NCRESA Board Vacancies Notice
The Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency Board of Education announces three (3) vacancies on the NC RESA Board effective July 1, 2023. The election will be held on Monday, June 5 at 6:00 p.m. in the NC RESA Board of Education room, Educational Service Center, 4747 W. 48th Street, Fremont. The vacancies are for two (2) six (6)-year terms expiring on June 30, 2029, and one (1) two (2)-year term to complete vacancy until June 30, 2025.
Board of Education election packets, including Nominating Petition Forms and Affidavits of Identity may be picked up at the Newaygo County Clerk’s office, 1087 Newell, White Cloud, MI, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The deadline for filing petitions OR paying a $100.00 nonrefundable filing fee is 4:00 p.m., Monday, May 8, 2023. More specific instructions will be given at the time candidates receive the election packet. Petitions cannot be turned in to the NC RESA superintendent’s office. Questions may be directed to Mr. Blake J. Prewitt, Superintendent, at (231) 924-8854.
Added: We received this statement today (Monday) from Bruce Emery, Vice President of Retail Operations-Corporate Retail “We have made the difficult decision to close the Fremont, Mich. Family Fare in mid-April. We are grateful to our store guests for their loyal support, as well as our dedicated Associates for their commitment to our shoppers.”
By Ken DeLaat
Photo by Lesly DeLaat
After half a century of serving Fremont area residents Family Fare, nee Bill’s Shop & Save (more recently referred to as ‘Not Bill's’) will be closing their doors in mid April.
There has been speculation about the possible demise of the store after yet another venue joined the grocery landscape of the county’s largest city with the opening of Aldi’s earlier this month.
Years ago when Walmart expanded into groceries many thought Bill’s might be hurt by the largesse of the Superstore. But many of Bill’s long time customers remained loyal and the store continued to enjoy a great deal of popularity after the much heralded arrival of Meijer 4 years ago. In August SpartanNash purchased the store along with Shop & Save stores in Ludington and Benzonia and converted them to the Family Fare brand.
Near North Now has reached out to SpartanNash for comment and will provide more details as they become available.
NHS Students Serve with TrueNorth
NHS Students Serve with TrueNorth
Serving the community is one aspect to a well-rounded education at Newaygo Public Schools. Nine students had an opportunity to do just that on Wednesday, March 15. This group of excited high schoolers traveled to Fremont's True North building and helped with the Feeding America Food Truck.
Taylor Hills, an NHS teacher, collaborated with TrueNorth staff Peg Mathis and Jackie Knight to set up this round of volunteers with the intent to involve all NHS students in the future!
Dam Work Moved To 2025
Drawdown schedule released
From our friends at Consumers Energy:
Consumers Energy plans to begin construction on the Hardy Dam projects in 2025, pending the receipt of regulatory, environmental, and federal approvals. This is separate from the process to determine the future of our river hydros in Michigan.
So far, we have developed a memorandum of understanding for roadway work with the Newaygo County Road Commission, completed pre-construction tree clearing, prepared an environmental impact study as part of the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) joint permit application (we anticipate receiving the joint permit in 2023), and provided documents to the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC).
What remains is for EGLE to issue a permit authorizing the work, for FERC to issue an order approving the license amendment, to obtain FERC’s construction approval, and obtain project construction cost recovery approval from the Michigan Public Service Commission.
We are committed to operating as a good neighbor and keeping you informed of the plans for Hardy Dam, which has safely served our customers with clean, renewable energy for nearly a century. You can find the latest news about Hardy Dam and any of our 13 hydroelectric power plants at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/Hydro.
Our current reservoir drawdown schedule through the end of 2025 is as follows:
1. Return to normal level by Memorial Day 2023
2. Drawdown to begin November 2023 (10 feet drawdown)
3. Return to normal level by Memorial Day 2024
4. Drawdown to begin November 2024 (10 feet drawdown)
5. Return to normal level by Memorial Day 2025
6. Drawdown for construction (in late 2025) and duration to be approved by FERC
We plan to return to your community for a public meeting in the second half of the year to provide relevant project updates and revisit our hydro strategy.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231-332-2800 if you have questions. Thank you for your patience and support of Hardy Dam
Saturday, Michigan DNR conservation officers arrested two people who were driving through the Pigeon River Country State Forest in Otsego County with loaded firearms and drugs. Officers found three rifles, one shotgun, rifle rounds, spent rifle casings, alcohol, several containers of meth, marijuana and evidence of drug use. Arraignment is pending.
Two arrested in Pigeon River State Forest
Two people were arrested Saturday for possessing illegal firearms and drugs after a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer conducted a traffic stop in a remote area of the Pigeon River Country State Forest, in Otsego County.
The officer initially observed the vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road. During the stop, the vehicle occupants told the officer, “We are just out looking to hunt stuff.”
The officer saw that the passenger had an uncased .308 rifle near their right leg with a rifle round on the door handle. Additionally, the driver – who had binoculars around their neck – had a loaded .22 caliber rifle behind the seat. Additional conservation officers soon arrived on scene to assist.
Officers searched the rental vehicle the suspects were operating and found two additional firearms, used rifle casings, alcohol, several containers of crystal meth, marijuana, and evidence of drug use. DNR officers confiscated three rifles and one shotgun, along with the ammunition and drugs.
The names of those arrested will not be released until they are arraigned in court. Both suspects face multiple felony charges. The investigation is ongoing.
Michigan DNR conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety, and protect people through general law enforcement and conducting lifesaving operations in the communities they serve.
Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.
All In A Day's Work
Croton crew steps up for a resident in need
By Bill Nottelmann, Trustee, Croton Township
Firefighters and First Responders put out fires and save lives. This is what they do, and they do it very well. Firefighters and First Responders also are frequently involved in other activities which we rarely hear about.
Such was the case early Tuesday morning, February 28, 2023 (the night of the great ice storm!). At approximately 2am, the Croton Fire Department received a call that a Croton resident, who was on oxygen, had lost power to her home. She was unable to charge her battery pack, cutting off her supply of oxygen and her home was already very cold.
This call put the Croton Fire Department into action. Officers secured a generator for her use, got power into her home, and charged her battery pack. But that was just the beginning. Every three hours, firefighters ``checked in” on her until power was restored at approximately 2 am Wednesday morning. During each visit to her residence, firefighters filled the generator with gas and checked on her well-being.
To a person, each firefighter involved in this special act of kindness said that every one of these public servants would have reacted in the exact same manner. Again, this is what they do.
Pictured above are several members of the Croton Fire Department.
Do you like planning events? Being part of the Fremont community? Then you may be just the person for this job! The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce is currently looking for Events Coordinator. This is an exciting part time position. The events coordinator works to develop and execute all fundraising, marketing, and media planning related to the Chamber events – National Baby Food Festival, Fremont Harvest Festival, Jingle Mingle Arts & Craft Fair, Fremont Christmas Stroll and the Home & Garden show. The events coordinator also works with the committees for the cabin fever festival, summer concert series and the golf outing.
This individual must: be able to work with committees, pay attention to details, be organized, creative, out-going, and a people person. Also, coordinate and encourage teams of volunteers to help at events. Applicant must be self-motivated and able to work independently as well. This position will by the lead staff person for the Chamber events as well as provide support for other Chamber of Commerce activities in addition to other internal duties. This is a part time position with weekly hours but additional hours may be required during the activities run by the Fremont Area Chamber.
The successful applicant will possess computer skills, social media marketing, proficient in Microsoft Word and Desktop Publishing; and having experience working/coordinating special events and nonprofit organizations are beneficial. Knowledge of the Fremont community and events is important. Send your resume to: Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, 7 E. Main Street, Fremont, MI 49412 by Monday, March 27, 2023.
“Our most critical community issue”
At their regular meeting on Wednesday, March 8th the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners approved a one million dollar appropriation from the county’s Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds (aka ARPA funds) to be used in a partnership with the Fremont Area Community Foundation To help address one of the county’s most pressing needs, affordable housing.
Recent census data shows that the Newaygo County population is increasing, and studies indicate that there is a shortage of homes.
“With the demand for all types of housing so much higher than the supply, grants from Newaygo County and the Community Foundation will improve rental and ownership options,” said Lindsay Hager, FCF Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer. “Funds will be used to leverage other resources and incentivize housing developments that would otherwise not be feasible.”
Inceptive initiatives include:
1. Single Family New Construction
Overview: Housing developers can receive construction loans and grants to build new single family housing loans at reduced interest rates, decreasing construction costs. This may include traditional homes or other options such as tiny or modular homes as permitted by zoning.
2. Multi-family New Construction or Renovation
Overview: Local funding is provided for construction loans and grants for gaps in financing based on debt coverage ratios.
3. Emergency Homeowner Repair or Rehabilitation
Overview: Local funding is combined with County/CDBG program income as a revolving loan to assist qualified homeowners with emergency home repairs (e.g., roof, furnace, well, septic, etc.). This is continuation of an existing program currently operated in Newaygo County. Loans up to $25,000 are recorded as a lien against the property and repaid upon future resale.
The County and Community Foundation will create a committee of five to determine which projects to fund annually. The Community Foundation will provide the community assessment and expertise, fund management and reporting, RFPs, funding guidelines, communication to the public, committee scheduling and decision making and approved fund distribution and outcome measurement.
“We are excited about the partnership with the County to address perhaps our most critical community issue: the housing shortage, “ said Shelly Kasprzycki, president and CEO of Fremont Area Community Foundation. “This is an excellent opportunity for us to move forward with housing related projects that will be good for our Newaygo County citizens, and to support a vibrant economy.”
“The Newaygo County Board is pleased to be able to use some of the ARPA dollars in a joint effort with the Fremont Area Community Foundation in making housing more affordable]ble and available in all our communities.” added Newaygo County Board Chair Bryan Kolk.
Can Spring Be Far Behind?
15h Annual Fremont Area Home & Garden Showto be held Saturday, March 25th!!!
The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, along with the home and garden show committee, invites you to join us on Saturday, March 25th to the 15th Annual Fremont Area Home & Garden Show! This year’s event will be held in the Fremont Community Rec Center, 201 E. Maple Street, Fremont.
As we all prepare for spring and want to do something after the winter, this event is the perfect opportunity to get your family out of the house and have a fun day together, all while discovering new services and products offered right here in your hometown.
The 15th Annual Fremont Area Home & Garden Show runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. and there is no charge for entry or parking.
Watch for the Home & Garden Show food truck rally!!! Featured food vendors this year will be: Pork – n – stein, Two Hot Tamales, and Big Mike’s Kettle Corn are already signed up! Watch for this list to grow!!! Stop by for some of these tantalizing treats; there is a nice variety of food for everyone’s taste buds.
Vendors inside the building will be featuring giveaways and information to help with your spring home improvement plans, landscaping and garden tips, financial advisors, and real estate professionals! Don’t miss out on getting some useful information from this show to help get your spring projects completed!
Vendor booths are still available! This is a great opportunity for businesses to showcase and highlight the goods and services they provide to our community! There are four (4) reasons why you can’t afford to miss this event!!! 1.) New Business: develop business leads and new customers, 2.) Networking: networking with peers in the Fremont and Newaygo County community, 3.) New Ideas: search for new and innovative products and services, and 4.) Marketing Opportunities: spread the word about your business!
Thank you to our 2023 sponsors: Gold – Mellema Nursery, Redeemed Roofing Solutions, Silver – 911 Restoration, Philo HVAC, Coffee Bar – Point Broadband
If you’d like information on being a vendor with a booth, sponsor, or volunteer to help at the event, please contact the Chamber: (231) 924-0770 or email email@example.com.
Chamber Expanding Services
Business Resource Committee formed
Newaygo, MI - The River Country Chamber of Commerce of Newaygo County has created a Business Resource Committee with the purpose of helping our members tackle their challenges.
“We revisited our mission and realized that we have become an event driven organization and we were lacking the business advocacy aspect that our members need,” Executive Director Kelly Rider said.
Rider continued, “We are still committed to our events but want to expand our services to our members and be the first thought when a problem with their business arises.”
The Business Resource Committee will field questions from chamber members and identify the resources that exist in the community or online and present members with solutions to their problems.
The Chamber will also be hosting quarterly educational sessions on topics such as talent acquisition, brand management, business insurance etc.
To send a request for assistance to the Chamber, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every 11 Minutes
An upcoming event delivers a whole lot of much needed awareness to an issue that affects us all.
Few have been untouched by the heartbreak of losing someone to suicide. On Monday March 13th Corewell Health Gerber Hospital will be offering a free screening of the award winning film “Suicide: The Ripple Effect”.
The film features some of the world’s leading suicide prevention experts and shines a light on people who are using personal experiences with suicide to help others find the hope they need.
We posed a few questions on the subject to Denise Russo-Starback, Clinical Services Director at Newaygo Mental Health. Ms. Russo-Starback has been a practicing clinician for 26 years.
Who are most at risk for suicide?
In 2022, according to SAMHSA-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, middle aged people, especially males in the United States, had the highest rate of suicide compared to other groups. Eighty percent of all deaths by suicide in the United States are among women and men ages 45-54. In the year 2020, suicide was the second leading cause of death for young persons between the ages of 10-24 years. Other at-risk populations also identified include older adults, specifically males aged 85 years and above, Alaskan natives, especially young males and young American Indian men are also at higher risk for suicide as compared to other groups. One death by suicide in the United States occurs every 11 minutes.
Is everyone who is suicidal depressed?
Not everyone who is suicidal suffers from depression. Suicidal ideation (SI) can be one symptom of Major Depression and depression associated with Bipolar Disorder. Suicide can also occur in people with other identified mental illnesses or in persons with no mental illness at all.
Why do people become suicidal?
People can become suicidal for various reasons, some of which include relationship problems, family conflict, school and social pressures, discovering one’s identity and other life stressors such as criminal/legal issues, homelessness, death of a loved one, physical illness, abuse, trauma, rejection or an impending crisis.
What is the most effective treatment for people who are suicidal?
Although there are numerous successful treatments available, there is no single approach or treatment that is universally effective. Different treatment approaches have different efficacy for different disorders that people may have. Inpatient and Outpatient therapeutic options are used to help those experiencing suicidal ideation (SI). Two common therapies available to persons with SI are Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). CBT aims to help people with their ability to recognize when their thoughts might become a problem and gives them techniques to help redirect those thoughts. DBT helps people to find ways to accept themselves, to feel safe and manage their emotions to help regulate potentially harmful behaviors. Simply stated, both of these therapies aim to help people deal with overwhelming problems and intense emotions.
Biofeedback Neurotherapy is also an electrical stimulation approach/therapy used to help with the brain’s repair process. This intervention is designed to help the person recognize their own brain state and learn how to control it in order to help reduce symptoms of depression, stress and other issues.
Medications can be and are often used in conjunction with other therapies in the treatment of depression and other disorders that can lead to suicidal ideation.
What interventions beyond health care reduce suicide risk?
Other interventions or preventative steps that can be considered to help reduce the risk of suicide and suicidal ideation include reaching out to loved ones and friends, doing things that you enjoy, avoiding drug and alcohol use, journaling, seeking professional help, developing and following a safety plan and/or attending a support group. Self-care strategies are also an important part of prevention. Areas of focus should include the mind, body, soul and one’s surroundings. The following is a list of examples in each of these areas. Specific to one’s mind, having a daily routine can be helpful as can be journaling and/or finding ways to express your feelings. Develop a new skill or complete a project. Set daily goals for yourself. Exercise, having a sleep routine and eating healthy is good for the body. Take a nap. Take a shower. Feed your soul by reaching out to others, follow feel good social media, set boundaries and ask for help. Make your space one that is safe and comfy. Display things that you like to look at and that make you feel happy and positive and/or watch your favorite movie or tv show. It is not selfish to take care of oneself. Even the simplest, ordinary things can be self-care. Those who are struggling with suicidal ideation can learn how to cope, find joy and keep themselves alive.
Why should I attend this upcoming program?
It is our hope that this program/film will bring awareness and light to the ongoing mental health crisis as well as emphasize all of the efforts being made that are helping people fight through suicidal ideation and stay alive. The story of Kevin Hines describes his personal journey and the ripple effect it has caused. He is using his story to help and inspire others through a message of hope and healing.
Thank you Ms. R-S.
Please make plans to attend this free program. It could save a life.
Here’s the skinny
Distribution to benefit cites, villages, townships and counties throughout the state.
In ‘21 it was $28,000 per dispensary.
Last year it doubled to around $56,000
And this year it will be just a tad under $52,000.
It’s marijuana money, a bit of an annual windfall for municipalities that have welcomed in cannabis stores to their communities.
What this means locally is that White Cloud with 2 stores will receive nearly $103,682.42, Grant is banking $51,841.21 for their one dispensary and the county collects $155,523.63 for these three retail shops within its borders.
Big Rapids, where dispensaries seem to open every month, is receiving $881,300.57 while Mecosta County gets the same for those 17 stores in the Big Rapids marijuana market.
This annual pot store payout makes its way to the municipality coffers from the excise tax collected by retailers. Revenue was collected from 574 licensees among the state's cities, villages and townships during the 2022 fiscal year. For the 2022 state fiscal year, there was $198.4 million available for distribution from the Marihuana Regulation Fund. State law outlines how much is distributed from the Marihuana Regulation Fund.
Aside from the more than $59.5 million in disbursements to municipalities and counties, $69.4 million was sent to the School Aid Fund for K-12 education and another $69.4 million to the Michigan Transportation Fund.
In total, more than $1.8 billion in adult-use marijuana sales was reported for Fiscal Year 2022.
And any way you look at it, that is a lot of pot.
For a list of all cities, counties villages and townships receiving disbursements
Materials Recovery Facility Launched In Newaygo
NEWAYGO, MICH (MARCH, 2, 2023): Today, American Classic, a Muskegon County based family-owned business, and The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, powered by The Right Place announced the establishment of a material recovery facility (MRF) at 313 W State Road in Newaygo. The company plans to add 10 new jobs and invest approximately $2M in capital to support the increasing demand for recycling infrastructure.
American Classic, established in 2001, began as a roofing company and now serves customers across the region through commercial and residential construction services, construction supply equipment, and commercial and residential garbage and dumpster service. To expand their recycling operations, they acquired Cart Right Recycling in 2022 which focused on residential post-consumer recycling hauling and collection.
American Classic recently purchased the vacant building at 313 W State Road. This facility will be a central location to receive, sort, bale and market recyclable materials from across the region. With only one other MRF location in the greater West Michigan region, this project brings a much-needed resource for recycling infrastructure, with the initial goal of diverting 5 million pounds of landfill bound commodities annually. American Classic is searching for new municipal and industrial partners along with expanding their residential recycling footprint.
“American Classic is poised to become a recycling leader in the West Michigan region” said Lola Harmon-Ramsey, Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement at American Classic. “With new solid waste management laws coming into effect at the state level, we are excited to help our local cities and county leadership teams expand their recycling services within their rural communities. A circular economy isn’t just good for the environment but also creates new jobs and economic development opportunities.”
The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership worked closely with both Cart Right and American Classic leadership throughout the 15-month long process, bringing resources and technical assistance to aid in the project’s success. Their partner, Michigan Works! West Central supported this project with a $35,640 workforce development package, which will provide technical assistance and training grants to support the added workforce. The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership also connected American Classic with Great Lakes Energy, and they have been approved for a United States Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 0% interest loan to support their growth.
“We are excited to celebrate American Classic’s new location” said Julie Burrell, Economic Development Director of the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership at The Right Place, “Their investment in Newaygo re-activates a vacant space and provides a critical resource to support long-term recycling sustainability throughout the region.”
In addition to establishing the MRF, American Classic has worked with the County of Newaygo to obtain a Quality Improvement grant with The Recycling Partnership and the State of Michigan, Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), as well as an infrastructure grant to provide more recycling collection receptacles at local schools and campgrounds, further solidifying the region’s recycling infrastructure.
2023 Newaygo County Spelling Bee Hosted by NC RESA
Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency (NC RESA) hosted the 2023 County Spelling Bee on March 1 with 15 district-level winners and runners-up (grades 4 through 8) competing at the county level. Congratulations to Sanskriti Parihar from Fremont Daisy Brook, who was the overall winner by correctly spelling the word sunflower in Round 17. We also extend congratulations to Jax Stariha who was the runner-up. Jax attends Fremont Middle School. Sanskriti will now advance to The Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 28 in Grand Rapids.
These students are commended for their determination in preparing for the different levels of competition at their local school District Bee, Newaygo County RESA County Bee, and The Greater Grand Rapids Bee. The winner from The Greater Grand Rapids Bee will have the opportunity to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. For a detailed national competition schedule, please visit Scripps National Spelling Bee website at www.spellingbee.com.
We are proud to acknowledge the district level spellers. (Front row: L to R) Jared Stockwell, White Cloud Elementary; Leon Burns, Big Jackson School; Jax Stariha, Fremont Middle School; Thomas Crittendon, Newaygo Elementary; Sophia Dickson, Fremont Daisy Brook (Back row: L to R) Titus Hughes, Newaygo Elementary; Zenith Hollinger, Grant Middle School; Bobby Cronkright, Grant Middle School; Phoenix Cox, White Cloud Elementary; Ethan Hanna, Fremont Middle School; Lillith Rogers, Newaygo Middle School; Sanskriti Parihar, Fremont Daisy Brook; Farrah Feliciano, Newaygo Middle School Not pictured: Landon Fankhauser, Big Jackson School; Aubrey Gephart, Grant Elementary; Lydia Robinson, Grant Elementary
Newaygo #3 In Deer Taken
2022 deer hunting season recap
From our friends at the DNR:
The 2022 deer hunting season has officially come to a close. Kicking off with the Liberty Hunt Sept. 9 and finishing with the urban deer hunt in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, which ended Jan. 31, it was a memorable season for Michigan deer hunting.
It was a year of firsts in 2022, highlighted by the requirement that successful hunters report their deer harvest within 72 hours. Because of declining response rates with the traditional deer hunter survey, Michigan joined many other states in requiring deer harvests to be reported, which should improve harvest estimates and the timeliness of deer season reports in the future. Supporting the new harvest reporting process was the launch of the Michigan DNR Hunt Fish app, which allows hunters to purchase licenses, manage hunt drawings, get important updates from the DNR, report harvests, and more.
