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Firefighters put out flames on Kentwood business's roof

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Emergency crews responded to a fire at Graphics Specialties, Inc., Tuesday night.

That facility is located near 32nd and Breton.

Flames were reported on the roof around 10:30 p.m. Scanner traffic indicated callers reported a patch of flames about ten feet by ten feet.

Graphics Specialties is a bindery and graphic arts finisher.

Firefighters put out the flames quickly. A preliminary estimate suggests the fire caused about $10,000 in damage.

The fire department said Wednesday that a witness reported seeing a Chinese lantern above the building flash and fall onto the roof. Firefighters did find a lantern like that on the ground near the facility.

The fire is still under investigation.

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Secretary of State, AAA partner on Express SOS Connect

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Michigan's Secretary of State is bringing new services to customers, through a partnership with AAA.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced the plan called Express SOS Connect at the AAA office in Kentwood Wednesday.

Customers at certain AAA locations will now have access to Secretary of State online services.

"It helps drivers because it's one-stop shopping," Secretary Johnson said. "They'll be able to get their insurance and then right away go online to get their tabs."

The AAA branch on East Paris is one of the locations offering Express SOS Connect.

The other branches are located in Detroit and Livonia.

Federal grant helping fund airport's deicing containment facility

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A deicing containment facility planned at Gerald R. Ford International Airport is getting a boost from a federal grant.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is giving more than $7.2 million to the project, according to an announcement Wednesday from the offices of Senator Carl Levin and Senator Debbie Stabenow.

"Gerald R. Ford International Airport provides a vital transportation link to West Michigan," Levin said. "This federal grant will help ensure that the airport can continue to invest in its infrastructure and serve the travelers and businesses that depend on reliable air transportation."

My Town Kentwood: School piano sale Sept. 12-13

My Town Kentwood: School piano sale Sept. 12-13

KENTWOOD, Mich.—Michigan State University is selling off a collection of pianos previously used by students of the College of Music.

The Kawai acoustic and digital pianos were loaned to the college by Kawai America and West Michigan Piano.  The collection, along with pianos loaned to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and more than 100 other new and used pianos, will be on sale at a fraction of regular retail value.

The sale is Friday, Sept. 12 and Saturday, Sept 13 at West Michigan Piano, located at 3600 29th Street SE in Kentwood.

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Kent Co. leaders consider independent airport authority

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The people who run Gerald R. Ford International Airport say they have a plan to attract more airlines to West Michigan.

The airport board wants to create an independent authority to oversee airport operations. The authority would not be subject to Kent County's standard policies.

Supporters of the proposal pitched the idea to county commissioners on Tuesday.

"The airport authority would be in tune with everything in the airline and be able to respond accordingly to keep us competitive in the environment," said aeronautics board member David Slikkers.

The first step in creating an airport authority is getting approval from the county commission.

If that happens, legislative changes at the state level would also be necessary.

Schools with Unique and Flexible Learning Models Host Information Sessions

The new school year has arrived and some families may still be undecided on the best education option for their child.

My Town: Meijer to hire thousands ahead of holidays

My Town: Meijer to hire thousands ahead of holidays


WALKER, Mich.—  A Walker-based retail store is hiring thousands more workers ahead of the holiday season.

Meijer recently announced it plans to hire more than 10,000 additional employees for stores in five states. Nearly half of the new hires, approximately 4,800 people, will happen in Michigan. The additional employees are needed to cover duties newly opened stores, as well as the upcoming busy holiday shopping season.  Meijer opened or is opening nine new stores in 2014; the retailer plans to open additional locations in 2015.

The openings will be for a variety of positions, from cashiers to meat cutting.  The majority of positions will be part time and seasonal.  Interested candidates can apply online on Meijer’s website

Meijer currently operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.