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Cedar Springs surprises Comstock Park


COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- Cedar Springs used a big half to knock off host Comstock Park, 50-13.

The Red Hawks spoiled the opening of the Panthers' new stadium by rushing for nearly 200 yards in the first half and taking a commanding 36-7 lead into halftime.

Comstock Park went unbeaten last season before losing in the state semifinals.


My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

My Town: Crews gut shuttered Alpine Avenue restaurant

WALKER, Mich.—A building on Alpine Avenue that’s been home to numerous restaurants will no longer be serving up meals.

Construction crews this week are gutting the former Wild Chef Restaurant at 3303 Alpine Ave.  The site was previously home to a Bennigan’s restaurant.

Walker building official Tim Musser says the building will be split into two businesses—a Mattress Firm on the south side and The Vitamin Shoppe on the north side. 

At least two other mattress stores have opened or are planned for Alpine Avenue; Art Van opened its Pure Sleep shop in the former Hallmark storefront at 3450 Alpine Ave. NW late last year and plans are in place to open a Sleep Doctor Mattress store at 4235 Alpine Ave., in Alpine Township.

Musser says developers have already obtained all the necessary permits to convert the former Wild Chef restaurant, which abruptly closed Sunday, June 1.  It’s unclear when the new businesses will open to the public.

My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

My Town: New study debunks myths about those in need in West Michigan

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich.—An estimated 492,100 people rely on Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank to fill their plates and feed their families.

That’s according to a newly-released study, titled “Hunger in American 2014.”  The study found 46 million people nationwide count on Feeding America food banks each year.  In West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the need includes 58,200 seniors and at least 119,400 children.

“This study shows us that the face of hunger looks a lot like the one we see in the mirror,” said Ken Estelle, CEO of Feeding America West Michigan. “Most of us are one or two catastrophic events away from being in the same position.”

The study shows in roughly one-third of client households, at least one adult had worked for pay in the last four weeks.  Additionally, 40 percent had some education beyond high school.

Returning Army sergeant surprises girlfriend at Whitecaps game


COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- An Army sergeant, home early from his third tour in the Middle East, decided to surprise his girlfriend Monday night at the Whitecaps game.

"I'm either expecting a slap or a kiss, so hopefully I get the later of the two -- or earlier. Maybe both. Who knows," said Sgt. Anthony Connell.

With some help from his friends, Sgt. Connell arranged for his girlfriend, Amber, to be called out onto the field for a contest at Fifth Third Ballpark.

Amber was given the choice of picking a small box with goodies inside or the big box with Anthony hiding inside.

She picked the big box, and once she saw him inside, she screamed and ran to hug him.

"I had no clue" something was up, she says.

After the surprise, the two settled in to watch the game.


My Town: New school proposed for Alpine Township

My Town: New school proposed for Alpine Township

ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich.—A new private school may soon open in Alpine Township.

Family of Christ Lutheran Church is asking the township planning commissioners to approve its plans to add a parochial school within its existing facility. The school would serve grades 2-12 to start, with kindergarten and first grades added as demand grows.  Planning Director Sue Becker says under the church’s proposal, the only addition to its existing location at 1100 Henze Drive would be an outdoor playground at a later date.

The church tells Becker they would like to start classes this September.  Private schools and churches are both zoned for special land use, so no rezoning is necessary.  However, developers are required to gain approval from the township before opening any private school.

Man sentenced for upskirting at Walmart


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Comstock Park man who took photos up shoppers' skirts at a Walmart was sentenced Wednesday.

Richard Taylor, 34, was intoxicated when he snapped the cell phone pictures at the Alpine Avenue Walmart back in May.

A shopper says she figured out Taylor was taking pictures after he stood too close to her in the store.

In court, Taylor said he continues to struggle against his demons.

"No excuses, I am a perverted person. From my past it is clear that this has affected my life since I was a child," he said.

Taylor was sentenced to between two and 14 years in prison.


School rankings show districts' points of pride, areas for improvement

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's annual school accountability scorecards are out.

 

The report ranks schools according to factors like attendance and how well they meet goals set by the state's education department.

 

Schools that fall in the bottom five percent of the rankings are considered "priority" schools and are placed under the supervision of Michigan's school reform officer. There are 138 schools identified as "priority" schools. Nearly half of them are on that list for the fist time.

 

At least two West Michigan districts with priority schools also have schools among the state's top performers: Grand Rapids Public Schools and Godwin Heights Public Schools.