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Grand Rapids employees send 1,200 water cases to Flint

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Last week, employees at the Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union had an idea on how they could help Flint -- they asked their community for water.  

Organizers collected water from the community and with a final total of about 1200 cases and some 300 jugs, volunteers loaded a donated semi.  

The water was delivered to Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, with the water handed over to distribution points across the city.  

The 1,200 cases of water will help about 600 families for two weeks.  

Muskegon man sentenced in 'extreme' child porn case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Muskegon man will spend the next 20 years in prison for spreading child pornography via the Internet.

Adam James Fitzpatrick, 26, will have 10 years of supervision following release. He must also register as a sex offender at that time.

The sentence was handed down Thursday in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids. Judge Paul Maloney said this is the worst child pornography case he has ever seen.

Fitzpatrick’s computer was seized Aug. 5, 2015, when the FBI executed a search warrant following a joint investigation by the Michigan State Police and the FBI. Examiners discovered thousands of images and video, including hardcore, graphic material of prepubescent children — including infants and toddlers — being raped and tortured, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles Jr. said.

Hutchinson opens first innovation center in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Global automotive and aerospace manufacturer, Hutchinson opened its first North American Innovation Center in Grand Rapids Wednesday.

  The 13,000 square foot facility will be dedicated to research and development for automotive noise reduction systems. 
The center is complete with robotics, interactive displays and a showroom of airplane and automotive interiors.

"The City of Grand Rapids is very proud to have a longtime business such as Hutchinson invest in our City, particularly in the manufacturing and technology sectors," said Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. 

The center it located at 460 Fuller Avenue in Grand Rapids. 

Hutchinson executives chose Grand Rapids because the City is close to major automotive clients and vendors.
  The only other center that Hutchinson operates is in Paris.

Lightfast coffee shop opens in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A new coffee shop in Grand Rapids is celebrating its first day in business.

Lightfast Coffee Bar + Art Collective served its first customers Monday. In addition to serving coffee, the shop hosts work from a different local artist each month. There'll be an opening party for each new show.

Lightfast is on Fulton near Diamond. Its open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Retro Trend Hits the Camper, Travel and RV Show in GR

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- It may still be cold outside but it is never too early to start planning for the spring, summer and fall camping season in West Michigan.

The annual Camper, Travel and RV Show at DeVos Place this weekend offers promises of warmer days ahead. A dozen West Michigan RV dealers representing more than 100 RV lines are part of the show.

A newer trend you'll see at this year's show are vintage, retro and 1950's style campers.  Many models boast the "old school" look inside and out.  Some with retro style booth seating inside, vintage looking kitchenette countertops and old fashioned-looking exterior showers.

And there is so much more to see at the show! Tickets for adults are $10, children (6-14) are $4 and children five and under are free.

Startup Weekend in GR a frenzy for entrepreneurs

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- For hopeful entrepreneurs, it's a 54-hour frenzy.

Emerge West Michigan's Startup Weekend is happening right now in Grand Rapids.

It started Friday night at Kendall College of Art and Design.

Participants first pitch an idea for a startup. They only have until Sunday night to build a team and create a presentation they'll give to a panel of judges.

Pop Scholars Improv Show at Wealthy Theatre

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you want to get in a good laugh this weekend, there's a show going on Friday night that should do the trick.

Pop Scholars is a four-man, Grand Rapids based, fast-paced improv team. They've been doing improvisational comedy for over five years in Grand Rapids, but have performed all over Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and most notably, Chicago's iO (formerly Improv Olympic).

They perform public shows at Wealthy Theatre monthly and have been involved in Grand Rapids' comedy festival, Laughfest, each year as well.

The show is on Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. at Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids.