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Your connection to northern Michigan news.

image captured from Sen. Gary Peters' YouTube page

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) has introduced a bill to improve a country-wide broadband coverage map.

Glen Lake Schools to separate from superintendent

Jun 14, 2019
Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Glen Lake Schools will soon be in search of a new superintendent.

 

The school board called a special meeting for Friday to discuss a separation agreement between the district and current superintendent Sander Scott.

 

Scott faced criticism in December of last year for unresolved contract negotiations with teachers and high employee turnover. His evaluation with the school board was on Monday.

Essay: Disappointed Life

Jun 14, 2019

When I was in college, I read a novel by Saul Bellow called “The Adventures of Augie March,” the story of a young man growing up in Chicago.  Augie had a kind of bold optimism, inspired by a woman who’d survived the London bombings during World War II.  


Wikimedia Commons

This week on Points North, we look at animals and the threats they face. Great Lakes piping plovers were on the verge of extinction in the 1980s, but recently they’ve been making a comeback. Still, their slow recovery is hindered by absent-minded beach walkers, high water levels and racoons.

 


Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Half a century ago, hundreds of pairs of piping plovers lived in the Great Lakes. But by the 1980s, they were on the verge of extinction and only a dozen pairs remained.

Over time, wildlife biologists have helped increase the population. But it’s still well below a stable number and each year there’s a new threat.

 

Piping plovers are small, stout white-gray birds. In the spring, they can be found nesting on the shores of the Great Lakes. Once a fixture on the lakes, the birds are now on the federal Endangered Species List.

Volunteers count frogs for annual DNR survey

Jun 13, 2019
Creative Commons

Frogs and toads are highly sensitive to habitat degradation, and that makes them a good barometer for environmental health.

Every year volunteers from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources do a listening survey to determine which species of frogs and toads are present and how abundant they are.

 

Volunteer Kathy Gray's survey route is on Old Mission Peninsula.

“Well, I do love the toads. I love the trilling toads," Gray says.

 

STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

Some Michigan lawmakers are trying – once again – to pass legislation that would require elected officials to file financial disclosures. It’s an issue that lawmakers have been trying to get past the finish line for decades. 

Wikimedia Commons

Update: The U.S. Forest Service says the ban may still go into effect next summer, but it is one of several options they are pursuing.

TCL&P approves fiber-optic internet plan

Jun 12, 2019
Creative Commons

On Tuesday, the Traverse City Light and Power board voted to finance a new fiber-optic internet plan. 

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
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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). 

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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.


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