Sun, Feb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allow me to begin this article by saying you may encounter all kinds of bias here, because I am very fortunate to have been a small part of Read Muskegon over the years and have watched the work going on from way back when the organization got started in a couple of rooms in the upstairs of a Downtown Muskegon church.  They have grown in both operating space as well as reach in to the community focusing on how damaging that illiteracy is and how long the effects of it permeate everything in our community.  I was afforded a very heavy focus on reading when I was little and it was maintained all my young life, not everyone gets that. 

Here's a little something that you might not be aware of, State Farm and Rocket Mortgage are partners in home lending and Jason Ryan can help you with the amazing power of both brands to get you a mortgage that will make the house of your dreams a reality.

Shon Cook breaks down the most complicated legal matters every week for us in her feature Saturdays With Shon.  It's an extension of her work for her clients, and the easiest way to reach a big audience?  Find a bigger platform.  We love being able to bring you the expertise and we love the fact too that Shon believes in sharing her knowledge with those who frequent our publishing's.  Everyone wins!  

We welcomed back our longtime sponsor Jason Ryan with State Farm Insurance last week with a great discussion on the program of giving he's involved with called "Quotes for Good".  It's an incredible outreach for communities that's backed by State Farm, but the local agents play a key role in making sure that on the street level, the charitable organizations have a direct connection with them so that if they participate, all the assets are available to them through the local agent and that a highly successful fundraising campaign can be done!  What a kick off to 2021 and what a way to remind all of of of the good that comes of business people like Jason who know that making sure the good of all of us is in their best interest.

It finally happened!  In all of our visits with Shon and her amazing legal advice that's been going on for a while, through all of the complicated legal talk made simple, through all of the daily grind that Shon makes interesting, through all the confusion cut through and the red tape slashed away....Shon has finally admitted to something that no one in the process of a divorce seems to like when it comes to legalities and that's division of personal property.

We've never made bones about it!  We love it when a new business pops up and what's more, we love it when that business brings something remarkable to our area with an idea that's ripe to grow, focused on the customer's experience and that brings value and expertise right alone with all they do.  It really didn't hurt either that someone directly related to the author of this article is getting a new kitchen soon and when she found out about Kneaded Kitchens, well you get the idea.

With the ongoing problems we're facing with the pandemic happening and all, the needs are great, we all know that.  The ways needs are met too have been facing some monumental hurdles, most of which have all found ways to work around the problems in some way shape or form.  It's been a grueling year to say the very least and to know that some of what we're used to has had to be set aside or postponed, well, the fatigue of it all is settling in on everyone.  We get it, we're feeling it too.  But what about some of those needs that can't be ignored?  Needs like food, clothing and shelter?  The most human of all the needs are what we should worry about the most and to know that our community, Muskegon Michigan finds a way to rise up and meet them, time and time again....that's the kind of thing we're all about sharing!

We've had a long lasting relationship with Jason Ryan at State Farm Insurance.  You'll find the physical location just past 31 on Holton Road, and of course like anything today there are a variety of ways to connect with Jason for insurance purposes with things like online meet ups or safely social distanced stops in to see them.  They have worked their way through all we've had to endure to make sure that everyone they serve has been take care of with the greatest level possible.

It's one of the greatest things we get to do.  We find those who somehow find a way to take the most difficult of situations and shine right through them no matter the hills to climb.  For almost a year now, we've been struggling through an almost unimaginable pandemic where every inch of our being has been tested.  We've seen the overwhelming good time and time again however and even though our darkest times, we help get it done.  The Muskegon YMCA, has quietly hit a major milestone however and it's time for chance to shine a little light on them.

Welcome to our weekly feature Saturdays With Shon.  Attorney Shon Cook joins us weekly to talk about some kind of aspect of her profession Family Law, and while the legal world is sometimes quite complicated, Shon makes things pretty easy to understand with plain English and plain common sense.  She's a remarkable asset to our viewers and we're so thankful for her participation and sponsorship.

Our health care, it's the topic more and more and the cost of health care, especially for those with no insurance or very high deductibles leaves some with the inability to be treated for things that will only worsen with the progression of time or, will add to the long term issues of overall health it's here where Muskegon Surgical Associates has devised a plan that can be better.  It's called Cash Bundled Surgery and what it comes down to is this.  There are a list of surgical procedures, anything from a hemorrhoid to carpal tunnel release and you know going in how much it's going to cost for the entire procedure from consultation to follow up care and that's that.

If only all of life had a referee!  Can you imagine how amazing it would be to have someone throw a flag if a spouse was acting in a way unbecoming of a spouse at a family gathering or formal occasion?  How about someone to make a call if/when your kid tells you that you are the "worst parent ever" and then sends them to a penalty box to think about it with a "5 minute major"?  Life in general doesn't come with referees unless you've got that friend or family member that's willing to cuff you up side the head when needed and say "snap out of it...you're better than this", but the courts....they have referees and in Muskegon, according to Attorney Shon Cook, they are the best in the business. 

We carry on.  We all work to continue to find ways to make what we know and love happen, even when what we're used to isn't going to be the case.  For those in need of the help of our area food pantries, it's been an all hands on deck effort for quite a while now, amplified by the incredible times we've all been living through with the pandemic going on.  Food insecurity is way more prevalent than you might stop and think about and we've seen it playing out more and more because of not only the need, but the fact that some of us have had nothing more to do than sit there and come to the harsh realization that while we are all so busy working when there isn't a pandemic....there's a whole lot of things we might be missing.  Our focus has been shifted a little.

Back about a week ago, Michelle Tyson introduced us all to Sara Wolovlek who lives on 7th Street in Muskegon.  She's a young mom and wife who's decided that doing her part in some small way is what she can do and that if not on the grandest of scales, the mere idea that helping some is better than none, so she got herself a little plastic cabinet.  She took the plastic cabinet and put it out on the corner, with a sign that simply says "Take What you Need, Leave What You Don't" and she gives out food to anyone on the honor system.  There are some more who come by on a regular basis too to help, maybe a pancake breakfast for neighbors with a Blackstone Grill, maybe a donation or two from friends and family...it's an unconditional give and it's what builds community as well as good will.  But there's a little more to it.

It's a voice synonymous with broadcasting in Muskegon and in all of professional hockey, it's one of the most consistent, and enduring names to have ever worked behind the mic.  Terry Ficorelli will be returning to what he loves most as the Muskegon Voyagers Professional Hockey Team debut their COVID shortened season in February. 

Social media in a lot of ways is still kind of the "Wild West" as we have come to the stark realization of over the last year or so.  The amount of information, good and bad, right or wrong, slanted or not and above all nefarious in intent or paid agenda content has been like standing on a corner while someone comes by with a fire truck and sprays the hose at you.  It's a LOT to try and ingest and what's real and what's fake is almost indistinguishable to even the most scholarly of media observers.  It's also delivered at a pace that people who are on social media almost all day can barely keep up with let alone those who check in once in a while.  This is leading to a big problem.

Given the present state that our country is now in we could use some positive youthful inspiration. Nine-year-old Aaliyah Hughes who attends Timberland Academy provides us with just that.  Her innocent smile will bring joy to anyone’s heart. It's not often I have the opportunity to interview a young free spirited entrepreneur who is ready to take the world on by storms.

She created her own company, Lee Lee Kisses, while stuck at home during the pandemic last summer.  Despite the COVID-19 issues in which we are currently facing and the recent governmental issues, this little lady is doing one of the things that she loves the most, which happens to be making lots of money.

It was back in November.  Rick Shaffer walked out to his mailbox and felt a little out of breath.  Didn't think much of it at the time, maybe a little rest and things will be fine.  Pretty safe assumption for the average 61 year old.  He rested, and unfortunately things didn't really improve and he was off for the dreaded COVID test like so many others.  The test led to a hospitalization, which led to a ventilator, which led to a couple of months of the story playing out for Rick like we've all seen time and time again on our nightly news, on our social media, among our friends as we talk and in the back of all of our minds.

Yup.  It's another bunch of big scary bikers doing what they do best.  Yup, they are going above and beyond again to help where they can for the benefit of those in need, and they are doing it in a fun way that doesn't cost much, gives people a chance to rally behind their friends who are willing to participate and in the end, help fund direct assistance to people who need the help in their battle against cancer.

Everyone needs that one person in life who can help them develop a different attitude on managing finances.  Well, Chauncey Williams is just that person. It was a pleasure listening and talking with this young man.

