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Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

Jury duty, trampoline court guidelines signed into law by Governor

LANSING, Mich.—Full-time college students called to jury duty can now postpone their service until the end of the school year.

Governor Snyder signed that bill into law Tuesday.  It allows students attending higher education in Michigan to delay jury duty if they can prove it will interfere with their class schedule. A similar exemption already exists for eligible high school students.

“Serving on a jury is an important part of our civic responsibility,” Snyder said. “However, for college students, jury duty can be disruptive to their studies. This law gives them the opportunity to focus on their education while still giving them the opportunity to serve after the school year.”  

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

Kent County Commissioner stepping down Feb. 1

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The search is about to begin to replace another Kent County commissioner.

Sandi Frost Steensma will officially resign from her post on Saturday, Feb. 1.  Steensma began serving on the Board of Commissioners seven years ago.  She was re-elected three times to represent District 5, which covers Bowne Township, Cascade Township, Lowell Township and a part of Caledonia Township.

“Commissioner Steensma has operated in a bi-partisan manner in the commission chambers,

while working to maintain the county’s balanced budgets and AAA Credit Rating,” said commission chairman Dan Koorndyk of the Kent County Board of Commissioners. “She has shown a passion for the parks and other programs that make Kent County a quality community, and has worked diligently to create a new entity to oversee John Ball Zoo.”

Steensma was recently appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Board of Trustees for Lake Superior State University.

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

Kent County begins search for comissioner replacement

LOWELL, Mich.—The search is on to find someone to replace a Kent County Commissioner accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl.

Gary Rolls submitted his resignation from his District 4 seat Dec. 12. In a statement released that day, Rolls said he would use his time to prepare for trial to “prove my absolute and complete innocence.”

Rolls’ resignation officially takes effect Jan. 1. The county is looking for someone to finish out his term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. District 4 represents Lowell, Cannon Township, Grattan Township, Oakfield Township and Vergennes Township. Eligible candidates must be from one of those communities.

The person elected to Rolls’ seat should expect to attend four meetings a month. The position is part time with an annual salary of $20,500 and benefits. The deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 6. Those interested in applying should submit a resume and cover letter to:

Office of the Board of Commissioners

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

Senator Jansen decides against congressional run

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  Republican Senator Mark Jansen says he will not join the race for Congressman Justin Amash’s seat next year.

“I have decided at this time my focus will continue to help Michigan find the road to recovery, from Grand Rapids to Detroit to the Upper Peninsula to our lake shores,” Jansen said. ”Right now I really feel the call to continue helping Michigan’s recovery as my Senate term ends in 13 short months.”

Jansen says he has been “strongly encouraged” to run for the 3rd Congressional District seat for the past two years.  He believes people want the same level of reform achieved in Michigan to happen in Washington.

Jansen represents the northern portion of Kent County.  The U.S. 3rd Congressional District includes Belding, Rockford, Lowell, East Grand Rapids, Walker, Ada and Cascade, Alpine Township, Sparta, Plainfield Township and all of Grand Rapids.

Voters approve tax increase for Lowell Area Schools

Voters approve tax increase for Lowell Area Schools

LOWELL, Mich.—Lowell Area Schools will get funding to help build and repair its schools.

Tuesday night, voters approved a seven year millage increase to create a sinking fund for the district.  The property tax increase will not exceed 1 mill ($1 per $1,000 taxable value.)  The millage is expected to generate $740,920 in annual tax revenue for the district when it takes effect in 2014.

In the City of Lowell, it was a narrow vote for two proposals.  Proposal I passed by 25 votes, designating that elected city officials will remain in office until the first regular meeting of the city council in January.   Proposal II, which would set the same term rules for people appointed to fill an elected position, failed by just nine votes. 

Rep. Justin Amash to host town hall Wednesday night

Rep. Justin Amash to host town hall Wednesday night

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich.—Rep. Justin Amash is back in town to meet voters in Lowell Township.

The Republican will hold a town hall style meeting Wednesday, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Lowell Township Hall on Alden Nash Avenue.  The meeting is free to attend and open to the public. 

Amash says he is looking forward to answering questions about the issus facing our country, as well as right here in West Michigan.

Lowell Expo This Saturday

Lowell Expo This Saturday
17th Annual Lowell Community Expo

Where: Lowell High School, 11700 Vergennes

When: Saturday, March 23 - 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

What: Spotlighting more than  150 businesses, churches, organizations and government agencies in one place! Entertainment, raffles, interactive displays, concessions, FREE admission and parking. Check out this map of the Expo.

Also... Free Annual Electronics Recycling Event
9:00am to 3:00pm
Lowell High School Parking lot