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Grove of trees planted, dedicated to Mayor Heartwell

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Supporters of Grand Rapids parks Thursday dedicated a grove of trees to Mayor George Heartwell, who is leaving office at the end of the year.

Heartwell has been a backer of efforts to maintain and add to the city's urban forest.

Thursaday, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks planted a new grove of trees at Lookout Park on Fairview NE.

Volunteers began planting the trees at 9:30 a.m. and held a dedication ceremony at 11 a.m.

Two arrested for Grand Rapids armed robberies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The two men arrested in connection with a pair of robberies on the north side of the city have been arraigned.

Eric Deshawn Flowers (left), 27, was charged with multiple armed robbery counts and felony firearm. He faces a mandatory 25 years to life in prison. Flowers' bond was set at $500,000.

Antonio Joseph Cepeda-Mulholland (right), 24, was charged with multiple armed robbery counts. He could serve up to a life sentence. His bond is set for $300,000.

A preliminary exam for both is scheduled for Nov. 5.

The first robbery happened around 8:15 p.m. Sunday at Ron's Quick Stop on Bridge Street NW near Lincoln Park. One man entered the building with a gun and left with property from the store.

The second hold-up happened at a Subway restaurant on Plainfield Avenue NE around 8:45 p.m. Again, one man entered the business.

616 Lofts to hold open house at Medical Mile development

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Developers of an upscale apartment building in Grand Rapids are getting ready for their first renters.

There's an open house planned this weekend for 616 Lofts on the corner of Michigan and Eastern. The $22-million development is accepting applications and deposits for future renters. The new building offers 54 market-rate apartments.

Renters will begin moving in by the beginning of January.

Carly Glanzman Chosen as Physical Education Teacher of the Year

Carly Glanzman Chosen as Physical Education Teacher of the Year

Carly Glanzman has been chosen as the 2015 SHAPE Michigan Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Board of Directors of the Society of Health and Education Educators.

Working on her eleveth year as a physical education teacher at Kenowa Hills, Glanzman provides students with a nurturing, positive & safe learning experience. She is also a mentor for other physical education specialist and an alumni, guest speaker for GVSU to name a few.

Bagger Dave's opens East Beltline location

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Restaurant chain Bagger Dave's has a new location open on the East Beltline, located at Knapp's Crossing.

The 4,400-square foot tavern features an outdoor patio, as well as a full bar serving Michigan craft beers.

To celebrate the opening, the restaurant gave away free burgers for a year to the first 50 customers.


Local veteran receives Purple Heart for wartime service

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Retired Army Specialist Samuel N. Andres received six medals, including the Purple Heart, at a ceremony at Kent County Veterans Services on Wednesday.

Spc. Andres is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

The medals were presented by Rep. Justin Amash.

According to a press release, on Friday, September 13, 1968, Andres and his four-man squad were attacked while on night patrol south of Pleiku. Over the course of the nearly hour-long firefight, Andres was struck by two bullets, sustaining injuries to his right leg.

On the request and with the assistance of Andres's family, including his wife Mary, the United States Army approved Spc. Andres's medals, including the Purple Heart, in May 2015.

Alpine Ave. "road diet" discussed at public meeting

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Alpine Avenue is one of the busiest roads in West Michigan.

Monday night, local leaders showed a plan that will give the road a major facelift. A new road project coming next year would cut down those lanes from four to two.

Grand Rapids wants to resurface the stretch of Alpine between Richmond and Ann. Leaders also want to add bike lanes and one center turn lane.

This "road diet" is similar to what the city did on Plainfield Avenue.

Leaders say the plan makes the road safer, but businesses on Alpine are concerned about their bottom line.

The project would cost about $360,000.