The Angel of Hope memorials

Candlelight vigils set for Dec. 6

VIRGINIA – The 11th annual candlelight service to honor the memory of children who have died, regardless of age or reason, will be held in Virginia on Friday, Dec. 6, recognizing and welcoming families of all faiths and cultures. There will be a gathering between 6:30 – 7 p.m. at Peace United Methodist Church at 303 S. 9th Ave. in […]


This month's photographer spotlight: Marcus Bustamante

EDITOR’S NOTE: This week in our monthly Focus on Photographer feature we present the photographs of Marcus Bustamante. His interests vary between wildlife photos, portrait and landscape photography, not to mention photographing his family. He is always on the go and, as many photographers do, is continually striving to expand his photographic skills and knowledge – Kirsten Reichel, HTF Staff […]

Children’s letters to Santa

Dear Readers, Once again we welcome the wonderful letters that children write to Santa each year, hoping for a special gift. As always, we keep the spelling and grammar as is written by the kids. Some take a bit of deciphering – more so because I am not familiar with the current toy trends. However, trampolines and Barbie seem to […]

Wrapping up the Giftstock musical event

Giftstock will continue the spirit of giving to local children

VIRGINIA — For the last time, the Virginia Elks Club will open its doors Saturday night to the magic of music and the spirit of giving for an event called Giftstock. “Giftstock is a night of celebration,” says Mary Jo Ralston, one of Giftstock’s organizers. “It is a joy-filled evening of music provided by area entertainers, children, and small and […]

There is no timeline, no lineal path to grief

The process of grief: Experiencing it in a softer, gentler way

Another year has passed. Another year of finding our way through the winding maze of grief. This is the fourth year that I have written an article on grief since the death of our 19-year-old son Trevor on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015. I spent the last half hour reading the previous articles I have written to get a feel for […]

VFD Run Report: Week of Nov. 24 – 30

VIRGINIA — During the week of Nov. 24 – 30, the Virginia Fire Department was called for service 80 times. Seventy-two of those calls were medical calls and eight were fire calls. The fire calls varied from motor vehicle accidents, public assists, a smoke scare, system alarm activations and a natural gas incident. Of the medical calls, 23 were transfers […]

Agreement announced: Cleveland-Cliffs to acquire AK Steel

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. is acquiring the common stock of AK Steel Holding Corp. in a merger agreement announced Tuesday morning. Cliffs Chairman, President and CEO Lourenco Goncalves will lead the expanded organization, which will be a vertically integrated mining/steelmaking firm. The transaction, a $1.1 billion deal, will combine Cliffs—North America’s largest producer of iron ore pellets, with AK Steel, which produces […]

12 new trucks for snow plowing/hauling to be added to fleet

St. Louis County Board approves $1.59 million truck purchase

ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The St. Louis County Board has unanimously approved the purchase of 12 new tandem trucks to be used for snow plowing and ice control, as well as hauling gravel. Total purchase price is $1.59 million. The new trucks will replace existing trucks that are all at least 20 years old. The purchase is being accelerated because […]

Performers from around the globe

Santa’s Circus show at the Reif Dec. 7

GRAND RAPIDS — Santa and a full cast of characters, such as Mrs. Claus, snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, and more, will be spreading Christmas cheer at the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7 p.m., when Santa’s Circus comes to Grand Rapids. Santa’s Circus is a spectacular themed Christmas production with over […]

Renewing a wedding dress

A gorgeous gown from 1952 finds new life in a special gift

We’ve all attended weddings as a guest or have been in one (our own or a friend’s). For most of us, the real highlight of the wedding is the moment we see the bride for the first time in her wedding gown. As a wedding photographer friend of mine has said, it’s all about the bride—the groom just shows up. […]

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