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Arts & Culture

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

My Town: Mail-in cancer tests, produce programs get state funding

LANSING, Mich. – Making fruits and vegetables more readily available, cancer screenings by mail, health coaches and exercise programs are just several of the local initiatives getting funding from the Michigan Department of Community Health.

The MDCH recently announced 44 projects are getting approximately $1.34 million, including a dozen projects in West Michigan.  The grants include:

My Town Montague: Lake Michigan trail to get upgrade

My Town Montague: Lake Michigan trail to get upgrade

MONTAGUE, Mich.—A pathway that winds along the Lake Michigan coast is getting an upgrade.

Great Lakes Energy is awarding $4,000 to the City of Hart to reconstruct the Hart-Montague trail, which covers 225 acres, from Hart to Montague.  The grant comes from the People Fund, which is solely supported by Great Lakes Energy customers who choose to round up their bill each month to the next dollar.  Since 1999, the People Fund has led to more than $2.67 million in grants to local nonprofit groups and organizations.

“People may not think 50 cents a month can do much, but when added with the contributions of other Great Lakes Energy members, we are able to help so many,” explains President and CEO Steve Boeckman. “Giving back to the community is one of the cooperative principles and we couldn’t do it without our members’ generosity.”

My Town Kalamazoo: Tickets on sale for performance by world renown violinist

My Town Kalamazoo: Tickets on sale for performance by world renown violinist

----NEWS RELEASE----

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra)-- On May 15, 2015 Sarah Chang joins your Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra to perform the Dvorák Violin Concerto in a program that also features Elgar and Beethoven. Tickets for this memorable performance will be available for purchase beginning Monday, Jan. 5 at kalamazoosymphony.com or (269) 387-2300.

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

My Town: What 2015 will hold for West Michigan's economy

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- Consumers in West Michigan are more optimistic about what 2015 will bring.

In fact, consumers in this market are the most optimistic in the region, according to a new study released by Huntington Bank.  The financial firm found local residents say they are much more likely to buy a new vehicle this year; 17 percent said they plan to purchase a new car, compared to just four percent in 2014.

Home improvement stores may also be busy; 47-percent of West Michiganders surveyed for the Huntington Bank Midwest Economic Index said they were planning some home renovations for 2015, compared to 32 percent in 2014.

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

My Town: Schools awarded funding to take students to art hot spots

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Thousands of students interested in Michigan’s cultural hot spots will now have a set of wheels to get there.

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs this week announced the recipients of its latest round of grants for its Arts & Culture Trek grant program.  The organization is awarding $60,000 to 161 schools across the state, to pay for field trip transportation.  Each grant is worth up to $500 and must be used between Jan. 5, 2015 and March 29, 2015.

"A record-breaking number of Michigan K-12 teachers applied for an Arts & Culture Trek Grant this year, and the vast majority of recipients were awarded the full amount they requested," said Marianne Dorais, Executive Director of Michigan Youth Arts. "From Detroit to Kalamazoo to Flint to Marquette, this program will serve thousands of students from 42 counties across the state."

My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot

My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers turn to public to rename mascot

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A dispute within Minor League Baseball means the Kalamazoo Growlers will be holding another naming contest for its mascot.

The Growlers must change their mascot’s name, Barlee because it is similar to the Hillsboro Hopps mascot’s name, Barley.  The Hopps, a team out of Hillsboro, Oregon, have a trademark on the name.  The Growlers learned about the name conflict shortly after wrapping up its public naming contest in spring.  The team decided to change their mascot’s name “in the interest of maintaining a healthy working relationship” with the Hillsboro Hopps.

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU players trade basketballs for books

My Town Kalamazoo: WMU players trade basketballs for books

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Students at Paramount Charter Academy recently welcomed some special guests during reading time.

Eight members of the Western Michigan University Women’s Basketball team read to students Nov. 21, in honor of the school’s college day.  The athletes also shared their reasons for attending WMU and joining the team.  Each student took home a WMU sports poster.

Paramount Charter Academy serves students in young 5s through eighth grade, focusing on a college-bound curriculum.