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My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

KENT COUNTY, Mich.--- The Kent Intermediate School District is throwing its support behind a sales tax hike to fix Michigan’s roads and provide additional funding for schools and local governments.

Thursday, March 19, the Kent ISD Board approved a resolution in support of Proposal 1, which will be on the May 5 ballot.  In the resolution, the Board said Michigan ranks last in the nation in transportation spending per person.  The Board also noted money being siphoned from the School Aid Fund to higher education, since the previous sales tax proposal generating funding for schools did not include colleges and universities.

Friends hold candlelight vigil for student killed in crash


WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Friends of a Byron Center High School student killed in a crash last week held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night in her honor.

Victoria Garraus, 17, died Friday night in a crash on Wilson near 92nd Ave. Garraus's passenger says Garraus swerved to avoid a pothole and hit a tree. Investigators say they believe speed was a factor in the crash and that the pothole wouldn't have been likely to have caused much damage.

The vigil was held at 10 o'clock in front of the Wyoming Gordman's store.


Fox Powersports to build new facility in Wyoming


WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM)— Seven acres lining a busy Wyoming intersection are about to be transformed.

Wednesday, the Wyoming Planning Commission unanimously approved plans by Fox Powersports to build a new dealership at the corner of Clyde Park Avenue and 44th Street. The 56,300 square-foot superstore will showcase more than a dozen brands of motorcycles, scooters, snowmobiles, watercraft, ATVs and UTVs. The store will also feature a café and coffee bar with outdoor patio areas for events. Fox Powersports also plans to sell or lease two lots along the street.

The company plans to move its two other stores in Grand Rapids and Kentwood into the new space. Fox Powersports expects to add jobs as soon as the new superstore is complete in early 2016. Construction on the dealership is expected to begin sometime this year.

My Town: Huntington bank expands to Meijer stores

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A new bank is moving into Meijer stores across the area.

Huntington Bank is partnering with the retailer to open 43 branches within Meijer stores, a dozen of which are in the greater Grand Rapids area.  The bank says the deal will create 250 jobs within the state and make Huntington the third largest bank branch network in the state.  Huntington says the partnership will bring its company workforce up to 2,300 people.

The announcement comes months after Chase began notifying customers it is closing its Meijer store branches.  A spokesman for Meijer told WZZM 13 “circumstances have changed and we mutually agreed to end the relationship.”

Huntington’s new Meijer branch locations will include Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Greenville, Ionia, Jenison, Lowell, Muskegon, Portage, and Wyoming.

Former GRPD cop bound over on 3 rape charges


WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) - A former Grand Rapids police officer on Wednesday was bound over on four felony charges; if convicted, Ryan Bruggink could spend the rest of his life in prison.

In district court, a former girlfriend of the Byron Center man testified he raped her at her home, as her seven-month-old infant lay nearby on the same bed. The woman said Bruggink also assaulted her on a couch after forcing his way into her home last November.

She said in testimony that she "was afraid that he was gonna fall on the baby, or if I started pushing him off he would fall on the baby, so I told him 'let's go in the other room.'"

She said she had not been dating Bruggink for months when he came to her home that night. She said he raped her at knifepoint.

Asked by the prosecutor if she called police after the attack, the alleged victim said, "No, I was scared to call the police."

"Why?"

Second-graders learn about TV news


WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- A group of Wyoming students on Tuesday got a behind-the-scenes look into the TV news business.

WZZM 13 weekend anchor Amir Abbas and producer Erin Zacek spoke to the second-grade class at West Godwin Elementary school.

Both Amir and Erin explained their duties and responsibilities as journalists. Then, the students got the chance to read a news story out loud.

Their presentation was part of National Reading Month.


Red Cross Reminder: Check smoke alarms when clocks spring forward

Red Cross Reminder: Check smoke alarms when clocks spring forward

---NEWS RELEASE--

Daylight Saving Time, the weekend of March 7-8, when everyone turns their clocks ahead, the American Red Cross reminds them to also take these steps to make sure their household is prepared for emergencies.

The Red Cross and the Muskegon Heights Fire Department have formed a partnership for preparedness and prevention to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed. On March 7-8 teams will be canvassing Muskegon Heights neighborhoods from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.  Please contact (231) 733-8893 to schedule a home visit.

“It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready,” said La Forice Nealy, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Region. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take these steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.”