TRAVERSE CITY — -- To 10-year-old Jonah Villanueva, who organized a fundraiser at Books-A-Million for raptor sanctuary, Wings of Wonder, in Empire. It was the second fundraiser he organized. When he was 5 he saw an eagle returned to the wild after rehabilitation at Wings of Wonder, an educational organization designed to foster appreciation and understanding for raptors.
-- To the Minervini family for letting the public see the last remaining undeveloped portion of the former state mental hospital and its labyrinth of tunnels through a series of popular tours. The north portion of the former Traverse City Regional Psychiatric Hospital’s Building is slated for a major new project. The company has redeveloped the property since 2002.
-- To those who advocated for Kelsey’s Law, which prohibits hand-held cell phone use by teenagers with level 1 and level 2 graduated driver’s licenses. Violation is a civil infraction with a $100 fine. Local jurisdictions can charge up to an additional $100 in court costs. The law was named for a Sault Ste. Marie teenager who died in a car crash while she was talking on a cell phone. Officers can pull over a seemingly young driver solely for talking on a phone.
-- To Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, which is seeking funding for its two Safe Haven centers, which provide a neutral drop-off point for children in abusive or volatile family situations. The Grand Traverse County Board has applied for a $500,000 federal grant and will contract with Child and Family Services to continue operating its centers if it receives the grant.
-- To Empty Bowls, which is expected to draw more than 800 people to the 10th anniversary event April 14 at the Hagerty Center. Proceeds will go to the Fresh Food Partnership, which buys locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to food pantries, community meals programs and shelters in northwest Michigan. For $15 attendees enjoy a lunch that includes a meal of soup and bread and a handmade bowl.
-- To filmmaker Patrick Scott, who grew up in Traverse City but now works in California as a successful filmmaker whose videos, “Thanks, Smokey!” and “Escalator” have gone viral. His films have made it to Sundance Film Festival and he’s directed commercials and music videos.
-- To the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Department, which is applying for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant to fund construction of new bathrooms, picnic facilities, trails, pavilions and more at the 400-acre Maple Bay Park in Acme Township. Improvements are estimated at $430,000.