All lanes are open on M-37 over the Muskegon River according to the press release from our friends at MDOT who added:
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is investing approximately $503,000 to improve the M-37 bridge over the Muskegon River. The project includes expansion joint replacement, substructure repair, new pavement markings between Quarterline Street and Croton Drive/M-82, and new Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant sidewalk ramps at M-37 and M-82/Croton Drive.
November is National Scholarship Month and The Gerber Foundation scholarship application is open for high school seniors graduating in May 2020 from Newaygo County high schools or a Newaygo County Home School.
The scholarship is available to graduating seniors from the 5 public high schools in the county as well as home school students who reside within Newaygo County. There are additional scholarships for students graduating from one of 14 programs at the Newaygo County Career Technical Center.
Each year, 90+ scholarships are available with over $320,000 awarded. Scholarships may be used at any accredited college, university, technical or certificate program in the United States.
Here are the results of last spring’s awards
The online application process is currently open and the deadline for application is February 28th. The application system is located at
Only applications submitted online will be considered.
Information regarding the scholarship may be found on the Foundation website at www.gerberfoundation.org by clicking on the scholarship page.
Catherine A. Obits
The Gerber Foundation
4747 W 48th St, Ste 153
Fremont MI 49412
N3 drops the ball on Grant School Bond results
In 1948 the Chicago Daily Tribune operating on so called experts and many prognostications (along with a rather itense dislike for Harry Truman) jumped the gun a bit and proclaimed Republican candidate Thomas Dewey as the winner of the Presidential race.
Except he wasn’t.
The erroneous headline produced a classic photo of Truman holding the newspaper up with a victorius grin on his face.
We imagine the Trib foks were chagrined.
So were we when we posted the results of Tuesday’s election and included the Grant school bond issue as having passed.
We made the mistake of only accessing the Newaygo County vote which had the Proposal passing by a 593 to 580 margin.
With Muskegon and a handful of Kent County folks voting no by a 127-67 count included, the school vote went down 707 to 660.
We apologize for not doing out homework on this and will strive to do better in the future.
Thankfully this journalistic faux pas didn’t match the headline of The Vancouver Sun in 1912.
“Titanic Sinking-No Lives Lost”
The council makeup in the Cloud remains unclear since while Lori Shears (117) and Herm Becker(105) were clear choices for 2 of the three open positions, the third ended in a dead heat between current council member Jerry LeBlanc and Candice Dault with each garnishing 73 votes. According to state law once the votes are certified, the candidates will be chosen by lot. Here’s the skinny on the law:
The Candidates will meet with Newaygo County Clerk Jason VanderStelt who will prepare two slips of paper, one with the word “elected” and one with “not elected” and place them in a box. Each candidate will draw from the box and whoever gets the elected slip is declared the winner.
You can read the law at the bottom of our previous story:
The irony? There was one write in vote tallied in White Cloud for the Council. Think your vote doesn’t mean much? That voter, or any of the 679 WC voters who sat this one out, could have decided the election.
Yes, nearly 82% of the electorate in the county seat didn’t make it to the polls.
Not unusual as over 80% of the voters sat idle in Fremont and Newaygo had almost 89% forego marking their ballots on Tuesday.
Three of the four county mayors (Ed Fedell-Newaygo, Jim Rynberg-Fremont and Julie Hallman-Grant) ran unopposed collecting all but the usual handful of write in votes, however in White Cloud there was competition where incumbent mayor Jamie Denslow fought off a challenge from Michael Kymes by an 81-72 margin to retain his seat in City Hall.
In Newaygo Erin Burns (126) joins incumbents Katie Walerczyk (134) and Lee Black(131) on the council, Fremont saw Bob Johnson(430) and incumbent Sandra Siegel (323) fend off three other challengers for the 2 council seats up for grabs, and Kate Block was the only registered candidate for the 3 seats at Grant City Hall.
In Merrill Township Victoria Gibbs edged out Cathy Stroop 52-48 for the Treasurer's position and voters approved a return to annual meetings 73-27.
* Won seat
White Cloud City Council
*Lori Shears 117
*Herm Becker 105
?Jerry LeBlanc 73
?Candice Dault 73
Write in 1
If the official count remains the same the tie will be decided by lot . See Election Law at bottom of page
White Cloud Mayor
Michael Kymes 72
Fremont City Council
*Bob Johnson 430
*Sandra Siegel 323
Mike Dennis 201
Michael VandenBerg 117
Tim Powell 89
*Jim Rynberg 513
Write in 18
Newaygo City Council
*Kate Walerczyk 134
*Lee Black 131
*Erin Burns 126
Matthew Boynton 85
*Ed Fedell 166
Write in 7
MICHIGAN ELECTION LAW (EXCERPT)
Act 116 of 1954
168.851 Tie vote; determination of election by lot, procedure; drawing for state legislature.
Sec. 851. If it shall appear on the canvass of the votes polled at any election canvassed by the board of county canvassers that 2 or more persons have received an equal number of votes for the same office, and that a failure to elect to any office is caused thereby, the election to the office shall be determined in the following manner: The board of canvassers for the county in which such election was held shall appoint a day for the appearance of all affected persons before the county clerk for the purpose of determining by lot among such persons the right to the office, and shall cause notice thereof to be given to all the persons interested. The county clerk shall prepare as many slips of paper as there are such persons, and write the word “elected” on as many slips of paper as there are offices to be filled, and the words “not elected” on the remaining slips, and fold the same so as to conceal the writing and so that they may appear as near alike as possible. The slips shall be placed in a box and, at the time and place appointed for the drawing of the lots, each of the persons aforesaid may draw 1 of the slips from the box, and any person drawing a slip on which is written the word "elected” shall be deemed legally elected to the office in question and the county clerk shall forthwith give him a certificate of election. The county clerk may appoint any person present to draw a slip for any affected person who fails to appear at the time specified in the notice. If the office of county clerk is in question, the drawing shall take place before the sheriff of the county. Such determination, however, shall not preclude the right of a defeated candidate to a recount of the votes cast as provided in chapter 36.
History: 1954, Act 116, Eff. June 1, 1955;-Am. 1968, Act 65, Eff. July 1, 1968.
Compiler's note: Section 3 of Act 65 of 1968 provides: "This act shall take effect on July 1, 1968, except in any county with a population of 400,000 or more it shall take effect on July 1, 1970."
Popular name: Election Code
Rendered Thursday, September 19, 2019 © Legislative Council, State of Michigan
Michigan Compiled Laws Complete Through PA 48 of 2019
Courtesy of www.legislature.mi.gov
By N3 news
Have you gotten a tad tired of the traffic delays associated with the bridge construction in Newaygo? Do you make an effort to avoid it during morning and late afternoon peak times?
Have you become well acquainted with the back way up Whiskey Hill, down River Road with a turn on Felch?
Listen, you folks have been great. Patient and polite for the most part despite a couple of glitches that pushed back completion time. I’m certain a few travelers through our area were caught unawares might have been a bit testy but the citizenry has adjusted well and kept their good manners mostly intact.
So here’s the good news.
N3 contacted MDOT for a bit of an update and was told:
“Things are starting to wrap up. Cleanup and some finishing touch items are taking place. Some of the remaining work, like pavement markings, is temperature and moisture sensitive so the schedule is a bit fluid. We expect to be open to traffic and out of there by the end of the week.”
Yup, this week.
Of course that caveat about temperature and moisture could come into play since our temperatures have plummeted and moisture seems to be the new normal but the end is in sight!
So again, give yourselves a bit of a pat on the back for taking this bit of inconvenience in stride.
And revel in the fact that soon, very soon, we get all of our bridge back.
No, no catch. Here’s the skinny...
“Everyone here has been just phenomenal.”
These were the words of Jerry Wallace one of the veterans who participated in the incredibly generous offer from Newaygo Family Dental Care a year ago. Last November in honor of Veterans Day (one of whom happens to be NFDC’s own Dr. Dennis Nelson, Radiographic Specialist. 1968- 1971. Fort Sam Houston Med evacuation center. and AFEES Cleveland. Fifth Army.) the clinic opened its chairs for a day to any veterans that came through their doors, providing x-rays, exams, cleanings, fillings, and extractions.
Yes, no mistake we said free.
The day-long event was very well received so plans were made for a second annual event to be held later this week.
N3 caught up with Dr. Ross Nelson (a busy guy) to pose a couple of questions.
This is your second year providing this service for Veterans. What led to this initiative?
It’s something that Dad and I felt strongly about, and we see veterans every day in our practice. Some get the dental treatment they need and some struggle accessing it. We knew we could do better.
How was the response last year? Anything stand out from the first one?
Our first year was great. It let our team get a process established so we could grow the number served. All the veterans were awesome. Solid, happy, and appreciative is how I would describe them. It really made the day a lot of fun and gratifying for all of us.
What do people need to know about making arrangements to come?
We open doors this Friday, Nov 8 at 8 AM. We are working straight until 3, serving as many as possible. First come, first served. Services are done one at a time, per veteran. If a veteran wants to re-enter and stay to get more done, they are more than welcome to.
I spent a half morning this fall driving around the county soliciting other dentists in our community to have their own Veterans Day, and I know Dr. Leyder in Croton agreed and is opening his doors the same day this year.I was very encouraged by several of my colleagues about their willingness to join in our efforts.
