Tag Archives: Mike DeWitt

Going Local: Lindo Mexico

lindomexcioshirtJoanne’s Portion

Joanne@wktv.org

 

Being it was Mike’s last week here at WKTV, I let him decide on which restaurant we would visit. So we did not pull Lindo Mexico out of the hat, but let me assure everyone that it was in there.

 

Actually, I had heard a lot of good things about the restaurant, which along with several Wyoming and Kentwood business is up for the Celebrated Service Award. Having moved earlier this year to its new location at 1742 28th St. SW., Lindo Mexico is a family-owned business known for its familiar Mexican dishes along with beer and margaritas. The new location is beautiful…no gorgeous. It looks and feels like some swanky restaurant you would find in New York or even downtown Grand Rapids, but the best part is you do not have to fight the downtown traffic to get there, just 28th Street, which on a bad day is still better than traveling U.S. 131.

 

The place is bright, cheerful and features a gallery of artists’ work on the walls that appeared to be available for purchase. (I did not get that up close to check.) My biggest regret is that it was raining the day we went so we could not take advantage of the really cool patio that reminded me of the ones I saw on a recent trip to San Diego. Since the weather will be turning cooler soon, I probably will not be able to take advantage of that patio until the spring. Sigh.

 

I also completely understand why Lindo Mexico is up for the Celebrated Service Award – our waitress, Lupata, was just a doll. She had a full section but still took the time to explain menu items and checked back on a regular basis to make sure we were doing fine. Due to the fact the restaurant was hopping, I could bet that the service is consistently top-notch.

 

lindomexicoWe stuck to the lunch menu and I settled on #10, the Chimichanga Lunch Special. So I dare admit this while writing about a “Restaurant Mexicano,” but I grew up on Chi Chi’s and one of my favorites was the chimichanga which is a flour tortilla filled with your choice of meat, refried bans, and cheese then deep-fried. I got the chicken and had it topped with mild sauce and melted cheese. I was not enthralled with the chimichanga for a couple of reasons: one, I should have had the sauce on the side, which would have let the chimichanga have more of a crunch. I love crunch and vegetables, which brings me to  reason two: I was in love with Mike’s choice, the Alhambra lunch Special, which had green peppers, onions, meat and cheese. It reminded me of a nacho I order from another restaurant and I knew I would have loved it.

 

So with my next plate decided on and knowing the service is exceptional, I’ll be back with hubby in tow just so he too can dream with me about a lazy summer evening sitting on Lindo Mexico’s patio, sipping a margarita. Who knows, we might even invite Mike to join us.

 

Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

My time here at WKTV has opened me up to a whole new word here in the cities of Wyoming and Kentwood. Growing up north of Grand Rapids, I wasn’t aware that both cities are teeming with a mixture of different cultures. This quickly becomes apparent when looking at the local restaurants and food choices, and Going Local opened my eyes and taste-buds to the diversity both cities have to offer.

 

Lindo MexicoFor my last week, Joanne allowed me to pick a restaurant. No random drawing from the hat, but an actual choice on where we would Go Local for the week. The choice was easy and came about due to our visit to Maya Mexican Grill two months prior. I loved Maya – the food, the wait staff… the margaritas – and willingly shouted it from the rooftops. It was during that shouting that someone mentioned to me, “Have you tried Lindo Mexico?” I had not, at least, not yet.

 

Lindo Mexico quickly became a destination spot. “I need to compare and contrast,” I told myself, but in reality I just wanted to stuff my face full of delicious Mexican food.

 

The restaurant was very clean and inviting upon entering, and the place was packed! Lindo Mexico was busier than any restaurant Joanne and I visited over the last five months. I’ll give you a hint why… it’s because of the food. The lunch menu is quite large, the price is reasonable, and the portions plentiful. After surveying the menu, I zeroed in on number 13. My salivary glands are activating themselves just thinking about it – A mix of marinated pork, marinated chicken and steak strips, cooked with tomato, onion and your choice of jalapeño or bell peppers, then topped with cheese; served with refried beans, mexican rice, guacamole and tortillas.

 

Talk about a flavorful adventure!

 

Lindo MexicoThe meat and vegetables came out on a hot skillet with the beans, rice and guacamole on the side. My mouth was throwing a party and only the zestiest of flavors were invited. I savored every bite and even came back to work with a box filled of leftovers. That was quickly devoured two hours later at WKTV. I’m like a Hobbit, second lunch is a real thing.

 

I’ve also heard their margaritas are amazing… not that I had one or anything. I plead the fifth!

Going Local: Al-Bos Eurocafe-Bakery

albos3Joanne’s Portion

Joanne@wktv.org

 

Al-Bos Eurocafe-Bakery was one of the first restaurants I ran across in doing my search of local eateries to put in the Going Local hat.

 

The Albanian/Bosnian restaurant, located at 2930 Shaffer Ave. SE, is one that I actually have driven past several times, wondering what was inside, and Wednesday was the day I was finally going to find out. The inside was beautiful with dark wood accents and a mix of hi-tops and regular seating along with a bar.

 

The two-page menu is loaded with items, none of which I had ever tried, making it a little intimating even after our waiter came up and pointed out some of the top suggestions. I struggled in trying to make a decision and looking back, I believe I was afraid of moving out of my comfort zone. The waiter was so gracious in trying to help with a strong push for the stroganoff which had mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes would have to be phenomenal for me to even try them, so that was a no. I finally decided to go with the Mesano Meso or the mixed grill plate. “Good choice! Good choice!” our waiter said. With visions of lots of food, I figured I could take the rest home to the family or have it for leftovers the next day.

 

albos4When the meal finally came, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was not a heaping plate of meat but a reasonable portion of samples from the various items offered at Al-Bos.

 

The plate included Chicken Raznjici, a chicken skewer; cevapcici, smaller grilled meat sausages made of lamb and beef; Kranjska Kobasica, a Carniolan sausage similar to kielbasa; pljeskavica, a beef patty, and a breaded chicken that I did not get the name of. Topping it off was Djuvec rice and french fries.

 

There is a person who wrote on Al-Bos’s Facebook page that they could eat the food “until they were put on a stretcher.” After tasting everything on my plate, I could totally relate. The food was amazing. It was properly seasoned without being overpowering bringing out the full flavor of the individual dishes. Basically a “wow” factor times ten and I loved every bite.

 

I did manage to save some for the family and watched sadly as my daughter saddled up next to my husband and began to steal everything off his plate. As my husband looked at the empty plate of which he got only a few small bites, I said, “We’ll go there. I promise.” After all, I believe there is a stroganoff with mashed potatoes calling my name.

 

Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

With the camera on and the Going Local hat nestled in my left palm, I dove my right hand deep into the paper abyss to choose our next location. As my hand finagled through the options, it finally settled on one destination, Al-Bos Eurocafe-Bakery

 

Another week, and another brand new location I had never heard of. I’ll take ‘A New Experience’ for $200, Alex.

 

The authentic Albanian-Bosnian restaurant – located at 2930 Shaffer Ave. in Kentwood – has a menu loaded with my favorite thing in the whole wide world… Meat! A power-packed protein binge in always in my wheelhouse and Al-Bos had a selection that was sure to satisfy.

 

The menu was overpowering, not going to lie, and I don’t mean that as a negative. A whole host of meats and preparations filled the menu and left me slightly dumbfounded. Not only was I struggling to make a decision, I had difficulty pronouncing what I was even ordering. Thankfully our waiter was extremely helpful. He immediately sensed my indecisiveness and pointed me towards a few menu items I would enjoy.

 

img_2079It felt like a blind date and my waiter was the matchmaker. I couldn’t pronounce my meal’s name, and I wasn’t quite sure what she was going to look like, but I had to trust that there would be chemistry between us. My lunch date ended up being Stufed Pljeskavica-Punjena Pljeskavica. It consisted of stufed pljeskavica (beef), with feta cheese, onion, ajvar, djuvec rice, and french fries.

 

When the meal was set down in front of me, I was quickly reminded that true love was universal. We may not have spoken the same language, but body language needs no interpretation and my meal and I were on the same page.

 

The beef was tender and juicy and stuffed with feta cheese. It went down quickly as each bite was followed by an immediate need for another. The rice was delicious and had a more tempered flavor. It complimented the meat quite nicely. The french fries were an add-on seemingly from left field, but I’ll never complain about a batch of french fries and they went down seamlessly.

 

Fortunately for me, Joanne ordered what was essentially a buffet of meats and allowed me to try some. I was thankful to have two different sausages and devoured them like a ravenous lion.

 

In all, Al-Bos left a very fine first impression. With all of their menu options, I’d be a fool not to head back for another round.

Going Local: Daniele’s Pizza, the D-Burger Edition

danielles4Mike’s Slice

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

Three months ago we drew Daniele’s Pizzeria out of the Going Local hat and gave it the full treatment. There was a Facebook Live video of the drawing, an order of scrumptious pizza and cheesy bread, and a Friday write-up for the masses to consume.

 

However, something caught my eye three months ago while diving into the Daniele’s menu that caused me to pause and think “Is this love?” It was a masterful creation of carbs and grease called the ‘D-Burger’. A half pound slab of sausage topped with jalapeno and onions and sandwiched between two 7-inch pepperoni pizzas. A taste bud’s dream and an artery’s worst nightmare.

 

An executive decision was quickly made to add the D-Burger from Daniele’s into the hat. Fate would decide when the delicious monstrosity would make its humble abode in my belly, all I had to do was wait. So, you could imagine my excitement when the D-Burger was drawn out of the hat this week. While I tried to contain it, it was to no avail, Joanne and Victoria could see that I was smitten. My only question was, “do I call now or wait three days? I don’t want to seem needy or too available.”

 

Joanne made me wait until Wednesday per our ‘rules’ for Going Local. Rules don’t matter when love is in the air. Time is a physical construct that can’t measure longing. Does it really matter if it’s one minute or 48 hours? When one second feels infinite, it’s truly unbearable.

 

Somehow, through sheer will and grit, I made it to Wednesday.

 

After driving to Daniele’s Pizzeria – now at a new location located at 1429 60th Street, Grand Rapids – and picking up the goods, the sheer girth of the box caught me slightly off guard. A quick peek inside showed a greasy pepperoni pizza, what was underneath would stay a mystery until I returned back to WKTV to share with the staff.

 

danielles1As my teeth sunk into the burger, fireworks went off  in my head. The pizza, sausage, pizza trifecta was a sensation with every bite. Juicy, salty, and carbo-loaded for the ultimate eating experience. The jalapeno added a slight kick of heat that triggered the taste buds and took them on an unexpected roller coaster ride of flavor.

 

The D-Burger was shared between five of us at the station as none of us wanted to keel over of a heart attack after eating too much. However, death by eating a D-Burger might not be the worst way to go…

 

Joanne’s Slice

joanne@wktv.org

 

In full disclosure, I have to state this upfront: I am not a fan of sausage on a pizza. I prefer my pizzas to be simple, usually with just pepperoni or, if making them at home, with green pepper, onion, ham, and pepperoni. Sausage just does not make the list.

 

danielles2With that said, when Mike talked about the D-Burger at Danielle’s, I assumed it was a burger — as in hamburger — between two 7-inch pizzas. Once I took a bite, I quickly realized it was sausage, which only made sense for a pizza-style burger. And the sausage was very good, very favorable, and even though sausage is not my thing, I have to give kudos to Danielle’s for thinking outside of the box in creating the D-Burger. I did try the pizza separate and it was amazing. The bread was fresh, the sauce was perfect and it was just the type of pizza I would enjoy.

 

So while the D-Burger won’t make it on my repeat list (I do encourage everyone to at least try it and make their own decision) I will be heading over to Danielle’s Pizza’s new location at 1429 60th St. SE for a pizza…or two, as I do need to share with the family.

 

Going Local: The Food Truck Edition

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Joanne’s Portion

joanne@wktv.org

 

With the news of that food trucks were descending on Kentwood for its Bags & Bites event this Saturday, Mike and I made the decision to taste test some of the items before the trucks arrived.

 

Unfortunately, finding a food truck after owners have spent two and half weeks at ArtPrize proved to be a little difficult. We also were too lazy to get up at 6 a.m. to go visit River City Cup & Cake which usually can be found at the Amtrak station. However the owner of River City Cup & Cake, Lorin Tate, who is a Kentwood resident and Kelloggsville graduate, was gracious enough to stop by the studio.

 

He makes a mean hot chocolate (sorry folks, I do not drink coffee or tea). Unfortunately, Lorin had sold out of all his pastries, so I would wait until Saturday.

 

Still I wanted to try one more food truck and our choices narrowed down to driving to Allendale for Patty Matters or heading to Two Scotts Barbecue’s brick and mortar home at 536 Leonard St. NW, Grand Rapids. The minute I said “Two Scotts,” Mike was quick to make the “executive” decision.

 

two-scottsTwo Scotts is only open from 11 a.m. — 3p.m. We were planning to get there around 11:30 a.m., but a friend said to be there before it opens as the place is known to run out. We managed to walk through the doors at 11:07 a.m. and the place was starting to jump. When we left about an hour later, the outside patio was filling up and the parking lot was packed with cars circling in hopes someone would leave.

 

I wanted a menu item that would be on the food truck. The order taker was quick to tell me the menu is usually the same with offerings varying depending on location.

 

With Two Scotts you can either get your pulled pork, pulled chicken, sliced brisket, burnt ends or sausage as a sandwich or just the meat with homemade pickles and bread. I opted for the burnt ends sandwich ($10) making it a combo (add $3) that included a drink and side because I wanted the homemade tater tots.

 

We grabbed some sauce, I tried the house, verde, and an orange sauce that tasted like it had mayo. After I sat down, I noticed the tips already had sauce on them so I really did not need any of the sauces I picked but I tried them anyway — they were all yummy and I really could not pick a favorite. As for the sandwich, well burnt ends do not make for a great sandwich. (Something Mike, with a laugh, pointed out.) So after a couple of bits, I discarded the bread, speared the pieces with a folk and dipped them in the sauces. The meat melted in my mouth, and to be honest, I have not had meat taste that good since my husband took me to a really nice steak place.

 

sandwichI was so happy about the burnt ends, I almost forgot about the tater tots, which were a crunchy delight. I popped them like candy as we sat and chatted about the week. And since I essentially had meat and potatoes, I was full for the entire day.

 

So if you are headed to the Kentwood Bags & Bites at the Kentwood City Hall (5900 Breton Rd. SE), Two Scotts is definitely one to try. I’m thinking of snagging some for my husband’s dinner since he’ll since be at work when my daughters and I head over. As for me, well I am planning to hit either Patty Matters, offering up an array of burgers, or Gettin’ Fresh, for its burger with bacon grounded in. And of course, hopefully get my hands on one of those River City Cup & Cake pastries.

 

Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

This Saturday, the City of Kentwood is hosting  their first ever ‘Bags & Bites’ at Kentwood City Hall and a horde of food trucks will decent upon the area. Joanne and I decided to take advantage and visit a couple of food trucks for this week’s Going Local.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Lorin Tate stopped by the station after making his morning runs with his traveling business River City Cup & Cake. Unfortunately for Joanne and I, but a measure of the truck’s success on the road, Lorin was clean out of pastries. However, he did make a mean mocha and filled my mental appetite with insight into the food truck business.

 

rivercity9For starters, food trucks have a lot of room to move around inside! And it makes sense, it’s a one-man restaurant that needs all of the amenities of a kitchen. Space might be limited but it’s packed together like a well-played game of Tetris, everything in the right place. They also aren’t cheap – Lorin’s espresso machine by itself cost $15,000 – and they can struggle to run in the winter due to the water pipes freezing. If you can’t store your food truck in a warm garage during the cold months, better shut it down all season.

 

Once the mocha was finished, I topped off the rest of Joanne’s hot chocolate as it was just a little too rich for her. I didn’t know there was such a thing as ‘too rich’ when it came to hot cocoa. I guzzled it down. With how delicious the fresh brewed coffee and hot chocolate was, I’m bummed the pastries weren’t available. Guess I’ll just have to stop by the Amtrak early in the morning!

 

The next day Joanne and I scooted out to Two Scotts Barbeque. Yes, I know, their restaurant on Leonard isn’t a food truck, but their food truck will be at Kentwood on Saturday and we made sure to order what would be on that food truck. We’re always thinking.

 

Two Scotts has a slight history with me, a year and a half ago I moved into a house about a stone throw away from the barbecue joint. Whenever I wanted barbecue, which is pretty much all the time, I would stop by to see if they were open. With hours slated from 11am-3pm, I struck out every single time. This was my chance to finally the famed joint.

 

twoscotts2It did not disappoint.

 

The brisket sandwich called to me and I threw in an order of homemade tots as well. The brisket was flavorful and went down quick – I think I ate it in 30 seconds or so – and the tots were INCREDIBLE. Even if you aren’t a fan of smoked meats, you absolutely need to stop in for their homemade tots. The outside crunched and the inside melted in your mouth. Simply delectable.

 

Two Scotts, I think we need to make this a weekly thing.

 

Citizen Journalist Rob’s Potion

 

Waiting can be one of the most difficult things, especially for more hyperactive people like me, and when you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be a time of dread. Most of the time, in these waiting situations, I often look for something to do like drink or eat to pass the time. So, you could imagine my excitement and curiosity when I spotted a food truck while waiting for the Megabus to take me back to my hometown Chicago.

 

rivercity6If you are not familiar with the Megabus pick up location, it’s a parking lot diagonal from the old Amtrak station with very little around that could occupy a wondering mind. River City Cup & Cake sat in the parking lot as a beacon of adventure during my time of waiting. The food truck combined two of my all-time favorite things in the world all wrapped into one catchy name on the side of a truck. Who could possibly deny the insatiable combination of a cup of coffee and a piece of cake? Besides my friend John, of course, who somehow detests both. Truly one of a kind.

 

As a latte and cupcake/pastry lover, I found the River City Cup and Cake to be inviting with its bright color and simple, but very cool, logo . The espresso sign was magnetic to my soul.

 

A line had already begun to form as many of us waiters found this to be the best location to wait for our bus. While I can’t remember exactly which cupcake I had, I do remember it was good, baked with the fluffy and buttery flavor that one would expect from a really good cupcake and the latte was also very good. I also remember the customer service being outstanding with an owner who was engaging with his clientele and seemed to be an owner/operator who really enjoyed what he was doing.

 

I would highly recommend that when you see this vehicle, RUN TO IT!! Get yourself a cup & cake and enjoy. I know I did when I saw it parked in the parking lot while volunteering at WKTV on Tuesday.

Going Local: Taco Bob’s

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Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

When I first pulled Taco Bob’s out of the Going Local hat on Monday, I didn’t think much of it. I envisioned a small restaurant that specializes in tacos and deduced that it would be a tasty way to spend the Wednesday lunch hour. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

My expectations were raised later that night when talking to my girlfriend, Mary, about where Joanne and I would be Going Local this week.

 

“Taco Bob’s? The one down in Kalamazoo is very good! You’re going to like it,” Mary quipped. She grew up in Kalamazoo and is a bit of a food aficionado herself. If Taco Bob’s brought back immediate positive memories for her, I was now expecting the same for myself. The bar had been raised.

 

From the street, Taco Bob’s doesn’t look like much. You’d be forgiven if you missed the taco shop at 900 52nd St. entirely because of the car wash in close proximity. I should mention, you will only be forgiven if you apologize, admit you were wrong to glance over Taco Bob’s, and stop by sometime in the near future to try the delicious offerings presented on the menu. I’ll be the first to admit it, I glanced over Taco Bob’s many-a-times and only saw the car wash. I have seen the light and it is marvelous!

 

At Taco Bob’s you can order at a drive-thru or at the pick up window and sit outside. Wednesday may have been windy, but it was sunny enough to enjoy a bite outside, so Joanne and I chose the pick up window. The whole menu looked enticing and I felt each item whispering sweet nothings into my ear. However, I can only date one item at a time as I believe in a monogamous relationship between a man and food. In order to help me make a decision, I called upon the owner himself, Kyle Hemmes.

 

“The funny tacos are really popular. They’re a hard shell taco wrapped in a warm soft shell taco and sandwiched with nacho cheese in between,” My heart skipped a beat as butterflies began swarming in my stomach. I was getting nervous and excited all at the same time. Some call it love at first sight, I call it a typical Going Local afternoon.

 

Taco BobMy heart made its decision with the #4 meal that consisted of two funny tacos, a side of rice and beans, chips and a drink all for $6.69.

 

The tacos were warm, zestful, and crunchy in all the right places. I consumed both tacos in an instant and immediately pondered if I wanted more. My taste buds wanted more, and they wanted it NOW, but my stomach, eyes and mind were telling me no as there were still rice and beans in front of me. I finished the rest of my lunch and went back to work with nothing but Taco Bob’s on my mind.

 

At work the next day, my heart couldn’t shake the impression Taco Bob’s made on me. Joanne sat and listened as I poured my heart out about a love that ended too soon. Did that meal mean more to me than it did to those tacos? I couldn’t help but think maybe I fell too fast, too soon. I was craving Taco Bob’s but I didn’t want to come across as desperate. Thankfully, Joanne was there for me. She swung by Taco Bob’s for lunch and picked up two tacos to bring back to the station. I ate in peace and my heart was full once more.


Joanne’s Portion

Joanne@wktv.org

 

With the announcement that the downtown Fifth/Third building is being turned into a hotel, Kyle Hemmes was forced to move his restaurant Taco Bob’s from Grand Rapids to Kentwood. All I can say is Grand Rapids’s loss is a heck of a gain for Kentwood and all of us who love to eat local.

 

I became familiar with Taco Bob’s when in my previous life I was working in Kalamazoo and a co-worker took me to the original. The owner, Bob, told me of the location in Grand Rapids, but I was never able to eat there as the lines were too long and the hours were limited to lunch only.

 

Fast forward and I have been driving past the Taco Bob’s location at 900 52nd St. SE for several weeks, not realizing its famous connection, until we were on our way for lunch. When Hemmes confirmed it, I was so excited I could barely focus on the menu board.

 

“Most people get our Funny Tacos. That’s what we are known for.” Hermes said. Nah, not what I wanted. “Or the Nachos Supreme. A lot people like our nachos.” Bingo! The item I always got in Kalamazoo was just singing to me.

 

At the Kentwood Taco Bob’s, you have the choice of take it and go or sitting outside. The location is actually the former Java Cone ice cream stand. The day we were there, it was a beautiful fall day and if you sat in the sun, it was warm enough to sit outside. We gathered our food, took a table and dug in.

 

Taco BobThe nachos were a nest of tomato, lettuce, cheese, meat, and chips all nicely layered with sour cream zigzagged on the top. It was happiness in a square styrofoam container. I munched away contently.

 

Taco Bob’s is open year around and offers an array of Mexican fare: tacos, burritos, tostadas, taco salad, quesadillas, and a “Quick Fix” selection that includes tortilla chips, nacho cheese, and small drink.

 

I ended up visiting Taco Bob’s the next day as someone, whose name starts with an “M,” had to mention tacos. Actually, he started his taco talk soon after returning from our first Taco Bob’s adventure. It brought a chuckle to Hemmes when I drove up and said “I’m back.”

 

“That’s a good thing,” he said. In fact, during our first foray, I mentioned how I was definitely bringing my family to Taco Bob’s. It became a definite when I read the description of the Cheezy Taco: soft shell with ground beef melted shredded cheese and sour cream, which is my daughter’s definition of the perfect taco.


Victoria’s Side

victoria@wktv.org

 

I’m the person on the sidelines, the one who has to hold down the fort while these two do their foodie happy dance each week. But I don’t mind, because every so often, you gotta take one for the team, right? Besides, I get so much more work done than they do. And as a bonus, when they come back from their Going Local thing, they’re always happy, and I love working with happy people.

 

But this week was different. When Joanne and Mike came back from Taco Bob’s, I could tell they were inordinately happy, much happier than usual — almost frighteningly so, eyes bright and shiny, a peppy step to their gait, smiles a mile wide. Luckily, I had an editing project to do upstairs, so their squeals of laughter didn’t get on my nerves.

 

On Thursday, I was still editing upstairs when Joanne popped her head in and asked if I wanted some takeout from Taco Bob’s. Well, heck, yes! I wanted to feel what they were feeling.

 

I tried a crunchy meat taco. OMG. I cannot stress enough how awesome it tasted, even without taco sauce. The meat is seasoned to perfection, the cheese cheesy as cheese is wont to be, and the lettuce fresh and crispy.

 

Well, that does it. I’m going to head over to Taco Bob’s. Mike and Joanne have hit on a winner.

Going Local: Woody’s Press Box

going localJoanne’s Portion

Joanne@wktv.org

 

I did not know Spectrum Lanes had a restaurant until one day, while bowling with some students, a waitress came by with a menu. We ordered and the food was good, like tasty good.

 

But I have not eaten at Woody’s Press Box, located at 5656 Clyde Park SW, in some time, so when we pulled it out of the hat, I was somewhat excited about visiting.

 

The restaurant was not full — it’s a big space — but it was busy. The day’s specials featured a lunch buffet and an all-you-can-eat spaghetti meal.

 

pizzaThere was a special lunch menu that included an array of fare from pizzas to sandwiches to burgers, but what got me were the prices. Lunch meals were arranged in three categories, $4.53, $5.52 and $6.46, any of which comes with homemade potato chips or onion straws. You could upgrade to fries, loaded potato, coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad or baked beans for $1.75 more.

 

Let me repeat: You could have lunch for $4.53. With tax, it is still under $5 which is way cheaper than many of the large chain restaurants. The bargain hunter in me was doing back flips.

 

“Who would order only a half order of chips & cheese,” Mike asked as he looked over the menu. “That’s like a snack.”

 

“Me,” I thought in my head as it would make me feel less guilty with a half order. Then again, I don’t run a lacrosse team four days a week, burning off a gazillion calories.

 

receiptWhen I came in, I was thinking burger but the personal, one-item 10-inch pizza at $4.53 stole my attention. Was it the price? Hmm, maybe, but I went with it. You could add extra toppings for $1.05 but I stayed to just pepperoni. It also came thin crust or hand tossed and at our server’s suggestion, I went with thin crust.

 

It didn’t disappoint. It was end-to-end cheese coverage with a nice sprinkling of pepperoni. Afterwards, I discovered I could have added a small side salad for $1.75, which I might have done and brought half the pizza home. Heck, I could see myself bringing a salad to work and snagging one of those pizzas and being very happy for a couple of lunches.

 

The price point alone is reason enough to pass all those other chain places by and head to Woody’s, the quality is the bonus for doing so.


Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

“Would you like the lunch menu or were you planning on having the buffet?”

 

More attractive words have never been spoken into my ears. A lunch menu and a buffet? There had to be a catch. Fortunately for me, my stomach and taste buds, there wasn’t a catch as Joanne and I sat down for lunch at Woody’s Press Box.

 

img_1983When we first pulled in to the parking lot at Woody’s, I immediately noticed how big the building was. I was expecting a small, local sports bar but instead was presented with a behemoth of a building. However, once inside, the seating area wasn’t nearly as large as the outside portrayed. Joanne noticed my inquisitive focus on what we just walked into, how the size didn’t match up with what I saw from the outside, and mentioned that a bowling alley — Spectrum Lanes — is attached to Woody’s. The great mystery was solved and my focus could now shift back to what truly mattered, the food!

 

My eyes filtered through the lunch menu while occasionally peeking up at the TVs lining the walls. My eyes also caught a glimpse of the bartenders pouring generous amounts of beer into massive cups. Calling it a cup might be the understatement of the century, like saying the Titanic hit an ice cube. The portion sizes were truly a sight to behold, but Joanne and I were on the clock and we would like to stay gainfully employed. We opted for a water, with lemon of course, and vowed to come back another time.

 

So, about that food — as Joanne mentioned, the lunch menu had meal options that ran $4.53, $5.52, and $6.46. The lunch buffet cost $7.74 and could also be added to anyone of the meal options at a slight up-charge. Woody’s is essentially giving food away. Eventually I settled on the spicy chicken sandwich for $6.46 that came with homemade kettle chips and a pickle.

 

img_1986When I ordered my sandwich I was expecting something small but what was put on my plate may as well have been the full chicken. The meat protruded off of both ends of the bun and was stacked high with Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. The chips were bountiful.

 

The first bite into the chicken sandwich was juicy with a kick of heat. I’ll be honest with you, the sandwich was significantly better than I was anticipating. After every bite I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into the next one. The chips were crisp and added a hint of salt to fully complement my taste buds. To get a better idea of how much food there was, I wasn’t able to completely clean off my plate.

 

Eventually the bill arrived and I was pleased to see the price stay under $7 with tax included. After including the tip, the bill was still less than what I would’ve expected to pay for the size of sandwich I received.

 

Woody’s Press Box, I will be making my way back for lunch. This time I might even try the buffet!

 

Going Local: Gursha

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Joanne’s Portion

 

By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

Joanne@wktv.org

 

I would have loved to have seen a picture of our faces when the server at Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant presented our food. He brought it out in two bowls, poured it onto a large pizza-size dish with bread on it and walked away.

 

“Now what do we do?” Mike said.

 

We do what the Ethiopian do, grab some injera – an Ethiopian sourdough flatbread – and dig in…with our hands. Yep, that’s right, with Ethiopian cuisine, utensils are optional with most such restaurants not offering any unless asked.

 

Located in the area that seems like it should be Kentwood but is really Grand Rapids – in other words the Town and Country Shopping Center, 4301 Kalamazoo Ave. SE – Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant brings a unique dining experience and is housed in a mall that is full of interesting finds such as the Mediterranean Island, one of the best international grocery stores in the area.

 

We drove up, parked in front of the restaurant, which had a large blue-and-white sign, and walked in. While small, the entire place had a really cool feel reflecting the heritage and culture of Ethiopia. Our server quickly seated us and brought out two glasses and a pitcher of water on a silver serving trade.

 

img_1976After some explanation and a review of the menu, I selected a “tib” dish that featured beef chunks with sautéed onions and spices. The description reminded me of Mongolian Beef, which I like so I felt pretty confident this would be a winner. I was right, the dish was very favorable without being heavy on spice. I loved it and couldn’t get enough. The meal came with some side dishes which were not explained. One was a corn dish and the other was spinach, both being pretty good.

 

What surprised us both was how quickly we got filled up on our meal. I figured it was because using the bread as the utensil, it forced us to eat slow. Mike also felt it was because we had bread with each bite.

 

Prices were a little higher, it was $12.99 for my dish, but the chance to experience an entirely different way to enjoy food made it worth it.

 

Mike’s Portion

 

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

“Do we use our hands?”

 

As I stared at the plate of food prepared community style on a plate in front of Joanne and me. Utensils were nowhere to be found, but there was a basket of spongy bread on my left. I was perplexed and yet awfully intrigued.

 

When we pulled into Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant out of the Going Local hat, I had no idea what to expect. When it comes to food, I usually have a good idea of what will be placed in front of me. There’s usually a slight pocket of memory dug back in my brain that at least gives a slight hint of what I might be eating. Whether I saw it online, on TV or in person, an idea of food isn’t too far removed from my frontal lobe. However, Ethiopian stumped me. I’ve never eaten it nor have I seen it.

 

Going Local was about to be a true blind date, maybe I should’ve paid more attention to Joanne’s foretelling throwaway comment, “hope you enjoy eating with you hands!”

 

Gursha, located on Kalamazoo just north of 44th Street, is authentic Ethiopian. The Ethiopian colors of red, yellow and green invite you in and cover the chairs. There is seating available at a mesob – a hand-woven Ethiopian dining table – for those interested in a more authentic experience.

 

img_1968The menu is full with vegetarian, fish, lamb, chicken, and beef options. I’ll be honest, I had no idea what any of it truly meant. I ended up choosing a beef option called Sega Wat that was a beef stew in a spicy, dark berbere sauce. The owner said it had some kick. A beef stew with a little spice seemed like a relatively safe choice, so I went with it.

 

Our sides were brought out to us on a communal plate and my meal, along with Joanne’s, was poured out on plate. A basket of injera, a spongy sourdough-risen flatbread, turned out to be our utensils for the meal. After staring at each other for a good ten seconds, we both ripped off a piece of injera and dove on in to the plate in front of us.

 

The sega wat was juicy and tender with a powerful kick. That dark berbere sauce doesn’t play around! I made sure to dive into Joanne’s entree which was a more mild beef sautéed with onions. It was splendid but didn’t pack the punch I was craving, so I went back to my entree.

 

After some time had passed, I realized how full I was and took a gander down at my plate to notice it still half full! How on  earth could my stomach be so stuffed already? A mixture of the injera and eating slowly instead of shoveling my face full with a fork must’ve been why.

 

If I ever need to worry about my portion control, an Ethiopian themed menu will do the trick.

Going Local: 616 Sports Bar & Grill

goingl ocalJoanne’s Portion

Joanne@wktv.org

 

Brentwood Mall, on the corner of 44th Street and Breton Avenue, has been the home of many things, a fitness center, retail shops, and restaurants.

 

And as of May, it is also the home of the 616 Sports Bar & Grill, a place I joked with Mike that we should come back to when we visited Tokyo Grill and Sushi at the beginning of August.

 

The bar at 616 Sports Bar & Grill is located in the back.
The bar at 616 Sports Bar & Grill is located in the back.

Walking in, I felt like I was entering a “Cheers” episode with the only thing missing was the bar and someone shouting “Hey Joanne.” After a couple of minutes of waiting, our host/server came from the back and encouraged us to sit in that area which is where the bar is located. Actually it appears that the 616 Sports Bar is broken into two distinct spaces, a restaurant in the front and a bar area in the back which I thought was a nice concept. The dark tones gave the place that almost “where everybody knows your name” feel. I say “almost” because it could have had a little more Sparty green to offset that glaring gold (Editor’s Note – It’s MAIZE!!! Joanne: It’s corn to me) and blue, but I digress.

 

Ever the bargain hunter, I spotted the sign for the $4.99 lunch special which had several options: cheeseburger, turkey panini, gyros, fish sandwich, three chicken strips and two coney dogs all served with homemade chips and a pickle. Our server quickly told us that it was $5.99 the day we were there as the restaurant was substituting fries. The extra dollar was worth it as the handmade fries had the perfect crispness with me savoring every single one.

 

After a short debate — Me: Turkey panini or coney dogs? Waiter: Well that depends, do you want to go healthy or do want something really good to eat? —I went with the Coney dogs because there was two and I could save one for my lunch tomorrow. Our waiter heard that and brought one out with the fries and had the other one in a takeout container — bonus points!

 

A Coney dog and fries from 616 Sports Bar & Grill.
A Coney dog and fries from 616 Sports Bar & Grill.

The Coney dog had all the ingredients of a Coney dog: chili, relish, mustard, onion, cheese on top of a beef hot dog wrapped up in a steam fresh bun. It was messy, which made it all that much better and the second was just as good the next day.

 

In the end, 616 Sports Bar reminded me of those old neighborhood bars where people hung out over a beer, burger and fries celebrating team victories or just together. Since the bar has only been open for a few months, I did ask our server why the Brentwood location. “Why not?” he said, pointing out that 616’s current location had been a Chinese restaurant for 25 years until the owners decided to retire. So cheers to 616 Sports Bar & Grill and here’s hoping it’s around at least as long as the former tenant.

 

Mike’s Portion

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Going Local has taken Joanne and I through a gauntlet of cuisines and delicacies. We’ve had the opportunity to enjoy Chinese, Japanese, Mediterranean, Southern BBQ, Thai bubble tea, Mexican, and a hometown favorite pizza joint. However, one glaring omission has tested the true patience of my taste buds… Hot, greasy, fatty, and delightfully tasty American bar food.

 

Unfortunately for my heart and arteries,  616 Sports Bar & Grill was drawn out of the hat.

 

My arteries and my taste buds have been frenemies since as early as I can remember. It’s a true love-hate relationship. If the food tastes great and is also healthy, they’re best buds. If the food tastes great while also clogging the major highways for red blood cells throughout my body, it creates some understandable tension between the two. I’m happiest when the taste buds win.

 

616 Bar and GrillOn the walk in to 616 Sports Bar, their $4.99 lunch specials posted on the door immediately jumped out. Let me say that again – $4.99 FOR A MEAL! And we’re not talking about a salad or soup here. No, the lunch specials are actually legit items like a cheeseburger, 2 Coney dogs, beef burrito, turkey panini, BLT, 3 chicken tenders and a gyro. Oh, and they come with chips.

 

Sign me up everyday of the week and twice on Sunday please! (Note from Michael’s arteries – He didn’t actually mean that, right? RIGHT!?)

 

As we were seated at our high top next to the bar, my eyes couldn’t help but drift to the arcade games lining the walls. They looked awfully enticing, but I was a man on a mission. That  lunch special was begging to be signed, sealed, delivered and devoured.

 

There was no debate once I was seated, it was the cheeseburger and nothing else. The bar was out of chips and offered fries for a dollar up charge. I’m going to get this out-of-the-way right now, order the fries. Oh my gosh you need to order the fries. They are absolutely incredible. I don’t care if the up charge is $20, you need to order the fries.

 

img_1957The burger came out stacked high with lettuce, onion, and tomato. This was not a skimpy burger either. It had quality size and girth to properly fill the stomach.  Along with the incredible fries, it made for a lunch well worth the trip. The other positive? The higher concentration of Maize and Blue than Green and White.

 

Go Blue forever, Joanne!

West Michigan celebrates and honors Labor Day

Spirit of Solidarity MonumentBy: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Recently, the meaning behind Labor Day has faded into the background with the passing of each year. While some still honor and observe the holiday’s significance, a national holiday since 1894, most see it solely as a day off and an end to the summer. Since 2009, the West Michigan Labor Fest has kept the celebration alive and at the forefront with a festival surrounding the Spirit of Solidarity Monument in downtown Grand Rapids.

 

“The festival takes place around the Spirit of Solidarity Monument out at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum because of what it represents,” said Committee Chair, and Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union member, Tracey Roerig. “The monument represents the furniture factory workers in Grand Rapids and the fight they endured for workers rights.”

 

The West Michigan Labor Fest celebrates the rights of all workers and unions with a local focus. The Spirit of Solidarity Monument was completed in 2007 to honor the bravery of the striking immigrant workers in 1911. The strike lasted four months, from April to August, and demanded a nine-hour day, a 10 percent raise to offset the rising cost of living, the abolition of pay based on piece work, and the right to have unions to bargain with factory owners. The strike ended on August 19 when strikers voted to end the walkout without reaching their demands. While the strike didn’t yield its stated goals, the will of the worker lives on.

 

During West Michigan Labor Fest – which takes place from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Ah-Nab-Awen Park (located in front of the Ford Museum) – families can enjoy free admission to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, free live entertainment, rides and games for children, arts and crafts, food vendors and a beer tent.

 

“If the weather is nice, we expect about three to four-thousand to attend the festival,” said Roerig.

 

Labor FestWhile beautiful weather, live music, fun and games can lead to a wonderful day to spend with family and friends, it’s important to remember the serious nature behind Labor Day.

 

Labor Day and its inclusion as a national holiday stems from stressed worker-owner relations, a national strike, and a President looking to appease working-class owners during an election year. In the later part of the 19th century, at the height of the Industrial Revolution, labor unions utilized strikes to fight for higher pay and better working conditions.

 

Such was the case in 1893 when the Pullman railroad company was caught in the nationwide economic depression and was forced to lay off hundreds of employees while levying wage cuts on the employees that remained. In May of 1894, the employees went on strike and it immediately became a national issue. Then President Grover Cleveland declared the strike a federal crime and sent 12,000 troops to break it up. Violence and riots ensured resulting in deaths of more than a dozen workers. The strike ended on August 3, 1894 with the mid-term election on the horizon. Cleveland and the Democratic held Congress worried about a fallout in the polls due to a weakened economy and stressed worker relations. So Congress quickly, and unanimously, passed a bill declaring Labor Day a national holiday.

 

However, the conciliation effort failed miserably. The Republicans took back both the Senate and the House, with the House of Representatives seeing the largest swing in history with the Republicans gaining 130 seats and the Democrats losing 127.

 

West Michigan Labor Fest looks to keep those who attend educated on the importance of labor unions.

 

Labor Fest“Ten local unions will have booths set up to help educate those regarding the unions and why Labor Day is important,” said Eric Vandersteel, a member of the G.R. Federation of Musicians and on the committee for the West Michigan Labor Fest. “They tell stories about organized labor. Everyone from retirees to current working union members are there to share their stories.”

 

“The different labor booths around the festival help keep the spirit of Labor Day alive. One year we had a test with Labor Day information on it!” added Roerig.

 

The history is heavy and important, but ultimately Labor Day is a celebration, and Roerig and the rest of the West Michigan Labor Fest committee wants to make sure everyone has a great time.

 

“Kids and families come down and dance with the band in the grass. It’s a nice family atmosphere and is free for everyone to attend.”

Going Local: Bagel Beanery

goingl ocalJoanne’s Portion

 

By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

Joanne@wktv.org

 

This week we headed off to Bagel Beanery, 5316 Clyde Park Ave. SW., which is almost right across the street from the office. So when Mike hit his remote to unlock his car, I was like “Dude, what are you doing? We can just walk there.” The sun was out, it wasn’t raining, and Mike agreed to walk. So we had a “power” lunch with food and exercise.

 

The restaurant has a bakery featuring bagels and it does not look that much different inside from other similar type restaurants with a mixture of booths and tables. The exception being that Bagel Beanery was here long before those other places and it is locally owned having started more than 20 years ago in downtown Grand Rapids. The Clyde Park location has been open since 1998.

 

With breakfast and lunch options, you come in and order your selection which is made fresh and then delivered to your table. I was tempted by the August specials but actually ordered off the menu the Bacon Smokehouse Turkey on Tomato Basil. OK, not entirely off the menu as I did swap out the Tomato Basil bagel for an Everything bagel because to me that is the best bagel to have for a bagel sandwich. Bagel Beanery features several of the traditional bagels such as Cinnamon Crunch, Asiago Cheese and Cheddar Herb along with speciality bagels.

 

Bacon Smokehouse Turkey on an Everything bagel from Bagel Beanery.
Bacon Smokehouse Turkey on an Everything bagel from Bagel Beanery.

My sandwich included turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato with a honey dijon mustard all on top of an Everything bagel accompanied with a pickle spear and bagel chips. It came out within a few minutes of ordering and was delicious. Everything tasted fresh and the salt, sesame seeds and poppy seeds on the bagel complimented the entire sandwich.

 

The meal came to $6.79 and I have to say, it’s nice to know there is a place just across the street that offers a nice lunch option that is not $10 or more. And to be honest, I have been a longtime fan of Bagel Beanery since it opened its doors in 1995 and was a regular at the Breton Road location between 28th and 29th streets. It’s been a while since I ventured into one and it was great to discover the quality and selection have not diminished. In other words, I can definitely see future walks to Bagel Beanery.


 

Mike’s Portion

 

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

I’m a man who enjoys a good bagel sandwich. I mean, what’s not to love about replacing slabs of bread with a big, hearty, and beautiful bagel? Sure, bagels have more calories and carbs than bread slices – apparently that’s ‘unhealthy’ – but they also have more flavor and options.

 

Bagels are to a sandwich what chocolates are to life, they just make the experience so much more enjoyable.

 

As Joanne and I exited the station, I immediately pulled out my keys to unlock my car door. Joanne was quick to call me out about needing a car for a walk across the street. I was happy she did, but little did she know, it was a test! (It wasn’t, but hey, whatever helps me sleep at night.) We casually strolled across the street and entered the doors to what I hoped was bagel heaven.

 

Bagel Beanery doesn’t look much different on the inside than a Big Apple Bagel or an Einstein Bros. Bagels. There are a beavy of bagels staring you in the face upon arrival with booths and tables mixed throughout. However, Bagel Beanery is locally owned and has been for more than 20 years. That little factoid gives the restaurant a more homely feel than entering a large bagel chain.

 

Bagel Beanery
I know it’s not technically a bagel, but it was so good!

My first initial look at the menu left me a little flustered. There were so many options to choose from! I needed to find something that stood out, and “NEW” written in bright red letters did just the trick. The new sandwich was a Baja Chicken Club on Ciabatta. I know alright… I KNOW! Here I am bringing up all of the joys of bagels and I ended up choosing a sandwich on ciabatta, obviously not a bagel. You know what, sue me, it tasted amazing.

 

The Baja Chicken Club came with oven baked sliced chicken, pepper-jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a fiesta cream cheese with the perfect amount of kick. It was wonderful. The sandwich came with bagel chips (also top-notch) and a sliced pickle. For $7.73, it’s a hard meal to beat.

 

What I love most about Going Local is exposing myself to new restaurants around the area. As of Wednesday, I had never been to Bagel Beanery. I passed it hundreds of times driving to work, but I never took the time to stop and see what it had in store. This morning I made sure to stop for some coffee.

Going Local: Maya Mexican Grill

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Mike’s Portion

 

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

With the Metro Cruise filling 28th Street this weekend, we figured it would only be right to pick a restaurant right in the heart of Roger’s Plaza. One restaurant, Maya, jumped out to both Joanne and I as neither of us had been and we were both craving Mexican.

 

Maya is an authentic Mexican restaurant located in Roger’s Plaza where the old Big Boy used to be, but you wouldn’t know it upon entering. When you walk through the restaurant doors you are transported to another world outside of Roger’s Plaza, the City of Wyoming, and the United States. The restaurant is decorated to feel like Playa del Carmen with authentic chairs and themed paintings filling the walls.

 

Talk about setting the mood.

 

Once seated, we were greeted by our wonderful waiter named Reuben and given a basket full of chips and salsa. Reuben was fluent in spanish and quizzed Joanne and I on our own ability to speak to the language… my Spanish teachers from Michigan would’ve been very disappointed in what I’ve retained.

 

Enchilada and a mini burrito, I barely knew the
Enchilada and a mini burrito, I barely knew the

The lunch menu was quite large and very reasonably priced. I ended up choosing lunch item number four – excuse me, numero quatro – which included an enchilada, mini burrito, rice, and refried beans. It was wonderful and quickly filled the hunger building deep inside me. As I finished my last couple of spoonfuls of refried beans, I felt as though my stomach might burst.

 

Then Joanne thought it would be a good idea to order desert. I was suddenly hungry again.

 

Okay, so it didn’t quite go like that. Joanne just didn’t decide desert was necessary, it just kind of happened organically. One second we’re talking about churros with Reuben and the next second he’s bringing us both our own massive servings of Chimi Cheese Cake with vanilla ice cream. Reuben claimed he gave us each a half order. I’m telling you right now, if what we were given was a ‘half order’, I actually fear for the person who orders the Chimi Cheese Cake on their own. May you rest in peace.

 

Maya's Chimi Cheesecake
Maya’s Chimi Cheesecake

The Chimi Cheese Cake was top-notch. It was rich cheesecake folded into a deep-fried tortilla and covered in cinnamon, sugar, and drizzled with chocolate and carmel syrup, and I think some saliva just spilled onto my keyboard as I typed this sentence.

 

Maya had tasty food and a wonderful atmosphere. I will be going back. However, next time it won’t be for work… I hear their margaritas are top-notch.

 

Joanne’s Portion

 

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

joanne@wktv.org

 

The transformed space at Maya Mexican Grill literally made me feel like I had walked right into a restaurant in Old San Diego. Orange walls with wicker-style seating and bold black booths made this a place that I wanted to hang…for a while. And Mike and I kind of did, spending about an hour and half enjoying the atmosphere, the food and the company of our waiter, Reuben.

 

Even though Reuben did mistake Mike as my son, I have to give him a lot of props for making our visit entertaining. He is the kind of waiter you want at any restaurant, funny, informative, attentive and even tried to teach me a little Spanish.

 

Ever the bargain hunter, I once again zeroed in on the daily lunch specials, which are $6.99 (regular lunch specials start at $7.99). Wednesday’s special is either flautas or two min-burritos. Now I love Mexican food but in all my food adventures, I have not tried a flauta, so I decided to be bold and take the risk. That and Mike had a mini burrito coming with his meal. The flautas are rolled-up tortillas with filling — I had chicken — and then fried. It came with refried beans and rice.

 

The Flautas which are the Wednesday special at Maya.
The Flautas which are the Wednesday special at Maya.

The flautas were perfect, fried to be just crispy enough with the chicken — I tried just the filling — being melt in your mouth delicious. If a Mexican restaurant is going to fail it is with the refried beans, which if canned or processed can taste waxy. Maya’s refried beans easily passed the taste test and went perfectly with the tortilla chips.

 

So happy with the meal that I asked about churros, which Reuben sadly told us Maya does not offer. It does however have a Chimi Cheese Cake, which Mike and I split. The cinnamon-encrusted chimi — which was deep-fried and accompanied by a scoop of ice cream with sprinkles and drizzled with syrup — was the perfect substitute and took care of my sweet craving.

 

So Maya has made it to my repeat list mostly because Reuben told us about the restaurant’s “best in town” margaritas. I am all too happy to judge that claim for myself. In fact, Mike and I are planning our return visit to be after the DreamWheels! show Saturday, Aug. 27 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. If you can’t find us, just ask for Reuben’s section as we will be sitting there.

 

Victoria’s condiments

 

Just a quick note here to say that my dear co-workers were kind enough to bring me some takeout from Maya, and YUM! I really scored big! I normally hang back from participating in these in-person taste tests because, let’s face it, somebody has to work here, right?

 

I chose the Maya Rolls and I was really glad I did. The blackened chicken breast was cooked and seasoned to perfection, the spinach, sprouts, tomatoes and other veggies rounded out the presentation, and there were even bits of avocado that surprised my taste buds (in a very good way). Dipped into the cajun sauce… sinfully delicious.

 

And as a tasty bonus, these very same awesome co-workers (who now have a very special place in my heart) had saved me a piece of Chimi Cheese Cake, and I can honestly say that I got high off of that. The high lasted the rest of the afternoon. Well, almost.

 

I will definitely be checking out Maya Mexican Grill. Can’t wait!

Local charity ‘plays dirty’ with their annual Mud Run

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

The new millennium ushered in a stark rise in the use of technology with the internet, cell phones, and social media allowing us to know the intricate details of each others lives. However, the new millennium also brought us another unforeseen phenomenon, obstacle course racing (OCR).

 

Be it a Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, Warrior Dash, or a BattleFrog, these obstacle courses have latched onto the fitness phenomenon sweeping the country. These races can be done individually or in teams and include fitness (obviously), usually their fair share of mud and grime, and obstacles to make your workout feel fun and exciting.

 

Grand Rapids Mud RunFor the Grand Rapids Mud Run, the excitement and popularity of an OCR is harnessed into an act of charity. The race is an extreme 5K mud run to raise money for a worthy cause. This year, the benefits will help Never The Same, a local faith-based non-profit focused on peer-to-peer youth ministry that organizes the Grand Rapids Mud Run, as they change locations due to a fire last year.

 

In June 2015, a devastating fire hit the Never The Same headquarters at Eastern and 44th Street in Grand Rapids. The headquarters have since been moved to a new location at 2725 29th Street. Staff moved into the office late last year, just in time to begin preparing for its largest annual fundraiser.

 

“We were not going to be discouraged,” says Jeff Eckart, CEO and Founder, Never the Same. “We actually became even more motivated to continue our cause, move forward in a new, permanent space and create an even more exciting Grand Rapids Mud Run in 2016.”

 

Back in 2009, Jeff Eckart came up with the idea for the mud run. Since the first run on August 28, 2010, the Grand Rapids Mud Run has seen a steady increase in participation. Over 1,000 participants are expected to run the brand new course, filled with mud pits, a 60-foot mudslide, tunnel crawls, walls, and slippery hill climbs. With spectators, over 3,000 are expected to attend this year.

 

The 2016 Grand Rapids Mud Run will be held on August 27 at 1200 60th Street in Kentwood, next to Celebration Cinemas South. Both adults and kids are able to participate. For more information, visit GrandRapidsMudRun.com.

Going Local: Daniele’s Pizzeria

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By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Before Joanne left on vacation she made one request — pull Daniele’s Pizzeria out of the Going Local hat until she came back. I had to remind her that we run a legit operation here at WKTV News. We couldn’t let a personal request ruin the integrity of our newest feature. The name would stay in the hat and the Going Local Gods would decide our next locale.

 

Fast forward a few days and the hat made its decision… Daniele’s Pizzeria! Sorry, Joanne.

 

Four weeks into Going Local and the flavors have been all over the map. My tastebuds have taken a trip from Chinese, to barbecue, to Mediterranean, and now pizza. It’s a world tour right here in Wyoming and Kentwood.

 

While our last three locations were all sit-down restaurants, Daniele’s Pizzeria located at 846 52nd street is built for takeout and deliveries. There is a small bar area inside that seats up to four and one table outdoors if you wanted to stay and eat, but a majority of patrons choose takeout or delivery. Their hours are also geared towards dinnertime as they don’t open until 4pm throughout the week.

 

Scanning over the menu, Daniele’s makes more than just pizza. They have dinners with spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, and manicotti, wings and appetizers, stuffed riceballs called arancini, salads, subs and dessert. It’s a small operation, but it packs a lot of punch. With all of those options, we chose to keep it classy and original — a deluxe pizza and cheesy bread.

 

Daniele's PizzeriaThe deluxe pizza came with mozzarella cheese, ham, sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and they did not skimp at all on the toppings. The pizza was packed with toppings all the way to the crust line. I measure a pizzas quality on how well the cheese stays on the crust. There is nothing more frustrating that picking up a slice and having all of the cheese and toppings fall off and land in the box. Daniele’s passed with flying colors as the cheese stayed on the pizza. It’s the little things.

 

When it comes to pizza, it’s almost impossible to make a bad pie, but you KNOW when you eat a good one. Daniele’s pizza is in that category with their flavor, crust texture, amount of cheese and toppings, and the richness of the sauce. The pizza came out to just under $15 and easily fed three of us.

 

Daniele's PizzeriaNo pizza is complete without the cheesy bread to accompany it. First off, the cheesy bread is a generous size with 16 pieces of thick, fluffy bread. It is well seasoned and adds the perfect side complement to the pizza for an added five dollars.

 

Overall, Daniele’s Pizzeria makes wonderful pizza and needs to be tasted if you consider yourself a pizza lover. While the pizza was great, there are two things on the menu that I need to try. The arancini, or deep-fried riceballs, look and sound exceptional. Honestly, I’m bummed I didn’t order one along with the pizza. There is also one other gem on their menu that is only available Monday through Wednesday and it’s called the D-Burger. It’s a 1/2 pound sausage patty sandwiched between two 7-inch pepperoni pizzas.

 

Joanne, when you come back we’ll need to put the D-Burger in the hat. It’s a perfect creation that is begging to be devoured.

 

Post Script

By Victoria Mullen

 

Just my luck, I missed out on yet another Going Local foray. So far, I’ve missed China City, Le Kabob and now, Danieles. But who’s counting? So, maybe the food gods are being brutal but Mike, ever the gentleman, kindly saved one piece of pizza pie for me to try — along with several slices of cheesy bread — and that I surely did. I find that the proof of a pizza is in heating it up again the next day.

 

Our microwave here at work isn’t the greatest, and I unintentionally left the pizza slice heating for a bit too long. (I just can’t win!) I can say this, however: The cheese still stayed on the pie, and the crust was scrumptious. I’m not a fan of sausage, but the other toppings were flavorful and satiated my hungry belly. The cheesy bread was amazing, even the second day.

 

Joanne, when you come back, we’ll need to get another pizza pie and try the arancini.

Going Local: Le Kabob

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By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

Joanne@wktv.org

 

When Mike pulled Le Kabob out of the hat, I was happier than a freed canary. I love Mediterranean food. Tabouli, hommous, shawarmas…bring it on!

 

That enthusiasm probably showed on the way over. “Should I start looking?” “No, we have three miles.” “Should I start looking?” “We have about a mile.”

 

Located in a strip mall near the corner of 28th Street and Shaffer Avenue, we finally got there and the place was humming with activity. Upon entering, the aromas immediately made me smile — these are the smells I know from Dearborn when visiting the restaurants there.

 

Le Kabob has only been at its current location for about two years — before that it was located on Alpine — but the owner has made it feel like home with some Mediterranean touches.

 

Le Kabob saladWe were seated at a booth and Mike immediately spotted the $6.99 lunch special that included a soda, any sandwich and soup or salad. Our server informed us the salad was a traditional side salad but for a dollar more you could select any of the other salads such as tabouli, fattoush, or Greek. I was sold and went for the fattoush salad paired with the falafel, hommous, tabouli wrap cause a girl has got to have her falafel! For those who do not know, a falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. I prefer my falafel with a little hommous, so this wrap was screaming my name.

 

Expecting half portions, I was surprised that the salad was full size. What really makes a fattoush salad is the cumin and baked pita bread and Le Kabob’s had a nice mixture of both along with lettuce, onion, tomato, and cucumber. I was loving it. In fact, I was loving it long after Mike had finished his soup and moved on to his first shawarma wrap. Finally moving on to my sandwich, I was delighted to find the bread was slightly toasted with the wrap getting a thumbs up for freshness and uniqueness.

 

One of the servers thanked us for being patient as they were short-staffed that day. I actually thought for the good-size lunch crowd they had the staff did pretty well on serving everyone and handling take-outs. There was a wait for us to be seated, but the food certainly made it well worth it.


By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

We’re only three weeks into Going Local, but it has already been a massive success in my opinion. Granted, that opinion is based solely on my own selfish joy of eating lunch at local havens and being able to call it “work”.

 

Seriously though, I had absolutely no idea the quality of food that exists right in our backyard. Sure, everyone talks about Grand Rapids being beer capital and the food that comes with it, but Kentwood and Wyoming has knocked it out of the park three weeks in a row. The best part is that all of our lunches have been very reasonably priced. So much so that I might even call it generously priced, and Le Kabob was no exception.

 

I’ll admit, I was never big on Mediterranean food until my girlfriend brought me to a place in Detroit last year for some chicken shawarmas. It’s not that I didn’t like Mediterranean food, more that I had never really given it a chance, and I quickly realized what I had been missing. I had a new love, her name was Mediterranean and I can’t thank my girlfriend enough for introducing us.

 

Le Kabob garlic pasteWhen we walked into Le Kabob, I was caught off guard by the size of the restaurant. The last two places we had been to were small and we were the only people there for lunch. Le Kabob was not only much bigger, but it was packed with people there for lunch. Apparently we weren’t the only ones Going Local. We had a slight wait before we were seated and the $6.99 lunch special immediately caught my eye. The picture of the shawarma looked small, so I decided I needed to order two, a chicken and a lamb, on top of my lamb chili. I did not need to order a second one. I repeat, I did NOT need to order a second one.

 

Fresh toasted flatbread was brought out to the table as a starter along with a crush garlic paste to spread. The paste was 98 percent garlic and had some other spices and jalapenos thrown in for good measure. It was crushed up to spread like butter across the bread. It was phenomenal and a second basket of bread was quickly brought to the table after the first was engulfed almost immediately.

 

The lamb chili was good, not exceptional, but it had a little bit of heat and was a great size as a precursor to my two shawarmas. When the shawarmas were set down in front of me, I knew my eyes were bigger than my stomach. However, in my defense, they didn’t look THAT BIG in the picture on the menu. That is my excuse and I will stick with it. But I ordered my meal and I needed to finish the whole thing… my job depends on it.

 

Le Kabob ShawarmaBoth shawarmas were exceptional. The meat was tender and the pita was baked with the right amount of crisp. The lamb shawarma comes rolled with onions, tomatoes, pickles, parsley and tahini sauce. It went down smoothly as the chicken starred me right in the face. The chicken shawarma is rolled with pickles, lettuce, and garlic sauce – I think I hit my yearly garlic intake during the meal. The second shawarma was just as good, but my stomach said no more! Fortunately, I was able to take half the sandwich home in a box and have it for another Going Local lunch the next day.

 

If you even remotely like Mediterranean food, you need to stop in to Le Kabob. The food is prepared daily and the lunch special is very fairly priced. The entrees are a little more expensive ($11.99 – $26.99), but I would imagine they’re every bit as tasty as the lunch.

 

Le Kabob is located at 3122 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512. Their phone number is 616-272-4135.

High ropes course brings adventure to Grand Rapids

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Standing on an unstable wooden pallet suspended twenty feet in the air, I glanced at the forest floor below. Twenty feet feels a lot higher when you’re looking down at the ground than looking up from it.

 

Only two more pallets to traverse before making it to relative safety. After all, there is another obstacle waiting. As I took the next step, my balance faltered and my body hurled its way towards impending doom.

 

“Are you okay?” shouted Joanne, my partner in crime for the afternoon, from the platform behind me.

 

“Yeah! I was just trying to get a good shot with the GoPro,” I quickly answered back after realizing my harness held me safely up amongst the trees at the Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park.

 

New this year, the Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park is the only high ropes course in Grand Rapids. Located in the woods behind Celebration Cinema North at 2121 Celebration Dr NE, the Treetop Adventure Park offers obstacles like bridges, cargo nets, swinging logs, rings, skateboards and zip-lines.

 

“We have stuff for all ages,” said Amy Dyer, a staff member at Grand Rapids Treetop Adventure Park. “We have a small zipline course for the littler kids. As long you have a parent and a really gung-ho kid, no matter what the age you are, you’re going to have a good time.”

 

The park features six different courses that range in difficulty from easiest to most difficult, much like a ski resort does with green, blue and black runs. For the smaller kids, the Junior Park offers a chance to experience the thrill of being off the ground. For those looking for a challenge, the most difficult courses might cause some hesitation before making the climb.

 

The park is open seven days a week from 10am to 9pm. Throughout the rest of the summer, the park will host a Glow Night every Friday from 6 to 10pm.

 

If you plan to make a trip to see what adventures await in the trees, don’t take it lightly and come ready for the challenge.

 

“Just keep in mind that it’s a lot more physical than people think,” said Dyer. “You’re coming here to challenge yourself more than anything. So, bring water and wear comfortable clothes and shoes.”

 

While the goal is to challenge yourself, Dyer also reiterated the true reason for the park’s existence.

 

“It will be a lot of fun regardless of your skill and ability level.”

 

Filming for the video was done on one of the four GoPro Cameras available at WKTV for checkout. For more information, visit wktv.org or call 616-261-5700.

Going Local: Dallas Deli

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By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

Joanne@wktv.org

 

“Make sure to tell your friends about us,” said the blue-and-white Facebook sign above one of the tables at Wyoming’s Dallas Deli. Have no fear Dallas Deli, I shall take to the modern-day form of shouting it from the rooftops, a.k.a. Facebook.

 

Yes, our traveling troupe, Mike and joining us, Victoria, moseyed on over to 3660 Byron Center Ave. SW, home of Dallas Deli and Lions Mane barbershop (separate owners). I learned a long time ago that some of the most amazing food places are small. In fact, a friend had warned me that the seating space at Dallas Deli consisted of three tables — one that sat about six and two that sat two. Even with the warning, I was surprised how small the space was. According to owner Sam Barnes, the place started as an ice cream parlor then was a pizza parlor, before Frank and Mary Weikert opened Dallas Deli some 30 years ago. Sam and his wife Kim took over the place – along with Weikert’s original Texas-style barbecue recipes – in 2003.

 

Chili Dallas DeliWhat Dallas Deli lacks in space it certainly makes up for in food — at least my chili packed a wallop of flavor being voted best meal selection by our little group and leaving Victoria and I planning chili runs in the winter. I had the World Class Chili which was topped with the restaurant’s signature brisket, cheese and onion. With the right mixture of heat and sweet, it was perfect even for our blistery hot summer day visit. (By the way, the air conditioning was not on while we were there but the place stayed pretty cool with the door open and a breeze moving through the building.)

 

After the first bite, I really did not want to share but Mike and Victoria were being generous with their selections, so I did…a little. I did order the medium-size portion to share, but could have easily eaten it without any help.

 

This little Wyoming gem is garnering quite the reputation. Most recently, Dallas Deli was part of the Grand Rapids’ Barley, BBQ & Beats and named one of the top 12 Hole In the Wall Restaurants in Michigan by onlyinyourstate.com. “After that we had about 500 people come in in about a week. It just about killed us,” Sam said with a laugh. So let’s keep the stampede to perhaps a trot.

 

But do come because even if you can’t find a seat, take-out — along with catering — is a big part of the Dallas Deli’s business and quite honestly, I can not think of better way to saddle up and go then with a half rack of ribs. Oh heck, we’re make that full. Yippee-ki-yay!


By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

When Dallas Deli was drawn out of the hat earlier this week for our Going Local location, I almost fainted. I love meat, I love BBQ, and I love it smoked. This is my job? Seriously!? In the words of the great Belinda Carlisle, “Ooh heaven is a place on earth!”

 

Joanne already covered the decor and atmosphere above, so let’s dive right into the only thing that matters… the food!

 

Taking a glance at the menu feels like trip through the meat market with Oprah as your tour guide… “You get a brisket, and YOU get some pulled pork, and YOU get some ribs!” How on earth am I supposed to fit it all on one plate?

 

The combo dinner isn't playing around
The combo dinner isn’t playing around

Two words, Combo Dinner.

 

The Combo Dinner comes with two different meats, two sides, and a choice of bread. The two meats can then be enjoyed with one of three BBQ sauces available at each table, Dallas Deli Mild Sauce, Sweet and Tangy, and Hot & Spice. All three have their own distinct taste and are worth a try. My meal consisted of rib tips, sausage, collard greens, baked beans and corn bread. Talk about a full house on a plate!

 

The rib tips were excellent and very rich, but I’m still kicking myself for not taking the brisket as my second meat choice. Don’t get me wrong, the sausage was good, but passing up the brisket at a BBQ joint? Rookie move, DeWitt.

 

As for the sides, the collard greens and baked beans were excellent compliments to the overall meal. While the meat and BBQ added a rich flavor, the beans and greens kept things at even keel with a consistent texture and flavor.

 

Now, about that corn bread, it was warm, full of taste, and melted in your mouth. Cornbread for me is very hit or miss and Dallas Deli hit one out of the park.

 

Dallas Deli BBQThanks to the size of the meal, I had some leftover for lunch the next day (that doesn’t happen very often) and it kept its taste upon a second serving. The corn bread tasted even better the next day, if that’s even possible.

 

Overall, Dallas Deli lived up to the hype. It’s well priced – only $12 for my whole meal – tastes great, and it feeds the beast. I will be making a second trip.

KDL Summer Reading Program opens doors and possibilities

Alesha (left) and Melissa Steele stay active during Summer Reading Month
Alesha (left) and Melissa Steele stay active during Summer Reading Month

Thirteen-year-old Alesha Steele’s passion for reading not only allowed her to discover new places from the pages of books, but the opportunity to explore her own neighborhood by winning a bike. Now she hopes to help someone else discover a passion for reading as a volunteer for the Kent District Library Summer Reading Program.

 

Throughout the summer, the Kent District Library hosts the most popular reading program of any public library system in Michigan. The program had more than 33,000 participants last year and engages kids, teens and adults with reading activities and prizes.

 

“This is my third year volunteering with the library,” said Alesha. “My first two years I volunteered over in Grandville and now I’m helping out at the Richard L. Root Branch in Kentwood. I help people sign up and I hand out prizes.”

 

While some kids spend the summer months buried in technology, that’s never been the case for Alesha and her 11-year-old sister Melissa, who has her own affinity for books with animals, especially wolves. For both girls, unlocking a new adventure, a new world, is as simple as turning the page.

 

“You can go somewhere in a book, somewhere that isn’t here,” explains Alesha. “It’s always different and exciting.”

 

Melissa is quick to chime in, “You feel like you’re in the world.”

 

Another thing both girls agree on, it’s more satisfying turning a physical page than an electronic one.

 

“We both like real books instead of reading on a Kindle,” said Alesha. “There’s something about being able to actually turn the page and see when you’re getting to the end of the book. The electronic books don’t have that same feel.”

 

Both girls have been traveling to different worlds since they could understand and comprehend how letters make up words, words that become powerful when paired together. The girls gained their love for reading from their mother, Jessica, who has encouraged reading be a staple in her kids’ lives. Jessica home schools all four of her children – Alesha and Melissa are the oldest – and has stressed the benefits of reading.

 

“Reading has always been a big part of my life,” said Jessica. “The benefits of reading are limitless and it broadens vocabulary.”

 

Kentwood LibraryWith those benefits in mind, Jessica and her daughters keep active in the KDL Summer Reading Program. The program is aimed at keeping kids’ minds fresh throughout the summer months. Studies show that students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of the summer vacation than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer vacation. The KDL Summer Reading Program encourages learning while children and teens are away from school.

 

However, knowing the benefits of reading and having a dedicated and encouraging family and library doesn’t necessarily mean the love for reading is going to be a smooth ride.

 

“I used to hate reading,” said Melissa before sharply transitioning, “but now I love it! It helped that I continued to read and that made me become a better reader. The more I read, the easier it was, and it made me realize that I love reading.”

 

Reading has not only taken Alesha and Melissa to new worlds, but it has better prepared them for this one.

 

The KDL Summer Reading Program runs through August 13. Get started now, it’s not too late!

Going Local: China City

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Going Local is a new feature where the WKTV News staff visits a local Wyoming-Kentwood business for lunch.

 

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

When Joanne pitched the idea of Going Local during an editorial meeting two weeks ago, I said yes faster than Google’s response time (.84 seconds) when you type “food” into the search bar. I almost came up with as many results (1.9 billion) too.

 

My love for food cannot be quantified, and the thought process behind it is simple – if people eat it, it must taste good! People don’t prepare and eat things they don’t like. I treat every meal as a date with the contents on the plate and my eagerness to try local delicacies makes my heart flutter and taste buds melt.

 

Joanne, you had me at “Local.”

 

The inaugural lunch trip for Going Local was to China City in Kentwood. After hearing rave reviews from co-workers and commenters on Facebook, it’s safe to say my excitement was through the roof. A quick visit to the restaurants Yelp! page had me giddy as a school girl. However, there were a couple of reviews that were negative and completely off base from what others had personally told me. Turns out there’s a China City in Grand Rapids as well. Those commenters were probably commenting on the wrong page.

 

China City is located in a small strip mall on Eastern Avenue. The restaurant has been around for 10 years, seven in the current location. The neon glow of the “Open” and “Bakery” sign greet you from the window. Yeah, that’s right, a Chinese bakery as well! We hadn’t even walked in the door and I was already head-over-heels.

 

Upon entering, the contents of the bakery greeted you with their sugary delight – temptation before we even sat down. The seating area is small and homely with four booths lining each side and four tables in the middle of the room. It presented a quiet feel and a pleasant place to hold a conversation throughout the meal.

 

Egg Drop Soup and TeaOnce seated, we were able to dive into the menu. One thing that immediately jumped out was how affordable the lunch prices were. All of the dishes were under $7.50 and included a choice of soup (egg drop or hot & sour), choice of crab cheese or an egg roll, and a choice of fried or white rice (not included with a noodle meal). Top it off with hot tea and a fortune cookie and no one leaves with an empty stomach.

 

After a quick glance at the menu, my eyes locked in on chicken lo mein and my mouth began to salivate. I had found a my date for lunch and was sure we would hit it off!

 

First came the egg drop soup and it was packed with flavor. While some renditions can taste a little bland, the soup was sweet and a nice primer for the main course.

 

Lo MeinAbout that main course, it was a larger portion that I was expecting for the price and it wasn’t overly salted. In fact, the taste was quite soothing. Some might describe it as “bland”, but I loved it. The taste wasn’t overpowering and it was effortless moving from a bite of the lo mein to the egg roll. The tastes complimented one another.

 

When it’s all said and done, I leave every restaurant asking myself two questions:

 

1. Am I full?
2. Would I go back?

 

The answer to both of these is a resounding yes, and it only cost $7.

 


 

By: Joanne Bailey-Boorsma

Joanne@wktv.org

 

China City Bakery and Restaurant on Eastern Avenue, just south of 52nd Street. Not to be confused with China City Chinese Restaurant in Grand Rapids.

 

I thought the restaurant’s sign was adorable with the green and white giving it an old road-sign feel.

 

China City BakeryInside, the restaurant was cleaned and inviting with the owner showing us to a table. I lingered a little as China City has a bakery case that included little heart-shaped strawberry and lemon cakes along with rather large almond cookies for 35 cents. “Life is short, eat dessert first” ran through my head as I pulled myself away from the bakery case. Besides, I have to pass it on the way out anyways.

 

We scanned the two-page lunch menu – well I scanned, Mike took photos of the menu. My goto Chinese dish is chicken broccoli or some variation of that. I went with the variation, pineapple chicken, which had broccoli, chicken, pineapple and water chestnuts. Lunch servings all come with a choice of soup, crab rangoons or egg rolls and white or fried rice.

 

Just by tasting, you could tell the soup was made fresh. It also had just a touch of sweetness.

 

Pineapple Chicken and BroccliThe lunch meal came out fairly quickly. It was a nice portion size with at least a cup and half of the entry and fried rice. I don’t normally order fried rice, but a friend had recommended trying China City’s, so I opted for it and was not disappointed.

 

With many Chinese restaurants, the lunch version usually has a small egg roll. This was not the case as the egg roll was very plump, another obvious sign that the food is made fresh daily. The pineapple and chicken was a little on the bland for me, but some soy sauce kicked it up a notch.

 

A couple of items: if you are allergic to shellfish, check to see if the egg rolls have any. I found a couple of small pieces in mine. Also, the food is not overly salted so if you like salt, you may need to add it.

 

On the way out, I decided to get a small box of almond cookies to “share” and try the vanilla cake, which had a coconut filling. The almond cookies literally melted in my mouth and I had eaten four before I knew it.

Let the (Kids)Games Begin!

By: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Wyoming Public Schools closed the doors last weekend and ushered in the end of the school year. This Monday, churches and volunteers from around the area will reopen the doors to Wyoming Jr. High School and welcome in over 200 kids to participate in a worldwide, faith-based movement called KidsGames.

 

The idea started over a decade ago in the Middle East and Spain to give children an experience in a sporting event over the summer. Since then, KidsGames has expanded and evolved all over the world, including right here in West Michigan.

 

“One of the founding fathers of KidsGames International, Michael Wozniak, is local here in West Michigan,” said Jack Ponstine, the founder of KidsGames in Wyoming. “There was already an event in Byron Center, so he reached out to me to get one started in Wyoming. That was nine years ago.”

 

KidsGames is a free event for children entering 1st-6th grade. It is focused on making the week as fun as possible while building strong character and building a relationship in Christ. Each night starts with the whole group (kids and volunteers) meeting in the gymnasium to talk about the mission for the year. Past years have worked with Feeding America and sending sporting equipment to low-income areas. This year, the goal is to raise money for water for Flint.

 

KidsGames Wyoming 2After the opening meeting, kids are broken into three different groups to learn about nutrition, stories from the Bible, and play experimental games with life lessons incorporated throughout. Kids are then placed into small groups for Bible Discovery Time with a small group leader.

 

Following small group, it’s time to get active again as kids can choose between many different activities or “Tracks.” The Tracks are led by volunteers and include different games, sports, and crafts. Tracks  for this year include basketball, beauty 101, crafts/scrapbooking, drama, jewelry making, karate, legos, painting 101, painting 202, soccer, and wacky science.

 

“We have more volunteers and Tracks than ever before,” said Ponstine. “We couldn’t do it without the volunteers”

 

Last year, 64 volunteers from 13 different churches helped out at the week-long event. All 64 were needed to help make the experience as positive as possible for the 181 students, from 57 different schools, that attended.

 

Things don’t look like they’re about to slow down in 2016 either.

 

“We already have over 100 that have pre-registered. That doesn’t include the large number who will register on Monday when we start,” said KidsGame coordinator Shane Buist.

 

KidsGames Wyoming 1When the week is over, Jack Ponstine hopes each family leaves having checked all four boxes:

 

1.    They had a great week with the other children and the leaders.

2.    That parents enjoyed dropping their kids off knowing the fun they were about to have and the lessons learned.

3.    A positive relationship was built with the small group leader.

4.    A strong relationship with Jesus Christ was built upon.

 

In the end, it all comes back to spreading the word.

 

“My goal is to get churches to come together to spread ministry,” said Ponstine.

 

Details about the event are below:

 

Who: 1st-6th graders and volunteers from churches throughout Wyoming
What: KidsGames: West Michigan
When: Monday, June 13 – Friday, June 17 from 6:00-8:30pm (Registration opens at 5:30 Monday night)
Where: Wyoming Jr. High School (2125 Wrenwood SW, Wyoming, MI 49509)
Why: Building character, making new friends, learning about the Bible and having FUN
Cost: FREE!

New additions at the Wyoming Dog Park raise the ‘Woof’

Wyoming Dog ParkBy: Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

As the sun breaks through the clouds and warms the ground beneath, spring is ushered in and invites everyone to get outside. Winter has finally put itself in the rearview mirror and Wyoming residents can now take the opportunity to bring their loved ones outside on the new equipment at Marquette Park.

 

As the adults look on, the playful noises coming from the new equipment isn’t the laughter of kids, but rather the happy barks and tail wagging of Wyoming’s four-legged friends at the Wyoming Dog Park.

 

This spring, the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department installed a large “canine castle” and a smaller “top dog bridge” to the city’s dog park. Both play structures were made from low-maintenance durable recycled plastic and will continue to recycle joy for canine visitors for years to come.

 

Dog ParkThe dog park opened in 2009 and was founded by a citizen group with a vision for a dedicated pet area in the city. The group petitioned the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Commission for a space and an enclosed 2.2-acre park was created just north of Kimble Field in Wyoming’s Marquette Park. The enclosed area features areas for all dogs, both large and small.

 

“The dog park creates a community,” said Valarie Mester, the recreation programmer at Wyoming Parks and Recreation. “It’s a social event for people, as well as their dogs, and the dog park members become very close. It also brings people, even non-residents, to the north side of town.”

 

The dog park currently has 179 active members for 2016. That number is expected to reach over 300 by the end of the summer as new members sign up and old membership are renewed.

 

In total, the new equipment cost $5,178 and the dogs really enjoy going underneath the pieces for the shade it provides. In fact, the castle is designed for the dogs to go underneath it. Funding for the project came from the Wyoming Parks and Recreation millage as well as through the annual Wyoming Dog Park membership fees.

 

“The Wyoming Dog Park is the result of a successful collaboration between the Citizens for Dog Park Committee and the City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department,” said Rebecca Rynbrandt, the city’s director of community services. “We are excited to incorporate this new equipment to the park, which will enhance the experience for our canine members.”

 

Dog ParkThe Wyoming Dog Park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The park is controlled by a key fob access requiring a membership for entry into the dog park. The membership process is to ensure all pets are vaccinated and licensed to create a safe environment for everyone.

 

“Our key fob entry system is an advantage to our park and makes us unique,” said Mester. “The extra security and safety measures are very helpful. They make sure everyone stays healthy, and the members of the dog park really appreciate that feature.”

 

An annual membership costs $12 for a Wyoming resident and $24 for a non-resident. Memberships can be purchased at the Parks and Recreation office at 1155 28th St. SW. Proof of required medical records and a current dog license are necessary for membership.

 

For further information regarding the dog park, or any of Wyoming’s parks, call the Wyoming Parks and Recreation Department at 616-530-3164.

 

So, this spring and summer, make sure to get outside and enjoy the weather! Oh, and bring your furry friends too.

Kentwood celebrates paying off Justice Center

By: Mike DeWitt

 

The cake was cut and commemorative bottles were opened as the City of Kentwood celebrated paying off a 15-year, $10 million bond on the City’s Justice Center this past Friday. The celebration was led by Mayor Stephen Kepley and quickly handed off to the two men who put the plans together 15 years ago, Judge William Kelly and former Chief of Police Richard Mattice.

 

Justice Center GroundbreakingBefore the Justice Center was built, the Police Department and the District Court were housed in the Kentwood City Center. It was a cramped working environment that limited the productivity of both staffs.

 

“We were really cramped,” said Judge William Kelly. “One of our clerks in the court had to be put in the back of the courtroom, and that was also our city commission chambers.”

 

“Before [the Justice Center] was built, the police department used the City Center but also had two trailers that housed our detective bureau and our community services bureau,” said former Police Chief Richard Mattice. “Our locker rooms were across the street in the fire station.”

 

It was apparent that the court and the police department needed a new home, but how? Kentwood had never taken out a bond for a building before. For a city as fiscally conservative as Kentwood, it was a big step to take.

 

“The mayor promised the voters that if they approved the millage to hire more police officers, then the city would build a new facility without going to the public for another millage,” said Kelly.

 

Justice Center GroundbreakingSo, with that on the table, the millage was passed to hire more police officers and the city got to work on building a new facility. Planning started in August of 2000 with a groundbreaking ceremony quickly to follow on March 22, 2001.

 

Coming in at 60,000 square-feet, approximately 20,000 on the court side and 40,000 on the police side, the Justice Center added much-needed room for city employees to do their jobs.

 

“When we moved in here, we came from 5,200 square-feet to 41,000 square-feet,” said Mattice. “We had facilities to adequately meet the public which we didn’t have before.”

 

Kentwood Justice CenterIn the end, the Kentwood Justice Center was completed on time and on budget. 15 years later the building was paid off on time and is one of the reasons for the city’s AA+ bond rating – a rating very unusual for a city the size of Kentwood.

 

Another example of the City of Kentwood doing what is best for the community.

Kentwood has the urge to purge, too

City of KentwoodBy: Mike DeWitt

mike.dewitt@wktv.org

 

As certain mammals hibernate through the winter, us humans treat winter as a time to become a pack rat. Whether it’s your house, car, or garage, no one likes tidying things up in the cold. However, once the weather turns and the sun peaks out over the horizon, suddenly cleaning becomes a lot more manageable. The warmth, coupled with the excessive amount of junk accumulated throughout the winter, gives people a reason to take pride in their surroundings and start spring fresh.

 

Spring cleaning doesn’t always have to be greeted with sighs a groans!

 

On Saturday, May 7, from 8:00am – 2:00pm, the City of Kentwood will host their annual Pride Day for the citizens of Kentwood to take pride in their community. The community wide cleanup will be held at the Kentwood Recycling Center (5068 Breton Avenue) and is limited to Kentwood residents with proof by picture identification.

 

“The cleanups originally started with dumpsters in neighborhoods, but it was more difficult to dispose of everything,” said John Gorney, Kentwood’s Director of Public Works. “Having the community cleanup at a central location makes everything run smoother for everybody.”

 

Gorney has been an advocate for community cleanup days since he started working with the City of Kentwood 9 years ago. He was quick to point out that the city has been offering cleanups well before he arrived.

 

“I’ve been here for nine years, but our community cleanups have been going on for much longer. It’s a great way for the city and the community to work together to properly dispose of big, and potentially dangerous, items that are accumulated throughout the year,” said Gorney.

 

While most items will be accepted, latex paint, medical waste, pharmaceuticals, ammunition, fireworks, tires, and yard waste will not be accepted. The Kent County Department of Public Works will be available to accept household hazardous waste items.

 

Joining in on the cleanup will be the Salvation Army and Comprenew. The Salvation Army will be on hand to accept gently used items for donations. Comprenew will also be present to receive electronic waste (mobile phones, computers, fax machines, and other items will be accepted at no charge. CRT screens will not be accepted, but they can be dropped off directly at any Comprenew commercial location for a small fee.

 

Those planning to attend Kentwood’s Pride Day are asked to enter the drive off Breton Avenue. Volunteers will be checking for valid residence identification and approved items for disposal.

 

If you have any further questions, or are seeking more information, please call the City switchboard during business hours at 698-9610.

Kentwood Pride Day

AT&T lauches “Puede Esperar” campaign to combat smartphone use while driving

Texting While DrivingBy: Mike DeWitt

 

It only takes one second, one glance down at your phone, to completely change a life. As technology and social networks continually innovate the way we communicate, they constantly vie for our attention throughout the day. Even when driving a car, a metal box hurling down the freeway at deadly speeds, it can be tempting to stay engaged to our social circles around us.

 

Back in 2010, AT&T created the It Can Wait campaign: a strong and simple message to put down your cell phone while driving. Now, in response to a recent findings on distracted driving, AT&T has shifted their campaign to reach U.S. Hispanics – Puede Esperar.

 

Puede Esperar is a direct response to new research that found 83 percent of Hispanics admitting to using their smartphone behind the wheel. That number is higher than an already staggering 71 percent of Americans as a whole that admit to distracted driving. Of that 83 percent, half admit to using their smartphone to social network while driving, more than a quarter (28%) take selfies or photos, and nearly 70 percent send texts messages.

 

The Puede Esperar campaign focuses on education and practical tools to help combat distracted driving. The campaign includes:

•    The AT&T DriveMode app is now available in Spanish and open to all carriers. The app helps curb the urge to text and drive by silencing incoming text messages once the car reaches 15 MPH.

•    A 360-degree video experience that simulates the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your phone while driving. The video can be viewed on your smartphone.

•    A coast-to-coast virtual reality tour visiting local high schools and community events in more than a dozen cities by year-end.

•    A website to help share information and resources.

 

While the most recent campaign focuses on reaching the Hispanic population, it’s a problem that everyone needs to address.

 

“Now more than ever we need to focus on those who put themselves at high risk behind the wheel,” said Sandra Howard of AT&T. “We want them to know the dangers and take the pledge. Ultimately, we want them to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones.”

 

Since the original campaign launched in 2010, It Can Wait has helped grow awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, inspired more than 8 million pledges to keep their eyes off their phones and on the road, and collaborated with AT&T data scientists on research that shows the impact statewide anti-texting laws have on the rates of texting while driving.

 

Remember, that text, snapchat, photo, tweet, and instagram post isn’t worth a life. Put away your cell phones and focus on the road ahead.

Haiku for you

HaikuWith April being National Poetry Month, and yesterday being Haiku Poetry Day, a few citizen reporters tried their hand at the art of the traditional Japanese poetry and its 17 syllables.

 

by Dylan Rettler

 

I ask for insight
Ashen sky of you and I
On this phoenixed flight

 

by Kathryn Gray

 

Stories to be told
Warm fingers on the keyboard
Awake hearts and minds

 

by Katelyn Kohane

 

No worries or cares
Relaxing beside the water
Watching waves roll by

 

And WKTV News editors Mike DeWitt and Victoria Mullen even gave it a shot!

 

by Mike DeWitt

 

Recruiting Writers
Take it one step at a time
To write from the heart

 

by Victoria Mullen

 

hello poetry

I wish to celebrate you

with a fine Haiku

Code Red: A Robotics Takeover by Area Students

By Mike DeWitt

Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

The outside fortifications of the castle have taken serious damage as the opposing forces lick their chops readying for a takeover. Three valiant knights, bonded by an alliance, are all the castle has left. They band together and strike back, strategically battering the opposing stronghold with a flawlessly executed counterattack that places victory within reach.

 

Now all that’s left is to bring down the tower, and time is running out.

 

It’s a battle scene playing out straight from a movie. However, these knights aren’t people, they’re robots, and they’re built and operated by high school students on a quest for a state championship at the DeltaPlex from April 14-16..

 

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in Michigan is an organization and robotics competition that gives students an opportunity to build their own robots and compete against other teams. It’s a way for students to discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be.

 

Code Red Robotics, a local program based in Kentwood, recently qualified for the Michigan FIRST Robotics State Championship that will be held this weekend at the DeltaPlex Arena. Code Red enters the competition with the highest district score in West Michigan, highest scoring regular season match in the country, and as a winner of the Chairman’s Award, the top award in FIRST.

