Macomb Matters April 2022 Issue 81
- Message from Mark
- Employee Focus
- Employee Accolades
- New Hires/Retirees
- MSU Extension helps local gardeners
- Earth Day tree planting and clean up increases green canopy at Freedom Hill County Park and the Sterling Relief Drain
- HRLR launches new benefits webpages
- EarthCam gives public live access to peregrine falcon nest atop the Old Macomb County Building
- ‘Tell Me Something Good’ section to share good news, employee stories
- A message from Andy McKinnon
- For Your Benefit
- In Memory
- Providing support by keeping it casual
- Macomb County Animal Control Adoption of the Month
- MMYH Ambassadors
- Paw Print
- Recipe Corner
- Blog Log
- News Nook
Click for a pdf of Macomb Matters
Message from Mark
Welcome to the latest edition of Macomb Matters. I’ll begin my message with a quick nod to the spring season and the nicer weather we’ve experienced. It’s a welcome change for those who love to get outdoors and experience our communities - myself included. From getting active at one of our many parks, to going shopping in our downtown districts, people have been out and about lately. If you want to join them, check out MakeMacombYourHome.com for inspiration. There’s something for everyone here.
I’d also like to acknowledge Earth Day, which was Friday, April 22. This year the County marked the occasion with a tree planting and clean up hosted by our Planning and Economic Development and Public Works teams at Freedom Hill County Park (see recap video here). Volunteers from both departments and Consumers Energy joined with County leaders - including myself and Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller - to plant more than 50 trees and shrubs in the park and near the Sterling Relief Drain. It was a great day, made even better by some incredible news -- the Consumers Energy Foundation has chosen PED's Parks and Natural Resources Division as a recipient of $250,000 in grant funding through the Planet Awards! Their efforts make Macomb a healthy and vibrant place to live, work and play and I’m proud of what they’ve accomplished. It is so deserved. To learn more about this grant funding, click here and stay tuned for updates.
In closing, I’d like to thank Team Macomb as a whole. We achieve great things together and collectively, we make a difference in our community. Whether that’s delivering food through Meals on Wheels, or servicing our infrastructure through the Department of Roads. We all do incredible work and we all make Macomb a great place to call home.
Thank you and take care,
In this edition of Focus Macomb, we highlight Gerard Santoro, program director for parks and natural resources, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development. Keep reading for insights into Gerry’s role at the county and how he spends his free time.
How long have you been with the County?
I began this chapter of my career in January of 2004.
What is your current position and what do you do?
My current position is the program director for Parks and Natural Resources within the Planning and Economic Department. This position allows me to oversee many projects related to:
The Macomb County Blue Economy, Green Macomb and parks, land and water related support to local governments.
What led you to this career and what are some of the challenges you face?
Before starting at Macomb County, I worked as an urban planning consultant for communities all over southeast Michigan. As the need for environmental stewardship arose, I educated myself in those areas to assist local governments. So when I came to Macomb County, I was asked to participate in several state and federal programs including USEPA and EGLE, the Clinton River Public Advisory Council, Six Rivers Lands Conservancy and the Michigan Clean Marina Program.
This leads to my first challenge - the Clinton River. Once considered the most polluted river in Michigan, the Clinton clean up was just starting 20 years ago. It was wrought with trash, spills, stormwater overflows and extraordinary measures of woody debris due to Emerald Ash Borer and decades of neglect. It became my mission, along with an army of local representatives and other agencies, to see that the Clinton River become a clean, clear and connected asset within our communities. And today that is a reality.
Other challenges include:
- Finding greater access to our waterways and Lake St. Clair with viable areas for large open recreation and conservation with Macomb County, as we do not have a general fund or a millage to acquire additional public lands in the midst of rapid development. We were able to develop a North Branch Floodplain and Greenway Plan with a great partnership of communities up and along the 26 miles of this important branch of the river system. It is our hope that much of this land can be put into floodplain conservation and be developed as a long linear park up the center of the county. Please see this story map that illustrates our effort: http://gis.macombgov.org/portal1/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=fef0efa4197544a181b5019ff2e5e898
- Doubling the tree count in Macomb County. We are woefully short of the 40 percent-plus recommended tree canopy cover in our communities. The Green Macomb - Urban Forest Partnership was incubated in our department to address this great need. By securing major federal, state, and philanthropic grants, and a very significant partnership with the Blue Water Soil Conservation District, we have been able to plant over 100,000 trees and shrubs in very targeted areas of the county.
What have you found most rewarding about your career with Macomb County?
Providing viable visions for what Macomb County residents and visitors deserve! This is what urban planners do. Macomb County has world renowned freshwater assets, one of the nation's most robust recreational boating industries and a world-class angling location within Lake St. Clair. Our cities, townships and villages all share in this spectacular place that has an excellent and affordable quality of life! Being a small part of this story is very rewarding because it is what makes Macomb County so unique and livable.
Briefly describe your education/alma mater.
Undergraduate studies in architecture at Lawrence Technological University, and Wayne State University for a masters degree in urban planning.
Briefly tell us about your family (pets count too!).
I am the youngest of ten children, all born between the first and the last year of the baby boom. I am fortunate enough to have married my favorite person in this world and have three children; one just out of college, one still in college and one just entering college - so yes, I am very broke, but love my family.
What do you like to do outside of work?
We are blessed to have a huge extended family and relatives, which provides many obligatory events, especially on the Italian side! Hiking and visiting national parks is a great aspect of our family life as we have visited over three dozen parks all over the country. Alaska is the only state I have not visited yet. We also like to visit our relatives in Europe, predominantly located in Italy, Hungary, Germany and Ireland.
Briefly describe something you are passionate about, or a philosophy you embrace, or a topic that matters greatly to you, etc. (your choice).
My wife, children and I are involved in the Blessed Solanus Casey Center (Capuchins) in Detroit as my wife is the music director, my daughter is one of the main cantors and a sacred music major and all of my children teach or perform music of all genres. My personal involvement with the Capuchins is developing a free-to-pick orchard and nut tree grove in the inner city of Detroit. We are in our third year of planting many varieties of fruit, nuts and berry plants that local residents can use at will. I also grow my own grape varieties and have a small vineyard in my backyard that produces enough wine grapes to vinte several gallons of homemade wine annually.
John Schapka named to Crain’s Notables in Corporate Counsel list
John Schapka has been named to the Crain’s Detroit Business Notables in Corporate Counsel list. Schapka has served in the Macomb County Corporation Counsel team for almost 10 years, first hired as assistant corporation counsel in August 2012. He was appointed as interim head of Corporation Counsel in 2013 before becoming the permanent lead in April 2014. The Corporation Counsel’s Office serves the legal needs of the county, its departments, officials and employees in all areas of civil law including contracts, tax and property actions, election matters, treasurer and county clerk services, health and human services and community mental health functions, law enforcement and confinement facility issues, labor and employment matters, and state and federal regulatory agency actions.
Jack Johns recognized as a top economic developer in North America
Jack Johns, a project manager for the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, has been named a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America for 2022 by Consultant Connect.
Each year, Consultant Connect asks its site selector community and economic development partners to nominate individuals they feel are top-notch and worthy of the Top 50 title. Consultant Connect is an economic development organization that bridges the gap between leading economic developers and location consultants, creating a platform for invaluable feedback and lasting business relationships.
Is there someone in your office who deserves a “pat on the back” for an outstanding achievement? If so, please let the Macomb Matters committee know about it! Email Maria.firstname.lastname@example.org with the details.
Tell us about the different positions you have held during your time with the County.
I began as a fill-in court reporter in 1984, reporting courtroom proceedings for numerous judges on the bench, after which I was the official court reporter for four different judges. In my last courtroom position, I was fortunate to have had the pleasure of serving as court reporter to Judge Edward Servitto for the past 20 years.
What will you miss most about working for Macomb County?
I will miss the great people I have met and enjoyed working with, especially the ones that became my work family.
What are you most proud of during your career with Macomb County?
I am proud of the fact that I've had so many positive years working as a court reporter where I reported cases involving so many topics. I remain supportive of my profession as a court reporter where we strive daily to provide the best courtroom record there is.
What are your post retirement plans?
Spending more time with family and friends and enjoying the simple things.
Any other words of wisdom to share?
Staying positive through challenging times and maintaining a sense of humor.
Click here for a list of New Hires/Retirees
MSU Extension helps local gardeners
Got a question about why plants in your garden are struggling? Do you want to find out what that insect is who is nibbling on your vegetables? Macomb County gardeners have access to several plant health care resources through MSU Extension. Help is a phone call, email or visit away.
The Michigan State University Lawn and Garden hotline accepts questions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to Noon. Call in your plant question to 888-678-3484. The hotline is staffed by Extension staff with a background in horticulture as well as Extension Master Gardener volunteers. They welcome questions on all issues related to lawns, trees, vegetables, fruits or anything else related to plants. And while they can recommend specific trees or flowers that match your soil conditions, the hotline is unable to recommend specific businesses for lawn care or tree service.
Prefer to send photos of a struggling plant or ask a question online instead? You can do that through Ask Extension, https://www.canr.msu.edu/outreach/ask-an-expert. Your question will be answered within 2-3 business days. The Ask Extension feature is also open to questions from commercial growers, and they have experts at MSU ready to assist in fields including tree fruits, livestock, beekeeping and field crops.
Finally, Macomb County MSU Extension offers a weekly walk-in diagnostic lab where gardeners can bring in struggling plants to find out what’s wrong or unknown insects to get them identified. This walk-in lab is held weekly at 21885 Dunham Road, Suite 12, Clinton Township, MI 48036, starting on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between May 17 and mid-September. Samples may be dropped off at other times by appointment. New for this year are several diagnostic labs at the Max Thompson Family Resource Center at 11370 Hupp Avenue, Warren, MI 48089. Bring your plant questions to the Warren location on May 25, June 29 and July 27th from 9:30 a.m to -Noon or June 8, July 20 and August 10 from Noon to 2:30 p.m.
All of these services are free except for the diagnostic lab at the Clinton Township office. There is a $7 fee for in-person samples. If you have questions about what types of plant health care issues the lab can diagnose or about other services, feel free to call our office at 586-469-5180.
Happy gardening! Visit the Macomb County’s MSU-Extension website for more resources and information about the variety of services and programs offered.
Thank you to David Lowenstein, PhD - Consumer Horticulture Supervising Extension Educator for contributing this article.
Earth Day tree planting and clean up increases green canopy at Freedom Hill County Park and the Sterling Relief Drain
On Friday, April 22, volunteers from Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) and Consumers Energy cleaned up debris and planted trees at Freedom Hill County Park as part of an Earth Day celebration. The event, which was organized through MCPED’s Green Macomb initiative, is part of a larger effort to increase green canopy in the county.
“In 2016, our team had the foresight to create Green Macomb and to help solve a real issue in southeast Michigan, and that’s the major lack of tree canopy in our urban areas,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. “Through efforts like today’s Earth Day tree planting and other programs with our local municipalities, we are making significant progress towards our goal of a greener, more vibrant region. And when we achieve that objective, our communities will feel an impact. Whether that’s a reduction in energy costs or the enhancement of our public spaces, everyone will benefit from this work.”
More than 50 trees and shrubs were planted throughout Freedom Hill County Park and near the Sterling Relief Drain, an area which has been a focus of work for MCPED, the City of Sterling Heights and the Macomb County Public Works Office (MCPWO). Officials are in the process of restoring and enhancing the natural habitat around the drain to improve water quality and drain operations, and the Earth Day tree planting supports that work.
“Our green infrastructure project at the Sterling Relief Drain involved the daylighting of portions of what had been buried pipe, in order to allow Mother Nature to naturally act as a sponge for stormwater, soaking up harmful nutrients and toxins before they have a chance to reach the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair,” Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice S. Miller said. “The trees planted today increase the county’s green canopy and along this drain will help to prevent erosion, reduce sediment and absorb phosphorus and nitrogen.”
The Earth Day clean up and planting was made possible with the help of more than 25 volunteers from MCPED and Consumers Energy and the guidance of experts from Cardno.
“We at Consumers Energy believe every day should be Earth Day. That’s why we’re committed to doing good for our neighbors and the planet by investing in efforts that support a cleaner, healthier climate,” said Carolyn Bloodworth, executive director of Corporate Giving at Consumers Energy. “We’re thrilled to support Macomb County in planting trees this Earth Day, as we know this work will benefit us all for generations to come.”
“I’d like to thank Consumers Energy and everyone else who participated in our planting and clean up,” said Gerard Santoro, program director for parks and natural resources, MCPED. “Every event, no matter how big or small, helps us work towards our goal of a Green Macomb. It’s hard work, but the results are worth it.”
Currently Macomb’s tree cover is 26 percent, which falls short of the USDA recommendation of a 40 percent cover or better in urban areas. However, along with residents increasing tree plantings on their properties, promotion and education will help the county reach that goal.
More information on green canopy in Macomb County can be found at green.macombgov.org
HRLR launches new benefits webpages
A message from Jennifer Smiley, Benefits Administrator
Human Resources and Labor Relations, and specifically our Benefits team, is pleased to announce some exciting new changes to our web pages! We hope these changes will improve and enhance our employees’ experience.
First, our Employee Status Change page, which was created to provide employees with the forms and information necessary to make benefit changes after life altering events, has been updated and is now our “Life Events” page. These life altering events, or “qualifying events,” are defined by the IRS and include things like marriage, having or adopting a child, experiencing a divorce or losing benefit coverage from another source, to name a few. The page is designed to walk employees through the necessary steps to make whatever changes are needed. Many, if not most, of these changes can be made through Employee Navigator.
If you are new to Employee Navigator, you will find instructions on how to access and use the portal on this page as well. Under each event category, we have listed the documentation that is needed to process your change so that you can have those items ready to go before you even log into the portal. We also provide a list of additional things you might need or want to adjust when you experience a life changing event, such as changing a name or address, or updating beneficiaries.
Second, we have created a page dedicated to Leaves of Absence. Applying for a leave of absence can seem overwhelming. We hope this page will help employees who must request a leave navigate the application process. There is a section dedicated to frequently asked questions. The leave of absence forms are on this page, as well as step by step instructions and helpful tips on how to complete the forms.
We hope you will take a look at these new pages, and we welcome your feedback on how to improve them. Finally, as always, we are here to help. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Benefits team. We can be reached by phone, at 586-469-5650, by email at email@example.com, or in person by appointment on the 6th floor of the Administration Building. You can make an appointment by calling or emailing us.
We look forward to your feedback on these new pages!
Jennifer Smiley, Benefits Administrator
EarthCam gives public live access to peregrine falcon nest atop the Old Macomb County Building
Macomb County officials have re-launched its EarthCam to document a pair of peregrine falcons that are currently tending to four eggs in a nest on the northwest corner of the Old Macomb County Building in downtown Mount Clemens. The camera provides a 24/7 video feed for members of the public interested in watching the nest and its potential hatchlings. The feed is accessible here.
“For more than a decade, the county has observed peregrine falcons at its facilities,” said County Executive Mark Hackel. “We are so pleased to see the birds return year after year and thrilled to share the live feed with the public. These animals are impressive and being able to see them in real time is remarkable.”
The peregrine falcon nesting on top of the county building is named Brookie Cookie, a bird which hatched in 2019 at the North Quad Tower at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She is currently nesting with an unbanded mate.
In past years, when there have been successful hatchlings, Macomb County has held ceremonies to celebrate and band the baby birds with the help of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Detroit Zoo. This process was important, because in Michigan, peregrines are listed as an endangered species under state law and remain protected federally under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
EarthCam is a global network of owned and operated live streaming webcams built to transport people to interesting and unique locations around the world that may be difficult or impossible to experience in person. The EarthCam installed on the Old Macomb County Building was given to the county free of charge. Motor City Electric also donated installation, a service they have provided free of charge for the county’s Earth Cam for several years.
‘Tell Me Something Good’ section to share good news, employee stories
Over the past two years, we’ve sometimes missed out on spontaneous office conversations where we learn something new or exciting about a coworker. Perhaps someone had an anniversary, or they welcomed a new grandchild, or maybe they bought a house. So in 2021, the Macomb Matters team launched a new feature - ‘Tell Me Something Good’ - a section of the newsletter that aims to tell those stories so we can celebrate good news together.
Here are some of the updates we received:
Katelyn Golembieski, 4-H program coordinator, MSU Extension, was recently named the recipient of the Ruby Award from Soroptimist International of Greater Macomb. The award honors women who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making extraordinary differences in the lives of women and girls. Golembieski was nominated for providing valuable mentoring opportunities for young women and girls through collaborations and MSUE programs. Congratulations Katelyn!
Do you have something to share for an upcoming newsletter? Submit your good news here. Questions or looking for additional information? Email the Macomb Matters editorial team at Maria.firstname.lastname@example.org.
A message from Andy McKinnon
Traditionally around this time of year, I would write something about spring, growth, renewal, recharging, reenergizing, hope springs eternal with the start of the baseball season and opening day having just passed. But as I sat and contemplated the substance for this article I started to think about all the daffodils I am seeing in my neighborhood and how they almost seem to appear from nowhere and always, seemingly, out of the dead frozen ground of winter.
That led me to thinking that spring, maybe more than any other season, is about change. Change is something that has been very personal to me over the last year - I moved homes and positions. But it also seems to be accelerating at an unprecedented clip. We hear about the “Great Resignation” and the “Worker Shortage.” Really, we don’t only hear about it, we see it in our offices, with our colleagues, in our families. Further, we debated whether this article should change from me to our Interim Director of HRLR, Karlyn Semlow.
Change is also duplicitous in my opinion. It is known as the only “constant” and yet it is so incredibly difficult. For something that is always “constant” you would think we would adapt to it better, but we just plain don’t.
While writing these articles, I often seek quotes that revolve around what I am thinking, a little something that may peak your interest. Today I found this:
“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”
I believe we will continue to see transition within our County workforce. The faces and names who work alongside us will continue to change and maybe with ever greater frequency. This is a Macomb County thing, without question, and we seek to continue to improve compensation and benefits. But it is also a societal change. People are increasingly seeking out a better work-life flow. We certainly hate to lose those great teammates that we currently have, but know that ever greater things will lay ahead as we bring in new faces, new ideas, new perspectives, new ways of doing things.
And as for change, elsewhere in this issue of Macomb Matters, we discuss voluntary benefit open enrollment. HRLR offers a comprehensive offering of benefits that can help you manage unpleasant change or at least help you be prepared for it. Please take a moment to review those offerings as they are another tool we use to attempt to provide affordable benefits to make our team members' time with us better.
Have a great spring and start to summer. I hope to see a lot of you at our Employee Appreciation Night at Jimmy John’s Field in August!
For Your Benefit
Open enrollment for voluntary benefits begins June 1
Voluntary benefits are in addition to the benefits already enjoyed by Macomb County employees. There are premiums associated with the voluntary benefits. The premiums for these benefits are automatically deducted from employees’ pay, and are paid for on a post-tax basis. However, because of the size of our organization and our relationships with the vendors, the products are offered at significant discounts.
The voluntary benefits available during this enrollment period are listed below:
- Long Term Care
- LifeSecure Long Term Care provides assistance with personal, everyday activities such as eating, bathing and dressing, which may be needed as a result of an injury, accident, illness, surgery or advanced age, and are not typically covered through medical insurance. This benefit provides more choices for where care is received: at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. It can help protect your savings and family from significant out-of-pocket costs related to personal care, and contribute to peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
- Hospital Indemnity
- Aflac Choice offers hospital-related benefits to help with the expenses not covered by major medical, which can help prevent high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses from derailing your life plans. It is customizable. You choose the plan that’s right for you based on your specific needs, and it works well with other products. There are guaranteed-issue options available, which means there is no medical questionnaire required for enrollment. The benefit pays cash directly to you (unless you indicate otherwise)—not the doctor or hospital.
- Short Term Disability
- Macomb County partners with AFLAC to provide a short term disability product at great group rates. This is a voluntary benefit purchased by employees on a post-tax basis through payroll deduction.
- Universal Life
- Universal Life with Long Term Care Protection, Permanent Life Insurance, Terminal Illness benefit and it is portable.
- Accident Advantage
- AFLAC’s Accident Advantage policy provides financial peace of mind to full time employees in the event of injury due to an accident. Benefits are paid directly to the employee and may be used for any out-of-pocket expenses. This is a voluntary benefit purchased by employees on a post-tax basis through payroll deduction.
- Pet Insurance
- Macomb County recognizes that family includes “fur babies!” Full-time employees can purchase medical insurance for their pets through convenient post-tax payroll deductions. The plan offers three options: Major Medical plan + Wellness, Major Medical plan or Pet Wellness plan. Employees may use the veterinarian of their choice.
- Legal Shield and Identity Theft
- Legal Shield’s legal plan offers full-time employees the ability to speak with an attorney regarding any personal legal matter without worrying about the cost. Services include assistance with real estate matters, speeding tickets and will preparation, among others.
- Critical Care Protection
- AFLAC’s Critical Care policy provides financial peace of mind to full time employees who experience a serious health event such as a heart attack or stroke. Benefits are paid directly to the employee and may be used for any out of pocket expenses.
You can find plan documents through your Employee Navigator portal or on our Voluntary Benefits webpage. Watch for upcoming notices detailing specific dates and times!
Please note that enrollment in the Flexible Spending Accounts can only be done during regular open enrollment, which is in the fall. Employees can enroll in the 457 Deferred Compensation program at any time throughout the year.
A message from Karlyn R. Semlow, Interim Director, HRLR
It is with a heavy heart that I write this to share with you Macomb County has lost a long term employee, Dawn N. Valliere. While I didn’t know Dawn personally, after spending time with her work family, I wish I did.
If you work in the downtown campus, you likely have seen Dawn on a steadfast walk in the parking structure during her lunch break, something she did regardless of the weather conditions. She was deeply adored by her work family, who described her as incredibly strong, with a big personality, someone who loved to ring in the holidays and welcomed them with a festive outfit. Dawn was a bold woman who loved to travel, fish and spend time in the great outdoors. And her shoe collection was beyond compare.
Dawn joined Macomb County in 2001 and spent her entire career with the County Clerk/Register of Deeds. She was promoted multiple times, and worked her way up to the position of Cashier II. Kathy Smith, deputy director for the County Clerk, worked with Dawn throughout her long career and shared: “The heartbreaking news of Dawn's passing has touched all of us here in the Clerk's Office. Her warm smile and her BIG spirit will never be forgotten.”
Please keep Dawn’s family and her work family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Managing grief is a very personal and difficult process. Please remember the County offers confidential, no-cost support through our employee assistance program Ulliance and it can be accessed by calling 1-888-333-6269.
Providing support by keeping it casual
The Board of Commissioners has announced the continuation of the Macomb County Casual Day Charitable Collections Program. Participating employees (with department leader permission) may wear casual clothing to work on Fridays (or other designated day), if they donate at least a dollar. Participating departments will be monitored, and donations are sent in a timely fashion. Collected donations are then sent by the Board Office to the assigned charities.
The BOC recently announced the full list of programs it will support in 2022. Stay tuned for additional announcements on the topic, and in the meantime, if you are able, please participate in the upcoming Casual Days that will help:
May 6, 13, 20, 27
Charity: The Clinton River Watershed Council
Services: Their mission is to protect, enhance, and celebrate the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair.
June 3, 10, 17, 24
Charity: Good Shepherd Coalition
Services: Assists families with homelessness, loss of heat, electricity, and vital needs.
Macomb County Animal Control Adoption of the Month - April
Pictured are just a few of the many animals who found a home with the help of Macomb County Animal Control! Is your companion waiting for you? Pay a visit to the shelter and find out! Visit the website for more information about pets available for adoption, information about the adoption process and hours of operation.
MMYH Ambassador - Take a quiz, win a prize!
Welcome back to the MMYH Ambassadors column! This edition will feature an important program offered through Macomb County: Free career training at Macomb Community College.
Funded by a $515,000 “Regional Talent Innovation Grant” from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and $906,000 of Community Development Block Grant - CARES Act funds, Macomb County and its partners is offering free career training to individuals in specific, high-demand occupations.
