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Former addicts help church members build a Habitat for Humanity home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Some former drug addicts who are rebuilding their lives are also building a future for a family in Grand Rapids. 

Men from Guiding Light Mission's recovery program joined members of Westminster Presbyterian Church Wednesday to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity.  They spent several  hours hammering together a home on Merrill Southwest. 

Volunteers said they didn't mind Wednesday's rain or high temperatures.  Volunteer Patrick Weber says, "Giving back to the community, it helps a lot. I feel really good about it."

Church member Ron Hoekman says, "It's really a joy to have them working here to be able to work along side them."

The men from Guiding Light Mission have helped with a variety of events and organizations in the past including the Mental Health Foundation and Picnic Pops.

September 01st, 2010 - Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, will celebrate the masterwork of artist Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s foremost artists, with a large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition. “Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden” will feature fourteen monumental glass sculptures in diverse locations across Meijer Gardens. It will be open to the public April 30, 2010 through September 30, 2010. Each of the fifteen sculptures will correspond to the horticultural aspects and natural conditions of each respective location. Chosen sites span the grounds of Meijer Gardens including the English Perennial Garden, Woodland Shade Garden, Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, wetland areas and the 30-acre Sculpture Park. “I’m happy to be coming back to Frederik Meijer Gardens”, said Chihuly.

Scott Group makes rug for the Oval Office in the White House

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- President Obama will address the nation Tuesday night in a televised speech from the Oval Office.  If you watch, you might see a West Michigan company's contribution to the White House. 

The Obama family recently remodeled the Oval Office while they were away on vacation.  The improvements include a new rug made by the Scott Group which is based in Grand Rapids.

Scott Group President Michael Ruggeri says, "It is the rug that adornes the Oval Office which is the premiere address in the United States, if not the world, so for 140 people who got behind this project and were involved in one way shape or form it is an unbelievably gratifying experience."

Designer Mary VanHaaften says, "It is an honor to contribute to part of American History really words cant describe what an honor it is."

Two-time Olympic gold medalist makes stop in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Arguably one of the best women's volleyball players ever made a visit to West Michigan Monday night.

Misty May-Treanor was the special guest of Cornerstone University's Champions of Character fall pre-season kickoff event.

May-Treanor has a decorated volleyball career. She has won 107 tournaments, more than any other female player. Along with partner Kerri Walsh, she also went on to win the gold medal in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games.

Republican strategist loses round in campaign lawsuit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)- A federal judge in Grand Rapids won't stop Michigan from enforcing limits on some campaign donations.

After hearing arguments, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff rejected a request Monday for an injunction in a lawsuit that claims the restrictions are unconstitutional.

Republican political strategist Greg McNeilly says the limits infringe on his free-speech rights. He's challenging the $500 cap for donations to state House candidates and $1,000 cap for state Senate candidates.

The Michigan attorney general's office is defending the state law, which has been around for more than 30 years.

Grand Rapids Diocese kicks off the new school year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- The school year is officially underway for Catholic schools in the Grand Rapids Diocese. 

Over 500 Catholic school employees and pastors gathered Monday for the annual Back to School Kickoff at Cathedral Square.  As part of the event, Bishop Walter Hurley presided over mass at Saint Andrew's Cathedral.  Leaders in the Grand Rapids Diocese say the celebration is another opportunity for school staff to celebrate their Catholic identity. 

There are more than 6,000 students in the 31 Catholic schools that make up the Grand Rapids Diocese.

Some West Michigan veterans want smoking ban changed

Grand Rapids (WZZM)- The state's smoking ban is four months old and some local veterans are fighting to get it changed.  The group says its rights were taken away. 

Monday, during a rally at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, they asked legislators to work with them, to change the new law.  Winter is just around the corner and soon, they will have to go outside to smoke.

"People are going to get hurt.  They're going to slip and fall. Freeze to death out there.  There's going to be pneumonia problems, you name it," says Veteran Randy Fortune.

The group of smokers wants veterans' homes to be exempt from the state's smoking ban.  "I feel like they've come into my house and told me I can't smoke in my own house," says Veteran Charles Smyth.