Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

February 24, 2014

Cheers: 02/24/2014

To a new ministry called Many Rooms launched by Family of Faith Lutheran Church, which has received Munson Medical Center’s Community Health Hero award. The program tries to pair local families that have a room to spare and out-of-town families of patients at Munson. Ironically, pastor Daniel LeCouteur’s fledgling church doesn’t have a physical building and meets for services in restaurants, schools and homes.

n To the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, a shelter and healing center for children and developmentally disabled adults. The nonprofit’s center on East Front Street is full of toys to put residents at ease: The center is one of 24 accredited children’s advocacy centers in Michigan; it primarily serves Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties and the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. The center serves about 200 children and developmentally disabled adults every year. About half have been sexually abused.

n To the Michigan Tax Tribunal, which hears appeals about taxes in Michigan, which has eliminated a backlog of 40,000 cases and launched efforts to make the system more user-friendly. The tribunal’s web site offers electronic filing and case management systems.

n To the Michigan Senate Appropriations Committee, which amended legislation last week to set aside an extra $100 million in road maintenance funding for state and local governments in recognition of the brutal winter weather that has eaten away at county road commission budgets.

n To the Michigan Department of Transportation, which plans to reconstruct the M-22 bridge over the Platte River, which was built in 1956. The new span won’t have any bridge supporting structure or piers in the water, so it will effectively open up the popular canoeing river. One lane will remain open during construction.

n To the Leelanau County Jail and corrections officer and instructor Diane Speas for offering art and craft classes to inmates. The program is funded almost entirely by donations. It was launched about five years ago and recently received its annual $750 contribution from the Suttons Bay Art Festival. The program aims to give inmates a skill they can use later in life.

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