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My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

Laser treatments helping dog injured by trap

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A dog who was badly hurt after getting his leg stuck in a trap continues recovering.

A Grand Rapids family worked for weeks to catch Chuck, eventually luring him inside with bacon and eggs. Since then, he's been getting regular cold laser treatments at Kelley's Animal Clinic.

Vets say since last week Thursday, Chuck is already 75 percent healed and he'll only get better.

"He will probably fully recover," said veterinarian Dr. James Kelley. "He may have a pretty-good-sized scar over this area, but I think the hair will cover most of it, and you probably wont see it."

Dr. Kelley also said Chuck will be available for adoption.

"Oh, Chuck is a neat dog! Oh, absolutely a neat dog. I would have him in my house, but I already have too many dogs."

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125


Feb. 23, 2015-- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today it has recently awarded 28 volunteer grants worth $14,125 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County and the surrounding area to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. 

The foundation awards Volunteer Investment Program grants to encourage and reward volunteerism by those who work or have worked for Consumers Energy.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $10 million in contributions in 2014 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and parent company CMS Energy.

My Town: Become a hero by giving blood during Red Cross Month

My Town: Become a hero by giving blood during Red Cross Month

During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross reminds eligible blood donors that it doesn’t take a cape or super powers to be a hero. By donating blood, donors can become a hero for patients in need.

Red Cross Month is dedicated to the everyday heroes who support the Red Cross mission by giving blood, volunteering their time, learning lifesaving skills or making a financial contribution.

The need for blood is constant. The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes in communities across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. Donors with all blood types are needed, particularly those with types O negative, A negative and B negative.

To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Custom Profile called one of country's best places to work

WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Walker company is being honored as one of the best places to work in the country according to Plastics News.

The mayors of Grand Rapids and Walker made the presentation to Custom Profile Friday afternoon.

The award given out by Plastics News is decided by a survey of employees and an analysis of the company's policies, said Custom Plastics founder Sam Nicholas.

"We pride ourselves on being a family environment," Nicholas said. "We try to do right by our employees. Now a days there's a lot of special circumstances. We try to treat people like individuals. We are loyal, we expect a lot out of them, but we give a lot as a company."

Custom Profile started in 1992 with one employee. It currently has more than 165 employees at its Walker facility and 65 more at a facility in Mexico.

My Town: Grow Michigan invests $11M supporting economic growth and job creation

My Town: Grow Michigan invests $11M supporting economic growth and job creation


Grow Michigan, an investment fund founded through a joint effort of the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) and leading Michigan banks, announced five new loans totaling $11.1 million in the last quarter of 2014. Companies that received funding include:

  • Barracuda Industries, LLC, a Wixom-based specialty glass fabricator;
  • FirePros, Inc., a Grand Rapids commercial fire system and suppression services provider;
  • Michigan Custom Machines, Inc, a Novi precision machine manufacturer;
  • PF Michigan Group, LLC, the Northville-based exclusive Michigan franchisee for health and fitness facilities; 
  • Turbo Components, Inc, a Fruitport-based manufacture of turbochargers. 

Grow Michigan has now invested in 19 Michigan companies for a total of $31.8 million since May 2013. Combined with partnering loans from Michigan banks, the total funded to Michigan companies is more than $200 million.

Rapid Engineering 9th Annual Cook Off

Rapid Engineering 9th Annual Cook Off

It’s my pleasure to write about a company that has been in business more than 50 years and prides itself on using products within the USA.

And, a good time was had by all!

This is definitely the description of the time we had at the Hungry Heifer Chili Cook Off at Rapid Engineering of Comstock Park, MI on Thursday, February 26th. Mike Johnson arranged with Catherine Behrendt to get some judges, so Jennifer Pascua, Nick Lafave and I were honored to be asked as judges for this 9th Annual Event.