Monthly Archives: January 2014

Police seeking assistance with suspect identification – Fruitport Township.

Fruitport Township Police Department is seeking assistance from the public in helping to identify a male subject from surveillance camera images.


Surveillance videos from 01/11/2014 show a male subject involved in thefts from multiple unlocked vehicles in the area of Shettler and Quarterline in Fruitport Township. Police are trying to identify that individual.

Those that may be able to assist police in identifying this individual are asked to contact Fruitport Township Police Department at (231) 865-8477.

Anonymous tips can also be given through the Muskegon County Silent Observer program at (231) 72-CRIME, or through Silent Observer web page or text message application:

“We are confident someone in the area will recognize the individual depicted in the surveillance video images.”


Community members are encouraged to lock their vehicles, refrain from leaving valuables inside their vehicles, and report all suspicious activity to the police.

No further information regarding the incidents or the investigation is being released at this time.

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

For full details, view this message on the web.


Reverend R. A. Shackles

It is not that we think to “earn” love that as Christians we desire to achieve “great works.” That has it all wrong. It doesn’t work. The real secret is that as Christians, we come to know that, undeserving as we are, we are loved, powerfully and profoundly, by our God. In gratitude – because we are loved —it is our special joy to set ourselves to offering “great things” to glorify our God. And great things do happen. The Love of God simply “works” that way. It is a work of a Christian to make our lives acts of loving God. It brings great things into our world.


Reverend R. A. Shackles

Among radical feminists there is a strong misunderstanding of the relationship between the Church’s regard for women and the objection that the Church disrespects the contribution of women. The reality is that women have, from the beginning—Eve in the Garden of Eden—throughout every aspect of Church life to the present have exercised great influence and have been magnificently respected and revered for their invaluable contributions to the spiritual power of the Church. It is in rejection of this radical feminist “judgment” against the Church that we offer this essay.

The Old Testament evidences numerous examples of women’s effectiveness in Jewish history. There is the impact of Eve on Adam with his negative impact on the Church. Perhaps a problem for some women today lies in our allowing our evaluation of women to be smothered in the loss known in the Fall. Today’s feminist anger at the Church, in this sense, stands as based in the fault of failing to know and understand real history. Some of the most powerful effects of the quality of the true Church have been the effect women like Deborah as Judge (Ruler) in Israel’s life; Sarah and her faithful effect on Abraham. Always made clear un God’s affection for women in His honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary in making her Mother of His Son. Women continue to impact the Church in such as Mary Magdalene as the first witness to the Risen Christ; for Paul, there were women like Priscilla who with her husband, was a close adviser to that Saint, as many other named women in the New Testament.

Later, especially in medieval times, the power of the Church was marvelously sustained by great women – now revered as Saints — whose witness much of the time saved the Church from the errors of the men charged with leadership in the Apostolic call to Christ’s truth. Here is a list—not complete by any means – of holy women of whom it may be suggested saved the Church from failure in faith and doctrine, especially their spiritual integrity.

Angela of Foligno (1248-1309); Birgitta of Sweden (b. 1302); Madeileinne de Saint-Joseph (17th century); Catherine of Siena (b. 1847, d. 1380); Teresa of Avila (b. 1515, d. 1582); Mechthild of Magdeburg c. 1208, c. 1282/94); Hadewijch (13th century); Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179); Julian of Norwich (14th-15th century); and Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510).

These great ladies of the Lord often took bishops to task, including major rebukes even to Popes! It was a great leader, Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, in England, who forced a divided church (Celtic and Roman) to resolve their conflicts and come to unity. In great part, it was Teresa of Avila who was responsible for leading to faith incredibly pious St. John of the Cross. All of the above-named women – and so many more — brought a witness to the Faith that on occasion literally saved the Church (as institution) from herself. Even today, these women are listened to, long after their earthly witness. Some like Julian of Norwich and Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila,Angela of Fotigna – and others – still influencing Christians by their wonderful contributions to the Faith.

It continues still (though admittedly not with the same “public” acclamation). In a popular book catalog, the listings for powerful women spiritual leaders takes up a number of pages, women impressive in the list of spiritual leaders. And who even for a moment can fail to recall a saintly woman—who, again, chided even Popes! — Mother Theresa of Calcutta? The point to radical feminists protesting against a supposed anti-feminine Church is, as an old comedy tape of an evangelist, “open up the Book and take a look.” Put simply it is not that women have been disrespected by the Church. Rather, it is that many, not having “read the record,” literally just don’t know what they are talking about – the truth that women have been powerful in the witness of the Church – and are increasingly so in contemporary times.


Reverend R. A. Shackles

In the Epiphany season of the Church’s year, this time for the showing forth of Jesus as well as the individual Christian’s work of becoming a reflection of this Light of Christ by our lives, it is very important to consider all of the pragmatic consequences of this task. One of the most important concerns is understanding all the difficulty of this work. For in showing a reflection of Christ’s Light, we are putting ourselves before the world with a profoundly risky undertaking. Once we show ourselves to be believers, proclaiming by our actions that we believe Jesus is Lord, in today’s world is to invite ridicule and varying other forms of abuse — from a secular cultural bound and determined to put us down.

As anyone in any way on the front line of proclaiming, “I am of Christ,” you will have no lack of challenge from an increasingly faithless culture. To face this, more, to make the witness requires not so much a strong faith as a willingness to take on this evangelical task of proclamation of the Good News, to be willing to take the unfriendly thrusts of those whose determination is to not only suppress, but indeed to eliminate the Church from public discourse. So it is no wonder or surprise that large numbers of believers retreat into the quietness of “a private faith.”

But that is a counsel for defeat; one that simply encourages success for the enemies of the Church. The Gospel is a counsel to life; a call to accept the whole promise of Christ as answer to the hope of finding, entering and living in the Kingdom of God. Inspired by the love of God, gracefully given, the Church — and each individual Christian—is called to stand forth for Christ in all aspects of human existence. Love is meant to be given away, shared by all the world. Jesus came, lived, died and rose to give us all a welcome into His Kingdom.

The point of Epiphany is that as the Holy Light has now become manifested to the world, we who call ourselves “children of the Light” was not retreat into private faith. That commitment, sense of giving up becomes unsustainable apart from the Master in the world created by His Father. And now, in a time of open attack upon the Faith, this is acutely important — as is the effect to which Epiphany calls us – the courageous standing forth to defend and proclaim the faith, in a refusal to be bullied or suppressed by the secular forces of the world. To every opposition, we must refuse to submit, or give ground. Every secular enactment against us saying “you cannot” we must openly reply “we must” and proceed to share our life in fearlessly proclaiming Christ no matter what inconvenience put in our way. This is a time for more and more believers to unite in one unified commitment to announce – and live by it—“Here, Lord, are we! Now send us into and support us in the battle. ‘ This world needs such a ready Company of Witnesses.


Reverend R. A. Shackles

Can prayer bring healing miracles to pass? This is a highly ambiguous area among Christians in our many variants of church life. Sadly, a misunderstanding on the subject has often encouraged what may create a dangerous conviction. Depending on miracles has tempted many people to ignore the wonders of modern medicine, including the contributions of psychology and psychiatry. Thus many have substituted prayer as the only answer, leading to “religious” refusal of blood transfusions or a belief system predicated on the doctrine that illness is merely a defect of thinking.

Based on the evidence of Scripture, there is no question that healing prayer many times, historically, has indeed produced “miracles” of cure. Still, there are many, countless examples in which despite intense prayer “campaigns” physical healing has not resulted. But, if we understand prayer rightly, that is no cause to lose faith, trust in our Lord’s promise of the benefits of prayer. Often, if not to say for the most part, prayer in sickness is effective for its power to keep us open to the sustaining strength God gives us when we thus put our lies entirely in His Love and Grace.

As one currently in treatment for cancer, I am being cured by the discoveries of modern medicine and I am grateful. Even more, my readiness to trust the medical profession is make sure, as I have made faith the appeal of my prayers. Through prayer, I quickly lost my fear of “the dreaded C-word.” god has filled me with the confidence of His Love that whatever is right for me in His sight is what prayer gives me courage to accept.

In other words, the results in exercising the power of prayer are able to be accepted as what seems appropriate to God’s plan. In any case, the effective prayer is summed up better in trusting God’s Love to sustain and “carry us through” than in tempting our Lord and God by an attitude of, “Heal me, God, or I will refuse to believe you.” That is an antidote not of life but a dose of poison to truth. It is trite, but appropriate to say, “Pray—and believe God loves you, no matter what.” It works.


Reverend R. A. Shackles

I sit looking through a wide expanse of windows overlooking a beautiful planting of pine trees and ornamental grasses. There is a lovely waterfall at one end, a touch that never fails to draw the sense of tranquility only well-planted gardens give. Beyond that, a steady stream of traffic passes, including a large number of ambulances.

I’m sitting in the infusion room of the Johnson Family Cancer Center on the campus of a major medical center. I am, much to my a sense of continuing surprise, not a visitor but a patient. The infusion room is where I and as many as fifteen or more others are receiving chemotherapy. The identifying “infusion room” has a rather somber, even defeatist sound

I am now part of a tremendously fascinating fellowship—cancer patients hoping for their turn to say, “I’m a survivor!”Actually I am one of the luckier ones.My cancer – lymphoma – I am told is one of the easier to cure. Still it demands much – like sitting for three hours one day to receive my healing “cocktail,” an hour again the next day and, two days later, an injection to control the effects of the first two day.

As I said, “infusion” has a depressingly clinical, technical ring to it – a mystic process endured because it is the way cancer has to be treated. But I am anything but depressed or threatened. The cancer is tragedy, indeed. But the mood, the atmosphere in this busy treatment room is one of tranquility akin to the quiet beauty I observe through the windows. For I discovered in this cancer center there is no depression.We all know why we are there. But in this facility there is a difference because the mood is joy, the conscious awareness that for all of us, there is a new hope, fostered by a settled spiritual depth of confident faith.

It feeds the strength of a very competent staff, all of whom confidently expect that healing of cancer for all of us. There is a gentle, happy attitude in every staff member. The realization comes that this is genuine. It is not a “a good face” of hope against hope. Literally every staff member believes in their work and each brings to it a joy – often verbally expressed – that, as they say, it is so good to help us patients through rather daunting challenges to our competent ure.

So, halfway through my scheduled treatments, I sit – anchored to a drip stand —looking out into a world seeming cruel to many, for falling victim to cancer, but now seeing a new community for me in which again and again caring health professionals at many levels show me clearly that I am their special concern. And out of this, a time and place thought, expected to be depressing, has come a fresh, new assurance that I know – as the others perceive – a blessed tranquility I had not expected. The cancer center —integrated by this strong influence of faith practiced — is a comfortably happy community where everyone is known and respected by name— just as the witness of our Lord teaches us things ought to be. The world I look out on from that infusion room is a precious gift, not a threat.And I thank God for being brought here where hope is certainly fulfilled. I am grateful—and I’m getting better! Who can say there are no miracles?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore

Greetings from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore,

We are excited to share with you that January is National Mentoring Month.  There are 16 agencies in Michigan and each agency is celebrating their Volunteers in different ways. Learn more about what Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore is doing by contacting our Director – Cindy Timmerman.

Upcoming Events:
• January 24th – Volunteer Appreciation Dinner @ United Way of the Lakeshore

• March – Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2014 visit website for dates, times and locations



Muskegon, MI  January 2nd, 2014 – Established in 2002 by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, National Mentoring Month (NMM) aims to bring national attention to the ever growing need for volunteers to serve as mentors for youth. The initiative provides a wealth of resources and strategies for individuals, companies, and organizations enabling communities to cohesively work together to recruit mentors. Youth paired with caring adult mentors have shown positive trends in social and scholastic outcomes including academic improvements, progressive views regarding higher education ambitions, the avoidance of risky behaviors including drug/alcohol usage and skipping school, and improved socio-emotional responses to both peers and family. Increasing the number of available mentors continues to support optimistic outcomes for our nation’s youth.

As the nation’s oldest donor and volunteer-supported mentor recruitment network, Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies provide an evidence-based solution to recruiting and retaining program mentors, serving thousands of children through the U.S. annually. This January, in support of National Mentoring Month, the Michigan Big Brothers Big Sisters Alliance comprised of 16 Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies in the state of Michigan, has planned a host of recruitment events and campaigns.  Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore will be hosting a dinner to honor our Bigs.  Littles who have nominated their Big for Big of the Year will read their nomination letter at the dinner.  The agency will be awarding the Big Brother and Big Sister of the year to those individuals who have gone above and beyond to help their Littles become Confident, Competent and Caring individuals.

The goal of each campaign and/or event is to continue to create community awareness of the need for mentors in the respective areas, as well recognize the ongoing commitment of current agency volunteers. Each agency encourages community participation as they look to celebrate the dedication of local mentors and recruit additional volunteers in support of the children waiting for a caring adult mentor.

