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My Town: Tax-funded street improvements begin in Grand Rapids

My Town: Tax-funded street improvements begin in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The first of more than 50 street projects funded by a recent voter-approved tax renewal will begin Friday.

The city commission has approved two contracts for more than $4.2 million in road repairs.  Contractors will begin grinding down and resurfacing Buckley Street from LaGrave Avenue to Jefferson Avenue and Lafayette Avenue from Pleasant Street to Wealthy Street on July 25.  Those projects are expected to wrap up Aug. 6, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the corner of Buckley Street and Jefferson Avenue scheduled for Aug. 7 at 11 a.m.  The remaining street project schedule is as follows:


 Sheldon Avenue

Sycamore Street to Haifley Place

Aug. 4 – Aug. 13

Sheldon Avenue

County sees rise in Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Kent County Health Department is reporting an increase in incidences of Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease in Kent County.

The disease (HFMD) is especially rising in kids under the age of five. HFMD is a very contagious virus and usually strikes kids under the age of 10, but adults can catch it as well.

Symptoms include fever, sore throat, rash, sores on fingers, palms, and soles of the feet, and blister-like sores in the mouth. The fever lasts a day or two and then is followed by the sores and blisters. HFMD is spread by coughing, sneezing, or coming into contact with bodily fluid like saliva. The illness can last 7-10 days.

The Kent County Health Department says that there usually is an increase of HFMD in August, but has started earlier this year.

Treatment for HFMD includes non-aspirin pain relievers and fever reducers and rest and fluids.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

Residential parking permits coming to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Residential parking permits are commonplace in large cities; now they're coming to Grand Rapids on a limited level.

Neighbors of the Belknap Lookout region will have them at a cost of $30 for a year; permits in Ann Arbor are $50 a year.

Residents living in the area voted on the idea and approved it by a 60 percent margin. They have grown frustrated with being unable to find parking near their homes and apartments. In recent years there has been a huge influx of cars parking in the area: students and employees from GVSU, MSU, and Spectrum Health.

City Manager Greg Sundstrom noted Tuesday morning, "This is not a money maker for the city. Not only are we not imposing this, but we are losing money."

My Town: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new taphouse

My Town: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new taphouse

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The owners of a new tap house taking shape on the East Beltline has a name.

RedWater Restaurant Group will call its newest restaurant “Gravity”, based off the brewing term defining the alcohol level of a particular craft beer.  The restaurant is taking shape at the site of the former Malarky’s restaurant, which closed after its owners announced plans to retire.  Construction on Gravity began late last month.

MORE: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new tap house

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

My Town: Grants introduce more children to fishing

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Hundreds of children will get the chance to experience the fun of fishing, thanks to mini-grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

MDNR’s fisheries division raised $3,482 through a silent auction for Mentor Michigan.  The funding will go to five organizations statewide to allow children and their mentors enjoy a fishing outing. 

“Every youth should have the opportunity to experience fishing,” said Mentor Michigan Director Amber Troupe. “Unfortunately, there are many obstacles to this fun activity, such as a lack of equipment, transportation or knowledge of the sport.  We are thankful to [the MDNR's] Fisheries Division for providing this generous donation so mentoring programs around the state will be able to introduce fishing and fishing skills to their matches.”

Get Fit: The basics of rowing

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - Four WZZM 13 team members have taken on a new Get Fit challenge. They are giving rowing a try, but there's a competitive element to this particular activity.

Jennifer Pascua and Alana Nehring, also known as Team Eats, have challenged Valerie Lego and producer Erin Zacek, also known as Team Crossfit, to a rowing race. First, they must train together with the help of Elizabeth Embick, a Learn to Row coach with the Grand Rapids Rowing Association.

The first outing with Elizabeth focused on what they need to learn before they get into the water.

"There's lots of parts of the boat and parts of the oar," said Embick. "Often in rowboats, you have a coxswain who gives calls and the whole crew has to follow those instructions. So crew members need to know what those mean."