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Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte

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.

Family Farm & Home opening a new store

 Family Farm & Home opening a new store

SPARTA, Mich.-- The former Pamida building located at 53 Applewood Dr. will be the location for the new Family Farm & Home store coming to Sparta.

The Muskegon-based Family Farm & Home business is expected to open this 27th store by late August 2013. The new facility is expected to include lawn and garden, hardware, automotive, agriculture, sporting goods, clothing, toys and pet departments. There will be something for everyone, giving the community a shopping alternative that has been missing from the area since Pamida closed its doors last year.

Check out www.familyfarmandhome.com for more information about the store coming to your town.

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

West Michigan growers are seeing high demand for berries this summer.

Many farmers have closed their fields for a couple days after visitors picked their plants clean.  The increasing demand also led to a shorter cherry season for some growers.  

Here's a list of some of the U-pick locations open in West Michigan this summer. Prices, fruit availability and hours vary daily, so it's best to call ahead before visiting any farm.

 

Ionia County

 

Bird Berry Farm

5256 Belding Rd. Belding, MI

(616) 794-5041

Blueberries $1.75 per pound

Patch picked out early Friday morning call back for update Wednesday, July 17

 

 

Kent County

 

North Ridge Berries

3555 20 Mile Rd. NW Kent City, MI

(616) 675-5919

Raspberries $3 per pound

Cherry season arrives at Fruit Ridge Farm Market

Cherry season arrives at Fruit Ridge Farm Market
 SPARTA, Mich.-- The cherry season is officially here.Fruit Ridge Farm Market, located at 9000 Fruit Ridge Avenue, opened its u-pick season for tart and sweet cherries Thursday, July 11.   Visitors can pick a pound of tart cherries for $1.25 per pound or pick up a pre-picked pound for $1.65.  Sweet cherries are $1.75 per pound for u-pick and $3 per pound for pre-picked.

Red raspberries are also available for $4 per picked pint or $3 per a pound if you pick it.

Fruit Ridge Farm Market is now also showcasing its produce in the new Downtown Market in Grand Rapids. 

Saving taxpayer money: Kent ISD consolidates printing services

Saving taxpayer money: Kent ISD consolidates printing services

Grand Rapids Community College and Kent ISD are combining printing services to save taxpayer money and streamline service to school districts and non-profit organizations.

The newly consolidated printing service is located on GRCC’s campus.  The partnership will save money by increasing the efficiency of the college print shop and eliminating the expense of staffing copy services at Kent ISD. 

“In recent years, we’ve continued to hear from our constituents and their elected representatives that we in the public sector should do more to collaborate and, where we can, operate like a business,” said Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender. “I’d like to think this is the type of collaboration they have in mind. This reduces costs for both institutions and increases efficiency at the same time.”

Bank offers up lot for Sparta Farmers Market

Bank offers up lot for Sparta Farmers Market

SPARTA, Mich.—ChoiceOne Bank is supporting the Sparta Farmers Market for a fourth season by offering up its employee parking lot for the event each week.

The Farmers Market and ChoiceOne Bank established a relationship in 2009, when Bank President and CEO Jim Bosserd began asking employees to clear out the parking lot every Wednesday.  Bosserd says bank workers also shop at the market and tell bank customers about the market.

 “By banking, shopping and dining locally, we can make a big impact on the fabric of our local communities, all while helping to build strong local economies.  It means more local jobs and that is the bottom line today,” Bosserd said.

The Sparta Farmers Market is open Wednesdays 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. through September 25.