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Suspect charged with fradulent merchandise return at Grand Rapids-area Walmart

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Kent County deputies say a con man was able to collect thousands of dollars in a phony merchandise return scam by pretending to be a firefighter.

"This person has been very active in Michigan," says Detective Sgt. Marc Burns of the Kent County Sheriff's Dept.

Investigators say 40-year-old Jeffrey Lowery of Wisconsin used his con to cheat stores in 21 Michigan municipalities over the last three weeks, including the Walmart store on Alpine Avenue in Alpine Township.

They say Lowery identifies himself as a lieutenant or other high-ranking officer and says he is picking up the money for merchandise returned by other firefighters who had to rush to an emergency before the refund was paid.

The Young and the Very Young

For many years, one of the best kept secrets in the Township was the Card Party for Seniors at the  Community Center every Thursday night.  The room used to be filled with card players.  As of late, the number of players has decreased dramatically and the group is looking for new participants.  "Many of our regulars have passed on"  said Mary Schweitzer, "and they just haven't been replaced."  There is no age limit and any one can play.  Current players range in age from in their 50s to 92.  If you like cards, stop on by on a Thursday at 7:00 PM at the corner of 7 Mile Road and Baumhoff and have fun.

Meanwhile, at today's Rotary Club Meetiing at the Swan Inn, two younger ladies, students at Comstock Park High School, briefed the Rotarians about their experiences at  the Life Leadership Course they participated in last month.  The two junior students received scholarships from the Comstock Park Rotary Club making it p

New Hudsonville teacher prepares for the school year

HUDSONVILLE, Michigan (WZZM) - We've reported on the challenges of educators looking for a job in West Michigan.

But, Hudsonville Schools had a number of openings thanks to retirement and increased enrollment.

More than 500 students will soon head back to school at Georgetown Elementary. Among those greeting them back is Toby Jurewicz. "I'm really excited to get started on things," he says. Jurewicz is one of 23 teachers who was able to land a job this school year. "Hudsonville, in particular, is lucky. Not only are they not laying off teachers, but they're hiring teachers. It's one of the few that I know of so I count myself lucky for being able to teach in a district like that," he says.

It's a district he's familiar with. That's because he's a 2001 Hudsonville graduate.

Whitecaps magic number trimmed to two

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) - Despite four-hit nights from both Wade Gaynor and Michael Rockett, the West Michigan Whitecaps' five-game winning streak was snapped during a 13-7 loss to the Great Lakes Loons in front of a crowd of 6,393 at Tuesday night's regular season home finale at Fifth Third Ballpark.

West Michigan (34-30, 60-73) saw their magic number reduced to two thanks to Lansing's loss to Dayton, meaning that the Whitecaps can clinch a playoff berth with a win in any of the three games during their upcoming series with the Lugnuts.

The 'Caps finished their final homestand with a 5-2 record but fell just short of a four-game sweep against Great Lakes (42-22, 85-48). Every batter in the Loons lineup registered a multi-hit game, led by a 4-for-5 night with three RBI from Brian Ruggiano.

Whitecaps move closer to clinching a playoff berth

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- The West Michigan Whitecaps continued their stampede towards the postseason with a 10-3 victory over the Great Lakes Loons on Monday, reducing their magic number to three with a fifth consecutive win at Fifth Third Ballpark.

The West Michigan (34-29, 60-72) victory combined with other action around the Midwest League to officially eliminate Bowling Green and South Bend from playoff contention while giving the 'Caps a five-game lead over the Lansing Lugnuts with seven games remaining in the race for the Eastern Division's final playoff berth. The Whitecaps have led all 27 innings of the current series with Great Lakes (41-22, 84-48), outscoring the Loons 28-9 in the process.

Playground at York Creek is now open!

Kids were anxious to play on the new playground that opened up today at York Creek Apartments.

The youngsters had to wait all weekend for the cement to dry. Many kids and parents stopped by in the afternoon and evening to get a good taste of the new play equipment.

The tire swing was one of the most requested items.

So much fun for the kids, so rewarding for the builders.

State election officials certify Michigan primary results

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- State officials have certified the results from Michigan's August primary election.

The Board of State Canvassers certified the Aug. 3 election results on Monday. The certifications include the results of several Michigan's U.S. House primaries, including a relatively narrow victory in the 2nd District for Bill Huizenga in the Republican race over Jay Riemersma and five others.

Huizenga won by 663 votes and faces Democrat Fred Johnson in the November election for the western Michigan congressional seat.

Election officials earlier had certified a narrow victory for Dan Benishek in the Republican primary for the 1st Congressional District in northern Michigan. Benishek faces Democrat Gary McDowell in November.