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Alpine Township offers tree recycling to residents

Alpine Township offers tree recycling to residents

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.— With Christmas over, now is the time to recycle your tree.

Alpine Township will take live-cut Christmas trees now through January 31, 2014.  Residents should drop off their trees in the fenced off area behind the township offices, located at 5255 Alpine Ave. NW.

All bags, holiday decorations and tree stands should be removed.

Living Nativity returns Dec. 21 through Dec. 24

Living Nativity returns Dec. 21 through Dec. 24

KENT COUNTY, Mich.-- The Christmas story will come alive right outside Ballard Church of Christ starting Saturday, Dec. 21.

The community is invited to experience this free live nativity showcasing the holy family, shepherds, live animals, wise men and more.  The live nativity runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through Christmas Eve.

Ballard Church of Christ is located at 1633 10 Mile Road near Sparta.  For more information, call (616) 887-7311 or visit www.ballardcrc.org.

Alpine Township looks to update master plan

Alpine Township looks to update master plan

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The Alpine Township Planning Commission will discuss updating the community’s master plan Dec. 19.

Updating data in the master plan is the only item clearly listed on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting.   The regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is getting even more funding to create a larger, healthier urban forest.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is awarding the organization with an additional $189,200 to recruit volunteers and rally community support for neighborhood trees.  The GRCF originally awarded the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks nearly $254,000 two years ago to launch the Urban Forest Project. Since then,  volunteers with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks have planted 489 trees, including those in Brewer’s Grove in Riverside Park.

"Growing our urban tree canopy is important not just for us – but for all the future generations after us. It’s about health, it’s about the environment, it’s about the future health of our city," said Community Foundation President Diana Sieger.

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new bike path will soon take shape in Grand Rapids.

The city is getting a $618,514 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create the Seward Avenue Bikeway.  The 3.5 mile bike route will cut through the heart of Grand Rapids and connect nearly 190 miles of regional trails, including the White Pine Trail, Oxford Street Trail and Kent Trails. The path will run along Seward Avenue from Wealthy Street to the Riverside Park trailhead and include a bike shelter, bike lockers, bike signs and signals and an upgraded pedestrian bridge over Indian Mill Creek at Broadway Avenue.

The project is expected to cost just over $1 million.  Additional funding will come from the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bikes Belong and Freewheeler Bike Shop.  The city commission will recognize all financial supporters during its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.    

UPDATE: Growing up in Nazi Germany: A museum volunteer remembers

UPDATE: Growing up in Nazi Germany: A museum volunteer remembers

UPDATE: The Grand Rapids Public Museum has postponed Saturday's lecture due to illness.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—This Saturday will mark 72 years since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, pushing the United States to enter World War II.

This Pearl Harbor Day, the Grand Rapids Public Museum will turn the spotlight on one of its own volunteers, who grew up in Nazi Germany.  Bernie Siehling will share an insider’s perspective of the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and Nazi rule.  Siehling plans to talk about avoiding Hitler youth, building relationships with Prisoners Of War ordered to work on his family’s farm, and witnessing a British Royal Air Force Bomber crash.

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.