News

$43 Million for 2018 Road Repair in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties

18% Increase Over 2017 Spending

Muskegon—Representative Holly Hughes announced that counties in the 34th State Senate district would receive over 18% more in road funding this year over last year. The funding increase is due to the recent vote to add $175 million to this years’ transportation budget and her effort in 2015 committing the State to future road repairs. HB 4370 of 2015, sponsored by Representative Hughes and signed into law, commits the State to spending increasing amounts annually on roads through 2021.

“Our roads need repair now. The good news is, $43 million will be spent this year in the three counties comprising the 34th senate district. Orange barrels should be a common sight this summer in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties. I will continue to push the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to concentrate on road repair until everyone of us can drive without fear of potholes,” said Holly Hughes.

The Counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana and the Cities and Villages within these Counties will receive roughly $43 million to be used for road repairs. Nearly $26.5 million to Muskegon County, almost $9.5 million to Newaygo, and Oceana will receive just over $7 million.

Muskegon County Youth Serving Systems Share Partnership Outcomes

Muskegon, MI: It’s been just over a year since the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) awarded HealthWest a four year, $4 million grant to build and strengthen partnerships among local agencies to effectively address the needs of youth with, or at-risk for, mental illness and other challenges. The grant is providing resources to fill gaps in the system ultimately providing a “System of Care” for children and their families.

MYalliance (Muskegon Youth Alliance) System of Care is a collaboration between youth, parents, schools and agencies working together to improve services for youth across Muskegon County. This effort is focused on increasing access to needed services and engaging youth and families to help design the programs that serve them.

The Systems of Care approach helps communities to see better outcomes for youth and families including improved mental health, better school results, and youth staying safe and out of trouble. Systems of Care is all about collaboration, cultural understanding, resiliency, and community engagement.

The Systems of Care approach has two major components: System level strategies and service level strategies. At the system level, a formal governance structure has been developed, cross-system professional development is regularly occurring, barrier busting is underway and increased youth, young adult and family engagement is happening across the various youth serving systems.

At the service level there are four major services being built to support multi-system engaged youth or youth at risk for behavioral health challenges. These include a school based approach with Pathways to Potential and other community partners to bring mental health clinicians and supports into the local school districts, a County-wide mobile stabilization response for youth in crisis, a shared assessment tool and process across systems, and a partnership supporting the redesign of Muskegon County’s Juvenile Justice System in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati.

One of the largest service level pieces of MYalliance is rolling out school based mental health services in seven Muskegon County school districts. Following an interview process with the seven applying school districts, it was decided that the three districts included in phase one of the program roll-out would be Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System, Orchard View Public Schools and Reeths-Puffer Public Schools. These three districts started the school year with additional supports through MYalliance System of Care. School based services will be expanded to Holton Public Schools and Montague Public Schools starting in the 2018/2019 school year and Muskegon Public Schools and Oakridge Public Schools in the 2019/2020 school year.

HealthWest and its partners are working to fill system gaps in collaboration with the State of Michigan’s Pathways to Potential model which provides school-based human services staff to improve outcomes in attendance, education, health, safety and self-sufficiency.

In order to sustain the systems once in place, conversations are taking place with the State of Michigan to develop strategies like braided and blended funding between systems and reinvesting dollars saved from diverted residential and psychiatric placements. Other community based funding mechanisms are also being sought out.

Current Systems of Care partners include HealthWest, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, Muskegon County Family Court, The Juvenile Transition Center, Muskegon County, individual school districts, youth serving agencies, healthcare organizations including federally qualified health centers, and area youth and families.

The implementation of establishing Systems of Care stems from a County-wide survey that studied “ACEs”, Adverse Childhood Experiences, or traumatic events such as abuse, neglect, or family dysfunction that affect Muskegon County’s population. Data from a national ACE study shows that there is a direct relationship between a person’s ACE score and negative health and social outcomes. From November 2015-September 2016, the ACES Muskegon team made up of cross-agency partners and community members conducted the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) survey, collecting retrospective information from 2,252 adults living and working in Muskegon County. The data showed that Muskegon County residents as a whole have more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) than the national average. For more information on the ACEs survey, visit http://healthwest.net/community-resources/aces-muskegon/.

Convicted Jury-Nullification Advocate, Wood, Receives Award

Bath, Michigan –  Keith Wood, a Michigan businessman who was convicted of “jury tampering” for handing out pamphlets on a public sidewalk, was presented with the “Spokesperson for Liberty Award” by the Libertarian Party of Michigan on Saturday night.

The Defender of Liberty Award Banquet (AKA “LibbyFest”)  was held March 10th at the Eagle Eye Banquet Center, Bath, Michigan.  The “Spokesperson for Liberty Award” is one of three “Defender of Liberty Awards” that may be presented annually.  It goes to a member of the community whose patriotism and conviction have inspired contributions to the cause of liberty.

Wood’s case remains in the appeal process.  He was initially arrested in 2015 after distributing a pamphlet entitled, “Jury Rights: True or False?” from the sidewalk in front of the Mecosta County courthouse in Big Rapids.  The pamphlet described the important American legal tradition that juries may choose not to convict a person for violating a law the jury decides is unjust.  In 2017  Wood was sentenced by a Mecosta County judge to eight weekends in jail, six months’ probation, 120 hours of community service, and $545.00 in fines, for jury tampering.

After receiving the award, Wood commented “Earlier in my life I felt powerless; not being able to effect change or make a difference. Then I learned of jury nullification and became excited about the power one juror has to make a difference in another’s life. An individual can make a difference, and I wanted to make sure others realized they could make a difference too.”

While presenting the award, nominator Scotty Boman said, “He was simply exercising his right to free expression… he was convicted of tampering with a jury that didn’t even exist!”

Keith Wood was initially charged with jury tampering and obstruction of justice because prosecutors claimed that he was trying to influence potential jurors before they heard a case against Andy Yoder, an Amish man who was accused of draining a wetland that was on his property. Yoder’s case never went to trial and Wood said he didn’t know Yoder. Rather, he said he just wanted to inform potential jurors that they had the right to vote their conscience over the law.

The obstruction charges were dropped last March and Wood was tried by a jury of six in June.  The jury found him guilty of jury tampering. This, after the judge barred the defense from mentioning the fact that no jury trials were scheduled, and thus no jurors were under oath the day Wood passed fliers out.

The case was appealed, but on February 2nd of this year, in Mecosta County, Isabella County District Judge Eric Janes upheld the conviction.

The other Defender of Liberty Award went to Loel Gnadt, who received the Producer of Liberty Award, which goes to a dedicated, behind-the-scenes Libertarian whose quiet labors over the years exemplifies the backbone of the Libertarian Party.

To learn more about jury nullification, go to www.fija.org.   To learn more about the Libertarian Party of Michigan, visit www.michiganlp.org.

Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Launches DUNEiversity

Outdoor education program offers team building for employers, teachers

MUSKEGON, Mich.- The Lake Michigan sand dunes are more than 3,000 years old, but there’s something new in the sand dunes around Muskegon State Park.

The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is launching its first year-round program with a DUNEiversity, an educational program that teaches team building as well as environmental awareness and how to stay active and healthy outdoors.

Groups ranging from elementary students, to sports teams, to corporate leadership teams can arrange a private reservation to spend a day in the sand dunes with a facilitator learning and developing team skills.

The program uses experiential learning as a way of teaching, where both kids and adults are taught how to work together as a team through playing games and adventuring  in the outdoors. Each game is followed up with a period of reflection facilitated by a DUNEiversity staff member.

“Last summer we beta tested the program with kids from local schools and some local businesses like the Community Foundation and Holiday Inn managers,” said Bill Bailey, DUNEiversity’s Adventure Planner.

“What we found is adults have just as much fun playing outdoors and can learn just as much as any kid can. You’re never too old to play and learn,” said Bailey

The program will be in place year-round and groups interested in participating can work with DUNEiversity staff to set goals and arrange an outing.

The Winter Sports Complex is operated by the Muskegon Sports Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Last spring the organization announced plans to develop a zip line canopy tour and other year-round attractions. A portion of the plan was crowd funded last fall and construction will begin later this year.

“DUNEiversity will play a big role in advancing our mission into year-round activities,” said Jim Rudicil,” Executive Director of the Muskegon Sports Council.

“We want to make Muskegon County a healthier place and we believe we’ll reach that goal by working with our local teachers and employers to get more students and working class individuals active in the outdoors through team building,” said Rudicil.

DUNEiversity has already booked school field trips and corporate team building reservations for this spring. After Memorial day the program will also offer summer day camps for kids and paddling classes. Teams who wish to make a reservation can start working with a DUNEiversity Adventure Planner at their website, DUNEiversity.com.

Church Leaders Guarding & Enabling Sexual Predators

issued by the Jonathan Carey Foundation
from EINPresswire.com

ALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, December 20, 2017 — Breaking News: Catholic Church leaders in New York State are looking the other way as thousands of women and children with disabilities are being raped in institutions and group homes. Pope Francis, this is not ‘fake news’ or old news, this is current news, it is happening right now in New York State as your Church leaders look the other way.

Thousands of reported sexual assaults and rapes of vulnerable New Yorkers, many of whom are vulnerable Catholic’s, are covered-up by Governor Cuomo and his corrupt Justice Center. Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Bishop Edward Scharfenberger pictured above together with Governor Andrew Cuomo have known about the scope of these sexual assaults, rapes and cover-ups for an extended period of time and they have done nothing to stop these atrocities. Both Bishop Scharfenberger and Cardinal Dolan have been complicit and have remained silent.

