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My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

My Town: The Hashtag Battle over the 2014 Jump Jam

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  What started as a hashtag battle about the 2014 Jump Jam has turned into a friendly wager between Grand Rapids Public Schools’ superintendent and Spectrum Health’s senior vice president.

GRPS posted the hashtag battle between Theresa Weatherall Neal and Steve Heacock to YouTube last Friday.  In the video, Weatherall Neal challenges Heacock to a friendly bet on two of the Jump Jam teams, with the loser buying lunch from either the hospital or school cafeteria.  Mayor George Heartwell makes a surprise appearance at the end of the video.

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: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

My Town: Kroc Center to extend hours, welcome animals for spring break

WYOMING, Mich.—The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is extending its hours and  teaming up with John Ball Zoo, the Kent County Animal Shelter and Blandford Nature Center to provide spring break staycation solutions for children.

From Monday, April 7 through Friday, April 11, kids can take part in activities like three-on-three basketball tournaments, dodgeball, bounce houses and art activities.  Animals from John Ball Zoo, the Blandford Nature Center and the Kent County Animal Shelter will also visit the Kroc throughout the week.    Children will also get more time to enjoy the climbing wall, pool and game room throughout the week.

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.

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.

My Town GR North: Cedar Springs boy crowned fencing national champ

My Town GR North: Cedar Springs boy crowned fencing national champ

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- West Michigan is home to one of the top fencers in the nation.

Earlier this month, 12-year-old Maximus X De Back of Cedar Springs won the United States Fencing Association’s National Championship for his age group.  The competition was held at the North American Cup in Memphis, Tennessee. 

Maximus trains four days a week at the Grand Rapids Fencing Academy, located at 1347 Monroe Ave. in Grand Rapids.  He also took part in the Junior Olympics this year in Portland, Oregon; placed first in both the youth 12 and youth 14 age groups at the Meijer Michigan State Games and was runner up in the youth-12 category during last year’s National Championship in Anaheim, California.

My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee

My Town: City appoints Grand River restoration committee

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The City of Grand Rapids has taken the next step in restoring the Grand River, from Lamoreaux to Millennium Park.

Collabarating with Grand Rapids Whitewater, the city this week appointed 22 people to serve on a newly formed Grand River Restoration Steering Committee.  The panel of local leaders will guide efforts in restoring the Grand River and its riverbank, make sure river studies and projects are effectively communicated, garner support for restoring the river, encourage fundraising and explore potential long-term management options for the river.  The steering committee will advise the city commission on any projects tied to the Grand River.   However, final decisions will be made by commissioners.

The steering committee is composed of: