From our friends at the NC Road Commission who have done an incredible job under the most trying of circumstances while maintaining effective communication with the residents of our county.
Unfortunately, we made little progress today as conditions are still wet. As I stated before, we had to address the slippery conditions this morning which took time from the scheduled repair work. The Newaygo County Emergency Services Director has declared a local disaster. We will wait to see if the state follows suit. We are working on a plan of attack for starting Monday. Through a mutual aid agreement, the Kent County Road Commission will be supplying some additional forces to help speed the restoration process. Our goal is a speedy recovery for our customers. Through much appreciated assistance from our neighbors, and some much needed cooperation from Mother Nature, we hope to accomplish repairs as timely as possible. I feel it also a necessity to thank the awesome employees of the NCRC, Kent and Muskegon County Road Commissions, The City of Grand Rapids and of course our Emergency Service Department & Central dispatch. The many other calls with offers of assistance is overwhelming. It just shows the support in time of need is just a phone call away. For those that have suffered any sort of damage due to the flooding event, there is a link on the County of Newaygo's website (www.countyofnewaygo.com) directing you to a possible source for assistance. Please use them as they are great source of support. On a final note, the citizens of our incredible county have been nothing short of incredible through this event. We know that the road conditions are nowhere near what you want or deserve, but know your patience does not go unnoticed and is greatly appreciated. And if you see the groundhog, send him our way as we have a couple questions for him.
Flood Warning remains in effect. Please report any flood damage to http://www.countyofnewaygo.com/ReportDamage.aspx
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids CONTINUES a FLOOD WARNING for Newaygo County until Saturday.
The National Weather Service has received numerous reports of areas of flooded roadways and standing water around properties across the region. Many roads have been closed. Rainfall amounts of one half to nearly two inches combined with snowmelt has led to areas of high water. In addition, small rivers and streams will be running high and may overflow onto roads.
Please report any flood damage to http://www.countyofnewaygo.com/ReportDamage.aspx
Please share any flood photos with Newaygo County Emergency Services on facebook at Https://www.facebook.com/newaygoes
Do not drive into flooded roadways as you do not know how deep the water is. The flooding will likely continue into at least Friday as the water may take a long time to absorb into the ground.
Please report any flood damage to
Please share any flood photos with Newaygo County Emergency Services on facebook at Https://www.facebook.com/newaygoes
Newaygo County Emergency Services
E Newell St
White Cloud, MI 49349
Contact: Emergency: 9-1-1 Non-emergencies: 231-689-7354
From our friends at Newaygo County Emergency Services
The National Weather Service in Grand Rapids has issued a
Flood Warning for... Rain and Snowmelt in... Newaygo County in west central Michigan... Gratiot County in central Michigan... Isabella County in central Michigan... Clare County in central Michigan... Osceola County in central Michigan... Lake County in west central Michigan... Mason County in west central Michigan... Muskegon County in west central Michigan... Oceana County in west central Michigan... Mecosta County in central Michigan... Montcalm County in central Michigan...
Until 6:15 PM EDT Friday.
At 6:07 PM EDT, emergency management, local media, and cooperative weather observers reported numerous areas of flooded roadways and standing water around properties across the region. Rainfall amounts of one half to nearly two inches combined with snowmelt has led to areas of high water. In addition, small rivers and streams will be running high and may overflow onto roads. Do not drive into flooded roadways as you do not know how deep the water is. Follow guidance issued by your local emergency management and law enforcement. The flooding will likely continue into at least Friday as the water may take a long time to absorb into the ground.
AFFECTED AREAS: NEWAYGO, MI ... MUSKEGON, MI ... GRATIOT, MI ... MONTCALM, MI ... OCEANA, MI ... LAKE, MI ... MASON, MI ... OSCEOLA, MI ... CLARE, MI ... ISABELLA, MI ... MECOSTA, MI
Public meeting in Newaygo next week Thursday (March 21) for M-37 road and bridge work
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting a public meeting about this year's work on M-37 in downtown Newaygo. MDOT officials will provide project details, scheduling and traffic information. The public is invited to stop by anytime during the meeting to learn more about the project and provide comments.
Residents and interested stakeholders
Thursday, March 21, 2019
4 to 6 p.m.
1 State Road
Special accommodations can be made for persons with disabilities and limited English-speaking ability. Large print materials, auxiliary aids or the services of interpreters, signers, or readers available upon request. Please call 517-335-4381 in advance of the meeting to request.
MDOT is investing approximately $500,000 to improve the M-37 bridge over the Muskegon River. The project also includes pavement marking changes on M-37 from Quarterline Street to north of M-82/Croton Drive.
Project map: http://tinyurl.com/yymmogaz
$25 credit possible for customers of DTE, Consumers
Attorney General Dana Nessel today reminded Consumers Energy and DTE customers they may be eligible for a $25 credit if they were without power for more than 16 hours as a result of recent electric outages. The reminder comes during National Consumer Protection Week.
Consumers are eligible for a credit under “normal conditions” if the utility fails to restore service within 16 hours after an outage resulting from conditions other than catastrophic conditions. Catastrophic conditions are defined as an event that results in an official state of emergency or an event that results in interruption of 10 percent or more of the utility’s customers and the utility fails to restore power within 120 hours.
Credits are also available for repetitive interruptions if a customer experiences more than seven interruptions in a 12-month period. Customers need to notify their electric utility of all service outages and should record the date and time of each outage; when the company was notified of the outage and how it was notified; and when the service was restored. Any customer of an electric utility regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission is eligible for these credits.
“Michigan’s brutal winter left some electric customers with extended interruptions in electric services and it’s important we remind them that they may be entitled to a credit as a result of those interruptions,” Nessel said. “While we appreciate the utility companies for their around-the-clock work to restore power, it’s important we continue working together to ensure better reliability for our residents.”
Customers must contact their utility to determine whether they are eligible for the credit. Online forms are available by clicking on these links:
Pitch North Can Keep Your Eye On The Prize
A golden opportunity awaits entrepreneurs.
Got a great idea for a business? Been thinking about turning that idea into a reality?
Well then, opportunity has just come knocking.
Pitch North is coming to the Dogwood Center this spring and will provide a platform for budding entrepreneurs to deliver their ideas to a panel of judges with a chance to win some serious cash for their start-ups.
How serious? Try $1000 for third place, $2500 for second and a cool $4000 for the top prize in this competition hosted by The Right Place.
Look, even if you’re sitting on the most amazing product of all time, a successful startup often requires a support system to push it forward such as investors, partners, media and mentors. And what better place to get all of these than by participating in Pitch North?
According to Julie Burrell, The Right Place Business Development Coordinator for Newaygo County, entrepreneurship is a critical element of success in rural communities: “When people are starting and growing businesses they are contributing to economic diversity and resiliency,” said Burrell. “These unique local businesses become what differentiates a particular place. All age groups turn to entrepreneurship, whether a baby boomer looking to supplement retirement or a millennial looking for an option outside the traditional 9-5.”
“The various pitch competitions and support for entrepreneurs that exist today tend to be south of the Newaygo County line. The distance and intense competition of large communities presents barriers to applying for our residents. Entrepreneurship offers a unique career path to the over 84,000 people who reside in Newaygo, Oceana and Lake Counties,” said Burrell.
“Participating in a pitch competition forces an entrepreneur to take a deeper dive into their business model, exploring nuances they may have otherwise failed to evaluate, and to explain their product or service in a passionate and concise manner,” said Burrell. “Whether their idea is a niche restaurant, a yoga studio or a consulting service, it has the potential of positively impacting their community.”
If you’d like to enter you need to act fast! There is no cost to submit a pitch however the pitch submission deadline is 11:59pm on April 10th, 2019 so submit your pitch or register to attend at www.pitchnorth.com.
Questions? Contact Julie Burrell at email@example.com or 231.335.1985.
Tossing a gem at Pitch North could help bring your idea to life while providing the kind of cash that could help make your project part of our ever evolving community.
And that benefits all of us.
Program offering free dinner, free child care.
“You can’t stop what you don’t know.”
That is the message delivered by Jermaine Galloway who has been working to impact underaged drinking and drug use for over 15 years. His dynamic presentations help create awareness of the ever evolving drug culture trends that exist and thrive in our communities. His ‘Tall Cop’ (Galloway is 6’9”) talks have captivated audiences across the country and made a significant impact on those who attend.
There are many hidden messages involved in the youth drug scene including clothing , logos, song lyrics , and potential ‘stashing’ places that remain unknown to parents, school personnel, law enforcement, and all who deal with youth on a regular basis. These symbols can be a way of identifying others who might be involved in similar patterns of use and provide an easy way to connect and gain access to drugs and alcohol.
Newaygo County Commissioner (and former NC deputy) Bryan Kolk chairs the Headway Coalition, a local group of community members from healthcare, human services, and law enforcement who unite in an effort to curb substance abuse in our area.
“After 32 years as a Deputy I went to one of his presentations and was floored by all the everyday drug culture that I had been overlooking. This is an event that should not be missed by any parent or school professionals that have an interest in our local drug problems. This is an eye opener.”
On Wednesday March 13th Headway, NCRESA, Great Start Collaborative, and the local FAN group(Families Against Narcotics), is bringing Tall Cop to NCRESA’s Regional Center for Agri-Science & Career Advancement (5479 W. 72nd St).
Not only is there no cost for admission, but because these organizations realize how important this message is they are providing a free dinner and free child care in an effort to get parents and concerned community members to become educated and enlightened as to the danger signs that might be hiding in plain sight.
Dinner is from 5-5:45pm, child care begins at 5:45pm, and the presentation is 6-8pm.
Parents need to have as many resources as they can gather when it comes to combating the epidemic of alcohol and drug abuse among our youth and this presentation delivers some of the most valuable type of information to be had.
“This is a great opportunity for parents to gain more information about keeping their kids safe from drugs and alcohol,” said Headway Coordinator Rachel Uganski. “Drug trends are changing rapidly and its important that we are informed on the latest trends.”
Registration is now open at https://newaygotallcop.eventbrite.com or you can contact Ms. Uganski at 231.652.3612 for more information.
NC RESA Summer Internship Program Accepting Student Intern Applications
NC RESA Summer Internship program welcomes student applications submitted between March 13 – March 28, 2019. This opportunity is funded in part through a grant from Fremont Area Community Foundation.
Newaygo County high school and college students between the ages of 16 to 21 may apply for a paid position to receive work-related learning experience with one of many local organizations and businesses. The program will include students going through the formal interview process and being immersed in daily work experience.
More information is available online at www.ncresa.org/sip or call 231-924-8814.
Executive Order will speed up medical marijuana licensing and align recreation and medical programs
LANSING – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday killed a controversial state board tasked with approving licenses for medical marijuana operations, opting to put into place a new state agency intended to speed up the process. The Michigan Cannabis Industry Association issued a statement applauding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order .
“We’re fully supportive of the Governor’s decision,” said Robin Schneider, Executive Director of the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association. “This will streamline the licensing process and ensure it is fair. We have full faith in the professional staff at the Marijuana Regulatory Agency and LARA to do their jobs and create a safe and well-regulated market.”
The order will take effect April 30, if the Legislature does not first act to reject it. Lawmakers have 60 days to reject a governor’s executive order and both the House and Senate would have to vote to do so.
The board, formed by former Gov. Snyder, had been under fire in recent months for its slow rate of license approvals and what many say were inconsistent and unfounded denials, resulting in a shortage of legal and safe products for Michigan medical marijuana patients.
The executive order will dissolve the Medical Marihuana Licensing Board while creating the Marijuana Regulatory Agency, a type 1 state agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) with more power to oversee and regulate the marijuana industry in Michigan, both legal and medical. Advocates believe this will bring both sectors of the marijuana industry more in line with each other.
The February 28th Newaygo County Board of Commissioner Meeting
By Charles Chandler
On Wednesday, February 28th Chairperson Kolk called the Board of
Commissioners’ meeting to order at 9:30 AM. Administrator Wren and Commissioners, Delaat, Bird, Kruithoff, Cooper, Trapp, and Maike were present and accounted for. County Clerk Jason VanderStelt offered the opening prayer and Kruithoff led the Pledge of Allegiance. A motion was made by Bird and seconded by Trapp to approved the amended agenda. There was no public comment and the Consent Agenda Items were read and unanimously approved. Business as usual.
Presentation – Next on the Agenda was the presentation of Retirement Resolution #02-003-19 recognizing Chief Deputy Clerk Pamela A. Rolfe for her 16 years of service and retirement.
At this point, things got a little damp and squeaky. Clerk Jason VanderStelt asked Ms. Rolfe to come forward and as he read the Resolution. The bottom line of the resolution stated that the County of Newaygo through its Board of Commissioners wishes to thank Pamela Rolfe, for a job well done and to express its appreciation for the service she has given. Clerk VanderStelt gave a personal and heartfelt thanks to Ms. Rolfe for her many roles and contributions in the department. He mentioned her friendship, professionalism, wonderful personality and bright smile that would be truly missed around the office. Especially her ability to enjoy an appropriate and well-told joke and her analysis and disdain of one that was not funny. The Commissioners filed down and expressed their gratitude with officious hugs and a few misty eyes. The presentation was followed by photos and cake and coffee.
Standing Committee Reports
Commissioner DeLaat presented the Finance Committee business.
Motion 19-073-1 to approve the Blue Cross Blue Shield agreement for Newaygo County inmates, from February 1, 2019, through January 31, 2020, and to authorize the Sheriff to sign any and all necessary documents. This was a significant move because the County is currently processing about $100,000 in unpaid inmate medical bills. It appears that the number of inmates being housed at County is growing and their healthcare services are as well. It also appears that health care providers delivering these inmate medical services are not following the required billing practices as defined by the regulatory ground rules. For whatever reason, these practice by the inmate health care providers results in a significant challenge for the County staff. They have to determine if the inmate is indeed a registered guest of the County, the explanation of benefit (EOB) is accurate and the bills received for service are valid and the true and final responsibility of the County. This correspondent has been an employee and senior manager for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan of Texas and can say with high confidence that healthcare billing is a huge leaky boat. The entire health care system is computer-based and driven by coding. Coding accuracy begins in the health care providers office and drives the entire process. These codes determine wither the EOB is accurate and or if the bills should first go to some other agency like Medicare, Medicaid or Private Insurance Carrier or to the County. The motion to approve the Blue Cross Blue Shield agreement passed unanimously. It is the opinion of the N3 correspondent that the agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield to monitor the accuracy and help process inmate healthcare services billing will be extremely beneficial to the County. The County has hired a really, really big dog to watch the foxes and guard the hen house. Hats off to Administrator Wren and our Commissioners for a decision well made.
Motion 02-002-19 regarding the 911 surcharge, and authorize the Central Dispatch Director and County Clerk to sign and all necessary paperwork. This was the voter-approved ballot proposal that would provide dedicated funding to pay for an enhanced 9-1-1 Public Safety Dispatch system including technology upgrades. This resolution has to be approved by the Board of Commissions so that the State can implement the new 911 surcharge increase. The County also received a $`10,000 ten-year low-cost loan to make technology and facility upgrades to Central Dispatch. Motion passed.
Motion 19-075-01 to execute the attached Mid Mitt ESInet Intergovernmental Agreement and authorize the Board Chairperson and County Clerk to sign and all necessary paperwork. This appears to be the 911 system agreements between other County (MECOLA) central dispatches that provide necessary robust 911 call redundancy and the opportunity for a scale of economy cost sharing. Motion passed.
Motion 19-076-1 to approve the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission (MIDC) Grant with consideration and discussion related to the reporting requirements. This motion was to formalize the agreement with the State so that Newaygo County could begin to implement its plan to ensure that all those that appear for arraignment are provided with appropriate facilities and council. Administrator Wren forewarned that he expects the cost for this mandated program will escalate and that the State must continue to fund this program and that the cost of the program cannot be relegated to or funded by the County.
Motion 19-083 to accept The Fremont Area Community Foundation Grant #20181214 in the amount of $500,000.00 for Michigan’s Dragon Trail at Hardy Dam and authorize the Board Chairperson and the County Administrator to sign any and all necessary documents. The motion carried. The County and other project stakeholders are awaiting final project approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). This FERC approval is required for recreational development at Federal Licensed Hydropower facilities like Hardy Pond.
Motion 10-084 to accept the Fremont Area Community Foundation (FACF) Grant #20181246 in the amount of $75,000.00 for recycling services and authorize the Board Chairperson and the County Administrator to sign any and all necessary documents. The motion carried. The Commissioners mentioned that the County and the FACF were currently splitting the operating cost for the Fremont Facility. Commissioner DeLaat suggested that the Fremont Facility was a model for recycling and that County Citizens should visit, use and volunteer at the facility.
Miscellaneous Committee Reports
Commissioner Cooper reported that he had attended the Fremont Leadership Committee Meeting He also recommended that the County continue to be represented on that Committee
Commissioner Kolk reported that he had attended Michigan Association of Counties and the Public Safety and Judicial Committee meetings.
Administrator Wren provided updates on a Marine Patrol grant and Educations grant that had been applied for. Also, an update on the recently approved county contract with The Newaygo County Regional Education Services Agency (NCRESA) through Newaygo County Advanced Technology Services (NCATS) to address a vacancy and an addition to the onsite IT positions. In the afternoon Commissioner Wren and other County officials have the opportunity to the enjoy the conclusion of their hard work as they attend an open house in Big Rapids at the new morgue and where they will meet our new forensic pathologist, Dr. Dan Schultz.
“Schultz has more than 20 years’ experience in forensic pathology and is returning to Michigan to serve eight counties, including Clare, Lake, Mecosta, Montcalm, Oceana, Otsego, Newaygo and Wexford," aid Wren. "Officials have indicated more northern Michigan counties are expected to join this morgue authority. Now, northern Michigan families will have a new, hard to come by resource that will be able to answer their questions about the death of a loved one. Medical examiners said having Schultz in northern Michigan is the most efficient way to meet national standards.”
Another job well done.
Commissioner Wren mentioned that the March Board of Commissioners meeting will be on the Thursday the 28 rather than on Wednesday 27th.
Drain Commissioner Dale Twing gave an extensive update on the Fremont Recycle Center. He thanked key stakeholders like Paul Mellema for the use of the land where the Center is located, the City of Fremont, County Road Commission and all the many volunteers that have been helping staff the site. He mentioned that they are soliciting donations at the Center. He said they are looking at all options to make the Center a sustainable operation. It is recognized that the County cannot continue long term funding for the Recycling Center operations. He mentioned that he was applying for grants to fund placing additional recycling bins at local Schools.
Mr. Joe Fox Director from The Commission on Aging presented The Silver Tsunami News Letter and advertised the upcoming St Patrick Day Baked Potato Fundraising Lunch.
Ms. Holly Moon our County Treasurer informed the Board of Commissioners that her Circuit Court date was on Tuesday the 26th and Judge Springstead had approved 67 of the requests for extensions for delinquent tax payments. They will have until August 9th to pay their 2016 taxes and penalties and interest will continue to accrue. It is expected that there will be a 90 percent collection rates on the extensions.
Ms. Julie Burrell from the Right Place introduced herself to the Board of Commissioners. She discussed the purpose of the Right Place and some of the activities and projects that she is involved with including manufacturing and tourism. She specifically discussed the Redevelopment Ready Program.
As previously stated, it was business as usual. However, for those that notice such things it remarkable obvious that the new Commissioners and Chairperson are operating in a collegial and efficient manner. It is also obvious from attending these meetings that the Board of Commissioners, the County Administrator and Staff and other Department Head are very effective and efficient when conducting the County’s business. It appears that they are excellent stewards of our Taxpayer dollars and are continuously looking for opportunities for collaboration, partnerships, and the economies of scale with other area governments and agencies. It also appears that they are personally looking for ways to develop their own knowledge and represent the County's best interest in various meetings, on committees, and at public events.
White Cloud Rotary recently inducted Carol Mills as a new member into their Club. Carol is the Executive Director of Community Mental Health and was inducted by Past President Scott Swinehart. Carol shared that she believes “Rotary is a natural extension of the community and does many service projects that allow people the opportunity to give back. She looks forward to participating in Rotary fundraisers and service projects as well as serving the White Cloud area community.” Pictured (L to R): Nancy Harper, Carol’s sponsor; Scott Swinehart and Carol Mills.
Volunteers needed at new site
By Lola Harmon-Ramsey
The County of Newaygo successfully opened a new recycling center in Fremont, Michigan on February 6, 2019. This prototype site is fenced in and only operates during an “open hours” format with volunteers to assist residents with their recycling. Current hours of operation are Monday 10am-1pm, Wednesday 1-5pm, and Saturday 9am-2pm.
Volunteers greet recyclers, assist users with their recyclables, view the recyclable materials for contamination, educate users, and answer questions. Contamination of recyclables has been a growing problem and this Fremont prototype site helps to ensure that the items that are being recycled are clean items and recyclable within the program. This Fremont site also doesn’t allow for after-hours dumping which is also helping to alleviate contamination problems.
Since the opening of the Fremont site many volunteers have joined the effort, but more volunteers are needed to continue to stay open. The County of Newaygo is now accepting youth volunteers (under 18 years old) to join our program. The recycling initiative would count towards mandatory high school volunteer hours if students are interested in volunteering at the Fremont site.
The requirements to volunteer within the Newaygo County Recycling program are a basic background check, a short volunteer presentation and educational meeting and your willingness to help one day (or more!) a month for roughly four hours per shift. Any youth volunteer under the age of 18 would be required to have a parent or guardian signature, attend a short volunteer orientation and educational session, and willingness to participate. An adult would be in attendance for any minor volunteers. Service groups like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Church youth groups, 4-H or other youth service organizations would be welcome to join the recycling initiative.
Volunteers of any age can contact April at the Newaygo County Drain Commission Office, 231-689-7213 or firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
Gerber Memorial to host free quit tobacco sessions in March, April
Fremont– Smokers and nicotine users looking to quit for good can turn to some free help in March and April.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is offering free classes to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday in March, starting March 5 through March 27.
Gerber Memorial is extending its quit tobacco support to new moms and moms-to-be in April, with free classes every Monday starting April 1 through April 22. The moms’ sessions will be held at Tamarac, and participants will get free smoothies and day passes to Tamarac’s Wellness Center plus free in-house child watch.
Gerber Memorial Community Health Specialist Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker will lead the courses, designed to help participants learn ways to break nicotine addiction, including using nicotine replacement products and medication to decrease cravings.
“These can help you begin to decrease the amount you smoke, chew or vape very quickly, giving you a jump start to your quit date,” Mitchell-Schucker said. “We’ll also help each person plan what to do instead of using nicotine and tobacco, and how to be a lifelong quitter. Studies show that people can double or triple their success rates by coming to a class, using the best medications or nicotine replacement products for them, and following a plan that fits their lifestyle and needs.”
Gerber Memorial’s quit tobacco seminars in March and April are part of its larger effort to reduce nicotine use in Newaygo County. In addition to the free classes, Gerber Memorial’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist Shelly Klochak, RN, also offers free one-on-one tobacco and nicotine counseling.
Mitchell-Schucker said smoking tobacco can lead to more chronic diseases and deaths than any other daily lifestyle behavior – and it’s preventable. Smoking can cause 12 kinds of cancers, emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease), heart disease and stroke, among others. Chewing tobacco can cause cancer in the mouth, stomach, colon and bladder, as well as tooth decay and gum disease. Mothers-to-be who smoke can contribute to the premature birth of their baby, increased infections and higher rates of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, in their newborns.
The new trend in nicotine consumption, e-cigarettes, is also dangerous to those who vape and people around them. The vapor from e-cigarettes – which are not federally regulated – contains more than just water: It also contains small particles and toxic fumes from the flavors and additives in the e-juice, some of which are cancer causing, Mitchell-Schucker said.
Pre-registration is required for the March and April classes. To sign up, or for more information, contact Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker at 231.924.7589; or email email@example.com.
Consumers Energy to Make Reliability Repairs, Interrupt Electric Service Early Sunday (Feb 24) For Fremont Area Customers
FREMONT – To safely make electrical repairs and improve reliability, about 3,300 Fremont area customers will experience a 6-hour power interruption beginning early Sunday, Feb. 24.
Beginning approximately 12 a.m., 3,317 customers will be interrupted to make repairs to the 46,000-volt electrical distribution system that serves portions of the city of Fremont, Sheridan and Dayton townships in Newaygo County.
The Fremont recycling site will be closed today Wednesday, February 13th due to the weather conditions. They will reopen Saturday February 16th during their regular hours, 9am-2pm.
Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients Announced In Class B
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Feb. 12 – The Michigan High School Athletic Association has selected eight student-athletes from Class B member schools to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program.
Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 30th year of sponsoring the award, will give $1,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; also, there are two at-large honorees who can come from any classification.
Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored at a halftime ceremony during the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 16, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing. Commemorative medallions will be given to the finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Class B Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are: Lauren Anderson, Charlotte; Chloe Bartz, Edwardsburg; Olivia Haring, Clare; Zoe Neirink, Frankenmuth; Noah Doederlein, Carleton Airport; Justin Luo, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; Pierce Morrissey, Big Rapids; and Connor Swinehart, Newaygo.
Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the Class B Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay also is included:
Lauren Anderson, Charlotte
Played fourth season of varsity basketball, played four of varsity volleyball and will run her fourth of track & field this spring. Earned all-league recognition in volleyball and academic all-league honors multiple seasons in all three sports plus academic all-state in basketball and volleyball. Served as captain of volleyball and basketball teams. Will graduate high school with 24 college credits and carries a 4.0 GPA. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and earned Distinguished Scholar Award from Oakland University. Participating in fourth years of marching band, symphony band and drumline and has served as the percussion section leader and lead snare in those respective groups. Volunteers in youth basketball and volleyball camps and serves as middle school track timer, and earned Junior Rotarian award. Will attend Oakland and study nursing.
Essay Quote: “High school athletics are a minefield. With the pressure of school and other commitments, we rarely have time to think outside ourselves, and that becomes a problem when one’s emotions are not taken into account. When people get stressed or anxious, we don’t perform to the best of our abilities; we lag in our skills. When we get to that point, we need someone to be there, to yank us back from that ledge, to remind us that we are not alone, to give us confidence in our ability to perform as an athlete.”
Chloe Bartz, Edwardsburg
Playing fourth season of varsity basketball, ran four of cross country and will participate in fourth of track & field this spring. Qualified for MHSAA Finals three times in track and holds school record as part of 3,200-meter relay. Helped basketball team to two league and two District titles and best finish in school history. Served as captain of all three teams and earned scholar athlete awards all four years. Serving fourth year on student council with two as vice president and participating in second year of National Honor Society with one as treasurer. Participating in third years on youth advisory council and yearbook staff – with two as editor – and fourth year as part of Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter with two as chairperson. Earned regional first place and qualified for state competition twice as part of Science Olympiad team. Will attend Loyola University Chicago and study biochemistry.
Essay Quote: “Sports are often said to reveal character, but I am of the opinion they build it. As student athletes we are reminded daily of the effort, time and passion needed to succeed on the sports field as well as in the classroom. It’s essential for sportsmanship to be practiced as much as a jump shot, for at the end of the game it won’t be a person’s last-second shot you remember in 20 years.”
Olivia Haring, Clare
Playing third season of varsity basketball, ran four of cross country and will participate in fourth of track & field this spring; also played junior varsity softball as a freshman. Qualified for MHSAA Finals in cross country all four seasons and track her first three and helped those teams to a combined seven league championships. Earned all-conference, all-region and academic all-conference and all-state honors in those two sports, and has served as captain of all three of her varsity teams. Serving fourth year on student council and as student body president, and fourth year as part of Business Professionals of America and as co-president. Qualified for state BPA competition. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and has served as treasurer. Earned Presidential Scholarship and named Junior Business Student of the Year both by Northwood and carries a 3.96 GPA while dually enrolled at Mid Michigan College. Led fundraiser that collected more than $1,000 for breast cancer awareness. Will attend Northwood University and study finance with the intention of earning a master’s in business administration.
Essay Quote: “The high stakes of competitive athletics demand excellent sportsmanship. Failure to meet such expectations can be detrimental to the athlete, team and community. Witnessing unsportsmanlike conduct prompted positive change in my hometown.”
Zoe Neirink, Frankenmuth
Ran four years of varsity cross country and will play her fourth of varsity soccer this spring. Served as captain of cross country team and qualified for MHSAA Finals in that sport all four seasons. Earned all-league recognition in both sports and all-state in soccer. Earned AP Scholar with Honor recognition and participates in National Honor Society. Competing in fourth years of quiz bowl and Science Olympiad; earned all-league honors and served as team captain for quiz bowl and medaled in regional competition and served as vice president for Science Olympiad. Playing fourth year in marching band and second as part of pit orchestra and served as marching band pit percussion section leader. Participating in volunteer and community service efforts and as part of 2019 Graduation Committee as selected by her teachers. Will attend Kenyon College in Ohio and study English, and intends to pursue a law degree.
Essay Quote: “The workload of being a student-athlete can be taxing, but things become easier when one stops regarding school and sports as two separate things. I see the same respect in my teammates cheering for all the runners in a cross country race as I do in a student helping another study for a hard test. The things that make us good students, good sports, and good people are all interwoven.”
Noah Doederlein, Carleton Airport
Ran four seasons of varsity cross country and will run his fourth of track & field; also played junior varsity basketball as a sophomore. Earned all-league and all-academic honors for cross country and helped track team to conference championship in 2018. Earned AP Scholar with Distinction. Served as a team captain of both varsity teams, taking part as well on school’s Captains Council. Serving as class president for third year and also president of National Honor Society chapter. Served on Monroe County Youth Leadership Board and Monroe County 4-H Council. Selected for the 4-H State Youth Leadership Council and 4-H Capitol Experience Steering Committee, and as part of Michigan delegation to multiple national events. Participating in fourth year of Interact club and third of Michigan Youth Leadership (MYLead), and earned multiple local awards for academics and community involvement and also a 2017 Michigan Key Club Award. Will attend Michigan State University and study political science.
Essay Quote: “The communication, teamwork, and goal-setting skills that accompany educational athletics are inherent, while hard work and dedication teach students integrity. But, when poor sportsmanship infects athletics, the lessons being taught are misconstrued. When players, parents, and coaches begin to attack, taunt, or humiliate competitors, petty differences become more important than the skills players are attempting to learn.”
Justin Luo, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Played four seasons of varsity tennis, helping team to three MHSAA Finals and Regional championships and earning an individual league title playing singles. Earned all-state and all-league honors and served as team captain. Participating in fourth year of debate and earned one gold and three silver bids to national Tournament of Champions. Qualified for National Catholic Forensics League Tournament and National Speech and Debate Association Tournament, and was named top speaker at 2017 debate state championship. Playing fourth year of clarinet for school’s band, orchestra and pit orchestra and has earned a number of solo/ensemble prizes and served as concertmaster. Participating in third year of American Youth Leadership Foundation and fourth tutoring as part of school’s Horizons Upward Bound program. Serves as president of Horizons and as Peer2Peer student leader. Will attend Princeton University and study operations research and financial engineering.
Essay Quote: “When sportsmanship is not upheld, people begin to solely focus on winning and forget why we play sports. Cheating offers an easy escape for players to avoid dealing with adversity and learning a valuable lesson. Rather than have fun and build friendships, people become angry and are hurt. I have felt the pain firsthand and would not want that for anyone else. Thus, we must preserve sportsmanship in order to maintain the educational value of athletics.”
Pierce Morrissey, Big Rapids
Will play fourth year of varsity golf this spring and has served as captain every season, and also played varsity basketball as a junior and varsity tennis as a freshman. Earned all-state golf honors his first three seasons and made all-state “Super Team” the last two as one of the top golfers regardless of division. Won Lower Peninsula Division 3 Final individual championship in 2018. Serving fourth year on student council and Mecosta County Youth Advisory Council and second on MHSAA’s Student Advisory Council. Also serving fourth year on school’s Athletic Leadership Council and Climate Crew. Participating in fourth year of Project Outreach and this year as president, and was class representative for Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter as freshman and sophomore. Participates in a number of volunteer projects including as mentor for youth golf. Will attend Michigan State University and study business.
Essay Quote: “A fundamental standard of educational athletics, sportsmanship is a code to separate the good athletes from exceptional athletes. A true "sportsman" has no room in their heart for selfish ambition. Of course, this selflessness doesn't happen in the blink of an eye. Most student-athletes would admit that their younger version of themselves had an abundance of maturing to do to become who they are today as a senior athlete.”
Connor Swinehart, Newaygo
Playing third season of varsity basketball, played three of varsity football and will play third of varsity baseball this spring. Earned all-league honors a total of five times and all-state recognition in basketball, and all-state academic honors in baseball. Served as team captain multiple seasons for all three sports. Served three years as student council president and is participating in second year of National Honor Society. Has earned all As throughout high school. Participates is a variety of sports-related and community volunteer projects including as a peer math tutor. Will attend University of Michigan and study biomedical engineering.
Essay Quote: “I knew I could finish the game, but another victory meant more for me than the actual win. Sitting in the dugout was a teammate of mine who has stuck with baseball his whole life and loves the game with all of his heart. He is a special education student with disabilities, which limits him from consistent playing time, but that does not mean he cannot throw the ball. My teammate has one of the biggest arms on the team. … I tell (my coach) I want (my teammate) to finish the game. I want him to get the victory. He deserves the victory. … These are the moments where sportsmanship is important. Putting a teammate’s needs and desires before your own.”
Other Class B girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Kamryn Cushway, Big Rapids; Salena Prakah-Asante, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; Eleri Giem, Boyne City; Daisy Ansel, Comstock; Sarah Bidgood, Comstock Park; Bridget Kohane, Grand Rapids West Catholic; Dana Wila, Grand Rapids West Catholic; Lindsey Jurecki, Grosse Ile; Robin LeFevere, Imlay City; Sophie Moccio, Milan; Emily Unger, Montague; and Mallory Kean, Yale.
Other Class B boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Sam Bussler, Battle Creek Harper Creek; Clark Doman, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; Alex Netzley, Cadillac; Adam Bruce, Gladstone; Jack Perry, Michigan Center; Michael Gormley, North Branch; Isaac Waffle, Olivet; Tommee Smith, Sparta; Cooper Clark, Stevensville Lakeshore; Dillon Mochty, Tawas; Dylan Day, Tecumseh; and Ethan McKenzie, Whitehall.
The Class C and Class D scholarship award recipients were announced Feb. 5, and the Class A honorees will be announced Feb. 19.
Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why it is known as Michigan’s Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more—protecting nearly 500,000 Michigan policyholders.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.4 million spectators each year.
Another Round of Snow and Freezing Rain to Impact Michigan
LANSING -With another round of severe winter weather forecast to impact the entire state tonight through Wednesday morning, the Michigan State Police (MSP) is encouraging state residents and visitors to prepare for possible power outages and exercise caution on the roadways.
The National Weather Service forecast the first round of severe winter weather to begin late tonight and last through Tuesday afternoon. The wintry mix of snow and freezing rain is expected across the southern half of the Lower Peninsula with ice accumulations possible along I-94. Up to 7 inches of snow and 30 mph wind gusts are predicted for the northern Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula could see up to 10 inches of snow. The second round of winter weather could bring up to 4 inches of snow and 40 mph wind gusts to the Lower Peninsula between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
“Freezing rain and accumulating ice increase the likelihood of power outages and can cause hazardous conditions on the roadways,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD). “We are asking residents to report any outages or downed power lines to their utility company and to use caution when traveling.”
Winter storm safety:
For more information on how to prepare before, during and after an emergency or disaster, visitwww.michigan.gov/miready or follow MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.
Turn On The Night project takes top prize
By Ken DeLaat
In the Lexus Eco Challenge, student teams tackle environmental issues related to land, water, air, and climate, and create practical solutions while competing for prizes for eligible teachers, students, and schools.
Seven students from Sherry Claflin’s 6th and 7th grade science class took part in the challenge submitting their entry before the December deadline.
And last Friday came some pretty big news.
They won a prize.
Not just any prize, mind you but the $10,000 first prize.
And each of the students will be getting $1000 from the Lexus Eco Challenge for their efforts. Ms. Claflin will also receive a similar award and the school will be given $2000.
‘What do you plan on doing with the money?’ the group was asked and replied with answers that varied from starting a savings account to a getting new wardrobe to putting it toward the future purchase of a truck.
But mostly they shrugged and said they weren’t sure.
After all they barely had time to let it sink in.
How did this come about?
Students chose a topic from the Lexus Eco Challenge Air and Climate list and were put into groups based on the topic of their choice. This group of seven chose greenhouse gases. They looked at several aspects of contributing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, studied the history of climate change due to excess greenhouse gases, and decided on their target areas.
The next 6 weeks proved busy as the students ironed out the details.
Working with the Newaygo County Dark Sky Astronomers the seven set out to reduce the lights at night. They were trying to find a way to continue to allow for industry, safety, and necessary electricity uses, while trying to bring attention to the fact that the $2 billion is wasted in this country every year on lights on at night.
Research was done on the environmental, health, safety, biologic and economic costs of the lights used at night.
They met with the White Cloud police liaison to discuss the amount of light needed at night for public safety, created a poster on their topic and one student presented the information at the White Cloud City Council meeting.
As part of their efforts "Turn on the Night" was planned and the community was asked to turn off their outside lights. Communications were put out in the school announcements, local media and several facebook pages asking for help in the kids’ idea to turn on the night. From facebook it was shared as far away as Australia. The students shared this by word of mouth with family members near and far, asking for everyone to turn off their lights.
As a result over 400 houses in the city were reported to have flipped the outdoor switch to off that evening.
But most impressive of all was how this group came together to pull this off. Middle school is oftentimes a period when social groups are formed. Groups that can be exclusionary at best. To work together these young folks needed to get past that dynamic. To step outside of their social comfort zone.
I asked them what they found to be the biggest challenge in doing this project?
‘Working together’ they replied unanimously and nearly simultaneously.
And what was the best part?
“That we were able to pull together” was heard from a couple of them while the others nodded in agreement. “We worked as a team.”
An admirable task with a fitting reward.
While the students are to be applauded for their achievement Ms. Claflin is to be commended for facilitating the effort. A first year teacher with White Cloud Ms. Claflin is no newcomer to the education field. She also teaches at Muskegon Community College and spent 18 years a few miles down M20 in the Hesperia system.
White Cloud MS HS Principal Ed Canning:
"Ms. Claflin has been a great addition to the White Cloud team and her passion for science is undeniable, She has brought that passion and enthusiasm into the lives of our students through a variety of activities. Congratulations to Ms. Claflin and her students for winning the Lexus Eco Challenge."
Well done Henry, Caelan, Eli and Torin and the same goes for Kaileigh, Kevin and Emma.
And well done to you as well Sherry Claflin.
These students may have learned a lot about climate change and greenhouse gases but they learned something that in the long run might prove even more rewarding than the money.
They learned the power of collaboration.
MPSC investigates Consumers’ natural gas fire, begins assessment of state’s energy supply, availability
LANSING– The Michigan Public Service Commission today formally opened an investigation into a fire at Consumer Energy Co.’s Ray Natural Gas Compressor Station. Separately, it launched an assessment requested by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of the supply and deliverability of natural gas, electricity, and propane in Michigan and contingency plans.
The MPSC will conduct an independent investigation into events surrounding the fire that began at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 at the Ray facility in Macomb County (Case No. U-20463). The fire was extinguished by 3 p.m. Damage led to Consumers stopping the flow of natural gas from the station, the largest source of working gas capacity in Michigan and which supplies a large portion of Consumers’ natural gas needs during winter usage.
Because of high demand partially due to extremely cold weather, Consumers had to arrange for more natural gas supplies, increase production at its storage fields in Northville and St. Clair, and limit natural gas used for electricity production so it could satisfy customer demand. Consumers also asked large customers to curtail use, and requested that all customers conserve energy. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made a similar plea for curtailment and the Michigan State Police sent an emergency alert last Wednesday night to cell phone users in the Lower Peninsula. By noon, Feb. 1, Consumers resumed normal natural gas delivery to customers.
The Commission ordered the investigations to determine:
Once the investigations are complete, the MPSC may propose remedial action.
The emergency incident prompted Gov. Whitmer to request in a Feb. 4 letter to the MPSC’s chairman that the Commission assess the state’s supply and availability of natural gas, electricity, and propane, recommend ways to mitigate risk, and ensure safe, reliable energy.
The Governor asked the MPSC to include in its assessment:
A draft outline of the assessment will be posted to the web page by Tuesday and interested parties have until Feb. 19 to offer their input on the draft. Comments can be sent to Executive Secretary, Michigan Public Service Commission, P.O. Box 30221, Lansing, MI 48909, or emailed firstname.lastname@example.org. A final draft outline will be available March 5.
Once a final report is complete by Sept. 13, the MPSC is to direct utilities to address any identified shortfalls, including but not limited to recommendations for changes to energy planning criteria and approaches, regulatory review, and proposed oversight improvements.