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Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Where are the safest places to eat in Kent County?

The county health department is answering that question with the 2013 Food Safety Awards.   The agency whittled down the list of 1,654 eligible restaurants to just 269 facilities, based on routine restaurant and food service inspections over the past year.  Under the county’s criteria, restaurants that earn the award must have a certified food safety manager, no confirmed violations of the Michigan Smoke Free Law and no confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks during the year.

When to trick-or-treat in your community

 When to trick-or-treat in your community

Halloween is Thursday, and many communities have set times for children to trick-or-treat.

Although the weather may not be pleasant, children are encouraged to visit homes and businesses at the following times:  

Ada Township

  • No designated time
  • Fire station #1 trick or treating: October 31,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Alpine Township

  • October 31 until dark/candy runs out

Belding

  • October 31, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Halloween Open House: October 31, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the fire station

Cannon Township

  • No set time; fire department will hand out treats October 31, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Cascade Township

  • October 31, 5:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.

Grand Valley Metro Council to award grants to six community projects

Grand Valley Metro Council to award grants to six community projects

The Grand Valley Metro Council will award $668,000 in grant funding to six community projects.

On Tuesday, a GVMC committee narrowed down the pool from 85 projects to seven.  A day later, a study group met with the committee to whittle the finalists down to six.

The grant money will be divvyed up between Cannon Township, Jamestown Township, Rockford, Wyoming, Grand Rapids and the Kent County Parks Department.   All of the projects are non-motorized, meaning they will not involve road improvements or construction. GVMC plans to release further details of the projects at a later date.

Free screenings and kids' activities during health festival August 17

Free screenings and kids' activities during health festival August 17

WYOMING, Mich.—A free faith-based health festival is coming to Lamar Park.

Michigan Blues is teaming up with the Grand Rapids Pastors Association and local churches for the August 17 event.  The health festival is part of the 15th annual Dia de Clamor. It will feature free health screenings, giveaways and kid-friendly activities, including face painting and a soccer clinic.

The health festival will run from noon until 4 p.m.  Lamar Park is located at 2561 Porter Street in Wyoming.

How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

The director of Kent District Library (KDL) reviewed the organization’s performance during the East Grand Rapids City Commission meeting August 5.

According to the annual report, patrons checked out about 6.1 million books from KDL in 2012; that’s about half a million fewer than the prior year. However, the report indicates digital book checkouts nearly doubled during that same time period to 370,914.

Based on the report, KDL saw declines in total check-outs, branch visitors and library program attendance in 2012.  However, computer log-ins and summer reading club participation rose.   While KDL’s total expenditures were higher than library revenue, the fund balance covered the $107,521 difference.

Kent District Library operates 18 branches throughout Kent County, serving more than 350,000 people. 

Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

National Night Out is August 6, providing community members a free and fun opportunity to meet neighbors and local police officers.

National Night Out started in1984 as a way to encourage the community to get involved in crime-prevention, sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.  Organizers often fold food and family-friendly activities into the event.  This year’s participating communities include:

Kalamazoo County

·         Kalamazoo: Arcadia Neighborhood Assoc., Arcadia School, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Eastside Neighborhood Assoc., Rockwell Park, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Edison Neighborhood Assoc., 816 Washington, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

City to consider consolidating police and fire services in July 18 meeting

City to consider consolidating police and fire services in July 18 meeting

Wyoming, Kentwood and Grand Rapids city leaders will hold a special meeting Thursday, July 18 to consider moving forward with a proposal to consolidate police and fire services.

Council and commission members from all three cities will review ICMA Consulting Service’s study and recommendations about consolidation.  The report’s executive summary concludes consolidation is the best alternative to improve service and save more than $13 million annually.  It also recommends: