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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.


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.

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: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

----NEWS RELEASE---

Feb. 23, 2015-- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today it has recently awarded 28 volunteer grants worth $14,125 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County and the surrounding area to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. 

The foundation awards Volunteer Investment Program grants to encourage and reward volunteerism by those who work or have worked for Consumers Energy.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $10 million in contributions in 2014 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and parent company CMS Energy.

My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year

My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year

---NEWS RELEASE---

The Grand Rapids Police Department is pleased to announce its Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year for 2014. Officer Joshua Mollan and Cynthia Vanderberg were selected from nominations submitted to the Department’s Board of Awards by Service Area, Division, and Unit Commanders.

POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Officer Joshua Mollan