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Young patient surprised by equestrian team's ponies


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) – A Rockford freshman who has been hospitalized for nearly three weeks got a surprise team visit Sunday from her equestrian team and their ponies.

"We just wanted to do something to help cheer her up," said Nancy Graff, an equestrian team mother. "Make her day a little better."

Allison Cole is being treated for arthritis, but her symptoms are rare. Severe rashes and debilitating joint pain has kept Cole out of school and away from practice for weeks at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

"She worked all summer and then had to miss the important stuff, the meets," Graff said. "So my heart really went out to her. I know she really wanted to be there and I wanted to make her feel like she was there with us."

Cole's mother was touched by her daughter's team and their sweet gesture.

Alumni celebrate 125th anniversary of Butterworth School of Nursing


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- About 200 alumni of the Butterworth Hospital School of Nursing Program gathered Saturday to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the school.

The anniversary celebration also served as a reunion for the nurses with some in attendance having graduated back in 1946.

The two-day event included speakers addressing topics, such as nursing in developing countries and the recent changes in the nursing field.

The Butterworth School of Nursing held its last graduation ceremony on May 23, 1985, partly due to the demand for nurses with four-year degrees versus the shorter program Butterworth offered.


Residents, FAA concerned about drone in downtown GR


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Residents are concerned about a mysterious drone flying near their highrise homes in downtown Grand Rapids. They say it appears to be getting too close to the buildings.

"When you come outside, the last thing you expect to see is a drone hanging around your balcony," said Susan Wagener, who lives on the 27th floor of the Plaza Towers.

She and her husband recently renovated the space and added windows. "I guess in this day and age, that's what we're going to be living with." Susan says Wednesday night she was watching TV when she noticed the drone outside the window. She does photography as a hobby and took pictures. "It was closer to the buildings than the other ones we've seen, and that's what bothered me."

Cygnus 27 offers new brunch menu


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you're looking for a new place to enjoy Sunday morning brunch, Cygnus 27 at the Amyway Grand has launched a new Latin-inspired breakfast menu.

For more information on Cygus 27, please visit their website by clicking here.


Ford Museum prepares for major reconstruction


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Following ArtPrize 7, the Gerald R. Ford Museum will be closed for a major revamp.

The museum will be closed for several months as crews install new permanent interactive exhibits and begin renovations to the facility.

The state-of-the-art DeVos Learning Center will allow teachers to bring full classrooms into the museum to study subjects such as history and civics.

More than $15 million in private funds have been raised to build the DeVos Learning Center and update the museum exhibits.

The final beam for the new center will be placed on Monday during a special ceremony.

The museum will reopen to the public during the summer of 2016. The DeVos Learning will be complete in fall 2016.


Businesses donate to save GRAM Christmas tree


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The spirit of giving came early this year.

More than 40 local businesses donated $1,000 each to cover the $50,000 cost of replacing the LED lights that don the annual holiday tree at Rosa Parks Circle, according to a news release.

Grand Rapids Art Museum officials said Tuesday those lights needed replacement and funding wasn't available. GRAM also pays for the installation and rigging of the tree.

The lighting ceremony first began nine years ago.

"It's tradition but more than that, it gives us a chance to remind our friends that people before us invested in our town and gave [up] their time, talent and treasure to keep this city alive," local attorney John Inhulsen said in the release.

Inhulsen and downtown developer Charlie Secchia spearheaded the emergency "Save the Christmas Tree" effort.

Before retiring, GR police detective joins son on night shift


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Like father, like son.

Grand Rapids Police Detective Les Smith plans to retire after 25 years Thursday but before then, he and his son, Tyler, worked the night shift together. A photo of the two was posted on the department's Twitter page.

Tyler is an officer with the Grand Rapids Police Department while his father serves on the Major Case Team.