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Your connection to northern Michigan news.

Joe Beyer (right) and Michael Moore in the Traverse City Film Festival offices in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Michael Moore has hired Joe Beyer as the new executive director for his Traverse City Film Festival. Joe replaces Deb Lake, who resigned last December.

“It’s like we found our long-lost soul brother here for Traverse City in the being of Joe Beyer,” says Michael.

Joe Beyer returns home to Michigan after working for the Sundance Institute for over 14 years.

When people think of the Kennedy family, they’re most likely thinking of the famous Kennedy men. John F. Kennedy was the first Catholic president in the nation’s history; he was assassinated in his first term. His brother Bobby was attorney general and a senator until he was assassinated while running for president. Ted Kennedy was a Massachusett's senator for decades until his death in 2009.

Aaron Selbig

CORRECTION 4/13: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the U.S. Coast Guard said damage to an electric transmission line under the Straits of Mackinac may have been caused by an "anchor strike." The Coast Guard says the leak may have been caused by "damage from vessel activity."

Governor Rick Snyder is asking Enbridge Energy to accelerate it’s decommissioning of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


University of Michigan

Michigan has one of the largest populations of homeless students in the United States, according to new research from the University of Michigan. Communities in northern Michigan have some of the highest rates of child homelessness in the entire state. 

 


The Old Mission Peninsula School will have new leadership starting this fall. The elementary school will no longer be a part of Traverse City Area Public Schools; it will become a public charter school authorized by Grand Valley State University.

Dena Schweitzer has been named Director of Academics there. She has worked as a speech pathologist in local public schools for more than 25 years. 

Jack Boyd

State biologists are asking the public for help combating a fatal disease that threatens deer. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is holding public hearings about chronic wasting disease (CWD) in April and May.

“CWD is one of the biggest threats – that we have long-term – to the sustainability of our deer herd,” says Chad Stewart, deer management specialist at the DNR.

Great Lakes Maritime Academy

The Great Lakes’ only merchant marine academy will get a million federal dollars for training. The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is in Traverse City.

Rear Admiral Jerry Achenbach says Congress recognizes the growing demand for trained merchant mariners.

“There’ll be 20,000 jobs for credentialed merchant mariners over the next several years," says Achenbach. "So I think it’s an acknowledgement of the cost of maritime education and the nation’s need for credentialed mariners.”

Merchant mariners operate cargo and passenger ships.

JJ, Flickr

Police have stopped two kilograms of cocaine from being sold in northern Michigan. The cocaine was allegedly mailed from an address in Texas to James Lopez of Benzie County. Law enforcement intercepted the package at a local post office before it reached Lopez.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dan King, head of the Traverse Narcotics Team (TNT), says they rarely see drug packages this large in northern Michigan.

“To my memory, it’s the largest seizure and arrest of cocaine in Benzie County,” says King.

David Cassleman

President Donald Trump’s plan to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure hasn’t gone anywhere yet. 

Earlier this year, Trump proposed investing $1.5 trillion in the nation’s roads, bridges and other systems. However, only a fraction of the money would come from the federal government in the plan. Instead, most would come from state and local governments. 

 


Matt Shepler prepares to blend some Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate in his kitchen in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.

“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.


Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

The leader of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will keep his job.

Tribal Chairman Sam McClellan was the target of a recall election this week. Voters narrowly elected to keep McClellan despite accusations he misused a tribal credit card last year.

McClellan says those accusations are false.

“The issue they were trying to recall me on was all fabricated,” says McClellan. “There was nothing there, and it’s sad that our nation – the Grand Traverse Band – that we would take it that far.”

Aaron Selbig

The U.S. Coast Guard has organized a command post in Mackinaw City to respond to a mineral oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac. Around 600 gallons of fluid leaked from underwater electrical lines west of the Mackinac Bridge earlier this week. 

 


At least 400 gallons of mineral oil have leaked into the Straits of Mackinac.

American Transmission Company operates power lines that deliver electricity between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The company called the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday night to inform them of a leak of dielectric fluid, which is used to insulate the electrical lines under the Straits.  

Nobuhiro Suhara

Traverse City officials are teaming up with an LGBT organization to build a piece of public art downtown.

The city Arts Commission plans to erect a “wishing tree” in the Warehouse District during the annual Up North Pride week in June. The tree is meant to hold handwritten wishes tied to its branches.

The City Commission approved the project Monday night and approved spending up to $2,000 on the tree.

Traverse City resident Rick Buckhalter opposed the project. He said the Arts Commission is overstepping its bounds.

David Cassleman

Michigan’s roads are falling apart.

The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state a D- letter grade for the condition of its roads in a report released last month.

The Vogue Theatre

The Vogue Theatre in Manistee is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year.

The theater reopened to the public in 2013 after a fundraising effort to refurbish the historic building.

Theaters like the Vogue are being restored across the state and country in an effort to capture the nostalgia people hold for neighborhood theaters. 

David Mix, the vice president of the nonprofit that restored the theater, spoke with Caroline MacGregor about the anniversary. 


Copyright 2018 Interlochen Public Radio. To see more, visit Interlochen Public Radio.

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Jason Dake, the education curator at the Dennos Museum points out some art during a recent walk-through of the museum.
Dan Wanschura

The Dennos Museum in Traverse City has almost three-thousand works of art in its collection.

At any given time, around 280 of those works are on display, including Inuit sculptures, contemporary paintings and modern photographs.

But on April 14th, the museum wants visitors to ignore most of these works and just focus on a handful of them.  


Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

Members of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians will vote in a tribal election next week.

They will be choosing candidates for the tribal council, and they will also be asked whether or not to recall Tribal Chairman Thurlow “Sam” McClellan.

McClellan has been accused of misusing tribal credit cards during a trip to Washington, D.C. last year. But he’s also been an outspoken critic of the Tribal Council’s plan to build a new casino.

Aaron Selbig

An Upper Peninsula Democrat has withdrawn from northern Michigan’s race for U.S. Congress. 

Northern Michigan University professor Dwight Brady made the announcement this week. Brady teaches multimedia journalism and media law at NMU and lives in a suburb of Marquette called Harvey.

Michigan Sea Grant

A Great Lakes group wants paddlers to help in the fight against invasive species. 

Michigan Sea Grant – a group run by the University of Michigan and Michigan State University – is starting a program to teach kayakers and canoers to report aquatic invasive species found along waterways.   

Author Jack Hobey has written about Edward Beebe, a photographer who would often lie about the location of his photos.
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.

Aaron Selbig

The leader of Michigan’s only International Dark Sky Park has resigned. Mary Stewart Adams served as program director at the Emmet County-owned park for nine years.

Adams says a “difference in philosophy” with county leaders led to her resignation Monday.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this,” says Adams. “My understanding was that we would stay in conversation with one another, and that while I needed to hear from them what I could be doing better, they also needed to hear that from me. But it felt very much like a one-sided conversation.”

Chuck Grimmett

Michigan State University’s interim President John Engler criticized state lawmakers last week for a package of bills that would give sexual assault victims more time to file lawsuits, among other changes. 

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