September 19, 2019

Patrick Sullivan | Author

Elk Rapids Library Brawl

Dec. 9, 2017


Architects drew up designs. Fundraising plans were afoot. State historic preservation officials signed off. Earlier this year, Elk Rapids District Library supporters believed they would soon get permission to build a 6,320-square-foot addition to a building they say they&rs... Read More >>

From Prison to Pot

Dec. 2, 2017

Kingsley, it seems, is destined to be home to marijuana growers.

As the address for Pugsley Correctional Facility (originally named Camp Pugsley when it opened as a prison camp in 1956),  it was one of the places where the state sent many low-level offenders, like those c... Read More >>

People in Need are Everywhere. Finding Them is the Hard Part.

Nov. 25, 2017

If you or someone you know struggles with poverty, there are coaches available to help develop long-term plans to find a way out, people who are willing to stay committed for years.Karen Fulkerson, executive director of Family Partnership in Traverse City, said one of her organization&rsq... Read More >>

Fighting for Mom

Nov. 18, 2017

Jennifer Rodgers and her mom, Martha, used to be very close. They lived near one another in Suttons Bay, talked on the phone every day, and stopped by each other’s homes for meals.

Today, Rodgers is no longer allowed to see her mom without permission from Martha’s ... Read More >>

Little Road Lost

Nov. 11, 2017

A scenic rural road lined with sugar maples drew Nichole Jones and her husband to make their home in an out-of-the-way spot between Lake Ann and Interlochen.

She and her husband bought a one-bedroom cabin there in 2010, improving and enlarging it over the years to make room for th... Read More >>


Nov. 4, 2017

The interview has been edited for length and clarity. —ed.

Nearly a decade ago, Tim Keenan retired as community corrections director for the 86th District Court, then he started on a personal journey almost by accident. He hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, whi... Read More >>

GT County Animal Control’s Uncertain Future

Oct. 28, 2017

Deb Zerafa is the person who checks on someone suspected of hoarding cats. She’s whom the police call if they find sickly dogs locked up in cages in a house. If you’re walking down a trail and get bitten by a dog, it’s Zerafa who comes to investigate.

“...

Born to Rock

Oct. 14, 2017

Shortly after Ben Hamper moved to northern Michigan from Flint in the mid-’90s, he and a friend stumbled upon 90.7 WNMC, and he liked what he heard.

“We used to tip a few coldies and listen to the Friday night shows, the weekend shows, and really enjoyed it,” he ... Read More >>

Not for Human Consumption

Oct. 7, 2017

In June 2014, Natalie, a former clerk at the Traverse City adult entertainment store Fantasies Unlimited, testified before a grand jury in Grand Rapids about the day she quit her job.

Natalie said she got a telephone call from someone who screamed at her repeatedly, “What di... Read More >>

In Northport, the Affordable Housing Debate Got Personal

Sept. 30, 2017

From the start, something wasn’t right.

Frank Goodroe remembers the day in late December 2014 when he attended mass at St. Gertrude Parish in Northport. He had just arrived in the community to start his new job as village coordinator.

“Of course, there’s ...

The Bus Doesn’t Stop Here

Sept. 23, 2017

Soren Hauter found out last winter how hard it is to get around Emmet County if you don’t have a car.

“I was having car issues because I had a $300 car, because that’s what I could afford at the time, and it did not make it through the winter at all,” s... Read More >>

Underserved and Overcharged

Sept. 16, 2017

Gary and Sandra Houghtaling live in a cabin they built two decades ago on 10 acres. It sits just off a pockmarked dirt road that likes east of Beulah and south of Honor in Homestead Township, a deep rural patchwork of trees and fields that feels like the middle of nowhere.

Gary, 7...

Stories from the Street

Sept. 9, 2017

The brutal assault of several homeless people sleeping behind a church in downtown Traverse City last July proved to Peggy Byland that perhaps the people who live on the street need better P.R.

That summer, Speak Up, the small magazine, or ’zine, focused on and writ... Read More >>

Restoring North Manitou Island's Katie Shephard Cottage

Sept. 2, 2017

Depending on how you think about it, restoration of the Katie Shephard Hotel on North Manitou Island has taken years — or a flurry of weeks.

Since 2009, volunteers from Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear have spent 10 days each August painstakingly bringing the 1895 structure b... Read More >>

Fighting a Felony — and Michigan Marijuana Laws

Aug. 26, 2017

Scientific consensus increasingly recognizes there’s no way to determine the level of impairment in a driver who uses marijuana. So why is a woman who smoked marijuana 10 hours before an accident that killed her mother facing a 15-year felony for impaired driving? A Benzonia law... Read More >>

Hooch Terroir

Aug. 12, 2017

The story of what’s happening in the region’s young micro-spirits industry parallels the journey of an oak barrel at Thompsonville’s Iron Fish Distillery. First that barrel was filled with gallons of maple syrup from Griner Family Sugar Bush in Copemish and aged, so that... Read More >>

NMC’s $34 Million Facelift

Aug. 5, 2017

Since 1951, Northwestern Michigan College’s quiet corner under the pines has seen many changes, but perhaps none so substantial as those happening now. With two major construction projects underway and a massive one in the works, the community college’s campus will never b... Read More >>

There’s a Constitutional Sheriff in Town

July 29, 2017

There’s a debate across the country about how much local officials should cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. It’s come into sharp focus in Benzie County, where Sheriff Ted Schendel has proclaimed he’ll do whatever he can to assist.

In some ways, ...

Up North’s Golden Age of Cinema, Part II

July 22, 2017

Sara Herberger, one of three paid employees of the Vogue Theatre in Manistee, got involved with the nonprofit in a roundabout way. Her eight-year-old son had asked about the then-dilapidated building after a fundraiser to restore it was announced, and she tried to explain to him what rest... Read More >>

The Show Must Go On

July 15, 2017

Michael Moore, booked for a 12-week run on Broadway, can’t be at the festival he founded. A critical behind-the-scenes organizer died suddenly in June. And the largest venue is unavailable. Thirteen turns out to be a tough number for the Traverse City Film Festival. Read More >>