Anyone who knows me knows that I love sports and food, the color green, traveling, Chicago-style hotdogs, the Golden Girls and all different kinds of cheeses. (Nothing tops a robust parmesan.) But one of the things I love most is people. I love people! Short, tall, rich, poor, bald, Rapunzel. It doesn’t matter. Meeting new people and getting to know the storyline of their lives is one of my life’s greatest thrills. And the fact that I get to share their stories wth FOX 17 viewers — whether triumphant or challenging — is an honor.
I could’ve told you the basics about me: graduated with journalism degrees from Univ. of Illinois Urbana-Champagne and Boston University, did my dissertation on race and English football while living in London and worked for New England Sports Network for many years. But that’s all blah, blah, blah.
Bottom line, I like people. And hopefully one day I can meet you.
STEVENSVILLE, Mich. — When Frank Kania immigrated to America in 1914, he was just a teenager, said his grandson Virgil Cimala. He put all of his belongings into a black steamer chest and left Poland forever. “They came across on a steamship when he immigrated to Chicago approximately 110 years ago,” Virgil said. “Then that chest was handed down to the family.” Virgil said Frank stayed in Chicago, became a janitor at a local church and had a family. Decades […]
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Acres of prairie land at Asylum Lake Preserve on Drake Road was set on fire Monday morning. Stephan Keto, with Western Michigan University, said it was done on purpose to stimulate regrowth. “Prairies are ecosystems that are fire-dependent systems,” said Keto, the Natural Areas and Preserves Manager with WMU. “These ecosystems evolved with fire as a management regime. So fire is necessary in maintaining the diversity, reducing invasives, [and] encouraging species to reinvigorate by germination.” Keto said […]
GRAND JUNCTION, Mich. — Stacy Kelemen grabbed her son Cole’s hand and put it in hers in hopes that he’d wake up from his nap for the FOX 17 interview. She then kissed him a few times on his cheek and rubbed his head. However, he didn’t budge. “You want to wake up and tell them a little bit about yourself,” Stacy said to him as he slept in his custom made wheelchair. “Show them some ninja moves.” Stacy continued […]
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — When Vic Ledbetter was a police officer and a captain with Kalamazoo Public Safety, he saw widespread racial tension between the department and the communities of color they served. Throughout his 25-year career he noticed the divide widening. Last July he retired and joined the police academy at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Since then he’s been working to correct the problem. “When I took this position the one thing I wanted to do was have a safe […]
ALBION, Mich. — Zach Winston said he knew the moment he stepped onto Albion College’s campus last year for a visit, it was the school for him. The tree-lined quad was beautiful, he said. The faculty, staff and students spoke to him about college life, which made him feel “welcomed.” “It really felt like they cared for me,” Winston said during an interview at the school. “I took multiple visits and my mom was like ‘you definitely have to come […]
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Battle Creek police shot and killed a dog Monday morning after it tried to attack an officer, the department said. A woman called 911 after she was bitten by two dogs who were “aggressive” and “running loose.” “The dogs had also just aggressively attacked and bit 8 to 10 times another dog that was secure in somebody’s backyard,” Police Chief Jim Blocker said during an interview at headquarters. “And when officers approached the dogs, one of […]
DELTON, Mich. — The winds were so intense Thursday at Crooked Lake that whitecaps formed on the water which crested at three-to-four feet above it’s normal level, said Barry County Drain Commissioner Jim Dull. At one point the waves got so high that it knocked over the sandbags at a house meant to keep the floods from coming inside. “It was bad enough when we were setting sandbags because it was coming up, hitting me on top of the head,” […]
KALAMAZOO, Mich. — In 2016, the Impaired Driving Safety Commission, along with Michigan State Police, looked into marijuana use and driving specifically to see if there’s a set limit that leads to impairment similar to the limit set in alcohol. The following year, they released their findings in a 20-page report, which criminal law attorney Sarissa Montague praised. “Marijuana is a difficult substance,” Montague said during an interview at Levine and Levine. “What the commission found is that there is […]
HASTINGS, Mich. — When Dave Russell wore the Sparty mascot costume in college, his roommates told him he had no rhythm, he said. They still tell him that today and he just laughs. He admits it was hard to move around and dance in the costume. However, he misses it. “It’s just a privilege to do it. I didn’t realize it at the time what a privilege it was,” Russell said. “Especially being the first one, it was such a […]