Two popular area trails—the Leelanau Trail and the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail—were among this year’s inaugural picks for the Pure Michigan Trail and Trail Town designation program.

On Thursday, October 16, Glen Arbor resident and business owner Chris Sack posted photos on his Facebook page that showed the basement of his home on M-109, west of Glen Arbor, flooding with water. But Sack’s frustration fell on deaf ears. Later that evening, at the Township Hall in Glen Arbor, State Representative Ray Franz (Republican) concluded a townhall forum by calling Climate Change “a hoax”.

Scott Whybrew is a man with a plan for retirement: hops farming. “You’ve heard of people spending their children’s inheritance?” he asks with a straight face. In October Scott and his wife Gerri, the parents of three adult children, purchased a 110-acre former apple orchard on Kittlinger Road in Empire Township. Over the course of the fall and a challenging winter, the couple employed a crew of eight-to-10 local men who turned the feral orchard into a working hop farm.

With this year’s primary election upon us and voters casting ballots on Tuesday, Aug. 7, we reached out to Derek Bailey and Allen O’Shea — two progressive Democrats who are vying to oppose incumbent Republican Ray Franz for Michigan’s 101st House seat in the November election.

According to a study released at last week’s Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism, Michigan hosted a record 3.2 million out-of-state visitors who spent $1 billion here last year. The state expects a 6 percent increase in tourism this year and is reaching out to farther-flung visitors.

State representative-elect Ray Franz favors cutting “Pure Michigan” funding by as much as 80 percent, the soon-to-be legislator from the 101st District told the Leelanau Enterprise last week. Franz said he would reduce funding from $25 to $30 million down to $5 to $6 million, while comparing Michigan’s tourism economy to keeping the books at the Onekema grocery store he owns.