Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Chicago Style Pizza in Portage keeps sauce recipe under lock and key
PORTAGE, MI — When it comes to the reasons for its success, the owner of an unassuming Portage pizza stand points to her family’s sauce recipe and the pizza’s dough. “The secret is in the sauce,” says Chicago Style Pizza owner Jennifer Taylor. And of those who work at the Portage pizzeria on a daily basis, only general manager Danny Durante, Taylor’s brother-in-law, knows the recipe. “There’s a common misconception about what Chicago style pizza is,” Durante said. Chicago Style Pizza is open for carryout and delivery from 4-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 4-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2-8:30 p.m. on Sundays.mlive.com
South Westnedge Avenue total closure delayed due to weather forecast
PORTAGE, MI -- The closure of South Westnedge Avenue from Parkland Terrace to Crockett Avenue has been delayed due to the forecast of inclement weather, the city of Portage said in a news release. Sanitary sewer repairs on the stretch of South Westnedge were previously scheduled to begin Wednesday, May 25. The detour route for northbound traffic is east on Bacon Avenue, north on Portage Road and west on East Centre Avenue. Work on South Westnedge Avenue will be completed on June 1, weather and materials permitting, the city said. Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, South Westnedge Avenue will be closed in both directions between Parkland Terrace and Crockett Avenue, Portage officials said in a news release.mlive.com
Plans for new 180-unit apartment complex in Portage approved by city council
PORTAGE, MI -- The Portage City Council gave the green light to a new 180-unit apartment complex this week. “Tall Timbers,” a three-building apartment complex, will be constructed as part of the Greenspire Planned Development, according to a proposal approved by the Portage City Council Tuesday, May 24. The new apartment complex will include three, five-story buildings comprised of 180 multi-family units at 3413 W. Centre Ave., the proposal said. The complex is the seventh phase in Greenspire Planned Development, a more than 100-acre development off of Centre Avenue east of U.S. 131. Already existing in the development are the 700-unit Greenspire Apartments and 13,000 square feet of retail and office space.mlive.com
Portage approves purchase, demolition of closed drive-in restaurant
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage city leaders will buy the now closed West Lake Drive-In and demolish it for green space. The Portage City Council approved the purchase of the former lakeside burger joint at its meeting Tuesday, May 24. The city will pay $376,000 plus closing costs for the property. Plans call for demolishing the restaurant building and maintaining the land as open space unless a better use is identified, the proposal said. The drive-in, located at 9138 Portage Road, closed in February 2020.mlive.com
New city manager has visions for a more pedestrian-friendly Portage
PORTAGE, MI -- The new city manager charged with leading Portage has hopes to make the city more pedestrian friendly. “I was attracted by the obvious quality of the community.”McGinnis, 59, said like other Portage city officials, he has a vision of a “downtown” Portage with storefronts and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes. As a father of three now-grown children, the city manager said this was a good time for a career change. The city manager also sees opportunity for collaboration with the public school system and neighboring city leaders in Kalamazoo. Deputy City Manager Adam Herringa has been serving as acting city manager.mlive.com
Pfizer pill to treat COVID sparks facility expansion in Kalamazoo area
PORTAGE, MI -- Pharmaceutical company Pfizer plans to expand its Kalamazoo-area facility to increase manufacturing capabilities for an oral COVID-19 treatment known as Paxlovid. Expansion of the company’s largest manufacturing location is expected to create hundreds of “high-skilled” STEM job, Pfizer announced Tuesday, May 24. Pfizer’s oral COVID treatment, Paxlovid, is available for people 12 and older with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are considered high risk of severe illness. Pfizer plans to unveil its facility expansion plans Monday, June 6, from its location at 7000 Portage Road in Portage. If you have any COVID-19 questions that you’d like answered, please submit them to email@example.com to be considered for future MLive reporting.mlive.com
Westnedge Avenue in Portage to close this week for sewer repairs
PORTAGE, MI -- Westnedge Avenue in Portage will be closed this week for work on the sewer system. Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, South Westnedge Avenue will be closed in both directions between Parkland Terrace and Crockett Avenue, the city said in a news release. The closure is necessary to facilitate sanitary sewer repairs, the city said. The detour route for northbound traffic is east on Bacon Avenue, north on Portage Road, and west on East Centre Avenue. The detour route for southbound traffic is west on Melody Avenue, southwest on Shaver Road, south on Oakland Drive, and east on West Osterhout Avenue.mlive.com
Portage to consider buying closed drive-in restaurant
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage city leaders are looking to buy the now closed West Lake Drive-In and demolish it for green space. The Portage City Council will consider the purchase of the former lakeside burger joint at its next meeting Tuesday, May 24, according to the recommendation from Acting City Manager Adam Herringa. The drive-in, located at 9138 Portage Road, closed in February 2020. The city recommends that the restaurant building be demolished and that the land be maintained as open space unless a better use is identified, the acting city manager said. Also on MLive:Portage selects Grand Haven city manager as its next leaderPickleball courts, major street repairs among $30M in proposed projects in PortageHis dad built the house by hand in 1945.mlive.com
Kalamazoo Central fields seven champs at boys, girls track regional finals
East Kentwood’s boys and girls teams used their deep and talented lineups to each capture first place, but there were plenty of Kalamazoo-area athletes that took home championship honors. PHOTOS: See our gallery from the Division 1 regional meet at Portage CentralKalamazoo Central led the local schools with seven regional champs, led by speedy freshman Susana Roberts, who won the 100-meter dash and anchored the winning 400- and 800-meter relay teams. Kalamazoo Central's Susana Roberts runs a race at the Division 1 track regionals at Portage Central High School in Portage, Michigan on Friday, May 20, 2022. Click here to see full results from Saturday’s regional meet at Portage Central. Each of the winners advance to the Division 1 state finals, which take place Saturday, June 4 at Rockford High School.mlive.com
See our favorite moments in the field events of the Division 1 track regionals
PORTAGE, MI-- Track and field athletes from across the state came together to face each other in the Division 1 track and field regionals. Here are a few of our favorite moments:Greenville’s Trevor Boyer takes on the pole vault in the Division 1 track regionals at Portage Central High School in Portage, Michigan on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Gabi Broekema | MLive.com)Gabi Broekema | MLive.comCaledonia’s Collin Witvoet takes on the high jump in the Division 1 track regionals at Portage Central High School in Portage, Michigan on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Gabi Broekema | MLive.com)Gabi Broekema | MLive.comEast Kentwood’s Santana Eubanks takes the long jump in the Division 1 track regionals at Portage Central High School in Portage, Michigan on Friday, May 20, 2022. (Gabi Broekema | MLive.com)Gabi Broekema | MLive.comRelated:Check out the 2022 Michigan high school girls track and field event rankings as of May 20Check out the 2022 Michigan high school boys track and field event rankings as of May 20Kalamazoo-area girls track & field leaderboard heading into 2022 regionalsKalamazoo-area boys track & field leaderboard heading into 2022 regionalsmlive.com
