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My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125


Feb. 23, 2015-- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today it has recently awarded 28 volunteer grants worth $14,125 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County and the surrounding area to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. 

The foundation awards Volunteer Investment Program grants to encourage and reward volunteerism by those who work or have worked for Consumers Energy.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $10 million in contributions in 2014 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and parent company CMS Energy.

10th annual Winter Beer Festival underway this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- This weekend is the tenth annual winter beer fest at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Thousands of people are braving the cold weather to enjoy a Michigan craft brew.

See more in the video above.

Friday night events wrapped up at 7 p.m., and tickets for Saturday's events (1 p.m. to 6 p.m.) are sold out.

WZZM 13 personalities judge business's chili cookoff

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- A cold, February day with some hot chili. It's a combination one local business has fun with every year.

Rapid Engineering in Comstock Park lets its employees compete in the Hungry Heifer Chili Cook-Off. This year, 23 chilis were entered. That's a record.

The judges were WZZM 13's Jennifer Pascua, Nick LaFave, and Kal Kamyszkek - whom you may remember from Cooking with Kal.

It was a great time -- we're more than full.

Congrats to the winner, Roger Paxson!

Whitecaps fan food voting is underway

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) - Get your stomach and fingers ready - it is time to vote for the fan food menu item for the 2015 baseball season at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The West Michigan Whitecaps announced the top 10 suggestions from the public. Now, you can vote for your favorite item to be on the menu this summer at the ballpark. You can vote at www.whitecapsbaseball.com . Previous winners include the Baco, the Declaration of Indigestion, and Chicks with Sticks. Voting runs until March 6 at Midnight.

Here are this year's choices:

Cheesy Does It - Instead of a bun, cheese is the delivery device for this burger, which includes more than 1,000 calories.

Weenie Panini - Imagine your favorite panini...with a hot dog in it!

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.A group of real estate professionals have come together to create a service that is giving back to those who serve the public in the Grand Rapids area.

"U Deserve" has brought together several professionals who are dedicated to lowering costs associated with buying, selling or refinancing a home for active military members, veterans, firefighters, police officers, EMS providers, health care professionals and educators.

“Growing up with a father who served in the National Guard and as a police officer, I was able to see first-hand how much public service individuals give back to their communities,” said Kevin Wildman, founder of U Deserve.  “U Deserve is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those individuals.”

Whitecaps Fans gearing up to vote in Annual Fan Food Contest

COMSTOCK PARK, Michigan (WZZM) - The season opener for the West Michigan Whitecaps is six weeks away but fans can begin voting in the annual Fan Food Contest this week.

Food is a big part of the experience at Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the Whitecaps, and this contest brings out the "foodie" in many contestants.

"We have asked fans to submit items they would want to see on the menu for the last six years or so and they have come up with some wild ideas and crazy things they want to see on the menu. So, it has been fun to see that," said Mickey Graham, director of marketing and media relations.

Graham says they take about 200 submission and come up with a final list of 10, create clever names and put them up for public vote.