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My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The snow piling up outside has kept Kent County Road Commission crews busy this past week, and with a warm up expected this weekend, their work is far from over.

During the week, 90 drivers worked each day and 30 drivers worked each night, clearing the snow from state highways, county roads and local streets and drives.  The Kent County Road Commission says all roads were cleared at least once between Tuesday and Thursday, but additional snowfall and drifting snow may give some roads the appearance of being neglected.  In Comstock Park and Grandville alone, Kent County crews spread 10,700 tons of salt and sand.  In Byron Center, crews used 58,000 gallons of liquid chloride to clear the road.  In all, the Road Commission estimates this first brush with winter cost it more than $1 million.

OPINION: Snow Storms bring out Crazy Drivers

OPINION: Snow Storms bring out Crazy Drivers

We have crazy people out there today!!!!

Why is it that so many people just do not seem to think ahead, especially when the first snow storm arrives, like the one in progress right now as I am writing?

Driving to work today was quite an eye opener. I saw so many people stuck in the end of driveways at both homes and businesses. People who just plain refuse to clean their vehicles off just make driving so hazardous for both the driver and the people following behind them with all that extra snow blowing backward. One driver pulled out of a street half way up a hill on Bristol NW, expecting to travel up the rest of the way, only to get stuck in the middle of the hill, causing a backup of cars. Are these people who have never driven in snow before?

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town GR: Side street plowing rescheduled amid new snow

My Town GR: Side street plowing rescheduled amid new snow

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids is postponing clearing snow from the city’s side streets as crews focus on removing a fresh blanket of snow from major roadways.

The city says snow clearing in the area of I-196 to Fulton and Lafayette to Fuller will now take place Monday, March 3.  The work was previously scheduled for Feb. 27.

Side street clearing in the area of Knapp to Leonard and Plainfield to Fuller is being rescheduled for Tuesday, March 3.  The work was supposed to take place Feb. 28 before the latest round of snow hit.

Disability Advocates of Kent County hold bus stop clearing contest

Disability Advocates of Kent County hold bus stop clearing contest

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The higher temperatures and rain will likely not rid West Michigan of all of its snow, which is why the Disability Advocates of Kent County is inviting all shovelers to take part in a contest.

The organization is asking everyone to help dig out bus stops in the Grand Rapids metro area, which are buried under snow.  While many people can climb over the snow banks to get on buses, people with disabilities cannot.

People who dig out a bus stop are asked to take a before and after picture and email them to Aric Coleman at aric.c@dakc.us , along with the location of the bus stop.  The Disability Advocates of Kent County will post the pictures on its Facebook Page to recognize your efforts.  Members of the group that clears the most stops by Feb.

Mangiamo! Snowman Festival Feb. 8

Mangiamo! Snowman Festival Feb. 8

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Everyone is invited out to help transform the powder blanketing Mangiamo’s grounds into an army of snowmen.

The restaurant’s second annual Snowman Festival begins Saturday, Feb. 8.  Builders of all ages are invited to compete in the contest; people age 13 and up will compete from 10 a.m. to noon, and children ages 3-12 can sculpt their own snowman from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The people behind the top three snowmen in each category will get gift cards. Mangiamo will also serve complimentary hot cocoa and spiced cider to all participants.  Contestants must provide their own snowman decorations.

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

Extreme winter conditions cut into blood donations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The recent winter storms and extremely cold temperatures are taking a toll on donations to the American Red Cross.

The organization says more than 7070 blood drives were cancelled last month because of the weather—leading to a loss of more than 25,000 blood and platelet donations. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood each day to supply medical centers. 

“While thousands of people from across the country responded to the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross in January, there continues to be an urgent need for blood donors with type O, especially type O negative,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region.

Kulman says the recent uptick in cold and flu cases is also taking a toll on blood donations.   Community members are encouraged to donate blood at one of the following drives:

  • Feb. 4, 12 p.m.