 

The competition theme for this year is “FIRST Stronghold” and creates alliances of three robots on a quest to breach their opponents’ fortifications, weaken the opponents’ tower with foam boulders, and ultimately capture the tower. Students were given six weeks to create a robot from scratch that could best handle all the obstacles. In all, the outermost line of fortification had more than 18,000 possible field configurations.

 

Code Red“Robotics is a great opportunity for the kids to learn teamwork. It truly is a team sport,” said Code Red director Ken Orzechowski.

 

Code Red Robotics started in 2008 and hasn’t looked back. Since the team started competing in 2009, Code Red has qualified for the state championship every year but one and has qualified for the world championship twice.

 

While most robotics teams are affiliated with a school, Code Red Robotics runs separately and relies on students from surrounding area schools to bolster the team. It’s the most challenging obstacle for the program.

 

“We have to constantly reach out to kids to join,” said Orzechowski. “It’s difficult, but having a team represented by 10 different schools only adds to our team dynamic. Plus, once they get in, they don’t leave. It’s too much fun!”

 

The schools represented at Code Red include Byron Center, Caledonia, Calvin Christian, Forest Hills Central, Grandville, Kenowa Hills, NorthPointe Christian, South Christian, Well Spring Academy, and home schools. On top of bringing kids in from other schools to learn robotics and be a part of a team, Code Red has been active in starting up robotics programs across the area.

 

In order to get a new program off of the ground, Code Red meets with school and community leaders, recruits mentors to help the students, and aids in finding sponsors and developing business plans. Their efforts have succeeded in getting six programs off the ground and rebooting another: the Forest Hills Comets, East Kentwood Red Storm, the Altobots, West Mi Aviation Spitfires, Harper Creek Robo Beavers, and the Petoskey Paladins. Code Red was also instrumental in finding mentors and sponsors to revive the Wyoming Demons after they folded in 2012. The Demons also qualified for the state championship this year.

 

Code Red“Starting some of these programs has cut into our own pool of kids, but that’s okay. It’s all about spreading the positives that come with FIRST,” said Orzechowski.

 

Orzechowski touched on those positives that spread well beyond the technical skills learned.

 

“It forces kids to articulate what they know and share ideas. We have a lot of smart kids; at one point we had five valedictorians, but they don’t always know how to share their ideas. If you can’t articulate your idea, it’s as bad as not knowing it. The teamwork that is required for FIRST helps build those skills.”

 

Code Red Robotics will compete in the state championship at the DeltaPlex, April 14-16. For further information on the competition, visit FIRST in Michigan. For more information on Code Red Robotics, visit their website.

Metro Health earns special recognition

metro health building

Mike DeWitt

Mike.Dewitt@wktv.org

 

Metro Health Hospital is home to some of the best maternity care and hip and knee replacements in the country. Recently, Metro Health received Blue Distinction Center status, a national designation program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM), for their exceptional treatment.

 

“The Blue Distinction Center designation lets our members know where they can go in Michigan to receive high-quality care that meets robust clinical standards,” said David Share, MD, MPH, and senior vice president at Blue Cross.

 

As a first time winner, Metro earned the award based on a number of measurements from BCBSM. BCBSM hands out the awards based on a combination of publicly available data and information it compiles from its subscribers’ medical claims. The examined data includes clinical measures, patient outcomes, and the cost of care. Patient satisfaction scores and patients’ willingness to recommend the hospital are also taken into account.

 

“Awards such as these from BCBSM are meaningful to the hospital for multiple reasons,” said PR Director Ellen Bristol in and email with WKTV News. “They confirm our teams are providing quality care to patients and they boost morale and a sense of pride among employees and physicians.”

 

Both award distinctions from BCBSM carried different criteria. The Spartan Stores Family Childbirth Center at Metro Health excelled in areas of early elective delivery and for maintaining programs that promote successful breastfeeding as well as requirements for cost efficiency.

 

Knee and hip replacements are the fastest growing medical treatments in the country, the BCBSM distinction recognizes Metro as a leader in safe and high-quality specialty hip and knee care.

 

“The recognition helps patients be confident in the organization and the people who are caring for them,” said Bristol. “Plus, they confirm to physicians that the hospital can provide their patients with the high quality care they want for their patients”

 

With an annual patient count of over 250,000 across West Michigan, a little recognition is just a reminder of the great work they do every day.

Volunteers shine at the Volunteer Award Banquet

  • WKTV's Volunteer Award Banquet
  • Doug Hansen - Lifetime Achievement
  • Thomas Hegewald - Community Service Programming
  • Citizen Reporters
  • Members of the 100 hour club
  • First time volunteers at the station
  • Five year award winners
  • 10 year award winners
  • Started volunteering at the start of the millennium - 15 years
  • 20 years of service to WKTV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The WKTV community gathered at Stony Brook Country Club on April 1 – and that’s no April Fools – to celebrate the volunteers to who make the station so special.

 

Since its inception as only the second community media station in the country in 1974, WKTV has given everyday citizens a platform for their voice and message to be heard. Volunteers have access to state-of-the-art video and editing equipment, studio space, a television channel, and an online newspaper to help mold their messages and stories about the communities they live in.

 

The best part? It’s all free!

 

Volunteer Banquet 2016Over 300 volunteers take advantage of the services WKTV has to offer in production, recording, editing, writing and filming. The Volunteer Appreciation Banquet is one way for the station to say thank you.

 

The banquet started with cocktails and a meet and greet before everyone sat down for dinner. The presentation of the awards followed dinner, but not before the premier of the annual volunteer appreciation videos courtesy of Nate Diedrich and the WKTV Production Staff.

 

“Producing these videos for the volunteer appreciation event allows us to express our sincere gratitude for all the effort our volunteers and producers put into creating quality content throughout the year,” said Nate.

 

 

When the room finally quieted down from all the laughter, the awards were ready to be handed out.

 

Volunteer of the Year - Doug Remtema
Volunteer of the Year – Doug Remtema

Volunteer of the Year was rewarded to Doug Remtema for his willingness and ability to help out on multiple projects at the station. Doug is a real pro and makes life easier on whichever project is lucky enough to utilize his talents.

 

Doug Hansen was recognized for Lifetime Achievement. Doug started at the station back in the 80s and has continued to be a resource for both volunteers and staff members.

 

Kathryn Gray was chosen as Citizen Reporter of the Year for her ability to make individuals come alive through the written word.

 

Community Service Programming went to Thomas Hegewald. The Community Service award is given to the volunteer who not only creates their own programming, but is also willing to volunteer on other projects as well.

 

On top of the four individual awards, volunteers were recognized for their individual service at the station.

 

23 volunteers were first year volunteers, 16 joined the 100 hour club, six citizen reporters in attendance were recognized for their yearly contributions, four volunteers were recognized for five years at the station, two volunteers were recognized for 10 years, four volunteers were recognized for 15 years, and two volunteers were recognized for 20 years of service.

 

20 years of volunteering at WKTV
20 years of volunteering at WKTV

19 shows were recognized for Program Dedication Awards.

 

WKTV is run by the volunteers who make everything possible. The volunteer banquet is one more night for them to shine.

 

Full list of volunteers recognized:

 

Volunteer of the Year: Doug Remtema

 

Citizen Reporter of the Year: Kathryn Gray

 

Community Service Programing: Thomas Hegewald

 

Lifetime Achievement Award: Doug Hansen

 

100 Hour Club

Terri Rees – 711

Doug Remtema – 494

Gary Vande Velde – 480

Alan Dunst – 446

Mike Bacon – 279

Barb VanDuren – 278

Thomas Hegewald – 249

Tom Sibley – 220

Sophia Maslowski – 190

Phil Moore – 172

Carrie Bradstreet – 149

Dan Simone – 122

Kristyn Miller – 117

Nathan Krzykwa – 111

Doug Hansen – 110

Athina Morehouse – 103

 

Program Dedication

A Day in the Dirt – Gary Vande Velde

Catholic Forum – Alan Dunst

Community Awareness – Donna Smith

Feel Like You Belong – Alan Headbloom

Fools for Christ – Jim Dohm

High School Sports – Paul Kableman

Is That Really Me on TV – Melanie Evans

OnPoint – Thomas Hegewald

River Reflections – Rosemary Burns

Senior Exercise – Chris Rush

Silent Voices – Dennis Lawrence

So & Mo Presents – Sophia Maslowski

Sounds of Summer – Patty Williams

Talking God & Guns – Janice Brown

Tips, Tricks & Techniques – Chef Terri Rees

Veteran’s History Project – James Smither

Whittlin’ Time – Mike Bacon

VMTV – Hung Nguyen

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me America – Carrie Bradstreet

 

First Year

 

Dan Davis – Whittlin’ Time

Gina Greenlee – OnPoint

Robert Gonzalez – Sports/Plus

Wendy Jenkins – Silent Voices

Mark Kelly – Sports

Mark Lange – Sports

Linh Le – VMTV

Cameron McCargar – Sports

Brice Miller – Sports

Athina Morehouse – OnPoint

Angela Peavey – Indie Films

Reid Petro – Indie Films

Steve Pham – VMTV

Bill Roelfsema – OnPoint

Eric Sheler – OnPoint

Michelle Sheler – OnPoint

Downie Streahl – Sports/Plus

Kevin Ton – VMTV

Lillie Towns – Silent Voices

Barb VanDuren – Chef Terri Right Hand

Arturo Varela – Mision Evangilistica

Chris Williams – Sports

 

5 Years

 

Ray Boisvenue – Fools for Christ

Karen Graham – Schubert Chorus/Plus

Mike Moll – Sports Announcer

Ron Schultz – Sports Announcer

 

10 Years

 

Mark Bergsma – Sports

Anne VanDreumel – Shubert/Plus/Plus

 

15 Years

 

Girbe Eefsting – Digital Cinema Guild

Eddie Grover – Various Shoots

Gary Vande Velde – Day in the Dirt/Sports/Plus

Mike VanDreumel – Mr. Fix It/Everything

 

20 Years

 

Mark Tangen – Dream Wheels/Festivals of Chefs

Dick Visser – Board/Direct: Reading Train/Beanie Babies/Crafty Ladies

WKTV readies to air Golden Gloves for the 32nd straight year

michigan golden glovesThe Golden Gloves have a long, outstanding history throughout the country in the sport of boxing. What started in New York in 1927 as an amateur boxing tournament has morphed into The National Golden Gloves, a boxing program with affiliates in all 50 states who focus in training young people for success.

 

Grand Rapids started their involvement in 1932 under the sponsorship of the Grand Rapids Press and the Furniture City Post of the American Legion to foster competing teams in Grand Rapids. In 2008, Grand Rapids and the Michigan Golden Gloves Association hosted the 2008 National Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions.

 

Back in 1985, the Michigan Golden Gloves Association and WKTV formed a partnership to film the state championship boxing bouts. When the partnership began, the tournament was held at Stadium Arena (now known as the DeltaPlex). When Stadium Arena was no longer suitable, the tournament was moved to the Grand Valley National Guard Armory on 44th street.

 

2016 marks a return to the DeltaPlex and the 32nd year of WKTV’s coverage of the Golden Gloves Boxing Championship. Catch all the action on Live Wire Comcast Channel 24 with a tape delayed airing of each evenings bouts the following day at noon.

 

West Michigan Championships
Saturday, April 9
Wednesday, April 20 (airing at 8:30pm)

 

State Championships
Saturday, April 23
Friday, April 29
Saturday, April 30

Broadway Grand Rapids opens the curtain on its new season

Broadway Grand RapidsBroadway Grand Rapids announced its new season with a four-show slate sure to pique the curiosity of every generation.

 

“A majority of the shows we bring in are musicals and we’re always looking to bring in something different, something new to Grand Rapids. It’s a combination of new and traditional to reach a multi-generational audience,” said Meghan Distel, Director of Marketing for Broadway Grand Rapids.

 

The planning required to create a new season at Broadway Grand Rapids is quite extensive. Booking a show requires finding shows that will play well with the Grand Rapids audience, planning and scheduling around open dates at the DeVos Performance Hall, and also finding dates that work with the shows themselves and their tour locations. It’s a process that can take over a year, but it’s all worth it.

 

It’s also important to bring in variety. “They’re all very different. Cinderella and the Sound of Music are classics. Motown should bring in a new crowd because it’s new and features over 40 classic hits,” said Distel.

 

What exactly does the new season look like? Take a look:

•    Cinderella (September 27 – October 2, 2016)
•    The Sound of Music (February 21-26. 2017)
•    Motown the Musical (May 2 – 7, 2017)
•    Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage (June 6 – 11, 2017)

The season kicks off with Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, an updated version of the classic family favorite with new twists and musical numbers.

 

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved film The Sound of Music, which starred Julia Andrews. A stage adaption is coming to Grand Rapids directed by three-time Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien.

 

Motown the Musical features more than 40 classic hits and tells the story behind the hits as Diana, Smokey, Berry and the whole Motown family fight against the odds to create the soundtrack of change in America. The Michigan roots make it a great show to bring to Grand Rapids.

 

The season finishes off with an unprecedented live experience of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage. Based off the 1987 iconic film, this performance is full of heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing.

 

On top of the four featured shows, Broadway Grand Rapids will premier two special event performances. These performances are scheduled to a limited number of shows.

 

•    A Christmas Story The Musical  (December 27 – 30, 2016)
•    Rent 20th Anniversary Tour (March 14 – 16, 2017)

 

While the 2016-2017 season is currently generating buzz, Broadway Grand Rapids has already reeled in a big fish for the fall of the 2017-2018 season and it’s something quite Wicked. That’s right, Wicked the Musical will be coming to the DeVos Performance Hall.

 

To purchase tickets for the upcoming season, visit broadwaygrandrapids.com.

Tri-Unity Christian falters in the fourth at the Breslin Center

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Tri-Unity Christian entered the Breslin Center for the 10th time under Coach Mark Keeler looking for another state championship. When the clock hit zero, the dream ended.

Boys Recap

Class D – State Semifinals

 

Tri-Unity Christian BasketballWaterford Our Lady – 64
Tri-Unity Christian – 53

 

Tri-Unity Christian was looking for its first state championship since 2011, but ended up falling in the semifinals due to an uncharacteristic fourth quarter that saw the game end on a 17-3 run.

 

The first three-quarters went back and forth with neither team holding more than a six-point lead. The Defenders were being badly outrebounded – final tally ended 37-17 in favor of Waterford Our Lady – but held things together with strong outside shooting and a tenacious defense that forced 15 turnovers on the night.

 

The well would eventually run dry.

 

With Tri-Unity up 50-47 in the final stanza, the Lakers of Waterford responded with a big three-pointer to tie things up. Another three just a few possessions later put the Lakers up 55-53 and put a final nail in the coffin.

 

Collin Rosendall led the Defenders with 17 points and senior Javi Cuevas added another 12. In all, the Defenders hit 7 three-pointers.

