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My Town: New Director of Parks and Recreation announced

My Town: New Director of Parks and Recreation announced


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (City of Grand Rapids)-- David Marquardt has joined the City of Grand Rapids as its new Parks and Recreation Director. “I am pleased David has chosen to be part of our team. His experience in leading the Planning, Design and Construction division of the Denver Parks Department positions him well to jump in and lead implementation of parks millage investments,” said City Manager Gregory Sundstrom.

In the final stages of the interview process, Marquardt visited Grand Rapids and had an opportunity to meet community members, park advocates, and City officials. Reflecting on that process, Marquardt stated, “I was impressed by the community’s demonstrated commitment to parks and recreation services. There is energy here that is intriguing and exciting.”

Ritz Koney loses lease, closing in downtown G.R.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The Ritz Koney Bar & Grille on Ionia Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids announced they are closing in February.

In a Facebook post on their page, owners Kevin and Keith posted the restaurant will be closing on February 23. The post says the landlord of the building at 64 Ionia SW elected to not renew their lease and is instead putting a different restaurant in the location.

Ritz Koney was given 30 days to vacate the premises and does not have time to find another location for their business.

The post also thanks their families, friends, vendors, and patrons for their ten years of business. Below is the restaurant's statement on Facebook:

Man missing from downtown Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids Police are looking for help in finding a missing man.

Timothy Daniel Groenhout, 39, was last seen at about noon on Wednesday, January 21st when he left on foot near Fulton Street and Prospect SE.

He was last seen wearing all black clothing and carrying a black backpack. He apparently shaved his head bald and shaved his beard down to a small goatee before leaving. He is 6'1" tall and weighs about 180 pounds.

Anyone with information should call GRPD at 456-3604 or Silent Observer at 774-2345.

My Town GR Central: Adult Comedy Improv Grief Workshop on Jan. 31

My Town GR Central: Adult Comedy Improv Grief Workshop on Jan. 31

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Those dealing with the loss of a loved one who want to find their laugh again are encouraged to attend this free healing workshop.

Make your reservation soon for an opportunity to share stories, laugh and enjoy new friends with emotional support and understanding, for you are not alone.

This free workshop takes place on Saturday, Jan. 31 from 2 p.m. to 4pm at the Grand Rapids Civic Center located at 30 N. Division Ave. RSVP at (818) 731-6793 or e-mail help@healing-improv.org   

For more information, visit  www.healing-improv.org.

Volunteers count Kent County homeless

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Volunteers spent time Wednesday night all over Kent County, trying to get an accurate count of the number of people sleeping on the streets.

It's part of an effort happening all over the country.

The Grand Rapids Coalition to End Homelessness is also handing out hand-warmers and food bars.

Having an accurate count helps them get people in need into permanent housing, said the coalition's Jim Talen, who is also a Kent County Commissioner.

"We want shelter stays to be temporary, and we want to be able to get people into permanent housing," Talen said. "There's just tons of evidence that if you get people into housing, and then provide support services, those services are so much more effective."

Volunteers were out Wednesday until midnight and plan to go out again Thursday morning from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m.

GRPD: Man with hatchet threatens bus driver

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A 51-year-old man was arrested on a felonious assault charge shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday evening in Grand Rapids. He's accused of threatening a Rapid bus driver with a hatchet.

Police tell WZZM 13 the man was on a bus on Michigan St. near Barclay, along the Medical Mile, when he allegedly made the threat. Scanner traffic indicated the man was intoxicated.

He then got off the bus in that same area and was arrested nearby. Police say he had a hatchet in his back pocket.

No one was injured.

BISSELL turns pet messes into donations with #PetHappens

BISSELL turns pet messes into donations with #PetHappens

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– BISSELL Homecare, Inc. knows that life with pets can be messy, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. BISSELL is setting out to embrace pet messes, creating a lighthearted campaign around the dirtier side of being a pet parent—like fur balls and garbage raids. To educate consumers on helpful ways to eliminate the messes (and support pet causes), BISSELL launched the #PetHappens campaign.

Through the campaign, BISSELL invites pet lovers to share their stories and photos of pet messes with #PetHappens on Twitter and Instagram from now until February 15, 2015. Each post tagged with #PetHappens will trigger a $1 donation to the BISSELL Pet Foundation®, up to $50,000*.