Stories

Feature Story plaster-creek-meadows

Plaster Creek Family Park receives mParks award: GRPS students contributed to design

Park Design Award recognizes the Plaster Creek Family Park’s sustainability features and a design created in collaboration with GRPS students. Partnerships with GRPS, Our Community’s Children, the Wege Foundation, and the Children and Nature Network along with parks millage dollars made the park improvements possible — and it will serve as the site for the Mayor’s Greening Initiative event May 1.

Feature Story apprenticeship

The Literacy Center advances in competition to receive funding for Latina skilled trade workers

The Literacy Center of West Michigan is a finalist in the U.S. Department of Education’s Rethink Adult Ed Challenge with the opportunity to win a share of $750,000 for its pre-apprenticeship program. Their proposal creates a pathway to English instruction and skills training for West Michigan Latinas to enter the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades.

Longform Carolyn Wilson administers the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to Dr. Eric Kane at Beaumont Service Center in Southfield on Dec. 15, 2020.

Michigan health care professionals work to assuage skepticism as they roll out COVID-19 vaccines

Health care professionals across Michigan are doing their best to respond to Michiganders' concerns and deliver the vaccine to as many residents as possible.

Innovation News Tim Mroz

Over $5 million to be awarded to West Michigan area businesses

The Michigan Small Business Survival Grant program is awarding $55 million across the state. The Right Place is administering the program for an 11-county region including Kent County. 

Development News Stacy Stout

New programs deepen City of Grand Rapids’ goals of diversity, equity and inclusion

City of Grand Rapids Office of Equity and Engagement is launching a range of new programs targeting city employees and residents.

Feature Story Jennifer Joseph, a nurse aide at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, received the Essential Service Award in 2017.

Know a frontliner worker who deserves recognition?

West Michigan Works! is accepting nominations for its 2020 Essential Service Awards. The annual awards recognize frontline workers who go above and beyond their daily responsibilities and display integrity, passion, and commitment.

Longform Dr. Wassim Tarraf has carried out research on COVID-19's impact on people of color.

Michigan grapples with COVID-19's disproportionate impact on people of color's mental health

COVID-19 has taken a toll on mental health in Michigan and across the world, but new Wayne State University (WSU) research shows that burden has been heaviest for people of color.

Feature Story WaymanBrit1

Serving honorably and inspiring greatness: A Q & A with County Administrator Wayman Britt

Approaching 17 years of service to Kent County, County Administrator Wayman Britt has announced his retirement will take place in 2021. He connects to share his insights on what makes West Michigan unique, focus areas throughout his tenure, and what he hopes to see moving forward.

Feature Story Michigan Fosters Executive Director Tiffany Kraker and Holland Heights CRC Parsonage Committee Chairman Kevin Anderson stand outside of what is soon to become Journey Home, a place for families navigating foster care.

Coming home: Michigan Fosters creates a sense of home for foster famlies

Michigan Fosters is continuing its work to support families on both sides of the foster care equation with a home where families can be families.

Feature Story Emiliah Tanya Jo Odinsdottir

Poor face more hurdles because of COVID

Emiliah Tanya Jo Odinsdottir reflects on the added burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor.

Development News marketplace

Pack Elephant + The Marketplace at Studio Park = opportunity for local makers

The Marketplace at Studio Park, an endeavor of Pack Elephant, offers products representing more than 30 local independent makers in downtown Grand Rapids.

Innovation News hyde3

College athletes across the state will be able to profit off their name, image, and likeness

Collegiate athletes will be able to profit from their name, image and likeness in the state of Michigan after bipartisan legislation was signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Longform Amy Heydlauff, CEO of 5 Healthy Towns Foundation, spearheaded a ReThink Health collaborative in western Washtenaw County.

Major health care players collaborate to rethink how they invest in Washtenaw County's well-being

Four organizations are working to cooperatively leverage their combined skills, talents, networks, and financial resources to achieve optimal physical and mental health.

Feature Story Edwin Collazo of City Built Brewing Company

G-Sync Editorial: Restaurants to the Power of You

While the new year is a time of welcoming resolutions, as you consider 2021, how about leveraging ones that impact our community and embrace two of our most powerful resources: creativity and the power of you.

Feature Story Zenobia 1

Rapid Reconnect: A Q & A with Cellar Door Preserves owner and founder Zenobia Taylor-Weiss

Rapid Reconnect is a new series focused on reengaging with individuals throughout the community to hear what’s happening within their businesses or organizations — what’s going well, any challenges, and new opportunities. 

Feature Story On the Ground Battle Creek WKKF scholarship

GVSU scholarship program helps to make college possible for first-generation students

A scholarship is available to cover tuition, fees, housing and dining, plus a book stipend -- essentially a full ride -- for eight semesters as part of a partnership between GVSU, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to partner and Battle Creek Public Schools.

Feature Story White pillars mark the entrance to the former Lakewood Farm, aka Getz Zoo, as they appear today. (Kym Reinstadler)

Lakewood Farm and Zoo – Holland’s first big attraction gets historic designation

Lakewood Farm & Zoo, also known as Getz Farm, on Holland's Northside, achieved regional notoriety at the beginning of the 20th century when it became one of the largest private zoos in the nation. Now, the National Park Service has added it to the National Registry of Historic Places.

Feature Story With more than 10 miles of groomed ski trails winding along the Pigeon River, Pigeon Creek Park is a popular cross-country ski destination for classic and skate skiing.

Things to do in January: Find post-holiday bargains or enjoy the ice and snow

January brings a fresh start to the new year and a fresh list of fun, exciting things to do along the Lakeshore. This list includes options for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or interest.

Feature Story Ed Garner is the Regional Director of the West Michigan Region of Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

SBDC West Michigan Region has tools to help businesses survive pandemic

In a Q&A, Ed Garner shares how the award-winning SBDC West Michigan Region focused its attention in 2020 to help businesses survive the economic challenges of the pandemic.

Feature Story Tate Shumaker has an Etsy side hustle making habitats for pets.  Their store, Tatescosycreatures, features adorable hideaways shaped like fruits and vegetables for pet hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats.

Time is right for creative people to open Etsy shops

Those looking for a market to sell vintage items, handmade goods, arts, crafts and creative supplies, an Etsy shop might be just the platform that’s needed.

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