Area Chambers join to address shortage of availability
The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, Hesperia Area Chamber of Commerce and River Country Chamber of Commerce, are partnering to host a Licensed Childcare Informational Meeting.
With over 500 babies born each year in Newaygo County, the need for additional licensed childcare is ever-growing. Available licensed childcare spaces in Newaygo County have decreased over 40% in the past 10 years.
Partnering with The Right Place and Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency, the Chambers are planning two sessions where interested individuals can come and learn how to become licensed childcare providers. Attendees will hear from the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, District Health Department #10, Department of Health and Human Services, Great Start Coalition, Great Start to Quality and more.
The goal of this meeting is to connect interested individuals with every organization involved in becoming a licensed childcare provider. There are currently 10 licensed childcare centers, 7 licensed group homes (up to 12 children) and 15 licensed family (up to 6 children) childcare providers in Newaygo County.
The meetings will be held in Room 118 at the Regional Center for Agricultural Studies and Career Advancement at 5479 W 72nd Street in Fremont. There are two options for meeting dates to accommodate various schedules. Interested individuals can choose between June 27th from 12:00 to 1:00 and July 9th from 6:00 to 7:00. RSVPs are required prior to June 21st at bit.ly/childcarencrsvp
The meetings are free to attend thanks to The Rudert Agency, The White Agency and Sharla Schipper, State Farm who are sponsoring the event.
Two new trustees were elected to the board of Fremont Area Community Foundation at the organization’s annual members meeting on June 13. Joe Roberson was elected as the new board chair by Community Foundation trustees at their subsequent meeting.
Members of the Community Foundation—chosen by virtue of their leadership positions in the community—elected Charles Chandler of White Cloud and Randy McDonald of Fremont to the Board of Trustees.
Chandler serves on the White Cloud city council and holds a master of science degree from Oklahoma State University. He and his wife Dianne retired to White Cloud from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and enjoy volunteering and spending time outdoors.
McDonald is a Fremont area native and has spent more than 35 years in the automotive field, including 22 years with Fremont Ford. He enjoys volunteering and is passionate about investing in youth and families in our community.
Incumbents Joe Roberson, Cathy Kissinger, and Carolyn Hummel were each elected to serve their third three-year terms on the board.
Following the members meeting, the Board of Trustees met and elected new officers to its Executive Committee. Roberson will serve as board chair, filling the position of Lindsay Hager who stepped down to join the Community Foundation staff as director of community investment. Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark was elected vice chair, Kissinger as treasurer, and Bill Alsover as trustee at large. Lola Harmon-Ramsey will continue as secretary.
The Board of Trustees also elected new members to the boards of the Amazing X Charitable Trust and Elderly Needs Fund supporting organizations.
Incumbent Mike Anderson was elected to serve on the Elderly Needs Fund board along with new members Christie Pollock and Kelly Smith. Incumbents Nate Kooistra and Kathy Misak were elected to the Amazing X Charitable Trust board along with new member Randy McDonald.
Lindsay Hager of Fremont will be the new director of community investment at Fremont Area Community Foundation. He joins the staff on June 17.
Hager brings many years of experience with the Community Foundation to his new role overseeing the community investment team and strategic initiative work. He has been on the Board of Trustees for eight years and has served as both board chair and chair of the Distribution Committee, which provides grantmaking oversight. Previously, Hager served for nine years on the Elderly Needs Fund board.
“I am excited for this opportunity to serve Newaygo County and work with an exceptional team of donors, trustees, staff, and grantees,” said Hager.
In addition to his experience with the Community Foundation, Hager is president of Hager Consulting and has worked for 30 years in the affordable housing and community development field. He has worked with a wide variety of municipal and nonprofit clients on strategic plans, feasibility studies, project management, and grant administration.
“We are fortunate to have attracted this talent to our team,” said Carla Roberts, Community Foundation president and CEO. “Lindsay is well-versed in all aspects of our organization, including our strategic plan and initiative work. We are excited to welcome him to the staff.”
In addition to Hager’s hiring, Mark Petz has been promoted to senior community investment officer and will provide leadership to grantmaking staff. Jenna Smalligan was also promoted to community investment officer and will serve as lead staff in the Community Foundation’s poverty to prosperity focus area.
Hesperia Council frozen by truancy
As 7:30 approached the small meeting room began to fill and additional chairs were set up to accommodate the attendees. The two council membersCarol Kochans and Kristi DanBesten who resigned in writing since the last meeting no longer had their name plates on the table leaving the Council with just 5 members and only three had shown up thus far. Missing as they had been since the March 11 meeting were Gerald Derks Jr. and Mike Maynard.
At the scheduled time Village President Mike Farber called the meeting to order asked the clerk Vicki Burrell to call the roll.
And once again the meeting ended due to the lack of a quorum.
Neither Derks nor Maynard ended their string of truancy leaving the citizens in attendance frustrated at the ongoing absences that have plagued the council and paralyzed progress in the town that straddles two counties.
