Category Archives: Community News

Lumberjacks score three straight after falling behind 2-1 to skate to the win over the Eastern Conference-Leading Steel

Muskegon Lumberjacks LogoThe Muskegon Lumberjacks put together an impressive win on the road Friday.



The Lumberjacks showed some resolve in rallying for three straight goals after host Chicago scored two early goals in the second period to take the lead.



Muskegon fought off the Steel down the stretch to earn a 5-3 win, its third straight after an 0-4 start.



The Lumberjacks will go for four wins in a row back home at L.C. Walker Arena Saturday against the Green Bay Gamblers at 7:05 p.m.



“The good part is the guys responded to win that second period, and that was absolutely huge,” Muskegon coach Mike Hamilton said. “It was good to see. I keep saying we keep learning day by day, and it was good to see we are learning the lesson to not let games get away from us.



“The guys put their bodies on the line. We had 10 blocks in the last 10 minutes and it was fun to see them sacrificing to get the win. That’s three in a row, and the guys have a huge opportunity to get a weekend sweep (Saturday).”



Muskegon now has six points on the young season and is four points behind Chicago, Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.



The Lumberjacks played solid from the start and took a 1-0 lead at 16:20 of the first period when Ryan Sorkin pounced on a loose puck off a shot from Ryan Poorman to score his first of the season.



Chicago got going after the first intermission, scoring twice in the first five minutes of the second period to take a 2-1 lead.



The Lumberjacks proved undaunted, however, and responded with a pair of goals of their own. AJ Hodges took a nifty pass from Luke Mobley and beat Steel goalie Victor Ostman at 13:11 of the second to tie the game at 2-all, and a little over a minute later Alex Gaffney skated through the crease and deposited a backhander above the glove of Ostman and into the net for the Lumberjack lead. Tanner Edwards and Zack Malik drew the assists on the play.



Edwards scored what proved to be the game-winner at 2:38 of the third period with assists from Gaffney and Alex Konovalov. Chicago drew to within 4-3 with a little more than 13 minutes to play in the game thanks to Tyler Carpenter, but Muskegon allowed them to draw no closer.



The Lumberjacks fought threw a late penalty and later being shorthanded because the Steel pulled Ostman in favor of an extra attacker. Oliver MacDonald made them pay with an empty-net goal with 1:17 remaining to ice the big win over the team which ousted them from the playoffs last season. Iivari Rasanen got the assist.



Muskegon goalie Jonathon (Jack) Williams played well throughout the contest and finished 31-of-34 to get the win.



“Jack really played well and made some key saves for us,” Hamilton said. “I thought he was outstanding.”



Uula Ruikka and Gunnarwolfe Fontaine scored the two second-period goals for the Steel, who fall to 5-2. The first goal came while the two teams were skating 4-on-4, and the second came on the power play.



The Lumberjacks played very strong when the game was 5-on-5.

“We didn’t have the smartest start to the second period,” Hamilton said. “You don’t want to open up the ice to a team with that much skill. Fortunately we recovered to get the win.”



The Steel finished 1-for-5 on the power play, although Carpenter’s goal came two seconds after a man advantage expired. Muskegon, which was outshot 34-24 for the game, drew just one power play chance and did not capitalize on it.



Saturday night’s contest vs. Green Bay is celebrate the city of Muskegon night, as the Lumberjacks help the city celebrate its 150th birthday.



Special jerseys will be worn by the Lumberjacks, and the jerseys will be auctioned off after the game.



For the full USHL standings, click here.

Haunted Tunnel at Van’s Car Wash & Quick Lube- Apple Avenue Location- Nov. 1 & 2

Van’s Car Wash & Quick Lube is getting ready for its fifth annual Halloween-themed haunted event. The car wash at the Apple Ave. location will be transformed into a terrorizing tunnel, to benefit a local charity.


The event began in 2015, with about 90 cars participating. This year, Van’s expects to see 1,000 or more. Annually, this event raises thousands of dollars for a local non-profit. Pioneer Resources, this year’s benefactor, offers a diverse array of individualized supports for persons with disabilities and seniors. They provide housing, transportation services, ABA Therapy for individuals diagnosed with Autism, recreational opportunities, employment and vocational training services, independent living support, and recreational opportunities in Muskegon and Ottawa counties. For more on their services:


In the past, the Haunted Car Wash was integrated with the operating car wash. This year, because of the volume of cars and for the security of the volunteers, the car wash will not be running for safety reasons. The additional volunteers will allow for more haunting and special effects in the tunnel. Each car will also receive a spooky goodie bag while supplies last.


Haunted Tunnel
When: Nov. 1 & 2 from 7-10 pm
Location: 2226 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon
Cost: $10 donation, 100% of the proceeds going to Pioneer Resources


Van’s Car Wash & Quick Lube has been locally owned and managed, serving the community since it opened its first car wash on Sherman Blvd. in 1969. The Haunted Tunnel is one of many events on the 2019 calendar, all to celebrate 50 years of service in the community. For other upcoming events and promotions, please visit for details. Services include car washes and quick lube/oil change services with seven locations in the Muskegon, Fruitport, and Fremont areas. The Sherman location offers repairs and other maintenance. Van’s car washes are one of the few locations that prep and spot clean your car before the automated wash. Also, with each oil change or auto service purchased, customers receive a free car wash. For a list of all locations and Haunted Tunnel details, please visit

Muskegon will travel to defending Eastern Conference Champions Chicago Friday before returning to host Green Bay Saturday

Muskegon Lumberjacks LogoThe Muskegon Lumberjacks picked a good time to start firing on all cylinders.


After a tough 0-4 start, the Lumberjacks roared back with back-to-back wins this past weekend to gain momentum heading into a big weekend against a couple of their toughest Eastern Conference foes.


Muskegon (2-4) travels to defending Eastern Conference champ Chicago Friday before returning home Saturday to take on Green Bay.


The Steel, who ousted the Lumberjacks from the Clark Cup playoffs last year, have played strong so far this year on their way to a 5-1 record.


The Gamblers are 3-3, but gave Chicago its only loss of the season.


This will be the second straight rare weekend where Muskegon will play on the road Friday night and return home for a Saturday night home tilt.


“We know we have a tough weekend ahead of us,” Muskegon coach Mike Hamilton said. “Chicago is a very tough team and Green Bay has beaten them, so it’s going to be a tough couple of games for sure.


“It’s kind of a goofy schedule. After playing at Chicago we’ll get back home at three in the morning. But it is what it is, and we’ll just have to deal with it.”


Hamilton added his team will also have to fight through a little bout with the injury bug, but that the blue line is getting stronger with the debut of Iivari Rasanen last weekend and the pending return of defenseman David Gucciardi from suspension.


The Steel and Gamblers play two different styles, so it will challenge Muskegon’s ability to adapt.


The Gamblers will play a more disciplined, defensive brand of hockey but will also play a very physical game.


“We’ll have to play a good puck possession game,” Hamilton said. “We’ll need to have clean entries and break through their system to get shots on goal. The amount of shots we’ve gotten has been key to our wins and our losses so far this season.”


Hamilton is encouraged that Muskegon’s received really good goaltending two weekends in a row.


Friday’s game at Chicago will be at 8:05 p.m. at the Fox Valley Ice Arena.


“Things are progressing well, we’re getting better every week and we’ll try to keep that going this weekend,” Hamilton said.


The Lumberjacks will help Muskegon celebrate 150 years Saturday with their 7:05 p.m. puck drop at L.C. Walker Arena. They will wear special jerseys which will be auctioned off after the game.

Teen addiction recovery program to launch in Muskegon County

The program will be the only one of its kind in West Michigan

A new addiction recovery program will help Muskegon County teens battling self- destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, fighting, and drug use develop skills to overcome these behaviors and live a healthy life.


HealthWest, Muskegon County’s Community Mental Health Services Program, is launching SMART Recovery for Teens, which will help youth 13 and older with addiction recovery. It is the only program of its type in West Michigan and is just the second SMART Recovery for Teens program in the state.


“What you do as a teenager can set the stage for the rest of your life,” said HealthWest Clinical Supervisor Meaghan Dulin, who is helping to spearhead the program. “We are excited to work with the youth of Muskegon County to develop healthy habits that will stick with them and set them up for success.”


Recent state data showed more than 21 percent of Muskegon County high school students surveyed have smoked cigarettes and nearly 40 percent have drunk alcohol. The data also revealed that 8 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported binge drinking in the past 30 days and the surveyed teens were on average only 14 years old when they reported being drunk for the first time.


Nearly 15 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported being offered illegal drugs while on school property in the past year and nearly 29 percent reported trying marijuana.


“It’s clear that Muskegon County teens are using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco,” Dulin said. “We’re here to provide them with a safe, welcoming space where they can come together to work on changing those behaviors that hurt themselves and others.”


SMART Recovery is a self-help program that will help participants get and stay motivated; cope with urges; self-manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and live a balanced life. It is not a 12-step program.


Meetings will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday starting Oct. 22 at the HealthWest Transition Age Services facility, 131 E. Apple Ave., 3rd Floor. There is no cost to attend meetings.



What: SMART Recovery For Teens

Where: HealthWest Transition Age Services facility, 131 E. Apple Ave., 3rd Floor

When: 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday. Meetings will begin Oct. 22.

Who: Teens 13+

Spooky Halloween fun of Zoo Goes Boo returns to John Ball Zoo

It’s that spooky time of year and John Ball Zoo is joining in the Halloween fun. The Zoo’s annual ZOO GOES BOO event is one of the favorite family destinations for trick-or-treating in West Michigan and starts this Friday.


John Ball Zoo will transform into the ultimate Halloween destination with decorations, entertainment, costumes, candy, and special animal encounters. ZOO GOES BOO runs for two weekends starting October 18 – 20 and again October 25 – 27, with each day open from 10:00a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Guests are encouraged to get in on the spooky fun and wear costumes. Also, John Ball Zoo is always looking for ways to be a friend of the environment, so they request that guests bring their own reusable bags for trick-or-treating or purchase one from the gift shop.


John Ball Zoo reminds families to make mindful choices when shopping for chocolate and candy this Halloween. Buy from companies that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil or chocolate products certified by the Rainforest Alliance. All the treats being handed out at ZOO GOES BOO will be certified.


John Ball Zoo would like to remind guests ZOO GOES BOO is a children’s event and adults in costume are requested to dress appropriately. ZOO GOES BOO is presented by Meijer.


You can find out more about the event online at John Ball Zoo is located on Fulton Ave., one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids.

Muskegon’s offense stays hot in 7-4 win on opening night

Muskegon Lumberjacks LogoThe Muskegon Lumberjacks’ offense put on another show, scoring seven times en route to a 7-4 win over Team USA U17 on opening night at LC Walker Arena.


After scoring eight goals last night, Muskegon again put on an offensive show, sweeping Team USA in this weekend’s home-and-home series.


Leading the charge, the Lumberjacks got three-point performances from Danil Gushchin, Alex Gaffney, Alex Konovalov and Oliver MacDonald. Gushchin scored two goals and added an assist, all in the third period. His game-winner with 13:13 remaining was a brilliant shot from the top of the right circle that beat USA netminder Gibson Homer over the glove.


Tanner Edwards kicked off the scoring just 1:24 into the game, and it looked like Muskegon might win in a rout for the second-straight night.


However, unlike Friday, an 8-1 win for the Jacks, Team USA had an answer on Saturday. Luke Hughes potted his second goal of the year to tie the game at one after one period.


In the second, the teams exchanged goals in a fast-paced 20 minutes. Gaffney restored the lead for Muskegon at the 12:15 mark, but Hughes tallied his second of the game just 1:11 later.


Muskegon took control with two unanswered goals just 2:05 apart- first Konovalov forced a turnover and played tic-tac-toe with Gaffney before burying his second of the season. Then, at the 5:57 mark, Jack Williams scored his first of the year to bring the score to 4-2.


Team USA would cut the lead down to one when Jack Devine scored his first-career USHL goal, but Muskegon took momentum into the locker room after a crucial penalty kill to close out the period.


In the third, Gushchin’s snipe put the Jacks up 5-3 before Justin Janicke again narrowed the Jacks’ lead to one goal with 3:26 left. However, Gushchin’s second of the game put a nail in Team USA’s coffin, making the score 6-4 with 2:30 to play.


Oliver MacDonald scored his USHL-leading seventh goal of the year into the empty net with 37 seconds remaining to put the game on ice.


