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At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

At Arts in Motion Studio, art is the great equalizer

By Zinta Aistars
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

Delight Lester, 53, sits comfortably spread out in the corner of the soft couch, her long pale blonde hair draped over her shoulders. She is surrounded by crayons and pastels, colored construction paper and paint brushes.

Grand Rapids Fusion begins play Saturday


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Another professional basketball team begins play this weekend in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Fusion -- part of the Independent Basketball Association -- will hold its first home game at 5 p.m. Saturday, hosting the Racine Storm.

The Fusion is a new team, joining the coast-to-coast IBA this year.

The game will be at City High-Middle School, 1720 Plainfield Ave. NE. Tickets start at $7, with floor tickets going for $20 and courtside seats for $30.

It could be the second pro team to make its home in Grand Rapids this year. Last Week, the Detroit Free Press reported a minor league basketball team is moving to Grand Rapids from Springfield, Massachusetts.


My Town: IMMER5E museum exhibit to open at Harrison Park School

My Town: IMMER5E museum exhibit to open at Harrison Park School

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A group of fifth grade students from Harrison Park School will celebrate the grand opening of their own exhibit, created in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Teacher Abbie Marr’s students were among the ten classes to take  part of this year’s IMMER5E program, which takes children out of the classroom and into the museum for a week of learning.  As a culmination to the program, Marr’s class created their own museum exhibit centered around the Grand River, which will open at Harrison Park School on April 16.

My Town: D.A. Blodgett-St. Johns calls on others to join fight against child abuse

My Town: D.A. Blodgett-St. Johns calls on others to join fight against child abuse

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and D.A. Blodgett-St. Johns is asking community members to join the fight against abuse.

According to a report from Kids Count, the number of Michigan children living with families investigated for abuse and neglect jumped 41 percent between 2005 and 2012.  Nearly 207,000 children were living with investigated families in 2012; that’s the highest number in 22 years.

 “The statistics alone are shocking,”  says CEO Sharon Loughridge, “but only with the support of their community, can the children that suffered abuse or neglect in Kent County overcome their trauma."

My Town GR North: North Pointe Christian student honored for top essay

My Town GR North: North Pointe Christian student honored for top essay

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Even after she leaves North Pointe Christian Middle School, Alyce Apol’s literary legacy will remain on display.

Alyce took first place in the school’s America & Me Essay Contest, sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance.  The topic was “My Personal Michigan Hero”, which inspired this opening paragraph from Alyce:

“I wish I could say all heroes had super powers, how cool would that be?  But my hero looks like any regular person.  The best example of a hero I have ever known is my mom.  She has the best quality any human could ever possess, she loves unconditionally.”

  As part of the first place honor, Alyce’s name will be engraved on a plaque on permanent display in the school.

My Town GR North: Knapp Charter Academy to 'Light it up Blue' for World Autism Day

My Town GR North: Knapp Charter Academy to 'Light it up Blue' for World Autism Day

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  The classrooms of  Knapp Charter Academy will be awash in blue on Wednesday April 2, as the school marks World Autism Awareness Day.

Knapp Charter Academy will take part in the “Light it up Blue” campaign organized by Autism Speaks.  Each classroom will have one blue light bulb shining throughout the day.  Teachers and students are also being encouraged to wear blue shirts to show their support.  The school’s goal is to support, educate and advocate for students and families who are impacted by autism.

My Town: City High welcomes Grand Rapids Fusion for first home game

My Town: City High welcomes Grand Rapids Fusion for first home game

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The newest team to join the Independent Basketball Association will take over the hardwood at  City High School  April 5.

The Grand Rapids Fusion has joined the 15-team league for the 2014 spring season.  The team’s general manager is retired NBA player Reggie Jordan; coaches are Terry Sare, DeMarco Wilkinson and Mike Suchowolec.  The Fusion’s roster includes several current IBA stars: Terrance Shaw, Christopher Wesby, Pete Trammel and Ty Motley.  Also on the team are some local players, including Duantreel Hill and John Mantel.

“I think it’s a great league, well put together, and will be a great fit for Grand Rapids,” says Danielle Actor, managing partner and operations director of the Fusion.