Immunization Records Now Available Online for Medicaid Beneficiaries through myHealthPortal and myHealthButton

March 26, 2018

Marquette, Mich.March 26, 2018– Medicaid beneficiaries can now access their immunization records both online and via a mobile app, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today.

Research has shown that engaging individuals in their own healthcare can lead to healthier behaviors and better health outcomes. To help empower Michigan residents in managing their own health, MDHHS has made it possible for Medicaid, Healthy Michigan Plan and MIChild beneficiaries to download and view immunization records available from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry (MCIR).

Prior to this enhancement, beneficiaries had to contact their primary healthcare provider or local health department in order to get their immunization information. Through the web application myHealthPortal and mobile app myHealthButton, they will now be able to view their immunization history online, download a copy of their record and even determine recommended immunizations.

“MDHHS continues to explore and implement innovative ways for Michigan citizens to obtain their health information directly,” said Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical officer. “Having secure access to our health information, including our immunization records, allows us to better work with our physicians on improving our health.”

MDHHS and MCIR are continuing work to make immunization information more easily available to all Michigan residents. Both the online portal and the mobile app require users to provide information to protect the health privacy of residents and ensure that access is given to the correct beneficiaries.

Current Medicaid, Healthy Michigan Plan, MIChild and Children’s Special Healthcare Services members can create myHealthPortal or myHealthButton accounts at

Animal Welfare Fund Provides Almost $125,000 to Local Animal Shelters

March 26, 2018

Marquette, Mich. – March 26, 2018- Through Animal Welfare Fund grants, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Animal Industry Division distributes thousands of donated dollars to animal shelters in Michigan. This year, the fund will provide almost $125,000 to 21 registered animal shelters throughout the state.

Since 2010, the Animal Welfare Fund, provided for by tax check-off monies from generous Michigan taxpayers, has distributed more than $1,092,000 to 152 facilities. The funds go directly to registered shelters to increase the number of adoptions through spay and neuter programs, improve staff knowledge of proper animal care through educational programs and training, and assist shelters with unreimbursed costs of care for animals housed for legal investigations.

“Thanks to the generous support of Michiganders, local shelters across Michigan have more opportunities to make a positive impact in their community,” said State Veterinarian James Averill, DVM. “For example, one shelter used these funds to decrease euthanasia rates from 80 percent to zero by increasing animal adoptability by having them sterilized, which also decreased the numbers of unwanted litters in the community.”

This year, MDARD received 46 applications totaling more than $372,500 in requests. Some of the innovative projects chosen this year included:

  • Educational outreach to schools, Chamber of Commerce, and the local library to bring awareness to the importance of spaying/neutering pets and the benefits of adopting shelter animals. Creation of marketing tools, posters, advertising and social media outreach.
  • To provide topic-specific experts at two statewide conferences to train animal control officers, shelter personnel, and volunteers on animal care, protection, laws, evidence collection, hoarding situations, and animal abuse.
  • Update surgical equipment and supplies to enhance the care of animals, increase sterilizations, and better utilize veterinarians’ time.

The following shelters were awarded 2018 Animal Welfare Fund grants, totaling $124,999:

  • Alcona Humane Society – $1,127
  • Alpena County Animal Control – $10,000
  • Arenac County Animal Control – $6,900
  • Calhoun County Animal Shelter $10,000
  • Cheboygan County Humane Society – $9,990
  • Clare County Animal Shelter – $9,885
  • Genesee County Animal Control – $10,000
  • Gratiot County Animal Shelter – $1,500
  • Hazel Park Animal Control – $5,000
  • Humane Society of Genesee County – $4,952
  • Ingham County Animal Control – $5,000
  • Livingston County Animal Control – $2,791
  • Mackinac County Animal Shelter – $4,000
  • Macomb County Animal Control – $5,360
  • Newaygo County Animal Shelter – $720
  • Roscommon County Animal Control Shelter – $8,000
  • Sanilac County Animal Control Shelter – $310
  • Sanilac County Humane Society, Inc. – $9,000
  • Taylor Animal Shelter – $464
  • Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter, Inc. – $10,000
  • Van Buren County Animal Control – $10,000

For more information on the animal shelter program or how to apply for a grant, visit

Vandals Compromise Bat Research Project in Dickinson County

March 26, 2018

Dickinson County, Mich.– An abandoned mine site in Dickinson County where vandals broke in over the past few months. Conservation officers are investigating a break-in and theft of security cameras and signs from a mine site on private property near the city of Norway where an important bat research project has been underway.

The old abandoned iron mine – a small, dead-end horizontal shaft where the ceiling partially collapsed in recent months – was once the annual winter hibernating home to more than 20,000 little brown, northern long-eared and big brown bats.

