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Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

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.    

See the dangers on the road from inside a semi-truck November 2

See the dangers on the road from inside a semi-truck November 2

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—See the road from the seat of a semi-truck during a special safety event outside the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Alpine Avenue NW Saturday, November 2.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members are invited to hop up into the driver’s seat of a semi-truck to see how passenger vehicles seem to disappear in the vehicle’s blind spots.  Trucking industry representatives and police officers will also be on hand to answer questions and share safety tips.

According to the Office of Highway Safety Planning, about 70 percent of truck crashes in Michigan involve a passenger vehicle. More than half of those crashes are caused by risky moves taken by the smaller vehicle.

The truck safety event is part of the Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) program, which aims to curb truck-related crashes, injuries and deaths.  As part of the campaign, police are planning to step up patrols on U.S.

Third Annual Fallen Heroes Car Show on September 7

Third Annual Fallen Heroes Car Show on September 7

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.-- The Alpine Firefighters Association presents the third annual Heroes Car Show on Saturday, September 7 from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The Alpine Sports Complex, located at 1850 Alpine Church Road NW in Comstock Park, will come alive with variety of antique and unique vehicles on display.  Visitors will also get a chance to see the Wolverine Sky Hawks perform their remote control airplane show on the soccer field, south of the car show.  Vehicle judging will take place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; a trophy awards presentation is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AlpineFirefightersAssociation

Kenowa Hills Public Schools privatizes bus services

Kenowa Hills Public Schools privatizes bus services

Kenowa Hills Public Schools is privatizing its bus services for the next academic year.

This week, the district awarded a three-year contract to Durham School Services to operate bus routes, starting September 1.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to partner with Kenowa Hills schools,” said Durham Region Manager Brad Tate. “Preparations are already underway to ensure a safe and smooth operation this fall.”

The agreement will affect 2,400 students in six schools. Durham says its 34 buses will be equipped with GPS to streamlinecommunications and routes, saving on fuel and time. 

The three-year agreement is expected to save the school district at least $500,000.

“Our contract with Durham allows us to focus on classroom education without compromising school bus safety and on-time performance,” said Tamera Powers, director of finance for Kenowa Hills. “We’re impressed with Durham’s track record and appreciate their commitment to our students.”

Alpine Township Board admits need for more road funding

Alpine Township Board admits need for more road funding

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The Alpine Township Board is moving forward with plans to fix roads leading through York Creek Apartments.

The mill and fill projects were recommended by the Kent County Road Commission.  Work on .58 miles of Yorkland Drive may begin anytime.  In May, the board approved increasing the township’s road work budget to $85,000 to help pay for the township’s $83,000 share of the project’s $166,000 bill.

The Township Board previously approved repairs to .21 miles of York Creek Drive, costing the Township $29,050.  The board is also considering more than $2 million in future improvements to roads in the Westgate subdivision. 

Alpine Township contains 66 miles of paved public roads. Board members say it’s evident the Township will need to budget more for future improvements.

Grand Rapids Spring Auction June 6

Grand Rapids Spring Auction June 6

The city of Grand Rapids will hold its 2013 Spring Auction June 6.

M&W Incorporated will auction off the city’s used vehicles and construction equipment starting at 9 a.m.  M&W Incorporated is located at 979 West River Center Dr. NE in Comstock Park.Only cash or check will be accepted. 

For pictures and descriptions of the vehicles and equipment up for auction, click here.