The king and queen of the Netherlands are planning a visit to Grand Rapids this week.
Back in the 19th century, many Dutch immigrants took off for West Michigan looking for work and religious freedom. There’s still a huge population of Dutch immigrants and their descendants living in Holland, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.
Ten years ago, two women from west Michigan started something called the "Best Prom Ever." They were Sparta High School special education teacher Renne Wyman, and a mother of one of her students, Rhonda Carlisle.
Fifteen students came to their first event. In April, 900 people attended the Best Prom Ever.
The basic idea is to give young people with disabilities the chance to socialize and dance in an environment that is safe and fun.
A new effort led by the private sector in Grand Rapids will try to cut water, energy use and transportation emissions in half over the next 15 years.
More than a dozen businesses, including Spectrum Health, Consumers Energy, Rockford Construction and SMG, which manages DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena, have agreed to the general concept. A new committee will draft details of the plan this year.
Right now, skateboarding is banned in downtown Grand Rapids. But advocates say skateboards, longboards, roller skates, and roller blades are just like any other kind of non-motorized transportation. They say they should be allowed on downtown streets just like bicycles.
On Tuesday, elected leaders in Grand Rapids could vote to allow people to keep chickens in their backyards.
“I’m excited,” Amy Bowditch said of the proposal. “People kind of chuckle ‘oh chickens, everybody wants to turn the city into the country’ and a lot of people think it’s absurd. But we, for myself and my family, we think it’s really important that we stay connected to our food,” she said.
The Grand Rapids City Commission unanimously decided this morning to approve requiring city police to wear body cameras.
Michigan Radio's West Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith says the decision is part of a $1.5 million public safety plan that was unveiled earlier this month. The plan also includes hiring more police officers, a study of racial profiling in the area, and creating more inclusive hiring practices for the city, according to Smith.
Michigan’s economy is changing, and our state’s investment culture must change along with it. As we work to diversify by stimulating entrepreneurship, innovation and talent attraction, among many other things, more Michigan residents with money to invest must learn to see that betting on new local businesses is worthwhile, even if the potential for them to fail is high.
Grand Rapids mayor George Heartwell is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to place a temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing in the state.
Heartwell made his comments today during his state of the city address.
“Our planet is sick and it is we who have infected it. So it must be we who heal it,” Heartwell said to a crowd of at least 300 people. Environmental concerns was one of the major themes of Heartwell’s speech.
Grand Rapids’ city manager wants police officers to start wearing body cameras by March.
City Manager Greg Sundstrom and Police Chief David Rahinsky do not believe racial profiling is a problem in the Grand Rapids Police Department. But there have been claims to the contrary in the wake of incidents in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.
When it comes to economic growth in Michigan, one size does not fit all. Take a look at the varying scope and scale of companies here and you’ll find a general pattern of three different types of businesses associated with different regions: large multinational corporations in Southeast Michigan, small high-tech start-ups in Ann Arbor, and family-owned, mid-size companies in Western Michigan.
But the real news isn’t Dallas so much. It’s that there’s talk of even more competitions in cities across the country. And it means that ArtPrize in Grand Rapids will make money from licensing the brand to those cities.
In ArtPrize, the public votes for the winner. Juried prizes are awarded too. Those juried prizes have been getting bigger each year. Winners get cash. More than $500,000 was awarded to the winners this fall.
Listen to Ralston Bowles tell his story of failure and what it means to him. In this tale, Bowles recounts his childhood and a learning experience from college. You can find out more about Failure Lab and hear more stories here
This Week in Michigan Politics, Emily Fox and Jack Lessenberry discuss whether the legislature will be able to come up with a plan to fix Michigan's roads before the end of the year, a challenge to a Grand Rapids law decriminalizing marijuana, and what’s next on Detroit’s road to recovery.
Listen to Jack and Emily discuss this week's events in Michigan politics.
Voters in Grand Rapids, Flint and Kalamazoo approved changes to their city charters.
Kalamazoo voters approved proposals that will change the way their mayor and city commissioners are elected. The mayor will be elected separately from the rest of the city commission and commissioners will serve longer terms.
Flint voters split on six proposed changes to the way their city runs. Voters rejected proposals to eliminate the city’s ombudsman office, the city’s civil service commission and several departments.
In case you still haven’t seen it, the two minute video follows a young women in jeans and a t-shirt walking through New York. Bliss says they spent 10 hours filming with a hidden GoPro as the actress, Shoshana B. Roberts, endured more than 100 instances of street harassment, including stalking.