Kowall receives Michigan Hospital Association’s highest legislative honor

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall has received the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) 2017 Special Recognition Award for his legislative leadership and understanding of the economic value that hospitals bring to Oakland County and the state.

The MHA cited several of Kowall’s accomplishments when presenting him with the award during their annual membership meeting this week.

The association recognized Kowall for his sponsorship of Public Act 500 of 2016, which gives medical research and medical tourism facilities access to the Transportation Economic Development Fund, created to help the state compete in an international economy and stimulate economic growth and to improve the quality of life in rural and urban areas.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by the MHA for my efforts to improve health care in Michigan and help our state and local communities realize the economic benefits,” said Kowall, R-White Lake. “We won some battles, but we have more ahead. The MHA has encouraged me in this fight and has been a tremendous partner.”

Oakland Press: Fourth of July is about celebrating freedom

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Our nation’s next great holiday, Independence Day, is right around the corner. The Fourth of July is a remembrance of what we as a nation set out to be and a rousing celebration of what we have become. It is the day we commemorate the freedom won by patriots of old.

The Fourth of July celebrates the grand experiment in liberty that is America, and it has come to mean hot dogs, baseball, swimming, fishing, apple pie, parades, and — of course — fireworks.

It is also a day for traditions. One popular tradition is for communities and volunteers to place American flags on the graves of veterans as a tribute to our fallen heroes and in remembrance of the true cost of freedom. I encourage you to join with your community and celebrate the liberty we hold dear.

Perhaps you’ll be out boating and swimming in one of the Great Lakes this Fourth of July or enjoying one of our thousands of inland lakes. Michigan’s lakes are a treasure, and swimming in them is one of the joys of summer.

If you do plan to spend time on the water on the Fourth of July or later this summer, I encourage you to take the necessary precautions to make it a safe and fun experience. Take swimming lessons, follow local safety guidelines and look out for powerful rip currents.

If you are looking for local parades or fireworks displays on Independence Day, the websites OaklandCountyBlog.com and OaklandCountyMoms.com can help. Just search for “Fourth of July” or “Independence Day.”

Whether you are celebrating at a picnic or parade, on a river or a lake, or enjoying a big fireworks display or your own fireworks, remember to stay safe this holiday. If you are out in the summer sun and heat, make sure to apply sunscreen (especially on children) and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you are using your own fireworks, obey all local laws regarding their use. Always use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles. Keep a bucket of water nearby, and do not experiment with homemade fireworks. These tips and others can be found at FireworksSafety.org.

This Independence Day, celebrate summertime in Michigan and the freedom that makes that celebration possible. Have a fun, safe Fourth of July.

This column first appeared in the Oakland Press. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Spinal Column: Fourth of July is about celebrating freedom

Sen. Mike Kowall

Sen. Mike Kowall

By Sen. Mike Kowall
15th Senate District

Our nation’s next great holiday, Independence Day, is right around the corner. The Fourth of July is a remembrance of what we as a nation set out to be and a rousing celebration of what we have become. It is the day we commemorate the freedom won by patriots of old.

The Fourth of July celebrates the grand experiment in liberty that is America, and it has come to mean hot dogs, baseball, swimming, fishing, apple pie, parades, and — of course — fireworks.

It is also a day for traditions. One popular tradition is for communities and volunteers to place American flags on the graves of veterans as a tribute to our fallen heroes and in remembrance of the true cost of freedom. I encourage you to join with your community and celebrate the liberty we hold dear.

Perhaps you’ll be out boating and swimming in one of the Great Lakes this Fourth of July or enjoying one of our thousands of inland lakes. Michigan’s lakes are a treasure, and swimming in them is one of the joys of summer.

If you do plan to spend time on the water on the Fourth of July or later this summer, I encourage you to take the necessary precautions to make it a safe and fun experience. Take swimming lessons, follow local safety guidelines and look out for powerful rip currents.

If you are looking for local parades or fireworks displays on Independence Day, the websites OaklandCountyBlog.com and OaklandCountyMoms.com can help. Just search for “Fourth of July” or “Independence Day.”

Whether you are celebrating at a picnic or parade, on a river or a lake, or enjoying a big fireworks display or your own fireworks, remember to stay safe this holiday. If you are out in the summer sun and heat, make sure to apply sunscreen (especially on children) and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you are using your own fireworks, obey all local laws regarding their use. Always use fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from buildings and vehicles. Keep a bucket of water nearby, and do not experiment with homemade fireworks. These tips and others can be found at FireworksSafety.org.

This Independence Day, celebrate summertime in Michigan and the freedom that makes that celebration possible. Have a fun, safe Fourth of July.

This column first appeared in the Spinal Column newsweekly. Senator Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, is the Michigan Senate majority floor leader. He serves the residents of the 15th Senate District, representing western Oakland County.

Sen. Kowall honors 2017 Fitzgerald Award winners

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall honored 2017 Fitzgerald Award recipients Evan Ward (left) and Isaac Martin on Tuesday during Senate session.

“The Frank Fitzgerald Public Service Award recognizes talented young people active in Michigan government who have shown extraordinary dedication and a willingness to help others,” said Kowall, R-White Lake.

“The two young men standing with me today exemplify the qualities of hard work and devoted public service that we have come to expect from Fitzgerald Award winners. Thank you both for your service, and congratulations on this well-deserved award.”

Ward served as a student budget analyst and researcher at the State Budget Office of Michigan, where he researched the fiscal aspects of Medicaid and the corrections, higher education, and K-12 education budgets. He also interned with the House Republican Policy Office. Ward is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and politics from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Martin interned in the Michigan House for state Rep. Lee Chatfield. Today he is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Oakland University. He is a columnist for the Oakland Post and has been recognized as an Oakland Distinguished Scholar.

Recipients of the Frank Fitzgerald Public Service Award are honored for their excellence as scholars, communicators, and volunteers. The award is named for the late Frank Fitzgerald, a state lawmaker in the 1980s and 1990s. Fitzgerald served for 12 years in the Michigan House and was speaker pro tem for two terms.

Note: For a print-quality version of this or other Kowall photos, click the image or select Photowire under the Media Center tab, above.

Final Notice: Kowall and Nofs honoring Vietnam era veterans at Hastings event

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall and Sen. Mike Nofs on Tuesday reminded interested parties of a county-wide, formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony this Saturday, June 10 in commemoration of the 50-year anniversary of the war.

Kowall, R-White Lake, and Nofs, R-Battle Creek, are hosting the “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Event to Thank and Honor Vietnam Veterans and Their Families” in Hastings in Barry County in conjunction with the American Legion Post 484 Hickory Corners, American Legion Post 140 Middleville, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7 Battle Creek, Military Order of the Purple Heart USA Chapter 110, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4461 Lake Odessa, and American Legion Post 45.

The ceremony will give long-overdue recognition to Vietnam War era veterans, Gold Star Mothers and their families. The lawmakers encourage all interested residents and veterans to join them in paying tribute to the men and women who were too often forgotten when they returned home.

Kowall said the event, made possible in part by the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10, at the Barry Expo Center Exhibition Hall (home of the Barry County Fair), 1350 N. M-37, in Hastings.

The master of ceremonies will be retired U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard Col. Frank J. Walker, currently an Air Force Academy Admissions liaison officer and veteran advocate. The guest speaker will be Brig. Gen. Michael A. Stone, assistant adjutant general for installations for the Michigan Army National Guard and deputy director, Michigan Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.

RSVP to Barry County American Legion Commander Jim Gross at 616-328-1343 or by email at j.gross13@yahoo.com.

The event will be supported by members of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, who will be in attendance. The Commemoration was congressionally authorized to do what should have been done over 50 years ago: thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

Kowall and Nofs will provide a Vietnam War Commemorative Lapel Pin to U.S. veterans who served on active duty at any time from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

In support of the Vietnam veterans, a motorcycle procession by American Legion Riders Post 45 will formally open the ceremony. The post welcomes all motorcycles, trucks and cars to join the procession. Riders will depart at 12:45 p.m. from American Legion Post 45 at 2160 S. M-37 in Hastings. The Barry County Sherriff’s Department will provide a police escort. For more information, contact John-John Richards, vice president of the American Legion Riders Post 45, at 269-870-0660.

Additional event highlights:
•    The 110th Attack Wing Air National Guard Unit and the Barry County Honor Guard will present and retire the colors;
•    The 110th Attack Wing Air National Guard Unit will present military honors for the POW/MIA Missing Man Table;
•    Joanna Lauren will perform the national anthem and God Bless America;
•    The Delton Kellogg High School Band will perform under the direction of band director Sara Knight; and
•    Every child attending the ceremony will receive an American flag;

Kowall has held numerous events, in both Lansing and throughout the state. The ceremonies are held in a variety of locations, including VFW/American Legion posts, veteran memorial parks and banquet halls. Kowall often partners with the senator of the district where the event is being held.

Information regarding the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration can be found at www.vietnamwar50th.com.