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Are you buying "local" for the holidays?

Are you buying "local" for the holidays?

Are you supporting your local economy?

Local First has a holiday gift guide with suggestions that support locally owned businesses.

You can also find gift suggestions on our WZZM 13 Made in Michigan page that lists nearly 500 companies that make their products in Michigan.

According to ABC News, if each American spent just $64 on American made goods, it would create 200,000 new jobs.  ABC also has information on Made in America goods.

Take Advantage of the DTE Energy Offer

Take Advantage of the DTE Energy Offer

I am not a person for letting just anyone into my home but after talking to one of my neighbors, I think I would take DTE Energy up on this deal.

My neighbor told me her daughter had the Energy Checkup from DTE at no charge to her and was very pleased. What a great way to get ready for the cold winter months & save on air in the summer.

DTE will arrange for one of their employees to come to your home but before coming, they will contact you to let you know and the person will show up with proper ID. Once there, they will go through your home and point out things that may need to be addressed and help save you money. They will also put faucet aerators on both your kitchen & bathroom faucets, wrap your water pipes and replace your shower heads with water saving devices.

All of the above is done for you at no cost and well worth the visit according to my neighbor. The visit takes approximately one-half hour.

Hard Cider available at Sietsema Orchards

Hard Cider available at Sietsema Orchards

Sietsema Orchards has crafted their own hard cider for guests to enjoy this fall. Guests of the orchard will be able to savor the cider inside or in an outdoor garden.

Seitsema Orchards is growing apples especially for the production of hard cider which will occur on site. The orchard hopes that growing and producing this product on site will increase self-sustainability.

The orchard hopes to rejuvenate hard cider’s All American status. They are also hoping to draw new customers  and entice wine connoisseurs. The company would like to see a cider train on the property in the future.

Sietsema Orchards opened for the season on Thursday, September 6th and will be open Thursdays & Fridays from 10-6 and Saturdays 9-6.

The orchards are located in Ada, MI and provide quality apples and a family orchard experience for West Michigan residents. Sietsema Orchards has been keeping the family farming tradition alive since 1934.

Delightful Displays and Shopping at the Plainfield Township Library

Delightful Displays and Shopping at the Plainfield Township Library

Have you visited your KDL library branch lately? All branches are helping with your holiday shopping by selling:

Book Lover’s Calendars for 2012: $5.00 each (Funds help support the Alliance of Friends’ projects and programs.

KDL Tote Bags: $1.50 each (Funds help support the Alliance of Friends’ projects and programs.

Friends of the Library Ongoing Book Sales: Gently used books make great gifts!


Many staff members and Friends of the Library groups have been busy creating new seasonal displays. Here is a sampling:

Alpine TownshipA great selection of Christmas books, music, and movies.

Send us your Black Friday photos!

Send us your Black Friday photos!

The holiday season is upon us, but while many of us are enjoying our Thanksgiving days off by sleeping in and relaxing, there are some that brave the cold weather and dark skies among long lines and anxious attitudes in hopes of getting their hands on the best deals of the year.

If you're one of those brave Black Friday shoppers, we would like hear from you. Please send us you photos along with your name, location, and a brief comment about your experience to MyTown@wzzm13.com for our My Town Black Friday photo gallery to be published early next week.

Until then, good luck and safe shopping!!

Taking lessons from R.I.T. Music

Taking lessons from R.I.T. Music

Frank Nawrot, lead singer and guitarist for local band Absinthe, and a lifetime Grand Rapids resident, started playing guitar as a teenager.

He grew up in the Creston district and took lessons from long-time R.I.T. Music guitar instructor and Berklee College of Music graduate, Steve Lechtanski.

Now Nawrot writes all of his own music, plays dozens of shows per year in and around the Grand Rapids area, and has earned a degree in music from Grand Rapids Community College.

Nawrot says he bought his favorite guitar from R.I.T. many years ago and that the staff encourage him to bring it in anytime he has a problem to troubleshoot it for free.

"R.I.T. is my favorite music store," said Nawrot. "[They] just generally make you feel more comfortable."