This Is Just A Test!
Rogers, Croton and Hardy Dams Siren Tests to Take Place Dec. 6
CROTON- Emergency public warning siren systems near Consumers Energy’s Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River will be tested on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at approximately 9 a.m.
The test will include a voice message, a 30-second siren and a second voice message. The public does not need to take any action during the tests. The siren systems are tested each August and December.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires hydroelectric facilities to be able to quickly notify residents and visitors of any developing emergency at the plants.
In an emergency, the sirens would be used only if the threat of a dam failure is imminent at a facility. At that time, anyone on or near the river should evacuate at once to high ground. More information would be provided on local radio and television stations.
Consumers Energy offers a safety caution to those who visit dams in the winter.
“Ice on a reservoir near a hydroelectric facility is not reliable and should be avoided by snowmobilers, anglers and others,” said Bill Schoenlein, Consumers Energy’s manager of hydro and renewable generation. “Also, ice-covered water down river from a hydroelectric facility should never be considered a safe place to walk.”
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
Boys Hoops Preview
By N3 Sports Team
The CSAA Gold Division could be a dogfight this season as a cluster of teams have strong returning casts while others were hit hard by graduation and look to rely on players new to the Varsity game.
Here's a peek at some of our area's teams with a shout out of thanks to the coaches for their always valuable input.
The Tigers finished last season with 17 wins and a district title.
This year they return just 4 players from that squad with Carter Chase the lone starter coming back. The varsity experience of Tyler Naffziger Alex Longcore and Mike Frey will be counted on to provide leadership to the half dozen newcomers to the ‘A’ team.
“We are going to need contributions from everyone this year if we are going to be successful, especially from our young guys Freddy Hull, Brett Long, and Karlton Zerlaut,” said Coach Matt McCorkle in his second year guiding the Grant varsity.
Also new to varsity this year are Cole Chase, Connor VanderWilt, and Patrick Lancestremere.
“Having so many inexperienced and young guys on the team this year, it's hard to predict how we are going to be. I think we will have a good idea how we stack up once we hit the holiday break.”
Coach McCorkle:”Our conference is probably open for the taking for the first time in at least 3 years given the graduation of Demetri Martin & Co. from Big Rapids. That said, the Cardinalsare the reigning champs and until proven otherwise, they will be the team to beat again this year.
“I foresee Fremont being a frontrunner for the conference title though Reed City could also win it this year. Reed City was super young last year and I think they only lost two seniors.
Central Montcalm is going to be tough this year. I think they will surprise a few teams, including us, if you don't come in focused with a good game plan.
“Overall, the league is going to be tough. It is going to be vital to protect your home floor and then sneak out a couple of road wins.”
Grant opens against the Vikings in Whitehall on Tuesday December 5th before coming home to face the Cardinals of BR on Friday December 8th.
Coach Pete Zerfas welcomes back 8 players including 3 starters to a team that looks to be in the hunt for a conference title. Ben Schmidt, coming off a stellar cross country season, and point guard Riley Krim along with Logan Karnemaat who will be working the paint for the Pack lead a strong cast of returnees including 3 point sharpshooter Bailey Baddis, Wyatt Kaastra, Micah Whittle, Caleb Kooman and Ben DeVries,
Calvin Miller, Carter Moon, Julian Echavarria, and Noah Christensen will be the new arrivals on the scene.
“We return a very nice mix of experience and have some good players coming off the JV, said Coach Zerfas. “ We have size and athletic ability and had a very good summer. Our concerns are that we are banged up and will not be starting healthy.”
Krim is working his way back from some football injuries and is day to day while Kaastra is out until Christmas recovering from surgery.
Coach Zerfas: “I think our league is wide open with Big Rapids and Grant losing key players, but both teams returning experienced and talented players also. Reed City returns its entire team as they were very young and Central Montcalm is the dark horse in the league returning good players to go with their undefeated JV league team from last year. I also think Newaygo and Chippewa Hills will be athletic and good. It will be wide open. We will be in the mix.
The Packers start their season on the road Tuesday, December 5th when they take on the Tigers of Shelby. The home opener will be Friday the 8th when they host Chippewa Hills in the first conference game.
“We’re hoping to build on last year,” said coach Joe Barrette. “With over 50% of our offensive production returning this season, the sky’s the limit.”
The varsity welcomes back five players from last year’s team including Mitch Karrip, Connor Swinehart, Jacob Polasek, Morgen Manlick, and Richard Hearth. Newcomers Cooper Heinzman, Kade Bhuyan, Noah Cantu, Ryan Brummel, Gabe Limberg, and Brandon Sekach round out this year’s squad.
Swinehart can dominate inside play and the Lions will boast some strong play from the guard position.
Coach Barrett: “We will play with energy and enthusiasm. Our goal is to represent our school with class and dignity every time we take the floor.”
The Lions have a tough scheduling start to the season opening December 6th at Reed City followed by three more road games before the holiday break. Fans will get to see them perform at home for the first time on January 5th when they face the Central Montcalm Hornets
Tri County Vikings
Six players return from a year ago when the Vikes won just a single contest. Seniors Macario Castillo, Kyle Proctor, Hunter Merchant, Wil McClurken, and Mason Clewley and junior Chase Jelinski have logged varsity minutes and will be leading a youthful team with Nick Poprawski and Bryce Hallan key additions from last year’s JV squad.
Coach Josh Delamater“The challenge for this season will be competing in every game.With Big Rapids and Grant graduating some significant players, the conference is up for grabs. We may not be looked at as a contender, but the boys have been working hard to improve.
The schedule also sends the vikings roadbound for their first four contests beginning with a short trip to Lakeview to face the Wildcats.Like Newaygo TC won’t host a game until after the New Year has been rung in. Chippewa Hills comes to town the 5th. Of January
White Cloud Indians
Eight varsity veterans and 4 new faces will be plying the hardboards in White Cloud for Coach Bob Jones.
Seniors Jared Elder, Darion Holland,Sean Kakoczki,Andrew Newfer and Buchanan Seabrook as well as juniors Garret Ebert, Trenton Jones, and Devon Trice return to be joined by incoming juniors Delton Dowling, Gavin Kehr, Chance Montemayor,and Adrian Rodriguez.
Coach Jones cites varsity experience as one of the team’s strengths while recognizing a lack of height will make competing with taller teams a challenge.
Tuesday December 5th sees the Cloud heading into Hart where they will open the season facing the Pirates. On Friday December 8th they will host the Wildcats of Lakeview.
Near North Now will be providing coverage throughout the season to recognize the efforts put forth by our student athletes. If you have photographs of the games you would like to share in our pages or would like to assist in providing coverage please let us know.
Girls Basketball Preview
By N3 Sports Team
It’s Hoops time again, the beginning of a lengthy season that will stretch through the winter months into what we hope will be the cusp of an early spring come tournament time.
With the Girls kicking things off next week the staff of the much acclaimed N3 Sports and Custodial Services Department gathered a little information on the local teams for our friendly readers.
Next week we’ll follow up with the skinny on the Boys squads.
The Packers will be a fun team to watch with Bre Harris and Anna Patenge capping off their 4 year Varsity careers, sophomore Natalie Jamieson playing her second season with the A squad. and returning starter Riley Sweet heading up a supporting cast that includes freshman Calla Miller and sophomore Chloe Shriver. Senior Erin Belleman and juniors Torey Reichert-Slater and Taylor Crowley return to the team and are joined by newcomers Katie Nicholas and Hannah Hamilton.
Then midway through the season the team will add Brianna and Sydney Noordyke who previously played in the Home School League. Transfer rules will keep them out for the first ten games but the senior sisters should add to what looks to be a versatile offensive arsenal.
Harris has been a sparkplug for the team since she burst on the scene as a freshman grabbing attention with her fearless style of play that as led to three years of bumps and bruises along the way. Frequently targeted by opposing defenses she still drops more than 15 points a game while tossing in some defensive wizardry including a school record 15 steals in a game last year.
Patenge is a force in the paint where her defensive skills helped keep opponents under 40 points a game last season. She is a workhorse on the glass leading the Pack in boards each of the past 2 seasons.
Jamieson was a much different player at the end of the season than when she arrived on the varsity scene gaining confidence along the way. She seems to possess quick hands along with uncanny instincts for rebounding.
This is a team that looks to be strong on defense once again while expanding their offensive arsenal. They are, however, a bit banged up and Harris will likely miss the opener. Others are nursing various injuries and may miss games or be limited in playing time. Not the kind of start a coach wants with a long road ahead for his team but the addition of the Noordykes mid season will be most welcome.
“We have a great combination of experience and youth going into this season,” said Coach John Krim in his 5th season guiding the Packers. “There is experience at all 5 starting positions with the key spots of point guard and center filled by 4 year varsity players. 4 starters who contributed to the majority of the scoring for us last season return plus we feel we have quality players coming off the bench.”
“We are very excited about the upcoming season and couldn’t be happier with the caliber of the young ladies we have on this year’s team.They are a very hard working group who take a lot of pride in the way they play defense and practice unselfish basketball . If we stay injury free, and that's a big if right now, we believe we have a chance to be very competitive this season and hope to make it difficult on the league favorites.
The Packers open at home Tuesday facing the Red Devils of Holton in a game beginning at 7 pm.
The Lions lost 5 seniors to graduation and return just 4 players from last years team. That quartet of seniors will need to provide leadership to a group new to the varsity hardboards.
Madi Bush is the lone starter from last season though the other seniors Daisy Hagen, Alexis Brocker and Dana Duchemin each logged significant minutes and should be major contributors on both ends of the court.
While not short on talent the young Lions are a bit short on experience.
And height as well
“We're going to be younger and a little bit inexperienced this year,” said Coach Nate Thomasma. “We are also pretty small again this year so we are really going to have to work hard on the glass.”
A half dozen newcomers to the varsity scene will be on a quick learning curve in what looks to be a rugged Gold Division.
“Our conference is going to be pretty tough with all the teams bringing back a lot of experience so we are going to have our hands full every night.”
Sophomore Sophia Frisbie and Freshmen Lillian Ruehmeier and Jaylee Long join juniors Sarah Behnke, Mya Berwald, and Daniella Duchemin as additions to the new look Lion squad.
“Our 6 newcomers are working hard and learning everyday,” added the coach.“ I am happy with the effort and the attitudes of the girls. They are meshing real well and putting in some good work so I'm excited to see what the season will bring.
"It’s a good group to be around.”
The Lions begin the season by travelling to Whitehall to take on the Vikings Tuesday. Gametime 7pm.
The Vikings lost two of the area’s premier scorers when Ashley Bowen and Jenna Degeer cap and gowned it last spring. Defensive stopper Julia Hauenstein joined them in the ceremony leaving the defending District champs with gaps to fill.
Fortunately the team returns 4 seniors in their third varsity year, Tricia Slavens, Emma Overbee, Taylor Reed, and Dayoni Mahlich. Each played major roles in taking home that district hardware.
Adding to the depth are seniors Julia Bice and Cierra Rose and juniors Jessica Thompson and Grace Miller who enter their second varsity season
Newcomers to the team include senior Errin Kamp and Mickalia Sprik, juniors Emma Sickelsteel and Summer Longstreet and freshman Alicia Bowen.
Yes, that’s right, Bowen.
“Our strength will be in our depth and athleticism” said Coach Chris Overbeek.”We’ll use this to push an up-tempo pace.
“The conference will be very balanced. While I would list Central Montcalm as the favorite, I believe there are as many as 6 teams that could win the title.”
The Vikings sail into a new season Thursday November 30 when the Rd Devils of Holton continue their cross conference tour. Gametime 7pm
A rugged beginning saw Grant staring at a 1-9 mark as the basketball season reached the midway point last year.
Then it started to click on the court for the Tigers as they ran off wins in 9 of the next 12 before falling in the district finals.
“We have 4 players coming back who played a significant role for us last year,”said Coach Paige Paulsen.
Juniors Kylie Paton, Jill Arends,and Cecelia Male along with sophomore Nicole Whan make up that quartet of returnees who will lead the way for the Tigers this season.
“The Gold will be a tough conference this year, added Coach Paulsen. “ Central Montcalm, Big Rapids and Tri County have all have had a lot of success the last couple years while Fremont and Reed City may also challenge for the top spot. Every night in conference will be a dog fight.
“We are looking to be fundamentally sound on defense and limit our turnovers on offense. We have a look of people that can play many positions, so finding our identity we be key to having success.”
The Tigers take a trip to the Cloud Tuesday for a 7pm game
The Indians return 5 players from last years team led by junior Hannah Brown and senior Elexis Plotts
“With new additions combined with experienced leadership, we are hoping to create some noise in the conference’” said Coach Kurt Brown
The Indian roster includes seniors Breanna Sutherland and Arianna Kakoczki along with juniors Hallie Schulz, Kayla Pasch and Haley Foster, sophomores Olivia Bowman and Layna Yeiter and freshman Alexis Strait.
White Cloud will host the Tigers of Grant Tuesday with tip-off scheduled for 7pm.
By Ken DeLaat
Connie Mooney of the Parks Department was named Employee of the Quarter during a presentation at the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday November 22.
“You have demonstrated excellence in leadership at your job by stepping up and successfully assisting the Parks Director with difficult customers and employee issues,” read County Administrator Chris Wren. “Through your actions, it is clear you care about the park’s customers and employees and in turn you are highly respected by them. Your willingness to educate, motivate and provide assistance to the general public and staff is extremely valuable.”
“You exemplify the attitude and work ethic that makes our Parks department successful. You are undeniably a great asset to Newaygo County and to all that have the privilege of working with you.”
Commissioners also heard a report from Erin Kuhn Executive Director for West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission the federal and state designated regional planning and development agency serving 120 local governments in Lake, Mason, Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana Counties.
Ms. Kuhn spoke to several initiatives currently underway in the region including the support for the progress being made on The Dragon, the non motorized pathway around Hardy Pond that continues to move forward thanks to the creatively collaborative effort involving several entities including Newaygo and Mecosta Counties and Consumers Energy. She cited a report indicating The Dragon would have significant economic impact on the region.
Ms. Kuhn also mentioned working with Administrator Wren and Drain Commissioner Dale Twing on a strategic plan for the county’s recycling program.
In other business Administrator Wren reported that the e-cigarette program that was passed by the board and instituted at the jail this past June has thus far turned a $33,174 profit to the county during the past 4 ½ months.
Helping At The Harbor
Bellwether Harbor volunteers dedicate 2,250 hours
Fremont– Nearly 50 volunteers were honored Nov. 10 by Bellwether Harbor staff for contributing more than 2,250 hours in the last year.
“We couldn’t take as many animals and find them their forever home without the volunteers who come in and provide hours of time,” said Danielle Merrill, Bellwether Harbor Executive Director.
Bellwether Harbor Volunteer Coordinator Carmen Froehle said the volunteers help with many things including socializing cats and dogs, walking dogs, bathing and grooming animals, clerical and housekeeping.
During the event, Froehle recognized Cassie Gilliland who has been a volunteer with Bellwether Harbor since it opened 15 years ago. Volunteers with the most hours were Phyllis White with 299 hours, Nancy Reschke with 222 hours, and Ann Faber with 175 hours.
“They may call me the crazy cat lady,” White said with a laugh. “But I love coming here and seeing all the cats and kittens. I enjoy knowing them before they go to their forever home.”
Bellwether Harbor is always looking for more volunteers who must be 15 years old or older. Volunteers must fill out an application, which is available on the bellwetherharbor.org website and then complete an orientation.
Bellwether Harbor is a haven for dogs and cats that have been abandoned, abused and neglected. The staff and volunteers work to prepare them for their adoption with people looking for forever companionship. Bellwether provides medical care, socialization, training, and sometimes rehabilitation to dogs and cats.
“We work with people looking to adopt our animals by helping them to find the dog or cat that is the best fit with their lifestyle,” Merrill said. “We do this through an interview process, multiple visits, education and training. Our ultimate goal is to encourage and support the human animal bond.”
“We are so thankful for our volunteers, who help us with that mission,” Froehle added.
Interested in learning more?Contact Wendy Sinicki by phone at 231-924-9230 or via email at email@example.com
Hesperia to Host Tree Lighting Ceremony
The reenergized Hesperia Area Chamber of Commerce recently announced it will be co-hosting a Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 1 at 6:30 pm. The festive holiday event will be held in the heart of the Village at Webster Park, on the corner of M-20 and M-120. The Hesperia Beautification Committee and Hesperia Area Fire Department are joining forces with HACC to make this event possible for the community.
“We are excited to add this event to the calendar,” said Scott Rumsey, the Chamber President. “We hope to bring more family friendly events like this to our community in 2018”.
The organization saw a complete change in leadership to begin 2017, and hit the ground running. The first order of business was to continue to make the annual July 4th Family Fun Fest a success. HACC started the summer by hosting a Business After Hours event for area businesses. Currently, a website redesign is underway, preparing for Small Business Saturday, and planning various events for Christmas are just a few of the ways HACC is becoming more involved within the community. A membership drive will be taking place, in hopes to increase business membership while promoting Hesperia and the surrounding businesses in Newaygo and Oceana Counties.
Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to make an appearance as Webster Park is illuminated. Horse drawn carriage rides, music, hot cocoa and cookies are also included in this free community event. Those who wish to attend the event are encouraged visit the event page on the Hesperia Area Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.
A final report that analyzes possible alternatives to Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P.’s Line 5 below the Straits of Mackinac is available to the public beginning today. The report can be found at theMichigan Petroleum Pipelines website.
A 30-day public comment period on the report developed by independent contractor Dynamic Risk Assessment Systems, Inc. opens today. Comments can be submitted online at the Michigan Petroleum Pipelines website, by email through the website, or by mail sent to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Line 5 Alternatives Analysis, P.O. Box 30473, Lansing, MI 48909-7973.
In addition to the comment period, three public feedback sessions have been scheduled -- in Metro Detroit, Traverse City and St. Ignace. This comment process is intended to ensure the informational basis for any future decision by the State of Michigan regarding Line 5 is robust and complete.
While the final report was prepared independently by Dynamic Risk for the State, the work and judgment are the views of the contractor and not those of the State.
Below are details of the three public feedback sessions that are scheduled for early December. No formal presentation will be made at the sessions but representatives from the State will be present to hear comments:
No weapons, noisemakers or signs will be allowed at the sessions. Large bags will be subject to search by security officers.
There will also be a public comment period at the next quarterly meeting of the state’s Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB). That meeting is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Causeway Bay Lansing Hotel and Convention Center, Ballrooms F-J, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing.
The State of Michigan in August 2016 commissioned two independent contractors to complete a separate alternatives analysis and risk analysis. Dynamic Risk was hired to do the alternatives analysis. The risk analysis, performed by a different independent contractor, was not completed after an apparent conflict of interest was discovered on the contractor’s study team. Dr. Guy Meadows of Michigan Technological University is in discussions with the State to put together a team of academic experts from colleges and universities to perform a new risk analysis.
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.
Scoreboard Completion In Sight Thanks To HWI
White Cloud Athletic Boosters receive donation
White Cloud— At the November 12th meeting of the White Cloud Athletic Boosters (WCAB), Ron Wawsczyk presented WCAB member Erin Canning, along with Harry Stevens WCAB member and White Cloud School Board Vice President with a check for $4000 from the HarbisonWalker International (HWI) Foundation. The HWI Foundation is a charitable organization of Ron’s employer HWI (formally NARCO). They ask for nominations from their employees to give back to non-profit organizations where the company has operations and that its employees have donated their time, money or material.
The money was generously donated through the WCAB to complete a scoreboard project that was started as a memorial for Ron’s wife Beth who passed away from breast cancer and was an avid softball volunteer in the community and White Cloud Varsity Softball. The scoreboard itself was purchased with generous donations in memory of Beth at the time of her passing. The donated money will help complete the project as well as other improvements.
WCAB, Ron and the White Cloud Varsity Softball program would like to thank HWI and its Foundation for the generous donation and appreciates it vision and effort in helping non-profits in the communities that they operate.
Second CWD Deer Confirmed In Montcalm County
Federal lab confirms Montcalm County deer has tested positive for chronic wasting disease; three additional suspect positives awaiting confirmation
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced today that the 1.5-year-old buck, harvested last month in Sidney Township (Montcalm County), was confirmed positive for chronic wasting disease by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. This is the 11th case of CWD to be confirmed in a free-ranging deer in Michigan.
Since the harvest of that deer, three additional suspect positive deer – all from Montcalm County, in Pine, Reynolds and Sidney townships – are awaiting confirmation.
“Thank you to these hunters for checking their deer, which is required for these areas. Hunter assistance is critical in the ongoing fight against the spread of CWD,” said Chad Stewart, DNR deer specialist. “The response from hunters so far shows a strong willingness to help, and it’s clear that more hunters are committed to getting their deer tested.”
There are three Core CWD Areas that have mandatory check. To determine if a hunting location is within a mandatory check area, or to find the nearest DNR deer check station, visit michigan.gov/cwd.
“In a short amount of time, without many deer tested from these areas, we are finding more CWD-positive deer,” Stewart said. “This is concerning. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is for hunters from the surrounding areas that are outside of mandatory check locations to have their deer tested, too.”
To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in humans. However, as a precaution, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend that infected animals not be consumed as food by either humans or domestic animals.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease that affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by the transmission of infectious, self-multiplying proteins (prions) contained in saliva and other body fluids of infected animals. Susceptible animals can acquire CWD by direct exposure to these fluids, from environments contaminated with these fluids or the carcass of a diseased animal.
To learn more about chronic wasting disease, visit michigan.gov/cwd.
duChemin Park Boat Launch Closed Monday
NEWAYGO – Access will be closed to the duChemin Park boat launch at Croton Pond one day, November 20, to allow Consumers Energy crews to safely work there.
That boat launch is near the Croton Dam. Signs will clearly mark that the site is closed while crews remove equipment used to install a coffer dam at Hardy 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.
Early Financial Literacy
JA Ourselves being brought to local classrooms
Eight kindergarten programs through Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes will be funded by a grant from the Gerber Foundation.
JA Ourselves introduces students to the intersection of financial literacy and kindergarten social studies learning objectives, including personal economics and the choices people make to meet their needs and wants. It includes a series of five sessions that use compelling stories read aloud by the volunteer, along with hands-on activities,to demonstrate helping, working, earning, and saving. Session-specific, age-appropriate materials are included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA’s experiential approach to learning.
“Financial services are becoming more complex,” said Catherine Obits Program Manager for the Gerber Foundation. “The earlier we can begin to teach young children effective money management skills, the better equipped they will be as adults achieve financial security and live independently.
“We are so grateful to the Gerber Foundation for the chance to bring these programs to children in Newaygo County,” said Bill Coderre President of Junior Achievement of Mid Michigan
Fremont Area Community Foundation recently shared the results of their grantee perception survey conducted earlier this year.
The survey was conducted and analyzed by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), an organization used by hundreds of foundations for their assessments, research, and programming.
Grant recipient organizations shared their anonymous feedback on various aspects of their interactions with the Community Foundation. In their report on the survey findings, CEP also provided comparative context, allowing the Community Foundation to benchmark its performance against other similar grantmakers and funders.
The report showed that the Community Foundation is distinguished by continued strong impact on the community, with grantees ranking FACF in the top 89th percentile of all community foundations for impact. Grantees in the poverty to prosperity focus area in particular rated the Community Foundation highly for impact on their field of work.
Since the last grantee perception survey in 2012, there has also been considerable growth among grantees who think that the Community Foundation’s selection process was helpful in strengthening their organizations or programs.
The report also highlighted opportunities for improvement. While ratings for the Community Foundation’s understanding of grantees’ organizational goals and strategies is higher than in 2012, they remain lower than desired. The Community Foundation was also ranked lower than other foundations for its overall understanding of grantees’ fields.
“We are grateful to the organizations who took the time to provide their honest and candid feedback,” said Todd Jacobs, FACF vice president and chief philanthropy officer.
“We were encouraged by growth in several areas and are committed to continued improvement. We look forward to exploring grantee suggestions to further enhance our relationships, grow our awareness of each other’s work, and build a shared understanding of our respective assets.”
Line 5 Update: “This Is Very Troubling”
Enbridge told to make full accounting of Line 5’s condition
Action comes after revelation of dramatically increased number
of coating gaps on pipeline that runs through Straits of Mackinac
LANSING-The State of Michigan today called on Enbridge Energy Partners, L.P. to give the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) a full accounting of the status of the Line 5 pipeline in light of new information released today by Enbridge that additional coating gaps were discovered during the company’s most recent inspection of the dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac.
Enbridge must give the presentation at the PSAB’s meeting Dec. 11 in Lansing about all the findings it has made about the pipeline’s condition, that of its protective coating and anchors, and the results of its video inspections, automated in-line tests, and recent hydrostat and biota testing.
The new information comes after the State requested inspections of each of the anchor locations following initial reports of coating gaps. Those inspections have been completed at 48 of 128 locations, and a majority of those 48 areas have gaps, Enbridge told the state today.
“This is very troubling and points out exactly why the state has been vigilant about getting information from Enbridge,” said Heidi Grether, Director of the Department of Environmental Quality and co-chair of the PSAB. "It is essential that we get adequate and accurate information from Enbridge to allow the State to continue our pursuit of protecting the Great Lakes."
Besides ordering the presentation, the State said it will bring on additional technical expertise to evaluate the information Enbridge is to provide about the condition of the pipeline that was built in 1953. A 4.5-mile section of the line from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac within an easement issued in 1953 by the State of Michigan.
“A year ago, Enbridge said there were no coating gaps in the Straits pipeline. Now, there are dozens. When will we know the full accounting of what Enbridge knows about Line 5?” said Valerie Brader, executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy and co-chair of the PSAB. “I sincerely hope there are no more surprises when Enbridge gives their presentation to the Pipeline Safety Advisory Board in December. We and the people of Michigan deserve nothing less, and the State will be bringing on additional experts to examine Enbridge’s information and challenge it where necessary.”
The latest Enbridge information comes just a week before the State is to release on Nov. 20 the final version of the Line 5 Alternatives Analysis report. Developed by independent contractor Dynamic Risk, the report studies what options are available for transporting the 540,000 barrels a day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids that run through Line 5.
Three public feedback sessions have been scheduled after the Alternative Analysis’ release:
Dr. Guy Meadows, a professor at Michigan Technological University who is in talks with the state to perform a risk analysis of the pipeline, will also be asked to include information contained in today’s revelations in his report, which is expected to be completed next summer.
The PSAB’s next quarterly meeting is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Causeway Bay Lansing Hotel and Convention Center, Ballrooms F-J, 6820 S. Cedar St., Lansing.
The State will use the information from the Enbridge presentation, the Alternatives and Risk studies, and the outside expert review to ensure the informational basis for any decision about the future of Line 5 is robust and complete.
