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Arena Place celebrates topping off ceremony


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A topping off ceremony took place Tuesday morning for the new Arena Place building located across from the Van Andel Arena.

The final steel beam's placement marks the next phase of construction for the $45 million project.

Arena Place will be approximately a 350,000 square foot mixed-use property. The first four floors of the structure will provide 288 parking spaces and 100 market-rate apartments will be located on the upper floors of the building.

The city provided Orion Construction with a $3 million tax increment financing.

Runners brave cold for Grand Rapids Marathon


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Thousands of dedicated runners are in the midst of the 12th annual Grand Rapids Marathon.

The main event got started at 8 a.m. at the David D Hunting YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids. Last year, nearly 20 percent of participating marathon runners qualified for the Boston Marathon.

Brendan Molony of Kalamazoo won the men's race -- a repeat winner -- with a time of 2:31:07 and Michigan State graduate Angela Swain took first in the women's division with a time of 2:57:46.

For more information regarding the Grand Rapids Marathon, visit its website.


Accused G.R. peeping Tom sought


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Grand Rapids police want the public's help identifying an accused peeping Tom.

The man has been seen looking into the windows of a home in the 1100 block of East Fulton St. at nighttime every now and then between September 11 and October 4, according to police.

Police described the suspect as black, 20 to 30 years old, about 6', with a slender build, last seen wearing a black coat over a white t-shirt, and a black knit hat.

Downtown Market's Food A'Faire celebrates local food, healthy eating


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Guests were invited to "slip into the shadows" Thursday night at the Downtown Market in Grand Rapids.

The spooky-themed Food A'Faire is all about the celebration of food.

The event featured three different rooms: the Amber Room, with a silent auction, featuring Michigan experiences; the Wake Snakes Ballroom with live music; and the market's greenhouse was transformed into the Garden of Good and Evil.

"We invite folks to come and help us celebrate, and help give back to the educational foundation that we set up in order to help provide the community to come in learn about healthy eating, learn about healthy lifestyles," said Downtown Market president and CEO Mimi Fritz.

The Downtown Market Education Foundation also helps entrepreneurs get their new food-related businesses off the ground.


Dead Solez: G.R. store sells collector sneakers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - There are coin collectors, stamp collectors, and car collectors --but have you ever heard of someone who collects sneakers? They call themselves sneakerheads, and now there's a store in Grand Rapids that caters to those who love these shoes.

"The sneaker game is crazy," explains Angelo Martinez, co-owner of Dead Solez. "Sneakerheads go from 10 years old to 50 years old, nowadays."

Just like buying vintage baseball cards, people collect classic shoes, like 1996 Air Jordans.

Ford Museum closing for work on annex


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum will be closed until next summer as crews install new permanent interactive exhibits and conduct renovations.

A Monday afternoon ceremony celebrated the placement of the final beam on the new DeVos Learning Center at the museum in Grand Rapids and marked the museum's temporary closure.

The 8,000-square-foot Learning Center is set to be completed in fall 2016.

The "topping-off ceremony" follows three years of planning by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum. More than $15 million was raised for projects including the Learning Center and exhibit updates.

Ford died in 2006, and former first lady Betty Ford died in 2011. They lived in Rancho Mirage, California, for decades. Their hometown was Grand Rapids.

Kayak tips, 2 women rescued from Grand River


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two women were pulled from the Grand River after their kayak tipped over.

Firefighters responded around 5:15 p.m. Sunday to the Bridge Street bridge over the Grand River on a report that kayakers were struggling in the river.

A bystander entered the water against dispatchers' advice in an attempt to rescue the women but was not successful, according to dispatch reports. Firefighters then entered the river with a boat to retrieve them, according to a WZZM photographer.

The women told firefighters they did not see an obstacle in the river, which caused the kayak to tip.

Reports indicated they were not wearing life jackets and were uninjured.