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My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

My Town: Real estate professionals to give back to public servants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.A group of real estate professionals have come together to create a service that is giving back to those who serve the public in the Grand Rapids area.

"U Deserve" has brought together several professionals who are dedicated to lowering costs associated with buying, selling or refinancing a home for active military members, veterans, firefighters, police officers, EMS providers, health care professionals and educators.

“Growing up with a father who served in the National Guard and as a police officer, I was able to see first-hand how much public service individuals give back to their communities,” said Kevin Wildman, founder of U Deserve.  “U Deserve is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to those individuals.”

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

Sable Homes president talks to state leaders about need for skilled trades talent

 

LANSING, Mich.- Members of the Home Builders Association of Michigan (HBAM) testified in the State House Friday to urge the legislature to find ways to increase the number of workers entering the skilled trades.

“The lack of workers going into the skilled trades is the biggest factor impacting the growth of Michigan’s home building industry,” said John Bitely, president of Sable Homes in Rockford. “The shortage of labor is resulting in construction delays and increased labor costs, and it’s dragging on our state.”

Bitely cited several Michigan laws that make it difficult for home builders to hire young workers and encourage them to look at careers in the construction industry.

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

Congressman Justin Amash rejects Boehner for speaker

WASHINGTON (Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press) – U.S. Rep. Justin Amash of west Michigan — once again — joined the move to dump House Speaker John Boehner as his party's leader in the chamber.

It didn't work: Boehner, R-Ohio, was elected to his third two-year term as House speaker but it didn't come without a a spirited challenge by his critics, including Amash, who joined 27 members who rejected either Boehner or Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

Boehner was elected with 216 of 408 votes cast in the 435-member chamber. Pelosi, the former speaker, received 164 Democratic votes. The rest of the votes were split among more than a dozen other names.

Amash was the only one of nine Republican members of Michigan's 14-member delegation to the House to vote against Boehner, a position he announced Tuesday morning on social media.

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

John Inhulsen assumes post as Chairman of the Kent County GOP

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KENT COUNTY, Mich. (Kent GOP)-- John Inhulsen, an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith PC, was unanimously elected as the next Chairman of the Kent GOP in December, officially taking office over the weekend.

Inhulsen, an East Grand Rapids resident, has been an active fundraiser as the Kent GOP’s Finance Chairman over the last two years.

“I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the Kent GOP. I consider it an incredible honor to follow in the footsteps of Gerald R. Ford Sr., Peter Secchia, Terri Lynn Land and Betsy DeVos in being the Chairman of one of the largest county parties in the nation.”

My Town: Highway renamed in honor of fallen soldier

My Town: Highway renamed in honor of fallen soldier

MONTCALM COUNTY, Mich.—A portion of a Michigan highway is being named for a West Michigan soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Army Spc. Joseph Prentler died Oct. 4, 2010 from wounds he suffered when insurgents bombed his military vehicle.  The 20-year-old was from Fenwick, but graduated from Carson City-Crystal High School.

Earlier this week, Governor Snyder signed a bill designating M-57 in Montcalm County be known as the Joseph Prentler Memorial Highway.  The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Rick Outman.

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

My Town: Thirteen local lawmakers post perfect voting record for 2014

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Mark Jansen tops the list of West Michigan lawmakers who missed the most votes this year, according to the Missed Votes Report compiled by Jack McHugh, editor of MichiganVotes.org.

Jansen missed 46 votes between January and December of this year. The District 28 Republican represents a large portion of Kent County, including Ada, Algoma, Alpine, Cannon, Courtland, Grand Rapids and Plainfield townships, as well as East Grand Rapids, Rockford, Walker and Wyoming.

State Rep. Jon Bumstead, who represents Newaygo, Lake and Oceana counties, had the most missed votes among West Michigan lawmakers in the House, with 21 this year.  

Three senators and three representatives missed 50 or more votes this year.  The top offenders were Rep. John Olumba of Detroit, with 233 missed votes, and Sen. Bert Johnson of Detroit, with 187 missed votes.

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

My Town: Diocese of Grand Rapids hires school recruiters

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.— The Diocese of Grand Rapids has hired two more people to ramp up enrollment for its Catholic schools.

Dan Plachta will serve as an admissions enrollment field consultant, guiding the diocese’s 29 schools in outreach and recruitment. While supporting current students, the diocese plans to focus on traditionally underserved groups who could take advantage of school tuition assistance, which is quadrupling to $1,000,000.

Plachta is an alumnus of Blessed Sacrament School (now All Saints Academy) and Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

“As a graduate of Catholic schools in the diocese, Dan brings a personal passion for the importance of Catholic education in West Michigan,” said David Faber, superintendent of Catholic schools.