David Cassleman is a reporter and Morning Edition host for IPR News Radio. He got his start in public radio at WDET in Detroit, and joined Interlochen Public Radio in June 2014. He’s a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Water has been a dominant topic in Michigan politics in recent years, from the Flint water crisis to the controversy over the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.
There’s another water debate going on in northern Michigan. The Swiss company Nestle wants to boost the amount of water it pumps from a well in Osceola County, south of Cadillac. The water would be bottled under the company’s brand Ice Mountain.
Local leaders and Native American groups are fiercely opposed to the increase, and the effort has been tied up at the state and local level.
MLive Reporter Garret Ellison explains the controversy over Nestle's request to pump more water from a well in northern Michigan.
People with clipboards are prowling streets across Michigan these days. They’re on the hunt for signatures for ballot initiatives. The campaigns are also collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for their efforts.
Listeners have been recommending diners across northern Michigan, from Grand Marais to Beaver Island, during IPR’s series Order Up. IPR took the advice of one caller and visited Randy’s Diner in Traverse City – with him.
State officials want hunters to shoot more deer in northeastern Lower Michigan – a lot more. Infected deer in this area spread a disease called bovine tuberculosis. It can kill cows, and it can be passed to people through unpasteurized milk.
Law enforcement officials in Michigan are talking about what President Trump’s immigration policies mean for them.
Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel explains his office’s policies on immigration enforcement.
The Trump administration has made a priority of deporting people living in the country illegally. Normally immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government – not local sheriffs. But sheriffs and local police departments do sometimes play a role in the process.
Northern Michigan University professor Dwight Brady first came close to running for Congress in 2010. But the Upper Peninsula Democrat says he stepped aside when former state Rep. Gary McDowell entered the race.
Now, four elections later, Brady has decided to challenge Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) in Michigan’s 1st District.
Last November’s election was shocking for many progressives in northern Michigan. Democrats were expecting to do well in some races Up North. Instead, Republicans drubbed Democrats across Michigan and most of the country.
The U.S. Forest Service will not close a popular party spot on the Pine River. It’s a 160-foot sandy bank, located between Cadillac and Manistee, that draws scores of paddlers each year. Forest officials instead will try to stabilize the bank by laying down branches on the edges of it.
Officials worry the heavy summer traffic is causing erosion on the bank and sending sediment into the blue-ribbon trout stream. Sand can harm trout populations.
More and more people in northern Michigan are collecting disability checks.
In some northern Michigan counties, nearly 20 percent of working-age adults are enrolled in disability insurance through Social Security. That’s according to a report published by Bridge Magazine this month.
Nationwide, the average is about five percent.
“We have in northern Michigan disability rates that are mainly seen in the deep South and in Appalachia,” says freelance writer Chad Selweski, who reported the piece for Bridge Magazine.
Writer Chad Selweski explains why disability rates have skyrocketed in northern Michigan.
Northern Michigan’s congressman faced a raucous crowd at a town hall meeting in Gaylord Thursday night.
There was lots of booing and some cheering for Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) at the event. Constituents asked him about Russian meddling in the election, health care, and the Great Lakes, among other issues.
Rep. Jack Bergman took questions from a boisterous crowd at a town hall in Gaylord Thursday night.
A retired Marine Corps officer has formally announced he is running as a Democrat for northern Michigan’s seat in U.S. Congress. Matt Morgan of Traverse City, who retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2013, served two tours during the Iraq War.
A Democrat running for governor in Michigan is touting his experience leading the city of Detroit’s health department in the aftermath of the city’s bankruptcy. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is campaigning in northern Michigan this week.
“We rebuilt a department,” El-Sayed said in an interview with IPR News Radio. “It is now a department that has five different campuses doing great work for the people of Detroit.”
State lawmakers return to Lansing this week and to a budget standoff. The House and Senate left Lansing at the end of March without an agreement on how to help an area in metro Detroit where a giant sinkhole opened up last December.
The Bay Area Transportation Authority is asking for more money to expand its bus system in Grand Traverse and Leelanau Counties. BATA has put a millage proposal on the ballot May 2.
If it passes, the millage rate would go up from .3447 to .5 mill for five years. BATA officials say the tax would raise an additional $1.1 million next year. People who own a home worth $200,000 would pay $16 more per year than they do now.
Some Republicans in Michigan are pushing for restrictions to the state’s power to write regulations. State agencies, like the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, write many rules and regulations that don't need legislative approval.
In the last few years, some Michigan lawmakers have criticized this process. They say that state departments are writing rules that are too strict.
Legislation introduced by one of northern Michigan’s state representatives, Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona), would add a new hurdle for state agencies to clear.
“This would restrict them from enacting administrative rules that would be stricter than federal rules,” Cole says, “without clear and convincing evidence, and or going through the legislative process.”
Cole spoke with IPR News Radio about the legislation:
An interview with Rep. Triston Cole about legislation that would make it more difficult for the state to write regulations stricter than federal ones.
Advocates for a new Soo Lock have been trying to get Congress to fund the estimated $600 million project for decades. Congress first authorized the construction of the lock in the 1980s but has not come up with the money to pay for it.
Traverse City school officials have voted to cut Spanish class for most elementary school students in a move that the district says will save $400,000.
The board of education for Traverse City Area Pubic Schools met Monday night to vote on the proposal. The board also approved sunsetting the International Baccalaureate program at the middle school level.