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Founder of Keller Ford passes away

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A Grand Rapids auto dealer, a "great, great guy," has passed away.

Jack Keller, the founder of Keller Ford, died April 30 at the age of 88.

According to his obituary, Keller was a World War II veteran before moving to St. Clair Shores in the early 1960's as a salesperson for Roy O'Brien Ford. He moved to Grand Rapids in 1966 and bought his first dealership at the corner of Jefferson and Cherry and called it Keller Ford.

The visitation for Keller will be Saturday, May 16 at St. Robert of Newminster Catholic Parish in Ada from 10:00am - 11:00am, with the memorial service following.

Whitecaps to host Relay for Life event at May 16 game

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- Spring at a ballpark: it's an analogy for hope and renewal--that something will be better than it once was.

This season, the West Michigan Whitecaps are scheduled to play 70 home games at Fifth Third Ballpark, but one game day in May will be unlike any other this year, or any year before.

In October 2012, Anne Chamberlin married Lew Chamblerin, one of the Whitecaps' founders. Immediately after she got sick.

"Went to the doctor right before our honeymoon and I was diagnosed with stage four non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," she said.

What followed was a long, grueling regimen of chemotherapy, radiation and a splenectomy. But she finished that and ran the Riverbank Run, raising $15,000 for the American Cancer Society, in honor of a friend who died of ovarian cancer.

First Graduates of Kenowa Hills Middle College - 2015

First Graduates of Kenowa Hills Middle College - 2015

The Board of Education of Kenowa Hills Public Schools is pleased to announce the savings of college expenses valued at $512,126 by the first Kenowa Hills High School/Davenport University Middle College graduating class. The first students scheduled to complete the program this spring have participated in classes valued from $30,361 to $35,076.

From Allison Polkowski, a student who will be graduating in May. “For the past three years, Middle College has impacted me in a way I had never considered. Taking a blended schedule of high school and college classes simultaneously has challenged, driven and progressed me more than many students the same age. I am incredibly confident in the interpersonal, professional and medical skills that I have gained in this period of time. I have also discovered possibilities for future careers with no college debt.”

Rain clears, Whitecaps start season with win

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) - After rain kept the West Michigan Whitecaps from holding Opening Day festivities Thursday, the team went into a rain delay ahead of Friday's game, too.

Shortly after 8 p.m., though, the Whitecaps and the Dayton Dragons lined up for the national anthem and the game got underway.

Gates opened at 5 p.m., and mittens were given away to the first 1,000 fans. Post-game fireworks are scheduled, too. The game itself was scheduled for a 6:35 p.m. start, but rain moving into the area prompted the grounds crew to pull out the tarps shortly after 6 p.m.

By about 11 p.m., the Whitecaps won, 5-4.

Palm Sunday tornado outbreak: 50 years later

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- April 11, 1965 is remembered as one of the worst tornado outbreaks in Michigan history. 53 people were killed and hundreds hurt when a dozen tornadoes touched down across the state, including Kent County.

Like so many early April days in West Michigan, the morning of Sunday, April 11, 1965 was cool and quiet; the morning observations taken by the Grand Rapids office of the U.S. Weather Bureau reported several hours of fog. Only the day before, a strengthening low-pressure system in the Plains was heading towards the Great Lakes region.

Animal Welfare Fund Provides $155,500 to Local Animal Shelters

Animal Welfare Fund Provides $155,500 to Local Animal Shelters

News Release:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill announced the Michigan Companion Animal Welfare Fund check-off will fund projects totaling over $155,500 for 26 registered shelters in 2015. 

The Michigan Animal Welfare fund was established under Public Act 132 of 2007 as a tax check-off to support animal shelters statewide. This year’s awards will go to the spaying and neutering of animals, fund registration fees for anti-cruelty training conferences, and help cover costs for protecting and caring for Michigan animals subjected to cruelty or neglect.

“Thanks to the generous support of Michiganders, local shelters will be able to train more staff on anti-cruelty, care for animals looking for their forever home, and conduct spay and neutering programs in their communities,” said Averill.

Whitecaps prep for Opening Day

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WZZM) -- The West Michigan Whitecaps kick off its season on Thursday and crews are spending their final days cleaning up the ballpark before the home opener.

It's been more than a year since part of the Fifth Third Ballpark burned down, forcing officials to update the facilities sooner than expected. A new viewing deck and craft beer shop are just some of the new additions to the ballpark. Sixteen Michigan beers will be on tap and on opening day, one keg of KBS will be served.

What else is new? The food. The organization is rolling out several new dishes this year, including the Hot-to-Tot the fan food vote winner and beer-a-Misu.

The Whitecaps will face off against the Dayton Dragons with the first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.