The Power of Kindness
Newaygo County artist, students, community collaborate on multimedia ArtPrize project to boost empathy, battle bullying
FREMONT– An international art festival that’s described as the largest of its kind in the world is helping provide the canvas for a community’s vision about empathy and kindness, and how both can empower children and families to stand up to bullying. “Walk a mile in my shoes – Kindness Newaygo County” has been accepted into ArtPrize Nine 2017 and the collaborative multimedia art exhibit will be on display at the City Water Building by the Richard App Gallery, located at 1101 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids. ArtPrize runs from Sept. 20-Oct. 8.
Conceived and executed by Newaygo County artist Jane Stroschin, the project is both one woman’s artistic vision and an interactive, community-wide multimedia work that attempts to raise awareness about bullying, by inviting those who experience it to engage in empathy and kindness. Stroschin’s artistic vision and direction drove the overall project, which frames a theme first articulated more than a year ago by the superintendent of Newaygo County Regional Educational Services Agency (NCRESA), Lori Tubbergen-Clark, in collaboration with several community organizations, including Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial and the NCCA – Artsplace. The goal of “Walk a mile in my shoes” is to ultimately create a sustainable educational program throughout Newaygo County on empathy, kindness and compassion.
“Walk a mile in my shoes” features six panels of acrylic-on-canvas paintings, with each panel measuring 8 feet wide by 4 feet tall and depicting various shoes, braces, prosthetics and footwear from different nations, cultures and eras, arrayed around letter blocks that spell out “Walk a mile in my shoes.” The multimedia installation includes a brief documentary with searing and heartbreaking testimony from victims of bullying, as well as dozens of individual pairs of shoes donated by families and individuals throughout Newaygo County, a rural community of around 48,000 people in West Michigan. K-12 students throughout NCRESA’s service area artistically embellished those donated shoes to honor their onetime owners and to also highlight individuality and the freedom for children to be themselves.
“We are so grateful to the entire community for coming together and creating a powerful reminder for all of us that kindness and empathy can make a positive difference in every child’s life and give them –and all of us – the building blocks that can make our schools, our neighborhoods and our homes places where everyone is valued,” Tubbergen-Clark said. “Our hope is that ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ will encourage people to embrace empathy and kindness in our daily lives at a time when bullying and intimidation are far too commonplace, and when we as a nation are having conversations about how we should treat each other, especially those who are different and with whom we disagree.”
In addition to the massive hexaptych, or six-panel painting, and the children-decorated shoes, the installation includes:
The Newaygo County art project also spurred local educators to create lesson plans on empathy and kindness that could be seamlessly woven into classroom curriculum. The project has already led to the inaugural Kindness Camp, which was held over three weeks in late July and August, where kindergartners and early-grade students learn about kindness, empathy and compassion through scenarios, role playing, group discussions and artwork, including painting the donated shoes that will be part of “Walk a mile in my shoes.” The Kindness Camp sessions were led by high school seniors, recent graduates and educators.
“What a wonderful collaboration by everyone in our community, to come together and send a simple message to kids: people care, help is available, you have friends who’ll stand up for each other,” said Stroschin, who has authored and illustrated children’s books, painted public murals, created signature artworks and is one of the few artists nationally whose work is part of both the Reagan and Clinton presidential libraries. “More people are kind than they are unkind. People will unite to let every child know they can be safe. ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ reflects what people, young and not so young, can do when they let their imaginations spread a positive and powerful message through art.”
According to 2015-2016 data from the Michigan Department of Education, nearly 60 percent of 9th graders in Newaygo County reported seeing students physically assaulted in the past 12 months. One in three high school students countywide reported feeling sad and depressed every day, and 1 in 10 said they attempted suicide at least once. In middle school, more than 1-in-3 students reported being bullied. More than 80 percent of middle-schoolers have heard others called mean names. And 52 percent of Hispanic and Latino middle-schoolers reported feeling sad and depressed every day, nearly double the countywide average.
“Mental health and wellness unfortunately still face a certain stigma in our society and every effort we can make to raise awareness and talk about it is going to help so many people down the road,” said Sarah Hudson, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial social worker. “Art has tremendous healing powers and it can deliver a powerful message that compels us to confront our hopes and our challenges. Empathy and kindness are cornerstones of a caring society, and the more we can be proactive in encouraging compassion, the more successful we can be at promoting mental wellness and overall wellbeing.”
NCCA-Artsplace Executive Director Marianne Boerigter said Stroschin and her art collaborators are inviting viewers to put themselves in the shoes of children who have suffered through bullying, using visual, narrative and audio media to recreate a multisensory experience.
“If the purpose of art is, among other things, to provoke emotions and invoke wonder while communicating a certain set of ideas, then ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ is a presentation intended to speak to viewers’ hearts and minds,” Boerigter said. “Jane’s artistic vision challenges us to recognize that far too many young children are suffering and crying out for help. Even as our collaborative work allows our youthful imagination to blossom and complements the wonderful creativity of children who decorated the many donated shoes, we’re also inviting people to step up and connect with our better angels. While bullying won’t end overnight, we believe ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ is an important step in affirming our common commitment to be more empathetic of the challenges many young people face and raise awareness about the importance of simply being kind to each other.”
Newaygo County businesses partnered on the project, including Jeff Blanzy, owner of Fuze Media/Treasured Images, who spearheaded the documentary project with Kettenbeil.
“We’re inviting everyone to join in on sharing kindness, not only with children but with everyone we come in contact with during our day,” Stroschin said. “Kindness is contagious, so the more that we all demonstrate it, the more likely that people will pick up on it.”
The Newaygo County multimedia exhibit can be found on the ArtPrize website, www.artprize.org/, by searching for “Walk a mile in my shoes.” To donate to the “Walk a mile in my shoes” project and support it, contact NCCA-Artsplace at 231.924.4022.
ArtPrize is an open, independently organized international art competition which takes place Sept. 20-Oct. 8 in Grand Rapids, Mich. More than $500,000 in prizes are awarded each year, which include a $200,000 prize awarded entirely by public vote and another $200,000 prize awarded by a jury of art experts.
The Newaygo County entry is among 26 student-driven collaborative entries from schools across Michigan, the first time ArtPrize is featuring student-driven projects. The schools and education-based nonprofits are eligible for a $5,000 cash prize and the winner will be decided by popular vote.
“Health Care is a Basic Right”
Candidate Rob Davidson holds meet and greet in Fremont
Story and photo by Michelle Petz
On August 23, seventy people gathered at the RWDSU Local 530 Hall in Fremont to meet Dr. Rob Davidson, who has announced his candidacy for Michigan’s 2nd Congressional District. Davidson intends to run against current Representative Bill Huizenga (R) in the 2018 election.
Davidson, an emergency room physician, shared with the crowd that he was motivated to run for office after attending one of Huizenga’s town hall events.
Huizenga’s position has been to overturn the Affordable Care Act, while Davidson advocates for a “Medicare for All” single-payer system. “Health care is a basic right,” said Davidson. “It shouldn’t be designed to provide huge profits for insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and medical device manufacturers, while families are faced with financial ruin because of massive medical bills and rising insurance premiums.”
Davidson answered questions from the attendees on a broad range of topics, including student loan debts, public education, low wages and poverty, and environmental protections.
In responding to a question about President Trump’s recent controversies, Davidson said, “Of course I have opinions about him, but I'm not running against him. Some people voted for Trump who have been left behind, and they are still looking for someone to hear them and help them. I think we all want a President and Congress that reflect our values.
"That’s not what we are seeing now.”
Line 5 Pipeline Concerns Continue
State agencies call for immediate repair of damage
The Michigan Agency for Energy, Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Michigan State Police (MSP) expressed concerns today about new information confirming there are gaps in the protective coating on a portion of Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, at least one of which was apparently caused during the installation of supportive pipe anchors.
In response to the findings, the state called for the immediate inspection of the areas around every anchor on Line 5, a report to the DNR and DEQ of any findings from the inspections, a copy of the video of the recent work performed on the pipeline, and repair within 30 days of any damage to the pipeline’s coating.
“The possibility this loss of coating occurred during the anchor installation process and was not immediately addressed is completely unacceptable," said DEQ Director C. Heidi Grether. "As we continue to review the current permit application to install more anchor supports, I plan to ask Enbridge to provide additional information regarding previous installations, including at a minimum any available video footage of the installation activities. I want a greater assurance that the integrity of all aspects meant to protect the Great Lakes is the company’s utmost priority.”
Said DNR Director Keith Creagh: “This recent finding raises concerns about the actions Enbridge is taking to protect the waters of the Great Lakes. We need to ensure that all appropriate risk mitigation measures have been put in place by Enbridge. Until that happens, we as a state will not be satisfied.”
While there is no indication that the gaps create an immediate concern to the health and safety of the Straits, given that the exterior cathodic protection system is reportedly operational, the results point to larger issues.
“While the hydrotest results give us confidence that the pipeline is not in imminent danger from these gaps, the fact that human error, not a mussel, created them is something that raises real concern,” said Valerie Brader, Executive Director of the Michigan Agency for Energy. “Human error was a major factor in Enbridge’s spill into the Kalamazoo River. These coating gaps point to other areas where human error, not the environment, are creating problems.”
“Enbridge should quickly repair the damaged pipeline covering to provide the extra protection,” said Capt. Chris Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. “It is imperative that the company do the right thing for the residents of Michigan and prove they can be good stewards in protecting the natural resource all Michiganians hold dear.”
Line 5 is a 645-mile pipeline built in 1953 and runs from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Canada. It transports up to 540,000 barrels a day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids.
Life Without Parole
Glenna Duram sentenced for murder of Martin Duram
By Ken DeLaat
It was just past 9:30am Monday morning when Glenna Duram was brought to the courtroom and unlike the outfits she wore earlier this summer, on this day she was dressed in jailhouse orange. She took her seat at the defense table flanked by her attorneys, Mark Miller and Rick Prysock and waited to hear the inevitable decisions that would be coming from the bench
Seated in the courtroom were many of the same people who spent a week and a half attending the trial. Most continued to stay on as the 12 member jury deliberated for 9 hours over 2 days before finding Ms. Duram guilty on both counts, Murder in the First Degree and the Felony Firearms charge.
On one side were the victim’s family relatives and friends who had expressed relief at the time of the verdict and were now ready to see this final step in the process that began with Ms. Duram’s arrest for the murder that occurred over two years prior.
Across the aisle sat a handful of friends and family of Glenna Duram, the woman who had been found guilty of shooting her husband to death before turning the gun on herself.
The Honorable Judge H. Kevin Drake took his seat on the bench and after a brief interaction with the attorneys for Ms. Duram, and Prosecuting Attorney Ellsworth Stay, delivered the mandatory sentences for her crimes, Life imprisonment without parole for the murder charge and 2 years for the felony firearms conviction.
While Glenna Duram declined an invitation to speak, Lillian Duram the victim’s Mother delivered a stinging rebuke to the woman who had been her daughter-in-law. She spoke of never getting another chance to talk with her son while Glenna Duram would still be able to see her family then spoke of the way she had sat through the trial expressing little emotion.
“How cold,” she said, fighting back tears.
The conviction appears to be heading for an appeal as Mr. Miller asked for the requisite paperwork from the court.
Articles pertaining to this trial can be found in the July archives of this section
Get Your License?
Antlerless deer license application results now available
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminds hunters that antlerless deer application results are available beginning today. Application results and leftover license availability can be found at mi.gov/deer.
Any leftover antlerless deer licenses not issued in this drawing will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 10 a.m. EDT until license quotas are met.
The 2017 antlerless deer license quotas for each Deer Management Unit also can be found at mi.gov/deer. Please note, DMU 333 has unlimited antlerless licenses that may be purchased without application beginning Sept. 5 at 10 a.m.
For additional information, the 2017 Michigan Antlerless Deer Digest is available online at mi.gov/dnrdigests.
Cliff Afton is Employee of the Quarter
Commissioners hear about assailant drill
At their regular meeting on August 23rd the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners heard a report from Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins on the Active Assailant Training Drill held the previous day at the county Governmental Complex.
Ms. Watkins had high praise for those who participated in the exercise citing the high level of professionalism as well as the collaboration and cooperation shown by the various entities involved as well as the employees.
County Administrator Chris Wren presented the Employee of the Quarter award to Corrections Sergeant Cliff Afton.
“You have demonstrated excellence in leadership at your job, proactively participating in problem solving providing information and knowledge not only within your office but in working with other departments,” Mr. Wren read from the document.
”Your willingness to educate and provide assistance is extremely valuable.“You have gone above and beyond by taking the initiative to improve the training for the Newaygo County Jail.”
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be held Wednesday September 13th at 9:30am at the County Administration Building in White Cloud.
An Afternoon of Action
Active Assailant Training Drill held at the Newaygo County Governmental Complex
Newaygo County – In the afternoon of August 22, 2017, the Newaygo County Governmental Complex accomplished something that has not been done in the State of Michigan before. All local, County, and State Government offices closed to the public so employees could participate in a realistic training drill. The drill was based on an active assailant within the Newaygo County Courthouse.
Newaygo County Administrator Christopher Wren stated “I couldn’t have been more proud as a County Administrator to see the efforts put forth during the Active Assailant training drill by all those involved; the safety of every employee and visitor on our campus is second to none. Further, the collaboration of so many emergency agencies is a true testament to the commitment of working together to protect life and property across all jurisdictions.”
In addition to the hundreds of government employees, the active assailant training drill involved 43 local public safety officials from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, four local police departments, seven local fire departments, Newaygo County Central Dispatch, Life EMS, and Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Hospital. “How we respond to an active assailant incident is changing,” said Newaygo County Emergency Services Director Abby Watkins. “It takes a coordinated and cohesive effort between employees and public safety to save lives and prevent further harm from occurring.”
This training drill allowed for employees and public safety officials to work together to test new response techniques and procedures. “I believe it is important for employees to take part in this type of training,” said Sheriff Bob Mendham. “Training empowers employees to act quickly and knowledgeably during an incident. It provides them with a better understanding of what would happen should a real incident occur.”
The training drill was conducted after months of planning, meetings, and several trainings for employees and public safety officials. “The extensive planning and training in preparation of the exercise highlights the level of expertise Ms. Watkins brings to Emergency Management in Newaygo County,” said Administrator Wren. “Director Watkins exemplifies the dedicated employees we have in Newaygo County.
The County of Newaygo would like to extend a special thank you to all of the agencies involved. “This training drill would not have been possible without the support and commitment from all of the agencies involved,” stated Watkins. “The level of teamwork and progressive strides to make community a safer place to work and live is truly inspiring.”
County Offices Closing Early Tuesday
White Cloud-The Newaygo County Governmental Complex will be closed to the public tomorrow afternoon, August 22, 2017, for Employee Safety Training.
The Newaygo County Courthouse and Newaygo County Community Mental Health office in White Cloud will close to the public at 2:00 pm. The remainder of the governmental campus, including the Department of Health and Human Services, District 10 Public Health Department, Circuit Court Probation, White Cloud Area Library, and all county departments will be closed to the public from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM.
Newaygo Fire Department to raise money by cooking up a tasty meal
Newaygo- Are you looking for one of the best breakfasts in Newaygo during Labor Day Weekend? If so, the Newaygo Fire Department is once again holding its annual Fireman's Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, September 2 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Newaygo Fire Department located at 177 Cooperative Center Drive, Newaygo, MI, 49337.
Last year over 300 people attended donating over $1,000 to support the fire department.
“We are grateful to live in such a supporting community,” said Carlos Escalante, Captain at Newaygo Fire Department. “Last year’s funds went to our Firefighter Memorial Fund to support our members during times of need.”
This year, money raised will be used toward the purchase of a dive/rescue trailer for the department. This much needed piece of equipment will allow the members of the Newaygo Fire Dive/Rescue Team to deploy quickly with all their life safety gear ready to go.
“Currently, our members carry their equipment and respond directly to the scene,” said Jason Cunningham, Deputy Chief of Newaygo Fire Department. “Having a trailer setup with all the equipment we will need to perform a quick and safe rescue will greatly benefit our community.”
The annual pancake breakfast is held during Newaygo's Logging Festival. It consists of eggs, sausage, tater tots, juice, coffee and, of course, pancakes—all cooked by Newaygo Firefighters. The public is encouraged to attend and the cost is by donation.
Deputy Chief Cunningham adds, “Our members take pride in everything they do. This is a chance for them to give back to those that support our department’s efforts and to bond with our community outside of an emergency situation.”
Newaygo Fire Department proudly services 56 square miles in Newaygo County. This includes all of Brooks Township, approximately 60 percent of Garfield Township, and the City of Newaygo. This rural department comprised of up to 20 firefighters and one station. Newaygo Fire Department provides the surrounding community with medical first response, fire suppression, and rescue from heights, water and vehicle entrapment. For more information visit newaygofire.com.
NCRESA Seeks Special Education Teacher
The Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency in Fremont, Michigan is seeking applications for a Special Education Teacher – Transition Program. The Special Education Teacher shall be responsible for providing a comprehensive instructional program which meets the individual academic, social and transitional needs for students aged 18-26. Individuals must possess a valid Michigan teaching certificate with an endorsement in the area of special education assigned. For more information, please refer to the job postings section on the NC RESA website, www.ncresa.org. Please send a letter of application, resume and completed application (available on the website) to Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, NC RESA Superintendent, ESC Building, 4747 W. 48th Street, Fremont, MI 49412. Deadlines for making application are posted on the website. For more information, please call the HR Department at 231-924-8853. NC RESA is an EOE.
By Ken DeLaat
With the new Medical Marijuana laws looming ahead and set to take effect in December a number of communities throughout the state are considering allowing the businesses that produce transport, and distribute the product to establish themselves in their area.
These initiatives require municipalities to pass ordinances allowing the businesses to become part of the economic landscape of their community. Businesses that bring the promise of jobs as well as tax revenues to areas that would likely benefit from both.
And with these initiatives has come controversy.
On Wednesday August 9th the NC Board of Commissioners weighed in on the issue near the conclusion of their regular meeting.
“There are rumors that some commissioners favor medical marijuana,”said Commissioner Vern Willett before bringing forth a motion stating the Board of Commissioners go on record to oppose any Marijuana growing operation in Newaygo County.
Discussion ensued with Commissioner Chris Ortwein stating the city of Newaygo Planning Commission was moving forward to approve a growing facility.
“This brings 30-40 jobs paying between $16.50 and $24.00 an hour. This is also a research facility. It’s highly regulated and controlled and medical marijuana is a proven source of pain relief. It has nothing to do with recreational use.
“I know it’s controversial but I also look at the job part of it. It’s going to happen in our community or it’s going to happen next door.”
“I feel exactly the same way,” aid Commissioner Jim Maike. “This is a grow operation. If they don’t grow it here they’re going to move to the next county and grow it there and there are jobs and revenue that will be produced.” He added,“I’m not sure we have enough information right now to make a good choice on this.”
“I’ve been to a few meetings where they’ve discussed this and actually this is a city and township issue,” said Commissioner Chuck Trapp. “Earlier we decided to opt out and not say anything. There’s a lot of money that can come into the area from this and they’re having a hard enough time making these decisions without having us interfere in it.”
Commissioner Brian Kolk stated that while he holds some viewpoints on medical marijuana based on his law enforcement years he also supported leaving the issue to the local municipalities
“Based on what has happened in other states I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing for our community but in our situation here I believe we should leave it up to the townships and cities.”
Commissioner Phil Deur stated “I come from the same angle as Commissioner Kolk and Commissioner Willett having also been in law enforcement but now medical marijuana has been approved and a significant number of people have found it to be beneficial. We all know cases where it might be abused but I can’t support the motion.”
Commissioner Willett reported that the pay rate in Colorado for people working in these facilities is actually around $9 per hour.
“You were all given a chance here to state your opinion,” he added. It’s the time for you to stand for what you believe in. We have no legal authority to stop any of these places. You are now given the chance to stand and be counted. Which ones of you will and which won’t.”
“I want to say that I support the medical only not the recreational, said Mr. Ortwein.
“I would agree with Commissioner Ortwein,” said Commissioner Patrick Gardner citing that no one would question a drug company coming in to manufacture their products.
"At this time medicinal use has been proven to be effective.”
Mr. Willett pointed out it is still against federal law, adding“You guys here have a chance to stand for your belief.”
Mr. Maike reiterated the need for more information and moved to table the motion until more information can be given. The motion to table was defeated 5-2 with Commissioners Willett and Maike voting in favor and the motion to go on record to oppose marijuana grow operations in the county was defeated 6-1 with Commissioner Willett casting the lone vote favoring the motion.
In other business the board appointed Robert O. Dakin , and Simon Scholtens to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee, approved the purchase of new software for the Animal Shelter, and approved changes in per diem payments to committee and board members in accordance with IRS guidelines.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday August 23rd at 9:30am at the Newaygo County Administration Building in White Cloud.
Sheriff's Department Asking For Help
The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office reports that on August 10th, 2017 at approx. 11:01pm, Deputies would respond to Twinwood Campground in Everett Twp. for a domestic dispute call. Upon arrival, deputies found a male with a single gunshot wound to the head. The victim was transported to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids for treatment and is listed in stable condition. The second involved party of the dispute left on foot prior to deputies arriving.
The Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help in locating Cassandra Jean Murphy (44) of White Cloud. Murphy is wanted for questioning in the incident. If you know the whereabouts of Murphy, please contact the Sheriff’s Office at 231-689-7303, Newaygo County Central Dispatch at 231-689-5288.
Research has shown that the first 5 years of life is a crucial period in the development of skills that will carry a child through the rest of their life.
And parents play a critical role during this period. From teaching early literacy skills to social and behavioral skills is extremely important during this time.
Several local agencies have received grants from The Gerber Foundation to help guide parents through this important phase of learning.
Catholic Charities of West Michigan received grant for several programs, including the Muskegon and Oceana Healthy Families programs that provide one-on-one and group counseling aimed at expanding the parent’s knowledge of childhood health, connecting them with community resources, and encouraging family well-being in a variety of ways.
The Muskegon Teen Parent Program is similar in scope but focused on teen parents who are often trying to learn the ropes of parenting with limited resources.
Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse received grants for the Adults and Children Together program (ACT) to help develop parenting skills and The Period of Purple Crying which provides information to new parents about the period in infancy when infants tend to cry for no apparent reason. The goal of this program is to prevent shaken baby syndrome.
Bethany Christian Services received a grant for a unique Coaching Family Connections program designed to teach parenting skills on an intensive individual level over a 24 week period to ensure families stay together and children succeed.
The Gerber Foundation supports a variety of youth activities and programming in Lake, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties. The next deadline for grant requests is September 15.
From the Newaygo County Prosecutor’s Office:
Newaygo County Prosecutor Ellsworth J. Stay Jr. announced Tuesday that Anthony Shawn Blamer Jr. was arrested during the course of an investigation for activities that allegedly occurred in a remote area of Sherman Township.
Mr. Blamer has been charged with two felony counts: Dead Bodies-Dismemberment and Mutilation and Concealing the Death of an Individual. Mr. Blamer is also charged as a Habitual Offender-Second Offense Notice,
A probable cause conference is set for Thursday, August 17th at 9am in the 78th Circuit Court in White Cloud.
Mr. Blamer is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Anthony Shawn Blamer, Jr., 29, appeared in court Tuesday afternoon on a felony charge of disinterment or mutilation of a dead body and a second felony charge of concealing the death of an individual in connection to the death of 24-year-old D’Anthony Keenan.
According to police Blamer is also suspected of killing Keenan and he will likely face more charges in Muskegon County.
Police said Blamer admitted to buying a chainsaw to dismember Keenan so he could not be identified, then dumping the bag containing Keenan’s head and hands in Oceana County
The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Department announced that an arrest has been made and a warrant issued this morning in the murder of 24-year-old D'Anthony Keenan of Muskegon.
The suspect will be arraigned in the 78th District Court and the investigation is ongoing.
A press release from the Sheriff’s Office read, “We would like to offer our condolences to the victim’s family and friends. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
“We commend the joint efforts of the investigative team and their respective agencies for identifying and apprehending the suspect in such a timely manner,” they added. “ Several agencies, including the Michigan State Police, U.S. Marshal Service, Fremont Police Department, Muskegon Police Department and White Cloud Police Department along with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office, worked together to ensure the continued safety of our communities.”
Near North Now will endeavor to deliver more details as they become available.
Police Seek Information On Homicide
Got a Crystal Trails area trail camera?
With the discover of a homicide victim near White Cloud the Newaygo County Sheriff's Department is looking for any information that might possibly be related to the incident.
Saturday night just after 6pm Central Dispatch received report of a possible body located in the woods of the Crystal Trails area between 20th & 28th. Sheriff Deputies responded on scene and after a brief investigation, the victim, identified as a black male, was found to be deceased.
The incident is being treated as a homicide and the sheriff’s office is seeking help from the public who currently have trail cameras in the Crystal Trails area for footage between Friday, August 4, 2017 and Saturday, August 5, 2017.
The sheriff’s office is also seeking help from the public locating a 2007 Chevy Tahoe, white in color with tinted windows bearing Michigan registration HAYMER3.
Anyone with information related to this incident are asked to call 231-689-5288. If you wish to remain anonymous, please call Silent Observer at 231-652-1121.
New information will be released as it becomes available
It’s Fair time.
Awhile back while covering one of our County Commissioners twice-monthly meetings a group from 4-H were there to give a report. One was a young man who spoke with such passion about what the organization had done for him and highlighted it by speaking of the annual Newaygo County Fair.
“There are two times of the year for me. Fair and waiting for the Fair.”
Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration since he seemed to be an intelligent and well rounded individual but his point was taken.
The Fair is Huge for those who are involved and tons of fun for everyone else who attends.
This week the annual agricultural extravaganza gets into full swing after a weekend of activities. Evening events include an Off-Road Derby Monday and A NIght of Destruction Tuesday.
Each day the petting farm is open from 3-6pm and there’s a daily tug of war at 5pm but beyond the scheduled activities is the fair itself, a celebration of all things agricultural and the culmination of the year-long efforts of the 4-H youth.
Bring your kids and tour the grounds but be warned….exposure might result in numerous requests to become part of the 4-H family.
Of all the Fair doings, the Junior Rodeo is one of the must-sees featuring local youth putting their rodeo talents on display. Action begins at 7pm. Get there early.
Devin Bates the young man who recently suffered a dog attack in our area has a long road to recovery ahead of him. To help defray the costs for the family of the 12 year old there will be a Spaghetti Dinner at Camp Harvest from 5-8pm.
Ok, let’s say you don’t like spaghetti and/or you’re too busy that day...you can still help by going to his gofundme page. We Near North folks are known to be a generous group and this is a way to support one of our families during some troubling times.
Family Health Care (nee Regional Health Care) arrived on the scene in Baldwin a half century ago.
Today they provide a wealth of services to our communities with two facilities in our county located in Grant and White Cloud.
The Baldwin location, where it all began, is hosting an open house of their newly renovated digs in the town to our north with guest speakers, tours, and (my personal favorite) light refreshments.
The doings start at 2pm at 1615 Michigan Ave in Baldwin giving one time for a post-lunch Jones Ice Cream cone on the way if one is so inclined.
Like Tony Bennett? Of course you do. Who doesn’t like Tony? The man has crooned duets with k.d. Laing, Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga among others.
No, he’s not coming here, but the uber-talented Rick Reuther is and bringing with him a tribute to Tony that promises to be exceptional based on Reuther’s past performances.
In fact, a review of his performance at the Dogwood years ago stated:
“Reuther’s rich voice is appealing as he effortlessly strolls down familiar standards, highlighted by his version of “New York, New York” a number that drew out several aspiring vocalists who joined in the chorus at his invitation.”
Yes, RR made a fan of us that night and we plan on being their Saturday if only to see if he can get the Black Box denizens to leave their hearts in San Francisco.
Dogwood 7:30pm. See the full story on our home page.
On The Near Horizon
High School Sports are coming!. Get ready for our coverage of Football, X-Country,Tennis, Volleyball, Soccer, Golf and Swimming.
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.” -Lewis Carroll
Half a Century of Service
Baldwin – Baldwin Family Health Care (BFHC) is celebrating 50 Years of quality service in underserved areas of West Central Michigan. BFHC was the first Community Health Center in Michigan and the third in the nation, beginning in 1967 with an office in Baldwin, Michigan.
The center helped pioneer the "one stop shopping" for health care by providing medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, radiology, lab and now vision services all under one roof. BFHC has five sites: Baldwin, Cadillac, Grant, McBain and White Cloud; with physical sites in Baldwin, Grant and White Cloud schools.
The Baldwin facility recently completed a major renovation that added a much needed 1,900 square feet.
“The improvement to our Baldwin location allows us to better serve the surrounding communities with more exam rooms, a larger pharmacy and more dental rooms,” said Kathy Sather, President & CEO of Family Health Care. “We are focused on providing the best possible care for those who live and visit our communities.”
With the completion of renovations, the Baldwin facility has also begun to offer extended hours Monday through Friday until 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The community is invited to join BFHC in celebrating its jubilee anniversary with an open house of the newly remodeled facility in Baldwin, located at 1615 Michigan Avenue, on Friday, August 11 starting at 2 p.m. with a ceremony and guest speakers. Following the ceremony will be light refreshments and tours.