Shon Cook Law

Shon Cook Law
The Good Witch of the Law!

Muskegon Area District Library

Muskegon Area District Library
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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Celebrate Family Reunification Day in Muskegon June 21st at the Muskegon Farmers Market With the Muskegon Family Court

The idea of a child going to live in foster care is the ultimate nightmare to most parents.  To be honest with you, it's a nightmare for anyone involved.  There are times however when for the good of everyone things have to happen that will lead a child into foster care as guided by a court and while it might feel like a punishment, it's more of a situation where steps are being taken for the protection of the child while the parents gain the skills necessary for them to regain their role in their lives.


It's played out on social media today.  It's a horrific situation and there is always a lot of grey area in the story, but sending a child into foster care is really the very last thing in a succession of steps to try and improve the family dynamic.  It's no one's favorite day by any stretch of the imagination to remove the child from their family and those who have to make those difficult choices are equally hurt by the process.  Then, the foster family steps in and has to love a child on a temporary basis with full knowledge that they will have to return the child to their family at some point.  A difficult issue in and of itself. The complexity continues to grow as I am sure you can imagine....until that moment when the parents have completed what it takes to regain their children and carry on as life was meant to be....and then....it's time to celebrate.
Click Here to Visit the Muskegon Family Court on Facebook

As we said, it's not an easy process for anyone, so when all the pieces fall into place, there darn well outta be a reason to celebrate and you can do just that June 21st at the Muskegon Farmers Market.  Family Reunification Day will be celebrated and all hands will be on deck to talk about the accomplishments of the family who's reunited with their children, the fosters who help them in their time of need as well as some of the others who help make it all happen.  You will also have a chance to be a part of some area agencies that focus on family needs.  They are in the process now of adding some interesting and fun informational spots, you can follow the Muskegon Family Court linked on the right to learn more as the event draws near.

I was invited down by Jenny McNeill, Alicia Kaja and Holly Spoelman to talk about the Family Court and the work they do.  Take a listen and see the real human effect that this has on all parties involved in the foster process.  You can also learn more about the event coming up on June 21st and what you'll be able to see and learn there.


For every time we hear of some family being taken a part for whatever circumstance, maybe now is the time we stop and celebrate a family that is put back together.  The work that went into making sure that the most important part of a family, the kids will grow up in a safe and secure environment and be a part of a growing and thriving community.  As you heard in the video, this isn't a job that anyone wakes up one day and thinks "Man, I hope I get to dismantle some families today".  It's a job that sadly has to be done sometimes but when it's over...a stronger and healthier family unity is built and that leads to a better community for all of us.  Stop down and be a part of Family Reunification Day June 21st and be a part of a miracle happening right here in Muskegon.


Friday, May 25, 2018

Girls on The Run Muskegon Needs a Hand June 2nd

We're going to cut right to the chase.  We're using this Positively Muskegon post to ask for your help.  Girls on the Run is happening in Muskegon on June 2nd and they are in need of some extra help on the course of the 5k the girls compete in.  There isn't much to it.  Maybe some direction of runners, maybe some hooting and hollering to cheer them on and you might even get to stop a little traffic.  Sound fun?  Keep reading.



Girls on the Run is a remarkable program that is dedicated to creating a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.  It's a truly remarkable program and beyond inspiring to be a part of.  We're proud to support Girls on the Run by sharing their mission.  We've helped with their events.  We've welcomed their founder Molly Barker and talked to her in the past about her inspiration to start this and we donate our time to be part of the event as well to see the overwhelming power of good that culminates the day of the 5k and the pride built in these young people.  Any step in the right direction is a good one. 
Click Here to Sign Up to Help

We are coming to you today asking for some help however.  There are going to be hundreds of runners on June 2nd.  There will be a 5k course set up in Downtown Muskegon and along the way, they need a hand with some folks to help man the course.  It won't take much of your time.  It's a remarkably rewarding and you'll walk away feeling pretty inspired yourself.  If you'd like to be a course marshal, please click on the link over to the right and sign yourself up for a shift. 

I was able to catch up with Sue Gifford to talk a little about the program and the need for a few more hands on deck the day of.  Take a listen to our chat below and be a part of this awesome day and see for yourself how Girls on the Run helps shape our young people into our future leaders. 









Many thanks to Sue and please.  Find a few hours to be a part of this awesome day in Muskegon.  Be there for the kids.  Be there for the inspiration.  Be there for the community.  Most of all, be there for yourself...and let that inner bubble swell as you see the achievement of these girls happen right before your eyes.  It's an amazing day.  You'll want more when you're done!  To visit the Girls on the Run page, click on the link below.





Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Take a Bike Ride and Be a Part of the Community Hunger Challenge May 29th and 30th

How about a new way to help stock a food pantry, grow some fresh offerings from a garden locally AND get out and get some peddle power going for yourself while you're at it?  Sounds like a win for everyone right?  Well you are right and the chance for you to participate is coming up May 29th and 30th!  It's all a part of Pedal for a Purpose Michigan and it's centered around Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Southern Avenue in Muskegon.



Pedal for a Purpose Michigan 2018 is a 4-day bicycling tour to deepen awareness of World Hunger, challenge giving to ELCA World Hunger, and enhance physical fitness. The ride will begin and end at First Lutheran Church in Muskegon and will visit 9 churches in the Stony Lake Conference.
The events shake out like this:
Find Our Savior's Lutheran Church on Facebook

May 29th - Pre Ride Events
May 30 - Evening Ride in Muskegon (10 miles)
May 31 - Muskegon area churches and Lake Michigan (40 miles)
June 1 - Muskegon to Ludington (60 miles)
June 2 - Ludington to Muskegon (60 miles)
June 3 - Muskegon to Whitehall and back (30 miles)

That's a lot of riding and a lot of opportunity to help raise some money and awareness for people who are food insecure.  It's a problem that is more common than you think.  In Michigan 1 in 8 people are food insecure and if we're talking kids, that number drops down to 1 in 5.  It's a subject that pops up a lot here, simply because so many of the people and places we visit offer food pantries for people.  Who you think are in need of a food pantry might surprise you too.  So many people are able to put on a good front, but behind the scenes, there's a real need for a food pantry of lunch assistance for their children or more.

The next consideration to put in the mix is the availability of food.  There really are no grocery stores in the City of Muskegon or in Muskegon Heights.  They are close in proximity, but if you rely on public transportation it's not quite as easy as it seems to get access to the quality and fresh foods that are as healthy and good for you.  Thus the addition of the garden ad Our Savoir's Lutheran Church.  They grow their own fresh vegetables and they also help support McLaughlin Grows Urban Farm just outside Hackley Hospital.

I met up with Pastor Jane Mountain of Our Savior's Lutheran Church and Amanda Rupert who's helping organize the pre-ride events on the 29th. Take a listen to our chat about everything going on here.




If you want to do a good turn for someone in need, awesome.  If you're looking for that great first ride in the Spring, that's great or if you just want to get in touch with some cool people the door is open.  Our Savior's Lutneran Church is an accepting and inviting community that likes community involvement and being stewards of their neighborhood.  If you'd like to know more about the church you can click on the image below to visit their website.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Armed Forces Salmon Assault May 19th on Lake Michigan With The Muskegon Charter Boat Association

It's 8 years running now and going strong.  It's a give back of incredible magnitude and it's a way to say thanks to those who have been willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we enjoy!  Not to mention, it's a great way to get out and enjoy a day on beautiful Lake Michigan while slaying a fish or two and coming back to a hero's welcome and a great party after.  The Armed Forces Salmon Assault is back May 19th!



Put together by the Muskegon Charter Boat Association, the Armed Forces Salmon Assault is a day when our charter fishing industry recognizes that those who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or the Coast Guard have really given a lot and giving a little back is the very least they can do.  They come from all over the state.  There are applicants from all over the state.  They come from as far away as over by Detroit for a day on Lake Michigan.  They might be coming from the Grand Rapids Home for Vets, they might be coming from their own residence, but they are coming and they leave Great Lakes Marina at 6am and hit the lake.

Visit the Salmon Assault Online
After the half day of fishing, everyone comes back and the party begins.  It's accented by what they hope will be a hero's welcome along the Muskegon Channel.  You are invited to come down to the channel and greet the parade of boats escorted by the Coast Guard as they return.  There will be volunteers on hand handing out some flags to drum up a little patriotism and let's be honest, who wouldn't love to provide a hero's welcome to these folks?

Like so many other events here in town, a lot of people pitch in.  The Fish Mongers Wife cleans and process all the fish.  Harris Hospitality, Michigan Anglers Association has been a big part of everything going on.  The best part of the whole deal....doesn't cost the vet's a penny.  It's a day of fun and it's all free for those who served.

Ed Schroder is the Captain of "Job Site Sport Fishing" and one of the organizers of this great event.  We found a few minutes to talk about the day for our hero's.  Take a listen.


