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My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

LANSING, Mich.—Two community leaders from West Michigan are joining a Michigan authority focused on forging relationships between municipalities and school districts.

On Thursday, Governor Snyder announced the appointment of Al Vanderberg  and to the Michigan Municipal Services Authority and its executive committee,  as well as the appointment of Stacie Behler as chair of the executive committee and the MMSA board.  The MMSA encourages cooperation between communities in school district, overseeing services they can share.

“Increasing collaboration between local units of government and getting the most out of citizens' tax dollars remains an important focus as we continue to reinvent government,” Snyder said. “I appreciate the willingness of both Al and Stacie to serve in these important roles in that effort.” 

My Town Holland: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

My Town Holland: Ski slope takes shape on Eighth Street

HOLLAND, Mich.—You don’t need to look to Sochi to the next generation of snowboarders and skiers showcase their skills.

Holland will host the Downtown Rail Jam this Saturday, Feb. 22.   The event will kick off when AGA Nation, in conjunction with the Holland Visitors Bureau unveils its new, temporary 20-foot snowboard and ski slope on East Eighth Street.

The Downtown Rail Jam will take place in the open area across from the Knickerbocker Theatre, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  The event is free and the slope is open to boarders, skiers and sled-riders of all ages from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., with a free clinic included.  Demonstrations and competitions will take place from 5 p.m.

New Health Department office too small for drug disposal

New Health Department office too small for drug disposal

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.—Grand Haven residents looking for a place to safely dispose of unwanted medication will have to travel a little farther.

Because of space limitations at its new office on South Beechtree Street in Grand Haven, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health no longer offers medication disposal services at that office.  Residents are encouraged to visit any of the alternative locations in Holland, Hudsonville, Zeeland, West Olive, Grand Haven Township, Coopersville, Allendale and Georgetown Township.  For exact locations, visit the Ottawa County Health Department website here.

According to the Partnership at Drugfree.org, each year, more than 71,000 children in the U.S. are taken to emergency rooms for accidental overdoses of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

Holland landmark among The Knot's best wedding venues

HOLLAND, Mich.—Holland is home to one of the best wedding venues in the state, according to The Knot Michigan magazine.

This is the fourth consecutive year Windmill Island Gardens has earned the honor which is part of The Knot’s “Best of Weddings” section.  The 36-acre park is home to DeZwaan, a 260-year-old working windmill from the Netherlands.  The windmill serves as a backdrop to many bridal party photos.

Windmill Island Gardens also features a reception pavilion that can fit approximately 200 guests and a gazebo for wedding ceremonies.  Every spring, the park comes alive with more than 100,000 blooming tulips.  The floral explosion continues through summer and fall, with thousands of annuals and perennials.

“We’re so pleased that Windmill Island Gardens has received this award again,” said Sally Laukitis, Executive Director of the Holland Visitors Bureau.

Residents asked to help tackle dangerous snow piles

Residents asked to help tackle dangerous snow piles

HOLLAND, Mich.—While higher temperatures may melt some of the snow, the City of Holland is hoping residents will also help eliminate snow dangers with the help of their shovels.

The city says it does not have enough manpower or equipment to clear every street corner of high snows, so community members are asked to help by shoveling up snow piles blocking visibility and move them several feet away, increasing visibility.  

Drivers are also asked to pull into driveways so they do not block sidewalks, and private plow operators should remove “windrows” that block sidewalks.  Property owners are also reminded to follow the city’s ordinance and clear their sidewalks. Residents and businesses are also encouraged to clear bus pick up areas.

More than 115 inches of snow have fallen in Holland this winter.

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

Zeeland looks to spring with community garden plots

ZEELAND, Mich.—If you live in Zeeland, it’s time to think about spring.

The city is looking for resident greenthumbs interested in renting a community garden plot for the upcoming season.  Each plot measures 8’ x 8’ and is located at Huizenga Park.  Rental is $35 per plot with the possibility of a $20 rebate at the end of the garden season.

For more information, contact the City Services & Infrastructure Department at (616) 772-0870.

Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge open two resident writers

Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge open two resident writers

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—Why is Ottawa County like no other place to live?

Writers of all ages are invited to answer that question during the Ottawa County Way Essay Challenge.  Participants can share their views about living, working and playing in West Michigan through the competition. 

The winner will receive $150.  Second place will get $100, and third place will take home $50.