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Man gets 5 to 15 years for fatal fight fueled by alcohol

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The apparent victor in an alcohol-fueled fight at Ann Street Park last fall apologized for his actions Monday, saying the death of 56-year-old Joseph Herbert Chenier, "will stay with me the rest of my life.''

David Wayne Dugas admitted to scuffling with Chenier at the mothballed city park last fall; the victim's body was found Sept. 25 by construction workers removing an old bathroom at the dilapidated park west of the Grand River near the northbound U.S. 131 ramp.

Dugas appeared for sentencing today before Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Quist. Dugas took exception to a pre-sentence report that indicated he had no remorse.

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Independence Day message from your American Legion Clubs

Independence Day message from your American Legion Clubs

Happy Independence Day


This message is from your local American Legion Clubs all over our Nation:


We, as Americans, are blessed to live in the “Home of the Brave.” Join us this Independence Day in celebrating the freedoms we hold so dear, while thanking the brave men and women who fought at home and abroad, and their families who sacrificed along with them, to allow us this privilege.

On Independence Day and every day, display your American flag prominently and your American Legion Auxiliary membership proudly to spread your passion and dedication to our nation’s veterans and to the best and largest women’s patriotic service organization in the world!

May God bless America and each one of you. Happy Independence Day!

Beer, Bands and BBQ start the Celebration July 3rd in Grandville for the 4th of July

Beer, Bands and BBQ start the Celebration July 3rd in Grandville for the 4th of July

July 3rd starts the celebration for the 4th of July in Grandville, MI when the 2nd Annual Beer, Band and BBQ kicks off in downtown Grandville, near the Library parking lot from 4:00 – 11:00pm.

People of all ages are welcome to join in with the live music and dinner served from 4:00 – 8:00pm with a variety of BBQ food items from $2.00 - $10.00. The live music will continue until 11:00pm but you must be 21 years of age to be in the Beer Tent after 8:00pm. Feel free to bring along a lawn chair to sit around the outside of the tent.

A variety of beer, wine coolers and Osgood Brewing will offer Sol Seeker and Journey. One hundred 2015 Beer, Band and BBQ decorative mugs will be sold for $5.00. VFW Post 702 will have flags and jewelry available for small donations for the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

Medical Mile could see $50M housing, business development

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A $50 million housing and business development is in the works along the Medical Mile near downtown Grand Rapids, developers tell WZZM 13.

The project is planned to include business space, along with 287 apartment units and parking on the roof of the building. That housing will target professionals working on Medical Mile.

It would replace 16 houses and a commercial building near Grand and Benson avenues.

The city Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the project on July 9. The developer, RISE Real Estate, hopes to begin work by October.

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City manager expects 'huge payoff' with return of police academy

City manager expects 'huge payoff' with return of police academy

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—Grand Rapids Police are hoping to inspire a new generation of officers by bringing back their youth police academy.

The police department announced the return of the program in February. The first session begins June 22; the second program starts on July 20. The academies are open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Kent County area who might be interested in a career in law enforcement.

"Our hope and our belief is some number of years down the line, this is going to have a huge payoff," says City Manager Greg Sundstrom.

For more information, visit the Grand Rapids Police Department's website.


Veterans home's restored amphitheater dedicated

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It was a proud day Tuesday at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, with the dedication of the restored amphitheater.

The old one was crumbling from years of wear and tear, and it was becoming dangerous to use.

It's officially named after Gerald Antor, who used to live there. Kent County Commissioner Tom Antor is his son.

"The fact they dedicated it to my father was just icing on the cake and nice of the veteran's home," Tom Antor said. "Truly, what this is about is for veterans being able to come out here and give them something to look forward too: concerts all year round."

Money for the new facility was raised during the inaugural Freedom Cruise last year.

Work took six months to complete and came in under budget.

G.R. foresters removing trees with emerald ash borer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids crews are taking down ash trees along Fuller Avenue near Three Mile Road on the city's northeast side.

Those trees are infested with the emerald ash borer.

Foresters say around 3,600 ash trees on city property are now beyond saving.

The bugs have killed more than 30 million trees in Michigan since arriving from Asia in 2002. They tunnel beneath the bark, starting with the upper branches.

Foresters say Grand Rapids will spend at least $600,000 to remove infested trees in the next few years. A third of them will be removed this year.