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My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The snow piling up outside has kept Kent County Road Commission crews busy this past week, and with a warm up expected this weekend, their work is far from over.

During the week, 90 drivers worked each day and 30 drivers worked each night, clearing the snow from state highways, county roads and local streets and drives.  The Kent County Road Commission says all roads were cleared at least once between Tuesday and Thursday, but additional snowfall and drifting snow may give some roads the appearance of being neglected.  In Comstock Park and Grandville alone, Kent County crews spread 10,700 tons of salt and sand.  In Byron Center, crews used 58,000 gallons of liquid chloride to clear the road.  In all, the Road Commission estimates this first brush with winter cost it more than $1 million.

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.” 

My Town Comstock Park: Farm market offers up asparagus

My Town Comstock Park: Farm market offers up asparagus

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- The cooler spring weather has slowed strawberries down at Ed Dunneback & Girls Farm Market, but two other crops are coming in right now.

Asparagus and rhubarb are for sale at the market, located at 3025 6 Mile Road.  The market is open Monday throughFriday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

According to the business' website, strawberries may finally start coming in around June 20.

 

 

My Town: Plainfield Township prepares for potential spring flooding

My Town: Plainfield Township prepares for potential spring flooding

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, MIch. (Plainfield Charter Township) --- Are you prepared for a flood?

With both the Rogue River and the Grand River winding through Plainfield Township, floodplain residents have been dealing with spring flooding as long as they’ve lived in the township. 

Spring 2013 was a challenge with major flooding on both rivers.  This year, Plainfield Township officials Peter Elam, Rick Solle and Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden met with residents from the Riverbank, Willow, Konkle and Abrigador floodplains to discuss concerns and a game plan.  Representatives from Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Kent County Emergency Management, the Plainfield Township Fire Department, NOAA, the Kent County Road Commission, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Kent County Health Department also attended.

My Town Comstock Park: Snow suspected culprit of library sign damage

My Town Comstock Park: Snow suspected culprit of library sign damage

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The Comstock Park Downtown Development Authority is enlisting the help of a technician in determining if the heavy snow damaged the library’s electronic sign.

Plainfield Township Supervisor Jay Spencer, who is a member of the DDA, says the digital sign has had some issues.  He says the software that runs the sign has been upgraded, but a couple blocks of pixels on the sign are out.  Spencer suspects the mounting piles of snow, which have buried the sign, may be to blame, but the DDA is contacting an expert to determine the issue and how much repairs would cost.

Orchard donates plentiful apple crop to local food pantries

Orchard donates plentiful apple crop to local food pantries

SPARTA, Mich.—Riveridge Producer Marketing, Inc. will welcome volunteers from Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank this weekend to pick apples for hungry families.

The company, which represents 100 family-run apple orchards and managers 700 of its own acres, has provided apples to pantries statewide since 1998; however this will be the first year Feeding American West Michigan has gathered fruit from Riveridge’s trees directly.

“Being good neighbors is really important to Riveridge,” said company president Don Armock. “Meeting our neighbors’ hunger needs is near and dear to the hearts of Riveridge as a company.”

Agricultural leaders are expecting a historic apple crop in Michigan this year, with a 30 million bushel yield.  That’s 10 fold last year’s frost-stunted harvest.  It’s been such a good year that many growers may not be able to pick the entire crop before the frost takes over.  That’s where Feeding America West Michigan comes in.

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Funding deadline nears for communities impacted by flooding

Communities impacted by the floods in April have less than a week to file their request for federal disaster money. 

In June, President Obama declared a major disaster in 16 Michigan counties, including Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon and Newaygo. The Small Business Association also issued a disaster declaration this summer.  Both declarations freed up federal assistance for homeowners, local governments and certain non-profits who were forced to clean up.  Homeowners and businesses had until Monday, August 12 to apply for assistance; city officials have until August 17.

The flooding caused $10 million in damage in Kent County alone.  Federal funding would help pay for debris removal and repairs to public property, roads and bridges.