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My Town Lowell: What not to do when hauling appliances

My Town Lowell: What not to do when hauling appliances

LOWELL, Mich.—Lowell police say a local scrapper has provided the perfect example of what not to do with appliances.

An officer pulled over the scrapper early Thursday morning after spotting him driving with a stove sitting on top of his car.  Police say the stove was not strapped down, and the man could be ticketed for driving with an unsecured load, which comes with a hefty fine.

With many students leaving college for the summer, now is a popular time for drivers to be hauling large appliances and furniture. Police say when these types of items, drivers should always use a pickup truck or trailer with tie-down straps that can hold more weight than whatever is being towed.

My Town Lowell: I-96 construction project begins May 9

My Town Lowell: I-96 construction project begins May 9

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  A new set of cones is about to go up in Lowell Township.

The Michigan Department of Transportation says lane closures are planned for Interstate-96 from Timpson to Snow avenues from 8 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday.  Crews will be working on repairing highway pavement. 

The work is part of a large project to repair 10.5 miles of pavement on I-96,  from Thornapple River Drive to the Kent/Ionia county line.  The entire project is expected to be complete by Aug. 18.  Two lanes will be open during weekdays; drivers can expect single lane closures on weekends and 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays.

Work is weather dependent.

My Town Lowell: Bridge work means more driving delays

My Town Lowell: Bridge work means more driving delays

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich.-- Drivers taking Interstate-96 Tuesday night can expect another night of delays.

Work is expected to pick up again on the M-50/Alden Nash Avenue bridge.  Left lane closures will be in place from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.   The work is expected to wrap up Wednesday morning, weather permitting.  

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

Lowell Police Department introduces new fleet

Lowell Police Department introduces new fleet

LOWELL, Mich.—Speeding drivers beware: Lowell Police cruisers have a new look.

The Lowell Police Department unveiled its new fleet on Facebook last Friday.  The department says support from the Lowell Area Community Fund made the replacements possible.

Chief Steven Bukala is also encouraging community members to introduce themselves to the department’s new officers.  Bukala says retirements and officers moving to other agencies have led to many new faces on the force.

First 'bridge slide' in the state to take place in Lowell Township

First 'bridge slide' in the state to take place in Lowell Township

LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP & WZZM) - The Michigan Department of Transportation is testing a new way to replace bridges without causing long traffic delays during construction.

The trick? Build the new bridge next to the old one, then slide it into place.The department says it will use the "bridge slide" technique for the first time on a project to widen the M-50 bridge over Interstate 96 in Kent County's Lowell Township, southeast of Grand Rapids.

The Iowa Department of Transportation performed its own bridge slide last year.  You can find a time lapse of the project on YouTube.

MDOT will detail its own bridge slide project and take public comments during a forum Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Lowell Township Hall.  The forum will run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

Grand Valley Metropolitan Council welcomes new members

WALKER, Mich.—The Grand Valley Metropolitan Council has some new faces at its helm.

During the Dec. 5 meeting, Grandville Mayor Steve Maas, Kentwood Mayor Steve Keply and Walker Mayor Mark Huizenga officially joined the GVMC Board of Directors.  All three men were elected in November and selected by city members to serve on the panel.

Ada Township Supervisor George Haga and Sand Lake Village Trustee Roger Towsley also took the oath of office.  They represent the first two communities to join GVMC since 2007. The Board of Directors also recently approved accepting Lowell Township as a member. 

The GVMC is in charge of coordinating development and governmental affairs across municipalities.