Grand Rapids

3.26.15:  West Michigan woman convicted in bacon-less burger shooting


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan woman has been convicted on weapons charges for shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant after workers twice failed to put bacon on her burgers.

Authorities say 30-year-old Shaneka Torres became angry in February 2014 when the first burger she ordered at the restaurant’s drive-up station was missing bacon. She was offered a free meal, but bacon also wasn’t added to a second burger order.

Police say she fired a shot through the restaurant. No one was injured.

A Kent County Circuit Court jury found her guilty Wednesday of carrying a concealed weapon, shooting at a building and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. Her sentencing is April 21, and she faces a minimum of two years’ in prison.

3.25.15:  Grand Rapids asks for Army Corps help to keep out lampreys


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids officials are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spend about $10 million for a new barrier to keep invasive sea lampreys from moving up the Grand River.


The new barrier would take over the function of blocking the lampreys’ spread after the planned demolition of a dam as part of an effort to restore the rapids that give the city its name.


The Grand Rapids City Commission voted Tuesday to direct City Manager Greg Sundstrom to apply for inclusion in the Army Corps’ Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration program. The program also is working on a sea lamprey trap in the Muskegon River.


Corps spokeswoman Lynn Rose says the proposal “sounds like a good candidate” for the program.

3.19.15:  Meijer offers $10 coupon after credit card system failures


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Retail chain Meijer is apologizing and offering customers a $10 coupon following two credit and debit card system failures.

The coupon must be used Friday or Saturday and is good as long as shoppers spend $50.

The coupon is accompanied by a message saying: “You deserve better. We’re committed to offering our customers a great experience, and that didn’t happen during a network outage.”

Grand Rapids-based Meijer Inc. has stores in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

The outages lasted about 30 minutes and happened on Feb. 27-28, forcing some shoppers to leave their carts behind if they didn’t have cash. Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi says a glitch at the company’s point-of-sale system caused an outage throughout its stores.

3.18.15:  Agriculture summit connects growers, processors, buyers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An agriculture summit in western Michigan aims to connect growers, processors, grocers and institutional buyers.

The Pure Michigan Agriculture Summit takes place Thursday at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids. The event is hosted by Pure Michigan Business Connect, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and The Right Place Inc.

The state says grocers and institutional buyers participating in the summit include Meijer, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, the University of Michigan and The Henry Ford.

It’s the second year for the summit. It was started as a long-term commitment by the state agriculture department and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to help improve access to food grown in Michigan, boost the food processing industry and encourage job creation.


3.18.15:  Bomb Squad responds to the airport in Grand Rapids


Grand Rapids, MI -  The Gerald R. Ford International Airport terminal building received a bomb threat shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Appropriate precautions were made and following a search, no threat was found.

The West Michigan Aviation Academy and all affected tenant and airlines were notified.

All flight operations are running as normal.


3.18.15:  Cornerstone beat Dakota Wesleyan 66-45


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – (Mlive) - Cornerstone had to wait to celebrate an NAIA Division II basketball title Monday, even though the Golden Eagles were ready to burst by halftime.

An outstanding first half, which featured an 18-point lead within 10 minutes, set up a second half of defensive maintenance before Cornerstone could whoop it with a 66-45 victory against Dakota Wesleyan at Point Lookout, Mo.

Then the No. 3-seeded Golden Eagles did with an exclamation point in the program’s third national championship to finish 33-5.


Ben Lanning had 24 points and 10 rebounds freshman Kyle Steigenga – who was named the tournament MVP – had 14 points and 11 rebounds in a title game that was an unexpected rout.

No. 5 Dakota Wesleyan (32-5) came in as the top scoring team in NAIA at 87 points a game, but left with nearly just half that total and shot 23 percent (13 of 57), and just 19 percent beyond the arc (5 of 26).

Defense beat offense in this case. Cornerstone, which led the nation in 3-point defense percentage (29.4 percent) and was third in overall defense (39.4 percent), did a number on the Tigers, who had the lowest total in an NAIA title game.

It was quite a shock for Dakota Wesleyan, which rolled past WHAC co-champ Davenport in the semifinals on Monday 80-51.

It left coach Kim Elders in awe of what he witnessed.

“I’ve never seen it before and never been a part of anything like this,” he said. “This is the best defensive performance I’ve ever been apart of in my 22 years at Cornerstone.

“I am so proud. They deserve this and they worked so hard for this.”

The team gained the fundamentals of a difficult defense during a brief walk-through in the morning.

“We focused pretty hard on what they do,” said Lanning. “We switched a lot, we communicated and we got through screens. They kind of have an unorthodox offense but we didn’t have many breakdowns and played great defense and got the job done.”

The Golden Eagles had early leads of 12-3 and 27-12 as Steigenga and Lanning each had eight points within 11 minutes.

The first 20-point lead came on Justin Pepper’s jumper with 2:26 remaining before the Eagles left the court with a 42-20 lead at halftime.

Dakota Wesleyan’s Jalen Voss had 15 of his team’s 20 points and finished with 20 of their 45.

Cornerstone had just six points through 12 minutes of the second half, both on 3-pointers by Lanning. But defense was the emphasis as the Golden Eagles maintained a lead of at least 16 points throughout the remainder of the game.

Lanning’s first thought at the buzzer?

“We’re national champions and it really hadn’t hit me and I don’t know if it will hit be until we get back,” he said. “I can’t wait until we get back to Grand Rapids and see that (team) picture up in our little lounge there and the banner goes up in the gym. It’s just a surreal feeling right now.”

Lanning had 14 of the Golden Eagles 24 second-half points, including three 3-pointers.

The Golden Eagles also won national titles in 1999 and 2011.

3.17.15:  Airport will add more winter parking


The Gerald R. Ford International Airport continues to see record passengers and that has prompted the airport to expand their parking facilities.

Construction on the parking deck roof is underway.  There is a projected finish date of November, 2015.


Currently the airport is forced to close the 4th level of the parking deck in the winter months because of the snow.

A fourth level roof will open up over 11-hundred additional covered parking spaces for those visiting the airport.

3.17.15:  GRCC prices increase for various programs


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – (Mlive)– In an effort to balance its budget, Grand Rapids Community College is implementing big price hikes for its nursing, dental and culinary arts programs.

New students in dental and culinary will pay $140 per contact hour, while those going into nursing will pay $178 per contact hour. That’s up from the college’s base tuition rate of $106 per contact hour.

The tuition increases, which go into effect this fall, were approved Monday by the college’s board of trustees.

Board members said tuition increases are never easy to approve, but are needed to balance the college’s budget.

More cuts are needed due to declining enrollment.


3.17.15:  Cornerstone Men’s Basketball team will take on Dakota Wesleyan


GRAND RAPIDS, MI -(Mlive) - Cornerstone University reached the NAIA Tournament championship thanks to a strong second half Monday in a 91-81 win against Embry-Riddle in the semifinals in Lookout, Mo.

The Golden Eagles used a 12-0 run to go up 60-52 and held control the rest of the way to advance to Tuesday’s 6 p.m. (EDT) final against Dakota Wesleyan.

Dakota Wesleyan defeated Davenport in the earlier semifinal, 80-51.


No. 2-seed Cornerstone (32-5), in search of their third national title, bounced back from a slow start in the second half against No. 3 Embry-Riddle (35-2). The Golden Eagles led 41-37 at halftime, then slipped behind 52-48 to prompt a timeout. Cory Cox then went on a run, getting a steal and a bucket, followed by a 3-pointer to put the team in front to stay.

“We were getting pushed around,” Cornerstone coach Kim Elders said of the timeout. “You got to be a man in this game and we needed to step up and we let them know.”

Cox, a 6-foot-5 sophomore who came in hitting 42 percent of his 3-pointers, had a game-high 19 points on 4 of 8 beyond the arc.

Embry-Riddle closed within six late, at 83-77, on a basket by Cesar Pastrana before Michael McLaughlin had a pair of baskets as part of an 8-4 run to finish it off.

“This is great, this is what we’ve been working for,” Elders said. “We felt like we could have a championship-caliber team and now we have one more game to get there.”

Cornerstone shot 59 percent in the second half, and finished at 52 percent, highlighted by 14 of 25 (56 percent) beyond the arc.

Kyle Steigenga and Travis Wells each added 14 points. The Golden Eagles had six players score in double figures. Ban Lanning had 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Golden Eagles reached the semifinals after a 75-64 win against No. 9 St. Francis (Ind.) on Saturday.

Cornerstone is in its 13th tournament appearance with an overall record of 31-10. The Golden Eagles won it all 1999 and 2011.

3.17.15:   GRCC hosts Spring Job Fair from 9-1


The Grand Rapids Community college Spring Job Fair takes place today, Tuesday, March 17th, from 9am – 1p.m.

The Job Fair will be held on campus at the Applied Technology Center.

Some 60 companies will be represented with 1,000 jobs being offered.

Students, alumni, and community members are encouraged to attend.