Our network

Wrong-way driver appears in court


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The woman charged in a deadly wrong-way crash will return to court in December.

Michelle Lerma faces charges of drunk driving causing death for a crash on I-96 last month. Lerma appeared in court Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. She was in a wheelchair because of injuries from the September 14 wreck.

Police say Lerma was driving east in the westbound lanes of I-96, near the East Beltline, and hit another car. She was pulled from her vehicle and survived. The driver of the other car, 58-year-old Gregory Johnson, died at the scene.

Lerma's hearing was adjourned until December 5.


Culinary students get scholarships from Restaurant Week


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Four West Michigan students are getting scholarships from the money raised by Restaurant Week in Grand Rapids.

The students all attend the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. They received their scholarship checks during a ceremony Tuesday.

The money is raised by restaurants that participate in Restaurant Week every year. Some of those restaurants also employ several of the students, as well.

"It's great to see the students come out of this school, stay in our community, work in our restaurants or start one of their own, and advance our culinary scene," said Doug Small of Experience Grand Rapids.

Over the past five years, Restaurant Week has contributed more than $92,000 in scholarship money. This year, restaurants raised more than $18,000 to add to the fund.


Wanted man rescued from Grand River


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- One man is in custody after leading police on a foot chase through downtown Grand Rapids that ended with his rescue from the Grand River.

It started around 11:15 p.m. Monday near the Grand Valley State University Pew Campus on Fulton Street.

Investigators say they were trying to arrest a man wanted on a domestic assault warrant when he ran from them. They chased him through the Pew Campus until he went into the river near the Blue Bridge.

Officers say the man held onto a bridge support until a Grand Rapids Fire Department crew was able to get a boat into the water to rescue him around 12:00 a.m. Tuesday.

The man was being transported to an area hospital to be checked for exposure to the water.


Helen DeVos Children's Hospital promotes safe sleeping habits for infants


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)--The State of Michigan is forming a partnership with the Spectrum Health System to promote safe sleeping habits for babies.

Michigan's First Lady, Sue Snyder, visited the Helen DeVos Children's hospital Monday to praise their new partnership with the Michigan Departments of Human Services and Community Health.

"So many people 'oh we'll just take a little nap with the baby' - don't do it. You can sleep next to the baby in a crib or pack 'n play but they have to be alone on their back, not with you in the bed because so many times people, you know, fall asleep and you might roll over on that baby and that's 100% preventable," said Snyder on Monday.

New Grand Rapids Amtrak station opens to travelers


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) – A new rail gateway between Grand Rapids and Chicago is now open for business.

The first Amtrak train departed at 7:40 a.m. Monday from the new, $6.1 million Vernon J. Ehlers Amtrak Station. It's located next to the Rapid's central hub on Grandville Avenue SW, allowing people to easily go from train to bus. The station also has better parking and is handicap accessible.

State and local leaders were on hand for the dedication ceremony, including Senator Carl Levin. The station is named after former U.S. Congressman from Grand Rapids, Vern Ehlers. His daughter was there on Ehlers' behalf.

"He's very thrilled about this station. He was able to tour it a few weeks ago and he's thrilled about it," said Marla Ehlers.

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Student Spotlight

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids Student Spotlight

Nexus Academy of Grand Rapids is recognizing student, Ross Lindhout, in their October Student Spotlight. 

School of Choice for Teachers

School of Choice for Teachers

Thanks to Schools of Choice programs in Michigan, students are afforded the opportunity to choose a school environment that best meets their learning needs. These programs also offer our state’s educators opportunities to teach in environments that are best suited for them. Just as some teachers flourish in a traditional school, there are those who prefer teaching at a virtual public school, such as Michigan Connections Academy, the school where I teach.

I work with an incredible team of teachers – they are state-certified, specially trained in online learning, recognized as Highly Qualified under the guidelines of the No Child Left Behind Act—and live in Michigan. In fact, even though we teach in a virtual school, more than 60 teachers travel to the school’s office in Lansing every day to lead online instruction for more than 1,700 students across Michigan in grades kindergarten through 12.