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My Town Lowell: Volunteers needed for large scale emergency exercise

My Town Lowell: Volunteers needed for large scale emergency exercise

LOWELL, Mich.—The Lowell Area Fire Department is looking for community members to help during a large scale training exercise this weekend.

Volunteers of all ages are needed for the training event Saturday, July 26.  Families, church and scouting groups are encouraged to sign up.  For more information, contact the fire department by messaging them through their Facebook page.

The man who died after crashing into a tractor Saturday afternoon has been identified


GRATTAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man who died after crashing into a tractor Saturday afternoon has been identified as 60-year-old Richard Olthoff of Kentwood.

Another motorcyclist riding alongside him, Luke Knol, 31, of Cascade Township, suffered minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.

The accident happened near 5 Mile and Byrne Ave. around 1 p.m.

The Kent County Sheriff's Department says the men were riding eastbound around 1 p.m. on the road together when they saw the tractor. They were unable to stop in time and collided with the tractor.

The driver was towing farm equipment and he was not injured.

The crash is still under investigation, but the sheriff's department says speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors.


My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

My Town: Health phone survey in Kent County largest of its kind in the world

GRAND RAPIDS – Starting this week, people in Kent County will be receiving letters and phone calls asking families to take part in the 2014 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).

This health survey is the largest-conducted telephone survey in the world. The survey will help the KCHD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track critical health issues, as well as creating and evaluating public health programs in Kent County. Issues and Answers, a phone marketing research firm, will be conducting the survey on behalf of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD).

Ionia Free Fair open


IONIA, Mich. (WZZM) -- Mayor Dan Balice says his city is known for two things: prisons and the Ionia Free Fair.

Prisons employ many people and keep many people inside; the Fair is Ionia's open window to the world, Balice says.

"This fair is the community - it's full of fellowship. It's full of fun. It is, in our opinion, truly Michigan's greatest outdoor event. Ten best days of summer," Balice said Friday.

The Midway was filling up Friday afternoon, as shrieks could be heard from mostly young people riding the many rides at the Fair.

The Ionia Free Fair runs through Saturday, July 26.


My Town: Whites Bridge Historical Society granted oversight of bridge area

My Town: Whites Bridge Historical Society granted oversight of bridge area

LOWELL, Mich.—  The Whites Bridge Historical Society is taking on a larger role in the community.

The group, which is leading the effort to rebuild the historic Whites Bridge, was recently granted a land use permit to oversee and maintain the north side canoe/kayak launch area, as well as the bridge abutment, boardwalk and parking areas. 

The Whites Bridge Historical Society is working on securing grant funding and fundraising to build a replica of the bridge, which was destroyed by arson on July 7, 2013.   The project is expected to cost approximately $400,000.

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

My Town: Restaurant Week GR to include specials from 66 restaurants

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Restaurant Week is about a month away, but you can start making your plans by salivating over the menus.

The 5th annual event runs from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24 at 66 Grand Rapids restaurants. This year, the theme is "Perfect Pairings" to showcase beverages that pair well with foods.

Restaurants are now taking reservations for Restaurant Week Grand Rapids. This year, 44 restaurants will offer 3-course locally inspired menus for $28 per person, including:

 

My Town Ada/Cascade

My Town: City lifts boil water advisory for downtown Lowell

My Town: City lifts boil water advisory for downtown Lowell

UPDATE (July 18)-- The city has lifted the boil water advisory.

LOWELL, Mich.--  A boil water advisory is in effect for a portion of downtown Lowell.

The advisory took effect Wednesday morning, as city employees repaired a water main break in the 200 block of East Main Street.  All businesses and apartments on the north side of that block, including the Chamber of Commerce and Englehardt Library, are asked to boil their water before use.

The city will be collecting water samples to determine when water is safe to drink again.    The city anticipates receiving the results with a couple of days.  If the tests come back clear and the boil water advisory is lifted, residents will be notified.  For more information, contact the City of Lowell Water Department at (616) 897-5929 or (616) 813-8603.