Battle Creek

BC Roundup: Narcan distribution, affirmative action, KCC Reconnect

This roundup is part of Southwest Michigan Second Wave's On the Ground Battle Creek series.

Substance Abuse Council and City of Battle Creek team up to fight opioid overdose deaths

A naloxone (Narcan) distribution box has been installed at the downtown Battle Creek Intermodal Transportation Center (ITC) at 119 McCamly Street. This box is a refurbished metal newspaper stand that will hold 100 naloxone kits. Each kit has three doses of naloxone, as well as gloves, a facemask, and resources to access treatment.

The kits are available for free, to anyone who needs one. The Battle Creek ITC is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. seven days a week.

The need for more naloxone access comes as overdoses in Calhoun County have been increasing due to many drugs being laced with fentanyl. Naloxone is a safe and life-saving medication designed to reverse an opioid overdose. This reversal agent can restore normal breathing and save the life of a person who is experiencing an overdose. It is vital to get this into the hands of family members, friends, and community members who know or are around those in active addiction.

“We are thankful to the Substance Abuse Council for providing this resource in a city facility where many people will be able to access it,” said Battle Creek Police Chief Shannon Bagley. “We can better protect the community together, and this is another way neighbors can help those who are battling addiction.”

Dawn Smith (left), Executive Director of the Substance Abuse Council and Mallory Avis, City of Battle Creek Public Transit Director, stand with the new Narcan dispenser at the city's Intermodal Transportation Center in downtown Battle Creek.Even though naloxone is lifesaving, someone experiencing an opioid overdose still needs emergency treatment after receiving naloxone. Many bystanders/witnesses are scared to call 911 out of fear they will get into trouble with the police. Michigan has passed the Good Samaritan law to protect them from being arrested for certain drug-related crimes or being searched. Research has shown these laws can lower the number of opioid overdose deaths by 15%.

“We are very excited to have the City of Battle Creek partner with us in providing easy access to this necessary medication for loved ones who are using substances,” said Dawn Smith, Executive Director of the Substance Abuse Council. “Our website has online training on how to administer and additional resources.”.

In addition to the Battle Creek ITC, community members can obtain naloxone at several locations, free of charge, including Summit Pointe, the SHARE Center, and the Alano Club.

Additional boxes will be installed in Albion and Marshall this summer. Find more information online at

W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s CEO issues the following statement about U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Affirmative Action:

Our founder, W.K. Kellogg, believed that education offers the greatest opportunity for generational change, and that’s why, at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we’ve spent nearly a century working with communities to build a more equitable world where every child has access to the opportunities they need to thrive.

Following today's rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court in two affirmative action cases, I am profoundly concerned that these efforts have become more challenging. I’m sure many of you, our committed partners in this decades-long journey, are also angry, tired, and worried about the path forward.

These decisions will make it more difficult to address inequities young people of color face on the path to college and toward futures that tap into their full talents and potential.

La June Montgomery Tabron, President & CEO W.K. Kellogg FoundationAt the same time, I am reminded of the power of solidarity, the spirit of which has helped us navigate the disappointments, heartaches, and trials of the past few years. In this defining moment, my colleagues and I at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation remain steadfastly committed to the fight for racial equity and opportunity for all students.

We will stay the course while looking to and working alongside everyone who plays pivotal leadership roles in ensuring all people can access and succeed in higher education and beyond -- including colleges and universities, K-12 schools, and the public and private sectors. Our children's ability to access quality education affects all of us.

I invite you to read the foundation’s full statement and visit our SCOTUS resource hub to learn more about the ruling, read our grantees’ and partners’ statements, and find resources to address the decision and its ramifications.

In Solidarity,
La June Montgomery Tabron
President & CEO
W.K. Kellogg Foundation

KCC to celebrate Reconnect Week with community events July 17-20

Kellogg Community College will join Michigan Community College Association member colleges across the state this month to host a series of Michigan Reconnect events on campus.
Reconnect Week at KCC will run from Monday, July 17, through Thursday, July 20, with events and activities to encourage new eligible students to take advantage of the free-tuition program and sign up for classes at KCC.

In February of 2021, the state’s Michigan Reconnect program began providing free in-district community college tuition to eligible students aged 25 and older without a college degree. Since that time more than 1,700 students have taken advantage of the program to further their education at KCC.
Reconnect Week at KCC events, all of which are free and open to the public, include:
  • Reconnect Week at KCC Kickoff Cookout from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 17, on campus at 450 North Ave. The family-friendly kickoff event will include free burgers and hot dogs provided by KCC’s Bruin Bistro, yard games, music, and other activities, along with KCC staff on hand to provide campus tours and assist anyone interested in enrolling at KCC or learning more about the Michigan Reconnect program. Participants can also enter a drawing for a $100 gift card to the Bruin Bookstore.
  • Reconnect Week at KCC Grahl Center Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, at KCC’s Grahl Center campus at 125 Seeley St. in Coldwater. The event will feature picnic-style foods, snow cone making, music, giveaways, and more. Additionally, staff will be available for campus tours and opportunities to complete various KCC enrollment processes, including assistance with the Michigan Reconnect program.
  • What’s Your Why: Meet the President event with KCC President Dr. Paul Watson from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Kellogg Room of the Student Center on campus at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek. The event will offer a free lunch, opportunities to meet the KCC president, hear from current Michigan Reconnect students, and more, including giveaways of KCC swag. Participants can also complete necessary KCC enrollment processes, learn more about the Michigan Reconnect program and take a tour of campus.
  • Reconnect Week at KCC Feshenfeld Center Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 20, at KCC’s Fehsenfeld Center campus at 2950 West M-179 Highway in Hastings. The open house will also feature picnic-style foods, snow-cone making, music, giveaways, and more, in addition to campus tours and opportunities to complete various KCC enrollment processes, including assistance with the Michigan Reconnect program.
KCC will also celebrate the week online and on social media with various digital initiatives, including posts highlighting Michigan Reconnect information and other resources.
For more information about Reconnect Week at KCC events or the Michigan Reconnect program, contact the KCC Financial Aid Office at 269-965-4123 or
About Michigan Reconnect
The state’s Michigan Reconnect program provides free in-district tuition and covers the cost of mandatory fees and contact hours for eligible applicants to pursue select associate degree or certificate programs at any public community college in Michigan.
Eligible students must:
  • Be at least 25 years old when they apply
  • Have lived in Michigan for a year or more
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor's)
For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions about the program, visit the states’ Michigan Reconnect web page. More information about using Michigan Reconnect funds at KCC is available on the KCC website.

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Read more articles by Jane Parikh.

Jane Parikh is a freelance reporter and writer with more than 20 years of experience and also is the owner of In So Many Words based in Battle Creek. She is the Project Editor for On the Ground Battle Creek.