The Latest from Lowell’s First Look: Weekly News Round-Up

This fall will mark five years since the launch of Lowell’s First Look. Since then, our mission has remained largely the same: offering daily news stories about the people, places and events that matter to you.

However, we have added new features and guest contributors along the way, and we’d like to take a minute to share these updates in case you missed them. Most notably, we’d like to tell you about the latest way to get local news: a weekly newsletter being launched next week.

But first, a brief update from “behind the screen.” As many of you know, Lowell’s First Look was founded by three people: Tina Dickerman, Maryalene LaPonsie and Amanda Schrauben. At the start of this year, Tina decided it was time to focus on different pursuits.

Since the start, Tina has been an integral part of Lowell’s First Look. While you may not have seen her byline on many articles, she has served as our business manager and played an instrumental role in making the site what it is today. We have counted her as a dear friend as well as business partner and wish her all the best for the new personal projects she has in the works.

Weekly Newsletter Provides Lowell, Michigan News at a Glance

For years, you’ve been able to get your daily Lowell news by visiting the Lowell’s First Look website, following us on Facebook or signing up to receive articles emailed directly to you.

However, we know not everyone is on social media, and some people are looking to reduce the number of emails in their inbox. To make the news more accessible to both these groups, we are launching a weekly newsletter on April 11. This newsletter will be sent each Sunday morning and include the following:

  • The headline and link to each story published in the previous week.
  • A sentence or two summery of each article.
  • And, just for a fun, a list of upcoming “holidays” for the next week so you won’t miss things like National Burrito Day or World Party Day.

It’ll be a quick and easy way to see all the week’s news at a glance. Then, you can click the links in the newsletter to read further about the topics that interest you.

One caveat to the weekly newsletter: Since it will go out on Sunday, there is always a possibility that timely information will be out of date by the time it lands in your inbox. The Lowell Riddler riddles are a good example. If you are interested in those, don’t wait for the newsletter to arrive on Sunday. Visit on Saturday morning, or you’ll risk someone else finding the medallion before you even see the riddle.

Ready to sign-up? Here’s a direct link to be put on the mailing list:

Of course, there is no cost and no obligation. If you decide it’s not for you, simply click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of any email to be taken off the list.

If you know others who would like to receive the newsletter, there are sign-up boxes on our homepage at for both the weekly newsletter and the option to receive an email every time a new article publishes.

Online Directory Taking Shape

One of our long-time goals has been to create an online directory of organizations and businesses in Lowell with links to any news about those organizations.

We recently started taking steps to make this directory a reality. It can be found in the “Around Town” tab. Right now, we have pages for recreation and home services/assistance, but plan to add sections for schools, shops, churches, restaurants and more.

As you can see from the current pages, this is very much a work in progress. We will continue to add to pages as time permits. We hope that the Around Town tab will turn into a comprehensive resource for residents and visitors alike.

If you want to be sure your group or business is included, you can email your listing information to [email protected]

Guest Contributors Offer Expert Insight

Many people in Lowell have a wealth of information to share. Over the course of the past year or so, we have assembled a roster of talented guest contributors who offer insight into their area of expertise.

Guest columns run most Mondays and include the following (listed in monthly publication order):

  • Healthy Living with Jilisa Ghareeb: Each month, Jilisa provides tips to help you eat better, get physically fit and improve your wellness. Jilisa is a Beachbody coach who has been advising clients on nutrition and fitness for more than five years.
  • Emmanuel Hospice: As the newest guest contributor, Emmanuel Hospice provides information and updates about end-of-life care. Emmanuel Hospice is a faith-based, non-profit that has been serving families in West Michigan since 2013.
  • The Real Estate Corner with Rick Seese: With more than 30 years in the industry, Rick is possibly the best-known and most-experienced real estate professional in the community. Each month, he reviews the latest sales statistics for Lowell as well as provides valuable information for both buyers and sellers.
  • Thoughts from the Therapy Chair with Joe Martino: Mental health is just as important as physical health, and Joe provides practical advice on topics such as anxiety, communication and relationships. Joe is a licensed professional counselor whose practice has offices in Lowell, Grand Rapids, Greenville and Grandville.

Looking to the future, we hope to continue to expand our coverage as we work to ensure the news we provide is accessible and relevant to you. If you have suggestions or comments, we always appreciate your feedback. Email us at any time at [email protected]

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