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MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

MSU’s second annual Gran Fondo cycling event raises funds for skin cancer research

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Michigan State University College of Human Medicine announces plans for its second annual Gran Fondo on June 28, 2014.

Italian for “Big Ride,” proceeds from this this non-competitive cycling event go towards programs to increase awareness, prevention and detection of skin cancer and supports MSU’s skin cancer research.

My Town GR North: Expect driving detours during Monroe Avenue construction

My Town GR North: Expect driving detours during Monroe Avenue construction

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Potholes plaguing a section of Monroe Avenue will soon disappear.

Construction on Monroe from Ann to North Park streets is expected to begin this week.  Crews with Kamminga and Roodvoets, Inc. will remove and resurface portions of the roadway, as well as install four roundabouts at Knapp Street, Guild Street, 3 Mile Road and North Park Street. Workers will also create a new bike path on the west side of Monroe,  install a new sidewalk from Boltwood Drive to 3 Mile Road, add handicap accessible ramps, and upgrade storm sewers and street lighting.

The $3.3 million project will be broken up into three phases, which should all be finished by mid-September. During Phase I, drivers will need to take a detour onto Ann Street, taking Plainfield to 3 Mile.  Phase II and Phase II project will include driving detours onto Coit Avenue and West River Drive.

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.