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Residential parking permits coming to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Residential parking permits are commonplace in large cities; now they're coming to Grand Rapids on a limited level.

Neighbors of the Belknap Lookout region will have them at a cost of $30 for a year; permits in Ann Arbor are $50 a year.

Residents living in the area voted on the idea and approved it by a 60 percent margin. They have grown frustrated with being unable to find parking near their homes and apartments. In recent years there has been a huge influx of cars parking in the area: students and employees from GVSU, MSU, and Spectrum Health.

City Manager Greg Sundstrom noted Tuesday morning, "This is not a money maker for the city. Not only are we not imposing this, but we are losing money."

My Town: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new taphouse

My Town: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new taphouse

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The owners of a new tap house taking shape on the East Beltline has a name.

RedWater Restaurant Group will call its newest restaurant “Gravity”, based off the brewing term defining the alcohol level of a particular craft beer.  The restaurant is taking shape at the site of the former Malarky’s restaurant, which closed after its owners announced plans to retire.  Construction on Gravity began late last month.

MORE: Grand Rapids Township restaurant to become new tap house

Get Fit: The basics of rowing

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - Four WZZM 13 team members have taken on a new Get Fit challenge. They are giving rowing a try, but there's a competitive element to this particular activity.

Jennifer Pascua and Alana Nehring, also known as Team Eats, have challenged Valerie Lego and producer Erin Zacek, also known as Team Crossfit, to a rowing race. First, they must train together with the help of Elizabeth Embick, a Learn to Row coach with the Grand Rapids Rowing Association.

The first outing with Elizabeth focused on what they need to learn before they get into the water.

"There's lots of parts of the boat and parts of the oar," said Embick. "Often in rowboats, you have a coxswain who gives calls and the whole crew has to follow those instructions. So crew members need to know what those mean."

Toddler wandering overnight reunited with family

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Police say they've reunited a mom with her toddler, who was found wandering in a northeast Grand Rapids neighborhood.

A passerby called police around 1:50 a.m. Thursday, reporting seeing the 20-month-old boy in his pajamas, walking near Fernando Street and North Avenue NE. Officers arrived and began searching for the boy's parents.

Around 2:45 a.m., a woman called 911 saying her son was missing from their home on Maude Avenue, around the corner from where the boy was found.

Investigators say the toddler apparently managed to get out through an unlocked screen door while the family was sleeping.

The boy was not injured, and police say there were no signs he was abused or neglected.

12 year old shot in the jaw

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police say a 14-year-old boy was holding a gun when it fired and hit his 12-year-old brother.

It happened just after 1:00 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 1000 block of Houseman NE, off Diamond Avenue.

Police say they were initially called to the home for a reported drive-by shooting. Investigators later learned the older boy made up the story.

Officers say it appears the brothers were handling the handgun in the basement of the home when it went off. The 12 year old was hit in the jaw by a bullet fragment. He is expected to recover.

Police also say the gun was stolen in 2010.

The 14 year old was arrested and taken to Kent County Juvenile Detention. He faces several charges, including false report of a felony.

Police say the boys' parents were not at home at the time.

Tree branch crushes car, injures driver

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A teenage driver suffered an arm injury after a large tree branch landed on her car Tuesday afternoon.

The accident happened around 3 o'clock on Diamond Ave. near Race St.

The driver,Najee Billups, is a recent high school graduate. She was trapped inside the car until first responders arrived to help.

We talked to her grandfather Elmore Alexander. He says if the car was just a few inches in another direction Najee could have been more seriously hurt, "She was shook up but she was okay."

When the branch fell it pierced the windshield and hit Najee's arm. Kimberly Warner was on scene soon after the accident, "She was bleeding and we saw a neighbor lady running over with some towels and some water."

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   A Grand Rapids woman who pioneered a program to help feed children in need is earning recognition from the state.

On June 30, Mary K. Hoodhood accepted the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism.  The award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Service Awards, honoring an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to their community. 

In 1980, a vehicle accident put Hoodhood in a wheelchair, but also started her on a path to volunteering, which began with the Meals on Wheels program at God’s Kitchen.  In 2001, she founded Kids' Food Basket to combat childhood hunger.  The program started by providing evening meals to 125 children at three Grand Rapids public schools; now 5,700 children at 32 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming rely on it, as well as 600 kids at two Muskegon schools.