Our network

Public Spaces

New development approved for Walker

New development approved for Walker

WALKER, Mich.—Work is beginning on a new subdivision slated for Walker.

City commissioners just approved Phase I of  Winchester Woods, which will be located in a forest area northwest of where Kinney Avenue and Leonard Street NW cross. Their approval clears the way for work on subdivision drives and water and sewer systems. Developer Dave Visser plans to build 24 homes during the first phase of construction. The development is expected to eventually include 48 homes.

All of the homes in Winchester Woods will be custom built and include detached, three stall garages.

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids company unveils plans for shuttered Walker school

Grand Rapids company unveils plans for shuttered Walker school

WALKER, Mich.—  There are new plans for a shuttered school in Walker.

Wednesday night, the Walker Planning Commission approved Feyen Zylstra LLC’s preliminary plans to transform the former Fairview Elementary into its corporate offices.  The Grand Rapids electrical contracting firm plans to work with an architectural company to maintain the building’s historical design during the transformation.  Feyen Zylstra also plans to add a warehouse on the southeast corner of the property, located at 2396 Hillside Dr. NW.  Community Development Director Frank Wash says Feyen Zylstra hopes to start construction sometime after January 1, 2014, as long as all zoning permits and the final site plan are approved by the city.

Fairview Elementary closed in 2010.

Walker Charter Academy student's journey to Eagle Scout leads to a gaga pit

Walker Charter Academy student's journey to Eagle Scout leads to a gaga pit

WALKER, Mich., Nov. 20, 2013 A teenager's  journey to earn the Boy Scout’s highest honor of Eagle Scout, has led to the creation of a new outdoor activity for his classmates at Walker Charter Academy.

Jacob Pointe, 14,  is an eighth grade student at Walker; he has attended the school since he was in kindergarten. One of the requirements to earning the Eagle Scout rank is to plan, develop and give leadership to a service project. Jacob decided he wanted to sponsor the creation of a gaga pit at his school.

“I wanted the middle school students to have something besides regular sport to do at recess that still promoted physical activity,” said Pointe.

The game involves dodging, running and jumping as students stand inside an octagonal pit and try to strike each other below the knees with a gaga ball. The last one standing wins.

Rep. Rob VerHeulen to hear community concerns Nov. 23

Rep. Rob VerHeulen to hear community concerns Nov. 23

SPARTA, Mich.—State lawmaker Rob VerHeulen will visit Sparta Saturday, November 23 to hear community concerns.

VerHeulen, who represents the Walker area, will be available from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Maxine’s Family Restaurant, located at 370 N. State Street.           

"I always look forward to my office hours each month," VerHeulen said. "It gives me an opportunity to leave the office and meet residents in person."

Those who cannot attend VerHeulen’s office hours are encouraged to contact his Lansing office by calling (517) 373-8900 or emailing RobVerHeulen@house.mi.gov.    

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Where are the safest places to eat in Kent County?

The county health department is answering that question with the 2013 Food Safety Awards.   The agency whittled down the list of 1,654 eligible restaurants to just 269 facilities, based on routine restaurant and food service inspections over the past year.  Under the county’s criteria, restaurants that earn the award must have a certified food safety manager, no confirmed violations of the Michigan Smoke Free Law and no confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks during the year.