Gov. Whitmer attends ribbon-cutting ceremony for new Portage community senior center
Gretchen Whitmer joined hundreds of community members Friday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center. Kimberly Phillips, director of senior citizen services for the center, said the previous building was too small to accommodate their needs. Related: Public invited to tour new Portage senior center at Friday ribbon-cutting ceremony“We are overwhelmed at the support and attendance and positive feedback,” Phillips said Friday. “This new senior community center is a testament to what happens when businesses and government work together and put the needs of Michiganders first,” Whitmer said in a Friday press release from her office. The senior center, which is on land previously owned by the city of Portage and two residential properties that were later acquired by the city, will open for regular operations in June, officials say.mlive.com
Public invited to tour new Portage senior center at Friday ribbon-cutting ceremony
PORTAGE, MI- The newly constructed Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center is ready to open its doors. Officials say activities at the senior center won’t start until June. “This is truly a community project.”Membership for the community senior center has expanded in anticipation of the new facility’s opening, Phillips said. The community senior center serves individuals age 50 and above. She said this motivated her and her husband to support the Portage Community Senior Center.mlive.com
Fight between teens leads to false shooting scare at Portage mall
PORTAGE, MI -- A fight between teenagers led to a Portage mall being temporarily evacuated Saturday afternoon, police said. At about 1:34 p.m. May 14, Portage Police Department officers were dispatched to The Crossroads mall for a report of shots fired in the building. A short investigation led police to determine the shooting report was false, said Portage Police Department Sgt. Officers learned a group of teenagers had gotten into a fight at the mall, knocking over some nearby tables. The false shooting report comes a week after The Crossroads was evacuated due to a false bomb threat.mlive.com
Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Panda Dynasty celebrates 20 years in Portage
One would have no idea that it, like many of the dishes at Panda Dynasty, are gluten-free, Yang points out. The Happy Family, meanwhile, has everything to make a family happy, he laughed. The words happy family take on another meaning at Panda Dynasty. Shortly thereafter they opened another restaurant, Panda Forest a couple miles north up South Westnedge Avenue. And while many restaurants struggled to make it through the pandemic, Yang said Panda Dynasty was fortunate given the popularity of Asian takeout.mlive.com
Lane closures coming to Centre Avenue in Portage next week
PORTAGE, MI -- Drivers can expect some delays on Centre Avenue in Portage beginning Monday. The roadway will be restricted to one lane in each direction from Valleywood Lane to Creekside Drive beginning 8 a.m. Monday, May 16. The closure is necessary to facilitate water main installation on Centre Avenue, the city of Portage said in a news release. Traffic will be shifted to two lanes with one lane in both eastbound and westbound directions. Drivers should expect delays and may wish to find an alternative route, the release said.mlive.com
Muskegon public safety opportunity nixed by Grand Haven’s director after new contract offered
GRAND HAVEN, MI – A new employment contract convinced Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke to stay put after he was named a finalist for the same position in Muskegon. Hawke was one of two finalists for the public safety director position in Muskegon. Related: Grand Haven public safety director drops out of running for Muskegon jobHawke has served as Grand Haven’s public safety director for 10 years, overseeing its police, fire, EMS and code enforcement operations. Muskegon city commissioners have discussed moving away from the public safety position to separate police and fire chiefs. However, the hiring of a public safety director is the purview of the Muskegon city manager, who for the interim is LeighAnn Mikesell.mlive.com
Portage selects Grand Haven city manager as its next leader
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage’s next city manager is coming from Grand Haven. The Portage City Council chose Patrick McGinnis, the current city manager for the city of Grand Haven, as the next leader of Portage, pending contract negotiations and a background check. McGinnis has worked as city manager in Grand Haven since 2003. Former city manager Joseph LaMargo stepped down from the role to relocate to be closer to family in Illinois. Deputy City Manager Adam Herringa has been serving as acting city manager.mlive.com
See preliminary designs for new Portage elementary schools
PORTAGE, MI -- Plans for two new elementary schools in Portage are beginning to take shape. The preliminary designs of new Haverhill and Central elementary schools show how new classrooms, art rooms and other school spaces will be laid out. The $175 million bond will also replace Amberly, Angling and Woodland elementary schools and fund the renovation of Moorsbridge Elementary. Construction of all five new elementary schools is expected to take 10 to 11 years to complete, the district said. The presentation on the new elementary schools begins at 18:00.mlive.com
Crossroads Mall in Portage evacuated after bomb threat
PORTAGE, MI -- The Crossroads Mall in Portage was evacuated because of a bomb threat and police are using dogs to check for any explosives. Portage police said mall security personnel received the threat. Portage Public Safety officers then responded to the mall and and helped employees evacuate the mall. Two bomb-sniffing dogs were called to the scene to go through the mall, but police have not found anything. Police have advised the public to avoid the area, but also say there is no public threat.mlive.com
Site of former Fannie May Candies in Portage to host new business
PORTAGE, MI — A new urgent care is in the process of being built at one of Portage’s busy intersections. The clinic, anticipated to open this fall, will be the third of its kind in Portage, WellNow spokesperson Annie Keller confirmed with MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette on Wednesday. The site of the newest location was the longtime home of Fannie May Candies, which closed in 2019. A WellNow Urgent Care will soon stand at the southwest corner of West Milham and South Westnedge avenues in Portage, Michigan. The new Portage clinic will be the third WellNow clinic in the city and fourth in Kalamazoo County.mlive.com
Portage to reduce energy use, greenhouse emissions with new $1M project
PORTAGE, MI -- A new $1 million project will help the city of Portage reduce its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The city contracted with Noresco, a company that helps create energy efficiency solutions, to implement a $1.1 million energy reduction project to improve city buildings and parks, the city said in a news release. The city will upgrade lighting in city hall, public safety headquarters and in city parks with LED technology. Additionally, the city is replacing outdated heating and cooling systems at public safety with more energy efficient units. “The city of Portage has a responsibility to be good stewards of taxpayer funds,” said Adam Herringa, acting city manager.mlive.com
Dame finalist for Portage gig
Pete Dame CITY OF GROSSE POINTE — After 16 years at the helm of the City of Grosse Pointe, City Manager Pete Dame may soon be heading 150 miles west to be near his parents and lead another Michigan community. Dame is among three candidates being considered for city manager of Portage after the resignationgrossepointenews.com
Leaders celebrate new FedEx facility in Portage that employs over 400
PORTAGE, MI — Government and business leaders gathered Tuesday in Portage to celebrate a new FedEx Ground facility that employs more than 400 people. The facility, which opened in July 2021, is located at 6701 Portage Road, between Milham Avenue and Romence Road. The location is one of several facilities serving Southwest Michigan. In 2016, the city of Portage expanded Portage Road to create a right-hand turn lane and left-hand de-acceleration lane, while in 2017 the city installed a traffic signal at Portage Road and Stryker Way. “All these new jobs have accelerated our council’s commitment to providing affordable housing in Portage,” Randall said.mlive.com
Newly remodeled Portage library to open next week
PORTAGE, MI -- The newly remodeled and expanded library in Portage will be open to patrons once again beginning next week. The renovated Portage District Library will reopen Monday, May 9, at 300 Library Lane, according to a press release from the library. The library was renovated with the funds from a 2019 bond approved by voters. “We are excited to share what we have been working on and welcome you to your library,” said Director Christy Klien. Library operations were moved temporarily to 5528 Portage Road during the renovations, which began in May 2021.mlive.com
How to submit your question to next Portage city manager ahead of interviews
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage residents can ask questions of those vying for the position of city manager during the interview process. Portage community members are invited to submit questions to the three finalists for city manager ahead of the next round of interviews Thursday, May 5, according to a press release from the city. Deputy City Manager Adam Herringa has been serving as acting city manager. McGinnis is the city manager in the City of Grand Haven. The candidates who were not chosen as finalist include Andrew Dymczyk, township manager in DeWitt Charter Township, and Nate Geinzer, city manager in the City of Brighton.mlive.com
3 finalists move forward in search for new Portage city manager
PORTAGE, MI -- The Portage City Council has narrowed the field in its search for a new city manager. Deputy City Manager Adam Herringa has been serving as acting city manager. Dame has been in his current role of city manager in the City of Gross Pointe since 2006. McGinnis is the city manager in the City of Grand Haven. The candidates who were not chosen as finalist include Andrew Dymczyk, township manager in DeWitt Charter Township, and Nate Geinzer, city manager in the City of Brighton.mlive.com
DNR to conduct controlled burn near U.S. 131 in Kalamazoo County
PORTAGE, MI -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) intends to perform a prescribed fire (or a controlled burn) in a section of the Gourdneck State Game Area, the Portage Department of Public Safety said. These prescribed fires can only be conducted when the weather (wind, humidity, temperature, and cloud cover) meets certain specifications. Based on the weather, the DNR expects to conduct this burn today beginning in the late afternoon, police said. The burn will occur in a section of land south of East Centre Avenue, and east of Angling Road and U.S. 131, the Portage Department of Public Safety said. Read more:New roundabouts coming to Kalamazoo County to slow down speedersI-94 bridge section demolished over Portage Road; final span to come down next4 roads will get extensive work in Kalamazoo County in 2022Selling cupcakes, buying real estate, mother-daughter team work to help the homelessmlive.com
New 180-unit apartment complex proposed in Portage
PORTAGE, MI -- A new apartment complex with 180 units is coming to Portage. “Tall Timbers,” a three-building apartment complex, would be constructed as part of the Greenspire Planned Development, according to a proposal pending approval by the Portage City Council Tuesday, April 26. The new apartment complex will include three, five-story buildings comprised of 180 multi-family units at 3413 W. Centre Ave., the proposal said. The complex is the seventh phase in Greenspire Planned Development, a more than 100-acre development off of Centre Avenue east of U.S. 131. “Tall Timbers,” a three-building apartment complex, will be constructed as part of the Greenspire Planned Development, according to a proposal presented to Portage City Council Tuesday, April 26.mlive.com
New park honoring Martin Luther King Jr. to open in Portage
PORTAGE, MI -- A new green space with special plaques is opening in Portage in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. The new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park will include a fountain, sculptures and plaques in honor of the Civil Rights leader, according to plans presented to the Portage City Council Tuesday, April 26. The park is being constructed on a .52-acre parcel of donated land on Constitution Boulevard between Westnedge Avenue and Oakland Drive. Funded by the city’s capital improvements budget, the project is expected to be complete by fall, according to the city. May forecast is not your friendWhy spring is one of the best times to hike this Sleeping Bear Dunes trailmlive.com
Taxable property values rise $77 million in Portage to city’s highest in history
PORTAGE, MI -- The taxable value of property in Portage has reached a historically high record. The total taxable assessed value of Portage rose from $2.69 billion in 2020 to $2.767 billion in 2021, an increase of 2.86%, Herringa said. This is historically the city’s highest taxable value, he said. The proposed budget for the next fiscal year was discussed at Tuesday’s budget review session by the Portage City Council. The proposed budget includes a $2.1 million, or 7%, increase to the city’s general fund budget to nearly $30.9 million.mlive.com
New car wash planned for busy intersection in Portage
PORTAGE, MI -- A new car wash is under construction at a major intersection in Portage. A Drive & Shine car wash is coming to the intersection of South Westnedge Avenue and Kilgore Road. The new car wash will be the third location of the family owned business in the Kalamazoo area, said Sherry Tehrani, vice president of marketing at Drive & Shine. The car wash locations include automated car washing, indoor self-vacuuming and outdoor self-vacuum spaces. Drive & Shine offers a variety of services for various prices, and the basic car wash costs $10, according to the company website.mlive.com
6 construction projects in Portage that could impact your commute this summer
PORTAGE, MI -- The infamous orange cones have arrived in Portage with the start of warmer weather. The city is planning numerous projects this summer on major roads including Lovers Lane, South Westnedge Avenue and Romence Road, according to Acting City Manager Adam Herringa.mlive.com
Candidates named in search for new Portage city manager
PORTAGE, MI -- A group of five candidates will interview for the position of city manager in Portage, the city said in a news release Thursday. Joseph LaMargo stepped down as city manager last August because he was relocating to Illinois to be closer to family. Deputy City Manager Adam Herringa has been serving as acting city manager. The council hopes to have a new city manager identified in May, according to the news release. The five candidates and their interview times are as follows:- 9 a.m. Andrew Dymczyk, township manager in DeWitt Charter Township- 10 a.m. Jade Smith, municipal services director in Canton Township- 11 a.m. Patrick McGinnis, city manager in the City of Grand Haven- 1 p.m. Peter Dame, city manager in the City of Gross Pointe- 2 p.m. Nate Geinzer, city manager in the City of BrightonDymczyk has worked in his current role in DeWitt Charter Township since June 2018, according to his resume.mlive.com
Man sentenced to prison after wrong-way chase in downtown Kalamazoo
KALAMAZOO, MI – A Portage man accused of leading police on a wrong-way chase and shooting a man was sentenced to prison. He was sentenced Monday, April 11 in Kalamazoo County Circuit Court by Judge Pamela Lightvoet. Related: Shooting suspect who led police on wrong-way chase through downtown Kalamazoo pleads guiltyHe was a suspect in a targeted shooting on April 13, 2021, in the 1800 block of Portage Street. The ensuing chase led police through residential neighborhoods and traveled the wrong way down the one-way Michigan Avenue into downtown Kalamazoo. They were two counts each of felony firearm, possession of firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed weapon and assault, resist, obstruct a police officer.mlive.com
Portage residents would pay 5% more for water and sewer under proposed increase
PORTAGE, MI -- Residents in Portage may pay more for water and sewer services beginning in July. The City Council is considering a 5.23% increase to the quarterly water and sewer service rates for residents living in Portage, Acting City Manager Adam Herringa said in a report to the council this week. The proposed rate changes include an increase of the sewer commodity rate from $5.06 to $5.33 per 1,000 gallons of metered water and an increase to the water commodity rate from $3.14 to $3.30 per 1,000 gallons of metered water, the report said. According to the 2022 Utility Rate Financial Study, an average Portage customer spends about $740 per year for sewer and water services under the current rate. Under the proposed new rate, the same typical household would spend about $779 per year, an approximate $39 increase, the report said.mlive.com
No contact order lifted for Kalamazoo River, Portage Creek
KALAMAZOO, MI – The no contact order for the Kalamazoo River and Portage Creek is lifted. A motorcycle hit a semitrailer, causing the fuel tank around 11 a.m. Sunday, April 3 at Portage and Alcott streets, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said. Related: Avoid contact with Kalamazoo River, Portage Creek after diesel spill, police sayAbout 40 gallons of diesel leaked onto the street and a portion then leaked into a storm drain before public safety and Kalamazoo Department of Public Works stopped the leak. A no contact order was put in place after the spill and was lifted 10 days later, on April 13, police said. People were not supposed to have contact with Portage Creek from Alcott Street to the Kalamazoo River and the Kalamazoo River from Michigan Avenue to the Gull Street Bridge.mlive.com
Portage’s Curious Kids program to be replaced with YMCA after-school option
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage Public School’s current before- and after-school childcare program is being replaced with a program run by the YMCA. The district is partnering with the YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo to provide a new before-and after-school childcare program called YMCA Prime Time, the district said in a letter to parents. “Our Prime Time program is designed to help all children grow in spirit, mind and body,” the Y said. The YMCA program offers morning and afternoon options. “We understand that many families have been with the Curious Kids program for years and transitioning to a new program comes with many questions and concerns,” the Y said.mlive.com
I-94 crash leaves dog severely hurt, people with minor injuries in Kalamazoo County
PORTAGE, MI – A person had to be cut out of a car after a crash on I-94. The crash happened on the westbound I-94 exit ramp to Oakland Drive around 3 p.m., April 8, the Portage Department of Public Safety said. Two vehicles were involved and there were minor injuries to the people, Senior Deputy Chief John Blue told MLive. A dog was severely injured in the crash and was being cared for, Blue said. The right lane for the bridge was closed but reopened at 4:04 p.m.More from MLive:Man fatally shot by Benton Harbor police after shooting two officersMichigan State Police trooper injured when semi hits patrol car on I-94Millions more in housing tax dollars approved for projects in Kalamazoo Countymlive.com
Former Kent City standout enters transfer portal after freshman year at Illinois State
Kent City defeated Schoolcraft in the MHSAA division 3 girls quarterfinal 52-19. (Joel Bissell | MLive.com)Joel Bissell | MLive.comFormer Kent City standout Kenzie Bowers has officially entered the transfer portal after wrapping up her freshman season at Illinois State University. The 5-foot-9 guard averaged 2.7 points and 2.4 rebounds in 15.4 minutes per game for the Cardinals. “With that being said, after lots of consideration and conversations with my family, I have decided to enter the transfer portal. ---MORE MUSKEGON-AREA SPORTS COVERAGEMeet MLive’s 2022 boys basketball Dream Team from MuskegonMeet MLive’s 2022 girls basketball Dream Team from MuskegonMeet the Michigan Associated Press Division 4 All-State boys basketball teamSee the Muskegon-area girls basketball players named to the Division 3-4 All-State teamsMeet the 2022 Michigan AP Division 1 All-State girls basketball teamMeet the 2022 Michigan Associated Press Division 2 girls basketball all-state teamMeet the 2022 Michigan Associated Press Division 3 girls basketball all-state teamMeet the 2022 Michigan Associated Press Division 4 girls basketball all-state teammlive.com
Avoid contact with Kalamazoo River, Portage Creek after diesel spill, police say
KALAMAZOO, MI – People should have no contact with downtown Kalamazoo waterways after a diesel spill. A motorcycle hit a semitrailer’s fuel tank around 11 a.m. Sunday, April 3 at Portage and Alcott streets, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety said. About 40 gallons of diesel leaked onto the street and a portion then leaked into a storm drain before public safety and Kalamazoo Department of Public Works stopped the leak, police said. People should not have contact with Portage Creek from Alcott Street to the Kalamazoo River and the Kalamazoo River from Michigan Avenue to the Gull Street Bridge, police said. An update will be released when the no contact is lifted police said.mlive.com
More than $2M in marijuana tax money coming to Kalamazoo-area governments
KALAMAZOO, MI -- Taxing marijuana sales is a more than $2.1 million-dollar idea in Kalamazoo County. The total for the three governments in Kalamazoo County is $1,072,615.36. Kalamazoo County will receive that same amount - $1,072,615.36. Kalamazoo County will receive the fourth highest total in the state, tied with the more populated Kent County and Ingham County. Portage will get $282,267 from marijuana tax revenue.mlive.com
Kalamazoo Candle Co. opens new store in Portage; fourth location coming soon
PORTAGE, MI — Four years after opening his first brick and mortar store, Kalamazoo Candle Company owner and founder Adam McFarlin now has three stores open and a fourth on the way. Related: Kalamazoo Candle Company continues to grow nationwide, currently hiring“The nice thing about the three stores that we have opened is that they’re all very different,” McFarlin said. In addition, the enterprise is taking on jobs to produce other company’s candle lines as well. All of Kalamazoo Candle Company’s candles are made by hand by the company’s employees. The Portage store is open from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sundays.mlive.com
Portage officials will review city manager candidates as search moves forward
PORTAGE, MI -- The Portage City Council has set a special meeting in April to consider candidates for city manager. The position became vacant in July after former city manager Joseph La Margo departed. The search for a new city manager was delayed during the coronavirus pandemic. Prior to coming to Portage in 2019, La Margo was a former village manager of Orland Park, Illinois. La Margo’s appointment to city manager was unanimously approved by the Portage City Council on September 2019.mlive.com
Portage police officer honored by AG Nessel for saving life of suicidal person
PORTAGE, MI -- A police officer in Portage was honored this week for going above and beyond in the line of duty. After saving a suicidal person last year, officer David Barker was presented with the Above and Beyond Award by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel at a ceremony Tuesday, March 22, at the Portage Department of Public Safety. Barker intervened in a mental health crisis and prevented a citizen’s attempt to die by suicide in July 2021, according to the city. During a moment of distraction, Barker reached into the vehicle and took the handgun from the person, police said. De-escalation of people in mental health crises was part of crisis intervention training that Portage officers underwent in 2021.mlive.com
Students can dress to match their gender identity, Portage school district says in revised dress code
PORTAGE, MI -- Portage Public Schools is revising its dress code to affirm students’ rights to dress how they see fit. The Portage Board of Education discussed a revised policy Monday, March 21, that would acknowledge in writing students’ existing rights to match their clothing to their gender identity. “It’s aligning our policies with our practices.”Previously the district policy did not acknowledge gender identity. The district is already prohibited by Title IX from discriminating against transgender and gender nonconforming students, but the law does not require the language in the dress code policy. District spokesperson Michelle Karpinski said the school has had transgender students in the district previously, and has always allowed students to match their clothing with their gender identity.mlive.com
Street in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood closing for one week for utility work
KALAMAZOO, MI – A section of Bryant Street in Kalamazoo will be closed to traffic for one week. Bryant Street between Portage and Race streets in Kalamazoo’s Edison neighborhood is closed March 22-29 for utility service connections, a news release from the city of Kalamazoo said. Drivers should detour around the area on Palmer Street. The sidewalks will be open for pedestrians and bicyclists, the release said. More from MLive:Two houses damaged after vehicle catches fire in Kalamazoo’s West Douglas neighborhood‘We’ve finally made it,’ Michigan village president says of large marijuana grow facility promising 200 jobsWMUK, Kalamazoo Gazette collaboration on housing crisis wins awardmlive.com
Steinspark, an authentic German-style biergarten and food court, coming to Kalamazoo County
PORTAGE, MI -- Born in Germany, Norbert Gimmler is bringing a piece of his home country to Kalamazoo County, with plans to launch Steinspark, an authentic German-style biergarten and food court. Gimmler plans to offer his own recipe for bratwurst, which he plans to have made by a local sausage maker. He plans to offer beer imported from Germany, obtained through distributors, as well as beer brewed in the area and other alcoholic drinks. The business plans to open sometime in June 2022, he said. “You pick up your food and your beer and you can sit here as long as you want,” he said.mlive.com
Portage woman convicted of killing ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend in 2015 dies in prison
YPSILANTI, MI — A 50-year-old woman serving a life sentence for murdering a Portage woman in 2015 has died in prison. Theresa Lynne Petto, formerly of Hastings, pleaded guilty but mentally ill during her 2016 trial for the killing of 25-year-old Rachel Drafta. The victim had been dating Petto’s ex-boyfriend, Brent Kik, at the time of the incident, which had angered Petto, police said.mlive.com
Liquor license approved as opening of new Portage Senior Center nears
PORTAGE, MI -- In preparation of the opening of the new senior center in Portage, the city council approved a liquor license request for future special events at the facility. The Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center is expected to open this spring and once open will host multiple special events, the Portage City Council said Tuesday, March 8. To accommodate those future events, the Portage City Council approved a liquor license request that will allow the sale of alcoholic beverages during scheduled on-premise events. The senior center, located at 203 E. Centre Ave. in Portage, is the result of a multimillion-dollar fundraising effort. A rendering of the Charles & Lynn Zhang Portage Community Senior Center in Portage, Michigan on Thursday, June 3, 2021.mlive.com
Portage Meijer near I-94 begins most extensive renovation in store’s 58-year history
PORTAGE, MI — From new floors, coolers and shelves to wider grocery aisles and a relocated drive-thru lane for pharmacy customers, the Westnedge Avenue Meijer is undergoing its most extensive renovation to date. “From the outside of the store to the inside of the store, we’re pretty much changing everything,” said store director Kelly Porter. Built in 1964, the store located at 5121 S. Westnedge Ave. is the second oldest Meijer in Kalamazoo County and among the oldest in the company, Porter said. The only store older in Kalamazoo County is the location at 5800 Gull Rd., which is also undergoing renovations inside and out. “The community has invested a lot in us and we want to invest back into the community also,” Porter said of the Westnedge store.mlive.com
Michigan native is first woman to call play-by-play at men’s NCAA Tournament
Byington said her former boss at WLNS-TV in Lansing has a lot to do with her success on the national stage. In 2017, she was the first woman to call play-by-play for a Big Ten network football game. That same year, she worked the sidelines of the NCAA men’s tournament. “They weren’t asking me as a female broadcaster or as as female play-by-play. I felt three things -- I felt grateful, I felt happy and I felt exhausted.
Michigan COVID data shows troubling trends: Should we be worried?
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool, File)Michigan’s COVID-19 data is showing some red flags as the race to vaccinate picks up steam - a look at the data. (This first appeared in the Morning Report Newsletter -- sign up for it here)Looking at the COVID-19 data in Michigan right now, it’s a bit concerning. This is a BIG data point to watch -- if cases swing up again, but hospitalizations don’t follow, it will tell us a lot about the demographic spreading COVID right now. These two age groups far outpace other age groups in hospitalizations, severe COVID-19 cases and deaths. (As always, you can track COVID-19 data with us right here.
Grand Rapids-based Grand River Aseptic to help manufacture J&J vaccine
GRAM is proud to partner with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, to support the critical manufacture of their vaccine. Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing (GRAM) will aid in the manufacturing of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. The state of Michigan is expected to receive 82,700 doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine this week. The J&J vaccine doses are expected in Michigan by Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said Monday. Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phasesMichigan also home to Pfizer vaccine manufacturingMichigan already is home to Pfizer vaccine manufacturing at the company’s plant in Portage.
Live Stream: Biden holds memorial in remembrance of 500,000 Americans who lost their lives to COVID-19
(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)FILE - In this Feb. 19, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden speaks after a tour of a Pfizer manufacturing site in Portage, Mich. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)WASHINGTON – Watch live coverage as President Joe Biden holds a memorial at the White House for the 500,000 Americans who lost their lives to the coronavirus. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. FULL DETAILS: Biden to mourn 500,000 dead while balancing grief and hopeMORE: US tops 500,000 virus deaths, matching the toll of 3 warsWatch Live Coverage
US coronavirus death toll approaches milestone of 500,000
He's expected to be joined by first lady Jill Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff. Her husband, Anthony Willis, died Dec. 28, followed by her mother-in-law in early January. My whole world is turned upside-down.”The global death toll was approaching 2.5 million, according to Johns Hopkins. While the count is based on figures supplied by government agencies around the world, the real death toll is believed to be significantly higher, in part because of inadequate testing and cases inaccurately attributed to other causes early on. Despite efforts to administer coronavirus vaccines, a widely cited model by the University of Washington projects the U.S. death toll will surpass 589,000 by June 1.
