Grand Rapids

8.25.14:  Grand Rapids to open $40 million rapid bus system


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids is launching a $40 million rapid transit bus system that connects the city center with southern suburbs.


The 9.6-mile Silver Line Bus Rapid Transit system will kick off this week with free rides to attract commuters. About $32 million came from the federal government, while the state paid almost $8 million.


Transportation planners say the system cuts a typical 45-minute drive to a 27-minute commute. They say it’s the city’s first mode of transportation to compete with cars.


Jeff Steinport from the Kent County Taxpayer’s Alliance says the line is a boondoggle that duplicates existing public transportation routes.


The National Transit Database says city’s traditional bus system had 11.9 million passenger trips in 2012. That’s up from 10.8 million in 2011 and 9.7 million in 2010.


8.22.14:  Woman, 2 men stabbed at Kent County mobile home


PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — The Kent County sheriff’s department says three people have been stabbed at a mobile home park.


According to a sheriff’s news release, the attack happened after 1 a.m. Friday and started with an argument between two men at the Brook Haven Mobile Home Park along West River Drive.


Deputies say the suspect stabbed a woman and two men.


The woman was seriously hurt. She was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a stab wound in her back. The two men suffered minor injuries.


The sheriff’s statement says the suspect was found at a nearby residence and taken into custody without incident.

8.21.14:  Construction set for western Michigan outlet mall


BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Tanger Outlets Factory Outlet Centers Inc. is ready to break ground on its third Michigan mall.


Construction is set to begin Thursday in Kent County’s Byron Township, near Grand Rapids. The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to include Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and company President and Chief Executive Steve Tanger.


Tanger Outlets in Grand Rapids is scheduled to open in fall 2015 and will feature more than 80 stores and 1,000 full- and part-time workers.


Greensboro, North Carolina-based Tanger operates 45 outlet malls across the country and Canada. Its two Michigan outlets are in Howell Township and West Branch.

8.20.14:  Police in standoff with bank robber


The man suspected of robbing the credit union at St. Mary’s Hospital in downtown Grand Rapids was arrested Tuesday night.


The robbery took place Monday.  Police received several tips after releasing pictures of the bank robber.  The man was linked to a house on Grand Avenue NE and when police approached the house, the suspect refused to leave.


Two people inside the house safely evacuated and the suspect eventually surrendered without incident around 9 p.m.

8.19.14:  GRPS moves celebration indoors


The Grand Rapids Public Schools are planning to hold their Back-to-School Celebration tonight inside.


Organizers say there is a good chance of rain in the forecast and they have decided to move the activities inside City High Middle School from 4-8 p.m.  The schools is located in the former Creston High School building.


Families attending will enjoy food, giveaways, and live entertainment as well as a number of children’s activities.


School uniform providers also will be at the event so that families can purchase uniforms, which will be required for elementary and middle school students in the fall.

8.18.14:  GRPC holds Back-To-School event this week


Grand Rapids Public Schools will hold their annual back-to-school celebration at John Ball Park Tuesday from 4-8 p.m.


School will resume on September 2nd and the event is meant to create a carnival-like atmosphere and encourage parents to take advantage of informational booths to learn more about their school choices and services that are provided.


Families also will be reminded to purchase school uniforms.  This year uniforms will be required for elementary and middle school students.


There is rain in the forecast for Tuesday and if the event is rained out a rain-date has been set for Wednesday, August 20th.

8.18.14:  Grand Rapids boy hospitalized for pit bull attack


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — An 11-year-old boy has been treated for injuries following a pit bull attack in Grand Rapids.


Grand Rapids Police Lt. Mark Ostapowicz says the boy was walking down a street Sunday when the dog broke loose of its chain and bit him.


Ostapowicz says the boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries. He required stitches on some lacerations, including on his arms.


Ostapowicz said Kent County Animal Control hadn’t removed the pit bull by Sunday evening. It’s unclear if its owner was contacted.

8.15.14  One Man Injured in Thursday Shooting

Grand Rapids Police say one man was injured after being shot. Police were in the area of Grandville Avenue and Crofton after the shooting was reported before eight o’clock. Investigators believe the man was in the area of Vries when he was shot but that the suspect may have fled to Crofton Avenue. The victim reportedly gave conflicting accounts about the alleged shooter.

8-13-14 Memorial Services for Connor Verkerke


A memorial service is planned today for a 9-year-old boy who was fatally stabbed at a playground.

A visitation starts at 10:30 for Connor Verkerke at Cornerstone Church on 84th Street.  A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30.

A 12-year-old boy is accused of repeatedly stabbing Verkerke at a playground in Kentwood.

12-year old Jamarion Lawhorn has been designated as an adult in the juvenile court system, which would allow the boy to be sentenced as a juvenile if convicted and then either released or sentenced as an adult once he turns 21.

8.8.14:  Meijer LPGA Classic in Grand Rapids



BELMONT, Mich. (AP) — Sandra Gal made six straight birdies on her back nine Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Meijer LPGA Classic, while Michelle Wie withdrew because of a wrist injury.


Gal, the 29-year-old German who won her lone LPGA Tour title in 2011, birdied Nos. 3-8 and finished with a par on No. 9 for a 6-under 65. South Korea’s Inbee Park was a stroke back.


Wie was 5 over after nine holes when she pulled out. She fought injuries to both wrists in 2007.


Wie won the U.S. Women’s Open on June 22 for her second victory of the year.