Local

2.8.16:  Mayor Bliss will hold 3 Neighborhood Meetup events

 

 

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss delivered her first State-of-the-City address last week.

She now has scheduled three open houses this week to discuss goals and objectives outlined in her address.

The three Mayor Neighborhood Meetup events  are set up to highlight points from the State of the City and listen to residents and answer questions.

 

Monday, Feb. 8 at Shawmut Hills Elementary, 2550 Burritt St. NW

Wednesday, Feb. 10 at Gerald R. Ford Academy, 857 Madison Ave. SE

Thursday, Feb. 11 at Palmer Elementary, 309 Palmer St. NE

 

The events will take place from 7 pm – 8:30 p.m.

 

Those who cannot attend a Meetup session and want to ask Mayor Bliss a question can send an e-mail to:  Mayor@grcity.us.


2.5.16:  Girl, 10, killed in crash that injured older siblings

 

 

SULLIVAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A 10-year-old western Michigan girl has been killed and two older siblings were hurt while riding to school in Muskegon County.

The girl’s 18-year-old sister was trying to pass another vehicle about 7:20 a.m. Thursday in Sullivan Township when their car spun out of control and crashed into a third vehicle.  The accident took place between Muskegon and Ravenna

The 10-year-old was in the back seat of the car and may not have been wearing a seatbelt. The older sister and their 16-year-old brother were taken to an area hospital. The driver of the other vehicle suffered minor injuries.

State police Sergeant Michelle Robinson told The Muskegon Chronicle that speed and slippery conditions led to the crash. A dusting of snow covered the roadway Thursday morning.

A candle-light vigil will take place tonight.

 

 


2.3.16:  MPI Research plans $5 million headquarters upgrade, new jobs

 

 

MATTAWAN, Mich. (AP) — A company that conducts preclinical medical studies plans to spend $5 million to upgrade facilities at its headquarters in southwestern Michigan.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Mattawan-based MPI Research also plans to add up to 130 jobs by the end of the year.

Word of the expansion follows the announcement that 69-year-old company founder William U. Parfet is retiring as chairman, president and chief executive officer. He says in a letter about the change that MPI has a bright future and is poised for growth.

MPI plans to increase its capacity for keeping animals or plants for research or observation. The project includes renovating more than 55,000 square feet of space.

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2.2.16:  Grand Rapids Public Museum hosting new Rosa Parks exhibit

 

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting a new mini-exhibit about civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Titled “Rosa Parks — An American Legacy,” it opens Thursday and runs through March 26. Visitors will learn about Parks’ impact on civil rights movement and its Grand Rapids connections.

The exhibit follows Parks’ life as the nation changed. It includes photos and artifacts, along with winning essays from the City of Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Essay Contest that’s been held annually since 2010, when a bronze statue of Parks was installed at Rosa Parks Circle.

Parks, who died in 2005, became a pioneer in the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. She later moved to Detroit.

 


2.1.16:  City workers help fix up carousel at Windmill Island Gardens

 

 

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Dutch carousel at Windmill Island Gardens in Holland is in better shape thanks to the work of city mechanics who usually fix plow trucks and other city vehicles.

The Holland Sentinel reports the carousel’s drive wheel was cracked and dry and the entire driveshaft needed repair.

Holland’s transportation director Brian White says mechanics Barry Wassink and Jeff Smit worked on the project. White says: “Oftentimes, our mechanics go unnoticed … but it’s projects like this that showcase their abilities and the capabilities we have at the city.”

The mechanics rebuilt the driveshaft with modern parts.

The hand-painted carousel is undergoing restoration by local artists. It was built in 1908 and bought in the 1970s by the city of Holland, which is known for its Dutch heritage.

 


2.1.16:  Grand Rapids Public Museum hosting new Rosa Parks exhibit

 

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting a new mini-exhibit about civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

Titled “Rosa Parks — An American Legacy,” it opens Thursday and runs through March 26. Visitors will learn about Parks’ impact on civil rights movement and its Grand Rapids connections.

The exhibit follows Parks’ life as the nation changed. It includes photos and artifacts, along with winning essays from the City of Grand Rapids Rosa Parks Essay Contest that’s been held annually since 2010, when a bronze statue of Parks was installed at Rosa Parks Circle.

Parks, who died in 2005, became a pioneer in the civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. She later moved to Detroit.

 

 


2.1.16:  Western Michigan company fined in July death of employee

 

 

IONIA, Mich. (AP) — State regulators have proposed a $7,000 fine for a western Michigan company in the death of an employee who got caught in a robotic machine.

Bill Holbrook says his wife’s head injuries were so severe that the funeral home recommended a closed casket.

Wanda Holbrook was killed last July at Ventra Ionia Main in Ionia. The company makes auto bumpers, trailer hitches and chrome-plated plastics.

State inspectors say a lockout device could have halted the machine when Holbrook entered the robotic cell. General Manager John Atkinson declined to comment when contacted about the fine by The Grand Rapids Press.

The company has two weeks to appeal.

 

 


1.29.16:  Ex-lawmaker from Grand Rapids enters plea in marijuana case

 

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A former Michigan lawmaker who was charged in a marijuana case has entered a plea.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Roy Schmidt pleaded no contest Thursday to manufacture of marijuana. A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Schmidt initially fought charges as a registered medical marijuana caregiver and disputed the amount of marijuana he possessed.

A police report read by the judge, however, indicated Schmidt told police that he sold marijuana to 10 to 15 people who weren’t his registered medical marijuana patients.

Schmidt represented Grand Rapids as a member of the Michigan House. He was defeated in 2012 after a surprising switch to the Republican Party.

He faces up to four years in prison when sentenced on March 22.

 


1.28.16:  Auto Show opens in Grand Rapids

 

 

Organizers say there were more than 815,000 visitors to the North American International Auto show in Detroit this year.

That’s up from more than 808,000 that attended the show last year.  Sunday’s final day saw more than 104,000 attendees.

 

Many of the vehicles on display in Detroit have made their way to Grand Rapids.

The 18th annual Michigan International Auto Show runs Thursday through Sunday at DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.

The show will feature vehicles from automakers, as well as parts and accessories.  More than 300 car models are showcased during the event.

Highlights include a Million Dollar Motorway and a display of Gilmore Car Museum vintage vehicles.

 


1.28.16:  Ford Presidential Museum reopening in June after overhaul

 

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials say the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids is expected to reopen this spring after being closed in October to allow crews to install new permanent interactive exhibits and conduct renovations.

Those involved in the project provided updates Wednesday on the work, which includes construction of the new 8,000-square-foot DeVos Learning Center.

Videos, interactive digital elements and historical artifacts also are being incorporated into the new museum exhibits.

President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty Ford, lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades, but their hometown was Grand Rapids.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation says more than $15 million was raised for projects, including the learning center and exhibit updates.

Ceremonies to mark the reopening are scheduled for June 7.