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OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

Cooking with Kal: Lemon Dream Bars (always a favorite)

I got this recipe from Suzie Pomper, after her husband David  brought them into work one day. Believe me, they are delicious bars.

I made them this past week for my son Eric’s birthday but I doubled the recipe to make a half sheet pan of them to share at his work. The only thing I would do differently if I made this size again is to triple the filling only. It would make the bars a little thicker. Instead, I put a Cool Whip flower on each of the bars, to make up for them not having as much filling. Sometimes you just have to improvise.

Lemon dream bars


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 T. lemon juice


OPINION: What happened to common sense?

OPINION: What happened to common sense?

Most days I get to see a portion of ABC's Good Morning America and most days I end up shaking my head at some of the common sense subjects that are discussed. Believe me, it’s not just on this program, but most talk shows anymore.

Today they were discussing how many calories are in certain healthy foods and how some of the numbers can be surprising; but when I was growing up or our children were growing up, choices like dried fruit versus fresh fruit was not discussed because we only had fresh or home canned fruit, to my knowledge.

My Town GR South: Hollywood actor to celebrate birthday in Eastown

My Town GR South: Hollywood actor to celebrate birthday in Eastown

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Hollywood star will celebrate his birthday in Eastown this Thursday, July 10.

Thomas Nicholas, who starred in "Rookie of the Year" and the American Pie movies, will be in town to celebrate the 15 year anniversary of American Pie, as well as his birthday.  Nicholas will be hosting and performing for “Billy’s 90’s Holla Back” at Billy’s Lounge.  His band is expected to take the stage at 8 p.m.

If you can’t make it out, Nicholas will also be grabbing a hot dog and meeting fans at Yesterdog from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit the event page on Facebook.

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   A Grand Rapids woman who pioneered a program to help feed children in need is earning recognition from the state.

On June 30, Mary K. Hoodhood accepted the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism.  The award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Service Awards, honoring an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to their community. 

In 1980, a vehicle accident put Hoodhood in a wheelchair, but also started her on a path to volunteering, which began with the Meals on Wheels program at God’s Kitchen.  In 2001, she founded Kids' Food Basket to combat childhood hunger.  The program started by providing evening meals to 125 children at three Grand Rapids public schools; now 5,700 children at 32 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming rely on it, as well as 600 kids at two Muskegon schools.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Students clean up the community before summer break

My Town: Students clean up the community before summer break

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Evergreen Street is now living up to its name, thanks to an end-of-year project by students of River City Scholars Charter Academy.

Earlier this month, the children spent one afternoon cleaning up the community. First grade students also cleared sticks and trash from Oakdale Cemetery while sixth grade students walked to Kalamazoo Avenue to pick up trash, weed and plant flower boxes along the street.

This was the second year for the Take It to the Streets clean up event.