WGVU donate banner

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Public Media Catagories
PBS Link Create Link WorldView Link NPR Link Real Oldies Link wgvu
All Things Considered
WGVU Top Story

Build a Better Block project gets nod of approval from Grand Rapids DDA

Caroline MacGregor
February 13, 2013 | WGVU   “This Better Block model fit with the way I was thinking how we should evolve in terms of our discourse about planning issues and move from conversation to getting our hands dirty and making change.”

Lynee Wells is an urban planner with Williams and Works. She is currently involved in a project to rebuild and reinvigorate urban core areas of cities like Grand Rapids. She and Josh Leffingwell and Tyler Doornbos with Friendly Corps presented their Build a Better Block initiative to DDA officials Wednesday. The project aims to promote community engagement to transform a portion of State Street in one weekend.

“State Street is interesting because it straddles Heritage Hill and the Heartside business district boundaries so this is an opportunity for two neighborhood/business districts to collaborate.”

Wells read about the BBB idea over a year ago and thought it would be a great way to get residents of Grand Rapids involved in a hands-on project to upgrade the city. The long term goal is to inspire developers and building owners to make permanent changes to their neighborhood.

The block project will be held the weekend of May 18-19 - the same week as the Heritage Hill Home Tour. Wells says it’s a great opportunity to link the two events as the home tour brings in people from all over the city.

“It is open to anyone and everyone, we are going to have activities for all ages, all abilities - it's truly going to bring people from all over the city, people who work for St.Mary's, people who own property around State Street and all sides of our community that can see the difference we can make in one weekend and take those ideas back to their own community.”

Over the next month, organizers will work with property owners to come up with a list of upgrades for the corridor – this could include painting crosswalks, pedestrian improvements and modifications to bus stops and shelters to make them more dynamic as well as retail efforts.

The group will partner with Friends of GR Parks for their “Parks Alive” weekend. Wells says its important constituents and stakeholders have a voice in the project. Now that they have the support of city leaders, three committees will be formed to focus on planning, promotions and programming. The groups will meet twice a month. More information on Better Block GR can be found on www.betterblockgr.com.

More WGVU News
City adds sexual orientation to non-discrimination ordinance
East Grand Rapids, MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  A city in western Michigan is adding sexual orientation and gender identity to an existing non-discrimination ordinance on housing and employment.    
Prosecutor: Officers acted in self-defense during shootout
Wyoming MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  A prosecutor has determined two police officers acted in self-defense during a fatal shootout with a suspect in a Grand Rapids suburb.    
Former teacher accused in illicit photos case gets probation
St. Joseph, MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  A former southwestern Michigan middle school teacher accused of taking cellphone pictures of a student's underwear has been sentenced to five years of probation.    
Lawmakers to be briefed on problem-plagued computer system
Lansing MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  Michigan officials are preparing to update lawmakers on a problem-plagued computer system that is intended to aid child welfare efforts.    
Federal agency awards $5.5M in rental assistance to Michigan
Lansing MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding more than $5.5 million in rental assistance to help Michigan residents with disabilities.    
City may add sexual orientation to non-discrimination rules
EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  East Grand Rapids is considering language to amend its housing and employment non-discrimination ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
IRS Expands Tax Center Test To Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids MI  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  The IRS has added Grand Rapids to its list of cities that offers appointment based tax help at its Tax Assistance Centers. The move is part of a test the IRS is doing to see if appointments work better than a walk-in system. The goal is to see if taxpayers avoid the long lines and wait times. The Grand Rapids and Marquette offices are the only two in Michigan.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Michigan officials seek frog, toad survey volunteers
LANSING, Mich.  March 3, 2015  |  WGVU  Michigan officials are seeking volunteers to help with the state's annual frog and toad survey, which is entering its 20th year.   
Strong US economy helps automakers plow through snowy weather and boost sales
DETROIT  March 3, 2015  |  AP  Freezing temperatures and drifts of snow likely took a small bite out of U.S. auto sales last month, but most automakers are still reporting gains thanks to the strong economy.   
Workers: Computer system slowing child protection efforts
LANSING, Mich.  March 3, 2015  |  AP  Michigan caseworkers say a new computer system that launched 10 months ago is riddled with problems that are hampering their ability to protect vulnerable children.   
House committee to take up adoption agency bills
  March 3, 2015  |  MPRN   A state House committee could vote tomorrow on bills to shield faith-based adoption agencies from having to serve LGBT couples if the US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.    
Lawmakers considering penalties for failing to call 911 when someone is in danger
  March 3, 2015  |  MPRN  State lawmakers are debating whether someone should face penalties if they fail to act when they know someone else is in danger.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Work starting on facilities for more Fermi 2 protection
Frenchtown Township, MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Construction starts this week on two facilities to provide more backup protection for Fermi 2's nuclear reactor and used fuel pool in the event of a natural disaster.    
Authorities find problem with recent drugged driving law
Lansing MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Authorities say there's a problem with a recent Michigan law allowing police to conduct a preliminary roadside analysis for drugs and other intoxicating substances in addition to alcohol.    
Damage estimate climbs in vandalism at Michigan ski resort
Ann Arbor MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  The general manager of a ski resort vandalized by University of Michigan students estimates the total damage is about four times the original estimate.    
AAA Michigan: Gas prices rise 11 cents in past week to $2.42
Dearborn, MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  AAA Michigan reports statewide gas prices have increased by about 11 cents a gallon within the past week.    
Girl, 3, critical after getting stuck outside in deep cold
Lansing MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Lansing police say a 3-year-old girl sustained critical injuries from hypothermia after she apparently got out of her family's apartment in the bitter cold and then couldn't get back in through a locked door.    
Women social workers face leadership barriers
  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Social work in the United States was created by women. It would be reasonable to assume women hold the majority of leadership positions. Yet, that’s not the case. Two researchers from Western Michigan University’s Grand Rapids campus have revealed the barriers female social workers face. WGVU spoke with the authors of “Falling Silent: Analyzing the Voices of Women Leaders in the Social Work Profession.”   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Officials seek to boost food assistance at farmers markets
East Lansing MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Officials want to boost the use of food assistance benefits at farmers markets in Michigan.    
East Grand Rapids reviews non-discrimination policy
  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  East Grand Rapids officials introduce a new non-discrimination ordinance tonight.    
125,000 Dollar effort planned to help study Port of Muskegon
Muskegon MI  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  A $125,000 effort is planned to help study the best way to develop the Port of Muskegon in western Michigan.    
Supporters push for paid sick leave statewide
  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  Advocates of paid sick leave renew efforts for a statewide policy.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Grants aid Port of Muskegon development study
  March 2, 2015  |  WGVU  West Michigan’s largest natural deep-water port is the recipient of $125,000 in grants to fund study of possible development options.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Michigan could bypass healthier school fundraising rules
LANSING, Mich.  March 2, 2015  |  AP  Legislation introduced in the state House and Senate would offer flexibility to raise money at least three times a week by selling snacks in Michigan schools now banned under federal guidelines.   
Michigan pays $4.9M for membership in Common Core group
LANSING, Mich.  March 2, 2015  |  AP  Michigan is paying $4.9 million this school year to continue its membership in a group that develops standardized tests aligned with national Common Core education standards.   
Snyder names West Michigan school chief as education adviser
LANSING, Mich.  March 2, 2015  |  AP  Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has named an intermediate school district leader from western Michigan as his new education policy adviser.   
Skilled trades, Prop 1, state sup’t search big topics at governor’s education summit
  March 2, 2015  |  MPRN  Governor Rick Snyder is getting some tough questions about the May roads ballot proposal at his education and economic summit this week in Detroit.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Michigan appeals federal wolf decision
  March 2, 2015  |  MPRN  Michigan is appealing a federal judge’s decision to restore endangered species protections to the gray wolf. Wildlife groups filed the lawsuit after Michigan and other states adopted wolf hunting seasons.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Fermenta fosters female brewing creativity
  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  A new women's craft brewing guild makes its mark in Michigan.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Eastpointe man sentenced for selling fake auto insurance
Lansing MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  A 64-year-old Michigan man has been sentenced to one year in jail for selling fake auto insurance certificates.    
State shuts down in-home day care amid death investigation
Kentwood MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  The state has shut down an in-home day care center in western Michigan following the death of an infant who'd recently been cared for there.    
Jury can hear of road rage killing suspect's aggressive past
Howell MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU   A judge says a jury can hear testimony that a 69-year-old man accused of a road-rage killing in southeastern Michigan was involved in a similar but non-fatal confrontation previously.    
Compromise plan unveiled for Allied Paper Superfund site
Kalamazoo MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  A $65 million to $70 million compromise plan for cleaning up Kalamazoo's Allied Paper Superfund site has been unveiled.    
Palisades nuclear plant's safety rating to be downgraded
Covert Twp MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  Federal regulators say the safety rating for Palisades nuclear power plant in southwestern Michigan will be downgraded following a violation related to how some workers' radiation doses were monitored and calculated.    
Consumers Energy, Salvation Army Keep Customers Warm
Grand Rapids MI  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  The Salvation Army and Consumers Energy have joined forces once again to help with energy assistance during the cold winter months. More than a million dollars will help cover the cost of heating bills. We spoke with Salvation Army officials about this effort.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Net neutrality lawsuits, legal issues predicted
  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  The Federal Communications Commission’s decision to treat the internet as a public utility has a broad impact on consumers as well as business interests. WGVU breaks down some of the details with a local legal expert.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
DeBoer attorney says SCOTUS arguments will focus on children
  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  Attorneys for the lesbian couple challenging Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban have filed their briefs with the US Suprem e Court. Oral arguments are expected this spring.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
State grant to GRCC helps bridge workforce and employer demands
  February 27, 2015  |  WGVU  Developing a skilled workforce meeting the needs of area employers received a shot in the arm this week when the Michigan Economic Development Corporation awarded Grand Rapids Community College a $2.9 million grant.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Authorities: Woman dies after being hit by semi in Otsego
OTSEGO, Mich.   February 27, 2015  |  AP  Authorities say a woman was fatally struck by a semi-truck after she fell while crossing a street in southwestern Michigan.   
Study to examine Detroit-Lansing-Grand Rapids passenger rail
ANN ARBOR, Mich.   February 27, 2015  |  AP  A study will look at possible new passenger rail service that could connect Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids and Holland.   
Michigan, U.S. appealing judge's ruling on Great Lakes wolves
  February 27, 2015  |  AP  Michigan is joining the federal government in appealing a decision that restores legal protections for gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region.   

Kalamazoo Promise celebrating 10th anniversary
Kalamazoo MI  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  An initiative that awards college tuition to Kalamazoo high school graduates is celebrating its 10th anniversary and nearly 4,000 scholarships.    
Plans move ahead for casino at former horse racing track
Fruitport Twp MI  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  Plans are moving forward for a casino at a former horse racing track in western Michigan.    
Records: Number of women getting concealed gun licenses up
Lansing MI  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  Records show an increase in the number of women getting a license to carry a concealed handgun.    
State shuts down in home day care amid death investigation
KENTWOOD, Mich.  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  The state has shut down an in-home day care in western Michigan following the death of an infant who had recently been cared for there.   
Michigan efforts get $4 million to fight invasive species
LANSING, Mich.   February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says 20 projects are getting more than $4 million as part of efforts to fight invasive species.   
Black History Month: GVSU Couple Create Doors Of Opportunity
Grand Rapids MI  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  As we round out Black History Month, we check in today with two Grand Valley State University Staff who recently received a “Trailblazer” award. The annual Giants Awards earlier this month recognizes African Americans in the Grand Rapids community. This year, a couple was recognized for their efforts.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
House adopts bills to relax air guns rules
  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  The state House has adopted legislation that would exempt air-, spring-, and gas-powered guns from Michigan firearms laws.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
State grants boost local college skilled trade programs
  February 26, 2015  |  WGVU  Nearly $13 million has been allocated to four western Michigan community colleges in an effort to bolster the state’s skilled trade programs.   
 Listen    Download Audio File Download
Officials in Grand Rapids seek to boost youth employment
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  February 26, 2015  |  AP  Officials in Grand Rapids are taking steps to boost employment opportunities for young people in the city.   
Board considers ballot language for Michigan road fund vote
LANSING, Mich.   February 26, 2015  |  AP  The Board of State Canvassers is meeting to determine the wording of a road funding ballot proposal asking voters if they want to increase the state sales tax.   
Lawmakers seek short-term action to stop Asian carp advance
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.  February 26, 2015  |  AP  Members of Congress are calling for quick action at a crucial spot in the Chicago area to block Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.   
Michigan House votes to carve air guns out of firearms laws
LANSING, Mich.   February 26, 2015  |  AP  The Michigan has finished two days of voting on bills revising how the state regulates gun use and ownership.   
Michigan House delays vote on police cellphone location data
LANSING, Mich.   February 26, 2015  |  AP  The state House is delaying voting on a bill that would require wireless carriers to share cellphone location information with law enforcement during emergencies.   
State Senate sends budget cuts to Gov. Snyder that divert surplus school aid dollars
  February 26, 2015  |  MPRN  Legislation headed to Governor Rick Snyder would divert surplus school aid money to help fill Michigan’s budget hole.    
 Listen    Download Audio File Download

Listen Live to WGVU-AM
Listen Live to WGVU-FM
Follow us on Twitter
WGVU News Page Sponsored by:
Home    Privacy Policies    Contact WGVU    GVSU.edu    PBS.org    NPR.org
Copyright 1997-2015 | WGVU is a service of Grand Valley State University | GVSU is an EO/AA institution