Features

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek ALICE Disability

Calhoun County's disabled face severe financial hardships

A scarcity of work opportunities are hampering efforts by Calhoun County’s disabled population to become financially independent and support themselves.

Longform Housing Solutions Addiction

How do you respond to the man with the cardboard 'Homeless' sign?

Although good statistics on how many unhoused people struggle with addiction are difficult to find, estimates are that a high percentage of Kalamazoo’s homeless population use alcohol and drugs.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Artist Laura Garberick

Battle Creek artist molds a new sense of purpose and identity

Evidence of the spiritual journey that surrounds and guides Laura Garberick's creative talents is on display throughout her studio next to the Pennfield Township home she shares with her husband.

Feature Story Voices of Youth Percy

Voices of Youth -- Teen podcaster: 'If I don't speak out, who will?'

“Violence, academics, sports,” are the most important issues facing youth today, says Percy Gordon, adding that youth don’t intend on choosing violence first. “Violence is a mechanism of people, how we were raised. Violence is everywhere.” 

Feature Story Hailey Cone (GRCC/Hailey Cone)

GRCC student gaining following for her musical perspective

Hailey Cone, who is blind, is using her perspective as a member of the writing staff for “Inside the Score,” a YouTube channel that seeks to deepen the appreciation of classical, film, and art music.  

Longform On the Ground Kalamazoo Music In Place MSFM

Kalamazoo neighborhoods, natural places and more inspire 'Music in Place' compositions, performances

Like some Kalamazoo neighborhood spots, natural places, cemeteries, etc., the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music's Music in Place project has just been quietly existing, waiting for people to discover what's special about it.

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek Medical Debt

Reducing medical debt church by church

RIP Medical Debt was established to pay off medical debt for millions of people in the United States and it has a goal to wipe out $4 million in Michigan medical debt by November.

Feature Story On the Ground West Douglas/Fairmont Mountain Home Cemetery

The Grave Issues Squad cleans up headstones as it preserves history

Dozens of volunteers have turned out this summer to help clean gravestones at the City of Kalamazoo’s Mountain Home Cemetery as part of a Historic Preservation Commission project in Kalamazoo’s cemeteries.

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek beer and donuts

Donut and Beer Fest brewing at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek

The lineup of festivals in Battle Creek grows with the addition of the inaugural Donut and Beer Fest, set for Oct. 8 from noon to 5 p.m. at C.O. Brown Stadium.

Feature Story Legacy House

OutFront Kalamazoo opens Legacy House for displaced LGBTQ+ young people

A transitional home geared for 18- to 24-year-old LGBTQ+ young adults who have been displaced from their homes, often by parents who do not accept their sexual orientation, has now been opened by OutFront Kalamazoo. 

Feature Story Recycle

Grant award: Kalamazoo’s recycling program launches cart-to-cart recycling lessons

Thanks to a new grant-funded program the City of Kalamazoo will start teaching people to do a better job recycling, by taking to the streets to check residential bins one at a time, tagging those that need work on their recycling choices.

Feature Story Michigan History Conference

Calhoun County's history is focus of annual meeting of state’s Historical Society

The history of the City of Albion, and events and individuals of historical significance in Battle Creek, Homer, and Jackson will be the focus of the Historical Society of Michigan’s 148th Annual Meeting and Michigan History Conference Sept. 23-25.

Feature Story On the Ground Kalamazoo Kalamazoo Public Library

More than book learning: The Kalamazoo Public Library has had answers for 150 years

In 1884, the Kalamazoo Public Library was one of the first libraries in the nation to have a room designated for children. The library is still dedicated to providing early childhood literacy opportunities as part of its larger mission today -- which is to lead a stronger community through literacy, learning, and innovation. It’s all part of the history to be celebrated as Kalamazoo Public Library commemorates its 150th anniversary with a series of events.

Feature Story Sharon DeHaan gets off at an accessible bus stop

Kalamazoo area’s accessible transit system has been almost 20 years in the making

Less than 10% of Kalamazoo’s nearly 800 bus stops were considered accessible a dozen years ago, but today almost half are accessible. In 2020, the city of Kalamazoo designated $180,000 of its sidewalk improvement budget to creating accessible bus stops in its five core neighborhoods. 

Feature Story On the Ground Kalamazoo Central Library Library 150th

150 years after its humble beginning, the Kalamazoo Public Library has lots to celebrate

As the Kalamazoo Public Library hits 150 yeart is its taking the time to celebrate with activities, programs, and opportunities to reflect on the library’s history and to also shine a light on the current ways the library provides meaning for so many today through its collections, services, and engagement.

Feature Story UPword logo

Issue Media Group relaunches Upper Peninsula publication

Issue Media Group is excited to announce the relaunch of its online, community-informed, digital publication in the Upper Peninsula. UPword will focus on innovation, talent, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and community development, while featuring U.P.-based talent.

Longform Housing Solutions List image Core 60

The time is now for minority contractors in the City of Kalamazoo, consultants say

Opportunities for minorities to work for themselves, own their own companies, and build wealth — those are the goals of a pilot program called Core 60 that teaches “core” business competencies with one-on-one counseling and group sessions as participants prepare for a 60-hour building license.

Feature Story Michigan We Choose

Michigan We Choose lifts up voices of members of Black and Brown communities

With school districts being threatened with closure across the state, Michigan We Choose has found a way to support districts before they are taken over by the state or absorbed into another district as Albion schools were. 

Longform Help Home Personal ID* Program GPS ID bracelets.

Many happy returns: GPS ID bracelets help Michiganders living with dementia find their way home

A new collaboration in Calhoun County has helped 135 missing people with dementia return safely home – and made life easier for their caregivers, local law enforcement, and health care providers.

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek Drone Park

Battle Creek Unlimited seeks a drone park at its Executive Airport, claim place in emerging sector

The city’s sizable military presence gives Battle Creek an advantage over other areas of the United States that also may be looking to establish a drone presence for these Unmanned Aerial Systems controlled from the ground by trained pilots.

Battle Creek

A call for foster families

There's a need for more foster care homes in Calhoun County, especially for youth who identify as LGBTQ+.  A mom who has fostered more than 30 children talks about why her family keeps opening their home. For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.
 
 

Kalamazoo

Home of her own

At one point, in a one-bedroom apartment on Vine Street Kathy White had seven kids living in that one-bedroom apartment. Her family members had nowhere else to live and so she took the in. After 50 years sharing her home with so many family members, she now has her own space. Many local residents double-up because the housing market makes it hard to find affordable housing.  Read the full story here. Read more stories here.