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    Google News / 17.01.2018 03:58
  • Officers Awarded for Saving Two from Sault Ste. Marie House FireOfficers Awarded for Saving Two from Sault Ste. Marie House Fire

    Two Police Officers were recently honored for risking their lives to save others. On October 15th of last year Sault Ste. Marie Police officers were dispatched to a house fire in the 1000 block of Young Street. Officers arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the house. They also learned that two people were still trapped in the basement. Both entrances that they could have used to get to the basement were engulfed in flames. But the officers were determined to rescue the two trapped inside. This body cam footage shows the officers, Shane Hill and Marcel Coullard using a door ram from the patrol car to remove a block window leading directly to the basement. Once the window was clear Hill and Coullard could hear voices coming from inside. They called out and the two were able to come to the window where they were pulled to safety. Unknown to the officers there was a large welding gas tank 20 feet away from where the officers had been. Shortly after the two were pulled from the basement and all four were walking back to the street the tank exploded, throwing debris in all directions. For their life saving efforts, the two were recognized at Monday night’s City Commission Meeting. Police Chief John Riley presenting Officers Hill and Coullard with Life Saving Commendations for their compassion and dedication to duty and their community, even when their own safety was at risk.

    MI News 26 / 1 h. 15 min. ago more
  • Ludington Man Arrested for Strangling WomanLudington Man Arrested for Strangling Woman

    A Ludington man was arrested for strangling a woman in Mason County. According to the Mason County Sheriff – 29-year-old Mathew Whittman was arrested on Monday for domestic assault strangulation. Authorities say a woman came into their office to report that assault that had happened over the weekend. The assault is said to have happened in the 3000 block of North Pere Marquette Road in Hamlin Township. The victim also said Whittman held her against her will. He was arrested on charges of unlawful imprisonment and domestic assault strangulation. He was arraigned Tuesday morning and bond was set at $25,000 cash or surety.

    MI News 26 / 1 h. 16 min. ago more
  • Little Library Looks to Encourage Reading in HerseyLittle Library Looks to Encourage Reading in Hersey

    As part of a international movement, a local businessman has opened a library in the Village of Hersey. It’s called a little library, even though it’s bigger than most other little libraries out there. The library was the idea of Larry Trombley, who owns the general store it now sits next to. He says he learned about the movement around two years ago and wanted to bring it to his small village community. Over a year, Trombley acquired an old canoe sales building from the village government, installed it, put electricity inside, and made it available for donations. Before Trombley brought the library to Hersey, the village didn’t have one. Now, anyone can go get books 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Trombley says the library already has a few hundred books to offer. Trombley went on to say he just wanted to encourage reading. For more information or to donate books, stop by the library or contact Charmaine Lucas at (989) 323-7950.

    MI News 26 / 1 h. 16 min. ago more
  • Cadillac Home Damaged in FireCadillac Home Damaged in Fire

    A home received significant internal damage after a fire in Cadillac. The fire happened around 5 o’clock Monday evening at a home on Cotey St. The Cadillac Fire Department responded to the reports of a stove fire in the basement of the home. Once on scene, firefighters found the fire had spread throughout the basement. Crews were able to extinguish the fire, although both basement and main floor received significant smoke and water damage. A woman was in the home at the time of the fire, but she was able to get out safely. Tuesday morning, Crews from local groups and the Red Cross were at the house helping clean up. The cause of the fire is currently unknown and under investigation.

    MI News 26 / 1 h. 31 min. ago more
  • Antrim County Man Arrested for Providing Drugs to Lead to Overdose DeathAntrim County Man Arrested for Providing Drugs to Lead to Overdose Death

    An Antrim County man is accused of providing the drugs to lead to another man’s overdose death. According to the Antrim County Sheriff – in January of 2015 they began investigating the overdose death of Damien Smith. Smith had been found at a home on Rushton Road in Central Lake Township. An autopsy was performed and authorities say large amounts of heroin and fentanyl were in his system. After a lengthy investigation the sheriff’s office says they found who provided the drugs to Smith, Wade Druckenmiller. Investigators say Druckenmiller facilitated the drug deal the ultimately lead to Smith’s death. Earlier this month he was arrested and charged with Overdose Causing Death.

    MI News 26 / 1 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Dream Trip Giveaway: Traverse City, Michigan - WSMV NashvilleDream Trip Giveaway: Traverse City, Michigan - WSMV Nashville

    WSMV NashvilleDream Trip Giveaway: Traverse City, MichiganWSMV NashvilleOne of the destinations is Traverse City, Michigan, where they have some of the most beautiful beaches and water. Take a blossom-time bike tour to Suttons Bay along the 17-mile Leelanau Trail, a paved path passing acres of orchards, vineyards and ...and more »

    Google News / 2 h. ago more
  • Traverse City Women's Resource Center, County Prosecutor Speak Following Start Of Nassar Sentencing - 9&10 NewsTraverse City Women's Resource Center, County Prosecutor Speak Following Start Of Nassar Sentencing - 9&10 News

    Traverse City Women's Resource Center, County Prosecutor Speak Following Start Of Nassar Sentencing9&10 NewsThere is no doubt how important it is for victim's voices to be heard and for them to be able to come forward. With Larry Nassar's sentencing this week and the victims coming forward, we talked to the Traverse City Women's Resource Center and the Grand ...

    Google News / 2 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Drug bust nets arrestsDrug bust nets arrests

    CENTRAL LAKE — Two men soon will face drug-related felony charges after detectives said they caught the duo as they sold heroin from a home in Central Lake.

    Record-Eagle / 4 h. 18 min. ago
  • Memorial service set for PiperMemorial service set for Piper

    TRAVERSE CITY — Piper, the well-loved border collie that kept the Cherry Capital Airport runways free of birds, will be honored at a memorial service.

    Record-Eagle / 4 h. 23 min. ago
  • Man charged in church theftMan charged in church theft

    TRAVERSE CITY — A local man faces three felony counts after deputies said he repeatedly stole cash from a locked safe at the Church of Living God in Garfield Township.

    Record-Eagle / 4 h. 23 min. ago
  • Couple accused of drug dealingCouple accused of drug dealing

    TRAVERSE CITY — A local couple could face decades in prison after detectives said they tried to sell crack cocaine in downtown Traverse City but were interrupted by the Traverse Narcotics Team.

    Record-Eagle / 6 h. 42 min. ago
  • Authorities identify larceny suspectAuthorities identify larceny suspect

    TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities plan to arrest a Rapid City man after police officers said he stole a woman’s purse at the Family Fare store on Eighth Street and fled the scene before they arrived.

    Record-Eagle / 8 h. 1 min. ago
  • Police: Assault suspect chokes himself inside jailPolice: Assault suspect chokes himself inside jail

    TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities halted another inmate's attempt to commit suicide inside Grand Traverse County’s jail.

    Record-Eagle / 9 h. 22 min. ago
  • Home Under Renovation Destroyed by Fire in Grand Traverse CountyHome Under Renovation Destroyed by Fire in Grand Traverse County

    A home under construction was completely destroyed after a late night fire. At around 10:22 Monday night, Grand Traverse 911 got a call of a house fire on North Shore Court on the Duck Lake Peninsula in Green lake Township. Five departments responded, and once on scene, found the home fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were on scene for around four hours battling the blaze. Green Lake Township Fire Chief David Cutway says they had difficulty fighting the fire because they could not access the gas shut-off valve. A crew from Consumers was called in to dig up the line and manually shut it off. Once the fire was extinguished, the home was completely destroyed. Chief Cutway says the home was being renovated at the time and no one was inside. The cause of the fire is unknown and the Michigan State Police Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate.

    MI News 26 / 9 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Area elementary students learn to cross-country ski - Traverse City Record EagleArea elementary students learn to cross-country ski - Traverse City Record Eagle

    Traverse City Record EagleArea elementary students learn to cross-country skiTraverse City Record EagleLast year, prior to becoming the principal at Traverse Heights, Schrock brought a test program to Cherry Knoll Elementary School but said the winter was awful. "We had really bad snow and the weather wasn't great. This year we all stepped it up and ...

    Google News / 12 h. 51 min. ago more
  • Area elementary students learn to cross-country skiArea elementary students learn to cross-country ski

    TRAVERSE CITY — Elementary students throughout the Traverse City area are getting the opportunity to learn how to cross-country ski and, for some, it's their first time on skis.

    Record-Eagle / 12 h. 58 min. ago
  • Pathfinder students donate food and other items on MLK DayPathfinder students donate food and other items on MLK Day

    TRAVERSE CITY — To celebrate Martin Luther King Day, as well as learn a lesson in giving, Pathfinder School's youngest students dropped off 252 pounds of food at Leelanau Christian Neighbors in Lake Leelanau.

    Record-Eagle / 13 h. 30 min. ago
  • Picnic At The Opera Announces New Season LineupPicnic At The Opera Announces New Season Lineup

    Picnic at the Opera, Michigan's "only live TV variety show," returns to the City Opera House with a new season beginning Wednesday, February 7. The sixth season offers a free hour-long variety show every Wednesday in February from 12pm to 1pm (doors open at 11:30am). Hosts Miriam Pico and David Chown are joined by a variety of guest performers each week, while attendees serve as part of the studio audience, experiencing the behind-the-scenes action of camera booms, live audience shots, cue cards, and set changes. Admission to all events is free, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are welcome to bring a lunch and can stay for either part of or the entire show. The events are also broadcast live on UpNorth TV on channel 189 on Charter, online and on Facebook. The season 6 guest lineup is as follows:  WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2018Oh Brother Big SisterAnne-Marie OomenAuSable Dance CenterRobert AbateHere:Say Storytelling’s Matt SoderquistThe Dance CenterLuke Schihl WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018Ben WhitingTraverse City West ChoirAuSable Dance CenterDennis PalmerHere:Say Storytelling’s Karen SteinThe Dance CenterJenny Thomas WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2018Mark Staycer as ImagineLennonMash-Up Rock 'N Roll MusicalAuSable Dance CenterDos HippiesHere:Say Storytelling’s Christal FrostThe Dance CenterMiriam Pico + David Chown WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2018The Swan BrothersAnne-Marie OomenAuSable Dance CenterKyle SkarshaugHere:Say Storytelling’s Daniel StewartThe Dance Centerbrotha James  Picnic at the Opera is a fundraising event for the City Opera House. Donations are encouraged and benefit the City Opera House mission.

    The Ticker / 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Tigers Players To Visit TC Next WeekTigers Players To Visit TC Next Week

    Three current and former Detroit Tigers will appear in Traverse City next week for a free public event as part of the team's Winter Caravan tour. Hall of Fame inductee Alan Trammell, pitcher Shane Greene, and outfielder Nicholas Castellanos will appear at Cherry Republic on Front Street on Thursday, January 25 at 4:45pm. The players will interact with the public by handing out free cherry pie, ice cream, and candy to those in attendance. Though not an autograph event, "lucky fans may be able to snap a selfie" during the approximately 45-minute appearance, according to organizers. “For a few special days during the cold Michigan winter, Detroit Tigers players, coaches, broadcasters and front office staff hit the road during the Detroit Tigers Winter Caravan to visit fans throughout the state of Michigan,” says Elaine Lewis, vice president of public affairs and strategic planning for the Tigers. “Each year the Tigers Winter Caravan makes nearly 40 stops over two days, touching the lives of thousands of Tigers fans.” The Tigers chose Cherry Republic for an ‘up north’ stop in part to recognize the cherry retailer’s upcoming 30th anniversary. The players will present company President Bob Sutherland with a custom Tigers jersey to mark the occasion. In turn, Cherry Republic will donate 10 percent of all retail sales from its five Michigan stores that day to the Detroit Tigers Foundation, an affiliate of Ilitch Charities. Customers will also receive a complimentary baseball-themed Boomchunka Cookie with purchase in honor of the Tigers upcoming season. “People tend to think of baseball, hotdogs and apple pie as being all-American, but we know cherry pie is the best!” says Sutherland. “We couldn’t be more excited to host the world-class Detroit Tigers at our store, and we’re especially thrilled to welcome new Hall of Fame player Alan Trammell.”

    The Ticker / 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Home Sales Off In December, But Market Remains StrongHome Sales Off In December, But Market Remains Strong

    Home sales in December were down from a year ago, both in the number of sales and in the value of those sales. Overall, sales for 2017 were slightly lower compared to 2016, though the dollar volume was up for last year, according to statistics from the Traverse Area Association of Realtors. Sales in Grand Traverse County and Leelanau County represented the largest decrease (169 to 145 for the former, 43 to 32 for the latter); sales in Benzie, Antrim and Kalkaska were only slightly different from one year to the next. The dollar volume in each county slipped from 2016 to 2017 except in Benzie and Kalkaska. The average and median price for 2017 was actually slightly higher overall in 2017; the exception was in Leelanau County, where the median price was down $10,000. Overall, the days on market was also down significantly, from 157 in 2016 to 128 in 2017; the exceptions were in Benzie and Kalkaska, where they increased. The continued strength of the real estate market was evident by the fact there were 3,361 home sales in the five-county area, which was down from 3,389 in 2016 but still far above any other year. There were more than 100 fewer sales last year in Grand Traverse County and nine fewer in Kalkaska; the other three counties actually saw an increase in the number of sales, especially in Benzie County, which went from 340 to 405. And while the number of units was down, the total volume was still up, from $844,942,880 in 2016 to $914,252,959 last year. Average and median sale prices also increased last year, while the days on market went from 143 to 120.  When you compare those numbers to previous years, you really get a sense of the improvement in the market: There were 3,088 sales in 2015; 2,856 in 2014, 2,900 in 2013, 2,715 in 2012 and 2,145 in 2011. Total sales volume in 2011 was $391,795,358 and average days on market was 196, paced by a whopping 250 average in Antrim County.

    The Ticker / 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Yes, Traverse City (Still) Has Its Own CurrencyYes, Traverse City (Still) Has Its Own Currency

    As most of today's conversation about currencies centers on Bitcoin, Ripple, Apple Pay and Venmo, The Ticker wondered about the state of Traverse City’s very own currency – the Bay Buck. Bay Bucks debuted in 2005 and yes, they are still around, if not as popular as they once were. “We still get them. Oryana has accepted Bay Bucks since the beginning,” says Steve Nance, general manager at the natural foods grocer. It’s one of the few places where they are still used – Odom Reuse in Grawn is another – and Nance half-jokingly calls Oryana the bank of Bay Bucks. Oryana Board members receive a stipend in Bay Bucks, and various local vendors and suppliers are often paid in part with the local dollars. For those in need of a primer, Bay Bucks is a local currency available in various denominations: $1, $5, $10, $20. When they were first printed and distributed a dozen years ago, more than 100 local individuals and businesses were members who accepted and distributed them. As they are only accepted in their individual communities, local currencies such as Bay Bucks stay local and are intended to stimulate the local economy. “It started with dissatisfaction with the (then) current currency,” says Brad Kik, an early member of the Bay Bucks Board and co-founder of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology in Bellaire. “U.S. dollars were tied to conflict and war, wealth inequality.” Kik says there was a lot of “good early buzz” around the concept. A number of the early adapters were single entrepreneur businesses, people who were already culturally inclined. But over the years the concept slowly lost steam. Kik says while “charismatic evangelicals” got the ball rolling, it was difficult to get it to circulate into the wider community. Looking back, he says it would have been hugely beneficial to involve more businesses.  Also problematic was the fact a number of those connected with the program moved away. “There was no real model and no staff, and no means to reinvigorate it without a champion and a staff to make it go,” says Holly Jo Sparks. She is still a member of the board, though like Bay Bucks themselves the board is mostly dormant (the most recent post on the Bay Bucks Facebook page is from April 2015). But while Bay Bucks may be sleeping, they’re not dead yet. The question is, as Sparks puts it, “How does Bay Bucks fit into today’s economy?” She says online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon have fundamentally altered the economy, as have plastic and online tender such as Bitcoin. The paper economy has serious limitations, particularly on a local basis. “I do think there’s a future (for) Bay Bucks. It needs to take advantage of technology,” she says. “Physical currency is so passé,” echoes Kik. In an age where smartphones and mobile applications have become ubiquitous, he believes adapting local currency to a similar premise could have utility. “I think there’s still some promise for the local model. We can send texts, tied to a local database.” While it’s doubtful an electronic application tied to local currency model could be used at Amazon, Sparks says similar shopping platforms cooperatively owned could honor a Bay Bucks-type app. Whatever the form or format, Kik believes using local currency is beneficial. “It’s a response to globalization,” he says. It is a reflection of local values and interests and promotes local investment.  He also says it is important to make sure it is really local rather than regional. “By keeping it really local you can incubate it, rather than it being too wide (too widely distributed) and too thin,” he says. Meanwhile, back at the bank of Bay Bucks, Nance says Oryana will continue to use the paper Bay Bucks while discussions continue about how – or if – to revitalize the concept. “We’re having discussions as a board about how to reinvigorate Bay Bucks. What are the compelling ‘whys?’ We’ve had some compelling whys but not enough to put energy into it. We could bring it back to the fore,” he says.

    The Ticker / 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • New Gluten-Free, Vegan Bakery Coming to Traverse City - The Daily MealNew Gluten-Free, Vegan Bakery Coming to Traverse City - The Daily Meal

    The Daily MealNew Gluten-Free, Vegan Bakery Coming to Traverse CityThe Daily MealTRAVERSE CITY, Mich., Jan. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Third Coast Bakery was created with one mission: to provide incredibly delicious treats to everyone, regardless of food sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances. Everyone is welcome at Third Coast ...

    Google News / 20 h. 22 min. ago
  • Downstate man killed on Manistee LakeDownstate man killed on Manistee Lake

    KALKASKA — A 49-year-old St. John’s man was killed when his snowmobile hit an embankment, ejecting him from the machine and slamming him into a tree.

    Record-Eagle / 23 h. 9 min. ago
  • Report rules M-72 death a suicideReport rules M-72 death a suicide

    TRAVERSE CITY — Suicide has been ruled the cause of death of a woman struck by a vehicle on M-72 in the early morning hours of Dec. 28.

    Record-Eagle / 23 h. 9 min. ago
  • Downstate Man Dies in Snowmobile AccidentDownstate Man Dies in Snowmobile Accident

    A downstate man was killed in a snowmobile crash this weekend. Around 7am Sunday morning Kalkaska County Dispatch got a call from a woman saying her husband had been out riding a snowmobile and had last been seen around midnight. Her husband, Nick Evers, a 49-year-old man from St John’s, was said to have been riding the area of Manistee Lake in Coldsprings Township. Authorities were able to locate Evers and say he appeared to have been traveling at a high rate of speed. He had crashed into an embankment on the lake’s shoreline near Sands Park and was thrown from the sled into a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Evans was wearing a helmet, and deputies say speed was a factor in the crash. They also say alcohol is believed to be another factor.

    MI News 26 / 1 d. 2 h. 3 min. ago more
  • Wexford County Home Destroyed by FireWexford County Home Destroyed by Fire

    A fire destroyed a home in Wexford County over the weekend. At around 9:24 Sunday morning, The Colfax-Greenwood Township fire department responded to N. 35 Rd near E. 10 Rd for the report of a fire. Once on scene, firefighters found the home fully engulfed in flames. Crews were on scene for around five hours battling the blaze. Once the fire was extinguished, the home was completely destroyed. Firefighters say the homeowner was at church at the time of the fire, and no one was injured. At this time, the cause of the fire is unknown.

    MI News 26 / 1 d. 2 h. 4 min. ago more
  • Blood Shortages Impact Munson Medical Center over WeekendBlood Shortages Impact Munson Medical Center over Weekend

    A severe blood shortage had emergency centers on edge over the weekend. Multiple agencies were reporting that northern Michigan, including Munson Medical in Traverse City, were extremely low on blood supplies. Blair Township Emergency Services reported the shortage Monday morning. And in Leelanau County authorities were told on Sunday that due to the shortage at Munson any major traumatic incidents or accidents requiring blood would need to put Aero-Med immediately on stand-by. They said the patients may need to flown to Grand Rapids. However, according to Dale Killingbeck, Monday morning the hospital was able to restock their blood supplies and they are operating as normal. Authorities say this highlights the need for donations and ask that anyone who can donate to consider doing so.

    MI News 26 / 1 d. 2 h. 5 min. ago more
  • Two Arrested for Selling Drugs in Antrim CountyTwo Arrested for Selling Drugs in Antrim County

    Two people were arrested for selling drugs in Antrim County. Last Wednesday TNT got a tip saying two men were selling narcotics from a house on Elm St in the Village of Central Lake. Detectives located the home and suspects and started surveilling them. A search warrant was granted and from that searched detectives say they seized a substantial amount of packaged heroin, along with a small amount of marijuana, and suspected drug proceeds. Authorities also seized packaging materials and narcotic paraphernalia. Two people were arrested, a 47-year-old man from Detroit and a 40-year-old man from Central Lake. They were arrested for several parole violations along with drug trafficking charges. Both are lodged in the Antrim County Jail on the felony charges. Names are withheld pending arraignment.

    MI News 26 / 1 d. 2 h. 6 min. ago more
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  • Traverse City Trivia - 9&10 NewsTraverse City Trivia - 9&10 News

    9&10 NewsTraverse City Trivia9&10 NewsFalse: Traverse City's founding fathers were lumber barons from Chicago. As a matter of fact, Traverse City logs were shipped across Lake Michigan to help rebuild the Windy City after the Great Chicago Fire. False: While the National Cherry Festival is ...

    Google News / 1 d. 3 h. 58 min. ago
  • Women's March returns to Traverse City Saturday - InterlochenWomen's March returns to Traverse City Saturday - Interlochen

    InterlochenWomen's March returns to Traverse City SaturdayInterlochenThe second annual Women's March will be held in Traverse City this Saturday. Organizers are planning a demonstration on Front Street. The event coincides with marches to be held across the country. A year ago, millions of people protested in cities ...

    Google News / 1 d. 8 h. 48 min. ago
  • Memorial service for Piper, Michigan's airport K9, to be livestreamed ... - MLive.comMemorial service for Piper, Michigan's airport K9, to be livestreamed ... - MLive.com

    MLive.comMemorial service for Piper, Michigan's airport K9, to be livestreamed ...MLive.comTRAVERSE CITY, MI - Two weeks after his death, Michigan's famous airport dog will be honored with a public memorial service Saturday at the City Opera House in Traverse City. Piper, the photogenic border collie whose work clearing wildlife from the ...Celebration of Life planned for Piper 'the Airport Dog'Fox17all 2 news articles »

    Google News / 1 d. 9 h. 21 min. ago more
  • Celebration of Life planned for Piper a the Airport DogaCelebration of Life planned for Piper a the Airport Doga

    The community will come together to remember a four-legged friend that was a staple of the Traverse City area for nearly 9 years. Piper became famous after photographs and news spread of his job at the Cherry Capital Airport.

    Traverse City News / 1 d. 13 h. 55 min. ago
  • Woman Released From Prison After Murder Conviction Seeks Second ChanceWoman Released From Prison After Murder Conviction Seeks Second Chance

    Joni Ankerson Holbrook is back home in northern Michigan after serving half of a 15-year maximum prison term for the murder of 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 seven-and-a-half years. Holbrook received a lighter-than-normal sentence in 2009 because her attorney, Jesse Williams, persuaded a Benzie County judge that years of domestic abuse mitigated the killing. It didn’t excuse it, but she maintained that the violence she believed she couldn’t escape needed to be taken into account. (Paul Holbrook’s family maintained at her sentencing that the abuse never happened.) Nonetheless, Holbrook was released in April to a Benzonia motel. She’s since moved to Traverse City to live with her mother. Returning to the world has been a struggle. Holbrook, who spent a career in professional office jobs and worked in district court before she became a felon, now works manual labor in a factory. She would like to find work to help victims of domestic violence, but so far she’s found no opportunities. In this week's Northern Express - sister publication of The Ticker - Holbrook sits down with writer Patrick Sullivan to discuss her crime, her time spent in prison, her release, and what her future holds. "It was nothing I was ever prepared for," says Holbrook of going to prison. "I mean, obviously, the point where I got to where I thought killing my husband was the only way for me to get out, that’s how damaged and broken domestic violence made me. And thinking that that was okay now shocks me, but it was the only way I knew then, how to get away. So, when you get to prison, you better decide real quick if you’re going to stick up for yourself, learn how to say no, or just be a victim all over again." While Holbrook describes herself as a victim, she acknowledges that Paul Halbrook's family and others may not see her that way. "He was a victim, obviously," she says. "He was victim of a horrific, terrible crime. Was I a victim of over 10 years of horrific abuse — mental, physical, sexual, emotional? Absolutely. I mean, and the caveat to that is the fact that he was a police officer. He held all the power, control, authority." She continues: "Am I a victim? Absolutely. And I will never stop saying that. I’m not a victim anymore. It will never happen again." Now a convicted felon, Holbrook is adjusting to life outside prison, including trying to find work. "I understand people’s reluctance, but I just wish people would talk to me," she says. "I wish someone would give me a chance. I believe I am a wealth of information, as far as the experience in the law, being a victim of domestic violence, being in prison…I want to work as an advocate. I want to be the voice for victims." Read Sullivan's complete interview with Holbrook in this week's Northern Express cover story, "What Now?" The Northern Express is available online, or pick up a copy at one of nearly 700 spots in 14 counties across northern Michigan.

    The Ticker / 1 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • DNR Awards Recreation Passport GrantsDNR Awards Recreation Passport Grants

    The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is funding outdoor recreation facility renovations and improvements in 22 communities across the state, including an award to the city of Traverse City. The city was awarded a $75,000 grant for improved parking, new ski runs and a learner's area with a surface lift and sledding hill at Hickory Hills Ski Area. This was the only grant provided in the five-county area for 2018. Traverse City was one of 22 communities which will share $1,468,900 in Recreation Passport grants. The projects were chosen from a field of 73 grant applications. Public Act 32 of 2010 created the Local Public Recreation Facilities Fund for the development of public recreation facilities for local units of government. Money for this fund is derived from the sale of the Recreation Passport (which replaces the resident Motor Vehicle Permit) for state park entrance. Michigan's Recreation Passport enables Michigan-registered vehicle access to more than 100 state parks, hundreds of miles of trails, historic sites, boat launches and other state-managed destinations. Cost is $11, $6 for motorcycles.

    The Ticker / 1 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • City To Talk Public Art, Water Trail, Morgan FarmsCity To Talk Public Art, Water Trail, Morgan Farms

    Traverse City officials this week will consider hiring a firm to help boost the city’s public arts program, approving the creation of an official water trail on the Boardman River, and reviewing the next planned phase of expansion for the Morgan Farms neighborhood off M-72. Due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day, city commissioners will meet Tuesday at 7pm instead of Monday to discuss the arts contract and Boardman River proposal. Commissioners last year approved increasing funding for public art in the city with the goal of hiring dedicated staffing support for the program. While the city clerk’s office attempted to fill in the gaps of administrative support – tasks that include grant-writing, research, project planning, and acting as a liaison between the arts commission and community – the level of work involved became “overwhelming” for the department, according to city staff, particularly as the arts program took off. With other city boards all relying on dedicated staff support – including the planning commission, parks and recreation commission, Downtown Development Authority (DDA), and Traverse City Light & Power board – a majority of city commissioners agreed the arts commission deserved similar infrastructure. Arts commissioners recently went through a public bidding process to solicit consulting proposals with a budget of up to $25,000, and are recommending commissioners Tuesday approve hiring Traverse City-based Influence Design Forum at an annual rate of $20,000. “One of the reasons we decided to go with Nate (Elkins, founder of Influence Design Forum) is because we have directives we want to focus on, including finding funding for projects and being able to liaise with city departments, like planning and parks and recreation,” says City Commissioner Amy Shamroe, who also sits on the arts commission. “He has experience working with the city on different projects, and he does a lot of planning for public art in his projects. I think he’s going to bring that expertise to the board of helping us find funding and prioritizing (projects) based on the guidelines we’ve set up as a board.” Should the one-year contract be approved, Elkins will be charged with seeking out grants and funding opportunities for city art projects, planning temporary traveling installations, conducing public input sessions and hosting a “pitch night” for public art proposals, developing social media pages and a website for city art, and vetting proposals as a liaison between the public and arts commission. Shamroe says the long-term hope is that Influence Design Forum will generate enough funding to not only boost public art in the city but make the staffing role self-sustaining in future years, instead of subsidized by the city’s general fund. “I think (the staffing support) will make a huge difference in how effective the arts commission can be,” Shamroe says. Commissioners Tuesday will also consider approving creating an official water trail on the Boardman River between Grand Traverse Bay YMCA South and Grand Traverse Bay. Executive Director Harry Burkholder of Land Information Access Association (LIAA), which has led a community planning process to establish a water trail on the “urbanized” section of the river, will give an overview of the proposal to commissioners. The concept has already received unanimous approval from the city’s planning and parks and recreation commissions. The Boardman River Water Trail plan (pictured) calls for creating an identity around a formal water trail by developing a Boardman River trail map and paddling guide. Other recommended improvements including providing consistent signage at access points that includes safety guidelines and educational information about the river, as well as launch site amenities including bathrooms, trash cans, kayak storage, parking and universally accessible watercraft launches. The plan also outlines the importance of balancing “safe recreation with ongoing conservation and restoration efforts” on the Boardman, providing multiple points of public access to the river, maintaining multi-jurisdictional partnerships to maintain and protect the waterway, and respecting private property rights along the river. Burkholder previously told city officials formalized water trails have provided a tourism boon to other Michigan communities and have “huge potential” as an economic development tool. In other city news…Traverse City planning commissioners will meet Wednesday at 7pm to discuss the possible expansion of Morgan Farms on M-72. The multi-phase neighborhood operates under a planned unit development (PUD), or a detailed zoning plan for a specific property. Under Morgan Farms’ PUD, developers must obtain approval from the planning commission before proceeding with each new phase of construction. According to City Planning Director Russ Soyring, project plans for the neighborhood have evolved considerably since Morgan Farms’ inception, requiring commissioners to consider whether the changes are minor or major – a distinction that dictates different review and approval processes. “Many changes have occurred in the last 15 years,” Soyring wrote to planning commissioners. “Master builders have changed, properties have sold, and now we have (a) partially built neighborhood of mostly single-family detached dwellings, some townhouses and apartment flats.” In the next phase of construction, developers hope to build a “neighborhood center” at the entrance of Morgan Farms near M-72. The mixed-use area would offer both residential and commercial buildings and a neighborhood square/gathering space. Staff expressed concerns that the plans call for lower commercial use than was originally envisioned but increased parking spaces, which could give the neighborhood an undesired “suburban feel.” Developers and staff will seek input from planning commissioners Wednesday on the latest project plans and whether project changes are considered minor – requiring only staff sign-off – or major, requiring both planning and city commission approval and a public hearing.

    The Ticker / 1 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Group prepares for Traverse City women's march - UpNorthLive.comGroup prepares for Traverse City women's march - UpNorthLive.com

    UpNorthLive.comGroup prepares for Traverse City women's marchUpNorthLive.comGRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Thousands of people are expected to take part in the Traverse City Women's March this month. Even though it isn't until next Saturday, some folks are already preparing. "We are hosting a sign-making party ...

