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GRPS Back to School Celebration moved indoors

GRPS Back to School Celebration moved indoors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The wet forecast is forcing the Grand Rapids Public Schools district to move Tuesday's Back to School Celebration indoors.

Instead of John Ball Park, the venue will be City High Middle School on Plainfield Ave. NE.

The celebration offers free food, games, and a chance for parents and students to get their back-to-school questions answered.

"We have informational booths with of our school programs and services. There will be everything from transportation, to food service, early childhood, adult education and everything in between," said district spokesperson John Helmholdt. "So, parents, prospective parents come one and come all."

Helmholdt says last year more than 6,000 people attended the Back-to-School Celebration.

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two men running to represent West Michigan in Congress have agreed to hold public forums.

Congressman Justin Amash and his Democratic contender, businessman Bob Goodrich met over coffee in Eastown Aug. 15.  During the brief meeting, both candidates discussed ideas on how best to keep the race for the 3rd Congressional seat civil.

Amash beat East Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis by roughly a 14-percent margin during August’s primary. Voters will decide if Amash will continue to represent them during the general election Nov. 4.  The Third Congressional District of Michigan includes the areas of  Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Belding, Lowell, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Sparta.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  Grand Rapids is home to the best craft brewery in the nation, according to The Daily Meal.

Founders Brewing Co. took the most votes during the food and drink publication’s online survey. Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo also made the cut, coming in at No. 5. More than 13,000 votes were cast nationwide. 

The contest started with 118 nominations by a panel of craft beer experts with The Daily Meal; online voters helped narrow down the list to 50 finalists, which included several of last year’s winners.

To see the entire list, visit The Daily Meal’s website here.

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

Mastercraft Pro Wakeboard Tour comes to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Some of the best wakeboarders in the world have come to West Michigan to compete.

The Mastercraft Pro Wakeboard Tour is holding its final stop and competition series at Millennium Park this weekend.

The tour travels around the country, making stops in states like Florida, California, and Washington state.

It came to West Michigan last year, too.

And while the competitors are trying to win titles, they also like to have the people come to watch, according to wakeboarder Rusty Malinoski.

"It's not very often you get the best in the world at what we do. I think there's 32 of the best wakeboarders that will be here competing for the title. It's pretty cool," said Malinoski.

The pro men's quarterfinals begin at 10 Saturday morning at Millennium Park, and organizers say anyone is welcome to get tickets and come watch.

My Town: Michigan Works employment support center closing Aug. 21

My Town: Michigan Works employment support center closing Aug. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Michigan Works is closing its service center in My Town Grand Rapids North.

The facility at 1560 Leonard NE will shut down at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21.  Michigan Works says a new service center opening in the Westside Complex, at 215 Straight Ave. NW, will provide limited services beginning at 8 a.m. Friday Aug. 22.  The new facility will begin offering a full array of free employment support services beginning Thursday, Aug. 28.

The facility changes are part of Michigan Works restructuring plan.

“The Service Center relocation will reduce our overhead costs substantially,” said Jacob Maas, executive director for ACSET. “That’s in addition to an anticipated $1 million savings due to a recent change to our service delivery model. That’s money that will be invested directly into our employment and training programs. As federal funding decreases, we are tasked with being more creative and flexible.”

My Town: Tim Hortons serves up sweet treat for Special Olympics Michigan

My Town: Tim Hortons serves up sweet treat for Special Olympics Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids area Tim Hortons are serving up some sweet smiles for a good cause.

Now through Aug. 17, participating Tim Hortons Café and Bake Shops will be selling Smile Cookies to benefit Special Olympics Michigan’s Young Athletes program.  The cookie is chocolate chunk with a smiley face draw on it in pink and blue frosting.  Each treat is $1 and available while supplies last.

The Young Athletes Program introduces children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities to sports, fostering their physical, cognitive and social development.

This is the second year for the Smile Cookie program in Grand Rapids; last year, participating businesses collected more than $5,000 for Special Olympics Michigan in just 10 days.