West Michigan

Mobile vaccine clinics aim to bridge the gap for Latinos, immigrants in Kent Co.

BY: - September 29, 2021

Before COVID-19 hit Michigan, registered nurse Melissa Bisel oversaw the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC), as well as immunization programs at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).  Now, as a public health program supervisor in KCHD’s health clinics division, Bisel oversees mobile vaccination clinics to combat the spread of COVID-19. […]

‘Kids know we are putting them at risk for political reasons’

BY: - August 22, 2021

When Marta Johnson talks about masks, what she’s really talking about is her daughter’s heart.  What she’s talking about is her child, Claire, who has congenital heart disease and is now about to enter first grade, undergoing open heart surgery when she was seven days old. About Claire getting pneumonia when she was one month […]

16 COVID-19 cases connected with Muskegon Bike Time event

BY: - August 3, 2021

COVID-19 cases tied to Muskegon Bike Time, a four-day motorcycle event held in West Michigan on July 15 to 18, are under investigation by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and local public health departments. DHHS reports that at least 16 cases of COVID-19 have been identified among this year’s attendees and […]

Whitmer releases last school from state oversight, but creates some confusion in Muskegon Heights

BY: - July 20, 2021

As of Monday, there are no schools in Michigan under state oversight after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released the Muskegon Heights School District from receivership under the Local Financial Stability and Choice Act and dissolved its Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB).  This marks the first time the district has had local control without state oversight since […]

How a West Michigan student-led LGBTQ club became the latest culture war flashpoint

BY: - June 26, 2021

After a student-led Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Whitehall High School sent out an email to the student body that included resources about sexuality and identity during Pride week, that kickstarted an often-heated conversation in the small West Michigan community about where the line is between schools and families in talking about LGBTQ issues. Whitehall […]

HIV law has changed, but those prosecuted under former measure struggle to overcome convictions

BY: - June 4, 2021

Jeremy Merithew had a hook-up in 2012 that he will remember for the rest of his life. He met a man on the gay app Adam4Adam. The man came over for sex and left.  The next day, a deputy from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department was knocking on his door and he ended up behind […]

Michigan judge reverses course, will restart YouTube livestream Monday

BY: - May 20, 2021

St. Joseph County 3B District Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Middleton announced Thursday morning in a video posted on YouTube that beginning Monday May 24, his courtroom hearings will once again run on a livestream on the video service. The move comes after State Court Administrator Tom Boyd called Middleton personally. Middleton said the former judge […]

Michigan judge in viral videos pulls YouTube stream

BY: - May 19, 2021

St. Joseph County 3B District Court Chief Judge Jeffrey Middleton shocked his thousands of YouTube followers this week by announcing he was turning off the livestream and shutting down access to virtual hearings.  “Some of you may have heard, someone may have posted that we will be ending our YouTube livestream essentially today,” Middleton said […]

West Michigan Republican faces resignation calls over social media posts, allies say he’s ‘no racist’

BY: - March 31, 2021

Updated, 2:47 p.m., 4/6/21 For at least the third time this year, Republican Muskegon County Commissioner Zach Lahring is facing calls for his resignation — and this time it’s from groups and residents who say he has a history of social media posts that are racist, transphobic and ableist.  Lahring, who also is the chair […]


Rick Haglund: Companies recognize the value of diversity. Chatfield found that out the hard way.

BY: - February 27, 2021

Lee Chatfield did more to advance the cause of diversity, inclusion and equity in Michigan workplaces in the past two weeks than he did in six years as a state lawmaker. Chatfield resigned Monday as CEO of Southwest Michigan First, a Kalamazoo-based economic development agency, as controversy raged over his anti-LGBTQ record.  The former GOP […]

A GOP West Mich. official who was reportedly at the Jan. 6 insurrection is now running for governor

BY: - February 23, 2021

Amid media attention for allegedly being at the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Allendale Township Planning Commissioner Ryan Kelley has filed to run for Michigan governor Michigan in 2022.  Kelley filed a statement of organization with the Michigan Secretary of State for the “Michigan for Ryan D. Kelley” committee to run for governor […]

‘It was literally Christmas’

BY: - February 20, 2021

When COVID-19 vaccines began arriving in Michigan two months ago, it was a lot like Christmas, Detroit Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry said. There was excitement that the doses had arrived, of course, but it was more that the exact contents were something of a surprise. “It was literally Christmas; you’d open up a box […]