Features

Longform SLD student Rayla in a tutoring session.

For some first through fourth graders reading is hard, but SLD's multi-sensory approach helps

Kalamazoo Youth Literacy Program SLD Read Seeks Tutors to help new young readers feel like school belongs to them, too. “Working with kids, you get more back than you give them,” says one tutor, calling it “a feel-good hour.”

Longform 2022 Annual Round-Up

It's time for our annual round-up

What were 2022’s most-read Southwest Michigan Second Wave’s stories? Read on to find out what you might have missed.

Longform Boonikka Herring

Battle Creek's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation continues to work for positive change

In five years, Battle Creek’s Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation has changed conversations and deepened relationships, as well as been a catalyst for positive change.

Feature Story Kazoo Mastadon logo

Something to toot about: Kalamazoo has its own Mastodon server

Mastodon has arrived in Kalamazoo!  Is it a large extinct mammal or a local ‘instance’ that’s part of the fediverse? Correspondent Mark Wedel will help you decide.

Feature Story Kathy with camera

Southwest Michigan Second Wave ushers in 2023 with new editorial management

Southwest Michigan Second Wave announces a change in editorial leadership as longtime Managing Editor Kathy Jennings expands her role with parent company Issue Media Group.  

Feature Story Call line staff working in the team room at Summit Pointe’s First Step Urgent Care.

Community mental health agency call lines connect Michiganders with local crisis care

A call to a local community mental health crisis line can sometimes be more direct and offer services that may not be available when calling 988 or MiCAL.

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek Human Relations Board

Kyra Wallace to leave the Southwestern Michigan Urban League In April

Longtime Southwestern Michigan Urban League President and CEO Kyra Wallace is preparing to leave after 17 years. But she’s committed to staying connected.

Feature Story Helm Ad

Issue Media Group launches new publication ‘The Helm’’ serving Greater Sandusky Region

Issue Media Group is excited to announce the company’s latest online news platform – The Helm Sandusky. This publication will tell the stories of investment, innovation, entrepreneurship, and individuals that are shaping the Greater Sandusky Ohio region.

Feature Story The iBill Talking Banknote Identifier, is a small, handheld device that quickly identifies the bill’s denomination.

Currency readers available for Michiganders who are blind or visually impaired

Michiganders who are blind or visually impaired can now apply to receive an audible currency reader at no cost through the Michigan Braille and Talking Book Library.

Longform Voices of Youth Daniel Fall 2022

Voices of Youth: School violence, a photo story

This photo story features the work of Daniel Kibezi a student at Milwood Middle School in the sixth grade. This is Daniel’s second session with Kalamazoo Voices of Youth. He enjoys photography and uses this art form to explore the topic of policing in schools. 

Longform VOICES OF YOUTH KALAMAZOO MENTAL HEALTH

Voices of Youth: Teen mental health, a photo story

This story features the work of Plamedie Ekumbaki a freshman at Kalamazoo Central High School. She was drawn to youth mental health as a topic and illustrated it through pictures. 

Longform Voices of Youth In school violence 2022

Voices of Youth: In School Violence, a photo story

This photo story features the work of Habakuki Kibezi, who attends Loy Norrix High School. This is his first Voices of Youth Kalamazoo session. He chose photography to illustrate the problems and solutions associated with in school violence.

Longform Solar panels are part of the village's SMART Park.

Cassopolis: A village reimagined

A rural community in southwestern Michigan looks for a brighter future, tapping grants and other monies to revamp its downtown and add new amenities, including a beach, a pier and a skate park.

Longform SWM Journalism Collaborative

No-cost mental health helps for those seeking a holistic approach

A variety of holistic mental health options exist that are free or nearly so. Here is a roundup of research-proven ideas to increase well-being.

Longform Voices of Youth Kalamazoo Climate

Voices of Youth: Why teens should care about climate change, and what's being done locally

Climate change is a growing concern for both youth and adults. Our Voices of Youth correspondent examines what Kalamazoo is doing to protect the environment.

Longform Voices of Youth

Voices of Youth: Schools try to improve safety. Some students and their families remain fearful

Safety measures and programs aimed at curbing gun violence among youth are in place and numbers of gun-related incidents in Kalamazoo are decreasing. Our Voices of Youth correspondent, Regina Kibezi, examines what’s being done about gun violence and how local youth are affected.

Longform Spirit Springs Farm

Apples of John Claridge’s eyes: Marcellus heirloom apple farm boasts 80 varieties

For a living taste of history, visit Marcellus’ Spirit Springs Farm started by the late John Claridge. The 70-year-old orchard features over 80 heirloom apple varieties. A new generation of the family is keeping the spirit alive in the orchard. And those who tour the land appreciate its unique offerings.   

Longform On the Ground Battle Creek ALICE VETS

Latest ALICE report suggests veterans' assistance is helping but work still needs to be done

A recently released report from the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and its research partner, United For ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed)  veterans' needs outstrip available resources, especially those struggling financially.

Longform Housing Solutions Milestone Senior Services

Milestone Senior Services helps elders stay in homes — one furnace, handrail, and ramp at a time

Milestone Senior Services administers several programs and services to help seniors and the disabled live independently, including home repairs and the installation of safety features. “They really care,” one senior says. “A lot of people might come in and do something. But these people really care.”

Longform Housing Solutions Playgrown Home Start update

Home Start Initiative believes its approaches to affordable housing will help project move forward

Services from financial education to emotional health and daycare are part of the package that is Playgrown Home Start, a community of 10 homes near what was once a tent encampment of the unhoused. The project is seeking funding and the project leader says: "I have faith in our grantors, I have faith, I have so much faith in this project and our team."  

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.