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My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

My Town: 7 tips to protect your home from spring break predators

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—With spring break fast approaching, many West Michigan families are fine-tuning their travel plans—and so are thieves.

Most West Michigan schools will be out of session April 3-10, so families can take a vacation.  East Grand Rapids Public Safety Director Mark Herald says this is the time homeowners need to step up safety measures.  Herald shares seven ways to make your home less attractive to thieves:

Community Sponsors

Kent Co. to open new veterans services offices

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County's new veterans services office opens Friday. On Thursday, the county gave tours of the new facility at 836 Fuller, just north of I-196.

The new location provides on-site parking, including handicap spaces just steps from the main entry.

It should make it easier for veterans to have access to the services the county offers, says Kent County Veterans Services manager Carrie Roy.

"I'm so grateful that we have a location now with easy access for our older veterans, and for all of our veterans who may have difficulty navigating the downtown area," Roy said. "It's so much easier."

Kent County voters approved a millage last fall that generated $1 million for veterans services. That money can be used for increased outreach and emergency services, as well as helping veterans with benefit claims.

My Town: Kent County Health Department introduces new spokesperson

My Town: Kent County Health Department introduces new spokesperson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Kent County Health Department has a new spokesperson.

WOOD TV 8 reporter Steve Kelso will take over as marketing and communications manager for the agency beginning April 6.  Kelso has worked at WOOD TV8 for 15 years as a reporter, assignment editor and chief photographer.

“Steve has an impressive resume, including two decades of experience covering the news in our region,” said Adam London, Kent County Administrative Health Officer. “I am confident that he will help take our communications and public information to an even higher level. He is a great storyteller and will be a great asset to public health.”

GR leaders approve seeking grant for river development

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids City Commission is moving forward with a plan to open up a major portion of the land next to the Grand River as a park.

Tuesday night, the commissioners unanimously approved the decision to apply for a DNR trust fund grant. The grant, if awarded, would fund most of the purchase of land on the west side of Monroe Ave. north of the I-196 overpass.

The development would provide access to the river for recreation and control flooding.

Community Sponsors

Volunteer registration opens for LPGA event

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Golf season is right around the corner and volunteer registration is now open for the LPGA stop in Grand Rapids.

The Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will be held at Blythefield Country Club from July 20-26. More than 700 people volunteered in the inaugural event in 2014. More than 800 are hoped for in 2015. Volunteers are needed to be marshals, standard bearers, media assistants and drivers.

The volunteer fee is $55 and includes two golf tournament shirts, a tournament hat, weeklong tournament access and parking, four weekly grounds tickets for guests, an invitation to a volunteer appreciation party, and meals and beverages during assigned shifts.

To volunteer, register at meijerlpgaclassic.com/volunteers .

Man leaves shoes behind in getaway attempt

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Police say a man spotted going through backyards in northwest Grand Rapids literally ran out of his shoes trying to get away from officers.

Dispatchers received a call around 12:15 a.m. Tuesday from a woman who reported hearing a gunshot near her home on Quarry Avenue near Leonard Street. The first officer to arrive spotted a man running away through the woman's backyard.

More police soon arrived to begin searching for the man. They soon found he had left behind his shoes while trying to get away.

Investigators say they found the man around 12:45 a.m. at a home near the corner of Turner Avenue and Crosby Street NW. Officers did not find a gun on the man, and spent much of the night searching the neighborhood.

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.