Children’s Trust Fund observes Child Abuse Prevention Month

Children’s Trust Fund observes Child Abuse Prevention Month

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Press Release


CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, 

Children’s Trust Fund observes Child Abuse Prevention Month 

Activities, events around the state culminate in April 26 gathering at State Capitol

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s Children’s Trust Fund is recognizing the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect with a month of activities that will culminate with an April 26 ceremony on the lawn of the State Capitol.

Activities and initiatives through Michigan this month will center on the symbolic blue and silver pinwheel of Prevent Child Abuse America, which serves as a visual representation that everyone plays a role in providing children with a bright future.

The mission of the Children’s Trust Fund to keep children safe and strengthen families across the state takes special significance each April for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

As the only statewide organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the work of the Children’s Trust Fund – which is within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) – supports local programs and services that touch all 83 Michigan counties.

“Prevent Child Abuse America introduced the Pinwheels for Prevention campaign in 2008,” said Suzanne Greenberg, executive director of the Children’s Trust Fund. “The pinwheels are a representation of child-like whimsy and lightheartedness as well as a vision for a world where all children grow up happy, healthy, and prepared to succeed in supportive families and communities.”

The Power of the Pinwheel is the theme of this year’s pinwheel campaign. Through the 100-plus prevention partners of the Children’s Trust Fund and this year’s statewide partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, supporters of preventing child abuse are planting 50,000 pinwheels in hundreds of gardens throughout the state.

The 14th annual Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Day rally is 11 a.m. April 26 on the steps of the Michigan Capitol. Featured speakers this year include MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. The inaugural Inspire Award winner for volunteer service and commitment to preventing child abuse and neglect in Michigan will be presented to Sharon Barry of Barry County.

“We are thrilled that our new partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is giving us farther reach to expand and amplify our message for Child Abuse Prevention Month,” Greenberg said. “When we recognize that child abuse and neglect affect each of us and can unite under a common cause, we are giving hope to every child in our state and ensuring Michigan secures a stronger future.”

For information on the Children’s Trust Fund and Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit

Year’s first Adopt-A-Highway pickup starts Saturday

Year’s first Adopt-A-Highway pickup starts Saturday

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                MEDIA CONTACT
April 18, 2022                                                                                      Dan Weingarten

Year’s first Adopt-A-Highway pickup starts Saturday

Fast facts:
– The first Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway pickup of the year is April 23-May 1 for the Lower Peninsula.
– Pickups for the Upper Peninsula will be from May 7 to 15.
– Sections of highway are still available to adopt. Go to for more information.

LANSING, Mich. ­- Volunteers will fan out across lower Michigan to give state highway roadsides their annual spring cleaning beginning Saturday as groups in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program pick up litter from April 23 to May 1.

The first AAH pickup for the Upper Peninsula will be later, from May 7 to 15, when spring has had more time to set in.

“We want to acknowledge the valuable service these thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers provide each year keeping our roadsides clean,” said State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba. “Their commitment to their communities makes a huge difference across Michigan. We also remind motorists to keep an eye out for the volunteers and drive cautiously during the pickup periods.”

The AAH program began in Michigan in 1990. Today, around 2,900 groups have adopted more than 6,000 miles of state highway. In a typical year, these volunteers collect 60,000 to 70,000 bags of trash annually, an estimated $5 million value for the state.

Volunteers pick up litter three times each year. Statewide, there will be a summer pickup from July 16 to 24 and a fall pickup from Sept. 24 to Oct. 2.

AAH groups wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway right of way. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash. Volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old, and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Groups are asked to adopt a section for at least two years. AAH signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretch of adopted highway. There is no fee to participate.

Several landfills in southwestern Michigan are also chipping in to help the AAH program. Westside Landfill in St. Joseph County, C&C Landfill in Calhoun County, Orchard Hill Landfill in Berrien County, Southeast Berrien County Landfill near Niles, and Republic Services Gembrit Circle Transfer Station in Kalamazoo have all agreed to accept trash generated by the three annual AAH pickups at no charge. In exchange, these businesses receive a sign recognizing their support.


Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Exports Sets Record-Breaking Year

Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Exports Sets Record-Breaking Year

Gov. Whitmer Press Release Header


April 13, 2022



Gov. Whitmer Announce Michigan’s Food and Agriculture Exports Sets Record-Breaking Year Totaling $2.5 Billion in 2021


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer today announced that Michigan food, agriculture, and forest products exports experienced a 19 percent year-over-year growth in 2021. Though business owners and farmers across the nation continued to adapt to global challenges in 2021, Michigan’s food and agriculture sector experienced success despite these challenges. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan’s food and agriculture exports totaled $2.5 billion in 2021.


“Michigan’s food and agriculture industry is thriving with 19% annual growth and $2.5 billion in exports. It continues to uplift Michigan’s economy and make a local, national and global impact,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan’s agriculture industry is critical to expanding economic opportunities and creating more good-paying jobs for Michiganders. We will stay focused on investing in rural economic development, empowering farmers and agriculture businesses, and ensuring that the words ‘Made in Michigan’ are seen around the world.”


“I’m proud that Michigan’s food and agriculture production continues to thrive, and our reputation grows worldwide,” said Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell. “Michigan food and agriculture diverse, high-quality products are well-known known globally. I’m excited as this industry continues to show the world what makes Michigan food and agriculture so special.”


Overall, processed food products ($437 million) represented the highest total value of Michigan’s exported food and agriculture products in 2021. This product category alone accounted for a $72 million increase over 2020 export totals. Other top product categories included soybean, sugar beet, and wheat byproducts ($304 million); dairy products ($234 million), wood products ($230 million); and edible meat products ($215 million).


Michigan consistently ranks as one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation resulting in a wide array of exported products ranging from bulk soybeans to dried fruit, pickles, and baked goods. Demand for these high-quality, dependable products continues to grow in local markets, online retailers, and supercenters across the globe.


“These annual export figures are a direct reflection of the hard work and dedication Michigan food and agriculture business put into their export efforts on a daily basis,” said Jamie Zmitko-Somers, MDARD’s Agriculture Development Division Director. “These businesses have been faced with supply chain disruptions, weather challenges, labor shortages, and more over the last year, yet they came through it all in tremendous fashion. We are excited to continue collaborating with the food and agriculture industry to grow our global footprint for years to come.”


Despite supply chain issues which impacted nearly every industry, Michigan companies saw an increase in the value of export across multiple international markets. This indicates demand for delicious, reliable Michigan food and agriculture remains strong despite delays in ingredient availability or shipping times.


In 2021, the top international markets for food and agriculture exports from Michigan were Canada ($1.19 billion), Mexico ($292 million), China ($168 million), South Korea ($163 million) and Japan ($146 million). These countries are often at or near the top as export destinations from Michigan.

White retires at Groves

White retires at Groves

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

White retires at Groves.

Written Wednesday April 13th at 11:30 AM

Written by Sammy Taomina

The Falcons will have a new Boys Basketball coach next winter.

Groves coach Benny White announced his retirement from coaching boys basketball. The move was confirmed by the Falcons Twitter page.

“Thank you to Coach Benny White for four great years as our Boys Basketball Coach. We wish you well on your retirement” said the Groves Twitter page.

White is well known around the basketball world. He coached at Detroit Martin Luther King for 15 years and had a 201-89 record with the Crusaders. White was induced into the Detroit Public Schools League Hall of Fame in 2007 and was the regional coach of the year in 2010.

White coached for four years at Groves. He led the Falcons to a 42-34 record overall with the program. Groves went 13-8 this season falling to Birmingham Brother Rice in the district semifinals.

The Falcons lose a ton of experience in Nick Lurz, Ben Roman, Quinton Steele, Armat Sran, Paige Williams, Kalik Blount, and Aaron DuBose. They have Jack Abbot, Elijah Yelder, Max Kramer, Josh Gibson, Myles McClary, Brody Tushman, and Max Young coming back.

Program strength looks to be solid heading into next season for the new coach.


White did a very good job with the program. Groves improved each season under White. They won 13 games this season.

It will be very interesting to see what the Falcons do next season.

Stay tuned to OAA Now for the latest on this developing story.

Here is the Tweet confirming the move.

MDHHS committee to seek advice on Health Disparities

MDHHS committee to seek advice on Health Disparities

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Press Release


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112,

MDHHS forms advisory committees to seek advice on Health
Disparities in Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services

LANSING, Mich, – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is seeking advice on ways to improve health equity in home and community-based services.