In Albany New York, the Capital of New York State, which is well known for its corruption, Governor Cuomo set up his own internal reporting system to bypass 911 and local police so that most reported sexual assault and rape crimes committed against the disabled within his agencies would disappear. The same discriminatory practice and obstruction of justice is true regarding the bypassing of 911 emergency call centers and local police for thousands of physical assault crimes and hundreds of negligent deaths every year. What was just exposed in Australia is far worse in New York State, the rampant sexual assaults, rapes and cover-ups continue within thousands of State and private mental health facilities and group homes under Governor Cuomo’s authority.

Enforcing Vapor Product Compliance Checks in Muskegon County

Missy Gallegos, Public Health Educator

Muskegon, MI – Each year as part of the No Cigs for Our Kids Campaign, local tobacco retailers are checked for compliance under the Youth Tobacco Act which prohibits the selling, giving or furnishing of tobacco products to minors. The Youth Tobacco Act does not include vapor products also known as e-cigarettes or ENDS. In 2015, the Muskegon County Commission adopted Ordinance No. 2015-487 Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors. This ordinance makes it illegal to furnish tobacco products, including vapor products to minors.

Beginning March of 2018 Public Health – Muskegon County and the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office began checking compliance of the ordinance at all tobacco and vape shop retailers in Muskegon County. Many vapor products contain nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Teens that use vapor products could unknowingly become addicted.

Overall youth cigarette use is declining; however, there is a growing trend of vapor product use. In Muskegon County the percentage of students using electronic vapor products is 10% higher than traditional cigarettes, according to the 2015 – 2016 Michigan Profile for a Health Youth (MiPHY). Nationally, there was over a 900% increase in e-cigarette use over the same time period.

“From 2013 to 2018 many tobacco retailers in Muskegon County have met 100% compliance on traditional cigarette checks,” explains Missy Gallegos, a Public Health Educator and Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative (DYTUR) at Public Health Muskegon County. “With vaping becoming a growing trend among teens, we want all retailers to be in compliance and to understand the important role they play in preventing nicotine addiction.”

Editorial Notes:

Muskegon County Board of Commissioners Ordinance No. 2015-487 Possession of Tobacco Products by Minors
http://www.muskegonhealth.net/laws/documents/TobaccoMinorsOrdinance.pdf

Youth Tobacco Act
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/mcl/pdf/mcl-Act-31-of-1915.pdf

Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth
https://mdoe.state.mi.us/schoolhealthsurveys/ExternalReports/CountyReportGeneration.aspx

E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults A Report of the Surgeon General
https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/2016_SGR_Exec_Summ_508.pdf

NPR ‘Abused & Betrayed’ Series Must Lead to National Reforms

Surveillance cameras and immediate 911 reporting are vital steps to dramatically reduce the epidemic of rapes of vulnerable women & children with disabilities
from EINPresswire.com

ALBANY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, January 23, 2018 — NPR has released a scathing investigative reporting series called “Abuse and Betrayed” exposing massive sexual assaults and rapes of people with disabilities. According to NPR, who obtained information from the U.S. Department of Justice, people with disabilities are sexually assaulted seven or more times the rate of anyone else.

Abused and Betrayed
https://www.npr.org/series/575502633/abused-and-betrayed

The wide-scale discrimination against our most vulnerable citizen with disabilities must be stopped. To deny people with disabilities immediate 911 emergency first responder services and to deny them “equal protections of laws” is discrimination in civil rights.

In the first NPR exposé, the story of a very dangerous New York State caregiver and pedophile that the Jonathan Carey Foundation has been speaking about for many months is again brought to light. In a nutshell, this man was sexually assaulting and filming at least one disabled boy that he was supposed to be taking care of in a New York State operated group home.

 

 

The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/08/570224090/the-sexual-assault-epidemic-no-one-talks-about

Schools, Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders Collaborate to Enhance School Safety

Ottawa/Allegan Counties, MI- The Ottawa Area Secure Schools Network (OASSN) —a combined effort between schools, law enforcement, and emergency responders within the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) to enhance school safety across the region— hosted a Spring Summit March 1 at the Ottawa County Fillmore Administration Building in West Olive.

Over 150 representatives from public, private, and charter schools, law enforcement agencies, fire departments, and other responders and support agencies attended the event to continue to coordinate and share training across all agencies; share practices and plans across the region and between agencies; and develop common safety procedures, protocol and language. These were identified as the top goals of the network during the 2017 fall summit.

“The OASSN summits help everyone hear the most up-to-date school safety answers from those who are experts in each of their respective subject areas,” Cal DeKuiper, superintendent for Zeeland Public Schools, said. “Working together takes regional cooperation to a deeper level resulting in a higher level of preparedness should the unthinkable ever happen in our region.”

The Libertarian Party of Michigan Opposes Donald Trump’s Renewed War on Marijuana

Lansing, MI – On January 4, 2018, Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he is rescinding the current Department of Justice policy which places a low priority on enforcing marijuana prohibition in States with laws that have legalized the growing, possession and use of marijuana. The current policy, now rescinded, led to an explosion in the growth of the medical marijuana sector and legalization for medical purposes here in Michigan. Over half of the States now have legalized medicinal marijuana and eight states allow recreational use.

The Libertarian Party of Michigan strongly opposes this action by the Donald Trump administration. Federal prohibition of marijuana use violates both individual rights and States’ rights.

Libertarians believe that individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and must accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. We also believe that laws should be limited to protecting individuals from the initiation of force and fraud. Therefore we support the repeal of laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as Federal and State laws limiting or prohibiting the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

The “war on drugs” has been a spectacular failure. Though billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been spent, usage remains almost unchanged. What has changed is that an enormous number of individuals have been imprisoned, ruining their lives and the lives of their families. Marijuana prohibition has resulted in increased crime, official corruption and deaths. Drug cartels and related criminal activity are a direct result of prohibition. The Libertarian Party supports initiatives in Michigan that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults.

The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that the powers not granted to the Federal government or prohibited by it to the States are reserved to the States, or to the people. Nowhere does the Constitution grant the Federal government the power to prohibit the growing, distribution and use of marijuana. Thus, decisions regarding marijuana are clearly reserved to the States and the people. The Libertarian Party supports Federal legislation that would implement the Constitution by repealing Federal marijuana prohibition laws.

To contact President Trump concerning this issue, go to https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/. To learn more about the Libertarian Party of Michigan, visit www.michiganlp.org.

Caleb Przybylek’s First Buck

by Rich Przybylek

calebsbuck

Caleb Przybylek’s first buck, a 6pt, shot on November 3 with a crossbow at 25 yards out. He has a heck of a story if you want to hear it. He is a 7 th grade student at Fruitport Middle School .

Let me start by telling you that I was not too enthused about hunting this year. That’s until Caleb came home from school about a week before the youth hunt, and told me he wanted to hunt and shoot a deer this year. I am an avid hunter and I have definitely been blessed but just felt like my hunting was missing something. Well I got our crossbow out and we went and sighted it in and let’s just say Caleb only needed to take one practice shot, bullseye first shot at 20 yards. So the youth weekend was here and it was gonna be miserably hot. I warned him that it was probably gonna be too hot to see deer, and we saw none. I was worried, for I just got him to hunt and not seeing deer can be a turn off and he told me he didn’t care to see deer he just wanted to spend time with me😢. It’s now the third week of bow and I can’t get him to come back out with me, but he got me excited about being out and I shot a 5pt. We hunt state land so just seeing bucks at times is tough. I went up on the 27th of October again by myself and I had a real nice 6pt coming in but I could not shoot it but knew my son could and that this might boost his confidence. I came and talked him in to going by telling him I guarantee you’ll shoot a deer, possibly a buck. I convinced him to go with me on Friday nov. 3rd and not 20 minutes in the stand, 4:15 to be exact the 6pt was coming in. I had Caleb pick up the bow, turn the safety off, and get ready. I could see he was getting nervous. He was shaking and breathing hard so I whispered to him over and over to take deep breaths and calm down. I also told him to aim at his shoulder and to not take it off. Caleb had to hold the red dot on him for 10 minutes until he cleared a few trees. He was doing so great being patient letting that buck take his time and he did not speed the shot, I teach him to never take bad shots. Finally the buck turned his head only to look behind him and in doing so he stepped forward a foot giving my son a shot. I was gonna tell him to shoot but before I could he did. Direct hit right through the heart, it only ran 20 yards and dropped. The deer did not suffer, for it was a perfect shot. I look to Caleb and say good shot and grab the crossbow so he doesn’t drop it in excitement. Then I noticed Caleb was in full tears.. I asked if he was crying because he’s sad he killed a deer and he said no. I said why then do you cry, he says to me these are tears of glory dad, I never thought I would ever shoot a buck. He didn’t know but I shed a tear myself, because I knew exactly what I was missing in my hunting, my new hunting partner Caleb. On the way home the fun competition and heckling started toward me, Caleb was teasing by saying I shot a bigger deer than you dad. I smiled and said yes! Yes you did. I so look forward to future hunting with him and my other 3 kids in the future. Thanks for letting me tell you this, Caleb is an amazing 12 year old trying to find who he is like most boys and girls his age and he lacks confidence in himself. After this hunt, I’ve seen a change in him and see him starting to gain confidence.

Missing Dog

titanTitan has been missing since December. He is male one blue eye one brown he is three years old, if you’ve seen him or have any information please contact me at (231)-736-9416

Kira Fisher

Watch Muskegon Beautification

WATCH MUSKEGON… BEAUTIFY

watchusgoThe goal of the Watch Muskegon Campaign is to enhance the overall image of the Muskegon area and to share positive changes both locally and regionally – early data results show that our efforts are working!

As we continue to focus on our three pillars of Education, Beautification, and Marketing, we’d like to share how the Watch Muskegon campaign has made an impact with Beautification!

DID YOU KNOW?

The Watch Muskegon Beautification pillar focuses on Muskegon County with an emphasis on one of our main corridors, Sherman Boulevard. We began our beautification process with a study identifying ways to improve Sherman Boulevard. A complete link to the Beautification Study can be found here. Since the beginning of the campaign, Watch Muskegon has…

verticaltwo• Created and been involved with multiple clean-up projects along Sherman Blvd.
• Coordinated a major clean-up project on Sherman Blvd. which included curb enhancements on a 1.5 mile stretch from Seaway Dr. to Getty St.
• Began an implementation strategy for gateway features in key areas along Sherman Blvd. from US-31 to Lake Michigan.
• Identified multiple locations for pocket parks on Sherman Blvd. and began the approval process for one pocket park.
• Facilitated an Adopt-a-Lot Program.
horizontaltwos• Added permanent trash receptacles in locations with significant foot traffic and debris.
• Worked with organizations to clean-up blighted properties.
• Painted fencing along Sherman Blvd.
• Researched and drafted a proposal for an anti-litter campaign.
• Created relationships with municipalities, local residents and businesses along Sherman Blvd. to implement change.

GET INVOLVED!

The Watch Muskegon campaign is comprised of several local businesses and individuals throughout Muskegon County and is funded 100% by private donations. The “US” in WATCH US GO is everyone, and anyone can be part of the positive change!

SIGN UP FOR THE WATCH MUSKEGON NEWSLETTER

HELP SUPPORT ANOTHER 3 YEAR CAMPAIGN

Have questions? Contact Carla Flanders at cflanders@muskegon.org.

 

Pine Hill Cemetery: Preserving Its History

By Kimberly Slezak

pinehillFruitport Township’s Cemetery, The Pine Hill Cemetery, is located in section 36 at Brooks and Pontaluna Roads. Commonly referred to as “Fruitport Cemetery”, there are no legal records to support it ever being called that. We do know that much of Fruitport’s history can be told through the cemetery.

Originally a part of Norton Township until it separated and organized under the name of Lovell in 1867, Fruitport officially became its own township on March 31, 1871. Due to the lack of paper records, exact dates are unknown for many pieces of the cemetery’s history. It is known however that in its earliest years, land for the cemetery was deeded to the township by Thomas and Ellen Smalley, Edward and Julia Craw, and Jesse H. Cooley.

Township records do not exist, but it is said that a potter’s field, for those residents who had no means for a proper burial, was located in the area of Bridge Street and Brooks Road. It has also been said that a Native American burial ground was located near the cemetery as well. Native American artifacts have been found in the area over the years, suggesting a burial ground.

The exact date of the first burial in the cemetery is unrecorded, but the oldest legible headstone dates back to 1877.

There are six known Civil War Veterans buried in Pine Hill Cemetery. These include Augustus Converse, Henry C. Barnes, Silas H. Hendryx, Moses Bigelow, Levi Bigelow, and Daniel Blackmer. These particular headstones are marked with the bronze star of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was a fraternal organization for Civil War Veterans, specifically of the Union Army, organized in 1866. The organization became extinct in 1956 when its last member died.

ford

Harry Ford, Joseph C. Ford, Joseph Jr. Ford

One of Fruitport’s most notable residents, Joseph C. Ford, is also buried at Pine Hill. The Ford family headstone is one of the largest to be found in the cemetery. Joseph was Superintendent of Spring Lake Iron Co. and also served as Fruitport Township Supervisor for a period. He and his family made their home at what is now The Village Park Bed and Breakfast located across the street from the present Pomona Park. The Fords had nine children, one of which died as an infant. Their youngest child, Harry, drowned in Spring Lake in 1902, in front of the Pavillion dance hall during its first year in operation. Joseph, his wife Alice, Harry, and their infant child are buried at Pine Hill.

In 1960 the mausoleum was built at Pine Hill and its first internment was in 1961. A small section of land located adjacent to the mausoleum was set aside specifically for babies and infants. Commonly referred to as “Baby Land”, the first burial in this location was Baby Akins in 1963.

The George Forsberg Memorial Chapel was added in 1973. Due to the lack of use, it is now part of the garage and storage for the cemetery.

Pine Hill and its interred residents have a great amount of history waiting to be shared. In an effort to save accurate information for future generations, The Fruitport Historical Society is seeking family biographies for those buried at Pine Hill. If you have any information that you would like to share, please contact the Fruitport Historical Society at fruitporthistory@gmail.com, or through our Facebook page. Information can also be dropped off at the Fruitport District Library.

To date, members of the Fruitport Historical Society have photographed and cataloged each and every headstone in the Pine Hill Cemetery. All of this can be found on the Pine Hill link of the Muskegon County Genealogical Society web page at www.genealogymuskegon.com. The society would eventually like to add any biographies that can be obtained.

The “cemetery project” team of the Fruitport Historical Society would like to thank the present caretaker, Jerry Darga, for his excellent job maintaining our beautiful cemetery. His hard work and pride shows and is greatly appreciated!

Mercy Health Appoints New President

garyalloreYour chamber is excited that our former Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Board Chair is now the President of Mercy Health. Gary’s positive leadership style will be a great asset for our healthcare community and for the chamber. We look forward to working with Gary on new partnerships and collaborations.

Congratulations, Gary Allore!

Memories of Donald L. Wood

By Pat Stressman

I have known Don for many, many years. Our children had him for a principal at Edgewood School. He really worked hard for all the children at the school. I also worked in the administrative offices of the school and could see all the good that he was doing as an administrator. My children continued to call him “Mr. Wood,” even when they were married and had children of their own. They respected him as well as everyone who knew him.

In 2001 he became the pastor at Fruitport Congregational UCC and I was the secretary. He was very interested in the people who attended the church and tried to make things better for all concerned. I remember when he would always have some sort of gift for members of the service, whether military or first responders, on special days such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day. He was here when 9-11 occurred. Many people came in to pray during that time and he was always there to comfort them and pray with them.

As the years went by, he started some new programs, one of which was Holy Humor Sunday. It is the Sunday following Easter and there was always a theme involved. One theme was baseball. He loved the Cubs. He even had a picture of Wrigley Field with his name on the marquee. He wore his Cub shirt to the service. He once said that he wasn’t going to die until the Cubs won the World Series. He got his wish!

Don had a small French poodle named Morgan. Many times he would bring her to the office. She would stay under his desk or on his lap the entire time he was there. Just this past August, Morgan was so ill that she had to be put down. He was very emotional about the loss.

For many years, Don was in the Fruitport Lions Club. He and Dan Leaver pretty much ran the Old Fashioned Days Race every year. He would sit at his desk and type up the results to be published in the “Michigan Runner” magazine. Many of the statistics are still being published annually at every Old Fashioned Days Race.

It became more and more difficult for Don to get around. His knees and hips were becoming increasing sore. He lived in Hesperia and commuted to the office on a daily basis. He was having a hard time driving at night but continued to pursue it. It was suggested that he find a place here in Fruitport. He did, once, but it didn’t work out. The winter weather made it even more difficult for him and so on December 31, 2015 he retired from the church. No one knew what he would do with himself since his life was centered around the church activities. He loved to read and feed the wild animals around his house, but he still missed his friends from the church and community.

He will be missed by all who knew him.

Upset Hindus Seek Resignation & Apology of Kellogg’s CEO for Beef Non-Disclosure

Upset Hindus are seeking resignation and apology of multinational food company Kellogg’s CEO John A. Bryant for non-disclosure of beef in some of its cereals and other products, and immediate recall of all such items from the market.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was shocking for Hindus to learn that some of the cereals, etc., they had been eating for years contained beef while there was no mention of beef under the ingredients mentioned on the boxes/packages.

Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, points out.

A response from Kellogg Consumer Affairs for an enquiry received on August 12 via email, however, admitted—Gelatin derived from beef is found in the following: All varieties of Kellogg’s® Frosted Pop-Tarts®, All varieties of Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal,  All varieties of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats™ cereal. Some of our foods contain gelatin that is derived from either beef or pork; which include: All Kellogg’s® fruit flavored snacks, All Kellogg’s® Krave Treat Bars.

It was a very serious issue for the devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they would come to know that they were unknowingly eating beef-laced popular cereals and other Kellogg’s products, Rajan Zed noted. Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal was reportedly introduced in 1969.

What happened to the “integrity” and “accountability” of Kellogg’s, which boasted these as the company’s “Values” on its website? Zed asked and added that it was hard to comprehend that why Kellogg’s did not mention beef clearly under the ingredients on the box/package when it was part of the product inside. Is this the way Kellogg’s wanted to advance its “Vision” to “enrich and delight the world”? Zed wondered.

Now was the time for Kellogg’s to demonstrate its “commitment to integrity and ethics” by admitting their error of not being transparent enough to mention in clear and simple terms what was inside the box/package so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices, Rajan Zed indicated.

Launched in 1906 and headquartered in Battle Creek (Michigan, USA), awards-winning Kellogg’s claims to be “world’s leading cereal company” with over 1600 foods and sales of $13 billion in 2016. Founded by Will Keith Kellogg, Kellogg’s stated “Purpose” is: Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive. Kellogg India is based in Mumbai.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

Myth Busters: Fruitport History Edition

by Brian Zwart

For anyone that has done any amount of traveling, they know that every small town has its fair share of secrets, legends and myths. Well, Fruitport is no different. As I’ve been studying local history, I’ve come across several examples of this in our little town. The Fruitport Historical Society has fielded many of these questions, but I thought it would be worthwhile to dispense with some of the most notorious ones for all to hear.

