Southwest Michigan Today For Wednesday October 11, 2017

Oct 11, 2017

Western Michigan University researchers will use a federal grand to help high-poverty schools. A monthly report predicts continued economic growth in West Michigan.  The city of Kalamazoo begins accepting application for the board of directors for the Foundation for Excellence. 

Western Michigan University will use one of the largest grants in its history to help schools with high poverty rates. Two researchers at Western will get $12.5-million from the U.S. Department of Education. The program in Western's Department of Educational Leadership will help districts improve student achievement. It will also provide professional development and support for school leaders. Western is working with two statewide groups - the Reading Now Network and the General Education Leadership Network - on the project. It will involve schools in an area that includes Kalamazoo, Allegan, Barry, Van Buren, Saint Joseph, and Calhoun counties.

Economic growth continued in West Michigan during September, and the latest monthly survey for the Institute of Supply Management predicts that growth will continue in the near future. Grand Valley State University Economist Brian Long says his survey of business leaders in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids conducted during the last two weeks of September shows economic indicators were positive. Long says auto sales also improved for the first time in six months.

The city of Kalamazoo is now accepting applications for the Foundation for Excellence’s Board of Directors. A news release from the city says the application includes questions about employment, skills and experience and demographic information. The Foundation for Excellence is currently trying to raise $500-million for an endowment to stabilize the city’s budget in the future, sustain a property tax cut, and pay for other projects to address issues such as generational poverty. Applications for the foundation’s board of directors will be accepted through November first.

A major education improvement program in Kalamazoo County died because it lacked direction. The Kalamazoo Gazette says that's according to a new report about problems with the Learning Network. It shut down in August. The report commissioned by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation says the six-year, $13-million effort did bring some positive changes. They include a new mobile health clinic for students and improved early childhood education programs. But the report says the Learning Network didn't do much to raise high school graduation rates.

Allegan County Clerk Bob Genetski wants to return to Lansing. MLive says the Saugatuck Republican announced Tuesday that he’ll run for State Senate in the district that includes Van Buren and Allegan counties. The district’s current senator - Lawton Republican Tonya Schuitmaker – can’t run again because of term limits and is seeking the GOP nomination for state attorney general. Genetski served three terms in the State House before he was term-limited in 2014.

In hockey, Western Michigan beat Bowling Green Tuesday night 3-1. Sophomore defenseman Cam Lee scored two goals for the Broncos while goaltender Ben Blacker made 33 saves. Western has won two of its first three games this season. The Broncos host Clarkson for a two game weekend series, Friday night at 7:00 and Saturday night at 8:00 at Lawson Ice Arena.

Western Michigan goaltender Elijah Michaels has been named co-men’s soccer player of the week in the Mid-American Conference. Michaels recorded a shutout in the Broncos 1-0 win over Akron in the MAC opener. Western will play at Northern Illinois on Friday.