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Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Local restaurants serve up free meals to veterans November 11

Some West Michigan restaurants are honoring miliatry members  this Veterans Day by serving up free meals.

Lakeshore Partnership is also offering a free meal to veterans at 19 of its local McDonald’s restaurants.  Military identification is preferred, but not required.  Participating locations include:

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

Gymco gives kids a leg up on building healthy bodies, strong minds

By Chealsea Slocum
Photography by Adam Bird 

Tie-tying ceremony ushers in new support for Grand Rapids youth

Tie-tying ceremony ushers in new support for Grand Rapids youth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The founding dean of Davenport University’s College of Urban Education will introduce his innovative tie-tying ceremony to a group of Grand Rapids boys,  as a first step of encouragement to attend college.

Dr. Andre Perry began his tie-tying ceremony in New Orleans in 2010 as a way to celebrate his 40th birthday.  He plans to make the ritual an annual event in his new home of Grand Rapids.  During the ceremony on November 18, adult mentors will teach twenty boys how to tie distinguishing knots.  The ceremony is meant to introduce young urban youth to social networks that will increase their likelihood of attending and completing college.

The ceremony will begin at 3:30 p.m. at Head-N-Sole Barbershop, located at 1449 Kalamazoo Ave. SE.

Perry’s unique tie ceremony is featured in the award-winning documentary, “Close Ties: Tying on a New Tradition.”

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Where are the safest places to eat in Kent County?

The county health department is answering that question with the 2013 Food Safety Awards.   The agency whittled down the list of 1,654 eligible restaurants to just 269 facilities, based on routine restaurant and food service inspections over the past year.  Under the county’s criteria, restaurants that earn the award must have a certified food safety manager, no confirmed violations of the Michigan Smoke Free Law and no confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks during the year.

A piece of Grand Rapids comes to Whitehall Saturday

A piece of Grand Rapids comes to Whitehall Saturday

WHITEHALL, Mich.—The Whitehall community can get a taste of Grand Rapids without visiting the big city during the River City Road Show Saturday, November 2.

"Fauxgrass Quartet" and "Big Dudee Roo" will take the stage for the event, which starts at 7 p.m. at the Howmet Playhouse.

"I'm excited to hear the Fauxgrass Quartet and Big Dudee Roo on our stage," says Playhouse Managing Director Katie Trzaska.  "These are two of the top bluegrass-rooted bands in West Michigan, and it's going to be a good time."

A variety of vendors will also feature their products.

Michigan Works! looks for hard workers to honor

Michigan Works! looks for hard workers to honor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Michigan Works! is looking for employees in Kent and Allegan counties who go above and beyond to make customers happy.

This is the sixth year the agency has honored important yet sometimes undervalued workers during the Essential Service Awards. 

“While all employees contribute to the growth of our community and the efficiency of their organization, we tend to recognize those in leadership or highly visible positions,” says Dave Smith, chair of the Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties Workforce Development Board.  “We often overlook the significant contributions that a virtually invisible workforce – the support workers within the various sectors – makes to our community by passionately performing less visible tasks.  The Essential Service Awards recognize exceptional individuals performing these necessary and essential jobs.” 

Company transforms roof into wildlife habitat

Company transforms roof into wildlife habitat

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A wildlife habitat is now gracing the roof of a Grand Rapids area home.

Tom Newhouse designed and built his home and design studio in 1978 as a solar, earth-sheltered, low energy place, complete with a green roof.  The project won a national design award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Environmental Protection Agency at the time.

Last year, when upgrades were needed for his roof, Newhouse found Advanced Green Architecture.  Workers with the Grand Rapids business replaced his aging roof with a new modular green roof system that supports wildlife. AGA reused existing plants from the original green roof and added more than 30 varieties of Michigan native plants.  Workers also planted wildflower seeds, added a small pond to attract birds, insects and frogs, and installed a walking path and seating area.