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Back in February, on our blog, Positively Muskegon we introduced you to Gavin and Kamden Cross who were out to help our area pet shelters out with some of the things that newly adopted pets need when they finally find their forever home.  Things like a nice new collar, a new leash, maybe some toys and treats to make that transition from the shelter to their forever home a little easier for their new start.

 As I was scrolling through Facebook one night as many of us do. I came across a post from Shannon Glass about her amazingly thoughtful daughter Danica. you see this year Danica started the sixth grade this year. Most girls around this age start their cycle, Shannon wanted her daughter to be prepared, confidant and know how to handle it when it happens.

Covid-19 Is keeping everyone at home so I got in touch with Valerie Bercier who is a Registered Dietitian and Health Coach to get some tips and tricks that we can do now to start or continue to live a little healthier. The number one thing that you should be doing right now Valerie says is drink your water. I know that we hear this all the time but it’s true. Valerie recommends that we drink at least half of your body weight in water. If you are one that likes to add thinks like crystal light or another add Valerie says that it’s ok to add just make sure that you are not adding to much sugar.

As we hear over and over, "we're in this together".  Yes, it's a snappy slug line and probably something we outta be better at anyway.  We've all got our areas that we can add to the relief of our current times and we also too could do a little better job of following instructions on staying home and letting the worst of all this pass without helping to spread the virus. 

Virus or no virus, our aging population is a point of concern as we get a little older ourselves and start to see the first signs of the "golden years" start to show in our parents.  Very fortunately, for me, mine are both still quite healthy, agile, social and able to manage the day to day.  But, like anyone who's approaching 50 the relentless march of time has taken its toll on those who I once saw as invincible. 

Hackley Public Library wants to show us what they are up to during the temporarily closure and sends their regards. The library is temporarily closed due to Executive Order 2020-09 to minimize transmission of the COVID-19 and it's scheduled to re-open April 6th .

Muskegon Restaurants improvise during COVID-19 outbreak. Many of them begin to Offer curbside, walk-up, take-out and delivery services during Governor Gretchen Whitmer shut down of dine-in services at all bars and restaurants in Michigan amid the COVID-19 outbreak to slow down transmission of the virus.

Do You know if you have a Muskegon Area District Library card, you can access to Multiple online services for free ebooks, movies and music through services such as CloudLibrary, Freegal, Hoopla, Kanopy, OverDrive, Libby, rb Digital and Scola?

The Mercy Health Project in Muskegon County has been a partner with The Muskegon Channel since day one, and even before with Positively Muskegon.  We've been very proud to bring you stories and support the work they do in their community outreach in Muskegon which is extensive, although you may not exactly know their work by name.  While "The Health Project" itself may not stand out, the groups and programs they stand behind certainly will and without their support, might not even exist.

It was an event long cherished and often duplicated in West Michigan and the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury rolled out the red carpet for the competitors and spectators for the return of Build Your Own Bobsled on February 29th 2020.  Leap Day had it's own event and the Double JJ had perfectly groomed hills to play on and their resort was buzzing with bobsleds, sno-cross, pre-parties, water park lovers and people coming to enjoy the last few drops that Winter in West Michigan had to offer.

Britta Cleveland Reports - My absolute favorite event of the year is West Michigan Student Showcase! West Michigan Student Showcase 2020 will showcase the achievements and talents of students from 33 different high schools in Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa and Kent Counties. March 18th - 19th at The Frauenthal Center.

With locations all around the United States Boys and Girls Club now has a home at Orchard View Schools. Boys and Girls club is meant to inspire the youth today. They help children reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens in today's society.

On Wednesday at the Sturrus Center in Downtown Muskegon, a presentation was made to talk about the different options for the future of the Muskegon Area Transit System and how it can be better shaped to work within the budget it's has, which currently, it tends to go over with some regularity. 

It's an event that's been going on as long as most can remember.  It's the signature fundraising annual event for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lakeshore and it happens over a couple of months at a few different locations.  It involves a little fundraising, a LOT of bowling and a great time for any individual or team that wants to make a difference in the lives of the kids in the community and a group who's work is synonymous with the betterment of the next generation. 

The Disability Network of West Michigan is an agency in Muskegon that provides independent living resources for people with disabilities in Muskegon, Oceana, Lake, Newaygo, and Mason counties.  Their website goes on to say that "Disability Network West Michigan is committed to inclusion and diversity while being consumer directed and accountable.  Our mission is to advocate, educate, empower and provide resources for persons with disabilities.  We promote accessible communities, fulfilling our vision of accessibility is an accepted civil right."

