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Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

Committed to Influencing Today's Youth

By Marla Miller

This story originally ran in the Grand Rapids Urban Innovation Exchange

With the mission to restore and refocus at-risk youth, Grand C.I.T.Y.

My Town: Food Network chef visits G.R. to spend time with students and health organization

My Town: Food Network chef visits G.R. to spend time with students and health organization

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - For culinary students, meeting any chef is an exciting opportunity.

Having the chance to meet a nationally renowned chef who was also the winner of The Food Network’s Hell Kitchen, is an even more thrilling occasion. On Wednesday, June 11, students from Grand Rapids Public Schools, the Grand Rapids Community College culinary schools along with Baxter Community Center met Chef Rock Harper at the Downtown Market Grand Rapids. Harper is in Grand Rapids this week in collaboration with the Grand Rapids African American Health Institute for their bi-annual event, Evening of Soul.

My Town: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo among worst cities for mosquitoes

My Town: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo among worst cities for mosquitoes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—If  you’re among the many Americans planning to celebrate Memorial Day weekend outside, don’t forget the bug spray.

The Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area is among the top 20 cities for mosquito problems.  That’s according to Orkin.  The pest control company based its rankings on the number of treatments it performed last year. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek ranked 13th on the list.  Atlanta took the top spot, followed by Chicago, Washington D.C. and Detroit.  

The rankings are as follows:

1: Atlanta

2: Chicago

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Detroit

5. Raleigh-Durham

6. Boston

7. Houston

8. Nashville

9. Charlotte

10. Dallas-Fort Worth

11. Richmond-Petersburg

12. Miami-Fort Lauderdale

13. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

My Town: Dedicated Veterans Millage moves forward for consideration

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—As Memorial Day approaches, Kent County Commissioners are getting ready to hear a proposal to create a millage to support county veterans.

The proposed Dedicated Veterans Millage would be for .050 mill, generating slightly more than $1 million for veteran outreach and emergency services.  The measure would also more than double available federal claims assistance hours. 

On May 8, the Kent County Board of Commissioners Millage Subcommittee unanimously supported forwarding the millage request onto the Finance and Physical Resources Committee for consideration. The proposal will be discussed at the Kent County Commission’s finance meeting Tuesday, May 20 at 8:30 a.m.  Supporters hope to get the millage on the November ballot.

My Town: Mark Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation

My Town: Mark Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The American Red Cross is encouraging Americans to honor service men and women this Memorial Day season by making a life-saving donation of blood.

“Your blood donation at this time of year works as both a tribute and a testament to our nation’s armed forces,” said Todd Kulman, communications manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “By rolling up your sleeve, you’ll also help maintain a strong blood supply at a time of year when blood donations traditionally decline.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. While that need is constant, the number of people donating blood can fluctuate, particularly over the summer, when schools no longer host blood drives because they are shut down for the summer. 

If you would like to donate, visit any of the following blood drives:

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

My Town: Stamp Out Hunger results better than originally expected

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—Organizers of the 2014 Stamp Out Hunger food drive say while donation numbers are down this year, the results are better than they first thought.

Andrew Steiner with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank says the Northwest, East Paris and Northeast communities dominated in this year's drive.  The final donation numbers from the May 10 event are: 

My Town: Lack of sponsor hurts Stamp Out Hunger campaign

My Town: Lack of sponsor hurts Stamp Out Hunger campaign

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—  Organizers of the 2014 Stamp Out Hunger food drive believe the lack of a regional sponsor hurt the outcome of this year's drive.

Andrew Steiner with Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank says letter carriers collected an estimated 70,000 pounds of food in the Grand Rapids area May 10.  That's less than half of what they collected the year prior, when a sponsor distributed paper bags printed with the Stamp Out Hunger information ahead of the drive. Traditionally, residents will fill those bags with non-perishable food items and place it by their mailbox the morning of the drive. Steiner says other communities also saw a decline in donations.

Steiner says this year's donations will provide nearly 55,000 meals for people living in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula.  He also says the weather cooperated during the drive; volunteers didn't lose a single food item to rain damage.