Feature Story Two GRIT wheelchair users pose at a local park.

All-terrain wheelchair loan program opens outdoors to more users

The GRIT wheelchair can go across all terrains standard wheelchairs can’t, and a West Michigan family who knows the constraints of conventional wheelchair use has created a program to allow the public borrow two of them.

Feature Story AllyKat Salons

Kalamazoo's AllyKat, a body art, lash and brow salon, helps LGBTQIA + feel at home in Vine

AllyKat Studios, LLC, is a new lash, brow, micro-blading, and tattoo studio that caters to the Queer community. For clients who are currently transitioning genders, a new set of eyelashes, the right brow shape, or even gender-affirming tattoos, AllyKat owners say, can help lessen the dysphoria that oftentimes accompanies a transition.

Feature Story Natalie Baker

New partnership takes flight at WMU’s College of Aviation in Battle Creek

Western Michigan University's College of Aviation announced a new partnership with Allegiant Travel Company. The Accelerate Pilot Pathway program will streamline the career trajectory for graduates in an industry that is experiencing pilot shortages.

Longform VOY Climate

Voices of Youth: A climate change education law in Michigan?

In this radio story, Voices of Youth Kalamazoo's Harper Horvath speaks with State Representative Julie Rogers about an important environmental literacy bill proposed by Rogers and 30 fellow representatives that could change the way climate is taught in the state.

Feature Story BC Pride Thanksgiving

Battle Creek Pride to host Thanksgiving Dinner at Christ United Methodist Church

“There are a lot of free Thanksgiving dinners that happen throughout Calhoun County and this one is a family-friendly, fun event and it’s completely free to the public," says Chris Fulbright, meal coordinator and 'executive chef.' "We just want people to come in and enjoy their food and each other's company.” 

Feature Story Housing Solutions Habitat in Portage

Portage works with Habitat for Humanity to build affordable homes

It's been a while, but now Habitat for Humanity is working in Portage to put up houses as the county works to improve the affordable housing situation. 

Feature Story KRock-SMALL

Rock musicians with autism to be honored with Discover Ability Award

Together, Keegan Russell and Keenan Miller keep the beat as the band K-Rock. The musicians were nominated by Autism Support of Kent County because “they show others what is possible when individuals are given a chance to shine.”

Feature Story GBKSmall

Nonprofit that breaks down barriers for girls wins free marketing help

Muskegon marketing firm Revel to provide pro bono assistance for Girls Build Kalamazoo during 24-hour marketing marathon on Giving Tuesday.

Feature Story Carol-Small

‘It’s been good to give back in a way that I can,’ says volunteer driver

Community Action of Allegan County is looking for more volunteer drivers like Steve Riley, who gives seniors rides to and from their appointments. He also delivers food to people in need at least once a month.

Longform Ciao Bella Chocolat

Success smells sweet for Battle Creek chocolatier

“I can’t believe I can make something so good," says Karen Pacella, owner of Ciao Bella Chocolat. "Real chocolate is so different. I love the taste and the opportunity to be creative... I smile when I walk through the door."

Feature Story Kalamazoo Philharmonia

Bloom of Youth: Kalamazoo Philharmonia features music across time with musicians across generations

“Music feeds the soul, feeds the brain, and it can be a wonderful way to commune with people,” says Joanna Steinhauser, concertmaster of the 'K Phil,' a multi-generational, Kalamazoo College community orchestra. “Students can sometimes live inside a bubble in college, but this gets them out of that bubble and to share something beautiful with the community.”

Feature Story Kingdom Builders Child Care

Kingdom Builders to open childcare facility in early 2024

“We need to make sure our children and families are at the forefront,” says Dr. Tino Smith. “I have always been a follower of Frederick Douglass and agree with his words — It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men and I would extend that to broken people given the times we are in.”

Feature Story Suipi's East End Eatry

Suipi's East End Eatery serving up award-winning fare in Battle Creek

Winner of Best Noodles in Battle Creek's recent Restaurant Week, and taking home 4th prize in the first regional Food Prize, Suipi's East End Eatery, which opened in May, has added a new Burmese-inspired East Asian flavor to Battle Creek's food scene.

Feature Story Miranda-Grunwell-SMALL

‘I can finally vote by myself’: Portage disability advocate improves accessibility at the polls

Disability advocate Miranda Grunwell has voted in every election for the past 22 years, since she turned 18. But it hasn’t been easy because of a severe learning disability. 

Longform Housing Solutions Dignity in Motion

Bikes give Dignity in Motion for Kalamazoo unhoused

Dignity in Motion was formed when Judy Lowery realized that people who are unhoused not only need shelter, they need transportation. Its waiting list is now at 27 people requesting bikes. The demand is year-round — last winter, they gave away about 30 bikes.

Feature Story Renewable Energy

FireKeepers thinking seven generations ahead in major renewable energy move

“The Tribe is always seeking to look ahead to seven generations into the future as they plan for things,” says Jim Wise, FireKeepers' VP of Marketing. "Equally important, is (the Tribe's) love of Mother Earth which is exhibited by our ability to take vast amounts of energy needed from 100 percent renewable sources.”

Feature Story BC Children's Spa

New Battle Creek children's spa will primp and pamper the youngest set

“I have a passion for kids. My mom was always good at that and it trickled down to me,” says Shannon Patrick, owner of Primped and Proper. “I wanted to introduce kids to the importance of taking care of their personal appearance. It won’t be a full-service spa, but I want them to know what it feels like to be pampered early on.”

Feature Story Dr. Grace Lubwama

Dr. Grace Lubwama reflects on new role as Kalamazoo Community Foundation leader

Philanthropy doesn't mean you have to have a lot of money, says Dr. Grace Lubwama, new CEO and President of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation. Every person can leave a legacy. "But if you have a heart of charity, and care about this community, and want to see this community thrive," she says, "the community foundation is your partner on that journey."

Longform Amy Romain, program director of behavioral medicine, Sparrow Health System/MSU Family Medicine Residency, and Emalie Karp, Sparrow Health System/MSU Family Medicine Residency behavioral medicine faculty member.

Michigan initiatives create new supports for parents experiencing postpartum depression

Over 23,000 Michigan women and their families per year are affected by perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, but several innovative initiatives are working to change that.

Feature Story Housing Coaltion Michelle Davis

A key housing organization says Kalamazoo POD community will not happen in time for winter

HRI has evaluated many locations in Kalamazoo County where a POD (Place of Dignity) Community could be placed, but so far, none proved feasible. The small modular homes will remain in storage this coming winter as the search continues.

Battle Creek

How Battle Creek's Jamari Taylor paints a picture of success

Artist and muralist Jamari Taylor, inspired by her own Battle Creek Central High School art teacher, is paying it forward through classes and one-on-one art instruction through the Arts and Culture Collective of Battle Creek. For the full story, click hereFor more stories, please visit here.


Bike's give Dignity in Motion for Kalamazoo unhoused

Dignity in Motion was formed when Judy Lowery realized that people who are unhoused not only need shelter, they need transportation. Its waiting list is now at 27 people requesting bikes. The demand is year-round — last winter, they gave away about 30 bikes. Read the full story here. Read more stories here.