One of the most popular stories that I’ve heard involves the ‘Fruitport Gold’. Ron Cooper brought me in on this several years ago and I spent some time researching it for myself. The story involves a stagecoach robbery, a death bed confession, and of course, Fruitport’s Pomona House. In August 1874, five men from Muskegon headed north to White Cloud and robbed a stagecoach loaded with payroll for the logging camps. Dressed as Indians, the men got away with $74,000 worth of gold coins. Today, that amount would be worth over $1.5 million. One of the men, Sam Norris, worked as a janitor at the Pomona House and hid his share of the loot in the cellar wall of the hotel. A year later the hotel burned. The story seemed to end there; until Ron Cooper received a letter from a woman in Florida in 1986 that included a copy of the original ‘deathbed confession’ that told the story. The author of the letter was Sarah Norris, Sam’s sister who was filled with shame and regret that her brother would have done such a thing. Apparently, the hotel burned before the gold could be removed. This myth, according to my research and that of Ronn Mann Sr., is true. The robbery really happened and part of the gold was more than likely hidden in Pomona Park as indicated by the letter.

However, it is highly unlikely that it is still there. After extensive renovations, the Pomona House reopened about a year after the first fire, which means carpenters and construction workers would have torn down walls and rebuilt most of the remaining structure. After the second fire in 1876, the cellar was left exposed in Pomona Park for decades. More than likely, someone would have found it and never said a thing about it. In the summer of 2012, I was present for an archaeological dig seeking the foundations of the Pomona House. Many people stopped to ask if we were looking for gold. No, we weren’t; nor did we find any. So, this myth is true. But don’t waste your time looking for it, because it’s long gone.

The next myth is a fun one. It involves secret tunnels that run under the Village Park Bed and Breakfast. The bed and breakfast was at one time the home of Joseph Ford, manager and operator of the Spring Lake Iron Company. Many older residents recall Furnace Town, well, that was it. Ford built his home in the early 1880s and lived there until his death in 1912. While there is no historical indication that the tunnels actually exist, previous residents claim to have found them and even admit to playing in them as children. I was invited by the current owners to investigate this a few years back, and found it very interesting. While I did not find the entrance to the tunnels myself, there is indication that they are there, or once were. Some stories have been floating around about the purpose of these tunnels. One explanation was that they were used by John Dillinger to rob the Fruitport bank. According to local legend, one tunnel ran east from the current bed and breakfast directly under what is now Fifth Third Bank. Well, John Dillinger was born in 1903 and died in 1934. The bank wasn’t built until 1963; so that one is bunk. The next one claims that bootleggers used another tunnel, this one extended south under the road into the basement of the Pomona House, to steal and transport booze. Again, the dates don’t add up. The Pomona House was gone for nearly twenty years before the Ford home was even built. Another version of the story gives a possible use of the tunnels as part of the Underground Railroad. Most northern towns would love to say they contributed to this noble cause, however, it is not likely. Again, the dates simply do not add up. Thanks to the 13th Amendment, slavery was officially ended in 1865. Michigan did play a part in the Underground Railroad, but the furthest stop north was in the Jackson area. Also, the house wasn’t built for another fifteen years. While we haven’t found any tunnels, they very well may be there. However, their purpose was more than likely something innocent and not nefarious. This myth is plausible.

benttree

Photo courtesy of the Fruitport Historical Society

The last myth that I’ll cover is one that may strike a chord with most Fruitport residents. It is one of the most impactful and longest lasting of the local myths; the bent Oak tree. For those who don’t know where or what this is, it is a strangely bent Red Oak tree located between the westbound and eastbound sections of I-96 on Airline Road heading south into Fruitport. When the highway was built, the Michigan Department of Transportation supposedly left this tree alone. Legend has it that this tree was bent by Indians and used as a trail marker heading to the trading posts in Grand Rapids. This story has a few problems. Firstly, while Indians did live and trade in the Fruitport area, their presence was very much depleted by the signing of the Treaty of Washington in 1836. This treaty was the formal ceding of most of the state of Michigan to the United States by the Native tribes.

oldbenttree

One of the earliest known photographs of the Bent Oak Tree, date unknown. From the Collection of the Lakeshore Museum Center.

By using approximate dating methods, the oak tree in question is roughly 160 years old. This is a working number calculated from multiplying the trees diameter and the growth factor for that species of tree. Many environmental factors could impact this number and change it in either direction. The branch that extends out is smaller and is approximately 100 years old. Assuming the age is correct, that would place the initial growth year of the tree in 1857 and the branch in 1917. These years tell us some things. First, the initial date for the main tree trunk was twenty one years after the land was ceded to the United States government. In that era, when more and more white settlers moved in, the natives quickly moved out. Michigan became a state on January 26, 1837, and by 1860 nearly 750,000 residents were calling themselves Michiganders. The second date, if correct for the branch, puts it way out of the question that it was done by Indians. In 1917 the world was engulfed in World War I and the native presence in Michigan was almost completely assimilated to western culture.

Second, as a matter of respect for the native peoples of the America’s, they were very precise. With a small background in archaeology, I have seen some beautiful and amazing things that were designed and built by native peoples. They were accurate and precise. In regards to the tree, the branch points almost directly east, with an azimuth of about 93 degrees. If a traveler were to follow the direction of the tree branch, it would take them to Rockford, not Grand Rapids. This is about fifteen miles north of their supposed destination. If the tree was bent by Indians, I don’t think their target destination was Grand Rapids. If our tree was just one of many that pointed towards Grand Rapids, the others are long gone.

Now, this is what we do know. Fruitport and the rest of West Michigan was home to loads of Native Americans. When the first settlers came into the Fruitport area, which was officially in 1841, they more than likely still encountered some natives. But they were on the decline and were heading north, west or were beginning to assimilate into western culture. Some historical evidence does exist that might give a reasonable explanation about the tree. Some older residents agree that the tree was bent by school children as a joke. I have seen more than one account of this. I will name this myth ‘plausible’ because the date range of the main tree could have seen its fair share of Indians, but it is highly unlikely that it was bent by them or used as a trail marker.

These ‘myths’ are fun to talk about and certainly give our little town some character. Whether or not they are true is hard to say. While we have the historical process of researching and presenting evidence, it will continue to be the mission of the Fruitport Historical Society to learn as much about the past as we can and preserve it for future generations. If you have another ‘myth’ you’d like mentioned in the future, contact the Fruitport Historical Society. We can be reached online at www.fruitporthistory.com and on Facebook.

Jodi M. Clock Nominated Finalist for Women Pet Professionals Entrepreneur of the Year

Local Businesswoman was nominated as a finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year in Winter 2017 Magazine Devoted to Women Pet Professionals

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN DECEMBER 21,2017 – Jodi M. Clock of Muskegon, MI can be seen in the just-released Top Women in the Pet Industry Magazine for Winter 2017.jodiclock

Jodi M. Clock, is a certified pet loss professional who founded, owns, and operates Western Michigan’s only pet parent direct pet loss center that offers private cremation services, burial assistance and grief support. Clock Timeless Pets in Muskegon. Details about her business can be found on page(s) 30-31 of the magazine.

For details on the offerings of Jodi M. Clock, contact her directly at jodi@clockfuneralhome.com or 231-343-5866. www.clocktimelesspets.com / www.jodiclock.com or @askjodi

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce – Golf Outing

Congratulations Chamber Classic Winners!

golfteamsAM First Place team: Republic Services (left picture)
PM First Place team: Lincoln Golf Club (right picture)

Longest Drive Men – AM: Ryan Oosting, Morgan Stanley
Longest Drive Men – PM: Peter Medema, Fifth Third Bank – Seminole

Longest Drive Women – AM: Michelle Van Hemert, Workbox Staffing – Whitehall Office
Longest Drive Women – PM: Jean Gallagher, Sonus Hearing Care Professionals

Longest Putt Men – AM: Bruce Smith, Sidock Group, Inc.
Longest Putt Men – PM: Trip Johnson, G&L Chili Dogs

Longest Putt Women – AM: Cathy Ferguson, Blue Cross Blue Shield/Blue Care Network of Michigan
Longest Putt Women – PM: Brennan Hallberg, Manpower

Golf Outing By The Numbers:
  • 50 Teams (Sold Out for the 3rd Year in a Row)
• 120+ Raffle Prizes
• 40 Sponsors
• 35+ Volunteers
• $2,000+ donated to silent observer

Thank you to our sponsors, golfers, raffle donors, volunteers, and everyone else involved for supporting the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce and making this the best outing yet!

Thanks again to our tournament sponsor, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge!

Lakeshore Art Festival Named Favorite Small Town Art Fair Second Year in a Row

MUSKEGON, MI – The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to raise the bar for fine art and craft events in Michigan. For the second year in a row, the festival was ranked one of the Favorite Small Town Art Fairs by ArtFairCalendar.com. The website ranked festivals based on a survey taken by thousands of art festival attendees.

“I was incredibly excited to hear we made the list again this year,” said Lakeshore Art Festival Director, Carla Flanders. “The Lakeshore Art Festival continues to lead the way in attendance, sustainability, and interactive art. I am thrilled to be part of the great team that makes everything happen.” The art festival has also been recognized as #1 in the state of Michigan for Classic & Contemporary Craft Shows and ranked #27 in the nation by the Sunshine Artist Magazine which is known for high-quality content for the fine art and craft industry.

