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My Town: Grand Rapids Township lawmaker opens new office

My Town: Grand Rapids Township lawmaker opens new office

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State Rep. Chris Afendoulis announced the opening of his Lansing office, along with important contact information for residents to reach out to him.

Afendoulis will continue to utilize former Rep. MacGregor’s toll free phone number at 1-855-347-8073 to ensure a smooth transition for residents in the 73rd District. He can also be reached at his Lansing office at (517) 373-0218, via email at ChrisAfendoulis@house.mi.gov, and by mail at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514.

“It is important to me that the hard-working taxpayers who sent me to Lansing know I’m here to serve them,” said Afendoulis, R-Grand Rapids Township. “I encourage people to reach out to my office with their thoughts and concerns so that my staff and I can be of assistance at any time.”

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

WASHINGTON (Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press) – U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of west Michigan — once again — joined the move to dump House Speaker John Boehner as his party's leader in the chamber.

It didn't work: Boehner, R-Ohio, was elected to his third two-year term as House speaker but it didn't come without a a spirited challenge by his critics, including Amash, who joined 27 members who rejected either Boehner or Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

Boehner was elected with 216 of 408 votes cast in the 435-member chamber. Pelosi, the former speaker, received 164 Democratic votes. The rest of the votes were split among more than a dozen other names.

Amash was the only one of nine Republican members of Michigan's 14-member delegation to the House to vote against Boehner, a position he announced Tuesday morning on social media.

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. (Kent GOP)-- John Inhulsen, an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, was unanimously elected as the next Chairman of the Kent GOP in December, officially taking office over the weekend.

Inhulsen, an East Grand Rapids resident, has been an active fundraiser as the Kent GOP’s Finance Chairman over the last two years.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the Kent GOP. I consider it an incredible honor to follow in the footsteps of Gerald R. Ford Sr., Peter Secchia, Terri Lynn Land and Betsy DeVos in being the Chairman of one of the largest county parties in the nation.”

My Town: Grand Rapids Ballet gets two new leaders

My Town: Grand Rapids Ballet gets two new leaders

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Grand Rapids Ballet has two new leaders.

Theresa DeVries and Amy Norkus are joining the Grand Rapids Ballet’s board. 

Devries brings with her 20 years of experience in human resource management; she currently works for Hylant in Grand Rapids.  Norkus’ professional experience includes more than 20 years of professional accounting and consulting; she works for Paul Goebel Group Insurance in Grand Rapids.

“Grand Rapids Ballet is very close to my heart as I was a senior company member of its predecessor, the Grand Rapids Civic Ballet.” said Theresa DeVries, new board member. “I am honored to have the pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors. I can’t imagine a world without the gift of dance; little else has the ability to stir human essence like dance. I will never stop dancing.”

My Town: Judge Redford leaving 17th Circuit Court

My Town: Judge Redford leaving 17th Circuit Court

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The search is on for a new judge to preside over Michigan’s 17th Circuit Court in Kent County.

Chief Judge Robert Redford is leaving his post to become the chief legal counsel for the governor’s executive office.  Governor Snyder chose Redford to replace Judge Mike Gadola, who was recently appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. 

Snyder also named Rep. John Walsh his director of strategy.

“It’s essential to have such talented individuals who have a passion for helping the people of our state and the vision and expertise to craft policy and build relationships that will help us accelerate our state’s dramatic comeback and work to keep moving Michigan forward,” Snyder said. “I know I’ve found the right people in Rep. Walsh and Judge Redford.”

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mark Jansen tops the list of West Michigan lawmakers who missed the most votes this year, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org.

Jansen missed 46 votes between January and December of this year. The District 28 Republican represents a large portion of Kent County, including Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids and Plainfield townships, as well as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

State Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents Newaygo, Lake and Oceana counties, had the most missed votes among West Michigan lawmakers in the House, with 21 this year.  

Three senators and three representatives missed 50 or more votes this year.  The top offenders were Rep. John Olumba of Detroit, with 233 missed votes, and Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit, with 187 missed votes.

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Diocese of Grand Rapids has hired two more people to ramp up enrollment for its Catholic schools.

Dan Plachta will serve as an admissions enrollment field consultant, guiding the diocese’s 29 schools in outreach and recruitment. While supporting current students, the diocese plans to focus on traditionally underserved groups who could take advantage of school tuition assistance, which is quadrupling to $1,000,000.

Plachta is an alumnus of Blessed Sacrament School (now All Saints Academy) and Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

“As a graduate of Catholic schools in the diocese, Dan brings a personal passion for the importance of Catholic education in West Michigan,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools.