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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.

My Town Holland: Hope College seniors and graduates receive Fulbright Awards

My Town Holland: Hope College seniors and graduates receive Fulbright Awards

HOLLAND, Mich. – Three graduating Hope College seniors or recent graduates have received highly competitive awards through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Graduating seniors Susan Haigh of Carmel, Ind., and Steven Skawski of Elmhurst, Ill., have each received awards to teach abroad during the coming year.  Gretchen Baldwin, a 2012 graduate originally from Portage, has received an award to conduct research abroad during 2014-15.

Several Hope students or recent graduates have received the awards through the years, including four last year and a total of 22 since 2008.  In October of this past year, Hope was recognized by the program as a “U.S. Student Top Producer,” and was first in Michigan among bachelor’s institutions, for the number of students to receive Fulbright awards for 2013-14.

My Town Kalamazoo: Governor helps cut ribbon on new design center

My Town Kalamazoo: Governor helps cut ribbon on new design center

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--  The Business Technology and Research Park at Western Michigan University is growing.

Monday, Gov. Rick Snyder helped cut the ribbon on the Newell Rubbermaid Design Center.  The company is investing $2.3 million in the facility and creating up to 100 jobs.

Newell Rubbermaid markets a variety of consumer and commercial products, including Sharpie, Rubbermaid, Graco, Calphalon, Paper Mate and Irwin.  The new Kalamazoo facility will consolidate the company's product and graphic design work.

Newell Rubbermaid chose Michigan over a competing site in Chicago, after receiving a $2 million Michigan Business Development performance-based grant.  The City of Kalamazoo has also offered tax breaks valued at $164,000.

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: Growlers' roster grows with Duke trio

My Town Kalamazoo: Growlers' roster grows with Duke trio

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Kalamazoo Growlers) - The Kalamazoo Growlers have signed a talented trio of Duke Blue Devils to their roster in their first year in Northwoods League action.

Karl Blum, Kenny Koplove and Jalen Phillips will be bringing immediate impact to The Growlers on the mound, in the field, and at bat.

Karl Blum: 6’4-224lb, RHP, Bats/R, Throws/R, Toms River, N.J. (Fr.)

Blum was a four year letterman at Toms River North (NJ) High School, where he was named Shore Conference Asbury Park Press Player of the Year as well as being selected for All-State honorable mention during his senior campaign with a 7-2 and a 1.20 ERA. The righty has made eight appearances on the hill for the Blue Devils in the 2014 season while recording 11 strikeouts.