News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Emmet County board fires administrator

May 19, 2017
Petsokey News Review

The Emmet County administrator was fired by county commissioners last night. After a closed-door discussion at a commission meeting that lasted almost two hours, commissioners unanimously decided to fire Marty Krupa effective immediately.

"It was kind of unexpected," Matt Mikus, a reporter for the Petoskey News-Review, told IPR.

Controversial legislation on state regulatory rules is making its way through the legislature.

The House approved a bill Thursday to prevent the state from being tougher on things like environmental and workplace safety than the federal government.

'Hollywood and Crime' is a podcast produced by Jim Carpenter and Rebecca Reynolds of Leland. The couple is currently working on producing the second season of the podcast, which is due later this year.
Wondery

Rebecca Reynolds and her husband, Jim Carpenter are filmmakers from Leland, Michigan.  About two years ago, Rebecca had a conversation with a friend in Los Angeles. Together, they came up with the concept for a true crime and Hollywood show.

 

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.

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

Environmental groups have lined up against legislation at the state Capitol. House Bill 4205 would restrict the ability of state agencies to write regulations more stringent than federal rules. 

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.

The cast of 'Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play' gathers for a rehearsal earlier this week. The show explores what a society might hold onto after an apocalyptic event.
Dan Wanschura

If there was an apocalypse, what would we hold onto? How about the TV show 'The Simpsons?'

That’s the case in ‘Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play.’

The musical comedy portrays a group of survivors who make it through a global disaster, which has left the world without electricity. 

 


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.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen has been chosen by President Trump to serve on the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals. Trump once put Larsen on his list of judges and lawyers he would consider naming to the US Supreme Court.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Tick season is here in northern Michigan, and with it comes a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted when blacklegged ticks – commonly called deer ticks – bite humans. If untreated, Lyme disease can have serious health consequences like inflammation of the brain or spinal cord, nerve pain or short-term memory loss. Early signs of Lyme disease include flu-like symptoms and muscle aches.

David Cassleman

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. 

U.S. Forest Service

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.

Students at Leland High School rehearse 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood' earlier this week. The musical incorporates audience participation to determine the outcome of the show.
Kim Klein

When Charles Dickens died in 1870, his last novel, 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood,' was unfinished. All we know for certain is that the title character, Edwin Drood, mysteriously disappears.

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.

Paul Maritinez/Flickr

Lawmakers are moving fast to ramp up prison time for female genital mutilation.

Removing or altering the genitalia of a minor female for non-medical purposes is already a federal crime with a five-year penalty. But a state Senate committee just passed bills to make it a state crime as well – with up to 15 years in prison as a penalty.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University is asking a court to decide whether it has to release police and arrest records related to a highly publicized investigation. The records are related to the criminal investigation into an alleged sexual assault that may involve members of the Spartan football team.

The sports network ESPN filed a request for the records under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act. But the Ingham County Prosecutor’s office says releasing the records could interfere with the criminal investigation.

Unequal park funding smacks of favoritism, critics say

May 3, 2017
Grand Traverse Ski Club

Three years ago, voters in Traverse City were asked if they wanted to spend more money on parks. They said “yes,” and a special fund was set up for that purpose. The parks funding comes from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund – a savings account of oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Quiet Area south of Traverse City.

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.

Grand Traverse County

Three volunteer members of Grand Traverse County's Pension Advisory Board submitted their resignations Monday.

The county has a pension debt of more than $50 million. The advisory board is working to identify ways to reduce it and present those findings to county commissioners.

In their letter of resignation the citizen members – Christopher Radu, Robert Zimmerman and Michael Gillman – say, "our recommendations have been solicited, but appear to be ignored."  

Morgan Springer

Low-performing schools throughout Michigan have to turn in transformation plans to the state that show how they will improve. They are due Monday. Forty-five schools were identified by the state's School Reform Office in January. Betsie Valley Elementary in Thompsonville is one of two schools in northern Michigan on the list of schools. The other school is Bear Lake High School in Manistee County.

BJ Leiderman composes themes for NPR shows like 'Morning Edition' and 'Science Friday.' This May, he's coming out with his debut album, 'BJ!'
Mark Edward Atkinson

Over the years, BJ Leiderman has composed the theme music for lots of NPR shows like Morning Edition, Marketplace, Science Friday, and more.

But in early May, he’ll release his first album. And it’s a lot different from his theme jingles. While listeners might recognize him from his theme music, Leiderman says his passion is performing in a band.

 


Dana Ferguson and Dwight Brady

Two more Democrats have jumped into the race for U.S. Congress in northern Michigan. Both are from the Upper Peninsula.

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.

 


David Cassleman

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.

 


Tyehimba Jess was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for poetry with his collection, 'Olio.' In it, he tells the stories of early African American performers.
Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess is an African American poet from Detroit. He recently won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his collection of poetry called, Olio. The poems are inspired by blackface minstrel shows.

Minstrel shows were variety acts – skits, dances, music, comedy, and were popular in the 1800’s and well into the 1900’s. Performers would paint their faces black, and act out routines that often denigrated African Americans.

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