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Sat, Jan

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!

If you are an animal lover, and most everyone is, you know that Muskegon is incredibly fortunate to have the care and attention placed into our rescue community that we do.  There are all kinds of agencies out there with the well being of strays, surrenders and emergencies in mind and while COVID has seen a slight downturn in how busy some are, the reality is the work will never end and there will always be the need for animal care between in any number of circumstances.  

The Event itself is over, but the show and info is important.  Learn more here.

 

Tonight, we're proud to present the Hats and Horses Benefit for Pioneeer Resources of Muskegon.  Youll have a chance to learn a little more about the work that Pioneer Resources does and how they enrich the lives of so many.  Their MIssion statement is clear - "Our mission is to help people with disabilities and seniors attain independence and dignity by creating opportunities for participation in the community. People in pursuit of: a place to live affordable housing and specialized homes,  a place to learn vocational training, ABA therapy & community living supports programs, a way to get there transportation services, a place to grow and play camping, recreational programs"

Is a "prenup" a way of saying you don't completely trust someone even before you get started?  Well, it depends on how you look at it and as Shon will explain today, it can actually be a couple of things including a healthy exercise in transparency and honesty from the very start.  It might not be the most comfortable conversation you will ever introduce when you do, but when you hear what Shon has to say about the subject. you'll see in pretty short order how it can be beneficial for both parties and save a lot of time and grief down the line should the unthinkable happen to "happily ever after".

One thing that's been pretty incredible about our work over the last few months is finding ways to connect you with ways to get a hand in a time when those who never once thought that they'd need it.  Even to find out that the hand is there has been pretty amazing and it comes from places who provide the necessities that keep us all going.  Consumers Energy is one of those companies, and today Rich Houtteman joins us to talk about how they go above and beyond in our current times and always for our community.

In a world of virtual fundraisers...one giant organization stands out.  That might be a great opening for a movie if we were in the movie preview business, but we're not.  We are in the business of getting you the information about all of the local organizations that vitally need a hand this year more than ever and be it a virtual fundraiser, or a great day on the links like Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore has in store for you September 25th at Chase Hammond, we're on board to lend a hand!

In this weeks edition of Satudays With Shon, we begin with a little confusion.  No one is really sure why Andy immediately assumes the "appeals process" means begging to get yourself our of as much trouble as you can, as fast as you can, but Shon does an incredible job with her calm, and steady hand to assure him that an appeal has a lot more application than just finding your way out of a pinch.

There may be some bias in this one, because I love Pioneer Resources.  I pretty much love any place that helps those who are considered to have a limitation and gives them the opportunity to be equal to anyone by investing in them and finding ways to help them learn to be self sufficient through the work that they do and helping others understand that there is so much more to their mission than just giving people a way to be trained for a skill.  No, what Pioneer Resources does is help people who were once in their own little group fit in with the rest of us, and educates the "rest of us" on the fact that it was us who needed to learn a little more in most cases.  We all have incredible gifts, it's in the understanding of them that we can all find our strength.

When March came around, we all thought that things would come and go quick and that in a matter of a few weeks, we'd be back to normal and that would be that.  Well...we've since learned that "We're in this together" has a whole new meaning and as things have dragged on, "in it together" for DTE Energy starts with a call to 1-877-477-4747.

Yes, even the USS Silversides is doing her patriotic duty this year in the face of all things COVID and in the thought of keeping everyone safe, just like she did when she operated in WWII, the biggest event of the year to help raise a few bucks, honor some incredible hero's and show off how good she looks in her 80's.  Yes, the Luau is virtual this year but the preservation, the history and the incredible storied history of the Silversides in Muskegon is something we all need to get behind.

All that's happening in and around Muskegon that's readily apparent, that's pretty easy to point at and say "Look, see!!  We're booming!"  Yes, it's true, we are.  But we also booming in some ways that are equally "boomful"  (yes, we just invented a word) but the boom might be a little more subtle, a little more focused on getting it right for all the right reasons and making sure that what's being done is happening for the long term and modeling what a company should be like locally and internationally.  While you might be heading to Downtown Muskegon for all of the readily apparent, chances are, you'll go right by the "boomful" on on your way.  

An exciting day for us at the Muskegon Channel as we welcome a new face on a couple of levels.  If you are a social media user of any kind in Muskegon, maybe you've seen some of her Facebook Live chats with people, mostly women who offer advice or insight on any number of topics in her "Mom On a Mission" series.  Or, maybe you've come across her at one of her events she puts on like the Vintage Market.  Jessie Wilde is who we are talking about and with a recent change in her working life, it's given us the opportunity to grab a rising star.

We've been visiting with our sponsor Attorney Shon Cook since way back at the beginning of the year when things shut down, including the courts and there were a lot of people asking about what was to be expected when the courts were to re-open.  It almost seems like a lifetime ago that all of this started, but it's only been a matter of months and in the court system some of the changes that have been implemented and procedures that had to be adapted have moved at lightning pace compared to the reality of things.  Once the safety concerns were met, the digital end of things could be adapted and the work could resume and it's still a bit of a log jam on some things.

