Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area, and it has something the other Great Lakes don’t — stable populations of mostly native fish species.

But scientists say a key fish in Superior’s food web is now in trouble because of mild winters and an appetite for caviar in Europe.

U.S. Geological Survey

Researchers have discovered a widespread infestation of quagga mussels in Crooked Lake near Petoskey. It’s the first time the mussels have been reported in an inland lake in Michigan.

Quagga mussels spread rapidly through the Great Lakes in the 1990s and eventually displaced their cousin, the zebra mussel. Kevin Cronk from the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council says quagga mussels have a wide range and reproduce very quickly.

A counterpoint to this essay can be found here

The Next Idea

Everybody who sets foot in a voting booth wants to know that their vote counts just as much as the vote of the next person in line. Faith in our democratic system rests on fair and representative elections.

Unfortunately, Michigan’s political map has been manipulated to the point that not all votes count the same. Politicians have drawn political districts so that in many places around our state, who wins or loses is a foregone conclusion long before the end of election night. They created the political map this way in order to give themselves and their party a head start in an election, much to the detriment of our democracy and your vote.

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while and Michigan's lawmakers are no different. But in Lansing, some folks in the state Senate promised they wouldn't be taking one this summer, so they could work on a road funding deal.

The state House, however, made no such promises, and they've just started a month long break.

Blue Moon at the eve of Cross Quarter

Jul 27, 2015

The point halfway through each season is known as "cross quarter day", and it marks the point of turning away from the beginning of a season toward its end. Think Ground Hog's Day, May Day, All Saints Day. These are all cross quarter days, the time that was connected to sacred mystery held in each season. But it's not just the cross quarter day itself that is so revealing; sometimes, it's the night before, known as the 'eve'!

Muslim-American's camp proposal denied

Jul 24, 2015

A youth camp proposed for a small town east of Roscommon was denied. The Ogemaw County Planning Commission voted 4 to 3 against Muslim-American Nayef Salha's proposal.

Salha’s camp was denied for zoning reasons, but the decision is contentious in part because Islamophobic comments were made at another public meeting.

David Cassleman

Armed with an eight-track recorder and an eighty dollar microphone, Matt Jones travels around Michigan, recording local musicians.

So far, he’s recorded about 100 artists from all over the state. 

“Everybody I’ve recorded has been completely worth it," Jones says. "So how could I possibly stop?"

Sometimes the best way to approach an engineering problem isn’t complicated or costly.  

Two Grand Valley State mechanical engineering students took a step back and simplified a way to help a little girl use her arms.

Lightning or shine, she just keeps paddling

Jul 23, 2015
Morgan Springer

The Au Sable Canoe Marathon is both grueling and addictive.  Canoe teams paddle 120 miles from Grayling to Oscoda on Lake Huron. That's close to halfway across Northern Michigan. They paddle 14 to 19 hours through the night and into the next day. The goal for many is simply to finish, and they attack that goal with a stubbornness that sometimes borders on dangerous. 

The marathon is this weekend beginning at 9pm on July 25th.


The biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history happened right here in Michigan. Now that five years have passed, we checked in with people who were affected by the spill.

Enbridge Energy’s Line 6B broke open on July 25, 2010. The massive oil spill changed life for a lot of people in the small town of Marshall and along the Kalamazoo River.

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Classical Music & Culture

Songs We Love: Nordic Affect, 'Clockworking'

Iceland might be small and isolated but the country's music scene is substantial, resonating far beyond the island nation. One Icelandic group that thrives on both new and old classical music is Nordic Affect. Formed in 2005, the quartet of women is equally at home playing 17th century dance music and newly commissioned works like Clockworking, the title track from its forthcoming album.Once the piece gets up to speed, from its slowly churning opening, you feel like you've stepped inside a...
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