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Members vote on whether to allow Village and Township to leave Metro Council

Members vote on whether to allow Village and Township to leave Metro Council

Two communities are trying to leave the Grand Valley Metropolitan Council.

Right now, members of the Metro Council are voting on whether to allow Sparta and Sparta Township to withdraw and Ada Township to join the group. Sparta officials say the city council decided to withdraw from the Metro Council about a year and a half ago. 

If all the changes are approved, 33 counties, cities, townships and villages will be members of the Metro Council, which is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.

Hunter Safety Class Time

Hunter Safety Class Time

It’s that time of year again and people are lining up to take a Hunter Safety Course to be prepared for hunting this fall.

Marne Conservation Club at 1719 Johnson Street in Marne, MI is offering this class that is limited to 24 students. Classes begin on August 22nd and run through the 24th. Students must attend all three classes to earn their hunter’s safety certificate. Classes on Thursday & Friday run from 5pm to 9pm and Saturday, 8am to Noon.

Registration available by contacting Bill Walters, 616-583-1968 or Harold Montgomery at 616-942-7784.

Man dies in Sparta motorcycle crash

SPARTA, Mich. (WZZM)- One person is dead and two others are injured after a motorcycle accident in Sparta Sunday afternoon.

It happened just before 6:00 p.m. on Alpine Avenue, south of 12 Mile Road.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department says the driver of the motorcycle was headed south on Alpine and crossed the center line, colliding with a Chevrolet Impala.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Impala was 70-year-old William Yuncker. He suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs, and was taken to Spectrum Butterworth for his injuries.

His passenger, 64-year-old Mary Yuncker, suffered only scrapes and bruises.

The identity of the driver of the motorcycle is being withheld until next of kin are notified.

The accident is still under investigation.

Health dept: West Nile likely in Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - More than 40 human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection were confirmed in Kent County
residents last year. The caseload prompted staff at the Kent County Health Department to trap and test mosquito
populations this summer.

Positive results from this testing are meant to serve as an early warning system for the presence of the virus in Kent County. Today, testing of mosquitoes collected at a random site in West Michigan during the past week yielded a result that was preliminarily positive for WNV.

"This test result confirms that the mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus are likely in our county," said Adam London,
Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department. "This information should encourage residents
take steps to protect their families from mosquitoes." Only one case of illness has been confirmed in Michigan, in St.
Joseph County, so far this year.

3rd Thursday Street Festival takes over downtown August 15

3rd Thursday Street Festival takes over downtown August 15

SPARTA, Mich.—Tonight is the perfect night to bring the family to downtown Sparta, as the final 3rd Thursday Street Festival of the year gets underway.

The event, hosted by Roger’s Hardware, runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The theme is “Touch-a-Truck Night.”   Visitors can check out local artists, musicians, entertainers, take a horse and trolley ride and enjoy specialty food served up by local restaurants.

For more information, visit the Sparta Chamber of Commerce website here.

Volunteers needed to help when Moving Wall Memorial arrives

Volunteers needed to help when Moving Wall Memorial arrives

SPARTA, Mich.—The City of Sparta is looking for volunteers to help when the Moving Wall Memorial arrives later this month.

The wall is expected to roll into town on August 29.  It will be on display through Labor Day weekend on Balyeat Field.  The memorial is a half-size replica of the wall in Washington D.C. that lists the names of Vietnam veterans who sacrificed for our country.

If you’d like to volunteer to help, click here.

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Communities impacted by the floods in April have less than a week to file their request for federal disaster money. 

In June, President Obama declared a major disaster in 16 Michigan counties, including Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon and Newaygo. The Small Business Association also issued a disaster declaration this summer.  Both declarations freed up federal assistance for homeowners, local governments and certain non-profits who were forced to clean up.  Homeowners and businesses had until Monday, August 12 to apply for assistance; city officials have until August 17.

The flooding caused $10 million in damage in Kent County alone.  Federal funding would help pay for debris removal and repairs to public property, roads and bridges.