May 27, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author

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.

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...

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 >>


Aug. 17, 2019

It starts with a phone call from someone who needs help for someone they love. That leads to a meeting in Tom Gilbert’s office, if the person can get to Traverse City. If they live too far away, they talk by phone.

Gilbert gives them the book “Love First: The Family... Read More >>

"Evil Dead" Descendant Bros Brett and Drew Pierce Bring "The Wretched"

July 27, 2019

Brothers Brett and Drew Pierce grew up downstate with a father whose interest in filmmaking and special effects led him to work with Sam Raimi on the cult classic Evil Dead.

Fast forward nearly 40 years: The Pierce brothers are all grown up and bringing their own horro... Read More >>

Traverse City to Welcome “the Dirtbag Left”

July 27, 2019

A group of leftist Twitter users founded the political and humor podcast Chapo Trap House in 2016 and in just a couple of years it’s become a surprising runaway success.

Now they’ve been invited to the Traverse City Film Festival for two special performances. On Jul... Read More >>

Michigan’s Davy Rothbart is Coming Home

July 20, 2019

There are several reasons why this year’s appearance at the Traverse City Film Festival will be special for filmmaker and FOUND Magazine founder Davy Rothbart.

The Ann Arbor native will host the Michigan premiere of his film, 17 Blocks, a project that’s bee... Read More >>