February 28, 2020

Al Parker | Author


Feb. 5, 2018

For many in northern Michigan, winter is long, dreary series of months with gray skies and bitter temperatures. But for the folks at Michigan Blood, whose role is to maintain and replenish the state’s vital supply of blood, winter is even worse — a seemingly endless series of ... Read More >>

Drama Mama Rachael Harrell

Jan. 27, 2018

A Michigan native who spent a decade in Los Angeles while working on successful TV shows Survivor and The Apprentice has returned to The Mitten. Her mission: to launch a program that develops confidence and creativity among youngsters in grades one through eight.

“We give ki...

Bier Breaks into Beers

Jan. 20, 2018

A popular Charlevoix-area gallery is hoping to expand from artwork … to ales and lagers.

Adjacent to the Bier Gallery and Pottery Studio noted potter and avid brewer Tyler Bier and his wife, Anna, are planning to open Bier’s Inwood Brewery in a separate building just ... Read More >>

Bespoke Gundogs

Jan. 13, 2018

A Leelanau County man has launched an operation that combines two of his passions — dogs and bird hunting.

“I’ve been shooting over bird dogs since I was 8 or 10 years old – mostly with setters and labs,” said Chris Butz, a self-described “recov... Read More >>

Petoskey’s Historic Bahnhof Sport Makes a Major Change

Dec. 2, 2017

For more than 50 years, Bahnhof Sports has been satisfying the desires of those winter sports lovers who like a little chill with their thrills.

And that won’t change despite the fact that the landmark ski shop is now under new ownership. In November, owners Lindy and Greg S... Read More >>

Bringing Service to Servicemen and Women

Nov. 4, 2017

Steve Chowen’s eyes light up, his voice rising as he describes challenges that America’s military veterans face getting services they deserve, especially health care.

“We’ve got people driving right by five community hospitals to get downstate to be treated... Read More >>

The Long Road Home

Nov. 4, 2017

In a quiet neighborhood, just northwest of downtown Gaylord, is northern Michigan’s only transitional housing community for male veterans facing homelessness.

Patriot Place has been providing shelter and support for veterans since 2010. The cluster of eight single-story home... Read More >>

Tribal Architect Steve Feringa Transforms 4.6-billion-year-old Rock into Tools for Today.

Oct. 28, 2017

Steve Feringa grips a deer antler tool in his right hand and presses down hard against a piece of ancient rock held in his left until there’s an audible snap. A a quarter-inch sliver of the novaculite chips off and falls to the floor. 

He’ll do it dozens of times ...

That Old Rag?

Oct. 14, 2017

Stroll down New Orleans’ famed Bourbon Street, and you can’t swing a string of plastic beads without hitting a musical group playing some toe-tapping traditional jazz.

But you don’t need a plane ticket to the Big Easy to enjoy some of those syncopated sounds. A s... Read More >>


Oct. 14, 2017

Being “Busted” is a good thing at the Michigan Artists Gallery.

That’s the title of one of the most popular exhibits ever offered at the popular Traverse City art gallery, according to owner Sue Ann Round.

An impressive grouping of seven busts created by ... Read More >>

The (Not So) Nutty Professor

Oct. 7, 2017

It could be the setup for a corny joke: A former monk, an English professor and an advocate for senior citizens walks into a radio station.

It’s a joke that only word geeks attached to a long-running radio show would get.

“Words to the Wise” focuses on th...

Tomato Tycoon

Sept. 30, 2017

Any way you slice it, Joe Vanderbosch’s hydroponic tomato farm is a growing enterprise.

At his TLC Farms about five miles northwest of Suttons Bay, Vanderbosch talks about his 1,500 tomato plants with the same bright-eyed zeal that a first-time parent displays when bragging ... Read More >>

Remember this Titan: Traverse City West tight end Ryan Hayes

Sept. 9, 2017

Traverse City West tight end Ryan Hayes has committed to the University of Michigan, and he’s aiming for the pros. Before he goes, local football fans are anxiously awaiting what promises to be the senior's unforgettable final season.

Watching videos of Traver...

Traverse City Athletes Tackle One of Fall’s Fiercest Sports

Sept. 9, 2017

The Traverse City sky alternates between sunshine and a steady light rain as a dozen or so young women gather on a field along Franke Road.

The liquid sunshine does nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the Traverse City Girls Rugby Team as the players work on an intricate 8-player ... Read More >>

The Great Lakes’ Longtime Nemesis is Going Down

Aug. 26, 2017

When it comes to invasive species in the Great Lakes, efforts to halt the spread of the Asian Carp have generated a lot of buzz.

But there’s been an ongoing, persistent, under-the-radar effort to control an old nemesis — the fish-killing sea lamprey — that’... Read More >>

Northport’s Tibetan Yak

Aug. 12, 2017

Chris Butz has some advice to beef lovers: “Try yak, you’ll never go back.”

Butz, who raises Tibetan yaks at Gill’s Pier Ranch, just outside Northport, contends that yak meat is where the next culinary movement is at.

“It’s grass-fed and...

Femme Phenom Angel Schauer, Mancelona High’s first female wrestler

Aug. 5, 2017

When the two wrestlers met at the center of the mat, the Pine River grappler smirked, then openly snickered at his opponent, who glared back with steely determination.

Within seconds, the Mancelona wrestler — a relatively inexperienced sophomore — went for a favorite m... Read More >>

Going Solar

June 17, 2017


Everything seems to be all sunbeams and big sales for the U.S. solar energy market, but what about the great white northern Michigan?

Turns out, snowy winters and gray spring skies aren’t stopping our solar-seeking residents.

“The growth of solar...

The Art of Summer

June 10, 2017

If you’re an art lover looking for a unique piece of jewelry, that one-of-a-kind sculpture, or special painting, you’ll want to check out the variety of art shows held from now until Labor Day across northern Michigan.

Here’s a glimpse at some of the region&rsquo... Read More >>