Eligible students will be low- to moderate-income individuals who have experienced a COVID-related hardship with an interest in increasing their earning potential by obtaining industry-recognized credentials in a variety of fields. Coursework will be provided by Macomb Community College and focused on two key sectors with several credentialing options:
- Health Care: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Dental Assistant, Laboratory Assistant, Phlebotomy, Pharmacy Technician
- Engineering & Advanced Technology: Controls Technician, Industrial Maintenance Technician, Robot Programmer, Robot Technician, Class A CDL Truck Driving and Marine Maintenance Technician
The ability to earn a credential in each of the offered programs ranges from 4-17 weeks. Tuition assistance also covers the costs of any needed books, supplies and/or testing fees. For more information about the program and access to an application, visit www.macombgov.org/careertraining.
Now - think you’re ready to complete the ambassador quiz and win some great County swag? Click here to get started and stay tuned for the next issue, where we’ll cover a new topic.
Greetings from Chief Randazzo!
Great news! Macomb County Animal Control is once again participating in the BISSELL Pet Foundation Empty the Shelters event from May 2 to May 7! BISSELL Pet Foundation is sponsoring adoption fees across the state. Adoption fees are only $25, and some of the adoption fees are completely sponsored with no cost to adopters. If you are interested in viewing adoptable animals, please visit the Animal Control – Adopt web page. We highly recommend you complete an adoption application before you arrive this event. We are open for walk-ins at our Clinton Township facility, located at 21417 Dunham Road, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. We will also have pets available for adoption at Pet Supplies Plus in Clinton Township located at 42241 Garfield Rd, Clinton Township, on Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in their new pet adoption center! We hope you will spread the word and maybe even pay us a visit!
Now on to other springtime happenings! Recently, I was contacted by a resident of Chesterfield Township. She found a duck with a nest full of eggs in her flower bed. Unfortunately, both the homeowner and the duck had startled each other, and the duck flew away. Panicked, this Chesterfield Township resident contacted us, wondering what to do. Unless there are highly unusual circumstances, our advice is to leave everyone alone. “Mother Duck” (aka a hen) will be back and she knows what to do. Whether someone finds a litter of newborn rabbits, a fawn, or a nest of eggs, the best thing to do is let these animals follow their natural instincts. It is difficult for some of us – as creatures with our own natural tendencies, we often want to “help.” Unfortunately, our efforts to help can end up causing harm. Recently, in North Carolina, a newborn foal was separated from its wild herd by well-meaning visitors. Unfortunately, that foal cannot be returned to its mother, and is now permanently orphaned. As difficult as it is, the best thing to do when we come across vulnerable newborn animals and their parents is to let them be. Mother Nature and Father Time work well together in these types of circumstances. And if you are still concerned about the health and safety of the animals or of the humans who live near them, contact us. We’re here to help.
The mission of the Animal Control division is to protect the health and safety of our residents, and to protect animals and promote their humane treatment. While we are supported by the County and through grants, there are items we need but are not included in our budget. We rely on the generous support of our partners and the public. If you’d like to assist us in our mission, you can donate through our website at https://macomb-county-animal-welfare-fund.square.site/
You can also shop our Amazon Wish List at:
Take care (of yourself and your pets!) Happy Spring!
Rhubarb Blueberry Crisp
• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
• 3 cups chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
• 3 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
• 1/2 cups sugar
• 1 cup 100% fruit juice (any type)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
Nutrition Facts - CupServing size: 1/2 Cup
Servings per container: 9
Saturated fat……………... 1g
Wash hands and all food preparation surfaces.
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and oats. Mix in butter or margarine and set aside
- Spread rhubarb and blueberries in an 8x8-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, mix cornstarch and sugar and stir in the juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring all the time, until the mixture has thickened. Turn off heat.
- Stir in vanilla, if desired. Pour mixture over rhubarb and blueberries.
- Crumble oat mixture on top of fruit.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until topping is browned and fruit is bubbling at edges. Serve warm or cold.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.
- Try strawberries instead of blueberries.
- Adding vanilla brings out sweet flavors of the fruit.
Recipe provided by: Food Hero, Oregon State University Extension, foodhero.org
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