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Gilda's Club to host West Side Walk


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- For nearly 15 years, Gilda's Club Grand Rapids has provided emotional support for those affected by cancer. And, this weekend it's starting a new movement to touch the lives of those in the community. Gilda's is holding an inaugural West Side Walk and Block Party this Saturday.

The event aims to highlight the growing success of the west side community as well as what Gilda's Club has accomplished in Grand Rapids.

Road closed after car crashes into Coca-Cola building


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- DTE crews were called to the Coca-Cola plant in Grand Rapids to take care of a gas leak after a car crashed into the building Thursday morning.

The accident happened around 7:15 a.m. at the plant on Butterworth Street SW near the John Ball Zoo.

Butterworth Street was closed between Wealthy and John Ball Park Drive while emergency crews worked.

Police on scene tell WZZM 13 only three people were inside the building at the time of the incident. No one was hurt and no one was evacuated.

Police are looking into the cause of the crash. The condition of the driver is unknown at this time.

Robber breaks into blind woman's home


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Police Department is looking for the man who broke into a blind woman's home early Monday morning.

It happened on Bristol near 10th Street, around 1 o'clock.

The victim told police she woke up to a man lying on top of her. He demanded money, made her lie down, and threatened to hurt her if she got up.

Hours later, the victim called a relative who called police.

Police say the perpetrator got into the house by cutting a hole through the screen in the window.

Anyone with information should contact Grand Rapids police at 616-456-3400 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345 or silentobserver.org.


Smoke from garage fire seen for miles in G.R.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Emergency crews were called to Sibley St. NW between Lane and Seward for a garage fire Friday afternoon.

Heavy smoke was seen near Grand Valley State University's downtown campus just after 2 p.m.

Early investigation reveals there were fireworks in the unattached garage at the time of the fire. It is unknown at this time if the fireworks started the fire, or just made the problem worse.

No one was injured. The cause remains under investigation.

Woman finds family possessions piled on sidewalk


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - For two years after her mother's death, Braylyn Cotter says her mother's boyfriend of many years continued to live in the Davis Avenue home the couple shared in Grand Rapids.

But this week, he was evicted for not paying the rent and all the contents of the house, including many of Braylyn's childhood memories, were stacked outside on the sidewalk. And she says she didn't find out until it was a done deal and the pile of her mother's possessions was soaked by rain and ransacked by neighborhood scavengers.

"My mother lived here for 24 years, and I grew up in this house my whole life," she explains. "He never got a hold of me to let me know he was getting evicted so I could get my things. My grandmother's antique stuff is in here. It's making me nauseous to know that nobody even got a hold of me."

Construction closes Bridge St. in G.R.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you use Bridge St. to get between downtown Grand Rapids and the West Side, you will need to find another route.

Crews are improving Bridge between Winter and Summer avenues. They're putting in new stoplights and pavement, in addition to expanding the sidewalks.

Detours are posted in the area.

That section of Bridge Street will re-open at the end of next month.


Second GR park's renovations unveiled


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're seeing the results of a park millage approved by Grand Rapids voters.

Thursday morning, the city unveiled the second of eight parks undergoing reconstruction. Westown Commons Park received $384,000 worth of renovations.

City officials, neighborhood residents, and local skateboarders attended the grand re-opening. There's a new skate park there, giving skateboarders a chance to show off their skills. Other new features include concrete sidewalks, benches, bike loops, a drinking fountain, and landscaping.

"It's a gathering place; it's a place where people come to enjoy the park and enjoy each other," said Kurt Reppart. "What these improvements have done is really open it up and make it more safe, and there's something for each age so the whole family can come together -- there's something for everybody."