Grand River north

In the aftermath of the 2013 floods Kent County communities along the Grand River are now in line to receive millions in federal funding for flood control and improving economic activity if the region wins a competition for those dollars.

“There’s a limit to what HUD or the federal government can provide and they just simply want to make sure that they’re spending their money as wisely as possible.”

Catholic collar
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0 /

The Vatican has permanently removed a retired Diocese of Grand Rapids priest from ministry after investigating a child sexual abuse case from the mid-1980s.

Today, Father Charles Antekeier is 79-years old. But when he was in his late 40s serving as Pastor of Grand Rapids’ Saint James Parish, the Vatican’s  Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has determined sexual abuse of minor occurred. The Diocese of Grand Rapids was approached by the victim forwarding the case to Rome. In a statement, Bishop Walkowiak said. “While there are no words that can heal such wounds, I humbly ask for forgiveness for the pain and injury you and your families have suffered.”

2015 Hispanic Festival

Aug 17, 2015

The 2015 Hispanic Festival takes place the weekend of September 11. Robert Torres, Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, joins us to talk about the event on Calder Plaza.

Rukhsana Hasib (Part 2)

Aug 17, 2015

Rukhsana Hasib returns for part two of our conversation. She joins us to talk about Pakistan's occupation of Bangladesh in 1971. Rukhsana is the author of Shadows in the Sun, Shackles of Time, and Redemption of Red.

Aired: 08/16/15

Michigan residents interested in adding solar power to their energy mix can soon do so right on their utility bills.

That’s the goal of a Consumers Energy residential solar pilot program which launches later this year.

As part of that program, the Jackson-based utility will construct a seven-to-14 acre solar array in West Michigan, on land owned by Grand Valley State University. 

A program at the Kent County Jail offers mentorship and life skills training to high-risk female inmates in the hopes of reducing recidivism rates.

Jamie Riehle is the New Beginnings mentor coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. She says they’ve worked with more than 200 inmates to-date. A recent $52,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation allows them to continue that level of service.

Rosalynn Bliss
Hilary Farrell / WGVU

 With two-thirds of the popular vote, Grand Rapids Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss becomes the city’s first female mayor on January 1.

"I believe that there's still a lot of work that we need to do, and I want to be part of that. I want to be part of making that happen," Bliss says. "We have worked hard to get the city moving in the right direction, and I want to make sure that continues."  

Bliss says her top priority is strengthening neighborhoods.

glass bottles
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 /

 The American beer industry’s economic impact today is $253 billion.

That's roughly 1.5 percent in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, creating 1.75 million direct and indirect jobs.

That’s a far cry from nearly four decades ago.

“In 1976 there were 50 breweries left in the United States. Today there are somewhere north of 3,000 and growing.”

That's Jim McGreevy, President and CEO of The Beer Institute. The agency just released its 2014 Beer Serves America report, revealing Michigan’s beer production as a revenue generator. 

Fr. Patrick Collins

Jul 28, 2015

Aired: 07/26/15

Father Patrick Collins returns to Common Threads for a conversation on Pope Francis.

Father Collins has been a Roman Catholic priest for more than 50 years. He is a scholar on the works of Thomas Merton and works for the organization Cross International.

Moving More or Eating Less?

Jul 28, 2015

Today Dr. Chet talks about what's more important: moving more or eating less.

Aired: 07/26/15