Latest Northern Michigan News

Interlochen Public Radio connects you to the stories, people and places of northern Michigan.

Peter Payette

Northwestern Michigan College will soon offer classes specifically aimed at adults with learning challenges and disabilities. The college announced the pilot program earlier this week. 

The eight courses will cover a variety of lifelong learning topics, including robotics and animal care. 

 


Photo courtesy of Gary D. Smith at Picture This.

The varsity girls basketball coach at Traverse City West High School has died, school officials confirmed on Wednesday. 

Mike Wilde coached a variety of sports in Traverse City Area Public Schools for more than 30 years, including basketball, baseball and football.

Morgan Springer

A school in Grand Traverse County has been working to turn things around. Blair Elementary School is a lower-performing school with a number of challenges. Last fall, IPR reported that the school significantly improved reading scores. Now the school is tackling behavioral issues.

When you’re a storyteller of the stars, you can’t help but look for them everywhere, not just in the sky, or in the myths and legends of the ancients, but in art and poetry, in architecture, in ceremony…

For this week’s “Storyteller’s Night Sky”, I’ve been looking for stars in one of my favorite places: the nursery rhymes of A.A. Milne, most famously known for his stories of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

Federal Communications Commission

Many people in northern Michigan live without access to broadband internet. Others have high-speed fiber connections. In this special call-in hour, IPR tackles the future of broadband in northern Michigan.

 

In Kalkaksa County, 60 percent of residents lack access to high-speed internet. That’s according to data from the Federal Communications Commission, which increased its standards for speed in 2015. 

More than a third of rural residents in the United States do not have access to broadband service, according to the FCC. 

Radio Diaries: Hawaii

Feb 17, 2017

“Honolulu, here I come,” the young man says as our little group of passengers walks through the chilly jet way.  It is an hour before dawn in Traverse City, dark and windy and bitter cold.

Sitting in the plane to Minneapolis, we wait 45 minutes to get “de-iced” by the fellow in the elevated bucket who sends great sprays of white liquid thumping against the wings and windows.

Meanwhile, six rows behind me, the young man in the bright shirt announces, “It’s 82 degrees in Honolulu right now.”

David Cassleman

The past few weeks have been challenging ones for a new refugee program in northern Michigan. The plan is to resettle up to 15 refugee children with foster families in the Traverse City area this year.  

President Trump has complicated things with his executive order on immigration and refugees.

But with the order temporarily halted, the program in Traverse City is welcoming its first refugee on Wednesday — a teenage girl from Africa. 

 

There’s a cosmic conspiracy setting up for all Valentines this week, and it includes the star that marks the heart of the lion, the star of a king, and the goddess of love and beauty.

First there’s Regulus, the star at the heart of Leo, the Lion, once considered the King of Heaven and lately cast into shadow by the penumbral eclipse.

Radio Diaries: Gender Profiling

Feb 10, 2017

I need new bed sheets and decide to go to Bed, Bath & Beyond.  The floor-to-ceiling choices are overwhelming, so I look around for a sales person who can guide me through the process.

But the only sales staff I see are men.  Surely I need a woman to talk to about bed sheets since the domestic arts are our comfort zone.  But after making two circuits of the store, I have to settle for a tall young man.

Michigan State Police

People with drug problems can now ask the Cadillac state police for help without fear of being arrested. The Michigan State Police Cadillac post began participating in the Angel Program this month.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s a meteor, or a fireball, or space junk...

A bright, unidentified object flying over Lake Michigan last night caught onlookers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan saying just that.

But what was it?

Did you know that there’s not always a Full Moon in February, and that only once every ten years can the February Full Moon be eclipsed? 

Next year, there will be no Full Moon in the month of February, and this year, the Full Moon, which comes this Friday, the 10th, will move through the outer edge of Earth’s shadow, causing what’s called a “penumbral eclipse.”

 


Radio Diaries: Drying Dishes

Feb 3, 2017

My father wasn’t much of a cook but he always washed the dinner dishes and took pride in his work.  It was my job to dry and put them away.

Sometimes we listened to the ball game on the radio and other times we talked about my homework—which always came after dishes and before television.  One night, I noticed that a plate had some food left on it and I handed it back to my father.

“What’s the problem?” he asked.

“You didn’t get it clean,” I said.

“A good drier never finds food on a plate,” he said.

Elk Rapids Schools

On Monday night, Elk Rapids Schools' board members began the evening by voting to replace Dave Lein as board president.

The following morning, Lein emailed school officials his letter of resignation. 

"It was a surprise to me that there was obviously an organized and orchestrated effort by four individuals to take over the leadership spots," says Lein.

We’re nearly halfway through the season of winter this week, and the Moon is lifting the veil on a significant moment in the romantic narrative that’s been playing out over the western horizon for several months now…

On Sunday Mars crossed the celestial equator, which is the spot that marks the point of Vernal Equinox. This means we can imagine that Mars has emerged into the upper world.

Radio Diaries: C-Plus Paper

Jan 27, 2017

I was an English major in college and one of my first assignments was a paper on the Nineteeth Century poet, Lord Byron.  I didn’t have a clue what to say about Byron so I used a bunch of scholarly books from the library—and received a grade of C+.

I was stunned.  I’d never received such a poor grade in English before.  This was my major, my specialty, my love!  So I went to see my professor to find out what I’d done wrong.

“You used somebody else’s ideas,” he said.  “I already know what the critics think.  I want to know what you think.”

His only opposition bowed out of the race last weekend. Now, University of Michigan Regent Ron Weiser is in line to succeed Ronna Romney McDaniel as chairman of Michigan's Republican Party.

McDaniel is the new head of the Republican National Committee.

Weiser was state party chair from 2009-11 and he joined Stateside to talk about the job, the state of the Republican Party and why it was "duty not desire" that drove him back to the chairman role.

Leelanau Urgent Care

Tens of thousands of people in northern Michigan could lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed. Congressional Republicans, along with President Donald Trump, have promised to replace the controversial law. 

In fact, northern Michigan has a greater percentage of its population who have signed up for health care through the law than the state average, according to a report by Bridge Magazine

“A lot people in northern Michigan who are taking advantage of [the ACA] have benefited from the expansion of Medicaid,” says Mike Wilkinson, a reporter for Bridge Magazine.

 


There are some fascinating differences between Chinese and Western astrological traditions, and since Friday’s New Moon inaugurates the Chinese New Year of the Rooster, it’s a good time to consider those differences.

Radio Diaries: Bigger Self

Jan 23, 2017

In a world of people wanting to slim down, my daughter and I are trying to plump up… not physically but spiritually.  We’ve figured out that the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule and all the other guidelines for goodness can be summed up this way:  Be Your Bigger Self.

You know your Bigger Self.  It’s the self you like best, the generous, loving, open-hearted person that you would like to be all the time.  Instead, your Smaller Self often intervenes.

“I don’t want to go to the anniversary party,” I confess to Sara.

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