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Second annual Halloween on Ionia is Saturday


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Friday is for trick-or-treating, but Saturday is time for grown-ups to celebrate Halloween. The second annual Halloween on Ionia takes place in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday evening and tickets are still available.

Dress to impress because $5,000 in cash prizes will be given away for best costumes. There will be spooky decorations and drink specials, along with live music all night long.

Halloween on Ionia is Saturday, November 1, 3 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $10 in advanced and $15 at the gate.


Encouraging enrollment figures lead to GRPS pay raise


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Some Grand Rapids Public School staffers are getting a pay raise.

The Board of Education and several unions announced the decision Thursday.

The increase comes, in part, because the district has posted its best count day in 20 years.

The agreement goes into effect this December. Pay increases for teachers range from 2.5 percent to 7.6 percent.


Aquinas opens new athletic facility


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) Aquinas College is celebrating the opening of its new indoor athletic and recreation building.

The Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building completes Aquinas' state-of-the-art $14 million athletic complex. The complex also includes the Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center which opened in 2010.

Named after the project's lead donor, Greg Alksnis '71, and his family, the Alksnis Athletics & Recreation Building houses a 200-meter NCAA-certified track, and a turf infield that will also feature portable courts for use by intramural and junior varsity teams.

In addition, the space accommodates indoor practice for baseball, softball, soccer and lacrosse.


Trick-or-treat at GRCM


(WZZM) - You can avoid the chilly Halloween forecast with a trip to the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. Thursday evening, everyone is invited to trick-or-treat, make crafts, and tour the building for $1.50.

The event is geared more toward kids ages 1-10, but all ages are welcome. GRCM staff members anticipate a large crowd and advise you to come when the doors open at 5 p.m. Trick-or-treating will go until 8 p.m.


Mobile food pantry in Eastown provides fresh produce


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A mobile food pantry in the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids provided fresh food to families in need Wednesday.

The Eastown Community Association teamed up with members of the student senate at Aquinas College, Striders, Feeding America West Michigan, and the Point Church for the giveaway. They handed out 5,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables to about 300 families.

Volunteers say they enjoy being able to help people close to home.

"Seeing that people around us need this food -- and we're able to help them and show that we care -- is awesome," said Maddy Burns.

"We just love serving in the community," said Jared Saladin. "We love Eastown, we love the people here, and we just want to help -- and the ECA has provided that opportunity for us."

Police watching sex offenders this Halloween


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Sex offenders present a scary thought for many parents, especially on Halloween. The good news: police will be watching. Officers are not taking any chances when it comes to keeping your kids safe.

"We will have officers checking those addresses and making sure those sex offenders are in compliance for Halloween," says Lt. Michael Maycroft with the Grand Rapids Police Department.

He's referring to registered sex offenders that are either on probation or parole. Lt. Maycroft says that those offenders can't have anything to do with trick or treating.

Lt. Maycroft says the department will be watching those addresses "to make sure that the lights aren't on, that they're not actively participating in Halloween, and do what we can to keep the kids safe."

He urges parents to use online resources like the sex offender registry.

Spectrum updates Ebola preparations


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - The CDC guidelines for health care workers have continued to change, as more hospitals are affected by potential Ebola patients.

Spectrum Health recently updated their guidelines and even took it one step further.

Wednesday, they demonstrated all of the personal protection equipment that would be worn, should a health care worker from Spectrum Health need to care for a potential Ebola patient.

"That's where we've had evolving efforts to try and protect our employees and recognize how the risk of transmission might be especially challenging for health care workers because of the large amount of infections body fluids that are released in that circumstance," said Spectrum Health's Dr. David Dobbie. He says in some cases an Ebola patient could release up to 10 liters of bodily fluids a day.