Category Archives: Recreation

Southern Senior Little League to defend state title in weekend tournament

The Southern Senior Little League team after winning the District 9 title last week. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

As he prepares his team for a state Senior Little League tournament hosted by District 9 Southern Little League this weekend — a tournament WKTV will be broadcasting — Southern manager Jamie Billo is glad to have several players who have “been there; done that.”

 

Not only will he get the on-field talent, but also the off-field wisdom, of five players who return from a team that won the state title and won three games in the Central Regional tournament last year before falling to an eventual national champion team from Illinois.

 

And that leadership was evident last weekend as the Southern team, after rolling through three games in the District 9 tournament, had to bounce back from a title-game loss to Georgetown to win the tournament.

 

That loss “taught the kids a valuable lesson — on any given day, if you do not play up to your capability you get beat,” Billo said in an interview with WKTV. “It (also) helps a lot (to have experienced players). They can explain to the kids there is no reason to have that ‘awe’ factor. It is just another baseball game. They also reinforce that they have to come to every game ready to play.”

 

Attend the games; watch them on WKTV

 

WKTV will also be at every District 9 game this weekend, ready to play. WKTV’s coverage crew will broadcast live Southern’s opening game Friday, July 14, at 7 p.m., and then also be live on Saturday for the team’s games at 10 a.m. or 4 p.m., depending on Friday results. All live games will be available on Comcast Cable Channel 24. Some later games will be taped-delayed.

 

Southern will open action against the District 16 representative from Onsted. The other teams in the tournament will be Portage, from District 2; Ypsilanti, District 3; Commerce, District 4; Taylor NW, District 5; and St. Clair, District 7.

 

All games will be at the Southern Little League field complex at 2525 Kalamazoo Ave. SW, just north of 28th Avenue. The title game will be Monday at 5:30 p.m. with a second title game to follow, if necessary.

 

The winner of the state tournament will play in the Central Regional tournament, along with teams from nine other Midwest states, in Peru, Ill.

 

The team and its coaches

 

The Southern team is an all-star team made up of players, age 15-16, selected by the coaches from four Senior level teams who played in the Southern Little League this season.

 

Billo is in his first year as head coach of the Senior team, but has coached Southern Little League teams for eight years. He is the junior varsity head football coach at East Grand Rapids.

 

“I have coached a lot of these kids over the last few years,” he said.

 

The players include, from Central Catholic High School, Myles Beale, a centerfielder and pitcher; Matt Moore, outfielder/catcher; Kyle Tepper, 3rd base/outfielder/pitcher; Luke Passinault, 2nd base/outfielder; Joe Collins, outfielder/pitcher; and Nate Trudeau, short stop.

 

From East Grand Rapids are Reilly O’Connor, infielder and pitcher; Micah Baermann pitcher/outfield; Billy Bernecker, 1st base/outfield; John Shelton lV, catcher; Jack Billo, 3rd base; Peter Kratt, outfield; Ryan Sullivan, pitcher; and Nick Lambert, pitcher.

 

Also on the team are, from Grand Rapids Christian, Keegan Batka, middle infielder and pitcher, and Luke Elzinga, 1st base/pitcher.

 

Shelton, who started on the EGR varsity team this season, will be the team’s clean-up hitter. Billo, the manager’s son, was a starter on last year’s team that won the state tournament, as was Lambert, Trudeau, Elzinga and Kratt. Also of note, Batka’s brother, Austin, pitches for the University of Michigan.

 

“John Shelton is huge part of the team, batting,” Billo said. “Peter Kraff is probably the vocal leader of the team and has a great bat. Jack (Billo) will hit from the 2-hole two and is very fast. Kegan Batka leads with RBIs.”

 

Pitching, however, is a little more of uncertainty for the team.

 

“The strength of the team is batting and defense,” Billo said. “Last year we had two pitchers who we could just roll the ball out to. This year we have a lot of pitching depth but no top pitchers, but we have eight guys we are confident of to put out there.”

 

In addition to Billo, the other coaches for the team are Jim Passinault and Pat Batka.

 

“When it comes to pitching, I defer to Pat, his sons are pitchers and he pitched. He calls all the pitches,” Billo said. “We have known each other, coaches against each other in the regular season. As manager, I could pick my coaches and I could not have picked two better ones.”

 

For more information on Southern Little League, see southernll.blogspot.com

 

First-ever Runway 5K at Gerald R. Ford International Airport coming this fall

The runways at the Ford International Airport will be the running track for a fall 5k. (Supplied)

by Montae Harris, WKTV Staff

news@wktv.org

 

Lace and gear up your sneaks and get ready for the first ever Runway 5K, starting this fall at the Gerald R.Ford International Airport (GFIA).

 

The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 7, at 9 a.m., on airport grounds.The race will begin near the cargo facilities, under a runway tunnel, loop around by the airport fire station, and wrap around on runway 8L/26R.

 

The proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish Michigan, with the cost of $28 per person. That includes T-Shirts, post-race snacks and beverages, and awards for top finishers as well as other giveaways.

 

“It’s through the generous support of our Michigan Community, like our friends at GFIA that we are able to grant life-changing wishes to Michigan children,” Karen Davis, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Michigan, said in supplied material.

 

There will also be a 1-mile fun run/walk, starting at 9:05 a.m., with the cost of $15 per person.

 

“This is a tremendous opportunity for runners, walkers, and families who want to come out for a Saturday morning stroll or a competitive race, and to experience a fun event on a runway that is normally only being used for aircraft,” Jim Gill, CEO and airport president, said in supplied material.

For more information on how to register visit here.

 

 

‘Boots and Badges’ brings first responders, community together for day of appreciation and fun

Two of the area’s finest with Shake Broukian and her son, Charlie

By Catherine Kooyers

 

June 24th was an action-packed day on the grounds of Grace Bible College, and the weather couldn’t have been any better. Happy people, food, ice cones and family friendly activities brought the community and businesses together with firefighters, police officers and other first responders.

 

It was all part of ‘Boots and Badges’, an annual event hosted by the Wyoming-Kentwood Area Chamber of Commerce to honor and show appreciation for the area’s first responders. The idea is to get people connected with their local law enforcement outside of an emergency or distress call.

 

A fun-filled game of kickball between firefighters and police was just one of the highlights. Families posed for photos with mascots of the White Caps and Drive #1, hit the button on the dunk tank, competed in 9 Square (a volleyball-type game), checked out the vehicles used by first responders, and even became “honorary” first responders, complete with hats and badges.

 

 

July 4 and always, DNR stresses safe boating with Operation Dry Water

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

 

As the July Fourth holiday approaches, Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers will focus on keeping boaters safe through heightened awareness and enforcement of boating under the influence laws.

 

The initiative is part of the national Operation Dry Water campaign, which runs June 30 to July 2.

 

The annual campaign is launched just prior to the July Fourth weekend, when more boaters take to the water and alcohol use increases. It is in coordination with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S. Coast Guard and other partners. Through this stepped-up enforcement, the DNR is raising awareness of the hazards associated with boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and is working to decrease the number of accidents attributed to impaired boating and other unsafe boating practices.

 

“Alcohol and boating don’t mix,” said the DNR’s Lt. Tom Wanless, Michigan’s boating law administrator. “Using alcohol impairs reaction time and judgment, just as if you were driving a car. In fact, the effects of alcohol and certain medications are increased on the water due to added stress factors such as the sun, heat, wind, wave motion and engine noise. So be smart and stay sober when boating, and don’t put yourself and others at risk.”

 

In Michigan, operating a motorboat while under the influence of alcohol — which means the person has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams or more – or under the influence of a controlled substance is a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $500, community service and up to 93 days in jail. It also can result in the loss of boating privileges for at least one year.

 

If a person is killed or injured due to a driver operating a boat while under the influence, the driver could be charged with a felony, punishable by fines up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison.

 

Boaters can do their part to stay safe on the water by: Boating sober — alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. Wearing a life jacket — 85 percent of drowning victims in the U.S. were not wearing life jackets. Taking a boating safety course — the DNR recommends a safety course for anyone who plans to use a boat or personal watercraft.

 

For more information about boating regulations and safety courses in Michigan at www.michigan.gov/boating.

 

A trip aboard the S.S. Badger offers passengers fun and treasured memories

By Terri Brown


The S.S. Badger is the last coal-fired passenger steamship in operation in the United States. She has provided a fun, reliable and affordable shortcut across beautiful Lake Michigan for more than 60 years and has transported millions of passengers since her re-birth in 1992. In 2016, she received the nation’s highest historic honor when the Department of Interior officially designated the Badger as a National Historic Landmark (NHL). Additionally, the Badger is extremely unique in that she is an NHL that moves.


The 410-ft. S.S. BADGER can accommodate 600 passengers and 180 vehicles, including RVs, motorcycles, motor coaches, and commercial trucks during her sailing season. Originally designed primarily to transport railroad cars, this grand ship and the people who serve her have successfully adapted to the changing world since she first entered service in 1953.


Her unique and bold character takes you back to a period of time when things were simpler — offering valuable time to slow down, relax…and reconnect with those you love. She is the continuation of a unique and vital maritime tradition, and we celebrate that heritage on board in fun ways that educate and entertain. Although her mission has changed from the days of carrying railroad cars 365 days a year, the Badger’s role in the hearts of the areas she serves has not.


The Badger’s commitment to a fun experience offers traditional favorites including free Badger Bingo, free movies and satellite television, lounge areas, a toddler play area; free limited Wi-Fi, an onboard gift shop, an arcade, private staterooms, two separate food service areas, two bars, and sprawling outside decks for lounging or walking. Perhaps a romantic night crossing is more fitting for your style with spectacular sunsets and sparkling constellations for stargazers — making the Badger experience extra special.


A trip aboard the S.S. Badger offers passengers fun and treasured memories. Professional travelers have shared their experiences aboard the Badger with the world, and this grand ship has received great praise. The Badger was awarded in 2015 and 2016 a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor and has a five-star rating with Travelocity.


The Badger experience allows a rare opportunity to explore a little history – and a lot of fun by taking a step back into the past on a journey that’s as important as the destination! Slow down, relax and reconnect on the Big Ship, More Fun.


From mid-May to mid-October the Badger sails daily between Manitowoc, Wisc. and Ludington, Mich., Located about an hour from Milwaukee, Wisc. and Muskegon, Mich. For additional information, call 800.841.4243 or visit www.ssbadger.com.

 

Grand Rapids jazz festival to offer two days of free music, familiar and new

Edye Evans Hyde and the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra will open the annual free GRandJazzFest. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

There will be some new sounds and some familiar sounds dancing around “The Circle” as the GRandJazzFest 2017 returns to Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 19-20.

 

Jazz will flow from the opening set — the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with the superb Edye Evans Hyde fronting, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday — to the closing set of Grammy nominated keyboardist Nate Harasim & NILS featuring Brandon Willis, at 7 p.m. on Sunday.

 

The JazzFest, presented by DTE Energy, is free to the public, with a come-and-go, festival seating format.

 

Richard Elliot (Supplied/Lori Stoll)

Saxophonist Richard Elliot will headline the festival, with a Saturday night closing set at 8 p.m.

 

“We’re thrilled to have Richard Elliot headline the sixth annual GRandJazzFest,” Audrey Sundstrom, festival founder, said in supplied material. “He’s a huge name in the jazz and R&B world.”

 

The Scotland-born, Los Angeles-based, Elliot is one of 11 performers and bands who will play throughout the two-day weekend. The eclectic array of jazz performances includes genres from big band to straight-ahead, from contemporary to Latin-Cuban.

 

“We have music for everyone,” Sundstrom said. “The great thing about jazz is there are so many types.”

 

Performers such as the Big band sounds of the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Evans Hyde of vocals, and the jazz organ trip of “organissimo”, with Jim Alfredson on the Hammond B3, Larry Barrris on guitar and Randy Marsh on drums, will be pleasingly familiar to local audiences, the festival always opens eyes and ears to something new.

 

Pianist Nate Harasim will likely be one of those pleasing new sounds for most people.

 

Nate Harasim, from an album cover.

In addition to three contemporary urban jazz recordings – including 2011’s very well reviewed Rush – Harasim’s work as a composer, keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist earned a Grammy nomination for his work on Dave Koz’s Billboard No. 1 Jazz Album Hello Tomorrow and a 2014 Soul Train nod for Vandell Andrew’s  No. 1 hit “Let’s Ride.” Harasim’s hundreds of stage appearances include performing at President Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball with best pal Rahn and playing twice at the Dubai International Jazz Festival, according to his website.

 

For more information on the GRandJazzFest and a complete line-up, see the event’s Facebook page @GRandJazzFest .

Meijer Gardens summer concerts: No tickets? No problem … yet

A probably sold-out crowd at a previous Meijer Gardens Summer Concert series concert. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/Tony Norkus)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

St. Paul & The Broken Bones. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/David McClister)

The first concerts of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park summer concert series hit the stage this week, and most years aftermarket tickets are all that is available for the majority of the shows — and late comers pay the price: this week’s St. Paul and the Broken Bones show, original ticket price of $35, is sold out but available on StubHub for $102.35.

 

But this season, at last count, 16 of the 28 remaining concerts were not sold out. But, admittedly, many have only a few tickets remaining, with some of them having been returned for sale by the band.

 

Some of this month’s concerts with tickets available from Meijer Gardens include this week’s Diana Krall show, on Wednesday, June 7, as well as Brian Setzer’s Rockabilly Riot! on June 18, Boz Scaggs on June 21, Daughtry on June 25 and Trombone Shorty on June 29.

 

Elvis Costello (Supplied Meijer Gardens)

For my money, the most surprising shows with original price tickets still available include Elvis Costello & The Attractions on July 17 — come on, Elvis will be in the building! — as well as the unique pairing and unique music of Andrew Bird and Esperanza Spaulding on July 24, and the always-great summer night with Lyle Lovett (with his large band) on Aug. 2.

 

Alas, possibly the show of the Meijer Gardens season, the July 27 visit by The Shins (aka James Mercer) and their inventive, modern alt-pop sounds, is sold out, with originally-priced $57 tickets now priced on StubHub at $111. At that price, you may as well head over to Chicago for the Sunday, Aug. 6, Lollapalooza day of concerts and catch The Shins with a ton of other great bands — StubHub tickets are currently $126.

 

The Meijer Gardens Summer Concert season will come to an end on Sept. 1 with the season-closing concert by English reggae and pop band UB40.

 

Michigander (Supplied Meijer Gardens/Adam Podboy)

Starting in July, Meijer Gardens’ amphitheater will also host its Tuesday Evening Concert Series, with general admission to the Gardens getting people in for  some great local and regional musical acts. Starting Tuesday, July 4, with Green On Blue and The Red Sea Pedestrians, the diverse two-month program features live bands with music ranging from jazz to indie rock to folk, all starting at 7 p.m. Two of the more interesting musical explorations will be the mid August visits of Kalamazoo’s Michigander on Aug. 8 and Slim Gypsy Baggage on Aug. 15.

 

For complete information on the concert series tickets and admission prices, visit meijergardens.org .

 

Old-time brews: New Holland Brewing plans ‘throwback beer’ releases

New Holland Brewery will be serving up some oldies but goodies during its “throwback” beer release event June 10. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

As part of its 20th anniversary celebration, New Holland Brewing Company plans to release six throwback beers — both fan and brewer favorites from the past 20 years — during New Holland’s annual Hatter Days Street Party, Saturday, June 10, at the brewery’s Holland Pub on 8th.

 

In addition to being available at the Holland Pub — located at 66 E 8th St., in Holland  — the throwback beers will also be available June 10 in six packs at New Holland’s Grand Rapids westside’s The Knickerbocker, located at 417 Bridge St. NW.

 

“We are thrilled to include throwback beers as part of our 20th anniversary celebration,” New Holland President Brett VanderKamp said in supplied material. “We want to thank everyone who has supported us over the past two decades by bringing back some of our favorite brews. It’s a special time for us, and we’re excited to revel in the nostalgia of this milestone with the community at what will be our most dynamic Hatter Days Street Party yet.”

 

This year, New Holland Brewing will partner with Kids’ Food Basket for Hatter Days. Guests who bring items from the Kids’ Food Basket Wish List to street party will be entered to win one of many raffle prizes, including a private beer- and spirits-paired dinner for 10 persons.

 

The throwback beer lineup includes Kourage, a brown ale was originally named “Dutch Kourage” and a dark, aggressively hopped brown ale; Zoomer Wit, a summer-favorite wheat ale first brewed 1998 with orange, spices and American-grown wheat; Y2K, from 1999, a barleywine-style ale with deep mahogany hues; Green Hornet, also from 1999, an American-style golden pale ale; Jubilee, also first brewed in 1999 — “It was a very good year …” — that harmoniously blends fruit and fermentation character; and finally Blue Goat, dating from 2006, this doppelbock beer is chestnut in color with a nutty malt profile from its Munich malt.

 

In addition to the throwback brews, Holland’s Hatter Days will feature free, family-friendly event where all ages are welcome for a BBQ cookout, live music from local and national acts and all-day acts from Daredevil Circus from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Hatter Days will continue with an afterparty inside the Pub until 1 a.m.

 

The live music lineup includes The Ragbirds, Mucca Pazza, Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers, and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The afterparty music will be from Rusty’s Big Ass Band & Silent Disco, with  DJ Dr. Joel between sets.

 

For more information visit newhollandbrew.com .

 

Play smart: Summer is here, and so is tick-carried Lyme disease

Michigan’s deer ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, and if attached care must be taken to remove. (State of Michigan)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

For West Michiganders, at least those sticking around the Grand Rapids area and not heading up north, a Memorial Day weekend visit to the Lake Michigan shoreline is a great option if not a must.

 

(State of Michigan)

But with the un-official start of the summer outdoor season also a Memorial Day weekend, outdoor adventures also bring the un-official start of Michigan’s deer tick season — and with black legged (deer) ticks comes the risk of Lyme disease.

 

Most humans are infected with Lyme disease through the bites of immature ticks, called nymphs, that feed during the spring and summer months. But these nymphs are approximately the size of a poppy seed, so they are hard to see.

 

“Prompt removal of ticks is the best method to decrease the chance of Lyme disease,” Dr. Paul Heidel, Ottawa County Department of Public Health medical director, said in supplied material. “Seek medical attention if you develop a fever, a rash, severe fatigue, facial paralysis, or joint pain within 30 days of being bitten by a tick.”

 

Routinely, ticks must be attached for 36 to 48 hours for the Lyme disease bacterium to be transmitted.

 

The State of Michigan and local health officials have suggestions to avoid Lyme-carrying ticks:

 

When outdoors, walk in the center of trails, and avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass.

 

Around home, create tick-safe zones in your yard by keeping patios and play areas away from vegetation, regularly remove leaves, clear tall grasses and brush around home, place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas, and use a chemical control agent.

 

Use an insect repellent containing DEET (20-30 percent) or Picaridin on exposed skin, and treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks and tents) with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin — do not use permethrin directly on skin. (Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)

 

Bathe or shower after being outside in tick-infested areas (preferably within two hours). And conduct a full-body tick check (under arms, in and around ears, inside belly button, behind knees, between legs, around waist and especially in hair), especially inspect children.

 

Finally, if you find a tick attached, use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth parts to break off and remain in the skin. Clean the area with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water.

 

Law enforcement charity hockey game to benefit 9-1-1 dispatcher

Michelle Bouwens, with her family, is battling cancer and is the focus of a benefit hockey game May 20. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

A 9-1-1 dispatcher — a person who is “always there for you, waiting for your call” — is now in need of support from the community. And the annual Kent Area Law Enforcement’s Old Time Hockey Game offers the public the ability to support while watching some fun hockey action.

 

The Old Time Hockey Game will take place Saturday, May 20, at Byron Center’s Southside Ice Arena, 566 100th St., with the game beginning at 1 p.m. and an open skate to follow.

 

Proceeds from the event will benefit Michelle Bouwens, an 18-year veteran 9-1-1 dispatcher who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, according to her boss, is currently in the fight of her life.

 

“They are always there for you, waiting for your call.  Now, one of them needs your help,” Matt Groesser, Emergency Communications Center manager for the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, said in an emailed statement. “The men and women of the Kent County Communications Center answer over 140,000 9-1-1 calls per year (that’s one call every 4 minutes on average).  They are responsible for emergency communications in a community of over 435,000 people.  … Come join us, and hundreds of others from the area, at the 21st annual Kent Area Law Enforcement Charity Hockey Game.”

 

The charity hockey game is the longest-running law enforcement hockey game in the state. The event is open to the public, with donations accepted.

 

Bouwens is married and has two sons, ages 9 and 10. She is taking unpaid time off to undergo treatment and surgeries, according to supplied information.

 

For more information visit the event’s Facebook link.

 

Places to add to your West Michigan summer fun bucket list

Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park

By Jeremy Witt, West Michigan Tourist Association


You might have a little extra free time this summer or have the desire to go on a road trip. With so many things to do and places to visit in West Michigan, how will you decide what to do? That’s where the West Michigan Summer Bucket List comes in handy. See how many places you can visit, or discover something completely new to add to your vacation schedule.


West Michigan
Navigate freely through the trees at Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park. Their event to kick off the season, Treetops Summer Kick-Off, is May 20th with discounted tickets for shortened climb times, zip rides, giveaways, and special offers.


Visit Grand Haven and the Electric Bike Place’s brand new MACTrack. This multi-terrain test track allows you to test ride some of the most popular electric bikes in the industry. Bring a lunch, enjoy a few hours of riding, and come talk about ebikes with their knowledgeable staff.


Visit the eight unique museums in the Marshall area. These eight museums feature a one-room school house, a house built in the Polynesian style, Civil War museum, governor’s mansion, U.S. postal museum, magic museum, country church, and gasoline museum. May 20th is tourism day in Marshall, and all the museums will be free to the public to celebrate.


Bring out your inner treasure hunter at Antiques on the Bluff in St. Joseph. Held along tree-lined Lake Bluff Park overlooking Lake Michigan, this antique show is a premier event for St. Joseph and antiquers around Southwest Michigan when it pops up on the first Sunday of each month from May through October.


Visit Saugatuck, recently named the #1 Best Small Towns to Visit in Michigan by Crazy
Tourist and Best Small Town Weekend Escape by USA Today, making it a place that needs to be on your bucket list. There’s no better way to see the town than a trip on the Star of Saugatuck. Featuring entertaining narration and a wonderful view of the town, you’ll want to be on the water when the Star of Saugatuck started their season on Saturday, May 6th.


Find exciting treasures at Downtown Market’s two summer pop-up shops. The Vintage Street Market is Grand Rapid’s only monthly vintage market, popping up the second Sunday of each month from May until September. This year’s Vintage Street Market vendors were carefully curated to provide the best variety of vintage goods Grand Rapids has to offer. The Made In Michigan Pop Up Market features over 50 vendors who proudly “make” in Michigan! Vendors bring their wares to the market on Saturdays, May 27th, June 24th, July 22nd, August 26th, and September 23rd.


Visit the Jewel of Barry County at the Historic Charlton Park in Hastings. Situated on 310 acres along beautiful Thornapple Lake, you can easily cool off at the beach, launch your boat, hike the trails, or pack a picnic for a relaxing meal. Join the park for their many special events, including Charlton Park Day, Father’s Day Car Show, 4th of July and Veteran’s BBQ, Gas & Steam Engine Show, and more.


From Muskegon Museum of Art’s Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian Exhibit

The Muskegon Museum of Art has an internationally recognized exhibit, Edward S. Curtis: The North American Indian, from May 11th to September 10th. This exhibit is the most comprehensive ethnographic and photographic historical record of Native Americans ever produced, comprised of 20 volumes of research and 723 photogravures.


Go to one (or 12) of LowellArt’s Showboat Sizzlin’ Summer Concerts. These free outdoor summer concerts run from June 15th to August 24th at the Riverwalk Plaza in downtown
Lowell with food and spirits available for purchase. Enjoy music from all genres, including jazz, country, big band, rock, R&B, and more all summer long.


Shoot sporting clays with your family at Blendon Pines in Zeeland. This activity is both safe and fun, with knowledgeable staff who are ready to help. Walk through the groomed trails to the 12 different shooting stations. Line up your shot and try your best to be the best sharpshooter in your family!


Visit Hastings for their brand new summer concert series, Hastings Live! Wednesday evenings feature the best in local music, while their Friday Night Features include regional artists and rising stars such as Hip Pocket, The Crane Wives, The Accidentals, and more. Listen to new music all summer with this new concert series.


The Lake County Historical Museum in Baldwin is a must-see museum. Located in a restored 1938 CCC-built U.S. Forest Service district ranger residence, the museum is filled with Lake County artifacts of every sort. There’s also the memorial garden, which is beautiful through the summer months and a highlight in downtown Baldwin.


Historic White Pine Village

Surround yourself with Civil War re-enactors at the Historic White Pine Village in Ludington. This is the site of a Civil War Muster featuring many re-enactors encamped on the grounds. Visitors will experience cannon firings, small arms interpretation, and morning colors.


Sail Lake Michigan aboard a Pirates of the Caribbean themed cruise with the S.S. Badger in Ludington. Passengers can wear pirate costumes and speak in pirate lingo on this festive Lake Michigan shoreline cruise aboard America’s last coal-fired steamship. Tickets are $39 and include a buffet with desserts and soft drink and live music.


Further afield

Celebrate the birthplace of cereal at National Cereal Fest in Battle Creek. The festival begins on Friday, June 9th with the Grand Cereal Parade, and continues on Saturday, June 10 with the World’s Longest Breakfast Table. Grab a bite with all-you-can-eat cereal.


The Inland Seas Education Association in Suttons Bay has three sails this summer that deserve a spot on your Bucket List. Their Breakfast on the Schooner Sail is Saturday, July 1st and Friday, August 25th, where you can enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast as you sail around Suttons Bay. On Friday, June 23d and July 21st, their Astronomy Under Sail gives you one of the best views of the night sky along with some informative commentary. Their Meteor Show Sail on Friday, August 11th, lets you see this amazing natural phenomenon aboard the 77’ schooner.

Schooner sailing

Many people have a visit to the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island on their Bucket List. With the hotel’s Family Added Value Days available select nights in July and August, you and your family can have the full Grand Hotel experience while saving along the way. Stay three nights and get the fourth night free, stay two nights and get the third night half off, or stay one night and get the second night 25% off. These stays include what has made the Grand Hotel such a sought-after destination, but with a little savings.


Explore a tropical garden filled with hundreds of exotic butterflies at the Grand Traverse Butterfly House and Bug Zoo in Williamsburg. Watch honeybees making honey, find your favorite tarantula inside the Tarantula Tree display, and discover beetles and friends in the Beetle Boulder.


Hop aboard a Tommy’s Rentals Sunset Cruise at Hotel Walloon on Walloon Lake. Offered every Friday night in the summer, these cruises include a captain, appetizer, wine, and beer. Also offered throughout the summer are the outdoor movies in the Village Green Park on Thursday nights. Grab a blanket or park your boat at the dock to catch an outdoor movie starting June 29th.


See some of the area’s best animals compete at the Berrien County Youth Fair on August 14th to 19th. There’s also concerts, carnival rides, food, and more to fill your week at the fair.


Visit Mecosta County and the second longest river in Michigan, the Muskegon River. On the
river, you can go tubing, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, and more. There’s 14 places to purchase a fishing license in the area, making it easier than ever to hit the waters in search for the big catch of the day.


Tahquamenon Falls

Visitors to Sault Ste. Marie have two attractions worthy of your bucket list: and the Soo Locks. Tahquamenon Falls is a 50-foot waterfall, with a park that is open year-round. The Soo Locks is widely considered a man-made wonder, used to help ships traverse the 21-foot drop between Lake Superior and Lake Huron every day and night. There’s much more fun to be had in Sault Ste. Marie, but these should be at the top of your list of things to see and do.


Celebrate Mackinac Island’s oldest hotel with a visit to the Island House Hotel. This historic landmark was originally commissioned by Charles O’Malley to be his summer beach house, and 165 years later, you can stay there when they celebrate their anniversary on July 7th.


Ride antique bikes in vintage or traditional British cycling attire and stay at Mission Point Resort during the Lakeside Ride with a Bit of Style on May 12th. The two-mile ride takes you through downtown historic Mackinac Island and past the Arch Rock in the state park. The event is free and open to all, but the best way to experience the event is with the Tweed Ride Experience Package from Mission Point Resort.


Find Michigan’s State Stone, the Petoskey Stone, or visit Avalanche Bay at Boyne Mountain Resort, Michigan’s largest indoor water park when you visit the Petoskey area.


If ziplining is one of those things you can’t wait to try, check out Wildwood Rush in Boyne City with its 1,200 foot triple racing line.


Rent a pontoon and make it a day of relaxation on the many lakes of Coldwater, or go to one of the remaining drive-in movie theaters in the state at the Capri Drive-In. Recently upgraded to digital, the Capri Drive-In shows first-run double features on each of the two screens.


Get the “up north” experience and try a new sport at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire. Guests will find the beauty of the woods and water of northern Michigan at a slower pace far from the crowds and traffic. You can even try a unique sport called FootGolf, a hybrid of golf and soccer, that’s sweeping the world of golf in recent years. It is now a recognized tournament sport in over 20 countries, and the American FootGolf League recognizes 85 participating U.S. courses in 29 states.


For many, a trip over the Mackinac Bridge is a bucket list worthy goal, but once you arrive on the other side and head north, you’re treated to Marquette County. Here, you can visit Sugarloaf Mountain or go for a scenic hike at Presque Isle Park, often considered the finest natural city park in the world.


Waldo Wright’s Flying Service

Experience lazy-eights, steep and shallow 360 degree turns, and maybe even a few “whoopty-dos” at Waldo Wright’s Flying Service in Portage. Carrying up to 4 passengers in a large front-open cockpit, guests experience the sensations of flight in the open cockpit. See, smell, feel, and hear the experience for yourself on one of these rides.


For 42 years, the St. Ignace Car Show has been a Michigan summer staple for people who love automobiles. This year, Car Show weekend is June 22nd to 24th, when hundreds of custom, antique, and celebrity automobiles will be on display in the streets of this quaint Upper Peninsula community. This event is great for families and conveniently located near beaches, parks, hiking trails, and Mackinac Island ferries.


Enjoy West Michigan’s finest display of fireworks on July 3rd from the deck of the Michigan Maritime Museum’s tall ship, Friends Good Will. Sail out of South Haven onto Lake Michigan as you watch the fireworks light up the lake and sky on this memorable cruise.


Take the ferry out of Charlevoix to one of Lake Michigan’s most hidden gems: Beaver Island America’s Emerald Isle. Enjoy a relaxing boat ride as you dock in Paradise Bay, surrounded by turquoise water and welcoming lighthouses. Tours are offered Memorial Day through Labor Day.


The Leila Arboretum & Kaleidoscope Garden in Battle Creek is a must-visit for families. Their Fantasy Forest is an amazing display of artistic talent and creativity. In 2015 and 2016, artists gathered from around the country to transform a grove of 100-year-old Ash trees into stunning works of art. They also have their Kaleidoscope Garden. Like the popular children’s toy, the Kaleidoscope Garden is always changing, highlighting different colors, shapes, and experiences as the seasons progress. Throughout the one-acre garden, visitors will take a closer look at how plants affect their everyday lives while getting a glimpse into some of Battle Creek’s interesting history.


The Grand Haven area’s Musical Fountain is truly one of a kind. The Grand Haven Musical Fountain is a synchronized water and light show accompanied by music of all varieties. Each 25-minute show features a variety of well-known music. The 2017 season opened on May 5th and runs through September.


See historical re-enactments at the 17th Annual Feast of the Strawberry Moon in Grand Haven on June 10th. This event brings in approximately 250 re-enactors, entertainers, demonstrators, and period vendors to provide the experience of the 18th century.


See how many rides you can squeeze into a day at Michigan’s Adventure  in Muskegon. They have everything from high-thrill roller coasters and water rides to the relaxing Lazy River. At Michigan’s Adventure, you get two parks for the price of one.

 

WKTV cameras to be at Pinery Park Little League celebration

The Pinery Park Little League will celebrate its players, parents and volunteers this week. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

The Pinery Park Little League’s annual Celebration Day, coming this Saturday, is a celebration of the hundreds of kids involved with about 30 teams playing in the park’s youth baseball and softball program. It is also a celebration of the parents and volunteers who work to make the program a success.

 

WKTV’s mobile coverage crew will be recording it all, starting at 10 a.m., May 13, and set for broadcast at 6 p.m. that night on WKTV community television Channel 25.

 

“This is our traditional ‘opening day’ celebration; we have been playing for several weeks but we like to wait until we have a better chance of good weather,” said Joe Gonzalez, president of the Pinery Park Little League. “It is a celebration of the kids, but also all the people who are trying to make the league stronger, to keep it going.”

 

Gonzalez said the event will have a “parade” of teams of players introduced in their team shirts, and then a carnival and food for the kids starting at 11 a.m. Many of the sponsors of the teams and the league will also be identified at the event.

 

According to Gonzalez, the league hosts a spectrum of levels of baseball and softball teams, including multiple teams in T-ball, coach pitch, minor and major levels. He said there are usually about 14 players in each baseball team and about 10-to-12 players in each softball team.

 

Pinery Park is located at 2301 De Hoop Ave. (off 28th Street), in Wyoming.

 

For more information search Pinery Park Little League on Facebook or email pineryparklittleleague@gmail.com .

 

WKTV’s featured high school coverage hits local baseball diamonds

High school baseball and softball seasons are in full swing. Check out a ball game. (WKTV)

By Mike Moll

WKTV Sports

 

There are plenty of local high school sports events to check out this week, and the weather is supposed to take a turn for the better.

 

The WKTV truck and crews continue this week its May schedule of high school sporting event coverage, with the rest of the tentative schedule being:

 

Monday, May 8 – Boys Baseball, Belding @ Kelloggsville

Tuesday May 9 – Boys Baseball, Caledonia @ East Kentwood

Wednesday, May 24 – Boys Baseball, Hopkins @ Godwin Heights

 

Each game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on later in the week — the Tuesday games will be rebroadcast Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and the Wednesday and Thursday games will be rebroadcast Saturdays at 11 a.m. — on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood.

 

For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action each week in April, and any changes to the WKTV feature game schedule, see now.wktv.org/sports/

 

The complete list of local high school sports events this week due to spring break is as follows:

 

Monday, May 8

Boys Baseball

Belding @ Godwin Heights

NorthPointe Christian @ Kelloggsville

Zion Christian @ West Michigan Aviation

Girls softball

Belding @ Godwin Heights – DH

NorthPointe Christian @ Kelloggsville

Girls soccer

Calvin Christian @ Godwin Heights

Byron Center @ Kelloggsville

South Christian @ Wyoming

West Michigan Aviation @ Algoma Christian

Tri-Unity Christian @ Hudsonville Hornets

FH Central @ East Kentwood

Ravenna @ Zion Christian

Wyoming Lee @ NorthPointe Christian

Boys golf

Kelloggsville @ Belding

Girls tennis

Kelloggsville @ Catholic Central

East Kentwood @ Grandville

Boys Lacrosse

South Christian @ Jenison

Boys/girls track

@ Wyoming Lee – Cornerstone University Showcase

 

Tuesday, May 9

Boys baseball

Wayland @ Wyoming – DH

South Christian @ East Grand Rapids – DH

GR Crusaders @ Tri-Unity Christian

Caledonia @ East Kentwood – DH

Holland Calvary @ Zion Christian – DH

Girls Softball 

Wayland @ Wyoming – DH

South Christian @ East Grand Rapids – DH

Caledonia @ East Kentwood – DH

Girls soccer

Grand River Prep @ Calvary Christian

Potter’s House @ Algoma Christian

Hope Academy @ Tri-Unity Christian

Holland Calvary @ Zion Christian

East Kentwood @ Muskegon Mona Shores

Boys golf

East Kentwood @ Hudsonville – OK Red Jamboree

Girls water polo

East Kentwood @ Grand Ledge

 

Wednesday, May 10

Boys baseball

Calvin Christian@ Godwin Heights

Rockford @ South Christian – DH

Wyoming Lee @ NorthPointe Christian

Girls softball

Calvin Christian @ Godwin Heights

Rockford @ South Christian – DH

Hudsonville @ East Kentwood

Wyoming Lee @ NorthPointe Christian

Girls soccer

Godwin Heights @ Hopkins

Wyoming Lee @ Kelloggsville

Wyoming @ East Grand Rapids

Wayland @ South Christian

Girls tennis

Kelloggsville @ Coopersville

NorthPointe Christian @ South Christian

Boys golf

Wyoming @ South Christian – OK Gold Jamboree @ Railside

Boys/girls track

Wyoming @ Wayland

South Christian @ Wayland

 

