Brooks Planning Commission gives the go-ahead for Smuggler’s At North Shore
By Ken DeLaat, N3 News
They began filing into the building a half hour prior to the special meeting of the Brooks Township Planning Commission meeting Monday evening. By the time Commission Chair Mark Guzniczak opened the proceedings about 100 folks, mostly from the Hess Lake community, packed the room. They were there to await the decision on the proposed construction of a new restaurant on the lakeside site that has been empty since the 2018 fire that destroyed the former Smuggler’s Cove.
The first to speak was Raeanne Huskey and her brother Nathan Thompson who are part of Team Thompson, the group who endeavor to make the lakeside eatery a reality. She described the plans and outlined the concepts for the proposed restaurant. Beyond the description of the building she spoke to her family’s commitment to the community.
“We want to provide good paying jobs to people so they don’t have to drive to Grand Rapids to get work. We love this community and feel this would not only benefit the lake residents but will be a destination spot for others coming into our area.”
Timothy Stoepker the attorney representing James and Laurieanne Knape who live next door to the site presented the argument in opposition to the special use permit required for the project to go forward citing discrepancies as to the size of the proposed building as well as other enhancements that would go well beyond the original building area.
Then came public comment.
A dozen folks approached the commission and voiced support, not only for the project, but for the Thompson family who received accolades for their responsive customer service, the redo of the Hess Lake Party Store as well as their history of giving back to the community. Each speaker received applause for their comments and each spoke of their desire to see the restaurant become a reality.
And finally, the vote.
In a roll call of the commission it was a unanimous approval for the Special Use Permit and the Site Plan Review Application.
Followed by a resounding round of applause along with a couple of cheers tossed in for good measure.
We caught up with Raeanne Huskey following the meeting.
“We can’t express enough how grateful we are for everyone that showed up with their support tonight. Your kind and encouraging words were unexpected and moving.
“We are ready to move forward with this project. Our family is thrilled to bring a fresh new destination restaurant to Newaygo. Newaygo is a hidden gem in Michigan. We want to breathe new life into our community, create new career opportunities, have a fare and atmosphere that rivals bigger cities, and really showcase all the awesome things Newaygo has to offer.
“From our family to our community, Thanks for standing behind our dream!!”
When it comes to providing case management, counseling, assessment, crisis intervention and a myriad of other activities aimed at assisting people in need
Newaygo County Mental Health has been serving the community for half a century.
Last Wednesday they served up something different to the community.
220 of them as a matter of fact.
The occasion was to commemorate the 50 years since the organization began their mission "To improve and promote the wellness and recovery of persons with, or at risk of, behavioral healthcare needs, substance use disorder and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities, who reside in Newaygo County, through the provision of integrated, person/family-centered, and trauma informed services."
A grateful community turned out.to help celebrate as over 400 folks from throughout the county stopped in to the event to meet some of the people who do their part in helping the citizens of our county and to express appreciation for the good work being done.
NCMH Executive Director Carol Mills:
“We are grateful to this community for the tremendous support of public mental health services Thae anniversary was an amazing demonstration of how this community cares about people. Newaygo County has a history of working together in cooperation and collaboration to serve those in need. We are looking forward to continuing to provide these vital services for the next 50 years.
“We thank all of our amazing staff and this community for celebrating this wonderful milestone for Newaygo County Mental Health.”
Device brought to Newaygo Police Dept.
From the NCSO:
On June 20, 2022, at approximately 2:35pm, the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Newaygo City Hall for a possible homemade firework complaint.
Newaygo County Central Dispatch advised that a citizen found an unknown device on the side of the road. The citizen then brought the device to the City of Newaygo Police Department for an officer to look at it. A Newaygo Police Officer looked at the device and requested the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office to respond since the device was located outside of the city.
Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene and immediately noticed that the device was not a firework. The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office requested the Newaygo Fire Department to respond and close roads near City Hall. Michigan State Police Bomb Squad was also requested and responded to the scene.
Michigan State Police Bomb Squad arrived on scene and took the device to a secure location and detonated the device.
The device was found to be a homemade bomb.
Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office spoke with the citizen that found the device and located the area where he found it. Michigan State Police was contacted and responded to the area with a K-9 dog trained in detecting explosives. The area was checked and nothing suspicious was located.
The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind people that if they locate suspicious packages or devices to leave them alone and call 911.
The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office was assisted on the scene by the Newaygo Police Department, Michigan State Police, Newaygo Fire Department, and Newaygo County Central Dispatch.
Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney, Worth Stay, announced that Steven Skinner of Fremont, was arraigned on June 17 on a four-count criminal complaint. The charges stem from an investigation into events that occurred at a residence in the city of Fremont on June 16, 2022.
The defendant is charged with the following:
• assault with intent to murder, in violation of MCL 750.83, a felony punishable by life or any term of years in prison
• felony firearm, in violation of MCL 750.277b, a felony punishable by 2 years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence
• possession of a firearm under the influence of alcohol, in violation of MCL 750.237(2), a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail
• domestic violence, in violation of MCL 750.81(2), a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail
A probable cause conference is set for June 30, 2022, at 9:30 am. A preliminary examination is tentatively set for July 7, 2022, at 1:30 pm. Both hearings are scheduled to be held at the 78th District Court in White Cloud, Michigan.
A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Anyone with information regarding this ongoing investigation is asked to please contact the Fremont Police Department at (231) 924- 2100.
From our friends at the Fremont PD
On June 16, 2022 at approximately 7:00 p.m., Fremont Police, Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Fremont Fire, Michigan DNR, and Life EMS responded to a report of a person shot along Main Street near Division Street in the downtown area of Fremont.
Upon arrival on scene, officers were met with a male who sustained a gunshot wound. Bystanders were already giving first aid while officers located the shooter who was peacefully taken into custody a short time later. The victim was subsequently transported to an area hospital for treatment. There are no suspects at large, or any ongoing threat to the community.
The suspect was eventually taken to the Newaygo County Jail in White Cloud. The shooting took place in an apartment located downtown. Fremont Police closed a section of Main Street east of Division while conducting their investigation.
This remains an active investigation with no further information available at this time.
Five local entrepreneurs win business capital as pitch north 2022 finalists
Five entrepreneurs local to Lake, Newaygo and Oceana County pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges and an audience of over 40 people at the fourth annual Pitch North competition held Tuesday, June 14th at the Henry and Isabella Becker Event Barn in Fremont. The individuals competed for a chance to win over $11,000 in cash and other prizes to help bring their ideas to life.
Pitch North was designed to spark entrepreneurial change and encourage more individuals to start small businesses in Lake, Newaygo and Oceana counties. Pitch North received 25 business idea submissions in 2022, from which five finalists were selected by a local committee to pitch at the live event. Each entrepreneur had five minutes to present, and judges had an opportunity to ask questions directly following their presentation.
“Entrepreneurs eat, sleep and breathe life into their businesses, and that passion was clear during our event this year,” said Julie Burrell, Newaygo County’s Economic Development Director and Regional Partner Lead for The Right Place. “Each finalist did an amazing job showcasing their businesses and vying for the top prize. I am so proud to continue this event, which has now financially supported 20 entrepreneurs in Newaygo, Oceana and Lake County.”
The first-place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Andrea Simon, A New Era of Crafting, in New Era. Simon plans to use her prize money to purchase additional equipment in order to continue growing sales and renovate her building to begin offering classes.
Second place was awarded to Thomas and Deserai Reichard, Northern Rustic Designs Furniture in Fremont. The Reichard’s plan to purchase an enclosed trailer, allowing them to deliver custom orders and continue driving sales.
The third-place prize went to Tim Liberty from Camp Box in Newaygo. Liberty’s prize money will allow him to add additional recreational items to the offerings from Camp Box such as kayaks and bikes.
In addition to cash prizes, finalists received in-kind awards from Muskegon Community College’s Fab Lab, Dave Byrne Law Office and Northern Initiatives.
The top five finalists will receive the following:
1st Place: $5,000 Andrea Simon, A New Era of Crafting
2nd Place: $2,500 Thomas & Deserai Reichard, Northern Rustic Designs Furniture Co.
3rd Place: $1,500 Tim Liberty, Camp Box
4th Place: $1,000 Breann Conkle, Country Breeze Massage
5th Place: $500 Susan Matous, Zen Den Boutique
Volunteer judges for Pitch North 2022 included:
Pitch North was hosted by The Right Place, Inc, in conjunction with our partners: Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, Oceana County Economic Alliance, Lake County Economic Development Alliance.
Pitch North 2022 is made possible through support from Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial; City of Fremont DDA, City of Hart TIFA, City of Newaygo TIFA, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, Fremont Area Community Foundation, Hart-Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce, Horizon Bank, ITC, River Country Chamber of Commerce, SCORE of Muskegon, Shelby State Bank, West Shore Community College, Dave Byrne Law Office, Heritage Farms Market and Muskegon Community College.
The application for grants from the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund is now open. Completed applications are due by July 15.
The Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund was established at Fremont Area Community Foundation in 2002 by what is now BlueTriton Brands. 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.
Grant requests are accepted for projects or programs that conserve, enhance, or restore the watershed and demonstrate collaboration among organizations. Grants awarded in 2021 supported hazardous waste collection, bridge projects, Maple River restoration efforts, and more.
For more information or to begin an online grant application, visit facommunityfoundation.org/icemountain.
Anticipating newborn’s needs, parents’ questions earn Gerber Memorial labor/delivery nurse a DAISY Award for exceptional care
FREMONT, Mich., June 10, 2022 – Anticipating a newborn’s needs is never easy.
But thanks to experience, compassion and a knack for thinking ahead, Macey Ross, RN, brought peace of mind for one family that had just welcomed a new baby into the world at Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial. Thanks to her skill and ability to anticipate new parents’ questions and what their baby would need, Ross received a DAISY Award recognizing exceptional nursing care.
Ross’ skill came in when the new parents’ baby wasn’t eating. They had a ton of questions. They were concerned. And they didn’t know quite what to do.
“She came in and answered every question we had, explained how and why things were a certain way. She also got our baby to feed and showed us multiple ways to feed, burp and hold the baby before, during and after feeding,” the parents wrote in nominating Ross for the DAISY Award. “By the time she left the room, the baby was taken care of and all our worries, concerns and questions were resolved.”
Ross showed the parents how to change their baby’s diaper properly and change the gauze following the baby’s circumcision.
The parents gave Ross a 10 out of 10 score and wrote: “Will birth here again.”
A resident of Canadian Lakes, Ross worked at Gerber Memorial for seven years, with nearly five of those as a nurse at the labor and delivery department.
“I love being a labor and delivery nurse, I love being part of bringing new life into the world. It’s very rewarding,” said Ross, who has delivered so many babies that she’s lost count.
She encourages anyone who enjoys caring for people to consider a career in nursing.
“If you like working with people and helping them, being a nurse is truly the job for you,” she said.
The parents noted in their nomination form how Ross even let them use her favorite pen, a brand she says lasted throughout her entire education in nursing school at Ferris State University without quitting on her. Before becoming a nurse, Ross was a nurse tech at Gerber Memorial.
Ross said she was inspired to become a nurse after she cared for a sick family member, often when no nurses were in the room.
As a DAISY Award honoree, Ross received a certificate commending her 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.” DAISY Award honorees also receive a beautiful sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved from serpentine stone by artists of the Shona tribe in southern Africa.
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.
The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses is part of the national 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. Nominating forms will also be available at the hospital’s main lobby, as well as included in admission packets.
Nomination forms can also be found at any Spectrum Health facility or submitted online at: https://www.onlineregistrationcenter.com/GerberDAISY.
For more information about The DAISY Award and the Foundation’s other recognition of nurses, faculty and students, visit www.DAISYfoundation.org.
“Mawwage. Mawwage is what bwings us together today.”-William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Here we are in mid June with more seekers of legal, official and pinky swear commitments beginning to pay visits to the County Clerk’s Office.
While these couples have chosen summer as the season for their act of allegiance it is not known what season they might have begun the journey that led them here. What was the time of year when they met and perhaps began to realize at some point that they much preferred the company of the other? That wonderfully perilous situation that often leads to the desire to spend a great deal of time enjoying that company.
Was it summer perhaps? It seems summer is an easy time to fall in love, doesn't it? The weather is usually more pleasant than not, more people are apt to be outside doing fun things, and life tends to somehow be a bit easier.
Ah but love can arrive in mid winter as well as summer. It can slowly take hold or bust its way in when least expected and the time of year tends to be irrelevant when we find the person we wish to join in the ultimate partnership called marriage.
Whatever the season they might have met here’s to the couples who recently made their way to the County Clerk’s Office to sign on for their new adventure. May this summer prove to be a memorable one indeed.
And all those that follow as well.
Makiah McCracken, Newaygo & Kylee Chesley, Newaygo
Jeremy Newfer, Newaygo & Ashley Sizick, Newaygo
Michael Hall, White Cloud & Shanna Keur, White Cloud
Eric James Irwin Jr. Fremont & Megan Elaine Evans, Ft Bragg, North Carolina
“Love is not a weakness. It's the bravest act of our lives.”. Georgia Scott, American Girl
Peg Mathis Joins TrueNorth Community Services as CPO
NEWAYGO COUNTY, Michigan – TrueNorth Community Services is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Peg Mathis to their organization.
Mathis joined TrueNorth June 6th as the Chief Program Officer (CPO), after spending over 31 years in education. With a varied background in connecting with community, establishing partnerships and helping grow future leaders, Mathis will be a great fit to the TrueNorth Community Services team.
Our local community will recognize Mathis as the former Superintendent with the Newaygo Public School District, a position she held for 10 years. Most recently, she served as the Interim Superintendent with the Ludington Area School District. Mathis is looking forward to utilizing her technical and interpersonal skills to help TrueNorth reach their organizational goals as they continue to fulfill their mission.
Mathis shared, “I am very excited to join the TrueNorth Community Services team. I am a firm believer in the goals that TrueNorth has for organization and the people they serve and I am ready to contribute to their success.”
As a member of TrueNorth’s executive management team, Mathis will be overseeing the programs in TrueNorth’s four core areas; ensuring youth thrive, meeting essential needs, building vibrant communities, and creating paths to self-sufficiency. In this new role, Mathis will work in close collaboration with TrueNorth’s CEO, Bev Cassidy, to implement the agency’s strategic vision, offer supervision to leadership staff members, and provide ongoing evaluation and feedback amongst programs.
“We are thrilled to add Peg to our team. Her knowledge and skills will be a great asset to our organization. Since Peg’s past work was within Newaygo County, this will easily translate to adding value to our programs and services,” stated Cassidy.
Remi lends a paw (or more likely a nose) in tracking down suspects
N3- While the publisher of N3 was making his way down 40th St. heading west earlier today it became necessary to pull over as a trio of law enforcement vehicles who seemed to be in a bit of a hurry came cruising in an eastbound direction.
Then later we received this from our friends at the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department which quite possibly provides an answer as to their destination:
Big Prairie Twp. Arrests:
A 26 year old male from Ravenna, and a 32 years old male from Newaygo, were arrested this afternoon for breaking and entering, larceny, stolen watercraft and felon in possession of firearms.
Deputies from the Sheriff's Office and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources were dispatched to a suspicion situation complaint. Through an investigation it was determined that the two broke into a residence on Croton Pond stealing several item along with a boat. The boat was located up river toward Hardy Dam and a search began in the area.
A deputy patrolling the area spotted the two individuals who than ran off into the woods. A perimeter was set up, Sheriffs Office K9 Remi arrived on scene and began to track. Both individuals were taken into custody and lodged in the jail on multiple charges.
The boat and several items including firearms were recovered. The names are being withheld pending arraignment in 78th District Court.
New Fremont Council member honored to be named
On Monday June 6th, Lola Harmon Ramsey was sworn in as a Fremont City Council member filling the vacancy created when Mike Carpenter retired.
"I am so pleased, on behalf of the Fremont City Council, to welcome Lola," said Mayor James Rynberg. "We were particularly impressed with Lola's continuing leadership on the Fremont Area Community Foundation Board of Directors and her business background in the recycling efforts for the City of Fremont. Lola will be an excellent 'fit' for our community."
“It is an honor to be appointed to the Fremont City Council,” said Harmon Ramsey. "As an almost life-long resident of Fremont I am invested in our community and our rural character while also interested in expanding opportunities like housing and economic development.
“ My husband, Mark and I have been the City of Fremont's recycling provider for the last 16 years and have loved getting to know the residents and neighborhoods on our weekly curbside visits. My children, Cayman and Troy, are students at Fremont Public Schools and involved with all of the wonderful opportunities our school and community provides. I look forward to meeting more of my neighbor's and the families that make our town so special."
LOCAL SPANISH STUDENTS SCORE WELL
Congratulations to several Spanish students from Newaygo High School who attained national recognition for excellent performance on the 2022 National Spanish Examinations.
Students from Newaygo High School earned a total of one silver medal along with four honorable mentions. “Attaining a medal or honorable mention for any student on the National Spanish Examinations is very prestigious,” said Lisa Greenman, National Director of the Exams, “because the exams are the largest of their kind in the United States with over 73,000 students participating in 2022.”
Olivia Sinkler earned the silver medal, which also earned her the Seal of Biliteracy from the State of Michigan. This is a prestigious award granted to those students who both meet ELA graduation requirements and also demonstrate “intermediate high” proficiency of any language other than English.
The underclassmen who earned honors for their efforts were Karissa Carlson, Mayte Ceja-Montano, Levinia Marquardt, and Jazmin Ramos Alvarez.
Students from Newaygo High School have a long history of high achievement on these exams and were taught by Spanish teacher Alexis Mercer.
The National Spanish Examinations are administered each year in grades 6 through 12, and are sponsored by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.
Women’s biker group lunches at HTRJ
Story by Ken DeLaat
Photos by Lil De Laat
It was a quiet Saturday morning that found my photographer (and Lifetime Spousal Companion) Lil and I enjoying a little breakfast on the deck at Hit The Road Joe with friends Mark and Elizabeth Pitzer.
But it wasn’t quiet for long.
The roar of motorcycles streaming into the Croton eatery could be heard for quite a distance as a pre-arranged rendezvous involving a buffet lunch brought in dozens of bikers amidst their annual charitable run.
The Chick Run Association has been delivering donations to various women's charities for 24 years.It began when a group of bikers organized an all women motorcycle ride to raise money to fight breast cancer after a friend and fellow rider received a diagnosis. After a few years the original organizers handed the reins over to some of the riders and ever since the annual event has brought in motorcycling aficionados from far and wide to participate in the all women charity ride.
Anne Cole is one of the organizers of the Chick Run.
“Each year we try to choose another charity. Today we’re riding for the Help Pregnancy Aid Center. We’ve done recovery houses, domestic violence centers, human trafficking prevention and others.. We’re open to any women's charities and are always looking for places to help out.
"The ride creates a lot of bonding among the participants. We ride for sisterhood and to spread the love to each other and the women's organizations we support.”
I asked Ms. Cole what her ride was.
"Harley Springer Softail is what I’m riding today,” she said.
“I have a few others,” she added with a smile. “I’m kind of addicted.”
Hers was among the many impressive rides that arrived in the parking lot that day and the women who guided them included a wide range of ages and backgrounds connected by a love of the open road and a desire to assist other women in need.
HTRJ was the first stop and the riders made the most of it. There were some on the lawn swings, some on the deck and some who just milled about interacting with friends both old and new. The sense of camaraderie among the group was apparent. Inside jokes, swapping of stories and tales of past rides filled the air.
The group took a liking to Chocolate and Layla, the donkeys who wander about in the fenced area in the back and even asked for them to be included in the group shot.
HTRJ Co-owner Chef T.:
“What an honor it was to host lunch for the 24th annual Chick Run 2022. These wonderful women raised $2200 for the Help Pregnancy Aid Center.Not to mention what a fantastic sight and sound it was when they all rolled in with 34 motorcycles.
“Really proud to call them friends and glad we were part of their day.”
After a time the women began getting ready to resume the run and gathered around the impressive collection of machines. I asked where they might be headed next.
“Seven Mile Inn” cried out a few.
And they were off.
Mobile farmers market to return to Newaygo County in June with free fresh fruit, produce
FREMONT, Mich., June 2, 2022 – Families in Newaygo County are invited to pick up a bag of free, healthy fresh produce when the Veggie Van makes two stops in June.
The Veggie Van will be at the following locations:
The goal of The Veggie Van program is to ensure that fruits and vegetables are available to people who otherwise have limited access to fresh produce.
The Veggie Van, a mobile farmers market featuring locally grown, top-quality fruits and vegetables, is a joint project of Spectrum Health and the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids. The bags will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Fremont Public Art Committee issues "Call for Artists"
The Fremont Downtown Development Authority's Public Art Committee continually works to enrich the lives of the City’s residents and visitors through art. Over the last 16 years, the town has seen 15 new public art pieces emerge, adding to that quality of life that we all enjoy here in Newaygo County. The Committee's next public art project will be located in the south central greenspace area of Fremont's Veterans Memorial Park. A "Call for Artists" has been issued for submission of proposals that are community/family friendly, touchable, and appreciated by multi-generations of community members.
Guidelines for the "Call for Artists" are available to all interested at www.fremontmi.gov. The proposal guidelines also may be requested to be mailed by phoning the City of Fremont at 231.924.2101. Deadlines for proposal submissions is Monday, August 1, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. An artist may submit more than one design to be considered by the Downtown Development Authority Public Art Committee.