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Disability Advocates of Kent County hold bus stop clearing contest

Disability Advocates of Kent County hold bus stop clearing contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The higher temperatures and rain will likely not rid West Michigan of all of its snow, which is why the Disability Advocates of Kent County is inviting all shovelers to take part in a contest.

The organization is asking everyone to help dig out bus stops in the Grand Rapids metro area, which are buried under snow.  While many people can climb over the snow banks to get on buses, people with disabilities cannot.

People who dig out a bus stop are asked to take a before and after picture and email them to Aric Coleman at aric.c@dakc.us , along with the location of the bus stop.  The Disability Advocates of Kent County will post the pictures on its Facebook Page to recognize your efforts.  Members of the group that clears the most stops by Feb.

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

LANSING, Mich.—Full-time college students called to jury duty can now postpone their service until the end of the school year.

Governor Snyder signed that bill into law Tuesday.  It allows students attending higher education in Michigan to delay jury duty if they can prove it will interfere with their class schedule. A similar exemption already exists for eligible high school students.

“Serving on a jury is an important part of our civic responsibility,” Snyder said. “However, for college students, jury duty can be disruptive to their studies. This law gives them the opportunity to focus on their education while still giving them the opportunity to serve after the school year.”  

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The first of three community meetings to help select a new Grand Rapids police chief is this Tuesday, Feb. 18.

“Community input is critical to finding the best police chief to lead our community. Residents, businesses, local law enforcement professionals, neighborhood and community leaders, and youth will all have an opportunity to share the qualities they believe the Grand Rapids’ new police chief should possess,” said City Manager Greg Sundstrom.

The community input meetings are scheduled as follows:

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids is turning to community members to help select the city’s next police chief.

The city will hold community input meetings beginning Tuesday, Feb. 18 at Union High School.  The city has also posted an online survey for residents, addressing what people want in their next police chief.  The surveys are due March 7.

 “Community input is critical to finding the best police chief to lead our community. Residents, businesses, local law enforcement professionals, neighborhood and community leaders, and youth will all have an opportunity to share the qualities they believe the Grand Rapids’ new police chief should possess,” said City Manager Greg Sundstrom.

The community input meetings are scheduled as follows:

The Best Times in Michigan are Free

The Best Times in Michigan are Free

I travel on Butterworth Dr NW in Walker, MI often on my way to the Mall or to visit family and always enjoy seeing people in Johnson Park, just off Wilson Ave NW.

Summertime is an especially busy time at this park with people enjoying a picnic, jogging, playing catch, weddings, family reunions and some just plain enjoying the scenery and people watching. It really is a busy park.

Recently I drove this same way and was very disappointed to see few people enjoying this same park. There were about 8-10 cars in the parking lot of people who were up on the big sliding hill enjoying the sunshine and the thrill of sliding down that hill, some on sleds, toboggans, tubes and some even just with a cardboard box.

As I drove through I wondered, where are all those people who use this park all summer and fall? Why aren’t they out here enjoying the winter sports and seeing the beauty of nature?

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The search is about to begin to replace another Kent County commissioner.

Sandi Frost Steensma will officially resign from her post on Saturday, Feb. 1.  Steensma began serving on the Board of Commissioners seven years ago.  She was re-elected three times to represent District 5, which covers Bowne Township, Cascade Township, Lowell Township and a part of Caledonia Township.

“Commissioner Steensma has operated in a bi-partisan manner in the commission chambers,

while working to maintain the county’s balanced budgets and AAA Credit Rating,” said commission chairman Dan Koorndyk of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “She has shown a passion for the parks and other programs that make Kent County a quality community, and has worked diligently to create a new entity to oversee John Ball Zoo.”

Steensma was recently appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Board of Trustees for Lake Superior State University.