Antrim County

Sam Corden

For the most part, Kritters is your typical local diner. They specialize in pulled pork sandwiches and generously sized hamburgers, and they’re a popular local breakfast spot.

But on Thursday nights, Kritters attracts bikers from all over northern Michigan.

Aaron Selbig

As you pull into Mancelona, the highway narrows, following alongside railroad tracks and past a couple of abandoned warehouses. And then, there it is – a red, white and blue chicken, the unofficial mascot of the Iron Skillet.

Morgan Springer

Research shows the quality of a toddler's education is incredibly important. It often determines a child’s success in the future. However, state and federal dollars typically don’t kick in until a child gets to preschool. Before that – from birth to three years old – families are often on their own.

Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan has more than 280 contaminated sites that are “orphans.” That means the company that made the mess no longer exists and the state has to deal with it.

But Michigan is running out of money to tackle these environmental problems. That was not good news for Antrim County, home to one of the largest contaminated sites in the country. State management of an underground plume of trichlorethylene (TCE) has been crucial here for years and will be needed in the future.

Three school districts up north are asking voters to pay to improve safety, technology and buildings. Alanson, Elk Rapids and Manton school districts all have new measures on the ballot for next month’s election.

Last November, almost half the schools in Michigan were unsuccessful at getting voters to approve their bond proposals. That included Elk Rapids Public Schools, which lost by a narrow margin. They are back with the exact same proposal that includes security upgrades at all its buildings and a new high school gymnasium.

Lost Ski Hills

Jan 6, 2012

Robert Knox started the blog the Michigan Lost Ski Areas Project.

He's collecting historic information about defunct ski hills around the state like Mt. Mancelona in Antrim County and Stonecliffe Ski Area on Mackinac Island. Knox says he found a business report from the 50s that claimed Michigan had more ski areas than any state except New York. And he says for all he knows that might still be true.