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Rockford's Courtland Dr. NE to receive much needed sidewalks

Rockford's Courtland Dr. NE to receive much needed sidewalks

ROCKFORD, Mich.--At its January meeting, the Rockford City Council unanimously approved a resolution to earmark $9,250 of state awarded Community Development Block Grant money towards the future installation of a sidewalk alongside a heavily trafficked road on Rockford's far eastern border. 

A .8-mile stretch of Courtland Dr. NE between 10 Mile Road and 11 Mile Road will see construction, in phases, of a sidewalk along the western side of the roadway. The roadway  is the boundary between the City of Rockford and Courtland Township. 

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

Ambulance Consortium to include at least six communities

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   The new Ambulance Consortium in Kent County is growing.

Grand Rapids, Grandville, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming and Rockford have already voted to form the consortium.  Plainfield Township is also considering joining.

The Ambulance Consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

Kent County communities have been working on the partnership since 2010.  

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

New bike path to cut through Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—A new bike path will soon take shape in Grand Rapids.

The city is getting a $618,514 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation to create the Seward Avenue Bikeway.  The 3.5 mile bike route will cut through the heart of Grand Rapids and connect nearly 190 miles of regional trails, including the White Pine Trail, Oxford Street Trail and Kent Trails. The path will run along Seward Avenue from Wealthy Street to the Riverside Park trailhead and include a bike shelter, bike lockers, bike signs and signals and an upgraded pedestrian bridge over Indian Mill Creek at Broadway Avenue.

The project is expected to cost just over $1 million.  Additional funding will come from the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Bikes Belong and Freewheeler Bike Shop.  The city commission will recognize all financial supporters during its meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.    

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

East Grand Rapids to join group setting ambulance standards

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The standards for ambulances running in East Grand Rapids may soon change.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the city commission approved joining an ambulance consortium with other Kent County communities.  The consortium would establish across-the-board ambulance service standards for all communities involved, through contracts. East Grand Rapids currently works with AMR Ambulance, but the city does not have a contract with the company. 

City Manager Brian Donovan says communities that are part of the consortium will create an oversight group which will make sure all ambulance companies are abiding by contractual standards. By consolidating regulation, each community will save staff time and money.

New construction leads to driver detours in Rockford

New construction leads to driver detours in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Some Rockford drivers will encounter new construction Wednesday and Friday.

Squires Street NE will be closed Wednesday afternoon while construction crews grind down the existing pavement.  Drivers can detour onto Courtland, passing behind the post office and out onto Main Street.

Squires Street will be closed again Friday while crews continue repaving.  The street should reopen Friday afternoon.

Cyclists begin 250 mile trek to bring bicycles to those in need

Cyclists begin 250 mile trek to bring bicycles to those in need

The weather is cooperating for four West Michigan cyclists riding 250 miles to ensure all children have bicycles.

Derek Rust and Ben Hyink of Grand Haven and Todd Stelma and Doug Crysler of Rockford began their three-day ride June 20. The journey to Mackinaw City is meant to raise funds and awareness of the non-profit organization, Freedom in Motion. Freedom In Motion volunteers take in donated bicycles, repairing them and redistributing them to those in need.

"Some don’t realize that bikes are more than toys for people who can’t afford the expense of a vehicle" Stelma said.

 Rust adds, "We’ve seen real people with real needs. The bikes we give out make sustainable reliable transportation possible for those who need to get to work, the store or a job interview".

Rust says a donor has agreed to match pledges and donations dollar for dollar, up to $1,500.

WAVE Award nominations open

WAVE Award nominations open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Experience Grand Rapids and the Kent County Lodging Association have opened the 6th Annual WAVE Award nominations.

The annual awards program recognizes outstanding service providers in the Grand Rapids and Kent County hospitality industry. Nominations will be accepted from employers and guests from April 30 to Oct.7, 2013. One award will be presented in each of the following categories: Transportation, Retail & Service, Attractions/Events, and Nightlife. New categories to the 2013 awards program include: Restaurants/Breweries, Lodging, and Volunteer in Hospitality.