June 3, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author

Northern Michigan’s Own Jeopardy! Star

May 23, 2020

Cadillac resident Ben Scripps went on a winning streak on the game show Jeopardy!, winning in his first two appearances. Unfortunately, the third appearance wasn’t a charm; Scripps ultimately lost to competitor Nathan Berger, of Portland, Maine, after making a big bet on wh... Read More >>

Summer People

May 16, 2020

On a sunny Friday afternoon on the first of May, the Emerald Isle, the massive 130-foot car ferry capable of carrying 294 passengers, 15 vehicles, cargo, and a semi-truck, completed its 32-mile journey and pulled into port at Beaver Island on its first trip of the season.

There...

Cadillac Cinema Might be Saved

May 16, 2020

A nonprofit group plans to save the Cadillac 4 movie theater in downtown Cadillac after the venue closed amid a bankruptcy.

The Cadillac Footliters, a community theater group, has made an offer to purchase Cadillac’s only movie theater, noting that it plans to make the hi... Read More >>

Addiction Isn’t Taking a Break

May 2, 2020

Methadone saved Mariah Pelky’s life but getting the dose that helps the Interlochen resident resist her narcotics addiction requires she drives to a clinic in Gaylord six days each week.

Still, she considers herself to be one of the lucky ones. The methadone and a stable ... Read More >>

TC Filmmaker's Doc Championed by Moore; Panned by Environmentalists

May 2, 2020

A Traverse City filmmaker’s documentary about green energy was a massive hit after Michael Moore promoted the film on his YouTube channel, garnering millions of views — but backlash from environmentalists around the world.

“I am thrilled that Planet o...

The Earth Day Celebration That Wasn't

April 25, 2020

This year’s 50th Earth Day didn’t arrive with the fanfare that long-time environmental activist Ann Rogers had hoped.

After all, it wasn’t just a milestone for Earth Day, it was also the 40th anniversary of the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, o... Read More >>

Peace or Panic? A Mid-COVID Chat with TC Police Chief O'Brien

April 18, 2020

Even before Friday, March 13 — the day Michigan went into a semi-lockdown and schools across the state shut their doors — local officials were devising a plan for handling the quickly approaching crisis.

Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O’Brien said he and othe... Read More >>

Vice v. Virus

April 11, 2020

Northern Express set out to talk to some of the people who work in the industries that produce these products to learn how the pandemic has impacted their jobs.
There might not yet be any pot stores open in Kalkaska,... Read More >>

Weed in the Time of Coronavirus

March 21, 2020

Recreational marijuana shops have only just started opening up around Michigan in recent months, most of them downstate.

But near to Traverse City, two recreational pot businesses have opened their doors, both of them in Benzie County: Great Lakes Natural Remedies Inc., in Benz... Read More >>

Anti Viral

March 7, 2020

Health officials in northern Michigan are gearing up for the arrival of COVID-19, a.k.a. coronavirus. We circled the region to find out what's happening, where — and what's next.

‘Prepared, not Panicked’
Many people never have to wo...

Portrait of an Alleged Small-town Pimp

Feb. 29, 2020

Warning to our readers: The story that follows contains graphic language and details of a sexual and violent nature.

At noon on a chilly Tuesday last February, a 36-year-old woman walked with a friend into the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office to complain that someone ... Read More >>

The Gravel Pit Next Door?

Feb. 22, 2020

Little did Jim Brouwer know when he opened his mail one day last August that a legal notice he held in his hand would virtually take over his life in the coming months, sending him door to door to warn neighbors and to enlist others to join his cause.

When Brouwer and his wife, Ca...

Struggles of a Mom and Pop Pot-shop Owner

Feb. 15, 2020

Stephen Ezell has been in the legal pot business as long as than just about anyone in northern Michigan. He’s lived through the awkward, clumsy legalization of first medical and the recreational marijuana.
Ezell said that his business, Interlochen Alternative Health — a m... Read More >>

'Receipts, Hair, Bullet Fragments & Rumors'

Feb. 8, 2020

There were eight elk killed in poaching cases in the Pigeon River State Forest this season. Five of those killings remain unsolved. Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigators want to catch those responsible for every last elk death, even if it takes years.

...

Go inside the 86th

Feb. 1, 2020

Michigan’s 105 district courts aren’t the state’s highest or farthest-reaching courts. They’re a starting point, where the accused go to face initial charges, a judge, and sometimes even a jury. District courts are charged with resolving their region’s le... Read More >>

A Punishment to Fit the Crime

Jan. 25, 2020

The trial of Robert Jensen Schwander for the brutal murder of Carly Lewis in June 2011 was not about whether or not Schwander killed Lewis — he confessed to killing her early in the investigation. Rather, the trial was supposed to determine what kind of killing had occurred.

Iron Fish's Copper Queen

Jan. 11, 2020

A Benzie County distillery is offering a taste of Michigan’s Copper Country in a whiskey that’s based on a century-old recipe.

Copper Queen, originally served in the saloons of Red Jacket — now Calumet —  when the copper mining industry made the Kew... Read More >>

Was it Racism?

Jan. 11, 2020

It was on a warm, sunny summer evening when the 13-year-old Cadillac student bought some cookies at one of the city’s Dollar Generals before heading home on his bicycle via a section of the Fred Meijer White Pine Trail, a 92-mile trail that runs from the southeast end of Cadillac&rs... Read More >>

Mirror of History

Jan. 4, 2020

If you drive by the old white house on Mission Road in the village of Old Mission, on the Old Mission Peninsula, there isn’t anything about it that jumps out at you to reveal what a significant building it is. There is a historical marker, but other than that, it looks like another ... Read More >>

Committed in 2012. Solved in 2019.

Dec. 14, 2019

When a man passed a note through a Walgreens drive-thru saying that he’d rigged the store with a bomb and needed all the morphine and Ritalin the Grand Traverse store had, an alert pharmacy clerk and quick action by detectives soon led to all the evidence needed to identify a suspec... Read More >>