GOVERNMENT

City hall, county government and the state legislature

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City-sponsored events return to Grand Rapids

A vibrant city life promises a return to Grand Rapids in 2021 with April 13’s city commission decision to authorize dozens of special events between April and December.
AP

Michigan governor says COVID-19 infections could be dropping

LANSING — After leading the nation’s COVID-19 daily case rate for weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday that Michigan could be seeing a drop in infections.

City partners with Grand Rapids Pride Center for police and fire training

The Grand Rapids City Commission approved a contract with the Grand Rapids Pride Center for an in-person training program for all sworn members of the Grand Rapids police and fire departments.

Schools look to build a diverse teaching workforce

School districts in the region are looking to the future by exposing their students to a familiar profession.

MEDC launches programs to strengthen state’s workforce

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation recently committed $9 million to programs that it said will address short- and long-term workforce needs in the state.

Transformando spring cohort shares lessons

After taking a break during the craziness that was 2020, Transformando West Michigan returned this year with a new round of classes for its participants.

Cost of housing far outpaces rise in wages

While workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro area have seen their wages grow by 5.2% over the past six years, the area’s average sale price for a single-family home has increased 64.5% during the same period.

City’s equity plan moves forward

Nearly a year since his appointment as Grand Rapids’ economic development director, Jeremiah Gracia reported his office has made great strides in leading the city’s equitable economic development plan, adopted in January 2020, including a commitment from two developers to invest more than $1 million in minority contractors.
AP

Gov. Whitmer changes contracting rules to target payroll fraud

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday announced changes in the state’s contracting process to ensure construction and other companies are not rewarded with government money for payroll fraud such as misclassifying workers as independent contractors.

Grand Rapids plans housing fund’s next steps

The Grand Rapids City Commission advanced its work to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in housing in Grand Rapids and increase housing supply, as it discussed next steps in the formation of the Grand Rapids Housing Fund.

Grand Rapids lays out budget adoption process

The city of Grand Rapids will begin the fiscal year 2022 budget adoption process this month.
AP

Michigan city considering 2-day music fest with marijuana

NILES — A city in southwestern Michigan is considering a buzz-and-beats summer festival.

MSHDA adds online application tool for rental assistance

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority launched an online tool to help streamline the application process for renters and landlords seeking COVID Emergency Rental Assistance.
AP

Michigan extends workplace virus rules, office restrictions

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration on Tuesday extended workplace coronavirus restrictions for an additional six months, including a requirement that Michigan employers prohibit office work if employees' jobs can feasibly be done remotely.

Grand Rapids, Spin start community pass program

The city of Grand Rapids and Spin are launching Spin Community Pass in Grand Rapids.
AP

Michigan presses White House for more vaccines amid surge

DETROIT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vowed Sunday to keep pushing the White House for more vaccines as Michigan sees a COVID-19 spike.
AP

Whitmer urges halt of high school classes, youth sports

LANSING — Faced with the country’s highest rate of new coronavirus infections, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday urged a two-week suspension of in-person high school classes, all youth sports and indoor restaurant dining.
AP

Michigan denied standardized testing waiver for this year

LANSING — The U.S. Department of Education on Tuesday denied Michigan’s request to waive standardized testing for this school year, meaning students who have had a “brutally difficult” year learning amid the COIVD-19 pandemic must take tests this spring, according the Michigan Department of Education.

Police department invites high school students to youth academy

The Kentwood Police Department is inviting high school students to apply for its youth academy, set to take place July 26-29.
AP

Michigan promotes shots, not more restrictions, during surge

DETROIT — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration is focusing on getting more people vaccinated, not imposing new restrictions on the economy, despite a wave of COVID-19 cases and crowded hospitals, Michigan’s health director said Wednesday.

Friends of GR Parks hosting communitywide park cleanups

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is partnering with the Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation Department to clean up public greenspaces.
AP

Nearly half of new US virus infections are in just five states

Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states — a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots.

Partners announce festival of outdoor exercise classes

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Grand Rapids, Experience Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and SweatNET Grand Rapids, among others, are teaming up to launch Grand Rapids Fitness Fest from April 30-May 9.

Grants will preserve farmland

Two West Michigan farms are among seven in the state that will be permanently preserved for agricultural use, courtesy of Michigan’s agricultural preservation fund grants that total $1.8 million.

Doctors stress vaccines, tout collaboration at chamber’s virtual health care summit

West Michigan’s medical professionals agree, despite warnings of more COVID-19 cases, the vaccines are working and are necessary to help the region and the country come out of the pandemic.

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