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GRPS Back to School Celebration moved indoors

GRPS Back to School Celebration moved indoors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The wet forecast is forcing the Grand Rapids Public Schools district to move Tuesday's Back to School Celebration indoors.

Instead of John Ball Park, the venue will be City High Middle School on Plainfield Ave. NE.

The celebration offers free food, games, and a chance for parents and students to get their back-to-school questions answered.

"We have informational booths with of our school programs and services. There will be everything from transportation, to food service, early childhood, adult education and everything in between," said district spokesperson John Helmholdt. "So, parents, prospective parents come one and come all."

Helmholdt says last year more than 6,000 people attended the Back-to-School Celebration.

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

My Town: Congressional candidates to hold public forums

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two men running to represent West Michigan in Congress have agreed to hold public forums.

Congressman Justin Amash and his Democratic contender, businessman Bob Goodrich met over coffee in Eastown Aug. 15.  During the brief meeting, both candidates discussed ideas on how best to keep the race for the 3rd Congressional seat civil.

Amash beat East Grand Rapids businessman Brian Ellis by roughly a 14-percent margin during August’s primary. Voters will decide if Amash will continue to represent them during the general election Nov. 4.  The Third Congressional District of Michigan includes the areas of  Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Alpine Township, East Grand Rapids, Belding, Lowell, Plainfield Township, Rockford and Sparta.

Accused robber leaves wallet in car, helps police build case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- An accused robber helped police build the case against him and his accomplice, according to detectives.

GRPD Lt. Pat Merrill tells WZZM 13 that Donald Hale left his wallet in his car when he and Christopher Melton ran from the vehicle as officers chased them from the scene of a home invasion on August 7.

Hale and Melton are accused of entering a home on the 1100 block of Elizabeth Ave. NW and using duct tape to try tying up the woman and her children who live there.

Lt. Merrill says Hale and Melton stole money and valuables before getting into Hale's vehicle and driving away. The woman freed herself from the tape and called 911, telling police about the suspects and their vehicle.

Smooth Sailing for USRowing Championship

GRAND RAPIDS, (WZZM) – Thousands of spectators and competitors filed into Riverside Park Sunday to watch the finale of the 2014 USRowing Masters National Championship.

The third largest regatta in the past 15 years, Grand Rapids played host to almost 1500 athletes from more than 140 national clubs.

"We've gotten a lot of feedback along the line of best ever," said A.J. Dominique, USRowing Manager.

The four day event started Thursday. Grand Rapids Rowing Club played host to the event and its president, Landon Bartley, served as the regatta's liaison. He said since the start of the event, the club has experienced a surge in interest.

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

Seized dogs forfeited to Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A woman charged with animal cruelty/neglect has forfeited 37 dogs seized from her home.

Kent County Animal Control officers took the dogs after serving a warrant to check on the animals in late June. Officers say the dogs showed signs of neglect and illness.

This week, a civil court ruling permanently took the dogs from their previous owner, unless she paid $106,000 to get them back. She did not pay that money before Friday's 4:45pm deadline.

Now, some of the dogs suited for it will be made available for adoption, starting August 22. Others will be held until they're ready for adoption or transferred to other shelters or rescues. The Animal Shelter says people considering adopting these dogs should know the dogs will need ongoing medical care at the adopters' expense.

Firefighters put out flames at northeast GR home


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Firefighters responding to smoke on the 900 block of Prospect Ave. NE in Grand Rapids found a house fire.

They were dispatched shortly before 7 o'clock Friday night. Flames were visible on the back of the house, mainly on the exterior. GRFD personnel on the scene told WZZM 13 the flames did spread to the attic, so they had to cut some holes in the roof and the walls.

Firefighters searched the house, too, and found no one inside.

It took about 10 minutes to bring the fire under control. Firefighters' efforts were complicated slightly by two additions that had been put on the home.

Authorities say they have some indication of what caused the fire, but they're not saying anything about it until their investigation is done. The flames caused moderate damage.