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My Town: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

My Town: Rogue River Expedition deemed a success

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Organizers of the inaugural Rogue River Expedition are calling the event a success.

More than 50 people participated in the three-day paddling and land tour of the river and its watershed.  The idea for the expedition originated from the 2010 Grand River Expedition, which involved hundreds of boaters who explored more than 250 miles of water over 12 days.  Because the Grand River Expedition is held only once a decade, its organizers decided to hold similar events on the Grand River’s larger tributaries.

The Rogue River Expedition kicked off in June with a land tour at Howard Christensen Nature Center and the Fruit Ridge Area, which is considered one of the best fruit-growing regions in the world.  The exploration also included trips to Rogers Park in Sparta, Nash Creek and Camp Rockford.

My Town: Date set for Art Van Sports Complex grand opening

My Town: Date set for Art Van Sports Complex grand opening

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.—  A $7.8 million project nearly two years in the making will open to the public next week.

The grand opening for the Art Van Sports Complex is scheduled for Aug. 1.  The 60-acre complex is located at 3300 10 Mile Road in Plainfield Township.  Crews broke ground on the project in October of 2012; so far they’ve finished the first phase of work, which included eight diamonds for baseball and softball and a Miracle Field for players with disabilities.  Four additional fields are planned for phase two of construction.

The President of the West Michigan Sports Commission expects the facility to create an economic impact of more than $10 million during its first five years of operation. The Art Van Complex manager says ball diamonds are already booked for tournaments during 23 of the 27 weekends on the 2015 schedule.

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

My Town: Trio wanted for carjacking in Greenville

My Town: Trio wanted for carjacking in Greenville

GREENVILLE, Mich.— Authorities are looking for a West Michigan trio wanted for a series of crimes, including stealing a Rockford woman’s vehicle.

The incident happened July 20 outside the Meijer in Greenville. Daniel Edward Leussenkamp Jr., 25, Kimberly Ann Wonsey, 20, both of Wyoming, and Kevin Michael Seely, 25, of Belding are all wanted on carjacking charges.

For a link to the entire story, click here.

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

My Town: Farmers who lost 2012 crop during freeze now eligible for funding

SPARTA, Mich.—Fruit farmers whose crops were devastated because of the unusual spring weather in 2012 are now eligible for federal funding.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin taking applications Tuesday for Michigan farmers who lost their fruit crops due to the freeze.  The funding is available through the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program,  which was authorized in this year’s Farm Bill.

 “After the 2014 Farm Bill was enacted into law, USDA expedited the restart of disaster assistance programs as a top priority,” said FSA Administrator Juan Garcia. “Fruit producers experienced significant financial losses from weather-related damage in 2012. NAP provides them with long-awaited disaster relief.”

Two injured in Cannon Township crash


CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two people have been taken to the hospital after an early morning crash in Kent County.

It happened around 2:30 on Courtland Drive south of 10 Mile Road in Cannon Township, just outside of the Rockford city limits. Sheriff's Deputies tell WZZM 13 a car hit a pole. No other cars were involved in the crash.

Deputies say the victims are expected to live. There's no word on the extent of their injuries.