    Google News / 2 d. 5 h. 45 min. ago more
  • Traverse City home to first fit20 franchise in US - Traverse City Record EagleTraverse City home to first fit20 franchise in US - Traverse City Record Eagle

    Traverse City Record EagleTraverse City home to first fit20 franchise in USTraverse City Record Eagle"We are doing high-intensity training at a slow-motion pace that is going to push you past the limit that you typically take yourself to," said Mark Mattis, co-owner and personal trainer at fit20 Traverse City. "The whole reason for that is the health ...

    Google News / 2 d. 9 h. 50 min. ago more
  • Traverse City man looks forward after forfeiture suit dismissed - Traverse City Record EagleTraverse City man looks forward after forfeiture suit dismissed - Traverse City Record Eagle

    Traverse City man looks forward after forfeiture suit dismissedTraverse City Record EagleTRAVERSE CITY — A visit from the Traverse Narcotics Team still haunts Ken Murray more than two years after he awoke to detectives rummaging through his home in search of ill-gotten gains. Murray, 66, years ago embarked on a legal battle spanning three ...

    Google News / 2 d. 12 h. 52 min. ago more
  • TC's Bullough Signed To Cleveland BrownsTC's Bullough Signed To Cleveland Browns

    Traverse City native and former Michigan State University star linebacker Max Bullough has been signed to a reserve/future contract with the Cleveland Browns. Bullough was one of six players picked up by the Browns Thursday. Bullough previously signed as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2014. In 2015, he was promoted to the team's active roster. But after earning a four-game suspension in May 2017 for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy, Bullough was released by the Texans last June. Bullough, a graduate of St. Francis High School, will enter his fourth NFL season this year. His younger brother, Riley Bullough - also a St. Francis graduate and former MSU linebacker - signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017. He was promoted to the team's active roster in December.

    The Ticker / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Hobby Lobby, Other Garfield Township Projects Near ApprovalHobby Lobby, Other Garfield Township Projects Near Approval

    Twenty acres of property in Garfield Township are set to be protected permanently from development after planning commissioners approved rezoning the property this week. Meanwhile, three proposed projects – including Hobby Lobby, a new housing complex on Garfield Road and renovations at Hickory Hills – are nearing the final stages of obtaining approval from the township. Hammond Road PropertyAn unusual request from a Garfield Township couple to downgrade the zoning on their land will help protect the property from any future development. Anita and Christopher Scussel approached township planning commissioners with a request to rezone 20 acres of property at 478 Hammond Road next to the Traversefield industrial park from commercial to agricultural. The Scussels bought the land – which contains wetlands and other fragile natural environments – with the goal “simply to preserve the property,” according to Township Planner Rob Larrea. “The property is located in an environmentally sensitive area, which is the reason the property was purchased and will be preserved from development in perpetuity.” Noting that Life Story Funeral Home is developing a new facility directly next to the parcel, Larrea said neighboring construction work would put “pressure on this more sensitive piece of property,” another reason to support protecting it. “(The Scussels have) proposed only to increase the property’s conservation value, increase wildlife and waterfowl habitat, and eradicate invasive species,” he wrote in a memo to the board. Planning commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning request Wednesday, with a final agreement to be reviewed and approved by both the township’s and Scussels' lawyers. Hobby LobbyAfter several months of back-and-forth between Buffalo Ridge Center developers and township planning commissioners, a proposal to bring a Hobby Lobby store to Traverse City could finally be nearing approval. Concerns over a lack of a “coherent vision” for Buffalo Ridge Center – the US-31 shopping complex home to Lucky’s Market and AMC’s Cherry Blossom 14 theater – as well as lighting, sidewalk and parking plans for the development delayed approvals for the new Hobby Lobby store. The 45,000 square-foot store is slated to occupy the majority of the western section of the complex where a vacant strip mall building was recently demolished. After working through infrastructure plans for the shopping center since last summer, planning commissioners tentatively gave their approval to the Hobby Lobby concept at a recent December 13 meeting. Final approval is pending a January 24 review of a new master plan application for Buffalo Ridge Center. Lighting for the project still remains an outstanding concern; however, Northwestern Michigan College instructor and lighting expert Jerry Dobek – who was asked to consult on the plan – told the board this week he approved of the latest lighting design. The plan provides more uniform lighting throughout Buffalo Ridge Center, making it safer for shoppers in the development, Dobek said. “The more uniform the lighting is, the less apt there is for glare or dark spots, so safety and security is increased,” he said. “It looks like it’s going to be a good project overall.” Fox RunA development group’s offer to boost the number of public amenities included in a proposed Garfield Avenue housing development could pave the way for the project to move forward. Eastwood Custom Homes hopes to build an 84-unit multi-family neighborhood called Fox Run on the east side of Garfield Road between South Airport and Hammond roads. The number of units exceeds the allowed density for the site, prompting protracted negotiations between developers and planning commissioners, who asked to see more public amenities included in the development to offset the increased density. In the latest version of plans presented to the board Wednesday, Travis Clous of Eastwood Custom Homes outlined amenities including three playgrounds or “tot lots,” a fenced dog park, picnic and pavilions, public benches, and more than 1,500 linear feet of nature walking trails through the property. Commissioners expressed support for the amenities, but raised concerns over vague descriptions of how the walking trails would be built and where they would be located. The board – citing recent legal skirmishes over a proposed sidewalk network at Buffalo Ridge Center that was included in a planning agreement but delayed in implementation – stressed the trails were an important part of the trade-off in allowing more density at the site. “I want to recognize (the trails) as an amenity, but I don’t want to find ourselves in a situation…where we’re arguing about the construction of a conditional item,” Planning Commissioner Chris DeGood told Clous. “So help me to have certainty that this is going to be a real amenity for these people.” Clous and commissioners agreed to have a detailed description of the requirements for the trails included as a conditional component of the agreement. The board is set to further review the agreement and potentially vote on the project in February. Hickory HillsFinally, planning commissioners reviewed a permit request from the City of Traverse City Wednesday to begin improvements at Hickory Hills Ski Area this winter. While a city-owned park, Hickory Hills falls within Garfield Township limits. The city has finalized plans for upgrades including a new 7,200 square-foot lodge at the ski park, a new 4,100 square-foot maintenance facility, several new trails and an upgraded parking and stormwater management plan. Township officials expressed no objections to the improvement plans presented by city staff Wednesday. As part of the required approval process, the board will hold a public hearing on the project in February, after which time permits could be approved by the township. Pictured: Garfield Township Hall

    The Ticker / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay Hop Lot Brewing in Suttons Bay

    Brothers Steve and Drew Lutke knew they wanted to do something special with their microbrewery on the south end of Suttons Bay. Even before building their facility, they had begun researching the style and aesthetic they wanted to draw in customers. So they decided to showcase what brought them back to the area from Chicago: the great outdoors. “The idea of northern Michigan is the outside, Up North, so we embraced it,” said Steve. The interior embodies the rustic aesthetic, with concrete floors, dark wood tables and benches, and beams hewn from white pines harvested on the property.  Plenty of windows offer views of the properties wooded outdoors, but the brothers and Steve’s wife, Sarah, Hop Lot COO, wanted to draw business outside as well. To that end, they set out picnic tables on the patio, as well as on the fringes of the property, under the shade of trees. They also built a small outdoor stage, grand fire pits, and in summer, set out yard games and footballs for kids and families. And in winter, they erected igloos. “We kept the inside small because everyone wants to be outside,” said Steve. In the summer, sure, but winter? And igloos? Yes, and yes. The zippered clear plastic igloos, which include a small electric heater, are frequently full — in fact, you need to reserve them at the bar. Which is where you’ll order from a host of different beers brewed by Steve. While Drew is in charge of the front of the house and Sarah is in charge of finance and marketing, Steve puts his science background (he was a pre-med major) to work creating the brews. There’s Norseman IPA (named for the Suttons Bay school mascot), Highway Robbery (blonde ale), Rough Sawn (amber ale), Kitty Wampus (oatmeal stout), Red Over Red (a double IPA), and a host of others on tap. Hop Lot also offers cider and wine, but there’s no doubt the beers are its calling card. Unless, of course, you’re talking about the food. While the menu hews toward usual pub fare, with nachos, mac and cheese, pretzels, and sandwiches, it refuses to go the burger route. Instead, Hop Lot offers several in-house smoked specialties, such as turkey, chicken, pork, and beef brisket. It’s prepared in a variety of ways: There’s a smoked pork taco, smoked turkey sandwich with bacon, Colby jack and guacamole, beef brisket sandwich, and various specials. In the winter, the smaller crowds mean the smoker is not always running at full speed, so the two suggest checking with a server for what’s available. The food perfectly complements the beer. The flavors are zesty yet balanced, and it’s obvious there’s as much care given to the comestibles as to the brews. Drew recommends the pulled pork nachos, while on the liquid side, Steve touts the Leelanau Exchange as his best beer. “It’s infused with ingredients from local sources,” he said — Nella’s So Good coffee from Empire and Mundos Coffee in Traverse City. It’s not just the sources, it’s that the beer is ever evolving. Steve is continually tweaking the recipe, so each time you stop in it might be slightly different. “If I was going to sit in an igloo, that’s my go-to beer,” Steve said, and who can argue with that? Hop Lot opened just a year and a half ago, and has already won a bevy of awards. The Lutkes had been working and living in Chicago, but the Holland natives missed their home state. Sarah was from the area, and Steve said after visiting family, the two would drive home to Chicago trying to think of ways to move back. Drew was similarly entranced with northern Michigan.  At the time, Steve was brewing up a storm at home. When the three decided to create their own business based on his brewing prowess, Steve went to the Siebel Institute of Technology/World Brewing Academy where he earned a degree in Brewing Technology. “Brewing is so fascinating to me,” said Steve. “It’s an art. And a science. You’ve got temperatures and micro-organisms. It became a giant experiment.” They decided the small town feel of Suttons Bay would fit with what they wanted to do, and found their perfect setting just inside the south village limits. With igloos, firepits, and in the summer, a wide-open back yard, Hop Lot is perfectly suited for family excursions and vacationers.  Steve said it’s important that they have a place where kids can be kids, where they can run around after being cooped up inside a car. Drew concurred. “Our sister said years ago, ‘I hope you guys do something with a family atmosphere. Our mission statement would be focused on four areas: Beer, obviously; delicious food; a welcoming staff; and the environment. All four are important,” he said. Hop Lot opens at noon daily. It closes at 9pm Mondays through Thursdays, 10pm Fridays and Saturdays, and 8:30 on Sundays. It’s located at 658 S. West Bayshore Dr. Call 866-4445 or visit HopLotBrewing.com.

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Joni Holbrook served 7+ years for murdering her husband. Now she wants a second chance.Joni Holbrook served 7+ years for murdering her husband. Now she wants a second chance.

    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 ½ years. Holbrook received a lighter-than-normal sentence in 2009 because her attorney, Jesse Williams, persuaded a Benzie County judge that years of domestic abuse mitigated the killing. It didn’t excuse it, but she maintained that the violence she believed she couldn’t escape needed to be taken into account. (Paul Holbrook’s family maintained at her sentencing that the abuse never happened.) Nonetheless, Holbrook was released in April to a Benzonia motel. She’s since moved to Traverse City to live with her mother. Returning to the world has been a struggle. Holbrook, who spent a career in professional office jobs and worked in district court before she became a felon, now works manual labor in a factory. She would like to find work to help victims of domestic violence, but so far she’s found no opportunities. Prison was horrible, she said, and she vows never to go back, but she’s found adjusting to life as a convicted murderer released from prison also poses incredible challenges. But she said the whole experience has made her a tougher person. “I had a friend of mine not long ago tell me, ‘Oh, people don’t change,’” she said. “Well, I want that person to know, they do change. I’ve changed tremendously. I stick up for myself. I don’t apologize. You can ask me any question you want, I’ll tell you anything you want to know.” The Northern Express sat down with Holbrook and talked about her experiences in prison and the challenges she’s faced since she got out.  Northern Express: What do you want to say about your time in prison?Joni Holbrook: Prison is like a subsidiary of hell. It’s awful. It’s horrid. Living with 2,300 women of all ages shapes, sizes, races, education, lack thereof, morals, manners, lack thereof. Very interesting. When I got to prison I weighed 101 pounds. I was so wrecked, so broken. Express: I recall the mugshot of you that was in the media around the time of your trial, and I saw you MDOC mugshot from just prior to your release on parole. You looked much healthier, much better at the end of your stay in prison. Holbrook: A lot healthier because, as my dad always said, you better bend over and pull up your bootstraps because you’re in for it. It was nothing I was ever prepared for. I mean, obviously, the point where I got to where I thought killing my husband was the only way for me to get out, that’s how damaged and broken domestic violence made me. And thinking that that was okay now shocks me, but it was the only way I knew then, how to get away. So, when you get to prison, you better decide real quick if you’re going to stick up for yourself, learn how to say no, or just be a victim all over again. Express: And you learned how to stick up for yourself. Holbrook: Yes. I certainly did. I’m nobody’s victim. I learned how to say no. I learned how to be a real bitch, actually. And I think at that point I was able to do that because of the decision I made to free myself by taking his life. Yeah.  Express: Did prison do anything to help you prepare for coming out of prison? Holbrook: Yeah. I mean one thing, there’s nothing like being in a room all alone. When I first got there I was in the Reception and Guidance Center, and I was in a room all by myself for 60 days or longer. And there’s nothing like being in a room alone with nothing but four walls and your thoughts. No noise. No officers screaming over the intercom. You have to ask to go to the bathroom. A lot of alone time. A lot of thinking time. I was able to dig really deep and just take things out and look at ’em and realize a lot about myself. Express: After six years, you were up for parole, and the first time you went before the board you were denied. Why was that?  Holbrook: I remember sitting in the interview with the parole man, and my sister was there with me, and we talked about the abuse, and my parole decision came back as denied, and I got flopped — that’s continued — for 18 months, based on the fact that the parole board thought that I blamed the victim and his family and showed little or no concern for them and that I would actually be at risk to reoffend, which shocked me. I mean I’ve never been in trouble in my life. Express: What about the victim in your case? You’ve described yourself as a victim, and said you want to stand up and work on behalf of victims. Is that fair? How do you defend that to Paul Holbrook’s family today, who might say that since you took away their loved one, you don’t deserve that chance? Holbrook: Well, he was a victim, obviously. He was victim of a horrific, terrible crime. Was I a victim of over 10 years of horrific abuse — mental, physical, sexual, emotional? Absolutely. I mean, and the caveat to that is the fact that he was a police officer. He held all the power, control, authority. And so I let him do all of that to me. I was weak enough to let him groom me and fall into the trap. Am I a victim? Absolutely. And I will never stop saying that. I’m not a victim any more. It will never happen again. Express: So you were out in April. You found yourself in Benzie County in a motel. What was that first week like? Holbrook: The first week, actually, I felt really free. I was in a room for the first time by myself. I had my own bathroom. I had my own space. I was able to see my family, my kids, which was awesome. Realizing that I was finally able to make my own decisions, I didn’t have to ask permission to do anything. I didn’t have to check in with anybody. … When I got home finally, that freedom and that realization that I was able to make my own choices was huge and very freeing. Express: But then you found that once you were able to make your own choices, you didn’t have very many options. Holbrook: Right. And I understand that. I am a convicted felon. I bet I’ve applied for 50 jobs, ’cause I have 28 years’ experience in the law. I worked at district court for close to 10 years, all through the ’90s. … In the other years, I worked for attorneys — clients, customer-service related, I like to work with people. But say you’re a prospective employer, and you get my resume and you think, ‘Oh, this doesn’t look bad, she might be a good fit for the office.’ So you call the first person that I’ve worked for in the past and their response to you is, ‘Oh, I didn’t even know she was out of prison yet.’ I mean, do you bring that out right away? Do you wait on that? The first thing people do, prospective employers right now, is check your record, and when they see that I’m a felon and then that I have a murder charge, most people don’t look further than that. Express: So what are you doing right now? Holbrook: I am working in a factory right now. I work different jobs there. I work 7 to 3:30, I’m working on the line some days. I’m working manual hard labor, clean up. I actually broke one of my ribs a couple weeks ago at work. And I can do that. I am really strong. I can do a job like that. But I’m only making $10 an hour. And I understand people’s reluctance, but I just wish people would talk to me. I wish someone would give me a chance. I believe I am a wealth of information, as far as the experience in the law, being a victim of domestic violence, being in prison … I want to work as an advocate. I want to be the voice for victims. Express: You mentioned you’ve gone to the Women’s Resource Center, and you’ve tried to work as an advocate there. Holbrook: Yeah, when I first got out of prison, I worked through my parole agent in Benzie County. I had an employment counselor. And he got me a job at the Women’s Resource Center thrift store, part time, 20 hours per week. I was actually working for them, but it was through the AARP foundation. I couldn’t live on that. … So I was working there, and I wanted so bad for the Women’s Resource Center to hire me, which they had the choice of doing but apparently didn’t have the capability money-wise. I felt a lot of that was political. I really felt like because of who my victim was.  Express: But, do you have any training in social work? Holbrook: No, I don’t. I have no training in social work, and it was made clear to me — I don’t have a degree, I don’t have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree. Which is true. Express: Is that something that you’d like to do? Holbrook: Yeah, it’s something I’d like to do. But I believe I have a master’s degree in domestic violence. I believe I probably know more about it than anybody who’s been schooled in it. I respect people that have degrees and learned whatever they’ve learned, but if you’ve never experienced it, you’ve never been through it, I would rather talk to someone like me rather than someone with a degree hanging on the wall, and that’s just how I feel about it. … I’m so strong. I know exactly what I went through. I know exactly what I did, why I did it. My feelings on that now are completely different. Because I’ve had all this time to reflect on it. Express: How are your feelings different? Holbrook: I just am shocked that I was ever in that place. Shocked that he was able to get me to where I thought killing him and taking his life was the only way out. But I know for a fact, and I’ve said this from the beginning: I took his life to save my own, because he was going to kill me, and he told me how he was going to kill me, and I believed him.  This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.          

