Stories

Special Report A decorated rain barrel in Milwaukee

Leveraging nature-based solutions and education to boost water quality, jobs across the Great Lakes

While access to clean water is a basic need, communities continue to struggle with properly and efficiently managing and treating water. Through innovative solutions organizations along the Great Lakes are collaborating, educating the next generation, and influencing policy reform to help create impactful change including economic growth and long-term employment.

Feature Story Mazonnah Holiday (left) speaks with teacher Tricia Kremke about how teachers work with students with learning disabilities.

Voices of Youth: How educators are trained to best support students with learning differences

As part of our Voices of Youth project, student Mazonnah Holiday shares how teacher training supported her brother and interviews a Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher about teaching students with learning differences.

Feature Story Life EMS Ambulance is expanding its coverage area in West Michigan.

GR-based Life EMS Ambulance expands services to Saugatuck

Life EMS Ambulance adds northern Saugatuck Township, the city of Saugatuck, and the city of the Village of Douglas to its growing Southwest Michigan 911 paramedic response area.

Feature Story Property owners can be alerted to possible fraud and identity theft with a new system available from Kent County.

Fraud Notify system alerts Kent County property owners to potential property scams

Kent County Clerk/Register of Deeds Lisa Posthumus Lyons is cracking down on property fraud with the Fraud Notify system, a free online tool that alerts subscribers via email to potential mortgage fraud and property and identity theft.

Longform Lunchtime at Oehrli Elementary School in Montague, Mich.

Michigan's free school meals yield high returns for student health and academic success

Michigan has become one of eight states to make free school meals available to all, creating notable benefits for students' health.

Feature Story Sheila Solomon Shotwell

Q&A: GR author shares how a trip inspired her new book

Grand Rapids author Sheila Solomon Shotwell talks about the journey that led to her young adult book, "The Plaid Scarf.” In our Q&A, she talks about her latest book and the reaction to it.   

Feature Story In the shadow of yesterday's cars, the Silverline represents the future in bus rapid transit.

The Rapid to host open house for transit master plan

The Grand Rapids area transit system will hold an open house on Tuesday, June 11, from 4-7 p.m. to gather feedback on its plans. A smaller open house will be on Thursday, June 13.

Feature Story Courtesy KDL

National award recognizes KDL as one of best libraries in country

Kent District Library is the 2024 recipient of the nation’s highest museum and library honor. The National Medal for Museum and Library Service recognizes KDL’s community contributions.

Feature Story Vanely Bastardo Guzman talks with her peers about intimate partner violence.

Voices of Youth: Gen Z teens approach dating cautiously

High school student Vanely Bastardo Guzman explores how fear of harassment and sexual assault is making Gen Z women more cautious about dating. One out of every 12 high school students reports having experienced physical and/or sexual abuse in a relationship.  

Feature Story Small-ASL

Kalamazoo theaters work together to make performances accessible for all

The consortium Theatre Kalamazoo is working to make theater more accessible to people with disabilities.

Feature Story small-jae-gerhart

Cómo los sistemas locales de salud aprovechan las granjas locales para obtener opciones de alimentos

Instituciones médicas de todo Michigan están utilizando sus recursos locales para llevar alimentos reales a su personal y pacientes.

Feature Story Small-Go-Beyond

How Women in Tech is elevating West Michigan’s tech scene

Women in Tech is growing as more female tech firm founders and leaders are coming together to support and elevate each other. After taking part in the first annual Go Beyond, they are gearing up for Tech Week Grand Rapids this fall.

Feature Story Operation United is an annual event that mobilizes volunteers to recognize the sacrifices and service of veterans and active military families, with a focus on seniors and those with disabilities in Kent County.

3-county United Way merger strengthens regional collaboration

The recent merger of Heart of West Michigan United Way and United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties is expected to streamline fundraising requests for its 80 community partners while reducing the nonprofit’s expenses.

Feature Story Groundbreaking on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport new snow removal equipment building.

Gerald R. Ford Airport expanding facility operations building

A West Michigan airport has begun an $8.5 million expansion on snow removal equipment building, further improving airport operations.  

Feature Story Students from the Wege High School Collaborative Studio tour Padnos Recycling.

Designing a better world: Wege High School Collaborative Studio builds skills and networks

The Wege High School Collaborative Studio is a summer program that gives West Michigan high school students hands-on experience in sustainable design and problem-solving. Applications for 2024 are open.

Feature Story Northern Strings is just one group that meets at the Kent District Library. Girl Scout troops, church groups, and historical societies keep the KDL branches busy.

No longer simply the sound of silence: Local libraries offer gathering areas for community groups

Kent District Library is creating a community Third Space. Study rooms are being booked for a variety of activities from dulcimer rehearsal to Girl Scout meetings.

Longform Patricia Tillman-Meakins, Tracey Williams, and Becca Fleming at Packard Health Clinic at West Willow.

Community-based health projects offer care for underserved residents in Detroit, Ypsi, and Jackson

Several Michigan organizations are innovating ways to increase health care access for the state’s most vulnerable residents in their own communities. 

Partner Content Mushroom House List

Elevate grants help small Michigan businesses level up

Although headquartered in Indiana, the FHLBank of Indianapolis provides access to grant programs and resources for small businesses throughout Michigan. The Elevate Grant aims to generate more economic opportunity for all, and helps small businesses like Mushroom House Tours in Charlevoix and The Poke Bowl in Flint to level up.  

Longform Hope Starts Here creates a plan to help Detroit become a city that puts young children and families first by 2027.

الأمل يبدأ هنا» يساعد ديترويت في إعطاء الأولوية للأطفال الصغار

تجمع مبادرة "الأمل يبدأ هنا. " فريقًا من المدافعين والأبطال الذين يقودون الجهود لتطوير نظم الطفولة المبكرة في ديترويت. تمثل هذه المبادرة تعاونًا بين مؤسسة دبليو كيه كيلوج (WKKF)، ومؤسسة كريسجي، ومؤسسة ماكس إم. ومارجوري إس. فيشر (M&M Fisher)، ومجموعة من الوكالات، والمنظمات المجتمعية، والأهم من ذلك، سكان ديترويت. تم إطلاق مبادرة "الأمل يبدأ هنا" رسميًا في عام 2017 بخطة عمل مستمرة تمتد لعشر سنوات  

Partner Content AAoM Kids List

When it comes to autism and mental health, stigma and discrimination play a huge role

Being autistic does not mean a person cannot experience good mental health. However, studies have shown that 78% of autistic children have at least one mental health condition. Stigma and discrimination are often a contributing factor.