To celebrate Tamarac’s 15th birthday, the health and wellness center is featuring a two-week series of events culminating with a special birthday celebration at Tamarac on Saturday, Dec. 17, from 8 to 11 a.m. All events and specials are for the entire community to take part in and free of charge.
Amanda Irwin, manager, has been with Tamarac since its inception in 2007. Over the years she has seen the impact the center has on its members and the community.
“We are so excited to share our 15th birthday with the community and the ways in which we help our members and community live healthy, active lifestyles,” said Irwin. “We look forward to many more years of continuing to help our community achieve their health and wellness goals and encourage everyone to check out the schedule of events happening through Dec. 17. There’s truly something for everyone.”
During the special birthday celebration on Dec. 17, Tamarac will have information booths, presentations and special events held by industry experts in health, fitness, rehabilitation and nutrition. For those who wish to become a member of Tamarac, the enrollment fee is reduced to $15 and runs throughout December and January. In addition, all who attend can receive a 15% discount on all café purchases and special discounts at the pro shop.
All events are held at Tamarac (1401 W. Main St.), and registration is required for some events as space is limited. Please join Tamarac’s Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/TamaracWellness) to view the full listing of events and register.
Tamarac is a member of Corewell Health Gerber Hospital. Whether you’re looking for a place to work out, relax in the spa, attend a fitness class, swim in a heated pool, improve your knowledge on various health topics or just meet new people while enjoying food at our café, Tamarac has something for everyone.
Opportunities abound at Newaygo County
We are less than a month from a new year, a time when many of us look to the turning of the calendar as an opportunity to make some changes in our lives.
And what better time to take a look at what we might want to pursue when it comes to how we earn our money?
Newaygo County not only pays well but also provides some seriously fine benefits to its employees while offering room for professional growth and advancement.
Ready to make a change?
Ever thought about Law Enforcement? Well, it just happens that there is an opening in two areas of the Sheriff’s Office.
As a Deputy you will patrol assigned areas, investigate, make arrests, direct and control traffic, write violation citations, prepare reports, appear in court, serve civil process, and provide services and assistance to the public. In addition, the selected candidate could also be subject to assignments such as School Resource, Drug Enforcement, and Traffic Enforcement Deputy.
And you take your cruiser home between shifts.
More of an inside person?
How about serving as a Corrections Officer? Challenging work to be sure but the right person will demonstrate integrity and honesty, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and the ability to de-escalate conflict and volatile situations.
Sound like you?
On-the-job training will be available.
Interested in the legal system but maybe not in a cruiser or helping the folks behind bars?
Circuit Court is searching for the right candidate to serve as an Enforcement Officer.
What is this you say?
Well, it involves working in a legal office setting, processing confidential court matters and meeting with clients and attorneys to collect information and resolve issues.
If you have excellent communication skills, a good eye for attention to detail, possess organizational skills, and are comfortable with accounting and working with numbers, this might be the career you’ve been waiting for.
Interested in helping our elders? The Commission on Aging has a bundle of full and part time positions ranging from drivers to meal prep to homemakers. A truly great place to earn some cash while doing your part to help serve our older citizens.
Yes, we are on the cusp of a New Year. A year that promises opportunities for change and growth in many areas. If it seems like time to head into another direction when it comes to employment, Newaygo County just might be your ticket to career fulfillment.
So, if you get seized by a Carpe Diem moment and want a bit more info on the above positions just visit:
And see if anything piques your interest.
Record Breaking Number of Newaygo County Students Explore Careers in Manufacturing
The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership (NCEDP) announced today, the culmination of their 2022 Discover Manufacturing initiative.
Discover Manufacturing, part of the national MFG DAY initiative, is a coordinated, regional effort designed to celebrate manufacturing, address common misconceptions, and highlight local career opportunities for students. 2022 marks the sixth year of Discover Manufacturing in Newaygo County, and NCEDP leadership is excited to share the record breaking results. Over 580 students from six schools in Newaygo County took part in tours of local manufacturers.
Julie Burrell, NECDP Economic Development Director shared “The work we’ve put in over the past several years truly paid off in 2022. Educators and employers are trusting us to provide a thoughtful framework to highlight solutions for issues that both sides face in regard to talent attraction and career advancement after graduation”.
In collaboration with regional economic development organizations, The Right Place facilitated grant funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership received $3,076, which was used to cover transportation costs and purchase incentive items for students.
Grant Middle and High Schools and Newaygo Middle School participated for the first time in 2022. Newaygo County Career Tech Center, Hesperia Middle School and White Cloud Junior High School continued their long-standing participation.
When asked why participation has been a priority for White Cloud Junior High School, Counselor Melissa Bedell said “We want to provide opportunities for our students to explore careers in our community. It is so great to see the different career pathway options such as marketing and technology within the manufacturing businesses represented on the tours”.
Discover Manufacturing provides an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between employers and educators, addressing the skilled labor shortage and improving the confidence in the local talent pipeline. Riveridge Cider, G-M Wood Products, Quality Finishing Systems, HarbisonWalker International, the Fremont Generate Digester and Magna Mirrors all committed to hosting tours this year.
“Coming from a rural community, it may be difficult to imagine your town playing a role on a national scale,” said Trish Taylor, Riveridge Cider marketing manager. “By doing Discover Manufacturing tours with students, we were able to show them all the apple trees they see make us unique and those apples end up in cider that goes to all 50 states. Newaygo County may be small but it is a big deal in Michigan agriculture!”
Going beyond a simple tour, several employers utilized real life stories to convey the magnitude of opportunities that exist. Jeremiah Ebenstein, Human Resources Manager at G-M Wood Products, shared his experience of starting out in production and working his way up to management. Tyler Huntley, Plant Manager, highlighted several facets of the great work environment at G-M Wood Products, adding “Plus, we have cool robots!”
G-M Wood Products Vice President Kevin Karrip went on to say “G-M Wood Products was very excited to participate in Discover Manufacturing. Our hope in hosting these young people at our facilities was to show them that there is a bright and exciting future right here in Newaygo County. Manufacturing offers many different opportunities in trades and technologies.”
Discover Manufacturing is conducted annually in October and November. To learn more, contact Julie Burrell at firstname.lastname@example.org
It may have taken 39 years for justice to find its way to Roy Snell, but on Wednesday a jury found him guilty of murder. In January he will receive his long overdue sentencing for the crime.
Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney, Worth Stay, announced that Roy Lesando Snell, of Minneapolis, was found guilty on November 16, 2022 after a nearly three week jury trial regarding the August 10, 1983 disappearance of Rick Atwood.
Snell was found guilty of Homicide Felony Murder, in violation of MCL 750.316, and Weapons - Felony Firearm, in violation of MCL 750.227b. Felony Murder carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole. Felony firearm carries a penalty of two years consecutively and preceding any term of imprisonment for the underlying felony. The case was a joint prosecution of the Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney and Michigan Attorney General's Office..
Sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2023 in the Newaygo County Circuit Court, White Cloud, Michigan.
As Prosecutor Stay explained: "I am heartened that the family of Rick Atwood may begin to find some closure in this verdict. I thank the jury for their service during this lengthy trial.
"This result would not have been possible without the efforts of many individuals. I thank the cold case team, which was comprised of members of the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department and Michigan State Police. I would particularly like to highlight the tireless work of retired Detective Scott Rios. Detective Rios never gave up on this case and worked past his retirement to ensure every fact and circumstance was investigated and able to be presented to a jury."
Prosecutor Stay continued: "I would also like to thank First Assistant Attorney General William Rollstin and Assistant Attorney General Dan Gunderson for the skill and dedication that they brought to this case. Their work, in conjunction with the resources of Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's office, ensured that Rick Atwood was not forgotten."
Photos and story by Ken DeLaat, N3 News
The monthly meeting of the Grant School Board was anticipated with a bit of apprehension as the controversy over a mural expanded into a call from a few folks on social media to close the school's Teen Health Center. The issue received national attention a month ago when a group of parents objected to a painting done by a Grant student that graces a wall of the Health Center. They had issues with the mural’s depictions of gay and trans youth as well as some symbols they felt were promoting Satanism.
Confusion over the services provided by the Health Center seemed to be at the core of the concern. Add to this the dynamics of the last board meeting in October that devolved into a somewhat chaotic session where blaming and finger pointing took center stage and there were all the elements in place for another volatile meeting.
But it didn't happen.
There were, of course, dissenting points of view and speakers who expressed those views were passionate about their opinions but overall an air of civility reigned on this evening.
Grant Superintendent Brett Zuver set the table for the public comment section when he spoke to the challenges the past month has brought to the school as well as the community.
“We are better than this,” he said as he encouraged acceptance and tolerance. Zuver talked about the positive things happening at the school and finished with, “We are how we treat each other.”
After the board completed the business portion of the meeting attendees began to line up to speak. Some called out the board for allowing the events at the previous meeting when they felt mural artist 16 year old Evelyn Gonzales had been harassed and verbally abused. Some spoke to bullying being an ongoing problem at the school. Those opposed to the mural felt it was divisive and one speaker asked, “What about the rights of straight students?”
Those who spoke supporting the work of the Health Center numbered around twice as many as those who questioned the mural and the Health Center using words such as ‘lifesaving’ and ‘a safe place’.
Dr. Sarah Weers, Family Health Care’s Medical Director of the school-based health centers provided information on the parameters of their services dispelling the myths such as the distribution of birth control, referrals for abortions and gender change therapy and assured that Proposal 3’s passing does not change the current services of the Teen Center.
Ms.Gonzales, the artist whose work sparked the kerfuffle spoke toward the end of public comment. Obviously a bit nervous she nonetheless spoke a bit about her work and agreed to have one of the game symbols she used that looked like a demon removed if it caused problems. She added “I don’t see a problem with the rest of it. I think it has a good message.”
Gonzales received the loudest applause on a night where applause came frequently.
And despite the obvious differing views of those gathered at the meeting they each expressed their opinion in a manner that allowed for opposition without malice or derision. It felt like a step in the right direction for a school and community tired of being in the spotlight not for academic or athletic achievement but for controversy and divisiveness.
The meeting didn’t heal all the wounds the last month has inflicted in this latest front in the seemingly rampant culture wars. The social media sites in the area began heating up soon after the meeting was over.But there was what appeared to be a smidge or two of polite conversation, a dollop of deference and a smattering of sensibility at Monday’s meeting.
And perhaps those ingredients can instill a little hope for growth, tolerance and maybe even a little more trust.
The local Teen Health Centers at White Cloud and Grant have long been game changers in improving the physical, emotional and mental health of the students who access their services. They will likely continue to make a difference in the lives of area students long after the controversy over a mural has died down.
And now let the campaigning for 2024 begin...
But seriously, we hope to see the signs coming down and other than the usual TV pundits speculations (because there is truly only so much real news out there and 24/7 networks that obsess about politics need filler) maybe hear less about the next go-round of voting.
