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New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new bike path will soon take shape in Grand Rapids.

The city is getting a $618,514 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create the Seward Avenue Bikeway.  The 3.5 mile bike route will cut through the heart of Grand Rapids and connect nearly 190 miles of regional trails, including the White Pine Trail, Oxford Street Trail and Kent Trails. The path will run along Seward Avenue from Wealthy Street to the Riverside Park trailhead and include a bike shelter, bike lockers, bike signs and signals and an upgraded pedestrian bridge over Indian Mill Creek at Broadway Avenue.

The project is expected to cost just over $1 million.  Additional funding will come from the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bikes Belong and Freewheeler Bike Shop.  The city commission will recognize all financial supporters during its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.    

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

New hours and rates approved for Farmers Market

New hours and rates approved for Farmers Market

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  Some changes are coming to the Plainfield Township Farmers Market.

During its regular meeting November 18, the township board of trustees approved changes to the markets rules of operation.  Starting next season, the Farmers Market will be open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  City Clerk Ruth Ann Karnes says the changes are meant to allow community members to visit the market during their lunch hour. Previously, the market was open from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The other major change is a rate hike for occasional vendors.  Merchants who do not purchase a stall for the entire season will be charged $15 a day; that’s up from $10 this past season.

The Plainfield Township Farmers Market runs from June through October in front of Frontline Church, located at 4411 Plainfield Ave. NE

Art Van Sports Complex fundraiser meets goal

Art Van Sports Complex fundraiser meets goal

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—The West Michigan Sports Commission is one step closer to completing Phase I of the Art Van Sports Complex.

With the help of 40 attendees, organizers say they met their goal during a benefit November 6, raising nearly $4,000 for the complex.  The money will go toward constructing fields at the complex. The West Michigan Sports Commission is also collecting funds by selling engraved bricks, balls and bats that will be placed at the new complex, located at 3300 10 Mile Rd. along the Plainfield Township-Rockford border.

Last week, crews were putting roofs on the grand stands for the championship fields.  Grass is already growing on the Miracle League field. The West Michigan Sports Commission says eight additional fields at the sports complex will be complete by August  2014; teams are expected to begin a full season of play at the facility in spring 2015.

Veteran's Day Celebration to Honor Chuck Weldon

Veteran's Day Celebration to Honor Chuck Weldon

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- The Plainfield Township Veterans Day Celebration will feature the renaming of the park to Chuck Weldon Veterans Memorial Park, in memory of former township trustee Chuck Weldon.

Weldon passed away in August.  He was passionate about bringing the memorial park to Plainfield, to honor those who fought and served in the armed forces of the United States.

The ceremony will take place Monday, November 11 at 7 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Michael Paskewicz, superintendent of Northview Public Schools.

Chuck Weldon Veterans Memorial Park is located at 5747 Belmont Ave. at Jupiter Avenue.

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

Kent County honors cleanest restaurants with Food Safety Awards

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—Where are the safest places to eat in Kent County?

The county health department is answering that question with the 2013 Food Safety Awards.   The agency whittled down the list of 1,654 eligible restaurants to just 269 facilities, based on routine restaurant and food service inspections over the past year.  Under the county’s criteria, restaurants that earn the award must have a certified food safety manager, no confirmed violations of the Michigan Smoke Free Law and no confirmed foodborne illness outbreaks during the year.

Plainfield Avenue project earns national honors

Plainfield Avenue project earns national honors

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Michigan Department of Transportation)-- The Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has selected a project in the city of Grand Rapids as an example of how public agencies and the private sector can effectively work together to accomplish green initiatives.

A paper on the project was presented this week at the institute's second Green Streets, Highways and Development (GSHD) Conference in Austin, Texas. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Grant Coordinator Mike Smith and Grand Rapids Engineer Breese Stam are making the presentation.