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GRCC names buildings in honor of faculty members

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids Community College is recognizing the contributions of two pioneering faculty members by naming buildings in their honor.

President Dr. Steven C. Ender announced the new preschool would be named for Phyllis Fratzke and the music center, which is next to the new preschool site, will be renamed for Albert P. Smith.

"Both Professor Fratzke and Professor Smith are important figures in the 100-year history of Grand Rapids Community College," Ender said. "Our students still benefit from their foresight, and it is only fitting that we recognize them in a permanent way."

A groundbreaking was held Thursday for the new preschool. It will be named for Fratzke when it opens during the 2016-17 academic year.

BarFly Ventures looking to hire

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- BarFly Ventures has jobs to fill.

The Grand Rapids-based company held a job fair Tuesday and plans another Wednesday to hire security workers, bartenders, servers, and other restaurant positions.

The new hires would work at Grand Rapids Brewing Company, HopCat, Stella's Lounge, and McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon.

Barfly says it's not finished expanding yet.

"This isn't just a job anymore while you're looking for something else," said BarFly's Garry Boyd. "We've got opportunities that are going to be all over the country in the next couple of years for people who want to come on board, and get started in Grand Rapids, and get started with us and grow with us. It's a really great opportunity."

Woman, 51, hit by car while crossing G.R. street

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A woman is in the hospital Tuesday afternoon after stepping into a Grand Rapids street and being hit by a vehicle.

The 51-year-old was crossing Michigan St. NE at Lafayette around 1:30 p.m. when she was hit. GRPD Sgt. Terry Dixon tells WZZM 13 the vehicle had the right of way when the accident happened.

The woman was taken to Spectrum Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Hundreds gather to protest Planned Parenthood in G.R.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hundreds of pro-life supporters gathered on Cherry Street in front of Planned Parenthood for a protest Saturday morning.

It was part of a planned nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood in 47 states and more than 300 cities.

According to our partner, USA TODAY, protesters gathered outside nearly 320 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country to call for cutting off the organization's federal funding and — eventually — shutting it down. The demonstrations come after videos purportedly showing Planned Parenthood staffers discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit.

Taste Of My Town: Brezel in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-- The Downtown Market on Ionia Avenue in Grand Rapids houses all kinds of specialty eateries and shops.
Now there's one more reason to visit: authentic, hand rolled, Bavarian pretzels. Resident foodie and weekday morning show producer Matt Gard shares the "pretzel love" in Saturday morning's Taste of My Town.

Brezel has the same hours as the Downtown Market: 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sundays.

City mural project turns walls into art

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Blank walls around Grand Rapids are being turned into works of art.

The Exit Space Project -- by the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts and Grand Rapids Downtown, Inc. -- has commissioned Midwest artists to turn the drab walls into art pieces.

On Division Ave. under Michigan St., Grand Rapids native Nick Nortier is busy covering his wall with a ship of leaves.

"The amount of positive response from people just walking by on their way to work, or biking and what not, has been unreal," said Nortier, "and so many people are just loving it right now."

Nortier is one of three artists working on the project. If all goes to plan, the mural should be completed in a week and half.

Grand Rapids joins select cities to help improve lives of older adults

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids is among 30 cities from around the world selected to pitch ideas to keep seniors healthier and happier. The competition is looking for innovative products, technology and services that will address some of the challenges many seniors face.

"This competition can help by bringing creative ideas and solutions to senior living," said Tim Tuthill, director of Residential Services for Clark Retirement Community. "For example, pouring a cup of coffee can seem easy for some but can be a real challenge for many seniors."