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My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

My Town: Battle of the Buildings energy reduction competition expands for second year

Registration is officially open for Michigan commercial and industrial buildings of all sizes interested in joining the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan's (USGBCWM) second annual Battle of the Buildings competition. The statewide competition is an expansion of the Battle of the Buildings that started in West Michigan last year.

Battle of the Buildings is an awards and recognition program for energy use reduction. The competition is a way to encourage energy-efficient practices in buildings across the state of Michigan and to instill a spirit of friendly competition among the area’s building owners and operators. Steelcase, Western Michigan University and Nichols have already committed for the 2015 competition totaling over 3,000,000 sq. feet.

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

My Town: 12 tips to stay safe in this extreme cold

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division are sharing their top tips to stay safe in this extreme cold.

"As we saw last winter, these arctic blasts can create hazardous situations," said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "Citizens are encouraged to monitor local weather reports and follow the appropriate steps to stay safe during these extremely cold and potentially life-threatening temperatures."

Exposure to these subzero temperatures could potentially cause frostbite and hypothermia, as well as create hazardous driving conditions.

To stay safe during cold weather:

My Town: Waterfowl killer spreads in Great Lakes basin

My Town: Waterfowl killer spreads in Great Lakes basin

MUSKEGON, Mich.—A destructive invader has made its way to the Great Lakes basin.

In a three-year study, researchers from ten universities, including the Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute, recently found invasive faucet snails in many new locations throughout the Great Lakes basin.  The snails carry parasites that are deadly to native waterfowl, including ducks and coots.

The findings suggest faucet snails have spread to more areas along the Great Lakes coastline than experts realized. The snail is only about a half-inch in height, making them easy to transport and spread and difficult to kill.   When waterfowl eat the infected snails, the trematodes the snails carry attack the ducks’ internal organs, causing lesions and hemorrhaging.  Infected birds appear lethargic and have problems diving and flying before dying.

The Aquinas College Foundation Announces $2.5 Million Gift From Wege Foundation

THE AQUINAS COLLEGE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES $2.5 MILLION GIFT FROM WEGE FOUNDATION

Gift to establish the nation’s first collegiate economicology program as envisioned by Peter Wege

Aquinas College and the Aquinas College Foundation today announced a $2.5 million gift from the Wege Foundation to establish the nation’s first-ever economicology program at the collegiate level; which the late Peter Wege envisioned for Aquinas. Peter Wege coined the term economicology to define the balance necessary between economy and ecology. He believed in the importance of educating the public about how a prosperous economy depends on maintaining a healthy environment.

“The Wege Foundation has long been a generous friend and supporter of Aquinas College,” said Juan Olivarez, Aquinas president.

My Town: Movie screening of “Fresh” set for September 24 in Grand Haven

My Town: Movie screening of “Fresh” set for September 24 in Grand Haven

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.-- Local First will present the film “Fresh” on Wednesday, Sept. 24 at the Loutit District Library.

This film, by Sofia Joanes, celebrates the farmers, thinkers, and business people across America who re-invent our food system. The film looks at the industrialization of agriculture and the consequences that include environmental pollution and rising obesity rates.

Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, rooted in the concept of a strong local food system, "Fresh" offers a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

This free program will be shown in LDL’s Program Room A beginning at 7 p.m.

Hunters Apply Now for Ottawa County Park Permit

Hunters Apply Now for Ottawa County Park Permit

OTTAWA COUNTY, MI – Ottawa County Parks is now accepting applications from those wishing to archery deer hunt at Crockery Creek Natural Area or at Upper Macatawa Natural Area. Crockery Creek Natural Area is a 306 acre site along the east side of Crockery Creek near the Grand River in Crockery Township.  Upper Macatawa Natural Area is a 500 acre site along the Macatawa River in Zeeland Township.  Applications are accepted online and due by 2PM on Friday, September 12, 2014.  Hunters will be selected by lottery to hunt each property during two special seasons:

·        Season One: Saturday, October 18 – Sunday, November 23
·        Season Two: Monday, November 24 – Wednesday, December 31

My Town: Two state construction projects recognized nationally

My Town: Two state construction projects recognized nationally

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (MDOT)-- The Michigan Department of Transportation's M-231 bridge over Little Robinson Creek in Ottawa County, and the city of Grand Rapids' Plainfield Avenue reconstruction project have been selected by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) as winners in the 2014 America's Transportation Awards competition.

The awards were presented today at the Mid America Association of State Transportation Officials (MAASTO) regional conference in Indianapolis. The competition was created in 2008 with the support of AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to acknowledge the performance of state departments of transportation that are leading the way in bringing high value for the public's investment. Projects nominated in this competition are making communities stronger, our economy more efficient and our quality of life better.