Macomb Matters January 2019 Issue 62
- Message from Mark
- Employee Focus - Nikki Hansinger
- Employee Accolades
- New Hires/Retirees
- Tickets on sale now for OneMacomb’s first-ever Celebration of Black Excellence
- Vicki Wolber shapes her new role as deputy county executive
- Two county employees become certified in mental health first aid
- OneMacomb Survey - Update
- Healthstyles - Carrot App and Win By Losing
- For Your Benefit - A message from Andrew McKinnon
- Perks at Work - Healthy discounts for 2019
- Casual Day beneficiaries for 2019
- MMYH Ambassadors
- Paw Print - Hello and Happy New Year from Chief Randazzo!
- Recipe Corner - Sweet Potato Waffles
- Event Calendar
- Blog Log
- News Nook
Message from Mark
Welcome to the first issue of Macomb Matters for 2019! It’s hard to believe we are already one month into the year and a step closer to the spring season. However, for many, it might not feel that way. With colder temperatures, snow on the ground and limited sunshine, it’s easy to find ourselves with the winter blues. But in my experience, staying active, staying social and staying connected to the community helps combat those feelings. In today’s message, I’d like to highlight ways you can do just that.
The county offers employees many programs focused on health and well-being and this issue of Macomb Matters covers several of those resources. Whether you want to participate in a weight loss challenge or join the HealthStyles team, the following articles have all the details. For instance, we discuss the 29th annual Macomb Community Action Walk for Warmth - an indoor 5k that will be held Saturday, March 2 at Macomb Mall. As many of you know, this event raises funds to assist low-income residents with heat-related emergencies and registration is now open here. This is a great opportunity to get active and help your community, so I hope you’ll consider participating.
Macomb community calendars list out every type of winter event. From outdoor festivals to snow-related gatherings - there are so many great options for getting out of the house and socializing with family and friends. Here’s a few that I’m personally looking forward to:
- The Downtown Mount Clemens Ice Carving Show – Friday, Feb. 1 – Sunday, Feb. 3
- Macomb’s Celebration of Black Excellence – Saturday, Feb. 23
- The Macomb Food Program Elimination Raffle – Thursday, March 14
Keeping a connection with your local community during the winter months will not only help you, it will help your neighbors. You can volunteer with county programs like Meals on Wheels and Chore Services, donate your gently used items to shelters or refer family and friends in need to county services like weatherization or transportation. Even the simple act of reporting a pothole or snow covered roads can help folks you might not even know – and that’s something to feel good about it.
In closing, I hope that these actions can help all of us as we move towards the close of the winter season. But if you need additional support, the county offers its employees confidential and no-cost services here.
As always, thank you to everyone for all that you do for our residents and businesses. Let’s make 2019 the best ever – together!
Nikki Hansinger, Dictation Clerk, Friend of the Court
Meet employee Nikki Hansinger, a dictation clerk who has worked for Friend of the Court for four and half years.
When asked what she finds most rewarding about her career here, Nikki spoke about the people she serves. “When the residents of Macomb County go through a divorce and come through our court system, most of them have a lot of questions and concerns. They don’t know about all the resources we have available to them. I love being able to answer their questions so this hard time in their life is less stressful.”
In addition to her passion for work, Nikki loves to run. This past summer she participated in the Bicentennial Torch Relay, running an eight mile stretch from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Well this sounds quite challenging, Nikki was prepared. She’s a marathoner, a hobby picked up seven years ago during a time when she was experiencing a lot of life changes. She had graduated from grad school, moved to Arizona, and started a new job, but missed the competition she had enjoyed as a college athlete. This inspired her to join a gym and sign up for a running event, but not just any 5k or 10k. Nikki signed up for a full marathon! “There is just something about seeing if your body and mind can make it 26.2 miles by foot. It’s so challenging and rewarding at the same time.”