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Learn to Love WinterLearn to Love Winter

    On the opposite end of the spectrum from those who hibernate their way through winter are those who embrace the season and all the opportunities it brings.          If you feel you’ve limited yourself to hiding inside for far too long, it’s time to up your chill thrill. Here are five cool options for first-timers looking to get out of the house and spread their winter wings.  FIGURE OUT HOW TO FISHWinter steelhead fishing in Michigan is popular for a reason: “People are mostly aware of steelhead from when they ‘run’ in the spring,” said Captain Chad Dilts, who works for Captain Ben Wolfe at Sport Fish Michigan, based in Beulah. “Rainbow trout that head out into Lake Michigan and then return back to our rivers to spawn are considered ‘steelhead,’ and are much bigger — those are the ones we fish for in the winter.”              Provided the ice and weather isn’t too ugly, a guide will take newbie (and experienced) anglers out on the Big Manistee, the Betsie and Platte rivers in Benzie County, or the Boardman River in Grand Traverse County. Your wintry trip includes one very toasty touch: an in-boat propane heater.Too wild for your rookie level? Sport Fish Michigan also offers the slower-paced option of sitting on some still water — ice fishing. Simply don some warm layers and waterproof boots, and a guide will set you up with a heated ice shanty, rods and reels, bait and lures, a pre-drilled fishing hole, and even (when available) an underwater camera to allowing aspiring anglers to drop their lures and watch as the fish approach.“We provide all the gear and guidance for both river fishing or ice fishing,” Dilts said. “And we like taking out beginners; it’s fun to show them fishing techniques. Probably 60 to 70 percent of our ice fishing guests are beginners who’ve never been out on the ice at all.” COST: $175 per person; all ages welcome. TIP: Winter steelhead tend to spend their time in the deeper, slower water; Sport Fish Michigan will show you several different ways to lure them out, whether you choose to use jig lures or spawn bags, or want to try fly fishing for the first time. DO IT! Sport Fish Michigan, sportfishmichigan.com or (231) 683-1212. STUDY SNOWMOBILINGWant to hit the snowmobile trails but never have? DerMiner’s in Gaylord will rent you a snazzy new sled that’ll be yours for 24 hours. And they’ll teach you everything you know before you go.      “We give you a good rundown of how to operate your snowmobile, safety features, and trail etiquette,” said DerMiner’s owner, Brian DerMiner. “It’s pretty easy to pick up; we’ve even had people from Europe who haven’t rented a sled before.” After your intro, you’ve got about 23.5 more hours to explore the region’s multitude of snowmobile trails.          “We have over 500 miles of groomed trails in this area, and they’re all well marked, which makes it easy,” DerMiner said. “A lot of people like to go to Mackinaw City, but we also have a great route that goes to Mancelona, Starvation Lake, and Frederic before coming back up to Gaylord. And of course you have to stop at The Hideaway Bar — they have a dryer you can throw your hat and gloves into while you eat!” COST: DerMiners offers one-passenger Arctic Cats for $289, or a two-passenger sled for $299 (plus security deposit.) Kids count as one passenger, and you must be 18 with a valid drivers license to rent. TIP: Even if you’re the hardy type, it’s no fun to get stuck or lost on a cold trail. Make sure to tell others your plan and route for the day, and carry a fully-charged mobile phone and backup battery with you. DO IT! Try DerMiner’s Parkside Market, 7137 Old 27 South in Gaylord (parksidemarketgaylord.com or (989) 705-7051); or Burt Lake Marina, 4879 S. Straits Hwy., in Indian River (burtlakemarina.com or (231) 238-9315). Both are conveniently located to Trail No. 7, a popular snowmobiling route. GET THE HANG OF HORSEBACK RIDINGWhile snowmobiling is a speedy and fun way to see the northern Michigan countryside, some prefer a quieter method of getting around. Feet too slow? Borrow four more — from a horse, that is. If you’re unfamiliar with equine pursuits, a good place to start is Northern Pines Farm in Maple City.          Professional trainers will work with you to design a riding lesson program that will meet your needs — and you’ll meet Northern Pines’ friendly “school horses” that are carefully matched to each rider’s ability level.          “We use both quarter horses and warmblood horses,” said Brittany Bolger, acting assistant manager at Northern Pines. “They’re very seasoned horses that are great for lessons.”          You can choose from basic private or group lessons, or take advantage of one of Northern Pines’ special lesson offerings; take the wee ones along for the Pee Wee Pony Class (10 years old and under). Or grab a bunch of your gal pals, a pile of snacks and beverages, and enjoy a Ladies’ Lesson where you can all learn together.          On Sundays, newbie adult and young adult riders can participate in a $25 beginners class, which includes the loan of a saddle and riding cap or helmet (you’ll need to b.y.o.b — bring your own boots). Arrive a half-hour early so you can meet your horse and learn how to prep them for riding.         “Our beginners class is a one-hour lesson in our indoor arena that’s great for people who haven’t ridden at all before,” said Bolger. “We teach walk, trot, and canter, and there are even some holes in the ground right in the arena so you can learn how to avoid obstacles.”  COST: Varies per lesson. TIP: Don’t just stride up to a horse and approach it like it’s a taxicab. Establish a friendly rapport first by allowing the horse to put his nose to your hand, then spend some time calmly standing and petting it. You’ll find that this goes a long way toward making your rides much smoother and your communications with the horse much better. DO IT! Northern Pines Farm, 7347 S. Stachnik Rd., Maple City, northernpinesfarm.com or (231) 228-5550. CONQUER CURLING (pictured)The 2018 Winter Olympics aren’t until February, but you can get a head start on one of the games’ most intriguing events — curling — by taking part in Learn to Curl lessons at Stormcloud Brewing Company in downtown Frankfort. The northern Michigan microbrewery built an outdoor curling sheet next to its pub three winters ago, and they’re now hosting a 12-team curling league as well as the lessons, with instructors from the Traverse City Curling Club.          Curling is a lot like shuffleboard; two players slide granite curling stones across the sheet and try to get as close as possible to a circular target on the ice. Curling brooms are used to sweep the ice ahead of the stone’s trajectory to guide it to the target.          “There are three positions in curling,” said Keirsun Scott, Stormcloud Brewing Co.’s marketing and communications manager. “The thrower, who releases the curling stones; the skip, the strategist who indicates where the stone should be aimed; and the sweeper, who clears the way for the stones to slide toward the target.”          Best thing about curling? You don’t really need any gear of your own to play. “Just dress for the cold weather, and make sure you wear gloves,” Scott said. “We provide everything else, the brooms, the curling stones, and special heavy-duty rubber bands that you wear on your shoes so you don’t slip on the ice.”          Once your feet are geared up and your gloves are on, you can take a 90-minute lesson (every Saturday at noon, 2pm, 4pm, or 6pm) at Stormcloud. “All ages can participate — we’ve got no limitations,” Scott said. “You’ll just have to have your parents sign a waiver if you’re under 18.”          If you’re more the observer type, settle in to Stormcloud’s outdoor bleachers, where you can hang out and watch the lessons or games, popping in to the enclosed heater patio in between “ends” (rounds.) COST: $10 per person. SNEAK PREVIEW TIP: Etiquette is a big deal in curling. Make sure your footwear is clean before stepping onto the ice, don’t damage the ice surface by hitting it with your broom or leaning on the ice, and be sure to partake in the traditional after-game socializing, nicknamed “broomstacking,” during which everyone enjoys a beverage and talks about, well … curling. DO IT! Stormcloud Brewing Company, 303 Main St., Frankfort, stormcloudbrewing.com/curling or (231) 352-0118. SUSS OUT SNOWBOARDINGMaybe you ski, maybe you don’t — but if you want to sail downhill feeling free as a bird, you’ve got to try snowboarding. Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of great places to snowboard in northern Michigan. Get started with a lesson at one of our many local ski resorts; Treetops in Gaylord, for example, can get you out on the slopes in as little as two hours.          “Our best package for beginners is our group lesson, a two-hour lesson that aims to get people going up on the lift and on the green runs by themselves,” said Treetops’ Spencer Korson. The group lesson includes an all-day lift ticket, plus your boots and snowboard rental, which are assigned to you by Treetops’ technicians based on your height, weight, and ability level.         “The people who have the easiest time at snowboarding are those who have prior experience with skateboarding or surfing, but we have great instructors and lots of different types of lessons for everyone,” Korson said.  COST: Group lessons, $85 to $115 per person (based on dates); private lessons are $60 for one hour (not including lift ticket or rentals); youth classes run $45–$50 depending on age group. TIP: As a beginner, you’re going to fall a lot — so it’s smart to learn how to fall properly. If you’re falling forward, lean on your knees, then forearms. If you’re falling backwards, flex your knees and aim at landing on your butt. DO IT! In addition to Treetops Resort (3962 Wilkinson Rd., Gaylord, treetops.com or (989) 732-6711), these resorts are among the many in northern Michigan that also offer snowboarding lessons: Boyne Highlands, 600 Highlands Dr., Harbor Springs, boyne.com or (855) 688-7022; Boyne Mountain, 1 Boyne Mountain Rd., Boyne Falls, boyne.com or (855) 688-7024; Nubs Nob, 500 Nub’s Nob Rd., Harbor Springs, nubsnob.com or (231) 526-2131; and Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek, 5780 Shanty Creek Rd., Bellaire, shantycreek.com or (231) 533-3000.    

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Fun at SubzeroFun at Subzero

    Not a fan of freezing weather? Does the idea of hopping on skis, skates, or snowshoes make you shrink back into your triple layer of sweaters and woolly socks? Time to think outside the flat screen. Here are 15 indoor pursuits to get you off your couch and help you while away the winter. CLASS UP YOUR COOKING Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars offers cooking classes that are purposefully “dynamic and evolving,” so you’ll always have something new and fresh to choose from. Try a techniques class to master a particular component like reductions, desserts, or grilling; watch a fun demonstration class featuring one of Fustini’s chefs; or take it up a notch by participating in an interactive class, where you’ll don an apron and cook right alongside the chef. Kick It At: Fustini’s offers locations in Petoskey, Boyne City, and Traverse City, fustinis.com or (231) 944-1145. SOLVE QUESTIONS AT QUARKMINEIf you prefer your indoor activities on the brainy side, spend some time at Quarkmine. Initially launched as a school-based STEM center, the expanded Quarkmine offers 4,000 feet of maker space in Logan’s Landing dedicated to computer programming, gaming, experimenting, and tinkering for all ages. You can check out some of their special events, book a class, or simply go hang out with other like-minded folks and Quarkmine’s staff of technology enthusiasts. Kick It At: Quarkmine Space, 2074 W. South Airport Road, Traverse City, quarkmine.com or (231) 421-1987. VIRTUALLY VISIT EGYPT See the spectacle of the pharaoh’s state chariot! View royal Egyptian jewels! … all without leaving the comfort of your computer, or having to get anywhere near a camel. Arriving in Traverse City from the International Museums Institute starting January 21 (through May 6) is Tutankhamun: Wonderful Things from the Pharaoh’s Tomb, an exhibition at the Dennos set to feature over 100 replicas of the pharaoh’s possessions and other Egyptian artifacts. Kick It At: The Dennos Museum Center, 1701 E. Front Street, Traverse City, dennosmuseum.org or (231) 995-1055. PLAY PEBBLE BEACHWith two dedicated PGA professionals and 4,500 square feet of space, you can continue your golf game all winter long in the indoor golf area at the Traverse City Golf Center. Snag a winter range membership, or join one of the winter leagues to keep your golfing skills sharp. The indoor facility includes a full golf indoor simulator to analyze your swing, plus 53 different indoor golf “courses” that can take up to four players through nine holes at famous courses around the world. Kick It At: The Traverse City Golf Center, 6270 Secor Rd., Traverse City, tcgolfcenter.com or (231) 947-1185 KEEP AN EYE ON THE SKY Enjoy the winter night sky from indoors at one of northern Michigan’s observatories, where you can view the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, and more through a professional telescope, with friendly folks on hand to help you interpret exactly what you’re seeing. Catch a special program at the Headlands Dark Sky Park near Mackinaw City in their new indoor facility, or enjoy one of the public viewing nights at Rogers Observatory in Traverse City. Kick It At: Headlands International Dark Sky Park, 15675 Headlands Rd., Mackinaw City, midarkskypark.org or (231) 348-1713; Rogers Observatory, 1753 Birmley Rd., Traverse City, nmc.edu  or (231) 946-1787.  JUST KEEP SWIMMING If you’ve ever wanted to pretend you’re in training for the 2020 Olympics, the Otsego County Sportsplex is your perfect indoor escape. Whether you enjoy lap swimming, want to try an AquaFit water fitness class, are actually in training for a real-life sporting event, or just want somewhere warm to splash around and forget about the cold temperatures, the Sportsplex’s Olympic-sized swimming pool is ready for action. Kick It At: The Otsego County Sportsplex, 1250 Gornick Ave., Gaylord, ocsportsplex.com or (989) 731-3546. RECAPTURE THE PAST Ah, olden times, when Coca-Cola was served up in glass bottles, and every town had a soda fountain worthy of Andy Griffith. Relive those days (or experience what they might’ve been like for the first time) at The Bottle-Cap Museum, where you’ll get to check out a whopping 10,000 pieces of Coca-Cola memorabilia, including a working 1950s soda fountain. Cap off your trip with a Coke, a smile, and a stop at the attached Dawson and Stevens ‘50s Diner. Kick It At: The Bottle-Cap Museum at Dawson and Stevens Classic ’50s Diner, 231 Michigan Ave., Grayling, facebook.com/dawsonandstevensclassic50sdiner or (989) 348-2111. IT’S EASY BEING CHEESY One of the activities on our list has you indulging in some chef skills. But another great indoor indulgence is simply food itself, and what better comforting winter food than cheese? Head inside for a cheese tasting at one of northern Michigan’s cheese emporiums, and you’ll leave not only feeling happy and full, but also with a whole new wealth of cheesy knowledge that you can apply to future winter meals and snacks. Kick It At: Leelanau Cheese 10844 Revold Rd., Suttons Bay, leelanaucheese.com  or (231) 271-2600; Petoskey Cheese, 437 E. Mitchell St. Petoskey, petoskeycheese.com or (231) 753 2805; The Cheese Lady, 600 W. Front St., Traverse City, thecheeselady.net or (231) 421-9600. SKATE IN PLACE Most hockey players probably have at least a little bit of love for the ice. But even the hardiest of goalies and defensemen might object to honing their skills in the middle of a blizzard or a sub-zero cold snap. The solution? Perfect Edge, where you can use their super cool (literally) indoor “endless ice hockey treadmill” to work on your technique and stride while skating in place; then practice your puck work with Perfect Edge’s in-house rapid shot, where you can track your speed and accuracy. Kick It At: Perfect Edge 1784 S. Garfield Ave., Traverse City, perfectedgetc.com or (231) 237-4443. APPRECIATE A NEW ART FORM Throw a clay pot, sketch a still life, sew yourself a brand new shirt or write your memoir — all these possibilities and more are available through the Crooked Tree Arts Centers’ special ongoing schedule of creative arts classes and workshops. Let those winter storms bluster away outside! You won’t notice — you’ll be too busy indoors, learning a new art form or expanding your existing talents. Mix and Make Craft Nights even let you combine several art mediums while you chat with friends and enjoy snacks and drinks. Kick It At: The Crooked Tree Arts Centers, crookedtree.org, 461 E. Mitchell St., Petoskey (231) 347-4337 and 322 Sixth St. Traverse City (231) 941-9488. BOWL-O-RAMA! Sometimes it’s fun to go old-school and head to the bowling alley, whether you’ve got some actual tenpin skills, or you just like tiptoeing down the run like Fred Flintstone on league night. Make your bowling night extra fun by bringing along some friends and organizing into a couple of competing teams — you can even get customized bowling shirts with your names embroidered right on ’em, and you’ll all be at the height of retro fashion. Kick It At: Lucky Jack’s, 1705 Garfield Ave., Traverse City, luckyjacks.com or (231) 947-2610; Northern Lights Recreation, 8865 M-119 Petoskey, northernlightsrec.com or (231) 347-3100; Gaylord Bowling Center, 1200 Gornick Ave., Gaylord, bowlgaylord.com or (989) 732-3574; and The Pines Bowling Center, 5992 Michigan 55, Cadillac, thepinessbbc.com or (231) 775-7752. DIG INTO YOUR ROOTSAre you related to one of our past presidents? Perhaps an artist or celebrity? Or a daring historical figure? Delving back into your ancestry can be a fascinating pastime, but one that’s often complicated by not knowing where to start. The Harbor Springs History Museum offers the tools you’ll need to do just that — a knowledgeable staff and access to Ancestry.com to help you research your genealogy. A special evening genealogy session will even be held at the museum on Tuesday, January 30 (5–7pm.) Kick It At: The Harbor Springs History Museum, 349 E. Main St., Harbor Springs, harborspringshistory.org or (231) 526-9771.

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Bespoke GundogsBespoke Gundogs

    A Leelanau County man has launched an operation that combines two of his passions — dogs and bird hunting. “I’ve been shooting over bird dogs since I was 8 or 10 years old – mostly with setters and labs,” said Chris Butz, a self-described “recovering lawyer” who operates Bespoke Gundogs on 176 acres in Solon Township.    “I cannot remember my life without bird hunting, gundogs, fishing and shooting.” In fact, Butz was taking part in competitive muzzle loading competitions when he was only 8 years old and had won multiple national titles by the time he turned 12. Growing up in southern Indiana, Butz always loved the outdoors and working with his hunting dogs. Some of his happiest childhood days were spent hunting quail and waterfowl with well-trained dogs. He currently has six dogs — two English cocker spaniels, two setters, a British Labrador, and a German spaniel, or Wachtelhund. “From my earliest days hunting with springer spaniels, Labrador retrievers and English setters, I have enjoyed days alongside gundogs working with their God-given talents to do what they were created to do,” he said. “As I learned more and more about gundog training in America, there’s more to training these talented animals than using the harsh methods traditionally popular in this country.” Instead of following the stern American training style, Butz researched the British and European techniques, shunning harsh training methods such as “force fetching” and e-collars. His methods rely on positive reinforcement and other less strict measures. “It’s been my experience that by starting with a good genetic foundation in a dog and adding the building blocks of nutrition and solid training, you will build a steady gundog that is a joy to have in the home and in the field.” Training a gundog takes time, patience and knowledge. Butz’s goal is primarily to bring out the best in a dog, whether the owner wants to use the dog for hunting or simply seeks to have a well-trained, four-legged companion. “Bespoke means custom-made and that’s our attitude in training dogs,” said Butz, who moved to Leelanau County in 2007. “Whether our client wants a well-trained ‘steady’ gundog or wants to kayak, hike or bike with their dog, we can provide the time and energy to train their dog to be calm, obedient and avoid distractions in their activity choices.” Butz offers the dog training sessions on a 176-acre site on Hoxie Road, north of Lautner Road in Solon Township. Last year the Department of Natural Resources certified 120 of those acres as a game bird preserve, the only one in Leelanau County. At the preserve, Butz features quail and chuckars, a cinnamon and gray partridge with stripes along its side and a red bill. “Each dog develops at his or her own pace,” said Butz. “But, there eventually comes a time when the owner needs to expose the pup to birds in a more realistic field experience. Maybe you just want your dog to point or flush or work on steadiness or gun proofing. Or if you actually want to shoot birds over your pup to work on retrieving. This is where our licensed game preserve comes into play.” Once the snow is gone, Butz expects to hit the ground running. Over the winter, clients have been contacting him and they’re anxious to get their field companions “tuned up.” “This is a huge attraction for local hunters,” he said. “Now they won’t have to drive miles and miles to a game bird preserve. Last year we had a summer resident bring his Lab out, and he just loved it.” In addition to training several breeds of hunting dogs, Butz offers other hunting-related activities, including custom sporting clays and upland, waterfowl and turkey hunting. To learn more, visit  bespokesporting.com. Pictured at top: Butz and his English setter, Lilly. Butz, along with his wife, Angie, and their five children, also operate Gill’s Pier Ranch, just outside Northport, where they raise Tibetan yaks and alpaca.                             

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Cabin FeverCabin Fever

    Plummeting temperatures tend to leave the less hearty among us housebound. Which is fine, until cabin fever sets in. Before your own four walls drive you to the brink of insanity, drive yourself to a new set of walls to experience winter Up North at its warmest, quaint-est best.  Hundreds of cabins dot the region, from luxurious chalets with soaring wood-clad ceilings to rustic shacks that are perfect for those looking to make winter, at the very least, a best frenemy. Here are a few of our favorite cabin escapes across the area, all equally perfect for staying in as they are for getting out and exploring. (Note: This is, of course, just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For more, explore online and consult the tourism or visitors bureau in your favorite part of the north country.) Camp Pet-O-Se-Ga, Petoskey (pictured)Bedosagay (Pet-O-Se-Ga), named in honor of the rising sun, was born to the Odawa tribe in 1787. Today, Bedosagay’s name is kept alive throughout the region as “Petoskey” — and as the name of this Emmet County-owned park. Originally constructed in the 1930s, the 300-acre park was acquired by the county in 1992. If you want to get out, groomed trails are perfect for cross-country skiing and/or snow-shoeing. Choose from several cabin options, though be forewarned: Plumbing is often not an option. We went with Cabin D. ·      Two-night minimum·      Accommodates 8–10 people in two-story building·      1 table, small kitchen, furnace heat, fireplace·      1 couch (sleeps 2), 10 single beds upstairs·      Rate: $125 nightly, with a $100 deposit. Call (231) 347-6536 or go to CampPetosega.org. Boyne Mountain, Boyne FallsYou won’t even know you’re in the midst of the massive Boyne Mountain Resort. Situated in a lightly wooded area, the three- and four-bedroom Mountain Cabins are far enough off the beaten path to provide privacy, yet close to the resort’s amenities. Each cabin includes a full kitchen, dining room, wood-burning fireplace, and — wait for it — a hot tub on the deck. Hey, you can even get special waterpark entrance packages to Avalanche Bay. Accommodates up to eight people, with a king bed in the master, queen bed in the second bedroom, a queen bed in the loft, and sofa sleeper in living area. ·      Wood-burning fireplace·      Kitchen·      3 full baths·      Living room Complex Amenities·      24-hour front desk available from Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa Front Desk·      Ski in/Ski out*, call for lift schedule·      Use of Clock Tower Lodge outdoor heated pool and hot tub·      Use of fitness center at Clock Tower Lodge Rates vary, depending on time of the year, dates desired, and number of people. Call (855) 688-7024. Go to Boyne.com. Ellis Lake Resort, InterlochenChoose from a variety of cabins and rooming options at this resort, originally built in 1939. It’s located 11 miles south of Traverse City and just two miles from Interlochen Center for the Arts, which also means it’s close to the wineries, brewpubs and other amenities of Sleeping Bear, Old Mission Peninsula, and Traverse City. You can stroll to the lake in the winter, though snowshoeing may be more fun. There’s even an outdoor hot tub surrounded by pines, perfect at nighttime under the stars. The Spruce·      Fully-equipped kitchen·      Bathrooms with showers. ·      Sleeps six: queen bed, a double, and a bunk bed. Nightly rates are $132; weekly, $750. Call (231) 276-9502; online, go to EllisLakeResort.com. Horse Farm, Harbor SpringsLocated seven miles from downtown Harbor Springs on a small horse farm, this secluded cedar log cabin sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The gas stove in the living room offers ambience and plenty of heat to take the edge of a cold winter day. The location is ideal for day trips to Harbor Springs, Petoskey, even the U.P. Features include a BBQ grill, deck, and for those who can’t unplug, it even has Wi-Fi. ·      Accommodates two adults and two children. The upstairs loft has a queen-size bed, bureaus, and a closet, while the living room couch becomes a queen-size pullout.·      Kitchen·      Dining area·      Full bathroom·      From $128.40 nightly Go here.   Tree House Cabin in EllsworthThis unique treehouse cabin was handcrafted by the hosts with the help of friends and family. It’s set pondside, surrounded by tall pine trees, on 300 acres of farmland in the midst of a working orchard. The main living space is bathed in natural light from the large windows, making it ideal for stargazing or simply admiring the views. Bonus: Fido is welcome too. ·      Hiking Trails·      Gift shop on property with fresh fruit preserves and fruit butter·      Living area includes space and books and TV, all perfect for relaxing.·      Accommodates six, with two bedrooms with queens and a double bed. From $170 per night. Go here.  Cedars Resort, Central LakeChoose from one of five two-bedroom log cabins at this resort located on Central Lake in Antrim County. This out-of-the-way resort began when Columbus, Ohio natives Eddie and Almeda Barber began building a vacation cabin for themselves. Each cabin is made from cedar timber taken from the surrounding area. The logs were all hand hewn by Eddie — he even built the cedar cabinets. Here you can try your hand at skating or ice fishing, and you’re only 30 minutes from four ski resorts. Other nearby attractions are Short’s Brewery in Bellaire and Grass River Natural Area. It’s even pet-friendly.   Each cabin features·      Full-sized living, dining and kitchen areas·      2 bedrooms (plus a sofa-bed in living room)·      Full bathroom with shower·      Modern kitchen and appliances·      Bedding, cooking and dining utensils·      Heated, with fireplaces in some units·      Cable TV·      DVD/VCR·      Wi-Fi Occupancy is maximum four adults per cabin. Up to six people allowed if in the same immediate family and two of them are children under age 17. Rates: 2 nights $210–7 nights $510Call (231) 544-8069. Go to Cedars-Resort.com  

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • The Weed WindfallThe Weed Windfall

    United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions has had just about enough of all this legal and medical weed business. Sessions has revoked Obama administration instructions to federal prosecutors and law enforcement to avoid prosecutions of legal marijuana or medical marijuana in states where allowed. They had been instructed to focus interdiction and prosecution efforts on more dangerous drugs, violent drug cartels, and wholesale marijuana black market operations. Instead, Sessions told federal prosecutors, essentially, to do as they wish in states with legal or medical pot. His reasoning is that, after all, selling or possessing any marijuana is still a federal crime. In fact, the feds classify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the same as cocaine, heroin, and other provably dangerous drugs. It would be easy pickings for some federal prosecutors. Eight states have now legalized recreational use of weed, and it is, or will be, sold openly in licensed stores. Another 21 states allow some form of medical marijuana sales, and those facilities are also right out in the open. No undercover work or wire taps required; just walk in the door and start making arrests on federal warrants.   It might not be that easy. There is a lot of tax revenue at stake.  Colorado, which legalized in 2012 and started sales in 2014, has raised $500 million in taxes and fees, and has more marijuana dispensaries than it has Starbucks. Washington state, which also legalized in 2012 and started selling in 2013, has raised $1 billion in taxes and fees, and it expects to realize another $375 million next year.  Alaska, which approved legalization in 2015 and started legal sales in October of 2016, has already raised nearly $4 million. Nevada anticipates $20 million in revenue, Oregon raises $85 million. Neither Maine nor Massachusetts have yet begun sales, but both are eager for the tax windfall. California is where the real money will flow. They anticipate marijuana sales will reach $5.1 billion next year (more than beer sales), and the state will have collected more than $1.4 billion in taxes and fees by 2021. Despite the obvious headaches, legalized marijuana has become a revenue gold mine for those states allowing it. The pressure on their federal prosecutors to leave them alone will be immense. There is a middle-ground solution here that starts with the Drug Enforcement Administration recognizing that marijuana is not the same as illegal opioids and downgrading it from a Schedule 1 drug which, by definition, has no medical value and a high potential for abuse.  There is not yet research proving marijuana is addictive or a gateway to other illegal drugs. It is certainly less habit forming than any other Schedule 1 drug. Opiod overdoses now kill more than 30,000 Americans annually. There has been one possible marijuana overdose death in human history. Which seems more prone to abuse?  Medical science has already shown, in peer reviewed published research, that marijuana reduces eye pressure associated with glaucoma and relieves some types of nerve pain. It's also been shown to mitigate nausea and enhance appetite, especially in those undergoing certain types of chemotherapy. And a cannabis ingredient has been effective in relieving some childhood seizure disorders. In no case is it a magic cure by itself, but there is certainly proven medical use. (Despite anecdotal evidence aplenty, there is not yet peer-reviewed research establishing marijuana as helping victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.)    Reclassifying the “killer weed” that doesn't kill would free federal prosecutors to focus on the illegal drug scourges that actually do. There are some problems. We still have no reasonable standard for what constitutes marijuana impairment when driving, and we need one. Marijuana slows reflexes and reaction time and can impair judgment. But Michigan's current standard of “any amount” is wildly unreasonable and can result in felony convictions for someone not impaired at all. Law enforcement and science need to figure it out. We also know pot is not good for kids whose brains and bodies are still developing. Penalties for sales to minors should be severe and enforced.   There is also a cost issue. States, in their enthusiasm for new tax revenue, have added blizzards of taxes and fees to legal weed. It is now typically more expensive than black market weed and that's a system that won't work. Like in any business, regular customers become the backbone. If Joe Toker can buy his weed from his underground dealer for half the cost of the legal stuff, he won't ever become a customer; the black market they'd like to eliminate will continue to thrive.  Legal marijuana is likely here to stay, regardless of Jeff Sessions. The question becomes how best to regulate it, fairly tax it, develop a reasonable impairment test, and keep it away from kids. Continuing to criminalize it is just dopey.

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Go to Your RoomGo to Your Room

    I spent years working to reduce the threat of nuclear war and, while we are far from what I had hoped for, there is a stable equilibrium among the globe’s nuclear powers.  That stability is now challenged by taunts that would get a child sent to their room for a time out. On Jan. 2, President Trump tweeted, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone … please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my button works!” The president was responding to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s boast that North Korea is already nuclear-armed. White House Spokesperson Sara Huckabee Sanders unabashedly explained that the president’s tweet was "just a fact" and was not intended to taunt Kim. On Fox News (Jan. 7), CIA Director Mike Pompeo doubled down saying: “We want the regime to understand that … we are intent on resolving this … diplomatically … but this administration is prepared to do what it takes to assure that [the American] people are not held at risk from Kim Jong Un having a nuclear weapon." We may be “prepared to do what it takes” to rid North Korea of its nuclear arsenal, but as I have written previously, that is simply not going to happen. Kim is close to being able to hit the U.S. with nuclear warheads and is not going to quit now.  This leaves us in a dilemma. Since we will have to settle for a nuclear-armed North Korea — at least until there’s regime change in Pyongyang — we need to deter North Korea from attacking us. It won’t be easy.  Deterrence is a complex business requiring objective measures: the size of one’s capabilities (or one’s “button,” I guess) and subjective analysis — creating the perception that, if attacked, the opponent is willing to use its resources in retaliation, irrespective of the likely outcome. This assessment of capabilities and intent drove the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to the strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction. We each amassed enough nuclear firepower to convince each other that we could survive an attack and retaliate so overwhelmingly that the attacker could see no benefit from the exchange. It was a mutual suicide pact that deterred both from nuclear war. But there is no experience with deterrence between a weak nuclear power (North Korea) and a superpower (the U.S.). Just last week, we saw a series of threats about using nuclear weapons such as we have not seen since the Cuban missile crisis. How Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump would handle a crisis is unknown.  If Kim launches an intercontinental ballistic missile at a U.S. city, President Trump would certainly unleash the “fire and fury such as the world has never seen” on North Korea. But recently revealed analysis (New York Times, Jan. 7) tells us that U.S. intelligence on North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs is unreliable. If we fail to destroy Pyongyang’s well-hidden arsenal in our first retaliatory strikes, Kim might respond with further nuclear attacks on U.S. cities. Our existing defenses would not stop all the attacking missiles. And what if Kim’s strategists in Pyongyang contrive a more clever scenario? Suppose Kim wants to use his nukes as a tool to coerce Seoul to reunify with Pyongyang, or to force us to lift our sanctions? To demonstrate his capabilities, perhaps Kim explodes a hydrogen bomb over international waters near Hawaii. No one is killed; no U.S. territory destroyed. (We exploded dozens such test nukes over the Pacific in the 1950s and ’60s.) How should the President respond then?  Would Kim’s “gesture” justify an American nuclear counterattack on North Korea? Let’s make the problem more complicated. For the past year, the Trump administration has pursued a confusing China policy. On the one hand, the administration has been sharply critical of China’s expansionist actions and trade policies, while the president has personally lavished praise on China’s dictator, Xi Jinping.  Suppose in an effort to reassure and calm Pyongyang, China extends its nuclear umbrella to North Korea, promising that if the North is attacked, Beijing will consider it an attack on China and use its nuclear arsenal to retaliate. (We’ve said as much for South Korea and Japan.)  A possible nuclear exchange with China is something even a temperamental or impulsive leader would not lightly opt for. Therein lays the deterrence problem. Kim might well assess that he can use his nuclear arsenal as a tool of coercive diplomacy with little fear of a U.S. response. Absent an actual North Korean attack on an American city, I suggest that the American people are not willing to absorb retaliatory nuclear attacks on our territory despite any treaty commitments we have. Nothing Kim could do would warrant running that risk.  Maybe that’s really why the President sent his fire and fury warning. He’s signaling that he alone has the button, and the American people will not be asked what we think he should do. As Kim further refines his missiles and warheads and calculates how to leverage his nuclear status to his advantage, he will surely push the limits of our president’s patience. That could well trigger the most dangerous nuclear confrontation since the beginning of the nuclear age. Jack Segal and Karen Puschel were negotiators at the U.S.-Soviet arms-control talks in Geneva. They co-chair the International Affairs Forum, which resumes Feb. 15 with Yale University Professor and China expert James Levinson speaking on U.S.-China trade. See tciaf.com for more information.

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • In the Image of God?In the Image of God?

    Scott’s StatementJohn Keats accused Isaac Newton of “unweaving the rainbow” by revealing that all colors are contained in white light, which separates when shone through a prism. To Keats, explaining a rainbow with physics takes the poetry out of it. I find that the sensual experience of a rainbow is not diminished by understanding; rather, additional layers of unseen beauty are revealed. Similarly, some people’s sense of significance is undone by considering naturalistic explanations of our origins. The unfathomable scale of the universe makes them feel small by comparison. People might seek to mitigate that feeling by regarding themselves as part of “God’s plan.” To be willfully designed and loved by an eternal creator is more comforting than to understand oneself as a fleeting product of unguided natural processes. This is one emotional underpinning of faith.  I look at it this way: Matter adopts forms allowed by nature — under conditions in the nascent universe, in the cores of large collapsing stars, and in supernovae. A minuscule wisp of these materials coalesced into a solar system containing a planet having life-enabling conditions. Biological evolution in this rare place led to the emergence of a brainy social species with a complex suite of survival-enhancing responses. These responses constitute our conscious, emotion-rich, human experience.  It is human-centric to declare that this chain of events is unlikely, since we cannot know what is probable in a universe we don’t fully apprehend. The math that makes me unlikely is the same as that which makes me possible. I find the seeming unlikeliness and smallness of our existence exulting, not minimizing. In the vastness of all time and space, to emerge from the unguided behavior of matter and energy as thinking, experiencing, conscious human beings, is a fact of overwhelming grandness.  Deciding that man is made in God’s image is actually creating him in ours. This anthropomorphism results in a conception of nature that glosses over the actual mysteries of the universe we are lucky enough to have the capacity to contemplate. Bill’s ResponseScott and the Psalmist look at our vast universe, and our apparent insignificance within, and marvel at the wondrous mystery of life. Scott’s critique of Keats is in order. People of faith need not fear the revelations of science. Understanding doesn’t diminish, only deepens, our experience of life. But, like Keats, Scott sees only in part. Scott understands the science of the rainbow; he appreciates the sensuality. What Scott misses is God’s promise. Faith isn’t a fearful response to “the vastness of all time and space.”  Faith is the grateful response to the one who gave us such an exalted place in creation. Like the Psalmist, Scott looks at the mystery and celebrates life. But, like Keats, he doesn’t see the many layers of unseen beauty in God’s promise. Bill’s Statement“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4) Psalm 8 is a hymn of praise to God’s glory, which can be seen in all God’s magnificent works. The glory of the heavens, the moon, and the stars, is but a reflection of God’s majesty. All creation proclaims God’s glory, but nothing more than human beings, who are created in the very image of God. In response to the psalmist’s question of why God is even mindful of us, we hear we are made “a little lower than God, and crowned with glory and honor.” I’m not sure we will find a higher view of humanity that captures the humility of our being part of the created order. We are glorified not for who we are, but for what God has done for us. We are glorious because God is glorious, and we are created in God’s image. Christians, and others who sing the psalmist’s hymn of praise, share a belief in the sanctity of human life. Because God’s glory is reflected in our very existence, because we are created in God’ s image. Human life is more than a byproduct of the evolutionary process; human life is sacred. Apart from God, we are but a mass of cells, genes, and water, which happened to come together in a meaningful way. Over the eons, we’ve learned to walk upright and lost our tails, bringing about beauty and destruction in the process. But, at the end of the day, all we have is life.  To paraphrase the words of Ernest Becker, “We live to keep our stomachs alive.” The psalmist’s faith offers us something more. Created in God’s image, our lives have meaning and purpose, which transcend our mere existence. We live to show the glory of God! Scott’s Response I know Bill and many other Christians feel appreciation and awe for the universe and the fact that we exist and are conscious in it. Christians often express the feeling by lavishing descriptions like “glory” and “majesty” onto a supernatural father figure inherited from a particular tribe’s creation mythology. The desire to have a place to direct one’s existential joy is common among the faithful.  But we needn’t attach it to such a mythology. There is an equally gratifying and more intellectually sound way to reflect upon this universe: Be moved by its beauty, which blooms against bleakness, and by its cosmic compliance with a mathematical order, but then pause. Stand at the edge of what we are presently able to know and enjoy the mystery of the yet-to-be known.  Agree Statement: Scott and Bill agree there is much of which to be in awe in the universe, and that beauty may be experienced through understanding as well as through the senses.

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Honoring Fleetwood Mac Honoring Fleetwood Mac

    The 2018 MusiCares Person of the Year tribute concert is prepping to honor Fleetwood Mac on Jan. 26 with a big, elegant event held during Grammy week. The special tribute concert this year will feature performances from Lorde, OneRepublic, Harry Styles, John Legend, Keith Urban, and upstart girl group Haim, all paying homage to Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and their Fleetwood Mac bandmates’ years of classic rock songs. The tribute will be followed by the 60th annual Grammy Awards, which will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York City, and will air on Sunday, Jan. 28 on CBS TV …  Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy, of “Riptide” single fame, is all prepped to return early this year with his new sophomore album, Nation of Two, which he said describes a “perfectly self-contained couple” who find that their world begins and ends wherever they are together. Joy prefaced the album’s release with its first official single, “Like Gold”; he performed a prior sneak-preview single, “Lay It On Me,” on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night talk show late last summer … Classic Irish alternative-rocker U2 has announced that it’ll embark on a massive 2018 North American arena tour in support of its newest album, Songs of Experience. The tour will be called The Experience and Innocence Tour, with over a dozen dates announced so far. The latest single from Songs of Experience is “Get Out of Your Own Way,” which features Kendrick Lamar. U2’s frontman, Bono Vox, also recently appeared on Lamar’s track “XXX” from his latest album DAMN … Panic! at the Disco’s new live album, All My Friends We’re Glorious, is just out, with 21 tracks in all documenting the band’s tour for its 2016 album, Death of a Bachelor. Included on the set are tracks from all across Panic!’s extensive catalog, plus cover versions of tunes by Queen and Billy Joel. you can snag the entire thing not only as a digital download or physical copy but also as a limited-edition double-vinyl release … LINK OF THE WEEKThe iconic heavy rock Vans Warped Tour, which has hit the road every summer since 1995, has decided to call it quits, with 2018 being the last run for the tour, including a final show in the Detroit area on Friday, July 20. Check out the tour’s official website, vanswarpedtour.com, to snag tickets for the last time, and check out images from past treks ... THE BUZZ Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra will stage a show at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit Aug. 16 … Kalamashoegazer, the cult subgenres music fest taking place in Kalamazoo, sounds like it’s set to make a return, so look for it in 2018 … Petoskey native Sufjan Stevens has released a new mixtape featuring outtakes and bonus tracks from his 2015 album, Carrie and Lowell; the mixtape, called The Greatest Gift, is in stores now and was just featured on NPR … Shakira will appear in concert on Jan. 22 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit … Watch for Grand Rapids buzz band Desmond Jones, which makes obscure references to mimes and already has over 60 original songs in its repertoire … and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock. Comments, questions, rants, raves, suggestions on this column? Send ’em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com.        

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • U2 – Songs of Experience – InterscopeU2 – Songs of Experience – Interscope

    With every album U2 releases, old fans bemoan the fact that its work no longer sounds like its eager underground-bar breakouts of the ’80s, and newer fans discuss how all of the band’s new songs sound too much the same. This set (pictured) should quiet both issues, since it adroitly combines both the arena-ready energy of their early success with the more moderately produced singles of the band’s later years. Big singles like “Love is All We Have Left,” “Blackout,” and “Red Flag Day” bring back the band’s drama while retaining the polish of experience. *** Wolf Parade – Cry Cry Cry – Sub Pop The chaos that makes up the tunes of Wolf Parade can be a little overwhelming for the first-time listener, but once you give the set several listens, what initially seems like disorder gradually coalesces into complexity. The reason for the mess, so to speak, is that the band gleefully crams a remarkable amount of ingredients into each song, from the weird hybrid of Euro power-pop and rootsy Americana that make up “You’re Dreaming” to the synthy, arena-friendly rock hybrid of “Am I An Alien Here” and the idiosyncratic “Artificial Life.” *** Motion City Soundtrack – Even If It Kills Me – EpitaphHitting its 10th anniversary (already?) MCS’ definitive 2008 collection has been expanded (complete with some pastel hipster album art), and includes its original first disc of catchphrase singles (“This is for Real,” “The Conversation”) and a plethora of interesting extras and intriguing alternate takes like acoustic versions of “Broken Heart” and “Point of Extinction,” plus several live demos that capture the band’s impressive ability to emote in a live setting. *** Collective Soul – Live – Suretone Sometimes a band becomes such a rock-radio fixture, you forget how many hits it actually has. The burden of having become audio wallpaper applies in spades to Collective Soul; tunes like “Shine,” “The World I Know,” “Run,” and “Precious Declaration” are practically elevator music at this point. So while it’s good to see that the band can still pull out the energy during a live performance, it could seriously use a few fresh new songs in its now-vintage repertoire. **    

    Northern Express / 3 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Michigan dealer auctions off rights to 2018 Dodge Challenger DemonMichigan dealer auctions off rights to 2018 Dodge Challenger Demon

    A Michigan dealership group auctioned off the rights to purchase a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, raising a total of $14,700 for local charities. Bill Marsh Auto Group of Traverse City, Mich., said it would sell the White Knuckle Demon for $1 below the sticker price.

    Traverse City News / 4 d. 3 h. 31 min. ago
  • The Accidentals Premiere New Video via Baeble MusicThe Accidentals Premiere New Video via Baeble Music

    Sony Masterworks recording artists, The Accidentals, are excited to unveil the music video for, "Earthbound," via Baeble Music. The clip begins in what Sav describes as, a "lucid dream."

    Traverse City News / 4 d. 5 h. 39 min. ago
  • Video: Michigan has its own shithole problemVideo: Michigan has its own shithole problem

    That's what the Michigan infrastructure campaign Fix MI State is saying in their newest video: The Journey of Number Two . The two-and-half minute animation follows the journey of everybody's favorite smiling poop emoji as it travels from toilet to treatment facility.

    Traverse City News / 4 d. 8 h. ago
  • Leelanau Sheriff's Office No Longer Handling Foreclosure SalesLeelanau Sheriff's Office No Longer Handling Foreclosure Sales

    The Leelanau County Sheriff's Office will no longer handle local foreclosure sales. According to an announcement from the Sheriff's Office, a long-time employee who had overseen property forclosure sales retired from the department. "This was an appropriate time for our agency to transfer this service to a company that specializes in this area," the Sheriff's Office stated. All future property foreclosure sales will now be handled by Risk and Associates. The firm will also handle several civil paper services for the Sheriff's Office. The company can be reached at 877-374-7170.