We all start somewhere.  All of what you see here and now on the Muskegon Channel, it began with a GoPro, free blog program and one sponsor who believed in what we were up to.  We were lucky enough to have a little more social media savvy than most, but they were truly the humblest of beginnings and ever since, we've done all we can to make sure that others looking to get started, launch a brand or show the rest of the community, or world what they got there was an affordable way to make it happen.  Yes, we gave away the farm for a little too long and as we grew had to think better financially for all of us, so the freebies had to kinda come to a stop, but we still work pretty hard to find an angle to help get the word out.  This is the case today.

Weekly, Shon Cook joins us for a segment from her family law office in Whitehall to make some of the "tough stuff" in the legal world more easy to understand and cut through the "legal speak" that is quite often intimidating to those who are not involved with the legal system on a regular basis.  It's really one of the most intimidating parts of it all really trying to understand what and why while you are in the middle of a life crisis like a divorce, child custody dispute or something along those lines.  Shon and her staff are simply masters at making sure you are informed, knowledgeable and that you know their work is dedicated to the best outcome for you.  It's the above and beyond that sets Shon a part, like setting aside time weekly to come by and help you understand in advance that is the most invaluable part.

Muskegon, it's known for one thing and that's making sure needs are met no matter the challenge life throws our way.  It might be an economic downturn,  maybe it's a natural problem we can't predict or defend against, or maybe it's a pandemic that only comes along every 100 years that we never thought we'd see.  We know how to circle the wagons and make sure those who can't care for themselves are taken care of the best we can.  It's not that we're an overly affluent community, it's not that we've got the deep pocketed donors who can use the money they make off interest to give back a little...no it's much more than that.  We have people here who genuinely make a sacrifice to take care of each other.  This is the overly wonderful part of "us".  Most of us know what it's like to need a hand to and to give one in return is a payback to what's been given.

Muskegon may be small, but it is filled with lots of people with great big hearts such as Sara Wolovlek. Sara saw the good in which another community was doing for their citizens and decided to take a stand and bring that same process to life here in Muskegon. 

Every week, we spend a few minutes visiting with our sponsor Shon Cook.  She's a Family Law Attorney in Whitehall and her advice, well, simply put it's amazingly helpful because she makes all the legal speak understandable for the average person and she also makes the legal system less intimidating for her clients.  Let's face it, Shon is not generally called upon when everything is smooth sailing and there's nothing to worry about.  Having an attorney that not only works for the very best outcome for you as a client is important, but so are the "soft skills" of the job which Shon is able to share with us here every week to a degree and how she implements them into her practice.

Good Afternoon, 

I thought it best to maybe take a minute today and speak to you directly instead of making a story out of our announcement today for a couple reasons.  First off, the level of gratitude we have to share is far beyond any short article we could post accompanied by a video and secondly, maybe a little story about how we got to today's announcement, what it took and how we plan on going ahead with it.  So here we go!

Her name is Jocelyn Hines. She grew up in the Muskegon area and came home from college only to create a new social networking system for young African Americans, who are entering into the professional world. After graduating from college in 2016, Ms. Hines had a vision of reaching out to other young college graduates or students that were still in college, who wanted a comfortable place within peers of their own to socially network. This includes seeking guidance of young black professionals who have been where they are going or are are striving to get where they are.  

For the last week or so, we've had exclusive access to some of the incredible front line staff at Mercy Health in Muskegon to talk about their work through 2020 and all they have had to face with the pandemic that has taken so much from all of us.  The heaviest toll of course has been placed on those who have had to care directly for the patients that were admitted to Mercy Hospital with COVID-19.  We've spoken to everyone from seasoned veterans to first year nurses and their experiences with helping those suffering under the pandemic have been truly, remarkable.

Camry Burks is a twenty two year old self made entrepreneur who smiles shines as bright as her products. She has everything you need to pamper you and make you fall in love with yourself all over. Even in the names of her products she manages to spread positive messages to everyone not just women. Ms. Burks just everyone to fill confident in being who they are within themselves. She also believes that self love is important.

It's another visit with our great friend and sponsor Shon Cook.  She's an Attorney in Whitehall with a practice focusing on Family Law.  Eric Stevens is in the practice too with specialties in criminal defense so if you're in need of an attorney, chances are you'll find the very best in a quaint little house tucked away on Slocum Road in the picturesque little town, but don't let the "small town" atmosphere fool ya.  They are amazingly talented attorneys and they are laser focused on making sure that their clients achieve the best resolution possible in any legal matter.

It's been a difficult time for communications.  Compound that with the inability to meet face to face, the deluge of social media that comes the way of all of us day after day and how we've all seemed to become the authority on what we know is true.  We too have been flooded with information that none of us ever even imagined we'd see.  From the oppressive COVID messaging we hear over and over to the paid for battle from both sides and outside influences over politics the pandemic has left us all a captive audience, some of us yelling to be heard and most of us feeling that no one is listening.  It's just where we are at the moment.

In late 2018 Michigan became the first Midwestern state to make recreational use of marijuana legal for those 21 or over who choose to.  Yes, there is still a pretty big stigma attached to it and yes, there are still plenty of arguments pro or con that will probably take a generation or two of adaptation to get past.  Like any change in societal "norms" some are all for it some are totally against it.  Legally, it's ok as long as you're not operating under the influence or operating outside the laws set up when legalization passed.

It's an exciting time for us!  We're very excited to be able to bring you the stories of some of our frontline hero's here in Muskegon like no one else can.  We've worked with Mercy Health to get access directly to health care providers who have been at the heart of care since the onset of the pandemic and we're also remarkably proud to announce, that beginning in January of 2021, Mercy Health is going to be a title sponsor of the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  To have them recognize the work we've done up till now and see us as an equitable partner is an honor of the highest magnitude and like any of our sponsors, large or small, our mission is to provide the greatest value in advertising and communications in Muskegon.

We have an awesome partnership with Muskegon Surgical Associates and part of that is being able to access the finest surgeons in Muskegon to explain some of the procedures they offer and how they help those in need of medical care in both traditional and elective procedures right here locally.  The entire practice is filled with amazingly talented providers as well as the staff that supports them, so anything that you need or want, from complicated surgery that hits you when you least expect it, to maybe some aesthetics to help you be the best "you" there is, you need not go any further than Muskegon Surgical Associates.

Christine Robere President and CEO of United Way Of The Lakeshore, has been doing great things in Muskegon County during this Covid-19 pandemic. As the year ends they continue to create marvelous programs for families in need whether it's financial, food, housing and education.

We made our first visit this season out to the Salvation Army of Muskegon back in the early part of November as they were ramping up for what was certainly a different Thanksgiving.  Usually the Turkey Trot delivers hot Thanksgiving meals to families all over Muskegon County prepared by masses of volunteers who all gather in the morning to prepare and deliver the amazing dinner.  Well, it might not have been prepared in advance this year but the food all got out or got picked up due to our current circumstances.  As always, the Salvation Army found a way.  Be it delivering doughnuts to soldiers on the frontlines of war years ago, or making sure that Thanksgiving is still a time where all get a chance to enjoy a great meal, the Salvation Army finds a way.

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion with local health officials to update media on the community’s COVID-19 response. During the media briefing the Chamber will also share details about the “1000 Ways to take Stock or Stockings in Muskegon” campaign, which is a new program supporting the county’s nurses and frontline healthcare workers over the holidays.

Shon Cook joins us weekly to discuss a number of topics.  All of course centered around the legal world, because as an Attorney, Shon knows a couple of things.  She's part of a highly specialized field that can get very complicated and is filled with a lot of jargon that the average Joe just doesn't understand to knowing the "responsibility of an attorney" which is what we're discussing today.

We have an incredible sponsor in Shon Cook for both The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  Shon is an Attorney in Whitehall and weekly, we do a segment with her helping people understand the legal system a little better and she makes it so that anyone can understand the attorney/client relationship as well as what to expect from courts or mediation during the process.  Shon is also very community minded and luckily for us, she watches most all the at we publish, which led to her idea of helping out a little is we could come up with a way to do that.  Well, it's happened and we're proud to announce Step Up Muskegon.

We can all agree that this year has not gone as planned. We can all agree that it is easy to fall into a slump while we are eating our emotions and before you know it it's been a week because all of the days seem to blur into one. If this is you know that you are not alone, I am right there with you. I was falling into a deep depression, not knowing how or when I was going to get out. That’s when I had seen a post while I scrolled Facebook to break the monotony of the day. The post was about this new women's group that is forming and I knew I found my saving grace. This is too good to keep to myself so Enter Transformative Threshold stage right.