 

Tri-Unity only graduates two seniors, Cuevas and Willie Otol, and is poised to make another deep run in 2017.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Final Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – W (67-51) Dearborn Heights Robichaud
March 18
State Semifinals – W (57-46) Detroit Country Day
March 19
State Finals – L (42-51) Marshall

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – L (30-71) Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – L (55-57 OT) Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – W (52-38) Marcellus Howardsville
March 16
Regional Final – W (73-52) Benton Harbor Countryside
March 22
State Quarterfinals – W (54-43) Adrian Lenawee Christian
March 24
State Semifinals – L (53 – 64) Waterford Our Lady

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House

Tri-Unity Christian pushes on to semifinals

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

With a win in the state quarterfinals, Tri-Unity Christian prepares for its 10th trip to the Breslin Center since 1996.

Boys Recap

Class D – State Quarterfinals

 

Tri-Unity Christian – 54
Adrian Lenawee Christian – 43

 

Tri-Unity Christian Basketball
Javi Cuevas has helped lead the Defenders back to the Breslin Center

Tri-Unity Christian had to channel their inner underdog and embrace playing small ball against a much larger Adrian Lenawee Christian. Adrian Lenawee had the size (two players standing at 6’8″) that Tri-Unity couldn’t even pretend to compete with (no players over 6’1″), but in the end it didn’t matter.

 

At first, it looked like the Defenders were doomed. They couldn’t defend against the height and found themselves down 15-6 after the first 8 minutes. Things got a little better in the second half, but Tri-Unity still trailed 23-17 heading into the break.

 

In the second half, the outside shots started to fall. The Defenders stayed with their four guard offense and utilized their speed and shot making ability to stretch the floor and take the lead. The score stayed tight until Adrian Lenawee was forced to foul. Tri-Unity iced the game from the free throw line.

 

Three Defenders finished in double digits with Javi Cuevas leading the way with 16, Collin Rosendall adding 12 of his own, and Willie Otole finishing with 11.

 

For Tri-Unity Christian and head coach Mark Keeler, this is the program’s 10th trip to the Breslin Center since 1996. The Defenders are looking for their fifth state title under coach Keeler.

 

Tri-Unity Christian will face Waterford Our Lady in the state semifinals on March 24 at the Breslin Center.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – W (67-51) Dearborn Heights Robichaud
March 18
State Semifinals – W (57-46) Detroit Country Day
March 19
State Finals – L (42-51) Marshall

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – L (30-71) Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – L (55-57 OT) Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – W (52-38) Marcellus Howardsville
March 16
Regional Final – W (73-52) Benton Harbor Countryside
March 22
State Quarterfinals – W (54-43) Adrian Lenawee Christian
March 24
State Semifinals – Waterford Our Lady

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House

South Christian comes up just short, Tri-Unity Christian preparing for quarterfinals

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

South Christian upended number one ranked, and defending state champion, Detroit Country Day in the semifinals but couldn’t seal the deal the next day. For the second time in three years, the Sailors lost in the state finals.

 

Tri-Unity Christian took home a regional crown and is three wins away from hoisting another trophy. The Defenders will play in the state quarterfinals tonight.

Girls Recap

Class B – State Finals

 

Marshall – 51
South Christian – 42

 

It came down to the final game of the season, the state championship at the Breslin Center in Lansing, Michigan. The Sailors had already toppled Detroit Country Day and looked poised to bring home a championship that eluded them two years ago, and something the program hasn’t won since 1988.

 

South Christian couldn’t handle Marshall’s press in the first half as the Redhawks forced nine first half turnovers and extended their lead to 10 heading into halftime. That pivotal second quarter ended up being the difference as the Sailors weren’t able to weather the storm.

 

The Sailors led a valiant comeback behind 13 points, 9 rebound and 9 assists from senior Jennifer DeBoer and 16 points from senior Markayla Vander, but  ultimately came up short as the Redhawks made their free throws down the stretch.

 

It was a tough end to an otherwise extremely successful season.

 

Boys Preview

Class D – State Quarterfinals

 

Tri-Unity Christian (19-5) vs. Adrian Lenawee Christian (17-7) – 7:00pm at Coldwater

 

Tri-Unity Christian enters the state quarterfinals coming off of a 21-point victory over Benton Harbor Countryside. The game was close at halftime but adjustments were made and the Defenders dominated the third quarter 27-6. By the time the clock hit double-zero, all five starters found themselves in double figures.

 

Adrian Lenawee Christian toppled Morenci by 14 in the regional final and is looking to take that all important next step to the Breslin Center.

 

Winner will play either Waterford Our Lady or Marine City Cardinal Mooney in the state semifinals at the Breslin Center.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – W (67-51) Dearborn Heights Robichaud
March 18
State Semifinals – W (57-46) Detroit Country Day
March 19
State Finals – L (42-51) Marshall

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – L (30-71) Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – L (55-57 OT) Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – W (52-38) Marcellus Howardsville
March 16
Regional Final – W (73-52) Benton Harbor Countryside
March 22
State Quarterfinals – Adrian Lenawee Christian

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House

South Christian moves on to State Semifinals, Tri-Unity Christian bows out after historic season

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

The historic season for Tri-Unity Christian is officially in the books after losing in the state quarterfinals. South Christian will make a trip to the Breslin Center this weekend to play for a state championship.

 

On the boy’s side, Tri-Unity Christian prepares for a regional final game against Benton Harbor Countryside.

Girls Recap

Class B – State Quarterfinals

 

South Christian – 67
Dearborn Heights Robichaud – 51

 

South Christian found themselves in a one point game with four minutes to play. It was an uncanny night with top-scorers Markayla Vander and Jennifer DeBoer only registering seven first half points, combined!

 

Then those final four minutes happened and the Sailors finished on a 16-1 run to put an end to any title hopes the Bulldogs’ might have had. It was part of a huge second half where South Christian scored 21 and 25 points in the third and fourth quarters.

 

Vander finished with 20 points and DeBoer added 17 of her own. For Vander and DeBoer, it’s their second trip to the state semifinal in three years. South Christian lost in the championship back in 2014.

 

With the win, South Christian will head to the Breslin Center on Friday night to play defending state champion, and number one ranked, Detroit Country Day.

 

Class D – State Quarterfinals

 

Pittsford – 71
Tri-Unity Christian – 30

 

Tri-Unity Christian ran into a buzzsaw in the quarterfinals. Pittsford used their full court press to hassle Tri-Unity and proved why they are the top-ranked team in the state.

 

For the Defenders, it was the program’s first taste of the big lights. After winning regionals for the first time in history, Tri-Unity saw what it’s going to take to reach the next level. The team was outrebounded 35-15 and gave away too many second-chance opportunities.

 

It was a great season for the program and helped pave the path for next year’s team to take the next step.

Boys Preview

Class D – Regional Final

 

Tri-Unity Christian (18-5) vs. Benton Harbor Countryside (12-3) – 6:30pm at Benton Harbor Countryside

 

Tri-Unity Christian looks to keep their season alive tonight against Benton Harbor Countryside.

 

The Cougars of Benton Harbor come in having played only 15 games but carry a 12-3 record. They had a very close call – a 57-55 win – in the regional semifinal against Kalamazoo Pheonix.

 

The Defenders have held strong all season and look to add a regional title to their successful 2016 campaign.

 

The winner will face either Morenci or Adrian Lenawee Christian in the State Quarterfinals.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – W (67-51) Dearborn Heights Robichaud
March 18
State Semifinals – Detroit Country Day

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – L (30-71) Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – L (55-57 OT) Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – W (52-38) Marcellus Howardsville
March 16
Regional Final – Benton Harbor Countryside

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House

Tri-Unity Christian moves on as Godwin Heights is sent packing; Girls prepare for State Quarterfinals

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

And then there was one. After a heartbreaking overtime loss, Godwin Heights was eliminated from the playoffs in the Regional Semifinal. The loss leaves one area boys team, Tri-Unity Christian, left in the tournament.

 

South Christian and Tri-Unity Christian are in action for the girls tonight in the State Quarterfinals.

Boys Recap

Class B – Regional Semifinals

 

Williamston – 57 (OT)
Godwin Heights – 55

 

Godwin Heights BasketballThe defending Class B State Champions weren’t going to go down easy. In fact, it took an extra stanza to outlast the Wolverines, but Williamston pushed through thanks to a 37 point performance from Riley Lewis.

 

Trailing by five entering the fourth quarter, Williamston was able to stifle Godwin Height’s potent offense and allow for the overtime period. Leon Redd notched 23 points for the Wolverines, but it wasn’t enough down the stretch.

 

With the loss, Godwin Heights’ season is in the the books. Over the past three years, the Wolverines have a stunning 71-6 record.

 

Class D – Regional Semifinals

 

Tri-Unity Christian – 52
Marcellus Howardsville – 38

 

After a high-scoring first quarter, Tri-Unity Christian put the clamps down on defense and propelled themselves to the Regional Final. The Defenders found themselves down 19-18 after the first eight minutes due to uncharacteristic defense.

 

Marcellus Howardsville could only muster 19 points the rest of the way.

 

Tri-Unity Christian evened out the scoring load with 12 points coming from Willie Otole and 10 each from Javi Cuevas and Braydon Sherrod.

 

The Defenders will play Benton Harbor Countryside for the Regional Final on Wednesday.

 

Girls Preview

Class B – State Quarterfinals

 

South Christian (23-2) vs Dearborn Heights Robichaud (18-6) – 7:oopm at Fowlerville

 

The Sailors sit three wins away from a State Championship, but they must get through Dearborn Heights Robichaud first.

 

The Bulldogs enter the quarterfinals having won Districts and Regionals for the first time in program history. They have also won 11 of their last 12. In those 11 victories, their average margin of victory is 21.5 points.

 

South Christian has only lost two games all season and knows how to close out games. Seniors Jennifer DeBoer and Markayla Vander lead a unit with their eyes on the ultimate prize.

 

Winner will play either Detroit Mumford or Detroit Country Day in the State Semifinal.

 

Class D – State Quarterfinals

 

Tri-Unity Christian (21-4) vs Pittsford (24-0) – 7:00pm at Springport

 

After capturing their first-ever Regional Title, Tri-Unity Christian prepares for their biggest task yet against No. 1 ranked Pittsford. The Wildcats have beaten their opponents this season by an average margin of almost 45 points.

 

The Defenders defense has been one of their calling cards all season, the team only gives up 37 points per game. The defense will need to be on point tonight for Tri-Unity to pull the upset.

 

Winner will face either Waterford Our Lady or Kingston on Thursday in the State Semifinal.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – Dearborn Heights Robichaud

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – L (55-57 OT) Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – W (52-38) Marcellus Howardsville
March 16
Regional Final – Benton Harbor Countryside

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House

Godwin Heights and Tri-Unity Christian move on to Regionals

MHSAABy: Mike DeWitt
Mike.DeWitt@wktv.org

 

Godwin Heights and Tri-Unity Christian added a District Championship to their already successful season on Friday night. Tonight, they both look to make a claim for a regional title.

Boys Recap (& Preview)

Class B – Regional Semifinals

 

Godwin Heights – 88

Kelloggsville – 46

 

Godwin Heights BasketballThe first two meeting between these two squads ended with Godwin Heights winning in dominating fashion. The third game was much of the same. The Wolverines were led by 20 points from Lamar Norman. By the end of the game, every single Wolverines scored.

 

Kelloggsville found themselves down 51-27 at halftime and never found a way to get the game any closer.

 

Godwin Heights will play Williamston in the Regional Semifinal tonight at 6:00pm. The game will be played at Eaton Rapids.

 

Class D – Regional Semifinals

Tri-Unity Christian – 61
Holland Calvary- 47

 

Tri-Unity Christian defended their District Title and also topped Holland Calvary for the third time this season.

The Defenders have a tough game tonight against Marcellus Howardsville (19-3) in the Regional Semifinal. The game will be played at 6:00pm at Portage Northern.

Girls Preview

Both South Christian and Tri-Unity Christian play in the State Quarterfinals on Tuesday.

 

Wyoming-Kentwood Area Teams and Results

Girls

Class A

East Kentwood
February 29
District First Round – W (58-39) Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-51) East Grand Rapids
March 4
District Final – L (39-54) Grand Rapids Christian

 

Wyoming
March 2
District Semifinal – W (53-47) Jenison
March 4
District Final – L (28-50) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights
February 29
District First Round – L (38-60) South Christian

 

Grand River Prep
March 2
District Semifinal – L (15-67) Wayland Union

 

Kelloggsville
March 2
District Semifinal – L (7-79) South Christian

 

South Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (60-38) Godwin Heights
March 2
District Semifinal – W (79-7) Kelloggsville
March 4
District Final – W (63-42) Wayland Union
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (59-53) Williamston
March 10
Regional Final – W (62-49) Portland
March 15
State Quarterfinals – Dearborn Heights Robichaud

Class D

Potter’s House
March 2
District Semifinal – W (62-55) West Michigan Lutheran
March 4
District Final – L (38-54) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian
February 29
District First Round – W (50-40) Zion Christian
March 2
District Semifinal – W (72-36) Holland Calvary
March 4
District Final – W (54-38) Potter’s House
March 8
Regional Semifinal – W (46-44) Athens
March 10
Regional Final – W (58-46) Climax-Scotts
March 15
State Quarterfinals – Pittsford

 

West Michigan Lutheran
March 2
District Semifinal – L (55-62) Potter’s House

Boys

Class A

East Kentwood – District 5
March 7
District First Round – L (56-58) Ottawa Hills

 

Wyoming – District 6
March 7
District First Round – W (60-58) West Ottawa
March 9
District Semifinal – L (52-55 OT) Hudsonville

Class B

Godwin Heights – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-52) Wayland Union
March 9
District Semifinal – W (64-43) South Christian
March 11
District Final – W (88-46) Kelloggsville
March 14
Regional Semifinal – Williamston

 

Grand River Prep – District 48
March 7
District First Round – W (65-44) West Michigan Aviation Academy
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Kelloggsville

 

Kelloggsville – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Grand River Prep
March 11
District Final – L (46-88) Godwin Heights

 

South Christian – District 48
March 9
District Semifinal – L (43-64) Godwin Heights

 

West Michigan Aviation Academy – District 48
March 7
District First Round – L (44-65) Grand River Prep

 

Wyoming Lee – District 51
March 9
District Semifinal – L (24-70) Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Class D

Potter’s House – District 110
March 7
District First Round – W (81-6) West Michigan Lutheran
March 9
District Semifinal – L (60-65) Tri-Unity Christian

 

Tri-Unity Christian – District 110
March 9
District Semifinal – W (65-60) Potter’s House
March 11
District Final – W (61-47) Holland Calvary
March 14
Regional Semifinal – Marcellus Howardsville

 

West Michigan Lutheran – District 110
March 7
District First Round – L (6-81) Potter’s House