By Lola Harmon Ramsey
N3 always welcome the writings of Ms. H-R and when we found this on her social media page we reminded her of how popular her poetic style is with our readers.
Thus pressured, she granted permission for us to share it with you.
Some seasons of parenting are better than others.
We just started the “organized” portion of athletics with our kids. There has been a lot of laundry to make sure they have all their jerseys and bottoms clean. I love it.
We have had some frustration and tears. Things haven’t always gone their way. But this week, at the end of our fall seasons, we are making plays and got our serves over the net. And boy, those little things were big things in our house this week.
Nobody from the Olympic committee or the Heisman group has called and wanted to scout us and hopefully they never do. But this week....we started to see growth, confidence, and resiliency from our young people that we haven’t seen before.
And that’s the season I want to be in for a long time
Mask requirements and visitor restrictions continue
Grand Rapids, Mich., Oct. 14, 2020 – With public health and safety as its top concern, Spectrum Health is reminding patients and visitors that guidelines to control COVID-19 remain in effect at its facilities. Based on scientific evidence and infection prevention best practices, wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and limiting visitors are effective precautions.
“We know what works and need to stay the course as we make our way through this pandemic,” said Spectrum Health West Michigan Chief Medical Officer Joshua Kooistra, DO. “We are more than six months into COVID-19 and we recognize that people are tired of doing certain things, like wearing masks, yet we know these behaviors are effective in controlling the spread of the disease. We are asking for the community’s support. Please follow our guidelines when you come to a Spectrum Health facility so we can keep patients, visitors and our team members safe.”
Visitor guidelines at Spectrum Health restrict the number of hospital visitors to a maximum of two. COVID-19 patients are limited to virtual visits with loved ones. Visitors to physician offices, lab, radiology and surgery centers for outpatient appointments may have one adult accompany them.
All visitors to any Spectrum Health facility will be required to wear a face mask, have their temperature checked and answer a series of health screening questions. Those with COVID-19 symptoms or a fever will be asked to visit at another time. More information is available here.
Patients seeking care in a Spectrum Health clinic or physician’s office also will be required to wear a mask during their visit and follow other safety protocols like social distancing in waiting rooms. More information is available here.
Additionally, Spectrum Health asks all community members to keep themselves and each other safe as they go about their day-to-day activities by continuing to practice the 3 Ws:
“If we stick with what’s working, we can continue to control the spread of COVID-19. This is particularly important as we move inside to schools, offices and other indoor venues during fall and winter. We ask the community to continue to be diligent and take these simple steps,” Kooistra said.
Please visit the Spectrum Health COVID-19 Resource Center to learn more about free screenings and other resources, including videos and fliers in seven different languages.
Veggie Van to bring fresh fruits, vegetables to Fremont, Hesperia, Newaygo on Thursday, Oct. 15
FREMONT, Mich., Oct. 9, 2020 – Families in Newaygo County are invited to pick up a bag of free healthy fresh produce when The Veggie Van makes stops in Fremont, Newaygo and Hesperia on Thursday, Oct. 15. The Veggie Van will be at:
The goal of The Veggie Van program is to ensure that fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise have limited access to fresh produce. The Veggie Van, a mobile farmer’s market featuring locally grown, top-quality fruits and vegetables, is a joint project of Spectrum Health and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. The bags will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To avoid contact, the event will be held drive-through style and participants are asked to remain in their cars throughout the event process. Spectrum Health staff will put the bag of produce in vehicles and will wear masks and gloves to reduce transmission risks. Social distancing and safety protocols will be in place for safety. People who plan to pick up their free bag of produce are asked to please wear a mask and practice healthy hand hygiene.
From our friends at DHD#10
District Health Department #10 Offering Flu Clinics District Health Department #10 is helping communities prepare for the upcoming flu season by offering flu vaccines to children, adults, and seniors. Flu season is unpredictable, and with COVID-19 still spreading, it is more important than ever to protect you and your family against influenza by getting an annual flu shot. In Newaygo County, DHD#10 is hosting flu clinics at the Newaygo VFW 9075 S Mason Dr Newaygo, MI 49337 October 9, 16, 23, 30, November 6, 13, 20 12:30 to 3:00 p.m.
In Lake County, DHD#10 is hosting flu clinics at the following location: AmVets 1959 W 24th St Baldwin, MI 49304 Every Friday - October 9, 16, 23, 30 and November 6, 13, 20 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
You may qualify for a FREE flu shot so be sure to ask us. The cost for the seasonal flu vaccination without insurance is $37. High dose and preservative-free flu shots are available for $46.
Many health insurance plans now cover the cost of flu vaccines. If not, DHD#10 may be able to help through Vaccines for Children (VFC) or other programs. DHD#10 can bill the following: Medicare*, Medicare Health Plans*, Medicaid, Medicaid Health Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Blue Care Network**, Priority Health, McLaren Commercial, ASR, United Health Care, and TRICARE with an insurance card present at the time of appointment. It is important to be aware of your insurance benefit rules.
*Medicare can only be billed for Flu, Pneumococcal, or PCV13 shots.
For more information visit www.dhd10.org/locate-flu-clinic.
.Once during a marriage counseling session the couple in my office was given one task for the week. They were asked to focus on treating their partner as well as they did their third best friend. Not their best friend or even their second best friend because given the current circumstances that was not likely to happen but it seemed #3 might be within reason.
Why? Because sometimes we treat our friends with more respect and allow more leeway for mistakes made than we do our spouse.
As for why folks take the leap in the first place?
I recall friends of ours sending out the announcement “After 16 years of unwedded bliss we’ve decided to tie the knot.”
I asked the groom to be “Why now?”
He said it simply seemed like the right time.
Another couple we knew told me they made the decision to wed because of dental insurance.
Both marriages have endured.
And both had a key element to their relationships.
They were indeed the best of friends.
Here are the recent applicants for marriage licenses in Newaygo County.
Tara Ferguson, Fremont and Chris Abbatoy, Walkerville
Katie Tamayo, Big Rapids and Benjamin Avery, Big Rapids
Chrystal Butler, Newaygo and Jeffrey Wallace, Newaygo
Connie Mooney, Newaygo and Jeff Parks, Newaygo
Shelby Moore, Ft. Wayne Indiana and Joseph Aurich, Ft. Wayne Indiana
Ricki Loss, Rothbury and Craig Skimski, Fremont
“Marriage is about becoming a team. You're going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is that if you picked the right person and you both love each other, you'll always figure out a way to get through it”-Nicholas Sparks, “At First Sight”
By Megan Wirts
I have become one of those people that does yoga every day (almost), drinks water (mostly coffee), goes hiking (For real!) and avoids fast food (Because I'm afraid of germs, I desperately miss french fries.). How did I get here? A worldwide pandemic, anxiety and lots of time.
Over the years I dipped my toes in yoga. I was first introduced to it in high school and I was terrified of it. The church youth group I attended informed me that yoga was a gateway to hell and I believed them. During my first year of college, my theater professor started each class with a gentle yoga flow and deep breathing meditation. I was horrified and also intrigued by this supposed blasphemy. My professor was the calmest, kindest, most graceful woman I had ever met. She walked with a lightness, spoke so gently and powerfully at the same time and radiated joy and peace. At this point, I believed that yoga had 50/50 odds of sending me hellbound. I took the chance because I absolutely loved that class even though part of me still felt like I might be opening up some demonic portal with every deep breath I took. (I didn't, or did I? 2020 has been a wild year.)
Eventually I realized that yoga is nothing like what my youth group leader warned me about. That dude was ridiculously wrong. It's not even on the same plane as demons and hellfire. In fact, practicing yoga has brought more peace to my life than I ever imagined possible. I am a better person, wife, mother and friend because of yoga. If it wasn't for yoga, we wouldn't be surviving, even thriving, in virtual school. When we are frustrated, we breathe. Since we are breathing, there's less time for yelling and crying. (There's definitely still some yelling and crying. I do live with teenagers.) Sometimes I even feel like I may walk with the same lightness that my former professor walked with and sometimes I can feel joy and peace radiating from my own self.
This year has given me (and much of the world) the opportunity to pause. It was in that pause, that I discovered I was more capable, worthy and loved than I realized. My anxiety was at an all time high (whose hasn't been?!). I was having full blown panic attacks weekly (and still do occasionally). I felt on edge, irritable and agitated most of the time. It's 2020 after all. I tried all my usual go-tos to calm my nerves: binge watching The Golden Girls, binge eating ice cream, diving deep into Hallmark Movies, snuggling my dogs, being smothered by my 25lb weighted blanket, and medication. Nothing. Was. Helping. Until one day I remembered to breathe, I mean really breathe. Deep. Slow. Breaths. And it helped! So, I kept breathing.
The breathing turned into movement and the movement turned into yoga. Then I convinced my teenage daughter and my neighbor girls to join me. Now we have a daily routine (almost) of "Yoga with Auntie Megs" and it has given me life during this pandemic. We all have decided that yoga makes us feel like powerful goddesses of peace and love. It's pure freaking joy.
Recently I took a virtual class (Rise Up with Jen Monroe at Rising Strong Wellness) where we practiced yoga and talked about everything from body positivity, breaking cycles, trauma, limiting beliefs, goal setting, self-care, self-love and so much more. One night we discussed moving with joy and moving intentionally and it resonated in my core. Instead of beating myself up over the things my body can't do anymore, I started to fall in love with the ways my body can move now. I may require assistance when walking, I have difficulty with balance, my muscles ache and sometimes have a mind of their own, but I can still move. I might not be doing headstands or attempting to do the splits, but I can do a solid downward dog and yoga has made me accidentally able to do planks!
Yoga is wonderful but I needed to get out of my house. By the time May rolled around, cabin fever was setting in and I was ready to go out into the world, but not in a public place. I needed an outdoor adventure. My best friends have been hiking the North Country Trail for years and at the beginning of quarantine in March, they started taking my kids with them twice a week and by May they'd all walked 100 miles. I loved hearing their stories about the trail and seeing their photos and I decided I needed to experience it, not just live vicariously.
At the beginning of this year, I ordered myself some outdoorsy type walking sticks. I wanted them so that I could safely walk around my yard with my dogs in the winter because my cane wasn't keeping me stable enough and pushing a walker through snow sucks. Then I started noticing that with my bright yellow walking sticks, I could stand taller and I felt more balanced. I never intended to actually use them to go hiking. I just didn't want to fall on my butt in my yard. Then 2020 happened.
I had been practicing walking around my yard and I thought maybe I could do this out in the woods too. So, I convinced my friends to take me to the easiest part of the trail that they knew. The first time we went, I was exhausted before we even finished the first mile, but I kept going and I'm still going.
Since I started hiking with my friends and family in May, I have walked almost 70 miles! I do need to keep my eyes on the ground, take plenty of breaks, and I'm not the fastest hiker, but I'm hiking. I'm doing. I'm not trying anymore. I'm not looking at photos, I'm taking the photos and I'm in the photos. I'm living.
Sometimes when I'm on my yoga mat or in the middle of the forest, I feel like I'm in the eye of a hurricane. The entire world is in chaos and spinning out of control around me but I'm still breathing. My yellow sticks and hiking with my family has saved me. Sitting on my yoga mat and breathing has allowed me to find peace, stillness and strength. Finding joy in the way my body moves, feels and is, has given me freedom. This hasn't been easy and it's not perfect, but I love my life. In the midst of a pandemic I found peace. I found joy. I found love.
Newaygo County, MI. – In October of 2019, the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners approved a FEMA Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Grant to revise and reauthorize the existing Newaygo County Hazard Management Plan. The Newaygo County Hazard Management Plan is a multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan developed pursuant to the criteria contained in 44CFR Part 201, as authorized by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. This plan is required to maintain eligibility to seek federal funding under the Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program. The plan is required to be updated every five years and expired in August 2020.
Hazard mitigation is an important part of being a disaster resilient community. Hazard mitigation is any action taken before, during, or after a disaster to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk to human life and property from natural, technological, and man-made hazards. Examples of hazard mitigation activities include voluntary acquisition or elevation of flood prone structures, creation of defensible spaces around wildland urban interface areas, protective measures for utility infrastructure, storm water management projects that reduce flood risk, etc. The purpose of mitigation planning is to identify policies and actions that can be implemented over the long term to reduce risk and future losses.
Maintaining a FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan has positive, local impacts within the County. In December 2016, Newaygo County was awarded $239,316.00 in grants to implement a new flood warning system for approximately 35 miles of the Muskegon River in Newaygo County utilizing the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Flood Inundation Mapper System. As a part of the project an additional two river gages, which were funded by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, were installed in Newaygo and Bridgeton. Newaygo County was eligible to apply for this Hazard Mitigation Grant because our community maintains a Hazard Mitigation Plan.
