holidays http://michiganradio.org en Muskegon is home to America's tallest, singing Christmas tree http://michiganradio.org/post/muskegon-home-americas-tallest-singing-christmas-tree <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.4318181818181819;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:13pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.4318181818181819;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:13pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-198a3c94-c3e3-98bd-7168-388e060774ba"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">A major holiday performance happens this weekend in West Michigan. Students, teachers and parents at Mona Shores High School have spent thousands of hours preparing for the event, where they create a living breathing, and singing Christmas Tree — that’s five-stories tall, and holds more than 200 student singers.</span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.4318181818181819;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:13pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-198a3c94-c3e3-98bd-7168-388e060774ba"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It’s getting lots of national attention. In 2011, TLC featured the tree on its aptly-titled holiday show, “Extreme Christmas Trees.” This year, it’ll be highlighted on the Travel Channel. </span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.4318181818181819;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:13pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-198a3c94-c3e3-98bd-7168-388e060774ba"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The show is now in its 29th year. </span></span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.4318181818181819;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:13pt;"><span id="docs-internal-guid-198a3c94-c3e3-98bd-7168-388e060774ba"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Almost 300 hundred students from Mona Shores High School have been practicing for this show — held at Muskegon’s </span><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Georgia; color: rgb(54, 54, 54); vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Frauenthal</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Georgia; background-color: transparent; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> Center for Performing Arts — since Labor Day. </span></span></p><p> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 18:38:23 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 15554 at http://michiganradio.org Muskegon is home to America's tallest, singing Christmas tree Lansing Christmas Tree search begins http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-christmas-tree-search-begins-0 <p>School’s out and summer means sun tans, barbeques, beach days, and…searching for Christmas Trees?</p><p>The hunt for the state holiday tree has begun. Michigan needs a 65-foot-tall evergreen that can sparkle on the lawn of the Capitol building in November.</p><p></p><p>“Everyone laughs that the process starts in June,” said Kurt Weiss with Michigan’s Department of Technology, Management and Budget, “But that’s when the process starts.”</p><p> Fri, 07 Jun 2013 17:10:55 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 12942 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing Christmas Tree search begins Enough consumerism, calls for 'Giving Tuesday' http://michiganradio.org/post/enough-consumerism-calls-giving-tuesday <p>Philanthropic organizations want to capitalize on the spending campaigns of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday"&nbsp; - and also flip the idea of consumerism on its head.<br><br>The idea behind "Giving Tuesday" is to take time to donate to charity, after two of the biggest shopping days of the year.<br><br>Eileen Heisman is the CEO of National Philanthropic Trust - one of the groups promoting the campaign.<br><br>"This is the first year, but I think it's going to continue," said Heisman. "I'm almost positive it is, and so I think in the following years we'll see a much bigger push and more visibility for people taking this time of year to give back in a more formal way on this day."</p><p>Charities report nearly a quarter of their annual donations come between Thanksgiving and New Years. Mon, 26 Nov 2012 16:29:49 +0000 Sarah Hulett 10056 at http://michiganradio.org Enough consumerism, calls for 'Giving Tuesday' Helping Americans better understand history and civics http://michiganradio.org/post/helping-americans-better-understand-history-and-civics <p>Schools across Michigan have wrapped up a week of activities designed to help students better understand America’s founding principles.</p><p>Michael Warren is an Oakland County Circuit Court Judge and co-founder of<a href="http://patriotweek.org/"> Patriot Week</a>. He started the project in 2009 because he says people have a poor understanding of American history and government.</p> Sun, 23 Sep 2012 19:42:31 +0000 Kyle Norris 9205 at http://michiganradio.org Helping Americans better understand history and civics A Mother's Day story http://michiganradio.org/post/mothers-day-story <p>During the past year, Michigan-based writer Wade Rouse has been sharing personal stories about the holidays.</p><p>Mother&rsquo;s Day is Sunday May 13, and today Wade shares a story about an especially memorable Mother&rsquo;s Day for him.</p><p><em>Wade Rouse is a Michigan-based writer and the author of It&rsquo;s All Relative: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir). </em></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 20:17:41 +0000 Mercedes Mejia 7440 at http://michiganradio.org A Mother's Day story Michigan Mayor says "no" to anti-religion sign, "yes" to nativity scene http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-mayor-says-no-anti-religion-sign-yes-nativity-scene <p>A national nonprofit group for atheists and agnostics wants to display a sandwich board with an anti-religion message inside Warren City Hall.&nbsp; A nativity scene erected by the Warren Rotary Club is on display in Warren City Hall, something the &quot;Freedom From Religion Coalition&quot; takes issue with.</p><p>On one side, the group&#39;s sign reads:</p><ul><li>&quot;At this season of the Winter Solstice, let reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.&quot;</li></ul><p><br>On the other, it reads:</p><ul><li>&quot;Keep State &amp; Church Separate.&quot;</li></ul><p><br>The Macomb Daily News reports the group has tried to put the sign up in past years:</p><p>From the <a href="http://www.macombdaily.com/articles/2011/12/21/news/doc4ef13f58437e7463387714.txt">Macomb Daily</a>:</p><blockquote><p>For the second consecutive year, the Freedom From Religion Coalition has taken exception to the crèche located in the atrium of the municipal building, saying other viewpoints on religion should be permitted. According to a Fox 2 Detroit (WJBK-TV) report, the group has threatened legal action against the city...</p></blockquote><p>According to the Freedom From Religion Coalition&#39;s website, their &quot;<a href="http://ffrf.org/uploads/legal/MarshallDocuments.pdf">demand letter</a> to Mayor James R. Fouts, of Warren, Michigan, gave him until 10 a.m. today to agree to place their &ldquo;equal time Winter Solstice sign&quot; in the atrium of Warren City Hall.</p><p>Mayor James Fouts <a href="http://www.cityofwarren.org/images/stories/mayor/press-releases/December%2021%202011%20-%20Letter%20of%20response%20to%20Stephanie%20Schmitt%20-%20Freedom%20from%20Religion.pdf">sent a letter</a> to the group saying he would not allow their sign to be displayed because the sign is &quot;antagonistic toward all religions and would serve no purpose during this holiday season except to provoke controversy and hostility among visitors and employees at city hall.&quot;</p><p>Fouts says he&#39;s allowed displays in city hall celebrating Ramadan, a month-long Muslim holiday, but could not support the Coalition&#39;s sign because &quot;your non-religion is not a recognized religion.&quot;</p><p>From Fouts&#39; letter:</p><blockquote><p>If you requested permission to put up a sandwich board saying that there is no Santa Claus, you would be met with the same response. Santa Claus lives in the minds and hearts of many millions of children. The belief of God and religion lives in the hearts and minds of hundreds of millions of people and is as much a part of the fabric of America, as the belief in democracy and freedom.</p></blockquote><p>Attorney Danielle Hessell of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan is representing the Freedom From Religion Coalition in the dispute. Hessell says the group is planning to sue.</p><p>From a FFRC <a href="http://ffrf.org/news/releases/ffrf-to-mayor-stop-censoring-sign-or-be-sued/">press release</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;To date, the mayor has engaged in flagrant viewpoint censorship. As the city&rsquo;s top government official, he has created a public forum for religion and only for religion. We hope reason will prevail, but if he does not permit our member to place the Winter Solstice display in the atrium tomorrow, we are planning to sue Mr. Fouts in federal court.&rdquo; Wed, 21 Dec 2011 23:08:25 +0000 Mark Brush 5512 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Mayor says "no" to anti-religion sign, "yes" to nativity scene Michigan Salvation Army divisions still working toward 'Red Kettle' goals http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-salvation-army-divisions-still-working-toward-red-kettle-goals <p>The signature red kettles may be packed away, but the <a href="http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf/vw-text-dynamic-arrays/4517219C16BEE8F8802573F50056F031?openDocument">Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign</a> is still underway.</p><p>Money from the kettles supports the Salvation Army’s programs; helping victims of disasters, low-income seniors, and running summer camps for kids.</p> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 22:38:47 +0000 Lindsey Smith 699 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Salvation Army divisions still working toward 'Red Kettle' goals Retailers expect a surge in sales this weekend http://michiganradio.org/post/retailers-expect-surge-sales-weekend <p>Michigan retailers were optimistic that this would be a better holiday shopping season than they’ve had the last few years.</p><p>And so far, those expectations appear to be warranted.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&amp;op=viewlive&amp;sp_id=1055">National Retail Federation</a> upped its prediction for holiday sales from a 2.3% increase to a 3.3% increase over last year. Fri, 17 Dec 2010 16:10:50 +0000 Steve Carmody 633 at http://michiganradio.org Retailers expect a surge in sales this weekend