Britta Cleveland reports. Recently I sat down with some of my favorite people in West Michigan about one of our favorite annual events in West Michigan. Dancing with the Local Stars to help raise funds and awareness for our local area food banks that help to feed our areas needy. Clarence Colegrove of Trensyd Realty, Bob Szymoniak - Superintendent of Fruitport Public Schools, the Honorable Judge Brenda Sprader of Muskegon County Court System and Larry Romanelli of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians with the Little River Casino in Manistee, MI.

If you are into the arts then City Center Arts Muskegon is the place for you. The new gallery was formally known as The Red Lotus and is located at 356 W. Western Avenue in the lower level of the historic Century Club building. City Center Art is a place Art lovers of all kinds from performance events, art classes, concerts, art receptions, locally created art and gifts for purchase.

Developers of an old restaurant formerly known as Johnny Carinos on Harvey Street kindly donated the building to the Norton Shores Fire Department. They used this Building to perform ventilation exercises on a clay tile roof which is uncommon to the area.

We grow up with what we know.  Most of us also grew up in a time that was a little different when we stayed in touch in ways that were not quite so digital.  We heard things like bells and horns that told us to get home...of course, there was always the "street light" rule about being home before dark.  Getting the "what for" from your friends mom generally meant double was coming at home and things like a "phone tree" were the way word got around town to let you know what was going on.  We grow up...we move away...life evolves and then we look back and wonder "what happened" when we go back and see what was and what's become. 

The Muskegon Area District Libraries (MADL) has committed to increase literacy skills for every age and are actively involved with this effort, one way to achieve this is through a new early literacy initiative called the Muskegon Storyville. The Storyville Villages are located in their Montague, Muskegon Heights, and Norton Shores branches. They are created to inspire children age zero to five.

Do you have or know of someone with a child? Chances are that that child LOVES macaroni in some form. That is exactly what the founders of Macaroni thought of when they named the very first Macaroni Kid website.

Community Economic Development Association of Michigan is hosting the event "Show Me The Money Day Muskegon" - an event designed to promote our community’s free and low-cost financial services, resources for financial literacy, and provides workshops on methods to better save and spend money with the intent of financially empowering the community as a whole.

As always...I had a great visit with my friends at HOPE PROJECT today. I sat down with Hope Project Director Sarah Johnson and Human Trafficking Task-force Member Brenda Nordstrom to talk about their upcoming Annual Community Forum. This 4th annual event will be taking place on Thursday, January 30th at the Folkert Community Hub at 640 Seminole Road in Norton Shores. This forum is FREE for all who attend...but a ticket is required because of limited space, and it is filling up quickly. 
hope project 4Visit The Hope Project Online
 This Forum and community discussion will be presented by lived experience expert, Ruth Rondon and guests from the Hope Project, Muskegon Prosecutors Office, Muskegon Sheriff’s Department, Every Woman’s Place, Farmworkers Legal Services & Lakeshore Human Trafficking Task-force. 
 Human Trafficking is real...and happening right in our own West Michigan communities. We all need to become educated on this horrible, growing issue. Experts will discuss and educate on the warning signs, ways that we can all help, and on situations in certain households that may lead to future trafficking.
Education is key. Please come to this very informative forum on January 30th. The doors open at 5:15pm… with the presentation and discussion from 6pm – 8pm.
For more information:
 4th Annual Community Forum on Human Trafficking “A Community Response”
Folkert Community Hub...640 Seminole Road, Norton shores
Doors opening at 5:15pm…...Discussion from 6pm – 8pm
Click on the event pic for free tickets from Eventbrite!

Today Paranormal Muskegon paid a visit to Muskegon Attorney and former investigative journalist for the Muskegon Chronicle, Mike Walsh.  During his time as a journalist, he had the circumstance to investigate and report on the March 8, 1994 Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon incident. Twenty-five years later, no adequate explanation has been offered to account for it. For that reason, it continues to be of interest to both investigators and the general public alike.  Mr. Walsh, through his work as a journalist, became involved with this case when he was asked to investigate, which he did, although somewhat reluctantly, given the nature of the incident. During the course of his investigation, he filed a Freedom of Information Application in order to obtain the dispatch tape as well as other documents that they may have. Mike, after being stymied in his efforts to get information by some that he tried to get answers from, was able to obtain the dispatch tape through his efforts. After receiving the tape, he was quite intrigued by what he heard. Even though it was thought that there was photographic evidence too of the radar scope, he was told there was not. 
Mike Walsh is long-time attorney and resident of Norton Shores. Mike has an impressive background in in law, including having practiced in numerous county courts throughout the state, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court. He was a past member of the Representative Assembly, the rule-making body of the State Bar and has served as president of the Muskegon County Bar Association. Before entering law, Mike was a investigative reporter for both a Chicago newspaper that eventually become the Chicago Sun and the Muskegon Chronicle. He has won numerous awards as a lawyer as well as for his journalism. He was a four-time recipient of the State Bar of Michigan’s Advancement of Justice Award, and has numerous Associated Press investigative reporting citations, as well as various other industry acknowledgements. He has appeared on Larry King Live, CBS, and other television and radio networks, including The History Channel’s UFO Hunters to talk about this case and kindly agreed to share his story again with us today.
It all began around 9:30 p.m. on the night of March 8th, 1994 when police dispatches in Ottawa County began being inundated by calls from people who were seeing this inexplicable phenomenon involving multicolored lights. These lights, described as looking like “Christmas lights” by some, moving erratically and at high speeds;  were seen by around 300 people along the lakeshore from Holland to Muskegon. They appeared to be attached to solid objects, flying erratically, sometimes in triangular formation, other times in clusters. They were observed by people on the ground, including several polices officers, as well as being tracked simultaneously in real-time by the NOAA through the National Weather Station in Muskegon. In addition, several airline pilots also observed the lights when in route to Chicago.
After receiving calls from approximately 60 people and not knowing what to make of all this, Ottawa County dispatch contacted the National Weather Service station in Muskegon to see if they were picking up anything on radar. They indeed were and what the radar guy was reporting was like nothing he had ever seen before.  It was his incredulous reactions and descriptions of what he was seeing while talking to dispatch that were recorded on tape that quickly gained worldwide attention. 
Mike sent me a copy of the dispatch tape, which I listened to. At one point, Muskegon Radar says in response to 911 asking if they had anything unusual, he states; “Nothing but the usual ground clutter,”…so he was aware that it was different. (This guy was not a “newbie” by any means. He knew his stuff). At one point he states, “yeah, there is something big down there. That’s really strange….it looks like a big blob. One minute it was there, the next pass it was gone.  Then at one point, he says very excitedly…OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THIS!  He states they are strong returns and that it is not precipitation. He later states there were now three in triangular formation.  At another point he states these three or four “blobs were large, half a thumb nail on the scope and that planes were like little pinpoints on the radar by comparison. Radar guy says he has never seen anything like this. At another point he states in reference to 911 one maybe its energy; “This energy moves.”  They were at an altitude between 5,000 and 12,000 feet, flying at a high rate of speed in erratic motion. He later called to confirm that he was actually talking to the Sheriff’s department to make sure it was not a hoax.  I have investigated over 100 UFO cases in Michigan for MUFON and while I have never investigated this particular case, I am of the opinion that even if you didn’t have hundreds of people seeing these lights; the dispatch tape alone would be enough to show that something truly unknown was flying over Michigan that night.  It gave me chills to hear his shocked reaction. You could tell he was truly perplexed by all of this, it was not normal and these weren’t planes. 
If not for the investigative work by Mike Walsh, this case might have been forgotten or swept under the rug, either by accident or design.  Luckily for us, his ability to have obtained the dispatch tape showing the compelling and unusual nature of this event; in which Muskegon played a significant part; has not faded into the past, so remains unexplained twenty-years later. I asked Mike what he thought people saw that night. While he didn’t know what these objects were based on his investigation, given the size of the universe and the multitude of stars within it; it being extraterrestrial was always a possibility.  They saw something unusual, of that he was certain. Hopefully this event will continue to be investigated and that people will come forward to tell their stories about it. Until then, we wait.
Our thanks to Mike for sitting down and talking with the Paranormal Muskegon Team. His office is located at 8. Walton Avenue, Muskegon, Michigan, 49442. Phone: 231-725-4200. 
Below, you'll find a YouTube link to the audio conversation between police dispatch and the National Weather Service from the incident from March 8th 1994.

I recently visited with my dear friend Kris Collee, Executive Director of Age Well Services of West Michigan with Meals on Wheels. We sat in their newly renovated Driftwood Cafe at Tanglewood Park Senior Service Center in Norton Shores which is truly beautiful and the food is amazing! We chatted about the wonderful Holiday Meal that the Agewell Service’s Chefs are busily preparing for this Thursday, December 19th DTE Energy Foundation FREE Holiday Meal.

Seven and a half years ago the pool at Muskegon Heights Academy was ordered to be closed due to budget. Lots of effort put into place in the recent years and now the pool is officially re-opened.

