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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.

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: Visit any county park for free June 18

My Town Kalamazoo: Visit any county park for free June 18

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer this Wednesday, June 18 with a free visit to any Kalamazoo County park.

The Kalamazoo County Parks & Expo Center is waiving its $5 per vehicle admission to all county parks for the day, to encourage everyone to get outside and explore nature.  The group will also be distributing goody bags at parks, while supplies last.  Visitors can also enter for a chance to win an annual vehicle pass to the parks.

“Many people don’t realize all the opportunities for recreation at the parks right here in Kalamazoo County,” said David Rachowicz, parks director. “This is a great way to kick off the summer and see all that the parks have to offer.”

For more information including park locations, visit www.kalamazoocountyparks.com.

My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

My Town: Fish for free June 7 and 8

MUSKEGON, Mich.— Grab a rod and head out onto the big lake this weekend for Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend.

On June 7 and 8, the state will be waiving fishing license fees.  Free Fishing Weekend applies to residents and out-of-state visitors on inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish.  All fishing regulations still apply.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, our state offers some of the finest freshwater fishing in the world, with more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams. To find inland lakes in your area, click here.

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: 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.