Farber spoke to the crowd after the meeting explaining once again that without resignations from the chronically absent members there is little that can be done to replace them. A couple of people spoke about plans to bring recall language to the county (Oceana) on Tuesday.
Gina Yob who is part of a medical marijuana business set to open in Hesperia expressed her frustration since the vote for the ordinance to allow their business to go forward has been stymied by the lack of attendance.
“We are losing money every day and implore you to do whatever you can to get these people to show up. These people should be beyond embarrassed and I think it’s a horrible thing they’re doing. Every single day we can’t do business next door jobs are being lost. There are jobs we want to give out to local people and have resumes on our desk but can’t because of this. Please, whatever you can do, whatever your friends can do, we would appreciate it.”
More discussion ensued with people talking about expanding efforts with signage, calls to state officials, spreading the word to other community members and other strategies.
Council member Jim Smith supported the efforts and also encouraged people to talk to the absentee members about it when they see them.
“There is nothing we as a council can do, “ he stated. “It’s really up to the community.”
And from the comments coming from the sampling of community members at the meeting it seems the community might be ready to do what they can.
“I know if I had a job and didn’t show up I’d be fired,” said one commentor.
“Any of us would be.”
Rockin’ the Trails coming to the Cloud this weekend
Combine the fall event known as ‘Trail Town’ with the music based Rockin’ the Park summer happening that brought a bevy of tunes to the White Cloud Campground last June and you have “Rockin the Trails - A Trail Town Celebration”
And it is coming to the WC Campground this weekend with events on Friday and Saturday.
Aptly named, the event uses every manner available to showcase the number of trails both on land and waterway the area is blessed with.You can walk in a guided trail tour, run in one of the Blue Blaze races, paddle in a guided kayak tour down the White or tear it up a bit in one of the ZZ Wild paddle events.
Music Lover? RTT has you covered with a battle of the bands competition headlining the activity Friday night and a cavalcade of music taking to the stage Saturday beginning at noon.
Like your music flavored with country? Got it. More of a classic rock fan? Covered.Tend to lean toward the blues? Done.
These three genres will be mixing and matching on stage until 6:30. That’s when The Denise Anderson Connection moves to center stage to fill the summer night with their compelling brand of high energy musical delivery.
And what better way to listen to outdoor tunes than to have it accompanied by food vendors and a beverage tent?
From 5-11 on Friday and 10am-11pm Saturday the beverage tent will be open to provide the kind of refreshment that goes well with a day spent enjoying the outdoors.
There are a number of activities that serve to support the fight against cancer including the Stand Up To Cancer Walk all day Saturday and a silent auction to assist the fine work being done by the Reeling and Healing group. Even the cornhole tourney on Saturday is called Toss Out Cancer with some of the proceeds headed toward the battle.
Kids activities, a vintage camper show, a barbeque competition, there looks to be plenty of action this weekend at Rocking the Trails.
And a good time to be had up in the Cloud.
Check out the ad on our home page.
Ice Mountain Grant Applications Due July 15
The application for grants from the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund is now open. Completed applications are due July 15.
The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund was established in 2002 by what is now Nestlé Waters North America with an initial investment of $500,000. Grants are made from the fund to sustain the waters and water-dependent natural resources of the Muskegon River Watershed by supporting conservation, enhancement, and restoration projects. The fund provides up to $50,000 annually and typical grants are from $5,000 to $20,000.
“The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund has supported numerous projects throughout the Muskegon River Watershed for the past 17 years,” said Arlene Anderson-Vincent, Natural Resource Manager in the Midwest for Nestlé Waters North America.
“The success of the IMESF would not be possible without the dedication of Fremont Area Community Foundation, which has managed the fund since it was established. It has been an absolute privilege to work with an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life for current and future generations of Michiganders,” said Anderson-Vincent.
Grant requests are accepted for projects or programs that conserve, enhance, or restore the watershed and demonstrate collaboration among organizations. Past grants have supported erosion control projects, restoration of habitats and natural areas, cleanups, river bank stabilization, research, and more.
For more information or to apply, visit facommunityfoundation.org/icemountain.
A bit of good-to-know info from our friends at the DOT
Eastbound I-96 closes at Leonard Street beginning Monday, June 10 through late October.
Detour: Southbound US-131 to eastbound I-196. The off ramp from eastbound I-96 to Leonard Street will remain open. The on ramp from East Beltline Avenue (M-44) to eastbound I-96 will remain open.
The ramp from southbound M-44 (E. Beltline Ave) to westbound I-96 remains closed through October 25 (the ramp from northbound M-44 to westbound I-96 will remain open). Lane closures will be in effect on westbound I-196 from I-96 to Fuller Avenue 9 p.m. tomorrow through October 25.
NEWAYGO– Access will be closed to the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond June 5 - 7 to allow a contractor crew working for Consumers Energy 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 to launch a barge being used to perform work upstream at Hardy Dam.
Two nearby boat launches will remain available at the Croton Township Campground on the east side of Croton Pond.
In addition, the closure does 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.