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Dryer fire at laundromat prompts neighboring sports bar's evacuation


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A laundromat fire forced the evacuation of a nearby sports bar Tuesday night in Grand Rapids.

The fire started in one of the dryers at Hillside Coin Laundry on Leonard Street near Diamond. Someone doing laundry left while their clothes were in a dryer. When they came back, that dryer was on fire.

The flames spread into the walls of the building, but firefighters were able to quickly knock it down.

Vitale's Sports Bar, which is in the same building, was evacuated while crews were on scene.

No one was hurt.


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Mixed winter weather challenges drivers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It was a great day for drivers to avoid hills.

At Leonard near Perkins on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, plenty of people on Tuesday regretted not buying new tires this season.

Some who got stuck turned around and changed direction. Others wouldn't give up, even if it meant putting themselves at risk by getting out and trying to push vehicles through or shovel them out.

See more in the video above.


My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

---NEWS RELEASE—

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

My Town: Michigan Community Dental Clinics celebrates South Clinic expansion

My Town: Michigan Community Dental Clinics celebrates South Clinic expansion

---NEWS RELEASE---

Michigan Community Dental Clinic’s South Clinic location is expanding, thanks to a donation from the Delta Dental Foundation. The Kent County Board of Commissioners [recently] approved accepting a donation of more than $66,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation to purchase two more dental chairs. South Clinic also added another dentist to their team in January 2015. This expansion and adding an oral surgeon underscores the need for Medicaid dental services for many residents in Kent County.

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ABC & Disney team up with First Book for Magic of Storytelling


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - ABC is teaming up with the nonprofit First Book, whose mission is to provide disadvantaged kids with new books.

The campaign is called the Magic of Storytelling. As part of the initiative, Disney is pledging to donate up to a million new books. On Monday, some members of the WZZM 13 team read to students at East Leonard Elementary School. A thousand books will be distributed to the school later this month.

"The work starts now," says GRPS Assistant Superintendent Carolyn Evans. "We will distribute the books, and our kids can enjoy the books first, work on fluency, and then we will be sending the books home so that our students can continue to read over the summer."

My Town: Aquinas College receives college prep grant for GRPS students

My Town: Aquinas College receives college prep grant for GRPS students

---NEWS RELEASE--

Aquinas College has been selected as the recipient of a $25,000 grant from the Douglas and Maria DeVos Foundation. The Believe to Become Summer Learning Academy grant will fund the AQ College Prep Academy, a summer dual-enrollment college prep experience for high school students in Grand Rapids Public Schools.

“We appreciate the Foundation's confidence in Aquinas,” said Dean of Curriculum Kathy Kremer, Ph.D. “Completing college courses and prep activities on our campus over the summer will set the students up for success in higher education.”

Energy Efficiency Rebate Presented to City of Grand Rapids

Energy Efficiency Rebate Presented to City of Grand Rapids

---NEWS RELEASE---

The City of Grand Rapids is saving energy and money for its residents with improvements to its water pumping facility, resulting in a more than $147,100 energy efficiency incentive payment from Consumers Energy.

Mayor George Heartwell and city administrators recently received a $147,172.08 rebate check from Consumers Energy representatives during a presentation at Grand Rapids City Hall.

“The city and its residents have greatly benefitted from these energy efficiency programs,” Heartwell said. “With this most recent project, the city has received more than $430,000 in energy efficiency rebates from Consumers Energy since 2009,” Heartwell said. “The city’s focus on sustainability and energy efficiency has resulted in programs completed or underway saving nearly 6 million kilowatt hours of electricity. These important programs are saving energy and money for the citizens of Grand Rapids.”