Imperial Stormtroopers are invading the Cherry Capital Comic Con this weekend - but don't worry; it's just for fun! 

And - photographer Eric Hatch uses long exposures to capture big details in his images, partly because he can't really see the small things.

Plus: a graduating Interlochen student shares her favorite bassoon trick! 


Monarch butterflies need milkweed to survive, but some plants you buy for your garden could be toxic to them.

There’s been a big drop in the monarch butterfly population. By some estimates, they’ve declined by more than 90 percent over the past 20 years.

Emily Orpin/Flickr

In Michigan, people shopping for health insurance are likely to pick cost savings over the chance to keep their current doctor, according to new research from the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation.

Center Executive Director Marianne Udow-Phillips says comparison shopping has gotten easier for people with the healthcare exchange.

It’s pretty common knowledge that texting while driving is dangerous. But for some reason, many of us still do it.

A study released from AT&T tries to shed some light on just how distracted we are by our smartphones while driving.

On top of texting, the AT&T survey finds 27% of drivers between 16 and 65 admit to Facebooking when they drive, and 14% use Twitter, with a full 30% of those folks admitting they tweet "all the time" while driving.

Big League dreams fading, but not broken

May 20, 2015
Jose Vargas enters his fifth and likely final season with the Traverse City Beach Bums
Traverse City Beach Bums

The Traverse City Beach Bums open their home season this Friday night. Playing his fifth season with the Bums this year, is veteran Jose Vargas.

Ever since he was young, he’s dreamed of playing in the Big Leagues. And at age 27, Vargas has given himself one more chance to turn his dream into a reality. 

Below minimum wage debate brewing

May 20, 2015
Tom Carr

The After 26 Cafe occupies a charming, early 20th Century train depot in Cadillac. It’s a non-profit that employs people with developmental disabilities.

The restaurant serves up dishes like a cherry grove salad and a chicken-ranch BLT in order to give jobs to people like Kerry Serafano.

"I do the placemats, I wash out the tables, I re-seat people sometimes,” Kerry says. “And I do a real good job at it."

Kerry is 31. She lives with her mother and says this is the best job she’s had.

Scott Bauer

The month of May is the height of tick season in northern Michigan. Ticks are especially common along the coastal areas of Lake Michigan.

Phillip Huber has been a forest biologist for the Huron-Manistee National Forest for more than 30 years. He says ticks only started appearing in the area about 10 years ago.

“They’re becoming more common, particularly in the really grassy areas," says Huber. "I think that’s where people need to watch out for them, in grassy fields, road sides … that sort of thing.”

Monarch butterflies are not around in the numbers they used to be — not by a long shot. By some estimates, monarch populations have dropped by 90% over the past twenty years. 

But why has that happened to these iconic butterflies? 



State lawmakers have hit the accelerator pedal in their effort to reform Michigan's no-fault insurance law. The law provides all victims of catastrophic crashes with a lifetime of unlimited medical benefits. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that may decide whether thousands of Michiganders can afford health insurance.

The court could strike down insurance subsidies offered under the federal health care law. That’s in states like Michigan where the federal government runs the health care exchange.

The ruling is expected this summer. But some state lawmakers are already debating whether to set up a state-run health exchange.


Classical Music & Culture

Kids' Commute: Mother Goose Suite - The Enchanted Garden

This week on the Kids’ Commute, we’re exploring the Mother Goose Suite, by Maurice Ravel. We’ll hear David Ogden Stiers narrate some of the text from the stories of Mother Goose, and get to listen to the music associated with each story...Sleeping Beauty, Tom Thumb, Beauty and the Beast, and more! So, are you ready for some stories? French composer Maurice Ravel wrote the Mother Goose Suite in 1910. He took several fairy tales, and then wrote the related music not for children to just listen to, but to perform. The suite of music was originally written as a piano duet for two children named Mimi and Jean, ages 6 and 7.
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