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New law makes it easier for retired teachers to return to the classroom

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Public Act 184 of 2022 alleviates much of the red tape that makes it difficult for retired teachers and other school employees to return to work at a Michigan public school. The new law provides more flexibility and reduces the cost for Michigan school districts facing a teacher shortage, particularly in critical shortage areas.

These changes, recently signed into law by the governor, would not affect the retiree’s pension or health care benefits as long the retiree waits at least 9 months after retiring to return to work.

Back-to-school safety tips

Supporting our schools is critical to our future, and it remains one of my top priorities. I continue to work to increase our investment in our schools so they can prepare our students for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

With Labor Day nearly here, students have either already started school or are preparing to return to begin a new school year.

One of the most essential parts of a successful school year is safety. If your students ride the bus, take the time to make sure they know the proper safety procedures for getting on and off the bus. If you drive your children to school, be sure to give bus drivers plenty of room, be prepared to stop, and watch out for children in parking lots and crosswalks.

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New deer hunting reporting guidelines to take effect during 2022 season

Deer hunting is a generations-long Michigan tradition. Each year during the month of November, thousands of residents anxiously await the morning of Nov. 15, when they take to the woods in hopes of bagging a big Michigan buck!

This year, things will be slightly different for those who have a successful hunt. The upcoming deer seasons will include updated reporting guidelines aimed at helping improve the state’s ability to conserve our unique natural resources and provide the Department of Natural Resources with more precise and complete data. The post-season survey responses have steadily decreased over the years. In the early 2000s, response rates were around 75%. In recent years, that rate has consistently dropped under 40%. This decline in response rates decreases the ability to make informed harvest estimates, which can lead to inaccurate population management.

Starting with the upcoming seasons, ALL hunters who take a deer must report their harvest online. While the new rules will take effect this season, the DNR says the focus will weigh more on education for hunters rather than enforcement of the new guidelines.

The new changes give hunters up to 72 hours to report their harvest. Completing the report, on average, takes hunters around three to five minutes to complete. A new website and mobile application have been launched to help provide guidance, collect the data, and answer questions. The report can be found at or in the Google Play and Apple App stores.

Hunters who do not have access to the internet or a smart device can seek help from a friend or family member, but may also contact or visit a variety of locations around the state or call 517-284-9453 during normal business hours for technical assistance.

People can also find answers to frequently asked questions on the DNR’s website.

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Food pantry grant opportunities

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Blue Cross Complete are offering a unique grant opportunity for Michigan food pantries. This grant opportunity will improve the ability of local food pantries to provide nutrient-rich fresh food options that require refrigeration, such as dairy products, fruits and vegetables.

The program includes two grant categories:

Food Pantry Infrastructure Grant: Food pantries may apply for up to $2,500 in funds to improve pantry infrastructure in support of the distribution of dairy foods and fresh produce. Examples of infrastructure requests to support dairy include coolers, transportation and maintenance of refrigeration equipment, among other things.
Dairy Foods Grant: Food pantries are also eligible to apply for up to $500 in dairy match funding. If a food pantry purchases dairy foods from their food bank or a local retailer, they can receive matching funds to purchase additional dairy foods. Eligible dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt and cottage cheese.

Grant applications for the 2022 calendar year are due Sept. 30. Applications may be submitted online. Visit the Food Pantry Grant Program webpage for more information.

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Harbor 31 groundbreaking in Muskegon

I had the honor of attending and speaking at the Harbor 31 Groundbreaking in Muskegon. My office and I had the opportunity to help the developers of this project navigate the bureaucratic process to get this project shovel ready.

Once completed Harbor 31 will include are large influx of residential property; 15 single family homes, 16 duplex units a 48-unit complex, 134-unit apartment complex as well as a sperate complex of 88 apartment and condominiums located above restaurants and retailers. In addition to more traditional housing there will be A Trilogy Health Services senior living facility with 104 beds and Home 2 Suites hotel.

This development will also include an office building, marina, boat rentals, community boardwalk and lake access for the community and visitors alike.

The Harbor 31 project located on the shores of Muskegon Lake will be a wonderful addition to our community. Harbor 31 will boost our local economy and will attract tourists and residents to the Muskegon area.

The Harbor 31 project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

Bumstead highlights upcoming events in the 34th District

I want to remind area-residents of the following events taking place throughout the 34th District in the upcoming weeks.

Labor Day Weekend Logging Festival
Friday, Sept. 2
11:00 am – 7:00 pm
142 E Croton Dr.
Newaygo, MI 49337

Description: Labor Day weekend event of Professional & Amateur LumberJacks & LumberJills provide lots of entertainment as they compete for top place. Shop for unique items with our vendors and grab a tasty treat from one of the food trucks. More information here.

Muskegon Polish Festival
Friday, Sept. 2
11:00 am – 10:00 pm
350 W Webster Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Friday and Saturday of Labor Day Weekend the Muskegon Polka Fest will be happening in Hackley Park. More information here.

30th Annual Pow Wow
Saturday, Sept. 3
Oceana County Fair Grounds
1025 S. State St.
Hart, MI 49420

Description: The 30th Annual Hart Pow Wow, also known as the Honoring Our Elders Traditional Pow Wow, is set for Sept 3 and 4, 2022 at the Oceana County Fairgrounds. More information here.

Heritage Days
Sunday, Sept. 4
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Hart Historic District at Lincoln & Union Street
570 E Lincoln St.
Hart, MI 49420

Description: 34th Annual Hart Area Heritage Day will take place on September 4. More information here.

Silver Lake Sand Dunes Apple and BBQ Festival
Friday, Sept. 9
10:00 am – 9:00 pm
8501 Silver Lake Rd.
Mears, MI 49436

Description: Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th with a culmination of live entertainment, events, and delicious food. More information here.

Roosevelt Park Day
Saturday, Sept. 10
All-day event
Downtown Roosevelt park

Description: A fun filled day that includes a parade, arts and craft show, beer tent, live music and more. More information here.

2022 Sunflower Festival
Saturday, Sept. 10
9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Lewis Adventure Farm and Zoo
4180 W M-20
New Era 49446

Description: Explore fields of sunflowers while enjoying a multitude of different farm activities. More information here.

Muskegon County Latino Festival
Saturday, Sept. 10
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm
350 W Webster Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440

Description: Come join us for a celebration of Latino people, culture, and heritage. This family-friendly event will be filled with food, drink, entertainment, and fun. More information here.

Harvest Moon Festival
Saturday, Sept. 17
All day event
Downtown Grant
Grant, MI 49327

Description: Come down to downtown Grant to celebrate the harvest moon with a multitude of different events taking place all-day. More information here.

Muskegon Pregnancy Services Ribbon Cutting
Monday, Sept. 19
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
1275 Peck St.
Muskegon, MI 49441

Description: Open house inviting all new and existing customers to come help us celebrate the opening of our awesome new Muskegon location. More information here.

Village of Ravenna 100 Year Celebration
Sunday, Sept. 25
Noon – 3:00 pm
Thatcher Park
3700 Main St.
Ravenna, MI 49451

Description: Come celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Ravenna with food, music and family and kids games. More information here.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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