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My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

WYOMING, Mich.—The LEAGUE Michigan is looking for more schools, organizations and businesses to help encourage literacy through a statewide book drive.

“Read n’ Give” is focused on boosting literacy among youth.  Schools, organizations and businesses collect K-5 books, which are donated to students involved in literacy programs with Camp Blodgett, The Salvation Army and Schools of Hope, which includes the Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights school districts.   When students are finished with the books, they are encouraged to donate them back into the program the next year, to foster the continuous cycle of giving.

Bridget Knight, who works with The LEAGUE Michigan, says participants in last year’s program collected 65,000 books statewide.  More than 39,000 books of those books came from West Michigan.  Knight says the goal this year is to collect 70,000 books.

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

HOLLAND, Mich.— Kopi Luwak coffee beans costs up to $600 pound, but is the taste worth the price?

That’s the question a panel of coffee experts attempted to answer during a blind taste test this week.  “The Great Kopi Luwak Cupping Challenge” unfolded at JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland.  Owner Jack Groot ran the test, pitting Kopi Luwak against other regional Sumatran coffees prices around $16 pound.

During the test, one Kopi Luwak sample rose to the top, scoring 76 points out of 100.  However, two of the less expensive, non-cat poop coffees ranked within a half-point of Kopi Luwak and the others were very close.

“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound.  If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” said Andy Timko with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.

Grand Rapids Magazine announces 2013 Dining Award winners

Grand Rapids Magazine announces 2013 Dining Award winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—It did it last year, and it’s doing it again this year: Grove is Grand Rapids Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year.

The magazine announced the winners of its 34th annual Dining Awards Wednesday.  The judging process took place over 10 months.  A total of eight awards were presented live on Grand Rapids Magazine’s Facebook page and Twitter account this week.  The recipients are:

  • 2013 Restaurant of the Year: Grove
  • Best New Restaurant: Trattoria Di’ Stagione
  • Best Mexican/Latin American/Caribbean Restaurant: El Arriero
  • Best Middle Eastern/Mediterranean Restaurant: Zeytin
  • Best Asian Restaurant: Maru Sushi & Grill
  • Best European Restaurant: San Chez Bistro & Café
  • Best Classic American Restaurant: Leo’s
  • Best New American Restaurant: Terra GR

All eight Dining Award win

Grand Rapids combines Celebration on the Grand, Fourth of July event

Grand Rapids combines Celebration on the Grand, Fourth of July event

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids tradition will happen a little earlier this year.

 The City of Grand Rapids is combining Celebration on the Grand with its Fourth of July fireworks display for a two-day patriotic powerhouse of entertainment.  The combined event will be held on the first Friday and Saturday of July.

The shift means Celebration on the Grand activities will be held the evening of Friday, July 4 this year.  Amway will cap off the event shortly after dusk on Saturday, July 5 with its Family Fireworks display. TownSquare Media will once again provide all the live entertainment.

Many other activities from years past are also expected to return. Admission will also remain free to the public.

My Town EGR: Opera coming to Performing Arts Center

My Town EGR: Opera coming to Performing Arts Center

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—East Grand Rapids will soon welcome the sounds of opera.

Opera Grand Rapids will perform “The Abduction from the Seraglio” March 7 and March 8 for the East Grand Rapids Performing Arts Center.  The performances will be presented in German with English titles.

Each performance will start at 7:30 p.m.  Ticket prices range from $21 to $98.  For additional information, visit Opera Grand Rapids’ website here.

My Town Lowell: New artist featured at Flat River Gallery & Framing

My Town Lowell: New artist featured at Flat River Gallery & Framing

LOWELL, Mich.—The work of a former Grand Rapids Community College faculty member will be on display at Flat River Gallery & Framing beginning Thursday, Feb. 20.

Since retiring from GRCC in 1999, Nancy Clouse has been providing tours through the Grand Rapids Art Museum while continuing her passion for painting, reading, writing and theatre.  Clouse’s artwork has appeared in juried shows including the Muskegon Regional show, the Michigan Watercolor Society show, the Celebration of the Arts show, the Grand Rapids Festival show and the West Michigan Regional Art Competition in Lowell.  Clouse’s work is also featured in private collections.

An opening reception for Clouse will take place Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Flat River Gallery & Framing is located at 2914 W. Main Street.