11.26.14:  W.A.R. items to be sold to help their victims


As you consider the shopping ads for gift buying, one local group hopes you will think about purchasing items from them and in turn help women who have been victimized.

Women At Risk has programs in over 40 countries and their goal is to rescue victimized woman and help them with the healing process.  Part of that process is helping them get back on their feet and empower them to learn a new skill or trade.  Some of those items are then sold.

Jessica Rowland oversees the retail side of the ministry and hopes shoppers may consider them for Christmas gift buying.

They have to local stores.  One in Rockford which is downtown along the river, and the other is along 44th Street just east of the Rivertown Crossings Mall.


More information is available on their website.

Click here  for more information.

11.24.14:  High winds, snow forecast in parts of Michigan


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Forecasters say a cold front moving through the Great Lakes region will bring high winds and lower temperatures to Michigan.


A wind advisory is in effect for much of the Lower Peninsula, with gale warnings issued on the lakes. In southern Michigan, southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph are forecast that could gust to 45 mph. Winds could make driving hazardous and knock out power.


In the northern Lower Peninsula, a weather advisory is in effect from Monday evening through Tuesday evening. Rain will change to snow as temperatures drop below freezing and 2 to 7 inches of snow is possible depending on the location. Travel will be difficult.


In the Upper Peninsula, 4 to 8 inches of snow is forecast. The biggest amounts are possible along Lake Superior.


11.19.14:  Mel Trotter Ministries Turkey Drop today


Mel Trotter Ministries is looking for turkeys.  The ministry in downtown Grand Rapids is collecting donations of frozen turkeys that will be used during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Tim Sweeny says they are hoping to collect some 1,000 birds that will be included in the special food boxes.  The meals will go to families who might otherwise not have a traditional meal during these times when families gather together.

Today’s Turkey Drop will take place from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the turkeys can be dropped off at Celebration North and South locations as well as the 4 Mel Trotter retail stores.  One is located along 28th Street, another in Jenison, as well as in Sparta and Belding.


Click here for more information.

11.19.14:  3 die when van ignores gate, hit by Amtrak train


OSHTEMO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — State police say three people in a minivan were killed when the driver went around vehicles stopped at a railroad crossing in western Michigan and into the path of an Amtrak train.

First Lt. Dale Hinz says the crash happened Tuesday afternoon in Kalamazoo County’s Oshtemo Township, near Kalamazoo.

The crossing gate at 11th Street was down and the lights were flashing.

The crash killed all three people in the van, who are believed to be in their late teens or early 20s. Their identities weren’t immediately released.

The passenger train was traveling about 80 miles per hour.

T the train was eastbound from Chicago to Detroit when the crash happened about 4:15 p.m. No one aboard the train was hurt.


11.18.14:  Severe weather brings Michigan flight cancelations


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Severe weather in Michigan is prompting flight cancelations and delays at Gerald R. Ford International Airport.

At least four flights were cancelled Tuesday morning and three flights had been delayed from departing the Grand Rapids airport.

All arrivals were listed on time. The cancelations and delays come as heavy lake-effect snow hits parts of western and northern Michigan.


11.18.14:  Snow causes problems on roads and delays air traffic


BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Three feet of snow already has fallen in the Buffalo, New York area, forcing the closure of a 105-mile stretch of the state Thruway.

The Thruway Authority says white-out conditions have closed Interstate 90 in both directions from the Rochester area to Dunkirk, on Lake Erie, 35 southwest of Buffalo.

The National Weather Service says the lake-effect storms will last into tomorrow for western New York and areas east of Lake Ontario.


Forecasters say the Great Lakes are a snow magnet today.  The National Weather Service says the Lake Michigan shoreline could get 6 to 16 inches of snow by today while 4 to 18 inches is forecast along Lake Superior.

11.14.14:  Pre-winter storm brings snow, 1 death to Michigan


SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Winter-like weather is holding Michigan in its grip, dumping as much as nine inches of snow in the western Lower Peninsula and causing crashes that shut highways and claimed at least one life.

A 59-year-old woman died Thursday morning in a chain-reaction crash on U.S. 131 in Kalamazoo County’s Schoolcraft Township, south of Constantine. State police identify the victim as Deborah Mead of Constantine.


The National Weather Service reports nine inches of snow fell Thursday at Coopersville and eight inches at Allendale, both in western Michigan’s Ottawa County.

Cold and snow hit lower Michigan one day after a several-day storm brought up to 42.5 inches snow in the Upper Peninsula.

Temperatures Thursday evening ranged from the 20s to near freezing around the state.

11.14.14:  Officials look at green lights for Michigan plows


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Officials in western Michigan are testing green emergency lights for possible use on snow plows as part of an effort to cut down on crashes involving the vehicles.

Jerry Byrne, the Kent County Road Commission’s director of maintenance, says the lights could help increase visibility of snow plows on the road. About six snow plows are rear-ended each year in Kent County alone.


Kent County is currently testing out green lights on one of its pickup trucks. They flash and then change colors to grab drivers’ attention.

Snow plows with green lights have been pioneered in other parts of the country. Ohio started using green lights in recent years, for example. Ohio Department of Transportation spokeswoman Melissa Ayers says officials “have found them to be valuable.”


11.13.14:  Rockford gets 2 bomb threats this week


For two consecutive days, Rockford High School students stayed in their classrooms while law enforcement investigated bomb threats.  The threats were not credible but it prompted some increased security measures.

Wednesday the high school received a phone call saying there was a bomb in the buildings.  That was similar to a call they took the day before.


As a precaution, extra police were on hand this morning and students were only allowed to enter from the front entrance of the school.


The school notified parents yesterday that the district is working with local, state and federal law enforcement to find out who is responsible for the threats and that they are taking extra precautions.



11.12.14:  Diocese of Grand Rapids boosts tuition aid to $1M


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The Diocese of Grand Rapids is boosting the amount of tuition assistance available for Catholic school students from $240,000 to $1 million.


Officials announced the increase Tuesday. Bishop David Walkowiak says he wants more young people to have access to a good education as well as guidance in leadership and integrity.


The diocese launched a three-year marketing campaign in 2013 to expand enrollment.


An aid agency the diocese uses says there has been $1.2 million in unmet need per year after distributing all available tuition assistance. Superintendent of Catholic schools David Faber says officials often hear the schools need to be more affordable.


The school system has about 5,600 students. The average tuition at Catholic Central and West Catholic high schools is about $7,500 before aid.