Newton’s Road awarded grant

TRAVERSE CITY — Newton’s Road received a Thriving Communities Grant from Rotary Charities for its Career Investigator for Northwest Michigan program.

The Career Investigator is a digital platform for 8th-12th graders to explore opportunities in STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) careers. This project builds upon a pilot design supported by a previous Rotary Charities seed grant “to help young people easily navigate STEM careers and connect to career pathways and regional employers,” according to a release from Newton’s Road.

“The grant funding expands ways for students to find careers that appeal to their interests and to interact with local employers,” Newton’s Road Executive Director Barb Termaat said in the release. “It also adds tools to scale their team’s capacity to support and sustain the Career Investigator.”

Companies in the five-county region are encouraged to provide information on STEM-related jobs with an Employer Profile. Businesses can contact stemvista@newtonsroad.org for more information.

Dermatologist opening satellite location

TRAVERSE CITY — Dermatology and Mohs Surgery in Traverse City is opening a new satellite location in Cadillac starting June 22.

The Traverse City office under the direction of Dr. Laurel Leithauser and Dr. Anthony Van Vreede is located at 1225 W. Front St., Suite C.

The Cadillac office is accepting appointments for new patients for cosmetic and general dermatology. Call (231) 486-0230 to make an appointment with board certified nurse practitioner Rachel Zenner, who has been with Dermatology and Mohs Surgery since the fall of 2019.

Bel Lago grand re-opening party setCEDAR — Bel Lago Vineyard & Winery, 6530 South Lake Shore Drive in Cedar, has a grand re-opening party scheduled May 29-30 from 12-6 p.m.

The event is designed to showcase the renovated tasting room built by John Kessel and designed by Rita Whaley. Bel Lago also got a “brand refresh” with new labels, logos and merchandise.

Food and drink specials are scheduled. There will be live music in the main tasting room by True Tones, The Duges, Lary Perkins and Kyle White.

NMC hosts cybersecurity camps

TRAVERSE CITY — Registration is open for two cybersecurity summer camps at Northwestern Michigan College’s University Center campus for students in grades 6-12.

Cybersecurity camps will be June 21-25 and July 12-16. Daily sessions are from 9 a.m. to noon. The camps are designed to provide students with the basics of cybersecurity under the direction of NMC Computer Information Technology instructor Scott Goethals. On the last day of the class, students participate in a national competition that includes summer campers from across the country.

Cost is $20. Register online or go to eventbrite.com and search for ‘CyberPatriot summer camp — Northwestern Michigan College.’

This is the third year NMC has hosted the camps. The 2020 event was virtual due to COVID-19.

Police officer apprenticeship launches

MANISTEE — Northwest Michigan Works! and the Manistee County Sheriff Department has launched a U.S. Department of Labor registered apprenticeship program for Police Officers.

The program includes 3,000 hours of paid on-the-job training along with 435 hours of technical instruction through West Shore Community College. Apprentices achieve a National Occupational Credential along with other certifications and achievements.

Manistee County Sheriff Brian Gutowski said the program is “the first in the state to develop this in-demand occupation through a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program,” according to a release.

More information is available at www.networksnorthwest.org.

Meijer offers vaccination incentive

GRAND RAPIDS — Meijer is offering an incentive to encourage eligible individuals to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Meijer will give customers a $10 coupon off any purchase when completing the vaccination process at a Meijer store.

Meijer is also offering a separate coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more for those who have already completed the vaccine process. Customers need to submit their completed vaccination card at the Meijer pharmacy.

The retailer has been providing its team members with a $100 bonus to complete the vaccination process.

Some Meijer stores offer vaccines on a walk-up basis. To register for an appointment, text COVID to 75049 or visit https://clinic.meijer.com/ to register.

AG reissues alert on calls

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued a consumer alert warning for scam calls seeking personal information from vaccination clinics, state or local health departments.

Nessel said consumers should not give out information like Social Security number, birthdate or address. Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website at https://tinyurl.com/MIAgComplain or by calling 877-765-8388.

USDA invests $15M in conservation grants

EAST LANSING — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is investing up to $15 million through the Conservation Innovation Grants program.

The 2021 Conservation Innovation Grant program focuses on “climate-smart strategies for water resources, soil health (focused on carbon sequestration and climate resilience), nutrient management, grazing lands conservation and strategies to increase conservation adoption,” according to a release.

United States-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible. Proposals must be submitted through www.Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. July 19.

For more information on Conservation Innovation Grants, visit https://tinyurl.com/USDAConserveGrants.

Down payment assistance available

GRAND RAPIDS — Independent Bank and Freddie Mac are assisting homebuyers with coming up with a down payment for a home purchase.

MatchUp is an automated mortgage savings plan. Qualified homebuyers in the program may earn matching down payment funds up to $2,500 from Independent Bank.

For more information, including eligibility qualifications, visit www.IndependentBank.com/MatchUp.

Treasury: Remember service benefits

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Treasury is reminding military service members of special benefits they are entitled to receive.

Among the benefits for current and former military members are military pay tax exemption, children of veterans tuition grant, disabled veterans property tax exemption, principal residence exemption (PRE) for active duty military personnel, property tax relief during active service, summer property tax deferment and federal military spouses residency relief.

For more information about tax relief or benefits for current and past military members, visit www.michigan.gov/taxes.

AG warns of Amazon scam calls

LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel reissued a consumer alert on robocalls from those impersonating Amazon customer service.

“If you are contacted by an unsolicited caller asking for your personal information and if they insist there is a problem with any of your accounts —don’t fall for it,” Nessel said in a release. “Bad actors are working overtime in an effort to bamboozle you out of your hard-earned money. If you are an Amazon customer, log in to your account directly through the mobile app or website to verify your order status or contact customer service.”

Consumer complaints can be filed online at the Attorney General’s website at https://tinyurl.com/MIAgComplain or by calling 877-765-8388.

Existing-home sales declines 2.7%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Existing-home sales declined 2.7 percent in April, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors.

The dip marks three straight months of declines. Sales overall jumped 33.9% from April 2020.

“Despite the decline, housing demand is still strong compared to one year ago, evidenced by home sales from this January to April, which are up 20% compared to 2020,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a release. “The additional supply projected for the market should cool down the torrid pace of price appreciation later in the year.”

The median existing-home price in April was $341,600, up 19.1% from April 2020 ($286,800). The record high marks 110 straight months of year-over-year increases.

Properties remained on the market for 17 days in April, down from 18 days in March and from 27 days in April 2020. Of the homes sold nationally in April, 88% were on the market for less than a month, the report said.

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