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GRFD puts fire out quickly, minor damage to home

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Emergency crews responded to a house fire on the city's west side Tuesday morning.

The home on Broadway Ave near 9th St. NW, by American Seating contains three apartments.

Everyone inside was able to get out safely.

The fire started in the attic and was put out quickly by the Grand Rapids Fire Department. Initial investigation suggests this was an electrical fire.

There was minor fire, smoke and water damage to one upstairs apartment.

Taste of Grand Rapids underway this weekend

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The annual

Taste of Grand Rapids brings local cuisine and free live entertainment to John Ball Park Friday and Saturday.

About 25 area restaurants are on-hand, offering visitors everything from Italian to Jamaican, Middle Eastern to barbecue. Attendees can once again buy food tickets to use for popular dishes from each restaurant.

Family-friendly bands will perform both days, with classic rock acts on Friday and country performer Drake White on Saturday.

Teenager evacuates sister and pets from burning home

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A Gteenager says he was afraid the fire department would be too late.

When he saw his house on Underhill Avenue SW was on fire, Markell Green, 16, says he called 911 and then ran into the burning building to evacuate his sister and two dogs.

"The whole front porch was on fire," he recalled. "Flames and smoke everywhere. I was like 'Oh, crap! My sister is in there.'"

The fire Tuesday afternoon did major damage to the rental home, but the teenager made sure his sister 13-year-old sister Kayla and their pets got out safely

"When I got into the house there were flames everywhere and smoke," he said. "It was dark and I couldn't see. But I had to get her up and get her out."

John Ball Zoo honoring zookeepers this week

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Sunday kicked off National Zookeeper Week and the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is taking part by celebrating the employees that take care of the animals.

As part of the celebrations, the zoo will highlight their entire staff on their Facebook page. The zoo is encouraging visitors to share their stories and photos of zookeepers on the page as well.

There are 18 full-time and many part time zookeepers at John Ball Zoo. Employees work with the animals on a daily basis by feeding and cleaning them. They are also there anytime an emergency comes up.

Consumers Energy, GVSU break ground on $15M leadership center

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Consumers Energy and Grand Valley State University have started building a new center to help future leaders grow.

Monday morning, leaders from Consumers Energy and Grand Valley broke ground on the new three-story, 35,000-square-foot leadership center designed for professional development for company employees.

It's located in downtown Grand Rapids on Front Avenue, near the corner of Butterworth Street on the Grand River.

"This is all focused in on developing the talent Consumers has and so they will be looking at utilizing some of our Seidman faculty in terms of curricular design for leadership courses," said the university president, Tom Haas. "Current and future practices for great leaders will go into their company and then beyond into their communities."

My Town: Grand Rapids youth police academy expected to have 'a huge payoff'

My Town: Grand Rapids youth police academy expected to have 'a huge payoff'

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)— The final youth police academy of the season begins this week.

The Grand Rapids Police Department announced the return of the program in February. The first session took place June 22; the second program starts on July 20. The academy is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Kent County area who might be interested in a career in law enforcement.

City officials hope the academy will inspire a new generation of officers.

"Our hope and our belief is some number of years down the line, this is going to have a huge payoff," City Manager Greg Sundstrom said earlier this year.

For more information, visit the Grand Rapids Police Department's website.


Grand Rapids standoff ends after 9 hours

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A barricade situation on the city's West Side has come to a peaceful end. Police say a man came out of the home just after 9 a.m. Saturday and was taken into custody.

Officers say the situation started as a domestic dispute on Anderson Place NW, near Crosby and Alpine Ave. around 11:45 p.m. Friday. It is a block south of Harrison Park Elementary School.

The male suspect pointed a handgun at the officers when they first arrived. The suspect then went back into the home. There was a minor in the home at the time. They are now out of the house.

GRPD set up a perimeter around the area. Neighbors had the option of evacuating.

Police say they lost contact with the suspect around 2 a.m.

Noisemakers were set off by police around 3:50 a.m. to wake up the suspect inside the home.