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My Town Walker: Blandford Nature Center introduces new program

My Town Walker: Blandford Nature Center introduces new program

WALKER, Mich.—Blandford Nature Center is getting ready to launch a new wildlife program.

The Wildlife Encounters program begins in August.  Visitors can drop in, get an up-close view of wildlife and ask any questions of wildlife staff, who will be on hand. 

Wildlife Encounters is free with admission.  The program will take place on Mondays at 12:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.  For more information, visit Blandford Nature Center’s website here.

Dan Harland to co-anchor WZZM 13 Morning News


WALKER, Mich. (WZZM) -- WZZM 13, the ABC affiliate owned by Gannett, conducted a nationwide search for a weekday AM news co-anchor and found the best candidate for the job right here in Grand Rapids. WZZM 13 is proud to announce that our choice for AM co-anchor is Dan Harland. Dan replaces Derek Francis, who left at end of May. Dan will join Lauren Stanton and meteorologist Aaron Ofseyer in early August.


Dan grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended college at Southern Illinois University. He joined WZZM 13 in 2003 as a multimedia journalist and sports reporter and has been instrumental in the tremendous success of our popular Friday night high school football show, WZZM 13 "On Your Sidelines".


Dan will begin his new morning co-anchor role on Thursday, August 7, 2014. The weekday morning news runs from 5:00 – 7:00 a.m. He will continue to be a co-host of "13 On Your Sidelines."

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

Last original employee of WZZM passes away

(WZZM) - The last original employee that built WZZM has passed away.

Dean Chapman was one the people that built WZZM and put us on the air in 1962. When the weather department would predict a heavy snow storm, Dean was the type of guy who would come to the station the night before and sleep in the basement.

Dean was 85. He retired in 1998.

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Three Generations of Continued Care

My Town: Free Hand delivers free performance July 24

My Town: Free Hand delivers free performance July 24

STANDALE, Mich.—  Take a trip back in time Thursday night when Free Hand takes the stage for the 2014 Standale Summer Concert Series.

The band will begin performing music from the 1940s at 7 p.m.  The concert at Walker Community Park is free, but visitors should bring their own blankets and lawn chairs.  This year's series features more kid-friendly activities, including face painting and coloring contests.

The rest of the summer concert lineup is as follows:

  • Thursday, Aug. 14 – Boogie Woogie Babies
  • Thursday, Aug. 28 – The Lazy Blue Tunas

This is the second year for the Standale Summer Concert Series. Each concert attracts an average of 300 people. 

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town Walker: Blandford Nature Center member appreciation day July 26

My Town Walker: Blandford Nature Center member appreciation day July 26

WALKER, Mich.—Blandford Nature Center is celebrating its supporters this weekend with  freebies during Member Appreciation Day.

Members are invited to come out to the preserve on July 26 and enjoy a free wildlife program, wagon rides and homemade ice cream.  The program runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Blandford Nature Center Visitor Center. 

Member Appreciation Day is free for members and people who purchase a membership, however registration is required.  To sign up, call (616) 735-6240.