Author Archives: editor

Secretary Benson Names Jonathan Brater Director of Elections

directorbraterLANSING – Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has named Jonathan Brater as the incoming Director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

Brater will begin Jan. 2, following the retirement of current director Sally Williams. Brater has worked alongside Williams for the past 11 months as he focused on elections while serving as the Department of State’s Legal Policy Director. He previously served as counsel for the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program, a non-partisan nonprofit, where his work focused on modernizing elections in partnership with secretaries of state around the country. A nationally recognized expert on voter registration law and policy, he graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as executive editor of the Michigan Law Review.

“Throughout his career Jonathan has demonstrated his commitment to secure, non-partisan election administration,” said Benson. “His deep expertise of elections practice nationally and in Michigan will be of tremendous benefit to the state.”

Williams also praised Brater: “Jonathan has worked with us tirelessly to ensure Michigan’s elections are executed effectively and without bias. He will have a great team of similarly dedicated employees, and I know he will be an excellent elections director.”

Brater, an Ann Arbor native, was selected after an open application process that began shortly after Williams announced her retirement last month. She will stay on through the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition. Williams served as Director of Elections for two years, succeeding Chris Thomas, who held the position for 36 years, and currently chairs the Department of State’s Election Modernization Advisory Committee.

“I feel fortunate for the opportunity to have worked with both Sally and Chris, and humbled by the opportunity to continue their legacy,” said Brater. “I have spent my career seeking to strengthen democracy for all people, and I will continue that work for the people of Michigan.”

Muskegon County Superintendents Testify for Bumstead’s Education Reforms

bumsteadsuperintendentsLast month, I welcomed Fruitport Public Schools Superintendent Bob Szymoniak and Oakridge Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Livezey to Lansing to testify in support of my legislation that would reform the Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC).

Our current requirements don’t always allow students to focus on something they find interesting or excel at.

The MMC went into effect in 2006 and created statewide requirements for all high school students. Prior to the MMC being adopted, graduation requirements were left up to the local school districts.

Senate Bills 600 and 601 would eliminate some specific merit curriculum requirements and once again place control of these decisions in the hands of local districts. Specifically, the bills would eliminate the algebra II requirement, giving students the chance to take other classes that might better prepare them for their future.

For years, a four-year degree was pushed as the only avenue to success, and that is simply not true. There are countless available careers in the trades, and many companies are desperate for qualified workers. Allowing for more flexibility in a student’s graduation requirements would provide more opportunities for students to succeed.

I want to thank superintendents Szymoniak and Livezey for making the trip to Lansing and supporting these reforms. This needs to be an effort that involves educators, administrators, parents and students, and I am happy they lent their time and were willing to be a part of this process. I look forward to hearing more input from folks in my district and across the state.

Hackley Community Care Announces New Chief Medical Officer

Hackley Community Care a nationally ranking community health center announces new Chief Medical Officer appointment.

drkingsleyMuskegon, MI – Hackley Community Care is pleased to announce that Dr. Leslie Kingsley, MD, has been appointed the new Chief Medical Officer for Hackley Community Care. Dr. Kingsley joined Hackley Community Care in 2015 as a family practice physician.

Dr. Leslie Kingsley, DO, received her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and her Bachelors of Biomedical Science Degree from Grand Valley State University. She completed her family practice residency at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, MI.

Dr. Kingsley is a National Health Service Corps Scholar and has served as a volunteer for the American Red Cross, Grand Traverse Health Clinic, and worked as an education coordinator with AmeriCorps Together We Prepare in Grand Rapids, MI.  She practices full spectrum family medicine by seeing patients of all ages, and she has a particular interest in using osteopathic medicine and principles in her patients’ care.

She likes to travel and explore, but has always had a love for Western Michigan.

About Hackley Community Care
Hackley Community Care (HCC) is a Federally Qualified Health Center that has been providing quality health care services since 1992. Hackley Community Care has continuously expanded to provide an array of services that include full primary care, dental, behavioral health,  pharmacy (Community Care Pharmacy), home based and school based health services, and other supporting programs such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Komen Breast Health, and BCCCNP services, to name a few. All of our services are designed to meet the needs of the underserved in our community.

Hackley Community Care was recently recognized as ranking among the top 30% of health centers nationally for clinical quality by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Advancing Health Information Technology (HIT) for Quality from HRSA and MQIN Champion Highest Achiever award by Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA)

Learn more about HCC at hackleycommunitycare.org

Fruitport Schools Family Groups

submitted by Maribeth Clarke, Administrative Assistant, Fruitport Community Schools

“Family Groups” are new to Shettler this year.  A family group consists of a classroom teacher, another adult, and 20-23 students.  There are 3-4 students from each grade, kindergarten to fifth grade.  Every staff member in the building belongs to a family, from the classroom teachers to support staff, to noon supervisors, everyone is part of a “family.”

familyEvery Wednesday from 10:20-11:00 a.m., the entire school transitions to their family groups. The principal plays the song “We are Family” as a signal  for the fifth graders to pick up the kindergarteners and 1st graders, and the second, third, and fourth graders just go on their own to their family group classroom.  At 11:00, the song “We are Family” plays as a signal to end the family group time. Students then walk back to class.

familyThe first few sessions were focused on building community. They came up with a family name, developed a secret handshake, took a photo, made a pennant with their family name and members’ names, and set goals for themselves. After that, they will take a few sessions to review school expectations:  Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe.

familyThese families stay together until they leave 5th grade and will get new kindergarteners each year.  Students will see familiar faces throughout the building, not just in the classroom. All older students, not just student leaders, will become mentors. This is also an opportunity to incorporate social-emotional learning and mindfulness.  We are excited to build and strengthen relationships with our students and staff.

Muskegon County Calendar of Events 12/09/19 – 12/16/19

Presented by the Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau
www.visitmuskegon.org

Evening of Elegance | Exquisite Holiday Tablescapes
December 9 @ 5:30pm
Monday, December 9 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm, come to the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club for an Evening of Elegance | Exquisite Holiday Tablescapes! View exquisite holiday tablescapes in the historic Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club.  Enjoy free admission to view only December 5 – December 7 from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and December 8 from 12:00pm – 3:00pm.
December 9, enjoy a catered dinner, viewing and a performance. Doors open at 5:30pm and dinner will be served at 6:00pm.  Tickets are $25 per person and reservations must be made in advance.  Message them on Facebook to make reservations.  Call (231) 725-9220 for more information.

Santa at the Muskegon Township Library
December 9 @ 10:45 am
Monday, December 9 at 10:45am, Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Muskegon Township Library to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa!  Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.  For more information call 231-760-4329.

Santa at the Montague Library
December 9 @ 6:00 pm
Monday, December 9 at 6:00pm, Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the Montague Library to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa!  Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.  For more information call 231-893-2675.

Team Trivia Game Show
December 9 @ 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Mondays at 6:30pm, come to Racquet’s Downtown Grill for the Team Trivia Game Show!  Groups of any size are invited to play for free with prizes for the top three teams!  Categories range from pop culture and entertainment, to sports, history, science, culture and general knowledge.  Your live host will also offer many genres of music throughout the game, plus, you’ll enjoy food and drink specials each week.  For more information, call (231) 726-4007.

Downtown Live Concert Series
December 9 @ 7:30 pm
The Downtown Live Concert Series at the Frauenthal Center begins its second season in October 2019 and will feature every Muskegon Community College music ensemble, as well as the West Michigan Concert WINDS which is affiliated with MCC. The 10-concert series continues through April 2020.  Some of the musical selections this season are based upon the 2019 Arts and Humanities Festival (ahFest) theme of “Hope.”  Tickets are $12.00 for adults, $2.00 for students and $10 each for groups of 6 or more.  For more information call 231-727-8001.
December 9, 2019 – “All MCC Holiday Celebration” features the MCC Wind and Jazz Ensembles, the Collegiates, The College Singers and small group performances by students and faculty at 7:30pm in the Frauenthal Theater

Bingo at Hackley Library
December 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Tuesday, December 10 from 6:00pm – 7:30pm, come to Hackley Library to play Bingo, meet new people, and snag some awesome prizes!  Snacks will be included as well as amusing commentary from your friendly librarians Lydia and Analiese.  This event is free to the public and recommended for all ages.  For more information call (231) 722-8000.

Planetarium Show: Mystery of the Christmas Star
December 10 & 12 @ 7:00 pm – 7:30 pm
November 5 – December 12 at 7:00pm, a holiday tradition returns to the Carr-Fles Planetarium with “Mystery of the Christmas Star!” No reservations are needed for this free, 30-minute show in room 1072 at Muskegon Community College.  Be sure to come early and visit the John Barley Science Museum in room 1073, across the hall from the planetarium.  The museum is open until 7:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays; allow 20-30 minutes.  For more information, or to schedule a private planetarium show for groups of 15 or more, call 231-777-0289.

Make It @ Montague: Snow Globe Scene
December 11 @ 6:00 pm
Wednesday, December 11 at 6:00pm, come to the Montague Library to make a charming snow globe!  This fun craft will be pretty perched in any corner, mantle or bookshelf.  For more information call (231) 893-2675.

Santa at Dalton Library
December 12 @ 4:00 pm
Thursday, December 12 at 4:00pm, Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Muskegon Area District Library to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa!  Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.  For more information call 231-828-4188.

After Hours Tours at Hackley Library
December 12 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Thursday, December 12 from 4:30pm – 6:00pm, come to Hackley Public Library for an After Hours Tour!  Dive into history and learn details about HPL during an ‘After-Hours’ guided tour!  Visitors are asked to arrive at 4:45pm to gather in HPL’s lower level meeting rooms, and the tours will begin at 5:00pm. Please park in the rear parking lot as the front doors will be locked. Tours will be approximately 1 hour. These tours are free and open to the public.  For more information call (231) 722-8000.

Opening Reception & Gallery Talk: Excellence in Fibers V
December 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Thursday, December 12 from 5:30pm – 8:00pm, come to the Muskegon Museum of Art for “Opening Reception & Gallery Talk: Excellence in Fibers V!”  Excellence in Fibers V, the juried international fibers show highlighting the winter season, opens with a reception and gallery talk by Art Martin, MMA Director of Collections and Exhibitions/Senior Curator.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information call 231-720-2570.

MADL Thursday Night Music Club presents: Picó & Chown
December 12 @ 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 12 from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, come to Norton Shores Library for the MADL Thursday Night Music Club featuring Picó & Chown!  Enjoy the rich vocals and smooth piano of Miriam Picó and David Chown as they share old standards, pop, rock & blues classics, as well as original music.  They’ll even throw in some of your holiday favorites!  For more information call (231) 780-8844.

A Christmas Line: A North Pole Musical & a Christmas Scarol
December 13 – December 14
Friday, December 13 at 7:00pm and Saturday, December 14 at 2:00pm, come to the Beardsley Theater at the Muskegon Civic Theatre Education Division presents their annual Holiday Show!
Broadway Bound presents “A Christmas Line: a North Pole Musical.” It’s a casting call for the annual holiday revue and a host of familiar North Pole faces are lined up to audition, headshots and resumes in hand.  Three Elves, a not-so-famous Reindeer, a stage-worthy Snowman, Mrs. C. herself, a regular kid, Cameron, and a chorus of other North Pole citizens put to the test by Santa Claus.  Fantastic Broadway-style songs brings this holiday musical to life.
Performance LAB presents “A Christmas Scarol.” When Tim can’t think of a Christmas gift to get his high-maintenance girlfriend, he’s visited by four terrifying spirits (actually five — they’ve been hiring) who whisk him away on a harrowing and hilarious journey into the past, present, future, and an alternate timeline.  This wild and free-spirited adaptation of the holiday classic is a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas (getting awesome presents).
All tickets are $8, general admission. For more information call the box office at 231-727-8001.

Art Cats Gallery 20th Anniversary Celebration
December 13 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14 from 10:00am – 6:00pm, join Art Cats Gallery as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary!  They’ll be offering free holiday treats, a great 20% discount and will be giving away 20 of their very favorite things!  For more information call 231-755-7606.

Black History Month Calendar Contest
Through January 10
Participate in Hackley Library’s annual calendar contest, where they’ll showcase artwork from all ages to celebrate African American achievements!  Everyone is invited to submit drawings.  To enter, draw a picture from African American history on your entry form which can be picked up at Hackley Library.  The best pictures will be published in a free calendar which will be available throughout Muskegon.  Don’t forget to pick up your free entry form at Hackley Library!  All submissions are due at Hackley Library by Friday, January 10. They’ll announce the winners at the Awards Ceremony on February 3 during Open Mic Night.  All ages are recommended to participate in this calendar contest.  For more information call (231) 722-8000.

Muskegon Lumberjacks Home Game
December 13 @ 7:00 pm
The Muskegon Lumberjacks are proud and dedicated members of the United States Hockey League (USHL), the nation’s only Tier I junior hockey league and leading producer of NCAA players and National Hockey League draft picks in the United States. Catch a home game Friday, December 13 at 7:05pm at the L.C. Walker Arena as they take on the U18.  It’s Coats & Shoes Drive Night!  Tickets range from $10 – $17.  For more information call (231) 724-5225.

West Michigan Symphony: Sounds of the Season
December 13 – December 14 @ 7:30 pm
Friday and Saturday, December 13 and 14 at 7:30pm, come to the Frauenthal Theater as the West Michigan Symphony presents “Sounds of the Season!” A cast of young choristers from ages 8-18, along with the full WMS, will warm hearts in this annual concert of seasonal favorites, from classics to beloved carols. Bring the whole family for a spellbinding evening of Yuletide magic!  Tickets are $12 for students and $29 – $66 for adults. For more information, call the box office at 231-727-8001.

Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours
December 14
Experience the Hackley & Hume homes decorated beautifully for the holidays by Muskegon’s local community groups with period-appropriate artifacts, ornaments and more! Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $10 per person, $8 for seniors 65+ and $5 for Kids ages 2-12.  For more information call 231-722-7578.
Tour Dates:
• December 14 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
• December 21 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
• December 27 from 4:00pm – 8:00pm
• December 28 from 1:00pm -4:00pm

Cocoa & Crafts: Holiday Craft Show
December 14 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 from 9:00am – 3:00pm, come to the L. C. Walker Arena for the Cocoa & Crafts – Holiday Craft Show! Hosted by the Muskegon Lakeshore Figure Skating Club this event features over 100 vendors, making your last minute Holiday shopping convenient and fun.  While you are browsing, stop by their hot cocoa bar and get yourself a warm treat.  Be sure to bring the little ones to see Santa!  For more information e-mail sk8mlfsc@gmail.com.

Super Saturday: Fiber Fun
December 14 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
December 14 from 10:00am – 3:00pm, bring the family to the Muskegon Museum of Art for a Free Family Fun Day! Come celebrate the fantastically fun fiber art at the MMA.  For more information call 231-720-2570.
• 10:00am & 1:00pm Family Film
• 11:00am – 1:00pm Tours – Explore “Excellence in Fibers V” with an MMA docent.
• 11:00am – 2:00pm Make & Take Art Activity – Create your own fabulous fiber art in the classroom.

Santa at Ravenna Library
December 14 @ 10:30 am
Saturday, December 14 at 10:30am, Santa will be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit Muskegon Area District Library to meet children of all ages. Bring the whole family and start your holiday season with stories, crafts and Santa!  Don’t forget your camera. You won’t want to miss this free photo opportunity.  For more information call 231-853-6975.

Holiday Shopping Frenzy
December 14 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 from 11:00am – 3:00pm, come to Mona Lake Boat Club for the Holiday Shopping Frenzy! Do some last minute holiday shopping from a variety of vendors, grab some lunch and get entered in raffles happening every half hour starting at noon.  For more information call (231) 798-4011.

Downtown Muskegon Cookie Crawl – SOLD OUT
December 14 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, come to the Muskegon Farmers Market for the first ever “Cookie Crawl” in Downtown Muskegon! Start at the Muskegon Farmers Market at 11:00am to pick up your tin and first cookie.  From there, travel to the other 24 participating vendors in any order and get a cookie from them.  Visit all vendors before 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $20 and they only have 100 tickets available so act fast.  It’s going to be so fun and you’ll walk away with a cute tin full of cookies to enjoy!

Yule Book Event at Hackley Library
December 14 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm, come to the Yule Book Event at Hackley Library!  Inspired by Iceland’s tradition of giving and reading books on Christmas Eve, stop into Hackley Library to buy a few gifts, listen to holiday music, and make a hot cocoa reindeer craft to enjoy at home! Our Friends of Hackley Library will have a fantastic selection of books for sale, for both adults and children. This event is free to the public and recommended for all ages.  For more information call (231) 722-8000.

Steven Curtis Chapman: Acoustic Christmas
December 14 @ 7:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 at 7:00pm, come to The Lakes Church in Fruitport for Acoustic Christmas! Singer, songwriter, best-selling author, dad, husband, Christ follower, and most awarded artist in Christian music history, Steven Curtis Chapman, will be joined by Jillian Edwards to perform a wonderful Christmas show.  Tickets range from $20 to $75 and are available through www.itickets.com.

Ugly Sweater Party for a Cause
December 14 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday, December 14 from 8:00pm – 11:00pm, come to Pigeon Hill Brewing Company for an Ugly Sweater Party for a Cause! Dress to impress at the annual event featuring a live performance by Logan White, the Ugliest Sweater will get a prize at 10:00pm!
Instead of charging cover, they’re asking everyone to bring an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots to fill up their box. They are an official T for T drop off location!  They’ll also be collecting items for Kids’ Food Basket’s “Sack Supper Wish List.”  Each Sack Supper is a well-rounded, nutritious evening meal critical to the development of the brain and body.  Providing that level of nutrition to nearly 8,000 children each weekday takes a lot of support from people like you!  For more information call Pigeon Hill at (231) 375-5184.
Items for the Kids’ Food Basket Sack Supper Food Drive:
• Fruit cups or pouches
• Dried fruit
• Snack size zipper bags
• Toasted oat cereal
• Pretzel twists
• Goldfish crackers or Cheez-Its (off-brand accepted)

Pilates + Beer
December 15 @ 11:00 am
Sunday, December 15 from 11:15am – 12:15pm, come to Pigeon Hill Brewing Company’s new facility for Pilates + Beer with Mandy! This one hour Pilates class will target your core.  The cost is $12 (cash only) and includes a Tier I – Tier 4 beer in the taproom afterwards.  Visit Pigeon Hill’s Facebook page and click “GOING” to reserve your space. Payment is due upon arrival.  The class will be hosted at 895 Fourth St. at Pigeon Hill’s new facility off of Shoreline Drive.  Drinks will be afterwards in the taproom at 500 W. Western Ave.  For more information call (231) 375-5184.

Holiday Brunch with Santa
December 15 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Sunday, December 15 from 11:00am – 2:00pm, come to SE4SONS Banquet Center for a fun-filled day of great food, holiday cookie decorating, family and Santa!  The cost is $27 for adults, $12 for kids 5 – 12, and free for kids 4 and under.  Reservations are necessary and will fill up fast, so don’t miss out!  Make your reservations today by calling 231-755-3737. Check out the menu at www.se4sons.net/upcoming-events.

Santa’s Ceramic Workshop at Unruly Brewing Co.
December 15 @ 11:00 am
Sunday, December 15 at 11:00am, it’s Santa’s Ceramic Workshop at Unruly Brewing Co. Support local art programs with this fun family event!  You’ll make one of a kind, glazed bisque-ware items that are dishwasher and dinnerware safe.  Walk-ins are welcome if space is available. All items will be ready to pick up on Saturday December 21.  For more information call (231) 288-1068.

Crafts & Drafts Gets Festive
December 15 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Sunday, December 15 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, come to Pigeon Hill Brewing Company as Crafts & Drafts gets festive! This is holiday upcycling at its finest.  Join them in the taproom to turn a few picture frames, mirrors and holiday odds and ends into your very own holiday creation.  The sky’s the limit on your design.  The class is $20 and includes a beverage to get your creative juices flowing.  Gather all of your holiday spirit and let the magic of the season inspire you!  They only have room for 30, so pre-registration and payment are necessary.  You can sign up in the taproom or call and reserve your spot at (231)375-5184.  Be sure to stick around afterwards for some live music!

West Michigan Youth Ballet presents: The Nutcracker
December 15 @ 3:00 pm
Sunday, December 15 at 3:00pm, the Frauenthal Center and West Michigan Youth Ballet present, “The Nutcracker!” Make West Michigan Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” part of your holiday tradition this year!  “The Nutcracker,” a wonderful ballet for the entire family, tells the story of a little girl named Clara who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve.  She encounters the frightful rat king before embarking on a journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets.  Bringing to life this beloved story will be youth from twelve West Michigan dance studios, ranging from 8 – 18 years of age.  Tickets are $23.00 for adults and $12.00 for children 12 and under.  For more information call 231-727-8001.

Muskegon on Ice: Holiday Figure Skating Show
December 15 @ 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 15 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm, the Muskegon Lakeshore Figure Skating Club invites you to the L.C. Walker Arena for Muskegon on Ice! This will be an unforgettable experience for the entire family as the club’s talented competitive and recreational skaters perform to your favorite holiday classics!  Over twenty skaters ranging in age from 4 – 15 will represent Muskegon, North Muskegon, Whitehall, Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Norton Shores.  Santa will make and appearance, too!  Admission is free, but a suggested donation of $5 is greatly appreciated.  Muskegon radio personality Andy O’Riley of MuskegonChannel.com and Positively Muskegon will emcee the event.  For more information e-mail sk8mlfsc@gmail.com.

Will Graham Takes the Gospel to Canada with his Celebration of Hope

willgrahamLast month, Will Graham shared the Gospel in multiple regions in Canada, including its geographic center. The free, three-day events included Christian music and testimonies, children’s outreaches and Gospel messages from Will Graham.

On Oct. 4, Graham kicked off the Celebration in Ontario, where he held the Quinte Celebration of Hope. Kids from the Quinte Region attended Kidzfest on Friday night, which was complete with bounce houses, games, a climbing wall, and a Gospel message from Graham.

More than 2,000 people traveled to Belleville, Ontario for the Saturday night celebration on Oct. 5. Another 2,900 viewers from 46 countries watched via livestream. More than 130 people made decisions for Christ that Saturday night. “Jesus wants to come into your life tonight, but you have to be willing to come to Him,” Graham said.

The final night of the Quinte Celebration of Hope took an unexpected turn when, during worship led by The Color, The Afters, and Matt Maher, fire alarms began to sound. This caused the crowd of 2,300 people to evacuate the building before Will Graham had an opportunity to speak.

The crowd patiently waited for the fire department to give the “all clear,” holding impromptu conversations and singing accompanied by Matt Maher and The Afters’ Josh Havens. After returning to the building, the Celebration resumed right where it was abruptly interrupted. Sharing a story from 1 Samuel 1, Will Graham used this opportunity to talk about how life doesn’t always go how we plan or hope.

“Tonight is your chance to get off that [wrong] road and go toward Christ. You may never have another chance like this,” Graham said. Many responded to the invitation to receive Jesus Christ during the Quinte Celebration of Hope.

Will Graham returned to Canada for the Baker Lake Celebration of Hope Oct. 25-27. Home to 2,000-plus people, Baker Lake is a small mining town situated along a large lake about 25 miles from the center of Canada.

On Friday, Oct. 25, Graham held Kidzfest with music and an encouraging message of God’s love just for the area’s youth. After hearing about the love of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, more than 100 children made decisions for Christ.

The Celebration continued on Oct. 26 & 27 as over 600 people came to experience worship by The Color and Aaron Shust, testimonies, and the presentation of the Gospel.

Each night, Will Graham presented the Good News to the people in attendance, proclaiming God’s love and the sacrifice He made for them. Graham gave the congregation an opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and nearly 200 people responded to this call.

In 2020, Graham will hold Celebrations in Tifton, Georgia, and Fairmont, West Virginia. Click here more information about these scheduled events or to see more photos and stories from past Celebrations.

If you would like more information about these, or other, ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please contact media@billygraham.org. Complete press releases from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are available at media.billygraham.org.

Local Group Looks to Help Muskegon County Minority-owned Businesses

MUSKEGON – As part of the Livability Lab: 100-Day Challenge, Minority Businesses (Team 10), a diverse team of individuals, entrepreneurs, and business people have come together with the sole purpose to strengthen, support, and help grow minority-owned businesses throughout Muskegon County. Team 10 has created a survey to identify the needs of minority-owned businesses in Muskegon County. The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8CY9MWT .

The results of this survey will help in supporting local businesses with the proper resources to fit their needs. Access to resources is a contributing factor to businesses being successful.

At the end of the 100 days, the Livability Lab will reconvene on January 23 to plan the next steps to continue this positive momentum.

This Livability Lab: 100 Day challenge team is working in conjunction with Mercy Health, Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Muskegon Area First, Muskegon Heights Business Association, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber, Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council (MMSDC), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), SCORE of Muskegon, Muskegon Rotary Diversity & Inclusion committee, Community Foundation for Muskegon County, and local minority owned entrepreneurs.

Ottawa County Offering Citizen Police Academy & Active Shooter Response Training

Apply Now for the Citizen Police Academy

Ottawa County now accepting applications for the 2020 Citizen Police Academy. The 9-session Citizen Police Academy offers 25 citizens an inside look at law enforcement. Sessions are from 6PM to 9PM on Thursdays from March 5 through May 7. (No class during spring break week.)

Potential candidates for the Citizen Police Academy must meet the following criteria:

Minimum age of 18
Live or work in Ottawa County
No Misdemeanor arrests within one year of application
No prior felony arrests

Applications will be processed on a first-come-first-serve basis. Pending a background check and eligibility, applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the academy near February 15.

For more information on the Citizen Police Academy and the selection process please contact Sergeant Ryan DeVries at (616) 738-4038

REGISTER NOW

Topics covered in the academy include Road Patrol, Corrections, 911 Central Dispatch, Undercover Investigations, Narcotics, Marine Patrol, Dive Team, K9 Unit, E-Unit, Criminal Scientific Support Unit, Crime Scene Investigation, Firearms, Range, Simulator, Special Operations, Legal System, Accident Investigations and Community Policing. Most sessions will be held at the West Olive Fillmore Complex 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, MI 49460. The location of the session may vary depending on the topic.actionpics

Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events

There is also space in the Sheriff Office’s Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events sessions. The Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) course provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event.

Participants must be at least 18 years of age; please bring picture ID such as a driver’s license or state-issued identification.

Jay Owenhouse, Illusionist, Performing at the Frauenthal

JAY OWENHOUSE, THE AUTHENTIC ILLUSIONIST
Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m.

Jay Owenhouse, a legendary escape artist and one of the most recognized illusionists in history, will perform on the Frauenthal stage one night only in his new show “Dare To Believe!”

Jay welcomes you into his mysterious world of wonder and the impossible. You will experience a night of grand illusions with the most amazing magic in the world, Bengal tigers up close, dangerous escapes, and inspiring storytelling. Seeing Owenhouse live is an evening that will leave you breathless with a feeling of childhood wonder that anything is possible!

TICKETS & INFO: www.frauenthal.org; info@frauenthal.org

Radium Photo is Celebrating 110 Years in Business

Muskegon, MI – Come celebrate with Radium Photo as we open our doors to commemorate 110 years in business in booming Downtown Muskegon. We will host an open house/ribbon cutting ceremony on December 13th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with the ribbon cutting taking place promptly at 4:30 p.m. Our celebration will continue Saturday, December 14th with an open house from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Hors d’Oeuvres and refreshments will be available as you revisit Old Downtown Muskegon with pictures and antique cameras on display, and then see how we have adapted over the years staying relevant in the printing and photography industry. Door prizes and giveaways will make this an event you will not want to miss.

Radium Photo is a premier printing lab in West Michigan offering high end photo finishing and an array of specialty wall decor. We specialize in printing for photographers, artists and businesses. “What makes us unique is that as a professional printing lab, we do not limit our printing services to only professional photographers,” Charles Cihak IV, General Manager said. “Everyone is welcome to enjoy the benefits of our archival printing and products that we have to offer.” Radium also takes pictures for many of the schools and sport leagues in the area, as well as local fine art and scout camps.

Radium Photo was established in 1909 by Joseph Cihak. Shortly afterwards in 1915, Charles Cihak took over and then in 1961 he sold the business to his son Charlie Cihak II. Radium Photo is now four generations strong, currently owned by Charles Cihak III (who purchased the business in 1983) and managed by Charles Cihak IV. “We love being in Downtown Muskegon, and I could not imagine us anywhere else,” said Charles Cihak IV.

Stop by and check out our wide array of printing and photography services on December 13th or 14th. Special discounts on custom Christmas Cards and products will be available. You will not be disappointed!

Snowbirds Reminded to Renew Early

Renewal options are varied and convenient

LANSING – Residents heading south for the winter are reminded to renew their driver’s licenses and license plates before leaving Michigan.

People can renew plates for individually owned or leased cars, pickup trucks, vans and motorcycles up to six months before they expire. They can renew early online at ExpressSOS.com or at a Secretary of State office – even if they have not received their renewal information in the mail. License plate tabs will arrive by mail within two weeks. Company-owned passenger plates cannot be renewed early.

Driver’s licenses (for drivers ages 21 and older) and state ID cards may be renewed up to a year early. Motorists also have the option of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID card at no extra cost when renewing. Certain paperwork and a visit to a branch is required, so drivers are encouraged to check Michigan.gov/REALID or call the Department of State Information Center at 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) for more details.

Customers visiting a branch office should consider scheduling an appointment. Appointments are reserved online at Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments and help ensure that visits are 30 minutes or less. Customers select the day, time and branch office location that best fits their schedule. They should plan on arriving 10 minutes early the day of their appointment and will be called to the counter by a service representative when their time has arrived.

Social Security Benefits Increase in 2020

by Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

coupleEach year, we announce the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). By law, federal benefits increase when the cost of living rises, as measured by the Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Usually, there is an increase in the benefit amount people will receive each month, starting the following January.

Nearly 69 million Americans will see a 1.6 percent increase in their Social Security benefits and SSI payments in 2020.

Other changes that will happen in January 2020 reflect the increase in the national average wage index. For example, the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security payroll tax will increase to $137,700 from $132,900. The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age (age 66 for people born in 1943 through 1954) will increase to $18,240. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,240.)

The earnings limit for people turning 66 in 2020 will increase to $48,600. (We deduct $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $48,600 until the month the worker turns age 66.)

In December 2019, we will post Social Security COLA notices online for retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries who have a my Social Security account. You will be able to view and save future COLA notices via the Message Center inside my Social Security.

You can log in to or sign up for a my Social Security account today at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount to get more information about your new benefit amount. You can choose to receive an electronic notification by email, text, or both ways under “Message Center Preferences.” Our notification will let you know that a new message is waiting for you. We will not send any personal information in the notification. The Message Center also allows you to go paperless by opting out of receiving agency notices by mail that you can get online, including annual cost-of-living adjustments and the income-related monthly adjustment amount increases. The Message Center is a secure portal where you can conveniently receive sensitive communications that we don’t send through email or text.

More information about the 2020 COLA is available at www.socialsecurity.gov/cola.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov

The Salvation Army Needs Volunteer Bell Ringers

Muskegon, Michigan – Give the gift of yourself this holiday season and volunteer to ring bells for The Salvation Army!

The organization’s 2019 Red Kettle Campaign kicks off Friday, November 15, 2019
at more than 28 locations in the community and continues through Christmas Eve, every day except Sundays.

“It’s a fun thing for an individual, family, church, business or service club to do to get in the holiday spirit and make a difference for those in need in our community,” said Majors Mark and Valerie Nance with The Salvation Army.  “We encourage people to sign up early to get their first pick for the day, time and location they would like to bell ring.”

All of the money donated to the red kettles stays in the community to fund Salvation Army programs year-round, including emergency rent and utility assistance, food pantry, youth and senior programs, Thanksgiving meals, Christmas Toy Shop and Turning Point outpatient addiction rehabilitation.

“This year has been particularly tough for many families,” said Majors Mark and Valerie Nance with The Salvation Army. “More people are coming to us for help as they try to make ends meet. We have faith that the community, will come together to meet the needs of those who are struggling.”

If you or your group would like to bell ring for The Salvation Army this holiday season, please contact visit registertoring.com to sign up online or contact Major Mark Nance at office 231-773-3284 or cell 231-740-2173

In addition to bell ringing, the Salvation Army has many other holiday volunteer needs including our Christmas Toy Shop, Food Packing and Sorting and much more. Please contact Major Valerie Nance at office: 231-773-3284

Franklin Graham Shares the Gospel with More Than 65,000 North Carolinians on Decision America Tour

franklingrahamFranklin Graham has traveled to Asia, Australia, and South America this year to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, but, in October, he returned to his home state of North Carolina for the Decision America Tar Heel State Tour.

On this eight-city tour, Graham shared the Gospel with more than 65,000 people. Over 4,800 people indicated making decisions for Christ in person, online, and through text. Stops included Fayetteville, Greenville, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greensboro, Hickory, Charlotte, and Asheville.

Each night, attendees heard a powerful message of hope from Franklin Graham, as well as live music from Jeremy Camp and Dennis Agajanian. The evening events concluded with a show of fireworks.

It’s been on Franklin Graham’s heart to share a message of God’s love with people in his home state—the place his late father, Billy Graham, called home for most of his 99 years of life.

“God loves you,” Graham said. “He sent His Son from heaven to this earth for your sins. You can leave this stadium forgiven tonight.”

In 2016, Graham visited all 50 state capitals as part of the original Decision America Tour, leading Americans in prayer and calling the nation back to God. He has since traveled to various states and regions across the country, proclaiming the hope of the Gospel in multi-city tours.

On Dec. 7-8, Franklin Graham will conclude 2019 with the Love Phnom Penh Festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. To see more stories and photos from each city of Graham’s Tar Heel State Tour, visit https://nc.billygraham.org/.

If you would like more information about these, or other, ministries of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, please contact media@billygraham.org. Complete press releases from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association are available at media.billygraham.org.

A Rich Tradition Returns: The Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours Are Back

Muskegon, MI –  Glow under the lights of the Hackley and Hume Historic Site this holiday season. During the kick-off event on Saturday, November 30th, Lakeshore Museum Center visitors had the opportunity to admire the beautifully decorated houses and enjoy a variety of other holiday-themed activities from 4-8pm.

“Our guests can experience the magic of the holiday season all month long,” said Program Manager Erin Schmitz. “I love to see the houses decorated for the holidays, but working with 11 community decorating groups is what makes this time of year really special.”

This year, LMC had the help of Linda Potter & Cathy Norkus, the Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce, Janet Arndt & Barb Lloyd, Delta Kappa Gamma, the Shoreline Victorian Ladies Society, Minerva Dill Questers, the Greater Muskegon Women’s Club, Merilee and Friends, LMC’s Junior Museum Professionals, Se4sons at the Muskegon Country Club, and Helen Sherman who volunteered to decorate the site.

Additional holiday tour dates are as follows:
● Saturday, December 7 from 4-8 pm
● Saturday, December 14 from 4-8 pm
● Saturday, December 21 from 4-8 pm
● Thursday, December 27 from 4-8 pm
● Friday, December 28 from 1-4 pm

For more information about the Hackley and Hume Historic Homes or their upcoming events, call (231) 722-7578 or visit their website.

America, Lost without God

Dear Editor:

A big portion of America lost its way without God.  Evidence of this is everywhere!

From the Halls of Congress, where defaming the President, and those who come before them, is a regular thing, to wicked judges who trash God and our Constitution, and many television news companies that daily attack and defame a Constitutionally-elected President.

They disgrace themselves.  Instead of informing, they mis-inform millions.

They seem to have completely forgotten The Golden Rule, which said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

It was no surprise the Democratic Presidential Debate first question was on impeachment. It is clear that has been the intent from day-one, or even before, President Trump took office.

Most of the candidates eagerly responded with a resounding “Yes” to the question.  Most claimed the President was corrupt, and I believe, Vice-President Biden, actually said “the President was the Most-corrupt president ever.”

It all seemed very strange, and it is sad to say, because it was coming from democrats, a political party, that has descended to the bottom of the pit of moral corruption.

Of course, they do not realize that, because they are morally blinded.  Probably by God himself, or by His just laws.

They don’t realize, that when they support killing innocent human babies, they are partaking in a heinous crime against humanity and against God.

And that they support homosexuality, the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, of which God said, “their sin is very grievous.”  So grievous in fact, that God turned those cities and the inhabitants into ashes, as an example to future generations.

An example which America is ignoring!  An example which a practicing homosexual running for president is ignoring!

An America, which has no fear of God the Creator, is doomed for destruction.

Those trying to destroy the President with false claims are committing a crime against God and our Great Constitution, make no mistake about it!  If they don’t desist from this crime, America will never recover!

Manuel Ybarra, Jr.
17472 CR 3765, Coalgate, OK 74538
Ph. 580-428-3242
Email:  mybarrajr18@yahoo.com

Ask Dr. Universe – Snake Senses

Dr. Universe: If snakes smell with their tongues, what do they do with their noses? – A.J., 5, Kennewick, WA

Dear A.J.,

You’re right, snakes have an amazing sense of smell. They can use their tongues to pick up on all kinds of scents in the air.

Whenever we smell something in the air, we are actually sniffing tiny building blocks called molecules. These molecules are what make up the scents of everything around us—things like baked bread, fresh-cut grass, and warm cookies.

If you were a snake, you might sniff out the scent of a slug or mouse. You’d use your tongue to pull the molecules from the air into your mouth.

Then those molecules would reach a part of the roof of your mouth called the Jacobson’s organ. This organ helps de-code the molecules into smells. The smell might help you find some prey or let you know to slither away from a predator.

I learned all about snakes from my friend Rocky Parker. Parker graduated from Washington State University and is currently an assistant professor at James Madison University in Virginia. He is very curious about how snakes use their senses.

While the tongue does most of the smelling, snakes also use their nostrils to take in odors. Parker said we are still learning exactly how snakes use their nostrils, tongues, and Jacobson’s organs to smell the world. But we do know that some other kinds of animals use all these parts to smell, as well.

Lizards will flick their tongues in different patterns to collect odors from the air. Elk and deer will stick their noses up in the air and lift their upper lips to transfer some molecules inside their mouths. It gives them a kind of “sixth sense” that helps them know their world, said Parker.

Of course, a snake’s nose is important for more than just helping with their sense of smell. Like pretty much all animals, snakes need a healthy supply of oxygen to survive. The nostrils are oxygen’s way into the body. Oxygen is really important to animals because it helps them produce fuel for their bodies.

Our planet is home to about 3,600 different species of snakes, so we see different snakes with different kinds of lungs. But for the most part, snakes only breathe through one lung.

In most snakes, the left lung is usually smaller or missing completely. It’s a kind of leftover part from their ancestors and doesn’t work for breathing. The right one that runs along their long, tubular bodies is what helps them breathe.

Even though humans can’t smell with their tongues, all of their five senses are powerful tools for navigating the world. Have you ever thought about becoming a scientist one day? With great questions like these, I’m getting the sense that you are well on your way.

Sincerely,
Dr. Universe

The Tree House Child Care Center is Opening and Accepting Enrollments

Fruitport, MI – From dance to daycare.   A former dance studio has been transformed into the newest Reggio Emilia inspired childcare center along the lakeshore offering year round care, preschool with pre-K curriculum and before and after school care ages 6 weeks to 10 years.    The Tree House Child Care Center, located in the village of Fruitport, opened its doors on Monday, August 5 and has been welcoming new students and families weekly.

The Tree House Child Care Center is open 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday and located near the I-96 exits in the village of Fruitport making the center convenient for working families.  The center is the lakeshore’s newest Reggio Emilia inspired child care provider.  Reggio Emilia is a child centered education philosophy that uses child-directed, experiential learning in relationship with teachers and the environment to prepare children as 21st century learners.  At the Tree House, Reggio is symbolized through the intentional layout of the center and its classrooms and the role of teachers as co-learners and collaborators alongside children.

The Tree House features newly constructed classrooms, each with its own bathroom as well as natural lighting and hardwood floors throughout, a teaching kitchen, art studio, multipurpose room and natural fenced outdoor play area.  Children are served whole food, low sugar, primarily vegetarian meals and snacks in a relaxed community like setting.   The Tree House team of teachers and leaders hold degrees and certifications in early childhood and education and work closely with families on supporting each child’s development, progress and overall daily experience.   The center uses an app called Brightwheel® to communicate with families and help parents stay informed of their child’s daily experience.

The center is now enrolling for toddler, preschool and before and after care age groups.  To inquire about enrollment or apply to join the team of Tree House teachers, visit the website at www.treehouseccc.com or contact the center at 231.366.6090.

The Tree House Child Care Center is a member of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

Governor Whitmer’s Reproductive Health Act Explained

submitted by Right to Life of Michigan

November 4, 2019, Lansing, MI — The bills making up Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) were introduced into the Legislature on October 31, and Right to Life of Michigan staff have analyzed the changes to Michigan law.

The main bills are identical, SB 622 and HB 5179, and the other bills in the RHA remove sentencing or references to laws it would repeal.

The following are major changes to state law, and scenarios the bills would allow that are based on real events.

Major changes:
Repeals Michigan’s complete abortion ban and codifies an unlimited health exception in state law.
Creates an unlimited right to abortion, which could have broad implications. Allows women to sue for damages if she believes that right is being restricted in any way.
Repeals the partial-birth abortion ban.
Nullifies the current petition drive to enact a ban on dismemberment abortions (which amends the partial-birth abortion ban).
Allows abortion facilities to be unregulated and never be inspected.
Removes parental consent requirements.
Removes waiting periods and requirements that abortionists provide women with informed consent and an opportunity to see her ultrasound.
Removes mandated screening for abortion coercion.
Opens the door for any medical professional to perform a surgical abortion.
Stops local governments and schools from regulating abortion in any way, including through zoning laws.

Scenarios:
A woman who is 30-weeks pregnant decides to have an abortion after her boyfriend abandons her. Her relationship situation qualifies as a “health” exception. Rather than completing the birth to allow the viable child a chance to survive, the child is stabbed in the head during the process of birth and her brains are suctioned out.
A fire marshal is called after receiving an anonymous report about the poor conditions of an uninspected surgical abortion facility. The facility has water damage, rusty surgical equipment, blood spatters on walls, and garbage lying around. The fire marshal decides to let it remain open because he exposes himself to a lawsuit if he tries to close it.
A 16-year old pregnant girl walks to the abortion facility located across the street from her school. She is given no informed consent materials, forbidden from seeing the ultrasound of her baby when she asks for it, and her surgical abortion is completed during the school day. Her parents never find out. The school can’t discipline her for skipping school because of her unlimited right to abortion.
A sex trafficker takes his pregnant 13-year old victim to an abortion facility, no questions are asked, no medical professional is present, and the victim is sent home with her sex trafficker and abortion pills prescribed by a nurse via Skype.
A college athlete becomes pregnant. Her coach demands she have an abortion, threatening to pull her scholarship. The athlete doesn’t want an abortion, but she knows she has no legal recourse to address her coach’s coercion. The abortion facility staff rushes to get her into the procedure room before she changes her mind.

Other changes worth noting:
Doesn’t repeal the ban on Medicaid-funded abortions (as we speculated in our October 29 press release). However, creating an unlimited right to abortion in state law could potentially impact it.
An unlimited right to abortion and allowing women to sue for damages could broadly impact conscience protections for healthcare workers.
Repeals the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, allowing for insurance plans to have abortion coverage as a required benefit.
Redefines fetal viability from the point a child can survive outside the womb to when a child can survive without “extraordinary” care. “Extraordinary” is undefined and could include common situations like a child sent to a neonatal intensive care unit. This ominous change could have implications for how disabled children and children who survive botched abortions are treated.
Defines pregnancy in law at the point when the child implants in the womb, not when the child is conceived.

RTL.org | info@rtl.org

Lakeshore Museum Center Switches to New Collections Database, Increases Community Access

MUSKEGON, MI – The Lakeshore Museum Center opens the doors to their collection through the launch of a digital database. The new system allows the museum to not only securely store object records, but also share archival material, photographs, and three-dimensional artifacts with the public.

Made possible by a generous grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Lakeshore Museum Center’s database conversion was a year-long project that moved the Lakeshore Museum Center’s records from PastPerfect into Argus, by Lucidea. Through this project, the Lakeshore Museum Center has been able to increase the community’s access to the Museum through an online portal that allows anyone with an internet connection to access the public records of the Lakeshore Museum Center’s collection.

To access the database, simply go to lakeshoremuseum.org and click on “Search our Collection Database.” From there you can browse by collection, search for a specific item, or check out the recent acquisitions, no log-in information required.

The Liars, Leftists, and Liberal Propaganda Machine must be stopped!

from Bill Huizenga – Huizenga for Congress, October 15, 2019logoFriends,

billOver the last couple years, some on the fringe left in West Michigan have gained notoriety and attention by lying, smearing me, and dragging my family through the mud.

Enough is enough. I will no longer sit idly by as these individuals and their allies bear false witness against Natalie and me.

Today, liberal extremists come from all walks of life. Whether it be a failed Congressional candidate with a medical license or a local newspaper in Holland, the desire of these individuals is to impose a liberal orthodoxy on our lives that knows no bounds.

Liberals claim to preach tolerance and acceptance. Their candidates running for President, however, demonstrate that if you don’t agree with their policies of open borders, Medicare for All, and eliminating tax-exempt status for churches and religious organizations, you are an enemy who must be torn down and destroyed by any means necessary.

Well, I am still standing and I am asking you to join me in this fight. It is an honor to represent West Michigan and with your help I plan to keep doing so.

Can you chip in $15, $25, or even $50 to help me refute these lies?

There was a time when West Michigan was a refuge from the slash and burn politics practiced in California, New York, and Washington D.C. Sadly that time has passed.

We cannot let these radical leftists and their allies in the media define who we are.

I will no longer stand by as my character and integrity are assaulted by individuals making false accusations based on lies.

Please forward this message to your friends, share the truth, and ask them to join the fight for the future of West Michigan and our nation!

Thank you for your continued support!

-Bill

Huizenga for Congress
P.O. Box 254
Zeeland, MI 49464
Visit the Website here.

Pincrest Bar & Lanes Corner Update

“Wow!  We haven’t been here in a while, everything looks great!”  People are giving us a lot of compliments about our new look.  We’ve been thoughtful in creating an inviting atmosphere for folks to relax and spend time with friends by updating our gathering spaces and expanding our drink and menu selections.  Standardization of our business operations as well as team training and development have also been key areas of focus for us over the past few months.  What’s next?  We’ll be finishing up the roof and exterior lighting this fall and working on our new back bar over the winter so that were ready for the return of warmer weather.

renovations

Our renovation CREW!

Our leagues are in full swing and we host approximately 150 bowlers each week.  Our HOUSE is special, and we love that we can preserve a little local history and folks are able to enjoy a unique experience.  There is a buzz of excitement on league night, for both the bowlers and those who come to sit at the bar and watch.  This season we have sponsored a couple of tournament teams who plan to compete at various events in the area.  The Women’s State Tournament will be held in Muskegon this winter and our Wednesday night Bowlerettes will be there!  At the West Michigan USBC awards banquet this summer Pincrest was well represented with several of our house rollers bringing home some serious hardware in both team events and individual high scores.  We’re a small HOUSE with a big presence!

teams

Team Event Division 1 Champs: HOUSE -of- PAIN #2, Keith Crowley, Ryan Mouw, Aimee Cohoon, Nick Osinski, Mike Weaver, Jeffery Thomas (not pictured).

Contribution to our community is important to us and we believe that business plays an important role in our local neighborhood. This year our customers have raised over $3K for the Fruitport Regulator Fund, which supports Veterans and local community needs.  This is in addition to the funds generated during our annual Fruitport Regulator motorcycle run held on Memorial Day weekend.  Pincrest business donations this year total over $3K and include local organizations such as Fruitport Public Schools, Fruitport Lions Club, Fruitport Conservation Club, Waves of Hope, Alzheimer’s foundation, WMUSBC, GH Offshore Challenge, and we’re not finished yet!  By keeping our efforts community focused, we are hoping to make an impact to everyone we meet in some way.

People ask, “Are you guys having fun?”  Absolutely!  And we hope our guests are too!  We’re excited to have several music events coming up and winter dart leagues are forming now.  Stop in, call or check out our facebook page for event details.  A special thank you to our friends and family who are helping us to realize the vision for Pincrest – we are grateful for their efforts and support.  This is truly a business built by friends.

As always, hope to see you at the corner!  Aimee & Tom

Fruitport Board of Education Meeting Agenda – 12/09/19

Fruitport Community Schools
BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING
Board Room
Monday, December 9, 2019 – 7:00 p.m.

I. CALL to ORDER

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

III. ROLL CALL

IV. APPROVAL OF AGENDA

V. PRESENTATIONS
• Michigan Gas Utilities Check Presentation
• Social/Emotional Learning from MASB Conference – Steve Kelly
• Social/Emotional Supports Guide – Bob Szymoniak

VI. COMMUNICATIONS

VII. REMARKS FROM THE PUBLIC*

VIII. SUPERINTENDENT/ADMINISTRATIVE REPORTS

IX. CONSENT AGENDA
1. Approval of Regular Board Meeting Minutes of November 18, 2019 (attachment IX-1)
2. Approval of Bills (attachment IX-2)
General Fund                                $151,363.75
Other Funds:
Early Childhood Center                      5,012.51
Food Service                                      75,252.95
Coop Ed (ISD) Tech Millage                  703.33
Total Bill List                              $232,332.54

3. Acceptance of Monthly Financial Report and ACH Transactions (attachment IX-3)
4. Acceptance of Student Activity Summary Report (attachment IX-4)
5. Acceptance of Credit Card and Utilities Report (attachment IX-5)
6. Approval of Capital Projects Progress Report (attachment IX-6)
7. Approval of Personnel Report (includes confirmation of new hires, resignations, retirees, and transfers) (attachment IX-7)

X. GENERAL BOARD BUSINESS
1. Other

XI. BUSINESS & FINANCE COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Elroy Buckner, Chairperson
1. Report of Committee Meeting held December 2, 2019 (attachment XI-1)
2. Asbestos Request for Proposal (attachment XI-2)
3. Cafeteria Tables (attachment XI-3)
4. Summer Tax Resolution (attachment XI-4)

XII. PERSONNEL COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Steve Kelly, Chairperson
1. Report of Committee Meeting held December 2, 2019 (attachment XII-1)
2. Fruitport Clerical Association Letter of Agreement (attachment XII-2)
3. Fruitport Education Association Letter of Agreement (attachment XII-3)

XIII. STUDENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Jill Brott, Chairperson
1. Report of Committee Meeting held December 3, 2019 (attachment XIII-1)
2. District Branding (attachment XIII-2)
3. Overnight Trip Request (attachment XIII-3)

XIV. BOARD MEMBER REPORTS AND DISCUSSIONS

XV. AGENDA ITEMS FOR FUTURE MEETINGS & SCHEDULING OF SPECIAL MEETINGS
1. Schedule Business & Finance Committee Meeting
2. Schedule Personnel Committee Meeting
3. Schedule Student Affairs Committee Meeting

XVI. REMARKS FROM THE PUBLIC*

XVII. CLOSED SESSION – Superintendent’s Evaluation per his request

XVIII. SUPERINTENDENT EVALUATION

XIX. ADJOURNMENT

~

*Time is provided for members of the audience to address the Board of Education regarding any topic including items on the agenda. The board is providing two opportunities for the public to comment during the meeting. The first is for people who wish to bring issues to the Board of Education for board consideration. At the end of the meeting the board will provide a brief opportunity for community members to comment on activities and/or discussion that took place during the board meeting. Time limits may be placed if a large number of individuals would like to address the board.

Fruitport Township Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda – 12/09/19

AGENDA
FRUITPORT CHARTER TOWNSHIP BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FRUITPORT TOWNSHIP HALL
5865 AIRLINE ROAD, FRUITPORT, MI 49415

DECEMBER 9, 2019

6:30 P.M. WORK SESSION
7:00 P.M. BOARD MEETING

01. Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States
02. Roll call
03. Approval of board minutes: 11/25/19
04. Approve / amend agenda
05. Correspondence / reports
06. Public comments regarding agenda items

07. Unfinished Business
A. Public Hearing: Mt. Garfield Rd. special assessment district
B. Second Reading: Truck Route Ordinance
C. Second Reading: Charge in Lieu of Assessment Ordinance

08. New Business
A. Muskegon County Road Commission Performance and Indemnification Resolution
B. Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce

09. Approval of Bills
10. Reports
11. Public Comments
12. Adjournment

The Township will provide necessary reasonable aids and services for this meeting to individuals with disabilities by writing or telephoning the following Township Clerk: Andrea Anderson, Fruitport Township Hall, 5865 Airline Road, Fruitport, MI 49415 (231) 865-3151

Frauenthal Center & West Michigan Youth Ballet Present The Nutcracker

December 15, 2019
The Nutcracker
3:00pm  |  Frauenthal Theater
Tickets: $23 Adults, $12 Children 12 and under

nutcrackerMake West Michigan Youth Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” part of your holiday tradition this year! “The Nutcracker,” a wonderful ballet for the entire family, tells the story of a little girl named Clara who is given a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve. She encounters the frightful rat king before embarking on a journey through the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Bringing to life this beloved story will be youth from twelve West Michigan dance studios, ranging from 8 – 18 years of age.

