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My Town: Grand Rapids area brewers begin Thank You Tour May 6

My Town: Grand Rapids area brewers begin Thank You Tour May 6

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A group of Grand Rapids area breweries is thanking patrons for putting the city on the craft beer map by winning it the title of Beer City USA.

Grand Rapids won the title outright last year, with more than 27,000 of the 50,000 votes cast I the now defunct online poll.  The vote was organized by Charlie Papazian, founder of the American Homebrewers Association, the Great American Beer Festival and a beer writer for Examiner.com.

To celebrate the final Beer City win, the founders of MIBeers and Momma Needs A Beer are teaming up with area breweries for a Thank You Tour that starts Tuesday, May 6.  Brewers, local celebrities and BeerCity team members will visit each of the businesses on the tour to hand out freebies to patrons.

My Town GR South: River City Scholars delivers on reading rewards for students

My Town GR South: River City Scholars delivers on reading rewards for students

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- River City Scholars Charter Academy students hit a major benchmark in their reading minutes: 100,000.

At the start of March is Reading Month, the leadership team challenged the students to reach for more than 100,000 reading minutes. They provided incentives along the way to reward the students for their hard work.

In March, the reading rewards piled up fast and students watched Principal Amena Moiz kiss an eight foot boa constrictor, one of the deans rode a tricycle around the gym, and a second dean was sprayed with silly string.

In April, Dean Mike White lived up to his promise and read a book from the top of the school roof while Dean Pa Madris dressed up like the book character  in "A Bad Case of Stripes".  The students enjoyed all of the reading rewards and are proud of their accomplishment.

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

My Town: Kent Career Tech Center names first National Tech Honor Society members

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A dozen students from Kent Career Tech Center are now members of the National Technical Honor Society.

The students were inducted into the Tech Center’s inaugural NTHS class for demonstrating outstanding skills in their program and overall academic achievement.  The NTHS is similar to the National Honor Society, but with tougher requirements, including involvement in a career or technical education program, a 3.5 or higher GPA and community service hours.

My Town: Lawyer launches new fashion line in East Grand Rapids

My Town: Lawyer launches new fashion line in East Grand Rapids

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  A Miami lawyer turned  East Grand Rapids entrepreneur is launching her luxury lounge wear line in West Michigan.

Jamie Loeks Duffield came up with the idea for Duffield Lane when she and her mother couldn’t find appropriate pajamas to wear during their traditional Christmas Eve gathering with family.   

My mother and I were looking for quality, appropriate and stylish lounge wear that we would want to wear past December 25th. There just wasn’t anything out there that was fashionable and comfortable,”says Duffield.

The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in Duffield’s family.  Her Jim and Barrie Loeks, founded Star Theater and her uncle, John Loeks, founded Celebration Cinema.

Duffield is currently teaming up with Michigan- based Fashion Pronto to develop a new line that will be available this summer. 

My Town GR South: Grand Rapids welcomes nationally acclaimed eco-chef

My Town GR South: Grand Rapids welcomes nationally acclaimed eco-chef

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Calvin College)-- On Thursday, April 24, nationally-acclaimed eco-chef Bryant Terry will be at Calvin College's Chapel sharing thoughts and recipes from his newly released book "Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed."

Terry, a food justice activist whose work is regularly featured in national media, including such places as The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, The Martha Stewart Show and Emeril Green is speaking as part of Wake Up Weekend, an annual grassroots celebration of animal-friendly advocacy, art, food, education, music, philosophy and religion in Grand Rapids, Mich.

My Town GR South: College Avenue tree dressed up for Easter

My Town GR South: College Avenue tree dressed up for Easter

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- It doesn't have leaves yet, but a tree on College Avenue is already carrying a load on its branches.

This is the tenth anniversary of the Easter Tree, located in front of a home at College and Pleasant.  Neighbors and passersby say more than 400 eggs were hanging from its branches ahead of Easter.

My Town GR South: Eastown celebrates Earth Day with plant exchange, gardening and bench building

My Town GR South: Eastown celebrates Earth Day with plant exchange, gardening and bench building

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Eastown will be buzzing when Earth Day arrives April 22.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Eastown Community Association will hold an Earth Day garden cleanup and perennial exchange at its offices on 415 Ethel.  The ECA will be working with Heart of West Michigan United Way, West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative members and children from the GR Creative Youth Center to clean the community garden, build a new earth bench out of plastic bottles and plant new trees.  Participants in the perennial exchange are reminded to label the plants they bring.

 Residents can also sign up for a community garden plot at the office that day.  There are 16 plots available for rent on a first come, first serve basis.  Registration will take place in the ECA office.