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Country Regional : United States : Michigan

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake".

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Listings in United States : Michigan: (6)

Michigan Latest News

Ask Ellen: How did the sand dunes get here?

They are a gorgeous attraction that draw thousands to the Michigan shoreline each year: the Lake Michigan sand dunes!

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — They are a gorgeous attraction that draw thousands to the Michigan shoreline each year: the Lake Michigan sand dunes!

Glen Lake over the ripples over Sleeping Bear Dunes_39525

Lake Michigan has a shoreline of 1,640 miles. Our shore of Lake Michigan features some gorgeous dunes. So, how did they get there? That’s today’s kid question from Claire who lives in Holland!

The sand dunes in Lake Michigan all began from really, really, really big chunks of ice called glaciers! Believe it or not, thousand and thousands of years ago, there were massive chunks of ice covering all of West Michigan.

The glaciers were incredibly heavy! When the glaciers slid down over Michigan, they began carving out parts of the ground because they weighed so much!

Over time, the glaciers that were over us slowly retreated. In fact, they advanced and retreated many times, carving out our landscape and creating the giant divot in the ground that began Lake Michigan.

Slowly, water filled up the lake. The glacier helped to carve out the start of the sand dunes, but waves and wind played another big part in creating the rolling mounds of sand you see.

Water usually carries light sand out into the lake. Rocks and pebbles are usually too heavy to be carried very far by the water, so they stack up near the shore.

On stormy days, waves rush onshore and crash higher up on the shore than usual. When this happens, sand gets deposited by the waves back on shore! Dunes are formed and sculpted after the storms fade.

That’s when the sunshine and wind return. Sunshine dries the sand, and wind carries the sand around in swirls. This is what gives our dunes their wind-blown look.

Thank you for the question Clare!

If you have a question from a kid or teen of any age, send it to us at with the subject line “Ask Ellen.”

‘Co-champs?’ Why not, West Michigan coach says

Under normal circumstances, the only teams to win their final postseason games are state champions. That's not the case this season.

KENT CITY, Mich. (WOOD) — When high school winter sports teams unknowingly played their final games on March 11, there were still 64 girls teams and 184 boys teams alive in the MHSAA tournament.  

“That’s how the whole thing kind of started,” Kent City boys coach David Ingles said. “We won our last game, which is what you want to do to end the season.”

Under normal circumstances, the only teams to win their final postseason games are state champions. Due to COVID-19, that’s not the case this season. So Ingles and his players designed a T-shirt to remember how things finished.

“On the front it will say, ‘2020 Co-State Champions’ and have the school name on it. In our case, it’s Kent City,” Ingles said. “On the back of the shirt, it says, ‘Co-State Champions’ and lists all the schools that were still alive in the state tournament.”  

What started as an idea for just his team has quickly grown into much more. Ingles has teamed up with Victory Apparel in Grand Rapids and is producing shirts for schools that found themselves in a similar situation.  

“I think that what the shirt will do is give people a memento to remember what happened because obviously it’s new to everyone,” Ingles said. “Hopefully it never happens again so something to remember that but also have a little fun with it. It’s been such a rough thing that maybe we have fun with it and brighten someone’s day.”

A portion of every sale will go to a local hospital or a charity that is helping in the fight against COVID-19.

Ingles shares the feeling of disappointment his seniors have over not being able to continue to compete together. He says his message to all high school seniors is the same as it is to his team:

“It’s bigger than basketball. It’s kind of what we’ve said the whole season,” he said. “When this happened, I think it was a little easier for us to cope with it because we had said that (motto) all along. Everything we are doing is bigger than basketball. There are things that are more important. I hope people can realize that.”

For more information on the shirts, you can contact Ingles through Twitter, Facebook or via email at

Nurse: ‘I’ve never experienced anything like this’

Some nurses at Spectrum Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids have gone from working Monday through Friday to adding extra days to their shifts and also working 12 hour shifts.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WOOD) — Nurses across West Michigan are finding a new normal as they work to fight COVID-19.

Some nurses at Spectrum Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids have gone from working Monday through Friday to adding extra days to their shifts and also working 12 hour shifts. 

“It’s been an interesting time. I’ve never in my career as a nurse experienced anything like this,” Nurse Manager Missy Rykse said.

Rykse says the last few weeks have come with many challenges as the medical staff work to save patients lives, while risking their own. 

“We have flu season every year and we had pockets of the SARS virus a few years ago. We prepared for Ebola. I think the difference with this is that it’s here, it’s quickly spreading and we’re seeing patients who are very, very sick with it,” she added.

Rykse says patients who come in with respiratory issues are sectioned off from others to prevent further spread of the virus. The hospital is also conserving most of its personal protective gear for COVID patients.

“Over here in West Michigan, we’ve had a lot of time to prepare,” Rykse said. “I think we’re lucky that we’re not seeing the volume that New York or Detroit is seeing, so we’re able to spread that stress a little bit,” she added. 

Rykse says while the staff delivers life saving care, they’re also serving as emotional support to their patients who are in isolation and only able to contact family virtually.

“None of us hesitate to hold somebody’s hand. Your loved one is typically not alone,” Rykse said. “It’s scary for patients anytime that you’re coming into the hospital anyway. I think patients are a little bit more scared because you do hear from everywhere that people are dying from this, so that is in the back of everybody’s mind.” 

Rykse says elective surgeries have been canceled and Spectrum closed several offices. Spectrum is now working to retrain those employees and deploy them to other areas where they’re needed more.


COVID-19 shutdowns: Half-built homes exposed

The COVID-19 stay-at-home order has forced residential construction to cease as the state tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s stay-at-home order has forced residential construction to cease as the state tries to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The order not only halted the initiation of new home construction but also forced companies to stop working on existing projects.

That has put companies and their customers in difficult situations as deadlines are missed and the homes are left exposed to potential damage.

The governor’s order allows construction crews to take measures to protect the projects they are working on, but they are “limited to in-person tasks that are strictly necessary to preserve the current condition of the project, while the order is in effect, such as putting in place temporary security and weatherization measures,” according to the governor’s orders.

Those working in the trade say those measures work in the short term, but a home left for an extended period of time without an actual roof or siding can be damaged. 

“Future issues might come up — may not be something we see now, but it could be something we see 5, 10 years down the road from now,” said Cam Van Koevering, a project manager for Jenison-based Marcusse Construction. “Our biggest concern is getting homes ready for people to live in. People who have anxiety throughout the build about trying to get into their new home — they’re not able to know where their next place to live is.”

There is also frustration in the industry about the fact that some construction is allowed to continue.

Workers could be seen outside the Van Andel Arena, replacing the brick pedestrian area in front of the building.

“I would see our industry as just as essential as some of the street work we might see going on at the time,” Van Koevering said.

The work stoppage comes at a time where Marcusse was expecting a fruitful year, with housing inventory low and demand for new construction on the rise.

Like so many other industries impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, what will happen next is in limbo.
“We were looking pretty strong to have a good year,” Van Koevering said.

He remains hopeful that can still happen once the state’s stay-at-home order is lifted.


Can adult care facilities lock out family during COVID-19 closures?

A Grand Rapids woman says she is being shut out of the adult care facility where her husband lives, unable to make sure he's being taken care of.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids woman says she is being shut out of the adult care facility where her husband lives, unable to make sure he’s being taken care of, as the facility says it’s following by state mandates to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Hank Minnema is a husband and father who was an EMT with Life EMS, assigned alongside state police and sheriff’s deputies. Then, in his early 50s, he developed early onset dementia.

“It’s been difficult to watch the decline,” his wife Cindy Minnema said.

Hank Minnema stopped working in 2013. In March of last year, his wife decided he needed the care of an adult care facility.

“Now I say he’s more like a 5-year-old,” she said.

After much searching, she and her children settled on the former Whispering Woods, now known as Addington Place off East Paris Avenue south of Burton Street SE. He was moved to independent living, where he was to get meals, cleaning and a safe place to live.

“This place had really stressed to us over and over and over that they were trained with someone in his situation,” Cindy Minnema said.

Hank Minnema’s 35-year-old daughter Crystal Minnema said the decision was not easy, but he needed the quiet and security.

“They assured us that they’ve had multiple cases and that they were very knowledgeable,” Crystal Minnema said.

Then came the coronavirus pandemic.

“They told me on March 17 that they had ceased cleaning that building. We have a virus and you’re not going to clean? ‘Well, your husband will have to clean, ma’am,’” Cindy Minnema said she was told. “And I said, ‘If my husband was capable of cleaning, would he be living here?'”

She said her husband’s dementia impacts some of his decision-making, including whether he flushes the toilet. She produced a photo of what she says is the filthy toilet in his apartment. She said the food also worsened, so she had Meals on Wheels deliver food and hired a cleaning service.

After that, she says, she was told she could not go to see her husband even though she claims she is his caregiver and that is allowed under the governor’s order.

“I’m not going in there with her. It’s not our whole family. She’s just trying to go there and check on his welfare because is nobody else is,” Minnema’s daughter said. “We don’t know what to do here because they aren’t listening to us when we show the executive order showing it’s OK for my mom to go in and do some light cleaning and leave.”

“It’s scary to us that nobody is checking on the welfare of my dad or these people,” she continued.

Kay Scholle is a state of Michigan long-term care ombudsman overseeing licensed facilities. Because the unit Hank Minnema lives in unlicensed, she said the situation that the Minnemas find themselves in is more like a landlord/tenant situation.

“It’s really challenging and frustrating because I can’t really do anything other than provide resources,” Scholle said. “Really the only thing that you have is your contract. What does your contract say with that facility?”

The state ombudsman for West Michigan can be reached at 616.245.9451 or online at

“They need to accommodate her in some way so that she can be sure that he is getting the care that he needs,” Scholle added.

In a statement to News 8, facility manager Kat Hartley denied there has been any reduction in cleaning or meal quality and said it was the family’s decision to keep Hank Minnema in an independent living unit even though management offered to move him.

She wrote that the facility is abiding by the state’s mandate for limited contact in keeping visitors out.

“In our careful assessment of the situation, Ms. Minnema does not fall under any of the exceptions to Governor Whitmer’s visitation ban,” the statement reads. “We are putting the safety and security of the residents first and foremost and stand behind our current policies.”


Tips on how to properly wear homemade face masks

The homemade masks are easy to make, but there are still the right ways and wrong ways to wear them.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After initial reluctance to recommend its use by the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says mask up.

But before you do, there are some things you need to know to make sure that homemade face masks are providing the protection you need.

Kent County Health Department Immunization Program Supervisor Mary Wisinski says the masks can provide a layer of protection, not only from those who have the virus and are out in public, but for the person wearing it who is asymptomatic.

“So, if the person does have the virus without symptoms in a grocery store, that mask will prevent the spread,” Wisinski said.

The homemade masks are easy to make, but there are still the right ways and wrong ways to wear them.

It starts with the fit.

“It should fit snugly,” Wisinski said, as she demonstrated with a common homemade mask. “We do want to make sure it covers the nose and part of the cheek. It should be made of many layers of fabric.”

The droplets that carry the virus are blocked on both the inside and outside of the masks.

When taking it off, don’t just pull it off. Wearers should reach around to the ties at the back of your head, where contaminants can’t reach.

“It’s important to avoid your eyes, your nose, your face,” Wisinski said. “I have the two hands — I’m going to reach around the back, I’m going to pull the top off, and then I’m going to pull the bottom part of my mask off.”

And take it all the way off, not just down around your neck.

You could end up spreading the virus on other parts of your face and neck.

“Again, it’s another chance for contamination. Your best bet it to leave it on, and only take it off once,” Wisinski said.

You should place the mask in a container, like a baggy.

“And then put your mask in the regular washing machine cycle,” Wisinski said.

While they can provide another layer of protection, Wisinski says don’t let the mask give you a false sense of security.

“It still doesn’t mean we don’t have to pay attention to social distancing, good hand washing,” Wisinski said. “This is meant to be a measure for when you cannot do that.”

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