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My Town: WMU engineers create helmet device to detect concussions

My Town: WMU engineers create helmet device to detect concussions

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—In a time when concussions in football continue to make headlines, students at Western Michigan University have created a device to help detect head injuries.

SafeSense is installed in a football helmet to monitor hits to the head.  Student engineers designed the pressure sensor using printed electronics on a flexible organic plastic material that covers the inside of a helmet.  The sensor collects data on when, where and severity of a hit.  The information is then sent to a smartphone.  The helmet’s impact history can then be stored on a cloud-based server.

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs
-------NEWS RELEASE---------KALAMAZOO, Mich. (United Way)—From early grade reading to support services for seniors, 106 programs operated by nonprofit agencies across the region are welcoming support totaling more than $7.6 million from United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR).  “Because of our incredibly generous supporters, United Way is able to fund programs that are changing lives in meaningful ways,” said Michael Larson, President and CEO of UWBCKR. “More kids will learn to read well so they can succeed in school. More families will achieve financial stability. More people will embrace healthier lifestyles. More individuals in crisis will get the help they need.”  Larson said this year’s community investments, which total $7,651,690, meets or exceeds overall support provided both locally and regionally over the past several years.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

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

My Town Kalamazoo: Downtown detours Thursday for Girls on the Run

My Town Kalamazoo: Downtown detours Thursday for Girls on the Run

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Drivers can expect detours through downtown Kalamazoo Thursday night, as thousands of girls take over the streets.

Nearly 2,000 third, fourth and fifth grade girls will be participating in this year’s Girls on the Run 5k, presented by Eaton Corporation.  The starting horn will sound at 6:30 p.m. at Waldo Stadium.  All athletes will then race down Lovell Street, through downtown, then back onto West Lovell before crossing the finish line at Oakland Drive.

During the run, traffic will be detoured around downtown to the east.  The following streets will be closed up until 8 p.m.:

My Town Kalamazoo: Children's wing to be named after philanthropist Bill Wright

My Town Kalamazoo: Children's wing to be named after philanthropist Bill Wright

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—He has died, but Bill Wright’s legacy in helping abused and neglected will live on at Community Healing Centers.

Bill Wright passed away Dec. 28, 2013.  For years, his charity “Wright for Kids” supported kids traumatized by abuse and neglect.  

Wright was also a pivotal force in raising money and encouraging others to donate to the Community Healing Centers’ Roof Sit.  Thursday night at campaign kick-off dinner, children walked into Carabba’s with signs spelling out “thank you Bill Wright for kids”  before the announcement came:  the children’s wing of  the Elizabeth Upjohn Community Healing Center will officially be named the Bill Wright Children’s Advocacy Center.

“This is the perfect homecoming for Wright for Kids…the right time, the right place. It anchors a secure legacy of caring and compassion to Bill’s name,” says Sally Reames, CEO of Community Healing Centers.

My Town Kalamazoo: Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Carnival May 1

My Town Kalamazoo: Children's Mental Health Awareness Day Carnival May 1

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Families are invited to a free, fun and interactive carnival Thursday night to raise awareness about children’s mental health services.

The 9th annual National Children’s Mental health Awareness Day Carnival will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground.  Admission is free.  Visitors can learn about the mental health resources available for children and families.

For more information, call Michelle Houtrow at (269) 553-7122 or email mhoutrow@kazoocmh.org