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My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two men running to represent West Michigan in Congress have agreed to hold public forums.

Congressman Justin Amash and his Democratic contender, businessman Bob Goodrich met over coffee in Eastown Aug. 15.  During the brief meeting, both candidates discussed ideas on how best to keep the race for the 3rd Congressional seat civil.

Amash beat East Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis by roughly a 14-percent margin during August’s primary. Voters will decide if Amash will continue to represent them during the general election Nov. 4.  The Third Congressional District of Michigan includes the areas of  Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Belding, Lowell, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Sparta.

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

Inside the August Primary: The close calls and votes cast

LANSING, Mich.-- Fewer voters cast their ballots Tuesday than when Governor Rick Snyder was elected.

That's according to Fred Woodhams, spokesman for the Secretary of State's Office.  Woodhams says 1.3 million Michiganders visited the polls during the primary, accounting for approximately 20.3 percent of active voters. Active voters are defined by the Secretary of State as people who have voted within the last six years. Woodhams says approximately 17.9 percent of registered Michigan voters cast a ballot Tuesday, but that number may be skewed because people who have moved out of the state may still be registered to vote in Michigan.

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

My Town: Voters to decide key issues during Aug. 5 election

Voters across West Michigan are expected to head to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 5 to decide some key issues and races.

Proposal 1 would alter Michigan’s tax infrastructure by eliminating equipment taxes for businesses that already pay taxes every year.  A portion of sales tax revenue that goes to the state treasury would be reallocated to local governments to cover the tax revenue loss.  Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says the ballot measure would make Michigan more economically competitive with other states.

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

My Town: August voters to decide funding for Kent District Library branches

My Town: August voters to decide funding for Kent District Library branches

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. (Kent District Library)-- On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Kent District Library residents will vote on a 1.28 mills ballot proposal to provide funding for KDL for 10 years.

The 1.28 millage rate consists of a renewal of the 0.88 mills levy, which has been in place since 2000 and expires at the end of 2014, and an additional 0.4 mills. The Kent District Library property tax millage provides 90% of the funding for services offered at 18 branch locations and online, including all library materials, technology, staff and programs.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town Cascade: Community invited to weigh in on dog park debate

My Town Cascade: Community invited to weigh in on dog park debate

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Should Cascade Township create a public dog park?

That’s the question the township is asking community members to answer in a survey now available online.

The township’s newly approved parks and recreation plan includes discussion of dog policies and a possible dog park in the area.  Now through Aug. 13, residents are encouraged to take the online survey found here to help the township prioritize its plans for dogs.

Cascade Township is home to a private dog park, Shaggy Pines, but the township currently requires dogs to remain on a leash at all times while in public parks.  Officials are considering potentially adding a separate, fenced in space for small and large dogs to roam free in either Burton or Cascade Peace Park.  The park would likely be similar to the dog park at the Ottawa County fairgrounds.