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Tom Cook

Hey, I’m the “new guy” here at 100.5 The River.  We’ll get to hang out for part of your workday and the drive home while you’re listening to Today’s Best Mix without the rap. Some people asked “why would you move HERE?” when I started.  I answer that question with disbelief and realize that people in GR simply don’t realize what a great city they have.  Grand Rapids is just a fantastic city.  The people, the downtown, the festivals, the philanthropy of our ‘famous families’ … the list goes on and on.  The VIBE of this city is just incredible.  Those who say “why would you move HERE?” clearly don’t realize how crappy most other similar sized cities are compared to GR. We moved here from the vibrant and clean city (#sarcasm) of Toledo, OH where I was the Operations Manager for six radio stations.  Before that, I was on-air or programming stations in Philadelphia, New York City, Milwaukee, Madison, Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and Waterloo (Iowa). My wife and I met in Madison and were married four days after 9/11.  We have two “furry kids” named Ollie (yellow lab/bassett/corgi) and Chester (bassett). I’m also the Program Director for Channel 95-7 and 100.5 The River, so if you have any comments, suggestions or complaints (I welcome compliments, too), just email or call me!
Ryan McVay/ThinkStock
Ryan McVay/ThinkStock
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Spending Time with Family Matters Most to Us

Before Thanksgiving, I shared about how I thought the perfect gift for your family was to give them your undivided attention.

Well, with Christmas less than two weeks away, that has me thinking about family even more so these days.

As it turns out, spending time with family is what matters most to us. At least according to The Matter More Project.

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Carsten Koall/Getty Images
Carsten Koall/Getty Images
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Where Do Millennials Still Mostly Shop? Well, the Mall, Of Course

We constantly hear about how online shopping is making things simpler for everyone, and how shopping local is almost passe.

For those uber shoppers -- young women -- that is definitely not so.

How do I know this? Well, I only need to ask the experts at Teen Vogue.

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Keith Levit/ThinkStock
Keith Levit/ThinkStock
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Are Any of These Books on Your Shelves or Wish Lists?

Amazon today announced its best-selling books of 2014, just in time for you last-minute Christmas shoppers.

What luck!

"The Invention of Wings," by Sue Monk Kidd, is the best-selling book overall; and John Grisham’s latest novel, "Gray Mountain," is No. 2.

"The Heroes of Olympus Book Five: The Blood of Olympus," by Rick Riordan, is the best-selling kids' and teen-agers' book, followed by "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul," by Jeff Kinney.

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Clive Rose/Getty Images
Clive Rose/Getty Images
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Three Largest Charities Are United Way, The Salvation Army and Feeding America, According to Forbes

Forbes magazine does plenty of lists tied to money, the economy and wealth.

This week, it released its list of the top 50 charities in the U.S.

The top three (based on the amount of donations received):

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Device Addiction Grows with Mobile Internet of Things [Video]

Well, this is interesting. Maybe not the reality of it, but its depth, breadth and reach.

According to a new Deloitte survey on mobile consumer trends, we -- as in us U.S. consumers -- are becoming more and more obsessed with our electronic devices. Just call it device addiction.

Some of the facts: Nearly 90 percent check their phones in the first hour of being awake and 23 percent look at their devices up to 50 times a day. Wow.

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Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
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Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, J. Geils Band Rock Grand Rapids!

Rock icons Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band shaked down a sold-out Van Andel Arena on Tuesday night, on the road in support of Seger’s first new studio album in eight years, “Ride Out.”

Also appearing was The J. Geils Band.

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One Direction
Getty Images
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One Direction Named Billboard’s 2014 Artist of the Year [Video]

With the top grossing tour of the year and a No. 1 Billboard 200 album ("Midnight Memories"), One Direction claimed honors as Billboard's 2014 Artist of the Year.

One Direction's "Midnight Memories" included the hit "Story of My Life." The English-Irish group includes Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.

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‘Frozen’ Soundtrack No. 1 Top-Selling Album On Billboard’s 2014 Chart [Video]

No surprise here, but the "Frozen" soundtrack from Walt Disney Records was ranked the No. 1 best-selling album on the 2014 year-end Billboard 200 chart.

It is the first movie soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the year-end chart since "Titanic" in 1998 and is the first Disney soundtrack to top the chart since "Mary Poppins" in 1965, according to Billboard.

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Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
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NASA Awakens New Horizons Spacecraft Ahead of Pluto Encounter [Video]

NASA's doing some crazy things this month.

First, it launched its first spacecraft in three years since the space shuttle.

Now, the U.S. space agency has awakened its New Horizons spacecraft for an encounter with Pluto -- which is still a planet to me.

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