Because this one felt exhausting.
And we need a little time here.
The incumbents holding the top three offices in the state were re-elected, all three proposals won handily, and it appears that for the first time in memory the GOP would not be the majority in the House and Senate in Lansing.
Locally, as expected, Republican candidates performed well, doubling up most of their Democratic rivals in county polling. The GOP hung onto the State House seat Scott VanSingel has held the past 6 years and redistricting brought us a new State Senator.
The most competitive races locally saw Lola Harmon Ramsey and Eric A, Johnson winning Fremont City Council seats, while the Newaygo School Board will see a new member in Sara Smith who was elected along with incumbents Vince Grodus and Reid Sherwood.
Grant School Board also returned a pair of incumbents in Neil Geers and Sabrina Veltkamp.
The County Board of Commissioners remains the same with only one member of the board facing competition from a Democratic challenger.
And as far as those who made voting easy by just punching a straight party ticket, 9,476 GOPers and 3,803 Dems went all in for their parties.
Fremont City Council
Lola Harmon Ramsey 790
Eric A Johnson 780
Dawn Finch 658
Mike Dennis 523
Grant School Board 6 year term
Sabrina Veltkamp 1978
Neil Geers 1380
Ken Thorne 957
Total Write Ins 980
Grant School Board Partial Term
Richard Vance 1139
Gerald Evans 1040
Sara Smith 2012
Vince Grodus 1589
Nicholas Nelson 1516
Jeff Pols 934
Paul Herbert 659
Reid Sherwood 1908
Rick Vincent 1792
Newaygo County State Total
Yes 10,692 2,834,141
No 11,390 1,429,825
Yes 9,059 2,579,340
No 13,142 1,721,550
Yes 8,125 2,477,707
No 14,273 1,895,577
Hilliard 6,386 115,731
Moolenaar 15.487 215,096
Whitmer 7,415 2,425,440
Dixon 14,875 1,956,780
Nessel 7,295 2,327,016
DePerno 14,442 1,948,525
Sec’y of State
Benson 7,905 2,462,621
Karamo 14,089 1,848,906
Bignell 6,368 36,743
Outman 15,449 76,700
Siggins 6,508 13,099
Fox 15,718 27,566
See all Newaygo County results at:
Story and photos by Tara Hefferan
Newaygo Marching Band is a small-town band with a big-time sound that was on full display at the Michigan Competing Band Association’s (MCBA) State Championship at Ford Field in Detroit on Saturday, November 5. Newaygo’s show “Take Shape” is a soaring presentation of music and movement that brings the audience on an emotional journey, not only because of the skillful performance but also because it celebrates the heart of the performers and community.
Newaygo’s Band program has a legacy of achievement, regularly earning a spot in the state competition. This year, Newaygo earned 5th place in the Flight V competition. Band Director Branden Listh was pleased with this achievement, saying “Yesterday's performance was great. The kids put their all in it, and I couldn't be more proud of what they have accomplished. Flight 5 is one of the most competitive flights in MCBA, and Newaygo did great.”
Competition day was long, beginning with rehearsals in Newaygo at 9:00 AM and arriving in Detroit around 6:30 PM. The journey from parking lot to performance field was an adventure, as wind and rain whipped through the “big city” streets. To enter the stadium, students passed multiple security checkpoints, complete with metal detectors and instrument inspections, before they were admitted to the famous “tunnel.” The tunnel is a steep and slippery incline that directly connects the street to the playing field. Moving heavy equipment and props through the tunnel is a challenge, taxing muscles and stamina for performers and volunteers alike.
Yet, access to these “backstage” areas associated with the NFL games played at Ford Field communicated the seriousness of the moment—this was the big show, the one they had prepared for all season. When it was showtime, the band left the dimness of the tunnel to move under the blazing lights of the stadium. The scene was stunning, with the bright green of the field meeting the vibrant blue of the stands. During setup, as volunteers and staff assembled the “stage,” Newaygo fans in the stands cheered loudly, both for the band as a whole and for individual performers. As Mr. Listh noted, “Our parents really make everything happen.”
Then, the Newaygo Marching Band gave the performance it has worked toward all season. It was theatric, with bold marching formations that fluidly moved throughout the field. It was musical, with difficult songs played with equal parts skill and heart. It was beautiful, with the color guard gracefully “taking shape” with neon costumes and props. Such moments bring band and audience into synchronicity, creating a shared experience that is rich in meaning and emotion. Newaygo’s performance was a beautiful end to another successful marching season.
Reflecting on the season, Mr. Listh said, “My favorite memory from this season was seeing the students so excited when introducing new music or new drill. The students, every time, would be ready to go at it the moment after I would introduce it. As the season went on, it was such a pleasure to hear from the community and individuals of how well the band was performing. I had, at our last football game, one individual that specifically searched me out after the game to say how well the students were playing.”
With marching season over, the Band now turns its attention to Jazz Band, which will perform at the Newaygo Christmas Walk on December 2nd. Symphonic Band season also begins this week, with Newaygo High School and Middle School Bands giving performances on December 14th.
Talent, heart, hard work, and community help define Newaygo’s Band programs. Mr. Listh said, “We would like to thank everyone in the community for their support this season. We had a lot of sponsors this year that made this possible, and we would like to thank them for their support.” In turn, we would like to thank Newaygo Bands for giving the gift of music to our community and to congratulate them on a fantastic marching season.
Regional Recreations Pass will allow entrance to the Newaygo County and Mecosta County Park Systems
Newaygo and Mecosta County, MI: The Newaygo County Parks and Recreation Commission and Mecosta County Park Commission are joining forces to provide a Regional Recreation Pass in 2023 to give Park Visitors a way to enjoy both Park systems while saving $10. Each organization offers a $35 annual vehicle pass that gets visitors into their respective parks, but in 2023 those who want access to both park systems will have the option to buy one pass for $60.
Newaygo and Mecosta County Park Commissions have worked closely for the past 5+ years developing Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam, a 40+ mile natural-surface multi-use trail system around Hardy Pond. This has increased demand by visitors who want to visit parks and trailheads operated by both entities.
“Since starting the Dragon Project, there have been many requests for a joint pass allowing access into multiple trailheads, working together we found it best to showcase both park systems and create a pass that gets people into all of our parks, not just those around the Dragon Trail and Hardy Pond,” said Newaygo County Parks Director Nick Smith.
The Regional Recreation Pass will provide visitors access to five Mecosta County Parks and seven Newaygo County Parks, two of which in each county are official trailheads for the Dragon Trail. “Both of our park systems offer a wide variety of amenities such as boat launches, beaches, trails, playgrounds, campgrounds, day-use areas, and additional opportunities. We hope that visitors who have traditionally frequented just one park system will consider progressing to a regional pass to evaluate what the neighboring park system can add to their recreational experience.” Said Jeff Abel, Mecosta County Parks Superintendent.
Both Park Commissions offer various outdoor recreational opportunities, many of which are along the Muskegon River, including Hardy Pond. Campers, boaters, trail users, and visitors can still purchase a traditional annual vehicle permit from either county or invest in the new regional recreation pass and expand their recreational options while saving money.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, both County Park systems have seen an influx of visitors to the Parks, which has increased the use of their recreational facilities. Both agencies are self-funded, paying for park operations and improvement through the sale of vehicle permits and campsites; they hope that teaming up will increase revenue. “We are unique agencies since we are self-funded. Most Park and Rec agencies around the state rely on tax dollars to operate, whereas we rely on sales to operate and improve. We hope this will increase sales to continue improving our park facilities and offerings for our park customers and residents.” Said, Director Smith.
Starting in late December 2022, the 2023 Regional Recreation Passes will go on sale. At that time, park visitors can buy the pass over the phone or in person at each Park Administrative Office or through one of the many self-registration stations throughout both park systems. Please follow Mecosta County Parks and Newaygo County Parks on Facebook to learn when Regional Recreation Pass sales start. When the campgrounds open for the season, Regional Recreation Passes can also be purchased at campground offices.
ABOUT The Regional Recreation Pass
The Newaygo/Mecosta Regional Recreation Pass is an annual motor vehicle permit allowing access to all parks and properties owned or operated by the Mecosta and Newaygo County Park Commissions. Vehicle passes are required to enter parks in both Counties as these organizations rely on vehicle passes and other sales for their parks' operation, maintenance, and improvement. Newaygo County Parks can be reached at 231.689.7340, and Mecosta County Parks can be reached at 231.832.3246.
From our friends at MDOT:
Lane closures for road work are scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on M-37 at Croton Drive/M-82 (Curve Street).
The work is weather dependent.
Newaygo County PAT Receives National Recognition
Newaygo County Parents as Teachers has earned a prestigious endorsement from Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., (PATNC) as a Blue-Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top-performing home visiting affiliates within Parents as Teachers’ international network.
The official designation was made October 24, 2022. Being named a Blue-Ribbon Affiliate affirms that Newaygo County Parents as Teachers is a high-quality member of the home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model with fidelity. Families in the community are positively impacted by the services delivered by this program. The program includes home visits, group connections, child screening, and connections to community resources. It equips parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school.
“To earn the Blue-Ribbon Endorsement, we underwent a rigorous 15-month quality endorsement and improvement process, self-study and review from the National Center. The process confirms that we are meeting Parents as Teachers’ standards of fidelity and quality,” said Karen Clark, supervisor of the Parents as Teachers program. “Blue-Ribbon Affiliates are exemplary programs, delivering the highest quality services to children and families.”
The Newaygo County team will be recognized in October 2023 at the International Parents as Teachers Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Newaygo County Parents as Teachers is overseen by NC RESA and funded by grants through the Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Michigan Department of Education.
Parents as Teachers (PAT) builds strong communities, thriving families, and children that are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Our home visiting model is a proven and effective program that shows:
• Children’s developmental delays and health problems are detected early.
• Children enter kindergarten ready to learn, and the achievement gap is narrowed.
• Children achieve school success into the elementary grades.
• Parents improve their parenting knowledge and skills.
• Parents are more involved in their children’s schooling.
• Families are more likely to promote children’s language and literacy.
• It prevents child abuse and neglect.
Newaygo County Parents as Teachers has four experienced parent educators that serve approximately 100 families (prenatal – kindergarten) through monthly home visits. Each personal visit includes a focus on parent-child interaction, development centered parenting, and family well-being. For more information, or to enroll in the program, please call 231-652-3843.
Fraudsters Using Fake Letters in Collections Scam
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan taxpayers with past-due tax debts should be aware of an aggressive scam making the rounds through the U.S. Postal Service, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury (Treasury).
In the scheme, taxpayers receive a letter about an overdue tax bill that requests individuals to immediately contact a toll-free number to resolve an outstanding state tax debt. The letter aggressively threatens to seize a taxpayer’s property — including bank accounts, wages, business assets, cars, real estate, refunds and cash — if the debt is not settled.
