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My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

My Town: Make a life-saving donation, get a free haircut

My Town: Make a life-saving donation, get a free haircut

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A life-saving donation could get you a new look.

The American Red Cross is teaming up with Sport Clips to provide coupons for free haircuts to those who sign up to donate blood at participating drives and blood donation centers.  The campaign, called “Saving Lives Never Looked So Good”, runs through the month of September at the Sports Clips locations at Knapps Corner, Shops at Plaza on the East Beltline, in Grandville and the Kenowa Center.

For more information and to find a participating blood drive, visit redcrossblood.org/sport-clips.

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

My Town: Top five movies playing at Celebration Cinema this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Summer is still in full swing, and new movies are premiering every weekend.

Celebration Cinema has a few good movies this weekend that you won't want to miss. Here are my top five for this weekend:

1.) A Most Wanted Man (Rated R) - Premiers this Friday at Celebration North. This movie is about a brutally tortured immigrant who turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune. Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest. As the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity.

2.) And So It Goes (Rated PG-13) - Premieres this Friday at all Celebration locations. This movie is about a self-centered realtor who enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Restaurant Week is about a month away, but you can start making your plans by salivating over the menus.

The 5th annual event runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24 at 66 Grand Rapids restaurants. This year, the theme is "Perfect Pairings" to showcase beverages that pair well with foods.

Restaurants are now taking reservations for Restaurant Week Grand Rapids. This year, 44 restaurants will offer 3-course locally inspired menus for $28 per person, including:

 

My Town Ada/Cascade