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Grand Rapids' 17th Circuit Court slated for expansion

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The 17th Circuit Court is growing, thanks to the number of cases that appear on the docket each day.

A committee with the Kent County Board of Commissioners agreed to the additions during a meeting this Tuesday morning.

If approved the board as a whole, the court will add a new judge, two clerks, an assistant prosecutor and two corrections officers.

Man says he was shot, asks for Uber ride home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) --  A man is shot and instead of calling for help, he calls for an Uber driver in Grand Rapids. 

WZZM 13 spoke to the Uber driver who picked up the shooting victim outside of J Gardella's in downtown Grand Rapids just after midnight on Thursday morning. 

On most days, passengers tell Uber driver David Heinicke where to go. However, on this particular ride he had a suggestion for the passenger. 

"(I) tried to get him to go to the hospital, he would not do it, refused to do it," said Heinicke. Heinicke says he received a call to pick up the 20-year-old man. "Looked like a handkerchief or something tied around his leg, trying to stop the bleeding. You could see right into his leg and the big crease down his pants where something had obviously hit him in the leg, and he later told me he had been shot by a .22 pistol."

Mel Trotter hosts 19th Annual Thanksgiving Day Banquet for those in need

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Mel Trotter Ministries is preparing to serve Thanksgiving dinner for roughly 2,000 people Thursday. The Christian rescue mission is hosting the 19th annual banquet at DeVos Place for those who are unable to fill their own tables this Thanksgiving.

The feast will include 1,500 pounds of turkey, 1,200 pounds of mashed potatoes, 1,000 pounds of stuffing and many other traditional Thanksgiving favorites.

"We wouldn't be able to do this without the support of donors and volunteers. We have roughly 700 volunteers and they have been signed up since before the end of October," said Abbey Sladick, director of community relations for Mel Trotter."

In addition to filling guests stomachs the banquet also serves to create a rapport and build confidence among those in attendance.

Hundreds strut their stuff in the annual GR Turkey Trot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)-- Nearly two thousand people turned out for the 23rd Annual Turkey Trot in Grand Rapids Thursday morning.

The race included a 5K walk/run, and a mini-trot 1K walk/run for kids 12 and under.

The money raised supports Grand Rapids Public Schools athletics and after school programs.

Kurt Johnson, Executive director for K-12 athletics at GRPS says " we currently serve over six thousands students after school in athletic programs. and so events like this help raise the funds to keep those programs up and running for the students".

The main goal of the run each year is to encourage the community to focus on their own personal health and wellness goals.

Dégagé serves Thanksgiving dinner

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Grand Rapids ministry makes sure everyone who needs a hot meal on Thanksgiving gets one, especially the Heartside-area homeless.

This is the 20th year Dégagé Ministries has offered the dinner. For each of those 20 years, the H.T. Hackney Company based out of Wyoming has been providing the food.

Everyone who attends the dinner also gets a box of groceries and other necessities, like warm, winter clothing to take with them.

"It's just become such a big event," said Dégagé's Bob Kreter. "Patrons look forward to it, the Heartside community does, and it's just a celebration and a time to thank God for all our blessings."

Students at Rosewood Elementary School designed special place mats for the dinner.

Grateful neighbors feed Grand Rapids Police

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- When they think of all the things they are thankful for at this time of year, residents of some Grand Rapids neighborhoods always include the city police department.

"For doing a good job and keeping us safe," explains Elaine Edmonds from the Creston Neighborhood Association.

Every year members of the Creston Neighborhood Association and Garfield Park Neighborhood association collaborate to serve a meal at the Grand Rapids Police Department.

It's comfort food like chili, corn chowder and sandwiches.

They say it's a way to thank the officers for doing their often difficult, dangerous jobs.

Tuesday night they brought the annual banquet to a break room in the headquarters basement.

"We are honoring them," says Edmonds. "They put their lives on the line every day and we need to honor the police officers."

GRPS Turkey Trot sign-ups outpace last year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Hundreds of runners are planning to burn some calories, before their Thanksgiving dinners.

More than 2,000 people have already signed up for this year's Turkey Trot 5k benefiting the Grand Rapids Public School district's athletic programs. Organizers say those sign-ups are well ahead of last year's numbers.

Runners started picking up their race numbers and shirts Tuesday night.

The race is expected to raise between $30,000 and $40,000.

"Well, the biggest thing is you get to use your feet before you eat," said Jessica Iloff with Turkey Trot sponsor Blue Care Network. "We all should get some exercise...what a great opportunity to get out and move around before you actually have Thanksgiving dinner."

The race starts at 8 a.m. Thursday at Van Andel Arena.