News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Morgan Springer

 


(Editor’s note: we recommend you listen to the story.)

In March 2001, Fred Williams left his friend Tanya Davis’ house to get groceries. He was 17 and living on the west side of Detroit. Fred says he weighed two options before he left.

Joe Ross

Candidates for governor are on the campaign trail in Michigan. They’re raising money, giving speeches and trying to get support before the primary election next August.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is term-limited, so it’s an open seat race for the first time since 2010. 

Jandy Sprouse tends to one of the Tibetan yaks that she raises at her ranch in Maple City. Jandy and her husband Brad are part of a growing local fiber movement, where customers are looking for locally made textiles for their clothing.
Matt Mikus

Jandy and Brad Spouse raise yaks on their ranch in Maple City. The yaks are a little smaller than a dairy cow, but they don’t look like one.

"They have a long fiber that comes down, and it looks like a skirt,” explains Brad. “They have a very long tail that’s similar to a horse." 

 


Lakeland Correctional Facility

 

(Editor’s Note: We recommend you listen to this story.)

Mark Smith was 17 when he shot and killed another teenager. He got the mandatory sentence – life without parole. But that didn’t mean Mark stopped living life.

Twenty years into his incarceration, Mark started corresponding with a straight-laced, Canadian woman named Dawn Dietrich. 

A ballot initiative aims to change the way Michigan draws the boundaries of legislative districts following the census. 

Redistricting can have a big impact on the state’s politics by affecting the demographics of districts. Right now, state lawmakers are in charge of drawing the maps for state and congressional districts.

Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. They perform in Traverse City on Satruday night.
Grupo Ayé

Grupo Ayé is a Cuban salsa band from Grand Rapids. And even if you don’t know how to dance, there’s at least one guy who thinks you won’t be able to help yourself when you hear their music.

“You have to dance to this music,” says Robert Mulligan, the band’s founder. “When you hear it, your body just naturally wants to move.”


Aaron Selbig

A pair of political newcomers is challenging three incumbents on the Traverse City commission. All five candidates gathered Wednesday night at a forum put on by the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area.

The forum packed a large community room at the Traverse Area District Library. Voters showed up to hear from five candidates running for three seats on the city commission.

 

(Editor’s note: we recommend you listen to this story.) 

Jose Burgos was 16 years old when he shot and killed Omar Kaji. It happened during a bogus drug deal in 1991 in southwest Detroit. 

“The whole plan was, we’re going to make it look like – from the outside looking in – there’s 10 pounds of marijuana in this bag,” says Jose.

The suicide rate for Michigan veterans is more than twice as high as the state's overall rate, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs last month.

Hundreds of juveniles in Michigan have been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Now they have a chance at freedom.

Matt Mikus

Northern Michigan Rep. Jack Bergman took questions in Petoskey over the weekend. Bergman spoke at North Central Michigan College on Saturday.

He was asked about natural resources, immigration and health care reform.

Bergman said he wants to find solutions to improve health care but the problem is challenging, especially in rural areas.

Over 50 authors will partake in events throughout the weekend at the 2nd Annual Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.
Harbor Springs Festival of the Book

A three-day book festival kicks off in Harbor Springs on Friday.

Over 50 authors from around the country will be there for panel discussions, readings and other events.

“We’re celebrating the culture of books in a beautiful part of the world, where most events are free,” says Amy Gillard, executive director of the festival.


Brett Levin

Leaders in Traverse City are taking a “wait and see” approach to changing the city’s marijuana laws.

At a meeting Monday night, the city commission discussed how it might adapt to new marijuana regulations coming from the State of Michigan.

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Swiss company Nestle has been criticized for its plan to take more water out of northern Michigan. Opponents say the company wants to take too much water from the area – and an increase in pumping will degrade streams and wetlands. But the company denies the allegations.

An old mural on the Coburn building in downtown Petoskey was recently repainted by artist Äbby Kent.
Matt Mikus

If you walk through downtown Petoskey, you might notice some old advertising murals on the sides of a few buildings. 

One of them is on the Coburn building on Mitchell Street. The mural is a weathered patchwork of ads for companies that used to occupy the building, like H.A. Easton Hardware and Cook Electric Company.

The mural had almost entirely faded away, until a local artist decided to restore it.

 

University of Michigan

The state of Michigan will sponsor a new analysis of the risks posed by an oil and gas pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac. 

In June, the state cancelled a contract with a firm doing a previous risk study, when it learned one of the firm’s researchers was also working on a project for Enbridge – the company that operates Line 5. 

Peter Payette

The State of Michigan wants the federal government to postpone approval for development plans in Acme Township.

The dispute centers on 157 acres of land next to the Meijer store.

A painting of Wilberforce Falls, which is located north or the Arctic Cirlce in Canada. Cory Trépanier was inspired to paint the Canadian north in his project, "Into the Arctic."
Cory Trépanier

When Canadian Cory Trépanier graduated college, he jumped into the world of commercial art. He did airbrush painting for ad agencies and magazines. A lot of work inside a studio.

Then when he was 33, he took a trip to Lake Superior to paint the natural landscape.

“That was a turning point for me,” he says. "All I could recall, with my wife in the vehicle, was talking about, ‘how am I going to spend more time painting my own work?’”

 

Petoskey Public Schools

The Petoskey school district has stepped into the debate over Native-American logos in sports.

Scribner

Nearly 50 years ago, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers launched an offensive that changed the course of the Vietnam War. 

"Busted" is a new show at Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. It features ceramic busts of women who were portrayed by well-known artists.
Dan Wanschura

Agostina Segatori owned the Café du Tambourin in the late 1800’s. The Parisian cafe was a popular spot with artists, including Vincent Van Gogh. One day, Van Gogh decided to paint Agostina.

Morgan Springer

It’s back to school Tuesday for most students in public schools in Michigan. 

The law requires that class begin after Labor Day, although some districts do have waivers from the state to start earlier. In fact, an increasing number of schools are requesting them. 

 

This week’s Full Moon is not the Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon is the name given to the Full Moon closest to Autumn Equinox, and this year, that Moon will happen in October. So what becomes of September’s ull Moon when it’s not Harvest Moon? 

 

In some traditions, the September Full Moon is then known as the Wine Moon. This Moon will come to Full Phase at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6.

So why Wine Moon? This may be connected to the region of the sky that’s settling into the horizon after sunset at this time. 

Karen Curlee will bring her Broadway experience to the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee on September 8th, with a show titled "What is this Thing Called Love?"
Gabe Gomez

Karen Curlee says when you get to a certain age and you start wondering, “What’s it all about?” you should go back to do what you did at 13 years old. For Karen, that was singing.

“Nobody could sing like I could sing when I was 13,” she says. “There was no technique involved. It was just I knew how to sing.”

 

The state is ordering Enbridge Energy to take swift action to fix portions of the Line 5 energy pipeline that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Enbridge reported to the state that small portions of enamel coating were accidentally removed in two places. The coating protects the oil and gas line that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac from corrosion.

Melody Kindraka of the state Department of Environmental Quality says there’s no immediate threat to the Great Lakes, but it’s concerning that the problem was the result of human error.

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