The ArtFairCalendar.com rankings are obtained via ballots from art fair attendees across the country. Voters are asked to choose their favorite art fairs and shows in the country as well as in categories, such as Favorite Small Town Art Fair. They were also asked questions about their attendance preferences, festival buying habits, favorite artists and more.

“The recent recognition is bringing positive attention to the Lakeshore Art Festival and Muskegon both locally and nationally,” commented Flanders. “We are incredibly proud of all the work going into this festival, and the artists who play such a big role in this artful event.”

Fine artists and hand crafters can register now for the Lakeshore Art Festival, July 6 & 7, at lakeshoreartfestival.org. Deadline is February 1, 2018.

Non-Profit Law Firm Now Open

Low Income Legal Assistance

Muskegon, MI:  On the cutting edge of criminal defense, a new Muskegon non-profit began representing low income clients on Monday, October 9, 2017.  Muskegon Community Legal Defense Center is one of only a handful of non-profits in the country who represent clients on a sliding scale, flat fee retainer, based on client income and the only one focusing on criminal defense cases.  The Muskegon Community Legal Defense Center rates begin at $325 for low income clients charged with a misdemeanor.  Fees increase based on severity of charge and the client’s income.

Previously, Muskegon County’s public defense system regularly handled three time the maximum number of cases recommended by American Bar Association standards, as well as the standards set by other professional groups.  Muskegon CLDC follows all applicable caseload standards. This allows Muskegon CLDC to maintain the highest of professional standards while proactively advocating for the rights of clients.

The creation of the Muskegon Community Legal Defense Center serves two purposes.  First, it provides affordable representation for those who are accused but do not have the financial resources for representation through for-profit firms.  Second, MCLDC will reduce the caseload of the Public Defender’s office.

Joshua EldenBrady, the new organization’s Executive Director, stated, “Operating as a non-profit on an equal pay basis with the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office will allow Muskegon CLDC to grow and attract quality legal talent in response to client and community needs.  We look forward to serving our community and our clients.”

Call 231-735-7480 for more information.

Time, Mail and Your Fruitport Post Office

Josh Martin, Officer In Charge (OIC) August 2016- October 2017, sees the local post office as more than just a place to send and pick up mail, it’s a place of running in to friends and neighbors who just happened to be there at the same time as you, as well as reuniting with people that you may not have seen in years.

Martin shares, “I am always amazed at the stories that I hear and witness when those long lost friends see each other for the first time in many years… at the post office. As a 3rd generation postal employee, I can’t begin to tell you how many residents my grandpa knew through working at the Spring Lake Post Office. Even after he retired he would still remember their names and give them a huge smile and friendly greeting when he would see them around town. The story continued as, when I was just a kid, I would ride with my mom, who also worked at the Spring Lake Post Office, through town and she would say ‘“oh, that is where Mrs. (name) used to live.”’

Through my years in the Postal Service “family” I have learned a valuable lesson: though you, our customers, depend on us to deliver and send your mail, it’s you our customers…our friends… that have had the greatest influence on us. We appreciate how you have included your Letter Carrier and the friendly Clerks and the Fruitport Post Office into your lives. You are the reason for us doing what we do!”

When Josh Martin first came to the Fruitport Post Office, as OIC in August 2016, he immediately made some phone calls and began the process of making some much needed improvements to the Fruitport facility. “Because we value you so much” Martin says, “the majority of changes were made to improve your experience here. We have installed new floors, new interior paint, ceiling repairs, a brand new retail counter, new customer-information/work tables for packing and filling out forms, new landscaping and a freshly painted flag pole which displays the pride and glory of our nation. We welcome you to come in and see the new look and feel the difference in your Post Office”.

In addition to seeing the changes in the Post Office, the Fruitport USPS employees would appreciate your input by doing the survey on the bottom of every one of your transaction receipts. Martin said, “I know that it seems like every company these days is asking you to do a survey but there is one difference with this one.

The Fruitport Post Office is Your Post Office. It’s a cornerstone of our Fruitport community and we want to make sure that we are giving you the best service possible! Please let us know how we are doing and hopefully we are meeting your highest expectations. The only way that we will know is if you let us know. Your input is greatly appreciated.”

The United States Postal Service is continuing to enhance our overall Customer Service on a world wide scale. The latest technology has helped improve the variety of services that we offer to all of our customers. For the majority of the years that the USPS has been operating, many people would just think of the postage stamp, the letter and the occasional small package. As we all know, time has way of changing things. In addition to offering the historically valued letter mail delivery, we are now one of the largest and most competitive package shippers in the world!

Check out USPS.com to discover the latest in real time tracking for packages and mail as well as many other services that we can provide to you. Though time may change the types of services offered and the process in which we deliver those services, there is one important element to the USPS that has never changed…you, our valued customer.

So, whether you visit your Fruitport Post Office to do business, purchase a variety of stamps for your collection, send a greeting card or just to say a friendly “hello”, we truly hope that you will always feel like you are in the atmosphere of friends because of the Fruitport Postal employees who make their top Priority: You!

West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic – Staff Spotlight

Our first staff spotlight is a two-for-one special, as these two ladies deserve great praise! 

kimpattersonKimberly Patterson,
Clinic Director

Meet Kimberly! She is no stranger to WMSN, having started here as an LVT several years ago. Her talents do not stop there, as she crossed over into the office side of the clinic, eventually becoming Director of Operations and playing an integral role in WMSNC blossoming into autonomy! Kim is an excellent leader who inspires the staff with her sincere enthusiasm for our mission and a gentle understanding of everyone’s unique perspectives. You will often find her doting upon our many patients.

Outside of the clinic, Kim is a mother to three children and one spunky orange tabby cat. She also has a special place in her heart for Dachshunds, as a special wiener dog named Duke was always by her side until his recent untimely passing.

 

drjulieeberlyDr. Julie Eberly, DVM,
Medical Director

Welcome our Medical Director, Dr. Eberly! She’s not new to the spay/neuter rodeo either, having garnered thousands of surgeries under her belt as a surgeon for C-SNIP for nearly 10 years.  Julie is the perfect fit for such an important job– her huge heart and genuine demeanor paired with her ingenuity and surgical acuity make her the best at what she does!

When she’s not providing top-notch surgery to 30+ animals a day, Dr. Eberly enjoys a busy, active lifestyle. She is an avid stand-up paddleboarder and loves traveling to the many beautiful sights of Michigan. She and her husband have two children, two poodles, and six cats (one of which is a kitten that Pound Buddies recently brought in for surgery, and ended up going home with her!).

Annual Sell-Out Show Opens Exhibitor Registration

The popular Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show is returning to Fricano’s Event Center March 9 and 10, 2018.  Last year’s booth spaces sold quickly, so interested businesses are encouraged to apply early.

The 2018 Muskegon Home, Garden + DIY show will feature over 50 exhibitors including everything from windows, siding, gutters, and painting to home décor, furniture, landscaping and much more! Back by popular demand, the Do It Yourself and Educational seminars will highlight floral design, furniture refurbishing, backsplash tiling, gardening and more!

In addition to exhibitors and seminars, the home show will provide fun kids activities, thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes and discounted Fricano’s Pizza with purchase of $5 home show admission ticket. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets will go on sale February 1, 2018.

Carla Flanders, Event Director, commented, “We’re proud to bring the spotlight to our local businesses that feature anything home, garden and DIY! This show is one of the largest events of this kind on the Lakeshore.  The feedback we received from last year echoed the event’s success and we look forward to building on that for another amazing event in 2018.”

West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic – Precious Patient Portraits

puppyhug

The staff can’t resist doting upon our patients every day, and some of them stop wiggling long enough to take pretty cute pictures! Enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the patients of WMSNC.

 

kitty

Spay It Forward

Would you like to make a lasting difference in the lives of a pet, their owner, and the community? Consider Spaying It Forward by sponsoring another animal’s surgery costs with a donation of $90. Simply call or stop in to arrange your donation.

Donations are tax-refundable, and receipts will be provided. 

 

petcokitties

We would like to thank Petco Foundation for recently awarding us with a generous grant. This money will allow us to reach more pets in need, and provide the gift that keeps on giving- spay and neuter!

West Michigan Spay and Neuter Clinic Celebrates 20,000 Safe Surgeries

Celebrating 20,000 Surgeries!wmsnccelebrates

Last month, WMSNC celebrated its 20,000th safe surgery. This means that since we opened seven years ago, thousands of responsible owners have decided to say, “my pets don’t litter!”. Between cats and dogs, this has potentially prevented up to half a million puppies and kittens being displaced in the West Michigan area in only seven years.

Spay and neuter is one of the biggest reasons Muskegon County became “no-kill” in 2016. This means that healthy, adoptable animals were not euthanized simply due to overcrowding. Every owner that loves their pet enough to get them spayed/neutered makes a difference in the lives of countless other animals!

 

West Michigan Wishlist

We are always in need of the following items (priority items are bolded):
• Distilled water (Gallon size)
Cat carriers
• Bleach
70% Isopropyl alcohol
Wet and dry cat food
• Paper towels
• Printer paper
• Live traps (cat size)

kidswatching

llamas

Pictures from WMSNC’s annual open house in September.

“Hometown Boy” Thankful For Business Ownership Opportunity

by Alex Rogalla

new ownerNever in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that one day, after 31 years in the retail grocery business, I would become the owner of not one but two grocery stores. And not just any grocery stores but the very ones which I have spent my entire working career learning about the crazy yet exciting retail business. Talk about a true blessing.

It was a little more than three decades ago, when I was a junior at FHS, that I turned in an application at what was then Fruitport Foods in pursuit of my first real job; yep you guessed it a customer service bag boy/carryout. I wasn’t really sure why I wanted to work at the local grocery store but I had a ton of memories of shopping there with my mom and it seemed like a pretty cool job. So after calling and bugging the management staff for weeks on end, I finally must have drove Al Wilson crazy enough to have him ask me to come in for an interview. I did, must have went well, (or he didn’t want me calling anymore), and he hired me…..May 6, 1986.

My gut was right, I loved working there. Every day offered so much variety and so much to learn and the staff I worked with was a great bunch of people who taught me a lot about the grocery business. But my favorite part of the job was and still is my favorite part of my job; getting to know and serve the amazing customers from the surrounding communities and forming lasting, meaningful relationships with them. The saying goes “it takes all types” and believe me I think I have met all types over the years but that’s what makes each day so enjoyable. It’s the people.

Over the years, my knowledge of the grocery business grew as I gained experience working in just about every department within the store. You see, in the grocery world, if you show a solid work ethic and the desire to take on new challenges, it is almost certain that you will advance your way around the store until you have gained wisdom in most all of the departments, many times taking on more than one at a time. But what’s next? Well, when the time is right, like it was for me back in 1992, it was time to graduate to the next level of learning; what it meant to be part of the store management team. And for that, I can thank my longtime manager and mentor Wayne Ferrier. Wayne told me that the company was planning on building a brand new store right next to the current one, and that they wanted me to train to become an assistant store manager, ready to go when the doors opened on the new facility.

So, when the new store opened up in the summer of 1993, I was officially a part of the store management team, along with Wayne, Jack Stevens, and then owner Brian Punches. It was at this time that the real learning started at a whole new level, overseeing the entire store was a much different responsibility altogether. Once again, I gained valuable experience and knowledge from this group of guys who took me in under their wings, taught me what it takes to be a store manager, some through conversations, some by hands on, and some by trial and error. I can honestly say most of what I learned from Brian Punches wasn’t by what he did say but what he didn’t say; his calmness, his approach to situations, his view on taking care of the customer, and how he treated his management team and staff. Character and integrity, he had it and I was drawn to it.

Summer, 1996, the Punches family along with several other individual local investors built a new grocery store in Spring Lake, very similar to the Fruitport location layout and slightly larger. With both stores now under the same banner of Orchard Markets, these changes were about to bring about more opportunity.

August 30, 2004, a couple of years after being bought out by Roundy’s, a corporation out of Milwaukee, WI, Gary Gerlach, then of Hudsonville, MI stepped forward and purchased the two stores from the corporation, once again bringing them back to the community as “family owned and operated stores”. In 2006, we made some changes within the company structure that changed my role going from the store manager at Fruitport to the general manager of both store locations. This was an incredible challenge and blessing at the same time. Like I said earlier, it’s all about people; and getting to really know the staff at Spring Lake and the amazing customers who shop and live around there has been awesome to say the least.

Over the next 11 years, I split my time between Fruitport and Spring Lake, overseeing the operations, daily conditions, staffing needs, and human resources. Gary and I had a great working relationship; he allowed me the freedom to do my job while always providing guidance and support through his many, many years of experience in the grocery business but we also had a special friendship as well. In a lot of ways, we shared many similarities in the career path we chose and the direction the path took along the way. We shared high standards, high expectations, and a commitment to customer service and our communities.

In the early spring of 2015, Gary approached me about my interest in owning the stores one day, after he had decided that he was nearing the end of his career path and felt that he was ready to pass the baton on, not to just anyone, but he specifically said that he wanted to sell the stores to me. Talk about being humbled and blown away at the same time. Over the past 13 years of working for Gary, as his store manager first then as the general manager of both locations, I can honestly say not only did he teach me a wealth of knowledge but that he treated me as if I was part of his family, which I will forever be grateful for.

So, on July 11, 2017, I officially became the new owner of Orchard Markets Fruitport and Spring Lake. My wife Julie and I along with our children Erin and Evan feel so incredibly blessed as we take on this new endeavor. We look so forward to continuing our service to the wonderful people and families that make up the communities of Fruitport, Spring Lake, and the surrounding area. When we look back at this journey that started some 31 years ago and reflect on the life path that weaved, twisted, and turned along the way, we can only say thank you, thank you, thank you for your ongoing continued support throughout the years.

No, I could not have imagined this in my wildest dreams but His ways are higher than mine and for that I am forever thankful.

Dancing into the Sunset

Dancing into the Sunset Dance Party at Pomona Park in Fruitport, Wednesday’s throughout the summer

by Susan Halter

The 1st ANNUAL DANCING INTO THE SUNSET is in the books! With over 550 attending throughout the summer! It was successful enough that The Village of Fruitport and The Fruitport Lions Club has agreed to the 2nd Annual Dancing into the Sunset 2018 to take place again starting Wednesday May 9th. Here is just a recap of the fun we had this summer in Pomona Park at the Bandshell in Fruitport.

twirlIf you wanted to learn how to swing dance we had Steve Zaagman creator of Grand Rapids Original Swing Society teach us how. If you wanted to learn how to line dance Diane Sherman and fellow line dancers taught us how to line dance. If you wanted to learn how to Cha, Cha, waltz or the night club two step then Ed and Gayle Wiers of Grand Haven Dance Lessons stepped up to teach. If you wanted to join in Francine’s Zumba class then all were welcomed for the night. We even learned ballet the rock and roll way from Krista Carlson and how to square dance from Jim of Hi Nabors. If a live band is what you wanted to dance to then we had The Silverado Band not once but twice to entertain us. dancingImpact Entertainment Mobile DJ Service provided a variety of the music eleven of the fifteen Wednesday nights which truly was a family affair who knows how to read a crowd and what type of music needs to be played. Meghan even stepped out into the crowd to help teach a variety of dance styles from all her years of experience being a DJ. Thank you to all of you for giving your time and effort to be part of our first year.

Many thanks to Jeremy from the Village of Fruitport for making sure Pomona Park was in tip top shape each Wednesday night and reminding the community each Wednesday the party was on! Thank you to Ye Old and The Storage Group for providing the brochures and signs, thank you to Fruitport Orchard Market for the delicious 100th Birthday cake for the Lions Club Celebration on June 7th and thank you to Baker Jo’s Cupcakes for the July 5th Cupcakes. Thank you to WayPoint Dock and Deli for advertising on your rolling sign and allowing boats to moor at your docks and walk over to Dancing into The Sunset and thank you to Fruitport Township for advertising on your rolling sign as well. Even Andy O’Riley of Positively Muskegon and the Muskegon Channel on Facebook spent an afternoon with me at Pomona Park showcasing Spring Lake and the Bandshell in the background. He has a soft spot for local community events and supports what he can through his media shows. Thank you to you too, Andy. Mostly thank you to the Fruitport Lions Club for stepping up to the plate and adding this event as a Lions Club sponsored event that we all will continue for many years to come.

lineYes I mentioned a lot of thank you’s just now but it is important to know even though I was the one that started Dancing Into The Sunset it is equally important to recognize those that stepped up as well to make it happen. As you can see this was truly a community supported weekly event that I so enjoyed bringing back to the same location where many memories were made back in the 1940’s and 50’s when dancing and music took place at the “Pavilion” . I heard stories of how husbands and wives met for the first time, and still after 60 years can look into each others eyes with that sparkle and remember as if it was just yesterday. As requested pictures were brought down and given to me to display of the Pavilion as it once stood before flames took it to the ground. The structure may be gone but those memories will stay in the hearts of all those that attended. What an amazing first year! Let’s keep it going!

couplesWatch for announcements after the first of the year for the 2018 Dancing into the Sunset line up of entertainment. If anyone has any suggestions, positive comments or would like to help with the success of Dancing into the Sunset any way you can please do contact Susan at her email of: dancingintosunset @aol.com. or Facebook page of Dancing into the Sunset – Fruitport. Looking for sponsors to keep this a “free” event. So if you or your business would like to sponsor one of our Wednesday nights contact me at the places just mentioned.

Hope you enjoy the photos which were taken by Wendy Press VanKoevering of Picture It Now and Forever. Thank you Wendy! See you in 2018!

Be sure to purchase your tickets for The 10th Year of Dancing With the Local Stars featuring past Alumni Stars and Pro dancers held at the Muskegon Holiday Inn sponsored by Women’s Division Chamber of Commerce (www.womensdivision.org) which raises funds for the local food pantries. Last year alone $126,000.00 were raised which brings the grand total to date (started in 2009) to over $700,000.00 – This year they have added additional performances. There will be six performances over two weekends. Two shows first weekend – Friday February 16th, 2018, at 7:00 pm, and Saturday evening February 17, 2018 7:00 pm, then four shows the 2nd weekend, Thursday February 22, 7:00 pm – Friday February 23nd, 7:00pm – Saturday February 24th with a matinee at 1:00pm and evening performance at 7:00pm

Yours truly was asked back for the Alumni year representing Fruitport Township and the Fruitport Lions Club. I hope many from the area will be interested in purchasing sponsorships or purchase tickets to one of the shows. I will be dancing for $$$ I will receive $1.00 towards my name to put towards the food pantry donation for each vote from the audience. So you see you need to be present to help out this local Fruitport Township dancer. The Women’s Division puts on a terrific show, a full display of hors d’oeuvres as a part of your ticket price. Contact the Women’s Division at the website above or by calling Mary Kendall at (231)-798-4244 or kendallmarya@gmail.com. Thank you in advance for your support!

Hackley Community Care 25th Anniversary

“Celebrating 25 Years of Quality Health Care Services in Muskegon County.”

