2022 My City Magazine Year in Review


Another year has passed us by! Since our launch a decade ago, MCM has focused on sharing a wide variety of interesting and informative stories about life and the people in the Greater Flint Area and beyond. Here’s a look back …


The Fight Against Human Trafficking

In May of 2018, G.H.O.S.T. (Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team) was initiated by Genesee County Sheriff Christopher Swanson (then-Undersheriff) with authority granted by then-Sheriff Robert Pickell. “The purpose of the G.H.O.S.T. task force is to apprehend human traffickers and people who attempt to have a sexual relationship with a child,” Swanson reported. The first rescue in Genesee County happened in May 2018. Since then, over 149 predators have been arrested. Swanson has also taken G.H.O.S.T. members to 35 Michigan counties so that other sheriffs could learn how to form their own strike teams. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. “It’s a huge business,” Swanson added. “Together, we can fight it. This is my personal call to action.”


Passion & Potential
Mott Community College Wrestling Team

Under the direction of a youthful first-year Head Coach – 25-year-old Aaron Ward – seven wrestlers began most practices with intense drills before going head-to-head on mats helping each other perfect moves, polish their skills and build stamina. “I love wrestling and love giving back to the sport, so the opportunity to become a head coach has been a blessing,” Ward said. In a classic illustration of quality over quantity, Mott ranked 22nd in the nation, just four spots below where the Bears were ranked at the conclusion of the 2021 season.


The Mayors of Flint Part 1:
Opening the Office

January 2022 began a series written by Peter Hinterman that chronicled each of Flint’s mayor’s throughout history, providing a short account of their professions, their lives and decisions they made during their tenures. Some were men/women of great deeds, some of great controversy. Some simply acted as placeholders in time. Each of them, however, chaired a city important to its country and citizens. Part 1 highlighted those in office from 1857-1865, including the city’s first Mayor, Grant Decker.


My Wedding 2022

It was estimated that 2.6 million weddings would take place in the U.S. in 2022 – a record high! The uncertain climate for social activity had inspired creativity and couples began exploring non-traditional concepts for their big day. In this special section, MCM highlighted trends for the wedding season and tips from local experts.


Flint United Coach Keno Davis
Building a Strong Brotherhood

Amid the sounds of dribbling basketballs and squeaking sneakers, Keno Davis, first-year coach of the second-year Flint United team, outlined his vision for the program. “Our biggest goals are giving these guys opportunities to move to the next level, put a great product on the court and give the Flint community another thing to rally around, ” said Davis. Encouraged by the talent level he’s seen at tryouts, Davis said he was really looking forward to assembling the second edition of Flint United. “The depth of this year’s team is going to be a strength and there is no doubt we’ll have 15 high-quality players,” he said.


The Weather Lady
Meteorologist Leslie Toldo

Leslie Toldo has been a meteorologist with Mid-Michigan NOW since May 2015 and has reported the weather in mid-Michigan since 2004. She got her start in Casper, WY and worked in Detroit for seven years, in Jackson, MS and at another mid-Michigan station for a total of 31 years in the field of broadcasting. She shared her story about a day in the life of a meteorologist, the causes she is passionate about and what her life is like off the clock. “I’m very passionate about making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.


Behind the Mural, a Hidden Gem
FLI-City Studios

Located off Corunna Road near Downtown Flint and hidden behind one of the Flint Art Project’s beautiful murals is FLI-City Studios, an alternative dance education facility that offers classes taught to a variety of musical genres including hip-hop, breaking, tumbling, modern dance and more. Professional dancers and Co-Owners Jared and Alisyn Hurd were brought together by their passion for dance. “Breaking is one of our specialties,” Jared stated, adding that there are only three other dance studios in Michigan that offer it. “We wanted to create a place where people could embrace dancing and offer quality instruction to all people regardless of their age or financial situation. ”


Stand Up & Stand Out
Women in Flint History

March is Women’s History Month and Greater Flint has produced its share of heroines throughout the years. From the arts, healthcare, education, civil rights and more, local women have been (and continue to be) a major force in the molding and shaping of Genesee County and our nation. MCM was proud to recognize ten of Greater Flint’s historical female standouts including: Olive Beasley, Mildred Doran, Sarah Edmonds, Lois E. (VanZandt) Holt, Genora Johnson, Nancy Kovack, Sophie Kurys, Margaret McLaren, Cornelie Chillson Moots (aka Mother Moots) and Violet Wierzbicki.


Window with a Different View
Artist Ed Watkins

Artist Ed Watkins is always listening, thinking, paying attention to the world around him. Each illustration he creates is a window into his world – a world of hope, fear and confidence, of anxiety, struggle and peace. It is evidence of a world of his experience, of the African American experience and of our collective humanity. “My art develops as the world develops,” he stated. “Much of my work is about me making sense of the world around me through my experience as a Black man in America.” For his recent works, Watkins took inspiration and images from the Ferguson protests, Black Lives Matter, George Floyd’s death, racial divide and other social issues, as well as singular moments in time that represent the experience of living in America. Many of the illustrations were featured at his exhibit at the Flint Institute of Arts.


Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!
Home & Garden 2022

Lift a window, throw open a door and give your home a breath of fresh air. MCM’s annual Home & Garden special section offers tips to help you say goodbye to winter and hello to spring. You’ve been waiting for this season that stirs a desire to refresh your living space both inside and out. There is no better time to reinvent your home with a style to suit the wiser, more creative you. Revitalize the old or create a brand-new look with some out-of-the-box home design ideas.


A Model for Community Healing
Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association

Born and raised in Flint’s Sarvis Park neighborhood, Ladel Lewis had seen the community at its best but after she returned to the area in 2019 to care for her ailing father, she found it most troubling. “The community was in a tough place. There were bullets in the streets and many residents felt like they were living in prison,” she explained. “They deserved better. I said to myself, ‘no more’.” Lewis got to work and with help from neighborhood residents, created the Sarvis Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA) to “help build pride and reduce blight in the community.” The SPNA is built around making Sarvis Park a community hub and public center but is working toward doing much more. “We want to improve the quality of life for families around it by establishing pride and feelings of security.”


Frank’s is Frying Tonight!
Frank’s Hoppy Bistro

Frank’s Tavern, which was located in Fenton near the shores of Lake Ponemah, was a fish-n-chips institution for more than 80 years. When it closed its doors in 2010, longtime patrons were heartbroken. But former owner Rachel Medore and her husband Shayne brought the famous eatery back to life – as Frank’s Hoppy Bistro – at a new location and with a modern twist. “Bringing back an institution like Frank’s exceeded our wildest expectations!” The walls of the eatery are filled with memorabilia from Frank’s Tavern, including the original hours sign. “It’s like walking into a time machine. It’s the real deal!”


Genesee Wind Symphony
Standing the Test of Time

Last spring, the Genesee Wind Symphony (GWS) celebrated its 40th anniversary with a stand-out performance. “Because of the pandemic, we have not been together for 18 months, so this year will be our big anniversary performance,” explained Music Director, Doug Burtch. The GWS has been called “Flint’s other symphony” (beside the Flint Symphony Orchestra) and has a reputation for excellence and professionalism. “We have a remarkable tradition of expressive and heartfelt performances by outstanding local musicians,” Burtch said.


Radio Free Flint
The Voices of Vehicle City

Since April 2020, Radio Free Flint podcasts have been hosted by the creator and former Genesee County Prosecutor, Arthur Busch. Offering informational discussions, videos and stories, the episodes showcase true crime, life histories and viewpoints of the people who have participated in the Flint experience – both today and yesterday. It was originally a Sunday morning radio show hosted by Michael Moore with support from the legendary local rock radio pioneer Peter C. Cavanaugh, Busch explained. “My goal is to go in-depth into the subject matter to get people to think or to present issues that have affected and continue to affect Flint. It’s my gift to the city.”


Flint City AFC
Coming Together to Win

The pre-professional USL W League women’s soccer team kicked off its 2022 season by hosting Ann Arbor FC on May 7. “We want to maintain the high standards set by the Bucks,” said team Co-owner, Eddie Hudson. “If you enjoy soccer and a good night out, you are going to enjoy watching Flint City AFC. We play the game beautifully and we win. That’s what most supporters are looking for from their club.” The team will play the 2023 season with a new coaching staff, led by newly-tapped Head Coach, Michelle Krzisnik.


Painting to Inspire
WaterColor Artist Denise Willing-Booher

Denise Willing-Booher, who grew up in Mundy Township, became interested in art at a young age, watching her grandfather and father create art with cut glass and stained glass. She has worked with a variety of mediums but especially enjoys watercolors. “It’s a bit magical,” she shared. “You mix it and never know exactly what you are going to get. I love the uncertainty of it – just letting it work on its own.” Willing-Booher loves painting portraits, landscapes and wildlife. “I strive to convey raw beauty and emotion in my painting through an up-close perspective with composition and light.”


Presenting the Truth
WNEM TV 5 News Anchor, David Custer

For David Custer, presenting the truth is everything – both as a journalist and personally. As the head news anchor at WNEM TV5 since 2016 and an openly gay man, he has hidden nothing from his viewing audience. Every night, Custer, alongside his friend and co-anchor Meg McLeod anchors the 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm and 10pm broadcasts, providing up-to-date news bulletins and stories ranging from tragic to inspiring. His reporting has earned him seven regional Emmy Awards, several Associated Press and Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards, and the Great Lakes Bay Region’s Ruby Award as one of the brightest professionals under the age of 40. His personality, style and local storytelling has also won him the coveted My City Magazine City’s Choice Award for Best News Anchor for the last six years. “It is the job of the journalist to seek the truth, to accurately tell a story as it is and hold nothing back.”


Your NEW Flint Public Library
A Wonderful Place for the People

After an eight-month construction delay due to the pandemic and a lot of hard work by architects, construction crew and staff, the Flint Public Library officially opened to residents on May 21, 2022. The new FPL truly reflects Flint’s current and ongoing evolution as the city parts ways with the hardships of the past and embraces a brighter future. “The old building was beginning to break down. It was aging,” said Library Director Kay Schwartz. “ We wanted to bring something new and amazing to the city. It’s a wonderful place for the people of Flint and everyone should see and make use of it all.”


An Honor and a Privilege
Judge Mark C. McCabe

The Honorable Judge Mark C. McCabe, who presides over the 67th District Court Fourth Division in Fenton, was appointed to the bench in 1993 by Governor John Engler. Sworn in on February 11, 1993 he has continuously served as a judge in Fenton and at the Central Court in Downtown Flint for 29 years. “It’s amazing how quickly time has gone by,” he shared. He will continue to serve as a judge until 2026 when his current term expires, but cannot run for re-election as he is age-limited. While the judge spends most of his time at the Fenton court house, about 40 percent of his time is spent in Downtown Flint hearing cases in the Central Court. “It’s an honor and a privilege,” he stated. “It’s that simple. I keep those words in mind both on and off the bench and that is the way I handle my cases.”


A Champion for Children
Shelly Spivack

For many years, Shelley Spivack has been an advocate in the legal system for children and their families. Voices for Children Advocacy Center recognized her dedication with a special award – the Roy E. Patterson Caring Adult Award – sponsored by Hurley Medical Center and given to adults who go beyond the call of duty to provide services for youth in Genesee County. “It was extremely gratifying to receive this award and be recognized for the work I have done to improve the lives of kids in Genesee County,” Spivack said. She came to Flint in 1980 to work for Legal Services of Eastern Michigan and worked in the juvenile justice system for many years. She was a Family Court Referee for 18 years and retired two years ago. She is also a lecturer at the University of Michigan-Flint.


