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Foreclosure rates drop in Wyoming-Grand Rapids

Foreclosure rates drop in Wyoming-Grand Rapids

WYOMING, Mich.—Home foreclosure rates in Wyoming and Grand Rapids are dropping.

According to Corelogic, only 0.81 percent of homes in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming area were in foreclosure this past June.  That’s about half a percentage point lower than the same time last year.  At 2.49 percent, the national foreclosure rate in June was more than triple the rate in Grand Rapids Wyoming.

Only 3.2 percent of homeowners in Grand Rapids/Wyoming were 90 days or more behind on making their mortgage payment in June 2013.  That’s 1.13 percent lower than the same time last year, and more than 2 percent lower than the national average foreclosure rate.

Foundation awards $4,000 grant to Bethany Christian Services

Foundation awards $4,000 grant to Bethany Christian Services

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--   Dollar General is providing more than a dollar to support youth literacy in West Michigan.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation recently awarded a $4,000 grant to Bethany Christian Services.  The foundation awarded more than$2.5 million in grants to about 650 schools, non-profit organizations, libraries and community groups dedicated to literacy.

Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $84.9 million in grants, helping educate more than 4.8 million people.

Mercantile would become third largest Michigan-based bank under merger

Mercantile would become third largest Michigan-based bank under merger

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Mercantile Bank is expected to become the third largest Michigan-based bank if the company’s proposed merger with Alma-based Firstbank is approved.

Both banks announced the proposed deal last week.  The combined company would have $2.9 billion in total assets, $2.4 billion in total deposits and 54 branches statewide.  Under the merger, the company’s leadership team will be comprised of executives from both banks, but will operate under the Mercantile name and be based at Mercantile’s current headquarters at 310 Leonard St. NW.

The merger was unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company; however regulatory officials and shareholders must still review the deal.  If approved, both companies expect to make the merger official by December 31, 2013.

 

Grand Rapids House Party returns August 28

Grand Rapids House Party returns August 28

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Grand Rapids House Party is returning August 28, giving you a chance to network with a diverse crowd over drinks.

The second annual event, organized by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, will feature small cocktail gatherings at select homes throughout the city.  The night will cap off with an afterglow party, featuring three floors of food, fun and music at Open Systems Technologies, Inc.

The Grand Rapids House Party begins at 5:30 p.m. Admission is $60 for the cocktail party and afterglow event, or $40 for the afterglow event only.  To register, visit the Chamber of Commerce’s website here or call (616) 771-0303.  If you’d like to host a cocktail party, contact Mercedes Cowper at (616) 771-0341.

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.

Breweries create new beer to support trees

Breweries create new beer to support trees

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Seventeen area breweries are showing their support for trees by creating a new brew.

Each brewery will have its own version of craft tree beer on tap from Sunday, August 4 to Saturday, August 10.  The brewers used ingredients such as maple, oak and cherry to make their tree-inspired beer.  For each pint of craft tree beer sold, select breweries will donate $1 to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Urban Forest Project.  The remaining breweries are organizing other events and promotions to benefit the Urban Forest Project. The money will be used to create an official Brewers Grove within the city.

Participating breweries include:

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

Brewers Grove to take shape October 17

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  "Friends of Grand Rapids Parks" is getting reading to plant a new green space for Grand Rapids, made possible by 17 area breweries.

The ceremonial planting of Brewers Grove will take place October 17 at Riverside Park.  The event will also include a beer-inspired movie showing inside the park at dusk.  Visitors will be allowed to bring growlers.

Brewers Grove is being funded by tree beer sales.  Each participating brewery created their own version of tree beer.  The fundraiser began August 5, with many breweries donating $1 from each pint sold to the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks' Urban Forest Project.  Other participating breweries created events and promotions for the fundraising campaign.

Participating breweries include: