May 24, 2020


Stuff We Love: A Winning Children’s Book Relevant to the Times

Local author Heather Shumaker's "The Griffins of Castle Cary"
By Lynda Wheatley | May 23, 2020

Heather Shumaker, northern Michigan mom and author of renegade rule-making parenting books “It’s OK Not to Share” and “It’s OK to Go Up the Slide” just won a 12-state award from the Chicago-based Society of Midland Authors for her debut novel, “The Griffins of Castle Cary.” Aimed at kids ages 8–12, the adventure-filled tale follows the three Griffin children as they set out, along with their Newfoundland dog, to solve a spooky ... Read More >>

Good News: Annual Car Cruise is Ready to Roll

Northern Michigan Alzheimers Association's Accelerate the Cure
By Lynda Wheatley | May 23, 2020

Congratulations, northern Michiganders — we’ve flattened one curve, and now we’ve got the green light to corner a bunch of them. The annual Accelerate the Cure — a car-enthusiast cruise hosted by the Northern Michigan Alzheimers Association — is on, and you can join. Some rules and details will be finalized later to reflect the social distancing recommendations in place at the time, but what we do know is this: At 9am ... Read More >>

Northern Michigan’s Own Jeopardy! Star

By Patrick Sullivan | May 23, 2020

Cadillac resident Ben Scripps went on a winning streak on the game show Jeopardy!, winning in his first two appearances. Unfortunately, the third appearance wasn’t a charm; Scripps ultimately lost to competitor Nathan Berger, of Portland, Maine, after making a big bet on what would turn out to be an incorrect answer to a Daily Double. The 9&10 television director appeared on the show May 18 and got off to a quick ... Read More >>

Meet Brittany Adams — and 19 Other Fascinating Northerners

20 Fascinating People, 2020 edition
By Northern Express Staff & Contributors | May 23, 2020

Wayne Richard "Dick" Smith: Living HistoryDick Smith cultivated his interest in northern Michigan history the old-fashioned way: He lived it.   “I was born in Petoskey, and my great-grandfather Sam Horton was one of the earliest settlers in this area,” Smith said of his ancestor, who sailed into Lake Charlevoix in 1856 with 13 children in tow. “So, I’m related to half of northern Michigan. I don’t even know who my relatives ... Read More >>

Good News: Harbor Springs Auction Extended

Harbor Springs Chamber fundraiser going strong
By Lynda Wheatley | May 16, 2020

Thanks to an overwhelming response, the Shop & Support Harbor Springs Small Business online auction — which raised $18K for local businesses in 10 days — has been extended another week. Now, you have until May 24 to bid (or sometimes buy outright) items like a sterling silver toggle bracelet adorned with a classic Harbor Point charm from Mary Ann Archer Fine Jewelry ($220), a 20-by-24-inch framed giclee (reproduction on canvas) of ... Read More >>

Cadillac Cinema Might be Saved

Footlighters working to rescue 1919 theater from bankruptcy
By Patrick Sullivan | May 16, 2020

A nonprofit group plans to save the Cadillac 4 movie theater in downtown Cadillac after the venue closed amid a bankruptcy.The Cadillac Footliters, a community theater group, has made an offer to purchase Cadillac’s only movie theater, noting that it plans to make the historic theater even better: It will continue to show movies — and also showcase live theater, musical performances and community events.“We are thrilled at the prospect of saving ... Read More >>

How to Honor Memorial Day 2020

3 easy ideas
By Lynda Wheatley | May 16, 2020

This year would have marked the 50th anniversary of the longest-running free Memorial Day historical program in the United States: the North’s Fort Michilimackinac Historical Reenactment Pageant, in which 400+ “cast members” converge in Mackinac City to dramatize the 1763 Fort Michilimackinac battle between the French, British, and Native Americans. Like so many Memorial Day weekend traditions Up North, it’s canceled due to COVID-19. But honoring those who died in active military ... Read More >>

Join The Pandemic Pedal in Benzie & Alone But Together Bike Ride in TC

Two virtual cycling events get rolling June 6
By Lynda Wheatley | May 16, 2020

The biggest annual fundraiser for the Benzie Sunrise Rotary — Bike Benzie’s Up North Bike Fest — just hucked the hole that is COVID-19. Event chairperson Bill Kennis tells Northern Express “Our amazing sponsors still wanted to contribute to our Rotary-sponsored student programs, so we morphed the event into a virtual ride dubbed the Pandemic Pedal."There’s no registration fee (though donations and T-shirt purchases are welcome); cyclists simply register at and ... Read More >>

Summer People

A northern Michigan island ponders opening up for tourist season.
By Patrick Sullivan | May 16, 2020

On a sunny Friday afternoon on the first of May, the Emerald Isle, the massive 130-foot car ferry capable of carrying 294 passengers, 15 vehicles, cargo, and a semi-truck, completed its 32-mile journey and pulled into port at Beaver Island on its first trip of the season.There was plenty of freight, but just nine passengers walked ashore.It was a fitting start to the 2020 tourism season.Across northern Michigan, as people look toward ... Read More >>

Aero Artist Willie Jones Jr.

Patriot. Artist. Visual historian.
By Al Parker | May 16, 2020

You can't hardly swing an easel in northern Michigan without hitting an artist painting a landscape, crafting jewelry, or creating a piece of pottery. But you have to look far and wide to find one who creates vivid images of military aircraft any better than retired U.S. Air Force veteran Willie Jones Jr. of Traverse City. And we’re betting he's one of the very few whose creative juices were inspired by a ... Read More >>

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