“We recently received reports about taxpayers receiving these fake letters in the mail,” said Deputy State Treasurer Glenn White, who oversees Treasury’s Revenue Services programs. “Taxpayers have rights. If you have questions about an outstanding state tax debt, please contact us through a verified number so we can talk about options.”
The piece of correspondence appears credible to the taxpayer because it uses specific personal facts pulled directly from publicly available information. The scammer’s letter attempts to lure the taxpayer into a situation where they could make a payment to a criminal.
The state Treasury Department corresponds with taxpayers through official letters that use state of Michigan letterhead that embody both the names of the governor and state treasurer. These official letters are sent through the U.S. Postal Service, provide several options to resolve an outstanding debt and outline taxpayer rights.
Taxpayers who receive a letter from a scammer or have questions about their state debts should call Treasury’s Collections Service Center at 517-636-5265. A customer service representative can log the scam, verify outstanding state debts and provide flexible payment options.
Departments Recognized for Achieving National Training Goals
Newaygo County, MI. – On Tuesday, October 19, 2022 six public safety departments from across Newaygo County were recognized for achieving one hundred percent compliance with training goals set by the National Incident Management System.
Fremont Police Department, Fremont Fire Department, Newaygo Fire Department, Grant Police Department, White Cloud Police Department, and Newaygo County Central Dispatch were recognized by the Newaygo County Local Emergency Planning Team for achieving a training goal very difficult to do – obtaining one hundred percent compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) training requirements.
Established in 2003, as a result of the horrific incidents which took place on September 11, 2001, the National Incident Management System is a comprehensive, national approach to incident management for all emergencies regardless of size, location, or complexity. NIMS is applicable to any organization that is involved in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from an emergency. It provides a common standard, based on best practices, enabling a wide variety of organizations to effectively work together to manage an incident.
Newaygo County Emergency Services is charged with promoting and tracking NIMS compliancy throughout Newaygo County. On an annual basis, Newaygo County Emergency Services submits a compliancy report to the Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. In order to achieve and maintain compliancy, each agency is required to adopt NIMS via resolution, have at least 75% of staff trained to the appropriate level based on their position and responsibilities, and include NIMS in plans, policies, procedures, and guidelines.
There are two levels of training requirements under the National Incident Management System, basic training and supervisor training. All personnel involved in incident management are required to meet basic training requirements. These requirements include three training courses IS-700: An introduction to the National Incident Management System, IS-100: Introduction to the Incident Command System (ICS), and IS-200:Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response. In total these courses are 10 hours in length. Any personnel in supervisory roles and leadership positions are also required to take an additional 43 hours of advanced training. These requirements include three additional training courses, IS-800: National Response Framework, an introduction, ICS-300: Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents, and ICS-400: Advanced ICS for Complex Incidents.
“The six departments recognized by the Local Emergency Planning Team were recognized for their dedication to excellence and commitment to the communities they serve,” stated Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins. “There are a vast number of standards and requirements public safety agencies are required to maintain. During a time when these agencies are struggling to hire and retain personnel, their ability to achieve one hundred percent compliancy with this requirement is truly remarkable.”
NIMS compliancy is a community-wide effort. All public safety departments within Newaygo County strive annually to maintain seventy five percent compliance. The Emergency Services Department would like to thank all the jurisdictions and agencies who have worked together and taken the time to host training, pass a NIMS resolution, and implement the NIMS. By working together, we will help to ensure the safety and security of Newaygo County and all those in which we serve.
Business Resource Events Coming To Newaygo County
WHITE CLOUD, MICH- This week, the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership (NCEDP) announced the launch of a new lunch and learn series beginning Wednesday, October 26th.
The monthly series is scheduled to run through May of 2023 and will highlight various support opportunities that local businesses can take advantage of. Topics will vary each month, focusing on resources that support talent attraction & retention, training grants & resources, small business support and increasing sales channels. Locations for the events will rotate around Newaygo County and include a boxed lunch. Seating will be limited, in order to ensure the attendees are able to fully capitalize on the resource.
“The amount of support available can be overwhelming, and our hope with this series is to hone in on specific resources and tailor the information to Newaygo County employers,” said Julie Burrell, Economic Development Director for NCEDP. “Our hope is, this format will allow for additional businesses to take advantage of the resources available to them.”
October’s event, held at the Newaygo Michigan Works offices will feature Kelsey Rhoda, Program Director from the Muskegon Area Procurement and Technical Assistance Center. She shared “government contracting can be an intimidating topic of discussion. The PTAC program is designed to assist businesses in understanding how to work with the government, and show businesses it can be done and built into their business plan.” Kelsey will break down how businesses can position themselves to win government contracts, in addition to assisting business leaders with obtaining certifications like woman or veteran owned.
This series will occur on the fourth Wednesday of each month in October and November 2022 and kick off again in January through May 2023.
To register for this or subsequent events, contact Julie Burrell at email@example.com or visit https://www.newaygocountymi.gov/economic-development/news/.
About The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership.
The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, powered by The Right Place, is an advisory board under the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners and is responsible for oversight and leadership of economic development in Newaygo County.
Gathering honors three who lead
On Wednesday October 12, over 100 folks from throughout the county witnessed three awards given to local women who have excelled in their leadership roles.
The event drew double the attendance from last year according to Rachel Porter of the River Country Chamber. Among the presenters were Karen Baird of the Fremont Chamber, Julie Burrell of The Right Place and recipient of the first award given last fall, and Shelley Kasprzycki, President and CEO of the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Keynote Speaker for the luncheon was Keleigh Grim, CEO of Haven Design Build.
While there were many fine choices among the 14 nominees, Nicole Klomp was the recipient of the Emerging Leader award, Lola Harmon Ramsey took home the Community Leader award and Tara Nelson was chosen as Overall Woman in Business.
Klomp who collaborated with the Newaygo Police Department to develop the position of Police Social Worker, had colleagues from the NPD as well as city leaders on hand to support her including mayor Ed Fedell and Police Chief Georgia Andres.
“While humbled to receive the award I helped develop this position not for the recognition but because of what I saw as a need throughout the community.”
Harmon-Ramsey exemplifies the role of community leader. A successful businesswoman, Ms. H-R is also on the board of the Fremont Area Community Foundation with a seat on the Executive Committee as well as serving on the Fremont City Council.
“With so many great candidates it is truly an honor to be recognized. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the work being done by the Foundation and the city of Fremont.”
Nelson, Executive Director of the NC Prevention of Child Abuse had a huge hand in helping create the facility that hosted the event. The programming of PCA reaches youth throughout our area with efforts aimed at protecting our most valuable resource, our children.
“Thanks to the River Country Chamber for hosting a day centered around the accomplishments of women. It’s an honor to be on a team with empowering women who make me want to be better every day.”
Kudos to the River Country Chamber, the Fremont Chamber, the Newaygo Economic Development Partners and the Fremont Foundation for this celebratory collaboration aimed at recognizing the vision and drive of these women who have inherited the mantle of leadership from those who came before.
Their predecessors who blazed the trail through determination and an unwillingness to be silenced gave birth to the impressive assembly that came together at this event.
And for that, they should be proud.
Pinched poachers face fines; Families score some salmon
An angler’s tip helped Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers recover more than 460 pounds of illegally taken salmon from an out-of-state fishing group on the Manistee River this week. The group went away with far less than they caught, while the officers were able to safely donate the poached fish to local families in Manistee County.
“There is a large amount of coho and Chinook salmon running the local rivers this time of year, attracting anglers from across the country to be a part of one of Michigan’s finest fishing adventures,” said the DNR’s Sgt. Grant Emery. “While we’ve seen a decrease in illegal fishing activity over the years, unfortunately, we still run into illegal and unconventional methods.”
Conservation Officers Josiah Killingbeck, who patrols Lake County, and Scott MacNeill, who patrols Manistee County, were conducting a fish patrol Tuesday along the Manistee River, near the Tippy Dam in Dickson Township when an angler approached and informed them about a group downriver using illegal methods and equipment to take fish. The officers located and observed the group, confirming the tip.
When Killingbeck and MacNeill contacted the group, several of them attempted to break off their fishing lines so the officers wouldn't see the illegal fishing gear they were using. Officers interviewed the group and determined that the anglers, who had traveled from Colorado, did not have valid fishing licenses, were using illegal tackle and possessed 17 salmon taken by an illegal method.
The group willingly admitted their illegal activity and led Killingbeck and MacNeill back to their vehicles in the parking lot, where they had an additional 40-50 fish in coolers – some of the fish had already been filleted.
The group, if properly licensed, legally would have been allowed to possess 30 fish total; the total amount of illegal fish in the group’s possession weighed 463 pounds.
“It’s a shame that this group invested so much time and money to travel all the way to Michigan only to illegally take these salmon, a valuable, public natural resource,” Emery said. “We are grateful for the angler who approached Killingbeck and MacNeill, which allowed them to recover the fish with enough time to safely donate to local families in need.”
The individuals received citations for using illegal methods to take an over limit of salmon and fishing without a fishing license. Combined, they face more than $4,630 in restitution and additional costs.
They have until Oct. 21 to contact the 85th District Court in Manistee County for arraignment. The DNR is not releasing names prior to arraignment.
Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement 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. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.
Last February Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health came together to form a new health care system. As of this week that new system officially has a name.
The organization sent out a press release Tuesday announcing the change.
“At our core, we are here to help people be well so they can live their healthiest life possible,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Corewell Health. “We recognize the amazing outcomes and history from Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. Now together, known as Corewell Health, we move forward unified, focused on health and wellness for all. The name selection is especially inspiring as it was influenced by thousands of ideas from our team members who put health and wellness at the core of everything we do.”
The 14 hospitals across West Michigan that have been under the Spectrum umbrella will also undergo name changes as our local facility in Fremont has now become Corewell Health Gerber Hospital.
Along with the name change a new logo has been unveiled blending in the existing colors used by the two organizations along with Priority Health
“The Corewell Health logo reflects the increasingly synergistic relationship between health care and health coverage, and our ongoing commitment to continuously improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Julie Fream, Chair, Corewell Health System Board of Directors.
A planned rollout of the new name that includes signage will begin soon and be phased over the next two years.
Women Leadership Luncheon Coming Wednesday
Last year while on the staff of River Country Chamber Kamille Massey had an idea for an event that would shine a spotlight on the number of women in our community who are part of the driving force for positive change. The Influential Women in Business Luncheon received rave reviews and while Ms. Massey has moved on to other opportunities the event is getting the first of what is hoped are many encores.
Sponsored by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, ChoiceOne Bank, Edward Jones The Scott Swinehart Agency, and LIsa Lightfoot Realtor at Coldwell Banker Schmidt, the Second Annual Luncheon focuses on Women in Leadership and will be held this Wednesday, October 12th at the Center for Hope and Healing in White Cloud.
Fourteen local women have been nominated and two will be named winners in the categories of Community Leader and Emerging Leader.
But each of the 14 on the nominated list are winners as they help shape the future of our county.
“It is exciting to celebrate leaders who do so much for the community,” said Shelly Kasprzycki, President and CEO of the Fremont Area Community Foundation. “There are so many women leaders in Newaygo County that elevate our collective success.”
Last year Julie Burrell of The Right Place was selected for the honor and spoke about what the award meant to her.
“As I began my career in more urban counties to our south, I always admired the women who were fortunate enough to be included in the leadership circles and truly admired those recognized for their work through these types of events. Returning home to Newaygo County, I always hoped we’d have a chance to lift up the amazing women who have such impactful roles in our communities, and now we have this amazing opportunity! The Women in Leadership event has been immensely impactful for me, as its inaugural award recipient of ‘most influential’, and I am honored to be a part of the event going forward to recognize and celebrate so many more women.”
Want to attend? Details can be found in the link below.
“Kamille had a vision for this,” said Rachael Porter, RCC Community Relations. “We are hoping our collaboration with Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Newaygo Economic Development Partners will do it justice.”
And the nominees are:
AMY STOCKWELL, WHITE CLOUD LIBRARY DIRECTOR
APRIL STORMS, WHITE CLOUD CITY MANAGER
DARCIE WITTE, FIFTH THIRD BANK, PERSONAL BANKER
DIANE SCHINDLBECK, SCHINDY'S AT DIAMOND LAKE, CEO
JALISA DANHOF, CAMP NEWAYGO DIRECTOR
JENIFER FORT, VICE PRESIDENT & HEAD OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, NEWAYGO GHOSTBUSTERS
KELLY WAWSCZYK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MECOSTA COUNTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
LISA LIGHTFOOT, REALTOR AT COLDWELL BANKER SCHMIDT
LOLA HARMON-RAMSEY, DIRECTOR OF ADVOCACY & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, AMERICAN CLASSIC
MANDA HAMPLE, NCRESA, COSMETOLOGY INSTRUCTOR
MARY RANGEL, DHD#10, WIC TECH
MELISSA MILLER, NCRESA SUPERVISOR OF EARLY COLLEGE & STUDENT SUCCESS SERVICES
NICOLE KLOMP, NEWAYGO POLICE DPT SOCIAL WORKER
TARA NELSON, NCPCA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Well, that is if you’re qualified to fill one of the positions currently open at one of our area’s top employers.
Got an accounting or finance background and looking to be part of a dynamic team assisting in the budgeting and accounting aspects of our county government? Newaygo County Administration has a spot for you. The position of Deputy Finance Director could be the right fit for an experienced numbers person who enjoys working in a team setting.
The seemingly eternal television show Law and Order begins with “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.”
Ever thought about being a part of the second group? The Prosecutor’s Office is in need of a Legal Secretary. What they're looking for is a well organized, highly motivated person with excellent customer service and office skills. On site training will be part of the job.
Speaking of the criminal justice system, what might be your thoughts about becoming a Corrections Officer? The selected candidate will work in a professional and disciplined environment where teamwork is valued and expected. Ideal candidates will demonstrate integrity and honesty, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and the ability to de-escalate conflict and volatile situations.
This one is a part time gig but it’s an opportunity to see if you possess the right kind of skills to do the work without committing to it full time.
Like a fast paced and multitasking type of job? Here’s the rundown on the Deputy Court Clerk position
The selected candidate will work in a legal, fast-paced office setting greeting visitors at the counter, answering phones, receipting money, assisting legal and law enforcement professionals on court matters, and performing varied clerical functions. That said, good customer service skills, attention to detail, and proficiency with computers are a must! While the ideal candidate will have some knowledge and experience with court procedures, there are opportunities to learn on the job.
The Commission on Aging has some part time positions that would be ideal for the right person. You can be a Meal Site Host assisting in the planning and overseeing the socialization and activities at community meal sites and other satellite meal locations. Or maybe try your hand at being a Homemaker. A paid one. These folks go into the homes of older adults, perform a little light cleaning but more importantly do a bit of socializing while there.
Skills include a passion for helping others.
There are many other positions available that may pique your interest. The county is a cool place to work and offers competitive pay, great benefits and opportunities for career growth if desired.
Here’s the link to get the skinny on those above as well as all positions currently open.
Game Changing Facility to make its home in Mecosta County?
Update!! To support the company’s transformational investment, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:
-A Critical Industry Program grant through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (“SOAR”) Fund in the amount of $125 million for the creation of up to 2,350 jobs in the Big Rapids area;
-A 30-year MSF-designated Renaissance Zone to Mecosta County valued at $540 million;
-A $50 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund will be administered by The Right Place to assist with infrastructure improvement.
There is big news out of Mecosta County where the construction of a multi-billion dollar battery component plant was given the green light by local governments last Monday night. Green and Big Rapids townships voted unanimously to approve a Renaissance Zone designation for property in the Industrial Park along with other adjoining property and the County Commission followed up with approving the application for the Ren Zone resolution to be sent to the state.
The joint meeting of the three governing bodies drew a large crowd that was overwhelmingly supportive of the initiative. Gotion, Inc., a subsidiary of Guoxuan High-Tech Co.and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of the batteries chose the county out of 40 possible locations in North America. The Big Rapids area is one of two potential sites for the project, according to Gotion CEO Chuck Thelen.
The proposed plant would mean jobs. Lots of jobs.
The company projects 300-500 positions once the plant opens with over 2000 to be added over the next decade which would make them the largest employer in the region.
“We are encouraged to receive support from Green Charter Township, Big Rapids Charter Township and Mecosta County regarding the Renaissance Zone designation for Gotion’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the area,” said The Right Place CEO Randy Thelen. “ As well, we applaud all our community partners who have invested time and resources to champion this effort. There are still numerous steps to be taken before this project becomes a certainty, but this is a terrific start toward positioning the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”
The next step involves bringing the Ren Zone proposal to the Michigan Strategic Fund board to vote on an incentive package for the company. The MSF is scheduled to vote on the proposal October 5th. With that approval would come a commitment from the state for providing assistance for the needed infrastructure a facility of this magnitude would require with roads, sewers, water, etc.
Mecosta County Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Routley sees the project as being a true game changer for the region.
“This will be great for all of our surrounding counties. It looks to be a huge income generator for our families and they project the income for manufacturing workers will average around $60,000 a year. And of course there will be a lot of tech jobs involved as well.
“Gotion is also strongly committed to using local contractors so if there are any that need work there will be plenty of it.”
Routley had high praise for the organizations that came together to help make this happen and singled out the collaboration of the townships and county boards.
“The number one victory here was to watch the two townships and county come together on this. That alone was great to see.”
Presenting the Heritage Museum of Newaygo County
Photos by Lil DeLaat
Story By Ken DeLaat
Wow. Just Wow.
The Heritage Museum Open House this Saturday will amaze those who choose to take a wander through the building that has been home to a gas station, grocery store, laundromat, and the Board of Public Works at one time or another.
The downtown Newaygo edifice is stunning in its design and structure, providing an intriguing stroll through the history of our area. From the imaginative exhibits to the enticing gift shop the Heritage Museum is an experience not to be missed. Even the color scheme reflects our area's economic history with shades of brown for agriculture, green for forestry and blue for the river rippling through the building.
Director Steven Radtke, his staff and the sea of volunteers who have given their time have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as an inclusive experience that will provide a number of new initiatives to the county community.
Local artists will find room in the HM with the first exhibition featuring Stacey Kirk whose work lines the walls of the hallway. Other art pieces as well as books by local authors are available in the gift shop and the museum is open to having other local artisans selling their works in the shop.
An expanded Speakers Series, classic films, a variety of classes, and even a winter farmers market that has begun and will continue on Fridays through December are all part of the HM experience.
And because of the innovative design that allows for movement of the displays it can serve as a place for events such as their first wedding reception which will arrive in January.
On Halloween they will feature some of the classic figures such as Frankenstein, and Dracula and will explain the origin of their characters and for those with fond memories of the train that took center stage in the older version of the building, beginning this year it will return each Christmas season.
Kudos to the staff, the volunteers,the Museum Board and for certain the many generous donors, who all had a hand in making this transformation possible.
And to Director Radtke who was brought on board in 2018 and a year later began the arduous journey of grant writing, fundraising, planning and project design that has culminated in the new Heritage Museum of Newaygo County…
Well done, sir. Well done indeed.
Smuggler’s At North Shore groundbreaking signals the beginning of a new era in local dining
In August of 2018 the Hess Lake restaurant known as Smuggler’s Cove was irreparably damaged by a fire. The loss left a hole in the heart of not only the Hess and Brooks Lake regulars but also the many customers from throughout the area and beyond who enjoyed a wonderful view to go with their dining experience.
Now, 4 years later, construction has begun and the much favored spot for lakeside dining will once again welcome in folks when Smuggler’s At North Shore opens its doors next year.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday morning as the Thompson family, joined by the crew from CopperRock Construction, took shovels in hand to symbolically deliver the message that Smuggler’s At North Shore is indeed on its way.
Raeanne Huskey, one of the owners of the soon to be built venue spoke to a group of media and community members about the project.
”There were so many questions as to when this would come to fruition. We come here as a family so excited to break ground at the future location of Smuggler’s At North Shore. This will become another treasured part of Newaygo County and the Hess and Brooks lake communities. It will also be a destination spot for many of the other surrounding communities bringing others to Newaygo and a great employment opportunity for those seeking to further their careers in the restaurant industry.
“So cheers to Copper Rock and Ken Dixon and Associates, our architectural firm for taking our dreams and making them a reality from the blueprints and we look forward to a bright future here on Hess Lake.”
As far as an opening date?
“We’re hoping for late Spring or early Summer,” said Huskey. “Depends on a lot of things but that’s what we are shooting for."
Smuggler’s at North Shore announces the groundbreaking ceremony for their new building.
Newaygo, MI – After much anticipation, Team Thompson is proud to announce the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the building of our new restaurant, on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022, at 9am at the future site of Smuggler’s at North Shore located at 864 E. 88th St, Newaygo MI 49337.
The previous Smuggler’s Cove suffered a fire on 8/14/2018 which, unfortunately, led to its demolition in 2019. Team Thompson has been diligently working on the plans for a new lakeside restaurant since the demolition.
“Breaking ground on our future restaurant is exciting, after all the time and effort we’ve dedicated to the design of this building,” said Team Thompson partner, Raeanne Huskey. "For the past three years, we’ve spent time developing all our ideas for this lake restaurant. We dreamt of a design that would be a phenomenal addition to our Hess/Brooks Lake Communities and for Newaygo County. This restaurant will be a destination that will bring many newcomers to our beloved Newaygo.”
The groundbreaking event will feature the owners of Team Thompson with shovels, provided by CopperRock Construction, to officially kick off construction for the future home of Smuggler’s at North Shore.