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My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division are sharing their top tips to stay safe in this extreme cold.

"As we saw last winter, these arctic blasts can create hazardous situations," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "Citizens are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures."

Exposure to these subzero temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.

To stay safe during cold weather:

It's Apple Picking time on the Ridge

It's Apple Picking time on the Ridge

While driving on Cordes Ave NW, just off 4 Mile Rd, I was amazed at how many apples are on the trees and looking so pretty. They look like they are ripe and ready to be picked.

This is a great time of year to take the family out to get your fall and winter supply of apples, especially if you have a cool place to store them. It's an opportunity to get out into the fresh country air, pick some apples and let the kids know just where those apples they eat come from.

My Town: Make a life-saving donation, get a free haircut

My Town: Make a life-saving donation, get a free haircut

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— A life-saving donation could get you a new look.

The American Red Cross is teaming up with Sport Clips to provide coupons for free haircuts to those who sign up to donate blood at participating drives and blood donation centers.  The campaign, called “Saving Lives Never Looked So Good”, runs through the month of September at the Sports Clips locations at Knapps Corner, Shops at Plaza on the East Beltline, in Grandville and the Kenowa Center.

For more information and to find a participating blood drive, visit redcrossblood.org/sport-clips.

My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

WALKER, Mich.—A building on Alpine Avenue that’s been home to numerous restaurants will no longer be serving up meals.

Construction crews this week are gutting the former Wild Chef Restaurant at 3303 Alpine Ave.  The site was previously home to a Bennigan’s restaurant.

Walker building official Tim Musser says the building will be split into two businesses—a Mattress Firm on the south side and The Vitamin Shoppe on the north side. 

At least two other mattress stores have opened or are planned for Alpine Avenue; Art Van opened its Pure Sleep shop in the former Hallmark storefront at 3450 Alpine Ave. NW late last year and plans are in place to open a Sleep Doctor Mattress store at 4235 Alpine Ave., in Alpine Township.

Musser says developers have already obtained all the necessary permits to convert the former Wild Chef restaurant, which abruptly closed Sunday, June 1.  It’s unclear when the new businesses will open to the public.

My Town Walker: Resources aplenty at Grand Rapids Veteran Expo Sept. 5-6

My Town Walker: Resources aplenty at Grand Rapids Veteran Expo Sept. 5-6

---NEWS RELEASE---

LANSING, Mich. (State of Michigan) – Veterans from across West Michigan can find out what their military service has earned them and what a grateful community has to offer them at the 2014 Grand Rapids Veteran Expo, Sept. 5-6 at the DeltaPlex Arena.

“Whether you hung up your uniform five months ago, five years ago or fifty years ago, there’s something here for you,” said Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director Jeff Barnes. “We want this to be a one-stop shop for veterans and their families, with services and information for every chapter of their lives.”

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

My Town: Meijer sponsors program for booming prescription drug industry

My Town: Meijer sponsors program for booming prescription drug industry

WALKER, Mich.— Meijer is sponsoring a program to help meet the need of the growing prescription drug industry.

The Walker-based retailer is teaming up with the West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology to train the under and unemployed to become pharmacy technicians. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of pharmacy technicians needed is expected to increase 20 percent by 2022.  Meijer also anticipates higher demand because of national health care and an aging patient population that relies on more prescriptions.