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Big changes coming for students this year at Catholic Central and West Catholic

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Wednesday is the first full day of classes at Catholic Central and West Catholic High Schools in Grand Rapids.

This year, both high schools will have to adjust to some major changes.

Former West Catholic principal Tom Maj is now the sole principal for both high schools. "People are excited, of course, they're waiting to see if I can lead both schools,"said Maj in anticipation of his new role.

It's a job some parents didn't support back when it was announced this last spring.

A prayer vigil was held in hopes the decision would be reversed, but it wasn't. Maj says the position offers better alignment, an opportunity to right size staffing for the schools, and greater communications.

"For me it's been exciting," said Maj. "It's an opportunity to build something special to reclaim and reclarify our role in the city of Grand Rapids in terms of a catholic school and a catholic education which has been here."

September 01st, 2010 - Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the nation’s most significant sculpture and botanic experiences, will celebrate the masterwork of artist Dale Chihuly, one of the world’s foremost artists, with a large-scale outdoor sculpture exhibition. “Chihuly at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park: A New Eden” will feature fourteen monumental glass sculptures in diverse locations across Meijer Gardens. It will be open to the public April 30, 2010 through September 30, 2010. Each of the fifteen sculptures will correspond to the horticultural aspects and natural conditions of each respective location. Chosen sites span the grounds of Meijer Gardens including the English Perennial Garden, Woodland Shade Garden, Lena Meijer Children’s Garden, wetland areas and the 30-acre Sculpture Park. “I’m happy to be coming back to Frederik Meijer Gardens”, said Chihuly.

Scott Group makes rug for the Oval Office in the White House

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- President Obama will address the nation Tuesday night in a televised speech from the Oval Office.  If you watch, you might see a West Michigan company's contribution to the White House. 

The Obama family recently remodeled the Oval Office while they were away on vacation.  The improvements include a new rug made by the Scott Group which is based in Grand Rapids.

Scott Group President Michael Ruggeri says, "It is the rug that adornes the Oval Office which is the premiere address in the United States, if not the world, so for 140 people who got behind this project and were involved in one way shape or form it is an unbelievably gratifying experience."

Designer Mary VanHaaften says, "It is an honor to contribute to part of American History really words cant describe what an honor it is."

Republican strategist loses round in campaign lawsuit

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP)- A federal judge in Grand Rapids won't stop Michigan from enforcing limits on some campaign donations.

After hearing arguments, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff rejected a request Monday for an injunction in a lawsuit that claims the restrictions are unconstitutional.

Republican political strategist Greg McNeilly says the limits infringe on his free-speech rights. He's challenging the $500 cap for donations to state House candidates and $1,000 cap for state Senate candidates.

The Michigan attorney general's office is defending the state law, which has been around for more than 30 years.

Grand Rapids Diocese kicks off the new school year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- The school year is officially underway for Catholic schools in the Grand Rapids Diocese. 

Over 500 Catholic school employees and pastors gathered Monday for the annual Back to School Kickoff at Cathedral Square.  As part of the event, Bishop Walter Hurley presided over mass at Saint Andrew's Cathedral.  Leaders in the Grand Rapids Diocese say the celebration is another opportunity for school staff to celebrate their Catholic identity. 

There are more than 6,000 students in the 31 Catholic schools that make up the Grand Rapids Diocese.

TRAFFIC ALERT: U.S. 131 re-opened following crash

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Traffic is moving once again on soutbound U.S. 131.

Police tell WZZM 13 News a truck hit the barrier wall causing a trailer to flip on the freeway. The left two lanes on U.S. 131 were closed for a while.  

No injuries are reported.

Orchard Lake St. Mary's downs West Catholic

The Falcons of West Catholic played host to one of the state's perennial powers, Orchard Lake St. Mary's.

The Falcons have been the team to beat in the Okay Blue the past few years. They enter the 2010 season as the back-to-back conference champions. But, the team graduated impact players like Nick Ford and thousand-yard rusher Loren Suggs meaning Dan Rohn will need some new names to step up this season.

Orchard Lake was all over West Catholic early. Already up 21-3 in the second quarter Orchard Lake quarterback Michael Koen-nig-nekt found Allen Robinson for another score.

Orchard Lake would go into halftime up 28-6.

In the third quarter the Falcons tried to get something going as Mike Koen-nig-nekt picked off West Catholic's Cody Shafer, but their drive would be stalled.

Final score West Catholic 6, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 42.