Appointments required to manage limited vaccine supply
FREMONT, Mich., Jan. 16, 2021 – In response to the State of Michigan expanding eligibility for vaccination, Spectrum Health will begin vaccinating adults age 65 and over, and certain essential workers.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial will offer vaccines by appointment on Tuesday, Jan. 19. When an appointment is scheduled, the individual will receive information on location and time. Availability will depend on supplies of vaccines.
To find out more about scheduling a vaccination, go to www.spectrumhealth.org/vaccine. Once at the page, scroll down to “COVID-19 vaccine scheduling” for step-by-step directions. Community members are also encouraged to download the Spectrum Health app and sign up for a MyChart account, which is a key step in the scheduling process for a vaccination appointment.
Spectrum Health is also holding vaccination clinics by appointment in Grand Rapids, Greenville, Hastings and Zeeland with additional locations opening as more vaccine becomes available. As more vaccines become available, additional clinics will be announced.
“This vaccine represents a light at the end of the tunnel for our community and a step toward moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Drew Dostal, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial president and leader for the Northwest Region. “Gerber Memorial is honored and excited to distribute the vaccine, working together with our partners in local health departments and throughout the community. We know many people are eager to get vaccinated, and we’re eager to help them schedule an appointment for it. We are seeing overwhelming demand for the vaccine and ask for the community’s patience as we work as quickly as possible to schedule appointments and set up additional clinics. We understand that the vaccine represents hope for better days ahead, and a sense of normalcy for our lives and the economy.”
Spectrum Health is working with community partners and area health departments to plan additional vaccine sites across the region in the coming weeks—including clinics for under-represented communities—in an effort to make the vaccine as accessible as possible for all individuals.
Spectrum Health has provided a total of more than 31,000 vaccinations to the public as well as to individuals in Phase 1a that the health system has been asked to vaccinate, including independent doctors, dentists and their staff. The vaccine distribution is dependent on vaccine supply, which varies from week-to-week. Scheduling will take place as Spectrum Health receives vaccine doses.
Per the State of Michigan, essential workers, including teachers and others, should work through their employers to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.
5-20K Survival Grants available in Newaygo County
Yesterday, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board approved $55M in small business grants for COVID-19 relief efforts. The Right Place will administer grant funds to several counties in West Michigan.
“Our Newaygo County small businesses continue to be critically impacted by the pandemic,” said Julie Burrell, Business Development Manager, The Right Place, Inc. “As we continue to navigate this pandemic the demand for assistance remains high, and the Survival Grants will offer a needed financial lifeline to Newaygo County businesses.”
A local committee will score all applications and make awards of $5,000 - $20,000, to selected businesses based on program criteria and amount of local funding available. $171,453 has been allotted to Newaygo County to distribute.
The application period will open Jan 19th at 9am and close Jan 22nd at Noon here https://www.michiganbusiness.org/survival/
The Small Business Survival Grant was designed to provide funding for eligible businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the Gatherings and Mask Order issued by MDHHS on Dec 7, 2020.
It his highly encouraged for businesses to visit the application page early, and set up a ConnectSpace account (visit https://pmbc.connect.space/ to do so) if they don’t already have one, and review all eligibility criteria and FAQs. In order to assist with web traffic flow, an electronic queue system has been established, and applicants will enter the queue prior to entry into the application. All applicants who are in the queue by 12:00 on Friday Jan 22 will have an opportunity to complete their application.
Grant funds will be distributed by Feb 28, 2021.
Industries Affected By The Order:
Live entertainment venues can access the Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program, with the application period opening Jan 21 at 9am.
State Police Working with Law Enforcement Partners to Secure Capitol and Surrounding Areas
LANSING, MICH. January 15, 2021- In advance of anticipated demonstrations at the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Sunday, the Michigan State Police (MSP) has increased both personnel and protective measures, and is working in coordination with local and county law enforcement, the Michigan National Guard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Following the January 6 siege on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. and the resulting online promotion of marches at capitols in all 50 states, the MSP increased its visible presence at the Capitol beginning on January 11. These additional uniform resources are in addition to the MSP state properties security officers who are assigned to provide security at the Capitol.
“Security enhancements that have been put in place include both seen and unseen measures,” stated Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “I can assure you that we take our responsibility for safeguarding the Capitol and those who work and visit here seriously and, together with our law enforcement partners, we will be prepared to ensure law and order.”
In anticipation of an unknown number of demonstrators expected to gather on the grounds of the Capitol on Sunday, January 17, the MSP is again increasing its uniform presence by mobilizing troopers from across the state. MSP’s resources will be complemented by uniform personnel from the Lansing Police Department, Ingham County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan National Guard to ensure that the greater downtown area is also protected.
Details about the number of officers or their specific security missions will not be shared.
“In general, we don’t discuss security measures so as not to provide an advantage to those wishing to inflict harm and cause disruption, but it’s important for the public to know that law enforcement is working together and has a coordinated plan to do everything within our power to ensure safety,” Gasper added. “We remain hopeful that those who choose to demonstrate do so peacefully, without violence or destruction of property.”
There will be several road closures in effect for downtown Lansing on Sunday to facilitate ingress and egress.
Law enforcement asks residents to assist by reporting suspicious and unusual activity. Tips can be submitted 24/7 by calling 1-855-MICH-TIP or submitting an online tip at www.michigan.gov/MichTip. Tips can also be submitted directly to MichTip by downloading our mobile app. For matters that require immediate police response, call 9-1-1.
Some HS Sports, Indoor Gym Classes Open; Hoops on Hold, Eateries Still Waiting
There’s a hold on high school hoops and restaurants remain restricted to outdoor and take out service through the end of the month but the new MDHHS Epidemic Order will allow some movement toward normalcy if not the wholesale changes many hoped for.
“We are reopening cautiously because caution is working to save lives. The new order allows group exercise and non-contact sports, always with masks and social distancing, because in the winter it’s not as easy to get out and exercise and physical activity is important for physical and mental health,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We are glad that we made it through the holidays without a big increase in numbers, but there are also worrying signs in the new numbers. We need to remain focused and continue to see declines in hospitalizations and to bring case rates and percent positivity down by doing what we know works.”
The new order is effective Saturday, Jan. 16 and will last until Sunday, Jan. 31.Governor Whitmer hinted toward a return to indoor dining and other activities by February 1 and stated there would be more information in the coming days.
Girls gymnastics, girls and boys bowling, and girls and boys swimming & diving, as “non-contact” sports, may also begin competition before the end of this month – swimming & diving Jan. 22 and gymnastics and bowling Jan. 25. Masks will be required of all participants except when they are actively participating in gymnastics and swimming & diving. Spectators will be capped at 100 persons in school gyms or 250 in stadiums and arenas, per MDHHS orders.
Basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling are considered “contact” sports and may begin non-contact practices Jan. 16, with their first competitions scheduled for Feb. 1. Because of the later start to competition schedules in those sports, the MHSAA will adjust its tournament dates for those four to conclude on later dates than what is currently scheduled – those dates will be announced later this week.
“We are glad to have three more sports join skiing in returning to full activity, but we understand the disappointment and frustration on the part of our athletes and coaches whose sports are not yet able to restart completely,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “We will continue to adjust schedules to provide all of our winter teams as substantial an experience this season as possible, as part of our greater plan this school year to play all three seasons to conclusion.\
“We have shown with our remaining Fall sports this month that our schools can participate safely, and we’re confident teams will continue to take all the appropriate precautions as we jump back into indoor Winter activities.”
“We continue to make progress in our fight against this virus, and expanding vaccination to healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staff, some essential frontline workers and those age 65 and older is bringing us closer to ending the pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “It is important that everyone continues to do their part by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly and social distancing. This remains just as important, even as the safe and effective vaccine is being administered, to protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated.”
Previously, MDHHS had identified stabilization or declines in three metrics as critical for relaxing protocols. Although Michigan saw improvements across all three following the “pause” implemented in mid-November, some numbers have plateaued or begun to increase in recent days:
Indoor residential gatherings remain limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with consistent with guidance already released by the department. Families are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to maintain momentum and to protect loved ones. Families are also encouraged to Mask Up, Mask Right, using guidance for what masks to wear and how to wear them.
Monday sees 255 shots in Newaygo arms, another 243 on Tuesday
January 12, 2021 – District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) held COVID-19 vaccine clinics in seven of our ten counties on Monday, January 11, and vaccinated a total of 1,733 individuals.
Monday Vaccine totals by county include:
Tuesday Vaccine totals by county include:
Clinics are scheduled throughout the remainder of this week for those who scheduled late last week to receive the vaccine. Because vaccine supply is still limited, clinics next week will focus on healthcare workers in Phase 1A and individuals in Phase 1B who were rescheduled this week due to lack of vaccine. We will resume scheduling seniors and first responders as soon as we receive our vaccine totals. All vaccine clinics are by appointment only and not open to any walk-ins. PLEASE DO NOT WALK INTO ANY DHD#10 OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT. We will notify you when we resume scheduling again.
“Right now, we are at the mercy of the state for vaccine distribution and we understand the state isn’t receiving what they are requesting from the federal level, so we have to do the best with what we receive,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for District Health Department #10. “There are still many individuals in Phase 1A that have not been vaccinated yet and we must prioritize the vaccine to those individuals first.”
DHD#10 will be posting a survey link to our website for individuals in Phase 1B to complete that want to receive the vaccine in the coming weeks. This will put them on a list to be scheduled for the vaccine when it is available. We are also working diligently to address lack of access to technology and are partnering with community resources to fill the gaps and assure there is access for everyone.
The state recently updated Phase 1B to include:
Not only are there thousands of people waiting to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but now there are many who are ready to receive their second dose. Due to the time-sensitive nature of receiving the first and second dose, DHD#10 is beginning to also schedule second doses and assures individuals who received the first dose that their second dose will be set aside for them.
DHD#10 continues to ask for patience during this period of uncertainty and we ask that individuals please refrain from calling the health department to ask about scheduling the vaccine. We will continue to keep our communities updated via press release, social media, our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and our Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to our Public Health Alert, please do so at www.dhd10.org/subscribe. We ask for your patience as we continue to plan and prepare for additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Spectrum Health Opens COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for the Public
Appointments are required to manage limited vaccine supply
Grand Rapids, Mich., Jan. 11, 2021 – In response to the State of Michigan expanding eligibility for vaccination, Spectrum Health today began vaccinating adults age 65 and over, and certain Phase 1B individuals such as teachers and childcare workers. There are a total of 10,000 appointments scheduled between now and the end of the week and each has been filled.
Spectrum Health will launch other vaccination clinics this week by appointment only in Grand Rapids, Greenville, Big Rapids, Hastings and Zeeland with additional locations opening as more vaccine becomes available.
The vaccine distribution is dependent on vaccine supply, which varies from week-to-week. Scheduling will take place as Spectrum Health receives vaccine doses.
“We are seeing overwhelming demand for the vaccine and ask for the community’s patience as we work as quickly as possible to schedule appointments and set up additional clinics,” stated Dr. Darryl Elmouchi, President, Spectrum Health West Michigan. “We understand that the vaccine represents hope for better days ahead, and a sense of normalcy for our lives and the economy.”
To find out more about scheduling a vaccination, go to:
www.spectrumhealth.org/vaccine. Community members are also encouraged to download the Spectrum Health app and sign up for a MyChart account, which is a key step in the scheduling process for a vaccination appointment.
Per the State of Michigan, essential workers, including teachers and others, should work through their employers to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.
Sounding a note of cautious optimism about no post holiday surges,Spectrum Health President & CEO, Tina Freese Decker said they were seeing cases beginning to plateau with 20% of ICU beds system-wide currently filled with COVID patients accounting for 183 beds.
185 in Our County Take One for the Team
January 9, 2021 –District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reports approximately 1,400 COVID-19 vaccines were administered on Friday, January 8, during vaccine clinics throughout our ten-county jurisdiction.
“We couldn’t be prouder of our staff who put in an enormous effort to vaccinate almost 1,400 individuals on Friday,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “The work that went into accomplishing this operation was significant and our team is prepared to do the same at vaccine clinics throughout the week next week and the coming weeks and months.”
Vaccine totals by county include:
Starting Monday, DHD#10 is hosting COVID-19 vaccine clinics in all ten counties, with clinics scheduled through Saturday in many of the DHD#10 locations. These clinics are by appointment only and are not walk-in clinics. Clinics are only for those in Phase 1A and some in Phase 1B, including Persons 65+, First Responders (Police and Fire), and Jail/Corrections staff. Due to limited vaccine supply, we cannot accommodate anyone without an appointment, and we are unable to schedule any additional appointments until more vaccine is available. DHD#10 will post the Electronic Scheduling Form on our website at www.dhd10.org sometime next week when we are notified how much vaccine the state is sending us. DHD#10 is currently working with other community resources and partners to offer an alternative to scheduling for those who do not have access to the internet. We will notify the public as soon as that option is launched.
“What's important to realize is we cannot order more vaccine than we are able to push out through vaccine clinics. And we cannot schedule appointments if we do not have enough vaccine. We also must administer every vaccine in a vial once opened or they will spoil, so if a clinic only has three people registered, we may not be able to host it. We will be making adjustments frequently along the way while vaccine supply is limited,” stated Hughes.
Vaccine allocation is distributed at the Federal level to each state and then states must determine how much to give to each hospital system and health department across the state.
The general timeline for ordering and receiving the vaccine works like this (at least for now while it is uncertain how much vaccine is allotted each week):
This past week, DHD#10 requested 3,900 doses of the vaccine, plus had some vaccine supply from the previous week. We launched the Electronic Scheduling Form on Thursday afternoon to schedule clinics for the next week where over 7,000 people schedule in a 14-hour period. DHD#10 was notified Friday morning that we were only receiving 975 from the state, which prompted us to shut down scheduling until we could receive enough vaccine to accommodate those who already scheduled. Fortunately, we were able to secure enough vaccine from regional partners to accommodate most of the individuals who scheduled. We did have to reschedule or cancel some individuals.
“Until the vaccine supply is more readily available, there may continue to be shifts, adjustments, cancellations, and reschedules in the foreseeable future. We will have to make last minute changes and all our plans may go out the window, but please know we are doing everything humanly possible to get this vaccine out to those in the priority groups and then to anyone who wants it. We ask for continued patience as we work through this challenging and important effort,” stated Hughes.
At this time, we ask that individuals please refrain from calling the health department to ask about scheduling the vaccine. We will continue to keep our communities updated via press release, social media, our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and our Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to our Public Health Alert, please do so atwww.dhd10.org/subscribe. We ask for your patience as we continue to plan and prepare for additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Last week we shared highlights the first half of the year. Here is the second half of what will likely go down in history as...as...well, I guess you can say it will certainly go down.
Fred Bultman’s touching tribute to Jeanette Johnson captured a synchronic partnership in a heartwarming way.
Beautiful Independence Day Sounds From A Nonagenarian’s Hands
Her best was amazing. There was unexpected energy from this “little woman” in her playing the exuberant songs; there was reverential and soothing comfort in the quieter hymns; and throughout, I also noticed that her piano playing seemed always to be in direct dialogue with her fellow residents.
N3 Editor Alexis Mercer took part in that inaugural ride and word has it she and her family have been regulars ever since on the ever growing epic trail.
Michigan's Dragon Trail Official First Ride
Organizers, project partners and media met at Brower Park in Stanwood on Monday, July 20, 2020 to hold the first official trail ride and hike on the much anticipated Dragon Trail.
My personal admiration for nurses is well documented and while many are wonderful some are inspirational.Tessa Grewe’s mentorship inspired a student nurse to nominate her for a DAISY an award given for exceptional nursing practice.
"A Prime Example of a Great Nurse"
I will be a better registered nurse someday because of Tessa’s willingness to teach me and let me experience new skills. I am forever grateful for Tessa’s teaching and kindness. She is a prime example of what a great nurse should be.”
The book authored by former NC resident Jennifer Graeser Dornbush is based on the murder of Newaygo resident Shannon Siders a case solved by the local cold case team. This is from our interview with Ms. G-D.
“Hole In The Woods” Hits Home
“I first learned about Shannon and her death by my father who was the county Medical Examiner at the time. He determined after examining her remains that Shannon had suffered a brutal death, disturbing details that I wouldn’t find out until sitting in on the trial some 25 years later.
The master at mixing mirth and mindfulness Tim McGrath has a wide and varied fan base among our readers. His ability to make childhood experiences come alive and then weave them into present day reflections is never more apparent than in this piece from August.
Random Bits… Summer Song
Those charmed summer days of childhood that meant no school, and the endless possibilities of days stretched out before us with nothing but what our little minds could conjure up. Just had to be back home when the streetlights came on….
Ah, summer; sweet, sweet summer.
Charles Chandler tells a good story.
He’s also an avid fisherman though not a requirement for telling a good story it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Here he captures one of those delightfully collaborative endeavors aimed at improving our local waters and, yes, with it the fishing.
The Newaygo County Bigelow Creek Watershed Project
But here at this Newaygo County road intersection, it is a cool Michigan morning, there is a tiny warbler hunting insects in a bush near the side of the road. There is a bit of fall color beginning to show among the thick green pine and spruce. The small clear spring-fed creek that is getting all the attention is gurgling along a few feet away. We are all oblivious to the world’s troubles and are mesmerized by the activity in front of us. This morning the Newaygo County Road Commission crew is installing a huge box culvert on this small Bigelow Creek tributary.
No, no misspelling here, it is indeed irruptions. We love having the Grabills respond to the birding (not burning) questions of the day. Send in your queries and we will pass them along.
Ask BirdGoober: Irruptions, House Maintenance
Wild bird populations sometimes get very exciting in winter. Birds that we’ve not seen in Lower Michigan suddenly appear in great numbers, causing all kinds of talk among birders and feeder watchers. An irruption, or sudden change in the density and distribution of birds can occur for several reasons, but the result is a regional buzz among the birding community as pine siskins, redpolls, red-breasted nuthatches and evening grosbeaks show up in yards where they haven’t been seen for years, even decades.
I was sitting home when LSC Lil who had recently departed on an errand called and told me there was a truck in the lake just down from our house.
She was right.
She generally is.
A Mistake at the Lake
This Ford Ranger is not an amphicar and likely wasn’t anticipating an October swim but when its driver lost control of her car the vehicle jumped a seawall and ended up in the waters of Hess Lake.
The driver and her passenger were unhurt, but the pickup is going to require some major drying out
A group of our personal heroes came through again as the Drs. Nelson and their staff once again spent a day serving all veterans who came through their doors for the third straight year.
Awesome: Part III
“This is my 2nd time here,” said Veteran William Hall. “Awesome program to help veterans get services they need.”
We wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Hall as to the awesomeness A lot of people talk about doing more for veterans. Others simply show how it's done.
On Friday Newaygo Family Dental Care puts its humanity into action.
And we’re a better community for it.
Donna Iverson is not just our gardening guru, she also adds some intriguing tidbits to her stories. Here she shares a anecdote about Mr. Apple himself.
Hands in the Dirt: Macs.
It is also parent to the Macintosh commuter, developed by Steve Jobs of Apple, Inc. According to his biographer, Walter Isaacson, Jobs had become a fruitarian and was visiting an apple orchard when he encountered the Mcintosh apple and saw it and his new computer design as “fun, spirited and not intimidating.” In marketing the product, the designers misspelled the name and the iconic computer became the Macintosh.
We have rarely had such a response as we did when Dr. Robert Clouse stepped up to the plate and delivered his take on the virus. Read the comments that followed his piece. The good Dr. continues to enjoy the respect and admiration of his community as well as an open ended invitation to honor our pages with his writings.
Guest Article: COVID 19 MUSINGS
The generation that fought WW2 is called, “The Greatest Generation”, perhaps in part, because individually they banded together for the good of the country. Millions joined the Armed Forces, either directly fighting or in supportive roles, (somewhat like our health care workers and essential service workers today). Everyone else sacrificed, everyone did their part. We’re in a war now against Covid-19. Our hospitals and health care workers are overwhelmed logistically, physically and emotionally and they need a break. They need our help until the population achieves a critical mass of vaccinations. You can help now to reduce new cases of Covid.
You can stay away from others.
You can wear a mask effectively.
You can get vaccinated.
Will you help now?
If you are part of the generation that includes the penner of this piece Ms. Ludtke (and I)
you will relate to this piece and perhaps even remember the duck and cover drill that put us under desks so the atomic bomb wouldn’t...wouldn’t...never mind.
The Original Anti-Vaxxer
On that tragic and fateful day, I had a plan! It came time to line up for the long walk down the hallway, one left turn then a quick right past the second grade classrooms, followed by two rights to the “health room” which was really a broom closet. Well, not me! As others lined up, I disappeared into our classroom’s anti-vaxxer bunker, also known as the bathroom. Safe from all harm. No needles for me.
That’s all folks. Been a year.
We hope to continue to entertain, enlighten, and encourage dialogue during this next little cruise around our home star.
Fremont Public Art Committee issues "Call for Artists"
The Fremont Downtown Development Authority's Public Art Committee continually works to enrich the lives of the City’s residents and visitors through art. Over the last 15 years, the town has seen 15 new public art pieces emerge, adding to that quality of life that we all enjoy here in Newaygo County. The Committee's next public art project will be located in the north central greenspace area of Fremont's Veterans Memorial Park. A "Call for Artists" has been issued for submission of proposals that are community/family friendly, touchable, and appreciated by multi-generations of community members.
Guidelines for the "Call for Artists" are available to all interested at www.cityoffremont.net or www.ncca-artsplace.org. The proposal guidelines also may be requested to be mailed by phoning the City of Fremont at 231.924.2101. Deadlines for proposal submissions is Monday, March 1, 2021 by 5:00 p.m. An artist may submit more than one design to be considered by the Downtown Development Authority Public Art Committee.
Goal is for all Michigan school districts to offer in-person learning option March 1 or sooner
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced new guidance for schools today to keep students, staff and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic while providing the in-person instruction that is crucial to learning and development.
The state’s goal is to have all Michigan school districts offer an in-person learning option for students no later than March 1, and earlier if possible.
Guidance emphasizes use of scientifically proven methods of reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread, include wearing masks, ventilation improvements, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
Vaccination of teachers and other school staff will begin by Jan. 11 due to educators’ roles as essential frontline workers.
“MDHHS will continue to do what it takes to save lives and limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Director Robert Gordon. “At the same time, in-person instruction is critical for the current and the future well-being of children, especially young learners and students who are disadvantaged. We encourage schools to reopen as soon as they can do so with proven protections for staff and students.”
Guidance is for grades pre-kindergarten through 12 and includes early childhood education, such as Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program. Drawing on evidence from Michigan, the United States, and countries around the world, the guidance document outlines specific infection control measures that have worked in schools during the pandemic. Wearing masks is especially important for controlling COVID-19 transmission and masks should be worn inside schools by all staff and students, except during meals and in other limited circumstances. Face masks may be made of cloth or may be disposable surgical-style masks.
Other infection control measures in the new MDHHS guidance include:
Additional recommendations can be found in the State of Michigan Guidelines for Operating Schools Safely on Michigan’s Schools COVID Testing website.
In November, MDHHS paused in-person learning in high schools as part of an order to limit indoor gatherings to address an alarming increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths and in hospital occupancy rates. After case numbers decreased, high schools were permitted to resume in-person classes effective Dec. 21.
The guidance is subject to change. Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
DHD#10 Reaches Capacity For Vaccine Clinics Due To Vaccine Shortage
From our friends at the Health Department:
January 8, 2021 –District Health Department #10 announces we are currently at capacity for our COVID-19 vaccination clinics due to a shortage of the vaccine. The registration link on our website is currently removed and will be replaced once we are able to schedule appointments.
“Unfortunately, the state was unable to supply the number of doses we ordered, which requires us to make adjustments to our vaccine clinics,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “We understand this disruption may cause frustration, but please know we are doing everything we can to deliver the vaccine as soon as the supply is accessible.”
Some individuals who are currently scheduled to receive the vaccine next week may be cancelled or rescheduled. We will notify you via the email you registered when you scheduled if your appointment is cancelled or rescheduled.
We will resume scheduling as soon as we have access to more vaccine and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. We ask for your continued patience as we relentlessly work to get the vaccine out to those who want it.
DHD#10 Now ready to schedule some in Phase 1B for COVID-19 Vaccine.
January 7, 2021 –District Health Department #10 announces we are now ready to start scheduling the following individuals that fall into Phase 1B ONLY:
Only those that are listed above should now complete the Electronic Scheduling Form posted on our website at www.dhd10.org to schedule your appointment. For those that do not have access to the internet, we are working on activating a phone number that you can call to schedule your vaccine and will notify you as soon as it is up and running. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working as fast as we can to get this option implemented.
Due to vaccine supply limitations, we are currently not scheduling Pre-K/Childcare Staff or Frontline State and Federal Workers that fall in Phase 1B yet. We will work with your employers to notify you when we are ready to schedule your vaccine clinics. We ask for your continued patience as we work as quickly as possible to get more vaccine and schedule more clinics.
At this time, we ask that individuals please refrain from calling the department to ask about scheduling the vaccine. We will continue to keep our communities updated via press release, social media, our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and our Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to our Public Health Alert, please do so atwww.dhd10.org/subscribe. We ask for your patience as we continue to plan and prepare for additional COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Informational Session and Public Hearing on a proposed air permit for Generate Fremont Digester
EGLE will be holding this public hearing tonight (Thursday January 7) at 6 pm however as noted in thee information they provided below comments can be made until next Thursday, January 11.
From Dan Meccariello, Generate operations manager:
“The Fremont Regional Digester currently holds two air permits that were obtained in 2009 and 2011, and we’re seeking a new air permit to combine the two original permits into one and to add previously unpermitted equipment into the permit. The reason that equipment is not currently permitted is because it was not previously a requirement, so we’re now obtaining it. We are not adding any equipment to our facility and we’re not increasing emissions. In fact, this permit will add more regulation to the facility, as well as additional documentation and reporting. We’re dedicated to continuing and increasing transparency surrounding all our operations, and if any community member has additional questions they can reach out to us at email@example.com.”
This is info from the Fremont Digester website:
And here’s the skinny on the hearing.
This Informational Session and Public hearing has been scheduled to provide you with an opportunity to get information and ask questions about the proposed changes to an existing air permit for Generate Fremont Digester, LLC in Fremont, MI. You will also have the opportunity to submit written or verbal comments on the record after the Informational Session is over. This meeting and hearing are not the only way to submit comments on the record. Comments will continue to be accepted until the close of the comment period on January 14, 2021.
NOTE: Additional information, including draft permit conditions as well as other ways to make an official comment, is available on the Air Quality Permit Public Notice webpage. Go to Michigan.gov/Air, select "Permits" from the left hand side, then select "Permits (PTI / NSR) Public Notice"
Pre-registration is not required to attend the meeting. Individuals interested in participating can click on the registration link
(https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HZqHuK7kQ028vBthGhAPBw) at the start of the event (6:00 p.m.).
Newaygo County Treasurer Jason O’Connell as well as County Treasurers throughout the State are required by State Statute to hold a Show Cause Hearing each year. The Newaygo County Show Cause Hearing is typically held in the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners Room. The Show Cause Hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2021 at 1:00 pm. Due to the COVID pandemic, the building is limited to 10 people at a time. If you still owe on your 2018 taxes, and were planning to attend the hearing, please call our office at 231-689-7230 to schedule an appointment.
Our office is open to the public to accept payment at the window. You can also pay online with a credit or debit card by going to www.countyofnewaygo.com or calling 1-888-604-7888.
Prepared by Jason O'Connell
January 6, 2021
Flood of Vax Calls Forces Shutdown
January 6, 2021 – Due to the enormous volume of calls from those asking to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) had to temporarily deactivate the COVID hotline.
In her press conference today, Governor Whitmer announced opening the COVID-19 vaccine up to Phase 1B beginning January 11. Whitmer also changed the age range to include individuals aged 65 and older and adjusted those considered essential workers in Phase 1B.
“The majority of the calls coming into our hotline were from individuals who now fall into the updated Phase 1B and want to know how to get scheduled to receive the vaccine,” stated Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “We completely understand that individuals are anxious to get their vaccine, and we ask for continued patience as we work to put our processes in place to make this happen as quickly as possible. Once our staff can get caught up on returning calls, we will consider reactivating the hotline."
DHD#10 will launch an electronic link for individuals in Phase 1B, beginning with those aged 65 and older, to pre-register for vaccine as early as tomorrow. There will be an alternative way to register for those in this group that do not have access to the internet and we will announce that shortly.
As a reminder, while vaccine supplies are limited, vaccine clinics are invite-only and are scheduled at specific times. They are not walk-in vaccination clinics.
At this time, we ask that individuals please refrain from calling the department to ask about scheduling the vaccine. We will continue to keep our communities updated via press release, social media, our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and our Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to our Public Health Alert, please do so at www.dhd10.org/subscribe. We ask for your patience as we prepare for Phase 1B.
Health Dept. continuing to vaccinate Phase 1A; Preparing for Phase 1B
From our friends at DHD#10:
January 6, 2021 – District Health Department #10 continues to vaccinate individuals in Phase 1A of the priority group. To date, we have vaccinated approximately 604 individuals including DHD#10 staff, EMS, Medical First Responders, and Medical Care Facilities.
As we are now on a schedule to receive additional vaccine weekly, and under MDHHS recommendations, we are expanding our effort to all of Phase 1A priority groups. Clinics are scheduled this week for the health care provider priority group in Phase 1A and from they will be on a rolling weekly schedule.
Because our vaccine supply is severely limited, we are targeting our efforts to the highest risk workers until the supply picks up and are asking that health care providers adhere to only registering staff who have direct patient contact. As our vaccines pick up, and as we receive second dose allotments, we will increase clinics to meet the new need including non-traditional clinic days/hours. While vaccine supplies are limited, vaccine clinics are invite-only and are scheduled at specific times. They are not walk-in vaccination clinics.
PHASE 1A includes: Paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and are unable to work from home as well as residents in long-term care facilities.
Phase 1A is broken down to three priority groups:
DHD#10 is currently working on planning for Phase 1B vaccination clinics. We will launch a pre-registration process for individuals to schedule their vaccine and will notify those in Phase 1B when it is launched. Again, while vaccine supplies are limited, vaccine clinics are invite-only and are scheduled at specific times. They are not walk-in vaccination clinics. PLEASE NOTE: Pre-registration for Phase 1B has not launched yet. There is no early registration or sign-up. We will notify the public via press release, social media, our website at www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine, and our Public Health Alert. If you have not subscribed to our Public Health Alert, please do so at www.dhd10.org/subscribe. We ask for your patience as we prepare for Phase 1B.
PHASE 1B includes:
We thank you for your patience as we developed our plan through all of the complexities of changing guidance and limited vaccine allocations.
Michigan residents seeking more information about the COVID-19 vaccine can visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine. Locally, go to www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vaccine where you may find answers to your questions. For COVID-related questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our COVID Hotline at 231-305-8675.
To say the past year was strange is perhaps the understatement of the century and even though the century is still rather young the level of strangeness is undoubtedly one for the ages.
Here’s a glance at the first half.
First Baby Arrives!
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s New Year’s Day baby took a little longer to show up despite mom Cassie Moore’s best efforts. Moore began feeling contractions late in the afternoon on Jan. 1.
Baby Gabriel, however, wasn’t quite ready to show up, and waited until 4:12 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, to make his long-awaited debut.
Weighing in at 6 pounds and 4 ounces, Gabriel was born to Moore and Mark Golliver, both of Fremont.
HTRJ stays in the family
Linda Cudworth considered a number of options in the area and even gave a fleeting thought to a place she stumbled upon during a visit to Grand Marais.
But in the end Hit The Road Joe landed next door to her house in Croton.
That was 20 years ago when she was 50. Now 20 years later her daughter Tracy, known as Chef T, has taken the reins of the iconic restaurant that has been a gathering spot for a slew of regulars and a pleasant surprise for those who have discovered this haven of epicurean delights by accident, by design or by recommendation.
And she is now nearly 50, producing a fitting symmetry to the transition process.
Headway received this same grant 5 years ago and it will allow the prevention work in NC to continue with Katherine Mater and Kelly Wawszcyk coordinating activities.
The Headway Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition serving Newaygo County, was one of the grant recipients and will receive $625,000 in DFC grant funds to involve and engage their local community to prevent substance use among youth. The Newaygo County RESA serves as the fiduciary for the Headway Coalition.
First inkling of the pandemic in our state. Seems like forever ago.
On Monday, January 27, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reported today that test results on three possible cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus came back negative. A specimen from a fourth possible case, from Washtenaw County, was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today for testing.
Last Thursday (Feb 13) recreational marijuana arrived in our county for the first time when Skymint began moving beyond dispensary mode and into dual duties including cannabis presumably not prescribed for medical usage.
Well, one imagines recreational pot has long been a part of our little slice of bipeninsular heaven, but they were indeed the first ones to do it under the auspices of licenses, regulation and whatnot.
For now the ‘Cannabis in the Cloud’ emporium remains unique and the only (legal) place nearby one can purchase pot since the next nearest is in Evart.
The dire social media warnings of chaos in the streets once pot was available without a prescription never came to fruition.
The Newaygo County Road Commission held an open house for retiring Director Kelly Smith on Friday February 14th to commemorate his 35 years serving the citizens of Newaygo County.
Board member Doug Harmon: “Kelly is and loves to be a problem solver. It has been an honor and pleasure working with someone that loved, had compassion and lived his job 24/7.”
Mr. Smith, who was a regular contributor to our pages of RC info, continues to do some consulting when not pursuing his love of racing...cars by the way, not running.
Ms Hefferan schools the class on Dam to Dam
The annual Dam to Dam Ice Fishing Tournament had special guests this year, as twenty-three GVSU Honors students packed the ice to collect fishing stories and to learn about the Muskegon River. The class, HON280 Making Waves: Water in a Changing World, began the day with a tour of Hardy Dam. They then headed to Croton, with students circulating among tournament participants, interviewing ice fisherman about fishing culture and practices. Among the GVSU participants were three local residents: Professor Tara Hefferan of Croton and students Maggie Degen and Lauren Ferris, both of Fremont.
Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency (NC RESA) hosted the 2020 Regional Spelling Bee on February 25 with 18 district-level winners and runners-up (grades 3 through 8) competing for the regional title. Congratulations to Sophia Fries from Grant Middle School, who was the overall winner by correctly spelling the word pilferer in Round 11. Sophia will now advance to The Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 24 at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids.
Sherry Claflin, an eighth-grade Earth science teacher at White Cloud Junior High School in White Cloud, Michigan, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Edward C. Roy Jr. Award for Excellence in K-8 Earth Science Teaching.
Ms. Claflin also earned a trip to Boston scheduled for April and we all know what happened to that. This year’s conference? Virtual of course.
The tail end of a column.
And for pity’s sake people, virus or no virus, please wash your hands will you?
You know who you are and we know who you are from seeing you exit public bathrooms without a stop at the sink.
As Bob Marley once said...
“Before you start pointing fingers make sure your hands are clean.”
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s Chief Nursing Officer Meleah Mariani has been named chief nursing officer at Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. At Gerber Memorial, in addition to overseeing more than 175 members of the nursing staff, Mariani was also an executive leader who spearheaded numerous initiatives at Gerber Memorial in addition to serving as an ambassador throughout the Newaygo County community.
Ms Mariani was outstanding as a CNO according to a source well known to this writer.
Tragedy in Croton
Newaygo County Prosecuting Attorney, Worth Stay, announced that Max Wallace William Carle of Newaygo, was arrested during the course of an investigation into activities that allegedly occurred on March 8, 2020, at a residence in Croton Township. Deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of an assault of a 64-year-old male. The 64-year-old male was located with multiple stab wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.
And here we go…
March 11- Wayne County Health Department announced today that two Michigan residents tested presumptive positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the first confirmed cases in the state.
March 12- All MHSAA winter tournaments are suspended, effective immediately and indefinitely, due to concerns related to COVID-19.
March 16-No visitors will be allowed at any locations (hospitals, outpatient locations and long-term care facilities) for all local health care systems. For special circumstances, one approved visitor will be allowed in situations involving patients undergoing surgery and pediatric, maternity, end of life or critically ill patients.
On March 17, 2020 at approximately 7:56 am, Deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 1140 N Walnut Ave, Wilcox Township, on a report of an adult male threatening to shoot an adult female and 3 kids. While enroute to the scene deputies were advised that the male suspect left the residence on foot with a gun.
Upon arrival on scene, law enforcement set up a perimeter around the area. Newaygo County K-9 team was called in for tracking the suspect. After tracking the suspect and making contact with him on the phone he agreed to come out of the woods. The male suspect surrendered peacefully to law enforcement.
Judge Springstead frees up Hespo council logjam.
The Village of Hesperia has been at a virtual standstill for nearly a year.
Last week the Hon. Robert D. Springstead ruled that the resignations of DanBesten, Derks, and Kochans were valid when they were submitted.DanBesten also moved out of the village making her ineligible to hold a council seat.Though Derks and Kochans recently tried to rescind their resignations it was ruled that this made no difference and they were also off the Council. Michael Maynard who has not attended in a year will retain his council seat. Three new members were appointed to the council as Jackie Slocum, Dan Herin and Sara Walker now fill the once vacant seats and the Village Council of Hesperia once again numbers 7.
Cold Case Team notches another
Nearly 37 years after 25-year-old Richard Atwood disappeared from White Cloud, Michigan in Newaygo County, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel along with Newaygo County Prosecutor Worth Stay have jointly charged Roy Leando Snell with his murder. Atwood’s body has never been found.
The Cold Case Team members who doggedly pursued this case were Scott Rios (NCSO, MSP retired), Adam Mercer (NCSO), Robert Watson (MSP), Ryan Maki (MSP) and Richard Miller ( MSP ret.).
The next shoe drops.
Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store. “ In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”
And now it arrives in our fair county.
March 23 – District Health Department #10 reports the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in a Newaygo County resident.
March 26- The Senate has unanimously passed a stimulus bill. While there are many provisions including expanded unemployment guidelines and monies heading for larger entities, part of the package involves payments to individuals and families.
Individuals will receive $1200 per adult. $500 per child 16 and under.
Done in a hurry. So why did it take so long this time around?
First District 10 death
March 26, 2020 – District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) received notification of the first local death attributed to COVID-19. The individual from Mecosta County was an 82-year-old male who was admitted to Spectrum Health in Big Rapids on March 25.
Tossing in the towel.
April 2- Schools are closed for the rest of the year. Newaygo County superintendents have been meeting regularly since schools were closed preparing for this moment and are targeting April 20 to launch a distance learning program. “We share the Governor’s highest priority right now to protect our Newaygo County students and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, NC RESA and Big Jackson Public School Superintendent.
Plans had her headed for Grand Canyon U.
The Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Scholarship is awarded to 12 students who ‘flourish in academic and athletic excellence and commit to service to their local community. Lauren Boerger of Fremont was announced as the recipient of one of those 12.
While at Fremont, Lauren competed on the Tennis, Swim, and Cross Country Teams. She was a team captain for the swim team and earned all-conference on the tennis team. Activities that Lauren is involved in outside of school include the National Baby Food Festival, and Feed My Starving Children.
On April 9, 2020 at approximately 1:55 pm, Deputies from the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office were checking on a suspicious vehicle near E 6 Mile Rd and N Thornapple Ave. While the Deputy was talking with the 38 year old female from Wyoming Michigan, she put her vehicle in drive and took off at a high rate of speed. At the intersection of E Monroe St and N Evergreen Dr a Sergeant with the Sheriff’s Office was able to deploy stop sticks and successfully deflate 3 out of the 4 tires. The vehicle continued north on N Evergreen until E Jackson St where the driver failed to negotiate the curve and continued north into a grassy area and became disabled.
The 38 year old driver was taken into custody without incident.
Oh yeah, and possession of Meth. Stuff that tends to alter one’s judgement
Hmm. The warning from LE wasn’t enough?
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office – in coordination with Mason County Prosecutor Paul Spaniola – sent a cease and desist letter Thursday to a community action agency (Five Cap) in Scottville after receiving complaints that the organization was continuing to require non-critical infrastructure employees to report to work, despite warnings from local police.
And speaking of LE...from the NCSO facebook page:
We have received many phone calls, text messages and emails regarding Governor Whitmer's Executive Orders and the Sheriff's Office position on those orders.
The women and men of the Newaygo County Sheriff's Office have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of Michigan. It is our responsibility to serve and protect the citizens of Newaygo County and protect your rights as described in the Constitution. We will respond to all calls for service and will address each call with common sense. Our goal is to ensure that everyone is safe and treated fairly.
It is our opinion that the people of Newaygo County will use good judgement and be considerate of their friends and neighbors. We will all get through this by working and communicating with each other. Please take care of each other and let us know if you need our assistance.
Sheriff Bob Mendham
Total Confirmed Cases 31,424
Total COVID-19 Deaths 2,391
Sunday Confirmed Cases 633
Sunday COVID-19 Deaths 83
6 weeks prior…. 2 cases confirmed in the state
An even dozen in Newaygo County
As of Tuesday, April 21, 2020, District Health Department #10 (DHD#10) reported the twelfth lab confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in Newaygo County. As of 04/21/2020 there are now 105 positive cases in DHD#10’s ten county jurisdiction and 8 deaths. Statewide there are 32,967 lab confirmed positive cases and 2,700 confirmed deaths. The first pediatric death from COVID-19 in the state was reported on April 19, 2020.
For the first time in nearly three decades, Hesperia’s downtown streets, parks, and skies will be silent on the 4th of July. The Hesperia Chamber of Commerce, who hosts the annual event, made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 Hesperia FunFest due to the ongoing Covid-19 concerns, and the probability that large gatherings will continue to remain discouraged throughout the summer months.
Grab your hammer and get ready. Meanwhile the Gov and the solons...
During her Wednesday news conference Governor Whitmer stated she would sign an order Friday allowing both residential and commercial construction to resume beginning May 7th. The Legislature is considering her request to extend the state of emergency, set to expire on Thursday, 4 more weeks to May 28th but there looks to be resistance from the Republican majority in the House and Senate who did not vote on the issue during session today. “They are acting as though we are in the middle of a political problem," she said of Republicans critical of her orders during the coronavirus pandemic. "This is not a political problem we have. It’s a public health crisis.”
Hazardous Waste Day postponed, then eventually cancelled thanks to COVID
This year the event was scheduled for May 30th but due to the COVID-19 situation the Board of Public Works made the decision to postpone the event and scheduling issues may lead to its cancellation for this year.
A little drive through Pomp & Circumstance
With the prospect of a formal graduation ceremony on the football field completely out of the question, Newaygo Public School administrators and senior class advisers began to brainstorm how to make the would-have-been night something that the seniors would at least remember for years to come, even if it wasn’t what they’d always thought it would be.
What ended up taking place was a joyous, special evening for all graduates. Their senior photos were made into posters, which lined Barton Street and began the “Graduate Parade”. While the seniors were not allowed to get out of their cars, they filed into four lines in their vehicles to turn in their books and computers and to pick up documents and a care package from the staff.
And then the corner was turned...for awhile.
Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume.
In-home services, including house cleaning services, can begin operations.
Fitness classes can be held outside.
Drive -in movies can reopen.
Groups of 100 or less can now congregate outdoors so long as safety measures are in place.
On Thursday, June 4th, retail establishments can move beyond appointments and welcome in customers with reduced capacity numbers.
On Monday, June 8th, restaurants can open with both indoor and outdoor dining if tables are 6 feet apart and capacity remains at 50% or less. Day camps and swimming pools can resume operations the same day.
Not yet open?
Hair salons, gyms, indoor theaters, casinos, and tattoo parlors.
The governor indicated these restrictions could be lifted within 2 weeks if the downward trend of cases continues.
A long 84 days for those who enjoy an occasional sit down meal at one of our local eatatoriums.
On Monday (June 8) the drought came to an end as restaurants and bars in our fair county were able to open their doors to the public beyond take out and actually have folks indulge in a bit of dining beyond the confines of their kitchens. One of our faves has always been the Moon Dance Cafe in Fremont where regulars were welcomed inside for the first time Monday morning
“We had people who were waiting when we opened the doors at 7am,” said MDC owner Tina Drum. “We’re glad to be back and happy to see all the familiar faces.”
MD followed the guidelines and shifted back to take out when the ban was reinstituted, however, in the past week Tina regrettably closed Moon Dance until the time indoor seating would be allowed.
Part of being media is the need to experience some things first hand, so when testing was offered for the COVID virus I decided to give it a whirl.
I know, I know, there are some out there who embrace any number of theories about this whole shebang but in the land of ‘what ifs’ I tend to lean toward precautionary approaches to situations that could lead to disastrous results.
So I got tested.
It was negative.
Julie Burrell of the Right Place put on the second Pitch North event where budding entrepreneurs ‘pitched’ their business to a panel of judges. The first was held at the Dogwood. This one? Virtual.
The first place prize of $4,000 was awarded to Amber Hellewell, Hearth Magic, in Pentwater. Amber plans to use her prize money to upgrade computer, printer and other equipment to allow her business to scale. Second place was awarded to Ron Radkay, Elsie’s Ice Cream Shop in Fremont. Ron plans to expand Elsie’s and add an old fashioned soda fountain to allow for the business to operate year round.
A New Leader for SHGM
June 26– Spectrum Health today announced Drew Dostal as the new market leader for the system’s northwest region covering Newaygo, Mason, Oceana and Muskegon counties. Dostal will oversee operations at Ludington Hospital, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial in Fremont and the Integrated Care Campus in North Muskegon.
So that wraps up the first 6 months. Stay tuned and we’ll deliver the rest of the story of a year that will be remembered well by many and remembered fondly by few.
Gerber Memorial grateful for Newaygo County community support
It was two nights before Christmas. A lengthy siege that began in the spring had taken a toll on our hospital workers who served at the front lines in the fight to contain the pandemic surging throughout the country and increasingly affecting our community.
So the community said thanks.
Drew Dostal, Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial president and regional leader for Spectrum Health’s northwest region acknowledged this epic show of support.
“Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is grateful for our community’s support and watching the heartfelt response from first responders, law enforcement, small businesses and families was moving to all of us at Gerber Memorial.
“For more than 100 years, we have served this community and our team members are also members of this community, many with deep roots that go back generations. We are honored and blessed to be able to care for this community and work to improve health, inspire hope and save lives.
“We are thankful for a generous, loving community that continues to support us in so many different ways, from practicing safety habits like wearing masks and socially distancing, to donating food and beverages that helps sustain our team members. Our community shows us that we are truly stronger together”
A Community gives thanks
Newaygo County law enforcement, first responders, businesses and community members came together in a show of appreciation for healthcare workers on the evening of the 23rd.
And boy, did they put on a show.
A stellar show of support that delivered a flashing lights, blowing sirens, horn honking salute to the warriors who have occupied the front lines, not in some far off conflict between nations, but in their backyard.
It’s been 9 long months for all of us but particularly daunting for those who have stood at the ready as the COVID pandemic that began with a sprinkling of cases in our county and now stands at 2100 plus.
And on Wednesday night, a grateful community came out to deliver some personalized thank yous, a heartfelt prayer and a powerful message of love and support to their champions.
Rhonda Buter of Independent Bank was there with her family to take in the celebratory pandemonium.
“As a law enforcement wife and a mother of two young girls, we have many conversations at home about the sacrifices that all front line workers must make in order to care for and protect the community. Many of these sacrifices go unnoticed, but not tonight.
“This evening, the community came out in force to show their support for amazing employees of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial.”
The raucous racket of recognition proved a timely homage to the courage and fortitude shown by our hospital heroes.
“Our daughters (Charley age 7, Ryann age 6) saw many walks of life come together to pray over these frontline workers,” added Ms. Buter. “ They intently listened to all of the employees' names as each one was read over the loudspeaker, and said their own little prayers.
“While this event might seem like a gesture to some, I know it meant the world to all of the frontline workers. And as a parent, it was an incredible opportunity to talk about what an amazing community we live in and how if we all work together, great things can be accomplished.”
“I want to thank everyone at Spectrum for working hard and keeping us safe,” said Ryann. “ We love you and keep up the great work.”
15 years as Treasurer comes to an end
Retiring Newaygo County Treasurer Holly Moon was honored at the regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday December 23rd with a resolution recognizing her accomplishments in the position.
Ms. Moon’s 15 years as an elected official culminated a 36 year career in public service that includes positions on a number of boards and organizations at the local as well as state level. Her commitment to refining efficiencies in the Treasurer’s office resulted in a number of initiatives that led to savings in taxpayer and county dollars and her tireless efforts to expand the awareness of foreclosure prevention programs has assisted countless Newaygo County families.
The resolution read by Board Chair Bryan Kolk stated:
“Whereas, Holly Moon has been a knowledgeable and trusted resource to the entire Newaygo County Community for over 36 years as an elected official and member on many local boards and committees, including All Saints Church; Fremont Area Community Foundation, where she established the Betty Taylor Memorial Fund to support the wellbeing of local women, especially those in crisis; Gerber Hospital; United Way; and the White Cloud Rotary.
“Now therefore be it resolved, the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners does hereby congratulate and thank Holly Moon, Newaygo County Treasurer, for her years of service and dedication to the people and officials of Newaygo County, and wishes her all the best in her retirement.”
Several elected officials and department heads delivered praise to Treasurer Moon and State Senator Jon Bumstead also presented her with a plaque from the Governor’s Office.
“Holly has been a great asset, and Newaygo County is losing a dedicated professional.” said Senator Bumstead.
And while her time in the Treasurer’s Office will come to an end on December 31, Ms. Moon will continue to serve the community on a number of boards and committees while having more time to pursue personal interests including summers spent relaxing on the shores of Silver Lake with her husband Joe and their family.
Well done, Madame Treasurer.
FACF Elderly Needs Fund Changes Name to Bridging Generations Fund
The Elderly Needs Fund—a supporting organization of Fremont Area Community Foundation—recently announced it has changed its name to the Bridging Generations Fund.
Since 1992, the fund has made grants to benefit and enrich life for older adults in Newaygo County. Grants have been awarded to projects focused on physical and mental wellbeing, support and respite for caregivers, social enrichment activities, day programs, and more. While support for this important work continues, the fund’s board of directors has also looked for opportunities to support programming that encourages intergenerational partnerships.
“In 2019, we began learning about a concept called ‘age to age’ programming, designed to bring different generations together,” said Maria E. Gonzalez, foundation manager. “We have also been actively exploring ways to reframe aging in our community and looking at the language we use. Through all of this work, we realized it was important to choose a new name to reflect these priorities and our desire to support programming that builds stronger connections between generations.”
The fund’s recent efforts and learning were inspired by a 2016 survey of older adults in Newaygo County. The survey results, conversations with local partners, and opportunities to learn from communities in other parts of the country were all critical components of the board’s recent action planning and enhanced understanding of the power of different ages learning from each other.
“We believe building greater connections between different generations benefits the whole community,” said Gonzalez. “It is crucial not only in helping us all better understand the experiences and needs of our neighbors but also in helping people remain more connected to the community, no matter their age.”
The Bridging Generations Fund continues to accept grant applications twice per year, with deadlines of February 1 and September 1. The fund is currently accepting applications online for the next grant round. For more information, visit facommunityfoundation.org/grants.
Ban on indoor dining, bars extended to Jan. 15
Citing progress made during the recent ‘pause’ it was determined that high schools can return to in person instruction while bowling alleys, theaters and other entertainment venues will be allowed to open if following masking and social distancing requirements but without concessions.
Indoor dining, bars and clubs will have a longer wait.
According to the updated order from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) restaurants, bars and nightclubs must remain closed until Jan. 15 though Governor Whitmer hinted that bars and restaurants could be allowed to reopen earlier if the number of new cases continues to decrease. The new order is effective Monday, Dec. 21 and will last until Friday, Jan. 15.
Previously, MDHHS had identified stabilization or declines in three metrics as critical for relaxing protocols. Michigan saw improvements across all three following the “pause” implemented in mid-November:
“Michiganders should be proud: we have made incredible progress over the last month. But we could easily lose that progress and endanger our hospitals again over the next two weeks,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “At Thanksgiving, most Michiganders sacrificed and avoided family get-togethers. We need to do the same thing this holiday season. Then we can re-engage more activities sooner and more safely.”
The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause indoor dining in bars and restaurants, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining, carry-out, and delivery. Colleges and universities will be able to have students return to campus for the winter semester, with a voluntary commitment to wait until Jan. 18 to restart in-person courses.
Gyms remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Outdoor group fitness and outdoor non-contact sports will again be allowed, including running, downhill and cross-country skiing.
Under this new order, reopened indoor entertainment venues will not be required to collect names and contact information. With the amount of community spread that currently exists across the state and the heavy burden on contact tracing teams to keep up with these cases, it has become too challenging to meaningfully use this data for timely follow up. As case counts fall and contact tracing becomes able to keep up with the volume again, MDHHS expects to reinstate this information-gathering requirement.
As before, employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, while employees who can work from home should continue to do so. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.
“These past few weeks, Michiganders across the state stepped up and did their part to slow the spread of COVID-19, and because of our collective hard work, we are now able to begin the steps to carefully lift some of the protocols we have in place,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am encouraged by the progress we have made since early November, and will continue to monitor the data closely during and after the holidays. “
Learn about Michigan’s lakes online from MSU Extension
Registration for the award-winning Introduction to Lakes online course is now open! The six-week self-paced online course runs January 19 - March 26, 2021 and is designed for anyone interested in inland lakes, including lakefront property owners and lake managers.
Newaygo County MSU Extension Water Resource Educator Erick Elgin:
“The stewardship and management of lakes in Michigan is ultimately our responsibility. Introduction to Lakes Online will build your lake knowledge to help ensure lake management balances our needs with a lake’s needs."
Course topics include lake ecology, watershed management, shoreline protection, Michigan water law, aquatic plants and community engagement. The course consists of video lectures, interactive activities, discussion forums, resources and live Ask-an-Expert webinars featuring Michigan State University Extension educators and experts from outside organizations.
Here are comments from past participants.
"I am a lake property owner and never thought about the plants, erosion, habitat, etc…because of this class I will definitely take a different approach down at the lake. I intend to leave most of my shoreline intact and will try to disrupt the lake as little as possible now.”
"This course taught me ways average people like myself can get involved in lake management. It's empowering to know that my lack of background in limnology doesn't have to hold me back as an advocate for conservation efforts."
"This online course is a very real service to individuals in our state (and beyond) who want a broad understanding of why lakes and wetlands are important, and how to best protect these natural resources!"
Registration is open now through January 14, 2021. The cost of the course is $115 per person. Register by December 28, 2020 for an early bird price of $95 per person. To learn more and to register, visit the Introduction to Lakes website at www.canr.msu.edu/lakesonline.
Health Department announces distribution plan. General public availability likely to be spring, summer
From our friends at DHD#10:
December 16, 2020 – District Health Department #10 has been working hard to develop a distribution plan for when the first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine arrives. Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the COVID-19 vaccine will be prioritized in the following way (please note the priority phases are subject to change):
“District Health Department #10 has established a COVID-19 Vaccination Planning Team that has been working daily to develop our plans for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives,” states Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10. “Our goal is to get it to the priority groups as soon as possible without delay.”
DHD#10’s COVID-10 vaccine distribution plan is as follows (subject to change):
It is anticipated that the COVID-19 vaccination will be readily available for the general public in the spring or summer of 2021.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, including an educational video on the development and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine by our Medical Director Dr. Jennifer Morse, go to www.dhd10.org/covid-19-vacccine.