News Releases

Artists Invited to Participate in #LAFRocks Public Art Project


Muskegon, MI – The Lakeshore Art Festival, in partnership with the Muskegon Museum of Art, is organizing an exhibition of public art in Downtown Muskegon for the summer of 2023. Artwork will incorporate a small boulder/rock that will be on display beginning June 24. All artists 18 years or older are invited to submit an application to participate in the project no later than March 22.

Accepted artists will receive a stipend and a small boulder/rock. The boulders vary in size, approximately 19”x10”x6”, and are being provided by Preferred Lawn Care & Snowplowing. Designs must be weather resistant. If applicable, sculptural elements must be securely attached to the boulder. Artists will be responsible for picking up their boulder on April 21, and delivering their completed piece no later than June 19. It is anticipated that 5 artists will be selected.

In addition to the exhibition, the general public will be invited to participate in the #LAFRocks project during the festival on June 24 & 25. The Muskegon Museum of Art will be hosting a rock decorating booth in the roundabout on Western Avenue. More information to come.

Co-Director of the Lakeshore Art Festival, Bre McCarthy, comments, “We cannot wait to bring the community together through the multiple components of the #LAFRocks Project. Rock decorating can be done by many ages and degrees of ability, which is the beauty of this project, and aligns well with the mission of Lakeshore Art Festival.”

Click here to view the detailed application form. Artists with questions may contact This project is made possible by Muskegon Museum of Art, Preferred Lawn Care & Snowplowing, and a variety of event sponsors that can be viewed at

More about the Lakeshore Art Festival:
Saturday, June 24, 2023 & Sunday, June 25, 2023. The annual art festival brings thousands of guests, hundreds of fine art and craft exhibitors, a multitude of food vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment, and interactive art to Downtown Muskegon, Michigan. The festival ranks as one of the Top 200 in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine (multiple years running), has been recognized as People’s Choice Award: #1 Art Festival in West Michigan, and as one of the Best Art Fairs in America by Since 2013, Lakeshore Art Festival has brought in over $9.3 million dollars to the Muskegon lakeshore area and supported a number of local non-profits. If you’re interested in getting involved as a volunteer or local business partner, please contact Bre McCarthy at or visit



Muskegon, MI – Put on your green and bring your family and friends to downtown Muskegon on Saturday, March 18 to the 10th annual Muskegon St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Stepping off at 11 a.m. from 6th Street along Western Avenue to 2nd Street, the parade will celebrate Muskegon’s rich Irish Heritage. Shamrockin’ In Your Shanty will return to Western Ave for its third year following the parade. The parade is set to include a large array of local businesses and community members celebrating the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day. 

This family-oriented parade is sponsored by JCI Greater Muskegon and Unruly Brewing Co. We are excited to announce Andy O’Riley from Positively Muskegon and as the Grand Marshal of the parade. All marchers and attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food donations to benefit local non-profit organizations.

“We are very excited to bring back Muskegon’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for its tenth year,” said Sara Sherwood, President of JCI Greater Muskegon. “The parade plays an important role in Muskegon’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and we are thrilled to continue the tradition.” 

Following the parade, from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Shamrockin’ In Your Shanty will return to Western Avenue for its third year. Participants are invited to set up a shanty or tent and spend the day drinking and eating with friends from establishments in the Downtown Muskegon Social District. Shamrockin’ In Your Shanty registration costs $15 per shanty with a portion of sales benefitting local non-profit organizations fighting food insecurity in the area. Registration is required, and the event link and information can be found at Shamrockin’ In Your Shanty is sponsored by 4Front Credit Union. 

Also happening in downtown Muskegon on Saturday, March 18 is the Shamrock Shuffle 5K organized by Run Muskegon, Go-Green! Scavenger Hunt organized by 4-H Muskegon, Michigan Makers Market at the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center, and live music and entertainment at Unruly Brewing Co. 

Rep. Meerman Celebrates Digital Learning Day, Calls on Governor to Fund Cyber Students Equitably

Legislator: Every student deserves an equal opportunity at success

State Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) issued the following statement yesterday regarding National Digital Learning Day and Gov. Whitmer’s proposal to cut funding for public charter cyber students throughout Michigan:

“Digital Learning Day is an important reminder of the significant role cyber schools play in the lives of students with unique needs. Students who have been bullied account for a significant number of those who are enrolled in our cyber schools. They deserve to feel safe, secure and at ease while they are in school, and cyber schools give them that ability. These institutions are also a great option for students with mental health hurdles, children with physical health limitations, and gifted young athletes with irregular schedules.

“But today is also an important opportunity to draw attention to the funding discrepancy our governor is proposing for these specialized institutions. Despite our state’s historic budget surplus, Gov. Whitmer wants to cut funding for cyber students by 20 percent. Every child in Michigan has a constitutional right to a quality education, and that means funding them equally, no matter how they learn or where they live.”

Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce Announced Board Changes

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce welcomed 2023 board chair, Anna Urick Duggins (Partner/Attorney, Parmenter Law) to help lead the organization as businesses still recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“I am honored to lead this award-winning chamber,” says Urick Duggins. “Our firm has been an active member for decades so guiding policy discussion and outreach is a natural step for me. I plan to work closely with this outstanding network of board officers, directors and staff to further the chamber’s leadership position in our community.”

Additional changes to the chamber’s board of directors include vice board chair, Jonathan Wilson (Regional Manager, DTE Energy), treasurer, Joel Kamp (CEO/Owner, Pigeon Hill Brewing Co.), and secretary, Aaron Maike (President, Baker College Muskegon). Sharlene Shineldecker (Regional Vice President/Owner Transnation Title Agency Lakeshore Division) also joined the board of directors.

“We are pleased to welcome these highly respected and growing businesses to our board,” said Cindy Larsen, President of Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “They represent a cross section of our membership to make sure all industry sectors are represented. They will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to lead this chamber forward.”

Click here for a full list of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber’s board of directors.

Introducing the Lakeshore Living Show!

Muskegon, MI – The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce the Lakeshore Living Show! Formerly the Home, Garden, + Boat Show, the Lakeshore Living Show will feature products and services that showcase the unique lakeshore lifestyle that Muskegon County offers. With miles of beaches, inland lakes and rivers, residents take pride in beautiful homes and recreation. The best of the Muskegon Lakeshore businesses, products, food, and outdoor recreation will be on display at this waterfront lifestyle show. 

“Muskegon’s transformation is undeniable. This show will help you connect with people who can help you find your passion along the Lakeshore,” says Cindy Larsen, President of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “We imagine that people will not only attend the show, but enjoy the downtown social district, while they are here.”

The Lakeshore Living Show will be held Friday, April 14 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center. Located in the historic waterfront downtown, the show will feature over 60 exhibitors who are experts in home, garden, outdoor recreation, and local cuisine. Demonstrations and seminars will also be offered. Applications for exhibitors are now open and can be found online at Applications close on February 10.

Tickets Now Available for Heels for Meals & More Fundraiser

Muskegon, MI – AgeWell Services of West Michigan is hosting its annual Heels for Meals & More event on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at Trillium Event Center (17246 VanWagoner Rd, Spring Lake, MI 49456). This festive fundraising event helps raise funds critical to support older adults to redefine their age.

Originally established to raise funds for the Meals on Wheels program in Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties, the event expanded last year to raise funds for five other programs offered by AgeWell Services including; Lunch & Activity Centers, Discount Dining Program, Wellness (55 and older), Senior Medical Transportation and SafeSeniors. This year, more than ever before, AgeWell Services’ programming is experiencing unprecedent demand and we need your help raising critical funds!

Throughout the fundraising event, guests will enjoy great food, signature drink, live music by Steffan CopenHaver, lead singer of the band Brena, auctions (live and silent), Best Shoe Contest and hand painted signature drink glasses. One of the most highly anticipated portions of the evening is the Best Shoe Contest. With six different categories (such as vintage and craziest / zaniest), attendees can enter the contest, show off their shoes and win prizes! This festive event is sure to knock your socks and shoes off!

New this year, the event will feature an easy online platform to assist with ticket purchasing, online auctions and live auction bidding. This feature will make it easy and seamless for guests to get involved with the festivities!

Tickets available for purchase now through April 14. To purchase tickets and learn more about available sponsorship opportunities, visit

Rep. Meerman: It’s Time For the Governor to Read the Room

State Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s press conference where she announced minor tax rebates for Michigan families:

“The governor is looking for any way possible to distract taxpayers. The fact is, she wants to block permanent income tax relief that would save taxpayers for years to come, unlike her ploy to give taxpayers checks for a mere $180 – and just $90 each for joint filers.

“The state is sitting atop a mountain of cash – it’s a great time for workers to start keeping more of their own money in the form of ongoing, permanent income tax rollbacks. But the governor won’t confirm that she’s on board with permanent relief.

“Forward-thinking Republicans created a state law years ago that initiates a permanent income tax rollback if the state budget reaches a certain surplus level – the budget reached that level this year, and it means $700 million in savings throughout Michigan. That is, if Democrats don’t get in the way and undo savings workers are owed because they believe the government can spend tax dollars better than the people who earned them.

“It’s time for the governor and Democrats in the Legislature to wake up and read the room. The people need and deserve real relief, and Republicans will fight to ensure they get it.”

Rep. Meerman Announces Local Office Hours

Representative will make stops in Coopersville, Fruitport and Ravenna

State Rep. Luke Meerman (R-Coopersville) will hold office hours in Coopersville, Fruitport and Ravenna in March.

Meerman serves the 89th House District, which includes the Ottawa County townships of Allendale, Blendon, Chester, Polkton, Tallmadge, Wright, and the City of Coopersville, the Muskegon County townships of Casnovia, Egelston, Fruitport, Moorland, Ravenna, and Sullivan, and part of Tyrone Township in Kent County.

Office hours will take place at the following times and locations:

  • Saturday, March 18
    • From 8 to 9 a.m. at the Delly Belly Bakery located at 288 Main St. in Coopersville
  • Monday, March 27
    • From 8 to 9 a.m. at Village Inn located at 340 3rd Ave. in Fruitport
    • From 10 to 11 a.m. at Ravenna Round Table located at 12396 Stafford St.

“Accountability and availability of elected officials is vital to our system of government. I look forward to sharing a legislative update and hearing the thoughts and concerns of my constituents,” Meerman said. “I’ve had the chance to meet many of the people I now represent in the new 89th District at previous office hours and I hope to see some new faces this month.”

Rep. Meerman’s office can be reached by phone at (517) 373-0838 or by email at Letters should be addressed to Rep. Luke Meerman at P.O. Box 30014 Lansing, MI 48933.

New Scholarship Opportunity for Muskegon County High School Art Students

click to enlarge image

MUSKEGON, MI — The Muskegon Museum of Art – Friends of Art announce the first annual Alice Smith Art Scholarship Award. The award, worth $2,500, will be granted to two Muskegon County high school graduating seniors who are interested in pursuing a college degree in art.

For over 100 years, the Muskegon Friends of Art (FOA) have been a strong supporting partner of the Muskegon Museum of Art. The Friends of Art have gifted over 70 significant works of art to the permanent collection, created an annual lecture series, financially supported exhibitions, donated funds to purchase furnishings and art supplies for the MMA’s art classroom, and most recently developed this new scholarship opportunity to support the artist youth in Muskegon County. The scholarship is named in honor of Alice Smith, who served as the first President of Friends of Art in 1923.

The 2023 Alice Smith Art Scholarship will consist of two $2,500 financial aid awards granted to two Muskegon County high school graduating seniors interested in pursuing an art degree from an accredited community college, university, or private college. The award will also include a one-year Friend Level membership to the Muskegon Museum of Art, which has reciprocal benefits to other museums throughout Michigan and the United States. The award of the scholarship is based on the quality of the individual artists’ portfolio and statement of intent. The duration of this award is on a one-time gifted basis.

1. Muskegon County high school senior
2. Must have taken an art class during high school
3. Must be pursuing an art degree

Application Requirements:
1. Present 3 – 5 examples of artwork that best represent you as an artist. Images presented do not have to be in the same medium. All art mediums considered.
2. Artist statement addressing your artwork and future educational plans.
3. Recommendation (character reference) from two adults one being an art teacher.
4. Artists determined as finalists must meet in-person or via Zoom with the selection committee.
5. Complete the scholarship application.

The scholarship application can be found at

Applicants can also print the scholarship application and send to:

Friends of Art – Alice Smith Art Scholarship
296 W. Webster Avenue
Muskegon, Michigan 49440

Deadline for entries:  March 3, 2023
Review of applications will take place in March with award notification by or before May 5, 2023

Any questions regarding this application can be directed to Al Burton at

Emergency Food & Shelter Funds Available On The Lakeshore – Application Deadline Friday, Feb. 10, 2023


Muskegon County has been chosen to receive $93,416 Newaygo County $22,461 and Oceana County will get $16,305 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the counties.

The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and consists of representatives from American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; The Jewish Federations of North America, The Salvation Army; and, United Way Worldwide. The Local Board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.

A Local Board in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana County made up of representatives from local government and multiple area organizations, will determine how the funds awarded to the Emergency Needs Committees are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in the area. The local Boards are responsible for recommending local recipient organizations to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National Board, local organizations chosen to receive funds must: 1) be private voluntary nonprofit organizations or units of government, 2) be eligible to receive Federal funds, 3) have an accounting system, 4) practice nondiscrimination, 5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs, and 6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Qualifying agencies are urged to apply.

The Local Boards in Muskegon, Newaygo and Oceana Counties have distributed Emergency Food and Shelter funds to local organizations for 37 previous years. These organizations were responsible for providing food, meals, and lodging to those in need.

Public or private voluntary agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds will find an application at The deadline for applications to be received is Friday, February 10, 2023. Questions may be directed to Jana Routt, United Way of the Lakeshore at: or (231) 332-4004.

Visit Site For Applications

Community Open House to Celebrate New Orthopaedic Office in Grand Haven – Feb. 7

Community Invited to Open House to Celebrate New Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon’s Grand Haven Office


Grand Haven, Michigan – Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon (OAM), the largest orthopaedic practice on the lakeshore, will host a community open house to celebrate the opening of their new expanded office in Grand Haven. The open house will be held Tuesday, February 7 from 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the Harbor Dunes Health Center, 1445 Sheldon Road. The open house is free to attend, and light refreshments will be served.


The new office is more than four times the size of the practice’s previous Grand Haven location, allowing OAM to increase services in northern Ottawa County. With the enlarged space, OAM now offers walk-in orthopaedic urgent care in Grand Haven for those who experience a bone or joint injury and need to be seen right away. The OAM orthopaedic urgent care center charges physician office rates, which are much lower than traditional urgent care centers and emergency rooms, and patients who visit OAM orthopaedic urgent care are seen immediately by an orthopaedic specialist. Urgent care hours at the Grand Haven location are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, with future plans to extend hours to weekday evenings and Saturday mornings.


In addition to walk-in orthopaedic urgent care, the new office includes more space for x-rays, new procedure rooms for pain injections, and a durable medical equipment (DME) store on-site. Several physicians have expanded their hours in order to see more patients at the Grand Haven location as well.

About Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon
Orthopaedic Associates of Muskegon (OAM) is the largest orthopaedic practice on the West Michigan lakeshore, with 26 physicians who specialize in the treatment of all types of bone and joint issues. The practice has offices in Muskegon and Grand Haven, with orthopaedic walk-in urgent care at both locations. OAM provides state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical treatment therapies, including physical therapy, to treat disorders and injuries to the shoulder, spine, hip and knee, as well as the extremities – foot/ankle, leg, hand/wrist and elbow. For more information visit

Performances from Top Student Musicians Showcased at 18th Annual Michigan Music Conference – January 21, 2023

MCC Student’s Composition Selected for ‘Young Composers of Michigan Premier Concert’  

(Muskegon MI) – A composition created by Oscar Justian will premiere at the Michigan Music Conference on January 21, 2023.  Justian is a freshman at Muskegon Community College (MCC) and plays violin II in the MCC String Quartet. His piece, “Magic,” will be performed by a string quartet comprised of fellow MCC music students. 

His composition was selected by the Michigan Music Education Association, which assembled a panel of professional musicians to select the winning compositions.  Justian explained that he approached composing “Magic” as a way to “learn how to structure music.”  He submitted the composition in 2022 while attending Mona Shores High School.  

“I’m really excited,” said Justian.  “It’s a great chance to have a live performance, get publicity, and to get a glimpse into the world of how this would be as a career.”   

Oscar Justian, MCC Student

“Oscar is a wonderfully gifted musician and young composer,” explained Daniel Meyers, director of music at MCC. “His dedication to music, composition and performing is extremely admirable and we are so proud of his efforts and accomplishments.”   

Justian, who started playing viola in fifth grade, plans to transfer to Western Michigan University to study music composition after completing his studies at MCC.  “It’s fun and more advanced,” said Justian of his experience in the MCC music program. “It’s a great opportunity to learn and grow.”    

The Young Composers of Michigan Premier Concert will take place at 11am Saturday, January 21, 2023 in the Pantlind Ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza hotel in Grand Rapids.  The Grand Haven High School Chamber Orchestra and The Mona Shores High School Wind Ensemble also earned the honor of performing at the conference. Ticket information is at

In addition to 85 areas of study, MCC offers the opportunity to participate in two vocal performance groups, four instrumental performance groups, dance classes, and theater opportunities. Muskegon Community College, which was founded in 1926, has locations in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, and Grand Traverse Counties. Visit to learn more. 

Parmenter Law Announces New Partner


Matthew D. Mills
Phone: (231) 722-5419

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN – Parmenter Law is pleased to announce that Matt Mills has been named partner in the law firm. Matt joins the other Parmenter Law partners: Anna Urick Duggins, Christopher L. Kelly, William J. Meier, Joshua A. Reece, and John C. Schrier.

“Matt began with our firm during law school in our Summer Clerkship Program. Over the last several years, Matt has enhanced our firm’s civil and probate litigation practice and currently chairs our firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Matt has successfully pursued and defended claims across the Michigan state and federal courts. We have enjoyed watching Matt’s hard work and dedication payoff. He has become an exceptional lawyer and it was without hesitation that we invited Matt to join us as partners.” Christopher L. Kelly – Co-Managing Partner

“Our firm is better because of Matt. We are excited about the future of the law firm. Parmenter Law is more than a law firm. It is a family, a team, and a culture of support and trust. Matt embodies our culture very well.” Anna Urick Duggins – Co-Managing Partner

Matt is a native of North Muskegon, Michigan and attended high school at North Muskegon High School. After graduating law school, Matt moved back to North Muskegon. Matt’s practice focuses on civil and probate litigation, family law, and alternative dispute resolution. He enjoys pursuing and defending claims on behalf of his clients and takes pride in understanding the unique goals of each client.

Matt earned his undergraduate degree from Western Michigan University, Cum Laude, in 2012, and his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 2014.

About Parmenter Law – For over 70 years, Parmenter Law has served clients along the lakeshore, in Muskegon, and nationwide. The firm’s practice areas include Estate Planning, Elder Law, Real Estate, Business, Public Sector, and Civil Litigation. Their office is located in downtown Muskegon at 601 Terrace Street.

For more information about Parmenter Law, visit or send an email to

Parmenter Law Announces New Associate Attorney


Kayla P. Kolbe
Phone: (231) 722-5403

MUSKEGON, MICHIGAN – Parmenter Law is pleased to announce the addition of Kayla P. Kolbe as a new Associate Attorney.

Kayla is a graduate of Reeths-Puffer High School and is thrilled to be returning home to begin her legal career. Kayla intends to focus her practice on business law and estate planning, helping individuals and closely held businesses address their present challenges and plan for the future.

Kayla earned her law degree from Michigan State College of Law in 2022 with honors. During law school, she clerked for Legal Services of South-Central Michigan and served on the International Law Review board. Additionally, Kayla spent both of her law school summers clerking with Parmenter Law.

Prior to attending law school, Kayla received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 2019. While at Michigan, Kayla had the opportunity to work as a Research Assistant in Greece for a summer. Kayla also studied abroad in New Zealand during her junior year and it was during this experience that she took a law and policy course that ultimately inspired her to pursue a career in law.

In Kayla’s spare time, she enjoys spending time on the water with her family and dog, reading, traveling, and watching the latest TV shows.

“We are thrilled to add Kayla to the firm,” said Josh Reece. “Her outstanding intellect, work ethic, and energy leaves no doubt that she will be a tremendous asset to Parmenter and our community.”

Kayla can be reached at (231) 722-5403 or

About Parmenter Law – For over 70 years, Parmenter Law has served clients along the lakeshore, in Muskegon, and nationwide. The firm’s practice areas include Estate Planning, Elder Law, Real Estate, Business, Public Sector, and Civil Litigation. Their office is located in downtown Muskegon at 601 Terrace Street.

For more information about Parmenter Law, visit or send an email to

Muskegon County Homelessness Survey in Need of Volunteers

Muskegon County Homeless Continuum of Care Network Winter Point-in-Time Survey in Need of Volunteers

Muskegon, MI – On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, the Muskegon County Homeless Continuum of Care Network Outreach Committee is conducting the Winter Point in Time (PIT) Survey. Volunteers are needed to help our community take to the streets and help identify individuals who may be homeless and in need of services.

“We are reaching out to our community in hopes that they will join our Outreach Team in making everyone count; we as a community have to capability to make sure that all of our neighbors are able to receive help if they are in need.” states, Outreach Committee.

The PIT survey is conducted nationwide by communities to help analyze the number of people who are homeless and to help support requests to private and public entities for funding for both housing and services, all with the goal of ending homelessness. Without the data to support the need of our community, funds for assistance programs will not be made available. We need our community’s support.

“The PIT is extremely important to the work of stakeholders in this community who are committed to eradicating homelessness; it gives us pertinent data that is required to leverage federal and state funds for housing and most importantly it is an opportunity to interact with members of our community experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity and help them connect with services” states, Miranda Paggeot, Muskegon County Homeless Network Coordinator.

What: Muskegon County Homeless Continuum of Care Network Winter Point in-Time Survey
When: Wednesday, January 25th at 8 p.m.
Where: 1128 Roberts St Muskegon, MI, 49442

Volunteers and community members can meet the Outreach Team before conducting the survey at specific localities in Muskegon County.

If your agency or organization provides services to the homeless/at-risk population and would like to get involved, please contact Miranda Paggeot at

About the Muskegon County Homeless Continuum of Care Network: The MCHCCH is a Muskegon Community based organization that is supported by neighboring health and community-based organizations. Its main goal is to end homelessness in Muskegon County and to provide resources and services to the poor and homeless. For more information, visit

MCC Faculty Boost Student Success with New Nationally Recognized Teaching Credential

ACUE Certification improves teaching, student success 

(Muskegon MI) – Muskegon Community College (MCC) leaders celebrated 38 faculty members for earning Certificates in Effective College Instruction from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE). Faculty demonstrated their commitment to student success and equity by completing coursework that equips them with the evidence-based teaching practices shown to improve student engagement, increase persistence, and close equity gaps.   

ACUE Certification, the only nationally recognized collegiate teaching credential endorsed by the American Council on Education, ensures faculty have demonstrated comprehensive knowledge and skills across all core teaching competencies. Certificates, pins, and medallions were presented during an award ceremony on the main campus on Wednesday, January 4.   

“I have the utmost respect for those who participated in this program,” said Dr. Kelley Conrad, Provost and Chief Student Services Officer, during the ceremony.   “You showed grit, tenacity, and commitment to your peers, your craft, and your students.”  Conrad acknowledged that faculty completed the program over the period of about 10 months while teaching full-time and simultaneously influencing thousands of students. 

MCC President, Dr. John Selmon, joined Conrad in praising the commitment of faculty.  “We know the core of what we do is all about teaching and learning and your efforts demonstrate our commitment to student success.”  Selmon acknowledged that faculty and others on campus will continue pursuing professional development in support of the college ‘aspiring to be the best.’  

Faculty members recognized for earning a Certificate in Effective College Instruction, as of January 2023, include: 

  • Rudy Bartels, Geography 
  • Hollie Benson, College Success Center 
  • Ed Breitenbach, Academic Affairs/English 
  • Sandra Burley, Spanish 
  • Karin Burrell, Math 
  • Eric Carballido, Geography 
  • Shanika Carter, Communications 
  • Diana Casey, Geography 
  • Irene Church, Business 
  • Tonya Clevenger, Education 
  • Matthew Cooper, Biology 
  • Anna Cunningham, Nursing 
  • Dawn Gainor, Psychology 
  • Debbie Grube, Respiratory Therapy 
  • Audra Gustafson, Math 
  • Amy Herrington, Nursing 
  • Heather Johnson, Medical Assisting 
  • Michael Johnson, English 
  • Jennifer Jones, Education 
  • Mick Kilburn, Physics 
  • Jenny Klingenberg, English 
  • Shawn Macauley, Biology 
  • Anita MacDonald, Biology 
  • Wanda MacLeod, Medical Assisting 
  • Ashley Nederveld, Psychology 
  • Nicholas Palmer, Music 
  • Kathy Pollock, Biology 
  • Jennifer Riggs, Respiratory Therapy 
  • Evin Rodkey, Anthropology 
  • Virginia Rogers, English 
  • Les Rorick, Theater 
  • Janna Rosenkranz, English 
  • Jason Shaughnessy, Health and Physical Education 
  • Deb Spoors, Psychology 
  • Heather Vanderzanden, Nursing 
  • Farris Withers, College Success Center 
  • Sarah Woycehoski, History 
  • Jamie Wright, Writing Center 

Full- and part-time faculty had the opportunity to participate in two cohorts, “Effective Teaching Practices,” and “Effective Online Teaching Practices,” both with 25 modules intended to develop faculty competencies in designing an effective college class, establishing a productive learning environment, using active learning strategies, and promoting higher order thinking. Faculty also had the option to earn the ACUE micro-credential, “Inspiring Inquiry and Preparing Lifelong Learners.”   

Numerous independently validated impact studies show that students learn more and that equity gaps close when courses are led by ACUE Certified faculty. The training was coordinated by English faculty Jenny Klingenberg and Medical Assistant faculty Heather Johnson. 

Classes related to 85 areas of study are taught by 84 full-time and 211 part-time faculty members.  Muskegon Community College, which was founded in 1926, has locations in Muskegon, Ottawa, Newaygo, and Grand Traverse Counties. Visit to learn more. 

Les Rorick, MCC Theater faculty, receives his ACUE Certificate at the college’s Winter 2023 Faculty Seminar Day.

Art Gallery & Collaboration Facilitator to Host Networking Event for Women


Grand Rapids, MI: Local consulting firm Crooked Tree Creative and new local gallery, All Art Works are partnering to present a female focused networking event benefiting Girls Rock Grand Rapids. Ladies’ Night is happening on Friday, January 20th, starting at 6pm at one of the hottest new spots for creatives- All Art Works (333 Cesar E. Chavez Ave SW). This event is an effort to cultivate relationships and collaboration between female professionals who are already beginning to make their mark in Grand Rapids. This event is open to female and non-binary identifying professionals, creatives, and community members in West Michigan.

Because of All Art Works history of helping create unique opportunities and events for artists, it was a natural fit for Crooked Tree Creative’s Ladies’ Night Series. Crooked Tree Creative is a local female owned consulting agency based on collaboration. Elle Lively, owner of CTC and founder of the Ladies’ Night series, says “I continue to be inspired by the number of female creative professionals in the West Michigan area and their ambition, drive and talent.” In the true spirit of collaboration, there are endless opportunities when such forces come together. The event will feature a rotating art show featuring female and non-binary artists, curated by Artist at Large, Calli Salazar. Calli Salazar is an abstract artist who started her full time career right here in Grand Rapids. “Grand Rapids really inspired me to take the risk to take my art to the next level. Events such as this one continue to give local artists a place to showcase their work, and to be proud of the community they are a part of.”

During the course of the evening, the art on the walls will change multiple times for maximum impact. In the spirit of collaboration, there will also be a featured community art piece that all attendees are encouraged to interact with and leave their mark on. There will be multiple business card drawings for gift cards, artwork and more. In addition to a cash bar, permanent jewelry vendors and more, DJ Super Dre will be spinning a female artist-centric playlist. Whether it’s a new connection, piece of art, or idea, every attendee will take something home.

Ladies’ Night is a way to engage, educate and excite its attendees about the future and potential of women in the Grand Rapids arts and culture scene, to meet collaborators and build a network, and to pursue their career in Grand Rapids. Elle Lively says “There is a need in our community for female forward events that cater to young professional females in the arts practices. There are very few female focused events that directly relate to the passions we have made our profession.” She believes that creating smarter events for women to network will create strong connections resulting in collaboration and new ideas. In August 2022, she tested this idea with a private invite only event that required no marketing, prep, or fiscal obligation. Over 30 women attended the invite only event and made lasting connections that have produced even more collaboration. For example, two of those women have now started a business together.

This event is open to the public and no private invite is required. CTC and AAW have partnered with Girls Rock Grand Rapids to collect a $5 suggested donation at the door to benefit their programming. Additionally, AAW has generously agreed to donate 10% of any art sold during the event time frame to Girls Rock Grand Rapids.

The $5 suggested donation gets you access to:
● A rotating art show featuring female and non-binary artists, curated by artist at large, Calli Salazar
● Beats from live female DJ
● Cash bar from Beer City Bread Co.
● Opportunity to be part of a collaborative art piece at the event
● Business card raffle with gift cards, art from Calli Salazar, and more from local female owned businesses
& more surprises!

About Elle Lively of Crooked Tree Creative (co-presenter, event series founder):
Crooked Tree Creative is a local boutique artist development company focused on improving the quality of life in our communities by empowering artists with hands-on skills, tools, and collaboration opportunities. In the past 5 years, founder Elle Lively has coached hundreds of artists, started a related nonprofit, and produced dozens of events. Elle’s goal is to continue collaboration efforts as the sole driving force of this company. You’ll see several productions from CTC this year, but this series is something distinctly different.

About All Art Works (co-presenter, venue):
AllArtWorks is a platform created to connect art with homes. They are a juried platform that carefully vets quality and price. Through their long-standing relationships with multiple NYC galleries and private dealers we represent secondary market work by such renowned artists as Arthur Dove, Robert DeNiro Sr., Fairfield Porter, Philip Pearlstein and many others. Learn more at

About Girls Rock Grand Rapids (nonprofit partner):
Girls Rock! Grand Rapids (GR!GR) is a week-long summer camp that exists to empower girls and gender-expansive youth through music. Each year, kids and teens at camp get to participate in instrument exploration, workshops, band forming, song writing, and logo and album art creation. They also get to record their new songs in a professional recording studio and then perform them live in front of an audience. It seriously rocks. Learn more at

LMCU Announces 2022-23 Hutt Scholarship Essay Contest

Grand Rapids, MI. – Lake Michigan Credit Union (“LMCU”) has announced the topic for its annual Llyod F. Hutt Scholarship essay contest. The contest provides local high school seniors the opportunity to win one of 20 individual $2,000 college scholarships. This scholarship program honors the legacy of LMCU founder and teacher, Lloyd F. Hutt, and his lifelong commitment to education and community involvement.

The 2022-23 Hutt Scholarship essay topic is: “What act of kindness have you experienced or witnessed that has positively influenced you most? How will you carry it into your future?”

The entry period officially opened November 1, 2022 and will remain open until January 31, 2023. Applicants are required to write an original 750-1,500-word essay exploring the topic. Essays will be evaluated by an independent panel of judges, and the principal determining factor in selecting scholarship recipients is the applicant’s passion for the topic. Additionally, the committee will use comprehension of subject, organization, language use, originality, clarity, spelling, and grammar as criteria for selecting the recipients.

Lake Michigan Credit Union is proud to support area students in their pursuit of academic and real-world success. Since 1991, LMCU’s Lloyd F. Hutt Scholarship program has provided over $500,000 in scholarship dollars to 292 students. Last year, 1,442 essays were received for consideration.

Interested high school seniors must complete an application online at before the January 31, 2023 deadline. Winners will be notified directly and publicly announced around May 2023 on LMCU social media pages and

All applicants must be high school seniors, including home school students, who plan to enter a trade school, college, or university in the next academic year. All applicants must be one of the following: a resident of Michigan or Florida, a member of LMCU, or the child of an LMCU member. More eligibility details are available at

Lake Michigan Credit Union, established in 1933, is the largest credit union in Michigan and 13th largest in the country. Employing a staff of over 1,550 and serving over 540,000 members, LMCU’s assets exceed $11.8 billion, with a mortgage servicing portfolio of over $14.3 billion. LMCU has 68 convenient branch locations overall, including 20 across Central and Southwest Florida. LMCU members have access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs worldwide. LMCU provides a full range of financial services, from high interest-bearing checking accounts to personal loans, mortgages, investments, and commercial banking.

To find out more, visit

Annual Holiday Meal Set for December 15th


Muskegon, Mich. – It’s that time of year when families begin to gather, memories from the past are shared, and hopes for the New Year fill the air. For over a decade, AgeWell Services of West Michigan have partnered with the DTE Energy Foundation and Senior Resources of West Michigan to bring special holiday meals to those 60 and over in Oceana, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties.

“We are grateful for the continued support from the DTE Energy Foundation and Senior Resources of West Michigan to provide this special meal to our aging neighbors,” said Kris Collee, Executive Director of AgeWell Services. “Their support allows us to provide a little extra joy in people’s lives, especially for some who may have a hard time during the Holidays.”

This year the annual meal is Thursday, December 15 at nine locations around Muskegon and Ottawa counties. Meals will be offered as dine-in but a few to-go meals will be available at each site.

This year’s menu is cranberry brie stuffed chicken breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, chunky applesauce with cinnamon, Prince Charles veggies, dinner roll with butter, and dessert.

For more information, call 211 or visit

About AgeWell Services
AgeWell Services of West Michigan was founded in 1973. AgeWell Services invites adults 60 and over to redefine their age. We provide vital connections to keep our most vulnerable population nourished, active, learning, and living independently. AgeWell Services is a private nonprofit. With support of a 3-county Board of Directors, a programming advisory committee, 90 staff members and 300 volunteers, we provide 6 different services to adults 60 and over in Muskegon, Oceana, and Ottawa counties – Meals on Wheels, Lunch & Activity Centers, Wellness (55 and over), Senior Medical Transportation, Discount Dining Program, and SafeSeniors. For more information on AgeWell Services visit: or follow the organization on Facebook and Twitter: @AgeWellServices

Temporary Shoreline Drive Lane Closures Begin October 3rd

MUSKEGON, MI – The first phase of the “road diet” study by the City of Muskegon on Shoreline Drive is scheduled to roll out this fall, starting the week of Oct. 3.

Click to view full-sized image

With the goal of informing potential uses along this corridor — including increased walkability, bicycling and other pedestrian amenities and recreational opportunities — the first phase of the pilot project will reduce lanes for approximately six weeks on the four-lane US-31 Business Route (Shoreline Drive) through the city’s downtown waterfront. A single lane of Shoreline Drive will be closed in each direction between Seventh Street and Terrace Street so that routine road maintenance can be conducted on Shoreline Drive.

With a “road diet,” city officials are hopeful that slower traffic speeds and fewer vehicular accidents will make this roadway safer and easier to cross from the historic downtown to the waterfront.

After City of Muskegon Department of Public Works’ crews complete half of the concrete pavement repairs, the lane closures will switch to the other two lanes the week of Oct. 17. All of the lane closures and maintenance work on Shoreline Drive through the downtown should be completed by the week of Nov. 14. Engineers will use this routine maintenance closure to collect preliminary data on the road diet and have those results to the city commission and community by the end of the year.

Phase two of the “road diet” study is tentatively planned for spring/summer of 2023 – but still needs commission approval. This timeframe will allow for higher traffic volumes that come with tourism and lakeshore events, according to Public Works Director Leo Evans. Traffic control devices such as traffic cones, pavement markings, barriers and planters will temporarily eliminate one lane in each direction. The public space created by the lane reductions will be tested for bicycle use, landscaped plantings, public art and community gathering areas.

The cost of the project is approximately $100,000 and has been partially approved by the Muskegon City Commission. With the observations and data from the two test periods, the city’s consultant Progressive AE will provide results and recommendations to city officials in the second half of 2023.

Any permanent reconfiguration of Shoreline Drive will require approval through the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and could be a lengthy process of public input, design, funding and construction. The city will conduct public forums to seek community input on any proposed changes to Shoreline Drive. A study preview event on July 25 was well attended.

The public can track the Shoreline Drive study at:

Sanborn’s Jewelers ‘Rock Your World’ Bridal and Wedding Event and Giveaway – September 8-10

Sanborn’s Jewelers Giving Away Two-Carat, Lab-Grown Diamond at ‘Rock Your World’ Bridal and Wedding Event

Muskegon, MI – August 31, 2022: Sanborn’s Jewelers is thrilled to announce its largest in-store event since 2020. The Rock Your World Bridal and Wedding Event will be held September 8-10, 2022, at 821 W. Broadway Ave., Muskegon. 

“Whether you’re a bride or groom, a bridesmaid or groomsmen, or a wedding guest, this event will have something for everyone,” says Sanborn’s Jewelers owner Sue Sanborn-Poulin. “Customers will be able to talk with representatives from our most popular engagement and wedding band lines. We will also be showcasing a huge selection of unique gift ideas; for the largest in-store event in over two years, we’re pulling out all the stops.”

In addition to having representatives from popular lines like Kim International and Benchmark in attendance, the event will also feature wedding inspiration ideas, full bridal lines, wedding bands, curated gifts, and a candy bar station. Attendees will be eligible to enter a giveaway for a two-carat lab-grown diamond. Those who preregister for the event at will receive an additional entry. More information, including giveaway rules, are available on the event website. The winner of the diamond will be announced on Monday, September 12. 

The Rock Your World Bridal and Wedding Event will occur during Sanborn’s regular hours of operation: Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 

On the evening of September 10, from 6-8:30 p.m., Sanborn’s Jewelers will participate in the Waterfront Wedding Expo at Lynn Sherwood Waterfront Stadium, 1 N. Harbor Place, in Grand Haven, Mich. This free event will feature live music, a bridal show walkway, games, trivia, giveaways, and representatives from local businesses promoting services and products for weddings in the lakeshore area. 

Sanborn’s is the Muskegon area’s oldest jeweler. Sue Sanborn-Poulin is the third-generation owner, following her father, Don Sanborn, and her grandfather, Dean Sanborn, Sr., who established the business in 1954. For more information about Sanborn’s and its product offerings, visit

About Sanborn’s Jewelers
Sanborn’s Jewelers has deep Muskegon community ties and rich family tradition, established as a business in Muskegon in 1954. We offer diamond engagement rings, wedding bands, and custom-designed pieces, along with watches, bracelets, necklaces, and other fine jewelry. For more information about Sanborn’s Jewelers, visit

Last Chance to Visit the Koalas at John Ball Zoo

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Join us for 3 days of Wild and Wonderful at Koalapalooza this Labor Day Weekend. John Ball Zoo will host Koalapalooza, a three-day celebration of all thing’s koalas – raising awareness for their conservation and saying “farewell” to Noorundi and Iluka, two male koalas that have been visiting John Ball Zoo since May.

Koalapalooza runs Saturday, September 3rd through Monday, September 5th from 9:00a.m.-6:00p.m. each day. Daily events include a steel drum band, live music lineup, face painting, strolling animal experiences and daily cookouts that include turkey legs, BBQ Brisket sandwich, polish sausages and more. Guests attending Koalapalooza can watch Zookeepers interact with the koalas at 10:30a.m. with an additional feeding at 3:00p.m. each day.

Koalapalooza is included in the cost of daily admission and is free to members. To speed up your entry to the event, purchase your tickets in advance at

Noorundi (4 yrs), and Iluka (2 yrs), are visiting John Ball Zoo on-loan as part of the San Diego Zoo’s Koala Education and Conservation Program. After Labor Day, the koalas will be heading back to the San Diego Zoo.

Koalas were recently raised from the status of Vulnerable, to Endangered in Queensland, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC). Threats to koalas include habitat destruction, domestic dog attacks, bushfires, and road accidents.

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance maintains the largest koala population outside Australia. This program generates funding to support research and conservation initiatives ranging from habitat mapping to studying koala biology in collaboration with partners. There is a strong element of conservation education and outreach to the program, which has been in place for more than 30 years. Koalas have recently been listed as Endangered due to rising threats to their native populations in Australia.

John Ball Zoo does not have plans to bring koalas under our care permanently, but we are happy to have partnered with the San Diego Zoo to host Noorundi and Iluka for the past several months and to help continue spreading awareness of this adorable species.

Below is the full itinerary for the event!

Saturday, September 3rd

*   9:00am-10:30am
         *   Pangea Steeldrum Band
*   10:30am-11:30am
         *   Koala habitat cleaning & Koala weighing
*   12:00pm-2:00pm
         *   Brandon Ward, keyboards & vocals
*   3:00pm
         *   Koala feeding
*   3:30pm-5:30pm
         *   Live Music

Sunday, September 4th

*   9:00am-10:30am
        *   Pangea Steeldrum Band
*   10:30am-11:30am
        *   Koala habitat cleaning & Koala weighing
*   12:00pm-2:00pm
        *   Live Music
*   3:00pm
        *   Koala feeding
*   3:30pm-5:30pm
        *   Project 90 Band

Monday, September 5th

*   9:00am-10:30am
         *   Moonshot Duo
*   10:30am-11:30am
         *   Koala habitat cleaning & Koala weighing
*   12:00pm-2:00pm
         *   Whiskey Bound Band
*   3:00pm
         *   Koala feeding
*   3:30pm-5:30pm
         *   Pangea Steeldrum Band

Pal’s Diner Grand Opening – September 1, 2022

MUSKEGON, Mich. – Kick off the holiday weekend – 50’s style – with a retro Bike Night at Hot Rod Harley Davidson in downtown Muskegon on Thursday September 1, 2022 from 5:00pm – 9:00pm. Everyone is invited.

Get your first look at the fully restored 1950’s PALS Diner and enjoy burgers and fries by Hamburger Mikey. Attendees are encouraged to dress in 50’s or 60”s attire. Prizes will be awarded.

Adult beverages will be served from the T-N-T Bar inside Hot Rod Harley Davidson. Live music featuring music of the 50’s & 60’s performed by “The Fabulous Oldies But Goodies Band” will keep you rockin’ all night long.

The diner originally opened in 1954 in New Jersey, before being moved to the Grand Rapids area in the 90’s. The diner closed its doors in 2020. In 2021 the diner was purchased by the owners of Hot Rod Davidson, Mark & Scott Campbell, and transported in spectacular fashion to Muskegon. They reattachedthe entrance and restored the 67-year-old landmark to its previous Pal’s Diner name and glory, fixing neon signs, lighting, décor and rotting wood.

2022 West Michigan Photo Contest Now Accepting Entries

West Michigan – The West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA) is excited to announce the launch of their 2022 West Michigan Photo Contest. With so much beauty found in West Michigan, the West Michigan Tourist Association wants travelers to show off what they love most about this beautiful side of the state, and win some great West Michigan prizes! The contest is looking for traveler photo submissions from all around West Michigan. This region covers the entire west half of Michigan from the Indiana border to Mackinac Island and into the Upper Peninsula.

“We love getting to see all of the amazing photos from all throughout West Michigan – it’s a highlight of the summer!” said Erin Murphy, WMTA’s Marketing Director. “We love seeing so many different perspectives from the photos shared with us. It’s a great way to see involvement from the communities that make up our beautiful state.” 

Murphy also noted that photos do not need to be taken this month in order to submit them to the photo contest. “If you have West Michigan photos from your past visits to the area, we encourage you to enter those as well! West Michigan is photogenic all seasons of the year, so don’t feel that you’re only limited to submitting summer photos.”

All photo entries must be received by July 29th, 2022. Judges will be awarding prizes in the categories of “Nature,” “People,” and “Beach/Lake/Lighthouse,” with an additional prize awarded via public voting by WMTA’s Facebook audience. In addition to receiving a West Michigan prize pack, all winning photos will be featured in WMTA’s upcoming West Michigan Carefree Travel Guide, printed in January of 2023. 

Photo submissions should include first & last name of photographer, city where the photograph was taken, and a short description of the photo.

The accepted photo formats are high resolution (300 dpi+) jpeg/jpg or tiff. CMYK is preferred. Please visit the Photo Contest Page for full rule and entry requirements:

Thank you to the 2022 West Michigan Photo Contest sponsors who make this contest possible:

Taste of Muskegon Announces Taste Plate Award Winners

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon wrapped up its 16th festival on Saturday with the annual Taste Plate Awards ceremony. Over 30 local restaurants and food trucks competed for both judged and public-vote honors. 

The 2022 Taste Plate Award winners are: 

People’s Choice
1. Bone Ends
2. Tiki Boiz

Best Taste
1. Frostbite Shaved Ice: Mango Mania
2. Bone Ends: Birria Ramen

Best New Bite
1. Frostbite Shaved Ice: Pure Pineapple
2. Pennant Pizza & Wings: Korean BBQ

Best Dessert
1. Rad Dads’ Tacos & Tequila: Mexican Candy Parfait
2. The Only Cannoli: Cookie Dough Cannoli Nacho

Best Budweiser Beer and Cheese
1. Hamburger Mikey: Joshy Rake Fries
2. Bone Ends: Irish Slider

Best Lite Bite
1. Wonderland Distilling Co.: The Grateful Bread
2. Tiki Boiz: Chicken Huli Bowl

Best Booth
1. Unruly Kitchen
2. Rad Dads’ Taco & Tequila 

1. Rolling Stone Woodfire Pizza Co.

“Muskegon was ready for a party. We saw record-setting crowds both nights,” said Lisa Kraus, Marketing Director of Taste of Muskegon. “Our culinary scene in Muskegon is hot. We had impressive menus from all the restaurants and trucks. We hope everyone discovered new locally-owned favorites.” 

Taste of Muskegon, produced by the Downtown Development Authority, will take place next year on June 9 and 10, 2023. To stay up to date on all future events for Taste of Muskegon, follow them on Facebook and visit their website

Photos available at

Muskegon Heights DDA Approves Downtown Vision Plan

Muskegon Heights, MI – Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) in partnership with the City of Muskegon Heights is pleased to announce that the City’s downtown development authority (DDA) has approved the “Reaching New Muskegon Heights” vision plan for downtown Muskegon Heights. The plan is part of a larger New Muskegon Heights initiative and is the culmination of an 18-month process that included public surveys, focus groups and in-person tours with stakeholders. GMED managed the project and helped secure funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Community Foundation for Muskegon County to hire Ann Arbor consultant SmithGroup to develop the plan document.

One of the key elements of the plan is the renovation of the Strand Theater, the largest commercial property in downtown Muskegon Heights. “Although there have been limited investments in the Strand Theater in the past, this is the first time we have laid out a comprehensive, long-term vision for this property,” said Muskegon Heights City Manager Troy Bell. “If done correctly, the revitalization of the Strand property has the potential to reignite interest and spur new development throughout our downtown.” Preliminary plans call for a new theater/performing arts center and restaurant on the ground floor, second floor office space, and three floors of residences above.

Rendering #1: View of Broadway Avenue in Muskegon Heights after the renovation of the Strand Theater property and Rowan Park.

The Reaching New Muskegon Heights plan outlines a vision for the redesign and complete makeover of Rowan Park and surrounding properties as well. “Our goal is to redesign Rowan Park to make it more interactive,” Bell said. “We envision adding a kids splash pad and replacing the existing street with a walking promenade to allow us to host more festivals and events in our city’s core.” The park design also includes the installation of the City’s first bronze statue titled “Band Together,” which honors the rich tradition of the Muskegon Heights High School marching band, particularly its drum majors who have historically held a special place of honor in the community.  Additional plan elements include “Park Place on Broadway,” a new residential/retail development with terraces overlooking Rowan Park, and new pavement and streetscaping along Broadway Avenue.

Rendering #2: View of Center Street near Muskegon Heights City Hall as a shared pedestrian area designed to host festivals and events in the City’s core downtown.

GMED Community Development Strategist Cathy Brubaker-Clarke said that embarking on a planning project of this magnitude during the Covid pandemic created additional challenges. “We had to be creative about how to gather the input we needed to develop a solid, viable plan,” she said. “However, the successful completion of the plan demonstrates Muskegon Heights’ commitment to making this vision a reality for their community and we are extremely proud to be a partner in this process.”

The City will now work to seek grants to support repaving and streetscaping on Broadway and will apply for permits and MEDC funds for the Strand Theater renovation. They are also working with Metro Consulting Associates on preliminary designs and a project timeline.  The MuskegonCity Arts Initiative, led by former Muskegon Museum of Art Executive Director Judy Hayner, is raising funds to support the Band Together statue, and The Muskegon Heights High School Alumni Association is designing and developing commemorative plaques that are also part of the public art installation.

“This plan honors the great citizens and community of Muskegon Heights by creating a vision for the downtown that our community deserves,” added Bell. “Every successful community has at its core a thriving downtown, and we intend to capitalize on the assets we already have to create a downtown that we can all be proud of for generations to come.”

Visit to see the complete Reaching New Muskegon Heights plan.

About Greater Muskegon Economic Development
Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) was founded in 1999 and is the countywide economic development agency dedicated to supporting local business. GMED’s focus is to leverage public and private investment to accelerate business growth and the creation of high-quality employment opportunities in Muskegon County. Appreciating the importance of the local business community, GMED serves as a clearinghouse of information on programs and incentives available to your business. Learn more at

Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

MUSKEGON, Mich. – The 35th Annual Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame Induction ceremony was an opportunity to honor our local heroes and legends.

This year the Hall welcomed in four new members, another Distinguished Service Award winner and male and female student/athlete recipients of the year.

The 2022 Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame induction class is comprised of Philadelphia Eagles football player Todd Herremans of Ravenna, Muskegon Catholic Central football’s Mike Ribecky, Grand Haven two-sport standout Abby (Cole) Hatch and Oakridge multi-sport star Dr. Calvin Johnson were enshrined in the local sports Hall of Fame.

The foursome is joined by Gene Young Distinguished Award winner Ken Erny, longtime Fruitport Athletic Director and Hall of Fame soccer coach.

The 2022 High School Scholar Athlete Award winners are Abbie VanderKooi, Western Michigan Christian (Track) and Ira Jenkins, Whitehall High School (Wrestling).

The event was held at the Mercy Health Arena (formerly L.C. Walker Arena) on Saturday June 18, 2022.

“A grand slam class,” MASHF president Mike Mack said. “I am thrilled with this class. It’s amazing that after all these years, we still come up with this type of class.”

Todd Herremans started 126 of 135 games as an offensive lineman during his 11-year NFL career, all but one season with the Eagles. The 2001 Ravenna High School alumnus even caught two touchdown passes in his NFL career. At Ravenna, he was a four-sport athlete, who earned first-team all-state honors in football. Herremans blossomed as a football player at Saginaw Valley State University, where he earned first-team Associated Press Little All-America honors and Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year accolades. He was selected by the Eagles in the fourth round (126th overall) of the 2005 NFL draft. He retired in 2015.

Mike Ribecky is one of the rare local sports Hall of Famers who possesses credentials as a player and coach. The 1973 Muskegon Catholic Central graduate was a standout two-way lineman with the Crusaders. On a full-ride scholarship at Western Michigan University, Ribecky was a four-year starter at offensive tackle, where as a senior he helped the Broncos finish second in the nation in rushing yards and earned second-team All-Mid-American Conference honors. In his ongoing 44-year coaching tenure as an MCC assistant, Ribecky specializes as defensive coordinator and offensive line coach. “Bunny” has served as right-hand man for three different MASHF coaches and is approaching 400 wins with 12 state titles.

Abby Cole Hatch, a 2013 Grand Haven High School alumna, thrived in volleyball and basketball for the Buccaneers before she went on to become a second-team All-American in volleyball at University of Michigan. Widely considered the best female athlete to come from Grand Haven, the 6-foot-5 Hatch finished runner-up for Michigan’s Miss Volleyball in 2012 and led the Bucs to the state semifinals. She earned Under Armour second-team All-America honors. In basketball, Hatch powered Grand Haven to back-to-back Class A state championships in 2012 and 2013. As a senior, she was selected the Associated Press Class A Player of the Year and finished third in Miss Basketball voting. Hatch also played basketball at U-M.

Dr. Calvin Johnson was a four-sport star at Oakridge and went on to play point guard at Dartmouth despite his smallish stature at 5-foot-10, 150 pounds. The 1977 Oakridge High School alumnus earned Associated Press first-team all-state honors in basketball, he co-captained the Eagles’ football team as quarterback/running back/kicker, and he also excelled in track and cross country. Johnson was a Detroit Free Press honorable mention all-state QB as a senior, and he finished fifth in long jump at the state track meet that school year. He exceeded expectations at Dartmouth, earning accolades in various tournaments while majoring in a rigorous pre-med program.

Ken Erny spent 30 years as a universally respected AD at Fruitport and a Michigan High School Soccer Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach, who founded the sport at the school in 1990. In 19 years as the Trojans’ coach, he amassed a 242-133-20 record with several trips to the regional finals. As Fruitport’s AD, Erny oversaw the Trojans’ first three team state championships and a half-dozen individual state titlists. A self-described “workaholic,” Erny was not quite ready to retire but his ALS diagnosis in the summer of 2020 forced him to step down. In October 2020, Fruitport’s soccer field was dedicated to him, now called Ken Erny Field.

Abby VanderKooi captured four consecutive state championships as a cross country runner for the Warriors from 2018-21. She became only the eighth female cross-country athlete in MHSAA history to win an individual state championship four times.

Ira Jenkins dominated on the wrestling mat this past winter, as he finished a perfect 52-0 record in the heavyweight division for the Vikings to win back-to-back individual state championships.

Muskegon County Courts to Close Monday, June 20th In Recognition of Juneteenth Court Holiday

On June 1st 2022, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an Administrative Order amending the Michigan Court Rules to include Juneteenth (June19th) on the list of holidays recognized by the state’s trial courts. The order was given immediate effect. As a result of this amendment, all Muskegon County district, circuit, probate, and family court hearings previously scheduled for Monday, June 20th 2022 are being adjourned and rescheduled to a later date in observance of this court holiday. Those with hearings scheduled on Monday, June 20th will receive a written notice of adjournment along with a new date and time to appear. All notices will be sent to the address previously provided to the court. All court services, including the offices of the Muskegon County Clerk and Circuit Court Records, will be closed on Monday, June 20th. However, certain county offices located within the Hall of Justice such as the Sheriff’s Office, Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and County Administration, will be staffed and will remain open to the public.

Pop-up Art Show to Benefit Read Muskegon

submitted by the Lakeshore Visual Arts Collective

This Saturday!
LVAC artists are transforming an old boat warehouse in Muskegon into a one-night, pop-up, art gallery.
Join us at Adelaide Pointe for live music, food trucks, cash bar, and lots of great art by regional jewelers, painters, photographers, ceramicists, glass artists, and more.


Michigan Pet Alliance Launches 2022 Grants and Awards Program

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan – Michigan Pet Alliance (MPA) announces the 2022 grants and awards program for animal shelters, nonprofit rescues and animal welfare organizations in Michigan. This year’s theme is The New Normal.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced our state’s animal shelters to reexamine how they operate,” said Joe Dobesh, MPA CEO. “For such a long time, animal shelters and rescues have not had the time to pause and evaluate tasks and processes to decide if they could be done differently, better, more efficiently or, perhaps, not at all.

“The changes caused by the pandemic resulted in new perspectives that are leading the animal welfare industry closer to its ultimate mission of lifesaving.”

MPA invites Michigan licensed shelters, as well as nonprofit rescue and animal welfare organizations, to apply for any or all grant awards.

This year’s categories and awards:

  • The New Normal in Community Outreach: $3,000
  • The New Normal in Creative Programs: $2,000
  • The New Normal in Fundraising: $2,000
  • Standard Operating Procedures / Documents (two awards): $500 each
  • On-site Cat Care Training Grant: $1,000 value
  • Karen Brocklehurst Volunteer of the Year Award: $100 gift card (nominee must be an MPA member)

“Michigan Pet Alliance values the continuous efforts and hard work of our state’s shelters and animal welfare advocates,” said Deborah Schutt, MPA chairperson. “Education and advocacy are pillars of our mission to speak with one voice to improve lifesaving and standards of care for our state’s pets. Through our annual awards program, we honor and reward those who adapted to change to save more lives.”

Grant awards are made possible thanks to the generosity of the Humane Society of Macomb Foundation.

There is no cost to apply for any of the grant awards. The deadline for applications is Thursday, June 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, at this link Winners will be notified in August.

Michigan Pet Alliance
Michigan’s only professional trade association of animal welfare organizations, the mission of Michigan Pet Alliance is to work in collaboration and to speak with a single voice to eliminate abuse and neglect of Michigan’s companion animals and to save all healthy and treatable homeless companion animals through training, technical assistance, education and advocacy. For more information, please visit and follow @MichiganPetAlliance on Facebook.

Grand Haven Musical Fountain Commemorative Artwork Unveiling – June 23, 2022

GRAND HAVEN, MI – On Thursday June 23, 2022 the Grand Haven Musical Fountain Committee with the Friends of the Musical Fountain, Inc. will host the unveiling of a commemorative work honoring the 60-year history of Musical Fountain operations

The work was created by Chris LaPorte, a Grand Rapids based artist and 2010 winner of ArtPrize.  As part of the Musical Fountain’s 60th anniversary fundraising efforts, prints and posters in varying sizes and formats will be on sale after the unveiling event (

“The Grand Haven Musical Fountain has been a summer spectacle destination for generations now.  So many people have shared their family memories of enjoying the nightly show since I began the drawing.   The Fountain itself is awesome.  And, what the Fountain does and continues to do for the community is also amazing.   Capturing the mutual experience of the community over decades is part of what I’m trying to capture with this drawing.”- Chris LaPorte

A copy of the original work along with other artifacts from the Musical Fountain’s 60-year history will be on display in the Tri-Cities Museum window at 200 Washington Ave in Grand Haven through August.  Because of limited space, parties interested in attending the unveiling should contact the Musical Fountain Committee at

The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is beloved landmark of the City of Grand Haven that presents a creatively synchronized combination of lights and water with popular musical selections.  Free nightly shows occur at dusk from Memorial Day to Labor Day with weekend shows in May and September (  Fountain operations and maintenance are a joint effort of the City of Grand Haven and an all-volunteer Musical Fountain Committee.

