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  The Newaygo County Regional Educational Agency recently purchased the former Providence Christian High School facility and announced plans to turn it into a new Higher Learning Center.


 NC RESA announces plan to use
Providence Christian building

Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency officials announced last week that the former Providence Christian High School, closed since last fall, will continue to serve Newaygo County students.

NC RESA officials said that the facility will help NC RESA and several community partners develop a number of new services.

NC RESA’s Board of Education voted in September to buy the school, located three miles south of Fremont, for $2.5 million.

Then, on Oct. 15, the board approved a $1.25 million bond sale to help finance expected renovation costs, ending a nearly year-long analysis of the purchase.

Robert W. Baird and Company purchased the 10-year Treasury bonds at an average 2.09 percent, considered an excellent rate due to NC RESA’s Standard and Poor’s A-plus bond rating.

“There were a number of steps we had to navigate to complete our due diligence,” said NC RESA Superintendent Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark. “We are so pleased we could finally reach this stage.”

“What we have in mind for the Providence facility as an Agricultural Center for Excellence and Higher Learning Center will be of great benefit to the entire Newaygo County community and the surrounding region.”

Providence Christian High School ceased operations in the fall of 2013. Many of its board members and members of the Providence Christian Society attended the Oct. 15 NC RESA board meeting to express their pleasure at the transaction.

Dick Dunning, a Providence board member, thanked NC RESA’s board for its support of the purchase and its vision of the school’s future use.

“In the past couple of years I have learned so much about your programs and what you do for our community,” Dunning told the board.

“All of us are just very grateful that what we began is finding a way to continue to be put to good use,” Dunning added. “We really couldn’t be more pleased.”

NC RESA board President David Hewitt said that the board is “grateful for the patience, collaboration and diligence the leaders at Providence Christian provided throughout the 11-month process to buy the building.”

“It took a lot of time and effort and thoroughness by a lot of people to get us to this point,” Hewitt said, mentioning NC RESA staff and board members David Robinson and Ed Haynor, who represented the board throughout the process.

“The new facility will help NC RESA and its community partners continue efforts to grow a competent work force for Newaygo County,” Hewitt said.

“This is part of a long, thought-filled effort to do what we can to provide the best possible career training and educational opportunities for our young people and our communities,” Hewitt said.


Renovations ahead

“The next 10 months will be spent in getting the Providence facility ready for  a fall 2015 opening,” Dr. Clark said, “which includes remodeling space for programs that have outgrown their spaces at the Newaygo County Career-Tech Center.”

“The agency will relocate its Career-Tech Agrisciences program to the new location,” Clark said. “The Agriculture program will expand in industry demand areas of Agriscience, Agribusiness and Agritechnology, with industry partners who will have a presence at our new facility.”

“We see this alliance as a real key to becoming an Agricultural Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Clark.

Moving the career-tech programs makes room at the Career-Tech Center to grow the popular Newaygo County Mechatronics and Robotics (NC GEARS) programs.

NC GEARS is an award-winning STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) program that has consistently placed among the top six teams in yearly international competition.

“Two colleges and an employment service center now housed at NC RESA’s 48th Street campus are part of the expansion,” Clark said.

Baker College will move from NC RESA’s campus on 48th Street to the Higher Learning Center and expand program offerings in Newaygo County. Muskegon Community College will also expand course offerings to allow students to complete their full Associate degree at the NC RESA campus.

Michigan Works! will relocate its Fremont workforce service center to the new Agricultural Center of Excellence and Higher Learning Center.

“Expected growth in Early College of Newaygo County (ECNC) programs requires more classrooms,” Dr. Clark said. “ECNC enrollment doubled this year, and will increase another 50 percent in fall 2015.”


Foundations and others lend support

The Fremont Area Community Foundation has made two $125,000 grants to help retrofit space at the Higher Learning Center for the agrisciences and heavy equipment programs.

The Gerber Foundation continues to support the growing STEM Expo, an annual competition to promote STEM careers with Newaygo County students.

State Sen. Goeff Hansen, Rep. Jon Bumstead, Karnemaat Farms, Consumers Concrete and DTE Energy also played key roles in the acquisition by helping to extend natural gas service to the facility.

“This project would not have happened otherwise, because utility costs would have been too high to sustain,” Dr. Clark said.




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  D/Sgt. Scott Rios of the
Michigan State Police
released this image of the
suspects he is seeking in
connection with fraudulent
financial transactions in the
Livonia and Newaygo areas.




Detective seeks public's help in identifying fraud suspects

Michigan State Police investigators are looking for suspects in connection with fraudulent financial transactions in the Newaygo and Livonia areas.

Detective Sgt. Scott Rios said that the suspects were able to obtain bank information from the victim and make deposits with fraudulent checks. Suspects also made several cash transactions from the bank account.

When suspects later made arrangements to meet the victim to obtain some cash, law enforcement officers were contacted.

State Police officers attempted to meet with the suspects, who fled in a newer tan Chevrolet Impala, a four-door car with black rims. The vehicle was last seen in the Grand Rapids area.

D/Sgt. Rios said that he is seeking help from the public in identifying the suspects in the fraud. People with information about the crime or the suspects are asked to call D/Sgt Scott Rios at 231-873-2171 and refer to complaint number 62-5365-14.






 Election Day Decisions

Newaygo County area voters will elect local candidates and ballot proposals, help decide statewide races and help choose a new U.S. Senator in voting on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Here is a look at the candidates and proposals that local voters will see in the voting booth.


State and National

Incumbent Governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, is being challenged by Democrat Mark Schauer, Libertarian Mary Buzuma, US Taxpayers candidate Mark McFarlin and Green Party candidate Paul Homeniuk.

Candidates for Lieutenant Governor include incumbent Brian Nelson Calley (R), Lisa Brown (D), Scotty Boman (L), Richard Mendoza (UST) and Candace R. Caveny (Green).

Secretary of State candidates include incumbent Ruth Johnson (R), Godfrey Dillard (D), James Lewis (L), Robert Gale (UST), and Jason Robert Gatties (Natural Law).

Incumbent Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) is being challenged by Mark Totten (D), Justin Altman (L), Gerald VanSickle (UST), and John Anthony LaPietra (G).

With longtime U.S. Senator Carl Levin retiring, the contest for his Senate seat features Terri Lynn Land (R), Gary Peters (D), Jim Fulner (L), Richard A. Matkin (UST) and Chris Wahmhoff (G).

Second District U.S. Congressman Bill Huizenga (R), faces a challenge from Dean Vanderstelt (D), Ronald Welch II (L) and Ronald E. Graeser (UST).

34th District State Senator Goeff Hansen (R) is being challenged by Democrat Cathy Forbes.

100th District State Representative Jon Bumstead (R) faces a challenge from Mark Edmund Balcom (D).

Two state Board of Education positions will be on the ballot. Candidates include Republicans Marla Carl and Jonathan Tade Williams, Democrats Pamela Pugh Smith and Casandra E. Ulbrich, Libertarians Kimberly Moore, and Gregory Scott Stempfie, US. Taxpayers candidate John Adams and Karen Adams, Green Party candidate Sherry Wells and Natural law candidate Nikki Mattson.

Candidates for the two University of Michigan Board of Regents seats include Rob Steele (R), Ronald Weiser (R), Mike Behm (D), Kathy White (D), James Lewis Hudler (L), John Jacob (L), Joe Sanger (UST), Christine Schwartz (UST) and Ian Swanson (G).

Candidates for the two Michigan State University Board of Trustees positions include Melanie Foster (R), Jeff Sakwa (R), Faylene Owen (D), George Perles (D), Michael Miller (L), Raymond Moses (L), Crystal VanSickle (UST), Stephen Young (UST), Adam Adrianson (G), Terry Link (G) and Bridgette Guzman (Nat. Law).

Candidates for the two Wayne State University Board of Governors seats include Michael Busuito (R), Satish Jasti (R), Marilyn Kelly (D), Dana Alicia Thompson (D), Dan Goebel (L), Brian Richard Wright (L), Shari Matkin (UST), Marc Joseph Sosnowski (UST), Margaret Guttshall (G), Latham Redding (G) and Yolanda Robson (Nat. Law).


Newaygo County

All seven of the candidates for the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners are running unopposed as Republians. They include District 1 Commissioner Phil Deur, District 2 candidate Steven Johnson, District 3 Commissioner Chuck Trapp, District 4 Commissioner Jim Maike Jr., District 5 Commissioner Larry Lethorn, District 6 Commissioner Christian Ortwein and District 7 Commissioner Pat Gardner.



Contests for township board seats involve little opposition, with all the township candidates are running unopposed. The townships and candidates include:

Barton Township Trustee: John Avey (R).

Brooks Township Supervisor: Cory Nelson (R).

Croton Township Treasurer: Kimberly Edwards (R).

Croton Township Library Board Director: D. Leah Case-Krugler (nonpartisan).

Dayton Township Clerk: Jean Stroven (R).

Dayton Township Treasurer: William Kunnen (R).

Everett Township Treasurer: Brandy Fleming (R).

Lilley Township Clerk: Fran Nelson (R).

Monroe Township Trustee: Mellissa Manzagol (R).

Sheridan Charter Township Trustee: Chris Makin (R).


Village of Hesperia

Lous Nemastil and Jim Smith are running for the position of Village President. Marlene Derks and Joyce McDonald are running for four-year terms as village Trustees.

Candidates for President are Louis Nemastil and Jim Smith

Candidates for four-year Trustee terms are Marlene Derks and Joyce McDonald.

Candidates for three partial term Trustee positions are Doris DeLong, Mike Farber, Carol Godfrey Kochans and Brett Kraley.



Two full-term seats on the Michigan Supreme Court will be decided. Candidates include Richard Bernstein, Doug Dern, Bill Murphy, James Robert Redford and incumbent Brian Zahra.

Candidates for a partial term on the Michigan Supreme Court include Kerry Morgan, Deborah Thomas and incumbent David Viviano.

Incumbents Mark Thomas Boonstra and Jane Markey are running unopposed for the two Third District Court of Appeals seats.

Incumbent H. Kevin Drake is running unopposed for the local 78th District Judge seat.


School Boards

Voters in local public school districts will also elect school board members.

Big Jackson: Brad Crawford and Susan Jones are running unopposed for the two seats on the board.

Fremont: Crystal Calkins, Rick St. Peter and Edward Wosinski are running unopposed for three seats on the board.

Grant: Four candidates are running for the three available school board positions, including Jon Dixon, Kris Lesley, Shawn Moore and Dan Powell.

Hesperia: Candidates for three six-year terms include Cheryl Rose, Mary Sturtevant and Scott Wenberg. Katrina Yates is the lone candidate for the partial term scheduled to end on Dec. 31, 2018. Patrick Broton is the lone candidate for the partial term ending Dec. 31, 2016.

Holton: Three four-year terms on the school board are available. Candidates include Amy Brookhouse, Paul Brueck, Todd Conzemius, Candice Giddings and Jeanine Wildfong.

Newaygo: Bret Brummel and Melissa Swinehart are running unopposed for the two seats on the board.  The ballot lists no candidates for a partial term on the board.

White Cloud: Jim Jones and Harry Stevens are running unopposed for the two seats on the board. No candidates registered for the partial term position on the board.

Baldwin: Candidates for the three school board seats include Joseph Brooks Jr., Robert Sanders and Shawn Washington.

Big Rapids: Candidates for the two four-year terms are David Murray and Michelle Rasmussen are running for two four-year terms. Peter Kent and Jeremy Mishler are running for two six-year terms.

Cedar Springs: Candidates for the three four-year terms include Michelle Bayink, Matthew Shoffner and Shannon Vanderhyde.

Kent City: Robert Sarachman, Rick Stockhill and Dan Winell are running for the three six-year terms.

Montcalm Community College: Karen Carbonelli and Patricia Hinrichs are running for the two six-year terms and Joyce Elaine Kitchenmaster and Michael J. Williams are running for the two partial terms ending Dec. 31, 2016.

Morley Stanwood: Christine Corrigan-Persons is a candidate for the six-year term. Randall Lapreze and Matthias Stevens are candidates for the two four-year terms and Kenneth Ramsey is a candidate for the partial term ending Dec. 31, 2016.

Oakridge: Candidates for the three six-year terms are Mary Ann Brodeur, Steve Roomsburg, Troy Allen Ruel and Craig Scott are candidates for the three six-year terms on the road. No candidates registered for an available four-year term.

Reed City: Derrick Bookwalter, Craig Goodman, Ed Raby and Tricia Wirth are running for three four-year terms on the school board.

Tri-County: Janice Dewey and Jill Fennessy are running for the two six-year terms on the board. Bill Baker, Chad Bice and Brett Karhoff are running for two four-year terms.

Walkerville:Candidates for the four four-year terms include Antonio Briones Jr., Richard Hornsby, Michelle Tanner and George Wolgamott. Robert Fisher is the lone candidate for the partial term ending Dec. 31, 2016.

Grand Rapids Community College: Debra Bailey, Cynthia Bristol, Jim Harvey and Mike Paskewicz are running for two six-year terms on the board.

West Shore Community College: Anthony Fabaz and James Jensen are candidates for the two six-year terms.


State Proposals

Proposal 1:  A referendum establishing a hunting season for wolves and authorizing annual wolf hunting seasons.

Proposal 2: A referendum granting the Natural Resources Commission the power to designate wolves and certain other animals as game without legislative action.


City Proposals

City of Grant voters will decide on a Fire Protection Millage proposal and a Public Safety Millage proposal that would reauthorize millages which expired with the 2015 tax levy.

Troy Township residents will vote on increasing the Operating Millage by 0.5 mill annually for four years.


School Proposals

White Cloud school district voters will decide on two bond proposals. Bond Proposal 1 is whether to borrow the sum not to exceed $1.420 million and for the purpose of purchasing school buses. Proposal 2 is whether to borrow the sum of not to exceed $4.205 million for the purpose of acquiring and installing educational technology and equipment for school buildings, remodeling, furnishing, refurnishing and equipping school buildings and improving a playground.

Voters in the Cedar Springs school district will vote on an 18-mill Operating Millage Proposal.

Tri-County Area Schools voters will decide on an 18-mill Operating Millage Renewal Proposal.

Voters in the Montcalm Community College district will decide the fate of an operating millage renewal proposal for the community college.








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