Southwest Michigan Today For Wednesday August 30, 2017

Aug 30, 2017

Kellogg sending help in wake of Hurricane Harvey. A new community alert system ready to go in Kalamazoo County. A Battle Creek homeless shelter gets a loan to pay employees. 

The Kellogg Company says it's donating $100,000 to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey. MLive says the Battle Creek-based cereal giant plans to send some of its products to food banks in Houston and other areas along the Gulf Coast. Kellogg officials say more donations will be sent if they're needed. The hurricane has caused severe flooding and other damage that's affected millions of people in Texas.

The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department says it's almost ready to launch a new community alert system. The Kalamazoo Gazette says it will send e-mails, phone calls, and text messages to schools, businesses, hospitals, and the media. The department says the new system was prompted by an incident in which a robbery led to a carjacking and attempted arson. The new system that starts today does not replace the existing "Red Alert System." It’s used to give warnings about active shooter situations.

The City of Kalamazoo will get 12 new Public Safety officers, thanks to a federal grant. The city will get more than one-and-a-half million dollars from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It's part of the "Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, program. It helps local communities improve their response to fire and emergency medical calls. Kalamazoo Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley says the new funding will bring his department up to 230 sworn officers. He says it handled more than eight thousand EMS and fire calls last year. (Kalamazoo Gazette

A homeless shelter in Battle Creek has received a $50,000 loan to pay its employees. The Battle Creek Enquirer reports that the Battle Creek Community Foundation loaned the money to Haven of Rest Ministries, which missed a payday on August 18th. Haven of Rest has said it’s been unable to pay employees because it doesn’t have access to a bank account that has $40,000 and it’s waiting for a $20,000 grant it was expected in June.

The two men who made a $70-million donation to launch Kalamazoo’s Foundation for Excellence will serve as co-chairs for a fundraising campaign to raise half a billion dollars. A news release from the city says Bill Johnston and Bill Parfet will lead the campaign. They will seek money from corporations, foundations and individual donors. The goal is to raise $500-million by 2019. The Foundation for Excellence was started to sustain a property tax cut and fund programs to address issues such as generational poverty.