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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:

TEDxMuskegon presenter releases first book about sex

TEDxMuskegon presenter releases first book about sex

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (By Barbara Lee)—Barbara Lee, a presenter at TEDxMuskegon 2013, has published her first book Sacred Sex: Replacing the Marriage Ethic with a Sexual Ethic

Lee, who lives in Grand Haven, is not one to shy away from controversial issues. In fact, she welcomes discussions about the topics many would rather sweep under the rug.

“We have to start talking about sex – and we especially have to have these discussions in our churches and with our young people,” says Lee, who led the ministry Extended Grace in Grand Haven for seven years before returning to work in the nonprofit sector.

Lee observes that our society is largely polarized about sex so that we typically approach sex as “sin” or as “sport.”  Lee’s book searches for the middle ground where we embrace our sexuality while treating it with moral authority. 

'Holidays on the Lakeside' returns December 7

'Holidays on the Lakeside' returns December 7

MUSKEGON, Mich.--In its 10th year, "Holidays on the Lakeside"  will kick off this year with a tree lighting ceremony  on Friday, Dec. 6.

The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. at Pocket Park.  Live entertainment and treats will also be provided.

The festivities on Saturday run from 11 a.m.  until 2 p.m. Families can experience joyful carolers, carriage rides, Santa at the Harbor Theater and baked goods from the community bake sale at the Lakeside Center. There are even raffle baskets of Lakeside goodies and gift certificates available; each sale will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

For more information, visit www.lakesidedistrict.com.