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Pacers Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team looking for Donations

Pacers Junior Wheelchair Basketball Team looking for Donations

Grand Rapids Junior Pacers Wheelchair Basketball Team. This special group of people are looking for donations to support their cause.

On November 7 & 8, they will be playing basketball at the Rockford Middle School to make money to help with the expenses they incur when they travel as a team. This season they are traveling to Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kentucky for national competition. Any money they make will go for equipment along with travel expenses.

This particular request comes from CJ Blackwell, 15 years old and one of the wheelchair players on the team. He is personally asking for your support. You can donate by contacting his Mom, Sandy Blackwell at 616-734-3204 or by e-mail at: silly-sandy@att.net.

New card skimmer found at Grand Rapids-area gas station

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- State inspectors found a new card skimming device at an area gas station as part of a weekend "blitz" in West Michigan.

The device was discovered Saturday morning at the Shell gas station at 28th Street SE and East Paris Avenue, said Jennifer Holton, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

This isn't the first card skimmer found recently. Officials announced the discovery of at least 12 devices found at gas stations across the state in the past month, most of them in West Michigan.

Five people were charged with possessing an automated sales suppression device, in addition to charges of conducting a criminal enterprise, in early September. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine for the latter.

Ford Airport unveils $20M water treatment system

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- After years of planning, Gerald R. Ford Airport cut the ribbon on its new storm water treatment system today.

Airport officials came up with a plan to deal with water runoff contaminated by the use of deicing fluids from airplanes.

The poisonous liquid is blamed for killing fish and other wildlife in nearby Trout Creek.

The water treatment system will remove the deicing agent from the storm water runoff and reroute the water to the Thornapple River.

"It's a great day in West Michigan," Ford Airport director Brian Ryks said. "It's a great day for the communities that surround the Ford Airport.

"This system has been 6 or 7 years in the making, and we are finally here today. The system is turned on. It's going to be fully functional, and it's going to do the job."

The water treatment system cost $20 million dollars.

Trader Joe's celebrates opening with Hawaiian theme

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The very first Trader Joe's grocery store in West Michigan held it's grand opening festivities Friday morning in Kentwood.

The store opened at 8 a.m. and WZZM 13's Meredith TerHaar was there. She said people started lining up as early as midnight for the event.

In true Trader Joe's fashion, nothing was typical. There wasn't a ribbon cutting, but rather a lei cutting. Customers filed in to receive a lei before they began shopping.

Employees were wearing Hawaiian shirts, giving the store an adventurous feel, while celebrating it's Grand Rapids identity with handmade signs and other decor. The store offers items you can't get anywhere else because 80% of the items are under the stores's private label, and are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients.

$1M lottery ticket found among Kentwood woman's old mail

KENTWOOD, Mich. (AP) - A Kentwood woman who won a $1 million lottery prize didn't know about it for months, after leaving the ticket in a pile of mail.

Lottery officials say Linda Tuttle stepped forward Tuesday with a winning ticket from the May 26 Mega Millions drawing.

Tuttle told officials she recently found the ticket at home among some old mail. She didn't search until a clerk at a local store mentioned that it had sold a $1 million winner in May.

Tuttle plans to use some money to visit former exchange students in China.

Rep. Huizenga: Send Syrian refugees to military bases

KENTWOOD, Mich (WZZM) -- We now know the United States government will increase the number of refugees accepted each year by 30,000 over the next two years. The belief is most of the refugees will come in from war-torn Syria. Right now refugees are capped at 70,000 but that will go up to 100,000 by 2017.

One of the main reasons the U.S. government decided to raise the cap is because of the on-going war in Syria where 250,000 people have died and 12 million have left the country in the past four and a half years.

"This step that I am announcing today, I believe, is in keeping with the best tradition of America as a land of second chances and a beacon of hope," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

But some of our representatives have some deep concerns about the vetting process that will happen to make sure the people who are allowed in from Syria are not going to cause trouble.

Jury finds Jamarion Lawhorn, 13, guilty of first degree murder

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Jurors have found Jamarion Lawhorn, 13, guilty of first-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of a younger boy at a Kentwood playground last August.

The verdict was delivered Friday afternoon in Kent County Circuit Court.

Lawhorn was charged as an adult. He's been held at Kent County's juvenile detention facility since his arrest last August.

A Kent County judge this summer ruled that Lawhorn was competent to assist in his own defense for the slaying of Connor Verkerke at the Pinewood Village mobile home park.

In December, a state psychiatrist determined that Lawhorn understands the charges against him and can assist in his defense. That prompted defense attorney Charles Boekeloo to ask for a second, independent evaluation.