September 19, 2019

Patrick Sullivan | Author

In Search of Bruce Catton’s Benzie County

Nov. 3, 2018

The country’s preeminent Civil War author grew up in a backwoods Benzonia, learning about the war from local Union Army veterans decades after the war’s end. Their lessons — about a country divided, states rights, and the price people will pay for freedom — are... Read More >>

The Case that Will Not End

Oct. 27, 2018


In August 2011, when Patricia and Martin Knudsen’s son Michael suffered a horrific electrocution death at Clinch Park Marina, the couple thought they had hit the lowest point in their lives. What they didn’t yet know is that losing their son was only the beginni... Read More >>

No Place for Women

Oct. 6, 2018

Since 1974, Harbor Hall in Petoskey has grown from a humble residential rehab that served 10 or so struggling men to an addiction treatment center that takes up an entire city block and has turned around thousands of lives.

All of that growth never caused much notice, perhaps b... Read More >>

Judgement Time for a Judge?

Sept. 29, 2018

On the surface, the Antrim County probate judge election is a straightforward race between Judge Norman Hayes, an 18-year incumbent, and a well-known challenger, Barry Cole, who has been practicing in the court for decades. Yard signs for each candidate dot the roadside throughout the cou... Read More >>

Breakthroughs in the Battle Against Avian Botulism

Sept. 22, 2018

There’s a war in the waters of Lake Michigan, and for years, as heaps of bird carcasses of washed ashore, it looked like botulism-breeding Cladophora algae was winning. But in the last two years, researchers who joined the battle to understand and stop the algae-related... Read More >>

A War in the Waters of Lake Michigan

Sept. 22, 2018

More than a decade after the appearance of nuisance algae around Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and throughout Lake Michigan — followed by mass bird die-offs that would be linked to the algae — researchers working at Good Harbor might have found a way to get rid of Cla... Read More >>

What Happens When Weed is Legal?

Sept. 8, 2018

Voters in Michigan will decide Nov. 6 whether to legalize recreational marijuana, a measure that observers on both sides believe is likely to pass.

What’s it going to mean for northern Michigan? Mark Clark, an attorney who specializes in marijuana at Traverse Legal in Tra... Read More >>

Bring Them Your Long-haired Hippies, Your Women, Migrants, and LGBT Folks

Sept. 1, 2018

Fifty years ago, in August 1968, a citizens’ advisory committee proposed for Traverse City what would then be called the Human Relations Commission, later to be known the Human Rights Commission, a nine-member board that would go on to advocate for minority rights, women’s rig... Read More >>

Could Cadillac Once Again Live Up To Its Name?

Aug. 25, 2018

All over Cadillac, developer Robb Munger has something going. On Mitchell Street, he’s purchased the Old City Hall building, which he plans to continue to rent out as office space. Down the street, he’s bought the dilapidated Better Bodies Health and Fitness property, which he... Read More >>

A North Manitou Mystery

Aug. 4, 2018

In his book “The Frank Lloyd Wright Field Guide,” architect Tom Heinz lists a cottage on North Manitou Island among the legendary architect’s creations.

The listing doesn’t go into detail about the evidence that led Heinz to this conclusion. The single para... Read More >>

Northern Michigan’s Own Cult Film Director

July 28, 2018

In just a few years, Northern Michigan native Joel Potrykus has developed a reputation around the world as an edgy, exciting filmmaker whose work delves into the strangeness of ordinary lives.

Potrykus grew up in Ossineke, just outside of Alpena, and he studied filmmaking at Grand... Read More >>

What Might Have Been

July 21, 2018

A decade ago, as the state reeled amid a national financial crisis, Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced a program to generate jobs and spur the economy: Michigan would offer the most generous film credits program in the country.

The program started off looking like a success, and it ... Read More >>

Home Again

July 14, 2018

Jennifer Rodgers walked into a courtroom July 3 and got something that seemed for months to be out of her reach: permission to spend time with her mom.

The court ruling arrived just in time for Rodgers — and friends and family of her mom, 80-year-old Martha (pictured above, ... Read More >>

The Good Hart Murders: Case Closed

July 7, 2018

Northern Michigan’s most notorious cold case, the horrific 1968 murder of six members of the Robison family in Good Hart, has seemingly languished unsolved for five decades, a festering open wound amid an otherwise idyllic setting.

For the past decade, retired high scho...

Conservative Conservationist

June 30, 2018

When Thomas Bailey took over as executive director of the Little Traverse Conservancy 34 years ago, he sat down and read a couple years’ worth of the nonprofit’s newsletters. While he found them to be informative, he also found that the writing lacked heart.

Bailey bel...

Strapped Times at Sleeping Bear

June 23, 2018

Next time you visit Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, you probably won’t notice that park officials and volunteers are scrambling behind the scenes to accommodate skyrocketing numbers of guests with a budget that’s flat or in decline.

Stagnant operational budgets...

The War Against Oak Wilt

June 23, 2018

The infection probably hopped over from a neighbor’s woods, in the form of a beetle carrying a fungus and attracted to the sap seeping from a trunk damaged last summer. It left one red oak tree dead amid a forest of red oaks.

The tree’s death was confirmed this spring ... Read More >>

Does Grand Traverse Bay Have a Plastic Problem?

June 16, 2018

Some seasoned beachcombers noticed an alarming amount of plastic trash washed up along Grand Traverse Bay this spring, fueling worry that’s been building over how so much plastic is getting into the Great Lakes and what the consequences might be.

Photographer John Robert Wil...

Why doesn’t Traverse City have a methadone clinic?

June 2, 2018

At her practice in Traverse City, Dr. Julia Riddle treats pregnant women, many of whom are addicted to opiates. On her days off, she drives 60 miles to Gaylord, to work at one of the only centers in northern Michigan that distributes methadone to help patients beat their addictions to her... Read More >>

The Mystery of the Keuka

May 26, 2018

She was known as Lake Charlevoix’s party barge, and you either loved her — or you hated her.

The Keuka was just one of many open secrets around northern Michigan during Prohibition, one of the places where everyone knew you could get a drink. This one happened to float... Read More >>