10.31.14:  Aquinas College dedicates athletic building


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Aquinas College has opened a 70,000-square-foot athletic building that includes a 200-meter indoor track and turf field in Grand Rapids.


The building was dedicated Thursday. It completes the college’s $14 million athletic complex, which also includes a fitness center that opened in 2010.


Alumnus Greg Alksnis and his family donated $1.5 million to the latest project. It includes athletic space for all the college’s 25 varsity teams as well as intramural teams. It also has rooms for academic classes.


Local elementary schools will use the space in the winter.


10.30.14:  Kelloggsville High School students make threat


Wyoming Police are investigating a threatening statement reportedly made by a couple of Kelloggsville High School students.

Witnesses say a female student told a classmate that she and another student were planning to harm other students during a school assembly and that there was a list of intended targets.

No evidence was found that would indicate the pair planned to carry out the threat.


The Wyoming Public Safety Department still is taking the situation seriously.  No word yet on the consequences for the two students.

10.29.14:  Grand Rapids adjusts odd/even parking rules


The City of Grand Rapids is making changes to the odd/even parking rules for several of their narrow streets.

Instead of drivers keeping track of the date,  and which side of the street to park on, these 19 streets will allow for parking on only one side during the winter months.

The side selected for restricted parking will vary among the streets identified due to factors such as fire hydrant access and driveway spacing.

New parking restriction signs will be installed within the coming weeks.


The City is partnering with the neighborhood associations covering the streets identified to ensure neighbors are informed of the new changes.  Prior to enforcement staring, the City of Grand Rapids Police Department , will issue a warning notice for first-time violators.  Vehicles will be ticketed or towed, if necessary, for repeat offenders.


The new parking restrictions go into effect Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014.

10.29.14:  Grant will allow local school to get free iPads


Students at Grand Rapids’ Burton Elementary School will be getting free iPads.

The school is one of 2 schools in Michigan to receive a grant from Apple that will supply each student and their teachers with iPads.

The grant is part of Apple’s $100 million ConnectED commitment.


Apple selected schools for the grant based on need and focused on the schools in communities where more than 96% of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunches.  More than 85% of the student body is Latino and the new technology will provide ways to improve communication between teachers and parents.


Apple will begin rolling out the new technology to schools in early 2015.

10.27.14:  Deadly weekend on West Michigan roads


-2 Barry County woman died during a weekend rollover crash near Alto.  The victims have been identified as Hazel Scobey and Lois Peterson, both of Middleville.

The accident took place at 64th and Pratt Lake Avenue Saturday afternoon.  Deputies say the van that the two were in,  failed to yield and they were broadsided by a pickup truck.


-A fatal accident in Ottawa County claimed the life of Renee Stanford.

The 42-year-old woman was involved in a 2-car crash early Sunday morning in Jamestown Township at the corner of Riley and 32nd Avenue.  She was not wearing her seatbelt at the time and was ejected.


-Wyoming Police say Leighton Doyle was fatally hit by a vehicle Friday night.

The teen, also known as Zack Gray, had finished work around 9:30 p.m. and was trying to cross 54th Street in the dark, when he was struck by a pickup truck.

His funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon at Hope Lutheran Church.

10.21.14:  Grand Rapids Community College plans buyouts


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids Community College plans to offer buyouts to some faculty and staff as part of an effort that could save $5 million over the next decade.


The offers seek to trim expenses because of declining enrollment.


School President Steven Ender says any money that the school can save “without having to take a hard look at programs, the better we like that scenario.”


The college’s Board of Trustees approved the buyout offers on Monday night. The college estimates the buyouts would generate $1.3 million in savings over three years if 15 faculty and 10 staff members take them.


The plans come as the college is projecting a budget deficit of between $2 million and $5 million for the 2015-16 school year.


10.20.14:  Art expert unexpectedly dies


One of the art experts that was invited to take part in the judging of ArtPrize this year has suddenly died.


Susan Sollins led the ArtPrize Juried Grand Prize panel of jurors this year.


She died just days after the prize was awarded in Grand Rapids.


No specific cause of death was given.

10.20.14:  Man dies in house fire in western Michigan


HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — A 29-year-old man has died in the first fatal fire at a Holland house since 1996.


The cause still is being investigated, although the fire appears to have started in the back of the two-story home along West 13th Street early Saturday in western Michigan.


The victim was identified as Jeremiah Donald Smith. Fire Lieutenant Andy Stokes says three other people inside the house survived, including a toddler.

10.17.14:  Public input for future of Grand Rapids


The city of Grand Rapids wants to know your ideas for future planning and will hold an Open House today from 4-8 p.m. at 50 Louis Street.


The public will be asked to provide input on how they would like to see Grand Rapids develop in the future.


Mayor George Heartwell said this planning process allows city leaders to think about the future and examine such areas as economic development, education , housing, transportation and the Grand River.