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Christine Robere of the United Way of the Lakeshore joins us today to talk about the recovery efforts underway in Muskegon County as we settle back in to "normal" while keeping in mind that there are still vaccination clinics happening and that you can get one set up through Public Health - Muskegon County with a phone call for your group. Bipartisan work happening to make quality childcare affordable and accessible in Michigan. The Youth Employment Program is getting underway in Muskegon. The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakeshore has a new home that is not open for young people and if you need help of any kind, it's as simple as a call to 2-1-1.

Innovation.  We're really good at it in Muskegon and even through a pandemic, we have all managed to pitch in were needed, dig a little deeper and make sure that the crucial needs were met.  That is what sets our town a part from everyone else and that too is why we take such great pride in helping those who help others. Even those among us who walk on paws and have tails.

We've been touching on the services that Shon has at her legal practice outside the litigation services she's so well known for over the last couple of weeks.  Shon is also a mediation specialist and as she's working to help more and more solve their issues through mediation, she's sharing more and more of what an incredible value that mediation can be as opposed to suffering the losses that occur, often unnoticed until you really get down to the nitty gritty of things when it comes to a conflict in the work place.

As we work our way down from the pandemic overload, recovery efforts are underway with the United Way of the Lakeshore and they are sharing how we can all help them and the agencies they serve in our area. This week, a special guest joins Christine Robere to talk about the annual United Way campaign. Tom Schultz is the Campaign Chair this year and he shares some thoughts on getting to work post pandemic and helping the United Way help so many in our area in so many ways. There is also info about a vaccine clinic at the Muskegon Farmers Market Saturday if you are looking for yours.

We're very fortunate in the fact that being out and about we get to meet some of the truly unique people who have specialties to offer that you won't find anywhere else.  I mean, let's say you are in Dekalb Iowa....think you're going to find an instructor that can train you on being a ship captain?  Nu-uh.  They can teach you how to drive a giant farm implement or a train, but ships are probably not on the course list.  In Muskegon however, we've got plenty of them and YOU, yes YOU can learn how to sail the big ships and hit the high seas!

Mercy Health Healing Garden and Spoelman Conference Center?  Never heard of those?  Well, that's perfectly ok because they are in the process of ramping up again after a year or so of everything going haywire worldwide and the immediate need of a pandemic taking prescient over pretty much everything.  Just as the campaign was ramping up through Mercy Health Office of Philanthropy for the Healing Garden at the beautiful new campus in Muskegon and the plans were being finalized for the Roger W. Spoelman Conference and Learning Center,  all of the philanthropic efforts had to shift and the attention had to move to the front line folks who got us through the darkest of days.  So, now that things are situating a little more, it's time to let you know what's to come and who's working on it! 

It was a warm and sunny day in Downtown Muskegon as a small crowd, by design, gathered outside the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon to hear a two fold announcement from the theater and the Community Foundation which owns the theater as well as houses it's offices in the upstairs of our county's landmark.  There were some TV cameras, a couple of on lookers as well as some of town's movers and shakers on hand for the dual purpose announcement and we were invited to come down and help the Frauenthal get the work out by carrying a live stream of what was happening!  

We've switched from the urgency of COVID info from Kathy Moore to recovery around town with Christine Robere of the United Way of the Lakeshore and how you can find help if you need it or how you can help if you are able.  This week, we're discussing how to set up a covid clinic, the Summer Stock Up with Kellogg's.  How best to utilize 2-1-1 for assistance of any kind.  The United Way's annual campaign, the new Campaign Chair Tom Schultz and a fun golf outing coming up at the Muskegon Country Club in a month or so to help the cause!

For every good thing that comes out of Muskegon on the news, you can bet your last dollar that there are 5 bad things waiting to come out.  We've made it very clear by our name that "We Have a New Story To Tell" and while perfection for any corner of the county is simply a myth, there are parts of our area that are just never endingly slammed with nothing but finger pointing, questions and the same old thought that "nothing is ever going to change."  Like anything else, bad news seems to travel further and faster and while it rapidly "goes viral".... the people in those neighborhoods stand in dismay time and time again at how they are portrayed.  It's unfair.  It's inaccurate and it's the imaginary lines that we make up in our heads that keep us a part.  Simply from an editorial view point, I am worn out from it.  I am sick to death of speaking in schools and asking kids when they hear something about "Muskegon" on the news, what is it?"  The answer without fail for over 15 years is "Someone got killed".  I am genuinely tired of it.  No matter the area of town, we're one in the minds eye of the rest of the world and with all due respect to our neighborhoods and municipalities in this county, we stand or fall together as one.

Annually for years Mission for Area people has held a wonderful music intensive gathering called "Music for Meds" to help support their fund for people who have urgent medical needs in Muskegon County.  This year, it's been a bit of a struggle for any kind of event to know what to expect when it comes to how to plan for the traditional thigs while they also had to double down on the efforts to provide for those they care for, especially when it comes to the charitable organizations that we all love and support in Muskegon.  This is truly a wonderful and giving community and Mission for Area People reflects that in a humble, quiet and efficient way.  

It's a timely toping this week on Saturdays With Shon as we all approach the return to work after a very extended period of time where we were asked to work remotely if possible to help control the spread of COVID.  It's not really a discussion about ideology as to the correct approach from State Health officials, everyone has their own opinion of that, however, returning to a more formalized setting from working remotely could spark some new dust up's or maybe there have been some brewing over the away time, or maybe even before all of this began, there were some issues that slowed things down some and nobody was really "winning" anything as the problems persisted.

Well, as we've talked multiple times,  Shon is an amazing Family Law Attorney and she's also a licensed Mediator who can come in and help resolve things in a number of settings that range from those snags that come along in Family Law as well as something you may not have known, workplace conflict.  The goal is as always with Shon, work toward the best outcome.  Maybe it's a sit down with all parties involved to find out the core of the issue and come up with a strategy to solve it.  Maybe it's a few one on one discussions for her to gather some info and work toward that resolution?  The end result is paramount, to find the solution and get everyone on the same page and the core of the needed work out of the way so the work can get done in a safe, happy and productive environment.

Of course, these are some hypothetical situations discussed in this weeks feature, for something like this, you are certainly going to have to share specifics with Shon or another highly qualified mediator to get the specific needs met, but here's a beginning of the process on our talk this week on Saturdays With Shon, on the Muskegon Channel.


We're all decompressing after a long and seemingly never ending journey.  As we return to what we knew, well, there are bound to be some times when things just don't gel and it's going to be part of the "We're in this Together" mantra we got beat over the head with at the beginning to get back to what we knew.  With that, asking for a hand on the really sticky stuff....there's no shame in that and having an incredible resource like Shon and her team on hand to help with those adaptive struggles, that's why she's here weekly putting her cards on the table and showing you how it works!  Give her a call!  231-894-0909.  CLICK HERE to email Shon directly or if you prefer, the website, is linked below.

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We all want independence to be ours no matter how we define it right?  Well, for some it's the ability to do anything any time anywhere and there's not really much holding them back.  Perfectly good.  For some others, independence is a little more of a struggle if they were born with a physical or mental difference and the "easy stuff" for all of us can be a task that seems like climbing Mount Everest to others, but they persist and prevail, time and time again and it's the dedication and devotion of their families and organizations like MOKA that help them get past those hurdles and simply amaze the world with the unlocked potential that can be found if it's looked for properly.

Over the last week or so Muskegon Heights Academy has been in the news both here and in other outlets over the State appointed board that has been in control of the financial end of things for a while and locally now that the board voted to dissolve itself, who will be the board in control of the decisions, the Academy board or the Charter School board.  It's in the hands of the Governor for now and while the discussion continues, both sides agree that the paramount piece of it all are the kids.  We couldn't agree more.

