Time for another visit to the famed Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!  This time, Lauren and Char are working on a delicious treat that involves some classic cookware that was around long before we had things like microwaves, Instant Pots and more.  It's time to break out the cast iron!  Heavy, durable and meant to last a lifetime, using cast iron cookware is as much of an art as it is a great way to make some savory dishes that fill you up and keep you warm over the long cold Winter months in Michigan.
Of course, in our "heat and eat, ready to serve" world today, not everyone knows the in's and out's of using cast iron cookware or, how to properly care for it, so... there's a little bit of everything in today's show for you, including how to best preserve your cast iron pots and pans at the bottom.  
Let's head down to the Kitchen and watch Char work her magic!

Chef Char makes the most delicious stuff you're going to find!  If you'd like to grab the recipe you'll find it below along with some helpful hints on how to best care for your cast iron cookware.  If you need hands on help, maybe consider a cooking class at Kitchen 242 with Chef Char!  She's got a varitety of different topics she teaches and the classes are fun, informative and a great way to see what a treasure we have here in town with Kitchen 242.  You can click on Chef Char's pic to visit her site and see what's coming up at Kitchen 242 that might interest you!!

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Dutch Baby Pancake
3 tablespoons butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put the butter in a large cast iron skillet and place in the oven.
Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the eggs, flour, warm milk, sugar, vanilla extract and pinch of salt, and blend on medium-high speed until uniform. (If mixing by hand, combine the eggs with the milk until the mixture is light yellow and no longer stringy, about 1 minute. Add the flour, sugar, vanilla, and pinch of salt, and whisk vigorously to remove the lumps, about 30 seconds.)
Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. The butter should be melted. Swirl the butter around the pan to coat completely, and then pour the remaining butter into the batter and pulse to blend. Pour the batter into the hot pan and return the pan to the oven. Cook until the pancake is puffed in the center and golden brown along the edges, 20 to 25 minutes.
Using a spatula, remove the entire Dutch baby from the pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to allow the steam to escape without condensing along the bottom and rendering the pancake soggy. Dust with confectioners' sugar when cooled slightly. Slice the pancake into 8 wedges on a serving platter or cutting board.
ADutch baby pancake, sometimes called a German pancake, a Bismarck, or a Dutch puff, is a sweet popover that is normally served for breakfast.  It is derived from the German Pfannkuchen.  It is made with eggs, flour, sugar and milk, and usually seasoned with vanilla and cinnamon, although occasionally fruit or another flavoring is also added.  It is baked in a cast iron or metal pan and falls soon after being removed from the oven.  It is generally served with fresh squeezed lemon, butter, and powdered sugar, fruit toppings or syrup. 
Fried Apples
4 cups peeled, cored, thinly sliced apples 
¼ cup flour 
½ cup brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
½ teaspoon cinnamon 
dash of nutmeg 
2 tablespoons butter 
1 cup apple juice or cider 
In a bowl, mix apples, flour, sugar, vanilla and spices. Mix until all apples are coated with sugar and spices.  Using a skillet or a sauté pan, melt 2 Tablespoons butter over low heat. When butter is melted, add apple mixture and stir. Add apple juice and stir. Cover and stir mixture occasionally. Sauce is ready when apples are soft and a thick sauce develops. It should look like pie filling when done. 
How To Season A Cast Iron Skillet According to Lodge 
What You Need
Cast iron skillet
Dish soap 
Sponge or stiff brush
Clean, dry cloth or paper towels
Vegetable oil or shortening (or other oil of your choice)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Wash the skillet with warm, soapy water and a sponge or stiff brush. Cast iron should not normally be washed with soap, but it's fine here since the pan is about to be seasoned.
3. Rinse and thoroughly dry the skillet.
4. Using a cloth or paper towel, apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or melted shortening to the inside and outside of the skillet. Vegetable oil and shortening are the most commonly recommended oils used for seasoning, but according to Lodge, you can use any oil of your choice.
5. Place the skillet upside down on the oven's center rack.
6. Place a sheet of aluminum foil below the rack to catch any drips.
7. Bake for an hour.
8. Turn off heat and allow to the skillet to cool completely before removing from oven.
Additional Notes: A seasoned skillet is smooth, shiny, and non-stick. You'll know it's time to re-season if food sticks to the surface or if the skillet appears dull or rusted

A press conference was held Monday Dec. 10th at the East Apple Avenue McDonald’s to announce $95,000 in donations to 3 Muskegon area charities. 
Ronald McDonald House Charities is giving $60,000 to Kids Food Basket Muskegon, $25,000 to the West Michigan Symphony, and $10,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore.
Lauren Stanton had a chance to talk with McDonald’s owners Matthew and Lori Schulz, as well as Kids Food Basket Founding CEO, Bridgett Clark Whitney.  Take a listen to the chats and watch it all unfold today!


  Great things happen every day in Muskegon.  They happen from the people and business here and the Ronald McDonald Childrens Charities reach goes so far beyond their primary purpose of helping give rest to parents of kids who need treatment.  If you'd like to know more about Ronald McDonald Childrens Charities, click on their logo below.  

RMHC logo

Just sat down with Muskegon native, Tammy Griswold who is putting together an incredible New Years Eve party to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan...."Beyond NYE For NKFM" 2019 kidney leadFind the New Years Eve Event on Facebook
This event will take place at the Watermark 920 Event Center in Downtown Muskegon on Monday evening, December 31st..... 6:30 the doors open....   Live music...dancing...heavy hours d'oeuvres....prizes....cash bar and so much more!!!!
Tickets are only $45 each....or $80 per couple.     Join Tammy and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan crew this Sunday Afternoon 12/9 at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company on Western Avenue in Downtown Muskegon for the pre-sale ticket party.    Hey, have a blast just picking up your tickets!!!
Ring in the new year....it's the New Years Eve party to NOT miss!!!!.... And raise important funds and awareness for healthier kidneys.... Important life saving treatments.....and the importance of kidney donation....it's a win win event!
Hurry and get your tickets now!!!.... They're going fast!
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
Watermark 920 Event Center
Washington Street, Muskegon
6:30 to 12:30 December 31, 2018
Click on the photo below for tickets!!
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A couple of years ago, Muskegon County voters passed a millage to help our senior citizens out.  It's taken a while to get the finding moving like it does with any millage, but the process is up and running and the services offered to the older generation are wide.  Everything from transportation to food, activities to assistance understanding the in's and out's of complicated things like Medicare..or maybe even a hand with essentials like bills, home needs and more.  It's all there waiting for you, but how do you even begin to understand how it works or where to begin? senior resourcesFollow Senior Resources on Faceook

It can be a very confusing, and honestly, intimidating process and with all due respect, some older people are not as tech savvy as younger folks and some too, are just used to getting by with what they have been able to do themselves, even though they have earned and are entitled to some of the benefits that are out there.  So a big part of the millage was to help find some people who could help those who need a hand finding their way through the red tape.

The Health Project of Muskegon County with Mercy Health has set up a program where those in need of a hand with the overwhelming amount of information out there and how to find it.  They are the Senior Navigators and the good news is, that they are going to deploy all over the county so those in need don't have to struggle to find a hand.  They can visit where they are comfortable goin and find a setting that is private, familiar and work with a person one on one to see what's out there and how they can benefit from all the assistance offered.  

I had a chance to meet up with Judith Kell, Tay Jones and Julie Wilde who are all part of the program.  They will explain in detail just how easy it is for those who need a hand to figure out the nuts and bolts of everything available if they plan a visit with a Senior Navigator.  Take a listen.


Difficult and kind of intimidating, but the resources are there for anyone who needs a hand.  This is community helping community and none of it is "freeloading" or taking a "hand out".  These are all programs set up to help senior citizens out with what they have already given in.  Take a few minutes and visit the Senior Services website by clicking on the picture below.  Make an appointment to visit your Senior Services Navigator and get started on what's available.  Our many thanks to Tay, Julie and Judy for coming on to introduce the program!  Our thanks to to the senior citizen community... it's our turn to pay you back a little.  Click below and let's go!

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If you’re like me, you’ve driven by the majestic Hackley and Hume homes dozens of times (if you live in Muskegon, maybe HUNDREDS of times), yet I’ve never been inside. When I heard they do holiday home tours, I thought, “now’s my chance!”
I stopped by and got a fun history lesson and tour from Erin Schmitz with the Lakeshore Museum Center. It was cool to hear about Charles H. Hackley, his lumber business in Muskegon in the late 1800’s, and his eventual business partnership with his friend, Thomas Hume. Nothing like being one of the richest men in town, but why not have your best friend and his family build a mansion next door! I also got to see some of the most intricate woodwork and stencil artistry I’ve ever seen in a historic home, it really is something to see.
The homes are decorated thanks to dozens of designers, volunteers, and museum staff. Take a minute this holiday season, bring the kids (they’re more than welcome) and see this gorgeous Muskegon treasure when they’re all decked out for the holidays.
Tour dates and times are Dec. 8th, 15th and 27th from 4-8pm, and Dec. 28th from 1-4pm. The homes are located at 484 W Western Ave. in Muskegon.  Click on the Lakeshore Museum Center logo below to visit the museum website!

From day one, No More Sidelines has been all about what it's new campaign is saying, "Building Belonging".  We know, because we've been there almost form the start.  No More Sidelines first came to Andy and Dave and asked if they would be interested in being emcees for their "Set the Stage" Gala.  Not really sure how two guys who kick each other in the rear all day would fit in to the suit and tie crowd of a swanky fundraiser, Andy and Dave first asked if they were sure that they wanted them...and almost 15 years later, they are still the event emcee's and the relationship continues to grow.  nmsVisit No More Sidelines On Facebook

No More Sidelines was founded when Alivia Blair asked her mom why she didn't have friends like the rest of her brothers and sisters.  Alivia has CP and Autism and was about 12 at the time.  Like any mom, Cyndi Blair wanted her daughter to have a normal life experience, with friends, hang outs, events and more, but there was an invisible wall there....one that needed to come down so others could see just how little difference there was between "those kids" and the "normal kids"

A small group of families who had kids with "unique abilities" first started hanging out together for some fellowship and as the group grew, the began integrating the group with other teams, mostly centered around sports and the result has been that young people who were once thought different, are now seen in an entirely new way and some of those barriers are now gone.  Loneliness became a bridge and a solution to the fear people have over differences.

They have called the Folkert Community Hub home for a while now, on Seminole Road in Muskegon.  They have plenty of space, and some of it needs a little more TLC yet.  They are in the final stages of the fundraising for the Building Belonging Campaign and they had an announcement on December 4th about the project and what's to come.  The Muskegon Channel was on hand to catch the presentation for you.  Take a listen. 


  "The Hub" has been a place for community gathering since the doors first opened.  They have world class banquet and meeting space.  They have areas for the No Moresidlines group and the building also houses some special educational opporunities for kind who need a little more one on one attention.  It's an amazing gift to all of us to have an organization like No More Sidelines here in Muskegon.  If you're thinking about a place for an event or meeting, keep in mind, renting their building helps fund the group and everyone is included....they stick to the mission. 

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Welcome back to the Muskegon Channel. Today I am proud to announce that I am going to help bring you safety segments with our first responders here in Muskegon county. Today I started things off with the Deputy Chief and the Fire Marshal with the Norton Shores Fire Department #3.
Did you know that the U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated average of 840 home fires per year that began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees, in 2011-2015 according to the NFPA. The Deputy Chief helped to explain that candles start more the one-third or (36%) of those fires. Some of the ways that you can prevent from having a fire, not using real candles, never leaving an open flame unattended, Keep candles on an open counter (without cupboards overhead) and at least 12 inches away. nsfd patchFollow the NSFD on Facebook
Everyone loves to show their Christmas spirit and sometimes even try to outdo their neighbors but when you are putting up said Christmas Lights and decorations should never place more than 3 strands of lights together before plugging it into the outlet. It is also important to know that you should only use an extension cord for the momentary uses NEVER long term and certainly NEVER covering the plugs or cords with blankets, carpets or even tape. Instead you should plug the decorations into a power strip in case you accidentally overload it. That way it will trip the strip instead of your breakers. It’s also important because you could even melt the cord
Have you ever experienced the moment when you placed your tree in the most perfect spot in your home only to realize you now have to squeeze your furniture around it and have very little room to walk? Yeah, I had this very thing happen to my family and I this year after setting up our tree. Talking to the Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal they explained that you should have a clear rough in and out of all areas of your home. This way if you do have a fire you will not trip on any of your furniture on your exit out of your home nor will the firemen that are coming into the home to help. Back to the perfect spot for your perfect tree... remember that it should not be placed next to a fireplace, portable heater or a heat source of any kind. There is an age-old debate on whether you go real or fake and which is better, if you have a real tree make sure that you keep it hydrated, watering it at least once a day. However, if you choose to fall on the other side and go with a fake tree you also need to remember not to connect more than three strands of lights together. You should also make sure that your connections are tight not to allow any room in-between the connections for something to get there. When you have the light connections inside the tree you should make sure that they are connected to a power strip placed inside the tree or one that may be provided with the tree.
If you would like to learn more you can watch our short clip or you can always find information om the Norton Shores FD Facebook Page.  Click on the Image below for more.

  We recently caught up with the Co-Chair Woman of the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce of West Michigan. ....Mary Kendall .....to chat about the 11th Annual Dancing with the Local Stars taking place in late February of 2019 at the Holiday Inn & Conference Center in downtown Muskegon.   This incredibly exciting, fun event has raised $923,000.00 over the last 10 years.... And they are hoping to surpass the 1 million dollar mark in February!  
2019DWTLS LogoVisit the WDCC on Facebook
  The Women's Division Chamber of Commerce has donated the money raised from this annual event to over 30 West Michigan food pantries located in North Ottawa, Lower Oceana and Muskegon Counties each year.    In 2018 this event raised over $170,000.00.
  This past Friday evening we attended the Women's Division Chamber of Commerce big "Reveal" party at the Holiday Inn.... Officially announcing the lineup of local community Stars and which professional dancer they will be paired up with.   There will be groups performing and pairs as well.   There will be 4 identical performances over the course of three days.... And each performance winners in several different categories will be named.... Plus bragging rights.
  This fun event features pairs and groups of dancers that start rehearsing this month and continue to increase the number of rehearsals leading up to the big show dates of February 21st, 22nd and 23rd of 2019.    All styles of music and dance will be represented...plus incredible themes and costumes.   Truly a complete blast to attend for anyone of any age.   The 2019 Dancing with the Local Stars theme is "Winter Wonderland".
The following are the selected DWTLS 2019 Local Community Star Dancers:
Christian Achterhoff: Laketon Township Clerk 
Christopher Anderson:  Fruitport Firefighter 
Bonnie Adamczyk-Brown:  Senior VIPof Investments at Norden/Adamczyk Group of Raymond James
Morgan Buck:  Director of Sales & Marketing for Schuitema Moving & Storage
Dakota Crow:  CEO of Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon
Bob Garretson:  Owner of Grand Shore Solutions
Joe Gorbach:  Owner of Firehouse Subs
Jenny Hart Locke:  Owner of Village Inn Restaurant in Fruitport
Dennis Luce:   Ottawa County Sheriff Deputy
Lacy Bridges-Mosher:  Owner Create.A.Frame Studio
Bill Noordhoff:  Manager at Bill Noordhoff Plumbing, LLC
Kristine Patterson:  Behavior Health Therapist with Catholic Charities of West MI
Larry Pellet:  Physical Therapist Assistant at Select Rehabilitation
Rob Riegler:  Owner of Lakeside Surfaces Inc.
Michele Ringelberg:  Owner of Thrive POP
Dr. Michael Ryske:  Owner of AlignLife Chiropractic & Natural Health Center
Jennifer Schultz:  Health Coach/Educator with Team Live Inspired
Mary Suarez:  Lead Ambassador & Event Coordinator at Hope Project
Emma Torresen:  Community Foundation for Muskegon County Donor Relationship Man.
Lisa Wright:  Day Spring Administrator
Jami Young:  Winter Sun Schoolhouse Founder 
2019 Professional Dancers:
Dr. David Armbrecht, Francine Calandro, Lisa Jirikovic, Patrick Johnson, Chris Kuhn, Sandy Nolan, 
Michael Page, Honorable Brenda E. Sprader, Mary Switzer, Andrea VanBeek
For more information:
2019 Dancing with the Local Stars
Women's Division Chamber of Commerce 
Thursday, February 21st evening....Friday, February 22nd evening.... Saturday, February 23rd afternoon.....Saturday, February 23rd evening
Tickets: $45 each evening....$35 afternoon show
Holiday Inn & Conference Center Downtown Muskegon
Call Mary Kendall (231)798-4244
Click on the Photo Below to Visit their Website!

We're very thankful for the support of the Muskegon County Airport for our work and, we're also very much all about making sure that the use of our airport continues to grow!  

If you travel, you know that there's a giant push to get everyone to the "giant airports" to get their flight.  How is that different than people in Muskegon being asked to only get their media from the "giant city"?  It's not right.  We have a magnificent airport that is easy, convenient and it's ours.  Use it or lose it!  

There are great deals to all kinds of destinations.  There are new and improved flight times for business travelers so you can make a connection in Chicago and be anywhere in the country...and generally home the same day and if you want to get your toes in the sand and somewhere warm...Cancun....Jamaica....Florida and more are all calling.

Jeff Tripp is the Executive Director of the Muskegon County Airport.  We got together and got caught up on all things airborne in Muskegon, take a listen!


Fly Muskegon!!  Imagine the ease of not having to go to Detroit or Chicago to get where you gotta be!  No hassle parking, 50 passenger planes for easy boarding and security check in's.  Friendly, low pressure staff and if you saw the video.. FREE COFFEE.  Always check Muskegon first if you are going to fly!  Click on the picture below to visit the Muskegon County Airport's website!

check mkg first

  Are you hoping Santa brings you an Instant Pot this Christmas, or maybe you got one last Christmas and haven’t taken it out of the box!  Cue Chef Char Morse at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market.   Char has you covered with one of several Instant Pot cooking classes planned for the new year, with the first being held January 26th.  cc mkg channelFollow Chef Char on Facebook
  They’re a convenient tool in the kitchen, but Instant Pots can be intimidating to some people.  Maybe you’ve mastered some key meals, but are looking for new ideas.  Char shows Lauren Stanton how to make a delicious breakfast recipe we’ve included below.  In the class, you’ll also learn how to make several other recipes.  Char says one of her favorite things to cook in an Instant Pot are RIBS!  But she also shows how you can use them to make a cheesecake and other fun ideas!
  There’s a whole lot more happening this month at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmer’s Market.  Many of Char’s classes are already full, but look ahead to some of her upcoming classes or consider a gift certificate for a really fun experience to give someone you love this holiday season!!


  There are lots of great things happening at Kitchen 242!  If you'd like to know more about Chef Char's classes or other events there, click on their logo below to visit their site and learn more!  

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Cinnamon Apple Steel Cut Oats in the InstantPot with Chef Char
1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups milk 
1 cup water
¼ cup dried fruit (tart cherries, cranberries, raisins, apricots – your choice)
3 large apples, cored, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons honey or maple syrup or brown sugar (your choice)
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt (optional)
Add all ingredients to the metal bowl of any electric pressure cooker and stir.  Set the pressure cooker to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes.  On the InstantPot Duo, use the “Multigrain” setting and adjust time to four minutes.  Wait about two minutes before releasing pressure.
Garnish with additional milk, sweetener of choice and nuts for a hearty breakfast.

Recently I met up with Maggie Vincent of MAGGIE'S GOURMET FOOD & GIFTS and Colly Frederick of the MUSKEGON COUNTY COMMUNITY RUN...    They are so excited to present their "Sampling Saturday" Fundraising event on Saturday, December 8th from 10am - 5pm at Maggie's Gourmet Food & Gifts located on Harvey Street in Muskegon.
It's truly a Win Win for everybody!.... Not only can you get all your holiday shopping done in one place...but 10% of every item sold will go directly to benefit the important fundraising efforts of the 2019 Muskegon County Community Run.    The MC Community Run will take place on June 29th, 2019 to raise important funds for NO MORE SIDELINES and the Muskegon County Sheriffs Department Motorcycle Unit. commuinty run fbFind the Muskegon Community Run on Facebook
Please grab your friends and join us on Saturday, December 8 between 10am - 5pm.... MAGGIE'S carries a very wide range of unique items.... Literally something for everyone on your gift giving list.    MAGGIE'S specializes in creating personalized gift baskets, customized apparel, customized etched mugs...beverage glasses, a complete selection of Made in Michigan gifts...foods....wines and a large variety of specialty gifts for everyone.
On "Sampling Saturday" you'll be able to shop and taste test all MAGGIE'S yummy items... And sample MAGGIE'S special bath and body products as well.  DON'T FORGET.... 10% of every item sold on that Saturday will benefit the important efforts of the Muskegon County Community Run.  I know I'll be there helping out AND SHOPPING!    Please join us!

Click on the picture below to visit Maggies Gourmet Food and Gifts online.  We'll plan on seeing you at Maggies on December 8th from 10a-5p for this fun event for such a great cause!  We'll see you there!!


  It's time to get in the holiday spirit, and whether you're headed out to cut down that Christmas Tree or pull the artificial one out of the attic, we all love setting the scene for the season.  What if you could have a professionally designed Christmas tree for that special area of your house or office that you could treasure for years to come?  You might want to think about stopping by the Muskegon Museum of Art! art museum 2Muskegon Museum of Art on Facebook
  The 14th annual Muskegon Museum of Art's Festival of Trees kicks off November 21st and runs through December 2nd (closed on Thanksgiving).  It's the public's chance to bid on beautifully decorated trees that have been professionally designed with the help of community donations.  The museum's assistant director Cathy Mott encourages everyone to stop by the museum during the 11 days of the festival as special programming, raffles, music and gift items will be available for guests.  Then, feel free to bid on the trees at anytime during the 11 days!  If you're the winning bid, the museum will help carefully wrap the tree for you so it's ready to be placed at your home or business. 

For more details, check out the Museum's website below!
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  Once upon a time, the news wasn't all frightening headlines...slanted reporting and teases to get you to tune back in at the next newscast to hear the end of the story.  No, there was a time when a news reporter took their time to get you to know your friends and neighbors.  Helped you understand what made a community unique or what made the local flavor unique to it's own.  In our house, those were the news stories that mattered, and those were the ones that kind of helped shape the way I approached the work I did in my broadcasting career.  

  As I carried my work over from the airwaves to the digital world, I wanted to preserve that feeling and try.  Some have said the videos are too long, others just read the articles...and I have heard more than once that they were surprised there was a website....they thought it was just a Facebook page.  We live in a high speed world...I get it.  dan pmichFollow Positively Michigan.net on Facebook

  A big part of the story telling though, is the guy behind the camera, and one of the all time best is Dan Salas.  Dan was in television for decades.  If you're old like me, Dan was the photojournalist for Dick Evans - On the Michigan Road on WOOD TV until Dick passed away in 1991.  It was Dan's eye that brought the stories to life and Dicks ability to bring the best out in anyone and get them to open up that made the segment such a destination for viewing. 

  Dan runs PositivelyMichigan.net now.  To say his work was in inspiration to us is an understatement, I mean, even the name...but what works, works.  Dan called the other day and asked if we had some time to talk about why we do what we do and how it all began.  When the best of the best calls, you make time.  Dan's story is right here.  Take a listen.



  As we filmed and reminisced....we talked about our skills sets, where we could help each other and how we could rely on each other to help spread the better news.....so....I grabbed my camera and told Dan, I am interviewing you...and we're putting your Positively Michigan stories on the Muskegon Channel if you like that idea.  Dan agreed quickly and so began the partnership.  We'll stay focused on Muskegon and Dan...he's going to cover the rest of the state the way he does it best.  Take a listen to my chat with Dan!



  A symbiotic relationship has been born.  We're proud to bring you Dan's work on Positively Michigan.  Make sure you check that link right at the top of the Muskegon Channel when you visit to see the who, what and where going on around Michigan and if you have story ideas, get ahold of Dan.  He's a great friend, an amazing story teller and works daily to continue the legacy he started way back in 1976 when he first picked up the camera to go On The Michigan Road.  Welcome to Dan.  Thanks for your years of wisdom and kind story telling.  You can visit The Positively Michigan site by clicking below.  

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  Well, we got our first good dusting of snow this year, followed by some slide-off's and fender benders, because after all, who remembers how to drive in this stuff after a Summer full of Muskegon fun right?  As some sighed that the blanket of white fell, others were licking their chops a little bit, and one of us got in the car quick and headed out to get the scoop on what's to come at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex this season as preparation is underway for the ever growing and ever evolving treasure housed at the Muskegon State Park on the North side of town. lugeFollow The Muskegon Winter Sports Complex on Facebook

  We've long been friends and partners with the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex.  They have been helping us along since the earliest days of Positively Muskegon and in turn, we've been there to help them start to show that there is so much more than just Winter activities there.  The Winter Sports Complex is home to one of only 15 luge tracks in the world.  There is an expansive area for outdoor winter recreation from ice skating to snow-shoeing, cross country skiing and more and the spectacular setting for all of it can't be matched anywhere.  It's cared for by people who's life long passion is everything Winter Sports Complex and the future is coming so fast.  Soon, there will be zip lines, canopy tours, archery and more.  What was once the "best kept secret" in Muskegon is becoming a regional destination for all of the Midwest and Muskegon is reaping the benefits of the wonderful curation of the sacred grounds.

  Things are not quite ready to roll yet for the season at the Winter Sports Complex.  The smell of Pine-Sol and Mr. Clean fill the air at the moment at the lodge for the moment.  Soon, it will be the warm fire and the smell of hot chocolate, not to worry.  I met up with Bill Bailey to talk about the upcoming season and more.  Take a listen.


  It's a comin!  Be ready for the awesome season of Winter fun at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex and keep in mind, that a season pass out there makes a great gift!  Make sure too, that you don't just use the place as a weekend destination.  We talked a little about how more and more are coming to share the Complex....let's make it "ours" Monday-Friday when the visitors are all stil back home and we have our treasured sports park all to ourselves.  You can visit the Muskegon Winster Sports Complex website by clicking below!

winter sports pass

  We saved Lauren the written portion of her first interview on The Muskegon Channel.  After all, as the "trainee" you don't want to see anyone "overcome" on day one right?  (Har har har)

  But like anyone, we have a story to tell as well, and since Lauren has come along, and we've been at it a while with the Positively Muskegon Blog, which grew into The Muskegon Channel website and our recent addition of the Muskegon Channel Radio site, it might be time to let you know how and why this is all here.

  In a nutshell, it's been a building process.  There's a purpose to media in a community.  Media should be a relevant and active engine for sharing news, helping business advertise at a fair price and providing a value for the money spent and it should be a place in town that can be a focal point for good things, and things that can be addressed with actionable solutions.  The idea that "if it bleeds it leads" might be good for some, but it's that one sided story that can really harm a community both internally and on a bigger level, if that's all surrounding communities see about one area, well...the damage can be long lasting and very hard to reverse. 

  When the Positively Muskegon Blog began back in October of 2015, there wasn't really even a true direction in mind.  But as we grew and shaped what we do and why, it became pretty clear that the our contribution to all that is good in Muskegon was to be on the street telling the stories of those who do things large and small to make Muskegon home.  If there is something that needs to be addressed, we bring in solution based stories as opposed to "that's what happened" and leave yet another scuff on our image.

  Lauren talked with Andy and Britta about how it's all come to be.  Take a listen.


  So that's kinda how it all began.  Muskegon is not your cookie cutter kind of town.  We are our own entity with our own identity and what works somewhere, might not adapt here.  Our people, our pride and our community are ours.  We are unique in our thoughts our approach and our overall way of life.  We're kind, fun loving and we band together like no other when it comes to taking care of our own.  We have our own "flavor" and we kind of see our "micro media" enterprise as adding to just that.  We want our stories to reflect our people....we want our scenery to reflect our beauty and we want our radio station to sound better than anyone else's anywhere and we'll fight to make it happen.  We have a new story to tell...as so many things happen to re-define Muskegon, we're proud to be able to help shape the story the way it needs to be told.  With value, purpose and with the best interests of all of us at heart.  

  It's a friendship that goes back a few years.  Lauren Stanton and Muskegon that is.  Over her years of being the morning reporter at WZZM in Grand Rapids there were the occasions that she'd make her way out here for a concert or the air show or maybe a hockey game or something.  But, there was always something that set Lauren a part from the other visitors that came in with their respective stations for an event.  The other stations would always sit in their designated spot and give away bumper stickers or promo pictures or can koozies....or worse yet, they would find a spot back stage and wait for their 2 minutes on stage to greet the masses and accept their glory.  Well, with Lauren...she'd be the first one out of the booth, into a beer line and right out in the crowd to meet people and be Lauren!  She's all about grabbing every ounce of life she can get and she'd blend right in in her cut off's and tank top out there in the thick of the party and that's what she loved about it.  She could just hang loose.  She fit right in. lauren hubsClick here to follow Lauren on Facebook

  As her broadcasting career continued she met her future husband and they began to dream a little.  Their life in Saugatuck together was great but they are both very energetic people and saw an opportunity to go into business for themselves on a little corner on the river down there with a unique idea called Retro Boat Rentals.  The spit shined up some vintage boats, revamped the motors in them to be high efficiency electric motors and started a seasonal rental attraction.  Well, they struck a nerve and found a niche... the business took off and the were both able to walk away from their careers and focus solely on Retro Boat Rentals.

  Back to Lauren and Muskegon.  She was one of the key factors in getting Positively Muskegon on My West Michigan once a month, a relationship that continues, and as word got out that she was "retiring", well, I said almost jokingly... "Well, if you get bored, I know a guy in Muskegon with a few cameras who's trying to tell a better story about the town....."  there wasn't even time to take a breath and Lauren said "I'm in...when do I start?"  Today it happened.

  I sat down to catch up with Lauren a little and welcome her on board... take a listen.  



  Yes, she's been a friend to Muskegon for a long time, but she's also been a remarkable personal friend too.  Lauren is one of those friends who's right in the trenches with ya and doesn't run away when things are looking tough.  In fact, looking back on my last short run on the radio in Grand Rapids a few years ago....she was one to run in to the burning building more than once help dig.  Didn't think that job would last as long as it did...but who cares.  We're here now... and Muskegon is coming out the winner!  We welcome Lauren with open arms and can't wait to see her perspective on our community and our people.  If you'd like to know more about Lauren's "real job" click on the photo below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals site!

retro boat rentalsRetro Boat Rentals




  On Saturday November 10, 2018 at 2:00 PM, the Boogie Woogie Bugler Memorial Statue was unveiled at the LST 393 Veteran's Museum. The life-size bronze sculpture of Clearance Zylman was sculpted by local artist Ari Norris. Clarence Zylman was the inspiration behind the classic WWII era song, "The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B". For more information on the sculpture, check out our previous interview with sculptor Ari Norris.

  Born in Muskegon and trained on the streets of Chicago, he toured the country as a professional trumpeter helping to lead a musical revolution, featuring a new boogie-woogie sound. Clarence Zylman served his country as a bugler, playing reveille in his own boogie-woogie style. He became a military legend as the bugler who got the troops up with a jitterbug in their step. He was an ordinary man who led a remarkable life, and, thanks to an extraordinary song, will forever be known as Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.

 Video (01:54)


  The sculpture is installed prominently along Lakeshore Drive next to the USS LST 393 Veteran's Museum, Zylman faces east towards the rising sun, forever playing reveille to wake Muskegon.

  It's been a fairly tiring season of politics.  All the he said, she said.  All the half truths and intentional misleading information.  So many polarized thoughts on every issue, even dipping in to cussing candidates down over issues that they have no control over.  Case in point, just as I was beginning to write this, I was following a discussion on social media about a candidate for a State seat and how people shouldn't vote for them because of their stance on the Second Amendment.  I asked if the author of the comment could explain how someone in Lansing would have any bearing on the US Constitution.  They couldn't or chose not to answer.  eEgelston Grows Green on Facebook

  So, like I did with the 911 surcharge request, I get a hold of Egelston Grows Green to see if they would like to share their straight talk one more time about the medical marijuana growth operation and dispensary they are asking the community to vote on Tuesday.  To me, all the homework has been done and the desire to grow a crop for an ever growing list of medical uses might be a pretty good idea.  The security will be stringent.  The economic impact can be huge.  The intention is to help people with their medical needs and the investment is willing to be made in our community. 

  It might not be for everyone.  No one is trying to force anything on you.  Changing the minds of some who have had a lifetime of fear mongering behind them regarding marijuana might never happen and that's ok.  There really can be no argument though that the emerging uses of CBD and even some for THC in medical ways are effective. 50% of the crop that will be grown in Egelston will not even have the psycho active THC compound in it.  This is in no way an endorsement to say anyone should drive under the influence of medical marijuana or any other substance and it's not to say that minors should access it.  This is however a chance for Egelston Grows Green to clear up some of the smear that has come their way over the whole situation.

  I met up with Jack Page again, we were also joined by Attorney Hal Hermanson to help explain some of the in's and out's of the township laws and how they have been met and grower Adam Mendes who will be growing the plants inside the secured facility.  Take a listen.


  They are even offering you a ride to the polls Tuesday if you are for or against the cause.  As they said at the end, this is not about the recreational marijuana vote also happening Tuesday.  This is about an emerging medical marijuana production that will bring jobs, revenue and relief to those who elect to use it.  You can visit their website by clicking on the image below. 

egelston grows green


Egelston Grows Green has been a paid sponsor in the past of The Muskegon Channel.  This was not a sponsored article. 

  It was a grand affair for one of the most important causes.  The Hope Project USA welcomed hundreds in for an evening of Hollywood glamour in an effort to raise some funds for their work against sex trafficking.  The food was amazing, the entertainment was superb and the masks were so much fun to see.  

  The Muskegon Channel was there with cameras rolling to add the "Red Carpet Live" feel for the guests coming in.  It was a way for the guests to show their support and The Hope Project to say thanks, and the spotlight is on you. 

  We are happy to support the work of The Hope Project USA and invite you to The Red Carpet from Saturday night at the Watermark 920 in Muskegon.


  If you were unable to get in to this sold out event and want to be a part of the work The Hope Project USA does to help the victims of sex trafficking, you can click on their logo below to visit their website.  Make a donation, give some needed supplies or maybe volunteer some time.  It's a social plague that anyone can agree should be fought from every angle. 

hope project 3 


  The election is right around the corner and on the ballot this year in Muskegon  county, there is a surcharge request for voters to approve regarding the Muskegon County 9-1-1 Service and some essential upgrades that are truly needed for our police, fire and EMT workers.  

  Like any money request, no one is excited about the idea of having to pay more, and it always seems to be amplified in Muskegon through social media and other grumblings among those who think that there is some shell game or bait and switch going on for a frivolous money grab so that some governmental body can line their pockets etc.  

  It's understandable to a degree, but the facts are simple.  Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone authority overseen by the State and the funding they are requesting is spent only on needs for the communications system they need as what we currently have now is so outdated it's even becoming hard to get parts to repair what we have, let alone stay in communication with other safety agencies throughout the state.  These are essential tools for men and women who work to save the lives of all of us and the request is not coming because of the joy of a cash grab.  No other bills past or future can be paid with this and it's not a quick and easy task to get this project moving or completed.  

  With all the misinformation that's been sent out over social media, I asked Shawn Grabinski from MKG 9-1-1 and Chief Dave Glotzbach from Muskegon Township Fire to meet with me again to discuss what I have heard, what they have heard and what the simple facts really are surrounding the 9-1-1 surcharge request you'll find on the ballot November 6th.  Take a listen.


  Hey, look.  I don't want to pay more either, but I would really hate to see the worst happen.  I'd hate to see any of our front line responders without the tools they need.  I'd hate to see a citizen suffer because of lack of the proper tools for the authorities and what's more, I'd hate to see something so important fail because some of the nay-sayers and those who thrive on making sure we don't get what we need because they thrive on chaos or being a thorn in the side of something.  This is not being asked for for anything other than necessity, please get out and vote November 6th.  For more on the surcharge request, click on the image below.

mcd logo

  Unbelievable to imagine that the horrific crime of Human Trafficking takes place in our own West Michigan communities, but it does....    thanks to the tireless efforts of Hope Project of Muskegon County those crimes are now dwindling. ....and the victims are receiving the help, safety and the support they need. behindthemaskleadGet the Last Few Tickets for Behind the Mask While You Can
  Hope Project of Muskegon County is hosting its 3rd Annual "Behind the Mask" Masquerade Ball this Saturday, November 3rd at the beautiful Watermark Event Center....located Downtown Muskegon from 6pm to midnight.
  This year's theme is Hollywood Glamour...so come dressed to impress....walk the Red Carpet, dine on amazing cuisine by Ryke's Catering, a DJ for dancing, cash bar, 50/50 raffle, silent auction, photo booth, best mask competition and much more.... All to raise funds and awareness for this serious cause.... But all in a fun, glamorous way.
  All the proceeds raised will go to the victim support efforts.... For safe accommodations, counseling sessions, transportation to and from counseling and much more to help the victims.
There are a handful of tickets still left....but going fast! 
Mary Suarez and I sat down to talk about the event, take a listen!!
To learn more about The Hope Project USA - click on the photo below.
hope usa
Behind the Mask Masquerade Ball
To benefit the Hope Project of Muskegon County
Saturday, November 3, 2018
6pm - midnight
Watermark Event Center
930 Washington Avenue, Muskegon
$45 per ticket (must be 18 or over to attend)

  We're very lucky in the fact that we work with some incredible companies that are great stewards of the communities they serve.  Kurt Alderink from Shoreline Recycling called up and asked if we knew of a way that they could help do something nice for veterans since Veterans Day was coming up and if I knew anyone to help put him in touch with.  Luckily, not only do I know "a guy", I know "the guy" so a couple of quick emails and we had the ball rolling.

  We spent this summer showing you what and how Shoreline Recycling does.  Every aspect of their operation from the intake to the baler at the end and all of the products they recycle to not only keep Muskegon clean, they are finite resources they deal with so, the reuse of metals not only helps the environment it sustains what we have to work with.  They also pay top dollar for what you bring in.  If you are a daily scrapper, an occasional user or maybe an organization out to raise a few bucks with a scrap drive they are your first and only call.  They also work one on one with industrial customers who have scrap on a large level.  veterans affairs logoMuskegon County Veterans Affairs

  The Muskegon County Veterans Center has made an appearance or two here and on Positively Muskegon.  They work to help our vets navigate the system to get the care they need.  They also provide necessities for them like a food pantry, some assistance with utility bills or rent from time to time.  They also help with programming like mental health support, groups and services that some of us might not even think of who have not served.  It's a place of humble surroundings, but the work they do for those who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice is essential and any and all help they can get is greatly appreciated.  

  So, now we have a connection, let's get it to work!  Kurt and Mike talked about what needs were the most important and how Shoreline Recycling could do something, so it was resolved that in November, if you bring non perishable food items or toiletry products to Shoreline Recycling with your scrap, they will give you $1 per ton extra up to $10 bucks per item.  Shoreline will also set up an account that if you just want to donate your scrap to help the Veterans Center out you can drop it off and 100% of the proceeds will go to the purpose.  Shoreline also donated 4 Lumberjacks tickets, a $50 gift card to The Station Grill and a swag bag of goodies to go to a vet for a night out with their family.  Kindness and stewardship.  Amazing.

  I got Kurt and Mike together.  Mike showed Kurt around the Vet's Center and we talked a little about the whole project.  Take a listen 



  Contagious isn't it?  Shoreline leads the way, now follow.  Organize a scrap drive at your work, church or school and bring it to Shoreline Recycling.  Think about that food pantry at the Veterans Center the next time you're out shopping and have a little extra.  Maybe even just pick up a gift card to a food store that the Vets Center could use to help the cause.  Many hands make light work and as we pull together as a community, taking care of our vets is an easy way to say thank you for their service.  To learn more about Padnos click on the photo below and visit their website.

IMG 3552

We're on a roll!  New buildings are popping up, old buildings are being rehabbed and renewed, a sense of belief is here and that has carried over into the desire to launch new business, brands and endeavors.  It's a time of great excitement here in Muskegon and we're pretty dang proud to be part of it.  It's been our thought since Positively Muskegon started back in 2015 that a big piece of the puzzle was talking about who we are, and what we do in a better light than the one sided story we had been given for so long.  So, just like any of the other "new faces" we're all about celebrating those who are taking a chance and wanting to make a difference.  We've featured plenty of people taking the plunge, and of taking the plunge...you need a clean spot for that right?  Well, we've got that too thanks to start up Gr8LKS Apparel. gr8lks logoFolllow Gr8LKS on Facebook

Gr8LKS Apparel was founded by Pete Gawkowski Jr and Andrew Mann here in Muskegon.  It's a cool line of clothing that sources it's materials from organic cotton...recycled materials and no negative impact on the environment.  Even to the dye's they use...safe and eco friendly.  Also, a snappy logo.  Something to generate a little conversation along with a nice look.  Let's get people talking about what Gr8LKS means and why it's on your shirt, hoodie or hat.  Then, on to the action part.  

Our lakes are our greatest asset.  Gr8LKS Apparel spends a minute of boots on the ground clean up of the lakes for ever $1 spent.  The dirty work.  Cleaning up the rubbish left behind at the beaches and waterways in the area and beyond.  It's Gr8LKS for a reason...this is a movement that can spread far beyond Muskegon and should.  Any state touching a Great Lake can have a role in this movement and we can all take pride that it started in Muskegon.  So far, over 33 hours have been spent in the actual "dirty work" of cleaning up beaches and as the company grows, so will that number of service hours.  A great way to not only promote a brand, but the importance of a company's stewardship of it's community and it's customers.   While some companies might be able to write a big check to build a hospital or an arena, the start up's have to rely on elbow grease and blood sweat and tears...just what GR8LKS is doing.

I had a chance to catch up with Pete and Andrew to learn more about the endeavor.  Take a listen.

Dreams become concepts and concepts become reality.  It's all part of our amazing times here in Muskegon.  As new styles, trends and brands emerge, to remember what we truly have by way of natural asstets is so important and Gr8LKS has their finger on the pulse.  Think about grabbing a hoodie for the cooler weather, maybe one of the awesome looking trucker hats or, get a hold of Pete and Andrew and tell them you'd like to pitch in on the next beach clean up.  Help celebrate those who take the plunge....great things are happening in every corner of Muskegon and it's such an exciting time to be here!  To visit Gr8LKS website, click on the photo below.



  We like to keep you up to date on events that can help you keep your home and loved ones safe.  This is the case when the Muskegon Area Medication Disposal Program hosts an event here in town that will help you get rid of unused or outdated medications, sharps or even controlled substances with no questions asked.  It's a program hosted by Mercy Health and it's designed to help you dispose of medications properly and remove the temptation from your home of taking something that was not prescribed or...if it was prescribed and it's past it's date.   med takebackMedication Disposal Event on Facebook

  The idea of flushing old meds down the toilet or drain, is pretty well understood that there is a negative impact on the environment with that.  Throwing your old meds out is not recommended either...but you can't just stock pile them.  What about the loss of a loved one and having to clean out their belongings?  What if you find something the kids shouldn't have and don't know how to get rid of it properly or would be afraid of turning it in to the authorities?  There's an answer and it's simple and easy. 

  Over the past 8 years the Muskegon Medication Disposal Program has safely disposed of over 16 TONS of medications.  16 TONS!!  Imagine the pill count in 16 tons of medications?  Astronomical!  Imagine the risk imposed of those medications sitting around the house and prying eyes looking in your medicine cabinet.  Think if the risk of one of your kids friends coming over and finding some muscle relaxers or narcotic pain pills.  You should think about adding to that tonnage this Saturday and you'll get a cool trip through the fire department for your participation.

