Feature Story Michigan Avenue

Kalamazoo Streets 101: Where we've been, where we're headed

Street changes are coming to Kalamazoo, even if some of us are still in denial. Second Wave's streetwise Mark Wedel helps unpack what to expect. Downtown streets aren't the cause of every problem, says Dennis Randolph, City of Kalamazoo Traffic Engineer, but "they are the backbone, the framework of the community. So you need to do something with the transportation network if you're going to help the community as a whole."

Feature Story Claire Briggs

Women influencers in Battle Creek made history

In a city whose well-known historical figures include revered, fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, other influential women have also made their mark by following paths that were uniquely their own. As part of On the Ground Battle Creek’s coverage of Women’s History Month, Jane Parikh shares stories of three women who secured their unique spots in the city’s history.

Feature Story Rust Belt Ramen

Southwest Michigan chefs joined by chance and ramen

When making ramen, the noodle is an essential ingredient. A serendipitous meeting of a West Michigan ramen soup restaurateur and a Mattawan pasta maker has created a premier ramen that is gathering rave reviews online. Second Wave's Food Writer Channon Mondoux brings you the story along with her mouth-watering accounts of both pasta and soup.

Feature Story BC Art Center

Battle Creek student artists are a Class Act

As part of our Voices of Youth Battle Creek series, On the Ground Project Editor Jane Parikh speaks with Lilyana Collins, a seventh grade artist who is one of many area young artists featured in the annual Art Center of Battle Creek's "Class Act." Second Wave photographer Taylor Scamehorn captured the proud artists with their creations at the show's opening on March 19.

In The News Dr. Grace Lubama

Kzoo News in Brief: People and paintbrushes

On the Ground Project Editor Al Jones shares what's moving and shaking in Kalamazoo: After a nine-month search, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation announced its new president and chief executive officer -- and it's a name many will recognize as a person who has had positive, long-reaching impacts on our community. And a vital community center on the Northside is getting a makeover, thanks to sponsors and a nonprofit partner whose middle name is 'for' -- and that's your only clue!

Feature Story  In July, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its first bill of rights for travelers with disabilities.

How a new DOT bill of rights will make flying better for those with disabilities

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s first bill of rights for travelers with disabilities applies to all flights in the United States, and is designed to be a summary meant to help travelers understand and assert their rights under the Air Carrier Access Act, passed in 1986.

Feature Story A photograph of Judith Heumann. She is sitting in her power chair behind table covered with a white table cloth. There is a microphone and a name placard in the foreground.

How the godmother of the disability rights movement changed my life

Judith Heumann was a mentor I never met. Her life’s work reminds us that our voices and persistence can make a difference.

Longform  Check-in area of St. Clair Community Mental Health in Port Huron.

Michigan community mental health agencies recognize families' role in treatment

Michigan's CMHs rely on families to help recovery and ensure that people function at their highest level.

Feature Story Deidre Mitchell

Harvard University lifts up economic work of Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi

Waséyabek Development Company, established in 2017 by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi of Calhoun County, has become a poster child for the Harvard Project on American Indian Development. Waséyabek is on pace to become a $1 billion company by 2040, and in recognition of its success, President and CEO Deidra Mitchell has been invited to serve as a guest lecturer at the prestigious Harvard-Kennedy School on March 24.

Feature Story Interfaith Pride

OutFront’s Faith Alliance: An allyship sailing in Kalamazoo for 15 years

As part of our series, Faith in Action, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute, Southwest Michigan Second Wave speaks with local religious leaders and OutFront Program Manager Dell Darnell about the 15-year-old Faith Alliance, a group comprised of 14 local religious leaders devoted to allyship. Faith Alliance is currently focused on OutFront's upcoming celebration, Trans Day of Visibility, and Host Homes, a volunteer-based housing program for LGBTQ+ youth aged 13 to 18.

Feature Story Earth Day 2023

Kalamazoo Earth Day 2023 Festival on the horizon

What better way to celebrate spring than planting flowers and trees with your neighbors? The first truly post-pandemic Kalamazoo Earth Day may be the biggest yet. In a move to bring together the environmental and beautification efforts of three Kalamazoo neighborhood (Vine, Edison, and Oakwood), the Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival takes place April 22, 2023.

Longform Synchronized Skating

Kalamazoo Kinetics: Senior synchro-skaters glide in formation all the way to nationals

Falling in line is both an art and an avoidance for these 25-54-year-old synchronized figure skaters from Kalamazoo. Their passion has propelled them to pursue adult synchronized skating at a competitive level as part of the Kinetic Masters Team, which recently placed an impressive tenth in the 2023 U.S. Synchronized Skating Competition this March.

In The News Kathy Szenda Wilson

Battle Creek Pulse receives childcare investment grant

In Michigan, the average pay for a Child Care Worker is $30,047 a year and $14 an hour and the average salary range for a Child Care Worker is between $23,406 and $34,343. “Childcare itself is not a money-making venture. Many of our childcare providers live in poverty and often without benefits,” says Kathy Szenda Wilson, co-director of Battle Creek's Pulse, which will use the grant money to help support childcare providers.

Partner Content The Greater Flint Health Coalition’s work in gardens grew out of its SNAP-Ed direct education programming like Fresh Conversations and Rec-Connect™, pictured here at Burton Senior Activity Center.

Gardens growing change in Flint

The Greater Flint Health Coalition delivers nutrition and physical activity education with SNAP-Ed direct education programming to residents, including senior citizens, across Flint and Genesee County. 

Longform Darcy Whatzit Hour

Whatzit at the Dormouse Theatre? Kalamazoo's own Darcy Wilkin and her talented musical guests

Patsy Cline, the Muppets, Hamilton, the Spice Girls: You never know what might come up during the Darcy Wilkin Whatzit Hour at Edison's Dormouse Theatre, but you can count on bluegrass, folk, and a host who "Keep(s) on the Sunny Side," even if some tunes move a few to tears.

Longform North Country Trail

Southwest Michigan's North Country Trail offers local access to a national treasure

Did you know that Southwest Michigan hosts 114 miles of an eight-state national scenic trail? The North Country Trail, managed by the local Chief Noonday Chapter, is a quiet, local treasure. On 10 a.m. March 11, the Chapter is inviting visitors on a four-mile guided hike. Hikers will meet at Ned’s Deli on Gull Lake located at 15450 M-43.

Longform Casey Grooten Art

Come as you are: What that means to this nonbinary writer and artist

In a personal essay and through their artwork, Second Wave's Casey Grooten explores what it means to them to be a nonbinary person as they prepare to attend a Trans Pool Party. The pool party, hosted by OutFront Kalamazoo, invited transgender and gender nonconforming people who are 18 or over to come and swim in whatever attire felt most comfortable in a space free of judgment. OutFront's Faith Alliance is hosting a Trans Day of Visibility on March 18, 2023.

Longform Christine Vanlandingham, Region IV Area Agency on Aging CEO.

New program offers physical and behavioral health care at home for Southwest Michigan's older adults

The Region IV Area Agency on Aging's Integrated Care at Home program aims to reach 100 community residents in 2023 and continue to grow that number in the years ahead. 

In The News Calhoun Wellness Wagon

Mobile health clinic brings services to Calhoun County residents where they live

Transportation to and from a healthcare provider is a significant obstacle for many in Calhoun County. Starting this spring, the Calhoun Wellness Wagon will bring healthcare to residents who don't have reliable forms of transportation.

Feature Story Housing Solutions PODS Update

The Kzoo POD Community continues to search for a place the unhoused can call home

Progress is being made in finding a home for the POD community for the unhoused. Here's the latest. 

Battle Creek

New Voices of Youth from Battle Creek

The second cohort of Battle Creek Voices of Youth launches today and we’re excited to publish these new stories that cover such issues as vacant buildings and their impact on a community, particularly a neighboring school; coming out safely to family and friends; and social media’s impact on body image. We will be publishing these stories throughout February. Our new Battle Creek Voices of Youth program begins in March. See the story for more details. For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.


Southwest Michigan's North Country Trail offers local access to a national treasure

Did you know that Southwest Michigan hosts 114 miles of an eight-state national scenic trail? The North Country Trail, managed by the local Chief Noonday Chapter, is a quiet, local treasure. Read the full story here. Read more stories here.