    The Ticker / 4 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Dodge Challenger Demon Auction Raises Nearly $15K For CharityDodge Challenger Demon Auction Raises Nearly $15K For Charity

    An auction for the rights to buy a limited-production 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon raised nearly $15,000 for four local charities Wednesday. Bill Marsh Auto Group was one of the smallest dealerships in the country to get a Demon, with only 3,000 total made. The vehicle is the fastest production car ever built, featuring a V-8 supercharged engine producing 808 horsepower. The Demon, designed for drag strip driving, can go from 0 to 140 miles per hour in approximately nine seconds. Bill Marsh committed to Dodge it would sell the car for one dollar below the $89,000 sticker price. With high demand from enthusiasts and collectors, the dealership decided to host a charity auction, with the successful bidder winning the rights to buy the vehicle. Ted Parrott of Traverse City came out on top in the auction Wednesday with a winning bid of $14,700. “I didn’t come here to win,” says Parrott. “I’m just a huge car enthusiast. I can’t believe it.” Proceeds from the auction will be split evenly between the Father Fred Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan, The T.C. Patriot Game and Toys for Tots. Bill Marsh Jr. called the auction “an excellent way for us to celebrate a truly unique car, and be able to share the enthusiasm with organizations that are so vital to the Grand Traverse region.” Pictured: Ted Parrott and Bill Marsh Jr. with the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. Photo credit: Bill Marsh Auto.

    The Ticker / 4 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Proposed U-Haul Center Raises Questions About Cherryland FutureProposed U-Haul Center Raises Questions About Cherryland Future

    A proposal to develop a U-Haul center in the former Kmart space on Garfield Avenue could help revitalize the Cherryland Center and has the support of surrounding tenants – but faces an uphill battle with Garfield Township planning commissioners. Schostak Brothers & Company, which owns nearly a dozen acres of property on the eastern side of the Cherryland Center that includes the Kmart building, is seeking a zoning amendment from Garfield Township to allow U-Haul to open on the site. U-Haul would offer rental trucks, indoor climate-controlled storage spaces, and a retail store selling moving supplies in a roughly 90,000 square-foot footprint. “We’ve been looking for a long time in the Traverse City area…this is the first real opportunity that has met our criteria,” U-Haul Area District Vice President Bill Rains told township planning commissioners Wednesday. “Frankly, I don’t think there’s anywhere else in any of the other districts that I could find that meets the criteria for what we want for our customers.” Jeffrey Schostak of Schostak Brothers & Company told the board his company had been bracing for Kmart’s closure for years and had “taken a very proactive approach” in recruiting potential tenants for the property. But logistical challenges – including the building’s setback from the road, bottleneck entrances to the Cherryland Center, and a dying big-box retail landscape – made it difficult to find another retail anchor for the site, according to Schostak. “We never were able to find another user to go here,” he said, adding that potential retail tenants – including Costco – had either deemed the property unsuitable for their needs or flocked to the west side of town near Grand Traverse Mall and Buffalo Ridge Center, where surrounding thriving commercial businesses were in stronger supply. Schostak submitted letters of support for U-Haul from numerous Cherryland Mall tenants and surrounding businesses, including the mall’s leasing company, Sears, Perfect Edge Hockey, Bill Marsh Auto Group, Northwest Oil Express and several others. “The community surrounding the mall seems to think that this would be a good thing to help revitalize the area,” he said. While a few residential neighbors raised concerns about noise and 24-hour traffic at the storage spaces at Wednesday’s meeting, Rains’ explanation that the retail center closes at 7pm every day except Sunday (when it closes at 5pm) and that 24-hour users only account for two percent of U-Haul’s customer base seemed to put neighbors at ease. Customers have access cards that allow them to open a loading door, park inside and close the door behind them, then load storage goods into or out of their vehicles – containing noise to the inside of the facility, Rains said. The site is also protected by a 24-hour security system containing over 40 surveillance cameras, according to Rains. “We’re very sensitive to the surrounding community,” he said. “We’re way less noise than even Kmart has.” While planning commissioners expressed interest in the project Wednesday, the implications of the rezoning request raised several hurdles that seemed to vex the board. Township Planner Rob Larrea noted that while the applicants wanted to amend zoning rules for planned shopping centers – a category that includes Cherryland Center, Grand Traverse Mall and Meijer – to allow a new use called “retail and self-storage and truck and trailer share,” the actual use proposed by U-Haul was “warehousing.” That use is already allowed in Garfield Township’s industrial districts, which Larrea suggested would be a better fit for the proposal. Changing the zoning ordinance could also have “huge unforeseen circumstances” that could allow the Cherryland Center or Grand Traverse Mall to be turned into rows of storage warehouses, Larrea warned. Planning commissioners expressed concerns about turning down a proposal that could potentially help revitalize the Cherryland Center and/or the surrounding commercial corridor, but also questioned whether a more fitting retail use allowed under current zoning rules might materialize for the Kmart space. “What I’m feeling is the pressure to look at, is this the best we can hope for for the use of our old Kmart facility, or is there something out there we don’t know about?” said Planning Commissioner Chris DeGood. “Are we accepting the first proposal of marriage and the other guy is just standing down the street?” Responding to DeGood’s metaphor, Schostak replied: “I’ve asked a lot of girls out, and they’ve all said no. The reality is there are very few big-box users in general…it’s a very tough conversation with this property. We’ve tried with many. We’ve been working on it, and it’s just a very challenging building to reuse.” Other project representatives expressed concern over a “death spiral” that could occur at Cherryland Center if the Kmart space remained vacant for an extended period of time, including anchor tenant clauses that could cause Sears and Younkers to leave the property if the space remained empty. Opa! Coney and Grill is leaving the Cherryland Center this spring, while Bath & Body Works is departing later this month. Having U-Haul on the property would bring stability to the Cherryland Center and ensure the mall was one of the first places new residents visited in the community, reps said. Schostak added he also planned to open another small restaurant or retail store in some of the building’s leftover unused space. “If you don’t decide to go with a more flexible zoning, then it could easily and most likely sit vacant for a long time,” Schostak said. “Where I think if you put in a Fortune 500 company like U-Haul…instead of going the other side, this thing can it be its own type of new sort of retail. To just sit and wait and hope to think we get a good traditional retail anchor is not the likely scenario.” Citing lingering concerns over the potential unintended impacts of rewriting the zoning ordinance, planning commissioners decided to temporarily table the request Wednesday to allow staff more time to study the proposal. Staff and commissioners could set an upcoming study session to look at the overall zoning plan for planned shopping centers and see whether allowing uses such as U-Haul – as well as other types of changes – should be made to the zoning rules. The applicants agreed to that approach, but warned that if the board took too long to study the issue, they would request a planning commission vote and appeal to the township board if rejected. “With all due respect, we’ve been at this since July trying to get something done,” Rains told commissioners. “I appreciate that you guys want to make an overall change for the entire district, but I kind of feel like this is in front of us. I’d like to act on this and not wait for us to decide what to do with all three districts."

    The Ticker / 4 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • TCAPS Report Details Employee Complaints; Executives Cleared Of WrongdoingTCAPS Report Details Employee Complaints; Executives Cleared Of Wrongdoing

    An investigative report released Wednesday sheds new light on three complaints made by Traverse City Area Public Schools (TCAPS) employees about alleged harassment and intimidation from district executives – though the document clears executives of any wrongdoing in the incidents. Board members hired David Revore of legal firm Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman P.C. to serve as special counsel in independently investigating complaints from the Traverse City Administrators Association (TCAA) about the district’s executive team, led by Superintendent Paul Soma. Revore’s investigation focused on three specific incidents, including disciplinary action imposed on staff at Traverse City West High School following the burial of the school’s spirit rock and the resignations of an East Middle School assistant principal and TCAPS’ director of human resources, both of which allegedly occurred under duress. After investigating the complaints and interviewing district employees and executives since September, Revore compiled a 128-page report detailing his findings. That report was reviewed by the TCAPS board in closed session Saturday, then released Wednesday publicly through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. In the first of the three investigated incidents, West Senior High School Principal Joe Esper and Assistant Principal Charles Kolbusz were suspended without pay last fall for their role in burying the school’s large spirit rock on-campus and misleading district leaders about the boulder’s whereabouts. While Kolbusz accepted his punishment, Esper challenged Soma’s authority to dole out the suspension, arguing the disciplinary action was disproportionate to his actions. In his report, Revore substantiated Esper and Kolbusz’s role in burying the rock and noted Soma considered a wide range of factors before meting out disciplinary action, including “the potential risk to the safety of students and others that may have been on school premises at the time,” the seriousness of using personal construction equipment without permission or oversight on school grounds, and Esper’s misleading of Soma regarding the incident. “Based upon the preponderance of the evidence, it is reasonable to conclude that the executive team’s decision-making process and proposed discipline for Mr. Esper were not arbitrary nor capricious and were within a principled range of reason,” Revore found. In the second incident, former East Middle School Assistant Principal Kirk Ranney alleged he was “coerced” into resigning his position from the school and returning to teaching. According to Revore’s investigation, shortly after Ranney started in the assistant principal position last August, he attended an Extended Day registration event at Central Grade School with his family. After learning his prior online registration for the program wasn’t considered complete since he hadn’t returned all of the necessary physical documents – jeopardizing his family’s place in the program – Ranney became agitated and began raising his voice and berating staff, according to witnesses. Over the course of 10-15 minutes, Ranney continued to argue angrily with TCAPS employees in front of other parents and publicly made disparaging remarks about the district’s registration process and district executive team members, the report states. The next day, Ranney was called in for a due process hearing to discuss his behavior at the event. Following the meeting, executive team members met with TCAA representative Ryan Schrock and East Middle School Principal Colleen Smith, both of whom agreed Ranney’s behavior was unacceptable and that he might not be ready for the role of assistant principal. After learning of the nature of their discussion, Ranney resigned from his position that afternoon. He was assigned to become a literacy coach for Silver Lake and Long Lake elementary schools. Ranney later complained he was “not well equipped to understand the personal and organizational dynamic in play, ultimately impacting (his) ability to make a clear, informed and measured decision” regarding his resignation. But Revore determined that Ranney’s allegation his resignation was coerced was not supported by evidence, adding it was “reasonable to conclude that no due process violation has been established, and no violation of board policy has been found.” Revore made a similar determination in the third incident involving the resignation of former HR Director Christine Davis, who alleged Soma forced her to retire from her executive role or else face disciplinary action. Davis said that after 24 years with the district, Soma “bullied” her into retiring from her position without explanation and reassigned her to work on special projects. Davis alleged TCAPS employees were “scared to death of" Soma, calling him "a hothead." Soma for his part said Davis did not maintain good relationships with other staff, refused to modernize the HR department, and used her position to “power over others.” After interviewing both Davis and Soma, as well as multiple other witnesses, Revore found that while the former HR director and superintendent had “profoundly disparate views of their encounters and communications,” Davis’ claims of being forced out were speculative and could not be substantiated – and that “a violation of board policy cannot be established.” Revore concluded his overall investigation by stating that TCAA’s assertion there was a “pattern and practice of harassment and intimidation” by district executive team members was not supported by any of the three complaints. While Revore’s report was accepted by TCAPS board members, who reaffirmed Soma’s authority to impose disciplinary action at their Saturday meeting, TCAA has indicated there are still several other outstanding employee complaints that have yet to be investigated. TCAPS board members instructed the district’s legal counsel "to initiate a process to investigate and resolve all outstanding complaints and issues" not covered by Revore's initial investigation. Soma tells The Ticker he does not know the nature of the outstanding accusations, but says he will “continue to respect the process and how the board wants to handle any further investigation.” When asked about repairing strained relations with TCAA and administrators in the wake of the investigation and complaints, Soma says he hopes “to work in a collaborative environment with all of the constituents of TCAPS, including the TCAA.” He adds: “People experience differences of opinion, but we always grow and learn, and that’s what I’m focused on. I’ve certainly done a lot of reflection during this time, and there isn’t anything that says the road ahead is easy. But I’m looking forward to getting onto a positive and productive path moving forward.” Soma’s contract is up for renewal June 30, with a performance evaluation and contract negotiations set to take place in the coming months. When asked whether the investigation and TCAA complaints might affect that process, Soma replies: “I’m looking forward to working with the board on my contract and hopefully coming to a resolution soon on that matter. We have not started talking about my contract yet formally, but we’ve acknowledged it needs to be done.”

    The Ticker / 5 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • County Crime Numbers Up And DownCounty Crime Numbers Up And Down

    Last year saw an increase in traffic accidents in Grand Traverse County, but fewer fatalities, while there was a decrease in criminal arrests. According to statistics from the Grand Traverse Sheriff Department, there were nearly 200 more traffic accidents, a total of 2,958 in 2017, compared with 2,786 in 2016. However, there were 11 fatalities in 2016, and nine last year. There were 2,889 criminal arrests in the county in 2016, as well as 263 OWI and 66 MIP, for a total of 3,218. Figures for 2017 show 2,702 criminal arrests, 214 OWI and 76 MIP, for a total of 2,992. The middle of the week is when the most calls come in. Wednesdays saw 6,747 calls in 2017 and 6,206 in 2016, while Thursdays had 6,254 and 6,133, respectively. As might be expected, the most populous township saw the most activity, as Garfield issued 832 tickets compared with a low of 12 for Grant Township, while the former had 891 arrests and the latter 17. Those numbers in 2016: 909 tickets for Garfield and 20 for Grant, with 877 arrests and 17 respectively in the two townships. Total calls to the Sheriff Department were up from 39,712 in 2016 to 41,508 in 2017. Captain Chris Clark noted there were only 23,187 such calls in 2003, but there were actually two more officers: 68 compared with 66 in 2017. He noted the area’s population has also swelled, from approximately 77,000 in 2000 to some 91,000 in 2015. He said additional technology and changing some procedures have helped the department respond more efficiently, despite their numbers being down. “When someone calls 911, we have to have a deputy there. We’re entrusted with protecting them. We have to make it work,” Clark says.

    The Ticker / 5 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • more news

    Elizabeth “Betty” Gould, 101, of Empire, passed away Friday, January 5, 2018, at her home with her loving family at her side. Elizabeth was born April 14, 1916, in Lackawanna, NY, to the late Michael and Elizabeth (Blahota) Koczon. read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago
  • Public Notices For Leelanau CountyPublic Notices For Leelanau County

    Michigan law requires local governments to inform their citizenry through public notices published in newspapers of record for their communities. These notices provide residents with an easy path for following the work of their elected officials. Public notices for Leelanau County can also be accessed online at Leelanaunews.com.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago

    Tena D. John, 31, of Peshawbestown, passed away on December 26, 2017 in Traverse City. Tena was born on October 19, 1986, in Traverse City, the daughter of Raymond and Myra (Miracle) John. She enjoyed taking care of people around her and was a great aunt. She was a traditional native dancer with her favorite title being “auntie”.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more

    Beloved husband, brother, and uncle passed away Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at Brookdale Assisted Living. Age 79 years. Vernon was born on April 24, 1938 in Saginaw, Michigan and divided his time between there and Glen Arbor, Michigan. A proud graduate of Michigan State University, Vern spent the early years of his adulthood as a Sergeant in the United States Army.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more

    Marie Rose (Smith) Wigton, age 96, wife of 75 years to Kenneth J. Wigton, passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2018, in Cedar. Marie was born on a farm in Capac, Michigan on June 13, 1921 to the late Albert and Mayme (Phalen) Smith. She had three older brothers and one younger.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago

    Born in Ferndale, MI. Daughter of Sophia Darrow (Priest, Fehrenbach) and Joseph James Fehrenbach. Shirley graduated from Suttons Bay High School in 1958. Married Milford (Mel) Sharnowski. They had three children, Kenneth Mark (deceased), Rick – Diana Sharnowski of Traverse City, and Cheryl (Punk) Feugate of Swartz Creek, MI. She worked at Burwoods Manufacturing from 1960 to 1969.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more

    Ruby Lester, age 83, of Fenton, Michigan formally of Wolford, Virginia passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 4, 2018, at Tendercare of Leelanau in Suttons Bay, Michigan. She was born on October 5, 1934, in Virginia, the daughter of James and Nettie Estep. She married Thurman Lester on May 23, 1953. This past May would have been 64 years together for the Lesters. read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more

    Chris peacefully transitioned from this life to be with his creator on December 21, 2017. read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago

    TRAVERSE CITY - Patricia “Patti” Ann Knight, 74, of Traverse City, passed away on January 4, 2018. Patti was born on June 23, 1943 in Kasson Twp. to John and Regina (King) Gersh and was raised by her Uncle Ed and Aunt Francis Stanislawski since the age of two due to Regina’s death. Patti graduated from Traverse City Central High School in 1961. read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Marie SteimelMarie Steimel

    A memorial Mass will be held at 11 a.m. next Thursday, Jan. 28 at St. Michael Catholic Church in Suttons Bay for Charlene Marie Steimel of Bingham Township who died Jan. 5 in Traverse City. She was 91.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago
  • Inmates caught swapping notesInmates caught swapping notes

    By Alan Campbell Of The Enterprise staff It didn’t take long in jail for a man and woman charged with selling heroin to a Suttons Bay man who overdosed and died to get into more trouble.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago
  • ‘Interim’ S-B school chief may stay longer‘Interim’ S-B school chief may stay longer

    By Amy Hubbell Of The Enterprise staff Suttons Bay’s interim, part-time superintendent soon may be working more with “interim” dropped from his title. Mike Carmean has expressed an interest in “suspending” his retirement to continue working for the school district during the 2018-19 school year.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Pinning down the name ‘Sugar Loaf’Pinning down the name ‘Sugar Loaf’

    By Eric Carlson Of The Enterprise staff The marketing and communications director of Sugarloaf Mountain Resort said he’s not surprised that people are confused about whether the name of his favorite ski area should be spelled “Sugarloaf,” “Sugar Loaf” or “Sugarread more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Ice builds, damages harborIce builds, damages harbor

    From Staff Reports The Enterprise Enterprise A rare coating of ice on the Leland (Carp) River west of the Leland Dam has damaged docks in Fishtown, none more so than a private dock on the south side of the river owned for generations by the Hall family.read more

    Leelanau Enterprise / 6 d. 3 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Spotlight: How this type of tourism is changing how we vacationSpotlight: How this type of tourism is changing how we vacation

    Imagine a destination that recaptures your sense of adventure, transporting you to places you forgot existed. A wonderland of natural unmatched beauty, blanketed in shimmering white, where imagination drifts with the snow and expectations are shattered like ice.

    Traverse City News / 6 d. 4 h. 55 min. ago
  • We.Stream Welcomes Frontier Computer Corp as its First International DistributorWe.Stream Welcomes Frontier Computer Corp as its First International Distributor

    With this agreement, Frontier Computer Corp becomes We.Stream's first distributor in both the United States and Europe. We.Stream offers the world's first secure mobile hotspot with embedded Cloud SIM technology to enable unlimited data access in over 100 countries.

    Traverse City News / 6 d. 16 h. 58 min. ago
  • A Lime Gold 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Personalized by Carroll HimselfA Lime Gold 1967 Shelby G.T. 500 Personalized by Carroll Himself

    When you have both the knowledge and financial means to own any car you want, what would you choose to drive? Now consider that you are a true car guy or girl but without any specific brand loyalty-meaning you can get equally excited about an AMC Eagle or a Ferrari Dino. Would you still have a Mustang in the garage? If you answered yes, then McKeel Hagerty is your kind of guy.

    Traverse City News / 7 d. 4 h. 17 min. ago more
  • Piper, R.I.P.Piper, R.I.P.

    This undated photo shows Piper the dog at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich. The speedy border collie that gained internet fame for chasing critters off the Michigan airport's runways has died after a yearlong fight with cancer.

    Traverse City News / 8 d. 16 h. 14 min. ago
  • Yes, You Could Be Called To Jury Duty -- 200 Miles AwayYes, You Could Be Called To Jury Duty -- 200 Miles Away

    Sure, everyone knows that sooner or later you're likely to be asked to serve at your local courthouse for jury duty. But few northern Michigan residents realize that you might also be asked to serve at a U.S. Federal Court -- as many as two hundred miles away from home.The United States District Court Western District draws on potential jurors from roughly half the state -- from the Indiana border all the way through the Upper Peninsula. Those in the U.P. typically report to Marquette, and those farter south to Kalamazoo. But those in northwest lower Michigan -- including Traverse City, Petoskey, Gaylord, and towns nearby -- must report to downtown Grand Rapids. It's your civic duty and required by law, and after the fact many jurors say they enjoyed and learned from the experience. But others experience the disruption, inconvenience and uncertainty. Court clerks say most trials take 3-5 days, but some last weeks. And of course there's the chance you might not even be chosen once you arrive. But come you must, and you won't know the duration of your service until at least your first day.  Courts pay $40 per day for service, plus reimbursement of 54 cents per mile and $172 per night for a hotel (if you live more than 50 miles from the court).Potential jurors are chosen from a random pool of 50 percent registered voters and 50 percent drivers license holders. Determined to escape your far away jury duty? You may try: once you receive your summons in the mail, login to the online court site and complete the form to be excused by the judge. 

    Northern Express / 8 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • "Airport K-9 Piper is off-duty.""Airport K-9 Piper is off-duty."

    On the last day of his nine-year life, Piper, the border collie, chased a snowy owl from the runway at the airport in Traverse City, Mich .

    Traverse City News / 8 d. 20 h. 44 min. ago
  • Alumnus, HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse accused of sexual misconductAlumnus, HGTV star Carter Oosterhouse accused of sexual misconduct

    Carter Oosterhouse, host of HGTV show "Carter Can," has been accused of sexual misconduct by a female make-up artist who works on the show's set. Oosterhouse is a 2000 graduate of Central Michigan University.

    Traverse City News / 9 d. 1 h. 18 min. ago
  • Squirrel Nut Zippers No Longer Feared “Lost at Sea.”Squirrel Nut Zippers No Longer Feared “Lost at Sea.”

    The swing craze of the late 1990s spawned a lot more than just a bunch of jazzy couples dolled up in cuffed khakis and swing-skirt dresses.          It also shot a shortlist of swing revival bands to the top of the charts, including The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, Merchants of Venus, and Squirrel Nut Zippers, the latter featuring frontman James “Jimbo” Mathus.          Squirrel Nut Zippers had one massive single hit, 1996’s quirky, droll “Hell.” It’s shifted around some of its members over the subsequent years. But the band’s unique brand of hot swing has persisted, and this year SNZ celebrates the 20th anniversary of its album Hot, after a long December spent touring the country with its Christmas Caravan Tour. LOST AT SEA“We released a Christmas record 20 years ago called Christmas Caravan, but we’d never performed any of it live before — it was just a studio project,” Mathus tells the Express. “But it’s become part of a lot of people’s holidays, so we’re really proud of that and wanted to take it on the road.”          The band’s last non-Christmas album was 2009’s Lost at Sea, which among fans had become something of a reference to the band being fairly quiet, record-wise, for the past half-dozen years or so (the group tours extensively).          “It has been a while, but I’ve been so busy playing and recording [my own solo albums] that it just flew by,” Mathus says.          Lately, SNZ has been adding some different instrumentation to the lineup. For the holiday season, they expanded their sound with a glockenspiel and harmonica; lately, Mathus has been playing mandolin on a few songs — “The ‘mountain hillbilly’ tunes,” he says.)          But mostly, the group sticks to the same template — a reliably successful “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach.         BEASTS OF BURGUNDY“We’ve always been a blend of hot jazz, cabaret, calypso, swing, and New Orleans small-band jazz,” Mathus says. “And we’re pretty theatrical about it. That’s just what we do, what we’ve always done.” Next up — lost at sea no longer — the band has a brand new record coming out this March, recorded in SNZ’s favorite stomping grounds, New Orleans.          “We’re going to be calling the new album Beasts of Burgundy, pronounced Bur-GUN-dy, like Burgundy Street in New Orleans, where we made a lot of music,” Mathus says, “and ‘beasts’ for our revival.”          Opening up for Squirrel Nut Zippers at their upcoming concert in Traverse City will be jazz-blues outfit Davina and the Vagabonds, who are making quite a bit of racket of their own, thanks to frontwoman Davina Lozier’s dancehall vocals and the band’s dynamic horn section. Davina and the Vagabonds’ tour is in promotion of their new 18-track album, Nicollet and Tenth.          The Squirrel Nut Zippers with opening act Davina and the Vagabonds will take the stage at the City Opera House in Traverse City at 8:00pm on Jan. 19. For tickets, visit cityoperahouse.org. For more information on the bands, visit snzippers.com and davinaandthevagabonds.com.  

    Northern Express / 10 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Herbivores, Unite!Herbivores, Unite!

    Humans are, by nature, omnivores; for food, most of us rely on both plants and animals. But is this dietary lifestyle the best choice for us? Ryan and Leigh Kennedy of Traverse City cut out the animal part of their diets and decided it was the best choice for them. Now they’re bringing together like-minded folks in the region to connect, inspire each other, and learn more about a plant-based diet — and so far, the response has been significant. FOOD FOCUS“About a year or so ago, I started doing some research about nutrition,” Leigh Kennedy says. “I just wanted to learn more.”Kennedy dug right in, reading books like “How Not to Die” by Gene Stone and Michael Greger, “The China Study” by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell Esselstyn; she also watched documentaries like Forks Over Knives and What the Health.“I’d say Ryan and I have always been a healthy couple in what we consume and exercise,” Kennedy says, “but after all of my research, I decided to try a plant-based diet.”          Kennedy focused on eating a meat- and dairy-free diet that was rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes, and limited in oils and canned and packaged foods.          “What I can say from that experience is that, at 43 years old, I’m happier than I’ve ever been my entire life,” she says. “I have decreased inflammation, have better digestive health, my complexion is clear, I feel stress-free, calm, and in good balance.”          She attributes her “whole body and spirit happiness” to the change in diet.          “I feel that all of that is a direct result of changing what I ate,” she says.         EDUCATED EATINGRyan Kennedy had a similar experience. He joined his wife in trying a plant-based lifestyle and found that not only did he lose 18 pounds without trying (which wasn’t even an active part of his goal), he also had way more energy for his favorite sports, mountain biking, and triathlons.          “I took that experience and started looking for local resources for people on a plant-based lifestyle diet,” he says. “And I found there was a real lack of resources up here.” So the Kennedys reached out to a group out of Detroit, the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG/pbnsg.org), which boasts 4,400 members and a half-dozen affiliate physicians.          “We wanted to start a similar group in northern Michigan, so we reached out to their founder, and we ended up kind of affiliating with them — they let us tap into their resources, which is a great help,” Ryan Kennedy saus. “We want to provide tools to our community here to help them learn more about a plant-based lifestyle.”          With that information in hand, the Kennedys started hosting meetings for PBLTC, their new plant-based lifestyle organization in Traverse City. So far, they’re self-funding the gatherings (there was no fee required to attend), and have held two already, which drew about 50 people each.          “At the meetings, we have guest speakers, share plant-based tasting menus, answer questions, all to educate people about how to do this,” Leigh Kennedy says. “One of our first guest speakers was actually Paul Chatlin, who founded the Detroit group.” DELICIOUS DININGOne of the most popular things about the meetings are the menus shared. Everyone enjoys food that tastes good; that may be one of the biggest make-it-or-break it components of sticking to any diet. The Kennedys point out that just because there’s not meat included doesn’t mean the food isn’t delicious.“Pretty much anything you can think on in a ‘traditional’ American diet can be transformed into a flavorful, satisfying, and healthy plant-based version,” Ryan Kennedy said. You might be surprised by some of these plant-based dishes. Suggested breakfasts include a Southwestern tofu scramble with sautéed vegetables, served with guacamole and salsa, or protein muffins flavored with maple syrup and applesauce and stuffed with oats, dates, and raisins.          For lunch, try whipping up a chickpea and cranberry salad sandwich with tahini, plant-based mayonnaise, celery, cranberries, scallions, and walnuts, all on sourdough bread.          Dinner suggestions include roasted tempeh chili (tempeh is a fermented soybean meat substitute) with smoky black beans, roasted red peppers, carrots, and apples; or a sweet potato lasagna with sautéed greens and a cashew cheese sauce.          There are desserts, too – how about a double-decker carrot cake with flame raisins, or petite chocolate-glazed donuts? All of the above dishes are part of the plant-based diet that the Kennedys enjoy.          “We’d love to see plant-based diets and lifestyles adopted more regularly throughout northern Michigan, and we’d like to encourage restaurants to offer plant-based menu items too,” Ryan Kennedy said. “Really, there are a lot of opportunities for plant-based lifestyle growth up here.” For more information on Plant Based Lifestyle Traverse City and its upcoming events, visit pbltc.org. Free registration for PBLTC events takes place at eventbrite.com.  

    Northern Express / 10 d. 19 h. 58 min. ago more
  • RIP Piper, a heroic dog who kept airport runways safeRIP Piper, a heroic dog who kept airport runways safe

    On the last day of his nine-year life, Piper the border collie chased a snowy owl from the runway at the airport in Traverse City, Mich. It was the 8,367th bird he had scared off in a three-year career as the airport's K-9 wildlife control officer which turned him into one of the nation's most famous dogs.

    Traverse City News / 11 d. 2 h. 41 min. ago
  • Michigan airport wildlife-control dog Piper diesMichigan airport wildlife-control dog Piper dies

    Donald and Melania lived apart in Trump Tower and would go DAYS without crossing paths while 'absentee' Trump barely knows Barron and only mentions wife to boast about her looks, book says 'They all say he is like a child!' Author of bombshell book says 100 percent of the people around Trump question his intelligence and fitness for office, calling him a 'moron' and an 'idiot' UN ambassador Nikki Haley 'is as ambitious as Lucifer' and 'much smarter than Trump' say rival aides who fear she is becoming his heir apparent Justice Department launches new 'pay-to-play' probe into the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State 'I deserve to be with someone thinner': Twitter users reveal the heartbreaking, cruel, and out-of-touch things partners said that made them fall out of love with them Apple confirms all of its Mac and iOS devices are affected by two major chip flaws ... (more)

    Traverse City News / 11 d. 10 h. 3 min. ago more
  • MI--Michigan News Digest 6 pm, MIMI--Michigan News Digest 6 pm, MI

    Good evening! Here's a look at how AP's general news coverage is shaping up in Michigan at 6 p.m. Questions about today's coverage plans are welcome, and should be directed to the AP-Detroit bureau at 800-642-4125 or 313-259-0650 or apmichigan@ap.org .

    Traverse City News / 12 d. 0 h. 18 min. ago
  • Michigan airport's goggle-wearing, wildlife-control dog diesMichigan airport's goggle-wearing, wildlife-control dog dies

    A dog that gained internet fame for chasing critters off a Michigan airport's runways has died after a yearlong fight with cancer. Piper was the wildlife-control dog at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City.

    Traverse City News / 12 d. 5 h. 8 min. ago