News

Your connection to northern Michigan news.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

On Tuesday, The Watershed Center said Grand Traverse Bay was officially frozen. The official designation happens after West Bay is frozen from Traverse City to Power Island for more than 24 hours. Even though that's only a fraction of the bay, that's been the official measurement for over a hundred years.

Heather Smith, Grand Traverse Baykeeper at The Watershed Center, says the bay didn’t freeze over the last two winters – not since 2015. She says, since 1990, it has only frozen between 20 to 30 percent of the time.

Google Maps

Traverse City will not write Proposal 3 into its zoning laws. Prop 3 was passed by voters in 2016; it forces a public vote on any building over 60 feet tall. The law became part of the city charter but not part of its zoning code.

Mayor Jim Carruthers said at a meeting last Monday night that writing the law into both places would clear up confusion. But most city commissioners – including Richard Lewis – disagreed.

Airbnb

It’s becoming easier and easier to rent out your home through websites like Airbnb and VRBO. But short-term vacation rentals are illegal in many areas Up North, including in much of Traverse City. 

The 1968 Mustang Fastback used in the film "Bullitt" is on display at the Hagerty Insurance building in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

The Ford Mustang from the 1968 film “Bullitt” is currently on display at the Hagerty Insurance in Traverse City.


DNR officials inspect the first fish speared during the 2018 Black Lake sturgeon fishing season. The female sturgeon weighed 45.8 pounds and was nearly five feet long.
Morgan Springer

 

It’s dawn on February 3 on Black Lake near Onaway. It's freezing cold and snowing lightly. A procession of big pickup trucks and snowmobiles drives across the ice toward villages of fishing shanties, specks in the hazy distance.

St. Ambrose Cellars

A business that makes wine, mead and beer in Benzie County has been told to stop holding events. 

St. Ambrose Cellars has hosted open mic nights, fundraisers and even weddings on the property for several years. But a letter from the Homestead Township zoning administrator said the business is not allowed to do that in their zoning district. 

Aaron Selbig

Members of Congress usually raise more money than the people running against them. But in northern Michigan, Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet) was outraised by a Democrat in the final quarter of 2017. 

Interlochen Arts Academy Band Director Matthew Schlomer leads students in a recent dress rehearsal.
Interlochen Center for the Arts

When "The Soldier's Tale" premiered in 1918, an influenza epidemic cut short it's European performance tour.

Ironically, the flu caused some problems for Interlochen Arts Academy students as they practiced for the show earlier this year.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A second school district in northern Michigan has shut down because of the flu.

Mesick Consolidated Schools closed on Wednesday and doesn’t plan to open again until next week.

The district says nearly a quarter of students missed class on Tuesday due to illness.

Eli Brown stares down one of his skis in his wax trailer, just off the VASA Trail in Traverse City. Brown will head to South Korea to serve as ski support for Team USA cross-country skiers during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
David Cassleman

Eli Brown spent years training for the Winter Olympics, and now he’s finally going. But Brown isn’t competing as an athlete. Instead, he’s making sure the U.S. cross-country ski team has the fastest skis possible.

White Pine Stampede

Officials are making last-minute changes to the popular White Pine Stampede cross-country ski race in Antrim County.

For the second year in a row, organizers are canceling the 50-kilometer race because there’s not enough snow on the course from Mancelona to Bellaire. The 10 and 20-kilometer races will be held at Shanty Creek Resorts on Saturday.

Chuck Grimmett

Michigan State University’s board of trustees will pick former Michigan Gov. John Engler to be MSU’s interim president on Wednesday. 

The Michigan Public Radio Network confirmed the choice today. 

 


Aaron Selbig

A special prosecutor will handle a jail suicide case in Grand Traverse County. The state attorney general has appointed the Antrim County prosecutor to take over.

Alan Halloway hanged himself in the Grand Traverse County jail last summer. An investigation by Michigan State Police found that corrections officers violated multiple policies and procedures. For example, it took officers three hours to find Halloway dead in his cell; they were supposed to check him every hour. 

Morgan Springer

Gov. Rick Snyder is calling for more money to be spent on public schools in Michigan. The governor spoke about the issue during his final State of the State address last week. 

 


Caroline MacGregor

A well-known horse whisperer has passed away in northern Michigan. Alex MacLellan was the owner of H&H Stables in Leelanau County.


Students spin, balance, jump and walk at different stations in the gym at Central Grade School in Traverse City. Each movement is designed to help train the brain to read better.
Morgan Springer

 

A growing body of research says more physically active kids do better in school. But, across the country, time for gym class and recess has been replaced with more sedentary time in classrooms. Traverse City Central Grade School is doing the opposite though, giving kids more exercise to help boost their reading scores.

Michigan House Republicans

Governor Rick Snyder delivers his eighth State of the State address Tuesday. The State of the State is a yearly event where the governor lays out his priorities for the upcoming year.

State health officials says infants in Michigan die at a higher rate than the national average. 

The state Department of Health and Human Services says there were 6.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in Michigan in 2015. The national average was 5.9 deaths per 1,000.

Russell Dzuba

A historic dock in Leland’s Fishtown village has been badly damaged by ice.

One of the wooden posts that supports the dock was raised upward several feet, taking the dock upward with it.


Suzannah Tobin

Last fall, northern Michigan’s congressman announced he was joining the Climate Solutions Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s a group of more than 60 Democrats and Republicans who want to address the challenges of climate change.

MDNR

A new study says killing wolves to protect livestock doesn't work that well. It shows that non-lethal methods in the Upper Peninsula are just as effective as lethal ones. The study comes from the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the University of Wisconsin. 

 


Luis Resto brings his Detroit-based band to northern Michigan this weekend.
Dan Wanschura

Songwriter and producer Luis Resto says other music scenes are more polished than Detroit, but that’s one reason why the Motor City is so special to him.  

“Detroit has this street grit, what we call ‘stank,’” he says. “Which is good.”


U.S Army Corps of Engineers

State officials say they’ve reached a milestone in the effort to clean up the St. Mary’s River near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. 

The state Office of the Great Lakes announced Wednesday that it’s lifting dredging restrictions for the river. 

Grand Traverse County

The administrator for Grand Traverse County abruptly resigned Wednesday.

Vicki Uppal served as Grand Traverse County administrator for only four months. She took over for Tom Menzel in September, and quickly began shaking things up in the county leadership. 

Peter Payette

State biologists want to stock Lake Michigan with more Chinook salmon. A new proposal from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would increase stocking by 67 percent over the next two years.

Last year, the DNR cut the stocking numbers. But Jay Wesley, the DNR's Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator,  says that plan got pushback from the public.

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