- To Solar Up North Alliance program, a partnership between Cherryland Electric Cooperative and Traverse City Light and Power which allows customers to lease a solar panel for $470 with a $75 rebate, for winning the “Exemplary Project” award from the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association. Cherryland General Manager Tony Anderson was also selected to teach a solar workshop at a national conference for cooperatives. The project is the first community solar project in Michigan, and other utilities expressed interest in trying to emulate it. Customers get a return on their energy bill, usually around $2, for the amount of energy their panel produced.
- To the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Traverse City Association for again organizing a downtown tree for the holidays. A 30-foot blue spruce from F&M Park was put in place by a crane from Elmer’s Crane & Dozer; the tree had been encroaching on the TART trail, officials said. There is also a newly constructed Santa’s house at a new location at City Centre Plaza at the southeast corner of State and Cass.
- To Northwestern Michigan College Food for Thought food drive, organized by NMC’s Business 231 class, which gathered 22,000 donated food items to be distributed to 14 area food pantries. A truck holding donations was parked at Peninsula Bible Church.
- To the annual Northwest Michigan Toys for Tots drive, which collects toys and donations for toys and distributes them to agencies to give to needy families. The drive collected 25,000 toys for more than 7,400 children in the five-county Grand Traverse area.
- To students in a skilled trades class at Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District’s Career-Tech Center who are building enclosures for exposed utility cabinets at Traverse City’s Clinch Park. Students are working at school on the enclosures before they’re assembled on-site by another group, which adds to the challenge. The city wil save thousands by having the students do the work.
- To those running a scam that targets elderly residents and has cropped up in the Grand Traverse area. Victims reported receiving calls purportedly from a grandson who goes into a “sob story” usually involving arrest, such as for drugs, in Mexico or a drunken accident or fight. The grandparent is then asked to send money — without the parents’ knowledge. Authorities have tracked some money transfer payments to accounts in South America.