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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

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Children learning through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences

Bethany Open golf outing helps Bethany Christian Services


ADA, Mich. (WZZM) -- With the arrival of more and more unaccompanied immigrant children into the United States, the need for help from Bethany Christian Services here in West Michigan is growing.

Monday, more than 300 golfers played in the 29th annual Bethany Open golf tournament.

Organizers of the event at Egypt Valley Country Club say the money raised will help Bethany place children into loving families.

"We are serving a lot of the refugee population that is coming into this community," said Bill Blacquiere, President and CEO of Bethany Christian Services. "We are looking for adoptive parents and foster parents for these refugee children. They are from all over the world, and we are very interested in making sure these children have loving families. This golf outing helps support that."

My Town: Pilates studio expanding physical therapy services

My Town: Pilates studio expanding physical therapy services

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A Pilates studio is expanding its services for those trying to bounce back from injury.

Beginning Aug. 18, physical therapist Annette Schwartz will be increasing her time at BodyMind Pilates to approximately 40 hours a week.  Studio owner Carolina Pava added a physical therapy program after noticing a need for unique and effective rehabilitation within the community.

“I strongly believe that healing can take place faster and more effectively when a patient gets full hour sessions of one on one attention, treatment and directions from a fully licensed physical therapist that treats the entire body along with the specific symptoms.  No two bodies are alike, no two injuries are the same and therefore, I wanted to create a truly personalized service I felt wasn’t available yet in our city,” says Pava.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

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Cascade approves new YMCA


CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - The plans for a new YMCA for the southeast area has been approved.

The Cascade Township Board granted approval to the YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids to build a new YMCA to replace the existing Southeast YMCA in Grand Rapids Township. The Southeast Y is the oldest YMCA in the Grand Rapids area.

The new YMCA will be over 116,000 square feel and LEED-certified. It is expected to cost about $30 million. Construction will begin this fall and the grand opening is expected in the fall of 2015. The Y will be on 36 acres near Kraft Avenue and Burton Street.


My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Summer is still in full swing, and new movies are premiering every weekend.

Celebration Cinema has a few good movies this weekend that you won't want to miss. Here are my top five for this weekend:

1.) A Most Wanted Man (Rated R) - Premiers this Friday at Celebration North. This movie is about a brutally tortured immigrant who turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune. Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest. As the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity.

2.) And So It Goes (Rated PG-13) - Premieres this Friday at all Celebration locations. This movie is about a self-centered realtor who enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.

Ray LaMontagne curses, storms off stage at Meijer Gardens


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Musician Ray LaMontagne stopped his concert Wednesday night at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, criticizing an engaged couple in the front row for talking.

Shawn Virgo says he and his fiancee were whispering about using his hit, "You Are the Best Thing" as their wedding song when LaMontagne stopped performing a different song then began cursing at them.

LaMontagne stormed off the stage, saying he wouldn't start playing again until the couple left.

The audience booed until the couple walked out.