The Friends of the Musical Fountain, Inc. is a newly formed non-profit organization [501 (c)(3)] committed to creating sustainable funding for the maintenance and future enhancements to the Fountain (

A free 60th Anniversary celebration is being held on August 27th at the Lynne Sherwood Stadium and will include the debut of another water feature enhancement to the Fountain (!

Muskegon County Courts Reunification Day Celebration

(MUSKEGON, MI) – The State Court Administrative Office’s Child Welfare Services Division and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are planning to celebrate successful efforts at family reunification as part of Michigan’s contribution to National Reunification Month in June. The Muskegon County Courts, sponsored by the Muskegon County Bar Association, will celebrate Reunification Day on Thursday, June 16th in an effort to recognize families and the many professionals who support them in having their children successfully returned home from foster care. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth M. Welch will be the Keynote Speaker. Awards will be presented by Chief Judge Pittman and Justice Welch. 1) The Honorable John C. Ruck Award for Outstanding Dedication to Reunification will be presented to Muskegon County Foster Care Workers. 2) The Honorable Neil G. Mullally Award for Outstanding Reunification Services will be presented to foster families. In addition, the celebration aims to recognize and honor all families that have been reunified.

Governor Whitmer Fails To Approve the Muskegon Casino Project

submitted by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians

The following is a statement by Larry Romanelli, Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians in response to the announcement by Governor Whitmer that she will not approve the Tribes $200 million casino project in Fruitport Township in Muskegon County.

“Our Tribal members are absolutely devastated that Governor Whitmer has decided to not approve our casino development in Fruitport Township. This project would have created and supported 3,000 jobs for Tribal members and families in the community along with providing funds for healthcare and housing. Our tribe has worked hand-in-hand with the Muskegon Community for the past twelve years to gain approval from the Federal Government and State Government. Words cannot express how thankful we are for our community’s support and the disappointment we feel for them. Our tribe is proud that over the last 12 years, we did everything right. The project has been supported by the Obama, Trump and Biden Presidential administrations along with the Granholm and Snyder Gubernatorial administrations. We received approvals from the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We met all the criteria required for approval. And while we disagree completely with Governor Whitmer’s decision, we respect that she has the authority to make it. For now, The Muskegon Casino Project has concluded.”

Grand Opening of Lake Bluff Grille Restaurant at Muskegon Country Club on June 15

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – RedWater purchased Muskegon Country Club (located at 2801Lakeshore Drive in Muskegon) in summer 2021 and has been working hard on renovations for a new public restaurant and updated event venue at its facilities. RedWater is excited to announce that the grand opening of Lake Bluff Grille restaurant will be June 15, 2022, upon completion of its expansive, covered deck.

In order to improve the dining experience at Muskegon Country Club for both its golf club members and guests, RedWater has made major renovations to the facility including relocating the placement of the restaurant within the building to offer generous space for diners, building a large wrap-around bar at the center of the restaurant, adding a feature wine wall with wine locker storage for guests, and expanding and covering the deck for extended access to outdoor dining. The new restaurant will have a modern and contemporary interior design with an inviting and warm feel. RedWater Chief Operating Officer Craig Smith said, “Muskegon Country Club has been a staple of Muskegon and the surrounding community since 1908, so it was very important to us to research and develop a design and restaurant concept that appeals to the Muskegon community, visitors to the area, and our current members of Muskegon Country Club. We are extremely excited to invite diners to see our brand-new restaurant that will be open to the public starting on June 15, following a ribbon cutting with the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce.”

The new restaurant is named after its location on the bluff overlooking Muskegon Lake. Both the new Lake Bluff Grille and renovated Muskegon Country Club event venue will have outstanding views of the golf course and views of Muskegon Lake from an expansive covered deck. RedWater Director of Marketing Leanne Stoll said, “Lake Bluff Grille will transform the dining experience at Muskegon Country Club by celebrating the beautiful waterfront scenery and the deliciousness of contemporary American fare. With brilliant views of Muskegon Lake and the endless green of our golf course, we hope that Lake Bluff Grille will bring new life and new flavors to the historic Muskegon Country Club.” Lake Bluff Grille will be featuring live music every Thursday and Friday evening during the summer to add to the relaxing, yet upbeat vibes of the patio setting.

The menu at Lake Bluff Grille will offer New American style cuisine with a wide range of handcrafted appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees. The menu will also feature a RedWater Restaurants guest-favorite: Entrees that are served on 500-degree fire rocks, adding an interactive element to the dining experience. The signature fire rocks allow guests to cook food to the temperature of their liking while keeping their meals hot and flavorful. RedWater Director of Food and Beverage Darren Rehfeld said, “We are excited to offer a unique dining concept not found anywhere else in Muskegon, combined with an ambiance that is second to none. The unbeatable views of the lake and bluffs from our new deck paired with Lake Bluff Grille’s delicious food and drink offerings are sure to impress.”

In addition to the major restaurant renovations, RedWater has made upgrades to the Muskegon Country Club event venue. The venue will still seat around 150 people indoors, but there will be added space for weddings and other events on the new, covered deck. The deck will also serve as a space to host meetings and small events outside. A new reception courtyard area off the patio will provide even more outdoor space for events.

RedWater will also be growing its Live Golf Studios brand with the addition of golf simulators in the restaurant and event venue area at Muskegon Country Club. The simulators will feature state-of-the-art technology and will offer access to more than 100 golf courses, various challenge games, multiple practice ranges, and arcade games to provide fun for the whole family. LiveGolf Studios will be open to the public during the fall and winter months and the simulators will be available as an add-on service for private events.

RedWater owners and staff are excited to expand their group to the Muskegon community and open the new Lake Bluff Grille restaurant. Smith said, “We are thrilled to grow our group yet again and look forward to bringing more jobs and opportunities to the area. Our well-trained team takes pride in offering great food, service, and a relaxed environment within each of our restaurants.”

Additional information including the complete menu, live music schedule, and private event booking information for Lake Bluff Grille can be viewed online at

Arbor Circle Event: Is the Village Still Valid – June 15th

MUSKEGON, MI – Join Arbor Circle as we host Is the Village Still Valid: The Future of Fatherhood in Black & Brown Communities on June 15th, 2022 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm at Muskegon Community College’s Collegiate Hall. This in-person presentation and panel discussion will amplify the role of fathers, particularly Black and Brown fathers. Hear directly from our featured speaker, Cole Williams, and a panel of fathers as they discuss their lived experience and how the community can support them as parents. Cole Williams, a dedicated father and founder of the Delta Project, has spent his career mentoring men and boys of color.

This event is sponsored by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and Muskegon Community College. The keynote presentation starts at 3:00pm, with a panel discussion and Q+A to follow. This event is open to the community and free to attend, but please register for the event below using the link below:

Arbor Circle provides mental health counseling, substance use treatment, family development support, adoption and foster care services, prevention programming and quality child care resources and referral services. The organization is well established in the West Michigan area with deep roots in our community and locations in 5 counties (Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Allegan, and Ottawa), and serves thousands of children, adults and families each year.

Howmet Grant to Grow STEM Curriculum for Muskegon Area Students

Muskegon, MI – The Howmet Aerospace Foundation and Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) are pleased to announce that the Foundation has awarded a $200,000 grant to support new and expanded STEM education for Muskegon area students. Funds will be used to establish The Howmet Center for Sustainable Science and Technology, which will allow Muskegon Community College and Muskegon Area Intermediate School District students to gain greater exposure and access to STEM education using food processing and food science. Programming will include in-class lectures and lab coursework at the new Food, Agriculture, Research, Manufacturing (FARM) food processing business accelerator on the campus of Muskegon Community College. These offerings will integrate with the MSU/MCC food processing degree and certificate programs (  K-12 programs will be held at several West Michigan schools beginning this spring and fall, 2022.

“Our region’s businesses, especially our manufacturers, continue to struggle to find workers with STEM-related skills, and graduating students who have been exposed to STEM is the way to address this issue long-term,” said GMED Director of Business Development Morgan Carroll. “We need to be creative about how we engage students with STEM, so they understand that these jobs not only pay well, they are interesting and rewarding as well.”

The concept is to build students’ STEM skills by introducing them to the chemistry, engineering and math associated with food processing. Chemistry is the science behind the taste, texture and consistency of food. Engineering and technology are the basis of designing and building food processing equipment and sustainable food production systems. Math is an essential part of food formulas, scaling recipes, and setting up and programming food production lines. The goal is to build a pipeline of STEM talent by sparking students’ interest in how and why things work using food, which creates opportunities for them to move into all types of STEM-related jobs and industries from there.

Amy Heisser, Director of Human Resources for Howmet Aerospace, said this is just the latest example of how the company’s Whitehall operations has been supporting community partnerships for more than seven decades. “This grant continues our long tradition of supporting the community while also investing in the next generation of skilled workers. As a company that relies on the technical expertise of employees, Howmet Aerospace understands the importance of providing students access to STEM education opportunities. Muskegon County is also of particular importance to us because our engines business unit is headquartered here. This is why the company, through the Howmet Aerospace Foundation, supports community-based programs like the FARM accelerator that play a critical role in educating our future workforce.”

The FARM food processing business accelerator is owned by the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and managed by the Michigan State University Product Center.

About Howmet Aerospace Foundation
Howmet Aerospace Foundation invests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education outreach, technical education programs and workforce development initiatives, with a goal of increasing the access of underrepresented communities to STEM disciplines. It is an independently endowed foundation which directs a significant portion of its grantmaking each year to nonprofit organizations in communities around the world to develop partnerships and strategies that address community needs and interests where Howmet Aerospace has operating facilities. Howmet Aerospace is a leading global provider of advanced engineered solutions for the aerospace and transportation industries. It further enhances Howmet’s inclusive work environment by investing in programs that support diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter and Facebook.

