KDPS chief loses misconduct review, wins retirement deal

Kalamazoo’s chief of public safety stands accused of discrimination and harassment during the brief time he was in charge of the department. But Vernon Coakley is being allowed to retire with a year of pay and full benefits.

A sister by her side. A family behind her back.

It takes a will, skill, and family for two women running a cafe in the middle of rural Scotts. Yet the community is grateful they’ve taken it on, from the retired couple who offered them the chance, to their meat suppliers who are also regular diners.

NowKalamazoo in our Community

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Providing editorial support for Loy Norrix student journalists.
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Two people stand in the snow in the middle of a homeless encampment.

NowKalamazoo’s Kristie May helped conduct a nighttime count of anyone sleeping outdoors within Kalamazoo County. Here’s what she learned.

Comparison shots showing ashley joyce memorial park before and after cleanup

Two years ago, the Edison Neighborhood Association handed over a playground to a new owner. It had been in disrepair, and a magnet for litter, drugs, and danger. Now its development is reinvigorating streets that had been written off.

the storefront of glofoods featuring a green-and-white sign

Kalamazoo County’s first all-vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant opens in Portage.

Matt Searles wrapping a chicken sandwich in a paper wrapper.

Rollup Ice Cream’s unique treats drew crowds in Kalamazoo and Portage stores, but the chicken sandwich is giving wings to the local parlor’s expansion to Missouri.

the front entrance of the Round About Caffe.

After serving her family and friends for years as a homemaker, Swapna Gorthi takes a chance on her own coffee-making and culinary skills, opening a shop with a unique menu. Coincidentally, it hasn’t been a direct path to establishing the Round About Caffe.

Sherri Brantley stands on the porch of her former restaurant/home in Kalamazoo's Vine Neighborhood

An unconventional chef and restaurateur had a dream of serving meals and her community. When the banks and management company sitting on a vacant property refused to respond to her attempts to buy or lease, she set up shop anyway.

a group of men fighting in the street in downtown Kalamazoo, some of them waving U.S. flags

A consultant hired by the city of Kalamazoo didn’t just recommend 40 policy changes, it also suggested better communication to the community and a police department more receptive to critique – two ways to avoid a repeat of the summer of 2020.

officers on bicycles block a road while two others question a protestor

A consultant recommended dozens of changes to Kalamazoo city administration and police policies following the controversial summer of 2020 protests. Over a year later, a quarter of them have yet to be fully completed.

a plate of various vegan foods

Menu options are expanding, a new all-vegan restaurant is soon to open, and a day-long festival at the Kalamazoo Farmers Market are expanding the horizons for area foodies.

chart showing average COVID-19 infections in Kalamazoo County since March 2020

COVID rates are flat. So are deaths and hospitalizations. Is this the NEW new normal?