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Two West MI soldiers injured in Afghanistan

LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - Five Michigan Army National Guard Soldiers were injured Sunday by an explosion in the Kunduz Province of Afghanistan.

The soldiers are part of the 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment based out of Flint.  The Soldiers were posted at an entry control point Sunday when an explosive device was thrown at their location and detonated.

Among the injured are Private 1st Class Jon Brancheau of Wyoming, Specialist Justin Skaggs of Grand Rapids, Jeremiah Eberly of Charlotte, Specialist Michael McNichol of Mt. Pleasant, and Ed Fuentesbueno of Phoenix, Ariz.

The injured soldiers were transported from the incident site to military medical facilities at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for treatment, said Capt. Aaron Jenkins, Director of Public Affairs, Michigan National Guard.

Church finance manager charged with embezzlement

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) The man trusted with watching over the finances of a Kent County church appeared in Wyoming District Court Thursday morning to faces charges of embezzlement. 
 

54-year old James Kulfan is accused of stealing $135,000 from Saint John Vianney Catholic Church. Kulfan turned himself in this morning and was charged with one count of embezzlement of more than $100,000.  Beginning in December of 2009 court documents show Kulfan wrote checks to himself without permission, and also took cash from the church.

The church fired Kulfan as finance manager in December and turned the investigation over to the police. Today he entered a not guilty plea. His bond was reduced to $10,000. He posted the required 10% and was released.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 14th.  He could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Road rage murder suspect called 'quiet and friendly'

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Residents at the Wyoming apartment complex where she stayed with her grandmother say Jeannette Davis is a quiet, friendly neighbor.

"Just nice every time I see her," says neighbor Steve St. Amant, "but sometimes the quiet ones are the ones who explode."

Prosecutors say Jeannette Davis, 24, is a cold-blooded killer who murdered a Grand Rapids man because of road rage. 

She is accused of shooting Lance Byers, 42, last Tuesday morning.

Police say there was a fender-bender between the SUV her brother was driving and Byers' vehicle near the intersection of Layfayette Avenue and State streets.  The men exchanged angry words and Davis, they say, ended the argument with a gunshot.

"We believe Jeannette Davis got out of the vehicle and, without any warning, fired one shot striking Lance Byers," says Grand Rapids Police Chief Kevin Belk.

West Michigan welcomes Leap Day babies

(WZZM)- Leap Day only happens once every four years, and a West Michigan couple will likely never forget this one.

Sarah Kleyn was admitted to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids on Monday. After waiting more than a day, her doctor scheduled a Cesarean section. Kleyn finally gave birth to twins Samuel and Luke Wednesday.

Kleyn says she was surprised when her doctor told her she was having twins.

"[Steven and I] got married in 2000. We tried to have kids for a while and looked into adoption. Then all of a sudden, we got these," she said, indicating the twins. "They are our little blessings from God."

At birth, Samuel weighed 7 lbs., 10 oz.; Luke weighed 8 lbs. 13 oz. The new family is expected to leave the hospital Saturday.

Interestingly, Steven Kleyn says he is a twin himself.

West Michigan is home to many Leap Day babies:

Grand Rapids-Area Charter Schools Named “Schools of Excellence”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The leadership at Knapp Charter Academy, Vanguard Charter Academy and Walker Charter Academy—local tuition-free public charter schools operated by National Heritage Academies—is proud to announce the schools have been named “Schools of Excellence” by the Grand Valley State University Board of Trustees. The “School of Excellence” designation puts these academies in an elite class, declaring their charters are now approved for a 10-year term, rather than a typical 7-year term.

3rd Congressional District Presidential Primary Results

3rd Congressional District Presidential Primary Results

The Presidential Primary Election was held throughout Michigan on Tuesday. In the 3rd Congressional District (includes the cities of Grand Rapids, Ionia, Wyoming, Kentwood, Grandville, and Walker among others), the majority of voters supported Rick Santorum.

The top three candidates were Rick Santorum with 31,990 votes, Mitt Romney with 30,876 votes, and Ron Paul with 7,792 votes.

Full election results can be seen by clicking here.

Power outage in Kent and Ottawa Counties

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Thousands of people in the Grand Rapids, Grandville, Wyoming, and Jenison areas woke up without electricity Wednesday morning.

As of 6:45 am, Consumers Energy reports about 5,000 customers without power in the Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Grandville, and Jenison areas.

Initially, 11,000 customers were without power. But, Consumers crews were able to restore power to nearly 7,000 customers near Burlingame and 36th Street.

Consumers says the outage is due to a problem with a large power line in the Grandville/Wyoming area. They do not think it is weather related. Workers are investigating the cause of the outage and trying to restore the remaining power. Consumers expects the rest of the electricity to be back on by about 8 am.