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My Town: Local First Street Party is ready to rock on June 7

My Town: Local First Street Party is ready to rock on June 7

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Local First will hold its 11th annual Street Party on Saturday, June 7 outside Bistro Bella Vita from 3 p.m. to midnight.

This year's event is presented by Founders Brewing Company with stage sponsor Celebration Cinema. Last year, more than 12,000 attendees attended the 10th anniversary Local First Street Party and enjoyed Founders beer, local food  and food trucks, family art  and sidewalk chalk art, interactive music, and a great music set. The Local First Street Party is free and open to all ages; there will be music and entertainment for everyone to enjoy at this event.

"The Street Party is one of the biggest highlights of our year. Local First puts on this event to showcase local businesses and talented individuals, celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of our community, and kick off the summer right!" said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First.

My Town: Wedgwood Honors Avila with Diversity Award

My Town: Wedgwood Honors Avila with Diversity Award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –  Varnum attorney Luis Avila was presented with a Diversity Award given by Wedgwood Christian Services at a celebration on May 14 at the Wedgwood Nagel Conference Chapel.

Avila, a labor and employment attorney with a focus on traditional labor and employment litigation, is currently serving Wedgwood Christian Services as a board member.

"As an agency, we take the time out to recognize and celebrate with those individuals who share in our vision for diversity," stated Diversity Coordinator Pastor Arlan Palmer in a letter acknowledging the award.

Prior to joining Varnum, Avila worked at the United Nations Office of the High Commission for Human Rights in Switzerland, the Centre for Advice on Individual rights in Europe, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and the Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights project in Arizona.

My Town: Dozens of companies hiring at Veterans Job Fair May 16

My Town: Dozens of companies hiring at Veterans Job Fair May 16

MUSKEGON, Mich.—Approximately 90 businesses will be looking for employees during the Muskegon Veterans Job Fair this Friday, May 16.

The hiring event will take place on the U.S.S. LST 393 Veterans Museum Ship, docked at 560 Mart Street in Muskegon.  This is the third year for the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Job openings range from engineering to grocery store cashiers.  Participating businesses include:

My Town: Kent County Health Department names 2014 Food Safety Award winners

My Town: Kent County Health Department names 2014 Food Safety Award winners

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—If you’re looking for a clean, safe place to dine out this weekend, the Kent County Health Department has some suggestions- 471 of them, actually.

The KCHD recently announced the winners of its 2nd annual Food Safety Awards.  This year’s 471 winners were selected from more than 1700 licensed facilities that were inspected through 2013.    To qualify, each establishment had to meet the following criteria:

My Town: Outdoor Farmer's Market to feature more than 50 vendors

My Town: Outdoor Farmer's Market to feature more than 50 vendors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Outdoor Farmer’s Market in downtown Grand Rapids will open for its second season this weekend.

Grand Rapids Downtown Market says the new season of outdoor shopping will start Saturday May 3.  The outdoor market will be open every Saturday in May, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The market will host its inaugural “Chefs at The Market” demonstration at 10 a.m.  A chef will showcase simple recipes you can follow using food available at the market.  This weekend’s demonstration will feature rhubarb.

Inside the market, visitors can take part in a free yoga session and enjoy live jazz music by Hugh DeWitt.  At noon, shoppers can also enjoy microgreens grown in the market’s greenhouse as part of a $5 tasting bar.

This year’s outdoor market will feature food and products from more than 50 vendors, including:

Kent’s “Financial Soundness” Applauded by Ratings Agencies

Kent’s “Financial Soundness” Applauded by Ratings Agencies
---------------------------------------NEWS RELEASE----------------------GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Kent County Administration) – Businesses and residents in Kent County are in good hands fiscally. Kent County remains financially strong, according to rating agencies Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and Moody’s Investors Service. Both agencies affirmed the long-term Triple-A credit ratings– the highest possible – for the County. This represents the 16th consecutive year that Kent County has held the long-term Triple-A ratings from both agencies. Both S&P and Moody’s also affirmed the highest short-term credit ratings available for the County. S&P noted that Kent County has a history of strong financial management and commitment to meeting financialobligations. In addition, one S&P analyst called Kent County’s financial overview “. . .

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Three development projects in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are getting state approval.

The Lofts on Michigan, LLC is being awarded a $2.45 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan to demolish the vacant building at 740 and 756 Michigan Street to build a four-story mixed use building.  The site’s first floor will be dedicated to commercial/retail businesses; the upper three floors will contain 54 apartments.  The project is expected to generate $15.2 million in investments and 15 permanent jobs.

The City of Grand Rapids is also getting $1.4 million to demolish 12 homes and replace them with four buildings containing 66 apartments.  The 600 Clancy Redevelopment project  will include asbestos abatement, site preparation activities and infrastructure improvements.  The project is expected to create $8 in investments and three full-time jobs.