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Back of a school bus
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Today on Stateside, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last week sent shockwaves throughout the nation, both emotionally and politically. We talk to one of her former clerks about Ginsburg's legacy and what the future makeup of the Supreme Court means for Michigan. Plus, a former Michigan football player talks about the abuse scandal surrounding former sports doctor Robert Anderson, and the breadth of access our state institutions provide to abusers.

Ritter formally charged, arraigned on multiple felonies

Aug 14, 2020
Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Former Grand Traverse County Jail Administrator Todd Ritter was in district court virtually Friday facing four felonies and one misdemeanor. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has charged him with embezzlement, larceny, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, misconduct in office, and willful neglect of duty. Ritter’s bond was set at $50,000 and he faces over 30 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

SHARI BERNSTEIN

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Northern Michigan businesses say confrontations have increased recently, as customers unhappy with the mask policy harass workers tasked with enforcing the policy.

Courtesy of the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City

Grand Traverse County health officer Wendy Hirschenberger hit a milestone this week she was hoping to never reach: 100 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. While that’s a fraction of what some Michigan counties have seen (Oakland County, for instance, is close to 10,000) what worries Hirschenberger is that 55 of those cases are just since July 1.

Adobe Stock

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.

Jeff Smith / Flickr

 


Today on Stateside, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a lower court's ruling that ordered Michigan to redraw its congressional and state legislative district lines before the 2020 election. Plus, we talk to the reporter who helped solve the mysterious disappearance of a young Michigan man and FBI informant.

Chalkboard
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.

 


Mental health treatment has changed drastically in the past century. But it wasn’t that long ago that many people with severe mental illnesses were permanent residents at state-run psychiatric hospitals.

There were once 16 psychiatric hospitals across Michigan, including Traverse City State Hospital. An oral history project in Traverse City is shedding light on what life was like in those institutions.  

Traverse City pier looks to attract cruise ships

Aug 16, 2019
Discovery Center Pier
Discovery Center Great Lakes

The Discovery Pier in Traverse City is hoping to attract cruise ships around the Great Lakes. The United States Coast Guard certified the pier as a cruise port back in December, and the newly formed Traverse City Cruise Consortium is hoping to capitalize on the trend of smaller cruise ships in the Great Lakes.

Back of a school bus
Pixabay

Traverse City Public Schools lost its appeal to the Michigan Department of Education over a more than $700,000 student counting dispute.

In the summer of 2018, the MDE audited the school district. It found problems with its virtual program, Northern Michigan Partnership. State officials say only home-schooled students used the program.

The MDE said the virtual program wasn't accessible to full-time students in the district.

two northern bobwhite quail in a field of purple flowers
Pixabay

Today on Stateside, as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) prepares to hold its 110th National Convention in Detroit this weekend, how can the organization attract and empower young activists? Plus, why a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians is addressing a group of world leaders at the United Nations in Geneva this week.

brianne bee looking at lot behind house
Max Johnston

As Traverse City grows, its tree canopy is shrinking. The city is trying to protect trees within city limits, but no one can agree on the best way to do it.

Right now, it’s relatively easy to cut down trees in Traverse City.

You’ll need a permit to do it on public property. But if you buy a lot for development, cut away.

Nurses file charges against Traverse City hospital

Aug 29, 2018
hospital exterior
Munson Healthcare

Nurses have filed charges against one of Traverse City's largest hospitals.

The Michigan Nurses Association says Munson Medical Center is not operating in “good faith” during contract negotiations. Around 1,000 Munson nurses unionized last year.

Traverse City Film Festival theater and banner
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The motto of the Traverse City Film Festival gets right to the point: "One Great Movie Can Change You." 

The 14th annual festival is underway now and runs through Sunday, August 5. 

Meg Weichman, creative director of the Traverse City Film Festival, joined Stateside to tell us a little bit about the most exciting films in this year's lineup. 

Irredeemable: Coming clean

Aug 1, 2018
Tholen family
Courtesy of the Tholen family

(Editor's note: We recommend you listen to the story before reading.)

It was December when Rick Tholen was killed. He was working at M&J Grocery in Grand Rapids.

He’d just graduated college and was in his first year of teaching high school English. And he’d decided to take some shifts over Christmas break for extra cash. He was getting married soon.

It was around 10 p.m. The store was empty except for Rick. That’s when Chester Patterson and his co-defendant arrived; Chester had a gun.

“It was a .22 caliber,” says Chester.

Aminimanda / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Summer in Traverse City is officially underway. But while tourists head up north to enjoy the sights, locals are struggling to find housing.

As it turns out, this is a problem all across northwest lower Michigan, and to a lesser extent, throughout the state as a whole.

DENVER BRONCOS

It’s game day in Denver.

Before the Broncos start playing football, players are announced as they sprint onto the field through a smoke-filled tunnel shaped like three wild, galloping horses.

 

This pregame ritual is only a couple minutes long, but for an NFL team, it’s a really big moment. 

“It is on a national stage a lot of times,” says Liz Coates, Game Entertainment Manager for the Broncos.

“It’s what TV uses when they’re rolling out … highlights,” she says. “A lot of that footage gets used.”

Author Doug Stanton
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

The last American troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973.

America's direct intervention in the Vietnam War was at an end, after many bloody years, and 58,220 American lives lost.

Afterward, the nation, and those Vietnam veterans, had a tough time processing and talking about this war that did not end with victory.

MORGAN SPRINGER / Interlochen Public Radio

In Traverse City’s East Bay, on the busy hotel strip on U.S. 31, is Don’s Drive In. The pink and turquoise restaurant is known for its burgers and shakes and the fact that it’s kind of old school.


a piano
Adrian Lim / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCLO

It's time for our monthly check-in on the music scene on the west side of the state.

John Sinkevics is the editor and publisher of LocalSpins.com, where he highlights up-and-coming artists and music happenings in the area. This time, we’re putting the spotlight on three West Michigan bands.

user cmh2315fl / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Two driverless cars traveled some 300 miles today, crossing from Detroit over to Windsor, before making their way back into Michigan and up to Traverse City.

The road trip was part experiment, part advertisement: there's a big auto industry shindig happening in Traverse City right now and Michigan is really trying to cement itself as "the place" to build driverless cars.

So to show off, state and Canadian officials got two auto supply companies to do this test drive.

Both cars were in driverless mode on all the highways, and even underwater in the Detroit Windsor tunnel, says Kirk Steudle, Director of Michigan’s Department of Transportation. Although he says the cars got tripped up a couple of times, like right after the toll booths.

gender neutral restroom
Jeffrey Beall / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

City-owned bathrooms in a popular northern Michigan tourist destination are now one step closer to becoming accessible for all genders.

The Record-Eagle reports that Traverse City commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution Monday to support creating more accessible gender-neutral bathrooms on city property. The resolution also encourages businesses that provide public bathrooms to offer at least one gender-neutral option.

Lead service line
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Ann Arbor is approaching a milestone of sorts. The city is replacing the last of its lead connections in the water system.

Ann Arbor city officials say they never allowed full lead service lines, the water pipes buried underground that connect homes to the water main.

Where are lead water pipes in Michigan? Here’s our best guess

flickr user visionsofgrace / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

In some schools in Michigan, being a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or questioning high school student is welcomed and embraced. In other schools, LGBTQ kids have to stay in the closet or endure a backlash from homophobic students, or even teachers and administrators. 

Grandmother's letter from the Holocaust

Mar 20, 2017
Courtesy of the Adler family

Seventy five years ago, as of last December, the United States declared war on Germany during World War II. That declaration had a dramatic impact on a Jewish family living in Austria and their family members who escaped the Holocaust and settled in Traverse City.

A watershed moment for dam removals in Michigan

Feb 7, 2017
Derek A Young / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In the state of Michigan, chances are good that if you live near a river or stream, you also live near a dam. There are nearly 2,600 dams in Michigan. Many of them are small and privately owned. And nearly all of them are getting old.

According to 2014 report, 90% of Michigan’s dams are going to meet or exceed their design life — the length of time for which they were designed to operate — by 2020. Beyond that design life, the dams become increasingly likely to fail. That can lead to catastrophic flooding, erosion, and the spread of toxins trapped behind the dam.

So why were all of these dams constructed in the first place?

Courtesy of Kate Madigan

The Next Idea

Last month, Traverse City officials pledged that by the year 2020, all city operations will be powered by renewable energy. That means traffic signals, street lights, and city-owned buildings will get their power from wind, solar, and other clean sources.

Kate Madigan, the Energy and Climate Specialist for the Michigan Environmental Council and director of the Michigan Climate Action Network, joined Stateside to talk about the ambitious effort and if this could be a trend for other cities in the state.

Traverse City.
Bernt Rostad / FLICKR - HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Traverse City wants to get all its electricity for city operations from clean, renewable energy sources by 2020, according to a resolution passed unanimously by the City Commission on Monday.

The resolution calls for using wind, solar, geothermal, and landfill gas to meet 100% of its electricity needs for city buildings, operations, and street lights. 

According to City Commissioner Tim Werner, the city accounts for 3 to 4% of total electricity use in the Traverse City area.

Benjaman James

After college graduation, Traverse City native and musician Benjaman James had a big decision to make: get a job that pays the bills, or pursue a career in music.  

Benjaman got a degree from Michigan State University’s college of engineering. After graduation he started the band “Old Mission Collective.”

As the group continued to gain traction, members came and went, but he says he became the only common member in the band. So he decided to go solo.

Now, Benjaman James is out with a new EP titled “Growing Pains" out December 3. 

Confederate Flag
Flickr User Edward Stojakovic / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Since Donald Trump’s election there has been an increase nationwide in reports of harassment and intimidation of minorities.

One such incident is making headlines in Traverse City. Police Officer Michael Peters has been suspended after flying the Confederate flag on his truck at a “Love Trumps Hate” rally.

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