  It's a simple process, you drive up, fill out a small questionnaire, mostly about where you heard about the event, and your unwanted meds, sharps and controlled substances are taken away....no questions asked.  You drive off with a safer home, less worry and with no negative impact on the environment.  Simple stuff. 

  I met up with Chief Jeffery Lewis of The Muskegon Police Department and Rachel McCoy of The Health Project to talk about this Saturday's event and how easy it is for you to make it happen.  Take a listen.   


  Simple, quick and best of all...firetrucks!!  If you're heading down to the Farmers Market or out running some errands this Saturday.  Bring the kids.  Show them by example that there is a proper way to do things and that they really don't have anything to fear when it comes to the police.  What a great first step this would be for them to not only see that, but get to see the MFD up close and personal as you drive through.  There is no cost to participate in this and again, no matter what you're dumping, there will be no questions asked and your medications will be properly disposed of.  Ou thanks to the The Health Project for their sponsorship of The Muskegon Channel.  You can learn more about The Health Project by clicking on their logo below!

health project

  Almost a year ago, we stopped into a new restaurant in a familiar spot.  The old West Side Inn sat empty for quite a while on Beidler street in Muskegon after 65 years of being the neighborhood watering hole.  Three years or so passed and some eyes took another look at the location and the opportunity and rethought what the building could be inspired by his passion for unique food and a taste that couldn't be found anywhere else in Muskegon...or anywhere near for that matter!  Gouleese was born serving specialized goulash dishes from all over the world!  Mexican, Hungarian, Czech, Italian American...served as a platter or in some sample plates or maybe a cone...it was a culinary experience unique to the quaint setting and renewed decor in the neighborhood.  gouleeseFollow Gouleese on Facebook

  Now, what made Gouleese special to us was what happened when we published the story.  We can't really explain how or why, but the story took off like an Atlas Rocket.  To date, it's the most viewed story on The Muskegon Channel other than the Andy and Dave Daily which gets an update 5 days a week.  We sat and watched the view count grow and were just amazed!  We were very thankful for the hand in gaining some exposure for the new site and as we helped spread the word about the new restaurant, those who were excited about a new dining experience helped share the fact that we were here ready to share the news how we saw it.  To us, that's what a local media company should do.

  In the past "almost year" The Muskegon Channel has grown as has Gouleese.  They have new menu options, they have added beer and wine to the menu for those who'd like to enjoy a local brew or fine win along with their meal.  They dropped in a pool table as well as some games.  They have kept the family setting and have even put in some $6 specials for lunch!  All supported by groups who come in together, families who are looking to try something unique or maybe just the individual who's looking for a quick bite and wants to support a local business.  

  We stopped back in to see Tim Painter.  He's the managing partner behind it all to catch up on the "almost year" and find out how it's gone!  Take a listen!


  New menu options....same delicious goulash to try from all over the world, unique and quaint location and a re-imagined and reborn step in the right direction for a Muskegon neighborhood.  If you've not tried Gouleese yet....do it....if you've not been there in a while, head back. Exciting times for everyone at the restaurant as their 1 year anniversary approaches.  For a complete look at the menu, business hours and more, visit Gouleese website below!



  So, one day you're at work and you meet the new hire.  Nicety's are exchanged and you go to your respective job and do it, not to see the new recruit for a while.  As time goes on, assignments change and up pops the coworker again, and now, you get to have lunch together where you get a chance to talk a little, dream a little and find the commonality that makes up a pretty potent idea IF you're willing to roll up the sleeves and give it a try!  Such is the story of Brittany Meloche and Bethany Bauer.  only cannoli logoFollow The Only Cannoli on Facebook

  They met up at Shape Corp.  Time rolled on and their friendship grew.  No doubt Shape is a great place to work, but that burning ember inside them told them to take a chance on a little something that they both held dear their entire lives and that's the experience of bonding over food.  How it brings families and friends together.  How there are so many unique ways to take the "family recipe" to new levels and how it's fun to bring a product to life, from the pipe dream to reality.  They decided to start seeing what it took to get in to the cannoil business, where to make them, where to sell them....how would an area used to glazed donuts and blueberry muffins take on to an "old world" treat like a cannoli?  What is a cannoli anyway?  It's a cheese filled pastry....yes cheese.

  A little snooping around on the internet and the pair found Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market.  It's an open source kitchen for business development in the culinary world.  It's also a learning kitchen where classes are held in culinary arts and you may have seen it's a back drop for Chef Char and her wonderful segments here on The Muskegon Channel!  A little more investigating, into where to sell, how to develop a little catering clientele and then to spread the word....you've got a great start to a business that can grow past all expectations.  About the only thing that they couldn't get was "Grandma's secret recipe" as mom wouldn't just let that go, rather she told the gals to work on memory and do what you love. 

  I sat down with two of my newest favorite people of all time ever to hear their story and throw a little light on their endeavors.... take a listen! 


  I loved everything about this interview.  What a treat to see young people just go for it and to see them take the steps needed to build for themselves.  The food is delicious, their future is very bright and as you can tell....they put as much love into their business as they do their food, and more over, each other.  You can get yourself a taste of The Only Cannoli at the Muskegon Farmers Market or, if you'd like to consider them for your next occasion, you can visit their website by clicking on the photo below.  Our very best wishes to these emerging rock stars of the culinary world!  There will be a day when you will say "I saw them when they were on The Muskegon Channel"

cannoli gals

  Ok, I am going to start right off with some honesty.  I got a message from Brooks Wheeler who owns and operates Muskegon Monument and Stone on Pine Street across from Evergreen Cemetery after we ran the story on The City of the Dead historical event coming up.  I thought.... "Great...a tour of a bunch of computer programmed cutters, a topic people hate...death....and a place they would rather not have to spend a dime, this will be fun."  Yes, even the most positive of us grumble sometimes....but I am here to tell you....what I walked into was breathtaking to say the very least.  I mean truly jaw dropping history of who we are and how things have been done for over 100 years in Muskegon and everything included from the paperwork to the tools it took to do it.  I walked into a living working time capsule and I was just floored at every turn.

  Let's start off with Brooks.  An unassuming cat.  An artisan of the highest order who still does all of his engraving by hand on every stone, minus a little sand blasting.  He painstakingly hand draws ever single carving on the monuments and has hundreds and hundreds of sheets of his work he's done.  If it was something someone loved in life, from NASCAR to the outdoors to their favorite tattoo....Brooks has turned it into a forever engraving.  He's kind, he deals with people who come to him in the hardest times of their lives and, there are those too who come to him well in advance of the inevitable and plan something cool to mark there spot in the forever after.  He's figured out how to handle the emotional state of just about anyone, at any time and that's got to be an essential part of his success.  brooks air compressorFollow Muskegon Monument and Stone On Facebook

  Now, on to the business and building.  Living.  Working.  History.  I have had the good fortune to be in the catacombs of more than one place here in town.  I mean some deep spots where who we are and what we are about is held.  I have also been given the privilege of talking to some of the keepers of our history and of all that, you would be remarkably hard pressed to find a spot in town that has more than Muskegon Monument and Stone.  Every hand written record of their sales back to 1901.  Machinery that still thrives and functions that has been there since the beginning or nearly the beginning and if it has been retired, it's tucked away upstairs or in the back.  Old hand tools, the stove they use to heat the place is #25 in production from the Kalamazoo Stove Company which has been extinct since 1952, and only opened a year after Muskegon Monument and Stone.  The air compressor they use I believe he said is from the 30's and it's still chugging along as solid as a rock.  The floor boards creek....the safe is unbreakable and has an internal surprise in case anyone does try and the over all feeling of nostalgia is overwhelming.  A walk through the unseen at Muskegon Monument and Stone is as exciting as a museum tour anywhere and you'll get an exclusive look in the video below. 

  I don't recall ever meeting Brooks in the past, but we do share some pretty cool mutual friends, so we could have bumped into each other somewhere in the past.  Probably a race track.  His daughter is quite a popular National Anthem singer which he's quick to boast about as anyone would be.  Take a listen to our chat and enjoy the tour.  This is one of the most fun things I have ever been able to see.



  For every time I am standing there shaking my head thinking that what I do and why is hard work.... and how much easier it would be to just go find some job and punch a clock....along comes a guy like Brooks and says.... "Hey, come see this!"  Don't get me wrong... a flood of advertisers wouldn't get turned away, but what a gift it is to be Muskegon's story teller!  Who else gets invited in to see the un-seeable and given the all access pass to the people and places who make us who we are?  Brooks, thanks man!  What a great day!  If you'd like to know more about Muskegon Monument and Stone, click below to visit their website.

mkg monument


  October 5th was the day!  It's what the Muskegon Airport has worked for behind the scenes for years and it's a step to make our airport more viable for the business or leisure traveler looking for the easiest and most hassle free flight experience they can find.  The 6a early flight to Chicago was launched giving people travelling the most convenient connection options in Chicago to any destination they choose.  Up and on your way from one of the best kept secrets in travel, which we're proud to try and help change a little.  After all, who wants to add things like a long drive, and overnight in a hotel, one of those big city park and shuttle services....the crowds...the prices...everything people dread about air travel....all MIA at the Muskegon County Airport.  

  You pull up to a parking lot that's not even 50 yards from the terminal.  You are surrounded by a wonderfully manicured landscape and you enter a low stress environment to board your United flight with no more than 50 other passengers.  Check in is a breeze, security is as solid as you'll find anywhere but the pressure is WAY lower than what you'll find anywhere else and after a very brief wait, you're up and on your way to Chicago to connect with the flight to take you where ever you are heading.  Doesn't that sound much better than the rig a ma roll you find everywhere else?  Add in to that the affordable pricing and the pop up specials you can find if you take a look in advance and are a little flexible with your schedule...it's a value that can't be beat.  What?  You are banking up frequent flyer miles on some other airline?  You might want to look in to United's Mileage Plus Status Match Challenge.  (Hint Hint)  check mkg firstFollow the MKG Airport on Facebook for Up To the Minute Deals

  All of the chat about how great the Muskegon County Airport is, is one thing...but, there is also a need here.  We need to use it or lose it.  Like anything, the competition for this flight schedule is tough.  There are only so many flights and they will go to where they are utilized the best, so if you are planning a flight or taking a business trip, ALWAYS check Muskegon first to see about flights, prices and schedules and specials....we don't want to lose this great option!  There are also plenty of fun options as well at the airport.  Casino get away's are doing great and more are planned and if you need a Winter vacation, you can leave Muskegon at 6a and be in Cancun by 11.  Umbrella drink by 11:05!  Nice!

  Jeff Tripp is the Executive Director of the Muskegon County Airport and he invited me out to talk about the new schedule now that it's up and running.  Take a listen!


  The Muskegon County Airport is a great sponsor of The Muskegon Channel and we appreciate their support.  We also appreciate the hard work it took to bring this vaulable travel option to Muskegon!  If you're travelling....check Muskegon first.  Simple as that.  Protect our own resources and keep our airport alive and well.  To visit the Muskegon County Airport's website and check that schedule and price info, click on the photo below!

Fly Muskegon MKG United

We've enjoyed covering the work that goes on by the M.A.R.S. 4004 Robotics team in Muskeogn for a while now.  They are a group of students from multiple area schools and their advisors who come together to compete in the FIRST robotics competitions that are held all over the country.  They are intensive projects that focus on science, technology, math and team work.  They meet up and work out of the back of local business Pribusin.  Pribusin manufactures quality process controls and instrumentation not far from the Our Lady of Grace Church.  They employ a shop cat to keep an eye out for the occasional mouse.  The family dog is also a regular on the premises as you'll see in our chat here in a little bit.  It's a humble place is what I am getting at, but the truly amazing things that are coming out of it will blow your mind.  More over, the amazingly intelligent young people who are working on the FIRST Robotics projects will make your jaw drop.

When we last visited, they were just past their World Finals appearance back in April in Detroit.  The group was putting their skills to practical use outfitting motorized toy cars for kids with mobility issues.  Yes, "geeks" have heart.  It was a great story where families who never thought their kids would do what "normal" kids do, but the MARS Team made it happen.  There were not many dry eyes when the technology made the kids smile and laugh as the cars zoomed all over the floor at Pribusin. mars rovers robotFollow The MARS 4004 Rovers on Facebook

Well, technology marches on as do the FIRST Robotics teams.  That was last year and this year, their project is called "Destination Deep Space" inspired but the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.  The teams have the title but not the specifics on what needs to be designed just yet and they also have something that will peak the interest of the Muskegon.  They have a destination "West Coast" where the regional teams will converge on Muskegon for the competition at Orchard View High School.  March 14th-16 the eyes of the tech world will be on OV as the competition gets underway with these brilliant young people.  L3 is the first to jump up and want a role in this, truth be told...they are keeping an eye on the competitors as a recruiting tool.  Good for these kids.  

Now it's up to us!  Let's roll out the red carpet.  We're going to have hundreds, maybe even thousands of people in town.  They will be here to brag up their kids.  Boast about their schools.  Take in some of the great dining opportunities, fill the hotels, see the sites and enjoy Spring in Muskegon as nature reflects what we're seeing in the changes of our town.  We're busting at the seams in everything from how we're perceived to the young people we're putting out with smarts...drive and no question in their mind that they can do it.

I got out to the shop to get the details.  I met up with Michael Gerstweiler who is one of the groups advisers along with team members Andrew Uriarte and Harrison McIntyre to talk about the event.  There is a need for some people to help out when it's going on.  They are also interested in hearing from area business and people who might want a sponsorship role.  This is a BIG deal to welcome to Muskegon and something we all need to rally around.  Take a listen to what this program does for our students and out area.



We're ready to rock!!  Deep Space here we come and welcome to Muskegon!  For every story you hear on the news about some kid doing some dimwit thing at school, trust me when I tell you that there are 10 kids doing something great.  So great in fact that they go out and impress the world enough to bring their competition right back home to their own field!  We're going to build toward March with the MARS Rovers and our other area teams who compete in FIRST Robtics.  The countdown is on and we're excited to follow the action leading up to launch at Orchard View on March 14th!!  To be a part of the action, click on the image below to visit their site. 


mars deep space

  We're heading back to the polls pretty soon and no matter where you stand on the entire voting process, making your voice heard is important and your vote is especially important when it comes to making sure our local municipalities have the needed equipment to make sure the services they offer are the most efficient and effective.  Quite often, especially when it comes to a request for money, there will be a lot of voices heard, and some of them get quite loud as to why people shouldn't vote to pay a little extra for essential services.  Let's be honest, no one wants to pay more for anything, but...what if one of those essential services is desperately in need of modernizing on a number of levels, and it's literally a life or death matter we're talking about? Such is the case with the Muskegon Central Dispatch 911 Service.  mcd repsFollow Muskegon Central Dispatch on Facebook

  The need is real and the costs of the old radio technology being used by the Central Dispatch Service are getting to the point that it's actually going to cost people in Muskegon County more to try and maintain the old system and repair the outdated equipment, some of which parts are no longer even available for in the long term.  Combine that with the fact that 74 out of 83 counties in Michigan have already migrated to this newer more functional 800mhz band for communications between all departments, we can see pretty easily that Muskegon County is behind on this needed upgrade.  It's said that the technology in place is the equivalent of "having a cassette tape in a world of streaming music" it's that far behind.  This is also an essential upgrade to give the first responder services of Muskegon County the ability to talk to other teams of responders from around the state.  Currently, if our county services need to communicate to ask for assistance from another agency, all they have is a cell phone.  Imagine trying to place a phone call in the middle of a disaster?  No thanks.  Let's make sure that the bare essentials are covered for those who protect us. 

