Grand Rapids

11.25.16:  Man living in shanty gets new home in Grand Rapids area




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A homeless man who was ordered to tear down a shanty in the Grand Rapids area has found a new home — with a piano.

John Foster Bentley tells WOOD-TV  that he’s been “overwhelmed” by the kindness of others. A business owner, Mike Rose, heard about Bentley’s ordeal and said he could live in one of his rental homes in exchange for fixing it up.

Bentley built a shanty on public land in Wyoming, a Grand Rapids suburb. He was ordered to tear it down by Thanksgiving. Bentley got offers of food and shelter after the TV station reported about the order.

The 53-year-old says he’s a former factory worker who doesn’t have a job.


11.18.16:  Man attacks cab driver




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A cab driver of East African descent has been beaten in western Michigan by a man who allegedly yelled “Trump” during the attack.


Grand Rapids police say Thursday that the man was arrested after the Saturday morning attack and later made discriminatory comments about the cab driver’s race.

It was not clear if the man has been charged.


The Grand Rapids attack is being investigated as possible ethnic intimidation. The cab driver suffered face and head injuries.

Police say the man got into the cab with five women but wanted to be dropped off at another location. The driver said he was attacked after telling the man it would cost more.


11.16.16:  Turkeys wanted for Mel Trotter




-We are a week from Thanksgiving and many organizations want to make sure those in need will be able to enjoy a turkey dinner this year.

Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids say they could still use some more donated food as donations are down this year.

Today is the annual Turkey Drop where you can drop off a turkey from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Celebration North off the Beltline or Celebration South off Kalamazoo and the M-6.


You can also help by supporting the Mel Trotter annual Fall Food Drive.  The drive will run from October 20 through December 2. The  goal is to receive 50,000 pounds of food.

If you aren’t able to bring your donations of food in to the Mission, please consider making a donation of $50, to help fill our barrels. Your donation will help feed the hungry, homeless and hurting that use our Food Pantry.

Donations can be dropped off at Biggby Coffee, Chemical Bank, or Mel Trotter Thrift Stores locations.


11.15.16:  Grand Rapids group honored for helping teens



First Lady Michelle Obama will invite 12 winners of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award to the White House today to recognize their programs’ effectiveness in developing young people’s learning and life skills by engaging them in the arts or humanities.


The awardees will be recognized for using engagement in the arts and the humanities to generate a wide range of positive outcomes, including increases in academic achievement; growth in graduation and college enrollment rates; and improvements in literacy and language abilities, communication and performance skills, and cultural awareness.


West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology from Grand Rapids are one of the groups being recognized today.

11.14.16:  A teen lost her life in 3-vehicle crash



(Mlive)ALPINE TOWNSHIP, MI — Police believe alcohol is a factor in a three-vehicle crash that killed a 17-year-old girl.

At 3:40 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, Kent County deputies, Alpine Fire and Life Ambulance responded to a three-car crash at the intersection on 6 Mile Road NW and Fruit Ridge Avenue NW in Alpine Township.

They say a 39-year-old Grand Rapids man failed to stop at a posted sign at the intersection.

The man was driving his Ford Taurus west on 6 Mile Road NW when he ran the stop sign and struck a Pontiac Montana driven Morley resident Beth Cook, 49, who was headed north on Fruit Ridge Avenue.

Alongside Cook in the Pontiac was 53-year-old Randall Cook and their 17-year-old daughter, Megan.

The collision pushed their vehicle into the path of a southbound Chevrolet Silverado driven by 60-year-old David Castle of Grandville. The Pontiac was struck a second time.

Megan Cook was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her parents were transported to an area hospital by ambulance to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Taurus and Silverado were not injured.

The crash remains under investigation. The Kent County Sheriff’s Department believes alcohol is a factor.

11.8.16:  Authorities in western Michigan identify 2 dead in shooting




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in western Michigan have identified two 21-year-olds who died in what investigators determined was a murder-suicide.

Police say Jeremy Kelley went to a Grand Rapids home early Sunday and shot Rosemarie Reilly before fatally shooting himself in what was described as a domestic-related incident.

Police found them after responding to a report of several gunshots heard at the home. Reilly died at the scene and Kelley died a short time later at a hospital.


11.7.16:  Presidential candidates come to Michigan



MICHIGAN — Presidential candidates are spending part of their last full day of campaigning in Michigan before tomorrow’s election.

Many states allowed for early voting and so far 42 million votes are already in.

Those with absentee ballots need to make sure they are in today.

Those who want to view their ballot or make sure they know where to vote, can get more information at:


Both presidential candidates will be in Grand Rapids today.


Donald Trump and Mike Pence will hold a rally late tonight at DeVos Place at 11 p.m.                                                                             Trump also has family members at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville this morning.


Hillary Clinton heads to the GVSU fieldhouse this afternoon. President Obama will campaign for Hillary this morning in Ann Arbor.


11-4-16 Strawberry Recall Affecting West Michigan Food Services

Multiple agencies are reporting recalled strawberries imported from Egypt have been served in close to a dozen food service locations around West MI.  The strawberries may be contaminated and result in Hepatitis A infections.

In Kent County, the Health Department’s Adam London says the berries were part of food at Roman’s Macaroni Grill on 28th Street near I-96 as well as at HCR ManorCare on the East Beltline.

In Allegan County, the Health Department reports the strawberries were served at Salvino’s in Plainwell and Wayland.

Ottawa County locations:

8th Street Grille in Holland, Biggby Coffee on Cottonwood in Jenison, and the Savidge Street location in Spring Lake.  The Holiday Inn Grand Haven and the Savidge Street location in Spring Lake.  Jackie’s Place in Holland.

You can find statewide locations at this site:,4610,7-125-50772_51097-397016–,00.html


The berries were served in late October but symptoms of Hepatitis A might not show up until now.  Contact your primary care physician if you have any questions or concerns.

11.3.16:  Grand Rapids staging tour of 4 renovated parks



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids marks the renovation of four parks with a grand reopening rollout.

Organizers say Douglas, Dickinson, Mulick and Camelot parks officially reopen Thursday. City and neighborhood leaders as well as students from adjacent schools are expected to participate in the morning tour, which starts at Douglas.

Construction and improvements total roughly $2.5 million and include picnic shelters, restrooms, playgrounds, walking paths, ball fields and benches.


11.2.16:  Western MI man dies weeks after alleged road rage beating




CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man has died weeks after being beaten during what police call a road rage incident.

Sixty-four-year-old William “Andy” McFarlan of Caledonia died Monday after being in hospice care with a severe brain injury since shortly after the Sept. 29 attack outside Grand Rapids.

Eighteen-year-old Christian Hillman was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm after the alleged attack. He is being held on $100,000 bond. Prosecutors have said if McFarlan died, the charges against Hillman would be raised to second-degree murder.

During a Kent County District Court hearing last week, a witness testified Hillman had been riding an off-road motorcycle before he was seen kicking McFarlan while the victim lay on the ground outside his pickup truck.