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American Red Cross is out for blood

American Red Cross is out for blood

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—It’s Halloween time, and the American Red Cross is out for blood. 

This month, the organization is partnering up with the Grand Rapids Ballet to offer donors a buy one, get one free coupon to the company’s performance of “Dracula.”

“Much like Dracula needed blood to stay alive, thousands of hospital patients also need this precious resource to survive,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager with the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. 

This year’s production of Dracula returns with a newly orchestrated score and updated scenery and projections.

The American Red Cross will be holding blood drives at the following locations:

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Fall Fun on Family Farms

Kent Harvest Trails showcases 20 participating Farms offering locally grown foods, activities, like corn mazes & hayrides and more for all to enjoy. Most farms are free, but a few may charge admission & there may be fee’s for special activities. Check out the fun down on these farms!

Participating Farms are:

Fifth Third Ballpark transformed for high school football

Fifth Third Ballpark transformed for high school football

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—The season is over for the West Michigan Whitecaps, but the games will continue on at Fifth Third Ballpark this fall.

According to the ballpark’s Facebook page, the Whitecaps grounds crew began removing the pitcher’s mound Tuesday, September 10 to prepare the grounds for the high school football game the ballpark hosts each year. 

Forest Hills Northern will take on Greenville in this year’s game, which will take place October 11.

Little Free Libraries program expanding in Greenville

Little Free Libraries program expanding in Greenville

GREENVILLE, Mich.—A literacy program finding success at two Greenville schools is expanding.

Little Free Libraries is a grassroots initiative to push people to read more.  The program, which is available at Baldwin Heights and Cedar Crest elementary schools, allows visitors to borrow a book from a mailbox-type receptacle at no cost.

The district says additional Little Free Libraries are already in the works for Walnut Hills and Lincoln Heights elementary schools, and the program may expand to local businesses in the near future.  The effort is being led by several staff members from Greenville Public Schools.

Ionia County Health Department offers alcohol training class

Ionia County Health Department offers alcohol training class

The Ionia County Substance Abuse Initiative (ICSAI) is opening its alcohol training program to restaurants. 

Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPS) is a program that teaches people how to prevent drunk driving and underage drinking by enhancing the “people skills” of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol. TIPS teaches participants how to recognize alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent tragedies.

Training will take place August 21, from 4 p.m. to 7p.m. at the Ionia County Health Department.  The agency also offers on-premises training for restaurants and bars.  Registration is required.  To sign up, call (616) 527-5341.


Belding employees switching to four-day work week

Belding employees switching to four-day work week

BELDING, Mich.—Some Belding city officials are going to a four-day work week.

City Manager Meg Mullendore says the city council unanimously approved the schedule change during their meeting July 16.  Mullendore says administrative staff, department of public works employees and front-line office workers will switch to four ten-hour days, starting August 19. After a six-month trial, the City will decide if the new schedule should become permanent.

Mullendore says the four-day work week will improve customer service, giving residents more time to visit city offices with their concerns.  The new office hours will be 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.  Mullendore says so far she’s only heard praise from employees and residents about the altered hours, which will affect approximately a dozen city employees.

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

Berry season arrives: Find a U-pick location here

West Michigan growers are seeing high demand for berries this summer.

Many farmers have closed their fields for a couple days after visitors picked their plants clean.  The increasing demand also led to a shorter cherry season for some growers.  

Here's a list of some of the U-pick locations open in West Michigan this summer. Prices, fruit availability and hours vary daily, so it's best to call ahead before visiting any farm.


Ionia County


Bird Berry Farm

5256 Belding Rd. Belding, MI

(616) 794-5041

Blueberries $1.75 per pound

Patch picked out early Friday morning call back for update Wednesday, July 17



Kent County


North Ridge Berries

3555 20 Mile Rd. NW Kent City, MI

(616) 675-5919

Raspberries $3 per pound