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My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

My Town Lowell: Free showing of 'Grease' Aug. 22

My Town Lowell: Free showing of 'Grease' Aug. 22

LOWELL, Mich.—  As the school break celebrations wind down in Lowell, community members are invited to watch a summertime classic on the big screen at Riverwalk Plaza.

The free outdoor showing of “GREASE” will begin at 8:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22.  The family-friendly film was nominated by and took the most votes in a public vote.

The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce provided this synopsis of "GREASE":

My Town Lowell: Final Sizzlin' Summer Concert Aug. 21

My Town Lowell: Final Sizzlin' Summer Concert Aug. 21

LOWELL, Mich.—The summer break from school is coming to an end, and so is Lowell’s Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts.

Enjoy the final free performance this Thursday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.  Nicholas James and the Bandwagon will take the stage at Riverwalk Plaza.  The band’s repertoire is inspired by American and alternative county artists like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.

Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts are wheelchair accessible.  Visitors can bring their own folding chairs or grab a seat on the Riverwalk Plaza’s bleachers.  Concessions, beer, wine and margaritas are available for purchase.  For more information, visit the Lowell Chamber of Commerce’s website.

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town Lowell: Backpack distribution Aug. 19

My Town Lowell: Backpack distribution Aug. 19

LOWELL, Mich. --  Flat River Outreach Ministries is helping children from struggling families head back to school with all the necessary tools.

The nonprofit organization will distribute backpacks to pre-registered children between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19.  Those who register in advance can also sign up for a free haircut and eye exam, as well as glasses for $10, while appointments last. To schedule an appointment and request vouchers, call (616) 897-8260 ext. 26.

My Town Lowell: Observatory public viewing night on Aug. 9

My Town Lowell: Observatory public viewing night on Aug. 9

LOWELL, Mich.-- The Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Association invites the community to the James C. Veen Observatory on the evening of Saturday, Aug. 9 to check out the night sky, as long as it is clear.

Telescopes will be focused in on Saturn and the full moon.

Admission for public viewing nights is $3 for adults, $2 for children 6-17 years old and free for children under 5 years of age.  Visitors are encouraged to bring insect repellent for the walk up to the observatory and their visit. 

The observatory, located at 3308 Kissing Rock Road SE in Lowell, is open from 9 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening. The public can enjoy the night sky through GRAAA members' telescopes on the grounds, as well as in the East and West domes.

For more information, call (616) 897-7065 or visit www.graaa.com.

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County