Grand Rapids

9.12.14:  GRCC celebrates with the public Saturday


Grand Rapids Community College is celebrating their 100th anniversary with a community picnic on Saturday.


College President Dr. Steven Ender said the West Michigan community has supported the college for 100 years and they want to celebrate and are looking forward to the partnership to continue in years to come.


The free picnic will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13th, in the GRCC Ford Fieldhouse on Lyon Street.  Parking in the GRCC ramps will also be free.


The picnic is just one way GRCC is commemorating their 100th anniversary.  College faculty and staff are also participating in 100 Ways to Give, where they will be involved in service projects throughout the community.

9.10.14:  Grand Rapids hosts exhibit about Sept. 11 attacks


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids is hosting a mobile exhibit about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.


The exhibit titled “9/11 Never Forget” arrived Tuesday at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum under escort by the Patriot Guard and police. It’s open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Admission is free.


Thursday is the 13th anniversary of the attacks. A Community Day of Remembrance is planned in Grand Rapids that will be led by the President Ford Council and the Boy Scouts of America.


A daylong “Scout Salute” is planned at the museum to pay respect to those who died during the terrorist attacks.

9.10.14:  Meijer Gardens gives tram tours of Japanese garden


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan is offering tram tours of a $22 million Japanese garden that’s scheduled to open next summer.


Visitors this weekend can tour the eight-acre Japanese garden that’s been under construction since July 2012. It’s set to open in June 2015 and will feature bridges, gazebos and a Japanese tea house.


The structures were designed and created in Japan and reassembled near Grand Rapids.


Lead horticulturist Greg Afman says workers have focused on planting Zen and bonsai gardens around the two-acre pond this year. The garden is still under construction.


Afman says it will mostly include plants that are native to the area because traditional gardens in Japan use local species.


9.10.14:  Couple job fairs in West MI


Michigan Works and Kentwood Community Church are sponsoring a Community Job Fair today.  The event will be held from 9 until noon.  Over 20 companies will be represented.  The Job Fair will be held at Kentwood Community Church and their new Wyoming campus at 2950 Clyde Park.


Another job fair will be held today at Magna Mirrors in Alto from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  There are 40 available positions. The facility is located at 6151 Bancroft Avenue SE, Alto, MI.

9.8.14:  Great Lakes advocates holding annual conference


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Great Lakes advocates will meet this week to discuss progress and continuing challenges in caring for the five inland seas.


The 10th annual Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition Restoration Conference will be held Tuesday through Thursday in Grand Rapids. About 300 representatives of environmental groups, business, academia and government agencies are expected to attend.


The coalition has helped lobby Congress for an initiative that has pumped more than $1.6 billion into Great Lakes cleanup projects during the Obama administration.


Among issues to be discussed at the three-day conference include reducing litter such as tiny plastic microbeads, combating exotic species invasions, bacterial alge blooms in Lake Erie and challenges posed by oil and gas development.


9.5.14:  Grand Rapids expo offers veterans job fair 


The Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency is hosting a Veterans Expo today and tomorrow at the DeltaPlex Arena on Turner Avenue.


The event has been organized as a one-stop shop for veterans and their families.


Benefit counselors will be on hand to answer questions about eligibility and help file claims.  Organizers say few Michigan veterans utilized the benefits they could be taking advantage of.


The Grand Rapids expo is one of three across the state and will take place Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.


Click here for more information.

9.4.14:  Record enrollment for GVSU


Allendale, Mich. – Students are enrolling in record numbers at Grand Valley State University this fall.  Officials are welcoming a record number of first-year students at 4,226, bringing the total number of students to 25,094, hitting a major milestone for the university.


“What these numbers represent is that Grand Valley is true to its commitment to students,” President Thomas J. Haas said.  “We want controlled growth so we can ensure quality programs and smaller class sizes.  We also have a keen eye on what our students need to be successful in pursuing careers to advanced degrees.  Our academic programs, with our liberal education base, are relevant to the region and the world.”


Enrollment increases in engineering, health professions, nursing and business show how closely the university’s programs align with students’ desires and employers’ needs.


Grand Valley has the third best graduation rate of all public universities in the state of Michigan and is in the top 4 for retention rates.

9.4.14:  Woman killed in 2 car crash


One woman was killed and two other people were injured after a crash in northern Kent County.


The accident took place Wednesday evening at the intersection of 20 Mile Road and Tyrone Avenue.   A Ford pickup truck that was headed south on Tyrone ran a stop sign and hit a Doge Charger.


A passenger in the Charger, 25-year-old Anna Escutio-Chavez, was taken to the hospital and later died from her injuries.


The driver of the pickup is listed in stable condition.


Police say alcohol played a role in the crash.



FORT WAYNE, IN – Controversy reigned on Wednesday night at Parkview Field, where the West Michigan Whitecaps lost their playoff opener, 7-5, to the Fort Wayne TinCaps in Game 1 of their best-of-three quarterfinal round series.


West Michigan (0-1, 82-58) and Fort Wayne (1-0, 63-76) were locked in a 5-5 tie when the questionable call put the TinCaps in front in the bottom of the eighth.


With the bases loaded and nobody out, the Whitecaps’ infield was playing halfway when Josh VanMeter shot a 1-2 pitch to the left side of the infield. As shortstop Domingo Leyba lunged to his left, he collided with baserunner Ryan Miller and the ball skipped into left-center field. Two runs scored on the play, giving Fort Wayne a 7-5 advantage and putting them just three outs away from a victory.


Rule 7.09(j) in the 2014 edition of the Official Baseball Rules states: “It is interference by a batter or runner when he fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball.”


Manager Andrew Graham immediately questioned the call, but to no avail – base umpire Dave Attridge would not budge. Instead of having the bases loaded with one out in a still-tied ballgame, West Michigan was suddenly down by two runs with their backs to the wall.


With runners at first and second and nobody out, reliever Julio Felix came in and worked out of the jam to avoid further damage. But the ‘Caps went down quietly in the ninth, getting a leadoff single from Raph Rhymes before the next three batters went down in order.


In a game the Whitecaps led 5-2 at one point, the Fort Wayne bullpen worked 4.2 shutdown innings while their offense rallied. Nick Mutz took over in the fifth and threw 1.2 perfect frames, Jason Jester (1-0) earned the win with two shutout innings, and Ryan Butler (1) worked the ninth for the save.


The ‘Caps were behind 2-1 before slugging a pair of home runs in the top of the fifth. Domingo Leyba turned on a 1-1 pitch and blasted a game-tying solo shot to right field. Later in the inning, with runners at first and second, Midwest League MVP Wynton Bernard belted a three-run homer – part of a 2-for-4 night that included a stolen base and two runs scored – to stake West Michigan to a 5-2 advantage.


But Fort Wayne, boasting the league’s top-rated offense, battled back. A key error and a two-out RBI-single by Fernando Perez trimmed the deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. One inning later, Nick Schulz touched Whitecaps’ starter Austin Kubitza for a game-tying single that evened the score at 5-5.


Detroit Tigers’ reliever Luke Putkonen (0-1) – making his third and final rehab appearance with West Michigan – threw a scoreless seventh inning but ran into trouble in the eighth and ultimately took the loss.


Dustin Peterson capped a 3-for-3, two-RBI night with a leadoff single in the eighth. Miller and Schulz then reached on back-to-back bunts, the first of which was picked up near the first base line and ruled fair on another disputed call. The second was bunted back to the mound, but Putkonen bobbled and dropped the baseball as he tried to get off a throw to third. That loaded the bases with nobody out, setting the stage for VanMeter’s controversial game-winning hit.


The Whitecaps continue their first-round playoff series against the Fort Wayne TinCaps with Game 2 at Fifth Third Ballpark on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. LHP Kevin Ziomek (10-6, 2.27) is scheduled to pitch for West Michigan against RHP Cody Hebner (2-5, 4.64) of Fort Wayne. The ballgame will feature a rally towel giveaway for the first 1,000 fans, post-game Family Fare fireworks, and $2 food and beverage specials on an Altogas Thrifty Thursday. Group and individual tickets can be reserved by calling the Whitecaps’ front office at 616-784-4131 or their website.

Click here for more information.

9.3.14:  Suspect search prompts Aquinas College lockdown


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The search for an assault suspect prompted a roughly hour-long lockdown at the campus of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids.


No major injuries are reported.


Authorities say the lockdown was issued around 10 p.m. Tuesday after two men reportedly punched three people on a sidewalk near campus. Police say one of the suspects had a knife, but he was detained by bystanders and others until police arrived.


The other suspect fled. The school says he was captured and the lockdown was lifted. The reason for the assault wasn’t immediately known.