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My Town: Girl Scout cookie munchers will have to wait

My Town: Girl Scout cookie munchers will have to wait

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The start of spring usually signals the return of the Girl Scouts’ traditional boxed treats, but cookie connoisseurs will have to wait even longer this year.

The Girls Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore says local cookie deliveries will be delayed by four weeks.  Little Brownie Bakers, which churns out the treats, blames unexpectedly high demand for cookies.

"[Our forecast] has resulted in a tightness in cookie inventory and an inability to meet cookie orders at the dates originally requested," explains sales director Brenda Smith. "The situation was made worse by winter weather that resulted in a plant shutdown for two days in February and an ingredient delivery delay in late February."

Little Brownie Bakers is working around the clock to fill all orders.  All requested boxes should arrive in West Michigan the week of April 13. 

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division are sharing their top tips to stay safe in this extreme cold.

"As we saw last winter, these arctic blasts can create hazardous situations," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "Citizens are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures."

Exposure to these subzero temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.

To stay safe during cold weather:

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

My Town: Snowfall and predicted rain keeps Kent County road crews busy

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—The snow piling up outside has kept Kent County Road Commission crews busy this past week, and with a warm up expected this weekend, their work is far from over.

During the week, 90 drivers worked each day and 30 drivers worked each night, clearing the snow from state highways, county roads and local streets and drives.  The Kent County Road Commission says all roads were cleared at least once between Tuesday and Thursday, but additional snowfall and drifting snow may give some roads the appearance of being neglected.  In Comstock Park and Grandville alone, Kent County crews spread 10,700 tons of salt and sand.  In Byron Center, crews used 58,000 gallons of liquid chloride to clear the road.  In all, the Road Commission estimates this first brush with winter cost it more than $1 million.

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

OPINION: Michigan, Our Great State

Michigan, our great state. Whether we realize it or not, we really do have a great state.

Granted, we had an unusual winter this past year but then again, have you ever seen the grass and trees so green before? Even people returning from Florida this year have commented about everything being so green!

Despite all of the good things, I still hear people complain about it either being too cool, too cloudy, too hot, etc. To those people I say, maybe it’s time for you to move to a perfect climate, wherever that may be.

I love Michigan and all it has to offer. We have the Great Lakes, a treasure on their own. I used to have an older friend, Bill Hickey, who had apple orchards.

He told me, “You will never, ever find an apple as snappy when you bite into it as a Michigan apple in the fall, because of the Great Lakes.” 

My Town: Plainfield Township prepares for potential spring flooding

My Town: Plainfield Township prepares for potential spring flooding

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, MIch. (Plainfield Charter Township) --- Are you prepared for a flood?

With both the Rogue River and the Grand River winding through Plainfield Township, floodplain residents have been dealing with spring flooding as long as they’ve lived in the township. 

Spring 2013 was a challenge with major flooding on both rivers.  This year, Plainfield Township officials Peter Elam, Rick Solle and Township Superintendent Cameron Van Wyngarden met with residents from the Riverbank, Willow, Konkle and Abrigador floodplains to discuss concerns and a game plan.  Representatives from Consumers Energy, DTE Energy, Kent County Emergency Management, the Plainfield Township Fire Department, NOAA, the Kent County Road Commission, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Kent County Health Department also attended.

My Town Lowell: Library reopens after heater breakdown

My Town Lowell: Library reopens after heater breakdown

LOWELL, Mich.—  Lowell’s library is back open for business, after running into heating problems.

Heidi Nagel, the communications manager for Kent District Library, says a problem with the Englehardt Branch’s heating system arose this weekend, after the library closed for business Saturday.  When staff arrived Monday morning, the heat was off.

Under KDL policy, libraries cannot open of the indoor temperature is below 55 degrees, so the Lowell library was forced to shut down Monday, as repair people searched for a replacement part for the heating system.  Only one business in West Michigan had the part in stock.  Unfortunately, that replacement piece was also defective, so the library had to wait for the part to be shipped in.

My Town: Lowell to review flooding response

My Town: Lowell to review flooding response

LOWELL, Mich.—Lowell city leaders will meet with Kent County Emergency Management officials this week to make sure the city has the proper response in place, in case this spring brings another round of record flooding.

Last year, heavy rains caused the Flat River and Grand River to swell, spilling over into yards and roads.  Many homes and businesses were damaged by water; the Lowell Fairgrounds were also under water. President Obama declared Kent County a disaster area, along with five other West Michigan counties. 

The city will review last year’s response during its flooding meeting this Thursday, March 20.