4.26.17:  Crash involving school bus injures 6 elementary students




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Six elementary students in Grand Rapids were hurt after their school bus was struck as it turned in front of an oncoming car.

Grand Rapids police say the bus driver was on Division and trying to make a turn at 8 a.m. Tuesday,  when the car hit the rear of the bus.

There were 55 students on the bus. The injured students ranged in age from 6 to 11 and were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.

The 63-year-old bus driver was not injured but was ticketed for failing to yield on a left turn. The 19-year-old driver of the car was not hurt.

The crash remains under investigation.


4.24.17:  Small plane crash leaves pilot, 3 others hurt




GRANT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Two adults and two children have been injured after a small plane crashed Sunday in western Michigan.

Mason County sheriff’s officials say the Cessna 182G Skylane began to have engine trouble as it was flying from Hessel in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Hastings, southeast of Grand Rapids.

The 39-year-old pilot told deputies that he hit a ditch and the plane flipped over as he attempted an emergency landing late Sunday morning in Grant Township, southwest of Traverse City.

The pilot, his 71-year-old father, 12-year-old son and 12-year-old nephew suffered minor injuries.  3 of the victims were from Caledonia and 1 was from Grandville.


The crash investigation will be turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.


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:  Planning commission rejects Nestle permit for pump station




OSCEOLA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A small community has denied a request for a permit to build a new pumping station by a bottled-water company that wants to pump more groundwater in western Michigan.

The Osceola Township Planning Commission on Tuesday night denied granting Nestle Waters North America the permit for the pipeline booster station at Spring Hill Camp. It’s part of the company’s proposal to withdraw up to 400 gallons per minute from a well in Osceola County.

The commission said it felt Nestle didn’t demonstrate that the proposal had the required public necessity and public convenience for the local permit.

Nestle says it’s disappointed and believes the plan satisfies zoning standards. The decision could be appealed or the request updated.

Nestle’s state permit request on its pumping plans is pending.


4.12.17:  EF-1 tornado with 90 mph winds confirmed in western MI




FREEPORT, Mich. (AP) — The National Weather Service confirms a tornado with peak winds estimated at 90 mph struck western Michigan, snapping dozens of trees and causing significant damage to outbuildings.

It said Tuesday that a damage survey confirmed the EF-1 tornado the previous night carved a path 5.25 miles long and 220 yards wide through southeastern Kent County and southwestern Ionia County. It was on the ground for about five minutes.

No injuries were reported.

Heavy rains across the Lower Peninsula added to flooding problems seen since the weekend.   At least a foot of water on one Grand Rapids roadway, causing cars to stall. A stretch of Interstate 94 in Detroit was open Tuesday after earlier flooding.

Meanwhile, snow in the Upper Peninsula prompted Northern Michigan University to cancel classes Tuesday.


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.


4.10.17:  13 therapy horses dead in suspicious fire near Grand Rapids



LOWELL TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Thirteen horses are dead after a suspicious fire near Grand Rapids.

The fire was reported early Saturday at the Barn for Equine Learning in Kent County’s Lowell Township along Timpson Avenue. Only two of 15 horses survived. The owners say the horses were used as therapy for children and young adults with a variety of special needs.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (616) 632-6125. Deputies have asked a state police fire investigator to inspect the barn after raising many concerns about the nature of the fire.

The owners say they plan to rebuild the barn.


4-7-17 Tree Falls on Car – Injures Two

Two people were taken to a local hospital after a large tree branch fell on their car.  Kalamazoo Public Safety reports the branch fell on the car and covered the entire roadway.

Several nearby citizens tried to move the branch off the car and out of the road in an effort to help those passengers in the car.

Officers report the two inside the car suffered injuries but were conscious when police arrived on scene.  One suffered a minor injury to their hand, the other had to be extricated.  Both were taken to a local hospital and their injuries are described as non-life threatening.