For more information regarding local Big Brothers Big Sisters National Mentoring Month activities, contact Cindy Timmerman, Executive Director, at 231-789-1391 or

Upcoming Events:
• January 24th – Volunteer Appreciation Dinner @ United Way of the Lakeshore

• March – Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2014 visit website for dates, times and locations

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore
Locally Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore has served thousands of children, volunteers and families in Ottawa, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason and Lake Counties since 1969. The agency currently serves over 165 Littles through traditional one-on-one community based matches and will again serve up to 16 Littles at Edgewood Elementary in Muskegon Heights through a Lunch Buddy’s mentoring program.  For more information visit our website or follow us on Twitter: @BigLilLakeshore and Facebook:

Start Something.  Be a Friend.  Be a Mentor. Be a Donor.  Just be there!!

Mercury Contamination from the Good Old Days

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

When I was a younger and more sprightly woman, I spent part of my life investigating unusual hot springs in rural California. They were salty and quite stinky springs out in the middle of nowhere, and several of them occurred right in the center of an old gold-laced mercury deposit.

No one was actively mining the small area where the springs are found – there just wasn’t enough ore to make the project economic. But the rocks of the location had small veins of chalcedony, calcite and other minerals that had elevated values of both gold and mercury in them. Working with a couple of colleagues, I took samples of the spring waters, the gases bubbling out of the springs, the precipitates forming around them, and anything that looked interesting in the nearby rocks.

The fieldwork had its challenges. In the afternoon it was routinely over 100 degrees, and the sun was relentless. One afternoon I even flirted with heat stroke. Another problem was that the rattlesnakes were numerous and big.

I spent a lot of time in the laboratory back east analyzing the waters of the springs. They were transporting gold, and the question was how. Gold is normally quite insoluble – that’s why it can be used to crown a tooth. Even in an environment rich in warm spit and sips of hot coffee, a golden tooth won’t dissolve away because gold is quite insoluble under most conditions. But clearly the hot springs were different. In the end, I concluded that sulfur in the spring waters was keeping the gold in solution until the waters broke to the surface and the gold precipitated out as temperature and gas concentrations changed.

There were some other interesting things about the strange springs, too. Some of the cooler ones had the larval stage of an insect living in them. I took samples of the wiggling little creatures and gave them to a biologist to identify. The insect normally lives around the ocean in salt-marshes, but it was making use of the salty springs even though they were well inland.

The area where I worked in California hadn’t played a direct role in the Gold Rush of 1849. There just wasn’t enough gold around the hot springs to have caught the attention of the Old Timers who made fortunes elsewhere in California. But the place where I worked had been mined for mercury, including back in the old days. That was because mercury was used to concentrate gold in materials miners elsewhere were processing.

In the old days, miners worked with pans, hydraulic hoses, and sluices to remove and concentrate gold-rich sediment. Because gold is attracted to mercury, the miners poured liquid mercury on the earthen material they had concentrated. The gold moved into the mercury. The miners could then heat the mercury and boil it away, leaving a concentrated “button” of gold behind.

There was a lot of mercury being slopped around in the old processes the miners used. Much of it went into the air when the miners heated the mercury-gold mixture, but some of the mercury stayed behind, in the sediments.

New research is highlighting the environmental challenges those old mining techniques continue to create for us today. As explained in a recent piece on the website Inside Science, one of the key places at issue is the Yuba Fan, a volume of sediment built up around the Yuba River, a tributary of the Sacramento River.

“The Yuba Fan is totally artificial, created by humans,” Michael Singer of the University of St. Andrews said to Inside Science.

The Yuba Fan contains more than a billion cubic yards of sediment. Terraces in the fan act like small dams, keeping the material from moving downstream. But about once every ten years there is a substantial flood that kicks loose materials that then move downhill toward the lowlands – which include agricultural areas like California’s rice fields.

The recent research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is a measure of its importance. In part because California’s agricultural bounty is a keystone to all of us who like to eat, I’m sure more follow-up research will be done.

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.

A New Medication that May Help People Stay Sober

By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Alcoholism runs in part of my family. I lost a grandfather to it, and a couple of others in the family have been affected by it to greater or lesser degrees. Perhaps something like that is true for you, or maybe you have a friend or coworker who wrestles with the malady.

This is a challenging time of year for alcoholics trying to stay sober. New Year’s Eve alone can be a real test.

But medical researchers are investigating new ways that doctors may be able to help people not drink. One method, recently written up by NPR’s “Shots” website, is a medication called gabapentin. Gabapentin — the generic equivalent of the brand name drug Neurontin — has been used for years to treat a variety of ailments ranging from epilepsy to bipolar disease to fibromyalgia.

Recently researchers at the National Institutes of Health did a study of gabapentin and its effects on people with alcoholism. They enrolled 150 people in a 12-week experiment. Everyone who signed up to be part of the study got counseling. Some of the people in the study were given placebos, while others received either 900 or 1,800 milligrams of gabapentin daily.

The people taking the 1,800 milligram dose of the drug drank nothing during the study four times as often as the placebo group. And, if they did drink, they were more likely to refrain from heavy drinking. In other words, it looks like gabapentin helped — results that were recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dr. Barbara J. Mason was the leader of the research effort. She thinks that gabapentin is useful to people with alcoholism who are trying to stay dry because it helps lessen some of the withdrawal symptoms people often encounter when they stop drinking.

“Gabapentin improved sleep and mood in people who were cutting down or quitting drinking,” Mason told NPR. Feelings of anxiety and losing sleep are often experiences that drive people to start drinking again, she said.

One good thing about gabapentin compared to some other medications is that it isn’t processed by the liver. That’s important because the livers of people with alcoholism are often damaged from years of drinking. Gabapentin moves from the stomach to the blood to the kidneys and finally into the urine, all mostly unchanged.

But there is still a long road to travel before gabapentin is considered by the Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for alcoholism. And even if the FDA took action today to approve gabapentin for such use, people who suffer from alcoholism would still have a tough row to hoe.

“It’s not magic,” Mason said. “And making big behavior changes is hard work.”

Still, it’s good to know researchers may be finding new ways to aid people with alcoholism in the struggle to stay sober.

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.


Muskegon County Calendar of Events

Click on the link below to view the Muskegon County Calendar of Events on the Visit Muskegon web site:

Ongoing Events:

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

Snowshoe! Luge! Skate! XC Ski!
The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is officially open for the winter season! Open daily from 10:00am-10:00pm but please always check their snow status website page to make sure before heading out at There is much to do in the snow at the Sports Complex. You can purchase your annual state recreation pass at the complex for $11.00 and out of state guests $8.40.

Harmony in Stone
Come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for Jason Quigno: Harmony in Stone. Grand Rapids Native American artist Jason Quigno is known for his carved and honed stone sculptures.

Pauline Palmer, Impressionist: Chicago’s Painter Lady
Come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for Pauline Palmer: Chicago’s Painter Ladym, through February 23, 2014. This MMA organized exhibition is developed around seven paintings from a Michigan collector whose family maintained a close friendship with the

The Woodcarving of Lamidi Fakeye
Using sculptures, photographs, charts and maps, this exhibition explores the career of internationally celebrated Yoruba woodcarver Lamidi Olonade Fakeye. In addition to showcasing the artist’s work, the exhibition also examines the traditions surrounding woodcarving, especially in regard to the master/apprentice relationship.

Thursdays are FREE at the Muskegon Museum of Art
Drop in for a free tour of the Muskegon Museum of Art every Thursday. If you prefer a guided tour, docents will lead you through the Museum’s new Centennial Collection every Thursday between 1:00pm and 3:00pm. No reservations needed! Call the museum for more information at 231-720-2574 or visit them online at Located at 296 W. Webster Ave. in downtown Muskegon.

Live Music at the Book Nook & Java Shop
There’s always something fun happening at the Book Nook & Java Shop! Come join us every Friday and Saturday from 6:00pm-8:00pm for live music from local talent. The Book Nook & Java Shop is located at 8744 Ferry St. in Montague. Call 231-894-5333 for more information or visit

Muskegon Indoor Winter Market
Returning for the cold weather friends with hot specialty coffees and breads and so much more is the Muskegon Indoor Winter Market beginning Saturday December 7 at 350 W. Western Ave at Second Street from 9:00am – 2:00pm. To have a table please contact Keith at 231-578-5085.

Sweetwater Winter Market!
Sweetwater Local Foods Market is a year round Farmers Market located at 6401 Harvey St in Muskegon, MI. Open every Saturday from 9-1 through December 28th. Every other Saturday in January, February & March.

Public Ice Skate
Gather your friends, family & neighbors to head over to the LC Walker Arena and enjoy the coolness of the ice while ice skating to upbeat music from 1:00pm-2:30pm. You can be a pro or are skating for the first time, you will see many friendly faces skating too! Admission and skate rental (if you don’t have your own skates) are both just $4.00 each.