Thursday, May 11

Girls softball

Godwin Heights @ Plainwell – DH

Tri-County @ Kelloggsville

Hamilton @ Wyoming

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Boys baseball

Tri-County @ Kelloggsville

Wyoming @ Wayland

Grand River Prep @ Potter’s House

East Grand Rapids @ South Christian

Kalamazoo Cougars @ Tri-Unity Christian

East Kentwood @ Caledonia

Boys golf

Hamilton @ Wyoming

Boys/girls track

West Michigan Aviation @ Ravenna

Girls soccer

West Michigan Aviation @ Grand River Prep

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa

Girls tennis

Wayland @ East Kentwood

 

Friday, May 12

Boys/girls track

Godwin Heights @ Belding – OK Silver Conference Tournament

Kelloggsville @ Belding – O Silver Conference Tournament

Wyoming Lee @ Belding – OK Silver Conference Tournament

East Kentwood @ Rockford – OK Red Conference Tournament

Boys baseball

Godwin Heights @ Comstock Park

West Michigan Aviation @ Kalamazoo Cougars – DH

Girls soccer

Zion Christian @ Godwin Heights

Wyoming @ Hudsonville Hornets

South Christian @ Zeeland East

Potter’s House @ Fruitport Calvary Christian

Algoma Christian @ Tri-Unity Christian

Boys golf

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian – OK Silver Jamboree @ The Pines

Northview @ Wyoming

Boys lacrosse

South Christian @ Kenowa Hills

Girls water polo

East Kentwood @ TBA – Districts

 

Saturday, May 13

Boys golf

Kelloggsville @ Hamilton

East Kentwood @ East Lansing

Girls tennis

Kelloggsville @ Spring Lake – OK Silver Conference Tournament

Wyoming @ FH Eastern – OK Gold Conference Meet

South Christian @ FH Eastern – OK Gold Conference Meet

East Kentwood @ Rockford – OK Red Conference Meet

Boys baseball

West Michigan Aviation @ Kelloggsville – Liz Jensen Memorial Tournament

South Christian @ Zeeland East

Tri-Unity Christian @ Zion Christian – DH

East Kentwood @ Jenison – DH

Girls softball

Hastings @ Kelloggsville – Liz Jensen Memorial Tournament

Wyoming Lee @ Kelloggsville – Liz Jensen Memorial Tournament

South Christian @ Hudsonville

Boys/girls track

Wyoming @ Houseman Field – OK Gold Conference Meet

South Christian @ Houseman Field – OK Gold Conference Meet

 

Monday, May 15

Boys baseball

Godwin Heights @ NorthPointe Christian

Kelloggsville @ Belding

South Christian @ Covenant Christian – DH

Tri-Unity Christian @ Potter’sHouse – DH

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee

Girls softball

Godwin Heights @ NorthPointe Cristian – DH

Kelloggsville @ Belding – DH

South Christian @ Covenant Christian – DH

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee – DH

Girls soccer

Godwin Heights @ Covenant Christian

Calvin Christian @ Kelloggsville

Wyoming @ FH Eastern

West Michigan Aviation @ Fruitport Calvary

South Christian @ Christian

Belding @ Wyoming Lee

Boys golf

Comstock Park @ Wyoming

East Kentwood @ Muskegon Mona Shores

Girls tennis

South Christian @ Zeeland East

 

On tap: Beer Explorers gets cheesy; Black Goat soon on the loose

The Public Museum’s Beer Explorers program will team with Brewery Vivant to offer a class on the tasty relationship between beer and cheese.

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

The latest Beer Explorers program at the Grand Rapids Public Museum is a partnership with Brewery Vivant as participants in the class will learn about pairing beers with a variety of cheeses on Thursday, May 11.

 

The class will be led by Brewery Vivant’s “Wandering Monk and Certified Cicerone” Ryan Engemann.

 

Although wine is typically assumed the ideal pairing with cheese, beer is actually the traditional beverage to pair with cheese, according to supplied material. Both traditional farmhouse products, beers pair well with a variety of cheese and can enhance the flavors on your palate.

 

The class begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission to class, limited to 40 persons, includes three beer samples and cheese samples, as well as access to the Museum’s first two floors. A cash bar will be available.

 

Tickets are $18, $8 for museum members, and all participants must be age 21 or older. For tickets and more information visit grpm.org

 

Perrin Brewing set to release Black Goat

 

On Friday, May 12, Comstock Park’s Perrin Brewing will unleashing its Black Goat double black lager from its bourbon barrels and offering it on tap at the Perrin Pub. (Bottles will be available on May 15.)

 

The beer is described as “a bold, sweet vanilla bean aroma rises from the nose which is followed closely by flavors of complex dark chocolate and ripened stone fruit,” according to supplied material. “This lively lager finishes with a unique charred oak character and a smooth, warm caramel bourbon flavor that will exceed all taste bud expectations.”

 

A whole lot of taste buds can’t wait.

 

Eclectic mix: Meijer Gardens free Tuesday concert line-up ranges from jazz to indie rock

Slim Gypsy Baggage will be one of the “must hear” regional bands at the Meijer Gardens free Tuesday concert series this summer. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/John Rothwell)

By K.D. Noris

ken@wktv.org

 

While many big-name musical acts come through town as part of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Summer Concert Series, one of the true pleasures of a West Michigan summer is an evening at the Garden’s amphitheater exploring local and regional acts as part of the Tuesday Evening Music Club concert series.

 

Red Sea Pedestrians (Supplied Meijer Gardens/Brian Powers)

Starting Tuesday, July 4, with one band known for jazzy explorations and another for musical journeys just about everywhere else — Green On Blue and The Red Sea Pedestrians — the diverse two-month program features live bands with music ranging from jazz to indie rock to folk, all in the 1,900-(mostly grass)seat venue and all starting at 7 p.m.

 

Oh, and did I mention the concerts are free with Gardens’ admission?

 

Two of the more interesting musical explorations will be the mid August visits of Kalamazoo’s Michigander on Aug. 8 and Slim Gypsy Baggage on Aug. 15.

 

Michigander (Supplied Meijer Gardens/Adam Podboy)

Playing that night with singer-songwriter Benjaman James, Michigander is described as “emotive indie-rock, delivered through powerful vocals and cerebral lyrics.” The hook for me is the description of the band from its Facebook page: “Michigander has been the toil and passion of Jason Singer since 2013. It’s being built in basements and churches and vans without mufflers. It’s living on stages, floors, and in studios — sounding big and packing light.”

 

The next week, playing that night with the “downhome, psychedelic jam band” Bigfoot Buffalo, Slim Gypsy Baggage is led by lead singer Morgan Ingle who, accord to the bank’s website, “grew up in a musical family learning guitar from her father and honed her skills as a gifted singer/songwriter.  … Morgan signatures the Slim Gypsy Baggage vibe with her unique voice and thoughtful lyrics, as she covers the eclectic rock, funk and soulful sounds of the band.”

 

The hook, though, is checking out lead guitarist Cam Mammina. As the website states: “Cam shreds! … Mixing crunchy indie triphop licks, blues, funk, and surf rock sustains.  Needless to say, Cam brings a energized life and a driving shreddiness to SGBs sound.”

 

Two possible new words in the same sentence: “triphop” and “shreddiness”.  Oh ya.

 

The rest of the concert series includes:

 

Miss Atomic and The Zannies, on July 11. Miss Atomic is described as “a melodic blend of modern soul and pop-rock, fresh to the local scene,” while The Zannies is “an antic mishmash of alt-rock, punk, and blues.”

 

Rollie Tussing & The Midwest Territory Band and The Muteflutes, on July 18. The first is “an old-timey, unique balance of country, early swing, and blues, backed by vaudevillian percussion,” while second is “lilting, thought-provoking, lyric-driven indie folk rock.”

 

The Moxie Strings and The Dave Sharp World’s Trio, on July 25. Well known to local audiences,

 

Moxie Strings (Supplied)

The Moxie Strings is “a foot-stomping, rock-influenced, progressive spin on traditional Celtic and Americana classics and originals. While Dave Sharp World’s Trio is “a collaboration between renowned bassist Dave Sharp, Igor Houwat on the ‘oud’ (a short-neck lute-type, pear-shaped stringer instrument), and percussionist Carolyn Koebel, featuring Arabic-based, impromptu adventures into jazz and folk.”

 

The Moonrays and 6-Pak, on Aug. 1. Two bands also well known locally, The Moonrays offer “vintage, instrumental surf-rock,” while 6-Pak is “an all-girl band, originally formed in 1967, performing the grooviest hits from that era.”

 

Amy Andrews (Supplied)

Amy Andrews and Taylor Taylor, on Aug. 22. Amy is “a  modern day torch singer and award-winning vocalist, once referred to as a female Elvis” — not my words. Taylor offers “a fresh, young blend of pop and R&B, performing acoustic guitar-driven originals.”

 

Finishing up the series, as usual, is local music icon Ralston Bowles, as Ralston & Friends will his the stage Aug. 29. Describing Ralston’s music, let alone that of his always changing cast of “friends” is impossible. Start at “folk” and just enjoy the ride from there.

 

For more information visit meijergardens.org .

 

Update: Change of venue/times for Christy Paganelli memorial ballgames

 

Jake Paganelli (at bat), like his brother before him, will be playing in a game that is very personal for the family. (Supplied)

 

Wyoming’s Christy Paganelli ballgames remember past, eye a better future

 

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

This Friday, an annual baseball and softball game will held between Wyoming and Grandville high schools, the sixth to honor the person and the spirit of Christy Paganelli, who lost a courageous 18-month battle with melanoma.

 

Christy Paganelli

But the game, and its message, is really so much more — the theme is “Play for Melanoma” but, according to Christy’s widowered husband Dino, the event recognizes all cancer awareness and prevention, and is committed to making sure everyone is aware that melanoma skin cancer can happen to anyone and how to prevent it.

 

“The importance of this is to just honor lost love ones and those currently fighting a battle with cancer — any cancer — but it’s melanoma that I am really aware of, and I want young people to be aware of the significance of prevention,” Paganelli said in an interview with WKTV. “I am really scared for this generation.”

 

The two games are scheduled for May 5 at Wyoming High School’s baseball and softball fields, with both games starting at 6 p.m.

 

The players will be wearing special “sponsored” jerseys in honor or in memory of someone. As a player is announced at the beginning of the game, that person’s story will be told.

 

The players will have special sponsored jerseys, each with a story to tell. (Supplied)

“Each player has a personal connection,” Paganelli said, who saw the connection firsthand with his and Christy’s sons, who play for Grandville. “Brady played in it last year and he was really humbled by the experience, to see the leadership their mom had and showed. And now Jake is on varsity and I know he will be humbled by it.”

 

Between innings, an American Cancer Society spokesperson will be reading facts on melanoma so everyone can be aware of the dangers of skin cancer and what the risk factors are. There will also be printed information available for attendees  to take with them.

 

“She (Christy) was really reserved, she would not really like all the hype” of the games, Paganelli said. “But she would have been in favor of getting the information out there. It is a community event that I am always amazed at, the stories you hear from the sponsors, and it always takes me back.”

 

All proceeds from this game go to melanoma education and research, as well as student awareness at Wyoming high. Separately funded, the Christy Paganelli Scholarship Fund at Aquinas College, where Christy attended and played softball, funds one or two student scholarships each year.

 

“Wyoming is a very special and caring community and we are thrilled to have everyone rally around this very personal cause.” Susan Brogger,  Community Manager of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Lakeshore Division and the American Cancer Society, said in a supplied statement.

 

Wyoming high continues tradition

 

The very special cause, and sometimes very personal cause, is not lost on the student athletes either, according to the two Wyoming coaches, softball coach Troy Mast and baseball coach Shawn Veenstra.

 

A banner donated by Grandville High School for the 2016 event with Christy’s daughter Katelyn, 10, shown. (Supplied)

“I believe the event is special for our athletes as they know the event is for a great cause and they get to represent more than just themselves and their school,” said Veenstra, who with Mast has coached the games for four years, since Wyoming Park and Rogers high schools merged. Before that Rogers hosted the games.

 

“They know they are playing, not only for cancer awareness, but also for the sponsor on their jersey,” Veenstra said. “A lot of times the kids are playing in honor of a family member or family friend who either has passed away or survived cancer.”

 

Christy Paganelli, from her high school playing days. (Supplied)

Christy Paganelli played multiple sports at Rogers in the late 1980s, and went on to Aquinas College. Christy and Dino Paganelli’s three children are students at Grandville.

 

Dino’s father, Carl Paganelli, who has recently had a recurrence of a cancer, will be the honorary home-team captain of the baseball team. The honorary home captain for the softball, Terrance Sommerdyke, is a melanoma survivor, Paganelli said.

 

Carl Paganelli is a long-time Wyoming resident and patriarch of a family that includes three sons who officiate in the NFL, including Dino.

 

Wyoming voters approve library millage flexibility for park needs

Four of City of Wyoming’s parks will now have funding for improvements and renovations after voter action Tuesday.

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org 

 

City of Wyoming voters on Tuesday, May 2, approved a ballot proposal to allow the city to utilize .16 of its .39 library maintenance millage to put toward some of the $23 million in park needs. The unofficial vote results were 2,982 to 2,214, or about 57 percent in support of the proposal.

 

Gezon Park is one of four parks in line for improvements and renovations.

According to the city, the nearly $800,000 per year raised can now be used to pay a 15-year bond of $4.4 million. The bond money would be dedicated for park improvements at Ideal, Jackson, Ferrand, and Gezon. The current Parks and Recreation millage of 1.5 mills annually captures $2.9 million, which is used to fund recreation programs, maintenance services and basic facility upkeep.

 

“We are very pleased that the citizens of Wyoming have given us the flexibility to invest in our park system,” Rynbrandt said. “By allowing us to change the way we spend our dedicated library maintenance millage, we can make significant capital improvements in four parks: Ferrand, Gezon, Ideal and Jackson.

 

“This will be a multi-year process with an eye to have all projects completed within the next four years. Residents will start to see physical improvements to one or more of the parks as early as next spring.”

 

Current library maintenance

 

The request was not an increase in the amount of library millage collected and will not reduce the City’s ability to maintain the Kent District Library branch at 3350 Michael Ave. SW.

 

The library maintenance millage is only to maintain the actually facility, which is owned by the City of Wyoming. Kent District Library operates the library services and owns the collection. Operations of the library and the collection are funded through a Kent District Library millage, which is a 1.28 mill levy, which covers all 18 branches within the KDL system.

 

The city recently completed more than $650,000 in renovations to the library facility that includes a new roof and the revamping of the former cafe to a public space. Upon review, city staff determined that there would be no major renovation projects needed for the library facility within the next 10 years, Rynbrandt said prior to the vote.

 

Park needs and plans

With funding for park work now approved, plans for work can now begin.

“We are eager to begin, as there is much to do,” Rynbrandt said. “Our next steps will include formulating individual project timelines which will range from a public engagement process to update the Gezon Park development plan, to engaging engineers, landscape architects and other consultants in the creation of construction documents and processing of necessary permits for each unique park development.

“We’ll be regularly updating the community through the Parks and Recreation Commission, City Council, the Parks and Recreation brochure and social media.”

Every five years, the City of Wyoming meets with residents and city staff to review needs at its parks. Through that process, the city has recognized more than $23 million in park improvements. In 1994, Wyoming residents did grant a park millage which for the past 20 years the city has been able to invest and maintain the parks without an increase, Rynbrandt said.

 

However, within four years the city has had several natural disasters — a 2013 flood, and 2014 and 2016 tornados — which has created a greater need, Rynbrandt said. Ideal Park was severally impacted from the 2014 tornado with its playground equipment destroyed. The city was able to remove much of the debris and get the park reopened only to have the 2016 tornado cause more damage.

 

Jackson Park also was impacted by the tornados but also has a need for better stormwater control along with improved security and safety. Ferrand Park is a small pocket park that has not have any major improvements in a number of years and Gezon Park is surrounded by intense residential growth with the central area of the park needing to be developed.

 

 

Baseball dominates schedule for WKTV’s featured high school coverage

Baseball will be featured as WKTV’s high school sports coverage enters the final month of the 2016-17 school year.

By Mike Moll

WKTV Sports

 

Just as the academic school year is quickly coming to an end, especially for seniors with many graduations taking place this month, the spring schedules are following suit as MHSAA tournaments begin near the end of the month — so be sure to get out and watch one of the high school contests while you still can this month and support your local teams.

 

Likewise, the WKTV truck and crews covering games are winding down as May will bring viewers the last scheduled high school sporting event coverage until the fall when football kicks off again. May’s tentative schedule is:

 

Tuesday, May 2 – Girls Water Polo, EGR @ East Kentwood

Thursday, May 4 – Girls Softball, East Kentwood @ Grandville

Monday, May 8 – Boys Baseball, Belding @ Kelloggsville

Tuesday May 9 – Boys Baseball, Caledonia @ East Kentwood

Wednesday, May 24 – Boys Baseball, Hopkins @ Godwin Heights

 

Each game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on later in the week — the Tuesday games will be rebroadcast Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and the Wednesday and Thursday games will be rebroadcast Saturdays at 11 a.m. — on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood.

 

For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action each week in April, and any changes to the WKTV feature game schedule, see now.wktv.org/sports/

 

The complete list of local high school sports events this week due to spring break is as follows:

 

Monday, April 24

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wellsprings Prep @ Kelloggsville

East Kentwood @ Rockford

 

Tuesday, May 1

Boys/girls track

Wyoming Lee @ Godwin Heights

West Michigan Aviation @ Godwin Heights

Kelloggsville @ Hopkins

South Christian @ Middleville T-K

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa

Girls softball

Godwin Heights @ Ottawa Hills – DH

Wyoming @ FH Eastern – DH

Christian @ South Christian – DH

Grand Haven @ East Kentwood – DH

Boys basebal

Wyoming @ FH Eastern – DH

Grand River Prep @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

Grand Haven @ East Kentwood – DH

Girls soccer

West Michigan Aviation @ Hudsonville Hornets

Tri-Unity Christian @ Grand River Prep

Grand Haven @ East Kentwood

Zion Christian @ Algoma Christian

Girls tennis

Wayland @ South Christian

Girls water polo

East Grand Rapids @ East Kentwood

 

Wednesday, May 3

Boys baseball

Godwin Heights @ Wyoming Lee

Kelloggsville @ Hopkins

West Michigan Lutheran @ NorthPointe Christian

Girls softball

Godwin Heights @ Wyoming Lee – DH

Kelloggsville @ Hopkins

South Christian @ Grandville – DH

Girls soccer

Wyoming Lee @ Godwin Heights

Kelloggsville @ Hopkins

FH Eastern @ South Christian

Girls tennis

Spring Lake @ Kelloggsville

Wyoming @ Christian

Grand Haven @ East Kentwood

Boys golf

FH Eastern @ Wyoming – OK Gold Jamboree @ Gleneagle

South Christian @ Wyoming – OK Gold Jamboree @ Gleneagle

East Kentwood – Mid Season @ The Meadows

Boys/girls track

FH Eastern @ Wyoming

Boys Lacrosse

South Christian @ Comstock Park

 

Thursday, May 4

Girls softball

Godwin Heights @ East Grand Rapids – DH

Wyoming @ Muskegon Mona Shores

South Christian @ Zeeland West – DH

East Kentwood @ Grandville

Boys/girls track

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian

Boys golf

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming

South Christian @ Holland Christian

Boys baseball

FH Eastern @ Wyoming

South Christian @ Christian

Tri-Unity Christian @ Covenant Christian

East Kentwood @ Grand Haven

Wyoming Lee @ Ottawa Hills

Girls tennis

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming

Holland Christian @ South Christian

Girls soccer

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K

Barry County Christian @ Tri-Unity Christian

East Kentwood @ Caledonia

Boys lacrosse

Byron Center @ South Christian

Girls water polo

FH Central @ East Kentwood

 

Friday, May 5

Girls soccer

Godwin Heights @ Hudsonville Hornets

Potter’s House @ Kelloggsville

Wyoming Lee @ West Michigan Aviation

Boys golf

Hopkins @ Kelloggsville – OK Silver Jamboree @ Broadmoor

East Kentwood @ FH Central

Girls tennis

Kelloggsville @ Cedar Springs

Wyoming @ East Kentwood

Boys baseball

Kelloggsville @ Holland – DH

Grandville @ Wyoming

Girls softball

Grandville @ Wyoming

Girls water polo

East Kentwood @ Rockford – Rockford Tournament

Boys/girls track

East Kentwood @ Traverse City – Ken Bell Meet

 

Saturday, May 6

Boys/girls track

Godwin Heights @ East Grand Rapids

South Christian @ East Grand Rapids

Kelloggsville @ Hopkins

West Michigan Aviation @ Hopkins

Wyoming Lee @ Hopkins

Wyoming @ West Ottawa

Boys baseball

Holland Calvary @ Godwin Heights –  DH

Crossroads Charter Academy @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

FH Central @ East Kentwood – DH

Southfield Christian @ Wyoming Lee – DH

Girls softball

Kelloggsville vs TBA @ East Grand Rapids

East Kentwood @ Northview

Wyoming Lee @ Ottawa Hills

Girls water polo

East Kentwood @ Rockford

Girls soccer

Zion Christian @ Barry County

 

Monday, May 8

Boys Baseball

Belding @ Godwin Heights

NorthPointe Christian @ Kelloggsville

Zion Christian @ West Michigan Aviation

Girls softball

Belding @ Godwin Heights – DH

NorthPointe Christian @ Kelloggsville

Girls soccer

Calvin Christian @ Godwin Heights

Byron Center @ Kelloggsville

South Christian @ Wyoming

West Michigan Aviation @ Algoma Christian

Tri-Unity Christian @ Hudsonville Hornets

FH Central @ East Kentwood

Ravenna @ Zion Christian

Wyoming Lee @ NorthPointe Christian

Boys golf

Kelloggsville @ Belding

Girls tennis

Kelloggsville @ Catholic Central

East Kentwood @ Grandville

Boys Lacrosse

South Christian @ Jenison

Boys/girls track

@ Wyoming Lee – Cornerstone University Showcase

 

GVSU study: Local economic impact of Meijer Gardens is $75 million 

The crowds that come to Meijer Gardens, shown here for a summer concert, pump money into the local economy, according to a GVSU Study. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/Tony Norkus)

By Dottie Barnes

Grand Valley State University

 

The overall economic impact of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park on Kent County is $75.2 million, which supports 804 jobs, according to a study by Grand Valley State University researchers.

 

The entrance to Meijer Gardens. (Supplied)

Economics professors Paul Isely and Christian Glupker, who conducted the study, reported that the annual economic impact of Meijer Gardens came from three components: the impact of visitor spending outside of the venue, the operations of the venue (including what visitors spend inside the venue) and construction spending.

 

Isely said one way Meijer Gardens adds to the regional economy is by bringing visitors to Kent County.

 

“As these individuals come to the county to visit, they spend money on food, lodging, entertainment, transportation and other items,” Isely said. “The combined dollar value of this spending translates into greater earnings for area employers and employees, as well as greater job creation.”

 

Glupker said direct spending by all visitors outside of Meijer Gardens is $22.7 million, with more than 86 percent of this coming from people outside of Kent County.

 

“The result is a lot of new dollars into Kent County,” Glupker said. “This happens because the venue draws 445,000 visitors from outside Kent County and each of these individuals spends more as a result of a visit to Meijer Gardens than a comparable local visitor.”

 

David Hooker, president and CEO of Meijer Gardens, commented on the study by saying: “Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has been embraced and supported by our wonderful community. It is with the community’s support that we can further our unique mission of horticulture and sculpture and bring joy to so many people. The Grand Valley study clearly shows the importance and support of the great cultural community that we have.”

 

Details of the study shows The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park supports or contributes:

• 804 jobs in Kent County annually

• A $75.2 million economic output annually

• Visitors from outside the county who directly spend $19.6 million at businesses around Kent County annually

• Construction that created 39 jobs during the last year

• 86 percent of visitor spending is the result of spending by individuals who do not live in Kent County

• Nonresidents spent an average $129 per group outside the venue during their visit to Meijer Gardens while in Kent County.

 

For semi-serious beer-fueled runners, a new pub run/crawl series

Runners and beer lovers rejoice! The Beer Flight Running Series is coming to West Michigan.

 

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

If you haven’t already made your weekend running and beer drinking/crawling plans, HopCat’s Trivium Racing Team has a great idea for you — combine your two loves into one event.

 

Following up on last year’s successful HopCat Full Circle 5K, the people at Trivium have teamed with other West Michigan breweries to set up the first Beer Flight Running Series.

 

The series starts this weekend — Sunday, April 30 — with the Growler Gallop Atwater 5K in downtown Grand Rapids. According to supplied material, the 5-kilometer event features a free beer to all runners, a race t-shirt, a unique finisher glass, snacks, a keg for overall winners, growlers and howlers for age group winners, and a live band at the finish.

 

Next up will be the second running of the HopCat Full Circle 5K, scheduled for Sunday, May 28, also in downtown Grand Rapids. The event feature free beer at the finish, a live band, race t-shirt, unique finisher glass, a beer stop in the middle of the run sponsored by New Holland Brewery, awesome age group awards, and food.

 

Then, on Sunday, June 18, is the New Holland Pub on 8th 8K in downtown Holland. This event will feature free beer for finishers, live music, race t-shirt, unique finisher glass, age group awards, and snacks. Runners/crawlers can choose to run either a 5k or an 8k course.

 

The final run/crawl in the series, scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 6, is the Race to the Bar Crawl — and this one truly can be a pub crawl. Runners will begin at a designated brewery and run to four other locations. Runners must get a stamp at all four before returning to the finish line.

 

According to supplied information” “You can take this serious and focus on the running; you can race and enjoy beverages, or you can choose to just have a fun bar crawl and take your time getting from place to place.”

 

Entrants who do all four events in the series will not only receive your finisher glass from each of the races, but also earn a beer flight paddle to hold all of the glasses.

 

For more information visit triviumracing.com .

 

Every day is Record Store Day at local record shop hosting new vinyl, live bands

Corner Record Shop, in a stylized image created by Christian J. VanAntwerpen, is a magical place for music lovers. (Supplied)

 

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

The people behind the counter at the Corner Record Shop, located in Grandville just over the City of Wyoming border and long known as one of Western Michigan best places to browse for used vinyl and CDs, believe every day is Record Store Day.

 

But that doesn’t stop them from having a big ol’ party on the annual celebration of independent record stores — this year it being Saturday, April 22 — with an annual rush day of new vinyl releases, a bunch of bands in the back room, and a party-like atmosphere for customers familiar and newbie.

 

A bit of advice for the newbies, however, don’t say something like “vinyl is coming back” unless you want to look like a dork.

 

The inside of the Corner Record Shop will be the place for new vinyl and live music Saturday. (WKTV/K.D. Norris)

“Record Store Day has probably gotten bigger each year, just the number of releases and the people who are aware of it, as far as the public and customers,” said Bruce Parrott, who often works behind the counter for store owner Steve Williamson. “Vinyl has always been the biggest part of this business. People say all the time ‘vinyl is coming back, vinyl is coming back’. It has never left for us.”

 

So while there will be new vinyl releases to be checked out at the Corner Record Shop, they will also offer up live music.

 

“A lot of major labels are releasing stuff on Record Store Day, specifically, and the list gets bigger each year as more record labels participating in the day and offering things up,” Parrott said. “But we will have live bands in the back room too.”

 

Starting at noon — doors open at 11 a.m. for those wanting first crack at new releases — there will be live music until nearly 7 p.m., with local bands and musicians on stage including, in scheduled order, The Other Brothers, Dangerville, Jake Stevens Band, Tired Blood, Oliver Draper, Nate, Devin and The Dead Frets. (For video of some of the bands set to play, visit the store’s Facebook page.)

 

Vinyl records, new and rare, are the main market at the Corner Record Shop. (WKTV/K.D. Norris)

Whether is is Record Store Day, or any day, the Corner Record Shop is a microcosm of the not-so-new resurgence of vinyl, and part of is the fountain of knowledge of the staff on the subject.

 

“New vinyl is better, in most cases,” Parrott said. “The majority of releases come out on what is called 180 gram vinyl, which is a thicker, heavier, sturdier vinyl. Better made than they were — there are some ’70s RCA records, when they were going Dynaflex, you could bend in half almost. The quality of stuff coming out is really good.”

 

Great vinyl is coming out no matter what the genre of music, and trying to pigeonhole the genre of the store’s customers is a fool’s game.

 

“Just when you do that, then something, somebody changes your mind,” Parrott said. “We have a lot of shoppers of every genre. Obviously, classical listeners are getting a little older, so there is probably less of them then there are in the other genres. There is a lot of jazz people who look for new vinyl; definitely classic rock, the stuff that is getting reissued — everywhere from Prince to Led Zeppelin. We sell a lot of new vinyl of every genre.”

 

And, while most used vinyl (and CDs) are not all that expensive, depending on taste, rarity and how big a box set, there are exceptions.

 

“Just two months ago, they re-released all the George Harrison albums, every single one, those also came in a boxed set, which was $450. We sold one — one,” Parrott said. “We also have had (rare) albums that we have had priced at $400, that we put behind the wall (for protection) and sold them.”

 

Record Store Day started in 2008 as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1,400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally, according to its website. In 2008, a small list of titles was released on Record Store Day but that list has grown to include artists and labels both large and small. In 2015, 60 percent of the Record Store Day Official Release List came from independent labels and distributors.

 

Corner Record Shop is located at 3562 Chicago Dr SW, Grandville. For more information on events at Corner Record Shop, list them on Facebook @crs.grandville or call 616-531-6578.

 

Baseball, softball scheduled for WKTV’s featured high school coverage

Softball action from Godwin Heights High School will be one of the featured games on WKTV this week.

By Mike Moll

WKTV Sports

 

The WKTV truck and the crews will continue to bring various events to the airwaves this spring and this week we will be at South Christian for a baseball game and at Godwin Heights for a softball — and check out next week’s schedule of water polo coverage!

 

The tentative April schedule for WKTV coverage is:

Tuesday, April 18 Baseball, Wyoming @ South Christian

Thursday, April 20 Softball Union @ Godwin Heights

Tuesday, April 25 Water polo, Grand Haven @ East Kentwood

Thursday, April 27 Water Polo West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

 

Each game will be broadcast that night on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 at 10:30 p.m. throughout the Grand Rapids Metro Area and repeat on later in the week — the Tuesday games will be rebroadcast Wednesdays at 5 p.m., and the Wednesday and Thursday games will be rebroadcast Saturdays at 11 a.m. — on  WKTV Comcast Channel 25 and AT&T U-verse Channel 99 in Wyoming & Kentwood.

 

For a complete schedule of all local high school sports action each week in April, and any changes to the WKTV feature game schedule, see now.wktv.org/sports/

 

The complete list of local high school sports events this week due to spring break is as follows:

 

Monday, April 17

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Forest Hills Invite – Egypt Valley

East Kentwood @ Forest Hills Invite – Egypt Valley

Girls Tennis

Wyoming @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian

East Kentwood @ Byron Center

Boys Lacrosse

Comstock Park @ South Christian

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ Wayland

Kelloggsville @ Wyoming Lee

Hopkins @ Godwin Heights

East Grand Rapids @ Wyoming

Boys Baseball 

Godwin Heights @ Calvin Christian

West Michigan Aviation @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

Potter’s House @ Kelloggsville – DH

NorthPointe Christian @ Wyoming Lee

Girls Softball 

Godwin Heights @ Calvin Christian

NorthPointe Christian @ Wyoming Lee – DH

 

Tuesday April 18

Boys Baseball

Wyoming @ South Christian – DH

Holland Black River @ Potter’s House – DH

Zion Christian @ Saranac – DH

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa – DH

West Michigan Lutheran @ Three Oaks River Valley

Girls Softball

Wyoming @ South Christian – DH

East Kentwood @ West Ottawa – DH

Girls Soccer 

Godwin Heights @ Potter’s House

Wellsprings Prep @ Tri-Unity Christian

Union @ West Michigan Aviation

Zion Christian @ Calvary Christian

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Boys Golf

East Kentwood @ Grand Haven – OK Red Jamboree

Boys/Girls Track

East Kentwood @ Grandville

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Girls Water Polo

East Kentwood @ Hudsonville

 

Wednesday April 19

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Christian – OK Gold Jamboree @ Quail Ridge

Wyoming @ Christian – OK Gold Jamboree @ Quail Ridge

Girls Tennis

Wayland @ South Christian

West Catholic @ Kelloggsville

East Grand Rapids @ Wyoming

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Boys/Girls Track

South Christian @ FH Eastern

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K

Girls Soccer

Christian @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Calvin Christian

FH Eastern @ Wyoming

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Boys Baseball 

Belding @ Kelloggsville

NorthPointe Christian @ Godwin Heights

West Michigan Aviation @ Hopkins

Wyoming Lee @ Calvin Christian

Girls Softball 

Belding @ Kelloggsville

NorthPointe Christian @ Godwin Heights

Wyoming Lee @ Calvin Christian

 

Thursday April 20

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Unity Christian

Kelloggsville @ Delton-Kellogg – Delton-Kellogg Invitational

Wyoming @ Holland

East Kentwood @ Caledonia – OK Red Jamboree

Boys Baseball

South Christian @ Wyoming

Wellsprings Prep @ Tri-Unity Christian – DH

Barry County Christian @ Zion Christian

West Ottawa @ East Kentwood

Girls Softball

Unity Christian @ South Christian – DH

Union @ Godwin Heights – DH

Wyoming @ Byron Center

Hudsonville @ East Kentwood

Boys/Girls Track 

Kelloggsville @ Godwin Heights

Caledonia @ East Kentwood

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee

Girls Soccer

Tri-Unity Christian @ Zion Christian

East Kentwood @ Hudsonville

Girls Tennis

Kenowa Hills @ East Kentwood

Girls Water Polo

East Kentwood @ Zeeland East

 

Friday April 21

Girls Softball

Byron Center @ South Christian – DH

Hastings @ Kelloggsville – DH

Ottawa Hills @ Godwin Heights

Boys Baseball

Byron Center @ South Christian – DH

Potter’s House @ Kelloggsville – DH

West Michigan Aviation @ Godwin Heights – DH

Tri-Unity Christian @ NorthPointe Christian

Boys Lacrosse

Jenison @ South Christian

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ Caledonia

Hudsonville Hornets @ Godwin Heights

Allendale @ Wyoming

Potter’s House @ Delton Kellogg

Middleville T-K @ East Kentwood

Kent City @ Wyoming Lee

Boys/Girls Track 

Wyoming @ Hastings

Girls Tennis 

Northview @ Wyoming

Girls Water Polo

@ East Kentwood – EK Invite

 

Saturday April 22

Girls Tennis

South Christian @ AA Greenhills – Gryphon Invite

Hastings @ Kelloggsville – Rocket Invitational

Wyoming @ Hamilton

East Kentwood @ Holt

@ Wyoming Lee – Soils Invitational

Boys/Girls Track 

Kelloggsville @ Wyoming Lee – Lee Invite

West Michigan Aviation @ Wyoming Lee – Lee Invite

Boys Baseball 

Godwin Heights @ Wyoming Lee – Rebel Invitational

Heritage Christian @ Zion Christian – DH

East Kentwood @ Catholic Central

Girls Softball 

Wyoming @ Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

East Kentwood @ Muskegon Mona Shores – DH

@ Wyoming Lee – Rebel Invitational

Girls Water Polo

@ East Kentwood – EK Invite

 

Monday April 24

Boys Golf

South Christian @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wyoming @ Middleville T-K – OK Gold Jamboree @ Yankee Springs

Wellsprings Prep @ Kelloggsville

East Kentwood @ Rockford

Girls Tennis

Christian @ South Christian

Kelloggsville @ Comstock Park

Wyoming @ FH Eastern

East Kentwood @ Rockford

Girls Softball

South Christian @ Holland Christian

Calvin Christian @ Kelloggsville – DH

Godwin Heights @ Western Michigan Christian – DH

Wyoming Lee @ Belding – DH

Boys Baseball

South Christian @ Holland Christian

Calvin Christian @ Kelloggsville

West Michigan Aviation @ Holland Calvary – DH

Wyoming Lee @ Belding

Boys Lacrosse

South Christian @ Catholic Central

Girls Soccer

South Christian @ East Grand Rapids

Godwin Heights @ Kelloggsville

Wayland @ Wyoming

South Haven @ West Michigan Aviation

Crossroads Charter @ Zion Christian

Calvin Christian @ Wyoming Lee

 

Meijer Gardens expansion includes expanded learning center, local community education opportunities

Architectural drawings for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s new Covenant Learning Center, which will be topped by the new Padnos Families Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

The multi-phased building expansion plans of the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park announced last week will include an expansion the institution’s learning center, already a favorite of several Wyoming and Kentwood community organizations including Kentwood Public Schools A.R.C.H. after school program.

