Aaron Selbig

Managing Editor

Aaron Selbig began his journalism career in Alaska, at the alt-weekly Anchorage Press in 1999. It has taken him in many different directions over the years, including print, web and commercial and public radio. He has won many awards over the years for his reporting, including a 2017 Edward R. Murrow award (Midwest region). In 2009, Aaron took over as news director for public radio station KBBI in Homer, Alaska, where he served for five years. He has served on the board of directors for Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated. Aaron came to IPR in in July 2014 and is happy to call northern Michigan home. He lives in Interlochen with his wife, Nova, and son, Otto. His elder son, Gabriel, is a student at the University of Nevada.

Protesters plan to gather in Kalkaska Friday to speak out against Islamophobic Facebook posts made by the village president.

Jeff Sieting frequently posts content on his Facebook page directed against Muslims, immigrants and liberals.

A discussion on whether Traverse City should become a sanctuary city drew dozens of protesters to the governmental center Wednesday night.

Sanctuary city status would likely mean that local police would not report illegal immigrants to the federal government.

Aaron Selbig

Tart cherry growers in northern Michigan are hoping the Trump administration can help them get a leg up in the juice market.

A proposed high-speed boat race in Traverse City is dead in the water. The city commission rejected plans for the “Grand Traverse Bay Offshore Classic” last night.

Commissioners said they were concerned about noise, possible environmental damage and congestion at the city marina. They said they had heard mostly negative input from the community.

Commissioner Tim Werner said the city may only have room for two big events – the National Cherry Festival and the Traverse City Film Festival.

Aaron Selbig

Officials in Traverse City are discussing the possibility of “sanctuary city” status. The city’s Human Rights Commission has debated the idea at its meetings over the last few months. The declaration would mean police would not report undocumented immigrants to the federal government.

Fans of high-speed boat racing want to hold a three-day race on Grand Traverse Bay next year. Organizers say the “Grand Traverse Bay Offshore Classic” could draw 100,000 spectators - and $10 million - to Traverse City.

West Grand Traverse Bay could host a high-speed boat race next summer. Organizers with the American Power Boat Association and the Offshore Powerboat Association want to hold the “Grand Traverse Bay Offshore Classic” in Traverse City for three days in August 2018.

Tyler Bevier, BATA

Residents of Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties voted Tuesday for expanded bus service. Voters approved a millage increase for the Bay Area Transportation Authority that will give them an extra $1 million next year. BATA says it will use the money to buy new buses and expand routes.

Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Max Anderson says the vote shows that the community values the BATA service.

Manistee Police Department

A Manistee Police officer shot and killed a man Tuesday night. Police say 73-year-old Lee Milks threatened the officer with an assault rifle before he was shot multiple times.

Manistee Police are not identifying the officer who shot Milks. Chief David Bachman says the officer was conducting “blight enforcement” on 2nd Street, when he saw an old bus parked in Milks’ backyard.

“He made contact with the owner of the bus and asked to take a look at it," says Bachman. "The guy said ‘sure’ and went back in his house and came back out with a rifle.”

A new bill would allow gun owners to carry a concealed pistol without a permit from the state.  Right now, gun owners have to get a concealed pistol license, which requires taking a gun safety class among other things.

The "constitutional carry" bill is already law in 13 states.

Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) is one of the bill’s sponsors. He calls it a “freedom issue,” saying law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t need a permit to carry a concealed handgun.

Child care is hard to find in northern Michigan. Parents face year-long waiting lists to find someone to take care of their infants while they’re at work, and some are resorting to illegal providers they find on Facebook or Craigslist.

Aaron Selbig

Public health officials in northern Michigan say they’re “troubled” by the Republican health care plan.

Congressional Republicans are debating the American Health Care Act, which would replace the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare.

The Northern Michigan Public Health Alliance, a coalition of health departments in 25 northern counties, released a statement Tuesday saying the Act will drive up the number of uninsured people, and will jeopardize programs like immunizations.

TheraCann

When the Pugsley Correctional Facility closed last year, the village of Kingsley lost more than 200 jobs. Now a medical marijuana company from Canada says it can replace about 100 of those jobs, if it’s allowed to build a production facility in the Kingsley Industry Park.

Aaron Selbig

A judge sentenced a Traverse City man to one year in prison for assaulting a homeless man last July.

For the first time since his arrest, 19-year-old Maayingan Brauker admitted to the crime at his sentencing hearing in 86th District Court Tuesday. 

NASA

Early Thursday morning, the Space X Dragon capsule docked with the International Space Station. The capsule is carrying supplies for the astronauts who live aboard the ISS, but it’s also carrying an experiment devised by students at Traverse City West High School.

The students want to know how quickly blue algae grows in space, and they convinced NASA to send their algae samples.

Matt Mikus

Protesters gathered in Petoskey Thursday as Congressman Jack Bergman arrived for a speech.

Amanda Holmes

The town of Leland has raised $250,000 to buy its own dredging equipment. The money comes from private donations through the crowd-funding website FundLy.

Leland Harbormaster Russell Dzuba says the federal government used to pay for harbor dredging, but in recent years, it hasn’t been a priority.

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Earlier this month, the Traverse City Record-Eagle published a story called “Race Against Time," which told the tale of Ronald Norfleet, an African-American man from Detroit who was sentenced to 56 years in prison for dealing heroin in Grand Traverse County.

Grand Traverse County

Grand Traverse County Administrator Tom Menzel announced his resignation last month.

When Menzel was hired in 2015, he had a reputation for righting the financial ship at the National Cherry Festival and Bay Area Transportation Authority. Grand Traverse County commissioners hoped he would do the same for the county.

He immediately started making moves, but some of them – like asking county employees to pay more for their health and retirement benefits – have met with resistance.

Aaron Selbig

A Traverse City man was convicted Monday of assaulting a homeless man.

After a day-long trial, jurors found 19-year-old Maayingan Brauker guilty of assaulting David Whitney, who was kicked and punched last July while sleeping near Central United Methodist Church.

Amanda Holmes

Small harbors in Michigan have a big problem. Over time, access to harbors gets blocked by sand and sediment, and the harbor needs to be dredged. But the money to pay for dredging just isn’t there anymore.

DargaWorks

A new four-story apartment building is prompting questions about the future of Traverse City’s Warehouse District.

DargaWorks wants to build a multi-use development called “Warehouse Flats” on what is now a parking lot at Garland Street and North Union. DargaWorks says the proposed 59-foot building would provide workforce housing and a public parking garage.

It’s a new year, and the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners has a couple of new members – and possibly a new direction. The change comes at a time when the county is facing financial problems – including a pension debt of more than $50-million dollars.

In its first meeting last week, the board elected Commissioner Carol Crawford to lead them into the new year.

Peter Payette

Hate crime laws, with their roots in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, were originally intended to protect people from violence based on their race or religion.

Aaron Selbig

Donald Trump’s surprise run to the presidency captured most of the attention around last year’s election, but in Emmet County, there was another quiet revolution. Residents there voted out four sitting members of the county Board of Commissioners, and two more incumbents stepped down.

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