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Courtland Twp. board rejects proposed sand pit

COURTLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- A West Michigan community has been fighting a sand mine that was going to be built in their neighborhood.

Wednesday night, the Courtland Township board rejected the project proposed by Sable Development. The planning commission had already recommended the plans be denied.

Sable Development originally wanted to mine sand on Shaner Avenue near 11 Mile for 7 to 10 years. The plan took shape after the company built two out of four promised homes in the area. The proposed mine caused a large opposition movement called "Prevent the Pit."

When the plan went before the Courtland Township planning commission the company had revised the plan to only mine sand for 120 days and promised to construct the remaining two promised homes. The commission decided to recommend a rejection of the proposal.

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Returns on Saturday, May 9

Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Returns on Saturday, May 9

49 million people face hunger every day, including 16,000 million children. The month of May is time for the Stamp Out Hunger Drive sponsored by the Postal Service.

You have a chance to make a difference for those in need & put smiles on faces this Saturday, May9! Place non-perishable food items in a bag or box by your mailbox for the letter carriers in your area to pick up, while they drop off your mail.

These food items will be sorted & delivered to area food banks or pantries for families less fortunate.

Visit www.usps.com for more information.

Rockford, MI changes name for Griffins playoffs

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) If you go visit the town where 10 Mile Road crosses the Rogue River, you'll be visiting Griffinville.

The City of Rockford is renaming itself Griffinville for the next two weeks, while the Grand Rapids Griffins take on the Rockford, Ill. IceHogs during the American Hockey League's Western Conference Finals.

The City Council of Rockford made the announcement today after voting last night.

According to the City of Rockford (Michigan), the city is named after the city of Rockford, Illinois. Michigan's Rockford was known as Laphamville until 1865 when a newly arrived resident from Illinois' Rockford made the suggestion while the railroad was pushing the city to shorten its name.

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.

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.

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.