Carmel McKentry is a long-time friend of mine, but we lost touch. Busy lives, growing kids, but when we get a chance to connect, the conversation is easy. Her smile lights up a room. She recently posted on social media that she was working at The Hideout, a bar and grill in downtown Muskegon Heights. I was intrigued.

 The Old Newsies and Goodfellows of Muskegon County have been around for 83 years. Their purpose has always been the same for all these years, that is to make sure “Let no child be forgotten” in Muskegon around Christmas time.

The Muskegon Channel was invited to Reeths-Puffer Elementary School for a very special surprise. First grade students at Reeths-Puffer Elementary School decided to write persuasive letters to their school administration to adopt a school pet.
After much research by both the Principal and Vice Principal they felt that having a therapy dog at the school was indeed something that they wanted to pursue. This leads us to Buddy the little bundle in the middle of the story. Karyn the Vice Principle set off to the Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County where she met and fell in love with Buddy. pf logo webFollow the Petco Foundation on Facebook
Buddy’s story was entered into the Petco Foundation Grant program. Out of thousands of entries from around the U.S. Buddy won the Grand Prize. Petco and their partner BOBS from Skechers surprised the Reeths-Puffer Family, Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County with a $100,000 grant award for the organization. Along with the grant Karyn and Buddy received a $1,000 shopping spree at Petco, a bed filled with treats and other fun things for buddy also from Petco, a pair of shoes and a leash.
I had a chance to talk with some of the kids and they told me what they thought about having Buddy in school.  Joining us for the chat are Alexis Ogborn from the Muskegon Humane Society, Lisa Lane from the Petco Foundation and Jennifer Clay from Skechers.  Please click on the link and watch this amazing surprise as it happened.


It was an incredible day to be a part of such a great company giving back to Muskegon. We captured the entire event as well, the best we could anyway with a room full of excaited kids and teachers and a very anticipation filled crowd as the presentation got closer.  You are welcome to click below and enjoy the whole program.  Our many thanks to Petco and Skechers for this incredible opportunity to be a part of something so magnificent.










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We're always very excited to welcome a new partner on with the Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon.  We work very hard to provide Muskegon with news that reflects our community for what we really are.  We don't claim perfection and we know that what we do is just a tiny bit of the incredible things we are seeing happen in and around town.  Our message will always stand though...we're proud of our people, our community and we always believe that our best day is yet to come.  When a business sees all of that in us and sees the value we offer as well, it's an honor of the highest magnitude.  smitter way backFollow Smitter Pest Control on Facebook

Smitter Pest Control reached out to us and said "We're in!"  We were very excited and proud at the same time.  Family run for 3 generations.  Smitter Pest Control is now run by John Koval of Muskegon and while the business is based in Grand Rapids, their service area is pretty much anywhere on the west side of the state.  John didn't waste any time getting involved in Muskegon when he moved his family here either.  He gave a lot of time and energy to the Sandy Corely Memorial Run during it's 30 years.  He's also a huge proponent of area athletics with Koval Softball.  He helps out a lot at Ross Park and Softball World.  If you follow John on Facebook too, while he's out working in his pest control business, he finds time to make life easier by posting traffic snarls he finds, and while he might no ever say it out loud, he's been known to reach in and give his last couple of bucks in his pocket to help someone out.  John, is truly "that guy" and we even did a little story on him in 2017 on Positively Muskegon when a little league had all it's equipment stolen, and he led the drive to get it all replaced.  

Now, on to the business!  Smitter pest control takes care of it all.  From catch and release of larger critters like raccoons, squirrels, skunks and more to ants, termites, mice, spiders....anything creepy crawly and especially bed bugs....Smitter handles it all.  They also use environmentally friendly products that are safe for kids and pets.  Pests can happen to anyone John explains in our video below and it's not about cleanliness or lifestyle, it's just a matter of bad luck in some cases or in others, pests find an "in" and in they come.  The cure?  Quick, affordable and efficient handling of the problem with friendly service that you'll want to recommend to others!  No better form of advertising in the world, and they know that at Smitter Pest Control.

John and Andy go back a few years, so...he just swung by the house to say hi and chat about Smitter Pest Control.  Take a listen!

Great local company, great stweards of the communities they serve.  We are very proud to welcome Smitter Pest Control.  We highly recommend giving them a call if you've got an issue.  Take the number and put it on your fridge!  616-245-7215.  Click on the image below and save Smitter Pest Control in your favorites so when you need them, you've got immediate access to the help you need!

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