Grand Rapids

7.20.16:  Kent County authorities attempt traffic stop but driver flees



KENT COUNTY, MI –(Mlive) – A state police trooper reportedly has minor facial injuries after a fight this morning during a traffic stop, triggering a 15-mile police chase.

The pursuit ended on I-96 at Morse Lake Road after the suspect’s vehicle, believed to be a stolen pickup, went through a field as police followed after him. Officers were able to box-in the truck on the highway shortly after the off-road segment of the pursuit.

The trouble began about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday, July 20 when a trooper stopped a pickup truck at the East Beltline and Cascade Road.

Several witnesses then called 911 to report that the trooper was in an altercation with someone outside of the truck. The trooper may have been on the ground at some point, witnesses reported.

After the altercation, two people in the truck were able to drive away and the trooper got back into his cruiser and gave pursuit. Kent County sheriff’s deputies joined the chase.

The truck went east on Burton Street to Cascade Road, then east again to Morse Lake Road where it went into a field for a short time. Some of the officers followed the truck through the field.

Soon after, police boxed-in the truck and took two people into custody.

The trooper was being checked for facial injuries, which were described as minor.

7.14.16:  Events mark 103rd anniversary of President Ford’s birth



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Events marking the 103rd anniversary of the birth of President Gerald Ford are taking place in western Michigan.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation is hosting Thursday’s ceremonies, which include a wreath-laying tribute at Ford’s tomb in Grand Rapids.

The wreath-laying will be conducted on behalf of President Barack Obama and the Ford family. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss will present a wreath on behalf of the city.

Following the ceremony, the Ford Presidential Museum will open free to the public through 5 p.m.

Ford died in 2006, and former first lady Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades.

Gerald Ford was a congressman from Grand Rapids before becoming vice president and then president following Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation.


7.13.16:  Michigan gets $1.1M for environmental cleanup in 3 cities



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says Michigan is getting $1.1 million to clean up brownfield sites in Grand Rapids, Flint and Detroit.

The funding announced this week includes $500,000 for Grand Rapids to clean up the former Proos Manufacturing site so it can be redeveloped into a mixed-use project called Diamond Place that’s expected to include a bus station and grocery store.

The EPA awarded $300,000 to Genesee County to continue to cleanup at a former General Motors manufacturing complex in Flint known as “Chevy in the Hole” that’s being transformed into a park. The site along the Flint River is called Chevy Commons.

The Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is getting $300,000 to help clean up contaminated Detroit land for urban agriculture or other jobs projects.



7.6.16:  Millennium Park in western Michigan gets wetlands boardwalk



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Construction is complete on a new wetlands boardwalk at Millennium Park in western Michigan.

The boardwalk connects the Hansen Nature Trail to a popular trail loop surrounding the main lake at the 1,500-acre park. A dedication event is Wednesday.

Funding for the project was donated in memory of Sandy Hansen, a park supporter who died in 2014, and the trail around the lake is known as Sandy Hansen Shoreline Trail.

The area’s trails include a one-mile nature trail that offers the chance to explore wetlands and nearly two miles of paved, multi-purpose trail. With the link provided by the wetlands boardwalk, trail users can easily leave the Shoreline Trail to explore more remote areas.

The Hansen family previously funded construction of the Hansen Nature Trail.


7.5.16:  Fire guts fireworks store in Michigan; no injuries reported



WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — An early-morning fire has gutted a fireworks store in western Michigan.

No injuries are reported following the Tuesday fire in Wyoming, near Grand Rapids. As the building burned, fireworks shot into the air and the sound of exploding fireworks was heard.

GS Fireworks along 44th Street was closed as crews worked to extinguish the blaze.   A nearby apartment was evacuated as a precaution.

There was no immediate word about the cause of the fire.


7-1-16 Great News For Car Sales

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales are expected to set a record in the first six months of this year.

Sales through June were expected to be up 2 percent over last year, according to Kelley Blue Book.

After six straight years of growth — and record sales of 17.5 million last year— U.S. sales are beginning to plateau. But low gas prices, low interest rates and other factors should keep them at a very high level.

June sales rebounded after a disappointing May. Sales were expected to rise 5.4 percent to more than 1.5 million, according to the car buying site

Nissan’s sales jumped 13 percent to 140,553. Sales of its new Maxima sedan more than doubled over last year.

Other automakers report sales later Friday.


7-1-16 Walker Fire Keeps Departments Busy

WALKER, Mich. (AP) — An overnight fire at a scrap metal recycling facility in western Michigan sent flames high into the air.

No injuries are reported following the fire that burned early Friday in Walker, near Grand Rapids.

Walker Fire Department Battalion Chief Don Munn tells WOOD-TV that the fire started in a large pile of scrap metal and at one point flames were roughly 80 feet high.

Munn says crews put out the flames and firefighters were extinguishing hot spots. WZZM-TV reports smoke continued to billow from the site Friday morning.

The Grand Rapids Press reports flames had been leaping from a scrap metal pile containing barrels, appliances, lawn mowers, bed frames and a wide variety of other items. Munn says material that was burning likely was pieces of rubber and plastic.


7-1-16 4-yr Old Recovering After Drive By Shooting in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Police say three people have been arrested after a teenager and a 4-year-old child were injured in a drive-by shooting in Grand Rapids.

Police say the teen boy was on a bicycle Thursday afternoon and the younger child was on the sidewalk with family when several shots were fired from an SUV.

They were taken to a hospital where their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

On Thursday evening, offers found an SUV that matched the description of the one related to the shooting. Police took one suspect into custody and two others fled to a nearby home, where they remained for several hours. One came out about 9 p.m. and the other surrendered about 10 p.m.

The three are being held pending charges.


6.29.16:  $7 million scholarship fund to help healthcare students



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids Community College has established a $7 million scholarship fund with Spectrum Health to help students pursuing careers in healthcare or the health sciences.

The Grand Rapids Press reports a $5 million deal for Spectrum Health to purchase the college’s athletic field near Butterworth Hospital led to the scholarship fund, which will be established at the Spectrum Health Foundation.

Five percent, or $350,000, would be provided to the Grand Rapids Community College Community Foundation annually for scholarships. Awards will be based on the recipients’ need.

Grand Rapids Community College President Steven Ender says the 2.2-acre practice field has long been seen as an underutilized asset. He says “providing affordable educational opportunities for students is paramount to ensuring the continued growth and success of our region.”


6.23.16:  Man sues police after police sergeant uses stun gun at fire



GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A man in his 60s is suing police in western Michigan after he says a police sergeant used a stun gun to subdue him after his house caught fire.

The recent lawsuit from Robert W. Burt Jr. names the Grandville police department and the sergeant as defendants. Burt says police used excessive force, violated his constitutional rights and essentially assaulted him.

Grandville City Manager Ken Krombeen says he couldn’t comment on the pending litigation.

The attic of Burt’s home caught fire about 9 p.m. on June 2, 2014. About 2 a.m., Burt went under yellow police tape at the home. The lawsuit says the sergeant told Burt to stay behind the tape. Burt didn’t comply, so the officer used the stun gun.