Our network

Weather

My Town Grandville: School district restores long holiday weekend

My Town Grandville: School district restores long holiday weekend

GRANDVILLE, Mich.--  Students of Grandville Public Schools are getting back their long Memorial Day weekend. 

In a letter sent to parents Monday, Superintendent Ron Caniff said he has reversed his decision to make up classes on Friday, May 23, because of the spate of winter snow days.  Caniff says he made the change after Governor Snyder signed the School Aid Supplement Bill into law last week.  The measure gives districts with more than 174 school days on their calendar additional snow day relief, provided they meet the required 1,098 hours of yearly instruction.  Caniff says Grandville Schools built additional class hours into their school calendar, so the district has exceeded the minimum state requirement for instructional hours. Therefore, Grandville students will not have classes on Friday, May 23.

My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

My Town: Emergency funding to bring pothole relief to drivers

KENT COUNTY, Mich.— State lawmakers are coming to the rescue of drivers trying to dodge a plethora of potholes this year.

The legislature Wednesday approved $215 million in emergency road funding,  including $115 million for priority projects and $100 million to assist with maintainence needed due to the harsh winter.    

“The additional funding is much needed to combat the brutal winter we experienced this year and to start to reverse the toll it took on Michigan’s roadways,” said Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker.  “The investment in local roads will help to limit the expenses associated with car repairs due to poor road conditions.”

The emergency funding includes nearly $1.9 million to maintain and fix Kent County’s roads.  That includes more than $235,000 for the following communities:

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

Road budgets broken by long, harsh West Michigan winter

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—The West Michigan winter is carrying on, even though the Ottawa County Road Commission budget has dried up.

The road commission says $2.6 million was budgeted for winter-related work on roads, but more than $3.4 million has already been spent this year. The Michigan Department of Transportation has also had its budget blown by the extreme winter conditions.  MDOT had budgeted $1.3 million for winter maintenance of state highways in Ottawa County; so far it’s already spent more than $1.7 million.

The Ottawa County Road Commission will review its budget plan in April and likely cut back some planned road improvement projects and other maintenance activities to balanace the budget.

Snowman Festival returns to Georgetown Township

Snowman Festival returns to Georgetown Township

JENISON, Mich.—Rosewood Park will welcome an entire village of snowmen later this month, as the Georgetown Township Snowman Festival returns for a second year.

Families are invited to join the snowman build, which will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22.  The people who build the three snowmen to earn the judges’ highest marks will get a trophy.  

Visitors can also buy pizza by the slice from Jet’s Pizza.  Evolve Bank & Trust will be providing complimentary hot cocoa.

To register for the snowman building event, call City2Shore Real Estate at (616) 662-9664.

Chamber rallying volunteers for community dig out Feb. 8

Chamber rallying volunteers for community dig out Feb. 8

GRANDVILLE, Mich.—The community came together  to clean up after Mother Nature last April, now the Grandville Jenison Chamber of Commerce is encouraging neighbors to do it again this weekend.

The Chamber is rallying volunteers to dig out area fire hydrants Saturday, Feb. 8.  Firefighters need the hydrants cleared so they have easy access to water in case of an emergency.  Finding and clearing hydrants during a fire can waste crews’ precious time.

Volunteers should wear warm clothing and bring their own hard metal shovel.  Shifts will start at 9 a.m., 10 a.m.

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.

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—  Before this weekend’s storm,  the Ottawa County Road Commission says it was already over 70 percent through its budget for the entire winter season.

That budget pays for clearing, sanding and salting roads.  During a typical year, the County Road Commission will use about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of salt and 14,000 to 18,000 tons of sand, leading to a bill that can total $2 million- $3 million annually.  As of Jan. 10, 2014, the Ottawa County Road Commission already blew through $1.85 million of its $2.6 million budget.  The cost of salt isn’t helping; the Road Commission says the price per ton has nearly doubled since 2003.

During winter, the Ottawa County Road Commission operates 62 snow plows out of four garages located in Coopersville, Grand Haven Township, Hudsonville and Holland Township.  It can take the team up to three days to clear all Ottawa County roads after a typical snow storm.