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Prospecto, or, How a Three-Day Festival Could Change Grand Rapids' Music Scene

Revisiting ArtPrize's Big Ten

Last year, photographer Brian Kelly was given full access to the city of Grand Rapids to create special portraits of the Top 10 ArtPrize Artists. Brian presents this retrospective of his portraits here in a photo essay of these artists and their winning works as the second annual ArtPrize approaches.

Fix on 196 is on schedule

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -Very carefully, crews hoisted a massive cement section into the air over lafayette avenue.  The beam is part of the new stretch of I-196 .

"To have that much work in such a short amount of time is pretty amazing and that's why they did the full closure," said John Richard, Michigan Department of Transportation Spokesperson.

Reconstruction started last April. The Ottawa, Coit and Eastern Avenue bridges were knocked down and I-196 was effectively closed, and traffic re-routed to surface streets.

"A total re-construction of an interstate in such a unique setting by the Grand River, US-131and adjacent to downtown, plus the life sciences corridor, neighborhoods and churces in such a short period of time is really amazing," Richard said.

Back to School across West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - It is Back to School day for most students around West Michigan today.

Grand Rapids Schools Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor walked the red carpet at Gerald R. Ford Middle School with one of many students to kick off the day.

About 50 community leaders who are part of the Believe 2Become initiative; city council members, school leaders, and other prominent community members are acting as the paparrazi for the event.

A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony will be held Tuesday morning for the newly renovated and refurbished school of business, leadership and entrepreneurship at Ottawa Hills High School in Grand Rapids.

The school partnered with Amway for the program that started last year as one of four centers of innovation. Ottawa Hills renovated part of its building to house the school of business. Amway along with Steelcase and Custer Workplace worked on equipping it with the latest technology.

Windy day causing power outages; search for missing man in Ludington postponed

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Strong winds are creating some scattered power problems around West Michigan.

As of 4 p.m. Monday, Consumers Energy is reporting 2,615 outages in Kent County, 1,110 in Muskegon County, 713 in Ottawa County, and 370 in Allegan County.

Mecosta County has 1,268 outages, Manistee County has 985, Ionia County has 514, Newaygo County has 307, and Montcalm County has 226.

If you do encounter a downed power line Consumers Energy wants to remind you to stay away and call 911.

83-year-old convention bureau changes name to Experience Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids (WZZM) - The Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau today announced a new name for the 83-year-old organization - Experience Grand Rapids.

The organization says that the new name and brand more accurately reflects the organization's mission to market the region.  

The development of the new brand is the result of a two-year process of analysis and research that engaged the organization's leadership, staff and community members. The name change also mirrors recent trends by other cities and destination marketing organizations that have made a similar switch, such as Visit Denver and Discover Kalamazoo.

Good crowd turns out for Grand Rapids Bridge Walk

Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) There was no need to travel all the way to Mackinaw Bridge for a Labor Day Walk.

Hundreds of people participated Monday morning in the annual Grand Rapids bridge walk.

As always it was led by Mayor George Heartwell as a way to encourage people to get fit.

In all, walkers could travel 5 miles and across seven bridges.