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Party In Your Parka at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Jan. 25

Party In Your Parka at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Jan. 25

MUSKEGON, Mich.—  Celebrate Michigan’s 177th Birthday with a Party In Your Parka at Muskegon Winter Sports Complex Saturday, Jan. 25.

This is the second year for the all-ages, all-day celebration, which includes winter activities, live music and art.  Admission is free with a Michigan State Park pass, but there are fees for using the trails, renting equipment and getting luge lessons.  Pricing can be found on the Muskegon Luge & Sports Complex page here.  Concessions and drinks will also be available.  Park passes will be available the day of the event at the complex for $11. Those passes are good all year for every state park in Michigan.

 SCHEDULE*:

Ottawa Hills hosts Floyd Mayweather Classic Jan. 18

Ottawa Hills hosts Floyd Mayweather Classic Jan. 18

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Ottawa Hills High School will host Saginaw Arthur Hill  this Saturday, Jan. 18 as part of the Floyd Mayweather Classic.

Five games will play out on the basketball court, starting with Lansing Sexton vs. River Rouge at noon.  Kalamazoo Central will take on Lansing Eastern at 2 p.m., followed by East English Village vs. Flint Southwestern at 4 p.m. and the Muskegon Big Reds vs. Chicago Orr at 6 p.m.  Ottawa Hills will close out the classic at 8 p.m.

Tickets to the Floyd Mayweather Classic are $10 and are good for all five games.  Children age 5 and under are free. Tickets are available at the door or at the Ottawa Hills Athletic Office Wednesday through Friday, from 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.   OK Conference, Golden Age and Grand Rapids Public Schools staff passes will not be accepted at the event.

Junior Jacks and Peewee players take over L.C. Walker Arena

Junior Jacks and Peewee players take over L.C. Walker Arena

MUSKEGON, Mich.-- The L.C. Walker Arena  will come alive Saturday, Jan. 11 as young hockey players take the ice.

The Junior Jacks Squirt B1 hockey team will take on the Holland #1 team at 1 p.m.   At 2:30 p.m., the Junior Jacks Squirt B2 team will take on the Big Rapids #1 team. The fun on ice continues Sunday, Jan. 12 with the Junior Jacks Peewees, as they compete against the Big Rapids Peewee team at 2:30 p.m.

The L.C. Walker Arena is located on Fourth Street in Muskegon.   For more information, call (231) 726-2400 or visit  www.lcwalkerarena.com.

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

Higher cigarette taxes can bring complications, but also new opportunities

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products is often considered a way to reduce smoking and improve public health, but according to a new study in part from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, evidence of effectiveness is sparse.

As stated in the abstract, "the association between cigarette taxes and either smoking participation or smoking intensity is negative, small, and not usually statistically significant," and that large tax increases would be needed -- as much as 100 percent -- to reduce smoking by a mere 5 percent.

United Methodist Church of the Dunes to Present Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

DEC. 17, 2013, GRAND HAVEN, MICH.—United Methodist Church of the Dunes (UMCD), at 717 Sheldon Road in Grand Haven, will present its annual Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services on Dec. 24 at 7 and 11 p.m. The general public is invited to attend free of charge. The theme for both services will be “A Festival of Lessons and Carols” by Hal H. Hopson. Featured will be readings and scriptural lessons of faith, along with the following musical numbers: • O Come All Ye Faithful • The God of Abr’am Praise • Lo, How a Rose • There is no Rose • Good Christian Friends, Rejoice • Angels We Have Heard on High • Joy to the World The 7 p.m. event is a “Family Service.” The UMCD Youth and Children’s Choirs, plus chimers and bell ringers will be featured. The 11 p.m. event will feature the UMCD Bells of Glory and Chancel Choirs. “The 11 p.m. candlelight service is more of a contemplative and reflective service,” said Jean Schuitman, director of music and organist at UMCD.

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

Blood donors treated to a free movie and popcorn

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—They aren’t all on the big screen.

Michigan Blood is getting ready to reward life-saving superheroes right here in the Grand Rapids community. The organization is teaming up with Celebration Cinema to offer a free movie pass and a bag of popcorn to each to person who attempts to donate blood during the holidays.

Michigan Blood needs to collect more than 2,200 units of blood every week to supply patients and hospitals around the state.  Donations traditionally drop around the holidays as people travel.

Days and times for the “Be a Star” donation deal vary around the state.  To find the location near you, visit the Michigan Blood website here.  In Grand Rapids, the following donation drives will take place in Michigan Blood’s Main Donor Center at 1036 Fuller Ave. NE:

East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Dec. 21

East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament Dec. 21

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Classrooms are closed for winter break, but student athletes will still be breaking a sweat Saturday, Dec. 21 as the East vs. West Battle of I-96 Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament returns to Grand Rapids.

In the inaugural tournament last year, West was best, winning three of its five games.  The rules are the same this year--  the winner of each game will earn one point for its side of the state.  The region with the most points will earn bragging rights until next year.

Half-time entertainment is also planned for many of the games, including half-court shot contests for prizes.  The game day schedule is as follows: