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My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee

My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids has taken the next step in restoring the Grand River, from Lamoreaux to Millennium Park.

Collabarating with Grand Rapids Whitewater, the city this week appointed 22 people to serve on a newly formed Grand River Restoration Steering Committee.  The panel of local leaders will guide efforts in restoring the Grand River and its riverbank, make sure river studies and projects are effectively communicated, garner support for restoring the river, encourage fundraising and explore potential long-term management options for the river.  The steering committee will advise the city commission on any projects tied to the Grand River.   However, final decisions will be made by commissioners.

The steering committee is composed of:

Basketball game beneficiary recovering from transplant

Basketball game beneficiary recovering from transplant

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.-- Grand Rapids police say the detective who will benefit from Saturday's Robert Kozminski Memorial Basketball Games has had a successful double lung transplant.

The department says Kent County deputy Aron Bowser is recovering at home.  Proceeds from the games on Saturday, Feb. 1 wil go toward his medical expenses.

This is the seventh year for the friendly competition at Kenowa Hills. The games begin at 6:30 p.m. with Kenowa Hills teachers playing officers from the Wyoming, Grandville, Walker, Rockford, Kentwood and Grand Rapids police departments.  The second game will pit the Grand Rapids Police Department against the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins will also stop by for the games.

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. 

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?

Basketball game pits Kenowa Hills staff against police

Basketball game pits Kenowa Hills staff against police

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.--  School staff will take on a team of officers this Saturday, Feb. 1 as the Robert Kozminski Memorial Basketball Games return to Kenowa Hills.

This is the seventh year for the friendly competition. The games begin at 6:30 p.m. with Kenowa Hills administrators and teachers playing local law enforcement members.  The second game will pit the Grand Rapids Police Department against the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins will also stop by for the games.

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.  The proceeds will benefit Kent County Sheriff Detective Aron Bowser who is currently awaiting a lung transplant.  

Great Skate Winterfest returns this weekend

Great Skate Winterfest returns this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Great Skate Winterfest takes over Rosa Parks Circle beginning at noon on Saturday, Jan. 18.

This free 34-hour event gives visitors a chance to skate with Griffin players, watch ice sculpting and take in winter sport demonstrations.  There's also a  family activity tent, carriage rides, a silent auction and much more.  

Winterfest funs through 10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19.  Participants are encouraged to sponsor their favorite Griffins player or collect pledges for participation in the Great Skate.  The proceeds will go to the Griffins Youth Foundation.

For more information, visit  http://griffinshockey.com/greatskate/.

Deadline Tuesday for Whitecaps Winter Baseball Banquet tickets

Deadline Tuesday for Whitecaps Winter Baseball Banquet tickets

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.— The owners of the West Michigan Whitecaps are promising their banquet will go on despite a Jan. 3 heater fire that destroyed a portion of Fifth Third Ballpark.

Tuesday is the last day to purchase tickets for the 20th Annual Winter Baseball Banquet.   Tigers President and CEO David Dombrowski and Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer are expected to attend the event, scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 23 at DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids.

The banquet begins at 5:45 p.m. with a silent auction of sports memorabilia and other items.  A dinner, live auction and Whitecaps Hall of Fame induction ceremony will follow.  Whitecaps co-owners Lew Chamberlin and Dennis Baxter also plan to update guests on plans to rebuild Fifth Third Ballpark.

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.