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My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

My Town: DNR awards more than $4 million in grants for projects battling invasive species

---NEWS RELEASE—

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the award of 20 grant projects totaling more than $4 million, under the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. 

The grant program is central to Michigan’s new invasive species initiative, which brings a multi-department, comprehensive approach to the ongoing problem of harmful, non-native invaders such as the Asian carp. The initiative enlists the expertise of the state departments of Natural Resources, Environmental Quality and Agriculture and Rural Development.

Projects funded in this round of grants include plans to:

West Catholic student charged for threatening shooting spree


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A West Catholic High School student has been charged with making threats against students.

Matthew Herrington was arraigned Monday on two felony counts of filing a false report or threatening terrorism.

Police say on Feb. 22 Herrington used Instagram to make threats of a school attack the following day and warned some students not to come to school. Herrington told police the threats were a hoax.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants worth $14,125

----NEWS RELEASE---

Feb. 23, 2015-- The Consumers Energy Foundation announced today it has recently awarded 28 volunteer grants worth $14,125 to nonprofit organizations in Kent County and the surrounding area to recognize outstanding volunteerism by Consumers Energy employees and retirees. 

The foundation awards Volunteer Investment Program grants to encourage and reward volunteerism by those who work or have worked for Consumers Energy.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Consumers Energy.  It provides funding for a variety of areas including education, community, civic and cultural development, social services, the environment, and emerging issues.

Michigan nonprofit organizations received more than $10 million in contributions in 2014 from Consumers Energy, its employees, retirees, its foundation and parent company CMS Energy.

Brief network outage takes down Meijer card readers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Customers at Meijer stores throughout the Midwest were unable to pay with credit or debit cards for a time Friday afternoon, the retailer says.

In a statement afterward, the company said the network outage has since been fixed:



Meijer stores experienced a network outage late afternoon on Feb. 27. The outage impacted our stores throughout the Midwest. We know this was an inconvenience to our customers and that they deserve better. We sincerely apologize and thank them for their patience as we rushed to fix the problem. We know we can do better, and we remain committed to proving it to them.


John Ball Park Easter egg hunt in jeopardy


GRAPIDS RAPIDS (WZZM) -- For many families in Grand Rapids, especially on the West Side, it wouldn't seem like Easter without the annual Easter Egg hunt at John Ball Park. But unless something changes that tradition may be over.

Bob Wallington, the volunteer who's been organizing the event, is now on disability and says he no longer has the physical stamina or financial resources to put on the Easter egg hunt.

"I've been doing it for 28-29 years," he says. "Physically, I'm unable to do it any further. My body is just worn out."

Wallington says he could run the hunt one last time this year if he gets enough help and candy donations.

"Anything we can get, small, big. Anything will help," he says. But after that, someone else will have to step up. "I'd like to get somebody that has the manpower, the kid-power or the connections," he explains. "A church group on the West Side, it would be ideal."

My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year

My Town: Grand Rapids honors Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year

---NEWS RELEASE---

The Grand Rapids Police Department is pleased to announce its Police Officer of the Year and Civilian Employee of the Year for 2014. Officer Joshua Mollan and Cynthia Vanderberg were selected from nominations submitted to the Department’s Board of Awards by Service Area, Division, and Unit Commanders.

POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Officer Joshua Mollan

John Ball Zoo master plan approved as it prepares to open Sunday


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The John Ball Zoo opens Sunday with reduced cold weather exhibits, while county officials Friday approved its ten year master plan. The plan, still in formulation, will receive public input in the weeks ahead.

One thing visitors will notice in the future - less of a challenging hill to hike as they enter the zoo, said Zoo CEO Kevin O'Neill.

"It's handicap accessible. Now, first thing you see is a long hill ahead of you. You won't see that hill. It's a very gentle slope up. People can manage that quite nicely."

Admission prices at the zoo are up 20 percent over last year - though zoo officials say they still won't cover the true cost per visitor. Plans for a zoo millage may be in line in the future, O'neill has said, but not this year.