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Former tutor returns to stand in sex trial

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - The former high school tutor accused of having sex with one of her students returned to the stand in court in her own defense.

Abigail Simon started her second day of testimony Monday is in her trial on sexual assault charges. She is accused of assaulting a then 15-year-old boy from Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids.

Simon appeared frustrated Monday morning with the cross-examination from the prosecutor. When asked why she didn't report the incidents to school personnel, she said that the school would be more interested in protecting its reputation than helping her.

Simon testified on Friday that her alleged victim slapped her and then she started to fear the teen, who was one of the school's biggest football players. She testifies that she did voluntarily engage in sex with the teen, but that he forced her to have sex.

WGRD radiothon supports A-T Children's Project

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Our radio partner 97.9 WGRD is raising money and awareness for an organization that helps children with a degenerative disease. It's called ataxia-telangiectasia, or A-T, and causes progressive loss of muscle control and higher cancer rates.

The guys from the Free Beer and Hot Wings Show teamed up with the band Wayland to hold their first radiothon Friday.

The money raised is going to the A-T Children's Project.

Early snow storm cost 15% of road crew winter budget

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County Road Commission officials say the cleanup from this week's storm will cost the county more than $1 million.

That's 15 percent of the county's winter budget, and it's not even officially winter yet.

With snowfall of more than 30 inches in some areas, road crews are continuing with their cleanup efforts.

Friday afternoon, officials said they planned on making at least two more passes along neighborhood roads throughout Friday night to widen lanes and clean out drains.

During the peak of the snow storm, they focused on cleaning up busier roads.

With rain in our weekend forecast, county officials ask residents to be aware of leaves building up in the catch basins -- because once the snow melts, the water needs somewhere to go.

"Rethink West Michigan" hiring event

(WZZM) - Are the kids coming home this week for Thanksgiving? If you want them to move back, there's an event happening Wednesday you may want to have them swing by.

Rethink West Michigan is holding an event this Wednesday at the B.O.B.'s Eve to encourage workers to take a second look at employment opportunities in West Michigan. Employers will be on-hand from all different fields to talk about opportunities, along with cost of living, and lifestyles West Michigan has to offer.

The event is Wednesday November 26, 5:30-8 p.m. There will be free appetizers!

Tutor: Teen threatened to kill himself

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The tutor on trial for having sex with one of her students took the stand in her own defense Friday afternoon.

Abigail Simon is accused of assaulting the then-15-year-old Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School student. The defense has claimed that Simon was the victim of assault from the teen.

"Why did you tell the detective that you didn't engage in sex," asked a defense attorney.

"Because I didn't," Simon testified.

"Can you elaborate on what that means?"

"I didn't engage in sex with him."

"What happened?"

"He forced me to have sex with him."

Event planned to attract people to West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Many West Michigan natives who now live in other parts of the country will return home next week to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones in the area. To welcome them back, a special gathering Wednesday night is being held at The B.O.B.

Hello West Michigan executive director Cindy Brown says it's a party with a purpose. The event, called ReThink West Michigan, is a casual networking event aiming to convince area natives who moved elsewhere to relocate back to this community.

Brown says a compelling reason to come back is that many companies here are growing quickly and need talented workers. There's a particular need in engineering and technology.

Admission is free for the November 26 event, which takes place from 5:30pm to 8pm. Attendees just need to register ahead of time at this link.

Cher cancels Grand Rapids stop, remainder of D2K Tour

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) --The remainder of Cher's Dressed to Kill Tour has been scrapped, including an already rescheduled Jan. 11 date at the Van Andel Arena.

The 68-year-old superstar announced Thursday she was canceling the remaining 29 dates on her D2K Tour due to ongoing recovery from illness. She had previously hinted the tour will be her last.

The tour launched in March, and Cher completed 49 sold-out shows before taking a scheduled break in July. Shortly before returning to the road in September, she was sidelined by an infection that affected her kidney function and forced her to postpone some dates, including an Oct. 25 show at the Resch.

"While her progress has been consistent, Cher's doctors have advised her to take more time to ensure a complete and total recovery,'' her publicist said in a statement.