|Designer creates decal to help keep Leelanau cleanRecord-Eagle / 50 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — The posts started small, piled up and then overflowed, just like the garbage cans and beach litter they complained about.
|MTM On The Road: Traverse City's Roost – The Amazon Of Home Delivery - 9&10 NewsGoogle News / 1 h. 45 min. ago more|
9&10 NewsMTM On The Road: Traverse City's Roost – The Amazon Of Home Delivery9&10 NewsMTM On The Road: Traverse City's Roost – The Amazon Of Home Delivery. September 26, 2017. Sarah Grimmer. A new Traverse City start up is reducing the pain of building construction by delivering ready to finish spaces in just 8 weeks. The name of the ...
|City leaders search for answers on medical potRecord-Eagle / 1 h. 50 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — State regulators are still setting rules for how Michigan’s new medical marijuana laws will work.
|TCAPS launches investigationRecord-Eagle / 2 h. 50 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — Officials at Traverse City Area Public Schools hope a downstate attorney will help guide an impartial investigation after employees recently voiced complaints against the district’s leadership.
|Transit raises $5 million to help you traverse cities with better data ... - VentureBeatGoogle News / 3 h. 46 min. ago more|
VentureBeatTransit raises $5 million to help you traverse cities with better data ...VentureBeatUrban mobility” has emerged as something of a buzzword across the technology realm, with countless companies attempting to tackle the perennial problem of ...and more »
|City Fall Leaf Pick-Up Begins October 23The Ticker / 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Traverse City's fall leaf pick-up program will begin Monday, October 23. Collection crews will begin on the west side of the city and move east over a period of 5-7 week days, then return to the west side to repeat the process. Pick-up will continue through November 17. Residents are required to wait until October 19 before placing any leaves in the street. Violators may be cited for a civil infraction, as city ordinance prohibits placing items in the street outside of the designated leaf collection period. Other leaf pick-up guidelines are as follows: · NO plastic bags. Biodegradable paper bags are acceptable. Leaves may also be in loose piles. · On curb & gutter streets, rake leaves down into street. Do not block catch basins. · On all other streets, rake leaves to gravel shoulder or paved edge of the road. · No leaves will be picked up in alleys, except homes along Division Street, East Front Street from Railroad Avenue to Munson Avenue, and Munson Avenue from East Front Street to Airport Access Road. · No branches or brush will be picked up. Do not put them out for pick-up. · Do not park vehicles over leaf piles in city streets. For residents who wish to have yard waste collected prior to October 26, American Waste offers pick-up for $2.23 per bag as part of its service. Call American Waste at (231) 943-8088 for more information.
|Nordic Ski Swap Set For October 14The Ticker / 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
The Vasa Ski Club's annual Nordic Ski Swap will take place Saturday, October 14 from 10am to 2pm at Brick Wheels in Traverse City. The event will feature both used and new ski equipment for sale, as well as an opportunity to sell gear to others getting into the sport. Those interested in selling equipment can drop off used Nordic skis, boots, and other gear on Friday, October 13 from 4pm to 7pm. Deals will also be offered on Timber Ridge season passes, TART Grooming Badges, and North American Vasa registration. Proceeds from the swap will help fund Vasa Ski Club programs to promote Nordic skiing in the Grand Traverse region. Vasa Ski Club programs include the TCAPS Middle School Program, Nordic Rocks, We Ski and She Ski.
|Man Arrested After Smoking Pot, Sideswiping CarsThe Ticker / 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Police arrested a 20-year-old Traverse City man who admitted he smoked marijuana before he drove but told police he didn’t believe he was too high to drive. Traverse City police were called to Hall Street Saturday at 10:30am to look for a white Jeep that had just sideswiped two cars. Officers found the suspect a block away. The man admitted he just smoked marijuana. He was arrested for operating under the influence of drugs, possession of marijuana, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident, says TCPD Chief Jeffrey O’Brien.
|Intoxicated Man Rolls Car, Blames Lions GameThe Ticker / 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
An intoxicated man was so upset about the Detroit Lions late-game loss to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday he rolled his car and crashed into a poll, deputies say. The 23-year-old Traverse City man crashed at 4:20pm as he attempted to turn onto Eikey Road from Three Mile, says Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Giddis. The man registered a blood-alcohol level of .18, over twice the limit for driving. The man told deputies he was driving badly because he was so upset about the Lions’ failed fourth quarter comeback. “The game ended, and he was just so infuriated,” Giddis says. The man suffered only minor injuries; he was taken to jail on a drunk-driving charge.
|Kalkaska On The MoveThe Ticker / 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Though Walmart has nixed plans to build a new store in Kalkaska, there’s more development on the way to the village, including a potential new industrial park and redevelopment of a historic building. In 2014, Walmart announced plans to open a 128,000 square-foot building with a garden center, pharmacy and gas station on US-131 near the intersection of Nash Road and County Road 612. Earlier this year, however, the company abandoned the plans and said the store would not be built. Now that parcel is being pursued for the development of an industrial park. “It would be a great thing,” says Cash Cook, director of Kalkaska’s Downtown Development Authority, noting that the parcel’s size has also grown from the 20 acres Walmart was considering to 47 acres. “They will update us as things develop,” he adds of the developers. One of the village’s most prominent buildings is also anticipated to undergo a facelift from new owners. Village President Jeff Sieting has sold his namesake Hotel Sieting to a downstate development group. “I wasn’t looking to sell it,” says Sieting. When he got a call asking him to give a tour to some visitors from downstate, he was happy to do so. Partway through the tour, they asked him if he was interested in selling. “I threw out a figure” and didn’t think anything more of it, he says. Sieting later received a call from Cook to meet him at the Village office, at which time he says Cook slid an envelope across to him, containing a full price purchase agreement and a deposit check. Sieting adds that the new owners plan to restore and refurbish the historic building. “They want to have suites and a tap room, even the bowling alley in the basement,” Sieting says. Cook points to several reasons he’s bullish on Kalkaska, which he uses one word to summarize. “Logistics,” he says. Those reasons include the appeal of a small community where real estate is affordable, the fact Kalkaska has a hospital and an airport, natural gas, water and sewer, and freight rail lines. He also notes Kalkaska sits at the intersection of a major north-south federal highway and an east-west state highway. “It’s at a crossroads. From Kalkaska you can get to virtually everywhere in 45 minutes or less – Cadillac, Gaylord, Grayling, Petoskey, Traverse City," Cook says. And one of those roads is about to get a facelift. Work is now underway west of Kalkaska to widen the shoulders of M-72 from Baggs Road to McNulty Hill Road. The work is being done in advance of next year’s planned complete reconstruction of M-72 from Kalkaska to the Kalkaska/Grand Traverse county line. James Lake, spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Transportation, says the work will help to alleviate traffic buildups during next year’s work. Widening the road will allow for traffic shifts, meaning two-way traffic while the road is being completely rebuilt. “That section of roadway has reached the end of its service life,” says Lake. He says MDOT has not yet selected a contractor so no firm timetable has been set, but that getting the widening done now means reconstruction work could begin as soon as April.
|Free dental care for local veterans with mobile office - UpNorthLive.comGoogle News / 9 h. 16 min. ago more|
UpNorthLive.comFree dental care for local veterans with mobile officeUpNorthLive.comGRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Aspen Dental's MouthMobile, a 42-foot-long dental office on wheels, will be making a stop in Traverse City to provide free care to local veterans. The stop in Traverse City on October 3 is a part of its ...and more »
|Traverse City Commissioners Explore Medical Marijuana Licensing - 9&10 NewsGoogle News / 9 h. 57 min. ago more|
Traverse City Commissioners Explore Medical Marijuana Licensing9&10 NewsTraverse City commissioners held a study session Monday night on the laws surrounding medical marijuana licensing. The session was meant to give commissioners a chance to talk with the city attorney about their options after new legislation. The board ...
|Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputy Talks Down Suicidal ManMI News 26 / 14 h. 46 min. ago more|
A deputy talked down a suicidal man in Osceola County. On Friday, an Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Deputy responded to a call of a 25 year-old suicidal man. While in route to the scene, the Deputy saw a man matching the description of the reported suicidal subject standing on the overpass of 14 mile road and US-131. The man climbed over the concrete guard rail and was preparing to jump down into oncoming traffic. The Deputy spoke with the man while slowly moving toward him. During this time, the man continued stay on the outside of the guardrail. After a short time, the Deputy was able to get close enough to bring the man safely back over the rail and place him into protective custody for evaluation. The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office says that without the intervention and quick thinking of the Deputy, the incident could have ended tragically for the man and uninvolved motorists.
|Two Injured in Mason County AccidentMI News 26 / 14 h. 47 min. ago more|
Two people were transferred to downstate hospitals following a crash in Mason County. That accident happened on US-10, east of the Pere Marquette Highway on Saturday shortly before one in the afternoon. The Mason County Sheriff’s Office says a westbound vehicle, driven by a 60-year-old woman from Virginia was attempting to turn left when it pulled into the path of an eastbound vehicle. The eastbound car was driven by a 58-year-old man from Ludington and the two crashed nearly head-on. Both drivers were taken to Spectrum Health in Ludington before being flown to downstate hospitals for further treatment of serious injuries.
|Accident Temporarily Knocks Out Power in Osceola CountyMI News 26 / 14 h. 48 min. ago more|
An accident temporarily knocked out power in Osceola County. At around 6:54 Saturday evening, Osceola County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a single vehicle accident at the intersection of 12 Mile Road and 190th Ave in Leroy Township. According to deputies, a vehicle lost control around the curve and ran off the roadway, hitting a tree. The vehicle then vaulted, overturned and hit a power pole support wire, causing several power lines and power poles to break, causing several surrounding areas to lose power. The driver from Leroy, was found trapped in the vehicle and was later air lifted to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. A Great Lakes Energy Lineman arrived quickly to the scene and aided first responders by checking the down power lines to ensure the area was safe. Alcohol and speed appeared to be a factor in the crash, and the crash remains under investigation.
|Police Investigating Attempted Murder in AlpenaMI News 26 / 14 h. 50 min. ago more|
Police are investigating an attempted murder in Alpena. Shortly before 3 o’clock Saturday morning, officers from the Alpena Police Department responded to the 200 block of S. Fourth to investigate a report of gunfire. A preliminary investigation revealed there had been an altercation at the residence earlier and that someone had returned and fired several rounds into the home. No one was hit by the gunfire. A 23-year- old male was found a short time later hiding in a nearby home. He was taken into custody without incident on several outstanding warrants for his arrest. The weapon believed used in the assault was found at another home. The incident is still under investigation and a report will be forwarded to the Alpena County Prosecutor.
|People In Traverse City Speak About NFL Protests - 9&10 NewsGoogle News / 14 h. 53 min. ago more|
CNN InternationalPeople In Traverse City Speak About NFL Protests9&10 NewsEvery NFL team is responding to the president's comments this weekend regarding protests during the National Anthem. On Friday, the president said it would be nice to, “see these people who disrespect the flag be kicked off the field.” The anthem ...4 U.S. Code § 8 - Respect for flag | US Law | LII / Legal Information InstituteLegal Information Instituteall 51 news articles »
|Two Women Arrested In Connection With Gladwin County Meth OperationMI News 26 / 14 h. 59 min. ago more|
Victoria Williams (Left) and Shannon Bergmann (Right) Two women were arrested for allegedly making meth in Gladwin County. Earlier this month the Gladwin County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a tip that said meth was being made in the county. On Sunday, September 17th, deputies went to the home in Clement Township where the meth was being manufactured. Once there deputies located two women who were in the process of making meth and they also found an active one-pot meth lab. Deputies secured the scene and a meth clean up crew was called in to safely dismantle the lab. The two women who were arrested were 30-year-old Victoria Williams and 35-year-old Shannon Bergmann. They were arrested last Thursday on charges of making meth. The complaint remains open and the sheriff’s office says more charges may be filed.
|Boyne City High Schoolers Moved to Middle School After ThreatMI News 26 / 15 h. 3 min. ago more|
An investigation is ongoing after school officials say threatening notes were thrown in through a school’s window. The incident happened in Boyne City at the High School. School officials say building maintenance staff found items that had been thrown through a first floor window Monday morning before school started. One of the items had a note with threatening language. For the safety of students and staff it was decided to lock the building down before they showed up to start classes. Following protocol students and staff were told to go the middle school while law enforcement inspected the high school. The Boyne City Police Department, Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office, and MSP conducted the inspection of the facility. That search found no safety issues and students and staff were allowed to re enter the school. The matter is still under investigation and anyone with information about the incident should contact school officials or the Boyne City Police.
|Two Suspects Identified in Fatal August Hit And RunMI News 26 / 15 h. 6 min. ago more|
John Tiffany (Left) and Brianna Rupe (Right) Two people have now been charged in connection with the fatal hit and run crash that happened in Mesick last month. Around 9 o’clock at night on August 26th, deputies were called to W. Mesick Ave., just west of S. Alvin St. in Mesick for the report of a hit and run. When deputies arrived on scene, they learned that a vehicle was driving west bound when it hit a man that was getting out of his car. The vehicle didn’t stop after the accident. The victim was taken to Munson in Traverse City where he died of his injuries. The sheriff’s office says they got a tip of who the possible driver was two days after the crash. The same tip lead to the vehicle suspected of being the one from the hit and run. Deputies continued to investigate and now two people have been charged in connection with the crash. 32-year-old John Douglas Tiffany of Mesick, turned himself in last Friday. He has been charged with five felonies, reckless driving causing death, operating on a suspended license causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to tamper with evidence. He was also charged with the misdemeanor charge of failure to transfer the title of a motor vehicle. Also arraigned was 21-year-old Brianna Marie Rupe of Mesick. She was charged with three felonies, tampering with evidence, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, and interfering with a witness. She was also charged in an incident unrelated to the hit and run, which was driving on a suspended license. The investigation of the crash and the events that followed is still open at this time.
|Woman Arrested After Drunken Assault of DaughterMI News 26 / 15 h. 10 min. ago more|
Noelle Guest A woman is behind bars after police say she assaulted her daughter. Thursday evening, Troopers respond to the report of an assault in Missaukee County’s Enterprise Township. Once on scene, troopers spoke with the victim, a 12 year old girl. She said her mother threatened her with a gun while drunk. The girl was able to get away from her mother by jumping out of her bedroom window, causing injuries to her head. Troopers conducted a lengthy investigation overnight and corroborated the victim’s statements with witnesses who were on scene at the time. A warrant was immediately obtained for 45 year-old Noelle Arlien Guest She was arrested the Friday afternoon on felonious assault and domestic violence charges. She has been arraigned and is being held at the Missaukee County Jail on $50,000 bond.
|Police Investigating After Body Found in Mason CountyMI News 26 / 15 h. 13 min. ago more|
Police are investigating a suspicious death in Mason County. At around 6:14 Saturday night, Mason County deputies responded to the Leviathan Disk Golf Course in Pere Marquette Township after someone reported seeing a body. Once on scene, deputies found the body of a 28 year-old man from mason county. During an investigation, deputies weren’t able to determine the cause of death. According to the Sheriff, the body didn’t show any signs of blunt-force trauma and appeared healthy. At this time it is unknown if drugs or alcohol played any role in the man’s death. His body was sent to Kalamazoo for an autopsy. The man’s identity is currently being withheld until his whole family is notified. MI News 26 will continue to monitor this story and bring you updates as we learn more.
|Investigation Called for on Traverse City Area Public Schools ... - 9&10 NewsGoogle News / 15 h. 37 min. ago more|
UpNorthLive.comInvestigation Called for on Traverse City Area Public Schools ...9&10 NewsA letter was sent to the Traverse City Area Public Schools' board, asking for an investigation into the district's executive team. The school board will go into a ...City Makes Plan to Make School Routes Safer | WPBNUpNorthLive.comCity leaders search for answers on medical potTraverse City Record Eagleall 7 news articles »
|Traverse City Woman Collects Donations for Puerto Rico Hurricane ... - 9&10 NewsGoogle News / 15 h. 50 min. ago more|
Traverse City Woman Collects Donations for Puerto Rico Hurricane ...9&10 NewsThe majority of the island's more than 3 million U.S. citizens are still without power five days later. Northern Michigan is getting involved in relief efforts for Puerto ...and more »
|Man faces eight-year sentenceRecord-Eagle / 17 h. 24 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — A local man didn’t remember breaking into multiple homes because he was “blackout” drunk at the time, but a judge said he’ll have the next eight years to recall the encounter in prison.
|Caller, deputy spot suspected drunken driverRecord-Eagle / 19 h. 9 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — A 911 caller and a sheriff's deputy both saw a man's erratic driving before he was arrested under suspicion of drunken driving.
|Man smokes pot, sideswipes carsRecord-Eagle / 20 h. 50 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — A local man told police officers he smoked marijuana before sideswiping two parked cars on his way to work. But he contended he wasn’t too high to drive before he was arrested, authorities said.
|Police: Man jumps from window at Munson | Local News | record ... - Traverse City Record EagleGoogle News / 20 h. 56 min. ago more|
Police: Man jumps from window at Munson | Local News | record ...Traverse City Record EagleTRAVERSE CITY — A local man injured two nurses after he “went nuts,” kicked out a window, jumped on the roof of Munson Medical Center and fell two stories ...and more »
|Police: Man jumps from window at MunsonRecord-Eagle / 21 h. 9 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — A local man injured two nurses after he “went nuts,” kicked out a window, jumped on the roof of Munson Medical Center and fell two stories to the ground, said Traverse City police Chief Jeff O'Brien.
|Education Newsmakers: 09/25/2017Record-Eagle / 21 h. 20 min. ago more|
The Ed & Irene Fleis Education Fund awarded scholarships in May to students living in Leelanau County or with county lineage. The following students received $1,000 awards:
|Authorities: Angry Lions fan rolls car after gameRecord-Eagle / 21 h. 33 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY — An extra touchdown might have saved a local man a trip to jail.
|Historical Photo: 09/25/2017Record-Eagle / 21 h. 50 min. ago more|
These weekly images are provided by the Traverse Area Historical Society in collaboration with the Traverse Area District Library. If you have questions or comments, please contact Peg at the TAHS at 231-947-1480, or email the TAHS at email@example.com.
|Solar array nearly done | Local News | record-eagle.com - Traverse City Record EagleGoogle News / 1 d. 2 h. 46 min. ago more|
Traverse City Record EagleSolar array nearly done | Local News | record-eagle.comTraverse City Record EagleTRAVERSE CITY — Heritage Sustainable Energy's solar array will soon be soaking up the sun and making power for Traverse City.New solar power project in Michigan going online soonPetoskey News-Reviewall 4 news articles »
|Save The Date: Tailgate Recess On October 4The Ticker / 1 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Join The Ticker for a special Tailgate Recess at State Street Marketplace on Wednesday, October 4 - and enjoy socializing, food, drinks and a chance to win great prizes at The Ticker's monthly after-work happy hour! Recess guests are invited to wear their favorite team attire and enjoy delicious appetizers from State Street Marketplace vendors - including Ziatun Cafe and Wren the Butcher - and craft brews from Monkey Fist Brewing Co. Recess guests will also be entered into a door prize drawing for a chance to win fabulous prizes, including State Street Marketplace gift cards, a Kayak, Bike & Brew tour for two, and a grand prize Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail Wine & Comedy Prize Pack valued at $150! The prize pack will include 2 tickets to the Sips n' Giggles Comedy Show (10/21/17), 2 tickets for the Hunt for the Reds of October, 2 tickets to any Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail event, a wine bag, a bottle of local wine, a corkscrew, and two wine glasses. State Street Marketplace is located at 329 East State Street across from the Park Place Hotel. Admission to Recess is $10 and is open to the public. The event goes from 5pm to 7pm. The 2017 Recess series is presented by RE/MAX Bayshore Properties, a full-service real estate company providing northern Michigan with professional real estate services.
|Station Street To Be Closed For MonthThe Ticker / 1 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Alpers Excavating and city crews will begin reconstructing Station Street - the alley south of Eighth Street - between Wellington and Franklin streets today (Monday). The project will require the closure of Station Street to all traffic for the duration of the project, which is expected to be substantially complete by October 27. Work will include removing the existing pavement and installing new pavement, curbs and gutters, storm sewer main systems with two drywells, and sanitary sewer main systems. Commercial vehicles and deliveries are encouraged to use side streets to make their deliveries during the project period. Appropriate signage and barricades will be in place in and around the work area.
|City Eyes Funding, Construction Timelines For School Route ImprovementsThe Ticker / 1 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Two phases of construction could bring up to $2 million in infrastructure improvements around 10 city schools by 2020 to help students more safely walk and bike to school. Traverse City commissioners will receive a detailed update tonight (Monday) on the status of the city’s Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program, which aims to promote student fitness and health by eliminating barriers for walking and biking to school. Federal funding channeled through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) – with support from the Michigan Fitness Foundation – is available to communities throughout the state to make sidewalk improvements, build trails, improve intersection crossings, add bike lanes and parking, and enhance pedestrian signage, lighting and traffic-calming measures around their schools. Improvements must take place within two miles of each designated school. Ten K-8 schools within city limits are including in Traverse City’s SR2S program and eligible for potential infrastructure improvements. They include Willow Hill Elementary, Central Grade School, Eastern Elementary School, Traverse Heights Elementary, Montessori School at Glenn Loomis, Holy Angels Preschool and Elementary, Immaculate Conception Elementary School, Trinity Lutheran School, and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s (TBAISD’s) New Campus School and Oak Park Campus. Up to $200,000 in grant funding is available per school for improvements, with another $8,000 available per school for non-infrastructure programming such as marketing and education to encourage student use of biking and walking routes. Before applying for grant funding, partners including Traverse City officials, TBAISD, Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS), Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (GTACS), TC Trinity Lutheran, TART Trails and Norte! are conducting “audits” of each school to identify the safest routes around each facility and any improvements needed to improve walking/biking access to schools. According to City Planning and Engineering Assistant Missy Luick, partners initially targeted three schools – Eastern Elementary, Traverse Heights Elementary and Immaculate Conception Elementary – to focus on for phase one of grant funding. Those schools “were chosen based on community need and planned redevelopment,” Luick says. After conducting walking and biking audits of all three schools this spring, the partners identified relatively straightforward improvements needed around Immaculate Conception, including sidewalk repair/infill and crosswalk/intersection improvements at several intersections near the Vine Street school. Improvements around Traverse Heights and Eastern Elementary could prove to be more challenging, however, potentially delaying the construction timeline for those schools. At Traverse Heights, recommended improvements including extended sidewalk on Barlow Street south of the city limits to Gladewood will require cooperation with Garfield Township and easements from five private property owners. At Eastern Elementary, plans call for constructing a multi-use trail between six and 10 feet wide along College Drive. That project will require cooperation with Northwestern Michigan College (NMC), easement acquisitions and operations/maintenance agreements. City officials had hoped to apply for $600,000 in grant funding this fall for the three schools, with potential construction set for summer 2019. But because “there are many moving parts that will likely take more time to complete and to develop engineering solutions (for Traverse Heights and Eastern)…we may move these two schools to phase two and move schools with less complicated engineering solutions to phase one,” according to City Planning Director Russ Soyring. The SR2S team is completing walking/biking audits of the remaining seven schools this fall and winter; parents and students are invited to participate in the next session for Central Grade School on Wednesday (Sept. 27) at 3pm at the Seventh Street facility. Following the completion of the audits, officials could submit a phase two grant application for up to $1.4 million in funding in spring/summer 2018 for the remaining schools not covered in the phase one application. Construction on improvements for phase two schools could take place in summer 2020, according to Luick. SR2S advocates point to a range of benefits of bringing the program to Traverse City, including increased student health and fitness levels, improved neighborhood safety, reduced traffic congestion, and decreased busing costs. According to the SR2S National Partnership, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents are now overweight or obese or at risk of becoming so; walking one mile to and from school each day provides those students 2/3 of their recommended daily physical activity. City Manager Marty Colburn says SR2S “has the potential to significantly enhance the walkability of our community near schools,” with Luick adding the program “offers a huge opportunity to make our schools and community safer and more accessible for biking and walking.” If approved for funding, Traverse City’s schools would join a list of more than 248 schools that have been awarded more than $31 million in infrastructure funding through Michigan’s SR2S program since 2003. Photo credit: Michigan Safe Routes to School
|Gifts From the North Woods: How Nathan Wright Founded Herbal LodgeNorthern Express / 1 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
He’s most familiar with the crunch of twigs underfoot, the scents of pine and earth — and the elusive gifts that nature can bring. It’s safe to say that Nathan Wright (pictured above) spends a lot of time in the woods. “As a kid growing up in Rochester Hills, I was often out there by myself, learning how to not be afraid of it,” he said. Bouncing between southern Michigan and the U.P. when his parents separated took Wright, then 13 years old, into another new forest ecosystem. His interest in the wilderness continued when he joined the U.S. Marines later in life. After going through survival training at Camp Pendleton, he was sent on a Pacific Ocean tour of duty, where he added jungle training to his list of outdoor skills. Throughout all of it, the biggest influential thread was his father, Mike Wright, a member of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians and a well-regarded Native American activist. “He’s the one who got me into Native American medicines,” Nathan Wright said. His father also introduced him to Native American medicine man Dan Pine Sr., who taught the younger Wright the ceremonial aspects of Native American culture. “We’d go to Dan Sr.’s home in Garden River, Ontario, every week in the summer,” Wright said. “That’s where I first learned about using plants for things like coughs and using cedar tea for cleansing.” Wright also looked upon Pine as a mentor: “He also gave me a lot of guidance as I was becoming a teenager, and helped better my relationship with my father,” Wright said. “I’d been around powwows my whole life, but had never gone this deep into the culture. Dan Sr. expanded my introduction to my ancestors.” After the Marines, Wright decided to pursue a career in information technology. He moved to Minneapolis, taking jobs with a webpage design company and later with NetRadio Networks; but he kept his plant passion to himself the whole time. “Back then, that kind of thing was looked down upon,” he said. “People would’ve just asked what a grown man was doing playing around with plants.” When his father, who was still in the U.P., began having health issues, Wright packed up and headed home. “I was making a fifth of what I was in Minneapolis, but I wanted to be there for Dad,” Wright said. The two Wrights, father and son, spent more time together, the elder teaching the younger about herbal plants and medicines. Five years later, the elder Wright had passed away. But his influence had been well planted, and his son would soon find that it would grow in ways he never expected. In 2008, Wright met Monica Cady, another member of the Sault tribe, at a powwow. “Monica presented me with a jar of herbal salve she’d made, and I was intrigued by how well it worked on my own dry skin,” Wright said. “I started wondering if herbal medicines would have helped my dad before he passed away.” The elder Wright, who had eczema but died from liver cancer, had been on a lot of pain medications, which Wright is convinced contributed to his death. “That is what inspired me to learn more about natural pain relief alternatives, and to offer them to everyone suffering pain,” Wright said. He and Cady started experimenting to create salves based on Native American medicine. The first product they settled on was Nojmuk dry skin relief topical salve, which was based on the first salve that Cady brought to Wright. Today, it includes 20 different ingredients. Nojimuk lip balms, also based on that salve, are available too. “We perfected that product and the process used to make it,” Wright said. Wright has also found a fast friendship with Dan Pine Jr., Dan Pine Sr.’s son, whom he didn’t meet until later in both of their lives. The men got along right away as both friends and “plant people,” as Wright put it. “Dan Jr. always says that the medicines he makes for people come to him in his dreams,” Wright said. “He and I started working together, harvesting whatever we could find. One day, Dan Jr. was trying to teach Wright how to find spikenard [plants], which would reveal its own lessons. Dan kept saying ‘It’s right there,’ but I just couldn’t see it. It took quite a while, but suddenly, I started seeing it everywhere — that’s when I learned that medicinal plants only show themselves to you when you’re ready to see them.” Today, Wright harvests directly from the forests of northern Michigan, always practicing sustainable harvesting methods. His daughter, Autumn Wright, assists with production. And they limit the products that Herbal Lodge makes. Right now, they’re focusing on four. That might not sound like a lot — until you consider the magnitude of cultural history, research, and effort that go into each one. “We didn’t want to start selling 30 or 40 products,” Wright said. “We wanted to get known for just a few, and produce everything at very high quality. Every year we’ve increased how much we make, so I think we’re doing okay.” In addition to the Nojmuk and Nojmuk lip balms, Herbal Lodge also offers Minagin, a natural, topical pain-relief salve based on a legendary Native American salve. “The main herbal ingredient for Minagin, balm of gilead buds, can’t be sourced from most ingredient companies; we have to wild-harvest it,” Wright said. “It’s harvested from a tree, and it has to be a winter harvest, so it’s hard, intense work. But the Michigan version of that ingredient is the very best.” Finally, there’s the Chaga Thunder tea, which could merit an entire story all on its own. “Chaga used to be burned by Native Americans around here for its smell, for ceremonial purpose, and to ease headaches,” Wright said. Chaga is a wild mushroom that Herbal Lodge harvests from mushrooms growing on white birch trees; it’s said to have strong health benefits and is often referred to as a superfood, with high antimicrobial activity, antioxidants, and soothing properties. The flavor is earthy, faintly vanilla, and nutty, best sweetened with maple syrup. Herbal Lodge’s products have been getting quite a bit of attention. Wright is working on a book about Native American herbal medicines that he hopes to see out in 2019, and he’ll be speaking at the Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference in January 2018. “We are also currently working on a partnership with the largest distributed native American company,” he said. In the end, though, his business isn’t about money. “I do make a living from this, but I find it more meaningful to focus on being passionate about the products and about helping our customers,” he said. The other bonus? Returning to the forests from which his inspiration first came. “‘Wild harvesting’ is something we really do — it’s not just a marketing term,” Wright said. “I can return to my childhood memories and passion by going into the woods, this time not to play, but to bring out some time-tested remedies to help everyone in need. We consider ourselves lucky and blessed to do what we do.” Herbal Lodge is based in Hessel, with a sales office in Petoskey. You can find Herbal Lodge products at Oryana in Traverse City, Indian Hills Gallery in Petoskey, the Good Hart General Store in Good Hart, and Cross in the Woods in Indian River. Hot DealFor Express Readers Only!For a limited time, Wright is offering a coupon code for Northern Express readers who buy an Herbal Lodge product online at herballodge.com. Use the code express17 to save 20 percent on your first online purchase.Photo courtesy of Ken and Debbie Van Every of Petoskey/Snippets of Time Photography.
|Woman Surrenders After Hours-Long Standoff in CadillacMI News 26 / 1 d. 11 h. 8 min. ago more|
A standoff in Cadillac is over hours after it began. According to the Cadillac Police, officers were called to a home in the 1200 block of Sunnyside Dr. early Sunday Afternoon on the report of a neighbor dispute. Once on scene, an officer confronted a woman, who then pushed and kicked him. The woman ran inside of a home and barricaded herself. The woman later began threatening officers, saying she was loading a weapon and that she would fire on them. Cadillac Police called in reinforcements from several surrounding agencies including the multi-jurisdictional Emergency Response Team. After hours inside the home, the woman surrendered. Police say the woman told officers she didn’t have a weapon on her or inside of the home. After being taken into custody, she was loaded into an ambulance, and went to a local hospital for a mental and physical evaluation. None of the officers on scene were injured, and officials say they are pleased with the response. At this time it is unknown what charges the woman will face.
|Free Car Seat Installation Event SaturdayThe Ticker / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
A free car seat-fitting event Saturday (Sept. 23) aims to help parents ensure their car or booster seat is properly installed in their vehicle. Seat Check Saturday will take place at Williams Chevrolet at 2600 US-31 in Traverse City from 10am to 2pm. Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on-hand to properly install car seats and answer related questions at no cost. No appointment is needed for the event. Seat Check Saturday is hosted by Safe Kids North Shore of Grand Traverse Metro Fire, the Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office, Towards Zero Deaths and other community partners.
|League Of Women Voters To Host Commission Candidate ForumThe Ticker / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area will host a public forum on Wednesday, October 4 for Traverse City mayoral and city commission candidates. The forum will take place from 7pm to 8:30pm in the McGuire Community Room at the Traverse Area District Library. Members of the public are invited to attend the forum to hear from and meet the candidates. The forum will be taped and later aired on on UpNorthTV. The League of Women Voters is a national, non-partisan organization. The League does not endorse or oppose candidates or parties, but works to obtain and distribute to the public information on candidates and their views.
|Home Repair Grants Could Go Unused, Thanks To Contractor ShortageThe Ticker / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Some $150,000 in state grants earmarked to repair homes for those in need could be lost unless more licensed and willing contractors are found to do the work. The Community Development Block Grant Program, run through the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency (NWMCAA), has money to hire the contractors to help residents who cannot afford to have the work done. But a lack of workers means that those hoping for assistance with leaky roofs or rotting walls might not get it – and the funds could be headed back to the State of Michigan unused. “Right now we’re dealing with a deadline to get quite a bit of money spent,” says Leslie Casselman, the housing program coordinator. Approximately $150,000 has to be spent by the end of the year or be returned and likely used in larger-scale developments in more urban areas. That’s not good news for people like Traverse City’s Jackie Kidd. Kidd, 72, applied for assistance a year ago, but because her daughter was living with her at the time, their combined household income was over the maximum. When her daughter moved, she applied again and qualified for the program. Among the projects at Kidd’s home that were approved by the NWMCAA were a leaky roof, broken windows, the crumbling foundation of her garage, and bathroom drywall and shower repair. Kidd is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cannot do the work herself or afford to hire someone to do it. But when the bids went out, only one contractor responded. And after looking at the project, he declined to bid on it, as he doesn’t have the subcontractors necessary to add it to his current slate of jobs. It's a reality amidst a healthy local economy, a strong real estate and construction market, and a continued shortage of skilled construction labor. “We’d love to be able to help,” says Casselman, noting that it is not a big project but it’s very important to Kidd. “I’m holding out hope. We’ll send out bid packets again, for the third time. We’ll just keep trying. Previously we’d send out bid packets two times. We really don’t want to give the money back to the state." She adds that it’s unlikely that the funds will come back; the program has changed focus from home rehabilitation projects to larger-scale rental and commercial developments in urban areas. “It started when Governor Snyder was elected,” says Casselman. “He wanted to keep college graduates in Michigan, so they wanted to put all the money in cities” where recent graduates were more likely to want to live. Though the funds are technically loans, Casselman says the monies serve more like grants because they are zero interest and do not have to be paid back until and unless the home is sold, at which point the homeowner must repay them. That provides for a rolling fund, with new grant monies being replenished from projects completed years before. “But now it (the state funding) is just for development projects,” Casselman says. “There are no more (home rehab) grants. The state says the money will go back into its coffers and will be offered for future grants, but we don’t know what (kind).” If Kidd does not get the repairs done, she fears she will have to leave the home she’s lived in for 45 years. “The bottom line, if I don’t (get bids and repair work), I’ll end up having to sell. I can’t afford to fix it,” she says. Casselman says Kidd is not alone. There are three or four other local residents approved, with many more on a waiting list. She’s holding out hope that at least some of them may yet see their homes repaired if qualified builders step forward. “We need more licensed and insured contractors,” she says. Any builders interested in learning more should call (231) 346-2121.
|The Last (Plastic) Straw Up NorthNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Take a guess — how many plastic straws are used in the United States daily? If you guessed 500 million, you're right. And those straws will last longer than we do. They take 200 years to break down into tiny toxic particles. When we learned this, we decided we had to do something. We are a small group of local women who hope to eliminate the use of plastic straws in our community. We are being helped through ideas and resources provided by thelastplasticstraw.org, a national organization. Plastic straws contribute to the plastic pollution our planet is facing. Although plastic straws amount to a small fraction of plastic found in the oceans, their size is a danger to marine animals. Fish consume them. Straws are small and lightweight and often do not make it into recycling bins, but rather, litter the roads and beaches. One woman who voluntarily helps clean the beaches in California has picked up 500 straws in a two-week period. In the past 20 years, people have come to expect straws in every drink. Some restaurants even serve them in water glasses. Recently a local bar served one in a hot Irish coffee. Plastic straws are an example of extreme waste generated by an unnecessary product. The good news is that numerous movements promote their elimination. The anti-straw campaigns started out slow and steady until 2015, then they took off, thanks to a viral video of a sea turtle with a straw caught in its nose. The pain the turtle experienced was difficult to watch, but it increased the number of anti-straw activists in such groups as “Be Straw Free,” “Boycott Straws,” “One Less Straw,” and “The Last Plastic Straw.” Both the Smithsonian museums and Disney World's Animal Kingdom have banned plastic straws. The Plastic Pollution Coalition estimates 1,800 restaurants, organizations, institutions, and schools have gotten rid of straws or implemented a “serve-straws-upon-request” policy. The plastic industry opposes these bans. In many states, it has been successful in passing legislation to outlaw the banning of plastic bags. Unfortunately, Michigan is one of them. The anti-straw campaign might succeed because activists are not seeking to change laws or regulations. We are only asking consumers to change habits and restaurants and bars to change practices. If you want to help, here are some suggestions: 1) Make a commitment to saying “no” to plastic straws. When ordering a drink, politely request “No straw please.” Use your own paper, glass, bamboo, or stainless steel straw if one is needed. 2) Reach out to eateries and ask them to serve straws only upon request and put the policy on their menus. 3) Encourage those eateries to make a change to non-plastic straws: paper, glass, bamboo, or stainless steel. We are a small group of Traverse City women who love our planet and want to protect it. Eliminating plastic straws might be a small step, but it could have a giant impact. For more information and resources, please go to thelastplasticstraw.org. Linda Frank, Kathy Daniels, Claudia DeMarco, and Kristine Drake are members of the Traverse City arm of the national organization The Last Plastic Straw. Join the Straw Fight in TC Contact the Traverse City arm of The Last Plastic Straw organization by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Teddy Griffin’s Quinoa ShrimpNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Chef Delroy Ricketts has been working at Teddy Griffin’s Roadhouse in Harbor Springs since he arrived in northern Michigan from Jamaica 16 years ago. “I was just a crazy kid, coming up here to chase girls,” he said with a laugh. Ricketts’ plan worked out: He’s since gotten married (to a girl who happened to be a fellow Jamaican; the two met in Mackinaw City) and they’ve had three kids. And it worked out pretty well for Teddy Griffin’s, too, as Ricketts has expanded Teddy’s menu with his exotic culinary twists, including this dish. Ricketts’ Quinoa Shrimp starts with a bed of chargrilled zucchini and squash sprinkled with Italian seasoning. The shrimp are lightly sautéed and presented under a cake of savory red quinoa. The dish’s crowning glory is Ricketts’ coconut-thyme sauce, which adds an unexpectedly sweet island flavor. “We have a lot of coconut in Jamaica, and it really goes well in everything,” Chef Ricketts said. “I figured with all of the healthy eaters we serve these days, the coconut would be a good way to eliminate dairy in the sauce, and the dish is also gluten-free, focusing instead on the shrimp and the quinoa. Plus the Caribbean-Asian fusion brings out such good flavor!”Order it up for $30 at Teddy Griffin’s Roadhouse, 50 Highland Pike Rd., north of Harbor Springs. Open daily 4–10pm; 4–10:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays. teddygriffins.com, (231) 526-7805.
