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My Town: Storms likely to blame for hundreds of power outages

My Town: Storms likely to blame for hundreds of power outages

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Summer storms were likely the cause for hundreds of power outages across West Michigan Monday.

According to Consumers Energy, as of 3:30 p.m., 225 homes and businesses between Alto and Clarksville were without power.  Approximately 212 customers in the Hudsonville and Georgetown Township areas were also affected, as well as 86 homes and businesses in between Kent City and Sparta.  In Rockford, the Krause Memorial Library was among the approximately one dozen homes and businesses left in the dark.  The library opted to close for the rest of the day, with plans to reopen Tuesday.

It’s unclear when power will be fully restored.

My Town: Four communities host Labor Day prayer for farmers

My Town: Four communities host Labor Day prayer for farmers

GREENVILLE, Mich.--  The seeds have been sewn and the fields have been managed; now three West Michigan churches and an Ionia farm are turning to prayer for a safe and fruitful 2014 harvest.

Community members are encouraged to take part in this season’s prayer for farmers, which will take place on Labor Day, Sept. 1 at 10 a.m.   Mamrelund Lutheran Church in Kent City, Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville, Rudd Farms at 1426 W. Grand River Ave. in Ionia and First United Methodist Church in Carson City will host the prayer session.  For more information, contact Mike Finkler at (616) 690-6221.

My Town Sparta: ChoiceOne Bank celebrates second quarter growth

My Town Sparta: ChoiceOne Bank celebrates second quarter growth

---NEWS RELEASE---

SPARTA, Mich.(ChoiceOne Bank)– ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. (OTCBB:COFS), the parent company for ChoiceOne Bank, reported net income of $1,337,000 for the second quarter of 2014 compared to $1,312,000 in the same period in 2013. Earnings per share were $0.40 in both the second quarter of 2014 and the same quarter in the prior year. Net income for the first six months of 2014 was $2,585,000 or $0.78 per share, compared to $2,547,000 or $0.77 per share in the first half of 2013.

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

SPARTA, Mich.—Fruit farmers whose crops were devastated because of the unusual spring weather in 2012 are now eligible for federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin taking applications Tuesday for Michigan farmers who lost their fruit crops due to the freeze.  The funding is available through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program,  which was authorized in this year’s Farm Bill.

 “After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

My Town Sparta: Growing business filing for additional tax breaks

My Town Sparta: Growing business filing for additional tax breaks

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  A company recently awarded a $275,000 grant toward expanding in Sparta and Gaines townships is expected to get additional support from Sparta village council members.

On Monday, July 14, the village council is expected to vote on a resolution approving the application by Cascade Die Casting Group Inc. for an industrial facilities exemption certificate.

Last month, Cascade Die Casting Group, Inc. accepted a $275,000 Michigan Strategic Fund grant toward growing its facilities and adding equipment.  The $5.3 million investment will go toward new construction and purchasing die casting machines, trim presses and other manufacturing equipment.  The expansion is expected to lead to 50 new jobs.

My Town Sparta: Strawberry U-pick season arrives

My Town Sparta: Strawberry U-pick season arrives

SPARTA, Mich.—Strawberry picking season has arrived at Fruit Ridge Farm Market.

The market began offering u-pick strawberries Monday, June 16.  Each quart filled will cost $3.50; each flat (eight quarts) filled is $24. 

Fruit Ridge Farm Market has picking containers, but each customer should bring their own containers to take home the fruit.   For more information, visit the market website here.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market is located at 9000 Fruit Ridge Ave. in Sparta.  Business hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.