For 2022, 586,595 hunters purchased a deer license, which is about 1% less than in 2021. The first year of electronic harvest reporting resulted in a reported harvest total of 303,087 deer. Sanilac County led the state with a reported 8,150 deer harvested, followed by Montcalm (8,103), Newaygo (7,422), Jackson (7,141) and Lapeer (6,976) counties. There were 182,586 deer reported harvested in the southern Lower Peninsula, 97,714 reported from the northern Lower Peninsula and 22,787 reported from the Upper Peninsula.
There is a full harvest report summary dashboard that contains all the antlered and antlerless harvest statistics by county and season for anyone wanting to look at how things rounded out in their neck of the woods.
Unsurprisingly, the most harvest reports came during the firearm season, with 154,598 deer reported taken Nov. 15-30. Interestingly, 45,834 deer were reported taken on opening day of firearm season, translating to nearly 30% of the firearm season harvest and over 15% of the overall deer season harvest. The total reported for archery season was 95,125 deer. The combined total of harvest reports in firearm and archery seasons, 250,083 deer, made up 82.5% of the total harvest.
A majority, 56.76%, of the harvest reports that came through were for antlered deer, with 172,044 legal bucks and 131,043 antlerless deer reported. There were 23,123 hunters who reported harvesting more than one buck.
One new feature the online harvest reporting system offers is the ability to discern types of antlerless deer reported. Of the harvested deer reported as antlerless, 83% were reported as does, 6.2% as doe fawns, 8.9% as buck fawns, 1.4% as bucks with antlers less than 3 inches and 0.5% as bucks with shed antlers. The accuracy of these reports will need to be verified in future years.
Reports came in through the Department of Natural Resources website, via in-person help at customer service centers, over the phone and through the DNR Hunt Fish app. The app was designed from the beginning with harvest reporting in mind, and for many is the easiest way to check that requirement off the list.
Nearly 83% of hunters reporting a deer harvest this year were able to complete their report in under five minutes. The DNR website proved to be the most common way for reports to be submitted, with over 86% of reports received through the website, while the app accounted for 13% of reports. In total, 208,408 individual hunters submitted a harvest report.
On the heels of this first year of mandatory online harvest reporting, efforts now shift to understanding the relationship between data collected through this new method and through the traditional, mailed survey the DNR has relied upon in the past. This traditional post-season survey gives us an opportunity to cross-reference the new data, as well as get feedback from unsuccessful hunters to help collect information on hunter effort and opinions on topical management questions. It is important to continue the traditional survey in the coming years to understand reporting rates and gather information that can’t be collected through the new harvest reporting system, though the scope and scale of the survey is likely to be reduced over time.
We thank everyone who participated in deer season and was able to successfully report their deer harvest.
For more information on what’s happening in deer management or anything deer hunting-related, check out Michigan.gov/Deer.
Eligibility redetermination packets to start being mailed to beneficiaries depending on renewal date
LANSING, Mich. – Medicaid beneficiaries will have to renew their coverage this year, starting in June, as Michigan resumes Medicaid eligibility redeterminations to comply with federal legislation.
During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid agencies continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if someone's eligibility changed. Michigan’s Medicaid caseload grew by more than 700,000 people during the public health emergency. This requirement was ended by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 signed Dec. 29, 2022.
Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.
Renewals for traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan will take place monthly starting in June 2023 and run through May 2024. Monthly renewal notices will be sent three months prior to a beneficiaries’ renewal date starting with June renewal dates. Beneficiaries can check their renewal month at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges.
“MDHHS is strongly committed to ensuring Michiganders who are eligible for Medicaid coverage remain enrolled,” said Elizabeth Hertel, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director. “More than three million Michiganders, including one million Healthy Michigan enrollees, have benefitted from keeping their Medicaid coverage without redeterminations on eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. MDHHS is preparing to assist residents who will be affected by changes in their coverage.”
Here is what Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries need to do to prepare:
“The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is committed to working with MDHHS and our partners nationwide to help impacted Michiganders get the affordable, comprehensive health insurance they need,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “DIFS stands ready to answer questions about purchasing a health insurance plan. Call DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance to learn more.”
To ensure beneficiaries are aware of upcoming federal redetermination requirements and help them keep their coverage if eligible, MDHHS is launching a multi-media advertising campaign. This will include radio, audio streaming, outdoor, mobile and social media ads, including minority media outlets and stakeholder communications.
More information about the how benefits connected to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing can be found at www.Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges.
A Tuition Free Associates Degree
Newaygo County Area Promise Zone Scholarship Application Open
The Newaygo County Area Promise Zone provides high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree from Muskegon Community College or an approved apprenticeship. The Promise Zone believes that every student, regardless of financial means, should have the opportunity to earn post-secondary credentials.
By helping to remove the financial barrier that so many students face, the Promise Zone is helping to remove a cultural stigma that college is too expensive. Many students are starting to believe that higher education is within their reach and are taking steps to plan for their future.
A 2022 Promise Scholar shared that, “the Promise Scholarship impacted my decision to go to college because it opened a more affordable opportunity to further my education."
Since beginning in 2017, the Promise Zone has awarded over $2.2 million in tuition in support of over 307 Newaygo County Promise Scholars who have enrolled in their post-secondary journey.
Now is the time for first year applicants to apply for the Promise Scholarship. The online application is available at www.promise.zone/how-to-apply. Applications are due no later than March 1, 2023.
Homeschool families are encouraged to call or email the Promise Zone to learn more about how to register their student(s) and the application process.
To qualify, a student must:
Blake Prewitt, the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone Chair shares, “There is nothing more important than the education of children for their future success. In our society, education is required after high school, but your access to post-secondary education depends on your social economic status. The Promise Zone levels this playing field so all students can achieve a post secondary education, and therefore give our community more highly skilled employees.”
The Promise Scholarship covers tuition and mandatory fees up to 62 attempted college credits at Muskegon Community College. Books are not covered by the scholarship. Students must be enrolled at full-time status and attend a mandatory orientation to qualify.
An online scholarship renewal is required each year of eligibility for returning scholars. The online renewal application becomes available in June each year.
For more information about the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone visit www.promise.zone, email email@example.com or call 231.924.8888.
Phishing Text Message: Your SNAP EBT Card is Most Likely Not Locked
Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are reminding Michigan consumers to be aware of phishing text messages that claim their EBT benefit cards are locked. The message includes a phone number to call for help. Responding to these messages may allow scammers to access to the card’s funds.
EBT cards provide government food assistance, known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps. This scam is serious as those who receive benefits rely on these funds to feed their families.
If you are a SNAP recipient and receive a text message that your EBT card is locked, this is a scam. Do not respond.
To Save Lives
Corewell Health Gerber Hospital to Host “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” Film Screening March 13
FREMONT, Mich., Feb. 8, 2023 – A special free screening of the award-winning documentary “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” will be presented at the Dogwood Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m. A complimentary light dinner and refreshments will begin at 5:30 p.m.
The documentary chronicles the story of Kevin Hines, who at age 19, attempted to take his life by jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge. Since then, Hines has been on a mission to use his story to help others find recovery and stay alive and has become a prominent suicide prevention speaker and advocate. The film also features some of the world’s leading suicide prevention experts and shines a light on people who are using personal experiences with suicide to help others find the hope they need.
Jena Zeerip, regional community health manager at Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital – the new name for Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial, believes this film is important for everyone to see, especially those who have been in or have known someone in a mental health crisis.
“In our work, we see a continued need for awareness and education about mental and behavioral health and wellbeing,” said Zeerip. “Kevin’s story is one we want to share with our community, as it highlights the power of the human spirit and how you can join the movement to save lives. We hope our local communities will come out to view this powerful film.”
Across the globe, nearly a million people die annually by suicide. In the United States alone, there are one million suicide attempts in a given year and over 44,000 deaths by suicide, with our military being hit particularly hard. Research has shown that for every one death by suicide, over 115 people are directly affected and impacted.
Call Gerber Hospital community health education at 231.924.3073 to RSVP for this free event.
“Caring and Compassionate”
Corewell Health Gerber Hospital Nurse Recognized for Outstanding Care
FREMONT, Mich., Feb. 6, 2023 – Corewell Health™ Gerber Hospital recognized Laura Schoenborn, RN, with a DAISY Award after being nominated by a patient for excellent and compassionate care.
“I came to the emergency room one evening not feeling well,” the nomination read. “The only room that was open in the hospital was on the ICU floor. My first full day there I met Laura, and right off the bat my daughter and I really liked her. She was very caring and compassionate … my daughter was there with me during the days, and Laura would sit and talk with us, and we would all laugh.”
The nomination also described how Schoenborn made this patient and her family feel more at ease, especially while visitor restrictions were in place.
Schoenborn received a special certificate and a “healer’s touch” sculpture that is given to each DAISY Award recipient.
Nurses are nominated for the DAISY Award by patients, families and colleagues, and they are chosen by a committee of nurses at Corewell Health Gerber Hospital. Awards are given multiple times a year.
The DAISY award program was adopted from The DAISY Award, an international program established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes. The Barnes family was deeply appreciative of the clinical skills, caring and compassion of the nurses who cared for Patrick, so they created an award to say thank you to nurses everywhere.
Nominations for the DAISY Award are open for nurses who go above and beyond in creating a meaningful experience for patients. The award is given based on nominations from patients, community members and colleagues. Online nominations can be completed at www.spectrumhealth.org/gerber by clicking on the DAISY Award section at the bottom of the page. At Gerber Hospital, nomination forms and boxes are also at all nurse stations, in lobbies and in the medical offices. Bee Awards are open to any Corewell Health employee and are named by each DAISY Award winner.
2 Newaygo County employers among 11 in the region
From our friends at Michigan Works-West Central:
LANSING – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) to announce Tuesday more than $654,000 is being awarded to 11 local employers to train their respective workforces. The funds support training opportunities for 386 individuals, including 49 U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) registered apprentices.
Funds are being awarded through the annual Going PRO Talent Fund, which is a competitive funding program that helps employers train, develop, and retrain current and new employees. Training plans approved by the state must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a transferrable, industry-recognized credential.
Statewide, $47 million in grants were announced Tuesday to support in-demand, high-skill talent needs to train about 27,000 individuals at nearly 750 employers.
“The Going PRO Talent Fund helps workers get the skills they need to build their lives and advance their careers in Michigan,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Today’s grants will help nearly 750 businesses get the high-skill, in-demand talent they need and empower 27,000 workers earn credentials or certificates to help them land stable, good-paying jobs. Since launching in 2014, the Talent Fund has helped 6,000 businesses and 170,000 workers, and today we are keeping that momentum going. Let’s keep our foot on the accelerator as we grow our economy, create unparalleled economic opportunity, and empower more people to Make it in Michigan.”
Locally, companies applied for funding in recent months with the help of Michigan Works! West Central’s Business Services team. Training is expected to start as early as this month.
“The Going PRO Talent Fund plays a critical role in helping employers train, retain and hire new employees,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “The Talent Fund is an invaluable funding source for Michigan businesses looking to invest in their workforce to provide the vital skills necessary to succeed in a range of high-demand positions. Our Business Services team will work with these 11 employers throughout the year to file the necessary paperwork and to make sure they maximize their award amount.”
The following local companies are being awarded funds to train their respective workforces:
The Going PRO Talent Fund aligns with Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 initiative to increase the number of working-age adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60 percent by 2030.
LEO makes Going PRO Talent Fund awards to employers through Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs). Participating employers play an integral role in defining their key training needs, then work with their local MWAs and other partners to develop strategic training plans. A full list of grant recipients for the 2023 fiscal year is available at Michigan.gov/TalentFund.
“Through programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund, we can ensure Michiganders have a path to good-paying jobs and businesses have the resources they need to stay competitive in today’s economy,” LEO Director Susan Corbin said in a press release. “It’s investments like this that will result in a better economy, one that expands economic opportunity by driving educational attainment, increasing workforce participation and creating equal prosperity for all.”
FACF Grant Awards Announced
Community Foundation Awards $3.1 Million in Second 2022 Grant Round
Fremont Area Community Foundation recently awarded $3.1 million in its second community grant round of 2022, bringing the total awarded in both rounds in 2022 to more than $5.6 million.
Grant support was awarded to a variety of organizations serving Newaygo County residents, including programs addressing watershed restoration, post-secondary education opportunities, summer reading, and more. Most grant awards concentrated on the Community Foundation’s focus areas of community and economic development, education, and poverty to prosperity.
More than 50 grants were awarded in total, including a $12,500 grant to Goodwill Industries of West Michigan for their Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA offers free tax preparation services to low- and moderate-income families in Newaygo County. It also helps families identify tax credits they might be eligible for, like the earned income tax credit. For more information, call 2-1-1 or visit vitawestmichigan.org.
Another grant for up to $43,450 was awarded to Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency (NC RESA) for their 2023 summer internship program. Local young adults ages 16-21 can apply for paid summer internships at a variety of work sites throughout the area, gaining valuable career-related work experience.
Other grants included more than $53,000 for summer camp scholarships for Newaygo County youth and $59,000 for new materials at several local libraries.
The Community Foundation accepts community grant applications online twice each year. Applications for the first grant round of 2023 are due on March 1. Find more information at facommunityfoundation.org/grants.
Sara Bouwkamp was honored for her years of service at the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, January 25th.
Ms. Bouwkamp retired after 19 years at the county with her last nine being with the Sheriff’s Office where she finished her career as Office Manager. The resolution read by Board Chair Bryan Kolk praised her as being “a role model to all who were lucky enough to work with her.”
In other business the Board named Doug Harmon to a 3 year term on the Board of Public Works, accepted a bid for flooring work at the Commission on Aging and accepted a grant from the Fremont Area Community Foundation to continue support of the economic development partnership between the county and The Right Place.