The Muskegon channel loves to spotlight those in which whom have contributed positivity through their work in Muskegon County.  Today I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Pamela Smith a Muskegon native in which was a Muskegon Heights graduate of 1970.

We have had an amazing series with Jason Ryan of State Farm Insurance getting to know more and more about insurance and how it benefits everyone in a multitude of ways.  We began our series weeks ago when the auto insurance reform was on top of everyone's mind.  It's a lot of rule changes that the average person just can't really keep up with.  What's needed, what's not...how it effects what's covered medically if you have insurance coverage there...very complex and if you still have questions about any of that, Jason is still the guy to call!  We have also explored things like life insurance, homeowners insurance, some more traditional auto insurance terms and coverage and short and long term disability.  It's been a wealth of knowledge passed along and to say that thousands have benefited....we can do that!  We're very thankful for his insight and time with out audience.

It's simply a stunning setting to walk into.  If you've been to the Muskegon Muskegon Museum of Art anytime over the last few years you've been part of some truly historic exhibitions ranging from the absolutely awe inspiring collection of Edward Curtis Native American Collection to Paul Jendrasiak's collection of rock and roll photos over the years.  Of course there are the sculptures, paintings and other artistic wonders, but a permanent collection of fragile beauty has been hiding away in the basement until now!

It' was not too long ago we were here celebrating the 100'th Anniversary of the United Way and talking about the rich history that they have in making sure that the needs of community are met and that the resources available are used to make sure that even the places that you might not hear of all of the time, well, they get a hand too.  After all, the United Way came together after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic as a way to help focus resources in the charitable world, and like the headline says, history is repeating itself now and the United Way....stronger than ever and able to spring in to action and help in a moments notice.

It's been a couple weeks since we've heard from Shon Cook.  She's an incredible Family Attorney in Whitehall and very valued sponsor of the work we do here on the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon and for her to spend some time explaining the reality of the legal system in plain English has been remarkably beneficial to our viewers and it's also a great way to see the human side of the law as Shon often talks about her clients and the impact they have on her as a person and professional.  One thing is for sure, Shon never quits learning.  

It's nothing anyone really wants to talk about.  The necessity of life insurance.  After all, you won't be using it.  However, it's not for you in the first place.  What you've built, it's a masterpiece.  You've got family, friends, a home....maybe some cool toys, kids with a bright future and if the unthinkable happens, you want to know that everything you worked for and believed in can carry on right?  Well, that's what the life insurance policy is all about.  It's a gift you keep only to give away to make sure that all that matters to you keeps on in the event you are not able to be here for them.

It's been an almost unthinkable time since March when all the shades were drawn and the halls fell silent in Muskegon Area Schools.  Who would have ever for a second imagined that we'd see such a thing that would change the way almost everything was done from work to shopping, community events and even worship services.  It's been almost like an episode of The Twilight Zone and no group has been more effected than our students and educators.  Everything in their daily lives got turned upside down when they order was given to close the schools and figure out "distance learning" to wrap up the school year.

Sometimes in life we have a tendency to come across paths with people that leave an ever lasting impression on you. Well one day while attending a grow meeting that is exactly what happened when I first met Jessie Wilde of Jessie Wilde Consulting. She had a brightest smile and spunkiest personality. She began to talk about how she wanted to branch out on her own and help people especially mothers.

We're very thankful for the great sponsors we have and we work very hard with them to not only give them the best value for their support, but we also will have them share their expertise in their field when it's valuable information to anyone.  Jason Ryan of State Farm Insurance is incredible with his knowledge in the world of all things that require insurance and all things that might not require it, but you're far better off for having it.  

As we travel the streets of Muskegon and meet those who share their story and what matters to them, once in a while a connection is made and with that connection comes a little opportunity.  A few weeks ago, we met Michelle Tyson who's got a group going called Taking Back Muskegon.  It's a very grass roots effort working on quite a few things to help neighborhoods, kids and families find resources and places that they can be safe, informed and well, honestly, a community in.  Her passion is strong, her belief in unity for all of us is real and after a few chats behind the scenes, it was pretty clear, Michelle belongs sharing her passions on a little louder platform.

Here we are at the beginning of August and I think the appropriate word would be exhausted.  2020 has been an unprecedented year on so many levels that it's almost impossible to keep on track with the day to day events of life in general let alone the happenings a few weeks or months ago when it came to headline news.  It's been a very trying time on all of us and for some the trials have been even stronger because, here's a little refresher for ya...if you remember back in Spring, Muskegon and surrounding areas were hit hard by flooding and a lot of damage added insult to injury to an already beleaguered community.

We've done what we can to help get the word out about the importance of the libraries in the area, and yes, the "big names" get a lot of attention.  The local library has become so much more of a resource to communities that they serve with the years.  What was once a book repository is now a spot for all things media, research, access to the internet for some and for others, a communal gathering spot for discussion, information and of course...yes...even still, a book. 

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