12.8.16:  FBI man shoots at Police officer




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A lawyer for an FBI agent arrested in Michigan for firing his gun at a police officer says the agent was feeling paranoid and only vaguely recalls what happened. No one was injured in the shooting Tuesday outside the Planet Fitness in Grand Rapids, and Ruben Hernandez was quickly arrested. Authorities say Hernandez, of Las Vegas, was in Michigan for an investigation. He was arraigned Wednesday on charges including assault.

12.6.16:  Trump ‘thank-you’ tour heads to Grand rapids on Friday




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — President-elect Donald J. Trump will visit Grand Rapids on Friday as part of his “thank you” tour of states that contributed to his victory.

Transition officials announced the Michigan visit Monday on a call with reporters. The rally will be held at 7 p.m at the DeltaPlex Arena.


Tickets to the event are available on a first come-first serve basis at https://www.donaldjtrump.com/schedule/register/grand-rapids-mi4/ .


The rally was announced as Michigan, responding to a federal court order, began its recount of the presidential race that Trump won narrowly over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Michigan’s appeals court will hear arguments Tuesday on a Trump request to halt the recount.

Trump ended his presidential campaign in the early morning hours of Election Day with a rally at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.


12.6.16:  Grand Rapids Police Officer shot at




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a man fired a gun at a police sergeant who was responding to calls to police at a fitness club in western Michigan.


No injuries were reported in the early Tuesday shooting at Planet Fitness near Centerpointe Mall outside Grand Rapids and police say the 35-year-old man who fired the shot was quickly arrested in the parking lot.


Police had responded to 911 calls that the man was seen brandishing a gun inside the fitness club. The police sergeant tried to make contact with the man when he was fired upon. No shots were fired by police. The shooting is under investigation.


12-05-16 Local Ministries Team Up for Christmas


Degage Ministries and Mel Trotter are teaming up to help homeless residents be a blessing this Christmas.  Over the next few weeks, the two are partnering to open a special Christmas Store in downtown Grand Rapids.


The store, located at the SE corner of Cherry and Division, just across the street from Degage’s facility (200 South Division), will stock various gift items for sale to local residents who wish to buy gifts for a friend or family member.


Both Degage and Mel Trotter are collecting the items and accepting donations through a special “Wish List” created on Amazon.com.


Degage-Mel Trotter Wish List


People can purchase a chosen item and it will be credited to the agencies, who will then make it available for purchase at the store location in the downtown store.


Degage Ministry’s Marge Palmerlee believes the partnership “will have a greater impact in the Heartside community.”


Part of that is assisting residents with participating in what has become a tradition of gift giving.  Helping people to purchase new and special items during this time of the year supports their dignity, participate in the celebration, and experience the joy of giving gifts away to someone else.


The store will be open for one day only on December 14.

12.5.16:  More flights between Grand Rapids and Washington


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nonstop service from the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) will begin in Grand Rapids in April of next year.

American Airlines announced the service today, which will be operated by American Eagle. The service begins on April 4, 2017 – just in time for Spring Break – and will feature 12 weekly round trips. Tickets are on sale beginning today.

“Nonstop service to Reagan National Airport has been a target market of ours, and we are happy to have this route added for both our leisure and business travelers headed to the Washington, D.C. area,” said Gerald R. Ford International Airport Interim President & CEO Phil Johnson. “We are confident that our West Michigan community will support this service as we continue to expand our route map with American Airlines.”

The flight schedule for the new service includes departure times from Grand Rapids twice daily at 7:20 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and one daily departure at 9:40 a.m. on Saturdays. Service departing DCA and returning to GRR is twice daily at 10:00 a.m. and 5:45 p.m. Sunday through Friday, with a 4:00 p.m. daily departure time on Saturdays.

American Airlines has served Gerald R. Ford International Airport passengers for over 25 years, and also has nonstop service to Chicago-O’Hare, Dallas Fort Worth, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.

11.25.16:  Man living in shanty gets new home in Grand Rapids area




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A homeless man who was ordered to tear down a shanty in the Grand Rapids area has found a new home — with a piano.

John Foster Bentley tells WOOD-TV  that he’s been “overwhelmed” by the kindness of others. A business owner, Mike Rose, heard about Bentley’s ordeal and said he could live in one of his rental homes in exchange for fixing it up.

Bentley built a shanty on public land in Wyoming, a Grand Rapids suburb. He was ordered to tear it down by Thanksgiving. Bentley got offers of food and shelter after the TV station reported about the order.

The 53-year-old says he’s a former factory worker who doesn’t have a job.


11.25.16:  Man fatally shot by officer in Holland




HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — The Ottawa County sheriff says an officer fatally shot a man in Holland.

Sheriff Steve Kempker says the shooting happened at about 8 p.m. Wednesday north of Holland.

The sheriff says the man was a white male in his 40s and authorities believe he lived in the Beeline Apartments. No other details have been released.

A witness to the shooting said the officer repeatedly told the man to drop a gun before firing.


11.21.16:  Truckers credited with rescue after Michigan tanker crash




SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Several truck drivers are credited with helping to rescue the driver of a gasoline tanker that crashed and burned in southwestern Michigan.

South Haven Emergency Services responded to the crash about 3:15 a.m. on Monday on a ramp from Interstate 196 in the South Haven area. Authorities say truck drivers who stopped pulled the injured driver away from the tanker truck as it burned.

The injured driver was taken to a hospital, but his condition wasn’t immediately known.

Northbound I-196 was closed for several hours as the tanker burned. Traffic on southbound I-196 continued during the fire.


11.21.16:  Area groups providing Thanksgiving meals for those in need


Some area free Thanksgiving meals being served include:


-Degage Ministries, G.R. : 5-8pm

– Holland Mission @ DeVos Fieldhouse:   start serving at 6pm


Thursday /Thanksgiving

-Mel Trotter Ministries @ DeVos Place, G.R. : 11-1

-Greenstreet Church , Hastings:  1-3

-Kalamazoo Gospel Mission: start serving at 4



11.18.16:  Man attacks cab driver




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A cab driver of East African descent has been beaten in western Michigan by a man who allegedly yelled “Trump” during the attack.


Grand Rapids police say Thursday that the man was arrested after the Saturday morning attack and later made discriminatory comments about the cab driver’s race.

It was not clear if the man has been charged.


The Grand Rapids attack is being investigated as possible ethnic intimidation. The cab driver suffered face and head injuries.

Police say the man got into the cab with five women but wanted to be dropped off at another location. The driver said he was attacked after telling the man it would cost more.