From our friends at the NCSO:
On August 26th, 2023, Deputies with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s office were dispatched to East Baseline Rd. near N Pine St. for a single car versus tree motor vehicle accident with injuries.
Upon arrival it was determined that the passenger, a 21-year-old female from Muskegon had passed away from her injuries in the accident. The driver, an 18-year-old female from Georgia was transported to Corewell Health Grand Rapids for her injuries.
The accident is currently still under investigation.
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Michigan State Police, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, White Cloud Fire Department, Big Prairie Fire Department, Life EMS, Newaygo County Road Commission, Jerry’s Towing and Newaygo County Central Dispatch.
NCSO Sergeant's quick actions avert tragedy
At the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners Sergeant Jose Escalante was presented with the Life Saving Award for his fast thinking action that prevented what was certain to be a grim result if not for his intervention in the situation.
Presenting the award were Sheriff Bob Mendham, Undersheriff Chad Palmiter and Life EMS Supervisor David Norton. Undersheriff Palmiter read the following:
“On August 8th Sgt Escalante was a customer at the Lumber yard on Maple Island when one of the workers collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. Jose was recognized and summoned to the man where he immediately assessed the patient, recognized he was in cardiac arrest and began high quality CPR! Jose was performing CPR by himself prior to EMS arrival for approx. 9 minutes, EMS and Jose were able to resuscitate the patient after one shock and 2 more minutes of CPR. The patient was awake and alert for EMS transport. Had Jose not acted quickly and performed such high-quality compressions we have no doubt this outcome would have been tragic.
“Sgt Escalante deserves recognition for his skill and determination to save a life.”
With family, friends, co-workers and the man whose life he saved in attendance Sergeant Escalante received a well deserved standing ovation from the crowd.
The Life Saving Award may be presented to any Sheriff’s Office employee, who takes active measures to save the life of another person, when the death of that person was imminent, and the victim survives, or his life was extended by virtue of the actions taken.
From our friends at MDOT:
White Cloud- See above map.
Daily (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) lane closures for tree work are scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) through September 1 on M-20 (Baseline Road) between M-37 and Beech Road.
Work is weather dependent.
Felicidades Primar Lugar Mi Tierra Mexico!
FREMONT, MI (August 18, 2023) Five local entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges and an audience of over 50 people at the fifth annual Pitch North competition held on August 17th at the Pavilion at Waters Edge in Fremont. They were competing for the chance to win their share of over $12,000 in cash and prizes to bring their ideas to life.
Pitch North was designed to spark entrepreneurial change and encourage more small businesses to start in Newaygo, Oceana, and Lake counties. This year’s contest received 28 business idea submissions, 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.
“Every year I am amazed at the hard work and passion that our local entrepreneurs put forth,” said Julie Burrell, Newaygo County’s Economic Development Director. “We are so proud to be a part of their journey.”
The first place prize of $5,000 was awarded to Yatziry Ortega, Mi Tierra Mexico, in Newaygo. Yatziry plans to use her prize money to open a meat deli in her Hispanic grocery store. Second place was awarded to Noble Graham-Lattin, Birch & Blossom in Hart. Noble plans to expand his Taste of Oceana and Taste of Michigan gift crate product line. The third place prize went to Jackie Dickinson from Straight Path Farms in Fremont. Jackie’s prize will allow her to make efficiency upgrades to her worm farm operation and expand marketing efforts. This year’s event also offered a crowd favorite prize of $1,000, which was awarded to Brian Woods of Big Skinny’s.
The finalists will receive the following:
1st Place: $5,000 Yatziry Ortega, Mi Tierra Mexico
2nd Place: $3,500 Noble Graham-Lattin, Birch & Blossom
3rd Place: $1,500 Jackie Dickinson, Straight Path Farms
4th Place: $1000 Ashley Agler, Mindful Trout
5th Place: $500 Brian Woods, Big Skinny’s
Volunteer judges for the event include Andrea Simon, Owner of A New Era of Crafting and the 2022 first place winner, Jennifer Armstrong, Loan Officer for Lake-Osceola Bank, John Buckley, President & CEO of Gerber Federal Credit Union, Larry Yachcik, General Manager of Waters Edge Golf Course and Scott Beal, Executive Director of the Hart-Silver Lake Sand Dunes Area Chamber of Commerce.
Pitch North is hosted by The Right Place, Inc. in conjunction with the Newaygo County Economic Development Partnership, Oceana County Economic Alliance, and Lake County Economic Development Alliance.
Pitch North 2023 was made possible through support from Consumers Energy, Lake-Osceola State Bank, The Fremont Area Community Foundation, The City of Fremont, The City of Newaygo, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Great Lakes Energy, True Stream, River Country Chamber of Commerce, West Shore Community College, Corewell Health, Hart/Silver Lake Chamber of Commerce, Shelby State Bank, Gerber Federal Credit Union, DTE Energy, Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE. Additional in-kind prizes were provided by the Dave Byrne Law Office, Fab Lab at Muskegon Community College and the Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce.
Grant community voices displeasure with school board
Once again the Grant Public School Board was met with an outpouring of criticism from the community members who echoed the same theme throughout the public comment portion of their regular monthly meeting.
The comments centered on the four members Ken Thorne, Rachal Gort, Sabrina Veltkamp-Blok and Richard Vance who had moved in their June meeting to sever ties with Family Health Center who have provided the Child and Adolescent Health Center at the schools since 2010., Since that decision those Board members have heard a constant stream of reproval from the community they serve.
During the business part of the meeting Board Member Rob Schuitema expressed his frustration over the lack of movement with regard to the CAHC and made a motion to vacate the decision made in June.
“The clock is ticking and it needs to stop. We are 2 weeks away from the start of the school year.”
Thorne stated that contract negotiations have been started and that there had been one conversation. “It sounds like it went very well and there was a very hopeful feeling that came out of that meeting.”
“That’s nice to know. It would have been nice to know this before sitting here right now,” replied Schuitema.
The motion was seconded by newly appointed Board member Stephanie Deible but defeated with the four members who supported the original motion voting against his motion.
The Board continued with other business, including passing a motion to not sell a piece of school property that had been part of discussions for several months.
Then it was the community’s turn.
The comments questioned the motives of the 4 Board members challenging them to deliver reasons for their action on the CAHC. At one point a photo was held up showing Board President Thorne’s vehicle displaying a 3 Percenter emblem, a Roman Numeral 3 surrounded by 13 stars, on the rear window. Throne was asked whether he was a member of the militia group but offered no answer.
As in previous meetings the speakers took the 4 board members to task citing their lack of transparency and questioned why they have been given no explanations as to the reasoning behind the action taken on the CAHC.
Two people were removed from the meeting by law enforcement after outbursts that failed to heed the urging by Thorne to stop yelling their comments from the audience, but the dozens who took to the podium questioned the ability of the board to represent the school and the community with most urging the four to resign their positions.
Only one person spoke favorably of the board stating, “There are many people who quietly support your efforts.” while many referenced their loss of trust that the four would operate in the best interests of the students.
Prior to the meeting a press conference was held on the school property by the Grant School Board Recall Initiative who will be pursuing recall petitions for the four. On Tuesday the petition language was approved. Community member Megan Wirts who is part of the recall effort offered the 4 an opportunity to resign immediately during her time at the podium.
“We’re not going away. If you don’t resign we will vote you out. Either way you will no longer be filling those seats.”
The next scheduled School Board meeting is September 11, 2023 at 6pm. The meeting will be held at the Grant Fine Arts Center.
From our friends at MDOT:
Daily (7 a.m. and 7 p.m.) lane closures for road work are scheduled for today (Tuesday) through this Thursday on M-37 from 3 Mile Road to 7 Mile Road.
The work is weather dependent.
After a pair of meetings that saw an avalanche of outcry protesting their decision to sever ties with Family Health Care and close the Children and Adolescent Health Center, as well as a public demonstration held on the streets of Grant, the School Board gets together once again for their monthly meeting. Apparently their have been negotiations between the Board and FHC
and what is expected to once again be a large crowd will be listening to find out the status of the CAHC as the new school year approaches.
The meeting begins at 6pm Monday and is being held at the Grant Fine Arts Center. It is also the Board’s organizational meeting where officers will be elected. It will also be the first meeting for newly appointed Board Member Stephanis Deible.
From our friends at MDOT
15-minute total closures Sunday morning..
Cedar Springs to Sand Lake
Short-term (15 minutes) total closures for utility work are scheduled for this Sunday between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. on US-131 between 17 Mile Road and 22 Mile Road.
The work is weather dependent.
The Grant Child and Adolescent Health Center (CAHC) Advisory Council will meet on September 13, 2023, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Grant CAHC, located in the Grant Middle School at 96. E. 120th St. in Grant. Please use the CAHC entrance on the west side of the middle school and ring the doorbell when you arrive. The public is invited, and lunch will be provided. Please call (231) 834-1350 to RSVP.
Energy Provider Considering All Options to Safely Maintain Dam Reservoirs While Minimizing Cost Impact to Customers
JACKSON, Mich., August 9, 2023 – Consumers Energy today announced it will be issuing a request for proposal (RFP) to explore the possibility of selling its 13 hydroelectric facilities as the energy provider continues to evaluate the future of the dams and considers all options to safely maintain the dam reservoirs.
Consumers Energy last year held a series of public meetings with community members and local leaders about the dams’ future. Based on community feedback, Consumers Energy understands how important these facilities and the associated reservoirs are to local communities. Therefore, the energy provider is exploring all options to safely maintain the reservoirs – the lakes created by the dams -- while reducing costs for Consumers Energy’s customers.
“After numerous conversations over the past year, it is clear the reservoirs are important for economic and recreational opportunities in these communities across Michigan,” said Norm Kapala, Consumers Energy’s vice president of generation operations. “But we also know that the current model for financing our hydroelectric power operations requires customers to pay more than nine times for the cost of energy compared to other sources of generation.”
“Today’s announcement is an initial step we need to take to learn more about what selling the facilities might look like. If we choose to move forward and sell these facilities, our intention is to minimize the cost burden for customers while keeping the recreational and economic benefits for our communities. No final decision has been made, and we continue to explore all options.”
Consumers Energy began working with local officials and meeting with community leaders last year as licenses for the company’s dams begin to expire in 11 years. Consumers Energy’s 13 dams together produce less than 1 percent of energy used by the energy provider’s nearly 2 million customers, and they are several times more expensive than other energy sources.
Consumers Energy is planning another series of public community meetings later this summer and into the fall with the goal of collecting community feedback and discussing what a potential sale of the dams would mean, as well as other options continuing to be considered.
For meeting details, to provide comments, and more information about the process, visit: ConsumersEnergy.com/HydroFuture.
“We know communities and residents that treasure these dams will have questions about the future. That’s why we will continue to provide timely updates and be transparent throughout this decision-making process,” Kapala said. “We’ve committed to exploring all options for safely maintaining these reservoirs for decades to come.”
Consumers Energy’s 30 to 40-year federal operating licenses on the Muskegon, Manistee, Grand, Kalamazoo and Au Sable rivers are set to expire beginning in 2034 through 2041.
Random invites will arrive by mail
LANSING, Mich.- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is asking Michiganders in parts of Newaygo, Montcalm, Mecosta and Kent Counties to join the Michigan Chemical Exposure Monitoring (MiChEM) project. The MiChEM project is the first statewide effort to gather data on the amount of certain chemicals in the blood and urine of Michiganders, including lead, mercury and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
People can come in contact with chemicals in what they eat and drink, in products they use, at work and in their environment, like in the air, soil and water. It is not possible to test everyone in the state, so the MiChEM project team used a statistical method to randomly select households in different areas throughout the state.
“The MiChEM project will help us understand more about the chemical exposures of Michigan residents, including if some groups have greater amounts of certain chemicals in their bodies and how the amounts compare to national averages,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive. “This is the first time that a project of this type and scale has been done in Michigan.”
The MiChEM project team will be in the area for several weeks in August and September. Over the next few weeks, households in parts of Newaygo, Montcalm and Mecosta Counties and a small part of northern Kent County will receive the project invitations. Any adult who receives an invitation in the mail from MDHHS to participate in the MiChEM project should follow the steps in their invitation to sign up as soon as possible, as the project team will only be in each area for a short amount of time.
One adult will be randomly selected to participate from each registered household. Taking part in this project is completely free and participants will receive their individual lab results along with a $65 gift card as a thank you for their time.
Approximately 138,000 randomly selected households from across the state will receive an invitation in the mail with details on how to join the MiChEM project. The multi-year MiChEM project began recruitment of selected households from the Lansing area and parts of Jackson, Ingham, Barry and Eaton counties in September 2022. Additional households from other communities are being recruited in following years.
People who are randomly selected to participate will be given a survey and asked to provide blood and urine samples. These samples will then be analyzed for a pre-determined number of chemicals at the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories.
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DEHBio.
Misuse and lack of volunteers cited as reasons
After a number of years of collecting polystyrene, more widely known as “styrofoam” the Fremont recycling drop off center located at 5510 W 56th Street will no longer continue the styrofoam program after August 31, 2023.
A number of issues have continued to plague the styrofoam recycling program such as the lack of volunteers to empty and replace the bags, delayed service pick-up from the styrofoam recycler, general misuse of the collection boxes, and an increase of individuals placing trash and other contamination into the collection boxes, Newaygo County leadership decided to stop the program. Regular residential recycling services will not be impacted.
“We have asked for help at this site to keep styrofoam recycling available to residents but unfortunately we did not receive one response to assist with this site”, stated Dale Twing, Chairman of the Department of Public Works and the Newaygo County Drain Commissioner. “Our sites are opened and closed by volunteers throughout the county and this site in particular is challenging because of the styrofoam. Between a lack of volunteer support as well as people trying to recycle things like plastic sheeting or insulation with the styrofoam, we had to make the decision to stop.”
Residents can utilize the website, www.homeforfoam.com to find other locations that may accept styrofoam.