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Fire destroys vacant home on the city's NE side


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A fire destroyed a vacant home Sunday on the city’s Northeast side.

According to Grand Rapids Fire Battalion Chief Dan Stoddard, the fire started just after 12:30 p.m. The home located on Ford Avenue, near Brenner Street, was under construction. No one was living in it at the time.

Firefighters evacuated a neighboring home out of precaution, but the blaze did not spread.

The fire is still under investigation. No one was injured.

 


Taste of My Town: Green Restaurant


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you're looking for a new you in 2016, a few simple changes to your diet could make a world of difference. But you don't have to sacrifice flavor to feel more healthy.

Places like The Green Restaurant near the corner of the East Beltline and Knapp Street in Grand Rapids could be the perfect solution, if you love to eat out and want to drop a few pounds. The place specializes in grass-fed and organic foods with vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Ed Dobson, former pastor at Calvary Church, dies


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Ed Dobson, the former senior pastor at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids, has passed away.

Dobson, who had been living with ALS for the last several years, died on Dec. 26.

Calvary Church released a statement saying Dobson's funeral is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. in the church sanctuary.

Current senior pastor, Jim Samra, says there is no visitation prior to or reception following the service.


'Snowflake Break' offers fun activities for kids


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- With many West Michigan school districts beginning their Christmas break, parents are looking for things to do while their kids are out of class.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is inviting families to come and make some snow.
Visitors can make their own Egyptian-themed snowflakes while visiting the Discovery of King Tut exhibit.
There are also other crafts they can make during the Public Museum's "Snowflake Break."

The craft workshops is held at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays over the holidays.
The museum will be closed for Christmas and New Year's Day.

For more information, you can visit The Grand Rapids' Public Museum website.


Mel Trotter gives away Christmas food boxes


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's the season of giving and Mel Trotter Ministries is giving back in a big way. On Thursday, they held their annual Christmas food box giveaway. Boxes contained a frozen turkey and all the trimmings of a traditional holiday meal.

In all, Mel Trotter provided about 650 meal boxes to families in need.

The frozen turkeys were donated by the community during the annual Mel Trotter Ministries' Turkey Drop in November.

Mel Trotter provides emergency shelter for men, women and families, food, clothing, free clinics, biblical studies, computer-based learning and work training for adults.

For more information, visit www.meltrotter.org or call (616) 588-8754.


Cancer patient, 5, donates to DeVos Children's Hospital


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It was a very merry Wednesday morning at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital, as Dawson, a 5-year-old cancer patient, and his family dropped off hundreds of gifts for other patients.

The entire Hopkins school district got involved in the toy drive.

They filled up an entire school bus with holiday cheer worth more than $8,000. This is the largest toy donation the hospital has ever received.

It was last year that Dawson was diagnosed with leukemia and although he is in remission, he says his stuffed monkey, Spikey, is what helped him get through some of the rougher nights at the hospital.

That is what lead Dawson to this toy drive. He wanted to bring that same comfort to others.


Manager: Suspect called clerk a terrorist before shooting him


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The manager at a liquor store where a clerk was shot in the face says the victim was called a terrorist shortly before the suspect fired the gun.

It happened around midnight on Sunday at Bottlenecks Food and Drink shop at 2355 Fuller Avenue NE.

The manager at the store says the suspect came in just before they closed and asked the clerk for money. After giving him cash, she says the clerk was ordered into the back room.

While there, she says the suspect put a gun into the victim's mouth and told him he was a terrorist. She says he went on to say that the victim was told that he was involved with ISIS. The clerk was shot in the cheek, suffering non-life-threatening injuries.