11.25.15:  Grand Rapids’ oldest black Baptist church marks anniversary


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The oldest, continuing black Baptist congregation in Grand Rapids has been celebrating its 125th anniversary this fall.


Messiah Missionary Baptist Church marked the anniversary with a banquet last week and a worship service on Sunday.

Three churches have occupied the same site since the original church was built in the 1890s. The first pastor was the Rev. Robert Gillard. He was a former slave, who served the congregation for five years before retiring.

About 800 people are members of the church today.

urch started on Sept. 16, 1890. It


11.24.15:  Fire truck alert app for drivers piloted in Michigan



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A new app being tested in Grand Rapids warns drivers to the presence of emergency vehicle traffic.

Cory Hohs’ app was inspired by a close call with a Chicago fire truck while he was riding a motorcycle.

The Grand Rapids Fire Department has allowed Hohs and his two partners to ride with firefighters during emergency calls as they gather research for the app.

Hohs says the technology has the potential to cut down on the thousands of crashes that occur annually in the U.S. when emergency vehicles respond to calls.

The app sends alerts via Bluetooth to a car or motorcycle helmet that an emergency vehicle is near.


If the testing goes well, the app eventually could be available elsewhere.


11.24.15: School says students admit writing ‘white power’ in snow  


GRAND RAPIPDS, Mich. (AP) — Calvin College says two students have admitted writing racist statements and symbols in snow that had fallen on several cars.

Students at the Christian liberal arts college in Grand Rapids reported finding statements such as “white power” and a swastika on Sunday. In letters to students and faculty, school President Michael Le Roy says such hateful statements “have no place at Calvin College.”

Hundreds of people turned out Monday for discussion and prayer at the school’s chapel. Le Roy asked people to forgive the students responsible and grow from the experience.

The school says a video surveillance system helped investigators identify the students responsible. Le Roy says the students will face a disciplinary process. The names of the students aren’t being released and the disciplinary cases are confidential.


11.23.15:  Meijer Gardens makes additions to Railway Garden display


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has some new additions to its Railway Garden display.

The Grand Rapids cultural attraction on Monday is unveiling five new models as part of the “Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World” exhibition.

The Railway Garden spans four different greenhouse spaces.

The additions are landmarks in Grand Rapids’ sister cities: Independence Square in Accra, Ghana; Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia, Italy; Chomeiji Temple in Omihachiman, Japan; Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan in Mexico; and the Bielsko-Biala town hall in Poland.

The additions are being made as part of Meijer Gardens’ 20th anniversary year.


11.19.15:  Construction moves ahead on Michigan State research center



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Construction is moving ahead on Michigan State University’s new $88.1 million biomedical research center in Grand Rapids.

A “topping off” ceremony on the school’s Grand Rapids Research Center is planned for Thursday morning.

Groundbreaking took place earlier this year on the project. The East Lansing school has said that the six-story, 162,800-square-foot facility will include workspaces and five core labs that will benefit researchers and MSU College of Human Medicine scientists.

The building is on the site of the former home of The Grand Rapids Press newspaper in downtown. It will occupy about half of the property, leaving the door open for future developments.

The center is part of a long-term strategy that began in 2005 for the university to expand its presence in western Michigan.


11.17.15:  Cellphone video helps pinpoint cause of Grandville fire



GRANDVILLE, Mich. (AP) — A cellphone video captured by a local teen has helped investigators determine the cause of a fire that caused more than $1 million in damage to an eastern Michigan apartment building.


Investigators initially thought an electrical problem in the attic of the Wimbledon Apartment complex in Grandville caused the Oct. 19 blaze that destroyed 12 units and displaced at least 15 people. Grandville Fire Marshal Lynnae White says fire officials couldn’t pinpoint the exact cause of the fire and were about to declare it as undetermined.


But a video recorded from the window of a Grandville High School classroom helped investigators determine the fire was sparked by discarded cigarette butts on the balcony of a unit.


It’s unclear whether the smokers responsible for the blaze will face charges.



11.13.15:  17-year-old died following medical emergency



A 17-year-old Wyoming High School student died after having a medical emergency while aboard a school bus.

The student got on a bus after attending classes at the Kent Career Tech Center Thursday and had difficulty breathing.

The student was seen by a nurse at the school and then taken to the hospital where he later died.  The cause was not immediately known and they are waiting on autopsy results.


There is no school Friday at the High School due to professional development and parent/teacher conferences but students may visit the school to speak with counselors if they wish.

11.12.15:  High winds cause scattered power outages in Michigan



-A fast-moving storm system that dropped both snow and rain over portions of the Midwest Wednesday and is now moved east.

The storm dumped more than a foot of snow on the Rockies. 


A high wind warning is in effect until Friday for West Michigan.

This storm system has moved across the country and has resulted in air traffic delays.  If you are interested in a particular flight, you may need to check ahead.


Consumers Energy says over 5,000 were without power earlier this morning.  The strong winds were clocked to be around 50 mph near the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Consumers says they have a new alert system where customers can sign up to receive outage alerts and expected restoration times. There is more information on their new website: new.consumersenergy.com.


The National Weather Service issued gale warnings for the Great Lakes region.

Authorities have shut down the Grand Haven Pier and are urging people to avoid the area.

Flooding is likely from the high waves and Muskegon has closed a section of Beach Street.

11.12.15:  Ex-armored truck worker avoids jail; to pay back stolen cash



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A judge has ordered a former armored truck company worker in western Michigan to pay back $50,000 that was stolen instead of delivered to the firm’s customers.

MLive.com reported Wednesday that 24-year-old Dalton Crawford of Wyoming, near Grand Rapids, pleaded guilty August 27th to embezzlement.

Crawford was sentenced Tuesday in Kent County Circuit Court and agreed to make restitution instead of spending time in jail. The money has to be paid back in three years. Failure to make timely payments could result in jail time.

Federal Armored Truck Company owner Stanton Barr told a judge that the theft was during the summer and was not covered by insurance.

Some of the money was used to buy a car. The newspaper reports that $20,000 already has been paid back.


11.11.15:  Federal holiday to honor U.S. Veterans


Veteran’s Day, originated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.

The day became a national holiday in 1938.

Because today is a federal holiday there will be no mail and most banks will be closed.


Many events across Michigan are planned today to honor veterans.


Members of the Westwood Garden Club worked for years to restore the Veterans’ Memorial at Riverside Cemetery.


Grand Rapids will hold their annual Veterans’ Day Parade at 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Monroe and Michigan and will end at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Fulton Street where there will be a ceremony at the park.


The City of Wyoming will hold its annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony at the Veterans’ Memorial Garden, 2300 DeHoops SW, 6 p.m.


Many businesses are offering deals for giving away meals today to Veterans with proper ID.


SpartanNash says they are giving veterans an 11% discount at their stores and customers can bring in their old American flags to be properly retired.