Last week, Shon introduced us to a concept that's kind of taken hold in other areas of the country and is working it's way in here more and more, mediation.  Mediation is a process of coming to an agreement that is binding and settles disputes between parties while not leaving the decisions up to someone, like a judge, who makes a decision with no attachment to the outcome.  Mediation gives you more say in the final decision. 

So, we're stepping out of the county lines a minute for a story, but...there's no way that we in Muskegon don't understand the importance or effects of Juvenile Diabetes and if we can lean on a neighbor close enough by to help tell the story, raise some awareness and help the cause, we'll do just that.

People do what they love doing, right?  If you're a lawyer, you'd think that the litigation part of life is where the rubber hits the road and all of your years of training, development and experience get to shine!  You're in front of the judge, the jury...you're grilling witness, you're using your skills as an speaker and presenter, you're showing the evidence, you're preparing for the "moment", it's all on the line....

If health care wasn't on the top of your mind at some point in the last stretch of time, well, congratulations.  With the way this last year has been, anyone who's not stopped and thought about health care is clearly living the dream, most everyone else, a sniffle causes a panic attack.  Yes, that's a little extreme but we all know this after 2020.  Health care coverage is paramount and making sure the proper health care for you and your family is there... well, that's where it gets tricky.  There are so many options, prices and different things to decide.  It gets really complicated too when we start talking about the Affordable Care Act and Medicare.  The good news is, The Health Project with Merch Health has the people and expertise you need to help you navigate the plans and find exactly the best coverage you need!  The even better news is, you don't even need to leave the house to get a hand!

It's our weekly visit with our great sponsor Attorney Shon Cook.  She's not only a master of her craft both in and out of the courtroom, she's got the very unique ability to explain some of the most intricate legal jargon in a way that anyone can understand it and make understanding the law, and all of it's hoops easy for the commoner.  It's an art that not many can balance the way Shon does.

Her name is Mikayla Rowden and she's only twenty-three years old . Going on 4 years now she has been farming in West Michigan, expanding her knowledge and understanding of sustainable growing, our food system, and community.  While other young entrepreneurs are seeking professions in law, medical and sports. This young lady has decided to branch out in a field of agriculture. Which is rare for young adults to consider as a profession in today's society.

Our weekly, very informative segment with Attorney Shon Cook continues.  It's an amazing opportunity we have with a highly qualified professional who's willing to join us to help explain in plain English some of the intricacies of her line of work which is highly specialized to say the very least.  We're not only thankful for her sponsorship of our work, but her commitment to helping our viewers understand what she does and why. 

Muskegon County is filled with many people with warm hearts. I love it when I find people who are doing amazing things within our community . With the COVID-19 pandemic rising high and the election quickly approaching in a few days. My timeline has been flooded with political and COVID prevention ads. In the midsts of all the election ads, I managed to scroll through my time line and happened to see a live video about a couple giving away free Sunday dinners and water. I couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing. Rhonda Darnell and Taharee Brown giving away free meals and water to those who were in need. They had a sign out that read free food next to it was table was filled with to go boxes of food and a case of water bottles.

Troy Bell was working as a lecturer at Purdue University before arriving to Muskegon Heights as City Manager.

It's a matter of finite resources, impact on the land and doing our part to make sure that the beauty and pristine areas of Muskegon County stay just that, beautiful and pristine.  Cedar Creek heard the call of the residents around there and got to work on the issue, and while it took a little stick to it during the process of getting it done but the center has been added to the Cedar Creek Transfer and Recycling Station and Township Supervisor Linda Aerts found a few minutes today to talk about this great project and how it all got done.  Let's rewind a little though.

It's another great opportunity to learn ya some about the legal world and this one is an interesting topic to Andy O because while still living as any proper Irishmen should, basically pay check to paycheck and driving a car that will be paid off when it's 20 years old, there are some "assets" that have come along over the years that the value of really isn't easily determined for a number of factors.  We should add too that there is no imminent danger of Andy needing to know such value of said items, as things with Mrs. O seem to be going quite well.

Are you like a lot of people and pretty much overwhelmed by all you hear and see by terms like "sustainability" "climate change" "green living" and more?  Hey, you're not alone.  It's an awful lot to try and comprehend and when you get the major players in this who spend all day every day speaking nothing but the lingo, it's pretty easy to just say, "Well, I hope for the best" and go on about what you're up to.  Well, what if those experts could simplify things a little, ease you into a conversation with friends and neighbors who are well versed on the subject and show you, by example that actions you can take here and now can add to the solution of all of that over time?  It's happening, and you don't even have to leave your house to be a part of it.