Muskegon, MI – The story began in 1992, with an increased rate of pre-term, low birthweight babies. “No one was addressing this issue and access to prenatal care for low income pregnant women in Muskegon was limited,” says CEO, Linda Juarez.  As a result, Hackley Community Care opened its doors in a renovated, tiny brown house on the Hackley Hospital Campus, and began offering Obstetrical and medical services.

In 1992, Hackley Community Care moved to a building on the corner of Peck and Barney and began the Certified Nurse Midwifery Program that provided prenatal care, delivery and follow-up with pregnant mothers. Soon after, we added home services to pregnant mothers with a licensed social worker, nurse, and a dietician.

Hackley Community Care continued to grow from there, and moved to our current location at 2700 Baker Street, and received Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status. From these humble beginnings, Hackley Community Care has continuously expanded to provide an array of services that include dental, behavioral health,  a pharmacy (Community Care Pharmacy), and other supporting programs such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and Komen Breast & Cervical services, to name a few. All of our service are designed to meet the needs of those who are disenfranchised. Today, we have locations at the Mercy Health Partners – Hackley Campus, an Integrated Health Center (IHC) at HealthWest, full adolescent Teen Health Centers at Muskegon High School and Oakridge Public Schools, and school based behavioral health services throughout Muskegon.

“We continue our quest to be good for our Patients, Community and Staff. I can speak for the entire Board of Directors in stating that we will continue striving to assure quality services and supports to the residents of Muskegon County.  We are so grateful for the partnerships and support from the community” says Cheryl Nebedum, Chairperson Hackley Community Care Board of Directors.

Ruth, 106 Years Old, Helps Bring Schoolhouse Back to Life

By Lin and Kaerlyn Holtrop

Ruth and kids

Ruth Brifling talks with two homeschooled girls at a pancake breakfast fundraiser in March 2017.

Ruth Brifling, the oldest surviving student of South Evergreen Schoolhouse celebrated her 106th birthday on December 12, 2016. She was one of the first donors and is very active in the renovation project to bring South Evergreen Schoolhouse back to life as a community gathering place, so people now, and in future generations, can experience an authentic one-room schoolhouse.

Renovations for this post-Civil War era schoolhouse began in early 2015, with Jim Fitzpatrick and Jim Key spearheading the project. They are hoping to have it done soon so Ruth can see it in her lifetime. “I would love to see South Evergreen School come so I can go over there, sit and reminisce and think about all the teachers we used to have,” she said in an interview with Fox 17’s Brody Carter. One memorable teacher was Miss Rankins, whose father had a music store on Main Street in Coopersville, and sold Victrolas.

After the Civil War, local area families knew the community needed some improvements; one of those improvements had to be a school. Four families in Polkon Township got together and talked with neighbors about starting a school. About two years later, a one-room schoolhouse opened on the corner of 88th Avenue, and what was then River Road (now Leonard Road). The first teacher was Fanny M. Wilson, a resident of Spring Lake, whose brother was son-in-law to one of the school’s founders. When the school finally closed in 1958 or 1959, all its students were sent to the Eastmanville Schoolhouse.

Some of Ruth’s best memories were at South Evergreen. She was 7 years old when she started school and went there through 8th grade, the highest grade taught in most one-room schoolhouses. “Even when I go by there, I think, ‘That’s my home.’ I’m glad they’re fixing it up,” she also told Carter. Ruth and her seven siblings all attended South Evergreen. “They took real good care of us.”

The South Evergreen Schoolhouse Committee worked for over a year to raise the $20,000 necessary for Polkton Township to buy the property. After the purchase in early 2015, they began the work by repairing the roof, which included removing the belfry and replacing the old shingling. The following summer, the work continued with replacing broken siding, repairing the bell tower and flagpole, and scraping and repainting the exterior, which took through the end of the year. In early 2017, they received one of the school’s original outhouses from a local couple who had used it as a garden shed. The interior work is still in process.

Fitzpatrick and Key have high hopes for the future of the schoolhouse. Once finished, the schoolhouse property will function as a bicyclist waypoint for rest and exploration, with bike racks, water stations, picnic tables, and restrooms. Tours of the schoolhouse will be available for visitors, and the Committee will work with school districts to provide students with an authentic one-room schoolhouse experience. These Living History classes will include genuine antique desks, chairs, tables, a piano, and a pot-bellied stove, just like “a day in 1867.” The schoolhouse will also be a site for festivals, reunions, and other events.

A 150th Anniversary party is planned for this fall. There will be live music, arts and crafts vendors, and food. The Committee hopes that Ruth will be able to attend as well.

To learn more about the restoration project, visit the South Evergreen website at http://www.nunica.com/schoolhouse/. The website also includes more information on the history of the school, updates on the renovation progress, and stories from past students and teachers. There is also a GoFundMe campaign where interested parties can help the project reach the goal of $50,000 toward renovation (https://www.gofundme.com/south-evergreen-schoolhouse).

In the words of Ann Spinner Sabo-Jonick, a former student of South Evergreen School, “It was just a one-room school, but it was a place where a lot of us learned how to become outstanding, good citizens. We learned how to respect one another, and we learned how to make just a little positive difference in this great country of ours.”

Does Using Social Media Lead to Divorce?

John A. DeMarr, P.I., a California private investigator, has appeared on the cable television show AMERICA TRENDS with Dr. Gina Loudon, reporting on new research showing married couples aged 18 to 39 who use social media are twice as likely to be contemplating divorce.

DeMarr, a licensed California private investigator since 1988, discussed ways his investigators use social media to unmask cheating behavior, including a new study out of Boston University, showing married couples aged 18 to 39 who use social media are 32% more likely to think about leaving their spouse than similar married couples who do not use social media.

“These results track with our experience,” says DeMarr, “and give our investigators a clear path to identifying and documenting high-risk pre-divorce behavior. The Boston University study confirms our investigative experience. Heavy social media users enlarge their circle of friends, seek out old flames, and hook back up with hometown, high school and college social circles. This behavior gives investigators with many examples of both flirting and outright infidelity.”

Muskegon County Selects Most Advanced Voting System

Verity Voting System from Hart InterCivic Scored Highest in Rigorous Selection Process

MUSKEGON, MI, Mar. 13, 2017 – Following a thorough review of voting system options available to Michigan counties, Muskegon County has selected Hart InterCivic’s Verity® voting system to replace its aging election equipment. County Clerk Nancy A. Waters, with the support of county election staff, information technology (IT) personnel and other local city and township election stakeholders, conducted a rigorous process to compare critical system features.

“This decision was not taken lightly,” Waters said. “The criteria considered included all elements important to election administration, including the voters served. We evaluated the systems for how they would meet the needs of the entire county for the next ten years. Hart came out ahead in every category.”

Categories of comparison included auditability, transparency and security – characteristics that determine voter confidence in election processes and results. The County evaluation team sought the most voter-friendly system with the easiest to use and most full-featured Election Management Software. The team found Verity to meet these criteria and determined that the system is the most low- maintenance, fully certified, modern system available. Its robust supply chain and modular design makes for easy parts replacement. High-speed, precinct-based scanning will help the County Clerk’s Office get election results out to the public quickly.

“We believe Verity best meets the needs of Muskegon County,” Waters added. “We are eager to get started with the new system and use it in our August election. We look forward to working with our city and township clerks along with Hart InterCivic to modernize elections in Muskegon County for the next decade.”

The State of Michigan will be providing Muskegon County with more than $672,000 for this new equipment.

Little River Band Holds Groundbreaking for Unique Housing in Fruitport Township

The Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (LRBOI) and Dirk Stone Real Estate held a groundbreaking ceremony today for their housing development project in Fruitport Township. The development is called Odeno, which means “a place of many hearts” or a “village” in the Tribe’s native Anisinaabe language.

shovel

Ogema Romanelli and local Muskegon community leaders put first shovel in the ground.

The event kicked off at 11 A.M. at the site of the future housing development, located just south of the corner of Mt. Garfield and South Sheridan in Fruitport Township. The Little River Band plans to develop the site in five phases, with the first phase including 115 new homes.

larryr

Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli welcomes the crowd to the groundbreaking ceremony.

The housing development is open to the general public and will feature homes ranging from starter homes of $150,000 to larger homes with walkouts and other additional features to $300,000.

The groundbreaking featured several speakers as well as a drum ceremony. Among those speaking were Tribal Ogema Larry Romanelli and Fruitport Township Supervisor Heidi Tice.

Tim Tebow Foundation’s 2017 Night To Shine At The Bridgewater Marriot Had Kids Dancing and Parents Relaxing

BRIDGEWATER, NJ , UNITED STATES, February 13, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — On February 10th, a chilly, yet clear, Friday evening, the Bridgewater Marriot was, nonetheless, packed and pumping as The Tim Tebow Foundation’s Annual Night To Shine prom party celebrated People with Special Needs. This is the seventh anniversary of the inception of the Night To Shine. Guests were attired in tuxes and evening gowns, dancing and partying in a decked-out ballroom, as bassy tunes vibrated the space.

As the kids celebrated and experienced a night of partying and fun, their families had the option of meeting one another and socializing in a large conference hall. There was coffee and tea, a meal with salad on the side. From here you could still feel the bass, but it was a bit quieter. Liquid Church, one of the sponsors tasked with arranging the event, locally, had Mountainside On-Site Massage Therapy provide seated chair massage to the parents and family.

Of course, everyone was relieved to get a massage. Preparing for a prom is no easy task. And, for Moms and Dads with daughters, the task is all the more time-consuming. Nails must get done. Hair must be styled. And more. Too many details to mention, yet each one important. Parents relaxed and dined as a line formed near the Chair Massage stations.

Chair Massage is performed fully clothed without any oil or lotion. Guests sit on the chair in a manner that resembles how one would sit on a motorcycle. If you haven’t ever ridden a motorcycle, don’t feel confused; that was just a crude comparison, anyway. Your arms do not grip handlebars. Instead, there is a cushioned rest for them. Your face is prone, as your head rests in a padded cradle identical to those found on massage tables. Perhaps you’ve seen chair massage at the mall. If not, there’s always Google and YouTube.

The two Massage Therapists kept busy the entire time as Moms and Dads could finally relax. If you haven’t yet had an adolescent of yours attend prom, think back to your own. Preparation is fairly stressful. Without a doubt, parents left with less tight shoulders, ready to fully appreciate the crowning ceremony led by Pastor John of Liquid Church. The parents definitely appreciated that consideration was made for their comfort.

To learn more about the Tim Tebow Foundation, check out http://TimTebowFoundation.org. The Liquid Church has a web site of its own at http://LiquidChurch.com. These noble organizations have helped kids all over the United States to have a special night all their own, kids who might not have otherwise had an opportunity for such a wonderful memory and positive experience.

 

The Ballroom at the Bridgewater Marriott During the Tim Tebow Foundations’ Night To Shine Event

Sign Welcomes Party-Goers To The Night To Shine Event Hosted by LiquidChurch

Chair Massage Stations, Ready For Moms, Dads and Family at the Night To Shine!

Clara Moore, 85 Years Young

by Luanne Peter

On October 4, 2016, Clara Moore, 85 years young, of Fruitport, was able to scratch off a much anticipated item from her “bucket list.”  She was pleasantly surprised when her Grandson, Nic Moore, also of Fruitport, arranged for her to take a ride in the side car of a motorcycle.  Clara, being her comical self, as she stepped into the side car remarked at how “deep it was in there” and was concerned as to how she was ever going to be able to get out!

Clara had a big grin on her face when she left home that day and when she returned, some 30 minutes later, it was still there.  She made comment as to whether she still had her teeth, wondering if perhaps they were out there “flying around somewhere!”

When asked if she would do it again, Clara doesn’t hesitate to respond with an emphatic “YES!”  Next item on Clara’s “bucket list”….a much calmer adventure with a trip to Tahquamenon Falls perhaps?

**We were sorry that we never got the name of the man who so graciously came out on his day off and made Grandma Clara’s bucket list adventure one that she will hold close to her heart always.  Thank you so very much!

clara in a sidecar

PEAK Training Academy’s PEAK Elite Program

PEAK Training Academy Launches Groundbreaking Program with Local Legend at the Helm and Scholarship Guarantee

Peak Training Academy, the newest and most cutting-edge, training facility in downtown Muskegon launched six months ago in downtown Muskegon. PEAK offers high-level training for athletes of all ages while using a 360 approach to growing not only the athlete, but the person. Located in the renovated LC Walker Arena Annex PEAK has a world-class training space with turf, basketball court, weight room, batting cage, hockey treadmill, and much more.

PEAK is launching its cornerstone program, the PEAK Elite Program. PEAK Elite Members will be chosen through an interview and application process from local high schools. Terrence Williams, founder of PEAK said of the program, “I believe this is going to change not only the lives of the individuals that participate, but will change the city as a whole.” The program is designed for student-athletes grades 9-12 with aspirations of using athletics as a vehicle for higher education, life experience, and personal growth. “We are focused on much more than just the athletic ability of the members. This program will prepare them mentally, academically, financially, as well as athletically for the rigors of being a college student-athlete”, Williams continued.

ttaylor

Terrance Taylor

Heading up the program as Executive Director will be local Muskegon legend, Terrance Taylor. A 2005 graduate of Muskegon high school and 2009 graduate of the University of Michigan, Taylor is uniquely equipped to head up the program. Terrance was an All-American at UofM, played in the Rose Bowl, and was drafted in the 4th round by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 NFL Draft. After spending time in the NFL with the Colts, Lions, and Carolina Panthers, Terrance has also wreaked havoc on the AFL.

On the addition of Taylor as Executive Director Williams said, “We couldn’t be more fortunate. Terrance is the example of what we want this program to produce. He’s not only had an outstanding athletic career, received a degree from one of the best institutes of higher education in the country, played professional football, but Terrance has a great name and reputation wherever he has been. He is passing on some great opportunities to come home to lead this program, so I hope people recognize and appreciate that. He really cares about West Michigan, and that matters to me.”

The PEAK Elite Program will focus in on four major areas; Philanthropy, Education, Athleticism, and Knowledge (life skills). “My mission is to help student-athletes achieve their goals and vision, not just on the field, but in the classroom and in life,” says Taylor about his goal for the program. Taylor hopes to make the path for up and coming West Michigan student-athletes easier than it was for him. He is excited to motivate student athletes to be all they can be. He tells students, “There’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but there is something wrong with not taking the path many are afraid to take because you doubt yourself or your vision.” He continued passionately, “It comes down to accountability, mental toughness, and the ability to tackle and manage obstacles in their path to achieve their goals and dreams. It’s about being the best individual you can be in your sport and in life.”

The program will launch with a small test group in mid-march with the official launch set for early June 2017. Williams is so confident in the program that he is offering a money-back guarantee on the program. “If a student comes through this program and completes all of the requirements, we guarantee he or she will earn more in scholarships than the cost of the program. If they don’t we will give them the difference in the form of a scholarship back to them!”

Illnesses are on the rise – How to prevent sickness

Schools, childcare and healthcare providers are reporting the flu and viral gastroenteritis (“stomach flu”) are circulating in the community and increasing.

Prevent sickness:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

  2. Stay home when you are sick. If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands if you’ve been vomiting and/or have diarrhea. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.
  4. Clean your hands often. It will help protect you from germs. Hand sanitizer is not effective at preventing transmission of some of the most common viral causes of gastroenteritis.
  5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches a surface or object that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
  6. Stop the spread of germs. When you are sick, avoid preparing food for others. Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that may be contaminated with germs.

Get your flu shot! Vaccine Finder

flu

2016-17 Ottawa County Influenza Surveillance Report (updated 1/26/2017)

Muskegon Walk Raises $48,000 for Alzheimer’s

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION WALK TO END ALZHEIMER’S® IN MUSKEGON RAISES $48,000
More than 325 Muskegon area residents raise awareness, funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research

alzheimers-walk

 Muskegon, MI – More than 325 residents from the Muskegon area joined the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s® and united in a movement to reclaim the future for millions on Saturday, September 24 at Heritage Landing. Participants raised more than $48,000 to fund Alzheimer’s care, support and research programs.

“With over 180,000 people in Michigan living with Alzheimer’s disease and over half a million caregivers, it’s a cause that has touched the lives of far too many Muskegon area residents,” says Elizabeth Donnelly-Johnson, Community Outreach Coordinator for the Alzheimer’s Association, Michigan Great Lakes Chapter. “I think that’s why the community really embraces it every year. It’s inspiring to look out at a sea of purple and know we’re making a difference.”

Walk to End Alzheimer’s participants did more than complete the one or three mile Walk routes. They learned about Alzheimer’s disease and how to get involved with this critical cause, from advocacy opportunities, clinical studies and support programs and services. The event also included an emotional tribute to those who have experienced or are experiencing Alzheimer’s.

Special thanks to Muskegon Hope Riders for being a Platinum Sponsor of this year’s event.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing epidemic and the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death. As baby boomers age, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease will rapidly escalate, increasing well beyond today’s more than 5 million Americans to as many as 16 million by 2050. For more information or to make a donation, visit alz.org/walk.

Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®
The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Since 1989, the Alzheimer’s Association mobilized millions of Americans in the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk®; now the Alzheimer’s Association is continuing to lead the way with Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Together, we can end Alzheimer’s – the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.

Alzheimer’s Association®
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s research, care and support. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org® or call 800.272.3900.

Community-wide Remembrance Service

3rd Annual Community-wide Remembrance Service in Muskegon, Michigan

remembrance-service

Recently, two of West Michigan’s community hospice leaders, Harbor Hospice and Mercy Health Hospice, hosted another Community Remembrance at Heritage Memorial Garden in downtown Muskegon. The ceremony encompassed a program of music, readings and over 70 bulbs planted to help individuals and families in our community to both mourn the death and honor the life of a loved one.

The Community Remembrance was held on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Heritage Memorial Garden located at 545 W. Western Ave. Pam Babbitt developed the garden in honor of her late husband. It is a beautiful haven in downtown Muskegon and an incredible representation of the love that remains even after a person dies. Feedback about the event included comments like “I can’t thank you enough for this type of venue and even to keep our loved ones memory alive. It means so much to me” and “I am so happy to have been able to come to this event”. These comments really give expression to the organic needs of grievers. In our culture, mourning is becoming increasingly taboo. Grief is a natural and normal response to loss and mourning is how one heals. It was our privilege to offer an opportunity to share in the midst of grief and loss an opportunity to mourn in an environment of acceptance and understanding.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this special ceremony with us.

Excessive Court Fees on Youth are Examined

From the September 19, 2016 Coopersville Observer article by Mary Kuhlman, MI News Connection.

Young people in Michigan and other states can be pulled deeper into the juvenile justice system because of excessive court related costs. According to a report from the Juvenile Law Center, fees and fines in Michigan include the cost of tests and evaluations, rehabilitation and court operation. These are costs that many families, especially those living in poverty, can’t afford. This may increase recidivism and keep a young person from getting on the right track.

The report recommends that, by establishing better models for funding court systems, states eliminate costs, fines and fees on youth. It also recommends policies of restitution that consider rehabilitation while addressing a victim’s needs.