The big ask for the reader?  Line the walk at the Muskegon Channel wall May 19th.  Bring the family down and watch the parade of boats come in and honor those who have served.  As Ed mentioned in the video, some of these people come home to no greeting.  This is an amazing day that can only happen in a town like Muskegon with a robust industry like charter fishing.  Living here day to day, we often forget that what we have is pretty precious and to know that the Muskegon Charter Boat Association is sharing it with veterans is a remarkable statement about our people, and our community.  Thanks to Captain Ed and all the people putting this great event on.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Salvation Army Week May 14th-19th in Muskegon

We do a lot for the Salvation Army, because it's only fair to return the good they do in the community for so many folks that need their outreach.  It's so much more than the bell ringing campaign at Christmas or the summer camps they put on. The Salvation Army is a 24/7 active organization who's dedication to service sets the bar for all others.  Their deeds have not gone unnoticed in Muskegon and on a national level and May 14th-19th it's time to let them shine!



It's National Salvation Army week as first declared by President Eisenhower way back when TV was still black and white.  He saw the importance of what the Salvation Army did in both times of war and peace and how their compassion for people was the true mission of their organization and outreach.  Locally, the Salvation Army is on the ground with their worship services, the community center on Shonat Drive in Muskegon and of course the Pathway of Hope.  There is the rental and mortgage assistance program, help with utility bills and fuel and of course the emergency food pantry.  All covering crisis type life events that so many are one missed paycheck away from experiencing.
Visit The Salvation Army Muskegon Online

In Muskegon, to celebrate the occasion, business all over town are pitching in to do their part to help raise a few bucks to help support the work that goes on my the Salvation Army.  You'll find daily events happening between May 14th and 19th.  Anything from a celebratory dinner with long time board members Bob and Carol Carter to coffee competitions, dine and donates at delicious places like Ryke's and Mr. B's and so much more.  You'll also find plenty of time to just stop into the Salvation Army itself and see first hand that what goes on there is a pretty welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that's dedicated to helping those who need a hand to get by and get back up on their own feet.

Robin Henshaw is the development director at the Salvation Army of Muskegon and she generally does a pretty good job of avoiding the camera, but today, she's all mine.  She joins me to talk a little about the local events surrounding National Salvation Army week.  She shares some of the history of the occasion and gives you the low down about where to find your chance to be part of all of the great work the Salvation Army does while you enjoy some of the most tasty spots in town.  Take a listen.


It's always easy to remember the Salvation Army when you hear the bell and see the kettle, but when the sun is shining and the temps are up...we can't forget the great work done year round by the incredible people of the Salvation Army of Muskegon.  Make sure you stop into one or more of the events planned next week and be a part of the festivities!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Fish Mongers Wife of Muskegon Is Expanding!


We love growth!  We also love things unique to Muskegon and when the two come together, it’s time to grab the camera and go do the story.  It’s been 8 years now since The Fishmongers Wife opened up the shop.  On Sherman in Muskegon, you’ll find the artisan store front which grew from her spot at the Muskegon Farmers Market.  







You’ll find fresh caught fish, you’ll find delicious smoked fish, friendly service and an atmosphere like no other. It’s our own small town “big city” specialty shop and people come for miles to get in on the deliciousness and freshness of the products they find there. 

As time has gone on, notoriety has grown and that reputation has led to some growth and The Fishmongers Wife will now have products in stores around Michigan and parts of Ohio all from the humble beginnings here.  It’s a distribution deal that’s required a little faith on behalf of the Wife of the Fishmonger.  It’s a big step.  It’s a test to see how their products do in other areas and it’s also a growth opportunity which could lead to some bigger chances down the line, but very wisely, like every other step…it’s begin taken with care and caution.  Making sure the customers in Muskegon come first is and always will be Amber’s first priority. 
The Fishmonger's Wife on Facebook

As I stopped in to talk to her about the growth spurt, there are a couple of other things.  She needs a hand in the back.  Can you clean fish and hold a conversation?  They are looking for some help to process the daily catch and help the company grow.  They are also coming along on adding some mail order business in a much more efficient way through their website which will be coming along soon.  We had a chance to talk on Monday, which during the “slow season” the store is not open to the public, so you can enjoy a little of the atmosphere while we talk all things Fishmonger in Muskegon.







Positively Muskegon has always been about watching the “little guy” succeed.  To have watch Amber and The Fishmonger grow their business, and now get ready to take the next step into statewide distribution…we take a second to claim them as our own.  A product of Muskegon reflecting exactly what we are all about.  Building, growing and being better than we ever have been.  Our congratulations to The Fishmongers Wife on their success and best wishes for continued growth and showing off what we’ve all known all along, just how resilient Muskegon is.