Fact checking Biden’s virus claims made during Michigan visit to Pfizer plant
Ramping up vaccine productionFirst, we’ll start with a claim Biden made about the administration’s effort to ramp up vaccine production in the U.S. Biden was referring to his commitment to have 100 million shots administered in American arms during his first 100 days in office. Biden statement: “24 million adults, 11 million children don’t have enough food to eat. It looks like President Biden is using USDA numbers taken during the pandemic, but before the full extent of the pandemic hit. Critics have previously argued that 100 million doses was an inadequate goal to begin with, and hoped that distribution pace would be increased when possible.
Morning Briefing Feb. 20, 2021: Michigan governor pledges vaccine rollout improvements, millions in Texas desperate for water, 3 separate Kabul explosions kill 5, wound 2
Friday was a big day for Michigan as President Joe Biden toured the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 579,284 as of Friday, including 15,296 deaths, state officials report. AdMichigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 845 on Thursday -- near the lowest since October. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 44,800 on Thursday -- near the lowest it’s been since October. New Today: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Feb. 20, 2021Here’s a look at more of the data:
Gov. Whitmer speaks on President Biden’s visit to Michigan’s Pfizer facility
PORTAGE, Mich. – Friday was a big day for Michigan as President Joe Biden toured the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage. Biden witnessed firsthand the 1,300-acre manufacturing site with about 350 ultra-cold freezers holding millions of COVID vaccine doses getting boxed and sent out the door. READ: Biden outlines plan to ramp up US vaccine rollout while at Michigan Pfizer facilityAd“To highlight Portage, Michigan, where Pfizer vaccines are rolling, now we’ve been the epicenter of hope,” Whitmer said. “Every Michigander who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine,” she said. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the WHO, but Biden moved quickly after his inauguration last month to rejoin and confirmed that the U.S. would contribute to COVAX.
Biden outlines plan to ramp up US vaccine rollout while at Michigan Pfizer facility
AdPfizer is also reportedly on track to ship out 200 million vaccine doses by the end of May this year, two months ahead of their original schedule, Bourla said. To help offer more flexibility to vaccination centers across the country, Bourla says Pfizer is also improving the longevity of stored vaccine doses with a new storage option. Following his tour of Pfizer’s largest manufacturing site, addressing the nation, President Biden thanked the Pfizer employees for their role in producing hundreds of millions of doses of the much-needed coronavirus vaccine. That’s how to beat this pandemic.”Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined President Biden on a tour of the Pfizer facility Friday, her team announced hours after the event. Several shipments of coronavirus vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna have also been delayed to Michigan and other states this week due to severe weather conditions.
Local 4 News at 5 -- Feb. 19, 2021
Here’s what you missed on Local 4 News at 5:President Biden outlines plan to ramp up vaccine distribution while visiting Portage Pfizer plantDuring his first visit to Michigan since elected president, Joe Biden delivered remarks from the Pfizer manufacturing site in Kalamazoo County on Friday, Feb. 19. President Biden was originally scheduled to visit Pfizer’s largest manufacturing site in Portage on Thursday this week.
President Biden speaks from Portage Pfizer facility
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)PORTAGE, Mich. – During his first visit to Michigan since elected president, Joe Biden delivered remarks from the Pfizer manufacturing site in Kalamazoo County on Friday, Feb. 19. Recap: Biden outlines plan to ramp up US vaccine rollout while at Michigan Pfizer facilityPresident Biden was originally scheduled to visit Pfizer’s largest manufacturing site in Portage on Thursday this week. AdPfizer is one of two companies manufacturing coronavirus vaccines that have been authorized for widespread use in the United States. Tens of millions of vaccine doses have been produced and shipped out of the Portage facility. Pfizer expects to make a batch of the vaccine in about 60 days, meaning more doses are on the way.
Michigan man to be arraigned on murder charges in slaying of his parents
A booking photo of Nicholas Johnson from the Kalamazoo County Jail. (Feb. 9, 2021)PORTAGE, Mich. – A 27-year-old man has been charged with murder in the slayings of his parents whose bodies were found in a wooded area in western Michigan. Nicholas Johnson was expected to be arraigned Thursday in Kalamazoo County District Court. Their bodies were unearthed Friday at Gourdneck State Game Area in Portage, about three miles from their home. Police said their son was found in a storage unit at an apartment building and had his parents’ car.
8 Michigan businesses cited for COVID-19 safety violations, state says
All rights reserved)LANSING, Mich. – Eight Michigan businesses have been cited for COVID-19 safety violations, including a fire department, a public school district, Twin Peaks in Livonia and a Lapeer diner with 11 violations. Here are the businesses and the violations cited by the state:Memphis Fire DepartmentLocation: Memphis, MichiganFine: $2,000Violations:Not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that helps guide protective actions against COVID-19. Reason for inspection: Employee complaint. Reason for inspection: Employee complaintClick here to view the full citation document. Reason for inspection: Employee complaintClick here to view the full citation document.
13 businesses cited for violating Michigan’s COVID-19 order, state says
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan health officials have issued citations to 13 businesses due to violations of the COVID-19 order put in place by the Department of Health and Human Services. “We continue to see improvements in the numbers, and we know that the public health orders we have put in place are working. “The number of cases, the positivity rate, and hospital capacity have declined in recent weeks, taking stress off our hospitals and health care workers,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive at MDHHS. “We will continue to monitor the data and assess for any potential surges in cases after the holidays. Most food service establishments like restaurants and bars have helped play a critical role in the existing decline by following the order.”
Extradition delayed for Wisconsin man charged in kidnap plot
PORTAGE, Wis. – A Wisconsin man accused in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer should be extradited to Michigan, but he will be given a chance to appeal first, a judge ruled. Brian Higgins was allegedly part of a crew conducting surveillance of the governor’s vacation home for the kidnapping plot. The Wisconsin Dells man, 52, is jailed in Columbia County until the appeal of his extradition is decided. The plotters planned to storm Michigan’s state Capitol building and kidnap officials, including the Democratic governor, officials said.
How you will know when it’s your turn to be vaccinated
DETROIT – As the first vaccinations are being given to frontline health care workers, many are anxious to know when it will be their turn to receive the vaccine. READ: Answering questions about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccineNot surprisingly, many wanted to get this vaccine Tuesday. How will I know when it’s my turn to get the vaccine? Residency is not an issue, just make sure seniors are eligible for the vaccine in the state you’ll be in when the second dose is due and that it will be available. It was not tested along with any other vaccines and the COVID vaccine itself can trigger a day or two of side effects, so it’s best to delay your shingles vaccine a bit if it would conflict with your turn for the COVID vaccine.
Do all COVID patients receive the same treatment as the president? Which vaccine is best?
FDA reviewers noted four cases of Bell’s palsy -- a temporary weakening of muscles in the face -- among those that received the vaccine. It is still unknown if this is related to the vaccine or not and -- as of Dec. 16, 2020 -- a prior history of Bell’s palsy is not a contraindication to the vaccine. READ: Answering questions about efficacy of COVID-19 vaccineThe FDA is monitoring closely for more potential cases of Bell’s palsy as more people get the vaccine. Although both vaccines are MRNA vaccines, there are differences in the genetic sequences used and the coating used to get the MRNA into our cells. READ: Answering questions about COVID-19 vaccine efforts in Michigan“Do all hospitalized patients with COVID-19 receive the same care as the president did when he was hospitalized?”With the exception of one medication, yes.
The pivotal role Michigan played in producing the COVID-19 vaccine
PORTAGE, Mich. – The eyes of the nation were on Portage on Sunday as the first batches of the COVID-19 vaccine were shipped out of the city to cities across the nation. It is the biggest vaccination effort in American history. Watching the trucks roll out, many felt proud that the vaccine was made in Michigan. READ: Residents cheer on historic shipment of COVID vaccine from outside Michigan Pfizer plantWatch the video above for the full report. Ask Dr. McGeorge
VA Ann Arbor one of first VA sites to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)ANN ARBOR – VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System announced on Monday morning that it was selected as one of 37 VA sites nationwide to receive initial COVID-19 vaccine doses. According to a news release, the VA Ann Arbor Medical Center was selected for its ability to inoculate a large population and store the vials at extremely cold temperatures. In compliance with Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, the Ann Arbor VAMC will start vaccinating veterans in long-term VA health care facilities and health care personnel. Like healthcare systems around the country, VA Ann Arbor will begin a limited-supply phase followed by a mass implementation phase once a large vaccine supply is available. “As more vaccine becomes available, eligible Veterans will be contacted directly to discuss specifics and set appointments to receive the vaccine.”
'Healing is coming': US health workers start getting vaccine
“Relieved,” proclaimed critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay after becoming one of the first to be inoculated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.”With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center gave initial injections to applause. It just represents a moral failing,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins. Getting vaccinated is “a privilege,” said Dr. Leonardo Seoane, chief academic officer at Ochsner Health in suburban New Orleans, after getting his dose. And later this week, the FDA will decide whether to green-light the world’s second rigorously studied COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna Inc.
Metro Detroit essential workers push for vaccinations
PORTAGE, Mich. – With the shipments of the Pfizer vaccine out of Portage on the way, Michigan’s essential workers -- especially those in the food industry -- are hoping they will be next in line after medical workers to be vaccinated. For months, workers in grocery stores and the food industry have been subjected to some of the worst outbreaks during the pandemic. essential workers are urging they should be next -- as stores continue to fill with holiday shoppers. Michigan’s covid outbreak tracker shows the food industry and retail shops account for nearly 40 current outbreaks statewide. They are still part of the first wave with hundreds of thousands of other workers in essential industries all looking to get vaccinated.
How Macomb County prepared for its first vaccine shipment
Wayne County is holding a meeting Monday morning to discuss what’s next and Macomb County is expected to receive about 2,000 doses. In November, Macomb County received its first freezer capable of keeping the vaccine stable until ready to thaw. Macomb County will also be storing and distributing for counties north of it -- Lapeer, St. Clair and Sanilac counties. Despite having some of the highest total confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan, Macomb County has one of the lowest growth rates in the state. Macomb County officials are expecting its delivery of the vaccine midweek.
Beaumont, Henry Ford, Ascension hospitals prepare to administer vaccines to staff
Michigan healthcare officials will start distributing the vaccine to frontline workers. Ascension Hospital in Warren and five hospitals in the Henry Ford Health System will be able to store the vaccines in super cold freezers once they arrive. Henry Ford Health System CCO Dr. Adnan Munkarah said the they will be storing the vaccines at its hospitals in Detroit, Wyandotte, Macomb, West Bloomfield and Jackson. They have about 11,000 frontline workers who need vaccines, so a lottery system was set up and the first 1,000 workers know who they are. Frontline workers are asking for all the help they can get to keep that number down.
Nightside Report Dec. 13, 2020: Michigan Legislature to close offices amid Electoral College vote Monday, fighter pilot who died in Upper Peninsula plane crash identified
All rights reserved)DETROIT – The eyes of the nation are on Portage, a city on Michigan’s west side in Kalamazoo County, just west of Battle Creek. The monumental effort to create a COVID-19 vaccine came together Sunday as the first batches were shipped nationwide. It is the biggest vaccination effort in American history. WATCH Local 4 News at 11Metro Detroit weather: Getting colder under cloudy skies, Sunday eveningWe keep a fair amount of clouds around Sunday evening as it gets colder. Overnight lows will be in the low 20s and wind chills in the teens anytime wind speed reaches 5 mph or greater.
Metro Detroit hospitals prepare timeline for vaccine distribution
PORTAGE, Mich. – The shipments of the Pfizer vaccine out of Portage set in motion the largest vaccination effort in American history. Nearly 3 million doses of the vaccine will be delivered to all 50 states. In Metro Detroit, that includes Ascension Hospital in Warren and Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, which is expecting just under 1,000 initial doses. Beaumont Health is estimating they’ll get about 1,000 doses in the first batch before moving up to about 14,000 Pfizer vaccines as production kicks into high-gear. They have about 11,000 frontline workers who need vaccines, so a lottery system was set up and the first 1,000 workers know who they are.
Residents cheer on historic shipment of COVID vaccine from outside Michigan Pfizer plant
PORTAGE, Mich. – The eyes of the nation are on Portage, a city on Michigan’s west side in Kalamazoo County, just west of Battle Creek. The monumental effort to create a COVID-19 vaccine came together Sunday as the first batches were shipped nationwide. It is the biggest vaccination effort in American history. From Portage, the doses of the vaccine will be kept in temperature safe packages and transported with GPS trackers and U.S. RELATED: What it takes to safely transport Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to hospitalsThe vaccine will be shipped to those on the front lines of the health care industry and nursing home patients.
What concerns do you have about COVID vaccines?
After granting Pfizer’s emergency use authorization request for its coronavirus vaccine, the FDA addressed some of the public’s major concerns regarding the vaccine during a news conference Saturday. We want to know: What concerns or reservations do you have about coronavirus vaccines? Following the Pfizer vaccine’s authorization on Dec. 11, Michigan officials have outlined how the vaccine will be distributed in the state in the coming months. Due to limited quantities of and high demand for a COVID-19 vaccine, states are planning to administer the vaccinations in multiple phases, prioritizing individuals who are at greater risk. Read more: Michigan officials: COVID vaccine to be distributed in 4 phases, prioritize frontline workersRelated news
EXPLAINER: How much COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped in US
Officials say vaccines should be available to everyone by the middle of next year. For now, only Pfizer's vaccine, which the Food and Drug Administration greenlit Friday, is being shipped. Since the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, the government is holding back the second shots to ensure people can get them. Colorado, for example, says it's supposed to get 46,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first round, with more expected in the weeks that follow. Officials say they might adjust once they become more confident about the flow of future supplies.
Morning Briefing Dec. 13, 2020: First shipments of Pfizer vaccine leave Michigan, suspicious GVSU death, what’s in store when Electoral College meets
Workers at the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage filled boxes of the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine through the night into Sunday morning. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 430,780 as of Saturday, including 10,662 deaths, state officials report. The state crossed the 10,000 mark in total deaths earlier this week. Officials no longer provide updates on statewide coronavirus data on Sundays. The next data update is expected Monday afternoon.
Employees at Pfizer Michigan plant work to get COVID vaccine delivered across the country
PORTAGE, Mich. – Workers at the Pfizer manufacturing facility in Portage filled boxes of the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine through the night into Sunday morning. Getting the vaccine delivered across the country is an enormous task. Right now boxes are being packed and loaded with vaccine with emphasis on quality control,” said Gen. Gus Perna, Chief Operation Officer of Operation Warp Speed. Perna said Saturday that shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver Pfizer’s vaccine to nearly 150 state locations. “It is so important that all vaccine that is available is utilized as a shot in the arm and nothing is wasted.
Live Stream: First shipments of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine leave Kalamazoo facility Sunday
PORTAGE, Mich. – On Sunday morning, the first shipments of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will leave the company’s manufacturing plant in Portage, Michigan. You can watch live coverage in the video player below. On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. US officials say the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in states Monday morning. WATCH LIVE COVERAGE
COVID-19 vaccine shipments begin in historic US effort
Shots are expected to be given to health care workers and nursing home residents beginning Monday. Initial surveys have found that even some health care workers don't want to be first in line. Dr. Graham Snyder, who's led the vaccine task force at Pennsylvania health care giant UPMC, estimates that about half of its employees are willing to get the vaccine as soon as it's offered. But many health officials expect enthusiasm to grow. The Moderna vaccine will be reviewed by an expert panel Thursday and soon afterward could be allowed for public use.
What it takes to safely transport Pfizer’s COVID vaccine to hospitals
RELATED: FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID vaccine; Michigan will distribute in 4 phasesOnce those shipments are packed and ready to leave Pfizer, it’s a painstaking process to make sure they arrive safely to hospitals. Boxes are loaded with the vaccine, dry ice and GPS trackers because time and temperature are critical. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at 100 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. To maintain a sustainable temperature during transport, crews are using tons of dry ice -- carbon dioxide that has been cooled to at least 110 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, becoming solid. When dry ice melts, it emits carbon dioxide, so the FAA is requiring crews to wear carbon dioxide detectors inside the pressurized and sealed airplanes transporting the virus.
Pfizer’s Michigan facility to begin COVID vaccine shipments Sunday morning
PORTAGE, Mich. – It’s a huge logistics operation to ship millions of vaccines to hospitals across the country -- and it’s all centered here in Michigan. The eyes of the nation are on Portage, a city on Michigan’s west side in Kalamazoo County, just west of Battle Creek. Workers at the Pfizer plant in Portage worked hard to prepare to ship the vaccines Sunday morning. RELATED: FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID vaccine; Michigan will distribute in 4 phases“I have 100% confidence that we will get the vaccine to the American people,” said Gen. Gustave Perna. Read: Michigan officials: COVID vaccine to be distributed in 4 phases, prioritize frontline workers“We want to make sure the vaccine arrives safely and that it can be safely administered when arrival occurs.
FDA authorizes Pfizer’s COVID vaccine; Michigan will distribute in 4 phases
On Friday, the United States granted an emergency use authorization for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. With the authorization, the vaccine will ship via FedEx and UPS, with the two carriers splitting the country in half. In Michigan, it will be UPS rolling out of Pfizer’s Portage cold farm with 85,000 vials slated for the state. In Michigan, a state built on hard work and innovation, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine will be manufactured by Michigan workers at a Michigan business. My administration, led by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, is developing a plan to distribute the vaccine, with a focus on our most vulnerable populations.
States will start getting COVID-19 vaccine Monday, US says
Trucks will roll out Sunday morning as shipping companies UPS and FedEx begin delivering Pfizer’s vaccine to nearly 150 distribution centers across the states, said Army Gen. Gustave Perna of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program. Initially, about 3 million doses were expected to be shipped nationwide. Perna compared the vaccine distribution effort to D-Day, the U.S.-led military offensive that turned the tide in World War II. The vaccine was timed to arrive Monday so health workers could receive the shots and begin giving them, Perna said. The announcement came after revelations that the White House opted not to lock in an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for delivery in the second quarter of 2021.
Portage proud: Eyes of the nation on small Michigan city home to Pfizer plant ahead of COVID-19 vaccine rollout
PORTAGE, Mich. – The Pfizer plant in Portage is one of two plants ready to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine. READ: A look at the small town in Michigan working on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccineWatch the video above for the full report. Portage, Michigan ‘proud’ to help roll out Pfizer COVID vaccineThere’s a small town in Michigan working day and night to make a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). In Europe, trucks were rolling out of a Pfizer plant in Belgium headed to the U.K. where the first doses of the vaccine were given. There’s a Pfizer plant similar to that one in the town of Portage, Michigan.
2.9 million COVID vaccine doses to ship out of Pfizer plants in Michigan, Wisconsin
Drug company Pfizer says it can ship nearly three million doses of its coronavirus vaccine right away across the U.S., with most of the doses coming from two plants in the Midwest. Vaccine doses are slated to be loaded onto trucks within hours at Pfizer’s plant in Portage, Michigan -- just outside of Kalamazoo -- and a center in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. At the directive of the the U.S. Military, FedEx and UPS will help deliver coronavirus vaccines throughout the country. In Michigan, UPS will be delivering the state’s 85,000 vaccines from the Pfizer cold farm in Portage. The first vials will be loaded onto cargo planes and trucks in extremely cold conditions, likely right alongside holiday gifts.
Portage, Michigan ‘proud’ to help roll out Pfizer COVID vaccine
PORTAGE, Mich. – There’s a small town in Michigan working day and night to make a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). In Europe, trucks were rolling out of a Pfizer plant in Belgium headed to the U.K. where the first doses of the vaccine were given. There’s a Pfizer plant similar to that one in the town of Portage, Michigan. Portage Mayor Patricia M. Randall said Pfizer is the city’s largest employer. Arun Tandon owns Advanced Health Pharmacy.
A look at the small town in Michigan working on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine
PORTAGE, Mich. – There’s a small town in Michigan working day and night to make a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). In Europe, trucks were rolling out of a Pfizer plant in Belgium headed to the U.K. where the first doses of the vaccine were given. There’s a Pfizer plant similar to that one in the town of Portage, Michigan. Whan Koh has friends working on the vaccine, something that would normally take years. Arun Tandon owns Advanced Health Pharmacy.