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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.”

My Town: Ada Farmers Market prepares for a new extended season

My Town: Ada Farmers Market prepares for a new extended season

ADA, Mich.—The new season will be an even longer one for the Ada Farmers Market.

The farmers market will celebrate the start of its sixth season on Tuesday, June 10 in the parking lot of The Community Church, 7239 Thornapple River Drive.  Shoppers can peruse fresh produce and other local products from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.   The farmers market will be open every Tuesday through October 28, a month longer than last year. Organizers are expecting the majority of vendors to return this year.

This year, organizers will be adding a new cooking class by local chefs, preparing their own dishes based on whatever is in the market that day.  The cooking class schedule will be posted on the Ada Farmers Market website and Facebook page as it becomes available.

My Town Cascade Township: Deputy shares tips for fraud protection during free workshop

My Town Cascade Township: Deputy shares tips for fraud protection during free workshop

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Senior citizens are encouraged to learn how to protect their assets during a fraud presentation by Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Roe Wednesday, April 16.

Roe will share some tips for community members during this free workshop, which will take place at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Wisner Center inside the Cascade Township Library.

The presentation comes just days after a suspicious person was seen on Colchester Drive SE, going through mail boxes in the late evening.  Roe advises community members to avoid placing checks in their mailbox, so suspects cannot obtain your information and money.

My Town: YMCA announces site for new facility

My Town: YMCA announces site for new facility

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids is opening a new facility.

The approval process begins April 21 with the Cascade Township Planning Committee, but the YMCA has already signed purchase agreements for 36 acres at Burton Street and Kraft Avenue SE. 

The new facility will replace the existing Southeast YMCA on Forest Hills Avenue.  It will include the same basic design that was planned for the Grand Rapids Township property, and feature outdoor athletic facilities, a healthy living center and a farm.  Leaders hope to begin construction on the new YMCA this fall, and open to the public in the fall of 2015.

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Arthritis Walk will return with a new name and new leader when it returns to Grand Rapids next month.

Dr. Thomas A. Malvitz of Ada will serve as medical chair of the 2014 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis, formerly known as the Arthritis Walk.  Malvitz is a surgeon with the Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

The Walk to Cure Arthritis is a three-mile walk aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight arthritis.  Proceeds from the event go to the Arthritis Foundation, which works to help some of the more than 2.3 million Michiganders with arthritis.

My Town: Frederik Meijer Gardens provides a hot spot during spring break

My Town: Frederik Meijer Gardens provides a hot spot during spring break

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—If you can’t escape to a warmer place this spring break, just head to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, where the Butterflies Are Blooming, and so are the opportunities for fun.

Now through April 30, visit the balmy Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory where more than 7,000 butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America and Central America mature and  fly freely among the tropical plants. Butterflies Are Blooming is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation.

 “Where else in the Midwest can you walk into a 15 thousand square-foot tropical environment and be instantly immersed in warm temperatures and thousands of exotic butterflies?” asked Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture. “This exhibition gives you the opportunity to experience something different—a taste of the tropics and special winged visitors-- right here in West Michigan.”

My Town: Prepare for a 'Museums Free 4 All'

My Town: Prepare for a 'Museums Free 4 All'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—One month from today, it will be a “Museums Free 4 All” in Grand Rapids.

On May 4, Amway is once again covering the cost of admission for families to four major Grand Rapids museums, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum.  Participants can also jump on a free shuttle to travel to and from each museum.  Amway will also be hosting fun, family-friendly activities outside the GRAM.  People who get their “passport” stamped at all four museums will also have a chance to win prizes.