Our network

QuiltWeek begins in Grand Rapids

(WZZM) - Quilts from all over the world are in town for the annual QuiltWeek at DeVos Place.

More than 15,000 people are expected to attend the four-day event, which kicks of Wednesday. More than 500 quilts will be on display with more than $50,000 in prizes to be awarded for quilting excellence.

The American Quilter's Society hosts the event, which includes a series of workshops.

The show is open Wednesday thru Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

GRPS considering creating a 'museum school'

GRPS considering creating a 'museum school'

Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) Grand Rapids Public Schools is discussing plans to open a 'public museum' school.

Supporters of the project submitted an application Tuesday night to the school board's academic committee. They are proposing classrooms at the Van Andel Museum Center and the former museum site on Jefferson. It would be open to students from 6th through 12th grades.

Mike Posthumus is with the College of Education at Grand Valley State University, "The world we live in is ripe with learning opportunities and all we have to do is take advantage of what's there." he told school officials. Posthumus is encouraging the district to approve the plan.

If the idea moves forward, the proposal would go to the full school board in September and then to the Superintendent for consideration. Grand Rapids Public Museum School could open as soon as the fall of 2015.

Government says video of journalist being beheaded is authentic

A gruesome video released Tuesday shows an Islamist fighter beheading a U.S. freelance photographer who was kidnapped in Syria nearly two years ago. The government confirmed the video's authenticity.

The video, posted by the media arm of the Islamic State and titled "A Message to America," says James Wright Foley was executed "in Iraq" as a result of President Obama's decision to bomb Islamic State fighters battling Kurdish forces north of Baghdad.

The video, in Arabic with English narration and subtitles, concludes with another missing U.S. journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff of Miami, and tells Obama his life "depends on your next decision."

The President was briefed by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes about the video while on Air Force One, said Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz.

Jennifer Pascua, DeVos sisters take ice bucket challenge

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The latest people to take the ice bucket challenge include another brave WZZM 13 employee.

Jennifer Pascua was among the many people who dumped ice water on themselves Tuesday morning outside the Mercy Health Hauenstein Neuroscience Center in Grand Rapids.

The ice bucket challenge raises awareness and money for the fight against ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Jennifer was joined by Cassie and Sydney DeVos, whose grandmother recently died from ALS.

"It's OK if it's a fad. It gets people talking; whether its negative or positive, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It gets people talking, people learning -- learning what it's all about," said Cassie DeVos.

Since it started, the ice bucket challenge has raised more than $15 million for ALS research.

Bank robberies down in West Michigan this year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WZZM) - The number of bank robberies in West Michigan is down significantly from previous years.

The latest numbers come as Grand Rapids Police continue to investigate a credit union robbery Monday on the Mercy Health Saint Mary's campus.

In 2012, there were 10 bank robberies in Kent, Ottawa, and Muskegon counties combined. It was the same in 2013. So far in 2014, there have been four.

The suspect in the most recent robbery at the Lake Michigan Credit Union slipped the teller a note asking for money and claiming he had a weapon. Then, as the robbery continued, he told the teller he was sorry.

Grand Rapids Police believe they know who the person is and say it's just a matter of time before he's caught.

Truck jack-knifes on U.S. 131 in downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Traffic was backed up on northbound U.S. 131 after a semi truck jack-knifed on the S-Curve Tuesday afternoon.

The crash happened around 1:20 p.m. just north of the Wealthy Street exit. It was raining at the time.

Northbound traffic was backed up past Franklin Street and drivers were advised to avoid the area.

Crews were working to move the semi, and at least one northbound lane had reopened.

Businesses hopeful along Silver Line route

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- In less than a week, Michigan will get its first bus rapid transit, BRT. The Silver Line starts service Monday.

Covering over nine miles from Wyoming to downtown, Grand Rapids is offering rail-like convenience for riders. It's also expected to boost the economic development along the BRT corridor, Division Ave.

Restaurateur Tommy Brann presides over the local business association.

"Any development is welcome for Division Ave. It's going to be a positive thing for us," Brann says.

He says many employees at his restaurants already depend on the bus to get to work. He says he also knows the dedicated lane for the Silver Line at rush hour may slow some drivers, but may also help some businesses.