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My Town GR North: Think twice before buying bunnies and chicks for Easter

My Town GR North: Think twice before buying bunnies and chicks for Easter

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  The Kent County Health Department is encouraging families to think twice before  buying bunnies or chicks to celebrate Easter.

County officials say before adults open up their wallets, they should  consider the fact that rabbits can live seven to ten years and chickens can live into their teens.

“The Kent County Animal Shelter received nearly 100 unwanted rabbits and chickens last year,” says Adam London, health officer for the Kent County Health Department. “Pet rabbits have specific health needs, special diets, and must live indoors.  While they can be very social with the right care and supervision, they don’t like to be held or cuddled.”

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

My Town: Arthrits Walk returns under new name and leader

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Arthritis Walk will return with a new name and new leader when it returns to Grand Rapids next month.

Dr. Thomas A. Malvitz of Ada will serve as medical chair of the 2014 Grand Rapids Walk to Cure Arthritis, formerly known as the Arthritis Walk.  Malvitz is a surgeon with the Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

The Walk to Cure Arthritis is a three-mile walk aimed at raising awareness and funds to fight arthritis.  Proceeds from the event go to the Arthritis Foundation, which works to help some of the more than 2.3 million Michiganders with arthritis.

My Town: Kent County Health Department releases 2014 Community Health Improvement Plan report

My Town: Kent County Health Department releases 2014 Community Health Improvement Plan report
--------------------NEWS RELEASE------------ GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Kent County Health Improvement Plan 2013 Annual Report is the firstofficial and comprehensive report of the progress and recommendations from the 2012 CommunityHealth Improvement Plan (CHIP). The overall goal of CHIP is to make a healthier Kent County. The Community Health Improvement Plan outlines goals, objectives, and strategies that address thetop five priority health issues in Kent County. Data collected from partner organizations and KentCounty community residents through the 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) helpedidentify the priorities.

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.

'Above the Influence' campaign informs kids that it's hip to be square

'Above the Influence' campaign informs kids that it's hip to be square

By Victoria Mullen
This story originally ran in Rapid Growth

Old Navy and the Kent County Prevention Coalition (KCPC) have a fabulous message for teens: It’s chic to say ‘no’ to doing drugs and alcohol. Yes, kids, it’s fashionable to stand up to negative pressures, and to live ‘Above the Influence.’

My Town: American Red Cross continues history of helping

My Town: American Red Cross continues history of helping

For 133 years, the American Red Cross has taken the lead in organizing an army of volunteers to help communities devastated by disasters.

Without volunteers, the organization wouldn’t function.  That includes the more than 3.5 million people who volunteered to give blood last year, providing  a life-saving resource for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. 

 “While the world changes around us, our mission never does,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “We’re all about helping others during times of great need – and we can do that because of the generosity of countless volunteers and donors—including people who roll up their sleeve and give blood.”

If you’d like to join the efforts, the following blood drivers are scheduled:

My Town GR North: Students Jump Rope for Heart; net $11,111 for charity

My Town GR North: Students Jump Rope for Heart; net $11,111 for charity

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Knapp Charter Academy students put their hearts to work this past Valentine's Day;  now the American Heart Association is seeing the reward.

On Friday, March 7, the school presented a large check for $11,111 to the local chapter of the American Heart Association.  Students raised the money through a Jump Rope for Heart event on Feb. 14.   All of the proceeds will go to the American Heart Association to help raise awareness to cardiovascular and stroke prevention programs.