  The costs?  Well, let's just explain it to ya.  Right now, for 911 service anyone with a cell phone or land line is paying .42 cents a month.  If approved, beginning in July of 2019 that rate will increase and can go no higher than $2.75 per month.  It's an equal share for anyone who might need to dial 911.  It also should be known that Muskegon Central Dispatch is a stand alone service.  They are an independent authority who reports to the state and none of this money being asked for can be diverted to pay for anything else.  It's not a ploy to get a bunch of money into one fund or another so something else can be paid for...this is essential life saving technology that has long been waiting for an upgrade.

  I was invited down to Muskegon Central Dispatch by Shawn Grabinski and she asked Fire Chief Dave Glotzbach of Muskegon Township and Whitehall Chief of Police Roger Squires to join us to talk about the necessity and urgency for this surcharge ballot request.  Take a listen for yourself and learn.... 



  In a time where disaster can happen anywhere, and seems to more and more...this kind of technology is essential.  It's never anything anyone is all fired up about having to pay a little more for essential services, but as a community our safety and the safety of those who are the front line for all of us is paramount.  There's no bait and switch going on.  There's no governmental "bloat".  This is a bare bones essential need for the safety of all of us.  You can read the complete list of nuts and bolts of this needed equipment in the link below.  We have it set to take you directly to the info page at MCD-911's site.  Learn what's needed and please, vote to help pass this for everyone in Muskegon County.

mcd logo


Maybe you're getting pumped up for the game or possibly, you are out for a new taste to wow your family or friends at the next dinner party?  Well, there's one gal in town who's got the answers to life's riddles like this...Chef Char!  She rules the roost down at Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market and specializes in showing YOU how to make the good stuff in ways that are easily understandable, fun and efficient on time!

Today, we're back to the garden.  There is a lot of food coming out of back yards and if not, the local farmers market...so, let's eat it while it's fresh!  How about if we chop it up, mix it up and add a little zip and make a finger food like bruschetta?   It's amazingly simple and the taste is out of this world!  We'll quit wasting time on words and get right to it!!  Here's Chef Char from Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market!

Just as easy as that!!  Doesn't she make it simple and who knew what that amazing brown sauce was that set's off the dish like it does!  When we wrapped shooting, Andy pigged out on what was made, it was all he got to eat that day!  :)  Thank heavens for Chef Char!  If you'd like to join Chef Char at Kitchen 242 for one of her classes, you really should!  They are fun, informative and you'll walk away with skills you never dreamed possible!  You can click on Chef Char's pic below to visit her website and find a schedule of classes she offers!  She's even got cooking classes tailor made for kids!  Help those youngin's out early on with their ability to cook!  The recipe for the bruchetta is at the bottom!!

chef char eb


Tomato mixture:
4 cups fresh diced tomatoes (Roma or plum tomatoes if you have them!)
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup fresh basil, cut chiffonade 
juice of ½ lemon
salt and pepper to taste
Other Ingredients:
1 loaf French bread, cut at an angle in 1/2” to ¾” slices
olive oil or pan spray, as needed for brushing lightly on bread
Shredded Parmesan cheese and extra chiffonade basil for garnish, optional
Preheat oven or grill to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, add fresh diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and basil.  Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.  Lightly coat sliced French bread with olive oil or pan spray.  For oven toasting, line the oiled French bread on a prepared cookie sheet before placing into a preheated oven and toast until a light brown, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove pan from oven, flip all of the bread slices and then top with 1-2 Tablespoons bruschetta.  Place pan back in oven for another 5 minutes.  For grilling, place a sheet of aluminum foil over top of grill grates and line the foil with the oiled French bread.  Toast the bread on one side for about 3 minutes, or until grate marks appear, and flip each slice of bread.  Top with the tomato mixture, about 1-2 Tablespoons and allow to toast an additional 2 or 3 minutes.   Place bruschetta onto a large serving platter.  If desired, garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional fresh basil.  Serve immediately.

Crisp air, leaves starting to turn...all the closed up stores are now fly by night Halloween specialty shops and you've probably already bought a bag or two of "trick or treat" candy that hasn't lasted.  It's October, it's Michigan and it's how it goes.  We all get it.  The haunted attractions will be open soon, there's plenty of "scary" stuff on your Facebook feed as dead deer are hanging there beginning with the youth hunt a couple weeks ago and now that bow season is here....they are hanging in garages all over town.  But, it's also a great time to take that haunted vibe and maybe put a little educational spin on it in a setting like no other... the cemetery! city of dead posterCity of the Dead on Facebook

Not everything surrounding Halloween needs to be a heart attack around every corner.  In fact, in Muskegon you have a chance to come out to a very unique and very educational event focusing on our history....the people who made it and hear them tell it in real life...next to their grave site in the Evergreen Cemetery.  It's the 9th City of the Dead Muskegon and it's happening October 13th and 14th.  You'll find the entry to this event at 400 Irwin Street in Muskegon and tickets are only $5.  This is an event geared toward the whole family, there won't be anyone jumping out at you and there won't be any Zombie Apocalypse happening. There will be actors lovingly appearing in period costumes by the graves of the real history makers in Muskegon talking about the lives they lived, including some of the potentially scandalous events you might not know about, and how Muskegon became the town it is because of their contributions over the years.

This is the 9th year for the event and it brings together people for a number of reasons.  Some like the history, some enjoy the acting and theater part of their role while others, just like the costumes and the chance to represent our forefathers in a way that most will never get a chance to hear about.  It's a living history tour of those who made Muskegon and it happens only 2 days a year.

Jackie Engel got a hold of me again to invite me out to talk about this years event.  We were joined by Bruce Froelich, Ellen Pallasch and and Jessica Sheldon.  We talk about the characters they play and their reason to be so passionate about City of the Dead.  Take a listen!


Take the kids out for a little education that they won't even know hit them!  Then, carry on with the rest of the Halloween fun!  This is an incredible way to learn more about our home and those who made it happen!  Real history speaks to you from where real history was laid to rest.  This is part of our heritage and it's an incredible way to get your learn on before you head out to your cavorting and monster mashing!  We're proud to support this great event in Muskegon.

city of the dead lead


  A week or so ago, a message popped up on my computer wondering if I'd be interested in seeing what Eagle Alloy of Muskegon was all about.  Sure!  I have never seen anything like that up close and I am always kind of fascinated by things I am not really cut out to do.  Believe it or not...I am not one for the attention span it takes to focus on the job at hand at Eagle Alloy.  It's a job of focus, precision and strength.  I am more of an easily distracted artist as you've probably figured over the years, so to be able to see how folks get big jobs like these done is absolutely amazing to me.  I will say however, that over the course of my career, it's always been my great honor to be right next to workers like the folks at Eagle Alloy as their companion on the radio or in some form of media, so when they can grab a few minutes away from the task at hand, I am there to give them something to laugh about...at least that's always been the goal for me. eagle alloyEagle Alloy on Facebook

Eagle Alloy is an employee owned company and in 2015 they very proudly won the Metal Caster of the Year Award from Modern Casting,  The level of pride that you feel from the workers there is amazing and it is felt from the moment you walk in the door till you leave.  On my way out, I even met a woman, who needed a kidney transplant, found a match who also worked at Eagle Alloy and the company backed them BOTH to let the miracle happen of a kidney transplant.  Amazing solidarity among coworkers.  Their first customer came along in 1979 and they have retained them and added over 200 more in the meantime.  They service dozens of industries from agriculture to construction and if you see a Harley-Davidson trike rolling around, you're seeing parts from Eagle Alloy at work!

As the tour got under way, I was joined by a group of students from the Muskegon Career Tech Center.  One of my favorite places in Muskegon.  It's a hands on learning experience for the young people that attend there.  Eagle Alloy extends the opportunity for the students to see in practice what they are learning in books and getting the beginnings of at the CTC.  It's a great way to show young people the opportunities that await them here in Muskegon post education and that they can be part of some pretty amazing endeavors right here hat home.  

The first contact I got was from Mark Hollenbeck who is a Senior Sales Engineer at Eagle Alloy inviting me out and Mark handed me off to Scott Merz who I sat down with to talk a little about what we were to see on the tour.  It's kind of loud in the plant, so...we left the audio out and added a little soundtrack under the process parts.  You'll see the steps from design, to 3-D modeling, the incredible view of the "pour", some finishing, some robotics, some of the applications of their work and then we head into Eagle Precision to see another process they do with wax.  It's a fun and fascinating process, I'd recommend the biggest screen you can find to watch this on!



  Rockin huh?  Just amazing to see how it gets done!!  It's hard work, it's hot work but if you stop and think of just how much won't be possible without the products that Eagle Alloy supplies to industry...we'd be nowhere without them.  Add to that the amount of good, high paying jobs they provide right here in Muskegon and it's pretty easy to see why Eagle Alloy and all of it's associated companies are a true asset to our area!  Can't thank these guys enough for such an amazing experience seeing inside what goes on there.  I give my most sincere tip of the cap to the workers and staff there for the hard work they do!  Amazed!  To learn more about the company, click on the photo below to visit their site!  Word on the street is that they are in serious hiring mode too!!  Need a job.... here's your sign!


eagle group lead

A few years ago, I was scrolling across Facebook and I saw a group of friends up to some shenanigans, I know...surprise...right?  Well, this particular group of people was working on a podcast and they were calling themselves the "COJ"  The Circle of Jerks.  The went out of their way to be cut up's.  The joked about all things Muskegon, they hammered on each other pretty hard and they really pushed the envelope when it came to subject matter.  Hey, it's the internet and it was their thing, so I would watch occasionally but kinda figured it might burn out quick so I didn't think much more about it.  Well, as time went on, that "circle" expanded and contracted some when it came to the original cast and from the podcast thing was born the idea of a Circle of Jerks movie.  Who's to stop anyone from making a movie right?  Well, the COJ movie led to another film project called "You Mad Bro?" and as production was ramping up on that, some one in the group says..."Hey!  You know who would make a great actor to play our dad?  Andy O!!"  Now, here I am appearing in one of their films.  I mean, I kind of see myself as more their age, but I guess since it's the movies we can cast aside any preconceived notions about age. harborVisit Harbor Cinema Online

Through the entire process, I have gotten to know Hank Hawkins a little better and to have watched him grow and develop in his art and his continued desire to write, produce and direct films...I gotta admit...it's pretty contagious.  He's gone from the podcast idea to using what he's got at hand for equipment as well as who he's got at hand for acting to work on projects from inspiration to completion and to be honest, he's kind of mirrored me along the way.  Like we've grown things from the one GoPro we had to start Positively Muskegon with to the truck load of equipment it takes to run what we've got now, Hank and company have upgraded bit by bit, learned by mistakes, reinvested in what they do and worked to grow an audience with both live and recorded events here in town.  All this while maintaining a full time job and being a parent to a 15 year old daughter.  It's one of those growth stories in Muskegon you might not hear about anywhere else.

The production company he's founded is called Red Chunk Productions and their latest film will make it's debut at the Harbor Cinema on October 13th.  "LDR" is short for "Long Distance Relationship" and it's a story of how people try to make things work today with relationships in the middle of all of the technology and social media we are immersed in.  I was able to catch up with Hank and Kyle at Harbor Cinema to talk about the history of their company as well as the premiere coming up, take a listen to our chat below.

Details and tickets are not on Harbor Cinema's page just yet, but keep an eye out for it and buy yourself a ticket!!  You know....I applaud these guys and their efforts.  From the concept to writing and producing and all that entails making a motion picture, they are grinding it out.  It was a fun experience to be in one of their films and as they work on more, we'll keep you up to date on what's next and where you can see it.  It's small films like "LDR" that quite often get picked up by bigger movie production companies and then make their way out to Hollywood, so...I guess we keep our fingers crossed for Hank, Kyle and the rest of the crew at Red Chunk Productions.  Who Knows, maybe someday there will be an "actors colony walk" for the work Hank and friends are doing.  To visit Red Chunk Productions on Facebook, click on their image below, follow along for up to the minute productions, casting calls and more!




ldr red chunk


I got a call from Egelston Grows Green and asked if we'd help spread the news with a little sponsored content.  It has to do with medical marijuana and the production and processing of it in Muskegon, specifically in the Egelston area.  There is a great deal of information both pro and con about the subject and there are many people both for and against the use of marijuana medically and as a recreational substance.  From our perspective, there is plenty of evidence for the medical properties of marijuana and in November, we'll find out what the voters think about the recreational use of marijuana in the state of Michigan.  Knowledge is power however, so we went to visit Egelston Grows Green to share with you the story of their operation and what they will be presenting October 8th at the VFW on Apple Avenue.  eEgelston Grows Green on Facebook

Jack Page is a man of many hats and was the guy who asked me out for the talk.  I didn't know that he had anything to do with the MMJ  industry.  He's got some personal ties to it which you'll hear about in the video and he was also very careful in explaining that what's being built out on Apple Avenue is being followed to the strictest of state guidelines and that they are going to be growing strains of medical marijuana that both include and omit the THC element which seems to be the part that has everyone concerned due to it's hypnotic side effects.  There is mounting research however that the CBD end of the plant has some pretty wide ranging positives for those who suffer anything from arthritis to cancer, seizures to neuropathy and with the mounting opiate problem in the United States, more and more people are seeking different ways to relieve their symptoms or treat the source of the ailment.  

Egelston Grows Green will consist of a grow area, a product production facility where the plants will be turned into the usable products and tested as well as a dispensary that will be on the corner of Apple and Maple Island.  They are currently working with local contractors and builders to get things underway, and when the operation is in full swing, the thought is that the job creation will be well over 100 new jobs.  Plus, there are the other benefits like taxes to the local economy and more.  

As mentioned, Jack Page and I got together to talk about the operation, the upcoming informational seminar and how you can be a part of it Monday October 8th at the VFW on Apple Ave.  6285 Apple Ave specifically.  The event is from 4-7 and there will be food served to those who come to learn more.  Take a listen to our chat below.



