5.24.16:  4 communities get share of historic preservation funds



LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Four Michigan communities are getting a share of grants for historic preservation efforts.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority’s State Historic Preservation Office says more than $120,000 is going to Detroit, Grand Rapids, Allegan and Washtenaw County’s Ann Arbor Township.

Detroit is getting $15,560 to conduct historic resource and archaeological surveys and $33,000 to help fix up the Ford Piquette Avenue plant roof.

Grand Rapids is getting $21,000 to update the National Register of Historic Places nomination for the Heritage Hill Historic District and help expand existing National Register boundaries for Heartside Historic District.

Allegan is getting more than $45,000 to rehabilitate exterior masonry of the Griswold Memorial Auditorium. And Washtenaw County is getting about $6,800 to help establish a historic district for the Thornoaks Neighborhood in Ann Arbor Township.


5.24.16:  High-tech Lake Michigan buoy back online



PORT SHELDON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A high-tech buoy credited with supplying important information on Lake Michigan weather and waves is back online.

The buoy is in the water off Ottawa County’s Port Sheldon Township.

Community members came together to fund this year’s launch of the buoy, with a $25,000 fundraising goal hit last week.

A grant had funded the buoy, and that funding ran out. It didn’t launch into the water on its usual date in April.


5.24.16:  Grand Rapids music center starts public phase of fundraising



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A music center in Grand Rapids has started the public phase of a $5.5 million fundraising campaign that seeks to raise money for renovations and an endowment.

A Monday announcement says the campaign by the St. Cecilia Music Center has raised $4 million so far. The campaign includes replacement of Royce Auditorium theater seats as well as installation of new lighting and sound systems.

Also included in the project are remodeling the lobby and box office, upgrades for accessibility and bathroom improvements.



5.23.16:  Fundraiser held for victims of Kalamazoo-area shootings



PORTAGE, Mich. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered for a motorcycle riding event to raise money for relatives of victims and survivors of the Kalamazoo-area mass shootings.

More than 400 motorcycles were registered for Saturday’s Perry Harley Davidson Community Memorial Ride in Portage.

Proceeds will be distributed through the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

On Friday, 45-year-old Jason Dalton was ordered to stand trial for the Feb. 20 random shootings that killed six people and left two others wounded.

Authorities said the shootings were carried out between Dalton picking up riders as an Uber driver.

One of the survivors is 14-year-old Abigail Kopf. Her father, Gene, directed traffic at Saturday’s fundraiser and said the community support “shows one rotten person is outnumbered by a lot of good people.”


5.20.16:  Key hearing next for man charged with killing 6 in Michigan



KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — A judge is holding a key hearing to determine whether a Michigan man will go to trial for random shootings that killed six people and injured two more.

Jason Dalton is accused in three separate shootings in the Kalamazoo-area in February, which authorities said he carried out between picking up riders as an Uber driver. A judge on Friday must decide whether there’s enough evidence to move the case to trial court.

Police have quoted Dalton as saying a “devil figure” on Uber’s app was controlling him the night of the shootings.

Six people were killed and a woman and a 14-year-old girl were injured on Feb. 20. Dalton is charged with murder and attempted murder. He’s been found mentally competent to understand the charges and assist his lawyer.


5.19.16:  Western Michigan city’s beaches get new swimmer safety flags



SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — New flags for swimmer safety are being used on a western Michigan city’s beaches that are meant to help clarify conditions, including for people who are colorblind.


The Kalamazoo Gazette reported Wednesday that the flags are being used on South Haven’s beaches. The red flag now has a depiction of a swimmer with a circle-and-bar symbol, while the words “green” and “yellow” are on green and yellow flags.


Fire chief Ron Wise says the red flag signals strong currents or high surf, the yellow one is for moderate currents or surf, and the green one indicates calm conditions.



5.19.16:  Pressure surge causes water main breaks in Grand Rapids



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials say a momentary surge in water pressure caused several water main breaks in Grand Rapids.

At least six breaks were reported by the city on Thursday morning, including a 20-inch main downtown and other breaks to 6-inch mains.

The city’s water system manager Joellen C. Thompson says in a statement that the surge was caused by a malfunctioning valve that didn’t open during a pump change. The city says operators quickly reversed the procedure to minimize the issue, but the surge caused the breaks.

City crews will work to repair the breaks with help from contractors.


5.18.16:  Mel Trotter Ministries raising funds for new truck



-Mel Trotter Ministries, a downtown Grand Rapids-based homeless shelter, is launching a crowdfunding campaign May 16-18, 2016, to help raise $34,000 to purchase a used refrigerator truck.

The truck they were using broke down a few months ago so they are in need of a replacement, especially with summer and the warmer months approaching.

The truck will allow Mel Trotter Ministries to safely transport fresh and frozen food donations from area businesses to feed their guests and expand where they can get donations.


Mel Trotter Ministries serves up to 500 meals a day to those in need in the greater Grand Rapids area, and 120 families a week through its food pantry.  This is work that cannot be done without support from the entire community.


As of Tuesday night, they raised just over $14,000 from 75 donors for the Fund the Truck.


More information is available through:  www.fundthetruckgr.com.


5.17.16:  Street hockey in July planned at 10 Meijer parking lots



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Meijer will turn 10 Michigan parking lots into destinations for summer street hockey for kids.

The big retailer says there will be an hour of instruction followed by a 30-minute game at 10 stores in July. Representatives from the Detroit Red Wings will join local hockey players and coaches. There’s no charge but registration is limited.

The stores are in Acme, Cadillac, Mount Pleasant, Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Ann Arbor, Fraser and Allen Park.

There are two age groups: 7- 9 and 10-12. To register, go to www.DetroitRedWings.com/streethockey.


5.16.16:  Tulip Time festival fails in 2nd try to break dancing record



HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Tulip Time festival in western Michigan again fell short in breaking a record for dancing in wooden shoes.

The Holland Sentinel reports Saturday’s attempt at Kollen Park in Holland drew just under 1,000 dancers. They needed about 2,600.

Last year, they came closer, netting 1,700 in their first attempt.

The city of Holland is known for its Dutch heritage.

Organizers say breaking the record would have been great but the event is more about fundraising: It was held in partnership with Bethany Christian Services, an adoption support agency.

About $30,000 was raised last year for post-adoption services. This year’s fundraising total is expected to be tallied in a few weeks.

Organizers say they likely will take a few years off from another record-breaking attempt.