WestSouthwest Brief

A Miracle Field designed to accommodate people with disabilities
Courtesy of the Miracle League

When the owners of the Dome Sports Center in Schoolcraft were looking for a plan to develop nearby property, they were taken to a baseball field in Grand Rapids designed for people with disabilities. Jud Hoff says “In about five minutes we turned to each other and said ‘we have to do this.’”

South Haven Pier at Lake Michigan - file photo by WMUK

South Haven is celebrating an anniversary. 150 years ago on May 10th, 1869 it was incorporated as a village. Tom Renner, a member of South Haven’s Sesquicentennial Planning Group says the first historical records of the area’s existence date back to 1787 “The Native Americans back then called this land, ‘Ni-No-Kong’ which meant beautiful sunsets.”

Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

It’s an ongoing crisis in Kalamazoo County: African-American infants are about three times as likely to die before their first birthday as white children. While public agencies and nonprofits are working to change that, New Orleans-based chef, artist and activist Tunde Wey has his own plan.

Dr. Arthur James Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Is it the "stigma" of getting mental health services that keeps more African-Americans from seeking them? Not entirely. Dr. Arthur James, one of two keynote speakers at the May 2nd Breaking the Stigma: African-American Mental Health Symposium, a new conference in Kalamazoo, cites access as a factor as well.

Displayed is baby box at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. Part of an effort to reduce infant mortality (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke / The Associated Press

The annual Kids Count Data Book finds that between 2012 and 2017 there was a drop in Michigan in the rate of children living in poverty. Kids Count in Michigan Project Director for the Michigan League for Public Policy Alicia Guevara Warren says numbers were collected for 82 of Michigan’s 83 counties. “All but three counties experienced an improvement in poverty rates for kids.” She says while the improvement in the poverty rate is encouraging, there are still many children in poverty, and large gaps related to geography and race. Guevara Warren says there are troubling signs in many other categories.