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Bank robbery suspect walks away with cash

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police say a man with a gun held up the Fifth Third Bank branch in Wyoming Thursday.

It happened around 1:55 p.m. Thursday at the Fifth Third Bank in the 1000 block of Chicago Dr. SW.

The man showed the gun to tellers, demanded money, then walked away from the bank.  No one was injured.

Police are releasing a preliminary description of the suspect: a black man, 6'0" - 6'2", and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored pants.

Wyoming investigators plan to release surveillance photos or videos after they've reviewed the images.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Wyoming Police at (616) 530-7300, or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.

Grand Rapids Parade of Homes opens Friday

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) - The newest in home design will be available for all to see in the Grand Rapids area starting Friday, May 25th. The Grand Rapids Parade of Homes has 63 houses on tour this year, and eight conceptual houses to view online only.

You'll find homes ranging from $100,000 to $1 million in 17 communities.

"A lot of the new construction this year we've seen has been in the $200,000 and $300,000 on average," said Emily Siebert, Executive Officer of the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids.

Siebert says most of the new development is in Byron Center, Ada and Cascade Township.

Sable Homes has a house in the parade in Wyoming listed for about $240,000.

Sable Homes President John Bitely says people are willing to spend more on the little things this year compared to last year.

Tax credits to help create 600 local jobs

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Up to 600 new jobs are coming to West Michigan.

Wednesday the state announced more than $2.5 million in tax credits for Amway, Center Manufacturing, and MedDirect. In turn, the companies are planning to invest $84 million into their expansions.

MedDirect plans to open a new facility in Grand Rapids, creating 300 jobs.

Amway will build a new plant at its Spaulding Avenue location to manufacture Nutrilite products. The expansion in Ada will create about 200 jobs. Construction will begin later this year. The plant will be up and running by late 2014.

Center Manufacturing is expanding its Byron Center headquarters, adding 100 jobs over the next three years.

Fencing's popularity pointing up in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Don't call it a comeback.  Fencing has been here for years.

Close to 3,000 years, actually.  But it's growing in popularity in now, thanks to the West Michigan Fencing Academy.

Head coach Mike Nemecek welcomes a full house to his academy, located on the southwest side of Grand Rapids, each week.

Kids, teenagers and adults are all suiting up with armour to enjoy a sport that's origin dates back to ancient Egypt.  

But why?

"Just the idea of wielding a sword," says Nemecek.  "When I first tried to get into it years ago, I wanted to do it because I wanted to sword fight."

Wielding a sword got him started, what got him to stay involved a whole lot more.

"You can have fun on the surface and stay there forever," Nemecek says. 

"The more you learn, the more you realize you don't know.  It's always like evolving so you have to learn new stuff."

Former colleague to Schmidt: "Man-up"

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A former colleague of State Rep. Roy Schmidt is urging the lawmaker to "Man-up and stop this nonsense."  

Rick Tormala, who served with Schmidt on Grand Rapids' non-partisan city commission, made the plea in an email sent to Schmidt and media outlets Wednesday.  

The note reads:

Roy,

We have known each other for a long time and I know there is good in you.

Don't throw the Mojzak kid under the bus. Man-up and stop this nonsense. Tell the truth, apologize and either step down or announce you are no longer a candidate for office and let the GOP run a write in too.

Do it for the sake of your district, your family, all who have been hurt by this and to regain part of your own honor. It's the right thing to do and you know it.

Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Teen Poetry Contest Winners

Word Wise, KDL’s ninth annual teen poetry contest, is in the books, and it was once again a huge success thanks to all the great teen poets out there.  This year we had about 200 entries that our staff had a great time reviewing.  Once we narrowed down the entries, our judge selected 7 winners and 1 honorable mention.  Check back here in the next week or so and we will have a PDF prepared of the winning poems.  Congratulations to the winning poets!

Winners:

Falling Tears by Jana Swanson

The Lost Years by Marissa Sterzick

I Learned About the Trinity Today by Patricia Schlutt

Love is… by Mollie Stahl

Sisterhood by Katja McBane

The Children are Playing by Kara Montgomery

Placenta by Emily Post

Honorable Mention:

Love Letter to Helios by Jill Nelson

Hair raising event at Vanguard Academy

WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM)- On Wednesday more than 20 students will cut their hair for Locks of Love.

It's all part of the Vanguard Charter Academy's hair raising event. Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that collects donated hair to make free wigs for those experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment or other illnesses.

Five local stylists will be at Vanguard Academy to cut the girls and boys' hair.

The event will run from 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.