Grand Rapids

7.21.14:   Body found by kayakers in Grand River


JENISON, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a body has been found by kayakers in the Grand River near Jenison.

The Ottawa County sheriff’s department says the body was found around 5 p.m. Sunday near the area of Baldwin Street and river Avenue not far from the I-196 exit to Jenison.

The name and age of the male whose body was found wasn’t immediately released. An autopsy is planned for Monday to confirm the identity and determine cause of death.

7.18.14:  Car crash results in finding missing teen


It started earlier this week when police found the body of a man in a wooded area of Wyoming. Later his girlfriend was reported missing and now police say some of their questions have been answered.


Police say a missing pregnant woman was found dead in a vehicle, which was driven by a man that is suspected of killing her boyfriend.


Wyoming Police say there was a car chase last night that ended in a crash at US-131 and Burton in Grand Rapids.  The driver was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and the body of 18-year-old Brook Slocum was found in the trunk.  Slocum’s boyfriend, Charles Oppenneer was found in a Wyoming park on Wednesday.


Police haven’t identified the suspect or disclosed his connection to the couple.


Police say investigators were preparing a search warrant for a Wyoming home when the suspect left.

7.14.14:  Events to honor anniversary of Gerald Ford’s birth


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A series of special events are planned in Grand Rapids to commemorate the 101st anniversary of President Gerald Ford’s birth.


The Ford Presidential Foundation, Library and Museum are joining together for Monday’s celebration.


It includes a wreath-laying ceremony at Ford’s tomb; a ribbon-cutting that marks the opening of a new exhibit on aircraft carriers at the Ford museum; and a luncheon featuring a lecture by former Secretary of State James Baker.


Ford died in 2006, and former first lady Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades. Their hometown was Grand Rapids.


7.14.14:  Gas prices fall 11 cents in week in Michigan


DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA Michigan says gasoline prices have fallen about 11 cents during the past week to a statewide average of about $3.67 per gallon.


The auto club says Monday the average is down about 15 cents from this time last year.


Of the cities it surveys, AAA Michigan says the cheapest price for self-serve unleaded fuel is in the Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Holland areas, where it’s about $3.50 a gallon. The highest average is in the Marquette area at about $3.77 a gallon.


Dearborn-based AAA Michigan surveys 2,800 Michigan gas stations daily.

7.11.14:  Fatal accident in Ottawa County


A man was killed in a crash that was caused by a wrong-way driver Thursday night.


Police report that the accident took place along I-96 near Marne.  An SUV, driven by Heather Luke of Nunica, used a median turn-around, and began driving west in the east-bound lanes.  That is when she collided with a mini-van, which then burst into flames.


Police have not yet released the name of the driver of the mini-van who passed away in that crash.  The driver of the SUV is listen in critical condition.


The expressway was closed last night for several hours as crews investigated and cleanup the scene.

7.10.14:  Bicyclist died after being hit along Egypt Valley Avenue


A 52-year-old bicyclist is dead after being struck from behind by an SUV.  The accident took place last night around 7 p.m. when the male rider from Grand Rapids, was traveling along a hilly area along Egypt Valley Avenue between Three and Four Mile Road.


Police say the driver of the SUV, was a 62-year-old man from Newaygo County.  He was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.

7.10.14:  Covenant CRC Furniture Ministry looking for donations


This week’s storm and tornado did damage to the Kentwood and Wyoming area and there are many homes and businesses that are working to recover.


A local ministry that usually helps others in times of need is now looking for donations of its own.  Bob Storteboom with the Furniture Ministry at Covenant CRC says they are unable to help others now because they lost many of the donated items due to storm damage.


Items are usually donated by church members and local furniture stores. Much of it was damaged.  Most of their moving equipment was damaged, as well as storage racks, bed frames, Bibles and Christian literature.


If you can help, you can drop off a donation at the church parking lot where a trailer will be set up to accept donations.  The church is located at:  7171 Willard Avenue, S.E. Grand Rapids.   (616) 455-5120.

7.10.14:  Wyoming and Kentwood area continue cleanup efforts


KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Kent County officials say severe weather including a tornado that hit near Grand Rapids caused an estimated $4.5 million in damage to about 300 homes and businesses.


Jack Stewart, director of the Kent County Emergency Management Division, says that a team of workers determined the damage estimate.


A severe thunderstorm late Sunday spawned a tornado with winds reaching the 100-110 mph range in Kent County, causing significant damage to homes in Kentwood, and damage was reported elsewhere.


In all, about 2,000 properties were affected — but many of those involved tree damage or cosmetic issues.


On Wednesday, the National Weather Service confirmed that a weaker tornado touched down near Ionia early Monday. Some damage was reported to trees, crops and some area farm buildings.


Meanwhile the American Red Cross of West Michigan will host a meeting with partner agencies tomorrow to discuss how they can work together to help the community best recover from the tornado.  Agencies plan to discuss both the short and long term recovery needs of the community.

6.30.14:  Police chief from Tennessee heads to Grand Rapids


Just before the weekend, the city of Grand Rapids announced that they have made a decision on their next top cop.  The city has offered the job to David Rahinsky of Franklin, Tennessee.  Rahinsky says he will start his new job July 7th.


Rahinsky was appointed to succeed the retired Kevin Belk as head of the Grand Rapids Police Department.  An 8-member police advisory committee unanimously agreed that Rahinsky was the best choice.


Rahinsky said he will waste no time in his new position and plans to go out in the community for a listening tour.