May 27, 2020

Patrick Sullivan | Author

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 >>

The Art of Racing on the Bay

July 8, 2017

In the minutes leading up to the start of a Wednesday night sailboat race on West Grand Traverse Bay, the Grand Traverse Yacht Club’s longtime weekly tradition, vessels crowd together, each angling for an advantageous position on the water’s invisible starting line.

If...

(Un)Welcome to Kalkaska?

July 1, 2017

The scandal began with controversy over a Donald Trump sign on a shuddered hotel on Kalkaska’s Cedar Street. That was followed by outrage over hateful Facebook posts by the village president (and owner of the hotel), Jeff Sieting. Things crescendoed when demonstrators took to each s... Read More >>

Hooah! Hooya! Oorah! Hoorah!

June 24, 2017

Mike Carey had just retired from the U.S. Air Force at the rank of brigadier general. He was picking out patio furniture for his home in Colorado Springs. Then he decided he wanted to return to his home state of Michigan.
“I walked by a little white board and someone ha... Read More >>

Study Shows Bellaire Mountain Bike Trail is Worth Millions

June 10, 2017

When folks from the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy decided to construct a mountain bike trail near Arcadia more than a decade ago, they got a lesson in trail building.

“We hired a mountain bike specialist from Colorado, supposedly one of the best mountain bike trai... Read More >>

Bear in Mind

June 3, 2017

Scott Tucker has been with the National Park Service for 20 years, but he’s been superintendent of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for just one.

Tucker comes to northern Michigan from Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, where he was superintendent. Before th... Read More >>

The Mile-High Subsidy Club

May 27, 2017

Northern Michigan’s 1st Congressional District is vast, spanning the northern lower and entire upper peninsula. It's also home to more subsidized airports than any other in the country.

President Donald Trump’s 2018 Budget Blueprint proposes eliminating Essential Air S... Read More >>

House & Homeland

May 20, 2017


You grow up in Michigan, you know a little about Mackinac Island’s landmark events in history: Dr. William Beaumont and the stomach hole experiments, the ill-fated 1763 baggatiway game turned bloody battle at Fort Michilimackinac, the English takeover of Mackinac Isla... Read More >>

Answering the Call

May 13, 2017

If you live out in the sticks and your house catches fire, hope it doesn’t happen during business hours. That’s when, in many townships, few firefighters are available to answer calls.

It used to be that rural departments were staffed with true volunteer firefighters, ... Read More >>

Beach Town Board Battle

May 6, 2017

The first inkling Frankfort surf shop owner Larry Bordine had that he was in trouble — for an incident involving an employee on a skateboard last July — was when a city police officer removed him, in front of customers, from his store, then handcuffed him and took him to jail.... Read More >>