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Hands-on help with health insurance marketplace

Hands-on help with health insurance marketplace

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--It’s not too late to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment closes on March 31, 2014. This is the deadline to avoid a fine for not having health care coverage.

Health insurance marketplace information specialists from Cherry Street Health Services will be at Spring Lake District Library from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 to assist the public with enrollment. The trained counselors will be available to help people understand the health insurance choices available to them. Counselors will meet with individuals on a first come, first served basis.

New plans for two properties detailed Jan. 13

New plans for two properties detailed Jan. 13

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Plans to transform two properties in Grand Rapids will go before the East Hills Council of Neighbors Board Monday night.

The new owner of 701 Wealthy St. SE wants to transform the former service station into a restaurant.  The plans call for an addition off the west side of the building.  Because the property is located in the Cherry Hill Historic District, the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Commission will have to approve the plans before construction can move forward.

Kent County Board of Commissioners begins narrowing commissioner search

Kent County Board of Commissioners begins narrowing commissioner search

 LOWELL, Mich.—  Kent County officials say 13 people have applied to replace a Kent County Commissioner accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Gary Rolls resigned from his District 4 seat Jan. 1.  In a statement released the previous month, Rolls said he would use his time to prepare for trial to “prove my absolute and complete innocence.”

The county is looking for someone to finish out his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. District 4 represents Lowell, Cannon Township, Grattan Township, Oakfield Township and Vergennes Township. Eligible candidates must be from one of those communities.

"We are fortunate to have received so many applications for this position," said Dan Koorndyk, chairman of the board of commissioners.

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

LOWELL, Mich.—The search is on to find someone to replace a Kent County Commissioner accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Gary Rolls submitted his resignation from his District 4 seat Dec. 12. In a statement released that day, Rolls said he would use his time to prepare for trial to “prove my absolute and complete innocence.”

Rolls’ resignation officially takes effect Jan. 1. The county is looking for someone to finish out his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. District 4 represents Lowell, Cannon Township, Grattan Township, Oakfield Township and Vergennes Township. Eligible candidates must be from one of those communities.

The person elected to Rolls’ seat should expect to attend four meetings a month. The position is part time with an annual salary of $20,500 and benefits. The deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 6. Those interested in applying should submit a resume and cover letter to:

Office of the Board of Commissioners

Grand Rapids Public Library joins Family Place Libraries network

Grand Rapids Public Library joins Family Place Libraries network

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Three Grand Rapids Public Library locations are joining the Family Place Libraries national network, which is focused on providing resources for families to nurture the development of young children.

The main library, Madison Square branch and Ottawa Hills branch all recently received the Family Place designation, which means each location will develop the Family Place Libraries model of learning.

To help ensure all children enter school ready and able to learn, Family Place offers:

Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.---Experience Grand Rapids, the official destination marketing organization for Kent County, recently announced the launch of its new personalized travel planning website, www.GRCityTwist.com.

The new interactive website targets 18 different interests, from “art lovers” to “thrill seekers”, allowing the visitor to customize their trip.  For example, craft beer enthusiasts can find breweries to explore, activities and nightlife related to craft beer, and accommodations for the weekend.

EXGR launched the new, mobile-friendly website on Dec. 17 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park with the hospitality community, business and political leaders, and its Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks awarded grant to grow urban forest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is getting even more funding to create a larger, healthier urban forest.

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation is awarding the organization with an additional $189,200 to recruit volunteers and rally community support for neighborhood trees.  The GRCF originally awarded the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks nearly $254,000 two years ago to launch the Urban Forest Project. Since then,  volunteers with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks have planted 489 trees, including those in Brewer’s Grove in Riverside Park.

"Growing our urban tree canopy is important not just for us – but for all the future generations after us. It’s about health, it’s about the environment, it’s about the future health of our city," said Community Foundation President Diana Sieger.