8.23.16:  Lightning-Fatal



PRESQUE ISLE, Mich. (AP) — A 21-year-old Grand Rapids woman who was spending the summer with her grandparents has died after being hit by lightning in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Alyson Knenlein was struck Friday and found near the Grand Lake beach house in Presque Isle County, north of Alpena.

The Alpena News says Knenlein was working as a lifeguard at Grand Lake for the Presque Isle Harbor Association. East Grand Lake Fire Chief Ron Fournier says conditions were stormy at the time of the lightning strike.


8.23.16:  Officials investigating methane gas migration at landfill



KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) — Officials have started investigating ways to resolve the migration of methane gas from a closed landfill near Grand Rapids in western Michigan.

Public Works officials in Kent County say Monday in a release that tests at the landfill in Kentwood found methane underground at various depths to the west of the site.

Methane naturally forms in landfills. County health officials say the gas dissipates quickly when exposed to air, but can be flammable in closed spaces.

Public Works Director Dar Baas says an engineering consultant will be hired.

Kentwood city officials also will install additional gas detection equipment within buildings near the landfill and portable testing equipment is being used to test air quality.

A public question and answer session will be held Aug. 31 at Kentwood City Hall.


8.21.16:  West Michigan cleans up after severe storm moves through



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Severe weather has slammed parts of western and southwestern Michigan as storms moved northeast across the state.

National Weather Service meteorologist T.J. Turnage says Saturday that officials have seen “indications of tornadoes on radar, and very good indications they have occurred and debris lifted up with them.”

Turnage said parts of Allegan and Kent counties, and the outskirts of Grand Rapids saw some of the worst weather.

Tornado and thunderstorm warnings were issued. No injuries have been reported.

Andy Bloos tells The Grand Rapids Press that he could feel his house shaking.

Some power lines trees were knocked down Saturday afternoon. More than 20,000 utility customers in several counties lost power.

The weather service says storms also are expected into Saturday evening across parts of the central Lower Peninsula.


8.19.16:  Police find person who hit bicyclist



CANNON TOWNSHIP, MI –(Mlive)–Charles Driggers, 66, was hit from behind as he rode his bicycle along Cannonsburg Road Wednesday evening.  The driver then left the scene.

He was airlifted to Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital with  spinal damage and other injuries.

Kent County sheriff’s deputies say they arrested the suspected driver Thursday, Aug. 18, a day after the collision on the heavily traveled road in Cannon Township.

Kent County Jail records show the driver is a 49-year-old man. It’s not clear how police tracked down the driver.

Driggers was training for a triathlon coming up in Wisconsin, riding a bicycle west on Cannonsburg Road near Chauncey Drive NE, when he was struck from behind by a white passenger vehicle.



The bicyclist had been riding west on Cannonsburg, on the shoulder of the road.






8.18.16:  Bicyclist in critical condition after being hit north of G.R.



CANNON TOWNSHIP, MI (Mlive)– Police are looking for a vehicle that struck a bicyclist on Cannonsburg Road, then left the scene.

Kent County sheriff’s deputies said the bicyclist was traveling west about 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17 when a vehicle approached from behind and struck the person.

The crash happened near Chauncey Drive NE.

Aero Med helicopter was called to the scene and transported the bicyclist to Spectrum Health Butterworth hospital.

Aero Med medical personnel indicated the cyclist had been unresponsive for a period after the collision.

Police have not yet released any details about the vehicle involved in the crash.

8.18.16:  School at Grand Rapids Public Museum opening after overhaul



GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A new school is opening at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, capping off more than $4.5 million in renovations at the museum.

A ribbon-cutting event is planned Thursday.

Work on the museum’s fourth floor included the relocation of administrative offices, new classroom space that will eventually serve 180 students in grades 6-8 and open space for special projects.

The space was designed to enhance Museum School’s instructional model, which incorporates museum exhibits and material from museum archives.

The project is phase one of a $14.5 million investment the Grand Rapids Public Schools district is making for the Grand Rapids Public Museum School. Also planned are renovations to the museum’s original facility for a high school with grades 9-12.


8.18.16:  Searchers find body of 2nd boater after Lake Michigan search



GOLDEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say searchers have found the body of a second boater who died after he and another man apparently jumped into Lake Michigan from a boat to retrieve a fishing net.

The Oceana County sheriff’s office says 62-year-old Steve Bruce of Hart jumped into the water Sunday night near Little Sable Point in western Michigan and was followed by 53-year-old Brian Waslusky.

Waslusky was pronounced dead after being pulled from the lake. Crews searched for Bruce this week and his body was found Wednesday. The Ludington Daily News says an autopsy is planned.

A third angler, Russell Pierce, remained on the boat.


8.18.16:  Gentex to hold Job Fair



Gentex is holding a Job Fair today,  August 18, 6am – 6pm , at CitySide Middle School in Zeeland.

The school is located at 320 E Main Ave, Zeeland, MI.

The company  is hiring for 2nd and 3rd shift openings.

Those who attend will get a chance to apply and meet with HR staff.  They will conduct walk-in interviews and résumés will be collected.


More information can be found at: gentex.com.

8.17.16:  Warning issued for Kalamazoo River after wastewater overflow



KALAMAZOO, Mich. (AP) — Officials are warning people to avoid a roughly 5-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River after heavy rains led to the overflow of more than 570,000 gallons of partially treated wastewater.

The city of Kalamazoo says the overflow happened Tuesday as heavy rains moved across the state, causing flooding.

Department of Public Services Director James Baker says  that extra water flowed into a water treatment plant. He says two pumps were working, but an error in the system meant that it didn’t alert staff that a third pump should be operating.

Baker says the water went through nearly all the treatment processes, except chlorination and filtering.

City and county officials are advising people and pets to avoid contact around the affected areas, including parts of the Kalamazoo River.


8.16.16:  GRCC board sorts through applications

GRAND RAPIDS, MI -(Mlive) –  There is no shortage of candidates applying to become the next president of Grand Rapids Community College.

Preston Pulliams, president of the search firm Gold Hill Associates, told the Board of Trustees on Monday, Aug 15, there were 30 applicants, plus another six sitting college presidents who might be applying.

“To have 30 applicants at this point is a good sign that we should have a strong pool of candidates,” said Pulliams, about the Sept. 15 deadline to apply.

“Of those 30, we have five or six that I would say would be competitive. I’m getting a lot of calls about the search.”

GRCC President Steven Ender, who began his tenure in 2009, announced in March his plans to retire when his current contract ends on June 30, 2017. The goal is to interview finalists over three days beginning Nov. 15 and then name the next president.