Grand Rapids

7.24.14:  Gilda’s LaughFest to return for 5th year in March


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Organizers of an annual festival of laughter in western Michigan say the event will return for its fifth year in March.


Dates for the 2015 edition of Gilda’s LaughFest were announced Thursday morning. Organizers say it will take place March 5 to March 15.


LaughFest honors the memory of comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989.

7.24.14:  Statue series grows, to include Betty Ford in 2018


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Grand Rapids Community Legends project has added a sixth statue to a series that will grow to include former first lady Betty Ford four years from now.


Organizers on Wednesday unveiled a sculpture of civil rights activist Helen Claytor. It’s part of a series that’s expected to have 25 statues before completion.


The project plans sculptures of boxing champion Stanley Ketchel in 2015, businesswoman Anna Sutherland Bissell in 2016 and businessman and politician Julius Houseman in 2017. The Ford sculpture will be installed in 2018, 100 years after her birth.


President Gerald Ford died in 2006, and Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades.


Their hometown was Grand Rapids.

7.21.14:   Body found by kayakers in Grand River


JENISON, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a body has been found by kayakers in the Grand River near Jenison.

The Ottawa County sheriff’s department says the body was found around 5 p.m. Sunday near the area of Baldwin Street and river Avenue not far from the I-196 exit to Jenison.

The name and age of the male whose body was found wasn’t immediately released. An autopsy is planned for Monday to confirm the identity and determine cause of death.

7.18.14:  Car crash results in finding missing teen


It started earlier this week when police found the body of a man in a wooded area of Wyoming. Later his girlfriend was reported missing and now police say some of their questions have been answered.


Police say a missing pregnant woman was found dead in a vehicle, which was driven by a man that is suspected of killing her boyfriend.


Wyoming Police say there was a car chase last night that ended in a crash at US-131 and Burton in Grand Rapids.  The driver was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and the body of 18-year-old Brook Slocum was found in the trunk.  Slocum’s boyfriend, Charles Oppenneer was found in a Wyoming park on Wednesday.


Police haven’t identified the suspect or disclosed his connection to the couple.


Police say investigators were preparing a search warrant for a Wyoming home when the suspect left.

7.14.14:  Events to honor anniversary of Gerald Ford’s birth


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A series of special events are planned in Grand Rapids to commemorate the 101st anniversary of President Gerald Ford’s birth.


The Ford Presidential Foundation, Library and Museum are joining together for Monday’s celebration.


It includes a wreath-laying ceremony at Ford’s tomb; a ribbon-cutting that marks the opening of a new exhibit on aircraft carriers at the Ford museum; and a luncheon featuring a lecture by former Secretary of State James Baker.


Ford died in 2006, and former first lady Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades. Their hometown was Grand Rapids.


7.14.14:  Gas prices fall 11 cents in week in Michigan


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have fallen about 11 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.67 per gallon.


The auto club says Monday the average is down about 15 cents from this time last year.


Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland areas, where it’s about $3.50 a gallon. The highest average is in the Marquette area at about $3.77 a gallon.


Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.

7.11.14:  Fatal accident in Ottawa County


A man was killed in a crash that was caused by a wrong-way driver Thursday night.


Police report that the accident took place along I-96 near Marne.  An SUV, driven by Heather Luke of Nunica, used a median turn-around, and began driving west in the east-bound lanes.  That is when she collided with a mini-van, which then burst into flames.


Police have not yet released the name of the driver of the mini-van who passed away in that crash.  The driver of the SUV is listen in critical condition.


The expressway was closed last night for several hours as crews investigated and cleanup the scene.

7.10.14:  Bicyclist died after being hit along Egypt Valley Avenue


A 52-year-old bicyclist is dead after being struck from behind by an SUV.  The accident took place last night around 7 p.m. when the male rider from Grand Rapids, was traveling along a hilly area along Egypt Valley Avenue between Three and Four Mile Road.


Police say the driver of the SUV, was a 62-year-old man from Newaygo County.  He was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.

7.10.14:  Covenant CRC Furniture Ministry looking for donations


This week’s storm and tornado did damage to the Kentwood and Wyoming area and there are many homes and businesses that are working to recover.


A local ministry that usually helps others in times of need is now looking for donations of its own.  Bob Storteboom with the Furniture Ministry at Covenant CRC says they are unable to help others now because they lost many of the donated items due to storm damage.


Items are usually donated by church members and local furniture stores. Much of it was damaged.  Most of their moving equipment was damaged, as well as storage racks, bed frames, Bibles and Christian literature.


If you can help, you can drop off a donation at the church parking lot where a trailer will be set up to accept donations.  The church is located at:  7171 Willard Avenue, S.E. Grand Rapids.   (616) 455-5120.