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Driver accused of hitting young sledder enters plea

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident near Richmond Park in late January entered a no-contest plea Wednesday.

Kevin Witte was charged with leaving the scene of a serious injury accident. Authorities say he was driving the car that slammed into four-year-old Gabriel Castillo, who was sledding and accidentally veered into the street.

Castillo suffered a broken collar bone, broken ribs, and a concussion. He was released from the hospital and is making a full recovery.

The no-contest plea allows Witte to avoid a trial.

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

My Town: 'Battle of the Buildings' underway in West Michigan

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich.— A ‘Battle of the Buildings’ is underway in West Michigan, and the winner gets to keep more of their money.

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan says more than 14 Grand Rapids area businesses have signed up for the competition to reduce energy usage.  Participants include Steelcase and Spectrum Health, JSJ Corporation in Grand Haven; Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Steelcase in Kentwood; The Grand Rapids Art Museum; Kent Intermediate School District; Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park; Aquinas College; Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo; the Muskegon County Hall of Justice and Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming.

This is the second year for the Battle of the Buildings.  For more information, including how to sign up your business, visit the campaign website here.

My Town: Huntington bank expands to Meijer stores

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—A new bank is moving into Meijer stores across the area.

Huntington Bank is partnering with the retailer to open 43 branches within Meijer stores, a dozen of which are in the greater Grand Rapids area.  The bank says the deal will create 250 jobs within the state and make Huntington the third largest bank branch network in the state.  Huntington says the partnership will bring its company workforce up to 2,300 people.

The announcement comes months after Chase began notifying customers it is closing its Meijer store branches.  A spokesman for Meijer told WZZM 13 “circumstances have changed and we mutually agreed to end the relationship.”

Huntington’s new Meijer branch locations will include Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Grandville, Greenville, Ionia, Jenison, Lowell, Muskegon, Portage, and Wyoming.

GRPS seeks mentors for "Grade School to Grad School"

GRPS seeks mentors for "Grade School to Grad School"

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Public Schools district is looking for mentors to help young African-American boys succeed in the classroom through a program called "Grade School to Grad School."

District leaders say African-American males are chronically absent more than the overall student body, at a rate of 21 percent compared to 32 percent. When it comes to suspensions, there's also a gap. African-American boys are suspended twice as much.

The hope is this program will match mentors with boys to help them stay on track, according to GRPS assistant superintendent Larry Johnson.

"We're asking people to donate their time, but more importantly to be accessible to these young people, not just for a year or two but throughout their academic and their college years," Johnson said.

Jezebel Sauce with Corned Beef - The Best

Jezebel Sauce with Corned Beef - The Best

Last St. Patrick's Day I made Jezebel Sauce for the first time, as recommended by Penzy's Spices. Everyone loved it and I found out later that it is good on several meat and cheese sandwiches. Easy to make and it keeps for a long time in the refrigerator. Give it a try!                 

Jezebel Sauce

  1. 8oz. jar of Pineapple Preserves
  2. 6 oz.  Dijon Mustard
  3. 6oz.   Horseradish
  4. ½ teaspoon Ginger (optional)


Mix all the above together in a jar. Shake until well mixed and store in the fridge.

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan raises awareness through random acts of kindness

The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan raises awareness through random acts of kindness

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day that is officially observed by the United Nations and will be celebrated on Saturday, March 21, 2015. WDSD was established to help raise awareness of exactly what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how those with Down syndrome are an important part of our communities.

To celebrate, the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan will be committing random acts of kindness on March 21 in three West Michigan communities:  Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo.  Random acts of kindness are selfless actions performed with the intention of assisting or lifting the spirits of a stranger.  Some examples include paying for someone’s fuel at a gas station, baking cookies for a local fire station, or handing out bubble gum in a public park. 

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

HBA of Greater Grand Rapids announces winner of $10k giveaway for home renovations

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– A homeowner in Eastown is getting $10,000 to renovate her place.

Cami Estep won the giveaway contest by the Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids and Option 1 Credit Union.  The two groups launched the contest in February, during the Grand Rapids Remodeling and New Home Show. 

“Our home is more than 100 years old, so the possibilities for projects are endless,” said Estep. “We were already planning on redoing an upstairs bathroom, but our furnace has been making some interesting noises lately, so we may choose to replace our aging heating and cooling system instead!”

Although she may not know exactly how to invest the money yet, one thing is for certain-- Estep and her family are very grateful for the HBA of Greater Grand Rapids.