Fruitport Lions OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS

Friday December 13, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and
Saturday December 14, 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Santa Claus will be at each night. Hayrides & Food & Hot Beverages,  Holiday Music & Art on Display from the local schools each night.  Cardboard Sled Design contest on Saturday at 4:00 pm.

Senator Jon Bumstead Announces Upcoming Office Hours

from Senator Jon Bumstead’s November 1st Legislative Update

As your state senator, I remain committed to maintaining open communication by holding monthly office hours in various communities throughout my Senate district.

I will be available to answer questions, provide information and assistance, and take suggestions on issues affecting communities and businesses in the district.

Please feel free to stop in. No appointment is necessary. If you are unable to make it to the following dates, please contact my office at SenatorJonBumstead.com or call 517-373-1635, and we will get something set up for you.

Upcoming office hours are as follows:

Friday, Dec. 13
9 – 10 a.m.
Sullivan Township Hall
8138 Heights Ravenna Road
Ravenna

11 a.m. – noon
Ravenna Village Hall
12090 Crockery Creek Drive
Ravenna

Celebrating Connections Along the Grand River Greenway

Partners come together to celebrate the completion of the Versluis GVSU Campus Segment of the Idema Explorers Trail

partners

Left-right: County Commissioner Matt Fenske, Judge Peter Versluis, Bea Idema, President Philomena V. Mantella, Ambassador Peter Secchia, and County Commissioner Greg DeJong

The Idema Explorers Trail is a component of the Grand River Greenway, a $41 million dollar project spearheaded by Ottawa County Parks. The Grand River Greenway is comprised of 9,000 acres of public land between Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, with over 2,700 acres protected by Ottawa County Parks. The preservation of this land provides scenic natural spaces, high quality habitat for both wildlife and recreation, and soon, the 36.5-mile Idema Explorers Trail, connecting these two great cities.

Partners gathered on October 23, 2019 on Grand Valley State University’s campus to celebrate the completion of the Versluis GVSU Campus Segment of the Idema Explorers Trail. This one-mile segment trail connects Grand Ravines to GVSU’s Allendale campus, and the Allendale business district. The Idema Explorers Trail will be a 36.5-mile multi-use pathway that connects Grand Rapids to Grand Haven along the Grand River.

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella said the Grand River Greenway project improves the quality of life for students, as well as their experience and their access to the river. “Part of what attracted me and many of our students to our great university is the beauty of our campuses, and the settings along the Grand River are a part of that incredible beauty,” Mantella said. “This trail system will eventually connect our campuses and be used by thousands of our students and student athletes for training, education and recreation.”

Peter F. Secchia, co-chair of the Grand River Greenway Campaign Committee thanked the funders of this segment of trail, including the Ottawa County Parks Foundation, Georgetown Township, and the Versluis family and said it is an example of the importance of preserving nature and green spaces. Secchia and the Grand River Greenway Campaign Committee are working to raise the final $1.1 million needed for the project.

Watch Muskegon Market Report

from the Watch Muskegon Market Report October Newsletter

ATHENA

athenaThe ATHENA on the Lakeshore Awards are presented annually to recognize outstanding business and community leaders who live, work and play along the Lakeshore.

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Brianna T. Scott, Attorney/Member-Owner at Brianna T. Scott & Associates, PLLC was honored as the 2019 ATHENA Award Recipient. Abby Selby, CPA at Selby Tax and Accounting, was honored as the 2019 ATHENA Young Professional Award Recipient.

finalists

 

Nine finalists and ten young professional finalists were honored at the luncheon, which was attended by over 350 regional community and business leaders. Click the button below to learn more about how these exceptional women are impacting the Lakeshore.

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Work

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Teyondra Burch, winner of the September 5×5 Night

5×5 Night brought together five local entrepreneurs in Muskegon Heights to share their business ideas and compete for $5,000. The event, presented by Start Garden, is a monthly competition in West Michigan that supports putting ideas into action.

Watch Muskegon was proud to support the Muskegon Heights Unity Mixer that followed this event.

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promiseLearn

studentsThe Muskegon Area Promise has changed the lives of 700 students since 2015, helping them to continue their education past high school. This year, 443 promise scholars are attending college in Muskegon, with a projected annual cost savings of $1.75 million for Muskegon Area families. Click the button below to learn more about utilizing this unique program.

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FCS – Student Affairs Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/03/19

Student Affairs Committee
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
12:00 p.m. ~ Superintendent’s Office
MEETING MINUTES

Attendance: Jeff Grossenbacher, Allison Camp, Rob Rogers, Dave Hazekamp, Susan Franklin, Jill Brott, and Bob Szymoniak

1. An update on the high school Graduation Advocate position detailing how the high school is responding to students behind on credits was presented.

2. The option of implementing a closed campus at the high school given the new construction was discussed. The high school administration will return to a Student Affairs Committee meeting in February with a recommendation.

3. Consolidation of handling truancy making it a central office function was discussed. This work is in its infancy and the Student Affairs Committee will be kept informed on developments.

4. Charging students who fail virtual/dual enrollment courses for the cost of these courses was discussed. Committee member Susan Franklin will review the 21f law to determine if this would be allowed. This issue will be revisited at a future meeting.

5. District branding guidelines were reviewed as was the roll-out plan. The plan, as presented during the meeting, needed some adjustments. The Committee will review those adjustments as part of the Board packet for the upcoming Board meeting. Any further need for adjustment will be made at that meeting prior to taking action.

Meeting Adjourned at 1:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Bob Szymoniak

FCS – Personnel Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/02/19

Personnel Committee
Monday, December 2, 2019
5:00 p.m. ~ Superintendent’s Office
MEETING MINUTES

Attendance: Mark Mesbergen, Allison Camp, Steve Kelly, Tim Burgess, Dave Hazekamp, Bob Szymoniak

1. Letters of agreement with two union groups were shared. First, a letter of agreement with the clerical union was presented that would increase the allowable sick day bank and also increase the number of sick days that could be bought back. Second was a letter of agreement with the teachers’ union which would allow for a change in the calendar moving delayed start from January 8 to January 6, 2020.

2. An update was given on the work of the graduation advocate at the high school.

3. The Social/Emotional Support Guide was shared and given a brief explanation. It will be shared with the Board at the next Board meeting.

4. Committee member Steve Kelly discussed his learning from a recent MASB conference. He will present some of his learning at the next Board meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Bob Szymoniak

FCS – Business and Finance Committee Meeting Minutes – 12/02/19

Business and Finance Committee
Monday, December 2, 2019
11:30 a.m., Superintendent’s Office
Meeting Minutes

Attendance: Dave Hazekamp, Elroy Buckner, Bob Szymoniak, John Winskas, and Mark Mesbergen

1. Facilities Committee
Bob talked about creating a facilities committee to determine the direction for the future facilities needs along with how to finish the 2017 capital projects fund.

2. Asbestos RFP (Request for Proposal)
Mark and John presented the bid sheet for the two bids for the asbestos RFP. The RFP is for asbestos removal in the remaining portions of the high school. There was a requirement to assume 3,000 square feet of abatement as an estimation. The low bidder was disqualified due to not meeting the bidding requirements. Therefore, the recommendation is for Mid-State Asbestos to be awarded the contract. The total contract will change when demolition starts on the existing building.

3. Cafeteria Tables
Mark and John presented a proposal for cafeteria tables for the high school. This is part of the fixtures, furniture and equipment budget within the bond project to replace some of the existing tables. This will allow the tables to be easily moved, put up and taken down as the cafeteria will be used for multiple purposes. The proposal also includes the booths that are part of the design of the cafeteria. The vendor is part of the Sourcewell purchasing consortium.

4. Summer Tax Resolution
The annual summer tax resolution was discussed. Currently, Spring Lake Township and Fruitport Township collect summer taxes. There will be a resolution to continue collecting summer taxes on the board meeting agenda.

Meeting adjourned at 12:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Mark Mesbergen

Tulip Time Wins World Tulip Destination Worth Traveling For

HOLLAND, MI.The Tulip Time Festival is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, October 15, members of the World Tulip Summit Society (WTSS) gathered at the Tulip Soiree held in The Hague, The Netherlands, to announce the recipients of the 2019 World Tulip Awards. The “World Tulip Awards” recognize those that excel in the promotion and celebration of the tulip.  In the spirit of highlighting the world’s most dynamic tulip experiences and their contribution to world friendship, WTSS recognized Tulip Time among this year’s recipients.

World Tulip Awards are presented to organizations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of tulips as part of their destination’s tourism appeal. Tulip Time – Holland, Michigan, USA was recognized in the “World Tulip Destination Worth Traveling For” category. As an invited guest of the WTSS, Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director, accepted the award.

New Coalition of Muskegon County Cultural Leaders Releases Video Highlighting the Impact of Arts & Culture

submitted by Andy Buelow

MUSKEGON COUNTY: A new coalition of area cultural organizations has announced its presence with a flourish by releasing a powerful video highlighting the positive impact of arts and culture on a revitalized Muskegon and the surrounding area.

The six-minute video, produced by gifted videographer Arvin Candelaria, features interviews with community leaders, including Frank Bednarek, Muskegon Museum of Art Chair and Capital Campaign Co-Chair of the Playhouse at White Lake; Tom Harryman, faculty member at Muskegon Community College; Amy Heisser, Director of Shared Services at Arconic; Todd Jacobs, President of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County; Cindy Larsen, President of Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce; Visit Muskegon President Bob Lukens; Marvin Nash, Chairman of the CFFMC Frauenthal Committee; Asaline Scott, CEO of Harbor Development and Consulting; Scott Speck, Music Director of West Michigan Symphony; F. Remington Sprague, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Health, and Joe Zappacosta, Director of Hackley Public Library. The video can be viewed on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OolO5EOtKpw&feature=youtu.be

These leaders speak from their own experience regarding the impact cultural organizations are having on the area’s vibrancy. “Arts and culture help build us as a destination,” said Lukens, citing local organizations’ estimated economic impact of more than $13 million annually. Heisser agreed: “They don’t just serve Muskegon County residents. We attract people from throughout Michigan, and now with the cruise ships, we are open to the world!”

“Look how the Muskegon region has become a thriving hub of arts and culture,” said Speck. “That has done more than just increase the economic prospects and liveliness of the area. It has changed people’s mindsets.”

Evident throughout the video is the way arts, business and government leaders are effectively leveraging techniques of creative placemaking to reinvent the physical and social character of the community. According to the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the United States Conference of Mayors in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, “Creative placemaking animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together.”

Local examples are legion. They include the recent renovation of The Playhouse at White Lake as the central anchor of downtown Whitehall. Another case is urban artist Jube Rodriguez’s new Third Street Mural, created in partnership with Muskegon Museum of Art, Community enCompass, civic and business leaders. Currently in the works is a partnership between Muskegon Rotary and the West Michigan Symphony to bring all-weather, permanently-mounted outdoor musical instruments to parks in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. The first installation took place in August at McLaughlin Neighborhood Park.

Projects like these demonstrate the way arts and culture are the connecting link between urban renewal and community engagement. Creative placemaking means utilizing the arts to help solve community issues while involving the community every step of the way.

It also illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the bourgeoning economic vitality of the region and its investment in a vibrant cultural sector—a sector that spawns projects and spinoff growth that transcend the actual patronage of its anchor venues. The resulting environment attracts more people to the area—including cultural tourists and urban residents. Larsen cites the cultural sector as a key factor in talent recruitment, one of the Chamber’s most important priorities. The process accelerates as increasing economic support enables the sector to further expand its footprint. Ultimately, this creates a cycle that generates its own motive power.

The Muskegon Area Cultural Coalition (MAACC) formed in 2018 in the wake of an influx of new leadership in the area culture sector. Current members include Beth Beaman of The Playhouse at White Lake, Jason Bertoia of Muskegon Civic Theatre, Andy Buelow of West Michigan Symphony, Kirk Hallman of Muskegon Museum of Art, Eric Messing of the Frauenthal Center, Annoesjka Soler of Lakeshore Museum Center, and Joseph Zappacosta of Hackley Public Library. The organizations collectively employ more than 100, attract 100,000 patrons and tourists annually, and provide an economic impact of more than $13 million.

Secretary Benson Names Advisory Members for Task Force on Women in Sports

Leading experts to advise on task force’s work, recommendations

LANSING – In October, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the advisory members for the Michigan Task Force on Women in Sports. These 16 national leaders will advise the Task Force on its ongoing work and inform its final recommendations to the Governor.

taskforcelogoGovernor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order creating the task force in June, 47 years after the passage of Title IX. The executive order named Benson as chair of the task force. With the addition of the advisory members, the task force brings together local and national leaders to develop strategies to support and promote opportunities in Michigan for girls and women in sports.

“I am grateful that many of our country’s leaders in advancing women in sports will lend their expertise and experience to inform our work, placing Michigan in the forefront nationally for ensuring a level playing field for all,” Benson said.

X-Cell Integrative Health

Changing the Face of Healthcare

Fruitport, Michigan – Regenerative Medicine is the next biggest wave in health care that is presenting opportunities to help people regain function and improve the quality of their life without the use of drugs or surgery. . It is the science of using living cells such as Stem Cells to stimulate the body’s own Repair Mechanism. Potentially regenerating or facilitating the repair of joints damaged by disease, Injury or aging.

Stem Cells are derived from human umbilical cord tissue of healthy birthed babies and their mothers, which is the safest and least-invasive method of extraction available. These cells are naturally anti- inflammatory, immune regulating and regenerative in nature.

X-Cell Integrative Health is located in an adjoining suite to Fruitport Chiropractic at 3427 Farr Road in Fruitport Michigan. Dr. Christopher Popp M.D. our Clinic Director and Chenoah Walsh FNP our Nurse Practitioner are excited to be of service by improving function making a difference in the life of others. Michelle Peterson is our Office Manager and the key to making sure the operations run smoothly and the patient has a wonderful experience.

The future of Stem Cell Therapy is here. It offers you a painless option from surgery which is that is a safe and effective. You have a choice. Before, Surgery

231-865-7625 – michelle@fruitportchiropractic.com

Ottawa Sands Property Acquisition

On July 25, Ottawa County Parks completed the acquisition of the Ottawa Sands property in Ferrysburg, MI

ottawasands

Photo contributed by Bob Walma, Walma Compositions

This summer, Ottawa County Parks received a $3.82 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board to complete the acquisition of the Ottawa Sands. This grant, along with $200,000 of privately-raised funds by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, funded the second phase of property acquisition.

 

The first phase of acquisition was made possible by a $4.2 million grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) in 2018 and allowed Ottawa County Parks to purchase 188 acres of the property. The Land Conservancy purchased the remaining 157 acres in the summer of 2018 by securing a loan from The Conservation Fund, a national organization specializing in low-interest loans for conservation projects. In the year before the second phase of acquisition the Land Conservancy of West Michigan leased its 157 acres to Ottawa County Parks for management, so the park could open to the public.

“Ottawa Sands was an incredible opportunity, and all parties had to act quickly to secure its protection,” said Land Conservancy Executive Director Joe Engel. “We saw the immense value in working with Ottawa County Parks to protect this remarkable piece of property and are very grateful that the community stepped up to make this happen.”

Ottawa Sands is the “final piece of a puzzle” of a corridor of publicly owned land stretching from Muskegon County to Grand Haven.

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Chamber Classic Golf Outing Raises $4,500 for Muskegon Silent Observer Program

MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce promotes community safety through the Muskegon Silent Observer Program. With over 60 teams and dozens of volunteers, this year’s Chamber Classic golf outing, held at Chase Hammond Golf Club, raised $4,500 for the Muskegon Silent Observer Program. This is the largest amount raised to support the Silent Observer Program from the Chamber Classic.

“This additional funding will enable the Silent Observer Program to enhance marketing efforts throughout Muskegon County and provide additional funding for tips payouts,” said Tom Schultz, Silent Observer committee Chairman. “The number of tips received by Silent Observer, and the amount of rewards paid out for crimes solved, have increased significantly over the past several years. I’m confident that this additional funding will help to continue that momentum for the Silent Observer Program.”

The Silent Observer Program is funded by private donations and contributions from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. To find more information or to make a donation visit silentobservermuskegon.com.

To submit information on a crime call Silent Observer at 231-72-CRIME (7463), download the P3 Tips app on your Android or Apple device, or visit silentobserver.com.

Kathy Winston Named Outstanding Supervisor of the Year

kwinstonThe 20th Circuit Court, Friend of the Court (FOC), which serves Ottawa County, has long been recognized as one of the highest performing in Michigan. At the recent annual State Child Support Conference, Assistant Friend of the Court Kathy Winston earned the honor of “Outstanding Supervisor of the Year,” given by the Michigan Family Support Council. This award is given to only one supervisor from the Michigan Child Support Program, which includes staff from the Michigan Office of Child Support, and from county Friend of the Court offices and Prosecuting Attorney offices statewide.

Winston has served the people of Ottawa County for 32 years, first as a Data Processing Specialist then Friend of the Court Investigator and now as Assistant Friend of the Court. Drawing from her professional experience and personal knowledge, Winston has crafted creative solutions to improve efficiencies in operations, suggested relevant technologies and maintained a budget that is mindful of the needs of the office and local taxpayers. The FOC in Ottawa County is characterized as “high performing” based on both State and Federal performance measures, due to a dedicated staff who work to help families mediate cases, collect court-ordered funds and settle disputes between parents involving minor children.

Since becoming Assistant Friend of the Court in 2012, Winston’s positive attitude has led the FOC to take on new challenges, including implementation of mandatory electronic filing and the Alternative Work Location program which allows staff to work remotely. She is committed to making the Child Support Program better for families and for employees working within the program. Says one of her staff, Winston is “approachable and willing to find the right solution even if she has to do the work herself. She has done almost every job in the office; she keeps up to date on trends in the field and moves our office forward. She also is exceptionally fair and does not take sides.”