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My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."

Fire put out at Cascade Die Casting in Sparta


SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Firefighters have responded to flames at a Sparta business.

The flames at Cascade Die Casting Group, Inc., 9983 Sparta Ave., were reported around 4pm Thursday, when a dust collector caught fire and workers evacuated.

Multiple fire departments were dispatched to the scene, but by about 4:15pm some were called off as firefighters already on the scene made progress against the flames.

Authorities closed Sparta Ave. north of M-37 while fighting the fire. By 4:30pm, the northbound side of the road was open again. At that point, firefighters said the fire was out and they were checking for hot spots. Workers also returned to their jobs. Sparta Ave. is entirely open again at this point.

My Town: Algoma Township Supervisor announces resignation

My Town: Algoma Township Supervisor announces resignation

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Algoma Township officials will soon begin their search for a new township supervisor.

 

Supervisor Dennis Hoemke submitted his letter of resignation to the board earlier this month.  He plans to retire March 31, 2015.  

 

The Township Board voted to wait until its January meeting to decide how to appoint a new supervisor.  Hoemke is recommending Deputy Supervisor/Board Trustee Nancy Clary take over the post, and the board then appoint someone to fill her current office.  All township positions would then be up for re-election during the general election in 2016.

My Town: Sable Homes building barrier free homes in Sparta

My Town: Sable Homes building barrier free homes in Sparta

SPARTA, Mich.-- On Dec. 11, Sable Homes hosted Marylu Dykstra, Joanne Feutz and the rest of Disability Advocates of Kent County's representatives for a tour of our barrier-free home at 196 N.

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—After more than three decades helping to educate hundreds of thousands of children, the superintendent of Kent Intermediate School District is leaving his post.

Tuesday, Kevin Konarska announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year. Konarska has worked for Kent ISD for nine years, helping the agency navigate through the Great Recession and deep funding cuts by the state, all while opening new education programs and a laboratory school.

"It will be very hard to see Kevin leave," Board President Claudia Bajema said in a news release to WZZM 13. "He has made such a difference in the schools we serve and in the opportunities available to the more than 100,000 students throughout our service region."

My Town: See Sparta's newly-approved budget

My Town: See Sparta's newly-approved budget

SPARTA, Mich.-- The Village of Sparta has posted the official budget for the 2015 fiscal year.  

You can find the entire plan here.

My Town: Sparta High School students collect more than 1,000 toys for donation

My Town: Sparta High School students collect more than 1,000 toys for donation

SPARTA, Mich. -- WZZM 13 is celebrating the end to yet another successful Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge, thanks to an army of students scattered across West Michigan.

More than 40 schools participated in this year's drive, collecting more than 11,000 toys. Sparta High School collected 1,271 toys to donate.

For additional toy totals and videos, visit the WZZM 13 Toys for Tots page.