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Grand Rapids Film Festival expands this year

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Film Festival is welcoming the expanding movie biz to West Michigan with an expansion of its own.

This year the festival will feature 58 films, opposed to 39 from last year. This year the festival will last 5 days, opposed to 3 days from last year.

There will also be a host of pannels and events, including the preimere of the West Michigan filmed "The Genesis Code," which is open to the public Wednesday night.

The festival is is being held at Celebration Cinema North from Wednesday until Sunday. Tickets are $8 for the public.

To find a schedule of events and movie times, visit GRFilmFestival.com.

Two teenagers die after crash in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Two teenagers who crashed a stolen car in Grand Rapids have both died from their injuries.  Police say on August 14th Philip Patterson, 16, and 17-year old James Bartee stole a car on High Street.

After a police chase, they crashed into a tree near Caulfield and B Street.  Both went to the hospital with critical injuries. 

Police say Bartee died on the 18th from a head injury.  Patterson died two days later from multiple injuries.

Local woman gets thousands involved in community art project

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WZZM) -- ArtPrize is still a month away but one local artist has already started to share her work. It's a community art project that will more than a thousand people will participate in. Tuesday, some Grand Rapids Public School students got a chance to add their touch.

"We are a venue this year as well and to be an actual part of an ArtPrize exhibit is just so exciting for the kids and for me, said Mary Geeting, Art Teacher at Coit Creative Art Academy.

Garden Tour is this week in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- A local food group is looking to inspire conversation and healthier lifestyles with a look at urban gardens. 

Our Kitchen Table is hosting its third annual Garden Tour in Grand Rapids this week.  Participants go on a walking tour of individual and neighborhood gardens. 

If you have a garden in Grand Rapids and would like to become part of the tour call (616) 719-9779.

Vehicle thefts on the rise in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- There is a warning out for drivers in West Michigan; don't leave your cars unlocked.  Grand Rapids Police say auto thefts are on the rise in 2010.

On Wednesday afternoon investigators showed the news media just how easy it was to find targets at a downtown parking lot.  "The interesting thing about this car is, it's open," says Lt. Ralph Mason.

Auto thefts had been on the decline for the past 14 years.  "But, for the first six months of this year, the thefts have gone up 26.6%.  We're not exactly sure why," says Sgt. Stan Lis.

The other problem is drivers leaving valuables inside their vehicles.  Items like iPods, computers, and GPS systems are common stolen items.  "Someone will grab a rock.  Anything to break the window, get in the car and steal whatever they can. And they're gone," says Mason.

Residents in area hit by 'suspicious fires' terrified of possible arsons

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- Residents living in the general Ridgmoor Neighborhood area are living in fear.

Investigators are calling the fires "suspicious," residents are calling the fires arson.

"It just doesn't seem like a coincidence," said neighbor Edlonda Ulsh who lives next door to the most recent fire.  "This is my home, everything that I've put my heart and soul into.  In an instant, it could have been gone."

For about a month, there have been six fires started in the garages of homes on the line between Grand Rapids and Kentwood.

"You're not really safe in your own neighborhood," said neighbor Rodell Beasley.  "People are losing their property, people are getting fed up over it."

The fires are concentrated in neighborhoods generally north of 28th Street, in an area between East Paris and Breton Ave. Firefighters are called to the scene at times between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Residents in area hit by 'suspicious fires' terrified of possible arsons

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- Residents living in the general Ridgmoor Neighborhood area are living in fear.

Investigators are calling the fires "suspicious," residents are calling the fires arson.

"It just doesn't seem like a coincidence," said neighbor Edlonda Ulsh who lives next door to the most recent fire.  "This is my home, everything that I've put my heart and soul into.  In an instant, it could have been gone."

For about a month, there have been six fires started in the garages of homes on the line between Grand Rapids and Kentwood.

"You're not really safe in your own neighborhood," said neighbor Rodell Beasley.  "People are losing their property, people are getting fed up over it."

The fires are concentrated in neighborhoods generally north of 28th Street, in an area between East Paris and Breton Ave. Firefighters are called to the scene at times between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.