News Releases

Grand Opening Services at the Gateway Church

The Gateway Church is excited to have completed the construction of their new facility at 700 Maple St in Ferrysburg and will be having their Grand Opening Services on Sunday, February 24th at 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.

After being in a rented facility since 2004, the church has built the building debt-free with a focus on people and being a blessing to their new community in Ferrysburg and the Lakeshore.

The Gateway Church invites the community to attend their Grand Opening Services and celebrate with its church body on Sunday, February 24th at 9:00 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. at 700 Maple St in Ferrysburg.

Shelby State Bank Adds to Commercial Banking Team

kadamskiShelby State Bank has announced the hiring of Ken Adamski as Commercial Lender for the Muskegon County area.

Adamski brings over 22 years of business banking and lending experience to the Shelby team.  In previous positions, he has provided financing solutions for a wide range of business types along the lakeshore area.

“We are very excited to add Ken to our team and make his expertise available,” said Bobby Fisher, Senior Vice President of Lending.  “His experience, knowledge of the area, and willingness to partner with his customers will be real assets to the local business community.”

Adamski is a graduate of Ferris State University where he earned Bachelor of Science Degrees in both Accounting and Computer Information Systems.  He is Treasurer of the Muskegon Kiwanis Club, serves on the Muskegon Catholic School Finance Committee, and lives in Muskegon with his wife and three children.

Established in 1931, Shelby State Bank operates 10 offices in Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Mason and Manistee Counties.  Each office provides access to deposit accounts, personal and home lending, and commercial banking and lending services.  For more information, visit,, or call the North Muskegon office at (231) 744-6231.

Sons: Seeing the Modern African American Male

December 13, 2018 through March 10, 2019 at the Muskegon Museum of Art

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon Museum of Art presents SONS: Seeing the Modern African American Male, an exhibition of portraits of black men from greater Muskegon, as photographed by artist Jerry Taliaferro. The exhibition runs December 13, 2018 through March 10, 2019.

The 94 portraits in the SONS exhibition explore how the black American male perceives himself and how he is perceived by others. The men pictured in the show were nominated from the greater Muskegon area by a committee of their peers. The goal was to portray a wide range of ages, backgrounds, occupations, and interests to best represent not only the black men of our community, but also to mirror the day-to-day experiences of their fellow Americans.

The men pictured are artists, musicians, barbers, doctors, lawyers, health care workers, engineers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, teachers, athletes, retired servicemen, clergy, poets, factory workers, laborers, security guards, school administrators, and coaches. They are also husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, co-workers, teammates, friends, and neighbors. It is the first time many of these men have been publicly recognized.

In the artist Jerry Taliaferro’s words:
“[The exhibition] is both timely and relevant. Recent events point to the urgent need for conversations about the contemporary black American male. Any effort, however humble, to foster an understanding of this largely misunderstood and often marginalized segment of the American population is of utmost importance.”

FantasMenagerie: The Art of Nat Rosales at Muskegon Museum of Art

sculptureMuskegon, MI—The Muskegon Museum of Art will present the sculptures of Michigan artist Nat Rosales in a one-person show from October 18, 2018 through January 13, 2019. FantasMenagerie: The Art of Nat Rosales features the fantastical vehicles and creatures Rosales creates from scrap metal, found and manipulated objects, and mechanical parts. The MMA invites the public to an opening reception Thursday, October 18 at 5:30 pm. The artist will talk about his work in a program starting at 7:00 pm. The event is free.

sculptureNat Rosales assembles his sculptures using cast bronze and brass animal sculptures, door and drawer knobs, decorative lamp bodies, gears and drives, various housings, and a host of decorative metal, plastic, and ceramic bric-a-brac. According to MMA Senior Curator Art Martin, “The resulting combinations are a blend of Alice in Wonderland and H.G. Wells, an amalgam of whimsy, fantasy, and mechanics.

sculptureFantasMenagerie features over a dozen of Rosales’ recent works, a menagerie of vehicles, contraptions, and mechanical-animal hybrids. Formed from found objects and scrap, and inspired by Rosales’ life and culture, these fantastical creations invite the viewer along on a journey of magic and exploration.

Rosales has been drawn to sculpture since childhood, an ideal expression for his fascination with taking things apart and exploring how the resulting pieces might be reconfigured and assembled. His current body of work began in 2004, with one of his earliest creations, Hog I, appearing in the Muskegon Museum of Art’s annual juried Regional Exhibition in 2005. His Mexican and Catholic heritage combine with a life-long interest in Cubist and Modern sculpture to form the foundation of his artistic expression.

sculptureNat Rosales will make a second appearance at the MMA in a gallery “Crash Course” on Thursday, November 8 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. He will point out features of his works in the show and discuss his techniques at this free public event.

FantasMenagerie is underwritten by the Van Kampen Boyer Molinari Foundation. The Michigan Artist Series Media Sponsor is Blue Lake Public Radio. Additional support is provided by the Michigan Council for Arts and Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Muskegon Museum of Art is located in downtown Muskegon at 296 W. Webster Ave. Visit or call 231-720-2570 for more information.

Shipwreck Legends Come to Life at Whitefish Point, in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula

guysinshipThe 80-mile stretch of desolate shoreline between Whitefish Point and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore has come to be known as Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast. Over 200 ships have come to a watery grave in this area, including the mysterious wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The Fitzgerald, once the largest ship operating on the Great Lakes at 729’ in length, was fighting her way to the protective waters of Whitefish Bay when she inexplicably vanished, just 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point. This all happened, not so long ago, on November 10, 1975.

lighthouseTo borrow Great Lakes maritime historian Fred Stonehouse’s words, the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald has, for many, “come to represent all shipwrecks on the Great Lakes.” This is really true, but the Fitz is just one story and the lakes have many shipwreck tales to tell. For most visitors to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, these human stories can be shocking, both in the dramatic nature of the wrecks themselves, but also in the heroism of the men and women who miraculously survived incredible conditions.

The museum is located on the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on Lake Superior, and this venerable old tower has been guiding ships around the Point since the U.S. Civil War and Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. What was it like to be lighthouse keeper at such a remote location? How about growing up at a lighthouse? What was family life like for the keepers and their families? What dangers did they face? Did the Lighthouse Keepers ever have to help shipwreck victims? These questions are all answered as you tour the restored Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters, just beneath the shining light itself.

Wendy’s Classic Raises $180,000 for Michigan Foster Care Adoption Programs

wendycheck(Jackson, Mich.) – The 18th annual Wendy’s Charity Classic presented by Coca-Cola was held on Monday, August 6 and featured veteran LPGA Tour players now active on The Legends Tour. The event raised over $180,000 for Wendy’s Wonderful Kids and The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Hosted since 1999 by Jackson resident Elaine Crosby, a two-time champion on the LPGA Tour with one win on The Legends Tour, the pro-am was co-sponsored by Starboard Group and Meritage Hospitality Group, the two largest Wendy’s franchisees in the state with 119 locations combined.

“The Legends players look forward to this event every year,” said Crosby, who recently competed in the inaugural U.S. Women’s Senior Open, a major championship held for women age 50 and over at Chicago Golf Club. “We’re still very active and care very much about this cause. We’ve played in hundreds of pro-ams over the years and this is my favorite for obvious reasons but I can tell you, it’s also high on the list for many of our pros.”

Staged at the Country Club of Jackson on the Pines and Woods courses, the pro-am included such fan favorites as Jan Stephenson, Michelle McGann and Rosie Jones. The 22 LPGA Legends who appeared combined for over 135 wins on the LPGA Tour.

Starboard Group, a Florida-based franchisee with Wendy’s stores in 8 other states, adopted the Wendy’s Charity Classic in 2016 when they purchased Stanton & Associates, Inc. (SAI), a Wendy’s franchisee headquartered in Jackson for 42 years.

“This event means a lot to the kids and to this community,” said Marcos Silva, who co-owns and operates 179 Wendy’s in nine states along with Andrew Levy. “Thanks to the generosity and support of all the sponsors and participants, we are thrilled with the funding we are able to provide to these critical foster care adoption programs.”

Funds raised by the Wendy’s Charity Classic support four Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiters in Michigan and northern Ohio. The recruiters focus on children in foster care who have been waiting the longest for a “forever home.”

“Meritage Hospitality Group is proud to have been a co-sponsor with Starboard Group in the 2018 Wendy’s Charity Classic,” said Weston Persons, Brand Manager at Meritage Hospitality Group, a Grand Rapids-based Wendy’s franchisee co-owned and operated by Robert Schermer and Gary Rose. “To date, the event has raised over $3.1 million to help children find forever families, and we know Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, would be proud of all of us at Wendy’s for fulfilling his legacy of giving back to the communities where we live and work.”

For more information, visit

Muskegon Lake Video Stories Project

The Muskegon Lake Watershed Partnership (MLWP) and the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC) are working on a new activity and a new phase of work to help bring information to the public in a new and exciting way.

Conversations among stakeholders have started regarding the delisting of Muskegon Lake as an Area of Concern (AOC).  As the Muskegon community nears delisting, it will be vital to utilize an engaged community of stewards who understand, respect, and will help to maintain the substantial work that has been done in and around the lake over the past several decades.  Engaged citizens will be essential to carry on this environmental ethic into the future to help the Muskegon community continue its interest in maintaining a desirable and healthy lake and watershed.

In order to accomplish this task, the MLWP and WMSRDC are initiating a public outreach project to produce video stories about the environmental history of Muskegon Lake and the work that has been done since being designated as an AOC.  The video will also showcase various community members and stakeholders that utilize the natural resources of the area for their commerce, sustainability, recreation and spirituality.

WMSRDC has contracted with Great Lakes Outreach Media on this project.  We are interested in speaking with people who may recall the early days around Muskegon Lake, post WWII conditions, the days when Muskegon Lake was in a more severely degraded state – or in a more pristine state.  If you or someone you know has an environmental story about Muskegon Lake, we would like to hear from you.  To have your stories considered for this project, find out more about the project and/or learn how you can help or be involved, please send an e-mail to or contact Kathy Evans at (231) 722-7878 x 17.

Jimmy John’s Serves Up Specialty Sandwiches and More to 400 Local Boys and Girls

jj-bgclubMUSKEGON, MI – Jimmy John’s locations on Apple Avenue and Henry Street teamed up with the Muskegon’s Boys & Girls Club to give 400 area boys and girls a healthy and fun lunch on Thursday, August 16th.

Jimmy John’s local franchise owner, and President of MVK Management, in Norton Shores, Jon Lindenbaum, toured the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore (BGCML) and proposed a community outreach partnership earlier this month. His idea was simple, but bold. Bring deserving youth in Muskegon the Jimmy John’s experience by providing club members with a full box lunch including their choice of specialty sandwich, chips, drink and gourmet cookie.

A team headed by Jimmy John’s Area Manager Mike Mangin and Store Managers Jamie Sanborn and Kalob Burr served box lunches at the BGCML’s main Nelson Club Site and at Pere Marquette Beach as part of a field trip coordinated with ReIMagINe Camp. The kids enjoyed their special lunches so much that a BGCML club member named Ramello remarked, “These subs are so good we should give them to the President.” Although BGCML staff members were unsure of the political intentions behind the Ramello’s comment, they interpreted his words to mean “these sandwiches are great!”


About the Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore
Since 2015, Boys & Girls Club of the Muskegon Lakeshore has provided mentorship, adult role models, activities, and services to local youth in the areas of education and careers, character building, leadership, health, life skills, arts, sports, fitness, recreation, and several other specialized programs during the summer and afterschool times. Do you have a cool idea on how we can continue to serve Muskegon area youth, or would like to get involved? If so, give Boys & Girls Club teammate, Deborah Santiago a call at 231-375-5576 or email her at

Results of the 7th Annual Muskegon River Cleanup

Here are the results of the 7th annual Muskegon River Cleanup sponsored by Muskegon River Clean-Up Company, LLC held on August 4th, 2018.  Registration started at 9:30 am at the Bridgeton Launch until noon. We had 519 people register this year, a new record.  These 519 persons collected 4326 cans and bottles , an outboard motor, 1 chair, 1 milk can, 114 flip flops, 22 sunglasses and goggles, 18 lighters, 1 cell phone, 12 tires,1 garbage can, miscellaneous animal bones, scrap iron and treated wood.  At 5:00pm sharp at the Maple Island Launch Site 15 kayaks were given away along with approximately $1000 worth of miscellaneous items to the participants.  Hot dogs and hamburgers were provided to the participants throughout the day.  Next years event will be on Saturday, August 3, 2019.  Hope to see everyone there.

John Cramblet
Member, Muskegon River
Clean-Up Company, LLC

Pioneer Resources Opens New Mill Iron Group Home in Muskegon

(Muskegon, MI) – Pioneer Resources is pleased to announce the grand opening of their newest group home located on Mill Iron Road in Muskegon. The home was built due to the increased demand for specialized housing as well as to continue Pioneer’s efforts to provide affordable housing and individualized supports for individuals with disabilities and seniors in our community. Pioneer now operates eight specialized group homes, along with a general Adult Foster Care Home, Independent Living, and barrier-free apartments.

mill-iron-homeThis six-bedroom, open-concept layout was designed specifically for individuals requiring specialized assistance. The accessibility technology incorporated in the development will provide independence to residents with limited mobility and communications skills.

The Mill Iron Home opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, August 28, with a grand opening reception. Guided tours and refreshments were provided.

Muskegon Clippers End Season on High Note

Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League Post-Season Awards Announced

MUSKEGON, Mich., July 31, 2018 – Another season has come to a close. The Muskegon Clippers finished the 2018 season winning nine out of our last ten games. The Clippers finished the season with a record of 24-18 and two games out of first place and a single game out of the race for the final playoff spot. The Clippers also set new attendance records for the year.

As the season ends, the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League has announced post season awards.

The Muskegon Clippers are proud to announce those members of our organization recently honored for their on-field performance during the 2018 season by the GLSCL coaches:

• Jimmy Roche (Western Michigan University) – Selected to the GLSCL First Team as a shortstop

• Max Ludka (Aquinas College) – Selected to the GLSCL First Team as a starting pitcher

• Blake Dunn (Western Michigan University)  – Selected to the GLSCL Second Team as an outfielder

• Max Ludka –  Selected as the recipient of the “Lou Laslo Award.” Awarded annually to the Pitcher of the Year in the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League

Parmenter Law Continues Local Support with Golf Outing and Walk to End Alzheimer’s

(Muskegon, MI) – Parmenter Law, based in Muskegon, continues to show their commitment to the community by sponsoring and participating in the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Golf Classic and the upcoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

In addition to being a hole sponsor, a Parmenter team teed it up at Stonegate Golf Club on Friday, August 24, for the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Golf Classic. A portion of the proceeds benefited Silent Observer, a high-tech crime prevention program launched by a coalition of local business, education and law enforcement leaders.

On Saturday, September 22, Parmenter will gather together at Heritage Landing to participate in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research.

Please join and meet the Parmenter team at this local event.

Annual Kevlars for K9s Campaign

In the dog days of summer, I am writing to you about our new campaign about–you guessed it– protecting K9s. Tens of thousands of these loyal, trusted dogs serve alongside their human handlers in police departments across the country. But, sadly, due to budget cuts, many departments cannot afford life-saving Kevlar vests for these dogs. Last year, approximately two dozen dogs died in the line of duty.

But, we know this doesn’t have to be the reality. We are launching an ambitious campaign to raise $80,000 to distribute ballistic-proof vests for police dogs across America.

Donation page:

Grand River Office Announces Open House and Ribbon Cutting Event

To Be Held September 13th from 5-7 PM

MUSKEGON, MI, August 22nd – Grand River Office will open its doors to visitors offering live music, appetizers, beverages, and giveaways in conjunction with their formal Open House Event located at their new showroom and offices at 99 W. Western Ave. in Muskegon.

While Grand River Office may be a new office furniture dealer in West Michigan, owners Margaret Stoika and Doug Brown are no strangers to the commercial furniture market with over 35 years of combined industry experience.

