News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

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.


Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Several farms in Missaukee County have clusters of COVID-19 cases among workers, according to District Health Department #10. 

In a press release Thursday the department said it's investigating the situation and contacting people that could have been exposed to the virus.

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Public Service Commission is seeking comment on whether Enbridge Energy needs its approval to re-site a segment of its Line 5 oil pipeline into a bedrock tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

Michigan House of Representatives

State House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) is running for Antrim County Sheriff.

Cole has represented northern Michigan’s 105th district - which includes parts of Antrim, Otsego, Charlevoix, Montmorency and Oscoda counties - in the state house since 2014. 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

More Democrats are running for office in Grand Traverse County than ever before, says the local Democratic chair.

Democrats will run for seats in county government, including board of commissioners and township trustee, according to a press release.

“There is a lot of energy … for change, transparency and a different form of government than what everybody seems to be used to,” says Grand Traverse County Democrat Party Chair Chris Cracchiolo.

Raul Gomez / Courtesy

Even before the Coronavirus pandemic hit, farmers on the Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City were already dealing with the one thing they least like to see — uncertainty.

Reduction in export markets, tariffs, an aging farming population, labor shortages, ICE raids… it’s not easy being a farmer these days. If it ever was.


Interlochen Public Radio

This story was updated April 22 at 11:55 a.m. with more information from District Health Department #10.

Health officials confirmed coronavirus cases in what the state calls “congregate care facilities” in Otsego and Crawford counties this week. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says a cluster of nearly 20 positive cases were found at an undisclosed care facility in Otsego County over the weekend.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Nine inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin tested positive for COVID-19, according to the state.

Last week, GEO Group — the company that owns the prison — said five prison employees also have the disease.

Isolation is one of the biggest triggers for people in addiction recovery, which is why socially distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard time for some. That’s why Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City is ramping up its virtual outreach efforts.

 

“The opposite of addiction isn’t necessarily abstinence, the opposite of addiction is connection,” says Matt Zerilli, Recovery Center Manager at ATS. 

 


This week marks International Dark Sky Week, because of the New Moon on Wednesday, April 22nd, which is also the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and the peak of the Lyrid Meteor Shower.

hatchski/Flickr

Two Michigan residents say their constitutional rights are being violated because they can’t visit their second home in northern Michigan. 

JAN-MICHEL STUMP / Traverse City Record-Eagle

The Benzie and Leelanau County Democratic parties say sheriffs up north made a mistake by undermining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘stay at home’ order.

Megan Harris

Schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning high school seniors like Megan Harris had their final year cut short.

As part of IPR's series School’s Out, hear how that's a big blow to Megan and her fellow seniors in the Petoskey High Steel Drum Band, who were looking forward to another summer of shows.

 

Data shows politics, income influence movement during stay-at-home order

Apr 17, 2020
Jan-Michel Stump/Traverse City Record-Eagle

This story is a Traverse City Record-Eagle data reporting project.

Political tension surrounding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Stay Home Stay Safe order boiled over during protests in Michigan’s capitol this week.

But a Record-Eagle analysis of anonymized cellphone tracking data indicates politics may have influenced Michiganders’ travel habits for weeks.

Michigan Technological University

Michigan Technological University opened a COVID-19 testing lab on its Houghton campus this week.

Researchers at the school worked for over a month to get it up and running.

The lab can’t take samples from patients, but can help healthcare providers deal with their sample backlogs.

Hospitals in the region were notified Thursday morning that the lab could start accepting samples.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

National Cherry Festival organizers say the annual Traverse City festival will not go on as planned this year. 

The festival, which typically occurs the week of the Fourth of July holiday, attracts more than 500,000 people a year to the region, organizers say.

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