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My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

LANSING, Mich. – Making fruits and vegetables more readily available, cancer screenings by mail, health coaches and exercise programs are just several of the local initiatives getting funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The MDCH recently announced 44 projects are getting approximately $1.34 million, including a dozen projects in West Michigan.  The grants include:

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Consumers in West Michigan are more optimistic about what 2015 will bring.

In fact, consumers in this market are the most optimistic in the region, according to a new study released by Huntington Bank.  The financial firm found local residents say they are much more likely to buy a new vehicle this year; 17 percent said they plan to purchase a new car, compared to just four percent in 2014.

Home improvement stores may also be busy; 47-percent of West Michiganders surveyed for the Huntington Bank Midwest Economic Index said they were planning some home renovations for 2015, compared to 32 percent in 2014.

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The eat local movement is getting a federal boost.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded Local First a two-year $94,000 grant for Community Supported Agriculture.  Local First is teaming up with West Michigan Growers Group and Michigan State University Extension to provide resources for farmers to grow their CSA programs. With CSAs, community members purchase a share of a local farm, which then divides its harvest among investors.  The CSA form of farming provides stability for farmers and allows investors to enjoy seasonable, locally grown produce. The program provides the health, relational and economic benefits that come with eating local.

My Town Grandville: City welcomes first Little Free Library

My Town Grandville: City welcomes first Little Free Library

GRANDVILLE, Mich.—The first Little Free Library in Grandville is up and running.

The house-shaped box is located at Mill Race Park.  The one-shelf library features books for all ages.  Community members are encouraged to take a book, read a book and return a book.  The city expects two additional libraries to be installed in other city parks soon.

Grandville’s Little Free Library was made possible by Home Depot, Friends of the Library and the Grandville Parks Department.

My Town: Bottoms up! Kent District Library serving a second round of KD aLe

My Town: Bottoms up!  Kent District Library serving a second round of KD aLe

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Kent District Library is ordering a second round of its popular series for beer lovers.

KD aLe will return Monday, Dec. 8 with a home brewing workshop by Edward Long from Siciliano’s Market.  Long will outline the basics of brewing during his visit to the Sand Lake/Nelson Township branch.  The home brewing workshop schedule is as follows:

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

My Town: Breweries help battle cancer and Parkinson's with 'Hops for Hope'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Knock back a beer and help knock out cancer this month with “Hops for Hope.”

 

During September, several West Michigan breweries will be donating $1 from each “purple beer” purchase to Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community.  Proceeds from sales of Hops for Hope growlers and refills will also go to the cause.

 

“It’s good to give back to the community,” Bob Bonga, owner of the family-owned and operated Jaden James Brewery in Kentwood. “It’s wonderful that VAI is in Grand Rapids, and 100% of what we raise goes to research.”

 

My Town: Jenison teacher now a published author

My Town: Jenison teacher now a published author

GRANDVILLE, Mich.—A teacher from Jenison schools is now a published author.

Joe R. Roper’s newest book, “The Hunter Awakens” is earning top reviews on Amazon.com. The fantasy is written for children ages 10-18, and is the first book of the Morus Chronicles.  The story summary on Amazon is as follows: