Monthly Archives: December 2013

Personal Care Product Giveaway at The Gateway Church

December 29th –The Gateway Church

The event is on December 29th at The Gateway Church located at 1641 Pontaluna Rd. Spring Lake on the corner of Pontaluna Rd. and Harvey, just south of The Lakes Mall. It will commence at 2:30 pm and the products will be given away on a first come first serve basis, with absolutely no obligation. The products include but are not limited to shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, toilet paper, deodorant, cleaning products and much more.

The purpose of this giveaway is to help fill the gap that government assistance does not. Our goal is to provide families and individuals, in need, with a one month supply of personal care items. We will be distributing over 5,000 items to help relieve the burden of cost right after the Holiday season. Open to anyone with a need.

If you have any other questions please call 231-799-2141

From Washington State to Washington, D.C.

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

I know we are still only in Advent. But at this point in December, my mind starts to turn toward Christmas. It just can’t be helped, especially in light of all the ads featuring Santa.

Christmas is about tradition: traditional foods, traditional songs, traditional church services. For a few geeks, Christmas is also an ideal time to get in a little bit of scientific research. What could be better than to combine some of the traditional activities of the season with the chance to learn a bit more about the natural world?

Katie McKeever is a graduate student in plant pathology at the Washington State University Research and Extension Center (REC) in Puyallup, Washington. She has been hard at work in recent weeks learning about how moisture is lost or retained from a truly mega-Christmas tree. An 88-foot-tall Engelmann spruce was recently shipped from north-central Washington State to what we natives of the Northwest call the “other Washington,” namely the District of Columbia.

It took some 25 days for the spruce to move from its home in Washington State to a place of pride at the capitol in D.C. The 2013 National Christmas Tree was harvested from the Colville National Forest in Pend Oreille County. The last time Washington State gave the capitol its Christmas tree was in 2006. That one came from the Olympic National Forest in the northwestern part of the state.

Once this year’s tree was cut, McKeever placed three small sensors in the canopy of the great tree as it lay on the bed of the semi that would haul it across the country.

“The sensors are data loggers that automatically record temperature every 15 minutes to provide statistics about the ambient environment inside the tree canopy,” McKeever told me.

Professor Gary Chastagner, also at the Puyallup REC, has long worked on various Christmas tree issues. He’s an expert on what’s called the post-harvest moisture and retention of needles of Christmas trees. To be sure, most Christmas trees are not 88 feet tall, but some of the issues with mega-trees and the kind in your living room are similar.

In general, helping Christmas trees retain moisture can help them keep their needles. If you are tired of trying to get a lot of needles out of your living room carpet each January (one tradition I would gladly skip), you might wish McKeever and Chastagner well with their work.

The research on the National Christmas Tree involves cooperation between the U.S. Forest Service and WSU. Forest Service technicians from the Colville National Forest who have accompanied the tree are taking periodic samples of small twigs from the enormous tannenbaum. The samples are sent to Puyallup where they are carefully weighed, dried thoroughly in an oven, and then reweighed to determine how much moisture was in the twigs.

The data the WSU researchers are gathering is part of their on-going work to make recommendations that can help improve the quality of Christmas trees for consumers. That’s the technical challenge for the tree specialists. For the rest of us, their work is just a way of improving our live tannenbaum tradition, year after year.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Red Cross Offers Tips For Twelve Days of Holiday Safety

image001Having a busy time getting ready for the holidays? While everyone is shopping, baking, gift wrapping, decorating and going to parties, the American Red Cross has holiday tips to help make the season a safe one.

1. Prepare vehicle for traveling to grandmother’s house. Build an emergency kit and include items such as blankets or sleeping bags, jumper cables, fire extinguisher, compass and road maps, shovel, tire repair kit and pump, extra clothing, flares, and a tow rope.

2. Drive the sleigh and reindeer safely. Avoid driving in a storm. If travel is a must, let someone know the destination, the route being taken to get there, and how long it should take to arrive. If the car gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along the predetermined route.

3. Help prevent the spread of the flu. Stay home if sick. Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible, or use an alcohol-based hand rub. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and throw the tissue away after use. If a tissue isn’t available, someone should cough or sneeze into their elbow, not their hands.

4. Follow Santa’s fashion lead – dress in layers. When it’s cold outside, layered lightweight clothing will keep a person warmer than a single heavy coat. Gloves and a hat will prevent loss of body heat.

5. Use a Red Cross-trained babysitter when attending holiday festivities. Red Cross-certified babysitters learn to administer basic first aid; properly hold and feed a child; take emergency action when needed and monitor safe play. Some may be certified in Infant and Child CPR.

6. Avoid danger while roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If leaving the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove. This is important because unattended cooking causes nearly 90 percent of all kitchen fires.

7. Be a lifesaver during the holidays. The Red Cross recommends at least one person in every household should take first aid and CPR/AED training. Visit for details and to register.

8. Designate a driver or skip the holiday cheer. Buckle up, slow down, and don’t drive impaired. If someone plans on drinking, designate a driver who won’t drink.

9. When the weather outside is frightful, heat the home safely. Never use a stove or oven to heat the home. Never leave portable heaters or fireplaces unattended. Install smoke alarms.

10. Cut down on heating bills without being a Grinch. Get the furnace cleaned and change the filters. Make sure furniture isn’t blocking the heat vents. Close off any rooms not in use and turn off the heat in those rooms. Turn down the thermostat and put on a sweater.

11. Home for the holidays? Travel safely. Check the tire air pressure and make sure the windshield fluid is full. Be well rested and alert. Give full attention to the road – avoid distractions such as cell phones. If someone has car trouble, pull off the road as far as possible.

12. Resolve to Be Red Cross Ready in the New Year. Get ready now in case someone in the household faces an emergency in 2012.

For more information on how to give, get trained or get involved with the American Red Cross, visit: or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit

Lakeshore Art Festival Launches Exhibitor Registration & New Website

Lakeshore-Art-FestivalMUSKEGON, Mich. December 11, 2013 – The application process for the second annual Lakeshore Art Festival is now open. This year’s festival will expand upon last year’s event featuring a regional network of over 300 artists that offer a diverse variety of quality artwork. In addition to opening registration one month earlier this year, the Lakeshore Art Festival haslaunched a new website ( The new website, created by Envigor Design, will enhance the Lakeshore Art Festival’s branding efforts as well as showcase what the festival has to offer to those attending and participating in the event.

The application process for the 2014 Lakeshore Art Festival will be entirely web-based. Event categories include; Fine Art/Fine Craft, Craft Fair, Street Performers, Children’s Lane, Artisan Food Market and local food vendors. Interested exhibitors and vendors are encouraged to apply as soon as possible for the 2014 festival as space will be filling quickly. The application deadline is March 3, 2014. There is a $30 non-refundable registration fee for fine art/fine craft and craft fair exhibitors. Members of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and the Muskegon Museum of Art will receive a discounted non-refundable registration fee of $15.

The Lakeshore Art Festival is being produced by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. Carla Flanders, Owner of CMF Marketing LLC, has been contracted again to direct the event.


“We are really looking to build on the success of last year’s art festival,” said Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “The new website is just one of the ways in which we will be enhancing the experience for exhibitors and attendees.”

“I’m so excited to be a part of the Lakeshore Art Festival again,” said Carla Flanders, Owner of CMF Marketing.” Last year we made great strides to create a high quality, diverse and unique event and I believe we obtained our goals. This year we look forward to enhancing that solid base and creating new and exciting opportunities for vendors and guests.”


The Lakeshore Art Festival offers a unique mix of arts, crafts, food and family fun in historic downtown Muskegon. Guests will enjoy a juried fine art/fine craft fair located in beautiful Hackley Park as well as a vibrant street-fair atmosphere with crafts, unique pre-packaged food products, children’s activities, entertainment and more. The event will be held July 4 and 5, 2014 in downtown Muskegon. Last year’s Lakeshore Art Festival was a huge success with nearly 300 exhibitors and more than 50,000 guests in attendance over the two day festival.

Chris-Photo-57More details related to the Lakeshore Art Festival will be released in 2014. Look for more information as it becomes available on the Lakeshore Art Festival website: and Facebook page: For exhibitor or sponsorship inquires, please contact Carla Flanders at or 231-724-3176. Those interested in volunteering can fill out a volunteer form at Mark your calendars for July 4 and 5 and get ready for this exciting art-filled event.

ISM Greater Grand Rapids Affiliate Dinner Meeting

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – ISM the Greater Grand Rapids Affiliate is pleased to announce their Affiliate Dinner Meeting on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at the GVSU Eberhard Center, 301 West Fulton Street in Grand Rapids. Nick Little, Assistant Director of Executive Development Programs in the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, will present “Collaboration – What, How, When, Where and Why?”

Registration and networking begin at 5:00 PM, dinner at 6:00 PM, with the presentation at 7:00 PM. The deadline for registration is Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 4:00 PM. Reservations can be made online by email at or by credit card at The non-member cost for the dinner meeting is $35.00.

The Greater Muskegon Jaycees Announce Distinguished Service Awards

The Greater Muskegon Jaycees are seeking nominations for their Distinguished Service Awards. These awards honor individuals in our community between the ages of 21-40 for their contributions to the Muskegon community and achievements in their chosen career. The Jaycees will honor an Outstanding Young Man, Woman, Public Servant and Educator. The Greater Muskegon Jaycees will hold their Distinguished Service Awards in conjunction with the Snowfest Battle of the Bowls Soup and Chili Cook off at the Third Street Grille at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor on Saturday February 1, 2014. Awards will be given at 1:30pm.

To download a nomination form, please visit

APICS-Professional Development Meeting

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – APICS, the Grand Rapids Chapter, will be hosting the professional development meeting on Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at The Pinnacle Center, 3330 Highland Drive in Hudsonville. The evening begins at 5:00 PM with registration and networking, dinner at 6:00 PM, and the speaker at 7:00 PM. Mr. Randall Schaefer, CPIM will present “Managing Obsolescence.”

Reservations must be received by 3:00 PM on Friday, January 3, 2014. Cost for APICS members is $28.00; non-members $35.00 and students $15.00. Reservations can be made online at or email to

For more information regarding the Chapter’s Professional Development Meetings and speakers, please visit our website at:



Regarding obituaries: Abbreviated listings of area deaths are provided as a free service by FAN staff. Those wishing to have a full obituary printed may submit the complete obituary and $20. A photograph may be included with the obituary for an additional $5.00. If you know of someone who has inadvertently been omitted, please tell us.

ssarachmanSteven Michael Sarachman, a.k.a. “Beaver” passed away of natural causes on October 13, 2018 in Cancun, Mexico.
Steve was born December 9, 1955 in Grand Haven to Helen and Bohdan Sarachman, and lived in Fruitport, Spring Lake and Grand Haven during the first half of his adult life.  He was a 1974 graduate of Fruitport High School, participated in athletics and played one year of football at Northern Michigan University. In his 50’s, he moved to the Lansing area, and then, to fulfill his dream of living in a warmer and less expensive place, he took up residence in Mexico in March of 2018.
Steve had many challenges in his life but was forever striving, with humor, determination and courage to be a better person.  He had the help and support of a multitude of friends, especially those at the AA meetings he attended regularly in both the US and Mexico, as well as the loving assistance of family members.  He was a member of the Bahá’í Faith.  He was much loved by a wide diversity of people who will remember him for his crazy sense of humor, loving and generous heart, curiosity and thirst for knowledge, quest for spirituality, and his various services to others, including youth in sports activities, Mother Theresa Hospice, and others.  He was preceded in death by parents, Helen and Bohdan Sarachman, and is survived by siblings Melanie Smith (David), Robert Sarachman (Sandra), Linda Pearson, Mary Knight (Mike), many nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.

Brent (“B-Dub,” “Brentley”) Williams, 43, died unexpectedly and peacefully at his home early on the morning of Wednesday, November 8, 2017, in Arlington, MA. Born on January 4, 1974, he grew up in Fruitport, MI, and was a graduate of Fruitport High School. Brent earned a BS in Chemistry and Biology at Hope College in Holland, MI, where he was a member of the Arcadian Fraternity. He later graduated with an MBA in Engineering Management at Tufts University in Medford, MA, after which he set out to become “the smartest man in the world.”

Brent is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Joy Fisher Williams, and his two greatest accomplishments, sons Fisher Eric and Ruben Thomas. Additionally, he is survived by parents Lana and Steve Williams and grandparents Joyce and Larry Williams, all of Sun City, AZ. Brent was preceded in death by his younger brother, Eric Jay Williams; grandparents Leona and Ruben Krentz; and Aunt Barbara Franklin. He is also survived by his parents-in-law, Kathy and Dave Fisher of Fruitport, MI; his brother-in-law, Jeff Fisher (children Isabel, Ellie, and Gavin) of Fruitport, MI; his sister-in-law, Jani and husband Dan Wilkens (children Anika and Eli) of Weldon Spring, MO. Lastly, he is survived by beloved aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and colleagues.

Brent was employed by Northrop Grumman Corporation for 17 years, where he was a mission planning manager for NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory (officially affording him the designation of “rocket scientist”). Previously, he was a chemist at W.R. Grace. He enjoyed riding his Harley, and he was a lover of all foods, scotch whiskey, and PBR. Brent also had a keen interest in DIY projects, firearms, and video games. Later in life, his passions included playing hockey and coaching his sons’ Arlington sports teams. Brent attended Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA, and was a member of the Belmont Life Community. He was a devoted son, husband, father, and friend. Brent did not live an average life; he was a Renaissance Man and self-proclaimed “Dura-Brent,” entertaining as well as challenging others with his good humor and knowledge of a range of topics. He will be sorely missed.

A celebration of life and memorial service took place in Massachusetts.

Sherry Lynn Yonkers
Sherry Lynn Yonkers (Rettinhouse) April 5, 1947-October 18, 2016

sherry yonkersSherry passed away unexpectedly Tuesday October 18, 2016. Sherry was born April 5, 1947 in Grand Haven, MI to Beatrice and Robert Rettinhouse. She was a lifelong resident of Fruitport Mi. She was a Fruitport graduate, class of 1965. After graduation she went on to work for Anderson Bolling, Spring Lake MI. & Howmet Muskegon, MI until she found her passion as a community servant and proudly served over 20 years as Fruitport Township Clerk, later retiring as Hudsonville City Clerk in Hudsonville MI. Sherry loved being a mother more than anything and is survived by her daughter Tamara A Yonkers and grand-doggies Grace Kelly and Danika. Sherry also loved gardening as she was a master gardener. She was a charter member of the Fruitport Lioness Club, a member of Fruitport Congregational UCC where she sang in the church choir for many years and was a member of the Woman’s Fellowship. She was a volunteer for Harbor Hospice and a lifelong member of Camp Paradise in Whitehall, MI. Sherry looked forward to gathering with her girls club every month which they have done since graduating in 1965. Sherry was preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers Sam Rettinhouse and Scott Johnson. She is survived by her daughter Tamara A Yonkers her two sisters; Pam (Mike) Williams & Robin (Grayling) VanderVelde, brother Larry Johnson, sister-in-law Christi Rettinhouse, her three loving exchange students Silverio, Maikka, and Javier and many beloved nieces and nephews. Sherry had many friends, her light, laughter, and beautiful smile will always be remembered. A memorial service will be held at Fruitport Congregational United Church of Christ at 9 S 8th Ave, Fruitport, MI 49415 Saturday October 22, 2016 at 11:00 am. A visitation with the family will be held an hour before the service at 10:00 am. A luncheon will be held after the memorial by the Woman’s Fellowship of Fruitport Congregational UCC. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Paws with a Cause, American Red Cross, Fruitport Lionesses, or Fruitport Congregational UCC.

Mr. Richard Lee Briggs
briggs-richardMr. Richard Lee “Dick” Briggs, age 71, passed away Friday, September 30, 2016. He was born in Wyoming, Michigan on June 27, 1945 to Charles & Norma Briggs and married the former Rebekah Hulings on May 8, 1982. Mr. Briggs had been employed in Quality Control for Georgia Pacific for years until retiring. He was a Boy Scout and Cub Scout Master. Richard loved children and animals and enjoyed being a crossing guard for Beach School for 18 years.
Wife of 34 years, Rebekah; children, Cheryl (Jessee) Briggs-Symko, Richard Briggs Jr., Michael Briggs; Renee (Adam) Botbyl; 7 grandchildren & 1 great grandchild; brother, Charles (Joan) Briggs; sister, Carol Briggs; brother-in-law, Roger Raymor; countless nieces, nephews and his wife’s family who were close to his heart; his beloved dog Rocky. He was preceded in death by his parents, foster parents, Dick & Eva Dubois; sisters, Pat Daggett, Norma Raymor; brother, Howard (Dorothy) Jebb.
Saturday, October 8, 2016, Noon at Clock’s Sunset Celebrations with Rev. Carlos Ramos officiating.
Friday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Saturday one hour prior to the service at Clock’s Sunset Celebrations. MEMORIAL: In lieu of flowers please consider giving to the Fruitport Education Foundation-Briggs Scholarship Fund. Please visit to leave a memory or sign the online guest book.
Clock’s Sunset Celebrations

My father, Richard Lee “Dick” Briggs passed away last Friday, September 30th, 2016 at 11 pm at the age of 71. He was the crossing guard of Beach elementary school. When he retired, the FAN ran an article about his service of 18 years to the school district. Dad had always been involved in FCS, whether it was volunteering for school events or fundraisers. Dad was also a cub and boy scout master, giving his time to the organization and any child he could assist. He loved Fruitport completely and because of this, we are choosing to hold his visitation and funeral service at the Clock Sunset Celebrations location in Fruitport, MI. Visitation will be Friday from 6-8. The service will be at 12 on Saturday with visitation one hour prior and reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, we are asking people to consider donating to Fruitport Education Foundation – Briggs scholarship fund.
–Renee Botbyl

Mrs. Wanda Rettinhouse
Wanda Jean (Mullins) Rettinhouse, age 66, formerly of Fruitport, MI, passed away on Monday, October 20, 2014 at Minnequa Nursing Home in Pueblo, CO after battling a long illness. She is survived by her husband, Ronald Rettinhouse of 48 years, 3 Children; Amy (Theodore) Houston of Appleton, WI, Ronald (Diane) Rettinhouse of Muskegon, MI and Ricky (Dollie) Rettinhouse of Pueblo, CO, 8 Grandchildren; 4 Great Grandchildren; 1 Sister; Many Nieces and Nephews, and 1 Aunt. She was preceded in death by her Parents; Marjorie and Chester Ruthkowski and Brother, Donald Mullins.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 11:00 am at Anchor of Hope Church, 2815 W. Giles Road, North Muskegon, MI 49445 with Rev. Edward Wilder officiating. Visitation with the family will be 1 hour prior to the service.

