So, it's cold out. Time to turn the oven on and add some warmth and some delicious smells to the house with all the favorite baked goods everyone loves! There's a thought today too, that people should be using more natural ingredients in their cooking and that the chemical additives we find in a lot of store bought items might not be the best for us. Well, Chef Char not only has the answer for that, she's got a way to help make your recipes a little tastier and add in some local flavor as well!
Did you know? You can make your own vanilla out of locally sourced products? It's true! You need some vanilla beans and for our recipe today, Chef Char went straight to the 18th Amendment Spirits Company Downtown Muskegon to gather the other ingredients! Yes...it's booze!
Find out how Chef Char makes her own vanilla for all of her finer recipes right here, on the Muskegon Channel!
This one goes a little further too. Chef Char wants you to read this part. There is some theory along with this recipe so please, read carefully and follow along. She's going to make the best out of ya yet! If you'd like to visit Chef Char online to attend one of her classes at Kitchen 242 or learn more about what she offers, click on her photo!
So far in 2019 Becky's kept things pretty simple for ya. A couple of dumbbells and a mat is all you've really needed! Is it by design? Who knows, but, it's proof that to stay in shape and take the best possible care of yourself, it doesn't require a lot. What it takes is some determination on your part. Dedication to making sure you pick a path and follow it and to remember that it's not an over night fix to change. It's an enduring process and a commitment.
This week we're back at The Gym with episode 83 of Fit and Healthy With Becky! As always, warm up, stretch out and make sure you're ok to start this or any other work out program with your doctor! Here we go!
Great job! Grab some water! Now, if you've got the bug, give it to the rest of the family!! Becky is offering family settings for fitness at The Gym in North Muskegon. Get your critters in the habit of working out early and set the pace for their life developing good habits that will last a lifetime! You can click on the picture below to link over to Becky's website or call the number on the pic to get more details!
We're under a week away from one of Muskegon's signature winter events! Polar Plunge 2019 is already a record breaking year for attendance when it comes to plungers...over 300 are registered to make a splash in the arctic waters of Muskegon Lake to benefit Special Olympics. We've grown to be one of the biggest events for the Polar Plunge in the state with good reason. Muskegon loves a good time, we desperately need a reason to get out of the house in the mid winter and the chance for all of us to do a good turn for some remarkable kids and families.
The teams, the individuals, the costumes, the merry making and the purpose all provide perfect combination for a party. Of course, we could focus on the party, but it's really about the purpose. The Special Olympic of Michigan is what it's all about. Athletes with unique abilities get to compete and take the stage through Special Olympics. They host games all year long, and all over the state for athletes to compete in. Their reach and purpose is legendary and to know as a community, Muskegon rallies around the cause is just another reason to be proud of who we are.
The fun gets under way on Friday night with the Pre-Splash Bash at Fricano's. It's a chance to get your team checked in early, and with a record amount of people to take the plunge...it's a good idea. After the early check in, the band Northbound will play throughout the evening. Enjoy the live music, some fun raffles and great Fricano's pizza! Saturday, the fun begins with some tail gating.....yes....it's said they will have a tali gate party. Plungers will resume check in, great music inside Fricano's again, raffles, 50/50's, great prizes, costumes and at 2:30....the plunging begins!
Todd Dunham is back to recap all that is to come and update us on all that is Polar Plunge 2019. Take a listen.
Still time to register! It's going to be a record year and you need to be a part of it. Plunge or not, be at Fricano's Friday for the Pre Splash Bash and come on back Saturday for the Plunge!! It's all for some truly remarkable people and a cause anyone can rally around. We'll see you at the Polar Plunge 2019 January 25th and 26th. To visit the Special Olympics of Michigan website, click on the photo below.
How about a break from the regular news? Yes, we try and provide that most of the time here at the Muskegon Channel, but today is a special pass and a super feel good story because it involves a company going above and beyond for some local kids and teachers who really needed a hand.
I got word the Genius Phone Repair was heading out to Marquette School to visit the classrooms of Amy Bufka and Hope Kavos. Amy and Hope teach Autistic kids at the school. Autistic kids learn a little differently than "normal kids" and adapting the educational environment for them is a matter of finding the tools and methods that work, especially in a setting that is sometimes non verbal on part of the student. It can be a very challenging endeavor, but also a very rewarding process when that little light goes off and the kid actually learns!