Muskegon hits the road Friday to face the Chicago Steel, but returns home on Saturday, October 19, to host the Green Bay Gamblers and former Lumberjack Benito Posa.


Muskegon goals: Edwards (2), Gaffney (2), Konovalov (2), Williams (1), Gushchin (1,2), MacDonald (7)


Muskegon County showed a 4.5% increase in visitor spending in 2018 compared to 2017, according to figures released today by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Travel Michigan – the state’s tourism promotion and marketing arm.


The 2018 Economic Impact of Tourism in Michigan report, conducted by Tourism Economics of Wayne, PA, showed a 4.5% increase in visitor spending to $327.32 million, up from $313.34 million in 2017. The report looks at visitor spending in the lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, and transportation sectors for each county in Michigan.


According to the research, the Tourism and Hospitality industries in Muskegon County also provide 3,193 direct and 4,715 indirect jobs in the County, with $93.24 million in direct labor income and $149.55 million in indirect labor income. The employment number equates to 7.5% of total employment in Muskegon County.


“We have known for years that the Tourism and Hospitality industries in Muskegon County are growing, providing increasing revenues, jobs, and income for Muskegon County businesses and residents, and the state’s 2018 tourism impact numbers confirm that fact,” said Bob Lukens, CDME, Community Development Director for Muskegon County and Director of Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau.


“We continue to witness growth throughout the county with new lodging properties, restaurants, retailers, breweries, and other projects underway or recently completed. As Muskegon County continues to grow as a visitor destination, we anticipate increasing year-round tourism with the development of the convention center and additional tourism-related businesses in the county.”


The State of Michigan saw 3.9% growth in visitor spending to $25.7 billion in 2018, up from $24.7 billion in 2017.


“The State of Michigan cannot lose its advantage in the extremely competitive state tourism marketing landscape, and the success of the Pure Michigan program – perhaps the most successful state tourism marketing program in the United States – is not something the state can afford to lose,” Lukens said. “The state and local tax revenues collected from visitor spending is over $2.7 billion, and those revenues help fund the myriad of programs that make a difference in the lives of Michigan residents.”


Teens to explore manufacturers in Muskegon Heights

On Wednesday, October 9, four Muskegon Heights manufacturers will open their businesses to more than 100 tenth and eleventh grade students from Muskegon Heights Academy and Muskegon High School.  The students will learn about job opportunities in Muskegon Heights and have an opportunity to tour Muskegon Community College’s Sturrus Technology Center.


During the tours, students will see companies involved in aluminum casting, chemical distribution, metal stamping, tool making and CNC manufacturing products for hospital beds, zero-turn lawn mowers, the trucking industry and the oil and gas industry.


The tours will kick off at 8:00 a.m. at each high school with opening comments from career specialists from the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District. Then students will board buses to begin their tours at 8:30 a.m. (see detailed schedule above).


“We are trying to make a difference, we are part of the community,” said Jack Russell president of Rolar, and Chairman of the Muskegon Heights Business Association of the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “The four businesses are paying for the buses and Muskegon Community College will be providing lunch and a tour of the Sturrus Technology Center,” he added.


“People need to be aware that what we make here, will go all over the world,”  said Morgan Carroll, Advocacy and Manufacturing Manager from the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.


“We want to show students that there are jobs right here in their backyard,” said Cyndi Langlois, Associate Dean of Workforce Development, when commenting on the goals of the event.


Business Addresses and Contact Info

Rolar Products

540 West Hume Ave., Muskegon, MI 49444, 231-739-6313, Jack Russell, President

Century Foundry

2524 Park St., Muskegon, MI 49444, 231-733-1572, Shane LeRoux, Vice President

Webb Chemical

2708 Jarman St., Muskegon, MI 49444, 231-733-2181, Brad Hillary, CEO

Quality Tool and Stamping

541 E Sherman Blvd., Muskegon, MI 49444, 231-733-2538, Mike Kuznar, Director of Operations

MCC Sturrus Technology Center

388 W Clay Ave., Muskegon, MI  49440, 231-777-0456, Cyndi Langlois, Associate Dean of Workforce Development

Nowak Machined Products to invest over$10,000 to Muskegon Heights Elementary Schools

On October 2nd, every student that attends Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Edgewood Academy in the Muskegon Heights school district will be receiving a backpack stocked with school supplies in honor of Count Day. These backpacks and supplies have been donated by local manufacturer, Nowak Machined Products.



