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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. 

New class of Michigan State Troopers reports for duty

New class of Michigan State Troopers reports for duty

LANSING, Mich.--  A new class of Michigan State Police troopers is beginning work in West Michigan.

Graduates of the 125th Trooper Recruit School began reporting to their posts Monday.   The class graduated Friday.  Governor Rick Snyder delivered the keynote address during the ceremony.

“We’re so proud of the men and women devoting their careers to public safety,” Snyder said. “Today’s graduates will play a critical role in making our communities and neighborhoods safer for our families. Our Michigan State Police are an elite force. We thank our newest troopers for their commitment, dedication and professionalism in service to all Michiganders.”

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.

See your film on the big screen during the Kent County Teen Film Festival

See your film on the big screen during the Kent County Teen Film Festival

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—CompuCraft, Celebration! Cinema and the Kent District and Grand Rapids Public libraries are teaming up to find the next Steven Spielberg.

The Kent County Teen Film Festival is coming in February 2014.  The event gives young filmmakers a chance to see their movie on the big screen.  Submissions are due January 17, but the libraries will be offering filmmaking classes beforehand.  Classes include video writing, drawing storyboards, filming and video editing.

All short films must be written, directed and edited by teenagers in grades 6-12.  The filmmaker/director must be a resident of Kent County. The films must be created after January 1, 2013, be ten minutes or less and must be G or PG-rated.  For more information about rules, regulations and deadlines for the Kent County Teen Film Festival, click here.

Saving taxpayer money: Kent ISD consolidates printing services

Saving taxpayer money: Kent ISD consolidates printing services

Grand Rapids Community College and Kent ISD are combining printing services to save taxpayer money and streamline service to school districts and non-profit organizations.

The newly consolidated printing service is located on GRCC’s campus.  The partnership will save money by increasing the efficiency of the college print shop and eliminating the expense of staffing copy services at Kent ISD. 

“In recent years, we’ve continued to hear from our constituents and their elected representatives that we in the public sector should do more to collaborate and, where we can, operate like a business,” said Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender. “I’d like to think this is the type of collaboration they have in mind. This reduces costs for both institutions and increases efficiency at the same time.”

Flat River Outreach Ministries kicks off summer lunch program for children in need

Flat River Outreach Ministries kicks off summer lunch program for children in need

LOWELL, Mich.— There’s still time to sign up for Flat River Outreach Ministries’ Summer Lunch Program.

The program began June 11, but registration is open throughout the summer.  Food box pick-up will take place 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Tuesday at the FROM food pantry.  Registration forms are also available at the food pantry.

For more information, call (616) 897-8260 Ext. 7 or email info@fromlowell.org.