Since her first marathon, Nikki has run many more. When asked to choose a favorite, she struggled. “I have run so many! Toledo, Disney World, Boston, Arizona, Detroit….so many great races to choose from.” She finally settled on the Boston Marathon, which she ran in 2018. “Even though it was the worst weather conditions in the race history, there is NOTHING like that marathon. A lot of runners work their whole running career to get there, and having the pleasure of sharing the streets of Boston with people who know how hard you have to work, and the level of dedication it takes – there is nothing like it.”
In the future, Nikki plans to run the Boston Marathon again as well as all of the World Master Marathons - which include events in London, Japan, New York, Chicago and Germany. These ambitions tie in to the message of ‘Move More Macomb,’ an initiative launched by the Macomb County Health Department in September 2018. “I think the Move More Macomb initiative is awesome. I started a group at Friend of the Court. Our goal is walking or running the 5k Let’s Move Festival of Races in April. We call ourselves the #RunSquad.”
And even though Nikki has run in many beautiful places, she singles out Macomb County. “We have so many beautiful parks in Macomb County – some of the things I have seen on my after-work runs are just the most beautiful things. Nature, sunsets, scenery, cute animals – all here in my own backyard. I hope everyone gets out there, and experiences life instead of being at work for eight hours and then being in front of a TV for the rest of the night. If you go outside and experience the warmth of the sun or the cool air of winter a few times a week, your mood will improve.”
Outside of work, and when she isn’t running, Nikki and her husband Ryan spend time spoiling their FurChild, Blue, an adopted boxer mix that she describes as the “most spoiled dog in Macomb County.” Nikki attended Siena Heights University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public service with a concentration in leadership. She also played on the school’s soccer team – “Go Saints!”
Macomb County Sheriff dispatcher helps deliver baby through 911 call
Dispatcher Kristan Koehler recently received praise from supervisors and the community alike while responding to an emergency. This past November, Koehler received a 911 call from a man whose wife was in labor. The couple were in their home and the baby was ready to be delivered. Keeping a calm demeanor, Koehler alerted paramedics and stayed on the line with the man to assist in the birth. Over the next five minutes, she gave step-by-step instructions on the labor and delivery process, including having the woman lay on the floor and preparing clean towels. Before the paramedics could arrive, the baby was born and Koehler instructed the couple to wipe its airways and support its head.
According to Sheriff Anthony Wickersham in an interview with the Macomb Daily, dispatchers are trained to a respond to a number of emergency scenarios, including handling a pending birth.
“When dispatchers take a 911 call, they never know what’s going to be on the other end,” he said. “In this case, our dispatcher handled the call exactly the way she was trained to. She did a great job.”
Community members who read the story and listened to the 911 call on the Sheriff Office’s Facebook page also commended Koehler for keeping her cool throughout the situation.
“Great job,” wrote Lorraine Miller. “Especially with your calm voice and patience. I hope you get to meet the baby and family.”
The Macomb Matters team agrees with those sentiments. Congratulations on a job well done Kristan!
Macomb Community Mental Health CEO John Kinch retires
In December 2018, Macomb Community Mental Health announced that its CEO, John Kinch, would be retiring after 33 years with the organization. During those three decades, Kinch has navigated through budget cuts, new approaches to treating mental health care and substance abuse, reducing administrative costs below the state average and advocating for funding to provide persons served with vital services that improve their quality of life.
“I have been a voice of ‘mental health’ for more than 33 years,” he told the Macomb County Community Mental Health Board in a letter announcing his retirement. “While I will never stop being such a voice, I do plan to retire.”
Kinch’s retirement became effective on January 4, 2019.
“Mr. Kinch has provided strong and effective leadership for MCCMH during the most difficult budget times in memory,” said Jim Losey, MCCMH deputy director. “He has championed efforts for restoration of funding while also consistently ensuring the focus on the consumer is never lost. His leadership and advocacy for the consumer at the local and state level will be missed.”
