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News -> This Week's News Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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 Federal grant to boost local prevention efforts

By Ken DeLaat

• 22 percent of the traffic fatalities in Newaygo County involve the use of alcohol.

• 27 percent of 11th graders have used alcohol within the past 30 days and 19 percent have binged (five or more drinks in a row).

• 23 percent of adults smoke in Newaygo County.

• 27 percent of women smoke while pregnant.

• 15 percent of seventh graders have taken painkillers without prescriptions in the past 30 days.

These are some of the compelling statistics regarding substance use in Newaygo County, all taken from the brochure of Newaygo County Partners in Prevention and Recovery (NCPPR).

Alcohol and drug abuse continue to plague Newaygo County communities, and while treatment is available for those in need, intervening at an earlier stage through prevention is the preferred and most economical way of curbing the problems associated with addiction.

NCPPR (formerly the Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention Affiliate) is a group of representatives from human service agencies, the courts, schools, law enforcement, faith based organizations, recovery groups and other area stakeholders who have joined in the effort to impact the effects of substance abuse in our community. The affiliate is under the umbrella of the Newaygo County Collaborative Consortium (NC3) and programs are funded through Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health Substance Abuse Services and the Mid-State Health Network.

Programs offered through NCPPR include Alcohol, Drug and Tobacco Diversion programming through the Newaygo County Circuit Court Juvenile Division, prevention groups provided at area middle and secondary  schools by Arbor Circle Counseling, vendor education and youth tobacco checks carried out through the Newaygo County Regional Educational Services Agency, minor in possession party patrol and alcohol and tobacco compliance checks by the Newaygo County Sheriff Department, and the prescription drug disposal boxes.

Sheriff department officials say that the drug disposal boxes, placed at police departments around the county, have yielded more than 600 pounds of unused medications since their introduction two years ago in an attempt to stem the increase in prescription drug abuse.

Each of these efforts share a common goal: the reduction of substance abuse, particularly among young people.

Recently, NCPPR received a Drug Free Communities grant issued through a coordinated effort between the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The grant is administered locally through NCRESA’s Department of Intervention and Prevention

“One of the reasons we are excited about this grant opportunity for Newaygo County,” said NCRESA Executive Director of Intervention and Prevention Jane Dezinski, “is that statistics show youth substance use has decreased among all grantees since program inception of the Drug Free Communities Grant. This grant will allow for continued and enhanced work to increase the awareness of the effects of substance abuse and bring educational opportunities to our youth.”

“We are looking forward to our continued work with our community partners in reaching the goal of a Healthy Community.”

NCPPR Coordinator Kaleigh Haase was instrumental in gathering the resources and partnerships that led to receiving the DFC grant monies. Working with others in the coalition, she has begun to forge some of the new directions the DFC grant will allow the coalition to pursue.

“We are very excited for the opportunities that the Drug Free Communities Grant will provide to Newaygo County,” Haase said. “Through this funding, the NCPPR is planning to host a Cultural Competency Training, a social media campaign to encourage youth to refrain from the use of substances, and conduct Life of an Athlete training with the local school districts.”

 “Life of an Athlete is a nationally recognized, wide-ranging substance abuse prevention program aimed at youth,” she added.

To administer the DFC grant, NCRESA has hired Allison Johnson, who will work with Haase in bringing the programs to fruition.

“Allison Johnson is a perfect fit for the DFC Coordinator with her degree in social work and experience in prevention,” said Dezinski. “Allison has successfully led groups of youth in the area of prevention, taught Strengthening Families classes and has been regularly involved with the work of collaborative councils. She balances her strengths well with those of Kaleigh.”

More information about NCPPR is available online at and on the coalition’s Facebook page.





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Photo by Ken DeLaat

Alisha Avink left Salon 21 East with a beautiful look to match her wonderful smile.


Shopping with Ken... By Ken DeLaat
The importance of
biting on the local bait

So what’s the big deal about shopping local? I mean, how much can an occasional purchase from a local business really do besides put a few bucks in the hands of the proprietors?

Try this one. For every $100 spent locally, approximately $73 stays in the community. For box box stores, the number is roughly half of that.

Local supplies, local services, non-profits, investments in the community, marketing, jobs, wages from those jobs spent locally, local taxes, schools, fire, police and more all benefit from having  more of the money you spend recycled into your community.

This is just one simple monetary reason, the promotion of prosperity in your hometown area. There are many other reasons, such as enhancing the distinctiveness of your locale by supporting new businesses who truly are the job creaters. Shopping locally encourages entrepreneurship in our area, particularly among our young people. Think of type of shops you would like to see in any of our fine towns. Imagine a business you would like to have available to you and the variety of restaurants and entertainment venues you would like to have close to home.

These can become a reality when you support the local shops already in place. Prospering businesses in a town draw other businesses to it. I had an uncle who took us fishing, and whenever we got a bite, his bobber would suddenly appear nearby. It is the same kind of thing, I guess. You go where the fish are biting, so we need to start biting.

 Look around locally this season and make a purchase or two. Support your neighbors as well as yourself and, for goodness sake, be careful out there. The weather can change in a minute.

On the shopping suggestion front:

Shopping With Ken World Headquarters got a few calls this week and, with Shotgun as co-pilot, the staff set out for a bit of investigative work.

Salon 21 East specializes in making people feel special when they enter the stylishly crafted décor of the shop in downtown Grant.

Owner Lori Tryon and her staff of two stylists provide a myriad of services, from their distinctive hair styling, nail and spa treatments to make-up lessons and waxing. The list of offerings includes names that elude me either in knowledge or practicality. For instance, it would be doubtful if my scant strands would have much use for texturizing and I’m unsure of what a paraffin hand treatment might involve, but one thing is certain: the haircut, including what is purported to be a superior scalp massage, is on my list for this week, since time did not allow for a trial on the day of our visit. Vehicle guarding quadruped companion Shotgun, the famed nemesis of evil and squirrels, was nearing his supper break time.

Born and raised in Grant, Lori Tryon worked and taught in the field of cosmetology before taking the entrepreneurial plunge two years ago.

“I wanted to open an upscale shop with high end (Redken) products and give people that exceptional kind treatment we all love,” Tryon said.

In addition to gift certificates for any of the multitude of services available in this comforting outpost of styling excellence, Salon 21 East also offers specialty gifts, including some that would make good stocking stuffers (in my humble opinion, the best part of presenting), including pedicure bags, facial bags, sample products bags and more.

This is a friendly, warm and inviting store worth a visit. If the goal was to make their customers happy, they seemed to succeed with Alisha Avink, who left with a stunningly gorgeous look that was matched by the wonderful smile on her face.

Salon 21 East is at 67 S Maple in Grant. The phone number is 834-1934 and you can visit their page at

Located next to Salon 21 East is LLP Custom Engraving, a shop run by the creatively unchallenged Jason Richards. With a Graphic Communications background, the Kendall School of Art and Design alumni prides himself on personalized service and describes his breadth of work as being “from spoons to murals.”

 His store is lined with impressive examples of his work, including some pieces he has done with mirrors. They defy the imagination.

“We’re open to any possibility you might have as an idea,” said Richards, who named the business LLP after his wife Lynette and children Lincoln and Phoebe. “We want people to bring in whatever creative ideas they have or maybe something they found on Google and let us make it happen.”

TimesIndicator Editor Wheater might be interested in the work Richards did in placing a photographic image of Willie Nelson on the face of a guitar. My hunch is he’d go more for a Johnny Cash shot on one of his music makers, but that is purely speculation.

This is a place that needs to be visited to capture the broad scope of work, from small to large, being done here. LLP has a number of rather remarkable examples of their artistry and they encourage folks to come by and take a peek at some of the creative endeavors accomplished in the shop. For a truly personal gift or a special personal touch, LLP might be where you find the item for that “hard to buy for and has everything they want” giftee.

Besides, they have really, really good coffee on hand.

LLP Custom Engraving is at 67 S Maple in downtown Grant. Their phone number is 231-519-3250 and you can visit their website at

We also heard from Sharry Bailey, a fellow canine enthusiast and Bellwether fan.

“In our home, our favorite place for holiday shopping is Bellwether Harbor’s Annual Christmas Bazaar.  They have the best homemade goodies and their pet boutique has a great assortment of collars and leashes. You can have your pet’s picture taken with Santa and made into a key chain or framed. This year, the bazaar is Saturday, Dec. 6. It is a great place to do holiday shopping for the two-footed and four-footed in your life!  I know you and Shotgun love Bellwether too, so maybe we will see you there!”

Sharry also shared a quote, from an unknown author, that made SWK a little misty:

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”

Bellwether Harbor is at 7645 W 48th St. For more information about the bazaar, call Bellwether Harbor at 924-9230.

My old friend (well she’s not old, but our friendship spans a decade and a half, so…) Prudi Foster contacted SWK about the fundraiser being undertaken by the Fremont High School varsity baseball team whose coach is Jeff Foster, Prudi’s husband.

The baseball players are selling brick pavers to be placed around the press box at the varsity field with the name(s) you choose to be etched on them as a way of honoring a loved one, a student athlete, a fan of Fremont sports or someone who likes seeing his or her name on bricks.

“We are working hard to create a facility to make our school and community proud,” said Coach Foster. “20 new box seats have been installed in back of the backstop and improvements continue to be made on the playing field.”

This is a great gift for the Packer enthusiast and it will help the baseball program develop a welcoming venue. It is a bargain at just $25. Contact Jeff Foster at 231-349-0329.

When Mrs. SWK and I moved here with just a couple of years left in the previous century, the wonderful Riverstop Café was in a small building across the street from its present location and, though significantly more cramped, still offered some of the best eats and drinks around. One of the bonuses was the adjacent building which housed the renowned Fly By Night Gallery. Many were the occasions spent perusing and purchasing the wealth of items created by local artists. Well, this season the group has reformed and is offering their one of a kind pieces at This Old House, the antique and resale emporium owned and operated by the ever entertaining and pleasant proprietor Donna (Calendar Girl) Friar, located across from the library in downtown Newaygo.

We spoke to Val Deur, one of the original FbN folks, about this latest endeavor.

“Fly by Night Gallery of Local Artists began as a dream shared around an autumn campfire,” Deur said. “We opened in November of 1997 with more than 17 artists. Our artists offered cool, one of a kind gifts in many price ranges.”

“We always appreciated how much our local people, our friends, supported us by purchasing our work and we always had great fun together at Full Moon Sales, drumming and other gatherings and in the process made many new friends who are still friends today.”

“Starting on Black Friday, the work of some original FbN artists, some who joined later and other surprises will appear at This Old House at the corner of M-37 and Wood. We hope you will delight in our offerings and that we need to keep adding more artistic endeavors. We have enjoyed being ever changing.”

This will be a must stop for SWK’s personal presenting pursuit and, as we stated in a previous SWK piece, what better way to buy local than from the wealth of artisans who populate our piece of The Mitten?


So there you go. There is a sampling of our call-in ideas to get the ball rolling. If you still need to engage in some of the weekend warrior shopping, remember Small Business Saturday follows Black Friday and precedes Cyber Monday, so get out there and support your local folks as much as possible.

Buy Local

Be Local

Mitten Mania has arrived.









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