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Editorial: Strength in Unity: Muskegon Heights’ Response to Water Crisis

At a time when Muskegon Heights faced the daunting challenge of a city-wide boil water advisory, the overwhelming response from local businesses, civic leaders, and community members was nothing short of inspirational. This crisis showcased the best of community partnership and demonstrated the power of collective action in facing adversity.

Leading the response was Meijer, a local department store chain known for its significant presence in the Midwest. Demonstrating exemplary corporate citizenship, Meijer responded swiftly, dispatching a semi-truck loaded with bottled water within hours of the advisory announcement. Their sustained efforts did not wane, as they continuously supplied water over the first crucial days, ensuring residents had access to safe drinking water throughout the crisis.

But the spirit of cooperation extended far beyond a single corporate entity. Companies like Spartan Nash, Webb Chemical, Intra-City Dispatch, DTE, and numerous others came together, forming a united front to assist the community in need. The Michigan State Police and volunteer groups like Lake Hawks Connect, Bethlehem Park and Christ Temple Church also played critical roles.

It was not just organizations that stepped up; individuals like Janet Robinson, Councilman Ronald Jenkins, Councilwoman Kellie Kitchen, Councilwoman Lashae Simmons & Mayor Bonnie McGlothin, provided leadership and care that was indispensable during such a tumultuous time. Every hand lent to the efforts reinforced the strength found in unity.

The City of Muskegon Heights staff deserves immense praise for their professionalism and resilience. The departments across the board went above and beyond the call of duty, with the Mayor, City Council, and the Interim City Manager Melvin Burns swiftly implementing an effective action plan. Their decisive leadership helped navigate the city through the crisis, minimizing potential chaos and instilling confidence among the citizens.

Shawn McNeilly/Meijer Norton Shore/Store Director

Special thanks to Meijer and the many unnamed heroes who stood by the city. This crisis illuminated the profound impact of community solidarity, highlighting how collective efforts can transcend individual capabilities.

While there will be ample time to dissect the events and understand what went wrong, it is crucial now to recognize and appreciate what went right. This episode not only tested our resilience but also reinforced our sense of community and mutual responsibility.

In reflection, Muskegon Heights’ response to this crisis should serve as a reminder of the strength inherent in our community. Let it be an example of how, even in the face of severe challenges, we can come together for the common good.

Thank you to everyone involved. Your actions have not only provided immediate relief but have also strengthened the fabric of our community.

With gratitude,

Paul Allen Billings

WUVS 103.7 The Beat

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