May 27, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author

Kalkaska Murder Mystery

March 3, 2018

One of the suspects in a Kalkaska County murder case — one that’s been alternately described as a botched robbery or a drug deal gone wrong — also faced questions in connection with a fatal drive-by shooting in Detroit two years earlier.

Jason Morgan (above cente...

A Death in the Jail

Feb. 24, 2018

Attorneys for the family of a man who took his own life in the Grand Traverse County Jail want answers. They’re asking how it’s possible that an inmate — one who’d just been taken off suicide watch — could be left alone for hours with the means to accomplish ... Read More >>

The Saga of Noverr Farms

Feb. 10, 2018

A nasty years-long battle between neighbors in the pastoral hills of South Lake Leelanau might be settled soon. But one of the parties, Frank Noverr, has no intention of settling down.

At the heart of the conflict is Noverr’s barn and 26-acre farm, a stunning lake-view parce... Read More >>

Bad Trip

Feb. 5, 2018

Dustin Jones and Casey Mutter learned a valuable lesson last October: If you’re freaking out on acid, don’t call police.

That’s what Mutter did Oct. 18 when Jones needed to be brought down from a drug-induced panic attack at the home they share in Long Lake Towns... Read More >>

A Sister’s Pain

Feb. 3, 2018

Michigan State Police Sergeant Melvin “Paul” Holbrook was murdered by his wife in 2009; his sister recalls years before his death she believed his wife was capable of killing him.

Meleen Froman said she wants to speak about Joni Holbrook following a Jan. 15 Norther... Read More >>

Transforming “The Armpit” of Leelanau County Into The Gateway

Jan. 27, 2018

The tiny township of Greilickville has shaken off most its industrial roots, but its mish-mosh mix of businesses, beach, driveways, and docks along M-22 have made the bayside township a traffic nightmare and eyesore. The township is eager to improve, but is the only solution — p... Read More >>

The North's Childcare Crisis

Jan. 27, 2018

Lack of professional childcare is a crisis in northern Michigan that’s tantamount to the affordable housing shortage. Unlike housing, however, the childcare shortage disproportionately affects women.

In Traverse City, there are months-long waiting lists for childcare for inf... Read More >>

Joni Holbrook served 7+ years for murdering her husband. Now she wants a second chance.

Jan. 13, 2018

Joni Ankerson Holbrook is back home in northern Michigan after serving half of a 15-year maximum prison term for the murder her husband, Paul Holbrook, a state police sergeant.

The 56-year-old was sentenced to six to 15 years in prison for second-degree murder. She served 7 &frac1... Read More >>

Dr. Ultra Marathoner

Jan. 6, 2018

At times, even Geoff Burns has to force himself to run in the snow and cold. That’s strange for a kid who grew up in Leelanau County and went on to become an ultramarathon champion.

But since Burns lived for a year in Southern California, winter running in Michigan has becom... Read More >>

A Trail Floating Through the Woods

Dec. 30, 2017

Leelanau State Park’s new fat-bike trail is not a typical trail. It’s called a floating trail, because it only exists on top of the snow. And though cross-country skiers, hikers, and snowshoers are welcome on the trail, it’s really meant for fat biking.

That mean...

New Age for Medical Marijuana

Dec. 16, 2017

Michigan announced new emergency rules for medical marijuana facilities this month, and municipalities across the state are debating whether to opt in and permit provisioning centers or marijuana production.

But in northern Michigan, the supply of medical marijuana for many card-b... Read More >>

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 >>