Our network

News

New uniform requirement begins at GRPS middle schools


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Summer vacation ends for many West Michigan students Tuesday, and for some children in Grand Rapids, this new school year brings a new requirement.

PHOTO GALLERY: Back to School 2014

Starting September 2, middle school students in Grand Rapids Public Schools must wear school uniforms. The district implemented the plan saying uniforms help increase focus on learning and reduce behavior problems. Officials say it seems to be working.

"We really removed that behavioral issue or bullying issues as it's related to what students are wearing," said GRPS spokesman John Helmholdt. "We saw a significant reduction in that, at least anecdotally, from feedback we got from teachers and support staff in the school."

Grand Rapids police are investigating an overnight stabbing during an apparent robbery attempt.


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Grand Rapids police are investigating a stabbing, that happened during an apparent robbery attempt. Investigators say it happened near the intersection of Division and Oakes around 1:30 Sunday morning.

The suspects asked two men for money, after they said no a group of men and women jumped them. The two victims were stabbed during the scuffle. The victims were taken to a Grand Rapids hospital with non life threatening injuries.


Break dance school celebrates 10 years of street dancing


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids is known by many names: Furniture City, Beer City USA, a cool city, and now Street Dance City.

61Syx Teknique Street Dance Academy, one of the only breakdance schools in the Midwest, is celebrating 10 years in Grand Rapids.

Keegan 'Seoul' Loye owns 61Syx Teknique on Alpine.

"We have been around for 10 years now, and it is a growing thing," explains Loye. "Its been a crazy crazy journey."

Loye teaches street dancing, or more specifically, a type of it called breakdancing. It's been featured in movies and TV shows like "So You Think You Can Dance." Dancers flip, spin on their backs and even their head, and do things that at first glance can appear to be impossible.

Outdoor watch party planned for MSU-Oregon game


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan State football fans can watch the Spartans play Oregon at an outdoor, downtown watch party.

The West Michigan Spartans, an alumni group, plans the September 6 watch party at Ah-Nab-Awen Park. Organizers say there'll be a 12' by 22' LED screen along the Grand River, as there was for a summertime event showing a Team USA World Cup match.

There will be free MSU temporary tattoos for kids, along with mini footballs and glow sticks. Several alumni-owned businesses, including Ritz Koney, Dorothy + Tony's Popcorn, and GB Russo plan to be there selling food. Plus, fans 21 and up can bring their own beer and wine.

The park opens at 5:30 p.m. on September 6 for the game. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m.

Organizers say it's free, but they want attendees to RSVP at this link.


The Rapid gives annual update to Kent Co. commissioners


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Just days after the start of the new Silver Line service, the Rapid is celebrating 14 years of continuous growth.

Thursday, the Kent County Board of Commissioners heard an update on the Rapid's latest status.

According to the latest numbers, the service gave 500,000 more rides in 2013 than in 2012.

"When people talk about what we're doing with the money that's invested, we're putting people to work, we are creating jobs, we are bringing people to work," said CEO Peter Varga. "We are creating economic development, and that means that we are supporting the community on a larger level."

The American Public Transportation Association named the Rapid the county's outstanding mid-size system in 2013.


Accused apologetic robber charged


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The man accused of robbing a credit union in Grand Rapids last week is now facing formal charges.

David Thomas Saunders, 23, is accused of holding up the Lake Michigan Credit Union at the Mercy Health Saint Mary's campus last Monday.

Police say Saunders passed a note to the bank teller, saying that he was armed and demanding cash.

He then reportedly told the teller he was sorry.

Saunders escaped through the hospital but was finally arrested the next day at a home on Grand Avenue in northeast Grand Rapids.


G.R. approves Airbnb rentals with restrictions


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids city leaders have approved one-room rentals through websites like Airbnb.

Renting rooms without a licence is illegal in Grand Rapids, but the city was trying to find away to accommodate these sites.

One proposal included charging a large fee to advertise open rooms on websites.

The approval of the one-room rentals doesn't come without some restrictions. Only one room can be rented. Only 200 permits will be given out by the city. A maximum of two adults can stay in the room. The owners must live in the home. Neighbors within 300 feet will be informed when a permit is issued.