Opening Day! 10 Things To Know
Sheriff Mendham offers tips for a safe hunting season
NEWAYGO COUNTY - November 15th is opening day of the Michigan Firearm Deer Season and Sheriff Mendham would like all hunters to enjoy their time in the woods, but most importantly be safe.
Hunting is potentially a very dangerous sport, so it is important to know these 10 hunting safety tips. Because of the very nature of the sport, and the risks involved it is important to be educated and know how to stay safe:
1. Always tell someone where you are hunting. Whenever you go out, make sure someone knows the area you will be in and when you are expecting to be back. This is important for hunting safety just in case there is an accident, they will know where to find you.
2. Treat every weapon as if it were loaded. This means point the muzzle in a safe direction, do not put your finger on the trigger unless prepared to shoot. Making this a habit will keep you and your hunting partners safe.
3. Dress for the weather. Protect yourself from hypothermia by checking the forecast and dressing appropriately. Simply being prepared will keep you safe hunting.
4. Never hunt alone. Always have someone else with you or hunt with a group. This will protect you in case of an accident, having someone else with you to call for help if needed is vital.
5. Check your equipment regularly and maintain it. Equipment that isn't well maintained can be a hazard to yourself and everyone around you. This is essential for hunting safety.
6. When hunting with a firearm you must wear hunter's orange. This must be visible from all sides and worn on any hunting property. This will make yourself well seen by other hunters in the area.
7. Be aware of what your target is. Be sure that what you're planning to shoot is your intended target and not another hunter. Be sure to help other hunters be safe as well.
8. Be in control of your emotions. If you hit a target you will probably get excited, but that doesn't mean wave your firearm around wildly to celebrate. Keep yourself and your companions’ safe. The same goes for hunting when angry, it should go without saying you shouldn't be in possession of a weapon if your emotions are out of control.
9. Wear hearing and eye protection. It's required at the range and you should do the same while hunting. Protect your sight and hearing from damage.
10. Don't hunt while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances impair judgment as well as your ability to control your emotions. It isn't wise to use a firearm while under the influence because it will not keep you or your companions’ safe.
For more safety tips Sheriff Mendham encourages residents to visit the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association website at www.misheriff.org or Facebook page at www.facebook.com/misheriff.org where you can sign up to receive monthly newsletters. Founded in 1877 the Michigan Sheriffs’ Association is the oldest law enforcement organization in Michigan.
By Ken DeLaat
County Administrator Chris Wren spoke to efforts being made to develop a sustainable plan for recycling in Newaygo County at the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners held Wednesday November 8th.
The county assumed responsibility for recycling efforts last Spring when Recycling for Newaygo County discontinued operations at the sites. Since that time supported by a partnership with the Fremont Area Community Foundation the county has continued to offer the services while searching for a long term solution to the expense involved in this environmentally friendly initiative.
Wren and NC Drain Commissioner Dale Twing will be meeting with representatives of the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission (WMSRDC), a state and federal designated planning and development agency, and the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to develop a strategic plan.
“We want a picture of what Recycling looks like now and a plan for what it will look like in the future,” said Wren. “ A plan that includes long term funding solutions.”
“We’re going to look at everything. What other counties are doing, what other options are out there. We want this to be sustainable and not find ourselves in the position to have to chase down money every year to fund it.”
Administrator Wren also announced that Jason Woolford has been named Interim Director of Newaygo County Central Dispatch and spoke to the increased usage of the county’s Welcome Center.
Commissioner Bryan Kolk stated he had attended the recent Fremont City Council meeting and reported they are in the final stages of Meijer’s much awaited arrival in Fremont. Kolk said groundbreaking would likely be happening soon after the process becomes complete.
Commissioner Chuck Trapp who serves on the County Parks Board praised the work of Parks Director Nick Smith for the improvements in the parks and his efforts in fostering a positive environment for employees in the department.
In other business the board approved a grant application for scrap tire cleanup and approved health insurance plans for employees and retirees.
he next Board of Commissioners meeting will be Wednesday November 22 at 9:30am. Meetings are held at the County Administration building in White Cloud.
Changes coming to the Cloud, Newaygo stands pat
Voters went to the polls Tuesday to decide who would help lead our local municipalities through the changes looming on the horizon.
There will certainly be a new look in White Cloud. The mayor’s race was thrown wide open when Acting Mayor Charles Chandler announced he would return to his Council seat at the end of this term. Mr. Chandler inherited the post when Don Barnhard who had long served in that role stepped down to assume the position as Supervisor for the city’s Department of Public Works.
Two candidates came forward, Jerry LeBlanc who serves on the city’s Planning Commission and Jamie Denslow who is the Band Director at WCHS.
Deslow captured nearly 64% of the vote and the highest percentage among area mayoral candidates with the exception of Grant’s Julie Hallman who ran unopposed and defeated unopposed soundly receiving 100% of the lots cast.
Voters must be happy with the job Kay Scott has done since being appointed to fill the seat vacated by Charles Chandler when he became mayor. She led the Council race with 125 votes while three term incumbent Jeff Murchison pulled in an even 100 and newcomer Ashley Zatalokin edged Anthony Johnson for the third and final city hall spot by 9 votes 96-87.
“I think I'm most excited to get people talking about a vision for the City.,”said Mayor-elect Denslow. “Not so much the formal, Master Plan, but something they can see in their future about the way White Cloud feels and looks.
“White Cloud is on the verge of change. It seems that the community is ready for movement forward and we are just waiting for that small push. I'm hoping that I can help facilitate that push and really get us moving.
“ I don't want to see White Cloud be a duplicate of neighboring towns or to be continually comparing ourselves to other cities. I think we can, in some small way, work together with the County and collaborate for the betterment of all entities involved.
“At the end of the day, I just want to help get us going. I don't have all the answers, but someone does, and I want to get that person more involved.”
Fremont selected a new council member who is no stranger to city hall having toiled there for many years as a police officer. Steve Heiss polled 376 votes to earn one of two seats being contested Tuesday and outdistanced Michael Carpenter who tallied 314. The other spot on the council was won by incumbent Don Henry who led the threesome with 412 votes.
Sandy Siegel ran unopposed for a partial term and came just 10 write-ins from pitching a shutout
Mayor Jim Rynberg collected 62% of the votes to win another two years in office as 382 Fremont residents showed their approval at the polls.
"Serving on the City Council since 1985 has given me a wonderful view of our community,” said the Mayor. “I have been so fortunate to help in the decision making for many of the projects that keep moving Fremont forward. I am very thankful to have had this opportunity to 'give back'.”
In Newaygo 45 more voters put their mark by the name of incumbent Ed Fedell than those who did so for his opponent Brooke Shaffer. Ms. Shaffer was running for the first time.
"I am very appreciative of the voters who reelected me to my fifth term as Mayor, said Fedell. "In addition I hold all voters who cast their vote in high regard regardless of who they voted for.
"I am looking forward to my next term with great anticipation as it will allow me to see projects which we have been working on come to fulfillment under my administration."
Mike Hikade Eric Johnson and Roger Ederer were the only candidates for the three spots on the council.
The real winners Tuesday?
The voters who showed up.
In Newaygo your vote amounted to representing yourself and about 5 ½ more of the city’s registered voters.
White Cloud and Fremont? Each one of you who bothered to show up at the polls made the decision for four of your fellow citizens.
Ok, sure, maybe no one ran against the mayor and there weren’t even enough candidates to fill the three seats on the council but just 42 of the 608 folks who registered bothered to show.
That’s 7%, so a vote in Grant was akin to casting not just your ballot but holding the proxies for 13 of your neighbors
This isn’t exclusive to our area by any means. The turnouts for the Cloud and Fremont are actually pretty good for a so-called off-year election. It just seems ironic that the voting opportunities that truly affect the day to day lives of people on a local level are the least popular when it comes to showing up to do our democratic diligence.
NCRESA Notice of Vacancy
Fremont Voters Reelect Rynberg
James Rynberg collected 382 votes while 222 cast their lots with challenger Beverly Parketon in the race for mayor of Fremont.
Incumbent Don Henry (412 votes) was elected to a 4 year term on the City Council and will be joined by Steve Heiss (376) who also won a four year term.The third candidate Michael Carpenter received 314 votes.
Sandy Siegel ran unopposed for a partial term on the council receiving 565 votes
Fedell Reelected In Newaygo
Incumbent Ed Fedell fended off a challenge from political newcomer Brooke Schaffer to win another term in the mayor’s seat.142 votes were cast for Mr. Fedell while Ms. Schaffer had 97 cast in her direction.
Mike Hikade (182 votes), Eric Johnson (180) and Roger Ederer (164) were the only candidates for the 3 open seats on the city council.
White Cloud Elects A New Mayor
Jamie Denslow has been elected to serve as the next mayor of White Cloud outdistancing Jerry LeBlanc, his opponent in the race by a 103-56 count. He will be joined by two current members of the city council Kay Scott (125 votes) and Jeff Murchison (100) along with newcomer Ashley Zatalokin (96). The fourth candidate Anthony Johnson received 87 votes.
LANSING-Starting Wednesday, November 8, in an effort to combat the dangers of drugged driving, five Michigan counties will participate in a one-year oral fluid roadside drug testing pilot program established by the Michigan State Police (MSP). The counties include Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.
The Preliminary Oral Fluid Analysis pilot program was established by Public Acts 242 and 243 of 2016. The pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Michigan law. The one-year pilot program will begin on Nov. 8, 2017.
Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities, which is an increase of 32 percent from 179 drug-involved traffic fatalities in 2015.
“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”
The pilot counties were chosen based on several criteria, including the number of impaired driving crashes, impaired drivers arrested and trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in the county.
DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies will also be involved.
Under the pilot program, a DRE may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs. Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.
More than 50 Community Foundation donors gathered for the annual Fall Donors Luncheon at the Stone Lodge on October 30. Along with time for catching up and conversation, the luncheon program focused on recent activities in the area of community and economic development.
Carla Roberts, FACF president and CEO, shared that when the organization conducted a community needs assessment in 2016 in Newaygo County and affiliate counties of Mecosta, Lake, and Osceola a common theme rose to the top.
“Across all four counties, the key concerns identified by respondents focused on jobs and the economy,” said Roberts. “We considered these results as an affirmation of the direction we had been heading in since 2011 when we began to focus on education, prosperity, and a vibrant economy. All of these efforts are focused on talent development and making sure that we have the workforce we will need for the future.”
Roberts summarized some of the Community Foundation’s recent work to support entrepreneurship and small business development as well as efforts to create a Newaygo County Employer Resource Network (ERN). She then introduced James Vander Hulst, president and CEO of Michigan ERN.
ERNs, explained Vander Hulst, are networks of employers who come together to grapple with issues like turnover and employee retention. Employers identify common issues and share best practices. A key component of ERNs is hiring a success coach who spends time at each company and acts as an advocate for employees. Coaches help identify and find solutions to issues that may prevent an employee from making it to work and being successful.
“If you believe your employees are your greatest asset, how are you creating a culture that keeps them coming back?” said Vander Hulst.
Guests then heard from Scott Faulkner, a longtime advocate of tourism in Newaygo County who has served as a leader in organizations like River Country Chamber of Commerce, Newaygo Nationals Association, and the Newaygo County Tourism Council.
Faulkner shared updates on the development of The Dragon, a 48-mile trail around Hardy Pond. When completed, the trail will span four townships and two counties and will feature 39 water crossings.
“It should be an incredible draw for mountain bikers and pedestrians,” said Faulkner, who estimates that the trail will bring in at least $4 million in revenue. “It will be the only one like it in North America.”
Silver Lining To A Successful Season
The Newaygo Marching Band competed at MCBA (Michigan Competing Bands Association) State Championships on Saturday, November 4th and came home silver medalists with a score of 89.675. The Band was ranked second in the State before Championships, and maintained their standing after their performance on Saturday.
Their show this year was entitled “The Hope of Spring” and included four themed movements: Frozen, Sunlight, Storm, and Bloom.
Director Katie Baynes stated she was extremely happy with their overall standing and performance this season.
“This is the best the band has ever sounded!” Said Ms. Baynes. “Their playing and musical ability really reached a high point this year. I am very happy with the amount of time, dedication, and perseverance the student’s put into this season!”
Ms. Baynes also singled out the leadership of senior Lilly Franklin
“Lilly really put everything into leading the band in a great direction this year,” she stated. A large part of our musical success can be attributed to her dedication to excellence and dedication to the program.”
“I would like to thank all the students, parents, and administrators that made this season a success,” added Ms. Baynes.
Newaygo Marching Band 2017 Scores:
Kenowa Hills Competition: (1st Place) 85.8, Best Music, Best Marching, Best Colorguard, Best Percussion
Belding Invitational: (2nd Place) 37.7 - Standstill performance due to rain.
Jenison Invitational: (3rd Place) 84.8
Rockford Invitational: (2nd Place) 88.175
Neighborhood Watch Meeting Draws Crowd
NPD provides tips to stop crime
On October 24, 2017, the Newaygo Police Department, welcomed our city residents along with some neighboring community members to our first attempt to revitalize the Neighborhood Watch Program. Neighborhood Watch is an important technique for our department to combat crime in our community. The police department operates on a theory of proactive policing and all residents are part of that model. Chief Andres believes that the theory that Criminal Justice was based on and as described by Sir Robert Peel, “The police are the public and the public are the police…”
There were about 45 citizens attending the meeting at the Newaygo High School. We were very excited and encouraged by the enthusiasm that our residents displayed in the meeting.
During the meeting Crime Prevention Officer Ryan Dornbos described how to become observant of your surroundings and had the residents participate in a few scenarios. Those scenarios were specially chosen to help them be better equipped to report information to the police in the future. The theory of the neighborhood watch will be so each citizen can become better equipped to deter and/or report crime. We all have the ability to take part in keeping our city safe. The Newaygo Police Department would like to thank all that participated and look forward to increasing the interest in “The Neighborhood Watch Program”. If you would like to attend our next meeting it will be on December 19, 2017, location will be announced on our Facebook Page which you can find at “Newaygo Police” and on the City of Newaygo’s website at www.newaygocity.org .
If anyone would like more information about this program or have any other questions please do not hesitate to call. Officer Ryan Dornbos can be reached at 231-652-1655 x214 or his email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tiger Season Ends With Loss To Eagles
Oakridge 38 Grant 0
The offense just never got rolling.
Oakridge, the team that ousted Grant from the playoffs last season in the pre-district, shut down the Tiger running game and wore down the defense with a grinding offensive effort outgaining the boys from Grant 313-103. Jared Evans the Tiger workhorse had just 7 touches for 18 yards and Trent Throop averaged just a yard and a half per carry finishing with 23 yards. Throop also completed 10 passes but the Eagle defense kept the passing game limited to short gainers.
Five different Oakridge players found the endzone.
For Grant it was a signature season as they notched their first ever playoff win in their 5th trip to the postseason.
The Eagles advance to the regionals where they will face the Vikings of Saginaw Swan Valley.
Montague 37 Kent City 13
In a battle of unbeatens the Wildcats avenged last year’s playoff loss with a convincing win over the Eagles, amassing a 24-7 lead by halftime then scoring twice more in the third quarter to seal the deal.
Trailing 3-0 the Eagles had driven inside the Montague 30 but were stopped on a 4th and short. The ‘Cats then set Bryce Stark loose for a 73 yarder to turn the tide against the visitors. A fumble on the next Eagle drive led to another score by Montague to make it 17-0.
It was an 87 yard touchdown return by Gio Weeks on the ensuing kickoff that kept the first half from being a shutout but the Wildcats answered again before intermission and kept Kent City out of the endzone in the second half until Weeks scored in the 4th.
Montague will host Mid Michigan powerhouse Ithaca next. The teams last played in 2011 when the Yellow Jackets prevailed in their regional battle. Two years before Montague defeated Ithaca enroute to their second consecutive state title.
Reed City 34 Clare 7
The Coyotes held a 14-7 lead at halftime but the defense shut down the Pionees after intermission and rolled to the win.
Reed City will host another game next weekend when the Maroons of Menominee travel down from the western reaches of the UP for their Regional matchup