 

The expansion plans include a new 60,000 square foot welcome center, a new transportation center, expansion and upgrades to the concert amphitheater, a new sculpture garden entry plaza and a “reimagined” scenic indoor corridor, and expanded parking and urban garden areas. Overall, project construction is scheduled to begin this fall and continue for approximately four years.

 

After the new welcome center, however, and most important expansion may be the 20,000 square foot Covenant Learning Center, which will be topped by the new Padnos Families Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

 

Architectural drawings for Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s new Covenant Learning Center, which will be topped by the new Padnos Families Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

“Today we have two approximately 1,100 square foot classrooms devoted to education,” Meijer Gardens President and CEO David Hooker said when asked by WKTV about the Covenant Learning Center. “Since 1999, our educational programming has grown 305 percent. While our education programming has grown … our space dedicated to education has remained the same. The new Covenant Learning Center will have four approximately 1,200 square foot classrooms, two 1,600 square foot classrooms and one 2,200 square foot Interactive Education Area. The opportunity for additional educational programming is nearly unlimited.”

 

Wyoming and Kentwood programs at the gardens

 

Kentwood’s A.R.C.H. after school program is just one of the many programs currently using the Garden’s educational programing.

 

“The after-school programs from both Kentwood (A.R.C.H.) and Wyoming (T.E.A.M. 21), in particular, have made frequent visits to Meijer Gardens in the past,” said Jessica Hart, Meijer Gardens indoor education manager. “We’re delighted that these groups have been able to enjoy our seasonal exhibitions, Sculpture Park, and Children’s Garden. I expect that the new Covenant Learning Center will allow us additional opportunities to offer educational programs school groups and after-school groups alike in the future.”

 

A.R.C.H. is a collaboration between Kentwood Public Schools and the Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department. Program activities focus on academics, health, wellness, and recreation/leisure education.  These activities will be offered to children, family, and community members throughout the year.

 

But the Kentwood program is just one of many groups availing themselves of local cultural educational opportunities. And that is just the way Meijer Garden’s wants it.

 

Following recent educational additions to other Grand Rapids area institutions, including The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Meijer Garden’s Covenant Learning Center “will engage learners in new ways and reinforce our commitment as the go-to place for cultural education,” according to supplied information.

 

Part of Meijer Garden’s mission

 

“Since our beginning, education has been a hallmark of the Meijer Gardens mission — reaching more than 89,000 guests last year alone. In fact, the action word in our mission statement is ‘promote.’ Education is the primary method by which we put life into the word ‘promote.’ The dramatic growth of participation in our educational programming not only underscores the quality and diversity of our classes, camps and events, but also demonstrates a need for more classroom space.”

 

A key aspect of the new classrooms will be that they will provide outdoor learning areas, with five of the six having direct access from within the classroom. The outdoor learning area will be located east of the building and will include seating areas for students, teaching areas for instructors, and partial shade/cover from the elements.

 

The expansion plans are the result of a nearly complete $115 million capital campaign titled “Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love”. The campaign currently has raised about $102 million of its goal, according to supplied information.

 

“If we are successful in our ‘Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love’ fundraising efforts, we will begin construction in September of this year,” Hooker said. “We do not have a precise date at this time for the completion of the Covenant Learning Center or the Padnos Families Rooftop Sculpture Garden.”

 

The New York firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Partners has been chosen “to re-envision and expand” the Meijer Gardens facilities, according to supplied information. The firm is known for their design of the iconic Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and, most recently, chosen to design the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago.

 

For more information about Meijer Gardens visit meijergardens.org. For more information about the “Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love” fundraising efforts visit meijergardens.org/legacyoflove .

 

Register now for kids’ creative summer classes at Holland Area Arts Council

By Mary Sundstrom

 

This summer, have your child explore his or her creative side. The Holland Area Arts Council offers Fine Arts Camps for all ages, grades 3 through 12.

 

The classic 8th Street Fine Arts Camp for grades 3-6 will explore the artwork of Yayoi Kusama, the Polka Dot Queen, and draw inspiration from her vibrant colors, polka dots and infinity rooms. Another quilting camp for grades 5-8 will explore the quilts of modern master Nancy Crow, and each student will again bring home pieced and tied quilt!

 

The newest addition to the Fine Arts Camps this summer is The Joy of Painting, a teen workshop intensive that will give students grades 9-12 a taste of art school. They’ll learn how to prepare a canvas or board, plan a painting, learn new techniques, gain an understanding of brushes, tools and mediums and finish the week with a peer critiques and a mini exhibition of their work.

 

The Arts Council offers a Clay Camp every year and have grown the program this summer with five camps, including all-new clay, colors and processes and an awesome new teacher. Grades 3-6 can join Mary Wolter, the Arts Council’s ceramics instructor, to make whistles, games, clay self-portraits, wind chimes — and also learn to use the wheel. The Arts Council is also offering a clay workshop for grades K-2 so the little ones get a chance to play in the mud.

 

Eat with Your Eyes Cooking Camps are back, too. This summer, grades 3-6 can choose between two culinary camps learning to cook a full day’s worth of food or exploring cuisine from Mexico, Italy and Asia. Kids learn to cook from scratch in these camps and leave with a folder of recipes and the skills to try them at home.

 

Students will meet at the Holland Area Arts Council each day at 150 East 8th Street in Downtown Holland. Call 616.396.3278 or go here for more information and to register.

 

Register early! Space is limited and camps fill up fast.

Wyoming parks and rec adult softball spring leagues now registering

The City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department is taking registrations for its spring softball leagues. (WKTV)

WKTV Staff

 

The deadline is looming for signing up for the City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department’s spring-season adult soft-pitch softball leagues, which includes both coed and men’s leagues.

 

Registration deadline for adult softball leagues is Thursday, March 16.

 

The coed league will play Mondays and Fridays while the men’s league will play Mondays and Thursdays. These are both 10-game leagues with a $475 cost per team. An additional men’s league, running Mondays and Tuesdays, will be a 12-game league and with a $525 cost per team. They will all include a single-elimination tournament at the end of regular season.

 

For more information, or to register your team, please contact recreation programmer Kenny Westrate at 616.530.3164 or westratek@wyomingmi.gov.

 

For more information about other Parks and Recreation special events or programs, please visit www.wyomingmi.gov.

Wyoming’s Hoop Heaven Basketball Academy announces youth programs

Hoop Heaven Basketball Academy will be holding introductory events this month and in April. (Supplied)

WKTV Staff

 

Wyoming’s Hoop Heaven Basketball Academy recently announced several youth basketball programs, including a March 11 trial event of its Travel Ball League Play and the Saturday afternoon Biddy Ball program starting in April.

 

Hoop Heaven events are held at the Elevation Church, 2141B Porter St. SW. The program’s mission, according to supplied material, is “Pursuing gospel transformation and leadership development in Wyoming area youth through the game of basketball.”

 

The Travel Ball League Play event on March 11 will start at 1 p.m. and is for both boys and girls grades 3-12. The cost of tryout is $5 per players and you must pre-register. For registration and more information on this event contact Phyllis Harder at 616-498-1128, email her at phyllis@elevationhoopheaven.org or visit their website at elevationhoopheaven.org or visit them on Facebook at /hoopheavenbasketballacademy

 

The Biddy Ball program will run April 15 through May 13 and is open to both boys and girls K-2nd grade. Both friend (of teams) and entire team requests will be considered. The cost if $55 per child, with partial scholarships available, which includes a t-shirt. For more information contact Eric Vandyke at 616-272-6244, email him at ericvandyke15@gmail.com or visit elevationhoopheaven.com .

 

The butterflies spring out at Meijer Gardens starting March 1

Butterflies of all colors and patterns will be flying around Meijer Gardens’ tropical conservatory starting March 1. (Supplied)

WKTV Staff

 

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s tropical conservatory, starting Wednesday, March 1, will be home to the first of more than 7,000 tropical butterflies that will be hatched and start flying around the heads of both children and adults alike.

 

Can’t you just see the Facebook photo?

 

Butterflies are Blooming runs through April 30. The annual show attracted more than 170,000 visitors last year.

 

With butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America and Central America, Butterflies Are Blooming is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation, according to Meijer Gardens.

 

The Atlas moth (not really a butterfly, but big and beautiful) will be making an appearance. (Supplied Meijer Gardens/William Hebert)

Approximately 60 colorful species will be flying freely in the five-story, 15,000 square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, wherein the 85-degrees and 70-percent humidity environment mimics tropical regions that the butterflies call home.

 

“Our exhibition this year celebrates shape and pattern,” Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture, said in supplied material. “The butterflies and the natural environment of the conservatory are wonderful examples of how these patterns reveal themselves all around us. This exhibition provides a superb opportunity for our guests to view caterpillars, wings, flowers and foliage with a renewed appreciation for the world around us.”

 

Species of butterflies expected to arrive include the blue Common Morpho, whose iridescence impresses in flight; brushfoot varieties such as the Clearwing, Lacewing and Zebra Mosaic; the “Longwings” such as the Small Blue Grecian, Doris, Postman and Tiger butterflies; and the “Gliders” such as the Emperor, Ruby-spotted and Tropical Swallowtails.

 

Special related events include “Who Am I?” A Butterfly Ballet”, with two shows on both March 4 and March 18, a program performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company; as well as Tuesday Night Lights, running each week throughout the exhibit’s run, where visitors bring their flashlights to find the butterflies at rest throughout the conservatory.

 

For more information visit MeijerGardens.org.

 

Kentwood parks and rec Craft Beer 101 program starts this week

The Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring a series of Craft Beer 101 classes starting this week. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

It is not too late to fill your Monday calendar with a little beer (education) as the Kentwood Parks and Recreation Department beings four weeks of its Craft Beer 101 adult education program Monday, Jan. 23, with a program at Jaden James Brewery.

 

The program — continuing on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m. on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6 and 13 — is for people 21-years-old and older who want to learn more about what goes into beer, how beer is made and the various kinds of beer, according to supplied information. The class will include tasting.

 

The classes are led by Ben Darcie, founder of Experience Beer WM and a beer writer, educator and self-proclaimed “beer geek extraordinaire.” The classes are for the beginner as well as the advanced home-brewer.

 

The program at Jaden James Brewery, located at 4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE, is called “Intro: Beer Ingredients and Process” The other classes, in order of date, are “Beer Tasting: Lager, Pale Ale & IPA; Hops and Brewing Them” at Schmohz, 2600 Patterson SE; “Beer Tasting: Belgian, Porter and Stout; Alternative Yeast and Recipe Design” at Railton Brewing, 3555 68the St. SE; and “Infection and Off-flavor” at Horrock’s Market at 4455 Breton SE.

 

Cost of the four-class program is $50 or $15 per class; and night-of registration is available. For more information call 616-656-5270 or visit yourkprd.org

 

Living a musical life; Kentwood man part of St. Cecilia community band 

John Weitzel, who lived in Kentwood for almost 30 years, has spent the last two years as part of St. Cecilia Music Center’s Grand Band. (WKTV)

By K.D. Norris

ken@wktv.org

 

John Weitzel, who lived in Kentwood for almost 30 years, has been a musician for the majority of his 92 years — as a musical student, teacher and high school band leader. And he has no intention of stopping.

 

The St. Cecilia Grand Band in rehearsal at the music center’s Royce Auditorium. (WKTV)

So, with is baritone horn in hand, John has spent the last two years as part of St. Cecilia Music Center’s Grand Band, one of a series of community youth and adult music programs offered by the center.

 

“I was one of those people who started playing early in my life, I was eight years old when I first started playing the trumpet, became a member of the high school band a little early and had quite an experience there. Then I went to college and played trumpet there,” John said in a recent interview during a break in rehearsal with the band.

 

He has a masters degree in music from Columbia University in New York, still majoring in trumpet. Then became a high school band director in Alliance, Ohio, and was there for 35 years, as director of the band and supervisor of music. “After I retired from that, my wife and I moved to Grand Rapids and I joined up with several bands and have been in the (St. Cecilia) Grand Band for a couple years. It has been a great experience.”

 

His life has been full of great musical experiences, however. One of his fondest is his relationship with world-famous composer, conductor and arranger Henry Mancini.

 

Friends in music, life

 

“We met when we were in junior high school in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. We were both 12 years old. We hit it off right away because we were both only children,” John said. “He had quite a personality, even at that age, and I was attracted to him. We had quite an experience together, in high school, through our music. He was a life-long friend.”

 

Even when Mancini was at the top of his fame, and John a high school band director, they shared musical moments.

 

“He played a concert at Blossom Hills, Ohio, with the Cleveland Orchestra, and he was kind enough to introduce me during that concert,” John said. “Then we met after, in the Green Room, and we were able to renew our friendship at that point. … unfortunately, he passed away at just 70 years old. I was always curious about the music he might have written had he been allowed to live a little longer.”

 

And speaking of long life, John credits his continuing love of music as one reason for his longevity.

 

“I just feel that physically, and mentally, it is a great outlet,” he said. “I have been extremely happy, in my old age, playing in three different bands and I feel that the Grand Band is my favorite. … (it was) attractive to me for a lot of reasons: the atmosphere, the fact that we play on the same stage where world-class musicians perform, great directors. It is a fund band, and I have met a lot of friends.”

 

Weitzel’s attraction to the band is shared by other members, as is the feeling that it helps senior players keep or renew their musical skills.

 

Many members, many musical stories

 

Tom Ennis, a 70-year-old trumpet player, also started playing when he was eight and played through high school. But then life got in the way.

 

Tom Ennis is a trumpet player with the Grand Band. (WKTV)

“I joined the Army. Went over to Vietnam, and then got stationed in California and raised my family there. I kind of fell out of it,” Tom said. “When I retired from work, out in California, I wanted to play my horn again, but they don’t have community bands out there. When we moved back to Michigan, I found out about the Grand Band.

 

“For myself, I think you can continue to improve and improve, as you get older and older, you don’t have to just stagnate. … but, like anything, it is very hard if you just do it by yourself. You can’t play a trumpet by yourself and enjoy it a whole lot. The enjoyment comes with playing with a full band.”

 

Weitzel’s and Ennis’ stories are just two of the many stories of the St. Cecilia music programs, according to Grand Band director Paul Keen.

 

St. Cecilia Music Center Grand Band director Paul Keen. (WKTV)

“There is a wide variety of musical talents in this band,” Keen said. “It is not exclusively an elder band, we invite musicians of all ages. In fact, the young person … (in the band) is home schooled. He is the son of one of our percussionists, and we welcome him.”

 

But Keen, 70, sees special benefit to older musicians.

 

“It is an opportunity to continue to socialize with people with similar interests. There is also a benefit in terms of cognitive functioning,” her said. “If people, as they get older, stimulate their brains, whether it is through board games, through art, music, other intellectual pursuits, it really does help our frame of mind, our physical and mental wellbeing. I know from my own personal situation, all the aches and pains I feel, I never seem to feel them when I am playing an instrument or standing up here (leading the band).”

 

St. Cecilia Music Center. (WKTV)

The St. Cecilia Music Center’s Grand Band rehearses Monday mornings and performed in concert in December. The Grand String Orchestra, conducted by Cyndi Betts, rehearses on Wednesday evenings. No auditions are needed for either group. For more information about joining one of the adult ensembles visit SCMC-online.org or call the education director at 616-459-2224.

 

It’s not too early to think Tulip Time run 

Want to run through the streets of Holland at Tulip Time? There is a run for you. (Supplied)

WKTV Staff

The Tulip Time Festival has announced the opening of online registration and details for the Tulip Time Run on Saturday, May 6, at Kollen Park in Holland. The run — with a 5K, 10K and kids fun run — gives the opportunity to run or walk through Holland’s tulip-lined streets.

 

All run participants will be issued a race bib, a complimentary gear check tag and a free beverage ticket, redeemable at the after-party at Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant. Registering before April 2 ensures runners a participant shirt and a personalized race bib featuring their name.

 

The 5K will start at 8 a.m. and the 10K will start at 9 a.m. Both races will start at the corner of 12th Street and Kollen Park Drive and finish on 12th Street in the West-bound lane. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in each age division (male and female). The kids’ run will start at 9:15am at the playground in Kollen Park.

 

Registration for the 5K and/or 10K is $30, $35 after Feb. 28 and $40 on race day; registration for the kids’ run is $10 through May 3 and $15 on race day. A discount of $2 off each registration is available for families of three to five people. Registration is available online at tulip tuliptime.com/run

 

‘Tis the season to hit the slopes!

Photo courtesy Crystal Mountain website

All that white stuff out there? Great news for skiers and snowmobilers. And, for the first time in seven years, Cannonsburg Ski Area near Rockford, Mich. will open before Christmas — opening day is Dec. 17. (Last year, skiers missed out because of the warm, dry December weather.)

 

Other ski resorts are benefitting from the wintry weather as well. Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Mich. celebrated its 60th opening day on Dec. 10 and, for the second straight year, Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, Mich. has earned the distinction as No. 1 Terrain Park in the Midwest by TransWorld Snowboarding’s 2017 Park Poll. The magazine ranks the best terrain parks across North America and prints the annual list in its Nov. issue.

 

And then there’s Bittersweet Ski Area in Otsego, which opened Saturday, Dec. 10. (Last year, they were only open two days during December.)

 

You’ll find all the info you need on the ski resorts’ websites at the links above.

 

Avoid the Black Friday madness — plant a prairie

This beats Black Friday shopping hands down!

saul-lake-bog-nature-preserve
Photo courtesy Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve

Avoid the madness and come help the folks at Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve plant a new section of the ever-expanding Saul Lake Prairie — one of the longest-running and most successful prairie restoration projects in Michigan. Located east of Rockford, Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve was established in 1989 and comprises 123 acres.

 

Convenient parking and over a mile of meandering trails allow visitors to appreciate the bog, prairie, forests, and fields — and the diversity of wildlife they support — in all seasons. Participants should wear appropriate clothing for outdoor work, including long pants and sturdy shoes. A great family activity, appropriate for ages 12 and up. Learn More.

 

Event: Black Friday Prairie Planting

 

Saturday, November 25 | 10:00am – 12:00pm | Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve,
10471 Six Mile Road, Rockford, MI

 

Contact Justin Heslinga at 616.451.9476 or by email to register.

 

Metro Health Village: Go the extra mile for better health

metro-health-a-great-place-to-walkWalking is as simple as it gets for a gentle, low-impact exercise that just about anyone can enjoy. In fact, walking can help prevent and improve many common health issues like heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and depression, to name a few. All you need is a good, supportive pair of walking shoes and a safe place to walk, like Metro Health Village, 5900 Byron Center Avenue in Wyoming.

 

Metro Health Village has a number of walking routes and even a bike trail — all perfect for an afternoon stroll with the kids or a quick, weeknight workout. Download a Walking/Bike Route map here.

 

Need a little push to get started? Check out the Couch to 5K Training Program. Even if you’re not looking to set any world records, this program will have you up and active in no time!

 

Motivation is key when starting a new physical activity. Here are some ideas to help you stay focused and interested every day:

  • Wear a pedometer. Increase your steps a little every day until you reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day.
  • Get a walking partner – a friend, spouse, child, even the dog!
  • Sign up for a race or charity walk like the Metro Way 5K & Family Fun Run or the American Heart Association Heart Walk. An upcoming event gives you a goal to reach.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Park farther from the door when running errands.
  • Plan a walking meeting at work.

Walking Safety Tips

Above all, it’s important to stay safe, no matter where or when you walk.

  • Walk with a buddy whenever possible.
  • Carry your name, address and a friend or relative’s phone number in your shoe or pocket.
  • Wear a medical bracelet if you have diabetes, an allergy or other condition.
  • Carry a cell phone, and let someone know you’re walking routes.
  • Avoid deserted or unlit streets, especially after dark.
  • Do not use headsets that prevent you from hearing traffic.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.

 

Metro Health offers ideas for going green in your daily life

courtesy-of-metro-health
Courtesy of Metro Health

Incorporating green living practices into your daily life may be easier (and more fun) than you think. Here are just a few of Metro Health’s favorite ideas:

  • Go Vegetarian Once a Week (Meatless Mondays)
    One less meat-based meal a week helps the planet and your diet. For example: It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. You will also also save some trees. For each hamburger that originated from animals raised on rain forest land, approximately 55 square feet of forest have been destroyed. Find some meatless recipes featured by our Farm Markets and learn how to make your favorite recipes more heart healthy.
  • Rethink Bottled Water
    Nearly 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled, instead taking thousands of years to decompose. Buy a reusable container and fill it with tap water, a great choice for the environment, your wallet and possibly your health. The EPA’s standards for tap water are more stringent than the FDA’s standards for bottled water.
  • Make a Rain Barrel
    Do your part to conserve water by taking a Rain Barrel Workshop. Rain barrels are effective in storm water usage and water quality. They can even help lower your water bill during those long, hot summer months.
  • Buy Local
    Consider the amount of pollution created to get your food from the farm to your table. Whenever possible, buy from local farmers or farmers’ markets, supporting your local economy and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas created when products are flown or trucked in. Click here to learn about the Metro Health Farm Markets.
  • Plant a Garden
    Planting a garden is a great way to enjoy fresh produce at home! We are proud to supply our Metro Café with fresh produce and herbs from the Metro Health Garden. We also partner with the United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) and the City of Wyoming to provide a Community Garden in a neighborhood where there is great need and limited access to healthy food. Watch for information about our gardens and tips on making your own garden come to life.
  • Community Clean-Up Day
    Metro Health Village is home to a number of walking and biking trails and Frog Hollow Park, making it a great escape for the whole family. So every spring, we host a day to spruce up Metro Health Village, making it ready for another season of family fun. Please join us – this may be the most fun you ever had picking up trash! (High school students can also earn Community Service Hours by participating.) Check Metro Health’s Live Healthy Calendar to learn more.

Metro Health offers free screenings for hunters before they head into the woods

generic-metro-healthAs West Michigan hunters head back to the woods, Metro Health Hospital will host a free Hunters Screening on Saturday, Oct. 22.

 

Metro Heart and Vascular and trauma services team members will be on hand for the session, which runs 7:30-11:30 a.m. in the main lobby of the hospital at 5900 Byron Center Ave. SW.  Various screens will be done to determine risk for heart attacks and other cardiac issues.

 

“Hunting is more than just sitting in a tree stand. It’s important to check up on your health before heading after that buck,” Dr. Matthew Sevensma of Metro Heart and Vascular said.  “Walking miles to your tree stand, climbing, tracking if necessary and then hauling back that perfect deer can really stress your body if you are unaccustomed to the exertion.

 

“While you don’t need to be in peak physical condition, you will want to be sure your body can handle the level of activity necessary to keep you safe while you are out in the field.”

 

In a study conducted by Michigan’s Beaumont Hospital which was published in 2007 in the American Journal of Cardiology, 25 middle-aged hunters, 17 of whom had been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, were fitted with heart monitors.

 

white tail buckDuring deer season, all but three exceeded the maximum rate they had achieved on a treadmill test. Dragging downed game raised heart rates to the most dangerous levels, but several men experienced jumps into the red zone simply from spotting or shooting at a deer.

 

According to study co-author Dr. Barry Franklin, the strain hunting puts on the heart is attributed to three factors: hunting’s strenuous nature, the epinephrine (or “excitement”) response upon seeing game and environmental stresses, including cold weather and altitude.

 

Franklin also notes that many hunters in the study exhibited life-threatening heart-rhythm irregularities (aka cardiac arrhythmia) that had not been apparent on EKG readouts during laboratory treadmill tests. This was a disturbing finding. Heart arrhythmia is the trigger for cardiac arrest.

 

Sevensma advised:

  • Avoid hunting alone
  • Let a friend or relative know where you are hunting and when you expect to be back
  • Bring a cell phone in case of emergencies
  • Practice tree stand safety
  • Know the symptoms of a heart attack: shortness of breath, cold sweats and chest pressure or pain and/or pain that radiates to your shoulders, arm, jaw or back

 

Space is limited and registration is required. The screen will include a number of tests, including:

  • An EKG to determine cardiac risk
  • Cholesterol test
  • Body mass index
  • Blood pressure screen
  • Glucose test, which requires an eight-hour fast in advance

 

For more information or to register, call 616.252.5963 or visit https://metrohealth.net/event/hunter-screen/. Additional information on hunter safety is available at www.michigan.gov/dnr.