Leelanau County

"Birds Eye View - Leland, Mich." reads the caption from one of Edward Beebe's photo postcards.
Matt Mikus

Edward Beebe was a popular photographer in northern Michigan in the early 1900s. He created postcards with his photos but often deceived people regarding the location of the shots.

“I think a lot of these cards were intended to take advantage of tourists and visitors,” says local author Jack Hobey.


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.

The oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac has become a key election issue in northern Michigan this year. Candidates for Michigan’s 101st state House spoke about it at a debate in Glen Arbor Thursday night.

Republican Curt Vanderwall says the pipeline provides economic stability.

“We need to make sure that we understand that there’s 250 high paying jobs in those communities throughout the whole line from the tip to the bottom that are in this state,” said Vanderwall.

Vanderwall’s opponent, Democrat Dan Scripps, took a firm stance on shutting down Line 5.

Leelanau Urgent Care

The only urgent care facility in Leelanau County has closed. Leelanau Urgent Care in Suttons Bay shut its doors this month when owners Dave and Janice Lemak moved.

The Lemaks had run the facility for the last 14 years, according to the Leelanau Enterprise. They moved to Reno, Nevada.

Urgent care facilities typically treat patients who require immediate care, but don’t need an emergency room.

Michelle Klein with the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department says the facility will be missed.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy

Efforts to conserve northern Michigan’s rural landscape just got a huge boost from the federal government. An $8-million dollar grant is headed to a coalition of local conservation groups. 

The money will help preserve local farmland and restore waterways. It comes through a part of the federal farm bill authored by Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow.

“This is a really exciting new beginning," says Glen Chown of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. "I think it will change the face of conservation going forward, for the better.”

Derek Bailey went on trial in Leelanau County today for charges of five counts of criminal sexual conduct.

In opening arguments, Douglas Donaldson, Leelanau County's chief assistant prosecuting attorney, said his case rests heavily on testimony from the two victims and Bailey's relatives. He also noted that while a search of electronic devices did not produce any evidence of criminal sexual conduct as law enforcement suspected, he does have evidence that one device was deleted or reprogrammed the day it was taken.

Aaron Selbig

UPDATED on Thursday at 1pm with statement from AT&T.

Officials in Grand Traverse County want to know why the 911 system failed during Sunday’s storm.

Emergency calls in Grand Traverse, Leelanau and Kalkaska Counties had to be rerouted for several hours after the storm. Some of the calls ended up at a dispatch center in Petoskey.

Aaron Selbig

As northern Michigan cleans up after Sunday’s violent storm, some communities face a bigger job than others.

The town of Glen Arbor was especially hard hit. Power is still out there and the main road into town is blocked by dozens of fallen trees. Contractors were using chainsaws and a bulldozer Monday afternoon to try to clear M-22.

The Leelanau County Sheriff’s department says no one was killed or seriously injured during the storm Sunday. But for residents like David Tepoorten, it was a pretty harrowing experience.

Aaron Selbig

If you’ve picked up a box of fresh strawberries recently from a local grocery store, there’s a good chance they were handpicked by a migrant farm worker.

The workers have been coming up from their homes in Mexico or Texas for generations. But in recent years, local farmers have noticed there are fewer workers coming to northern Michigan. They’re saying the problem is likely to get much worse.

Steve Bardenhagen grew up on his family’s farm in Leelanau County.

Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver passed away Tuesday night at her home in Glen Arbor. She was 74. Weaver served on the state’s highest court for 15 years, until her resignation in 2010.

Weaver came to Leelanau County from her native New Orleans shortly after receiving her law degree from Tulane University.

In a 2005 interview with IPR, she talked about settling in Glen Arbor.

Deputy Diane Speas, inside the art room at Leelanau County Jail.
Daniel Wanschura

Nearly ten years ago, the jail chaplain in Leelanau County challenged the inmates to participate in a drawing contest. It was Christmas and Leelanau County Deputy Diane Speas remembers the results of that first contest.

“We looked at them and found them just gorgeous, and decided to make them into cards," she recalls.