Kalamazoo Marathon is back

The Zeigler Kalamazoo Marathon (formerly the Borgess Run for the Health of It) — in part — is set to return in person in April 2022. “I think we’re all really excited, you know,” said Carrie Drake, the marathon’s race director, “having to go virtual was really hard for the community and that was early spring 2020 so a lot of people were feeling uncertain about COVID.”

“The full marathon will be back in 2023, just given some of the organizing team transition,” said Drake. “We’ll have the half marathon, the 5k and the 10k back all this year.”

Even though only a few of the events will be held this year, organizers expect a huge turnout:  between 3.5 to 4 thousand runners. The 2020 cancelation

In 2020, the Kalamazoo Marathon was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and marathon organizers informed runners via social media and on the Kalamazoo Marathon website once they figured out what exactly was going on with the pandemic, said Blaine Lam, co-creator of the Kalamazoo Marathon who retired from organizing the race during the pandemic

“We saw the effects that it had on the Kalamazoo Marathon with its absence,” said Eric Blackwell, a past Kalamazoo Marathon participant, “Economically it’s huge for the city to not have that, but it was pretty difficult for the running community.”

“You know you train and you’re getting ready for these events and then it doesn’t happen. It’s such a huge emotional letdown,” said Blackwell, “To be forced out of an event like that is pretty difficult.”

Although the 2020 Kalamazoo Marathon was abruptly canceled, that didn’t stop the running community from encouraging one another to stay active.

Halloween at risk in local neighborhoods

Residents of Walled Lake, Michigan are spooked about a Halloween with the COVID-19 pandemic. Home to 7,000 residents, parents students and doctors are preparing for a safe holiday. Halloween and COVID-19

“Very interesting,” said Dr. Alka Jain when asked. “I have a 12-year-old (who) wants to go trick-or-treating, so we had to figure out a plan for her. Everyone is on a different spectrum with COVID-19.

COVID-19 is causing chaos in grocery stores

It’s like the holiday rush, shoppers in a frenzy. 

COVID-19 has created chaos all over the world, including a place you might not expect: grocery stores. Shoppers have been scrambling to buy whatever is left, but there isn’t much. “I’m here ‘til like 10 and I don’t see it slowing down that much,” Meijer employee Dylan S. said. But the hot commodity isn’t a run on turkeys, it’s toilet paper. “Every store you go to, it seems like everyone’s bought toilet paper,” Jean Schlicklin said.  “They’re trying to restock them, but they can’t get them restocked quick enough.”

Toilet paper isn’t the only thing people have stocked up on.

Williamston High School fights the vaping epidemic

Michigan made history as the first state to move toward a flavored nicotine vaping ban on Sept. 4, with other states like New York, Massachusetts and Oregon following shortly after. 

With an increase in vape-related deaths being reported across the nation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) with the help of her Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun concluded that underage vaping constitutes as a public health emergency. 

Under Whitmer’s orders, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued rules detailing the ban, including the prohibition of flavored nicotine products in stores and online and misleading marketing strategies claiming the products are “safe.” Whitmer also ordered the Michigan Department of Transportation to outlaw vape advertisements on state billboards. 

Timeline of the 2019 Michigan vape ban. Graphic by Claire Heise. “As a governor, my No. 1 priority is keeping our kids safe,” said Whitmer in a statement on Sept.