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Walker elects a new mayor

Walker elects a new mayor

WALKER, Mich.—Walker is getting a new mayor.

Tuesday night, voters overwhelmingly elected Mark Huizenga over incumbent Barbara Holt, 1,486 votes to 514 votes.  The mayoral race had a higher turnout than most races in West Michigan, with approximately 12 percent of registered voters in Walker casting a ballot.

Holt took over as mayor pro tem in January when Mayor Rob VerHeulen joined the Michigan House of Representatives. In August, she suspended her campaign to focus on her health, throwing her support behind Huizenga, who is a city commissioner.

Huizenga will be sworn into office during the city commission meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 12 at City Hall.

WZZM 13 Weatherball gets an updated look

WZZM 13 Weatherball gets an updated look

WALKER, Mich.—The WZZM 13 Weatherball is getting all dressed up before winter starts.

Crews installed new signs on the 13 Weatherball Tuesday, featuring the station’s updated logo.  The crane got stuck in the wet lawn outside the WZZM 13 studios, so workers had to put up the signs the old fashioned way, using rope and scaling a 100 foot ladder attached to the Weatherball's base.

The 13 Weatherball celebrated its 10th anniversary standing above the WZZM 13 station on Three Mile Road NW in May.  For the landmark's history, including its trip to the Kalamazoo scrap yard, click here.

When to trick-or-treat in your community

 When to trick-or-treat in your community

Halloween is Thursday, and many communities have set times for children to trick-or-treat.

Although the weather may not be pleasant, children are encouraged to visit homes and businesses at the following times:  

Ada Township

  • No designated time
  • Fire station #1 trick or treating: October 31,  6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Alpine Township

  • October 31 until dark/candy runs out

Belding

  • October 31, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Halloween Open House: October 31, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the fire station

Cannon Township

  • No set time; fire department will hand out treats October 31, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.

Cascade Township

  • October 31, 5:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.

Nature center opens grounds to injured veteran hunters

Nature center opens grounds to injured veteran hunters

WALKER, Mich.—The deer herd in Walker is a little slimmer now, thanks to a group of hunters from Operation Injured Soldiers.

On Sunday, October 6, Blandford Nature Center closed down its property for the deer bow hunting event.   The hunt was limited to a small portion of Blandford’s property in Walker.  Six veterans and a team of volunteers took down five deer

 An employee of Blandford Nature Center says this is the third year the organization has held deer hunts on its property. It’s the first year Blandford has partnered with injured veterans.

Blandford Nature Center officials say the deer cull is necessary because recent studies show there is too many deer on the property.  The nature center supports the hunt to ensure there are enough resources to maintain a healthy deer herd.

The next deer hunt will be December 1 and likely involve a youth group that’s already been selected.

MDOT activates new light along busy corridor

MDOT activates new light along busy corridor

WALKER, Mich.—  A new traffic signal will be activated Monday afternoon at a busy corridor in Walker.

The Michigan Department of Transportation recently replaced the stop sign at Wilson Avenue (M-11) and O’Brien Road with a light.  During its first week, the traffic signal will be flashing yellow for Wilson Avenue traffic and flashing red for vehicles coming from O’Brien Road.  On Monday, October 7, MDOT crews will switch the signal to a regular red-yellow-green cycle.

MDOT spokesman John Richard says the city and state chose to install the light because of the high volume of traffic on Wilson Avenue.  Richard says Wilson handles 21,000 vehicles on an average day, making it difficult for drivers trying to turn onto Wilson from O’Brien.

The $82,000 project is being paid for by revenue from Michigan's gas tax.

Standale Summer Concert Series continues August 8

Standale Summer Concert Series continues August 8

STANDALE, Mich.-- The Walker/Standale Downtown Development Authority's inaugural Summer Concert Series is nearing an end.

Two free performances remain; the concerts will take place 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August 8 and September 12 at the Walker Community Park, located at 700 Cummings Avenue.  The public is encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs, but should leave all alcohol at home.

The performance on August 8 will feature blues performed by Blue Molly.  The Northern Skies will take the stage September 12, serenading visitors with folk rock.

For more event information, call (616) 791-6859 or visit www.ci.walker.mi.us.

 

How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

How the stacks at Kent District Library stacked up in 2012

The director of Kent District Library (KDL) reviewed the organization’s performance during the East Grand Rapids City Commission meeting August 5.

According to the annual report, patrons checked out about 6.1 million books from KDL in 2012; that’s about half a million fewer than the prior year. However, the report indicates digital book checkouts nearly doubled during that same time period to 370,914.

Based on the report, KDL saw declines in total check-outs, branch visitors and library program attendance in 2012.  However, computer log-ins and summer reading club participation rose.   While KDL’s total expenditures were higher than library revenue, the fund balance covered the $107,521 difference.

Kent District Library operates 18 branches throughout Kent County, serving more than 350,000 people.