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My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A charter school in Kentwood is the top West Michigan school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list of Best High Schools.

The publication recently released its list of the top 500 schools nationally. The rankings are based on the student to teacher ratio, AP course involvement and math and reading proficiency scores.  The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX took the top spot.

In Michigan, 60 schools made the cut, with International Academy in Bloomfield Hills taking the top spot.  Excel Charter Academy-Grand River Prep School in Kentwood ranked second among Michigan schools.  City Middle/High School and Black River Public School were the only other West Michigan schools to crack the top ten.

The list of local schools includes:

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My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  Parents, coaches, teachers and others are invited to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park next week to learn life-saving techniques for young athletes suffering from heart problems.

"Wes Leonard Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symposium: What Parents, Coaches and Educators Need To Know" will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 1.  Pediatric electrophysiologist Christopher Ratnasamy, MD, will explain the risk factors and when students should be screened.  Visitors will also learn how to respond to a cardiac emergency, including proper CPR techniques and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

It’s been three years since Fennville High School basketball star Wes Leonard collapsed on the court after making a game-winning shot.  He died from an enlarged heart.   The Wes Leonard Heart Team, formed after his death, with a goal to save other students’ lives by ensuring all Michigan schools are equipped with AEDs.

YMCA traffic shouldn't be a problem at proposed location


Cascade, Twp. Mich. (WZZM) Cascade Township officials say they like the idea of a new YMCA but their biggest concern is the traffic that could come with it.

Monday night leaders of the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids met with Cascade township officials to talk about a new facility at Kraft and Burton.

This is the second attempt to build a new Y-M-C-A. The first location, planned for Leonard and Crahen was turned down by Grand Rapids Township over traffic concerns as well.

The Cascade Planning Commission discussed those concerns and were told it shouldn't be a big problem, "You won't find any traffic jams to get into the Y, " said Ron Nelson, President and CEO of YMCA of Grand Rapids. "That's because, whether it's the law of averages or whatever, people seem to come and go in flux, so none of our branches have really created problems."

New steps Monday toward the approval of a new YMCA in Cascade Township

New steps Monday toward the approval of a new YMCA in Cascade Township


CASCADE TWP., Mich. (WZZM) - More steps will be taken Monday toward the approval of a new YMCA in Cascade Township. If approved, it will be the first of its kind in greater Grand Rapids, but there are some concerns the Township wants addressed first.

The roadblock now is concern over traffic congestion and safety. Before the final stamp of approval is given for the YMCA to begin building, a traffic plan has to be approved.

This is the same issue the YMCA ran into last summer; causing plans for a Grand Rapids Township location to be rejected. Now, the location under scrutiny is at the intersection of Kraft and Burton. The YMCA has obtained two signed purchase agreements for 36 acres of property at this location.

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My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

West Michigan marathoners leave for Boston


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Scores of West Michigan runners will participate in Monday's Boston Marathon; many left Friday.

Francine Robinson is looking forward to the race, despite extra security obstacles put in place after last year's bombing.

"It's just that whole marathon spirit. This week I've heard the words resilience, hope, courage, [and] perseverance. I've heard that over and over about runners going back. I compare it to marathon running -- those are the exact traits you have to have to finish," Robinson said.

Robinson has already run 111 marathons, but expects Monday's will be like no other.

"I suspect it'll be very emotional, it's gonna be a celebration, definitely," she added.

Early Friday morning, marathoner Kim Evans of Ada left Gerald Ford Airport, bound for Boston. Earlier this week, she said the race will be "incredibly special."

My Town Ada: Construction company targeted in real estate rental scam

My Town Ada: Construction company targeted in real estate rental scam

ADA, Mich.—One of West Michigan’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For has become a target in a scam.

Early this year, Dan Vos Construction Company of Ada notified the Better Business Bureau that its name was being used in a real estate rental scam.  The company had received complaints from people in Arizona, New Jersey and Texas about a posting on Craigslist and Hotpads, claiming a Richard Carlson recently accepted a job with Dan Vos Construction Companies in Michigan and was offering his home in Arizona/New Jersey/Texas for rent.  The rent posted varied between $600 and $740 per month and included all utilities.

Dan Vos Construction Company informed the BBB about the false posting.  The company does not have an employee named Richard Carlson. The company name is also Dan Vos Construction Company, not companies.

As of April 1, both listings appeared to have been removed.