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My Town: Investigators release photos of business break-in suspects

My Town: Investigators release photos of business break-in suspects

KENT COUNTY, Mich.--  Kent County deputies are trying to track down the vandals who targeted seven businesses this past weekend.

The crimes happened the night of March 22 at  Styles Salon and BC Pizza on Belmont Center NE,  Carmelo’s Restaurant on 68th Street SE, Subway on Kalamazoo Avenue SE,  and Domino’s Pizza, Hair Tailors and Panacea’s, all on 14 Mile Road NE.

In Belmont, deputies say the suspects broke the glass on the front door of Styles Salon.  The suspects also broke glass at BC Pizza and stole a cash register.

In Gaines Township, investigators say the vandals smashed in the doors at Carmelo’s Restaurant and Subway.

In the Rockford area,  the suspects smashed a window at Domino’s Pizza, broke in through the back door of Hair Tailors and smashed a window at Panacea’s.  Some cash was stolen.

 It’s unclear if all of the crimes are connected. 

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

My Town: Dozens competing in West Michigan Battle of the Buildings

UPDATE: Three more buildings have joined the competition.

Organizers say the MATS administration office, Community Mental Health and the Hall of Justice, all in Muskegon County are now involved in the Battle of the Buildings, bringing the total square footage to more than 9 million.  The new goal is 10 million square feet by the registration deadline of March 31.

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—More than three dozen local businesses are competing in cutting down energy in the West Michigan Battle of the Buildings.

The owners of 45 buildings representing nearly 9 million square feet of space have signed up to take part in the inaugural competition, organized by the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter. The organization is teaming up with Consumers Energy and Hurst Mechanical to provide workshops on building improvements, optimizing operations and maintance and engaging building occupants to curb energy use.

My Town: Plainfield Township manufacturer to double workforce

My Town: Plainfield Township manufacturer to double workforce

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A Plainfield Township manufacturer is getting a tax break to expand its business.

Last week, the Plainfield Township Board unanimously approved a three-year tax abatement for Preferred Tool and Die to purchase $664,685 worth of new equipment for its facility a 5400 West River Drive.   The company tells the township the new equipment will allow it to double its workforce to eight employees.

Plainfield Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden says the township welcomes the opportunity to help a local business grow and succeed.

Van Wyngarden says the township policy has a two-step policy for industrial tax abatements, to ensure businesses follow through on their promised investment while providing an opportunity for extended benefits.  The Township will first grant a three-year abatement; the business then may request a five-year extension.

My Town Rockford: Family Fare welcomes grocery bags with a colorful message

My Town Rockford: Family Fare welcomes grocery bags with a colorful message

BELMONT, Mich.— The grocery bags at the Family Fare in Rockford are getting a makeover, in honor of March is Reading Month.

Chandler Woods Charter Academy students have been decorating the bags with colorful, creative messages related to March is Reading Month.  The students hope to encourage area shoppers to read more.

Chandler Woods Charter Academy, operated by National Heritage Academies, is a free public charter school serving students in grades kindergarten through eighth.

My Town Plainfield Township: Business bilked out of $3,500

My Town Plainfield Township: Business bilked out of $3,500

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A scam that is prevalent in the Detroit area has reached West Michigan.

The Kent County Sheriff Department says a Plainfield Township business was bilked out of $3,500  by a scam artist posing as a DTE employee.  The suspect had the business’ account numbers and past and current bill information.  The suspect called the business during the lunchtime rush and said the business was late on making a payment, as their electronic payment had expired.  The suspect said it was necessary to pay them using Green Dot Money Pack prepaid cards to avoid an interruption in their utility service.  The phone number that appeared on the business’ caller ID was also spoofed to resemble the DTE information line for delinquent accounts.

My Town Plainfield Township: Housing development plan deadline extended

My Town Plainfield Township: Housing development plan deadline extended

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The developer behind a neighborhood slated for Georgia Street and Eastern Avenue is getting more time to complete his plan.

During its regular meeting March 3, the Plainfield Township Board approved giving Bolt & Hunefeld Builders until Feb. 11, 2016 to build the project/infrastructure for Eastern Meadows.

The development was approved by the township in July 2007, but then ran into delays.  The developer was granted a two-year extension three previous times.  The developer recently requested another extension for the project, blaming the down economy for delaying work.

The township approved the extension to prevent the developer from starting the entire process over from the beginning.  Community Development Director Bill Fischer also said there appears to be no downside to extending the life of the project, which will fit well within the existing neighborhood. 

My Town: Auto suppliers combine companies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A Grand Rapids metal stamping plant is changing hands.

GR Spring & Stamping is being bought up by Gill Industries, an auto supplier that’s been in the Grand Rapids community for 50 years.  The combined company will employ more than 1,500 people at facilities in eight locations, including Michigan.

"The combination strengthens the competitive position and long-term future of two Grand Rapids companies. Both companies have been part of the community for 50 years and we remain committed to it," says Gill CEO Richard Perreault.

Gill Industries was founded in 1964 and is located at 5271 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township. GR Spring & Stamping was established in 1960 and has two facilities in Michigan, at 706 Bond Ave. in Grand Rapids and 2170 Avastar Parkway in Walker.