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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.

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: Ford Airport welcomes Hollywood stars

My Town: Ford Airport welcomes Hollywood stars

KENTWOOD, Mich.— Travelers at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport got a taste of Hollywood last week, as crews shot scenes for a film starring Jesse Eisenberg.

A crew of more than 100 people worked more than 14 hours shooting scenes throughout the airport for “The End of the Tour”.  Grand Rapids’ airport will represent the Minneapolis- St. Paul and Chicago O’Hare airports in the movie.

“Not only are we happy to host the cast and crew for filming, but we are happy they are flying in and out of our airport and bringing in money to support the local economy,” said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks.  “They are flying in and out of Grand Rapids, grabbing a cup of Starbucks at our airport, staying in our hotels and eating in our restaurants.  It’s wonderful for the entire West Michigan community.”

My Town: Cornerstone University loses a namesake

My Town: Cornerstone University loses a namesake

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The Cornerstone University community is mourning the loss of a long-time trustee and supporter.

John Miller, 82, was laid to rest Wednesday in Marco Island, FL.  Miller’s influence on Cornerstone can be seen throughout campus; multiple buildings have been named after his family, including Miller Library and Miller Hall. Miller also served on the Cornerstone University Board of Trustees from 1964 to 2003. He was an honorary trustee since 2003. 

 “Besides Dr. (Wilbert) Welch, John Miller has had the most impact on this university and we have lost a dear friend,” said President Joe Stowell.

The Miller family is also responsible for numerous scholarships to CU students.

My Town: New District Five commissioner named

My Town: New District Five commissioner named

CASCADE, Mich.—There’s a new face among the Kent County Board of Commissioners.

Thursday morning, the board unanimously voted to appoint Mandy Bolter of Cascade to the vacant District Five seat.  

"I am honored to be part of such a great group of people, working to keep our county the best place to live, work, start a business and raise a family,” said Commissioner Bolter.

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

KENTWOOD, Mich.—There’s a new face on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of Steve Heacock Monday.  The seven-member Airport Board is responsible for the general oversight of Gerald R. Ford Ford International Airport.  Heacock replaces former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who left the board last December.  His term will run through Dec. 31, 2016.

Heacock has served as chairman of the Convention and Arena Authority, which owns and operates Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place.  He  served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners fir sux years, including two years as the chairman.  Heacock, who is a Grand Rapids resident, is the senior vice president of public affairs for Spectrum Health Systems.  He was also the chief administrative officer, general counsel and board secretary of the Van Andel Institute for six years.

Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference registration now open

 Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference registration now open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Rub shoulders with other wordsmiths for free, as the third annual Celebrate the Mitten Writers Conference returns to Grand Rapids.

Publishers, editors and novelists Kristina Riggle and Aric Davis will be among the speakers sharing their tips on how to take your writing to the next level.  Writers from all generes and skill levels are welcome for the free conference, which will take place Saturday, March 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kent District Library Cascade Township Branch.

 “Libraries wouldn’t exist without readers, and that requires writers,” said Morgan Jarema, KDL communications assistant and conference organizer. “Last year’s conference drew a full house of 200 people and had a waiting list, so writers in West Michigan clearly are looking to hear from experts in their field to help them navigate the path to publication. We really want to support them.”

Now is the time to register for the conference.