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My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan parents will try to set a new diaper world record this weekend.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change starts at 11 a.m. on April 26 at Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center on Cherry Street.  Participating parents will try to break the current Guinness World Record of simultaneous cloth diaper changes- 8,301 diapers changed in 15 countries last year.  This year, 23 countries are expected to take part in the attempt.

This is the fourth year Grand Rapids has taken part in the Great Cloth Diaper Change, which is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental benefits of cloth diapering.  Hop Scotch is teaming up with Grand Rapids-based Smart Bottoms Cloth Diapers to provide additional activities, starting at 10:30 a.m.

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Three development projects in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are getting state approval.

The Lofts on Michigan, LLC is being awarded a $2.45 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan to demolish the vacant building at 740 and 756 Michigan Street to build a four-story mixed use building.  The site’s first floor will be dedicated to commercial/retail businesses; the upper three floors will contain 54 apartments.  The project is expected to generate $15.2 million in investments and 15 permanent jobs.

The City of Grand Rapids is also getting $1.4 million to demolish 12 homes and replace them with four buildings containing 66 apartments.  The 600 Clancy Redevelopment project  will include asbestos abatement, site preparation activities and infrastructure improvements.  The project is expected to create $8 in investments and three full-time jobs.

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  What started as a hashtag battle about the 2014 Jump Jam has turned into a friendly wager between Grand Rapids Public Schools’ superintendent and Spectrum Health’s senior vice president.

GRPS posted the hashtag battle between Theresa Weatherall Neal and Steve Heacock to YouTube last Friday.  In the video, Weatherall Neal challenges Heacock to a friendly bet on two of the Jump Jam teams, with the loser buying lunch from either the hospital or school cafeteria.  Mayor George Heartwell makes a surprise appearance at the end of the video.

Art.Downtown. Returns on April 11

Art.Downtown. Returns on April 11

This one night event for the 5th year offers the community the opportunity to visit more than 30 downtown locations for a peak at the talent of over 300 local artists.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" />

Volunteers, along with maps will be available to assist with guidance for parking locations, galleries, studios, shops & more. Visitors will also have the chance to converse with local artists.

My Town: Grand Rapids Film Festival April 9–13

My Town: Grand Rapids Film Festival April 9–13

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--The celebration of film and filmmaking comes to the public April 9 -13 in downtown Grand Rapids.

With 46 film screenings throughout the area, there is something for everyone. The public has the opportunity to check out student films, lectures, panels, documentaries and a production workshop throughout the five days. Families are also welcome to the Grand Rapids Public Museum to see family-friendly films, along with Saturday morning cartoons.

Locations:

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

By Zinta Aistars
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

Delight Lester, 53, sits comfortably spread out in the corner of the soft couch, her long pale blonde hair draped over her shoulders. She is surrounded by crayons and pastels, colored construction paper and paint brushes.