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How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

The director of Kent District Library (KDL) reviewed the organization’s performance during the East Grand Rapids City Commission meeting August 5.

According to the annual report, patrons checked out about 6.1 million books from KDL in 2012; that’s about half a million fewer than the prior year. However, the report indicates digital book checkouts nearly doubled during that same time period to 370,914.

Based on the report, KDL saw declines in total check-outs, branch visitors and library program attendance in 2012.  However, computer log-ins and summer reading club participation rose.   While KDL’s total expenditures were higher than library revenue, the fund balance covered the $107,521 difference.

Kent District Library operates 18 branches throughout Kent County, serving more than 350,000 people. 

Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

Communities celebrate National Night Out August 6

National Night Out is August 6, providing community members a free and fun opportunity to meet neighbors and local police officers.

National Night Out started in1984 as a way to encourage the community to get involved in crime-prevention, sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.  Organizers often fold food and family-friendly activities into the event.  This year’s participating communities include:

Kalamazoo County

·         Kalamazoo: Arcadia Neighborhood Assoc., Arcadia School, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Eastside Neighborhood Assoc., Rockwell Park, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.

·         Kalamazoo: Edison Neighborhood Assoc., 816 Washington, 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

City dedicates playground rebuilt after arson

City dedicates playground rebuilt after arson

KENTWOOD, Mich.—The Mayor of Kentwood will join other city leaders Tuesday, August 6 to dedicate a playground rebuilt after arson.

The Pinewood Park play structure was destroyed by fire last Thanksgiving.  Investigators believe the fire had been intentionally set.

In July, city workers and volunteers began rebuilding the playground.  The Mayor will join the Kentwood Chief of Police and Pinewood Park Home Association to dedicate the new structure at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday.  The event is part of the city’s National Night Out celebration.

UPDATE: Park Picnic-Community Days postponed until August 2

UPDATE: Park Picnic-Community Days postponed until August 2

UPDATE: Special Events Coordinator Jen Keith says Park Picnic- Community Days July 26 event has been canceled because of inclement weather.

The event featuring free pizza will be rescheduled for Friday, August 2.

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KENTWOOD, Mich.—Enjoy free pizza from Peppinos Friday, July 26 as the Kentwood Parks and Recreation continues a new event series.

“Park Picnic- Community Days” is a free event showcasing the city’s three parks.  Visitors can enjoy pizza while taking part in family activities and meeting neighbors.

The second picnic of the series is Friday 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Home Acres Park, located at 145 Farnham St.

City to consider consolidating police and fire services in July 18 meeting

City to consider consolidating police and fire services in July 18 meeting

Wyoming, Kentwood and Grand Rapids city leaders will hold a special meeting Thursday, July 18 to consider moving forward with a proposal to consolidate police and fire services.

Council and commission members from all three cities will review ICMA Consulting Service’s study and recommendations about consolidation.  The report’s executive summary concludes consolidation is the best alternative to improve service and save more than $13 million annually.  It also recommends:

Fourth of July celebration returns to Patterson Field

Fourth of July celebration returns to Patterson Field

KENTWOOD, Mich.—The city of Kentwood is moving its Fourth of July fireworks display back to Patterson Field, behind Crestwood Middle School on 44th Street.

Patterson Field hosted the display in years past, until a remodeling project forced organizers to move the celebration to City Hall. 

This year’s fireworks display will begin July 4 at 10:15 p.m.  The city’s carnival, complete with rides, inflatables and live music, will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Volunteers are still needed to pull of this year’s event.  If you would like to help, contact Debbie or Kendra at (616) 656-5270.

Go Green Youth Challenge: How to get fresh trees in your community

Go Green Youth Challenge:  How to get fresh trees in your community

Applications are being accepted for the Go Green Youth Challenge tree planting grants.

Children from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate.  Participants are challenged to collect change individually, with their class or with a club each spring.  The change will go toward community tree plantings by the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance, as well as program outreach efforts.  The team that raises the most for the Go Green Youth Challenge will be awarded with a tree planning in their community.  They also get an invitation to the state Arbor Day celebration in April at Potter Park Zoo in Lansing.

Local governments, public educational institutions, public libraries, non-profit organizations, non-profit organizations, neighborhood associations, churches and tribal governments can also apply for a Go Green youth Challenge tree planting grant by visiting this websit