What we see play out on TV and in the movies is so ill reflective of how the legal system works, that the reality of it all comes as a shock to many.  The countless hours of preparation, information gathering, disclosure, advanced briefs to the court and so on.  We see the "flash" in the media, but it's rarely the case.  As we've talked with our great sponsor and contributor Shon Cook before, the intricacies of the legal process far outweigh any of those moments of drama in a real life court setting and this is what she comes by weekly to educate and inform the audience about.

It's very last minute, this we know but we got word last night that the meeting was happening today and that public input is being requested at 4pm via digital meeting or a phone call to participate on the future of the leadership of the Muskegon Heights Academy. 

Superintendent Rané Garcia joins me for a quick talk about what's at stake in the meeting today and is inviting input from everyone in the community on what their thoughts are.  Please listen to the interview and find the links below to participate today if you can.


The meeting was held and the decision was made to dissolve the RTAP board and Muskegon Heights School Board Member Trinelle Scott explains why they are seeking local control back of the district and where things are from her perspective.  

We try very hard to make these discussions happen before they go to a meeting, but this time it all came so quick, we failed. Our offer stands to help both sides come to terms that are manageable to all for the best for the kids attending Muskegon Heights Schools. We firmly believe in the good of ALL in our area. We are better as one and if one of our neighborhoods are struggling, we all are struggling.  We'll do our very best to stay on top of what comes of the discussions and the Governors decisions in the weeks to come.  Stay tuned and thank you to both Rane and Trinell for taking the time to share their side of this debate. 

Yes, it's true.  We missed the big public unveil over the weekend at the new home of the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon.  BUT!  We traded a Saturday deadline for a very comprehensive discussion and tour of what's to come of the old YMCA, or Lakeshore Fitness Center or whatever name it's been under in the past to add to the future of the lives of literally thousands of kids in the Muskegon Area for decades to come.  We'll take that swap.

Let's begin with the smell.  There is a very distinct aroma when you walk into the store on Sherman in Muskegon right by Sherman Lanes.  Is it the hand crafted candles?  Maybe it's some of the artisan soaps?  Being a "guy" I am not always sure what I am smelling but I know this, when something smells fresh, clean and everything in line of site is neatly presented and maybe even tucked away in a spot you might not think of off the top of your head....you know you've found some place pretty special.  That place is Muskegon Market and Mercantile.  Let's dig a little deeper.

Last year December I came across a gentleman named Mark Poletti. Mark was helping promote the 7th and Monroe Pantry located downtown in Muskegon. While he was promoting the pantry, he decided to make pancakes for those in need.  Mark makes pancakes for a bike riding event that he does every year participates in which he also participates in. I asked him, Why he decided to make pancakes in the heart of winter at it's the coldest times of the year? He said, Well I wanted them to have a hot meal and it was cold outside. Plus we had tons of black beans. I decided to make some hot soup. Not everyone wanted the soup so next came the pancakes and coffee. 

It's a program almost a decade old now and it was formed with the idea in mind that if area high school students had an attainable goal to reach for, maybe a positive incentive would be more valuable than detentions or suspensions or the dreaded "Saturday School".  The idea began with a dream and partnerships built to make it happen.  Accumulated slips for doing the right thing at school add up to entries to win a great assortment of prizes.  All the way from a gift certificate to a restaurant to the big one, a top quality pre-owned car.  

It was an invitation we couldn't really pass up.  The young women of Girl Scout Troop 8322 from Grand Haven were in Muskegon on a Sunday morning doing some work to help beautify one of our most important spots in town when it comes to making sure those who are vulnerable are safe, sheltered and able to find the resources they need to make necessary changes to hopefully make sure they never end up in the situation twice.  There's a hidden garden area at Every Woman's Place that offers some private respite for the clients of EWP and through all we've been through the last year or so, it's also become a makeshift outdoor meeting spot.  

Like any specialized profession, lawyers do a lot of work behind the scenes to make things happen for their clients that even their clients might not know about.  The courts have them work well in advance of any in person setting to make sure that things are in place and that what's needed to be done is, so things can move forward deliberately and with the best outcome for the litigants.  What you hear and see the "day of" a trial....it's been weeks, months or maybe even a year or more in the planning with briefs prepared for the courts, witness', exhibits to be presented and more.  Take a listen.

