January 15, 2021

Patrick Sullivan | Author

The Age of Flying Fortresses Over Northern Michigan

Jan. 2, 2021

 There was a time when the roar of a B-52 in the skies around Little Traverse Bay was a regular occurrence. Suddenly, a flying fortress designed to carry nuclear warheads would pass overhead with a rumble that stirred people to their bones.

The massive warplanes routinely fle...

A Stitch in Time

Dec. 12, 2020

When Glenna Gattle’s family store reopened last year in Harbor Springs, it was as if a family tradition had come back to life. It was also an historic homecoming with a connection to the very early days of Petoskey.

The first Gattle’s store opened in 1919, in Petoskey,... Read More >>

An Uncertain Christmas

Dec. 5, 2020

Like small businesses everywhere, shop owners in downtown Petoskey want to see just as many customers this year as they do any other year. They’d just prefer if they didn’t all come at once.

“If they could come in shifts that would be so wonderful,” said Be... Read More >>

Transforming Manistee

Nov. 28, 2020

The entrance to downtown Manistee, as it stands today, is drab. On each side of River Street for the first block, buildings are crumbling and vacant or else look like they should be. Trash blows into empty, unkempt lots, and a House of Flavors restaurant, vacant since the business shutter... Read More >>

Leland Noir

Nov. 21, 2020

Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter didn’t listen much to podcasts when, four years ago, they decided to use their own money to produce one.

The Leland couple knew a lot about film, television, and theater — they’ve produced plays, television shows, and movies, in... Read More >>

New Season for Safe Harbor

Nov. 14, 2020

At the end of March, as the pandemic descended and uncertainty raged, residents of Safe Harbor spent their last night of the season in Traverse City’s homeless shelter, which closed early out of concern that the new virus could gain a foothold and spread among the guests.

Th...

A Long and Winding [and Beautiful] Road

Nov. 7, 2020

Kathleen Stocking’s name might sound familiar to anyone who’s lived in northern Michigan for a while. She’s written books of essays about the region that have won nationwide acclaim, notably the well-reviewed “Letters from the Leelanau.”

Her last name...

But What About the Animals?

Oct. 31, 2020

When the pandemic struck last March, Kim Skarritt and others in the dog rescue world, expected the number of instances of unwanted dogs would skyrocket. Instead, calls for new cases stopped.

“I think everybody in the rescue world was shocked,” Skarritt said. &ldquo... Read More >>

The Ancient Wine Wizardry of Nathaniel Rose's Reds

Oct. 17, 2020

There is a paradox that confronts you when you turn into the dirt driveway of Nathaniel Rose Wines, north of Suttons Bay.

Rose, a 35-year-old winemaker who grew up in Leland and three years ago won a double gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition fo... Read More >>

For Sale: The Headwaters of the Boardman River

Oct. 10, 2020


Two decades ago, Susan Morely and Donald Russell followed a calling that brought them from Maryland to Northern Michigan, a place where they’d never lived, and a place they didn’t know.

They were looking for land that would connect them to the earth, phy... Read More >>

A Pandemic Reckoning

Oct. 3, 2020

In one case, a man was accused of molesting a girl under the age of 13. At his preliminary hearing, the girl testified, and the evidence against the man was presented in court. Instead of awaiting trial in jail, however, the man was put on a GPS tether and allowed to await trial under hou... Read More >>

"I Want To Move The Needle"

Sept. 26, 2020

There is likely no business leader in northern Michigan more outspoken about clean energy than Jim MacInnes, CEO and Co-Owner of Crystal Mountain.

Yet when you visit the 1,500-acre ski and golf resort near Thompsonville, very little evidence of that is in sight. Roofs are not fest... Read More >>

The Democracy Lottery

Sept. 19, 2020

Mary Burget, a retired Northwest Michigan College math instructor, thought her math skills might be useful in redrawing Michigan’s gerrymandered electoral districts.

She was among the 9,000-plus Michigan residents who applied for a seat on the Michigan Redistricting Commissi... Read More >>

Listen In: Two Global Health Experts — one in TC — to Talk Pandemic

Sept. 12, 2020

This week, the Traverse City International Affairs Forum at Northwestern Michigan College opens its 27th season with a topic on everyone’s mind: global health crises.

The Wednesday, Sept. 16 event, “Grappling with Pandemics: Global Health Policy in the 21st C... Read More >>

NMEAC at 40

Aug. 22, 2020

Sally Van Vleck remembers the day, 40 years ago, when she and three other women sat around a kitchen table in Traverse City and decided to become environmental activists.

They were concerned about the storage of spent fuel rods at the Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant located jus... Read More >>

Nat Geo's ENC Susan Goldberg to headline National Writers Series’ 10-year Birthday Bash

Aug. 15, 2020

Although Susan Goldberg, the first female editor-in-chief of National Geographic, lives in Washington, D.C., her roots are firmly planted in Michigan. She grew up here, spent summers exploring Northern Michigan with her family, attended Michigan State University, and, as a young ... Read More >>

The Libertarians are Coming

Aug. 8, 2020

Something in the ether, maybe, brought together a bunch of people who over the last year or so declared themselves Libertarians and got nominated to run for local, statewide, and federal office.

They’re not an easily organized group of individuals, but they are united in the... Read More >>

Three Races to Watch

July 25, 2020

Across Northern Michigan, sheriffs and prosecutors are facing challenges from within their own party.

Perhaps the most dramatic of the races, at least in terms of backstory, is in Emmet County, where a former chief assistant prosecutor has challenged his one-time boss for his job.... Read More >>

MiddleCoast’s Ginger Kölsch

July 18, 2020

A new beer from Traverse City’s Middlecoast Brewing Co. is made for summer and tastes a little like Detroit’s own Vernors.

That unmistakable flavor isn’t a mistake, but what’s blended into Middlecoast’s Ginger Kölsch isn’t actually Michigan... Read More >>

A Novel Perspective

July 18, 2020


As the pandemic descended upon northern Michigan and changed all of our lives, Vicki Shurly, director of the Peninsula Community Library, was on the frontlines at the beginning, when the virus turned from abstraction to reality, and at the next sea change, when places like ... Read More >>