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My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

My Town: Governor Snyder selects West Michiganders to serve MMSA

LANSING, Mich.—Two community leaders from West Michigan are joining a Michigan authority focused on forging relationships between municipalities and school districts.

On Thursday, Governor Snyder announced the appointment of Al Vanderberg  and to the Michigan Municipal Services Authority and its executive committee,  as well as the appointment of Stacie Behler as chair of the executive committee and the MMSA board.  The MMSA encourages cooperation between communities in school district, overseeing services they can share.

“Increasing collaboration between local units of government and getting the most out of citizens' tax dollars remains an important focus as we continue to reinvent government,” Snyder said. “I appreciate the willingness of both Al and Stacie to serve in these important roles in that effort.” 

Jessie McCartney, Student of the Week at West Catholic

Jessie McCartney, Student of the Week at West Catholic

Jessie McCartney; she has done it all during her high school days and will be going on next fall to pursue a career in elementary education.

Jessie, a senior at West Catholic, just returned from her 3rd March for Life in Washington, DC. She has been a busy gal in her four years in high school. She played tennis all four years, is a peer minister, a member of the National Honor Society, belongs to Women’s Leadership Group and on the yearbook staff.

Last summer she volunteered to go to Baltimore, MD on a mission trip for various community projects and worked at a homeless shelter. In her spare time, she tutors students at West Catholic and is involved with a youth group at St. Anthony’s, her families’ home parish. She was also Homecoming Queen one year.

Jessie certainly sounds like someone who will succeed at whatever career she chooses. We wish her well.

My Town Muskegon: Applebee's celebrates grand re-opening with donation to Kids' Food Basket

My Town Muskegon: Applebee's celebrates grand re-opening with donation to Kids' Food Basket

MUSKEGON, Mich.—A newly-renovated Applebee’s restaurant celebrated its grand re-opening Tuesday, Feb. 18 by helping hungry children.

During the ribbon cutting event, the restaurant located at 1825 E. Sherman Blvd. presented a check for $5,573.22 to Kids' Food Basket.  The donation marks nearly $35,000 Team Schostak Family Restaurants has donated to non-profit organizations throughout West Michigan.

“We’re so excited to be here on the lakeshore now and we’re serving two schools- almost 600 students a day,” says Kids’ Food Basket Executive Director Bridget Clark-Whitney. “This kind of donation is going to provide over 5,500 meals to kids right here in the community. Every dollar means a meal and every meal means a time that a child isn’t going to bed hungry and that child is able to get up, go to school and learn right here in Muskegon County.”

Robotics director earns presidential honor

Robotics director earns presidential honor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Catholic’s robotics director is being honored for her commitment to the high school’s robotics program.

Mary Beth Zakfeld received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from David Price of GE Aviation Systems on Saturday, Feb. 2.  The prestigious award recognizes people whose commitment to their community inspires others to volunteer.  As part of the honor, Zakfeld received a congratulatory letter of recognition from President Obama, along with a commemorative pin.

In addition to her work with West Catholic, Zakfeld has also spent numerous hours working with Kettering University, Aquinas College and Catholic Central to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in Grand Rapids.

Basketball game beneficiary recovering from transplant

Basketball game beneficiary recovering from transplant

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.-- Grand Rapids police say the detective who will benefit from Saturday's Robert Kozminski Memorial Basketball Games has had a successful double lung transplant.

The department says Kent County deputy Aron Bowser is recovering at home.  Proceeds from the games on Saturday, Feb. 1 wil go toward his medical expenses.

This is the seventh year for the friendly competition at Kenowa Hills. The games begin at 6:30 p.m. with Kenowa Hills teachers playing officers from the Wyoming, Grandville, Walker, Rockford, Kentwood and Grand Rapids police departments.  The second game will pit the Grand Rapids Police Department against the Kent County Sheriff’s Department. Griff from the Grand Rapids Griffins will also stop by for the games.

Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. 

New smart phone app connects parents to child's school

New smart phone app connects parents to child's school

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—National Heritage Academies is offering a new smart phone app to connect parents to their child’s school work.

The app provides instant access to student grades, school news and meal balance accounts.  Parents can also contact their child’s teacher or search the school’s online carpooling database.  

“We are proud to offer this technology to our parents,” said Ridge Park Charter Academy Principal Emory Wykoff. “The app allows them to find information located on the school website, but eliminates the need to have an Internet connection.”

NHA operates 14 schools in West Michigan, including: