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My Town Lowell: Meet the police department's new full-time officer

My Town Lowell: Meet the police department's new full-time officer

LOWELL, Mich.—There is a new full-time officer patrolling Lowell’s streets.

Officer Dustin Brown began working for the force full-time at the start of the year.  Brown is a graduate of the Grand Rapids Community College Police Academy and has been working for the LPD part-time since 2012.    He previously worked for the Spring Lake and Portland Police Departments.

Community members will most likely meet Brown during the evening and overnight hours in the West Main business district and neighborhoods along Bowes Road, Valley Vista, Alden Nash and Gee Drives. 

My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

My Town: Credit Union backs library book funding campaign

 

GRANDVILLE, Mich. – Grandville-based First United Credit Union backing the Kent District Library’s campaign to replenish its budget.

Through the Genre Derby, KDL hopes to raise $10,000 for digital and physical books. That’s just a fraction of the $300,000 that’s been slashed from the library’s budget since 2013.

“Our overall budget has been cut by over $2 million in the past three years from changes in tax valuation and personal property tax,” explained KDL Development Manager Linda Krombeen. 

Despite the cuts, KDL is using technology and restructuring to avoid laying off staff.

The Genre Derby allows patrons to direct donations to the type of books they read most. First United Credit Union is pledging to match 50 percent of all donor gifts during the Genre Derby, up to $1,500.

My Town: New District Five commissioner named

My Town: New District Five commissioner named

CASCADE, Mich.—There’s a new face among the Kent County Board of Commissioners.

Thursday morning, the board unanimously voted to appoint Mandy Bolter of Cascade to the vacant District Five seat.  

"I am honored to be part of such a great group of people, working to keep our county the best place to live, work, start a business and raise a family,” said Commissioner Bolter.

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.”  

City of Lowell looking for ideas to update downtown Lowell

City of Lowell looking for ideas to update downtown Lowell

LOWELL, Mich.—The City of Lowell is tapping its residents for ideas to improve downtown Lowell.

The Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce plans to lead the efforts to gather community input and plan a future, which will likely include more permanent repairs to the Lowell Showboat, which was damaged during last year’s flooding.

The Chamber of Commerce plans to provide conceptual site plans and ask for community feedback during the Lowell Expo on March 22 and a public open house in April.   People who cannot attend either event can provide their thoughts online by visiting the Chamber of Commerce website or the City of Lowell website.

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.

Winter Blast at the library Jan. 25

Winter Blast at the library Jan. 25

LOWELL, Mich.—The winter is inspiring fun at Kent District Library’s Englehardt-Lowell branch.

The library will hold its Winter Blast Saturday, Jan. 25.  Community members of all ages are invited to take part in the event, which will include crafts, snacks and more.  Winter Blast will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  For more information, contact the library at (616) 784-2007.