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My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

KENT COUNTY, Mich.— State lawmakers are coming to the rescue of drivers trying to dodge a plethora of potholes this year.

The legislature Wednesday approved $215 million in emergency road funding,  including $115 million for priority projects and $100 million to assist with maintainence needed due to the harsh winter.    

“The additional funding is much needed to combat the brutal winter we experienced this year and to start to reverse the toll it took on Michigan’s roadways,” said Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker.  “The investment in local roads will help to limit the expenses associated with car repairs due to poor road conditions.”

The emergency funding includes nearly $1.9 million to maintain and fix Kent County’s roads.  That includes more than $235,000 for the following communities:

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Village approves new snow-clearing vehicle

Village approves new snow-clearing vehicle

SPARTA, Mich.—The village of Sparta is getting a new truck to help clear roads.

During their regular meeting Jan. 13, village council members approved purchasing a new dump truck to replace the city’s aging vehicle, which is from 1985.  The new vehicle will help with salting and plowing the roads, as well as other needs throughout the year.   The village is also considering purchasing a side wing plow to help with clearing snow.

The truck is expected to cost approximately $140,000.  The purchase was already factored into the budget.

Crews rush to finish Rogers Park parking lot before winter

Crews rush to finish Rogers Park parking lot before winter

SPARTA, Mich.—A new parking lot is taking shape at Rogers Park. 

Construction crews are rushing to finish the lot along State Street before winter sets in.  .  Earlier this week, Downtown Development Authority Director Elizabeth Morse said the project is about half-way finished. Workers still need to pour the blacktop.

Before construction on the parking lot could start, village officials had to pass a resolution, since State Street is owned by the county.

ChoiceOne Bank backs Coopersville tradition

ChoiceOne Bank backs Coopersville tradition

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.— Sparta-based ChoiceOne Bank is throwing its support behind a Coopersville tradition.

The bank announced Friday that it will donate $1,000 to the 23rd annual Del Shannon Car Show, held August 9-10.

About 800 vehicles from every decade will line historic Main Street during the car show, which is named after rock and roll sensation and Coopersville native Del Shannon. The event starts at 6 p.m. Friday with a cruise through downtown.  The car show is expected to attract up to 80,000 people downtown.

WAVE Award nominations open

WAVE Award nominations open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association have opened the 6th Annual WAVE Award nominations.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry. Nominations will be accepted from employers and guests from April 30 to Oct.7, 2013. One award will be presented in each of the following categories: Transportation, Retail & Service, Attractions/Events, and Nightlife. New categories to the 2013 awards program include: Restaurants/Breweries, Lodging, and Volunteer in Hospitality.

Cast Your Monday Vote and Win Made In Michigan Products!

Cast Your Monday Vote and Win Made In Michigan Products!

Join us in celebrating Michigan products with the Made in Michigan Bracket Challenge. Click HERE to download the bracket.

Each day we'll have four matchups, one from each bracket, as we go through some of our great Made in Michigan products.