Well, that is if you’re qualified to fill one of the positions currently open at one of our area’s top employers.
Got an accounting or finance background and looking to be part of a dynamic team assisting in the budgeting and accounting aspects of our county government? Newaygo County Administration has a spot for you. The position of Deputy Finance Director could be the right fit for an experienced numbers person who enjoys working in a team setting.
The seemingly eternal television show Law and Order begins with “In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders.”
Ever thought about being a part of the second group? The Prosecutor’s Office is in need of a Legal Secretary. What they're looking for is a well organized, highly motivated person with excellent customer service and office skills. On site training will be part of the job.
Speaking of the criminal justice system, what might be your thoughts about becoming a Corrections Officer? The selected candidate will work in a professional and disciplined environment where teamwork is valued and expected. Ideal candidates will demonstrate integrity and honesty, the ability to remain calm under pressure, and the ability to de-escalate conflict and volatile situations.
This one is a part time gig but it’s an opportunity to see if you possess the right kind of skills to do the work without committing to it full time.
Like a fast paced and multitasking type of job? Here’s the rundown on the Deputy Court Clerk position
The selected candidate will work in a legal, fast-paced office setting greeting visitors at the counter, answering phones, receipting money, assisting legal and law enforcement professionals on court matters, and performing varied clerical functions. That said, good customer service skills, attention to detail, and proficiency with computers are a must! While the ideal candidate will have some knowledge and experience with court procedures, there are opportunities to learn on the job.
The Commission on Aging has some part time positions that would be ideal for the right person. You can be a Meal Site Host assisting in the planning and overseeing the socialization and activities at community meal sites and other satellite meal locations. Or maybe try your hand at being a Homemaker. A paid one. These folks go into the homes of older adults, perform a little light cleaning but more importantly do a bit of socializing while there.
Skills include a passion for helping others.
There are many other positions available that may pique your interest. The county is a cool place to work and offers competitive pay, great benefits and opportunities for career growth if desired.
Here’s the link to get the skinny on those above as well as all positions currently open.
Game Changing Facility to make its home in Mecosta County?
Update!! To support the company’s transformational investment, the Michigan Strategic Fund today approved:
-A Critical Industry Program grant through the Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve (“SOAR”) Fund in the amount of $125 million for the creation of up to 2,350 jobs in the Big Rapids area;
-A 30-year MSF-designated Renaissance Zone to Mecosta County valued at $540 million;
-A $50 million Strategic Site Readiness Program performance-based grant through the SOAR Fund will be administered by The Right Place to assist with infrastructure improvement.
There is big news out of Mecosta County where the construction of a multi-billion dollar battery component plant was given the green light by local governments last Monday night. Green and Big Rapids townships voted unanimously to approve a Renaissance Zone designation for property in the Industrial Park along with other adjoining property and the County Commission followed up with approving the application for the Ren Zone resolution to be sent to the state.
The joint meeting of the three governing bodies drew a large crowd that was overwhelmingly supportive of the initiative. Gotion, Inc., a subsidiary of Guoxuan High-Tech Co.and one of the world’s largest manufacturers of the batteries chose the county out of 40 possible locations in North America. The Big Rapids area is one of two potential sites for the project, according to Gotion CEO Chuck Thelen.
The proposed plant would mean jobs. Lots of jobs.
The company projects 300-500 positions once the plant opens with over 2000 to be added over the next decade which would make them the largest employer in the region.
“We are encouraged to receive support from Green Charter Township, Big Rapids Charter Township and Mecosta County regarding the Renaissance Zone designation for Gotion’s multi-billion-dollar investment in the area,” said The Right Place CEO Randy Thelen. “ As well, we applaud all our community partners who have invested time and resources to champion this effort. There are still numerous steps to be taken before this project becomes a certainty, but this is a terrific start toward positioning the region at the center of West Michigan’s growing mobility and EV sector.”
The next step involves bringing the Ren Zone proposal to the Michigan Strategic Fund board to vote on an incentive package for the company. The MSF is scheduled to vote on the proposal October 5th. With that approval would come a commitment from the state for providing assistance for the needed infrastructure a facility of this magnitude would require with roads, sewers, water, etc.
Mecosta County Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Routley sees the project as being a true game changer for the region.
“This will be great for all of our surrounding counties. It looks to be a huge income generator for our families and they project the income for manufacturing workers will average around $60,000 a year. And of course there will be a lot of tech jobs involved as well.
“Gotion is also strongly committed to using local contractors so if there are any that need work there will be plenty of it.”
Routley had high praise for the organizations that came together to help make this happen and singled out the collaboration of the townships and county boards.
“The number one victory here was to watch the two townships and county come together on this. That alone was great to see.”
Presenting the Heritage Museum of Newaygo County
Photos by Lil DeLaat
Story By Ken DeLaat
Wow. Just Wow.
The Heritage Museum Open House this Saturday will amaze those who choose to take a wander through the building that has been home to a gas station, grocery store, laundromat, and the Board of Public Works at one time or another.
The downtown Newaygo edifice is stunning in its design and structure, providing an intriguing stroll through the history of our area. From the imaginative exhibits to the enticing gift shop the Heritage Museum is an experience not to be missed. Even the color scheme reflects our area's economic history with shades of brown for agriculture, green for forestry and blue for the river rippling through the building.
Director Steven Radtke, his staff and the sea of volunteers who have given their time have created a warm and welcoming atmosphere as well as an inclusive experience that will provide a number of new initiatives to the county community.
Local artists will find room in the HM with the first exhibition featuring Stacey Kirk whose work lines the walls of the hallway. Other art pieces as well as books by local authors are available in the gift shop and the museum is open to having other local artisans selling their works in the shop.
An expanded Speakers Series, classic films, a variety of classes, and even a winter farmers market that has begun and will continue on Fridays through December are all part of the HM experience.
And because of the innovative design that allows for movement of the displays it can serve as a place for events such as their first wedding reception which will arrive in January.
On Halloween they will feature some of the classic figures such as Frankenstein, and Dracula and will explain the origin of their characters and for those with fond memories of the train that took center stage in the older version of the building, beginning this year it will return each Christmas season.
Kudos to the staff, the volunteers,the Museum Board and for certain the many generous donors, who all had a hand in making this transformation possible.
And to Director Radtke who was brought on board in 2018 and a year later began the arduous journey of grant writing, fundraising, planning and project design that has culminated in the new Heritage Museum of Newaygo County…
Well done, sir. Well done indeed.
Smuggler’s At North Shore groundbreaking signals the beginning of a new era in local dining
In August of 2018 the Hess Lake restaurant known as Smuggler’s Cove was irreparably damaged by a fire. The loss left a hole in the heart of not only the Hess and Brooks Lake regulars but also the many customers from throughout the area and beyond who enjoyed a wonderful view to go with their dining experience.
Now, 4 years later, construction has begun and the much favored spot for lakeside dining will once again welcome in folks when Smuggler’s At North Shore opens its doors next year.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place Tuesday morning as the Thompson family, joined by the crew from CopperRock Construction, took shovels in hand to symbolically deliver the message that Smuggler’s At North Shore is indeed on its way.
Raeanne Huskey, one of the owners of the soon to be built venue spoke to a group of media and community members about the project.
”There were so many questions as to when this would come to fruition. We come here as a family so excited to break ground at the future location of Smuggler’s At North Shore. This will become another treasured part of Newaygo County and the Hess and Brooks lake communities. It will also be a destination spot for many of the other surrounding communities bringing others to Newaygo and a great employment opportunity for those seeking to further their careers in the restaurant industry.
“So cheers to Copper Rock and Ken Dixon and Associates, our architectural firm for taking our dreams and making them a reality from the blueprints and we look forward to a bright future here on Hess Lake.”
As far as an opening date?
“We’re hoping for late Spring or early Summer,” said Huskey. “Depends on a lot of things but that’s what we are shooting for."
Smuggler’s at North Shore announces the groundbreaking ceremony for their new building.
Newaygo, MI – After much anticipation, Team Thompson is proud to announce the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the building of our new restaurant, on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022, at 9am at the future site of Smuggler’s at North Shore located at 864 E. 88th St, Newaygo MI 49337.
The previous Smuggler’s Cove suffered a fire on 8/14/2018 which, unfortunately, led to its demolition in 2019. Team Thompson has been diligently working on the plans for a new lakeside restaurant since the demolition.
“Breaking ground on our future restaurant is exciting, after all the time and effort we’ve dedicated to the design of this building,” said Team Thompson partner, Raeanne Huskey. "For the past three years, we’ve spent time developing all our ideas for this lake restaurant. We dreamt of a design that would be a phenomenal addition to our Hess/Brooks Lake Communities and for Newaygo County. This restaurant will be a destination that will bring many newcomers to our beloved Newaygo.”
The groundbreaking event will feature the owners of Team Thompson with shovels, provided by CopperRock Construction, to officially kick off construction for the future home of Smuggler’s at North Shore.
City of Newaygo Launches Façade Grant Program
NEWAYGO, MICH (September 14, 2022): Today, the City of Newaygo announced a façade grant program for the City’s Tax Increment Finance Authority district. The program is available to commercial and mixed-use property owners and lessees who wish to make permanent physical improvements to their buildings. The City of Newaygo is offering a competitive matching grant, up to 50 percent of the eligible costs.
The Newaygo Tax Increment Finance Authority board has approved up to $15,000 for the program’s first round. Eligible applicants must be located in the TIFA district and are encouraged to submit applications.
“The sustainability of our community hinges on the commerce and aesthetics of our local businesses. Aiding with the improvement of business facades will further attract customers and residents to our area.” -City Manager, Jon Schneider
Full details of the program, including a map of the eligible area, are available at the City of Newaygo’s website.
Unparalleled Trail Will Be Completed Next Year
“But it is one thing to read about dragons and another to meet them.”-Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
White Cloud, MI: The Newaygo County Board of Commissioners appropriated $1.05 million of American Rescue Plan Act dollars to fund the completion of Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam Project (Dragon Trail) to meet the increasing demand for recreation and tourism in the region.
Newaygo County, like other municipalities, received American Rescue Plan Act funds from the Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Outdoor recreation has increased during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Completing the Dragon Trail will help satisfy that new demand for Newaygo County residents and thousands of visitors that recreate in the region.
Once complete, the Dragon Trail will comprise 11 segments forming a 40+ mile loop around Hardy Pond, traversing through both Mecosta and Newaygo counties. Of the 22 miles already open to the public, 12+ miles are in Newaygo County, and 8+ or more miles of trail are already open in Mecosta County. Trail builders with Spectrum Trail Design LLC are in the process of building 14 more miles of trail. Later this Fall, a 7.6-mile connection between Newaygo State Park and Brower County Park will open to the public. Project officials hope to have all construction completed in 2023.
These newly allocated ARPA funds will pay for the completion of new construction in Newaygo County and two more phases in 2023. Most notable will be a fully ADA-Accessible mile of trail starting at Big Prairie Township’s Operators Park on the East side of Hardy Dam.
“It is important that people of all abilities can experience Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam. This mile of accessible trail will allow wheelchair accessibility, and the trailhead will include handicapped parking so everyone can explore the Dragon Trail,” said Nick Smith, Newaygo County Parks Director.
With a recent Mecosta County Board of Commissioners allocation earlier in the year, the two Counties have ensured that the remaining construction phases are fully funded. The first half of construction was funded by many generous donors and community partners through fundraising and grants. Most recently, funds were received from the DNR Trust Fund Grant Program and utilized to fund two construction phases. Newaygo and Mecosta County have been working together on this project along with the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance for over ten years.
Restaurants, campgrounds, and other businesses are already experiencing the economic benefit of the Dragon Trail. Surrounding locations are reporting new visitors to the area due to the trail and increased sales. In addition, property sales are up surrounding the Dragon Trail, and new businesses are opening to meet the demand of these new visitors.
At the start of this project, Michigan State University completed an economic impact study that estimated a $4+ million annual economic impact to the region due to the addition of the Dragon Trail.
“This project is critical to meet our region's increasing recreational and tourism demand. The economic impact we are already seeing from this project made it a priority for Newaygo County to complete the Dragon Trail,” explained County Administrator Chris Wren.
Follow official Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam Facebook Page for updates on construction progresses and new trail sections as they open, or visit www.thedragon.us.
ABOUT MICHIGAN’S DRAGON AT HARDY DAM
Michigan’s Dragon at Hardy Dam is a 40+ mile non-motorized, multi-use trail system between Hardy and Rogers Dams in West Michigan. The Dragon is managed by Newaygo County Parks, Mecosta County Parks Commission, and the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. Construction for the trail began in 2019. Learn more at www.thedragon.us.
Representatives from more than 40 colleges, trade schools, and career training programs are coming to Newaygo County to give students a one-stop opportunity to explore their post-secondary options. College and Career Night Out 2022 will take place Thursday, September 29 from 5-7:30 p.m. at Fremont High School.
This fun, free event is open to all Newaygo County public, homeschool, and private high school students as well as parents, guardians, and adult students. Attendees will explore college and career possibilities and gather information on scholarships and financial aid. The event is hosted by WE CAN! Newaygo County—the local college and career access network—in partnership with Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Food will be available from 5-6 p.m. with information sessions beginning at 5:30. From 6-7:30 p.m. in the large gym, attendees can meet with representatives from colleges, universities, trade schools, military branches, and career training programs. There will also be opportunities to learn more about FAFSA, Early College Newaygo County, the Newaygo County Career-Tech Center, the Promise Zone, and scholarships available through Fremont Area Community Foundation and Gerber Foundation.
The information sessions presented from 5:30-6 p.m. will cover helpful topics like financial aid and choosing a college and career. Sessions currently planned include:
Explore the Promise Zone
You’ve heard Newaygo County is a Promise Zone, but what does that mean for your future? Join us to learn more about how the Promise Zone works and how it can help you.
Finding Money for College
College costs keep rising, but there’s a lot of financial aid out there! Come learn about college affordability options, from federal and state aid to community-based scholarship programs.
How to Choose a College
Unsure which college to attend? Newaygo County college advisors will lead a discussion to help guide you toward the school and career path that suits you best!
Preparing for a Great Career
Apprenticeships are a great way to prepare for careers in many in-demand fields! Learn more about how you can prepare for a rewarding skilled trades career.
For more information on the event—including a list of institutions expected to attend the college and career fair—visit facommunityfoundation.org/ccno.
Eric and Krystal Johnson purchase Newaygo’s book store
Story by Ken DeLaat
“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.”-Neil Gaiman, American Gods
There is nothing that provides a welcoming vibe to a town like a bookstore.
When traveling I find discovering these little oases of bibliotherapy tells me a bit about the area. I’ve rarely let pass an opportunity to visit them and will generally find something to purchase because I want them to stay around.
Vacationing in Alabama the past couple of years, LSC Lil and I stumbled upon a classic used book store that captured our hearts in the town of Foley. We won’t be returning to the area anytime soon as we decided to explore other winter options but one of the arguments for returning was the book store.
Yeah, not the beaches, the trails or the epic bread pudding at Fisherman's Corner.
The book store
Here’s the thing about a bookstore of this ilk. You not only get some serious bargains on your reading material, you feel good about saving a tree or two by giving these novel nuggets a chance to be reread. When I’ve truly enjoyed a book I want to have others do the same. Interestingly (or to be more accurate ‘predictably’ I’m told) my reading tastes often differ from those I interact with so those who know me well often respond with ‘no thanks’ when I offer them the next read on one of my acquisitions. Thus having it return to the shelves allows for someone else to appreciate the selections.
Newaygo has been privileged to be home to an outstanding book store for many years, though it has gone through a transformation or two.
And now the latest chapter in the store’s story will begin.
The downtown bookery known as Flying Bear has recently changed hands as John and Marsha Reeves handed the keys over to Eric and Krystal Johnson who now hold proprietorship of this epicenter of good reading.
We sat down with the Johnsons in a cozy corner of their latest acquisition and talked about the new venture.
“We were looking for a business opportunity in the community and thought ‘Why not books?’", said Eric Johnson who also holds a seat on the City Council as Mayor pro tem.
“Everything about this just felt right. This is an up and coming community and we want to be a part of it with a thriving business.”
There will be changes to the store, though these will come in time as the Johnsons settle in with their new venture. Plans include adding a creperie as a place for folks to have a cup of coffee and a bite to eat as they peruse their purchases and displaying the works of local authors and artists in the welcoming little nook.
Other ideas include providing a venue for poetry readings, book clubs, music, reviews and more.
The store is able to order new releases as well as any other books should one care to be the first one to crack open their purchase. Personally I prefer a gently used edition, and despite opinions to the contrary not just because I’m often called, uh… thrifty. It just feels like kind of a recommendation when someone passes along a favorite read.
But yes, the price tag is always a tad sweeter.
The enthusiasm the couple has for joining the downtown Newaygo business landscape is obvious as I watched them greet customers in between discussing their vision for the new venture. Both love reading, the arts, and being part of this eclectic community.
And now they are hoping the community shares their enthusiasm, not only for what Flying Bear Books is…
But what it will become.
It’s a great place to browse, there is a wide selection of fun reads, the Johnsons are good company and (if you know how to play) there is a guitar on the premises just waiting for someone to put it through its paces.
Flying Bear Books is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6pm.
Newaygo County, EGLE, and The Recycling Partnership Work Towards Improving Residential Recycling throughout the State
White Cloud, Michigan – Newaygo County has joined the Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works with communities, companies, and governments to transform recycling, and nearly 100 other Michigan communities to help residents recycle more, better.
Starting in September of 2022 and with the assistance of a $78,000 grant, the Newaygo County drop-off recycling program will be able to improve signage, engage with residents at drop-off recycling sites, and make site improvements to help residents be able to access recycling easier, and understand what is and isn’t recyclable.
“Recycling is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do,” said Dale Twing, Newaygo County Drain Commissioner and Board of Public Works Chairman. “Recycling properly saves our taxpayers money by reducing the cost of sending recyclables materials to the landfill, supports jobs, and improves the health of the environment. We know residents want to recycle the right way and through this campaign, we are providing them personalized, real-time feedback to do just that.”
“The Recycling Partnership is excited to continue working with MI EGLE and Michigan communities to improve residential recycling across the state,” said Cassandra Ford, Community Program Manager at The Recycling Partnership. “Through this project, we are helping capture more quality recyclables that are then transformed into new materials, as well as creating and supporting jobs, less waste, and stronger, healthier communities.”
“EGLE is excited to continue working with The Recycling Partnership and Michigan communities to continue to improve residential recycling through these quality improvement projects,” said Emily Freeman, Recycling Specialist with EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “We all have a role to play in the circular economy and these grants will help even more Michigan communities engage with their residents and improve the quality of recyclable materials collected in curbside and drop off programs across Michigan.”
This year, over $790,000 in grant funding will be allocated to 13 recycling program grantees, representing more than 362,000 households across the Great Lakes state this year. Overall, these 13 new grantees are building on the impact made during a 2021 project with a similar goal to improve recycling across Michigan that reached 100 communities and expand Michigan’s award-winning Know It Before You Throw It campaign, aimed at increasing the state’s recycling rate to 30% by 2025.
Learn more about where you can recycle, as well as what is and is not acceptable at Newaygo County Recycling on Facebook.
Community Meeting Sept. 8 to Discuss Future of Consumers Energy’s Croton Dam
WHY: Input from communities will help Consumers Energy determine the future of their 13 river hydro dams in Michigan. Ahead of their dams’ operating licenses expiring, the energy provider is gathering community and individuals’ opinions to help determine plans to either continue investing in or remove any of our river hydro facilities.
WHERE & WHEN: The Croton Dam public meeting is Thursday, September 8 at Newaygo High School Cafeteria, 360 S. Mill St., Newaygo, MI. An open house begins at 5:30 p.m. and the public meeting will begin at 6 p.m.
WHAT: Consumers Energy hired Public Sector Consultants (PSC), a Lansing-based nonpartisan research and consulting firm that specializes in public engagement, to hold public meetings with the goal of collecting unbiased feedback regarding its hydro facilities. PSC and Consumers Energy dam experts will provide information about the dam, explain future state options, discuss impacts if any dams were to be decommissioned, and facilitate community input.
For community meeting details, and more information access: ConsumersEnergy.com/HydroFuture.
“An outstanding opportunity to get the services that the community needs.”
NEWAYGO, MI – Arbor Circle has been awarded a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to support a Police Social Worker (PSW) for the City of Newaygo Police Department (NPD). The PSW will assist with clinical crisis responses for community members, connections to behavioral health and other community resources, and debriefings with department officers. In a community where resources are limited and not always easily accessible, this new support aims to connect community members to valuable services and will assist in improving overall community health.
“This program is meant to build on the strengths of both our organization and the Newaygo Police Department,” shared Emmy Ellis, Outpatient Program Director for Arbor Circle. “We are grateful to have such strong partnerships in our community and look forward to seeing the impact of this collaboration.”
A PSW is a specialized social worker who, as a citizen, works alongside law enforcement to assist community members with utilizing resources and services; provide crisis response support for mental health and substance related crises; and help law enforcement reduce rates of recidivism, recurring calls, and access to services for individualized needs. The social worker is able to offer immediate emotional support to community members during a crisis, along with officers responding to a traumatic scene. The PSW will be an integral part of the NPD team and will attend staff meetings, staff trainings, and become embedded in the culture of the police department.
“I see this position as an outstanding opportunity to get the services that the community needs in place during the ever-changing times in our country,” said Georgia Andres, Chief of Police for Newaygo Police Department. “Having a social worker ‘in house’ can provide the feet on the ground action Newaygo residents need. This grant is just what we need to get the ball rolling, it’s a breath of fresh air for our
Funded by the Michigan Health Endowment Fund’s 2022 Behavioral Health Grant, the PSW will work with the community as a whole; engaging with all ages of the population of Newaygo in an effort to better engage them with services necessary for their specific needs.
On the heels of reports of algae blooms in Hess Lake DHD#10 issued this press release after more were discovered in Hardy Pond
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that algae blooms were detected on Hardy Dam Pond near the Newaygo State Park in Newaygo County.
On August 22, 2022, MDHHS took water samples from Hardy Dam Pond that were sent to the MDHHS lab where results came back positive for microcystin, an algal toxin released by some types of algae in lakes or rivers. MDHHS then notified District Health Department #10 and the Newaygo County Parks and Recreation Commission of the results and provided guidance on posting signs and notifying the public about the situation.
Algae blooms can form when there are high nutrient levels within bodies of water along with warm temperatures. Additional testing will take place again the week of September 5, 2022 and signs have been posted at (1) Hardy Dam County Marina and (2) Sandy Beach County Park to notify individuals to avoid contact with the water in that area.
“Algae blooms look like a green mat right on top of the water that smells bad and has a gelatinous texture to them,” stated Michael Kramer, Environmental Health Director for DHD#10. “The algal toxins that are released can be harmful to aquatic life, pets, and humans so it is very important to avoid these areas.”
Below are some steps to take when near waterways:
People and pets can experience the following symptoms after exposure to algae blooms:
For more information about Algal Blooms, please visit https://www.michigan.gov/egle/about/organization/water-resources/assessment-michigan-waters/harmful-algal-blooms.
Health Dept urges caution
With Labor Day weekend looming and many lake dwellers looking to take to the water for one of the last summer flings, the appearance of algae blooms on Hess Lake resulted in this information for our friends at the Health Department:
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) was notified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) that algae blooms were detected on Hess Lake in Newaygo County.
Just recently, after being notified about what looked like algae blooms on Hess Lake, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) took samples on August 24, 2022, which were sent to the MDHHS lab where results came back positive for microcystin, an algal toxin released by some types of algae in lakes or rivers. Algae blooms can form when there are high nutrient levels within bodies of water along with warm temperatures. Signs have been placed in and around the boat launch area to notify individuals to avoid contact with the water.
“Algae blooms look like a green mat right on top of the water that smells bad and has a gelatinous texture to them,” stated Michael Kramer, Environmental Health Director for DHD#10. “The algal toxins that are released can be harmful to aquatic life, pets, and humans so it is very important to avoid these areas.”
Below are some steps to take when near waterways:
People and pets can experience the following symptoms after exposure to algae blooms:
TOTAL closures for road work are scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on M-37 from the White River in White Cloud to 40th Street. Detour- East on 40th Street, north on Laurel Drive, stay left to continue north on Oak Avenue, then west on M-20 to M-37.
Baseline/Oak site of crash
From the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office
Deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence in Wilcox Township on a shots fired complaint. The suspect vehicle was described as a red Dodge Charger. Undersheriff Chad Palmiter observed a vehicle, matching the description of suspect vehicle, traveling eastbound on Baseline Road. The Undersheriff followed the vehicle and confirmed that it was the suspect vehicle. He activated his emergency lights and siren to stop the vehicle at which time the suspect accelerated and failed to stop.
The suspect continued eastbound on East Baseline Road, crossed the centerline east of S. Oak Ave. went off the roadway and struck a tree. The suspect was declared deceased on scene.
The Michigan State Police Hart Post and Sixth District Accident Reconstructionist were requested to conduct the investigation.
Ribbon Cutting at the Center for Hope and Healing in White Cloud
Story and photos by Charles Chandler
I think Modern Miracles do happen but it takes Angel's work and collaboration with kind-hearted and generous folks to manifest them. We gathered in White Cloud on August 23 at 5:30 PM under a blue sun bright Michigan sky to participate in the ribbon cutting and official opening of the Center for Hope and Healing. In my opinion a perfect example of a certifiable Modern Miracle. About a year ago we met here to tour what was then a large empty building and hear some frighting statistics about child abuse and neglect. The staff from two non-profit organizations Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse (PCA) and Open Arms Child Advocacy Center (OACAC) presented plans to combine their resources and develop this Center for Hope and Healing. This concept would provide "prevention, intervention, and wrap-around services all at one location."
At the first concept presentation, the need to support our precious children and PCA’s reasons for getting out of their miserable old pole barn was clearly stated. After touring their new place, a really big empty building, and looking at the renovation plans and timelines I thought maybe they were a little bit aggressive if not aspirational.
There is ALWAYS a doubting Thomas.
Fast forward about a year and here we are again sitting out front in the warm sun watching Tara Nelson the Executive Director for Newaygo County PCA and Laura Britting Executive Director of the Open Arms Child Advocacy Center (OACAC) making microphone checks and attending to other last-minute details for the Center for Hope and Healing ribbon cutting.
On reflection between the first concept meeting which we can call point A and today's ribbon cutting which we will call point B is where the Modern Miracle stuff happened. You could think about it this way. Management and staff from PCA and OACAC are standing on the bank of a large fast-moving river. They have to get down this river from point A to Point B. They have lots of caring supporters and plenty of resources but they still have to get in the river and go from A to B. What they need is a good raft. Being who they are they make a leap of faith and gather up some materials, hold hands and jump in the river. They would build their raft while floating down this swift river. The river is a metaphor for the time and effort it took to manage a 24,000 sq ft building renovation and capital campaign. In addition to that arduous project, they had to meet their organizational and personal commitment to our children and families that are in crisis or require intervention. They had to get these people onboard as they were speeding along and building a usable raft.
To that end, this year in addition to that renovation and fund-raising stuff they have met their commitments. They have given; "35 car seats to families in need, delivered 52 Pack n’ Plays, provided over 500 infant safe sleep training classes, and hosted 677 children for the Summer Magic Program. They made Kids Have Rights presentations to 3,108 children and donated 2,701 lbs of food. Sadly, OACAC conducted 126 forensic interviews in 2022 through July. In 2021, OACAC conducted 215 forensic interviews." Keeping in mind this was taking place during a Covid Pandemic.
But back to point B and the ribbon cutting. Laura Britting, the new Executive Director of OACAC stepped to the front and made a short presentation again reminding us why we were here.
"Childhood sexual abuse is a growing tragedy in America today. The data is clear: one in 4 girls and one in 13 boys will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. Sexual assault traumatizes children. The scars, however, cut deep and can go beyond the child, affecting family and friends closest to the victim. In many cases, those who are most affected have no place to turn.
"That's where the Center for Hope and Healing comes in.
"With Open Arms Child Advocacy Center and our partner Newaygo County Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, this center will provide the resources, information, and trained, compassionate and caring staff to children who have been victims of abuse and assault."