Recently, MCCMH has incurred cuts totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, which Kinch was instrumental in recovering part of. Kinch recovered funding in the most difficult of fiscal environments such as helping to restore $5 million of lost Medicaid funds in 2017. The cuts — called rebasing — were part of a multiyear effort to move to a new statewide Medicaid rate for Michigan's prepaid inpatient health plans. Some PIHPs, mostly in rural counties, have received increases, and some had their budgets cut, including Macomb.
After completing degrees in clinical psychology and applied behavior analysis, Kinch was a behavioral therapist and psychologist. He joined the staff of Macomb County Community Mental Health in 1986 and has served in roles of increasing responsibility culminating in the role of chief executive officer in 2010. In that position, Kinch remained dedicated to individual choice, inclusion, effective treatment and participation for all.
“I believe we have created a wonderful network of care,” Kinch told his staff when he announced his retirement. “That also includes the valued role each of you hold as CMH staff. While the challenges that are in front of us are great, the opportunities are even greater. Believe it!”
A search committee was formed to search for a new CEO, which selected, via Board approval, David Pankotai, who has been the executive director of ConsumerLink Network, a managed comprehensive provider network (MCPN). ConsumerLink, funded by the Wayne County Mental Health Authority, manages services and supports for persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Pankotai started December 17.
Click here for a list of New Hires/Retirees
Tickets on sale now for OneMacomb’s first-ever Celebration of Black Excellence
This February, the country will recognize Black History Month, four weeks to honor and celebrate the long history and contributions of black Americans. OneMacomb, an organization dedicated to promoting multiculturalism and inclusion here in Macomb County, recently announced that it will recognize this period with a first-annual Celebration of Black Excellence, presented by Consumers Energy. The event will be held on Saturday, February 23 at the Macomb County Family Resource Center (196 N Rose St, Mt Clemens) and will feature a vendor and resource expo during the day and a ticketed awards gala in the evening.
“Hosting this first-ever event will not only pay tribute to the contributions of lifelong residents in Macomb County’s black communities, it will also connect newer residents and youth to the rich history many of us recall with pride,” said Rhonda Powell, director of Macomb County Health and Community Services and executive committee member of OneMacomb. “It is especially important to do this during the national celebration of Black History Month, a time when the country pays tribute to the generations of African Americans who have faced tremendous obstacles yet continue to overcome adversity and achieve great things.”
The Celebration of Black Excellence will begin on the morning of February 23 with the vendor and resource expo starting at 10 a.m. and running until 2 p.m. A variety of small businesses and organizations will have a presence during this portion of the event, which is free and open to the public. Those on site will sell items ranging from food to clothing. Others will provide services like health screenings and financial assistance. All told, more than 20 vendors are expected, including several young entrepreneurs (17-years-old and under) within the children’s business section. Those interested in participating and setting up a booth can find more information on costs and set up in the vendor information packet here. They may also contact Veronica at 586-823-2135 or Antoinette at 586-722-8645 with questions.
The celebration will continue in the evening with an awards gala at 6 p.m. During the gala, five yet-to-be-announced individuals will receive honors for community involvement, athletics, business, education and the arts. Dinner and live entertainment will follow the awards ceremony. Tickets for this portion of the event are on sale now. They cost $35 per person and can be purchased here. Sponsorships for the Celebration of Black Excellence are also available. Businesses and individuals interested can contact Pam Lavers at 586-493-4877 or at email@example.com with the subject line “Black Excellence Sponsor.”
“Our OneMacomb sub-committee has done an awesome job planning this event and we are proud of the level of support and interest we’ve received from the business community, but there’s still time to get involved,” said Macomb County Deputy Executive and Chair of OneMacomb Pam Lavers.
