Presidential Primary Results For County, State
With about 23% of registered voters casting their ballots Newaygo County went to the polls in the first election cycle encompassing 9 days of early voting opportunities prior to Tuesday’s election day. As predicted, both frontrunners in their respective parties managed easy wins over their nearest rivals.
On the Republican side former President Donald Trump did better locally than he did statewide, drawing 77% of NC Republicans to closest (and only current) competitor Nikki Haley’s 19%. Statewide Haley did better gathering about 27% to Trump's 68%.
On the Democratic side President Joe Biden’s local results matched pretty evenly with the rest of the state. He finished with 82% of the vote here, and 81% statewide His primary opposition was in the uncommitted category where 11% of NC voters and 13% statewide elected to opt out of the selected candidates. By comparison just 2% of Republican voters here and 3% statewide chose uncommitted.
7653 votes were cast on the Republican ballot and 1945 votes went to Democrats.
Trump 5890 77%
Haley 1439 19%
Others 153 2%
Uncommitted 171 3%
State (95% counted)
Trump 755,909 68.2%
Haley 294,334 26.8%
Others 25,294 2.2%
Uncommitted 33,373 3%
Biden 1597 82%
Others 139 7%
Uncommitted 209 11%
State (95% counted)
Biden 617,728 81.1%
Uncommitted 100,960 13.3%
Others 43,146 5.7%
The next Advisory Council Meeting for the Grant Child and Adolescent Health Center will be held on March 6, 2024 from noon to 1:00 at the Grant School Administration building. This meeting is open to the public. Please call 231-834-1350 if you plan to attend as there will be lunch available. If you would like to attend virtually you can access the meeting at: meet.google.com/VXG-OCBA-BQH or call 1-929-251-5532 code: 560340384#
NEWAYGO, Mich. — February 24, 2024 — Adam Mercer, a seasoned law enforcement professional with a diverse background in serving communities, has officially declared his candidacy for the position of Sheriff of Newaygo County. Mercer will be vying for the Republican primary nomination on August 6th, offering a vision of integrity, community engagement, and effective leadership.
With a career spanning over two decades, Mercer brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of service to his candidacy. His commitment to the safety and well-being of Newaygo County residents is evident in his dedication to fostering trust, enhancing communication, and implementing innovative strategies to address the evolving needs of the community.
"I am honored to announce my candidacy for Sheriff of Newaygo County," said Mercer. "If elected, I pledge to work tirelessly to build a department that prioritizes the safety and security of all residents while upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity."
Mercer's vision for the county includes the establishment of a culture grounded in trust and collaboration, aimed at recruiting and retaining highly qualified personnel for both patrol officers and jail staff. Additionally, he intends to strengthen partnerships with city police departments, the State Police, and neighboring county Sheriff's offices to enhance coordination and maximize resources in combating crime and ensuring public safety.
A resident of Croton Township, Mercer's roots run deep in Newaygo County. His extensive career in law enforcement began in 2003 with the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department, where he served in various roles, including road deputy, school liaison officer, detective, and sergeant. He has also contributed to numerous successful multi-agency initiatives, including cold-case investigations and drug enforcement task forces.
Mercer is a graduate of the Kirtland Community College Police Academy and has pursued additional specialty training throughout his career to stay abreast of emerging trends and best practices in law enforcement.
"I am committed to serving the residents of Newaygo County with dedication, integrity, and transparency," Mercer added. "Together, we can build a safer, stronger community for generations to come."
Prepared by the Committee Adam Mercer for Sheriff. Approved by Adam Mercer.
Investment in Downtowns and Facade Grant Programs Bolsters Small Businesses in Newaygo County
NEWAYGO COUNTY, MICH (FEB, 22, 2024): Community leaders across Newaygo County are prioritizing downtown development through façade grant programs. The City of White Cloud recently announced a new façade grant program, focusing on their downtown and commercial corridor. The Cities of Newaygo and Fremont are also celebrating success with implementation of facade grant programs aimed at supporting small businesses and revitalizing downtown areas. These initiatives signify a concerted effort to invest in the economic vibrancy and aesthetic appeal of local communities.
Recognizing the pivotal role that small businesses play in driving local economies, the City of Fremont initiated a facade grant program designed to assist downtown businesses in enhancing their storefronts in 2006 with initial seed funding from the Fremont Downtown Development District. Through this program, eligible businesses were provided with financial assistance via a 50% match to undertake facade improvements, such as window replacement, exterior painting, and architectural enhancements. The result has been a noticeable transformation of downtown Fremont, attracting more visitors and bolstering the overall attractiveness of the area. Since 2006, over $1.1M has been invested in Fremont’s downtown district, with grant awards of $480,000.
Similarly, the City of Newaygo, launched its own facade grant program in 2022 to support small businesses in their tax increment finance authority district. By providing matching funds for facade improvements, the program has empowered local entrepreneurs to invest in their storefronts, contributing to a more vibrant and inviting downtown atmosphere. The positive impact of this initiative has been felt throughout the community, with increased foot traffic and renewed interest from residents and visitors alike. In less than 2 years, Newaygo TIFA’s investment of over $20,000 has leveraged an additional $22,000 in private investment, supporting six projects.
Thanks to support from the Fremont Area Community Foundation, the City of White Cloud is implementing a facade grant program aimed at revitalizing its historic downtown area, with applications open now through March 31st, 2024. The City of White Cloud was awarded $20,000 of funding for its facade improvement program. Through this program, the city is offering eligible businesses and commercial property owners a 50% project match, up to $5,000. It is the City’s hope to support at least four projects.
Applications for Newaygo’s program are due February 28th, 2024 and May 31st, 2024. Applications for Fremont’s program are accepted on a rolling basis.
The Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership’s Mission is to drive sustainable economic growth in Newaygo County & surrounding areas.
By investing in facade improvements, the cities of Newaygo, Fremont, and White Cloud are not only enhancing the visual appeal of their downtown areas but also laying the groundwork for sustainable economic growth and prosperity.
For more information about the facade grant programs in Newaygo County, please contact:
City of Newaygo
City of Fremont
City of White Cloud
FHC Provider now accepting new patients.
WHITE CLOUD, Michigan – Emily Gallaway, DNP, AGNP-C, has recently joined Family Health Care’s clinic at 1035 E. Wilcox in White Cloud. She will provide outpatient primary care services to adult patients.
“We are excited to have Emily join our team of providers at our White Cloud clinic,” said Julie Tatko, President and CEO of Family Health Care. “By adding providers, we are able to increase access to high-quality, comprehensive health care services in Newaygo County.”
Gallaway earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Grand Valley State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Spring Arbor University. She brings more than ten years of nursing experience to Family Health Care, having most recently worked at Corewell Health where she served in multiple settings including emergency medicine, neuroscience, and cardiovascular surgery.
“I am thrilled to be part of Family Health Care and provide care to an underserved population who otherwise would be forced to either go without health care or travel great distances to access care,” Gallaway said. “It’s my goal to provide the highest level of quality care and compassion to each of my patients.”
Gallaway is accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call (231) 689-5943. For additional information, visit www.familyhealthcare.org.
Wood components supplier to add 25 jobs invest $8.67 million, add 25k SF facility
NEWAYGO, MI - Today, the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership (NCEDP), powered by The Right Place, Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), announced that wood components supplier G-M Wood Products (GMWP) will be expanding its facility at 531 Clay Street in Newaygo. The company plans to add 25 new jobs and $8,675,000 million in capital investment.
The company, founded in 1987 as a manufacturer of small components around door handles, now manufactures patented door frame components and wood door frames in many sizes. The company currently has 139 employees in Michigan.
GMWP is experiencing significant growth and plans to construct a 25,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its existing operations in Newaygo. This will allow the company to bring some manufacturing processes currently being done out of state and overseas in-house, allowing for better product control, decreased production times, and reduced production costs.
“G-M Wood Products, being an industry leader in manufacturing millwork and entry door components with facilities in Michigan as well as Georgia, is excited to continue growing our Newaygo, Michigan campus,” said G-M Wood Products Vice President Kevin Karrip. “We are bringing a new technology on site that we previously sourced from out of state and overseas. We firmly believe that the value of automated USA manufacturing will continue to increase over the coming years. Considering the partnership with the state of Michigan, combined with the incredibly hardworking employees of our West Michigan community, we are left with no doubt that Newaygo is the right choice for G-M Wood Products to continue to grow.”
GMWP offers training opportunities to upskill its employees and provides opportunities for growth from within. The company plans to work with Michigan Works! to secure local talent. The project will bring immediate advanced manufacturing jobs to the area and position the company for future growth and investment in Michigan.
The NCEDP worked closely with the MEDC to ensure the company continued its growth in the region rather than its current operations in Georgia. They assisted by coordinating state and local resources, including helping obtain a 50-percent property tax abatement from the city of Newaygo in support of the project.
“We are thrilled to work with the team at G-M Wood Products, providing the resources they need to expand their operations in Michigan,” said Julie Burrell, Senior Economic Development Director of NCEDP and project lead. “They continue to be a great community partner and are a key driver of the continued growth in Newaygo County.”
"G-M Wood Products has been a great asset to the community,” said Newaygo City Manager Jon Schneider. “We are excited to support them in their continued efforts to expand their business.”
Learn more about the company here: https://gmcompanies.com/
Current Prosecutor one of 4 Governor appointees
LANSING,MI -Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointments of Susan Metzger to the Van Buren County Probate Court, Amanda Pollard to Eaton County Probate Court, Ellsworth Stay to the 78th District Court (Newaygo and Lake Counties), and Michael Ekdahl to the 89th District Court (Presque Isle and Cheboygan Counties).
“Today, I am proud to appoint Susan, Amanda, Ellsworth, and Michael to Michigan’s bench,” said Governor Whitmer. “Each of these new judges are experienced legal minds who are dedicated to serving their community with humility, compassion, and respect for the rule of law. They each bring a wealth of experience to their service and I am confident they will serve with distinction and inspire confidence in the integrity and professionalism of our courts.”
Ellsworth Stay, Jr. is the elected prosecuting attorney for Newaygo County, a position he has held since 2017. He has served the people of Newaygo County in various capacities for over twenty years including as Trial Court Director/Friend of the Court and as Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.
Ellsworth received his Bachelor of Arts in American Government from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctor from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
“I am thankful and honored to receive this appointment from Governor Whitmer,” Stay stated. “I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the 78th District with dedication and professionalism. I will seek to make decisions that are impartial and just while treating those who come before the court with fairness and respect”.
This appointment was made to fill a partial term following the resignation of Judge Kevin Drake. Mr. Stay’s term will commence on April 1, 2024, and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2025.
Company Cites Electric Grid Upgrades ; More Work on the Way This Year
Consumers Energy announced that nearly 9 in 10 customers who lost power in 2023 were restored in less than 24 hours -- the result of the company’s major upgrades to strengthen Michigan’s electric grid.
Michigan’s largest energy provider last year unveiled its Reliability Roadmap – a long-term commitment to improve reliability and restore all customers in less than 24 hours, even after severe storms.
Consumers Energy put that plan into action, reducing the length of the average customer outage last year during normal weather to 176 minutes, or under three hours – a 20-minute improvement over the average for the previous five years.
“We are trimming trees, using technology and burying more power lines to build a power grid that is reliable in all weather,” said Greg Salisbury, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric distribution engineering. “We all saw the threat from severe weather, in the form of intense back-to-back storms just last month, where we restored power to most customers in less than 24 hours, which makes us even more determined to make outages as infrequent and as short as possible.”
