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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.

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

City of Grand Rapids taps community for Chief of Police search

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The first of three community meetings to help select a new Grand Rapids police chief is this Tuesday, Feb. 18.

“Community input is critical to finding the best police chief to lead our community. Residents, businesses, local law enforcement professionals, neighborhood and community leaders, and youth will all have an opportunity to share the qualities they believe the Grand Rapids’ new police chief should possess,” said City Manager Greg Sundstrom.

The community input meetings are scheduled as follows:

9th Annual Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16

9th Annual Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The Grand Rapids Public Main Library invites visitors to get a Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The afternoon will be filled with informative lectures, performances including the IMANI singers of Grand Rapids and local singer/songwriter Karisa Wilson, fun activities and chances to sample free food.

The library is located at 111 Library Street NE.  For more information, call (616) 988-5400 or visit www.grpl.org/tasteofsoul/.

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

KENTWOOD, Mich.—There’s a new face on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of Steve Heacock Monday.  The seven-member Airport Board is responsible for the general oversight of Gerald R. Ford Ford International Airport.  Heacock replaces former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who left the board last December.  His term will run through Dec. 31, 2016.

Heacock has served as chairman of the Convention and Arena Authority, which owns and operates Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place.  He  served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners fir sux years, including two years as the chairman.  Heacock, who is a Grand Rapids resident, is the senior vice president of public affairs for Spectrum Health Systems.  He was also the chief administrative officer, general counsel and board secretary of the Van Andel Institute for six years.

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,

The Best Times in Michigan are Free

The Best Times in Michigan are Free

I travel on Butterworth Dr NW in Walker, MI often on my way to the Mall or to visit family and always enjoy seeing people in Johnson Park, just off Wilson Ave NW.

Summertime is an especially busy time at this park with people enjoying a picnic, jogging, playing catch, weddings, family reunions and some just plain enjoying the scenery and people watching. It really is a busy park.

Recently I drove this same way and was very disappointed to see few people enjoying this same park. There were about 8-10 cars in the parking lot of people who were up on the big sliding hill enjoying the sunshine and the thrill of sliding down that hill, some on sleds, toboggans, tubes and some even just with a cardboard box.

As I drove through I wondered, where are all those people who use this park all summer and fall? Why aren’t they out here enjoying the winter sports and seeing the beauty of nature?

Best-selling Grand Rapids author visits Loutit District Library Jan. 30

Best-selling Grand Rapids author visits Loutit District Library Jan. 30

GRAND HAVEN, Mich -- Grand Rapids  author Aric Davis will discuss his latest novel, "The Fort" at the Loutit District Library on Thursday, Jan. 30.

"The Fort" is currently among the top 10 best-selling books in the Amazon Kindle store. Sales of "The Fort" have made Davis one of the top 25 best-selling authors on Amazon.

The Bookman will have copies to purchase and Davis will be available to sign them following the program, which will begin at 7 p.m. in LDL's program room A.

Davis’s other works include: "Rough Men", "Breaking Point", "A Good and Useful Hurt" and "Nickel Plated".   

Born in Ithaca, New York, Davis has lived most his life in Grand Rapids. A punk-music and tattoo aficionado, Davis has been a professional body piercer for 17 years. Because of his success, Davis has been able to devote himself fully to writing, quitting his job at a tattoo and piercing business.