It's a program 8 years strong and one that reaches deep into the needs of the community in so many ways, it can literally make your head spin.  But when you stop and think about the importance of literacy and how much even just the basics of it come in to play when you apply all that it is to daily life, Read Muskegon is making an impact on lives right here and now, as well as for generations to come.  The end of illiteracy is the goal and the path there is as wide as it can be and when you know the facts about just how many are functionally illiterate here in Muskegon and then to a national level, you have to stop in absolute amazement at the amount of work that Read Muskegon has cut out for them.

Muskegon Heights Police deputy Moe Sain steps up to the plate as former Police Chief Thomas has moved on to Ecorse, Michigan where he will begin his new job. He is now waiting on the City Council's decision on whether to hire outside the precinct or promote him. Sain has been with the force for 22 years. He started on the force in 1999, which was also the last time an officer was sent to the academy until this year's recent police graduate Cameron Green.

We're no strangers to the story and with our partnership with the Health Project at Mercy Health, there's plenty of good reason.  After everything we've been through and all of the cancellations this year, including the Spring event, the Muskegon Area Medical Disposal Program is hosting it's Fall event this Saturday at the Norton Shored Fire Department at 1100 E. Pontaluna Road from 10a-2p.

It began with a haphazard meeting at Kitchen 242 when we were asked to help with Taste of Muskegon which faced some challenges this year due to the pandemic.  How were we as a community going to showcase all of the great food that was offered all over the county without the ability to gather at Hackley Park like we normally do to taste, smell talk and enjoy?  Well, we were going to go virtual one way or another and since we had plenty of experience working with Chef Char in the space at the Muskegon Farmers Market, we got the gig to work with some other chef's to showcase their crafts too!

We're talking "discovery" this morning and not the kind where you tune in to see your favorite sharks or some guys digging a hole to the other side of the earth week after week and never really finding anything.  No, we're talking discovery as a legal term and the lengths that have to be attained when it comes to gathering up all of the information possible when it comes to mediation, arbitration or even a court appearance.

It's come to this.  You've gone through the mediation.  You've tried to settle things between the two of you.  You've given arbitration a shot and things are becoming exhausted when it comes to settling things in the family court and there's a trial looming.  It's the last place anyone wants to be, and as Shon tells us today, it really is the last resort, but it happens and to many, it's an issue that they've never faced and can be quite daunting. 

We've long been a proud partner with Padnos Muskegon.  Located on Ottawa Street in Muskegon Padnos is the spot in town where all of our finite resources are returned to be recycled and used again while keeping the community clean and it doesn't hurt that they pay top dollar for all of the scrap they take in be it from the average guy unloading what's in the garage or the bigger industrial customers in town who are still keeping the manufacturing end of things going.

It's pretty amazing when you come across a young man who has the drive to become an entrepreneur before the age of 15.  Claude Robinson III is a freshman at Muskegon High School who holds a 3.8 grade average.

We are purposely neutral in all things political here on the Muskegon Channel.  We've not taken a penny for any candidate or party or cause and we've kept the platform and social media of our other sites out of it as well on purpose.  The world has plenty of that and we'd like to be a moment of respite, however....that doesn't mean that we're not ALL ABOUT doing what we can to get you up and running and participating in the vote, or the census or any of the other civic things that go on that are so vital to our life.  No matter your choice, your vote matters and there's no argument that 2020 will be a year where we could see some incredible results on every level.

It's refreshing to meet people who care enough about our community to help rebuild and educate them.

So, let's pretend something for a minute.  Let's pretend that everyone, everywhere is arguing about everything.  It's 2020 right?  Wait a second.  Who's pretending?  The world is filled with nothing but arguments and we're all worn out on it.  Completely and totally.  So, why don't we stop and ask someone who argues for a living about the nuance of argument and how those who practice the discipline professionally handle things in the heat of the moment as well as when it's time to recompose yourself and gather up what's important...like say professionalism and dignity and realize that there's colleagues, ethics and a future to embrace.

2020 continues to be a year that we all stand and watch as things unfold.  A pandemic, the politics, the unrest and the future.  It's a whirlwind and it feels like we are all caught up in it.  From a political perspective, we at the Muskegon Channel decided that we were going to avoid it all.  That includes the money we could have hauled in from political advertising and the clicks and views we could have gotten with the back and forth between the candidates.  It's not that we don't see the importance of their missions, the vitalness of our issues and times or how that healthy discussion can lead to fixing things, we opted out over the polarization that's attached to all of this right now and the erosion of social media that surely follows.  We're so very aware of all that's ongoing, but we also think that a place for some respite is welcome too, so here we are.

If 2020 has proven anything in Muskegon, it's that while we're not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are also way more tightly knit than a lot of the communities we see in the news, some of them quite close by, and with the discord, unrest and even the amount of time we've been forced to be "a part", we're still pretty strong and we can act as one when needed.  

The Muskegon channel had the pleasure of teaming up with and interviewing the lovely Mrs. Rane Garcia.

Today was super exciting getting to know and interview Muskegon's own prosecutor DJ Hilson. DJ grew up in a hard-working two parent household which had strong family values and good work ethics. He knew that at the early age of seven that he wanted to become a lawyer.

It's an ongoing series we've got with our fantastic sponsor Shon Cook this Saturdays With Shon Feature.  She spends a little time weekly explaining things from the perspective of an attorney when it comes to a very difficult subject in a very intimidating world, the legal system.  From making sense of the jargon we hear sometimes to applying real life experience to situations she encounters, you get to hear first hand how it works and why.

We are incredibly fortunate to have the Community College we do here in Muskegon with Muskegon Community College.  It's a leader in the state when it comes to the type of institution they are and education they provide and they set a standard that others strive to achieve.  As we've watched the development of the campus on Quarterline Road as well as the growth of the Downtown Muskegon campus, it's been with great pride that "Watch Us Go" has been very applicable to our educational opportunities here in Muskegon too.

Comcast Xfinity is how we get our word out.  We make no bones about that and going all the way back to the earliest days of the pandemic, we've been welcoming Rob Ponto from Comcast on to talk about some of the outreach that's been going on to help the community.  From the free access to any of their Wi-Fi hot spots anywhere you can find one, to working with people to keep service running and even working with schools to make sure that all of the virtual learning going on continues and students can keep doing the best they can.  It's been an amazing outreach and we're thankful for the time that's been spent sharing the resources with everyone in Muskegon.

Curtis and Bobbie Lowe founded Cadillac Inc. Car Club of Muskegon in April 2015. They started out with 25 members to begin their organization. In the beginning it was hard finding members who were serious about their love for Cadillac cars and youth in our city.

Friday was a beautiful day to welcome in visitors from out of town, but then again, pretty much any day is that for Muskegon.  This time however, it was a bit of a red carpet affair as Mike Walsh, Chief of Staff of the Department of Commerce paid a visit to the Grand Valley State University Hub to announce a major grant in support of entrepreneurial growth in West Michigan.

We spent the day Friday with the United Way of the Lakeshore visiting some of the work sites and meeting some of the people who make the Day of Caring what it is in Muskegon County every year.

We hear the term all the time - "I'd like to make a motion....".  Movies, TV, all of the news covering court cases and so on sooner or later, someone is filing a motion.  Sometimes, it's a quick decision to "make a motion to drop all charges" in light of something miraculous happening during a trial.  Of course, we are talking movies and TV here at the moment...so chances are, that motion is more fantasy than reality.  You also hear the term in situations like governmental meetings, and other formal things.  A "motion" is so much more than just words though.  Shon Cook is here to explain.

It's beginning to look a lot like....wait.....that's a little ways off still.  However, it is beginning to get to that point of the year where the community rallies around one of our most important resources to protect and defend those who are abused in our community and how we come together to support the cause is truly a Muskegon one of a kind event!  Power of the Purse 2020 is happening October 8th!  Brace yourself!

It's not always we get a chance to meet those that have experienced the struggle with civil rights activists such as Martin Luther King and John Lewis.   Not to mention our local public figures right here in Muskegon County.

We've been on you since early Spring to talk about the importance of the US Census!  It happens only once every 10 years and every form filled out brings back $18,000 for the community that you live in over the next 10 years.  It's 9 questions long, it takes 10 minutes to fill it out and if you have not done it yet, it's time to get moving on it and we're going to get you off the couch and going!

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