Recent Newaygo County Marriage License Seekers
“You make me want to be a better man”- Melvin (Jack Nicholson) to Carol (Helen Hunt) in “As Good As It Gets”
If you’ve seen the movie and recall the character played by Nicholson this seemingly romantic quote has plenty of context. Melvin has a long way to go to be even somewhat tolerable as a human being much less a person to be in a relationship with.
His statement is touching though, and maybe a bit telling about what it means to be in love.
The self improvement quest described seems far different than wanting to excel at a sport or develop a talent that draws admiration or even just being well thought of by others.
Perhaps the desire to be a better person isn't even aimed at wanting our lover, sig. other, lifetime spousal companion, etc. to like us more since, hopefully, we’re already pretty assured they love us.
Maybe the desire to be better is because when we love someone we feel like they deserve the best.
And so we strive to deliver the best we’ve got, the absolute best we can be, to the person who most deserves it.
Robert Heinlein once said “Love is the condition in which the happiness of the other person is essential to your own."
Well said Mr. H.
(And by the way, I loved “Stranger in a Strange Land”).
Here are the couples who have recently signed on to bring out the best in each other.
Olivia Mangan, Fremont & Jens Struble, Fremont
Kaitlynn Grooters, Grant & Justin Shoemaker, Grant
Rene Schmelling, White Cloud & Wayne TenBrink, Fremont
Ralph Wilson, White Cloud & Jody Griffes, White Cloud
Colin Wever, White Cloud & Brooke Seymour, Mt. Pleasant
John Locke, Fremont & Tanya Berends, Fremont
Matthew Hikade, Newaygo & Tamara Schumacker, White Cloud
Our thanks to the Newaygo County Clerk's Office
Story by Ken DeLaat
6 years ago Nick Hansen came to work at Super Lube in Newaygo.
And in doing so he found an extended family who helped make a dream come true.
At N3 World Headquarters we have been patronizing the facility on M-37 for a lot of years and Nick is a fixture on the crew having learned his job well under the tutelage of Manager Dan Mayle and the rest of the Super Lube crew.
Given his lifetime love of cars it has been a perfect fit for Nick.
Last month during the Newaygo County Fair Nick hopped into the minivan sponsored by the oil change store and competed in the Demolition Derby.
Dan Mayle: “We were sitting around one day and I said ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to get Nick in a Derby?’ We got his Mom’s permission and about 2 days later we found this old van.
"That was a year ago. The race didn’t happen last year.”
With the pandemic cancelling fair activities the initiative was put on ce but when this year came around the idea began to get traction again and Nick was entered into the Derby.
And he finished 6th out of 20.
“We had a strategy worked out for him and been working with him for at least a month or more, but once he started the race he was like ‘heck with you guys I got my own strategy’,” Dan said with a laugh.
Nick: “Well it was my first time doing it and I started out letting everyone else hit me.”
Dan: “About 20 lined up and they said’ Go’. Everyone took off but Nick. He backed it up like he was in a grocery store. He took a first good hit but he was still going.”
“We all had a great time, especially Nick and we kind of decided to do it again next year. “
I asked Nick if he was ready to give it another go next year.
An enthusiastic, “Oh Yeah!”
“He wants another shot at the title” added Dan with a grin.
It is Suicide Prevention Week and while conversations about mental health have become easier to talk about recently, suicide remains a frightening topic for many.
N3 asked the folks from Newaygo County Mental Health to provide us with warning signs and a few guidelines on intervention strategies.
In Michigan, a person dies by suicide every six hours. That is 4 people a day! Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in Michigan. In 2017, more than 4 times as many people died by suicide in Michigan than by alcohol –related motor vehicle accidents.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Help is available for anyone considering suicide. We can all help prevent suicide. Friends and family members need to be aware of the warning signs and risk factors, and then know how to access help. According to the Suicide prevention hotline, below are the risk factors that make it more likely someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. Friends and family cannot cause or predict a suicide attempt but they should be aware of the following:
There are also warning signs to be aware of. These include:
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, taking these 5 action steps can help someone in emotional pain.
Suicide awareness prevention is something that everyone should be aware of. It is possible to save a life by being aware of warning signs for your friends and family members.
It is also important that if you see any of these signs in yourself, please call for help, or talk to a trusted friend or advisor.
“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.”-Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince
Is there love at first sight?
Or is it merely infatuation that either evolves into love or fades when further familiarity reveals itself and the thrill, as B.B. King put it so aptly, is gone?
Love comes in as many shapes and sizes as the people who share it.
I recall asking couples who were seeking counseling how they came to love each other. At what point in their lives did they realize this was the person they wanted to commit to? To live with. To create a family with.
Their stories were moving and dynamic in that each partner was, for the most part, generally surprised at what they heard. It wasn’t all good all the time but the honesty was compelling and it served up plenty of material for the sessions.
Wedding vows are sort of designed for this but the whole performance thing that weddings bring creates the need for the flowery verbiage that precedes the ‘I do’s’.
Instead of maybe...
“You picked me up from my friend's bachelorette party and I tossed my cookies in your car on the way home. You assured me it was ok, got me to bed and even kissed me goodbye. The next morning I woke to two aspirin and a large glass of water on my bed stand.
That’s when I knew you were the one.”
Here are the latest folks signing on to obtain marriage licenses at the Newaygo County Clerk’s Office:
Karly Wiggins, White Cloud & Ryan Driscoll, White Cloud
Melissa Jane Witkoski, White Cloud & Newell Edward Kolbe, White Cloud
Elise Machiele, Ann Arbor, MI & Christian Brown, San Rafael, CA
Brenda Lacy, Newaygo & Brant Kutzli, Newaygo
James Goins, White Cloud & Kristin Dezeery, Grosse Pointe Woods. MI
Jack Clifford, Newaygo & Hannah Morgan, Newaygo
“Love is not a maybe thing, you know when you love someone.”- Lauren Conrad
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial offers free cooking classes with focus on flavor, nutrition and budget
Fremont, Mich., Aug. 20, 2021 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is offering a free four-week cooking series in September. Cooking Matters for Adults classes will be held every Wednesday, Sept. 8 through Sept. 29, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Tamarac, 1401 W. Main St. in Fremont.
During each 90-minute hands-on class, participants will learn how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a limited budget. Participants must commit to attending all four classes. The series includes free take home groceries to practice the recipes taught in class and an information packed Cooking Matters manual.
Registration is required and space is limited. To register, call 231.924.3073.
“Gerber Memorial is excited to offer free cooking classes that anyone can join to get some important tips and tricks so they can make tasty, nutritious and affordable meals anytime,” said Erica Jordan, Gerber Memorial community health program specialist who will help lead the classes. “Our Cooking Matters classes are ideal for families that want to learn how to quickly make healthy budget-friendly meals on busy weeknights or make better choices when they go to the grocery store. We encourage everyone in our community to sign up for these helpful free classes.”
From our friends at DHD#10
August 24, 2021 – District Health Department #10 was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that algae blooms were detected on Hardy Dam Pond in Newaygo County.
After learning about what looked like algae blooms on Hardy Dam Pond, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) took samples on August 11 which were sent to the MDHHS lab where results came back positive for microcystin, an algal toxin released by some types of algae in lakes or rivers. Algae blooms can form when there are high nutrient levels within bodies of water along with warm temperatures. Additional testing will take place again the week of August 23rd and MDHHS is notifying homeowners about the initial test results.
“Algae blooms look like a green mat right on top of the water that smells bad and has a gelatinous texture to them,” stated Tom Reichard, Environmental Health Director for DHD#10. “The algal toxins that are released can be harmful to aquatic life, pets, and humans so it is very important to avoid these areas.”
