Northern Michigan

Lenten fish fry feeds spirit of camaraderie

Apr 17, 2019
Fred Keeslar

The season of Lent ends for many Christians this week. Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. For Catholics, Lent means abstaining from many things, including meat on Fridays.

In northern Michigan, some local churches host fish fries on Fridays.  

National Writers Series: An evening with Keith Gave

Apr 16, 2019
Halle Meyers

Keith Gave spent six years in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a Russian linguist for the National Security Agency. When he left the army, Keith became a sports reporter covering hockey for the Detroit Free Press. He didn’t know then how his Russian experience would play a role in his journalism career. Keith explains it all in his book “The Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage.” This hour, Keith talks with fellow author, journalist and hockey fan Tim Rappleye. Keith told Tim that he was working on a new project.

National Writers Series: An evening with Tommy Tomlinson

Apr 15, 2019
Halle Meyers

Tommy Tomlinson spent 23 years as a reporter and columnist for the Charlotte Observer newspaper, and he’s written for publications including Esquire and Sports Illustrated. Since childhood, Tommy has struggled with obesity, and he decided to change his life by losing weight. He wrote about the process in his memoir, “The Elephant In the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America.” Tommy talks this hour with acupuncturist and storyteller Elon Cameron. Tommy told Elon that when he started writing his book, he weighed 460 pounds.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, local governments across Michigan aren't letting recreational marijuana businesses open in city limits. But residents in one village Up North are trying to overrule their local government's decision – something that could set a precedent statewide. Plus, a look at one northern Michigan tribe’s maple sugaring operation. 


Two men in conservation officer uniforms smile and eat pancakes in a steamy barn
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

Maple sugaring season is just wrapping up in northern Michigan. This delicious tradition of boiling maple sap to make syrup is practiced in the state on many scales.

But Indigenous communities in the area were tapping trees long before settlers arrived.

This year, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is reviving sugaring knowledge for their citizens.

Coyotes survive Michigan winters. Could your dog?

Apr 2, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

Coyotes have an unmistakable howl that you’ll be hearing more and more as the weather warms up. They might have been quiet during the winter, but they weren’t hibernating. They can survive even a polar vortex. 

Domestic dogs share DNA with coyotes. That inspired Cheryl Bartz of Red Pine Radio to investigate whether dogs could also make it through a winter outside. 

NMU brings high-speed internet to more of the U.P.

Mar 29, 2019
Educational Access Network/NMU

 

High-speed internet access is reaching even more communities in the Upper Peninsula.

Northern Michigan University plans to double the number of communities its Educational Access Network serves over the next few years.

Ten years ago, NMU received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to use public broadband airwaves. Before that, some students who lived off campus couldn’t complete their online homework because they didn’t have high-speed internet. 

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Reservations will be required for all campsites in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore starting April 1.

Most of the sites at Platte River Campground already took reservations, but D.H. Day Campground was entirely first-come first-serve, leading to long lines overnight as people waited to nab a site. The National Park Service says the change to reservations will fix those long lines.

 

Finding mixed-income housing in Gaylord has long been a problem for residents, but a few projects opening later this year may help.

Munson Healthcare

Nurses at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City officially have their first labor contract. It was "overwhelmingly" approved by a vote this weekend, according to a press release from the Michigan Nurses Association.

The contract includes a 13 percent pay increase, limits mandatory overtime and will last three years. Representatives from the the Nurses Association and Munson said they were pleased with the deal. 

Charlevoix County Sheriff's Office

Counterfeit money is circulating in northern Michigan, from Emmet and Charlevoix counties to Traverse City and Cadillac. Most of the bills are $100s, have Chinese writing on them and feel more like paper than money.

Captain Jim Bussell with the Traverse City Police Department says counterfeit money has shown up in northern Michigan before but the distribution has changed recently.

Munson Healthcare

Nurses at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City have their first labor contract. They reached a tentative agreement with the hospital last weekend.

Meet a longtime ski groomer at Crystal Mountain

Mar 15, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

After skiers and snowboarders leave at the end of the day, mountain manager Mike Cutler and his team of groomers take over the slopes at Crystal Mountain Resort.  They work all night to prepare downhill runs for the guests who will show up the next day anticipating perfect corduroy – that's the pattern left by the grooming machines. Weather and snow conditions keep the groomers on their toes.  Mike Cutler says that’s what keeps it interesting.


Jacques LeBlanc, a commercial fisherman from the Bay Mills Indian Community, pulls a gill net out of the ice on eastern Lake Superior.
Kaye LaFond

This week on Points North, a decline in lake whitefish is pushing tribal commercial fishermen to the northern edge of their treaty waters. Plus, we look at test results for PFAS contamination in Michigan’s public water and meet a funk band from Boyne City.


Taylor Wizner

In the first episode of Points North, a teen parenting program called "Generations Ahead" in Grand Traverse County expands to include dads. It helps parents day-to-day and encourages them to stay in school. Plus, we look at new harvest limits for lake trout fishers in Grand Traverse Bay and visit a wood baseball bat craftsman in the middle of his busy season. 


Dan Wanschura

On Friday, Feb. 22 IPR News is launching a new weekly show called Points North. It's a 10-minute segment where listeners explore northern Michigan through the news, the people and places.


Wikimedia Commons

Anglers across Michigan won’t be able to catch as many perch. Right now they can get 50 per day but this spring it will be 25.

Randy Claramunt with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources says perch populations have been declining for decades.

"There’s a lot of pressure on them in specific areas," Claramunt says. "So this … recognizes the value that yellow perch are to anglers in Michigan."

Claramunt says anglers pushed for the change because it may increase perch numbers. The new limit takes effect on April 1.

USER: ADAMSHOOP / FLICKER

Researchers at Michigan Technological University will pump water down mine shafts in the Upper Peninsula, spinning hydroelectric turbines along the way.

Roman Sidortsov, professor of Energy Policy at Michigan Tech, says that could generate renewable energy. Sidortsov says the UP relies on importing electricity that comes from fossil fuels, but this research could provide a homegrown alternative for the region.

"You can basically start developing your own energy," Sidortsov says. "[These] kinds of installations do generate quite a bit of economic activity."

Max Johnston

Homeless shelters and nonprofits are getting headcounts of the homeless across the country this month. The data goes to the federal government for homelessness prevention. But this year's count in northern Michigan happened to fall on one of the coldest nights of the year.

TheraCann

Lake Superior State University is offering what they call the nation’s first 'Cannabis Chemistry' degrees.

For example students can take classes on the preparation and hydration of cannabis, also known as marijuana, as part of their degree. University President Rodney Hanley says the curriculum is no joke.

“This is not a slouchy education that you get here, and it’s certainly not some stereotyped thing around cannabis or something like that," Hanley says. "This is very much a high-quality, analytical chemistry program.”

Max Johnston

Last year nearly 3,000 people died from drug overdoses in Michigan. That was an 80 percent increase in the past five years. There is a form of treatment that could help.

It involves prescribed medication to fight addiction and has been called the “gold standard” for opioid treatment. But it can be hard to find in northern Michigan.

Mike Lober was addicted to painkillers and heroin for 40 years. He says he was constantly chasing his next fix.

Michigan House

A northern Michigan lawmaker wants to allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) introduced a bill last week to accomplish that.

Right now, Vanderwall says, if you win the lottery, the state publishes your name, what county you live in and where you bought the ticket.

National Writers Series: An evening with Gillian Flynn

Jan 27, 2019
HJB Photo

Gillian Flynn is best known as the author of “Gone Girl.” She also wrote the screenplay of the film version. Since then, Gillian has written more for the big and small screen. She co-wrote the screenplay for the 2018 film “Widows,” as well as the TV adaptation of her book “Sharp Objects.” She also wrote the series “Utopia,” which will be released by Amazon this year. Doug Stanton spoke to Gillian at the Traverse City Opera House in April 2013. She told him she loved macabre stories since she was a child, when her father played her movies that were possibly inappropriate for her age.

National Writers Series: An evening with Harlan Coben

Jan 26, 2019

Harlan Coben has published over 30 novels. His book "Tell No One" was made into a film of the same name. In the past few years, Harlan’s created three TV shows available on Netflix: No Second Chance, The Five, and Safe. His latest novel “Run Away” will come out in March of this year. Doug Stanton spoke with Harlan on the stage of the Traverse City Opera House in July 2015. At that time, his book “The Stranger” had just come out. Doug asked Harlan to tell him about how he balances his work with his family life.  

National Writers Series: An evening with Greg Iles

Jan 26, 2019

Greg Iles is known for his Penn Cage series of thrillers that take place in Natchez, Mississippi. Iles’s newest book, coming out in March 2019, is “Cemetery Road.” It’s a stand-alone novel of friendship, betrayal, and secrets that threaten to destroy a small Mississippi town. Doug Stanton talked with Greg Iles at the Traverse City Opera House in April 2017. At that time, his book “Mississippi Blood” had just been released.  It’s the third book in his Natchez Burning trilogy. Greg Iles began writing the trilogy while recovering from a traffic accident that almost killed him.

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