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Westside Fitness -- Westside Strong

Westside Fitness -- Westside Strong
Military personnel put their bodies and minds on the line every day so that we can exercise the freedoms we often take for granted. Westside Fitness recognizes this sacrifice and feels they deserve the chance to exercise their bodies and minds—for free.

Hopcat celebrates Joe Short’s annual Birthday Bash

Hopcat celebrates Joe Short’s annual Birthday Bash

 

Send us your Midnight Mass photos

Send us your Midnight Mass photos

Good evening and Merry Christmas!

As your family celebrates the holidays, show West Michigan your Christmas spirit by sending us a photo for our Midnight Mass photo gallery.

Send your photo to news@wzzm13.com. Please include your name, city, and a short caption.

Thank you!

Toys for Tots recipient: 'It means a lot'

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Thousands of children in need will have something under the Christmas tree this year, thanks to WZZM 13's generous viewers.

More than 7,000 toys were collected by schools, businesses, families and community members as part of our Toys For Tots campaign this year.

Members of the WZZM 13 family joined other volunteers Saturday to help distribute those donations to West Michigan families who cannot afford gifts this Christmas.

"This means a lot to my family because I just took in two kids," said Juankeena Jones, who was a Toys For Tots recipient.

"It means Christmas for my kids," added Latasha Matthis. "I was not fortunate enough to be able to give that to them myself this year, so it means smiles for them on Christmas morning.

Parents say it took about an hour to get through the line and get their toys. Any late donations will be saved for next year's Toys For Tots campaign.

Are you buying "local" for the holidays?

Are you buying "local" for the holidays?

Are you supporting your local economy?

Local First has a holiday gift guide with suggestions that support locally owned businesses.

You can also find gift suggestions on our WZZM 13 Made in Michigan page that lists nearly 500 companies that make their products in Michigan.

According to ABC News, if each American spent just $64 on American made goods, it would create 200,000 new jobs.  ABC also has information on Made in America goods.

Skywalk Deli hopes to reopen soon

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- A popular Grand Rapids restaurant that's being forced to shut down may soon re-open in a bigger space.

Skywalk Deli will serve its last sandwich at its current location on Friday. Franklin Partners, which owns the building where the deli is located, plans to rent the space that Skywalk occupies to Panera Bread.

Deli owner, Chris Fehsenfeld, isn't giving up though. He's moving his equipment to a larger space 50 yards away where he hopes to expand the business by adding a food market. All he needs now are investors. Chris Fehsenfeld says, "If this all works out, this deal works out, we'll actually be facing Panera so I'd like to give them a run for their money. I don't have anything against Panera at all. I just think that local business needs to stay downtown and people like it. It's been a good ten year run. I hope to have ten more."

Fehsenfeld says he's waiting on a proposal by Amway which already invested in a competing deli.

The great disasters of Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids - (WZZM) - With all the talk of the world ending tomorrow, which it won't, we thought we would look into Grand Rapid's past to find the cataclysmic events that seemed like it might be the end of the world for the people who had to live through them.

Tim Gleisner is manger of local history and special collections at the Grand Rapids Public Library. He talked with us about the top three GR disasters starting with the great fire in 1873.

"130 families were displaced by this fire north of Michigan Ave. and in Holland burned down," explains Gleisner. "You might think it was the end of the world."

The great fire of Grand Rapids came around the same time as the great Chicago fire. "The cause of it here in Grand Rapids and else where was because the largest industry was lumber," says Gleisner. Add to the fact that, Grand Rapids had a lot of furniture factories with sawdust that could easily catch fire.