May 27, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author

Lame Duck Fallout

Jan. 26, 2019

Four bills state legislators passed during its lame duck session have transformed Michigan’s environmental policy.

One sweeping new law prevents the state from enacting environmental standards that are stricter than federal standards, except in certain cases. Another roll... Read More >>

The $365,000 Question

Jan. 19, 2019

After a year of in-depth study, the Grand Traverse County Road Commission is preparing to unveil several options to improve east-west traffic flow around Traverse City.
They plan to host a public meeting in February to announce the options, but in the meantime, officials are keeping ... Read More >>

The Road to Health

Jan. 5, 2019

There’s a movement afoot to improve the health of the Grand Traverse region, and it might begin by reimagining Traverse City’s Eighth Street, between Boardman and Railroad avenues, as a “health district” — an area designed to promote walking, biking, and conn... Read More >>

Nicole Blonshine Isn't Your Average Rural Township Supervisor.

Dec. 29, 2018

When Nicole Blonshine won the position of Blair Township supervisor in 2016, one of the Republican’s first goals as leader of the growing, partly rural area south of Traverse City was to start earning the area some positive press.

She did things like organize a cleanup ef... Read More >>

The Great Flu Pandemic of 1918

Dec. 15, 2018

Imagine driving north from Traverse City, attempting to head into Leelanau County through Greilickville, but at the Grand Traverse County line, police have put up a blockade.

Leelanau County has been quarantined, and you face a choice: Turn back, or get arrested.

Th...

How Much Northern Michigan Trash Really Gets Recycled?

Dec. 8, 2018

Depending on where you live, you might have curbside recycling, or you might have to drive to a drop-off location. In some places, you might have to drive to a nearby township to properly get rid of your recyclable paper and plastic and metal debris; what’s accepted varies from plac... Read More >>

An Audacious Goal for Leelanau County

Dec. 1, 2018

Northport Energy was founded a decade ago with a singular mission: to make the tip of Leelanau County completely green.

The group hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s had some significant achievements. Members have helped establish one of the first “net zero” ... Read More >>

Northern Michigan's Nuclear Risk

Nov. 24, 2018

In 1997, Charlevoix’s Big Rock Point Nuclear Power Plant was rechristened Big Rock Point Restoration Project, and a massive decommissioning project began.

Soon, little was left of the historic nuclear plant, and spent nuclear fuel was put into temporary on-site storage to... Read More >>

The White Shoal Beckons

Nov. 17, 2018

There was something in Brent Tompkins’ landlocked childhood that instilled in him a love of lighthouses.

When the 44-year-old remodeler learned of a chance to buy not just a lighthouse, but perhaps the most iconic lighthouse on the Great Lakes, Tompkins jumped at the oppo... Read More >>

A Nobody, or a Drug Kingpin?

Nov. 12, 2018

Conflicting testimony has complicated the prosecution of a woman whom authorities allege supplied the drugs in what’s believed to be Leelanau County’s first-ever opiate overdose death.

What makes the development all the more confounding is that the conflicting testimon... Read More >>


Nov. 10, 2018

The Carl D. Bradleywas headed to port in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on Nov. 18, 1958, to put in for the winter so that badly needed repairs to its rusty cargo hold could be completed.

The ship suddenly received orders to change course and head to its home port of Rogers City, Michiga... Read More >>

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 >>