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Home » Community Resources » News


Muskegon Community College sets up 'reverse transfer' agreement with Grand Valley State University

MCC and GVSU 2.jpg


MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – The road from community college to university is now a two-way street.

Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary, left, and Grand Valley State University President Tom Haas shake hands after signing a 'reverse transfer' agreement that will let GVSU students apply credits earned their toward an associate's degree at MCC.

Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas and Muskegon Community College President Dale Nesbary signed an agreement Monday afternoon that would allow students to transfer credits earned at GVSU back to MCC to count toward an associate's degree.

Students who have completed 30 or more credits at MCC can transfer back up to 32 GVSU credits to complete an associate degree, Nesbary said. Before, they would have had to physically come back to Muskegon to complete their associate's degree requirements even if they had taken equivalent classes at GVSU, he said.

“Completing a degree would have been much more difficult in the past,” he said.

MCC has 81 programs and GVSU has more than 200 programs, Nesbary said, so students should be able to complete any of the associate's degree programs at MCC with GVSU courses.

GVSU doesn’t offer associate's degrees, Haas said, so the partnership gives students a way to earn a degree if finances or other circumstances won’t let them complete their bachelor’s. It’s also an option for students who want both degrees, he said.

“This reduces redundancy for students,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about students being successful.”

Haas said “reverse transfers” are becoming more popular and GVSU has a similar partnership with Grand Rapids Community College. It will likely set up three or four other partnerships this year, he said.

Haas said giving students a “seamless pathway” to an associate's degree increases the odds they’ll further their education, which will attract businesses looking for talented workers.

“They can see the talent is here, and maybe we can keep it here,” he said.


Greater Muskegon Jaycees named best chapter in nation

Published: Monday, July 02, 2012, 5:40 PM

Tara.jpgTara Mack, president of the Greater Muskegon Jaycees

MUSKEGON, MI -- The Greater Muskegon Jaycees have been named the most outstanding of the more than 700 Jaycees chapters in the United States.

The Muskegon chapter was presented the 2011 Harold A. Marks Memorial Award, given to the nation's top chapter, at this week's 2011 United State Junior Chamber (Jaycees) year-end awards ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa.

The United States Jaycees also announced the Greater Muskegon Jaycees raised the second most money -- more than $10,000 -- to support the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life program. The chapter also had the best International Area and Individual and Individual Development Area programming in the nation, the U.S. Jaycees announced.

Receiving individual honors were two Muskegon Jaycees 2011 vice presidents, Dani LaFleur and Kari Kidrowski, both named among the top 25 local chapter vice presidents.

"I am so proud to call myself a Greater Muskegon Jaycee," chapter President Tara Mack said. "We set out to make an impact in our community and make a difference and we did just that."

"I am very proud of what President Tara Mack and her team accomplished in 2011," said David Worthams of Kalamazoo, Michigan Jaycees President.

The Jaycees is an organization for young professionals ages 21 through 40. It emphasizes personal and professional training, community service and leadership skills. For more information about the Greater Muskegon Jaycees, visit their website at www.muskegonjaycees.org or call (231) 412-0705.


Lorin Industries in Muskegon named one of the top 50 companies in Michigan to watch

Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 8:38 AM Updated: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 8:43 AM

Dave Alexander | 
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Hot Rod Power Tour packs downtown Muskegon with 50,000 people

Published: Sunday, June 03, 2012, 6:07 PM Updated: Monday, June 04, 2012, 12:57 AM

MUSKEGON, MI – Cars and people, people and cars.

Downtown Muskegon was full of both Sunday for the Hot Rod Power Tour.

About 50,000 people, based on preliminary crowd estimates, and about 4,000
high-end hot rods and other fancy vehicles packed the downtown streets and
parking lots. The weekend date and sunny skies, plus the star-attraction cars,
produced one of the largest crowds in years in Muskegon's downtown.

Muskegon was the second stop on a seven-city, week-long trek of the
world-renowned tour of high-end hot rods, street rods, muscle cars and custom
trucks. Muskegon hosted a Hot Rod Power Tour stop for a second consecutive year,
a rarity for the national event that tries to mix up its venues for its

“It’s a huge success,” said John VanWyck, one of the local organizers for the
Muskegon tour stop. “The people turned out and everybody who owned a vehicle had
an opportunity to show their vehicle. Generally, there were smiles on
everybody’s faces. Everyone seems to be having a good time.”

Hot Rod Power Tour visits downtown Muskegon

Libby March
Classic American cars form a row of red parked on
Fifth Street during the Hot Rod Power Tour in Muskegon, Mich. on Sunday, June 3,

The tour stop in Muskegon featured 3,200 vehicles on the Hot Rod Power Tour and
an addition 840 cars owned by West Michigan residents.Muskegon welcomed
thousands of hot rods, their owners and tens of thousands of spectators Sunday
with plenty of automotive-related activities and sunny skies. The downtown
streets and parking lots began filling up with cars and spectators more than an
hour before the event was tentatively scheduled to start.  Spectators seemed to enjoy the event.

“I think it’s really cool that they came here,” said McKay Dykema of
Muskegon. “This year it’s a lot bigger. It’s good for Muskegon to have it.”

David Olson of Muskegon said enjoyed the event because it was a large crowd
over a spacious area.

“I like the way that they filled up the downtown,” Olson said.

Two Marne residents sat in lawn chairs on a hill near the corner of Shoreline
Drive and Fourth Street to watch the hot rods and other cars arrive in Muskegon.
They staked out their viewing location at about 9 a.m. Sunday.

“It’s excellent,” said Pete Chesla. “Hopefully, there will be an event next

Hot Rod Power Tour 2012Libby March | MLive

Roy Strater, of Twin Lake, shuts the trunk of his 1946 Dodge before leaving the he Hot Rod Power Tour
2012 in Muskegon, Mich. on Sunday, June 3, 2012. Strater and his girlfriend,
Joyce Lund, have been attending car shows with the Dodge since he acquired it
about 30 years ago.  “It’s cool as Hell,” said Tim Merrick. “Unbelievable.”

The owners of the vehicles also spoke highly of the event.

Ray Cochran, who has completed the all the tour stops on five previous Hot
Rod Power Tours, called the Muskegon event “an awesome stop” on the tour. A
Zeeland resident, Cochran said Muskegon’s experience in hosting Bike Time shows
in the successful stop on the national car tour.

“I’ve done venues all over the U.S.,” said Cochran, who brought his 1973 Z-28
to Muskegon. “The downtown venues are absolutely the best.”

Some tour stops are held in large parking lots rather than in and around
downtown streets.


altAshley Miller | MLive

From left, Justin and Reed Cutler, 2, and Josh and Owen Silvis, 2, react as Ed Lutkus revs the
engine of his 1972 Chevelle Super Sport 454 on Sunday during the Hot Rod Power
Tour in downtown Muskegon. "It should go, go!" Reed said. The tour pulled into
town for their second stop in a seven city, week-long trek.

Audrey Tobin of Grand Haven displayed her 2010 Dodge Challenger at Heritage
Landing as part of the regional portion of the event. Her car drew second
glances because of its Plum Crazy color.

“I think it’s fantastic,” Tobin said of the event. “I’m glad it’s on the
weekend this year.”

The Hot Rod Power Tour, put on by Hot Rod Magazine and a favorite of “car
guys,” capped off an automotive-flavored weekend in Muskegon. Cruising the
Lakeshore Muskegon, a regional car event, took place Friday and Saturday in

VanWyck, chairman of Cruising the Lakeshore Muskegon, said people should mark
their calendars for the first weekend of June next year for the regional event
to continue. He said organizers hope to continue the momentum gained with
back-to-back years of successful stops on the national tour.

The Hot Rod Power Tour covered through Instagram 

Ashley Miller | This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

According to preliminary crowd estimates, about 50,000 people and 4,000 high-end hot rods packed downtown
Muskegon Sunday as the Hot Rod Power Tour pulled into town for their second stop
in a seven city, week-long tour.

 Ashley Miller | MLive

The Hot Rod Power Tour covered through Instagram gallery

  • The Hot Rod Power Tour covered through InstagramThe Hot Rod Power Tour covered through InstagramThe Hot Rod Power Tour covered through InstagramThe Hot Rod Power Tour covered through InstagramThe Hot Rod Power Tour covered through Instagram

  • The 18th annual Hot Rod Power Tour started in Detroit before arriving in
    Muskegon Sunday. The tour is set to end in Arlington, Texas.

    Based on estimates provided by the national organizers, the 2011 Muskegon
    tour stop drew about 20,000 people to the downtown venue and about 4,000 cars
    were displayed. Last year’s Muskegon stop was on a Thursday.

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    Shoreline Market proposed for downtown Muskegon

    Shoreline Market proposed for downtown Muskegon
    with $12 million mixed-use development

    Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 6:09 PM    



    MUSKEGON, MI – The most extensive downtown development plan since the removal
    of the Muskegon Mall has been put before city of Muskegon planners.

    ShorelineMarketElevation.jpgView full sizeThe Urban Renaissance
    GroupThe Shoreline Market site plan shows the
    marketplace with containerized construction in blue, the townhome rental
    apartments in yellow along First Street, two office buildings in green along
    Morris Street and standard market-rate apartments in red along Shoreline Drive.
    The new Social Security Administration building is shown in gray along Morris

    The Shoreline Market is a $12 million, 86,000-square-foot mixed-use
    development on the Morris Street parking lot owned by the Community Foundation
    for Muskegon County. The mix of European-market-style businesses, offices,
    apartments and townhouses is being proposed by Urban Renaissance Group LLC of
    Grand Rapids.

    The Shoreline Market development concept has been
    put together by Grand Rapids developer Robert Dykstra, who is currently in the
    process of completing
    a new U.S. Social Security Administration office building on the same Morris
    Street property

    The center of the Shoreline Market is a European-style marketplace for fresh
    foods, street-style restaurant outlets and artisans. “A rebirth of food, art and
    culture” is the marketing tag line for the development.

    The marketplace would be “containerized construction,” in which retail and
    food units would be built out of recycled shipping containers that are 20-by-8
    feet and can be connected to make larger spaces, according to Urban Renaissance
    Group partner Nicolas Mika. The residential and office structures would be of
    traditional construction, the developers said.

    Coming out of the of the software development sector, Mika started a market
    development company Intermodal in Grand Rapids.

    “We will build all the retail first before we go on to anything else,”
    Dykstra said of office and residential coming in later phases in a plan that
    could take five years to develop. “But on the retail development, we are trying
    to push for this year.”

    Mika brings a new generational approach to downtown development, Dykstra

    NicolasMika.jpgNicolas Mika

    “We are not just looking for artists but the right mix as food will be a
    great draw for the development,” Mika said. “The market will try to bring the
    downtown mall back but in a different way.”

    Community Foundation President Chris McGuigan said she has been authorized by
    the foundation’s executive committee to complete an option for the land, which
    the foundation purchased in 2007 for $1.4 million at the end of the Muskegon
    Mall era. It has been a parking lot, protecting an environmental brownfield site
    that was cleaned up by Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. two decades ago.

    The Shoreline Market concept has been developed in
    conjunction with the foundation’s urban planning consultant Howard Kohn of the
    Chesapeake Group Inc. of Baltimore, McGuigan said. Kohn
    showed a similar mixed-use development concept to community leaders in

    Urban Renaissance has applied to the city of Muskegon for a site plan
    approval for the Shoreline Market development. City planning officials said the
    market plans are on the June 14 Muskegon Planning Commission agenda.

    The roughly six-acre development site is zoned “central business district,”
    which will allow for the retail, food market, residential and office uses.
    Muskegon Zoning Administrator Mike Francek said city staff would probably
    suggest a “planned unit development” that would allow the developer flexibility
    but give the city certain standards that would have to be met in the

    The planned unit development zoning would need a recommendation from the
    planning commission and final approval from the Muskegon City Commission,
    Francek said.

    The Shoreline Market plans indicate that when fully built the development
    could draw on average up to 2,500 visitors a day all year round. The retail and
    food businesses and the office buildings could create 80 jobs or more, the
    developers said.

    The first phase would be the market space with 28,000-square-feet of
    containerized construction costing an estimated $3.5 million. The best-case
    scenario is to have it open in the spring 2013. The multi-level market could
    house up to 40 different shops, Mika said.

    The second phase would be 12, two-story townhouses with one-, two- or
    three-bedrooms. The $1.8 million market-rate townhouse rental units would be
    along First Street.

    The third phase would be two office and retail buildings along Morris Street
    west of the new Social Security office building. The 24,000 square feet of space
    would cost $3.3 million.

    The final phase would be 40 market rate apartments that would be smaller than
    the townhouses, Dykstra said. The $3 million apartment complex would be on the
    high bank along Shoreline Drive overlooking Muskegon Lake.

    Urban Renaissance is planning to submit an application with the Michigan
    Economic Development Corp. for a Community Revitalization Grant from the state
    designed to support market-centered, mixed-use developments in downtowns,
    Dykstra said. Funding for the Shoreline Market will come from private investors
    and other development companies, he said.

    The Shoreline Market is being designed by Harry Wierenga of Fleis &
    VandenBrink of Grand Rapids and the legal and environmental work is being
    handled by the Warner, Norcross & Judd law firm, Dykstra said.


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