Vicki Wolber shapes her new role as deputy county executive
On November 9, 2018, County Executive Mark A. Hackel announced Vicki Wolber as a new deputy county executive. Three days later, she marked her first day on the job. But of course, Wolber is not a new county employee. For more than 18 years she worked in Emergency Management and Communications; first as assistant director and then as director. She’ll draw from this experience in her new position, where she will focus on issues relating to public safety while also assisting in the day-to-day operations of county departments and services. More specifically, Wolber will oversee Animal Control, Community Corrections, Emergency Management and Communications and the Juvenile Justice Center. She’ll also have a lead role in the 9-1-1 surcharge initiative, the indigent defense program and COMTEC’s ongoing growth. That’s a lot to take on, but Wolber is up for the challenge.
“I’m motivated to show people that their government is hard at work and that it has the best interest of the public in mind,” she said. “Ultimately, I want to improve quality of life and expand services for the people of Macomb County.”
That progress is just one of Wolber’s goals. She also hopes to continue making connections with the community – something that was an asset during her time in Emergency Management.
“It’s so much easier to enter a project with a collaborative partner,” she said. “And at the core of that is having a relationship where trust has been established.”
This practice helped Wolber during several difficult periods on the job. For instance, when there were floods, fires or a sewer collapse, she could call upon her network in Macomb County for solutions and they’d deliver.
“There’s a wealth of knowledge, expertise and people who care here in Macomb, so when there was any type of emergency, I could pick up the phone and get to work right away,” she said. “There is definitely a collaborative spirit, a team that you can rely on to get the job done.”
Teamwork also played a role in what Wolber feels are her biggest achievements as director of Emergency Management. On that list is a radio enhancement project that added a backup dispatch center and five new towers to the county’s radio tower network. Also on the list, and perhaps her most visible project, is the launch and ongoing success of COMTEC. Planning for that first started in 2009; ten years on, the facility is viewed as a model for governments of all levels around the world.
Wolber attributes some of that success to her long history in the public service sector.
“My father was a public servant his whole life, first starting with the Detroit Police Department, where he retired as an inspector. He then worked as director of public safety for the City of Fraser, which inspired me to explore public service,” she said. “My first job was for the City of Fraser, where I worked in just about every department. Over those 12 years, I became a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and then I transitioned to the county. But that initial time certainly helped me establish a foundation in public service. It set me up for success in my leadership roles.”
Through work as an adjunct professor at Macomb Community College, Wolber shares that foundational knowledge and helps to prepare the next generation of public servants.
“I teach an introduction to emergency management course at Macomb,” she said. “I tell my students that this sector requires you to face issues head on, but the work is engaging and worthwhile.”
It is with this mindset that Wolber will shape her new role as deputy county executive. And as she has proven time and again, her passion for public service and commitment to the people of Macomb County will deliver results.
Two county employees become certified in mental health first aid
“Most of us have been affected by mental health issues in some way, whether it be going through something ourselves, or having friends or relatives who have gone through a difficult time,” says Agnes Ward, a licensed psychologist and administrator with Macomb County Community Mental Health. Her training partner, Ambrosia Jackson, MA/LPC and an administrative assistant III for the Clinical Strategy and Improvement Division of Community Mental Health, agrees. Indeed – according to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/mental-illness.shtml). These sentiments and statistics inspired both Agnes and Ambrosia to learn how to teach people skills that will help someone developing or experiencing a mental health crisis.
“Just as CPR training helps a person with no clinical training assist an individual following a heart attack, mental health first aid training helps a person assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis,” said Ambrosia. Agnes agreed, adding: “People may not always recognize signs and symptoms of mental illness…or they may not always know how to respond, even if they do.”
Agnes and Ambrosia attended a five day training course, passed a written exam and gave a presentation to their trainer and training group to become certified to teach adult and youth mental health first aid. Agnes, who has now taught around 90 classes in various communities across the country, stated: “I enjoy hearing personal stories from the participants and stories of recovery.” Ambrosia, who has now taught 20 courses and personally trained 337 people said: “There is always a moment when I can see on someone’s face that they got it.”
