Latest Northern Michigan News

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

Radio Diaries: Calling Collect

Feb 3, 2016

“My mother called me collect the other night,” the man said, “and I was surprised, because she’s been dead for over ten years.”

We all laughed at this.  We were sitting in a writing workshop, sharing our short stories, and most of them were pretty bad.  But this opening sentence about the man’s mother really got our attention.

We laughed but it was more than laughter.  There was also sadness and regret for some of us who, like me, had lost our mothers and would give a lot to get such a call.

Traverse City Area Public Schools

Some parents on Old Mission Peninsula want to know if they can pay higher taxes to keep their elementary school open. Traverse City Area Public Schools has proposed closing three elementary buildings to save money, including the school on Old Mission Peninsula.

The idea of raising taxes to keep a school open sounds simple but is something school districts are not allowed to do in Michigan. An amendment to the state constitution known as Proposal A made vast reforms to public education funding and prohibits a local school district from asking voters for more money to operate schools.

Parents on Old Mission Peninsula are talking about a way to work around that law.

Peter Payette discusses it with David Cassleman.

Groundhog's Day on the Moon: this week on the Night Sky

Feb 1, 2016

This week, it’s Ground Hog’s Day, which is the way in American culture that we celebrate the fact that we’re halfway through the season. But have you ever wondered why a sunny day casting more shadow at this time means more winter, and not less?

Last year a social media friend of mine had a brilliant idea: What if the shadow that we should be considering right now is on the Moon, and not in Pennsylvania?

School leaders challenge 'gag order' with lawsuit

Jan 28, 2016
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio


Local government leaders and school officials in Michigan are challenging a new state elections law in federal court.

The law limits how local government and education officials can talk about local ballot questions, banning them from using public funds to send informational communications about ballot questions – via mass mailings, radio, television, or recorded phone messages - 60 days before an election.

Peter Payette

Mark Baker announced in December he was selling his farm. But now he says he has a new plan: he wants to help other military veterans take up farming.