WCSG News

March 2

3/2/21 – NYT: Bethany Christian Services, A Major Evangelical Adoption Agency, Will Now Work With LGBT Couples

(Relevant ) – Bethany Christian Services is an evangelical adoption agency that ranks among the country’s largest adoption and foster care organizations. On Monday, the New York Times reported that in a significant shift, Bethany will begin offering its services to LGBTQ couples. In the past, Bethany, like many other Christian adoption agencies, has refused to place children with same-sex couples. “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” wrote Bethany president and chief executive Chris Palusky in an email. “We’re taking an ‘all hands on deck’ […]
March 2

3/1/21 – Limited vaccine supply headlines virtual town hall

KENT COUNTY, Mich. — (WXMI) –  Kent County residents were able to learn more about the vaccine distribution process during a virtual town hall held by Senator Winnie Brinks with Dr. Adam London of the Kent County Health Department and Dr. Hyung Kim, President of Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. A recurring topic during the evening was the supply-demand chain, with Dr. London and Dr. Kim agreeing there is still not enough vaccine to distribute across West Michigan. “I share the frustration, I think we all do,” Dr. London said. “Right now, it is truly a supply problem and creating systems […]
March 2

3/2/21 – US probing engine fires in nearly 1.9M Toyota RAV4 SUVs

(CAR & DRIVER) – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened an investigation into the 2013–2018 Toyota RAV4 after receiving 11 complaints of a fire starting from the engine compartment, as first reported by the Associated Press. The investigation covers nearly 1.9 million vehicles, and NHTSA said it suspects that the problem comes from the positive terminal of the 12-volt battery shorting on the battery’s hold-down frame, “which may result in the sudden loss of electrical power, vehicle stalling, and/or a fire originating in the engine compartment,” according to a document released by the regulatory agency. Of 11 complaints submitted, seven […]
March 2

3/2/21 – Ex-health director gets $155,000 in separation agreement

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan Department of Public Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon will receive more than $155,000 as part of a separation agreement. The agreement revealed Monday calls for Gordon to drop all claims against the state. It also promises legal assistance in matters relating to actions he took while director. Gordon resigned in January after the Michigan Supreme Court effectively invalidated many of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Gordon issued essentially the same mandates under state laws unaddressed by the court, prompting protests outside his home.
March 1

3/1/21 – Jamarian Lawhorn is Free Six Years After Death of Conner Verkerke

He’s received support from probation officers and even the grandmother of the young man whose life he took.  19-year-old Jamarian Lawhorn walked away from a youth detention center in Evert after serving a six year sentence.  Lawhorn stabbed Conner Verkerke in Kentwood to end what he called a miserable existence.  Lawhorn will be required to remain on probation, attend counseling, and get a job.  Court appointed counselors, probation officers, and a support system have all vouched for the transformation in Lawhorn’s life after being sentenced for Verkerke’s death in 2014. Verkerke’s grandmother Toni Nunemaker drew national attention when she stated that […]
March 1

3/1/21 -DNR says, stay off the ice

Warmers temperatures have made venturing out onto the ice more risky. The DNR was telling people  to use extreme caution while removing fishing shanties or making their way out to try ice fishing. Over the weekend, 4 fishermen went through the ice on a lake in Lenawee County.  They were checking to see how sturdy the ice was.  Three were able to make it out but a fourth is still missing.. 2 people fell through the ice on Hampton Lake in Portage and had to be rescued. 2 people and a dog were pulled to safety from a pond west […]
March 1

3/1/21 – Former Pres. Trump addresses CPAC

ORLANDO, Fla. — Former President Donald Trump took to the stage for the first time since leasing office. He called for  GOP unity, continued to talk about election results and made it clear that he intends to remain a dominant political force. Trump criticized President Biden on issues ranging from the brewing crisis at the border to foreign policy as well as the reopening of schools during the coronavirus pandemic.  He said that  Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history and called the new administration “anti-jobs, anti-families, anti-border, anti-energy, anti-women and anti-science.” […]
March 1

