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Oil and Gas
1:04 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Encana leaving Michigan

A leading producer of natural gas in Michigan is pulling out. Encana is a Canadian company that spearheaded a recent boom in drilling for shale gas in the state.

Encana has drilled most of the wells in Michigan using the method known in the industry as horizontal hydraulic fracturing. It is sometimes referred to as fracking.

These wells are expensive--millions of dollars per well, rather than hundreds of thousands for conventional wells--use huge volumes of water and tap into natural gas deposits at depths that were not explored here until 2010.

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National Cherry Festival
10:34 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Poll shows support for Cherry Festival changes

The poll shows a majority of downtown Traverse City business owners support moving the dates of the National Cherry Festival away from Fourth of July weekend.
Credit Traverse City Tourism AP

The Traverse City Commission meets tonight to discuss possible changes to the National Cherry Festival.

Suggestions include shortening the length of the festival, moving it away from the busy Fourth of July weekend and changing its location.

In advance of the discussion, the Traverse City Ticker conducted a survey of downtown business owners, asking what they thought of the possible changes.

IPR's Aaron Selbig  asked Ticker Publisher Luke Haase about how the survey was conducted.

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Michigan Environment
12:22 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Threat of heavy oil at Straits worries environmental groups

Credit David Cassleman

An oil pipeline spanning the Straits of Mackinac continues to cause concern among many groups in Michigan.

Enbridge’s Line 5 is more than 60-years-old – and critics say it needs to be replaced or removed.

Now environmental leaders are worried the pipeline could one day carry heavy crude oils – like tar sands – into the Great Lakes region.

That's a future they want to avoid.

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Housing
11:10 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Communities looking to meet rental demand may be up against market forces

In Suttons Bay, community leaders are trying to loosen zoning rules in an effort to spur development of new rental housing.
Credit Paul Wilkinson

An extremely tight rental housing market in the Grand Traverse area is a big problem that’s getting worse.

Landlords report receiving 30 or more applications for a single rental unit and scams are popping up on Craigslist to take advantage of desperate renters.

The issue has local leaders searching for solutions.

A possible solution in Suttons Bay

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Michigan Arts & Culture
10:31 am
Fri September 19, 2014

We ask how to paint a quilt, as northern Michigan opens its latest barn quilt tourist trail

"The Windmill" quilt from John & Darlene Fuhrman.
Mason County Barn Quilt Trail

Mason County dedicates northern Michigan's latest heritage tourism trail today. It's the latest in a series of so-called "barn quilt trails" that have popped up around the region. As you can see from the images in our slideshow (above), the quilts center on a variety of themes important to the family who builds them, anything from national pride and cultural heritage, to something reminiscent of the region. 

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