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Planning commission rejects proposed sand pit

COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Courtland Township planning commission Thursday night unanimously rejected a request from Sable Development to excavate sand on Shaner Avenue near 11 Mile.

There was such a big crowd opposed to the mining proposal, the planning commission had to move its meeting to a big room at East Rockford Middle School.

At the meeting, Sable said it would drastically reduce its sand-mining plan from years to just 120 days, and then build a couple of houses on the site.

It didn't satisfy the planning commission, nor community members.

The issue isn't over yet. The planning commission's no vote will now go to the township board, which will have the final say about the proposed project.

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Children learning through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences

Rainbow Child Care Center Introduces Kids for Canines Program to Support Animals in Need

Rainbow Child Care Center Introduces Kids for Canines Program to Support Animals in Need

Each year thousands of animals are surrendered to local Humane Society shelters in Michigan. These Humane Society shelters rely solely on donations to sustain their operations, making the need for essential pet supplies substantial.

To aid these animals in need, Rainbow Child Care Center, a leading early childhood education provider, is introducing its Kids for Canines program. Rainbow is teaming up with humane societies across the state, including the Humane Society of West Michigan locally, to collect essential pet supplies for dogs waiting to be placed in their loving forever homes.

Students' service-learning project helps Kids Food Basket

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Rockford elementary school's year-long project learning about hunger and homelessness culminated in a fundraiser Tuesday night.

Crestwood Elementary students began exploring those topics in all subjects, from social studies, to reading, and to math. Their service-learning project ended with in art class, designing bowls for a community dinner, according to principal Nicole Peterson-Reeves.

"The culminating event was creating ceramic bowls in art class, decorating those bowls, and the symbolism of the empty bowl signifies the empty bowls that kids go home to when they're hungry," she said.

Thursday evening, the kids served macaroni and cheese and those bowls, and also offered the bowls for sale. Proceeds are going to Kids Food Basket.

Around 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade participated.

Aside from roads, Prop. 1 would benefit schools

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Most people know Proposal 1 as a way to raise money to fix our state's roads.

It also raises money for education and guarantees money just for public schools, something Rockford Superintendent Mike Shibler discussed.

"I think a key point in the education effort is that it will affect K-12, community colleges, and career tech centers. But as in the past, where monies have been taken out over the last five years to go to higher education, which would be 4-year universities, this constitutional amendment will prohibit that."

If passed, Proposal 1 would raise the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent. That will raise $300 million for education. Over one $1 billion for our roads would come from a new higher gas tax.

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Children learning through interacting with their surroundings and daily experiences

G.R. native finishes 7th at Boston Marathon

BOSTON (USA Today/WZZM) — Grand Rapids native Dathan Ritzenhein had a strong showing in the 119th Boston Marathon, finishing in seventh place Monday afternoon.

According to www.baa.org, Ritzenhein finished the race with a time of 2:11:20.

Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia reclaimed the title he won two years ago, winning the Boston Marathon by a 31-second margin Monday.

Desisa pulled away from the pack late and continued to create distance all the way to the finish line for a time of 2 hours, nine minutes and 17 seconds Monday in the 119th Boston Marathon.

Two years ago Desisa donated his marathon medal to the city, in a show of support for Boston after the bombings.

'Prevent the Pit' signs posted in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A group called Prevent the Pit has put up signs all over Rockford, protesting a sand-pit project by Sable Developing at 11 Mile Rd. and Shaner.

The group says loud machinery and an unsightly sand pit is not what they want to see each day in the area. The developer claims a type of sand that's hard to find was discovered there.

WZZM 13 On Your Side checked with the Kent County Road Commission about that sand, and officials there say there is not a lack of this particular sand.

The Courtland Township planning commission will take up the sand-pit issue at its next meeting on April 30.

YMCA offering free prom dress rentals

BELMONT, Mich. (WZZM) - Going to the prom is a time-honored tradition for high school students, but it can be expensive.

Studies show hundreds of dollars are spent per student on this one night each year. But the Wolverine Worldwide YMCA in Belmont is offering a more affordable alternative with free dress rentals. All you have to do is dry clean them after and return them.

The program has been in place since 2010. Donations can be dropped off at the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA at any time. No appointment is required to do so.