Traverse City

Today on Stateside, as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) prepares to hold its 110th National Convention in Detroit this weekend, how can the organization attract and empower young activists? Plus, why a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is addressing a group of world leaders at the United Nations in Geneva this week.

The Traverse City Pit Spitters are trying all sorts of ways to get fans to the ballpark, including letting them bring their dogs on ‘Bark in the Park’ night.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, Traverse City’s new baseball team dominates on the field, but getting fans in the seats has been another matter. Plus, a review of Kathleen Stocking’s collection of essays “From the Place of the Gathering Light.”


Despite the Traverse City Pit Spitters' winning record and engagement efforts, fan attendance numbers have been low.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This spring, a lot of fanfare accompanied the announcement the Pit Spitters baseball team was coming to Traverse City. Billboards went up declaring, “New Team. New Fun.” Now free pocket schedules can be found at just about any gas station you stop at in northern Michigan. But for all these efforts and the team’s recent 18-game winning streak, fans have been slow to respond.

 


Credit: NASA Photo/Carla Thomas

This week on Points North, female pilots are underrepresented in the commercial aviation industry. That’s been true for a while, but a program in northern Michigan is making progress. Plus, the plight of fudge at local airports and a story from Michigan’s maritime past.

 


Aaron Selbig

The State of Michigan Court of Appeals says Traverse City Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power showed “extreme bias.”

Last year Power sentenced Samantha Lynn Hughes to 13 to 24 months in prison for methamphetamine use. Hughes was pregnant at the time, and the sentence would have kept her in prison for the birth of her child.

“Thinking about [Hughes] versus the unborn child I think I know whose side I’m on,” Power said.

In their decision, the Court of Appeals said that sentence was unfair.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a good preschool education can lead to success later in life. As Michigan officials push to enroll more kids in programs, poor funding and infrastructure get in the way. Plus, we celebrate the teachers who have impacted your lives.

 


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.


St. Joseph Public Schools

Northern Michigan’s largest school district is one step closer to hiring a new superintendent. On Monday, the board for Traverse City Area Public Schools voted unanimously for Ann Cardon to proceed to the final round.

Cardon has 10 years of superintendent experience and is the current head of St. Joseph Public Schools downstate.

"I like the fact that she’s basically done everything, teacher, principal, leader and she’s been involved with finance and with unions," TCAPS Board Member Doris Ellery says.

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

Five people who design newspaper layouts were laid off in Traverse City on Tuesday. They worked for CNHI, the company that owns the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Record-Eagle Publisher Paul Heidbreder says the employees were part of a local "design hub" that worked on layouts for newspapers across the country, but CNHI is reducing the number of papers designed out of Traverse City. 

DTE Energy

DTE Energy is among 60 Fortune 500 companies that did not pay federal income taxes in 2018. That’s according to the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

DTE spokesperson Peter Ternes confirmed in an email they did not pay those taxes last year.

Ternes says the company, which provides electricity and natural gas to millions of customers in Michigan, follows current federal tax laws and claims their capital investments as deductions.

Up North Pride

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel will be the grand marshal for an LGBTQ+ pride march in Traverse City next month.

The Visibility March will be held by Up North Pride, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group. Founder Jonny Cameron says they chose Nessel because she has fought for LGBTQ+ rights during her career.

“She’s making sure that we are protected, as parents, as families, in the state of Michigan,” Cameron says.

Up North Pride says Nessel is the first openly gay candidate elected to state office.

Medical marijuana lottery selection
Taylor Wizner

A lottery was held in Traverse City on Friday to hand out licenses for medical marjiuana centers. The city clerk selected the winners by lottery out of 72 applicants.

Valerie Rissi’s eyes lit up when her business was called.

Rissi was retired until her daughter convinced her to apply for a licence for a medical marijuana center. She worked on her application for over two years

"I thought 13 of 72, what’s your odds? Not real well, but that’s why it’s the lottery," she says.

New Traverse City gun club attracts women shooters

Apr 15, 2019
A Girl & A Gun

A new gun club for women held its first meeting in Traverse City last week. The national organization 'A Girl & A Gun' has only one other chapter in Michigan, located in Portage.

The leader of the Traverse City chapter, Alycia Pollotta, says more than 20 women have already joined. She says the main goal of the meetings is to provide a place to socialize--but there will be competitions, defensive pistol training and practice sessions for members to try out shooting different firearms. 

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.

Double reeds, guitars, cellos, recorders, violas, harp, and more instruments all made an appearance in downtown Traverse City on Saturday.

Ten acts comprised of over 20 local musicians performed short classical music selections for a packed house at Horizon Books in Traverse City.  View the slideshow for images of all performers. The event was emceed by Interlochen Public Radio's Amanda Sewell.

Wikimedia Commons

After nearly 20 years, Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City will stop performing court-ordered drug tests.

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.

The Accidentals are made up of Katie Larson, Sav Buist, and Michael Dause. The band recently had their trailer stolen while on tour in Arizona.
Sony Music Masterworks

Fans of The Accidentals are stepping up to support the band after someone stole their trailer. The group lost the trailer full of merchandise, sound equipment and a drum set while on tour in Arizona earlier this week

 

U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City/Facebook

Two weeks into the government shutdown, some Michigan communities are coming together to support federal employees working without pay. One of the groups affected is the U.S. Coast Guard. Workers got their December paycheck on Monday, but they’re not sure when they’ll get their next one. 

David Cassleman

The head of Traverse City schools has announced he will leave the district. TCAPS Superintendent Paul Soma says he’ll retire from the position summer 2019.

Soma made the announcement in a letter to the TCAPS community Thursday. He expressed gratitude for the 17 years he’s spent with the school district.

"Of course, this has not been an easy decision," Soma wrote in the letter. "Please know that this decision comes after much reflection, deliberation and consultation."

Max Johnston

As Traverse City grows, its tree canopy is shrinking. The city is trying to protect trees in city limits, but no one can agree on the best way to do it.

THERACANN

Traverse City won't allow recreational marijuana businesses in city limits.

The state hasn't finalized the licensing regulations for recreational marijuana businesses yet.

TheraCann

Cities across northern Michigan are considering temporary bans on recreational marijuana dispensaries. Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Michigan on Thursday.

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