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Wings Over Muskegon

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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Muskegon’s Christmas Miracle

First off, we’d like to take a minute or two to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  We’re new…we’re the spot telling you about the great things that happen in Muskegon and doing what we can to be not only a place for a break from the day to day things you see and read.  Sure, Muskegon has some areas that can be improved….just like any other city, but there is much more to the story and we’ve kinda made up our minds to tell those kind of stories…..which leads to the Christmas Miracle.

No matter who you are, or where you come from if you are in Muskegon….you are in a very special place.  You are in a city big enough to have most everything and small enough that you can still know friends, neighbors and more than likely, some people from across town as well.  You can find in very short order that the people here….are good, honest and proud and they manage to keep their chin up and carry on no matter the circumstances. 

You can find business people, beach bums, bikers, bowlers, believers, achievers and passers by.   You can find a group, you can find a league, you can find a sport or maybe you can just march to the beat of your own drummer!  Point is, you’ll find good people here who are willing to accept you for who you are and if you are willing to put forth, Even a day or two a year, being a part of what matters to all of the people I just mentioned, you will find that what you give, is given back 10 fold.  You will find those willing to help you in return, those who are willing to do their part and those who can help you find an answer to any question you may have.  You’ll find some who have nothing and you’ll find some who don’t ever have to work another day in their life, but the important part is….they are there to be found.  You’ll find those who “Watch us Go” and you will find too, those who are not watching….but they are MAKING us go! 

I promise you this.  You won’t hear this from any other media source. 

When you look for the Christmas Miracle this year, look no further than the next person you see.  Look for someone from Muskegon and look for what they have to offer as opposed to what you hear about the area.  You will find in no short order,, the Christmas Miracle in Muskegon this year….is all of us!  Including you!

Merry Christmas from Positively Muskegon!

Christmas Cheer!

It's the first time in a ling time I have found myself without a radio station on Christmas Eve.

I wish I could play all these for you while you drive around and finish up.....but for now....enjoy....

Back tonight about 8 for a thought or two!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Perfectly Positive Partnership!

One of the things that's great about Muskegon is that people can decide to work together on things.  Cooperation!  Imagine that?  Well, we did and we're glad to say that we've swapped links!

Muskegon Local can be found from Positively Muskegon and Positively Muskegon....you guessed it!!  Found on Muskegon Local!

It's a pretty simple concept!

Positively Muskegon will continue on with the local stories that you want to know about!  Good people doing good things and in spite of what you might hear on other media outlets....dog gone it...there are really remarkable people here who do really remarkable things and you know....we outta tell that story!

Muskegon Local?  It's awesome!!  Different business, different deals, new places to shop....things to do, what's happening around town...who's got a good pizza....the best brews!  Local events, links...it's all right there!!

Now, you might be scratching your head?  "How can they do that?"  Well, it's simple.  We are both out for basically the same thing.  We love it here!  We've been to the mat more than once for the town, so....you share mine, I'll share yours and BAM!  Magic!  (like that pizzazz on the end?)

You've never heard of Muskegon Local??  Well, let's fix that!  Click Below!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Meet the Owner! Muskegon Lumberjacks Dan Israel

You wouldn't guess in a million years who the owner of the Muskegon Lumberjacks is if you passed him by at a game, and quite honestly....I think he'd be OK with that because the glitz, glamour and idea of being the "big shot" are pretty quickly swept aside when you meet Dan Israel.

A long time hockey fan and guy dedicated to the sport Dan Israel took ownership of the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the off season before this years campaign got underway for the USHL franchise and has come to see much more than he expected from both the ownership role as well as a new member of the Muskegon community.  I can tell you first hand....he get's it!

Working for the team myself for I think 4 different owners...maybe 5, I have seen the ebb and flow that you would expect of any sports teams.  Years where you couldn't get a seat and years when I could give out the prizes in 5 minutes and go home, but to me, the Muskegon Lumberjacks are so much more than a sports team.  Hockey is such a tradition in Muskegon because all winter long, we have the option to go to a game, see friends and neighbors and gather to be part of the action.

As the transition from pro hockey to the USHL has gone ok, I think this year is a very pivotal year with the crowd.  There is a renewed energy.  There is more excitement.  There are some faces I have not seen in quite a few years back and some faces I have never seen before.  New people and fans that are seeking out Muskegon, The LC Walker arena and the Lumberjacks!  I think a big part of that is Dan Israel and his "get the job done" attitude.  Work to be the best, offer a true value to the town and be an opportunity for players, staff and fans to develop and watch the next generation of NHL players right here in Muskegon.  His commitment is real as you'll see in the clip below.

As you can see, the passion is real.  The commitment is there and we have a long time partner in the Muskegon community with Dan.   Now that you know what he looks like, make sure you say hi at a game if you like.  Speaking of games...take a look at the link below.  It will take you directly to the Lumberjacks schedule!  Tuesday December 29th is car load night so bring as many as you can in a car and get in to see for yourself!  We'll see you a the game!

Jacks Locker Room 

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Polar Plunge Season in Muskegon!

Yes, it's a once a year event, but when Muskegon sets it's mind to doing something, it's going to be done right and done with as much passion as it can possibly generate.  Causes come and go, but the Polar Plunge and the kids in the Michigan Special Olympics  are assured the best experience they can have thanks to the dedicated team that's made the Muskegon Polar Plunge one of the biggest in the state raising $75,000 last year for the kids in Special Olympics!
Click to visit Special Olympics of Michigan

Officers Brian Harris and Todd Dunham with the Muskegon County Police Department spear head the events and activities of the Polar Plunge here in town and have grown the event to way more than just one day!  The activities kick off Friday December 18th at the LC Walker Arena as they return for the fun of the dunk tank  - inside the arena and your opportunity to dunk a cop for $5.  A lot of fun for the community and a great way for the police to show you they are human too, and love to have a good time for a great cause.  There are dollar beers and dollar dogs leading up to the game and of course....the excitement of some great hockey.

Brian and Todd dropped by for a few minutes to talk about the Polar Plunge, the dunk tank Friday night and some other really great events to make the winter go by a little quicker and the Polar Plunge event itself one of the marquee events in Muskegon for such a terrific cause....Special Olympics.  Have a listen to our interview below.

Save the date!!  February 6th 2016!!!  We'll see you Downtown Muskegon for a great time and a great cause!  Click on the picture below and give the Muskegon Polar Plunge Facebook page a like so you can stay up to date on all of the great events coming up!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Force Awakens at Cinema Carousel!! What You Need to Know

It's a big deal!  For nearly 40 years movie fans have been captivated, drawn in and thrilled with the Star Wars series.  Movie making changed forever with the release of the original Star Wars film in May of 1977 and even the movie world had no idea what a paramount shift they were facing with the release of the film.  Generations have been entertained, brought in and have built pride in the Star Wars experience being shared.
courtesy techradar.com

The Force Awakens opens Friday nationwide (well, Thursday night, but you'll have to listen to the interview for those details.  Cinema Carousel in Muskegon will be jumping with fans young and old and they have been prepping for the event for a while.  There are some rules that you are being asked to observe for the safety and enjoyment of everyone.  They are simple requests and put in place to assure that no one walks away feeling upset about the experience.

I had a chance to sit down with Tom Bitson from Cinema Carousel and talk a little about the do's and dont's when coming to see Star Wars - The Force Awakens. We also had the chance to talk about some of the amazing renovations that have taken place at Cinema Carousel and some of the other block busters coming out for the holidays!  Take a listen so you know going in to see Star Wars - The Force Awakens!

Cinema Carousel and the parent company Celebration Cinema are the pinnacle of the movie going experience.  Their commitment to Celebrated Service and the best experience possible is unmatched and their involvement in the community is unparalleled.  If you're a first time Star Wars move goer...or...you've been at it....with your dad for 40 years like me.  Make sure you head to Celebration Cinema for the best experience in seeing Star Wars - The Force Awakens!  You can click on the link below for shows and show times!  May the Force be with you.....always!

To visit the Cinema Carousel page for more shows and show times, click on their logo!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

What's Muskegon Missing? Editorial by Andy O

I talk.   Sometimes I have even been called the "one who won't shut up".  I know, shocker right?

As I talk, I do an equal amount of listening.  I also keep a very keen eye on social media and like to think that I can pretty much tell which way the winds are blowing in the area by reading what people have to say about things in their passing thoughts or, maybe their complaints.

It leads me to a question.  What is Muskegon missing?  What do we need?  What do we want?  What's it going to take to get us to look toward ourselves for what we will be defined as to future generations?

This past weekend, the Muskegon Risers hosted an indoor pro soccer game.  The West Michigan Lake Hawks took on a team from Detroit at Muskegon High School.  Pro soccer and basketball and BOTH in Muskegon and BOTH with remarkably low ticket prices that the entire family could go enjoy a night out for under $50....and yes, $50 is a lot of money to people....myself included.  We've got the Lumberjacks and will soon have the Ironmen Football.  I mean, there is pretty much a sport for everyone to go watch.

Concerts!  More people want concerts!!  Growing up in Sparta....EVERYTHING I had by way of concerts came from Muskegon with an occasional trip to Kalamazoo for the second leg of any tour.  They came here first and I saw just about all of them from 86-the early 90's.  Followed the show with a trip to On Broadway when I was old enough, and probably tried a couple times before I was old enough.  The town was jumping.

Today, attendance is there....but limited a lot.  Yes, lot's of things have changed and Muskegon has "shrunk" some but what's that stopping us for?  We've got the venues...we've had them all along.  The LC Walker Arena.....The Frau.... all doing what they can to bring in shows that fit and will be enjoyable for everyone.  If the Frau books in a show and the ticket price is reflective of today's entertainment of say $40 or so....it sits empty.  If the Van Andel books the same act with maybe some support act equal to the magnitude of the headliner.....they charge $100 and all I see on my social media is everyone from Muskegon....in Grand Rapids...paying more than double for the same thing?  Really?  I mean, I take nothing away from Grand Rapids...worked there a LONG time and watched the Arena District go from a wasteland to the heart of the city.  It was awesome!

courtesy flickr

My hope in this little editorial thought is that while we might not have the glistening new building...and we might not have "pro hockey" anymore....we have to support what IS here and more will come.  Activity breeds activity.  The more things that succeed, the more will happen.  I have made a firm commitment to help as much of our current offerings in town for entertainment as much as I can.  I simply don't want to lose something else.  My request to you is simple....be a part of things.  Attend.  Buy a ticket and be supportive of the teams and events we have here.  You'll find quality entertainment, low ticket prices and you'll be part of the rebuilding and re-branding of Muskegon!

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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Stuff the Bus With MATS for Toys for Tots!

As the Christmas season approaches, the need to do something good gets greater and greater.  Not only for those who might otherwise go without, but for yourself and your family.  The ability to do something nice for someone who you may never know, someone who can't pay you back and the simplicity of knowing your heart is big enough to wake up and say "Someone is better off today because of me."

Everywhere you turn, you are being asked to give something.  Be it spare change, canned goods or maybe it's even a request for time to help in a way that can't be paid for.  One organization stands out and has for decades for their dedication to kids and that's Toys for Tots!

The Muskegon Area Transit System (MATS) is going to be doing what they can to help Toys for Tots this coming Friday as they are asking Muskegon and surrounding areas to "Stuff the Bus".

You are invited to come Downtown Muskegon to the Herman Ivory Transfer Terminal (351 Morris Street) Friday December 11th from 11a-7p.  Bring a new, unwrapped toy for a child and you will be entered for some cool MATS prizes, Muskegon Lumberjacks tickets and other great goodies from area business, but more than that, you'll walk away knowing that someone who't be heartbroken on Christmas morning because they were left behind.

I had a chance to talk with Corey Davis of MATS today to learn a little about Stuff the Bus and to see what's new at MATS.  Take a look at the clip below!

Please do what you can to help a kid out this Christmas and stop by the "Morris Lot" this Friday with your donation for Toys for Tots!   To lean more about MATS, click on the bus below!

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Monday, December 7, 2015

West Michigan Lake Hawks - Pro Basketball and Purpose

For three years now, the West Michigan Lake Hawks have been quietly going about the business of professional basketball in Muskegon and gaining fans and attention for what they are doing on and off the court.  Yes, they hold high rank in the ABA League, yes their games are high energy and filled with entertainment for the whole family at a really affordable price and yes....the could be the best kept secret in Muskegon sports.  Well, no more.

The West Michigan Lake Hawks are a team dedicated to the game, the community and the players on it are doing what they can to set a positive example by being engaged with schools, organizations and young fans to show them that with hard work and determination they too can ascend to be a professional athlete, business exec or whatever life's path send them down.  A "can do" attitude is deeply rooted within the players and management.  It's leadership, achievement and involvement that set the Lake Hawks a part.  

They play their games at either Muskegon High School or Reeths-Puffer High School and their practices are held at Muskegon Catholic Central.  They truly reach every neighborhood in Muskegon.

I had a chance today to sit down with Head Coach, and COO Ronald Jenkins to learn a little more about the philosophy of the team, the season, the players and even the t.v. appearances the Lake Hawks have made.  Take a listen to the coaches thoughts on everything the Lake Hawks are up to. 

