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GRR's annual holiday festival features Santa, local choirs


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- The holiday spirit stayed at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Friday with a music festival and a visit from Santa.

He spent three hours listening to children's Christmas wish lists and passing out candy.

Santa's visit is part of the airport's 21st Annual Holiday Music Festival, featuring 11 local choirs singing Christmas carols and holiday songs.

All events at the airport are free and open to the public, thought the airport is asking people to bring in non-perishable food items to donate to Mel Trotter Ministries of West Michigan.


Car hits woman crossing Kentwood street


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A woman is in the hospital with injuries she sustained when she was hit by a car near Woodland Mall.

It happened around 11 p.m. Thursday at 32nd Street and Shaffer Avenue SE in Kentwood.

Police say the victim was hit as she was crossing 32nd Street.

The 51-year-old woman was taken to Mercy Health Saint Mary's Hospital, where she was being treated for life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the car was not injured, and was released at the scene.

Police closed the intersection for more than three hours while they investigated the crash.


Police: Armed man robs Family Dollar, flees


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- An armed robbery suspect on the loose after he stole money from a store, police say.

The robbery was reported around 10 a.m. Friday at Family Dollar, located at 52nd Street and Eastern Avenue, according to a Kentwood Police Department news release. 

A lone male suspect brandished a small revolver to the clerk and demanded money. He then fled the scene with an undisclosed amount.

Police used a K-9 tracking unit but was unsuccessful in location the suspect. He's described as a white male, about 20-30 years old, wearing a cloth to cover his face and was wearing baggy jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Kentwood Police Department at 616-698-6580 or Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.


Todd Wenzel Automotive expands with new dealership

Todd Wenzel Automotive expands with new dealership

Todd Wenzel Automotive Group announces the acquisition of their fourth Michigan GM dealership, Red Holman Buick GMC in Westland. This purchase represents the third Buick GMC dealership for Todd Wenzel. The first, located in Grand Rapids, was obtained in 2001 followed by a Chevrolet franchise in Hudsonville in 2004 and a second Buick GMC dealership in Davison in 2014.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to serve the Westland and Metro Detroit communities,” said Todd Wenzel, “We look forward to maintaining the excellent reputation the team at Red Holman has built.”

UICA hosts 27th Annual Holiday Artists Market


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The UICA is holding its 27th Annual Holiday Artists Market at the Steelcase Town Hall.

The two-day event is expected to draw over 3,500 holiday shoppers.

Guests will be able to shop for beautifully crafted gifts and goods from dozens of regional artists, including jewelry, home goods, fine art, holiday cards, accessories, and toys.

"The UICA Holiday Artists' Market is a great example of UICA's mission in action," said Katie Zychowski, Marketing and Communications Coordinator. "UICA nurtures and supports working artists, West Michigan and our Annual Holiday Artists' Market offers local and regional artists the opportunity to sell their work to a community that values shopping locally. The Holiday Artists' Market is a great way to highlight the talent, products, goods, and ingenuity of our creative community."

Police search for assault, robbery suspect


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Kent County Sheriff's Deputies are looking for a man who may have information about an early morning robbery.

Deputies say the robbery happened Saturday at 6 a.m. in the 1500 block of Eastport Drive SE.

Deputies say the victim reported being assaulted and having personal items stolen.

While completing their investigation, deputies located video surveillance footage of a person who may have information about the robbery. The video surveillance was from a local business the victim had visited just prior to the robbery.

Volunteers greet military members returning home


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A welcome home for veterans. Volunteers are welcoming home returning military members and thanking them for their service.

Operation Handshake started Wednesday morning. Volunteers include therapy dog teams and the Patriot Guard Riders.

"We know that not every member of our military can make it home during the holidays," said GFIA Executive Director Brian Ryks. "But for those returning to West Michigan we want to make it special and let them know we are thankful for their service."

"We appreciate the partnership with the Patriot Guard Riders of West Michigan, and their loyalty to serving our community through events like Operation Handshake."

The event is free and open to the public.

It goes until 7 p.m. Wednesday night at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport.