Grand Rapids

8.20.14:  Police in standoff with bank robber


The man suspected of robbing the credit union at St. Mary’s Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids was arrested Tuesday night.


The robbery took place Monday.  Police received several tips after releasing pictures of the bank robber.  The man was linked to a house on Grand Avenue NE and when police approached the house, the suspect refused to leave.


Two people inside the house safely evacuated and the suspect eventually surrendered without incident around 9 p.m.

8.19.14:  GRPS moves celebration indoors


The Grand Rapids Public Schools are planning to hold their Back-to-School Celebration tonight inside.


Organizers say there is a good chance of rain in the forecast and they have decided to move the activities inside City High Middle School from 4-8 p.m.  The schools is located in the former Creston High School building.


Families attending will enjoy food, giveaways, and live entertainment as well as a number of children’s activities.


School uniform providers also will be at the event so that families can purchase uniforms, which will be required for elementary and middle school students in the fall.

8.18.14:  GRPC holds Back-To-School event this week


Grand Rapids Public Schools will hold their annual back-to-school celebration at John Ball Park Tuesday from 4-8 p.m.


School will resume on September 2nd and the event is meant to create a carnival-like atmosphere and encourage parents to take advantage of informational booths to learn more about their school choices and services that are provided.


Families also will be reminded to purchase school uniforms.  This year uniforms will be required for elementary and middle school students.


There is rain in the forecast for Tuesday and if the event is rained out a rain-date has been set for Wednesday, August 20th.

8.18.14:  Grand Rapids boy hospitalized for pit bull attack


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has been treated for injuries following a pit bull attack in Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids Police Lt. Mark Ostapowicz says the boy was walking down a street Sunday when the dog broke loose of its chain and bit him.


Ostapowicz says the boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He required stitches on some lacerations, including on his arms.


Ostapowicz said Kent County Animal Control hadn’t removed the pit bull by Sunday evening. It’s unclear if its owner was contacted.

8.15.14  One Man Injured in Thursday Shooting

Grand Rapids Police say one man was injured after being shot. Police were in the area of Grandville Avenue and Crofton after the shooting was reported before eight o’clock. Investigators believe the man was in the area of Vries when he was shot but that the suspect may have fled to Crofton Avenue. The victim reportedly gave conflicting accounts about the alleged shooter.

8-13-14 Memorial Services for Connor Verkerke


A memorial service is planned today for a 9-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed at a playground.

A visitation starts at 10:30 for Connor Verkerke at Cornerstone Church on 84th Street.  A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30.

A 12-year-old boy is accused of repeatedly stabbing Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood.

12-year old Jamarion Lawhorn has been designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, which would allow the boy to be sentenced as a juvenile if convicted and then either released or sentenced as an adult once he turns 21.

8.8.14:  Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids



BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Sandra Gal made six straight birdies on her back nine Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic, while Michelle Wie withdrew because of a wrist injury.


Gal, the 29-year-old German who won her lone LPGA Tour title in 2011, birdied Nos. 3-8 and finished with a par on No. 9 for a 6-under 65. South Korea’s Inbee Park was a stroke back.


Wie was 5 over after nine holes when she pulled out. She fought injuries to both wrists in 2007.


Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open on June 22 for her second victory of the year.


8.7.14:  LPGA event being held at Blythefield Country Club


The Meijer LPGA Classic golf event gets underway Thursday at Blythefield Country Club.  First round play got underway this morning at 7 a.m.


The event is #20 on the LPGA tour, with four rounds Thursday through Sunday.  The event comes with a $1.5 million dollar purse and will feature of field of 144 players.


9 of the top 10 golfers on the LPGA tour are participating.


The Golf Channel will air the event Thursday through Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.


Those interested in attending the event can park at Fifth Third Ballpark and then a shuttle will take spectators to Blythefield.


Click here for more information.

8.6.14:  12-year-old to be charged as adult


KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — A neighbor in a Michigan mobile home park says she thought a group of children were just playing before she heard the screams of a 9-year-old after he was repeatedly stabbed in the back.


A 12-year-old boy is now facing a murder charge.


Barb Poelman says she usually hears laughter from the playground at Pinebrook Village in Kentwood, near Grand Rapids. Witnesses and authorities say Michael Conner Verkerke ran screaming to his home and collapsed bleeding on his porch before dying at a hospital.


Another neighbor says the 12-year-old boy used his phone to calmly call 911 and turn himself in. A not guilty plea was entered Tuesday at the boy’s arraignment in juvenile court.  Jamarion Lawhorn is being charged as an adult within the Juvenile Court system.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.


Residents and strangers gathered near the playground Tuesday night to hold a vigil and pray.

8.5.14:  Turn your porch light on tonight


Tonight is the National Night Out.


It is the annual event that promotes crime-prevention activities and works to build a better relationship between communities and law enforcement.  Various sheriff departments and communities have special activities planned.


In Kent County, this is the 4th year that the sheriff’s department has collaborated with local businesses to host the South Kent Night Out Against Crime.  Residents are invited to Peppino’s Pizza on Eastport Drive in Gaines Township from 4-8 p.m. for a number of free activities.


Most Grand Rapids Neighborhood Associations have free activities and giveaways planned for today.


We are asked to turn on our porch lights tonight between 7 and 10 p.m.