A draft Newaygo County Hazard Management Plan 2020 Edition has been prepared by Newaygo County Emergency Services. The Community Profile portion of this document was reviewed by the Local Emergency Planning Team on October 15, 2019. The Hazard Analysis portion of this document was reviewed by the Local Emergency Planning Team over three meetings held on December 17, 2019, January 21, 2020, and February 18, 2020. The Hazards Profile and Evaluations Annex B portion of this document was reviewed by the Local emergency Planning Team on August 18, 2020. The Hazard Mitigation portion of this document was reviewed by the Local Emergency Planning Team on September 15, 2020.
Newaygo County is seeking public comment on the draft Hazard Management Plan. The plan has been posted to the County of Newaygo’s Website for review and comment at http://www.countyofnewaygo.com/. Your participation will enable Newaygo County Emergency Services to ensure the plan reflects the most up to date community data and information. In addition, a short survey has been created to gather additional information on different hazard events which have occurred in Newaygo County. Anyone with the following link can respond to the survey:
Please take a few moments to review the plan and provide additions, corrections, and updates to this document. You may provide your input through use of the survey or directly contacting Emergency Services Deputy Director Renee Gavin at (231) 689-7354 or email email@example.com.
Thank you for your time and contribution to this update of the Newaygo County Hazard Management Plan!
EGLE grant to impact local waters
From our friends at MRWA:
A recent announcement from Lansing contains good news for the residents of Newaygo County. The department of Environment, Great lakes and Energy (EGLE) has awarded a grant totaling $108,000 to the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA). The geographical areas of focus are four local sub-watersheds: Bigelow Creek, Hess Lake, Brooks Creek and Mosquito Creek.
The grant provides funding to update our existing watershed management plan which when completed will include specific recommendations for restoration and protection projects in all four watersheds.
Key elements of the updated plan will include:
An approved watershed management plan is required to apply for implementation funds offered annually by the Nonpoint Source Program. In other words, this grant represents the successful first step to qualify for additional funding that will be invested locally to improve the quality of fresh water resources. Over the next three to four years, we intend to manage major restoration projects aimed at reducing nonpoint sources of sediment, nutrients and other contaminants.
For the purposes of regulation, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifies two broad categories of pollution: point-source pollution and nonpoint-source pollution.
The EPA defines point source pollution as any contaminant that enters the environment from an easily identified and confined place. Examples include smokestacks, discharge pipes, and drainage ditches.
Waste filled water is dumped into a river, polluting it for the people and animals who use it as a source for eating and drinking.
Point-source pollution is easy to identify. As the name suggests, it comes from a single place. Nonpoint-source pollution is harder to identify and harder to address. It is pollution that comes from many places, all at once.
Nonpoint-source pollution is the opposite of point-source pollution, with pollutants released in a wide area. As an example, picture a city street during a thunderstorm. As rainwater flows over asphalt, it washes away drops of oil that leaked from car engines, particles of tire rubber, dog waste, and trash. The runoff goes into a storm sewer and ends up in a nearby river. Runoff is a major cause of nonpoint-source pollution. It is a big problem in cities because of all the hard surfaces, including streets and roofs. The amount of pollutants washed from a single city block might be small, but when you add up the miles and miles of pavement in a big city you get a big problem.
In rural areas, runoff can wash sediment from the roads in a logged-over forest tract. It can also carry acid from abandoned mines and flush pesticides and fertilizer from farm fields. All of this pollution is likely to wind up in streams, rivers, and lakes.
In the United States, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act have helped to limit both point-source and nonpoint-source pollution. Thanks to these two legislative initiatives, in effect for some 50 years now, America’s air and water are cleaner today than they were for most of the 20th century.
For the purposes of this grant, our major concern is nonpoint sources of pollution as found in rural areas as indicated above. And while it is too early in the process to define the specific elements of the plan, it is fairly certain that the effort will include significant reforestation projects since trees serve as natural filters for all contaminants in the ground. Additionally we will continue to focus on stream bank stabilization efforts, road stream crossing repair and the removal of obsolete dams.
As an indirect benefit, we typically hire local engineering firms and other contactors to do the heavy lifting. As a result, a significant amount of state funding will be invested in the local economy.
“Protect and Restore the Muskegon River”
For nearly twenty years, the Muskegon River Watershed Management Plan has provided the organization strategic direction in pursuit of our stated mission. Drafted in 2002 by a diverse team of scientists from the Annis Water Resource Institute at Grand Valley State University and funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), this comprehensive plan has imposed scientific discipline and a systematic approach to all of our efforts.
The results are satisfying to date. We have reforested 100’s of acres of riparian land, improved stream flow, stabilized shorelines and removed one obsolete dam.
However, the time always arrives when any strategic plan no matter how sound and well thought out would benefit from an update. The recent grant announcement by the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) makes that possible.
These grants are funded under Section 205(j) of the federal Clean Water Act and were offered via a request for proposals. Robert Sweet, EGLE Grants Specialist noted that the award decisions were challenging. “In response to our request for proposals we received 15 applications requesting about $1.6 million. I would like to commend all the applicants for their effort and congratulate the three organizations that were selected in this very competitive process.”
MRWA executive director Marty Holtgren (PHD) responded enthusiastically to the announcement. “We are honored to be selected by EGLE to carry out this critically important work. We fully intend to develop a comprehensive, science-based management plan that will serve as the foundation for future efforts to restore and protect the Muskegon River Watershed. As always, we are grateful for the support of dedicated organizations that share our vision. In this case, partners include Trout Unlimited, Grand Valley State University, and the Newaygo Conservation District.
Nichol DeMol Great Lakes Habitat Program Manager for Trout Unlimited commented, “Many tributaries discharge cold water into the main stem of the Muskegon River and provide a broad network of interconnecting habitats for coldwater species including trout. Trout Unlimited is eager to partner with the MRWA in updating the watershed management plan to identify potential issues that can alter these coldwater streams and plan for practices that protect and restore these areas.”
The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly is dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and sustainable use of the Muskegon River, the land it drains, and the life it supports.
Father-son duo help conservation officer rescue missing Muskegon woman lost in the woods
From our friends at MDNR:
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Jackie Miskovich may have been the first emergency responder to locate a missing 35-year-old Muskegon woman Thursday evening in Muskegon County.
But Miskovich credits two Ravenna men – Brett Postema, 25, and his father, Michael Postema, 50 – for the rescue.
The woman, whose name was not released, became lost after she went for a walk Tuesday night, fell down a hill and was unable to find her way out of the woods. She had been reported missing earlier in the day Thursday.
“Within 90 minutes of arriving on scene, Conservation Officer Miskovich, with the help of two local men, located this missing woman who spent two nights in the woods, experiencing hypothermia from rain and cold temperatures,” said Chief Gary Hagler, DNR Law Enforcement Division. “I’m happy she was rescued before the situation became worse. Thank you, Michael and Brett Postema – you went above and beyond to help. Your instincts and knowledge of the area helped save a woman’s life.”
Brett Postema had been walking to a hunting spot in the Muskegon State Game Area Thursday when he thought he heard someone cry, “help me.”
He eventually heard the faint cry again.
Postema called a friend, who could also hear the calls for help in the background.
After calling 911, he headed back to the road where he told his story to an officer. Postema left felt uneasy after reporting the incident and drove to his father’s house to explain what had happened.
“I don’t have a good feeling about it,” Brett told his father. “We need to go back out there. If this was my sister stuck in the woods, I’d want someone to go back for her.”
Meanwhile, at about 5:30 p.m., Miskovich had received the call and met other emergency responders on N. Hilton Park Road, located north of White Road.
She and Muskegon County Sheriff’s Deputy Ed Vanas searched the area. They yelled into the woods, but nobody called back to them.
The Postemas drove back to the game area and returned to the ridge along the swamp where Brett had originally heard the voice. After about 10 minutes of shouting, both men heard the woman cry for help.
They called 911. Brett began running back into the woods to meet the officers, while Michael, up to his chest in the swamp, attempted to reach the woman.
After receiving the 911 call, Miskovich ran into the woods, down a steep hill towards the marsh, where she encountered Michael. Using the woman’s voice to guide them, Miskovich and Postema walked about 500-600 feet into the thick marsh and found the woman at the base of a tree.
She was alert and displaying signs of hypothermia. The woman said she had been, “stranded for days,” hurt her ankle and was unable to find her way out of the woods.
Miskovich and Michael carried the woman through the marsh, to the base of the hill, where they met fire and EMS personnel who put the woman in a rescue basket. They pulled her up the hill to an all-terrain emergency vehicle that drove her the remaining quarter-mile out of the woods. ProMed Ambulance transported the woman to the hospital.
“If it weren’t for Brett trusting his instinct, going back into the woods and contacting 911 a second time, I don’t know if we would have been able to find her,” Miskovich said.
Agencies assisting included the Egelston Township Fire Department, Moorland Township Fire Department and Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. These officers undergo extensive search and rescue training to locate missing persons and have specialized equipment to navigate rural and difficult terrain.