Grand Rapids

4.21.17:  Police arrest 3 in immigration protest in Grand Rapids




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Police have arrested three demonstrators after a Grand Rapids protest against federal immigration policy blocked traffic.

MLive reports about 40 people participated in the protest Thursday that at one point blocked traffic near the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Police say that after issuing several warnings, they arrested two men aged 64 and 40 and a 49-year-old woman for impeding traffic and resisting and obstructing. They say the remaining protesters continued to a nearby the plaza without further incident.

A spokeswoman for the demonstrators, Cynthia Quintana, says the three who were arrested are allies and that such actions are needed to get the attention of federal officials.

Last month, 600 people participated in a Day Without Immigrants demonstration in Grand Rapids.


4.21.17:  Ex-FBI agent gets jail time for Michigan gym shooting




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge ignored the terms of a plea agreement and sentenced a former FBI agent to jail for shooting at a police officer outside a Michigan fitness club.

Judge Dennis Leiber told 35-year-old Ruben Hernandez of North Las Vegas, Nevada, that anyone who shoots at a law enforcement officer is going to jail. He sentenced Hernandez Thursday to 135 days.

Hernandez pleaded no contest to felonious assault. A no-contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt, but is treated as one in sentencing. Prosecutors recommended no jail time.

In court, Hernandez apologized to Grand Rapids police.

No one was injured in the December shooting outside the gym, and police did not return fire. The Las Vegas-based agent was in Michigan for an investigation. The FBI later fired Hernandez.


4.19.17:  Man pleads no contest in snowplow hit-and-run death




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A snowplow driver who struck a woman near Grand Rapids has pleaded no contest in her death.

Austin Hill appeared in court Tuesday, three months after 26-year-old Chelsea Crawford was killed. The 21-year-old Hill was charged with causing a fatal crash but failing to stop to help her.

A no-contest plea is treated as a guilty plea at sentencing, which is set for May 18.

Crawford was hit 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.


4.19.17:  Western Michigan man sentenced for shootings outside school




MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man will spend between 7 2/3 and 20 years in prison on charges alleging he shot three people outside a high school basketball game last year.

Twenty-two-year-old Clarence McCaleb of Kentwood was sentenced Tuesday after pleading no contest to three counts of assault with intent to murder and other charges.

Two females and one male were shot on Feb. 9, 2016, outside Muskegon Heights Public School Academy, northwest of Grand Rapids. Two of the wounded were students.

Authorities say McCaleb was shot and wounded by a deputy after refusing to drop a pistol.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports neither prosecutors or McCaleb or his attorney spoke at length during the sentencing hearing.


4.11.17:  Memorial planned for 13 horses killed in fire in Kent County



LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A weekend memorial is planned for 13 horses that were killed in a suspicious barn fire in western Michigan.

The Kent County sheriff’s office says at least one person has been questioned about the fire, which was reported early Saturday at the Barn for Equine Learning in Lowell Township. Some new evidence also has been collected.

Only two of 15 horses survived the fire. The horses were used as therapy for children and young adults with a variety of special needs.

The memorial service is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. On its Facebook page, the Barn for Equine Learning says it has seen “beauty” in the ashes in the form of widespread community support.


4.11.17:  Thunderstorms spawn suspected tornado in western Michigan




FREEPORT, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say severe thunderstorms spawned a suspected tornado in western Michigan, knocking down a barn in Alto and blocking some roadways with debris.

Strong storms moved across the state Monday night. The National Weather Service says radar showed the possible tornado near Freeport in Barry County and moving into parts of Kent and Ionia counties.

No injuries were reported.

The storms also caused scattered power outages. Heavy rains were reported, adding to flooding problems seen since the weekend.    At least a foot of water on one Grand Rapids roadway, causing cars to stall and prompting tow trucks to respond.


Consumers Energy says crews worked through the night to restore power and very few with still without service Tuesday morning.


4-7-17 Another Auto Recall

DETROIT (AP) — Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 1.2 million cars and SUVs because the engines can fail and stall, increasing the risk of a crash.

The recall covers the Korean automakers’ most popular models including 2013 and 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport SUVs and Sonata midsize cars. Also covered are Kia Optima midsize cars from 2011 through 2014, Kia Sportage SUVs from 2011 through 2013 and Kia Sorento SUVs from 2012 through 2014.

The companies say that debris left from manufacturing can restrict oil flow to connecting rod bearings. That can increase temperatures and cause the bearings to wear and fail.

Hyundai and Kia will notify owners and dealers will inspect the engines. They’ll replace the block if needed at no cost. The recall is scheduled to start on May 19.


3.23.17:  Meijer Gardens plans new attractions, $115M in fundraising




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan is planning a new welcome center, rooftop sculpture garden and picnic pavilion as part of a $115 million fundraising campaign.

The Grand Rapids attraction announced Thursday that $102 million already has been raised as part of the capital campaign titled “Welcoming the World: Honoring a Legacy of Love.”

Other planned additions or improvements include a new learning center and sculpture garden entry plaza along with an expanded amphitheater and more parking. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall and is expected to last about four years.

Those involved in the project say the plans will allow Meijer Gardens to expand its annual horticulture exhibitions, provide more galleries for sculpture exhibitions and host more events.


3.21.17:  Michigan man dies, day after event to celebrate his life




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan lawyer and Republican activist has died, a day after hundreds of people responded to his published invitation to attend an open house to celebrate his life.

Bob Eleveld died Sunday at age 80. He was too ill from cancer to attend the event Saturday at a Grand Rapids-area golf club. Guests ate roast beef and shrimp and wrote messages that were delivered to Eleveld by family members.

His partner, Michele McIsaac, says the reception fulfilled Eleveld’s wishes. She says, “He went out with a bang.” A daughter, Kerry Eleveld, says there was an “outpouring of love” in the room.

On March 12, Eleveld published his obituary and announced the open-house celebration in The Grand Rapids Press. His family called it a “no-bit” because he was still alive.


3.15.17:  Cornerstone gets beat by Union College




(M-Live)–Cornerstone struggled for a few minutes in the second half, and that was all it took for No. 1-seeded Union of Kentucky to take advantage Tuesday in the NAIA Division II championship.

An 11-2 run over a five minute period starting six minutes into the second half was enough to propel the Bulldogs past No. 2 Cornerstone, 72-69, in Point Lookout, Missouri.

“We had a tough stretch in there where our shots didn’t fall, we had some turnovers and just couldn’t get stops during that time and we couldn’t come back from that,” said Cornerstone coach Kim Elders.

The Golden Eagles, who finish 33-4, were down by a point, 36-35, at halftime and were briefly ahead twice early in the second half on baskets by Kyle Steigenga.

But after Michael McLaughlin’s basket at 14:39 made it 45-45, the Golden Eagles got only a pair of free throws over the next 5:37 as the Bulldogs pulled ahead 59-47.

Cornerstone didn’t get another field goal until Cory Cox’s jumper at the 8:04 mark that made it 61-52.

“They did everything we expected,” Elders said. “They’re a high-pressure defense, and strong offensive rebounding and athletic. We knew all that was going to be there. We just didn’t handle it as good as we needed to.”

Cornerstone shot 41.2 percent, including 26.3 percent beyond the arc.
Steigenga had 30 points on 10 of 17 from the field along with 10 rebounds. Michael McLaughlin had 16 points.

It marked the first time Cornerstone had lost in the finals. The program was 3-0 previously, with the last time coming in 2015..

“We have to look at the big picture, and we had a great season,” Elders said as the team prepared to go to a post-game reception. “I told the guys to hold up their heads. They’ve got so much to be proud of.”