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'Fiscal cliff' and Michigan government suppliers

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The prospect of Congress' failure to soon agree on spending and revenues could trigger an immediate cut to defense spending of $50 billion or more.  

That's what's known as sequestration.   The cuts would likely have no impact on existing contracts suppliers have with the federal government.

In West Michigan, Herman Miller has the largest federal contract.   Uncle Sam spends about $60 million dollars with the Zeeland office furniture maker.   The company would not comment on the prospects of sequestration Wednesday, but in September, Herman Miller's CEO said he anticipated weakened demand from the federal government.

GE Aviation of Casade does about $42 million dollars of business with the government; Steelcase about $30 million dollars.  

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Holland organizations receive grants from Ronald McDonald House Charities

Holland organizations receive grants from Ronald McDonald House Charities

The holidays have come early for two Holland-area organizations focused on improving the well-being of children and teens, thanks to grants totaling $22,990 from the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Outstate Michigan (RMHC).

Heights of Hope, Inc. received $12,900 for its Youth Development program which serves approximately 100 at-risk elementary and middle school students from the Holland Heights neighborhood.  The grant will provide much-needed supplies for its afterschool tutoring and creative arts programming, such as tennis shoes for exercise activities, art supplies, camp scholarships and iPads for group instruction.

Lakes Erie, Ontario most threatened, study finds

MADISON, Wisc. (DETROIT FREE PRESS)-- Facing multiple threats -- from zebra mussels to toxins to light pollution from brightly lit shoreline cities -- Lakes Erie and Ontario are the most threatened of the five Great Lakes, while the depths of Lake Superior remain the most pristine, according to an analysis of 34 stressors to the world's largest supply of fresh water.

• RELATED: Map: Where the Great Lakes are most threatened

The threats, rather than a single problem, underscore the need to approach restoration efforts more strategically, rather than a single threat at a time, the study's authors say.

"It's almost a death-by-a-thousand-cuts syndrome," said Peter McIntyre, a coauthor of the study and a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Limnology.

Man robbed, beaten in home break-in

PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Deputies are searching for two men and a woman believed involved in an early morning home invasion and robbery.

The attack was reported around 2:30 a.m. Monday in the 1700 block of Perry Street in Park Township.

The victim told deputies that the suspects forced their way into his house.  One of the male suspects hit him with a gun.

According to detectives, the male suspects wore masks during the robbery, while the woman did not.

The thieves left with money in an older car, believed to be a Chevrolet Cavalier.

The homeowner was treated for injuries to his head and hands at Holland Hospital.  He is expected to recover.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, or Silent Observer at 1 (877) 88-SILENT.

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Art in Bloom Top 20 Finalists Announced

Art in Bloom Top 20 Finalists Announced

Holland, MI – Tulip Time Festival (www.tuliptime.com) and the Holland Area Arts Council (www.hollandarts.org) are pleased to announce the 2013 Art in Bloom Poster Competition Top 20 finalists. This is the third year of the competition which is sponsored by Lighthouse Group.

Each year a work of art is selected for the official Tulip Time Festival poster. Artists from the region create and submit their images which are then reviewed by a panel of jurors. This year’s panel was comprised of three West Michigan art and design experts; Sarah Harris, of the Nines Gallery, designer Dennis Foley, and Fred Bivens of Vinecroft Studios.

The jurors selected these top 20 pieces of art from which the 2013 Tulip Time Festival poster will be selected:

Cindy Bender, Out for Show

Mark Bonnette, Blue Heron

Cat Boysen, Girl Watering Tulips by an Open Window

Ottawa County Ahead of Water Quality Testing Curve

Holland, MI (WZZM) - It might be hard to think about beach weather in the middle of December, but the Environmental Protection Agency is doing just that.

New water quality testing recommendations were recently released for the nation.

Because of Ottawa County's extensive shoreline in combination with the thousands of visitors the beaches see every year, grant money was awarded to the Ottawa County Health Department to pioneer some of these new testing methods.

Christmas Coffee with Zeeland Mayor Klynstra

Christmas Coffee with Zeeland Mayor Klynstra

From: http://www.ci.zeeland.mi.us/

City of Zeeland residents are invited to the Annual Mayor's Coffee to be held on Thursday, December 20, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM in the Banquet Room at the Howard Miller Library and Community Center.