January 19, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author


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 >>

Kalkaska: Marijuana Mecca

Dec. 7, 2019

For weeks, in a shopping plaza near the southern limits of the village of Kalkaska, workers have been busy transforming a former Forest Area Federal Credit Union branch into a marijuana store.

The Village of Kalkaska wants to be a mecca for marijuana, and as recreational mariju... Read More >>

Welcome to the Golden Age of Shipwreck Hunting

Nov. 30, 2019

The era of shipwrecks on the Great Lakes ended in 1975 with the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, according to Michigan historian and shipwreck hunter Ross Richardson. Improved weather forecasting and larger vessels have meant there haven’t been many significant wrecks since then.Read More >>

A Decade on the Front Lines of the Opiate Epidemic

Nov. 23, 2019

Christopher Hindbaugh didn’t know what he was getting into when he took over as executive director of Addiction Treatment Services in 2009. The Traverse City-based nonprofit — which had been providing substance abuse services to the community for 30 years — was in deep f... Read More >>

We’ve Been Here Before

Nov. 16, 2019

People were caught off guard when Lake Michigan reached record highs in 1986, the last time lake levels were near the level they are today. That year, like this year, the lake crept onto highways, washed away beaches and trees, and tumbled homes from bluffs into the unpredictable inland s... Read More >>

Double Life

Nov. 9, 2019

Warning: Details in the following story might be disturbing to some readers.

There was talk among a small group of inmates at the Grand Traverse County jail, talk of a monster who lived in town, one who would lure young men to his office after dark, offer them meth, an... Read More >>

Time to Decide

Oct. 26, 2019

It may be an off-year election, but contested mayoral elections in the region’s two largest cities are heating up. Elsewhere, voters will be asked to weigh in on whether to fund schools and how public money should be spent. Northern Express zeroed in on some of the most significant ... Read More >>

Inside American Waste

Oct. 19, 2019

A failed 2012 experiment bore the nearly 50-year-old waste hauler — and environmentally conscious northerners — some unexpected fruit: a series of massive machines that can take in and tackle more recyclable materials than most any system in the nation. Northern Express fo... Read More >>

Saving Our Sacred Earth

Oct. 12, 2019

Located on 200 acres on a pond in the woods between Kalkaska and Mancelona, the Au Sable Institute still looks like the small summer boys camp it once was, since its founding in the 1950s.

But it’s much more than a camp today. Throughout the school year, Au Sable hosts hu... Read More >>

Is Traverse City Ready for FishPass?

Oct. 5, 2019

Construction of FishPass, an experimental fish sorting lock system, along with the development of a park, a small amphitheater and kayak/canoe portages, represents the culmination of a decade-plus-long project to restore the Boardman River to something closer to its natural state.
Read More >>

A Septic Battle in Kalkaska

Sept. 28, 2019

A decade ago, Kalkaska County’s board of commissioners took a small step to bolster water quality and make purchasing rural properties more predictable: They passed a resolution, with assistance from the district health department, that required septic system inspections any time a ... Read More >>

Sorry, Folks — Park’s Closed

Sept. 21, 2019

This July, after so many years of bitter strife that divided Hayes Township and pitted neighbor against neighbor, construction of Camp Seagull Park on the northern shore of Lake Charlevoix finally appeared to be complete.

At least that’s what township resident Bill Henne ... Read More >>

An End to the Leelanau County Wedding Barn Dispute?

Sept. 14, 2019

Neighbors of an Elmwood Township farm-turned-wedding-venue have hunkered down and are deciding what to do next after the township settled a federal lawsuit and agreed to allow special events to happen at controversial Noverr Farms overlooking South Lake Leelanau.
The settlement betwe... Read More >>

A Race to the Top in Empire

Sept. 7, 2019

It was inevitable, perhaps, that someone would decide to see who could be the fastest to climb that winding road that snakes its way through thick forest to the top of a Lake Michigan bluff at the edge of Leelanau County.

Thus began the Empire Hill Climb, a rag-tag race that wa... Read More >>

Whiskey Point’s Island Amber

Aug. 31, 2019

The Island Amber, so far the bestseller of Whiskey Point Brewing Co.’s inaugural summer, is a smooth and well-balanced brew that’s refreshing on long, hot summer days and remains satisfying now that cooler, autumn air is descending upon Beaver Island, the archipelago Whiskey P... Read More >>

Death in the Woods

Aug. 31, 2019

Justin Beutel (pictured above right) had recently achieved a life goal that afforded him more free time to do things he loved, like go to his family’s hunting property Up North.

The 38-year-old had months earlier opened his own Harley-Davidson garage in Midland, a dream h... Read More >>

IAF's Big Get

Aug. 24, 2019

Leila Hilal grew up in Petoskey, but she left home at 18 and moved around the country through college, law school, and grad school. She spent time as a lawyer in New York City, then became a peace facilitator working in the West Bank.

But after a decade spent living and working... Read More >>