Technology helps. Where some traditional methods of reaching a student or gauging how they are doing might be difficult, with an IPad there are programs designed to stimulate the student and retain their attention. They even have ways to track eye movement and see how much time has been spent distracted vs. watching the screen absorbing the information presented. The teachers had been using iPads in the classroom, however the ones they had were getting quite old, first generation and becoming outdated. Not to mention, there were only a couple of them so...iPads were not the primary tool anymore.
Genius got word of the need and responded. On Friday, Devon Sparks and crew from Genius Phone Repair by The Lakes Mall showed up at Marquette with 10 iPads in hand, complete with protective Otter Box cases for the teachers. They were a donation to help their work in the classroom as well as provide an updated method for kids who struggle with traditional learning methods. It was a pretty exciting thing to be a part of. We sat and talked a little about the presentation. Take a listen.
What a joy to find a local company willing to pitch in and help! Teachers struggle to make ends meet in the classroom every day already and the idea of a single iPad is out of reach for many, let alone 10. This is a gift that will impact these kids and their learning for years to come. Our thanks to the tipster who sent us the word about the gift and to the great people at Marquette Elementary for welcoming us in to share the story. This is Muskegon. This is what our community is about and we're so proud to be able to cover stories like this!
Last year, at the very last minute, I got a call that something pretty spectacular was going on over in Muskegon Heights and I had best double time it over to that side of town and be a part of it. It was a cold and snowy day. It happened to be Martin Luther King Jr. Day and many had the day off in observance of the occasion. The gathering was happening at Johnny O. Harris Memorial Park on the corner of Broadway and Jarman and as I pulled up, the words on the signs around town never rang more true. Muskegon Heights - A City of Friendly People.
There were friends of mine there. There were people I had not met. There was a smell in the air of hot dogs roasting, shrimp and grits being cooked, some had brought huge pots of chili to warm up with and there was hot chocolate and drinks for the kids. Laughter rang out everywhere and fully grown adults were sliding down the hill as if they were all 10 again. It was one of the greatest flashbacks to days gone by that I have ever been a part of and I walked away feeling much fuller from the experience.
It turns out, that there was a little more pre planning than met the eye last year for this fun day, and this year even more has gone in to the Second Annual Councilmen Walter Watt MLK Sled Fun Day Event. Yes, there will be the smell of chili in the air again, yes there will be some sledding going on....provided the dusting of snow we have sticks around and yes, that laughter and warmth will be free for the taking for anyone in the area! They are adding in a warm clothes drive. Hats, gloves, mittens and coats are needed for area kids who might not have what they need for the cold temperatures. They will have a culinary specialist on for professional judging of the chili and a peoples choice award as well. It's going to be a great day from 12-4 at Johnny O. Harris Park.
I met up with Walter Watt and my dear friend Eddie Sanders Jr. to reminisce a little about last years wild day of merry making and maybe some lying about our sledding adventures take a listen. This is fun!
Sunday Noon-4! Be there! Great food, fun times and a fantastic purpose in helping the kids out who might need some warmth this winter! It's not been the best winter for sledding for sure, but the togetherness and the ability for all of us to hang out and enjoy some fun in the park. Weather doesn't dictate our community and every gathering doesn't have to be 80 degrees and sunny! Stop out Sunday for a while and see for yourself. Muskegon Heights really is a City of Friendly People! Thanks to Walter and Eddie for inviting me back again, a little earlier this year to help get the word out! Visit the City of Muskegon Heights website by clicking on the photo below.
Up and at 'em for a new week and new workout from fitness guru Becky Biesiada! This week, she's offering the basics! You'll need a couple dumbbells and a floor. Sure, she's going to add lots of beauty, grace and all that stuff that makes it "look easy", but hey...at one point even Becky was a beginner so...where you might be intimidated by the beginnings of a workout program, take it one step at a time and you'll get there!
This is a good one to start with too! As we've worked our way to 82 episodes now, we've shown you some contraptions and different uses for things you might not have known you could work out with, but this one is a simple weight and YOU! After all, it is about YOU so let's get to it!
Episode 82 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on The Muskegon Channel.
Next step....get the family involved! Becky is a Certified Personal Trainer and can not only help you, but with her new family focused workout program getting underway at The Gym in North Muskegon, she can help develop life long practices for your entire family! You can click on the photo below to visit Becky's website or call the number you see listed! Get in on the fun and fitness with the whole family!
We're known for hockey in town. Like really well known. The storied history of the game here in town has been written about over and over and we continue to write the history, we also write the future. Youth hockey in Muskegon is a big deal. They start off as squirts and work their way up thru the ranks in to high school or travel teams and hopefully on to college, maybe the USHL and then on to the dream! It's happened, and it's going to continue to happen. We're "Hockeytown West" and that's the way it outta be!
Hockey is a tough sport to get into though. It's a sport that required a lot of time, dedication and travel. You've seen the commercials of the "hockey mom" sitting at the rink at 6a watching her kind play. It's true. It's also a bit of an expensive endeavor. Sure, your schools basketball team can play with a ball some shorts and jerseys, but hockey take a lot of equipment that comes at the parents expense and let's not forget...they are kids...they are growing and the expense keeps on keeping on.
Well, sure we can't help ever individual youth hockey player, but, we can support the organization that helps them compete. The Junior Jacks are part of the Muskegon Lumberjacks and they support young hockey players all the way from "Learn to Skate" to the travel leagues. They provide an inclusive atmosphere for young players and instill the values of sportsmanship and fair play. They work to provide a sustainable business model to make sure that they are around a while to keep the pipeline of players moving and the parents and coaches involved are all dedicated to assuring that these kids have the best experience possible.
Fundraising is always a part of this or any youth program. But not everything is coupon books or candy bars when it comes to fundraising. The Jr. Jacks are proud to welcome former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty and some friends to The Back Alley Comedy Club for a night of fun and fundraising! The Darren McCarty Slapstick Comedy Tour makes a stop at the Back Alley on Friday January 18th. You'll get some great live comedy, some fun stories from McCarty about his life and life in the NHL and more. Tickets are still available and you're in for a great night if you get some!
Chad Addicott is with the Jr. Jacks and we met up to talk about the organization and mission as well as the fun event. Take a listen.
What an awesome night, and awesome cause! The Jr. Jacks do a lot of good for young people and if you have not noticed yet... The Back Alley Comedy Club is coming on strong as a great place in Muskegon not only for entertainment, but a spot that's doing what they can to do the right thing for organizations that matter here in town. Head out for a Friday night of laughs and purpose!
We're known for a party in Muskegon. We're also known for celebrating some of our great cultural diversity and enjoying what people of different heritage bring to our community. We've seen some pretty amazing festivals pop up over the last few years and watched them grow into BIG festivals and some, some have gone on to become regional attractions drawing people in from all over the country and world!
We've seen Irish Festivals....along came the Polish Festival...well, in 2019 get ready for a little spice and a little salsa...because on September 7th the Muskegon County Latino Festival Makes it's debut. Be ready for great food, great music a lot of culture, color and fun. Activities for kids are planned and I am sure that you'll find some beverages on hand as well.
The new festival came about as an idea by Elizabeth Briseno. We have a vibrant and very active Latino community here in Muskegon County and to share some of the people, culture and heritage is what this festival is all about! Make some new friends, bring down some neighbors and spend an afternoon and evening in the comfort of Hackley Park and see what Muskegon's Latino Community has to offer!
Elizabeth and her group are working hard to secure vendors, sponsors, musical acts and more and like any festival, it seems like a long ways off, but September is going to get here QUICK and we caught up with Elizabeth early to not only help spread the news about the new chance to have some fun, but to maybe lend a hand in getting a few more hands on deck to pitch in an make it happen! We met up at Los Amigos' to talk a little about the launch! Take a listen!
Who's ready to get out of the house and have a little fun for an awesome cause? It's here, and to be honest, this is probably THE Winter to do the plunge to benefit the Special Olympics of Michigan if you've ever thought about it. It's been a pretty mild Winter and even though the lake is cold, it's not looking like they are going to have to cut through 6 inches of ice to cut a hole for people to make the jump to benefit some incredible kids who could really use a hand.
It's a great weekend of cabin fever relief that starts off on Friday night with early registration for the nearly 300 expected plungers this year. After all, why wouldn't we have a near record amount? Who's got a better plunge location that Muskegon Lake? After you get checked in Friday night, the Pre Splash Bash will be going on with Northbound playing some great live music, some cool raffles, maybe a drink special or two and of course the delicious Fricano's Pizza! Saturday, they actually tailgate in the morning....yes...why not tailgate for an event of this magnitude? Then the party gets underway at about 12 so you can see all the costumes, themes and friends ready to take the plunge....with the plunging starting at 2:30. After everyone is dried off and warm...awards, gift bags, raffle prizes, pizza, pizza and more pizza and a party atmosphere you'll find nowhere else all Winter long!
The Muskegon Polar Plunge is inching closer and closer to the $1,000,000 mark of money raised and the 2019 event is on pace to be the biggest yet! Todd Dunham has been a part of this great event for 12 years or so now, and we got together at Fricano's to talk about this years plunge....take a listen.
The challenge is on!! Let's make it the biggest and best Polar Plunge yet! 2019 is off on a great foot and if everyone chips in a little on something as awesome as the Polar Plunge, the athletes of the Special Olympics of Michigan will be assured the support they need for the great work the organization does for them and their games! If you can't bear the frigid waters, come to the Pre Splash Bash on the 25th or just hit Fricano's for a while on the 26th to be a part of all the fun! To get your team registered...and yes...there is still time....click on the photo below!
We're back at it at The Gym in North Muskegon in 2019 with Fit and Healthy With Becky!! In 2019 is still Becky's commitment to a healthier and better you!
To kick things off in the new year, she's breaking out the medicine ball, some dumbbells and leaning up against the wall....of course, that leaning up against the wall is part of the work out so don't go thinking that it's a break in the action. You had a couple weeks off to reset and recoup and it's time to get back at it!
If you think the whoe family should be invloved, Becky is beginning classes for them! Make sure to check out the photo at the bottom of the page for details on how the whole clan can get invloved! For now, here comes episode 81!!
Great! Now...about that family work out! Get involved together and make lasting habits that will get your kids off on the right path to staying in shape and have some fun together while you're at it. Here's the scoop on Becky's brand new family class starting soon at The Gym located on the 4 Corners in North Muskegon!
It's been a couple years now that we've been covering the MARS 4004 Robotics Team in Muskegon. They are just one of many area teams that compete in the FIRST Robotics competitions that are rapidly becoming high powered and high energy events not only for the teams to compete in, but for crowds to watch. It's not exactly "Battle Bots" or anything, but the drive and determination it takes for these young people to build and compete in this field is nearly unmatched, and it pushes young people to excel in the STEM areas which all employers are looking more and more for. "STEM" is Science, Technology Engineering and Math....all in high demand as our students prepare to head into their futures and with FIRST Robotics, they get hands on training and a chance to apply skills and learn from experts in their fields who come in to mentor the teams.
We've followed the Mars Rovers 4004 but they are by far and away not the only team in the area, and they are very quick to point out that so many other schools in the area participate and share in the projects. It's a competitive, but collaborative environment that encourages the fun and team work. In a couple short months, all of our area teams from Fruitport to White Lake will converge on Orchard View High School for their competition to see who's been able to find "Deep Space" in 2019 and move on to the next round. With some good luck, great skills and hard work...the teams can work their way to the World Competition and go up against others from all over the globe, and it all started at the Muskegon Community College Strurrus Center on January 5th when they got their mission.
About 200 area young people were on hand for the unveil this years project. Also oh hand were some of the mentors and coaches and it was a great honor to welcome President of Combat Propulsion Systems, Maria Hedden and Vice President of Human Resources, Patti Tebelman from L3 Technologies in Muskegon who have taken the title sponsorship role for this years local competition. L3 is firmly committed to making Muskegon better by investing in programs like this to not only help young people, but to help sustain our community by fueling these kind of minds so that they can not only grow up here, they can stay and put down roots as they transition into their careers.
We talked to the Rovers...Maria and Patti, and have the footage of what this years "Deep Space" mission is all about. Take a look!
The game is set. The teams are preparing and we are gearing up to bring you the show live! You'll be able to watch the competition live from Orchard View High School as The Muskegon Channel will be on hand to show off the town, the teams and the competition on March 16th. They have a lot of work to do and so do we to get ready for the show! Best of luck to all our teams competing and showing the rest of the world just what Muskegon is made of! We'll see you at OV in the Spring! To learn more about title sponsor L3 click on their logo below.