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Van Hoecks Shoes closing after 70 years

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Downtown Grand Rapids is losing what may be its longest continually-operating store - Van Hoecks Shoes.

Owner Greg Clarin says the store has been losing money for four years. High rent and low traffic get the blame, along with an aging customer base and internet sales competition.

"There's not enough people downtown to support us because there's not enough retail down here to make 'em come down and shop it as a retail district," Clarin said Wednesday morning.

Clarin has owned Van Hoecks for the past 14 years. He says the first 11 were good years. Clarin says his store has always focused on carrying large inventory to provide shoes for hard-to-fit customers.

"We're not cultivating the young customer because they don't care about fit yet. You don't care about fit until you get to the point where you don't want to look hot anymore-- now you just want to feel good."

Symphony Music Director role to change

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The Grand Rapids Symphony has announced that Music Director David Lockington will end his tenure at the close of the 2014-15 season and start a new role with the organization.

Lockington will become the symphony's first Music Director Laureate.  The symphony announced Tuesday that Lockington's contract as Music Director was extended through the 2014-15 season, making him the longest serving director the symphony has had at 16 years.

"David Lockington has made exceptional contributions to the Grand Rapids Symphony throughout his many years with our organization," said Board Chairperson Stephen C. Waterbury in a press release. "His extraordinary vision and musicianship have allowed us to reach new levels, from our performance in Carnegie Hall to national recognition though the Grammy nomination we received.

GRPL - Now accepting applications for Día de los Muertos

GRPL - Now accepting applications for Día de los Muertos

Día de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Mexican holiday that honors family and friends who have passed on. Loved ones come together to build altars that celebrate the life and memory of the dead. The day is a time of celebration and joy, filled with talk and memories of those who have died.

For the third year, the Ryerson Auditorium on Level 3 of the Main Library will be home to a community exhibit of altars built by local residents who want to share the memory of their family and friends. Every altar is unique and taken together they create a fascinating portrait of what the citizens of Grand Rapids hold close to them.

Altars will be installed on Wednesday, October 31 from 4:00 – 8:30 pm. They will be on exhibit during open hours on Thursday, November 1, Friday, November 2, Saturday, November 3 and until 4:00 pm on...


Education day at the GRAM

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The Grand Rapids Art Museum is helping local public school students enjoy the ArtPrize experience. Tuesday, the GRAM held the first of four ArtPrize education days, allowing 1,200 students to learn from contemporary artists.

For the students, it's a chance to learn new techniques.

"It's going to teach them that there's other ways to make marks on paper and ways that they can draw and think outside of the box. As far as how they put materials down on a piece of paper as well as mixing two and three dimensions. At the end they're making a collaborative sculpture that will be on display at the museum," says Alex Guilford, a GRAM school programs intern.

The GRAM will hold another workshop on Thursday for students in kindergarten-sixth grade. Two more workshops for seventh through twelfth grade students will be held next week.

dArtPrize: U.S. 131 & Market Avenue

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - WZZM 13 is randomly selecting places at ArtPrize to show viewers some art pieces they might not have seen.  Tuesday our Morning News crew shot a dart at the ArtPrize map. It randomly landed near the intersection of U.S. 131 and Market Avenue. 

WZZM 13's Alex Shabad and Steve Zaagman used that as a starting point to an unpredictable journey through Artprize.  Click on the link above to see more.

New lofts coming to downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The site of a former furniture factory is being turned into apartments and retail outlets.

Rockford Construction broke ground Monday at the former Century Furniture building at 40 Logan Street SW.  The building also housed Baker Furniture and the building will be called Baker Lofts.

The building will house 87 residential units on the top four floors and offices and workout space will be on the main floor.

LC Companies plans to begin marketing the units in the summer of 2013.

See Your Film on the Big Screen!

See Your Film on the Big Screen!

Are you a teen who loves movies? Here at KDL we love films and we want to see your movie on the big screen. That’s right! A screen at Celebration Cinema is waiting to premiere your short film. TheKent County Teen Film Festival is coming in February 2013 and submissions are due on January 7. Are there rules to this festival? Of course… but there are also prizes!

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity, brought to you by Grand Rapids Public Library, Celebration Cinema and us! Get all the details you need here.

Now get filming!