“Today, the number of bats hibernating in this mine has fallen to just a few thousand survivors with the advent of white-nose syndrome,” said Bill Scullon, a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division field operations supervisor from the Norway office. “White-nose syndrome is a devastating disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America and has significantly impacted Michigan’s bat population.

“These bats eat lots of insects in the summertime and are of great benefit to the environment, forest health, and agriculture.”

The mine is gated with a metal structure to keep the public out but protect the bats. The site is also posted against trespass. Those who entered the site illegally disrupted hibernating bats.

DNR wildlife biologists have been working with researchers from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo to field test a treatment for bats and mines in the western Upper Peninsula, in hopes of developing an effective compound to combat white-nose syndrome.

Last December, researchers entered the mine and treated the bats with a test compound. Last week, they returned to assess the results.

One of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources signs stolen from the mine located on private property near the city of Norway. “Someone broke into the site over the winter,” Scullon said. “They disturbed the bats, stole some of our cameras and signs, had a bonfire and damaged the gating structure. They compromised our research project designed to help save the bats. Survival of these bats is critical to the recovery of their species.”

Not all the cameras at the site were removed by the thief or thieves. The signs taken were unique, with only a handful made by the DNR. They read “Danger – Caving Ground – No Trespassing.”

Evidence was collected at the scene.

“We think someone out there may be able to help us find out who is responsible for this damage and theft,” said Brian Bacon, a DNR conservation officer investigating the incident. “We urge anyone who knows anything that might be helpful in our investigation to contact our toll-free Report All Poaching hotline.”

The mine was vandalized sometime between Dec. 1, 2017, and March 23, 2018. The mine gate was also breached similarly in 2015.

Tips to the hotline may be left anonymously. In some cases, depending on the incident and the value of the information provided, rewards are offered. Operators on the RAP line are available 24 hours, seven days a week.

Since 2006, researchers have confirmed white-nose syndrome in bats in more than 29 states, including Michigan, along with six Canadian provinces.

If disturbed, infected hibernating bats burn up their fat reserves prematurely, using the energy needed for the winter.

With no insects available to feed on, and stored fat diminished, these bats die.

White-nose syndrome is not only fatal to little brown bats, but at least a half-dozen other species, including the U.P.’s big brown bats and northern long-eared bats.

To reach the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline call or text 1-800-292-7800.

Photo Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources.


W.I.N. Girls Slowpitch Softball League Holding Registration for 2018 Season, March 27-28

March 26, 2018

Ishpeming, Mich.– 03/25/2018- The W.I.N. Girls Slowpitch Softball League will be holding registration for the 2018 season! Sign up this Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28 at the Ishpeming Township Hall from 6:00- 8:00 pm.

2018 Charitable Gaming Area Training Meeting, March 27

March 26, 2018

Livonia, Mich.– Tuesday, March 27, The American Legion will be hosting the 2018 Charitable Gaming area training meeting from 1:00- 4:00 pm.

Located at the American Legion 32, 9318 Newburgh Road, Livonia, Michigan 48150, There is no fee or pre-registration required to attend. Officers, Chairpersons, Workers or anyone completing paperwork will benefit from this opportunity to receive additional training in complying with the bingo act and rules.

If you have any questions regarding this training, please contact Inspector Nadia Sierzega (248) 442-0419.

Calendar – Education – “Evening at the Archives” Event – Mar. 29

March 26, 2018

Marquette – “Pasties, Beer, Revolution and God: Immigrant Miners and Their Communities on the Marquette Iron Range, 1900-1930” will be presented on Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m. in room 126 of the Learning Resources Center at Northern Michigan University.

Marcus Robyns, professor and university archivist, will present. Robyns will review the social, cultural and political nature of immigrant iron miners in the early 20th century, with particular emphasis on the experience of Finnish immigrants.

This “Evening at the Archives” event is hosted by the Central U.P. and NMU Archives as part of NMU’s Diversity Common Reader Program. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact the Central U.P. and NMU Archives at 227-1225.

Calendar – Youth – Dog Night at the Library – Mar. 29

March 26, 2018

Marquette – Dog Night will be offered on Thursday, March 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room of the Peter White Public Library.

All children are invited to come and read to a dog. Increase your reading skills and confidence by reading aloud to a friendly, calm dog. The event is free and no registration is required.

For more information, call 226-4320, visit or find Peter White Public Library Youth Services on Facebook.

Calendar – Youth – Storytime for 3s and 4s – Mar. 29

March 26, 2018

Marquette – Storytime for 3s and 4s will be held on Thursday, March 29 from 11 to 11:30 a.m. in the Youth Atrium of the Peter White Public Library.

Explore stories, finger plays, songs and crafts. The event is for 3 and 4 year olds, with a loving adult. For more information, call 226-4320, visit or the Peter White Public Library Youth Services page on Facebook.

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