Latest Northern Michigan News

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

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a U.S. soldier was injured in a training exercise and discharged from the army. Then he found an unusual way to cope with his depression and serve his country: beekeeping.

 


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. 

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.

Ludington Area School District

School districts across Michigan have bond proposals going to a vote on May 7.

Ludington Area Schools district is asking the community for a new elementary building, renovations to the middle and high school and improvements to technology, transportation, arts and athletic facilities.  

District Superintendent Jason Kennedy says the district needs signficant renovations.

"The average age of the facilities in Ludington is 64 years old," Kennedy says. "We need to consider doing more than just fixing and repairing the facilities."

GREGORY VARNUM

Electrical cables in the Straits of Mackinac were severed when an anchor struck them last year. More than 400 gallons of mineral oil, acting as a coolant, leaked out.

The Line 5 oil pipelines were damaged during the same incident.

A proposed tunnel would house Line 5 and the electrical cables to avoid more damage, an idea Enbridge Energy supports and Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she is open to.

But in a letter, Vice President of American Transmission Company Tom Finco says that plan could be dangerous.

Wikimedia Commons

A former juvenile corrections facility in Baldwin could become a prison for immigrants. 

In a press release, State Sen. Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) said the current owners of the shuttered North Lake Correctional Facility received a 10-year federal contract. It would allow Geo Group, Inc. to hold non-U.S. citizens for immigration offenses and other crimes.

VanderWall says it would bring more than 300 jobs to the area.

GREGORY VARNUM

The Line 5 oil pipelines in the straits of Mackinac were struck by an anchor last April. Then at a hearing held by U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in August, Enbridge Energy Vice President David Bryson pledged to release information on the strike.

Courtesty of Theresa Schurman

This week on Points North, a hunter was shot and killed by another hunter on opening day of deer hunting season last fall. It was ruled an accident, but it became apparent there was more to the story. Plus, the bond between a hunter and his dog.


BRIDGE MAGAZINE/MICHIGAN HEALTH & HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION

The hospital in Manistee will close their maternity unit on May 31. In a statement, the CEO of Munson Healthcare Manistee Hospital James Barker says providing maternity services is a challenge for rural hospitals.

Wikimedia Commons

Judges say Michigan’s 1st Congressional District was gerrymandered and needs to be redrawn. It was part of a federal court ruling announced Thursday.

Michigan's 1st Congressional District streches over most of northern Michigan and the entire Upper Peninsula. In their decision, the judges said the district was drawn to benefit Republican candidates.

National Writers Series: An evening with Lisa Scottoline

Apr 25, 2019
Halle Meyers

Lisa Scottoline is known for her legal thrillers, including the Rosato and Associates series, about women who are partners at a law firm. She's written thirty-two novels, and her latest book, "Someone Knows," is a stand-alone novel that tells the story of five teenagers whose lives are shattered after a dangerous prank goes wrong. Lisa also writes a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer with her daughter.

BAY VIEW CHAUTAUQUA INCLUSIVENESS GROUP

Bay View Association, a summer resort community in Petoskey, has been under fire for alleged housing discrimination. A group of homeowners has filed two lawsuit against the association, claiming it is violating housing discrimination laws by requiring homeowners to practice a particular religion. They filed their second lawsuit last week.

The first suit

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Dozens of school districts across the state will put bond proposals to voters next month. They are asking residents to pay for improvements in schools, but in some small communities in northern Michigan, a tax hike for your schools can be a tough sell.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

U.S. cherry farmers filed a legal case against the country of Turkey on Tuesday. They say Turkey subsidizes their cherries so much that they can sell some products for half the price of domestic ones.

Study shows Isle Royale wolves are genetically weaker

Apr 22, 2019
Relocated wolf lands on Isle Royale
Courtney Celley / USFWS

Researchers say wolves on Isle Royale are genetically weaker from years of inbreeding.

A recent study looked at DNA collected over 30 years from wolves living on the island.

Michigan Technological University Professor Rolf Peterson says introducing more wolves from different regions may lead to a healthier population.

"It’s not going to be stable any more than it’s ever been," Peterson says. "But there shouldn’t be a problem with genetic-caused defects or health problems for a long time."

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.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan this year, but many cities across the state aren’t letting marijuana businesses operate. Some officials argue that the state hasn’t figured out how to regulate them yet.

But a small community in northern Michigan is in the middle of a legal and political debate that could set a precedent for the rest of the state.

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. 

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