About Greater Muskegon Economic Development
Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) was founded in 1999 and is the countywide economic development agency dedicated to supporting local business. GMED’s focus is to leverage public and private investment to accelerate business growth and the creation of high-quality employment opportunities in Muskegon County. Appreciating the importance of our local business community, GMED serves as a clearinghouse of information on programs and incentives available to your business. Learn more at

About the MSU Product Center
The MSU Product Center helps Michigan entrepreneurs and businesses develop and launch new product into the food, agriculture, natural resource and bioenergy markets.  The Product Center facilitates innovation by customizing services to each client utilizing a statewide network of university, business and governmental partners that offer vast and varied technical expertise, research, and outreach services.  Visit the Product Center’s website at

Summer Reading Program Begins at the Muskegon Area District Library

MUSKEGON, MI — The Muskegon Area District Library, MADL, kicks off its annual Summer Reading Program starting June 13 and ending in August. Libraries across the nation encourage children, youth, and families to keep reading during the summer to help children maintain their reading skills.

All ages can participate in entertaining programs and have the chance to win fantastic prizes by joining the program and tracking their reading. The public is invited to join in many fun and special summer events at their local library, including movies, games, music, books, and something for everyone.

Families can choose multiple locations, to enjoy the free programs repeated at MADL branches. Magic, animals, music, games, and crafts are offered. A variety of great Teen programs are planned where they can hang out with friends in great new completely renovated spaces. A complete schedule of live entertainment at branches includes Maciek the Magician, John Ball Traveling Zoo, music with Rick Kelly and the Outdoor Discovery Center as follows:

Mondays:       10:30 am Montague Branch
                          1:00 pm Holton Branch
                          3:00 pm Dalton Branch
Tuesdays:      10:30 am Ravenna Branch
                          1:00 pm Egelston Branch
                          3:00 pm Muskegon Heights Branch
Wednesdays: 10:30 am North Muskegon Branch
                          1:00 pm Muskegon Township Branch
                          3:00 pm Norton Shores Branch

Special Juneteenth programs will also be held:
June 16 – Story Trail Celebration, Bethlehem Park, Muskegon Heights
June 19 – Community Celebration exhibitor, Mona Lake Park, Muskegon Heights
June 22 – Juneteenth 101, panel discussion with local educators, Norton Shores branch

For a complete list of summer reading programs, visit, Reading

Norton Shores Approves Tax Abatement for Local Manufacturer Expansion

Norton Shores, MI – Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) is pleased to announce that the City of Norton Shores has approved a 12-year tax abatement for local manufacturer Seal Bond for their new 200,000 square foot production facility at 1251 East Mt. Garfield Rd. in Norton Shores. Seal Bond produces industrial adhesives, sealants and coatings for a variety of industries, including product assembly, construction, and raised access flooring. The company expects to begin operations at the new location sometime this summer. 

Seal Bond President/General Manager Scott Carmichael said all of the company’s approximately 80 employees will move to the new facility. They also anticipate hiring an additional 20 employees over the next two years. “We have experienced significant growth due to the construction boom and our recent entry into new markets. As a result, we now find ourselves shoehorned in our current space,” he said.  “Our new location gives us room to expand, and its proximity to US-31 is also more convenient for our employees, most of whom live in the Muskegon area. We believe this improved accessibility will also make it easier to attract new team members in the future.”

Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund added that the Seal Bond abatement was approved with a unanimous vote, and the City is excited to welcome them to the community. “We continue to see interest from businesses looking to relocate or expand because of Norton Shores’ property values and easy access to two major highways. Our city council is receptive to offering tax abatements, one of the few economic development tools still available to local municipalities, especially when we see a company like Seal Bond ready to make a significant investment in our community.”

Seal Bond will initially lease a portion of the new space to another area manufacturer in need of additional production capacity. However, Carmichael explained that the company’s long-term strategy is to occupy the entire space as they experience continued growth down the road. “We applaud Seal Bond for not only taking steps to address their current growth, but also taking into account where they want to be many years from now,” added GMED Director of Business Growth Morgan Carroll. “We hope other area businesses will follow their example and think long-range about their manufacturing capabilities, as well as how they want to be positioned to be able to attract the talent they’ll need to achieve their goals.”

About Seal Bond
Seal Bond manufactures and develops high performance adhesives, sealants and coatings for OEM and construction applications. The Seal Bond team takes great pride in building lasting relationships by providing state-of-the-art technical solutions and exceptional performance.  From environmental safety to technological advancements, Seal Bond products succeed where others have failed. Speed and flexibility in formulating, testing and delivering products set Seal Bond apart – close to home and around the world.  Learn more about the company, including career opportunities at

About Greater Muskegon Economic Development
Greater Muskegon Economic Development (GMED) was founded in 1999 and is the countywide economic development agency dedicated to supporting local business. GMED’s focus is to leverage public and private investment to accelerate business growth and the creation of high-quality employment opportunities in Muskegon County. Appreciating the importance of our local business community, GMED serves as a clearinghouse of information on programs and incentives available to your business. Learn more at

Rep. Huizenga Announcing Support of Small Businesses and Workers

Rep. Huizenga News Conference Announcing Legislation to Bring Muskegon’s Community Health Coverage Model to More Communities – Supporting Small Business and Workers

MUSKEGON, MI ‐ Congressman Bill Huizenga announced the introduction of the Community Multi‐Share Coverage Program Act at a special event on Friday, June 3, 2022, at the office of Access Health in Muskegon. Huizenga’s legislation will fund national replication of Muskegon County’s Access Health Coverage program, considered one of the most innovative and successful approaches to addressing health care access in the nation.

For over two decades, the Access Health plan has locally provided an affordable and robust coverage option for small businesses and their workers unable to access commercial coverage due to cost barriers. Through partnership with Trinity Health Muskegon, the model’s success has enjoyed national recognition as a proven solution to ensure as many people as possible in Muskegon County have access to affordable healthcare.

Today, communities need solutions such as Access Health ‐ a unique and well‐tested model of coverage in Muskegon that the nation can embrace. There is growing interest in its replication, particularly as emergency federal coverage supports implemented during COVID‐19 expire. This legislation will help fund a critical needed expansion and continue to put Muskegon County on the map as a community committed to local innovation and the wellbeing of all residents.

Rep. Huizenga was joined at the news conference and event by community stakeholder attendees, including:

  •  Jack Russell, President of Rolar Industries and Chair of the Muskegon Heights Business Association
  •  Kathy Moore, Director of Public Health Muskegon County
  •  Gary Allore, President, Trinity Health Muskegon
  •  Park Kersman, CEO Lorin Industries
  •  Emily Morgenstern, Marketing Director, Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce

Other local officials representing Muskegon County government and the City of Muskegon Heights were also in attendance.

Jeff Fortenbacher, Executive Director of Access Health, believes that this is the right time for expanding the multi‐share model approach. “I see so much potential for Access Health as an affordable option for small businesses trying to hire and retain a workforce in today’s tight market” Fortenbacher said. “This is a program that helps reboot local economies, which require a strong and vital small business sector. We hear it all the time – businesses today face massive hiring challenges, which limit their ability to keep regular hours or provide their pre‐COVID service level. The ability to offer coverage like Access Health can be a game changer for these small businesses, their workers, and our communities.”

“Access Health helps small business workers,” Fortenbacher continued. “We can make a difference with a commonsense approach to health coverage that removes financial barriers to economic mobility. Our plan provides a necessary bridge to economic independence for people as they take that first step away from Medicaid and other government support. As our team works in partnership with our members to improve their health, we recognize that economic mobility is a critical element of health.” Established in 1999, Access Health provides affordable community coverage to eligible small businesses and their workers. One of the only community coverage models of its type in the nation, Access Health’s legacy work includes its nationally recognized multi‐share health plan and regional management of Michigan’s State Medical Plan, a previous Medicaid expansion effort.

To learn more, visit

Taste of Muskegon Continues at A Funny After Taste

Muskegon, MI – Taste of Muskegon returns to Hackley Park on June 10th and 11th for its 16th year with a few new twists. 

The party will continue on June 11th with an after party at Burl & Sprig deemed A Funny After Taste. Zank Comedy has a lineup of comedians to entertain while patrons sip on a special Taste of Muskegon cocktail. The party runs 10 PM-2 AM, with standup comedians taking the stage at 11. 

After a successful debut of the Craft Cocktail tent last year at the festival, the offering of drinks will expand to include Wonderland Distilling Co. gin and tonics. The Wonderland Distilling Co. whiskey and gingerbeer and Burl & Sprig rum and cola will be served again this year. 

Taste is also taking a greener approach to the event. This is the second year of a multi-year plan in partnership with West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum and GVSU Environmental Studies to build a more sustainable festival. Through the generosity of Bin There Dump That, the festival has been able to increase its recycling efforts. This year, a sorting tent will be added to pull out compostables and recyclables, including a TerraCycle box to recycle disposable utensils. Waning Moon and Continuum Salon are providing resources to add cigarette recycling. 

Taste of Muskegon is honored to host members of the Japanese consulate in Detroit in honor of Muskegon’s relationship with our sister city of Omuta, Japan. Mayor Johnson will make a proclamation on Saturday at 6 pm to celebrate over 25 years of friendship. 

“For years, people have asked to have Taste go longer, and A Funny After Taste is a great way to answer that call. We love the chance to send people directly to a local restaurant which is what Taste is all about,” said Lisa Kraus, Director of Marketing for Taste of Muskegon. “It’s such an honor to welcome the Japanese delegate. We have been told that they decided to extend their stay in Muskegon to attend the festival and are excited to try a Taste of the best Muskegon has to offer. It’s a great opportunity for cultural exchange.” 

Taste of Muskegon will take place on June 10th and 11th in Hackley Park. It is produced by the Downtown Development Authority and through the generosity of sponsors including Rair, DTE and Mart Dock. The festival features over 30 local restaurants and food trucks. Headlining the event is The Accidentals on Saturday and Starlight City on Friday night. Saturday will begin with United Way’s annual Ride United biking event. Awards for Taste of Muskegon’s best plates will take place Saturday afternoon and includes both judge and public votes. To learn more about the music, restaurants, and events at Taste of Muskegon 2022, visit their website at