3.27.15:  Businesses join Start Garden to boost interactive technology


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Six businesses are joining western Michigan entrepreneur Rick DeVos’ Start Garden venture capital effort to help boost the development of new interactive technologies.

Those involved announced Thursday that Amway, Faurecia, Meijer, Spectrum Health and Priority Health are part of the Seamless Coalition and the Seamless Accelerator. They say the next generation of interactive technologies and connected products will be big business.

The Seamless Accelerator program will provide enterprises with access to emerging technologies and businesses as well as give startups access to ideas and funding. It will include a three-month program. Start Garden will host activity at its 16,000-square-foot site.

Start Garden began in 2012, investing in potential ideas, projects and startup businesses. Seamless Accelerator is a member of TechStars Global Accelerator Network.

3.26.15:  West Michigan woman convicted in bacon-less burger shooting


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan woman has been convicted on weapons charges for shooting at a McDonald’s restaurant after workers twice failed to put bacon on her burgers.

Authorities say 30-year-old Shaneka Torres became angry in February 2014 when the first burger she ordered at the restaurant’s drive-up station was missing bacon. She was offered a free meal, but bacon also wasn’t added to a second burger order.

Police say she fired a shot through the restaurant. No one was injured.

A Kent County Circuit Court jury found her guilty Wednesday of carrying a concealed weapon, shooting at a building and possession of a firearm while committing a felony. Her sentencing is April 21, and she faces a minimum of two years’ in prison.

3.25.15:  West Michigan County votes to keep sign with Bible verse


GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Commissioners in a western Michigan county have given final approval to the reinstallation of a park sign that quotes the Bible.

The sign from the 1960s carries an excerpt from Psalm 19. It was removed in December from Hager Park in Ottawa County’s Georgetown Township after complaints that public property was being used to promote religion.

The Michigan Association of Civil Rights Activists has threatened legal action.

The sign has the words, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork.”

The county commissioners tentatively approved the restoration in January and gave it final approval Tuesday. The commission voted to place the sign in a new location within the park.

The sign was installed in 1967 in the 104-acre park, just west of Grand Rapids.

3.25.15:  Grand Rapids asks for Army Corps help to keep out lampreys


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Grand Rapids officials are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to spend about $10 million for a new barrier to keep invasive sea lampreys from moving up the Grand River.


The new barrier would take over the function of blocking the lampreys’ spread after the planned demolition of a dam as part of an effort to restore the rapids that give the city its name.


The Grand Rapids City Commission voted Tuesday to direct City Manager Greg Sundstrom to apply for inclusion in the Army Corps’ Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration program. The program also is working on a sea lamprey trap in the Muskegon River.


Corps spokeswoman Lynn Rose says the proposal “sounds like a good candidate” for the program.

3.23.15:  Grant Me Hope works to find homes for older children


HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) — An organization started by a Fillmore Township couple aims to find homes for older children in need of adoptions.

Grant Me Hope started in September because of the difficulty in finding families to take in older children.

Grant Me Hope works with Pathways MI, which acts as a trustee for funds it raises. It has produced several videos featuring adoptable, older children.

The children are interviewed and taped with the permission of the Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange.

A new child is featured each week. Grant Me Hope also is branching out to find homes for children in the metro Detroit area.


3.18.15:  Bomb Squad responds to the airport in Grand Rapids


Grand Rapids, MI -  The Gerald R. Ford International Airport terminal building received a bomb threat shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Appropriate precautions were made and following a search, no threat was found.

The West Michigan Aviation Academy and all affected tenant and airlines were notified.

All flight operations are running as normal.


3.17.15:  Airport will add more winter parking


The Gerald R. Ford International Airport continues to see record passengers and that has prompted the airport to expand their parking facilities.

Construction on the parking deck roof is underway.  There is a projected finish date of November, 2015.


Currently the airport is forced to close the 4th level of the parking deck in the winter months because of the snow.

A fourth level roof will open up over 11-hundred additional covered parking spaces for those visiting the airport.

3.17.15:  GRCC prices increase for various programs


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – (Mlive)– In an effort to balance its budget, Grand Rapids Community College is implementing big price hikes for its nursing, dental and culinary arts programs.

New students in dental and culinary will pay $140 per contact hour, while those going into nursing will pay $178 per contact hour. That’s up from the college’s base tuition rate of $106 per contact hour.

The tuition increases, which go into effect this fall, were approved Monday by the college’s board of trustees.

Board members said tuition increases are never easy to approve, but are needed to balance the college’s budget.

More cuts are needed due to declining enrollment.


3.17.15:   GRCC hosts Spring Job Fair from 9-1


The Grand Rapids Community college Spring Job Fair takes place today, Tuesday, March 17th, from 9am – 1p.m.

The Job Fair will be held on campus at the Applied Technology Center.

Some 60 companies will be represented with 1,000 jobs being offered.

Students, alumni, and community members are encouraged to attend.



3.16.15:  Authorities rescue 3 cross country runners from island


TALLMADGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities rescued three Grand Valley State University cross country runners who were caught on an island in rising waters along the Grand River.

The rescue happened Sunday afternoon in Ottawa County’s Tallmadge Township. Authorities say a 19-year-old man was treated for hypothermia at a hospital while men ages 19 and 20 were treated at the scene.

Authorities say the men had left earlier in the day for a run on hilly trails in a low-lying area. On their return trip they found that the river had risen, covering the trail. The 19-year-old fell through ice up to his neck while trying to get off the island.

The men used cellphones to call 911 for help. They were rescued near a bridge.