“We are excited to be part of the downtown Muskegon growth with our showroom location on the corner of Pine and Western in a building that dates back to 1928,” stated Doug Brown, co-owner and Vice President of Grand River.

About Grand River Office

Grand River Office is a full line dealership representing numerous lines of commercial office furnishings, also providing design and installation services throughout West Michigan.  To learn more about Grand River Office go to, or check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Wayne’s Deli Celebrates 60th Anniversary

(Muskegon, MI – July 31, 2018) – Wayne’s Deli is celebrating 60 years of business. A Muskegon County staple since 1958, visitors to Wayne’s can enjoy a full-service, old-fashioned style deli counter (home to the original “Gimmick” sandwich), a large selection of Michigan wines, fresh roasted coffee, local craft beer, and much more. They even offer catering services and a variety of gift baskets for holidays or special occasions.

Location: Wayne’s Deli
746 W. Laketon Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49441

About Wayne’s Deli
Wayne’s Deli first opened on August 12, 1958. The deli changed ownership several times over the years and was purchased in 1999 by current owner and operator, Pat Bogner. Although the owners have changed, many of their signature products have not. Still very popular are their Italian Hoagies, the original “Gimmick” sandwich, pickle wraps, stuff peppers, and onion wraps.
For more information, please visit

Fruitport District Library Q & A – Why Do We Need a Library Millage?

Fruitport District Library
47 Park Street
Fruitport, MI 49415
231 366-6107

Q. Will approving this library millage increase my taxes?
A. No, Fruitport residents have been paying .75 mills for library services since 2006. The current millage began December 2016 and expires December 2018. The November 2018 millage proposal will ask for the same .75 mills (not new – not additional) from 2019-2028.

Q. What is the library millage for?
A. The millage will pay for the general operation of the Fruitport District Library, including materials, technology, staff, programs, and building and grounds maintenance. Also, more digital projects and literacy programs for adults and children. We have budgeted for a savings capital project for handicap accessibility.
Fruitport Township residents were with the Muskegon Areas District Library from 2006-2016. We paid .75 mills annually for library operations. In 2015 we voted to separate from the MADL and begin establishing our own library. In May 2016 we voted to approve a “new” “additional” millage of .75 for the operation of the Fruitport library for three years beginning December 2016 through December 2018. On December 31, 2016 the agreement with the MADL ended and we began establishing a Fruitport Library . In January, February and March of 2017 we contracted with Spring Lake Library so our residents would continue to receive full services until the Fruitport Library was ready for operation. In April 2017 Fruitport Library opened with the funds from the .75 millage collected from winter taxes. We were able to purchase 13,600 books two years and newer as required in order to be a member of Lakeland Library.

Q. The library proposal says it’s a “new” “additional” millage? Can you explain this?
A. The ballot language is what the library attorney and the Library of Michigan legal counsel says we are required to have. The Library Board wanted to simply say library renewal, as we believe it is, but the library attorney states that in order to be legal, the language must say “new” and “additional”. It may be because of the separation from MADL.

Q. What happens to the library now that the millage failed?
A. Fruitport District Library Board has decide to put the proposal on the November 6, 2018 ballot for the residents to consider again. If it fails there will be no funds for library operation and we will have to close it down.

Q. The current library .75 millage is for how long?
A. The current millage of .75 was a three year millage 2016 -2018 and expires this year. The “new” millage will be from 2019-2028 at the same .75 mills that we have always paid.

Q. What would we be paying for library services if we were still with the MADL?
A. The current MADL millage is 1.25 mills for ten (10) years.

Q. What good is the library?
A. We have issued 1567 library cards as of June 2018. In the summer of 2018 we scheduled 8 events during the Summer Reading Program.

Q. What services does the library provide?
A. The Board of Directors just approved the Hoopla Program.
* Inexpensive printing and faxing services
* Free access to public computers and Wi-Fi
* Access to over 26,000 individual items in-house
* Access to library books from libraries across the state of Michigan, including Spring Lake District Library and other Lakeland Library Cooperative libraries
* Ability to use your library card at any library in West Michigan
* Access to electronic books through the Overdrive Program
* Music & Movies with additional information through Hoopla
* OSCODA for different language learning and information
* Mel Cat
* Certified Library Director, Certified Children’s Librarian and Administrative Assistant Staff who provide courteous customer service
* Weekly children’s programming

Q. How much does the Library Board of Directors get paid?
A. In the past only the secretary and treasurer received compensation of $45/per monthly meeting. Since the formation of the Fruitport District Library, January 2017, no one on the Board has received compensation for their service.

Library Board Volunteer Director Rose Dillon

5th Annual Community Remembrance, A Memorial Service for Your Loved Ones

[Muskegon, Michigan] The Bob & Merle Scolnik Healing Center of Harbor Hospice invites the community to join us for the 5th Annual Community Remembrance at Heritage Memorial Garden in downtown Muskegon. This meaningful ceremony includes a program of music, readings and floral bulb planting to help individuals and families in our community both mourn the death and honor the life of a loved one.

The Community Remembrance will be held on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the Heritage Memorial Garden located at 545 W. Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon.

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 from previous years included comments like “I can’t thank you enough for this type of venue and event to keep our loved ones’ memory alive. It means so much to me” and “I love watching the flowers come up in the spring.” These comments really give expression to the many and varied 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 is our privilege to offer this opportunity to mourn and heal in an environment of acceptance and understanding.

