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My Town Grand Haven: LDL to host Lincoln in Illinois program March 26

My Town Grand Haven: LDL to host Lincoln in Illinois program March 26

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. -- On Thursday, March 26,  Tom Buettner will take Loutit District Library patrons back in time to Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln started out on his own.

Lincoln started his law practice in New Salem and raised his family in Springfield, where he was later laid to rest.

On April 15, the 150th Civil War Commemoration recognizes the death of Abraham Lincoln. His funeral train, which will be replicated, took the long journey back to Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery, carrying Lincoln and his son, little Willie.

There were many twists and turns in this latter event before Lincoln was finally laid to rest.

My Town Grand Haven: Township gets $276k to expand Hofma Park

My Town Grand Haven: Township gets $276k to expand Hofma Park

GRAND HAVEN TOWNSHIP, Mich.— The 417-acre Hofma Park and Preserve will soon grow by another 40 acres.

On March 17, Governor Snyder signed legislation approving a $276,500 grant  to Grand Haven Township.  The money will go toward purchasing 40 acres of land currently owned by the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.  The land is adjacent to the park and includes forested wetland and fields with Christmas trees. Township Superintendent Bill Cargo has said the land will be kept in its natural state.

The land deal will guarantee continued public access to the park and protect Alder Creek, Pottawattomie Bayou and the lower Grand River watershed.

Cargo has said the land acquisition is expected to cost approximately $368,000.  Approximately 75 percent of that cost will be covered by the grant; the other 25 percent will come out of the township’s general fund.

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.— A ‘Battle of the Buildings’ is underway in West Michigan, and the winner gets to keep more of their money.

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan says more than 14 Grand Rapids area businesses have signed up for the competition to reduce energy usage.  Participants include Steelcase and Spectrum Health, JSJ Corporation in Grand Haven; Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Steelcase in Kentwood; The Grand Rapids Art Museum; Kent Intermediate School District; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; Aquinas College; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo; the Muskegon County Hall of Justice and Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming.

This is the second year for the Battle of the Buildings.  For more information, including how to sign up your business, visit the campaign website here.

My Town Grand Haven: Ice cream entrepreneur to give the scoop on business start-ups March 19

My Town Grand Haven: Ice cream entrepreneur to give the scoop on business start-ups March 19

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-- Kelly Larson, owner of several ice cream stores in Grand Haven, will share funny stories and insights into the life of a small business owner with her program at the Loutit District Library, Thursday, March 19, titled "I Wish I had Your Job: All You Do is Drive Around and Buy Bananas."

Topics include starting a business, developing a business philosophy and applying it to everyday practices. Larson started scooping ice cream at her parents’ shop in the late 1980s and is now owner of Temptations, Sweet Temptations, Skoops, Front Porch, and more recently, Fortino’s.

Larson’s program is free to the public and runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in LDL’s Program Room A. For more information on LDL programs, visit www.loutitilibbrary.org or call (616) 842-5560, ext. 200.

My Town: Greater Ottawa County United Way on the hunt for volunteers to honor

My Town: Greater Ottawa County United Way on the hunt for volunteers to honor

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—The Greater Ottawa County United Way is looking for volunteers to honor, as National Volunteer Week approaches.

All county residents are encouraged to nominate people or groups for the Volunteer Star award.  Volunteer Stars will be recognized during National Volunteer Week, which runs April 13-17.

Nominations are due by Friday, March 20.  Nomination forms are available on United Way’s website or at the organization’s office, located at 115 Clover Street, Suite 300 in Holland.  People may also request a form via mail or fax by calling (616) 396-7811.

For more information, including how to locate or post volunteer opportunities on United Way’s website, call Shannon Morton at (616) 396-7811 or visit www.ottawaunitedway.org.

My Town: March Garden Day on Saturday

My Town: March Garden Day on Saturday

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-- Spring is a week away, which means it's time to brush up on all things gardening.

The Grand Haven Community Center will host March Garden Day this Saturday, March 14.  The community is encouraged to register for the event, which will include speakers, vendors, food and garden education sessions. Seating is limited to 250 people.

March Garden Day begins at 8 a.m. Saturday.  The event is sponsored by the West Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. WMNLA members are West Michigan wholesale nursery and retail centers, landscape management companies, contractors and landscape designers.

The Grand Haven Community Center is located at 421 Columbus Street.  To register for this event or for more information, visit www.wmnla.com.                

My Town: Donations dire for Red Cross after storms shut down drives

My Town: Donations dire for Red Cross after storms shut down drives

LANSING, Mich.—Although signs of the harsh West Michigan winter are melting away, the American Red Cross is still hurting from the season’s icy impact.

The organization says March storms forced the cancellation of more than 200 American Red Cross blood drives, leading to a shortage of nearly 7,000 blood and platelet donations. The shortfall comes after severe weather in 27 states led to more than 26,400 uncollected donations.  Meanwhile, the demand for blood and platelets remains high.

“Blood products are being delivered to hospitals almost as quickly as they come in,” said Jim Flickema, CEO of the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “Donors who give now aren’t just restocking our shelves, they are making sure hope continues to be available for patients in need.”