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Meijer redevelopment proposal moves forward

Meijer redevelopment proposal moves forward

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A plan to allow a senior living area near the Meijer on 10 Mile Road will go before the Algoma Township Board Tuesday, Jan. 14.

The plan calls for re-dividing the plot owned by Meijer to eight to nine units and redefining uses for the back parcels to allow for senior housing in the future.

In December, the Algoma Township Planning Commission approved recommending the proposed development changes to the Algoma Township Board.  The planning commission’s recommendation also included deleting language which did not allow for restaurants with drive-through facilities and restricting access to 10 Mile Road for two of the units.  Both units would need internal drives.

The Algoma Township Board meeting next week will begin at 7 p.m.

United Methodist Church of the Dunes to Present Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

DEC. 17, 2013, GRAND HAVEN, MICH.—United Methodist Church of the Dunes (UMCD), at 717 Sheldon Road in Grand Haven, will present its annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services on Dec. 24 at 7 and 11 p.m. The general public is invited to attend free of charge. The theme for both services will be “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” by Hal H. Hopson. Featured will be readings and scriptural lessons of faith, along with the following musical numbers: • O Come All Ye Faithful • The God of Abr’am Praise • Lo, How a Rose • There is no Rose • Good Christian Friends, Rejoice • Angels We Have Heard on High • Joy to the World The 7 p.m. event is a “Family Service.” The UMCD Youth and Children’s Choirs, plus chimers and bell ringers will be featured. The 11 p.m. event will feature the UMCD Bells of Glory and Chancel Choirs. “The 11 p.m. candlelight service is more of a contemplative and reflective service,” said Jean Schuitman, director of music and organist at UMCD.

Sparta ice rink may not return this year

Sparta ice rink may not return this year

SPARTA, Mich.—The mayor of Sparta says plans for a village ice rink this year may be put on ice.

Mayor Skip Meyer says the cold, snowy weather and a lack of volunteers have put plans for the rink in peril.  Meyer says two people inquired about volunteering this year, but he needs six to eight volunteers just to set up the rink.

Meyer says to set up the rink, volunteers must tape together two rolls of plastic, which takes about an hour.  It takes another couple hours to build the frame, which must then be moved from the school gym to Balyeat Field. Volunteers with the fire department are then needed to pour water into the frame, which must be secured with metal stakes.  After the ice forms, a team of volunteers is also needed to keep snow off the rink.

Meyer says even if enough volunteers come forward, they would need to clear about a 18 inches of snow from the area, and the ground is likely too frozen to insert the stakes.

Living Nativity returns Dec. 21 through Dec. 24

Living Nativity returns Dec. 21 through Dec. 24

KENT COUNTY, Mich.-- The Christmas story will come alive right outside Ballard Church of Christ starting Saturday, Dec. 21.

The community is invited to experience this free live nativity showcasing the holy family, shepherds, live animals, wise men and more.  The live nativity runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

Ballard Church of Christ is located at 1633 10 Mile Road near Sparta.  For more information, call (616) 887-7311 or visit www.ballardcrc.org.

Volunteers needed as Santa Train rolls into the village

Volunteers needed as Santa Train rolls into the village

SPARTA, Mich.—The Santa Train is about to roll into Sparta.

The special trip will bring Santa to the village Saturday, Dec. 14.  The train is expected to arrive at 10:10 a.m.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help with crowd control, keeping people away from the tracks as the train approaches. They’re also invited to walk in the parade, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m.

If you’re interested in helping, leave a message on the Sparta Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook page.

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Rep. Rob VerHeulen to hear community concerns Nov. 23

Rep. Rob VerHeulen to hear community concerns Nov. 23

SPARTA, Mich.—State lawmaker Rob VerHeulen will visit Sparta Saturday, November 23 to hear community concerns.

VerHeulen, who represents the Walker area, will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Maxine’s Family Restaurant, located at 370 N. State Street.           

"I always look forward to my office hours each month," VerHeulen said. "It gives me an opportunity to leave the office and meet residents in person."

Those who cannot attend VerHeulen’s office hours are encouraged to contact his Lansing office by calling (517) 373-8900 or emailing RobVerHeulen@house.mi.gov.