The award-winning January Series of Calvin University is once again coming to Newaygo County! From January 8 through January 28, the Dogwood Center will be one of 60 remote webcast locations worldwide to broadcast the live lecture and cultural arts series.
The 2020 edition of Calvin University's January Series features a New York Times best-selling authors, Billboard-topping musicians, and a 41-year veteran of the White House press corps. From Wednesday, January 8 through Tuesday, January 28, attendees will learn from a wide range of experts leading some of the nations and world's most pivotal and timely conversations. The 15 speakers will provide insight on issues like poverty and hunger, the global water crisis, immigration, mass incarceration, religious freedom, and big data's inequality and threat to democracy.
A few of the notable names in the 2020 lineup include: Ann Compton, who covered seven presidents; Mitch Albom, an author, columnist, radio host, and philanthropist whose books have sold over 39 million copies and been translated into more than 45 languages; and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at NYU whose last two books were New York Times best sellers.
This is a great opportunity to listen to nationally acclaimed speakers surrounding a variety of interesting topics. The Dogwood Center, a remote site for the Calvin University's January Series and supported in part by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, is pleased to bring the Calvin University's January Series to Newaygo County for the eleventh year in a row. For the last ten years, the Dogwood Center has been among the highest attended remote sites in the nation.
The January Series lectures will be video streamed live at the Dogwood Center, 4734 S. Campus Court, Fremont, from 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, January 8 - 28. The lectures are free and open to the public. Both the Black Box and Main Stage areas will be available for seating. Attendees may bring their lunch or order a lunch for $5 by calling 231.924.8885 at least 24 hours prior to the date. View the speaker schedule at www.dogwoodcenter.com
“If the sky could dream it would dream of dragons” -Llona Andrews, Fate's Edge
The much anticipated Dragon Trail recently received some good news from the DNR Trust Fund.
A Newaygo County grant for $180,000 and a Mecosta Township grant for $205,400 are reimbursement based and, along with other donated funds, will help build the next ten miles of the biking/hiking trail over the next two building seasons.
The grants are part of $25.6 million recommended by the board including $11.5 million for 60 recreation development projects. Thee include two in the district represented by state Senator Jon Bumstead, The Dragon and a waterway access project in the village of Fruitport.
“The funding will support a diverse range of projects that will allow more folks to enjoy Michigan’s unique natural resources,” said state Sen. Jon Bumstead. “I’ve always been an avid outdoorsman and will stand in support of both of these projects when they reach the Legislature. “I am happy to see these developments in our communities moving forward so we can continue passing down the love for Michigan’s outdoors.”
Since the early October groundbreaking ceremony roughly 5 miles of trail have been built in three locations according to NC Parks Director Nick Smith.
“By spring of 2020 these sections of trail will be finished, and the first three bridges will be installed. By the Summer of 2020, these trail sections near Brower Park, Newaygo State Park, Sandy Beach County Park, will be opened to the public.”
The unique trail will include six trailheads, 13 designated trail overlooks and parking at existing recreation sites. The trail will have a natural surface and will be two feet wide when completed.
More changes coming to all local recycling programs
Lola Harmon-Ramsey, Owner, Cart Right Recycling
As with most things in life, change is inevitable. And so, more change is coming to all Newaygo County recycling programs.
To align with other global recycling programs, the Kent County based Material Recovery Facility that recycling haulers utilize is changing what they accept at their institution. Cart Right Recycling and Republic Waste, the two recycling providers in Newaygo County, are implementing these changes immediately.
Plastic shopping bags and shredded paper will no longer be accepted for curbside or drop-off recyclers in all West Michigan recycling programs. Instead, haulers are asking their customers to return their clean and dry plastic shopping bags to “big-box” grocery stores for proper recycling. These retail drop-off locations keep the bags clean and dry so they can then be recycled into high-quality manufactured goods. Shredded paper should be disposed of in the trash or disposed of in another responsible way.
Plastic films, wrappings, and bags have long been an issue to be recycled properly. Items like bread bags, food storage bags, dry cleaner bags, water bottle packaging, paper towel packaging, produce bags, pellet bags, water softener bags, or air pillows from shipping boxes should not enter curbside recycling bins or county operated drop-off sites. Some of these plastics can also be recycled at store-drop offs like Meijer and Walmart in Fremont. Find more information about plastic bag or film recycling at www.how2recycle.infofor guidelines and locations.
The Gerber Foundation announces grant awards
The Gerber Foundation is pleased to announce that over $170,000 was awarded to local organizations serving youth in their second grant round of 2019. Funding was provided for 38 programs or projects with 8 grants provided to new partners.
