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Court records: History of abuse at home of 12-year-old murder suspect


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM)— Newly-obtained court records indicate the home of a 12-year-old murder suspect has a history of abuse.

Jamarion Lawhorn, 12, is charged as an adult with the open murder of 9-year-old Connor Verkerke. Jamarion is accused of repeatedly stabbing Connor on a Kentwood playground on Aug. 4. According to court documents and neighbors near the crime scene, Jamarion admitted to taking several pills and said the murder was part of a bigger plan to end his own life, believing if he killed someone else, he would be sentenced to die in an electric chair.

Court records show the state has petitioned to terminate the parental rights of Jamarion's mother, Anita. Three other children were removed from her home two days after the murder. In the documents, Kentwood police described the home as unsafe with a history of abuse; police said one child at the home had multiple unexplained fractures.

Smooth start to Silver Line bus rapid transit system


Grand Rapids, Mich. (WZZM) - Many passengers are giving a thumbs up to the new Silver Line bus rapid transit service from Grand Rapids to Kentwood.

And not just because this week the bus fare is free.

"It was awesome," said Renee Wickham as she stepped down from the bus. "It was really fast; it was really clean. The buses were really nice. It was great!"

After 10 years of planning and construction, on Monday shiny green Silver Line buses began carrying passengers up and down Division Avenue between Grand Rapids and 60th Street in Kentwood. It's about nine and a half miles.

Part of the way, the buses have their own lane.

The Rapid can also turn red lights green when buses approach.

During peak morning and afternoon rush hours, the Rapid says Silver Line riders can cut their commute time almost in half.

My Town: How to find and hire the “get it done" agent

My Town: How to find and hire the “get it done" agent

If you are considering selling your home, finding the right real estate agent is critical.

You want to find the “get it done” agent in your area – the type of agent that lives and breathes real estate and has an intimate knowledge not just of your neighborhood but also with the surrounding community.  This agent will leverage his or her knowledge and expertise to maximize the sales price and educate prospective buyers on why your home and community is the right place for them. 

Finding the "get it done" agent takes a little investment on your part,  but the payoff is huge.  You deserve a high level of service, investment and communication from the agent representing your most valuable asset – your home.  When you hire an agent they become a unique contractual extension of you, so you need to make sure the fit is right. 

DTE Energy holds job fair in Kentwood


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- DTE Energy is holding a job fair Thursday in Kentwood.

It's happening at 4420 44th Street, Suite B from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

DTE is looking for customer care representatives to work in a call center. Eligible candidates should have a high school diploma or equivalent experience. The position pays $12.20 per hour with incentives and the potential to make up to $14.50 per hour. It also includes benefits.

If you're interested in getting in on the job fair you're asked to "dress for success" and bring a printed and electronic copy of your resume.


Loaded gun found in carry-on luggage at Ford Airport


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - A 38-year-old man was arrested at Gerald R. Ford International Airport for carrying on a loaded gun.

The loaded 9mm Kahr PM9 was found in the carry-on luggage of the man on Tuesday. He was intending to fly from Grand Rapids to Dallas/Fort Worth. He was arrested on local charges.

The TSA says that this is the sixth weapon to be discovered in carry-on luggage at Ford Airport this year.

Anyone who brings firearms to security checkpoints are referred to law enforcement and are subject to criminal penalties. The TSA has the ability to impose a civil penalty. Fines can range from $1,500 up to $11,000 for a single civil penalty for firearms brought to a security checkpoint.


Davenport offers job guarantee for accounting students


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Davenport University is offering an incentive to students with an interest in accounting.

The school announced Wednesday morning an Employment Guarantee for all accounting students. If you can't find a job in accounting within six months of graduation, you can get more education at Davenport.

At a morning news conference, Davenport President Dr. Richard Pappas said: "Accountablity is more than words - it's a backing up of what we believe are our excellent programs at Davenport University."

My Town Kentwood: Senior living community expanding

My Town Kentwood: Senior living community expanding

KENTWOOD, Mich.--  A senior living community is expanding in Kentwood.

Holland Home will break ground on a new rehabilitation center and memory care assisted living center late this month.  The work will take place at Holland Home’s Breton Rehabilitation & Living Centre off 44th Street.

The multi-million dollar project includes expanding the rehabilitation gym, adding a state-of-the-art equipment for therapy, as well as constructing a 15-bed, single-story private living space for people with conditions affecting their memory.

The project is expected to create 10 to 15 new jobs. The new space should open late next year.

Breton Rehabilitation & Living Centre was voted one of the 100 best nursing homes in the country by “U.S. News & World Report” and is rated five stars by Medicare Compare.