We begin our story today with humble gratitude.  We've worked very hard to be a voice for good in Muskegon and we've paired with companies that have seen what we're doing any why and we've never been out there "in your face" trying to gather up sponsorship for the work, we let it come in time and let the work and value of what we do speak for itself.  Well, we're not the first in Muskegon who have taken that approach and when we're fortunate enough to have a company come along and say "How can we help?", it's an honor of the highest magnitude.  This is the case with Ramos and Sons Auto Body, Towing, ASAP Towing, Ramos Golf Cart Rentals, Party Bus Rentals and more.  Meet David Ramos and find out how all this came together.

Tim Taylor has taken TikTok for burger restaurants to a whole new level of promotion. I was amazed when I saw him sharing his methods of madness in the kitchen preparing burgers for thousands of customers on social media.  The fact that Tim Taylor operating manager of Hamburger Mickey’s has taken on the challenge to collaborate with as many local restaurants as he possibly can for a year is just awesome. Hamburger Mickey's is a local family owned business.

We got word that Cedar Creek Township was moving their regular meeting to the Holton Public School System Middle School / High School Cafeteria. The meeting begins at 6:00 pm. Holton High School, 6477 Syers Rd, Holton, MI 49425 on May 11th as they were expecting a higher turn out than normal due to an ordinance that has caused quite a stir in some social media circles and we try to cover all areas of Muskegon County with the news we can... and since I am moving to Cedar Creek Township here shortly, and read some of the things that were in contention over this new ordinance, I figured I'd go to the Township Hall and turn myself in early.  It seems that some of what's being discussed involves noise levels, and believe it or not, I am noisy.  But, on quick discussion with Township Supervisor Linda Aerts, they are not exactly coming for me yet and a lot of what's been seen, heard and talked about so far, well, it might be a little skewed. Take a listen.

Learn the success stories about these West Michigan community members who are the recipients of The Goodwill Industries Achievers Of The Year for 2019-2020, watch the full video below.

Orchard View Adult Education is A) open B) transforming what "Adult Education" means C) willing to throw in free DRIVERS EDUCATION to qualifying students.  We got your attention now?  At Orchard View Adult Education they are working overtime to make sure that those in need of a GED or some more training can get it, in person or on a virtual platform.  They will work to customize a plan to help people learn at their own pace and they are working double overtime to get rid of the stigma of Adult Education.  It's NEVER a bad time to get the learning you need!

May 3rd proved to be quite a lucky day for a few kids who were born at Mercy Hospital in Muskegon.  Generally one might consider March the lucky month to be born in with St. Patrick's Day and all in there, there's always a little something cool about being a New Years Baby too, but May 3rd?  I mean, even May 4th kinda seems like it's got some play in it when you say "May the Fourth Be With You" right?  Well, 5/3 just happens to be the lucky day for kids being born all over Michigan as Fifth Third Bank is getting them off to a an amazing start with $1053 in a 529 savings account as a special welcome to the work gift.  Scott Stenstrom from Fifth Third Bank joins to talk about this program and how many lucky kids got this amazing start. 

Our sponsor and dear friend Shon Cook spends her Saturday mornings talking with all of us about the legal field and how she strives for the best outcome for all of her clients. She talks for a living and knows a thing or two about proper decorum and how people should address one another on a number of levels both personally and I professionally.

You thought April was just going to slip on by without a little something handed out for the greater good in Muskegon in the "Step it Up Muskegon" segment didn't ya?  HA!  Fooled you!  It's still April and we've teamed with with Shon Cook Law and Scherdel Sales and Technology of Muskegon to send a little something over toward Broadway Street in Muskegon Heights where you'll find Read Muskegon.

Muskegon Lakes Mall has a new and prosperous visionary who sees a golden opportunity to help entrepreneurs get a good jump start on starting their own business.

There's an old joke floating around, you probably heard it.....Why are divorce lawyers so expensive?  Because they are worth it. Truth of the matter is that attorney fees are high because a lot more goes into what goes on behind the scenes than meets the eye.  You've got assistants, paralegals, filing, discovery, time, litigation, mediation it's endless.  But like anything Shon touches, the desire is to find the best outcome for her client so the payment is essential. Shon's got the word, take a listen.

All too often anymore, all you see are advertisements for banks that barely have branches.  Do you really want to walk up to a kiosk in the mall to discuss major financial dealings like mortgages, other loans or significant withdrawals or transfers?  Or worse yet, bank on the phone with someone who can barely speak English?  These are sensitive subjects and deserve the attention that come alone with major financial dealings.

We partnered up with Schrderl Sales and Technology of Muskegon this year to spread a little good around town with the Step it Up Program shared with Attorney Shon Cook.  The idea is that monthly, we'll be helping out a local 501c3 with a little finical boost, and we'll also sow you some of what goes on at a world wide leader in manufacturing at Scherdel.  Scherdel is a place that has a company philosophy of no matter where you begin, the sky is the limit and Jeremy Skroupa is just that.

Beginning his career at Scherdel sweeping up over night, then running a machine, then multiple machines and eventually business development medical.  Jeremy is living proof of the opportunity for advancement in the global leader of manufacturing.  Take a listen to Jeremy's story. 


Some of the repeating terms, teamwork, culture and opportunity keep popping up.  Schedrdel is on the hunt for great candidates to fill positions that will help you grow as a person as well as a leader with excellent pay and benefits.  If you'd like to know what Scherdel has open locally, click  on there logo below.  Can't promise Jeremy will have the owl with him but, you never know.


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We missed on last year due to COVID but it's time again to start to look over the house for any unused, expired or unknown medications you may have around the house.  From their website - "The Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program (MAMDP) is a collaborative of several community organizations that have come together so that residents of Muskegon County and surrounding communities would have a place to safely dispose of unused and expired medications and sharps.

Lawyers hold themselves highly accountable in a number of ways both ethically and as a group.  There are ideals that have to be maintained both in and out of the courtroom. One of those things is attorney client privacy.

The Muskegon County Airport (KMKG), now professionally managed by F3 Airport announced an additional flight will be serving the airport during the summer travel season.

We were fortunate enough to be invited today to the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony of the brand new VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center in the heart of Downtown Muskegon.  It's been a project decades in the planning and years in construction and it's ready to go for the first event this weekend, the Home, Garden and Boat show brought to you by the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.  Today however, there were a few shelf guided tours before the ceremonies and we used the time to catch up with some of the key players in getting this done.

We've been through an awful lot as a community, nation and as individuals and there's no skirting the issue that mental health and addiction are on the forefronts of the minds of many just as much, and to some, even more so than the pandemic.  Isolation, boredom, too much time to get back into old habits and for those who never left those habits, all of the above only adds fuel to the fire and a second pandemic of dependency follows the virus.  We look back to over a year ago now, when they were sending the message that we were in "Unprecedented Times".  We all hoped and prayed they would only be a few weeks, but it seems that it was few lifetimes ago with all we've endured.  We are all worn out but yet the fight will have to continue on multiple fronts.

What inspires us can sometimes make a world of difference not only in the way our lives are led, but in how we can take what we've learned and help others with it.  In some cases there might just be a niche to be filled when it comes to what's needed to help the inspirations come true.  Such is the case of Eric Sobczak who's opened a store and eatery on Harvey Street in Norton Shores called Healthy Done Better.  We'll bounce back to Eric's story momentarily, it's a good one.

It's a great discussion this week with Attorney Shon Cook about what she does and the people she serves.  When people are in any stage of a divorce, they are in a very difficult time of life.  No one ever plans the happily ever after to come crashing down and when it does, both parties are in some state of mental distress.   As we've seen over the last year, even those we think are capable of the most monumental feats when it comes to mental dexterity have limits and it's exhausting, defeating and when you are placed in a heightened circumstance like the end of a marriage, the mental weight can become too much.

It was a week ago or so.  We were out filming to help Every Woman's Place with their virtual "Cheers and Chocolate" event this year and one of their sponsors was Benson Drug, kinda tucked away on Spring Street just off Apple Ave in Downtown Muskegon.  We did all that was needed for the clip for Every Woman's Place but there was just something about the visit that begged for "more" and there was a sense of history too hiding in the owner of the store Randy Dahlquist.   "Hey Randy, would you mind if we came back next week and learned a little more?"  "Sure, that would be fine".  So plans were made and back we went, and none of it was a disappointment.

The legal profession is big.  Some would go as far as to call it a vast universe of endless specialties that are difficult for even the most polished and knowledgeable in the field to get a complete grasp on.  Any number of legality specialties are a good starting point to begin a specific search for an attorney that can help you out depending on what you need, but there are some other nuances to selecting an attorney that should be key factors in your decision before you lock in and get to work.

Well, while we're still not really able to congregate in big groups just yet, what do we do best in Muskegon?  We improvise, adapt and overcome. This year, Cheers and Chocolate will be taking on a little different spin! Cheers and Chocolate Community Crawl Benefiting Every Woman's Place Muskegon is happening in the month of April 2021.

A couple of months ago, we introduced Scherdel Sales and Technology of Muskegon to you and they were gracious enough to come on board with the Muskegon Channel to help out in our push called Step It Up Muskegon where we find 501c3 charitable organizations and give them a little boost financially as well as some recognition for the work they do and the people they serve.  Part of our agreement with Scherdel for this incredibly generous give is that we in turn help you get to know what goes on at Scherdel and how you might just find your way into a global company with endless advancement opportunities without even leaving Muskegon.  The best part about this partnership is that EVERYONE wins.  Charity get's a little help, Scherdel gets a recruiting platform and we get unprecedented access to what happens at this incredible company!

This week, our time with Shon focuses on some parental rights you probably don't stop and consider much, but you need to especially if you are an unwed father of a new born.  In Michigan, things are a little tricky and having a highly qualified Family Law Attorney on your side like Shon is essential not only in the immediacy of the situation, but for the long term as well, because in Michigan without some legal action on behalf of the father of a child, they are basically a non issue when it comes to everything unless your ducks are in a row.

March is Reading Month and it's being observed in a number of ways in Muskegon County.  Through the United Way you might see some of our area notable's growing their beards out for books through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.  You may have seen some familiar faces reading to kids in class over Zoom.  Maybe you have a bigger stack of books coming home for kids to read or maybe it's already commonplace where you are, one thing we all know is that reading is a HUGE part of everything for the development of young minds and effects pretty much everything for the rest of life.

We've it's been about a year now with our sponsor and friend Shon Cook who's been gracious enough to help our audience understand some of the in's and out's of the legal world which can quite honestly be confusing and intimidating at times.  When we need to employ the assistance of a lawyer, let's be honest, it's generally not at the time when things are sailing along with no problems to report and we're all managing to keep our heads above water.  Generally, if attorneys are needed, we're in over out heads a teeny tiny little bit and their specialty is worth it's weight in gold. 

In December Shon Cook had the idea of extending a hand to 501c3 organizations who've been impacted over the last year due to all we've been through with the pandemic and the shutdowns and re-opens, and the shut downs and on and on.  It was an idea that we hoped took off and Shon even backed it up with $500 of her own dollars to help the cause and it kind of primed things to get going.  For the first couple of months, we were able to match it with what we had left over and it was a thrill to be able to help a little too.  Then as suspected, the idea grabbed some legs and Scherdel Sales and Technology of Muskegon stepped up and said they wanted in too, so after we did a little talking, they joined not only to share the chance to benefit some great organizations, but to spread the word that they are seriously looking for some help at their place and are hiring!  Are you seeing how local media in action works.  We're kinda downright proud of that!

As we've talked before with Attorney Shon Cook, who's also a mediator, the belief from Shon is that mediation is an incredible way for disputing parties to work together to come to the best resolution for a situation and help keep control of a final decision that could be made impartially by a judge.  It's a cut and dry decision by an un attached party at that point and you may like the outcome, you may not.  Using a mediator as tough as it can be can help control decisions that will last for years, if not a lifetime in some circumstances.  There are some very important things to know about the function of a mediator however, and Shon's going to explain them today.

As you may recall, last July in the height of all we've been dealing with, the Michigan laws changed when it comes to auto insurance and what's required to be carried.  It was a sweeping change that quite honestly, this author doesn't completely understand so, the safe assumption is that there's a few more questions out there still from others as well.  Jason Ryan from State Farm Insurance on the other hand knows his stuff and he's able to explain it in terms that anyone can understand.   

You roll up on to 3rd Street in Muskegon on a Saturday morning when the thaw is beginning and you get a chance to see, and quite honestly smell, all that's been going on the the newly named "Midtown" area of the city and it's a sure sign of a couple of things.  First, that Spring is definitely coming and second, that despite all we've been through the business up and down the newly renovated corridor are still chugging away and that through all the difficult times, they reflect our grit, drive and flat out refusal to give up.  There is one thing that's more of a fleeting sight though as miracles rarely stick around once they happen.  This is a reminder about one of those miracles and a chance for all of us to give back what's already been paid forward.

So you're in a dispute and there are a few different ways things can go.  Like always, when working for her clients, Shon Cook looks for the best outcome.  In the matter of the legal world, there are a few ways to get to that outcome and as we've discussed a few times trying to maintain control of how that outcome arrives is the best way of managing things as opposed to leaving a decision to a judge, who really has no stake in the game, they just make a decision.

Anytime you can involve the prowess of facial hair and a fundraiser....why wouldn't you?  It's an idea that pops up a few times over the course of a year here or there and it's generally a good time for a great cause and with the Beards for Books event with the United Way of the Lakeshore it takes on an educational flare as well bringing the amazing gift of early reading to kids all across the Lakeshore as well as something a little more fun, let's explain.

Muskegon has been making head way when it comes uplifting our youth. More and more we are discovering young entrepreneurs and apprentice. It's amazing, the talent that's right here in our very own communities. Ranging from the free spirited hearts to the highly motivated entrepreneurs. I love it when I get to introduce young people such as this. A young man who's love for food has sparked the interest of one of Muskegon Heights’ very own Soul Food Chefs.
DaRice Brown is well on his way of becoming the next up and coming local soul food culinary artist.

Jason Ryan from State Farm Insurance joins us again this week to talk about some of the things you may not always have come to the top of your mind when it comes to insurance.  Yes, with insurance we all tend to know we have to have it, we all look for the best deal on it and then we all like to just put it on the back burner and make the payment.  Jason brings in a view point that's a little more broad and explains why some things in his world need to be discussed on a more regular basis because, let's face it, insurance is for what's not planned.  When it's all on the back burner, we're not planning.

It's time for a good old fashioned celebration and time too for a moment of truth from the author.  Navarro's Mexican Take Out has been a local, family run business since 1978 located just off Sherman on 8th in Muskegon Heights.  They specialize in traditional, authentic Mexican food and the celebration is of the grand re-opening is a part of the story for sure, but there's that moment of truth thing too...43 years in business, and I have never been there.  I almost lost out on something incredible even though I only live a couple miles away from it simply because I roam around in my own little bubble most of the time.  Well, after reading the story a little on Facebook I figured it was time to break that bubble and get to the bottom of this and what a story!

Shon Cook is an awesome sponsor of what we do and she's also all about an outreach to help people understand the legal world in simple terms that are easily understandable for the common person.  Legal speak can be very difficult to understand and for an attorney of Shon's caliber to understand that helping clients know what's going on, it's a resource that is worth it's weight in gold.  We're always thankful for our visits with Shon.

Muskegon - we have some know it all's, and yes, I thought I was one of them.  I thought I had a pretty good grip on what kind of business were here, what kind of things they do and who worked there.  After all, we're a big enough town that we've got most everything we need, and small enough that we all pretty much know about who's doing what, right?  Well, I am driving along Norton one day and rounding the corner and I see a small sign that says "Scherdel Muskegon is Hiring".  My first reaction?  What's Scherdel?

It was back in July, and it was HOT!  We were at the very beginning stages of a beautiful new development of a complete neighborhood in Norton Shores called Atwater Springs.  We had all the primaries on hand for the beginning.  The developer, the realtor, the home builder and off in the distance, you could hear the sound of the large, heavy equipment all working to bring the first phase of this awe inspiring new development to life.  Well, we have managed to pick right back up when it comes to weather extremes, because for our second visit, it's COLD!

We're super proud today!  We began the Step it Up Muskegon program back in December when our sponsor Shon Cook said she'd like to do something that could help some of our area non profits out with some much needed funding and we decided that we'd jump in, both feet and see what happened.  Shon began by putting down $500 bucks.  Well, it didn't take very long until the idea caught on and we had another area company want to be part of this, Scherdel of Muskegon got a hold of us and said, "It's our turn to help in Muskegon a little and we'd like people to know a little more about us...what do you have?"  Well, we have a great way for you to help....so, we welcome Scherdel Manufacturing to the fold and throughout the rest of the year, it's at least $1000 bucks a month to an area non profit.  Scherdel will be featured more in depth later this week with a full welcome and introduction, and of course, Shon will be along Saturday with her weekly segment!

What would Valentine's Day be without a story from a chocolatier?  Well, it would still be Valentine's Day and all, but if you get word down from one of your most regular places to shoot that something is going on, and someone is down there really putting in overtime making some chocolate, you load up the camera and go.  This is how the story of us meeting Addy Kinziger of NOVA Super. Natural. Bakery. comes about.

Sometimes in life we can work with others and still not realize what they endure at home.  I met Sheik Tyler Sr. while working as a manager for Taco Bell /KFC years ago. Last week I'm scrolling through Facebook as I normally do and I noticed these drawings beautiful sketched. I saw that the caption had read that his son had drawn them. Amazed at Sheik Jr.’s craft, I quickly reached out to his father and began asking questions regarding his son’s drawings.

Sheik Jr. is a 13 year old artist, who attends Timberland Academy. His passion for drawing started when he was just in kindergarten. As he got older his autism developed but that didn't effect his ability to progress as an outstanding artist. As a fifth grader, he received an art award for Best Talent and was able to draw the calendar for the month of April. It is currently being displayed at the Muskegon Hackley Public Library.

During this heartfelt interview, it lead me to the conclusion that sometimes we overlook the talents children have verses the challenges that they may face.  As his grandmother, Vanessa Taylor, was proudly showing me Sheik Jr.’s art work and telling me of all his accomplishments, it suddenly became a very heart warming moment. I must say, that during this interview, it was hard for me to hold back my tears. I have a soft spot for children and this young man’s story is one the most inspiring I've had the pleasure of sharing with everyone.

We should all use this story to reflect on the importance of helping our youth of tomorrow, and helping make their dreams come true.  It matters.  Whether they want to become athletes, doctors, artists, lawyers, police, teachers, or labor workers. Some may even want to become entrepreneurs. Regardless the case, we must encourage all of our youth to be great.  Sheik Jr.’s art work is available for sale and he is also willing to sketch art upon request. His favorite things to draw are cartoon characters, but he can sketch other things as well. We wish him the best of luck as he continues to strive to become one of our communities successful artists.

The arguments have been had.  The mediation was attempted.  The lines have been drawn and it's time to settle things with the filing of a divorce in a court.  As we've talked in just about every one of our Saturdays With Shon episodes that deal with divorce, it wasn't exactly planned for in the happily ever after part of things, but it does happen and this step, well when you actually file the divorce, it's a contract that is for the rest of your life past the marriage.