Grand Haven Tribune

March 28, 2015

The Grand Haven Tribune - A Michigan newspaper with comprehensive Local News and multi-media from all around West Michigan and the Lakeshore

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State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not licensed in MA, NY or WI), State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI), Bloomington, IL 1311012 Mike Heck, Agent 923 Franklin Avenue Grand Haven, MI 49417 Bus: 616-847-8400 mike@heckinsurance.com Sam Martin, Agent 1475 Robbins Road Grand Haven, MI 49417 Bus: 616-846-8470 sam@insurethehaven.com Doug Heins, Agent 701 E Savidge Spring Lake, MI 49456 Bus: 616-846-4040 doug@dougheins.com 2013 & 2014 Newspaper of the Year SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2015 50¢ Weekday, $1.00 Saturday www.grandhaventribune.com Grand Haven Tribune Keep up with breaking news 24/7 at www.grandhaventribune.com WEEKEND EDITION INSIDE: Local churches to observe Holy Week See Religion, Page 5 INSIDE: Hint of spring See Photos, Page 3 Tomorrow's Weather AM sun and PM snow High 43 Low 23 YOUR VOTES REVEALED I N S I D E : BY KRYSTLE WAGNER kwagner@grandhaventribune.com GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Racial bias and equity were the center of discussion on Friday at Grand Haven High School. More than 700 people throughout the state attended the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance's Summit on Race and Inclusion aimed at "moving beyond bias." During the daylong event at the school, summit attendees listened to keynote speakers and partici- pated in breakout sessions to dis- cuss implicit bias and "maximizing opportunities to promote equity." Sessions focused on business, health, faith, community, educa- tion, and government and public policy. The presenters included Rachel Godsil, director of research at the Perception Institute, and the Rev. Alvin Herring, director of training for PICO National Network. Residents in attendance took the messages one step further to look at barriers and develop plans to create a more welcoming community in Northwest Ottawa County. They shared what brought them to the summit — justice, change, community, peace, to learn and more. Roxanna Yager said she partici- pated in the summit as an Ottawa County employee, but also as a resident because she wants to see change in her community. "One person can make a differ- ence. Why not me?" she posed. Tribune photos/Krystle Wagner ABOVE: More than 700 people from across the state attended the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance's Summit on Race and Inclusion at Grand Haven High School on Friday. The Rev. Alvin Herring, director of training for PICO National Network, gave the keynote presentation, titled "A New Era of Peace, Justice and True Community." BELOW: After a daylong summit, Northwest Ottawa County residents discussed barriers and created strategies to overcome those barriers. 700 attend diversity summit See SUMMIT on Page 3 BY KRYSTLE WAGNER kwagner@grandhaventribune.com SPRING LAKE — Fathers and grandfathers quickly lined up for the chance to sign their name on a calendar at Jeffers Elementary School. The school's gymnasium was filled nearly to capacity Tuesday as the father figures and their children learned more about a national program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) through the National Center for Fathering. According to its website, the program aims to get more men involved in education. The program is in nearly 4,600 schools in 46 states. Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer at the school and help throughout the day with activities such as student arrival and dismissal, recess duty, and help in the office and classrooms. When a Spring Lake group visited a Byron Center school to learn about technology, they met the school's "Watch D.O.G." and learned about the program, Jeffers Principal Shelley Peets said. "We have to have that," Peets said of their reaction to the program. While Jeffers has a strong mother and grandmother presence, Peets said they wanted to gain more involvement from men. Peets said she was amazed at the turnout on Tuesday. Spring Lake Township resident Brad Bakale attended the program's initial meeting with his two children, Camden and Sienna, because he thought it would be fun to get more involved in his children's school. Although Jim MacLachlan has been a "Mystery Reader" in his granddaughter's classroom, he said he's looking forward to participating in the Watch D.O.G.S. program. He's interested in spending more time with his granddaughter, Riley, meeting her teachers and friends. Jeffers program encourages dads to participate in kids' education Tribune photo/Krystle Wagner Jeffers Elementary School is launching a national pro- gram called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students). Through the program, father figures are encouraged to volunteer at the school one day or more a year. See EDUCATION on Page 3 BY KRYSTLE WAGNER kwagner@grandhaventribune.com Matt Williams' smile lit up the room as he and a young fan banged away on the drums at a local recording studio. After the jam session, Williams' energy and passion for music continued to shine as he recounted the past few months of his life, which have taken him from Tampa, Fla., to West Michigan. Now, Williams, 28, is working with a team and preparing to start recording his first country CD at Chrysler Studios in Grand Haven. Recording is expected to begin in May, and the CD is slated for release by late July or early August. Although Williams is still relatively new to West Michigan, music has been a part of his life since his childhood days in Alabama. His grandfather was involved in a gospel group, and he was surrounded with music from a young age. Williams joined the Army after high school. Throughout his eight-plus years in the military, he was deployed to Iraq three times. Williams draws on his life experiences as inspiration for the songs he writes, Alabama native Matt Williams moved to West Michigan in January, and he will soon begin recording his first album at Chrysler Studios in Grand Haven. The Army veteran uses his personal experiences to write songs. Tribune photo/ Krystle Wagner Veteran pursues passion for music Matt Williams set to begin recording country album See MUSIC on Page 3 WANT TO CONNECT WITH WILLIAMS? FACEBOOK: facebook.com/mattwil- liamshq WEBSITE: mattwilliamshq.com/ KICKSTART CAMPAIGN: kickstarter. com/projects/mattwilliams2015/youll- make-her-cry-the-album?ref=card

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