|Cross Village's Old World CaféNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
You pull your car up in front of an aged-looking stucco building, with weathered exposed stones peeking out of each corner, black iron lanterns on either side of the door, and a Spanish-influenced clay tile roof hanging over the entrance. Inside, you’re graciously welcomed and offered a leather seat at a marble-topped table, in an intimate dining room underneath a two-story-tall ceiling hung with vintage chandeliers and an overhanging balcony. Colossal paintings depicting far-flung destinations like Venice, Paris, and the Amalfi Coast rest in gilded frames far above your seat, near a black woodstove and a Polish crest tucked into an alcove along with more dining tables. Have you wandered in to some grand old house in the European countryside? Nope. It’s actually Bo and Barbara Gierak’s Old World Café, recently constructed to pay homage to classic European charm. “Nobody does food or ambiance like this in northern Michigan,” said restaurant manager HeidiJo Mikula. “When I saw them building this place, I absolutely had to check it out. It’s so different and really impressive. When you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you’re in a very old building in Europe. It very much transports you to another place entirely — and we like that. We like people to come in and forget all about the world outside.” AROUND THE WORLDThe Gieraks, originally from Poland, immigrated to America when communism was running rampant through Poland in the ’80s. They’ve lived in northern Michigan for nine years. In spite of the Gieraks’ heritage, however, the Old World Café menu doesn’t feature many Polish specialties; they leave that to the nearby Legs Inn. Instead, their menu offers up a grand tour of the world with a very “of the now” approach: Everything offered is homemade, imported, local, or organic — from Ireland’s Kerrygold butter, Italy’s Pellegrino water and Illy espresso to locally sourced herbs, homemade brioche bread, and Mexican Coca-Cola. THREE SQUARES The day at the Old World Café starts with breakfast (9am–4pm), with choices ranging from egg dishes to challah-fruit-bread French toast, a breakfast croissant, or a European breakfast board with meats, cheeses, jams, baguette, and a hardboiled egg. Lunches (12pm–4pm) offer simple but well-balanced European favorites like crepes; a croque panini sandwich with slow-roasted pork, Black Forest ham, Jarlsburg cheese, pickles and stone-ground mustard on brioche; and a charcuterie board, which arrives on a long wooden paddle capped with a crest. “That’s a wonderful variety of European deli meats and cheeses, served with a baguette, pale ale mustard, and dried fruit,” Mikula said. “It’s really nice for two people to sit and share and enjoy with hot tea.” A few of the most popular dinner selections (4pm–8pm) include vegetable lasagna, with rich layers of eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, squash, and mozzarella in San Marzano tomato sauce; seafood Puttanesca, which brings together baby scallops, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and shrimp in a cream sauce over imported Italina pasta; and the impressive layers of flavor that is the Osseuse poulet, seared bone-in chicken served over a bed of mashed celery root and potato, red wine-glazed cippolini onions, and mushrooms. One of a trio of salads make a great starter, whether you choose the Marche with mixed greens, smoked bacon, carrots, heirloom tomatoes, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette; the traditional Caesar with romaine, Parmigiano Reggiano, and focaccia croutons; or the Caprese, featuring heirloom tomatoes stacked with pesto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and a balsamic dressing. PRETTY PLATES Chef Jeremy Hrisch, who’s been with the restaurant since it opened, said that in addition to focusing on fresh and organic ingredients, he cooks and serves with a more old-world approach.“We cook everything right from scratch,” he said, “and we bring a different feel and different plating presentation than many of the restaurants around here. Most people just arrange meat, potato, and vegetable on the plate, and that’s enough. But we work to actually design our plates to be as visually appealing as they are delicious.” The restaurant, now well into its second year, is finding this unique approach is working well for them, with a busy mosaic of people seeking out “the new place.” “It’s really a come-one, come-all kind of café,” Mikula said. “We get couples, families, vacationers, bicyclists, people on their own and parties of 30. So we feel we’re doing really well. Being on a busy road right off of the Tunnel of Trees, we thought we’d get mostly tourists — and we do see a lot of tourists — but what’s also nice is we are starting to see some of the same faces over and over, which means we also have a local clientele. And for good reason — this is the best place I’ve ever worked at. It’s just fun to be here.” The Old World Café is located at 6352 N. Lake Shore Dr. in Cross Village. Find them online at oldworldcafe.net or call (231) 526-6992. $$$
|Coming SoonNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
While we've been blissfully unaware, a 2018 Michigan gubernatorial race has broken out and will likely be coming to your neighborhood, television screen, mailbox, or computer screen soon. According to the Detroit Free Press which recently listed the lineup, 14 stalwart Michiganders have already taken out the paperwork required to run for governor. Five of them have more than $1 million in their campaign or exploratory committee treasuries. Most of the candidates are political unknowns with little chance of success. At least one is a political unknown who does have a chance. Others are familiar faces or names. Republicans who would like to sit in term-limited Gov. Rick Snyder's chair include both Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Attorney General Bill Schuette. Neither have officially announced, but both are making campaign-like appearances and raising money. Calley has been promoting a constitutional amendment that would make the Michigan legislature part-time, with commensurate part-time pay. (Several states already do that but make sure constituent services are full-time.) He is a tea party favorite and bona fide conservative on social issues. Schuette, who has cultivated a tough-guy-who's-tough-on-crime image in his current job, is sounding a bit more populist of late. He says his focus will be jobs, education, and paychecks. He still pretends (while he raises money for the campaign) that he hasn't decided if he's going to run. State Sen. Patrick Colbeck is the latest entry and, shockingly, says his campaign will be about “the people.” No kidding. Also in, or considering being in, on the Republican side are insurance agent Joseph Derose, a private investigator named Mark McFarlin, obstetrician Dr. Jim Hines, and Grand Rapids businessman Evan Space. The Democratic side has even more potential for a candidate stampede. The presumed front-runner — and she's been running for a while — is former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer. The only woman in the race so far, she's already generated support from traditionally liberal organizations, including unions. Shri Thanedar, unknown, but not for long, immigrated from India and has started, failed, restarted, and purchased multiple business ventures from his Ann Arbor offices. He officially declared his candidacy back in April and has already given his campaign $3.3 million of his own money. Abdul El-Sayed might be the most interesting of the Democratic possibilities. Only 32 years old and a Muslim, he is the former director of the Detroit Health Department. A Bernie Sanders supporter, he makes a compelling case for diversity, inclusion, and tolerance, but it's not clear if anyone is listening. Other possibilities include University of Michigan Board of Regents member and ubiquitous television pitchman for his family law firm, Mark Bernstein; ubiquitous pitchman for his law firm Geoffrey Feiger; lesser-known Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel; former Xerox executive William Cobbs; Kentiel White; and Justin Giroux. We can't leave out two candidates running without party affiliation, Ryan Cox and Todd Schleiger, plus Green Party candidate Dwaine Reynolds. Those most likely to emerge as real contenders are also those who've already raised and have on hand more than $1 million; Republicans Calley and Schuette, and Democrats Whitmer, Thanedar, and El-Sayed. All of them will need a lot more; Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer spent a combined $58.3 million in 2014. Michigan has become a quirky state politically, neither red nor blue. We have a Republican governor, Republicans control both houses of the legislature, and we voted narrowly for Donald Trump, but we have preferred our U. S. senators to be Democrats for a long time. It's impossible to guess this far in advance what impact Trump will have, though he'll likely intrude and has already spoken favorably about Schuette's candidacy. His approval ratings here are mired below 40 percent, but we know that doesn't necessarily mean he can't influence voters. All of them will talk about jobs, taxes, and education and make grand proclamations in canned phrases with practiced inflections. It would be better if we could find a champion seriously interested in protecting our water, including the big lakes, inland lakes, and groundwater currently being siphoned away by an invasive corporate species. It's our most valuable asset. Or if they got serious about truly equitable public school funding so politically powerful school districts can't receive almost twice what our local schools receive per pupil. Or if they would acknowledge the current opioid epidemic is a public health issue and not just a criminal justice issue. They could advocate for more treatment, more rehab facilities, and more caution from prescribing doctors, instead of more jail cells. They could do that, and more, but likely won't. Instead, it won't be long before the negative ads start invading our space, and the personal insults begin entering the debate. The election is 14 months away, but the unpleasantness, in a competitive field, will start much sooner.
|Musique Soulchild – Feel the Real – eOneNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
It’s all about the voice, ’bout the voice on this set from the soulful artist Musique Soulchild, whose first two albums hit platinum status at a remarkably rapid rate. Now he’s back with this two-disc set to stake his claim to that accomplishment, with spot-on pairings (check out the R&B title track with fellow neo-soul artist Marsha Ambrosius, and “My Bad” with Willie HyN), saturated production values (“Simple Things”), and a mellow yet assuredly present overall feel through all 24 impressive tracks. *** Jesse Cook – Beyond Borders – eOne Cook’s explorations into combining pop and world music from a range of different geographical muses continues on this set, which is much heavier on Eastern sounds than his previous albums, which leaned more toward Spanish and South American influences. But that’s what going “Beyond Borders” is all about for Cook, who leans heavily toward rhumba/flamenco but isn’t limited to the same; he continues to try new combinations on intriguing tracks like “Double Dutch,” “To the Horizon,” and “A Mi Nina.” ** ½ Foo Fighters – Concrete and Gold – RCA The Foos are nothing if not familiar sounding, with every single album including the exact same components of big, arena-ready guitars, Dave Grohl’s yelping vocals, and driving beats. So is this the album that finally changes things up? Nope. It’s more of the same, which is fine if you like your rock repetitive. But tunes like the acoustic-based “T-shirt,” the overambitious “Make it Right,” and the funk-lite of “La Dee Da” could’ve been copied over from any other Foos album, and unless you’re a devoted fan, you’d never notice. * ½ Ringo Starr – Give More Love – UMe The legendary Beatle reportedly started this set with the intention of making a country album, but his firmly ingrained rock sensibilities stepped back in and led him back down that Beatles-inspired winding road. There’s an interesting mix of offerings here, from the rather rough, recently rediscovered original recording of his classic “Back Off Bagaloo” to his fits-like-a-shoe duet with Paul McCartney (“We’re on the Road Again”), plus lyrical throwbacks to the time Starr spent in Rory Storm’s band (“Electricity”) and a Nashville-inflected version of “Don’t Pass Me By.” It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a pleasant and nostalgic listen from an amiable fellow. ** ½
|Celebrate the Written Word at the Harbor Springs Festival of the BookNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Harbor Springs Festival of the Book is turning the page and starting chapter two. In the second year of the now-annual bookworm fest, readers can expect an entertaining and immersive epic weekend full of twists, turns, and compelling characters. This is one sequel you won’t want to miss BEST SELLERAmy Gillard is the executive director of the festival, which began in 2016, founded by a local group of “fans of the written word.” The aim was to bring stories, books, authors, and other diversions together to put Harbor Springs on the map as a “literary hub” — and the fest proved to be an immediate best-seller. “Thanks to donors at every level, the vast majority of the sessions for this year’s festival will be presented free of charge to the public,” Gillard said. The 2017 fest (Sept. 29 through Oct. 1) kicks off with a special Friday morning event across the bay at the Petoskey Farmers Market: “Ken Haedrich of The Pie Academy is going to be walking attendees through the Farmers Market, then moving on the Carnegie Building for brunch featuring recipes from his new book The Harvest Baker,” said Gillard. “This is one of our few ticketed events.” Starting at 11am Friday until 11:30am Sunday, all fest events will be in Harbor Springs and within walking distance of each other. “Just be prepared, as the walk from downtown to the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center is mostly uphill,” said Gillard. The last event of the Festival is scheduled at Birchwood Farms Golf and Country Club, where fiction author Robin Sloan will be featured at a luncheon to present his new book, Sourdough. (This is also a ticketed event.) PAGES UPON PAGES In between the open and the close of the fest, you’ll find pages and pages’ worth of things to do, including a whopping 53 presenters; 52 who are new to the event; the panel discussions are the heart and soul of the festival, and most are free. “The 2016 presenters would have all returned,” Gillard said, “but we want to keep the experience new each year!” Keeping along that theme, there are brand new events for this year’s fest, too: Soup and Stories lunches on Friday and Saturday will feature soup from My Sister’s Bake Shop, bread from Crooked Tree Breadworks, and dessert from Tom’s Mom’s Cookies, all enjoyed while listening to authors read their works. And the inaugural Presenter Book Signing and Happy Hour will combine drinks, appetizers, and a meet-and-greet, with proceeds going to purchase books for area schools. Popular events returning from last year include a wide range of solo author presentations, the Book Trivia Contest on Saturday; and a Book It Fun Run in which youthful runners will race alongside some of their favorite book characters. AUTHOR, AUTHOR! With so many authors/presenters coming up at this year’s Festival of the Book, you’ll get the most comprehensive overview at the fest’s official website. But Gillard has her own must-see list, so her suggestions are a great place to start when you’re making your own schedule for the weekend. “All my friends will tell you I’m a huge fiction fan, but New York Times bestseller nonfiction author Denise Kiernan is our keynote presentation on Friday, Sept. 29 at the Harbor Springs Performing Arts Center, and I can’t wait,” Gillard said. “Denise wrote the The Girls of Atomic City — one of my book groups read it a few years ago, and I’ve been a fan of her writing ever since. I’m also anxious to meet Benjamin Percy and thank him for making me petrified to be on a computer after reading his new release, The Dark Net. “Jessie Chaffee’s debut novel Florence in Ecstasy was wonderful, and Augustus Rose’s panel "When Research and Storytelling Collide" is one I’m not going to miss. His debut novel, The Ready-Made Thief, is a fascinating page turner and an education on Marcel Duchamp. Wow, reading for fun and learning! Imagine that!” LITERARY LOVE Whether you choose to attend just a few events or spend your entire weekend buried in all things literary in Harbor Springs, Gillard said you’ll find the ambiance of the event unique and energetic, with multiple opportunities to not only meet fellow book lovers but also those who write the books. “The atmosphere at the festival is electric,” she said. “Conversations started in sessions carry over into the streets. Book group members are everywhere planning their next read. Authors who were just speaking are now out and about chatting with attendees. When do you get to experience 53 authors from around the country, Great Britain, and Australia in one place at one time? Trust me, everything is really cool!” The 2017 Harbor Springs Festival of the Book will take place Sept. 29–Oct. 1 in Harbor Springs. Most events are free. For more information and selected event tickets, visit hsfotb.org or call the festival office at (231) 838-2725.
|The Bus Doesn’t Stop HereNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Soren Hauter found out last winter how hard it is to get around Emmet County if you don’t have a car. “I was having car issues because I had a $300 car, because that’s what I could afford at the time, and it did not make it through the winter at all,” said the 26-year-old Petoskey resident. Hauter’s house is two miles from the Meijer store where he works. He walked to and from work along roads made for cars, not pedestrians. “I mean, I’m from downstate, the Clare-Isabella area, and they have great public transportation,” he said. “When I moved up here, it was culture shock.” Hauter saved up some money, bought a better car, and shouldn’t face the same fate this winter. Still, even as a young, low-wage worker, he said he is willing to pay for better public transportation. “I know a couple of people that don’t have a car, that have to arrange rides to work every day,” he said. “I probably wouldn’t use it, because I have reliable transportation now, but I have no problem supporting it, paying a little extra in my taxes.” INSUFFICIENT SERVICE It is remarkable that there is no public transit system in Emmet County, which boasts a population of more than 30,000. An advocacy group has pushed for one for two decades. Numerous studies have shown that it’s needed, and the public supports it. And there is no population center even near the size of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs area in Michigan that doesn’t offer at least a dial-a-ride. There are two limited public transportation services operating in the county. The senior resource agency Friendship Center offers dial-a-ride bus service for the elderly and the disabled, and Straits Regional Ride, based in Cheboygan, sends buses infrequently into Emmet County. Members of the advocacy group, which goes by the acronym FEET — short for Friends Enhancing Emmet Transit — believe what’s currently available isn’t suitable for people who need to get to work, or even for seniors who have regular medical needs, said Martha Lancaster, a retired health and human services administrator. “I’ve talked to some seniors from Harbor Springs, and they can get a bus ride to go to a doctor’s appointment, but then they may need to wait many hours before the bus is ready to take them back home. They can do that, but it’s a very difficult day for them,” Lancaster said. “More frequent service would be great, but the Friendship Center is doing the best it can with the resources that it has.” Lisa Hoig, project director for transportation and Meals On Wheels at the Friendship Center, agreed that the service is for people who have flexible schedules. Hoig said the Friendship Center supports FEET’s goals and would happily have its service absorbed into a larger, more comprehensive system. A LONG AND WINDING ROAD For two decades, as the advocates have fought for public transit, county officials have put it off. There’s never been a campaign against public transportation, really; there’s simply been a consensus among county commissioners that public transit was not worth raising taxes. Under former county boards, a three-person committee met sporadically over the years to look at the issue, seemingly as a means to keep public transit off the agenda while giving cover against accusations that they were ignoring the issue. “There was no interest,” Lancaster said. “There was clearly not an interest from the former several county commissions for expanding transit in Emmet County, and that probably goes back 20 years.” Over the years, the advocates repeatedly attempted to demonstrate that there is a need for public transit, and that people wanted it. That effort, year after year, fell on deaf ears. “They weren’t convinced there was a need, despite our best efforts and a lot of documentation,” Lancaster said. The advocates won their first tangible show of support from a 2005 study that revealed, in fact, Emmet County did need better public transit. The group presented a plan to the commission in 2006 and it got tabled. “They just said, ‘It’s not something we’re interested in,’” Lancaster recalled. “And over the years the community kept coming back and saying, ‘Hey, how about this?’ They kept saying, ‘Not something we’re interested in.’” PROTECTING THE PUBLIC The issue was put off for five more years — until commissioners decided that the survey data was too old and no longer valid. The advocates refreshed the survey in 2012, paying an expert to update the study. Even with survey results that pointed to widespread support for public transit, the board was still not willing to move forward. Lancaster recalled that former county board member Les Atchison said at a meeting that he didn’t want to allow a vote for a transportation millage because he was afraid it would succeed. “He said, ‘I don’t want to put this on the ballot because I think it would pass, and I think some people would have a hard time paying it and would be unhappy about it,’” she said. Atchison, interviewed via email, agreed he said something to that effect. He said he believes the current limited system of public transportation meets the needs of the county. He said expanded public transit would depend too much on subsidization. He said that study found that public transit fares are heavily subsidized, and only a small percent of the population would use public transportation. “It gives pause for serious consideration,” he wrote. “My opposition was again, trying to protect the working poor and elderly home owners from new burden.” MOST WANT A VOTE The advocates said that when current board chairman Charlie MacInnis was elected, he seemed to break from tradition and actually considered public transit seriously. For the first time, the volunteers said they believed they might have someone on their side. The renewed enthusiasm led to a new study, which was conducted in 2015 and showed that three-fourths of county residents supported putting the question to a popular vote, even if not everyone said they would vote yes for a millage. By last year, advocates believed something was going to happen, and then nothing did. “They played out the clock,” FEET volunteer Scott Smith said. “The old board really were all elected on a ‘We’re-not-going-to-raise-your-taxes-platform,’” Lancaster said. “And we tried to say, ‘Fine. Don’t raise our taxes. But let us vote on whether we want to raise our own taxes.’” Proponents note that a transit system wouldn’t merely raise taxes; transit could grow the economy. It would bring in a lot of state and federal funding — as much as 56 percent would be paid from out-of-region funds. Amanda Swiss, the transportation planner for the Little Traverse Band of Odawa Indians, which supports the creation of a countywide public transit system, said the tribe would be able to apply for grants that the county couldn’t. Swiss, who has worked in her position for three years, said it is frustrating that things aren’t moving faster, but she believes Emmet County is closer to getting public transit today than it was when she started her job. It’s not just the tribe that wants public transit expanded. McLaren Northern Michigan supports it, along with Boyne resorts and many other employers, Lancaster said. A NEW HOPE Last November, all of the county board incumbents except MacInnis were either swept from office or did not seek re-election. That signaled to the advocates a new opportunity, and they expected public transit to be on the top of the agenda. That’s not what happened. It turned out that public transit was not a priority in the new board’s first year. Lancaster and Smith said the incumbents were ousted because people were upset about the cost of the county taking over the ambulance service and the cost of building an observatory at the Headlands International Dark Sky Park. Both projects cost millions more than expected and neither was put before voters. “A lot of it was just the amount of it — it was excessive. I mean, those two projects in my view as a voter, are fine things, but they cost more than they needed to,” Lancaster said. “Then there was this other service that quite a lot of people want, and we didn’t get a chance to make our voices heard on that.” MacInnes said he has not changed his position on transit. He still supports it. There’s just been too many other things the board must handle first. “The ambulance service costs far more than expected. Dark Sky is so much more expensive than was ever planned, and the money was borrowed without a vote on the project,” MacInnes said. “I’m as enthusiastic as I was before. There’s no questions there’s a need, but we have to address basic governance issues in the county before we can take on a new initiative.” DETAILS CAUSE TURF WAR Even with a board that is ostensibly in favor of public transit, making just a little progress has proved difficult this year. Smith, who ran for county commission last year as an independent, teamed up with the Republican who beat him in an effort to get the board to move forward at least a little on public transit this year. Commissioner John Stakoe is new to the Emmet County board, but he’s not new to politics. He was a township official in Oakland County and served as a state house rep from 2003 to 2008 before he moved to Petoskey. He said he teamed up with Smith because he agrees that Emmet County needs public transit, and he wanted to find a way to create a small pilot project so that transit could get a foothold in the county. He and Smith proposed at the August board meeting that the county contract with Charlevoix Transit to provide service in the Petoskey and Harbor Springs area. “That’s where all the people are — the college says they could use it, the hospital,” Stakoe said. “That seemed like the logical area to start.” That proposal, however, was waylaid by Toni Drier, the commissioner who represents the county’s townships that are furthest north and most rural. She objected to entering into an agreement with Charlevoix when the county already contracts for limited service with Straits Regional Ride in Cheboygan. The dispute demonstrates how sorting out the details of a transit system can lead to turf wars. Stakoe and Smith thought it made sense to propose a small expansion in the area of the county that is most populated, and they were caught off guard by objections from Drier and the Straits director Michael Couture. Drier didn’t return a message seeking comment. Couture said he thought he should have been given a heads up about the negotiations with Charlevoix because Straits already operates in Petoskey. “They did kind of catch me off guard,” Couture said. At the meeting, according to the minutes, Stakoe said he was finished working with the board on public transit. “I became fairly frustrated,” Stakoe said later. “That was just exasperation. I mean, I’m still involved. And I’m going to continue to be involved.” HOPE FOR A PUBLIC TRANSIT MILLAGE Lancaster still hopes that the county board will put a millage on the ballot someday. She said she’s worried that a small pilot program could fail. Also, it would mean that once again Emmet County is embarking on a potentially expensive project without going to voters for approval. Extending Charlevoix Transit into Emmet County would mean that there would be three bus services operating in Petoskey, and that could be so confusing that folks who would otherwise take a bus might not bother. “I think that’s going to be really confusing for potential riders and could be duplicative,” Lancaster said. “Three different numbers to call, three different fare structures, three different kinds of buses on the road, possibly.” If the county embarks on a pilot program, she said, plans should be spelled out on how the service will expand over time, and preparations for a millage should be in place with an eye toward the creation of a regional service within a decade. Jim Moore, executive director at the Disability Network in Traverse City, said he’s been working with the advocate group for at least a decade. In the entire state, there isn’t a population center like Petoskey that lacks public transit, he said. The only other county in the region that lacks public transit is Missaukee (home to Lake City, near Cadillac), which has a population of less than half of Emmet's. A look at the other transit systems in the area proves how much it’s needed in Emmet, he said. Straits Transit nowadays completes 5,000 rides per year in Emmet County. That may sound like a lot, but in Charlevoix County, which has a dedicated transit service and three-fourths the population of Emmet, the system provides 111,000 rides per year. “We know that there is nothing magical about Emmet County. I think the need has been pretty well documented,” Moore said. “There are a number of people who don’t have cars or the ability to drive, and for those individuals, it’s an important, critical life service.” K.T. Villarreal, assistant manager at Beards Brewery in Petoskey, said for the young service workers in Petoskey, a regional public transit system would be incredible. There isn’t a lot of affordable housing in Petoskey, so the ability to get around without having to have a car would greatly expand the housing choices for a lot of people. “I’m pretty young, so I can’t really afford to buy a house, especially around here. But I’d love to, so right now I live in Boyne City,” she said. “I drive like 30 minutes to come here to work. That’s a lot of gas.”
|Crooked River CruiseNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
He calls himself a “sailor by heart,” and Livonia native Captain Gary Dawson has made a living out of spending time on the water. As a youth, he found himself learning to sail on Kent Lake in the Kensington Metropark near his hometown, but he was drawn to the more challenging sailing potential of the Great Lakes. So as an adult, he moved north — “The best sailing in the world is up here,” Dawson says —and has spent the past 20 years running Sunshine Charters in Charlevoix, where he spends each summer taking guests out sailing on his 40-foot catamaran. So far, he’s taken over 25,000 people sailing. He’s encouraged eight of them to follow in his seaworthy footsteps to become captains themselves. In addition, he’s tackled some slightly bigger waters in the off-season. “One of my favorites was crossing the Pacific several years ago,” Dawson said, “I sailed 10,000 miles from the British Virgin Islands to Fiji with my brother and his significant other.” So far we’ve got lakes, and oceans — what hadn’t Dawson conquered by boat yet? As it turns out, something right here at home. “A buddy of mine from high school, Emil Muccino, lives on Burt Lake, and he took me out on his pontoon boat, out into the Crooked River,” Dawson said. “I absolutely loved it. We went back to his house afterward, and I picked up a book he had on the history of the Inland Waterway, showing how steamships with hundreds of people would cruise that same route. I said to Emil, ‘Hey, is anyone doing this sort of thing now?’” Muccino told him no one was, so the pair went in 50/50 to launch their own Inland Waterway cruise business, Riverboat Tours, in 2015. Now, when Dawson’s not working with Sunshine Charters, he’s plying the Inland Waterway with his own 40-foot pontoon boat, the Keewaydin Queen II, which features comfortable seating, a canopy, panoramic views, and even a head (bathroom). “The different boats each draw two distinct kinds of guests,” Dawson said. “Sailing on [Sunshine Charters’] catamaran tends to attract younger couples, and families with kids; while the riverboat tours are more couples plus older folks and seniors.” The Inland Waterway, around 38 miles total, starts just north of Petoskey and meanders through a chained series of rivers and lakes, passing though quaint small towns like Conway, Alanson, and Indian River before meeting up with Lake Huron at Cheboygan’s shores. It’s a leisurely route taken at a placid pace. Riverboat Tours travel five miles along the Crooked River, which connects Crooked and Burt lakes, and five miles back — offering a nearly two-hour tour of what Dawson said is one of the most scenic routes you’ll find along the Inland Waterway. Hint: It’s also one of the best ways to see northern Michigan’s fall foliage, with the burst of autumnal colors doubled in the mirrored reflections of the waterway (the tours run until mid-October). “The topology along our route is some of the prettiest along the entire way,” he said. “We go through marshland, where you’ll see a lot of birds; forested spots where they used to do logging; and some little cottage communities.” His own favorite spot for views? “The forest areas,” he said. “They’re a real contrast, for me, to the blankness of the ocean, where it’s just you and the fish. With the river, there are all the trees and wildlife — you get to feel like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, where around every bend there’s something new to see.” Riverboat Tours is based at 6293 River St., in Alanson. Waterway tours run Tuesday through Saturday and are $24 adults and $20 for kids under 12 and seniors over 62. For more information, visit riverboattoursmi.com or call (231) 268-8530. WILD WILDLIFETraveling along northern Michigan’s Inland Waterway gives you a vantage point that’s very different from merely strolling along a riverbank or shoreline. Get an up-close look at a wide variety of plants, mammals, and birds, all there for the spotting with your binoculars, or ready to strike a pose for your camera. “On one of our recent trips, six deer swam right across the river in front of us,” Captain Dawson said. Spotting wildlife isn’t guaranteed, of course; they’re on their own schedule. But here’s what you should keep your eyes out for: • Trumpeter swans • Great Blue Heron • Bald eagles • Sandhill cranes • Mallard ducks • Canadian Geese • White-tailed deer • North American beavers • Snapping turtles
|The Marsupials Offer Up a Pocket Full of RockNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Hailing from Harbor Springs and Petoskey, The Marsupials’ Tai Drury, Alex Riesenbeck, and Jakey Thomas have their feet firmly planted in the ’70s, taking the classic, funk-infused rock of that era and modernizing it with jazz and ’90s radio-rock sounds and an extravagant performance style. But don’t try to pin these guys down too much. “Our original music has a sound all its own,” Riesenbeck said. “We really only sound like us.” The trio formed in the summer of 2014, brought together from the remnants of other local music projects, including the Petoskey bands Something Different in the Homemade Jam and TooMuchOfAGoodThing. Drury on guitar and Riesenback on drums formed the initial outfit; they later added Thomas on bass guitar. YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD THEM “There’s always a good crowd when we play our local venues, like City Park Grill and the Upstairs Lounge, which are both in Petoskey,” Riesenback said. The crew’s “performance roots,” as Riesenback put it, are definitely in Michigan; they’ve played as far south as Holland and as far north as Marquette. And they’ve also been featured at several music festivals, including the Forrestville Festival in Marquette and Blissfest. But they’ve got much, much bigger goals. “We’re all pretty unified in our goal of being an international touring act,” said Drury, “and we’ve made steady progress toward this since we started.” THEIR INSPIRATION Drury is the main songwriter, although he said that his best work has a lot less to do with him than most would think. “I’d wager that I’m simply acting as a conduit for something far greater than myself to come through.” Listing “existence and nature, the duality of human life, and other pretty esoteric subjects” among his inspirations, he added that he works to make the band’s musical arrangements flow in an interesting way, so that they’re accessible to both everyday listeners and music connoisseurs. “We also throw some choice covers in the mix,” said Drury. “We try to choose things that fit with our repertoire and feel — like the Allman Brothers, Stevie Wonder, the Grateful Dead, and Bob Marley, to name a few. We like to play covers that people will definitely recognize and enjoy.” COULD IT BE A SIGN?The story behind the band’s name isn’t pulled from something Australian, as you might expect, but it is poised to become a suburban rock legend. Whether or not you believe it is up to you. “One time we were hiking in Traverse City, and we got a little lost,” said Drury. “We stumbled around the woods for a couple hours, finally finding a trail, and it led us to a small circular building with a hatch on top, so we climbed down into it. When we got to the bottom there was a tiny musty room with some candles burning. And on the wall was an old dilapidated neon sign that just said ‘MARSUPIALS.’ It was hard to deny something like that, and we were looking for a band name at the time, so we decided that was us right there.” FUTURE MARSUPIALS Currently in the middle of their songwriting process, the band are aiming at getting back into the recording studio in the near future; for this trio, winter is the optimum time to develop their songs, as they stay busy all summer long performing live. “All of us are looking forward to expanding out of our local scene to provide our music to new areas and potential fans,” Riesenback said. “We’re definitely in this for the long haul,” Drury added. “The next step is to establish more of a fan base in lower Michigan, and then hit other states. The Marsupials will always live on in some way — I have things I need to get out!” MARSUPIAL SOUNDS Want to hear the call of The Marsupials? The band has digital albums of its original music for sale on Bandcamp and iTunes, or you can listen on Spotify or at soundcloud.com/the-marsupials. Physical copies are available at every show. Stay up to date on The Marsupials’ performance schedule at the band’s official website, mimarsupials.com and facebook.com/marsupialsband.
|Bruno Mars Heading to TVNorthern Express / 3 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Multi-Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars — whom you’ll recognize from his two widely lauded Super Bowl halftime performances — is ready to nab another big TV win: his very own first prime time TV special. Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo will air on CBS TV on Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 10pm. The special was filmed at the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, where Mars and his backing band, The Hooligans, staged a massive performance on top of the venue’s marquee and also hit the streets to entertain Manhattan locals … American Idol winner-turned-pop superstar Kelly Clarkson is set to release her eighth studio album, Meaning of Life, on Oct. 27. This will be Clarkson’s first release for Atlantic Records — she’s spent the bulk of her career so far on RCA Records — and with the announcement of the album, Clarkson said, “This is the album she’s always wanted to make.” You’re probably already hearing the album’s first single, “Love So Soft,” on radio, where it arrived last week. Clarkson collaborated with a shortlist of big-name producers to complete the recording, including Adele/Beck producer Greg Kurstin … Will Smith and his longtime pal DJ Jazzy Jeff have collaborated for the first time since 1998 with the track “Lovely Daze,” a new EDM-heavy tune piled with stacks of synths and bubbling basslines. The pair debuted the track at the Livewire Festival in Blackpool, England, as a way to “brighten up the darkness in this world,” as Smith said while introducing the song. So does this mean that the tour the pair talked about in 2016 is going to happen? There’s no answer to that just yet, but Smith did say that he has a half-dozen tracks already in the can, which might mean an album worthy of tour promotion … And the mystery guest who will appear on the upcoming Foo Fighters album Concrete and Gold has been revealed: In an interview with Rolling Stone, Foos frontman Dave Grohl confirmed that the musician is none other than Justin Timberlake, who contributes some backing vocals to the album. The Foos’ Concrete and Gold is in stores this week, so you can check out those vocals for yourself … LINK OF THE WEEK Pop diva Cher and hip-hop artist Future have teamed up courtesy of The GAP, who paired up the musicians for a new installment of the clothing outlet’s Meet Me in The Gap campaign. Cher and Future hang out on a white set of stairs, dueting on a reworked version of Sly and the Family Stone’s ’60s classic “Everyday People.” Check it out at http://tinyurl.com/y9g8zqcm … THE BUZZ Heritage Guitar Inc. in Kalamazoo, the guitar plant that’s cranked out hundreds of Gibson and Heritage guitars, celebrates its 100-year anniversary this month … Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Tom Hymn is doing some celebrating of his own about the release of his brand new album, Tom Hymn’s Tangerine Dream … Fellow Grand Rapids pop-rock outfit Miss Atomic is currently wrapping up work on what will be its debut EP, according to frontman Nikolas Warren … The new $863 million Little Caesars Arena in Detroit officially opened last week with a raucous concert from Kid Rock … And after four award-winning years as a favorite local indie-soul band, Grand Rapids’ Vox Vidorra have announced that it’s disbanding, with the band’s upcoming sophomore album to be its last release … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock. Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at email@example.com.
|Lady Ace Boogie brings her positivity, vulnerability to Traverse City - Traverse City Record EagleGoogle News / 3 d. 20 h. 45 min. ago more|
Traverse City Record EagleLady Ace Boogie brings her positivity, vulnerability to Traverse CityTraverse City Record Eagle“When I look out into the crowds of my shows, I see artists from all different genres supporting my music,” said Linda Tellis, aka Lady Ace Boogie, who plays a 10 p.m. Saturday show at Rare Bird Brewpub in Traverse City with special guest, fellow Grand ...and more »
|Bruce Moore Elected to TAM Board of DirectorsTraverse City News / 4 d. 1 h. 2 min. ago more|
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. , Sept.A Bruce K. Moore, President and GM of Michigan Broadband Services, was elected to the Telecommunications Association of Michigan Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting held Wednesday September 13 , 2017.A "We are fortunate to have Bruce join our leadership team," said Scott Stevenson President /Secretary of TAM.
|Victim, Suspect Identified In King's Court HomicideThe Ticker / 4 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
The identities of a a 48-year-old man found dead at a King's Court residence and his 23-year-old suspected killer were both released by authorities Thursday. The body of Christopher Allan Kleehammer was found shortly after 7:30am Wednesday at 1531 David Place in King's Court mobile home park in Garfield Township. Central Dispatch received a 911 call from a nearby resident who told dispatchers his son, Dallas David Walker, had killed Kleehammer and confessed the crime to his girlfriend. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies secured Kleehammer's residence and located Walker walking down David Place. They took Walker into custody, eventually transporting him to Munson Medical Center for evaluation. Search warrants were obtained for the residences of both the victim and the suspect, with the Michigan State Police Crime Lab processing both scenes until late into the evening Wednesday. The homes still remain under protection by authorities. Preliminary investigation results determined Kleehammer and Walker were both neighbors and acquaintances. At some point after 2am Wednesday, Walker went to Kleehammer's residence. At 7am, Walker returned to his own home and made comments to other residents that led Walker's father to go check on Kleehammer, where he discovered the man's body. The father then called 911. According to authorities, Kleehammer had obvious signs of blunt force trauma to the head. His body was taken to Kalamazoo for an autopsy to determine an official cause of death, which has not yet been released. After speaking with Walker at the Sheriff's Office, detectives arrested the man and took him to Grand Traverse County Jail on felony open murder charges. Walker is scheduled to be arraigned via video today (Friday) at 8:30 am in front of Judge Thomas Phillips.
|City Officials Talk Pot Laws, Eighth Street ZoningThe Ticker / 4 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Traverse City planning commissioners are studying changes that could allow for new types of medical marijuana facilities in the city, as well as create new zoning rules for the height and appearance of buildings along Eighth Street. At a study session this week, City Attorney Lauren Trible-Laucht walked planning commissioners through recent changes in Michigan law that establish a new licensing system for the growing, processing, testing, transporting and selling of medical marijuana. The legislation also taxes medical marijuana products and requires the systematic tracking of plants from “seed to sale.” Trible-Laucht noted the new laws – signed by Gov. Rick Synder in late 2016, with the first licenses expected to be issued this December – require municipalities to proactively “opt in” in order for licenses and facilities to be legal in their community. “If the city were to do noting, then none of these facilities would be allowed to operate within the city,” Trible-Laucht explained. “In order for these new facilities to be permitted within the city and to be licensed within the state…the city has to affirmatively adopt an ordinance that says, ‘Yes, we want these facilities, these are the types of facilities that we want, and this is how many facilities of each type that we want.’” Unlike previous patient-caregiver laws – which restricted medical marijuana patients to growing no more than 12 plants for their sole use and caregivers to growing no more than 72 plants for themselves and up to five patients – the new legislation allows production facilities to grow up to 1,500 plants. Retail dispensaries, or provisioning centers, are also allowed to make a profit on medical marijuana sales for the first time; previous legislation required caregivers to sell their products at cost. Trible-Laucht noted Michigan plans to tax provisioning centers three percent on their gross sales, with a quarter of those funds being distributed to local municipalities. Should such facilities be allowed in Traverse City, that would potentially provide a revenue stream to both Traverse City and Grand Traverse County, Trible-Laucht explained. Planning commissioners expressed a willingness to explore allowing medical marijuana facilities in Traverse City – but detailed a litany of questions they wanted answered before adopting an ordinance. “I would have a question about the demand on infrastructure based on the size of that type of facility: the electrical service grid, water, wastewater and those needs,” said Planning Commissioner Jim Tuller. Planning Commissioner Brian McGillivary stated a desire to learn more about the various types of allowed facilities, their logistical requirements and potential impacts, while Planning Commissioner Gary Howe questioned how officials could adequately solicit enough public feedback on a proposed ordinance. “(In terms of) hearing from the public, I don’t know how we get a good gauge because of the social and legal stigmas of the market,” said Howe. “People are pretty quiet about (marijuana use), so I don’t know how we really get a good sense of what’s needed.” Trible-Laucht thanked planning commissioners for their questions, saying it would help staff identify areas of further study for the board as they continued to discuss the ordinance at future meetings. “We’re taking notes on what kinds of things you’re going to want to know before you delve into it,” she said. City Planning Director Russ Soyring pointed out potential applicants were waiting in the wings should officials eventually decide to allow the new medical marijuana licenses in Traverse City. “We get the phone calls, and people are asking and waiting and wondering what the city’s action is going to be,” Soyring said. “I think there is a great deal of interest to have some of these licenses in the city if the city permits them.” Also likely to be an ongoing topic among planning commissioners is a potential new “form-based” zoning code for Eighth Street, which would change the rules for development in the corridor. Soyring explained that unlike the existing traditional zoning code, which focuses on what types of uses are allowed or disallowed in buildings, the form-based code focuses on the physical design and appearance of buildings themselves. “It’s a new, rather novel way that communities are starting to look at development,” Soyring said. Among the changes proposed in the new zoning plan is altering allowed building heights on Eighth Street. Existing zoning rules primarily dictate a maximum of 45-foot buildings throughout the corridor, though properties set further back can build up to 75 feet and some parcels – like the Governmental Center – can go up to 90 feet. The new form-based zoning code calls for building heights ranging from 44 to 87 feet along the road, depending on the type of building, with a minimum two-story requirement. Taller buildings at the “gateway” to the corridor – including near Eighth and Woodmere and Eighth and Boardman – could be permitted if they incorporated community elements like affordable housing. Planning commissioners expressed mixed opinions on the plan, asking Soyring to come back in the future with more information on how the new code would impact existing properties – potentially turning some into non-conforming parcels – and an explanation of how the new plan would better serve development compared to existing rules. Planning Commissioner Mike Grant said he hoped future discussion would address at least one key question about a potential change in zoning plans. “What problems are we trying to solve, and is this actually going to solve them?” he asked. Pictured: Eighth Street corridor
|Cherryland Donates $11,500The Ticker / 4 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Cherryland Cares awarded $11,500 this week to five northwest Michigan area non-profit organizations. Receiving grants were Acme Christian Thrift Store, Boots for Kids, Habitat for Humanity – Benzie County, Leelanau County Cancer Foundation, and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Grand Traverse. The Cherryland Cares board is made up of five volunteer Cherryland Electric Cooperative members who decide where the money derived from Cherryland Cares Round Up will be handed out to non-profits. Cherryland Cares Round Up money comes from Cherryland members who choose to round up their bills to the nearest dollar. Cherryland Electric Cooperative is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric utility serving 35,000 members in the Grand Traverse region.
|JOAN M. RUTHERFORDLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Joan Mary Rutherford, 79, of Lake Leelanau, entered into Eternal Joy Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at her home with her loving family at her side. read more
|JOHN F. “BOBO” PEPLINSKILeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
CEDAR – John Felix “Bobo” Peplinski, 92, of Cedar, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 at home surrounded by his loving family and Father Donald Libby. read more
|THOMAS A. NELLLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Thomas Allen Nell, 80, of Lake Leelanau went home to his Savior Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017. Tom was born on Dec. 18, 1936 in Hanover, PA, the son of Chester and Kathryn (Pfaff) Nell. On April 13, 1957 in Gettysburg, PA, he married Marilyn Ruof, who survives. read more
|WILLIAM J. IRWIN IIILeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
CEDAR – William Joseph Irwin III, of Cedar, passed away Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 at Spectrum Health, Grand Rapids. Bill was born on Dec. 3, 1948 in Detroit, the son of William Joseph and Louise Stevens (Woods) Irwin. read more
|GEORGE SIKORSKILeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
George Sikorski, 95, a 45 year resident of Empire and formerly of Detroit, died Thursday September 7th in Traverse City. He was born on September 20,1921 in Detroit, to the late William and Lena (Olariu) Sikorski of Detroit. read more
|LUCAS JAMES DANIELLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Family and friends are commemorating the life of Lucas James Daniel on the anniversary of his forty-third birthday. Lucas died March 31 of this year in Chicago IL from invasive pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer of short duration. read more
|Deborah Ann RockLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at Maple Grove Cemetery for Deborah Ann Rock of Maple City who died Sept. 17, 2017. She was 63. Deborah was born June 24, 1954 in Saginaw to Donald and Madlyn Eimers. She enjoyed crafts, camping and spending time with friends and family.read more
|John and Dorothy (Bartlett) CrosbyLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 22 at the Leelanau Township Cemetery in Northport for John and Dorothy (Bartlett) Crosby. The Rev. Phil Garrison will officiate. Arrangements are with the Martinson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Leelanau.
|Sharon Jean WaughLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
Sharon Jean Waugh of Lake Leelanau died Friday, Sept. 15 at home. Born in Detroit, Sharon lived for 15 years in Chicago before moving up north to Traverse City for the last 28 years of her life. She was an amazing mother, grandmother and friend. She loved to garden and take long walks at Good Harbor.read more
|Indigenous Peoples Day set for Oct. 1Leelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
By Eric Carlson Of The Enterprise staff The Leelanau County government has selected a day to observe “Indigenous Peoples Day.” The roughly 800 Native Americans residing in Leelanau County will be recognized on their own day of Oct. 1 — not on Columbus Day, which occurs each year on the second Monday of October.read more
|No ‘protest,’ but order grantedLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
By Eric Carlson Of The Enterprise staff A new legal battle is brewing between the owner of a controversial “wedding barn” in Elmwood Township, Frank Noverr, and a group known as the Southeast Leelanau Association of Neighbors (SLAN).read more
|WELCOME, AUTUMNLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
THIS WEEKEND could be summer’s last hurrah with temperatures reaching the mid- to high-80s — and maybe even breaking a record or two. This couple takes advantage of last weekend’s sun at the Glen Haven beach. read more
|Zoning costs a bundleLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
By Amy Hubbell Of The Enterprise staff Local zoning ordinances help control what, where and how things happen on the Leelanau Peninsula. But enforcement doesn’t happen on its own. And the cost is borne by taxpayers. An Enterprise survey of the county’s 11 townships and three incorporated villages showed the cost of administering the ordinance totals more than $270,000 a year.read more
|Summer greets Color Tour seasonLeelanau Enterprise / 5 d. 16 h. 6 min. ago more|
By Patti Brandt Burgess Of The Enterprise staff The reds and oranges of fall are starting to pop and while it may be too soon for a color tour, with temperatures set to soar into the upper 80s, this weekend just may be summer’s last hurrah.read more
|TrailerblazingTraverse City News / 7 d. 16 h. 55 min. ago more|
We don't know if there has ever been a boat the size of Kismet trailered through Zion National Park before. Going through the park provided us a shortcut of approximately 43 miles in reaching Lake Powell.
|Bottoms Up: Health-Ade Kombucha at Brew TCNorthern Express / 10 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Tea has long been known as a healthy beverage, with all manner of antioxidants and other benefits flowing through its flavorful brew. But kombucha is another way to take your tea: specifically, as fermented tea, which means the tea also includes digestive-system-friendly probiotics (much like what you get from certain yogurts) and healthy organic acids. Despite its acids and fermentation, kombucha is a very tasty tea. It goes down smooth, with a touch of bubbles that’ll get you giggling, and unique flavor profiles. Health-Ade Kombucha offers a variety of flavors ranging from their original plain version to a zingy lemon-ginger. Health-Ade is handcrafted in small batches from fresh ingredients, and flavored with cold-pressed juice, after which it’s fermented and packaged in protective amber bottles. Find it at Brew in Traverse City, 111 W. Front St., brewtc.com or (231) 935-4166.
|Colin’s Corner Cafe of Harbor SpringsNorthern Express / 10 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
School meals for Petoskey’s Colin Stevens weren’t the usual fare. With a dad who was a chef, Colin and his five siblings grew up expecting more than the average fare at their family dining table. Full breakfasts were cooked every morning, school lunches were packed with expert care, and full dinners were almost always served at home. “We hardly ever dined out unless it was a special occasion,” Stevens said. So after he graduated from Harbor Light, a private Christian School in Harbor Springs, Stevens gravitated toward the food industry. He moved to California to work for American Golf, a Los Angeles-based golf course and catering company, where he worked as an event and menu planner. “I’ve always just loved to cook and throw dinner parties for my friends,” Stevens said. “I learned a lot from watching my dad cook in the kitchen, but the rest, well, I’ve been self-taught for the most part.” When Stevens moved back to Michigan to be closer to family, he took a job at Mustang Wendy’s, an upstart mixed-cuisine restaurant in Harbor Springs, but that restaurant closed this summer, leaving Stevens at loose ends. So he decided to take matters into his own hands. “While I was working at Mustang Wendy’s, I met a woman who, unknown to me, would become my silent business partner,” Stevens said. “She’s been to dinner parties that I’ve thrown and enjoyed them. So when I found out that a particular space was going to be available in a building in Harbor Springs, I proposed my idea for a coffee and cake shop with a light breakfast and lunch menu, and she thought it was a great idea.” The resulting Colin’s Corner Cafe sits on a very accessible corner in downtown Harbor Springs, right next to the post office and the American Legion. Stevens started his plan for the cafe by basing it around coffee. “I’m such a big coffee person, so there needs to be good coffee in this town,” he said. He took a jaunt downstate to Ferris Coffee and Nut Co. in Grand Rapids, where he spent a week at their foundry school to become certified as a Ferris Coffee barista. “It was pretty intensive,” he said. “We worked from 8am to 6pm every day, all week.” With his barista training done, he started construction on the cafe itself in March of this year. “I wanted it to be a really fun and energetic place, with affordable food,” he said. One whole wall is covered in round slices of wood stumps that Stevens sanded and varnished himself. All of the tables are handmade as well. Bright pops of green, yellow, and pink, with accents of black and white, make up the rest of the lively décor. Stevens got everything completed just in time for his official opening on July 8. “The first three weeks we were open were absolute craziness — which was good!” he said. The coffee menu, based around Ferris Coffees, includes specialty espresso drinks, drip coffee, and iced coffee. “Our signature coffee drink is the cinnamon maple latte ($4), with espresso, steamed milk, cinnamon, and local Michigan maple syrup,” Stevens said. He also makes his own vanilla and mocha syrups for the coffee beverages. Breakfasts start at $8, with two breakfast sandwiches already rising to the top of the menu in popularity: the Little Harbor with house-roasted vegetables (zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and onion), turkey bacon, and eggs on rye; and the Harbor Monster, a stack of eggs, ham, bacon, cheddar cheese, and pickled jalapenos on seeded wheat ($10). Lunch features more savory sandwiches, including customer favorite The Mean Pony ($8) — house-roasted vegetables plus mixed greens, red onion, tomatoes, and pesto aioli wrapped in a spinach tortilla — and carefully thought-out salads like Stevens’ arugula salad with fennel, apples, avocado, walnuts, red onions, parmesan, and a citrus vinaigrette. Still got room for dessert? You’ll want to make sure you do; Stevens also bakes his own cakes ($7 per slice), including a cinnamon and sour cream coffee cake, and his “Hot Water” chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache drizzle. “Using hot water instead of cold water in the ingredients makes the cake really moist,” he said. Colin’s Corner Cafe is located at 138 West 3rd St., in downtown Harbor Springs. For more information, visit facebook.com/colinscornercafe or call (616) 735-9660.
|Underserved and OverchargedNorthern Express / 10 d. 8 h. 50 min. ago more|
Gary and Sandra Houghtaling live in a cabin they built two decades ago on 10 acres. It sits just off a pockmarked dirt road that likes east of Beulah and south of Honor in Homestead Township, a deep rural patchwork of trees and fields that feels like the middle of nowhere. Gary, 70, and Sandra, 60, survive on a small fixed income that falls under the poverty level. The couple keeps track of every dollar they spend. That’s why, when they noticed clerical errors on locally administered health care claims the couple says cost them about $400, they complained to anyone they could. For many people, the loss of $400 wouldn’t be catastrophic. But the Houghtalings said, for them, it has meant real pain and suffering. The couple — who receives care through the Healthy Michigan Plan administered by the Benzie County office of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services — has spent years trying to correct the problem. In April, the state finally responded, with a refund of $21. In July, the couple received a letter that included an apology. That’s not enough, the Houghtalings said. They estimate they’re still owed over $400, and they want to tell their story because they’re afraid that the same thing is happening to others who are too scared come forward. INFLATED INCOMEThe Houghtalings aren’t exactly sure what happened in their case. The health care system is Byzantine, and they are simple people. They suspect their Benzie County caseworker mistakenly registered a phantom $1,500 in monthly income in their file, bumping them into a higher income bracket and making them responsible for doctor and dental visit copays. The couple said they noticed the problem in 2015, complained to their caseworker, and were assured that the problem would be corrected. But later they discovered the problem had not been corrected; they continued to get charged for co-pays, which Sandra Houghtaling said her husband insisted on paying because he believes in paying his bills, even if he doesn’t believe he owes them. The Houghtalings said that, in trying to get refunds for the wrongly charged copays, they’ve gotten the runaround from the Benzie County office. “They have never talked to us about it. They refuse. They say, ‘Oh, we don’t have nothing to do with that,’” Gary Houghtaling said. “They’ve given us probably a half a dozen different phone numbers, and we’ve called every one of them, and every one of them has said – ‘Pssst, Benzie County is the one that takes care of that.’ And you call him, and he says, ‘Oh no, they’re mistaken.’” The couple’s income is $15,627.96 per year. That includes a $4,000 annuity Gary Houghtaling receives each year for a workman’s comp claim. The rest comes from a monthly $922 payment from Social Security and a $47 monthly pension earned from the years he spent as a union heavy equipment operator. When the $4,000 is pro-rated over 12 months, it adds up to a monthly income of $1,302.33. The couple’s monthly income is important because, according to the 2017 poverty guidelines for the Healthy Michigan Plan, the monthly income threshold to receive care — without being responsible for a copay — is $1,334.00 per month for a family of two. The Houghtaling’s monthly income falls under that amount. GOING WITHOUT CAREGary Houghtaling said the mix-up has forced him to forgo dental care. He gets his medical care through the Veterans Administration but his dental work is provided through the state. “They had us on a dental program, and you pay according to what you make. Well, if you put the wrong figures in there — because we shouldn’t have been paying anything, and he had us paying $24 a month, plus anywhere from $25 to $60 or $70 co-pay for a dental appointment,” he said. “Fifty bucks out of my paycheck for something that’s not scheduled, and that’s it — I’m busted.” The Houghtalings said they stopped complaining at the Benzie County office because their pleas were eventually met with ridicule, but in late 2016, they were told their paperwork had been corrected to reflect their actual income. Despite having paid previous copays, they believed they would move on and at least would not be charged in the future. Then in December they received another copay bill for $48. The said that when they called the Healthy Michigan Plan office, they were told to call Benzie County. The couple said the continued runaround caused them stress, which caused them each health problems. In April, the couple’s frustration boiled over. Sandra Houghtaling wrote a long, somewhat rambling and very angry letter to Nick Lyon, the state director of DHHS. It outlined the couple’s frustrations and repeatedly referenced her husband’s military service; Gary Houghtaling served in the Army in Germany during the Vietman war. She wrote: “It is time to put a face to these series of blunders. HUMAN lives are on the other side of your forms you and your staff is required to file correctly. You must realize this statement.” She included a blank sheet of paper and a stamped, self-addressed envelope so that Lyon could personally write an apology. TWO DIFFERENT ANSWERSIn July, the Houghtalings received responses from the Benzie County DHHS office and from the state DHHS offices. The letters offered conflicting explanations of what happened. The state office offered an apology. In the state letter, dated July 10, department specialist Andrew Piper said a computer glitch caused the trouble. “It appears there was a technical issue with our internal eligibility software, which caused a problem with the way income was being budgeted on your case,” Piper wrote. “For future reference, the exact issue involved incorrectly calculating income from your husband’s annuity, which had been pro-rated over a 12-month period. We were able to verify your co-payment amounts have been corrected through the issuance of refunds/adjustments.” The letter goes on to say that they confirmed that the Benzie County office was aware of the glitch and would take action to prevent it from occurring in the future. In a letter dated July 11, the Benzie County office offered a different explanation for the error. That letter, written by Kristine Lagios, director of Benzie County branch of DHHS, explained that the reason the Houghtalings were at some points deemed responsible for copays was because of fluctuations in the federal poverty line, which is used to set income limits for benefits. Lagios did not apologize to the couple. She wrote: “It does not appear that there have been any errors on the part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Please let me know if you need any further information. Again, thank you for your service to our country.” Despite making no admission of an error, Lagios did write that the agency responsible for billing had overbilled them $21, for which they had been reimbursed. The couple still has the check. The consider it an insult and don’t plan to cash it. “We have over $400 worth of charges, and I don’t know where they come up with $21. I don’t know where they come up with their figures at all,” Gary Houghtaling said. Lagios and Piper did not return messages seeking comment. Bob Wheaton, DHHS spokesman, said he couldn’t comment about a specific case because of confidentiality requirements. “Generally speaking, I can tell you that when MDHHS becomes aware of any miscalculation that affects a client’s benefits or health-care coverage, the department takes actions to correct that situation so that the client receives the benefits for which he or she is eligible,” Wheaton said. MOVE NORTH TO BENZIEThe couple did not always live in poverty. They moved to Benzie County from downstate around Christmas of 1994. They purchased the historic 1912 Benzie County courthouse in Beulah on a land contract. They planned to turn it into a bed and breakfast but after three years ran out of money and had to walk away, losing what they had invested so far. “We couldn’t get funding. I always paid cash for everything and didn’t have a trail, and banks weren’t going to lend us a thing,” Gary Houghtaling said. “All they’d give us was promises — ‘If you do this, we’ll consider it.’ If we’d do that, they’d say, ‘Well, do this then.’ And we’d do that. And this and that and this and that and this and that. They kept us jumping for three years.” Finally, they ran out of money and had to walk away from the contract. The couple decided to build a house on land out in the country, their Homestead Township property, which they had purchased at the same time they had attempted to buy the courthouse. They had bought the Homestead Township property on land contract for $99 down and $99 per month as a backup plan. Today, they are very thankful they bought the land, because as long as they can pay the property taxes, they have a place to live. The couple built their home themselves with scraps Gary found as he was working as a carpenter. They core of the home is a cabin a friend gave them; it only needed to be moved from a lot on Crystal Lake, so Gary Houghtaling chain-sawed the building into eight-foot pieces, loaded them onto a truck, and hauled them out to his land. Today, it’s a cozy cabin filled with books and records, a woodstove and, in the center, a tree. Sandra Houghtaling said she wants to tell her story because she fears there are others who are having the same trouble. “My thoughts are, if it’s happening to us on this level, how much more is it happening?” she said. “We are in this for everybody. I mean, we have the wherewithal to go ahead and put our faces forward. This is not the only case.” LIFE IN POVERTYThe Houghtalings are not trapped only in poverty but also in the unfolding debate over health care in America. Progressives believe health care is a human right that should be available to everyone. Conservatives view health care as a commodity that — with exceptions — should be provided to those able to pay for it. The Houghtalings find themselves caught in the compromise between those positions. For people who live in poverty, the unexpected loss of even a small amount of money can be devastating, said Gerri VanAntwerp, executive director of Benzie Area Christian Neighbors. “Twenty-five dollars to someone who has hundreds might not be a lot, but $25 to someone who has $50 is a tremendous amount,” she said. What’s more, for people who live in poverty, navigating the bureaucracy in order to receive benefits can be a perplexing and painful process. “The pathway to all these services and advocating for yourself is often very difficult and very wary to many people,” VanAntwerp said. “Better-off people have so many tools and resources that people living in poverty don’t have.” The troubles the Houghtaling face with the DHHS is just one aspect of the frustrations that come from dealing with the poverty bureaucracy. Take the $4,000 annuity the couple receives every April. It’s considered part of the couple’s monthly income, but it doesn’t spend like monthly income, Gary Houghtaling said. “That comes in nice. It works out really good, because of when it comes … I can pay my (property) taxes, and I’m not going to lose my house,” he said. But the annual payment makes the couple eligible for fewer food stamps. “I get less food stamps because they say I’m making more than I am actually making,” he said. “And then, when April gets here, they throw me off. They cancel me. Every year, I think two, three years, as soon as I get that $4,000 check, even though it’s all in the records, everything’s cancelled. They cancel me every April. And then you have to start all over. And it takes two, three months to get back on the program.” Sandra Houghtaling said she’s resigned to not have health care. “I’ve learned to use herbs because I don’t give us a chance at having any more health care as far as the government’s concerned,” she said. “They’re not going to do it. They just hope we die. I mean, short of dying, what do you want us to do? We’ve filled out all of your papers. We still have this problem. Like I have maintained, I just want to get out of the health care system and be on my own.”
|4 fantastic Midwest road trips for fall colorTraverse City News / 11 d. 22 h. 25 min. ago more|
The advent of autumn is a great excuse for a road trip. Take in fall scenery on four wheels, pulling over to snap a photo, enjoy a meal or stretch your legs to explore on foot.
|Dozens of motorcyclists salute veterans with parade to Michigan SNFsTraverse City News / 13 d. 7 h. 19 min. ago more|
The idea of a motorcycle ride to honor nursing home residents who served in the military first came to Colleen Goldman five years ago as a way to grant the wish of a dying resident. "Not only was he a veteran but he was an old Harley rider," said Goldman, life enrichment director of Tendercare Birchwood Health Center in Traverse City, MI, to the Traverse City Record-Eagle .
|Volunteer likes to offer hope and make people smileTraverse City News / 14 d. 5 h. 2 min. ago more|
The New Hope Shelter provides food, safety, and shelter to men for up to 90 days. During that time, volunteers help them set up bank accounts and set goals to secure their own housing.
|Omelette & Coates For Breakfast In Traverse CityTraverse City News / 15 d. 18 h. 34 min. ago more|
Steve "Omelette" Normandin and Rick Coates have joined Classic Rock The BEAR 98.1 & 97.7 FM in Traverse City, MI, as the station's morning show. Omelette & Coates will air Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 10 a.m. The pair made their debut Saturday, September 9 at 9 a.m. Normandin is a 25-year veteran of morning radio, formerly with The Paul & Young Ron Show in Miami, before stints in Danbury, CT.
|Bankruptcy judge allows Michigan fruit processor to keep doors openTraverse City News / 17 d. 14 h. 33 min. ago more|
Cherry Growers Inc. will be able to continue operating under a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition while it reorganizes its business operations, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Scott Dales ruled on Friday, Sept. 8. The order came after the processor and its bankers assured Dales that it would not burn through cash that may be owed to growers under a federal law that prevents processors from defaulting on their debts to growers.
|Bicyclist dies after being struck by 2 vehicles near Traverse CityTraverse City News / 19 d. 0 h. 39 min. ago more|
A 54-year-old bicyclist was killed this week when he was struck from behind by two vehicles south of Traverse City. The Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office received report of the crash around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.
|Free tours offered in northern Michigan during fall fisheries' egg-take effortsTraverse City News / 19 d. 14 h. 15 min. ago more|
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources again is offering the public the opportunity to see Great Lakes fish up close. The public and school groups can take part in free tours this fall at the Boardman River Weir in downtown Traverse City, the Little Manistee River Weir in Manistee County and the Platte River Weir in Benzie County.
|Michigan fish passage proposal worries environmentalistsTraverse City News / 19 d. 16 h. 39 min. ago more|
Environmentalists are concerned that a proposed fish passage in Michigan could invite species that would hurt a pristine trout stream. The Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City commissioners met Tuesday to discuss how a proposal for a bidirectional fish passage is shaping up.
|Conservation districts offer workshop on family land management Sept. 16Traverse City News / 20 d. 20 h. 32 min. ago more|
The Wexford Conservation District, in conjunction with the Grand Traverse Conservation District, is offering the workshop "Ties to the Land." This unique, day-long workshop will be held on Saturday, Sept.
|Naveego Expands Data Quality Offering, Touts Big Data Management Opportunities For PartnersTraverse City News / 20 d. 20 h. 32 min. ago more|
Big data startup Naveego has debuted a new release of DQS, the vendor's cloud-based data quality management software, with capabilities that help businesses and solution providers synchronize and clean up huge volumes of data spread out across disparate systems. Executives of the Traverse City, Mich.-based company say the DQS software, along with its master data management software, provides opportunities for solution providers to expand their work with customers' big data management and business analytics projects.
|Get on board and set sail into history on the Columbus ship toursTraverse City News / 24 d. 22 h. 21 min. ago more|
Get on board and sail into history - replicas of the Nina and the Pinta have docked in South Haven for Labor Day weekend. The Columbus Foundation created replicas of the ships that Christopher Columbus sailed around the world and used to discover the Americas.
|Stabenow Talks Jobs Training In MichiganTraverse City News / 25 d. 11 h. 58 min. ago more|
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says there will be a shortage of people to fill manufacturing jobs within the next seven years. She's been holding workforce discussions statewide, visiting Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City on Thursday.