,A lot of people talk about doing more for veterans.
Others show us how its done.
On Friday Newaygo Family Dental Care puts its compassion into action.
And we think it makes them awesome.
We know, we know, this Tuesday’s election likely doesn’t spark the level of interest given the national contest held next year-though it feels like given the unending inundation of media coverage about it we should have had that one by now.
Here are some stats from the last time around when the balloting was limited to cities and a few townships, 2017.
Fremont and White Cloud had turnouts that were just under 20% or one out of 5 registered voters.
One of 5.
Think it sounds pretty small? Well, it is but that year they were the cities in our county that turned out the most voters.
Newaygo went a little over 15 1/2%.
Under 7% or about 1 out of 14 registered.
We can do better. I know we can.
Here are Tuesdays contests.
In Fremont Mayor Jim Rynberg is running unopposed but there are 5 candidates vying for 2 4 year terms on the council.
Sandra Siegel is the lone incumbent in the race along with Mike Dennis, Bob Johnson, Tim Powell and Michael VandenBerg.
Fremont will also decide on a proposed amendment to the city charter regarding the Board of Review
By contrast in Grant (yup, 7%) where Mayor Julie Hallman is also running unopposed the 3 council seats have but two in the running, one a write in candidate. Kate Block is a registered candidate while you’ll need to ink in Mark Dietz’s name to give him your vote.
Seems it’s as hard to get folks to run in our county's Gateway city as it is to get them to vote.
Newaygo Mayor Ed Fedell is unopposed as well but there is competition on the council where four candidates vie for the three available seats. Katie Walercyzk and Lee Black currently hold seats and are joined in the race by Mathew Boynton and Erin Burns.
Only in White Cloud do they have a mayoral race as Mike Kimes is challenging current mayor Jamie Denslow for the seat and like Newaygo, 4 candidates will compete for the 3 open spots on the council, Jerry LeBlanc is a current council member while Herm Becker seeks to return to city hall having held a seat there a few years back. Candice Dault and Lori Shears round out the candidate pool.
Merrill Township has 2 candidates for the Treasurer spot as Cathy Stroop and Victoria Gibbs vie for the partial term ending next November. Merrill also has a vote on the reestablishment of their annual meeting.
Bond proposals are on the ballot for Grant, Baldwin Kent City, Cedar Springs and Oakridge schools in various sections of our county.
So get out there and vote folks. While neither national/state offices nor statewide proposals possess spots on this year’s ballots, the most important of all your voting decisions are there to be made this Tuesday...
The local ones.
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”- Larry Sabato
But just for November’s Poetry Night.
Creative Writing at Newaygo High School (NHS) is a class that is both loved and feared. The teacher, Luke Francis, would not have been brave enough to take this class as a student in high school, but he loves to teach the class as an adult. For a little over a decade, he has had the honor of witnessing brave and courageous souls face their fears as they struggle to find the words that are at the heart of their stories. Stories have been rapped and sung, crafted and polished, told through tears with pride and dignity...stories worthy of voice…and told.
The class focuses on telling stories better. Every Friday during the school year students step onto their stage and perform borrowed and original spoken word poetry, powerful vignettes, thoughtful and often rollicking skits, inspirational speeches, songs, and so much more. Genre, style, and subject matter are student decisions (within accepted school policy). Presentation of the ideas is the focus; how you tell the story through voice, stage presence, body language, and eyes, the rhythm and pace of delivery, and, of course, the imagery and metaphor that drive the craft.
On Wednesday night, November 6th, students from the NHS Creative Writing class will be showcasing their talents at Flying Bear Books in Newaygo from 7-9 PM. Come check out what these inspiring young people are doing!
Here we go. October is in the rear view mirror and November is upon us. We've endured the first tease of snow and the three big holidays lurk ahead.
As Emily Dickinson once said, "November always seemed to me the Norway of the year".
Yeah I don't know what that means either but here you go for some weekend fun and don't forget to turn those clocks back Saturday night so that the sunset will start occurring around 2:30 in the afternoon.
John Gorka will be coming into town after playing at packed houses on his extensive tour including a Friday appearance at The Ark. Haven’t heard of him? Well, take a listen to him on youtube and if you’re a fan of folk you’ll be highly impressed , but come to think of it if you’re a fan of folk music and Americana sound you already know about Gorka. His show delivers great music and his witty stories are sure to provide some laughs.
Saturday at 7:30pm in the club like setting of the Black Box at the Dogwood, so shake off this meteorological preview of things to come, check out the new (closer) entrance to the Dogwood, take in a great show while sipping a couple adult beverages and pretend for a while that Old Man Winter is still far off. Details:
Upcoming events include Che Apalache on November 14th and a cool kids show coming in early December when the Velveteen Rabbit hops into town.
NCCA Artspace downtown Fremont. Saturday at Drop-In Art kiddos will be making clay turkeys starting at 11am,
HERE IT COMES...
Ok so we know Halloween is behind us, thinking about Thanksgiving is still off a ways, but make no mistake we are about to be plunged knee deep into the Christmas Season. Face it, Hallmark has already put the Christmas movie train in motion and it is chugging along full throttle now with new movies popping up with increasing frequency and if you were in Meijer and Walmart this week the Halloween stuff disappeared with the speed of a fb fireworks rumor and the Christmas stuff that began to make appearances has gone full throttle now.
This weekend there are a few of the arts and crafts shows popping up around the area. If you want to take a little drive Morley Stanwood has a Holiday Bazaar Saturday from 10am-3pm, and the same day brings theKnights of Columbus Craft show in Sparta. This one has been going on for over 3 decades and the doors of Holy Family Church will be open from from 9am-2pm.
Quite frankly these should be seen as warm-ups because next week comes the granddaddy of all local exhibitions of this type.
Yes, the vaunted Jingle Mingle returns to the Fremont Middle School next Saturday and at N3 World Headquarters and Hallmark Holiday Movie Preview Center (N3WH&HHMPC) the day is circled on calendars throughout the HQ.
If you’ve been there before we are truly preaching to the choir because there are people who have been coming so long that vendors can predict the times they arrive at their booth to the very minute.
If you are a newbie to the fray you simply must go. Beyond the absolute plethora of vendors who boast a wide variety of items just begging to be taken home, there is an aura about the event that is hard to describe. It’s kind of a community feel. We’ll try to get a little more skinny on it before next weekend.
The Fremont Moose apparently serves up breakfast the first Saturday of the month. I don’t know if this is new or not but, hey, we’re always looking to expand our circle of breakfast options and for 7 bucks it might be worth a venture into Moose Country. We have yet to enter the Lodge(is there a secret password?) and know little of fraternal organizations other than the Sig Taus of CMU in the early 70’s and that could be a bit dicey on occasion.
You say you missed the book signing for Mango Rash the wonderful read by local literary treasure Nan Pokerwinski? They packed the Artsplace last week but tomorrow she will be at the Croton Library from 11am-12:30pm.
Here’s our recent story:
The second season of The Komnisky Method was released on Netflix and it has not disappointed. Unlike the few newer sitcoms out there on the networks that have thus far been nothing but disappointing.
The World Series this week had everything and if you were watching closely in game 6 we mean Everything. We heard a radio guy go with the ‘’what’s the big deal’ reaction explaining that during the 70’s streaking was a common form of artistic expression (or a drunken dare we assume) and this was much the same.
Well, we at N3WH do recall the Academy Awards being ‘streaked’ on live TV back then when a man named Robert Oppel ran naked across the stage. At the time David Niven was at the podium and classically quipped "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen... But isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"
See you soon.
Got an activity or event you deem worthwhile for an N3 shout out? Send us a message and we’ll give it a glance.
The White Cloud Rotary Club is excited to announce the induction of Amy Barnhard as a new member. Amy is a life-long resident of White Cloud, and has worked in the pharmacy for Family Health Care for many years. The Club is pleased to welcome Amy into the Club and looks forward to her enthusiasm for Rotary. Amy became interested in becoming a Rotarian when her sister-in-law from Arizona visited White Cloud this summer and shared her experiences in the Arizona Rotary Club. In fact Amy’s sister-in-law Theresa paid her membership dues for the first year!
White Cloud Rotary is a volunteer organization based on the principle of ‘Service Above Self’ and the advancement of high ethical standards, goodwill and civic responsibility. The Club meets every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. at The Eagles conference room in White Cloud.
On Tuesday, Oct 29th, Fremont & White Cloud Rotarians joined together at TrueNorth to help sort coats to help an estimated 900 Newaygo County kids and adults stay warm this winter.
After a nationwide search for the position of Director at the Fremont Area District Library, the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that the role will be filled by Jackilyn Roseberry. Jackilyn’s background includes leadership roles in public libraries, with her most recent position being the Branch Operations Manager at Muskegon Area District Library.
The following is an introduction from Jackilyn to our community:
“I am honored to have been chosen as the new Director of the Fremont Area District Library. Libraries have been special to me since long before I became a librarian and Fremont is a community my husband and I fell in love with before moving here. We have only been Fremont residents for a couple of months and we already feel right at home. The community is very warm and welcoming and I have found the library to be the same.
"For the past ten years I have been working in libraries in some capacity and couldn’t imagine doing anything else as a career. I grew up in Pentwater, Michigan, and it was there that I got my first 'real' library job. From Pentwater I went on to the Muskegon Area District Library, where I worked most recently before settling in Fremont.
"My favorite part of working in a library is connecting with my community. In my new role, I am most excited about getting to know everyone and finding out ways the library can better serve you. Whether you’re looking for a book, a fun program to attend, or maybe a gift from our Friends Gift Shop, the library has something for everyone. Please stop by and say hello, I am looking forward to meeting you!”
Please join the library in welcoming Jackilyn Roseberry as the new Director at a welcome reception at the library on Thursday, November 14th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Tasty treats and refreshments will be served, and all are welcome!
“A step in the right direction”
Over 10,000 practitioners who are Licensed Professional Counselor can breathe a little easier as can the thousands of consumers of counseling throughout the state and the multitude of agencies and practices who rely on them to provide needed services.
Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed House Bill 4325 to update the scope of practice for counselors in the Public Health Code. The bill will ensure that Licensed Professional Counselors can still diagnose and treat patients.
The bill came into being as a response to rules being promulgated by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). The proposed rules would have removed the ability of counselors to diagnose and offer psychotherapy.
“Licensed Professional Counselors provide a high quality clinical services through our clinical practice to the people we serve,” said Newaygo County Mental Health Executive Director Carol Mills. “We are grateful to the Michigan Legislature and Governor Whitmer for recognizing the valuable role LPC’s have today in the public Community Mental Health system.
“Passage of this bill enables us to continue on our mission of providing high quality care to persons in need of mental health services in Newaygo County.”
The bill clarifies that a Licensed Professional Counselor can practice without supervision and can supervise a limited licensed counselor once they have completed training in supervision as required by LARA. LARA may also bring forward rules necessary to supplement the requirements for licensure.
House Bill 4325, sponsored by Rep. Aaron Miller (HD-59), was passed unanimously by both chambers of the Michigan Legislature.
“The grass roots effort which resulted in making into a bill passed unanimously in both houses of the State legislature and signed into law by the governor will ensure that over 100,000 Michigan citizens will continue to receive mental health care from LPC’s,” said Gregory Hayes an LPC who practices at NCMH.
Lori Goldin another NCCMH practitioner also spoke of the important local impact of the initiative.
“This bill was very relevant with regard to LPC’S who work in community mental health,” she stated. “Clients with generational poverty and mental illness who depend on the relationships they have with their counselors stood to lose their supports unless Governor Whitmer signed this bill. These clients have no place else to get their services. “
“This new law will protect professional counselors from losing the ability to practice as they currently do,” added Governor Whitmer. “We must continue to work hard to ensure every Michigander has access to critical mental health care, and this is a step in the right direction.”
Newaygo County Community Mental Health is located in White Cloud.
For more information please visit their website at http://www.newaygocmh.org/
From our friends at MDOT
Consumers Energy has scheduled a power outage that will disable the traffic signal at the north junction of M-37 and M-82 in Newaygo, Newaygo County, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30.
The intersection is in an active construction zone, and motorists should treat the intersection as a four-way stop during the outage.
For a location of the intersection, please visit Mi Drive.
By N3 News
There’s a new Fire Chief in town (and townships).
Travis Kroll was recently chosen for the position by the Fire Board after serving with the Newaygo Fire Department the past 5 years,
We caught up with Chief Kroll to pose a few questions and help introduce him to our readers.
How long have you been with the department?
I have been with Newaygo Fire Department since 2014.
What led you to join?
I wanted to do something that would make a positive impact on my community. At the time, I was part of a Rotary extension group that met in Newaygo. That is where I met Rob Pope, who was helping recruit for the department and he encouraged me to apply.
What do most people not know about our fire department?
I don't think most people realize we are a paid-on-call fire department. Unlike larger cities, we do not have someone at our fire station 24/7. Our members respond from their homes to the station during calls for service. They are leaving family dinners, birthday parties, and holiday events to help our community during a time of need. The volunteer/paid-on-call model makes up nearly 88% of the departments in the United States.
What do you feel is the role of a chief?
The role of the Fire Chief is to ensure the daily operations of the department run smoothly. My goal is to ensure our community is provided the best possible services within the budget we are provided. This includes ensuring a response when called, that emergency scene operations run well, staffing is appropriate and we are vested in our community.
Who have been your mentors?
I have been fortunate to have a few mentors during my time. Past Chief (current Firefighter) Jason Wolford was a large part in helping me understand how to best utilize my current skill set while learning new ones. I have to credit him with providing the tools and guidance needed to advance in my career in the amount of time I have. He has always been supportive and taken many of my ideas into great consideration during his time as chief. Former Deputy Chief Jason Cunningham was also a large influence on me helping to encourage me to get my SCUBA diving certification when I wasn't sure I could do it. He allowed me to grow in that area and eventually be the backup operations supervisor for our team. Finally, I would have to give credit to former member Rob Pope. If it were not for his initial encouragement, I would not be in the spot I am today. He was always one willing to listen and provide help as I learned and advanced through my career.
What is the biggest challenge facing the department?
The largest challenge facing the department is the lack of people willing/able to give up their spare time to be on a paid-on-call department. In today's society, time seems to be a limited thing. Unlike 20-30 years ago when most people lived and worked in the area, the majority of our area is now comprised of work commuters (those who live in the area but commute outside for work). We no longer have that group of people who are able to leave their job in the middle of the day to respond to a fire or rescue call. This creates a challenge of finding people that work various shifts or days, who can ensure we provide a response to calls 24/7.
How do you plan to address it?
I am working on various ways in which to help ensure our department is well staffed 24/7. This includes working with new, unique ways in which we recruit new firefighters. One recent change is allowing people to apply to be a firefighter or medical responder. Prior to that, you had to commit to obtaining both certifications which can be around 330 hours of training total. There are many individuals out there who may want to get their medical license, but not have to be a firefighter, and this is the perfect way to capture their help. I believe it is also important to market the family aspect of the department. It's not just the recruit that joins, but their family as well. We like to embrace them and let them know they now have an extended family made up of 19 firefighters and their families. All of us are here to help one another at a moment's notice.
The fire board members who serve as the representatives of the community have entrusted you with a vital job. Anything you would like to say to the people of our area?
I am very humbled to take on the role of Fire Chief for our department. This was not something I ever planned on achieving when I first joined. I would like our community to know that we deserve a professional, well training department, that is highly involved and attentive to the needs of our residents. I will do my best as the chief to get us there. I am always open to comments and feedback from our residents and welcome their input.
Anything else you would like to add?
The department is currently staff by 19 paid-on-call members within the community. in 2018, we set our new record of responding to over 600 calls for service. We cover 56 square miles which include the City of Newaygo, Brookstownship and 60% of Garfield Township. Our area also includes a large section of the Muskegon River and many lakes. We average around 48 calls per month responding to medical emergencies, fires, car accidents, water rescues and more.
Program supports employee retention goal
Michigan Works! West Central has hired Julie Sanders to lead its Business Resource Network in NewaygoCounty.
In her new role as Success Coach, Sanders will bring Business Resource Network (BRN) services to local employers enrolled in the program. A BRN is a group of local employers who share a common goal of improving workforce retention and reducing turnover with the assistance of the Success Coach. The ultimate goal is helping employees overcome any barriers they may have to retain their employment, such as transportation, childcare and financial planning issues, among others.
Sanders is partnering with employers, nonprofits, public agencies and Michigan Works! West Central to improve workforce retention in Newaygo County.
“If I can help working families get through tough times, and save employers from the cost of replacing and training new employees, we as a community are strengthened,” Sanders said.
Sanders joined Michigan Works! West Central in early September. She previously was the executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Newaygo County, a position she held for nearly 10 years.
“The Business Resource Network is a great program designed to help improve workforce retention, as well as reduce turnover rates and the costs associated with hiring and training new employees,” said Shelly Keene, Michigan Works! West Central executive director. “We are excited to have Julie on board leading our Business Resource Network in Newaygo County.”
Michigan Works! West Central, which covers Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Newaygo, Oceana and Osceola counties, offers services to both employers and job seekers. For employers, it offers assistance with recruitment, posting job opportunities, hosting job fairs, training dollars for new and existing employees and more. Michigan Works! West Central offers job seekers assistance with resume/cover letter writing assistance and help with creating a profile/resume on Pure Michigan Talent Connect, and other employment related services. Various classroom and on-the-job training opportunities may also be available for adults, dislocated workers and youth through several available funding sources.
For more information about the Newaygo County Business Resource Network or to join your business, contact Sanders at firstname.lastname@example.org or (231) 538-0746.
Eateries to be; Honoring the Amish; Shed them pills; The Dragon starts to prowl.
Hey, there has been some genuine action at the site where a fire ended the run of Smuggler’s Cove. The photo shows the relative leveling of the building that in pre SC years was the home of the North Shore (or North Sho e if you arrived by water).
What will rise in its place? Still a bit of the unknown surrounding this new venture, though the rumor mill has been tossing the word ‘brewery’ around a bit.
There’s just something enticing about a dining establishment that can be accessed by land or by sea
And speaking of new eateries we anxiously await the opening of a new epicurean incarnation in the building that housed the former River Valley Pizza a place that, incidentally, garnished a good share of votes (albeit posthumously) in our pizza survey a few months back. The pasties were pretty righteous as well and Dave was always an interesting guy to chat it up with, but we’re a little excited at the prospect of diving into some of the edibles that will be coming out of the kitchen of La Paloma.
Since the Rio Cafe ended it’s fabulous run in Croton there’s been a drought at N3 World Headquarters & Dormant Monarch Ministry when it comes to having that favorite place for Mexican food. For us the Rio was the once-a-week-I-need-to-go-there kind of spot so we’re anxious to see if that long-standing gap can be filled by the folks at La Paloma.
We’ll let you know.
As for non food related items…
At the county commission meeting recognition was given to the North Newaygo Amish Church who turned out big time to lend a hand...well, several hands… when flooding tore through parts of our county leaving wreck and ruin in its wet wake.The folks from the NNAC contributed tools, supplies, equipment and over 65 volunteers who put in over 2100 hours to the community in reconstruction activities. The four who attended to accept the accolades received a standing ovation from the gathering.
A well deserved ovation.
The Amish families who reside in this area are an integral part of our community as evidenced by their rapid response to the distress brought about by our spring monsoon and their willingness to help their neighbors.
Nicely done NNAC.
NC Parks Director Nick Smith (who adores and absolutely lives for winter even though otherwise he seems as normal as anyone) posted this photo on social media of the construction being done on the much anticipated biking hiking phenomena known as the Michigan Dragon Trail.
As the pix show the project has gotten some serious traction.
From Nick:Trail Builders have completed much of the trail work in and near Brower Park and Newaygo State Park. Check out this puncheon (photo below) they just installed using rough-sawn cedar. We can’t wait for these sections to open in the summer of 2020!
Calm, grace in storm bring top Spectrum Health award to Gerber Memorial ER nurse assistant
FREMONT – To her colleagues in Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s emergency department, certified nurse assistant Sara Gifford is a study in grace under pressure.
Amid crisis and chaos, Gifford stays cool as a cucumber. Her ability to effortlessly calm patients and rally her colleagues in the emergency department is the kind of unlearned, natural magic that healthcare professionals secretly all wish they had. To her friends and coworkers, she’s the one who places splints, pages providers, pacifies parents, runs the desk when the ER is overloaded with critical patients and keeps one eye on a patient with a behavioral condition, all at seemingly the same time – and almost always with a smile.
On Wednesday night, Oct. 9, Gifford’s ability to be the calm center in the middle of any storm was officially recognized, when Spectrum Health honored her with a 2019 ACE Award for individual achievement –and fittingly on National Emergency Nurses Week. The prestigious annual award is given out to a select group of employees who are nominated by their peers throughout the 35,000-employee Spectrum Health system for excellence and outstanding work.
Ironically, for the nine-year veteran at Gerber Memorial, healthcare wasn’t Gifford’s first choice.
“I actually began studying social work after high school and obtained my certification as a nurse assistant as a source of income while in school,” Gifford says. “After becoming a CNA, I fell in love with health care. I took a job at Gerber Memorial in the emergency department and knew this was my home.”
Working in an emergency department that cared for 25,696 people in 2018 and serves a county with 48,000 people, Gifford believes in a highly personalized approach to healthcare, a reflection of her commitment to Spectrum Health's vision and mission. And as a resident of Fremont, population 4,103, Gifford often finds herself caring for people she knows outside of Gerber Memorial.
“This happens often working and living in a small town,” Gifford says. “I try to treat all of my patients as they are my family to assure they get the best care. That is what our hospital strives for.”
Gifford is one of only 25 people who received a Spectrum Health ACE – Achieving Continuous Excellence – Award this year. Despite the accolade, she quickly shares the credit with her team in the emergency department: “The best part of my job is the amazing team I work with. They are my family! With that team comes the amazing care we can provide to our community!”
Gifford’s nomination cited one incident of how she excelled in patient care, when caring for a child with special needs and who reacted negatively to oral sedatives: “The patient became agitated, aggressive, and unsafe. After several attempts using multiple approaches, the team was at the point of having to take more invasive measures which included IV placement and more medications which we didn't know how the patient would tolerate. Sara came on shift and within the hour, had the patient calmed, smiling and distracted, which discontinued need for invasive interventions. This provided a much better outcome for the patient and family.”
Gifford’s colleagues agree.
“I absolutely love working with Sara!” Kathy Davis, RN, and Gifford’s colleague in the emergency department, said in nominating her. “I always feel better when she is present in the department knowing she can pretty much handle anything.”
Gifford’s says the training she and others in the emergency department get prepare her to do her job.
“Staying calm in the ER can often be hard as we see some very difficult things,” she says. “However, we are all trained to take care of every situation we are faced with and you just have to remember that. Take a breath and tell yourself, ‘This is what we do, do what you are trained for.’”
Gifford’s true soft spot is reserved for young children and babies she sees in the emergency department. The first thing she strives to do is build trust as quickly as possible with them.
“Kids will trust you if you get on their level, sit on the bed, or play with them,” she says. “They are often scared coming to ‘The Doctor.’ But if you tell them what you are doing and explain things to them, they understand and stay calm and you’re also reassuring the parents that they will be okay. I love children, especially babies, and I often hear the other staff tell the parents that once I have a baby in my hands: ‘Don't expect to get your baby back for a while!’”
When she’s not caring for patients in the emergency department, she is enrolled in nursing school at West Shore Community College in Ludington.
“I love my job as a tech but I’ve always told myself I would go back to school to further my education once my four kids were all in school full time. I want to be able to do more to help our patients and serve my community,” she says.
Now one of those four kids, Brianna, is enrolled in the pre-med program at Northern Michigan University and hopes to become an anesthesiologist.
“Brianna has never known me to work in anything other than health care,” Gifford says, though she isn’t sure if her career at Gerber Memorial had any influence on her daughter’s chosen path. “I think she will do much greater things than I will. She just started her freshman year at Northern Michigan University for pre-med and one day she will make an amazing doctor.”
On the night Spectrum Health surprised her with her ACE Award in the middle of an evening emergency department meeting, her husband, Rodney Gifford, told her he was going out to get dinner – and instead snuck in the back door of the administration offices. He brought their three children, her grandmother Mary Lamb, and a few relatives along for the surprise. When the contingent popped into the meeting with balloons and cake, Sara Gifford glanced around, briefly confused and stunned into silence.
After a few minutes, she finally found her words and quietly managed to whisper: “Thank you. Oh my gosh, thank you.”
The ACE Awards Program celebrates employees and teams across Spectrum Health who deliver results and exemplify its values of compassion, courage, curiosity and collaboration. The award also recognizes employees who surpass expectations to deliver outstanding patient, member and family experiences. This year, Spectrum Health recognized 10 Individual Award winners, three Leadership Award winners, one Community Award winner, one Experience Award winner, one Inclusion Award winner, one Team Award winner (given to seven individuals this year) and one Volunteer Award winner.
Since the ACE Award was launched in 2001, Spectrum Health has recognized more than 400 high-performing individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to the organization.
Front Row Left to Right; Karen Jackson, Treasurer, Isabella County Register of Deeds; Paul DeYoung, 2019 President, Van Buren County Register of Deeds; Ann Clayton, Secretary and incoming 2020 3rd Vice- President, Gladwin County Register of Deeds Back Row Standing Left to Right; Brandon Denby, 2020 2nd Vice-President, Livingston County Register of Deeds; Stewart Sanders, 2020 President, Newaygo County Register of Deeds; Michelle Stevenson, 2020 1st Vice-President, Roscommon County Clerk/Register of Deeds
The Michigan Association of Register of Deeds (MARD) recently held their 105th Annual Educational Conference in the City of Saint Joseph, Berrien County. The conference was hosted by Berrien County Register, Lora Freehling and current MARD President, Paul DeYoung, Van Buren Register of Deeds. Registers representing 51 of Michigan’s 83 counties were in attendance for the conference.
Featured speakers were LARA-Director of Remonumentation who made a presentation on Plat Boards and the Land Division Act, Berrien County Attorneys Scott Hogan & Steve Smith, of Foster Swift that made a presentation on Sheriff’s Deeds, Foreclosures, and Recording Protocol and, Attorney Bonnie Toskey, of Cohl, Stoker, Toskey that spoke on the importance of Race notice, E-Recording, and Recording orders.
2020 Officers elected at the conference are President Stewart Sanders, Newaygo County Register of Deeds, 1st Vice President Michelle Stevenson, Roscommon County Register/Clerk, 2nd Vice President Brandon Denby, Livingston County Register, 3rd Vice President Ann Manning-Clayton, Gladwin County Register, Treasurer Karen Jackson , Isabella County Register, Secretary Amy Bissell, Benzie County Register and Immediate Past President Paul DeYoung Van Buren County Register of Deeds.
Sanders currently serves as the Legislative Co-Chair and 1st Vice-President of the Michigan Association of Register of Deeds. He will assume the role of MARD President January 1, 2020 and serve a one year term.
LANSING— State Sen. Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, welcomed the Rev. Randall Blanchette to the Michigan Capitol on Tuesday. Blanchette serves as pastor at Cedar Creek Alliance Chapel in Twin Lake and delivered the invocation before Senate session.