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Crowd gives Carters a warm welcome in G.R.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hundreds of people waited in line Monday afternoon to see former President Jimmy Carter and the former First Lady Rosalynn Carter talk about their work around the world helping to eliminate disease, hunger, and discrimination against woman and the mentally ill.

"Grand Rapids has a special hold on my heart, because I think the finest public servant I've ever known came from Grand Rapids," Carter said. "Gerald Ford was my personal friend."

In Grand Rapids, where residents know how to honor a former first family, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter got a warm welcome from the crowd at Grand Rapids Community College.

"I just admire them for their making this a better place, a better world," said Lupe Ramos-Montigny of the state Board of Education.

Fmr. President Carter speaks in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn visited Grand Rapids Monday for a lecture and book signing. The 39th President and the former First Lady appeared as part of Grand Rapids Community College's Diversity Lecture Series.

The 89-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner lectured before a question-and-answer session with the sold-out crowd. He discussed his opinions on the gender pay gap, US involvement in the fight against the group calling itself Islamic State, and even called President Gerald R. Ford the finest public servant he's known.

Of IS, Carter said, "We don't really have anybody on the ground in Syria on whom we can depend. The so-called moderate opposition to President Assad in Syria is almost non-existent. Most of the moderate opposition...are in Turkey and London, and not on the battlefield."

125-year-old Heritage Hill apt. building renovated

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- The people who live in one of the city's oldest buildings are enjoying its first renovations in 30 years.

Mayor George Heartwell was among the people who attended a ceremony for the newly-renovated Stuyvesant Apartments Monday, they're located on the corner of Madison Avenue and Cherry Street SE.

The improvements include renovations to the interior units, exterior changes to improve accessibility, and a new community room.

"It was past time, past due to bring the work here. The complex nature of it, is really what we specialize in -- bringing value to affordable housing. And that's why we came here," said D.J. Nelson, president of EaglePoint Development.

YWCA launches week-long domestic violence email blast

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- The issue of domestic violence is getting more attention due to what's happening in the NFL.
But it is a crisis that's been happening here in West Michigan on a daily basis. Take a look at these numbers shared to us by our WZZM Watchdog team:

  • There are 42 domestic violence cases on the docket in Kent County district courts this week alone...including 23 cases in Grand Rapids District Court.
  • Four of the 42 are for aggravated domestic violence, which is punishable by a year in prison.
  • Domestic violence first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by 93 days in jail. This accounts for many of the 42 cases..

Other facts? Some of those 42 cases this week include a secondary charge of interfering with an electronics communications device.

Catholic Central downs Cedar Springs

GR Catholic Central wins 24-12 over the Cedar Springs Red Hawks

Nick LaFave gets a tour of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- For those still getting to know WZZM 13's Nick LaFave, he's an Upper Peninsula native still learning about West Michigan.

To help in that effort, we asked you on Facebook to suggest some places in and around Grand Rapids that he should see and experience right away.

WZZM 13's Steve Zaagman acted as tour guide, taking a recent morning to whisk Nick around town in a '54 Chevy. They visited the Fish Ladder, the tombs of President Gerald R. Ford and First Lady Betty Ford, the Downtown Market, the 18th floor of the JW Marriott, Founders, and other locations.

See the video above for more on Nick's Grand Rapids tour.

Pop-up store Middle West selling Michigan-made products

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- As you likely know by now, we like to feature companies making products right here in Michigan.

For the next two days, there's a store on Division in Grand Rapids that sells only products made in Michigan. The pop-up store (a shop that pops up for just a short time) is called Middle West, a pop-up store.

Through Saturday, it's selling things ranging from furniture, to clothes, to accessories, and other things.

Middle West is at 105 S Division Ave. Learn more on its Facebook page at this link.