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My Town: Search for Kent ISD's next superintendent down to two

My Town: Search for Kent ISD's next superintendent down to two

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The search for Kent Intermediate School District’s next superintendent is down to two people.

After the first round of interviews this week, the Kent ISD School board whittled down the pool of four finalists to two- Ron Caniff, superintendent of Grandville Public Schools; and Tom Martin, superintendent of West Ottawa Public Schools.  Superintendents Dr. Curtis Finch of the Mecosta-Osceola ISD and Dr. Sara Magana Shubel of East Grand Rapids Public Schools were not selected for second round interviews.

Caniff and Martin will be interviewed a second time Tuesday, March 31.  The person selected for the job will replace Kevin Konarska, who is retiring on June 30, after nine years of leading Kent ISD.

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.— A ‘Battle of the Buildings’ is underway in West Michigan, and the winner gets to keep more of their money.

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan says more than 14 Grand Rapids area businesses have signed up for the competition to reduce energy usage.  Participants include Steelcase and Spectrum Health, JSJ Corporation in Grand Haven; Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Steelcase in Kentwood; The Grand Rapids Art Museum; Kent Intermediate School District; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; Aquinas College; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo; the Muskegon County Hall of Justice and Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming.

This is the second year for the Battle of the Buildings.  For more information, including how to sign up your business, visit the campaign website here.

Students give all-terrain wheelchair to boy with muscular dystrophy


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Most of them don't even have their drivers licenses yet, but a group of students is doing amazing work in the field of robotics.

They're building everything from prosthetic hands to robots they enter into competitions.

We told you about Code Red Robotics last week.

Now in the video above, WZZM 13 Photojournalist Bridgette Pacholka shows us the moment the team presented a 12-year-old boy who has muscular dystrophy a gift that will change his life.


Expert: Emergency landing demonstrates pilots' training


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - On Saturday, a flight from Grand Rapids to Chicago ended with an emergency landing because the front landing gear wouldn't come down. All 37 passengers arrived safely at O'Hare International Airport, and experts say it had a lot to do with the well-trained pilots.

"Pilots play 'what if,'" says commercial pilot and West Michigan Aviation Academy instructor Les Brown. "'If this would happen, what would I do?' You usually get into the manuals -- most of the manufacturers have procedures on landing with the nose gear retracted."

Most planes have redundancies built into the landing gear, so this situation hardly ever happens, Brown.

"It is so rare... so rare," explains Brown. "There are 23,000 airline flights a day; 99.9% of them go without a hitch."

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A homeowner in Eastown is getting $10,000 to renovate her place.

Cami Estep won the giveaway contest by the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids and Option 1 Credit Union.  The two groups launched the contest in February, during the Grand Rapids Remodeling and New Home Show. 

“Our home is more than 100 years old, so the possibilities for projects are endless,” said Estep. “We were already planning on redoing an upstairs bathroom, but our furnace has been making some interesting noises lately, so we may choose to replace our aging heating and cooling system instead!”

Although she may not know exactly how to invest the money yet, one thing is for certain-- Estep and her family are very grateful for the HBA of Greater Grand Rapids.

Down to four: Where the search for Kent ISD’s next superintendent stands

Down to four: Where the search for Kent ISD’s next superintendent stands

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Leaders of the Kent Intermediate School District are narrowing their search for the ISD’s next superintendent.

Board members will begin interviewing the four finalists this week.  The candidates include Ron Caniff, superintendent of Grandville Public Schools; Dr. Curtis Finch, superintendent of the Mecosta-Osceola ISD; Tom Martin, superintendent of West Ottawa Public Schools; and Dr. Sara Magana Schubel, superintendent of East Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Finch will be first up for questioning.  His interview will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday.  Shubel and Caniff will be interviewed Wednesday, starting at 6 p.m.; Martin will answer the Board’s questions on Thursday.  The second round of interviews will take place Tuesday, March 31.

My Town: East Kentwood High School Presents CATS

My Town: East Kentwood High School Presents CATS

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Cats are about to take over the stage at East Kentwood High School.

The school's fine arts department will be performing the musical "CATS" on March 19, 20, 21, 27 and 28.

"CATS", by Andrew Lloyd Webber, is one of the most successful musicals of all time.  It has been seen throughout the world by over 73 million people.  Now is your chance to see a production put on by some very talented high school students.  It's time to make a new "Memory."

All shows will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium at East Kentwood High School, located at 6230 Kalamazoo Ave., SE.  Tickets are $10 each and are available at the door or by calling the switcboard at East Kentwod High School  at (616) 698-6700.