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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.

GRPD: Reported sexual assault under investigation


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police seek help while they investigate a weekend sexual assault.

The incident happened around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 13, in the area of Plainfield Avenue and Rupert Street NE, according to a Grand Rapids Police Department news release.

Police describe the suspect as a white male, about 5-foot 8-inches tall with a slim build, aged 20-40 years. He was wearing a dark coat, with the lower half of his face covered by a dark scarf.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616-456-3400. Silent Observer can be reached at 616-774-2345 or silentobserver.org.


Grand Rapids store clerk robbed, shot in face


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are searching for the man who shot a Grand Rapids store clerk in the face and robbed the store.

It happened just after midnight at Bottlenecks Food and Drink Shop on Fuller Avenue. Officers say the suspect came into the store with a gun, pointed it at the 34-year-old clerk's face, and demanded money. After making a statement, the suspect shot the clerk in the cheek and took off with an unknown amount of money.

The clerk was taken to the hospital with a non-life threatening injury.

Police are still looking for the suspect. He is described as a black male, around 6 feet tall. He was wearing a black mask, a black hooded sweatshirt, a quilted flannel shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information should call 456-3400 or Silent Observer at 774-2345 or visit www.silentobserver.org.