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My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

Anticipation runs high as G.R. students return to school


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)—For many children around West Michigan, Tuesday was the first day back in the classroom.

Kids are feeling a lot of anticipation, mostly to reunite with their friends after the long summer break. Harrison Park Elementary will have a few tired students today; one parent says her kids were so excited to get back, they couldn't sleep.

"They were all up, anxious and ready to go. I have an eighth grader and a 10th grader this year, so they were excited, ready to go back and see their friends," said Devin Armstrong.

"I'm happy to make new friends!" added one girl.

Many districts wait until the day after Labor Day to begin school.


New uniform requirement begins at GRPS middle schools


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Summer vacation ends for many West Michigan students Tuesday, and for some children in Grand Rapids, this new school year brings a new requirement.

PHOTO GALLERY: Back to School 2014

Starting September 2, middle school students in Grand Rapids Public Schools must wear school uniforms. The district implemented the plan saying uniforms help increase focus on learning and reduce behavior problems. Officials say it seems to be working.

"We really removed that behavioral issue or bullying issues as it's related to what students are wearing," said GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt. "We saw a significant reduction in that, at least anecdotally, from feedback we got from teachers and support staff in the school."

Man run over after jumping from truck


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Investigators say a man is in critical condition after jumping out of a moving truck, which then ran over him.

It happened around 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Bridge Street near Seward Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.

Officers say the man was getting a ride home when he got into an argument with the driver.

The victim jumped out of the cab, then the truck hit him.

They say the driver did not intend to hit his passenger.


MSP: Trooper ended chase before motorcyclist crashed


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan State Police say the Rockford Post Trooper chasing a motorcyclist Wednesday evening terminated the pursuit before the motorcyclist crashed.

The crash happened on Leonard near Broadway, on the West Side, late in the 9 o'clock hour. Witnesses said the motorcycle had been speeding westbound on Leonard. The rider then crashed with a car waiting to turn onto Broadway. The motorcyclist went flying, according to witnesses, but appeared to be breathing when taken by an ambulance. The car's driver appeared to be fine.

State police say the three-mile chase started on northbound US-131 near Burton, when the Trooper spotted the motorcyclist speeding and initiated a traffic stop. The chase ended after the motorcyclist ran several red lights in heavy traffic. Dispatch later told the Trooper the motorcyclist had crashed.

Kris Spaulding helps Brewery Vivant find a new way of making merry

Kris Spaulding helps Brewery Vivant find a new way of making merry

By Matthew Russell
This article originally appeared in Rapid Growth

It’s not just the regular releases of always-popular beer that Brewery Vivant is now celebrated for, but a renewed commitment to its three tenets—people, profit, and planet—as bolstered by a recent B Corp certification.

My Town: Grand Valley State University among top in the nation

My Town: Grand Valley State University among top in the nation

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)—Grand Rapids is home to one of the Best Master’s Universities, according to Washington Monthly.

The publication recently ranked Grand Valley State University No. 30 in the nation in that category, based on its contribution to the public good.  GVSU ranked No. 32 in the same category last year.  The school took the top spot in the nation in the community service subcategory and 11th in the financial aid support, courses and service staff subcategory.

The rankings are based on civic engagement, research and social mobility.  For the full report, visit the Washington Monthly’s website here.