Local News Archives

MI Treasury Warns Of Phone Scam

Michigan taxpayers are being warned not to fall for the latest phone scam. The Michigan Treasury Department’s Danelle Gittus says, in this case, the calls are being received from a legitimate Grand Rapids-area Treasury phone number, which has apparently been cloned by the scammers. The caller tells the would-be victim that they owe back taxes, and then demands immediate payment or the victim faces arrest. Gittus says falling for it just means getting ripped off.. ...Read Full Story

Detroit Zoo Elephants Immortalized In New Book

A new children’s book immortalizes Wanda and Winky, former Detroit Zoo elephants who moved to California to live out their final years. The Detroit Free Press reports that retired Walled Lake school district teacher and library media specialist Linda McLean, who lives in Commerce
Township, and illustrator Susan VanDeventer Warner of Walled Lake collaborated on the book, “Wanda and Winky.” A book launch is planned Friday in West Bloomfield Township. The aging elephants were moved in 2005 from the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak to the Performing Animal Welfare Society sanctuary in northern California. They had health problems, including arthritis, that were aggravated by Michigan’s climate
and the limitations of their zoo accommodations. Wanda was euthanized in 2015 because of arthritis and foot problems. Winky died in 2008.. ...Read Full Story

Activists Rally To Call For Higher Minimum Wage

Representatives of the country’s nearly 64 million workers who are paid less than $15 per hour are in Richmond, Virginia, are in Virginia this weekend to collaborate on their demand for better wages. A contingent from Michigan plans to take part in a march and rally, as well. Pastor W.J. Rideout, of All God’s People’s Church in Detroit, says fast-food and retail corporations make huge profits, but often don’t pay their workers enough to cover such basic needs.. ...Read Full Story

Critter Barn Celebrates New Home

The Critter Barn in west Michigan has celebrated its new 27-acre territory. The attraction on Friday planted a sign and introduced crew members, volunteers, and families. Critter Barn capital campaign manager Val Vail-Shirey says the 26-year-old barn has expanded to a farm.. ...Read Full Story

Storms Cause Damage Around West Michigan

A severe storm has damaged at least one house and a barn and left hundreds of western Michigan homes without power. WOOD-TV reports that a tree hit a Saugatuck Township home Friday and a barn roof collapsed. Outages were reported in Ottawa, Allegan, Kalamazoo and Kent counties. A flood watch was issued for 11 counties. Temperatures were in the high 80s in Grand Rapids and at similar levels elsewhere in the southern Lower Peninsula. Grand Rapids Community College canceled classes in its Ford Fieldhouse due to high temperatures. School spokeswoman Leah Nixon tells The Grand Rapids Press that when the indoor temperature at the Fieldhouse exceeds 100 degrees it’s closed because there’s no air conditioning in the building. The facility, built in 1976, houses courses including exercise science.. ...Read Full Story

Recounts To Be Held In Some Benton Twp Primaries

Berrien County election officials are waiting for approval from the state to hold recounts in some Benton Township primaries that were held earlier this month. The clerk’s office tells us Joseph Taylor and Willie Dortch, who ran in the Democratic primary for supervisor, have both asked for the absentee votes to be recounted. Dortch also wants all of the ballots, in general, recounted. Joseph and Dortch lost to Kevin White in that primary. Meanwhile, in the Democratic primary for clerk, Barbara Meeks wants a recount of the absentee votes. She lost to Carolyn Phillips. The Berrien County Clerk’s office is waiting for clearance from the state to move forward with the recount. The county board of canvassers would do the counting. The county is expected to hear back from the state on August 24.. ...Read Full Story

Muskegon Officer Shoots, Wounds Teen

Authorities in western Michigan say an officer shot and wounded a 15-year-old girl who was trying to attack a 16-year-old boy with a knife.
Muskegon police say in a release that the girl “aggressively continued the confrontation attempting to attack the male and was subsequently shot in the lower leg by the officer.” The shooting occurred after officers responded Friday afternoon to a domestic dispute in an apartment. Police Chief Jeffrey Lewis earlier told The Muskegon Chronicle that the officer “was involved in the domestic in progress.” The girl was being treated at a hospital for injuries that are not considered life-threatening. Her name was not released. No other injuries were reported. The officer will be placed on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by the state police.. ...Read Full Story

Heartland Film Festival Announces New President

The Heartland Film Festival has named a veteran of festivals in California and Thailand as its new president. Heartland said in a news release Friday that Craig Prater will take over leadership of the Indianapolis festival as it prepares for this year’s event. The festival will be October 20-30. Heartland Film board Chair Gary D. Cohen said Prater brings great experience but also an understanding of the festival’s Midwestern roots and mission. Heartland focuses on movies that provide inspiration or a message as well as entertainment. Prater once was been director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival and co-founded the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. Later he was recruited to be director of the Bangkok International Film Festival.. ...Read Full Story

Grand Rapids Community College Cancels Some Classes Due To Heat

Grand Rapids Community College has canceled classes in its Ford Fieldhouse due to high temperatures. Leah Nixon, director of communications for the school, tells The Grand Rapids Press that when the indoor temperature at the Fieldhouse exceeds 100 degrees it’s closed because there’s no air conditioning in the building. Grand Rapids Community College lobbied state lawmakers unsuccessfully this year for $4.25 million to help address the lack of air conditioning, classroom space and other needs at the Ford Fieldhouse. The facility, built in 1976, houses courses including exercise science. Temperatures were in the high 80s in Grand Rapids on Friday and at similar levels elsewhere in the southern Lower Peninsula.
The Holland Sentinel reports that tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings have been issued for parts of western Michigan.. ...Read Full Story