“Michiganders are expecting us to provide energy even more dependably than ever, and our performance last year shows we’re able to follow through on our plan,” said Chris Laird, Consumers Energy’s vice president of electric operations. “We’re going to continue following our Reliability Roadmap to ensure the power stays on for homes and businesses that count on us.”
Consumers Energy operates close to 100,000 miles of electric lines and serves nearly 2 million homes and businesses. In the past year, Consumers Energy continued to innovate with new technology and upgrades to its electric system across the entire Lower Peninsula. That work included:
Promise Zone Extends Application Deadline to April 15
The Newaygo County Area Promise Zone Board of Directors has announced an extension of the 2024 scholarship application deadline to April 15. Originally scheduled for March 1, this extension comes in response to recent modifications to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The decision to extend the deadline was prompted by updates to the FAFSA, launched by Federal Student Aid on December 30, 2023. These changes aim to expand eligibility for student aid while providing a more user-friendly experience. Given these recent changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is a prerequisite for eligibility for the Promise Zone scholarship, the Board recognized the importance of granting students and families additional time to familiarize themselves with the updated FAFSA form. Therefore, the decision to extend the scholarship application deadline was made to help accommodate this need.
"The recent adjustments to the FAFSA form underscored the importance of ensuring that students and families have ample time to navigate the application process effectively. Our decision to extend the scholarship application deadline reflects our commitment to supporting students as they pursue their educational aspirations,” shared Blake Prewitt, Board Chair, Newaygo County Area Promise Zone.
The Newaygo County Area Promise Zone remains dedicated to its mission of empowering students to pursue their post-secondary aspirations without the burden of financial constraints. By easing the financial strains that frequently impede educational pursuits, the Promise Zone is actively helping to change the cultural perception that college is too expensive and out of reach. Through the availability of the Promise Scholarship, many students are now embracing the belief that higher education is attainable and are proactively preparing for their future.
Promise Scholar, Jean, recently shared that, “The Promise Scholarship means a lot to me, because it allows me to seek higher education and make my family proud.”
In addition to extending the application deadline, the Board of Directors recently approved a significant eligibility criterion change. Beginning with the Class of 2024, Newaygo County high school graduates with a 2.5 unweighted GPA or higher will be eligible for the Promise Scholarship. This adjustment aims to broaden opportunities for determined students to achieve their post-secondary goals.
Since its inception in 2017, the Promise Zone has disbursed more than $2.7 million in tuition support, benefiting over 330 motivated Newaygo County students who have chosen to pursue their post-secondary aspirations. The Promise Zone is a forward-looking initiative committed to breaking down financial barriers for local students. By providing tuition assistance and fostering educational opportunities, the Promise Zone empowers students to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to their communities.
For more information about the Newaygo County Area Promise Zone visit www.promise.zone, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 231-924-8888.
Four young women from White Cloud once again rise to the occasion
Photos by Lil De Laat
Story by Ken DeLaat
For the second year in a row a team of White Cloud Middle School students have won a national NASA STEM competition known as the TechRise Student Challenge.
Brynlee Plouff, Lily Ulmen, Gianna Fessenden, and Addison Boomgaard are the foursome who have not only made the cut for inclusion into the project last year but pulled off a repeat by being accepted for the second straight year.
TechRise, in its third year, is a STEM challenge for 6th -- 12th graders that offers students the invaluable opportunity to design and test their own innovative solutions for space exploration and the study of Earth while getting hands-on insight into the payload design and flight test process. This inspires a deeper understanding of space exploration, Earth observation, coding, electronics, and the value of test data.
This year’s challenge was to design a science or technology experiment that could be tested on either a NASA-sponsored high-altitude balloon flight or rocket-powered lander. The White Cloud Middle School students’ experiment, titled Rocket Fusion, will be tested on a rocket-powered lander. The students will now work through the remainder of the school year building out their experiments with the support of professional engineers.
The four young women from Ms. Sherry Claflin’s science class will once again be working with NASA officials through the rest of the school year to create their project in preparation for a flight test this summer.
Last year their model was used to test Co2 levels in the atmosphere while going over land forms.They showed me the project that was sent to NASA to be used on one of their balloons and reported they ended up receiving over 350 pages of data from the project.
Brynlee Plouff drew up the schematic of what the project would look like, Lily Ulmen had the idea for the CO2 part, Gianna Fesseden’s task was coming up with why the experiment was important and Addison Boomgard put together how this was going to be done and how the data was to be collected.
“We started out with an empty little plastic box and they had to put it together and make it work.,” said Ms. Claflin, “They wired it, soldered it, checked connections and coded it. It took a lot of research because they had to come up with it on their own.
“The girls spent the semester meeting weekly with a NASA scientist and engineer. They spent extra time with Tyler Hurt, our NASA engineer last year and the four showed some serious dedication to the process as they needed to give up a lot of extra time including giving up lunch time and after school time to put this together.
“Then we found out in January that the same team had won again.”
The four students have been practicing their teamwork beyond the classroom. Each is involved in a sport or two and have absorbed the power of collaboration.
“We learned the importance of teamwork and how to come together and problem solve. If someone struggles then we’re going to all work through it together,” said Addison.
We asked if the experience had influenced what they might want to do later in life.
Gianna was caught up in the engineering aspect of the project and could see herself pursuing it as a field while Lily thought she might want to look into being part of the Space Force.Brynlee has enjoyed the projects, however she has a yen to someday work with animals and Addison could see herself going into teaching to follow a desire to work with kids.
In the meantime the quartet will once again have a lot on their plate as they pursue the end product of their second trip into space.
I asked them a bit about their school.
“I think it’s cool that we were chosen. We’re just a small town and there might be people who don’t think a lot about White Cloud but we’re the only school in the state to get this,” said Addison.
And do you four like this school?
“We love it!:” they said in unison.
I also asked about their teacher.
“We wouldn’t be here right now in this project if not for her,” said Gianna.
I also asked for one word to describe their teacher.
“Hardworking, helpful, outgoing, amazing.”
The four seem destined to achieve whatever goals they have set for themselves. They have learned the power of teamwork, the payoff of perseverance and the magic of mentoring.
And gained a good deal of appreciation for the challenge Ms. Claflin has gifted them with.
Well done Ms. C.
And well done Brynlee, Lily, Gianna and Addison.
You certainly inspire hope for the future.
Consumers Energy Issuing Request for Proposals This Month for 13 Michigan Hydroelectric Dams
JACKSON, Mich., Feb. 2, 2024 – Consumers Energy announced today it will issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) this month to identify potential buyers for its 13 Michigan hydroelectric dams. This step comes after the energy provider has listened to the communities surrounding the facilities and examined options for the dams’ future that align with customers’ and communities’ interests.
“We are grateful for the meaningful input we’ve received over the last two years from communities and others who care deeply about the future of our dams,” said Norm Kapala, Consumers Energy’s vice president of generation operations. “Issuing an RFP for these historic facilities will provide even more opportunities for people to offer ideas to preserve the dams and their reservoirs, while also enabling Consumers Energy to reduce costs for all of our customers.”
Consumers Energy has retained the services of Clear Energy Brokerage & Consulting, LLC, a Grand Rapids-based firm, to design and manage the RFP process. The RFP will open Feb. 15, with participants moving through a two-stage evaluation and bidding process that should finish by the end of 2024.
Federal operating licenses for the 13 dams, which sit on five rivers, will begin to expire in a decade. Potential options for each dam’s future include renewing operating licenses for 30 more years, transferring ownership, replacement or removal.
Entities interested in participating can immediately register their interest and submit initial bids by March 15. For more information and to register, contact Ryan Cook of Clear Energy Brokerage & Consulting LLC at
email@example.com or 616-528-4682.
For more information from Consumers Energy, visit