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Alamo Drafthouse opens in time for holiday films

Alamo Drafthouse opens in time for holiday films

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Annie J. Kelley, Battle Creek Enquirer)-- When Kathleen Strang was a little girl, movies were a special event.

“My movie experience started in the really grand, small-town theaters that looked really beautiful and ornate. And it was a real treat,” she said. “You dressed up — you dressed up for the movies. All those years that I was going to the movies as a kid, as a teenager — you didn’t wear jeans or sweatshirts to the movies. Noooo.”

Strang grew up on a farm outside Jimmy Stewart’s hometown in Indiana, Pa. — she remembers getting candy from his father at the family hardware store.

It was also the place where the nearest theaters were.

“I have always loved them,” she said.

She remembers being 13 years old and mercilessly begging her father to take her to a movie with actor Pat Boone. Or, going to see “Spirit of St. Louis” with her brother, and the two of them talking about it for days and days.

New baseball team's name pays homage to city's beer culture

New baseball team's name pays homage to city's beer culture

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—   Kalamazoo’s new baseball team now has a name.

The Kalamazoo Growlers will play their first game at Homer Stryker Field next year.  The Growlers announced their name Friday, following an online contest.  The new name pays homage to the city’s rich history of craft beer breweries.

More than 3,000 votes were cast for the five finalists, which also included the Cabbies, the Clutch, the Kangaroos and the Krakens.  Kalamazoo native Joe Weinstein, who came up with the Growlers’ name, will get season tickets for life.

The Kalamazoo Growlers are part of the Northwoods League, which recruits top college players from North America.  Western Michigan University’s Brent Sunde and Jared Kujawa will play on the team, which will be managed by former Ohio University head coach Joe Carbone.

Kalamazoo Rotary features 'Fostering Hope'

Kalamazoo Rotary features 'Fostering Hope'

Kalamazoo, Mich. - The Rotary Club of Kalamazoo will hold an event to bring awareness to the dangers faced by foster children 'aging out' of the system.

'Fostering Hope' is the name of the program. The Rotary Club will hold its presentation Monday, November 25 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center. The program begins at noon.

In Kalamazoo County, more than 790 children are in Foster Care. There are more than 200 licensed homes in Kalamazoo between Bethany Christian Service, Lutheran Social Services, Starr, Family and Children Services and DHS.

Organizers of the program say young people who 'age out' of foster care are at greater risk of homelessness, unemployment, illness, early parenthood and physical and sexual abuse.

International best-selling author visits Kalamazoo November 7

International best-selling author visits Kalamazoo November 7

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--- An author whose best-selling books may soon become a Disney movie is coming to Kalamazoo.

New York Times and international best-selling author Ally Condie will read and sign copies of her books at Kalamazoo Public Library’s central location Thursday, November 7.   The event begins at 6:30 p.m.

Condie is author of the Matched Trilogy, which includes “Matched,” “Crossed” and “Reached.”   The set of young adult books have earned a variety of honors, including the top spot on the Winter Kids’ Indie Next List.  All three books are available in more than 30 languages and Disney has purchased film rights to the series.

Condie is a former English teacher who lives with her husband and four children outside of Salt Lake City, Utah.  She loves reading, writing, running and listening to her husband play guitar.

Bookbug, located at 3019 Oakland Dr., will be selling books for signing.  The event includes refre

Dentist saves smiles while treating troops during candy buyback

Dentist saves smiles while treating troops during candy buyback

PORTAGE, Mich.—A Portage dentist plans to do something sweet with the candy she buys back from trick-or-treaters.

Dr. Susan M. Dennis is teaming up with Operation Gratitude to donate treats to troops deployed overseas.  All children who donate their candy to the program will be eligible to win an iPod touch from Dr. Dennis.

“We want Michigan kids to have healthy teeth and beautiful smiles,” Dr. Dennis said. “Our team is encouraging children to treat our troops with a portion of their Halloween candy.”

This is the third year for Dr. Dennis’ Halloween Candy Buyback, which will take place November 4, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at her office at 8150 Moorsbridge Rd., Suite A.  Dr.

Bassmaster champion visits the Capitol

Bassmaster champion visits the Capitol

LANSING, Mich.--  Michigan lawmakers welcomed four-time Bassmaster champion and Kalamazoo native Kevin VanDam to the state Capitol Tuesday.

VanDam met the governor and lawmakers.  He also met with Bassmaster officials to discuss ways to strengthen the partnership between Bassmaster and Michigan. 

“Kevin is arguably the best angler in the world and he chooses to call Michigan home,” said Senator Tonya Schuitmaker. “We are really excited to honor a Michigan native who has achieved so much success in the world of professional bass fishing.”

Last month, Bassmaster held its 2013 Elite Series Toyota All-Star Week and Evan Williams Bourbon Championship on Muskegon Lake and White Lake in Muskegon County.

Kalamazoo City Commission candidate forum set for Oct. 29 at WMU

Kalamazoo City Commission candidate forum set for Oct. 29 at WMU

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Western Michigan University)--A city commission candidate forum later at Western Michigan University will bring issues facing the city of Kalamazoo to the forefront.

The forum, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Fetzer Center's Kirsch Auditorium, is sponsored by the Stewart and Vine neighborhood associations and the WMU Institute of Government and Politics. The opportunity to hear from Kalamazoo City Commission candidates is free and open to the public.

Gordon Evans, "Morning Edition" anchor for WMU's public radio station WMUK-FM, will be the moderator. Evans has moderated similar events over the last several years. WMUK also will record the forum, broadcasting it later in the week and archiving it on the station's website, wmuk.org.