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My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

My Town: 10 ways to protect yourself while shopping

KENTWOOD, Mich.—As the busiest shopping day of the year approaches, police are offering 10 ways to protect yourself and your vehicle from thieves.


Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.) works with Michigan law enforcement agencies to track down suspected car thieves and those suspected of auto theft-related insurance fraud.    Shoppers are encouraged to follow these tips:

Toys for Tots donations arrive at distribution site

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hundreds of toys are ready to find their way under Christmas trees in Grand Rapids.

The Marines and Toys for Tots unloaded the trailer of toys at the distribution site at Saint Peter and Paul Catholic School on Hamilton Ave.

The toys will be distributed Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at Knox Church and the school. Toys for Tots coordinators say they are pleased the community has stepped up to help them meet their need for toys this year.

RELATED: Behind the scenes of the WZZM 13 Toys for Tots School Spirit Challenge

Gunman robs gas station, GRPD investigating

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Police are looking for the gunman who robbed a gas station on the northwest side of Grand Rapids Thursday evening.

The Grand Rapids Police Department tells WZZM 13 the robbery was reported around 9:30pm at the BP gas station at 2035 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, near Covell. A man armed with a pistol robbed the business and fled, running to the north.

Police searched the area with a canine but were unable to locate a suspect.

The suspect is described as a black man, possibly in his 20s, about 5'6" to 5'8" with a thin build, wearing a blue bandana over his face, blue pants, and a dark blue jacket with gray fur.

Anyone with information on the case should call Grand Rapids police at 616-456-3403 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

My Town: Looking for a job? Head to Grand Rapids, survey says

My Town: Looking for a job?  Head to Grand Rapids, survey says

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Grand Rapids is where the jobs will be in 2015, according to survey results published by Forbes.

Every quarter, Manpower surveys employers in each market to determine who will be hiring and who will be firing. The biggest jump in employment is expected to happen in the Cape Coral, Florida area, where 32 percent of surveyed companies said they planned to hire new staff in the first quarter of 2015.  McAllen, Texas ranked second for jobs, with an estimated 29 percent of companies hiring; Grand Rapids tied with Deltona, Florida for third place, with approximately 26 percent of businesses planning to add positions. For the complete rankings, visit Forbes’ website.

Founders Brewing gets Spanish partner

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Founders Brewing now has a foreign investor.

The local craft brewer announced Wednesday morning that they have formed a partnership with Mahou San Miguel, Spain's leading brewing company for 125 years. Mahou will be a minority investor with 30% ownership in the brewery.

Founders owners say that the partnership with Mahou will help Founders grow through Mahou's international distribution network. The company says both Mahou and Founders are focused on long-term strategic growth and that "Founders will remain Founders."

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

My Town: West Michigan home to three of most dangerous Mich. places

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich.—West Michigan is home to three of the 10 most dangerous places in the state, according to Movoto Real Estate.

The company based its rankings on cities with populations of 10,000 or more that also ranked high in murder, violent crimes, property crimes and total crimes, based on the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report.  Flint topped the list, followed by Benton Harbor, Detroit, Highland Park, Muskegon Heights, Harper Woods, Inkster, Flint Township, Ypsilanti and Kalamazoo. Grand Rapids came in at No. 16, Holland ranked 26th,  Walker took 32nd place, Grandville ranked 41st, Norton Shores landed at No. 42, Kalamazoo Township was 45th and Grand Haven came in at No. 50 among the 102 qualified communities.  To see the entire list, visit Movoto’s website here.

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

Kent ISD superintendent announces retirement

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—After more than three decades helping to educate hundreds of thousands of children, the superintendent of Kent Intermediate School District is leaving his post.

Tuesday, Kevin Konarska announced his plans to retire at the end of the school year. Konarska has worked for Kent ISD for nine years, helping the agency navigate through the Great Recession and deep funding cuts by the state, all while opening new education programs and a laboratory school.

"It will be very hard to see Kevin leave," Board President Claudia Bajema said in a news release to WZZM 13. "He has made such a difference in the schools we serve and in the opportunities available to the more than 100,000 students throughout our service region."