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West Coast Coffee hosts ArtPrize entries

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Artists with entries at an Arena District coffee shop say they're happy to see how ArtPrize has brought new life to the downtown Grand Rapids area.

West Coast Coffee at 55 Monroe Center NW is in its fourth year as an ArtPrize venue.

The shop opened in 2005 and has long been a showplace for area artists' works.

This year, 33 ArtPrize entries are on display at West Coast Coffee. Artists say the festival has enlivened downtown with new energy.

"The energy that it creates in the city is just fabulous," says Brian Rieth. "When I was growing up, the city was so dismal and there wasn't really much going on. It's just brought so much life to the city."

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Students help Broadway Grand Rapids open new season

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Broadway Grand Rapids opened its 2014-2015 season Tuesday evening, with a performance of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Meghan Distel of Broadway Grand Rapids says the organization worked with students at Ellington Academy for Arts and Technology on the show.

"The students at the school created all kinds of art projects to show some of the elements of the show," Distel said. "We combined history lessons with their art class, and designed this beautiful coat using all kinds of fabrics and textures."

She said it was a wonderful opportunity, especially with ArtPrize going on during the show's eight-performance stint at DeVos Performance Hall.

The show was originally created for kids.

Steel truck tips, closes downtown highway ramp

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A tipped semi-truck kept a major downtown highway ramp closed much of Tuesday morning.

The truck carrying rolls of steel tipped on the ramp from eastbound I-196 to northbound US-131 at about 8:00 a.m. The ramp has since reopened, although authorities plan to close it again this weekend to permanently fix a concrete barrier on it that was damaged in the accident.

There were no reported injuries.

Cascade Community Foundation Iron Chef Competition Tonight

Cascade Community Foundation Iron Chef Competition Tonight

Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute for Culinary Education student chefs will be competing this evening, using the "secret ingredient," for the opportunity to take home the Iron Skillet Award and a College Scholarship. They will be preparing gourmet cuisine for the judges to savor.

Cynthia Kay Afendoulis will be honored at this year's event with the Claude and Marion Robinson Community Leadership Award. This is awarded to an individual who is committed to improving the community and the lives of neighbors. Cynthia is the owner of Cynthia Kay & Co., a media production and corporate communications company.

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Governor Snyder speaks at West Michigan Policy Forum

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Governor Snyder says his top priority is connecting more Michiganders to open jobs.

Snyder was a featured speaker Monday at the West Michigan Policy Forum.

He told attendees that Michigan made a mistake decades ago by emphasizing that everyone needed a college degree. He also said he's still hopeful lawmakers will find funds to really improve the state's roads.

"That would be the priority in lame duck, to get it wrapped up," the Governor said. "Waiting has no value -- it just makes our roads worse to wait -- so let's get it going. Let's improve our roads."

Lawmakers have been leery of voting to raise any taxes to improve the roads before they are up for re-election in November.

Crews find historical gems inside The Morton

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Demolition crews have been working to revitalize The Morton, a 90+ year old building in downtown Grand Rapids that has been a high-end hotel, but also subsidized housing. As crews work to make it a modern, mixed-use building, they've made some interesting discoveries.

Mike Mraz, the Vice President of Real Estate Development at Rockford Construction showed WZZM's Jennifer Pascua around the insides of the building, which is also serving as the ArtPrize site for SiTE:Lab and the WZZM remote studio for the festival.

Found were a hotel placard that used to hang on one of the 400 rooms, an old Boraxo powdered hand soap dispenser, empty Blatz and Stroh's cans, and an August, 16, 1965 Detroit Free Press. The hotel entered bankruptcy five years later.

Wassink leads South Christian to key win

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- South Christian senior quarterback Jon Wassink combined for four touchdowns and had a pair of interceptions in Friday night's 42-14 win over Catholic Central at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The Sailors led 21-7 at the half and tacked on two more scores in the third quarter.

South Christian has won three straight after an 0-2 start.