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Macomb Matters March 2017 Issue 52

Mark's Message
Employee Focus
Macomb's Memories
For Your Benefit
Healthstyles to host Lunch & Learn
Macomb County Animal Shelter sniffing for volunteers

Books are Fun Book Sale for MOW
Discounted membership available for employees through LA Fitness
March/April 2017 calendar
Recipe Corner
January 2017 New Hires/Retirees
Save the Date: March for Babies
Save the Date: HSCB Traveling Tours
News Nook
Blog Log

Click for a pdf version of Macomb Matters.

Mark’s Message

As is typical with the start of the spring/summer season, we have a lot of events coming up, so I just want to take a few minutes to let you all know what’s going on. If you can get involved in any of these events, whether it’s by participating or through sponsorship, we would appreciate it. In their own unique way, each event helps out its own special piece of Macomb County.

  • As part of the Green Macomb initiative, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is working with the Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District to bring a new Spring Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale to Macomb County residents. Orders will be available for pickup at Freedom Hill County Park during Macomb County’s Arbor Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 28 or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29. 
  • McLaren Macomb’s Let’s Move Festival of Races takes place April 29. The purpose of the event is to promote healthy living, especially to our youth. I will be participating, and I urge you to do so as well.
  • Hotcakes for Hunger is May 7. I will be flipping pancakes with other local celebrities to help raise money for our Macomb Food Program, which benefits from the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Stop by and donate money or food for this amazing cause!
  • 6th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival of Races will be June 17. This is your chance to be a part of an exciting, family-friendly event that draws in people of all ages from around the Southeast Michigan region. All money raised goes toward organizations that promote and celebrate Lake St. Clair. Truly the heart of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair is one of the largest freshwater fisheries in North America and also one of the busiest recreational waterways in the Midwest.

If you have any questions about any of these events, or how to participate, feel free to contact my office at (586) 469-7001.

Employee Focus
Carl Wheeler, Information Technology

By Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office  
 

For many in Macomb County, Carl Wheeler is just a friendly voice on the phone when they are experiencing frustration with their phone or computer. He works as a client support technician with the Macomb County Help Desk, the place employees can go to when they need help working through a technology-related issue.

“I enjoy helping other people,” he said, acknowledging that by the time many are calling the help desk, they are frustrated. He believes it’s his job not only to provide assistance, but to try to lighten the mood.

“I try to provide laughter,” he said. “There’s a lot of empathy on my end.” 

However, a peek at the stormtrooper-emblazoned socks he is wearing on an average Wednesday afternoon will let you know there’s a lot more to Carl than his friendly voice and help desk expertise.

Always an avid movie goer, about 15 years ago, Carl entered a contest through Entertainment Weekly that ultimately led him into getting connected with individuals in the movie scene who are able to view movies before they are released. Through networking, Carl became friends with an individual who wanted to start a movie critic website, now known as filmobsession.com. Today, filmobsession.com has earned Carl a spot in the prestigious Detroit Film Critics Society as part of the accredited press that is able to view films early and then provide ratings for them.

“It’s funny because I get to do something that I love when I was already doing it anyway,” said Carl, adding that he probably watches about 60 movies a year through his website reviews.

Nowadays, because of his work for the county, most times, Carl must assign writers under him to cover movie screenings. Most recently, Carl was able to watch the highly anticipated Beauty and the Beast movie, which he said he gave a rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5).

“I thought it was very well done and fans of the original cartoon will like it,” he said.

Employee Focus1.jpg
Carl Wheeler and actor Michael Pena.

Through his movie critic role, Carl has met his fair share of celebrities. However, he said the best meeting he’s ever had was when he was able to interview three of the soldiers represented in the movie 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The movie follows six members of the security team who defended the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya after there were waves of terrorist attacks there in September 2012. Carl said he was bowled over by the outlook on life the three men portrayed, and he left the meeting feeling inspired.

“They all had a great sense of humor; they were just awesome guys,” said Carl.

Carl’s favorite genre is horror movies, but he also enjoys musicals, and his favorite franchise of all time is the Star Wars movies.

“It just captured my attention and took me somewhere else,” he said of his first Star Wars movie. “It was magical.”

The longtime Clinton Township resident is married and has one daughter who is in college.

“I like the challenge, it breaks things up and allows me to be creative,” said Carl of working at the help desk. He began working for the county just last year.  

“When I met Carl for the first time, I felt like I could sit down and talk to him for hours,” said Information Technology Director Jako van Blerk. “He has a very vibrant and inviting persona.”  

Macomb’s Memories
All roads lead to the courthouse…

By Cynthia S. Donahue

Macomb's Memories.jpg

“My friends  ~  All roads lead to the courthouse.”

Here, since 1818, have the people come from every nook and corner of the county to settle their disputes. Here have they sat and listened to the trials, and anxiously waited for the verdict. Here have been preserved the evidences of the titles of the people to their houses. Here have been admitted, and here have pleaded a galaxy of lawyers that made the bar of Macomb County the peer of any in the State. Here, in days gone by, have come as applicants for admission to the bar a number of young men from other places, who subsequently carved out for themselves brilliant records as lawyers, and some of them have written their names upon the enduring pages of their country’s history. Upon this spot of ground has been, to a certain extent, the index of our county's prosperity; a gauge telling of our advancement before the days of steam and electricity, before the days even of highways, when the people chiefly lived in cabins, when the face of the county showed little else but forests and marshes. Then the log court house was here.

Mount Clemens Mayor George M. Crocker
October 21, 1880
At the laying of the 3rd Courthouse cornerstone; the building was completed in November of 1881.

For Your Benefit

By Macomb County Human Resources and Labor Relations

As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

March is National Reading Month and a good time to think about the benefits of reading.

Reading boosts brain power, reduces the chances of Alzheimer’s disease, reduces stress, helps improve the development of our youth and serves as a source of free entertainment. This is only to name a few of the many benefits. Let’s discuss these benefits further.

Boost brain power

Just as jogging and exercise enhances our physical health, reading enhances our mental health. According to research published in the journal Neurology, frequent brain exercises such as reading, jigsaw puzzles and brain games lowered mental decline by 32 percent.

Reduces chances of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease affects 4 million Americans. Did you know older readers are 2.5 times less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease? People who participate in mentally challenging activities, such as reading, tend to have a slower decline in memory functions. Another good reason not to forget to read!

Reduce stress

Curling up with a good book can reduce stress. Mindlab International at the University of Sussex performed a study, and the results stated reading for just six minutes can help reduce stress levels by 68 percent. That’ll put your mind at ease!

Improve children’s development

Reading translates into success for children in school. Success in school often leads to success in life as adults. The Early Childhood Longitudinal study found, "Children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading." Give children a great start and read to them.

Free entertainment

As the price for entertainment options continues to rise, catching a movie, game or play can be very expensive. To save your money, consider transporting yourself to another time and place by reading a captivating book. While you’ll pay to buy a book at Barnes & Noble or Amazon (without Prime or Unlimited), you have an unlimited collection of options at your local library.

Macomb County has over two dozen libraries that are part of the Suburban Library Cooperative (http://www.libcoop.net/wordpress/). You can borrow books, e-books, electronic magazines and many other resources for free through your local library. Check out your closest branch for some free, quality entertainment!

March is a great time to rekindle your love of reading!

March is a great time to rekindle your love of reading!

Healthstyles to host Lunch & Learn

Healthstyles is excited to announce personal health Lunch & Learns for employees in the month of March.

Fighting Cancer with your Fork - Learn how a balanced diet is important for cancer prevention and living beyond cancer. All employees in attendance will be entered in a raffle to win a cookbook. 

Noon to 1 p.m., March 31
MCHD Auditorium (Mount Clemens location)

Space is limited. Email healthstyles@macombgov.org to reserve your space at one of these sessions.

Macomb County Animal Shelter sniffing for volunteers

Love kittens? Can't get enough of dogs? The Animal Control Department would like to encourage our fellow county employees to volunteer at the department. Whether it is walking dogs on your lunch, stopping by to socialize kittens or helping find new homes for our adoptable pets at Gibraltar Trade Center on Saturdays, we would love to have you join our team!  

We have an excellent volunteer base, but we can always use new faces to help show our animals what it is like to be cared for. Even if you are unable to make it in to see the animals, we are always looking for volunteers for event planning, home fostering and much more. 

Don't hesitate to contact us with whatever ideas you have to lend a hand. We can be reached at (586) 469-5112 or feel free to stop in and see all of the changes that have taken place in the past few years! 

News Nook

County’s 200th birthday planning begins

Macomb County MSU Extension offers R.E.L.A.X. Alternatives to Anger

Macomb Mental Health invites community to public forum

Sponsors sought for 6 th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival of Races

Macomb County youth can explore future possibilities at 4-H Exploration Days

SKYWARN training coming to Macomb County

Macomb Community Action March for Meals campaign uses T-shirt fundraiser to raise awareness 

MSUE offers Basic Vegetable Gardening 

Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale now in full bloom 

Blog Log

Go Fish! (and find a great place in Macomb County for Friday fish fry dinners!)

Macomb County libraries provide bookmarks in childhood reading
 (Part 1)

Macomb County libraries provide bookmarks in childhood reading (Part 2)

It’s time to think spring! The Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale has begun!

Macomb County libraries provide bookmarks in childhood reading (Part 3)