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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.”  

My Town Lowell: New artist featured at Flat River Gallery & Framing

My Town Lowell: New artist featured at Flat River Gallery & Framing

LOWELL, Mich.—The work of a former Grand Rapids Community College faculty member will be on display at Flat River Gallery & Framing beginning Thursday, Feb. 20.

Since retiring from GRCC in 1999, Nancy Clouse has been providing tours through the Grand Rapids Art Museum while continuing her passion for painting, reading, writing and theatre.  Clouse’s artwork has appeared in juried shows including the Muskegon Regional show, the Michigan Watercolor Society show, the Celebration of the Arts show, the Grand Rapids Festival show and the West Michigan Regional Art Competition in Lowell.  Clouse’s work is also featured in private collections.

An opening reception for Clouse will take place Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Flat River Gallery & Framing is located at 2914 W. Main Street.

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

Dozens of West Michigan Schools awarded field trip grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Nearly three dozen West Michigan schools are getting a financial boost to help students learn outside the traditional classroom.

The Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs recently awarded more than $55,000 grants to 147 schools as part of its Arts & Culture Trek “Bus Grant” program.  Each school received up to $500 to help cover transportation costs for an arts or culture-related field trip through May 31.

 "These grants subsidize field trips across the state and expose thousands of students to arts, science and humanities experiences that enrich classroom learning.  Many of these trips would not have been possible in a year where most schools are continuing to cope with significant budget cuts," says Marianne Dorais, executive director of Michigan Youth Arts.

This year’s recipients include:

  • Comstock STEM Academy (Kalamazoo)
  • Cooper Elementary (Kalamazoo)
  • Kalamazoo C

Career Tech students win awards at FFA contest; Student headed to state

Career Tech students win awards at FFA contest; Student headed to state

----------------NEWS RELEASE------------

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. (Muskegon Area Intermediate School District)-- The Muskegon Area Career Tech Center (MACTC) FFA Chapter competed in the FFA District Leadership Events at Montague High School, Monday, February 3, 2014. FFA Leadership Events help students gain leadership and presentation skills to assist them in becoming better leaders. Thirty-five FFA members competed in five different events. 

Former Lowell High School counselor releasing new book

Former Lowell High School counselor releasing new book

LOWELL, Mich.—Lowell High School’s first director of guidance and counseling has released a new book.

Hans Andrews’ new book, "Recognition vs. Merit Pay For Our Best Teachers"  focuses on why recognition programs are more meaningful and accepted by excellent teachers over merit pay plans.  According to Andrews, research finds merit pay plans fail and only 50 percent of K-12 schools in the U.S.

'The Princess and the Pea' coming to the stage Feb. 1

'The Princess and the Pea' coming to the stage Feb. 1

LOWELL, Mich.—A fairy tale classic by Hans Christian Andersen is coming to the stage in Lowell.

Performances of “The Princess and the Pea” will take place Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Lowell Performing Arts Center and Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Saranac Performing Arts Center.  Admission is $5; tickets are available at the door or call (616) 897-8545 for tickets in advance.

The box office opens at 6:30 p.m.  Both performances by the Lowell!Arts Thebes Players begin at 7 p.m.

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.