Mrs. Ruth Bean
Mrs. Ruth Bean, age 89, of Muskegon, passed away December 11, 2013. She was born September 6, 1924 to Charles and Minnie Schmiedeknecht in Claybanks Township, Oceana County. She was a teacher in Fruitport. She married Delbert Bean in 1947. He preceded her in death.
Memorials: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church or the Activities Department at Lakewoods Nursing Center.

Mr. John Boukamp
Mr. John “Jack” Boukamp, age 83, of Fruitport, passed away Friday, December 6, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on September 12, 1930 to Tom and Hilda (Sorrenson) Boukamp. He married the former Martha Lohman in 1952. She preceded him in death.
Memorials: Pound Buddies Rescue or Faithful to Felines Rescue.

Mrs. Judith Brandow
Mrs. Judith K. Brandow, age 71, of Nunica, passed away Thursday, November 28, 2013. She was born in Muskegon on July 13, 1942 to Lawrence C. and Arlene V. (Loosemore). She was the widow of Jack Brandow.
Memorials: Hospice of North Ottawa.

Mr. Roger E. Breuker
Mr. Roger E. Breuker, age 81, of Muskegon, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on April 22, 1932 to Reverend John and Cornelia (Heemstra) Breuker. He was a member of Fruitport Christian Reformed Church. His wife, Marilyn survives him.
Memorials: Western Michigan Christian High School Gym or Covenant Christian School (Ludington).

Mr. Charles Dagen
Mr. Charles L.”Pat” Dagen, age 90, of Muskegon, passed away Sunday, November 10, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on March 17, 1923, to Charles and Christine (Jensen) Dagen and married the former Donna Hoover in 1947. She survives him. He was a member of the Fruitport Polar Bear Post V.F.W. # 3734.
Memorials: Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Nina DeVries
Mrs. Nina Arlene DeVries, age 78, of Fruitport, passed away Sunday, November 17, 2013. She was born April 29, 1935 in Muskegon to Charles and Daisey (Haase) Fricke. She married Ronald M. DeVries in 1955. He passed away in 2004. She attended Trinity Baptist Church.
Memorials: Trinity Baptist Church.

Mr. Gordon Eggleton
Mr. Gordon H. Eggleton, age 91, of Fruitport, passed away Friday, October 11, 2013. He was born July 31, 1922 to Howard and Elsie (Turner) Eggleton, and married the former Beatrice Hansen, who preceded him in death. He later married Lucille Mergener, who survives him. He was a member of Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church.

Mr. David S. Fisher
Mr. David S. Fisher, age 62, of Fruitport, passed away Thursday, October 3, 2013. He was born in Grand Haven on October 5, 1950 to Harold and Joyce (McFall) Fisher. He married the former Karen L. Webster in 1998. She survives him.
Memorials: The Lake Effect Chapter of the Michigan Duck Hunters.

Mr. Gary Lee Flowers, Sr.
Mr. Gary Lee Flowers, Sr., age 67, of Muskegon, passed away Thursday, October 24, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on December 26, 1945 to Andrew “Jack” and June (Brown) Flowers. He is survived by his wife, Anita (Alsteen) Flowers.
Memorials: West Michigan Veterans, Inc.

Mr. Roby Hart
Mr. Roby Hart, age 57, of Kalkaska, died Friday, November 15, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on February 11, 1956 to Robert and Shirley (Baxter) Hart and married the former Donna Mitchell. She survives him.

Mr. Ferris Hering
Mr. Ferris Erwin Hering, age 100, of Muskegon, passed away Friday, November 15, 2013. He was born in Nunica on December 3, 1912 to Hunter and Mattie (Nehmer) Hering. He married the former Lois C. Seaver in 1941. She preceded him in death.
Memorials: Lake Harbor United Methodist Church or Poppen Hospice House.

Mr. Richard Huss
Mr. Richard “Rick” Huss, age 53, of North Muskegon, passed away Wednesday, November 6, 2013. He was born April 11, 1960 in Muskegon to Marvin and Edith (Cross) Huss and lived his early life in Fruitport. He married the former Roberta Garber in 2010. She survives him.

Mr. Robert S. Keyes
Mr. Robert S. Keyes, age 46, of Fruitport, passed away Friday, October 25, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on August 9, 1967, to Ralph and Lillian (Stebelton) Keyes, and married the former Carmen Lance, who survives him.
Memorial contributions to the family are appreciated.

Mr. Ronald Lampman
Mr. Ronald D. Lampman, age 77, of Nunica, passed away Friday, October 11, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean.

Mr. Mark Lee
Mr. Mark Virgil Lee, age 55, of Fruitport, passed away Monday, November 25, 2013. He was born on April 13, 1958 in Muskegon, and married the former Laura Ann Hamstra. She survives him. He was secretary of the Fruitport Township Planning Commission.
Memorials to his three daughters’ education fund c/o Fifth-Third Bank.

Mrs. Janice Marshall
Mrs. Janice M. Marshall, age 63, of Fruitport Township, passed away Thursday, November 28, 2013. She was born in Muskegon on February 2, 1950 to Carroll and Louise (Dewey) Conklin. Her husband, Rex, survives her.
Donations to the family are appreciated.

Mr. Thomas Martin
Mr. Thomas A. “Tom” Martin, age 75, of Muskegon, passed away Sunday, November 10, 2013. He was born February 18, 1938 to Thomas B. and Maxine (Pitts) Martin in Muskegon, and was raised in Nunica.
Memorials: Harbor Hospice.

Mr. Jay Mead
Mr. Jay “Frank” Mead, age 77, of Nunica, passed away Tuesday, November 26, 2013. He was born February 11, 1936 in Kalamazoo to Jay L. and Gertrude (Tyler) Mead.
Memorials: Hospice of North Ottawa.

Mr. Norman L. Murray
Mr. Norman L. Murray, age 66, of Fruitport, passed away Saturday, December 7, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on November 24, 1947 to James “Ed” and Agnes “Jewel” (Wilson) Murray.
Memorials: Harbor Hospice.

Mr. Carl Olson
Mr. Carl Olson, age 93, of Fruitport Township, passed away November 13, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on May 22, 1920 to Carl and Esther Olson. He married the former Nellie Smith in 1954. She survives him.
Memorials: Harbor Hospice.

Mr. Frank Pouch
Mr. Frank T. Pouch, 64, of Fruitport, passed away Friday, October 4, 2013. He was born January 22, 1949 in Cordova, AK to Vernon and Jean (Glasen) Pouch. He was a member of the Fruitport Eagles.
Memorials: American Cancer Society.

Mr. Lester Price
Mr. Lester L. “W8QAY” Price, age 76, of Muskegon, passed away Saturday, November 23, 2013. He was born January 11, 1937 in Benton Harbor to William and Esther G. (Lester) Price, and married the former Judy Coates, who survives him. He was an active member at Trinity Baptist Church.
Memorials: Trinity Baptist Church.

Mrs. Iva Simot
Mrs. Iva May Simot, age 85, of Muskegon, passed away Friday, November 22, 2013. She was born in Cedar Springs on April 27, 1928 to Gerald and Mertyl Spencer. She owned Simot’s Drive-In. Her husband, Edward, survives her.
Memorials: Harbor Hospice – Poppen Residence.

Mr. Bradley Smith
Mr. Bradley Norman Smith, age 66, of Sparta, passed away Wednesday, September 25, 2013. His wife, Karen, survives him.
Memorials: March of Dimes.

Ms. Dorsey Smith
Ms. Dorsey Smith, age 69, of Fruitport, passed away Sunday, December 8, 2013. She was born to Eugene and Verla Scott and had been an RN for the State of Michigan and Mercy-Health Partners.

Mr. George Webster
Mr. George E. Webster, age 59, of Fruitport, passed away November 30, 2013. He was born in Muskegon on December 2, 1954 to Jesse and Mary Webster. He is survived by his wife, Dee. He was a member of the Fruitport Eagles.
Memorials: DAV or Noah Project.

Mrs. Betty Weise
Mrs. Betty Weise, age 88, of Fruitport, passed away Monday, December 9, 2013. She was born in Fruitport on February 5, 1925 to John and Edna (Petersen) McManamey. She had been employed as a bus driver and Administrator of Transportation for Fruitport Public Schools.

Mr. Lowell Zimmer
Mr. Lowell Zimmer, age 88, of Nunica, passed away Monday, December 2, 2013. He was born June 7, 1925 in Grant, Michigan to Jesse and Herma (Cole) Zimmer. He married the former Ruth Wierenga on August 18, 1945 in Spring Lake, Michigan. He is survived by his wife, Ruth.
Memorials: Faith Hospice in Byron Center, Michigan.

Virus Warning

Submitted by: Jack Van Wingerden

Feel this is worth passing along. With the holidays coming up, I can see where this could be a real problem.

The newest virus circulating is the UPS/Fed Ex/USPS Delivery Failure. You will receive an e-mail from UPS, Fed Ex, or USPS along with a packet number. It will say that they were unable to deliver a package sent to you on such-and-such a date. It then asks you to print out the invoice copy attached. DON’T TRY TO PRINT THIS. IT LAUNCHES THE VIRUS! Pass this warning on to all your PC operators at work and home. This virus has caused Millions of dollars in damage in the past few days. Snopes confirms that it is real.

Community: Fruitport Public Safety and local retailers help family recover from fire losses during the holiday season.

On 12/12/2013, representatives from Fruitport Township Police and Fire Departments volunteered their time to help make the holidays a little better for a Fruitport Township family that lost their home to a residential fire on October 29, 2013.


The fire occurred at approximately 5:45 a.m. in the 3000 block of Birchwood Lane in the Clover Estate Mobile Home Park. The family’s dog alerted the sleeping family to the fire, allowing the family to escape from the burning residence without injury. Firefighters from Fruitport Township and Norton Shores Fire Departments responded to the scene to extinguish the fire. Fruitport Township Police Department assisted at the scene as well.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire before it spread to other nearby residences, but they were unable to rescue the dog from the burning home.


The fire resulted in a complete loss of the home and contents, and the family did not have insurance to cover the loss. Representatives from the Fruitport Township Police and Fire Departments worked together with Meijer and Walmart to try to help the family get back on their feet during the holiday season.

Donations were collected from members of Fruitport Township Police and Fire Departments. These donations were combined with generous donations from both Meijer and Walmart to provide the family assistance with their holiday shopping.

img4Members of police and fire departments, including some who responded to the residence on the morning of the fire, accompanied the family during their holiday shopping at the Meijer and Walmart stores in Fruitport Township.

Gifts selected by the family will be wrapped by volunteers from the Fruitport Township Police and Fire Departments, and they will be delivered to the family in time for Christmas.img2

Fruitport Township Police and Fire Departments want to recognize and thank Meijer and Walmart for their generous donations and ongoing philanthropic efforts in giving back to the Fruitport Township community. “We appreciate having them as partners in keeping our community strong.”

“We are hopeful this will help get the family back on their feet and that they will be able to pay it forward later in life if they encounter someone in need.”


Maintenance Associate – Part-time Temporary Position

Strong employment experience in the following areas is required:  plumbing, electrical, HVAC, boiler, water heater, washer and dryer maintenance, vehicle maintenance, as well as, seasonal grounds maintenance. Must be a self-starter and require little supervision. A strong work ethic and a heart for those less fortunate is required in this Christian environment. Applications are available on-line at or at Muskegon Rescue Mission, 1715 Peck Street, Muskegon, MI  49441.


The Community Foundation Scholarship Program

The Community Foundation for Muskegon County announces that the Foundation Scholarship Program for Muskegon, Oceana, Mason & Manistee counties is currently accepting applications for the 2014/2015 school year. Applications are available to be submitted electronically at the Community Foundation website, The application process has been streamlined to three easy steps for students and families.


The Community Foundation for Muskegon County administers over 275 scholarship funds and grants hundreds of awards each year to both graduating high school seniors and current college students.  The Foundation’s “General Scholarship Application” is used to support scholarship applications for students in the Muskegon area as well as those in Oceana, Mason and Manistee Counties.

The Community Foundation does not make awards solely on the basis of need.  Academic achievement, community involvement, extra curricular activities and financial need are all taken into consideration.  All Community Foundation scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis.

For More Information, Call:
Dana Scott, Scholarship Coordinator
Community Foundation for Muskegon County
(231) 332-4104


Fruitport Girl Scouts Dedicate Picnic Area

By Collet Domine
Sunday, September 29th a Dedication Ceremony that Fruitport Girl Scout Troop# 20507 was held to dedicate a picnic area for the community, at the Broadway Ave Bike Trail parking lot.  They have worked hard and have cleared an area for friends and families, etc. to meet while using the trail or just for a gathering.



There is a walk way and picnic table with flower contains and also a horseshoe pit for people to enjoy.  They hope people will use and enjoy this area for many years to come.  They took on this project to earn their Bronze Award.

All Set with Your Flu Shot?

What about other vaccines for preventable diseases?

 OTTAWA COUNTY – You’re ready for this flu season, but are you and your family up-to-date on other vaccinations? Immunizations protect our community from dangerous infectious diseases like measles, mumps, rubella and more. Remember years ago almost everyone got chickenpox? It was one of the most common childhood diseases and unfortunately it caused many to suffer through itchy blister-like rashes. Thankfully, chickenpox vaccine has changed all that. Chickenpox vaccine protects you against a very uncomfortable and sometimes serious disease. Chickenpox used to be very common in the United States. About 4 million people would get the disease each year. Also, about 10,600 people were hospitalized and 100 to 150 died each year because of chickenpox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Chickenpox is a highly contagious viral illness that most commonly lasts about 5-10 days. The classic symptom of chickenpox is a rash that turns into itchy, fluid-filled blisters that eventually turn into scabs. The rash may first show up on the face, chest, and back then spread to the rest of the body, including inside the mouth, eyelids, or genital area. A person can have 250 to 500 blisters. It usually takes about one week for all the blisters to become scabs. Children usually miss 5 to 6 days of school or childcare due to their chickenpox.The CDC recommends two doses of chickenpox vaccine for children (12 months of age or older), adolescents, and adults. Two doses of the vaccine are about 98% effective at preventing chickenpox. Some people who are vaccinated against chickenpox may still get the disease. However, it is usually milder with fewer blisters and little or no fever. Complications from chickenpox can occur, but they are not as common in otherwise healthy people who get the disease. People who may have more severe symptoms and may be at high risk for complications leading to hospital stays or even death include infants, adolescents, those with HIV/AIDS, on chemotherapy, or pregnant. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the virus stays in the body in a dormant (inactive) state. For reasons that are not fully known, the virus can reactivate years later, causing shingles.

Immunizations are safe and effective. Currently in Michigan, thousands of children become ill from various types of diseases that could have been prevented. If you have any questions about your children’s immunizations or need to schedule an appointment, please contact your pediatrician or health care provider. For more information, visit Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH)

Source: and

“Vaccines are among the safest and most successful public health tools available for preventing diseases and death”
– Walter A. Orenstein, M.D.,
Director of the CDC’s National Immunization Program

Shake, Rattle and Roll

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

“It’s 8:16 on a chilly, wet morning…You’ve just arrived at work and are pouring a cup of coffee when you become aware of a low rumbling noise. Within seconds, the rumbling becomes a roar, the floor beneath you heaves, and the building begins to pitch and shake so violently that you’re thrown to the floor. The roaring is joined by a cacophony of crashing as windows shatter and every unsecured object in the room – from the desk chair to the coffee pot – is sent flying. Shaken loose by the shuddering and jolting of the building, dust and ceiling particles drift down like snow. Then the lights flicker and go out.”

That’s the arresting start of a new report produced by several governmental agencies that describes what can happen when a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hits what’s called the Cascadia Region, an area that stretches from the coast of Northern California northward through western Oregon, Washington, and southwestern British Columbia. The quake will be triggered by movement along the faults that lie between the oceanic tectonic plates and the plate on which North America rides. When the plates move suddenly, absolutely enormous amounts of energy are released, with violent shaking of the ground and tsunamis as the result. The report that describes all this is Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquakes: A Magnitude 9.0 Earthquake Scenario.

Cascadia isn’t the only place in danger of having major earthquakes. Most famously, the San Andreas and associated faults in California are a constant threat to local residents. And the New Madrid fault zone, centered where the states of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee come together, is a threat to the lower Midwest. Finally, states as different as South Carolina and Alaska also run the risk of significant earthquakes. In short, the U.S. has a number of regions where enormous amounts of energy can be released over the span of just seconds, with resulting damage to buildings, roads, power lines and pipelines.

The Cascadia region of the Pacific Northwest is in danger of large earthquakes because it’s a subduction zone – a place where ocean crust dives underneath the overriding North American plate. Worldwide, subduction zones harbor the greatest threats for truly enormous earthquakes, with magnitudes from 8 to 9 and even higher. In 1960 a quake off the coast of Chile had a magnitude of 9.5 – the highest ever on record. Quakes that enormous have major ground shaking that lasts for a terrifyingly long time, and they can create large tsunami at sea. In addition, such quakes have numerous aftershocks, quakes that in their own right are significant.

The scale used by geologists to measure earthquakes has its complexities. In California, the Loma Prieta quake of 1989 had a magnitude of 6.9. In 2002 a quake with magnitude 7.9 struck Denali Park, Alaska. The Alaskan quake, measuring a single unit higher on the magnitude scale, released more than 30 times more energy than the smaller Loma Prieta quake.

The most recent mega-quake in Cascadia is estimated to have had a magnitude between 8.7 and 9.2. It occurred on January 26, 1700. We know about it both from physical evidence here in our country and from written records of a tsunami that arrived in Japan some hours after the quake. The sobering fact is that we could have a similar event again, and at any time.

We can’t predict the date of the next major earthquake in the U.S. but we can anticipate some likely impacts it will have. In Cascadia the dangers spring both from ground shaking and flooding along the coasts and estuaries due to tsunami. The Oregon Legislature commissioned a report that estimated more than $30 billion in property could be lost when the next Big One hits. The death toll might stand at around 10,000 from such an event.

It behooves those of us who live in earthquake country – whether in the lower Midwest, California or Cascadia – to educate ourselves about risks. Having several days worth of food and water on hand, and a way to cook up some vittles, are simple goals most of us can achieve.

 Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

One Big Eruption

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

When I was a child, I read a lot of murder mysteries. At a young age I favored the books featuring Miss Marple by Agatha Christie. When I was a bit older I fell in love with Lord Peter Wimsey in the books by Dorothy Sayers. No matter the book, I liked to follow along as the hero of the tale put the clues together to figure out who-done-it.

So the quote from the BBC News got my attention. It was from Prof. Franck Lavigne of the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in France.

“We didn’t know the culprit at first, but we had the time of the murder and the fingerprints,” Lavigne said.

It wasn’t literally a murder that Lavigne was discussing, although many deaths may have been related to what happened. Instead, the mystery was one that hinged on geology. What’s at issue was evidence that a major volcanic eruption occurred somewhere in the world in the year 1257. The eruption was large enough its geochemical signature – or fingerprints – show up in both Arctic and Antarctic ice of medieval age.

In Europe, written records show atrocious weather hitting society hard one year later in 1258. It was cold and rainy throughout the growing season that year, with flooding replacing good harvests. In London, thousands of people were buried in mass graves, possibly due to hunger weakening the population and making it more susceptible to disease.

But where was the smoking gun, the volcano that had caused the problem? Candidates had been put forward in New Zealand, Mexico and Ecuador, but none of them quite fit the time or the specific chemical fingerprint found in the volcanic material buried in the ice.

Recently an international team of researchers announced their evidence that the Samalas Volcano on Lombok Island, Indonesia was the culprit that caused short-lived but worldwide climate change. The team looked at several different types of evidence, including sulfur and volcanic dust traces in ice, as well as what’s found at Lombok. They also did radiocarbon dating of materials and they even checked with local written records that tell of the fall of the Lombok Kingdom in the 1200s.

“The evidence is very strong and compelling,” said Prof. Clive Oppenheimer of Cambridge University, speaking to the BBC.

Oppenheimer, Lavigne and their colleagues tied together the evidence of the far-away ice with material found in the Lombok region. They argue that about 10 cubic miles of volcanic material was hurled skyward in an enormous eruption. The smallest particles launched upward would have reached an altitude of 25 miles or more. Only such an enormous eruption would have carried volcanic materials in the quantities identified in Antarctic and Greenland ice layers. And an eruption on that scale would have made for significant climate change.

It’s not always that scientists are given a full set of clues that wrap fully around the world. But such appears to have been the case in the mystery of what happened in the year 1257.

 Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

Letter to Editor: 11-27-13


The biggest reason for the moral downfall that exists in the U.S.A. is the so-called Supreme Court of the United States of America. I am referring to two major decisions.

The 1973 decision that allowed the murder of millions of unborn babies – Roe verses Wade. Does anyone believe the authors of our constitution would allow the murder of babies? Or same sex marriage? At conception babies are persons. The baby is an individual carrying both the mother’s and father’s DNA. Why is it that the father has no say whether or not to end an unborn baby’s life?

As for same sex marriage is concerned, I believe the so-called Supreme Court does not have the authority to render such outrageous decisions.

The Defense of Marriage was passed by the people of California. The Congress of the United States passed The Defense of Marriage Act. How can five members of the so-called Supreme Court override Federal and State laws?

Our country has no right to preach morals to other countries as long as evil decisions exist. Wake up people, these decisions must be struck down!

I have recently seen on television and in the newspaper, that our government is considering keeping troops in Afghanistan until 2024. I strenuously object to this insanity. We don’t need any more of our troops killed or wounded.

And why do we have such a large National debt? As ex-President Clinton stated during a campaign, it’s the economy, stupid. In this instance it’s the cost of Mideast wars that’s stupid. It is one of the biggest reasons for the national debt. Pull the troops out of Afghanistan now instead of cutting Social Security, Medicare and other programs that benefit average people.

Contractors have made billions off these Mid-East wars, and million dollar vehicles are being burned because it is too expensive to ship them back to the U.S. What a deception! There are government officials listed periodically in the Muskegon Chronicle, many with toll-free numbers. Call them or write them. It may help them decide to get all troops and contractors out of Afghanistan now. If the President signs an agreement to keep troops in Afghanistan, I will lose all respect for him.

Richard L. Lang, Ravenna

LiveWall and the B.O.B. Commit to Downtown Greening

‘Back to Eden” voted Top 25 in ArtPrize 2013 Will Stay Up at Least Another Year

Grand Rapids, Mich. —  The “Back to Eden” ArtPrize entry by LiveWall, LLC owner David MacKenzie will stay at the B.O.B., for at least for another year.

Ranking in the top 25 during the 2013 ArtPrize competition, “Back to Eden” is a 1400 square foot abstract painting—with plants as the “paint” (mostly annual plants). “Back to Eden” resonated with ArtPrize attendees because of its design, nighttime effect, and environmental statement. It served as a popular backdrop for photography and a stimulus to conversations about environmental stewardship, urban greening, and the importance of plants and nature in our lives.

Originally the plan, for after ArtPrize, was to “take it down,” but neither B.O.B. owner, Gregory Gilmore, nor LiveWall, LLC owner David MacKenzie was ready to do that; MacKenzie and Gilmore met shortly after ArtPrize and discussed the exhibit, and while Gilmore states that “he would love to own it,” he has plans to develop the north side of the B.O.B.’s property in the near future. Gilmore stated that a firm date has not been set for the new development, but plans are moving ahead, and unfortunately the new development will occupy the space where `Back to Eden” currently resides. Instead he offered the use of the space to MacKenzie for joint promotions, to use as an outdoor showroom, and for another ArtPrize entry in 2014.

Mackenzie says, “This is a good arrangement for all concerned; I don’t have to worry about relocating the wall right now. The B.O.B. is a central and highly visible location to showcase our LiveWall system and a broad array of plants.” MacKenzie has already replanted the wall with some 2000+ winter hardy-perennials, and next year plans to replace some of them with colorful annuals, as well as herbs and vegetables for use in the B.O.B.’s various kitchens.

The B.O.B.’s LiveWall installation is located on the north side of the building and is visible and accessible for viewing by the public almost anytime. Neighbors in surrounding offices and condominiums will enjoy watching the seasonal changes including winter colors, springtime foliage, and summertime flowers. It is interesting to note that the LiveWall surrounds the mechanical units and dumpsters of the B.O.B, and these are now surrounded on three sides with colorful plants—it’s a nice way to disguise these elements.

“We know that the public will benefit,” say both Gilmore and MacKenzie—there will be beauty, oxygenation of the air, cooling of the surrounding environment, those sorts of things, and it will be interesting to see how the LiveWall impacts urban wildlife. MacKenzie expects the LiveWall to act as an urban oasis attracting mourning doves, hummingbirds, butterflies, and honeybees.

The B.O.B.’s green wall will be the third publically visible LiveWall system in Grand Rapids. Currently there are 800 square feet of LiveWall on the south and west walls of Grand Rapids’ new Downtown Market, and just recently John Ball Zoo installed a LiveWall on the rooftop of the chimpanzee house.

The LiveWall is one of the features of the Downtown Market which contributes to its environmental statement, energy savings, and its ability to achieve Green Building Council’s LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). Certified LEED buildings cost less to operate and are a physical demonstration of the values of the organizations that own and occupy them.

About LiveWall
Based in Spring Lake, Michigan, LiveWall®, LLC ( is the top horticultural science company in the planted wall industry. Exceptional in design and function, the LiveWall System is developed and manufactured in West Michigan and offers the most effective horticultural solution for vegetated walls.

Click here for Project Photos



Alzheimer’s Association® Provides Ten Important Tips for the Holiday Season

 Early Detection is Important; Know the 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

The holiday season can be busy with travel and visits from family and friends who might not often see one another. This time together may raise questions about a person’s physical and cognitive health. Although some change in cognitive ability can occur with age, memory problems that impact daily living are not a part of typical aging. Recognizing the difference between typical aging and potentially more serious problems can help identify when it may be time to see a doctor.

Early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias is an important step in getting appropriate treatment, care and support services. Following are additional benefits to receiving a diagnosis as early as possible:

Benefits of an early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease
• Benefit from treatments that may improve symptoms and help maintain a level of independence longer.
• Have more time to plan for the future.
• Sign up for and participate in a clinical trial through Alzheimer’s Association TrialMatch® – a free, easy-to-use clinical studies matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, healthy volunteers and physicians with current studies.
• Participate in decisions about care, transportation, living options, financial and legal matters.
• Develop a relationship with doctors and care partners.
• Benefit from care and support services, making it easier to manage the disease.

Individuals may experience one or more of the 10 Warning Signs in different degrees. If you notice any of them, please see a doctor.

Alzheimer’s Association 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events; asking for the same information over and over; relying on memory aides (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on one’s own.
What’s typical: Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.

 2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.
What’s typical: Making occasional errors when balancing a checkbook.

 3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure. People with Alzheimer’s often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes, people may have trouble driving to a familiar location, managing a budget at work or remembering the rules of a favorite game.
What’s typical: Occasionally needing help to use the settings on a microwave or to record a television show.

4. Confusion with time or place: People with Alzheimer’s can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.
What’s typical: Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. For some people, having vision problems is a sign of Alzheimer’s. They may have difficulty reading, judging distance and determining color or contrast. In terms of perception, they may pass a mirror and think someone else is in the room. They may not realize they are the person in the mirror.
What’s typical: Vision changes related to cataracts.

 6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People with Alzheimer’s may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word or call things by the wrong name (e.g., calling a “watch” a “hand-clock”).
What’s typical: Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.

 7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person with Alzheimer’s disease may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. Sometimes, they may accuse others of stealing. This may occur more frequently over time.
What’s typical: Misplacing things from time to time, such as a pair of glasses or the remote control.

8. Decreased or poor judgment. People with Alzheimer’s may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money, giving large amounts to telemarketers. They may pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.
What’s typical: Making a bad decision once in a while.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person with Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects or sports. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. They may also avoid being social because of the changes they have experienced.
What’s typical: Sometimes feeling weary of work, family and social obligations.

10. Changes in mood and personality. The mood and personalities of people with Alzheimer’s can change. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, at work, with friends or in places where they are out of their comfort zone.
What’s typical: Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Anyone with questions about Alzheimer’s disease or seeking information should contact the Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 toll-free Helpline at 800-272-3900 or visit®. Experts are available to take calls from individuals concerned with their own cognitive health, as well as from family members and friends concerned about a family member and seeking resources.

Price introduces measure to increase literacy rates in public schools

Bill would improve third-grade reading proficiency across state

State Rep. Amanda Price today introduced legislation to create a “Third Grade Reading Guarantee” in Michigan’s public schools.

House Bill 5111 improves third-grade reading proficiency by requiring that students meet a minimum benchmark for advancement to the next grade level.

“Reading proficiency is one of the most important measurements in public education, and it is time we make this a top priority for our students,” said Price, R-Park Township. “Similar legislation has been proven effective in Florida and other states, where illiteracy rates have declined because of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.

“If we fail to teach our students to read, we have failed them for the rest of their lives.”

A total of 32 states and the District of Columbia have policies in place to improve third grade reading proficiency, and 14 states require retention of students on the basis of reading proficiency. Most require assessment and remediation for kindergarten through third-grade students.

“Up until third grade, students are learning to read, but beginning in fourth grade, they being reading to learn,” said Price, R-Park Township. “This bill ensures a solid foundation is laid, so we can build a truly competitive, top-notch education on top of it.”

In 2012, 32 percent of third-graders did not meet the minimum reading proficiency benchmark, but less than 1 percent of the 113,000 third-graders in Michigan were retained in their public school.

House Bill 5111 was referred to the House Education Committee.

The Battle of the Bulge

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

We all know the basic medical facts: we should make healthy choices about what we eat and incorporate exercise into our busy lives. Most of the science of weight loss matches common sense. But it’s also true that more and more Americans are overweight or obese. As a nation, we are losing the battle of the bulge. How then can we motivate ourselves to address our ever-growing weight problem?

Recently published results from a study funded by Weight Watchers grabbed some headlines and offer some ideas. The fact the work was backed by Weight Watchers should be borne in mind as we consider the results of the study, but the funding source alone doesn’t mean the results are off base. According to The Los Angeles Times, the work was partially done by researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine, giving the study some independent authority.

The study took 292 people and enrolled half of them in Weight Watchers, the nation’s largest weight loss group that’s mostly built around face-to-face meetings. At the meetings, people (privately) weigh themselves and record their progress. Veterans of weight loss facilitate discussions about different topics relating to diet and exercise. People in the program record what they eat each day, either using pencil and paper or on-line.

The other half of the study’s 292 people were given a package of materials with advice for safe weight loss and sent on their way, alone. Essentially, they had a lot of the same information as the Weight Watchers group, but they had no formal social or emotional support system for what they were trying to accomplish.

Since they were participating in a study to try to lose weight, we can assume that all 292 participants had some basic motivation to shed pounds. But after six months, the difference between the two groups was clear: the people who had the support of the Weight Watchers system did much better than those sent home with the task of losing weight by themselves. At the end of six months, the folks in the Weight Watchers group were almost nine times more likely to have lost 10 percent of their body weight than those sent home to go it alone.

It seems that, at least for many people, group meetings can be useful in the battle of the bulge. That idea is also borne out by the fact that regular attendance at group meetings, according to the study, was the single best predictor of who would shed the most pounds.

We all face many daily temptations when it comes to what we eat. Whether you opt for a food diary and counting calories, a special diet like the low-carb regimen, group meetings such as those offered by Weight Watchers, or something else, what matters is that you find the path that works for you. Talk to your doctor and get started. Weight loss isn’t easy, as I know first hand. But if your health is being affected by carrying too many pounds, it has simply got to be done.

I’m pulling for you.

 Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. 

Community Leaders Awarded as Local Agents of Change

Nine community leaders and initiatives have been recognized as the 2013 Agents of Change. Each year, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce recognizes individuals or projects that have made a positive contribution to the Muskegon Lakeshore and awards them as Agents of Change.

This year’s Agents of Change were recognized at the Sixth Annual Agents of Change Business After Hours celebration, November 7, at Fricano Place.  Here, more than 200 business and community leaders gathered to celebrate.

“The Muskegon Lakeshore community has so much passion and each year we are amazed by the hard work, dedication, and activities these ‘Agents of Change’ bring to our area,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

“This program is a great opportunity for the members and projects of our community that go unnoticed to be recognized for the difference they are making,” said Gary Allore, CFO at Mercy Health and Chairman of the Board for the Muskegon Chamber. “It’s the work of these great community members that make Muskegon such a great place to live, work and play.”

Each year the Chamber partners with WGVU to host this event.  Each of this year’s recipients was interviewed by morning show host, Shelley Irwin. These interviews will air on WGVU FM (95.3 Muskegon, 88.5 Grand Rapids) from 10 – 11 am on Friday, November 22, 2013.


The Muskegon Angels LLC  – Angel Investment Group
The Muskegon Angels LLC, an Angel investment group, was formed in 2012. This group of businesses and economic development leaders are committed to entrepreneurial expansion. Their priority is to assist local businesses and attract other businesses to the area.  The members of the group, Larry Hines, Mike Olthoff, Paul Jackson, John Pridnia and Eric Seifert, started seeking investors for the LLC and currently have 24 committed individuals investing $25,000 per year for five years, which equates $600,000 per year. Their first investment in a new manufacturing company will take place this fall.

Capture Muskegon Public Art Murals – Capture Muskegon Committee
Walldogs, a group of world-class mural painters came to Muskegon after two years of campaigning by Bob Lukens, Director of the Muskegon Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. A committee including co-chairs Sherri Balaskovitz and Len Piasecki, and committee members, Judith Hayner, Bob Lukens, Cathy Bruebaker-Clarke and Ellen Berends put out a call for financial support. This call was answered by Eagle Alloy and the first mural, MUSKEGON PROUD, was dedicated in June 2013. A second mural, underwritten by Alcoa Foundation, MUSKEGON SOARS, was dedicated in September 2013.

Movies on the Beach – Kerry Halloran, winner of a Love Your Community $500 mini-grant
Movies are played during the summer at Pere Marquette Park, on Lake Michigan, where families can bring their beach chairs and picnic baskets to enjoy free movies. Screens and sound systems are donated and the Cinema Carousel Theater provides free popcorn. Kerry submitted an idea for Movies on the Beach to the Love Note grant program of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and was a 2012 winner. Her $500 was used to create Movies on the Beach.

Tom Anderson – Advocate of non-motorized trails
Tom Anderson, owner of The Bicycle Rack in Muskegon and board member of the West Michigan Trails & Greenways Coalition, has been a long-time advocate of non-motorized trails. Tom has been instrumental in the grant approval process that has resulted in millions of dollars being spent to build and/or improve the trails of West Michigan. Tom’s experiences and connections with the railroad and as mayor pro-tem of North Muskegon have provided pathways and support that have been invaluable to the Coalition.

Carla Flanders  – Lakeshore Art Festival
In 2013, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce took over the Art in the Park event with the goal to reinvent it to become a true arts festival. Carla Flanders, an outside consultant, was hired to take on this challenge. Her efforts were extremely successful and in a short period of time, Carla put together a committee of people who had prior festival experience as well as a strong volunteer contingent to assist with event logistics and to comfortably share ideas and opinions. The first year festival yielded more than 50,000 people in attendance over two days and plans are already underway for 2014.

Girls on the Run  – Melissa Reid
Girls on the Run is a positive youth development program which combines training for a 5k with an interactive curriculum to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles in 3rd through 8th grade girls. In fact, the Muskegon County program is one of the fastest growing Girls on the Run programs in the nation. During the 2012-2013 season, over 1,200 girls participated representing 39 schools in Muskegon County. Melissa and her husband brought this national curriculum to Whitehall 8 years ago. With Melissa’s leadership, the program has been rapidly growing.

VanKampen Boyer Molinari Foundation/Hampton Green Farm -Joan Mack
This family foundation is dedicated to the needs of non-profit organizations in Michigan and Florida. The foundation is focused on family and community welfare, the arts and equestrianism. Hampton Green Farm, a world class dressage training facility in Fruitport, is the Foundation’s host location for non-profit organizations to hold fundraising events in Michigan. The Boyers open their farm to 14 non-profit organizations every summer. The Foundation will pick up all costs associated to the event, with the non-profit keeping all of the proceeds. Over the last four years, hosted non-profit events at HGF have garnered $200,000 in revenue.

Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce  - Dancing with the Local Stars
Dancing with the Local Stars began in 2009 as a fundraiser for local food pantries. In five years, this event has raised over $310,405 benefiting more than thirty local organizations. DWLS is a local version of the nationally-known Dancing with the Stars. Stars are high-profile members of the community who volunteer their time practicing endless hours to entertain sell-out audiences. Planning and executing this event takes hundreds (maybe even thousands) of volunteer hours and about 50 committee and sub-committee members from WDCC.

Kid’s Food Basket – Kris Collee, Program Manager
One in four Michigan children goes hungry every day. Kids’ Food basket, based in Grand Rapids, helps children get nourished to be their best in school and in life through the Sack Supper program. Kids’ Food Basket is the only organization in West Michigan focused solely on childhood hunger. Muskegon was blessed to become the program’s first satellite operation. Today, two full-time employees and hundreds of volunteers and donors are packing and delivering 600 nutritious Sack Suppers EVERY DAY for children in our community’s most impoverished neighborhoods.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is the premier business membership organization on the lakeshore representing approximately 1,150 businesses and organizations. The Muskegon Chamber represents businesses of every size and type all over West Michigan. The Chamber is celebrating 120 years in operation working to sustain an environment for business success through community leadership, promotion, inclusive business advocacy and valued member services. The Muskegon Chamber is a three-time award winning Chamber, being named Chamber of the Year for the State of Michigan in 2006, 2010, and 2012 by the Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals.

Friends of Hackley Public Library

The Friends of Hackley Public Library of Muskegon, Michigan announces the launching of its new annual Corporate Sponsorship and Membership program. This program is designed to attract corporations, businesses and business professionals to join the Friends in its many fundraising efforts aimed at preserving and enhancing the venerable Hackley Public Library’s programs and facilities for the lasting benefit of the greater Muskegon community.

The Friends current project is to raise $100,000 to fund the development and furnishing of a community gathering space in the library’s lower level, creating a much-needed meeting facility in centrally located downtown Muskegon.

Several sponsor levels may be selected, each of which will provide recognition at one or all of four signature events held throughout the year – the Hackley Distinguished Lecture series, the annual Friends Book Sale, the Bling Thing jewelry sale and the member’s Candlelight Evening event. A Champion Sponsor level which includes all four signature events as well as a basic Corporate Member level are also available.

The Friends of Hackley Public Library was established in 1973 as an independent non-profit charitable 501(C)3 organization dedicated to promote, support and benefit the library through memberships, fund-raising projects, events and other activities designed to enrich our community.

For additional information contact Carolyn Madden, President at (231) 286- 3687 or

Muskegon County to kick off Juvenile Transition Center Project

Bob Lukens, CDME

Muskegon, MI – Muskegon County will kick off construction for its new Juvenile Transition Center (JTC) by hosting a Groundbreaking Ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, at its new location at 205 E. Apple Avenue. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

Currently, the JTC is located on a rural site 12 miles from downtown Muskegon. The new 25,000 square-foot facility will expand its capacity from 12 to 32 residents. The new facility will be built at the county’s Pine Street South Campus near other downtown county offices, with completion slated for September of 2014.

“We’re thrilled to see this project come to fruition” said Vernon Oard, Muskegon County Youth Services Director. “Having this new facility closer to other county services will greatly increase the treatment and support options for Muskegon County youth and their families.”


The JTC, a Secure co-educational caring institution functions within the Muskegon County Department of Corrections, will look and feel different than the existing facility. For example, the new JTC will feature brick veneer and a pitched roof looking more residential than institutional, and interior spaces will feel more like living areas than confinement areas.

The new center will promote the county’s contemporary approach to juvenile rehabilitation with an enhanced focus on education. Individualized learning programs, substance abuse counseling, social skills, character development and recreational programs will give each person an opportunity to develop accountability and achieve personal growth.

“The goal is to provide a safe and secure environment that will allow these young people to transition back into their families and society so they can become successful students, citizens and employees,” said Oard.

Granger Construction Company will serve as Construction Manager for the new JTC and the Adult Detention Center project, designed by GMB Architects and Engineers of Holland, MI and Goldberg Group Architects, PC, a criminal justice architect from St. Joseph, Missouri.

Muskegon – A Destination Wedding Town?

Brides and grooms from around the state and even the country are choosing Muskegon as their wedding location.

Mkg Destination Weddings

Muskegon has dozens of unique venues for weddings and many with lakefront views. These locations have seen a recent uptick in couples coming to Muskegon to celebrate their vows.

“The majority of the couples, with no family ties here, are coming from the east side of the state. They want to get married along Muskegon’s waterfront,” said Laurel Sass, Watermark 920 General Manager. “We have even had a couple travel from as far as Florida to get married here,” she added.

Ying Woellhaf, Event Coordinator at the Century Club Ballroom said they just had a bride from Detroit who found their venue online and chose Muskegon to have her wedding because of the unique vintage chic space and the friendliness of the vendors in Muskegon.

Darlene Witham, Director of Sales for the Shoreline Inn and Conference Center said, “People are becoming more familiar with the beauty of the water here and we have a growing potential to see the number of destination weddings increase over the next couple years.

Shoplifting suspect arrested with foil-lined purse

Community: Fruitport Township Police arrest shoplifting suspect with foil-lined purse.

On 11/27/2013, officers from Fruitport Township Police Department were at The Lakes Mall regarding a shoplifting incident. While dealing with that incident, a female subject exited the same store into the mall, passing directly in front of uniformed police officers. Security devices attached to merchandise concealed inside her purse triggered an alarm.


Foil lining in a purse

Officers confronted the suspect and recovered stolen merchandise from the store concealed inside her purse. Upon further investigation, officers discovered the suspect had lined her purse with tinfoil – which is often believed to interfere with the security devices being detected as the tagged merchandise passes through the sensors near the exit.

The suspect was taken into custody and lodged at the Muskegon County Jail. In Michigan, it is an additional crime to possess a coated bag, such as the foil-lined purse, intended to shield merchandise from detection by theft detection devices.


As of 11/27/2013, 291 shoplifting incidents (referred to by Michigan statute as Retail Fraud) have been reported to Fruitport Township Police Department. Police anticipate responding to several additional calls over the next few weeks for these types of incidents. In 2012, a total of 382 such incidents were reported in Fruitport Township.


During the busy shopping season, store security will be on high alert for shoplifters. Additional police officers on special assignment over the next few busy shopping days will dedicated specifically to the retail establishments.

Retailers use a variety of methods to deter shoplifting and apprehend shoplifters, including: uniformed and plain-clothed security officers, surveillance cameras, and anti-theft devices.

No further information regarding this incident, including the name of the suspect or the involved store, is being released by police at this time.


“Road Rage” incident

Community: Fruitport Township Police investigate “road rage” incident. 

At approximately 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, November 27, 2013, Fruitport Township Police Department responded to an active fight in the roadway near the intersection of Fruitport Road and S. Walker Road. Upon arrival, police made contact with the involved parties – two adult males, ages 22 and 43 – who had been actively involved in a physical fight at this location.

Investigation revealed this incident stemmed from a traffic incident in which the 22-year-old driver passed the 43-year-old driver on Fruitport Road. According to reports from the involved parties, the 43-year-old driver closely followed the vehicle that just passed him. The 22-year-old applied his brakes, and the following vehicle struck the back of his vehicle.

Both vehicles pulled to the side of the road, and the male subjects exited their vehicles. The subjects got into a physical fight in the roadway. Police responded to the scene.

Neither of the involved parties had serious injuries. No immediate medical treatment was required. There were no weapons involved.

No arrests were immediately made. The report will be forwarded to the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office on Monday for review for criminal charges and traffic violations.

No further information regarding this incident, including the names of the involved parties, is being released at this time.

Business Burglary

Community: Fruitport Township Police investigating business burglary.

Fruitport Township Police Department is investigating a burglary to a business, Pin Crest Lanes, located at 6571 Airline Highway in Fruitport. The incident was reported to police early Saturday morning, and it had taken place during the early morning hours.

Cash and multiple bottles of liquor were stolen from the business.

Fruitport Township Police Department is asking anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact police at (231) 865-8477.

Anonymous tips can be submitted through the Muskegon County Silent Observer program by telephone, text message, or the Silent Observer website. Additional information regarding anonymous reporting can be found at:

No further information regarding this incident or the investigation is being released by police at this time.

Daytime Home Invasion

Community: Fruitport Township Police investigating Daytime Home Invasion – 3800 Block of Heights Ravenna.

Fruitport Township Police Department is investigating a daytime home invasion reported on 11/09/2013.

Police were called to a residence in the 3800 block of Heights Ravenna Road shortly after noon on 11/09/2013. The victim reported being gone from the residence for approximately one hour between 11 a.m. and Noon on this date. Upon returning home, the victim discovered the home had been entered and valuables had been stolen from the residence. The offender(s) had left the scene prior to the victim arriving home.

Items stolen from the residence include jewelry and electronics.

Fruitport Township Police Department is asking anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact police at (231) 865-8477.

Anonymous tips can be submitted through the Muskegon County Silent Observer program by telephone, text message, or the Silent Observer website. Additional information regarding anonymous reporting can be found at:

The victim has offered a $500 reward for the recovery of the stolen property.

No further information regarding this incident or the investigation is being released by police at this time.

Undulant Fever in Cattle and People

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Normally, when a bacterium invades your body, it’s surrounded and engulfed by a white blood cell. At least that’s what we were taught in high school biology. If all goes well, the white blood cell kills the bacterium and the infection is over: case closed.

But a few bacteria have some tricks up their sleeves. One of them is the rod-shaped Brucella bacterium, the agent that causes brucellosis or what is sometimes known as “undulant fever” because it causes people to run debilitating fevers that wax and wane in intensity over long periods of time.

Brucellosis is nasty stuff. Untreated, it makes people sick for years. Over time the bacteria settle in the joints where they can do real damage. Both literally and figuratively, brucellosis is a crippling disease.

People don’t get the malady from people who already have it, but from farm animals like cattle and goats that are infected. Often it’s unpasteurized milk that transmits the disease. Diseases that are transmitted from animals to us are known as zoonotic maladies.

“Raw milk is quite risky in terms of spreading the infection from cattle to people,” Dr. Jean Celli told me recently. Celli is a new researcher at the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University. He studies brucellosis, including how it behaves in the white blood cells of animals and people.

When the brucellosis bacterium is engulfed by a white blood cell, it hides inside a compartment of the cell called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER for short). Normally a white blood cell would kill a bacterium, but once one is inside the ER the white blood cell is hampered in any further response to the invader.

“The brucellosis bacterium multiplies in the ER,” Celli told me. “It can also be transported by the white blood cells and spread elsewhere in the body.”

On the good side, there aren’t any antibiotic resistant strains of Brucella. That helps make the malady treatable. In this country, people who are diagnosed with the disease take antibiotics for several weeks and are generally able to put the disease behind them.

But the situation is different in the developing world. In the first place, making the diagnosis is not simple. The symptoms – fever and fatigue – are the same as for some other diseases, including influenza and malaria. To make a rigorous diagnosis, doctors must culture samples of blood or bone marrow. That requires good laboratory work.

“And then there is the expense of several weeks worth of antibiotics,” Celli said.

Even in the U.S., some people who are given antibiotics may not stick with them for the whole period over which they are prescribed. That means that some patients relapse later on down the road.

“It really changes your life,” Celli said. “People who come down with the infection can be depressed for long periods as a side effect of the disease.”

In short, treating and recovering from brucellosis is nothing to sneeze at. But due to our good system for pasteurizing dairy products, brucellosis is rare in this country. Outside the U.S., however, about half a million people per year are infected. If researchers could better understand how brucellosis works within cells, disease processes could be interrupted via more effective treatment.

“If we knew how the brucellosis bacteria signal the white blood cells to reach the ER and what then leads the bacteria to exit infected cells and spread further, we might be able to develop medications that would stop the infection process,” Celli said.

Beyond that, if research leads to a better understanding of how brucellosis works in our bodies, we might be another step closer to better treatments of other diseases that hijack the immune system – diseases such as salmonella and tuberculosis.

Even setting aside the problems the disease causes people, it’s economically significant in farm animals, especially in the developing world.

Celli’s research into brucellosis is highly technical, and I’m sure it ain’t cheap. But combatting persistent diseases that affect livestock and people is the kind of investment we can make to create a better world for our children – and for the children of farmers living in the developing world.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. This column is a service of the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University.

USS Flier Exhibit

Come to the USS Silversides Submarine Museum for the USS Flier Exhibit! Housed in a replica of the bamboo huts used in the South Pacific during the 1940’s, you will relive the dangers faced by submariners in the war, including a man from West Michigan, and their fight for survival after the sinking of their sub. For more information, visit or call 231-755-1230.

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964

Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964, a new bilingual (English/Spanish) exhibition, will open at The Lakeshore Museum Center on November 16 with Public Reception from Noon to 2:00pm when visitors will have an opportunity to tour the exhibit and share family stories in A Memory Book.

In 1943, President Roosevelt announced the creation of what would become the largest Mexican guest-worker program in U.S. history. Facing labor shortages on the home front during World War II, the United States initiated the emergency Farm Labor Program, more familiarly known as the Bracero Program, which enabled approximately 2 million Mexicans to enter the United States and work on short-term labor contracts. Bracero is a term used in Mexico for manual laborer.

The exhibit will be on display through January 26, 2014. The Lakeshore Museum Center is located at 430 W. Clay Avenue with free admission every day. The Museum is open weekdays from 9:30am to 4:30pm and weekends from Noon to 4:00pm. For more information, call 231-722-0278 or visit

‘Things with Wings’

The ninth annual Fall into the Arts exhibit at the Nuveen Center showcases local student achievement in the arts and gives community members the opportunity to support the art program at their favorite school. Proceeds from donation buckets placed alongside each group of artwork are returned directly to the school’s art department, allowing the teacher to purchase much-needed supplies despite dwindling school budgets. In lieu of a donation bucket, one school has chosen to put its artwork up for silent auction, allowing bidders to vie for seven handcrafted works of art. The exhibit remains on display now through December 21, 2013. Community members are invited to view the artwork, donate to the school of their choice, and cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award.

The Nuveen Community Center for the Arts is located at 8697 Ferry Street in downtown Montague. Exhibit hours are Tuesday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. There is no charge for admission. Call 231-894-2787 for information about holiday hours.

The Obamacare controversy not getting headlines: Hidden abortion coverage

By Pamela Sherstad

Media headlines like “Glitches hamper rollout of Obamacare website” and “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” have hounded President Barack Obama as national health care reform struggles for traction.

Testimonies of families who received notices of discontinuing health care coverage have reminded the country that national health care reform is not going as planned. Terminally ill people are saddled with the challenge of finding new health care plans and confusion abounds. With so many problems making headlines, one serious issue with the Affordable Care Act that is not getting the attention it deserves is the hidden coverage of abortion in Obamacare insurance plans.

Before Obamacare was passed, prolife people consistently warned the public there was nothing in the law to prevent abortion from being covered in the tax-subsidized plans in the Obamacare insurance exchanges. Instead of being transparent, the Obama administration has attempted to hide which plans cover abortions. While some states, like Michigan, have moved to ban abortion coverage, others have not.

During an October 30, 2013, hearing, Representative John Shimkus (R-IL) pressed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about this lack of transparency and if she knew which plans covered abortion as a number of his constituents did not want to have plans which included paying for the killing of unborn children.

Secretary Sebelius responded by saying, “Sir, I don’t know. I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”

Shimkus followed up and requested that the administration provide the committee with a list of insurers in the exchange who do not provide abortion coverage and Sebelius said, “We should be able to do that.”

Knowing the history of the Obama administration’s previous attempts to hide the abortion coverage in Obamacare, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) has introduced the “Abortion Full Disclosure Act of 2013.” The bill would require abortion coverage to be disclosed and prominently displayed by insurance companies when plans are offered on the Obamacare exchange.

Representative Smith said, “Americans have a right to know upfront and with full transparency when they are purchasing a plan that subsidizes the killing of unborn children. Even the most ardent advocate of abortion should embrace full disclosure.”

To learn more about prolife legislation, please visit Right to Life of Michigan online at

WMKG TV CH38 Going Digital

Fenton Kelley, owner of WMKG television announced today that WMKG TV CH38 will be going digital and adding three additional broadcast channels.

Construction is underway to add digital channels by the first of December.

There will be a Channel 49 – 1 which will be Channel 38’s regular programming. Channel 49 – 2 is scheduled to be country videos along with local music videos, and channel 49  – 3 is yet to be determined.

This move will increase the range of the broadcast  to 45 miles or more.

Acme Antenna and tree service will be installing the large antenna by late November.

Channel 38 which was originally Channel 40 went on the air in 1990 and is still family owned although Fenton has placed the station up for sale and wishes to retire.

WMKG Channel 38 is one of the few independently owned television stations broadcasting 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Channel 38 will remain on the air with it’s regular programming which includes local church services, bible studies, square dancing and high school sports along with many syndicated programs.