Stories

Feature Story Dancers pose during the 2019 Grand Haven Hispanic Heritage Fiesta.

Fiesta returns to Grand Haven this week

The Grand Haven Hispanic Heritage Fiesta will return for a second year in spite of COVID-19 restrictions. Organizers are working hard to make sure people can participate safely with virtual events and a weeklong offering of activities.

Feature Story Holly Cole is the foundation's vice president of grants and program.

Foundation grants additional $625,000 for COVID-19 relief

The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation was part of a community coalition that granted more than $900,000 this spring, and now they’ve aided the community relief and recovery response with an additional $625,000.

Longform Dr. Caelan Soma, Starr Commonwealth's chief clinical officer.

Michigan health care workers grapple with stress and trauma during pandemic

Medical professionals are certainly not immune to a widespread spike in mental health challenges, and several new initiatives have sought to provide them much-needed support.

Feature Story Julie Cadman and her three children will finally move into their Habitat home soon.

Bank teams with Habitat to beat COVID delays on Hamilton home

COVID-19 shut down construction across the state, including Julie Cadman's Habitat home. A new grant has re-energized the project and Cadman and her family hope to move in soon.

Feature Story Henry and Lindsay Cherry with their four children.

What’s next for Black advocacy in Holland?

Holland residents Henry and Lindsay Cherry have been involved in advocacy for the Black community for longer than they have been married. In June, they helped organize a peace March and almost 4,000 people lined Unity Bridge. Their new nonprofit hopes to show Black youth their true potential.  

Feature Story Rebekah Bakker was named the 2020 Young Professional of the Year by the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals.

Young Professional of the Year praises group for opportunities

Rebekah Bakker was recently named the Young Professional of the Year by the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals. She credits the group for unique experiential learning opportunities.

Feature Story The Kruithoff family works on their Ottawa County farm, planting a test plot of different varieties of soybeans for a seed company.

Ottawa County program preserves farmland for future generations

Seeing farmland broken up to build houses saddens farmer Tim Kruithoff. The Ottawa County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) program allowed him to permanently protect his 148 acres. 

Feature Story Once the Grand River Greenway is complete, the public can explore this 30-mile pathway and the many spectacular parks along the way — by foot, bike, or kayak. 

Foundation raising money to expand, improve Ottawa County parks

The Ottawa County Parks Foundation is coming alongside the county parks system to advance the Grand River Greenway. The project would connect communities and protect thousands of acres of natural lands.

Longform Jim Lee, vice president of data policy and analytics at the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

Data sharing among health providers boosts Michigan's pandemic response

Beyond the color-coded counties and line graphs we've all seen, data sharing has helped Michigan's many health providers better understand and respond to the pandemic.

Feature Story Kiosha Jeltema is a West Michigan Works! Business Solutions Manager.

Job seekers can now connect face-to-face with employers at virtual job fair

West Michigan Works! is debuting new video chat technology at its next hiring event, set for Sept. 16. Each employer will have a virtual “booth,” where discussions about job seekers’ skills and experience will be conducted.

Feature Story Zeeland residents Jordan and Jill Emmick have signed on for Zeeland's first Good Neighbor Pledge.

Zeeland challenges residents to be great neighbors

City asks residents to take the Good Neighbor Pledge and pick up a pennant to display outside their homes. With the pandemic keeping many people inside, leaders decided there was no better time to join the national campaign and strengthen Zeeland’s "great neighborhoods."

Feature Story Downtown Holland launched its outdoor expansion program in June, allowing shops and restaurants to expand their operations onto the sidewalks and parking spaces. 

Downtown Holland extends popular outdoor expansion program

The successful program that allows shops and restaurants to conduct their operations outside was set to expire Sept. 7. However, the Holland City Council has voted to extend the arrangement, developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, through Dec. 1.

Feature Story Crop dusting planes maneuver to avoid electric lines, irrigation towers, woods and more when working. (Photo by Bev Berens)

More farmers are using cover crops to keep pollutants out of lakes and streams

A cover crop “blanket” helps hold soil and contaminants like phosphorus in fields, reducing runoff into Lakeshore waterways. It also builds organic matter and nutrients, improving soil health.  

Feature Story Michael Sandoval graduated from Michigan State University in 2019.

MSU grad praises TRIO Upward Bound, Promise Scholarship for success in college and beyond

Michael Sandoval was surprised when he received a Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship, which meant he could attend MSU without accumulating student debt. He credits summers spent in Upward Bound classes at Hope College with keeping him focused on what he wanted to achieve, academically and in life.  

Feature Story Kevin Foster started Capital for Compassion in 2004.

Capital for Compassion works to enable homeless to ‘live a more gracious life’

Capital for Compassion comes alongside Lakeshore nonprofits as they strive to provide affordable housing and shelter for the homeless. The Holland company wades through complex funding regulations to ensure they have the resources to carry out that mission.  

Feature Story Charles Beasley, a product development engineer at DISHER, is given latitude to work on passion projects such as his mini mobile home he is designed for homeless people.

Stewardship part of DISHER's mission to make a positive difference

DISHER, which started as an automotive product design firm, has branched out to engineering, marketing, and business solutions. Investing in the community is important, and the company puts a percentage of its annual profits into stewardship programs.

Feature Story From the top of Mount Pisgah, you can look out over Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan. (Photo by Mike Lozon)

What to do in September? 9 fun ways to explore the Lakeshore

September brings the last throes of summer, offering Ottawa County residents and visitors plenty of interesting and engaging places to explore. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Feature Story Andy Rozendaal (left) and John Puttrich (right) comprise the leadership team and are Eighth Day Farm's two full time employees.

Eighth Day Farm makes big impact from its small urban setting

With a philosophy of caring for Earth and the people who inhabit it, Eighth Day Farm provides produce for CSA members and the food insecure in the Holland community from a former mall parking lot. The farm’s influence also includes composting, support for local growers, and connecting the next generation to the food cycle.

Feature Story Jake Tebos, (left) wholesale grower of potting plants in Allendale, discusses issues unique to his niche in the marketplace with Secretary Perdue (right).

West Michigan farmers share concerns with USDA Secretary

Sonny Perdue hosted meetings with growers and other stakeholders in Ottawa and Kalamazoo counties. Those in attendance talked to and heard from the USDA chief about topics ranging from trade to invasive species.

Feature Story Nelson Figueroa

U-M is next stop for Promise Scholar with a passion for the environment

Growing up in a single-parent home taught this 2020 Holland High School graduate independence and resilience. Nelson Figueroa believes those attributes will serve him well at U-M, where he plans to study environmental engineering.

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