Then it was PCA Executive Director Tara Nelson’s turn. She welcomed us all and recognized all the great contributions and sacrifices that the staff, board members, donors, partners, contractors, and her family had made to make this magic happen. These included the usual suspects. County Prosecutor Worth Stay, Undersheriff Chad Palmiter, Commissioner Bryan Kolk, Chief Dan Evans, Azlan Ibrahim organizer, and fundraiser. Lisa Lightfoot the Coldwell Banker super salesperson who helped get PCA out of their old pole barn into this incredible new building. Randy Fulton and Toni Fulton, the hammer and nail team that probably slept in the building to get the renovations finished in three months.
Lastly and so very important, the generous and deep pocket folks. The Fremont Area Community Foundation, The Gerber Foundation, Dennis Adama, D.R. Adama family gift fund. Joe Vanhoven from the Fremont Meijer, the United Way, The River County Chamber of Commerce, The County Municipalities and their police departments, and other important folks that I failed to notice. I apologize for these omissions but the warm sun on my shoulders was affecting my attention.
Interestingly enough, I have noticed that warm sun seems to affect seniors and lazy house cats in the same way.
After the short professional presentation and ribbon-cutting photo ops it was show time. You must see this building. It is spacious, white, clean, and bright with wonderfully safe and well-furnished places for the children to play. Most impressive were the very private, comfortable rooms for conducting forensic interviews. Most enjoyable was a tour of the onsite store by Tashina Kerr. This dear heart was so excited about this new facility and store that she was buzzing with joy.
It is overwhelming to think that these people stand in for us and our community to address some of our most dark and damaging behaviors. They and the generous folks around here have stood up and built this Center for Hope and Healing so that some of these grievous behaviors can be prevented or mitigated. We all should be so very thankful they and this place are here in our community doing the work they do. We too must continue to support them in every way possible. Including, when we become aware of such, we must point out these terrible behaviors.
On my way out, I asked Tara if she was relieved that the ribbon cutting and official opening were over. “Not really,” she said. “It was just like a big family gathering."
Hmm… Super Heroes or maybe just more Angel work?
The Gerber Foundation is delighted to announce the hiring of Sara Hohnstein as the next Gerber Foundation Director. Sara steps into the position pioneered by Cathy Obits, who is retiring at the end of 2022.
‘Sara brings a wonderful perspective to the Foundation with her rich background in private foundation operations and focused experiences in academic research related to science and health. Sara impressed the Executive Committee with her grounded approach to grant administration, alignment with the Foundation’s mission and articulate communications” stated Barbara J. Ivens, President of the Gerber Foundation.
For the past ten years, Sara has overseen the operations of a private foundation (the Issachar Fund in Grand Rapids) which primarily focuses on academic research related to science and human flourishing. She has honed her skills as a foundation administrator and brings a wealth of experience in grantmaking.
A DeVos Children’s Hospital "NICU mom," Sara and her husband, Chad, welcomed their premature twin sons twelve years ago. “My husband and I sat by the incubators of our babies for several weeks. That experience has made a lasting impact on me, and I continue to be passionate about the health and well-being of infants and toddlers. I would be honored to use my professional experience to advance the mission of the Gerber Foundation,” noted Sara.
Sara has always been interested in children's health, safety, and flourishing. She looks forward to joining the Gerber Foundation and helping to advance the Foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life for infants and young children. Sara will join the Foundation in early September.
Established in 1952, the Foundation is a private foundation whose mission is to enhance the quality of life of infants and young children. The Foundation provides funding for academic research grants nationally and in West Michigan for youth programs and scholarships.
From Michigan Department of Transportation
UPDATE- Short-term detours on M-37
Newaygo to White Cloud- See maps above and below.
TOTAL closures for road work are scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on M-37 from Evergreen Drive (Old M-37) in Newaygo to 40th Street.
Detour- Head SW on Evergreen Drive, north on Centerline Road, west on 48th Street, north on Gordon Avenue and east on 40th Street to M-37.
On Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., M-37 will be CLOSED between 40th Street and the White River in White Cloud.
Detour- East on 40th Street, north on Laurel Drive, stay left to continue north on Oak Avenue, then west on M-20 to M-37.
The work is weather dependent.
Sign up for email from MDOT: http://bit.ly/14ucwY2
Follow MDOT's Grand Region on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/MDOT_West
For up-to-date information on this project and others, go to the list of statewide lane closures at: www.michigan.gov/drive.
Follow MDOT at www.twitter.com/MichiganDOT or www.facebook.com/MichiganDOT
The Fremont Harvest Festival Committee is currently seeking nominations for the 2022 Harvest Festival Family. This year the Fremont Harvest Festival will be held Thursday, September 22nd through Saturday, September 24th.
The Harvest Festival Committee is looking for nominations of a local family that has outstanding traits. Some of the characteristics this family would possess include: hardworking, active members of the farming community for many years, livestock and/or produce farmers, and live in the Fremont area.
Our winning family will preside over the Harvest Festival Parade on Thursday evening as the Grand Marshalls.
We encourage you to submit a written nomination with their accomplishments by Friday, September 9th to:
Harvest Festival Committee
Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce
7 E. Main, Fremont, MI 49412
Please include in your nomination an explanation of why you feel the family (maybe it’s yours) should be recognized for their contributions to the farming community.
DHD#10 ANNOUNCES NOVAVAX COVID-19 VACCINE NOW AVAILABLE FOR RESIDENTS 18 AND OLDER
Based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) is now offering a limited supply of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine available for residents 18 and older to begin their two-dose vaccine series.
“We are very excited to announce that the Novavax vaccine is now available in our district,” said DHD#10 Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Morse. “COVID-19 is still a serious problem, so it’s great that we can now offer an additional vaccine to our residents. The Novavax vaccine has been shown to be over 90% effective at preventing serious illness from COVID-19. If you have not already, it is not too late to get vaccinated!”
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine series, separated by three to eight weeks. However, the three-week separation is recommended for individuals that:
No booster doses are currently recommended for residents receiving the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.
To schedule to receive the Novavax vaccine, or any other COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose, please visit https://www.dhd10.org/schedule or call 888-217-3904. If no appointments are available, consider going to a pharmacy or your primary health care provider.
DHD#10 now supplies COVID-19 at-home tests; however, supplies are limited. COVID-19 test kits are limited at each DHD#10 office and are available on a first come, first served basis. Individuals are asked to take one kit per person, and up to four kits per household. Each kit has two tests inside and expire March 2023. Test kits are also available at most pharmacies. Be sure to call your pharmacy ahead of time, as demand remains high.
For more information about the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/novavax.html.
For more information on COVID-19, visit https://www.dhd10.org/coronavirus.
DHD#10 ANNOUNCES LIMITED AVAILABILITY OF MONKEYPOX VIRUS VACCINE
Risk to the general public is low
District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) now has a limited supply of the monkeypox virus (MPV) vaccine and will distribute it on a case-by-case basis.
“While our district has not had any confirmed cases of MPV, having the vaccine allows us to be proactive in our ability to protect residents,” said DHD#10 Health Officer Kevin Hughes. “However, at this time supplies are limited, so we’re only vaccinating if folks meet specific eligibility requirements.”
Current supply of the MPV vaccine is limited. While MPV can affect anyone, vaccination is limited to those that are at the highest risk for MPV infection. Guidance and eligibility are subject to change based on vaccine supply and changes in the risks of infection. Contact your local health department if you have recently been exposed to MPV or are at high risk for exposure. Vaccine recommendations can be found here.
Transmission of MPV
MPV is a viral illness. It primarily spreads through close or intimate contact with those that are infected through contact with rashes, scabs, bodily fluids, or extended face-to-face contact.
Symptoms of MPV
MPV infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms that progresses into rashes on the face and/or body. Additional symptoms include:
For more information on eligibility requirements of the MPV vaccine, please visit https://www.dhd10.org/monkeypox-virus-mpv. If you believe you are eligible and would like to schedule an MPV vaccine, please call: 888-217-3904.
For more information on MPV, visit https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/keep-mi-healthy/communicablediseases/diseasesandimmunization/mpv or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.
Fremont-based Great Lakes Bee Company to provide honey products for Whole Foods
When Whole Foods opens its first West Michigan store in Kentwood, on Wednesday, August 17, it will feature a variety of local products including Hasselman’s Honey brand and honey infusions produced by Fremont’s Great Lakes Bee Company (GLBC). GLBC has been in operation for nearly 50 years. All GLBC honey is collected from hives around Newaygo County, a region that specializes in honey production due to its unique environment that GLBC bees forage on, producing 150,000 pounds of Michigan honey each year.
As a local Whole Foods vendor, GLBC will have its original Hasselman’s Honey and 3 oz. flavored honey infusions available for purchase inside the new store. Whole Foods is set to open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, in the Radcliff Plaza shopping center, 2897 Radcliff Ave SE, in Kentwood.
Genji LeClair, co-owner of GLBC, can be available onsite between 2-4 p.m. during the store’s opening day to share about bringing GLBC’s Hasselman’s hometown honey into the world’s leading natural and organic grocer.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial Announces Change to Laboratory Hours at 211 W. Pine Lake Drive in Newaygo
Newaygo, Mich., August 12, 2022 – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is changing the laboratory hours at its Newaygo draw station at 211 W. Pine Lake Drive beginning on Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
The current hours at the laboratory in Newaygo are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The new hours beginning September 6, 2022 will be Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and on Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The laboratory at this location will be closed on Labor Day, September 5, 2022. These new hours will begin that week on Tuesday, September 6.
About Spectrum Health
Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, instill humanity and inspire hope. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.
Consumers Energy to Conduct Siren Tests Near Rogers, Hardy and Croton Dams August 18
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, August 18, at about 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 test. 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 one of the facilities. At that time, anyone on or near the river should evacuate at once to high ground. Additional information would be provided on local radio and television stations.