Checking out a Lake Hawks game should be on your list of things to do in Muskegon.  There is much to be proud of in this team and their outreach to younger people who need a positive role model in their life.  Tickets are only $8 and the games are held at Muskegon High School or Reeths-Puffer.  You can click below for a link to the Lake Hawks website for dates times and tickets to a game!!

Photo Courtesy Local Sports Journal

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Trail Of Lights! Celebrate the Season and Benefit the Child Abuse Council of Muskegon

The holidays are often a time for family and friends, but how much of that is really "quality time"?  Have you taken the time to just spend together, as a family without the distractions of tv, the web, the mall, the running around and the whole hub bub?  Well, the Trail of Light in Holton is a great way to let it all go and just enjoy the company of your family.

Trail of Lights Facebook Page

2014 was the first year of the Trail of Lights and was quite a shift from the normal event held at the location.  For years The Trail of Terror has entertained 1000's during the lead up to Halloween, but the gears shifted and the Trail of Light turned into not only a great time, but a part of the healing of a family and community.  This year the Trail of Lights will be on December 18th and 19th from 5p-9p.

Visit the Child Abuse Council Page

The Child Abuse Council of Muskegon County is the beneficiary of the event this year.  It's a relationship that began when Buffy Murphy of The Trail of Terror was picked to be the apparel supplier to the Rebel Road event with her company TS Graphics of Fremont.  Kyleen Gee is the Director of the Child Abuse Council and the two became quick friends and realized that their goals of family togetherness were pretty evenly matched and a great mutual benefit could be achieved for both the Child Abuse Council and the Dakota Dean Murphy Scholarship fund at Fremont High School.

You'll find upwards of 300,000 lights on different displays celebrating Christmas, music, Santa and Mrs Clause, a warm tent and plenty of treats for everyone.  I had a chance to sit down with Buffy and Kyleen today to talk a little about the event.

As you can see, it's a great event and it's being done for all the right reasons!  Come on out with your family to the Trail of Lights in Holton and make it a Christmas tradition for years to come. Plug the address into the GPS, 7582 Crocker Road in Holton, and head out in the old sleigh for a great time.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Kids Food Basket Feeds Children Who Go Without Dinner

Muskegon is no stranger to assembly lines.  Over the years, we have seen assembly lines come and go and yes, there still are a great many going here that keep people working and Muskegon heading in the right direction, but today, I had a chance to visit an assembly line with a much greater cause.

Kids Food Basket of Muskegon operates to help feed kids who would otherwise go without dinner at home and they feed close to 900 of them daily!  It's hard to believe for some that the need is so great.  How can kids possibly go home to find nothing to eat?  According to Muskegon Schools close to 90% of their students qualify for free lunches through the state.  That's a staggering amount of little hungry mouths to feed!  Well, they are taken care of at school but when dinner time comes around, they might go without.

Click Here to Visit Kids Food Basket of Muskegon

I had a chance to sit down with Destinee Seargent who is the director of Kids Food Basket of Muskegon and Deni Hunter who fronts Deni Hunter and Group Therapy to talk a little bit about the work of Kids Food Basket does and a great event coming up at the Watermark 920 on December 18th that will be a great time for a great cause!  An Ugly Sweater Party to benefit Kids Food Basket.  Take a couple minutes to listen to what Destiny has to say about the overwhelming statistics faced by kids today and what's being done by good people who truly want to make a difference.

Muskegon is always up for a good time and what better way to do a good turn this holiday season than gather some friends, find an ugly sweater and come on out to the Watermark on the 18th to make sure the kids of this community don't go hungry! Admission is only $5 and all the proceeds go to Kids Food Basket.   Nothing more important than the well being of our kids.  Hope to see you at the party!

Click Here For Facebook Event Page

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teddy Bear Toss This Saturday With The Muskegon Lumberjacks

A time honored tradition at just about every hockey barn across the world....the Teddy Bear Toss!!

This Saturday, December 5th the Muskegon Lumberjacks take on USNTDP-U17 and fans are encouraged to bring a non wrapped stuffed toy to toss on the ice when the Jacks score their first goal.  Fans young and old enjoy the shower of toys and the remarkable feeling of giving a child who would otherwise go without a toy.

Sure, there are some incentives to get you down to the arena for the festivities but the biggest incentive of all is the joy you'll provide to a perfect stranger who could really use a pick me up!  Hope to see you Saturday night at the LC Walker Arena for a great time and a great cause.

Take a look at the info below and grab some tickets for the game, or bring your toy on down and get your free ticket!  All the toys go to the Muskegon Rescue Mission!  You can click on the image for the ticket link!

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