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My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

My Town: West Michigan community leaders to help state tackle poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— Governor Snyder is naming ten more people to a panel in charge of tackling poverty in Michigan.

The Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity is a 12-member commission focused on promoting social and economic opportunities for low-income people.  Those appointed to a one year-term on the commission include Hope College graduate Jacob Maas.  The Grand Rapids native is executive director of the Area Community Services Employment and Training Council. He will represent community action agencies.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director

My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director


---------NEWS RELEASE------

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – After 15 years as director of the renowned Diggs Gallery, one of the nation’s top African American art galleries, Belinda Ann Tate is coming to Kalamazoo as the new executive director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Tate was the top choice in a national search to succeed James Bridenstine, who announced last year he would retire in 2014 after 24 years. Tate will join the KIA on Sept. 8.

“Kalamazoo has a stellar reputation for supporting the arts and the KIA. I’m eager to build on that support, especially as KIA celebrates its 90th birthday. It’s a privilege to become part of this outstanding institute and the West Michigan arts community,” Tate said.

Trivalent Group, Inc. engineer honored with 2014 Microsoft MVP award

Trivalent Group, Inc. engineer honored with 2014 Microsoft MVP award

GRANDVILLE, Mich.-- Trivalent Group, Inc., one of Michigan’s largest IT solution providers, has announced that its Senior Cloud Services Engineer, Andy Syrewicze, was honored with the 2014 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award.

The MVP Award is given to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others.

“We are proud of Andy Syrewicze for achieving this prestigious recognition as one of only five MVPs in the United States for Microsoft Hyper-V,” said Trivalent Group CEO Larry Andrus. “Microsoft is a strategic partner for us at Trivalent Group.  Andy has continually grown both his technical and professional expertise during his nearly eight years with Trivalent.”

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 Kalamazoo: Concerts in the Park lineup announced

My Town Kalamazoo: Concerts in the Park lineup announced

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The lineup is out for this year’s Concerts in the Park.

Organizers of the summertime tradition at Bronson Park say this year’s series will feature a variety of musical acts, including jazz, big band, bluegrass, American roots and blues. After a two-year hiatus, The Verve Pipe will return to the Concerts in the Park stage to close out the season.

Each concert is free and family-friendly.  Visitors are encouraged to bring their own blankets, lawn chairs and meals; grilling will not be allowed.  PopCity Popcorn will be selling popcorn and water in the park during the events.

This year’s lineup includes:

June 8 – Kalamazoo Singers

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.