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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: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

My Town: Governor names Michigan Tree Fruit Commission

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LANSING, Mich. (State of Michigan)– Gov. Rick Snyder today announced nine appointments to the newly created Michigan Tree Fruit Commission.

The nine-member commission was established by growers in 2014 to improve the economic position and competitiveness of the Michigan tree fruit industry.

“The food and agriculture industry is one of the pillars of Michigan’s economy,” Snyder said. “I am confident that this group of appointees will work hard to grow this sector of our economy.”

Initial terms expiring March 1, 2015:

Patrick Goodfellow, of Sparta, is the owner of PG Orchards LLC. He previously worked as a plumbing apprentice and maintenance worker which is beneficial in the day-to-day operations of a farm. Goodfellow graduated from West Catholic High School. He will represent fruit growers in District 2.

New Dog Park on Grand Rapids' West Side

New Dog Park on Grand Rapids' West Side

Grand Rapids has a new dog park near the corner of Covell & Bridge St. NW, just above the track of Union High School. This area was a former public tennis court, built about 20 years ago, when the sport of tennis was at it's peak.

This former tennis court area was converted into a dog park due to the hard and dedicated work of residents Jessica Kooistra and Ryan TerBush. They have raised money over the past year for an escape-proof gate and to build a shelter on the property. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 17th and is now the second dog park in Grand Rapids. 

Mike Fraser, of Out on a Limb Playhouses, located in Grand Haven, donated his time last week to build the shelter.

The park is free to all dog owners and has been funded by donations from local businesses and residents. For additional information on the park, visit the dog park's Facebook page at facebook.com/GrandRapidsNwDogPark.

Opinion: Courtesy uncommon behind the wheel

Opinion: Courtesy uncommon behind the wheel

I don’t consider myself an old fuddy duddy at all but I am fast becoming someone who thinks a lot of us have lost any and all regard for etiquette and courtesy.

As an example, I get a little perturbed when sitting at a traffic light at Alpine and Three Mile Road NW, maybe three to four cars back, the light turns green but no one is moving and there is nothing visible in the way of traffic. Just as the light turns yellow, the lead vehicle suddenly turns right and leaves all the remaining vehicles sitting there, not able to cross Alpine. How many guesses would it take for a person to realize the lead vehicle was either on the phone or texting, completely unaware of the traffic light or anyone around them. So inconsiderate.

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A dozen students from Kent Career Tech Center are now members of the National Technical Honor Society.

The students were inducted into the Tech Center’s inaugural NTHS class for demonstrating outstanding skills in their program and overall academic achievement.  The NTHS is similar to the National Honor Society, but with tougher requirements, including involvement in a career or technical education program, a 3.5 or higher GPA and community service hours.

My Town: Kenowa Hills Superintendent evaluation April 23

My Town: Kenowa Hills Superintendent evaluation April 23

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The Kenowa Hills Board of Education will hold a workshop meeting Wednesday to evaluate the district superintendent.

This is the third year of Gerald Hopkins’ three-year contract.  Hopkins previously worked at Wyoming Public Schools as an administrator.

Wednesday’s meeting will focus on Hopkins’ annual evaluation. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the district administration building, located at 2325 Four Mile Road NW.  The meeting is open to the public, but the evaluation process will be a closed session.

My Town Comstock Park: Whitecaps 2014 season roster includes a Verlander

My Town Comstock Park: Whitecaps 2014 season roster includes a Verlander

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The younger brother of Tigers’ star Justin Verlander will grace the outfield during the West Michigan Whitecaps’ 2014 season.

The Whitecaps announced its roster Saturday.  The lineup includes pitchers Jonathan Crawford and Kevin Ziomek, who were the Tigers’ first and second-round selections in the 2013 draft. Austin Kubitza, Buck Farmer and Chad Green will round out the rotation for the Whitecaps season opener.

Joining them is outfield is Ben Verlander, the younger brother of 2011 American League MVP Justin Verlander, as well as 2012 NCAA batting champion Raph Rhymes and speedy center field prospect Austin Schotts.  The infield will include 18-year-old Javier Betancourt, the nephew of former Major Leaguer Edgardo Alfonzo.  Dominic Ficociello and Curt Powell will also return to the infield.

The club will be led by new manager Andrew Graham, who helped lead the Whitecaps to a Midwest League championship as a player in 2004.