New partnerships broaden the reach of the Foundation while engaging local youth in unique educational and health initiatives. New recipients included: Operation Warm to provide new winter coats for children in their “Warm Welcome to the Library” program, Trout Unlimited for a girl’s STEM program called STREAM Girls, Health West for their BOOM Youth Leadership Project, North Star Reach for camp scholarships for children with serious medical conditions, National Inventors Hall of Fame for the Camp Invention STEM Program in Muskegon County, National Kidney Foundation for an early childhood nutritional program called Regie’s Rainbow Adventure, Grant Christian School to improve STEM education, and Camp Quality Michigan to provide camp scholarships for children with cancer.
Several grants were provided to the Newaygo County 4-H Council for their Marine Biology 4-H SPIN Club, 4-H Teen & Leader Trainings, Ag Adventures, and 4-H Exploration Days. Summer camp scholarship grants continue to make up a large portion of the fall grants with funds provided for summer camps, science camps, or leadership workshops. Recipients included Camp Casey, Camp Pinewood, Camp Henry, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Camp Pendalouan, Camp Newaygo, and Hospice of Michigan’s Camp Good Grief. Local FFA groups also continue to receive support to send students to the annual Washington Leadership Conference.
Grants were also provided to the NC RESA FIRST Robotics team, United Way of the Lakeshore in support of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Muskegon and Oceana Counties, Junior Achievement of the Lakeshore to promote financial literacy for Kindergarten students in Newaygo County, Girls on the Run in Muskegon County, Hand2hand and Kids Food Basket to provide afterschool and weekend meals for children in need, TrueNorth Community services for a variety of youth programming, and the City of Fremont for the annual Shop with a Cop program.
“These organizations each provide amazing opportunities for our young citizens as they develop and grow into adulthood and we are continually grateful for all of the work they do.” noted Catherine Obits, program officer at the Gerber Foundation, “We are pleased to be able to support them as they continue their work.”
The deadline for the next round of West Michigan Grants is March 15, 2020. For more information or to apply, go to www.gerberfoundation.org.
Michigan Works! West Central moves office to Newaygo; Open house Dec. 19
NEWAYGO – Michigan Works! West Central is pleased to announce the opening of its new service center in the city of Newaygo.
The service center officially opened its doors on Dec. 2, at 9075 S. Mason Drive in Newaygo, the former VFW hall.
To celebrate the new location, an open house will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the new service center. The River Country Area Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. at the event.
Michigan Works! West Central’s Workforce Development Board voted in June to move the organization’s Newaygo County service center from Fremont to the Newaygo to better meet the needs of its clients.
“The decision to move was, in part, based on the population of Newaygo County. Our research shows that the city of Newaygo’s population increased significantly in comparison to Fremont between 1990 and 2017,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “During that timeframe, Newaygo saw a 28.4-percent increase, while Fremont saw a 10.6-percent increase. To best provide services to our clients, we need to be located in a highly visible and easily accessible area to reach as many clients as possible.
“We feel the new location will help make our services and programs more accessible to those who need our assistance. The new service center is more than double the size of our previous location in Fremont, and will house several of our agency partners to make the new office a central location for those in need.”
Partners located in the new service center include Michigan Rehabilitation Services and Michigan Veterans Affairs, among others. The new location is nearly 7,000 square feet, and includes a large conference room area, computers for job searching, cubicle office space and more. Michigan Works! West Central currently is seeking additional partners to locate to the new facility.
Michigan Works! West Central, which covers Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties, offers services to both employers and job seekers. For employers, it offers assistance with recruitment, posting job opportunities, hosting job fairs, training dollars for new and existing employers and more. Michigan Works! West Central offers job seekers assistance with resume/cover letter writing assistance and help with creating a profile/resume on Pure Michigan Talent Connect, and other employment related services. Various classroom and on-the-job training opportunities may also be available for adults, dislocated workers, and youth through several available funding sources.
For more information about the new Newaygo service center, contact Michigan Works! West Central Business Services Director Merri Bennett at (231) 583-2029. For more information about services provided to job seekers, please call (231) 924-3230.
The Newaygo County Treasurer as well as County Treasurers throughout the State are required by State Statute to publish a list of taxpayers in jeopardy of tax foreclosure on March 31, 2020. This is one of the many strategies County Treasurers use to prevent foreclosure and ensure that taxpayers retain their property. Treasurer Moon is anxious to meet with taxpayers and refer them to agencies and non-profits for tax and financial help. More than 15-20 measures are taken over the 25-month period of delinquency to help people avoid foreclosure. More than 138,000 Michigan properties were scheduled to be foreclosed in 2019. Over 128,000 of them were redeemed before April 1, 2019, largely due to the efforts and activities of county treasurers. That’s a 92% redemption rate! “These efforts are made because it is the responsible approach to take, and it keeps families and small business owners in their properties,” stated Treasurer Moon. “If you or someone you know is on the attached list, please contact the County Treasurer’s Office for assistance at 231.689.7233.”
The public is invited to celebrate the Volunteers of the Fremont Recycling Site at the CEWAC Holiday Meeting on Thursday, December 12. It will be held from 6pm to 7:30pm at Brooks Township Hall, 490 Quarterline Street, Newaygo.
A review of 3REE and CEWAC past year’s activities will be presented, and refreshments will be served. Citizens Environmental Watch and Action Coalition (CEWAC) is a taskforce of 3R Environmental Education, a community organization that provides programs about local and global environmental issues, solutions and advocacy.
The Fremont Recycling site at 5510 56th St, Fremont, is one of Newaygo County’s six recycling sites but is the only one that is staffed by volunteers.
“The volunteers are an amazing group and the Fremont Site would not be successful without them. They truly deserve to be recognized,” states April Pickard, the County’s Drain Office Secretary and the original volunteer staffing coordinator.
The Fremont site is volunteer staffed to ensure that only clean, acceptable recyclables are added to the bins by community members. Unfortunately, unstaffed recycling sites and bins are often contaminated with items that are currently not allowed at the Kent County Material Recovery Facility, where all of Newaygo County’s recyclables are taken. This contamination can lead to much of the bin contents taken to landfills instead of being recycled.
The Recycling Volunteers offer assistance to community members who need help placing their items in the bins. They also provide important education to residents such as which items are currently acceptable, making sure recyclable food containers are rinsed out, and which kind of Styrofoam packing materials are allowed. They also applaud our many resident recyclers.
New volunteers are always welcomed to join this elite group of fun frontline environmental advocates by contacting Nick Looman at 231.924.5288 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The public is welcome to come to the monthly CEWAC meetings or join the enews list by contacting email@example.com.
More information about local and regional recycling can be found at www.3r-education.org, and Kent County’s recycling website at www.reimaginetrash.org.
Still Time for Holiday Groceries, Gift Cards, and Giving
The Third Annual Gene's Shopping Spree Raffle is your chance to win groceries or gift cards for the holidays, while giving to Grant students! The 2019 drawing will be held at 5pm on Monday, December 16. Prizes include a 60 second shopping spree, a $200 gift card, and a $100 gift card.
Elliott and LaRissa Vanderlaan started this annual event in 2017 as a way to give back to the communities that have supported Gene's Family Markets in Grant and Croton.
"We have been blessed with a great opportunity and platform to provide groceries and extra cash during this sometimes hectic, but wonderful time of the year," said Elliott. "During this season of giving, we wanted to create an event in between the holiday of giving thanks for what we have, and the holiday of giving gifts of things we don't have."
In the first two years of the raffle, community members won over $2,700 worth of groceries and $600 in gift cards. Last year, over $1,300 in proceeds was also given to Grant Schools.
For the 2019 raffle, proceeds will be given to the Grant High School Marching Band. Grant Bands use money raised throughout the year to help pay for marching season expenses. Please help Grant High School continue to offer these programs to band students by purchasing a raffle ticket today. The $10 raffle tickets are available for purchase at Gene's Family Market stores in Grant and Croton.
Consumers Energy to Conduct Siren Tests at Rogers, Croton and Hardy Dams December 12
CROTON– Consumers Energy announced the emergency public warning siren systems near its Rogers, Hardy and Croton hydroelectric generating plants on the Muskegon River will be tested on Thursday, December 12 at approximately 9:30 a.m.
The tests 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 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires hydroelectric facilities to be able to quickly notify residents and visitors of any developing emergency at the plants. Typically, Consumers Energy performs the test once in August and in December each year.
In the event of an emergency, the siren/speaker units’ initial warning will be supplemented by information on radio and television stations along with Newaygo and Mecosta County emergency notification systems.
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 executive director of renewable generation. “Also, ice-covered water down river from a hydroelectric facility should never be considered a safe place to walk.”
Local Newaygo County Career-Tech Agriscience Students Win at Nationals
Students from the Newaygo County Career-Tech Center (NCCTC), having won research competitions at the local and state levels, traveled to the National FFA Agriscience competition in Indianapolis, IN.
The National FFA Agriscience Fair recognizes student researchers studying the application of agricultural scientific principles and emerging technologies in agricultural enterprises. The participants must conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture and food science industries, and present their findings to a panel of judges.
Alisha Snider placed 10th in the nation with research conducted by her and Kennedy Semposki (Tri-County). Their research was on teenager perceptions of organic and conventional food.
Sage Beerman (Newaygo) and Katelyn Shue (Newaygo) presented their research on the drinking quality of well water on and off farms, placing 8th in the country.
‘’These results speak highly to the level of commitment and passion our Agriscience students put into their research,” said Bernard Brown, NCCTC Principal, “as well as our instructors who have developed intentional practice and learning sessions based on each prior year’s learning.”