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616 Lofts on Michigan to host mixer for pet lovers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The 616 Lofts on Michigan Avenue opened not too long ago and on February 4th at 5 p.m., they will be holding an event for pet lovers.
 It's called the Michigan Made Mixer and in collaboration with Hello West Michigan and the Humane Society of West Michigan, it will offer a number of perks that any pet lover would enjoy. 

 "We believe pets are family and welcome our resident's furry companions at all of our 616 communities." said Director of Development, Monica Steimle. 

 The event will offer on site adoptions, samples from Fido and Stitch located at 616 Lofts on
Monroe, a chance to learn about dog training services from A Pleasant Dog, and drinks and hor'dourves. 

616 Lofts on Michigan will also offer tours of its facility. 

Grand Fish, Grand River opens at GR Public Museum

Grand Rapids (WZZM) -- A new display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum celebrates the Grand River and a threatened native fish.  The museum held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Grand Fish Grand River exhibit on Saturday.

It explores how the Great Lakes regions largest and oldest fish, the Lake Sturgeon is now a threatened species.  The exhibit features two live lake sturgeon that are 10 months old.  They are only about a foot long but when fully matured they can grow to seven feet long.  Along with the live fish the museum emphasizes the importance of the fish to the river  and ecosystem.

Admission to the Grand Fish Grand River exhibit is free with paid entry into the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The Phantom of the Opera at Dog Story Theater

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you love "The Phantom of the Opera," you have a chance to see it in a whole new light.

The University Wits will perform at Dog Story Theater this weekend.

The University Wits is a collective of theatrical designers, directors and talented performers. Their upcoming production, "The Phantom of the Opera" is an adapted play by Kyle Walker.

"I have loved the story of "The Phantom of the Opera" since I was very little and have watched all of the stage and film versions I could possibly find," said writer/director Kyle Walker. "But they all stray pretty far from the original novel by Gaston Leroux. I wanted to make a version that is based and inspired heavily upon the novel, the story lends itself very naturally to a stage adaptation."

Grand Rapids employees send 1,200 water cases to Flint

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Last week, employees at the Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union had an idea on how they could help Flint -- they asked their community for water.  

Organizers collected water from the community and with a final total of about 1200 cases and some 300 jugs, volunteers loaded a donated semi.  

The water was delivered to Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, with the water handed over to distribution points across the city.  

The 1,200 cases of water will help about 600 families for two weeks.  

Muskegon man sentenced in 'extreme' child porn case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Muskegon man will spend the next 20 years in prison for spreading child pornography via the Internet.

Adam James Fitzpatrick, 26, will have 10 years of supervision following release. He must also register as a sex offender at that time.

The sentence was handed down Thursday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. Judge Paul Maloney said this is the worst child pornography case he has ever seen.

Fitzpatrick’s computer was seized Aug. 5, 2015, when the FBI executed a search warrant following a joint investigation by the Michigan State Police and the FBI. Examiners discovered thousands of images and video, including hardcore, graphic material of prepubescent children — including infants and toddlers — being raped and tortured, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. said.

Hutchinson opens first innovation center in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Global automotive and aerospace manufacturer, Hutchinson opened its first North American Innovation Center in Grand Rapids Wednesday.

  The 13,000 square foot facility will be dedicated to research and development for automotive noise reduction systems. 
The center is complete with robotics, interactive displays and a showroom of airplane and automotive interiors.

"The City of Grand Rapids is very proud to have a longtime business such as Hutchinson invest in our City, particularly in the manufacturing and technology sectors," said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. 

The center it located at 460 Fuller Avenue in Grand Rapids. 

Hutchinson executives chose Grand Rapids because the City is close to major automotive clients and vendors.
  The only other center that Hutchinson operates is in Paris.

Onward to Meijer Gardens, another free outing last Saturday

Onward to Meijer Gardens, another free outing last Saturday

Going on line and doing a little research will help you find something to do during the cold winter months of Michigan and Grand Rapids MI seems to have an abundance of interesting things to do. This is a follow-up to our coffee visit on Saturday, January 16th.

OK, so now Pat & I had our coffee and checked out the Grand Rapids Coffee Roasters, so it was on to Fredrick Meijer Gardens for the Orchid Show, something else that was free on Saturday, January 16 & 17.

Lots and lots of beautiful Orchids and so many different kinds. There were many people out there, just like us, curious to see these beautiful flowers. I’m sure many of them were people who had their plants displayed. How proud they must be.