Grand Rapids

9.23.14:  Carter: Civilian risk if US bombs Islamic State


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)€” Former President Jimmy Carter says a U.S. bombing attack against the Islamic State forces in Iraq could end up killing more civilians than militants unless there are American spotters on the ground.


The 39th president and his wife Rosalynn spoke for about 45 minutes Monday as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series.


The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner addressed a range of topics and answered student questions.


Carter says U.S. bombers attacking a city controlled by the Islamic State “are very likely to kill more civilians than ISIS members.” He says it’s important to have U.S. spotters for such bombings.


Carter has written 28 books, including “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.” It was released in March.

9.22.14:  Jimmy Carter to visit Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter is to appear in Grand Rapids at a lecture and book signing.


The 39th president and his wife, Rosalynn, are scheduled to visit Monday as part of Grand Rapids Community College’s Diversity Lecture Series. It’s the 20th anniversary of the series and the college’s 100th anniversary.


The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is to lecture for about 45 minutes before a question-and-answer session.


He has written 28 books, including “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.” It was released in March.


The lecture is free to attend but tickets need to be reserved in advance. Tickets for the signing are $28 and include a copy of Carter’s book.

9.18.14:  Michigan university gets $1 million stained glass


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Christian university in West Michigan has hired a Danish artist to construct four stained glass windows valued at $1 million for its new chapel.


Cornerstone University on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids, commissioned the windows from Peter Brandes to be the hallmark feature of the chapel, scheduled to open in fall 2015. The windows will be funded through donors and completed in about eight months under supervision of the artist.


Brandes says the red, blue and yellow light will invigorate worshippers when the sun fills the room with color. The university president says the windows will serve as a reminder of Cornerstone’s commitment to Christ.


The university is also making a documentary about the windows that will be shown at the chapel.


9.17.14:  Area lawyers visit 5th graders


Today, September, 17 is Constitution Day.


In honor of the 227th Anniversary of our nation’s founding document, attorneys from the Grand Rapid Bar Association will volunteer their time to educate students about the U.S. Constitution.  They will visit more than 1,400 5th grade students in 47 classrooms.


The law requires any school receiving federal money to education their students about the Constitution on or around Constitution Day.  GRPS students have the opportunity to learn first-hand from attorneys about the U.S. Constitution and how it impacts their everyday lives.



9.16.14:  Michigan music center gets $1 million from Wege


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A 131-year-old music center in Grand Rapids is receiving $1 million from the estate of former Steelcase Inc. chairman and philanthropist Peter Wege.


St. Cecilia Music Center announced Monday that the Grand Rapids native left the gift before his death in July at the age of 94. The center’s executive director says it’s the largest donation the center has received throughout its history. She says the money will more than double the center’s current endowment.


The Great Artist Gala on Sept. 18 will be dedicated to Wege. The director says he was a long-time supporter but the center wasn’t expecting a gift from him.


The office furniture manufacturing heir created his charitable foundation in 1967. It has given away millions, much of it in his hometown.

9.12.14:  GRCC celebrates with the public Saturday


Grand Rapids Community College is celebrating their 100th anniversary with a community picnic on Saturday.


College President Dr. Steven Ender said the West Michigan community has supported the college for 100 years and they want to celebrate and are looking forward to the partnership to continue in years to come.


The free picnic will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13th, in the GRCC Ford Fieldhouse on Lyon Street.  Parking in the GRCC ramps will also be free.


The picnic is just one way GRCC is commemorating their 100th anniversary.  College faculty and staff are also participating in 100 Ways to Give, where they will be involved in service projects throughout the community.

9.10.14:  Grand Rapids hosts exhibit about Sept. 11 attacks


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids is hosting a mobile exhibit about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


The exhibit titled “9/11 Never Forget” arrived Tuesday at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum under escort by the Patriot Guard and police. It’s open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free.


Thursday is the 13th anniversary of the attacks. A Community Day of Remembrance is planned in Grand Rapids that will be led by the President Ford Council and the Boy Scouts of America.


A daylong “Scout Salute” is planned at the museum to pay respect to those who died during the terrorist attacks.

9.10.14:  Meijer Gardens gives tram tours of Japanese garden


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan is offering tram tours of a $22 million Japanese garden that’s scheduled to open next summer.


Visitors this weekend can tour the eight-acre Japanese garden that’s been under construction since July 2012. It’s set to open in June 2015 and will feature bridges, gazebos and a Japanese tea house.


The structures were designed and created in Japan and reassembled near Grand Rapids.


Lead horticulturist Greg Afman says workers have focused on planting Zen and bonsai gardens around the two-acre pond this year. The garden is still under construction.


Afman says it will mostly include plants that are native to the area because traditional gardens in Japan use local species.


9.10.14:  Couple job fairs in West MI


Michigan Works and Kentwood Community Church are sponsoring a Community Job Fair today.  The event will be held from 9 until noon.  Over 20 companies will be represented.  The Job Fair will be held at Kentwood Community Church and their new Wyoming campus at 2950 Clyde Park.


Another job fair will be held today at Magna Mirrors in Alto from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There are 40 available positions. The facility is located at 6151 Bancroft Avenue SE, Alto, MI.

9.8.14:  Great Lakes advocates holding annual conference


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Great Lakes advocates will meet this week to discuss progress and continuing challenges in caring for the five inland seas.


The 10th annual Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Restoration Conference will be held Tuesday through Thursday in Grand Rapids. About 300 representatives of environmental groups, business, academia and government agencies are expected to attend.


The coalition has helped lobby Congress for an initiative that has pumped more than $1.6 billion into Great Lakes cleanup projects during the Obama administration.


Among issues to be discussed at the three-day conference include reducing litter such as tiny plastic microbeads, combating exotic species invasions, bacterial alge blooms in Lake Erie and challenges posed by oil and gas development.