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New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new bike path will soon take shape in Grand Rapids.

The city is getting a $618,514 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create the Seward Avenue Bikeway.  The 3.5 mile bike route will cut through the heart of Grand Rapids and connect nearly 190 miles of regional trails, including the White Pine Trail, Oxford Street Trail and Kent Trails. The path will run along Seward Avenue from Wealthy Street to the Riverside Park trailhead and include a bike shelter, bike lockers, bike signs and signals and an upgraded pedestrian bridge over Indian Mill Creek at Broadway Avenue.

The project is expected to cost just over $1 million.  Additional funding will come from the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bikes Belong and Freewheeler Bike Shop.  The city commission will recognize all financial supporters during its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.    

UPDATE: Growing up in Nazi Germany: A museum volunteer remembers

UPDATE: Growing up in Nazi Germany: A museum volunteer remembers

UPDATE: The Grand Rapids Public Museum has postponed Saturday's lecture due to illness.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—This Saturday will mark 72 years since Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, pushing the United States to enter World War II.

This Pearl Harbor Day, the Grand Rapids Public Museum will turn the spotlight on one of its own volunteers, who grew up in Nazi Germany.  Bernie Siehling will share an insider’s perspective of the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler and Nazi rule.  Siehling plans to talk about avoiding Hitler youth, building relationships with Prisoners Of War ordered to work on his family’s farm, and witnessing a British Royal Air Force Bomber crash.

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Scenes from 'The Nutcracker' at Spring Lake District Library

Scenes from 'The Nutcracker' at Spring Lake District Library

SPRING LAKE, Mich.--The Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company is taking "The Nutcracker" to the Spring Lake District Library.

A troupe of ballet students will perform selections from the production Monday, December 2 at 7 p.m. The dancing, costumes and music of this classic holiday show are sure to capture the imagination of children of all ages.  Children age seven and younger who attend the performance must be accompanied by an adult.  Attendance is limited to 70 people.

For more information, call the library at (616) 846-5770, ext. 134.  The library is located at 123 E. Exchange St. in Spring Lake.

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Where are the safest places to eat in Kent County?

The county health department is answering that question with the 2013 Food Safety Awards.   The agency whittled down the list of 1,654 eligible restaurants to just 269 facilities, based on routine restaurant and food service inspections over the past year.  Under the county’s criteria, restaurants that earn the award must have a certified food safety manager, no confirmed violations of the Michigan Smoke Free Law and no confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks during the year.

Grand Rapids Comptroller keeps her job

Grand Rapids Comptroller keeps her job

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids Comptroller Sara Vander Werff is sticking around.

Vander Werff took 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday night’s election, besting Rina Baker.  Vander Werff got 8,046 votes from Grand Rapids’ 77 precincts; Baker took 6,245 votes.

Vander Werff took over as comptroller in April, after Donijo Dejonge resigned in December.

When to trick-or-treat in your community

 When to trick-or-treat in your community

Halloween is Thursday, and many communities have set times for children to trick-or-treat.

Although the weather may not be pleasant, children are encouraged to visit homes and businesses at the following times:  

Ada Township

  • No designated time
  • Fire station #1 trick or treating: October 31,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Alpine Township

  • October 31 until dark/candy runs out

Belding

  • October 31, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Halloween Open House: October 31, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the fire station

Cannon Township

  • No set time; fire department will hand out treats October 31, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Cascade Township

  • October 31, 5:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.