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My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The snow piling up outside has kept Kent County Road Commission crews busy this past week, and with a warm up expected this weekend, their work is far from over.

During the week, 90 drivers worked each day and 30 drivers worked each night, clearing the snow from state highways, county roads and local streets and drives.  The Kent County Road Commission says all roads were cleared at least once between Tuesday and Thursday, but additional snowfall and drifting snow may give some roads the appearance of being neglected.  In Comstock Park and Grandville alone, Kent County crews spread 10,700 tons of salt and sand.  In Byron Center, crews used 58,000 gallons of liquid chloride to clear the road.  In all, the Road Commission estimates this first brush with winter cost it more than $1 million.

My Town: Storms likely to blame for hundreds of power outages

My Town: Storms likely to blame for hundreds of power outages

ROCKFORD, Mich.—Summer storms were likely the cause for hundreds of power outages across West Michigan Monday.

According to Consumers Energy, as of 3:30 p.m., 225 homes and businesses between Alto and Clarksville were without power.  Approximately 212 customers in the Hudsonville and Georgetown Township areas were also affected, as well as 86 homes and businesses in between Kent City and Sparta.  In Rockford, the Krause Memorial Library was among the approximately one dozen homes and businesses left in the dark.  The library opted to close for the rest of the day, with plans to reopen Tuesday.

It’s unclear when power will be fully restored.

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: 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.”

My Town Rockford: Pothole repairs back up traffic on thoroughfare

My Town Rockford: Pothole repairs back up traffic on thoroughfare

ROCKFORD, Mich.--  The traffic headaches on 10 Mile Road and Northland Drive should be over for now.

Jerry Byrne with the Kent County Road Commission says the pavement replacement  work on 10 Mile Tuesday was a one-day project.  The road commission deemed the project necessary since the road had deteriorated significantly due to the harsh winter; pothole patching would not be sufficient.

The eight-hour project led to backups on the thoroughfare, as drivers were forced to make indirect left turns.  However, Byrne says the repairs should last five to seven years.

Byrne says one of the next major projects for the road commission will be replacing approximately three miles of pavement on Byron Center Avenue, between 76th and 84th streets.  That work is expected to begin next week and last two to three days.  Drivers can expect one-lane closures in both directions during the project.

My Town: Rockford cleans up after winds topple trees, knock out power

My Town: Rockford cleans up after winds topple trees, knock out power

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- Rockford residents were still cleaning up Sunday after a line of violent storms moved through the city about 5:15 p m. Saturday, downing trees and leaving hundreds of residents without power.

City police and fire crews responded to numerous reports of downed trees and power lines, which made several roads impassable. Our Lady of Consolation Catholic Church held Palm Sunday masses without power and patrons of MVP Sports were notified by email that the health club was closed due to the power outage. MVP opened its doors Sunday afternoon when power was restored.

Outages were especially prevalent along and east of Myers Lake Avenue NE.