Follow the Road to Discovery
The NEW Sloan Museum

It’s bright! It’s fun! It’s engaging! After seven years of planning and construction, the new Sloan Museum opened its doors on July 16 for the world to behold its wonders and is a complete re-imagining of the former facility. “After years of community input and fundraising, we are all very excited to bring this to Flint,” said Executive Director, Todd Slisher. The new Sloan Museum was funded by grants and donations from foundations, businesses, individuals and the State of Michigan, totaling $30 million. Major supporters included General Motors, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Hagerman Foundation.


Daughters of the American Revolution
Celebrates 125 Years

In June, the Genesee Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) celebrated its 125th anniversary. “The Genesee Chapter was chartered in 1897 with 11 members,” Regent Carolyn Stubbs reported. “Our chapter has been operating continuously since then.” DAR Chapters participate in restoring and maintaining historical sites, preserving genealogical records, artifacts and historical documents; locating, restoring and marking Revolutionary War patriot gravesites and headstones; supporting schools, providing scholarships and awards to outstanding students throughout the country, promoting education and citizenship through youth programs, and providing volunteer time to assist military veterans. “Being a member of DAR is an honor, an opportunity to remember our patriots who sacrificed so much to create the United States of America. It was the beginning of our democracy,” Stubbs said.


“B” is for Boogie:
The Music of Mark Braun

Last spring, area native and renowned boogie-woogie-style pianist, Mark Braun performed his annual series of shows entitled “Blues & Piano Boogie Celebration” at quaint venues. While he has spent more than four decades performing around the world, sharing stages and recording studios with Grammy-nominated blues and jazz greats and releasing albums, intimate gigs like those in his hometown are what really keeps the 65-year-old, National Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Famer going. “Nearly my whole life has been about music and I’ve discovered over the years that performing for people in small-scale settings, not arenas or stadiums, is where it’s at for me.”


The Andiamo Fenton Experience

It was an exciting year for Andiamo Fenton! The popular eatery has been serving authentic Italian cuisine to their loyal customers since they opened their doors in February 2019. General Manager Brian McCurdy said the owners of the family restaurant chain put much time and effort into coming up with some new and exciting enhancements – to make the Andiamo experience even better! To address the growing popularity of carryout, a new menu was created. A new wine list and food delivery service were some of the other enhancements. “We are known as a celebration restaurant, but we are reasonably priced,” McCurdy reported. “Even if you’re just coming out on a Tuesday night to eat dinner, it will always be a special experience.”


All Aboard!
Behind the Scenes at Huckleberry Railroad

MCM spent a sunny day in August getting a behind-the-scenes look at Huckleberry Railroad in Crossroads Village which included a visit with the conductors. Incredibly cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable, the Huckleberry Railroad Conductors love what they do. “We get to meet all kinds of people and teach them history without them even knowing it!” said Head Conductor Bill Cesaro.
The train engine crew includes 11 workers under the direction of Right of Way Supervisor, Mick Kimball. We enjoyed chatting with the many dedicated workers who keep the coal-powered steam locomotive on the track! The day ended with a train ride, taking in the view from the best seat in the house – the cupola in the caboose.


7 Questions with … Amber Taylor

Amber Taylor has been the Back to the Bricks® Executive Director since January 2020. Once chosen for the position, she shifted straight into high gear, coming up with new ideas for growing the event and attracting a younger crowd to appreciate Flint’s rich automotive history. While Amber has been super-busy promoting Back to the Bricks, she took some time to answer a few questions and let us get up-close and personal. When asked what was the biggest work-related thing she hoped to achieve in the next year, she said: “The amount of history we have right here in our backyard is phenomenal! I think we need more awareness – more people and more of our youth to hear these stories.”


Empowering our Youth
Active Boys in Christ

Founded in 2017 by Pastor Derrick Watkins of Jachin Baptist Church in Flint, Active Boys In Christ (ABC) is a mentoring program that works directly with children and families. The mission of the charitable organization is to “empower the Flint community youth and families through skilled trades, culinary and life-skills that will promote and celebrate lifelong learning for the success of youth and families.” Pastor Watkins originated the structure of the program and works closely with his wife, Director Christine Watkins. “We teach youth about honesty, respect and self confidence to help them better interact with society and improve behavior patterns.” Watkins says the words of Frederick Douglas ring very true: “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” He adds, “Our goal is to help build and change our community, one child at a time.”


Evoking the Natural World
Native House Ceramic Co.

At Native House Ceramic Co. Flushing Native and Ceramics Artist Meg Bundy harnesses the beauty, power, durability and forgiveness of the earth and its elements to create timeless inspirations and facsimiles of our planet and our shared ancestral stories. “I’m endlessly fascinated with folklore and creation stories and how ancient humans interacted with the environment,” Bundy explained. “That ancient interaction is something common to all of us. Our ancestor’s reciprocity with the plants and animals of our world is what connects us. I hope my designs inspire people to once again reconnect with our natural world, ancestors and each other.”


From Chaos to Peace
The Evolution of Fernando Silverio Solis

After decades on tour performing for thousands of fans in musical genres that never quite felt like his own, Flint native Fernando Silverio Solis finally found his inner voice and a new way to express it; a style he found long ago but never had the time or the confidence to try. “I always dreamed of becoming a singer/songwriter,” said Solis. “I make my music and I’m creative and expect nothing in return. Whatever happens is cool with me,” he said. “After all of it, it’s the tenacity that comes from being a part of Flint that has helped me continue creating. It’s a part of everyone here. It’s in our blood.”


Time to Rock Fall Fashions!

Fall is arguably the best time of the year for dressing, according to MCM “My Style” contributor and co-owner of Downtown Flint boutique SHIFT, Shannon White. It’s cold enough to wear all of your fave pieces at the same time (Helloooo, layers!), but warm enough to actually go out and about to show off your fit. Exciting, right? Shannon offered details of many stylish finds available in stores, inspiring readers to get a head start on fall clothing and accessory shopping.


Back to the Bricks 2022

All roads lead Back to the Bricks®! This annual happening attracts over 500,000 car show enthusiasts annually to Genesee County for a celebration of our love of motor vehicles and the area’s historic role in the auto industry. After a Tune-Up Week of themed parties held throughout Genesee County, the five-day extravaganza continued with rolling cruises and other family-friendly fun. During the week, “America’s Sports Car” was saluted with a National Reunion for Corvette aficionados. As always, Saturday’s Main Event (blessed by a bit of rain) showcased hundreds of classic, custom and collector vehicles of all kinds, and the bricks of Downtown Flint were alive with food vendors, music and folks enjoying a summer festival like no other!


Powering the Future of Micromobility

Based in Flint, Kuhmute is leading the way in electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure providing a place for people to rent or charge an EV in cities across the United States and Canada. The venture is the brainchild of Kettering University graduate and business co-founder Peter Deppe. “In Michigan, we have limited mobility options and we also noticed that e-scooters and other small EVs were kind of a mess on city streets. So, we thought of a way to alleviate those problems.” Kuhmute has hubs in Michigan in Detroit and Grand Haven, according to Kuhmute Software Engineer Eddie Wenzel, “and we have hubs in Illinois, Arizona and Ontario in Canada. We currently have nine in Flint with a plan in place for five more.”


