Grand Rapids

7.28.15:  Primary Election day is set for next Tuesday



-The Grand Rapids City Clerk’s office is reminding us that this Saturday, August 1st, is the last day to apply to get an absentee ballot sent to you for next Tuesday’s election.

You can also pick one up in person through next Monday afternoon.


Several communities will have items to consider on their ballots.

In Grand Rapids, is will be the primary mayoral race.

If a candidate receives more than 50% of the votes then they will become the city’s next mayor but if not, the top two vote-getters will compete in a run-off election in November.

The 4 candidates include:  Rosalynn Bliss, Robert Dean, John George, and Willard Lee.

7.27.15:  Carmaker Tesla to open charging station outside Grand Rapids



CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Electric car company Tesla Motors is opening a new charging station southeast of Grand Rapids.

The charging station is set to open Monday at a Meijer store in Cascade Township near 28th Street and Kraft. The charging station would work with Tesla’s Model S electric sedan.

Tesla said in May that it purchased a tool-and-die maker in Cascade Township. The Palo Alto, California-based company said the purchase would help it with building new plastic parts.


7.27.14:  Lexi Thompson rallies to win Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan



BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Lexi Thompson has won the Meijer LPGA Classic by a stroke, shooting a 6-under 65 and rallying from four shots back.

The 20-year-old Florida golfer on Sunday won for the fifth time on the LPGA Tour. This is her first victory since she won her first major title last year at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

She finished at 18-under 266. Gerina Piller closed with a 64 and was one shot behind. Third-round leader Lizette Salas finished with a 70.

Salas parred the first six holes. Thompson caught her with birdies on Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 7. Piller made five birdies on the front nine. A birdie at No. 8 briefly tied her for the lead with Thompson and Salas.



7.24.15:  Salas, Kirk, Carter share Meijer LPGA Classic lead


BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Lizette Salas, Katherine Kirk and Dori Carter shared the first-round lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic at 7-under 64 on Thursday at Blythefield Country Club.

Jaye Marie Green and rookie Wei-Ling Hsu were a shot back in the second-year tournament.

Michigan-born Kris Tamulis was at 66 along with Q Baek, Ilhee Lee and Jane Rah.

Top-ranked Inbee Park, who lost to Miram Lee in a playoff last year, had three front-nine bogeys in a 70. Chella Choi, the Marathon Classic winner Sunday in Sylvania, Ohio, opened with a 71.

Salas, Kirk, Carter and Green played in the morning in little wind and perfect scoring conditions. Hsu had the best round in the afternoon after the wind kicked up. Park and Choi also played in the afternoon.



7.23.15:  Spoke Folks will launch a bike-sharing service



GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Mlive)– A couple new employees were preparing a fleet of new bicycles earlier this week at The Spoke Folks on Logan Street SW. The brown and gray vehicles were herded into packs around the shop floor, with two at a time hoisted into the air for fine tuning.

On Thursday, July 23, the nonprofit co-op expects the bicycles to be ready to “set them free in the city” for an app-based bike-share service it’s launching in downtown Grand Rapids.

“We have 65 right now. We found the bikes we wanted to use and we bought all of them we could that are in the country,” said David Bell, a mechanical engineer who’s an investor in a for-profit venture that hired The Spoke Folks to operate the bike-share service.

“In the spring we’re targeting 400 to put on the street, which is I think the right number. From our research that’s what Grand Rapids will be able to support.”

As city administrators evaluate a consultant’s recommendation to start a bike-share service that could cost as much as $2 million, Bell and his partners are teaming with The Spoke Folks to get a private program off the ground now. Instead of building stations to dock bike-share bicycles, as a consultant suggests, they’re using a Spokefly app and existing bike racks around downtown.

Customers can download the app to their phone, use it to find a bike nearby and get the combination to the bike lock, and pay for their ride. The fee will be $1 per ride, plus 15 cents per minute.

A 10-minute ride will cost $2.50, for example. A 30-minute ride will cost $5.50. Keep a bike for an hour and you’ll pay $10.

The service offers 8-speed bikes from Breezer Bicycles, each with a bell and basket for any carry-on bags. Helmets are not provided. There will be 65 bikes to start and a few hundred more on the way next year.

“We want it to be you can walk out (of a building) and see the bike,” said Jay Niewiek, director of The Spoke Folks. “These will be scattered across the city, locked up to regular bike racks.”

7.23.15:  Former LPGA pro to give girls lesson on golf swing



BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Young female golfers will receive a lesson on the sport from a former pro during the Meijer LPGA Classic in western Michigan.

Michigan native Allison Fouch-Duncan leads a “Swing Like A Girl” session on Thursday for two dozen girls at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Belmont, near Grand Rapids.

The girls are between 10 and 17. They are members of The First Tee youth development program’s Detroit and Grand Rapids chapters. The LPGA and PGA helped start the international youth service organization.

The golf swing session is part of a confidence building campaign for girls.

The Meijer LPGA Classic runs through Sunday at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont.



7.22.15:  Mayoral Forum Wednesday night at GR Public Museum



Grand Rapids, MI — Grand Rapids will be getting a new mayor.


Mayor George Heartwell will be stepping down due to term limits.

There are 4 candidates that are interested in his job.


There will be a Mayoral Forum with those 4 candidates Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

This week’s forum will focus specifically on environmental issues.


The next forum will take place Thursday, July 30th on the GVSU campus where the candidates will debate issues of social and economic inequality.



7.22.15:  House fire on SW side of Grand Rapids



GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Grand Rapids firefighters were called to the 900 block of Underhill Avenue SW, Tuesday afternoon.  They found that the front porch of the house was in flames.


A 16-year-old teen was outside when he heard a noise and turned around to see flames shooting from the home.  He said that his  13-year-old sister was upstairs watching television at the time.


The teen went inside the house and was able to find his sister and help her outside.

The teens and their mother had been renting the home and had been working to remodel it.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the blaze.


7.21.15:  Hundreds show up for bond marrow testing



Hundreds of people showed up Monday night to get their bone marrow type tested.

A 9-year-old Grandville girl with leukemia is in need of a transplant.

Lola DeYoung was first diagnosed in February 2011 and is now dealing with her third battle with cancer.

Harbor Life Church held a marrow registry drive and hundreds of people lined up to see if they might be a match for a transplant.

7-20-15 Should Marijuana Be Used to Treat Autism?

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A panel is meeting to decide whether to recommend autism as a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana in Michigan.

The meeting Monday in Lansing is occurring about two months after the Medical Marijuana Review Panel heard testimony, mostly in favor of adding autism.

Supporters say oil extracted from marijuana has been effective in controlling severe physical behavior of children with an extreme form of autism. The oil is taken by mouth.

The supporters include Dr. Harry Chugani, chief of pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit.

Any decision to add autism would rest with the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. In Michigan, medical marijuana can be used to relieve the side effects of cancer, glaucoma, HIV, hepatitis C and a few other conditions.