Features

Feature Story Stock — Child Care

MI Tri-Share Child Care program gives boost to families and Blue Water Area businesses

Launched in St. Clair County in June 2022, the MI Tri-Share Child Care program increases the affordability of child care for families while helping local employers attract and retain a skilled workforce.

Feature Story 3 North Lexington - Drinks

Locally-owned winery enhances downtown Lexington’s small business community

Following the prosperity of their winery and tasting room in Croswell, 3 North Vines undertook an expansion, introducing a taphouse and eatery to downtown Lexington in 2021. Co-owner Kristi Nichols-Shopbell shares a look into their journey establishing the winery and their vision for 3 North Lexington.

Feature Story Ren Sontsmann takes a picture with their mosaic class showing off their creations.

Ren Sontsmann: Port Huron artist and LGBTQ+ advocate shares their creative journey

Meet Ren Sontsmann, a Port Huron resident known for their vibrant stained glass creations and intricate mosaic artwork. Discover their unique style and their impact on bolstering public art in the Blue Water Area.

Partner Content Members of NAMI Blue Water Area meet to discuss upcoming training opportunities to bring to the community.

NAMI Blue Water Area leaders share their motivation behind getting involved

Community members share why they got involved with NAMI Blue Water Area, a new affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) that is dedicated to supporting those impacted by mental illness.

Feature Story Local artists Tara Hutton (left) and SK Mabry participate in Mary's Color Theory III Class held at New Century Art Gallery in Marine City.

Local art gallery receives $30k grant helping boost creative offerings in the Blue Water Area

In the wake of receiving substantial funding through a competitive grant program, the owner of New Century Art Gallery in Marine City outlines her vision for broadening the gallery's operations and its capacity to enhance the local art scene.

Feature Story Steve Nordgren poses for a photo in front of his artwork.

How mentorship and art are creating beautiful spaces in Port Huron

In Port Huron, artists have transformed buildings, storm drains, and many other public spaces with their creative works. Explore the story behind two of the most recent projects in the Blue Water Area.

Feature Story Southside Neighborhood Improvement Authority meeting at the Elger G. Harvey Reinvestment Center in Port Huron.

Investing in the Southside: Community-led group initiates change in Port Huron

Recently established, the new Port Huron Southside Neighborhood Improvement Authority is laying the foundation to boost the quality of life for Southside neighborhood residents.

Partner Content Stock — Student Studying

$250,000 gift to benefit SC4 students

Made possible with a gift of $250,000, the creation of the Thomas K. Andison Endowed Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation of St. Clair County will provide support for students attending St. Clair County Community College.

Feature Story Owner of The First Cup Jake Skarbek shakes hands with former owner Don Peterson.

The First Cup: Clay Township coffee shop gets new owner and new look

With a new owner and new name, a long-standing coffee shop in Clay Township has reopened after a brief closure for renovations. Here’s what’s next for The First Cup.

Feature Story Small Business Cohort program flyer

New Small Business Cohort program offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their business

The Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County recently launched a new program available to entrepreneurs in several Michigan counties that is designed to connect entrepreneurs with training and resources conducive to growing their businesses.

Longform Melvin Henley

Growing Michigan Together Council addresses housing and other concerns across the state

Established by Governor Whitmer, the Growing Michigan Together Council works to develop a long-term plan of action to address many issues of concern across the state. Different goals include jobs, talent, and people; infrastructure and places; PreK-12 and higher education, and revenue. Block by Block spoke with the Executive Director of the Growing Michigan Together Council and Michigan’s first Chief Growth Officer Hilary Doe, and Melvin Henley at Community Economic Development Association of Michigan to hear about the council’s report.   

Partner Content The conference will include four break-out sessions offering a choice among 15 different topics.
Feature Story Aerial view of the new path running along Clinton Avenue in St. Clair.

Bridge to Bay Trail adds new connection on Clinton Avenue in St. Clair

The development of the Clinton Avenue pathway in St. Clair is one of the most recent advancements in the Bridge to Bay Trail initiative, a region-wide effort aimed at bolstering recreational opportunities and tourism through increased connectivity.

Longform Dr. Kelsey Sala-Hamrick is the Michigan Public Health Institute's MI ACE project director.

200-partner collaborative raises awareness about impact of adverse childhood experiences in Michigan

Partners in the Michigan ACE Initiative are working to raise awareness of the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), prevent ACEs, and foster resilience among children who have experienced them. 

Longform MDHHS staff early 20th century.

State of Michigan public health celebrates 150 years of service to Michiganders

The State of Michigan’s public health system recently celebrated its sesquicentennial: 150 years in service to Michiganders. To mark the occasion, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has shared a nice collection of sesquicentennial information on its website.   

Partner Content Adrienne Luckenbacher, Mental Hhealth First Aid Trainer at St. Clair County Community Mental Health leads the training with a group of Blue Water Developmental Housing employees.

Support to build a resilient community

At St. Clair County Community Mental Health, initiatives such as Mental Health First Aid and the Critical Incident Stress Management Team are emphasizing the importance of early intervention and community support in addressing mental health crises.

Feature Story Marisa Spain, 27, is a power wheelchair user with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSH), a progressive hereditary disease that causes muscle weakness in several areas of the body.

Michigan resident launches YouTube channel, Disabled in Nature, promoting accessibility awareness

Born with Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy, Marisa Spain slowly lost the ability to walk and run; but, has not lost her love of nature. However, nature (or simply answering the call of nature) isn’t always as accessible to her today as a power wheelchair user as it was when she was younger, and she’s hoping to help change that with her new YouTube channel.

Feature Story A Little Hobby Ceramics Studio is located within Birchwood Mall in Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

A Little Hobby Ceramics Studio expands business with new location in Fort Gratiot

Previously located in Marysville, A Little Hobby Ceramics Studio has reopened with a new home at Birchwood Mall offering more opportunities to learn and explore ceramic artmaking.

Longform Child at NEST Child Care and Parent Institute in Detroit

Michigan makes the leap to improved educational opportunities with MiLEAP

MiLEAP consolidates the expansion of Pre-K for All, Sixty by 30, which would see 60% of working-age Michiganders with a postsecondary degree or certificate by 2030, and all education in between. 

Partner Content A completed home repair in Genesee County.

FHLBank of Indianapolis home repair programs make life-changing impacts on homeowners

The FHLBank of Indianapolis provides impactful resources for communities in Michigan and provides home repair programs and additional resources to homeowners via lenders like1st State Bank in Saginaw and Metro Community Development Corporation in Flint.