A Great Leap Forward
Kettering Learning Commons

After two years of construction and $63 million spent (by way of donations and gifts), the Kettering Learning Commons is a space to behold. Learning Commons is based upon the idea of the d.space and provides 12 collaboration rooms in addition to other community areas. Started at Stanford University, a d.space is an area built entirely for students to meet, collaborate and work together to solve complex problems or complete projects. No two d.spaces are alike, so students can choose the one they feel most comfortable with as long as they follow the four rules of the Learning Commons: No space is owned by any department, class, or group. No group has priority over any other for a space. There are no reservations. The rooms are first come, first served. Once a space is occupied, the occupants can choose whether to share a space or not. Learning Commons is unique in higher education. The building is 105,000 square feet and contains no offices or classrooms of any kind. “I am truly proud of what we have done with the Learning Commons and I do believe that it is exceptional,” Dr. Robert K. McMahan, President.


Bubbles “The Blind Beagle”
MCM Spectacular Pet Search Winner

While all MCM Pet Search Nominees were stellar in their own right, MCM chose to share the story of Bubbles and his special mission. Bubbles “The Blind Beagle” Dinsmoore of Otisville was born with genetic defects which caused him to lose his eyes last summer … but he didn’t let it slow him down! He recovered and has adapted to his disability with the help of his parents Stacie and Brent. He now travels around the state with his Jeep, using his huge personality and charm to advocate for those facing physical challenges. “He may not see the world, but the world sees him shine wherever he goes!” says his mom, Stacie. Throughout October – National Bullying Prevention Month – Stacie and Bubbles loaded up his Jeep and rolled up to many area elementary schools to visit with students. “We advocate for those with disabilities and teach children to have empathy and compassion for those who are unlike them.”


More than Boxing
FWC Berston Boxing Club

Everything about the gritty, blue-collar basement boxing gym at Berston Field House seems to embody Flint. The atmosphere, aesthetics and attitude found here capture the spirit of the city. This sometimes-sweltering room, awash in purple and yellow, is where the FWC Berston boxing club members gather to practice the sweet science. Every weeknight, trainers Jason Crutchfield and Eugene Gill welcome roughly 15 – from novices to champions. Boxers hone their craft in a ring containing the names of club founders and legendary trainers Floyd Fielder, Lissus Walker and Dee Cavette and on punching bags of various colors, some repaired with tape, hanging from the ceiling. Here, the equipment is functional, not fancy. “We have everything we need here to run a quality boxing program,” says Crutchfield, a four-time Michigan Golden Gloves Champion who is nearing three decades as an FWC instructor. “What keeps me going is that I want to make all the boxers who come to Berston champions, but equally important is helping them stay on the right path in life.”


Flint’s First Lady of Jazz
Gwen Pennyman-Hemphill

Gwen Pennyman-Hemphill grew up to live her life on stage, singing all over the state of Michigan both solo and with recording artists such as The Williams Brothers, The Canton Spirituals, Willie Clayton, The Delfonics and others. Her career led to collaborations with Carvin Winans and a backup stint with Michael McDonald. “I’m asked to sing wherever I go. I always promise just one song, but it always turns into three or four.” If there is a festival, celebration of song, or special occasion in town, you can bet that Pennyman-Hemphill will be there waiting in the wings. “I’ll continue to sing as long as I can,” she states. “It’s something I was called to do.”


Home at Last
The “New” McCree Theatre

The “New” McCree Theatre has finally found a permanent home at 4601 Clio Rd., opening to the public in September 2021. Founded in 1970, the “old” McCree Theatre was born from the Genesee County Model Cities Program and named after Flint’s first African American Mayor, Floyd McCree. The original concept ran in Flint until 1989. In 2004, the “New” McCree Theatre opened with the same commitment to excellence and with the new mission “to tell the African American Story in the African American Voice.” Since its rebirth, there was just one constant, nagging problem – the theatre never really had a home. Instead, shows were opened in a multitude of places. When a church located on Clio Road went on the market, Executive Director Charles Winfrey jumped at the chance. The theatre provides another outlet for Flint’s vibrant performing arts scene and in their new home, their offerings can reach a new level. “Try it,” Winfrey said. “Theatre is for everybody. Come and see what we do.”


Golf Champion
Kate Brody

The final season of Golf Champion Kate Brody’s career at Grand Blanc High School was her finest. She won nine of ten tournaments and shot a pair of 65s, one of which won her a second regional championship. She also collected a fourth league title and third Genesee County championship. In between high school competitions, she squeezed in winning the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) Junior Invitational by four strokes, firing 137 for two rounds. “I feel like I accomplished everything I could have hoped for in my high school career,” she said. “I had an amazing coach (Glen Bauer) and an amazing team every year.” Brody will continue her golf career at the University of Wisconsin. “If I still have a passion for the game after college, I would love to take after my mom and continue playing for a living.”


Flint Institute of Music
Spectacular Party

Immediately following the Flint Symphony Orchestra’s BCO Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald Concert, FIM wrapped up a month-long celebration of a new, expanded FIM to raise funds for the new KidsTix program, which allows Flint-area youth the chance to experience the power of live performing arts with free admission to shows at FIM’s Capitol Theatre, Whiting Auditorium, Elgood Theatre and MacArthur Recital Hall. Guests enjoyed food and drinks, dancing to celebrity playlists, prize drawings, a silent auction and raffle.


2022 Cityzen of the Year
Linnell Jones-McKenney

MCM featured Linnell Jones-McKenney: basketball superstar, member of six halls-of-fame, Senior Olympic Gold Medalist and recent Art Hurand Art of Achievement Award recipient, champion of Flint youth and MCM’s 2022 Cityzen of the Year. “Awww … it’s such an honor to be recognized for everything I have been blessed to accomplish,” she said humbly. “I’m very grateful for the chance to work toward what I would like to see happen in this city. Thank you very much.”


Compassion and Connection
Rabbi Zoe McCoon of Temple Beth Torah

Last summer, then-27-year-old Grand Blanc native Zoe McCoon was leading her first service as Rabbi of Temple Beth Torah in Fremont, CA, just north of San Jose. She began her tenure as the first female Rabbi in Temple Beth Torah’s 60-year history at an ideal time, as in-person services resumed a week later with an 80-minute outdoor event, featuring her voice and guitar playing throughout, next to the temple on a serene, northern California evening. McCoon addressed the change in leadership and offered her unwavering support. “As your Rabbi, I want you to know that I am here alongside you as we navigate the ‘new’ together,” she said. “Whether you want to talk about what you are going through or just want to feel supported by your community, Temple Beth Torah is here for you and I’m here for you. Let’s experience this ‘new’ together.”


The Matriarchs of Frankenmuth
Irene Bronner and Judy Zehnder Keller

Last fall, Frankenmuth, the “little Bavarian city to our north” lost two of its most influential and beloved citizens. On October 16, Irene Bronner of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland passed away at the age of 95, leaving behind a loving family, a supportive community and a world famous shop offering holiday wonders for all. Then, just three days later on October 19, prominent Frankenmuth businesswoman, Judy Zehnder Keller passed away. She was 77. Many people in Greater Flint have fond memories of exploring Bronner’s and enjoying meals at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge, and neither would exist if it weren’t for the influence and dedication of these two treasured women. MCM was proud to offer a tribute.


History of the Great Lakes
The White Hurricane

In November 1913, the Great Lakes were hit with a storm the likes of which none have ever seen before. Its ferocity was unmatched by any in recorded history. Dubbed “The White Hurricane” it left more than a dozen shipwrecks throughout the lakes and took over 250 lives. The White Hurricane still holds the distinction of being the largest inland maritime disaster in U.S. history. It grew so quickly and at such a time in history, that disastrous effects were inevitable. Once caught in the storm, a ship’s fate was sealed unless it got lucky. Not many were lucky enough.


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