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My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

My Town: Heart of West Michigan United Way awards $3.3 million in community grants

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than three dozen organizations and agencies helping people get back on their feet are getting millions of dollars in support.

The Heart of West Michigan United Way awarded $3.3 million in grants to 39 agencies that reach out to the community-from offering home-delivered meals to senior to after school care.

 “We value our partnership and believe a community that takes care of its friends and neighbors is a good place to live. By investing in the basic needs of the community, we are working together to help the people that are the most in need,” says Maureen Noe, president and CEO of Heart of West Michigan United Way.  “If people have their basic needs met, such as food, shelter and a safe home situation, they are able to focus on the future and take the next steps to improving their lives. “

This year’s grant recipients are: 

Record attempt for most Batman costumes

(WZZM) - In celebration of Batman's 75th birthday, Vault of Midnight Comic Books and Stuff is attempting to set the world record Wednesday for most people dressed as Batman in one place.

More than 250 people are needed to break the record. The first 200 people to arrive will receive free Batman masks, and the first 25 will receive capes. The Batman Dance Party is open to everyone. Tickets are $6 before at the shop,and $8 at the door. The event takes place at Pyramid Scheme on Commerce Ave. 8 p.m. - midnight.

Other Batman-themed specials in Grand Rapids Wednesday include Batman-shaped pizzas for sale at Cult Pizza noon-4 p.m. and 10% off your purchase at Mayan Buzz Cafe with receipt of a purchase from Vault of Midnight.

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

EmploymentGroup names winners of 5 in 5 scholarships

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- EmploymentGroup, a solutions-oriented staffing and outsourced services firm, has announced the winners of its 5 in 5 scholarship program. 

Launched in 2013, the program is a five-year initiative in honor of the company’s 55th anniversary as a leading regional provider of business staffing solutions. EmploymentGroup started the program to give Michigan-based community college students the skills and resources they need to succeed.

As part of the 5 in 5 program, each year three students are awarded scholarships totaling $5,000.  This year, students were encouraged to tie their essay submissions to EmploymentGroup’s mission of helping people succeed, explaining how their future plans include both their own professional growth and helping others excel.

Witness testifies during GR shooting suspect's prelim

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A witness said he watched as Rodney Armstrong shot one of two teenagers during a fight in downtown Grand Rapids.

Armstrong faces charges in the two shootings in the Arena District last month. The shootings happened during a fight involving dozens of people on Ionia Avenue.

Armstrong was in district court Tuesday for a preliminary exam to determine whether there's enough evidence to send him to trial. The witness took the stand during that hearing and described what he saw happen.

"The shooter walked up to Jordan, and he just put his gun up, and before I could say Jordan's name, he pulled the trigger. That's when I turned around and he pulled it again," the witness said.

Armstrong was arrested earlier this month.

His preliminary hearing today was adjourned Tuesday afternoon and will resume later.

My Town GR Central: Michael Bublé at Van Andel Arena this Friday, July 25

My Town GR Central: Michael Bublé at Van Andel Arena this Friday, July 25

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.- Grammy Award-winner Michael Bublé returns to Grand Rapids with a show at Van Andel Arena on Friday, July 25, 2014.

Tickets began selling Friday, May 2 at 10 a.m. Bublé is touring in support of his new top-selling release, "To Be Loved".

Bublé has been named "one of the most likeable performers on Earth".  His current tour is his biggest stage production to date and has sold out in 40 cities. His stage show is propelled by a string of smash hits including his most recent single "Close Your Eyes", "It's A Beautiful Day", "Haven't Met You Yet", "Home" and "Everything", along with Michael's distinctive interpretations of classics like "You Make Me Feel So Young" and "Young at Heart". 

Demonstrators show their positions on Israel/Gaza conflict

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Around a hundred people gathered in Grand Rapids to demonstrate their positions on the violence in the Middle East, particularly in Gaza.

The demonstration began at four Monday afternoon in front of the Gerald R. Ford Federal Building.

Protesters against Israeli actions in Gaza carried signs reading "End the Siege in Gaza" and "Stop Israeli Hi-Tech Terror."

Demonstrators supporting Israel gathered, too, holding held their own signs.

Nidel Kanaan helped organizer the pro-Palestinian gathering.

"There's a hundred thousand Palestinians homeless right now; over 500 have been killed -- that's only going to get worse," he said. "Everyone's going to go home and those things are going to keep happening. I just want people not to forget that after today that this is still going on; we still need help."

Fulton Street bridge closes for construction

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Another major city street is now closed due to road construction.

The Fulton Street Bridge over the Grand River closed Monday afternoon. It was supposed to close earlier in the morning, but the project was delayed slightly.

The bridge will remain closed for repairs and resurfacing until August 25th.