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Body found in Grand River


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids police say a body has been found in the Grand River near the Kent Trail. It was found just South of O'Brien Road where I-196 goes over the river.

Police say the body is still in the river, while they wait for a team from the Kent County Sheriff's Department. Investigators say it is too early to determine if it is a man or woman or if foul play was involved.

They will be on scene for the next few hours, and we will have more information as it becomes available.


High-speed chase ends in rollover crash


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A high-speed chase through Kent County ended with a rollover crash Friday evening.

The chase started in Byron Township around 8 p.m., when some Kent County Sheriff deputies were doing a routine business check due to a recent string of construction equipment thefts. In a building under construction in the 900 block of 74th street SW, they found a rear overhead door open and went in to investigate.

When inside, they found a man who they say ran to his vehicle when he saw them.

He drove away, and deputies chased him. The chase headed north on US-131 from the area of 76th St. Speeds reached 90 to 100 mph at times.

Investigators at one point called off the chase, but Michigan State Police later located the vehicle in Grand Rapids and chased it back on US-131 from Wealthy Street.

West Side districts unite under new logo


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The West Side of Grand Rapids is giving itself a new logo to unite several business districts and neighborhood associations.

The logo was unveiled Tuesday evening. Along with the new logo, organizers say the West Side is changing for the better, and they encourage businesses to consider the area.

"If you're a business owner, the West Side is ideal, because you have a business district that is absolutely growing at lightning speed," said Michael Lomonaco of both OST and West Side CID. "You have neighbors that are taking notice and getting involved."

Many city leaders, including Mayor Heartwell and several city commissioners, attended Tuesday's event.


My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

My Town: Kent ISD throws support behind sales tax hike proposal

KENT COUNTY, Mich.--- The Kent Intermediate School District is throwing its support behind a sales tax hike to fix Michigan’s roads and provide additional funding for schools and local governments.

Thursday, March 19, the Kent ISD Board approved a resolution in support of Proposal 1, which will be on the May 5 ballot.  In the resolution, the Board said Michigan ranks last in the nation in transportation spending per person.  The Board also noted money being siphoned from the School Aid Fund to higher education, since the previous sales tax proposal generating funding for schools did not include colleges and universities.

"Shared street" plan discussed for Bridge Street


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The response to a proposed re-design along part of Bridge Street in Grand Rapids came down to road quality versus beautification.

The plan was shared at a public meeting Thursday evening at St. James church.

It calls for eliminating curbs on Bridge Street west of US-131 and reducing the speed limit to 15 miles an hour. The hope is to give it a more "small downtown" feel and for cars, walkers, and bikers all to share the roadway.

Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong said Monroe Center is already essentially a shared street.

"It can be closed, it can be open to traffic, [it] accommodates parking, bicycles, people, snowmelt, sidewalk cafes -- that's really kind of our version of a shared street," DeLong said.

West Catholic student to face trial for false terror charges


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A West Catholic High School student will face trial for making threats of a shooting spree at the school.

Matthew Herrington, 17, was bound over for trial on two charges of making a false terrorism threat at the school last month. He made the threat in an Instagram photo.

Investigators called to the stand described images they say they found on Matthew Herrington's computers, which they say he distributed on Instagram to frighten some classmates. The pictures show armed men and have captions warning people not to come to school, promising they will "be next."

When questioned about the threats, Herrington admitted he was responsible for the threats but didn't intend to commit any acts of violence, according to a police officer who testified.

Man pleads guilty to GR home invasion, armed robbery


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man who admitted to breaking into a home in northwest Grand Rapids and tying up the people inside entered a plea deal in court Wednesday.

Michael Whitfield pleaded guilty to armed robbery and first-degree home invasion.

Authorities say he and another man, Donald Hale, busted into a home last August, wearing bandannas and carrying a sawed-off shotgun.

Whitfield testified against Hale, who was convicted on multiple charges during a trial in February.

Before Whitfield was accused, a teen was wrongly accused and held by police, but was later released when the victim realized she made a mistake in identifying the suspects.