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My Town GR South: Pooh's Corner to close after 38 years

My Town GR South: Pooh's Corner to close after 38 years

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A local business parents have been relying on for 38 years is shutting its doors.

Pooh’s Corner, located in the Breton Village Mall, will close for good on May 23.  Co-owner Camille DeBoer says she sat down with her partner and their families and decided the business didn’t have enough of a future.  DeBoer says selling children’s books is a physically exhausting career.  Besides hauling 40 pound boxes of books around and continuously visiting schools, DeBoer says she spends many hours reading the latest books so she can know what ones to recommend to customers. 

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

UPDATE: Three more buildings have joined the competition.

Organizers say the MATS administration office, Community Mental Health and the Hall of Justice, all in Muskegon County are now involved in the Battle of the Buildings, bringing the total square footage to more than 9 million.  The new goal is 10 million square feet by the registration deadline of March 31.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—More than three dozen local businesses are competing in cutting down energy in the West Michigan Battle of the Buildings.

The owners of 45 buildings representing nearly 9 million square feet of space have signed up to take part in the inaugural competition, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. The organization is teaming up with Consumers Energy and Hurst Mechanical to provide workshops on building improvements, optimizing operations and maintance and engaging building occupants to curb energy use.

My Town: Zondervan parent company helps the homeless

My Town: Zondervan parent company helps the homeless

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The parent company of Zondervan publishing backing an organization helping homeless families in Grand Rapids.

HarperCollins Christian Publishing will award Family Promise of Grand Rapids a $25,000 grant this July.  The publisher plans to donate $75,000 total to Family Promise over three years.

“This grant is a huge blessing. It will be used to support homeless families in need of emergency shelter and housing services.  We have seen this need grow considerably over the past four years and it continues to grow in Grand Rapids,” commented Cheryl Schuch, executive director at Family Promise of Grand Rapids.  “Given changes in various programs as well as the rising cost of everyday necessities such as housing, food and gas, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of families losing their home and struggling to make ends meet in our community.”

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

My Town GR: BitCamp provides hands-on tech experience for middle school girls

This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Consider the statistics: Only 15 percent of female college freshmen go into STEM fields, and only .4 percent enter computer science fields as opposed to three percent of men.

And while some believe these numbers may be caused by stereotypes that steer women away from science and technology fields, others believe that women simply aren't being exposed to the right opportunities at young ages.

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Grand Rapids: Design class lets students design Grand Rapids' future

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

My Town Wyoming: Help needed to make 'Read n' Give' a success

WYOMING, Mich.—The LEAGUE Michigan is looking for more schools, organizations and businesses to help encourage literacy through a statewide book drive.

“Read n’ Give” is focused on boosting literacy among youth.  Schools, organizations and businesses collect K-5 books, which are donated to students involved in literacy programs with Camp Blodgett, The Salvation Army and Schools of Hope, which includes the Grand Rapids, Godfrey-Lee and Godwin Heights school districts.   When students are finished with the books, they are encouraged to donate them back into the program the next year, to foster the continuous cycle of giving.

Bridget Knight, who works with The LEAGUE Michigan, says participants in last year’s program collected 65,000 books statewide.  More than 39,000 books of those books came from West Michigan.  Knight says the goal this year is to collect 70,000 books.

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

Coffee taste test pits pricey cat scat coffee against other brews

HOLLAND, Mich.— Kopi Luwak coffee beans costs up to $600 pound, but is the taste worth the price?

That’s the question a panel of coffee experts attempted to answer during a blind taste test this week.  “The Great Kopi Luwak Cupping Challenge” unfolded at JPs Coffee and Espresso Bar in Holland.  Owner Jack Groot ran the test, pitting Kopi Luwak against other regional Sumatran coffees prices around $16 pound.

During the test, one Kopi Luwak sample rose to the top, scoring 76 points out of 100.  However, two of the less expensive, non-cat poop coffees ranked within a half-point of Kopi Luwak and the others were very close.

“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound.  If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” said Andy Timko with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.