Latest Northern Michigan News

Interlochen Public Radio connects you to the stories, people and places of northern Michigan.

On the next edition of Michigan Writers on the Air: Katey Schultz will read from her new novel Still Come Home, a story is set inAfghanistan. Stephen Lewis talks about The Wolfkeeper, a collection of short stories written byhis late wife, Carolyn Lewis. At the end, Fleda Brown talks with Jennifer Steinorth about her first major collection of poems, A Wake with Nine Shades. Please join Aaron Stander and guests Katey Schultz, Steven Lewis, JenniferSteinorth and Fleda Brown on the next edition of Michigan Writers on the Air.  

National Writers Series: An evening with Roy Blount Jr.

Oct 30, 2019

Humorist, journalist and author Roy Blount Jr. has written over two dozen books, as well as many articles for various periodicals. He’s also a frequent panelist on National Public Radio’s “Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me” program. Roy’s most recent book is “Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations.” Roy visited Traverse City in 2011 and talked with Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House. At that time, Roy’s book “Alphabetter Juice” had recently been released.

National Writers Series: An evening with Susan Orlean

Oct 29, 2019
Tom Haxby

Susan Orlean is the author of ten books and numerous magazine articles. She’s best known for her book “The Orchid Thief,” which was the inspiration for the movie “Adaptation,” starring Meryl Streep as Susan. Her latest book, about the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Public Library, and libraries in general, is called “The Library Book.” Susan talks this hour with Anne Strainchamps, host and co-creator of the public radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge. Anne asked Susan to start off by reading from “The Library Book.”

National Writers Series: An evening with Randall Sullivan

Oct 29, 2019
Tom Haxby

"The Curse of Oak Island" is a TV show on the History Channel, currently in its seventh season. It’s also now a book by journalist Randall Sullivan. Randall first wrote about the island for Rolling Stone in 2004. In the book, he goes deeper into the long history of treasure hunting on the island, and delves into the many theories about what’s buried there. One of the creators and stars of the TV show is engineer and entrepreneur Marty Lagina. Randall and Marty talk this hour with Patrick Livingston, News Director for TV stations WPBN and WGTU in Traverse City.

National Writers Series: An evening with Lee Child

Oct 29, 2019

Lee Child is best known for his Jack Reacher thriller series. The series has been adapted into two films starring Tom Cruise as the title character. Lee’s 24th book in the series, Blue Moon, came out in 2019. Lee visited Traverse City in 2012 and talked with Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House. Doug asked Lee to take him through a typical day of writing.

National Writers Series: An evening with Aarti Shahani

Oct 28, 2019
Kristen Stewart

Aarti Shahani is a technology reporter for National Public Radio based in Silicon Valley. Her family immigrated to the United States from India in the 1980s. Aarti thrived in her new country and earned a scholarship to an elite private school. But her father was arrested for mistakenly selling watches to a drug cartel, which led to years of entanglement in the legal system. These experiences inspired Aarti to write her memoir, “Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares.” Aarti talks this hour with WDET News Director Jerome Vaughn.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

In the midst of tension between the U.S. and global trade partners like Turkey, northern Michigan’s iconic cherry industry is stuck in the middle.

Tart cherry farmers have been undercut by foreign competitors for years. Many farmers thought tariffs implemented by the Trump administration would help, but they haven’t.

Update 9:42 p.m. 10/17/19: A federal judge set the trial date. This story has been updated to reflect that change.

A motion to dismiss the criminal charges against State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) has been denied.

Now Inman will go to trial in federal court over charges of soliciting a bribe, extortion and lying to the F.B.I. Federal prosecutors allege Inman tried to sell his vote on Michigan's prevailing wage law last May.

Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College announced that its faculty approved a new employment contract.

 

NMC union employees voted almost unaminously today to accept the agreement that was reached after a 10-hour negotiation with a state mediator.

The faculty bargained for salary increases and more organizational flexibility after their contracts expired last December. An external fact finder report found salaries could be higher.

The NMC Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed contract next Monday.

National Writers Series: An evening with Tom Brokaw

Oct 7, 2019

Journalist and author Tom Brokaw anchored the NBC Nightly News for 22 years. He’s been working in the news for over 50 years, and he’s also published ten books. Tom’s best-known book is his first one from 1998, “The Greatest Generation,” about those who fought in World War II and helped out on the home front. His most recent book, which came out in 2019, is “The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate.” Tom visited Traverse City in 2010 and talked with Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House.

Macmillan Publishers

Jeffrey Eugenides’s first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” was made into a movie directed by Sofia Coppola. “Middlesex,” his next novel, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His most recent book is a collection of short stories called “Fresh Complaint.” Jeffrey visited Traverse City in 2011 and talked with fellow author Jeremy Chamberlin. At that time Jeffrey’s book “The Marriage Plot” had just been released. Jeremy asked Jeff to talk about growing up in Detroit in the 1960s and 70s.

National Writers Series: An evening with Temple Grandin

Oct 6, 2019

Temple Grandin is an advocate for people with autism, professor of animal science at Colorado State University, and a prolific author of books and research publications. Her most recent book is “Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like An Inventor.” Temple was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. In 2010, a movie based on her life, starring Claire Danes as Temple, was released by HBO films. Temple visited Traverse City in 2013 and talked with editor and media consultant Laura Hohnhold on the stage of the City Opera House.

National Writers Series: An evening with Thomas Lynch

Oct 5, 2019

Thomas Lynch has been a funeral director in Milford, Michigan since 1974. But he’s better known for his poetry and essays, which are often inspired by his profession. His book “The Undertaking” was the basis of an episode of Frontline on PBS and a BBC documentary. Thomas’s most recent book is “Whence and Whither: On Lives and Living.” And a new book, “The Depositions,” is coming out in November 2019. Thomas visited Traverse City in 2010 and talked with author Jerry Dennis on the stage of the City Opera House.

National Writers Series: An evening with David Maraniss

Oct 2, 2019
Tom Haxby

David Maraniss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and biographer. He’s written books about Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Vince Lombardi, and others. David last visited Traverse City in 2016, when he came to talk about his book “Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story.” His latest book delves into the personal history of his family. “A Good American Family” tells the story of David’s father, Elliott Maraniss, who was accused of being a communist informant during the McCarthy red scare era of the 1950s. David talks this hour with author and commentator John Bacon.

Rick Pluta

Prosecutors say State Rep. Larry Inman’s (R-Williamsburg) alleged bribery attempt is not protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Inman's legal team claims that campaign contributions are protected under the First Amendment, after the Citizens United decision in the U.S. Supreme Court from 2010.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, thousands of students are back in school. Hear how state efforts to improve reading and writing scores for third graders may be getting lost in translation.

Plus an interview with the new Superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

In 2016, then Gov. Rick Snyder signed the controversial “Read by Grade Three” bill into law. It's meant to improve the reading and writing abilities of third graders in Michigan, but if their scores don’t rise students could be held back.

As the law starts to take effect, educators are frustrated with how it aims to get test scores up. 

Back to school

National Writers Series: An evening with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Sep 5, 2019

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an activist, scholar, former politician, and author. She’s known for her vocal criticism of Islam. Ayaan’s most recent book is “Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now.” Her book “Prey” is coming out in 2020. Ayaan visited Traverse City in 2012 and talked with lecturer, columnist, and former diplomat Jack Segal on the stage of the City Opera House. Jack asked Ayaan to talk about her journey from Somalia to the United States.

National Writers Series: An evening with Karl Marlantes

Sep 5, 2019
Tom Haxby

Karl Marlantes was one of the first ever guests of  National Writers Series in 2010, when he came to talk about his first book, “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War.” That book draws on Karl’s experiences as a Marine in Vietnam. His latest novel, “Deep River,” is inspired by the history of his ancestors, who immigrated to Washington from Finland in the early 20th century. Karl talks this hour with fellow author and veteran, Benjamin Busch. Benjamin asked Karl to talk about the difficult process of getting his first book published.

Taylor Wizner

Five years ago, hops were in high demand in Michigan, and more and more 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. This year, more than a dozen hop fields throughout the region sit idle as their owners wait for prices to rise or decide to close farms for good.

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.

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.

Taylor Wizner

 

Tubing down a river on a hot summer day is one of Michigan’s most popular pastimes. But after years of alcohol-fueled floats, the National Forest Service banned alcohol on the Au Sable, Manistee and Pine rivers.

 

The Forest Service has since backed off that ban due to public outcry. In its place, conservation officers have pledged to educate river users and ramp up law enforcement.

 

Now the question is, will it work?

 

Relaxing on the river

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Recreational marijuana businesses are still banned in the village of Vanderbilt. A measure to reverse that ban failed by a vote of 72 to 84 Tuesday, according to unofficial election results.

National Writers Series: An evening with Douglas Brinkley

Aug 3, 2019
Tom Haxby

Douglas Brinkley is an author, professor, commentator and historian. He’s written and co-authored dozens of books, on topics as diverse as Rosa Parks, Jimmy Carter, Walter Cronkite and Hunter S. Thompson. Doug’s latest book is “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” He talks this hour with author John Bacon. John asked Doug how growing up in Perrysburg, Ohio made him feel connected to the first moon landing.

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