Pros and cons are coming from every direction.  The best way to know is to be informed. If you are curious, go.  If you are leery, listen to hear both sides of the story and you are welcome to still think that it's no good for anyone.  As we face the potential for the legalization or recreational marijuana, our stance will be that if used in that manner, the same rules apply as alcohol.  No one under 21 and never drive under the influence.  Our stance is too, that there is enough evidence out there that there are some pretty reasonable arguments to be made for the effectiveness of medical marijuana, and that knowledge is power.  Learn more October 8th.  To visit the Egelston Grows Green website, click on the image below.

egelston grows green

There was a time for me where the Guinness Book of World Records was one of the most important books in the house.  I don't recall how I came to know about the publication, maybe it was in a library or possibly it was the endless stream of shows like "That's Incredible" or "Real People" the managed to have some sort of world record attempt on every week.  I remember being obsessed.  Who had the longest mustache?  Remember the guy with the world longest fingernails?  (Gross) and of course there was the worlds tallest man, world fattest lady, oldest man alive...most to ride on one motorcycle...Siamese twins were always a hit.... it was hours of fascination and it was always a conversation starter with your neighborhood buddies and an easy way to make fifty cents over a bet if they questioned your trivial knowledge on the who, what and where of the world.  Guinness has been going strong since the 50's and attempts continue at all of the above and more.

We've even had a recent attempt.  Meet Adrianne Lewis.  She's a student who's out to be an acting teacher.  Acting seems to run in the family.  Her brother Luke lands starring roles in The Penguin Project here in town.  He was "Daddy Warbucks" in last years production of Annie Jr. and this year, he'll be taking the stage as "Aladdin" when the Penguin Project plays at the Frauenthal October 20th and 21st.  Adrianne herself appeared this past summer on "The Gong Show" with Mike Meyers who's disguised as a character "Tommy Maitland" and there was serious question if it really was Mike at first he goes so deep in to character.  adri lukeAdrianne and Her Brother Actor Luke Lewis

I saw the first part of her record attempt on a Facebook video, and since I am pretty good friends with her dad I shot her a message and asked if she'd be willing to come by and show us her record attempt and talk a little about what it takes to even try to get in the famed book.  We met up out at Muskegon Community College to talk about what's entailed and how it went....take a listen.






A nice Sunday morning story!  Something fun and a local gal willing to take a shot at a world record!  Many thanks to Adrianne for coming by for a few minutes.  As we left, she wanted to make sure that you knew the invite is open to all to come check her brother out in The Penguin Project - Aladdin Jr at the Frauenthal.  It's an amazing performance with the No More Sidelines kids and The Muskegon Civic Theater.  You can get details and tickets below!



  The Buster Keaton Film Festival 2018 will be held at the Frauenthal Center Saturday, October 6 at 8:00 pm. Here at The Muskegon Channel we've interviewed Ron Pesch at the Muskegon County CVB. Ron is a local historian and a member of the International Buster Keaton Society. In the video we talked about the festival, a little bit about Buster Keaton for those who might not be familiar with him, the connection between Buster and Muskegon, and what it means to have a event like this in town. In the video you will also find out why Buster Keaton calls Muskegon his home featuring his early childhood drawing.

 Video (10:56)


  This year there is a special early screening of a documentary "The Great Buster - A Celebration" by Peter Bogdanovich, and also a Keaton short film The Love Nest (1923) accompanied by the mighty Barton Organ at the Frauenthal Center (Video History Tour Of The Frauenthal Center can be Found Here). Tickets are $8 per person or $20 for a family pass available at the box office.

The Andrews Sisters made the song famous and the entire country was dancing to the beat of the "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" way back when.  It was an inspirational war time song deigned to keep spirits up and help the USA trudge through some pretty tough times.  Recorded on January 2nd 1941 the attack on Pearl Harbor was almost a year away and D-Day wouldn't come until 1944 but the national mindset was already thinking that there probably wasn't much of a way around what was to come.  WWII would divide the world and define the "Greatest Generation".  Every part of history has had some pretty incredible moments where we've been tested and through those tests we've defined ourselves, and we've had some that have stood out.  ariFollow Ari on Facebook

While not the original "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" Muskegon's connection to the legend was a man named Clarence Zylman.  Clarence Zylman served his country as a bugler, playing reveille in his own boogie-woogie style. He became a military legend as the bugler who got the troops up with a jitterbug in their step. He was an ordinary man who led a remarkable life, and, thanks to an extraordinary song, will forever be known as Muskegon’s Own Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  Born in Muskegon and trained on the streets of Chicago, he toured the country as a professional trumpeter helping to lead a musical revolution, featuring a new boogie-woogie sound.  He joined the Army in his 40's and took on the famed role.  

November 10th, 2018, near the LST 393 Veterans Museum, a public event will be held to dedicate a life-size bronze sculpture of Clarence Zylman. Installed prominently along Lakeshore Drive, Zylman faces east towards the rising sun, forever playing reveille to wake Muskegon. But the story gets even more local.  The sculptor is a Reeths-Puffer grad!

boogieEvent Information on The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Unveiling

Meet Ari Norris!  The son of a local teacher and avid fan of history and art, Ari took the path less traveled and took off for a sculptors apprenticeship for years to learn his art.  Meticulous work, dedication to perfection and the honoring of centuries of the craft Ari is now beginning to have his work placed around the country.  Recently, his bronze dedication to Doris Rucks at Muskegon Community College was unveiled and as you can probably guess, November 10th Ari's work will be celebrated once again Downtown Muskegon by the LST 393 when the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is dedicated.

I caught up with Ari at Muskegon Community College near the Doris Rucks piece to talk about his life path and career decisions.  What it takes to become a sculptor and how it feels to have such important work pop up around his home town.  Take a listen.

Remarkable to see a local guy take off on a road less traveled and willing to make a dream become a reality.  The blending of art and passion is never an easy thing and the effort and determination it takes to enter a world like Ari has...that takes some guts.  We have much to celebrate in this young man and as his career unfolds on a world stage, maybe someday it will be the artist himself we're celebrating here in town with an unveiling.  We can only hope.  Thanks to Ari for a few minutes and if you'd like to visit his website, click on the image below!

ari art

Tomatoes are falling off the vines around here now a days, and it's up to Chef Char to show you what to do with them right?  Well, lucky for all of us she's got the keys to Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market and she's got the secret to the freshest salsa, or Pico de Gallo, or Salsa Fresca you've ever heard of!

This one, is a piece of cake!  Some chopping, some gloves and a few "secret" ingredients which you'll see to round out the over all flavor and taste and you are in for a game day treat or a healthy snack with a little zip!  You'll get the entire recipe right at the bottom, but for now...watch Chef Char work her magic down at Kitchen 242!

 There it is!  Quick and easy right?  This one is for sure, but if you'd really like to learn how to cook like a pro, Chef Char has all kinds of ways for you to enjoy a night out at Kitchen 242 while she teaches you the tricks of the trade!  Impress your friends.....wow your next date... be the hit of the next family party!  Have some fun while learning a new skill with Chef Char!  You can find a link to Chef Char's website by clicking on the photo below!  Join her or maybe bring your kids to one of her youth oriented classes, you'll really enjoy the experience.

chef char eb

Pico de Gallo/Salsa Fresca/Fresh Salsa
1 large sweet white onion, diced (about 2 cups)
8 cups diced fresh garden tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded, small dice
3 serrano or hot chili peppers, small dice
juice of 1 lime
½ cup fresh cilantro, minced or whole leaves removed from stems
salt and pepper to taste
Clean vegetables and cut according to directions. Use gloves when working with the hot peppers. In a large mixing bowl, add each ingredient and lightly stir. Refrigerate before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.

The Power of Peace.  We could all use a little right?  What's the definition of peace to you though?  Is it a quiet lake?  Maybe a nice book to read on a weekend morning?  Well for some, peace like that seems absolutely unattainable. Life circumstances, addiction, crime, desperation feelings of abandonment and the end result of ending up with the wrong people in your life can lead to a life that no one ever imagined.  I don't know of anyone born with the dream of one day becoming part of the prison system and being part of the revolving door that seems to hold so many, for so long and give them little or no chance to find their way out, let alone correctional measures to reshape their lives and turn into the problem.  But, day after day....people end up there.  If you know my story, you know it could easily have been me through my years of drinking and it's only by an act of grace I didn't end up part of it.  Today, I try to be a small part of the solution for those who are behind bars.  It's not much going to the county jail once a week to tutor reading, but if I can connect with one person during the time I have there to help, it will be a success. kit headshotFollow Kit on Facebook

There are those however, who can reach people who are incarcerated on a much bigger level.  I mean agents of change who've been down a bumpy road for a while themselves and then found their way to recover from their haunts and take that message to those who most desperately need to hear it in the prisons.  Meet Kit Cummings.  Kit is an author, a teacher and visionary who's founded the Power of Peace Project and he's bringing his message to Muskegon October 14th.  His first speaking engagement is open to the public and will be help at the New Life Christian Center at 10a.  The location is 1624 Hoyt Street.  From there, he heads off to Brooks Correctional for a discussion with the inmates there to talk about working to establish what he has in some of the countries most difficult prisons.....peace among the inmates which hopefully can lead to actual change while they are in doing time and keep them from having to go back.  This isn't just a story about a guy coming to speak to prisoners though.  How about we reach people BEFORE they get into trouble?  

On Monday October 15th the message will be brought to Fruitport High School and Muskegon Middle School.  The Power of Peace begins in the formative years.  The years when we start to see our groups defined, our personalities formed and the entire "who's cool" mentality gets set.  What if our young people had the chance to think differently?  What if they were given the tools they need to understand the power of building each other up instead of finding ways to tease or bully?  What if the kid who's buried in the back of the room doing his art was celebrated as much as the star quarterback of the school football team?  What if the understanding that our true power lies in the diversity we all share was known to the next generation earlier and we could lay to rest what sets people off to a life of problems which could lead to prison?  Well, all those "what if's" lead to true change and to help that happen even for a few is a remarkable thing. 

Kit spent a few minutes with me this morning from his home in Atlanta to talk about his work and his passion, and yes...we sure found some common ground in our pasts.  Take a listen to his message here.


I remember back in the day.  The guest speaker would come to school and tell us all the horror stories of their drinking and drugging.  We even got the biggest and loudest one year, Toma!  He came right to school and told us that junkies would actually shoot up in their eye.  Hopefully, it grabbed a kid or two, but it sure didn't me.  I was going to be the alcoholic and that was that.  Today, Kit is offering a better message and one based not on "scared straight" but one more on binding all of us together to see the best in all of us. How do we find the "least of our brothers" and lift them up?  What does it take from all of us to forgive?  How do we all grow from extending peace instead of judgement?  It's a message that should carry far and wide, and we're very fortunate to have Kit coming back to Muskegon to bring his thoughts on all of it.  If you'd like to learn more about Kit, please, visit his website below.


Kit Cummings

  Andy shared a few insight of being a pig farmer at Lewis Farm, and you can also see all the fun activities they offer, Pig Race, Dog Show, Corney Barn, Bird Aviary,  Duck Race and many more, also all the farm animals including Jeffrey the Camel. Be sure not to miss the big finale of the infamous candy canon at the end.

 Video - Fun at Lewis Farms (2:27)


Visit Lewis Farms & Petting Zoo's website here. Or stop by at 4180 West M-20 New Era, Michigan 49446

 Lewis Candy Cannon

  Be honest, when's the last time you stopped at your local library? Do you know Muskegon Area District Library (MADL) has 10 branches throughout the county? From Holton to Ravenna, and Montague to Norton Shores, even a branch for the blind and physically handicapped on Airline Road. I have to admit I am one of them that don't stop by the library enough. But my "losing streak" ended last Thursday when the Norton Shore Branch was having their Thursday night music club featuring Shout! - a premier Michigan Beatles cover band. Due to the weather they moved the event from the Library to Mona Shore High School's auditorium, let's take a look at that rocking place.

 Video - Shout! at Thursday Night Music Club (1:09)


  The library business sure has evolved with time. Besides books, movies, and CD you can physically check out, they also provide downloadable books and music. Aside from that, they also host many different events at all the different branch for all different ages. From Story Time for toddlers, Lego club, after school movie, family fun night, Bow Wow Readers (a children read aloud program with certified therapy dogs and handler), Create on Canvas, to Stretch and More with certified trainer with the Arthritis Foundation. Everything I have mentioned is just a fraction all the events and programs MADL offers in their 10 different branches. Let's take a look at some of the highlight from their news letter.

madl events

  Sounds pretty exciting right? You really should stop at your local library, get a news letter and check out what's happening. Fine, I'll save you some running around even though I strongly recommend the aforementioned, you can also visit http://www.madl.org to learn more, or here is a direct link to their falls newsletter in PDF.

 Derek Wong - The Muskegon Channel 2018

I've never been very anonymous when it comes to the whole "anonymity" part of my alcoholism.  It's been 15 years since I have had a drink and I understand that while some may need to remain anonymous in their recovery, a huge part of keeping sobriety is being willing to give it away to others who are still stuck in addiction.  I am a firm believer that addiction is a multi level issue and that the substance is only part of the overall problem.  Self medication to treat an underlying issue is what addiction is all about, and once that "easier path" is found with self medication it's progressive and can lead to the end and to blame the addict is like yelling at a child for spilling milk.

In Muskegon.  We don't have an inpatient care center for those who suffer from addiction, even though we are number 1 in the state for the problem.  We also don't have a lot of doctors that are able, or willing for that matter to treat people who are addicted medically for a number of reasons.  One, because of the specialized training it takes to use medications like Suboxone and quite sadly, some shy away from treating addiction because of the stigma of the whole thing.  On a very personal level....even though I was "just an alcoholic", I wouldn't be alive today had I not had an inpatient detox when my days were done.  I could have never quit without the inability to go get more.  I needed to be isolated for a few days, monitored for a heart attack because of the volume I drank and had I not had all that, I wouldn't have made it through the first night.  I would have drank myself to death, end of the story.  Alcohol is hard to break, and opiates are even harder, and that is today's issue. anchor of hopeClick Here for Tickets To Anchor Of Hope

There is hope though.  The Salvation Army of Muskegon introduced their Turning Point program here a while ago.  It's a multi level approach to treating those addicted to opiates, prescription or otherwise that does include a doctor who can treat with Suboxone, inpatient care as needed at the beginning in Grand Rapids and then, comprehensive outpatient recovery and monitoring after the initial detox to help those suffering from their addiction make the turn to a life beyond their greatest imagination free of the chains they found themselves in.  The program based in Grand Rapids had so many people from Muskegon going there, they decided to get it going here and they currently have 40 people in recovery and working toward a new life, post addiction.  

This all takes some funding of course.  There will be an event on board the LST 393 on September 25th to help raise some money to go toward the treatment and recovery of these folks.  Ryke's will cater, there will be personal stories of those who have "been there" when it comes to addiction and you'll get to understand a little better the work that's going on and how the needs are being met.  This is a great opportunity to help out and take a step in the right direction to end this slavery for someone.

I met with Captain Chris Karlin of the Salvation Army and Robin Henshaw also of the Salvation Army to learn a little more about the program and the event.  I should add, that I don't pull many punches when it comes to addiction, recovery, resources and instances I have been a part of.  Take a listen.

Folks, I am no saint.  Never claimed to be and don't think that I am better than anyone for a second.  My addiction began when I was 12 and progressed until I was 33.  I know first hand how utterly devastating addiction is not only to the person suffering it, but to everyone around them.  You can't buy your way out of it, you can't hope it goes away, you can't shun those who are wrapped up in the never ending insanity of trying to reach that higher high because they can't find their way out.  There is NO reason I am alive today other than to be able to try and grab a soul or two when I can and pull them out of their addiction and on top of that, there is NOTHING that hurts more than when you try to make that happen and fail.  We need better treatment options.  We need better understanding of the root cause of addictions and we need to be willing to end the shame and stigma surrounding those who suffer.  If the Salvation Army is willing to help people take that first step, we'll be right here helping them spread that word.  To learn more about the Salvation Army of Muskegon, you can click on the image below to visit their website.




  Love Lives Here!  We work to show you that day in and day out!  Muskegon is a great place filled with good people who strive to make a difference.  It came to be last year that a level of hate was sweeping across the country and Rotary of Muskegon decided that it was time to add another voice saying that here in Muskegon, we wouldn't take it.  It was a local incident that sparked the need for a gathering as you may recall, or, you may not...and honestly, that's fine.  Why should a cowardly act of hate be brought back out into the light?  Carry that positive vibe forward and let those who try to tread on it wallow in their own misery. rotary muskegon logoVisit Muskegon Rotary Online

This year, Love Lives Here was celebrated once again at Hackley Park on Monday September 17th and the gathering attracted a key note speaker in Molly Barker who is the founder of Girls on the Run and went on to found The Red Boot Way working on teaching intentional communication where self awareness, connections and trust grow.  Molly shared some thoughts with the attendees, and our Derek Wong was on hand to catch her message....take a listen.

 VIDEO - Molly Barker


Love does live here!  Work to be a part of it.  This is our community after all and we are stewards of it. We have a new day dawning in Muskegon and a clean slate in front of us. Let love grow.  


Love Lives Here Reflection 1920

Time to get the blood pumping!  Yes, for a weekend after Labor Day, it sure still felt like Summer out there.  Needless to say, you might have been out living it up and are reading this thinking..... "Do I have to?". Ya, you kinda Do.  Hey!  It's the investment in you we're talking about so let's get you movin'!

We're back at The Gym located on the 4 corners in North Muskegon after a few glorious weeks at Ross Park.  This is our home facility and it should be yours too!  It's got everything you need.  It's got a grown up feel and you'll be treated like a friend and neighbor, not some card holder who signed up for a membership online.  

Let's get to it!  It's Episode 66 of Fit and Healthy With Becky on the Muskegon Channel!

Boom!  JUst like that!  Do it again, share it with friends get the most out of it and....if you want more, get it!  Becky is a Certified Personal Trainer and has openings in both group settings and one on one focused training.  You can click on the photo below to visit Becky's website!  Here's to your health!


You hide behind a mask for a number of reasons.  Sometimes it's for fun, others it's to add some mystery and others, the mask might not be visible, but it's silently there.  These are the kind of masks that everyone wears sometimes.  We all have elements of life we hide behind.  Maybe it's something we're not quite as good at as everyone else.  Maybe it's a family issue.  It could be something we can control or something we have not control over at all.  Our masks are part of who we are, even if it's just a mask you put on to grind it out during hard times until things clear up...we all know what it is to "grin and bear it."  There are however those who's masks hide much deeper scars that no one ever planned on getting in life.  Situations of unimaginable anguish and things so difficult to talk about, it's a mask that may never be able to come off.  behindthemask postcard final 2018 1Click Here to Get Tickets to Behind The Mask

We're talking about human trafficking.  Specifically sex trafficking and it's more prevalent than you might ever imagine.  Sex Trafficking is defined as an adult that is being exploited for commercial sex through Force, Fraud or Coercion, or anyone under the age of 18 that is being exploited for commercial sex.  It's happening right here, and right now.  It's happening in neighborhoods like yours and it's happening to kids you'd least imagine likely to ever encounter such a problem.  We're not talking about some creeper hanging around the local super center trying to throw a burlap bag over some kids head and run off with them in a van.  More often than not, trafficking victims are coerced by a friend or relative.  Maybe an older person that seems trustworthy at first, but in the long run their intentions are to win favor with the victim by "grooming" them and then, when the victim feels that they "owe" the person grooming them something, they are stuck.  That's where the mask comes in.  How can they live with the shame they face now that they are being used for a for profit sex operation?  They don't have to, breaking the taboo and ending the cycle is what The Hope Project USA is all about.

Based in Muskegon, The Hope Project USA is a resource and recovery operation for female victims of sex trafficking.  A woman, or a girl, can come to them for help and know that they will find caring, compassion, rehabilitation protection and more as they try to bring themselves back from the devastation of being trafficked.  Founded in 2006 The Hope Project not only works to help the victims, it works to educate the public of how trafficking works and what to look for.  It's a multi-faceted approach to the crisis and they are boots on the ground here in Muskegon to help end the problem.

hope usa

It takes some money to provide for these women and the outreach to educate others, so like we always do in Muskegon, we roll up our sleeves and get to work on drumming up a few bucks.  November 3rd there will be a gala affair at the Watermark 920.  There will be glitz and glamour.  There will be a LIVE red carpet walk up on The Muskegon Channel for the attendees and the evening will be filled with great food from Ryke's, entertainment, silent auction, 50/50's and more.  There will be presentations, dancing, the list goes on and on.  While it's a fun night, it's with purpose, and that's to protect the vulnerable among us and find those that prey on them and put an end to it. 

Mary Suarez is the Lead Ambassador for The Hope Project and we sat down to talk about the event and some of the fun to be found at the Watermark on November 3rd.  Take a listen.



 Let's be honest.  Who wouldn't love to sweep this under the rug and never talk about it again?  Who wouldn't love to forget about all of the "bad things" like addiction, poverty, homelessness, strife, greed and evil.  We've made great strides in so many of these areas.  We can openly discuss them and face the problems head on.  Why should we think of those pulled into the sex trade industry against their will any differently?  The Hope Project USA helps their survivors come out from Behind the Mask and go on to a live a life of freedom and self worth and that is something an entire community can get behind.  We'll see you November 3rd at the Watermark.  To learn more about The Hope Project click below to  visit their website.

hope project 3

They say, that the first person that will live to be 150 has already been born.  Can you imagine that?  Think of what they will have seen in that span of time.  The amount of history that is held in a span of even 100 years is monumental.  The amount of change, innovation, invention, process' and everything.  Even the people who will come and go over the course of a century.  It's a really long long time.  Well, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce has a little celebrating to do...in fact, they are sandwiched right in the middle of that 100 and 150 year mark as 2018 commemorates 125 years of advocating and assisting the Muskegon Area business community. chamber 125Visit the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Online

Making sure the climate is good for business is the main goal of the Chamber.  If you are not in business, think about things like advocacy for the area...if a business is going to consider coming to town, they are going to check out the chamber.  Think about best practices.  What are business in need of to make their business better for their employees and our community?  Where is a good place to network and meet other who are looking to build and grow business to help provide for the next 125 years?  It's at the Chamber.  Keep in mind too...the Chamber hosts some pretty incredible events like The Muskegon Art Festival, The Lakeshore Home Expo, Business for Breakfast and more!  It's an active part of the community and made up of people who eat, sleep and breathe Muskegon!

So, let's party!! Thursday September 20th there will be a members only reception at the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  One of those networking opportunities for the membership.  For the non members, the celebration spills over to Saturday September 22nd when the Muskegon Heritage Museum will be open to the public, free of charge courtesy of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber Of Commerce.  You are welcome to come down and see the industry that has moved Muskegon over the years, the industry that continues to drive us and gain a little more appreacition for this wonderful place we call home.  I had a chance to sit down with Cindy Larson from the Chamber today to talk a little about the history, the mission and the events.  Take a listen.

A former broadcaster herself!  (I never knew that till today).  Cindy is always great to catch up with and find out a little more about what's going on at the Chamber and around town.  If you're a member of the Chamber, don't miss the event Thursday at the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  If you are up for a tour and would like the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber to treat you and the family, their give back to you as a thanks for 125 years of success is Saturday September 22nd.  Please, show your support by attending those events.  To get an idea of what you'll find at the Muskegon Heritage Museum, click on the logo below and visit their website.  

mkg htg muslead


We've taken you on a visit or two in the past to the Muskegon Heritage Museum.  It's located on Western Avenue in Downtown Muskegon, nestled between The 557 Cafe and The Health Project, the Muskegon Heritage Museum centers on the industry that has thrived in Muskegon over the years.  From the celery fields to the corner store, the industry large and small is all in focus and it's an absolutely tremendous salute to what's made us the community we are.  It's curated by an incredible staff who take such amazing pride in what they have on hand.  They lovingly tell the story about every display from The Cobb Plant to Continental Motors, our Lumbering Era, foundaries...you name it.  Even Raggdy Ann gets a nod for her time here in Muskegon. heritage museumFind the Muskegon Heritage Museum on Facebook

Well, as Muskeogn grows, so does the need for display space in the Museum and over the last couple of years, they have expanded to add the second floor of the beautiful building.  Great for the exhibits, but...problematic if you have a hard time with steps and want to see what's been added.  Well, like anything in Muskegon that needs doing, The Heritage Museum along with some pretty amazing folks from town rolled up their sleeves to find the funds it took to make building renovations happen and an elevator being added a reality so now, anyone can truly enjoy the rich heritage of the industry that's made Muskegon move over the years.

Ann Dake invited us down to bring you the ceremonies at the Heritage Museum and we just let the cameras roll to capture the event in in entireity.  Have a look!





 All this and, on September 20th, there will be a 125th Anniversary Celebration for the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce at the museum!!  Stay tuned to the Muskegon Channel for details coming soon!  

It's an amazing visit in Muskegon.  It's a part of our story and if you've never taken the time to visit, it's time.  If you're bringing frineds in from out of town or would just like your kids to see the rich heritage we have here, an hour or two in the Muskegon Heritage Museum is time well spent.  Our thanks to The Dake family for the invite!  To visit the museum website, click on the image below.mkg htg muslead



It's one of those diseases.....sooner or later, like cancer, diabetes or maybe high blood pressure, you are going to know someone or someone effected by Alzheimer's Disease.  It's an incredibly devastating and incurable disease that effects over 5 MILLION Americans, 200,000 of which are under the age of 65.  It's not just a matter of "Grandpa being forgetful".  It's a matter of this progressive disease starting to effect memory and working it's way to other parts of your brain's functions like remembering to eat, or remembering to breathe or even remembering to keep your heart beating.  If you've ever seen it's effects, you basically watch a life erased while a person is still there.  Hard to watch, but imagine being in the mind that is going through that?  All of the sudden, loved ones are strangers?  The home you lived in your whole life seems like a strange place?  You can't remember how to get places....what you like to do......it's a horror story playing out in the windmills of your mind and there's only one way out, the end. alzleadFollow Alzheimer's Assoc of Greater Michigan on Facebook

The work continues.  The Alzheimer's Association continues to do all they can to research, advocate, advise, lobby and more.  The struggle continues too as there is no known cure although there have been some signs of promise when it comes to treating the symptoms of this dreadful disease.  It's a global battle with the greatest minds available trying to unlock the mystery of what triggers the onset of Alzheimer's, what causes the spread and what can hold off the effects as long as possible so people can make the most of their life while trying to hang on to hope.  That's where the communities and families effected by this disease come together to battle it head on.  Sure, it's a David and Goliath story, but I don't know a soul who's not willing to fight to hang on and beat the odds.  It's also a magnificent opportunity to see that in the coming together for a cause, that you're not alone in the struggle.  No, in fact, you have friends and neighbors that are facing the same thing you are and that isolation is the last thing anyone needs in a challenging time like this.

Get involved!  The Walk to End Alzheimer's is coming up at Heritage Landing September 22nd.  This is an opportunity to help those effected by this disease as well as those who support them.  It's a chance to learn a little more about some of what's going on in and around ALzheimer's and on top of that, it's a chance to network with others who are going through the same thins you are.  It's a short walk and a beautiful setting at Heritage Landing in Muskegon and the impact you can have, can be monumental.  I had a chance to talk with Tim Breed and Erin Murphy from The Alzheimer's Association a little about the walk at Tanglewood, take a listen.

It's hard to believe that we have another disease that has to be a "sooner or later".  We do.  It's great to pitch in to help with what you can by raising some funds, this is true.....every penny helps, but over all, it's knowing that the work is going on....it's knowing that others are sharing the experience, it's knowing that for all you do to help those close to you who suffered or are suffering, that you did just a little more to help them.  Make sure you're at the Walk to End Alzheimer's on September 22nd at Heritage Landing in Muskegon.  For more on the event and to get registered, you can click on the image below to visit the Alzheimer's Association website.

walk fb page


  On September 7th 2017 was United Way of The Lakeshore's Day of Caring 2018 (previously mentioned in this article). Quickly rewind, Day of Caring is an event where volunteers will be assisting 19 local families with minor home repairs. We have followed them along all day, from start to finish. Here's the story about Day of Caring: OPERATION UNITED with one of our local veteran in need.

Video - Day of Caring Muskegon 2018


  Thank you to United Way Of the Lakeshore and All of the Volunteers to make Muskegon a better place. Special thanks to Ssgt Furst and the Arconic's team to make this video possible. Learn more about United Way of the Lakeshore website or facebook and join them next year.

 Derek Wong 2018 - The Muskegon Channel

Well it’s that time of year again. You know when the air starts to get that crisp bite in the mornings, the kids go back to school, and the craving for pumpkin spice and apple cider start to set in. It’s also the same time that the Sportsmen for Youth bring back the Youth day.
This year on September 8th from 9am-3pm Youth Day will be held out at the Muskegon County Fairgrounds. You are going to want to come early and line up for this awesome FREE family event. People starting lining up as early as 8am because kids who are 17 and younger will receive a free T-shirt as well as a free lunch. There will also be many raffles that your child may enter for a chance win amazing prizes that will be available throughout the day. trout pondFind Sportsmen for Youth On Facebook
When you come and visit the firemen at their booth you will be able to experience them tear into a car with the jaws of life, learn how to get out of a house that is full of smoke (the smoke will be fake and totally ok for you to be in), and that is just some of the fun that will be going on with them. There is also a chance to be able to see an army helicopter and some of our brave soldiers.
There is so many hands-on activities for your children to do from Cabela's at booth #48, the Muskegon 4-H petting zoo booth #77, Nature Discovery- Reptile Exhibit booth #29, the Boy Scouts, a see through tank the size of a semi trailer, shooting areas off all kinds and so so much more we also have to take time and remember all of the people that are no longer with us. September 11th is right around the corner and at noon there will be a tribute to honor all of the people whose lives were lost and those who help in the minutes, days and years to follow. Posting of the colors with the Norton Shores Police/Fire Honor Guard will begin at 12 followed by the National Anthem being sung by the Leffring sisters and Amazing Grace will be performed by Muskegon Regional Police Pipes and Drums. All of this can be seen at booth #23.
To visiti the Sportsmen For Youth websitte, click on the photo below.  Here you can find a couple more short clips on things you may see throughout the day. You will also find the event program and map that has a photo of booths, events and times you will find all of these activates going on. Its time to get our kids outdoors again, see you there.
sports for youthlead

We're proud to have the United Way of The Lakeshore as a sponsor and partner in the work we do.  We're also proud to support the work that goes on with the United Way to help SO many in our community.  The 100th Anniversary celebration continues this year and as we get closer to the kick off of their campaign, so too approaches the Day of Caring.  It's a remarkable day where individuals and groups come together to get some jobs done around town that might otherwise not get taken care of for people who could use a hand, but might not otherwise ask.  It's community building at it's finest and it's been going on for 25 years in Muskegon.  uwlsLearn More About the Day of Caring

First off, let's talk about groups.  Area business will dedicate the day as a community service day.  Yes, it's a break from the desk or the work station for employees to change things up a bit.  They get to take a break from the "norm" and do something for the greater good.  You may find some civic groups participating as well.  It's a team building endeavor as much as it is a chance to let employees see that their actions can make a difference in the lives of their neighbors.  It's not always a big check or a giant sacrifice that makes a difference, it's a chance to help around the house or the yard.  Maybe tackle a painting job that needs to be done or some small home repairs that have been put off far too long.  Some business will send the entire team, some will send what they can spare, but...their collective efforts will impact the lives of those who need a hand and have been selected by the United Way for the chance to get one.  Individuals are also encouraged to participate.  You don't need anything more than the willingness to show up, put some elbow grease in on a project and do your part to help better the life of someone.

That someone?  This year, area veterans have been chosen the beneficiaries of the program.  Those who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for all of us will be getting the hand.  The United Way worked hand in hand with The Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs to find a list of candidates.  The day kicks off with breakfast at the United Way, the work assignments begin and then there's a wrap up lunch for those who helped to follow.  It all leads right into the seasonal campaign for the United Way.  It's a great kick off!

I met up with Christine Robere and Dominique Bunker at the United Way to talk about the event and how you can be involved.  Take a listen.

Hundreds of people coming together to help.  A day spent "out of the box" and doing something for someone who may never be able to repay the deed.  Those are the kind of days that are truly rewarding.  The United Way's Day of Caring is a great way to participate, but it doesn't have to end there.  If you know of a neighbor that needs a hand, offer it.  If you see an area that needs to be picked up, do it.  It's the small things that add up to what the United Way works for every day....community building.  Stay tuned to the Muskegon Channel for a full recap of the events of the Day of Caring.  Our Derek Wong will be out following along and we'll show ya what got done!

We're up to episode 64 of Fit and Healthy with Becky on The Muskegon Channel!  Becky is breaking out the dumbells and putting a little extra weight on the work out to help you tone up and look great!  We're in Ross Park still since the weather is so wonderful and we're blessed with such an amazing area to play in!

As always, plenty of water...warm up...stretch out and consult a physician before you start this or any work out program!  We're off to the park for episode 64!

Look at you!  You look better already!!  We can see through the web.  :)  If you dig it, get a hold of Becky for a little more!  Your choice!  Maybe a group setting at The Gym or possibly a one on one training opportunity.  She does it all!  You can visit her website by clicking below!


MUSKEGON, MI - Thousands of people gathered on Pere Marquette Beach for the annual Burning Foot Beer Festival. The event featured breweries that is located in the great lakes region. The festival also featured local art and food from four local restaurants, with the flaming "Hop Tower" as the center piece. Live music features local and national acts, for this year it included EVE6, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Mustard Plug, Flexadecible and Brother James on a waterfront stage as well as a smaller acoustic area. Many of the visitors camped on the three different temporary camp sites specifically created for the event, while the tent site being right on the beach with the incredible view of Lake Michigan and the Muskegon light houses.

Video - Burning Foot Beer Festival 2018



Burning Foot   Derek Wong / The Muskegon Channel 2018

It was a somewhat rainy Friday in Norton Shores, and that made for some last minute changes in plans for Andrew and Sarah Conklin who opened the doors of the Dirty Dog Self Serve Pet Wash & Supplies 4 months ago.  But a little rain wasn't going to stop the fun, after all there were 500 hot dogs that needed to be eaten and 10 contestants waiting to get into action to see who'd come out on top in the first hot dog eating contest at the newly formed business.  So, they just moved it all inside and got things underway. dirty dogGive The Dirty Dog a Like on Facebook

The inspiration for the business came up when the couple decided to do something they were passionate about.  A great step in any life, and it doesn't hurt either that they have a great dane that's the size if a small horse.  They saw a need and a growing love for all things pet in our world and said that they were going all in on bringing a much needed business to the Lakeshore and located it where people from Grand Haven to Montague could have easy access to an affordable option to care for their pets at a price that's not going to break the bank.  Some time put in and some investment into the wash tubs...and voila...The Dirty Dog opened for business.  They gave it the "soft opening" for a couple months and then, figured it was time to get put on the map with a fun event to plant their flag.

They spread the word on social media. They had friends and family buzzing about it, they even got an invite from Fox 17 to stop by and talk about the fun.  The contestants entered "the ring" and met the crowd like pro wrestlers.  We met them all and found out a little about them.  The hot dogs were planted, the water was there and the countdown began.  10 minutes to eat as many as they could!  Take a look at the video to see how it all went down.

Video - Hot Dog Eating Contest


What's not to celebrate about a new business....a business we didn't really have till it came along as well and a fun way to have a grand opening.  Prizes were won, fun was had and anyone in attendance was welcomed to enjoy a hot dog dinner after the contest was over.  All in all, a great event and a great welcome to Norton Shores for The Dirty Dog Pet Wash & Supplies.  Who's in for next years contest?  They are already planning it and we'll see if this years champ can retain the title!

 Dirty Dog

The Dirty Dog Self-Serve Pet Wash
1036 E Sternberg Rd, Muskegon, MI 49444

 The Muskegon Channel 2018



It's a great day for us at The Muskegon Channel.  We're welcoming a new sponsor to the work we do in Shoreline Vision and we've got a little history with this great practice.  

Going back to my radio career, I have been able to work with Shoreline Vision on a few things.  I have even been there for eye care, repairs on my glasses a visit to, "Sis" who is the first face you'll see when you walk in, and who is truly like a second mom to me, or just to take the Mrs. in for her eyes to be checked.  It's an efficient, friendly and professional environment and it's staffed with some of the most top notch doctors and staff you'll find anywhere.  It's a very exciting day for us to have them see the work we do as a value to sponsor.  All that being said, they are also a very community minded business and that goes well beyond just tending to the patients they have.  They work very hard to not only provide the best care, they work to build community and do it by putting on events like Run For Sight which is coming up September 1st at Pere Marquette.  run for sight 18Click Here To Sign Up for the Run for Sight

It's 13 years strong now and 100% of the proceeds go to help The Association For the Blind and Visually Impaired (ABVI).  They operate out of Grand Rapids and serve all of West Michigan when it comes to helping those who can't see be able to function.  The ABVI offers things like low vision clinics, support groups, daily living skills, counselling, youth programs, aids and appliances, free vision screenings and more.  It's a wonderful outreach and helps so many who have come to a point where their life will truly be changed by reduced vision.  They are an outreach that helps adapt to a new world.  The support they get from Shoreline Vision is a direct testament to the care and concern that the staff shows for their patients and community. 

shoreline visionVisit Shoreline Vision Online

The setting for the run, Pere Marquette.  Ya, it's an everyday place for us, however, to guests in from out of town, it's breathtaking majesty.  This run brings people in from all over the country to compete in either the run or the walk.  There are medals for 1st-3rd in all the divisions, shirts if you get your entry form in early enough and if you choose to make the 5k a walk-able event for you, your 4 legged furry friends are welcome as are your strollers.  It's as inclusive of an event as it can be.  

Jennifer Scofield is with Shoreline Vision and we met up today to talk about the run, the ABVI and how Shoreline Vision works to help beyond their practice in so many ways around Muskegon and West Michigan.  Take a listen.

An amazing chance to do something good and be a part of something awesome.  If you are the running, or walking type, help Shoreline Vision out and help show off Muskegon to our visitiors in from out of town.  The thought of vision loss is frightening.  The ability of humans to use empathy and understanding to help others is what sets us apart and when the door is opened by a company so a large group can do something monumental, take it.  Click on the link above to get signed up for the Run for Sight and if you'd like to know more about The ABVI you can watch their video below.



It's been another great Summer at Shoreline Recycling.  We've done what we can to show you how you can not only help Muskegon stay clean and continue to rebound like it is, but we're also showing you how to make a buck along the way by getting top dollar for your recyclable materials from scrap metal to appliances, old computers to car parts that have outlived their livelihood.

Shoreline Recycling has been in the business if not only keeping the communities they serve beautiful for generations, they have also been stewards of our limited natural resources.  We have finite amounts of things like metal so we have to recycle and reuse them.  You can recycle for a living or you can just recycle on occasion, but after our Summer series, it's pretty apparent, you should not just take anything you can get a few bucks for to the landfill.  Hey, something is better than nothing right? jamie and kurtFollow Shoreline Recycling on Facebook

Shoreline Recycling pays top dollar for all of your recyclable metal, electronics, plastics and more.  You can work with them on a corporate level as well if your industry generates a lot of scrap.  They are an outstanding partner to the community and business world!

Our last visit this season...The Bailer.  This is the end of the line for everything at Shoreline Recycling.  From here, Kurt Alderink explains that it's back on a truck and back to the plant where it will find new life, and start all over again.  Let's take one more visit to Shoreline Recycling and see where it all ends up!

We're thankful for Shoreline Recycling's sponsorship of The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  If you are cleaning up before Fall or maybe you're looking to clean out a barn or a garage, take that recycleable stuff to them on Ottawa Street in Muskegon and not only get a few bucks for what you're cleaning up, help do your part to keep Muskegon beautiful!  To visit their website, click on the image below.



The MuskegonChannel visited Norton Shores Arts and Drafts 2018 at Ross Park. This year's festival also coincide with the city's 50th anniversary with a picnic on the opening night. The second day of the event featured Arts and Dash 5K, a large arts and crafts area with over 100 vendors, car show, bounce houses food, beverage tent featuring live music from local bands. The year marks the 42nd year of the art fair.

Video - Norton Shores Arts and Drafts 2018

Derek Wong - The MuskegonChannel 2018


We've preached and we've been proud of our relationship with the Muskegon County Airport for the simple fact that we really have a jewel here when it comes to travel.  We've also eluded to some great things happening at the airport and some with the potential to come, and they have. It's a very exciting announcement and one that will make traveling for business much easier for anyone in West Michigan with new flight times to Chicago beginning October 5th at 6a and 2:30p with returns at 2p and 9:15p. Now, there is no longer a need to head to one of the "big city's" for a flight.  You can jump on a United flight right here in Muskegon and be pretty much anywhere in the country in half a day and get the work done you need without the need for an overnight or long layover.  It's a great new option for travelers and it comes from an airport that's known for convenience, affordability and passenger friendly amenities like no other.   sns casinoLearn More About S&S Casino Tours

The word also came that the level of occupancy for flights into and out of Muskegon has increased substantially and that's good news too, because like any business with growth, comes opportunity for more, and more means that options will expand if people continue to use the Muskegon County Airport on a more consistent basis compared to the long and aggravating drive to Detroit or Chicago. Like many of the other things we are "Watching Go" in Muskegon, the Muskegon County Airport's growth is in lock step with the times and things here are looking up in more ways than one!

Add to the exciting news for business travelers the increased flights with S&S Casino Tours to Laughlin Nevada and Atlantic City New Jersey, which are just exceptional values for a quick get away, and the ease for a leisure traveler to not have to hassle with the headaches of a major airport when it comes to kids and crowds and everything else.  The Muskegon County Airport is firing on all cylinders and there is much to be proud of when it comes to the hard work of so many people.

I met up with the airport Executive Director Jeffery Tripp to catch up on all the details and...well maybe even get our next round of hints as to what's to come for our hidden treasure in the travel world. Take a listen.

It's a great time to be in Muskegon period. But, if you have to travel, now is the time to make a statement and #FlyMkg!  Use this to your advantage and save time, money and hassle when it comes to your ventures!  If you are a business traveler it will protect your bottom line, if you are a leisure traveler it will protect your sanity. The Muskegon County Airport is not only a great sponsor of our work, they are a huge asset to our community and all of West Michigan. Fly Muskegon! To visit their website, click on the image below!


mkg biz friendly


Ready to run?  Well, The Muskegon Channel's Becky Biesiada is ready for you in Norton Shores in August 18th as she is the race director of the Arts and Dash 5k happening in conjunction with Arts and Drafts at Ross Park.  

It's a full day of fun for the whole family.  There will be plenty of music, food and fun.  Arts and crafts of all kinds.  A beverage tent to replenish the carbs you burn off if you go on the run and of course, the surroundings of one of the Muskegon areas must beautiful parks.  ad5kSign Up for the Arts and Dash 5K

Now, on to the race details!  There is a $150 prize involved here!!  Both the top male and female finisher cash in on the loot and, there's a purpose behind the entire race as well.  Proceeds from the race go to No More Sidelines which also calls Norton Shores Home.  If you're not familiar with No More Sidelines, they are an organization of families of special needs young people who work together to make sure that the activities everyone else gets to do...are available for kids with different circumstances.  One thing about the race, there will be no race day registrations.  You need to sign up in advance and get your packet the night before the race at the home of No More Sidelines on Seminole Road in Norton Shores on Friday August 17th from 5:30-7p. 

Becky and I had a few minutes to sit down and talk about the race after we taped a new batch of Fit and Healthy With Becky episodes this week.  Take a listen to what's going on and how you can be a part of the run and the entire event.


It's a lot of activity to pack into a short window, but Norton Shores Arts and Drafts has a little something for everyone.  If you're a runner, or a walker, help Becky help No More Sidelines out a little by getting in on the Arts and Dash 5K.  You can register for the race by clicking the image above.  If you'd like a complete schedule of events for all things Arts and Drafts, click on the image below to visit their site!



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