Below are some steps to take when near waterways:
Contact with algae blooms can cause minor illness in humans but can be fatal to pets. Therefore, it is also recommended that people keep their pets out of the water that shows any signs of algae blooms.
People and pets can experience the following symptoms after exposure to algae blooms:
If you think you have been exposed to algae blooms, take the following precautions:
“I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”- Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally
Great scene from one of the better rom/com offerings.
But as with many movies with such upbeat finales I eventually ponder how things went beyond the happy ending. There never seems to be a flash forward when 2 kids, a dog, a house to maintain, jobs to attend to, school functions, day care issues, money problems and other circumstances unite in an attempt to wrest away the final vestiges of romance.
Because while falling in love seems relatively easy, staying in love can be a tad more challenging depending on how a couple responds to the stressors life brings.
In this case I give Harry and Sally a good shot. Mainly because their relationship was cemented in friendship before discovering they were in love. And when it comes to marriage, friendship gets you through a whole lot of things
Love is (hopefully) always there but when things begin to get tough it’s more than likely to be Friendship carrying the load when needed.
Here’s to the most recent applicants for marriage licenses courtesy of the Newaygo County Clerk's Office. May their love and friendship continue to thrive.
Curtis Muma, Fremont & Amber Wakefield, Fremont
Kenneth Wert Jr., Grant & Alicia Rowland, Lakeview
Channing Gaffney, Grant & Amanda Gregory, Grant
Ryan Whetzel, Fremont & Nicole Veenstra, Fremont
Stephanie Wilson, Newaygo & Aaron Dirette, Newaygo
Felicia Wooley, Newaygo & Colton Christopher, Ravenna
Erickah Kansankiewicz, Grant & Nathan Crandall, Grant
Makayla Borgman, Fremont & Jordan Brandt, White Cloud
Cy Frankenhouser, Hesperia & Melissa Maddox, Fremont
Jennifer Vis, Grant & Nico Rodriguez, Grant
Chris Root, White Cloud & Tori Lauer, White Cloud
“A great marriage is not when the 'perfect couple' comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.”-Dave Meurer
“A No Brainer”-CE Veep
Photos by Lil De Laat
It was an evening of celebration and recognition as the vision of a renovation for the Croton Community Church took a giant leap toward becoming a reality. On Monday, August 9th, The Consumers Energy Foundation stepped up big time to give this initiative some serious traction by awarding the Croton Historical Society $25,000 toward the refurbishing efforts.
The church was filled with folks from the Croton community and beyond as the big check presentation culminated efforts to provide this venerable house of worship with a well deserved facelift.
The Croton Community Church was built in 1871 and is a landmark for Croton Township. This year is the 150-year anniversary of this historical building, one of the first entities to receive electricity when the Croton Dam was put into service in 1907.The original 1871 bell is still sounded before services on Sundays.
The First Congregational Society was organized in 1871, but by 1911 that congregation had ceased to exist. The Croton Religious Society was deeded by George Erwin, who had earlier established the Croton power plant and had purchased the Church building.
In August of 1942 the steeple was hit by lightning during the night. It was decided to dismantle the steeple and plans were drawn up to put a roof on the cupola. With funds gathered from around the area and a Bingo party at the Croton School the resources were secured to fix the damage. Ernie Whitmore (who worked for Consumers and lived across the street on Division) temporarily secured boards with a rope until they could start restoration.
And now, thanks to the added support of the Consumers Energy Foundation a new restoration is soon to begin.
During the presentation Consumers Energy VP John Broschak expanded on the long relationship between Croton Township and Consumers, stating that while they get thousands of grant requests a year, this one was a “no brainer”.
The Gerber Foundation supports grants for youth programming (from 0-18 years of age) within a four-county area in West Michigan that includes: Lake, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties.
A special emphasis is placed on projects focused on:
The Gerber Foundation grant guidelines can be found at:
All grant applications must be submitted online at
https://gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com by September 15, 2021, at 4pm ET.
