Stories

Feature Story A student receives a COVID-19 vaccination at GRCC.

New vaccine rolls out: Where can you find yours?

With fall on the horizon, public health officials are predicting a rise in COVID-19 cases. Those looking for a booster dose of the new bivalent vaccines in Ottawa, Allegan, or Muskegon counties can find more here.

Feature Story The Bebot drone will pick up trash from Muskegon beaches as part of a project funded by a $1 million Meijer grant.

Drones set to join Lake Michigan beach cleanup crews$1 million Meijer donation launching new program

Muskegon is participating in the Great Lakes Plastic Cleanup Program and will serve as home to the Pixie and BeBot drones, made possible thanks to a $1 million donation from retailer Meijer.

Feature Story KCAD group photo

Piecing together a sustainable fashion scene

Many are surprised to learn of West Michigan’s place in the international fashion industry scene. The Grand Rapids area is home to many designers, stylists, and 10+ different apparel and accessory manufacturers. Many of them are focusing on sustainability, shifting away from the wasteful footprint the industry is known for.

Feature Story Sharon DeHaan gets off at an accessible bus stop

Kalamazoo area’s accessible transit system has been almost 20 years in the making

Less than 10% of Kalamazoo’s nearly 800 bus stops were considered accessible a dozen years ago, but today almost half are accessible. In 2020, the city of Kalamazoo designated $180,000 of its sidewalk improvement budget to creating accessible bus stops in its five core neighborhoods. 

Feature Story UPword logo

Issue Media Group relaunches Upper Peninsula publication

Issue Media Group is excited to announce the relaunch of its online, community-informed, digital publication in the Upper Peninsula. UPword will focus on innovation, talent, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and community development, while featuring U.P.-based talent.

Longform Children play at the Children's Healing Center.

Grand Rapids offers nation's only safe recreation center for immunocompromised kids

Children with weakened immune systems can play and learn without fear at the Children's Healing Center – and their families can find support as well.

Development News Coffee sold by Last Mile Café.

Last Mile Café serves coffee, philanthropy and sustainability — and soon, the 49507

A Black-owned, woman owned business, Last Mile Cafe is opening a physical location at 1006 Hall St. SE that will package, roast and distribute its coffee brand as well as serve as a coffee shop.

Feature Story A grant was used by Heights of Hope to purchase affordable housing. (CFHZ)

From affordable housing to restorative justice, foundation awards $125K in grants

The funds are being distributed to six organizations through the Community Foundation’s endowment.  

Feature Story Jennifer Owens is CEO of Lakeshore Advantage.

Lakeshore Advantage looking for business stabilization projects

Lakeshore Advantage is seeking business stabilization projects for funding under the American Rescue Plan Act. Applicants should submit letters of intent by Sept. 22.

Feature Story A visitor checks out photos at the Stoudamire center.

Resilient Neighborhoods: Citizen photographers highlight safety-related issues on city's East Side

An East Side Detroit nonprofit has partnered with U of M on an innovative community engagement that turns regular citizens into research photographers to explore issues of safety and surveillance in their neighborhoods.

Longform Help Home Personal ID* Program GPS ID bracelets.

Many happy returns: GPS ID bracelets help Michiganders living with dementia find their way home

A new collaboration in Calhoun County has helped 135 missing people with dementia return safely home – and made life easier for their caregivers, local law enforcement, and health care providers.

Feature Story Greg Nowak

Removing barriers so people can live their best lives

Improving old technologies with new is, in many ways, the heart of improving access for humans. It is also a great motivator for those with the talents to do so. Here are the people behind those efforts and why this work is so important to them and within the region.

Feature Story KarlKoelling

Exploring the local filmmaking and digital media scene: The reel deal

Years ago, there were large incentives for making films in Michigan. Despite those incentives disappearing, many local filmmakers and digital media professionals still call Grand Rapids home, with West Michigan serving as the backdrop to many nationally-viewed artistic and commercial works.

Feature Story From left The Wood family at Celebration: Amy, Ellery and Aidan.

Theater chain finds ways to make more movies accessible to everyone

From Sensory Showtimes to closed captioning, Celebration Cinema is finding new ways to make movies and entertainment accessible to everyone.

Feature Story Jack Johnson, Volta co-founder and CTO (right) chats with attendees.

Founder pushes Volta Power Systems to leadership in lithium battery industry

Since 2014, Volta Power Systems has provided safe, powerful, and simple lithium-ion energy storage solutions for small to midsize businesses. The Holland company specializes in service industries, including RV, marine, utility, emergency, and military vehicles.   

Feature Story X

See how the redevelopment of this historic Farmington bank turned out — and why it matters

“Fifteen years from now, we’ll look back at some of the times when we wanted to pull our hair out and we’re going to say that it was all worth it. Because this thing is going to stand forever,” says Alex Kocoves, CEO of GLP Financial Group.

Longform Carol Sodman-Morris serves as a home visit nurse for the  Achieving Birth Equity Through Systems Transformation program.

Michigan project creates framework for communities to reduce racial disparities in infant deaths

The new effort aims to build community power, map local ecosystems, and provide equity training to reduce significant disparities in infant mortality.

Feature Story A new state program is providing an opportunity to reframe the mindset of parents of young children with disabilities. (Canva)

New training supports children with developmental disabilities

A new statewide program, Paving the Way to Self Determination, has been developed to raise the expectations families have for their children with developmental disabilities.

Feature Story This year marks the Grand Haven Musical Fountain’s 60th anniversary. The milestone will include a new set of water features debuting on Aug. 27.

Grand Haven Musical Fountain celebrates 60th anniversary

This year marks the fountain’s 60th anniversary. The milestone will include a new set of water features debuting on Aug. 27. Stories reflecting each of its six decades will unfold.

Longform An operator in the call center at Network 180, Kent County's community mental health agency.

Here's what the new national 988 Suicide Crisis and Lifeline means for Michigan

Michigan has joined the nation in implementing an ambitious, transformative vision for mental health crisis services.