Judge rejects challenge to Leelanau trail

Capital News Service
LANSING — Opponents of a segment of the 27-mile non-motorized Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Trailway have lost a court challenge to the planned route. U.S. District Judge Gordon Quist rejected a suit by the Little Traverse Lake Property Owners Association, which claimed the National Park Service failed to fully disclose and analyze environmental impacts of the segment along the north side of Traverse Lake Road in Cleveland and Centerville townships. The challengers, who own land on the south side of the road, also claim the National Park Service didn’t adequately analyze alternative routes and used incomplete or misleading data. When completed, the trail will connect southern Leelanau County with Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore at Good Harbor Beach at the north end of County Road 651. The trail runs on Park Service land and on existing public rights-of-way.

Schools look bad while doing good

Capital News Service
LANSING – On-time high school graduation rates are down in Leelanau County, but is that a bad thing? 2011 graduation statistics look worse in Leelanau County, but it’s because Suttons Bay High School has taken on at-risk students whom the district knows won’t graduate in the standard four years, said Principal Raphael Rittenhouse. He said other districts around the state try to get at-risk students to drop out before they bring down graduations statistics – before ninth grade – or send them to alternative schools for the same reason. Suttons Bay has as many online students from districts across Michigan as local in-classroom students, Rittenhouse said. Many had been turned away from other districts.