Category Archives: Community News

Middle school hands-on career camp filling fast

“Hospitality & Tourism” students will practice food safety and preparation in our professional kitchen.

MUSKEGON: Middle school students have only a few weeks left to enroll in this summer’s Career Camp hosted by the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center. During Career Camp, seventh and eighth-grade students can explore a different career field each day in a fun, hands-on, professional environment.


This year’s class lineup includes auto collision repair, construction, computer-aided design, criminal justice, computer-coding, electronics, graphic design, culinary arts, veterinary science, and welding. Interested students can select four classes to explore, a different class each day, June 17-20, 2019, from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Tuition for the week is $60 and includes a catered lunch.


“Last year’s Career Camp was a big hit with students when we piloted a new format where students attended a different class every day,” said MACTC Student Outreach Specialist, Stephanie Hoekenga. “One day a student could be building a bench in Building for Beginners, and the next they were learning how to show a rabbit at the county fair in Animal Planet.”


For class descriptions and to enroll, visit The deadline for enrollment is June 7, 2019. Seats are filling fast, and most classes are capped at ten students.


For information on Career Tech Center classes for high school students, click on the Classes link at Career Center classes are free to high school students and most school districts offer free transportation.

Rotary and Muskegon Heights 5th Annual Community Mixer

Muskegon, MI, May 13, 2019 — The Rotary Club of Muskegon has joined with the City of Muskegon Heights to host the 5th Annual Muskegon Rotary and Muskegon Heights Community Mixer. This event will be held on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at scenic Mona Lake Park in Muskegon Heights.


The Muskegon Rotary Club and the City of Muskegon Heights will host this popular social gathering to honor our diversity and celebrate friendship. Local officials, members of the local clergy, business owners and community organizations will have tables at the event providing information and resources of their services.


Live music, school marching bands, games, and free food and drinks will be provided for families and friends. Mona Lake Park is located between Hoyt and Green streets in Muskegon Heights.


To register your group or organization please contact Marcia Gilbert at 231-722-7871 or by Saturday, May 18.



Kelly Richards

Community leaders gather for convention center groundbreaking

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Ground was broke May 8 on a new downtown Muskegon convention center decades after the need for large meeting space was first identified by community leaders.


The $17-million project is being built on Fourth Street between West Western Avenue and Shoreline Drive. The convention center will connect to the L.C. Walker Arena and the downtown Holiday Inn, which will become a Delta by Marriott in the coming weeks.


The city has come a long ways since the removal of the Muskegon Mall left large vacant sand lots in the heart of downtown.


“You take a dead spot and you make it an area that’s full of life and full of energy and this will just continue to take that to another level,” said Muskegon Mayor Stephen Gawron.


Continue reading at 13 On Your Side.


2019 Thurgood Marshall Job, Health & Resource Fair

Muskegon, MI (May 10, 2019) –West Michigan Community Help Network is proud to announce the annual Thurgood Marshall Job & Resource Fair coming to the Bishop Williams L. Burrell Multi-Plex Center on Wednesday May 15, 2019 from 12:00pm- 4:00pm. The Thurgood Marshall Job Fair is a public service made possible by a unique partnership of organizations with an interest in promoting economic development in the Muskegon area. This is a free event opened to the public. A free health checkup will also be provided by Healthcare Inc.


The Thurgood Marshall Job & Resource Fair is hosted by the West Michigan Community Help Network in partnership with WUVS 103.7 the Beat, WMMT 106.1 Motown House/EDM, Tyson Foods, West Michigan Works, Mercy Health, Workforce and United Way. The fair is working with community groups, students, churches, non-profits, senior citizens and other public and private groups who are seeking to find jobs for people with fairness for all, regardless of Race, Creed or Color.  Residents with diverse backgrounds and experience are expected to attend the job fair.  Candidates of all ages, experience levels and industries are encouraged to attend.  Companies will be looking to fill Entry-Level to Management Level positions, as well as, full-time and part-time positions. Computers will be on site for online applications courtesy of TCS Computers.  Come explore local job opportunities and meet potential employers. Some of the county’s top companies will participate this year.


Participating Companies Include:

  • Mercy Health
  • Muskegon County
  • West Michigan Works
  • Moka
  • Workforce
  • Tyson Foods
  • City of Muskegon
  • Michigan State Police
  • Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System
  • Michigan Department of Corrections
  • Dean Transportation
  • Muskegon Public Schools
  • Adac Automotive
  • Muskegon Family Care
  • Goodtemps
  • Meijer
  • Intregity Tree Service
  • Hackley Community Care
  • Arcadia
  • EPI Breads
  • Shape
  • Celebration Cinema
  • West Michigan Electrical JATC


Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Bishop Williams L. Burrell Multi-Plex Center
412 E. Sherman Boulevard; Muskegon Hts, MI  49444


For all Press/Media inquiries please call 231-727-5007.


 West Michigan Community Help Network,
(WMCHN) is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization created in 2000 offering a variety of programs that serve community members of every age and background. The WMCHN is committed to the community and programs such as the Student Mentorship Program, Feed the Needy Program, Peace Jam Festival, Anti-Gang Initiative and more. We focus on leadership, education, and community development.

Muskegon Heritage Museum is open for the season!

See vintage machinery in operation! Discover products made in Muskegon! Explore Muskegon’s unique industrial history!


New this year – an elevator for access to all three floors!


Hours: Thursdays through Saturdays 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm the days a cruise ship is in port


The museum occupies 12,000 square feet of exhibits on three floors Admission adults $5, ages 5-18 $2, under 5 yrs. free, MHA members free


5 Community Days sponsored by the Arconic Foundation

Free Admission on Community Days, special visitors and demonstrations


June 1st Eagle Alloy Inc. (sand casting demonstration)


July 18th Muskegon Telephone Companies

(Demonstration of vintage phones)


August 9th Arconic (products and process)


September 21st Kaydon Engineering (ball bearings)


October 19th Swanson Pickle Company (pickle tasting)


Muskegon Heritage Museum

561 W. Western Ave.

Downtown Muskegon


For more information:

Web site:

Phone 231-722-1363

email contact for

Facebook: Muskegon Heritage Museum

Muskegon’s Parties in the Park Announces 35th Anniversary Season Lineup

Now entering the 35th season of bringing quality, affordable, family entertainment to downtown Muskegon on Friday nights in the summer, Parties in the Park is unveiling some big changes for the 2019 season.  Guests can look forward to expanded entertainment offerings, new non-profit partners, additional party enhancements and more!


The 2019 lineup for the 35th anniversary season includes:


Party DateNon-Profit PartnerEntertainment
May 31, 2019Muskegon Sports CouncilSharrie Williams and Vincent Hayes Band
June 7, 2019JCI MuskegonFlexadecibel
June 14, 2019Taste of MuskegonWhiskey Rebels, Noah Smith and  Plain Jane Glory
June 21, 2019Muskegon-Oceana Community Action PartnershipJan James and Bri Baron Band
June 28, 2019AgeWell ServicesOrquesta Tradición
July 26, 2019Muskegon Inventors NetworkBari Lee Band
August 2, 2019Community enCompass Melophobix and Paddlebots
August 16, 2019Women’s Division Chamber of CommerceHurricane Reggae Band
August 23, 2019RotaryLaith Al-Saadi and Plain Jane Glory



“We are really excited about what’s in store for our 35th anniversary season,” says Chanda Cregg, Parties in the Park President. “We have a lot of new non-profit partners, and have really expanded the entertainment offerings to include local, regional and even nationally known acts.”


According to the Parties in the Park entertainment committee, “this will be our most diverse band line up ever.”


The season kicks off with Michigan’s own critically acclaimed “Princess of Rockin Blues” Sharrie Williams and the Wiseguys. Sharrie has performed in over 30 countries over the last 20 years. She will be joined by local favorite and Jammie Award Winner the Vincent Hayes Band for a night of high energy blues.


The season continues with the very popular Muskegon based groovy, funky, soulful, R&B meets rock horn band, Flexadecibel.


Jan James, headlining the June 21 party, was once named best female vocalist by the Detroit Metro Times. Jan’s powerful & soulful voice earned her the starring role of Janis Joplin at Chicago’s Royal George Theater. She has shared the stage with Bon Jovi, James Brown, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck & BB King. Joining her as the opening act is West Michigan’s own rising star Bri Baron.


Orquesta Tradicion, performing June 28, is one of the hottest Latin bands in the Midwest featuring brothers Luis & Xavier Rosario. Now based out of Grand Rapids, this band has won several Detroit Music Awards.


In July, Parties in the Park welcomes local country music icon Bari Lee who has been performing since the age of 8 years old at music festivals and concerts.


Melophobix will kick-off the August parties with a “cage free” performance. They are a horn-hued fusion of rock, funk, reggae, and more. They will be joined by the Paddlebots for an eclectic mix of R&B soulful music featuring amazing vocals and a “killer” horn section.


This year the islands are coming to Parties in the Park with “De Hurricane Reggae Band”. Once voted Chicago’s best Reggae band, they are often seen playing at Chicago’s famous “Wild Hare” reggae club.


The 35th anniversary season will close out with NBC’s “The Voice” 2016 season finalist Laith Al Saadi. “The best show of musicianship I’ve ever seen on The Voice,” according to Adam Levine. Entertainment Weekly called Laith “a power performer who is legitimate and memorable”.  In 2006, Guitar Center crowned him one of the top four blues guitarists in the United States! Hailing from Ann Arbor, he has been touring all over the world for the last two decades and recently opened for Bob Seger on his 2019 farewell tour.


With an increase in community support and sponsorship revenue, the Parties in the Park entertainment committee was able to build a diverse season lineup to celebrate the 35th season of Parties in the Park.


Joining this entertainment lineup are many new non-profit partners. Each year, community non-profits apply to host one of six available Parties in the Park Fridays.  Due to the increase in non-profit applicants, the Parties in the Park board of directors moved toward a more competitive application process that works to diversify the line-up of non-profit partners each year.


“With expanded entertainment offerings and new non-profits joining some of our past party hosts and bands, we’re very excited about the potential for new party goers to attend Parties in the Park this upcoming season,” says Cregg.  “We’re continuing to expand children’s activities, craft beverage offerings, and are looking forward to welcoming many new local food vendors to this summer’s Parties in the Park.”


The 35th anniversary season is presented by Best Financial Credit Union and Bud Light. Parties in the Park hours are 5-9pm are parties always FREE to attend. To learn more about Parties in the Park, join the mailing list, volunteer at a party, or see frequently asked questions, visit – and stay tuned to the new website launching soon.


The Mission of Parties in the Park is to create a sense of community and appreciation for Muskegon’s Downtown through a family-oriented social event. Hosted by a variety of Muskegon County not-for-profit groups, the proceeds from the Parties either make physical enhancements or quality of life improvements for the whole community.

Muskegon Summer Wine Up Festival announces wine seminars

MUSKEGON, MI – Seminars for the “Muskegon Summer Wine Up” festival at Muskegon’s Hackley Park on Saturday, June 8th were announced today.


There will be three different seminars which will be repeated twice over the span of the “Muskegon Summer Wine Up.” All seminars will run approximately 20 minutes to allow time for feedback and questions.


2:30 PM & 4:45 PM

“The History of St. Julian Wine,” presented by Vince Meconi, a fourth generation member of the St. Julian Wine Family. Vince will discuss how this famous winery was started by his great-grandfather Mariano Meconi in Canada during Prohibition. He ultimately moved to Detroit and then to Paw Paw to build the winery that it is today. Samples of St. Julian Wine will be served as part of the presentation.


3:15 PM & 5:30 PM

“The Amazing Story of Ed O’Keefe, Junior,” presented by Statewide Ambassador of Chateau Grand Traverse Rhonda Riebow. Like many mavericks in the wine industry, Ed O’Keefe Jr. did a number of things before starting Chateau Grand Traverse. He was an Olympic Gymnast, Army Green Beret Special Forces Paratrooper, NYC Undercover Narcotics Agent with the U.S. Treasury, and other experiences – including a passion for wine, of course – led him to start a winery in 1974 where none had ever existed. Samples of Chateau Grand Traverse wine will be served as part of the presentation.


4:00 PM & 6:15 PM

“How to Read a Wine Label,” presented by David Belean, Chief Executive Officer of Babich Wines of New Zeeland. Wine labels have a lot of information on them. Some of it is critical to understanding what is in the wine bottle and some of it is just “blowing smoke.” Belean gives a guide to help you know what matters, how to spot a bargain and what to ignore. Samples of Babich Wines will be part of the presentation.


“We think people will enjoy these Wine Symposiums,” said Rich Berry, Director of Sales at Cumulus Radio – Muskegon and organizer of the “Muskegon Summer Wine-Up. “We wanted to come up with some fun topics that people can relate to and have fun with. All of the wineries that will be there have wonderful ‘origin’ stories, and because we’re in Michigan, the origin stories for St. Julian Wine and Chateau Grand Traverse were interesting to us.”


Attendees will have the opportunity to try and sample over 100 different types of wines, according to Berry. Samples will be 1.5 ounces each. The “Muskegon Summer Wine Up” will kick off on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 from 2PM until 8 PM in Downtown Muskegon’s Hackley Park.


You have to be 21 years of age or older to attend the “Muskegon Summer Wine Up.”


Sponsors of the “Muskegon Summer Wine Up” include the Little River Casino, HarborLight Credit Union, the Muskegon Heights Optimist Club and the Parties in the Park.


Admission is $15.00 and includes a stemless souvenir wine glass and four wine sample tickets.


For more information, visit

Taste of Muskegon has more to taste

Muskegon, MI (April 30, 2019) – As Muskegon’s culinary scene grows, so does Taste of Muskegon. With 35 food vendors, it will be the biggest Restaurant Row they have hosted in the festival’s 13 years. Most of the 2018 Taste Plate Award winners are returning including Abeshi Ghanaian Cuisine, Bone Ends, Hamburger Mikey and Rad Dads’ Taco & Tequila Bar. Other returning Taste favorites are A&E BBQ, Aloha Hawaiian Shaved Ice, The Boar’s Belly, Carlson’s Almonds (formerly Almond Scentsations), Country Dairy, Curry Kitchen/Naan Pizza, Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack, Frank’s Concession, Hennessy’s Irish Pub, Hobo’s Tavern/The Handsome Hobo, Ice Box Brand Ice Cream Bars, JP’s Hotdogs, Just Klassics, Los Amigos Mexican Bar & Grill, Rebel Pies, Rolling Stone Wood Fired Pizza Co., Rootdown Yoga, Juice Greens, Ruth Ann’s Ice Cream, Summer Pops, Sutton Concession, Uncle Bill’s Taco Wagon, and Yodel’s Frozen Yogurt. Taste first-timers serving up their fare include Aldea Coffee, BIG RED’s BBQ, Dr. Rolf’s Barbeque, Factory Bar and Grill, Hey Sugar Co., The Only Cannoli, Papa J’s Chili Dogs, and Smokin on the Lakeshore. Chef Char will be back and this year joining the food vendors with her signature pies.


“Muskegon has had so many food trucks and restaurants open this year. For foodies, it has been really exciting to see such innovative offerings along the lakeshore. It has also meant a lot of vendor applications for the festival. We had to re-measure the park and get creative with electricity because it was too hard to turn them away. Muskegon’s growth is our growth and it makes us so thrilled.” Ann Meisch, Director of Taste of Muskegon.


Taste of Muskegon Presented by Santa Cruz Organic and truRoots, produced by the City of Muskegon, will take place on June 14th   and 15th   in Hackley Park. It joins Parties in the Park Friday night and will feature the West Michigan Offshore Club Powerboat Street Party as part of Powerboat weekend. Saturday will begin with the United Way’s Ride United bicycle event, offer an expanded Kids’ Zone and more. Awards for Taste of Muskegon’s best plates will take place Saturday afternoon and includes both judge and public votes. To learn more about the restaurants and events at Taste of Muskegon 2019, visit their website at

Billiards Against Abuse Benefit Tournament for Every Woman’s Place

Muskegon, MI – On May 11, Muskegon will host a billiards superstar at a benefit Tournament at The Break Room Billiards. Billiards champion Dennis Hatch “The Hatchet Man”, along with Top Shots author Steven Gifford, will appear at the “Billiards Against Abuse” Benefit Tourney hosted by The Break Room Billiards in Muskegon.


The Break Room Billiards, which opened in 2018, is located at 1447 W. Sherman Blvd., Suite B, in Muskegon, and is hosting the fundraiser event to benefit Every Woman’s Place, a shelter for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking, located at 1221 Laketon Avenue in Muskegon. “Sixty percent of proceeds will go to EWP,” said the owner of The Break Room.


Registration for the all-day tournament begins at 12:30 pm on May 11, 2019. Tournament start is 1:30 pm, with a $35.00 entry fee, which includes green fees. “It will be an 8-ball tourney, race to five on winner’s side, race to three on loser’s side,” explained the tournament organizer.


“A big highlight of the tournament is the 9-foot Diamond challenge against Dennis Hatch, race to three, for only $20.00.”


“We hope to make this tournament an annual event,” he added.


Local sponsors Muskegon Area Pool Players and The Holiday Inn Muskegon, in addition to JB Custom Cases, Diamond Billiard Products, and Seybert’s Billiard Supply have joined to provide support for this event. A custom JB Cases cue case will be raffled off as part of the fundraising efforts. Raffle tickets for the custom case are available now at The Break Room Billiards and at Every Woman’s Place.


“On behalf of everyone at Every Woman’s Place, we are excited to be partnering with a local Muskegon business and grateful for the support it means to our organization,” said Elisa Hopper, Development Director of EWP. “We’re looking forward to seeing our community come out and enjoy the action of a billiards tournament. “We anticipate a great turnout for this event, and hope to draw new fans to the sport of billiards, as well as bring new supporters of EWP’s efforts to assist women and their families in crisis in our community.”

Please visit for more details.

Police, fire, courts, military, and federal agencies connect with 160 students at Criminal Justice Career Day

A Criminal Justice student from Careerline Tech Center tests out a distracted driving simulator.

Representatives from local police, fire, courts, corrections, and emergency personnel, as well as college and military representatives, interacted with over 160 students from Muskegon, Ottawa, Allegan, and Van Buren Career Tech Centers during the Muskegon Area Career Tech Center’s (MACTC) Criminal Justice Career Day. The event took place Thursday, May 2, 2019, at the MACTC and included a career fair, K9 demonstrations, breakout sessions with agency leaders, and wrapped up with keynote speaker Chief Judge Pro Tempore Maria Ladas-Hoopes from the 60th District Court in Muskegon.


“Our goal is to exhibit the wide variety of local, state, and federal police and fire agencies, courts, corrections, military, and collegiate programs available to students interested in the Public Safety disciplines,” said MACTC Criminal Justice Instructor Karen Reynolds.


Additional photos from the Criminal Justice Career Day may be found on the Career Tech Center Facebook page or at


To learn more about the Criminal Justice program, and others offered at the MACTC, visit