Latest Northern Michigan News

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

This You Should Know: The plant that swallows homes

Jan 26, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

When picking plants for your garden next spring, be careful about what you choose. A species called Japanese knotweed has been known to eat people’s houses. Well, not literally. But Emily Cook with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network says knotweed roots grow through roads, sidewalks – and yes – even homes.

 

 


Michigan’s House speaker has paid another fine for bringing an unregistered gun to the Pellston Regional Airport. 

Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) paid the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) $1,960 last week. The maximum fine for that infraction was nearly $10,000.

A sign that says "Honor the Treaties" hangs between two trees against a snowy landscape.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

 

On a chilly day in early January, the ground at Camp Anishinaabek is covered in a foot of snow, extra crusty from thawing and re-freezing. The outdoor firepit where campers gather in warmer weather is deserted, and instead, they've congregated in a dark, slightly smoky tent.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Largemouth bass virus has been found in two more northern Michigan lakes. Samples from Beaver Lake in Alpena County and Avalon Lake in Montmorency County have tested positive. This follows a recent discovery of the disease in Cedar Lake in Iosco County. Both Beaver Lake and Cedar Lake have now seen fish kills related to LMBV.

Cheyna Roth

Democrats in the state Senate will try to undo a controversial bill that passed during last year’s lame duck session. The bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in late December. 

This You Should Know: Wood carving

Jan 19, 2019
Joelle Premo Hannert

When it comes to wood carving, you can’t just pick up any old piece of wood off the ground and expect to do something nice with it. That’s what Lake Ann resident Jack Hannert says. He recommends using green wood – that is, wood that has been cut recently from a tree.

 

 


 

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Jessica Snow

Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) introduced a bill to legalize stun guns last week. She says it would give women more options for self defense.

"I carry a firearm with me for self-protection, but a lot of women ... aren't comfortable doing that," Hoitenga said.

Unlike tasers stun guns don't fire projectiles and are meant for close proximity.

If the bill passes anyone in the state over 21 could use and possess a stun gun for self-defense. It has been referred to the State House Judiciary Committee.

Stun guns are legal in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

Bridge Magazine/Michigan Health & Hospital Association

It’s getting harder to find hospitals where women can give birth in Michigan. The number of hospitals with obstetrics care has dropped significantly over the past four decades, and rural areas have been hit the hardest.

Beth Tarkington

Bob Tarkington always wanted to go to music school. So when the Frankfort summer resident retired, he decided to do just that. It took two tries to get accepted, but now Tarkington is a senior in a jazz studies program in Georgia. He says it’s easy to spot him in his school choir: just look for the student with a shock of white hair.


Michigan's congressman Jack Bergman announced he will donate his salary during the federal government's partial shutdown.
Jack Bergman

Congressman Jack Bergman is donating his salary during the Federal Government’s partial shutdown.

In a statement yesterday, Bergman announced he’s giving his pay to local charities in Michigan’s First Congressional District.

THERACANN

Recreational Marijuana became legal in Michigan on Dec. 6, 2018. Otsego County Prosecuting Attorney Brendan Curran says he welcomed it.

“We have a significant drug problem here, and that problem is not marijuana. That problem is drugs that kill people” Curran says. “That’s what I’ve intended to focus as much resources as possible on.”

Michigan Tech University

After sixty years, the winter study on Isle Royale has been put on hold because of the federal government shutdown. 

CREDIT DAN MOYLE / FLICKR - HTTP://BIT.LY/1XMSZCG

Counties across Michigan are being sued over a common foreclosure practice. When a foreclosed home is auctioned by the county, they keep the profits.

This You Should Know: Balloon man

Jan 5, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

Mike Webb says he’s always been fascinated by balloon twisting – the shaping of ordinary-looking balloons into extraordinary things. The Benzonia resident is the self-styled "chief entertainment officer" for Balloon Dog Productions. In other words, he’s a professional balloon twister.


This You Should Know: Animal training

Dec 29, 2018
Fred Keeslar

Wendy Intrieri trained dolphins at SeaWorld for a decade. Now she’s training horses in Leelanau County. Intrieri says she uses positive reinforcement techniques with her animals, a method that can be used with all kinds of pets.


This You Should Know: Grand Traverse Bay

Dec 22, 2018
T.J. Harrison

Oligotrophic. It’s a word that describes the oxygen-rich, nutrient-poor environment of Grand Traverse Bay. Nutrients are the enemy of a healthy bay, says former Grand Traverse Baykeeper John Nelson. And he says everyone has a role to play in maintaining the cold, clean water.

 

 


Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools could catch a $700,000 break related to a review of its homeschool program.

The Michigan Department of Education is currently reviewing that homeschool program, the Northern Michigan Partnership, to see if TCAPS collected too much money per students. If that’s what they determine, they could ask the district to pay roughly $700,000 back to the state.

But a spending package passed by the legislature early Friday morning included grant money to cover that cost.

Over 9,000 people struggling with medical debt in northern Michigan will get an early holiday gift this year. The Michigan Nurses Association announced Thursday they're donating $8.9 million to the cause.

“We know that we have patients who say over and over that they are worried about paying the hospital bills when they should be worried about getting better and going home,” says Melissa Boals, a nurse at Munson Medical Center and member of the nurses association board.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The state of Michigan is buying part of a controversial sand mine near Ludington. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will buy 100 acres of sand dunes, wetlands and forests for $17 million from Sargent Sand, a sand mining company.

"This purchase will permanently protect a beautiful tract of critical sand dunes, conserving a unique landform and its plants and animals for public enjoyment," DNR Director Keith Creagh says in a press release.

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.

MARK BRUSH / MICHIGAN RADIO

Geno Allessandrini of the Michigan Laborers District Council was appointed to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority on Wednesday, but resigned a day later for personal reasons.

The authority will oversee the construction and operation of a tunnel for a new oil pipeline in the straits.

 

Ari Adler, a spokesman for Governor Snyder, says the governor didn’t ask for the resignation.

 

"He did resign of his own free will, and he said that he was stepping aside for personal reasons," says Adler.

 

This You Should Know: Public weddings

Dec 14, 2018
Eric Hampton

If you have your wedding in a public park, don’t forget that anyone could show up. That’s what Lake Ann resident Rachel Jones and her husband learned – and they thought it was wonderful.

 

 

CREDIT SKEEZE/PIXABAY

Michigan’s deer hunting season has been pretty successful so far.

"Our harvest appears certainly up in the Upper Peninsula, and there are parts in the northern Lower and certainly southwest that appear up as well," says Chad Stewart, deer management specialist for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Morgan Springer

A culture of fear was at the heart of a board meeting for Glen Lake Community Schools Monday night. There were around a hundred people in attendance and most public comments addressed the culture and teacher dissatisfaction in the district.

National Writers Series: An evening with Diana Gabaldon

Dec 9, 2018
Nancy Castaldo

Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling “Outlander” series of novels begins by telling the story of a young nurse during World War 2. She travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. Diana has published eight “Outlander” books, and she says her ninth one, called Go Tell the Bees that I Have Gone, should be released in 2019. The books have been developed into a popular TV show on Starz. Diana talks this hour with Deb Leonard, a member of the board of directors for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and a bookseller at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor.

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