If you would like to participate in this meaningful event, please RSVP by Monday, September 17, 2018 by calling Harbor Hospice at 231.728.3442 or 800.497.9559.

United Way’s Day of Action Leaves No Bottom Wet Behind

Fill the Truck Drive Results in 10,000 Diapers & Wipes Donated to the Lakeshore Area

Lakeshore, MICHIGAN (June 21, 2018) – United Way of the Lakeshore spurred volunteers into action to create meaningful impact throughout the community on June 21st for Day of Action, an annual event that mobilizes the caring power of volunteers to create positive change in more than 450 communities around the world.

Traditionally held on the longest day of the year, Day of Action invites volunteers of all ages to rally together around important issues. Last year, tens of thousands of volunteers around the world joined more than 450 United Ways from 19 countries to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every one of those communities.

“With so many of our hard working families struggling to get by, and the high cost of raising a family, it is wonderful that our community came together to wrap up these bottoms” – President Christine Robere

United Way of the Lakeshore will create meaningful activities centered on education, income and health. For the Fill the Truck Drive, the community was able to rally together to help families with our littlest community members stay dry, comfortable and happy. With the help of Two Men and a Truck, the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club and 30 local companies; 9,000 diapers, wipes, lotions and teething rings were donated to baby pantries across the Lakeshore.

On June 21st, volunteers gathered at the Greater Muskegon Woman’s Club and organized the donations and distributed them to 5 agencies. Other volunteers constructed fun diaper cakes to be given away to families. United Way of the Lakeshore would like to thank all the companies involved including Bayer; Muskegon Area ISD; Muskegon County Register of Deeds Office; Baker College; DTE Energy; Comerica Bank; Fifth Third Bank; Gary Nelund State Farm Office; Lakeside Surfaces Inc.; Matt Crosby State Farm Office; Nowak Machined Products; Knoll; Muskegon Public Schools; Norton Family Practice; The Gym; Wolfie’s Pizza; Mercy Health; Target and Parmenter Law.

If your agency wants to be involved in the quarterly Fill the Truck drives, or if you would like to volunteer on our upcoming projects please contact the United Way of the Lakeshore’s Community Engagement Office at 231-332-4006 or email

Diaper Fast Facts:
• 40% of Michigan’s population cannot afford basic household necessities
• In Michigan, 24% of family budgets is childcare affordability
• Family essentials costs have risen by 18% since 2007
• Diapers cannot be obtained with food stamps
• Infants require up to 12 diapers a day, toddlers about 8
• Disposable diapers cost $70-$80 per month per baby

Big News for Muskegon County

airplaneStarting in October, you can have an “Early Out – Late In” flight through the Muskegon County Airport (MKG). Your Chamber has been advocating for this initiative for years!

This enables you to make earlier and more connections to destinations across the United States and around the world!


Harbor Hospice Named a 2018 Hospice Honors Recipient

[Muskegon, MI.], [May 22, 2018] — Harbor Hospice has been named a 2018 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, the leading provider of Web-based home health and hospice software, billing and coding services, CAHPS surveys and advanced analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

“We are excited to recognize the 2018 Hospice Honors recipients for their hard work and dedication to providing exceptional care,” said J. Kevin Porter of HEALTHCAREfirst. “I congratulate Harbor Hospice on its success in achieving this highest of honors.”

Award criteria were based on Hospice CAHPS survey results for an evaluation period of October 2016 through September 2017. Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in the HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. HEALTHCAREfirst holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions.  Please visit HEALTHCAREfirst’s website at to learn more about HEALTHCAREfirst Hospice CAHPS survey program as well as the Hospice Honors awards.

President & CEO, Lisa McMichael, credits Harbor Hospice’s excellence in the areas of communication, getting timely care, treating patient/family with respect and dignity and providing emotional / religious support for being honored as a 2018 award recipient.  92.4% of our families would recommend Harbor Hospice as compared to 86% of the national average.  She said, “It is truly an honor to receive this distinguished award. I am proud of the outstanding team we have delivering such quality care to our community.”

For more information about Harbor Hospice and Harbor Palliative Care please call 231.728.3442 or visit

For more information about HEALTHCAREfirst, please call 800.841.6095 or visit

P.O.A.M Endorses Hughes in 34th State Senate Race

Muskegon, MI – On June 15th, The Police Officers Association of Michigan (POAM), announced its candidate endorsement would be Holly Hughes for Michigan State Senate for Michigan’s 34th District.

The POAM represents over 12,000 law enforcement employees throughout the State of Michigan and is the largest such organization in our state. “We continually strive to protect and improve the safety, working conditions and economic security of our member. We believe it is imperative to support candidates who actively promote these goals,” said Legislative Director, Kenneth Grabowski.

Rising Numbers Stretching Mission Resources

Muskegon Rescue Mission is experiencing record number of people needing emergency shelter.  During these summer months more and more people are turning to the mission for shelter.  These astonishing numbers are making Muskegon Rescue Mission Resources tight.

Muskegon Rescue Mission is in its 111th year of continuous 24 hours a day, 365 days a year of service.  They provide food, shelter, clothing and other services at two separate locations, one for men located at 400 W Laketon and for women and children located at 1691 Peck.  “We are in a unique position to help the homeless, not just with the physical needs that make day to day life hard, but with their spiritual needs as well,” said Dan Skoglund, Executive Director.  “We can point them to the gospel and everlasting change in their life.”

“The rise in numbers is pushing our resources to their limits and beyond” said Skoglund.  In addition to providing shelter the Mission also serves 3 meals per day, provides hot showers, as well as, fresh bedding and pajamas.  Skoglund added, “We are serving over 300 meals per day, double of our anticipated amount.  The extra expenses of food, staffing, higher utility bills and other expenses needed to meet this enormous demand is far beyond our current budget of seasonal norms.”

During the warm summer months Muskegon Rescue Mission usually has lighter numbers. Skoglund added, “With the increase in guests at our shelter, and additional costs it is starting to impact our mission resources and stretching our staff, we are committed to helping everyone in need.  We are truly the safety net, we never close our doors.  This is a challenging situation, but we have a very caring community and we are asking for their help at this time.”

To make a donation please stop by our administrative office or visit

Grand Rapids Chamber PAC Endorses Holly Hughes for State Senate

Grand Rapids, MI –The Grand Rapids Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC), Friends of West Michigan Business, announced its candidate endorsement in the contested 34th district GOP primary would be Holly Hughes.

“The Chamber PAC endorses candidates who will work to advance policies that support continued economic growth in our region, improve educational outcomes and invest in roads and infrastructure,” said Chamber President & CEO, Rick Baker.

“Michigan’s economic recovery has been nothing short of amazing, but we still have many real challenges, and must elect experienced, knowledgeable leaders to move Michigan forward.” Said Andy Johnston, Vice President of Government Affairs, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

When asked what made the PAC so confident in their decision of endorsing Holly Hughes for State Senate, Rick Baker stated, “Representative Holly Hughes has been a relentless champion for West Michigan during her time in the House of Representatives. She is focused on policies that support job-growth and strengthen the regional economy.”

Michigan Chamber Endorses Hughes in 34th State Senate Race

Muskegon, MI – On June 29th, The Michigan Chamber of Commerce announced its candidate endorsement would be Holly Hughes for Michigan State Senate for Michigan’s 34th District.

The Michigan Chamber fights every day to cut wasteful government spending and reform state government which is why they chose to endorse Holly Hughes for State Senate. “All of these candidates have demonstrated a commitment to free enterprise and a sincere desire to make Michigan the best state in the country to live, work, raise a family or build a business” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley.

Non-Profit Organization is Seeking Local Host Families for High School Exchange Students

ASSE International Student Exchange Programs (ASSE), in cooperation with your community high school, is looking for local families to host boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 18 from a variety of countries: Norway, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, to name a few.

ASSE students are enthusiastic and excited to experience American culture while they practice their English. They also love to share their own culture and language with their host families. Host families welcome these students into their family, not as a guest, but as a family member, giving everyone involved a rich cultural experience.

The exchange students have pocket money for personal expenses and full health, accident and liability insurance. ASSE students are selected based on academics and personality, and host families can choose their student from a wide variety of backgrounds, countries and personal interests.

To become an ASSE Host Family or to find out how to become involved with ASSE in your community, please call ASSE Eastern Regional Office at 1-800-677-2773 or go to to begin your host family application. Students are eager to learn about their American host family, so begin the process of welcoming your new son or daughter today!

Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy During Extreme Heat

heattipsOTTAWA COUNTY, June 29, 2018 – Summertime is here and it’s a HOT one! An excessive heat watch is in effect for Ottawa County – be sure to take precaution to stay healthy and safe. Hot temperatures and high humidity put people at an even greater risk of heat illness. The elderly, infants and children, homeless, people with a chronic medical condition and those who work or exercise outdoors are most vulnerable to heat exhaustion. NEVER leave children or animals in a vehicle alone on hot days – heat stroke or death can occur!

Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable. Prevention tips from the CDC:


• Wear Appropriate Clothing: Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
• Stay Cool Indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to a place that does. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, they will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home. Cover your windows with drapes or blinds.
• Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully: Try to limit your outdoor activity to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours. Rest often in shady areas so that your body has a chance to recover.
• Pace Yourself: Cut down on exercise during the heat.
• Wear Sunscreen: Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool down and can make you dehydrated. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes prior to going out.
• Do Not Leave Children in Cars: Cars can quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures, even with a window cracked open. While anyone left in a parked car is at risk, children and animals are especially at risk of getting a heat stroke or dying.


• Drink Plenty of Fluids: Drink more fluids, regardless of how active you are. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Stay away from very sugary or alcoholic drinks—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid.
• Replace Salt and Minerals: Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced. A sports drink can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.
• Watch Others: Make sure your family, friends, neighbors and pets are drinking enough water.


• Check for Updates: Check the news for alerts and with your city or township to find cooling shelters. Ottawa County Emergency Management has identified cooling centers in the event of an emergency.
• Monitor People at High Risk: Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children need much more frequent watching.
• Know the Signs: Learn the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and how to treat them.


heatillnessesLooking to stay cool at the beach? Be sure to stay healthy and prevent recreational water illnesses! LEARN MORE

Richard Riekse Passes Eagle Scout Board

Richard Riekse, member of Fruitport Boy Scout Troop 1023, and son of retired Lieutenant Colonel Max Riekse, passed his Eagle Scout board on March 18th, 2018 with numerous palms. He earned 69 Merit Badges, including ones for backpacking, canoeing, small boat sailing, & hiking many miles. He is also a member of the Order of the Arrow.

Max Riekse

United Way of the Lakeshore Receives $12,000 Grant to Establish an Emergency Loan Fund for Workers

MUSKEGON, Michigan — United Way of the Lakeshore has received a $12,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to support its Workforce Stability & Employer Resource Network. The award comes from the Douglas A. Rosen Fund at the Community Foundation.

Christine J. Robere, President & CEO, United Way of the Lakeshore said, “This grant will be used to develop an emergency loan program for workers to access in times of need.” Robere added, “This will let workers get a loan to help out in an emergency such as auto repairs, health care, or housing. One never knows when an emergency will arise. This program will provide a safety net for those times.”

United Way of the Lakeshore is uniting to inspire change and build thriving communities. Our Bold Goal – 10,000 more working families meet their basic needs by 2025. For more information, contact United Way of the Lakeshore at 231-332-4047 or visit

Executive Travel – Airline Improvements in the Last 10 Years

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Global entry customs clearance –
International flyers will want to invest $100 to get expedited customs clearance using a Global Entry card. It took me only three minutes to clear customs during my last flight returning to the states, while people without a Global Entry card stood in line for as long as 45 minutes.

TSA Pre-check –
Many airports today offer an express line for security clearance using the TSA Pre-Check system. If you fly more than three times a year the $80 fee for this is worth its weight in gold.

Paperless boarding passes –
I hate paper. Sending a boarding pass to my iPhone to be scanned at the gate is the best thing since apple pie.

Self-service check-in Kiosks –
Do you remember the days you would arrive at the airport and the lines at the airline counters would be a half block long? I love the self-service kiosks. They sure seem to make checking in so much easier.

HealthWest and West Michigan CMH Named as One of Three Pilot Sites for the State’s Section 298 Initiative

Financial integration with the Medicaid Health Plans slated to begin October 1, 2018

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced the three pilot sites selected for the state’s 298 Initiative, or Medicaid Health Plan Pilot. HealthWest (Muskegon County’s Behavioral Wellness Connection) and West Michigan Community Mental Health (West Michigan CMH) were awarded and will be conducting a joint pilot.  Also chosen for the pilot were the Genesee Health System and Saginaw County Community Mental Health Authority.

The Section 298 Initiative is a statewide effort to improve the coordination of physical health services and behavioral health services in Michigan. This initiative is based upon Section 298 in the Public Act 268 of 2016. The Michigan legislature approved a revised version of Section 298 as part of Public Act 107 of 2017.

Executive Travel – Business Travel Hotel Rates

Where can business travelers find the best hotel rates?
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Executive Travel took on the myth that Expedia offers the lowest hotel rates to see if Executive Travel negotiated hotel rates were competitive. Executive Travel compared hotel rates in 106 random cities and discovered that Executive Travel negotiated rates were lower than Expedia rates in 94 of the 106 cities by an average of $47.02. Finding the best prices for hotels for your next business trip is easy. Simply book your hotels with Executive Travel, the very best at negotiating hotel rates.

SkyWest Airline’s Muskegon Team Wins the United Airlines 2017 Station of the Year

Muskegon County Airport (MKG) is pleased to announce the SkyWest Airlines customer service team at MKG was recently recognized as a top performing United Airlines Tier 4 station in 2017. Demonstrating an ongoing commitment to service and reliability, the SkyWest MKG customer service team was recently presented with United’s 2017 Station of the Year (Quality First Award).

“Our Muskegon team has done impressive work demonstrating SkyWest’s commitment to quality service,” said Steve Black, vice president of customer service. “We appreciate this team and the positive experience they help provide for MKG travelers enjoying the daily United Express flights to Chicago and beyond.”

The prestigious award recognizes the top performing United/United Express stations and is based on key performance metrics, such as on-time departure, on-time arrival, rate of mishandled checked baggage and more.

Executive Travel – Mexico Dangers

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Over 50% of Mexico is now too dangerous to travel to

Late last week the U.S. State Department quietly issued updated warnings about travel to the popular vacation destination of Playa del Carmen, located south of Cancun. When I was doing more research I found the Mexico warning page on the State Department web site that listed five Mexican states that include the resort cities of Acapulco and Mazatlan that are rated dangerous and that Americans should not travel too.

Executive Travel – Zika Threat

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Warning! CDC warns that Zika is still a major health threat to pregnant women

A week ago I had the good fortune of attending and speaking at the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) Premium Business Summit in New York City. At that conference, one of the speakers was from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). She spoke forcefully that the Zika virus is still extremely dangerous and that pregnant women should not travel to any of the 100 countries worldwide that are affected by the Zika virus. She also pointed out that Zika can be transmitted sexually and can be transmitted up to 8 months after a partner (male or female) is infected during travel. This is serious stuff folks. The CDC has a great website with a map of all the countries infected with Zika, CLICK HERE to view. They also have a website they call the Yellow Book, CLICK HERE to view. This site provides valuable information about health risks in destination around the world. I recommend you bookmark both sites if you travel internationally.

Any Dog With a Mouth Can Bite

Understanding Dog Body Language Key to Preventing Dog Bites

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – Michigan Pet Fund Alliance has launched a Dog Bite Prevention campaign on their website,, featuring a new video explaining how dogs use body language to communicate what they are feeling. The video includes voiceover by Peter Carey, star of the smash hit play “Ernie” by Mitch Albom. (video link:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4 million dog bites occur each year in the United States … and not from stray dogs running wild in the streets. The family dog or the neighbor’s dog inflict the majority (80%) of dog bite-related injuries to children aged 18 and under, with children aged 5-9 having the highest injury rate.

MPFA chairperson Deborah Schutt says, “The key to preventing dog bites is responsible pet ownership and education. Our goal with this campaign is to make our communities safer, free up resources in our shelters, and save more dogs’ lives.”

Advisory: Arrests made in early morning Breaking and Entering. Police wishing to return stolen property.

April 13, 2018

Fruitport Police responded to an early morning report of a breaking and entering in the 3000 Block of E. Ellis Road. A vehicle leaving the area was stopped by Officers and stolen property was recovered. Two females, both from the Muskegon area, that were in the vehicle have been arrested on felony charges and lodged at the Muskegon County Jail. Their names are not being released until they have been arraigned.

Fruitport Police are requesting residents in this area to contact the department at 231-865-8477 if they find any items missing so that it can be returned.

Executive Travel – Airbnb Warning

Companies that allow travelers to use Airbnb could be open to lawsuits
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Many companies today have put their heads in the sand and are ignoring how the sharing economy in the form of Airbnb has been creeping steadily into the corporate travel management world. At first blush, many people would casually ask, “What’s the big deal? Many vacation travelers love Airbnb so why not use it for business travelers? Are you crazy! Companies by law are responsible for the safety and security of their travelers when they are traveling for business. Think of the dozens of ways that using Airbnb could compromise the safety of corporate travelers. In a recent article by Asher and Lyric titled, “Is Airbnb Safe?” they reviewed 1021 horror stories to identify some of the major problems with renting Airbnb. The first thing they listed sent a shiver up my spine. Do you realize that “Airbnb doesn’t require any ID other than an email address and phone number? Basically, anyone could be your host. They don’t even require real names or profile photos.” This means your company travelers could end up staying with a convicted felon, a registered sex offender, a thief, or a conniving scam artist. WOW! Can you imagine the liability a company has if they allow their travelers to be exposed to this possible danger? CLICK HERE to read more about the Airbnb horror stories. I am not a lawyer, and can’t give you legal advice, but common sense says if you are responsible for the safety and security of your employees while they travel you should consider prohibiting them from using Airbnb for any company travel.

Parmenter Law Teams up with Local Non-profit, No More Sidelines

(Muskegon, MI) – Parmenter Law, based in Muskegon, has made it an integral part of their business culture to support their local community through a variety of partnerships. Each year, the firm partners with a local non-profit organization by supporting them financially and with hands-on project participation. Parmenter is pleased to announce that No More Sidelines will be their 2018 community partner.

“We are thrilled to have the chance to partner with No More Sidelines. Their unique mission truly resonates with our firm. It’s been exciting to watch the organization grow over the past decade through the passion and leadership of Cyndi Blair and the countless volunteers. They’ve become a real difference maker in our community, providing their participants with a true sense of belonging and opportunities that just weren’t available. We look forward to learning more about No More Sidelines and doing what we can to give back and further such a wonderful mission.” Joshua A. Reece – Partner at Parmenter Law and No More Sidelines Board Member

About No More Sidelines – No More Sidelines is a non-profit organization, run by volunteers, committed to helping children and young adults, ages seven and older, with special needs in Muskegon and Kent counties. They provide an opportunity to play sports year-round and to participate in community events and outings. No More Sidelines is embarking on a capital campaign in 2018 to expand and update their facility in Norton Shores. The construction and renovation project will include an indoor soccer field, basketball/volleyball courts, an exercise room, and office/classroom space for continued program growth.

For more information about No More Sidelines, visit

FineLine Creative Reaches 15-Year Milestone

Spring Lake, Michigan – FineLine Creative has kicked off a yearlong celebration of their 15th anniversary. Founded in February 2003, the full-service marketing and creative firm has found success by building relationships with clients that focus on results and collaboration.

FineLine Creative works with a variety of clients from the Muskegon area to greater Grand Rapids. Their core services include website design/development, design and branding, strategic planning, print communications, email marketing, and the newest core service offering, interactive strategies.

With the addition of Lisa Kraus in 2016, FineLine now offers clients a full-circle marketing experience with interactive services including Google AdWords/Analytics reporting, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and social media planning/implementation.

“We’re extremely excited to celebrate this milestone,” said Laura Holmes, the company’s co-founder. “The last five years, in particular, has been transformational as marketing has changed dramatically with the growing demand for online and web-based advertising.”

“Each FineLine team member brings volumes of experience to the table and a unique perspective,” said Yvonne McKessy, co-founder and Creative Communication Director. “The advantage at FineLine is team chemistry, integrity, ingenuity and continual drive to create distinct visual solutions that deliver results.”

In 2015, FineLine was recognized as one of 20 Entrepreneurs of Excellence by the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber. In 2013, Laura and Yvonne were one of 25 finalists for the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Top Women-Owned Businesses.

Learn more about FineLine Creative’s service and their team at

Smash Wine Bar & Bistro Expands To Serve Lunch

smashlogoMUSKEGON, MI- Contemporary downtown restaurant, Smash Wine Bar & Bistro, will open for lunch beginning March 1, 2018. The two-story restaurant located in the Historic Frauenthal Center will serve lunch 11:00 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with normal dinner service still starting at 4:00pm daily.

Diners may call ahead to order from a special carry out menu for a quick bite, or order from the full menu when dining in at the restaurant. For those that need an on the go option, Smash will feature a $10 Lunch Box Special.

Smash Phone: (231) 246-7910