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District 9 Big League girls' team advances in regionals

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- State tournaments are well underway for area Little League baseball and softball teams, but the District 9 Big League girls' team already advanced past regionals tonight, beating the team from District 11 in Indiana 10-1.

It was scoreless in the bottom of the first inning when District 9's Danielle Freeman unloaded a two-run homerun into center field to put her team up 2-0.

District 11 challenged the girls in the top of the third inning, scoring a run to make it 2-1. District 9 would give itself some cushion in the bottom of the third however, scoring two more runs and never looking back.

This is familiar territory for District 9. The girls are the defending Big League World Series champions and if they can win another one in Kalamazoo next month, that will make four world championships in five years.







Fire at dance studio caused by gel candle

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM)- A gel candle is likely the cause of a fire that damaged a local dance studio. Now, the owner wants others to be aware of the dangers.

"What happened was, I blew the candle out. We were here for about 1/2 hour after we blew it out. It was still smoldering and I didn't know that," says owner Mark Tetro.

It happened Wednesday night after a photo shoot at the studio. "We lit the candles for affect. So, normally we don't light them."

Tetro went home that night and didn't discover the fire until the next morning. "When I opened the doors, I was overcome by black smoke. I called the fire department."

Thanks to a fire retardant material on the walls, the fire didn't burn through the building. But, there was extensive damage inside the studio. The Wyoming fire investigator says it likely started with the gel candle. The flammable decorative material around it quickly caught on fire.

Building Our Community - Women at Risk

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- The fifth finalist in Erhardt Construction's "Building Our Community" contest is Women at Risk International.

It's located on 44th Street SW between Ivanrest and Bryon Center avenues in Wyoming.

The group provides services and shelter to women and children, while also trying to put an end to human trafficking.

Women at Risk organizers want to renovate the second floor of their 44th Street building, allowing more space for the group's hundreds of volunteers.

"We have over 700 volunteers that come to this building, and put in over 11,000 volunteer hours," says Rebecca McDonald, president of Women at Risk.  "This building can be really busy sometimes. We have 66 staff members at our busiest time of the year, but we may have 50-100 volunteers depending on the time of day.  The use of the space is vital."

Police arrest robbery spree suspect

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Police Department has arrested a suspect in the string of gas station robberies that took place early Thursday morning.

The arrest was made around 4 a.m. today at a house in the 300 block of Spencer Street Northeast.

Police say that the suspect robbed four gas stations and convenience within a three hour span. Three of the robberies took place in Wyoming, one took place in Grand Rapids, and one took place in Walker.

Suspect in 5 armed robberies arrrested

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Police have arrested the man they believe is responsible for five armed robberies at gas stations in Grand Rapids, Wyoming, and Walker. 

They located the suspect in a home in the 300 block of Spencer Street in Grand Rapids.

Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. Thursday, police say one armed man robbed a Marathon gas station and two Speedway gas stations in Wyoming.  Investigators believe the same man may have then robbed the La Familia convenience store in Grand Rapids and an Admiral gas station in Walker. 

Police: One man responsible for 5 armed robberies

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) - Police believe one man is responsible for five armed robberies at gas stations in the Grand Rapids area overnight.  Meanwhile, investigators in Ottawa County are looking for a separate suspect, who robbed a gas station in the Holland area.

Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., police say one armed man robbed a Marathon gas station and two Speedway gas stations.  Investigators believe the same man may have then robbed the La Familia convenience store in Grand Rapids and an Admiral gas station in Walker. 

"It appears he chose quick, convenient locations," says Captain Kim Koster with the Wyoming Police Department.

Just minutes later, a Holland Township Shell gas station was the target of an armed robbery, police say by a different suspect.

"Right now, there is no correlation with the other incidents," says Lieutenant Mark Bennett with the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Five gas stations robbed overnight

WALKER, Mich (WZZM) - Police from several departments are looking for a robber, who hit five gas stations early Thursday morning.

Police say the suspect held up all five stations in a span of three hours from shortly before 2 a.m. until shortly before 5 a.m. He got away with money and cigarettes.

The first three robberies were all in Wyoming. The first one was at a Marathon gas station at 44th and Clyde Park Avenue. The second robbery happened at the Speedway station at 44th and Byron Center Ave. The third robbery was at a Speedway station at 28th Street and Byron Center.

Then the robbery apparently moved into the city of Grand Rapids, where he robbed a Stop and Shop on Grandville Ave.

The fifth robbery happened at the Admiral gas station on Alpine Avenue in Walker. That's where Walker Police spotted the armed robber as they drove by. But, as police approached, the suspect ran away.