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Construction site's pink elevator raises breast cancer awareness

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one group is creating awareness with a pink elevator.

Metro Elevator Company and Susan G. Komen Michigan are partnering for the Ride the Pink Elevator campaign.

The Rapid bus fare hike implemented on Thursday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Rapid increased bus fares in Grand Rapids on Thursday. It's the first time the company has raised fares in seven years.

Rapid leaders approved a 25-cent hike in Aug. 2015. Instead of paying $1.50 for a ride, people will now pay $1.75.

Rapid administrators say since their last price hike, they've expanded routes and it's become more costly to do business.

For more information on current fares, visits The Rapid's website.

House candidate calls for Rapid bus drivers to catch 'blue flu'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Michigan State House candidate is calling on Rapid bus drivers to "call in sick" in protest against how the transit organization is handling contract negotiations.

Michael Scruggs is the chairman of the Kent County Black Caucus, and is running for the 75th district house seat vacated by Brandon Dillon.

The Grand Rapids Press reports Scruggs issued a call yesterday for bus drivers to stage "the blue flu" to stand up to the Rapid. 

Bus drivers want to keep their pensions, while the city wants to move to a 401-K style system.

Milt Lennox, original co-owner of Apartment Lounge, dies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The former co-owner of the Apartment Lounge in Grand Rapids has died.

Milt Lennox passed away Tuesday Sept. 29 following several bouts with pneumonia. Lennox had suffered from C.O.P.D., a disease of the lungs.

Lennox, along with his long-time partner Ed Ladner, owned the Apartment Lounge for 40 years. The couple sold it three years ago to the current owner and close friend Bob Johnson.

Johnson tells WZZM 13 it's really difficult accepting Milt is gone saying, "He was like a father to me."

Milt and Ed had been together for 51 years. Johnson says Lennox did smoke at one time but decades ago. It's assumed his C.O.P.D. was caused by years of working a smokey bar.

The Apartment Lounge is considered the state's oldest continually-operating LGBT bar.

Twin enters plea in 2014 rape, golf club attack in GR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- His twin brother already in prison for the same crime, 30-year-old Michael Gabriel Versluys Tuesday entered no contest pleas for his role in the May 2014 rape and golf club beating of a prostitute, who was left disfigured by the late night assault.

Versluys entered pleas before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber on Tuesday as his trial was to get underway.

Under a plea agreement, he faces a minimum of 12 years in prison for armed robbery, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and assault with intent to commit great bodily harm. He'll be back before Leiber for sentencing on Oct. 29.

His brother, Peter James Versluys, was sentenced in September, 2014 to between 23 and 50 years for armed robbery and first-degree criminal sexual conduct causing injury.

ArtPrize alternative: 'Rise and fall of Prohibition'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you're at ArtPrize this weekend and want to try something a little different, the Grand Rapids Public Museum has a new exhibit opening.

It's called "American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition." It documents the beginning of the temperance movement and the passage of the 18th Amendment,which prohibited the manufacturing, transportation and sale of liquor.

The amendment was eventually repealed.

The exhibit is included with the price of a general admission and lasts until mid-January. Admission for the museum is half price during ArtPrize.

Touring the Rowe's renovations in progress

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're getting an inside look at the dramatic overhaul of one of Grand Rapids' oldest structures.

Built in 1922, the Rowe hotel opened in 1923. President John F. Kennedy once stayed here while campaigning. Then, in 1964, it switched over to senior housing before closing in 2001. It sat vacant since then.

Now, a real estate developer is gutting it and renovating it to become 77 apartments, eight condos, and several retail fronts on the main floor -- including the just-announced Atwater Brewery biergarten and tap house.