If you have questions about the West Michigan Grant application process call the Gerber Foundation office at 231.924.3175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strongly recommending universal masking, promoting vax
From our friends at MDHHS:
LANSING, Mich. - Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued updated recommendations for schools designed to help prevent transmission of COVID-19 within school buildings, reduce disruptions to in-person learning and help protect vulnerable individuals and individuals who are not fully vaccinated. Because many students have yet to be vaccinated and students under age 12 are not yet eligible, layered prevention measures, including universal masking, must be put in place for consistent in-person learning to keep kids, staff and families safe.
The guidance has been updated to reflect the most current recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on masking and prevention strategies to help operate schools more safely. Mask use has been proven to substantially reduce transmission in school settings.
"We are committed to ensuring Michigan students and educators are safe in the classroom, including those who may not yet be vaccinated," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "MDHHS is issuing this guidance to help protect Michiganders of all ages. We continue to urge all eligible residents to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible as it is our best defense against the virus and the way we are going to end this pandemic."
MDHHS recommends that all schools adopt policies to:
The key strategies recommended by the CDC to keep schools safer are outlined below:
1. Promoting Vaccination against COVID-19 for eligible staff and students. Vaccination has proven incredibly effective as the leading public health prevention strategy. Promoting vaccination can help schools more safely maintain in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
2. Requiring Consistent and Correct Mask Use for all
a) Schools should mandate universal masking for students, staff, teachers and visitors. CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status. This prevention strategy is crucial to allowing students to maintain in-person learning.
b) Local health departments should work with schools to adopt universal masking policies.
c) Mask use has been proven to substantially reduce transmission in school settings.
d) CDC has recommendations for proper use of masks.
e) CDC’s order requires all persons – regardless of vaccination status – to wear masks on public transportation, including school buses.
3. Physical Distancing CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms, combined with indoor mask wearing by students, teachers, and staff, regardless of vaccination status.
a) A distance of at least 6 feet is recommended between students and educators, and between educators/staff who are not fully vaccinated.
b) Mask use by all students, educators, staff, and visitors is particularly important when physical distance cannot be maintained.
c) Because of the importance of in-person learning, schools should not exclude students from in-person learning to keep a minimum distance requirement. When it is not possible to maintain a 3 foot physical distance, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as indoor masking, screening testing, and improved ventilation, to help reduce transmission risk.
4. Screening Testing identifies infected people, including those without symptoms who may be contagious, so that measures can be taken to prevent further transmission or outbreaks.
a) To support schools that incorporate COVID-19 testing into their safer school prevention plans, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering rapid antigen testing to Pre-K-12 schools through the MI Safe Schools Testing Program.
a) Improving ventilation by opening multiple doors and windows, using child-safe fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows, and making changes to the HVAC or air filtration systems.
b) Avoiding crowded and/or poorly ventilated indoor activities (e.g., engaging in outdoor activities when possible).
c) Open or crack windows in buses and other forms of transportation to improve air circulation, if doing so does not pose a safety risk.
6. Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: Promoting handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes.
7. Staying Home When Sick and Getting Tested
a) Encouraging students and staff to stay home if sick or having COVID-19 symptoms.
b) Encouraging students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, to get tested for COVID-19 if having symptoms or if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
8. Contact Tracing, in combination with quarantine, and collaborating with the local health department.
9. Cleaning and Disinfection: cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove potential virus that may be on surfaces. Disinfecting (using disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 list) removes any remaining germs on surfaces, which further reduces any risk of spreading infection. CDC has information on routine cleaning to help maintain healthy facilities.
Together with local public health officials, school administrators should consider multiple factors when they make decisions about implementing layered prevention strategies against COVID-19. Since schools typically serve their surrounding communities, decisions can be based on the school population, families and students served, as well as their communities. Robust layering strategies will consider the following primary factors: