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DNR Upper Peninsula wolf survey shows healthy wolf population
Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division officials said today the state’s wolf population has remained relatively stable over the past four wolf surveys, the most recent of which occurred this past winter.
DNR wildlife biologists estimate there was a minimum of 662 wolves found among 139 packs across the Upper Peninsula this past winter. The 2016 minimum population estimate was 618 wolves.
“Based on our latest minimum population estimate, it is clear wolf numbers in Michigan remain viable and robust,” said Russ Mason, chief of the DNR’s wildlife division. “A similar trend is apparent in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The western Great Lakes states’ wolf population is thriving and has recovered.”
Fifteen more wolf packs were found during this past winter’s survey than in 2016, but pack size has decreased slightly and now averages less than five wolves.
The survey was conducted from December through April, before wolves had produced pups, and when the population is at its lowest point in the annual cycle.
“As the wolf population in the Upper Peninsula has grown and spread out across the region, packs are situated closer together,” said Dean Beyer, a DNR wildlife research biologist who organizes the sampling and generates the wolf population estimate for the biannual survey. “This makes it harder to determine which pack made the tracks that were observed in adjacent areas.
“Movement information we collect from GPS-collared wolves helps us interpret the track count results, because these data allow us to identify territorial boundaries. The minimum population estimate we generate is a conservative estimate, which takes these factors into account.”
The wolf survey is completed by DNR Wildlife Division and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services staff who search specific survey areas for wolf tracks and other signs of wolf activity, such as territorial marking or indications of breeding.
In 2017-2018, approximately 63 percent of the Upper Peninsula was surveyed.
After wolves returned naturally to the U.P. through migration from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario in the 1980s, the population rebounded remarkably over time. The pronounced long-term increase in wolf abundance is evident, despite human cause-specific mortality, such as poaching.
However, over the past few years, Michigan’s minimum estimate has hovered between 600 and 700 wolves, which could be indicative of a stabilizing population.
“Research suggests prey availability and the geographical area of the U.P. are the key limiting factors of wolf population expansion,” said Kevin Swanson, a wildlife management specialist with the DNR’s Bear and Wolf Program in Marquette. “This is proving to be true.”
Since the winter of 1993-94, combined wolf numbers in Michigan and Wisconsin have surpassed 100, meeting federally established goals for population recovery. The Michigan recovery goal of a minimum sustainable population of 200 wolves for five consecutive years was achieved in 2004.
Wolves in Michigan remain a federally-protected species which may only be killed legally in defense of human life.
A Few Minutes With: Kelly Smith, Newaygo County Road Commission Manager
Ed. Note: Ok, wrong color for the song whether your taste runs Eddie Cochran, Blue Cheer or Alan Jackson but you get the point. The season is upon us so we asked our friend Kelly Smith for a few words of inspiration to help us all get through (or detour around) the inevitable reactions that come with delays.
It is that time of the year when the orange barrels are in full bloom, detour routes are plentiful and online interactive map sites are seeing more traffic than my wife’s Amazon Prime account.
Now before everyone yells at me about the inconvenience of having to take alternate routes or sitting in a flagging operation for what seems like an eternity, I get it and I sympathize. Most who know me would agree patience is not my strong suit and sitting in a line of traffic waiting for the person holding the little paddle sign to release me so that I may go on merry way to whatever exciting adventure awaits me... well, it can have a tendency to raise my blood pressure a couple points.
But, and here is where I plead for your patience, whether it be NCRC employees, contractors for NCRC, or any operation going on in the road system, that operation is being performed for you, our customers. You, the customers who pay for and deserve a road system that allows you, those trucks that deliver goods for you, the emergency service providers you may be in need of, the school buses that deliver your children to school and the countless other forms of transportation that traverse our roads to have as safe and as efficient a road system that we can provide.
In order to do so we will at times be in your way. This is an unfortunate side effect of attempting to maintain, preserve and upgrade the system.
A little over a year ago the funding increase that the legislature put into place started to arrive, and along with that funding increase of course comes a steady increase in work volume on a road system that is in desperate need of attention. Now this is where we become more of pain than we have been in the past because more construction equals more work zones and detours. So , until someone comes up with “ A New Road In Can” that we can just throw down in the middle of the night, ( My wife claims this is what she is looking for when online shopping) we will have to once again ask for your patience.
The positive side is we are working towards a sustainable, safer and more efficient road system. The reality is we are dealing with many years of stagnant funding all the while seeing steady increases in costs of goods and services so it will take time, but, we are making steady progress even in the short time we have been receiving the new monies.
On a final note, please be careful when within or approaching work zones. Those workers you see are someone’s loved ones and we need to do all we can to see that they make it home safe and sound. Please try and not be too distracted within these zones as there are many large piece of heavy machinery and lots of activities to watch.
And most of all, have a safe fun filled summer and don’t be afraid to wave as you pass by our workers.
We only ask that you have all 5 fingers visible.
Gerber Memorial DAISY nursing award goes to veteran nurse for his outstanding care
FREMONT– Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial today awarded the DAISY award to Dan Powell, RN, who works the overnight shift in the intensive care unit for providing outstanding nursing care – and going an extra mile to help a patient be comfortable. The DAISY award is given each quarter and Gerber Memorial patients nominate nurses who provide exceptional care and service.
Debbie Crawford of Croton praised her entire nursing team for being caring and efficient, saying “everyone was amazing” and singled out Powell as the nurse who “made the most difference” in her care.
“Dan answered any questions I had in a manner that really made it easily understandable,” Crawford said in her nomination. “He was very prompt to answer my calls to the nurse’s station and always checked that I was comfortable before he left me. The most outstanding kindness Dan showed was when I asked for a fan. Dan searched everywhere and eventually was successful. Hallelujah! That air movement made a huge difference in my comfortable stay! Dan is my hero!”
“It’s my honor to serve and care for our patients,” Powell said. “I love what I do and my goal is to enhance our patients’ stay at Gerber Memorial in every way possible.”
A Fremont resident and active in the Newaygo County community, Powell has worked at Gerber Memorial since 1998. In addition to Crawford, Powell’s family and colleagues surprised him with the award early in the morning.
Part of a national program, the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is part of the DAISY Foundation's program to recognize the super-human efforts nurses perform every day.
Nomination forms are available at nursing stations throughout the hospital and patients can submit those forms either by placing them in gray boxes near those forms or by handing them to a nurse or other hospital staff. The forms will be available at nursing stations in the intensive care unit; medical/surgery; birth center; outpatient surgery; emergency department; and the specialty clinic in the basement of the Multispecialty Clinic. Nominating forms will also be available at the hospital’s main lobby, as well as included in admission packets.
The not-for-profit DAISY Foundation is based in Glen Ellen, Calif., and was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. Barnes died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. The care Barnes and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families.
Nurses may be nominated by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Gerber Memorial to receive the award. Each honoree receives a certificate commending her or him for being an “Extraordinary Nurse.” The certificate reads: “In deep appreciation of all you do, who you are, and the incredibly meaningful difference you make in the lives of so many people.” The honoree also receives a beautiful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved from serpentine stone by artists of the Shona tribe in southern Africa.
By Ken DeLaat
Ok deep breath now. That bit of construction that repaved the road between Newaygo and Grant a bit before Memorial Day?
Just practice I’m afraid.
Beginning next week if you plan on going through Grant?
From the DOT MI Drive site:
From : 06/11/2018, 12:00 AM
To: 08/27/2018, 12:00 AM
Location: On northbound M-37 from 128th Avenue north to 112th Avenue in Newaygo County.
Description: Work will include pavement reconstruction and upgraded storm sewer system. M-37 will be closed to Northbound traffic. Southbound traffic will be maintained along M-37.
Detour: Northbound M-37 traffic will be detoured east onto 128th Avenue, north onto Willow Avenue, then local traffic will be detoured west on 120th Avenue while thru traffic will be detoured west on 128th Avenue.
Some Suggested Guidelines:
N3 World Headquarters is on Hess Lake and during the last construction our semi-quiet road became a major thoroughfare, so for those around the detour area, prepare for an uptick in traffic, particularly large slow moving vehicles with triangles on the back.
Plan accordingly. If you’re a local you know at least a dozen routes to get south without encountering Grant so use them wisely. If you are a bit, uh, challenged by directions (as in ‘don’t tell me west or east tell me right or left’) and will follow the detour remember to snare a bit of extra time because chances are the going looks to be slower than usual. Use Pandora to sooth the nerves and stay away from talk radio.
Friday afternoon? It’s already a madhouse once you get past the roundabout on Fridays and Sunday nights but this will clog stuff up a little more. Attempts to turn off or onto ‘37 might be dicier than usual with traffic coming in clumps as folks figure out the detours.
And lastly it’s time to reach inside and grab a little patience Near Northians. Why? Because lot of those weekend travelers who might have been taken by surprise with regard to the detour are going to be exhibiting a little less composure having been tossed from their schedule.and all.
Be kind, be forgiving, and above all, don’t wave back in the same manner that might be incoming from time to time.
For more info on road construction throughout the state go to:
Deadline for Legislative action passes
Despite what appeared to be enough support in the Senate to move forward with a Recreational Marijuana bill and prevent the current initiative from reaching the ballot in November the House failed to get the traction needed to ensure passage.
This means the ballot proposal summarized in our article from Monday will be headed for a vote come this fall. https://www.nearnorthnow.com/the-pulse/legislature-to-consider-leapfrogging-ballot-proposal
Many legislators found themselves in the unenviable position of looking at supporting the proposed legalization of recreational use in hopes of having the ability to make some changes to the current initiative. In the end without the votes needed in the House the effort fell apart.
N3 contacted State Representative Scott VanSingel for his take on the issue.
“While I am personally strongly opposed to the legalization of marijuana for a variety of reasons such as workforce development and increased access for minors, many House members were willing to approve the ballot proposal in hopes of amending it later with a simple majority,” said State Representative Scott VanSingel. “If approved by the voters, a super majority is required to amend.”
“The proposal is very poorly written including a provision that $40 million must be sent to an out of state researcher for a study that is already essentially complete and the ability to use marijuana in a vehicle.”
With a dispensary in White Cloud set to open, at least two more dispensaries heading for Brooks Township and grow facilities planned for White Cloud and Newaygo medical marijuana is on the cusp of becoming a significant player in local economics. The recreational use approval has posted strong polling numbers and its passage would likely mean further changes ahead for Newaygo County.
Ans to what those changes might be?
Time will tell.
Teams vie for room and board scholarships to CMU
Mount Pleasant, Mich. — White Cloud and Boyne City compete Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. on WCMU Public Television’s Division Semi-Finals of Quiz Central.
Quiz Central is an educational and entertaining academic quiz show. Teams from 48 Michigan high schools compete in four divisions based on school size.
White Cloud is coached by Tony McHattie and team members include Captain Cameron Karnes, Jennifer Shepherd, Kiranna Franklin and Delton Dowling. Their alternates are Janessa Shepard, Parker Karnes and Brendan Lodden
Boyne City is coached by Nik McLane & Jeanne Heath and team members Captain Madison
Bates, Elizabeth Dickinson, Lorin Burch and Andrew May. Their alternates are Ethan Hewitt, Lauren Viol and Eleri Giem.
Teams compete in elimination rounds as they vie for the championship in their division. The four starters and three alternates of the division championship teams will each receive a two year, $4,000 room and board scholarship from Central Michigan University Residence Life.
The division champions then face off to determine the overall season winner. In addition, four lucky Quiz Central seniors will receive textbook scholarships from the CMU Bookstore.
Now in its 13th season, Quiz Central is locally produced by WCMU Public Television.
Readers who do not get WCMU can view Quiz Central on the PBS website. Here is the link: https://www.pbs.org/show/quiz-central/
Newaygo Fire Department seeking community members who want to give back
NEWAYGO– Have you always wanted to do something that would make a difference in the City of Newaygo and surrounding areas? The Newaygo Fire Department (NFD) could be the right place for you! The department is currently seeking to fill three to four on-call firefighter positions.
NFD is seeking individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the community and protecting the lives of their family, friends and neighbors. Often times this leads to fighting a structure or wildland fire, pulling someone from a car wreck or saving a complete stranger from the waters of the mighty Muskegon River. It also provides an opportunity to interact with children at the local schools, expand your knowledge and interact with the community at public events.
“The volunteer/on-call fire service has seen a decline nationally over the past few years,” said Travis Kroll, Lieutenant for Newaygo Fire Department. “Today we seem to have more activities that fill schedules and longer commutes to work, leaving little time for many to physically give back to their communities. While the initial training can be time consuming, the rewards and benefits of this profession far exceed a few hours missed at home.”
Those seeking employment will have to complete a written aptitude test, physical agility test and oral interview. The right candidate will be at least 18 years old, possess a high school diploma or GED, live or work within the Newaygo Fire District, maintain a valid Michigan driver’s license and have no felony or gross misdemeanor convictions.
Candidates who are interested can stop by the department’s recruitment open house on Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 177 Cooperative Center Drive in Newaygo. This is a great opportunity to talk with firefighters about the job, tour the station and more.
To apply visit newaygofire.com, or pick up an application at the fire department, City of Newaygo offices, Brooks Township Hall or the River Country Chamber of Commerce. The application period closes on June 30, 2018.
Creative collaboration brings school assigned police officer to Newaygo
Keeping kids safe is an ongoing priority for all who value this most precious of all our natural resources. It is an essential part of being good stewards of the community.
With events around the country seemingly pointing to an uptick in violent acts and threats to our schools several local entities have moved forward to help enhance safety at Newaygo Schools.
Brooks Township Supervisor Corey Nelson and Newaygo Police Chief Andres shared a common idea. To have an assigned police officer for Newaygo schools. The two got together and forged a job description for the position then moved forward to get the support needed to make the idea a reality.
“We want to be proactive not reactive,” said Nelson when he spoke of the multi-jurisdictional effort that looks to be placing an officer on site by the beginning of the next school year.
The initiative is part of an ongoing effort at NPS to enhance safety according to Superintendent Dr. Peg Mathis.
“School Safety is at the forefront of the minds of all educators and there are multiple facets.
“One is to make sure that systems and procedures are clearly in place so students are taught and can practice model behavior. This system (Positive Behavior, Interventions, and Support - PBIS) is accompanied by positive reinforcement and consequences for students. Creating a positive school climate is essential for student safety. Behavior Specialists work with staff and PBIS teams to assist students who need extra help with social-emotional learning.
“Another facet is the physical landscape of the school. Making sure our students are safe by installing secure entrances and proper monitoring systems can assist building staff in trying to keep foot traffic flow in check.
“Finally, a School-Assigned Police Officer completes the NPS three-pronged approach. We are very excited and feel so fortunate that our local government entities are supporting this effort. This full-time officer will have three main functions: law enforcement, instructor, and counselor/mentor. The presence of a School-Assigned Police Officer has been shown to reduce vandalism, acts of violence, bullying, theft, and other crimes in a school system. Additionally, the Newaygo School-Assigned Police Officer can serve as a resource person, assist in family crisis intervention, work with social service agencies, coordinate prevention activities and direct school safety and lockdown drills and training.”
“The community collaboration that has occurred to acquire a school police officer shows that safety for our children is top priority,” said Newaygo City Manager Jon Schneider. ”The Newaygo Police Dept, Newaygo Public Schools, Brooks Twp, Croton Twp all worked together to make this a reality by jointly funding the position. "
Croton Township Supervisor Morgan Heinzman also voiced support for the initiative.
“This is an opportunity to help keep schools safe and protect the children of our community,” he stated. ” It also shows what can be done when people are willing to work together for a common goal.”
Newaygo Police Chief Georgia Andres has already begun the search for ‘the ideal police officer' who will fill this position.
“We are blessed to be part of a community that is at the cutting edge of safety for our children,” said Chief Andres. “ It's an awesome time in policing with the Newaygo community and we are looking forward to helping invest in our kids.
....and in the Morning on June 4 and 5
NEWAYGO – Access will be closed to the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond on May 31 and June 1 and in the morning on June 4 and 5 until noon to allow Consumers Energy crews to safely work there.
That boat launch is near the Croton Dam. Signs will clearly mark that the site is closed while crews use the site beginning May 31 to launch a barge being used to perform work upstream at Hardy Dam. The half day closures on June 4 and 5 are to allow for the safe launch and removal of a tugboat.
The closures do not impact the Muskegon River recreational access sites on the downstream side of Croton Dam.
This activity had originally been scheduled for earlier in May but had been postponed due to higher flows in the Muskegon River.
Consumers Energy reminds visitors to safely and quickly exit the river if they hear the sirens that signal dangerous changes to flow conditions at hydro facilities.
Preliminary findings show increase in traffic deaths during Memorial Day Weekend
LANSING-Preliminary reports indicate 15 people lost their lives in 11 separate traffic crashes during the 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend. In comparison, 10 people were killed in 10 traffic crashes during the 2017 Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Of the 15 deadly crashes:
The 2018 Memorial Day holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. on Friday, May 25, through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 28, 2018.
Michigan Agency for Energy sees jump in summer gasoline prices, increased demand for electricity, natural gas
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan drivers this summer will pay more at the pump for a gallon of gasoline, but they’re still expected to use more of the motor fuel for the sixth year in a row, according to the Summer Energy Appraisal released today by the Michigan Agency for Energy (MAE).
Demand for other forms of energy are also forecast to increase this summer over last year, with electricity up 1.5 percent, natural gas expected to jump 8 percent, and diesel fuel likely to rise 2.6 percent, according to the annual MAE analysis of trends in the state’s fuel and power sectors.
Nationally, gasoline prices are expected to be 20 percent higher this year than they were in 2017, with motorists paying an average of $2.90 per gallon during the April through September summer driving season, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. That’s up from $2.41 last summer. Due to higher per gallon prices, the annual household cost for gasoline will increase an average of $377 compared to the same period in 2017, according to MAE.
Gasoline demand in Michigan is expected to hit 4.76 billion gallons, up 2.7 percent from 2017. National inventories are near the top of the five-year range for this time of year. However, unforeseen refinery outages, political unrest, adverse weather conditions, or other national or world disruptions to supply could influence the price and supply of gas.
Key facts from MAE’s Summer Energy Appraisal:
Water Safety Tips during National Water Safety Month
As the warm weather comes to Newaygo County, residents and visitors will be hitting the many rivers, lakes and pools in the area. May is National Water Safety Month and the Newaygo Fire Department wants to ensure community members have a safe, enjoyable time.
From 2005-2014, there were about an average of 10 unintentional drowning deaths per day in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. And one in five of those who die from drowning are under the age of 14.
“We want families to have a safe, enjoyable time while participating in water-related activities,” said Jason Wolford, Chief of Newaygo Fire Department. “It’s important that those heading out on the water for the day are prepared in case of an emergency.”
Whether you are enjoying the many natural water features or a pool, take these simple steps to reduce the risk of water-related accidents:
The Hero And His Friend
Richard (Dick) Wolters and Maxwell Jordan, both from Newaygo County, are different generations and good friends. Dick heard Max’s stories of his experiences in WWII and was so impressed that he wrote a book about them. Dick is a retired Registered Professional Engineer with a Masters Degree in Business Administration, and took up writing as a hobby in his retirement.
Max is a heavily decorated veteran. Dick’s book tells the story of Max’s war experiences of hardship, dedication, leadership, vision and valor, and what it took to get through it all. Max participated in the battles and campaigns in Nomandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe, quite a record for a young man of only 21 years. Max was awarded the following honors: Victory Medal, American Theater Ribbon, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with a silver battle star, four Overseas Service Bars and a Service Stripe. He also received a Good Conduct Medal and an Asiatic Pacific Theater Ribbon. Dick knows that it is an honor to be friends with Max.
Max and Dick both grew up in Fremont and attended the same grade school, just a couple of decades apart. Dick and Max are both Newaygo County residents now, but Dick and his wife, Kay, are snowbirds, opting for their home in Arizona in the months of ice and snow here.
Dick’s book, ‘We Were United Then, WWII Memoir of Maxwell L. Jordan’ is now available to the public. There will be an official book signing on Memorial Day weekend, May 26 from 10 AM to 12 Noon at Flying Bear Books, 79 State Rd., Newaygo. You can stop by, pick up the book, meet the author and have Maxwell Jordan himself sign your copy.
Gerber Memorial CEO Stasik to retire on July 13
FREMONT- Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial President and CEO Randy Stasik has announced that he will be retiring from his position effective July 13, 2018. Stasik became Gerber Memorial’s CEO and President in 2008.
“I am truly honored to have served the families of Newaygo County and working with so many outstanding community partners to deliver quality, affordable and comprehensive health care to this community that my family and I have called home for 10 years,” Stasik said. “Gerber Memorial succeeds in our mission of being a health care leader because of the 700-plus people who work hard every day and who start every shift putting our patients first. While I will miss every single one of my colleagues and thank them for the work they do, I leave knowing that I’m passing the baton to an energetic new generation of health care professionals who will continue our commitment to providing exceptional service to our community.”
During his tenure at Spectrum Health, Stasik focused on improving employee and patient safety and quality, as well as improving the health of those in the Newaygo County area.
Sharon Boczkaja, Gerber Memorial’s senior patient experience specialist, said Stasik was the kind of leader who put others first.
“Fairly quickly, I realized that Randy always does what’s right for patients,” said Boczkaja, who has worked at Gerber Memorial for 15 years. “At the same time, Randy always had our employees’ backs, that whatever we do at the hospital was also safe for the people who work here. Randy was always the voice of reason, and I know I’ll miss that.”
Barb Geno, a longtime Gerber Memorial volunteer and the incoming chair of the SHGM Patient Family Advisory Board, credited Stasik with his strategic vision to improve individual health and wellness by tackling the overall health of the community.
“Randy has been personally and professionally committed to the health and wellness of our citizens,” Geno said. “I realized how much this meant to him when he shared his vision, that the need for hospitalization would eventually never be necessary. What a unique concept: to be so good at keeping people well, we would put the hospital out of business. I wish him the very best in his well-earned retirement and hope we can carry forward his dedication toward the health and wellness of our community.”
An example of Stasik’s commitment to community wellness is the Coordinated Approach to Child Health program, an evidence-based wellness program focusing on nutrition and physical activity that is incorporated into classroom curriculum in K-5th grades in all Newaygo County school districts. A mini-documentary of the Newaygo County CATCH program can be viewed at: http://tamaracwellness.org/community-health/catch/
Stasik said he is proud of the many honors and awards earned by Gerber Memorial employees, leaders and physicians in recent years, including:
A statement Stasik made when he was hired 10 years ago made an impact on many: “We are a rural hospital and that is who we are. That is our niche, and we shouldn’t apologize for that status but work at being who we are.” He said he believes that rural communities should have access to affordable, high quality health care close to home – and he has never wavered from trying to ensure Gerber Memorial upholds this commitment.
Stasik is only the third president and chief executive at Gerber Memorial.
Before joining Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in 2008, Stasik had already established himself as a prominent health care and community leader in the Kalamazoo area. He spent nearly two decades with Borgess, including top leadership positions as president and chief executive officer at Borgess Health Alliance, and president of Borgess Hospital. His distinguished career also included roles as president and CEO of Southside Hospital of Pittsburgh and chief financial officer of Pennsylvania’s Aliquippa Hospital Association.
By Ken DeLaat
This month Near North Now turned 2 which one supposes signifies a kind of transition from infancy to toddler status.
Thus, during a recent gathering of N3 contributors who congregate periodically to enjoy wonderful food and phenomenal company, comments were made about the similarities between N3 and a typical toddler.
Adjective driven words emerged such as active, creative, headstrong, curious, challenging, as well as statements like ‘ always asks why?’, ‘ gets into things’, ‘constantly on the move’, ‘a little sassy at times’, …..
The similarities were a tad frightening.
This has been a fun ride accompanied (and mostly driven) by the much treasured writers who make NNN what it is through their contributions. It is truly an eclectic group of folks with varied backgrounds and interests and a common goal of delivering on the promise N3 made two years ago to enlighten, entertain, educate, and encourage dialogue.
As editor and publisher (as well as serving as primary custodian for N3 World Headquarters and Dandelion Drop In Center) it has been a privilege to post the material provided by our regular contributors. Whatever else they do in their lives (and believe me when I say it is an eclectic group) these folks are writers. Talented and creative writers who remain exceptionally committed to their craft. Whether a straightforward story, a view of a sporting event, a column, a review, or an opinion piece these folks do it right and they do it well. Their bylines are sure bets to draw thousands of avid readers and it feels like an honor to have the opportunity to peruse these before they hit our pages. Past pieces are accessed frequently as newer readers encounter their work and search them out in our archives, a true tribute.
I cannot thank them enough.
We also extend a special thank you to those who have allowed us to be a part of your marketing efforts and share your message in our pages. Your support is most appreciated because without you there’d be no us.
Heading into our third year we have chatted it up a bit about making changes and will be floating some new angles and ideas across our pages. It is our hope that you help us by letting us know what you like, what you don’t like and when your response is more like, ‘meh’.
In the meantime we gratefully segue into another another magical Near North summer filled with neat stuff to do, cool people to be around, good times to be had and a whole lot of water to play in.
And all the while you’re basking in some serious summer fun, Near North will strive to keep you informed and entertained as to what’s going on in these parts while continuing to explore the many layers of this wondrous region we are privileged to call home.
Consumers Energy announced May 11 that its work at Hardy Dam would result in the closure of the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond for three days beginning May 17. That action is now being postponed due to higher Muskegon River flows.
The specific dates for the closures have not been determined but are now expected to take place after Memorial Day. The boat launch closures are to allow a barge and tugboat being utilized to perform work to be launched, safely.
Consumers Energy will announce later when the closure will be rescheduled.
“We are proud to support the Promise Zone”
H&S Companies set out to raise $75,000 for the Newaygo County Promise Zone program in the fall of 2017, and they are proud to announce that in just over 6 months they have achieved it.
Jack Hendon, Co-Founder of H&S Companies would like to thank the community and all those who have participated in this program. “We are proud to support the Promise Zone and increased educational opportunities for all local students, and could not have reached our goal without the help of our clients, friends, and employees who have generously contributed,” he said.
Dan Slate and Jack Hendon invited employees across all their offices, as well as clients and friends, to participate in the program. They themselves pledged to match up to $15,000, and H&S matched up to $10,000 for every dollar donated to the Promise Zone, up to a total of $25,000. The Fremont Area Community Foundation provided an additional match of $.50 for every dollar they raised.
“Let’s celebrate our 75 years of business by raising $75,000 for education,” said Dan Slate, Co-Founder of H&S Companies. He thought $75,000 made for a good amount, because while H&S is celebrating 35 years this year (1983-2018), the wealth management and IT divisions of the firm are each celebrating 20 years (1998-2018), for a total of 75 years.
The Promise Zone is a scholarship program available to students who graduate from Newaygo County high schools or home schools and live in the Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency area. The scholarships cover tuition and fees for two-year awards at Baker College and Muskegon Community College, up to the value of the prevailing tuition rate of MCC.
H&S Companies encourages you to join them in contributing to the continued success of the Promise Zone program.
H&S Companies was established in Fremont in 1983 and now has ten locations across Michigan. As CPAs and business advisors, H&S services include tax preparation, accounting, wealth management, IT strategy & consulting, business consulting, and more.
Boat Launch at Croton Pond to Close Three Days in May
NEWAYGO – Access will be closed to the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond on May 17 and 18 and in the morning on May 22 until noon to allow Consumers Energy crews to safely work there.
That boat launch is near the Croton Dam. Signs will clearly mark that the site is closed while crews use the site beginning May 17 to launch a barge and tugboat being used to perform work upstream at Hardy Dam. The half day closure on May 22 is to allow for the safe removal of the tugboat.
The closures do not impact the Muskegon River recreational access sites on the downstream side of Croton Dam.
Consumers Energy reminds visitors to safely and quickly exit the river if they hear the sirens that signal dangerous changes to flow conditions at hydro facilities.
The Newaygo County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution opposing the latest salvo from Lansing that threatens to impact county budgets throughout the state.
The current situation has to do with funding for indigent defense to comply with standards established by legislators.Originally the costs for implementation was mandated to the state but proposed legislation would kick these costs back to the counties.
This was passed by a 6-0 margin with Commissioner Ortwein absent.
County Administrator Chris Wren also spoke to another legislative initiative that would result in assessments being removed from townships with populations under 5000, including all of our 24 townships, and placed under the umbrella of the county. The increased responsibility combined with the task of finding an assessor qualified to meet the standards set by the state would also place a significant financial burden on the county according to Administrator Wren.
A motion was presented by Commissioner Vern Willett to eliminate health care insurance for commissioners effective January 1 2019.The motion was seconded and some discussion ensued. Commissioners Phil Deur and Jim Maike both spoke to the need for some incentive in order to attract qualified people to the board as did Board Chair Patrick Gardner while Mr. Willett expressed the opinion that the health insurance was more compensation than the position required.
A voice vote by the board rejected the motion.
Commissioner Chuck Trapp reported that the Board of Public Works will be hosting their annual Hazardous Waste Clean-up Day at the Newaygo County Road Commission building on Saturday June 2nd from 8am-2pm and encouraged all who can spare a bit of time to volunteer by contacting the Drain Commissioner Office at 231.689.7214.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday May 23rd at 9:30 am. Meetings are held in the County Administrative building in White Cloud.