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Grand Rapids' Crescent Park renovated

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- A newly renovated park in the heart of Grand Rapids' medical mile is open to the public.  Mayor George Heartwell was on hand Wednesday for the official opening of Crescent Park.  It is located on the corner of Crescent and Bostwick.

Philanthropist David Van Andel is one of the people behind the project.  He spoke with WZZM 13 News about what inspired it.  "Crescent Park has sat in the middle of the city for several years and as medical mile has been slowly building up around it, we realize the need to preserve some of the green spaces that we have.  Crescent park had fallen into some disrepair and we decided to take the initiative and say we can fix this," said Van Andel.

Wednesday's ceremony also included the unveiling of a bronze plaque honoring the contributions of Jay and Betty Van Andel.

Grand Rapids Community College dedicates new campus

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-Grand Rapids Community College dedicated its newest campus Wednesday afternoon.

The former Davenport University property on Fulton Street is now the DeVos Campus. Doug DeVos humbly accepted GRCC's gesture of naming its new campus after his family.

"This community college, this place, this institution, is developing the next generation of leadership for our community," DeVos said.

Students have seven new acres of campus. Cook, Warren and Sneden halls are the newest buildings to house 30,000 Grand Rapids Community College students each year.

"It's been a year since we took acquisition of this building and this campus from Davenport and in that time frame we've been able to put $2 million into the renovation of this facility; [We're] looking forward to putting about $2 million more into the Warren Hall renovation," said Bob Partridge.

Movie shot in West Michigan premieres in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)-A film shot in the Grand Rapids area is making its big screen debut.

The cast and crew of "The Genesis Code" filled Celebration Cinema North Wednesday evening for the film's premiere. It's part of the second annual Grand Rapids Film Festival. C. Thomas Howell acted in and directed "The Genesis Code."

"The people and the talent involved [in "The Genesis Code"] are all basically from here, except for a few of us from Los Angeles, said Howell. "So it's a big moment not only for me as a filmmaker but for western Michigan as a destination to continue making more films."

The Grand Rapids Film Festival runs through Sunday at Celebration Cinema North. This year, it's featuring nearly 60 films.

"The Genesis Code" opens to the public this weekend.

Grand Rapids' old Federal Building will be used in new ways for ArtPrize

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- The old Federal Building will be home to a new ArtPrize feature this year. The Hub will be located in the old Federal Building which was home to the first ArtPrize winner. 

Founder Rick DeVos says the site will display which artists are getting the most votes and which venues are getting the most traffic.  It will also be home a new ArtPrize speaker series.  The complete lineup is below.

Hasan Bakhshi - Economist, Director of Creative Industries at NESTA

Adam Lerner Ph.D. - Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver

Jeff Speck - Urban planner, architectural designer, author of Suburban Nation

Xenia Kalpaktsoglou - Curator and Co-director of the Athens Biennale

Paul Ha- Director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis 

Patricia Phillips - Dean of Graduate Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design

Korean War veterans reunite in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Surviving members of the "Chosin Frozen" gathered at the Radisson in Grand Rapids.  The marines served together in the Korean War. Wednesday marked the 60th anniversary of their departure from Grand Rapids to Korea.

The unit consisted of 225 members, many of whom suffered lifelong injuries after spending countless hours in freezing ditches during the war.

One of the servicemen talked to WZZM 13 News about the Korean War's often forgotten place in history.  Korean War veteran Peter Lydens said, "I can understand that being so close to World War II, people were kind of tired of war, and looked upon this as a little postscript."  Lydens went on to say, "It was a little hard to take, but then, you know, life went on."

Of the 225 men in the unit only 25 of them are still alive.  Most of them attended Wednesday's reunion.



Former stripper offers ministry to dancers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -Anny Donewald is passionate about Jesus. "As human beings we were never called to ceate glory."

Donewald ministers to a group of women every Tuesday, but she used to entertain a much different audience. "No little girl at five-years-old wakes up and says I want to be a stripper when I grow up," Donewald said.

Donewald was a stripper in Michigan, Chicago and Las Vegas.

"Sometimes God gives us directions and we don't think it through but it's actually for our own safety," said Donewald sharing her thoughts to a group of women at the New Life Christian Fellowship Church in Grand Rapids.

After six years of stripping, Donewald found herself in a personal hell; one she left to form Eve's Angels. The group's members, along with Donewald perform outreach at area strip clubs.

Two teenagers die after crash in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- Two teenagers who crashed a stolen car in Grand Rapids have both died from their injuries.  Police say on August 14th Philip Patterson, 16, and 17-year old James Bartee stole a car on High Street.

After a police chase, they crashed into a tree near Caulfield and B Street.  Both went to the hospital with critical injuries. 

Police say Bartee died on the 18th from a head injury.  Patterson died two days later from multiple injuries.