3/1/21 – Johnson and Johnson vaccine recommended for people 18+

(ABC) – Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine has been recommended for Americans over 18 years of age, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee determined via vote Sunday. The board voted 12 in favor, one recusal and no opposition. J&J received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug administration Saturday and is now approved to be administered after gaining signature approval by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. The company has since tested its vaccine, which touts an 85 percent efficacy against serious illness and is 100 percent effective against hospitalizations, was tested in areas where there are serious COVID-19 variants. The […]
March 1

3/1/21 – Annual Butterflies are Blooming Exhibit Opens Today

An annual tradition that normally brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors will open today. The Frederick  Meijer Gardens will host the Butterflies are Blooming exhibition with over seven thousand butterflies from 60 different species. Laurel Gault is a horticulturist with the gardens and handles the butterflies from their delivery up and thought the exhibition. Gault says the species range from Asia to South America and deliver a world of color and excitement to the exhibition. Among the most popular butterflies are the ‘common morpho’, known for their stunning bright blue and black color.  They are usually found in Mexico, […]
February 26

2/26/21 – Evangelist Luis Palau Enters Hospice Care

Evangelist Luis Palau, known for international crusades to share the gospel, has entered hospice care. Palau, who is 86 years old, was hospitalized earlier this year with several health issues but was released. The family released a statement this afternoon. You may have heard that Luis is not doing so well. We thought it would be good to send you an update so you know how to pray. As you know, Dad has been fighting lung cancer for more than three years. For most of that time he has felt great. It has been a blessing. Sadly, at the beginning […]
February 26

2/26/21 – Tiger Woods transferred to new hospital

(USAToday) – Two days after seriously injuring his leg in a single-car crash near Los Angeles that required emergency surgery, Tiger Woods was moved from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Anish Mahajan, interim CEO and chief medical officer of Harbor-UCLA, announced Thursday night that Woods had been transferred to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center “for continuing orthopedic care and recovery.” Woods suffered a comminuted open fracture in his right leg during the single-vehicle, rollover crash that required emergency orthopedic surgery Tuesday. Here is the latest on what we know about the details of Woods’ crash and the injuries he suffered. The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that on the day of the […]
February 26

2/26/21 – Flags return to full-staff

Our flags across Michigan have been flying at half-staff this week as we honor the lives lost due to COVID-19. Over 500,000 American lives have been lost as families and loved ones continue to grieve. Earlier this week the President held a moment of silence and a candlelight vigil. Flags in the state of Michigan will return to full-staff on Saturday.
February 26

2/26/21 – Former Michigan Gov. Granholm confirmed as energy secretary

—(AP) –  Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has won Senate confirmation to be energy secretary. She’ll be a key Cabinet member trying to fulfill President Joe Biden’s commitment for a green economy as the United States fights to slow climate change. The vote was 64-35, with 14 Republicans, including GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, voting yes. Granholm served two terms as governor in a state dominated by the auto industry and devastated by the 2008 recession. Separately, Senate committees also heard from Biden’s nominees for surgeon general and trade representative.
February 26

2/26/21 – State Senate Approves Billions in COVID-19 Relief

On Thursday the State Senate approved $2 billion in COVID-19 relief spending. $110 million will be put aside for vaccine distribution. $20 million would go towards student mental health services. They also have approved increased pay for frontline workers. Young people have been greatly effected by COVID in a number of ways and $20 million would go towards student mental health services.
February 25

2/25/21 – Whitmer hints at relaxing some COVID-19 restrictions in ‘coming days’

(Mlive) – With Michigan’s COVID-19 case numbers remaining relatively low, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday the state may soon roll back some of its restrictions. “We’re expecting to make more announcements on additional re-engagements in the coming days,” Whitmer said in a Wednesday news conference. “Our case numbers and public health metrics are trending in the right direction. I’m very pleased to see that. I’m feeling very optimistic.” One potential tweak could involve restrictions on visitors at nursing homes, Whitmer said. Right now, visitors must be tested for COVID-19 and cannot visit at all if the facility has had a new case […]
February 25

2/25/21 – LaughFest 2 weeks away

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 25, 2021 – Gilda’s LaughFest, today announced headliners participating during LaughFest’s virtual festival, March 11-14. Headliners and events that are scheduled as part of the festival’s premium all-access content (paid content) include: Ron Funches, Tom Papa, Justin Willman, Michelle Wolf, The Comedy Project’s “3 Mics & a Movie!,” and the stage performance “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner” directed by Emmy award winning director Teresa Thome. This year’s festival will feature a total of 30 events, plus social media content and contests. Much of LaughFest will continue to be free, with donations to Gilda’s Club welcome, while premium all-access […]
February 24

2/24/21 – Governor Whitmer Has Busy Day Promoting Budget Plans

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has been to Washington DC, Lansing and Grand Rapids within the last few hours. All of those meetings have not been in person but they demonstrate the effort Whitmer is putting in to try and promote the state and her budget plans. The Governor started her morning in Washington testifying as part of a panel discussing infrastructure and climate change. She then held a press conference in Lansing to discuss her administrations response to the Coronavirus.  She discussed the plan to have Michigan schools offer in-person instruction.  Close to 95 percent of Michigan schools are ready for […]
February 24

2/24/21 – Michigan high water mark bill draws Republican intraparty criticism

(Mlive) –  Legislation that would simplify seawall permitting during high water periods on the Great Lakes and codify the state’s authority to regulate structures at the beach has drawn some intraparty fire from Republicans who are upset the bill no longer allow property owners to install erosion protections without getting a permit. Senate Bill 61 is sponsored by Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville. It’s backed by state regulators under Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who called the Republican legislation a “compromise” they support out of a desire to clear up jurisdictional confusion around the state’s authority to manage shoreline protection structures like boulder revetments. That […]
February 24

2/24/21 – Woodland Mall Launches Initiative to “Support Black-Owned Businesses and Brands 365”

Kentwood, Michigan, February 22, 2021 – Woodland Mall is making it easier for guests to support Black-owned businesses and brands all year through the launch of “Support Black-Owned Businesses and Brands 365.” Woodland Mall has created a home on its website highlighting Black-owned retailers, fashion brands, cosmetics, fragrance lines, books, music and other products for sale within other retailers at  the mall. This is part of an ongoing effort by the mall’s parent company, PREIT (NYSE:PEI) to spotlight Black-owned entrepreneurs and brands within its portfolio of top-tier and region-leading properties in eight states. During the coming year, at least two-thirds of PREIT properties also plan […]
February 23

2/23/21 – More Americans Gain Weight During Pandemic – So What’s Best Way to Shed Pounds?

Nearly half of Americans say they’ve gained weight during the pandemic, according to a recent survey. If you’re one of them, you may be thinking about going on a diet. But there’s so many to choose from, how do you pick the right one? “Often times when my patients say, ‘What diet should I be on, which is the best one?’, my answer is always, the best diet for you is one you can stay on long-term,” said Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, of Cleveland Clinic. “One that has the most sustainability and one that you’re happy on. If you’re on a […]
February 23

2/23/21 – Pausing to remember victims of COVID

WASHINGTON —(USA TODAY) –  Five hundred candles glowed around President Joe Biden as he stood outside the White House in a moment of silence to honor the lives of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19. “Today we mark a truly heartbreaking milestone: 500,071 dead,” Biden said during remarks in the Cross Hall of the White House before the moment of silence. “That’s more Americans who have died in one year in this pandemic than in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War combined. That’s more lives lost to this virus than any other […]
February 23

2/23/21 – COVID-19 vaccine appointment phone scam

(Mlive) – Someone is trying to use the COVID-19 vaccine to try and scam unsuspecting people on the phone. The scam is related to vaccine appointments. Specifically in Oakland County, they are sending out a warning to anyone who may receive a phone like this. The caller first asks people questions in order to schedule a vaccine appointment. The caller then asks for personal and financial information, something that would never be asked of you to give to health officials. “Oakland County will never ask for any financial information including credit card or social security numbers,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for […]
February 23

2/23/21 – Committee unveils possible changes to Confederate statue

ALLENDALE, MI –(Mlive) –  A local committee tasked with recommending changes to a controversial Civil War statue in Allendale Township has come up with three possible solutions. None of the potential changes to the statue presented by the seven-member Garden of Honor Memorial Committee on Monday, Feb. 22, to the Allendale Township Board of Trustees are final, however. The committee were given five more meetings to study the three possible solutions and come back to the township board with a final recommendation, which the board can ultimately shoot down or approve. The possible changes to the statue, presented for the […]
February 22

2/22/21 – Covid Variant now in Muskegon County

The B 1.1.7 coronavirus variant has now shown up in Muskegon County.  Health department leaders say this was not unexpected and they expect a possible increase in cases as the variant is more easily spread.  Because its fast spreading, more attention to the practices that could cut down on the spread are important, now more than ever.  Vaccinations, physical distancing, wearing masks, hand washing, isolation and quarantining are going to be necessary.  The department is also encouraging anyone who’s traveled and could have been exposed, to get a Covid-19 test.     
February 22

2/22/21 – Pres. Biden visited Pfizer in Portage

President Joe Biden visited the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant in Portage, Michigan, on Friday to oversee what efforts are being enacted to ramp up production. He said he can’t give an exact date when life will return to normal.  There needs to be consideration of the new variant of the virus and how that could impact us.   “I can’t give you a date when this crisis will end, but I can tell you we’re doing everything possible to have that day come sooner rather than later,” President Biden said, insisting he remains hopeful that things will change for the […]
February 22

2/22/21 – US to see reprieve in winter weather, warm temps to return to Texas

(ABC AirPower) – Isolated light snow showers crept across parts of the Northeast and Central Appalachians Sunday, setting up a new week of strong winter weather. Pittsburgh and Cleveland are looking at a messy Monday commute with snow expected to fall in the early a.m. with rain enveloping the Tennessee Valley. Some pockets of light freeing rain may even develop across parts of the Central Appalachians and may begin in New York as snow in the early afternoon but end as rain by Monday evening. The good news is that most of the country is looking at a much quieter weather pattern […]
February 22

2/22/21 – Former standout high school athlete dies in Ottawa County snowmobile crash

ALLENDALE, MI — (Mlive) –  A 19-year-old Zeeland man who struck a utility pole while riding a snowmobile has died. At 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, the Kent County Medical Examiner’s Office notified Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies that Tyler John “TJ” VanKoevering had died. VanKoevering’s fatal snowmobile crash occurred about 11:40 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, on Pierce Street west of 64th Avenue in Allendale. VanKoevering was riding alone with no other snowmobiles. The crash caused the pole it struck to break and power lines to fall into the road, police said. No other people were injured. VanKoevering was […]
February 19

2/19/21 – Ford recall

(FOX Business) –  Ford announced that it will recall over 150,000 select vehicles for airbag and rear suspension issues. The company is recalling 1,666 of its 2021 Bronco Sport vehicles due to rear suspension modules that may not be properly attached. “Affected 2021 Ford Bronco Sport vehicles were produced with rear suspension modules that may not be fully secured to the subframe,” the automaker said in a news release. “Rear suspension modules with loose or missing bolts may affect the vehicle’s stability, increasing risk of an accident, and may result in reduced rear-impact crash performance, increasing the risk of injury. ” The recall impacts 1,640 vehicles in the U.S. […]
February 19

2/19/21 – About 6,700 snowblowers recalled due to amputation hazard

(Mlive) – Toro has recalled about 6,700 snowblowers that pose an amputation hazard when used. According to the recall from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission the auger on Toro’s Power Max Snowthrowers can fail to disengage when the control lever is released, causing an amputation hazard. The recall involves Model Year 2021 Toro Power Max 826 OHAE Snowthrowers with Model Number 37802. The model and serial number are located on the back of the machine. The machines were manufactured in Juarez, Mexico and distributed by the Toro Company of Bloomington, Minnesota. To date, the company has received five reports of […]
February 18

2/18/21 – Black History Month – Grand Rapids First African American Mayor: Lyman Parks

Former Grand Rapids Mayor Lyman Parks is remembered for not only being the first African American mayor of Grand Rapids, but also for his contribution during a difficult time in American history.    Parks was elected to the city commission in 1968 and was selected by fellow commissioners to fill the vacant Mayoral role in 1961.  He ran for the office in 1963 against 10 other candidates.  He garnered the support of a large cross section of the community to win office showing the possibility of unity during such a turbulent time for race relations.  Parks was born in 1917 […]