Max Johnston | Michigan Radio
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Max Johnston

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a general assignment reporter. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio and WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing.

Official White House portrait

Jill Biden, wife of Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, spoke in Traverse City on Tuesday.

A crowd of over 100 socially-distanced and masked attendees at Right Brain Brewery heard Biden call for early in-person and mail-in voting.

“We have to show them we’re not going to sit by and just watch what happens. We’re going to decide what happens, by voting today,” she said.

She also said her husband would unify the country if elected. Chasten Buttigieg, Traverse City native and husband of former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, also spoke.

“We have to elect Joe Biden,” Buttigeg said. “I’m excited to have a leader and a teacher, an empathetic loving first lady in the East Wing as well.”

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Vice President Mike Pence was the keynote speaker at a campaign event in Traverse City on Friday. In his speech, he said he views winning Michigan as key to securing President Donald Trump’s re-election bid.

“Michigan said ‘yes’ to President Donald Trump in 2016, and I know Michigan’s going to say ‘yes’ to four more years of President Donald Trump in 2020,” Pence said.

Pence added that he expects to have a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year.

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Traverse City will buy body cameras for its police officers.

The final price tag, make and model is still being researched, but the City Commission approved a plan to spend up to $100,000 dollars on the cameras at a virtual meeting Monday night.

The coronavirus pandemic means Michigan schools are closed for the rest of the academic year.

Many districts are switching to online learning and it’s a big adjustment. It’s also a gamble because some families may not be able to access it.

 

School is still in session

In a brief filed Tuesday, federal prosecutors say they have new evidence for a possible retrial of State Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg). At his original trial last year, Inman was found not guilty of lying to the F.B.I., but the jury couldn't reach a verdict on two other corruption charges.

Michigan’s tart cherry industry is dying out to the tune of $5 million dollars of lost impact to the state since 2010, according to a Michigan State University study.

After another trade loss in January, cherry farmers are considering desperate measures.

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg)
Michigan House of Representatives

Updated January 10, 2020, at 5:31 p.m.:

The recall effort against State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) is over.

The secretary of state announced Thursday night that the group didn’t have enough signatures on their petition. Hundreds were tossed out over typos and legibility concerns. 

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg)
Michigan House of Representatives

The trial of state Representative Larry Inman ended in a mistrial Tuesday. The lawmaker narrowly avoided a criminal conviction.

map of Line 5
Enbridge Energy

A Michigan judge has handed a victory to a company seeking to build a tunnel that would house a Great Lakes oil pipeline.

Judge Michael Kelly of the Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday that the state Legislature did not violate the Michigan Constitution last year by approving a deal between former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge Inc.

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user alkruse24 / flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ann Cardon is no longer the superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

She resigned Thursday night.

At a special meeting of the school board, school board member Stacey Hozak read Cardon’s resignation letter.

“Unfortunately things are not working out well and I believe that it is in the best interests for all concerned that I resign,” Hozak read from Cardon's letter.

Another cougar was spotted in the Upper Peninsula, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. A camera snapped a photo of the animal in Delta County on Aug. 17. 

This is the 40th confirmed sighting of a cougar in Michigan by the DNR since 2008.

Cody Norton, large carnivore specialist for the DNR, says they are seeing more cougars lately, but there's no evidence that there is a breeding population of cougars in the state.

Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg)
Michigan House of Representatives

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) will seek treatment for long-term use of pain medications.

Inman has taken prescribed pain medication to deal with a variety of surgeries.

Larry Inman
Inman campaign

The Speaker of the Michigan House filed a resolution Tuesday asking for Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) to resign.

The resolution was introduced by Republican Lee Chatfield and Democrat Christine Greig.

Photos and video of damage to Line 5 released

May 15, 2019
The east Line 5 oil pipeline, which was struck by an anchor last April.
U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)

Newly released images from Enbridge Energy show damage sustained to the Line 5 oil pipelines from an anchor strike last April.

Recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan this year, but many cities across the state aren’t letting marijuana businesses operate. Some officials argue that the state hasn’t figured out how to regulate them yet.

But a small community in northern Michigan is in the middle of a legal and political debate that could set a precedent for the rest of the state.

Last year nearly 3,000 people died from drug overdoses in Michigan. That was an 80 percent increase in the past five years. There is a form of treatment that could help.

It involves prescribed medication to fight addiction and has been called the “gold standard” for opioid treatment. But it can be hard to find in northern Michigan.

Mike Lober was addicted to painkillers and heroin for 40 years. He says he was constantly chasing his next fix.