Muskegon residents struggle to access quality health care amid shortage of workers

Mercy Health Hospital in Muskegon, now being renamed under the Trinity Health brand, is experiencing short-staffing issues which have resulted in three residents who had waited over seven hours in the emergency room. Some residents believe Musekgon requires another hospital to meet the community’s healthcare needs. 

“We were told that we could expect at least a five to six hour wait time,” said Renae Nuell, a Muskegon resident. “There were patients that were sleeping on the floor because I’m sure they were waiting so long.”

 Nuell went to Mercy Health’s ER on July 19 at 10 p.m. and did not get past the waiting room until over seven hours later, she said. Nuell said the experience was far worse than any other hospital visit she has ever made. 

“There were some really sick people in there that were just throwing up, like they had buckets and they were just throwing up in the buckets, like right in the waiting room,” Nuell said. “There was an officer that came in with a gentleman that was like tweaking out and he was in the waiting room with everybody and he was shackled and handcuffed.” 

The worst story Nuell recalled from the night included an elderly lady in a wheelchair who was visibly unwell.

Trinity Health Grand Haven Hospital workers go on 24-hour strike

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. —  The Coast Guard Festival brings in thousands of people to Grand Haven every year and strains emergency rooms in the area with unexpected patients, but this year, workers at Trinity Health Grand Haven have decided to put their foot down. 

Trinity Health Grand Haven workers were on strike for 24 hours starting at 6 a.m, Aug. 4. The workers stood on the side of the road with signs, cheering while cars honked for them. 

“It’s not for the reasons of not wanting to provide care during this time,” said Meredith Hague, a nuclear medicine technologist at Trinity Health Grand Haven. “We gave the hospital plenty of time to prepare for us not being here and they, for a lot of departments, just chose to shut things down completely and divert things up to Musekgon.”

Hague said during this festival there is more traffic along the roads that can see the workers on strike.

Muskegon Farmers Market brings more than produce to the table

Anna BarnesThe Muskegon Farmers Market held their first Food Truck Rally of the summer and the crowds were large. MUSKEGON, Mich. —  From a local market that sold hay and wood to a social place where the community can bond, the Muskegon Farmers Market has become more than just a place for produce. 

Between the actual farmers market, Power of Produce programs, flea market, live entertainment and even food truck events, the schedule is packed with things to do for those visiting downtown Muskegon. 

“[The market] has a huge impact on the community because it sits in the middle of a food desert,” said Lisa Potter, the market director. “Whether it’s through the EBT food cards or the Senior Power of Produce that we run here, the Kids’ Power of Produce, all these things help to add the fresh fruits and veggies or make it a little bit easier.”  

The market’s Power of Produce programs gift children and seniors in the community with free tokens that can be spent at the market every week. This allows children and seniors, those between 3 and 13 years old and those over 60 years old, to have some extra money for locally grown produce.

The annual Dock Hop returns to Big Bass Lake

IRONS, Mich. — When you ask those living on Big Bass Lake what events highlight their summer, you are likely to hear the words “Dock Hop” often. Denise Brewer, the main organizer of this year’s Dock Hop, labeled this year as the “Dock Hop Reboot” because it was the first time the event has been held since 2019. 

“Then COVID hit and everything fell apart until this year,” said Brewer. “We’re starting all over again.” 

The Dock Hop is among other events, including a boat parade, paddle parade, and a 5K that occurs annually on the Fourth of July weekend at Big Bass Lake. Visitors are encouraged to join in on the fun as the Dock Hop is not limited to property owners. 

The Dock Hop takes place on Big Bass Lake and those who live in the community can participate or volunteer their docks, said Brewer.

City of Muskegon approves sustainable MDOT road work

MUSKEGON, Mich. – After some deliberation regarding the financial and practical aspects of sustainable road work, the Muskegon City Commission approved the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) proposal that would fix Sherman Road using recycled rubber. 

During the meeting, Rebecca St. Clair, a city commissioner, said she was concerned about the quality of the project and if the city would be charged twice for rebuilding if the project failed. 

“I love the idea of reusing tires in a new way that isn’t environmentally unfriendly,” St. Clair said. “I understand that this is sort of a pilot test situation.

Taste of Muskegon hosts largest crowd yet

MUSKEGON, Mich. –  Ann Meisch and her team of volunteers prepared for the largest crowd in the history of Taste of Muskegon. From 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on June 8, there would be thousands of people waiting in lines to try food from local Muskegon businesses. 

“We sold 30,000 additional tickets than we’ve ever had before in the past,” Meisch said, the city clerk of Muskegon and the director of Taste of Muskegon. “It was very much a success.”  

Taste of Muskegon began in 2007 with little community involvement and only a few vendors participating. This year, over 25 vendors were in attendance, lining up the streets around Hackley Park with food and activities. 

“At this point, they [the vendors] are totally overwhelmed and excited and like ‘wow, I’m already using Saturday’s food on Friday.