Grand Rapids

1.17.17:  Grand Rapids airport temporarily closes rapids over ice



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids has reopened its runways and taxiways after temporarily closing all of them due to icy conditions.

Airport spokeswoman Tara Hernandez tells MLive the step was necessary Monday morning to treat ice on the surfaces. After about an hour, the main runway was deemed safe and reopened.

The National Weather Service posted a freezing rain advisory for several counties through 2 a.m. Tuesday. It posted a winter weather advisory for the northern Lower Peninsula through at least Tuesday morning.

Several schools dismissed students early Monday afternoon or canceled evening activities because of the worsening travel conditions.


1.17.17:  White Caps want ideas for new food items




COMSTOCK PARK,MI – West Michigan Whitecaps fans can submit ideas for what new food items they would like to see served at Fifth Third Ballpark this summer.

This is the 8th year that a food item submitted by fans will be on the menu.

Submissions will be taken through Friday, January 27th and can be made via-email at or through the Whitecaps website facebook page, twitter account and Instagram account.

The food idea submissions will then be pared down, and starting Thursday, February 23, fans will be able to vote for their choice for the new 2017 concessions item.

1.17.17:  DeVos to face questions over schools, conservative activism




WASHINGTON (AP) – €” Betsy DeVos of West Michigan, is being considered for the position of education secretary and her nomination is being considered today in Washington.


Her financial questionnaire shows DeVos has donated to the political campaigns of at least four committee members.

The committee chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, says DeVos will work to ensure equal access to a high quality education.


DeVos spent the past two decades advancing charter schools. She also has pushed for vouchers, which use public money to help low-income families send their kids to private and religious schools of their choice.

She is a supporter of schools of choice, which public school union members don’t agree with.


1.13.17:  Man charged in snowplow hit-and-run death of woman




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A man has been charged with failing to stop at an accident after a Grand Rapids-area woman was struck and killed by a truck equipped with a snowplow.

A judge feared 21-year-old Austin Hill might flee to Florida, so he set bond at $750,000 Thursday. It wasn’t immediately known if Hill has a lawyer.

Chelsea Crawford was hit Tuesday while she walked on a road in Wyoming, a Grand Rapids suburb. Hill’s truck was located that night. Video from cameras on a nearby property played a key role in the investigation.

Hill was arrested Wednesday. He has a criminal record, which could enhance his sentence if convicted.


1.12.17:  Suspect arrested in snow plow hit-and-run death of woman




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — Western Michigan police say they’ve arrested a 21-year-old man believed responsible for the hit-and-run death of a 26-year-old woman struck by a pickup truck equipped with a snowplow.

Police in the Grand Rapids-area community of Wyoming say the man was arrested Wednesday. His name was not immediately released while he awaits arraignment.

Police say the truck hit 26-year-old Chelsea Crawford of Wyoming on Tuesday morning while she was walked along a road. She died at the scene.

Police say they located the truck Tuesday evening in a parking lot and impounded it.


1.10.17:  School Choice Expo and Winter Carnival



-The Grand Rapids School Choice Expo and Winter Carnival will take place Tuesday, January 10th from 4-6 PM at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Avenue SE.


The free family friendly event offers GRPS students, families, and prospective families the opportunity to learn about school choices while enjoying a fun winter celebration.

There will be children’s activities and a free dinner provided.


Principals from each theme school and Center of Innovation will be at the Expo and Carnival to share information about their school, showcase what makes them unique, and answer any questions parents and students may have.

1.9.17:  Michigan pilot rescued from lake after breaking through ice




GRATTAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a western Michigan man has been rescued after his small plane broke through an ice-covered lake.

Kent County sheriff’s officials say the American Legend AL3C aircraft piloted by 59-year-old James Bakeman of Grand Rapids fell into Murray Lake Saturday afternoon just before taking off. Bakeman, who wasn’t hurt, was able to exit the plane as it submerged.

Police say a man who lived nearby used a kayak to traverse the ice and help Bakeman get to shore.

Bakeman tells The Grand Rapids Press he had been taking off from and landing on several area lakes and ice thickness wasn’t an issue. He saw ice fishermen and assumed it would be safe.


1.6.17:  Man to stand trial in woman’s slaying on college campus




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a man to stand trial in circuit court in the slaying of a 34-year-old woman on the Grand Rapids Community College campus in western Michigan.

Marcus Bivins’ preliminary hearing was held Thursday. The 19-year-old Bivins is charged with first-degree murder.

Jeanne Huntoon of Muskegon was beaten and stabbed to death in April. Her body was found near bushes at the school.

A witness reported seeing a man dragging what appeared to be a body near a main building and parking ramp. Authorities have called the attack a random assault.


1.6.17:  Stabenow opposes Betsy DeVos for Education Dept. head



DETROIT (AP) — U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says she will vote against Betty DeVos as the next head of the U.S. Education Department.

The Michigan Democrat says she talked to DeVos. Stabenow says DeVos’ support for charter schools has “seriously undermined public education” in the state.

DeVos, the former head of the Michigan Republican Party, is in favor of giving parents more education options. Her husband, Dick DeVos, started a charter high school in the Grand Rapids area that focuses on aviation and engineering.

The U.S. Senate will hold a confirmation hearing for DeVos on Wednesday.

Ed Patru, a spokesman for a group called Friends of Betsy DeVos, tells the Detroit Free Press that Stabenow and DeVos still can find “common ground” on education issues.


1.5.17:  Patrick Miles to resign as US attorney for Western Michigan




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The U.S. attorney assigned to Michigan’s Western District plans to step down from his post later this month.

Patrick Miles Jr. has announced his resignation at the end of President Barack Obama’s administration. It will be effective at noon on Jan. 20.

The 49-year-old Miles spent 21 years in private law practice as a business attorney in Grand Rapids.

He has been U.S. attorney for western Michigan since 2012. The office covers 49 counties, including Michigan’s entire Upper Peninsula.

During his tenure, the office obtained 31 federal racketeering, firearm, drug distribution and other convictions against members of the Holland Latin Kings gang.