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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

My Town: School agreement expected to grow West Michigan's health industry

My Town: School agreement expected to grow West Michigan's health industry

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Two West Michigan schools are teaming up to help grow West Michigan’s health industry.

Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University have signed a deal to allow students who finish the medical assistant program at GRCC to transfer to Davenport for a health degree.  As part of the seamless transfer process, students must also pass a certification exam of American Medical Technologists or the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Davenport University President Dr. Richard Pappas says the transfer agreement will help grow the area’s skilled health workforce, in addition to benefiting students.

Davenport offers associates degrees in medical assisting and bachelor’s degrees in a variety of health areas, including medical case management, health services administration and nursing. 

Balyo to plead guilty to child porn charges

GRAND RAPIDS (AP) -- A former host at a popular Christian radio station in western Michigan is expected to plead guilty in a child pornography investigation.

Prosecutors say John Balyo is due in Grand Rapids federal court Tuesday, just weeks after his arrest on state charges at a Christian music festival in Gaylord.

Balyo, 35, is charged with sexual exploitation and possessing child pornography. His signed plea deal was filed in court Thursday.

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

Grand Rapids baker wins doughnut competition

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids is home to the newest winner of the Cooking Channel's "Donut Showdown".

Torrence O'Haire won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the competition that aired this past Friday. The chef of Propaganda Doughnuts impressed the judges with his China-town themed barbecue spiced-bread donut, chocolate cake donut, French eclair and dim-sum doughnut.

The episode was actually taped in Toronto back in January and O'Haire has had to keep the whole experience a secret. He plans to invest his winnings in a new restaurant opening next door to his bakery.

Grandwich top 10 sandwich finalists announced

Grandwich top 10 sandwich finalists announced

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) and Neighborhood Ventures are pleased to announce the top 10 finalists who will compete to win the title of Grandwich 2014.


On July 8, over 30 restaurants entered their sandwich creations into a competition to determine the best Grand Rapids sandwich of 2014. For almost three weeks, the public was encouraged to visit participating restaurants in Grand Rapids, try the sandwiches entries, and vote for their favorites. Public vote determined the top 10 sandwiches, which are listed below in alphabetical order.



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.”