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My Town: Local children get TV debut with new Meijer commercial

KENTWOOD, Mich.-  A Kentwood boy is getting his chance at TV fame.

Carson, 4, is one of nine West Michigan children featured in Meijer’s newest commercials, starring the retailer’s beloved penny-operated pony, Sandy.  Carson’s mother says he always has to ride Sandy when they visit Meijer every other Thursday.  Afterwards, he leaves extra pennies for kids waiting in line.

 Meijer released two versions of the commercial; the 30-second spot will begin airing in five states in June and the 60-second version is already online.  Both spots feature photos from a Meijer Facebook contest held earlier this year.  For the shorter spot, the retailer selected 28 photos from the more than 3,200 submitted during the contest.  Four additional photos chosen for the 60-second version of the commercial.

My Town Kalamazoo: Reward offered for school vandal arrests

My Town Kalamazoo: Reward offered for school vandal arrests

KALAMAZOO, Mich—A reward is being offered in tracking down the three vandals who damaged property at two high schools.

On May 23, Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s deputies were called to Comstock High School, where the suspects had spray painted numerous buildings and the athletic stadium area.  Deputies say the vandals also targeted the same areas at Gull Lake High School, causing damages totaling thousands of dollars.

An administrator at Comstock High School says the damages were repaired in time for the school’s graduation ceremony Friday, May 30 in the athletic stadium.

Anyone with information in these cases are asked to call the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department or Silent Observer at 343-2100.

My Town: MAISD names new superintendent

My Town: MAISD names new superintendent

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich.—The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District Board of Education has named its top choice to take over as district superintendent.

Thursday afternoon, the board unanimously approved offering Dr. John Severson the position.  MAISD Board President Dwight Vines says Severson is eager and excited to take over the post.

“I was treated very well by members of the staff and community during my visits, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better. I am humbled to have been selected to serve the MAISD in this way,” said Severson.

 Severson has served as superintendent of Harper Creek Community Schools for the past ten years.  He previously worked as a community education administrator at Portage Public Schools and principal of Harper Creek High School.  He holds a master’s in educational leadership and a doctorate in educational leadership from Western Michigan University.

Tiffany Jewelry, Glass and More on Display


On May 31, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open an exhibition of iconic artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. In the exhibition, visitors will delight in seeing the range of Tiffany's design work: his sumptuous Art Nouveau jewelry, his spectacular leaded-glass lamps and windows and his exquisite work in blown glass, metals and mosaics. Tiffany's work, featured on both gallery levels of the KIA, will be the summer's not-to-be-missed experience in Kalamazoo.

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My Town: Where to find the best tasting water in West Michigan

My Town: Where to find the best tasting water in West Michigan

MUSKEGON, Mich.—If you’re looking for the best tasting water in West Michigan, you better head to Muskegon.

The city’s water filtration plant recently won first place in a regional “Water Taste-Off” competition, held by the Michigan branch of the American Water Works Association.  An independent panel of water experts ranked Muskegon’s water as the best tasting and best in appearance in the region.  

Public Works Director Mohammed Al-Shatel credits the staff of the city’s water filtration plant.

“This award is well-deserved.  The investment decisions made by the city commission for the water plant improvements as well as the commitment to quality by a dedicated water plant staff is a reflection of their professionalism.  We are pleased to have the water we treat recognized as one of the best,” he said.

Teen boy killed in Kalamazoo shooting


KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kalamazoo Police say a person of interest is in custody after a Memorial Day shooting that left a 13-year-old boy dead.

It happened around 7 p.m. Monday near Lay Boulevard and Race Street.

Public Safety officers received a call about shots fired and someone down on the ground. They arrived and found the boy suffering from a gunshot wound to his chest. The boy, Michael Day, was pronounced dead at Bronson Hospital.

Anyone with information is asked to call Kalamazoo Public Safety at (269) 337-8994, or Silent Observer at (269) 343-2100.


My Town: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo among worst cities for mosquitoes

My Town: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo among worst cities for mosquitoes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—If  you’re among the many Americans planning to celebrate Memorial Day weekend outside, don’t forget the bug spray.

The Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area is among the top 20 cities for mosquito problems.  That’s according to Orkin.  The pest control company based its rankings on the number of treatments it performed last year. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek ranked 13th on the list.  Atlanta took the top spot, followed by Chicago, Washington D.C. and Detroit.  

The rankings are as follows:

1: Atlanta

2: Chicago

3. Washington, D.C.

4. Detroit

5. Raleigh-Durham

6. Boston

7. Houston

8. Nashville

9. Charlotte

10. Dallas-Fort Worth

11. Richmond-Petersburg

12. Miami-Fort Lauderdale

13. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek