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Grand Rapids Downtown Market merchants offer Valentine's Day deals and specials

Grand Rapids Downtown Market merchants offer Valentine's Day deals and specials

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Merchants at Grand Rapids Downtown Market are getting into the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Aperitivo is offering Raclette for Two, a cheesy meal you can finish toasting at your table or take home.

Local First presents fourth annual LocalMotion Awards

Local First presents fourth annual LocalMotion Awards

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Local First awarded exemplary businesses and individuals with the LocalMotion Awards at their Annual Meeting, presented by Eastern Floral and held at the Goei Center.

The LocalMotion Awards were created to recognize businesses and individuals leading the way in building a vibrant, sustainable community.  They’re a tool to help shift the “norm” towards sustainable business practices and to educate the community on the unique ways locally owned businesses impact our region. The awards were presented by Local First board members Andy Guy and Emily Loeks.

The winners:

The Triple Bottom Line, Up & Coming Business

Presented to a locally owned company that demonstrates a strong commitment to the TBL– either through successful outcomes or innovative programs. Must be in business between two and five years. Previous winners include: Brewery Vivant, Dwelltech Solutions, MadCap Coffee

Local college and university students offer free tax filing service

Local college and university students offer free tax filing service

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Tax season is almost here and Davenport University is ready to help.

Student and faculty volunteers from Davenport will begin offering free income tax preparation sessions to low- and middle-income tax filers Thursday, Jan. 23.  The service is available on a first come, first serve basis to families making less than $55,000 in total household income.  People who want to utilize the program should bring the following materials:

New community center opens to the public Jan. 18

New community center opens to the public Jan. 18

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—  A new community center will officially open to the public this Saturday, Jan. 18.

The York Creek Community Center is located at 3999 Alpenhorn Dr. NW.  The center services as a meeting place where local organizations can provide a variety of classes, programs and community events, free of charge.

The new facility features meeting rooms, a common area, a kitchen and a computer room equipped with 10 computers. The center is provided by York Creek Apartments but all classes and programs are run by partner organizations, including:

Rockford man robbed of gun after online sale agreement

Rockford man robbed of gun after online sale agreement

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids police are trying to track down the man who robbed a Rockford man during a gun sale.

Officers say the 53-year-old man met the suspect on a website for gun sales and agreed to meet him at an apartment complex in the 4000 block of Tangle Circle Drive SE to complete the sale of a handgun.  When the seller arrived around 11 p.m. Saturday, he could not find the buyer and began looking for him.  During that search, the buyer attacked him from behind and took the gun.

Officers have these safety tips for people using buy-and-sell sites, like Craigslist:

Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

Experience Grand Rapids launches personalized travel planning website

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.---Experience Grand Rapids, the official destination marketing organization for Kent County, recently announced the launch of its new personalized travel planning website, www.GRCityTwist.com.

The new interactive website targets 18 different interests, from “art lovers” to “thrill seekers”, allowing the visitor to customize their trip.  For example, craft beer enthusiasts can find breweries to explore, activities and nightlife related to craft beer, and accommodations for the weekend.

EXGR launched the new, mobile-friendly website on Dec. 17 at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park with the hospitality community, business and political leaders, and its Certified Tourism Ambassadors.

Grand Rapids gourmet store moving to Douglas

Grand Rapids gourmet store moving to Douglas

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A  gourmet food business that’s been in the Russo family for six generations is moving from My Town Grand Rapids South to the Saugatuck-Douglas area.

The owners of Carrettino Italian Market & Wine anticipate opening their new headquarters in late spring of 2014. 

"My family and I have decided to relocate our business to the Saugatuck-Douglas area because it draws the type of clientele that will support the products and services that our family has passionately developed for generations;" said John Russo. "We have always loved the area and soon we will be able to call it our home."