Grand Rapids

11.26.14:  W.A.R. items to be sold to help their victims


As you consider the shopping ads for gift buying, one local group hopes you will think about purchasing items from them and in turn help women who have been victimized.

Women At Risk has programs in over 40 countries and their goal is to rescue victimized woman and help them with the healing process.  Part of that process is helping them get back on their feet and empower them to learn a new skill or trade.  Some of those items are then sold.

Jessica Rowland oversees the retail side of the ministry and hopes shoppers may consider them for Christmas gift buying.

They have to local stores.  One in Rockford which is downtown along the river, and the other is along 44th Street just east of the Rivertown Crossings Mall.


More information is available on their website.

Click here  for more information.

11-21-14 – ArtPrize Expands to Texas


ArtPrize will have a new location.

The event is not moving out of Grand Rapids but will expand to Dallas Texas. The first event won’t take place till 2016 but organizers announced the new location as an extension of the 19-day event.

ArtPrize Grand Rapids will be held in September while Dallas will take place in April. Prize money in Texas is expected to be around a half-million dollars.

11-21-14  Thanksgiving Travel Expected to be Heavy

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — AAA says nearly 1.5 million people in Michigan plan to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday period.

The auto club says the Michigan travel estimate is nearly 5 percent higher than 2013 and the highest volume for the holiday period since 2007.

AAA says that nearly 90 percent of Michigan travelers will travel by personal vehicle. About 2 percent will go by air and the rest will take other means of travel.

The holiday comes as the average price for gas in Michigan is $2.92 per gallon, down 35 cents from the $3.27-per-gallon average a year ago

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Nov. 26 through Nov. 30.

11-21-14 – Young Boy Injured in Crash


A young boy was hospitalized after a rollover crash in Ottawa County Thursday.

Sgt. Chris Dill with the Sheriff’s Department says 35-year old Julio Villanueva lost control of his Dodge Ram pickup on an icy 68th Avenue in Allendale with his four year old son in the vehicle.  Dill says the vehicle crossed the center line and hit a guardrail before toppling over and ending up in the ditch.

Villanueva carried his son up the embankment and into an emergency response vehicle.
Caesar Villenueva was taken to DeVos Children’s Hospital.  He has since been released.

11.19.14:  Mel Trotter Ministries Turkey Drop today


Mel Trotter Ministries is looking for turkeys.  The ministry in downtown Grand Rapids is collecting donations of frozen turkeys that will be used during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Tim Sweeny says they are hoping to collect some 1,000 birds that will be included in the special food boxes.  The meals will go to families who might otherwise not have a traditional meal during these times when families gather together.

Today’s Turkey Drop will take place from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the turkeys can be dropped off at Celebration North and South locations as well as the 4 Mel Trotter retail stores.  One is located along 28th Street, another in Jenison, as well as in Sparta and Belding.


Click here for more information.

11.18.14:  Severe weather brings Michigan flight cancelations


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Severe weather in Michigan is prompting flight cancelations and delays at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

At least four flights were cancelled Tuesday morning and three flights had been delayed from departing the Grand Rapids airport.

All arrivals were listed on time. The cancelations and delays come as heavy lake-effect snow hits parts of western and northern Michigan.


11.14.14:  Officials look at green lights for Michigan plows


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials in western Michigan are testing green emergency lights for possible use on snow plows as part of an effort to cut down on crashes involving the vehicles.

Jerry Byrne, the Kent County Road Commission’s director of maintenance, says the lights could help increase visibility of snow plows on the road. About six snow plows are rear-ended each year in Kent County alone.


Kent County is currently testing out green lights on one of its pickup trucks. They flash and then change colors to grab drivers’ attention.

Snow plows with green lights have been pioneered in other parts of the country. Ohio started using green lights in recent years, for example. Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melissa Ayers says officials “have found them to be valuable.”


11.13.14:  Rockford gets 2 bomb threats this week


For two consecutive days, Rockford High School students stayed in their classrooms while law enforcement investigated bomb threats.  The threats were not credible but it prompted some increased security measures.

Wednesday the high school received a phone call saying there was a bomb in the buildings.  That was similar to a call they took the day before.


As a precaution, extra police were on hand this morning and students were only allowed to enter from the front entrance of the school.


The school notified parents yesterday that the district is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to find out who is responsible for the threats and that they are taking extra precautions.



11.12.14:  Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition aid to $1M


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Diocese of Grand Rapids is boosting the amount of tuition assistance available for Catholic school students from $240,000 to $1 million.


Officials announced the increase Tuesday. Bishop David Walkowiak says he wants more young people to have access to a good education as well as guidance in leadership and integrity.


The diocese launched a three-year marketing campaign in 2013 to expand enrollment.


An aid agency the diocese uses says there has been $1.2 million in unmet need per year after distributing all available tuition assistance. Superintendent of Catholic schools David Faber says officials often hear the schools need to be more affordable.


The school system has about 5,600 students. The average tuition at Catholic Central and West Catholic high schools is about $7,500 before aid.

11.12.14:  Calvin says they’ll sell the Ladies Literary Club building


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Calvin College plans to sell the more than century-old Ladies Literary Club building, which for the past seven years has served as a music, theater and entertainment venue.

Sally Vander Ploeg, the school’s vice president for finance and administration,  says the college hasn’t yet determined what real estate broker will handle the sale nor has it settled on an asking price.

The decision to sell the property was approved last month by the board at the Christian liberal arts school. The sale comes as the college works to reduce long-term debt of $102 million by selling real estate assets that aren’t deemed core to its mission.

Historical preservation advocates say they’re hopeful the buyer will appreciate the aesthetic and historical value of the building.