Anyone 18 years of age or older is able to take the adult or youth mental health first aid courses – many of which are offered at no cost to the participant through the Macomb Intermediate School District. According to Agnes, people who attend the class can expect a “supportive atmosphere and activities.” She added that they will learn how to assess for risk as well as how to respectfully listen and support an individual in crisis, identify appropriate professional help and recognize risk factors and warning signs. Ambrosia agreed. “You will learn how to apply the mental health first aid action plan in a variety of situations. This is an opportunity to decrease the stigma around mental health and provide people with tools they can use to help people.” Both Agnes and Ambrosia would be happy to see fellow Macomb County employees in their classes. If you would like more information about these course offerings, please visit: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.
OneMacomb Survey - Update
OneMacomb Lunch and Learn survey results
In the last issue of Macomb Matters, we asked readers to participate in a survey for OneMacomb. The county program, which works to promote multiculturalism and inclusion through arts and community affairs, was seeking feedback on its lunch and learn events to ensure the best possible experience for all involved.
All told, hundreds of county employees took the survey and the results were intriguing. They include:
- One-third of employee respondents attended a lunch and learn event in the past year and more than 87 percent plan to in the future.
- Those who attended appreciated the fellowship and opportunity to meet with other people while also experiencing a new culture and history.
- These sentiments translated to a high rate of referral – with 82 percent of respondents saying they would recommend lunch and learns to their co-workers.
- For 2019, employee respondents were most interested in lunch and learn events in the following categories:
- Generational differences
- Native American culture
- Italian and Polish cultures
- Refugee communities
OneMacomb leaders plan to use this feedback in building events for 2019. The first is slated for Tuesday, March 19 and will focus on Native American history and culture. Stay tuned to Macomb Matters for announcements of future dates and themes and please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
CARROT has a new feature!
The CARROT app is currently "beta testing" a new feature called "Auctions" which allows users to use their (green) CARROTcoins and (yellow) Reward Points to bid on a variety of rewards. Macomb County Government is among the few groups testing this new feature. Changes are still being made to "Auctions" to improve the reliability and user experience, but CARROT anticipates this will become a standard feature available to all CARROT users within the next few weeks. It's worth noting that CARROT will have at least $500 in auction prizes available during halftime of the Super Bowl...so keep walking!!
Win by Losing
Blue Cross/Blue Shield is hosting a free and fun weight loss challenge! The Healthstyles Committee cordially invites you to participate. The challenge begins February 11 and runs until April 12. For more information and contest details, please click here. For more information regarding other programs offered by Healthstyles, please visit the Healthstyles webpage.
For Your Benefit
A message from Andrew McKinnon
A thread that runs through this month’s Macomb Matters is wellness. From Nikki Hansigner’s statement: “If you go outside and experience the warmth of the sun or the cool air of winter a few times a week, your mood will improve,” to the important work that Agnes Ward and Ambrosia Jackson are doing with their work on Mental Health First Aide, wellness is a priority for Macomb County. That is also made clear through our HealthStyles initiatives and the recently announced Move More Macomb campaign. We really are a county on the move - and this is further demonstrated through the below updates and notes.
First, if you share a passion for wellness, I would ask you to join our HealthStyles team. Earlier this month we sent out the membership application and if you didn’t have a chance to fill it out, it’s not too late. You can reach out to email@example.com to become a team member.
Additionally, our partners at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) are working to provide Macomb County employees with support in the area of diabetes management and prevention. More information on that will be coming soon.
Finally, BCBSM is offering Macomb employee members virtual well-being webinars that are a perfect individual lunch and learn. If you aren’t a Blue Cross member, grab a buddy who might be and share a webinar together. The dates and topics are below. Each runs for about 20 minutes and they start at noon.
