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Lowell hosts 'Girls Night Out' October 17

Lowell hosts 'Girls Night Out' October 17

LOWELL, Mich.—Fall is here, which means the return of Girls Night Out.

The theme this time is “Bring Out Your Wild Side!” Women are invited put on their favorite nature-inspired gear and visit downtown Lowell Thursday, October 17 for a night of bargains and refreshments.  Participants who get their postcard punched will be entered to win a shopping bag of Lowell town products.

Honesty on display: Good Samaritan turns in lost $200

Honesty on display: Good Samaritan turns in lost $200

LOWELL, Mich. —  Honesty was on display at the Lowell Harvest Celebration this weekend, as a woman turned in hundreds of dollars in lost money.

Liz Baker, the executive director of the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, says $200 slipped from a visitor's pocket Saturday morning.  Baker and the woman searched furiously for the cash, but came up empty.  When Baker returned to her work computer, she found an email from a Cascade area woman who had found the money and was looking for its rightful owner. Baker helped connect both women.

The Chamber posted a “shout out” to the Good Samaritan on its Facebook page Monday, saying the owner was elated to get her money back.

"It's just nice to know there are honest people out there," Baker added Tuesday.

Michigan Works! looks for hard workers to honor

Michigan Works! looks for hard workers to honor

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Michigan Works! is looking for employees in Kent and Allegan counties who go above and beyond to make customers happy.

This is the sixth year the agency has honored important yet sometimes undervalued workers during the Essential Service Awards. 

“While all employees contribute to the growth of our community and the efficiency of their organization, we tend to recognize those in leadership or highly visible positions,” says Dave Smith, chair of the Michigan Works! Kent & Allegan Counties Workforce Development Board.  “We often overlook the significant contributions that a virtually invisible workforce – the support workers within the various sectors – makes to our community by passionately performing less visible tasks.  The Essential Service Awards recognize exceptional individuals performing these necessary and essential jobs.” 

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

Meijer partners with Priority Health to help as open enrollment for health insurance begins

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Meijer) – Meijer, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based supercenter chain, announced today that it is partnering with Priority Health, Michigan's leading health plan, to raise awareness and help customers obtain information regarding their options as open enrollment for health insurance begins under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The Michigan-based entities have unveiled a Health Reform and You! website at http://www.meijer.com/aca and are also providing informational brochures for customers at 203 Meijer pharmacy locations in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Kent Harvest Trails showcases 20 participating Farms offering locally grown foods, activities, like corn mazes & hayrides and more for all to enjoy. Most farms are free, but a few may charge admission & there may be fee’s for special activities. Check out the fun down on these farms!

Participating Farms are:

Calling all writers: Write Michigan Short Story Contest returns

Calling all writers: Write Michigan Short Story Contest returns
A competition that attracted nearly 600 Michigan writers in its inaugural year last year is underway.

The second annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest kicked off September 3.  Organizers have added a third age category to the contest, for writers 11 years and under.  The two other age groups are 12-17 and 18 and up.

Stories must be 3,000 words or less.   The entry deadline is November 20, 2013.   The entry fee is $10 for adults; children 17 and under are free.  The contest is open to Michigan residents only and all entries must be submitted online.  A public vote will decide the winner of the Readers’ Choice award; a panel of judges will pick the Judges’ Choice award recipient.   A public and panel vote will whittle down the contest to the top ten semi-finalists.  The winner in each age category will take home a $250 cash prize.

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Three-county campaign to Take the Stairs kicks off September 3

Organizations in Kent, Ottawa and Muskegon counties are teaming up this week to encourage people to take the stairs.

Take the Stairs Week runs September 3 through September 6.  The three-day campaign is meant to encourage people to become more physically active while saving energy.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, graphic designs promoting healthy behavior have been shown to motivate stair users; that’s why Kendall College of Art and Design at Ferris State University created images for this campaign.  Free color signs are available at the Heart of West Michigan United Way for businesses and organizations with escalators or elevators.

Participating agencies include:

The American Institute of Architects, Grand Rapids Chapte