Features

Feature Story Small-ADA-Celebration

West Michigan events celebrate 34th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

The  Caravan for Disability Freedom and Justice 2024 will stop in Muskegon and Kalamazoo to celebrate the 34th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Feature Story King's Kid Christian Daycare staff members Adrian Robinson, left, Lolita Granger, center and Tamara Jones laugh Wednesday, July 17, 2024, as they play with toys in one of the classrooms in the Detroit child care center.

MiLEAP fund provides essential equipment, upgrades for child care facilities

Quality child care is necessary, but not always available or affordable. The MiLEAP Caring for MI Future: Facilities Improvement Fund has launched a $59 million fund to provide new and expanding home-based and center-based facilities across the state.   

Feature Story Opioid health homes address physical, emotional, and social barriers to recovery.

Opioid health homes remove barriers to recovery

Opioid health homes provide a central point of contact where people living with opioid use disorder work with an interdisciplinary provider team to develop an individualized recovery care plan.

Feature Story R.I.S.E. Corp.

Battle Creek voices shape Children’s Defense Fund agenda in 2024 election year

“We really want to make sure that the public policy advocacy we’re doing was grounded in the experiences of families we serve all across the country."

Feature Story Sacred Earth

The Earth asks us to change: Author calls on us to adopt 'two-eyed seeing' of science and kinship

"How is it we show Mother Earth that we care so much for her?... We need a transformation toward kinship, that's the living world. I hope you give it a try."

Feature Story BC Pride

Pride Festival in Battle Creek maintains a focus on being family-friendly and welcoming to all

As BC Pride begins celebrations, organizers, allies, and advocates are excited to celebrate. "We are your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. We contribute to our community in many positive and impactful ways and we are here to stay.”

Feature Story VOY Cell phones

Voices of Youth: Is face-to-face communication a ‘dying art’?

“There are times when students would rather listen to the Bible in Chinese and Mozart at two times speed than listen to their teacher." Cell phones have become the 'third person' in the room of any in-person conversation. What are the impacts?

Feature Story Kalamazoo Chinese Academy

To build a bridge: Kalamazoo Chinese Academy nurtures cultural roots and fosters new speakers

In its 52nd year, the Kalamazoo Chinese Academy serves more than 50 area families, teaching language, performing arts, and traditional dance to both Chinese and non-heritage learners.

Longform Kindleberger Festival for the Summer Arts

PHOTOS: 2024 Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts

The 2024 Kindleberger Summer Festival for the Arts took place from July 10 to 15 in Parchment. This longstanding, popular festival brings the community together in celebration of the arts, autos, and more. Check out Fran Dwight's joyful photos.

Feature Story Nick Wahl, 26, was able to become a first-time home buyer with the purchase of this home in the Oakwood Neighborhood.

Getting started: How tough is it to find a home to buy in the Kalamazoo area?

“It used to be, we’d list a home on Monday and I’d get a call on Tuesday to show it on Wednesday. Now we list it on Monday and I get a call asking if I can show it in 5 minutes,” says Jim Hess, a Realtor with Jaqua Realtors in Kalamazoo. Prospective buyers -- and sellers -- have to be prepared for a brisk selling market in multiple price ranges, real estate professionals say.

Feature Story Small-DWord

DNSWM launches #DWord Campaign during Disability Pride Month

Disability Network Southwest Michigan (DNSWM) has launched the #DWord campaign, aiming to reshape cultural perceptions of the word "disability."

Feature Story Michigan Health and Hospital Association represents all community hospitals in the state.

How public health collaborations with hospitals benefit Michigan's communities

Yours, Mine and Ours — Public Health spoke with Lauren LaPine, Michigan Health and Hospital Association senior director of legislative and public policy about how various public health agencies and programs collaborate with hospitals across the state.  

Feature Story High Dive

Downtown construction: An unlikely catalyst for revitalized nightlife in Kalamazoo?

Kalamazoo street work may be slowing you down; that could have some advantages for a burgeoning downtown nightlife scene. Stay tuned for more stories in our summer series on Kalamazoo After Dark.

Longform Balloon Festival

Capturing the magic: Balloon festival photos of Battle Creek's Field of Flight

If you missed Battle Creek's Field of Flight Airshow and Hot Air Balloon Festival this year, be sure to mark your calendar for next year. On the Ground Photographer John Grap captured some photos for us — and a story, too.

Longform Battle Creek Fire Station

Battle Creek Fire Department seeks to modernize its facilities

Long-overdue updates to Battle Creek's fire stations will help bring the structures into the 21st Century. The city is seeking a $20 million plus bond to fund the improvements.  

Feature Story Sacred Earth

Green Sanctuary: Ahead of the curve, People's Church commits to carbon neutrality by 2030 Where do Kalamazoo's carbon emissions stand?

The City of Kalamazoo's Sustainability Director, Justin Gish, spoke on Kalamazoo's carbon emissions to the People's Church Green Sanctuary Committee. "The Green Sanctuary Committee is essentially walking the talk…even when it seems like it's just a drop in the bucket.”

Feature Story Sponge Bob

Spongebob musical to be performed by all-youth cast at Marshall’s Franke Center for the Arts

"I’m a very awkward person and sometimes not the best person to get along with. Being with the theater community, it’s like a family where I can be myself and feel accepted."

Feature Story Artist/Designer: Mahdi Hassnawi. Please see Artist's Statement below.

Voices of Youth: The price of fast fashion — Is it worth it?

“I think the metaphor that sticks with me is like if you buried it in the woods, would it be there when you came back 20 years later? I want my clothing to add to the planet and not take away from the planet, and so I try as much as possible to only sew with things that will biodegrade so that they are not going to follow future generations.”

Longform Amy Nichols, campus coordinator for the Region IV Area Agency on Aging, at the Campus for Creative Aging's booth in the South Haven Art Fair. She shows an example of the Window to Our World art project for care partners.

Campus for Creative Aging helps Southwest Michigan seniors find purpose after retirement

Since 2017, the Campus for Creative Aging has been offering a variety of innovative opportunities for older adults in Berrien, Van Buren, and Cass counties – and helping younger residents understand and respect their older neighbors.

Feature Story small-hunting-8

How Hunt 2 Heal provides free, accessible opportunity to spend time outdoors

Carson Nyenhuis started Hunt 2 Heal to provide an accessible outdoor experience for others after being outdoors helped him recover from a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down.

Battle Creek

Battle Creek's Washington Heights reaching new heights in affordable housing stock

“We have demonstrated that we’ll do what we say we’re going to do. Some of the barriers we’ve had to overcome we’ve looked at as opportunities. These new homes will be an opportunity for residents to create generational wealth and go from renter-ship to homeownership.” For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.
 

Kalamazoo

Beyond belief: How faith communities are lighting the way on climate change

In this first installment of our Sacred Earth series, we speak with Dr. Cybelle Shattuck, whose combined interests in sustainability and religion have helped her identify how faith institutions engage, support, and undertake earth care. Read the full story here. Read more stories here.