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Grand Rapids Catholic Central bests Middleville

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Catholic Central beat Middleville 26-13.

The game went into halftime tied at 7 but the Cougars pulled out the win.

Zombies Take Over Downtown Grand Rapids

Zombies Take Over Downtown Grand Rapids

Help benefit Michigan Blood’s, Be the Match Program with your participation in this famous Zombie Dash! This fun event is more than just a race. Its part 5K run, part obstacle course & part haunted house for the whole family to enjoy!

The 3rd Annual Zombie Dash takes place at Ah-Nab-Awen Park in downtown Grand Rapids on Saturday, October 25 with waves running from 6:30pm to 7pm, from sunset to darkness. The 5K course features the race pits “survivors” challenging the “undead” on a course along the Grand River. Don’t miss the excitement!

Cost for runners is $45 (kids 10 & under free with parent or guardian) and zombies “eat” for free.

Visit www.TheZombieDash.com to register & for more information.

Renovated Monument Park dedicated

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- One of the oldest parks in Grand Rapids has been dedicated again, following its renovation this summer.

The city, area businesses, historic preservationists, and veterans all worked together to renovate Monument Park.

Organizers held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Mayor George Heartwell says the park is a great tribute to those who fought in the Civil War and also signifies a lot about the people living in Grand Rapids today.

"It shows the way the community can come together, public and private sector working hand-in-hand, to take something that was at best old and stale, and turn it into something that's beautiful and usable by the public," the Mayor said.

Some of the changes made to the Monument Park include new walkways, furniture, landscaping and the refurbishment of the park's Civil War monument.

Austrian mayor: G.R. lip-dub inspired ours

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The mayor of an Austrian city is thanking Grand Rapids for inspiring his city's lip-dub video.

It's 14 minutes long, a new world record. More than 6,000 people danced for 10 hours to make it happen.

The mayor of Kapfenburg, Austria, posted a video Wednesday, thanking Grand Rapids, the site of a 2011 lip-dub that drew international attention.

"It's my big pleasure for me to send back our best wishes and compliments to Mr. Heartwell and the citizens of Grand Rapids, USA," said Kapfenberg Mayor Manfred Wegscheider. "Watching your great lip-dub has always been our motivation and inspiration."

The song heard in the Austrian lip-dub is "Live Is Life," a 1984 song by the Austrian pop rock group Opus. See Kapfenberg's lip-dub at this link.

G.R. planners OK new parking lot, brewery expansion

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday approved putting up a new parking lot on Market Avenue, in what now houses empty buildings.

The 276-space lot still needs funding approval from the full City Commission, which will be asked to spend $1.5 million to tear down the buildings and put up the surface lot across from the Showgirls Galleria adult club.

The 5-4 vote came after a member of the city's Parking Commission, Andy Guy, urged planners to table the idea.

"Surface lots are not the land use we are trying to expand in the downtown - in fact, we're going the other way," Guy said.

Pam Ritsema, the city's parking director, said the new lot, which would open a year from now, would provide a "relief valve" since it's likely several lots behind the arena will go off line in the years ahead to accommodate development there.

Group gathers in G.R. to watch partial solar eclipse

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A rare phenomenon is darkening the sky Thursday afternoon, and a group has gathered in Grand Rapids to celebrate the occasion.

The gathering on top of the Grand Rapids Public Museum parking deck is to watch the partial solar eclipse, in which the new moon hides part of the sun from view. The eclipse unfolded slowly following its start near the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia.

The northwest United States and northern Canada, especially Prince of Wales Island, are getting the best views. New England and the Canadian Maritime provinces are missing out.

In the eastern half of the U.S., the eclipse is happening about the time of sunset.

Sky gazers are urged to protect their eyes with special filtered glasses. Regular sunglasses are not good enough.

Thursday's event makes for two solar and two lunar eclipses this year.

My First Visit to the Blue Dog Tavern

My First Visit to the Blue Dog Tavern

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to visit the Blue Dog Tavern, formerly the Kopper Top Bar, for the first time. The tavern is located on the corner of Stocking & 4th St. NW in Grand Rapids, MI.

What a change from the former bar. I never knew there were windows on the side of the building but now those have been opened up to let the outside in. It is so wide open and inviting. The barback is especially neat; it looks like metal but I was told it is wood. Tables have receipts under glass from way back when, from years of 1936 on up, that the waitresses actually wrote out for customers orders. These were found when the new owner/owners started cleaning out the upper floor in the building.