- February 5, 2019: Mindfulness and Meditation
- February 12, 2019: Leading with Happiness
- February 19, 2019: An Attitude of Gratitude
- February 26, 2019: Being Mindful of Physical Health, Part 1
Human Resources and Labor Relations is committed to the overall health and well-being of our staff. We hope the resources we provide are useful and we will continue to work with our partners to provide opportunities for improvement. And as always, if you are facing any type of crisis and in need of support, the county offers its Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program, a confidential and no-cost service available 24/7. Click here for more information.
Perks at Work
Healthy discounts for 2019
It’s a new year—time to shift from our holiday habits back to health and wellness. Perks at Work can help you with this transition and get the year started on a healthy note! In addition to local health and wellness businesses, Perks at Work also offers many online discounts that can help you feel healthy and pampered. Below are exclusive perks negotiated with local vendors:
- Bodhi Seed Yoga & Wellness Studio - $10 off yoga packages for employees; $10 walk-in
- Jazzercise Mount Clemens - 10 percent off monthly membership
- Macomb Family YMCA - 20 percent off membership; no sign up fee
- Olympia Salon & Spa - Exclusive pricing for Macomb County government employees
In addition to these benefits, you can access employee pricing and rewards points for a variety of fitness and wellness vendors. For instance, there’s discounts for Under Armour, Nike, Reebok, New Balance and Athleta as well as Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. And for fitness information, check out ClassPass. This is a new type of fitness membership that lets you enjoy diverse and exciting ways to work out.
Get started by logging onto your Macomb County Government Perks at Works account at www.perksatwork.com.
Not a member yet? Go the website, register for free with your personal email account and get full access to all available discounts. (Company code: Macombgov78).
Casual Day beneficiaries for 2019
As we all know, Macomb County hosts a weekly Casual Day where employees can dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a dollar donation made to charity. But there’s much more to the program than getting to swap formal work attire for jeans. The Casual Day program was first adopted by resolution of the Board of Commissioners in 1994 and it has continued to grow thanks to county employees' commitment to helping others. All told, since the program’s inception, nearly $704,000* has been donated to various charities (*as of 2017 program year). This year, several new organizations were selected as recipients:
- Samaritan House
- Helping Hands Gifts
- National Kidney Foundation
- Turning Point
- Vision HOPE
- Macomb Food Program
- Macomb County Warming Center
- Anchor Bay Community Giving Tree
- Head Start/Early Head Start
- Prevention Concepts & Solutions
- Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
- Anton Art Center
- Myasthenia Gravis Association Inc.
- All About Animals Rescue
- The YMCA
- Community Housing Network
So how were these organizations selected? Each fall, the Board requests nominations of charities for consideration for the following calendar year. There are three requirements that must be met: All requests should be written on letterhead from a designated official of the charity and must be accompanied by a current 501(c)(3) certificate and solicitation license from the State Attorney General’s Office. Any nominations that do not contain those 3 pieces are contacted prior to the deadline. Each year, 16 charities are chosen, one for each of the 12 calendar months, and 4 additional for the months that contain 5 Fridays. Those four are considered "Special Casual Days". The charities are chosen at random, but it is taken into consideration if they have been selected previously, especially the year prior.
We hope that you find this information helpful for next year’s nomination period and encourage all employees to participate in Casual Days in 2019 by making a weekly donation.
Serving the community is our career
Macomb County offers its residents many services – initiatives that can benefit our family, friends and neighbors. As a county employee, you can help guide these individuals to the program that fits their needs. So whether they are looking for assistance with tax preparation or events along Lake St. Clair, you can be the expert connecting them to the right resource. Starting with this issue of Macomb Matters, we will highlight different departments and their offerings so that you can be that ambassador for the community. Here’s how it works:
- This newsletter will share an article detailing a county service.
- At the end of the article, you’ll find a link to a three question quiz on that service.
- Five individuals that take the quiz will be randomly selected to receive Make Macomb Your Home swag!
Our first installment of MMYH Ambassadors focuses on a new service launched by the Human Services Coordinating Body and led by Laura Rios and staff from Macomb County Veteran Services: MATRIX (Macomb’s Access to Resource Information Xpress), a resource designed to link Macomb residents to health and human services. The program features a digital questionnaire that helps indicate residents’ needs and immediately link them to county departments providing those services. It is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Bengali. The program is also compatible with Jobs Access with Speech (JAWS) for the visually impaired.
MATRIX kiosks are located at the Macomb County Family Resource Center in Mt. Clemens, the VerKuilen Building in Clinton Township, the Max Thompson Family Resource Center in Warren, the SE Family Resource Center in St. Clair Shores and the Macomb Veteran’s Food Bank at Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 154 in Clinton Township. MATRIX is also available online at: http://macombgov.org/HCS-portalofservicesurvey.
Think you’re ready to complete the ambassador quiz on this new program? Click here to get started and stay tuned for the next issue, where we’ll cover a new topic.
Hello and Happy New Year from Chief Randazzo!
2019 is officially here – and it seems like the winter weather arrived with it. Recently there were some bone-chilling cold days in Macomb County! And there are more to come. Of course, everyone handles the cold weather differently. If you’re lucky, you have some fur babies to cuddle! Here are some tips to keep animals safe and healthy in severe weather:
- Keep them healthy. Provide proper nutrition and make sure they receive regular veterinary care. Trips to the vet can help spot conditions that could increase a pet’s vulnerability to cold weather, such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis. If your pet has an illness, chronic medical condition or takes medication, check in with your vet to see how this could affect their ability to tolerate the cold.
- Monitor your home environment and adapt. Pets should be brought inside in extreme cold, so your pet may be inside the house more. You may need to double check the environment to make sure it is properly “pet proof.” Their habits may change. For example, animals that normally nap near a window may find a place near a heating vent to stay warm. Be flexible!
- Protect those paws! After your pet’s romp in the snow, take a moment to wipe your pet’s paws to remove de-icers such as salt or other hazardous chemicals that they may have stepped in while they were outside (anti-freeze, windshield washer solvent, etc.). And while you have that paw, check for cracking or bleeding pads, or ice between the toes.
- Remember that extreme temperatures affect all animals. Livestock is vulnerable too. Make sure the animals have suitable shelter and ample food. Check their water containers as well to ensure the water hasn’t frozen.
- Stay aware. Part of the Macomb County Animal Control Regulations prohibits pets from being left outside or in cars for an unreasonable amount of time. If you see an animal being left outside in the cold for extended periods of time, please call your local police department.
For more information about protecting animals from the cold, please visit the American Veterinary Medical Association website. And if you’re looking for a way to warm your heart, come see us! You can donate, volunteer, adopt an animal or foster an animal while he/she is waiting for its fur-ever home. Visit our website for more information Macomb County Animal Control.
Recipe Corner - Sweet Potato Waffles
- 1/3 cup sweet potato, diced
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup low fat milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg white
Bring a saucepan half filled with water to a boil. Add the sweet potatoes and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and puree the sweet potatoes until smooth. Sift together flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, sweet potato puree and vegetable oil. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the beaten egg white into the batter, 1/3 at a time. Bake in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Makes 6 servings.
*Macomb County and the Macomb Matters team thanks Oakland County MSU Extension for sharing this recipe with us, and Debbie Bogan from the Macomb County MSU Extension for her assistance in bringing us delicious and nutritious recipes on a regular basis!
New! Be sure to check out the new calendar feature on InsideMacomb, our intranet homepage.
Make Macomb Your Home also maintains a comprehensive calendar of community events. Be sure to check it when you are looking for ways to enjoy Macomb with friends and family:
Macomb’s Celebration of Black Excellence
Saturday, Feb. 23
Macomb County Family Resource Center, 196 N Rose St, Mt Clemens
Vendor and Resource Expo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Awards Gala at 5 p.m.
Click here for more information.