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My Town GR West: Shaved heads and blood donations add up to $16,000 for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

My Town GR West: Shaved heads and blood donations add up to $16,000 for Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Shaved heads and blood donations are adding up to a big boost for Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The organization today accepted two checks from Blue Care Network, Michigan Blood and Grand Valley State University’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity, totaling more than $16,000.

The $10,000 check from BCN and Michigan Blood comes from LaughFest-related blood drives.  For every person who donated blood, BCN donated money toward LaughFest’s High Five Campaign, which benefits child cancer, grief and emotional support programs provided by Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids.

The second check came from Delta Tau Delta, which raised more than $6,500 through a head-shaving event held after a fraternity member’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

My Town: Great Cloth Diaper Change record attempt April 26

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—West Michigan parents will try to set a new diaper world record this weekend.

The Great Cloth Diaper Change starts at 11 a.m. on April 26 at Cedar Tree Birth and Wellness Center on Cherry Street.  Participating parents will try to break the current Guinness World Record of simultaneous cloth diaper changes- 8,301 diapers changed in 15 countries last year.  This year, 23 countries are expected to take part in the attempt.

This is the fourth year Grand Rapids has taken part in the Great Cloth Diaper Change, which is aimed at raising awareness about the environmental benefits of cloth diapering.  Hop Scotch is teaming up with Grand Rapids-based Smart Bottoms Cloth Diapers to provide additional activities, starting at 10:30 a.m.

Crews block off sinkhole in Grand Rapids


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)— A sinkhole large enough to suck up a car tire has formed on Grand Rapids' northeast side.

The hole at the corner of Carrier Street and North Avenue is about five feet deep.

Workers say sinkholes like it are fairly common this time of year.

Wednesday morning, road crews put barricades around the hole until crews can return to repair it. The intersection remains open. Crews plan to fill the hole by Thursday at the latest.


Multi car crash causes back ups on 131


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A multi-vehicle crash snarled traffic on northbound U.S. 131 between Leonard and Ann Streets Wednesday afternoon.

The crash happened shortly before 12:45 pm. Grand Rapids Police responded. Officers say between five and seven vehicles were involved. No one was seriously injured.

For a time, only one lane of traffic was open.


Developers break ground on Belknap condos


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - A plan to redevelop the Belknap Lookout area of Grand Rapids is moving forward.

Griffin Properties and the Artesian Group broke ground Wednesday morning on the Belknap Lookout Brownstones on Fairview Avenue. The developers have spent more than a decade trying to move their plan forward. This project is one of several developments planned for the neighborhood overlooking downtown.

"The first five condos in these buildings have already been bought," said Angel Gonzalez, president of Artesian Group. "That means we have five new families that are moving to this street in the Belknap neighborhood; that's a big feat."

The condos in this project will cost $185,000-205,000 for a two-bedroom space. If all goes well, the condos will be completed by the beginning of August.


My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A charter school in Kentwood is the top West Michigan school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list of Best High Schools.

The publication recently released its list of the top 500 schools nationally. The rankings are based on the student to teacher ratio, AP course involvement and math and reading proficiency scores.  The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX took the top spot.

In Michigan, 60 schools made the cut, with International Academy in Bloomfield Hills taking the top spot.  Excel Charter Academy-Grand River Prep School in Kentwood ranked second among Michigan schools.  City Middle/High School and Black River Public School were the only other West Michigan schools to crack the top ten.

The list of local schools includes:

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

My Town: State approves three local redevelopment projects

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--  Three development projects in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo are getting state approval.

The Lofts on Michigan, LLC is being awarded a $2.45 million Michigan Community Revitalization Program loan to demolish the vacant building at 740 and 756 Michigan Street to build a four-story mixed use building.  The site’s first floor will be dedicated to commercial/retail businesses; the upper three floors will contain 54 apartments.  The project is expected to generate $15.2 million in investments and 15 permanent jobs.

The City of Grand Rapids is also getting $1.4 million to demolish 12 homes and replace them with four buildings containing 66 apartments.  The 600 Clancy Redevelopment project  will include asbestos abatement, site preparation activities and infrastructure improvements.  The project is expected to create $8 in investments and three full-time jobs.