Gerber Hospital providing free produce via the Veggie Van
FREMONT, Mich. – Spectrum Health Gerber Hospital, part of Corewell Health, is inviting families across Newaygo County to pick up a bag of free, healthy produce when the Veggie Van makes a stop at White Cloud Community Library, 1038 E. Wilcox Ave., from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23.
The goal of the Veggie Van program is to ensure fresh fruits and vegetables are available to people, especially to those who may otherwise have limited access to fresh produce. The bags of produce will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Veggie Van will make two additional appearances in Newaygo County from 2 to 4 p.m. on the following dates/locations:
In addition to providing fresh fruits and vegetables, children and adults alike can enjoy free fitness opportunities. Tamarac, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, will be on-site offering Zumba for children and adults on Aug. 23 and Oct. 18.
The Veggie Van is a mobile farmers market featuring regionally grown, top-quality fruit and vegetables, and is a joint project of Corewell Health and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids.
Why the three day wait for marriage licenses?
Well according to most sources we probed this is to allow time for couples to think things out and be certain they are making the right decision.
If you get to the point where you have proposed or been proposed to and made your way to the clerk’s office to sign up for a license one might think you had perhaps mulled the decision over a time or two.
But perhaps not.
In more than half of our states there’s no waiting period at all including Nevada and we wonder how many tied the knot halfway through a Vegas vacay and later wished they’d taken a bit of time to ponder the nuptials.
In Wisconsin it’s a 6 day wait since apparently folks from the Badger state have a bit more to ponder.
In Florida it’s 3 days but you can marry the same day if you have taken a state-sanctioned marriage preparation course within the last 12 months.
For those of us who may have struggled a bit academically this begs the question on whether it's necessary to pass the course.
“We're sorry Sir. Your fiance’ aced it but you fell quite a bit short so we’ve encouraged her to look for another candidate if she’s set on getting hitched today.”
Here are the recent applicants who have decided to embark on the wonderfully mysterious adventure known as marriage.
James Aishe, Newaygo & Kristina Wiseman, Newaygo
Carolyn Berry, South Haven & Brent Baker, Newaygo
Brian Duey, Grand Rapids & Natasha Beacher, Portsmouth England
Skye Nichols, Newaygo & Michael Peters, Coopersville
Kelsey Lentz Fremont & Randy Sheteron, Grant
Beth DeCheney, Hesperia & ALan Geno, Hesperia
“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”-Andre Maurois
and...Commission on Aging has market coupons available for seniors
By Ken DeLaat
There is nothing that says summertime quite so superbly as a stroll through a Michigan farm market. The visuals alone make for a pleasant experience with fruits and vegetables displaying a spray of color augmented by the occasional stand offering floral bouquets.
And here we are in prime time for our markets. The season has kicked into high gear with a wider variety of locally grown goodies provided by the most valued vendors who set up their tables for our viewing (and purchasing) pleasure.
We recently visited the Newaygo Market and met one of their newest members, Trippy Hippie Farms who venture down from their White Cloud location on Fridays then turn around and make an appearance at the Fremont Market on Saturdays. Tom Nolan and Lisa Renye have been farming in the area near the flowing well up in The Cloud for a couple of years now. We love their spirit, having plucked this gem from their facebook page today, “Join us at Newaygo Farmers Market tomorrow to win a prize if you guess Zeke the zucchini’s weight correctly!”
The next day in Fremont we struck up a conversation with Jaimie Price who had some seriously scrumptious baked goods on display. Having always enjoyed baking Ms. Price decided to take a stab at going public with her creations. If all goes well the goal would be a brick and mortar bakery and the opinion of the N3 World Headquarters staff is decidedly in favor of this goal because the world has far too few bakeries.
Check out the cupcakes at Great Bakes.
Grant, Newaygo and Fremont each put on weekly multi-vendor markets. Newaygo is often accompanied by a food truck and sometimes entertainment as well.
And here is a really cool thing:
At the Commission on Aging, there is a program running currently to provide seniors over 60 with $25 coupons to use at Farmers Markets. There are still coupons available throughout the month of August for those who qualify.
Grant Saturdays 9am-1pm
Newaygo Fridays 2-6pm
Fremont Saturdays 8am-1pm
Grant, Michigan – Lindsay Fisher, DDS, has joined Family Health Care as a general dentist at the Family Health Care clinic at 11 N. Maple Street in Grant.
Dr. Fisher received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan and completed a clinical internship at Family Health Care’s clinic in Cadillac. She provides comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages including preventative dental care, fillings, extractions, root canals, crowns and bridges, and full and partial dentures.
“I became a dentist because of my passion for service,” Dr. Fisher said. “Working in a rural health clinic allows me to provide care to underserved patients who may otherwise not have access to high-quality dental services.”
Dr. Fisher is originally from Southeast Michigan. When not at work she enjoys cooking, painting, and outdoor activities such as walking, running, and hiking.
“We are excited to have Dr. Fisher join our team of dentists in Grant,” said Janet Fronheiser, DMD, interim chief dental officer at Family Health Care. “She is mission-driven with a goal to restore healthy smiles for each patient.”
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (231) 834-9750.
Family Health Care hosting Kindergarten Readiness Clinics in August.
The clinics will include dental and vision screenings at no cost for children ages six and under. Kids’ games, activities, and giveaways will also be happening in the lobbies of each clinic.
The events will be held Thursday, August 10 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant and White Cloud clinics.
The Revised School Code requires that parents of children entering kindergarten present statements to school officials confirming they’ve received a vision screening at least once after age three and before initial school entry. Michigan law also gives children the opportunity to receive a dental assessment prior to starting school, called the Michigan Kindergarten Oroal Health Assessment Program.
For more information about kindergarten readiness, visit
or call (231) 689-7149.
Gerber Hospital receives top quality ranking from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Fremont, Mich., July 27, 2023 – Spectrum Health Gerber Hospital, part of Corewell Health, has received a five-star rating for the second year in a row from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for strong performance in key quality measures including mortality and readmission rates.
“Being in the top 15% of hospitals nationwide and receiving this designation again reflects our strong, continued commitment to providing exceptional care to our patients,” said Drew Dostal, president of Gerber Hospital. “I am incredibly proud of our team members who helped make this recognition possible.”
More than 4,650 hospitals across the country for 2023 were rated by CMS using a seven-step process, which ultimately aims to arm patients with information about how hospitals are performing when seeking care. Gerber Hospital was one of only 483 hospitals to receive a five-star rating.
CMS uses more than 45 measures that are based on five categories including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience as well as timely and effective care. Gerber Hospital improved performance in all five categories but particularly in lowering mortality rates and decreasing patient readmissions.
“Much of the improvement, specifically around how many times a patient is readmitted, stems from the dedicated work of our teams across departments who looked at ways to improve how we discharge patients and the planning around it,” said James Bonner, Corewell Health’s vice president of quality, safety and experience. “This includes ensuring follow-up appointments are established well in advance, helping patients access the medications they need after leaving the hospital, and completing a smooth handoff between hospital team members to care teams in the community.”
Bonner added that implementing more detailed documentation measures also was key, especially for patients with complex needs, which led to even better care and outcomes.
“The patient is at the center of all that we do, and we always want to make sure the patient and family are fully engaged with their health care providers and are knowledgeable about what they need do for their ongoing needs,” Bonner said.
Additional Corewell Health hospitals receiving a five-star rating include Blodgett and Butterworth Hospitals in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Zeeland Community Hospital in Zeeland, Michigan, which received five stars for the fifth time.
There is an old song by the group Firefall that goes,
“When there's so much trouble that you want to cry
When your world has crumbled and you don't know why
When your hopes are fading and they can't be found
Dreams have left you waiting friends have let you down
Well just remember I love you
And it'll be alright.”
Man, if it was only that easy.
Life can be pretty difficult at times. Knowing someone loves you in that ever exclusive spousal way can be a huge help, but it won’t make everything all right. And yet knowing you have a person in your life who can serve as a refuge from what can sometimes seem like a stressful outside world is immeasurably valuable. A partner in facing what day to day living can toss your way.
Whenever confronted with a sticky situation or confusing conundrum an ongoing mantra spoken by my lifetime spousal companion and myself has always been, “Well, we’ll figure it out”.
It’s simple and yet surprisingly reassuring.
As is knowing you’re in it together and… in it for the long run.
Here are the latest couples who have signed on to ‘figure it out’ together.
Kevin Hackworth, Newaygo & Sharon Behnke, Newaygo
Ric Zhart, Fremont & Lisa Reed, Newaygo
Daniel Van Avery, Newaygo & LaDonna Mitschele, Newaygo
Working Together to Bring Opportunities to Area 4-H Youth
From our friends at 4-H:
After months of planning, Newaygo County 4-H in partnership with Legends Ranch came together to host the first 4-H Day Camps at Legends Ranch, located in Bitely, on July 10, 11, and 12. Nearly 65 4-H youth, ages 5 – 19, from Lake and Newaygo Counties enjoyed fun-filled days of activities including fishing, archery, nature walks, fawn interactions, and leather stamping to name a few with the staff of Legends Ranch and 4-H volunteers. In addition, 4-H youth had the opportunity to tour the Wildlife Center at Legends Ranch, a 24,000 square foot facility, featuring an ever-growing collection of over 2,500 animal exhibits from all around the world. The center offers a one-of-a-kind experience to learn about the importance of wildlife and conservation.
Funding for 4-H Day Camp at Legends Ranch was made possible through a grant from the Gerber Foundation and a donation from Legends Ranch. To learn more about the Newaygo County 4-H program, contact Laurie Platte Breza, 4-H Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or by calling the MSU Extension office at 231-928-1056.
Forest Therapy Walk Thursday August 3
“Forest Therapy”, also known as Forest Bathing or Nature Immersion Therapy, is coming to Newaygo County on Thursday, August 3. This guided event will take place in a forested area between Croton and Newaygo from 1pm to about 4pm.
What is Forest Bathing? It is not an energetic hike and it is not a plant identification foray. It is based on a practice in Japan called “shinrin-yoku”. Shinrin means “forest” and yoku means “bath.” So shinrin-yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses.
Research shows what common sense, and personal experience, already tells us: being in nature is healthy. Walking, jogging, hiking, kayaking, fishing all have benefits from being in fresh air, away from our daily responsibilities and schedules.
Forest Bathing, however, provides another level of nature induced health. It helps us slow down our brain chatter, open our senses, and experience the forest in a quieter, more personal way. Through suggestions, or “invitations”, provided by a Certified Guide, one has the opportunity to access a deeper relaxed state, to notice nature’s details that we often pass by, and to blend into the green communities around us. Along the walk one may be inspired to journal or draw their experience, share with others in the circle, or just listen and be.
Forest Immersion can be the prescription needed for us in these busy times. According to current research by the Kaiser Foundation and others, the average American spends at least eight hours a day looking at electronic screens such as phones, tablets and computers; and then tries to relax by watching TV. Studies show that these levels of digital focus only makes us crabbier, more aggressive, more narcissistic, more distracted, and more depressed. Other studies have shown a correlation between excessive screen time and insulin resistance, altered brain chemistry, and a drag on mental energy and development.
The kind of nature therapy that Forest Bathing provides has been shown to improve cognition, relieve anxiety and depression, boost empathy (caring about others), and lower blood pressure. It can even increase certain “killer cells” in our immune system that fight infections and cancer.
But why should someone participate in a Forest Bath led by a Certified Guide? Like learning a new dance step or sport, having a teacher helps us learn the new tools needed in order to “take in” the Forest. Once we experience these unique ways of being in the woods, we can carry those new skills with us and use them anytime we need a break from our everyday world. With time and repetition we can reap the benefits of this free nature therapy: less anxiety, improved sleep, more creativity, and a better sense of balance in our life.
The August 3rd Forest Therapy Walk will be led by Certified Guide Karen Joy, who founded Nature Therapy of Michiana (www.naturetherapymi.com). The event will include a forest foraged tea time and a closing circle of shared experiences.
The Forest Therapy Walk is hosted by the Newaygo County Environmental Coalition (NCEC) and the West Michigan Burial Forest (MI Burial). NCEC’s mission is to be the Environmental Hub of Newaygo County and to protect our shared environment. MI Burial is working to establish a burial grounds sanctuary in Brooks Township, a place for eco-sustainable burials and green space for connecting more deeply with nature. Visit the host organizations: www.nc-ec.org and www.miburial.com. Follow both on Facebook and Instagram.
Registration is required, and a fee of $30 per person is requested. Space is limited for this small group event, so register soon from Eventbrite by clicking here: Forest Therapy Walk Registration. Or you can email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 231-519-3419. Deadline for registration is Monday July 31. Discounts on the requested registration fee may be possible, contact to inquire.
“Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.”- E.A. Bucchianeri
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? I know in retrospect it was likely just a crush, albeit a serious one, but it was the first time for that special kind of feeling for another person to make its way into your heart.
Sometimes that first love experience holds on and couples who meet in their teens go on to progress through the steps of a relationship and commit to a more permanent bond.
And while most times these initial stabs at romance didn’t last there was no questioning that the feeling itself would be a permanent fixture in the realm of much desired emotional assets.
Folk singer Tim Hardin wrote the song Reason to Believe a tune recorded many times , most notably being the Rod Stewart and Wilson Phillips versions. The chorus includes the line,
“Someone like you makes it hard to live without somebody else.”
Hardin speaks to the desire to experience that feeling again because… well… because it felt so good. Love is an amazing emotion and while not always the easiest, it is most certainly the finest.
These couples who are embarking on the incredible adventure known as marriage may have loved before or maybe this is their first one. Either way, we hope it will turn out to be their best one.
Jacob Hartger, Fremont & Nichole Thompson, Middleville
Anthony Amenta, Grant & Emily Smith, Grant
Lisa Hemmeke, White Cloud & Bill Schaefer, White Cloud
Beverly Ansorge, Fremont & Joshua Castillo, Hesperia
Livia Maat, Fremont & Jared Lowe, Wyoming, Ohio
Crystal Jaries, Grant & Calvin Ingell, Grant