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40th Anniversary of Silent Observer Fundraiser

40th Anniversary of Silent Observer Fundraiser

On Tuesday, November 13th, the Douglas & Maria DeVos Foundation will sponsor a celebration and fundraiser in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of Silent Observer. This event will be known as “The Comeback Tour – Let’s Roast Them Again.”

This event will be held at 8:30pm in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. Dress is Business Attire.

Former Roasts have featured John Canepa, Mike Jandernoa, Diana Sieger, Sara Smolenski, David VanAndel and Michelle VanDyke.

MI Unemployment down in September

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan is reporting a second straight big drop in unemployment, with the rate down 2.1 percentage points in two months.

The Department of Technology, Management & Budget said Thursday that Michigan's seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate stood at 8.2 percent in September, down from 9.2 percent in August and 10.3 percent in July. The rate was 9.8 percent in September 2011.

The department says joblessness fell in all 17 of Michigan's major labor markets. It says the main reason was a shrinkage in the size of the labor force, down 36,000 since August.

The Detroit labor market's jobless rate fell to 10 percent in September, down from 10.9 percent in August. In the Grand Rapids area, joblessness fell to 6 percent from 6.9 percent.

Here are the seasonally unadjusted jobless rates for September, followed by August in West Michigan:

Ottawa Co. man sentenced in fraud case

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - A Holland man will spend four years in prison for mail fraud.

Investigators say Jeffrey Folkert, 42,  tricked family and friends into investing in his internet company iStorm Solutions, promising a large return. Instead, it's believed he stole $1.5 Million.

A U.S. district judge also ordered Folkert to pay $1.3 Million in restitution to the victims and a $7,500 fine.

Earlier this year, Folkert pled guilty to one count of mail fraud. He admitted to using the U.S. mail to commit the scheme.

He also admitted to using investor money to pay for his own expenses, to transfer money to foreign accounts for internet gambling and buy new cars.

The FBI and Michigan State Police investigated the case.

Share your life with app made in West MI

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - One of the first ideas funded through the Start Garden project in Grand Rapids is now available for use.

The app 'One Second Epic' is available from Apple's store.

Start Garden awarded creator Joe Johnson $5,000 in start up money and another $20,000 to keep the project going.

Johnson says he never expected this to happen.

"And they came to our name and we were sitting together and I was ready for them to say now and they said yes," said Johnson. "So it was exciting. We had our family there and it was a great fun time."

'One Second Epic' captures your life a few seconds at a time and save the clips as 'epics.' According to the app's description, epics present a unique perspective on one's life. You can then share those clips.

VAI becomes Oz for cancer research fundraiser

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - The Van Andel Institute has turned into the Land of Oz to raise money for cancer research.

The VAI's 12th Annual Hope on the Hill Gala begins at 6:30pm Thursday night.

Organizers hope to raise more than $500,000 for cancer and neurodegenerative disease research and science education.

The gala includes food from several Grand Rapids' restaurants and catering companies, live music and other live entertainment.

More than 800 guests are expected to attend.

G.R. Brewery owners expanding to Lansing

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - BarFly Ventures, the owners of bars like HopCat and Stella's in downtown Grand Rapids, will soon open up new businesses in Lansing.

Thursday, the company announced HopCat in East Lansing and the Lansing Brewing Company.

"Lansing and East Lansing have thousands of residents who are passionate about good food and good beer, but the market seems under-served," said Mark Sellers, owner of BarFly Ventures.

HopCat East Lansing will be on the ground floor of The Residences in East Lansing. It will offer 100 craft beers as well as food.

Lansing Brewing Company will open on the ground floor of the new Stadium District Apartments in Lansing, reviving the name of a brewery that operated in Lansing from 1898 to 1914.

"I'm excited to revive the historic Lansing Brewing Co. name downtown and bring HopCat's unmatched selection of craft beers and high-quality food to downtown East Lansing," said Sellers.

Sara Sherry is Mixing It Up

Sara Sherry is Mixing It Up

By Jeff Hill

What does a 24-year-old white girl know about business? What does a 24-year-old white girl know about the struggles of being a minority in today's society?

These are just some of the questions that Sara Sherry deals with every day, both as the owner of a unique staffing company, and as a junior varsity volleyball coach at a Grand Rapids City High School. Her company, Mixed Staffing, provides staffing and recruiting services, motivational speaking, educational seminars, resume' building, personality testing, drug screening, and other employment related resources. Mixed also provides diversity training and education, which is one area in particular that Sherry feels passionate about.

Discrimination Takes Many Forms