The department is forming advisory committees with dollars from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

“MDHHS wants to hear from stakeholders as the department works to continue to improve healthy equity,” said Kate Massey. “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just chance to be healthy. That happens when every person can attain their full health potential. This means that who you are or where you live will not stop you from being healthy. Health inequities can make it harder to find health care, shorten a life, lower quality of life, and contribute to higher rates of disease, disability and death.”

These committees will examine what causes health inequities for people who need services and will suggest changes so it is easier for everyone to get those needed services.

Advisory committees will provide a way for people to share ideas on health equity in the following MDHHS Medicaid programs – Home HelpMI Choice, Home Health, MI Health Link and Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly programsPeople receiving services from these programs are invited to apply, along with family members, guardians, advocates and community partners who are familiar with the programs.

There will be a statewide advisory committee as well as separate county-specific committees for people who work or live in the counties of Chippewa, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo and Wayne. The goal is to increase the use of home and community-based services by removing barriers to equitable access.

The Statewide Health Equity Advisory Committee will:

  • Review county data to learn how the findings affect statewide access.
  • Look for gaps in data.
  • Decide if the project should include more counties.
  • Propose a statewide plan to address health inequities.
  • Make suggestions to the county advisory teams.
  • Review MDHHS messages about home and community-based services.

County Health Equity Advisory Committees will:

  • Review county data to learn how the findings affect access.
  • Look for gaps in data.
  • Review messages and surveys to send to people to get more data.
  • Identify how MDHHS can get information about the public’s knowledge of services.
  • Identify how to get information about the public’s experiences with services.
  • Identify people who can help gather data on health equity.
  • Make suggestions on county-level ideas to improve heath equity.

MDHHS would like the advisory committees to include a diverse group with people who receive services and others who are familiar with the home and community-based services. Those who want to be considered for the Statewide or County Health Equity Advisory Committees can submit an application via email to or by completing an online application.

Applications must be received by April 30. Questions about applications or the Health Equity Advisory Committees can be emailed to

DNR finalizes walleye management plan for inland waters

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– DNR News –

Jan. 20, 2022
Contact: Seth Herbst, 517-388-7759 or Sierra Williams, 517-230-8788

DNR finalizes walleye management plan for inland waters

Walleye egg take With an aim toward maximizing both angler satisfaction and the ecological benefits of the state’s walleye fisheries, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has finalized a plan to guide the department’s management of the popular species in inland waters.

The final plan comes after careful consideration and integration of public input on the draft walleye management plan, which the DNR initially asked for in February 2021.

Although walleye reside in the Great Lakes, rivers and inland lakes, the plan focuses on inland waters – mostly inland lakes – because walleye management in Great Lake waters is primarily addressed in various other department-approved management or rehabilitation plans.

The new walleye management plan for inland waters provides an overview of:

  • The status of the species in Michigan.
  • The biology and ecology of inland walleye populations.
  • Angler perceptions about walleye management and fishing opportunities.
  • Previous management efforts.

The plan also identifies several management goals that broadly address ecological and social characteristics of walleye fisheries, because both elements are key to successful species management. The plan provides a formalized management framework for walleye that accounts for habitat suitability and describes recommended actions to efficiently and effectively protect and conserve walleye populations throughout the state.

“Walleye is an ecologically important species that also receives substantial attention from our anglers,” said Seth Herbst, lead author and manager of the Aquatic and Regulatory Affairs Unit in the DNR Fisheries Division.

“It is essential that we formalize and implement statewide manage strategies to maintain and enhance walleye populations during a time frame when this species is threatened by changing habitats, including establishments of detrimental aquatic invasive species,” Herbst said. “Effective management leads to robust walleye populations, and that means diverse fishing opportunities for anglers.”

The DNR Fisheries Division developed the Management Plan for Walleye in Michigan’s Inland Waters with assistance from Michigan State University Fisheries and Wildlife Department faculty. Additionally, consultation with Tribal governments and feedback from other state natural resource agencies, citizen advisory committees and anglers were critical to inform and revise early versions of the plan.

The DNR appreciates the input and comments provided by the public to finalize the walleye management plan. Visit to learn more about walleye and management efforts and review the final plan.

Note to editors: An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

  • Walleye: The DNR conducted a walleye egg take on the Muskegon River.
DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to