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My Town: Third annual Write Michigan Contest winners announced

My Town: Third annual Write Michigan Contest winners announced
--------NEWS RELEASE-------Kent District Library, Schuler Books & Music and Herrick District Library announce the winners of the third annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest. More than 700 writers from across the state entered the contest: 215 adults, 426 teens and 104 in the youth category.

“We’ve had another successful year,” said KDL Assistant Director Michelle Boisvenue-Fox. “We are always excited to see and read so much great talent in Michigan. We are supported by 155 volunteer reviewers—librarians, booksellers and Friends of the Library—with over half of them returning from last year’s contest. Many people find this a fun way to support aspiring writers.”

My Town: Kentwood student Peter Cripps selected for All-State Honors Band

My Town: Kentwood student Peter Cripps selected for All-State Honors Band

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Peter Cripps, a senior tuba player at East Kentwood High School, earned a position in the Michigan High School All-State Honors Band.  He performed with top band students from all over the state of Michigan, at venues and events including DeVos Hall at the Michigan Music Conference.

Since learning to play the tuba in 6th grade, Peter has earned many honors.  He has achieved Division I ratings on his tuba solos for six consecutive years.  Peter was selected for District Honors Band in 7th grade, Michigan Middle School All-State Band in 8th grade and Michigan Youth Arts Festival Honors Band in 11th grade.  He plays tuba in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble at East Kentwood High School and in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.

My Town: In Library Derby, Every Horse Wins

My Town: In Library Derby, Every Horse Wins
-----NEWS RELEASE----KENT COUNTY, Mich. –Kent District Library is kicking off its second annual Genre Derby, an online crowdfunding effort aimed at reducing wait times for print and digital books by growing the library system’s collection of its most popular items. And every horse in this race wins; all money collected for a specific genre will be spent on materials in that genre only.

My Town: Kentwood Middle School students in District Honors Band

My Town: Kentwood Middle School students in District Honors Band

MSBOA District 10 Middle School Honors Band

Several middle school students from Kentwod Public Schools were selected to perform in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra (MSBOA) District 10 Honors Band.  They include Crestwood 8th grade students Ryan Strauss (trumpet), Sean Prusko (percussion), Nevaeh McFall-Green (flute); Crestwood 7th grade students Otis Connors (tenor saxophone), Brayden Babcock (tenor saxophone), Emily Kwekel (flute), Mitchell Arganbright (percussion); Pinewood 8th grade students Kyle Corfixsen (alto saxophone), Bethany Dame (percussion), Matias Pedreros (tuba); and Pinewood 7th grade students Jacon Sagum (flute), Turner Woods (percussion) and Enzo Ubaldo (trumpet).

Jaes Ross, director of bands at East Kentwood High School, was chosen as band director of the year for District 10 last year.  Because of this award, he had the honor of conducting the 7th grade honors band.

Congratulations to everyone involved.

My Town Kentwood: Local Author Night Jan. 29

My Town Kentwood: Local Author Night Jan. 29

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Schuler Books invites the public to a night dedicated to local authors.

On Thursday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. there will be four featured authors: Tobin Buhk, author of "Poisoning, The Pecks of Grand Rapids"; Linda Gordon, author of "Nine Months of Spiritual Maturity"; Kris Kaiser, author of "Proclivity"; and Peter Welmerink, author of "Transport."

During this special evening, each author will give a short presentation before taking questions from the audience.  Patrons may also get their books signed.

Schuler Books is located at 2660 28th Street SE.  For more information, call (616) 942-2561 or visit http://www.schulerbooks.com/.

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.