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My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

 

GRANDVILLE, Mich. – Grandville-based First United Credit Union backing the Kent District Library’s campaign to replenish its budget.

Through the Genre Derby, KDL hopes to raise $10,000 for digital and physical books. That’s just a fraction of the $300,000 that’s been slashed from the library’s budget since 2013.

“Our overall budget has been cut by over $2 million in the past three years from changes in tax valuation and personal property tax,” explained KDL Development Manager Linda Krombeen. 

Despite the cuts, KDL is using technology and restructuring to avoid laying off staff.

The Genre Derby allows patrons to direct donations to the type of books they read most. First United Credit Union is pledging to match 50 percent of all donor gifts during the Genre Derby, up to $1,500.

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

LANSING, Mich.—Full-time college students called to jury duty can now postpone their service until the end of the school year.

Governor Snyder signed that bill into law Tuesday.  It allows students attending higher education in Michigan to delay jury duty if they can prove it will interfere with their class schedule. A similar exemption already exists for eligible high school students.

“Serving on a jury is an important part of our civic responsibility,” Snyder said. “However, for college students, jury duty can be disruptive to their studies. This law gives them the opportunity to focus on their education while still giving them the opportunity to serve after the school year.”  

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

Former Congressional candidate joins Airport Board

KENTWOOD, Mich.—There’s a new face on the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of Steve Heacock Monday.  The seven-member Airport Board is responsible for the general oversight of Gerald R. Ford Ford International Airport.  Heacock replaces former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who left the board last December.  His term will run through Dec. 31, 2016.

Heacock has served as chairman of the Convention and Arena Authority, which owns and operates Van Andel Arena and DeVos Place.  He  served on the Kent County Board of Commissioners fir sux years, including two years as the chairman.  Heacock, who is a Grand Rapids resident, is the senior vice president of public affairs for Spectrum Health Systems.  He was also the chief administrative officer, general counsel and board secretary of the Van Andel Institute for six years.

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,

City commission expected to set business tax break hearing

City commission expected to set business tax break hearing

KENTWOOD, Mich.—During its regular meeting Jan. 21, the Kentwood City Commission is expected to set a public hearing about tax breaks for Laminin Medical Products, Inc.

Economic development planner Lisa Golder says an industrial development tax abatement was approved for Laminin Medical Products in 2012, and now the city must vote on retaining the tax break since the company moved from East Paris to 4053 Brockton Dr. SE.

Golder says the company moved from the site it was leasing to a permanent location late last year.  The new location is also closer to Laminin's parent company.

 

Davenport University and state lawmakers talk urban education Jan. 9

Davenport University and state lawmakers talk urban education Jan. 9

KENTWOOD,  Mich.—  State lawmakers will fill Davenport University Thursday, Jan. 9 to learn more about how the school plans to transform how teachers are trained to work in urban K-12 school districts.

Between 15 and 20 members of the Michigan House and Senate are expected to attend the hearing on Davenport’s Lettinga Campus.  The lawmakers represent various education committees.

Community members will have an opportunity to comment on urban education during Thursday’s hearing, which runs from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

Davenport’s first class for the Master of Urban Education program will begin in May 2014.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

WALKER, Mich.—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council has some new faces at its helm.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Grandville Mayor Steve Maas, Kentwood Mayor Steve Keply and Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga officially joined the GVMC Board of Directors.  All three men were elected in November and selected by city members to serve on the panel.

Ada Township Supervisor George Haga and Sand Lake Village Trustee Roger Towsley also took the oath of office.  They represent the first two communities to join GVMC since 2007. The Board of Directors also recently approved accepting Lowell Township as a member. 

The GVMC is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.