Nowak didn’t stop at just providing backpacks and supplies for the children. They have also supplied the teachers with essentials such as tissues & hand sanitizer. “We are so honored and blessed to be the recipients of this generous gift for our students” says Principal Vanessa Marble at MLK Academy. Last year Nowak Machined Products supplied Edgewood Academy and included recess kits that included balls, jump ropes and more to each classroom. By including both Muskegon Heights Elementary Schools, the Nowak team has invested over $10,000 into the school district.



“We feel that getting kids prepared and excited for school at an early age is crucial for their future academic success”, said the Nowak Family.  “After looking at the statistics provided by the United Way of the Lakeshore, we recognized that the students and faculty at the Muskegon Heights Elementary Schools could really use a hand up to ensure their students had all the supplies they needed to have a successful school year. We’re grateful to be able to do what we can to help these schools, and it feels amazing to see it all come together.”



“Building enthusiasm for school and learning is more successful when students have what they need to succeed” says Rane’ Garcia, Superintendent of Muskegon Heights. “Everyone loves a new box of crayons and the potential that comes with it. We continue to be thankful for the support from the community and businesses like Nowak Machined Products for better opportunity and equity for Muskegon Heights students.



Backpacks will be distributed to the students on count day as extra encouragement and reward for being in attendance. The backpack giveaway starts at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy at 8:00 AM on Wednesday in the auditorium and at Edgewood Academy at 9:00 AM. “Count Days are designated days when Michigan schools tally attendance and receive funding from the State School Aid Act. This funding is based on each student tallied. Chronic absenteeism is affecting all of our schools and has a huge financial impact when students miss count days. It also affects a child’s development and performance if they are not in class,” says Christine Robere, President of United Way of the Lakeshore. “United Way of the Lakeshore is working with several partners and collaborations on combating this issue. We are thankful for the generous gifts that continue to be made toward our children’s futures and the school’s partnership”.


BIGGBY® COFFEE Partners with STOMP Out Bullying for National Bullying Prevention Month


At BIGGBY® COFFEE we believe that everyone deserves to feel loved—from the tips of their toes to the hair on their head. We believe that no one, young or old, deserves to be treated with anything other than love, compassion, and individuality. That’s why we’ve partnered with STOMP Out Bullying for the month of October, National Bullying Prevention Month, to bring awareness to the bullying epidemic and brew change within our communities to stomp out bullying.


As bullying becomes more prevalent in schools and online, 1 in 5 students report being bullied in any given school year. Many of these children then face difficulties in school, sleeping at night, and suffer from anxiety and depression, according to the Center for Disease Control. We believe that each person should feel comfortable in their own skin no matter where they’re at. Throughout the month of October, we’re taking time to be the voice of those that may not have a voice themselves or don’t feel they’re being heard.


Starting October 7—World Day of Bullying Prevention—BIGGBY® COFFEE will be taking donations in locations nationwide to benefit STOMP Out Bullying, the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the culture for all students by reducing and preventing bullying and cyberbullying; educating against homophobia, LGBTQ discrimination, and racism; providing practical solutions on how to respond to bullying; and helping those at risk of suicide through their HelpChat Line. With celebrity public service announcements and their long-standing #BlueUp campaign, STOMP Out Bullying has become known throughout the nation and world for their efforts to bring attention to and end bullying.


Help change the culture by rounding up your change at the register. Each donation made to STOMP Out Bullying between October 7 and October 20 at participating BIGGBY® COFFEE locations will be met with a $1 off coupon customers can redeem through November 3. These funds will then be used to educate the nation and beyond on bullying and help find a solution for bullying, raise awareness through mentor programs in schools, and social media campaigns all aimed at bringing an end to bullying.


Join BIGGBY® COFFEE and Stomp Out Bullying on October 7, World Day of Bullying Prevention and #BlueUp by wearing blue to bring awareness to the bullying epidemic, and stop in to your BIGGBY® COFFEE through October 20 and raise your lattes with us as we work together to bring awareness to and help find a solution for bullying.