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Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year

Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- "The old adage, 'You build it - they will come' is spot-on when describing the huge success of Rockford's 2013 Praise in the Park summer concert series," said Rockford city council member Steve Jazwiec during the September Rockford City Council meeting.

Jazwiec was responding to a recap presentation by former Rockford city council member Rich Moll, who organized Praise in the Park. 

The event is staged in the beautiful confines of Garden Club Park adjacent to the Rogue River and the iconic Rogue River Dam every summer Sunday evening, from June through August. Praise in the Park, in its second season, has seen attendance grow week after week.

Grand Valley Metro Council to award grants to six community projects

Grand Valley Metro Council to award grants to six community projects

The Grand Valley Metro Council will award $668,000 in grant funding to six community projects.

On Tuesday, a GVMC committee narrowed down the pool from 85 projects to seven.  A day later, a study group met with the committee to whittle the finalists down to six.

The grant money will be divvyed up between Cannon Township, Jamestown Township, Rockford, Wyoming, Grand Rapids and the Kent County Parks Department.   All of the projects are non-motorized, meaning they will not involve road improvements or construction. GVMC plans to release further details of the projects at a later date.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announces $385,000 in grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Four non-profit organizations are getting $385,000 in funding to improve the neighborhoods, health, engagement and environment of Kent County.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation announced the grants Tuesday.   The foundation awarded Habitat for Kent County $150,000 for its Building Blocks program, which is expected to restore or rehabilitate 36-40 properties in two years for low income families.  The funding also includes $150,000 to West Michigan Trails and Greenways Coalition to expand and improve trails, and a $60,000 grant to Health Intervention Services (HIS) for dental rooms, a nursing station and an improved volunteer area, which should allow HIS to double the number of patients it serves.

Grand Rapids Community Foundation also awarded $25,000 in grants to John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to create three Grand Rapids area programs to support local arts.

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.

Certified Tourism Ambassador classes now offered in Grand Rapids

Certified Tourism Ambassador classes now offered in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Experience Grand Rapids, the official destination marketing organization for Kent County, has announced the launch of the new Grand Rapids Certified Tourism Ambassador program.

This nationwide certification program serves to increase tourism by training and inspiring front-line hospitality employees and volunteers to work together to turn every visitor encounter into a positive experience.

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:

Weigh in on Grand Rapids' streets June 27

Weigh in on Grand Rapids' streets June 27

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—What do you think about Grand Rapids’ streets?

Now is your chance to weigh in on road conditions.  The Sustainable Streets Task Force is holding a public forum Thursday, June 27 to help set final recommendations for the future of Grand Rapids’ street system.  The forum begins at 6 p.m.