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My Town: Rockford Community Orchestra announces new conductor for 2014-2015 season

My Town: Rockford Community Orchestra announces new conductor for 2014-2015 season

ROCKFORD, Mich. (Rockford Community Orchestra) –  The Rockford Community Orchestra is looking forward to an exciting season with new conductor, Nancy J. Summers, who started July 1, 2014.

The RCO board of directors made the announcement in July.

Rockford Community Orchestra Secretary Emily Lackey says Summers has an amazing background. For the past 13 years, Summers served as music director and conductor of West Michigan New Horizons Music Ensembles, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.  During her time with that organization, Summers oversaw growth in the number of ensembles offered, broadened the scope of their outreach performances and raised the level of musicianship. 

My Town: Health Care hijinks take center stage in original comedy Aug. 7-9

My Town: Health Care hijinks take center stage in original comedy Aug. 7-9

CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich.-- A group of northern Kent County actors are presenting a play this weekend that will have audiences in stitches.

A cast of 13 performs “Seek Immediate Medical Attention’’ at Kent Theatre in Cedar Springs Thursday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 9.

“Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease,’’ director Dave Schmuker said. “The play highlights the comical interactions in a doctor’s office and deals with everything from hypochondriacs to one-sided romance.’’

Schmuker, who penned the original script, is making his directorial debut. He’s been active in community theater for several years, often appearing with the Rogue River Community Theatre Company.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Kent County administrator joins leadership of International Professional Association

My Town: Kent County administrator joins leadership of International Professional Association
 

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Kent County) –Kent County Administrator/Controller Daryl Delabbio has been elected as a Regional Vice President of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

The organization boasts over 9,000 members worldwide. Mr. Delabbio will serve alongside 20 other members of the ICMA Executive Board; his term runs for three years, and begins in October 2014. Delabbio has been in local government for 37 years, and has held the Administrator/ Controller role since 1998, after three years as Assistant County Administrator. Prior to working at Kent County he was City Manager in Rockford for 11 years and served in two other Michigan cities.

My Town Rockford: Meet the new program director at North Kent Community Services

My Town Rockford: Meet the new program director at North Kent Community Services

ROCKFORD, Mich.—A new face is now leading programs at North Kent Community Services.

Chérie Elahl has a bachelor’s degree in social work from Grand Valley State University and is currently working on her master’s in social work at GVSU.  She has experience working with low-income and at-risk community members, primarily in an urban setting.  One of her first missions is to develop and implement the From Survive to Thrive Empowerment Program at NKCS.

"We interviewed 20 excellent candidates for this position," said Claire Guisfredi, executive director.  "Chérie not only has the academic credentials, but experience in community social work. She's a thinker and a go-getter with great ideas and enthusiasm to match. Chérie loves the challenge of launching a new program where there are no set guidelines. We are so blessed to have her here."

NKCS is located at 10075 Northland Dr. NE in Rockford.

Caught Being Safe program launches statewide

Michigan State Police, local law enforcement and Michigan’s Field Neurosciences Institute have teamed up with McDonald’s of Michigan to once again launch “Caught Being Safe,” a statewide bicycle/scooter helmet safety program. Kids wearing helmets and “caught being safe” by participating law enforcement officials will treated to a free ice cream cone or Apple Dippers at McDonald’s. 

According to the Field Neurosciences Institute (of Michigan): “Caught Being Safe! has shown a significant increase in both helmet utilization and public awareness regarding the critical importance of wearing a bicycle helmet. This program has impacted not only children but adults as well.” 

My Town: Local representative honored as Afterschool Champion

My Town: Local representative honored as Afterschool Champion

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A lawmaker from West Michigan is being honored for championing support for afterschool programs and the children who participate in them.

Rep. Peter MacGregor and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were recently honored as Afterschool Champions during a “Breakfast of Champions” by the Afterschool Alliance in Washington, D.C.  Both state representatives worked together last year to generate bi-partisan support to restore critical afterschool funding in the Department of Human Services budget.  MacGregor and Tlaib were also instrumental in securing funding for a summer learning loss study by Michigan State University researchers.

MacGregor represents East Grand Rapids and the townships of Cannon, Courtland, Nelson, Oakfield, Plainfield, Spencer and Grand Rapids.