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My Town: Flu uptick expected to hurt blood donations

My Town: Flu uptick expected to hurt blood donations

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—With this flu season on track to be one of the worst in years, the American Red Cross is worried blood donations will take a hit.

Traditionally, the winter months are already a difficult time for donation drives, with holiday traveling, school breaks and inclement weather.  The American Red Cross is hoping more West Michiganders will make a resolution to roll up their sleeve and give life-saving blood.  All blood types are needed. 

 

Allegan

  • Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. – American Legion

 

Allendale

  • Jan. 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. – Grand Valley State University Kirkhof Center

 

Coopersville

  • Jan. 26, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. – Coopersville United Methodist Church

 

Fennville

My Town: Meijer shoppers receive checkout surprise

WALKER, Mich.—Christmas came early to 213 Meijer shoppers, who received a checkout surprise.

 

On Dec. 13, the Walker-based retailer paid for all of the gifts and groceries filling each shopper’s cart, ranging from $350 to $1,200 each.  The company posted video of the event on YouTube, which you can find here.

 

“The holidays are a time for kindness and joy, and the Very Merry Meijer event was a perfect opportunity for us to share the spirit of the season with those we hold dear: our customers,” Co-Chairman Hank Meijer said. “Our family has always believed that our customers don’t need us, but that we need them. That philosophy still guides us today. We are very thankful for our customers, and wanted to find a special way to wish them a very Merry Christmas.”

 

My Town Holland: Class project a sweet payoff for charities

My Town Holland: Class project a sweet payoff for charities

HOLLAND, Mich.—A lesson in business at Eagle Crest Charter Academy is now helping families in need.

Every year, Maribeth Slusher’s fourth grade class hosts Slusher’s Sweet Shop, selling tasty holiday treats for $0.25 each during lunchtime between Thanksgiving and winter break. Slusher’s students are in charge of setting up shop, collecting money, checking inventory and giving the class a daily financial report.  The cookies and baked goods are made by Slusher and the students’ parents. 

This year, the class raised $1,005.34—all of which will go to local charities chosen by the students. 

This was the tenth year for Slusher’s Sweet Shop.

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

More green for eating greens: Eat local movement gets federal boost

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The eat local movement is getting a federal boost.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded Local First a two-year $94,000 grant for Community Supported Agriculture.  Local First is teaming up with West Michigan Growers Group and Michigan State University Extension to provide resources for farmers to grow their CSA programs. With CSAs, community members purchase a share of a local farm, which then divides its harvest among investors.  The CSA form of farming provides stability for farmers and allows investors to enjoy seasonable, locally grown produce. The program provides the health, relational and economic benefits that come with eating local.

My Town: West Michigan home to two of the top corn growers

My Town: West Michigan home to two of the top corn growers

West Michigan is home to two of the top corn growers in the state.

Hoeve Farms in Holland and Scott Jirgens farm in Kalamazoo were among the winners of the National Corn Yield Contest.  Hoeve Farms harvested 266.8 bushels of corn per acre, earning it third place among irrigated farms in Michigan. Scott Jirgens’ farm yielded 221.9 bushels of corn per acre, putting it in third place among no-till/strip-till irrigated farms in the state.

This was the 50th year for the National Corn Yield Contest.

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."

My Town: Zeeland National Honor Society delivers meals to more than 45 area families

My Town: Zeeland National Honor Society delivers meals to more than 45 area families

ZEELAND, Mich.-- Last week, Zeeland National Honor Society students delivered Thanksgiving meals to more than 45 Zeeland area families after completing their 3rd annual Thanksgiving Food Drive.

The National Honor Society is the nation's premier organization established to recognize outstanding high school students. Shown are NHS students who sorted donations with help from students with special needs.