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My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County

My Town: Board to address ballpark water upgrade proposal following fire

My Town: Board to address ballpark water upgrade proposal following fire

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.— A plan to improve the water system at the recently burned Fifth Third Ballpark will go before the Plainfield Township Board next week.

In January, fire crews spent precious time pulling hoses 500 feet from the nearest fire hydrants to the fire at Fifth Third Ballpark.  The fire destroyed the first base concourse, including some suites.  As part of the rebuild, contractors added a modern sprinkler system and six hydrants inside the ballpark stairwells. 

Upgrades also include adding at least three more fire hydrants outside the ballpark. All of the hydrants will be fed by a 36-inch water main running beneath White Pine Trail.  The looped system would provide better water pressure because it is coming from two points, rather than one.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

Police link tobacco store & cell phone store burglaries

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County Sheriff's deputies say a tobacco store burglary early Friday morning is related to other recent business thefts.

Around 6 a.m., several men broke into the Admiral Tobacco store at 5309 Alpine Avenue NW using the rear door. They stole cash and several cartons of cigarettes.

Investigators say the burglary is connected to a theft Wednesday at the Admiral Tobacco at 3676 Plainfield Avenue NW and several cell phone store burglaries over the past few months.

Taste of Grand Rapids underway

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- This year's Taste of Grand Rapids is underway, with all the activities taking place at Fifth Third Ballpark.

You can sample unique food from a number of local restaurants.

There will also be a barbecue competition to see who can make the best beef dish. Competing teams will be judged based on the taste, tenderness, and appearance of their dishes.

We asked people at the ballpark Friday evening about what they enjoy about this weekend's event.

"Grand Rapids has a lot of different foods," said Jamie VanDee, "so it's nice to able to try them all without going to all the separate places."

Mark Vickery said, "It's convenient, efficient, and it looks like it's going to be fun."

There will also be non-food vendors like Cabela's and Gun Lake Casino, as well as live country music.

My Town: Get a 'Taste of Grand Rapids' at Fifth Third Ballpark this weekend

My Town: Get a 'Taste of Grand Rapids' at Fifth Third Ballpark this weekend

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Get a “Taste of Grand Rapids” this weekend, when the festival that’s all about food returns to Fifth Third Ballpark.

This is the second year Taste of Grand Rapids is being held at the ballpark.  Organizers moved the event to the Whitecaps’ home because it had outgrown John Ball Park Zoo.

Last year, Taste of Grand Rapids attracted thousands of foodies, ready to sample dishes from nearly two dozen area restaurants while enjoying live music and a barbecue competition.  This year, a second barbecue competition has been added to the lineup- the McCormick BBQ Challenge.

Taste of Grand Rapids 2014 runs from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, July 25 and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 26.  Admission is free but parking is $6.  Visitors must also pay for food and beer/wine tickets on site.  

Scammers pose as roofers in Kent County

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two men claiming to represent a local roofing company tried scamming a Kent County resident, according to the Sheriff's Department.

The men approached a resident of 4 Mile Rd. NW Tuesday afternoon, offering to fix the home's roof. The home owner refused the offer and the men left. The home owner then called the roofing company and learned the men are not employees.

The Sheriff's Department asks anyone with information about a scam to call investigators at 616-632-6100.