect data on fish in the Great Lakes, which could be a game changer for research in the region and help prevent the establishment of invasive species.


Courtesy: Michigan State Police

Several law enforcement groups are searching for a man who may have fallen off his boat into Grand Traverse Bay on Wednesday, according to a news release by Michigan State Police Cadillac Post.

 

The missing man is Terry Eugene Warren, a 57-year-old resident of Northport. 

He was last seen leaving the Northport Marina in his boat yesterday afternoon.

Police say they believe he was the sole occupant of the boat and fell overboard while operating the boat.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has barred embattled Michigan Civil Rights Department Director Agustin Arbulu. Whitmer says it’s time for Arbulu to be fired for “unacceptable conduct.”

Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools will pay back $707,000 to the state over allegedly miscalculated student enrollment, but they could have to give back more money.

The Michigan Department of Education says TCAPS may have miscalculated enrollment in at least two other semesters.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she would support a “red flag” law to allow law enforcement to seize firearms from someone who is deemed a risk.

A map showing combined sewer overflows in Michigan
Kaye LaFond / Michigan Radio

From January 2018 through May 2019, roughly 6.7 billion gallons of diluted or partially treated sewage called combined sewer overflows (CSOs) spilled into Michigan waters, according to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

CSOs are the result of sewer systems that drain both stormwater runoff and human and industrial waste. Eighty municipalities in Michigan have such systems, known as combined sewer systems.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer watches as road expert explains damage to bridge infrastructure.
Rick Pluta

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has again called on Republican leaders to reconvene the Legislature to wrap up work on a new state budget and a plan to fix the roads. But GOP leaders say there’s no reason yet.

A federal department plans to oversee changes at Michigan State University for the next three years.

Creative Commons

 

Michigan is home to twice as many sand dunes as previously thought.

A researcher says maps done in the 80s only accounted for large dunes, usually found along a lakeshore, but a new map shows there are over 230,000 acres of dunes in the state.

Michigan State University’s Geography Chair Alan Arbogast says he looked at remotely sensed imagery, aerial photos, topographic maps and went on field visits to complete the map.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

A cougar was spotted in Gogebic County last month by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, making it the 39th cougar sighting in Michigan by the DNR since 2008.

Nearly all of those spottings have been in the Upper Peninsula.

The DNR says it's unlikely that there's a significant breeding population of cougars, otherwise known as moutain lions, in the U.P.

They say the animals likely emigrated to Michigan from South Dakota, Wyoming and northwest Nebraska.

Looking underneath a bridge at sunrise, a group of boats in the water surround several swimmers attached to orange buoys.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

More than 300 people braved the Straits of Mackinac Sunday for the 13th annual Mighty Mac Swim.

Photo shows the inside of a culvert. It's square with concrete walls and a very shallow stream of water is running through it.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Climate change is likely to bring more extreme rainfall and flooding to Michigan, so flood risk in the next 100 years will probably look very different than in the past.

Much of Michigan’s infrastructure — like culverts, bridges and storm drains — is still being designed and built based on the floods of the past.


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